The video below (300 Years of FOSSIL FUELS in 300 Seconds), from the Post Carbon Institute, is very well done. It tells the story about the development of industrial civilization based on fossil fuel energy, and the mega-crisis that now confronts us. While it is inaccurate in pointing to fossil fuels as the main driver of economic growth, it is well worth the five minutes it takes to watch it.
As I’ve been saying for a long time, the availability of cheap fossil fuel energy has been the enabler of continuous economic growth, but it is not the driver. The driver of the growth imperative which has been operating for about the past 300 years is the political interest-based debt-money system. It is a system that creates money based on interest bearing “loans.” It is the compound interest that is built into the global money system that requires the continual expansion of debt, which in turn forces the physical expansion of economic output. Now nature is putting on the brakes, telling us it’s time to STOP.
We can make the transition to a regenerative economy consciously and deliberately, or we can try to deal with the developing problems on an ad hoc basis in the midst of inevitable chaos. The end of the industrial era should not be mourned, nor does it need to be painful. We have before us the opportunity to create a happier, more peaceful world, one in which we all have enough to live a dignified and fulfilling life with enough time and energy to restore our communities and our environment. For more about that, see my presentation on The Butterfly Society.—t.h.g.
Here’s a book that seems to get to the root of the matter. I’ve only read the Preface, but it seems to offer worthwhile insights into the dimensions of the geo-political juggernaut. It may be lacking in solutions, but hopefully my own books help to fill that gap. — t.h.g.
The Global Economic Crisis: The Great Depression of the XXI Century
Michel Chossudovsky and Andrew Gavin Marshall (Editors)
Montreal, Global Research Publishers. Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), 2010.
ISBN 978-0-9737147-3-9 (416 pages)
In all major regions of the world, the economic recession is deep-seated, resulting in mass unemployment, the collapse of state social programs and the impoverishment of millions of people. The economic crisis is accompanied by a worldwide process of militarization, a “war without borders” led by the United States of America and its NATO allies. The conduct of the Pentagon’s “long war” is intimately related to the restructuring of the global economy.
We are not dealing with a narrowly defined economic crisis or recession. The global financial architecture sustains strategic and national security objectives. In turn, the U.S.-NATO military agenda serves to endorse a powerful business elite which relentlessly overshadows and undermines the functions of civilian government.
This book takes the reader through the corridors of the Federal Reserve and the Council on Foreign Relations, behind closed doors at the Bank for International Settlements, into the plush corporate boardrooms on Wall Street where far-reaching financial transactions are routinely undertaken from computer terminals linked up to major stock markets, at the touch of a mouse button.
Richard C. Cook had posted a new article titled,
The Economic Crisis and What Must be Done
In it, he provides an excellent summary of our current situation and how we arrived at it, along with some concrete proposals.
On the legislative front, he call for Congress to pass what he calls the “Cook Plan.” This would provide relief payments “to each adult of $1,000 a month until the crisis lifted. This money could be earmarked for goods and services produced within the U.S. and used to capitalize a new series of community development banks.”
I could support such a plan but I see no hope of getting it through Congress. Even so, it would require a reallocation of budget payments from bank and corporate bailouts and military spending.
His second proposal is much more feasible and in line with my own prescriptions:
“Another method increasingly being used within the U.S. today is local and regional credit clearing exchanges and the use of local currencies or “scrip.” Use of such currencies could be enhanced by legislation at the state and federal levels allowing these currencies to be used for payment of taxes and government fees as well as payment of mortgages and other forms of bank debt. The credit clearing exchanges could be organized as private non-profit regional currency co-operatives similar to credit unions.”
However I see no need for government involvement in this approach. I would prefer that governments keep hands off until the exchanges have enough strength to bend legislation in a favorable direction. Too much government attention too early will result in repression of emergent exchange alternatives, as has been typical in the past.
Cook’s article provides invaluable background, especially for anyone who is new to the study of “the money problem.” I strongly recommend it. You can read it here