This Blog avoids, as far a possible, discussion of our ‘symptoms’ as societies but the article below is a good roundup of our current position in the western economies.
To misquote the Lord of the Rings, ‘a One Planet Equation to rule all’. We ignore it at our peril.
The Peak Oil Crisis: Government in the Transition
……………………..The transition from a lifestyle in which we live on dwindling reserves of fossil energy to something more sustainable is obviously going to take increasing amounts of government support just to keep functioning. We have built a very complex civilization in which we are dependent on a complex supply chain for the essentials of life – food, warmth, sanitation, health. The days of the independent, self-sufficient farmer are over for 98 percent of us. Take away or even start to reduce supplies of food, electricity, natural gas, and gasoline and we are in a lot of trouble.
As the supply of liquid fuels dwindles and increases in price, travel, particularly by aircraft, is likely to fall sharply. Services provided by the federal government – defense, foreign relations, interstate highways, and regulation — that have grown to massive proportions in the last 70 years are likely to take on a much lower priority in favor of food, clothing, shelter, public safety, education, health care, and employment that will be provided at the local level.
Over the next 20 years we are almost certain to witness major changes in the functions performed by various levels of government and whether we like it or not, the share of our resources going to pay for these functions – i.e. higher taxes. Although it is not yet generally recognized, this great transition has already begun.
Full article at http://www.inteldaily.com/news/154/ARTICLE/10127/2009-03-20.html