Thursday, December 6, 2012

Preview of things to come

Greetings peaksters

       Below Heinberg and Greer try their hand at prognostication.  

Heinberg deals with the likely pressures on and between nations.   Various types on conflicts are likely.   Between rich and poor,  between nations for resources.   More environmental  refugees ( Currently 12 million.)

        Greer's main focus is on the future of democracy, but he has some interesting observations on economics as well.   For instance many people like to envision the future as "the same except without oil".  For instance that we will reorganize ourselves into renewable powered eco villages.  Or techno optimists suggest massive solar arrays and bio diesel farms.     He doesn't agree.   Why?    We'll wait until the shit hits the fan.  By then,we'll be too poor.   Much of our paper wealth will simply disappear.   The obligations will be unenforceable     So we wont have the capital to construct these enterprises.  

"The end of American empire means that these things aren’t going to happen.  To judge by previous examples, it will take whatever global empire replaces ours some decades to really get the wealth pump running at full speed and flood its own economy with a torrent of unearned wealth.  By the time that happens, the decline in global wealth driven by resource depletion and environmental disruption will make the sort of grand projects Americans envisioned in our empire’s glory days a fading memory all over the world.  Thus we will not get the solar satellites or the algal biodiesel, and if the lifeboat ecovillages appear, they’ll resemble St. Benedict’s original hovel at Monte Cassino much more than the greenwashed Levittowns so often proposed these days.  Instead, as the natural systems that undergird industrial civilization crumble away, industrial societies will lose the capacity to accomplish anything at all beyond bare survival—and eventually that, too, will turn out to be more than they can do."

      This suggests that a reasonable person with paper assets might convert them into "real assets" while the paper assets have value.  Things like a green house, a  water tank, pv systems, insulation,  batteries, wheel barrows, shovels?     How about that golf cart you've been thinking about?

     Of the course, those who prepare will be in a very small minority.   And many aspects of climate change will be impossible to prepare for.    There is bound to be a lot of chaos  and trauma.   How will people deal with the fact that they have become one of "them"?

   Here are a couple of interesting reflections on that.


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