Gail Tverberg


All posts for Gail Tverberg

Our Finite World: Why We Get Bad Diagnoses for the World’s Energy-Economy Problems

The world economy seems to be seriously ill. The problem is not overly high oil prices, but that does not rule out energy as being a major underlying problem. Two of the symptoms of the economy's malaise are slow wage growth and increasing wage disparity. Tariffs are being added as solutions to th ...

Gail Tverberg


Posted 10 days agoOpinion > Our Finite WorldGail TverbergEnergy +4

Our Finite World: The World’s Fragile Economic Condition – Part 2

The world economy can appear to be operating quite well but can be hiding a major problem that causes it to be fragile. My presentation  The World's Fragile Economic Condition (PDF) explains why we should expect financial problems if energy consumption stops growing sufficiently rapidly. In fact ...

Gail Tverberg


Posted 1 month agoOpinion > Our Finite WorldGail Tverbergeconomy +3

Our Finite World: The World’s Fragile Economic Condition – Part 1

Posted on September 23, 2018 by Gail Tverberg Where is the world economy heading? In my opinion, a large portion of the story that we usually hear about how the world economy operates and the role energy plays is not really correct. In this post (to be continued in Part 2 in the ne ...

Gail Tverberg


Posted 1 month agoOpinion > Gail TverbergOur Finite WorldOil +3

Introduction to the “World’s Fragile Economic Condition”

I will be giving a presentation to a group of casualty actuaries on September 17 called “The World's Fragile Economic Condition.” I plan to write up the presentation in two posts, one covering the first three of the six sections of the presentation, and the second one covering the second three sect ...

OilVoice Press - OilVoice


Posted 2 months agoOpinion > Our Finite WorldGail TverbergEnergy

How Energy Shortages Really Affect the Economy

Many people expect energy shortages to lead to high prices. This is based on their view of what “running out” of oil might do to the economy. In this post, I look at historical data surrounding inadequate energy supply. I also consider some of the physics associated with the situation. I see a str ...

Gail Tverberg


Posted 2 months agoOpinion > Our Finite WorldGail TverbergEnergy +6

Supplemental Energy Puts Humans In Charge

Energy is a subject that is greatly misunderstood. Its role in our lives is truly amazing. We humans are able to live and move because of the energy that we get from food. We count this energy in calories. Green plants are also energy dependent. In photosynthesis, plants use energy from the sun to ...

Gail Tverberg


Posted 3 months agoOpinion > EnergyGail TverbergOur Finite World +2

Eight Insights Based on December 2017 Energy Data

BP recently published energy data through December 31, 2017 in its  Statistical Review of World Energy 2018 . The following are a few points we observe, looking at the data: [1] The world is making limited progress toward moving away from fossil fuels. The two bands that top fossil fuels that a ...

Gail Tverberg


Posted 4 months agoOpinion > EnergyBPGail Tverberg +6

Our Energy Problem Is a Quantity Problem

(This post consists of a short overview article I recently wrote for Transform , a magazine for Environment and Sustainability Professionals,  plus six related Questions and Answers.) Reading many of today's energy articles, it is easy to get the impression that our energy problem is a quality  ...

Gail Tverberg


Posted 5 months agoOpinion > EnergyGail TverbergConsumption +5

Why Oil Prices Can’t Rise Very High, For Very Long

Oil prices are now as high as they have been for three years. At this writing, Brent is $74.14 per barrel and West Texas Intermediate is at $68.76. These prices aren't really very high, if a person looks at the situation from a longer term point of view than the last three years. Figure 1. EIA ...

Gail Tverberg


Posted 6 months agoOpinion > oil priceGail TverbergBrent +4

Energy Return on Energy Invested – Prof. Charles Hall’s Comments

In my most recent post,  Why the Standard Model of Future Energy Supply Doesn't Work , I made some comments about the calculation of Energy Returned on Energy Invested. Professor Charles Hall sent me the following response to what I said, which he wanted to have published. I have a few follow-up co ...

Gail Tverberg


Posted 7 months agoOpinion > Gail TverbergEnergyEnergy Return +1

Researchers have been underestimating the cost of wind and solar

How should electricity from wind turbines and solar panels be evaluated? Should it be evaluated as if these devices are stand-alone devices? Or do these devices provide electricity that is of such low quality, because of its intermittency and other factors, that we should recognize the need for sup ...

Gail Tverberg


Posted 1 year agoOpinion > Gail TverbergOur Finite Worldwind power +1

Why Energy-Economy Models Produce Overly Optimistic Indications

I was asked to give a talk to a committee of actuaries who are concerned about modeling the financial future of programs, such as pension plans, given the energy problems that are often discussed. They (and the consultants that they hire) have been using an approach that puts problems far off into ...

Gail Tverberg


Posted 1 year agoOpinion > Gail TverbergOur Finite World

Oops! The economy is like a self-driving car

Back in 1776, Adam Smith talked about the “invisible hand” of the economy. Investopedia explains how the invisible hand works as, “In a free market economy, self-interested individuals operate through a system of mutual interdependence to promote the general benefit of society at large.” We talk ...

Gail Tverberg


Posted 1 year agoOpinion > Gail Tverberg

The “Wind and Solar Will Save Us” Delusion

The “Wind and Solar Will Save Us” story is based on a long list of misunderstandings and apples to oranges comparisons. Somehow, people seem to believe that our economy of 7.5 billion people can get along with a very short list of energy supplies. This short list will not include fossil fuels. Some ...

Gail Tverberg


Posted 1 year agoOpinion > Gail Tverbergwind powersolar power

2017: The Year When the World Economy Starts Coming Apart

Some people would argue that 2016 was the year that the world economy started to come apart, with the passage of Brexit and the election of Donald Trump. Whether or not the “coming apart” process started in 2016, in my opinion we are going to see many more steps in this direction in 2017. Let me ex ...

Gail Tverberg


Posted 1 year agoOpinion > Gail Tverberg