It is just simple maths with a dash of greed
I had written a post on Collapse a couple of weeks ago where I mentioned the reason it is going to be hard to avoid it. I used a long winding explanation about the pace of innovation. There is a simpler way to put it, hence…
Keeping it simple
The Income generated by any business is the product of volume and price
Income = Volume X Price
GDP is the sum of all of the income generated in an economy.
In order for GDP to go up Income needs to increase. In order for income to increase either volume need to rise or price needs to rise.
Rise of prices leads to inflation; so strictly No-No. How will the rich continue to pay the poor poorly? Who will accept this grave injustice?
In order to increase the volume that we produce we need more energy. Can we produce more while consuming the same energy? Perhaps but not by an order of magnitude.
At a 3.5% GDP growth rate, we double our output every 20 years. We have not in the past and will not in the future become twice as efficient with energy every 20 years. If at all anything we have become more wasteful.
If we go on increasing energy consumption climate will kill us. When your consumption is doubling every 20 years, no matter how much renewable capacity you create, it just manages to keep up with the increase in demand, not replace the old.
So we can either stick with the modern capitalist-economic-free market-growth paradigm and die
Take action which will lead to the contraction of the economy.
None of the western nations are going to do the latter. Their entire political plank, irrespective of ideology, is built on economic growth. They all have leaders with one foot in the grave or are being paid by those who have one foot in the grave. Furthermore, a reason to not take action.
So we will all die.