- In this continuing series, editor Marilyn Hempel of www.populationpress.org ,
entertained Kevin Kerr, "Peak Oil? Peak Everything!"
- For most Americans, they don't bat an eyelash at "Peak
Oil" as long as the gas pours out of the gas pump. They don't really
blink even when gas hits $4.00 per gallon. Yes, they yell and scream at
the unfairness of $4.00 a gallon gas, but they pay it. Few understand
that, at some point, they won't be able to buy gas at $20 per gallon as
"Peak Oil" takes hold within several decades.
- But beyond Peak Oil, humans suck most of the resources
out of Earth at such a rapid rate, that, according to Richard Heinberg
in his book, PEAK EVERYTHING: FACING A CENTURY OF DECLINES,
we can expect an accelerating decline of just about everything we take
for granted in 2010.
- Kevin Ker brings it home:
- "The world keeps turning and the resources get used
up," Kerr said. "It's really quite simple. Despite that fact,
the debates rage over Peak Oil, Peak Food and peak everything else. It's
about as sensible as rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. So the "experts"
continue to debate whether or not resources are running low. But the evidence
is pretty clear, at least to this trader.
- "In 2008, we saw the oil and agriculture markets
explode. And this could be just the beginning, not the end, as some would
have you believe. Personally, I think we are about halfway to the new top
for many commodities. That means $200 oil (easily) and gold at $1,500-$2,000.
The agriculture markets have even further to go, in my opinion.
- "Key commodities are becoming more and more scarce.
So we can expect to see more suffering in the poorest countries first.
Then the economic impact will work its way up the food chain (no pun intended).
- "The facts are fairly grim if we look at them closely.
There is going to be less of everything. Yet there will be more people
who want those things. Let's face it-wars have been fought over far less.
- "In her famous book, On Death and Dying, Elisabeth
Kubler-Ross describes the stages of grief:
- Denial: "It can't be happening"
- Anger: "Why me? It's not fair"
- Bargaining: "Just let me live to see my children
- Depression: "I'm so sad, why bother with anything?"
- Acceptance: "It's going to be OK."
- "In my opinion, the American public is going through
the stages of grief right now. Rising prices are just a market-based signal
that we are losing our economic and resource abundance. As the American
dream fades away, it's like a death in the family.
- "What do you think when you pull up to the fuel
pump and have to pay $4 for a gallon of regular gas? Or how about when
you go to the supermarket and have to pay $4 for a gallon of milk, or the
same price for a loaf of bread? Are your emotions between disbelief and
anger? Are you saying to yourself, "Hey, what the heck is going on?"
(I'm cleaning it up a bit because this is a family-friendly publication.)
- "I think folks mistakenly thought prosperity would
go on forever.
- "Dinner is always fun until the waiter brings the
check. Or as my colleague Byron King once said, "It's easy to look
rich as long as you don't ever pay the bills."
- "No sector has recently hit Americans in the wallet
harder than energy. But even with those dramatic price increases, major
changes are still not happening. We have seen a very small decrease in
gasoline usage-only about 1% or so.
- "But while some travel may be down as costs have
gone up, the numbers are not really dramatic. No, I am not pointing fingers.
I live here too. If I looked at my own lifestyle, I couldn't say that I
am making radical adjustments, either.
- "We still like to drive our big SUVs. We still drive
alone to work. Most people rarely take public transportation (if there
is any). And we love to run our air conditioners full blast while watching
the documentaries on global warming and dying polar bears on our 62-inch
- "Yes, we like to grumble when we fill up those big
SUVs, mostly because it's easier to complain than make the tough changes
that are needed. We feel entitled to keep living as we do. Hey, after all,
we've earned it. Right?
- "Rather than make difficult choices, we are in that
denial stage and buy the line from the government and media that all is
- "The facts and the fiction often get mixed up when
discussing the issue of "Peak Everything." Take the surging price
of crude oil. Some people (including a lot of politicians) want to blame
the traders and speculators. Other people blame farmers and corn-based
ethanol. A lot of people blame OPEC. The list of culprits goes on ad infinitum.
- "The fact remains that it's not just one reason
or another that we are in this energy disaster; it's actually all of these
reasons and others. It's a culmination of many years of poor energy policy,
short-sighted planning (if you can even call it planning) and an overdose
of arrogance that only superpowers can have.
- "It's like a football team saying, "We're No.
1 and will always be that way." So the team stops training hard. Players
quit working out and coming to practice. The coaches just relax and forget
about recruiting or developing new talent. Nobody designs new plays or
bothers to scout the opponents to see what they are up to. And then the
team expects to go out into the world and bring home the trophy every year.
"Hey, we deserve it. Right?"
- "Or go back to the analogy of the Titanic. The ship
was state-of-the art. It was not "supposed" to be able to sink.
But now as the water rushes in and the ship is dropping lower and lower
into the sea, the cold water is hitting us all in the face. Now our lawmakers
are scrambling to plug the holes, and it's not working. The smart people
(or maybe they were just lucky) are already in the lifeboats.
- "Only time will tell if the United States can actually
move into the acceptance stage. But in the meantime, commodities will continue
- Kevin Kerr's unparalleled expertise in futures and commodities
has made him a regular contributor to news outlets like CNN fn, CNBC and
CBS Marketwatch, where he's been quoted in over 500 articles. Now, as a
contributing editor to Outstanding Investments, he uses his extensive knowledge
and connections to uncover blockbuster natural resource investments.
- Source: The Daily Reckoning Australia, June 4th, 2008 http://www.dailyreckoning.com.au/peak-oil-peak-food-peak-everything-2/2008/06/04/
- Contact Marilyn Hempel at www.PopulationPress.org firstname.lastname@example.org .
By snail mail: Blue Planet United, POB 7918 Redlands, CA 92375
- Frosty Wooldridge has bicycled across six continents
- from the Arctic to the South Pole - as well as six times across the USA,
coast to coast and border to border. In 2005, he bicycled from the Arctic
Circle, Norway to Athens, Greece. He presents "The Coming Population
Crisis in America: and what you can do about it" to civic clubs, church
groups, high schools and colleges. He works to bring about sensible world
population balance at www.frostywooldridge.com He is the author
of: America on the Brink: The Next Added 100 Million Americans. Copies
available: 1 888 280 7715