On why global systems are becoming unstable

3/15/10 This is an edited foreword for my 3/13 post and a P.S.   It’s really about deflecting the false impression made by an unfamiliar view of historic data, so not of general interest, I think.

A recent note came from Charles Hall, with two interesting things. He passed along thePeak Oil Review pointing out again how oil prices are edging upward even as the economy slips.  Continually rising prices is a natural symptom of trying to grow with diminishing resources as I offered a theoretical basis for in “Profiting from scarcity” last year.

Then he mentioned a provocative series of graphs from Nathan’s Economic Edge. These are graphs of first derivative rates, with the one below showing rates of increase of US national income fluctuating wildly as “steady growth” has been frequently broken by recessions. It also gives an impression like the increasing roller coaster experience of keeping up with economic change.

The real question is why would the irregular rate of economic growth remind us of the increasingly desperate struggle it has been,

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