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Duncan Gibbs
10-20-2008, 06:39 AM
Just a few thoughts:

I believe that the World is showing symtoms of a cancerous form of economy and a concomitant cancerous society. We believe we can extract resources from the planet in an endless cycle. We talk about peak oil, but what about peak atmosphere, peak ocean, peak water. In Australia the Murray/Darling basin once thought to be the endless food bowl of the nation is stressed to the point of total ecological and agricultural collapse. Water has been over-allocated to irrigators. The recent and ongoing finacial crisis seems to be based on the fact that debt was over-allocated on a housing market that couldn't ever repay the debt. The World population is attempting to live beyond its means, particularly those in the most 'developed' parts, whilst a major slab of the rest of the population attempts to catch up to this profligate standard of living as quickly as it can. China is buidling one large coal fired generator every week which will pump additional carbon into the atmosphere, whilst places like Indonesia and Amazon Basin are deforested at a rate which is growing every day.


Maybe it's time to devalue time and just stop and think.

Maybe it's time to work out where all this rabid consumption is taking us.

Maybe it's time to devolve a bit and put our hands in the soil and smell the Earth.

Maybe now is the time, EXACTLY WHEN our finacial systems are in ruin to think about how we wish to rebuild them so they work for a long term future rather than a short term profit. Rather than thinking about how we can't afford to do anything else other than rebuild our financial system just the way it was and THEN work out how to cut green house gases.

Maybe we should stop and think about whether we really NEED to see the sport in wide screen high definition plasma.

Maybe...

Just some of my thoughts...

Milo Christensen
10-20-2008, 07:17 AM
Maybe, maybe not. Maybe we don't need to spend the money on elaborate landscaping, maybe we shouldn't have developers pay good money to have someone build a model of a new development. Maybe all that money should go into reducing greenhouse gasses. Then again, maybe not.

Popeye
10-20-2008, 07:33 AM
if it was up to men and men alone , we would all be living in caves

conclusion : women are bad for the environment

Canoez
10-20-2008, 07:38 AM
if it was up to men and men alone , we would all be living in caves

conclusion : women are bad for the environment

One of these days, Olive Oyl is gonna get you...

Milo Christensen
10-20-2008, 07:40 AM
Popeye's Olive Oyl is extra virgin.

Canoez
10-20-2008, 07:42 AM
DOH!

Popeye
10-20-2008, 07:48 AM
now , c'mon guys , tell me i'm wrong

who places a higher value and demand on consumer goods

m / w ?

Saltiguy
10-20-2008, 07:56 AM
Mr Gibbs, you worry too much.

Milo Christensen
10-20-2008, 08:18 AM
Mr. Gibbs advocates destroying the economy that sustains him. What is Mr. Gibbs plan for employment in an environmentally sustainable, non-conspicuously consuming economy? Mr. Gibbs' credibility, essentially zero, would rise dramatically were he to see the light, confess his sins, and find suitable employment more in line with his goals of a new world order.

Paul Pless
10-20-2008, 08:20 AM
I agree Dunc. I think the new economy should be based in someway on babes in bikinis.

Popeye
10-20-2008, 08:28 AM
money is selfishness , nothing more

The Bigfella
10-20-2008, 01:23 PM
Bugger the bikinis - time to go au naturale

Popeye
10-20-2008, 01:53 PM
too bad the environment is not sustainable

makes it tough to find a job

john l
10-20-2008, 02:22 PM
sustainable is the key for a new economy. we can't continue with running from
one bubble to the next.

The Bigfella
10-20-2008, 02:35 PM
sustainable is the key for a new economy. we can't continue with running from
one bubble to the next.

Unfortunately, that is human nature, it seems. Thinking about it, that is nature, it seems. Boom and bust, survival of the fittest.

Duncan Gibbs
10-20-2008, 03:16 PM
Well, the idiots certainly came out on this one. Here's Milo:


Maybe, maybe not. Maybe we don't need to spend the money on elaborate landscaping, maybe we shouldn't have developers pay good money to have someone build a model of a new development. Maybe all that money should go into reducing greenhouse gasses. Then again, maybe not.

And all of his "Mr Gibbs has zero cred," crap!! Where in my post did I say that I was perfect? Where did I say I had not engaged in the consumer economy? Milo, I have always tried to be friendly and jovial but by you shooting this messenger rather than attempt to deal with what I was saying constructively has really pissed me off. I have always tried to treat you with equanmity and apologised where you have indicated offence. But now Sir, you have really shown us all how much of an utter moron you really are. Do have any idea how many trees I am responsible for being planted? ANSWER: HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS!! How much carbon am I responsible for getting soaked up? More than an imbecile like you could begin to comprehend.

This is serious stuff. For all the blathering about how "we can't afford to change" what will happen to said consumer economy when our TOTALLY unsustainable lifestyles go down the gurgler faster than you can say "digital top box??" This isn't pie in the sky stuff, and whilst I don't expect everyone to get it, I do expect some seriousness from BOTH sides of politics to deal with this in a way which is considered, rather than purile and vindictive.

Rant over: Let a serious discussion ensue please!

High C
10-20-2008, 03:26 PM
....Rant over: Let a serious discussion ensue please!

Too late. When you behave hysterically, calling people names, insulting their intelligence, you won't be taken seriously..

Duncan Gibbs
10-20-2008, 03:42 PM
Maybe I should pull the thread and start it again? But then I'll be accused of censorial behaviour!! Mr C, although we live on opposite sides of the political divide I do respect you because you don't stoop to the same kinds of tactics many on this board from both sides of the divide engage in. I have always tried to be as inoffensive to Milo, but he has crossed the line himself on this and I will call it as I see it.

I'm not expecting to be taken seriously: People can extract the Michael from me as much as they wish. But this subject deserves some gravitas as it affects us all. Are all of these things I listed, and many I did not, symptomatic of a global economy that needs a radical overhaul? Is the way we conduct social and political business too unweildy to deal effectively with the kinds of real and present dangers that is presented both to and by consumer economies? In short, are we up for an epistimelogical change?

And yes as it happens Milo IS correct in one line of questioning:

Mr. Gibbs advocates destroying the economy that sustains him. What is Mr. Gibbs plan for employment in an environmentally sustainable, non-conspicuously consuming economy?
And the last question there is my question too! This economy is currently sustaining us all, but for how much longer does it have the capacity to do so? I believe we should be preparing to change this economy to something else. Whatever that something else is, it should still sustain us. But to assume that we cannot or should not change ourselves seems like utter stupidity in the face of the evidence.

PeterSibley
10-20-2008, 03:51 PM
Duncan ,this question will NOT be answered .People are incapable of seeing outside their nest and the idea of a sustainable capitalist economy is clearly ludicrous .At this time and this place , an impossibility .

Kaa
10-20-2008, 03:56 PM
Capitalism is the natural consequence of people being personally free and economically free.

Since you don't like capitalism, which of these two classes of freedoms would you prefer to take away?

Kaa

PeterSibley
10-20-2008, 04:06 PM
You askin' me ?

The Bigfella
10-20-2008, 04:08 PM
That's the way I read it

Keith Wilson
10-20-2008, 04:14 PM
Capitalism is the natural consequence of people being personally free and economically free.I disagree. Capitalism is a carefully-constructed artificial system which absolutely depends on certain ground rules established by law. It is not a law of nature. It allows more personal liberty than most economic systems as generally practiced, but it cannot function in anything approaching a state of anarchy (i.e. maximum freedom from restriction). And I'm in favor of capitalism, remember.

People have thought about the original subject of this thread before, people who were by no means radicals or even socialists. President Franklin Roosevelt, from the State of the Union address, January 11, 1944:

It is our duty now to begin to lay the plans and determine the strategy for the winning of a lasting peace and the establishment of an American standard of living higher than ever before known. We cannot be content, no matter how high that general standard of living may be, if some fraction of our people—whether it be one-third or one-fifth or one-tenth—is ill-fed, ill-clothed, ill-housed, and insecure.

This Republic had its beginning, and grew to its present strength, under the protection of certain inalienable political rights—among them the right of free speech, free press, free worship, trial by jury, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. They were our rights to life and liberty.

As our nation has grown in size and stature, however—as our industrial economy expanded—these political rights proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.

We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. “Necessitous men are not free men.” People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.

In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all—regardless of station, race, or creed.

Among these are:
The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;
The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;
The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;
The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;
The right of every family to a decent home;
The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;
The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;
The right to a good education.

All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.

America’s own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for our citizens.
And his speech to the Democratic Convention, 1936. It is important to remember where we have come from. http://www2.austincc.edu/lpatrick/his2341/fdr36acceptancespeech.htm

PeterSibley
10-20-2008, 04:16 PM
Duncan ,this question will NOT be answered .People are incapable of seeing outside their nest and the idea of a sustainable capitalist economy is clearly ludicrous .At this time and this place , an impossibility .


Capitalism is the natural consequence of people being personally free and economically free.

Since you don't like capitalism, which of these two classes of freedoms would you prefer to take away?

Kaa

The thread title was A New Economy ...maybe we can think of one ...but capitalism ,the way we know it is not it .It's about the "sustainability" thing .It doesn't work with the capitalist system .

Take a forest that you own .To maximise it's returns fall it all NOW ,invest at the best rate you can get .Sell the land for the best price .Turn it into a shopping centre ,factory zone ,farm .Sustainable ...not quite ,but it's the current plan .A sustainable use would be continuing "sustainable" logging with all eco nazi caveats in place because sustaining the forest ad infinitum is the aim .....not a market return .

Kaa
10-20-2008, 04:33 PM
The thread title was A New Economy ...maybe we can think of one ...but capitalism ,the way we know it is not it .It's about the "sustainability" thing .It doesn't work with the capitalist system .

I notice you haven't answered the question.

By the way, care to define "sustainability"? Bonus points for using the words "technology level" in the definition :-)


because sustaining the forest ad infinitum is the aim

I think that's the core of the problem.

Why is sustaining the forest ad infinitum is the aim?

Kaa

The Bigfella
10-20-2008, 04:33 PM
Take a forest that you own .To maximise it's returns fall it all NOW ,invest at the best rate you can get .Sell the land for the best price .Turn it into a shopping centre ,factory zone ,farm .Sustainable ...not quite ,but it's the current plan .A sustainable use would be continuing "sustainable" logging with all eco nazi caveats in place because sustaining the forest ad infinitum is the aim .....not a market return .

You make a whole heap of assumptions which are themselves not sustainable.

There are plenty of sustainable forest investments under our capitalist system. I even managed to lose 80% of the funds that I put into one a few years back.

PeterSibley
10-20-2008, 04:41 PM
You make a whole heap of assumptions which are themselves not sustainable.

There are plenty of sustainable forest investments under our capitalist system. I even managed to lose 80% of the funds that I put into one a few years back.

It was an illustration ...and of course easy to shoot down ,duh .

You investment doesn't sound very sustainable .

If you think a system bases on continuing growth is sustainable in a finite system ,I suggest going back to year 10 math .

Keith Wilson
10-20-2008, 04:45 PM
If you think a system bases on continuing growth is sustainable in a finite systemGrowth can be of several kinds: growth based on using up resources, and growth based on increasing knowledge; more efficient and creative use of resources. The latter is sustainable.

seanz
10-20-2008, 04:47 PM
Capitalism is the natural consequence of people being personally free and economically free.

Since you don't like capitalism, which of these two classes of freedoms would you prefer to take away?

Kaa

Capitalism is natural?
Must be good for you then.....

I value personal freedom so I'd keep that.
Which one do you value the most?

PeterSibley
10-20-2008, 05:06 PM
Growth can be of several kinds: growth based on using up resources, and growth based on increasing knowledge; more efficient and creative use of resources. The latter is sustainable.

Theoretically yes .Practically I find it hard to imagine us going off the plasma TV standard .

Personally I am very happy to try .

The Bigfella
10-20-2008, 05:11 PM
The service sector is 80% of the Australian economy. A significant improvement (by Duncans new economy standards) from the days of old

http://www.dfat.gov.au/facts/service_sector.html

PeterSibley
10-20-2008, 05:24 PM
Indeed , the other 20% is various sized holes in the ground .

The Bigfella
10-20-2008, 05:36 PM
Indeed , the other 20% is various sized holes in the ground .

So? they are just relocating iron oxide aren't they?

Flying Orca
10-20-2008, 05:42 PM
Theoretically yes .Practically I find it hard to imagine us going off the plasma TV standard .

Personally I am very happy to try .

Going off TV entirely is great. ;)

seanz
10-20-2008, 05:44 PM
So? they are just relocating iron oxide aren't they?

That's mining, maybe Peter meant farming and its relocation of topsoil.

Milo Christensen
10-20-2008, 05:49 PM
. . . Where in my post did I say that I was perfect? Where did I say I had not engaged in the consumer economy?

Repeat the mantra: If it is to be, it is up to me. STFU and do it. Where did you say that you had made any personal strides towards the new economy in the original post? It's like living people bitching that there's too many people. If that's the way you feel, off yourself.


. . . Milo . . . has really pissed me off. . . .
. . . Sir, you have really shown us all how much of an utter moron you really are.

Given these two statements are in the same paragraph, I'll assume my utter moronicity is somehow related to you being pissed off. You'll get over it and I'll be as highly intelligent as I've always been.


. . . Do have any idea how many trees I am responsible for being planted? ANSWER: HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS!! How much carbon am I responsible for getting soaked up? More than an imbecile like you could begin to comprehend. . . .

Duncan, if you've been responsible for 100's of thousands of trees, you're the first person I've ever met that has planted more trees than I have, as I'm only personally responsible for planting about 5,000. Gud on yer, mate! The 400 acre family farm is also now set aside as a conservation area in perpetuity, accessible only by foot, cross country skis, bicycle, or horseback. Matching grants have grown the natural area to 900 acres.


. . . This is serious stuff. For all the blathering about how "we can't afford to change" what will happen to said consumer economy when our TOTALLY unsustainable lifestyles go down the gurgler faster than you can say "digital top box??" . . .

Support your assertion that our lifestyles are TOTALLY unsustainable.


. . . Rant over: Let a serious discussion ensue please!

Carry on.

PeterSibley
10-20-2008, 05:52 PM
The modern face of sustainability .

Bob Adams
10-20-2008, 06:06 PM
If the polls are correct, the U.S. is gonna have one....socialism. Oh wait, that's not new. Been tried before, hasn't it?

Milo Christensen
10-20-2008, 06:13 PM
Duncan ,this question will NOT be answered .People are incapable of seeing outside their nest and the idea of a sustainable capitalist economy is clearly ludicrous .At this time and this place , an impossibility .

Capitalism is entirely capable of creating a sustainable economy. Where else is the money going to come from to create the inevitable economic switchover? At some point in the future, investing in sustainability, if Duncan's premise is true, will be much more profitable than investing in the disposable consumer economy is now.

I think the key to any sustainable economy is limitless energy. I still harbor some hope of seeing fusion reactors powering the hydrogen/electric economy in my lifetime.

shamus
10-20-2008, 07:45 PM
The complaint that modern market capitalism suffers from (in my view) is that the value of everything is measured in nothing other than dollars. As long as money is circulating and profits are being made, it doesn't matter to what end. The end result is that the most accomplished paper shufflers, the most 'creative' arbitrageurs, set the agenda. We've just seen a good example of this. A large amount of effort has gone into lending, securitising, flipping, flogging; record "profits" all vaporised.
We advise young people to set goals, and have a plan, but for our societies we have no agreed goals. Society, instead, must revolve around individual rights and what the market decides.

With regard to sustainability, I've just about stopped worrying. I notice that my 4 kids (and 90% of the other youngsters I encounter) won't step out of their own way to turn a light off. Too busy having 'a good time'. Their future, not mine. Let them make it.

The Bigfella
10-20-2008, 07:52 PM
The complaint that modern market capitalism suffers from (in my view) is that the value of everything is measured in nothing other than dollars. As long as money is circulating and profits are being made, it doesn't matter to what end. The end result is that the most accomplished paper shufflers, the most 'creative' arbitrageurs, set the agenda. We've just seen a good example of this. A large amount of effort has gone into lending, securitising, flipping, flogging; record "profits" all vaporised.

... and how do you account for the achievements of the bureaucracy?

shamus
10-20-2008, 08:42 PM
I'm not sure which achievements you mean. Recently, in this country I would say that the RBA and APRA have done a reasonable job, and I would account for this by pointing out that their responsibilities are properly judged by economic measures.
But housing and health bureaucracies for instance have done appallingly, principally because they have attempted to apply market only measures. As I see it.

BTW I don't have a complete thesis on this subject. My post above represents my general feeling about the direction of society, and my disillusionment with much of what drives many young people I know. And why I don't care much any more.

The Bigfella
10-20-2008, 09:02 PM
Fair enough. Its a topic I've applied myself to a bit over the last 15 years or so - to varying levels of success. The beauty of a dollar measure is that its simple. Very few organisations are motivated purely by the dollar though. Most managers overlay a whole heap of non-dollar elements - for example lifestyle (why would a regional office ever go to Melbourne ahead of Sydney - it only happens when some idiot puts dollars ahead of lifestyle)... and so on.

shamus
10-20-2008, 09:46 PM
(why would a regional office ever go to Melbourne ahead of Sydney - it only happens when some idiot puts dollars ahead of lifestyle)... and so on.

Indeed, why aren't they all in Hobart?:D
God forbid.

The Bigfella
10-20-2008, 10:08 PM
Indeed, why aren't they all in Hobart?:D
God forbid.

... because there are limits to what managers can get away with.

Seriously though, dollars is a long way down the list in most organisations - provided a certain level of returns is attained (and watch out for the rest of the factors when they aren't).

An example - all companies carry a percentage of "non-performers" because to churn people flat out makes the place less pleasant to be at ... etc.

shamus
10-20-2008, 10:52 PM
I should declare a lifelong interest in public sector employment. Apparently my earliest ambition was to be "one of those council blokes who sits around and smokes all day", so my mother told me.

Duncan Gibbs
10-21-2008, 03:09 AM
Capitalism is entirely capable of creating a sustainable economy. Where else is the money going to come from to create the inevitable economic switchover? At some point in the future, investing in sustainability, if Duncan's premise is true, will be much more profitable than investing in the disposable consumer economy is now.

I think the key to any sustainable economy is limitless energy. I still harbor some hope of seeing fusion reactors powering the hydrogen/electric economy in my lifetime.

BINGO! Milo, this is the sort of response that gladdens my heart when it eminates from your keyboard! Investing in sustainability is where I believe the new economy will show us who wins and who loses. Those at the tail end of making the fundamental changes to how much energy and raw material we consume and the concomitant changes to ways of living will be those who are poor. I really think the new economy will be all about a measure of wealth that is based on a raft of different items: Not just money and how much stuff is able to be dug out of the ground. It will be based upon social interactions that are constructive rather than divisive, a much much higher quality of planning and decision making (social wealths), the quality of the urban, rural and natural environment (environmental wealths) and so on. These are all forms of resources that will valued beyond a simple - yes Ian it is rather simple - monetary value.

And I completely agree that nuclear fusion will be utterly transformational if achieved. It would banish war almost overnight, erradicate poverty and lead to a much much cleaner environment.

Here's hoping!!

shamus
10-21-2008, 04:08 AM
A student of the interplay between technology, society, growth and sustainability might find this worth reading.
http://palangthai.org/docs/GreacenDissertation.pdf

Larks
10-21-2008, 04:10 AM
Dunc', you need to watch "Insight" on the SBS tonight - topic is "Greed" ' "Jenny Brock talks to experts and people feeling the pinch of the economic slow-down and asks if a culture of greed at the heart of American capitalism is to blame".

Milo Christensen
10-21-2008, 05:54 AM
Continuing with the theme that any new, sustainable economy can only be based on sustainable energy, I would like to see a huge expansion of new, absolutely foolproof fission based nuclear power plants. If these new plants somehow left room nearby to build fusion reactors when that technology comes on line, then the basic infrastructure of the cooling towers, steam generators, power lines, etc would all be in place and the cost of the switchover would perhaps be greatly reduced and the existing infrastructure would speed up the switchover as well.

With enough energy, we could actually afford to freeze CO2 out of the atmosphere and use the CO2 as an industrial feedstock or sequester it as calcium carbonate or ?something?.

The only hope to ending a whole host of social evils such as population growth, poverty, and rampant consumerism is, bizarrely enough, rampant consumerism. Consumerism creates the wealth in the developing nations that is then used for education and general improvements in lifestyles. Population growth is then, inevitably, reduced. The statistic showing the correlation between increased education and improved living standards resulting in reductions in population growth is strikingly clear.

A bit of a conundrum, though, isn't it? Things have to get worse in the consumerism area before they can get better. I expect Europe and the Asian Tigers will be the leaders the rest of the world will follow.

Patience, Duncan, patience.

Duncan Gibbs
10-21-2008, 06:06 AM
Mate! Even if I had the patience of the sages I doubt what is happening to cultural, language and ecological diversity, not to mention the global climate will allow us the luxury of time. I'm not sure that fission is any kind of solution either as the act of mining and enriching uranium is highly toxic and produces a fair whack of green house gases, including transporting the stuff... Then there's the problem of waste. Such plants take about fifteen years to come on line, during which time we could build countless wind, solar, thermal and tidal plants that would generate as much if not more base-load electricity for the same sum of money.

Duncan Gibbs
10-21-2008, 06:08 AM
Dunc', you need to watch "Insight" on the SBS tonight - topic is "Greed" ' "Jenny Brock talks to experts and people feeling the pinch of the economic slow-down and asks if a culture of greed at the heart of American capitalism is to blame".

Caught the end of it! Watched 'Two in the Top End' instead, then I saw your post! :rolleyes:

The Bigfella
10-21-2008, 06:08 AM
Geez Dunc - now that you two have kissed and made up - can we have a bikini thread?

Duncan Gibbs
10-21-2008, 06:36 AM
No: Milo and I agreed on that long ago... Anyhoo! It's unsustainable... All those GHG produced by all that airbrushing!! :rolleyes:

Milo Christensen
10-21-2008, 06:47 AM
Sure, Duncan, go ahead and ignore the issues of producing all those other kinds of "sustainable" energy sources. Throw up the nucular bugaboo. What would be the effect on the environment of capturing wind, sun, tide? The enormous amounts of land area devoted to capturing low intensity energy? The wind that doesn't blow? The night that always comes? The additional infrastucture to transport the electricity from where it's produced to where it's needed?

Tidal energy? I don't even want to think about the engineering challenges.

We have identified all the problems with fission and have excellent solutions already designed, tested, proven, sitting there on the shelf.

Kaa
10-21-2008, 10:38 AM
And I completely agree that nuclear fusion will be utterly transformational if achieved. It would banish war almost overnight, erradicate poverty...

:eek: :eek: :eek:

Duncan, do you REALLY believe that the cause of all wars is expensive energy?

Kaa

Kaa
10-21-2008, 10:40 AM
I'm not sure that fission is any kind of solution either as the act of mining and enriching uranium is highly toxic and produces a fair whack of green house gases, including transporting the stuff...

I think that Milo was talking about fusion, not fission.

And are you arguing that greatly increasing the degree to which we use nuclear power will not reduce CO2 emissions?

Kaa

Milo Christensen
10-21-2008, 10:58 AM
I think that Milo was talking about fusion, not fission. . . .

No, I was making the case that we need to dramatically expand fission based nuclear power now. It would be, hopefully, only an interim solution.

Kaa
10-21-2008, 11:00 AM
No, I was making the case that we need to dramatically expand fission based nuclear power now. It would be, hopefully, only an interim solution.

So you did. I got confused between your posts #39 and #50.

Kaa

Duncan Gibbs
10-21-2008, 03:40 PM
Duncan, do you REALLY believe that the cause of all wars is expensive energy?

No, of course not. Most are about control over one or another resource. The conflict over the Golan Heights and the West Bank are essentially conflicts over control of water resources. The first Gulf War was about Saddam being pissed off at Kuwait for drilling under its border. The Chechin conflict was about access to oil fields. And so on and so forth. Many wars ARE about energy. A virtually limitless supply of very cheap energy would remove much of "need" to fight over resources such a water form instance, because de-sal' plants would be easy to run. As it is they are easy to set up and very expensive to run.

Cheap and abbundent fusion energy would make the age of oil just about vanish overnight.

Milo: Much of the World's supply of uranium comes from my country. The mining of the stuff is so highly toxic that if almost doesn't bear thinking about. The tailings "pond" and the Olympic Damn mine in South Australia needs water constantly pumped into it as it evoporates to prevent a rdioactive dust cloud from blowing across vast swathes of our landscape.

Solar technology is improving in leaps and bounds so much smaller arrays are capable of producing much larger amounts of electricity. Microwave solar is also another option being developed, expensive initially, but able to produce base-load 24/7. If only we would quit throwing good money after bad into old forms of generating technology/methods and spend it on renewables instead: The question is how to bypass all those vested interests.

Gotta go to work now!!

Popeye
10-22-2008, 07:47 AM
it's all solar energy .. if you think about it

Duncan Gibbs
10-22-2008, 03:19 PM
Yes, we homonid lifeforms included.

Interesting interview with Joseph Stiglitz on the Australian programme Lateline (http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/) last night. (Scroll down on the panel on the right hand side). Although he is very critical of Republicans - which isn't hard - he does make the suggestion that we should use the current crisis to rebuild our systems to focus on sustainable infrastructure solutions as a "new deal" type solution to create an economic stimulus package, rather than concentrating on availability of debt and the resultant over-consumption. This brings us back to the central notion of consumption as the prime mover of the economy rather than looking at the ability to sustain inputs to feed this consumption. It sounds like an illness when described this way doesn't it?