economic catastrophe

Robert Schrader (
Thu, 6 Feb 1997 15:42:04 -0800 (PST)

<< CyberEd:
I just wonder if...Blade Runner type landscape is what we can realistically
expect or will new technologies change the present resource consumption

Sorry, Ed. Improved technology doesn't make people smarter ( unless it is
implants ), it just enables them to do stupid - or smart - things with
greater effect.

The majority of mankind's history has been under economic systems that
encourage stupid wasteful use of resources. It has only become obvious in
the past few decades because of technological leverage.

The solution is really quite simple IMHO; rearrange your economic system
so that economic values match ecological values. Reward people for
doing things that are ecologically desirable.

A positive example: cows are economically profitable, so some people
have a strong motivation to raise them. We thus end up with more
cattle in this country than in India where they are deified.

A negative example: some migratory birds ( sorry, I forget the species )
are on the endangered species list. If that bird settles on my property,
then I am prevented by law from altering my land. Thus the bird has
become a *negative* economic value. I then have an economic incentive
to shoot the bird, bury it, and deny that it ever was there. People
do this, and the species becomes even more endangered. Negative feedback
doesn't work.

<< How does a posthuman view a grizzly bear? [ ...and his habitat... ] >>

As an oportunity to make a profit... *if* you set up your economy right...
I'll bury you in grizzly bears. I'll raise so many bears that bear farts
will become a contributor to global warming.