Humanity’s Final Chapter*
Diminishing Returns – harbinger of humanity’s final chapter
The “law” of diminishing marginal returns applies to successive investments in
nonrenewable natural resource (NNR) exploitation…
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Comments: "Diminishing Returns"
Comments: "Diminishing Returns"
January 6, 2013
Thanks so much for your most recent article. As always, excellent work.
Here are a few of my humble observations and thoughts, adding further despondency to the whole situation.
Aggregating all NNRs from a planetary perspective, thereby creating a single theoretical planetary NNR unit to your lessons, should help clearly convey our grave circumstances, thusly causing even deeper concern amoung readers.
Following from the above, one could point out that it is our traditional economic theory that drove us into this abyss. And it still fails to acknowledge or understand the realities we now face in terms of certain economic collapse, particularly as NNRs diminishing returns will tie directly to the dilution and collapse of all currencies. Few will understand, it seems, until it is much to late, that this is the true and primary cause of ALL Fiscal Cliffs - not our politicians, for sure.
The diminishing returns from the planetary NNR unit are also dramatically accelerated by population growth, climate change and other related concerns. Throw into this mix, the demise of the supporting social, economic and political frameworks, then the dark outcomes of diminishing returns gets much deeper.
So, the only question to ponder now is: Where do we stand? And based on the projected extraction and consumption growth of the global NNR units, all other things being equal;
HOW MUCH LONGER DO WE HAVE; EVEN ON A BEST CASE BASIS?
Where have all the fish gone?
*William R. Catton Jr. Comments:
Scarcity - Humanity's Final Chapter
by Christopher O. Clugston
“Chris Clugston has pulled together such an array of facts about the path ravenous humanity has trod and the consequences we now confront that no person who fails to read this book should be eligible for election to high office.” – William R. Catton Jr.
Scarcity is a book about humanity’s “predicament”, which can be summarized as follows: the natural resource utilization behavior that enables our current “success”—our industrialized “American” way of life—and which is essential to perpetuating our success, is simultaneously undermining our very existence as a species.
Our industrial lifestyle paradigm is enabled by enormous quantities of nonrenewable natural resources (NNRs)—i.e., the fossil fuels, metals, and nonmetallic minerals that serve as the raw material inputs to our industrialized economies, as the building blocks that comprise our industrialized infrastructure and support systems, and as the primary energy sources that power our industrialized societies.
Ironically, since the inception of our industrial revolution over 200 years ago, we have been eliminating—persistently and increasingly—the finite and non-replenishing NNRs upon which our industrialized way of life and our very existence depend. As a result, most of the earth’s NNRs have become permanently scarce—i.e., there are not enough globally available, economically viable NNR supplies to completely address humanity’s global NNR requirements going forward.
Based upon analyses derived from US Geological Survey (USGS) and US Energy Information Administration (EIA) data pertaining to domestic (US) and global NNR demand, supply, pricing, and utilization; Scarcity provides compelling, if not irrefutable, evidence to support this assertion; in addition to enumerating the causes, implications, and consequences associated with our predicament.
Scarcity is essential reading for those who correctly perceive that the world, especially the industrialized “Western” world, is in a state of decline—decline that cannot possibly be reversed by our incessant barrage of misguided economic and political “fixes”. Scarcity will enable you to make sense of a world that is experiencing the most profound paradigm shift in human history.
NNR scarcity is the most daunting challenge ever to confront humanity. If we Homo sapiens are truly an exceptional species, now is the time to prove it.
"Scarcity is an impressive analysis of our present predicament. Far too many influential people are attempting to address that predicament with flagrantly misconceived notions about it, and most of what nations and their leaders are trying to do about today's troubles remains counterproductive. This you know, and you show it crisply and emphatically.” – William R. Catton Jr.
Note: For those who are unfamiliar with William Catton, he published the seminal work on humanity’s “predicament”, entitled "Overshoot", in 1982. If you have not yet read "Overshoot", I strongly encourage you to do so; it is arguably the most important book written in the 20th century.
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