Friday, September 21, 2012

The End Of The World As We Know It?

This is an interesting article (via Manan Shukla).  It argues that the age of modernity is coming to an end, and with it the end of the American Dream. The dream is based upon an ideology that John Steinbeck described as a view by the poor that they are "temporarily embarrassed millionaires". It is very clear that our planet cannot support a world in which every nation consumes resources at the level that resources are consumed in America today.  We are entering a period of increasing competition over access to dwindling resources.  Conservatives may be correct in their opposition to environmentalism.  They view it as a threat to the current system of free market capitalism.  They have no problem with greater use of energy saving devises.  Some may even accept current carbon trading systems. Their concern is that environmentalism will inevitably lead to greater government intervention into the economy. They view it as creeping socialism that will lead to a global redistribution of wealth.  They cannot imagine a form of capitalism with limited growth.  They may be correct.  Critics view current approaches to limiting the damages from climate change as "diet cheesecake".  They believe that the changes that will be needed to address climate change cannot occur without an implosion of the current system.  We are entering a transitory period in which a new system will gradually emerge,  but it will not be a graceful entry into a new age. 

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