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View Diary: An Economy cannot be based on CONSUMPTION (285 comments)

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  •  You may be looking at an (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Badjuh, NoMoreLies

    historical artifact over the past century or so and not some fundamental truth about life on planet earth.  Take oil out of the equation and a fallacy begins to emerge.  Add the environmental destruction that burning up all that oil and coal is producing and any notion of indefinite human economic growth begins to fade.  

    •  i agree (0+ / 0-)

      that "infinite" growth is impossible, as is "infinite" anything. eventually all stars will die and the universe will be cold and dead.

      but that's really not the point. you can get more production from the same resources with technology. there's a reason why the same plot of farmed land can feed many more people today than before, orders of magnitude more.

      growth is a far, far better option than the alternative - a lack of growth.

      and yes, it needs to be done in as "conservationist" a manner as possible. that's why we need things like governmental regulations, etc.

      •  That "orders of magnitude more" (0+ / 0-)

        in farm production from technology is mostly based on oil.  Petrochemicals and machinery made by and powered by oil.

        •  no it's not (0+ / 0-)

          it's also based on advances in things like land use knowledge, irrigation, modifying cops (both the old fashioned way of breeding them, and genetic modification), etc.

          and yes, we get power from oil now. it wasn't always so - we've used animal power and steam power int he past, for example. we have non-oil means of generating power available now, and that should become more prevalent in the future.

          •  Didn't say that the field of (0+ / 0-)

            agriculture (no pun intended) hasn't advanced in the past few thousand years.  Only that your "orders of magnitude more" really is all about oil.  As seemed clear enough to me in "The Ominvore's Delemma," oil has generally retarded improvements in agriculture.  

            •  it really is not (0+ / 0-)

              all about oil.

              simple crop-rotation greatly increased the amount of crops that could be grown on a plot of land.

              and as I mentioned, there are many others (including changing the crops through breeding and genetic modification), etc.

              hell, even the invention of the plow did a lot.

              and once again, crop yields increased due to technology before oil and will continue to do so after oil.

              •  Your point is what? (1+ / 0-)
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                That crop rotation, animal and plant breeding, and the plow are technological advances that increased crop yields by "orders of magnitude more?"  Hell, GMOs don't even increase yields.  

                Real farmers have long known most of what you cite as technological improvements and have long been feeding their communities.  Much of that has been replaced by agri-business and that's based on oil.  Higher yields and fewer workers.  Meanwhile, the world population has multiplied exponentially.  If non-oil food production technology is going to appear and feed the estimated ten billion humans, it better appear quickly because the oil dependent agriculture is killing the planet.      

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