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Charles de Gaulle
France, a down-in-the-dumps nation
France, a down-in-the-dumps nation

PARIS — Not long ago, I attended a colloquium of French scientists and philosophers in Corsica, France, called "How to Think About the Future." With few exceptions, the astrophysicists, economists, physicians and social theorists on hand offered dark visions of tomorrow. A new financial crisis, water and grain shortages, endless war, a general collapse of ecosystems — we were spared no catastrophic scenario. A month earlier, I had been invited by the environmentalist think tank Breakthrough to San Francisco, where I reflected with a group of thinkers on the Schumpeterian economic idea of "creative destruction" and its application to energy production. My...

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