Ok, last year I made some (quite tongue in cheek) bets, and it is interesting to me to see how they stood up - you can see them here:
History and the New Year
Generally speaking, my predictions (which weren't exactly going way out on a limb or anything) were pretty much right, except for Israel and Syria - it was Iran, not Venezuela, and the interest rate hikes were met by later cuts, but overall, I called it - more or less. I promise, this surprises me more than anyone. And I suspect that "the year of hanging on by our fingertips" wasn't a bad way to describe the last year.
My intuition is that in 2008, we'll no longer be able quite to hang on. I'm going to call 2008 "The Year of Dragons" - that is, the year we get off of all the maps we've had and enter uncharted territory. once upon a time, the parts of the maps that were unknown bore the sign "Here be Dragons" - I think this is the year we'll begin getting to know the dragons on the other side of our understanding.
So here are my predictions - and again, let me reiterate that the thing that I hope makes me marginally credible is this - I do not believe that every single idea I pull out of my ass...er head is the absolute truth. And if I don't, you certainly shouldn't.
But here goes.
1. This year, the words peak oil will go mainstream, but this mainstreaming will not be matched by a subtle or nuanced understanding of what the words mean. That is, peak oil will be used for political purposes, and not necessarily ones anyone will approve of.
2. By the end of the year, there will begin to be runs on preparedness equipment and food storage, a la Y2K.
3. The NeoCons will not go gently into that good night - there will be at least one serious surprise for us. G-d willing, it won't involve the word "nukuler" or any of its cognates.
4. Hillary will not win the 2008 election. Neither, despite all the people who keep sending me emails saying he will, will Ron Paul.
5. The economy will tank. Yup, I'm really going out on a limb here.
6. Many of us will find we are being taken more seriously than we ever expected. We will still be taken less seriously than any celebrity divorce, however.
7. We'll see food riots in more nations and hunger will increase. The idea of Victory Gardens won't seem so crazy anymore.
8. The biofuels craze will begin to be thought the better of - not in time to prevent the above.
9. We will see at least one more image of desperate people, walking out of their city becuase there's no other alternative. And a lot of images of foreclosures.
10. TEOTWAKI, if it ever happens, will be delayed long enough for my book to be released this fall and to make back at least the advance, so my publisher won't have any reason to try and sue me ;-).
Ok, that last is more of a prayer than a prediction - the bad thing about writing books for a publisher that deals a lot with peak oil and climate change is that the words "if everything doesn't go to hell in a handbasket" are actually included in the legal documents (ok, I'm joking).
Those are my bets, folks. We'll reconvene in late December of next year to make fun of me and my predictions. In the meantime, a happy, safe, healthy and hopeful New Year to all!