The last 10 years, as commodity and property prices have spiralled upwards, has been like being on a crowded elevator without doors: The higher things have got, the more scary it has become. The elevator is now plummeting to the ground and the first imperative is to ensure that we survive the bump at the bottom. Then we have to get back to work, regardless of our injuries. Individually or as a nation, there is no point in looking back at how we could have prepared ourselves better. We are where we are. We are not alone.
The current banking crisis is now beginning its second phase, ie. the collapse in asset and commodity values. Whilst Governments are borrowing vast amounts of money from rich nations to shore up our over inflated economies in the West, we are being mortgaged to China and the Gulf states to a level never seen before.
There are no certainties in all of this, but it is reasonable to assume that house prices in the UK will drop by perhaps as much as 70% from their peak last year. More concerning is that GDP will shrink. This in itself is not the problem; the problem is that Government policy over the past 10 years has created a public sector in the UK that has not only increased to more than 40% of GDP but has unsustainably high expectations in terms of salaries and benefits, forcing a greater burden on the rest of the economy. Add in unemployment, that will now dramatically increase, and I cannot see how we avoid years of underperformance and hardship.
The other problem is the impact on commodity prices, which is already being reflected in recycling costs. It is probably realistic to assume that over 15% of businesses will cease and, overall, business will decline significantly. Of course, many companies will prosper from the downturn but we must consider the overall impact.
What can we do? In times of plenty, recycling is associated with good environmental practice. For some, it has been an “optional” activity, requiring government regulation to encourage recovery. Before the 90s or in poorer countries, recycling has had an economic imperative. If we plan for the worst, we will be best placed to come out of the current cycle stronger. How can we reduce energy or commodity consumption? how can what we waste be recycled or recovered? Contact www.ecocare.co.uk now for the silver lining.