Wednesday, October 25, 2006

David Korten, Part 3

The day of reckoning for our reckless ways is now at hand, as we face the mounting forces of a perfect economic storm, born of a convergence of peak oil, climate change, and a meltdown of the U.S. dollar. Peak oil of course occurs when global oil production peaks and begins its inexorable decline, in the face of continued rising global demand, sending prices soaring. Now, some experts believe that peak oil occurred last year in 2005, others believe it will not occur for another 10, 20, or even 35 years. Fortune Magazine correctly notes that the difference in those estimates is irrelevant. The era of peak oil is over, and we must act immediately to end our dependence on oil.

(the next section is a Power Point, but fortunately Korten does describe it in words as well) As he said the parts I've boldfaced, he clicked a big red X over the image to which he was referring.

Here are some of the implications for the ways in which our life will change. Long haul transport and global supply chains, foundations of the global economy--relics of a dying era.

Auto-dependent suburbia, strip malls, shopping centers, and box stores like WalMart located in the middle of nowhere--candidates for "going out of business" sales.

Oil-dependent industrial agriculture: destined to run out of gas.

Now take a look at this, do you see any oil dependence? These, of course, are the oil guzzling planes, ships, and ground vehicles we depend on to secure our access to cheap oil. Increasingly unaffordable, and, as we've seen in Afghanistan and Iraq, wholly ineffective against current military threats.

As oil prices inexorably rise, much of our existing capital stocks will be reduced to stranded assets, including much of the supporting capital of our sprawling and unsustainable suburbs.

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