What If the Pain Isn’t Temporary?

Most of the people I know are convinced that the current high fuel and food prices are temporary. “Surely the bubble will burst soon,” they say. “It won’t be long before we can resume living the way we were before,” they proclaim. “A new president will fix things,” they believe. They continue spending and living as they have before, making no changes, certain that things will get back to the way they were.

We all hate to change and it’s understandable, particularly if you are happy with your life the way it is or was. It can be scary and annoying to think about having to cut back or adjust spending to compensate for things that we don’t


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4 Responses to What If the Pain Isn’t Temporary?


    Global oil production is now declining, from 85 million barrels per day to 60 million barrels per day by 2015. During the same time demand will increase 14%. This is like a 45% drop in 7 years. No one can reverse this trend, nor can we conserve our way out of this catastrophe. Because the demand for oil is so high, it will always be higher than production; thus the depletion rate will continue until all recoverable oil is extracted.

    Alternatives will not even begin to fill the gap. And most alternatives yield electric power, but we need liquid fuels for tractors/combines, 18 wheel trucks, trains, ships, and mining equipment.

    We are facing the collapse of the highways that depend on diesel trucks for maintenance of bridges, cleaning culverts to avoid road washouts, snow plowing, roadbed and surface repair. When the highways fail, so will the power grid, as highways carry the parts, transformers, steel for pylons, and high tension cables, all from far away. With the highways out, there will be no food coming in from “outside,” and without the power grid virtually nothing works, including home heating, pumping of gasoline and diesel, airports, communications, and automated systems.

    This is documented in a free 48 page report that can be downloaded, website posted, distributed, and emailed: http://www.peakoilassociates.com/POAnalysis.html

    I used to live in NH, but moved to a safer place. Anyone interested in relocating to a nice, pretty, sustainable area, good climate with much rain and good soil?

  2. Jason H says:

    It actually doesn’t matter in the long run. If the pain is temporary then the population will happily return to their former ways. However if the “pain” is permanent people will reset their perceptions and the rhetoric will reset itself as well. Instead of pain, it will be the status quo. Right now the pain is perpetuating itself because the rhetoric being used by media and politicians causes the general populace to believe their situation has changed drastically.

  3. Jerry Conrad says:

    It is the tip of the iceberg. Our world is in population overshoot, that is, more people than the planet can sustain. This is only possible by using our “savings” of fossil energy, depleting our topsoil, and using irreplaceable resources of all kinds at outrageous rates. That is the ultimate reason for increasing prices, as demand overwhelms supplies of these things.

    There are ways to transition to a sustainable way of life, but our current denial of the facts prevents us from even seeking how it could be done. Many experts believe that the carrying capacity of the earth is only a fraction of our present population.

    Either we choose to live within our planetary means, our the planet will force us to. I don’t have much confidence in the ability of our society to make the hard choices we must face. If you would know more, Google “powerdown”. Or, you can let it surprise you.

  4. SaveForHouse says:

    I don’t think the pain is temporary, just like the other posters. However, the pain for YOU can be temporary if you learn the right things and prepare yourself for the long run. Let’s start with the negatives and then the positives/game plan…

    Everyday in my job, I experience it. Our outsourced workers in India are doing a great job at programming, as good as many of our US employees for a fraction of the cost. Eventually, many (most?) US jobs will be replaced. Moreover, prices will continue to rise because inflation is out of control. The Fed lowered interest rates too far. They will either raise them and destroy our economy or leave them low and devalue the dollar. Either way, we lose.

    My personal strategy is to embrace this news and not fight it. If you acknowledge the future, you can prepare for it. My personal goal: own my own house in full as soon as possible. Real estate is a great hedge against inflation and also this will lower my living expenses because I will no longer have to pay rent (or mortgage payments). It’s a great time to buy now because the real estate market has tanked. The second part of my goal is working as hard as possible for the next 10-15 years, sacrificing a lot of the fun stuff in life. I hope to build up enough savings such that the passive income from my investments can pay for my life (which shouldn’t be too hard because I’m shooting to purchase and pay off a VERY MODEST house and NEVER upgrade). Also, I’m investing in gold ETFs and other hedges against inflation.

    The moral of the story: things will most likely not change. However, if you recognize the situation you can prepare yourself for it. Work VERY hard now (the competition overseas is working 24/7 with no fun at all), live modestly, invest wisely (real estate, hedges against inflation, passive income), continually grow your mind, and then enjoy the delayed gratification later. Most people are living in a fantasy world and going into debt to buy all kinds of “toys”. Just knowing what you’re up against is power. Stay positive, come up with a plan, and hit the ball out of the park!

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