TED Conversations

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

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.

+2
Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Mar 28 2012: If the crisis is inevitable, should we then just stop innovating as we will be doomed anyway?

    I would try and be optimistic (urgent optimism as Jane McGonigal calls it http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/jane_mcgonigal_gaming_can_make_a_better_world.html)

    Nor can we sit back and wait for the technology to arrive.

    If the problem is really this bad (and I have no reason to assume it isn't), then we do need to support all actions towards that goal, and act ourselves.
    We do need some climate psychologists and lobby groups as well... to implement and scale the current solutions.

    Even if it will be to slow, it seems the only reasonable thing to do...
    • Mar 29 2012: Christophe
      I think it is important to recognise that while the crisis is inevitable and will trigger the major response, you are right that we definitely need to act now and innovate as fast as we can. While in my view it is too late to avert the crisis, this is inherently unknowable, so acting strongly now is good either way. If it prevents the crisis, great, if not it helps us get through it faster and reduces the harm on the way through. So either way more action now is good!

      btw, there are many people looking at the psychology of this and how to get through denial faster.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.