Friday, January 21, 2005

We're all gonna die!!!

Last night, I went to an Aurora Forum event - Nature's Economy: Population, Consumption and Sustainability. And heard Paul Ehrlich and Anne Ehrlich interviewed by Gretchen Daily. The Ehrlichs are winners of the Tyler Prize (Nobel equivalent for Environmentalism). Previous winners include: Jared Diamond, Jane Goodall, C. Everett Koop. Not bad company, huh?

The Ehrlich's (with Dr. Daily) have a history of writing about populations (being too high) and the discussion revolved around how we need to reduce the world population (they think to 1.5 billion humans) and consume less (of all our resources) so that humanity can sustain itself forever. How we can get to a population of 1.5 billion (and lose 4.5 billion people along the way) was not discussed or asked. (Damn...that would have made a good question, huh?)

What I learned:
* An increasing amount of economists are working alongside ecologists (this is good)
* Politicians have not yet grasped the concept of consumption (this is not good)
* The majority of economists agree: taxing carbon is the best way to deal with pollution (meaning gas should be $5 a gallon in the US...like in Europe...and the taxes should initially pay for the unemployment that higher gas prices will cause)
* Carbon trading is key and US multi-nationals can take advantage of it (Kyoto Protocol - I agree...even if it's impossible for the US to meet the targets, we should at least be trying)
* The quickest way for us to deal with energy is conservation (turn your damn monitors off!)
* We use something like 12kw per person per year in this country, yet we could get by on 3kw, if we were smart about usage (turn your lights off too!)

1 comment:

juniper said...

meiou. fedex me some tater tots.

ok, i guess that means i should turn off lights etc when i leave. good point. will do so.