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Selected Publication:

Krausmann, F; Schandl, H.
(2006): The social metabolism of industrialisation - Overcoming the energy limits of an Agrarian society
GAIA. 2006; 15(4): 285-293. FullText FullText_BOKU

This article provides a socio-ecological and empirically founded perspective of the industrialisation period, focussing on the biophysical characteristics of the development process. The paper explores the physical limitations of growth in an agrarian socioecological regime, where the availability of energy was based on biomass and land, and the mechanisms and strategies that enabled the society to surmount these limits over two centuries of industrialisation. With this perspective, industrialisation appears as movement away from the acquisition of energy through land and labour towards the exploitation of natural stocks. The United Kingdom, which was the starting point of industrialisation 250 years ago, and Austria, one of the European late comers, serve as empirical case studies for a comparative analysis of changes in the socio-economic use of energy, materials and land since the early 19(th) century. This analysis provides insights into the characteristics of the transformation of the agrarian socioecological regime and the fundamental changes in social metabolism and human interference with natural systems triggered by this process.
Authors BOKU Wien:
Krausmann Fridolin

Find related publications in this database (Keywords)
energy consumption
land use
limits to growth
social metabolism

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