Robert Ayres

THE BREN SCHOOL OF Environmental Science & Management
at the University of California, Santa Barbara


Robert Ayres
Institute Scholar
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis

Laxenburg, Austria

Professor Emeritus

INSEAD International Business School

Fontainebleau, France

Thursday, Dec. 6, 2007
5:30 - 6:30 p.m.
Bren Hall 1414

"Exergy (Useful Work) and Economic Growth. Are There Growth
Implications from 'Peak Oil'?"

(See Powerpoint of presentation)

Sponsored by Bren School Dean Ernst von Weizsäcker


Presentation Summary

Dr. Ayres will begin by reviewing the evidence for "peak oil" being a near-term prospect, notwithstanding, he says, "the optimism of most official agencies and the major oil companies." He will then comment on the less than optimistic economic implications of this scenario and, finally, discuss some implications for global climate change and some policy implications, especially with respect to technology.

Biographical Note

Robert Ayres is an American-born physicist and economist. His career has focused on several areas, including the application of physical ideas, especially the laws of thermodynamics, to economics. He has had a longstanding pioneering interest in material flows and transformations (industrial ecology or industrial metabolism). Most recently, he has been challenging established ideas on the economic theory of growth.

He has written or co-authored 16 books and more than 200 journal articles and book chapters on subjects ranging from the environmental effects of nuclear war to theoretical economics. Most of his life's work has been interdisciplinary. He has contributed to futures studies, technological forecasts, transportation and energy studies, material flow studies ("dematerialization"), environmental technology, environmental economics, thermodynamics and economics, and the theory of economic growth.

"The possibility of de-linking economic activity from energy and materials ('dematerialization"') has been one of the major themes of my professional career." (From Turning Point: The End of the Growth Paradigm, 1998)



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