The Sixth Wave: It’s Energy & Resource Efficiency

Linking to Tom Friedman’s short note on a must read from James Bradfield Moody and Bianca Nogrady’s, “The Sixth Wave: How to Succeed in a Resource Limited World.”

If you want the short hand, the Moody / Nogrady thesis goes something like this:

The Sixth Wave

It’s always been that “the more we consumed, the more we grew.”  But economic growth is gonna have to be decoupled from consumption sooner rather than later.  Wait, what?  And why is that?  Basically, when you have a global market, with a burgeoning population, that faces rising scarcity of resources, it can only go on so long.

The implication is that this is some pretty fertile ground for innovation. Moody and Nogrady’s point, paraphrased by Friedman is that “the only way to grow without consuming more resources is through systemic breakthroughs in efficiency — developing new business models to deliver mobility, heating, cooling and lighting with dramatically fewer resources and pollution” (ie, nix the historic tension between going green and making money; they’re actually one in the same).

And that’s the sixth wave, which is to say that “since the industrial rev, we’ve seen five long waves of innovation — from water power to steam to electrification to mass production and right up to information and communications technologies.”  Number Six – so argued by Moody and Nogrady – is resource efficiency.

But the question hanging has got to be:  Well, how fast can we get there?  For my part, our team at American Efficient is going to have something to say about that.  Stay tuned.

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