(OilPrice) Energy is everything. Without energy literally nothing happens. It's easy to overlook the role of energy in the economy because we often just look at it as how much we spend on energy as a fraction of total GDP. But that really is misleading. Because if you take away energy, the GDP doesn't just contract by that percentage, the GDP disappears.
If suddenly there was no petrol at the pump; if suddenly the lights went out and did not come back on, the economy would go away. Energy is central to all economic activity. Up until the last couple of hundred years, the energy that we used was from renewable sources - it was almost entirely from the sun. But something changed with the Industrial Revolution. We developed the tools, the gears, the metallurgy, the simple heat engine, so that we could access and use the fuels that had been created by nature over tens of millions of years.
Think of it this way. You have run out of petrol and have to push your car a couple of metres off to the side of the road. It's a lot of work, especially if it's a heavy car. Think about having to push the car for kilometre after kilometre - that would really be a lot of work. If you do the math, a single litre of fuel is doing the work that's the equivalent to, maybe, six weeks of hard labour. You can't get labour anywhere as cheap as the petrol we buy.
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