The Future Is Bleak

Yesterday’s video was incredibly optimistic. Today’s…not so much.

This is actually a hard video to pay attention to because the presentation isn’t very good. I’ll sum up the points though.

Paul Gilding argues that humans have met capacity on the planet, that we, in fact, need 1.5 Earths just to meet demand. To those who say we need to yet increase our economies to feed the poor, he says the rules of physics don’t bend to help the needy. We’re too full, end of story.

Unfortunately, he doesn’t provide any proof, but to say there’s science to back it up and that the evidence is all around us.

Then he makes an interesting point that a lot of the conflicts and protests and financial problems countries are facing are symptoms of this limit. He says it’s a “system in the painful process of breaking down.”

What I find fascinating is how we bridge this expert, this smart man, with the guy who spoke on my blog yesterday. How can one guy have such a bleak take on our situation, and another have such an optimistic one?

Here’s Gilding’s video:

2 Responses

  1. Just read this tweet by @bryan_caplan: Ordinary thinkers tell us what to worry about. Extraordinary thinkers tell us what to be happy about.

    I was going to ask you if you’d seen Diamandis’ presentation but then I saw your earlier post. I’m captured by the reading of Abundance (his book, co-written w/ S. Kotler) and though I’ve oscillated in degrees of optimism about it in the past couple of months, I’ve never reached Gilding’s pessimism.

    1. Great quote, Luis!

      It’s interesting to me, the range of pessimists. Alarmists to the left; alarmists to the right. I guess you get so attached to an issue that it being proved dire is more important to you than happiness, truth, and well-wishing.

      Unless, of course Gilding and his ilk are right. Than I understand their concern as everyone sits idly by.

      The problem is believing them, though, is that how many times have experts cried wolf?

What say you?