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Looking for a Silver Lining: The Possible Positives of Declining Energy Return on Investment (EROI)

Sustainability, vol.3 pp.2071-2079, 26/10/2011


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Resource information:
Resource IDmanno2011
Resource titleLooking for a Silver Lining: The Possible Positives of Declining Energy Return on Investment (EROI)
Author(s)Jack P. Manno
Publication/ sourceSustainability, vol.3 pp.2071-2079
Date published26/10/2011
Summary text/ abstractDeclining energy return on investment (EROI) of a society's available energy sources can lead to both crisis and opportunity for positive social change. The implications of declining EROI for human wellbeing are complex and open to interpretation. There are many reasons why frugal living and an energy diet could be beneficial. A measure of wellbeing or welfare gained per unit of energy expended (WROEI) is proposed. A threshold is hypothesized for the relation between energy consumption and wellbeing. The paper offers a biophysical-based social science explanation for both the negative and positive possible implications of declining EROI. Two sets of future scenarios based on environmental and economic trends are described. Six types of social change activism are considered essential if the positives of declining EROI are to balance or exceed the negatives.
Library categoriesEconomics, Energy, 'Limits to Growth', Peak Oil, Politics, Simplicity
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