Right, it’s not only that things get more expensive, but more profitable to make more expensive too. On the downslope as shortages develop faster than expectations are broken the prices of things are driven up. Then people who control resources profit from accelerating their depletion which vastly worsens the problem.
I think that’s a good general explanation for why the last tree on the Easter Islands was cut down. It was the one with the highest profit to the owner. That that also effectively terminated what was probably a kind of “tree worship” civilization is the curiosity…
That particular irrationality is a big part of what we are in fact dealing with ourselves, profiting from creating scarcities, but in the end that ‘attractor’ of increased profits push the system toward an end of profits.
It’s like we’re standing over a crack in the earth opening beneath us, and needing to get to one or another side. You need some of the energy from the depleting resources caving in on you for jumping to catch hold of any of the lands of sustainability slipping away on the either side.
Re: Anselmo Pedroni
Sent: Thursday, January 22, 2009 8:37 AM
Subject: Re: Barak’s great & tragic hopes
“You can’t change directions after you deplete resources till they’re unprofitable”
It goes the other way around, Phil, essential ressources become increasingly expensive & profitable as they approach exaustion.
Simple offer/demand dynamics. The change is triggered by cheaper substitutes, new re-cycling pathways, new (previously negleted) sources or… a civilisation collapse.