One Finite Planet

One Finite Planet

Industrial/Growth Age vs Information/Eco Age

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Industrial/Growth Age Characteristics

(discussed in detail later in the post)

  1. automation replaces manual labour
  2. time to travel continually decreases
  3. automation and culture spreads around the globe
  4. population growth is unprecedented
  5. economic markets expand rapidly
  6. the Christian religion is the dominant religion of the revolution

Have I missed any? Most likely yes.

Information/Eco Age Characteristics

(again, discussed in detail later)

  1. a new wave of intelligent automation replaces even manual and even some skilled labour
  2. virtual travel becomes an alternative to physical travel
  3. the globe is already linked, and propagation of new ideas is virtual
  4. population growth will very likely stall
  5. economic markets may be largely static
  6. conflict is being channelled into religion

Industrial/Growth Age Discussion.

Automation.

Automation started to be able to replace manual labour, and the ‘Ludites’ and others panicked as to what would happen to the displaced labour.  However, the automation helped create new wealth, and this new wealth created people able to spend on new products that never even existed previously, and that created new employment opportunities.

But it wasn’t just the automation that fuelled the economic growth.

Transport.

Shipping became faster and rail emerged to speed travel over land.  Improved transport enabled trade at greater distances, and more profitably to existing markets. Then cars and trucks arrived adding to the low cost transport options and final air travel. During the industrial age markets for many products moved from local to global in range.

Spread of Culture and Technology.

Significant empires of the British, French Spanish and German empires covered much of the globe. The emerging USA was founded on European culture.  European based ideas dominated the globe. This European influence was magnified by the new industrial capability which also had an origin first in Europe and then from both Europe and North America (itself largely and extension of Europe).  This allowed new trade in the technology of industrialisation as well as the products of that industrialisation.

Population.

The global population grew during the industrial age from around .5 billion to almost 7 billion.  That is a factor of 14x.  During the 20th century alone population grew from 1.5 billion to 6 billion, a four fold increase.

Economic Markets.

From an economic perspective, the population actually grew even faster.  Rural semi subsistence farming in many countries at the start of the industrial age, meant that those people had little participation in the market for many goods and services. By the year 2000 these people had also largely entered the market picture, and the economic participation of women had also grown significantly.

Religion.

The industrial age was largely driven by European culture and thus European religion which was dominated by Christianity.  But in parallel with this spread of religion, was a trend of a decline on average of the importance of religion in peoples lives.

Information/Eco Age Discussion.

Unlike the industrial age, we have only predictions and observations of the launch of the age in place of a full history.  This means much of this is based on the launch of the age rather than the conclusion.

Automation.

A new wave of intelligent automation seems inevitably positioned to take place. Intelligent machines or ‘robots’ are making advances in even such skilled areas as surgery. Clearly, the stage is set for another revolution in how work is done.

Transport.

The new emerging wave is virtual transport.  From 3d printing and virtual reality to the so well established internet a new wave of change is present.  Automated vehicles are in niches such as mining already but seem certain to become mainstream and again revolutionise actual shipping.  3D printing can even avoid shipping altogether.  Video conferences can reduce the frequency of travel for meetings.

Spread of Culture and Technology.

The previous empires are gone.  New ’empires’ of influence are the USA with a commanding presence on the internet and software through Google, Apple Microsoft and the likes of Facebook,  China through manufacturing and even countries such as South Korea through Samsung.  The mix of influences now means a cultural mixing pot.

Population.

The population growth of the previous (20th) century is not predicted to be matched ever again using the boldest of the ‘high’ projections, while humans exist on this earth.  Matching 20th century growth would result in a global population of around 24billion, and the most extreme estimates are below half of that level. In fact during the information/eco age I suggest population may even start to decline globally.  Note that birth rates in developed countries are already at levels that should produce a decline.

Economic Markets.

There is still growth of markets possible from and economic perspective as their are still countries well below developed levels.  The ratio of these countries to developed countries is lower than during the industrial/growth age.  Combined with substantially lower population growth, this means that lower nationwide economic growth is the reality.  Without the same population growth, economic growth per capita can still be strong, but the current economic system is not keyed to this an indicator.

Religion.

We currently have a state of flux.  The most intensely disenfranchised are being lured to extremist religion and terrorism. What will happen is a very complex picture.

 

 

Table of Contents

Categories

Environment: On all paths, disruption is imminent & preparation advisable.

Either we disrupt the economic system of a gradual path to transition from fossil fuels, extreme weather disrupts us, or most likely we deal with a mix of both disruptions.

We are living through many trends that simply cannot continue, and while there is competition for which trend reaching a tipping point will cause the greatest disruption over the next decade, the environment and rising CO2 levels will play a key role by 2030.

While some righteous environmentalists protest for everyone to embrace austerity and simply just stop burning fossil fuels, what is required is replacement infrastructure reliant on fossil fuels. In practice we can’t switch off until positive action replaces the need for fossil fuels, which is progressing too slowly in a failing effort to avoid disrupting economies and the establishment.

Reality is both the extreme weather events that further motivate action and those actions themselves will cause disruption, which will both combine with the disruption from AI and the collapse of economic Ponzi schemes.

Read More »

Population: Our greatest achievement may cause our demise.

Arguably mankind’s greatest achievement, the near eradication of infant mortality, has resulted in a population explosion resulting in overpopulation that we prefer not to mention, even though it may yet kill us. Technically we would not die from overpopulation itself, just as people don’t really die from “old age”, and the real risk is that an already present threat will be exacerbated and become fatal because through our greed we ignore overpopulation.

Unlike old age, the overpopulation risk factor could be avoided or reversed, we may be influenced by economists dependant on Ponzi schemes, the worlds’ largest corporations and billionaires who thrive off the resultant increases in inequality into believing that living conditions required by ever increasing population levels benefit everyone and not just those living in mansions.

Read More »

Cost of coal power vs renewables: China expanding coal while the suckers go green?

If coal fired power can no longer compete on price, then why is China building two new coal power plants per week? Is China somehow able to use coal fired electricity to gain a competitive advantage against western manufacturing which increasingly relies on “clean green” but more expensive energy, with the result that emissions and jobs are simply transferred to China?

The current politics of climate agreements encourage rich countries to offshore some emissions to those countries often forced to be more reliant coal and with higher emissions. Could we fix the problem of China syndrome emissions if there was the political will?

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Righteous environmentalism: an opium for the people concerned about climate.

There is a real need to protect the environment, and advocacy for the environment is great, but that advocacy can acquire traits of a religion, which at the extreme can even result in far-right eco-terrorism, and more in the mainstream can result in righteous environmentalism and embracing austerity and sacrifices as “an opium”.

The “righteous environmentalists” preach this austerity as necessary life of the future to an audience that just see the rich becoming even richer. This blindly serves an alternate agenda and needlessly alienates and disenfranchises much of the population. The result is do-nothing politicians to get re-elected instead of motivating voters for real action on climate change and electing leaders who will act.

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Ideal population of humans: How many people can, or should, each country, and the whole planet support?

It seems like the human population has forever been growing, but any analysis makes it clear growth must stop eventually at some level. The question becomes at what level should growth stop?

Do we go for the maximum possible people just before everything collapses, even if average living standards could be far better with a smaller population? With caged hens being farmed for eggs people advocate for a lower free-range population instead of denser living caged hens as it provides a better existence, but does anyone advocate against multinationals and politicians pushing for denser and denser housing for humans in order to allow bigger populations of humans for them to farm?

It seems to be accepted that global population growth should stop but claimed that countries who end population growth face economic disaster.

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COP27: Climate change action sabotage?

Reports from COP27 seems indicate the key initiative this year to make wealthy nations cover the cost of the damages poor nations will incur as a result of emissions that have main originated from those wealthy nations.

The proposal as it stands has a missing an essential piece, and trying to cover for that essential piece, appears most to likely to increase emissions, and move COP away from a focus on solving the climate crisis and instead toward just fighting over the cost.

This is a troubled look at the key flaw in what has been put forward and the real solution that should be in place.

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