JOSH WROTE: To make my calculation, I just estimated when per capita income was 1/3 of todays (I used US government Bureau of Economic Analysis National Economic Accounts data, using inflation adjusted 'chained' dollars--http://www.bea.gov/national/index.htm), which is 1969. I then looked at energy efficiency, and saw that we have halved the amount of energy required to produce a dollar of GNP since then. The result is 1969's level of per capita GNP with 17% of today's energy use. Pretty simple. I then looked up the poverty rate in 1969, which if I recall was 12.5%. 2005 had a higher rate, but I think 2006 may be lower--solid evidence nonetheless that we can't grow our way out of poverty!. There are different estimates of when the genuine progress indicator peaked, but 1969 is common. I think I googled images for US GPI and came up with this one: I reckon we need to reduce energy use about 96% total (80% to reach global parity, plus another 80% to stabilize the climate with only 'acceptable' risk of catastrophe), but it sounds a lot more pleasant if the first big step improves our quality of life! As soon as I get a chance I will attempt a more sophisticated analysis.
Source: Joshua Farley, University of Vermont, mailto:email@example.com] Sent: Wednesday, October 03, 2007 2:07 PM