Wednesday, November 18, 2009

2012

I'm fascinated by doomsday, by prophets and prophecies warning us against the inevitable doomsday. They've had Nostradamus documentaries on the history channel all week, and with the movie 2012 coming out, the believers are probably crapping their pants right now.

But, in the next decade or two, if not by 2012, some major changes in the world are going to take place.

We might hit peak oil, if we haven't already, and demand will outstrip supply, driving prices soaring.

But oil isn't the only product in danger. Fertilizer ingredients, potash, etc, is an even more scary prospect.

Thanks to our manipulation of finite resources, improved health care, and this burning economic thirst to have more more more, we are using up the world's resources at breakneck pace. A tipping point has to come.

I'm always been fascinated by government's fear of recession, and how they will go to great lengths to avoid that horrible word. But, the more they delay, spend, offset, and gerrymander the economy to keep in that full steam ahead mode, the harder the crash is going to be. It's kind of like continually eating sugar to keep up your energy while running a marathon. Eventually, your just going to crash, and crash hard!

Has the tipping point come?

The price of phosphates, a major ingredient in fertilizer, has increased fourteen fold since 2007. Which means demand has been outstripping supply. If we reach the point where phosphates become prohibitively expensive, or we can't mine enough to continually boost our farming production, could the world begin starve? Could we not be able to produce enough food to feed ourselves? Could the world's population actually decrease! Could this start happening in 2012? Is that what Nostradamus' prediction meant?

Think about it. A 10% drop in world population. An economist's nightmare. That's 10% fewer consumers. That's 10% less productivity. In countries like Canada, who have been growing our consumer base through immigration, a sudden drop off might mean back to back to back quarterly GDP decreases, continual annual GDP decreases. Recession. Depression.

Or will a giant meteor crash into the earth. Perhaps Nostradamus understood something about the Cosmos we don't. Perhaps every thirty thousand years we pass through some mine field of galactic meteor waste, and Nostradamus figured it out. I doubt Bruce Willis will drill a hole and set off a nuclear bomb if a Meteor is coming. It'll hit us before we know what happened.

Or maybe the cosmos, some galactic line up of planets with the earth, will trigger massive volcanic and tectonic activity.

Maybe HIV will morph into an airborne disease and decimate us.

Perhaps it will be the bird flu, SARS, Ebola.

The Day After Tomorrow - Damn, Canada got hit hard in that movie. Al Gore, help!

Or, scariest of all, Sarah Palin.

Oh, wait, phew, she won't get in until at least 2013.

Perhaps Nostradamus was wrong after all...

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