The dynamic today appears different. So far, the oil industry has failed to find major new sources of crude. Absent major finds, prices are likely to keep rising, unless consumers cut back. Taxes are one way to curb their appetites. In Western Europe and Japan, for example, where gas taxes are higher than in the U.S., per capita consumption is much lower.
New technology could help ease the resource crunch. Advances in agriculture, desalination and the clean production of electricity, among other things, would help.
But Mr. Stiglitz, the economist, contends that consumers eventually will have to change their behavior even more than then did after the 1970s oil shock. He says the world's traditional definitions and measures of economic progress -- based on producing and consuming ever more -- may have to be rethought.
Monday, March 24, 2008
Even the Wall St. Journal...
...is starting to realize that the problems created by sprawl require major changes--as opposed to just relying on the hope of an unknown technology coming to the rescue: