07 May '12, 2pm
Drumbeat: May 7, 2012
Posted by Leanan on May 7, 2012 - 11:23am What Is the Limiting Factor? In yesteryear’s empty world capital was the limiting factor in economic growth. But we now live in a full world. Consider: What limits the annual fish catch — fishing boats (capital) or remaining fish in the sea (natural resources)? Clearly the latter. What limits barrels of crude oil extracted — drilling rigs and pumps (capital), or remaining accessible deposits of petroleum — or capacity of the atmosphere to absorb the CO2 from burning petroleum (both natural resources)? What limits production of cut timber — number of chain saws and lumber mills, or standing forests and their rate of growth? What limits irrigated agriculture — pumps and sprinklers, or aquifer recharge rates and river flow volumes? That should be enough to at least suggest that we live in a natural resource-constrained world, not a ca...