Although real gross domestic product GDP increased 2. Unless otherwise indicated, all data in this analysis refer to the U. Because fossil fuels are used primarily as energy inputs, non-energy uses that both emit and capture carbon are included under the term energy-related CO2. This rate compares with the — average annual growth rate of 0.
An issue largely overlooked within conventional economic theory is that all economic systems are fundamentally physical systems in which energy is transmitted and converted into different forms, in compliance with the second law of thermodynamics—and in which depletion must take place with respect to non-renewable energy resources due to the conservation of matter and energy.
Economic theory does not recognize that the laws of physics provide any meaningful constraint on the capacity of economies to grow continuously by forever increasing their material throughput. Rather, as with any complex system, the macro-structures emerge from but still operate within those laws.
Thus, the direct correlation between economic growth and the growth of energy consumption is because economic growth is fundamentally dependent on and enabled by energy.
As a result, conventional economists failed to anticipate the global financial crisis, and since then have consistently failed to anticipate the major economic crises Electricity and transportation decreasing energy consumption ensuing years, while consistently and incorrectly forecasting returns to economic growth.
In reality economic growth on a global scale is experiencing an unmistakable plateau, that correlates clearly with the emerging plateau in energy production Fig.
Jean-Marc Jancovici According to Jancovici, since the s—which is when the EROI of the global fossil fuel system as a whole was at its highest according to most studies: And in the period following the —8 fi nancial crash up toit has dropped even further to 0.
The steady decline in the rate of GDP growth thus correlates directly with the steady decline in EROI of production from the global fossil fuel resource base, even as energy production has continued to increase.
However, as energy production has slowed down over the last decade since —accompanying the shift to lower quality unconventional liquids—now approaching an undulating plateau, so too has GDP growth. Consider this revealing diagram produced by Bloomberg, which illustrates how World Bank data confirms not only that economic growth is plateauing, but that it is likely to continue plateauing for the foreseeable future Fig.
Bloomberg Economic growth, to the extent that it has been able to continue, is being driven largely by an increasing availability of cheap credit—rather than any fundamental and permanent transformations in energy intensity.
Cheap credit has enabled excessive borrowing, risk taking and sharply rising asset prices, driving the same form of unsustainable debt- driven growth that partly led to the financial crash Stewart Growth, especially since the s, has been premised increasingly on the financialization of the economy through the creation of new instruments of credit creation to permit extensive leveraging.
Such debt-driven growth, however, only offsets the apparent biophysical limits to growth by accelerating debt and socializing the costs in the event of a financial crisis onto general consumers, while protecting the financial institutions most responsible for debt-generation.
In the energy sector, as oil prices have slumped, growth has increasingly been driven by debt. Global industrial civilization is thus facing a convergence of crises: While the abundance of cheap fossil fuels played the key role in permitting the expansion of the monetary and financial system—enabling exponential economic growth—from the s onwards, the accelerating reduction in EROI has accompanied an increasing reliance on financialization: The neoliberal era, with its policies of extreme deregulation, debt-money expansionism and harsh national austerity, is thus a direct product of the changing dynamics of the global energy system and the transition into a world of more expensive, lower quality, and environmentally more destructive fossil fuels.
The escalation of national austerity policies cannot be sustained for long without increasingly debilitating impacts on the health and well-being of wider publics. This means that phenomena such as the Occupy movement and the Arab Spring were not just historical blips that may or may not occur again, but represented major breaking points in the system due to populations feeling unable to adjust to intolerable conditions imposed by escalating global systemic crises.
Such breaking points, then, represent a taste of things to come.The Office of Public Affairs (OPA) is the single point of contact for all inquiries about the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
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Renewable energy—wind, solar, geothermal, hydroelectric, and biomass—provides substantial benefits for our climate, our health, and our economy.
Vehicles, and the fuel it takes to power them, are an essential part of our American infrastructure and economy, moving people and goods across the country. Mar 29, · Electricity sales in the United States have fallen five out of the past eight years, according to new data released by the U.S.
Energy Information Administration. Energy Information Administration - EIA - Official Energy Statistics from the U.S. Government. Global shifts in the energy system. Four large-scale shifts in the global energy system set the scene for the World Energy Outlook the rapid deployment and falling costs of clean energy technologies, the growing electrification of energy, the shift to a more services-oriented economy and a cleaner energy mix in China, and the resilience of .