This is the first, and to me, most fundamental, of several recent Occupy commentaries that I’m going to post today and tomorrow. Heinberg, author of “The Party’s Over,” is an expert on peak oil, peak everything, and what he thinks are most likely post-peak scenarios. As for ET technologies (and free energy), I don’t think his world-view has expanded to include that horizon. So, when I say his view is fundamental, I mean that, given what we “know” now, scientifically, his conclusions are fundamental, inescapable.
For those who say we need to fix Washington first, he says it like it is: “It’s strategic to bring protest to Wall Street rather than Washington. We must go directly to the crime scene — not with a request for reforms, but with an arrest warrant from the people.” Thanks to opednews.com.
Oct 5, 2011 by Richard Heinberg
Here’s a fact that’s hard for most Americans to swallow: economic growth is over. Given the finite nature of our planet and its resources, the recent trend of global economic expansion was destined to end. No stimulus package or slashing of social programs is going to flip the economy back to an expansionary trajectory. We’ve hit the proverbial wall, and this will be the defining reality of our lives from now on.
The growth-seeking political-economic system has failed us. Today that system is dominated by Wall Street. “Goldman Sachs rules the world,” trader Alessio Rastani told us in a now-viral BBC interview. I met people like Rastani in researching my book, The End of Growth. At one lavish conference, 800 global investors packed a hotel ballroom to consider climate change. There was no talk of how to avert or mitigate floods and droughts. Instead, the discussion focused on profiting from warming with — no joke — weather derivatives. These folks were just doing their job, despite any private feelings of concern, remorse, or dread. And each was getting paid enough to single-handedly fund a midsize school district.
Senior Fellow, Post Carbon Institute