Running out of everything?

I wouldn’t normally post this on this blog, but it will be of interest to non-specialists as much as those in the business. Jeremy Grantham is a well-known, high profile investor with a long-term perspective and a brain the size of a planet. He writes a publicly available quarterly newsletter. You can subscribe to it if you want, but to save you the hassle, I’ve uploaded his latest piece to Googledocs on how the world is on the verge of a very big economic shift because we will not be able to rely on the abundant resources that have driven economic development over the last 200 years. It’s a sobering read.

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11 thoughts on “Running out of everything?”

  1. I made the mistake of reading about a Peak oil scenario not that long ago, my partner had to persuade me that I did not need to start hording tins of beans or search for a safe cave. Throw in my apocalyptic zombie obsession………… Therefore I will not read it!

  2. That link gives:
    Sorry, we are unable to retrieve the document for viewing or you don’t have permission to view the document.

    1. Strange, I though I had reset the permissions. Will go away and try again. Hopefully it works now.

  3. Hi Robin,
    Interesting read. He paints a dark picture.
    It will lead to mass migrations of people too. Worrying.
    Thanks for posting it.

  4. David Attenborough has brought this subject up for many years – often with no one listening. He’s mentioned on more than one occasion that global warming of any kind is not so much the most immediate concern – more population growth.

    Resources or their numbers required from some resources is dwindling or at a critical level. Freshwater, crops, oil – the natural yield of this planet is reaching a peak if not it has already done so.

    Very sobering comments and read, Robin.

    Makes you realise just how much folk take for granted in this day and age.

  5. I read about the disturbing ‘peak oil’ situation recently, this article shows that the problems are much wider and truly hair-raising. It’s still the same fundamental problem though: Too Many People.
    Perversely, maybe an abrupt shift is just what the planet needs. Evolution has no sense of justice and takes no prisoners: let nature do it the hard way!.
    You know, this makes me feel just a bit better about getting old, like I’ve ridden the crest of a very rare and brief wave in human history.

  6. hope you don’t mind Robin, but here’s a good link which delivers the message in an accessible way – its a comedy with Rob Newman:

    Telling that everyone’s knees quiver and fingers wag until they want to go on holiday, then they promptly forget and order those air tickets. Makes me spit.

  7. I have just got round to reading Jerry Grantham’s newsletter. The only surprise, to those of us exposed to Blueprint for Survival, is China’s impending debt crisis. I thought they were a bunch of savers and that internal market growth could keep China’s economy strong for some time to come.

    Carrying less allows backpackers to do more and owning less stuff might not cause us to get more out of life but it won’t stop us. Riding to work instead of driving, for example, could increase the quality of life (although moving closer to the workplace would be a precursor).

    Sadly, rising resource prices, as JG states, will impact unevenly (unfairly) and I suspect the public sector will be damaged. Those of us intending to hit the hills when we retire could be in for a shock. The NHS might not be in a condition to keep us going.

    I cannot help wondering if anyone important is listening to JG.

    Thank you for an interesting post.

  8. You’re right. The guy’s got a big brain. I don’t have much interest in economics, but that was a really gripping read. Puts a lot of the world’s current goings on into perspective. In particular, the parts that describe the state of affairs that led to previous depressions in economics and technology were interesting to compare to the state of affairs of our world at the moment.

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