3E Intelligence

This is a bit like experiencing the second Fall of the Berlin Wall now nearly 20 years ago. I thought this kind of historic miracle only happened once in a lifetime. Who would have believed that Wall Street could get into ecstasy after several governments announced that they are going to nationalise some of their major banks. Ronald Reagan must be spinning in his grave.

Now that we have “solved” this financial mess, can we please get the same sense of urgency, international collaboration and political leadership on the climate/energy collapse? Or do we have to nationalise the energy companies first?

Sorry that was my sarcastic “other”.

Time for the real interesting analysis of the links between the financial crisis and the climate/energy collapse.

Jeff Vail sums it up perfectly in his excellent “The timing of the financial crisis and peak oil“:

It seems likely that it takes a few years to fully sort out the frothy mess we’re currently in. But when this is sorted out, we’ll still have 5 billion people in the developing world who want home heating and air conditioning, want to drive a car, want to eat more meat, want hot water on demand, etc. And there’s no fundamental problem with our underlying economics that will prevent them from demanding these things. Except Peak Oil. The next two or three years of focus, budget, and effort fixing the financial crisis are two or three years where we aren’t using our rapidly dwindling supply of high net-energy surplus oil and gas to invest in a renewable energy infrastructure or to restructure our economy away from the demand for continual growth. In fact, the short-term drop (or at least fear thereof) in commodity consumption is likely to depress prices enough that there’s no financial incentive to even invest in keeping production steady.

We’re setting ourselves up for the perfect storm. Resurgent global demand for energy will hit just about the time that our energy supplies (especially our net energy supplies) begin to rapidly decline. As I’ve said in jest many times on this blog, the Mayan prophecies about 2012 may not be that far off the mark–at least as far as timing is concerned. This topic–the interrelationship (and political disconnect) between finance and energy, and what we can do about it–will be a frequent topic going forward…”

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  1. I think this cry for ‘socialism’ is a exaggerated. In fact, only a very tiny part of the economy is being nationalized, and most governments will loath to hold shares in financial institutions. In the ‘real economy’ there is no nationalization taking place, and the credit institutions indeed got into trouble. Although I would also prefer a proper bankruptcy to bail-out or nationalization.

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