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35836 ¥nhhode 248 The Ark Syndrome?

Q
YET
CÀN THE ECONOMY
ACTUALLY KEEP GROWING FOREVER?
Won't it eventually run out of resources - and grind to a halt?
In order to ensure perpetual growth, we must somehow discover
an inexhaustible store of resources. One solution is to explore and conquer new lands!
For centuries the growth of the European economy and the expansion of the capitalist system
indeed relied heavily on overseas imperial conquests. However, there are only so many islands and continents
on earth! Some entrepreneurs do hope eventually to explore and conquer new planets & even galaxies, but in
the meantime the modern economy has had to find a better method of expanding?! It is science that has provoked
modernity with the solution. The fox economy cannot grow because foxes don't know how to produce more rabbits!?
The rabbit economy cannot grow because rabbits cannot make the grass grow faster?! But the human economy CÀN
grow because humans CÀN discover new materials and sources of energy! The traditional view of the world as a pie
of a fixed size presupposes that there are only two kinds of resources in the world: raw material and energy? But in
truth there are three kinds of resources: raw materials, energy and knowledge! Raw materials and energy are
exhaustible - the more you use, the less you have? Knowledge, in contrast, is a growing resource - the more
you use, the more you have! Indeed, when you increase your stock of knowledge, it can give you more raw
materials & energy as well! If I invest $100 million searching for oil in Alaska & I find it, then now I have
more oil, but my grandchildren will have less of it?! In contrast, if invest $100 million
researching solar energy, & I find a new & more efficient way
of harnessing it, then both I ànd
my grandchildren wìll
have more
energy!