The Great Simplification | Film on Energy, Environment, and Our Future | FULL MOVIE | Nate Hagens (2022)

Nate Hagens

Premiered May 19, 2022

This 32 minute animation – in 4 Acts – describes the backdrop for The Great Simplification – an economic / cultural transition beginning in the not-too-distant future.

We made this movie, originally as a framing ‘teaser’ for the new podcast, but the project….expanded over time.

Part 1 describes how our species got to this point, and the role of energy in our economies.

Part 2 gives an overview of the relationship between energy, technology, money and the environment and how global human society is (currently) akin to a metabolic heat engine.

Part 3 gives an overview of individual (and aggregate) human behavior tendencies in a novel modern environment and why these dynamics are relevant to our current challenges.

Part 4 describes how people look at the future wearing different popular lenses, but when wearing a ‘systems’ lens, it becomes clear that a Great Simplification is soon approaching.

There are show notes pinned in the comments and also at

Please subscribe to this channel or the podcast for more content and context about what we can do to meet the future halfway.

We have created subtitles in English, Spanish, Chinese, and Greek.

Here are show notes and references hosted on the podcast site:

Part 1 Energy Blind Notes –…

Part 2 The Human Superorganism Notes –…

Part 3 The Human Being Notes –…

Part 4 The Great Simplification Notes –…

Thank you

#thegreatsimplification #energy #fossilfuels #climatechange #climate #natehagens #technology

Reproduced from: Animated Series | The Great Simplification

Energy Blind (Part 01 of 04)

Our first video in the series outlines the deep time history that brought humans to this juncture – with a focus on how the last 200 years of growth has been supported by fossil energy. The title references how our culture – and institutions – generally underappreciate the role of energy in our lives and futures. Removing the ‘energy blinders’ for pro-future thinkers is a central goal of our work.

Video Notes

PDF Transcript

The Human Superorganism (Part 02 of 04)

This video outlines the centrality of energy to our economies, how energy has costs in energy terms, how energy relates to technology, money and growth and how the aggregate human endeavor self-organizes to seek energy with growing impacts on natural systems/species.

Video Notes

PDF Transcript

The Human Being (Part 03 of 04)

This video discusses human behavior -as individuals – and in groups. Technology, energy, and material throughput don’t grow on their own – but are a product of our cultural goals. We have an inherited psychology that primes us to: compete for status, care about the present, defend our in groups and other leanings that show up as a consumer growth culture. Understanding these psychological influences is key to integrating/moving past them and creating better actions for the future.

Video Notes

PDF Transcript

The Great Simplification (Part 04 of 04)

This final video aims to synthesize the previous three into a single story, and describe the implications for the future. We share common cultural lenses that are popular and feel good, but miss the larger system-wide picture. With a systems lens we are approaching an epic period in the human experience – The Great Simplification.

Video Notes

PDF Transcript


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