I'm feeling chatty and bored today, so here's a small post for your consideration.
In this first article, the Wall Street Journal cites a study by the investment firm Bridgewater Associates LP which claims that the advanced (OECD nations, the U.S., Europe, Japan, etc.) are contributing more to global GDP growth than the "emerging" markets (non-OECD, China, India, Russia, Saudi Arabia, etc.).
Here's the graph.
That story made me wonder about global primary energy demand, which is a proxy for GDP growth. Necessarily, global GDP growth should not be occurring (in inflation-adjusted dollars) if primary energy consumption (in BTUs, petajoules, whatever) is not also increasing.
Unless some very astonishing, quite unbelievable gains in energy efficiency have been achieved by the advanced economies in the last few years—that story is also remarkable bullshit—we are forced to conclude that the OECD has pulled off a miracle that nobody, including any physical scientist you care to name, would have guessed possible.
Although global primary energy consumption has been rising along with global GDP, are we supposed to believe that the dominant OECD subgroup is an exception to formerly unbreakable laws of physics?
I guess so, and that's certainly good news for all of us. It's a great day for the Earth's biosphere and humans in particular—we have finally defied the laws of thermodynamics.
The advanced economies grow, but their primary energy consumption contracts!
The current global economy (measured by GDP) according to Bridgewater Associates now totals $74 trillion.
However, with this astonishing breakthrough in the advanced economies, we can now envision a future global economy many, many times larger in which primary energy consumption has fallen to nearly zero!
And won't that future Utopia be something to behold?