Andy Revkin reposted on Dot Earth my comment (below) on Can Jeremy Grantham Profit From Ecological Mayhem? by Carlo Rotella in the NY Times Magazine. On Dot Earth Andy also inserted other views, posting them together as Linear Resources + Exponential Demand = ?.
The gist is that it does indeed *seem* an economy designed to consume its resources ever faster would end in mayhem. Except that’s not how nature always does it, making it a choice. To solve it would change our institutions, but not would be a lot worse.
The mayhem option is there, and as I’ve discussed in an Profiting from Scarcity and Vicious spirals & relief. From a systems science and sustainable investment view I have an article in the current New European Economy, “A decisive moment for Investing in Sustainability” also with discussed of Jeremy Grantham’s financial world view and research comments and links at big news… from Henshaw, Grantham &… the earth.
Appended are my two responses to the Dot Earth discussion, #12 “science is finding questions for which there are confident answers” and #28 a more modern view of Malthus.
What most people don’t adequately factor in…,
including Grantham, is how classically similar to a “Malthusian crisis” our collision with the resource limits of the earth is. Our economy is having to adjust to the earth providing linear rates of supply to satisfy our built-in exponentially growing demand. What’s hidden from view is that nature has two ways to handle that classic crisis of natural limits. Continue reading