Dr. Nick Eyre
By Rebecca Willis, Dr. Nick Eyre, Green Alliance
For generations, human development has been fuelled by ever greater amounts of energy. The discovery of fire by our earliest ancestors allowed them to harness the energy stored in plants to keep warm and to cook. Agriculture is essentially a means of diverting sunlight into crops to provide easily accessible food. Farming liberated people from the daily hunt for sustenance, and allowed populations to grow. Exploitation of coal fuelled the industrial revolution and the development of urban societies. Oil for transport, and the development of electricity systems enabled modern society, with its ever increasing consumption and mobility. Energy use and social progress have been inextricably linked. Until now. Now, it makes sense to use less energy, not more.