- Perhaps the strangest thing we will soon see is that when Americans rejoice in their petty, internal strife, they will not notice it anywhere else !!! The light will shine and become dark. Famine will dig deep into the skin nails and hold them tightly. Access to inputs – financial and material and labor – that defines the modern world will cease to exist in sufficient quantities to make modernity possible … The past seventy-five years will be remembered as a golden age, and that has not lasted long enough.
- Peter Zeihan, Just the beginning of the end of the world: a map of the collapse of globalization. (6)
PItar Zeihan predicts that globalization will go in the opposite direction. He may turn out to be right. When he was finishing his book, Just the beginning of the end of the world: a map of the collapse of globalization, The process of de-globalization has got a jump-start with the participation of the West through economic sanctions from the Russia-Ukraine war. But I instead hope that globalization is strong, and that’s it The end Only turns out to be a thought-test.
Economics students can benefit a lot from reading through these reflections. Basic economic concepts such as cost of opportunity and profit from trade are rarely made of concrete. Instead, they are usually taught using simple paper exercises. On the contrary, The end Describes economic activity as it is Actually Takes place, in all its modern complexity.
“Less than ten percent of Americans who work as factory production workers or agricultural workers, the rest of us have very little understanding of how our basic needs are met.”
With less than ten percent of Americans working as factory production workers or agricultural workers, the rest of us have very little understanding of how our basic needs are met. It was brought to me in the early weeks of the epidemic, when laptop class member friends complained that other people were out instead of staying at home. I had to remind them that those they ridiculed for being stupid and indifferent to public health made it possible for the rest of us to eat.
Zeihan focuses on the basics: population, transportation, energy, industrial materials, manufacturing and food production. He explains how these factors worked in pre-industrial society, during the Industrial Revolution, and in the “golden age” of the last 75 years. And he describes what can happen if (when?) The foundation of prosperity is eroded. He is optimistic that world trade routes will remain peaceful and that countries will be able to adapt to rapidly declining birth rates. Economically, it would create a vicious cycle.
- … Decreased interaction means reduced access means decreased income means lower scale economy means less labor specialization means reduced interaction… everyone becomes less efficient. Less productive. And that means less than everything: not just electronics, not electricity, not just automobiles, not petrol, not just fertilizer, not food … the lack of electricity produces intestines. Food Deficiency Population Intestines. Fewer people mean less opportunity to keep something that requires special labor. Say, things like road construction or electric grid or food production.
- That What is meant by “barbarism”: a cascade of strengthening disintegration that not only harms, destroys, which is the basis of the effectiveness of the modern world. (66)
Global transportation costs have declined in recent years. Some of this comes from innovations, such as container ships. Some of it comes from lower energy consumption, as we have discovered more oil and more ways to extract oil. And much of it comes from America’s perceived need to protect the non-communist world and ensure sea freedom.
Zeihan sees the fall of communism as a decline in the motivation for America to be the world’s police. With no police members, he predicted that trade would be disrupted more often by war and piracy. Violence will impose a hefty tax on transportation.
- Anything that increases the marginal cost of transportation increases friction throughout the system. A 1 percent increase in the cost of just one supporting part essentially wiped out the economy of an existing supply chain. Most locations will consider themselves lucky if their transportation costs increase by just one Hundreds Percent (387)
In his book, Zeihan dives into the precise details of how the world produces and trades food, energy and manufactured goods. He clearly explained the response loops involved.
Perhaps the most interesting section concerns energy. Although Jihan believes in the dangers of climate change, his analysis shows that “green energy” fails, even on its own terms. To generate, transmit and store solar and wind energy, we need to build solar panels, wind farms, batteries and new transmission systems. The cost of doing this, including the amount of carbon dioxide that will be emitted into the atmosphere, is terrible.
Zeihan started with the limited availability of reliable solar and wind energy.
- For regions that make up less than one-fifth of the land area of today’s Greentech, both ecologically and economically, most of which are far from our main population centers. Think Patagonia for wind or outback for solar. The unfortunate fact is that Greentech in its current form is not suitable for most people in most places – either to reduce carbon emissions. Or Provide an alternative for power input. (265)
Jihan notes the energy density of fossil fuels.
- Fossil fuels are so concentrated that they are literally “energy” in physical form. In contrast, all Greentech needs Place. Solar is the worst of the bunch: it’s about a thousand times less dense than conventional powered systems …
- All that [cities] Densely populated by definition, while Greentech is dense by definition. Squaring this circle, even in sunny and windy locations, would require huge infrastructure to bridge the gap between densely populated patterns and more scattered Greentech power-generating systems. Such an infrastructure would be a scale and an opportunity that humanity has not yet tried. The alternative is to evacuate the cities and open up six thousand years of history. (268)
For more on this topic, see
I hope people will read and come out with a better understanding of what makes our modern world possible. We are highly specialized. We are very interdependent. Our energy production and distribution systems are significantly more efficient. Those who want to suppress global trade and / or fossil fuels should understand how primitive our lives can be if their ideology prevails.