Yuval Harari’s Sapiens

I thought I found some support for Varki’s denial theory in a new book by Yuval Harari titled Sapiens.

Harari makes the case that humans dominate the planet because we cooperate and we cooperate because we are uniquely able to construct and believe fictional stories.

This is no doubt part of the story but misses the bigger picture and lacks a satisfying explanation for why.

We dominate for many reasons. Cooperation yes, but also sophisticated symbolic language, ability to manage many relationships, forward planning, analytic skills, long term memory, learning ability, etc. All of these things fall under the umbrella of CPU power.

The important question to be answered is, why did only one small group of one species in Africa evolve this higher CPU power, despite many similar species being exposed to the same selection pressures?

Varki provides a plausible answer. Harari does not.

And of course, why with this exceptional CPU power do we believe in wacky economic theories and even wackier religions but not climate change or peak oil or almost anything that matters?

Again, Varki provides an answer. Harari does not.

Here is an EconTalk interview with Harari:

Yuval Harari on Sapiens

Here is Harari’s TED talk titled Bananas in Heaven.

By Radio Ecoshock: Science of the Coming Catastrophe

Radio Ecoshock is a long running B.C. produced podcast hosted by Alex Smith that interviews the best minds in the world on climate change and related topics. The archive is very rich and well worth your time exploring. It’s been my favorite podcast for years. Here is this week’s episode.

“Oil company BP says recoverable oil runs out in 50 years. American scientist James H. Brown publishes study saying this means a crash of economy and population is “very, very likely”. Then Canadian climate scientist Andrew Weaver on our prospects, and why he ran for the Green Party.

Warning: If you are already feeling depressed, this may not be the program for you. Maybe you should take a walk outside instead. Really. That would be OK.”


Not a Clue (Martin Weitzman EconTalk Interview)

Here are two quite intelligent people having a thoughtful discussion on climate change, but because they do not understand the relationship between energy and wealth, nor the difference in EROI between types of energy, they do not have a clue what is going on.

This is very typical for of all sorts of “experts”, including most climate scientists.


By Tim Garrett: Thermodynamics of the Economy (interviews and papers)

Tim Garrett

Tim Garrett is the most important and least recognized physicist on the planet because he discovered a theory that explains and quantifies the relationship between wealth and energy consumption.

Here is Garrett’s home page with links to his papers:


Here is a wikipedia page that explains his theory:


Here is a new interview with Tim Garrett:


I’ve listened to Garrett’s previous interviews many times and never tire of them because there are so many difficult and important concepts to absorb.




Here is a list of Garrett’s work compiled by Frank White:


Here is an August 2020 paper co-authored with Steve Keen: