In other words, if one traces a reasonable trajectory from current developments in the Middle East, the handwriting is already on the wall. Since no other area is capable of replacing the Middle East as the world’s premier oil exporter, the oil economy will shrivel — and with it, the global economy as a whole.
We know how dramatically these situations can change the face of the world – most recently the collapse of the Soviet Union was due in large part to crashing energy markets that left the Soviets unable to buy adequate wheat on world markets. When the bread runs out, the riots begin and the world changes.
As long as money accelerates around the planet, divorced from where we live, our befuddlement will continue. As long as the way we invest is divorced from how we live and how we consume, our befuddlement will worsen. As long as the way we invest uproots companies, putting them in the hands of a broad, shallow pool of absentee shareholders whose primary goal is the endless growth of their financial capital, our befuddlement at the depletion of our social and natural capital will only deepen.
Refusing to face the need for radical change and adaptation only makes the eventual adjustment more traumatic and less likely to succeed.