The Economic Superorganism: Beyond the Competing Narratives on Energy, Growth, and Policy
Praise for The Economic Superorganism:
“Carey King has produced a very valuable overview of energy issues, together with their economic, social, general business and financial implications.”
— Professor Michael Jefferson, ESCP Europe Business School, Former Chief Economist, The Royal Dutch/Shell Group
“The Economic Superorganism is a deep meditation on the facts and fictions around energy, food, economic and climate systems past and future. King has a deductive approach that assumes nothing but intelligence.”
— Raj Patel, Research Professor, University of Texas at Austin
“The Economic Superorganism convincingly explains how and why economics must be forced to confront the essential role of energy, fossil or renewable, in industrial civilisation and the dilemmas that poses for our growth-obsessed social system.”
— Professor Steve Keen, Distinguished Research Fellow, Institute for Strategy, Resilience and Security, University College London
King, Carey W., An Integrated Biophysical and Economic Modeling Framework for Long-Term Sustainability Analysis: the HARMONEY Model, Ecological Economics, 169, March 2020, 106464, online link and open access link until January 30, 2020. An earlier version as USAEE Working Paper No. 19-388 is available at SSRN.
VIDEOS explaining the results of this HARMONEY paper:
- December 2019, System Dynamics Society Economics Special Interest Group: Video Link
- November 2018, Southern Economic Association Conference: Video link
HARMONEY MODEL CODE: The two model codes used for the simulations in the paper are open-source, coded in the R language, and available on Mendeley.
Feng, Jingxuan, Feng, Lianyong, Wang, Jianliang, and King, Carey W. Evaluation of the onshore wind energy potential in mainland China—Based on GIS modeling and EROI analysis. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 152, January 2020, 104484: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.resconrec.2019.104484.
King, Carey W., An Integrated Biophysical and Economic Modeling Framework for
Long-Term Sustainability Analysis: the HARMONEY Model, Ecological Economics, (in press). An accepted manuscript version is available (online link), and an earlier version as a USAEE Working Paper No. 19-388 is available at SSRN: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3334615.
MODEL CODE: The two model codes used for the simulations in the paper are open-source, coded in the R language, and available on Mendeley.
VIDEO: Here is a video of me presenting initial findings of this paper at the Southern Economic Association Conference, November 2018 in Washington, DC: Video link
Rodriguez, Renata del G., Scanlon, Bridget R., King, Carey W., Scarpare, Fabio V., Xavier, Alexandre C., and Pruski, Fernando F., Biofuel-water-land nexus in the last agricultural frontier region of the Brazilian Cerrado, Applied Energy, in press, online link.
Feng, Jingxuan, Feng, Lianyong, Wang, Jianliang, and King, Carey W. Modeling the Point of Use EROI and Its Implications for Economic Growth in China, Energy, 2018, 144, 232-242: online link.
King, Carey W. and Rhodes, Joshua D. A Lack of Systematic Thinking Keeps America from Staying Great, Energy Institute Commentary, January, 2018: online link.
King, Carey W. Delusions of Grandeur in Building a Low-Carbon Future, Earth Magazine, August 2017, 32-37, online link.
Xavier, Alexandre C., King, Carey W., Scanlon, Bridget R. An update of Xavier, King and Scanlon (2016) daily precipitation gridded data set for the Brazil, Proceedings of the 18th Brazilian Symposium on Remote Sensing, May 28-31, 2017, Santos, São Paulo, Brazil. Conference Paper: online link. Data Available: see Data page of this website.
Fares, Robert L. and King, Carey W. “Trends in transmission, distribution, and administration costs for U.S. investor-owned electric utilities,” Energy Policy, 2017, 105 (June 2017), 354-362., doi: 10.1016/j.enpol.2017.02.036. Journal paper: online link. Data: Underlying FERC Form1 data are available via links at the Energy Institute of University of Texas at Austin (for 1994-2014) and OpenEI (for data from 1994-2015).
Figure. The average annual spending, per customer, on transmission, distribution, and administrative costs in U.S. investor-owned utilities (IOUs).
Rhodes, Joshua D., King, Carey, Gülen, Gürcan, Olmstead, Sheila M., Dyer, James S., Hebner, Robert E., Beach, Fred C., Edgar,Thomas F., Webber, Michael E.. “A geographically resolved method to estimate levelized power plant costs with environmental externalities,” Energy Policy, 2017, 102 (March 2017), 491-499, doi: 10.1016/j.enpol.2016.12.025. View paper free online here (link), or download pdf: link.
Interesting graphic using data from this study to compare to other studies on levelized cost of electricity (LCOE):
[Graphic: Lucas Bifera, S&P Global Market Intelligence, January 06, 2017, Levelized cost of energy survey shows wind, natural gas cementing economic edge]
Sanders, Kelly T and King, Carey W., “Integration of Water and Energy Sustainability,” Chapter 13 of Sustainability Water Management and Technologies: Sustainable Water Management, Volume I, Editor, Daniel H. Chen, Taylor & Francis/CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, 2016.
King, Carey W. Information Theory to Assess Relations Between Energy and Structure of the U.S. Economy Over Time. Biophysical Economics and Resource Quality, 2016, 1 (2), 10. doi: 10.1007/s41247-016-0011-y. View paper free online here: link, or download a pre-print draft: link.
Read a more extensive blog discussing the interpretation of this paper.
This paper describes the changing structure of the United States’ (U.S.) domestic economy by applying information theory-based metrics to the U.S. input-output (I-O) tables from 1947 to 2012. The findings of this paper have important implications for economic modeling in that the paper helps explain how fundamental shifts in resources costs relate to economic structure and economic growth.
Figure … After 2002, when energy, food, and water sector costs increased after reaching their low point, the direction of structural change of the U.S. economy reversed trends indicating that money became increasingly concentrated in fewer types of transactions.
King, Carey W. and Carbajales-Dale, Michael. Food-energy-water metrics across scales: project to system level, Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, 2016, 6 (1), 39-49 (article link).
Xavier, Alexandre C., King, Carey W. and Scanlon, Bridget R. Daily gridded meteorological variables in Brazil (1980-2013), International Journal of Climatology, 2016, 36 (6), 2644–2659 (article online). Supplemental and README file to help understand the structure of the data. Direct link to data (login required): https://utexas.box.com/Xavier-etal-IJOC-DATA. For more information see Dr. King’s Data Downloads page (on his personal website) for access to data and supplementary material.
King, Carey W., Maxwell, John P., and Donovan, Alyssa. Comparing world economic and net energy metrics, Part 1: Single Technology and Commodity Perspective, Energies, 2015, 8, 12949-12974 (article online and as PDF). SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: Excel file with calculations, and PDF with explanation of methods.
King, Carey W., Maxwell, John P., and Donovan, Alyssa. Comparing world economic and net energy metrics, Part 2: Total Economy Expenditure Perspective, Energies, 2015, 8, 12975-12996 (article online and as PDF). SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: Excel file with calculations, and PDF with explanation of methods.
King, Carey W. Comparing world economic and net energy metrics, Part 3: Macroeconomic Historical and Future Perspectives, Energies, 2015, 8, 12997-13020 (article online and as PDF). SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: Excel file with calculations, and PDF with explanation of methods.
Libra, Jesse, King, Carey; Xavier, Alexandre; and Scanlon, Bridget. “Biofuel Expansion in the Ivinhema Basin: Model Development” Poster at the 2014 Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, San Francisco, CA, December 15-19, 2014. Poster as JPG
This report seeks to inform actions for Hawaii’s sustainable water use in agriculture on East Maui using a systems approach. Ulupono commissioned this report to address the following questions:
• Is the current use of energy and water for agriculture sustainable?
• Do we have enough water to meet society’s goals of increased local food and renewable energy production without causing unintended consequences?
• How much food and electrical and fuel energy can we produce from the East Maui watershed
while sustainably stewarding our water resources?
• What are the impacts to the broader Maui water and energy systems?
Wallis, P., Ward, M., Pittock, J., Hussey, K., Bamsey, H., Denis, A., Kenway, S., King, C., Mushtaq, S., Retamal, M. & Spies, B. The water impacts of climate change mitigation measures. Climatic Change, 125, 209-220, 2014 (article online).
King, C. W. Matrix method for comparing system and individual energy return ratios when considering an energy transition. Energy, 72, 254-265, 2014, (article online).
Sanders, K. T., Blackhurst, M. F., King, C. W. and Webber, M. E. The Impact of Water Use Fees on Dispatching and Water Requirements for Water-Cooled Power Plants in Texas. Environmental Science & Technology, 2014 (online article ASAP, in press).
Vincent C Tidwell, Barbara D Moreland, Katie M Zemlick, Barry L Roberts, Howard D Passell, Daniel Jensen, Christopher Forsgren, Gerald Sehlke, Margaret A Cook, Carey W King, and Sara Larsen. Mapping water availability, projected use and cost in the western United States. Environmental Research Letters, 9 064009, 2014. Abstract, PDF.
Donovan, A. and King, C. W. Trends in Country and Global Energy Industry Own Use and Production between 1960-2010. Poster at the 37th 2014 International Association for Energy Economics Conference, New York, NY, June 15-18, 2014. PDF
King, Carey W. (ed.) (2014) Thermal Power Plant Cooling: Context and Engineering, New York, NY, ASME Press, ISBN 978-0-7918-6025-0. Purchase and browse table of contents at ASME: here.
King, Carey W., Principles for Protecting Freshwater Resources and Biodiversity during a Low-Carbon Energy Transition, a report written for The Nature Conservancy, 2013. PDF (also see discussion via The Nature Conservancy website here, and the Global Water Forum here.)
King, Carey W, Gülen, Gürcan, Cohen, Stuart M, and Nuñez-Lopez, Vanessa, The system-wide economics of a carbon dioxide capture, utilization, and storage network: Texas Gulf Coast w/ pure CO2–EOR flood, Environmental Research Letters, 8, 034030, 2013. Online Abstract PDF Video Abstract
Grubert, Emily A., King, Carey W., and Webber, Michael E., “Maui’s Complicated Relationship with Water,” Earth Magazine, August 2013.
King, C.W., Stillwell, A.S., Twomey, K.M., and Webber, M.E., Coherence between water and energy policies, Natural Resources Journal, 53 (1), 2013, 117-215. PDF
Sanders, Kelly T., King, Carey W., Stillwell, Ashlynn S., and Webber, Michael E., Clean Energy and Water: Assessment of Mexico for Improved Water Services and Renewable Energy, Environment, Development and Sustainability, 15 (5), 2013, 1303-1321 . Abstract here.
Shao, Xiuzhu and King, Carey W, Analysis of GHG emissions from Travis County Landfills from 2010 to 2030, a report to the City of Austin Office of Sustainability, August 2013. PDF
Beal, Colin M., Stillwell, Ashlynn S., King, Carey W., Cohen, Stuart M., Berberoglu, Halil, Bhattarai, Rajendra P., Connelly, Rhykka, Webber, Michael E., Hebner, Robert E., Energy Return on Investment for Algal Biofuel Production Coupled with Wastewater Treatment, Water Environment Research, 84 (9), 2012, 692-710; doi: 10.2175/106143012X13378023685718. PDF
Beal, Colin M., Hebner, Robert E., Webber, Michael E., Ruoff, Rodney S., Siebert, A. Frank, and King, Carey W., Comprehensive Evaluation of Algal Biofuel Production: Experimental and Target Results, Energies, 5 (6), 2012:1943-1981, doi:10.3390/en5061943. Abstract here. PDF
— Discussed in The Economist, April 21-27, 2012, Buttonwood: “Feeling Peaky” —
Henshaw, Philip F., King, Carey, and Zarnikau, Jay. System Energy Assessment (SEA), Defining a Standard Measure of EROI for Energy Businesses as Whole Systems. Sustainability, 3 (10), 2011, 1908-1943; doi:10.3390/su3101908. Abstract here. PDF
Alhajeri, N. S., Donohoo, P., Stillwell, A. S., King, C. W., Webster, M. D., Webber, M. E. & Allen, D. T. (2011) Using market-based dispatching with environmental price signals to reduce emissions and water use at power plants in the Texas grid. Environmental Research Letters, 6, 044018 doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/6/4/044018. Abstract here. PDF
Tammy M Thompson, Carey W. King, David T. Allen, Michael E Webber. Air quality impacts of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in Texas: evaluating three battery charging scenarios. Environmental Research Letters 6, 2011 024004 doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/6/2/024004. Abstract here. PDF
Stuart M Cohen, Hannah L Chalmers, Michael E Webber, and Carey W King. Comparing post-combustion CO2 capture operation at retrofitted coal-fired power plants in the Texas and Great Britain electric grids. Environmental Research Letters 6, 2011 024001 doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/6/2/024001. Abstract here. PDF
King, C. W. Energy intensity ratios as net energy measures of United States energy production and expenditures. Environmental Research Letters 5, 2010 044006 doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/5/4/044006. Abstract here. PDF
– – – Awarded the “Rosenfeld Plaque” and Selected as a “Highlight of 2010” for Environmental Research Letters – – –
Stillwell, A. S., King, C. W., and Webber, M. E. Desalination and Long-Haul Water Transfer as a Water Supply for Dallas, Texas: A Case Study Of The Energy-Water Nexus In Texas, Texas Water Journal. 2010, 1 (1), 33-41. Abstract here. PDF
King, Carey W., Webber, Michael E., and Duncan, Ian J. The Water Needs for LDV Transportation in the United States. Energy Policy. 2010, 38 (2), 1157-1167, DOI: 101016/j.enpol.2009.11.004. Abstract here.
King, Carey W. and Webber, Michael E. The Water Intensity of the Plugged-In Automotive Economy. Environmental Science and Technology. 2008, 42 (12), 4305-4311; (Article) DOI: 10.1021/es0716195. Abstract here. PDF
– – – Recognized as most downloaded paper in 1st Qtr 2008 for ES&T – – –
King, C.W., Campbell, M.I., Beaman, J. J., and Sreenivasan, S. V. Synthesis of Multistable Linkage System using an Optimization Approach. Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization. 2005, 29, No. 6, pp. 477-487.
King, C., Beaman, J. J., Sreenivasan, S. V., and Campbell, M. Multistable Equilibrium System Design Methodology and Demonstration. Journal of Mechanical Design, 2004, 126, No. 6, pp. 1036-1046.