A bright economic future - if we don't spoil it
Recent technological developments hold out the promise of a new industrial revolution, but we must learn to spread the wealth.
Posted: Wednesday, December 26, 2012
The news that after seventeen years the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has finally approved the production and sale of genetically-modified (GM) salmon, which grows twice as fast as ordinary salmon, may open the door for many other GM foods, which have been blocked both in the U.S. and in Europe primarily by environmental and animal rights groups, who have demonized GM by referring to its products as "frankenfoods." These modern Luddites have succeeded until now in denying to the hungry of the world a new abundance of foodstuffs that scientific advances have made possible.
The environmental lobby is also hard at work trying to throw monkey-wrenches into the development of new sources of oil and gas throughout the world through new technologies, particularly the so-called "fracking" process, which has unlocked vast new deposits of these fuels. So far they have succeeded in delaying an oil pipeline from the Canadian west to refineries in Texas as well as stopping development in parts of Europe and Asia. That gas is a cleaner fuel than coal (Poland and China take note) and that so far wind and solar power have not proven to be viable alternatives, does not seem to faze them. What is possible is demonstrated by the fact that the U.S. is how self-sufficient in gas and the domestic price has plummeted.