The World in 2018 – Part Four

In the modern world, our perceptions of reality are largely shaped by economic and financial considerations, and our policy conversations are largely built around intellectual categories and evaluative criteria that pertain to the economics discipline. Yet a long-term view shows that ‘The world in 2018’ is in a significantly different place than what economists typically claim, and than what many of us want to believe.

Energy and Authoritarianism

Could declining world energy result in a turn toward authoritarianism by governments around the world? As we will see, there is no simple answer that applies to all countries. However, pursuing the question leads us on an illuminating journey through the labyrinth of relations between energy, economics, and politics.

The Peak Oil President?

The frequency of Internet searches for the term “peak oil” has waned dramatically in recent years; now even the number of articles announcing the “death” of peak oil has dwindled, so universal is the assumption that the concept is completely debunked. Why bother beating a dead horse? With supreme irony, it could be within the next few years when the maximum-ever rate of world oil production is actually achieved, to be followed by terminal decline.

Energy, Economy and the Impending Rite of Passage

The American Dream is a meme forged in the aftermath of World War II that embedded the promise of prosperity, success and upwards mobility into the country’s cultural lexicon. It seems this Dream is coming to an end, leading many to wonder what comes next. This essay articulates a more realistic vision of how the world works as well as how rites of passage can lead people towards a worldview that will serve them well in years to come.