Energy and Equity – Ivan Illich

Energy and Equity is an essay from the energy crisis of the 1970s.  It’s got a socialist bent, but I don’t think that’s actually vital to the point being made.  As the speeds at which we travel and the distances traversed have increased, the cost of that transportation as a fraction of personal income has also gone up.  Going further faster isn’t really an improvement, if one has to work longer hours to pay for the privilege.  Thoreau made a similar point with respect to trains.  Bicycles are a notable exception to this trend.  With them you can travel much further and faster, even including the time it takes to earn the bicycle and pay for the infrastructure it requires.

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Zane Selvans

A former space explorer, now marooned on a beautiful, dying world.

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