The Truth About Carbon-Based Fuels, by Karl Denninger

Society won’t run without carbon-based fuels. From Karl Denninger at

Let’s face facts: 

Carbon-based fuels are the reason for modern society.

Carbon-based fuels have been responsible for lifting every single area of the world out of privation and dependence on the whims of weather and vagaries of wandering consumers of vegetable material (otherwise known as “meat”) one region at a time — without exception.

As the use of carbon-based fuels has been further-refined (e.g. from trees to coal to oil to natural gas) the lift in living standards has been dramatically increased, again without exception anywhere in the world.

Not one single subset of society has ever moved forward on any other basis in human history.


To obtain nuclear power, for example, one must exploit carbon-based fuels.  You need them to dig up the rock, separate the uranium, isotopically separate the U-235 from the U-238, produce the zirconium cladding for fuel pins (which also requires digging up rock in size and processing said earth), producing the steel for the containment building and pressure vessel, welding it all together, producing all the copper wiring (more digging, smelting, etc.) for the control systems and more.  Not one single scintilla of harnessed nuclear energy would have ever been produced without carbon-based fuels.  Indeed, without carbon-based fuels the smelting of the lead required for the first reactor pile shielding would have been impossible.

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