One of the primary reasons I chose to start this site, and to promote the idea of engineering for the sake of efficiency just because it was a smart thing to do, was because of the ideas expressed in this piece recently published by the Wall Street Journal: The Scarcity Fallacy, WSJ, 26APR2014
I believe most critical thinkers, when observing the dialogue presented by most in the mainstream press, have to question some of the absolutes presented, that we as readers are to take for granted. Among these are the obvious low hanging fruit of celebrities who espouse ecology friendly viewpoints of reducing our carbon footprint, while travelling in their private jets to "green" events to relay those opinions to their public. I would like to take it a step higher than those well meaning, but perhaps not critically thinking celebs, to those that dwell in the area of research or scientific analysis. For years we have heard that one day we will run out of fossil fuels, water, or the ability to feed the human population of this planet. Based on the technology and utilization of the most inexpensive process of the day, that may have been true at the time. If one were to take that snapshot in time, and extend those processes and assumptions based upon them to 20, 30, or 50 years ahead, it would yield a dismal future indeed. My question is, why do we have to fix these predictions in our collective mindset as the way things will really be?
Politics aside, we are above that as educated, rational thinkers. If we look back to the mid to late seventies, the popular press published plenty of articles on the concerns of the global cooling, and how we may not have the temperate zones necessary to support the growing of the needed food supply of a burgeoning human population. Now one hears the same concerns about global warming, which is now morphing into the much more vague "climate change". Regardless of a warming or cooling climate, we are much more capable of adapting to whatever may come. This article spells out exactly how that adaptation has taken place, and how it will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. Portending doom sells the news, be it pulp, talking heads, or tweets. Rational minds tend to think beyond that. A highly recommended, and thought provoking read.