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Energy, Economic Growth, and Geopolitical FuturesEight Long-Range Scenarios$
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Evan Hillebrand and Stacy Closson

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780262028899

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262028899.001.0001

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Eco World

Eco World

Chapter:
(p.115) 7 Eco World
Source:
Energy, Economic Growth, and Geopolitical Futures
Author(s):

Evan Hillebrand

Stacy Closson

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262028899.003.0007

This sixth scenario is marked by high energy prices, weak growth, and global harmony. The United States and the European Union have only weak recoveries from the travails of 2008-2013, and China is unable to transition to a sustainable high growth path. Energy production of fossil fuels runs into geological and political barriers, and energy prices rise despite weak economic growth. There is a consensus, at least among OECD countries, that the fossil-fuel driven global economy is environmentally unsustainable. Stringent new environmental regulations and huge new taxpayer-supplied funds spur new research, innovation, and a large-scale switch away from coal and oil. There is a significant decrease in carbon emissions helped along by new international agreements on efficiency standards and technology adaptation, as well as prolonged slow growth. Countries that wish to catch up to the OECD have no choice but to adapt to this new eco world given high energy prices and weak overall growth. In the case of China, civic activism and a stolid leadership result in the demise of the Communist Party rule. Aside from environmental cooperation, states are focused inward, dealing with disruptive citizens unhappy with slow growth. America remains the sole superpower.

Keywords:   High Energy Prices, Weak Growth, Global Harmony, American Hegemony, Limits to Growth, Communist Demise, Environmentalism

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