From Oilslick to Tyranny

End_of_Moregc2reddit-logoOff the keyboard of Norman Pagett

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Friend us on Facebook

Published on the ExtraNewsFeed on June 5, 2017

Discuss this article at the Energy Table inside the Diner

A prosperous society is an orderly society.

People with full bellies, stable homes and secure employment do not allow themselves to be involved in civil disorder. Unfortunately we are living on borrowed money in a bankrupt society. When our debts catch up with us, society will collapse, violent disorder will ensue and martial law will be inevitable. Pre-oil, despotic rule was the norm and democracies did not exist; we are going to return to that era.

The hallmark of the tyrant is already being stamped on the nation for anyone willing to recognise it. Suppression of truth is already in hand, information on climate change has been removed from government websites. It is the preparation for your future governance. No names are given here, because no-one will recognise the opportunist until he makes his grab for ultimate power. It will not be who you expect it to be.

forget Wall St., this is what world bankruptcy looks like:

 
 

 

 

 

 

Oil is our prime source of energy, ‘alternatives’ cannot power our industrial infrastructure.

Any business that continually burns through its assets at ten times the rate of replacement can be said to be bankrupt; that describes the global economy. Fossil fuels are the only asset we have, because everything else is a derivative of coal oil and gas inputs. Without heat, nothing can be manufactured. We elect politicians to lie on our behalf, because we want to be told that our resources and growth are infinite. In return for our votes, they are happy to do this. Everyone is complicit in the grand deceit, to accept the truth would destroy the existence of all of us.

So to perpetuate that lie there is a collective insistence that the global economy must continue to function to a very simple (but ultimately nonsensical) formula:

the more fuel we burn, the greater our gross domestic product. The faster we burn it, the higher our percentage growth.

Our machines and the (finite) fuels that move them now form the sinews that hold all nations together. They feed us, provide heat, light and transport, and with equal importance, stabilise international democracies and political systems.

No matter how complex or mundane your current job, whether garbage collector or brain surgeon, someone, somewhere is producing sufficient surplus energy to support it.

Prosperity is not an infinite right

Collective prosperity at the global level depends on cheap surplus fossil fuel energy. For 2 centuries we have been able to use those fossil fuels as collateral for future debt, to build ever bigger machines to extract elemental resources from the earth. This has been our great burning, because extracted materials of themselves are of no use to us unless we use heat to process them into desirable commodities.

That excess heat is altering our climate beyond human tolerance.

But heat provides our industrial growth economy: fuels must be consumed to sustain it and provide continued employment to make things that are ultimately thrown away in order to consume more to enable our debts to be continually carried forward. Our system of rolling debt depends on increasing energy input ad infinitum. So the one who asserts that climate change is a hoax gets voted into office, granting permission to burn our planet forever.

Without economic stability, democracy cannot survive.

Fuel resources have been a once-only gift of nature, and there are no viable substitutes. When they are no longer freely available, the effects will be catastrophic and force the events outlined here because the availability of surplus energy directly underpins our economic system. Without surplus energy you cannot have a modern democratic society. Be under no illusions, on current trends the events outlined here are certain. Only timing is in question by a few years either way.

Our global bank balance in oil has been falling for 70 years.

We are living on legacy oil. Oilwells cannot be refilled by votes, prayers or money.

We have created an industrial economy that is entirely predicated on a single factor: converting explosive force into rotary motion. Those six words separate us from the economics of the horsedrawn cart, windmill and sailing ship. They also separate us from the disease and deprivation that was the lot of our forebears only a century or two ago. Only fossil fuels can supply that explosive force at the rate we need.

The global industrial economy is now an interlocked progressive whole. It will not allow isolationism to function, neither will it allow a return to a previous era and downsized economic environment. We demand more, you have heard the aspiring tyrant’s words that promise more.

Political promises evaporate when there is insufficient energy to support them.

The notion of “Saudi America” is reassuring, but the facts are not.

Despite the rhetoric and posturing, reality cannot be ignored: the USA produces around 9 Million barrels of oil a day, but uses 0ver 19MBd. (2016). This imbalance is not going to change, despite collective belief to the contrary.

Price fluctuations and the ebb and flow of gluts should be ignored. If the cost of oil rises to a level that sustains the producers, users can’t afford to buy it; if it falls, oil producers can’t afford to extract it. This is the economic vice that is inexorably crushing the global industrial system as oil supplies decline.

Real wages fall in lockstep with oil depletion.

As surplus energy falls away, so does real income. We have substituted debt for income and allowed that debt to grow to mask the reality of our situation. We are stealing from our own future and from generations unborn to stay solvent. It might be called intergenerational larceny. When our great grandchildren arrive they will find nothing left for them to burn.

We are already in the phase of expending too much energy to get energy, which is why real income has been static for 30 years. We live in an energy economy, not a money economy. Wages are paid from energy surpluses, not printing presses, and that surplus has been gradually reducing.

The mirage of infinity.

The killer factor is Energy Return on Energy Invested, EROEI. Over the last 150 years civilisation has been built based on coal that returned an EROEI of 50:1, and oil that returned 100:1. Those ratios of return provided the cheap surplus energy that created our industrial infrastructure, and led to the expectation of infinite affluence.

We cannot maintain our current lifestyle using expensive fuels which give a return ratio of only 20:1 (and falling), which is what the best oilwells deliver.

Around 14:1 our society might hold together in a rudimentary sense if consumption could be balanced at that level, but 80 million new people arrive on the planet each year. They demand to be housed clothed and fed, spreading available resources even thinner. The mothers of the next 2 billion people are alive now. They will reproduce as a matter of personal survival, taking global population beyond 9 billion by mid century, guaranteeing our fall off the ‘energy cliff’.

The Energy Cliff:

There are numerous interpretations of the ‘energy cliff’, offering different return ratios that will supposedly allow our industrial society to function. 14:1, 12:1 even 8:1. The exact figure is irrelevant, right now we are entering the ‘elbow curve’ of the cliff, pinning our energy hopes on PV, wind, nuclear and tarsands; the ultimate downturn is inescapable. Wind and solar farms cannot supply sufficient concentrated energy to replace oil.

We are 7.5 billion people on a planet that, pre-oil, supported between 1 and 2 billion. By any reckoning, 5 billion people do not have a future, let alone 2 billion more due over the next 30 years.

We must burn fuel to maintain what we have, but the act of burning destroys what we have. This is contrary to human instinct, so the only recourse will be armed conflict to take what others have. All wars are about survival and acquisition of resources. Conflict will drain what little energy we have left and finally exhaust any survivors.

When we reach the point of having only shale or tar sand oil or wind turbines returning 5:1, there will not be enough surplus energy in our industrial systems to provide the economic momentum we need, and maintain the necessary machinery to power the system.

When our wheels stop turning, we stop eating. Our situation is as brutally simple as that. Electric vehicles cannot function outside a hydrocarbon based infrastructure, and no transportation can exist beyond the extent of its purpose. A collapsed economy removes any such purpose. Battery power will not deliver fresh water and remove your wastes, and there isn’t going to be a bucolic utopia where we all become rural gardeners. We don’t know how, there isn’t enough room and probably not enough time. Hungry people will not allow a second harvest.

But the demand for answers will persist, a search for those responsible for our misfortunes, and insistence that our lives are restored to the ‘normality’ of previous times. Already the finger pointing rhetoric of the despot is being cheered on a wave of ignorance and bigotry: lock up opponents and dissenters, suppress the media, remove the unwanted, ignore the laws.

When that (and more) is done, all will be well. They are words from recent history, overlaid on our own time. We thought fascism was impossible in civilised nations; as long as prosperity held for all, that was true. As prosperity fails, it is stirring again, with an appetite easily fed but never sated.

Secession

As energy supplies deplete, the industrial economy will enter its terminal phase, still under collective denial. But no nation can hold together without the fuel sources that created it. Secession will become inevitable, into five, six, seven or more regions in the USA, along racial, religious, political and geographic lines. The faultlines are already there, with no energy base there will be nothing to stop ultimate breakup. Other conglomerations of states and provinces will also disintegrate. The EU, Russia, China, Africa will react and deny, but the end result will be the same: Energy depletion = social collapse.

As civil unrest takes hold, governments will act in the only way they know how: violent suppression to restore order. This will mean military intervention and imposition of martial law as civil breakdown becomes widespread.

At that point your elected leader will assume the role of dictator and suspend the constitution. Once established, godly certainties among those around him will cloak this in righteousness and subvert it into a theocracy of the worst kind. That will make it easier to identify the heathen and justify any form of retribution. It will be fascism cloaked in holy orders. It will not be the first time: Hitler’s army had “Gott Mitt Uns” stamped on their belt buckles.

Those who support him will become part of the new order. Those who do not will be dismissed from office, either voluntarily or by force. Police and military will fall in behind whoever pays their wages, and enforce the new regime. Totalitarian states have shown that there is never a shortage of willing hands to perform unpleasant tasks. They are always ready and waiting to be recruited.

The inevitability of regional secession will inflame regional differences, and spark civil war(s). It will be the time of petty states and tyrannies, each regime desperate to resist the decline into a different lifestyle, certain that the mess can be ‘fixed’, and only ‘they’ can fix it by enforcement of ideology. Yet without the power of fossil fuels there will be an inexorable regression to the brutalities of medievalism, with power resting only in the command of muscle.

Eventually they will be forced to accept each other’s existence, for no better reason than there will be insufficient means to do anything about it.

Welcome to the (dis) United States of America.

So what of the years to come? The dictator’s power will grow for a time, and make life unpleasant for millions, but ultimately his Reich will extend only to the door of his bunker. No doubt he will remain in his seat of imagined power for as long as possible, issuing incoherent commands that cannot be fulfilled because there will be insufficient energy to do so, just as his predecessor discovered 75 years ago.

15 Responses to From Oilslick to Tyranny

  • Etyere Petyere says:

    And this one only in the case of energy depletion . Add to that sudden and chatastropic (well under way ) Climatechange and you have NTHE ie. Near Term Human Extinction . 

    • I completely agree with you

      there's so much to say in this context, I thought I should condense it into a reasonably digestible length

    • RE says:

      You took the wrong exit off the Information Superhighway.  The NTHE All Dead People in 10 years Cafe is back 100 miles at the NBL exit. The Diner exit is the 90% Knockdown in 50 years Bistro.  We don’t have Near Term Human Extinction on the menu here.

      RE

  • Randy C says:

    Not to mention the ened of global dimming once fossil fuel use ends and within a couple of weeks global average temps will go up another 3C.  NTHE indeed.

    • Davebee says:

      Well Randy as my late Gandma would put it…"It couldn't happen to a nicer group of people"

      Didn't that scientist in the wheel chair call us collectively the wood lice of the universe?

      Great observation Norman, this one is definetly going on a flash drive for future reference pal!

  • Skip says:

    I don't give a shit about NTHE.  It's NTEE (Near Term Everything Extinction) that blows my mind.  The sooner "Homo Cancerous Consumerous" disappears the better for everything else on this poor planet.

    • RE says:

      Everything is not going extinct in anywhere near the Near Term.  Tardigrades will last at least another 100M years, and there are sulfur bacteria around ocean vents that will last probably another 1B years or until the oceans all boil off.

      RE

      • Davebee says:

        So, we better get going on a sulfur based economy research project asap. You listening to this Elon?

        Sounds bullish. What's will its ticker symbol be RE? SUFFER? Seems apt in the cicumstances.

        • RE says:

          SUFFER is too many letters for a Ticker Symbol.  I propose SULF.

          RE

          • Davebee says:

            Nope, I'm a Kollapsenik, it's gotta be SULK.

            You are up really late my friend. Hope your health is improving RE.

            Good to hear from you anyway.

            Get some rest.

            Cheers.

          • RE says:

            I don’t sleep much these days.  Not for more than 2 hours at a stretch, and usually not that long.  I’ve developed another symptom called Notalgia Paresthetica which is constant itching due to nerve impingement (pinched nerves in the spine).  Makes sleeping close to impossible. So far nothing will relieve this problem.  More doc visits are scheduled.

            What does the K in SULK stand for?

            RE

  • Skip says:

    OK, call it NTAEE (Near Term Almost Everything Extinction).  There could always be some life buried deep in Venus.

  • maurice h crumbly says:

    This is one of the best articles I have read that sums up our present and future predicament.  I would like to thank the doomer community.  When I was in my late thirties, I remember lying in bed wondering what is going on, I'm working my ass off and I don't seem to be getting anywhere.  I was a member of the working poor.  I read an article in the Atlantic Monthly written by James Howard Knunstler, and I scraped together some pennies so I could to buy "The long Emergency".  That book peaked my interest in the topics that are presented on this website and other sites like this.  I have become to where I have become quite savvy about the world's current affairs and realize that the consumer middle class lifestyle is just a trap, it is not sustainable, that consumers are like livestock, just something to be led to slaughter by TPTB.  I didn't understand the role that energy plays in our economy and society.  I was also shocked that no one in the mainstream ever talks about these topics.  You people are the ones we need to see on CNN and writing in the Washington Post.  I also understand that WHY you are not in the mainstream, because a revolution would start if you had more exposure.  Articles like this and websites like this make the ONLY plausible argument on why there is so much disfunction I see in the world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Knarf plays the Doomer Blues

https://image.freepik.com/free-icon/musical-notes-symbols_318-29778.jpg

Support the Diner
Search the Diner
Surveys & Podcasts

NEW SURVEY

Renewable Energy

VISIT AND FOLLOW US ON DINER SOUNDCLOUD

" As a daily reader of all of the doomsday blogs, e.g. the Diner, Nature Bats Last, Zerohedge, Scribbler, etc… I must say that I most look forward to your “off the microphone” rants. Your analysis, insights, and conclusions are always logical, well supported, and clearly articulated – a trifecta not frequently achieved."- Joe D
Archives
Global Diners

View Full Diner Stats

Global Population Stats

Enter a Country Name for full Population & Demographic Statistics

Lake Mead Watch

http://si.wsj.net/public/resources/images/NA-BX686_LakeMe_G_20130816175615.jpg

loading

Inside the Diner

Nice Kill Count with no AR-15!Remember, "People don't Kill People, Carz Kill People"We need better background checks for drivers, and we should raise the age limit to get a Driver's License.RE[url=http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-4387...

It's Monday Meat🥩 Special here at the Diner again, and for this week's cut of beef🥩 we are grilling up London Broil🥩.  It's pretty good grilled, although I prefer cuts with more FAT on them usually.  However, for the Meatosaurus🥩 who pref...

I was thinking about the Convocation Vetting Application process, and actually this could be a more general way to recruit WWOOFers to be Worker Bees on your Doomsteads so the Rugged Individualists here can start their process of learning to work toget...

Assuming they actually make the investment and drill these finds, this will give the Alaska Pipeline a couple of more years of life.  Industrial economy up here should hold up until I buy my ticket to the Great Beyond, even if it's a military run comma...

We havent had Pizza🍕4Lunch in a while, and for today's offering I am going with a Thick Crust Rectangular Sicilian Pizza🍕.I'm not a fan of thick crust myself, I like the thin and crispy type.  But lots of Diners like this.  I do like the rectangular s...

Recent Facebook Posts

MSNBC’S Creepy Comcast Commercial Is Sinclair Lite

MSNBC is Comcastic, “Libertarian” Rolls, Pompeo Approved, Lies and Venezuela, Renegade Sheriffs, The Only Thing Missing From Georgia’s Neo-Nazi..

1 hour ago

Ben Rhodes on Twitter

Utterly without shame. https://t.co/vsUGQwMHCT

1 hour ago

Retweeted Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell): Every juror in America is told, “If you find that any witness has lied as to any material fact,..

2 hours ago

Retweeted Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes): On this day, let’s remember U.S. Grant’s characterization of the Confederacy as “one of the worst [causes]..

2 hours ago

Retweeted The Hummingbird (@SaysHummingbird): This is happening in 2018 in the United States of America. This is Trump’s version of Making America..

2 hours ago

Diner Twitter feed

Knarf’s Knewz

Quote from: Eddie on March 13, 2018, 05:21:10 PMAl [...]

Quote from: knarf on March 13, 2018, 03:33:01 PMAU [...]

Quote from: knarf on March 13, 2018, 03:25:04 PM [...]

A new study found that the Great Recession correla [...]

From 2003 to 2005, Gina Haspel was a senior offici [...]

Diner Newz Feeds
  • Surly
  • Agelbert
  • Knarf
  • Golden Oxen
  • Frostbite Falls

The Doomstead Diner Daily 4/23[html]News digest br [...]

Quote from: Eddie on April 22, 2018, 10:58:00 AMTh [...]

Quote from: Eddie on April 22, 2018, 10:58:00 AMTh [...]

The military is the breeding ground for Nazis. Why [...]

Quote from: David B. on April 12, 2018, 04:20:53 P [...]

Quote from: David B. on April 12, 2018, 04:20:53 P [...]

Quote from: agelbert on April 12, 2018, 03:47:06 P [...]

Quote from: Eddie on March 13, 2018, 05:21:10 PMAl [...]

Quote from: knarf on March 13, 2018, 03:33:01 PMAU [...]

Quote from: knarf on March 13, 2018, 03:25:04 PM [...]

A new study found that the Great Recession correla [...]

From 2003 to 2005, Gina Haspel was a senior offici [...]

Dear Readers,  This is a must read and a view that [...]

I did study those instruments when I was younger, [...]

Quote from: Eddie on April 06, 2018, 11:51:13 AMUn [...]

Understood. However, I save a ton on taxes because [...]

 I just fell off my 5 gallon bucket seat reading t [...]

Quote from: RE on April 20, 2018, 09:05:29 AMQuote [...]

Quote from: Eddie on April 20, 2018, 08:33:16 AMTh [...]

My cuz looked like one of those Wood girls...sort [...]

Quote from: luciddreams on April 20, 2018, 09:01:4 [...]

Alternate Perspectives
  • Two Ice Floes
  • Jumping Jack Flash
  • From Filmers to Farmers

A Duty to Know By Cognitive Dissonance   Conversations Mrs. Cog and I have often revolve around awar [...]

The Pendulum – Part Three Seeking Balance By High Desert   Missing in the mix of hundreds of bug-out [...]

The Pendulum – Part Two Hard Work, Bad Luck and Murphy’s Law By High Desert   Missing in the mix of [...]

The Pendulum - Part One Retreat to High Ground By High Desert     Missing in the mix of hundreds of [...]

The (Mind) Games People Play By Cognitive Dissonance     Fair warning! This is a long and dense read [...]

Event Update For 2018-04-21http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.html Th [...]

Event Update For 2018-04-20http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.html Th [...]

Event Update For 2018-04-19http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.html Th [...]

Event Update For 2018-04-18http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.html Th [...]

Event Update For 2018-04-17http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.html Th [...]

NYC plans to undertake the swindle of the civilisation by suing the companies that have enabled it t [...]

MbS, the personification of the age-old pre-revolutionary scenario in which an expiring regime attem [...]

You know things have taken a turn for the desperate when women have started to drive. Or rather, whe [...]

From Filmers to Farmers is re-launched on the astounding open source blogging platform Ghost! [...]

The blogging scene is admittedly atrocious. Is there really no option for a collapse blogger to turn [...]

Daily Doom Photo

man-watching-tv

Sustainability
  • Peak Surfer
  • SUN
  • Transition Voice

Mycelial Mind"One thing we can say about our fungal cousins. They are vastly better connected to the natural [...]

How Many Trees Do We Need?"A city like New York (18.6 million people) should require 55.8 million trees to provide its ox [...]

First they locked up the Knowledge"If you were given the choice between continued life on earth and computerized devices and the [...]

Just One Word: Bioplastics"Any carbon that does not go back to the atmosphere can just chill. It can be a building or a b [...]

NTHE is a Four Letter Word"Collective neurosis can be attributed to a concatenation of causes — diet, electrosmog, epigen [...]

The folks at Windward have been doing great work at living sustainably for many years now.  Part of [...]

 The Daily SUN☼ Building a Better Tomorrow by Sustaining Universal Needs April 3, 2017 Powering Down [...]

Off the keyboard of Bob Montgomery Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666 Friend us on Facebook Publishe [...]

Visit SUN on Facebook Here [...]

To fight climate change, you need to get the world off of fossil fuels. And to do that, you need to [...]

Americans are good on the "thoughts and prayers" thing. Also not so bad about digging in f [...]

In the echo-sphere of political punditry consensus forms rapidly, gels, and then, in short order…cal [...]

Discussions with figures from Noam Chomsky and Peter Senge to Thich Nhat Hanh and the Dalai Lama off [...]

Lefty Greenies have some laudable ideas. Why is it then that they don't bother to really build [...]

Top Commentariats
  • Our Finite World
  • Economic Undertow

What is new and sobering is that many of the countries currently "stepping down" may be do [...]

"Scandals, bad debts, ATM cash shortages--India’s banking system has experienced them all in re [...]

"There has been an uptick in recent months in heavily-borrowed companies in the Gulf seeking to [...]

"Iran's central bank has banned other banks from dealing in crypto-currencies, over concer [...]

""A nationwide dollar-buying panic is in full swing, spurred by the plunging value of the [...]

Here is how you will know when we have DOOM/COLLAPSE! You are absolutely certain that you can not go [...]

I go back and forth on this whole thing being quick or a slow burn collapse. Thus far the fire marsh [...]

Understanding? -to stand under and look up at something and to allow yourself to be in awe. Everywhe [...]

This paper is from last spring, it's a bit dense but the overall impression should be both fami [...]

Agree Stranger in a strange land [...]

RE Economics

Going Cashless

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Simplifying the Final Countdown

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Bond Market Collapse and the Banning of Cash

Off the microphone of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Do Central Bankers Recognize there is NO GROWTH?

Discuss this article @ the ECONOMICS TABLE inside the...

Singularity of the Dollar

Off the Keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Kurrency Kollapse: To Print or Not To Print?

Off the microphone of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

SWISSIE CAPITULATION!

Off the microphone of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

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

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Merry Doomy Christmas

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Peak Customers: The Final Liquidation Sale

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Collapse Fiction
Useful Links
Technical Journals

Mountain ecosystems are considered to be vulnerable to climate change, with potential detrimental ef [...]

Land surface temperature (LST) is one of the most important variables for applications relating to t [...]

Follow on our http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/forum/