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Showing posts from November, 2013

Costs and Benefits

Recently, I accompanied my son's class on a trip to Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan.  If you're unfamiliar with the place, it's a collection of actual buildings of historical import moved there at Henry Ford's direction.  He was trying to bring a bit of America's (and a smidgen of Europe's) history to the Detrioit area.  Of course, there is an emphasis on the Industrial Revolution and its subsequent developments and technology.

So, the narrative at the Village (OK, there are actually three--farming, handicrafts (including glass blowing, pottery, and textiles), and the wonders of mechanical energy) is all about the benefits of steam, coal, and electric power.  Nowhere to be found, however, are the costs stemming from the Revolution.  Nothing is mentioned about the home economy that was swallowed, the great migration to cities and industrial centers that created slums.  Absent as well are the ecological costs of extraction, manufacturing, and consum…