Monday, October 20, 2008


Tim O'Brien

Predicting macroeconomic shifts is always a losing bargain, and every time I here people talk of the "Green Economy" I wonder what they are talking about. How many people were talking about the approaching "Web economy" in 1990? Eight years later our entire culture had been transformed by the revolution.

MP, really what we need is more talk of Earth 3.0?

Technological revolutions tend to be surprising and unexpected, the next will be no different from the last. For all we know we could be in the middle of the "Room temperature super conductor" revolution next year. We don't know what we don't know.

Alex Tolley

"In fact, jobs are just about the worst thing to focus on. "

Actually no. Jobs are a classic Keynesian economic stimulus. At the very least, you get people doing productive things who might otherwise be doing nothing and drawing a government check.

Secondly the balance sheet for the oil energy efficiency calculation does not include the hidden costs - CO2 emissions, pollution, military action to preserve supplies. (I'm not talking Iraq either, the Japanese initiated WWII because the US was cutting off natural resources to Japan, including rubber and oil).

Alex Tolley

As to the main point of the post, I agree that the "green" label and possible hype is a mistake. It will likely come to grief much as it did in the 1970's, the last time it was tried.

However, that is not to say that the 1970's did not achieve much, most of the new environmental laws were established at that time that have demonstrably improved the quality of life in industrialized countries.

This time around we have many more mature technologies that can reduce our culture's use on non-renewable and non-recyclable resources. At some point we have to have an economic system that mimics the natural world, recycling all matter through the system if we are to have a long term sustainable future.

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