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The Conversation #46 — Mark Mykleby

Today, in America right now, we only can think of growth in quan­ti­ta­tive terms. And in a resource-constrained envi­ron­ment, how frick­in’ stu­pid is that? You’re actu­al­ly impos­ing your own death sen­tence by not being able to get over the grip of this quan­ti­ta­tive dynam­ic.

Blockchain Beyond Bitcoin

I think the obvi­ous thing to do with one com­put­er per plan­et is fix cli­mate change before it destroys agri­cul­ture and leaves bil­lions of peo­ple to starve. That seems like a fair­ly rea­son­able kind of an objec­tive. You know, there are all kinds of lit­tle opti­miza­tions you could do with the­se things, but fun­da­men­tal­ly the big unsolved chal­lenges that human­i­ty faces are cli­mate change and resource scarci­ty.

Holistic Heat Management

Machines gen­er­ate waste heat when they do work for us. And this year, sev­en bil­lion of us will use twenty-five tril­lion kilo­watt hours of elec­tric­i­ty. An awful lot of that will end up as waste heat. So, we treat waste heat as a prob­lem. We see it as a chal­lenge to design how we can man­age it. We don’t think of it as a resource. If we thought of it as a resource, that would be results we are just throw­ing away.

The Conversation #33 — Priscilla Grim

I was at a par­ty one time where I was talk­ing to some guy who had been pro­filed by Adbusters because he was a big cli­mate change guy. And he basi­cal­ly told me…that I need­ed to be mak­ing my own food, I need­ed to be mak­ing my own clothes. So you’re telling me that as a work­ing moth­er going to school full-time, along with those respon­si­bil­i­ties in which I am at home study­ing most the time, I should be mak­ing my daughter’s clothes. I should be whip­ping up meals from scratch. Um…no.

The Conversation #22 — Wes Jackson

You’re deal­ing with timescales that are beyond humans’ inter­est. I mean, it’s sor­ta like glob­al warm­ing. The heat that we have now built up, that car­bon was burned thir­ty years ago. It’s going to take a while for the cor­rec­tion process. So, if you have the ele­ments of the phos­pho­rus, the potas­si­um, the man­gane­se, and so on, it can be built back pret­ty fast. But a short­hand way of putting it is that soil is as much of a non-renewable resource as oil. And, more impor­tant than oil. I mean, we’re talk­ing about stuff we’re made of. So that’s why I’ve said that the plow­share has destroyed more options for future gen­er­a­tions than the sword. 

The Conversation #21 — Robert Zubrin

So long as we’re lim­it­ed to one plan­et, ulti­mate­ly our resources are lim­it­ed. And there­fore every per­son in the world is com­pet­ing with every oth­er per­son in the world for a piece of a finite pie. Okay, and every new per­son born is a threat, every nation is fun­da­men­tal­ly the ene­my of every oth­er nation, every race of every oth­er race, and the only ques­tion is how do we kill them.

The Conversation #19 — Joseph Tainter

I see a set of con­straints fac­ing us in the future, and they’re all going to be very expen­sive. First is fund­ing retire­ments for the Baby Boom gen­er­a­tion. Second is con­tin­u­ing increas­es in the costs of health­care. The third is replac­ing decay­ing infra­struc­ture. The fourth is adapt­ing to cli­mate change and repair­ing envi­ron­men­tal dam­age. The fifth is devel­op­ing new sources of ener­gy. The six­th is what I see as in all like­li­hood con­tin­u­ing high mil­i­tary costs. The sev­en­th is the costs of inno­va­tion.

The Conversation #20 — David Miller

I enjoy clean air and clean water as much as the most rabid envi­ron­men­tal per­son. I just think we can have the prod­ucts of soci­ety, as well as hav­ing the­se things. Progress is a good thing. I’m just sim­ply a real­ist. And I’m just try­ing to enjoy life, enjoy fam­i­ly, enjoy friends, and con­tribute to soci­ety as best I can. And I think pro­vid­ing ener­gy, I think pro­vid­ing the met­als that soci­ety con­sumes, that peo­ple have in their their iPads, in their iPods, in their iPhones… I think that’s an hon­or­able thing to do. What else would you do? You know, why fight that?

The Conversation #18 — David Korten

I like to think that we are an intel­li­gent species. I mean, actu­al­ly the peo­ple that often get this most quick­ly are the peo­ple who are poorest, because they know the sys­tem doesn’t work. But so many of our sup­pos­ed­ly bright­est peo­ple pick this up and don’t ques­tion it. And then we have the all the whole field of eco­nom­ics, which is an ide­ol­o­gy built on assump­tions that if you exam­ine them are absurd. Because you know, econ­o­mists sim­ply look at the econ­o­my as a pric­ing sys­tem. They’re not sys­tem thinkers. Part of the cause our cri­sis is that we’re not edu­cat­ed to think in terms of sys­tems.

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