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24 November 2012

Muse brings Peak Oil to the mainstream

Muse is a modern British progressive rock band, one of an handful that has harnessed commercial success during the past decade. They rank 9th in my Last.fm top, although time wise they just nearly make it into the top 25. The band released a new LP, the sixth of their career, about 2 months ago. So far I've been too busy to lend any attention to it, although friends already referenced it as well worth listen.

Thanks to our galician friends at Véspera de Nada I found out today that this LP is actually a reflection on the energy sustainability of modern society. Here's the trailer of The 2nd Law



The video clip of a song entitled Unsustainable is quite explicit. Some images could almost have been taken from a note book writen by M. King Hubbert:



Isolated System is another clip with clear references to our energy predicament, and the chimera of solving it all with technology:



This is not a total surprise to someone that knows Muse and the sharp geo-political awareness of Matthew Bellamy, the vocalist and guitar player of the band. But this LP comes out at a strange moment, when both the IIASA and the IEA take another dash at the limits to growth, underpinned on techno-dreams of perpetual innovation. The 2nd Law reminds these advocates of infinity that Nature is ruled in ways they cannot change.

Seeing Peak Oil becoming mainstream this way makes the many hours I've spent the last 7 years studying and writing on energy seem somewhat worth. It is true that Thermodynamics is putting at check our socio-economic setting, but unlike what the song suggests, the Earth is not a closed system. Paths forward to a world not dependent on growth, but still worthy to live in, certainly exist; trekking them starts by raising awareness to the masses. Thank you Muse!