I've been more than a month without posting and although I would have liked to write something more about the MWC all the travels and social compromises refrained me to do so.
I would like to write, nevertheless, about something that appeared in a conversation in one of my last business trips. It was about the present financial crisis and its relationship with the energy crisis. The argument was that as our hunger for oil and other resources is so big and our wastes would need three planets to be naturally degradated, we are facing the end of our economic and technological progress.
My point was that this is actually what was pointed by Malthus: The catastrophe in front of a peak on demand and scarcity of resources. Malthusian theories demonstrated wrong because they did not take into account one endogenous factor, i.e. Technological progress.
It is right that we have a problem of scarcity with the present resources and that this trend is not sustainable in the long run, but the solution is not stopping the wheel from spinning, but invest in research and apply an economic rationallity to the resources and reflex in its price the actual costs of consuming these resources.
From a Physics perspective we have not reach in any way the limit of energy consumption nor of space occupied: Only a small fraction of the energy that comes from the sun would be necessary to supply the present energy needs and vast areas of the earth remain deserted.
This does not mean that things will get on track alone and we have to do nothing. We have a tough task in front of us, but if we realize of the importance of the problem and strongly believe that altogether we can find a solution, it will come.