Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Education of Nate Hagens

Greetings Peaksters

   Nate Hagens is a pretty well informed guy.  After getting a degree in finance from the Univeristy of Wisconsin, he went to get an MBA at the University of Chicago.  Then he had a series of jobs on Wall street with the likes of Salomon Brothers.  He was making big bucks, hanging with millionaires.  That's when he started his education.

As a result, he quit his job and started hanging around the Oil Drum and ASPO. He went back to school to get a degree in Ecological Economics at the University of Vermont.

And he continues to learn.Below  is recent lecture where he explores some of his ideas.   Why do people act the way they do?   What does evolution have to do with it?   How do resources play into the economy?  Is oil just another commodity?  What can we expect from the continuing growth of debt?   How will it work itself out?   And on what time frame?

One really interesting point he makes is about what recent psychological experiments have shown about how we form and abandon opinions.   We like to think of ourselves as rational.  And we are to a point.  We can hear a logical argument based on evidence and be persuaded   Especially if we are alone.  But put in a group, we will often unconsciously defer to the group, or group leader, and change our minds without even knowing it

So Nate suggest that in near future (3-5years) , things will be changing in unexpected ways.    Oil will be more expensive, economic activity will shrink, there could be disruptions in politics and markets.  Growth will end, globalization will reverse.  And one thing he suggests is that people plan now, to find ways to find, at least our necessities, locally.

Which is not as easy as it sounds.

Consider bread.   Right now bread is provided to us very efficiently, and at low cost.   The wheat is grown somewhere else, ground somewhere else, baked somewhere else, and delivered here.

Could  it be otherwise?

Check it one community's attempt here


Nate Hagens: The end of growth

Energy Hub, WUD Society and Politics Committee, and Madison Peak Oil Group host energy/finance expert Nate Hagens for a presentation that weaves together economics, anthropology, psychology, finance, trade, energy and human behavior into a coherent story about our human social system.
In a visual synthesis using pictures and paintings instead of charts and graphs, Nate uses biophysical first principles to explain how our human economy really works, and how we achieved enormous success over the past two hundred years. But the underlying drivers of our economic juggernaut; cheap energy and resources, and an unconstrained natural environment, and increasingly, credit and debt, are unlikely to be available to continue a growth trajectory.
Nate contrasts our growing realities with the standard assumptions in economic theory that underpin our social systems. Among the key points, it is the power from cheap fossil fuels, not technology or creativity, that has enabled the majority of our wages, profits and inexpensive consumer goods. Also, Nate questions how a societal pursuit of “growth in transactions” (GDP) is either possible or desirable on a full planet with brains that evolved under much different circumstances. Nate predicts that we now face the end of global growth and although we are still incredibly rich as a society, our institutions, policies, and individual behaviors and aspirations are likely going to have to change.
Originally published by On the Earth Productions.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home