DeDevelopment Neg cfjmp lab’s DeDev File Uniqueness



Download 1.08 Mb.
Page1/29
Date20.05.2018
Size1.08 Mb.
#50459
  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   ...   29

{File Title} GBS 2014

[Author Name]

DeDevelopment Neg


CFJMP Lab’s DeDev File

Uniqueness

1NC Collapse Inevitable

Economic collapse is inevitable – peak oil, climate change, food and water scarcity – continued growth leads to widespread instability – transition now solves quality of life and inequality


Ahmed 6/4 - Executive Director of the Institute for Policy Research and Development (IPRD), an independent think tank focused on the study of violent conflict, and taught at the Department of International Relations, University of Sussex (2014, Dr. Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, The Guardian, “Scientists vindicate 'Limits to Growth' – urge investment in 'circular economy'”, http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2014/jun/04/scientists-limits-to-growth-vindicated-investment-transition-circular-economy // SM)

According to a new peer-reviewed scientific report, industrial civilisation is likely to deplete its low-cost mineral resources within the next century, with debilitating impacts for the global economy and key infrastructures within the coming decade. The study, the 33rd report to the Club of Rome, is authored by Prof Ugo Bardi of the University of Florence's Earth Sciences Department, and includes contributions from a wide range of senior scientists across relevant disciplines. The Club of Rome is a Swiss-based global think tank consisting of current and former heads of state, UN bureaucrats, government officials, diplomats, scientists, economists and business leaders. Its first report in 1972, The Limits to Growth, was conducted by a scientific team at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology (MIT), and warned that limited availability of natural resources relative to rising costs would undermine continued economic growth by around the second decade of the 21st century. Although widely ridiculed, recent scientific reviews confirm that the original report's projections in its 'base scenario' remain robust. In 2008, Australia's federal government scientific research agency CSIRO concluded that The Limits to Growth forecast of potential "global ecological and economic collapse coming up in the middle of the 21st Century" due to convergence of "peak oil, climate change, and food and water security", is "on-track." Actual current trends in these areas "resonate strongly with the overshoot and collapse displayed in the book's 'business-as-usual scenario.'" In 2009, American Scientist published similar findings by other scientists. That review, by leading systems ecologists Prof Charles Hall of State University of New York and Prof John W Day of Louisiana State University, concluded that while the limits-to-growth model's "predictions of extreme pollution and population decline have not come true", the model results are: "... almost exactly on course some 35 years later in 2008 (with a few appropriate assumptions)... it is important to recognise that its predictions have not been invalidated and in fact seem quite on target. We are not aware of any model made by economists that is as accurate over such a long time span." The new Club of Rome report says that: "The phase of mining by humans is a spectacular but very brief episode in the geological history of the planet… The limits to mineral extraction are not limits of quantity; they are limits of energy. Extracting minerals takes energy, and the more dispersed the minerals are, the more energy is needed… Only conventional ores can be profitably mined with the amounts of energy we can produce today." The combination of mineral depletion, associated radioactive and heavy metal pollution, and the accumulation of greenhouse gases from fossil fuel exploitation is leaving our descendants the "heavy legacy" of a virtually terraformed world: "The Earth will never be the same; it is being transformed into a new and different planet." Drawing on the work of leading climate scientists including James Hansen, the former head of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, the report warns that a continuation of 'business as usual' exploitation of the world's fossil fuels could potentially trigger runaway global warming that, in several centuries or thousands of years, permanently destroy the planet's capacity to host life. Despite this verdict, the report argues that neither a "collapse" of the current structure of civilisation, nor the "extinction" of the human species are unavoidable. A fundamental reorganisation of the way societies produce, manage and consume resources could support a new high-technology civilisation, but this would entail a new "circular economy" premised on wide-scale practices of recycling across production and consumption chains, a wholesale shift to renewable energy, application of agro-ecological methods to food production, and with all that, very different types of social structures. In the absence of a major technological breakthrough in clean energy production such as nuclear fusion – which so far seems improbable - recycling, conservation and efficiency in the management of the planet's remaining accessible mineral resources will need to be undertaken carefully and cooperatively, with the assistance of cutting-edge science. Limits to economic growth, or even "degrowth", the report says, do not need to imply an end to prosperity, but rather require a conscious decision by societies to lower their environmental impacts, reduce wasteful consumption, and increase efficiencychanges which could in fact increase quality of life while lowering inequality. These findings of the new Club of Rome report have been confirmed by other major research projects. In January last year, a detailed scientific study by Anglia Ruskin University's Global Sustainability Institute commissioned by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, found "overwhelming" evidence for resource constraints: "... across a range of resources over the short (years) and medium (decades) term… Resource constraints will, at best, increase energy and commodity prices over the next century and, at worse, trigger a long term decline in the global economy and civil unrest." The good news, though is that "If governments and economic agents anticipate resource constraints and act in a constructive manner, many of the worst affects can be avoided." According to Dr Aled Jones, lead author of the study and head of the Global Sustainability Institute: "Resource constraints will, at best, steadily increase energy and commodity prices over the next century and, at worst, could represent financial disaster, with the assets of pension schemes effectively wiped out and pensions reduced to negligible levels." It is imperative to recognise that "dwindling resources raise the possibility of a limit to economic growth in the medium term." In his 2014 report to the Club of Rome, Prof Bardi takes a long-term view of the prospects for humanity, noting that the many technological achievements of industrial societies mean there is still a chance now to ensure the survival and prosperity of a future post-industrial civilization: "It is not easy to imagine the details of the society that will emerge on an Earth stripped of its mineral ores but still maintaining a high technological level. We can say, however, that most of the crucial technologies for our society can function without rare minerals or with very small amounts of them, although with modifications and at lower efficiency." Although expensive and environmentally intrusive industrial structures "like highways and plane travel" would become obsolete, technologies like "the Internet, computers, robotics, long-range communications, public transportation, comfortable homes, food security, and more" could remain attainable with the right approach - even if societies undergo disastrous crises in the short-run. Bardi is surprisingly matter-of-fact about the import of his study. "I am not a doomster," he told me. "Unfortunately, depletion is a fact of life, not unlike death and taxes. We cannot ignore depletion - just like it is not a good idea to ignore death and taxes… "If we insist in investing most of what remains for fossil fuels; then we are truly doomed. Yet I think that we still have time to manage the transition. To counter depletion, we must invest a substantial amount of the remaining resources in renewable energy and efficient recycling technologies - things which are not subjected to depletion. And we need to do that before is too late, that is before the energy return on investment of fossil fuels has declined so much that we have nothing left to invest."

2NC Growth Unsustainable

Global collapse is inevitable - the current consumption model is unsustainable and we will eventually run out of resources - tech doesn't solve and we need a transition now - that's Gilding

Growth is the universes way of making equilibrium – emergence of complex civilization is just a manifestation of the laws of physics


Korowicz, ’14 - David Korowicz is a physicist who studies the interactions between economics, energy, climate change, food security, supply chains, and complexity. David is an independent consultant. He was a ministerial appointment to the council of Comhar, Ireland’s sustainable development commission. He was head of research at The Ecology Foundation, and is on the executive committee of Feasta, The Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability: a Think Tank, (David, “How to be Trapped: An Interview with David Korowicz”, Resilience, http://www.resilience.org/stories/2014-03-19/how-to-be-trapped-an-interview-with-david-korowicz)//Roetlin

There’s an even broader perspective. The growth of complex organization (star, planet, life, human social organization) can spontaneously emerge where there are constrained energy gradients. The existence of such energy gradients, and indeed the arrow of time, depend upon the thermodynamic conditions at the beginning of the universe. Complexity growth is the universes optimal way of finding equilibrium. From this point of view, the emergence of our complex global civilization and its inevitable collapse is just the laws of physics being made manifest through us. The broad point here is that growth and collapse is a much more fundamental process than capitalism, the debt-based monetary system or technological change, as the history of collapsed civilizations and extinct species can attest. It’s part of us, part of life.

Economic growth is unsustainable – mineral depletion and industrial ag – tech and substitutions fail, only transition now solves


Ahmed 6/4 - Executive Director of the Institute for Policy Research and Development (IPRD), an independent think tank focused on the study of violent conflict, and taught at the Department of International Relations, University of Sussex (2014, Dr. Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, The Guardian, “Exhaustion of cheap mineral resources is terraforming Earth – scientific report”, http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2014/jun/04/mineral-resource-fossil-fuel-depletion-terraform-earth-collapse-civilisation // SM)

A new landmark scientific report drawing on the work of the world's leading mineral experts forecasts that industrial civilsation's extraction of critical minerals and fossil fuel resources is reaching the limits of economic feasibility, and could lead to a collapse of key infrastructures unless new ways to manage resources are implemented. The peer-reviewed study – the 33rd Report to the Club of Rome – is authored by Prof Ugo Bardi of the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Florence, where he teaches physical chemistry. It includes specialist contributions from fifteen senior scientists and experts across the fields of geology, agriculture, energy, physics, economics, geography, transport, ecology, industrial ecology, and biology, among others. The Club of Rome is a Swiss-based global think tank founded in 1968 consisting of current and former heads of state, UN bureaucrats, government officials, diplomats, scientists, economists and business leaders. Its latest report, to be released on 12th June, conducts a comprehensive overview of the history and evolution of mining, and argues that the increasing costs of mineral extraction due to pollution, waste, and depletion of low-cost sources will eventually make the present structure of industrial civilisation unsustainable. Much of the report's focus is on the concept of Energy Return on Energy Invested (EROEI), which measures the amount of energy needed to extract resources. While making clear that "we are not running out of any mineral," the report finds that "extraction is becoming more and more difficult as the easy ores are depleted. More energy is needed to maintain past production rates, and even more is needed to increase them." As a consequence, despite large quantities of remaining mineral reserves: "The production of many mineral commodities appears to be on the verge of decline… we may be going through a century-long cycle that will lead to the disappearance of mining as we know it." The last decade has seen the world shift to more expensive and difficult to extract fossil fuel resources, in the form of unconventional forms of oil and gas, which have much lower levels of EROEI than conventional oil. Even with technological breakthroughs in fracking and associated drilling techniques, this trend is unlikely to reverse significantly. A former senior executive in Australia's oil, gas and coal industry, Ian Dunlop, describes in the report how fracking can rise production "rapidly to a peak, but it then declines rapidly, too, often by 80 to 95 percent over the first three years." This means that often "several thousand wells" are needed for a single shale play to provide "a return on investment." The average EROEI to run "industrial society as we know it" is about 8 to 10. Shale oil and gas, tar sands, and coal seam gas are all "at, or below, that level if their full costs are accounted for… Thus fracking, in energy terms, will not provide a source on which to develop sustainable global society." The Club of Rome report also applies the EROEI analysis to extraction of coal and uranium. World coal production will peak by 2050 latest, and could peak as early as 2020. US coal production has already peaked, and future production will be determined largely by China. But rising domestic demand from the latter, and from India, could generate higher prices and shortages in the near future: "Therefore, there is definitely no scope for substituting for oil and gas with coal." As for global uranium supplies, the report says that current uranium production from mines is already insufficient to fuel existing nuclear reactors, a gap being filled by recovery of uranium military stockpiles and old nuclear warheads. While the production gap could be closed at current levels of demand, a worldwide expansion of nuclear power would be unsustainable due to "gigantic investments" needed. Report contributor Michael Dittmar, a nuclear physicist at CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, argues that despite large quantities of uranium in the Earth's crust, only a "limited numbers of deposits" are "concentrated enough to be profitably mined." Mining less concentrated deposits would require "far more energy than the mined uranium could ultimately produce." The rising costs of uranium mining, among other costs, has meant that nuclear power investment is tapering off. Proposals to extract uranium from seawater are currently "useless" because "the energy needed to extract and process uranium from seawater would be about the same as the energy that could be obtained by the same uranium using the current nuclear technology." Therefore within this decade, the report forecasts an "unavoidable" production decline from existing uranium mines. US Geological Survey data analysed by the report shows that chromium, molybdenum, tungsten, nickel, platinum-palladium, copper, zinc, cadmium, titanium, and tin will face peak production followed by declines within this century. This is because declared reserves are often "more hypothetical than measured", meaning the "assumption of mineral bonanzasare far removed from reality." In particular, the report highlights the fate of copper, lithium, nickel and zinc. Physicist Prof Rui Namorado Rosa projects an "imminent slowdown of copper availability" in the report. Although production has grown exponentially, the grade of the minerals mined is steadily declining, lifting mining costs. 'Peak copper' is likely to hit by 2040, but could even occur within the next decade. Production of lithium production, presently used for batteries electric cars, would also be strained under a large-scale electrification of transport infrastructure and vehicles, according to contributor Emilia Suomalainen, an industrial ecologist of the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. Sustainable lithium production requires 80-100% recycling – currently this stands at less than 1%. Nickel and zinc, which are used to combat iron and steel corrosion and for electricity storage in batteries, also could face production peaks in just "a few decades" – though nickel might be extended some 80 years – according to engineer and metals specialist Philippe Bihoux: "The easily exploited part of the reserves has been already removed, and so it will be increasingly difficult and expensive to invest in and exploit nickel and zinc mines." While substitution could help in many cases, it would also be costly and uncertain, requiring considerable investment. Perhaps the most alarming trend in mineral depletion concerns phosphorous, which is critical to fertilise soil and sustain agriculture. While phosphorous reserves are not running out, physical, energy and economic factors mean only a small percentage of it can be mined. Crop yield on 40 percent of the world's arable land is already limited by economical phosphorus availability. In the Club of Rome study, physicist Patrick Dery says that several major regions of rock phosphate production – such as the island of Nauru and the US, which is the world's second largest producer – are post-peak and now declining, with global phosphorous supplies potentially becoming insufficient to meet agricultural demand within 30-40 years. The problem can potentially be solved as phosphorous can be recycled. A parallel trend documented in the report by Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) agronomist Toufic El Asmar is an accelerating decline in land productivity due to industrial agricultural methods, which are degrading the soil by as much as 50% in some areas. Prof Rajendra K. Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said that the report is "an effective piece of work" to assess the planet's mineral wealth "within the framework of sustainability." Its findings offer a "valuable basis for discussions on mineral policy." But the window for meaningful policy action is closing rapidly. "The main alarm bell is the trend in the prices of mineral commodities," Prof Bardi told me. "Prices have gone up by a factor 3-5 and have remained at these level for the past 5-6 years. They are not going to go down again, because they are caused by irreversible increases in production costs. These prices are already causing the decline of the less efficient economies (say, Italy, Greece, Spain, etc.). We are not at the inversion point yet, but close - less than a decade?"

Economic collapse is inevitable - unsustainable consumption


Gilding 12 (Paul, international thought leader and advocate for sustainability, served as head of Greenpeace International, and is currently a faculty member for Cambridge University's Programme for Sustainability Leadership, February 2012 TED Talks, “The Earth is full”, http://www.ted.com/talks/paul_gilding_the_earth_is_full.html )

Let me begin with four words that will provide the context for this week, four words that will come to define this century. Here they are: The Earth is full. It's full of us, it's full of our stuff, full of our waste, full of our demands. Yes, we are a brilliant and creative species, but we've created a little too much stuff -- so much that our economy is now bigger than its host, our planet. This is not a philosophical statement, this is just science based in physics, chemistry and biology. There are many science-based analyses of this, but they all draw the same conclusion -- that we're living beyond our means. The eminent scientists of the Global Footprint Network, for example, calculate that we need about 1.5 Earths to sustain this economy. In other words, to keep operating at our current level, we need 50 percent more Earth than we've got. In financial terms, this would be like always spending 50 percent more than you earn, going further into debt every year. But of course, you can't borrow natural resources, so we're burning through our capital, or stealing from the future. So when I say full, I mean really full -- well past any margin for error, well past any dispute about methodology. What this means is our economy is unsustainable. I'm not saying it's not nice or pleasant or that it's bad for polar bears or forests, though it certainly is. What I'm saying is our approach is simply unsustainable. In other words, thanks to those pesky laws of physics, when things aren't sustainable, they stop. But that's not possible, you might think. We can't stop economic growth. Because that's what will stop: economic growth. It will stop because of the end of trade resources. It will stop because of the growing demand of us on all the resources, all the capacity, all the systems of the Earth, which is now having economic damage. When we think about economic growth stopping, we go, "That's not possible," because economic growth is so essential to our society that is is rarely questioned. Although growth has certainly delivered many benefits, it is an idea so essential that we tend not to understand the possibility of it not being around. Even though it has delivered many benefits, it is based on a crazy idea -- the crazy idea being that we can have infinite growth on a finite planet. And I'm here to tell you the emperor has no clothes. That the crazy idea is just that, it is crazy, and with the Earth full, it's game over. Come on, you're thinking. That's not possible. Technology is amazing. People are innovative. There are so many ways we can improve the way we do things. We can surely sort this out. That's all true. Well, it's mostly true. We are certainly amazing, and we regularly solve complex problems with amazing creativity. So if our problem was to get the human economy down from 150 percent to 100 percent of the Earth's capacity, we could do that. The problem is we're just warming up this growth engine. We plan to take this highly-stressed economy and make it twice as big and then make it four times as big -- not in some distant future, but in less than 40 years, in the life time of most of you. China plans to be there in just 20 years. The only problem with this plan is that it's not possible. In response, some people argue, but we need growth, we need it to solve poverty. We need it to develop technology. We need it to keep social stability. I find this argument fascinating, as though we can kind of bend the rules of physics to suit our needs. It's like the Earth doesn't care what we need. Mother nature doesn't negotiate; she just sets rules and describes consequences. And these are not esoteric limits. This is about food and water, soil and climate, the basic practical and economic foundations of our lives. So the idea that we can smoothly transition to a highly-efficient, solar-powered, knowledge-based economy transformed by science and technology so that nine billion people can live in 2050 a life of abundance and digital downloads is a delusion. It's not that it's not possible to feed, clothe and house us all and have us live decent lives. It certainly is. But the idea that we can gently grow there with a few minor hiccups is just wrong, and it's dangerously wrong, because it means we're not getting ready for what's really going to happen. See what happens when you operate a system past its limits and then keep on going at an ever-accelerating rate is that the system stops working and breaks down. And that's what will happen to us. Many of you will be thinking, but surely we can still stop this. If it's that bad, we'll react. Let's just think through that idea. Now we've had 50 years of warnings. We've had science proving the urgency of change. We've had economic analysis pointing out that, not only can we afford it, it's cheaper to act early. And yet, the reality is we've done pretty much nothing to change course. We're not even slowing down. Last year on climate, for example, we had the highest global emissions ever. The story on food, on water, on soil, on climate is all much the same. I actually don't say this in despair. I've done my grieving about the loss. I accept where we are. It is sad, but it is what it is. But it is also time that we ended our denial and recognized that we're not acting, we're not close to acting and we're not going to act until this crisis hits the economy. And that's why the end of growth is the central issue and the event that we need to get ready for. So when does this transition begin? When does this breakdown begin? In my view, it is well underway. I know most people don't see it that way. We tend to look at the world, not as the integrated system that it is, but as a series of individual issues. We see the Occupy protests, we see spiraling debt crises, we see growing inequality, we see money's influence on politics, we see resource constraint, food and oil prices. But we see, mistakenly, each of these issues as individual problems to be solved. In fact, it's the system in the painful process of breaking down -- our system, of debt-fueled economic growth, of ineffective democracy, of overloading planet Earth, is eating itself alive.

Collapse is inevitable, reflexivity risk, peak oil, debt, incoming credit bubble, and increasing interconnectivity and complexity – we need to “re-start growth” if our society is to continue


Korowicz, ’14 - David Korowicz is a physicist who studies the interactions between economics, energy, climate change, food security, supply chains, and complexity. David is an independent consultant. He was a ministerial appointment to the council of Comhar, Ireland’s sustainable development commission. He was head of research at The Ecology Foundation, and is on the executive committee of Feasta, The Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability: a Think Tank, (David, “How to be Trapped: An Interview with David Korowicz”, Resilience, http://www.resilience.org/stories/2014-03-19/how-to-be-trapped-an-interview-with-david-korowicz)//Roetlin

DK: It’s a good idea, sort of. It’s part of our worldview, methodologies, our institutional structures, it’s what our society is adaptive to. Economic growth is not just an indicator, it represents and sometimes obscures a complex structural dependency. If we don’t have it there are major social, economic and political implications. If we want all the things we take for granted to continue, yes, of course we should re-start growth. The problem is that continued economic growth is not necessarily our choice. I suspect we are at the limits to growth about now (I won’t argue over a few years). Our financial and monetary system, whose ties of trust and expectation animate the world in an act of faith is increasingly unstable because it has far over-promised what can ever be delivered; the oil (and thus food) flows that maintain global socio-economic organization are peaking; and increasingly the effects of climate change and water shortages are biting at our heels. What’s more, our dependency on a complex globalised economy, its structure and dynamics, makes us exceedingly vulnerable to such constraints. We’re likely entering a ragged globally developing deflationary spiral; a cycle of falling confidence, credit and money supply that leads to rising unemployment, falling wages and government income, growing bad debts, bank failures and an increase in the real cost of debt. There will also be an attendant and growing risk of a catastrophic financial and monetary system shocks with severe multi-system implications. A global credit bubble effectively pushed out the timing of peak oil, a deflationary spiral will bring it upon us. That said, we might not notice oil constraints initially (energy prices may fall significantly although it may be less affordable) because a depression and even a potentially catastrophic financial shock will have shattered the global economy’s capacity to use energy and resources. And if this happens there’ll be no going back, we’ll have entered a new phase of forced localization and huge new challenges. It’s pretty easy to point out the problems with our dependence upon a debt based monetary system or fossil fuels, or with the lack of redundancy in critical infrastructure. There are plenty of ardent promoters of, for example; non-debt based money spent-into-circulation; using quantitive easing to extinguish private debt; or a new Chicago Plan – putative white chargers coming to the rescue. But to frame such ideas as solutions to problems is to mis-represent our predicament, which is at best a process of risk management. What one hears far less of are the implicit risks and uncertainties in such proposals. This is not to say they should not be part of dynamic risk management but that in our present context they cannot be de-risked or outcomes made certain. Just one aspect of this, for example, is massive reflexivity risk, that is, actions to avert a crisis may end up sparking the crisis by causing pre-emptive behavior change. Furthermore to undertake such risk management decisions one needs to understand or intuit the nature of contemporary dependency – what could be lost and how fast it could all happen especially if things go awry – and very few members of the public, politicians and policymakers really do. Or to put it more directly, if you want to do radical surgery on the monetary system, what’s your food security planning like? This is particularly acute for anybody trying to do deal with large-scale systemic risk – whatever is done, there are far greater downside risks than upside ones, which understandably makes monetary officials conservative. There’s a vast difference between promoting a solution from the side-lines and risk managing an intrinsically uncertain and dangerous process where one might be held accountable for a catastrophe. Even if we were to ‘solve’ our financial and monetary problems, we’d walk straight into oil and food crises which are systemically de-stabilizing. Our predicament and the tragedy of attempting change is: given time and resource constraints and the reality that we depend upon a de-localized networked system without central control, how do we change the system while ensuring we do not collapse its essential functions. Decreasing global resilience and the increasing complexity, interdependence, tight coupling and the speed of the processes we depend upon make this a fundamentally uncertain, dauntingly complex and very dangerous set of challenges. So we dig in because we can’t dig out. We grasp for growth, we buy time and kick the can, and with each step become more vulnerable. So the idea that growth is a good or bad idea is a bit beside the point- we’re not going to get it for much longer, nor is there much we can do about it.

Global economic decline is inevitable - resources are finite and dwindling


Brent 11 (Jason, frequent contributor to Countercurrents, expert on population and demographic issues, “Cessation Of Growth: Voluntary And Coercive Population Control", July 18 2011, http://www.countercurrents.org/brent180711.htm)

1. The Earth is finite in size. 2. Population and economic growth must cease. Infinite population and/or economic growth cannot occur on the finite Earth. 3. Both population and the economy grow in a compound/exponential manner. 4. Compound/exponential growth is the most powerful force in the universe, it overwhelms everything. 5. If anything were to grow at the compound growth rate of one percent per year it would double in about 70 years; increase by a factor of four in 140 years; a factor of eight in 210 years and a factor of 1,000 (actually 1,024) in 700 years. If growth were to continue at the same compound rate for an additional 700 years, total of 1,400 years, it would increase by a factor of 1 million and if growth continued at the same rate for a total of 2,100 years the factor would be 1 billion. At the extremely small rate of growth of one quarter of one percent (0.0025) it would take about 2,800 years, less time than from the construction of the pyramids until today, for either the economy or the population to grow by a factor of greater than 1,000. And 2,800 years is almost an infinitely small period of time when compared to the 160 million years that the dinosaurs ruled the earth. 6. Since compound/exponential growth is so powerful, both the economy and the population of the world must cease their growth in the very near future. I can state with almost absolute certainty that if either were to grow at the compound rate of one percent per year growth will cease no later than 140 years from today as such a growth rate would cause both of them to increase by a factor of four and the Earth could not support a population four times as great as the present population or a world economy four times as great as the current world economy. 7. The resources used by humanity can be divided into two groups, nonrenewable and renewable. By definition nonrenewable resources are finite and will eventually be used up by humanity. Many, if not most, renewable resources are being used up by humanity faster than nature can replace them and, therefore, they also must be considered nonrenewable. 8. Recycling, substitution of one resource for another resource, new technologies, environmentalism, and any other action taken by humanity will not permit continuous compound economic and/or population growth. Alternative energy resources will not permit continuous compound population and/or economic growth. Humanity has withdrawn from the Earth the most easily accessible resources which the Earth can provide. In the future resources will become more expensive and difficult to obtain as they will be substantially less accessible and will be more difficult to process into usable a form. 9. The concept of obtaining resources from extraterrestrial planets or transferring part of humanity to extraterrestrial planets is a non-workable fallacy.

Sustained economic growth is impossible in the future – laundry list of issues


Trainer 11 (Ted, University of New South Wales, Australia, "The radical implications of a zero growth economy", September 6 2011, http://www.paecon.net/PAEReview/issue57/Trainer57.pdf)

The planet is now racing into many massive problems, any one of which could bring about the collapse of civilization before long. The most serious are the destruction of the environment, the deprivation of the Third World, resource depletion, conflict and war, and the breakdown of social cohesion. The main cause of all these problems is over-production and over-consumption – people are trying to live at levels of affluence that are far too high to be sustained or for all to share. Our society is grossly unsustainable – the levels of consumption, resource use and ecological impact we have in rich countries like Australia are far beyond levels that could be kept up for long or extended to all people. Yet almost everyone’s supreme goal is to increase 1 This paper elaborates and extends a discussion of themes published in The International Journal of Inclusive Democracy, Fall, 2010; see Trainer 2010a. 71real-world economics review, issue no. 57 material living standards and the GDP and production and consumption, investment, trade, etc., as fast as possible and without any limit in sight. There is no element in our suicidal condition that is more important than this mindless obsession with accelerating the main factor causing the condition. The following points drive home the magnitude of the overshoot. • If the 9 billion people we will have on earth within about 50 years were to use resources at the per capita rate of the rich countries, annual resource production would have to be about 8 times as great as it is now. • If 9 billion people were to have a North American diet we would need about 4.5 billion ha of cropland, but there are only 1.4 billion ha of cropland on the planet.Water resources are scarce and dwindling. What will the situation be if 9 billion people try to use water as we in rich countries do, while the greenhouse problem reduces water resources. • The world’s fisheries are in serious trouble now, most of them overfished and in decline. What happens if 9 billion people try to eat fish at the rate Australian’s do now? • Several mineral and other resources are likely to be very scarce soon, including gallium, indium, helium, and there are worries about copper, zinc, silver and phosphorous. • Oil and gas are likely to be in decline soon, and largely unavailable in the second half of the century. If 9 billion were to consume oil at the Australian per capita rate, world demand would be about 5 times as great as it is now. The seriousness of this is extreme, given the heavy dependence of our society on liquid fuels. • Recent "Footprint" analysis indicates that it takes 8 ha of productive land to provide water, energy, settlement area and food for one person living in Australia. (World Wildlife Fund, 2009.) So if 9 billion people were to live as we do about 72 billion ha of productive land would be needed. But that is about 10 times all the available productive land on the planet. • The most disturbing argument is to do with the greenhouse problem. It is very likely that in order to stop the carbon content of the atmosphere rising to dangerous levels CO2 emissions will have to be totally eliminated by 2050 (Hansen says 2030). (Hansen, 2009, Meinschausen et al., 2009.) Geosequestration can’t enable this, if only because it can only capture about 85% of the 50% of emissions that come from stationary sources like power stations. These kinds of figures make it abundantly clear that rich world material “living standards” are grossly unsustainable. We are living in ways that it is impossible for all to share. We are not just a little beyond sustainable levels of resource consumption -- we have 72real-world economics review, issue no. 57 overshot by a factor of 5 to 10. Few seem to realise the magnitude of the overshoot, nor therefore about the enormous reductions that must be made. Now add the implications of growth The above figures refer to the present situation, but that does not define the problem we face. The problem is what will the situation be in future given the determination to increase production and consumption continuously and without limit? At least 3% p.a. economic growth is demanded and usually achieved in this society. If Australia had 3% p.a. increase in output to 2050 and by then all 9 billion people expected had risen to the material living standards Australians would have, the world would be producing almost 20 times as much as it does today. Yet the present level is alarmingly unsustainable.

Directory: rest -> wikis -> openev -> spaces -> 2014 -> pages -> Michigan7 -> attachments

Download 1.08 Mb.

Share with your friends:
  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   ...   29




The database is protected by copyright ©ininet.org 2023
send message

    Main page