I hope your Christmas or holiday season has been as mellow as mine. Pleasant gatherings, abundant food and good wine, people you care about and of course, good conversation.
Canberra post-drought is as good as it gets, at least to me. Sydney was wonderful for the day and the party I attended, but Canberra is home.
How peculiar that much of my reading is about apocalypse. Most recently The Trillion Dollar Meltdown by Charles Morris, who sounds like an insider. That puts the climate meltdown in perspective. The global economy, or at least the behemoth of the US economy, is painted as a giant Ponzi scheme, fed by cheap loans.
A related video exposition, called The Crash Course by Chris Martenson.com, available on You Tube, gives a wider background. Together they reinforce my understanding (my first degree was in mathematics) that exponential curves lead to bifurcations. That is, all the parameters that are accelerating at a steady percentage every year produce graphs that eventually are off the chart.
Pick your variable: money supply, use of essential metals or fuels, fish consumption, land use, water, China’s economy, or even my favourite: population.
Canberra now has at least two world class galleries: the National and the Portrait. Every proud nation needs a place to display its heros, be they celebrities like Heath Ledger or Nicole, or Kay Cottee of yachting fame. It was a walk through Australia’s history and the leaders who took us to this peak of affluence.
Such a wealthy lot we lucky ones, no earthquakes, famines, election riots or tsunamis here. Not a machete in sight, just polite public servants, neatly signalling their exits from the roundabouts. Some of them track the data of their various departments. I wonder if it spills over into concern about where it is all going. Sometimes they ask our opinion, and I’ll be offering some views on urban planning as part of the peak oil group submission here. A study just released by the Planning Institute of Australia warns that without a serious rethink on urban design Australia’s cities and economy are headed for big trouble. (exponential curves can go downwards, too.) Maybe they’re listening in that department.
Lots of data is being plotted on lots of graphs. Retail sales, building loans, numbers of flowers imported to give to beloved friends. I received roses from Peru on Christmas Eve, and was not going to say no.
Metaphorically I offer you, dear reader, a sweet rose and best wishes.
Enjoy it while it lasts, and read the charts.