Our Shared Predicament

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Back in the day, I used to post a lot about peak oil, global warming, our pyramid scheme financial system and some other related things, but I stopped for a quite a while as most seemed to be not interested or at a loss for what to do. Well, most of what I was saying back then were trends happening or expected to happen and, as they say, time will tell. So I decided to sit back and let things happen for a while and see if what happened adheres to my expectations.

It seems that for, the most part, time is telling.

Let’s review the some of the events of the last few years and see what is really happening. First, on the subject of resource depletion, aka peak oil, in 2003 through 2007, we saw constantly rising GDP, and with it oil demand, not just from the US and Europe, but also from India, China and other traditionally low-energy consuming countries. At the same time, we saw limited oil production increases, which resulted in steadily rising prices that eventually popped the real estate bubble and crashed the economies of the industrialized nations and caused a drop in oil prices to sub-$30/barrel and gas to $1.50/gallon (Ah, the good old days). Since then, those crashed economies have somewhat “returned to growth” and it seems we now have a “floor” for oil prices somewhere in the $70/barrel range, about 700% higher than than the $10 floor price prior to 2005. And after a weird reprieve earlier this Spring and Summer, oil and gas are resuming their upward trend. Actually, historically speaking, oil prices should be coming down around this time of year, not going up. They’ve been somehow still increasing production over the last 5 years, but not by enough to push prices down to the historical average of $10-$20 a barrel which translates into gas at the pump coming in at less than a dollar, like back in the mid to late 1990’s.

Time is telling…

As far as global warming goes, I think we all can agree that the weather has been quite warm, as well as very weird over the last several years. We’ve seen record snowfall two and three winters ago (but not that cold), and last winter was more like an extended Autumn and early Spring, even with 90 degree temps in April. And we’ve never seen a blizzard on Halloween in living memory. Weird. Couple that with the disappearing glaciers, record temperatures at the poles, rising sea levels, record droughts and record floods, it’s becoming very apparent we’ve screwed with the planet’s atmosphere just a little bit too much. Maybe even quite a bit too much.

Time is telling….

And the banksters loaned money to rocks and dogs to buy a house, and the prices skyrocketed as a result. (Please note: Prices don’t go up like that unless there’s more money in the system, and banks create money when they lend it) And when it started to look like some people couldn’t pay their loans back(due to increasing energy prices), the banks tightened up their lending like a noose and housing prices collapsed, causing enormous repercussions on the rest of the economy. Did anybody notice how this illustrates the power banks have over us? They dictate the price of almost every major purchase you make, because they decide to lend you the money or not. That’s what happens when you allow private corporations to determine the amount of money in the financial system. And for almost a hundred years, we’ve had the Fed, a consortium of private banks, dictate our money supply. Whether you realize it or not, you work for banks, because even if you’re debt free, you still pay interest in your taxes (Federal, state and local) and in the price of every product you buy.

Time is telling…

But there’s a very basic problem that ties all these things together. Something that most people won’t even discuss. Something that everybody seems to think is a “good thing”. It’s growth. Growth in population, growth in extraction of natural resources, growth in environmental pollution… Just plain growth. We all know intuitively that growth has to stop. Many of us make the decision to stop our own family’s growth at a certain number of kids, cause we know that there’s only so much resource available to the family (in the form of income) to support a certain number of mouths to feed, so we call it quits eventually. But our society has no idea when to stop, so we’re going to have to suffer dire consequences because we’ve been growing like there’s no tomorrow and even now, with strong evidence we’ve reached at least one or two limits to growth, we keep on trying. This can’t end well for most of us. What’s in store for us over the next decades includes energy shortages, food shortages, water shortages and climate chaos, whether we like it, acknowledge it, or outright deny it. Facts don’t cease to exist simply because you won’t accept them.

By the way, since banks lend money assuming growth (in your salary, a businesses profit, etc.) they are the drivers of growth, and as such, are the primary culprits of our pending catastrophe, just another reason to join my “I Hate Banks” Club.

Is there anything we can do? Well yea, on an individual level there’s a lot we can do, if we have access to the required resources. Having enough land to grow your own food and provide enough food for a horse or two will ensure you and your descendants of nutrition and transportation for at least decades, if you can defend it. But as a global society, we’re in for a population crash of unprecedented proportions. Hopefully, some lucky people will survive to carry on homo sapiens, but not many. Personally, I wouldn’t have any more kids, or expect the current party to last. A few will do okay, but most will find that their personal situation will deteriorate as time goes on. At least knowing that we are just another species that found a one-time bonanza of energy and overshot the permanent carrying capacity of our environment might mitigate some of the more disgusting tendencies of humanity, like war and genocide, but being that even today our media and politicians aspire to more and more growth, I doubt that will happen.

At this point, I hope I die a natural death in bed. The chances of that are diminishing the longer I live. I really feel sorry for people substantially younger than me. They’re going to have a tiny chance of living as long as their parents.

This whole thing is one of the reasons I enjoy today and don’t worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow might not come.


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