Friday, 10 April 2009

Next global recession due shortly

Happy headlines on the Energy Bulletin: The IEA warns of shortages - "The next oil crisis is coming"

It is suggesting that oil prices will hit a new high in 2010 as the global recession eases and growth restarts in earnest. As reserves are falling and production will not meet demand, the price of oil will soar again creating inflation and recession. Boom and bust and bust.

The only solution is to kick the fossil fuels habit quickly, to accept that economic contraction is necessary and good as long as it is a managed. We can't carry on consuming at our current levels, therefore the economic has to reduce in size. We either do it in a chaotic and unfair way that means poorer people suffer while the wealthy are protected or we do it in a managed way ensuring that jobs are created in new sectors that consume less and have more intrinsic value to society.

What we don't want is to replace one form of rampant consumerism with another. There is no point is paying people to scrap their cars so they can replace them with new ones just to keep an industry going, or pumping money into electric cars rather than public transport.

Economic recession doesn't have to hurt too much as long as it is managed properly. All change is uncomfortable as we are creatures of habit, but building communities based on localism and ensuring that goods are of a high quality and built to last (no built in obsolescent) have to be good for society.

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