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0. A Prosperous Way Down. Principles and Policies. 0. Presentation by Betty Odum Gainesville, Florida IV Biennial International Workshop Advances in Energy Studies Ecology-Energy issues in Latin-America Universidade Estadual de Campinas Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil June 15-19, 2004. 0.

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A prosperous way down

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A Prosperous Way Down

Principles and Policies


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Presentation by Betty Odum Gainesville, FloridaIV Biennial International Workshop Advances in Energy StudiesEcology-Energy issues in Latin-AmericaUniversidade Estadual de Campinas Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil June 15-19, 2004


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  • For the future, here is an hypothesis with two parts:

    • we are going down to live with fewer resources and

    • we can be prosperous and happy.


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This graph from a Gas and Oil Industry report shows world oil production peaking in about 2004.


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There are no new energy sources with as much power as fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas).


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This is a computer model of the economy showing economic consumers using our two energy sources:

  • sunlight (renewables)

  • fossil fuel reserves (non-renewables).


The graph shows the results from running this program

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The graph shows the results from running this program.


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This could be a view of the distant lower-energy future.


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20 million joules of direct and indirect sunlight are used to produce each part of this energy chain. That is the solar emergy of each component.

Therefore, the emergy in 100 joules of electricity is 20 million solar emergy joules (sej).


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This cartoon shows that people have the concept of two values:the energy in a person now and the energy it has taken to make him, his emergy.


Even beetle bailey is high emergy

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Even Beetle Bailey is high emergy


Calculating emergies is a way of comparing the values of everything from oil to wilderness

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Calculating emergies is a way of comparing the values of everything, from oil to wilderness.


National emergy values are based on calculations of flows and storages in the systems diagram

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National emergy values are based on calculations of flows and storages in the systems diagram.


Comparisons of yearly emergy use of nations

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Comparisons of Yearly Emergy Use of Nations


Comparison of emergy per person ratios among nations

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Comparison of emergy per person ratios among nations


Comparison of emergy money ratios among nations

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Comparison of emergy-money ratios among nations

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In an even dollar trade the USA can buy 4.8 E12 sej from Brazil; whereas Brazil can only buy 1.2 E12 sej from the USA.


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A loan from the USA to Brazil at 10% interest is an advantage to the USA, in emergy units, of 5.3 to 1.2.


How can we achieve equitable world trade

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How can we achieve equitable world trade?


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This is the way world trade seems today.


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  • Wouldn’t more equitable trade, calculated with emergy, reduce the causes of war?


We may go down with a crash or

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We may go down with a crash - or


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If we can plan ahead to come down slowly, to use our resources carefully, parts of our lifestyles can even be more pleasant.


Can you find the environmentally friendly lot

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Can you find the environmentally friendly lot?


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Center for Environmental PolicyHoward T. Odum Center for WetlandsUniversity of FloridaGainesville, FL 32611


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