The UT Energy Symposium kicks off the semester by welcoming Professor Raj Patel of the LBJ School of Public Affairs to give a talk titled "How Energy Fits into the History of the World in Seven Cheap Things."
Speaker bio: Raj Patel is a research professor in the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin and a senior research associate at the Unit for the Humanities at Rhodes University. He studies the world food system and alternatives to it. He is currently working on a documentary project about the food system with award-winning director Steve James. He has testified about the causes of the global food crisis to the U.S. House of Representative’s Financial Services Committee and was an adviser to Olivier De Schutter, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food. In addition to publications in journals about economics, philosophy, politics, international development, and public health, he writes for a range of newspapers and co-hosts The Secret Ingredient podcast. His books include Stuffed and Starved and The Value of Nothing. His latest book, co-authored with Jason W. Moore, is published by the University of California Press and entitled A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things: A Guide To Capitalism, Nature and the Future of the Planet.
Topic summary: A discussion of how capitalism has long been premised on cheap energy, and how, with fossil fuels now unsustainable, 21st century quests for cheap energy seem similar to energy histories in the 15th and 16th centuries.
The UT Energy Symposium meets every Thursday during the long semesters. Come early to attend a networking session before the talk: refreshments will be served at 4:45 p.m. in the POB Connector Lobby outside the auditorium.