The Next Industrial Revolution

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Category: Societal Issues

Date Submitted: 11/13/2012 02:21 AM

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I believe that the important conclusion from “The Next Industrial Revolution” is that, as the title suggests, we are going through a major transformation that is comparable to the First Industrial Revolution, and which brought us to industrial capitalism and increased the opportunities for material development. While industrial systems are on the peak of their success, the natural capital on which we all depend on to create economic wealth is declining at a fast rate, but we are too blinded by the illusion of prosperity to take proper measures to stop it. The nature can’t simply ‘charge us’ for its services, so we keep taking and taking as much as we can, which in the end will lead to catastrophic changes in the climate and the biosphere.

The two pieces of evidence to support this conclusion are that first of all - the economy teaches us that to be successful we need to be constantly developing new ways and constantly growing. When it comes to natural resources, we don’t worry too much about damaging those resources we can’t see or we don’t care abut overexploiting of those that we think will not simply never ‘run out’. And both of those and more are given to us by the planet at no cost.

Natural Capital consists of all the familiar resources used by humans: water, minerals, oil, trees, fish, soil, air, et cetera, as well as all the living systems like wetlands, savannas, oceans, coral reef. At present rate of destruction caused by humans it is estimated that we will loose 70 percent of the world’s coral reefs in our lifetime, which are hosts to 25 percent of the marine life, something most of us won’t even get to see, so why bother worrying about it? This can be applied to any of the above resources - the rate at what we exploit them, also not being too much aware of how the process works and what it causes, contributes to the cause.

The evidence is very strong, because it’s true to how we operate this world and how little thought is put into...