Global Energy
Consumption after
J.M. Jancovici,
DISNOVATION.ORG
& Baruch Gottlieb

If conventional wisdom and media narratives are to be believed, then it’s only a matter of time until we transition to sustainable energy: as older, dirtier energy sources are phased out, they’ll be replaced by newer, cleaner ones. Data shows, however, that changes in energy consumption have seen the use of all sources (clean or otherwise) increase, instead of transitioning towards sustainability. “Although the percentage shares of biomass, coal and oil in our energy supply have fallen with the rise of alternatives, their total use continues to grow,” researchers Richard Newell and Daniel Raimi told Axios in 2018. “The world has never experienced an energy transition, but the challenge of climate change means that, for the first time, one will need to begin.” One of several diagrams produced for the “Post Growth” exhibition, this chart debunks the transition myth. “The rhetoric needs complete reframing,” the artists state. “The challenges the energy transition represents need to be rethought beyond science and engineering but as part of a broader reconsideration of our modes of living, values, infrastructures, and social situations.”