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The Many Shapes of the Carbon Pulse

September 11, 2023

Recorded August 30 2023


In this Frankly, Nate describes the Carbon Pulse – a one time massive consumption of fossil hydrocarbons at a pace millions of times faster than they were created. He outlines the many shapes that this pulse could take, as well as some shapes it will never take. Compared to previous carbon pulses that led to mass and minor extinctions, how does the modern pulse compare?  What can what we know about ecology and human behavior tell us about the most likely paths into descent? Can thinking about these graphs on such grand geologic time scales help guide us away from the Precipice and towards a more Sapient Future? 

Show Notes

00:00 – Graphs Shown in this Frankly

00:23 – The Great Simplification Animated Movie

00:25 – The Carbon Pulse

02:49 – Previous Extinction Events

03:55 – We are releasing carbon way faster compared to previous mass extinctions

04:50 – Normal Curve

05:24 – This carbon will never exist again on human time scales

07:34 – Debt allows us to use more energy from the future today

08:39 – S-Curve

15:51 – Ken DeffeyesPeak oil 

17:44 – Ice Ages

19:33 – Fossil Fuel Scenarios

20:38 – Countries’ recent increase in coal usage

Nate Hagens

Nate Hagens

Nate is a well-known speaker on the big picture issues facing human society and currently teaches a systems synthesis Honors seminar at the University of Minnesota ‘Reality 101 – A Survey of the Human Predicament’   Nate is on the Boards of Post Carbon Institute, Bottleneck Foundation, IIER and Institute for the Study of Energy and the Future.  Previously, he was lead editor of The Oil Drum, one of... Read more.

Tags: carbon pulse, fossil fuel consumption