Richard Heinberg quote

"We are about to enter a new era in which, each year, less net energy will be available to humankind, regardless of our efforts or choices. The only significant choice we will have will be how we adjust to this new regime. That choice - not whether, but how to reduce energy usage and make a transition to renewable alternatives - will have profound ethical and political ramifications."

Richard Heinberg

Born: 1950

Occupation: Journalist

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More quotes of Richard Heinberg

Richard Heinberg

The industrial civilisation is based on the consumption of energy resources that are inherently limited in quantity and that are about to become scarce. When they do, competition for what remains will...

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Richard Heinberg

When a caterpillar eats a leaf, then a thrush eats the caterpillar, or when a hawk eats the thrush only 5 to 20% of usable energy is transferred from one level to the next. ... Thus herbivores will account...

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Richard Heinberg

Early ecologists soon realised that, since humans are organisms, ecology should include the study of the relationship between humans and the rest of the biosphere. ... We don't often tend to think about...

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Richard Heinberg

We are about to enter a new era in which, each year, less net energy will be available to humankind, regardless of our efforts or choices. The only significant choice we will have will be how we adjust...

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Richard Heinberg

...the era of cheap oil and natural gas is coming to a crashing end, with global oil production projected to peak in 2010 and North American natural gas extraction rates already in decline. These events...

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Richard Heinberg

If we do nothing, we still get to a post-carbon future, but it will be bleak. However, if we plan the transition, we can have a world that supports robust communities of healthy, creative people and ecosystems...

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Richard Heinberg

Economic growth as we have known it is over and done with.

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Richard Heinberg

Surveying the available alternative energy sources for criteria such as energy density, environmental impacts, reliance on depleting raw materials, intermittency versus constancy of supply, and the percentage...

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Richard Heinberg

Oil depletion and climate change will create an entirely new context in which political struggles will be played out. Within that context, it is not just freedom, democracy, and equality that are at stake,...

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Richard Heinberg

The real problem is that we use too much oil. It's that simple and that difficult. If we truly want to reduce our vulnerability to high prices, the best way to do so is to reduce consumption.

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Richard Heinberg

The idea that we industrialized humans are immune to the natural laws that have restrained growth in other species-and humans in past social regimes-is to me so self-servingly blind as to be morally reprehensible.

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Richard Heinberg

As political theorist Michael Parenti points out, historians often overlook Fascism's economic agenda--the partnership between Big Capital and Big Government--in their analysis of its authoritarian social...

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Richard Heinberg

What's new is high oil prices and the economy hates high oil prices.

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Richard Heinberg

If we aim for what is no longer possible, we will achieve only delusion and frustration. But if we aim for genuinely worthwhile goals that can be attained, then even if we have less energy at our command...

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Related quote

Richard Heinberg

We are about to enter a new era in which, each year, less net energy will be available to humankind, regardless of our efforts or choices. The only significant choice we will have will be how we adjust...

Read more


Don Johnston

'Sustainable Development' is an oxymoron. 'Development' in all it's senses entails expansion and wanting more. Continual expansion and wanting more are unsustainable. Globally we are approaching the point...

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Barack Obama

The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition, we must lead it. We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power...

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Jose Angel Gurria

We need to make growth greener, to make our economic and environmental policies more compatible and even mutually-reinforcing. This is not just a matter of new technologies or new sources of renewable,...

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Ellen MacArthur

Rethinking the future: It is a profound challenge, at the end of an era of cheap oil and materials to rethink and redesign how we produce and consume; to reshape how we live and work, or even to imagine...

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Cassandra Clare

I think when we make choices—for each choice is individual of the choices we have made before—we must examine not only our reasons for making them but what result they will have, and whether good people...

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Jane Fonda

We've got to establish a Socialist economic structure that will limit private profit-oriented businesses. Whether the transition is peaceful depends on the way our present governmental leaders react. We...

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Jim Butcher

All things pass in time. We are far less significant than we imagine ourselves to be. All that we are, all that we have wrought, is but a shadow, no matter how durable it may seem. One day, when the last...

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James E. Faust

Honesty is a principle, and we have our moral agency to determine how we will apply this principle. We have the agency to make choices, but ultimately we will be accountable for each choice we make. We...

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Marianne Williamson

Women will not be free until we can speak our minds and our hearts without having to worry that men will crucify us, women will crucify us, the press will crucify us, or our children will be...

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Al Gore

I think the cost of energy will come down when we make this transition to renewable energy.

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Mary Balogh

Now I must live with the consequences of the choice I made. And I will not call it the wrong choice. That would be foolish and pointless. That choice led me to everything that has happened since, including...

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Phil Harding

The UK still has time to accelerate the take-up of renewable energy and put the nation on a path towards clean energy that is cheaper, stable and more sustainable. We have a stark choice: We can stay stuck...

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Christopher Flavin

The sunlight ... that strikes Earth’s land surface in two hours is equivalent to total human energy use in a year. While much of that sunlight becomes heat, solar energy is also responsible for the energy...

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Wayne Muller

In that inevitable, excruciatingly human moment, we are offered a powerful choice. This choice is perhaps one of the most vitally important choices we will ever make, and it determines the course of our...

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Charles Koch

We needed to be uncompromising with our workforce, to expect 100 percent of our employees to comply 100 percent of the time with complex and ever-changing government mandates. Striving to comply with every...

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George Washington

The time is now near at hand which must probably determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves; whether they are to have any property they can call their own; whether their houses and farms are...

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Jeanette Winterson

i realize that the future, though invisible, has weight. We are in the gravitational pull of past and future. It takes huge energy -speed of light power- to break the gravitational pull. How many of us...

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Jay Inslee

Renewable energy also creates more jobs than other sources of energy - most of these will be created in the struggling manufacturing sector, which will pioneer the new energy future by investment that...

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Jimmy Carter

Energy will be the immediate test of our ability to unite this Nation, and it can also be the standard around which we rally. On the battlefield of energy we can win for our Nation a new confidence, and...

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Jimmy Carter

Our decision about energy will test the character of the American people and the ability of the President and the Congress to govern this Nation. This difficult effort will be the moral equivalent of war,...

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