WHAT YA GONNA DO WHEN THE WELL RUNS DRY?
In this second of a three part interview, Michael Folkerth�s book: �THE BIGGEST LIE EVER BELIEVED� exposes America�s greatest crisis�growth. He epitomizes a humorous economist and the �King of Simple.�
Folkerth states this nation resembles a group of people boarding an airplane that expects a six hour flight to the destination, but the ground crew only pumped in four hours flying time of fuel. Everything will �appear� normal until the fuel runs out two hours before destination. From that point, all hell breaks lose and sheer terror overwhelms the passengers�with an unknown crash ending.
Last week, Dr. Condi Rice, much lauded cerebral administrator in the Bush administration gave a speech in which she said, �The American economy is solid, vital and growing�it moves forward with healthy growth.�
In reality, that means adding 3.1 million people to the USA annually of which 2.1 million arrive via immigration.
Rice like McCain, Obama, Romney, Edwards, Giuliani, Huckabee and Clinton predicate their campaigns for the presidency on population growth to gain economic growth. What they don�t admit nor will any of them come to terms with--stems from the fact that �growth� creates our ominous unsustainable future.
Walter Youngquist said,�As we go from this happy hydrocarbon bubble we have reached now to a renewable energy resource economy, which we do this century, will the �civil� part of civilization survive? As we both know there is no way that alternative energy sources can supply the amount of per capita energy we enjoy now, much less for the 9.2 billion expected by 2050. And energy is what keeps this game going. We are involved in a Faustian bargain�selling our economic souls for the luxurious life of the moment, but sooner or later the price has to be paid.�
�I�m going to break out that old saw of growth again today for those who may have forgotten what the real problem is,� Folkerth said. �The U.S. economy and your paycheck are based on this outfit growing every year in relation to what it grew last year. The term for this type of growth is �exponential� or ever expanding. In a world that stays the same size, the other word for our growth model is: impossible!
To paint a vivid picture of this misguided venture, shall we take a look at a microcosm of the U.S. economy?
�Once upon a time, a small town was founded on the banks of a large lake,� Folkerth said. �A stream fed the lake that averaged 100 gallons per minute of water flowing in. On the other end of the lake, a stream flowed out and the trees and critters downstream benefited from that outflow.
�The new town bought a pump that produced 50 gallons per minute in order to feed the needs of the growing community. At that point, the outflow stream slowed, but continued to flow at 50 gallons per minute and minimal negative effect was noticed.
�The �New Town� proved a popular place and followed the coveted U.S. model for growth, which has historically been unhampered by such restraints as math, reality and long term planning. Stores and subdivisions popped up like spring dandelions, lawns watered and cars washed. Managers purchased a second 50 gallon per minute pump to meet the growing demand.
�The two pumps now equaled the total inflow, and the outflow stream stopped flowing. The trees, plants and aquaculture downstream died off, but�the lake remained full. The town thrived and the builders and store keepers made handsome profits; the American Dream materialized on every new street. The dead trees downstream were cut for lumber and everything in nature balanced out.
�New Town continued growing and the public works director requisitioned a third 50 gallon per minute pump. One bright member of the town council, who had demonstrated exceptional skills at 8th grade math, pointed out that the three pumps were now pumping 50 gallons more per hour than the inflow rate of the stream.
�Naturally, a committee was formed comprising of the town�s most successful merchants, builders and manufacturers to study the problem. It was determined that under the present rate of growth, the lake would not go dry for 50 years. The average age of those on the committee was 50.�
The final findings and recommendations of the committee were; we don�t have a problem, it�s a big lake!
To bring it into environmental terms: Tell this same story to the residents of Atlanta, Georgia who depend on the current-day disaster of Lake Lanier that dried up several months ago leaving them in a water crisis.
�Silly little story huh?� Folkerth said. �Replace the inflow water in that lake with oil, timber, natural gas, clean air, copper ore, iron ore, fisheries, productive farm land, and every other finite natural resource on earth. Reality? The lake is drying up fast and the outflow of the now dry stream represents good U.S. jobs.
�That is where we find ourselves isn�t it? U.S. jobs that pay a living wage that would support our current living standards have dried up. And, you may have noticed that no one has a plan to change that. Rhetoric yes, a plan; nada!
�Math is the exact science and 100 gallons in and 150 gallons out, equals a sum total of negative 50 gallons available for future job creation. But, as Greg Easterbrook said, �Torture numbers and they�ll confess to anything.� The numbers are being �water-boarded� in Washington as we speak. So here we are all dressed up and no place to go.�
As I read Folkerth�s book, it dawned on me that Condi Rice, Greenspan (now retired), Bush, Congress and our presidential candidates either don�t know the facts, don�t understand our predicament or won�t explain the truth�or, they are just plain stupid. Even worse, the America people stupidly believe those leaders.
While we pile 2.1 million more immigrant people into this country annually: 1. We�ve outsourced, insourced and offshored over 3.1 million of American jobs. 2. We jack-up consumption while we jack-down manufacturing jobs. 3. We borrow $2 billion daily from foreign investors to float our false economy while we spend $3 billion a week in Iraq and Afghanistan. 4. We suffer a $9,240.00 balance on the average credit card holder in this country while we witness a $2 trillion consumer debt. 5. We spend $1 trillion annually on 700 military bases worldwide with 572,000 military personnel around the world while we watch our own borders being invaded by thousands nightly. 6. We watch $100 a barrel oil prices with no U.S. energy policy of any kind. 7. The U.S. federal debt stands at $8.8 trillion with no plan for dealing with it. 8. Lake Lanier, Georgia�s current water crisis illustrates the kind of environmental future we all face via unending growth.
�Growth is the most dangerous word in the 21st century.
BIGGEST LIE EVER TOLD�
Frosty Wooldridge possesses a unique view of the world, cultures and families in that he has bicycled around the globe 100,000 miles, on six continents and six times across the United States in the past 30 years. His published books include: "HANDBOOK FOR TOURING BICYCLISTS" ; �STRIKE THREE! TAKE YOUR BASE�; �IMMIGRATION�S UNARMED INVASION: DEADLY CONSEQUENCES�; �MOTORCYCLE ADVENTURE TO ALASKA: INTO THE WIND�A TEEN NOVEL�; �BICYCLING AROUND THE WORLD: TIRE TRACKS FOR YOUR IMAGINATION�; �AN EXTREME ENCOUNTER: ANTARCTIA.� His next book: �TILTING THE STATUE OF LIBERTY INTO A SWAMP.� He lives in Denver, Colorado.
His latest book. �IMMIGRATION�S UNARMED INVASION�DEADLY CONSEQUENCES.�
As I read Folkerth�s book, it dawned on me that Condi Rice, Greenspan (now retired), Bush, Congress and our presidential candidates either don�t know the facts, don�t understand our predicament or won�t explain the truth�or, they are just plain stupid.