Economist Nicole Foss is co-editor of The Automatic Earth. Here she provides easy-to-understand answers in response to questions on peak oil, financial crisis, energy descent, resilience, community, and simple living.This is the full interview we shot with her for our film “A Simpler Way: Crisis as Opportunity”. We can only ever fit in a few minutes’ worth of the amazing interviews we get to shoot, so here’s the whole thing for people who want to get into the nitty-gritty!

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** Timecodes for the questions we asked Nicole **
00:00:00 – Introduction

00:00:41 – What is the relationship between energy and economics?

00:08:05 – What is peak oil and why is it important?

00:15:57 – How do you respond to those who say that, due to the shale boom in the US, ‘peak oil is dead’?

00:30:27 – Can you describe the essence of the global financial system and explain why it’s so fragile?

00:38:37 – Could you please explain your understanding of the global financial crisis and what role expensive oil played in this?

00:46:43 – You have argued that the instability of the financial system is of greater and more immediate concern than climate change and peak oil. Please elaborate.

01:00:10 – What is your take on whether renewables or nuclear energy will be able to save us from peaking energy resources?

01:06:18 – You’ve said that the system cannot be reformed. Why can’t strong financial regulation, environmental regulation, redistributing through taxation help?

01:17:34 – You’ve said that the future belongs to the adaptable. What is resilience and how do we become more resilient?

01:31:30 – Would it be fair to summarise that strategic advice by saying that the main thing we need to do is try to prefigure a low energy, low consumption, simpler way of living?

01:41:35 – You’ve said that building community is one of the most important things we can do. Why do you think this is?

01:47:53 – When thinking about the world, I constantly find myself battling to find a space between naive optimism and despair. Can the crises underway and on their way be turned into opportunities?