On the morality of a carbon-intensive lifestyle

Nils Gilman looks at the morality (or lack thereof) of our carbon-intensive way of life, by way of analogy with antebellum slavery.  The average (mean) global citizen today wields roughly 20 times the intrinsic power of a single human being (~2,000 watts).  It’s like having 20 “energy slaves” to do your bidding at any time.  In the US it’s more like 100 human powered equivalents (~10,000 watts).  Most North Americans have a hard time imagining life without the fossil fueled slaves.  And so it was that most of us 150 years ago, other than a few radical eccentrics, had a hard time imagining our lives without the economic fruits of literal slavery.

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