Ages of Growth
Notable 'golden eras' may be caused by contact with steep energy gradients that are eventually depleted. The Dutch golden age, which gave us Huygens, Sweelinck, and Vermeer, was powered by wind and peat. The Victorian era, which gave us Bosanquet among many others, coal. Postwar business cycles are closely associated with changes in the price of oil.
The average YoY growth rate of world oil production 1974-2013 was 1%. Minimum 1961-1973 was 5% (average was 7%).