Coming Soon. Collapse!

Coming Soon. Collapse!

A prophecy is the communication of [usually] divine messages through a prophet. It generally refers to a foreknowledge of future events. Prediction is a statement of certain future outcomes, which may or may not be based on experience or knowledge. A forecast is a prediction based on experience or knowledge that usally covers a range of possible outcomes. And, precognition is a type of extrasensory perception about future conditions or events.

Coming soon. The world economy is about to collapse! Now, is that a prophecy, a prediction, a forecast, or a precognition? Given that the economy cycles through depressions, periods of rapid growth and recessions, you might say, "there's nothing prophetic about that". But this "collapse" will be different; The whole economic system, as we know, will come down.

The current economic system is almost entirely based on economic growth; Banking, research. investments, loans, interest, exchange rates, technology, resource allocation, energy use, future planning, politic ambitions, etc. are all bound by the "assumption" that the economy will forever continue to grow. Without growth, all of these - as they are structured today - will fail to function. Economists, driven by self-interest, are behaving like "high priests", closed to any criticism of their "fundamental assumptions". They lack any long-term vision. When reminded of the physical constraints on growth, they look the other way. They only concern themselves with short-term profits, ignoring the environmental toll of economical growth.

Economics is not a science. If it were, economists would understand exponents. Economic growth is tightly correlated with energy use. Even a basic 2.5% global "growth rate" implies that energy requirements will double in approximately 30 years and be tenfold in 100 years. Even if we shift drastically to renewable or alternative energy and implement our best technological innovations, economical growth can not last.

So far, there is little or no sign that economists understand what they are about to face. Hence, there's no political will whatsoever to do anything about it - politicians leave the economy up to the economists. Obscurantism through secrecy and technical language ensures that most citizens are left in the dark, and thus there's little social pressure on economists. Unless we rapidly shift to a steady state economy, or possibly voluntarily pursue degrowth economics, it is likely over.

A recent BBC broadcast, "Can the World Get Richer Forever?" must be listened to.
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