Steve Keen, Phil Dobbie: Will more realistic pricing of energy and pollution save the planet?

In a recent podcast Steve Keen claimed that the law of thermodynamics dictates that we can no longer extend economic growth whilst looking for efficiencies in our use of energy. This week Phil questions Steve more on this. After all, so much of the growth we have seen over the last 100 years has come from the way we harness energy and use it to better effect. Can’t we just keep doing that? And could we use economics to fix the problems it has created, by more accurtaelyt pricing the real cost of energy and pollution? Even if we could – and Steve says we are already consuming too much of the earth’s resources – the International Energy Agency reckons if we are to reach net zero by 2050, then energy efficiency needs to improve by 4% per year. We’re a long way from achieving that, so is it time for a reality check?

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