Author Archives: Gail Tverberg

About Gail Tverberg

My name is Gail Tverberg. I am an actuary interested in finite world issues - oil depletion, natural gas depletion, water shortages, and climate change. Oil limits look very different from what most expect, with high prices leading to recession, and low prices leading to financial problems for oil producers and for oil exporting countries. We are really dealing with a physics problem that affects many parts of the economy at once, including wages and the financial system. I try to look at the overall problem.

Why Collapse Occurs; Why It May Not Be Far Away

Collapse doesn’t happen instantaneously; it happens many years after an economy first begins outgrowing its resource base. In fact, the resource base likely declines at the same time from multiple causes such as soil erosion, deforestation and oil depletion. Before collapse occurs, there seem to be warning signs. Continue reading

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Where Energy Modeling Goes Wrong

There are a huge number of people doing energy modeling. In my opinion, nearly all of them are going astray in their modeling because they don’t understand how the economy really operates. The modeling that comes closest to being correct … Continue reading

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2021: More troubles likely

Most people expect that the economy of 2021 will be an improvement from 2020. I don’t think so. Perhaps COVID-19 will be somewhat better, but other aspects of the economy will likely be worse. Continue reading

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2020: The Year Things Started Going Badly Wrong

Some might describe the energy story as a “diminishing returns” story, but it’s really broader than this. It’s a story of services that we expect to continue, but which cannot continue without much more energy investment. It is also a story of the loss of “economies of scale” that at one time helped propel the economy forward. Continue reading

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Humans Left Sustainability Behind as Hunter-Gatherers

Many people believe that humans can have a sustainable future by using solar panels and wind turbines. Unfortunately, the only truly sustainable course, in terms of moving in cycles with nature, is interacting with the environment in a manner similar to the approach used by chimpanzees and baboons. Even this approach will eventually lead to new and different species predominating. Continue reading

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