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flip86's avatar

Do you think electricity is a temporary luxury for humanity?

Asked by flip86 (6180points) July 10th, 2014

Will humanity always have electricity at their disposal or will unforeseen circumstances return us to the dark?

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15 Answers

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

I think electricity is here at least until we find a viable substitue. Unforseen is just that, so we can’t predict for that. I believe we must and will rely more heavily on wind and solar power, but I imagine it will be a pretty long time before we give up electricity as it is used currently.

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

(pun intended)

Dutchess_III's avatar

…electricity as it is used currently. BWHAAAHAHHAHAHHAAAA!!!

ragingloli's avatar

Hugh Manatee would have to lose all scientific knowledge and every tiny bit of today’s power infrastructure for it to lose electricity.
It is conceptually simple, and easy to produce.

Blueroses's avatar

Did you ever watch the show, “The Colony”, on Discovery channel? (Good concept; crap production value.)

People from varied backgrounds are placed into an urban survivalist scenario. After they secure some food and water, invariably they start to work on producing power. The solutions are ingenious, using materials at hand, they always come up with a power supply.

So, I think “powered tools” are here to stay, as they have been created and we will re-create them. The source of power will evolve.

For the record, I’m so dependent on electricity that even when the power goes out, and I know it… I’ll try to flip the light switch in the basement in my search for a flashlight with working batteries.

flip86's avatar

I saw that show and thought it was very contrived.

Blueroses's avatar

I agree @flip86. The aired production of the show was truly terrible.

It did intrigue me enough to look into the backstory of the concept to see if anything was genuine in the filming. I believe there was real adaptive invention coming out of the concept, then the editing took care of making it “dramatic“and therefore, contrived.

ibstubro's avatar

I think electricity is here to stay, until some now-unheard-of source or application takes it’s place.

Say a battery that’s small, recyclable and stores a day’s sun energy for 5 days.

As long as the Earth allows mankind to remain viable, there will be a power source. Wireless rechargers are now available. Who’s to predict the next step??

Blueroses's avatar

That’s still “electricity”, yes? @ibstubro
Mankind will never live without automating some functions we used to do, for lack of a better word, manually.

I’m not arguing the point, I think we actually agree that the OP should have used the word “power” instead of “electricity”.

ibstubro's avatar

I realized the limits of ‘battery’ and electricity, @Blueroses, but it was cumbersome to define “energy/power”.

If mankind exists long enough, a sunny or breezy day will provide more energy than the grid will hold.

stanleybmanly's avatar

It’s entirely too useful to do without. Everything from our thoughts to the regulation of our heartbeat is about electricity. Perhaps people will evolve beyond physical necessities, but any shift in the physical laws resulting in the elimination of electricity would mean our immediate extinction.

johnpowell's avatar

When I was six years old I had a little thing on my bike that would flip down onto my back wheel and power my headlight. If someone is willing to pedal I can always read at midnight.

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

snicker giggle ^^

Haleth's avatar

It’s hard to say. Nowadays, many of us know how to make electricity. If something happened that wiped out most of humanity/ technology, there would probably be enough of us around who knew how to rebuild.

I’m not one of them. If there were an apocalypse tomorrow, my only useful skill would be knowing how to ferment and distill booze. And it would probably be shitty.

One more reason why science education is so important.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@johnpowell I also had one of those generators! Remember how hard you had to pedal when it was on? The new L:ED bulbs take less 1/10 of what those old bulbs took and give more light. Battery technology improved storage capacity by a factor of 4, storage life has improved by a factor of 3, and these great batteries cost about half of what they did back in the day. No wonder kids today have no idea generators existed. What’s the point?

If I were making one today I’d use a brushless design with rare earth magnets. That would more than double the generator efficiency. I’d use it to collect braking energy and dump it into an onboard ultracapacitor so I could use it to help me accelerate.

Steam punk, here we come!

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