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Speaker: The Voyage: Full Steam ahead

9 Responses

  • andin,

    In modern conventional economics, capital and labour are the recognised constraints and the environment is assumed irrelevant.

    In NZ govt terms that is certainly the way this local modern incarnation of govt led by Johngoldentonsils appears to view the world. But now its about resource and economic viability and cloaked behind elevated discussions at the diplomatic level.
    Its not hard to see 18th century slave traders and hard nosed book keepers maintaining their cosy positions while blinding themselves to any consequence, in these present day functionary roles. Just the vocabulary are different.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1239 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to andin,

    Its not hard to see 18th century slave traders and hard nosed book keepers maintaining their cosy positions while blinding themselves to any consequence, in these present day functionary roles. Just the vocabulary are different.

    In this day and age, it usually takes the form of razor wires, concrete barriers, bulletproof trucks and burly Blackwater personnel. Also, in the event of an actual Mad Max scenario, narcissistic survivalists who refuse to share and collaborate in the long run can only survive by preying on others.

    Jared Diamond has previously argued that blind denialist elites behind gates are a surefire sign of long-term societal collapse in his book called, well, Collapse.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4431 posts Report Reply

  • Stewart,

    Is there any likelihood that the scales will fall from economists eyes and they will see the absolute folly of promoting 'economic growth' within a finite ecosphere?
    Just limiting it to a more-or-less-constant level of economic activity might not be enough, but to be constantly seeking growth seems perverse and basically stupid.

    I long for a different economic paradigm that is not predicated on growth but on steady-state principles. At least until humankind has realised the ability to spread throughout the multiverse.

    Te Ika A Maui - Waitakere… • Since Oct 2008 • 572 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to DeepRed,

    Not just any port in a storm...

    In this day and age...

    ...there is hope!

    Lyttelton households have put up more than $50,000 to buy the Lyttel Piko organic grocery store in London St.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 5169 posts Report Reply

  • poffa,

    Why is the focus on economic growth what happened to the the growth of humanity; to our development as a people. I think economic growth; as it had done until the depression and war, can be the by-product of a good life Pride, good workmanship and a desire to do the best seemed to have mankind growing quite nicely but as the earning potential from real estate, insurance and finance have overtaken industry we seem to have stagnated.
    We have the worlds fastest Indian, Britten Bikes and a round the world capability whether bio fuel or solar. The news for growth is a 5 story brothel more pokeys and a cycle track

    auckland • Since Jun 2007 • 26 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson, in reply to DeepRed,

    In this day and age, it usually takes the form of razor wires, concrete barriers, bulletproof trucks and burly Blackwater personnel. Also, in the event of an actual Mad Max scenario, narcissistic survivalists who refuse to share and collaborate in the long run can only survive by preying on others.

    Hear, hear.

    The problem is the Western world is attempting to impose its climate change views (from behind its fortressed walls) on the developing world. The West exploits historical inequitable distribution of wealth, it always has. The Wests preferred imposing of emission caps on global warming gases (based on 1990s levels) is a continuation of this exploitation.

    In a grossly unfair burden to anyone in the developing world. The West is now suggesting that industrial economic development be restrained, but only after the West has obtained a 1st world lifestyle from the process. Doing so now will mean the developing world has no chance to benefit from similar economic growth. But the arrogant West does not and never will care about the poor of the world.

    Western arrogance is climate change policy.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Mr Magoo,

    You are wrong that the economy will be 4 times as large.

    The earth simply cannot support that level of production. There are MANY limited factors apart from energy (e.g. rare-earth metals) that will prevent that.

    Since Apr 2010 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • Dave Howell, in reply to Mr Magoo,

    The earth simply cannot support that level of production

    This is a statement which has been made repeatedly over the past few hundred years, and probably the millenia before, and has not yet proven correct. Technology tends to advance to fill the gap and allow better utilisation of resources, or substitution of alternative resources. The most recent large scale example of this is probably the "Green Revolution" advances in agricultural productivity in the mid 20th century.

    Your rare earths example is a case in point - rare earth ores are actually extremely plentiful, despite the name. The processed metals are limited in supply by political games and by the fact that refining is a nasty process due to the raw ores typically containing significant quantities of toxic materials such as thorium: both these issues can be overcome given the will.

    I think there's a good chance that you're right that the economy won't be 4 times as large, but I'd suggest that what prevents it won't be running out of resources, but shooting ourselves in the foot by mismanaging those we have. Humanity has proven over and over again that it's perfectly possible to starve in the middle of plenty if we put our minds to it.

    Auckland • Since Jun 2008 • 14 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Dave Howell,

    resource for the goose...

    I think there’s a good chance that you’re right that the economy won’t be 4 times as large, but I’d suggest that what prevents it won’t be running out of resources, but shooting ourselves in the foot by mismanaging those we have.

    I think Russel Norman summed it up very succinctly at the weekend...

    Norman said the country had lived for decades off its "natural capital", which was now "much depleted".
    "The forests of the plains have been felled, burnt and ploughed to within a few hectares of disappearing completely," he said.
    "We've damaged and eroded our soils. We've polluted the majority of our lowland rivers and streams. We've pushed the wildlife – animals found nowhere else in the world – to the brink of extinction."
    Attention was turning to "what remains", he said.
    "The lignite under our feet, the freshwater that still makes it out to the sea, and the oil that may lie deep under our oceans. From the beginning of colonisation there have been those who see Aotearoa simply as a place to make a quick buck."
    The Government had "given up" on building a more balanced economy, Norman said.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 5169 posts Report Reply

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