Through April of 2009, the year-over-year decline is holding steady at about 3 percent. While that may seem like good news for the industrial economy, the opposite is true: The longer we hold onto a slow decline, the steeper the subsequent, inevitable cliff, as has been demonstrated in dozens of fields and collections of fields (e.g., nations). The steeper the cliff, the greater the probability of sudden disruptions in the supply of fuel, food, and water in towns and cities. And, too, a 3 percent annual decline puts us at mid-1980s world oil supply by 2015. Looks like it’s Mourning in America all over again.
If you’re still in denial about economic collapse, check out this article, bearing in mind that we’re not halfway into the housing mess, the bank failures have only begun, and the vaunted American consumer is stretched like 2-pound-test fishing line with 20-pound bass on the hook.
The increasing urgency of this topic demands frank conversation, but the human ego is stunningly fragile. As a general strategy, I would not recommend starting the conversation about relocating with a group larger than half-a-dozen people, primarily because you’ll need to create and maintain an emotionally, psychologically, and physically functional group of people, on short notice, to do things you cannot imagine doing. The future is funny that way: We don’t even know what needs to be done.
There simply is no way to prop up civilized society when oil costs more than $100 per barrel. Well, there might be one option: fascism. Oh, wait. We’re already there.
Once again, I seek the sage advice of my wise readers. Our legal agreement at the mud hut precludes long-term visitors. But soon enough, law enforcement comes down to a negotiation, preferably without violence. What to do, when the marauding hordes are friends and their children?
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.
Living in two worlds is great in theory. But having to choose one world over the other is very, very difficult, especially when the choice runs counter to the status quo.