Krugman at 4 AM — Resources Gone Bye-Bye

December 27, 2010

(Note: To those few readers of this blog I hope you had a decent ‘holiday period, part one.’
I have a great hatred and loathing for anything that’s a lie — the Lottery, our current ‘terror war,’ the entire GOP, Hugh Hefner marrying for love, and among many, many other entities, ‘Christmas’ — and the image of a Santa Claus creates an enormous pissed-off feeling way-down into my bowels.
Reality and myth collide — reality loses.
Now, back to our unscheduled programming).

As the world watches, and endures, another high-balling winter season, the resources to sustain and maintain that endurance is steady, easily going down the consumed drain.
Everything is running out:

Although global warming is probably the greatest problem humanity has ever faced, the most immediate issue is the finite nature of fossil fuel that has supported the presently high standard of living (in industrialized countries). Without cheap oil there is no cheap food. There is no cheap water, healthcare, travel, housing, or recreation. Without cheap energy, the world contracts to using local resources and local activities. As food availability and diversity decline, it may lead to a decrease in the human population. This is contrary to the forecasted increase from 6.7 to over 8 billion people in the next 20 years.

And so it goes — everything is so stretched out of shape (like that photo at left) it becomes to look freakish.

(Illustration found here).

In order to keep the planet rockin’-n-rollin’ into the immediate future, there has to be a shitload of energy-producing stuff, but it just ain’t there.
Not only is climate change tearing into this fabric of modern life, but the very earth itself can not bear the never-ending need required to sustain life.
Scarcity has become the word tacked onto illusion:

The illusion is that we have a choice about using sustainable energy.
The media would like us to see it that way.
We are not engaged in choice at this point however, we are engaged in damage control.
We now hear and see the new media programming, the glamorizes clean energy and that all is under control.
We hear the message of peak oil but does it register?
Oil is connected to your food, your car, your heat, your light, your computer, your airplane, your cruise, your cell phone, your jar of peanut butter, your toothbrush.
Oil is presently depleting across the planet and warnings have been provided to us by scientists who knew as far back as the 1960’s, that we would reach peak oil and we have, so I won’t cover that here.
The side affect of our media now feeding us this new rosy sustainable energy picture, is just more of the same, and we remain disengaged from what’s really going on to spend more time understanding how our hand-helds work.
Unfortunately we can’t find out much about what’s going on by looking to the media, but damage control multiplied is what we will face in the coming years if we continue to listen to media.
Yes solutions are in the works and much progress has been made to saturate the market with sustainable energy solutions but so much more needs to be accomplished.
Without correct energy policy the market will do what it wants, but it must be guided by sound policy to be successful in meeting real world energy demands.

Paul Krugman in his NYT piece this morning touches upon the tombstone of this idea.
Although Krugman is a mainliner and a vital part of the MSM, he still can see the oil fumes in the air and how life is amiss without a never-ending source of fuel.

And those supplies aren’t keeping pace.
Conventional oil production has been flat for four years; in that sense, at least, peak oil has arrived.
True, alternative sources, like oil from Canada’s tar sands, have continued to grow.
But these alternative sources come at relatively high cost, both monetary and environmental.
Also, over the past year, extreme weather — especially severe heat and drought in some important agricultural regions — played an important role in driving up food prices.
And, yes, there’s every reason to believe that climate change is making such weather episodes more common.
So what are the implications of the recent rise in commodity prices?
It is, as I said, a sign that we’re living in a finite world, one in which resource constraints are becoming increasingly binding.
This won’t bring an end to economic growth, let alone a descent into Mad Max-style collapse.
It will require that we gradually change the way we live, adapting our economy and our lifestyles to the reality of more expensive resources.

A ‘Mad Max-style collapse,’ however, in reality is indeed coming and it will make Mel Gibson’s loco trip resemble a walk in the park.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.