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Today, there is an absolute need for an energy transition, for decarbonized production and for taking into account the finiteness of the resources, in a context of dependence of our societies. Moreover, we will have to accomplish it under the pressure of recurrent climatic accidents, accelerated disappearance of biodiversity and risks of collapse. After questioning the role of energy consumption in history, from the Paleolithic to the Industrial Revolution, via the Greeks, to our contemporary societies, we find that we have the choice between material-intensive, ecologically costly industrial devices. We will have to learn to combine well-being and sobriety. We still need to learn to cooperate in order to conserve these common goods, which are the climate, biodiversity and resources that allow life to flourish.