Nihilism, Misanthropy & Misery Metasticize

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on July 24, 2016

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The reasons people become Kollapsniks (followers of Collapse Dynamics) vary quite a bit.  I came to collapse from the economic end, looking for the reasons behind the collapse of the investment banks Bear Stearns and Lehman brothers in 2008.

My early investigation led me to deduce it was primarily energy related, which led me to the Peak Oil forum.  That forum had it's heyday slightly before I arrived on the scene in around 2006, although it was still a highly active forum with 100s of posts a day going up in 2008 when I got there.  The preponderance of collapse discussion at this time revolved around economics and energy, and climate was only tangentially discussed occassionally.

During this period also, you were considered a fairly serious doomer if you suggested we would need to drop back to a 1750s style of living in order to deal with the lack of FFs and that a fairly significant number of people would have to die since the planet is in overshoot WRT Homo Saps without the extra […] Continue Reading…

National Shoot-a-Cop Day

Off the keyboard of RE

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on July 17, 2016

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Well, now I am backed up 2 deep on Sunday Brunch articles getting pushed back because of breaking current events.  I have articles intended to be published over the last 2 weeks on the European Union History and on the Collapse of the Education system, but both are going on ice again now because of the Cop Massacre in Dallas.

Now, this event should not be a surprise to anyone who has followed the Newz over the last few years, from the Trayvon Martin killing through Ferguson and Baltimore.  There is a whole website now devoted to the subject of Killed by Cop, compiling statistics on the number of people who are killed by cops each year which as you might expect is heavily weighted toward black people.

Many reasons for that racial divide in statistics.  In the FSoA, Blacks are the long term underclass, beginning with slavery of course.  The Civil War and Honest Abe Lincoln "Emancipated" them and tossed them out legislative "Freedom", but that didn't translate into reality too well for them.  […] Continue Reading…

Terror Types & Political Pandemonium

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on July 16, 2016

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Much going on over the last two days in the World of Collapse.  2 days ago we had the Truck Massacre in Nice, today there is ongoing an attempted Military Coup d'Etat in Turkey.  You just can't keep up anymore with all the shit going down!  I'm going to have to start publishing an article more than once a week!

Let's go in chronological order here and start with the Truck Massacre.  It occured in France, on Bastille Day, big Holiday like July 4th in the FSoA.  Tradition has it that people gather together and blow off fireworks in a simalcrum of the actual firefights that took place during the original wars/revolutions/battles for independence.  The National Anthem of the FSoA even celebrates this in the lyrics:

And thy rocket's red glare,
Thy bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through thee night,
That our flag was still there.

However, generally speaking these fireworks are not dangerous now, although a few Darwin Award Winners each year succeed in blowing off various parts of their own anatomy.  Still, they ARE a celebration […] Continue Reading…

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Monofloral and Manuka Honey: Honey-Hunting the Honeybee to its Demise, With Love

Off the keyboard of Allan Stromfeldt Christensen

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Published on From Filmers to Farmers on July 21st, 2016

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A honeybee interloping hover fly gathering nectar
from a manuka flower (photo by Brenda Anderson)

While New Zealand is well known for its exports of kiwi fruit and mutton, a similarly well-known agricultural product of Kiwi-land is the honey made from the nectar of the manuka tree – manuka honey. While the manuka tree has long been known by the Maori for its medicinal properties, it wasn't until the 1990s that scientists at Waikato University in Hamilton discovered manuka honey's unique properties.

Honey in general has a long history across many cultures for its medicinal and healing abilities, ranging from assisting in the healing of cuts and burns to the soothing of sore throats. But while honey has long been revered for its various uses, it is solely manuka honey that has been noted for having rather extraordinary antibacterial properties. Coinciding with the increasing ineffectiveness of various antibiotics, it's recently been discovered that thanks to the level of what is called its Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) rating, the non-peroxide characteristics of manuka […] Continue Reading…

Tiny House Chronicles: Off Grid Electrics

Off the keyboard of Geoffrey Chia

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on July 22, 2016

   

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Tiny House offgrid electrics: further insights and modifications

As I mentioned previously we must alter our plans if the original items we intended to source turn out to be unavailable or unaffordable to us. My further research showed that although lithium batteries have fallen in price, the models available to me still remain significantly more expensive than lead acid batteries, watt hour for watt hour, even taking into account the greater depth of discharge and longevity of lithium. Furthermore due to the specific electronics required for lithium systems (battery management systems, specific chargers) and the still small market for them, the costs of these additional essential electronic components remain high.

I will delay sourcing the batteries and solar PV panels for as long as possible because the prices seem to be constantly falling.

If lithium remains too expensive by crunch time, I wish to keep open the option of staying with good old, tried and true lead acid batteries, however one of the most essential features of a lead acid system must be a low […] Continue Reading…

Let the (Wile E. Coyote) Games Begin

From the keyboard of Thomas Lewis

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Published on the Daily Impact on July 18, 2016

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What will be the trigger that detonates the final implosion of the industrial age? The betting is always changing, and a new and unexpected candidate has just presented itself as a possibility. The traditional destructors — scarce and/or expensive fuel, shortages of food and/or water, rising sea levels, spreading drought, violent weather and the like — are lined up like dominoes and will eventually fall onto each other in a final wave goodbye. But who will go first? With such musings do we beguile the time as we wait. This is how to get Dallas, and New Orleans, and Nice off our minds, we’ll think about Rio de Janeiro and the Olympics. 

This is the power of Business As Usual: The engines of our industrial universe are all running at full speed in exactly the way you and I drive a car whose gas gauge is on empty. “Driving on fumes,” we say as we hold the accelerator down, refuse to think about what could happen any second,  and scan the road ahead […] Continue Reading…

Cuba’s Second Special Period – 2016

Off the keyboard of Albert Bates

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Published on Peak Surfer on June 12, 2016

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"Cuba’s economy minister told the Cuban Parliament last week, in a closed session, (drum roll) that the country would have to cut fuel consumption nearly a third in the second half of this year."
 

Foodlines in Soviet Union 1991 (photo by A. Bates)

The story of Cuba’s Special Period has been told here before, but just to refresh. (light bongo beat) In 1992 the Soviet Union was undergoing great social upheaval at home and in the shifts that followed could no longer support its massive foreign aid dole-out to client states such as Cuba. Without Russian fuel and food aid — and more importantly without the Eastern European export market for its sugar and other commodities — and still under the 30-year-old embargo imposed by the United States, Cuba sank into catastrophic recession. The caloric intake of its population shrank by a third. Oxen replaced tractors and combines. Cuba teetered at the brink of collapse.

In the face of these challenges, the spirit of the 1953-59 student-led revolt revived and bolstered the willingness of the […] Continue Reading…

Reflections on the Twilight of the Age of Oil (Part II)

Off the keyboard of Louis Arnoux

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Published on Cassandra's Legacy on July 15, 2016

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(Part I here)

 

Part 2 – Enquiring into the appropriateness of the question

 

Let’s acknowledge it, the situation we are in, as depicted summarily in Part 1, is complex.  As many commentators like to state, there is still plenty of oil, coal, and gas left "in the ground".  Since 2014, debates have been raging, concerning the assumed “oil glut”, concerning how low oil prices may go down, how high prices may rebound as demand possibly picks up and the “glut” vanishes, and, in the face of all this, what may or may not happen regarding “renewables”.  However, in my view, the situation is not impossible to analyse rigorously, away from what may appear as common sense but that may not withstand scrutiny.  For example, Part 1 data have indicated,that most of what’s left in terms of fossil fuels is likely to stay where it is, underground, without this requiring the implementation of  difficult to agree upon resource management policies, simply because this is what thermodynamics dictates.

 

We can now venture a little bit further if we […] Continue Reading…

Make America Poopable Again: The Great Toilet Debate That Wasn’t

Off the keyboard of Allan Stromfeldt Christensen

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Published on From Filmers to Farmers on July 11th, 2016

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Perhaps some well-composted piles could help Trump and Obama get
their shit together? (photos: Gage Skidmore and Oregon Nat'l Guard)

The Dr. Pooper Papers, Issue #5:

With the United States' federal election on the horizon – a horizon that drags on for almost two years! – the media's seemingly insatiable appetite for its catnip of political polarization seems to be ramping up like clockwork, with one of the latest and oh-so-ungreatest issues getting bandied about being whether or not transgendered people should have the right to use the restroom they feel most comfortable using, or, whether they must use the restroom that matches the gender listed on their birth certificate.

For lack of a more appropriate word, let's get one thing straight: when God created public restrooms He didn't first create the man's wing, pull some pipes out from the walls, use those to create the female's wing, and then with his indomitable breath imbue the toilets with the spirit of His holy and flushable water. Put a bit less ridiculously, and contrary to what […] Continue Reading…

Tiny House Chronicles: A Plumbing Polemic

Off the keyboard of Geoffrey Chia

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on July15, 2016

   

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The ongoing tiny house chronicles: A venturi exhaust system for the shower stall and solar hot water arrays incorporating a direct HWC

Geoffrey Chia, July 2016

     

     

VENTURI EXHAUST SYSTEM FOR THE SHOWER STALL:

I could not find any "off the shelf" exhaust fan models specifically designed to be located in a shower stall which operated on 12V or 24V DC.
A simple computer-type fan can certainly do the job, at least in the short term, and there are many of suitable size eg 12cm diameter, which can run on 24V DC diagram 1. However even if rated as "moisture resistant" they may not cope with sauna type humidity and are likely to fail prematurely. Even though they are quite cheap, the idea is to seek durable items and not be forced to keep replacing them. Furthermore heat loss from this open vent will be substantial, especially at night. A removable internal insulated cover can be added, however that will be another finicky add-on.

24V DC blower type ducted fans are easily available […] Continue Reading…

Reflections on the Twilight of the Age of Oil – part I

Off the keyboard of Louis Arnoux

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Published on Cassandra's Legacy on July 12, 2016

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This three-part post was inspired by Ugo’s recent post concerning “Will Renewables Ever ReplaceFossils?” and recent discussions within Ugo’s discussion group on how is it that “Economists still don't get it”?  It integrates also numerous discussion and exchanges I have had with colleagues and business partners over the last three years.

 

Introduction

 

Since at least the end of 2014 there has been increasing confusions about oil prices, whether so-called “Peal Oil” has already happened, or will happen in the future and when, matters of EROI (or EROEI) values for current energy sources and for alternatives, climate change and the phantasmatic 2oC warming limit, and concerning the feasibility of shifting rapidly to renewables or sustainable sources of energy supply.  Overall, it matters a great deal whether a reasonable time horizon to act is say 50 years, i.e. in the main the troubles that we are contemplating are taking place way past 2050, or if we are already in deep trouble and the timeframe to try and extricate ourselves is some 10 years. Answering this kind of […] Continue Reading…

Economics in Darwinist mode – the competitive struggle for existence

Off the keyboard of Brian Davey

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Published on FEASTA on June 30, 2016

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Nineteenth century economics is described in this chapter as a subject used to train a psychopathic imperial elite – this is illustrated by the policies recommended by economists to manage famines in Ireland and India. The poor had only themselves to blame for their desperate state.

God died in economic thinking sometime in the 19th century, for most theorists anyway. Instead, economics would be contextualised in popular thinking by a philosophical standpoint derived from Darwin. Darwin in turn had been influenced by economist Thomas Malthus, who lectured in economics to at the East India Company training college. The theories developed reflect again the truth of the phrase from Anaïs Nin – “we do not see things as they are, but as we are” and Victorian industrial society was ruthless. As Andreas Weber explains:

“Malthus was obsessed by the idea of scarcity as explanation of social change – there would never be enough resources to feed a population that steadily multiplies. Charles Darwin, the biologist, adapted that piece of theory which had clearly been derived from the […] Continue Reading…

The Days After Tomorrow 5: None So Blind

From the keyboard of Thomas Lewis

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Think the days of arrogant white ignorance are over? Consider that just a few weeks ago, American Geek-in-chief Bill Gates grandly offered to give Bolivia, which he referred to as a poverty stricken country, 100,000 chickens. (Sort of a “Let them eat eggs” statement — or, with a little extra trouble, cake.) Bolivia, it turns out, has a thriving economy, exports 36 million chickens a year, produces nearly 200 million. But thanks anyway, Great White Father.

 

Published on The Daily Impact on July 7, 2016

This is one of a series of meditations on what we might have learned, and might still learn, from the history of Native Americans about how to live without modern technology and industry, which we may have to do in the near future.]

One cannot answer a question that has not been asked (if you are a parent, you know exactly what I mean). And one cannot ask a question of which one cannot conceive. Thus does ignorance remain locked in place. Before we can learn anything useful from or about any other culture, we have to remove any blinders that prevent us from conceiving of questions: things […] Continue Reading…

They Live!

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on July 10, 2016

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Prior to reading the screed below, I suggest watching the two videos above to get a better understanding of the whos, hows & whens of the founding of the European Union.

 

Old Nazis never die, they just go into economics.

The outcome of the Brexit Vote and its aftermath over the following week caused me to do something I don't do that often, which is to actually do some RESEARCH, rather than just shooting from the hip on what I think is going on just based on seat of the pants observations of history over the course of my lifetime.  That lifetime is so far decently long by Homo Sap standards historically speaking, I'm moving up on 60 years walking the earth now.  However, that only takes me back to 1957, and those first few years I was of course pretty oblivious to Global Politics, with these issues only beginning to hit my consciousness with the assassination of JFK when I was 6 years old.

I got a decent enough intro to politics and history from […] Continue Reading…

Tony Blair to George W. Bush: ‘I will be with you, whatever’

From the keyboard of Pepe Escobar
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Originally published in Russia Insider on July 7, 2016

"The report paints what can only be characterized as The Three Stooges school of intelligence."

It’s all here; 12 volumes, 2.6 million words (almost four-and-a-half times as long as War and Peace), seven years in the making, including analyses of 150,000 British government documents.

Chaired by Sir John Chilcot, former Whitehall insider, and officially known as “the Iraq Inquiry”, this Proustian investigation allegedly explores every nook and cranny in the UK’s run-up to the invasion and occupation of Iraq as well as its aftermath.

Let’s cut to the chase. This is not a whitewash by the British establishment; it’s actually much stronger than many analysts expected. Advance leaks had hinted blame would be apportioned to quite a few figures in the UK’s politico/military/intel apparatus – and that’s indeed the case.

The key questions are known to all. Did Tony Blair lie about the need to go to war? Was the war legal? Did the war – as Blair vociferously promised – make Britain “safer”? What did Blair promise George Bush? Did he lie about those non-existent weapons of mass destruction (WMDs)? Was MI6 intelligence compromised? Did the British military […] Continue Reading…

On the Road to United Eurasia

From the keyboard of Pepe Escobar
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Originally published in Russia Insider on July 5, 2016

 

Whenever President Vladimir Putin stresses Russia’s "all-embracing and strategic partnership" with China, one can hear the proverbial howls of anger emanating from the neocon/neoliberalcon axis in the Beltway.

As he met Chinese president Xi Jinping in Beijng this past Saturday, Putin even allowed himself an understatement; "To say we have a strategic cooperation is not enough anymore. This is why we have started talking about a comprehensive partnership and strategic collaboration. Comprehensive means that we work virtually on all major avenues; strategic means that we attach enormous inter-government importance to this work."

Why understatement? Because this really ventures way beyond a stream of business deals.

Deals, of course, matter; in Beijing, China and Russia advanced 58 projects worth $50 billion. These include a $6.2 billion loan from Beijing to build the 770 km-long high-speed railway between Moscow and Kazan and $12 billion in loans to build an LNG plant in the Russian Arctic.

Russian Railways, Russian investment company Sinara Group, China Railway, and Chinese CRRC will also invest in a plant in Russia to build 100 high-speed trains, designed for the Moscow-Kazan high-speed railway. The railway inevitably will be connected to […] Continue Reading…

Energy limits: Why we see rising wealth disparity and low prices

Off the keyboard of Gail Tverberg

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Published on the Our Finite World on July 6, 2016

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Last week, I gave a fairly wide-ranging presentation at the 2016 Biophysical Economics Conference called Complexity: The Connection Between Fossil Fuel EROI, Human Energy EROI, and Debt (pdf). In this post, I discuss the portion of the talk that explains several key issues:

Why we are right now seeing so many problems with respect to wealth disparity and low commodity prices (Answer: World per capita energy consumption is already falling, and the energy/economy system needs to reflect this problem somehow.)

Why the quest for growing technology leads to growing wealth disparity (Answer: The economy must be configured in more of a hierarchical pattern to support growing “complexity.” Growing complexity is the precursor to growing technology.)

Why rising debt is an integral part of the energy/economy system (Answer: We could not pay workers for making long-lasting goods and services without using debt to “pull forward” the hoped-for benefit of these goods and services to the present, using debt and other equivalent approaches.)

Why commodity prices can suddenly fall below the cost of production for a wide range […] Continue Reading…

Book Review: The Scoop on Poop

Off the keyboard of Allan Stromfeldt Christensen

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Published on From Filmers to Farmers on July 1st, 2016

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The Dr. Pooper Papers, Issue #4:

If you know of the name Dan Chiras, then you've probably heard it in reference to the multitude of books he's written on alternative energy sources, alternative building methods, and more. But as important as his previous works have been, his latest book, on an alternative food source, is probably his most important yet. Yes, for those who already know what his latest book is about (and/or just saw the cover shot accompanying this post), I did just say "alternative food source." For Chiras' indispensable latest book is called The Scoop on Poop: Safely Capturing and Recycling the Nutrients in Greywater, Humanure and Urine.

As Chiras states in the book's first few pages,

 

As I remind my ecology students, all life is built on the dead remains of the past… It's for this reason that in this book I don't refer to urine and feces as "waste" without using quotation marks, signaling to you what "waste" really is – nutrient-rich material we must recycle in order to ensure […] Continue Reading…

Ciao, Britannia!

Off the keyboard of Steve Ludlum

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Published on the Economic Undertow on June 8, 2016

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Figure 1: Chart by TFC Chartz (click for big): It’s called the Triangle of Doom for a reason, carried through to the end, no outcome is possible other than demise of the automobile industry and its petroleum dependencies. Since 2000, there have been a series of petroleum price surges intended to meet the industry’s exorbitant extraction costs. Each attempt has failed as credit conditions outside the fuel markets deteriorated. As can be seen, many of the credit failures originated within the European Union. These fails, credit shocks and price retrenchments are to some degree, a product of EU structural shortcomings. Now, the British have voted to leave the EU, panic ensues: (NY Times).

‘Brexit’ Sets Off a Cascade of Aftershocks …

 

 

 

Maybe the future does not include flying electric cars after all.

By Steven Erlanger

 

 

 

 

Britain’s startling decision to pull out of the European Union set off a cascade of aftershocks on Friday, costing Prime Minister David Cameron his job, plunging the financial markets into turmoil and leaving the country’s future in doubt. The decisive win […] Continue Reading…

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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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Technical Journals

Carbon neutrality represents one climate strategy adopted by many cities, including the city of Hels [...]

The long-term harsh climate conditions in 2015 distorted already from June up to November in all stu [...]

Climate change will have large impacts on water resources and its predictions are fraught with uncer [...]

In recent years, biofuels have emerged as a suitable alternative to hydrocarbon fuel due to their fo [...]

This study aims to calibrate and validate the generic crop model (CROPGRO-Soybean) and estimate the [...]