Richard Heinberg

Articles by this author

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014
The Purposely Confusing World of Energy Politics
Life often presents us with paradoxes, but seldom so blatant or consequential as the following. Read this sentence slowly: Today it is especially difficult for most people to understand our perilous global energy situation, precisely because it has never been more important to do so. Got that? No? Okay, let me explain.
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Wednesday, January 15, 2014
TPP: Poison for Local Community Resilience
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Thursday, November 21, 2013
Krugman Goes 'Splat': On Endless Growth and Permanent Depression
I was fairly amazed to read Paul Krugman’s latest op-ed in the New York Times, titled “ A Permanent Slump? ” He seemed to be coming remarkably close to saying what several of us have been trumpeting for the past few years—that world economic growth is ending and we’d better retool accordingly. “What if the world we’ve been living in for the past five years is the new normal?,” he writes.
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Wednesday, October 02, 2013
When the Levees Break: Disasters Converging on a Finite Planet
The 19th century novel Hans Brinker, or The Silver Skates by American author Mary Mapes Dodge features a brief story-within-the-story that has become better known in popular culture than the book itself. It’s the tale of a Dutch boy (in the novel he’s called simply “The Hero of Haarlem” ) who saves his community by jamming his finger into a leaking levee. The boy stays all night, despite the cold, until village adults find him and repair the leak.
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Friday, August 23, 2013
Fracking Boom Slouching Toward Bust
Stop me if you’ve heard this one. What’s an obscenity that starts with “f” and ends with “ck”? Oh wait, sorry, this is supposed to be a serious article about fracking. That’s right, we’re talking about The Biggest Development in the energy world since the birth of the sun, the Revolution that is freeing America forever from bondage to oil imports.
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Saturday, July 27, 2013
The Brief, Tragic Reign of Consumerism—and the Birth of a Happy Alternative
You and I consume; we are consumers. The global economy is set up to enable us to do what we innately want to do—buy, use, discard, and buy some more. If we do our job well, the economy thrives; if for some reason we fail at our task, the economy falters.
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Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Deficit Reduction Equals Recession
The math is not difficult. The US has an annual GDP of $14 trillion, and the nation’s current $1 trillion in annual deficit spending is seven percent of its GDP. Growth in GDP has recently been running at about two percent annually (though in the last quarter of 2012 the economy actually contracted slightly). The relationship between deficit spending and GDP growth may not be exactly 1:1 but it’s probably quite close.
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Thursday, November 15, 2012
Slow Economic Growth? You Can't Say That!
In his November 14 press conference president Obama made a few brief comments about global warming:
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Saturday, March 03, 2012
$5 Gas, Iranian Poker, and the Peak of 'Peak Oil' Denial
Here in northern California gasoline is now retailing for $4.20 a gallon. Prices haven’t been this high since mid-2008. Forecasts for $5 per gallon gas in the U.S. this summer are now commonplace. What’s driving prices up?
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Sunday, May 15, 2011
Peak Oil: A Chance to Change the World
Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, MA invited Rex Tillerson, CEO of ExxonMobil, to give the commencement speech at its 2011 graduation ceremonies on May 14. When students heard this, many were surprised and upset. As Linnea Palmer Paton of Students for a Just and Stable Future put it in a letter to the college president, “[W]e, as conscientious members of the WPI community and proud members of the Class of 2011, will not give [the Exxon CEO] the honor of imparting ... his well-wishes ... for our futures ...
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