The End of Growth- Preparing for a new normal

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Richard Heinberg's presentation to Ecobuild 2011, London UK

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The End of Growth- Preparing for a new normal

  1. 1.
  2. 2. the economic crisis changes everything<br />after crisis<br />before crisis<br />
  3. 3. some perspective:how we got here<br />
  4. 4. 99.9% of our history = renewable energy<br />
  5. 5. winning the energy lottery<br />
  6. 6. Horsepower in the US economy<br />horsepower in the US economy<br />
  7. 7.
  8. 8. world GDP per capita, 1-2000 CE <br />
  9. 9.
  10. 10. world population<br />
  11. 11. Meanwhile, we were developing economic institutions <br />and theories<br />
  12. 12. With continual growth in energy, population, and consumption, it was assumed that economic growth could continue forever<br />
  13. 13. With compound interest, fractional reserve banking, and debt leverage, growth became necessary to the monetary<br />health of nations<br />
  14. 14. all money loaned into existence<br />
  15. 15. perpetual growth a requirement<br />
  16. 16. tomorrow’s growth is collateral <br />
  17. 17.
  18. 18. The Limits to Growth<br />
  19. 19. the hydrocarbon age<br />1500 CE 2000 2500<br />
  20. 20. End of Growth:<br />factors internal to the financial-monetary system<br />
  21. 21. manufacturing employment as % of total employment<br />
  22. 22. real wages declining since 1973<br />
  23. 23. US household debt & debt payments <br />as % of disposable income<br />
  24. 24. financialization<br />
  25. 25. US total debt, 1979-2010<br />Trillions<br />
  26. 26. inverted pyramid of debt<br />derivatives<br />mortgage-backed securities<br />subprime, no-doc loans<br />house prices<br />
  27. 27. US home price index, 1970-2010<br />
  28. 28. US foreclosure rate, 1970-2010<br />Percent<br />
  29. 29. “The value of global financial assets . . . fell by more than $50 Trillionin 2008, equivalent to a yearof world GDP.”<br />(Asian Development Bank)<br />
  30. 30. visualizing money: $100<br />
  31. 31. $10,000<br />
  32. 32. $1 million<br />
  33. 33. $100 million<br />
  34. 34. $1 billion<br />
  35. 35. $1 trillion<br />
  36. 36. post-WWII recessions, job losses<br />
  37. 37. cost of the Wall St. bailout<br />
  38. 38. no stimulus, no growth<br />Billions<br />Trillions<br />
  39. 39. End of Growth:<br />factors external to the monetary-financial system<br />
  40. 40. Marion King Hubbert<br />Geophysicist at Shell lab in Houston, taught at MIT, UCLA<br />Forecast peak year of US oil production<br />
  41. 41. Hubbert’s Peak<br />
  42. 42. US oil production & discoveries<br />Production Mb<br />Discovery Mb<br />
  43. 43. world oil discoveries<br />
  44. 44. world crude oil production<br />Million barrels/day<br />
  45. 45.
  46. 46.
  47. 47. the oil price trap<br />Oil price needed for development of new oil production capacity: $70 <br />Oil price likely to trigger economic recession: $100<br />
  48. 48. past recessions & oil spikes<br />
  49. 49. Peak Oil means the end of cheap air travel<br />peak oil means the end of affordable air travel<br />
  50. 50. does peak oil mean peak food?<br />
  51. 51. food & oil prices, 2000-2010<br />Dollars/barrel<br />UN FAO Food Index<br />
  52. 52. evaluating energy options<br />Energy return on investment<br />
  53. 53. net energy<br />
  54. 54. evaluating energy options<br />Energy return on investment<br />Size of resource<br />
  55. 55. evaluating energy options<br />Energy return on investment<br />Size of resource<br />Infrastructure requirement<br />
  56. 56. evaluating energy options<br />Energy return on investment<br />Size of resource<br />Infrastructure requirement<br />Convenience of use<br />
  57. 57. evaluating energy options<br />Energy return on investment<br />Size of resource<br />Infrastructure requirement<br />Convenience of use<br />Environmental impact<br />
  58. 58. evaluating energy options<br />Energy return on investment<br />Size of resource<br />Infrastructure requirement<br />Convenience of use<br />Environmental impact<br />Renewability<br />
  59. 59. evaluating energy options<br />Energy return on investment<br />Size of resource<br />Infrastructure requirement<br />Convenience of use<br />Environmental impact<br />Renewability<br />Scalability<br />
  60. 60. evaluating energy options<br />Energy return on investment<br />Size of resource<br />Infrastructure requirement<br />Convenience of use<br />Environmental impact<br />Renewability<br />Scalability<br />Location of resource<br />
  61. 61. There is no credible scenario in which alternative energy sources can make up for fossil fuels once declines begin. <br />
  62. 62. depleting materials<br />Antimony China Thermoelectric/paraelectric materials<br />Barium China Thermoelectric/paraelectric materials<br />Bismuth China, Mexico Thermoelectric/paraelectric materials<br />Cobalt Kinshasa, Australia Photovoltaics<br />GalliumChina Photovoltaics<br />Germanium Belgium, Canada Photovoltaics<br />Indium China, Canada Photovoltaics, thermo/paraelectric mat’ls<br />Manganese Gabon, S. Africa Photovoltaics<br />Nickel Canada Fuel cells<br />Platinum S. Africa Fuel cells, para/thermoelectric materials<br />Rare Earths China Fuel cells, para/thermoelectric materials <br />Tellurium Belgium, Germany Solar cells, semiconductors<br />Titanium Australia, S. Africa Solar cells<br />Zinc Canada, Mexico Photovoltaics, fuel cells<br />
  63. 63. 30% of amphibians, 21% of mammals, 12% of birds face extinction<br />
  64. 64. We’re performing a giant science experiment with the Earth’s atmosphere<br />
  65. 65. but, but . . . what about . . .<br />China?<br />
  66. 66. but, but . . . what about . . .<br />China?<br />efficiency?<br />
  67. 67. but, but . . . what about . . .<br />China?<br />efficiency?<br />substitution?<br />
  68. 68. but, but . . . what about . . .<br />China?<br />efficiency?<br />substitution?<br />innovation?<br />
  69. 69. but, but . . . what about . . .<br />China?<br />efficiency?<br />substitution?<br />innovation?<br />division of labor?<br />
  70. 70. but, but . . . what about . . .<br />China?<br />efficiency?<br />substitution?<br />innovation?<br />division of labor?<br />globalization?<br />
  71. 71. facing the wall<br />
  72. 72.
  73. 73. When growth ceases, growth-based economies enter survival crisis mode <br />
  74. 74. “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.<br />(Steve Ballmer<br />Chairman, Microsoft)<br />
  75. 75. Rather, the economy is resetting to a lower level of business and consumer spending based largely on the reduced leverage in the economy.”<br />(Steve Ballmer<br />Chairman, Microsoft)<br />
  76. 76. what to expect<br />Unemployment<br />Homelessness<br />Bank failures<br />Hunger<br />Crime<br />Political instability<br />International conflict<br />
  77. 77. what to do?<br />
  78. 78. money reform<br />Non-debt based<br />
  79. 79. money reform<br />Non-debt based<br />Direct credit clearing<br />
  80. 80. money reform<br />Non-debt based<br />Direct credit clearing<br />Unit of account?<br />
  81. 81. money reform<br />Non-debt based<br />Direct credit clearing<br />Unit of account?<br />Nested systems<br />
  82. 82. community currencies<br />Crucial in times of monetary crisis<br />Over 2500 local currencies in countries around the world<br />
  83. 83. free money or haircuts for all?<br />
  84. 84. beyond the wall<br />
  85. 85. The sustainability revolution will be driven by crisis<br />
  86. 86. reforming economics<br />The economy is a subset of the environment<br />
  87. 87. reforming economics<br />The economy is a subset of the environment<br />growth in population and consumption levels is not sustainable<br />
  88. 88. reforming economics<br />The economy is a subset of the environment<br />growth in population and consumption levels is not sustainable<br />Renewable resources must be harvested at less than the rate of natural replenishment<br />
  89. 89. reforming economics<br />The economy is a subset of the environment<br />growth in population and consumption levels is not sustainable<br />Renewable resources must be harvested at less than the rate of natural replenishment<br />Non-renewable resources must be recycled, use must decline<br />
  90. 90. reforming economics<br />The economy is a subset of the environment<br />growth in population and consumption levels is not sustainable<br />Renewable resources must be harvested at less than the rate of natural replenishment<br />Non-renewable resources must be recycled, use must decline<br />Wastes must be food <br />
  91. 91. ecological economics<br />Cap-and-dividend system for extraction rights for basic natural resources <br />
  92. 92. ecological economics<br />Cap-and-dividend system for extraction rights for basic natural resources <br />Shift from taxing income toward taxing resource depletion and environmental pollutants <br />
  93. 93. ecological economics<br />Cap-and-dividend system for extraction rights for basic natural resources <br />Shift from taxing income toward taxing resource depletion and environmental pollutants <br />Limits on income inequality<br />
  94. 94. ecological economics<br />Cap-and-dividend system for extraction rights for basic natural resources <br />Shift from taxing income toward taxing resource depletion and environmental pollutants <br />Limits on income inequality<br />Tariffs to allow countries with sustainable policies to remain competitive with countries without them<br />
  95. 95. ecological economics<br />Reduce externalities<br />
  96. 96. ecological economics<br />Reduce externalities<br />Tax financial transactions<br />
  97. 97. ecological economics<br />Reduce externalities<br />Tax on financial transactions<br />Corporations vs. co-ops<br />
  98. 98. ecological economics<br />Reduce externalities<br />Tax on financial transactions<br />Corporations vs. co-ops<br />Indicators that make sense<br />
  99. 99. reduce fossil fuels<br />& develop renewables<br />
  100. 100. food systems, transport systems, efficient buildings, and more<br />Building resilient communities<br />
  101. 101. 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<br />
  102. 102. meanwhile, time to prepare<br />
  103. 103. resilience:<br />the ability to absorb shocks <br />and continue to function<br />Resilience<br />
  104. 104. Transition Towns<br />A bottom-up community organizing model that puts together all of these strategies and more<br />“Life can be better without fossil fuels…”<br />
  105. 105. emphasize what’s not at peak<br />Community<br />Satisfaction from honest work well done<br />Intergenerational solidarity<br />Cooperation<br />Free time<br />Happiness<br />Artistry <br />Beauty of the built environment<br />
  106. 106. great transitions<br />Fire<br />
  107. 107. great transitions<br />Fire<br />Language<br />
  108. 108. great transitions<br />Fire<br />Language<br />Agriculture<br />
  109. 109. great transitions<br />Fire<br />Language<br />Agriculture<br />Industrial (fossil fuel) revolution<br />
  110. 110. great transitions<br />Fire<br />Language<br />Agriculture<br />Industrialism <br />Sustainability <br />
  111. 111. crisis = opportunity<br />This is the biggest opportunity of our lifetimes. Who will seize it?<br />
  112. 112. Imagine life after growth, a world without fossil fuels,the best case scenario<br />
  113. 113. Imagine life after growth, a world without fossil fuels,the best case scenario<br />now imagine a path <br />from here to there, <br />and start to build it<br />
  114. 114. www.postcarbon.org<br />
  115. 115. Community Economic Laboratories<br />One-stop shop, central location<br />Car-share, ride-share<br />Food co-op<br />Credit union<br />Job center<br />Free clinic<br />Etc.<br />

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