Could Free Energy Destroy Us?

It may be a controversial point to bring up, but in the discussion about zero point and free energy, the general consensus seems to be that such technology would be universally beneficial to the human race.  And yet the issue is such an important one that it seems necessary that we illustrate the potential dangers of even a reasonable and safe form of free energy so we can be better prepared for it if and when it is discovered.

While the dangers of not creating free energy eventually may prove greater, there are some very pressing concerns that have been ignored or looked over by many advocates of free energy generation.  The first is the fact that such a power system could have the potential of making any one person incredibly powerful if automated machines are introduced into the picture.  With robotics technology at its current level, people will soon be discovering ways to enact massive plans while having very little human oversight.  And the need to continue to create these objects would be limited only by each person’s ability to acquire minerals or natural resources.  In such a scenario, a single human could declare war on a city in order to take over its resources, and defend it with immeasurable power against other militias bearing similarly immeasurable power from their own free energy sources.

Why it’s likely?  Mankind has always been driven by power.  And even if the vast majority will not be at this point, there will inevitably be some individuals who wish only to continue the competition we have all engaged in since birth.

Why it’s unlikely?  This would likely be more of an issue at the beginning stages of human development after free energy.  With old social structures in place there would still be a drive for resources and power, but it would eventually (and hopefully) phased out.  Free energy and automated systems would mean food supplies could be grown essentially without human oversight, and the entire globe would harvest bounteous and eventually near perfect crops the likes of which had never been seen outside of controlled environments.

And then there is the possibility of the human race stagnating after there was no longer a need for this competition.  Assuming we were able to create a society where automated systems created everything we needed with near perfection, there would be little need for almost all occupations.  The designers would likely be the final occupation to go, only being themselves replaced if they could create a computer system superior to the human brain.  Eventually discovery and expression would have to be the final frontier for mankind.  Even space exploration and colonization could be performed using the same systems once used on Earth.

Of course this is an extreme scenario.  One of the beautiful things about human nature is how it never ceases to surprise even the most confident prognosticators.  Perhaps energy would become merely another tool just as electricity had once been, expanding our horizons, rather than encasing us in perpetual comfort.

But there is one final question to be asked about the utilization of a free energy system, though it is more likely in humanity’s distant future.  What if we were able to convert energy into matter on a larger scale than current particle accelerators?  What would Earth look like after a thousand years of creating things out of thin air?  And indeed what would our galaxy look like?  The view would be terrifying to some, and incredible to others.