Posted: Nov 07, 2013 6:27 am
by 4 Hours
VazScep wrote:I'd imagine there are subtleties. You could have explosive economic growth in the IT sector and in intellectual property whilst seeing resource usage decline.

Believe it or not, it takes a lot of resources to make and run computers.

Loren Michael wrote:Virtual growth and efficiency-driven growth means that there's lots and lots of room for growth while resource use declines.

There are, ultimately, thermodynamic limits to efficiency gains. As for "virtual growth", see above, and remind me when it becomes possible to start eating silicon wafers.

GT2211 wrote:Another example of a writer who starts off by admitting he knows little about what economists actually postulate but then attempts to debunk his (incorrect) interpretation of exponential growth in economics.

So once again I'll post this. ... s-law.html

Even as an ardent transhumanist, I think Singularitarianism is a pretty far-fetched scenario conceived of by a futurist (Ray Kurzweil) who has already gotten a crapload of predictions wrong. Also, I would like all of you who think that the "virtual" / "service" economy has some sort of ghostly disembodied existence that doesn't depend on physical inputs (including heavy industry goods) to take a good long look at how strongly real GDP and energy use are correlated in a number countries well into the present time, along with other facts: ... gy-growth/

Gail Tverberg writes:

Why does world energy intensity remain flat, while energy intensity for many individual countries has been decreasing?

We are dealing with a large number of countries with very different energy intensities. The big issue would seem to be outsourcing of heavy manufacturing. This makes the energy intensity of the country losing the manufacturing look better. Outsourcing transfers manufacturing to a country with a much higher energy intensity, so even with the new manufacturing, its ratio can still look better (lower). It is hard to measure the overall impact of outsourcing, except by looking at world total energy intensities rather than individual country amounts.

Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

The libertopian view is almost universally expounded by those who live in post-industrial countries. China advanced to being the stomach of the world economy some time ago and is busily turning Africa into the anus of the world economy, exporting their dirty work to this benighted continent. Libertopians rarely see, or think about, how their world gets made.