When there’s no food on the shelves, no gas at the convenience store, and no water coming out the taps, it’s safe to conclude the empire has abandoned you. But if you think an economic recovery is right around the corner, you still will not abandon the empire. By that time, it’s too late to start thinking about other arrangements. Hell, it’s too late to pack the car and hit the road.
At some point, not so far away, nature becomes the ultimate authority. And that’s when I’ll stop fighting authority. At that point, I’ll need a new theme song. Got any ideas?
Prophet of Doom is a tough sell, as it always has been. Nobody appreciates a prophet in his own time, I suppose. On the other hand, there’s no need for a prophet in these times: the newspapers are filled with far more economic doom than I can keep up with, much less write about. So this post will focus on my personal approach to an economy rigged to fail.
I never cease to be amazed by the number of people, on this blog and elsewhere, who believe the supply of oil is infinite, and the similar number who believe we’ll innovate, conserve, or organize our way out of our oil addiction. I use “believe” intentionally, because there’s no evidence of any thinking going on. If there were is evidence to support the notion we’ll get through the year without capitulation of the Dow, please bring it forward, and soon.
We’ve known this was coming for a long time. Every empire is built on a foundation of
sand debt. The Ponzi scheme works for a while but, at some point, the debt we’ve passed along to future generations must be paid. The alternative is default, which can happen with extreme rapidity. The latter option is increasingly attractive because the current U.S. debt of $10.5 trillion far exceeds the value of all the currency in the world combined with all the gold ever mined from planet Earth. This seems like a problem to me.
In the final pages of Earth Abides, Stewart gives us great hope. He envisions the day civilized humans will give way to worldly humans, abandoning dominance and arrogance for coexistence and humility. He imagines humans living with the world, instead of apart from it. He imagines us becoming part of nature, so that, when nature bats last, we’ll still be on the planetary stage
Damn the torpedoes. It’s full steam ahead for the idea of economic growth, even though Obama surely knows the days of economic growth are behind us.