Substituting Renewable Energy for Fossil Fuels is a Doomsday Stratagem

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Arthur E. Berman

Director, Labyrinth Consulting Services, Inc.


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Arthur E. Berman is a petroleum geologist with 45 years of energy industry experience including both fossil and non-fossil energy sources.

He routinely gives keynote addresses for energy conferences, boards of directors and professional societies. Berman has published more than 100 articles energy and their effect on earth systems including climate. He has more than 38,000 followers on Twitter (@aeberman12). 



There is no energy transition, no paradigm shift or green revolution.

The popular idea that fossil fuels can be and are being replaced by renewable energy is false. New energy sources have always been additive with no empirical evidence for replacement of one energy source by another.

Renewable energy requires materials that use fossil energy for their extraction, transport, manufacture, and distribution. The four essential pillars of modern civilization are steel, cement, plastic and ammonia. None of these are possible without fossil energy.

Energy substitution is a doomsday stratagem that condemns civilization to its status quo path of growth & biophysical destruction. No amount of non-fossil energy will make a difference unless we lower total energy consumption & accept its consequence of no growth.

Climate change is a big problem but it is a subset of the larger problem of biophysical overshoot. We have exceeded the carrying capacity of the planet. Continued economic and material growth based on renewable energy does not begin to resolve that fundamental reality. 

It's time to get honest. Growth is the core of the human predicament.

Note: This talk will be presented remotely via Zoom Webinar and on the Energy Institute's YouTube channel. If using Zoom, viewers must register for an account with Zoom and log in to Zoom using that registration in order to use the meeting link and participate. Faculty, students and staff of UT, please use your personal UT Zoom account. 

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Date and Time
Sept. 12, 2023, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
Mulva Auditorium - EER 0.904
Event tags
UT Energy Symposium