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No matter what we do today, about almost anything, there will price fluctuations and civil unrest about something.Does that obligate us to stifle current living standards via public policy for all of these possible future outcomes?
Many of them currently use projections, rather than documented extinctions, although I imagine by the time we observe extinctions if that is the case, things would have progressed beyond a certain reversible point.
The conversation concludes with discussions of other concerns of Laughlin's--the outlawing via legislation and taboo of certain forms of knowledge, and the practice of reductionism rather than emergence in the physical sciences.
Personally, I'm a bit cynical about the future doomsday social scenarios of fossil fuel scarcity.
One major hurdle would be the short term price spike that would occur from this type of change, and seeing if politicians have the staying power to face public outcry over high energy prices.
Apparently, from examples in the podcast discussion about CA and Britain, the track record isn't great there.