Home > Uncategorized > Global energy consumption 1900 to 2017

Global energy consumption 1900 to 2017

  1. June 8, 2021 at 1:15 pm

    Thank you, The increase in wind and solar is hopeful. Use of Earth’s nonrenewable internal heat should be discussed more fully.

  2. June 8, 2021 at 2:03 pm

    I note this is a BP analysis, so it is not surprising that it counts only energy that is sold. What about all the solar energy that is consumed for free by the greenery soaking up our wastes?

  3. Ikonoclast
    June 8, 2021 at 10:21 pm


    Interesting thought and another way of looking at matters. However, what really counts is the amount of coal, oil and gas we are burning and thus how much CO2 we are releasing into the atmosphere. The benign Holocene is ending. Scientists have declared we have already entered a new era, the Anthropocene. The climate, and thus weather patterns, of the benign (for humans at least) Holocene were a resource for human civilization.

    It is common mistake, and one I long made, to pay attention only to primary input resources. Thus we were obsessed about peak oil, peak coal and peak gas, imagining that the supply of these primary input resources would be the constraint for our global civilization, civilization being so energy dependent. However, it turns out that the major constraint on civilization involves not our inputs but our wastes. Our wastes wreck ecological, biosphere and geosphere systems.

    Climate change is the best case in point of the above (though not the only case). Climate change melts ice caps and glaciers, raises sea levels, raises temperatures and exacerbates both floods and droughts, generating wilder swings between the two and periods where regional climate remains stuck longer in one phase. It changes growing seasons affecting food production.

    It is extremely troubling that coal, oil and gas still contribute so much to our energy mix. To save the world from catastrophic climate change we should have already reduced our use to the point that we could reach zero use by 2030. We have already used up almost all of our carbon budget.



    From the second link above;

    “After doing the sums, humanity has only 95 billion of the original 1000 billion tonnes left to spend on carbon dioxide emissions. To put that in perspective, globally humans emit 10 billion tonnes of carbon every year.

    That means that in less than 10 years, without dramatic action, humanity will have spent all of its remaining 2-degree budget. At that point, the chances of holding warming to 2 degrees will drop below 2/3, and we might as well flip a coin to estimate whether the climate will exceed boundaries maintained for over a million years.” – ANU, 6 May 2019.

    That puts us at exceeding our carbon budget by 2029. And we are still doing nothing substantive to stop this. Indeed, CO2 emissions are still rising. When will people realize the emergency has already started?

  4. Ken Zimmerman
    June 9, 2021 at 9:18 am

    Up till the late 19th century fossil fuels and the lighted,
    ‘progressive,’ and comfortable life they made possible was unprecedented in human history. And there seemed no end to the innovations in the use of these fuels or the invention of machines powered by these fuels that made human life better. Now the fuels are condemned by many people and the machines we all depended on for more than a hundred years are undergoing change so quickly that it frightens many people. Whatever your position on climate change and its relationship to fossil fuels, these are the ‘facts on the ground’ for many in everyday life in the USA and other locations in the world. Why should they be forced to uproot their lives, they ask? Until an understandable answer for this question is provided to them, don’t expect them to support climate change mitigation or even the language changes related to recognizing and accepting climate change culture.

    • June 9, 2021 at 1:00 pm

      How long do you estimate humanity can survive without embracing a climate change culture?

      • Ken Zimmerman
        June 10, 2021 at 7:42 am

        Garrett, again it’s complex. The specifics of the climate change culture humans invent matter foremostly in what happens afterwards. If fossil fuels are removed entirely, it’s likely 50-60% of humans will be dead from starvation within 20 years since non-mechanized agricultural production will never be able to keep up. Also, estimates are that without fossil fuels more than 75% of world electricity production will cease. Leaving much of the world dark and cold. And since we cannot know the future, there is no certainty these measures will halt or slow down climate change. Finally, it’s uncertain whether the risks to humans’ chance of survival from this or any other version of climate change culture will not be worse than climate change unmitigated. After all, our species has survived several ‘ice ages.” As usual, humans are playing dice.

    • June 10, 2021 at 7:41 pm

      Hello Ken, You might be interested by the work of Timothy Wise, His last book is “Feeding the Future” and he has an online article at https://www.iatp.org/africas-choice The basic gist of the book is that 70% of food on the table still comes from traditional agriculture, Feeding the future is made up of several case studies. It basically boils down to US style corporate agriculture requires favorable trade and tax laws, subsidies, and propaganda support for large scale chemical poisoning of Earth as well as seed patents. Few consider what life might be like if society could be like if servicing the wealthy was shunned instead of farm work. Why a college economics professor earns more than the semi-slave labor corporatist agriculture requires is a valid question when contemplating sustainability.

      • Ken Zimmerman
        June 11, 2021 at 9:19 am

        Thanks, Garrett. I’ve not read the book you mention. Will pick up a copy .

        If by traditional agriculture Wise refers to the subsistence farming that still goes on in many parts of the world, such farming cannot feed the world with or without fossil fuels.

        If Wise is referring to standard practices such as agro forestry and crop rotation, these are labeled standard because they are usual. But this still involves chemical fertilizers, mechanical planting, tilling, and harvesting, and trains, planes, and trucks to move the harvest.

        Removing plutocrats and plutocracy fom this story would change who receives the food and how much the food cost for those who purchase it. A real blessing for the millons in the world starving today.

      • June 11, 2021 at 1:43 pm

        Removing plutocrats and plutocracy from the agricultural foundation of civilizations that consume Earth’s resources and pollution recycling services at the five planet per capita rate will change direction away from species suicide. We do not recognize many costs associated with plutocracy, militarized police to control landless hungry inner city populations requires abandonment of democracy, for example. Reduction of democracy efficiency in economic terms is adoption of a social vector thar reduces consumer market information and thus introduces reduction of product and environmental awareness. I think you will enjoy the perspective of Timothy Wise. Humanity will not need to give up antibiotics, public schools and indoor plumbing to live with degrowth.

      • Ken Zimmerman
        June 12, 2021 at 6:22 am

        Will take a deep look into Wise’s work.

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