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Jax

Can the world get richer forever?

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Can the world get richer forever?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-31868506

 

 

Since the dawn of the industrial age, the world has steadily been getting wealthier, despite setbacks such as the Great Depression and the more recent global financial crisis.

We make more, sell more and consume more than ever before.

Can we really keep up this pace of growth?

 

Too many people and only one earth to me means no.

 

Boiling Oceans in 400 years?

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For me the answer is yes. 

 

Firstly it's worth noting that we have a crust kilometers deep but we only get resources from the top 2km. Secondly there's the entire continent of Antartica. Thirdly there are companies already looking at space mining. So essentially, we will likely never run out of the resources to fuel growth. 

 

Food is a function of space and population, so long as the global fertility rate is below about 4 then productivity growth should tend to exceed population growth. Additionally, it is speculated that food production could increase by several hundred percent if we switched from meat to crops (possible in this day and age). Energy and water for vast parts of the world are simply a function of money since we have the technology to produce both. This also assumes that we don't crack fusion or renewable.

 

So long as markets are relatively free, capital abundant, education good and people, people.. innovation will continue to occur since human wants are infinite and the institution of marketing effective.

 

.....

 

By the time i die (i'm 26 now) i would be suprised if we do not largely have clean energy and space mining. 


I did forget to add that the Africans mainly may have a problem since they are poor and have high fertility rates. 

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I agree with SB to an extent but for me the answer is 'No' and 'Yes' - If we keep going on the same way as we are now, then quite clearly the world will warm quite considerably and this will put pressure on available land resources for agriculture,  diminished water supplies in parts of the world, a decreasing food supply from the oceans as a result of acidification and with an increasing population it will put increasing pressures on the populations leading to further wars.

 

On the other hand many societies which formally had large families are now restricting the sizes of these and although the population will continue to increase until about the middle of the century to about 9 billion I would expect it level off and perhaps even start to decrease. If we manage our carbon emissions and keep the rise in the global temperature to 2C or less, we will not suffer quite the same impact from global warming and what is associated with it.

 

Also there is much good work being done around the world in reclaiming what was once waste land by sensible irrigation, terracing and conserving what supplies of water there are, plus further could be done in using solar energy to power desalination plants, thus increasing the areas for agriculture - we have reached a stage now where by GM crops are no longer the dirty word they were, so all in all I would expect us to keep pace with the increasing population.

 

Historically we have relied on younger generations to provide for the elderly in their retirement, which raises the possibility of a demographic decline caused through less having to support more as the average age rises but as we are finding in view of better health care certain governments are extending the retirement age upwards to take account of this - more efficient production methods will mean that we will be able to do more for less input of energy.

 

But to have all these we really do need the active co-operation of pretty well all the nations and industrialists in this world and quite honestly the time to act is now - there is no point in waiting a couple of decades to see how things pan out because by that time it will become so much more difficult and costly to repair the damage done.   

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I would expect our reliance on fossil fuels esp in the developed world to have disappeared entirely by the end of this century to be replaced by clean and cheap sources ie extracting energy from water itself and such like and other things we have yet to even have knowledge about. There are things in the world today that we take for granted that people 100 years ago could not even have imagined and I expect the same to be true for 100 years time. So to assume that major issues that effect our society today will still be around in the future is wrong.

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The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer so yes and no to that.

But seriously if we keep going as we are the world is actually getting poorer after those nuclear bombs in Nagasaki etc,the world can`t stand any more abuse so many diasters BP oil leaks uranium in Iraq, fukashima so a huge cleansing will have to happen to clean all this mess up.

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