Most promising future:

3 posts / 0 new
Last post
dander2194's picture
dander2194
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 20 2009
Posts: 20
Most promising future:

My favorite line from Chris is that “ the next 20 years will be very different”. This forum has been a great place for like minded people to share their visions. I wish this post to serve two purposes. A time line as to the changes occurring and your feedback on the most promising industries to arise during the transition to a sustainable future.

No one knows when oil shortages will arrive, when the dollar will crash, or interest rates will soar. On the other hand evidence suggests some major events will occur in the not to distant future. The events I feel have strong qualitative and quantitative evidence for near term occurrences include: an oil shortage, a debt crisis, and a dollar crisis.

The oil shortages:

For me the US Military warning of oil shortages beginning in 2012 with massive shortages to follow (http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/apr/11/peak-oil-production-supply). Other warnings have been issued by Richard Branson, ASPO and UK Peak Oil task force. But the US Military is the one I take as the most credible. Perhaps no organization has better intelligence on the matter and I see little reason for a public warning if not true.

The Debt Crisis:

A recent study by several Harvard economists suggests debt levels become toxic at around the 90% Debt to GDP for developed economies (http://www.economics.harvard.edu/faculty/rogoff/files/Growth_in_Time_Debt.pdf ). The US surpasses that mark this month (July, 2010). However, a debate exists as to whether the proper determination of debt to GDP should be debt held by the public. This means excluding the social security trust fund. Approximately 1/3rd ($4.5 trillion of the 13 trillion) is debt held by intra government agencies. Thus, it appears that the debt crisis for the USA could occur between now and 2013 when the debt held by the public reaches the 90% level.

Dollar Crisis:

Either the high debt levels or the oil shortages could cause the dollar crisis. Evidence suggests that confidence in the dollar will erode when the debt to GDP is too high. Further, since the dollar system requires foreigners to purchase the dollar, it seems hard to imagine that China and Japan (the largest holders of US debt) will want to prop up the dollar so that American’s can out bid them for oil and food. Thus, I see the dollar crisis occurring in the 2012-2013 range as well.

Reaction of major participants:

The final step then is to determine how the market and the government and institutions will react to such a crisis. The reaction to the above events are less certain. However what is to follow seems most probable to me as the debt and energy crisis grow: Exchange controls, price controls, and rationing seem inevitable at the government level. Insurers, individual states, pension plans, and banks will likely go bankrupt or backstopped at the federal level. Other risks include the federal government may pursue the policy to overtake our retirement plans, giving out worthless dollars instead. Paper commodity trading may cease to exist (in dollars). Food and energy prices go sky high as the dollar falls and the world bids for the remaining oil.

Before the world can once again grow we will need to migrate to a sustainable lifestyle.  In my opinion the changes are not to be viewed in dire terms. One hundred years ago most people road horses, had no telephone, running water, or plumbing. The world always changes, and these changes could be great for those who understand what is coming.

Opportunities abound: industries with a bright future

Urban Agriculture - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urban_agriculture

The return of Blimps (bigger, bullet proof, and no need for airports) - http://fooyoh.com/?mid=geekapolis_gadgets_wishlist&page=5&document_srl=5071441

  • Air cars (200 kilometers on a $1 of electricity) -
  • Energy efficient lighting -
  • Electric cars
  • Alternative energy – Solar, wind, algae, etc.
  • Efficiency gains – make any energy item more efficient and you have a winner - http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/How_to_reduce_home_energy_usage
  • Cotton clothing
  • Recycling – lots of resources in our junk yards
  • Methane Hydrate – more methane hydrate than oil, coal, and natural gas combined: http://fossil.energy.gov/programs/oilgas/hydrates/
  • Tall Ships – trade by tall ships may return
  • Trains – more engineers and tracks.

What can you add or share to this list?

deggleton's picture
deggleton
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 18 2008
Posts: 250
Re: Most promising future:

All sorts of arts, crafts and performances.

Aaron M's picture
Aaron M
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 22 2008
Posts: 2373
Re: Most promising future:

Good, home grown food.
Festivals based around community.
Common sense laws and a return to dignity and honesty.

In a world packed with such excess, it's easy to lose sight of what's important.
In a world lean and accustom to investing time for meager rewards, there is a inborn humility.

I think that gives people a lot of character, stirs innovation and creates a more responsible populace.

As far as the military's word on fuel - take it seriously. If they're saying it, it's because there are serious implications.

Cheers,

Aaron

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Login or Register to post comments