We should expect financial collapse quite soon – perhaps as soon as the next few months. Our problem is energy related, but not in the way most experts have claimed. It’s much more related to the election of President Trump and to the Brexit vote. Most people don’t understand how interconnected the world economy is.
From Journeyman Pictures: The financial storm of 2008 began brewing in when the US congress pushed the idea of home ownership for all. When it all went wrong, they opted for gargantuan bailouts for the big banks. This documentary offers fresh insight into the greatest economic crisis of our age: the one still awaiting us.
Gail Tverberg writes: Underlying problems are sufficiently severe that we seem to be headed for a crisis far worse than 2008. Our fundamental problem is that neither high nor low energy prices are now able to keep the world economy operating as we’d like it to. Increased debt can’t seem to fix the problem either.
What lies ahead for the economy this year? Will there be a global economic collapse as predicted by many or will the early positive signs in stock markets around the world continue? While focused on the U.S., this compilation by Daisy Luther of forecasts by 12 leading experts has implications for the entire global economy.
Ugo Bardi writes on Cassandra’s Legacy: The essence of propaganda, as it is well-known, is not so much telling lies, but presenting only one aspect of the truth. That’s true also for the depletion debate. Saying that a certain resource will last decades, centuries, or more is not a lie, but not the truth, either.
Dennis Coyne writes: I expect World Fossil fuel output to peak in 2025. If the World economy continues to grow, a gap between Energy produced (including non-fossil fuels) and the demand for Energy will grow. If the gap is not filled by growth in non-fossil fuel energy demand will reduce due to reduced economic growth.
Kurt Cobb writes: It used to be that oil prices and economic growth were somewhat like distant cousins who disliked each other rather than a happily married couple always seen nuzzling together in public. Nowadays, as the oil price dips into the low $40 range again and global economic growth weakens simultaneously, we must re-evaluate.
What the flashing neon words on the wall seem to be saying is: negative interest rates are on the way throughout the “developed world.” In due course, they will demolish any remaining value of the US dollar, and blow up the bond bubble. In turn, this financial collapse will trigger the next stage: commercial collapse.
David Blittersdorf writes: Our industrial society can handle about a 10% voluntary energy reduction across the board, doing things like walking more and carpooling. To get to the necessary level (which, by some estimations, will be about a 60-80% decrease in energy usage), will be impossible unless we change the way we think about things.
This year is the hottest in history: every single month in 2016 so far has set a heat record. Slow, linear change is giving way to non-linear lurches. Extend the present temperature trend for another few months and we may go beyond the threshold of 1.5 degrees. How long until we get to two degrees? Three?
Gail Tverberg writes: We are experiencing a world economy that seems to be reaching limits, but the symptoms are not what peak oil groups warned about. Instead of high prices and lack of supply, we are facing indirect problems brought on by our high consumption of energy products. I have called it a double pump problem.
Nikhil Dey & Aruna Roy writes: The cynical attitude towards the MGNREGA is an example of how policymakers are deliberately — by squeezing funds and subverting the legal mandate of the law — causing immeasurable misery and suffering. Through the fund squeeze, the government has consciously crippled the MGNREGA’s ability to help people facing drought.
Chris Martenson writes: The data seems to confirm this: Humanity is not going to painlessly wean itself off of fossil fuels. Instead, we will hit some sort of a wall: a food/population crisis, a climate crisis, or a debt/fiscal/economic crisis. Each of those candidates has its roots in our global society’s addition to fossil fuels.
Sukumar Muralidharan reports on Catch News: This year’s economic survey is a catalogue of crises. For one thing, it records that the situation in agriculture has been dismal on account of two successive years of poor monsoons. This is only the fourth time in 115 years that such a misfortune has hit the Indian economy.
Financial bubbles arise when asset prices inflate above what incomes can sustain. The mathematical reality is that the current over $200 trillion in debt and perhaps another $500 trillion of un(der)funded liabilities really cannot ever be paid back under current terms. In order for these obligations to be reset to a reality-based level, something has to give.
Common Dreams reports: A new analysis, published in Science Advances journal, reveals that global water scarcity is a far greater problem than previously thought, affecting 4 billion people—two-thirds of the world’s population. Previous analyses looked at water scarcity at an annual scale, and had found that water scarcity affected between 1.7 and 3.1 billion people.
Gail Tverberg writes: We are about to see a substantial disruption to the economy, as oil limits, as well as other energy limits, cause the economic supercycle to contract. Whether its Peak Oil, the Limits to Growth, or the Debt Supercycle, the underlying problem is the same – we’re reaching the limits of a finite world.
Satyajit Das writes in The Times of India: Policy makers have sold the future for a precarious, short-lived stability. There is a striking similarity between the problems of the financial system, irreversible climate change and shortages of vital resources like oil, food and water… The world is remarkably unprepared for the crisis that is unfolding.
Sajai Jose Alexis Tsipras, the first Left Greek Prime Minister. Credit: SpaceShoe/Flickr, CC 2.0. Cover image of old woman in Athens is also by Spaceshoe Greece has become the first developed country to default on an International Monetary Fund loan, itself a fraction of a €323 billion national debt – equivalent to more than 175% of the country’s
If We Release a Small Fraction of Arctic Carbon, ‘We’re Fucked’: Climatologist From Vice.com Recently, scientists have made a disturbing discovery in the Arctic Ocean: They saw “vast methane plumes escaping from the seafloor,” as the Stockholm University put it in a release disclosing the observations. The plume of methane—a potent greenhouse gas that traps