(Conversation recorded on June 1st, 2023)
On this episode, Nate is joined by recent Stanford graduate and biophysical researcher Taimur Ahmad to discuss energy inequality within and across nations. Taimur offers a unique perspective as someone who has spent years studying the issues of the polycrisis, while also having experience growing up in Pakistan and living in the United States. How does the culture of a nation and its access to energy interrelate to create huge differences in the daily lives of the people who live there? How do the looming implications of climate change and energy depletion impact the relationship between the Global North and the Global South? And how do issues of class, wealth, and ‘fictitious capital’ interplay with the larger poly-crisis at hand?
About Taimur Ahmad
Taimur Ahmad is the author of the Fictitious Capital newsletter where he writes about understanding the base layer of the global system: money/finance, energy, and raw materials. He studied economics at Georgetown University in Qatar and recently completed a graduate degree from Stanford University where he focused on energy policy and electricity markets. After working in agricultural development in Pakistan, he worked in the Middle East supporting clients across energy, CP&I, and national development. From these experiences, he realized the importance of reframing contemporary socioeconomic issues in an energy and ecological systems framework. His work is now focused on exploring the intersection of development in the Global South, degrowth/post-growth, MMT, and leftist social theory.
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Show Notes & Links to Learn More
05:41 – Inequality in the U.S.
10:03 – Pakistan Floods
10:27 – Pakistan food inflation
18:01 – Inequality in Pakistan
19:32 – Climate in Pakistan
20:56 – Urban Heat Island effect
30:11 – Class warfare
30:55 – Degrowth
35:50 – New US Industrial Policies
37:25 – “The challenge of modernity is to live without illusions and without becoming disillusioned. I’m a pessimist because of intelligence, but an optimist because of will.” –Antonio Gramsci
39:30 – Fictitious Capital
46:06 – Recent climate policies
50:20 – Beyond Growth
51:40 – Paul Ehrlich
54:20 – Affect Theory
1:08:10 – Robert Sapolsky
Teaser photo credit: People in traditional clothing in the Pahari-Pothwari Neelum District in AJK. By Raja Aasim Bin Saleem – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=49155712