Saturday, March 15, 2014

Contrasting news

Stanford bioengineer develops a 50-cent paper microscope:

 "Prakash’s dream is that this ultra-low-cost microscope will someday be distributed widely to detect dangerous blood-borne diseases like malaria, African sleeping sickness, schistosomiasis and Chagas."

NASA funded study: Industrial civilization headed for 'irreversible collapse;?:

"The study challenges those who argue that technology will resolve these challenges by increasing efficiency:
"Technological change can raise the efficiency of resource use, but it also tends to raise both per capita resource consumption and the scale of resource extraction, so that, absent policy effects, the increases in consumption often compensate for the increased efficiency of resource use."
Applying this lesson to our contemporary predicament, the study warns that:
"While some members of society might raise the alarm that the system is moving towards an impending collapse and therefore advocate structural changes to society in order to avoid it, Elites and their supporters, who opposed making these changes, could point to the long sustainable trajectory 'so far' in support of doing nothing."
However, the scientists point out that the worst-case scenarios are by no means inevitable, and suggest that appropriate policy and structural changes could avoid collapse, if not pave the way toward a more stable civilisation. "

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