>The measure of a civilization could be said to be it's consumption of
energy and how it uses resources.  >Conspicuous v. sustainable...  

At what point was civilization sustainable without depending on unknowable
innovations in the future?  It would have to be before steel, because
blacksmithing almost deforested England before coal was found and used (back
around 1000 I think).  Going to Africa, and seeing the sustainable organic
farming they used to get 5 bushels/acre out of depleted soil reminded me of
what my Zambian daughter Neli argued, to no avail, to the government of
Uganda.  That using natural methods would just have it's people starve, like
they have for centuries.  Unfortunately, the European Greens were more
powerful in their persuasion....and Uganda will remain poor until they stop
listening to them.  It's hard because the EU policy is dedicated to
protecting inefficient EU (mostly French) farmers.

Dan M. 


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