Wednesday, January 7, 2009


This book review over at Sustainablog got me thinking about ways the next century may play out. I got so lost in my thoughts, that I didn't finish the first paragraph of the review.

First of all, forget about global warming for now. Yes, it's real and we should address it, but it is just one of many reasons why there will be a lack of resources (by western standards) in the future. There are lots of ways this could play out, but if things don't change, there the bottom billion or two are in for some serious hurt. Meanwhile, those of us who helped cause the problem will have to cut back. The question in my mind is whether we can change our ways before anything really bad happens.

The Earth is a complex system of energy and resource cycles fueled mainly by the sun. If things get too out of balance, there will be a correction. Think famine and disease more than "The Day After Tomorrow." If it's not economically and politically feasible to preemptively change our ways, maybe we should try to more the global economy towards a system that will gracefully reach it's stable point rather than grossly over shoot it require a serious correction.

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