–The root cause of unsustainability is pinpointed in ways that render us oblivious to history: The rationale for irrigated agriculture was to sustain crop production throughout the year; the rationale for burning coal was it generated a manifold increase over energy needed to dig it out.
–There is no little irony in a purely self-interested market approach to deregulated electricity coordination and a purely technology-based approach to decentralized electricity coordination that promises to automate out selfishness.
–Beau Brummell, when questioned by a companion which of the lakes he preferred, reportedly asked his valet, “Which one of the northern lakes do I prefer?” “I believe it is Windermere, sir,” replied the valet. Whereupon Brummell turned to his questioner, “Apparently it is Windermere.” Quite droll—until you realize his “apparently” is indifferent even to drollness. Indifference—this not caring one way or another—is a killer in public policy and management.
–I can’t be the only one struck by the affinity between those 19th century novels whose plots were driven by coincidence after coincidence all the way to a happy ending and today’s crisis narratives where one mistake after another has led to certain disaster.
–Those “do-something-now!” can have the same urgency the Yankee poet felt when needing to commemorate another Civil War battle.
–The obstinate truth is that the costs to society of confronting limitless disaster scenarios is set by the present danger of ignoring ones easy enough to identify and assess already.