How Does the World Work?

  • See the About page for a description of the subjects of interest covered in this blog.

Series Indexes

Global Issues Blogroll

Blog powered by Typepad

Comment Policy

  • Comments
    Comments are open and welcome as long as they are not offensive or hateful. Also this site is commercial free so any comments that are offensive or promotional will be removed. Good questions are always welcome!

« Greed is good? | Main | Biophysical Economics in the New York Times »

October 17, 2009


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

rube cretin

thanks for sharing that George. Very good explanation of the net energy concept and its importance to our collective future. I am sure you are familiar with one of my favorite books on the subject, A Prosperous Way Down by H.T. Odum. Anyone interested in getting into the weeds of this subject and other energy related subjects should give this book a read.

George Mobus

Absolutely on Odum, rube.

Odum was Charlie Hall's mentor and Charlie is now mentoring me on my sabbatical. Systems ecology, along with psychology, is knowledge one needs to understand the economy and what happens in our world. Good recommendation.



I'm looking foward to your report on this year’s Biophysical Economics Conference you attended George. Must have been quite an experience watching Joseph Tainter's lecture on Biophysical Economics and the Collapse of Complex Societies.....
Any further foward (If that's possible) on resolving EROI boundaries?

Excuse the impatience!

George Mobus


Need to catch my breath first. But it will jell in a few days.



What readings does Charlie Hall recommend for getting up to speed on EROEI and systems?

George Mobus


It sort of depends on what you already know. If you are just getting into it I would guess the writings at the Oil Drum ( ) by Hall, Dave Murphy, and Nate Hagens will provide the best overall intro and bring you up to speed on the concept. You can use the search engine for any of those names and EROI or EROEI.

If you are looking for more in-depth papers, e-mail me and I can send you some.



I was keen to read Charles Halls paper on the minimium EROI necessary for a sustainable society but every link into the paper is broken.....


Is there any way for me to download this radio show (it plays in Flash player)? It'd be quite a challenge to listen to it in the car without driving off road.

I had to think of your pieces on Obama when reading this, George:

"Like no President before him — indeed, like no major U.S. politician since Robert F. Kennedy — he has stated again and again that our current path is unsustainable and doomed to fail, using language very similar to the global economy is a Ponzi scheme metaphor:

* “I want us all to think about new and creative ways to … encourage young people to create and build and invent — to be makers of things, not just consumers of things.” (4/27)
* “The choice we face is not between saving our environment and saving our economy. The choice we face is between prosperity and decline.” (4/22)
* “We cannot rebuild this economy on the same pile of sand.” (4/14)
* “We can let the jobs of tomorrow be created abroad, or we can create those jobs right here in America and lay the foundation for our lasting prosperity.” (3/19)

Those in the media and elsewhere who don’t think Obama will use all the power of his office to get a comprehensive climate and clean energy bill on his desk next year are simply not listening to him."

George Mobus


I'll check with the web master (a student volunteer!) to see what the problem is. But I will also see if I can send you a copy; I think I have a copy somewhere in my Hall folder! I've got your e-mail.


George Mobus


I really don't know what the possibilities from Zapata George are for different formats. You might contact the producer. They have a "contact us" page for such.

I especially like this one:
“The choice we face is not between saving our environment and saving our economy. The choice we face is between prosperity and decline.”

I would love to corner him on his definition of prosperity. And while I was at it, on his definition of feasibility!


The comments to this entry are closed.