So rather than feel that we are on the continual upswing of consumer capitalism, i think we are somewhere closer to peak or overshoot.

I've been mildly obsessed with this stuff since 2005.

Around that time, the theme was "peak oil" as the catalyst for societal change, which proved to be false. But even if peak was not 2010 but instead will be 2030, the societal changes that will occur will be the same. There's been no meaningful decrease in the amount of oil consumed since the peak oil scare, which leads me to believe that we will go on consuming as much as we can right up until the point that supply decreases not through conservation, but because producers are literally running out.

I spend a lot of time trying to predict the near future (10-30 years out), which is problematic. More useful is to know where will be 150 years out and backwards-solve to discover what we should be doing in the immediate term.

Year 2200 - global warming has made large swathes of the Earth virtually uninhabitable, without access to fresh water or capacity to grow plants or tend animals. Weather is highly volatile, leaving island nations and low-lying places constantly flooded.

Year 2100 - the end of liquid petroleum means that nations are burning shale, coal, gas and wood for energy, exacerbating global warming. Liquified natural gas and battery cells provide a modicum of energy for transportation fuel. Communities reduce sprawl for walkability and use of lower-energy-use transportation like motorcycles, scooters, electric carts, bicycles, trains, and light rail. Nuclear plants are going in at high cost, but it is difficult to maintain consistent maintenance of power grids across depopulated areas.

Year 2050 - In an attempt to maintain a bourgeois lifestyle and consumer economy, oil producers continue to produce until they literally can no longer satisfy demand. Conservationists are outdone by politicians shouting empty promises to a public that doesn't want to see the writing on the wall. Prices skyrocket, and inflation combined with reduced GDP torches financial markets, setting interest rates high, devaluing currency, and putting businesses into a conservative wealth hoarding. Unemployment increases and publicly funded programs and safety nets retreat. The price of commodities increases. Nations begin saber-rattling and with nuclear arms at the ready, catastrophic attacks are imaginable for the first time since Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the name of preserving a way of life that upper classes in 1st world nations have enjoyed for decades while lower income people and 3rd world nations continue to suffer deprivations and hardship.

2050 really isn't that far away. It's possible we'll live to see it. Our children certainly will. And their children will likely live to see 2100. What is the the likelihood that the quality of life that we enjoy will be also shared by our grandchildren? What is the probability that they will inherit whatever wealth we or our children generate in our lifetimes?


i looked up and asked, what happened?
suddenly no one cared about anything anymore.