While we were away, the financial sector continued its downward spiral and the price of oil continued to climb, albeit with considerable volatility. During the next few months, I expect to see the stock markets continue their unwinding while supply disruptions in gasoline spread throughout the country (from the six states impacted last summer). By year’s end, the Northeast’s fragile electrical grid is likely to collapse. The price of heating oil already exceeds the price of electricity, and is likely to increase between now and November. The overwrought electrical grid will collapse when a small proportion of the sixty percent of homes heated with heating oil switch to space heaters.
Two resources are proving particularly useful as I think about, and talk about, collapse: (1) Dmitry Orlov‘s superb new book, Reinventing Collapse: The Soviet Example and American Prospects, and (2) the long-awaited report from my students, Personal Survival Skills: Life at the Twilight of Empire.
The Celtic Tiger is wilting under the pressure of rising energy prices. But in Ireland, as in the United States, it’s politricks as usual: The government is shielding the sheeple from reality, frantically building airport runways and expanding the country’s highway system to maintain the illusion of the status quo.
As you can imagine, Heller doesn’t believe in peak oil, so he’s all set to grill Alten about his “ludicrous” novel. I think I’m supposed to provide air support.
Do you have a post-carbon vocation lined up? And more importantly, at least to me, what’s a worthless academician to do, once the academy — already structurally weakened by inattention to society’s needs — is crushed beneath the weight of its own hubris?
I take heart, knowing the bloated cow of economic growth grows ever closer, ever more dangerous (and ever more odorous) with each turn of the imperial wheels: “Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible.”
What do you think, dear reader? What are your post-carbon plans? How are you choosing to live simultaneously in the two worlds we inhabit, the culture of make believe and the real world of economic collapse?