Comment on On the cusp of collapse: complexity, energy, and the globalised economy by rich

Fascinating and terrifying analysis, all of which rings true. I am led to question why your site bears the subtitle, “Overcoming the risks of economic and environmental collapse”. It would seem that collapse is inevitable and cannot be overcome. Deployment of non-fossil-fuel energy resources is futile (unless it can be done immediately while we still have a viable economy) because building the new energy infrastructure is in fact dependent on a fossil-fuel based economy. It seems that the only hope for the USA is to focus on reducing the trade deficit by increasing the development of domestic fossil fuel resources (as energy intensive as these “unconventional” sources may be), while simultaneously putting any financial resources we have into the feverish development of a diversity of non-fossil-fuel energy infrastructures, to include both renewables and nuclear energy. It seems unlikely, however, that the political will exists to critically assess and develop these resources if it means competition with the interests of entrenched industries upon which the economy already depends. If these infrastructure systems can be put in place before the bottom completely drops out of the fossil fuel based economy, there is a slim chance of survival. Of course, any correction of America’s trade deficit is likely to result in the collapse of other national economies, with whom the US is a trading partner, and this, as we have seen in the case of Greece, is likely to trigger global collapse. Ouch!

Note: Feasta is a forum for exchanging ideas. By posting on its site Feasta agrees that the ideas expressed by authors are worthy of consideration. However, there is no one ‘Feasta line’. The views of the article do not necessarily represent the views of all Feasta members.