No technological panacea
But if markets and finance cannot save us by themselves, what of the possibility that human inventiveness can resolve our problems? Can people use ingenuity to come up with technological solutions smart enough to ensure we can have all the material and other goods we dream of without destroying the earth?
Thomas Friedman is far from the only person with such hopes. Bjørn Lomborg believes that the richer we get, the more likely we will be to come up with a suitable invention: ‘Clearly we’ll have more and more problems, as more and more [people] are going to be richer and richer, using more and more stuff. But smartness will outweigh the extra resource use.’13
Jeffrey Sachs sees the problem similarly: ‘The current trajectory ...