And so the hypothesis stands: Maximum world economic output is nigh. If that is truly the case, the most reasonable forecast would be for a significant decline soon, as debts default and as investors pull back. We may be in for a series of subsequent booms and busts (the booms never managing to bring us back to current output levels, the busts plunging us further into economic turmoil). Mere stagnation would be a benign outcome, one that would require considerable planning and effort to achieve, but even then resource limits (which we’ll get to in Part 3) would ensure contraction sooner or later.
One mile north of the Mason-Dixon line in Southeastern Pennsylvania, nearly 200 people from the US and beyond, gathered this weekend on the land of Four Quarters Inter-Faith Sanctuary to consider Peak Oil, climate change, and economic meltdown—and the collapse of industrial civilization. On this Memorial Day weekend, we not only “remembered” how we got to this watershed in our planet’s journey through the time and space, but concluded almost unanimously that this event must become an annual occurrence.
Americans make more money and are slightly more satisfied with their lives, on average, than people in other countries, but here’s the catch: We live slightly shorter lives.
The seeds of energy conflicts and war sprouting in so many places simultaneously suggest that we are entering a new period in which key state actors will be more inclined to employ force — or the threat of force — to gain control over valuable deposits of oil and natural gas. In other words, we’re now on a planet heading into energy overdrive.
As the world economy crashes against debt and resource limits, more and more countries are responding by attempting to salvage what are actually their most expendable features—corrupt, insolvent banks and bloated militaries—while leaving the majority of their people to languish in “austerity.” The result, predictably, is a global uprising. This current set of conditions and responses will lead, sooner or later, to social as well as economic upheaval—and a collapse of the support infrastructure on which billions depend for their very survival.
Economic Collapse: A planet on the verge of a nervous breakdown
In fact, as we face individual and national bankruptcy, the malls have become for many Americans more a place to merely wander and lust than to actually buy. Large segments of the population have lost their jobs, health insurance and homes, and are so deeply in debt that when they surrender to the advertising-bred consumerist urge, they can only window shop, their credit cards rejected if they attempt to buy much of the stuff on display.
The recognition that these two transformations, the outer and the inner, work in parallel and have to be carried out together is the missing piece that the sustainability movements of the Seventies never quite caught.
Noted American economist Nouriel Roubini says the eurozone is in the midst of crumbling, and with the rest of the world’s future at stake with a potential collapse, they might want to listen up — Roubini has been right before. Speaking privately at a get-together this week at his apartment, those in attendance have since leaked that Roubini, who manages the Roubini Global Economics firm, has low-expectations for resurgence in the eurozone. According to the economist, a collapse is imminent as the economy overseas gets more chaotic.
Watch Part 2 Of This Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdxM1MZXgZ0