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Is the slowdown in productivity growth a result of energy costs?

The high energy prices of the last decade or so may be, in part, responsible for low productivity growth. And yet, in a sampling of recent coverage of the productivity issue, not one piece mentioned energy.

Stephen Toulmin welcomes you to the end of modernity

This is a seemingly humble outlook, not as bold and self-assured as the modern project to control nature and perfect humanity. But it can be liberating, allowing us to see the world, both human and natural (as if there were actually a difference) in all its multiplicity and diversity.

Terms of debate: Destroying vs altering nature, the fragile vs the resilient Earth

When we put nature in one category and humans in another, we make humans an outside and preeminent force over nature. We (falsely) imbue ourselves with god-like power to "control" nature.

'An Ecomodernist Manifesto': Truth and confusion in the same breath

What the ecomodernist narrative misses is that we are dealing with complex systems that support our very existence and that we don't really understand those systems well. When dealing with things that are so complex that they are beyond our comprehension and control--especially if we are entirely dependent on those things--the first rule is not to perturb them. They will react in unpredictable …

Chinese energy figures suggest much slower growth than advertised

Energy consumption statistics hint that China may have already begun its decent into slower growth and that that growth will be much slower than almost anyone has forecast.

How the climate change debate got hijacked by the wrong standard of proof

Everyone loves a courtroom drama--especially one that pits a feisty, but a determined criminal defense attorney against the awesome power of a prosecutor who has the resources of the state behind him or her. We see such David and Goliath stories every week on television.

The hidden reasons behind slow economic growth: Declining EROI, constrained net energy

As fossil fuels, which provide more than 80 percent of the power modern society uses, become more energy intensive to extract and refine, there is a growing drag on economic activity as more and more of the economy's resources are devoted simply to getting the energy we want.

The puzzling flattening of carbon emissions and the problem of global growth

There is another obvious and plausible explanation for the flat carbon emissions, namely, that the global economy did not grow by the stated percentage, that it may have grown only a fraction of that amount or not at all.

Cheap oil, complexity and counterintuitive conclusions

The chief intellectual challenge of our age is that we live in complex systems, but we do not understand complexity. How can cheap oil be a harbinger of future supply problems in the oil market? Here's where complexity, history and subtle thinking all have to combine at just the right intellectual temperature to reveal the answer.

Lipstick on a pig: America as the world's swing producer of oil

Investors and policymakers would be wise to stop staring at the glossy lipstick now being applied to the carcass of the U.S. industry. At least a pig with lipstick brings hope of a pork dinner at some point. All the industry has to offer now are shattered dreams and negative cash flows.
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