Collapse – and how to deal with it

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Here’s a note from David Wilcox about this article from Ralph Thurm:

No Plan B suggests that there is a Plan A? If collapse is caused by the scale of our embrace of fossil energy to create options for 6.1 billion people, then logic suggests that the solutions will require a dramatic substitution and reduction of energy use.

In How the World Really Works, Vaclav Smil provides the following gigajoules per capita numbers:
1800 – .05
1900 – 2.7
2000 – 28
28 divided by .05 = 560 in 200 years.

All combined growth or growth hacking knowledge is not capable of generating comparable multiples in either substitution or scale of alternative energy sources. What is capable?

If anything is capable it is networks and network effects . The source of this this kind of scale, and well covered in digital innovation circles, are network effects and the S-curves that underlie these effects.

Thinking about seriously replacing fossil energy at the rates required to reach scale demands understandings and extensive skill sets around scaling to and through network effects. Here the S-curve becomes either your enemy or your friend. The question that each S-curve asks is, can you get to my inflection point?