Fear of fallowing: The specter of a no-growth world
The question that comes to my mind whenever I catch a glimpse of aggregate consumption is always the same: How can it last?
>Oil is not simply implicated in everything we call growth. There has never been growth without it.
>The limiting factor, in other words, is no longer tools but natural capital.
>“Leave it alone. Let it grow in order to slow or reduce the exploitation. This conforms perfectly to the economic definition of investment—a reduction in present consumption in order to increase a future capacity to consume.”
>As McKibben writes, “Growth is no longer making people wealthier, but instead generating inequality and insecurity.”
>China and India now demand an increasing share of the energy and resources that the United States and Europe once claimed for themselves, triggering unprecedented oil prices that reverberate throughout the global economy.
Questioning economic growth
Our global economy must operate within planetary limits to promote stability, resilience and wellbeing, not rising GDP, argues Peter Victor.
First, there is mounting evidence that this growth is largely unrelated to measures of happiness. Second, in recent decades, increasing inequality has accompanied
much of this growth, leading to problems ranging from poor public health to social unrest. Third, the prospects for real improvement in the developing world are likely to be diminished if developed countries continue to encroach on more ecological space.
The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) supports research on the interactions of natural and human-induced changes in the global environment and their implications for society.
That’s from an article last week in Der Spiegel online. None of this is a surprise to CP readers (see “Peak oil production coming sooner than expected“) or to those who follow the once staid International Energy Agency (see World’s top energy economist warns: “We have to leave oil before oil leaves us”).
It warns of shifts in the global balance of power, of the formation of new relationships based on interdependency, of a decline in importance of the western industrial nations, of the “total collapse of the markets” and of serious political and economic crises.
While the leaked document was confirmed in its existence, German officials insist that it hadn’t been edited, and that it wasn’t meant to published. Even so, the existence of the report indicates that another government is concerned about the implications that peak oil, if we really are approaching such a point, could have on a worldwide scale.
Whether or not you believe that peak oil is a pressing problem, it is interesting to note that some governments are starting to take the issue seriously — and even look for ways to avoid disaster that could come.
More information: Terry Macalister and Lionel Badal, “Peak oil alarm revealed by secret official talks,” The Observer (August 22, 2010).
Stefan Schultz, “‘Peak Oil’ and the German Government,” SPIEGEL ONLINE (September 1, 2010).
Internet as well as mobile phones made communication with mass accessible to any one who pay $50-$100 or so per month. But such mass communication was totally controlled by states, rich companies or individuals for many centuries. So it is time for normal citizens to enjoy or abuse it.
Speed of communication:
Better than shouting
Post haste: 6th century BC
Imperial communication: 522-486 BC
Speeding up the messenger: 2nd – 11th century AD
Pigeon post: from the 11th century
Gutenberg and western printing: AD 1439 – 1457
The spread of printing: AD 1457-1500
From incunabula to mass communication: 1457 – 1525
First with the news: AD 1609-1690
Optical signals: 17th – 18th century AD
Mail coach: AD 1784 – 1797
The reporters’ war: AD 1854-1856
A very informative survey on the sequence technologies from investor’s perspective came out. In a sense this report provides colorful illustration on how people are adapting to the sequence technologies.
Next Gen Sequencing Survey What Laboratory Directors Are Saying About Next Generation Sequencing, GWAS and Stimulus: Invester’s perspective
Shlomo Sand: Challenging notions of a Jewish People:
He made a insightful and entertaining talk. He discussed about Israel but his argument goes far beyond one single state. His thesis is not new and I read about it more than years ago in other’s book. His main argument is that Israel is better off to become a more normal country.