What do we mean by “limits to growth”? Why should vegans care?
Last fall I gave a talk on “Limits to growth and veganism” via Zoom. I did make a recording, but the recording quality wasn’t very good, so I produced this YouTube video instead. This isn’t exactly what I said, but it’s closer to what I should have said. Let me know any questions below in the comments. I haven’t yet covered all the topics I promised to cover, but there will be more such videos.
Thank you for the video lecture. I look forward to more of these very pertinent lectures. Although I agree humanity has to shift to veganism and non-carbon energy sources, along with consumer products that can be recycled when their use is obsolete, the definition of the terminology/concept “limits to growth” must be better delineated. What aspects of growth must be limited? Economic growth, material production, human occupation of land space, etc. We must further delineate what cannot grow, because increased economic growth does not necessarily use more natural resources since humans will exchange monies for objects, information, etc. that do not create harm to the natural environment. An information economy can grow and not harm the natural infrastructure. Thus we must define what parts of the human economy must be limited.
Yes, you’re right. “Limits to growth,” as I use the idea, refers to limits on the physical growth of the economy. Knowledge and information takes up little or no physical space; perhaps nothing more than the inside of our brains, or maybe a book, or a computer that can store vast quantities of information in a small space. Some aspects of the physical economy are more limited than others; iron is relatively abundant in the earth’s crust compared to, say, elements like dysprosium and neodymium.
And now this, discussing deforestation: “Based on the current resource consumption rates and best estimate of technological rate growth our study shows that we have very low probability, less than 10% in most optimistic estimate, to survive without facing a catastrophic collapse.”
Great video! Albeit somewhat depressing. But very informative.