TED Conversations

Mike Bostock

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Peter Diamandis: Abundance is our future VS Paul Gilding: The Earth is full. There cannot be a future of abundance.

Unfortunately for the future presented by Diamandis, there is one absolute unchangeable fact that Gilding mentions and this fact is based on mathematics.

How can you have a future of abundance when the resources of this Earth are finite and decreasing in amount and to that you add a growing population and demand?

Less resources to be shared between more people. How can there be a future of abundance?

Supply and demand says it cannot. Math says it cannot.


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    Mar 21 2012: Math says it cannot... at our incredibly high rate of consumption.

    I think Peter's main point was that humans do have the capacity to be creative. This is not simply an abundance, or lack of, material resources. It's an abundance of human creativity. With the abundance of this creativity... if we can somehow coalesce into a unified, sustainable global society, there will be enough opportunity to sustain humanity beyond a climate crisis.

    From my point of view, there is absolutely no reason humanity needs to increase the human population anymore. None. We have enough absolute numbers of people to continue the domination of the planet. We need to be smart, however, and realize that we must override the primal instincts to procreate more than we account for. We also have to overthrow/revolutionize the supply/demand economic structure into recognizing the value of finite resources. Exponential growth is not sustainable. Yet that's what supply/demand is based from.

    But once we do that... stagnate the population and redefine our economy, we'll be ok. The (extremely problematic) difficulty is getting to that point.

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