[ExI] Existential Risks might be underestimated

Chris Hibbert hibbert at mydruthers.com
Fri May 29 04:32:35 UTC 2015

Thank you Dan and Tara. I was surprised that so much dour projection was 
taking place on the list and that it was necessary to bring up Julian 
Simon explicitly on exi-chat.

People are a resource. They solve problems. Wealth is an enabler. Richer 
societies do a better and more thorough job of cleaning up their 
effluents. It's populations that are moving toward relative wealth that 
makes things dirtier until they can afford to do better. The western 
world has mostly passed this point. China and India are getting wealthy 
enough that they are turning the corner.

People have been predicting the end of fossil fuels for more than 100 
years, and it's cheaper (read more available) than it's ever been 
before. We have more known reserves than ever. Sure if you project out a 
few hundred years, it's hard to guess where we'd get fossil fuels to 
replace the current known supplies, but it's also hard to imagine that 
we won't figure out how to do better with less solar, photovoltaic, 
geothermal, wave energy, etc.

There are existential threats, but population pressure, pollution, and 
the end of cheap energy are not on my list of worries.

Currently reading: How China Became Capitalist, Ronald Coase and
     Ning Wang; The Three-Body Problem, Liu Cixin; A Dance with
     Dragons, George R. R. Martin; Seven Years in Tibet, Heinrich
     Harrer; Seeing Like a State, James C. Scott;

Chris Hibbert
hibbert at mydruthers.com

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