Wednesday 14 April 2010

In The Lap Of The Gods

Poseidon has developed a couple of itches, perhaps too much of the wine and nectar, and has begun to scratch himself again. A big earthquake in Tibet/West China, a few other big ones around again, one down by the Macquarie Islands, always a worry, and Baja California has been rumbling away now for days. Also, a couple of big deep sea ones but no tsunamis of any size, yet. Don’t forget he has an ongoing rash that we call the North Anatolian Fault.

Iceland is having one of its bumps and bangs, a largish volcano may or may not be in the process of erupting. Unluckily it is under a large glacier so we do not really know but big eruptions and big glaciers make for a dangerous combination. Being Iceland if one vent goes up there are many more that could follow. Just like their banks used to be.

It is no use whatsoever asking our politicians about what their earthquake/volcano policies are in the coming election, or what they might do to prevent them, or to control them or to plan their output, frequency and effects. Quite rightly they will tell us that it is all down to the scientists and entirely unpredictable. Basically, it will all happen and then the mess will have to be cleared up, at taxpayers expense.

What we cannot accept is that as far as economics, international finance and trade, money matters and similar things they are in much the same situation. Asking them to have definitive policies or to be able to guarantee delivery of this or that or to be positive about most things is a waste of time. They know it, or at least they should, the media cannot afford to admit it because it makes them useless and the rest of us simply do not realise how little we can control our futures.

As you trawl the web we can see that there are many peaks and troughs. Amongst the peaks are food production, oil supplies, energy supply, asphalt, tin, copper, gold, lithium and a few other basic resources. There are bitter debates about all of them. If the logic is that more people plus more fiat money plus more demand then where resources are either finite or now at their limits of productivity then something has to happen to pricing and the allocation of those resources.

If the troughs include climate induced change, hot or cold, or wet or dry, transport capabilities, fiscal deficits, inadequate forces, effective law and order, and a few other things, then everything becomes even more complicated. Experts in the field of Collapse Dynamics, Catastrophe Theory and those who enjoy nothing better than a wild and woolly picture of uncertainty and confusion are having a golden period.

We are left with a choice between an obsessive bean counter who keeps losing count of his beans, a charismatic researcher whose information was always too little and too late, and a crew of other worldly types whose perceptions of reality are now defined by what next appears on their Twitter feed and the latest from the polls or this or that think tank (think septic tanks) or focus group.

They and we are all hostages now to fortune, to uncertainty, to the decisions of others in other places and to things they neither comprehend or recognise. The next few years are going to be a grim scramble for survival.

I can remember a time sixty odd years ago, when a good many people in the UK lived in what amounted to shanty towns, with little food, no water supply and no electricity. Also when money was short, taxation heavy and many if not most real transactions were in barter or mutual service. It may or may not come to that, but the risks are there and it has happened before and more than once.

In the meantime we must hope that Poseidon doesn’t develop an allergic reaction to human beings and blame them for his itching. His Trident is bigger and better than ours.


  1. A cynic might say we'd be better off divining the future from entrails and bird flight patterns.

    In ancient Greece, the lives of mortals were controlled by the petty squabbles of a bunch of elevated beings nourished by lavish sacrificial offerings. So what's new?