The End

This article is really entitled the End of Growth, but it really should be labeled “The End”, because this is what it means, the end of everything we know in the modern world.

(Energy Bulletin) — Several of us who have been watching the world oil production and depletion picture closely for the last few years are now concluding that the world has now seen the highest rate of production ever. Matt Simmons agrees: It’s all downhill from here.

The worldwide financial crisis, and the decline in available energy, mean that we may also have seen the final year of aggregate world economic growth.

This is a breathtaking statement. I found myself uttering it yesterday at a strategy meeting of some environmental and economic justice organizations organized by the International Forum on Globalization; I surprised even myself, and immediately began wondering whether what I had said could possibly by true.

What this really means is that it is all downhill from here, any achievements from here are going to be temporary (a good thing in reality) and contraction is going to occur on a global scale (another good thing).  Unending expansion is definitely not in anyone’s best interest.

If so, there will be an ocean of consequences. For those in the tiny universe of environmental NGOs, one of the consequences is this: The time for arguing against economic growth may be over. Yes, everyone who understands our human impact on the environment, and the disastrous implications of our economic growth imperative, knows that it is absolutely essential that the world find an alternative to growth; that instead, the human economy must contract to a point that it no longer threatens the viability of ecosystems. This is the essence of sustainability.

I already know what this is and so do many of you.  Abandon this economic model entirely.  Abandon capitalism. Abandon cities, industry and modern agriculture.  There were people who lived on this planet for tens of thousands of years in far more sustainable lifestyles that anybody is considering today.

Not to worry though.  It will happen anyway, but only after we dredge the last barrel of oil shale fueling our stupid wars and hatred.

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8 thoughts on “The End

  • October 12, 2008 at 1:10 pm
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    from Energy Bulletin
    http://www.energybulletin.net/node/46821
    “Peak phosphorus: Quoted reserves vs. production history
    James Ward, The Oil Drum
    Abstract
    By fitting a bell curve to historical phosphate production data, the best fit is obtained by assuming an ultimate recoverable resource of approximately 9 billion tonnes (of which about 6.3 billion tonnes have already been mined). This yields a peak in around 1990. Of course, the USGS claims an ultimate recoverable resource of some 24.3 billion tonnes (i.e. 18 billion remaining); however using this value yields a bell curve that is an inferior match to the historical data. A hypothesis is thus presented whereby phosphorus is considered in two broad forms: “easy” which is able to be mined quickly, but already peaked in 1990, and “hard” which has large remaining reserves and is yet to peak, but cannot be mined as quickly. (In reality there are probably many different forms ranging from very easy to very hard.) Just as with oil, estimates that lump all types of reserve in together will yield a theoretical peak that is high and distant, however the true system may involve periods of decline after exhausting easy-to-get reserves before other supplies come online to replace them. Ultimately we must develop a recyclable phosphorus supply if humans are to continue living on this planet.”

    Recycle the necessary elements of life at the local/personal level and live. Don’t and die sooner rather than later.

  • October 12, 2008 at 1:31 pm
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    continuing ‘talking to myself’ with pixilation feedback…

    Usury, finance, investment, fiat currency, industry, commodity valuations etc etc are ALL entirely premised upon perpetual exponential growth of the consumption/destruction of resources paradigm (aka the planet and all life). PERIOD. Without ‘growth’, there is no ‘civilzation’. Instead there are alphabet goons, criminals/gangsters, greedy/selfish mobs, ‘fundamental’ aka insane zealots, egomaniacal thugs & overlords (w/ sycophants), stampeding sheeple, some loners and a very few independent and isolated tribes/villages.

    thrash thrash – gnash gnash – gnaw gnaw

  • October 12, 2008 at 2:03 pm
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    Peak Oil = Peak Energy = Peak Resources = Peak Food = Peak Everything = Peak Delusion = Peak All

    Peak All = Peak You

    However, Peak Oil ≠ Peak Evil (does NOT equate to peak militant ignorance)
    Nor to Peak Chaos/ Death/ Despair/ Destruction/ Fear/ Insanity/ Pain/ Panic/ Regret/ Screwed/ Shit/ Suffering/ Violence/ Wailing …

    What is the time lag between Peak Oil and Peak Evil aka Peak Shit?

    Well, IMO, given that PO occurred in 11/2005, there can’t be enough lag remaining for my comfort.

    lather, rinse, repeat

  • October 12, 2008 at 6:14 pm
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    It has been proved true that the peak means the lifeblood is being drained from the economy (this is from Westexas at TOD). In turn, all those hopes for alternative energy to keep ‘business as usual’ running, are dead. I’ve read dozens of articles now where funding is drying up for them. Time is up, get used to the new reality; there is less energy-per-capita ‘new world’; meaning get ready to work you butt off to feed your family.

  • October 13, 2008 at 7:15 am
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    Wow, look how quickly food became an issue after the currency failes: Icelandic Shoppers Splurge as Currency Woes Reduce Food Imports

    After a four-year spending spree, Icelanders are flooding the supermarkets one last time, stocking up on food as the collapse of the banking system threatens to cut the island off from imports.

    “We have had crazy days for a week now,” said Johannes Smari Oluffsson, manager of the Bonus discount grocery store in Reykjavik’s main shopping center. “Sales have doubled.”

    Bonus, a nationwide chain, has stock at its warehouse for about two weeks. After that, the shelves will start emptying unless it can get access to foreign currency, the 22-year-old manager said, standing in a walk-in fridge filled with meat products, among the few goods on sale produced locally.

  • October 13, 2008 at 9:39 am
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    Here’s a real scorcher: Bataan Death March TickertapeTHIRD WORLD, DEAD AHEAD: Few in the Untied States seem to realize that what is happening is the magnificent unstoppable event whereby an inevitable shift of tectonic financial plates is underway. The result will be the Untied States entire system, financial and commercial, will suddenly find itself tragically lodged in the Third World. The chief traits will be major shortages, high prices, absent capital for credit, diverted supply of commodities, poor investment opportunities, massive flight of capital, corrupt law enforcement, widespread violence, despair among the public, horrific loss of wealth, and a severe brain drain as intellectual talent abandons the nation. Oh yes, carpet baggers will arrive soon, and perhaps even an historically unprecedented wave of colonists from Asia, Russia, and Arab nations. Those who own the failed credit during default make ALL THE RULES.

  • October 13, 2008 at 9:50 am
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    I’m still holding to my belief that we are working or I should say ‘they’ are still working towards having a very serious class split in the future. It would not suprise me to see in the next 10 years, maybe even 5 years – depending on how fast they can pull this world order finacial empire together – 1 or 2 percent of the population living the high life while controlling the rest. No middle class just high upper and the low bottom doing their bidding… They almost have it now but that darn middle class is still lingering about…

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