The story goes that, in the aftermath of World War 2, democratic nations created a world order that would set the foundation for democracy and prosperity worldwide. This order would challenge, and eventually beat, the autocratic model laid out by the Soviet Union, feeding this idea.
What these stories miss is how this boom in economic growth followed alongside a transition to cheap, abundant energy in the form of oil.
In this episode, Dan speaks with Carey Mullis of the Energy Institute at the University of Texas in Austin. His book, , outlines how access to new energy sources have preceded periods of economic and population growth, how these trends have stalled when access to energy becomes scarce, and how the global economy has been in a period of energy scarcity since 2000.
You can listen to the full episode via the player below, on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever your bad self gets your podcasts.
- Carey's book, The Economic Superorganism: Beyond Competing Narratives on Energy, Growth, and Policy can be purchased here: https://www.amazon.com/Economic-Superorganism-Beyond-Competing-Narratives/dp/3030502945
- A summary of Carey's latest paper on the economic dependence on resource consumption: http://careyking.com/new-harmoney-insights-into-the-interdependence-of-growth-structure-size-and-resource-consumption-of-the-economy/
- The full paper referenced above: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs41247-021-00093-8
- A Lack of Systematic Thinking Keeps America from Staying Great, Energy Institute Commentary, January, 2018: https://energy.utexas.edu/news/lack-systematic-thinking-keeps-america-staying-great
- The Rising Cost of Resources and Global Indicators of Change, American Scientist, 103 (6), November/December, 2015: https://www.americanscientist.org/article/the-rising-cost-of-resources-and-global-indicators-of-change
- Delusions of Grandeur in Building a Low-Carbon Future, Earth Magazine, August 2017, 32-37, online link. https://www.earthmagazine.org/article/delusions-grandeur-building-low-carbon-future