MR editorial, Dec. 2002

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sun Nov 9 13:34:47 MST 2003


dms wrote:
>  WTO figures for  production, and trade, show a global increase in both over
>the previous decade, both in mass and rate.

So what. Nearly every nation in the world experiences "increase" from year
to year, except occasional cases like Argentina or former Soviet Union.
That's what I used to hear all the time from Henwood and Brad Delong on
Pen-l. From my perspective, the last 10 years were characterized by
stagnation in most of the G7 nations and worse throughout Africa, Asia and
Latin America.

>Vulture guarding a carcass?  Really? but if the law of thermodynamics
>applies, then when the energy expended to protect the carcasss exceeds the
>energy available from the carcass, the vulture flies away.  No such flight
>away has been observed.

If there were alternatives to fossil fuels, the vulture would fly away.

>And depletion in this century?  That's a shift.  This century extends to
>2101-- are you pushing the depletion curve out to that? Our
>Mal-en-thus-iastic depletionists have a much shorter time frame.  Is there a
>new Hubbertist branch out there that has the curve extending to 2101?

No, I am not. I think that the consensus is roughly 2050. There is about
1.2 trillion barrels of oil in reserves and the planet uses about 27
billion barrels a year. You do the math. This is not from Hubbert. It is
from Oil and Gas journals. 50 years is a blink of an eye in human history.

That being the case, we have to think long and hard about the way that
energy is being used, how many people the planet can sustain and lots of
other questions that fall--falsely--under the rubric of "Malthusianism". Of
course, there are Julian Simon socialists out there as well...


Louis Proyect, Marxism mailing list: http://www.marxmail.org


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