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Lynd 30 (1:52)
Topic(s): Government
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Video Transcript

There's the pessimistic view that essentially we're already committed to so many things, so much global warming, so much population growth, that things look really bleak, and we must be headed towards disaster. And that coexists with an optimistic view that there are lots of solutions out there. And I guess that the short answer I can give you is that both of those are true; that extrapolation of current trends is an extremely difficult picture to imagine having a happy ending and that given realization, that we need to be on other paths, we've only started to scratch the surface as a society towards how we can do things better.

My favorite way to look at this, and I'll credit a book called Natural Capitalism, which put this in a nutshell: Before the first Industrial Revolution, people were scarce and resources were plentiful. And so we leveraged that which we had little of, namely us, with that which we had a lot of, namely resources, and we saw the consequences which include, you know, orders of magnitude increase in per-worker output, which was the limiting factor back then, but orders of magnitude increases in resource— or many orders of magnitude resource utilization increases as well.

So now it's the opposite. People are plentiful and resources are scarce and literally, we need a second Industrial Revolution. And if we will commit to that, I think that we can have a world that enjoys higher standard of livings than— I think we can navigate this transition in a smooth way, and the world can enjoy a higher standard of living, which I think is a security-breeding property. The world can enjoy a higher standard of living than it ever has throughout recorded history.

So, you know, in a world where we're prepared to innovate and change, I'm optimistic about the future. In a world where we're not prepared to innovate and change, I'm deeply concerned.



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