[ExI] Unsustainable was Re: Solar power makes UK people poorer

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Sat Jun 11 01:28:08 UTC 2011

On Wed, Jun 8, 2011 at 8:42 PM, Damien Sullivan
<phoenix at ugcs.caltech.edu> wrote:
> I'm shocked, shocked, that moving from an unsustainable and
> environmentally subsidized form of power to a sustainable form might
> incur some loss of standard of living.  Almost like one stops eating
> into capital and belatedly starts living only on the interest.  The fact
> that fewer toys will be afforded does not make the change wrong.
> Mind you, I'd pick a redistributed fossil carbon tax over specific
> subsidies for rooftop solar or wind or whatnot.  Let markets work,
> subject to intelligent correction.

### Hey, what's so intelligent about shooting yourself in the foot?

The sustainability mantra is the epitome of modern madness of crowds:
A glib catch-all phrase based on bizarre assumptions about the world,
deeply reactionary. To insist that world must be "sustainable" is to
say that progress and change (or any actions that would over long
periods of time result in any changes), are forbidden. We *must*
ignore cheap, safe and efficient sources of energy (think natural
gas), so that our cherished descendants can ... eh, well, continue to
ignore them? We *must not* use phosphate fertilizer because eventually
we could run out of it? Nuclear power is bad because in 50,000 years
we could run out of fissile elements?

Sustainability is especially misguided as seen from the transhumanist
point of view - we fully expect that our descendants will be inhuman
in the most basic aspects of their existence, including perhaps
dependence on oxygen or organic feedstocks. Why should we care about
theoretical resource limitations in the distant future, predicted
based on assumptions of complete technological and social stasis?


More information about the extropy-chat mailing list