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history of energy transitions

by on June 7, 2010

A long excellent essay.

If fire was the first Promethean energy technology, then Promethean II was the heat engine, powered first by wood and coal, and then by oil and natural gas. Like fire, heat engines achieve a qualitative conversion of energy (heat into mechanical work), and they sustain a chain reaction process by supplying surplus energy. Surplus energy or (net energy) is the gross energy extracted less the energy used in the extraction process itself. The Promethean nature of fossil fuels is due to the much larger surplus they deliver compared to animate energy converters such as draft animals and human labor.

http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6561 – more

Douglass Carmichael

doug@dougcarmichael.com

MAHB Millennium  Assessment of Human Behavior

http://mahb.stanford.edu

Stanford Media X , Stanford Stratgey Stdios and  Palo Alto StrategyStudios

Book draft  at http://gardenworldpolitics.com

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Posted via email from Doug Carmichael reflections

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