A lower-energy economy will need to produce fewer goods and services overall—still enough necessary products to go around, just less production of goods that contribute little more than profits to the seller and waste to the landfill.
Ed. note: Excerpted from The Green New Deal and Beyond: Ending the Climate Emergency While We Still Can by Stan Cox with permission of the publisher. Published by City Lights.
If fossil fuels are rapidly eliminated during the transition to non-fossil energy, the pool of energy available to society will shrink. How much it shrinks will depend on how fast the new energy capacity and a new electric grid can be developed. And if the transition succeeds, the handy liquid fuels that for a century have powered road travel, farming, freight hauling, and air travel will be flushed out of society forever. Operating buildings, transportation, and industry mostly on electricity will be much more complicated. But adapting to a leaner energy diet does not have to be a grim ordeal; in fact, it will provide opportunities to scale back the environmental and societal damage that potent, portable en- ergy sources…
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