Standard Of Living Correlates With Energy Availability Almost One-To-One

Marc Morano here recently made what ought to be an obvious point: It’s immoral not to use fossil fuels, which are cheap and plentifully at our disposal. Today they can be burned more cleanly and efficiently than ever. Moreover, the science shows that they don’t have a significant impact on climate.To solve the poverty that still ravages many parts of the world, it is imperative that these impacted regions be supplied with the essential cornerstone of development: cheap ENERGY. It’s a fact: The more energy people consume, the more their standards of living improve. Take a look at the 2 following tables.

Per capita GDP, selected countries
[US $]
1. Norway 55,000
2. USA 47,000
3. Australia: 41,000
4. Canada: 39,000
5. Germany: 36,000
6. Japan: 34,000
7. Russia: 16,000
8. Mexico: 14,000
9. China: 7,600
10. India: 3,500
11. Sudan: 2,300
12. North Korea: 1,800
13. Ethiopia: 600

Per capita energy consumption of randomly selected countries
[kilograms of oil equivalent]
1. Canada: 8300
2. USA 7800
3. Norway 5900
4. Australia: 5700
5. Russia: 4400
6. Germany: 4200
7. Japan: 4000
8. Mexico: 1530
9. China: 1140
10. North Korea: 900
11. India: 510
12. Sudan: 480
13. Ethiopia: 280

Compare the position of each country in the 2 tables. What do you notice?

It should be no surprise that the countries with higher per capita energy consumption also have higher per capita GDP, i.e. far better standards of living. On the other hand, countries that consume very little energy have impoverished standards of living and much misery. It’s almost 1 to 1. No country that consumes lots of energy is living in poverty, and no country that consumes little energy is living in prosperity. Of course there are other factors that come into play, such as education and freedom.

Depriving people of energy is not going to allevaite poverty, period. To the contrary, it will only make it worse.  Moreover, making the supply of energy more expensive by mandating costly renewables is only going to result in yet a further reduction in energy consumption in the third world – one they simply cannot afford. Expensive alternative energy sources there will only make the catastrophic living conditions there even worse.

Preventing the construction of power plants and the drilling of gas and oil will also have the same devastating effects.

An extreme example is Somalia. There even the fundamental source of energy for human life – FOOD – is now in short supply. The big problem there is not that there is a global shortage of food, but rather it is that huge amounts of the global food stocks are being converted into biofuels to combat fantasized AGW. That criminal kind of energy-deprivation enacted by the west needs to stop – and soon.

Data sources:
CIA World Factbook

21 responses to “Standard Of Living Correlates With Energy Availability Almost One-To-One”

  1. Ecotretas

    Yep. It’s true. The Horn of Africa, with so much oil nearby, doesn’t go anywhere.

    And now, they even don’t have rain. IPCC predicted a lot of rainfall in 2007, so everyone was happy waiting for it. Not they are dying by the tens of thousands…

    Welcome to Horngate, the biggest scandal about IPCC, till today:


    1. DirkH

      They will change their prediction in the 5th report and show a model run that “predicted” the drought at the horn.

    2. DirkH

      Oh, and thanks for the link to NatGeo in your post.
      Notice that it says:
      “An explosion in plant growth has been predicted by some climate models. ”

      They always have one or the other model run that predicted something correctly… This is such a barmy excuse for science.
      Also, NatGeo and all the people they quote seem to be ignorant of the fact that rising CO2 lets plants thrive with fewer stomata… Idiots.

      1. mindert eiting

        You are too kind, Dirk. Write on one card that it will rain tomorrow and on the other card that it will not rain. Depending on the outcome, show your winning card. In science this is fraud or to cite James Delingpole: ‘The junk-science establishment – from the UEA to the Royal Society to NASA GISS to the National Academy of Sciences – has done so well out of its whitewash enquiries, its FOI breaches, its appeals to authority, its craven, unquestioning support from the MSM and the political class, its silencing of critics, that it has lost all sense of shame’.

  2. Ed Caryl

    It doesn’t get any clearer than that!

  3. Billy

    Poverty and famine are good for the planet. Anything that kills those evil humans has to be supported. The problem is that they don’t die fast enough.

  4. DirkH

    Well, with any particular state of technology you can produce so and so much GDP for a Megajoule. The comparison between India and China is very telling; a few years ago it was not clear which one of the two would develop faster. Now the aggressive expansion of China’s energy production clearly has enabled them to grow much faster than India.

    A few years back I heard this anecdote: A very hot summer in China led to huge energy consumption; all the new A/Cs were running nonstop; consuming so much energy that the grid was on the verge of breakdown. So the government ordered companies to switch off the A/C units.

    The workers in a Chinese factory of Bosch obeyed, and they also switched off the cooling units of the test racks in which the produced motor electronics are tested for their temperature tolerance.

    Of course, all units produced during that time were not correctly tested, so when the German bosses found out, they had to get all the units back and re-test them…

  5. DirkH

    Meanwhile, in Northrhine-Westphalia, the industrial centre of Germany… governed by a red-green government…

    …the green minister for the environment has stealthily grabbed control and pushed a law through that requires NRW to reduce CO2 by 25% within 9 years and ramp up wind power by a factor of five ….

    …sell: Thyssen, Bayer, RWE…

  6. R. de Haan

    Why do you think the apparachniks of the UN/EU have been targeting the energy infrastructure and energy consumption?

    If you want any arguments that we are ruled by a bunch of traitors it is the content of this article.

    The availability of cheap energy, cheap raw materials, great design and engineering and a well educated work force allow us to produce great products that compete on the world markets.

    The UN and the EU have decided to end this all because they wrongfully believe consuming power and resources is bad for the planet.

    I say the opposite is the case.

    Only prosperous societies have the money and the resources to spend money on the environment.

    If you doubt this claim hop on a plane and fly to the first development country near you and have a look for yourself.

    We are now in a faze where our clueless elite are on the verge of downing our economies with fantasy science based arguments.

    They can only do this because we let them.

    The time has come to draw a line in the sand and fight back.

    Wrong is wrong and right is right.

  7. R. de Haan

    As for “peak oil” and all the other alarmist “peaks”, tipping points scare mongering BS I would like to day that as long as we have rocks on the planet we will never be out of energy.

    The entire concept of “ending resources” sucks.

    We have oil available for generations to come, coal, natural gas, shale gas for hundreds of years.

    That buy’s us more than sufficient time to come up with real viable energy alternatives instead of wasting our most valuable resources on wind and solar.

    But hey, that’s another story.

  8. R. de Haan

    Nice to know:

    Google, the new mouthpiece of Al Gore and is environmental thugs published it;s energy use:

    Would be nice to see where your Google Search goes when they’re hooked up on wind power.


  9. Edward

    Energy = advancement.

    Limiting energy production is anti science, anti mankind and = back to the Neolithic.

    Greenie [Socialist] Utopia? Nope, give me ‘dirty’ [- not in my book] coal or, any cheap power generation – anyday + I love CO2 = makes me a ‘green realist’ [it makes plants grow, without which – none of us would be here].

    Alarmism and eco loons = Luddites = misanthropic insanity.

    1. DirkH

      Yesterday I travelled through Frankfurt am Main by rail; and the rail passes directly the cogeneration plant in the city centre that keeps the lights on and delivers steam for heating. It’s close to the central station. It has two medium sized towers, looking a lot like modern office buildings but without windows. In its backyard you can see the coal heaps stored under open sky, some grass growing on it.

      Plants like this – my hometown Braunschweig also has one – are placed in close proximity to the middle of the cities; they run on a variety of fuels, often coal and gas, and they are so clean that they contribute practically no pollution at all. They’re reliable as hell, so I have some hope that the outages won’t hit me that soon…

      Clean coal plants are definitely a reality here in Germany so it’s completely idiotic that we have such a large ultragreen faction.

      1. DirkH

        Here’s a foto of the Frankfurt power plant. The two towers in the middle are the burners.

        1. Joe

          You’re forgetting that 30 years of “Atomkraft Nein Danke” doesn’t mean that they just want no Atomkraft. They oppose EVERYTHING predicated on theory that they could live their lives without this-ir-that at their age.

          Consideration of the future is only a trained-in figure of speech to them.

        2. Edward

          Appreciate the pic’ Dirk, thank you – it sure looks ‘clean’.

          I live in an area which WAS devoted to the coal industry and mining both of which have all but disappeared and soon the coal powered generating stations will be shut down too due to the LCPD.

          Drax will use ‘biomass’ [subsidised by guess who?] to drive some of the plant – madness [some imported from Canada] the trees have to be grown and then cut – just like coal production without the intervening 200+ million years with appropriate heat, pressure leading to the carbonisation process of plant matter!

          Biomass, it does not produce such intense heat and there are still major emissions – still that’s ‘progress’ in the EU – you can burn it …………….so long as…………………. it is not coal?!#! [Germany OK too!]

          Green jobs + Biomass ha ha ha [taxpayer sobs in background] here:

          How’s that for inverse logic?


          1. DirkH

            Fiona Harvey from The Guardian doesn’t know what a power plant does – she misunderstood “biomass generation” and thinks Drax produces biomass…

            Leftist journalists… she could be boss of the UN! 😉

          2. Edward

            Yeah, I missed that, [groan]!

  10. Bernd Felsche

    The strong correlation between energy consumption and GDP has been well known; probably sincethe 1960’s and certainly the 1970’s.

    Per-capita GDP is based on personal productivity, but a human can, by himself sustain barely 200W of power output. Physiology isn’t energy efficient in doing arbitrary work.

    So to get the work done more quickly, people harnessed animal power from large and small animal. And they used wind and water power.

    But the massive improvements in human productivity didn’t arrive until heat engines were built which could power factories and transport systems. But to get those heat engines to function efficiently, one needs “high-quality” heat. (And I don’t mean the politically-correct perversion of the term in the 1990’s.)

    A high quality source of heat is one that is as hot as possible, increasing the potential for high efficiency (vis Carnot). Moreover, the source must be available on-demand and in sufficient quantity (power) to sustain the heat engine’s required output.

    You get none of that from “renewables”. Unless you count bio-fuels; which usually compete with agriculture and wilderness for resources.

  11. Bernd Felsche

    Oh yeah … I almost forgot the children.

    The propensity to have lots of children is also correlated to energy consumption. (and GDP)

    Low per-capita GDP correlates with high birth rates. This positive feedback loop can be broken by the availability of cheap, clean energy that allows personal productivity to increase at small incremental cost.

    See the opening minutes of this video:

    1. Ed Caryl

      People need to do something to keep warm.

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