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NYT on "No More Indsutrial Revoutions"

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  • Richard Risemberg
    Interesting NYT article on Robert Gordon s thesis that we can depend on no more industrial revolutions: http://t.co/lU1gOTKz ... What do y all think of
    Message 1 of 4 , Oct 15, 2012
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      Interesting NYT article on Robert Gordon's thesis that we can depend on no more industrial revolutions:

      http://t.co/lU1gOTKz

      I post my comment on it below in case they don't choose to publish it:

      > What underpins Gordon's argument is that IR #1 and IR #2 (and to a certain extent IR #3) are all dependent on coal and oil, a non-repeatable windfall. Oil is running out, and we cannot afford to burn coal at rates that would replace it without forcing the planet into climate collapse. Endless growth was based on endless energy. (Though even with free energy it is an absurd hypothesis; you cannot fill every square inch of the planet with cars and television screens and have a life, much less an economy.)
      >
      > Furthermore, the Global War on Labor will in the long run undercut the ability of populations to buy the goods and services on which a consumer economy is predicated. This will reduce total wealth, though the Right's program of income redistribution will keep the 1% in comfort for quite a while as we devolve into a neo-feudalist economy.
      >
      > In other words, to prevent the collapse Gordon foresees, we have to do three things: 1) Return to the more progressive tax rates of the (Republican) 1950s, which saw widespread prosperity; 2) Transform from a fossil-fuel based economy to a solar-based one; and 3) Surrender the idea of endless growth and commit to circular economies where all are producers and providers as well as consumers, and people are paid fairly for their work instead of suffering virtual taxation by the management and investment communities.

      What do y'all think of Gordon's hypothesis?

      R
      --
      Richard Risemberg
      http://www.bicyclefixation.com
      http://www.SustainableCityNews.com
      http://www.rickrise.com
    • eriksandblom
      ... I think peak oil is upon us but I m not convinced of the energy=growth equation. I think growth is partly dependent on trust and human interactions such as
      Message 2 of 4 , Nov 19, 2012
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        --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, Richard Risemberg <rickrise@...> wrote:
        > What do y'all think of Gordon's hypothesis?


        I think peak oil is upon us but I'm not convinced of the energy=growth equation. I think growth is partly dependent on trust and human interactions such as described by Jane Jacobs. A lot of cities are moving to curb car traffic, and the price of suburban real estate appears to be falling. This could be taken as an example of society voluntarily moving away from energy use and toward filling economic growth with other values.

        Predicting the future is notoriously difficult. The past is not always a reliable predictor, which Gordon's graphs clearly illustrate.
      • Debra Efroymson
        It depends how you define growth. If we were looking at growth of well-being rather than consumption, then obviously we could achieve it with less energy use.
        Message 3 of 4 , Nov 19, 2012
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          It depends how you define growth. If we were looking at growth of well-being rather than consumption, then obviously we could achieve it with less energy use. If we wish to continue seeing GDP grow, then we need to keep burning fuel despite the consequences (and likely impossibility). So it would be good if we agreed that we want growth in walking, cycling, public transit, friendliness, strong communities, healthy interactions, fun.......


          ________________________________
          From: eriksandblom <eriksandblom@...>
          To: carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Monday, November 19, 2012 5:05 PM
          Subject: [carfree_cities] Re: NYT on "No More Industrial Revoutions"


           


          --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, Richard Risemberg <rickrise@...> wrote:
          > What do y'all think of Gordon's hypothesis?

          I think peak oil is upon us but I'm not convinced of the energy=growth equation. I think growth is partly dependent on trust and human interactions such as described by Jane Jacobs. A lot of cities are moving to curb car traffic, and the price of suburban real estate appears to be falling. This could be taken as an example of society voluntarily moving away from energy use and toward filling economic growth with other values.

          Predicting the future is notoriously difficult. The past is not always a reliable predictor, which Gordon's graphs clearly illustrate.




          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • J.H. Crawford
          Well, if economic growth occurs in non-material sectors (e.g., massage, teaching) then continued GDP growth IS possible. What has to stop and actually reverse
          Message 4 of 4 , Nov 20, 2012
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            Well, if economic growth occurs in non-material sectors (e.g., massage, teaching) then continued GDP growth IS possible. What has to stop and actually reverse is the TOTAL consumption of resources. Just cutting consumption per dollar of GDP is not enough, as this can still lead to increasing resource consumption. We must actually go backwards, and quite some ways. Of course, real recycling (as opposing to bundling plastics and sending them to China for burning) can help considerably.

            I ran into considerable opposition to this viewpoint at the degrowth conference in Venice this past September.

            J.



            >It depends how you define growth. If we were looking at growth of well-being rather than consumption, then obviously we could achieve it with less energy use. If we wish to continue seeing GDP grow, then we need to keep burning fuel despite the consequences (and likely impossibility). So it would be good if we agreed that we want growth in walking, cycling, public transit, friendliness, strong communities, healthy interactions, fun.......
            >
            >________________________________
            >From: eriksandblom <<mailto:eriksandblom%40yahoo.co.uk>eriksandblom@...>
            >To: <mailto:carfree_cities%40yahoogroups.com>carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com
            >Sent: Monday, November 19, 2012 5:05 PM
            >Subject: [carfree_cities] Re: NYT on "No More Industrial Revoutions"
            >
            >

            >
            >--- In <mailto:carfree_cities%40yahoogroups.com>carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, Richard Risemberg <rickrise@...> wrote:
            >> What do y'all think of Gordon's hypothesis?
            >
            >I think peak oil is upon us but I'm not convinced of the energy=growth equation. I think growth is partly dependent on trust and human interactions such as described by Jane Jacobs. A lot of cities are moving to curb car traffic, and the price of suburban real estate appears to be falling. This could be taken as an example of society voluntarily moving away from energy use and toward filling economic growth with other values.
            >
            >Predicting the future is notoriously difficult. The past is not always a reliable predictor, which Gordon's graphs clearly illustrate.
            >
            >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
            >



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