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Life After Growth: How the global economy really works - and why 200 years of growth are over by Tim Morgan

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Chapter 3: The Energy Economy

THOUGH MONEY IS THE language that is used in the discussion of economics, the real economy is not a monetary system at all. The economy is a function of energy, a term which needs to be defined to include human labour and nutrition as well as external inputs such as oil, natural gas and coal.

Society and the economy began when the discovery of agriculture freed a minority of people to undertake non-subsistence tasks, though a far greater leap forwards occurred when mankind learned to exploit fossil fuels. The progressive use of ever-greater quantities of energy resulted in huge increases in the global population and in the output of the economy, and the sophisticated societies of today are a function of enormous ...

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