Live World Indices are powered by

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The New York Times -The Fog of Economics

The New York Times

Human Longevity or Unbridled Growth - The Fog of Economics

Posted Facebook, The New York Times, Room for Debate - January 22, 2013

The Fog of War. Long after the Viet Nam war ended, Robert S.  McNamara, in his reflective book, lamented about the grave intellectual mistakes made by the country’s brightest and best. Many lessons were defined, but ultimately all roads lead to shortcomings in the way our cognitions work and understand reality. Unfortunately they were not recognized before these failings caused thousands of unneeded deaths and injuries to Americans and many others abroad. 

Today. Today, we face a more profounder and critical issue. Should we not take to heart, the underlying lessons conveyed by Robert McNamara, regarding the limitations existing in our cognitive functions – then the human costs will go beyond thousands, and even millions. In fact, the very existence of our species is now a concern that can no longer be washed away by rhetorical denials. For it is imminent, without change.

So the fogs we face today are not just in war, but they clutter the other areas of concern that have guided us to our present predicament; namely, the conventional beliefs of economics and theology. In both cases, their intentions share a desire to do good, but also share the fundamental flaw of promoting unbridled growth in population and human activity, that leads to a head-on collision with existential physics and exponential mathematics. Our finite planet cannot accommodate such algebra, and such beliefs are doomed to bring about a biblical die-off of our species, when the abstracts of these positive-sum games breach the concrete realities of the negative-sum game that defines our existence.

A few months ago I wrote and emailed Mr. Paul Krugman, specifically dealing with the concerns pertaining to economics, and the inability of the brightest and best of this field, to reconcile their beliefs with the physical certitudes of finite resources, expanding populations, climatic chaos and hard exponential mathematics. While Mr. Krugman did not respond; others did, including, Al Bartlett, Professor Emeritus, Physics, University of Colorado at Boulder, who fully supported and commended its content. I also believe many others who read this letter under the blog titled, “InvisibleGenocide; Fallacy of Economic Growth,” would also provide similar support.  And moreover, it is a genocide that may be closer than we think; one that may even confront the current generation in their lifetime. The Fog of Economics?

How close is it? While peak everything is certainly upon us, it is also much more than oil and the other fossil fuels. As Christopher O. Clugston sets out in his recently published book, “Scarcity –Humanity’s Final Chapter,” within less than fifty years we will economically run out of about 90 per cent of the elements needed to  run an industrial-military-consumer complex, (Remember Ike?) supporting the livelihoods of more than seven billion people. Churchill’s gathering storm compares better to a mere cloud burst in this light.

Add George Soros’s former partner; seasoned investor, Jim Roger’s recent remarks, “shortagesof raw material will lead to wars” and one can plainly see that it is just not liberal academics, scientists and greenies that comprehend the global human adversity that we will soon face. Consider further, that his constantly advised and recommended top “Conservative Investment” pick is: “Buy a Farm.” We get his message in no uncertain terms.

And so should you. As we cut through The Fog of Economics, humanity comes to the fork in the road. To decide, whether or not, we now take the one less traveled depends on the overall goal we set, which is a decision between two concepts – “human longevity or unbridled growth.” It is utterly impossible to simultaneously pursue both, as they are in nature, physics and mathematics directly opposing endeavours.

The attached recent commentary from an affiliated blog explores this debate further and calls upon all of us to consider, decide and act upon the choice you believe to be best. Keeping in mind that there are not only fogs in war - but they also exist in economics, theology, politics and many other areas of human concern. Let us not narrow the areas of our concern, forget our limitations nor act in arrogance. Let us instead cleanse ourselves of these fogs, taking the road less traveled, so that we continue to pass on to all future generations; not an invisible genocide, but the human spirit embodied in the richness and diversity of life.

What is our goal?

Terry A McNeil
First Financial Insights
January 21, 2013

AFFILIATE BLOG – January 10th, 2013

Another Foggy Day -