Primary Industry and the recovery
June 24, 2013
An argument against the assertion: “In political-economic reality, we’re still reliant on fossil fuels”
If all economic activity were purely there to convert energy, maybe that would make sense. But economic activity is actually to manage resources necessary for life. We do not have to progress into some kind of mythic space age to be successful. We have to live, grow, breed and die without making too much mess in the process. Progress means more result from less energy. Our service sector includes intellectual and cultural industries we are rather excellent at and form valid exports.
The model of human productivity and economy that depends on primary industry seems destined to fail. We can not expand primary production to solve our problems. Economic activity must be shared by all and what we make matters.
It makes little difference to the consumer if the public transport burns oil or electricity generated by nuclear power. They spend a fare or walk based on price. But this does not mean that to reduce transport costs we had better drill for more oil and gas. It is an example of how a service industry drove academic progress in science due to the war effort; the software revolution and being at the forefront of academic achievement in the sciences and arts is going to have larger economic effects in the long term than primary or secondary industry will.
Primary produce also includes agriculture and that in itself has an extraordinary economy involving much waste and unsafe practices.