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Clean technology, while a huge opportunity, will not go to scale in time to prevent a global economic and social crisis.

Considering all the comments on my talk, The Earth is Full, I would sum up by saying that everyone pretty much agrees we face some serious ecological and resource limits. The debate is will these naturally be dealt with in the normal course of technological and market processes, or will they result in a serious global economic crisis. My view is strongly that a crisis is inevitable and that it will be an economic crisis - but that will then trigger a war level of mobilisation that will drive massive technological change. So relying on technology to prevent the crisis is wrong.


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    Mar 16 2012: that "everyone" seems to be a bit of an exaggeration. for example matt ridley, TED speaker, believes that at the moment, resource crisis is not immediate danger at all, and he forecasts a smooth progress for the upcoming decades (with the usual bumps of course, but nothing too serious).

    check out his website at: http://www.rationaloptimist.com/
    • Mar 16 2012: Krisztian
      I think Ridley definitely agrees with what I say above re us facing "some serious ecological and resource limits". But he thinks as you say we'll sail through with a few bumps. Time will tell, but I think the scientific evidence suggest those bumps will be quite severe!
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        Mar 16 2012: let us just take energy and CO2 for a second. as of now, at least half a dozen alternative nuclear reactor designs are out there, some of them are in experimental phase, others are fully tested and ready. the only reason we are not implementing them is that we decide not to. we decide not to for two reasons, one is money, other is politics. should the public opinion change, we can overcome both. so the whole "energy" crisis does not seem to be a crisis as much as general ignorance and lack of care.

        same can be said about food. we simply don't know any reason why would be not able to produce like 5 times more food than now. granted, the price might be a little higher, but considering the ginormous amount of accumulated capital and wealth, it seems to be a non-problem economically. politics, on the other hand, is a different issue. again, public opinion is the culprit and the key at the same time.

        the only thing i can think of as an upcoming horrifying crisis scenario is the global warming or any such climate change. the extents and probability of it is debated. the timeline of it is even more.

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