We’re getting close to that time of the year. Some of us resolve to lose weight, find love, change jobs. Some pundits tell us how best to do all that; others tell us it is futile. Others just advise us on what recipes will make people happy – or unhappy.
I was amused to read that lifestyle diva Martha Stewart and aspiring lifestyle diva Gwyneth Paltrow were feuding through recipe columns. Stewart poked at Paltrow’s recent breakup with a “consciously coupled” dish. Paltrow retaliated with a “jailbird” cake – calling to mind Stewart’s time in the slammer. Classy stuff.
For a few years I could count on doomers of various stripes – curmudgeon Jim Kunstler, Dr Doom Nouriel Roubini, ArchDruid John Michael Greer, Kollapsnik Dmitry Orlov, retired CIA analyst Tom Whipple and even farmer/mother Sharon Astyk – posting their predictions for energy depletion for the coming year. I occasionally read Ilargi and Stoneleigh at The Automatic Earth and various folk at The Oil Drum as well. I was not a reader of the embattled Mike Ruppert – who took his own life last Spring – or Carolyn Baker or Guy MacPherson, the three of whom were even more certain of our demise.
Kunstler is still predicting imminent chaos next week, as are Raul and Nicole at TAE. Former Oil Drum editor Gail Tverberg at Our Finite World seems to have a slightly longer horizon. Tom Whipple still dutifully reports on international crises, though he hopes for the hail mary pass of cold fusion to score a touchdown against a low energy future for our grandchildren. I’m still not conversant with Baker or MacPherson, but the rest have drifted into a general feeling that we are now living through the early stages of a post-peak collapse with increasingly severe climate emergencies. Greer posts at length about how we should adapt as tinpot warlords duke it out over the next few centuries. Orlov sees America’s attempt to use Ukraine against the Russians as a sign of imperial decline and urges us to be more like Roma gypsies. Astyk seems too busy with her adopted foster children to bother with the rest of us. And good on her.
I don’t have any predictions except that things will keep getting a little worse – particularly the climate. Some of us are still insulated from the effects of a contracting economy, but many of us know people who have fallen out. Some of them are still trying to follow the American Dream; others are living with parents or friends; the most desperate have turned to dealing meth. We read about people going bankrupt from going to the wrong damn hospital. The ubiquity of phone cameras has revealed that our police are nothing like the stolid or lovable actors on television. Cameras also reveal that rich people laugh to each other at exploiting poorer people. Last night even 60 Minutes noticed that our infrastructure isn’t being maintained. We’re too busy building weapons and casinos to fix our bridges.