A Wolf at the Door.
Your country is headed for a violent correction. Those of you lucky enough to have endured one of my Peak Oil rants have probably heard me say this dozens of times over. It may sound crazy or impossible, but consider the following:
- Modern economies are entirely depended on fossil fuels.
- Fossil fuels are the cornerstone of wealth-creation.
- Fossil fuels are in decline.
- No combination of renewables—wind, solar, hydro—can make up this shortfall.
- Modern economies need ever-increasing inputs of fossil fuel to service ever-increasing debt loads.
- Eventually, diminishing fossil fuel inputs fail to keep pace with debt-loads, and the currency, and with it the society, collapses.
These are not exactly rosy proclamations here, so you can see why I’ve been hesitant to stake my reputation on them. In light of recent political and economic events, however, I’ve come to see I have a moral duty to share my fears with as many of you as possible. And so I’m doing what every thirty-something does whenever he/she wants to change the world: I’m starting a blog.
My hope with this blog is threefold. First, to shine a light on unreported, misreported, and underreported news-stories. Second, to show how these stories make sense within the larger framework of resource depletion. And third, to demonstrate how corroboration between corporations and government is setting the stage for full-scale societal meltdown. Topics will include, ‘The Truth Behind the Great Recession’, ‘Energy Depletion: How and Why’, ‘The Rise of the Surveillance State’, ‘The Myth of ‘Green’ Energy’, ‘How Currencies are Manipulated’, and more. I’ll also be offering glimpses of what our world might look like five, ten, twenty years down the line, as well as recommending commonsense steps to increase your chance of survival in the coming decades of scarcity and strife.
Almost everyone I talk to these days—conservatives, liberals, whomever—sense something deeply wrong with the current order of things. Our country’s debt-to-GDP ratio, the amount we owe versus the amount we earn, is a staggering 104%. Nations the world over are posting similar ratios. An entire country, Greece, went bankrupt and had to be ‘bailed out’; Portugal and Italy aren’t far behind. Detroit, once one of the mightiest economic engines on the face of the Earth, just declared bankruptcy. Corporations are posting record profits while Chicago shutters 50 public schools and Philadelphia closes 23. The 400 richest Americans have more wealth than the bottom 150 million combined. One in six US citizens is on food stamps. And the list goes on.
Take a look around you. Nearly everything you see exists because of cheap oil. Your computer, your car, your Iphone, your clothing, your house, your food. Having cheap fossil fuels at your service is like having hundreds of slaves at your beck and call. Doing your dishes, whisking you here and there, bringing the world’s news to your fingertips. And while it’s made our lives easier and more fulfilling, it was only ever a temporary arrangement, one whose end seems perilously near.
Since 2005, global oil production has been more or less flat at 74 million barrels per day. Across that same span, we’ve seen the rapid industrialization of India and China, and the addition of another 700 million energy-consuming souls to our already-crowded planet. Those record levels of government borrowing are the first sign economies aren’t getting the oil they need. Like a junkie willing to do anything to get another fix, politicians are borrowing staggering sums from the future to avoid the pain of withdrawal. Another sign is wage stagnation, the failure of wages to keep pace with inflation. Unwilling to absorb energy’s higher costs themselves, CEOs have frozen wages, slashed hours, and trimmed benefits, producing record profits even as people like you and me struggle to get by.
If this were only happening in the US, you could argue that it’s purely economic, that with the right combination of monetary policy and corporate regulation, you could inflate or deflate your way out of it. But these same symptoms are ravaging nearly every developed nation in the world—at the same time.
And what is it that all developed nations have in common?
Addiction to cheap fossil fuel.
For now, there remain enough solvent countries to bail out the insolvent ones. But that is quickly changing. Eventually, the metastasis of debt will have worked its way so deeply into the global economic tissue, that credit creation will cease completely, and the Great Big Capitalistic Machinery will grind to a halt.
Whether that’s a month, a year, or a decade down the road, I don’t know.
All I know is that when it does come, it won’t be pretty.