X : Didn't you work in the environment field?
Me : Well spotted. 1991 - 1994. I used to get shouted at a lot for saying nuclear power was a better option than fossil fuels.
X : Why did you leave?
Me : It was obvious that the market system would prevent change.
X : Do you think it's changing?
Me : Yes, we're creating an entire new market for survival bunkers.
X : You're don't seem very optimistic.
Me : Stupidity of greed is infinite. If you want to fix the problem, look towards China & other Gov action. Solve provision of power.
X : Don't you think the market can solve this?
Me : No, it has a short term focus and the future is is considered an externality. Other than survival bunkers, the best ideas the market will come up with are likely to be rocket ships for rich VCs and bankers.
... or war. That's something the market does well at. Rather than solve the problem (i.e. energy production) we will try and fix the wrong problem (number of people).
X : Why is energy production the problem?
Me : We're constantly moving to more complex, higher order systems. That means our energy demands will go up, no matter what short term measures you take. You need to solve the energy production problem.
X : I'm not sure I understand.
Me : Ok, this map is one from a talk I gave at the Royal Society in 2013. There are a lot of elements to it but basically, no matter what you do ... energy consumption is going up. Your choice is stop progress or solve energy production. pic.twitter.com/7xuzMFoGn6
X : So we need to solve energy production?
Me : Yes. But that's not what the market will do.
X : What will it do?
Me : Build bunkers and rocket ships.
X : That's stupid.
Me : No, that's aggregate effect of the market.
X : I don't understand.
Me : Ok, lets just say it's stupid.
X : Is there a solution?
Me : Yes, Government but at this stage that requires something else.
X : What's that?
Me : Dismantling the entire neoliberal apparatus that runs the market.
X : That sounds very political.
Me : Survival always is.
X : What about efficiency?
Me : It's always overrun by demand. I've been through the "this will reduce energy consumption" saga many times. Blockchain might help.
X : Really?
Me : Nah, I'm pulling your leg. The neoliberal dream of undermining Gov will reduce options.
X : You talk a lot about options.
Me : I like options especially when dealing with the uncertain future.
X : Surely an option is the market will develop a more efficient and less damaging means of energy production.
Me : The technical term for that is "praying".
X : I disagree with you.
Me : That's fine. I used to have certain environmentalists shouting in my face because of my support of nuclear power back in the 1990s. Polite disagreement is a vast improvement.