Energy, Human development index and economic prosperity

Two Examples: America in the 20th Century and China in the 21st

I prepared for a presentation to USCB-OLLI on the history of Energy and Electricity. Along the way of preparing it hit me. Few professors of either history or engineering discuss the relationship of energy and Economic prosperity or for Developing Countries, the relationship of energy and an improving Human Development Index. My friends that are employed in the energy business know this. But, it also occurs to me that we are a small minority, perhaps only a few million out of 330 million American citizens. Most citizens do not really understand until a hurricane kills electric power or a pipeline shutdown causes gas lines. Only then does the average American appreciate the importance of energy to our way of life.

Here is my shot at helping to connect the dots of the importance of energy:

At the turn of the 20th century, coal fuel was important and remained our largest primary energy source until about the end of WWII. Then petroleum took off as the largest source of primary energy. Why? Of course, because of the popularity and convenience of automobile travel and of course, air travel too. Key point: Our economy grew exponentially as a result of abundant and reasonable cost energy. The chart of GDP per person was prepared by “Our World in Data”. Americans in 2017 had the highest standard of living of any country listed on the chart. A short answer would be Freedom, Capitalism and American policies. In my opinion, the one factor not given proper credit for, is abundant and reasonable cost energy. We reached energy independence by 2020 and America’s electricity costs are amongst the lowest in the world.

Together, reasonable cost energy and electricity fuels a thriving economy, jobs and manufacturing productivity. America’s leadership in the Industrial world is at risk, given the foolish and un-scientifically based policies coming from Washington regarding anti-Carbon and Green Energy.

America was once the most productive manufacturer in the world. From 1900 to about the year 2000, the U.S.A. was the world’s largest manufacturer. Especially for steel and aluminum. Then China was admitted to the World Trade Organization and through foreign investments, including U.S.A. based companies, built their manufacturing base. Now, according to Statista and other references, China is the world’s largest manufacturer.

Energy factored into the importance of America’s economic growth in the 20th Century. Likewise, energy is the pre-requisite for China’s growth in the 21st Century. China built more electric power production power plants in 20 years than America did in the preceding 150 years. Most of these are coal fueled and China now burns about 57% of teh world’s coal. Yes, more coal is consumed by China than all of the rest of the world’s countries combined.

The point is, energy powered not only an improving Human Development Index, but energy is required to power a growing industrial economy. It did so in America in the Century America led the world and energy is powering China’s economy at the beginning of the 21st Century. This is described on the chart below by mcKinsey & Company.

I have written my thoughts, (based on facts) some of the reasons why the Green New Deal is against the best interests of America. Let me stop here for now. The key point I wish to make is, Energy and Economic Prosperity are linked. Reasonable cost, abundant electricity and energy is a pre-requisite for our comfortable life styles as well as National Security. America has a treasure of energy within our borders. It is beyond foolish to not use it.

Ron Clutz has written in Science Matters, an excellent post on the relationship of energy and poverty and how the War on Carbon, better known as “Climate Policies” will harm the poor of the world. It is here:

Some will ask, “What about Climate Change”. Well the best 30 minute presentation I have seen to dispel manmade Climate Change is Professor William Happer’s talk at Hillsdale College.

To Watch the Video Proving there is No Climate Crisis, go to: 

How to think about Climate Change 

A talk at the National Leadership Symposium of Hillsdale College 

Phoenix, AZ, February 19, 2021 

By William Happer 

A key segment begins at minute 24 where the effects of CO2 are discussed.

So, I ask, why are the Democrat Party politicians in Washington working hard to weaken America?

Dick Storm, June 22, 2021

One thought on “Energy, Human development index and economic prosperity”

  1. Great post today, Dick. I passed it on to Al’s daughter Caroline. She’s here with us this week.

    Sent from my iPhone



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