Resource revolution

Economists wonder where the “next big thing” will be. That is, what will be the next industry that will employ people and create growth? I understand some people say it may be an industry that creates a positive out of a negative, says host Mary WaIden. She asks her husband, NC State economist Mike Walden, “What is it?”

Mike Walden: “Well, some people are calling this a resource revolution. The problem is, the bad thing is, that as the planet grows, we add more people; essential resources that are very scarce like food, fuel, even water are going up in price. The argument is, however, that we can take that bad and make something good by developing a new industry that, number one, allows us to use those limited resources more efficiently, and number two, tries to find substitutes for those resources. And we would see this resource revolution in areas like the heating and cooling of buildings, in transportation and lighting, and even in food production. One estimate suggests that if we really went full bore into this resource revolution, by 2030 we could reduce the cost of these essential resources to such a level that disposable income would go up by 28 percent, meaning that could be spent on other things.”

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