[ExI] Malthus and Marx

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Sat Jul 11 15:08:34 UTC 2020

On Fri, 10 Jul 2020 at 23:51, Stuart LaForge via extropy-chat
<extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
> Nature, long regarded as a top-tier journal in virtually all fields of
> science, recently published an overtly political article, that as
> scientist, I have mixed feelings about. They give ecologically-based
> Malthusian arguments for how it is the consumption of the affluent
> that drives environmentally unsustainable growth of capitalism and why
> Marxist-style growth-limiters, income caps, and redistribution of
> wealth are therefore necessary to stave off environmental collapse.
> ---------------------------------------------------
> Why is there no serious scientific support for alternative solutions
> involving coupling economic growth with physical expansion through
> space. Always the critics come with excuses like "manned space-flight
> is unsafe". Well so is fighting World War III for resources. On the
> other hand, maintaining communist solidarity while quietly starving to
> death in our so-called "safe space" is not simply risky, it is
> guaranteed extinction eventually.
> Stuart LaForge
> _______________________________________________

The comments on that Nature article quickly degenerate into an argument about
climate change.
Two groups shouting 'Yes it is!' versus 'No it isn't!'.
By the way, have you noticed that Siberia is no longer
frozen?  It is literally on fire.

I frame the situation as fundamentally a resource problem. Cheap (but
polluting) coal and oil produced a dramatic expansion of wealth and
production. It was great at first, but as the whole world turned to
using coal and oil, the unexpected cumulative pollution means that
usage now has to stop.
Currently there is no equivalent cheap resource alternative.
And it has to be one that doesn't add to the existing pollution.
There are temporary fixes available, like wind and solar power, that might
 buy us a bit of time.

Humanity needs to find a new non-polluting energy resource that
doesn't require more energy to create than usable energy it provides.
There will be much disruption as energy resources gradually run out
and only the wealthy can afford access to energy while dumping the
resultant pollution elsewhere.
But now 'elsewhere' appears to be coming a bit too close to home.

Space ventures are a possibility, but it is beginning to look like we
are running out of time.


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