Ruminations of a Rundown Replicant

A Speculative Post

Citizens of the world

Good morning everyone. It's a beautiful 1st day of January ____ , and I have important news.

Today, as your self appointed democratic leader of the free world, my managers have instructed me to advise, that most of you have been priced out of the gasoline and diesel market. Accordingly, your supply chain has been shutdown permanently, and you're now on your own.

We've left a note for the cleaners. The code to launch our missiles is in my top drawer.

The good news is that carbon emissions will plummet. We've finally come through on climate change. Shame on those who said we wouldn't. I don't mind saying, well done us.

And, there's more good news on the climate front. Many of you will soon be chomping your way through billions of methane farting domestic animals.

Enjoy those steaks while you can. Affordable dense energy is required to feed you, and now there's no dense energy available at a price you can afford.

Keep your chins up. We're also doing it tough. Black ink is turning to red. Property and share prices are in free fall. And we've got Learjets parked all over the place.

Now I know that many of you are going to tell me that there's plenty of energy left. That might be so, but it's not as simple as that.

You've been consuming the most important source of affordable dense energy at a rate in excess of 80,000,000 barrels per day. When did you think it was going to run out?

You've been using your credit card to buy it. Did you ever think that one day they wouldn't give you another one?

Let me explain.

The only known energy that's useful to a complex society is that stored in very energy dense fuel (fossil or nuclear). It takes energy to get energy. If it doesn't produce a healthy energy surplus at the point of consumption, it's no good to that society.

Lastly, it has to be affordable to consumers. As you know, we've been reducing real salaries and loading you up with debt. The energy cost of providing dense energy has been increasing so your purchasing power has been decreasing.

We simply can't produce dense energy at a price that you can afford. It doesn't seem that long ago, that prices were trending up. Remember the GFC?

We'll still produce for us, if we can. Don't forget that we've got more guns than you, and we've been practicing at keeping you under control. We called it Operation Covid.

We've thought about writing off your debt, especially that debt that you can never repay. But, on reflection, we've decided to keep your debt in place so that we can continue to control you. Forced eviction is a great pacifier.

One way or another, the world's population will be reducing to pre-burn numbers, and your new lifestyle will be medieval if you're lucky. That's a global population around 1 billion, give or take.

We don't know what we're going to do about that. We have plenty of horrible, immoral options.

A sterilising bioweapon won't destroy assets. That looks to be the best option.

On the other hand, we might just retreat to our bunkers, and hope that you don't come looking.

I know that we should have told you all this, but we had to look after ourselves first. I hope you understand.

We couldn't believe how easy you made it for us. It's been in full view but unseen by you.

Thanks sheep.

Now that it's over, it's time to confess.

We've known for at least half a century that unfettered capitalism would be disastrous if it was let loose in a finite store of resources (aka our beautiful blue planet) . And now, the one-off burn of affordable dense fuel has come to an end.

During this time, we became socialists and financial colonisers. That's another thing that we forgot to tell you.

We infiltrated our government, and nearly every other government in the world. If you hosted our embassy, you were in trouble. Only Russia, China and Iran escaped their initial capture.

We were surprised at how much resource we could steal with a little bribery, financial weaponry and intimidation.

We implemented every racket that we could think of, at home and internationally. We made our home grown rackets legal. Who wants to go to goal?

When our economy blew up, we directed our government to bail out the corrupt, failed banks and businesses. That money was created out of thin air.

The government was instructed not to take ownership. It could have been the largest socialist government that had ever existed. But, we wanted to keep you believing in capitalism, and in democracy.

We wanted to keep you believing in free markets. Markets free for us to exploit.

We wanted to keep you believing that your powerful, currency issuing government had nothing good to offer you. We knew better. You didn't.

We wanted you to vote neoliberal. You did.

And all the time we were sucking you dry. We, the parasite, made you eat credit, and other bad things, so that now you, our ignorant host, are barely alive. While you toiled away, we slept in our beds getting wealthy.

Now you know.

We won't be going to heaven, but we sure enjoyed the high life at your expense.

Like all hosts, you're the last one to know about your parasite. You've been educated and distracted by us. You've been deceived by our snake oil salesmen.

There are no class 8 electric trucks, and there never will be. It's a small matter of the laws of physics, and the fact that we're out of affordable dense energy.

There can't be low energy return renewables. It's a small matter of them being unable to make themselves, and the fact that we're out of affordable dense energy.

I know you're dispirited and tired ...and it's going to get much worse. We're sorry about all that, but as I said, it was either you or us.

Even now, we could reverse anything that we've put into law, and that might alleviate some inequality and pain.

We could, for example, write off debt that you can never repay. But, we won't.

The thing is. Not even we can escape a scarcity of affordable dense energy. This plague of humans is about to go the way of all plagues.

We know that when you have to confront unpleasant reality, you'll deny it. Put your head in the sand. There's no escaping this psychological trait.

We relied on it, and you've been lambs to the slaughter.

Will you act to save yourself now or will you continue to deny? Will you place your bets on scalable technological solutions that haven't been invented?

Or, will you relocate, if you can? Escape your energy hungry city, if you can? Rid yourself of debt, if you can? Seek the safety of a like minded community, if you can?

- 1 toast