Is Life On Earth As We know It Sustainable?

Posted on 10/16/2011. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

According to Paul Gilding, former director of Greenpeace International and now on the faculty at Cambridge University, and author of the book, The Great Disruption, the earth’s capacity to sustain human use of the earths resources had been exceeded in 1988 and it would now require 1.4 planets to sustain the current use of resources. In other words humanity on earth is now beyond the point of no return and is headed for the Great Disruption and life on earth as we know it will be changed forever. Malthusians concerns are being validated. 

What is happening is perfectly logical and understandable. A finite identity, the earth, cannot sustain infinite growth. This is a truism that most educated and reasonable people must understand but it has been ignored as an inconvenient truth that does not fit into the general order of things. The general order of things includes an economic model that depends on growth and an ever greater need  for the earths nonrenewable resources. The general order of things does not include preservation of an environment that makes human life possible and sustainable  on planet earth.
Gilding is and optimist, and while he paints a stark picture of what is in store for the earth and its inhabitants, he has great faith in our ability to react, innovate and cooperate when forced into a corner and that the day will be saved and a real transformation will take place that will produce a sustainable economy built on equality, quality of life and harmony with the ecosystem.
It is likely that not too far in the future we will find out if Gilding’s optimism is warranted.
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PushBack, a Plausible Scenario?

Posted on 08/02/2011. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

I feared most people would think the book PushBack was a little over the top when I described the splintering of the United States into eight parts due to out- of-control deficits. After reading the BusinessWeek article “Why the Dept Crisis Is Even Worse Than You Think,” I no longer have that fear.

For example: The article states that to really deal with the deficit starting now, something in the order of fifteen trillion dollars has to be cut or found in the next decade order to deal with the problem, not the four trillion savings proposed in the Obama, John Boehner “grand bargan.”   If we cut every government service and employee, including the president, we could not cut enough to fund social security and medicare with current revenue levels.  Folks, anyway you cut it, it ain’t going to be pretty.

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The United States Economic Future

Posted on 07/31/2011. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

I have recently become aware of the book Aftershock. It is a book that claims to see the economic future of the United States in considerable detail. Since PushBack envisions a fictional economic future of the United States, I was curious to know how Aftershock viewed the country’s economic future and downloaded a sample of  Aftershock onto my wife’s Kindle reader. The sample seemed to be slanted towards promoting the book and revealing the superior and unique economic knowledge of the author. I then read the reviews and they confirmed my take on the book, which was to not waste the time needed to read the full text of Aftershock.

However, despite the many negative reviews, Aftershock is a best seller. Why? I’ve read that negative reviews can be disastrous for a non-fiction publication. Apparently not true for Aftershock.  I’m not qualified to explain the phenomena; however that does not prevent me from putting forward an opinion.

First; the fear factor is used in the book to get the reader’s attention. If a self-anointed visionary is able to see the future and sees that the economy of the country will be going to hell in a hand basket, and this visionary can also reveal to you how to not only avoid personal economic disaster, but even prosper while the country goes down the tube, well you have the prescription for the perfect cure all snake oil.  Then you cleverly promote the book that everyone must read in order to build personal wealth while the looming economic disaster brings the country to its knees.

I do admit being impressed by the success of the techniques being used to promote Aftershock.  To be able to move a book with as little merit as Aftershock into a best seller status, and keep it there  is a notable achievement. It is something I’m sure many authors and publishers would like to emulate. I for one would welcome the results being enjoyed by Aftershock, but lack the ability, desire and moral bent to to pull it off.

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