For those who’ve learn virtually all my posts and all of the discussion board posts as nicely, you’re in all probability conscious of the truth that one of many early catalysts for my very own trajectory to what turned ERE was my discovery of peak oil(*) in 2001. (I attribute the opposite two catalysts to the concept of anticonsumerism and fractional reserve banking.)

(*) I used to be pretty concerned on this. For a time, I used to be the webmaster on the referenced web site. I wrote a chapter for The Closing Vitality Disaster and I had what, on the time, was a high rating web site. This was at a time when coming sky-high oil costs was nonetheless regarded as a nutjob conspiracy and usually denied by companies like USGS and IEA. Then in 2007-08 oil costs hit ~$150 and in 2010, the IEA got here out with a 180 and admitted, that “hey, perhaps sources on a finite planet aren’t infinite in any case and the financial concept that demand will all the time create demand is a little bit of a pipe dream—kind of much like the story of an economist who jumps out of an airplane and begin calling out bids, $50, $100, $500, $4000, $10,000 … beneath the presumption {that a} sufficiently great amount will trigger a parachute to materialize on his again.

The three websites linked above was my major wake-up name to realizing that the financial linear-progress StarTrek future I had envisioned is probably not so lifelike or doubtless as I had beforehand assumed.

I instantly began making pretty drastic way of life modifications to organize for this alternate future by working towards easy methods to dwell on the diminished technique of an energy-poor world. It was already clear again then that changing oil and gasoline with different power was just about a pipe-dream. There are merely FAR too many photo voltaic cells and windmills that must be construct to compensate for the slide of output. Clue: You possibly can’t clear up meta-macro points with one thing so simple as know-how. Know-how just isn’t the [cause of the] answer. It’s the [cause of the] downside!! What I imply is that know-how creates a sure lifestyle. That know-how cannot get replaced with different know-how and be anticipated to protect this lifestyle—it can create a brand new lifestyle.

For those who requested me ten years in the past, how I noticed the longer term, I used to be getting ready for the eventual Mad Max situation. In the present day I’m way more optimistic. I’ve proven that one can dwell an excellent life on 1 / 4 of the useful resource use of a median American household. (This realistically compares to the power use of our grand dad and mom, thereabouts.)

I’ve not spent the previous decade with an idle thoughts. Ten years in the past, I didn’t know something about economics. I knew little about historical past (aside from as a listing of memorized info about kings and wars—the way in which I used to be taught historical past was in a way much like attempting to know a forest by a deep examine of the limb of a tree, a mushroom, and a random chicken; I used to be taught nothing concerning the connections.) In the present day, I’d wish to suppose I’m considerably wiser.

Additionally, I don’t suppose the world goes to finish. “The world as we all know it” could finish, but it surely’s going to occur so slowly that only some deep thinkers (who are suffering from the affliction of worrying about issues they’ll’t change anyway) will see it. But, following the Eisenhower splendid of creating a method or plan not as a way to observe precisely however as a software to suppose deeply about potential outcomes, I’ll plod alongside…

What we’re presently experiencing just isn’t the top of the world. It’s merely the winter stage of the Kondratiev cycle. The present Kondratiev cycle is constructed on low-cost oil. This implies issues like globalization, private automobiles, mass manufacturing, and usually low-cost crap—excuse me “snazzy throwaway digital toys” for everyone—predicated on deliberate obsolescence. Vitality is reasonable (however gained’t be any longer) and with low-cost power comes low-cost sources. People being what they’re will fortunately waste low-cost resouces. By the way people aren’t distinctive in that sense. Just about any species will attempt to use sources as quick as they’ll. That’s as a result of just about all creatures together with people have completely no foresight as a species. Anyway …

The present Kondratiev cycle started in 1949 and can doubtless finish someday between now and 2020, perhaps 2025. We will name this “a budget oil period”. The earlier period was constructed on the chemical trade (plastic implausible, warfare gasoline) and electrical energy (home lights, motors). The one earlier than that on metal and railways. The one earlier than that on steam energy. The one earlier than that on timber (which just about deforested many nations).

Every Kondratiev cycle lasts about 60 years plus minus a decade. There’s a generational principle behind this too. The winter season is the top of the cycle. That is the time when the system collapses beneath its personal weight. We presently see the collapse of the monetary system. The political system can also be in dire straights. Conventional technique of understanding now not works but it surely takes a while for the outdated generations to appreciate that. They’re too calcified of their perceive as a result of they imagine that because it’s been this manner since they have been born, it’s the one means. Particularly, the younger technology (Millenials) now not see politics and crimson vs blue or left vs proper. They see the 2 as basically being the identical factor (which it really now could be). The monetary system has the identical downside. Earlier than the crash, the financials comprised 20%+ of all the US economic system. There you may have an trade which basically produces nothing however a governing system that determines the place your cash goes alongside with a authorities which by definition solely makes issues which the personal market refuses to suply as a result of the ROI is unfavourable comprising over 50% of all the. It’s sure to break down.

The GI Joe technology got here into being after WWII. That technology labored onerous to construct establishment after a world that had razed the earlier system within the analogy of what a fireplace does to a mature forest. Curiously sufficient main wars hardly ever occur throughout the Winter season (1929-1949)—nonetheless, understand that the instigator of WWII, specifically Germany was an financial powerhouse on the time having moved into Spring season. Most wars happen throughout spring when nations begin rising and competing for sources.

We may have some type of world warfare between 2020 and 2040. I’m calling it! This warfare can be between the present superpower and the following superpower for the following useful resource (not oil). Particularly, it will likely be in a type that displays the type of the following Kondratiev cycle. As you recall, the present one was industrial mass manufacturing and world transporation. Therefore WWII was a Whole Struggle with the objective of huge scale destruction. World Struggle III won’t be like this.

The GI Joe technology was adopted by the newborn boomer technology. The infant boomers labored onerous to assist the GI Joe imaginative and prescient (UN, IMF, the European Uninion, social safety, Medicare—all mass (<=- sure, it was all mass-scale considering) establishments for the aim of making certain that the Nice Melancholy and WWII would not be repeated. The boomers ultimately develop into managers.

In flip their recommendation to Era-X was to work onerous. All generations give the recommendation they acquired alongside to the following technology the place it clearly will not work. It is like having a weed plant inform a tree that each one it must do to succeed is to unfold and develop as quick as potential. That is incorrect. A tree must develop gradual and stable. Whereas being suggested to work onerous as a way to succeed, Gen-Xers discovered their jobs outsourced, being changed with robots and world labor and competing with their cohort for jobs that often obtain wherever between 50 and 500 functions. Cronyism, networking, politics and different elements changed “old school” virtues like onerous work and ability. Individuals realized they wanted to begin gaming the system as a way to win. The monetary mess the place in now could be a chief instance of what occurs when that angle turns into dominant.

This additionally clarify why totally different generations have such totally different takes on what “retirement” means. GI Joes are rightfully involved with spending all their lives attempting to ensure that the earlier disasters by no means occur. Boomers suppose that having put of their onerous work, retirement is the time to have enjoyable. Gen-X thinks of retirement as having sufficient cash to say “Fuck you” to a system they really feel screwed them over. Millenials weren’t instructed any lies however then again they are not receiving any hope both. They’re going to see Gen-X because the overseers of this collapse. Henceforth, Gen-X may have a poor legacy sooner or later as having made the alternatives (slashing SS, Medi*) which can be wanted for the system to outlive. People are inclined to blame the helmsman for the storm. And the president for the economic system. I am sorry it must be this manner, however that is the way in which it’s.

Shifting ahead, the technology that hasn’t come into play but (Z, your common ten yr outdated) will decide the type of the following cycle. X would be the cranky real-politik politicians, and Y/Millenials would be the managers.

It will doubtless not be a cycle by which massproduced know-how can be a solution to all the things. You possibly can cease hoarding cash and provides proper now as a result of they will not be the reply going ahead.

One potential answer with be the worldwide relationships shaped by the web. Tribes, clans, or what have you ever. World Struggle III would possibly very nicely be a propaganda warfare regarding which cultural understanding must be the dominant one. I am not kidding you. This could be the way in which issues go down. Simply because the earlier cycle would consider the usage of weapons of mass destruction as incomprehensible and we see the concept of troopers lining up 100 yards from one another and continuing to launch disciplined rifle volleys at one another with out taking cowl as correct navy conduct; the following type of warfare can be seen as “plain bizarre”.

Individuals are all the time getting ready for the final warfare. Equally, persons are getting ready for the earlier despair. We’re hoarding cash and provides, however in actuality, that is in all probability not what we must be involved about. Relatively we’d like to consider what the following Kondratiev cycle will concentrate on and focus our energies in that path. Ahead, not backward. Particularly, this implies shifting away from a way of life that is intensive in power (driving, dwelling distant, shopping for merchandise from distant), massproduction (shopping for merchandise as an alternative of considering and improvising), and amount (extra and greater as an alternative of longer and higher). It signifies that there can be much less alternative for the frivolous waste of commodities that has characterised the period since 1949. Homes can be smaller and nearer. Life can be extra localized. Specialization will lower.

This, after all, is what ERE is all about.

Initially posted 2011-10-19 05:22:00.


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