This article I posted yesterday raises an interesting theory: that the idea that “capitalism is the greatest producer of wealth” is a myth. Instead, the theory goes, capitalism was contemporaneous with (and created) the fossil fuel boom since the English Industrial Revolution. Ergo, all measurements of “capitalism’s” wealth production were actually derived from the external input of hundreds of millions of years of stored biofuels, expended in the course of under two centuries. Take away this input, as we will be forced to do by the global carbon budget, and growth returns to fractions of a percent.
I think this analysis underestimates the impact of successfully transitioning to sustainable (or nuclear) energy sources, but is otherwise intriguing. The problem is that I’m not finding good reliable sources for “fossil capitalism”, as this article terms it; Google is showing me many other unrelated links, from not particularly unbiased sources.
Thoughts? When Will the Planet Be Too Hot for Humans? Much, Much Sooner Than You Imagine.