The global fossil fuels trap

Michael Rynn
7 min readJul 21, 2022

The “State of the Environment Report for 2021 for Australia” has been finally released more than half way through 2022. I do not know why their was such a delay. Perhaps because the widespread environmental decline in so many categories would have been more political ammunition against the previous parliament, which was ousted in the May 2022 federal election.

The introduction headlined is

“In a rapidly changing climate, with unsustainable development and use of resources, the general outlook for our environment is deteriorating”

And so it goes, the world and Australia.

SOE-2021 is a monumental report, with several detailed sections. For introductory digestion it is presented with a graphical website front end, nicely done, requiring some time and taxpayer expense. Very good for school research projects. It took me a little while to locate a download page for the more traditional format as PDF documents here —

All of our environmental sins are enabled by economic growth of fossil-fuel powered machinery and large scale chemical transformations. All political efforts have failed to turn down the global fossil fuel tap, and so limit growth economics.

In 1988 James Hansen made it clear that climate science had found the earth is being noticeably warmed by our principle powers of economic growth, and this trends towards catastrophe. Since then the principle powers have obstructed all efforts that might have turned down our rate of growth. Every effort to adjust the global tap has turned up the flow.

The Limits to Growth study of 1972, was a world first computer study of key global dynamics of population increase, agricultural production, nonrenewable resource depletion, industrial output, and pollution generation.

The longevity of our industrial civilization depends on agriculture production, and this is surprisingly dependent on declining nonrenewable resources, for energy, machinery and soil minerals replacement. In the 1970’s the days of reckoning must have seemed far off. At the time, LTG earned much derision from standard economics views for predicting we would breach limits by the middle of this century. So our environment systems are deteriorating…

Michael Rynn

Once was educated and worked in Medical Practice, then did software engineering. Now retired. Still doing music, reading and writing, and website tinkering