Monday, February 06, 2006

Addicted to the stuff?

I've just returned to work from a wonderful extended holiday, the weather has been brilliant - a long hot summer not unlike the ones I remember as a kid. Apart from busting my Acromo-Clavicular ligament (yes, the downside of the Vespa - it's a long boring story...) things have been great. Other than fat interest rates on the credit card, a nasty Christmas hangover for many happy shoppers our disposable lifestyle continues seemingly unabated. No real sign of the promised collapse of modern civilisation yet.

While we are all waiting...

The most interesting media statement in recent weeks has to be George Bush's statement in his "state of the union speech" - America is addicted to oil. The LA Times gets in on the act too, A Nation Addicted to Oil and Debt.

So, the cat, perhaps not quite out of the bag yet, it's certainly making a fair bloody racket. The ability to finance massive debt at a national level requires the continuation of supposedly endless economic growth or for the average mum and dad baby boomers, about to retire, more capital gain on their already leveraged to the hilt, residential property.

And as overall global oil production peaks over the next year or two this problem is going to become one big ugly festering fiscal sore as the debt/housing bubble pops like a bunker buster. Someday, pretty soon, the nightmare picture will begin to emerge. Petrol at $2 a litre. Massive redundancies occuring everywhere, the Reserve Bank Governer and Dr Cullen will admit we are entering a recessionary period. The party is drawing to a close.

The last place I'd want to be when this happens is "Riverstone Terraces" where you have to jump in your vehicle just to go get a bottle of milk, or somewhere up the Kapiti Coast, wishing I could ride my push bike to work.

In the meanwhile, enjoy the remaining days of summer.

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