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Resource Revolution

2016-10-08 15:18:32 | 日記

The book highlights the importance of modern technology in revolutionizing the use of resources from low productivity to higher productivity. The authors also believe technology is the solution to the fundamental problem claiming that resources are limited.

Technology --> innovation --> effective use of resources in business sector --> higher resource productivity --> the prices of resources approach equilibrium => Resource Revolution

The revolution helps improve people’s well-being as follows:

Resource Revolution --> improvements in efficiency: production and consumption --> new modes of business --> employment and labour markets: increasing wages + the rise of the middle class

So, the main idea is not new. It is an optimistic view about the future that new technology can optimise people's utility functions at low cost, with zero or less side effects on the environment. This means tchnology will solve or mitigates all the current worries about unsustainable resources and climate change.

However, there are many scholars who oppose to this optimistic view. Behavioral economists claim that individuals have self-control problem, namely their preferences are likely to be ill-formed and murky, due to psychological weaknesses and ignorance. It is true that technology can help to minimize costs, to eliminate wastes and to improve resource productivity but people would consume more and more, resulting in the opposite outcomes known as the Jevons paradox.

What is new in the book are the interesting case studies included as evidence for the author's theory.

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