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There is a global economic boom coming, but unfortunately, that boom comes only after a systemic collapse of the global economy, markets and capitalism — a collapse that may well eliminate billions of people from the planet. Shocking? Cruel? Brutal? Yes.
But folks, that is the coded message in many recent warnings from environmental economists who finally realize that nothing will wake up the public. Nothing but a catastrophic system failure. Only then, a path to reform, recovery, a new boom.....
“You really do have to wonder whether a few years from now we’ll look back at the first decade of the 21st century,” writes Thomas Friedman, a New York Times columnist and author of “Hot, Flat, Crowded,” “when food prices spiked, energy prices soared, world population surged, tornados plowed through cities, floods and droughts set records, populations were displaced and governments were threatened by the confluence of it all — and ask ourselves: What were we thinking? How did we not panic when the evidence was so obvious that we’d crossed some growth/climate/natural-resource/population redlines all at once?”
Friedman quotes Paul Gilding, the veteran Australian environmentalist-entrepreneur, who described this moment in a new book called “The Great Disruption: Why the Climate Crisis Will Bring On the End of Shopping and the Birth of a New World.”
Oddly, in all this, Gilding is an eternal optimist. He believes that mankind will follow this “Great Disruption” with a period of great cooperation where all nations of the world will come together to save the planet. What’s unspoken, however, is how this great disruption will stop population from growing to 10 billion. And even more significantly: How the crash will scale Earth’s existing population of 7 billion back to a sustainable 5 billion. Yet, that must happen to make the “new equation” work. Unfortunately, what’s unspoken will probably include new global wars, pandemics, famines, starvation and other cataclysmic events, all before the boom.
Professor Barnhardt: There must be alternatives. You must have some technology that could solve our problem.
Klaatu: Your problem is not technology. The problem is you. You lack the will to change.
Professor Barnhardt: Then help us change.
Klaatu: I cannot change your nature. You treat the world as you treat each other.
Professor Barnhardt: But every civilization reaches a crisis point eventually.
Klaatu: Most of them don't make it.
Professor Barnhardt: Yours did. How?
Klaatu: Our sun was dying. We had to evolve in order to survive.
Professor Barnhardt: So it was only when your world was threated with destruction that you became what you are now.
Professor Barnhardt: Well that's where we are. You say we're on the brink of destruction and you're right. But it's only on the brink that people find the will to change. Only at the precipice do we evolve. This is our moment. Don't take it from us, we are close to an answer.