Thursday, July 09, 2009

the great disruption

Australian Broadcast Corp | First of all let's just think about the shock that's coming. Now this is a giant global Ponzi scheme, right? We are paying out our capital as dividends, while we are saying to our children, Thank you for your investment, right? We're going to take it now and leave you the poorer. That's what a Ponzi scheme is, it's about taking your capital and paying it out, right? Investors' money being used to give the delusion of growth, delusion of success, and then they collapse. That's what's going to happen to us if we keep on going. So what is going to happen is that we're going to bump up against the limits, back to our 1.2 size economy in a 1.0 sized earth, up against the limits you bounce off and you come back. Any system does this. Whether it's bacteria in a petrie dish, whether it's a rainforest, whether it's a global economy, a system up against the edges of its limits go bang and bounces back, and bang and bounces back. But it only has a number of ways it can go. First of all it can break down to a simpler system, to a simpler organism, which was James Lovelock's view, we'll end up with a couple of hundred million people in small groups in a much simpler society. It can evolve into a more complex system which can exist in that world, or it can collapse. Right?

Now obviously there's only one of those we'd like to do and today's about what we're going to do about the future, so I think we should think about evolving as part of that process. But all the evidence in history is we don't evolve until we have the crash. All the evidence of history is that we don't respond until we have a crisis and we soon have the global financial crisis and a whole range of different other examples of World War II and appeasement and so on. We'll respond when the crisis hits, so the very important issue is when the crisis hits. New York Times' Tom Friedman referred to this moment recently as 'When Mother Nature and Father Greed hit the wall at once'. Lovely quote. 'When Mother Nature and Father Greed hit the wall at once'. Right? Referring to the great disruption which is what I refer to as being this time when we are forced to change because the system stops working for us and therefore we have no choice but to adapt and to respond.

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