Comment 43163

By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted July 12, 2010 at 23:11:16

There are technologies which could fix these problems. If big corporations profited from sustainable technolgical solutions, why is there so little investment in solar? Why weren't big efficient train networks developed decades ago?

Virtually every level of technology which preceded ours was FAR more sustainable. If you were to put two lines on a ten-thousand year graph, technology and environmental destruction, they'd match each other nearly exactly (both peaking at times like the late Roman Empire).

Are cars going to get more efficient? Yes. Though they clearly haven't been working hard (there was a decades-long stagnation thanks to SUVs) at it, they'll have to. The question is, will those efficiency gains be swallowed up by more driving, and more drivers, or whether it will complement a transition?

I'm not saying that technology itself is inherently bad, but relying on it to fix our woes is an act of religious faith, not rational or scientific observation. Some technologies will unquestionably help us fix the world. However, the first priority needs to be finding the excess capacity and shutting it down. A factory fishing boat must consume an unsustainable number of fish to pay its bills. This kind of technology, like deep-sea oil drilling and the tar sands, just has to go. Whether the local-scale fisheries and energy production which replace them work with thousand-year-old net designs or GPS navigation (or likely both), what is important is that there are enough fish being born and growing up to be caught the next year. If there aren't, that city-sized floating factory is going to have to shut down anyway, just like Eastern Canada.

Comment edited by Undustrial on 2010-07-12 22:31:58

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