China, Migration & Resource Depletion: Gail Tverberg, Steve Ludlum & RE

Off the cameras & microphones of Gail Tverberg, Steve Ludlum & RE

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Aired on the Doomstead Diner on May 3, 2015

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Audio Only Version

mp3 Download available on Diner Soundcloud

Another great Collapse Chat with old Kollapsnik friends Gail & Steve!
 

Why Voting Still Matters

Off the keyboard of Surly1
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Originally published on the Doomstead Diner on May 3, 2015

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“There is only one party in the United States, the Property Party … and it has two right wings: Republican and Democrat.”
― Gore Vidal

If the above statement of the much-missed and oft-maligned Gore Vidal is correct, then why vote?

Many of us have given up on the current electoral process, arguing that the American system is completely wired by the uber-rich, and that nobody on the ballot truly represents their interests. Few would argue otherwise, in the wake of recent decisions by the Supreme Court: Citizens' United meant it was OK for corporations and labor unions to spend as much as they want to convince people to vote for or against a candidate, and Buckley v. Valeo, which ruled that spending money to influence elections is a form of constitutionally protected free speech, thus giving a poor man the same right as a rich man to buy a million-dollar air schedule for political advertising. The artificial drama of D vs. R is a scam, a dumb-show and entertainment financed by the same sets of owners who contribute lavishly to both […] Continue Reading…

Lies, Damn Lies & Diner Statistics

Off the keyboard of RE

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on April 30, 2015

(above is a GIF.  click the pic if you want to see the live updates of the Diners)

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As Everybody Knows, I am a major Stats Freak, particularly when it comes to keeping track of how the Diner is doing as far as readership (Diner Blog & Forum), listenership (Diner Soundcloud Audio) and viewers (Diner You Tube Videos).  Of course I track other stats too, like Gas Consumption, Retail Sales, the Unemployment Stats, etc. etc. etc.  Stats tell you something about how Good you are doing, or how Bad.  Problem is, you can't ever be sure of precisely WTF they are telling you or how accurate the picture is.

My first Stat Service I became enthused with was Alexa.  There's no fee at least for their basic service, and you can drop in any URL to see how that site is currently ranked against other ones, by whatever algorithm it is they use to figure this ranking on any given day.

When I […] Continue Reading…

The New Miranda Rights

Off the keyboard of RE

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on April 29, 2015

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Your list of  NEW Miranda RightsTM

1- You have the Right to be indefinitely detained in an undisclosed location of our choosing

2- You have the Right to remain silent while we beat the shit out of you.

3- You have the Right to an Attorney, if you can afford one.  If you cannot afford one, the Court will appoint a newly graduated Lawyer from Hacks, Dimwits & Shysters to represent you, if he can find your file under the other 400 he has on his docket.

4- Anything you say can and will be manipulated by our Audio Geeks in the IT Department to say WTF we want it to say no matter what you actually do say.

5- You have the Right to be a Debt Slave, pay Taxes and Vote for the Candidates we choose.

6- You have the Right to read, watch and listen to the Propaganda we pitch out at you every day.

7- You have the Right to drink the waste water from […] Continue Reading…

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High Expectations of Civil Unrest Coming

Off the keyboard of Michael Snyder

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Published on The Economic Collapse on May 3, 2015

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96 Percent Of Americans Expect More Civil Unrest In U.S. Cities This Summer

Are you ready for rioting, looting and mindless violence in major U.S. cities all summer long?  According to a brand new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, 96 percent of all Americans believe that there will be more civil unrest in America this summer.  That leaves only 4 percent of people that believe that everything will be just fine.  In this day and age, it is virtually impossible to get 96 percent of Americans to agree on anything.  So the fact that just about everyone agrees that we are going to see more civil unrest should really tell you something.  The anger that has been building under the surface for so many years in this country has finally started to erupt.  If you have been following my website for a while, you know that this is something that I have been warning about for a very long time.  Many people […] Continue Reading…

World Water War I: Already Under Way

        From the keyboard of Thomas Lewis
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First published at The Daily Impact  May 1, 2015

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The stresses that are rearranging the world’s maps, uprooting populations, destroying nation-states and destabilizing the planet have less to do with extreme “-isms,” geopolitics, hegemony or nuclear armaments than they do with water. Overuse, misuse and pollution of water, combined with spreading drought, a consequence of climate change, are imposing on larger and larger regions of the world an inexorable sequence of deprivation leading to desperation, then disintegration. About halfway through the progression, as desperation begins to bring on disintegration, the violence begins, and from then on the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse ride hard.

The increasing scarcity of water is the unacknowledged cause of the so-called Arab Spring collapses of the governments of Tunisia, Libya and Egypt. It was the spark that lit the fuse of the rebellions in Syria (when protesters in Daraa protested corrupt allocations of scarce water) and Yemen (when citizens of Taiz, the thirstiest city in the country, erupted in 2011).

It is only when we recognize this causality (keeping in mind that high costs, and scarcity, of […] Continue Reading…

Too Much Internet Crack

Off the keyboad of Allan Stromfeldt Christensen

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Published on From Flmers to Farmers on May 1, 2015

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I hate to say it, but it looks like I've been degraded to having to write what might be called a filler/fluff piece.

If you haven't already read my first post to this blog, Distraction, Surveillance, Peak Oil and the End of the Internet, then let me quickly point out that I spent five and a half years mostly not using the Internet (you can read about that in the post if you'd like). But since I've gotten back online (about a year and a half ago), my ability to concentrate and work on my manuscript – be it sitting down for several hours to read a book or work with pen and paper – has been decimated and has been getting progressively worse.

It's all pretty much come to a head these past couple of weeks, particularly as I've become rather active in trying to get this blog out there to up its numbers. In the process, the […] Continue Reading…

English Spoken Here

From the keyboard of James Howard Kunstler
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Originally Published on Clusterfuck Nation May 4, 2015

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Scene featuring Idris Elba in The Wire. Series was set in Baltimore and based in part on David Simon’s years working as a police reporter for the Baltimore Sun.

 

 

 

Of course, the Freddie Gray riots in Baltimore last week prompted the usual cries for “an honest conversation about race,” and countless appeals to fix the “broken” public school system. So, in the spirit of those pleas, I will advance a very plain and straightforward idea: above all, teach young black kids how to speak English correctly.

Nothing is more important than acculturating ghetto kids out of their pidgin patois and into real English with all of its tenses, verb forms, and cases. It’s more important initially than learning arithmetic, history, and science. I would argue that it is hardly possible to learn these other things without first being grounded in real grammatical English.

When these kids grow up, their manner of speech will identify them and their prospects for success at least as much as the color of their skin — and […] Continue Reading…

The Great Oil Game: Resource Crisis in Russia?

Off the keyboard of Ugo Bardi

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Published on Resource Crisis on May 3, 2015

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Weekly pageviews of "Resource Crisis." My blog seems to be having a remarkable success in Russia, but do the Russians understand the problem of resource depletion?

 

 

 

 

Complex structures, such as states and empires, are always prone to collapse and they usually give little or no previous warnings. The collapse of the Soviet Union, indeed, had not been predicted by anyone and it came completely unexpected. In the present crisis, instead, Western analysts seem to have fallen in the opposite mistake, predicting the rapid demise of the Russian Federation. But that didn't happen. On the contrary, the Russian economic system showed a remarkable resilience and it strongly rebounded after a bad moment, last year. (image below from Bloomberg).

 

So, predicting collapses is always very difficult in a world's situation that looks more and more like a Russian Roulette (an appropriate name in this context), but played with nuclear weapons. It might well be that some states which at present look very solid could be the […] Continue Reading…

Growing Old

Off the keyboard of John Ward

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Published on The Slog on May 2, 2015

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Growing old is not primarily about forgetting; it’s about forgetting whether or not you did something.

Growing old is about watching people make the same mistakes you did – and feeling powerless to stop them.

Growing old makes you realise that feminism is a curate’s egg, but ageism is ignored.

Growing old leaves us constantly surprised…especially when we look in the mirror.

Growing old is about realising that you’re cool when you no longer care whether you’re cool or not.

Growing old for blokes means feeling stiff in the mornings, except in the place you’d like to be.

Growing old for women means wondering why wrinkles only work for blokes.

Growing old is about the young Queen you remember from 1953 now having great-grandchildren.

Growing old for Prince Charles is realising that Coronation Street is 55 years old and shows no signs of dying.

Growing old brings a surfeit of wisdom, and a lack of the energy required to express it.

Growing old brings a new wonder every day…for example, why the […] Continue Reading…

Psychological Conditioning for Martial Law

Off the keyboard of Michael Snyder

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Published on The End of the American Dream on April 29, 2015

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Are We Being Psychologically Conditioned To Accept Martial Law In America?

Have you noticed that we are starting to be bombarded with images of troops in the streets?  Have you noticed that the term “martial law” is coming up a lot in movies, news broadcasts and even in television commercials?  In recent years, it seems like the solution to almost every major crisis involves bringing in troops.  In fact, it has already gotten to the point where when something really bad happens a lot of Americans immediately cry out for troops to be brought in.  And we are seeing the same patterns over and over again.  Just remember what happened in Ferguson – protesters were whipped up to a frenzy, when the riots began the police were ordered to stand down and not intervene, and finally National Guard troops were brought in as the “solution” to a crisis that had escalated wildly out of control.  This is the exact […] Continue Reading…

Saudi Arabia: The Great Oil Game

Off the keyboard of Ugo Bardi

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Published on Resource Crisis on April 27, 2015

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Saudi Arabia just increased oil production to a record level, never reached in previous history. They are doing that in a moment of record low oil prices. What do they have in mind? (Image from Arthur Berman)

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When the collapse of the oil prices started, in the summer of 2014, everyone noticed that Saudi Arabia was not playing their traditional role of "swing producers", that is varying their production in such a way to maintain reasonably constant prices. Facing a slump in demand, they should have reduced production; but they didn't.

Initially, I thought the Saudis were simply taken by surprise and they were slow to react. But now, with the recent increase in Saudi production, it is clear that they have something in mind. Maybe they haven't engineered the market collapse, but in some way they are riding it.

Though this be madness, yet there is method in it. But what method could there be in raising production just when prices are lowest? Every […] Continue Reading…

The Pentagon’s ‘Long War’ Pits NATO Against China, Russia and Iran

Off the keyboard of Pepe Escobar
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Originally published in Sputnik on April 30, 2015

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Whatever happens with the nuclear negotiations this summer, and as much as Tehran wants cooperation and not confrontation, Iran is bound to remain — alongside Russia — a key US geostrategic target.

 

As much as US President Barack Obama tried to dismiss it, the Russian sale of the S-300 missile system to Iran is a monumental game-changer. Even with the added gambit of the Iranian military assuring the made in Iran Bavar 373 may be even more efficient than the S-300.

This explains why Jane's Defense Weekly was already saying years ago that Israel could not penetrate Iranian airspace even if it managed to get there. And after the S-300s Iran inevitably will be offered the even more sophisticated S-400s, which are to be delivered to China as well.

The unspoken secret behind these game-changing proceedings actually terrifies Washington warmongers; it spells out a further frontline of Eurasian integration, in the form of an evolving Eurasian missile shield deployed against Pentagon/NATO ballistic plans.

A precious glimpse of what's ahead was offered at the Moscow Conference on International Security (MICS) in mid-April.

Here we had the Iranian Defense Minister, Brigadier-General Hussein […] Continue Reading…

Ready to Riot

Off the keyboard of Michael Snyder

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Published on The Economic Collapse on April 27, 2015

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In Every City In America There Are People Ready To Riot, Loot And Set Things On Fire

The city of Baltimore has been transformed into an “absolute war zone“, and the governor of Maryland has declared a state of emergency as the rioting in “Charm City” continues to escalate.  The funeral for Freddie Gray has unleashed a firestorm of violence, and none of it is going to do anyone any good.  To their credit, some of the leaders of the African-American community are standing up and loudly condemning the violence.  They know that smashing cars, throwing rocks at police and looting stores is not going to solve anything.  But just like we saw in Ferguson, there are lots of people out there that are ready to riot, loot and set things on fire at the drop of a hat – all they need is an opportunity.  The social decay that has been eating away at the foundations of our society for generations […] Continue Reading…

Fantasy Islanders

Off the keyboard of Steve from Virginia

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Published on Economic Undertow on April 26, 2015

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Figure 1: We have now entered the post-economic Triangle of Doom period TFC Charts, (click on for big); the triangle has outlived its usefulness, the oil – credit markets have broken down. What remains is relentless decline … as resources along with purchasing power are annihilated.

Can we handle it? In place of hard-headed realism and a turn toward effective policy, there is denial and lies. Analysts insist lower oil prices have no affect on output. Others pretend that debt-riddled economies can be cured by adding more debt. In ways great and small, the real world offers clear warnings about consequences of consumption … but these are ignored as the establishment frolics on Fantasy Island.

From the dawn of the industrial era, companies have been able to stay afloat by borrowing. This included oil drillers: since 2008, extraction firms have borrowed over a trillion dollars at very low cost. They can certainly and reasonably expect to borrow more, after all the […] Continue Reading…

Gail Tverberg in China: Diner Exclusive Interview

Off the microphones of Gail Tverberg, RE & Monsta

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Aired on the Doomstead Diner  & Our Finite World on April 29, 2015

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As regular readers of the Doomstead Diner and Our Finite World know, Gail recently took a month long trip to China, where she was invited by Professor Feng to give a compact University course to Graduate and Undergraduate students at the China University of Petroleum in Beijing.

China University of Petroleum – Beijing (CUPB) is a national key university in China, located in the world famous scenic Changping District, the area close to the Great Wall and Ming Tombs. It is one of the 100 institutions implementing the national "211 Project".

The university is equipped with the first-class facilities, including a library with a collection of 300,000 books, modernized classrooms, new computer facilities and a comprehensive sports center.

Above all, CUPB has an excellent academic staff body of 545, including 121 full professors and 128 associate professors.

Unfortunately, internet access from China is limited for a couple of reasons.  First off, any number of websites (like Google for […] Continue Reading…

Pakistan enters the New Silk Road

Off the keyboard of Pepe Escobar
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Originally published in Asia Times on April 24, 2015

 

Now how do you top this as a geopolitical entrance? Eight JF-17 Thunder fighter jets escorting Chinese President Xi Jinping on board an Air China Boeing as he enters Pakistani air space. And these JF-17s are built as a China-Pakistan joint project.

Silk Road? Better yet; silk skyway.

Just to drive the point home – and into everyone’s homes – a little further, Xi penned a column widely distributed to Pakistani media before his first overseas trip in 2015.

He stressed, “We need to form a ‘1+4′ cooperation structure with the Economic Corridor at the center and the Gwadar Port, energy, infrastructure and industrial cooperation being the four key areas to drive development across Pakistan and deliver tangible benefits to its people.”

Quick translation: China is bringing Pakistan into the massive New Silk Road(s) project with a bang.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry, also on cue, stressed that Pakistan would be in the frontline to benefit from the $40 billion Silk Road Fund, which will help to finance the Silk Road Economic Belt and Maritime Silk […] Continue Reading…

Money Worries

From the keyboard of James Howard Kunstler
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Originally Published on Clusterfuck Nation April 27, 2015

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The cynicism among the informed classes has never been so deep. Even the pompom boys in the cheerleading clubs like CNBC and The Wall Street Journal express wonderment at the levitation of stock indexes and bond values. They chatter about a “correction” of 20 percent being a healthful tonic that would clear away some dross and quickly usher in a new episode of “growth” — or growthiness, which, like truthiness, became an acceptable approximation of the real thing. The truth, as opposed to truthiness, is they no longer believe their own bullshit about growthiness.

The suppression of interest rates and pervasive accounting fraud has thundered through the financial system, and the deformities caused by it have emerged in currency war, currency instability, trade collapse, and political crisis. Years of central bank intervention have stolen the capital of the future to construct a Potemkin economy meant to conceal the sickening gyre of diminishing returns strangling business as usual.

Until it collapses by a great deal more than the wished-for mere 20 percent, more perversities will be […] Continue Reading…

Overview of Our Energy Modeling Problem

Off the keyboard of Gail Tverberg

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Published on Our Finite World on April 23, 2015

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We live in a world with limits, yet our economy needs growth. How can we expect this scenario to play out? My view is that this problem will play out as a fairly near-term financial problem, with low oil prices leading to a fall in oil production. But not everyone comes to this conclusion. What were the views of early researchers? How do my views differ?

In my post today, I plan to discuss the first lecture I gave to a group of college students in Beijing. A PDF of it can be found here: 1. Overview of Energy Modeling Problem. A MP4 video is available as well on my Presentations/Podcasts Page.

Many Limits in a Finite World

We live in a world with limits. These limits are not just energy limits; they come in many different forms:

All these limits work together. We can work around these limits, but the workarounds are higher cost–for example, substituting less polluting energy resources for more polluting energy resources, or extracting lower grade ores instead of high-grade ores. When lower grade […] Continue Reading…

Do Central Bankers Recognize there is NO GROWTH?

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ECONOMICS TABLE inside the Diner

Musical Accompaniment

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on April 26, 2015

Off the keyboard of RE

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Everywhere in the Political World you hear the phrase "Return to Growth", the Holy Grail for resolving the economic woes of the world.

With Growth, the Greeks got no problems, they can pay off the Mole Hill of debt they owe to everybody.  With Growth, the FSoA can pay off the MT. EVEREST of debt owed to everybody.  Growth is GOOD.  It solves all problems.

Sadly of course, Infinite Growth on a Finite World is impossible, and as vast as the resources of the Earth may have seemed a century or two ago, an Exponentially growing population of Homo Saps has managed to burn through most of the good easy to get at stuff, and while burning through it load up the environment with the waste such consumption produces.  We are essentially DIGESTING the Planet, and leaving it loaded with the excrement from said consumption.

Problem in the Near Term here though is that the Monetary System we used to access and distribute […] Continue Reading…

Limits to Hopium

Off the keyboard of Michael Snyder
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Published on The Economic Collapse on April 22, 2015

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Hopium: How Far Can Irrational Optimism Take The U.S. Economy?
If enough people truly believe that things will get better, will that actually cause them to get better?  There is certainly something to be said for being positive and thinking that anything is possible.  And as Americans, optimism seems to come naturally for us.  However, no amount of positive thinking is ever going to turn the sun into a block of wood or turn the moon into a block of cheese.  Any good counselor will tell you that one of the first steps toward recovery is to stop being delusional and to come to grips with how bad things really are.  When we deny reality and engage in irrational wishful thinking, we are engaging in something called “hopium”.  This is a difficult term to define, but the favorite definition of hopium that I have come across so far goes like this: “The irrational belief that, despite all evidence to the […] Continue Reading…

Greek Deadline Fatigue

Off the keyboard of John Ward
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Published on The Slog on April 24, 2015
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Greece: Deadline fatigue is in danger of boring us all to death
I went for a long lie down in a cool room this afternoon after a morning full of chores, followed by a lunchtime laying gravel, and then bordering it with rocks the size of Earth-threatening asteroids.

All of this, I’m here to tell you, was less tiring than Deadline Fatigue – a new board-game for all the family invented by the Eurogroupe-Varoufakis-IMF Toy Company.

I’m up and about again now, preparing dinner while lighting the fire-pit outside because the weather’s gone a little grey and chilly here. Things also seem to have gone a little chilly in the ‘tough’ negotiations between sound economics on the one hand, and Jeroboam Drivelclown on the other. Tough or not, this ridiculous paint-drying championship could have been predicted from Day One.

I shrink, as always, from the limelight; but as it happens, The Slog did piss off just about everyone at the outset by suggesting there were […] Continue Reading…

The Crash of 2015: Vultures vs. Jackals

From the keyboard of Thomas Lewis
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First published at The Daily Impact  April 25, 2015
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So. How have you frackers been feeling, lately? Just checking. (Photo by docentjoyce/Flickr)

 

The crash of 2015 has been paused temporarily by a curious circumstance: a brawl among the financial scavengers who by now should have carted away the body parts of the great American fracking boom. Against all logic, financial vultures are fighting with financial jackals for possession of the corpse, and while doing so are pumping transfusions into it even though decomposition is already well under way. Here’s what’s happening:

The Vultures believe the decline of American oil fracking is only temporary, a product of the sudden decline in oil prices that struck last fall, and that with the inevitable return to $100-a-barrel oil, the frackers will return to profitability. Now, this is a curious thing to believe when it is easily determined that the companies involved have had negative cash flows since the very beginning of their revolution,even at $100 a barrel. Nevertheless, the Vultures believe in their scenario so fervently that they have been amassing cash with […] Continue Reading…

The Trouble With Money

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Published on Pray for Calamity on January 24, 2014
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Rolling Stone recently published a piece titled, “Five Economic Reforms Millennials Should Be Fighting For,” which was apparently written by a “veteran” of the Occupy Wall Street movement, Jesse Myerson. The quality of the writing is low, in that the voice of the piece sounds like a character out of “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.” The author describes everything negative about society using the choice phrase that these things, “Blow.” Of course, Rolling Stone is probably trying to appeal to young people in the hackneyed way that media outlets usually do, assuming that everyone between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five are perpetually stoned and that they have never read a book voluntarily in their lives.

Despite the tone and vernacular of Myerson’s piece, there are concepts within it that are worth discussing. What Myerson does offer are these reforms:

1. Guaranteed Work for Everybody
2. Social Security for All
3. Take Back The Land
4. Make Everything Owned by Everybody
5. A Public Bank in […] Continue Reading…

Bounding the Planetary Future

Off the keyboard of Johan Rockström
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Published on Great Transition April 2015
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We confront an existential risk without historic precedent: human environmental pressures have reached such a pace and intensity that they may cross tipping points, irreversibly altering the state of the Earth system. As the human enterprise becomes more encompassing and interdependent, the prospect of achieving human well-being within the dominant development paradigm grows dim. However, an alternative sustainable development paradigm that pursues social, environmental, and economic goals separately would likewise prove inadequate. Instead, we need an integrated perspective to calibrate the operation of the human system so that it remains within safe parameters for a stable Earth system. The planetary boundary framework contributes to this new paradigm by delineating a safe operating space, in terms of the degree of human perturbation of environmental processes, consistent with maintaining the planet’s stability. The urgency of the challenges ahead demands a two-prong strategy: acting within our current obsolete development framework to bend environmental and social justice curves as much as possible, while simultaneously fostering the […] Continue Reading…

Laughing in the Face of Doom

Off the keyboard of Allan Stromfeldt Christensen
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Published on From Filmers to Farmers on April 21, 2015

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Doomstead Diner Podcasts: On QuittingFilm, WWOOFing in New Zealand,Age of Limits Conferences, and Collapse

So I’m surprised to say that lo and behold, not only am I back on the Internet after five years off, not only do I have a blog/website, but I’ve also now started doing podcasts. That would be with the folks from over at the Doomstead Diner, RE and Monsta. They regularly do interviews with various writers from the collapse blogosphere, in a series which they call the Collapse Cafe. Similarly, RE regularly (like every few days) puts up a new “rant” on the latest happenings in “the world of doom.” If you haven’t heard either of them, the Collapse Cafe interviews feature some primo authors (John Michael Greer, Ugo Bardi, and others), while the “rants” take the gloom out of “doom and gloom” and are more like “doom and bust your ass laughing.”
Both RE’s rants and the Collapse Cafe podcasts appear on the front page of the Diner (as it’s referred to), or, can […] Continue Reading…

Looking for Some Answers

Off the keyboard of Jason Heppenstall
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Published on 22 Billion Energy Slaves on April 15, 2015

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A few months back John Michael Greer, over at the Archdruid Report, wrote an essay about how we might begin to tackle the huge mental and emotional burden of dealing with collapse. It was noted that, for the most part, the majority of people simply don’t want to think about or discuss the way in which we humans are accelerating towards an ecological brick wall and would instead prefer to either lose themselves in fantasy worlds of their own or others’ making. Thus, many people like to lose themselves in video games, TV series and dreams of cornucopian splendour where we will all shortly be living the good life, just as British PM David Cameron announced yesterday (if we vote for him). Surrounding yourself with people who think just like you do and only exposing yourself to information sources that bolster your hoped-for belief that ‘things are going okay’ and ‘the experts are in charge’ adds some comforting texture to this fantasy.Since I stopped playing Dungeons and Dragons when I was about […] Continue Reading…

On the Nature of Belief: Appendices

Off the keyboard of Geoffrey Chia
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Published on the Doomstead Diner on April 22, 2015

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APPENDICES TO THE ESSAY “ON THE NATURE OF BELIEF”
G. Chia, April 2015
APPENDIX 1: THE PROPOSITION OF PREDISPOSITION TO A PARADIGM BASED ON POLITICS, PERSONALITY &/OR PROFESSION (the 6P)

Some dictionaries may define the term “ideology” simply as a system of beliefs. However, it is more useful to define a term according to the manner in which it is used in the real world. Thus, an “ideology” is more accurately defined as a rigid system of beliefs. When we say “Mr X is driven by his ideology” we imply that he holds rigid views which he refuses to change, no matter what the circumstances.

As such, the Scientific Method is not an ideology, because it is not a rigid system of beliefs. It is a rigorous, rational process by which hypotheses are accepted or discarded according to the best evidence, reason and investigation. If we say “Mr X is driven by his scientific enquiry”, we mean that he assesses a situation, then formulates a few hypotheses on the basis of the […] Continue Reading…

Can a Seneca Collapse Save us from Climate Change?

Off the keyboard of Ugo Bardi
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Published on Resource Crisis on April 20, 2015

The “Seneca Cliff” (or “Seneca Collapse”). The ancient Roman philosopher said “The path of increase is slow, but the road to ruin is rapid.” A “Seneca Collapse” of the world’s economy would surely reduce the chances of a climate disaster, but it would be a major disaster in itself and it might not even be enough.  

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Nothing we do (or try to do) seems to be able to stop carbon dioxide from accumulating in the atmosphere. And, as a consequence, nothing seems to be able to stop climate change. With the situation getting worse and worse (see here for an example), we are hoping that some kind of international agreement can be reached to limit emissions. But, after many attempts and many failures, can we really expect that next time – miraculously – we could succeed?

Another line of thought, instead, has that depletion will save us. After all, if we run out of oil (and of fossil fuels in general) then we’ll have to stop emitting greenhouse gases. Won’t that solve the problem? […] Continue Reading…

Russia, China, Iran: In sync

Off the keyboard of Pepe Escobar
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S-300 (RIA Novosti / Alexey Danichev)
Originally published in RT on April 16, 2015

Over past decades, the pre-fabricated myth of an elusive “Iranian bomb” was never the real issue between the US and Iran; the issue was how to subdue – or “isolate” – a powerful, independent nation that refused to toe the exceptionalist line.

Now that the “rehabilitation” of Iran – at least for some exceptionalists and their minions – may be imminent, pending a nuclear deal to be clinched in June, various Washington factions still can’t get their act together.

The Pentagon has all but admitted the perennial wet dream of neocons and corporate media remains on the table; the military option.

The US Congress will go no holds barred in trying to scotch the deal. The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously passed a bill that would give Congress the right to interfere with anything related to the removal of sanctions.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif faces an even more uphill battle as the “fact sheet” the Obama administration insisted it needed to release to make the case in Washington complicates how the nuclear deal may be received in […] Continue Reading…

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Lovely Frank Zappa archive video.  Per the new battery technology, all I know is that the technos in my life looked like they had just been to a tent revival and read "the word of God" for the first time when they read about the battery.  Hope is power...

To my mind the kind of dog and pony show run  by the so-called American Freedom Defense Initiative in Garland last weekend smacks of outright Muslim baiting. I am Charlie, knock this chip off my shoulder, raghead. Right. We really don't need that here...

Of some possible interest. And I'm following the related battery discussion herein pretty closely, and applaud the effort, even if the technology is not as sustainable as we'd like. And typical of the fossil-fuel-bund to circle the wagons and try to ma...

Quote from: RE on May 04, 2015, 07:29:31 PMTHE PAHHHTY IS OVAH!This is going to be a serious knockdown.Will HS make a Comeback?  Or is Guy Mcpherson RIGHT?RENot sure, but that certainly i...

The shitties will be battle zones for sure.

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