[Author Prev][Author Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Author Index][Thread Index]

Re: synth vs. the environment (Audi content only insofar

>>future.  Therefore, the whole debate that you propose is only a matter of 
>>time.  Is it your Grandchildren, or their children that will deal with the 
>> problem . . . or their children?  Does it matter to you? <clipped again>

>Yes it matters.  But the matter of time isn't in the next 20 years or 
>probably the next 200 years.  I guess I'm a bit more optimistic about things. 
>I put it in the post I wrote to Huw: zero-sum and underestimating 
>technological progress.  We don't give ourselves enough credit to figure 
>things out.  

At any given point in time (most of us live in the present, not in the
past or in thr future), growth *is* zero sum. The kind of economic growth
the Limbites champion takes place over generations, and not during the
finite lives of human beings.

And, can you say, "Tower of Babel" ?

> >> Gee, I though that proven reserves were actually rising.
> >What we know is there may be... I find it hard to imagine that the
> >*actual* amount could be rising.

> Umm, think about it.  There's still plants and microbes getting squished
> under the crust somewhere.  It's not like oil was getting made for the last
> 200 million years and it's just stopped in the last couple decades (think
> about this too: the earth is still making diamonds).  Besides, we're better

Even in a hundred human generations, the underground material which
is making the transition toward petroleum will not become usable
petroleum in any quantity sufficient to affect our petro reserves.

(No, I can't back it up, but I'll bet dollars to doughnuts it's true).

Meanwhile, then-head of Audi, Ferdinand Piech made sure the ur-Q had a 
23.8 gallon gas tank so that "When the world runs out of oil, I want the
Audis to be the last automobiles to stop."

> at extracting oil than in the past.  Fields that were 'depleted' are being
> pumped again.  We can drill deeper (think how large the earth is: about
> 8000 miles in diameter (depends where you measure, we're not really round))
> than we used to.  The first real oil well struck pay dirt at 70 feet.  The
> Saudi fields struck oil at a couple-few thousand feet.  Just a short while
> ago, we could only drill a mile or so deep.  Now, most oil wells are
> between 3,000 - 16,500 feet deep but wells as deep as four or five miles
> are sometimes drilled.  Think how much oil is sitting there, just out of
> reach now that will be in reach in the next decade.  Look at deep water
> drilling too: Just a few years ago, waters of more than 1,000 feet deep

"When the world is running down, we'll make the best of what's still around"
  -The Police

> When I got my undergrad degree in Econ, one of the things that struck me
> the most was how everyone thinks with a "zero sum" mentality.  So much so
> that I focused on that in my graduate studies.  There is practically
> nothing in this world that is zero sum.  And if it is zero sum, the
> quantity involved is so great that it really doesn't matter anyway.  Finite
> is an unwieldy term to throw about when talking about natural resources.

Again, long-term views are good things, but my nieces and nephews need
to eat *now*, not generations in the future. Hopefully, there will be future
generations with the same needs.

As Bob Myers wrote, we're at capacity _now_ w/r/t ability to feed the world's
existing population. Much of that capacity is not sustainable, as it relies
on a technology that looked good at first- monoculture (the growing of a
single foodsource, such as a specific engineered variety of rice, as opposed
to th multiple varieties usually grown in a region).

If technology was always deployed and funded by scientists and 
technologists, we might not end up choosing the short-sighted technologies
that *marketing* ends up moving us toward (Can you say ADM?), in the ever-
important need to boost quarterly profits in a never-ending addiction to

> Please do, it's an excellent read.  To do it justice, you need to get the
> 1980 book and read it.  Highlight everything that strikes you as odd,
> unbelievable and that you disagree with.  Then pick up the 1996 copy (free
> from the web now) and read how right he was.  Another excellent author to
> read is Paul Zane Pilzer.  "Unlimited Wealth" and "God Wants You To Be
> Rich" should be in everyone's personal library. I used to think resources
> were limited and all that: the _theorys_ are so seemingly logical and
> comfortable to believe.  But virtually all of them don't hack it empirically.

Again, here we go with short-term thinking versus long-term thinking. You
can't test theories that resolve only in the long-term with short-term empirical

Regardless of the posturing I or anybody else engages in (since most of us 
here are not trained scientists), I guess this comes down to a matter of 
belief, faith, and religion.

Anybody ever heard of the Phillips Curve?

-Doug Q
-Douglas Hurst Quebbeman (dougq@iglou.com)       [Call me "Doug"]
    QuattroClub USA# 4536     Audi International # 100024
       74 100LS Auto,     84 Coupe GT 
       77 100LS Auto,     86 5Kcstq QLCC 1.8bar  
"The large print giveth, and the small print taketh away."  -Tom Waits