The second Fiscal Sustainability Report published by the UK Office of Budget Responsibly appears to make no reference to energy other than to falling North Sea Revenues. Important though this is, it is the statement that productivity will continue to increase at the long run 2%, without justification, that is the critical issue.
Productivity has been, and is, intensely energy dependent and here is significant discussion about the amount of easily won energy moving forward from this point, and the value of the useful net energy it yields; not least within the International Monetary Fund.
Energy use and GDP are historically closely correlated and projections that ignore this are suspect at best and probably meaningless.
This a strategic mistake as it fails to focus the available National creativity on the search for energy and resource intensity reduction in UK economic activity at system level.
At the moment, all efforts are aimed at marginal energy and resource intensity improvements at micro level.
See also Energy, economy and the impending rite of passage
In yesterday’s Telegraph there was an article titled ‘Why the Military must invade our schools’ and whilst this might have a simplistic attraction in the situation we find ourselves in as a society, it fails to address the reality we are now in. Fragmented as society of’ individuals’ in a future where the Common Good must be placed centre stage as the energy and resource intensity of our society, SystemUK, inevitably falls.
Radio and Television programmes abound, Panorama last night for instance, but none recognise this fundamental reality. The Seventies were the beginning of the future we are now in, only with outcomes differed was a result of the exploitation of North Sea Oil. Which we squandered on Business as Usual, creating no reserve for the transition to the future we are in.
As a consequence, neither did we educate for this reality and the common purpose and action this future requires. The ‘Service for the Nation’ required of us all.
We are now in a world of fire-fighting failure demand and looking for End of Pipe solutions to Society’s Failure Demand. Such is the reasoning behind ResPublica’s genuine concern. Failing schools, send in the military to sort out the problems.
But we are all in this together for the Common Good, and whilst it is eminently sensible to encourage military personnel to take up the work mentioned in the article, dealing with the issues in separate boxes does not solve the problems at system level, SystemUK.
We thought resources were plentiful, to squander as we thought fit as individuals, rather than the reality; limited and needing to be marshalled for the Common Good.
In this future we must all be expected to act for the Common Good, bankers included!. This can only be achieved by educating for and implementing, universal and compulsory ‘Service for the Nation’ , not military discipline in a forlorn attempt to contain the Failure Demand created by not doing the right thing right as a Society.
There are difficult times ahead but we must start now if we are to ensure a coherent and competitive society rather than a failing one. There are scenarios out there we do not need to let happen.