Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Infrastructure change challenge and opportunity

Society pays for education in the hope of a reward that will benefit the larger public good. Resources undermine this goal because they offer the road to wealth through speed i.e quick ill-gotten-gains. Education produces Engineers who figure out how to use resources, like diamonds, to make a product that no one wants; and Marketeers who figure out how to get people to ask for it; and products from the schools of public policy who torture people far from the intended markets (because of local depletion which led to the formation of empires) to work in the resource industries and produce the goods and rules to keep competition from the product markets. AIG shows that private insurance is another such useless product.

That infrastructure of military and government and markets is overbuilt. The energy source of cheap fossil fuels is running out. If that was it we would be fine. But transferring them from the ground to the air, water, and our body tissue has given us the problem of global warming. Worse the intellectual edifice around the engineers has collapsed- the experts don't know what to do; their solutions try to retard innovation and entrench the past. The challenge is to build a coalition to address necessity is immense since the discourse around the topic is shrouded in the fear of the power of state inspired terror and the business elites- BAU. We need to go beyond the calling cards of power: entitlement and corruption.

However as long the challenges remain unaddressable and the discourse is limited there will always be the O'Tooles and GW Deniers who make an industry from seeming to be right.
The Guardian writes Wednesday December

Discussions in Brussels and Poznan this week will be decisive in terms
of setting the tone for next year, when the world must agree on a
successor to the Kyoto protocol or face irreversible and devastating
climate change. The signs do not look good: in Brussels, Italy, Poland
and Germany are trying to water down commitments on emissions
reductions, backed by shortsighted business lobbies. Meanwhile in
Poznan everyone appears to be waiting for someone else to move first.

Society needs to reevaluate its goal of economic progress. Everything points to the immense benefits of recessions and depressions including a lower population. Government needs to get out of the economic progress business so that we can live in a healthy depressed economy where we grow our own food and recycle our own trash. We need to address consumption. Without addressing the necessity of the demand side why put in (a different) infrastructure? Is it any different then?

A carpet showroom and a parking lot got bombed by ice- I would think that's just global warming deserts for melting the ice caps. But the fact that these losing enterprises are around, except powered by windmills, is not a long term solution. Government builds industrial blocs like autos through subsidization of land uses, easy money credit, and unethical thumb in the pot Congressional oversight which results in zeroed out 401ks. Shouldn't we know better?

If we go around wailing for leaders we are lost. We need to know how to grow our own food or support a local food system with a farmers market in walking or biking distance. And we need to figure out how to recycle our own trash including composting toilets. That is not leadership material. Its the end of asking for government to design in economic progress since we now know for most generations it leads to worthless 401ks.

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