The Circle for Human Sustainability's Founding President, Catherine Loke, takes us on a journey to explore where materials come from, how we are reliant on energy for every aspect of our lives, economics and human values, and what we can do to prepare ourselves for a low-energy future.

This talk was a guest lecture given in February 2022 for the NUS ME6509 Materials and Sustainability module conducted by Prof Seeram Ramakrishna.


Key moments:

00:01:30  Introduction
00:04:07  How is a pencil made?
00:08:29  Deconstructing a Pencil
00:08:58  Raw Materials
00:11:18  Process Map
00:15:17  What is solar energy?
00:16:28  Agrarian Society
00:17:56  What are fossil fuels?
00:19:29  Global primary energy consumption by source
00:21:05  Singapore - Electricity Generation Fuel Mix
00:21:42  Fossil fuels burned every year
00:22:26  Energy slave
00:24:44  Energy in one barrel of oil
00:25:25  How long will this energy bonanza last?
00:27:33  What about renewables?
00:31:16  Why do we consume so much?
00:35:24  The Free Market Economy
00:38:12  The Engine for Growth
00:40:34  Keeping up with the Joneses
00:43:01  Basic Human Values
00:47:03  A Balanced Economic System
00:54:02  What about a Circular Economy?
00:58:26  Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
01:04:28  Summary
01:07:11  What you can do
01:10:10  Finding the right answer starts with asking the right questions