Sunday, August 19, 2012

Up from the past

Here is Mark Perry on the 40th anniversary of the Club or Rome's report.  They were simply the latest in a long line of way off-base doomsayers.

Here is an updated worry ("The cost of cool") from today's NY Times.  What will we do when the world's poor start consuming air conditioning?

There are some things the author might think about.  First, if the world's urban poor become consumers of A/C it is because they have become more productive.  The pool of goods and ideas will have expanded.  Second, the technology is never static and it is a good bet that A/C will become more efficient.  Third, pricing externalities is always an option.

There have always been forces may be at work that the pessimists overlook

This week's Economist includes "A continent goes shopping ... Africa's growing middle class has money to spend."  The picture, like all others, includes setbacks and rough spots.  But who on Earth wants to swap places with their ancestors?  The future has its challenges, but the past was much worse.


Ronald Baily has much more on the failed doomdsay theme.