Domes & Embedded Energy

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on April 13, 2014

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Interview: Monolithic Domes Founder David South

Eddie did some chronicling of the daily learning that went on at Monolithic Domes, in retrospect now that the Workshop is over I thought I might take some time tonight to look at the Bigger Picture with respect to Domes in general, and the Monolithic Method in particular.

Wednesday’s workshopp was particularly rich in information of sorts I did not have specific knowledge of before, parameters for building ferrocement domes and making them solid and resilient on the engineering level. A remarkably few people are expert in this stuff, and David South has more experience with more Domes up globally than anybody else. If you want to know domes of this type, this is the go-to guy. Not just for Doomers, but for everyone from the United Nations to various Saudi Sheiks and the NASCAR folks too.

The Monolithics though are quite energy intensive in the building, and at least for the larger scale domes need quite a bit of high tech materials and equipment to put up. [...] Continue Reading…

Diner TV

I Economist

Off the keyboard of Steve from Virginia
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Published on Economic Undertow on April 17, 2014
Archimedes famously said, “Give me a lever and a place to stand and I will move the world.” People have been trying to find a platform or a lever so as to move the current regime of institutionalized cannibalism off top-dead-center and have all met failure. Comes now pop-caricaturist Michael Lewis lifting a flap of dead skin covering the Wall Street underworld; the result has been a bomb going off:

Nothing is real in America unless it’s as seen on TV. For some inexplicable reason, Lewis has been stumbling into television studios where cameras are running.

Lewis, a native of ‘Big Easy’ New Orleans, grew up around money and ‘colorful’ (corrupt) characters in equal parts. After turns at Princeton and London School of Economics, Lewis began writing about finance beginning in the late 1980s. His first, the semi-autobiographical ‘Liar’s Poker’ archly regarded bond salesmen at Wall Street investment firm Salomon Brothers before it was absorbed into Travelers Insurance/Citigroup complex. Lewis’ genial approach is to sketch finance’s roach-like wise-guys and smaller-than-life stooges as somewhat comical cartoon characters, inflating them up until they [...] Continue Reading…

Financial WWIII

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on April 17, 2014



…The KEY here is the control of the Credit Creation apparatus basically centered on Wall Street and the City of London. There are other ancillary credit manufacturing franchises in places like Hong Kong, Singapore and Frankfurt, but the fact is all these places are beholden to the Demigods on Wall Street and the City of London.

For countries that are outside this apparatus, these days it is almost impossible for them to create their own Organic Credit system, this is why everybody doesn’t just Jump Ship off the Dollar tomorrow. The creation of this system took CENTURIES to develop, along with the Legal System that is attached to it that defines which contracts will be honored and under what set of laws, which actually vary somewhat between the City of London and Wall Street. Bad as Wall Street is with this shit, the City of London plays even more fast and loose with it, so you really have a bigger and more unstable House of Cards over there than on the Wall Street side of the Pond, though both are ridiculous [...] Continue Reading…

Sea Gypsy Freedom

Off the keyboard of Ray Jason
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Published on The Sea Gypsy Philosopher on April 13, 2014
It was a moment of pure, transcendent bliss. AVENTURA had just cleared some treacherous, shallow reefs south of Jamaica. As I studied my chart, it suddenly dawned on me that now there was nothing but open Caribbean water between my lovely sailboat and a cornucopia of enchanting destinations.
I could select the beautiful and historic walled city of Cartagena. Or perhaps the stunning San Blas islands with their feisty Kuna Indians, who never fell to European conquest. Maybe a visit to the magical Rio Chagres was in order. It is a jungle wonderland where the howler monkeys outnumber the humans. Or possibly I should set my course for the undiscovered jewel of the Caribbean – Bocas del Toro. But then again, maybe I should sail west to the turquoise, fish-lush waters of Belize.
Pondering these exquisite choices reinforced my belief that there is no freer way to live than the sea gypsy path. Since I didn’t want to waste my fresh stash of Jamaican limes, I made myself a tall gin and tonic. Then I retired to the foredeck with [...] Continue Reading…

Powering Down

Off the keyboard of Eddie
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Published on the Doomstead Diner on April 16, 2014
I’ve been reading about collapse topics voraciously for about three years. I’ve read all the major bloggers, and I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about ways to prepare for the most likely scenarios that I can envision.  I’ve trained myself fairly relentlessly by taking the most appropriate workshops and training I could find, and I’ve watched a ton of good videos on topics like rocket stoves, solar PV tech, intensive gardening, and permaculture topics. I’ve read a lot of books.

I’ve networked with individuals from a lot of diverse places and different walks of life, and tried to work toward community building.

Some conclusions are forthcoming.

Number one is that there is no shortage of reasonable steps that we can take as individuals and families to increase our resilience, food security, and to prepare for a lower energy lifestyle.

Number two is that we could live fairly comfortably using energy resources that would represent a tiny fraction of our current consumption. For most of us it would be fairly easy to cut 80% or more of our fossil fuel and electricity use, if [...] Continue Reading…

Total Eclipse of the Doom: Requiem for Mike Ruppert

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on April 15. 2014
Last Sunday Night Mike Ruppert committed Suicide.

For those of you who don’t know who Mike Ruppert was, he was one of the first bloggers to investigate the ramifications of declining energy production, as well as someone who constantly questioned the narrative offered up in the MSM as explanation for things like the 9-11 destruction of the World Trade Center.  Some would call him a “Conspiracy Theorist”.  More like Conspiracy FACT, but that is a subject for another post.

Like many other bloggers and researchers looking at the problems we face now, Mike became increasingly upset and depressed over the progress and the lack of any real initiatives to try to deal with this stuff in a coherent manner.  This is evident in the progress of his writing over the last couple of years, and his demeanor in his podcasts on the Lifeboat Hour, his web based radio show.

Mike isn’t the first Blogger/Pundit to commit suicide in recent years, Matt Simmons also took his own life back in august of 2010.  Perhaps even more disturbing is the constant talk of Suicide and [...] Continue Reading…

Signs Amerikans are NOT Prepared for Collapse

Off the keyboard of Michael Snyder
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Published on Economic Collapse on April 18, 2014

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16 Signs That Most Americans Are NOT PREPARED For The Coming Economic Collapse
Sometimes I think that I sound like a broken record.  I am constantly using phrases such as “get prepared while you still can” and “time is running out”.  In fact, I use them so often that people are starting to criticize me for it.  But the truth is that only a small percentage of people out there are actively taking steps to get ready for what is coming.  Most of the country is not prepared at all.  In many ways, it is just like 2007 all over again.  There were many people that could see what was about to happen and were doing all they could to warn people, but most did not listen.  And then the great financial crisis of 2008 struck and millions of people lost their jobs and their homes.  Unfortunately, the next great wave of the economic collapse is going to be even more painful than the last one.  It is imperative that people get [...] Continue Reading…

Welcome to Terminus

Off the keyboard of Jim Quinn
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Published on The Burning Platform on April 6, 2014

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“Life improves slowly and goes wrong fast, and only catastrophe is clearly visible.” – Edward Teller
I was a late arrival to the Walking Dead television program. I don’t watch much of the mindless drivel passing for entertainment on the 600 worthless channels available 24/7 on cable TV. I assumed it was another superficial zombie horror show on par with the teenage vampire crap polluting the airwaves. Last year a friend told me I had to watch the show. I was hooked immediately and after some marathon watching of seasons one and two, I understood the various storylines and back stories. What the show doesn’t openly reveal is the deeper meanings, symbolism, and lessons we can learn from viewing human beings trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world. In my opinion, the horror and gore is secondary to the human responses to horrific circumstances and the consequences of individual and group decisions to their survival.

As the end of season four approached, the disbursed characters were descending upon a place called Terminus. [...] Continue Reading…

The Anti-Empire Report #127

From the Keyboard of William Blum
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Published originally in The Anti-Empire Report April 7, 2014

Indoctrinating a new generation
Is there anyone out there who still believes that Barack Obama, when he’s speaking about American foreign policy, is capable of being anything like an honest man? In a March 26 talk in Belgium to “European youth”, the president fed his audience one falsehood, half-truth, blatant omission, or hypocrisy after another. If George W. Bush had made some of these statements, Obama supporters would not hesitate to shake their head, roll their eyes, or smirk. Here’s a sample:

“In defending its actions, Russian leaders have further claimed Kosovo as a precedent – an example they say of the West interfering in the affairs of a smaller country, just as they’re doing now. But NATO only intervened after the people of Kosovo were systematically brutalized and killed for years.”
Most people who follow such things are convinced that the 1999 US/NATO bombing of the Serbian province of Kosovo took place only after the Serbian-forced deportation of ethnic Albanians from Kosovo was well underway; which is to say that the bombing was launched to stop this “ethnic cleansing”. In actuality, the systematic deportations [...] Continue Reading…

Forward Guidance

Off the keyboard of James Howard Kunstler
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Originally Published on Clusterfuck Nation  April 7, 2014

    Guess what? There is none. Rather, the Federal Reserve practice of Delphically divulging its intentions ought to be understood as the master pretense of US economic life — the delusion that wise persons are actually in control of anything. The result of this guidance continues to be the mis-pricing of everything, especially the cost of money as represented in the operations of debt, and hence the value of everything denominated in money.

     The interventions of our central bank have really been aimed at one objective: to compensate for the contraction of real wealth in an economy that replaced purposeful activity with Kardashian studies and tattoo art.  Purposeful economic activity provides surpluses that allow for the repayment of debt. Kardashian study and tattoo art lead to entropic entrapment, aka, a death spiral of culture and economy. That’s where we are at. The debt is now eating us alive, and the central bank trick of piling on additional debt to mask the failure of repaying old debt is losing  its palliative punch.

     One big problem with the Fed’s policies is that the mis-pricing of [...] Continue Reading…

Domesteading at Monolithic: Day One

Off the keyboard of Eddie
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Published on SUN4Living on April 8, 2014

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Today was our first day of what looks to be five pretty full days here at Monolithic Domes. Today we heard from a couple of speakers, including Monolithic’s founder and CEO, David South. It was probably worth the price of admission to listen to David, who is one of those visionary geniuses who has managed to combine his passion with a business that builds exactly the kind of structures that he once dreamed of.

Regardless of whether I ever build a single dome, it’s been good to meet and pick the brain of someone like this guy. He is way ahead of us Diners in many ways, not only having already figured out how to build these extremely functional buildings of his, but also how they can fit into  the paradigm of energy descent as affordable housing for working poor people and retirees with limited means.

He actually already has a community of tiny rental domes here on the company land (where many of his family members and employees also have dome homes), as well [...] Continue Reading…


Off the keyboard of Guy McPherson
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Published on Nature Bats Last on April 2, 2014

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According to boxer Mike Tyson, “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.”

Industrial civilization punched the planet in the face, repeatedly. We wonder why Earth isn’t the same planet with which we grew up. We offer apologies, including recycling and hybrid automobiles, but we’re unwilling — as a society — to pursue substantive change.

And now it’s too late. Earth is done with humans. We’re walking around to save money on funeral expenses.

My response: Pursue what you love. Pursue a life of excellence. Throw off the cultural shackles. All of ‘em.

We’re all in hospice now. Let’s give freely of our time, wisdom, and material possessions. Let’s throw ourselves into humanity and the living planet. Let’s act with compassion and courage. Let’s endow ourselves with dignity. Even if all the data and forecasts are incorrect, even if Earth can support infinite growth on a finite planet with no adverse consequences, please convince me there is a better way to live.

And let’s not forget the immortal words of writer Edward Abbey: “Action [...] Continue Reading…


 Off the keyboard of RE
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Published on the Doomstead Diner on April 6, 2014

Losing a Boomerang
Coming Soon: The Great Boomerang Rescue
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Not much time to write a Sunday Brunch article this week.  I’m down in the Lone Star State attending the Diner Convocation, and we have been non-stop busy with the projects, seminars, conferences and drinking beer. :)

The most notably successful aspect so far was the Rainmaking Project on Saturday, where by throwing numerous Boomerangs and shaking trees, through the Butterflies Wings Effect we finally brought Rain to Central Texas.

A HUGE clap of Thunder woke me up this morning, as well as WHD, who energetically ran down to the dry creek bed to hopefully get some video of running water.  No such luck, it probably has to rain for 2 days straight to get water flowing, the land is so dry it is soaking up the water like a sponge so far.

Today’s projects are to build a Rocket Stove, do more construction on the Solar Shower and build a gray water system to feed some trees.  And drink more beer.  :)

Also the livestreams probably wait [...] Continue Reading…

To Go Extinct or Not Go Extinct, that is the Question?

Off the keyboard and microphone of RE
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Simulcasted on the Doomstead Diner on April 5, 2014

Discuss this Rant here on NBL, or on the Doomstead Diner, whichever you like :)
First folks, before dropping on this rant about my thoughts on Near Term Human Extinction, I would like to make a Disclaimer.

Most of the NBL regulars know that Haniel and myself helped Guy to fix some if not all of the problems that have plagued NBL on the internet communication level. We have our own problems on the Diner also, and this is a “second job” (unpaid) or hobby for all of us. Nobody is making any money from this stuff, not Guy, not Haniel and not me. In fact it costs money to do all this techno-wizardry, though because we know what we are doing we can keep it pretty cheap. You should note the Diner and NBL have no ads, no popups, none of that stuff. We try to stay on top of it, but between the spammers and the techno-glitches you often face down with Open Source software, it is a never ending battle to keep these sites running and User [...] Continue Reading…

A Collection of Degraded Buffoons

From the keyboard of Morris Berman
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Published on Dark Ages America on March 19, 2014

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A few years ago I read a monograph by Sara Maitland called A Book of Silence. Lately, I’ve been thinking how precious silence is, how little of it exists in the U.S., and how I now have an abundance of it in my own life; so I decided to reread the book. Here’s a bit of text worth thinking about:

“In the Middle Ages Christian scholastics argued that the devil’s basic strategy was to bring human beings to a point where they are never alone with their God, nor ever attentively face to face with another human being….The mobile phone, then, seems to me to represent a major breakthrough for the powers of hell—it is a new thing, which allows the devil to take a significant step forward in her [sic] grand design. With a mobile, a person is never alone and is never entirely attentive to someone else. What is entirely brilliant about it from the demonic perspective is that so many people have been persuaded that this is not something pleasurable (a [...] Continue Reading…

Getting There…

Off the keyboard from Steve from Virginia
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Published on Economic Undertow on March 30, 2014

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Figure 1: Left-handed Triangle of Doom from TFC Charts; we aren’t there yet, even with the policy errors by Japanese, Chinese, US government and others. Business as usual appears to be resilient … this is a temporary illusion.

The chart indicates a steadily rising price for crude vs. a steadily declining ability of customers to pay. We live in the world of converging adverse consequences. For instance, in Turkey interest rates must be low to support lending and business activity at the same time interest rates must be high to defend the currency. Ditto India, Russia, Argentina. Drillers need high prices to gain replacement crude, the same high prices undermine the customers’ ability to borrow. Toward the point of the triangle, the price needed by drillers represents an oil shock that undermines our precious waste-based economy. Without high prices there is no fuel at all because the lower-priced varieties have been largely exhausted, there is little remaining in the way of $20 oil to fall back on. Room to maneuver at the end [...] Continue Reading…

The Absurdity of US Natural Gas Exports

Off the keyboard of Gail Tverberg
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Published on Our Finite World on March 31, 2014

Discuss this article at the Energy Table inside the Diner

1. How much natural gas is the United States currently extracting?

(a) Barely enough to meet its own needs
(b) Enough to allow lots of exports
(c) Enough to allow a bit of exports
(d) The United States is a natural gas importer

Answer: (d) The United States is a natural gas importer, and has been for many years. The EIA is forecasting that by 2017, we will finally be able to meet our own natural gas needs.

Figure 1. US Natural Gas recent history and forecast, based on EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook 2014 Early Release Overview

In fact, this last year, with a cold winter, we have had a problem with excessively drawing down amounts in storage.

Figure 2. US EIA’s chart showing natural gas in storage, compared to the five year average, from Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report.

There is even discussion that at the low level in storage and current rates of production, it may not be possible to fully replace the natural gas in storage before next fall.

2. How much natural gas is the United States talking about exporting?

(a) [...] Continue Reading…

What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?

Off the keyboard & microphone of RE

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on April 1, 2014

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It does look like TSHTF in the world of HFT Algos Gone Wild in the last couple of days.  Numerous large Pension funds have filed suit against the entire cartel of TBTF Banks over the rigging of the markets with HFT algorithms.

For the unfamiliar with this nonsense, I have done a short Rant as a primer to get yourself up to speed.  Nothing you don;t know if you haven’t followed Zero Hedge the last few years, but the fact it is hitting the civil courts at least and the fact CNBC Pundits are getting all in a tizzy makes it a notable milestone in the collapse of this economic system.
The clearly agitated BATS CEO came out swinging, blasting Katsuyama and Lewis “Shame On You,” for apparently telling the truth of what occurs in the stock ‘market and letting everyone in on it’. The tension grows when he presses Katsuyama on whether he really believes it is rigged… who then erupts “I believe the markets are rigged.. and that you are a [...] Continue Reading…

TSA: The Scope-N-Grope Crowd Now Wants Weapons

Off the keyboard of Surly1
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 Originally published on the Doomstead Diner on date
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“Vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself
And falls on t’other [the other side].”
~ William Shakespeare – Macbeth

As some Diners plan to exercising their right to travel and freely associate by gathering in Italy, Texas, for the first ever Diner convocation, they will encounter the Transportation Safety Authority, or TSA. Few things inspire me to raving, spittle-flecked lunacy more than the notion of this federalized bureaucracy of former fry cooks, janitors, busboys and pederasts sucking a taxpayer-supported living from the body politic, all in the name of enacting security theater for we proles. The “screenings” performed daily by these poor method actors consist of sniggering over the semi-nude pictures of your body generated by untested and unsafe back-scatter radiation machines, fondling your naughty bits during an intrusive pat down, sexually assaulting both Granny and Little Nell, and oh, let’s not forget, rifling through your luggage for stuff to steal and fence on eBay.
The TSA is a layer of expense and bullshit laid over the already demanding and expensive process of travel in the FSoA. Now, not content to merely grope your genitals [...] Continue Reading…

Attention Deficit

Off the keyboard of James Howard Kunstler
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Originally Published on Clusterfuck Nation  March 31, 2014

   Apparently someone at the US State Department put out the fire in John Kerry’s magnificent head of hair, because he has stopped declaiming (for now) on the urgent need to start World War Three over Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula. In my lifetime, there has never been a more pointless and unnecessary international crisis than the current rumble over Ukraine, and it’s pretty much all our doing.

     After all, we kicked it off by financing the overthrow of Ukraine’s elected government. How do you suppose the US would feel if Moscow engineered the overthrow of the Mexican government? Perhaps a little insecure? Perhaps even tempted to post some troops on the border?

     Since the end of the Cold War, the US has engaged in a nonstop projection of power around the world with grievous results in every case except in the breakup of Yugoslavia. The latest adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan, have been the most expensive — at least a trillion dollars — and mayhem still rules in both places. In fact, news reports out of Kabul on NPR this morning [...] Continue Reading…

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The Anti-Empire Report #127

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Choking smog over eastern provinces spreads into Beijing

Climate Summit Trap: Capitalism's March toward Global Collapse

Can we avoid an antibiotic apocalypse?

FBI’s search for ‘Mo,’ suspect in bomb threats, highlights use of malware for surveillance

U.S. Military Changes Drone Rules to Make Targeting of Civilians Easier

'Nothing Is Beyond Our Reach'

Nuke troubles run deep; key officers "burned out"

Challenge for the Government: 4 Million Are Displaced, and Hunger Grows

Make the rich change their ways to avoid a 2C rise, says top scientist

David Cameron has turned cowardly yellow with 'green crap' comments

Meet the Spies Doing the NSA's Dirty Work

Arctic oil spill is certain if drilling goes ahead, says top scientist

Villagers brand Prince Charles a bully for sending them letters invoking ancient right to mine under their homes

Pure manure: City uproots FL couple’s 17-year-old garden

Fed Minutes Reveal a Dangerous Power Grab by New York Fed

America And Turkey Are Killing Anti-Al Qaeda Activists In Yemen And Syria

China establishes 'air-defence zone' over East China Sea

Toxic Lakes From Tar-Sand Projects Planned for Alberta

An Orgy of Thieves

Huge area around Fukushima to be waste disposal site

'Cinderella' gas a threat to climate and ozone layer

China's villages vanish amid rush for the cities

Learning to Live in the Anthropocene

US Court Denies Halt on Pipeline Set to Replace Keystone XL Northern Half

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