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The End of Growth- Preparing for a new normal
 

The End of Growth- Preparing for a new normal

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Richard Heinberg's presentation to Ecobuild 2011, London UK

Richard Heinberg's presentation to Ecobuild 2011, London UK

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    The End of Growth- Preparing for a new normal The End of Growth- Preparing for a new normal Presentation Transcript

    • the economic crisis changes everything
      after crisis
      before crisis
    • some perspective:how we got here
    • 99.9% of our history = renewable energy
    • winning the energy lottery
    • Horsepower in the US economy
      horsepower in the US economy
    • world GDP per capita, 1-2000 CE
    • world population
    • Meanwhile, we were developing economic institutions
      and theories
    • With continual growth in energy, population, and consumption, it was assumed that economic growth could continue forever
    • With compound interest, fractional reserve banking, and debt leverage, growth became necessary to the monetary
      health of nations
    • all money loaned into existence
    • perpetual growth a requirement
    • tomorrow’s growth is collateral
    • The Limits to Growth
    • the hydrocarbon age
      1500 CE 2000 2500
    • End of Growth:
      factors internal to the financial-monetary system
    • manufacturing employment as % of total employment
    • real wages declining since 1973
    • US household debt & debt payments
      as % of disposable income
    • financialization
    • US total debt, 1979-2010
      Trillions
    • inverted pyramid of debt
      derivatives
      mortgage-backed securities
      subprime, no-doc loans
      house prices
    • US home price index, 1970-2010
    • US foreclosure rate, 1970-2010
      Percent
    • “The value of global financial assets . . . fell by more than $50 Trillionin 2008, equivalent to a yearof world GDP.”
      (Asian Development Bank)
    • visualizing money: $100
    • $10,000
    • $1 million
    • $100 million
    • $1 billion
    • $1 trillion
    • post-WWII recessions, job losses
    • cost of the Wall St. bailout
    • no stimulus, no growth
      Billions
      Trillions
    • End of Growth:
      factors external to the monetary-financial system
    • Marion King Hubbert
      Geophysicist at Shell lab in Houston, taught at MIT, UCLA
      Forecast peak year of US oil production
    • Hubbert’s Peak
    • US oil production & discoveries
      Production Mb
      Discovery Mb
    • world oil discoveries
    • world crude oil production
      Million barrels/day
    • the oil price trap
      Oil price needed for development of new oil production capacity: $70
      Oil price likely to trigger economic recession: $100
    • past recessions & oil spikes
    • Peak Oil means the end of cheap air travel
      peak oil means the end of affordable air travel
    • does peak oil mean peak food?
    • food & oil prices, 2000-2010
      Dollars/barrel
      UN FAO Food Index
    • evaluating energy options
      Energy return on investment
    • net energy
    • evaluating energy options
      Energy return on investment
      Size of resource
    • evaluating energy options
      Energy return on investment
      Size of resource
      Infrastructure requirement
    • evaluating energy options
      Energy return on investment
      Size of resource
      Infrastructure requirement
      Convenience of use
    • evaluating energy options
      Energy return on investment
      Size of resource
      Infrastructure requirement
      Convenience of use
      Environmental impact
    • evaluating energy options
      Energy return on investment
      Size of resource
      Infrastructure requirement
      Convenience of use
      Environmental impact
      Renewability
    • evaluating energy options
      Energy return on investment
      Size of resource
      Infrastructure requirement
      Convenience of use
      Environmental impact
      Renewability
      Scalability
    • evaluating energy options
      Energy return on investment
      Size of resource
      Infrastructure requirement
      Convenience of use
      Environmental impact
      Renewability
      Scalability
      Location of resource
    • There is no credible scenario in which alternative energy sources can make up for fossil fuels once declines begin.
    • depleting materials
      Antimony China Thermoelectric/paraelectric materials
      Barium China Thermoelectric/paraelectric materials
      Bismuth China, Mexico Thermoelectric/paraelectric materials
      Cobalt Kinshasa, Australia Photovoltaics
      GalliumChina Photovoltaics
      Germanium Belgium, Canada Photovoltaics
      Indium China, Canada Photovoltaics, thermo/paraelectric mat’ls
      Manganese Gabon, S. Africa Photovoltaics
      Nickel Canada Fuel cells
      Platinum S. Africa Fuel cells, para/thermoelectric materials
      Rare Earths China Fuel cells, para/thermoelectric materials
      Tellurium Belgium, Germany Solar cells, semiconductors
      Titanium Australia, S. Africa Solar cells
      Zinc Canada, Mexico Photovoltaics, fuel cells
    • 30% of amphibians, 21% of mammals, 12% of birds face extinction
    • We’re performing a giant science experiment with the Earth’s atmosphere
    • but, but . . . what about . . .
      China?
    • but, but . . . what about . . .
      China?
      efficiency?
    • but, but . . . what about . . .
      China?
      efficiency?
      substitution?
    • but, but . . . what about . . .
      China?
      efficiency?
      substitution?
      innovation?
    • but, but . . . what about . . .
      China?
      efficiency?
      substitution?
      innovation?
      division of labor?
    • but, but . . . what about . . .
      China?
      efficiency?
      substitution?
      innovation?
      division of labor?
      globalization?
    • facing the wall
    • When growth ceases, growth-based economies enter survival crisis mode
    • “We’re in the midst of a once-in-a-lifetime set of economic conditions. The perspective I would bring is not one of recession.
      (Steve Ballmer
      Chairman, Microsoft)
    • Rather, the economy is resetting to a lower level of business and consumer spending based largely on the reduced leverage in the economy.”
      (Steve Ballmer
      Chairman, Microsoft)
    • what to expect
      Unemployment
      Homelessness
      Bank failures
      Hunger
      Crime
      Political instability
      International conflict
    • what to do?
    • money reform
      Non-debt based
    • money reform
      Non-debt based
      Direct credit clearing
    • money reform
      Non-debt based
      Direct credit clearing
      Unit of account?
    • money reform
      Non-debt based
      Direct credit clearing
      Unit of account?
      Nested systems
    • community currencies
      Crucial in times of monetary crisis
      Over 2500 local currencies in countries around the world
    • free money or haircuts for all?
    • beyond the wall
    • The sustainability revolution will be driven by crisis
    • reforming economics
      The economy is a subset of the environment
    • reforming economics
      The economy is a subset of the environment
      growth in population and consumption levels is not sustainable
    • reforming economics
      The economy is a subset of the environment
      growth in population and consumption levels is not sustainable
      Renewable resources must be harvested at less than the rate of natural replenishment
    • reforming economics
      The economy is a subset of the environment
      growth in population and consumption levels is not sustainable
      Renewable resources must be harvested at less than the rate of natural replenishment
      Non-renewable resources must be recycled, use must decline
    • reforming economics
      The economy is a subset of the environment
      growth in population and consumption levels is not sustainable
      Renewable resources must be harvested at less than the rate of natural replenishment
      Non-renewable resources must be recycled, use must decline
      Wastes must be food
    • ecological economics
      Cap-and-dividend system for extraction rights for basic natural resources
    • ecological economics
      Cap-and-dividend system for extraction rights for basic natural resources
      Shift from taxing income toward taxing resource depletion and environmental pollutants
    • ecological economics
      Cap-and-dividend system for extraction rights for basic natural resources
      Shift from taxing income toward taxing resource depletion and environmental pollutants
      Limits on income inequality
    • ecological economics
      Cap-and-dividend system for extraction rights for basic natural resources
      Shift from taxing income toward taxing resource depletion and environmental pollutants
      Limits on income inequality
      Tariffs to allow countries with sustainable policies to remain competitive with countries without them
    • ecological economics
      Reduce externalities
    • ecological economics
      Reduce externalities
      Tax financial transactions
    • ecological economics
      Reduce externalities
      Tax on financial transactions
      Corporations vs. co-ops
    • ecological economics
      Reduce externalities
      Tax on financial transactions
      Corporations vs. co-ops
      Indicators that make sense
    • reduce fossil fuels
      & develop renewables
    • food systems, transport systems, efficient buildings, and more
      Building resilient communities
    • Only a crisis—actual or perceived—produces real change. When the crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend upon the ideas that are lying around. That, I believe, is our basic function: to develop alternatives to existing policies, to keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes politically inevitable.—Milton Friedman
    • meanwhile, time to prepare
    • resilience:
      the ability to absorb shocks
      and continue to function
      Resilience
    • Transition Towns
      A bottom-up community organizing model that puts together all of these strategies and more
      “Life can be better without fossil fuels…”
    • emphasize what’s not at peak
      Community
      Satisfaction from honest work well done
      Intergenerational solidarity
      Cooperation
      Free time
      Happiness
      Artistry
      Beauty of the built environment
    • great transitions
      Fire
    • great transitions
      Fire
      Language
    • great transitions
      Fire
      Language
      Agriculture
    • great transitions
      Fire
      Language
      Agriculture
      Industrial (fossil fuel) revolution
    • great transitions
      Fire
      Language
      Agriculture
      Industrialism
      Sustainability
    • crisis = opportunity
      This is the biggest opportunity of our lifetimes. Who will seize it?
    • Imagine life after growth, a world without fossil fuels,the best case scenario
    • Imagine life after growth, a world without fossil fuels,the best case scenario
      now imagine a path
      from here to there,
      and start to build it
    • www.postcarbon.org
    • Community Economic Laboratories
      One-stop shop, central location
      Car-share, ride-share
      Food co-op
      Credit union
      Job center
      Free clinic
      Etc.