RE bids farewell to the Alaska State Fair

Off the keyboard of RE

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on August 28, 2016

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I am just back from the Alaska State Fair.  This one was my last.

The first 6 years I was up here I HAD to go to the Fair.  Every year the gym I was Head Coach for at that time does a show there.  The second gym did shows there maybe once or twice before I was working for them, but by the time I switched to that gym the owner had quit doing the show.  His gym did not compare well to our gym and another gym from Anchorage, Arctic Gymnastics. I went for two more years on my own, one year I shot a bunch of pics and did some video interviews with different booth operators to make an article for the Diner.

Then last year the Fair opened on the day I got my neck operated on and even after I got out of the hospital I was in no shape to go cruising around the Fair at that time.  When I publish this article tomorrow on August 28th, that […] Continue Reading…

The Education Conundrum

Off the keyboard of RE

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on August 21, 2016

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A few weeks ago we saw a NEW Collapse Problem crop up, which is that apparently we have a GLUT of Lawyers! (this article has been on ice for a while due to other pressing collapse issues needing attentinon at Sunday Brunch)

Similar to Chinese over-capacity in Steel production, here in the FSoA we graduate too many Lawyers!  These folks are graduating with upwards of $200K in Goobermint Insured Debt, and at least half the time they can't find a job as a Lawyer and end up pitching Cappucinos at Starbucks after graduation.  Even with a $15/hr Minimum Wage, you're not going to pay off a $200K debt in any reasonable period of time.

The NYT wrote about this problem, focusing down on one particular mid-level Law Skule which has been trying to survive over the last decade or so, though sadly for them the number of suckers applying for spots in their classes has been steadily decreasing here.

“People are not being helped by going to these schools,” Kyle McEntee, executive director of the […] Continue Reading…

Collapse Cafe 8/6/2016

Off the cameras and microphones of Steve & RE

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Aired LIVE on Collapse Cafe YouTube on August 6, 2016

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Collapse Cafe TV

Featuring the Collapse Cafe Vidcasts, Live Feeds, Collapse Tutorials, Documentaries & Music Videos

The Vegan Paradox Part I: Morality

Off the keyboard of Albert Bates

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Published on Peak Surfer on August 21, 2016

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"Joel Salatin likes to say his cows and chickens have a really, really good life, right up until the last minute or two. And then it is over, quickly and relatively painlessly."

 

We wade into these waters very hesitantly, because what people individually decide to eat is a personal choice, even though it may have very impersonal consequences. People, understandably, can be quite sensitive about being told what they should or shouldn’t eat.

Recently we seem to detect a bit more stridency in the tone of conversation when it comes to eating meat. The nastiness used to be pretty much one-sided, with surly comments coming from the meat-eaters directed at those who abstain. Now it has flipped and seems to be coming more from aggressive vegans concerned about climate change. George Monbiot recently opined:

Rainforests, savannahs, wetlands, magnificent wildlife can live alongside us, but not alongside our current diet.

Monbiot cited studies by scientists at Florida State and Oregon State universities that tallied the damage:

 

The consumption of animal-sourced food products by humans is one of the most […] Continue Reading…

Fantasies of “Socialism with an Ipad”

Off the keyboard of Brian Davey

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Published on FEASTA on August 14, 2016

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Inventing the Future by Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams: Review

 

Sometimes you read a book that helps to crystalize your thinking, not because you agree with it, but because you don’t. Inventing the Future by Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams (Verso 2015) is such a book. It has been widely praised by a number of left wing intellectuals and is said to be an influence in a new trend to “Corbo-Futurism” or “Socialism with an iPad”. I came to read a copy because, with politics in the Labour Party in flux and feeling sympathetic to the social justice agenda of many new members, I have been thinking that the best place to promote the convergence of left and green politics is inside the Labour Party. I have wanted a dialogue with the activists there and in one conversation it was suggested that I read the Srnicek and Williams book. I am glad that I did because I discovered an attack on the thinking of much of the green movement.

On the surface this book is […] Continue Reading…

The Luxury Cruise to the End of the World

From the keyboard of Thomas Lewis

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Published on The Daily Impact on August 24, 2016

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This is how you watch the end of the world — aboard the Crystal Serenity, marinating in luxury.

Sorry, you missed it. But if you had known about it — I don’t know why you didn’t get the memo — and if you had $120,000 lying around ($22,000 for steerage) you could have joined 1,000-plus passengers served by 700 crew on the first luxury cruise from Seward, Alaska to New York City via the Northwest Passage through the Arctic Ocean. Once solid ice, the Northwest Passage became navigable in theory in 2007 because of climate change.

According to the brochure, the good ship Crystal Serenity is “an abomination—a massive, diesel-burning, waste-dumping, ice-destroying, golf-ball-smacking middle finger to what remains of the planet, courtesy of precisely 1,089 of its richest and most destructive inhabitants. And it’s all made possible by runaway climate change, the existential global crisis that these same people and their ilk have disproportionately helped to create.”

 

Oh, wait, I’m sorry, that’s not the brochure, that’s a report on the cruise from Slate.com written by […] Continue Reading…

Open Letter to The Zeitgeist Movement

Off the keyboard of Geoffrey Chia

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on August 25, 2016

 

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This open letter to The Zeitgeist Movement replaces an essay I originally promised to Diners, "Peak Oil Revisited Part 2: Why business as usual guarantees that global industrial collapse will be complete by 2030". I have not had the time to elucidate all aspects of my argument in detail and Dr Louis Arnoux is probably doing a better job with his articles on this topic anyway. He is a true energy expert, I am merely a lay person trying to interpret the thoughts of the experts for the general public.

The other "Peak Oil Revisited" essay I promised, "Part 1b: Is an International Standardised Energy Dollar feasible?" has proved to be much more complicated than originally envisioned and is the lowest of my priorities at the moment. Even if an ISED is feasible it is unlikely to ever see the light of day for political reasons.

     

Graph 1                                                        Graph 2               […] Continue Reading…

Brexit means Brexit? Not if the Eunatoed States of America has anything to do with it.

Off the keyboard of John Ward

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Published on the The Slog on August 21, 2016

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HM Sloop Brexit should be sailing the high seas in search of new trading links beyond the European Union and its dysfunctional currency, economic and fiscal policies. But if Theresa MayorMaynot (and the people she represents) get their way, the less than seaworthy sloop of salvation will stay in port, making only occasional day trips to Ostend. Eight macro events may yet foil the plan to sabotage Brexit, but none of them are going to emanate from the Mayflower crew.

When it comes to Brexit, things seem to be moving along very nicely. If you voted Remain, that is. In just 48 hours, it will be exactly two months since The Historic Shock Vote. This is the current state of play:

The woman who acts as Commander in Chief is a Remaindeer. The man with his hands on the purse strings is a Remaindeer. The woman in charge of the security services is a Remaindeer who’s only been in the House for five years. She’s supposed to be working out a points system for […] Continue Reading…

Dark Dynamics

From the keyboard of James Howard Kunstler
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Originally Published on Clusterfuck Nation  August 22, 2016

 

What the world is witnessing, without actually paying much attention, is the death of our debt-based economy — that is, borrowing the means to thrive in the now from a future that can’t really furnish it anymore. The illusion that the future would always provide was a legacy of the cheap energy era. That era ended in 2005. The basic promise is broken and with it the premise for living as we had been. The energy available today, especially oil, is no longer cheap enough to run the industrial economies designed to run on it. Any way that you look at the dynamic, Modernity loses.

With oil under $50 a barrel, and gasoline under $3 a gallon (back east), the public apparently thinks that the Peak Oil story is dead and gone. But when it costs $75 a barrel to pull the stuff out of the ground, and the stuff only sells for $47 a barrel, the oil companies’ business model doesn’t really work. The shale oil companies especially have been gaming the system by issuing bonds that pay relatively high interest rates […] Continue Reading…

The Ongoing Collapse of Turkey’s Secular Democ­racy and… the Backstory to the Attempted Turkish Coup (part 2/3)

Off the keyboard of Allan Stromfeldt Christensen

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Published on From Filmers to Farmers on August 19th, 2016

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Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (photo courtesy of rene de paula jr)

So where did I leave off in part 1? Oh yeah. Erdoğan and Putin are now BFF-FAW (Best Friends Forever For A While), Erdoğan's Turkey has quite possibly been helping ISIS unload its oil, the United States / Europe / NATO has purportedly been turning a blind eye to it all, and Turkey is trying to avoid joining its western neighbour for as long as it can before embarking on its journey to the endarkenment. But before I continue from where I left off and address whether or not a local supply of fossil fuels from the north could be enough to sway Erdoğan "from the bad guys to the bad guys," a little bit of Turkish history is in order. And fortunately, having introduced my Turkish confidant to the Turkish (falafel) joint I frequent, in return I was introduced by him to the work of Turkish writer Efe Aydal, whose writings went a long way in clearing things up for me.

As […] Continue Reading…

The Russia-Iran Strategic Game-Changer

From the keyboard of Pepe Escobar
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Originally published in Strategic Culture on August 20, 2016

 

Russian Tu-22M3 Backfire bombers – as well as Sukhoi-34 fighter bombers – leave from the Iranian Hamadan airfield to bomb jihadis and assorted "moderate rebels" in Syria, and immediately we’ve got ourselves a major, unforeseen geopolitical game-changer.

The record shows that Russia has not been present militarily in Iran since 1946; and this is the first time since the 1979 Islamic Revolution that Iran allowed another nation to use Iranian territory for a military operation.

Bets could be made the Pentagon would, predictably, freak out like a bunch of pampered, irate teens. They did not disappoint, complaining that Russia’s advance warning did not allow enough time to "prepare" – as in blaring all across the planet another episode of "Russian aggression", on top of it in cahoots with "the mullahs". Further desperation ensued, with Washington claiming Iran might have violated UN Security Council resolutions.

Moscow’s spin, in contrast, was a beauty; this was all about logistics and cost cutting. Admiral Vladimir Komoyedov, chair of the State Duma’s Defense Committee and a former commander of the Black Sea Fleet, gave a lovely explanation of the modus […] Continue Reading…

Maps Made in Summer

Off the keyboard of tdOs

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Published on Pray for Calamity on August 18, 2016

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She bends low in the dark.  Her index finger and thumb clumsy as they meet, she pulls from the waist and the stalk she holds rises out of the hummus eagerly, offering no resistance.  Her hand is dwarfed by the firm yet undulating orange blossom.  The sun’s remaining light barely penetrates the gauntlet of trees that stand sentry across the rise and fall of the ridge line.  Tangerine daubs speckle through the here and there breaks in the thick ceiling of maple and oak leaves.

“Say, ‘thank you, Chanterelle.’ ”
“Thank you, Chanterelle.”

Her small voice is sincere because I am sincere.  She watches her feet as she steps high over sticks and briars heading back towards the trail where her mother stands smiling.

“Remember to shake it.”

She passes the mushroom side to side, moving it from her shoulder instead of her wrist.  I follow behind her with long slow steps, my hat in my hand, it is full of chanterelles.  Holding the bill like the handle of a small skillet, I gently bounce the mushrooms to […] Continue Reading…

Making the Grade in Population

Off the keyboard of Albert Bates

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Published on Peak Surfer on August 14, 2016

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"Activist saints who receive C’s on the population quiz: Ralph Borsodi, George Monbiot, Wendell Berry, David Attenborough and Jane Goodall."

 

 

–>

Fourteen percent of all humans who have ever lived are alive today. Recent projections  of fertility momentum put global population between 9.6 and 12.3 billion by the end of the century. Of course that could no more be sustained than too many reindeer living on lichen on a small island.

 

 

 

A 2014 study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Bradshaw and Brook, "Human population reduction is not a quick fix for environmental problems." DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1410465111)  looked at a number of different scenarios to gauge how long it might take the human population to plateau and then decline. The Yale Environmental Review commented:

 

Many of the findings highlight the strength of this demographic momentum. For example, the study found that if every unplanned pregnancy were avoided worldwide due to reproductive education, family planning, and cultural shifts, population would peak at 8.39 billion in 2050 and then fall to 7.3 billion by 2100, a […] Continue Reading…

The Nonviolent History of American Independence: Interview with Rivera Sun

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Published on Rivera Sun on July 30, 2016

Interview with Rivera Sun on August 14, 2016

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Independence Day is commemorated with fireworks and flag-waving, gun salutes and military parades . . . however, one of our nation’s founding fathers, John Adams, wrote, “A history of military operations . . . is not a history of the American Revolution.”

Often minimized in our history books, the tactics of nonviolent action played a powerful role in achieving American Independence from British rule. Benjamin Naimark-Rowse wrote, “the lesson we learn of a democracy forged in the crucible of revolutionary war tends to ignore how a decade of nonviolent resistance before the shot-heard-round-the-world shaped the founding of the United States, strengthened our sense of political identity, and laid the foundation of our democracy.”

One hundred-fifty years before Gandhi, the American colonists employed many of the same nonviolent actions the Indian Self-Rule Movement would later use to free themselves from the same empire – Great Britain. The boycotting of British goods (tea, cloth, and other imported items) significantly undermined British profits […] Continue Reading…

Political correctness demands diversity in everything but thought

From the Keyboard of William Blum
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Published originally in williamblum.org August 12, 2016

For 50 years I’ve been painstakingly cataloguing the brutal militarism and human-rights violations of US foreign policy, building up in the process a very loyal audience.

To my great surprise, when I recently wrote about the brutal militarism and human-rights violations of the Islamic State, I received more criticism from my readers than I’ve gotten for anything I’ve ever written. Dozens of them asked to be removed from my mailing list, as many as I’d normally get in a full year. Others were convinced that it couldn’t actually be me who was the author of such words, that I must have been hacked. Some wondered whether my recent illness had affected my mind. Literally! And almost all of the Internet magazines which regularly print me did not do so with this article.

Now why should this be?

My crime was being politically incorrect. The Islamic State, you see, is composed of Muslims, and the United States and its Western allies have bombed many Muslim countries in the recent past killing thousands of Muslims and causing widespread horror. Therefore, whatever ISIS and its allies do is “revenge”, simple revenge, […] Continue Reading…

Burning Down the House

From the keyboard of James Howard Kunstler
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                                                                                                                                                          Anthony Freda

 

Originally Published on Clusterfuck Nation  August 15, 2016

 

There’s a new feature to the Anything-Goes-and-Nothing-Matters economy: Nothing-Adds-Up. The magicians who pretend to measure the growth of GDP (Gross Domestic Product — the monetary value of all the finished goods and services) came up with a second quarter “adjusted” figure of 1.2 percent. That would have to be construed by anyone acquainted with basic econ stats as perfectly dismal. And yet the Bureau of Labor Statistics put out a sparkly Nonfarm Payroll Report of 255,000 for July, way above the forecast 180,000.

There were so many ways to game the jobs number — between people forced to work more than one shit job and the […] Continue Reading…

Airlines Stricken by Technology Cancer

From the keyboard of Thomas Lewis

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Published on The Daily Impact on August 13, 2016

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It was by all accounts a small problem, a little overheating last Monday in the electronic jungle that is the Technology Command Center for Delta Airlines at its Atlanta headquarters. This minor overheating event — okay, “fire” if you insist — caused a nearby voltage-control module to spasm and allow a surge to hit a transformer, which immediately shut down the power supply. No worries, there’s an app for that. It’s called a switchgear, and its job is to sense a power failure and immediately switch the circuit to a backup power source.

The switchgear didn’t work.

Instantly, much of the computer network with which the world’s largest airline tracks and controls its  planes, employees, and ticketed passengers worldwide, crashed. Airplanes on the ground were stopped in place. Aircraft in the air landed at their destination, and parked. A thousand flights had to be cancelled, tens of thousands of passengers were stranded in parked airplanes and airports. Another 500 flights were cancelled on Tuesday, and the airline continued five days […] Continue Reading…

Collapsing Civilization and its Blogging Discontents

Off the keyboard of RE

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on August 14, 2016

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For those of you with some passing knowledge of "Great Works" of literature, non-fiction and history, you will no doubt recognize that the title of this blog is a play on the title of a book published in 1929 by Sigmund Freud (yes, that Freud), Civilization and its Discontents.  It's one of those "must read" books they pitch out at you in college courses that track the history and development of Western Civilization.  There are many others in this list of "must reads", The Prince by Nicoli Machiavelli, City of God by St. Augustine and Adam Smith's On the Wealth of Nations to name a few.  You can get all these books in nicely bound leather volumes now published by Harvard Classics for the low, low price every day on Ebay of anywhere from around $50 for a full 23 Volume set ($2.50 a book including shipping!) on up into the hundreds, depending how good an Online Shopper you are.  If you are really clever you can get all of those and thousands […] Continue Reading…

Who will speak for the voiceless?

Off the keyboard of Rivera Sun

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Published on Rivera Sun on July 30, 2016The Rim Fire in California’s Sierra Nevada burned over a quarter million acres in 2013. Seemed amazing then, now it’s just another day in the woods (and on the tundra). (US Forest Service photo)

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Tune in to the Collapse Cafe tomorrow Sunday August 14th @ 4PM EDT for an interview with Rivera Sun

The forest sways in ripples of green. Wind sends the dappled sunlight sparkling through the branches. These are the things we forget in the heat of the political season. There are few politicians who will speak on behalf of all people . . . and even fewer who will speak for the beings that comprise the other 99 percent of the planet and are essential for human existence.

Sitting in the forests of rural Maine last week, I stared for hours at the swaying walls of green. Having lived too long in dry places, in landscapes of dust and drought, on concrete and asphalt flatlands, in the stench of exhaust, I had nearly forgotten the beauty of a forest deep in the verdant […] Continue Reading…

The Myth of Self Reliance

Off the keyboard of Toby Hemenway

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Published on the Toby Hemway Blog on August 1, 2011

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A mass emailing went out a while back from a prominent permaculturist looking for “projects where people are fully self sufficient in providing for their own food, clothing, shelter, energy and community needs. . .” There it was, the myth of “fully self sufficient,” coming from one of the best-known permaculturists in the world. In most US permaculture circles, the idea that anyone could be self sufficient at anything past a very primitive level was abandoned a while ago, and the softer term “self reliant” replaced it. But even self-reliance is barely possible, and, other than as way of expressing a desire to throw off the shackles of corporate consumerism, I don’t think it’s desirable.

I took a Googling cruise around the internet and found that “self sufficient” shows up as a desirable goal on several top permaculture websites. I’d like to hammer a few coffin nails into that phrase. My dictionary says that self sufficient means being “able to maintain oneself without outside aid.” Who lives without outside aid? No one. […] Continue Reading…

The Ongoing Collapse of Turkey’s Secular Democ­racy and… Erdoğan’s Shift From American to Russian Fossil Fuels? (part 1/2)

Off the keyboard of Allan Stromfeldt Christensen

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Published on From Filmers to Farmers on August 10th, 2016

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The enemy of my enemy is my friend?(montage by DonkeyHotey)

So following the three weeks of "who was it that tried to steal the cookie from the cookie jar" showdown in Turkey, it turns out that the first head of state that Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will be meeting post-coup is occurring today in St. Petersburg, and with none other than his newest BFF-FAW (Best Friend Forever For A While), Vladimir Putin. This might come as a bit of a surprise to some, seeing how in November of 2015 Turkey shot down one of Russia's warplanes, Putin describing it as a "stab in the back." However, a slightly underreported fact is that in late-June, a mere two and a half weeks before the attempted coup, Erdoğan issued an apology to Russia/Putin for downing its aircraft and professed that Russia is Turkey's "friend and strategic partner." A couple of days later the ban on flights to Turkey via Russian airline Aeroflot was lifted, and the two leaders set aside the 9th of […] Continue Reading…

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It is on intermittent electricity--wind and solar PV. There are a whole lot of pieces to pull togeth [...]

Unfortunately, the American Public probably has the comprehension level of not much more than a six [...]

No doubt about it. The further we go along this particular road, the more the losses are built in. E [...]

OK. But what's Hussman saying in language I can understand? Investors reaching for 'yield [...]

Here's John Hussman's take: http://www.hussmanfunds.com/wmc/wmc160815.htm "Yes, low i [...]

That's exactly why we habitually refer to this marginal money as "funny-money". Basic [...]

Yeppers. You nailed that one tight to the casket. I have this really simplistic idea about negative [...]

RE Economics

Simplifying the Final Countdown

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Bond Market Collapse and the Banning of Cash

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Do Central Bankers Recognize there is NO GROWTH?

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Singularity of the Dollar

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Kurrency Kollapse: To Print or Not To Print?

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SWISSIE CAPITULATION!

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Of Heat Sinks & Debt Sinks: A Thermodynamic View of Money

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Merry Doomy Christmas

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Peak Customers: The Final Liquidation Sale

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Welcome to the Hotel California Mushroom Farm

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Collapse Fiction

Useful Links

Technical Journals

The present study aimed at analyzing the synoptic pattern of atmospheric thickness of winter pervasi [...]

Hydrological climate change impact assessment is generally performed by following a sequence of step [...]

Natural resource professionals, ranging from forest managers and educators to floodplain managers, p [...]

Extreme rainfall events are meteorological hazards that cause great damage and many casualties in th [...]