Prosperity depends on Energy

There is not allot of historical support for the view that, if you voluntarily choose to reduce energy use per capita, that the GDP per capita will remain the same or increase. The roughly linear graph of GDP per Capita as a function of Annual kW-h per capita would suggest that as you reduce the use of energy in your factories and within your society overall your productivity and prosperity also will decrease. The economic pie starts to shrink as you, voluntarily or involuntarily, start to use less energy per capita. This is a significant result that illuminates many current economic problems. The method commonly proposed to reduce the use of energy presently is to increase the cost of energy – either by legislation requiring production from more costly energy sources (Renewable Energy Standard) or by imposing large new energy taxes on energy (carbon tax). The slide would suggest that the unintended result of increasing the cost of energy, and thereby decreasing the use of energy, is a shrinking economy and a lower GDP per capita.

Note: The Slide “Prosperity depends on Energy” is taken from “Aim High” by Dr. Robert Hargraves -

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