A long letter with his usual emphasis on energy supply and depletion, Heinberg discusses the energy backdrop of the war and the potential future impacts to the global energy supply and global politics and economy. Very sobering stuff. The new thing here though is an expansion of his years long focus on powering down, i.e., self-limiting our energy consumption. He argues that the three plans to mitigate climate change, energy substitution, divestment and taxing carbon, aren’t working.
Energy substitution isn’t working because, in spite of the large increases in renewable energy, the world’s energy consumption is increasing faster, putting even more carbon is going into the atmosphere. Divestment isn’t working because fossil fuel companies have no end of financial resources available to them.
Taxing carbon isn’t working because it doesn’t guarantee the actual reduction of carbon.
Heinberg suggests a new plan called cap and ration. Cap global fossil fuel production and then ration fossil fuel consumption. His rational is quite compelling. It’s powering down in a controlled fashion. And it’ll take cooperation which is in short supply these days. But so does everything else. This is worth reading.