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Nate Hagens

Hi dave. Great little essay. Krugman still doesn't get energy. And he likely won't as evidenced by your last paragraph.

Re Garrett - a quibble.
Garrett locked on to the *old* biophysical research in the 1970s when there was such a constant of 9.7 milliwats - but since then it has moved around alot and is now 30% lower - that there is a relationship is not in question - the fact that it is a constant is false, and one reason why biophysical economics still gets a bad name with economists. In summary, a) in the long run until the 70s, energy and GDP were extremely highly correlated. b)From 1970-2000, we managed to partly escape that, mostly by increased primary conversion improvements and some efficiency gains. c) After 2000, that has stopped again, because most of those gains were exhausted.

The reasons are complex but related to:
~Higher primary conversion efficiency after the energy crisis in the 70s

~Substitution of energy sources (for example, the introduction of natural gas has improved average electricity production efficiency by about 10 percentage points from coil/oil

~Changed accounting methods, i.e. understated inflation rates, overstated growth rates, leading to higher GDP measures

~Fake GDP, only creating “paper” wealth which never gets converted into real stuff and thus doesn’t need underlying energy production

~True efficiency gains, mostly driven by changed legislation and imposed taxation, which avoided the substitution effects otherwise available (aka Jevon’s paradox)

But at end of day these are quibbles/asterisks. Humans have built and continue to grow, our heat engine. hope you're doing well old friend

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