October 4, 2014
After reading the blog post, “The Buffalo Wind”, over at the Archdruid Report http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/ last Wednesday evening, I reread it over at Resilience.org, while I was there on Thursday, and again (twice) on Friday.
No, I have not undergone a sudden conversion from Atheist to Druid. I just like the way his blogs sometimes send my already buzzy brain into buzzing overdrive over various things I’ve been trying to puzzle out for days or weeks.
I must confess, even though I’ve been horrified by the world’s response, or lack, thereof, to the growing Ebola epidemic in West Africa, I’m not as worried about an outbreak here in America – yet – as I have been about the curious lack of compassion (even self-serving “compassion”) by the developed world toward this outbreak.
The attitudes seem to be, “Don’t worry. The Government and our sterling Medical Systems will protect us,” (which they probably will – at this time) and, “Oh, by the way, here’s a bone for those poor dogs over in West Africa; bad luck, that, but the stock market’s up, the economy’s busting out of the doldrums; let’s get on with the serious stuff – you know, sanctions on Russia, fighting Isis – the really hardcore stuff” – even though the recovery has mostly gone to the top ten percent, as will the war profits while the costs will fall on the rest of us.
But Russia is fighting back with sanctions of its own, cutting its oil prices in a big, thirty year deal with China, making deals with the other BRIC and SEO countries to buy and sell in their own currencies. The EU still flirts with recession; China’s and Japan’s economies are slowing; emerging nations are being hit with the fallout of our Fed’s winding down of QE3 and the threat of rising interest rates on all those loans they took out while rates were dirt cheap. At what point does a weakening world economy impact our (faux) recovery, or is it the other way around?
Along with the economic war with Russia, our war on IS is morphing into two wars – one with IS and one with Assad of Syria. Can boots on the ground be far behind? And if Saudi Arabia and Iran, mortal enemies currently, can work through some of their differences long enough to work with each other in the fight against IS, might they continue the relationship and, in doing so, rearrange the entire Middle East that the declining Empire has spent so much blood and treasure arranging to its own benefit?
Oil prices are dropping here and on the world market; Saudi Arabia has just begun a price war with the other OPEC nations. Yet the oil and gas companies bringing us our vaunted Shale Revolution are already buying back stocks, selling assets and consolidating to maintain shareholder value and make a profit off of $100 per barrel prices. How low can the prices drop and for how long, before that Revolution gets left in the ground? And what would happen to the oil besotted Economy and, among other things, that sterling Medical System we are so depending on?
As the Ebola outbreak doubles every twenty days.
I don’t have answers for all that buzzing in my brain, but I am not alone in that. Many of us sense a draft on the back of our necks as the chaos at the edges of the system moves toward the center.
I think that may be what John Michael Greer means when he says, “The Buffalo Wind is rising now, keening in the tall grass, whispering in the branches and setting fallen leaves aswirl.”