Total Pageviews

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Archdruid Report

"Hillsfar" commented on one of my comments over at Ian Welch's Blog last weekend. He (she?) suggested that I check out the

I did..., and now I am a follower of that blog.

Here is a sample from a piece called "Endgame".

It’s crucial to realize, though, that this move comes at the end of a long historical trajectory. From the early days of the industrial revolution into the early 1970s, the United States possessed the immense economic advantage of sizable reserves of whatever the cutting-edge energy source happened to be. During what Lewis Mumford called the eotechnic era, when waterwheels were the prime mover for industry and canals were the core transportation technology, the United States prospered because it had an abundance of mill sites and internal waterways. During Mumford’s paleotechnic era, when coal and railways replaced water and canal boats, the United States once again found itself blessed with huge coal reserves, and the arrival of the neotechnic era, when petroleum and highways became the new foundation of power, the United States found that nature had supplied it with so much oil that in 1950, it produced more petroleum than all other countries combined.

That trajectory came to an abrupt end in the 1970s, when nuclear power – expected by nearly everyone to be the next step in the sequence – turned out to be hopelessly uneconomical, and renewables proved unable to take up the slack. The neotechnic age, in effect, turned out to have no successor. Since then, for most of the last thirty years, the United States has been trying to stave off the inevitable – the sharp downward readjustment of our national standard of living and international importance following the peak and decline of our petroleum production and the depletion of most of the other natural resources that once undergirded American economic and political power. We’ve tried accelerating drawdown of natural resources; we’ve tried abandoning our national infrastructure, our industries, and our agricultural hinterlands; we’ve tried building ever more baroque systems of financial gimmickry to prop up our decaying economy with wealth from overseas; over the last decade and a half, we’ve resorted to systematically inflating speculative bubbles – and now, with our backs to the wall, we’re printing money as though there’s no tomorrow.

My take is that our politicians are trying to fix a problem that can't be fixed..., by throwing money at it. The vast majority of that money is being siphoned off by the Banksters and other financial elites (and politicians). We need to do some deficit spending to keep the social safety nets like unemployment functioning. That money gets to the people who need it. Trying to "create" temporary jobs for them stimulates the economy in the short run..., but it won't do much to fix the underlying problem that we have been trying to solve by those very means for the last 30 years. We have used deficit spending to put off dealing with this crisis, hoping that "growth" would pull us through for far too long. I agree with John Michael Greer at The Archdruid Report..., I think we have reached an "Endgame".

No comments:

Post a Comment