Colonial Latin America (Louis & Mark)

Mark Jones jones118 at
Wed Jun 13 00:36:14 MDT 2001

Julio wrote:

> Mark Jones: >it not only isn't feasible to speak of "substituting for oil
> with alternative technologies, reconverting their industries", as Julio
> does, it's Solowian, Samuelsonian, Rostowan nonsense to mention
> substitutability when it comes to energy. Even Morry Adelman doesn't talk
> any more about oil as a 'renewable, substitutable resource'.  Even Doug
> Henwood doesn't.>
> Why is it nonsense, Mark?  Why is substitutability nonsense when
> it comes to
> energy?  ....
> Conservationists advocate susbtituting for fosil fuel with
> cleaner sources
> of energy.  Why is this impossible?

Julio, this has been so widely debated that I can't believe anyone wants to
hear it again here. (a) There are no substitutes for fossil fuels which
allow business to go on as usual. Renewables are not substitutes. (b) oil
and natural gas are in shorter supply than is generally realised. (c) This
is a serious problem for capitalism and also for the rest of us. Do a Google
search. Start with Colin Campbell. Go on from there (there will be a lot to

> I'm wrong
> and humans perish, neither of you will be here to reproach me nor
> I will be
> here to hear you.

A more clever attitude than this fatalism would be to take the problem
seriously now and prioritise it while there is still time. But that would
require a different kind of politics from yours, which are about 80 years
out of date and are based on a social democratic meliorism which didn't work
even in well-endowed imperialist metropoles like Britain. Far from realism,
what you show is defeatism in practice. You are a lamb trying to have a
rational discussion with wolves about such things as 'decency' and 'our
common concerns'.


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