I hear a lot of people arguing among themselves that “capitalism is failing; we can’t keep up growth in this resource scarce world we are now living in.”
I say BS! if we lived in a world were we only did manufacturing then sure, this would be true - but we don’t. Much of our economies are based around other types of work. When I was in secondary school doing geography these were broken down into four sectors and I will repeat them here for clarity.
Four sectors of industry
The majority of our jobs are in Tertiary and Quaternary industries and these are still growing. There is no reduction on the amount of information on a day to day basis and this needs to be managed. Also, These two sectors are responsible for efficiency improvements across all sectors and new technology and techniques that change our resource usage from scarce resources to abundant ones.
While I agree that with some resources getting scarcer, for example oil needing to be recovered from shale deposits, this will mean that we move onto other less scarce resources. This could mean running our transport on electricity, hydrogen or ethanol.
The biggest problem we face is not the scarcity of resources since there is still a massive untapped amount out there, it is trying to do so cleanly and without damage to the world we live in.
However, we do still need to look at our current resource usage. We need to consider what by-products we have at each stage and what we can do to decrease the overall resource use. We need cradle to grave product design - product that are design to be made from materials that are less resource intensive and safe to extract from the environment and once finished with, able to be disposed of/recycled in a way that isn’t harmful to the environment.
– originally published Mar 24 2011tags: