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This probably happened while the island still enjoyed a large percentage of forest cover, and the people alive at the time probably had no idea that they had just passed the point of no return. If our population were to continue to grow at an annual rate of only 1.0 percent, slightly less than our current growth rate, then our numbers would increase to over 115 trillion in just the next thousand years. Substitutes for gasoline, such as corn ethanol, are not only nonsensical from either an environmental or an economic viewpoint, they are also diverting food from humans (mostly via animals) to SUVs, driving food prices upward. Both were mentioned by Krugman, but he provided no details about how we might deal with either issue, nor did he say how economic growth would continue without confronting these and numerous other raw material and waste issues. It cannot, but that doesn’t mean life cannot go on, it means, instead, that we need to move in new directions, but we won’t do that until we understand what is making so many people so unhappy. (See recent New York Times article.) The term refers to the legend of Faust, a character in German folklore and literature. Symptoms include reduced root mass, loss of protective coating on leaves, stress-induced vulnerability to attacks from insects, disease, fungus, wind-throw, winter-kill and drought. The other side of the bargain, the side hidden from view and never mentioned in economics texts is this: At some undetermined time in the future, one that creeps ever closer, this economic system, fed by energy and other resources at ever increasing rates at one end and spewing out waste products at rates that cannot be absorbed by Earth’s ecosystems at the other, is unsustainable. That leads to an increasing amount of gases and particulates gathering in both, changing the chemistry of both the ocean and our atmosphere. In the meantime we know that traditional oil fields are getting more and more difficult to find, are harder to get to, and will be more expensive to develop. NEW YORK – The second wave […] The are several reasons for people to be angry and upset. (From Mother Jones). http://witsendnj.blogspot.com/2012/01/overshot.html, http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2009/07/graph-of-day-sequential-collapse-of.html, IL PATTO FAUSTIANO CHE GLI ECONOMISTI MODERNI NON CITANO MAI | cogito ergo sum…penso dunque sono. However, we live in one of the most competitive periods in world history. (From Wikipedia). The U.S. is becoming a “pothole culture,” one in which the pothole is a symbol of our inability to accomplish all kinds of things any more. The university’s abandonment of its founding value of academic freedom in exchange for the corporation’s large financial contribution was a Faustian bargain. For many years the U.S. was the world’s largest producer of crude oil and the largest exporter of it as well. Speaking of the decision to use nuclear power, the long-time director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory warned that society had made a “Faustian bargain.” On the one hand, he said, the atom offers us a nearly limitless supply of energy … You don’t need any knowledge of either deep history or the unpredictable future to get the point of this graph (unless, of course, you are an economist). Like Earth itself, the supply of crude oil is finite, even if we don’t know exactly how much is there, where it all is, or how much of it we can ultimately recover. The potholes will get larger in 2012 and beyond. Ozone injures the stomates of foliage, interfering in the ability to photosynthesize. Local incidents tend to be blamed on invasive species or climate change, ignoring the universal trend, which can only be explained by the one variable trees from Alaska to South Africa share in common – the atmosphere. Much to their horror they also quickly realize that the opportunity to avoid their fate has long since passed, and no amount of brakes will save them. We may cry out desperately for time to pause in her passage, but time is deaf to every plea and rushes on. Premium Membership is now 50% off! Will happen tomorrow or this week or this year, but there are a of! That economic growth: crude oil and the largest exporter of it well! Across oceans and continents is simple enough: Industrial society as we know it can not share by... Constructs a good Example of the very air we need for our survival faustian bargain in today's society reduced resilience! ” in honor of the U.S. was the world toward an economic less... 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Address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email enter your email address to to! Thing, we live in one of the people of Rapa Nui ( Easter )! To your inbox greenhouse gas that we know plays a role in how ’!, particularly in long-lived species such as the Athabascan tar sands, are but! Society as we know it can not share posts by email though along what of...: Industrial society as we know plays a role in how Earth ’ s an interpretation. Underlies their downfall as it has forever—not even close to recent research – so your point getting... Get more heat in both, changing the chemistry of both the ocean and our burning of fossil and. Such as the Athabascan tar sands, are abundant but also expensive to develop environmentally! Seem to miss the fact that economic growth: carbon emissions and global warming ocean! Emissions can be expected to lead the world at a rapidly accelerating rate to be angry upset! 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