Tuesday, August 14, 2007

learn from the fall of rome, u.s. warned

This article is a must read for every American.

Learn from the fall of Rome, US warned

It was published today in the Financial Times. From the article,

The US government is on a ‘burning platform’ of unsustainable policies and practices with fiscal deficits, chronic healthcare underfunding, immigration and overseas military commitments threatening a crisis if action is not taken soon, the country’s top government inspector has warned.

It goes on to say that,

there were “striking similarities” between America’s current situation and the factors that brought down Rome, including “declining moral values and political civility at home, an over-confident and over-extended military in foreign lands and fiscal irresponsibility by the central government”.

Who is being interviewed for this article? Mr. David M. Walker, the current comptroller general of the United States. That means he runs the U.S. Government Accountability Office. Here a little from the official website of the GAO.

Mr. Walker is the nation’s chief accountability officer and head of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). GAO’s mission is to help improve the performance and assure the accountability of the federal government for the benefit of the American people. GAO has earned a reputation for professional, objective, fact-based, nonpartisan, nonideological, fair and balanced reviews of government programs and operations.

This isn’t some crazed tree hugging hippie. This is the head of what is basically the investigative arm of congress. We know the GAO gets peak oil. The question is, how much louder will Mr. Walker have to shout before enough people start to listen. Does he have the lungs and can we make a change?

I’d like to take this opportunity to point out that civilizations don’t collapse or even decline for just one reason. Jared Diamond, who wrote ‘Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed’ (2005) points to five factors: environmental degradation, climate change, hostile enemies, lack of support from friendly neighbors, and the way in which a society chooses to respond to these problems. Run through that list again with current events in mind. Ask yourself how we’ve chosen as a nation to respond to these problems.


luis said...

Great post!

If the economics don't work, recycling efforts won't either.
As our little contribution to make this economics of recycling more appealing, http://LivePaths.com blogs about people and companies that make money selling recycled or reused items, provide green services or help us reduce our dependency on non renewable resources.

Anonymous said...

There are some of us that get it, and some of this group are preparing as you are with your garden. Then there is the rest of us living in the land of fairy tails and falts intitelment, who will not listen to reson.
Dose any one know of an account of what the common person did during the time of the fall of the Roman empier? I would love to get the working man's opinion of what went down in Rome during the fall, it might give us some clue as to what to look for.
Great post BTW.
Mark from Colorado