Climate change is a Narrow View of the Human Predicament

Energy Aware

A transition away from fossil fuels seems like a sensible approach to climate change but what are the correct ingredients? Wind, solar, hydrogen, electric vehicles, carbon capture, nuclear, geothermal, heat pumps, hydropower?

It’s like a doctor treating a patient without examining the source of his symptoms.

“If many remedies are prescribed for an illness, you may be certain that the illness has no cure.”

—Anton Chekhov, The Cherry Orchard (1904)

Climate change is a serious threat to civilization, but it is a symptom of the larger problem of overshoot. Overshoot means that humans are using natural resources and polluting at rates beyond the planet’s capacity to recover.

The main cause of overshoot is the extraordinary growth of the human enterprise made possible by fossil energy. As that enterprise grew, more and more energy was needed to support its complexity and continued growth. The carbon emissions that underlie climate change are merely a byproduct of using all of that energy.

Humanity has been having quite a party with fossil fuels for the last century of so. Now it’s time to survey the mess we’ve made. Everyone wants solutions but first we must understand the present state of things and how we got here. Without a map of the territory, we are lost. Choosing a destination without a route will probably get us more lost. Yet, that is society’s current approach.

Ecology and economics come from the same Greek word oikos which means home or household. Ecology means what we know and say about our home. Economics means how we measure and manage our household. It seems strange to me that economics largely excludes ecology and the natural world that we consider to be our home. 

Those who are serious about climate change say that they are worried about the planet but what they really mean is that they’re worried about themselves and possibly future generations of humans. There’s nothing wrong with that but it is also a narrow view.

That is the problem with our approach to the human predicament. The bias is reflected in how I phrased that last sentence. I said, the human predicament when it’s really the planetary predicament for all of earth’s inhabitants, the ecosystem, our home. 

What’s on the menu of proposed solutions to climate change makes me want to try another restaurant. Replacing fossil fuels with wind and solar, green new deals, net zero roadmaps, and carbon taxes and credits are lovely fantasies that ignore the fundamental problem: we humans need to decrease our consumption of energy. 

The idea of clean energy is absurd. All energy is clean before it’s turned into work. Converting energy into work produces waste. When I work, I produce CO2 and sweat. When society works, it produces CO2, heat and all sorts of other byproducts. It’s unavoidable. Of course, some technologies are not as dirty as others but once we start down that path, we’re already into second- or third-order solutions to a first-order problem.

Energy is the economy and almost everything else. Energy use is the main cause of climate change and overshoot. We need to reduce our consumption of energy. We need triage to stop the bleeding. Once that’s done, we can relax a little and assess what to do next. All other approaches and solutions are delusional.

It’s highly improbable that society will stop the bleeding because consuming less energy will mean little or no economic growth and a big reduction in population. Those are unacceptable outcomes for most governments and people. Since we are unlikely to take the measures to stop the bleeding, we’ll have to deal with the resulting trauma.

That means that there needs to be a Plan B. How do we prepare ourselves and our communities—including the natural communities we are a part of–for that world?

People hate that. They want an answer, a solution, a set of policies. OK, here it is. Radically reduce the consumption of all energy–fossil energy, renewable energy, nuclear energy–all energy.

People hate that too because they know it will mean that they have to change their behavior and learn to survive at a much lower standard of living. Surely, there will be some technology that will fix everything and allow us to continue the carbon party–just without the carbon.

Go ahead and hope.

Plan B is not for everyone. Most people are not willing to deal with the harsh reality toward which we are probably heading.

This is, nevertheless, where we need to start. Solutions may come later.

Art Berman is anything but your run-of-the-mill energy consultant. With a résumé boasting over 40 years as a petroleum geologist, he’s here to annihilate your preconceived notions and rearm you with unfiltered, data-backed takes on energy and its colossal role in the world's economic pulse. Learn more about Art here.

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  1. Paul on January 28, 2024 at 8:05 am

    Right on. Anyone with their head screwed on right cannot but reach the same conclusion. One doesn’t even need detailed figures – it can all be deduced from simple observation and connecting the dots.

    The judicious thing would now be preparing humankind for the postindustrial world. Devising technologies and processes that run on low energy or can be operated manually. Preserving knowledge by printing books on durable materials, as opposed to converting everything into digital, which is insane for knowledge can be wiped out in a matter of seconds in an electromagnetic event or disappear when electronic devices are no longer available.

    To paraphrase the above medical analogy, the last few hundred years have been a massive alcoholic binge. Time to get rid of the addiction!

    • Art Berman on January 29, 2024 at 3:51 am

      Thanks for your comments, Paul.

      All the best,


  2. JCoker on January 18, 2024 at 1:32 pm

    Enjoy your commentary, Art, and I generally agree with your opinions.
    I agree with your opinions on ‘overshoot’ and oil (being in the patch myself).
    However, the one thing most people (especially the doomsters) never bring up is
    that we will be at ‘peak population’ by 2050, maybe sooner. After that the human
    population will get older very rapidly and our numbers will also decline.
    Even if we are still increasing energy consumption/person, the decline in
    numbers should eventually mean we stop the ‘overshoot’.
    So IMO we just have to ‘muddle through’, increasing nuclear energy, using oil/gas
    and making sure people in the world can be fed.
    Hopefully our energy requirements will decline along with our impact on the
    environment. Re-wilding will occur naturally?
    The next 20yrs will be critical.
    Rgds and more power to your pen !

    • Art Berman on January 19, 2024 at 3:35 am


      I write about population all the time.

      When the world is overpopulated by at least 4 billion people, a leveling off in several decades is not especially optimistic.

      All the best,


  3. Ben Robertson on January 17, 2024 at 8:54 pm

    Thank you Art for your responses to my comments; it’s refreshing to be allowed to offer an alternate viewpoint even though you may infer them to be nonsensical..

    In closing, I would like to say that I am a skeptic by nature, not a conspiracy theorist in any form and base my viewpoints on the reasonableness of data, which I have acquired over many years.

    Galileo was under house arrest for the last nine years of his life for his heretical and conspiratorial viewpoint of heliocentrism, where his observations and data resulted in him to believe the earth orbited the sun.

    Again, my hope is that just one person will research what I purport in my comments.

    “An open mind is not an end in itself but a means to the end of finding truth.”

    • Art Berman on January 18, 2024 at 3:30 am


      Galileo’s situation is not equivalent to your theories. Just because a brilliant scientist was under the thumb of the Catholic Church does not validate any unconventional idea.

      You say that you’re not a conspiracy guy and yet you are promoting a conspiracy theory. I don’t know your background but you know mine and this theory falls squarely in the energy field. I am quite open to different ideas and ways of perceiving things but I your ideas are unsupported by anything in my 45 years of energy experience.

      I loved watching The X Files but not because I took its theme seriously. It was entertaining.

      All the best,


  4. Dave Petersen on January 17, 2024 at 7:28 pm

    I wonder that bribery is one of the governing forces in maintaining the status quo. W/out the bribing of congress and govnmt electees, the US might well have tackled climate change when it was first raised (about 1960-70).

    Whether it was a $1per gallon gas tax in 1970, or tax incentives for energy conservation, or super high mpg requirements, all would be likely if bribery (lobbying) were eliminated.

    More than 70% of Americans want something done about climate change. It’s the 535 congress people that are stopping all progress. Seems those 535 people are climate terrorists. Aren’t there laws about bribery ??

    • Art Berman on January 18, 2024 at 3:34 am


      The 70% of Americans who think climate change is important rank it 22nd on the list of important things.

      That’s all you need to know.

      Congress may be bought but what you describe has nothing to do with that. It has everything to do with the fact that climate is not important enough to their constituents to matter in their re-election or fundraising efforts.

      All the best,


  5. Ben Robertson on January 17, 2024 at 3:44 pm

    Art, I didn’t expect a response to my comments any different than the one you and a few others provided.
    It is fact, should one choose to investigate/research it.

    This forum is not equipped for me to provide a lengthy discourse with concrete evidence backing my claims but I will submit that the government does provide a list of the patents they have confiscated for security reasons, of which zero point energy is one of the thousands they list. What’s there to dispute? Look for yourself.

    For decades the government refuted any claims that UAP’s existed and that mankind was the only life in an infinite universe (another ridiculous proposition), but now regularly provides Navy footage of UAP’s, not to mention recent testimony from senior military officials who provided specific detailed information on the long standing government programs related to such.

    I simply submitted my comments with the hope a few others will investigate it for themselves, and understand the influence as to why you would have to take the position that such a proposition is rubbish.

    • Art Berman on January 17, 2024 at 5:29 pm


      Life and the world are complicated enough without inventing conspiracy theories to further complicate things.

      It is natural for people to seek causes for things that otherwise don’t make sense. Science is mostly about observing and trying to integrate the emerging trends of uncertainty in an uncertain universe. Causes–despite popular belief–are outside of true science.

      “Conspiracy thinking is incredibly compelling. It promises an answer to problems as small as expired light bulbs and as big as our radical aloneness in the universe. It is self-sealing in its logic, and self-soothing in its effect: It posits a world where nothing happens by accident, where morality is plain, where every piece of information has divine meaning and every person has agency.”
      —Ellen Cushing

      All the best,


  6. Adam Flint on January 17, 2024 at 2:59 pm

    I agree with everything, as I have for about the last five years without knowing you. The ecological movement, scientists or not, touches a tiny fraction of the population if not superficially, and is deeply divided. Most scientists and commentators believe that “clean” technologies, geoengineering, and last-ditch scientific discoveries will save us, giving “hope”. A few others, like you, make the fundamental analysis that it may at best delay the collapse of the system or worse, and that overshoot is the root cause of the problem. And you recognize that, given the narrative of our industrial culture and economy supporting the myth of eternal growth and the impossibility for people to admit any reduction in their living standards (even more so for the richest of them), humans will have to learn the hard way when Nature forces this reduction on them. And by reduction, I mean (do you? And how you think this happens?) crashing from a global population of 8 billion people to maybe about 500 million, if humanity can survive at all, bringing down many forms of life on Earth.

    So, as I read elsewhere, there is no solution to a predicament, but an outcome. How we navigate or how we picture this in real life, you don’t say. What is certain is the willful blindness of our society regarding these issues, taking refuge in any available kind of escapism. No wonder then that “Barbie” with an enormous advertisement hype was so successful, when “Don’t Look Up,” only an allegory of global warming according to McKay (we can’t look this in the eye), hardly made it to the public. The same goes with contemporary literary fiction (less than 20 years), which is able to give flesh, in our real lives, to your argument and its practical consequences. Our society excludes any emotional picture or representation of what is coming in our real world—the most defining event for all humanity, though—feeding illusions and fantasies to the public.

    Adam Fint, author of “Mona.” Excerpt:
    “She’d been turned loose. She wanted to be fearless. What is there to fear when death is pounding at the door? She was a survivor in a charnel house. They had all died, the Brenners, the Lamberts, the Rodgers, save Eve, old and young, dust in the wind, not a sprout, not a twig. The country was the claustrophobic rump of what it had once been, north of billions of howling souls in the four blazing suns. How to adapt through extreme regression was a mortal challenge. Who had ever envisioned the short bent of the arc of a universe by the end of the quaternary, when, unconditionally, morality, conscience, and justice were reversed?”

    • Art Berman on January 17, 2024 at 4:43 pm

      Thanks for your thoughtful observations, Adam.

      Learning the hard way (as you say) probably will mean a radical reduction in population although 500 million seems extreme barring nuclear war which is hardly unlikely.

      “Yearning for fulfillment. You cannot find it through thought. It is located in the deeper causal zones of the psyche. This is what athletes call being in the zone. Psychologists call it the collective unconscious. Mindfulness counselors call it being in the moment. Spiritual mystics call it the kingdom of God.”
      –Joseph Campbell

      I call it the human operating system.

      The solution to all predicaments is psychological. All transformations are fundamentally psychological. Our separation from nature is central–the nature without and the nature within. Direct experience unites them. I don’t talk much about that publicly but it is the principal theme in my discussions with colleagues and friends.

      All the best,


  7. Michael Alexander on January 17, 2024 at 1:57 pm

    That’s a very honest article. Was afraid you might vear off from the scientific reality to write what the readers want to read, but you didn’t. Refreshing, thanks.

    • Art Berman on January 17, 2024 at 2:15 pm


      I’ve been on the same vector for several decades. No reason to change now.

      All the best,


  8. kramm on January 17, 2024 at 9:48 am

    Biology is reigned by Lotka‘s maximum power principle. Any plan will have to comply in the end. Thats the way of the most benign outcome of humanity’s descent i.m h.o. Any planned global schemes will go the way of the soviet union. Another example is the mess governments habe made of the covid thing. The mpp is finally a local optimization principle. Like MEP. Or the weather.

    • Art Berman on January 17, 2024 at 2:14 pm

      I agree, Kramm. At the same time, most people have no idea about the maximum power principle and wouldn’t understand its implications without a lot of reading.

      All the best,


  9. John Munter on January 17, 2024 at 2:27 am

    “To decrease our consumption of energy” we need to pick the low hanging fruit first. These are unnecessary methane emissions which do all their damage in 12 years.

    These would be reducing emissions in active oil and gas operations and in transmission.

    Old gas and oil wells should be capped as well as old coal mines.

    Cattle should be fed a small seaweed supplement to reduce their methane emissions by 80-99%. Dry storage of manure and composting, and mandatory winter cover-cropping should be required These latter procedures would entail some costs but could be made a requirement of obtaining insurance over time.

    • Art Berman on January 17, 2024 at 2:10 pm


      I doubt that the measures you suggest will make much difference. The relentless advance of the human enterprise with its focus on economic and geographic growth is the proverbial elephant in the room. We need to stop looking for solutions until we understand the problem.

      All the best,


  10. John on January 17, 2024 at 2:11 am

    Bravo! Bravo! Art, I love your new website and thank you so much for wading in decisively/directly to offer a framing related to ‘climate’ and initiate discussion on the ‘other edge’ of the oil/energy sword. Only to underline your excellent titling; perhaps we could all agree the matter isn’t climate change, it’s climate destruction and in fact its recent seeming acceleration. …and therefore to underline that by no means will a ‘narrow view’ suffice. If your editors would allow I refer all, again in the spirit of your title/this article to the Energy Transition Show #211 ‘Doomer vs. Tranitionistas. …and better to understand we have a ‘polycrisis’ further to the perfectly accurate use in your title of the word; ‘predicament’. Many thanks for the opportunity to discuss and interact by way of your factual, well expressed views, great writing and this new web site!! Best to all.


    • Art Berman on January 17, 2024 at 2:10 pm

      Thanks for those encouraging comments, John.

      All the best,


  11. Ben Robertson on January 16, 2024 at 11:30 pm

    Dr Steven Greer outlines in his documentaries as well as congressional and senatorial testimonies, proven technology that presently exists but has been seized by the U.S. government that would solve most of humanity’s energy issues almost overnight; zero point energy and anti-gravity devices prove as examples.
    Furthermore, Mr. Tom Ogle invented a car engine in the 1970’s that ran for 100 miles on one gallon of gas as referenced in the documentary GasHole, the design for which was filed with the US patent office.
    As always, every effort was and is made to discredit these individuals and the truth that such technology exists, although they do admit to confiscating them for national security reasons. (I believe Mr.Ogles’ invention is still accessible but reproducing it on a mass scale could prove to be a dangerous undertaking.)
    The military industrial banking complex will never allow forms of alternate energy generation beyond that of fossil fuels, other than the ridiculous solar and wind options, so the r squared coefficient for GDP growth and energy consumption will forever remain close to 1.

    • Art Berman on January 17, 2024 at 12:49 am


      That’s a bunch of nonsense. Sorry.


      • John on January 17, 2024 at 1:42 am

        Does seem, Ben, a particularly unhelpful even if 100% accurate, which I hope you would provide ample understanding for an individual to rightly feel it indeed does sound, without much more context and substantiation, like ‘nonsense’. Mr. Berman referenced a great book I will pass on to you. It’s by Mason Inman, a biography of M.King Hubbard. Art it seems to me importantly points us toward the fact, much as Dr. Hubbard did now more than 40 years ago; 1) we should rather come to terms with the prospect of living with MUCH less energy availability. 2) At once, and the book states clearly, in essence we’ve had all the necessary ‘technologies’ nor were they hidden and for decades to have a ‘…transition from exponential growth over to a stabilized state…’.

      • Curt B. on January 17, 2024 at 5:33 am

        Agreed, I mean good grief! We’ve got enough on our plate without creating conspiracies that don’t exist and are pie in the sky useless anyway.

        • Art Berman on January 17, 2024 at 2:13 pm

          Thanks, Curt.

          People desperately need to find reasons for the unexplainable and blaming someone feels good.

          All the best,


  12. Kevin Hester on January 16, 2024 at 9:47 pm

    My reply to Art’s latest article about overshoot, too many people and too much consumption is best summarised with this quote from John Kenneth Galbraith: “People of privilege will risk their complete destruction before relinquishing any material portion of that privilege”.
    Additionally, I appreciate the framing as a predicament not a problem.
    I’ll leave the last words to Edward Abbey “Infinite growth on a finite planet is the ideology of the cancer cell!

  13. Steve Genco on January 16, 2024 at 7:52 pm

    It’s great to see you emphasizing this key point that so many miss. We’re not just struggling with climate change, it’s climate change plus overconsumption, which together lead to both global heating and ecological overshoot. You correctly point out that nobody wants to change, and of course that’s true. But that doesn’t mean we won’t have to change.

    I actually think you list all the ingredients that will make up your Plan B, you just stop short of putting them all together. Yes, the civilization we enjoy today is completely dependent on energy-dense fossil fuels. And the civilization we will have after fossil fuels are gone will by necessity have less energy at its disposal than what we have today. I don’t think anybody (knowledgeable) would disagree with that. So it’s curious to me that you seem to dismiss non-CO2 emitting energy sources–all the usual suspects: wind, solar, battery storage, hydro, etc.–precisely because they can never replicate the levels of energy we get today from fossil fuels. You write: “Replacing fossil fuels with wind and solar, green new deals, net zero roadmaps, and carbon taxes and credits are lovely fantasies that ignore the fundamental problem: we humans need to decrease our consumption of energy.”

    But where is this lower-energy future (Plan B) going to come from, if not from whatever alternative energy infrastructure we build out before the oil runs out? It seems to me the more of that infrastructure we have (and where we have it), the better for humanity’s post-carbon future. Calling all that a “fantasy” is a bit extreme IMHO. Do these replacements ignore the problem, or are they our only solution, inadequate as they may be, to the problem? By definition, when the oil disappears, we will be in a decreased energy world. We don’t get to choose it, it will choose us. If we have alternative energy sources in place, we will use them. The more of them we have (and where), the more complex a post-carbon civilization we will be able to build. If we ignore them today, as you seem to imply by calling them a “fantasy” because they can’t fully replicate our current profligate ways, our descendants will be running around in loin clothes and hunting with spears, because they won’t have to raw power to build anything more complex.

    To me, the key dynamic that people need to accept is that humans in the rich North will never voluntarily lower their consumption. We are too selfish and self-centered for that, as we saw during COVID. But our consumption will be lowered for us, involuntarily, because that’s what climate change and overshoot do. They disrupt supply, regardless of demand. So we’re heading for a lower-consumption, lower-energy Plan B whether we want to or not. Our stubborn unwillingness to voluntarily de-consume (or degrow) will be a primary trigger of our involuntary descent into deconsumption (and probably horrific population loss as well). We won’t have a choice when the oil runs out (or is abandoned). We won’t have a choice when climate change inflicts floods, droughts, wildfires, and wet-bulb temps on much of the world, as it already is. The only choice we have is to prepare for the inevitable as best we can.

    • Art Berman on January 17, 2024 at 12:48 am


      Plan B is psychological.

      There is no solution to the polycrisis except for Nature to impose a radical reduction in energy consumption.

      All the best,


  14. Joe Clarkson on January 16, 2024 at 5:13 pm

    You are absolutely right, but your broader view of the situation only echos the same analysis that has been presented numerous times, from the writings of Malthus to “Limits to Growth”. Virtually nothing has been done in the past to rectify the situation and the collective we will do nothing about it in the future.

    There are many reasons why nothing will be done, but the core reason is the Maximum Power Principle. This is an aspect of evolution that affects all life. Those who manage to maximize the dissipation of energy for sustinence and reproduction have an adaptive advantage over those who dissipate somewhat less. It’s the well-fed over the malnourished, the warmth of the fire over huddling together and the forged sword over the wooden club.

    The only thing that will knock the human enterprise back to a size comensurate with a healthy ecosphere is involuntary economic collapse. Resource depletion will eventually do it, but the eventual cost may be a hothouse earth or worse (lose phytoplankton and lose 50% of our oxygen). Nuclear war would certainly do it, but the cost might be extinction for humans.

    My hope is that the global market economy, which humans depend on for their dissipation of energy, has become so complex that even a slight reduction in energy availability might cause it to fail. Other possibilities that could cause failure are sabotage and pandemic. It might be that even a financial crisis could cause collapse, but we can only hope that it’s one of the more benign causes that do it. Whatever it is, it needs to come soon, very soon.

  15. Rob lowrey on January 16, 2024 at 4:54 pm

    As a geologist, I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, but You rock!

    • Art Berman on January 16, 2024 at 6:53 pm

      Thanks Rob.

      All the best,


  16. Norman Mauz on January 16, 2024 at 4:27 pm

    How refreshing to read something from a knowledgeable person explaining reality exactly how it is. Art, your writing reminds me of reading the book “How the World Really Works” by Vaclav Smil.
    I had to laugh when an earlier comment accused you of “pulling your punches”. I thought this article was a direct punch right in the gut. Well done.

    • Art Berman on January 16, 2024 at 6:53 pm

      Thanks for your comments Norman. Smil is among my energy heroes.

      All the best,


  17. Bernard Durand on January 16, 2024 at 2:22 pm

    Art, all this needs quantification. Most of our energy is at the moment provided by electromagnetic forces. Nuclear forces are 1 million times more powerful that electromagnetic forces. While ecomizing not only energy but also materials is a good way, using properly nuclear is a large part of the solution.

    • Art Berman on January 16, 2024 at 3:15 pm


      Nuclear is such a tiny part of the solution that it’s a rounding error to zero.

      All the best,


  18. Richard DP on January 16, 2024 at 2:16 pm

    Very true.

    Unfortunately, what you said runs counter to Jevon’s paradox. If we make things more efficient, people will just use more energy. We can build energy efficient houses, efficient cars and etc. No one wants them. Energy efficiency just means monster trucks and mansions. Where 3 bedrooms sufficed, 5 is the norm. Full sized cars gave way to monstrous pickups.

    If people would just be content with their material standard of living, we might have a chance of creating a more energy efficient economy that uses far less energy and gets much of it from biofuels. Without that, we cannot do anything, and that is where we are today.

    • Art Berman on January 16, 2024 at 3:14 pm


      I didn’t use the word “efficient” or “efficiency” in my post. What are you talking about?

      All the best,


      • Richard DP on January 31, 2024 at 4:00 pm

        I had, back in the 70s, a Plymouth Duster that got 18 mpg. My Chevy Malibu gets 26 mpg. It uses 30% less gasoline. Engines and transmissions are more efficient. However, we have substituted cars for trucks, and the trucks are humongous. This leaves us with about the same gas usage as we had 50 years ago. This is Jevon’s paradox. Efficiency gains do not lead to reductions in energy use.

        Given that baseline, there is no solution to reducing energy use, other than high prices. This will make Exxon happy. We (the world) will burn all of the fossil fuels we can dig up. We will do this until the marginal cost of energy is so high that we cannot afford it. Only then will we cut back.

        The cost of energy is rising. I did a a graph once where I fitted a straight line to WTI prices adjusted for inflation. The line rose steadily. It will cross the $100 threshold sometime around 2050. Once that line is crossed, the economy, I believe, will enter a more or less permanent recession and oil use will top out. During recessions, oil use will shrink and the price will fall, but then there will be economic growth and the prices will rise. Price will be rangebound, and the economy will be rangebound. Once that occurs, efficiency improvements will be used to reduce the use of oil. By then, geological depletion will be kicking in, and oil use will begin to shrink by necessity.

        • Art Berman on January 31, 2024 at 6:43 pm

          Thanks for your comments, Richard.

          All the best,


  19. Alex Pline on January 16, 2024 at 1:43 pm

    Well put. This is why I believe the “Green New Deal” is just a narrative to keep on doing what we are doing. It won’t fundamentally change anything.

    • Art Berman on January 16, 2024 at 3:12 pm


      I agree. Green New Deal, etc. is just a way to support the status quo while transferring public wealth to the providers of supposedly green energy.

      All the best,


  20. Kimberley Homer on January 16, 2024 at 12:08 pm

    Thank you for having the courage to say this. Sitting still for a minute, ignoring the pressure to strive, I feel the deep imbalance between the energy I need to gather food and shelter, and the thousand-fold more energy I consume. We all need a limbic system reset, and any ecosystem that remains will be better for it. If we don’t believe a petroleum geologist, who will we believe?

    • Art Berman on January 16, 2024 at 3:09 pm

      Thanks for your reflections, Kimberley.

      All the best,


  21. Kgaard on January 16, 2024 at 2:22 am

    Art I don’t understand why you beat around the bush on this topic. It doesn’t add value. Do you believe the global temperature is going to climb as a result of CO2 emission? The rest of the discussion doesn’t make sense without a strong view on that question. If the answer is “Yes,” then obviously the trillions should be spent. If the answer is “No” then nothing should be spent. And either way, what’s needed is a debate on the arguments of both positions. Like an auditorium debate. A Lincoln-Douglas debate. Nothing else is useful. And those debates never seem to happen for some reason.

    • Art Berman on January 16, 2024 at 2:47 pm


      What to you think I’m beating around the bush about? You are talking about CO2 levels and climate change mediations.

      The whole point and title of my post–Climate change is a Narrow View of the Human Predicament–is to get people to see that climate change is a narrow view and NOT what we should be focused on.

      I have failed with you because you somehow didn’t understand that it is precisely your NARROW VIEW that I am trying to correct.

      All the best,


  22. George Hart on January 15, 2024 at 10:33 pm

    Bravely said! Thank you for writing this. We need to think clearly, and you are leading the way. Reducing energy use is the immediate priority, a necessary and inevitable step.

    • Art Berman on January 16, 2024 at 2:20 pm

      Thanks, George.

      All the best,


  23. EnergyAndEntropy on January 15, 2024 at 8:24 pm

    People hate that. They want an answer, a solution, a set of policies. We need triage to stop the bleeding”. – Art

    This We cannot be another fossil fuels-run project, though – or we are back to square-one.

    Instead, allow people to understand what energy really is – ending the 300-year era of deception – now ongoing since James Watt.

    What’s called Western Civilisation is not more than a miserable attempt of claiming – humans have conquered the laws of physics and nature – with technology, human genuinity and blah blah blah.

    This is actually a Communism-disguised-Capitalism system.

    Our Western Civilisation thought there is enough fossil fuels to confiscate Consciousness in humans – forever.

    It appears now – there is no enough fossil fuels – even to run a sound economy for long – yet alone – eradicating Consciousness in humans.

    Don’t burn finite fossil fuels for nothing – trying to eradicate Consciousness in humans. This is a lose-lose quest.

    Lift the quarantine over people Consciousness – let people understand Energy – and stop playing an Energy Nanny-Civilisation.

    Don’t cull people and destroy civil infrastructures to save fossil fuels – by burning fossil fuels – playing a Peak Energy Musical Chairs Game.

    People need to be released from the gulag of Consciousness the West has put them into – first of all – and that’s the only real and lasting solution.

    “In any system of energy, Control is what consumes energy the most.
    No energy store holds enough energy to extract an amount of energy equal to the total energy it stores.
    No system of energy can deliver sum useful energy in excess of the total energy put into constructing it.
    This universal truth applies to all systems.
    Energy, like time, flows from past to future” (2017).

  24. Marc Helsinger on January 15, 2024 at 8:23 pm

    Art. Hit the nail on the head I’ve been saying this for years. But no one listens

    • Art Berman on January 16, 2024 at 2:20 pm

      Thanks and quite true, Marc.

      All the best,


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