Post Tagged with: "Resource Crisis"

2017: The Year When The World Economy Starts Coming Apart

2017: The Year When The World Economy Starts Coming Apart

Some people would argue that 2016 was the year that the world economy started to come apart, with the passage of Brexit and the election of Donald Trump. Whether or not the “coming apart” process started in 2016, in my opinion we are going to see many more steps in this direction in 2017. Let me explain a few of[Read More…]

January 11, 2017 Resource Crisis
What Has Gone Wrong With Oil Prices, Debt, And GDP Growth?

What Has Gone Wrong With Oil Prices, Debt, And GDP Growth?

Our economy is a mystery to almost everyone, including economists. Let me explain the way I see the situation: (1) The big thing that pulls the economy forward is the time-shifting nature of debt and debt-like instruments. If we want any kind of specialization, we need some sort of long-term obligation that will make that specialization worthwhile. If one hunter-gatherer[Read More…]

December 9, 2016 Resource Crisis
‘Gandhi Was Perfectly Sensible To Call Industrial Civilisation “A Nine Days Wonder”’

‘Gandhi Was Perfectly Sensible To Call Industrial Civilisation “A Nine Days Wonder”’

Ecological economist, Gandhian thinker and author Mark Lindley has some stark warnings for the future of hi-tech societies, and a few ‘prescriptions’ for India and for economists, who he says vastly underestimate the gravity of the looming environmental crises. Ecologise and Graama Seva Sangha recently organised a lecture series by Lindley in Bangalore.

September 23, 2016 Resource Crisis
Exploring The Gap Between Business-As-Usual And Utter Doom

Exploring The Gap Between Business-As-Usual And Utter Doom

Predicting the future is a fool’s errand, but everybody does it. As long as we’ve had language—for tens of thousands of years, at last estimate—we’ve been able to formulate the question, “What will tomorrow bring?” The answers have ranged from idyllic to hellish, though the reality has been, more often than not, “a lot like today.” Since the Industrial Revolution,[Read More…]

September 21, 2016 Alternative Energy
What Really Causes Falling Productivity Growth:An Energy-Based Explanation

What Really Causes Falling Productivity Growth:An Energy-Based Explanation

What really causes falling productivity growth? The answer seems to be very much energy-related. Human labor by itself does not cause productivity growth. It is human labor, leveraged by various tools, that leads to productivity growth. These tools are made using energy, and they often use energy to operate. A decrease in energy consumption by the business sector can be[Read More…]

September 21, 2016 Resource Crisis
“You Can’t Handle The Truth!”

“You Can’t Handle The Truth!”

Movie buffs will recognize this title as the most memorable line from “A Few Good Men” (1992), spoken by the character Colonel Jessep, played by Jack Nicholson (“You can’t handle the truth!” is #29 in the American Film Institute’s list of 100 top movie quotes). I hereby propose it as the subtext of the recently concluded Republican and Democratic national[Read More…]

August 2, 2016 Resource Crisis
Depletion: If A Jellyfish Stings You, You Know Why

Depletion: If A Jellyfish Stings You, You Know Why

Just a few days ago, a friend of mine showed me three bright red stripes she had on her arm. It was the result of an unfortunate encounter with a jellyfish while swimming in the Mediterranean Sea. Today, it has become a normal occurrence; it seems to be normal that, when you swim in the sea, you have to maintain[Read More…]

August 1, 2016 Resource Crisis
Overly Simple Energy-Economy Models Give Misleading Answers

Overly Simple Energy-Economy Models Give Misleading Answers

Does it make a difference if our models of energy and the economy are overly simple? I would argue that it depends on what we plan to use the models for. If all we want to do is determine approximately how many years in the future energy supplies will turn down, then a simple model is perfectly sufficient. But if[Read More…]

July 26, 2016 Resource Crisis
Some reflections on the Twilight of the Oil Age (part III)

Some reflections on the Twilight of the Oil Age (part III)

Our predicament, as we have just begun to slide down the fossil fuels thermodynamic cliff, similarly requires such a nexus if we are to succeed at a new “energy pool shift”. Just focusing on thermodynamics and technology won’t suffice. The kind of paradigm change I keep referring to integrates technology, social innovations and innovation concerning the human psyche about ways of avoiding cognitive failure. This is a lot to ask, however it is necessary to address Tainter’s questions

July 21, 2016 Resource Crisis
Some Reflections On The Twilight Of The Oil Age (Part II)

Some Reflections On The Twilight Of The Oil Age (Part II)

I call the process we are in an “Oil Pearl Harbour”, taking place in a kind of eerie slow motion. This is no longer retrievable. Within roughly ten years the oil industry as we know it will have disintegrated. The GIW is presently defenceless in the face of this threat

July 16, 2016 Editor's Picks, Resource Crisis
 Hooked! The Unyielding Grip Of Fossil Fuels On Global Life

 Hooked! The Unyielding Grip Of Fossil Fuels On Global Life

Here’s the good news: wind power, solar power, and other renewable forms of energy are expanding far more quickly than anyone expected, ensuring that these systems will provide an ever-increasing share of our future energy supply.  According to the most recent projections from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the U.S. Department of Energy, global consumption of wind, solar, hydropower,[Read More…]

July 15, 2016 Alternative Energy
Some Reflections On The Twilight Of The Oil Age – part I

Some Reflections On The Twilight Of The Oil Age – part I

This three-part post was inspired by Ugo Bardi’s recent post concerning “Will Renewables Ever ReplaceFossils?” and recent discussions within Ugo’s discussion group on how is it that “Economists still don’t get it”?  It integrates also numerous discussion and exchanges I have had with colleagues and business partners over the last three years. Introduction Since at least the end of 2014[Read More…]

July 14, 2016 Editor's Picks, Resource Crisis
What We Need To Do To Survive And Have A Good Life

What We Need To Do To Survive And Have A Good Life

We must assess the consequences of our lifestyle on the planet’s declining liveability, as we already have a rising chemical imbalance in the biosphere which impairs life’s ability to control its climate. Furthermore, we’re expecting  9 billion people within thirty odd years; this, in a world of depleting organic and inorganic resources, rising sea levels, and increasing temperatures, that will[Read More…]

July 13, 2016 Climate Change, Resource Crisis
Energy Limits: Why We See Rising Wealth Disparity And Low Prices

Energy Limits: Why We See Rising Wealth Disparity And Low Prices

Prices of oil, coal, and natural gas tend to rise and fall together–just as we would expect, if they are all responding to the same changes in debt levels, and indirectly, the same changes in world economic growth rates. If energy prices are based on debt levels, our concern should be that all fossil fuels will peak within a few years of each other. The cause of the peak will be low prices, not “running out” of energy products

July 6, 2016 Resource Crisis
Oil, Interest Rates And Debt

Oil, Interest Rates And Debt

The recent lower oil price predictably stimulates more consumption, but as more consumers will continue to struggle with their balance sheets, they are now more sensitive to considerable increases in the oil price. This creates for an interesting situation; the price a growing number of consumers find affordable may be lower than what the oil companies need to go after the costlier oil and retire their debts in an orderly way.

June 30, 2016 Resource Crisis
Brexit And The Energy Equation

Brexit And The Energy Equation

The fretting in the financial markets after Great Britain’s voters narrowly decided to leave the European Union (EU), a move dubbed Brexit, was less about immediate effects–there aren’t any since it would take Britain up to two years to withdraw–and more about a foreboding that other countries will want out, too. In addition, some think it likely that Scottish independence[Read More…]

June 27, 2016 Resource Crisis
China: Is Peak Coal Part Of Its Problem?

China: Is Peak Coal Part Of Its Problem?

The world’s coal resources are clearly huge. How could China, or the world in total, reach peak coal in a timeframe that makes a difference? If we look at China’s coal production and consumption in BP’s 2016 Statistical Review of World Energy (SRWE), this is what we see: Figure 1. China’s production and consumption of coal based on BP 2016 SRWE. Figure 2[Read More…]

June 20, 2016 Resource Crisis
Demand Destruction And Peak Oil

Demand Destruction And Peak Oil

We are fully under the influence of petroleum demand destruction. The global oil market can’t function without real oil production price discovery, which doesn’t exist in the currently deflationary global economy, which forces indebted producers to sell far below cost. Both supply and demand seem to cyclic in nature and we are not finished with the supply destruction phase, which[Read More…]

June 17, 2016 Resource Crisis
$50 Oil Doesn’t Work

$50 Oil Doesn’t Work

$50 per barrel oil is clearly less impossible to live with than $30 per barrel oil, because most businesses cannot make a profit with $30 per barrel oil. But is $50 per barrel oil helpful? I would argue that it really is not. When oil was over $100 per barrel, human beings in many countries were getting the benefit of[Read More…]

June 17, 2016 Uncategorized
The Real Oil Limits Story; What Other Researchers Missed

The Real Oil Limits Story; What Other Researchers Missed

For a long time, a common assumption has been that the world will eventually “run out” of oil and other non-renewable resources. Instead, we seem to be running into surpluses and low prices. What is going on that was missed by M. King Hubbert, Harold Hotelling, and by the popular understanding of supply and demand? The underlying assumption in these[Read More…]

June 17, 2016 Resource Crisis
The Physics Of Energy And The Economy

The Physics Of Energy And The Economy

I approach the subject of the physics of energy and the economy with some trepidation. An economy seems to be a dissipative system, but what does this really mean? There are not many people who understand dissipative systems, and very few who understand how an economy operates. The combination leads to an awfully lot of false beliefs about the energy[Read More…]

June 17, 2016 Resource Crisis
Why “Supply And Demand” Doesn’t Work For Oil

Why “Supply And Demand” Doesn’t Work For Oil

The traditional understanding of supply and demand works in some limited cases–will a manufacturer make red dresses or blue dresses? The manufacturer’s choice doesn’t make much difference to the economic system as a whole, except perhaps in the amount of red and blue dye sold, so it is easy to accommodate. Figure 1. From Wikipedia: The price P of a[Read More…]

June 17, 2016 Resource Crisis
How Our Energy Problem Leads To A Debt Collapse Problem

How Our Energy Problem Leads To A Debt Collapse Problem

Usually, we don’t stop to think about how the whole economy works together. A major reason is that we have been lacking data to see long-term relationships. In this post, I show some longer-term time series relating to energy growth, GDP growth, and debt growth–going back to 1820 in some cases–that help us understand our situation better. When examining these[Read More…]

June 17, 2016 Globalisation, Resource Crisis
Oil And The Economy: Where Are We Headed In 2015-16?

Oil And The Economy: Where Are We Headed In 2015-16?

The price of oil is down. How should we expect the economy to perform in 2015 and 2016? Newspapers in the United States seem to emphasize the positive aspects of the drop in prices. I have written Ten Reasons Why High Oil Prices are a Problem. If our only problem were high oil prices, then low oil prices would seem to[Read More…]

June 17, 2016 Resource Crisis