ABSTRACT

When the new Italian Prime Minister, Mr. Mario Monti, gave his acceptance speech to the Italian Senate before Christmas 2011, he used the word “growth” 28 times and the word “energy,” well, zero times. Why would this supposed technocrat neglect even to mention the biophysical basis of the world’s economy? Energy, after all, is at the heart of an industrial growth society, of industrial production, of our cities, our transport systems, our buildings and infrastructure, our food and water flows, the internet – they all critically depend on oil and gas.1