Industrial Insight

poverty and energy…. | December 21, 2011

Don’t Tax Development, It Hurts The Poor

Posted on December 19, 2011 by Willis Eschenbach

As you can see, there is a clear and quite tight linear relationship between energy use and income. This leads to an inexorable conclusion. You can’t get out of poverty without having access to affordable energy.

The game is to move to the right as much as you can (increased money) and upwards as little as you can (increased energy). So Bangladesh is not doing as well as India in that regard, since it is moving upwards more steeply. China was doing as well as India in the 70s and 80s, but has sloped upwards in the last decade of the record. Note that India is producing the majority of its energy from coal.

The US and the UK have done a curious thing. Per capita energy use for each country in 2007 was about the same as in 1979. But income went up. Both countries nearly doubled their per capita income, with basically no increase in per capita energy use. Not sure what they are doing right, but we should figure it out and clone it …

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About author

I'm the executive vice president for a steel casting trade association, the Steel Founders' Society of America. I've got a crazy wife, five crazy children, three crazy people that married into the family, and two crazy fun little grandsons.







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