Hans Rosling on global health and wealth in the past 2 centuries

Why has the world done better over the past century?

Is it due to political stability? Trade? Medicine?


What will the world look like when the cheap energy era is over?

I hope we find suitable alternatives and soon.


One response to this post.

  1. Thank you for pointing out what should be obvious to anyone who watches this video – that fossil fuels (oil in particular) are really the underlying cause of our “success” that Rosling seems to completely miss or ignore. Sadly, of the many bloggers who have posted this video, you are the only one who seems to get this.

    I’m consistently amazed by how few people truly understand the centrality of energy.

    The renowned Canadian ecologist William Rees, said the following in the 2006 documentary “Crude Impact”:

    “the success of a species can be attributed to the rate at which it appropriates energy from its environment.”

    Granted, there is more to our “success” than JUST fossil fuels. But, without this massive natural endowment of high quality energy, we NEVER would have had the surpluses with which to invest in greater socio-economic complexity, thus facilitating longer lives & greater wealth.

    The only explanation that I can come up with as to why we don’t understand this simple truth – is that we have evolved mechanisms of self-deception. We actively deceive ourselves into thinking that our “success” is entirely a function of our own volition. We seem unwilling (or perhaps incapable) to admit that natural circumstances play as much (if not more) of a role in our “success” as do anthropocentric explanations.


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