There has been a lot of press comment (including Martin Wolf of The Financial Timeshere) on a talk of Larry Summers (who was recently pipped by Janet Yellen for the Federal Reserve Governor nomination) at an IMF panel early in November; in particular, Summers’ concern that US employment has barely budged over the last four years and that there has been no growth catch-up. Best in such a situation to go to the source of the chatter, which is his speech here (his main argument starts at 2:15 minutes). Just as a heads up, Summers basically believes that the growth problem lies in a lack of monetary policy efficacy at the zero interest rate bound; I think the problem is much more structural in nature. Listen to the speech (only 16 minutes long).
I have a bunch of books by Vaclav Smil on my bookshelf, and am currently reading “Harvesting the Biosphere”. Smil is an extraordinary polymath and a favourite of Bill Gates. Given Gates’ close association with Wired Magazine, it is not surprising to see a good interview with Smil in Wired here discussing energy and a lot more else.
Two of my favourite blogs on energy depletion, The Oil Drum and Early Warning have gone dormant over the last year (the former permanently, the latter I hope temporarily). However, Gail the Actuary is still posting at Our Finite World. I don’t always agree with her analysis but boy do we need more such commentary challenging the cornucopian consensus.