Heinberg believes our decades-long era of growth was based on aberrant set of conditions- namely cheap oil, but also cheap minerals, cheap food, etc- and that looking ahead, we need to prepare for a “new normal”
Dr. Doom Roubini has grown even more pessimistic since he put a 60% probability of a U.S. double dip in 2012 just about three weeks ago. Business Day reported that speaking at a press conference in Johannesburg on Sep. 20, Roubini now says, “The US is already in a recession although it will not admit it.” and that the rest of the world would not be insulated from the effects of another global meltdown. (Clip Below)
Thus, a deeper kind of poverty becomes revealed. Those unwilling to share with others in times of need display a spiritual poverty that overvalues material possessions while conveniently undervaluing the sufferings of those less fortunate.
Because none of us has crystal balls, and none of us is perfect, it makes the most sense to plan for multiple possible scenarios, and thus to put our energies in the places that get us the most bang for our buck, the most resilience and best possible responses for the broadest *range* of possible scenarios. I’m going to list five scenarios that I think are possible, running from the most unlikely to the most likely, and then we can explore this question of what the future is going to look like, not from our single bet, but from the perspective of trying to maximize utility for multiple scenarios.
If, in the midst of converging global crises, we wish to enhance our awareness of the interrelatedness of all things, and promote genuine spiritual contentment, we must emphasize and live by another way of life: the steady-state economy. In this fashion we can minimize, for ourselves and others, the social difficulties of transition from decades of economic growth to decades of economic contraction.
After World War II, the industrial nations of the world set out to rebuild their economies and needed a yardstick by which to measure their progress. The index soon settled upon was the Gross National Product, or GNP—defined as the market value of all goods and services produced in one year by the labor and property supplied by the residents of a given country. A similar measure, Gross Domestic Product, or GDP (which defines production based on its geographic location rather than its ownership) is more often used today; when considered globally, GDP and GNP are equivalent terms.
KMO welcomes Charles Eisenstein back to the C-Realm Podcast to discuss his new book, Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition. Charles talks about interest and the economic imperatives that it fosters. If the value of money decreased over time rather than growing via interest, then it would be clear to everyone that the best thing one can do with one’s money is to spend it quickly and close to home. In times of chaos and potential collapse, the best way to preserve wealth is to give your money away to those in need. Music by Inspired Flight. (ALLOW ABOUT 30 SECONDS FOR PODCAST TO BEGIN)
Genuine wisdom relaxes hostility, settles common fears and makes inner balance and longer vision more possible. When older folks fail to recommit to the great ideals that sustain the deepest values of human life, they tend to feel more fearful and anxious while also becoming more cynical and self-involved. When older folks act with genuine courage and vision, young people feel encouraged to find and follow their dreams.
When theorists approach the peak oil problem from the perspective of finding a substitute that will allow us to maintain our present energy infrastructure, their conclusion is one of despair. There may be many substitutes for oil as a concentrated form of storable energy, but none of them are nearly as good as oil itself. Those invested in the status quo would, quite understandably, like to maintain it, but it is becoming apparent even to the most highly invested that the status quo is doomed; that it can be maintained only temporarily, and at a rapidly accelerating environmental cost. The transition before us is not merely a transition in fuel types. It is also a transition in the whole energy infrastructure, both physical and psychological; a transition away from big power plants, distribution lines, and metered consumers; away from capital-intensive drilling, refining, distribution, and consumer fueling stations. More broadly, it is a transition away from centralization, concentration, and all the social institutions that go along with it.
Any serious oil spill in the ice of the Arctic, the “new frontier” for oil exploration, is likely to be an uncontrollable environmental disaster despoiling vast areas of the world’s most untouched ecosystem, one of the world’s leading polar scientists has told The Independent.