Our economic growth system is reaching limits in a strange way

Categories: Big picture
Published on: March 20, 2016

Our Finite World / Gail Tverberg / 17 March 2016

imf-world-real-gdp-forecastWe are experiencing a world economy that seems to be reaching limits, but the symptoms are not what peak oil groups warned about. Instead of high prices and lack of supply, we are facing indirect problems brought on by our high consumption of energy products. In my view, we have a double pump problem.

We don’t just extract fossil fuels. Instead, whether we intend to or not, we get a lot of other things as well: rising debt, rising pollution, and a more complex economy.

The system acts as if whenever one pump dispenses the energy products we want, another pump disperses other products we don’t want. Let’s look at three of the big unwanted “co-products.”