[LINK] Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK'
jwhit at internode.on.net
Tue Nov 25 09:29:31 AEDT 2014
At 09:06 AM 25/11/2014, Jim Birch you wrote:
>It's not even obvious that that growth is finite
We're back to definitions: growth of what and how and over what time period?
Economic growth through cuts (higher ratio of returns by reducing the investment) can be destructive in the long term, while increased returns because more people want/need your products and you can produce them at a reasonable cost, and include efficiencies that aren't socially/enviromentally destructive, is a win win.
Growth based on a reliance on population growth alone is long term socially and environmentally destructive. The demands on water and the need for infrastructure may far outweigh the economic returns on building houses. The factors may not balance. You can do a Costello and increase birthrates, but at what real cost? The population growth isn't finite by definition, but it will be finite in terms of resourcing in the long run. I think this is what James Cromwell was driving at on Q&A last night.
Growth in terms of better yields of crops on the same land area may be a good thing, depending on the how. If it's disruptive of other elements of the environment -- DDT, upstream water hogging, GMO restrictions, disruption of other natural ecosystem food chains, chemical run off onto offshore reefs -- then it may not be a good choice and is probably finite in other ways, despite the economic returns through export. But if the 'how' is through better plant breeding (dry land cropping seed choices), less land destructive mechanical farming methods, nitrogen retention through grassing between grain growing seasons, then it's a growth that is positive, yet still finite.
And on top of the above are the investment return periods, which adds another level of analytical complexity. Is investment money 'finite'?
Not sure how this all relates to IT/internet, except maybe Moore's law. Is it finite?
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