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Special Issue "Economic Development and Energy Policy"

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "I: Energy Economics and Policy".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2021) | Viewed by 40093

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Pierre Desrochers
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Geography, University of Toronto Mississauga, 3359 Mississauga Road, Mississauga, ON L5L 1C6, Canada
Interests: energy policy; food policy; economic development; technological innovation; business and technology history

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The historical development of new energy sources, along with recent government policies whose goal is to profoundly alter the energy mix in advanced economies, have had major impacts on both human standards of living (from energy affordability to reliability of provisioning) and humanity’s impact on its natural environment (from water and resource availability to flora and fauna preservation). These impacts are likely to continue, with the potential to influence and, again, transform our energy landscape. This call for papers on “Economic Development and Energy Policy” takes a broad view of energy policy—from laissez-faire to piecemeal or comprehensive government interventions in the forms of tax policy, subsidies, mandates, and regulations—and aims to examine the social and environmental impacts of past and current government interventions (or lack thereof) in various parts of the energy sector. While the main goal of this Special Issue is to ultimately inform policy-making, historical analyses of now-obsolete technologies or institutional arrangements will also be considered if they include a policy dimension. Papers can take the form of either regular research papers or reviews of relevant research.

Prof. Dr. Pierre Desrochers
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • energy policy and history
  • economic policy and history
  • energy policy and standards of living
  • energy policy and environmental externalities
  • theoretical and philosophical issues in energy policy development
  • economic geography

Published Papers (14 papers)

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Research

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Article
Trade, Climate and Energy: A New Study on Climate Action through Free Trade Agreements
Energies 2021, 14(14), 4363; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14144363 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 991
Abstract
Efforts to tackle climate change are taking place on multiple fronts. This includes trade, an increasingly important defining feature of the global economy. In recent years, free trade agreements (FTAs) have become the primary mechanism of trade policy and diplomacy. This study examines [...] Read more.
Efforts to tackle climate change are taking place on multiple fronts. This includes trade, an increasingly important defining feature of the global economy. In recent years, free trade agreements (FTAs) have become the primary mechanism of trade policy and diplomacy. This study examines the development of climate action measures in FTAs and discusses what difference they can make to tackling climate change. Its primary source research is based on an in-depth examination of FTAs in force up to 2020. This paper is structured around a number of research questions forming around three main inter-related areas of enquiry. Firstly, to what extent are these provisions in FTAs essentially derivative of energy’s connections with climate change, and thus part of a wider trade–climate–energy nexus? Secondly, what kinds of climate action are FTAs specifically promoting, and how effective a potential positive impact may we expect these to have? Thirdly, are certain climate action norms being promoted by trade partners in FTAs and if so, then who are the norm leaders, what is motivating them, and to what extent are they extending their influence over other trade partners? In addressing these questions, this study offers new insights and analysis regarding a potentially important emerging trend in the trade–climate–energy nexus. Its international political economy approach and latest empirical research also provide a further distinctive contribution to knowledge in this inter-disciplinary area, developing new comprehensions of the relationship between trade, climate action and energy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economic Development and Energy Policy)
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Article
Energy Security and Portfolio Diversification: Conventional and Novel Perspectives
Energies 2021, 14(14), 4257; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14144257 - 14 Jul 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 662
Abstract
Despite the recent expansion of the scope, the main pillars of energy security remain physical supply and price components. This paper highlights the novel developments of this notion, including the exporters’ perspective, relevant challenges, indicators, and policies. Furthermore, we apply the portfolio theory [...] Read more.
Despite the recent expansion of the scope, the main pillars of energy security remain physical supply and price components. This paper highlights the novel developments of this notion, including the exporters’ perspective, relevant challenges, indicators, and policies. Furthermore, we apply the portfolio theory approach to five Gulf Cooperation Council countries to construct portfolios representing the trade-offs between maximizing returns (oil export growth or export prices) and minimizing risks (standard deviation of return variables). We assess portfolios’ resilience to external demand and logistical shocks by running several disruptive scenarios. We find that oil exporters adopt a balanced approach to the risks associated with export volume growth and pricing, which is different from some major oil importers that prioritize either the physical supply or price stability. Simulation scenarios of increasing oil exports to China would have a significant impact mainly on Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), but not on the others, while scenarios of reduced oil exports to the United States would impact mainly Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. A blockade of the Malacca Strait would reduce export volumes and increase portfolio risks for all five economies, with Kuwait and Oman most affected. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economic Development and Energy Policy)
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Article
“Grouping” or “Ride One’s Coattails”?—How Developing Countries along the Belt and Road Satisfy Themselves
Energies 2021, 14(12), 3498; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14123498 - 12 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 601
Abstract
China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) will inevitably affect global energy cooperation. Along the Belt and Road, there are many developing countries. To understand the energy cooperation and development of these countries comprehensively is of great significance to guide their development and evaluate [...] Read more.
China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) will inevitably affect global energy cooperation. Along the Belt and Road, there are many developing countries. To understand the energy cooperation and development of these countries comprehensively is of great significance to guide their development and evaluate the impact of the BRI on the world energy and economic pattern. However, there is insufficient attention on those countries. Based on embodied energy analysis, a method which can track direct and indirect energy consumption in the economic system, effectively linking energy with the economy and environment, this paper proposes an evolution model of the embodied energy flow of the countries. Then, it simulates the evolution of the embodied energy flow under different cooperation strategies. The results show that if cooperation between countries positively affects their cooperation with other countries, adopting a mixed strategy is an advisable choice. On the contrary, cooperation with “powerful” countries in the network will be more conducive to the embodied energy flow. This article provides a new perspective and foundation for further discussion on the economy, trade, and energy cooperation along the Belt and Road. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economic Development and Energy Policy)
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Article
Assessment of Indonesia’s Future Renewable Energy Plan: A Meta-Analysis of Biofuel Energy Return on Investment (EROI)
Energies 2021, 14(10), 2803; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14102803 - 13 May 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1067
Abstract
In early 2020, Indonesia implemented the biodiesel 30 (B30) program as an initiative to reduce Indonesia’s dependency on fossil fuels and to protect Indonesia’s palm oil market. However, palm oil has received international criticism due to its association with harmful environmental externalities. This [...] Read more.
In early 2020, Indonesia implemented the biodiesel 30 (B30) program as an initiative to reduce Indonesia’s dependency on fossil fuels and to protect Indonesia’s palm oil market. However, palm oil has received international criticism due to its association with harmful environmental externalities. This paper analysed whether an investment in palm oil-based biofuel (POBB) provides Indonesia with the ability to achieve its environmental and financial goals. In this research, we performed a meta-analysis on biofuel energy return on investment (EROI) by examining 44 biofuel projects using ten types of biofuel feedstocks from 13 countries between 1995 and 2016. Results showed an average EROI of 3.92 and 3.22 for POBB and other biomass-based biofuels (OBBB), respectively. This shows that if only energy inputs and outputs are considered, biofuels provide a positive energy return. However, biofuels, including those from palm oil, produce externalities especially during land preparation and land restoration. We also compared these EROI biofuel results with other renewable energy sources and further analysed the implications for renewable energies to meet society’s energy demands in the future. Results showed that biofuel gives the lowest EROI compared to other renewable energy sources. Its EROI of 3.92, while positive, has been categorised as “not feasible for development”. If Indonesia plans to continue with its biofuel program, some major improvements will be necessary. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economic Development and Energy Policy)
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Article
Management of Energy Sources and the Development Potential in the Energy Production Sector—A Comparison of EU Countries
Energies 2021, 14(3), 685; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14030685 - 29 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 707
Abstract
Appropriate management of energy sources is one of the basic undertakings in the energy sector. Climate policy changes and the development of technologies enabling the acquisition of energy in a way to reduce the negative impact on the natural environment lead to diversity [...] Read more.
Appropriate management of energy sources is one of the basic undertakings in the energy sector. Climate policy changes and the development of technologies enabling the acquisition of energy in a way to reduce the negative impact on the natural environment lead to diversity in the structure of the energy sources being used. Therefore, it is important to assess the impact of these changes on the development of energy sectors by particular countries. The article contains the analysis of various energy sources utilization by European Union (EU) countries and the assessment of the energy production sector potential, and the development of this potential in relation to changes in the energy sources structure. For this purpose, a multidimensional comparative analysis was used. The data for the analysis are derived from the Eurostat database for the years 2017 and 2019 for 28 EU countries and they concern the use of energy sources such as combustible fuels, coal and manufactured gases, natural gas, oil and petroleum products (excluding biofuel portion), hydro/hydropower, wind power, solar photovoltaic, nuclear fuels and other fuels n.e.c. As a result of the research, it was proved that in most EU countries the changes introduced in the structure of the use of various energy sources, according to EU climate policy, have a positive impact on the development of particular energy sectors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economic Development and Energy Policy)
Article
Hoard or Exploit? Intergenerational Allocation of Exhaustible Natural Resources
Energies 2020, 13(24), 6657; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13246657 - 17 Dec 2020
Viewed by 1054
Abstract
In this paper, a “general equilibrium” (GE) model was developed for the allocation of exhaustible natural resources to examine the impact of different extraction scenarios on intergenerational economic welfare. A stylized GE model was applied to Israel’s natural gas (NG) market to evaluate [...] Read more.
In this paper, a “general equilibrium” (GE) model was developed for the allocation of exhaustible natural resources to examine the impact of different extraction scenarios on intergenerational economic welfare. A stylized GE model was applied to Israel’s natural gas (NG) market to evaluate economic indicators resulting from NG-extraction scenarios: a baseline scenario based on current policy in the NG sector, a conservative scenario based on a lower extraction rate, and an intensive scenario based on a faster extraction rate. The impact of various resource income-allocation strategies on intergenerational economic welfare was examined through the mechanism of a “sovereign wealth fund” (SWF). The results indicate that a higher NG-extraction rate combined with an appropriate investment strategy for NG profits is preferable from an economic perspective compared to a conservative rate. Investment of the government take from the NG market in research and development (R&D) of renewable electricity production can sustainably increase economic welfare. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economic Development and Energy Policy)
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Article
Where Renewable Energy Sources Funds are Invested? Spatial Analysis of Energy Production Potential and Public Support
Energies 2020, 13(21), 5551; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13215551 - 23 Oct 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1070
Abstract
Energy transition in the European Union (EU) is strongly related to public support from structural funds which enable member states to create new and renovate existing renewable energy source (RES) installations. However, in order to maximize benefits of these investments it is crucial [...] Read more.
Energy transition in the European Union (EU) is strongly related to public support from structural funds which enable member states to create new and renovate existing renewable energy source (RES) installations. However, in order to maximize benefits of these investments it is crucial to consider where RES funds are allocated, how it corresponds with RES potential in specific locations, and how future implementation of energy policies can be improved. In this study, RES development projects supported by EU funds, implemented in the period 2004–2019 in Poland, were analyzed in relation to solar, wind and biomass energy potential. The study was conducted with the use of agglomeration method and k-mean method to define clusters of local administrative units characterized by similar features of RES funds absorption and renewable energy production potential. The results obtained show that in the case of all energy sources there is no correlation between high RES funds absorption and energy production potential. The final conclusion of the research is that in order to boost energy transformation into more sustainable solutions, renewable energy production potential should be considered as a factor to allocate public financial support for future energy policy implementation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economic Development and Energy Policy)
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Article
The Long-Run Effects of Trade Openness on Carbon Emissions in Sub-Saharan African Countries
Energies 2020, 13(20), 5295; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13205295 - 12 Oct 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1055
Abstract
Using a panel cointegration model developed based on the data extracted from the World Bank indicators, this study quantified the relationship between carbon emissions, energy consumption, economic growth, and trade openness in sub-Saharan African countries. It discovered from our analysis that there exists [...] Read more.
Using a panel cointegration model developed based on the data extracted from the World Bank indicators, this study quantified the relationship between carbon emissions, energy consumption, economic growth, and trade openness in sub-Saharan African countries. It discovered from our analysis that there exists a long-run causality association amongst CO2 emissions, energy consumption, economic growth, and trade openness. The study noted the existence of the Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) in the panel using the square term for trade openness; it was found to have a negative impact, thus trade in the long run will somewhat decrease the environmental pollution in this region. The study results imply that there should be stringent policies and rigorous enforcement in sub-Saharan African to ensure sustainable growth without associative environmental issues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economic Development and Energy Policy)
Article
To Whom Should We Grant a Power Plant? Economic Effects of Investment in Nuclear Energy in Poland
Energies 2020, 13(11), 2687; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13112687 - 26 May 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1690
Abstract
Poland is the most coal-dependent economy and one of the biggest polluters in the EU. In order to alleviate this problem, meet CO2 emission requirements set by EU, and improve the country’s energy security, Poland decided to introduce nuclear power to its [...] Read more.
Poland is the most coal-dependent economy and one of the biggest polluters in the EU. In order to alleviate this problem, meet CO2 emission requirements set by EU, and improve the country’s energy security, Poland decided to introduce nuclear power to its energy mix. So far, several potential locations for nuclear power plants have been officially proposed, mainly based on technical parameters, but no comparisons of the economic impact of such locations have been considered. Consequently, the main goal of this paper is to compare the national and regional economic effects of investments in nuclear power plants—for both the construction and exploitation phases—in the four most probable locations, which are similarly beneficial from a technical point of view. In order to simulate these effects, the spatial recursive dynamic Computable General Equilibrium model was calibrated until 2050 including agglomeration effects and featuring the regional economies of all Polish regions. The results show that although the construction phase is beneficial for economic development in all four regions, the exploitation phase is good for only one. The economies of the other regions suffer, to a greater or lesser extent, from the Dutch disease. The paper argues that the regional economic effects of such an investment differ significantly, due to differences in the regions’ economic structures; hence, they should always be taken into account in the final decisions on the power plants’ locations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economic Development and Energy Policy)
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Article
Impact of Sustainable Financial and Economic Development on Greenhouse Gas Emission in the Developed and Converging Economies
Energies 2019, 12(23), 4514; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12234514 - 27 Nov 2019
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1597
Abstract
Several studies have examined the relationship between environmental performance and economic development. However, most of them did not take sustainable development and financial development into account. The study argues that sustainable financial and economic development contributes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We use [...] Read more.
Several studies have examined the relationship between environmental performance and economic development. However, most of them did not take sustainable development and financial development into account. The study argues that sustainable financial and economic development contributes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We use the panel data regression model to capture the relationship between greenhouse gas emission and sustainable economic and financial development. The panel data refers to the period of 2007–2017. The EU 25 countries were analysed. The results show that the relationship between sustainable financial development and environmental degradation is more relevant for converging economies than developed countries. We found that the variable “energy productivity” has the strongest impact on greenhouse gas emissions for both country groups (converging and developed); however, it increases for developed countries and it decreases the greenhouse gas emissions for converging economies. We also found that environmental taxes are an efficient instrument that mitigates greenhouse gas emissions, especially in developed countries group. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economic Development and Energy Policy)
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Review

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Review
Energy and Climate Policy—An Evaluation of Global Climate Change Expenditure 2011–2018
Energies 2020, 13(18), 4839; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13184839 - 16 Sep 2020
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 19455
Abstract
Concern for climate change is one of the drivers of new, transitional energy policies oriented towards economic growth and energy security, along with reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and preservation of biodiversity. Since 2010, the Climate Policy Initiative (CPI) has been publishing annual [...] Read more.
Concern for climate change is one of the drivers of new, transitional energy policies oriented towards economic growth and energy security, along with reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and preservation of biodiversity. Since 2010, the Climate Policy Initiative (CPI) has been publishing annual Global Landscape of Climate Finance reports. According to these reports, US$3660 billion has been spent on global climate change projects over the period 2011–2018. Fifty-five percent of this expenditure has gone to wind and solar energy. According to world energy reports, the contribution of wind and solar to world energy consumption has increased from 0.5% to 3% over this period. Meanwhile, coal, oil, and gas continue to supply 85% of the world’s energy consumption, with hydroelectricity and nuclear providing most of the remainder. With this in mind, we consider the potential engineering challenges and environmental and socioeconomic impacts of the main energy sources (old and new). We find that the literature raises many concerns about the engineering feasibility as well as environmental impacts of wind and solar. However, none of the current or proposed energy sources is a “panacea”. Rather, each technology has pros and cons, and policy-makers should be aware of the cons as well as the pros when making energy policy decisions. We urge policy-makers to identify which priorities are most important to them, and which priorities they are prepared to compromise on. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economic Development and Energy Policy)
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Review
How Much Human-Caused Global Warming Should We Expect with Business-As-Usual (BAU) Climate Policies? A Semi-Empirical Assessment
Energies 2020, 13(6), 1365; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13061365 - 15 Mar 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 6087
Abstract
In order to assess the merits of national climate change mitigation policies, it is important to have a reasonable benchmark for how much human-caused global warming would occur over the coming century with “Business-As-Usual” (BAU) conditions. However, currently, policymakers are limited to making [...] Read more.
In order to assess the merits of national climate change mitigation policies, it is important to have a reasonable benchmark for how much human-caused global warming would occur over the coming century with “Business-As-Usual” (BAU) conditions. However, currently, policymakers are limited to making assessments by comparing the Global Climate Model (GCM) projections of future climate change under various different “scenarios”, none of which are explicitly defined as BAU. Moreover, all of these estimates are ab initio computer model projections, and policymakers do not currently have equivalent empirically derived estimates for comparison. Therefore, estimates of the total future human-caused global warming from the three main greenhouse gases of concern (CO2, CH4, and N2O) up to 2100 are here derived for BAU conditions. A semi-empirical approach is used that allows direct comparisons between GCM-based estimates and empirically derived estimates. If the climate sensitivity to greenhouse gases implies a Transient Climate Response (TCR) of ≥ 2.5 °C or an Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity (ECS) of ≥ 5.0 °C then the 2015 Paris Agreement’s target of keeping human-caused global warming below 2.0 °C will have been broken by the middle of the century under BAU. However, for a TCR < 1.5 °C or ECS < 2.0 °C, the target would not be broken under BAU until the 22nd century or later. Therefore, the current Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) “likely” range estimates for TCR of 1.0 to 2.5 °C and ECS of 1.5 to 4.5 °C have not yet established if human-caused global warming is a 21st century problem. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economic Development and Energy Policy)
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Review
Mapping Knowledge in the Economic Areas of Green Building Using Scientometric Analysis
Energies 2019, 12(15), 3011; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12153011 - 05 Aug 2019
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 1655
Abstract
This paper presents the first inclusive scientometric review of the economic areas of green building (GBE). The aim is to methodically examine and summarize the state-of-the-art of the GBE body of knowledge. To this end, this study analyses 1713 GBE-related bibliographic records retrieved [...] Read more.
This paper presents the first inclusive scientometric review of the economic areas of green building (GBE). The aim is to methodically examine and summarize the state-of-the-art of the GBE body of knowledge. To this end, this study analyses 1713 GBE-related bibliographic records retrieved from the Web of Science by using the quantitative method of knowledge mapping. The knowledge base, knowledge domain, and knowledge evolution of how they interacted with each other are explored using document co-citation analysis and keywords co-citation analysis of the existing body of literature. The research findings are informative in recognizing and interpreting the underlying structure and trends in GBE. A knowledge map provides a valuable and instructive understanding of the evolution and status quo of the GBE knowledge body, as well as assisting in recognizing the gaps and deficiencies involved. The results will help in understanding how GBE knowledge is evolving and its role played in green building, and thus provide suggestions of how academic research can enhance sustainability practices in terms of economic area in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economic Development and Energy Policy)
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Other

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Perspective
The Paradoxical Malthusian. A Promethean Perspective on Vaclav Smil’s Growth: From Microorganisms to Megacities (MIT Press, 2019) and Energy and Civilization: A History (MIT Press, 2017)
Energies 2020, 13(20), 5306; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13205306 - 12 Oct 2020
Viewed by 1377
Abstract
Prolific energy writer Vaclav Smil’s “Growth: From Microorganisms to Megacities” (MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, 2019) is marketed as the most comprehensive study of the modalities of growth in Earth’s life systems in their many natural, social, and technological forms. While the book [...] Read more.
Prolific energy writer Vaclav Smil’s “Growth: From Microorganisms to Megacities” (MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, 2019) is marketed as the most comprehensive study of the modalities of growth in Earth’s life systems in their many natural, social, and technological forms. While the book reflects Smil’s strength as a polymath, it also brings into focus his Malthusian outlook. Smil’s Malthusianism is puzzling in light of much empirical evidence to the contrary and of his own detailed histories of human technological achievements, including his recent massive synthesis “Energy and Civilization: A History” (MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, 2017). In keeping with Smil’s historical emphasis, in this review essay, the Malthusian assumptions, assertions, and conclusions of these books are challenged through the Promethean insights of numerous writers whose output long predates the modern environmental movement and can thus avoid charges of “greenwashing”. I make a case that, in the context of market economies (i.e., competition, price system, and private property rights), humans’ unique propensity to trade physical goods and to (re)combine things in new ways have long delivered both improved standards of living and environmental remediation. I further suggest that it is not the volume of materials handled, but rather how they are handled that determines the impact of economic growth on the biosphere. While Professor Smil is fond of saying that “numbers don’t lie”, his work illustrates that they are sometimes made to tell an unduly pessimistic story through the intellectual filters created by an author’s assumptions and value judgements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economic Development and Energy Policy)
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