A few comments regarding John Manzella's Commentary of Jan. 5 (“Prepare for slower growth and greater risks”).
He cites China for subsidizing its state-owned enterprises, giving them an "unfair competitive advantage." Here at home we subsidize the uncompetitive nuclear industry, which has already died of market forces decades ago. It still gets zapped with the electric paddles and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation despite producing no net energy. It does, however, spin off plutonium for nuclear weapons that no sane "leaders" would ever use. We have already contaminated earth forever with various radioisotopes.
The article talks of achieving "higher levels of sustainable economic growth," an oxymoron of the greatest magnitude. All growth projections end in collapse. Perpetual growth is the philosophy of the cancer cell. I have spent my professional life watching these cells through a microscope as they relentlessly kill their hosts: your parents, your spouse, your children. Healthy systems achieve growth, which levels off within the range of sustainability and then function to maintain a healthy host.
This planet does not have unlimited resources for human exploitation. We are even now resisting the urgent need to convert to renewable energy sources like solar and wind, because mindless, greedy profiteers in the fossil fuel industries want it now, and don't care about the future of millions of species we depend on, as well as our own species. Homo rapiens (formerly sapiens). They are willing to sacrifice their own children and grandchildren to personal enrichment. Or just ignorant, with the same result.
Meanwhile, earth's human numbers increase by nearly a quarter million every day – every day -- adding huge demands on what is necessary for a decent existence for those of us already here: food supplies as we kill off plant pollinators, housing, roads, schools, hospitals, clean power, all the infrastructure of a civilized society. I believe that present trends mandate human extinction by the year 2100. This planet will then recover and thrive without us. It's simple physics. Does anyone care?
Dr. Don Richardson