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madokie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-01-07 08:49 AM
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one must always remember to be very careful of what one wishes for
I just hope the money to be's don't decide that they want to clean up the air today and quit burning fossil fuels completely and start using us peons and our children to power the generators and pull the carriages for them. :evilgrin:
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tom_paine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-01-07 10:22 AM
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1. Actually, I was just thinking about that recently.
Edited on Sat Dec-01-07 10:24 AM by tom_paine
As most know, I am of the opinion that human beings are still basically, the same stupid primates driven by unvarnished primate psychology as we were 2,000,000 years ago.

(yes, it IS stupid to give monkeys guns)

Given that, I often ponder one of the few truly decent and non-primate things humanity has ever done, which is to outlaw slavery. Well, it's still practiced so it's not fully outlawed, but pretty close.

Recently, due to the large amount of thought I have been giving the environment and energy usage, in which my perspective has been altered with all the new information/data and all the new perspectives for looking at this problem (thanks to hatrack and GliderGuider, respectively), I have been beginning to think that the ONLY reason slavery was abolished, we monkeys being monkeys, was because our energy input grew to such a level that the wealthy no longer needed us to power their generators and pull their carriages.

Now that energy input is falling, and if it falls to pre-industrial, then yes, I am beginning to think that slavery will coming back in a big way within two to three centuries (perhaps much sooner), and by that I mean full 95%+ human reacceptance of it's "rightness".

In three centuries or less, the human-powered sedan-chair will be a preferred mode of travel of the Royal Bushies cutting through the smelly traffic of their unwashed Subjects.

Unless we have closer to an 18th-century level energy input, then maybe the sedan-chair won't come back. But ONLY if there is some other way for the Royal Bushies' to get around in style. If not, it's sedan-chairs.
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madokie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-01-07 11:08 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. I like your way of thinking, Tom
The American Indians had it pretty much figured out a long time ago but europeans being the smarter about all like they thought they were and all and giving how man really hasn't advanced all that much in his time on earth we didn't learn a thing from them when we took over their country. reminds me of Iraq, what is something that happened early on in the occupation, the raiding and destroying of museums and artifacts, there is a reason for allowing that that we must never forget.
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IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-01-07 11:36 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. "Sedan chairs" is the least of our worries in this regard
I came to a similar conclusion a while back through my study of history. I think it's no accident that the decline of slavery in the British Empire coincided with their increased use of coal to fuel their industrial revolution. Likewise, the decline of slavery in the United States dovetailed with our industrial revolution ramping up, with its attendant reliance on fossil fuels.

The truth is that, until the rise of fossil fuels, slavery was a feature of EVERY civilization on the face of the earth. The reason for this is rather simple -- it takes tremendous amounts of work for the citizens of those civilizations to enjoy varying degrees of comfort, and forced labor is just about the easiest place to get that work. It doesn't matter whether you look at the Mesopotamians, Egyptians, Chinese, Greeks, Romans or Medieval Europeans -- slavery in one form or another (slaves in name or forced peasant labor enforced by violence) was the foundation upon which all of those societies were built.

Fossil fuels provide a much more efficient means of slavery, and you never have to worry about an uprising. However, you DO have to worry about other negative effects, as well as their running out.

I sincerely believe that, as long as humans have some kind of "civilization" we will have some form of slavery to provide necessary energy inputs. The only way we can escape this paradigm, in the absence of a perpetual motion energy machine, is a return to hunter-gatherer lifestyles.
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The2ndWheel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-01-07 12:08 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. Changes things, doesn't it?
Got there a couple years ago myself. When was oil discovered in the US? When was our civil war? Practically the same day. When did labor, women, and people of color get their rights?

So that means we must continue to find and use cheap energy. However, the more energy we use(it doesn't matter what kind, it can be wind and solar at some point), the larger our impact on the environment. Nothing is quite free.

The more we organize society, the more human-powered sedan-chairs we'll need without cheap non-human energy.

I say welcome to the club. It's not a very organized club though(that's why we're losing). No chairs either, unless you make it yourself.
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