Seems my entry from last week was premature. Specifically, I wrote: “The federal government’s complete unwillingness to deal with the tsunami of economic news, from home foreclosures to runaway inflation and supply disruptions in gasoline, is truly pathetic.” The federal government and its primary media outlet suddenly leaped into action.
I’m not claiming credit, mind you. Still, I’m impressed.
Within the last week alone, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and Ben Bernanke, the head cheerleader for the U.S. financial system, testified before the U.S. Senate that banks will fail. This is the ultimate no-brainer admission. But still. The FDIC also brought back, out of retirement, a bunch of bank examiners to oversee the carnage. And “Helicopter” Benanke proposes to destroy the dollar, apparently so the banks will have company.
The U.S. Treasury joined the fray by posting a similarly stark report on their website (pdf file).
Then the U.S. Comptroller jumped ship five years before expiration of his term.
Meanwhile, Dubya reiterates that we’ve passed the world oil peak. His suggestion, which he knows is no solution at all: ethanol. He’s not alone in his absurdity, of course, and even the media occasionally point out the inherent stupidity of burning off our topsoil in our gas tanks.
The New York Times finally reports the oil age is coming to an end. Otherwise, the media are blissfully ignorant, choosing to anoint Hillary while disparaging Barack, whipping up hysteria about truly irrelevant matters while the Empire crumbles. Occasionally they catch something important, such as interviewing authors of a book about the financial cost of the Iraq invasion, but they quickly realize their collective error and move onto the more typical absurdities to which we’ve become accustomed.
The economic news was so gloomy Richard Heinberg gave a pep talk. And on my birthday, no less! How sweet.
If they’re not careful, the mainstream media and the federal government will start discussing the implications of peak oil for contemporary society. You’ll know this is happening when you see these terms bandied about in the daily morning newspaper in your hometown: economic collapse, Armageddon, chaos, die-off. In the spirit of fair and balanced reporting, these terms will be accompanied these ones: averting extinctions, saving biological diversity, permaculture, living simply.