Brilliant first part of a five-articles essay by Richard Heinberg on the social implications of the Great Decline. Absolute must-read. (Source: Energy Bulletin)

High and increasing inequality is usually bearable during boom times, as people at the bottom of the wealth pyramid are encouraged by the prospect of its overall expansion. Once growth ceases and slips into reverse, inequality becomes socially unsustainable. Declining expectations lead to unrest, while absolute misery (in the sense of not having enough to eat) often results in revolution.”

In summary, conflict in the decades ahead will likely center on the four factors of money, energy, land, and food. These sources of conflict will overlap in various ways. While economic inequality will not itself be at the root of all this conflict (one could argue that population growth is a deeper if often unacknowledged cause of strife), inequality does seem destined to play a role in most conflict, whether the immediate trigger is extreme weather, high food prices, or energy shortages.”