Energy Complexity, Disaster & Collapse.
Everything that goes up, must come down. We live in a world where we are constantly trying to create and discover new sources of energy to sustain our lifestyles. As Joseph Taintor referenced, societies collapse when they keep growing and growing without addressing some serious issues. As they grow, solutions for problems get more complex; inevitably the energy that goes into solving this problem grows at the same rate as the complexity of it. At this point is the benefit/cost ratio worth the hassle?
The obvious reason would be yes, we have become so dependant on potential energy (chemical, nuclear, gravitational, or mechanical) that it may seem impossible to do without. This is where EROEI comes into place, and it's sad to see even if there isn't much return out of it, compared to what has been invested, there we are sucking the life out of it, getting as much energy as we can. Since we are so reliant on it; we are willing to do whatever it takes, no matter how complicated it is. Have you ever sat down and just looked around, and said: "holy smokes, what have we done?" Because I haven't and that's a problem. I believe that the human race has really screwed this earth up, and of course, we have people today fighting to keep this place viable. But what made us go this far? We want more and more and more. I do not think Taintor is either an optimist or a pessimist; simply a realist. And what goes up; will inevitably come down.
Disclaimer: The student writing this reflection has not eaten dinner,
so here is an apology in advance for being so party poop-erish.