Saturday, May 31, 2014
Economists are trained at an early age to strain at gnats and swallow camels. Environmental consequences of human activities are passed off as "externalities." "Natural resources" (note the human centered term) are free and available for usurpation and profit by individuals and their corporate persons. When resources become scarce, the "invisible hand" of the market place will bring forth substitutes that will allow The Economy to grow indefinitely.
This, of course, is bollocks.
There really are limits to human growth, and we are stretching them as thin as spider webs. Many are convinced that we have already overshot the carrying capacity of the Earth for "Homo sapiens."
The influence of human activity on natural climate variation is unknown quantitatively, but the qualitative effects of the human presence on this planet are plain for all to see. No obtuse economic justification can deny the effects of human pollution, habitat destruction and resource exploitation.
Things that can't go on forever, don't.
What do you have when you chain 1,000 economist to the ocean floor? A good start.