Let's you and me sit down and have some RealTalk™ for a minute: President Obama's jobs speech last night was about as good as it could get — in the absence of any mention of the core driver of our ongoing global economic recession, which, need I remind you, is probably going to go double-dip.

Here's what he left out, neatly described in a hip, watchable video produced by the folks at the Post Carbon Institute. For those of you who are already familiar with this territory, it's a discussion of the dwindling supplies of fossil fuels, primarily oil, and other scarce resources, and how their absence spells the end of the kind of economic growth we’ve become accustomed to.

Now I realize that this isn't a very popular message. It doesn't fit neatly into the narrative put forward by either end of the political spectrum, because it says that perpetual growth is impossible (dog whistle for the right) but that the logical consequence of a steady state or contracting economy is that we're never going to pay off the debt we're accumulating now (dog whistle for the left).

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

So! Where does that leave us? With a pair of political parties whose sole ambition is to do anything to restore "growth." They just disagree about how to accomplish that — deregulation and fewer taxes, or classic Keynesian stimulus. What happens if they're both wrong?

That, ladies and gentlemen, is what we're about to find out.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.