Step aside all you established peak oil and climate change pontificators. There’s a new badass in town and he’s an engineer who specializes in energy and climate which means you don’t stand a chance. 🙂
It’s very rare to find someone who can articulately explain in one hour, without hyperbole or bullshit, everything important going on in the world, including the underlying causes, what the future holds, and what we should do in response. Jean-Marc Jancovici is one of those rare gems.
Jancovici’s native language is French so English works by him are scarce. I’ve already posted the only other recent English talk that I’m aware of here.
Today’s interview with Alex Smith of Radio Ecoshock is a treat. After investing an hour here you will understand much more about the issues that matter than 99% of the people in the world.
Alex Smith wrote a very nice summary of his interview here:
Following are a few quotes from the interview that I thought were noteworthy. Notice how close Jancovici comes to discussing denial of reality on several occasions.
Tell me how much energy you use and I will tell you how you live.
Governments are not guided by [wise] advisors. They respond to external pressure.
The present standard of living cannot be sustained without the help of fossil fuels for physical reasons.
Two centuries ago the world was fully renewable and consisted of 1 billion peasants with a life expectancy of 30 years. [We therefore] know of at least one option available to us.
Every time you hear the words “energy consumption”, replace them with “fleet of machines” .
A future with no growth is considered unthinkable by so many people, including Nobel prize-winning economists, that nobody thinks about what to do if it happens for real.
Q: What do you think is the greatest soonest threat: peak oil or climate change?
A: I place my bets on the likelihood that nobody will understand what is happening with either of these threats.
No government understands that energy equals machines, and if machines work less, GDP goes down.
No political leader understands that climate change is already putting refugees on the road.
Think of peak oil and climate change as opposing scissor blades squeezing your finger. Asking which is worse does not make any sense.
You must wait over 10,000 years for surplus CO2 to evacuate from the atmosphere. There is no such thing as a reset button for climate change. The only thing we are sure of is the day that consequences become unbearable, it will become worse later on.
A huge misunderstanding is that energy is a sector of the economy rather than the blood of the economy.