Type
Topic
SEARCH RESULTS
Cover Story
Society, Energy, Economics, Food, Agriculture
Incomes have recently peaked for most people

After decades of intense growth, most people today have less available income than 10-15 years ago, and nobody has a good explanation.

Cover Story
Energy, Renewables, Natural Resources
Energy and resource limits are now inhibiting growth

Given our experience, we are hard-wired to believe that growth is bound to continue, but we have reached the limits of our planet.

Blog
Energy, Society, Natural Resources
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 has become the first public outreach project of IIER. Here's why.

Resources
Energy, Living with Less
Consuming less means leading a better life

More material wealth is not required for a happy life, once we accept that we have enough. We show you how to get ready for the future.

Background
Living with Less
How can I contribute to a better future?

Latest articles

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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Cobb-Douglas, a formula and a principle with limits
The drivers of most economic planning, labor , capital and their productivity, are at the core of the concept described by the Cobb-Douglas production function. Unfortunately, this "unlimited" view has hard limits in energy and resource availability that didn't matter during the 20th century.
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Back to the future of economics, or: when economists were right
Economic theory wasn't always oblivious of natural resources, quite the contrary. Before the 20th century, most models included land avaialbility and productivity, a marker for the ability to convert sunlight into relevant outputs. Only during the 20th century, with the abundant availability of stored sunlight, this factor disappeared from theoretical models. Now, as we move away from easy fossil fuels, we need to go back to Adam Smith and his peers.
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Productivity, its components, and its limits
Labor and capital productivity growth was seen as the key driver of growth during the past 250 years. However, we didn't get more productive based on our ingenuity alone, the key drivers were increased energy and resource use with low energy and resource productivity.
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