We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Sunday, January 10, 2016

2016: Oil Limits and the End of the Debt Supercycle

Click here to access article by Gail Tverberg from her blog Our Finite World.
What is ahead for 2016? Most people don’t realize how tightly the following are linked:
  1.     Growth in debt
  2.     Growth in the economy
  3.     Growth in cheap-to-extract energy supplies
  4.     Inflation in the cost of producing commodities
  5.     Growth in asset prices, such as the price of shares of stock and of farmland
  6.     Growth in wages of non-elite workers
  7.     Population growth
It looks to me as though this linkage is about to cause a very substantial disruption to the economy, as oil limits, as well as other energy limits, cause a rapid shift from the benevolent version of the economic supercycle to the portion of the economic supercycle reflecting contraction. Many people have talked about Peak Oil, the Limits to Growth, and the Debt Supercycle without realizing that the underlying problem is really the same–the fact the we are reaching the limits of a finite world.