Control Systems: Energy

3d. Energy

‘Corporately controlled mass media hegemony’  is a bit of a mouthful! It says that many aspects of our lives within a society of beings act as a control system for our thoughts. A ‘wetiko’ philosophy is embedded into all of our systems, not just media. For example, in order to sell us energy, the systems make us believe it is a scarce commodity. Our news on energy for the UK is full of austerity measures for energy, for example Emily Gosden, Energy Editor for the Telegraph reported in 2018:

Britain will be forced to rely on imports and costly emergency measures to prevent blackouts, official data suggests. Britain’s energy supply forecasts have plunged ‘into the red’ next winter for the first time on record, suggesting the country will be forced to rely on imports and costly emergency interventions to prevent blackouts.

Figures from National Grid show that on current plans there will not be enough power plants operating in the UK market to keep the lights on for most of December, January and February .

The supply gap has emerged because a series of old, polluting power stations have been shut down, while hardly any replacement plants are being built.”

Ignoring the article bias against renewables (eg energy does not just come from power stations), it presents energy as an asset we do not have enough of, a scarce asset. In whose interest is promoting energy as a scarce and limited asset?

In full sun, you can safely assume about 100 watts of solar energy per square foot. If you assume 12 hours of sun per day, this equates to 438,000 watt-hours per square foot per year. Based on 27,878,400 square feet per square mile, sunlight bestows a whopping 12.2 trillion watt-hours per square mile per year.

With these assumptions, figuring out how much solar energy hits the entire planet is relatively simple. 12.2 trillion watt-hours converts to 12,211 gigawatt-hours, and based on 8,760 hours per year, and 197 million square miles of earth’s surface (including the oceans), the earth receives about 274 million gigawatt-years of solar energy, which translates to an astonishing 8.2 million ‘quads’ of Btu energy per year. A ‘quad Btu’ refers to one quadrillion British Thermal Units of energy, a common term used by energy economists. The entire human race currently uses about 400 quads of energy (in all forms) per year. Put another way, just the solar energy hitting the earth exceeds the total energy consumed by humanity by a factor of over 20,000 times. And that is just the sun’s energy.

Yet the takeup of renewables is constantly set back because of the vested interest of companies in the fossil fuel business, (who now ‘own’ our governments) resulting in confrontations over oil pipelines, fracking and all the other grisly business like taxing renewables. We are fed the lie over and over again, energy is scarce, energy is limited when in fact the whole universe is made of energy. So – if we live in a universe made of energy – why are we supposedly ‘running out’?

We are rather young as a species. Our non-renewable sources of energy such as oil, coal, natural gas and nuclear power are becoming scarce (or too dirty and dangerous) just at the moment we have realised that everything is made of energy. We have been so stuck in a world of non-renewables that the groundwork on harvesting the infinite energy of the universe is still being done. Information concerning this is often repressed in the interest of global multinationals who want our money and sponsor our governments.

Imagine – making us go out to work in jobs all day to pay for energy which is actually FREE and INFINITE and EVERYWHERE. What a shocker if people found out how to harvest their own!

There are many sources of renewable energy: wind, water, geothermal, solar, tidal, biomass, even natural electricity and hydrogen (secondary energy sources) – methods of harvesting them are getting easier – some people are even making ‘harvesting devices’ for energy out of rubbish!

You might think that with all this energy falling from the sun, tidal power, wind power and other renewable sources that the solution to our energy problems would be easy – simply switch over. The problem is that vested interest has kept the development of alternatives ‘quiet’ over the last 40 years or so. The Tory trend in the UK is presently about disinvestment in alternative power and in the US Government Big Oil is Still King. Yee Hah!

Our planet is rich in energy. Enough energy simply falls on the planet from the sun in 40 minutes to supply all of our needs for a year. We are running out of several forms of fossil energy at present, hence the discussions of ‘peak oil’ and the like. Energy produced from oil, gas, coal and other natural resources has reached its ‘peak’ – supplies are dwindling while our need for energy is increasing to work our homes, our transport and our industries.

Multinationals with vested interests would sooner grasp at straws like ‘fracking’ than change their dirty ways. Despite the ongoing global tragedy at Fukushima, others want to invest in nuclear power (at cost to the taxpayer) in order to keep power generation centralised and monopolised, eg keep the power structures the same. Given that our environment is suffering from all this extraction and the resultant pollution, it’s much better to leave it in the ground.

The decentralisation of energy supply is a huge issue in the economies of energy. The power that pays for governments often comes from large industry and centralised monopolies are a large part of the capitalism that runs our economy. Harvesting our own energy supplies ‘from the wild’ still runs counter to the interests of a culture based on ‘consuming’ what is supplied to them from a centralised controller, in order to create money streams. This is why the issues of microgeneration or even of ‘using less energy’ are barely discussed at government level – they run contrary to the ideology of consumerism and a growth economy. Presently new legislation is being contrived in the UK to tax people who have invested in the self-generation of energy.

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