By Tim Garrett: Linking Wealth, Energy Demand, CO2 and Climate Change

Tim Garrett

Tim Garrett is the scientist with the best understanding of the relationship between energy and the economy, which means he has the best understanding of what can and cannot be done to mitigate the climate change threat.

Don’t take my word for this, read his papers and explore his site.

As far as I can tell, Garrett is ignored by all other climate scientists, and everyone that formulates climate change policies.

Think about that for a moment. Our experts ignore the one person they should not ignore.

Now you know why I am so fascinated by the human tendency to deny any reality we do not like. This tendency afflicts almost everyone, including our best and brightest.

I missed this excellent interview with Garrett when it was first broadcast in October 2017 although I have read and listened to almost everything previous he has done.

Paraphrasing a few quotes from the interview:

It is now generally accepted that a 5 degree rise in temperature will collapse civilization. At our current economic growth rate we can expect 5 degrees in 50 or 60 years from now. The only way to avoid this is to collapse civilization now.


I doubt there are solutions but if there are solutions we won’t get at them by imagining fairy tales like improved efficiency and renewable energy.


We need to start thinking now about the most humane way to deal with a collapsing civilization because we know from history that our tendency is to not behave well in such situations.


Interviewer: Why is your work so unknown?

Garrett: Humans have a deep-seated need for optimism and a belief that solutions exist.

Me: aka denial



7 thoughts on “By Tim Garrett: Linking Wealth, Energy Demand, CO2 and Climate Change”

  1. The $64k question is can anyone figure out how to make the people who DON’T get it understand before it’s too late to prevent the worst outcome? People who find this and similar blogs are generally in agreement when they arrive. Thinking mass-enlightenment is even possible seems like another branch of denial.

    Evidence of actual change would be something like sudden global adoption of serious birth control, or even something relatively passive, like turning one’s bloody engine off when surfing the Net in a parking lot. You can barely get most people to even think about these things (at least Americans).

    My main form of hope echoes what the Taylor character said in POTA (’68) about something better than Man somewhere in the universe. “Has to be!”


    1. Denial is the lock that needs to be picked, but picking a lock that no one can see is impossible. I’ve had very little success at getting even aware doomers to see the lock. Maybe I’m wrong and the lock does not exist. Or maybe the lock is so strong that only a very few mutants are able to see it. I’m thinking about this and will be writing on it soon.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. So remember when you’re feeling very small and insecure
      How amazingly unlikely is your birth
      And pray that there’s intelligent life somewhere up in space
      Cause there’s bugger-all down here on Earth

      Eric Idle


  2. In case anyone needs evidence that Garrett is correct, here is a very nice analysis country by country of what the Paris Climate Agreement promises will mean for CO2 emissions, assuming they meet their commitments, which historically no country has.

    “What’s the sum of the bottom lines for the world’s top ten CO2 emitters (less the USA)? At best, no significant reduction in global CO2 emissions. And when we add all the other countries whose INDCs hide an emissions increase behind a mythical decrease tied to a business-as-usual scenario we find emissions continuing to rise. The UN’s official estimates show global CO2 equivalent emissions increasing through at least 2030 even in the unlikely event all of the 174 countries that submitted INDCs (who collectively account for 88% of global CO2 emission; the USA accounts for the rest) meet their targets.”

    In case you’re wondering about my admired enlightened Canada led by the juvenile pop star Trudeau, we fare no better than the rest.

    “Even if Canada meets its target global CO2 equivalent emissions will be cut by only about 0.3% below current levels.”

    You see, the universe is governed by the laws of thermodynamics, and the idiots running our countries have never heard of thermodynamic laws, and even if they studied them, they would deny them, because citizens won’t even consider making do with less and having fewer children, because everyone denies the gravity of our situation, because denial made us human.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thank you so much for highlighting this interview – you may also find of benefit another episode with Dr Nolthenious in which he discusses Prof. Garretts work; available here:

    Thanks again – we can only do what we can do in trying to get the message of our dire climate situation out, the more this information is shared and consumed the greater the possibility of action being taken, in whatever form that may be.


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