Gathering Firewood in the Suburbs?
"When complex means of appropriating energy become prohibitively expensive or impractical, [people] return to simpler means. Soon the complex methods become prestigious and exotic. We are now just beginning to leave the period in which itâ€™s common practice for even the working class to throw a switch and enjoy heating and electricity from a power plant tens of miles away, mitigated by thousands of yards of well-maintained transmission cable, driven by the burning of cheap natural gas piped from Uzbekistan to the coast, liquefied at super-low temperatures, shipped in amazingly expensive LNG tankers, received in even more expensive (and well-guarded) LNG ports, and distributed through a vast domestic pipeline network to be burned as gas at the plant. When the society canâ€™t manage all that, people leave the house and start looking for wood. And as Mike Kane has found, theyâ€™re already out there."
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