Postcards from Ecotopia

old new lefty

old new lefty
alienation, discontent
September 16
Making trouble whenever possible
virgin novelist, middle school teacher for the morally handicapped, government bureaucrat, most famous unknown photographer in LA, PhD dropout, coat hanger sorter, presidential campaign worker, sewer worker, and retired guy -- but not in that order.


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JANUARY 5, 2012 2:41AM

My Best Guess

Rate: 8 Flag

I've written before about the future, but now I've had the benefit of reading The Great Disruption by Paul Gilding.  I have some very mixed feelings about the book, but it does give some valuable food for thought.

First, he looks at the interrelationship between global ecology and business.  According to Gilding, the Crash 0f 2008 was caused in part by environmental failure, as reflected both by the prices of oil and agricultural commodities.  Development of Third World economies through multinatioinal lending contributed to financialization and banking collapse.

More importantly, he gives us an educated timeline as to when global warming will really kick in -- posing a massive and recognizable threat to everyone that the human species would eventually be subjected to a 90%+ die off if no drastic action is taken.  According to climate specialists' educated guesses, 2018 will be a likely date for a global wake-up call requiring a World War II effort to ameliorate CO2 emissions. 

When we couple this with economic cycle theory, we get specific dates -- and this is what the following predictions are based on among other things.  As such, this could be considered a refinement of my June 11, 2011 blog entitled The Shape of Things to Come (Parts I-IV).

2012 Horrible year economically with EU crisis, China crisis, and US gridlock.  Romney elected POTUS.

2013  The global economy and stock markets explode upward.  The European Union finds some resolution to its problems.  China stabilizes. The US government is under total GOP control.

2014 By now, or earlier, Israel bombs Iran because of a sympathetic United States government.  Oil goes to $200+ a barrel.  That's $8 a gallon gasoline to you.  Inflation intensifies.  Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party begin to join forces.

2015  The next leg of a depression starts  late in the year.  Massive demonstrations and civil unrest convulse the USA and the world, partly caused by rapidly worsening weather and climate change. By now, it's obvious that the world is at peak oil.  Even in the economic downturn, oil is still at $200/barrel.

2016   Romney is a one term president.  He is defeated by Al Franken. It's a Democratic landslide. Chaos all over the world because of floods, droughts, hurricanes, massive wildfires, massive migrations, human megadisaster in Bangledesh

2017 New New Deal programs start.  Massive demobilization of military takes place, while remaining forces are used to fight climate disasters.  US undertakes major economic reconversion to an environmental-industrial complex from the current system. Large scale unrest in Africa, Asia, and Latin America as a collapse of human civilization becomes more of a reality.

2018 Global co-ordination between US, European Union, China, and Russia to remove CO2 from atmosphere in a World War II like effort.  All oil companies nationalized and severe gas and electricity rationing takes place for war production.

2023 The battle is halfway successful with continued struggle and disruption until possibly 210o, or

2028 Massive dieoff of humanity due to global warming begins in earnest.  Within ten years, world population will be 500,000,000 or less as compared to peak of 9 billion.




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Wow. 2028 is pretty close. So what happens if Obama gets re-elected?
"So what happens if Obama gets re-elected?"

Pretty much the same thing, except in 2016 a rag doll is elected President and well, 2028 we all die!!

But in the good news, some predict at our current rate of "job creation" we won't be back to pre-2008 jobless rates till like 2048!!! Woooo!! So by 2027, Tink will be on a killing spree to end all killing sprees cause well, 2012 --- he's about ready to do that now!!! GRRRRR!!!

~wanders off whistling a happy tune~
The re-election of Obama is a wild card, and it might affect Israel's willingness to bomb Iran or who gets elected in 2016. But I doubt if it would affect worldwide economic cycles or world oil consumption much, and it has zero impact on climate degradation.
Frankly, this is not that bad. In fact, it is quite optimistic. Excellent post. R
I don't think the election of anyone to the US presidential post would affect the inevitable doom in nature, caused over years of recklessness by man.

Looks pretty reasonable to me, except the time line is a little long. I predict oil will go to $200 a barrel this year, which will produce global economic collapse.
A wild though not that wholly far-fetched scenario ONL. The 90% die-off is unbelievably high. What causes so many deaths? I'm not familiar with the Third World lending theory re the 2008 crash. The conventional wisdom view of runaway mortgage scams overamplified by securitization, derivatives and CDOs seems plenty plausible.
Abrawang, Gilding talks about the link between oil and commodities in the financialization process. And the overall patterns of investment pre-crash also included overambitious investments in the Third World. For example, Russia caught pneumonia from 2008 because of overinvestment in real estate, and this country was far from being isolated or an exception.

Overinvestment in housing pre-crash was a worldwide phenomenon.
-- the Crash 0f 2008 was caused in part by environmental failure

He's wrong on the facts here. It was caused by corporations (and other rich persons) seeking risk-free, high return investment in the wake of Greenspan's plunge in Fed interest rates. Nothing more. The salubrious, from Dubya's political survival point of view, side effect of delaying the demand collapse until Obambi.

-- Within ten years, world population will be 500,000,000 or less as compared to peak of 9 billion.

You have read my Malthus' pieces, I suppose? :)
Some scientists have calculated that when global warming reaches its full force, the planet will only be capable of allowing 500M people due to water, arable land, and other resource deterioration.

If you take the starting point of 9B people as our peak population and then going to 500M, that's better than a 90% die off.

Scientists have said that supplies of phosphates (necessary for plant growth) are rapidly diminishing as is arable land. Coupled with shortages of potable water, ocean overfishing and acidification, as well as oil, all of these factors pose formidable challenges to a successful transition to a new era for humanity.

RY, yes. I am a believer in Malthus. Malthus' theory was put on hold for a couple of hundred years due to technological development and the exploitation of oil. Unfortunately, we haven't seen any technological revolution occur for carbon capture. And carbon capture (or stopping CO2 emissions) is really the critical thing facing people on this planet.

And Abrawang, it's Gilding's theory that peak utilization of arable land in growing corn, soybeans, etc. (coupled with speculation) led to the Crash of 2008. Although I haven't seen it in a while, Gilding's 2005 piece entitled Scream Crash Boom lays out his interrelation between environmental exploitation and the economy.