Best to get it over with quickly.
Posted by aogWednesday, 21 December 2005 at 20:08 TrackBack Ping URL

As we move on from the twentieth century, it becomes increasing difficult to deny the economic benefits to all citizens, even the poorest, from increasing globalization and reduced trade barriers. This discussion over at Harry’s Place saw the protectionists eventually arguing about resource exhaustion rather than economics.

But the problem is that such an argument is really against technological society, not trade per se. And frankly, if that argument were valid, wouldn’t it follow that we should enjoy it while we can, since the resource (oil, in this case) is guaranteed to run out? Using less oil simply means running out a little later, not avoiding the problem. So really, if that’s what you believe, you ought to encourage profligracy to bring about the end as soon as possible. This would put an end to the arguments and force humanity to move on to the non-resource consuming culture that is inevitable anyway, right? No oil based economy is “sustainable” because it relies on a non-renewable resource. So let’s move on as fast as possible.

P.S. I should note that it’s complete for renewable resources, where a sufficient reduced rate of consumption can in fact prevent resource exhaustion (e.g., fisheries).

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