Resources

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Consuming less means leading a better life

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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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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.

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Productivity, its components, and its limits

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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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Productivity is one of the miracles of the past 250 years. However, we didn't get more productive based on sheer ingenuity, the key driver was increased energy and resource use.

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English

Cobb-Douglas, a formula and a principle with limits

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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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The drivers of most economic planning, Labor, Capital and their productivity, are at the core of the Cobb-Douglas output model. Unfortunately, this "unlimited" concept has hard limits in energy and resource availability.

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English

Outsourcing - how some countries became (seemingly) efficient

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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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Many advanced economies seemed to have become much more energy- and resource-efficient during the past decades. Unfortunately, the largest part of those improvements are only on paper, as globalization and de-industrialization have driven the "heavy lifting" elsewhere.

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English

Renewable energy can only power a less rich future

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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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So far, renewable energy is still contributing a very small share to our global energy consumption. We show why it is unrealistic to hope for expanding their use and maintaining economic growth.

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English

Of men and mice - how we're all prewired for growth

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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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All living organisms are initially wired to proliferate to every place they successfully can, no matter if you have a petri dish with bacteria or a group of mice. As humans, we are initially pre-conditioned the same way, but we have options.

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English

Back to the future of economics, or: when economists were right

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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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Economic theory wasn't always oblivious of natural resources, quite the contrary. It was during the 20th century when that concept was abandoned.

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English