Net energyLiving things need energy to survive. Humans follow the path of higher net energy. With fossil fuels, we have gained so much net energy that we have created a system in which we spend 10 units of energy to produce 1 unit of food energy, exactly backwards. This cannot go on.
Capitalism and wasteWhy not use high net energy sources carefully and make them last longer. This is not possible in a competitive economy. The same short-term profit is gained whether the energy is used wisely or wasted. Since wasting is quicker and easier, it has come to dominate.
World market controlHigh net energy fuels are in a world market. There is a large concentration in the Middle East/Caspian region. A competitive economy leads to competition between regions. If China and Russia combine to control this region they can cause economic chaos in the United States.