Superlinear Growth and the Fossil Fuel Energy Sustainability Dilemma: Evidence from Six Continents


This Study Investigates Lessons in Energy Efficiency and Sustainability that Human Societies Can Learn from Insect Colonies that Exhibit Altruistic Cooperation. Distinguishing from the Altruism-Cooperation in Eusocial Insects, Modern Market-Economy Institutions Are Established based on the Human Nature of Self-Interest and a Coordinated Form of a Non-Cooperative Game. Here, We Employ a Theoretical Model to Show that a Non-Cooperative Game among Heterogeneous Agents Causes the Emergence of a Technology, Which in Turn Leads to a Superlinear Scaling Relationship between the GDP and the Population Size, in Good Agreement with the Data Collected from 106 Countries in Seven Regions of the World. However, Although the Emergence of Technology Triggers the Superlinear Growth of the GDP, Our Study Finds a Superlinear Relationship between the Fossil Fuel Energy Consumption and the Population Size in Six Continents, Which Suggests that Past Technological Progress in Fact Fails in Pursuing a Sustainable Manner for Energy Usage. from a Sustainability Perspective, the Preservation of Natural Resources is a Goal of Circular Economy Strategy. Thus, the Results of Our Study Call for an Urgent Enhancement of the Efficiency of Energy Usage to Avoid the Potential Collapse of Sustainability.


Biological Sciences


National Natural Science Foundation of China, Grant 2019PY40

Keywords and Phrases

Circular economy strategy; Emergence of technology; Energy sustainability; Fossil fuel; Non-cooperative game; Superlinear growth

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Document Type

Article - Journal

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Publication Date

01 Sep 2023