As a child during the winter months one of the dominant worries of the household was shillings for the meter. The getting, retaining and careful use of them was critical. Down the decades the energy question has always been an itch in the mind despite the fact that we have been taking it for granted.
Which was why during the years it functioned The Oil Drum site was one worth watching. It's bloggers have moved on but are still out there with things to say. As we know the issues about energy are always ones of fierce debate where technology meets money meets economic functioning meets living life and sadly all meet government.
Euan Mearns has a post on December 4th on UK oil and gas reserves in "Energy Matters" which is well worth a look if only because the lines on the graphs are going steadily down.
One intriguing aspect is that evidently during the years of Labour government not only did we borrow and keep borrowing but we were depleting the oil and gas reserves at a much greater level. Did the ending of boom and bust, in theory, depend on rapid oil and gas depletion to create A New World of money flows instead?
The implications of this for the future are huge. Despite this, most of the national debate we have now is about superficial aspects of the potential impact. This is not new. The risks and chances have been evident for a little time now but have been sidelined party because of politics and partly because of the debates about global warming or not.
Also, there are some hard decisions ahead with no right answers in the sense that there are going to have to be losers. If the decisions are not made this will still happen except the decisions will be made by events or by others. The article indicates that both urgent decisions and action are needed just when we are going into a long election campaign interwoven with the Scottish Referendum and the Europe issue.
None of the political parties have much incentive to be the bearers of bad news or to take major controversial decisions and are unlikely to want to discuss this other than to play the blame game.
While the Government Autumn Statement was going on over at Sky Arts 2 was "Gotterdammerung", the final part of Wagner's Ring Cycle, otherwise known as "The Twilight Of The Gods". It all ends in flames leaving a few poor humans staggering out of the wreckage to try and deal with the mess.
Recalling what happened if the shillings ran out, it is possible that all of us could find out in a few years.