From a long time back people have used stored energy to aid their living. Small fires released the energy in wood and for us they kept wildlife at bay, sterilized meat and broke down the long chemical bonds found in vegetables. Technology ensued as we learned to use other energy stores; charcoal, coal and oil. We’re now living in times whereby we rely upon massive amounts of energy to aid in our everyday living.
Puerto Rico is an island territory of the United States. It has an established infrastructure including roads, ports and airports which came with a current debt cost of $72B. Puerto Rico has 3.6M residents. Thus each owes $20571. Assume a barrel of oil costs $50 then each person owes 411.4 barrels. A barrel contains 5.86Joules of stored energy. Therefor each person owes 2.4e12Joules of energy. People operate at a rate of 10.08MJoules of energy per day. Thus the residents owe 2.3e5 days of operation to pay their debt. Or they owe 655 years of energy allocation to compensate for the debt. Let’s hope they live long and prosperous lives.
Will people on Puerto Rico work for 655 years to compensate for the stored energy they’ve expanded? How do we rationalize the current global debt load that’s ever increasing and debt defaults that are also increasing? As more political entities walk away from debt and more corporations file for bankruptcy then a lot of potential effort, potential energy, simply disappears. Can people afford to lose so many years of stored potential energy (debt) and still maintain our technological level? Is there a difference between stored potential energy and stored energy?