Rethinking the Economics of Energy, Climate and Food

CPAA Summer 2008 Alumni Newsletter

September 29, 2008

John IkerdFree public lecture, Rethinking the Economics of Energy, Climate, and Food by Dr. John Ikerd, Professor Emeritus of Agricultural Economics, University of Missouri-Columbia and author of Sustainable Capitalismand theReturn to Common Sense. The challenges of “peak oil,”climate change, and food scarcity are all symptoms of the samebasic root cause, an unsustainable economy.The industrial era of economic development was fueled by cheap fossil energy. We are not necessarily running out of energy, butwe are running out of “cheap energy,” and all of the remaining sources of fossil energyrepresent serious risks to the environment– global climate change in particular. In addition, replacing fossil energy with biological energy, as from ethanol and biodiesel, threatens the earth’s ability to produce sufficient food for a growing human population.We humans are biological beings; werely on biological energy forour survival. To meet the triple challenges of peak oil, climate change, and food scarcity, we mustreplace the old industrial economic paradigm of extraction and exploitation withthe new sustainable economic paradigm of renewal and regeneration.We must rethink the purpose andmeaningof nature, society, and economy.

Presented at the University of Illinois-Springfield (UIS) Public Affairs Center Conference Room C/D on September 29 at 7:00 p.m. Sponsored by the UIS Speaker’s Series, Students Allied for a Greener Earth (SAGE), UIS Department of Environmental Studies, University of Illinois Extension and Slow Food Springfield. For more information (217) 206-7895.