nine-to-noon bollard interview – same old same old

My email to nine-to-noon. So similar to the one to Business. Same reason. Why the continued disconnect?


Growth is exponential, not linear.

All activity, economic included, growth thereof ditto, is underwritten by energy. No energy, no work. 3rd form physics.

Exponential growth in activity required exponential growth in energy, give or take efficiencies (arguably ‘productivity gains’).

Finite sources of energy follow a gaussian curve, in their use. You start at zero, finish at zero, and peak somewhere in the middle.  As per Peak Oil, but it also applies to copper, gold, arable land……
If you push the supply across the top of the gaussian, the drop-off on the right-hand side must steepen correspondingly – as the area under the graph represents the total URR.

The IEA has gone from “scaremongering” (2005) to “peak was 2006” (2010).  Folk like me were right, all along, the IEA (which countries including NZ, and ministers like Gerry Brownlee, use as a data source) was wrong. Which gives me some confidence that the urgency of my message is valid.

The biggest wrong is that economists are put on pedestals, unquestioned, by you folk. They don’t do physics, so don’t realise that energy does indeed underwrite all economic activity, and indeed that if the supply has peaked, then with the exception of efficiencies, so too has activity. Their approach is to say that at a certain price, an alternative is always found. Exponential growth in population and consumption, on a finite planet, meant that such was a temporary state of affairs, and that anything (energy being the key underwriter) was going to hit its peak at an unprecedented rate, both of scale and speed.

It is no coincidence that peak oil (the most energy-dense, easiest transported fuel) in 2005, presaged a fiscal inability to underwrite exponential debt, and no coincidence that global longevity – increasing every year forever, peaked in 2007. Food, after all, is oil-dependent.

Investigate growth by all means, and the possibilities of. Ask questions likewise. But it is disingenuous to associate past-tense with ‘the recession’, andto make repeated reference to ‘double-dip’ (justified by whom?). Remember that assurances that we will return to BAU, are guaranteed to encourage folk into increased debt – which if energy-availability is to deplete, must become increasingly harder to service. And encouraging folk into unrepayable debt is?

There are a lot of good references at the bottom of the Clint Smith Parliamentary report.

Good luck with the homework (I’m happy to assist, one-to-one and free, been my study of choice for 30 years) but don’t tout unlimited growth without ascertaining (1) that it can’t be had, (2) when the likely peak will be, (3) whether you will be leading folk to make inappropriate decisions.


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