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Tag:economics

Tag:economics

Critics of extreme environmentalists have long made the argument that the free market will solve the “end of oil” problem, and the recent boom in solar and other alternative energy producing companies has lent credence to that claim. This summer, skyrocketing fuel prices gave a boost to alternative energy and made “greening” popular, but in the aftermath of the global economic slump, energy prices came back to normal. The New York Times has reported that the poor economic climate and falling oil prices may hinder the development of new green businesses .

And it may turn out that the “end of oil” will never come. Biofuels may give us the ability to continue burning things in order to get our energy. Some environmentalists champion biofuels, but burning ethanol or sunflower oil is less clean than burning gasoline, and so fails to address the problem of global warming.

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The financial crisis in the USA and worldwide makes us wonder how long our incredibly fast rate of scientific progress can last. As global warming accelerates even as the economy slows, our dreams of leaving Earth and spreading life and culture throughout the universe seem ever more distant.. The news of recent days makes us realize that we have not reached a level of prosperity from which we can make impartial judgments about the future, because we are still struggling to manage the present.

How can we possibly hope to wake up as a species and collectively act to preserve future generations when we are stuggling just to make ends meet, to keep from choking ourselves on our own emissions, to keep our house of cards from collapsing?

There is no doubt that immediate action is needed to solve these problems, and the precarious state of the global financial system makes taking any action much more difficult. But we cannot sacrifice our distant future for our immediate future.

In plentiful times we have the luxury of considering our higher purpose, and in time of stress and doubt we are too busy. But considering humanity’s long term goals and place in the universe can help to comfort us, which assists in making difficult decisions free of the influence of panic.

A religious person will tell you that honoring God is important whether you are rich or poor, and they say so because it is true that religious practice is helpful no matter your status. Likewise, the practice of positive thought, and earnest introspection about what truly matters, are important even as we fall into hard times.

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