Sunday, July 17, 2016

Arthur Berman

"The uprising seems to be about immigration and borders but it’s really about hard times in a failing global economy."

Petroleum geologist Arthur Berman has a column at in which he lays out the role oil has played in the global economy in the post WWII period and says that good times follow lower oil prices, bad ones higher oil prices, period. And that also, the conditions that led to the "golden era" in the US during that period, that populists like Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, and myself, often hearken to, aren't likely to return.

He says renewable energy "will be increasingly part of the landscape but its enthusiasts are also magical thinkers," and ends with:

"The future for oil prices and the global economy is frightening. I don’t know what beast slouches toward Bethlehem but I am willing to bet that it does not include growth. The best path forward is to face the beast. Acknowledge the problem, stop looking for improbable solutions that allow us live like energy is still cheap, and find ways to live better with less."

 I'd add that we might also think about transitioning to a kind of economy that's based on peoples' needs and not profit. It's been done before and can be again.

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