This article is the part 1 from Chapter 4 of Richard Heinberg’s new book The End of Growth, which is set for publication by New Society Publishers in August 2011. This chapter explores the possibilities of innovation, substitution and efficiency to maintain economic growth.
Won’t Innovation, Substitution, and Efficiency Keep Us Growing?
I want to believe in innovation and its possibilities, but I am more thoroughly convinced of entropy. Most of what we do merely creates local upticks in organization in an overall downward sloping curve. In that regard, technology is a bag of tricks that allows us to slow and even reverse the trend, sometimes globally, sometimes only locally, but always only temporarily and at increasing aggregate energy cost.—Paul Kedrosky (entrepreneur, editor of the econoblog Infectious Greed)