Almost exactly one year ago Bilderberger Martin Wolf wrote a very important article in the Financial Times The dangers of living in a zero-sum world economy.
Snce then we have had an exciting year but, in the light of events in Ukraine it is worth considering what he said about energy security.
He defines a a positive-sum economy? -"It is one in which everybody can become better off. It is one in which real incomes per head are able to rise indefinitely. "
He contrasted this with the approaching zero sum economy which is becoming more familiar daily ...
A zero-sum economy leads, inevitably, to repression at home and plunder abroad. In traditional agrarian societies the surpluses extracted from the vast majority of peasants supported the relatively luxurious lifestyles of military, bureaucratic and noble elites. The only way to increase the prosperity of an entire people was to steal from another one.He then points out the consequences ...(ignore all the bollocks about carbon emissions concentrate on energy usage).
The age of the plunderer is past. Or is it? The biggest point about debates on climate change and energy supply is that they bring back the question of limits. If, for example, the entire planet emitted CO2 at the rate the US does today, global emissions would be almost five times greater. The same, roughly speaking, is true of energy use per head. This is why climate change and energy security are such geopolitically significant issues. For if there are limits to emissions, there may also be limits to growth. But if there are indeed limits to growth, the political underpinnings of our world fall apart. Intense distributional conflicts must then re-emerge – indeed, they are already emerging – within and among countries.David Seaton, in commenting on this article said ... "If we examine what Martin Wolf is saying logically, not even really reading between the lines, this supremely informed man is declaring that he knows that, before they ever pay Scandinavian like income taxes, drive small cars and wear sweaters around the house on cold winter days, the elites of the United States will create a police state and go to war endlessly to dominate the resource rich areas of the world. Hyperbole? Examine George W. Bush's presidency in that light and perhaps Dubya may not really be as dumb as he looks.. "