Umpteen Questions and a possible answer

13 04 2010

I thought one possible way of thinking about this is systemic risk analysis. The following recent report mainly on the interconnected risks associated with energy shortages (kick started by peak oil) is really worth a read. Its written by the new Risk and Reliance Network and Feasta who have promised many more follow up reports to come.

Tipping Point: Near-Term Implications of a Peak in Global Oil Production

David Korowicz (From the Oil Drum Think Tank) the physicist behind the report gives an overview of the connections between the financial crisis and increasing entropy in our ever more sophisticated complex self organising social systems. Jeremy Rifkin makes similar connections in his latest book, the Empathetic Civilisation.

It also suggested that as a society locked into a growth paradigm the de-growth strategies suggest by Tim Jackson, NEF and others in recent reports such as Prosperity Without Growth are the least likely of possible scenarios going forward. The others are not pretty though.

Interestingly rather that conclude or make recommendations, the report asks us to dwell on the immensity of its proposals and sit with the discomfort for a while. What its saying essentially is that its a slightly more significant task than just changing the light bulbs.