Energy accounting as cognitive mapping

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If we go back to the origins of tires, we will discover which part of its cost must be attributed to energy expenditure. These require a flux of a given climate’s solar energy, physical work in rubber plantations, coal for the railways and ships which transport the raw material from the tropics, as well as for the factories which transform it into tires. The railways and ships, in turn, and all the buildings and implements necessary for their manufacture, as well as the materials used – the iron and the metals, and the coal that must be extracted – are the result of the spending of physical energy.

– Frederick Soddy, Wealth, Virtual Wealth and Debt (1926), quoted in Luis Fernández-Galiano, Fire and Memory: On Architecture and Energy (p. 198).

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