Energy featured

Just Stop Oil !!?? Part 2 – Oil is the Economy

July 31, 2023

Recorded July 25th, 2023


In Part 2 of this Frankly Series, Nate breaks down why energy – and specifically oil – is currently the central foundation of our entire modern economic system. There are ecological and energetic laws that apply to all life, including humans and our economies. By accessing a huge surplus of dense carbon energy in the form of fossil sunlight, we’ve effectively turbo-boosted our economies, populations, and material wealth – but what happens if this fossil abundance were to go away? What are the systemic implications of an economy tethered to growth, tethered to carbon? Is it even possible for us to choose to stop using oil? How do these complex constraints on our global systems affect the options – and most likely outcomes – in a future with declining oil availability and rising climate insecurity?

Show Notes

00:00 – Just Stop Oil !? Part 1

01:30 – Nora Bateson TGS Episode + Reality Roundtable

02:40 – Energy Importance in Nature

03:07 – Maximum Power Principle

04:01 – Kleiber’s Law

04:56 – 99% correlation between energy and GDP and 100% correlation between materials and GDP

05:15 – Energy stability 99% correlated with GDP (Section 1.2)

05:45 – Carbon Pulse

06:03 – Tony Barnoskytotal animal biomass has increased 700%

06:45 – A barrel of oil can do 5 years of human labor – 450 billion human labor equivalents – Section 4.3

07:54 – The Average American has 40 devices plugged in all the time drawing power

08:18 – We’re adding an additional 4.7 billion human worker equivalents each year to the global economy

08:53 – Solow’s Residual

10:04 – 87% of our energy is from fossils

13:02 – Jevons Paradox

13:18 – We’ve increase energy efficiency by 36% since 1990 by have increased energy consumption by 63%

14:33 – Peak Oil

20:33 – Shareholder value

20:54 – 5 trillion dollars of subsidies that go to fossil fuel companies – 90% of these are externalities, 9% are for energy affordability, and the last 1% are less than those that go to renewables

21:56 – Just Stop Oil

22:15 – UK previously a leading oil producer

24:20 – Inequity of emissions between the global north and global south

28:09 – Dollar Hegemony, BRICS

Nate Hagens

Nate Hagens

Nate Hagens is the Director of The Institute for the Study of Energy & Our Future (ISEOF) an organization focused on educating and preparing society for the coming cultural transition. Allied with leading ecologists, energy experts, politicians and systems thinkers ISEOF assembles road-maps and off-ramps for how human societies can adapt to lower throughput lifestyles. Nate holds a Masters Degree in Finance with Honors from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in Natural Resources from the University of Vermont. He teaches an Honors course, Reality 101, at the University of Minnesota.

Tags: carbon pulse, climate chaos, extractive economy, fossil fuel energy, Resource Depletion