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Cover Story
Cover Story
After becoming the richest people of all times around the year 2000, inflation-adjusted incomes since shrunk for most households in advanced economies , despite many attempts at reviving growth. Equally, prospects for young people are becoming bleaker, and many are struggling to find jobs matching their expensive educations, to buy a house or build a nest egg.
U.S. household incomes 2000-2014 (census.gov)
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Cover Story
Cover Story
After 250 years of unlimited expansion, energy and natural resources are once again limiting our world. Extracting more is becoming increasingly difficult, making it hard to expand the economy further. This is difficult to grasp for all of us, as our brains are wired to use the recent past for guidance. If that fails, we are getting confused, and angry.
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Blog
Blog
After 10 years of mostly scientific work on understanding our human ecosystem, energy&stuff is IIER 's first public outreach project. Given the very negative societal dynamics observed around the world, with hate and blame on the rise, we consider it relevant to instill a sense of reality into the discussion, hopefully supporting a different and more constructive dialogue moving forward.
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About energy&stuff - how to safely make it through the 21st century
After 10 years of mostly scientific work on understanding our human ecosystem, energy&stuff is IIER 's first public outreach project. Given the very negative societal dynamics observed around the world, with hate and blame on the rise, we consider it relevant to instill a sense of reality into the discussion, hopefully supporting a different and more constructive dialogue moving forward.
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Consuming less means leading a better life
There are so many things in life that can make you happier than "shopping therapy." We simply have to re-learn them. Once we embrace that and find ways to leave the struggle for "more" behind, we can live a great life with much less material wealth.

This website is providing you with many ideas and practical examples to make it happen in your personal life.

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How can I contribute to a better future?
energy&stuff wants citizens to engage, no matter if you do this with us, in your community, in an organization, or in politics. If societies are going to master the challenges of the future, a large number of people need to better understand the dynamics of the world we live in, begin to change their thinking, their talking and their behaviors. We show you how to do that.
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Of men and mice - how we're all prewired for growth
All living organisms are initially wired to proliferate to every ecological niche they successfully can exploit, no matter if we are talking about a petri dish of bacteria or a group of mice. As humans, we are initially wired the same way, but we have options.
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Why economic science has a limitless world view
Economic science teaches that energy and natural resources play no role and that growth will continue as long as there is more labor and capital, supported by increasing productivity. For over two centuries, this was true, but now, we've reached the limit, and our plans no longer work. We need new economic theories, or more precisely, return to older ones.
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Funding the (on the surface) unfundable.
If an alien anthropologist - an impartial expert on humans and our culture - were asked to organize the perfect conditions for a human society to ignore and avoid preparing for a great systemic risk, he or she or it likely couldn’t construct a more perfect scenario than our current one.
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What options are left in a growth-constrained future?
Unfortunately, there is no return to steady growth in sight. If we don’t want to go down fighting, we have no choice but to embrace a world of "less". The good news is that happiness isn't tied to incomes as long as our true needs are covered. This means we have to give up our bad feelings and actively start thinking about how to run are lives with a new sense of reality.
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Drivers behind our success: energy and natural resources
When trying to understand the recent problems to maintain growth, we have to re-discover an old truth: More economic activity means more energy and resource use. Solar power has always been driving prosperity, but since the beginning of the industrial revolution we have been tapping into fossil fuels (=prehistoric sunlight) at breathtaking speed.
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Renewable energy can only power a less rich future
All available evidence tells us that a return to energy system that mostly rely on renewables will significantly shrink our economic activity. Unfortunately, the new optimistic term "free solar energy" gives too many people an incorrect impression that we could migrate off fossil energy while maintainng our standard of living and economic growth.
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Outsourcing - how some countries became (seemingly) efficient
Many advanced economies seem to have become much more energy- and resource-efficient during the past decades, emitting far less greenhouse gases per unit of economic output. Unfortunately, the largest part of those improvements exist only on paper, as globalization and the related de-industrialization have driven the "heavy lifting" elsewhere.
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