Economic growth predicted for Europe this year will only reach 0.6 percent with a decline to 0.3 percent for 2009. Consumer confidence in the United States is at its lowest in 28 years. This and other dismal headlines are available courtesy of http://www.bloomberg.com/. These rumbling headlines bring to mind the life styles we practiced in that day and age. Times were not that bad. Unfortunately for us today who went through those yesterdays, we were younger, so much younger then. Plus we blissfully did not have the ability to make a comparison to what we would experience in the future.
Consequently, the whole matter resolves around making adjustments to life in an era where we will have to give up a considerable amount of ease. For the older folks, it means not having these good things to which we have grown accustomed. For the younger folks, it will be a more difficult passage to a place where they have never been.
But let us not despair. This new future, somewhat different from the one that most of us had contemplated, will not be that bad so long as economic growth does not leave some semblance of a positive figure. Even if growth "flat lines," folks will fare all right. We will adjust to public transportation and a simpler life style. Maybe even grow a garden and raise some chickens.
The fear comes, and it surely is lurking in the mind of this writer, as we contemplate a minus in the economic growth figure. Can such a thing happen? The answer hinges totally on the matter of energy availability in the future. Expensive energy, slower or little growth and life is merely simpler. No energy and we had better fasten our seat belts.
Doomers offer a stark picture of the eventuality of no energy. Somehow, that alternative seems unbelievable. Humankind is a versatile thing. Folks will find a way. For me, and my house, we will prepare for the worse and hope for something better. I know most of you will also choose this course. Hope is what it is all about.