The Math is Different at the Top (Part IV - When the Lights Go Out)

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ashvinp
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The Math is Different at the Top (Part IV - When the Lights Go Out)
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    The first three articles in this series, Part I - The Math is Different at the Top, Part II - Financial Threats to Power, Part III - Will Water Set the World on Fire, discussed the impacts of financial deterioration and ecosystem degradation (specifically water-based) on the ability of financial elites to retain economic and political power through centralized, global institutions.

    A majority of the populations in the developed world or strategically critical countries (India, Pakistan, China, etc.) will be traumatized by the ongoing destruction of financial wealth, as well as water resources necessary for agriculture and household consumption (and, ironically, industry as well). Many of these locations can be considered "central hubs" of our global network civilization, and they must be coherently maintained for the overall system to have any meaningful structure (order).

    It is possible, however, that these crises will be used by the elites as justification for further concentration of wealth and power in their hands, through military interventions, the abrogation of legal protections, the implementation of oppressive legislative/executive policies, etc. So far, the global financial crisis has worked like a charm towards furthering this goal, as evidenced by the immense transfer of wealth that has occurred in the developed world since 2008.

    The imminent lack of adequate water resources in India, Pakistan and China, three countries with stockpiles of nuclear weapons, will be much more difficult for the elites to manage, but it is certainly not out of the question. China already has an authoritarian government in place that has been coerced to do the bidding of financial elites, and the same could be said of those in India and Pakistan, which are extremely corrupt and largely inept.

    Billions of people throughout these regions may revolt in pure desperation, but we are still talking about a hungry, thirsty and disorganized mob facing off against a coordinated, well-equipped cadre of power elites, with every tool of oppression at their disposal (assuming relevant military commanders cooperate). That dynamic changes, however, when the issue of peak oil (decreasing global net energy availability) is factored into the equation, especially since our "central hubs" are net oil importers.

    It is generally accepted that, since the discovery of fossil fuels about 150 years ago, at least half of all the crude oil in global reserves has been depleted. In the U.S. (largest per capita consumer of fossil fuels), this oil provided an energy return on energy invested (EROEI) of about 100:1 in 1930, but it is now less than 20:1 for imported oil and 10:1 for domestic (>85% of our crude oil is imported) [1]. No other alternative energy source (except hydroelectric) even comes close to these EROEIs, and some, such as biodiesel, are probably net energy losers. [2]

    Full piece at TAE - http://theautomaticearth.blogspot.com/2011/03/march-17-2011-when-lights-go-out.html

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