Hein (fub) wrote,
Hein
fub

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Capitalist environmentalism

While I could be considered concerned about the environment, I am by no means a tree-hugging hippie. For instance, I firmly believe that alternative energy sources should be economically feasible before being implemented for large-scale energy production.
For instance: how much does it cost to build and operate a windmill? How long will it last, and what is the value (price) of the energy that it generates? I know that ten years back, this sum yielded a negative result: the windmill itself was more expensive than the energy it generates. Using windmills back then was not a wise decision. I must admit I don't know about the current situation. With advances in engineering, it is quite possible that windmills are now feasible.
I think that, as 'traditional' energy sources become more expensive because of increasing consumption and, hence, shortages, the alternative sources will become viable. Subsidies are unneeded and, indeed, unwanted.

With respect to electronics, the tipping point has been reached. With increasing demand for stuff like gold and copper, the prices have gone up. This has made it viable to recycle discarded electronics -- not to spare the environment (though that is certainly a welcome side-effect), but because the recycling plant produces as much raw gold as a small goldmine. Recycling is, literally, a goldmine.

I think this is incredibly cool.
Tags: society, technology
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