WATCH: Coronavirus impacts to energy use, the economy, and consumer behavior

There are a lot of voices weighing in on the coronavirus pandemic. This is one worth listening to.

Post Carbon Institute fellow Nate Hagens this week discussed what the coronavirus pandemic's short- and long-term impacts will be to the economy, and global energy use and markets, and how society will function in its aftermath.


Hagens, a Post Carbon Institute fellow and University of Minnesota professor and researcher, points to an economy completely reliant on constant growth—and buoyed by climate change-inducing fossil fuels—as a model that will have to change.

"We've been living beyond our means for 50 years or so," Hagens said. "And the relationship between energy and finance has to recalibrate at some point."

The virus is highlighting "problems that already existed."

The conversation, with Post Carbon Institute executive director Asher Miller, winds through the long term aspects of the crisis but Hagens also gives his views on the here and now.

"The time now isn't to think how can I best prepare myself to hunker down for the long run, I think it's how can I play a role in my community not only in this challenge but in future ones," he tells Miller.

"It's a perilous time to be alive and an amazing time to be alive."

Editor's note: Yes — there is a typo in the video title. Post Carbon Institute knows! They were moving fast to get this out.

Become a donor
Today's top news
From our newsroom

Peter Dykstra: With Ian, treat climate like an 'active shooter'

And let’s treat climate deniers as accomplices.

Chemicals linked to birth defects are being dumped in Pittsburgh’s rivers: Report

Chemicals linked to cancer and developmental harm are also released in large quantities into the city’s three rivers.

Chemical recycling grows — along with concerns about its environmental impacts

Industry says chemical recycling could solve the plastic waste crisis, but environmental advocates and some lawmakers are skeptical.

Universities are failing us

Our educational systems are failing to prepare people for existential environmental threats

Peter Dykstra: The good news that gets buried by the bad

On the environment beat, maybe it’s right that the bad news dominates. But the good news is out there, too.