Monday, August 9, 2010

My outlook for 2010-2011

I'm going out on a limb but hey! — I'm not afraid of heights, just scared of hitting the ground. Anyway, I think we are not going to be so bad in Australia over the next few years as I thought a few months ago. We've just got a big price boost for mineral exports feeding into the system. The high temperatures of the northern summer seem to have done damage to the size of the Russian wheat harvest. I just drove back through several hundred kilometres of our wheat harvest and the way rainfall is going, it could be a big one. High wheat prices + world shortage + bumper Australian crop = $$$.

Longer term I think we're going to cop it along with everyone else. But we'll have the melt-down of the USA as a wake-up call over the next year or so, and that may generate the grass-roots political will we need to move to a more gentle energy descent. That and a bursting of the property bubble we've been in.

I'm cautiously optimistic. Really our greatest asset is our lack of population pressure, of the sort evident in more naturally well-favoured countries where the numbers of people have had time to grow to the limits of the environment. Not that the way of life in our cities is in any way sustainable at the moment, but it can change radically without killing half the population which is more than you can say about a lot of the world.

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