Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Lecture 6 - Sept 17 (17-19) - Nate Hagens

Time and place: Monday September 17 at 17-19 in lecture hall H1. Do note that our guest will participate remotely (from the US). He will be present by distance through use of the modern wonders of ICT/Media Technologies.

Title: "Human behavior meets limits to growth: Constraints and opportunities"
Guest: Nate Hagens, Ph.D., US Director of the Institute for Integrated Economic Research (IIER)

Talk: When discussing resource limits most attention goes to the supply side; energy limits and environmental sink capacity. Less attention is given to the human biological drivers of our predicament, why we are slow to act on it, and what can be done about it. In this lecture we will have an overview of evolved human behavioral traits that contribute to continued overconsumption of resources on a full planet, how our current stimuli laden culture "hijacks" our brains into using more resources, and why the problems facing humanity are in many ways psychological and social as opposed to physical.

About: Nate has a Masters in Finance from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in Natural Resources from the University of Vermont. He is currently the US Director of the Institute for Integrated Economic Research where models are developed integrating energy, resources, finance, economics, trade and human behavior in an attempt to aid policy in what is likely the end of the global economic growth era. Without knowing the larger picture, a focus on smaller pieces end up being ineffective. Nate used to manage a small hedge fund on Wall Street and has worked at investment banks Salomon Brothers and Lehman Brothers.

Literature to read before the lecture:
- Hagens, Nate (2011). The psychological roots of resource overconsumption, in "Fleeing Vesuvius: Overcoming the risks of economic and environmental collapse", edited by Richard Douthwaite and Gillian Fallon (pp. 336-355). New Society Publishers.
Note: Available in Bilda.

- Hages, Nate (2007). Peak Oil - Believe it or not? (14 pages, available online). Published online in the discussion forum The Oil Drum.

- Hagens, Nate (2007). Climate change, Saber tooth tigers and devaluing the future (10 pages, available online) Published online in the discussion forum The Oil Drum.

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