Jun 082011
 

It’s always interesting and thought provoking to read a knowledgeable person’s predictions for the future. Investment advisor Doug Casey takes a crack at it here http://www.safehaven.com/article/21244/our-economic-future-from-best-to-worst-case and offers three possible scenarios for what might happen over the next twenty years. Surprisingly, he is generally optimistic although he believes the world is in for hard times. His suggestions for what to do are more investment oriented than realistic for most people but the scenarios he lines out should cause even the casual observer to stop and think. (H/T to Bert for the link).

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  4 Responses to “Predictions”

  1. Interesting Revelations. I still find the best ways to live and prepare for the next 20 years, is to live and prepare for eternity.

  2. I’m hoping the next 20 years doesn’t seem like an eternity.

  3. Thanks, Bert, for that excellent article.
    The old adage to hope for (and believe in) the best but prepare for the worst is very applicable to this article and to the current state of the world. By reminding us that “predictors go afoul by underrating human ingenuity or extrapolating current trends too far” he gives us hope that those predicting the worst are good to listen to in order to establish a worst case scenario, but not to base our fears on.

    I am not one who believes we have reached peak oil yet, or will in the next 40 years. There is just too much innovation and unexplored locations to say that we know how much there is left out there. Here are two recent finds.

    Oil shale in Texas is one of the biggest finds in the last 40 years:
    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/business/energy/7574751.html

    Offshore we continually find bigger fields when we go to deeper depths:
    http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/677-e2-wire/165409-exxon-makes-major-oil-discovery-in-gulf

    Unfortunately, for us and all the other species on the Earth, it looks like we will keep drilling for and using petroleum for many years to come.

    China has now overtaken the U.S. in energy use (mostly coal)
    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Developing-countries-lead-apf-1370742434.html?x=0

    and with emerging nations poised to be the biggest energy users in the future but the least clean energy regulations, it is doubtful that petroleum exploration will subside and much more will be found.

    Doug Casey’s article talks about the economic troubles affecting us now and in the future. I can’t help but think that all of this is relative. Our grandparents went through the Great Depression, and guess what? They came out the other side, still intact, and from all account that I have heard they were pretty happy. Tough times tend to bring people together and focus on what really matters, each other. What we have been living through in the last 40 – 60 years has been abnormal and we have been high on money and expansion. It would not hurt us a bit to contract and get back to a more realistic pace of growth (or no growth). I would love it if we all were forced to live like my great- granny did; use it up, wear it out, make do or do without.

    What I still fear is (like Casey said) the natural disasters out there like this one:
    Solar flare just misses earth yesterday:
    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2386623,00.asp

    I know this website is to help us prepare for peak everything. And while I don’t necessarily believe in those ideas, I think the same collapsitarian result has a good chance of happening from other things and we should be prepared in the same ways. I hope Randy and the readers don’t mind a slightly opposing viewpoint.

  4. Klayton, I enjoy all your comments and welcome them. I particularly enjoyed the paper you prepared for the ferry forum way back when on the subject of a boat to Fairhaven.

    But I think you should review Chris Martenson’s Crash Course which has its own special tab at the top of the blog.

    And I think you might have missed Nicole Foss’s talk last week where she talked about energy return on energy invested. http://tribes.tribe.net/altenergy/thread/6b506521-3e66-4664-ae46-d25407e13100 Everyone agrees there is lots of oil. It’s just going to cost too much to get it and we are out of money. As for off-shore, well that hasn’t worked out too well.

    You can be a Peak Oil denier but even the Pentagon has endorsed the concept in the JOE report http://www.energybulletin.net/node/52029

    The German military has the same POV http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2010/09/08/206680/peak-oil-german-military-study/

    Maybe you are into abiotic oil. http://seekingalpha.com/instablog/400230-vinod-dar/47079-abiotic-oil-and-gas-a-theory-that-refuses-to-vanish

    Please keep the comments coming. Preaching to the choir isn’t too much fun. No chance for a conversion.

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