Home

Goto the Home Page

Amputee Doomer

youtube-Logo-4gc2reddit-logo

Off the keyboard of RE

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Friend us on Facebook

 

Published on The Doomstead Diner  November 8, 2020

Discuss this article at the Medicine & Health Table inside the Diner

 

As I am sure you have noticed if you are a Diner regular, my Blog and Vlog production has dropped off to near zero over the last few weeks.  This because I have been on an accelerating downhill health curve and finally had to bite the bullet, going the Full Monte with my right leg, which got hit first and hardest by Cellulitis.  3 weeks in hospital followed by 3 weeks in an extended care facility (torture facility) with daily very painful wound care failed to make any real progress, and shortly after returning home I began to experience extreme pain once again.  My electric wheel chair that I depended on to keep some semblance of normality and independence also crapped out on me about a week after I got home and I got stuck in my new hospital bed just like in the Torture Facility, except I had even less help at home.

So I finally called it quits and called 911 to send an ambulance and bring me back to hospital, pretty certain they would admit me and that the only solution was an amputation.  My hope was for a Below the Knee (BTK) saw job, but after an examination by the surgeon and his review of my records, he told me there really wasn't enough healthy tissue to safely cover the remaining limb and I would end up just having to return and do it all over again with an Above the Knee (ATK) cut.  Despite the fact this procedure ends witha much more difficult prosthetic, I agreed with his assessment of the situation and told him to go ahead and cut off the whole fucking thing.

I had the Wound Care dude shoot a couple of pics this week in the middle of a dressing change, so now you get your first look at an Amputee Doomer, with the Staples currently holding the skin together over a sewn together hamstring and quadracep muscle.  Normally right now this is currently covered all the time by lots of gauze and elastic bandage material.

The whole healing process for this is very long, before I can even be fitted for a prosthetic, and at the moment it is unclear how it is all going to get paid for, so this story has many more chapters to go, but most of them will not get written.  Even writing this short synopsis was quite difficult for me, and working up the energy to write it this week was a  trial, so don't expect too much coming off my keyboard for the forseeable future.

I have handed off primary responsibility for Admining the Diner Blog to Irv Mills and the Diner Forum is primarily being Moderated by K-Dog.  I am still Admin of our YouTube Channel at CollapseCafe.com, although like writing for the Blog I am unlikely to produce too much material for the forseeable future.  Just have to see how that goes.

I can't write this post without at least a passing reference to the recently completed POTUS Election, where Uncle Joe Biden has nominally been declared the victor over Donalditry Trumpovetsky, which is good although Uncle Joe won't be able to stop the trajectory of collapse plus he is nearly as corrupt as El Trumpo.  The main problem though is the race and the results were sufficiently close that die-hard Trumpovites will always claim the Dems cheated.  All sorts of interesting questions are out there, such as will he get prosecuted for tax fraud after leaving office in January?  It also leaves open the possibility he will run again in 2024 and spend the next 4 years crticizing the Dems and Uncle Joe, who are bound to screw up.

Anyhow, at least for now he won't get to ride in the new 747 Air Force 1 due for delivery I think in 2021. 🙂

Amputee

Sing to the tune of "Refugee" by Tom Petty (parody lyrics coming eventually)

 

Collapse, you say? Part 3: Inputs and Outputs continued

gc2reddit-logoOff the keyboard of Irv Mills

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Friend us on Facebook

Published on The Easiest Person to Fool on September 29, 2020

Renewable Energy

 

Discuss this article at the Kitchen Sink inside the Diner

 

 

Kincardine's breakwall awash in the waves

This is the second half of a post that I cut in two because it was just too long (6000+ words). If you haven't read the first half yet, it would be a good idea to do so—what follows will make more sense that way.

That first half finished with a discussion of the problems with fossil fuels as an energy source for our civilization. It's last paragraph is repeated below. Today, we'll go on from there, looking at other inputs that are problematical for our civilization.

Energy, renewable sources

But, you may say, if fossil fuels are no good what about renewable energy sources? There are large amounts of energy available from sources like hydro, biomass, wind, solar and so forth. And they don't involve adding more CO2 to the atmosphere—even biomass is only adding CO2 that was recently taken out of the atmosphere and will be taken out again as more biomass grows. A great many people today believe that renewables can replace fossil fuels and solve both our surplus energy and climate change problems. In fact, it has become very unpopular to challenge that idea, but I am afraid I must do just that.

The problems with switching over to renewable energy sources can be divided into three areas.

  • the political will to do so
  • the economic means to do so
  • the technical feasibility of doing so

Political Will

It is clear that we will have to switch to renewable energy sources if we wish to become sustainable. But it is also clear that, as we'll see in a moment in the section on technical feasibility, renewable energy sources will not be able to support the level of growth and consumption that many of us are accustomed to, and they certainly won't be able to extend that level of prosperity to the poorer parts of the world.

For the overwhelming majority of people, lifestyle is not negotiable. And our current lifestyle demands continued growth and ever increasing prosperity—consumption, convenience, comfort and entertainment. I haven't noticed anyone rioting for the sort of austerity measures that I believe a switch away from fossil fuels would require. So, any plan that can't provide continued material progress is unlikely to be seriously considered, much less implemented. Yes, of course, I realize that we could change our lifestyle, and indeed circumstances may well force us to do so. My point is that most of us don't want to change the way we live, and will resist any attempt to get us to do so.

Plans like the "Green New Deal", which promise to create jobs and stimulate economic growth while switching over from fossil fuels to renewables, are intended to be more palatable. But there is good reason to think they are not economically or technically possible. And, if they were seriously undertaken, they might well make things worse, requiring the consumption of even more fossil fuels in the huge construction project that this switch over would require. This would mean further increases in the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere and would make climate change even worse, bringing about collapse even more quickly. Certainly not what the Green New Deal promises, but what it is likely to deliver.

The Economic Means

The surplus energy problem that I spoke of last time, and the resulting continued economic contraction that is going on, make it seem unlikely that we will have the wherewithal for such a major construction project in the years to come—we are looking at spending trillions of dollars building solar panels, windmills, storage facilities and an enhanced grid. Most of which will only make the surplus energy problem worse.

Technical Feasibility

For me, this is the real deciding factor. Let's consider the technical problems with renewable energy sources in general and then have a look at the issues with specific types of renewables. This will make it clear why I think a switchover to renewables is simply not doable, without drastic changes to our lifestyle.

The current fossil fuel infrastructure—coal mines, oil and gas wells, shipping, rail cars, pipelines, refineries, storage, distribution and retail facilities, and the equipment we have set up to use those fuels—is actually quite compact, owing to the concentrated nature of those fuels. They contain a lot of energy in a small, light package, and this has been the key to their success.

Renewables are more diffuse and require extensive infrastructure to gather and concentrate them to the point where they are useful. Already we are seeing what I call "energy sprawl" spreading across the countryside in the form of wind turbines and solar panels. But the amount of energy we are getting from this sprawl is tiny compared to our total energy use.

The renewable energy that is being proposed as a solution (wind and solar, mainly) comes largely in the form of electricity. Unfortunately, only about 20% of the energy we use today is used in the form of electricity. The rest is used directly in the form of refined fossil fuels to power transportation and to supply heat for industrial processes, space heating and so forth. The two biggest obstacles are electrifying heavy transportation (trucks and ships), and using renewable power to provide heat for manufacturing things like steel and concrete.

Switching over to renewables not only requires us to build huge amounts (5 times more than we currently have) of electrical generation, all of it powered by renewable energy sources, but also that we switch our transportation fleets and industrial infrastructure over to use electricity instead of fossil fuels as a power source.

This a big job that the "powers that be" don't really seem very interested in undertaking, and there are large chunks of it that we don't even know how to do as yet. I'll borrow a term from the nuclear industry here: "paper reactors". Solutions that so far only exist on paper have a tendency to take longer than predicted to implement, and cost a lot more money than expected. Time and money are two things that we don't have in great supply these days.

The power grid, which in most areas is just barely coping with peak loads, will also have to be beefed up by a factor of five to cope with the switch over to an all electric economy. But using the electricity from renewables presents some significant problems for the grid. Our civilization treats the power grid as an infinite source of energy which is available 24/7. In order to provide this, the grid needs energy sources that are "dispatchable". That is, energy sources can be turned on and off at will and ramped up and down as needed to cope with varying loads. This is usually done using a combination of coal, oil, natural gas and hydroelectricity, all of which are to some extent dispatchable.

But wind and solar are anything but dispatchable. The wind blows when it will, and there are often long periods without any wind at all over large geographic areas. The sun shines only during the day, except when there is cloud cover, and solar panels are often be covered with snow in the winter. None of these variations corresponds in any way to the normal variations in load that the grid experiences. In fact, to make even small amounts of intermittent renewable energy fit into the grid, highly dispatchable energy sources like combustion turbines (jet engines connected to generators, burning jet fuel) must be left spinning on standby, ready to compensate instantly when renewables falter.

This hardly makes the grid any "greener" at all. One solution would be to have a way of storing electrical power which could then be used to fill in when renewables let us down. Pumped storage of water is one alternative that is a mature technology. Water is pumped uphill to a reservoir when surplus power is available and then runs down hill through turbines to generate power when extra is needed. The problem is scalability—there are limited locations where reservoirs exists at the top a large change in elevation and near a supply of water. Batteries or compressed air on the scale that is needed here so far only exist on paper, and further development seems likely to run up against some fundamental physical limits.

Even if all these issues can be solved, we'd end up with a grid that is less resilient and more complex—more susceptible to failure.

It should also be noted that equipment like wind turbines, solar cells and batteries have a limited life. This poses two problems—when they wear out, they have to be replaced, and the old equipment has to been gotten rid of. Hopefully recycled, but more likely just disposed of.

A late addtion: Bev, one of my regular readers, pointed out in the comments below something that I had failed to make clear: while the energy from renewables is renewable, the equipment itself is built with largley non-renewable materials, and using up the quantity of materials we are talking about will no doubt lead to new resource depletion problems. It also takes fossil fuels to build, deliver, install, operate, maintain, repair and eventually decommision that equipment. Someday we may be able to power some of those steps with renewables, but initially and for the foreseable future, it's hard to see if there is really any net reduction in the use of fossil fuels when you look at the whole process.

And finally, even if all the technical problems could be solved, wind and solar do not have very good EROEIs, and would make our surplus energy problem even worse.

To bring this all home, let's take a look at the specific forms of renewable energy that we might turn to if we want to get off fossil fuels.

Power from biomass, basically firewood, is a very mature technology, and it has many advantages. While it is produced only during the growing season, it can be harvested and stored for use during winter. It is quite dispatchable and its EROEI is reasonably high, depending on how far it has to be hauled from the forest to where it is going to be used. Unfortunately, it is not highly scalable, since it competes with agriculture for land at a time when we are struggling to grow enough food for the world's growing population.

Hydroelectric power is another mature technology, with good dispatchability and a high EROEI. It is somewhat seasonal and it is not very scalable since most good locations are already in use. Developing the few remaining feasible locations would mean flooding large areas of land with environmental consequences that we should likely see as unacceptable.

Wind power is quite scalable, but intermittent and not dispatchable at all. It's EROEI is in the high teens, which is borderline for our needs, and probably lower if you take storage facilities into account.

Solar power is quite scalable, but intermittent and not dispatchable at all. It's EROEI is quite low, in the mid single digits, less if storage facilities are included in your calculations.

Nuclear fission power is not really a renewable since it relies on finite supplies of fissionable fuel. If a nuclear powered economy is to keep growing, it will run out of fuel in a surprisingly short time, even if spent fuel from the current generation of reactors can be processed for use in newer reactors. Nuclear has limited dispatchability, being best suited to supply base load. It has pretty good scalability, except that it takes a long time to build new nuclear plants, and we would need a lot of them to replace fossil fuels. We must also overcome many political and safety issues before starting to build more nukes. Lastly, the EROEI of nuclear is around 9, largely due to the complexity and safety features involved, so it only makes the surplus energy problem worse.

Nuclear fusion power isn't renewable either, though it's fuel is much more common than fissionables. But it is a "paper technology"— usable fusion reactors have been "just thirty years in the future" since the middle of the twentieth century, and will likely always be so. If we did somehow find the money to finish developing this technology, it would be very expensive to build, and its EROEI would likely be very low due to its high degree of complexity.

All in all, this is not an encouraging picture. You can see why I am so doubtful about switching from fossil fuels to renewables. One the one hand we desperately need to get off fossil fuels to get climate change under control. On the other hand we desperately need fossil fuels (or the elusive "something equivalent") to supply surplus energy to maintain our growing economy and the lifestyles it enables.

I have no confidence that we will even try to address this seemingly unresolvable conflict, and that is one more reason that I am expecting collapse.

Further, as the weighted average of the EROEIs of all a civilization's energy sources declines it is not just economic growth that suffers, but also the ability to maintain infrastructure. This includes the ability to build high tech equipment, including things like solar panels and wind turbines. At some point, as our industrial civilization continues to collapse, we will find ourselves restricted to low tech renewables and unable to maintain a large scale power grid. We'll be forced to drastically reduce our consumption of energy, and to adapt our use of energy to the intermittency of the sources, rather than the other way around.

So far I have only addressed the problems with energy inputs to our civilization, but there are other inputs that also present significant challenges.

The Ecosystem, and ecosystem services

Figure 2, from my last post

The circle enclosing industrial civilization in the diagram above is misleading in that it would tend to suggest there is a boundary separating civilization from the environment, when it is really just another part of the environment. I have use a dashed line, hoping to indicated that many things flow freely between our civilization and its environment. There is a whole category of such things—inputs to our civilization—that we are absolutely dependent upon. Often referred to as "ecosystem services", these inputs are things we tend not to be aware of, in much the same way as fish are not aware of water.

They include breathable air, potable water, a reliable climate and moderate weather, arable soil, grasslands, forests and the animals living on/in them, waters and the fisheries they provide, and so on. These things are available to us free of charge and we would simply could not do without them.

It is important to understand that the ecosystem can only supply its services at a certain maximum rate—its carrying capacity. If we use those services at a higher rate, the ecosystem suffers and that carrying capacity is reduced. Many of the waste outputs of our civilization can also damage the ecosphere, again reducing its carrying capacity. And we continue to convert nature into farms, roads and cities, yet again reducing its carrying capacity.

This has created the current situation where we are temporarily in "overshoot", using more than 100% of the planet's carrying capacity. We are able to do this because there is a certain amount of stored capacity within the system. Drawing on that capacity has lulled us into a false sense of security. But rest assured, the situation is temporary and shortly the damage to the ecosphere will become obvious, and its declining ability to support us will have disastrous consequences.

To put some numbers on this, in the early 1970s when The Limits to Growth was published, we were using about 85% of the planet's carrying capacity. There was, at that point, at least hypothetically, an opportunity to put the brakes on economic growth and start living sustainably. Of course, we did not do so and now we are using around 165% of that carrying capacity. If we bring the poorer part of the world up to a standard of living similar to that of the developed nations, it would take about 500% of that carrying capacity to support the human race. Many suggest we should do exactly that, as a matter of social and economic justice.

It is hard to disagree with that, in and of itself. But long before this happens, of course, the ecosphere will have collapsed and suffered a drastic decrease in its carrying capacity.

Three factors are involved in our impact on the ecosphere: population, affluence (consumption) and technology. This can be represented by the equation I=PAT.

Population and affluence are politically sensitive subjects, so many people have focused on using technology to reduce our footprint. This is known as "decoupling", since the aim is to decouple rising population and consumption from their effects on the ecosphere, to allow growth to continue without having harmful effects. It turns out decoupling has not yet even begun and is very unlikely to ever be achieved. It is largely a myth. Here are a couple of links (1, 2), to articles that go into this in detail.

In addition to promoting myths about decoupling, those who do not wish growth to stop quibble about exactly what the planet's carrying capacity actually is and just how far into overshoot we currently are. This accomplishes nothing, since whatever that carrying capacity actually is, continued exponential growth will quickly take us past it into overshoot.

So it would seem we should do something about population and/or affluence. Population is such a hot button issue that one can hardly discuss it in polite company. Understandably so, since reducing population must involve either reducing fertility or increasing the death rate. Indeed people have been accused of being "eco-fascists" because they see the need to reduce our population, and look to the most populous areas as the first place to take action. I think "eco-fascist" is a reasonable term, since the most populous areas are also the poorest places on the planet and our impact on the ecosystem is the product of both population and affluence. In the developed world our consumption is so high that even though we have far fewer people, our impact is much larger than that of the poorer parts of the world.

Figure 3

As this chart (Figure 3) shows, the richest 10% of the planet's population does close to 60% of the consumption. The richest 20% does over 75% of it (17.6+59=76.6). So, reducing consumption in the more affluent parts of the world would be a good start to coping with our problems because it would immediately take us out of overshoot and give us some breathing room to address the damage we've been doing to the ecosystem.

Figure 4

As this revised consumption chart (Figure 4) shows, if we could reduce our consumption by 50%, it would reduce our ecological impact down to 82.5% of the planet's carrying capacity, while actually increasing the consumption level of the lowest seven deciles of the population, and only reducing the consumption levels of the top three deciles. This would seem to satisfy our yearning for social and environmental justice and significantly delay, if not prevent, collapse. But since the most affluent people, those in the tenth decile, are also in control of the situation, it seems unlikely that we'll make a serious attempt to implement that solution unless we are forced to do so by events beyond our control that bear a strong resemblance to collapse.

You may say that our population problem exists because our capacity to provide food has increased and our capacity to reproduce has responded, not the other way around. I don't disagree, but I don't think it is very useful to point that out. Deliberately cutting back on food production and letting people starve in order to reduce our impact on the ecosystem is morally repugnant. It is also not particularly effective since the poor would be effected first and they are not the major contributors to our impact on the ecosystem.

It has also been observed that as countries get richer, their birthrate goes down. Extrapolating current trends (including continued development in the developing nations), the UN calculates that our population will top out around 10 billion late this century and then begin to decline. They would tell you that all we have do is hang on until then and all will be well. But again, I disagree. Long before our population reaches 10 billion, especially if nothing is done to reduce our rate of consumption, the ecosystem will collapse and its carrying capacity will crash down to a level that can support only a tiny fraction of our present population. I think 10 to 20% would be an optimistic prediction.

Overuse of Fossil Water

This post is already quite a bit longer than I usually aim for, and I have only covered what I see as the most urgent input and output issues. There are many other areas that I haven't begun to cover, and which I will have to leave for another day. But there is one more input issue that I just can't leave out, and that is the depletion of fossil water.

Many of the important agricultural areas around the world rely on irrigation, and water for that irrigation is pumped out of fossil aquifers. That is, underground reservoirs that took hundreds of thousands of years to accumulate. The current rate of use is many times greater than the current rate of replenishment, and it is only a matter of time, and not much time, until they run dry.

The consequences for agriculture will seriously debilitate our civilization's ability feed us.

Summing it all up

We have seen again and again, from the start to the finish of this post, and the previous one, that resource depletion of various sorts, and depletion of the sinks into which we dispose of our wastes, seriously threaten our civilization. Any one of these issues is enough, all on its own, to compromise that civilization's ability to provide us with the necessities of life. In other words, to bring about collapse. And many of them interact in ways that just make the situation worse.

But inputs and outputs are not the whole story. The interior workings of our civilization are replete with issues that threaten its ongoing survival. Next time, we'll have a close look at some of those issues.



Links to the rest of this series of posts, Collapse, you say?

 

The Rehab Nightmare

youtube-Logo-4gc2reddit-logo

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Friend us on Facebook

 

Published on The Doomstead Diner  on October 18, 2020

Discuss this Article & Video at the RE is Dying Table inside th Diner

 

I'm on the cusp of leaving the succor and care of our medical industry for further adventures in Home Care, to see how "independent" I can actually remain before I need to be dumped full time into Assisted Care Living prior to buying my ticket to the great beyond.   Unfortunately there is no assisted suicide parlors around here, so my meat package has to go somewhere in this limbo-land between life and death.

I get released from the rehab facility Monday.  Not because I am healed, but because I have used up the 20 days Medicare pays for.  I am still in terrific pain and have no idea really how I will manage to continue to live on my own as we move along here.  I'll be getting some home health care, Physical Therapy and Wound Care amd I'll employ one of my UE neighbors for household tasks, but I'll still be on my own most of the time.  This is a good time to have a family to fall back on, but at the same time you don't want to leave this world remembered by your family as a dying burden either.  After a couple of years, family stop even coming to visit in the nursing homes.

I think the last 2 months have been a complete waste of time, money and subjection to pain I could have done without if they had simply amputated the leg at the beginning.  I am going to try to last another month with the Wound Care treatment plan, but I think before the month is up I will be looking at amputation as my Christmas Present.  I am quite sure I can get around much better on a prosthesis and it should get rid of the pain.

The Main Right Leg Wound

In most respects nowadays, I am already dead.  I don't have anything left to say I .haven't said already, and nothing I do say matters a whit as far as how the future will progress anyhow.   I did everything I am ever going to do in my life already, there are no new adventures to take for me anymore.  Everyone gets to this point eventually, I just made it here a little quicker than some of my peers,

In some respects though I am very much alive, I still consume food and produce waste and I still feel pain.  My entire life such as it is now just consists of eating, excreting, sleeping and living in pain.  Every day is worse than the day before, and I know the outcome, just not the actual end date.  Much like Collapse of course.  Collapse is an abstract thing happening at the social level though, whereas dying is a personal thing happening to YOU.  This makes it much harder to deal with.

The Diner of course is also dying a slow death here, and I no longer have the energy or the will to prop it up on my own.  I will still publish periodic blogs and vlogs as hopefully we get the pain under control, and I'll drop the occasional newz story here on the forum just in case anyone is around reading and wants to chew the collapse fat.

We all know what's coming now, it's all a done deal and everyone is pretty much concerned with their own personal problems in negotiating the end game here of industrial Civilization and the Empire of the Age of Oil.  As bad as Trumpovetsky was, there will be far worse in the future.  I am not interested in endlessly discussing the politics involved here, but this is the direction many people are taking as their focus during the end stages we are now immersed in.  So the Diner is basically obsolete now as a discussion platform for alternative living paradigms and living in a low per capita energy world of the future we are due for.

I hope all the remaining Diners periodically drop in to let us know how things are going for you and your loved ones.  It has been a great run here with this blog, I couldn't have lasted without it.  Thank you all.

COVID Care Comparison: Rich vs Poor

youtube-Logo-4gc2reddit-logo

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Friend us on Facebook

 

Published on The Doomstead Diner  on October 14, 2020

Discuss this Video at the RE is Dying table inside the Diner

 

Collapse, you say? Part 2: Inputs and Outputs

gc2reddit-logoOff the keyboard of Irv Mills

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Friend us on Facebook

Published on The Easiest Person to Fool on September 29, 2020

Discuss this article at the Kitchen Sink inside the Diner

 

 

Waves breaking along the Lake Huron shore—and this on a relatively quiet day.  

The title of this series of posts comes from the typical reaction you get when suggesting that our civiiization might be collapsing, "Collapse you say, surely not!" In my last post I said that I am convinced it is already happening or at least will happen at some point soon. Then I went on to explain what I mean by collapse—the process by which a civilization declines in its ability to provide the necessities of life to its members, the end result being that people are forced to fend for themselves or perish.

It seems to me that this is in fact happening today—that for all but a tiny minority at the "top", things are getting continually worse. The how and why of this process is the subject of this post and the ones that follow it.

The means of production and distribution that provide us with the necessities of life in modern industrial civilization require certain inputs and produce certain outputs. Today I want to the look at the problems posed in acquiring those inputs and disposing of those outputs.

I would guess that it's clear that by inputs I mean the energy and materials required to make the things we need. But what I mean by outputs may be less clear. I am not referring to the goods that are produced from the inputs, but the waste products produced in the process and the garbage that is left over when we are done using those goods.

But why should these inputs and outputs constitute problems?

Conventional thinking has our civilization in a box, separate from our planet and its ecosphere. The inputs (energy and materials) our civilization uses come from sources that are seen as essentially infinite and the outputs (waste heat and waste materials) are discharged into sinks that are also seen as being essentially infinite in size. Given all that, no reason is seen for progress—economic growth in this context—not continuing for the foreseeable future. This way of looking at things typifies some of the blind spots of modern thinking on economics and business.

Figure 1

Figure 1 illustrates what I am talking about. As long as there were relatively few people on our planet, and they weren't consuming excessively, it's easy to see how we might have looked at things this way. But now that we are well on our way to filling up the planet—or more likely well beyond that point—this is no longer valid. And sure, many people are aware that this is a very unrealistic picture, but the people who are running things, even those who verbally acknowledge the realities, continue to act as if there are no limits built into the system. In a future post we'll look at why this is so, but for now it suffices to say that it truly is the case.

Figure 2

Figure 2 is a different diagram, which provides a more realistic depiction of things as they exist today.

First of all, our civilization exists on a finite planet, entirely within that planet's ecosphere, with no real separation from it (note the dashed border). Our inputs are taken from that finite source and our wastes are discharged back into that same finite space, used as a sink for waste heat and all our material wastes. This has some truly nasty consequences.

Inputs and outputs come in two forms: energy and materials. Energy flows from more concentrated to less concentrated forms, and regardless of where it comes from, is eventually radiated away from the planet as waste heat. Because of this, at any one level, we only get to use energy once. Materials stay around and can be reused, but generally change from more organized forms to less organized, (and less useful) forms as time passes.

For the planet itself, on the relatively short timescales we are considering, the only significant inputs and outputs are in the form of energy—sunlight in and waste heat out. This means that the planet isn't a closed system and incoming energy can be used to arrange matter into more complex forms, converting the energy used to a less concentrated form in the process. That's the good news—the rest of the news is bad.

Outputs

Let's look at outputs first, since that will make it easier to understand some of the problems with inputs. As I said, the outputs I am talking about are the wastes from processes within our society, and the garbage left over when we are done with the products of those processes. We simply throw these things away, but the trouble is that there is no such place as "away". The sinks into which we dispose of wastes are part of the very same environment where we get our inputs from, so this is much like shitting in our own nest. And in a great many cases it is not necessary at all. Many of these end products could, with relatively little effort, be fed back into the processes, and not treated as "wastes" at all.

That we haven't "circularized" our use of materials is a really bad sign. Why we continue to do this is inherent to the internal workings of our civilization and I'll go into the details of that in a future post. For now it is sufficient to understand that as long as that civilization exists in its present form, it's outputs will continue to be a problem.

There are a great many different types of pollution, but for our purposes today I'll concentrate on two particular type of waste—carbon dioxide and methane.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is produced in the burning of fossil fuels and biomass, and in the processes we use to make things like steel and concrete, essential building materials of our civilization. CO2 is a major contributor to the greenhouse effect and consequently climate change, and is also the cause of ocean acidification.

Methane (natural gas, CH4) has been touted as a replacement for coal and oil since it gives off less (but not zero) CO2 when burned. But it is an even more potent greenhouse gas than CO2. Between the wellhead and where it is used a great deal of methane leaks into the atmosphere—probably enough to overshadow any reduction in CO2 released by burning natural gas instead of other fossil fuels. Methane is also produced during the decay of organic matter and by the digestive systems of many animals. Warming due to climate change is releasing methane currently trapped in permafrost and in methane clathrate hydrates at the bottom of the Arctic Ocean, further intensifying the warming process.

Ocean acidification the lesser known evil twin of climate change, occurs when CO2 is dissolved in water. An estimated 30–40% of the carbon dioxide from human activity released into the atmosphere dissolves into oceans, rivers and lakes. Some of it reacts with the water to form carbonic acid. Some of the resulting carbonic acid molecules dissociate into a bicarbonate ion and a hydrogen ion, thus increasing ocean acidity (H+ ion concentration).

Increasing acidity is thought to have a range of potentially harmful consequences for marine organisms such as depressing metabolic rates and immune responses in some organisms and causing coral bleaching. A net decrease in the amount of carbonate ions available may make it more difficult for marine calcifying organisms, such as coral and some plankton, to form biogenic calcium carbonate, and such structures become vulnerable to dissolution. Ongoing acidification of the oceans may threaten food chains linked with the oceans.

(Thanks to Wikipedia for the last two paragraphs.)

These are food chains that we sit at the top of, with many people, especially in poorer nations, relying heavily on seafood for protein.

Climate change has been in the news a lot lately, with a wide range of people expressing concern about its negative effects on our future. If, despite this, you are still a doubter or denier, you're in the wrong place on the internet, and need not bother leaving any comments. In my experience, if you scratch a climate change denier, you will find beneath the surface a rich person who is worried about losing their privilege.

So, climate change is real and it is driven by increases in greenhouse gases (CO2 and CH4 among others) in the atmosphere which cause the planet to retain more of the sun's heat. It has also been called "global warming", since it causes the overall average temperature of the planet to going up. The high latitudes in particular are already experiencing temperature increases. Eventually this is going to cause enough melting of glaciers to make for a significant increase in sea level.

In the meantime, climate change is also causing more frequent and heavier storms, which combined with even small increases in sea level, are causing a lot of damage along the oceans' shores. Such storms are also causing more frequent and serious flooding of many rivers.

Climate change is also intensifying droughts in many other areas, and in some of those areas this is leading to wild fires.

How does all this tie into collapse?

Storm surges, high winds, river flooding and wild fires are doing a great deal of damage to human settlements, at a time when our economy is struggling and the added cost of rebuilding can scarcely be afforded. Especially since we tend to rebuild in the same areas, leaving rebuilt settlements just as exposed as they were before.

The effects of climate change on agriculture are even more serious. In the ten or so millennia since we started practicing agriculture the climate on this planet has been particularly friendly to that endeavour. Farmers have been able to count on reliable temperatures and rainfall. This is now starting to change and as the rate of that change picks up over the coming decades, it is going to be very challenging to adapt to. This at a time when we are struggling to keep up to the demands of a growing and ever more affluent population for food and when there is little left in the way of wilderness to expand our farms into.

Even if climate change was the only problem we faced, it is serious enough to place the continued survival of our species into question. We are facing, to quote Jem Bendell, "inevitable collapse, probable catastrophe and possible extinction."

The threat of climate change is serious enough that most people who worry about such things at all are concentrating on it alone. Unfortunately, they are largely ignoring looming problems with the inputs required by our civilization.

Inputs

The problem with inputs is "resource depletion". We live on a finite planet and we can really access only a small part of it—the lower part of the atmosphere, the oceans and a few thousand feet at the top of the crust. Within that volume, there are finite supplies of the resources that we rely on.

Several problems result from the way we access and use those resources.

We generally access the lowest hanging fruit first. This means that the most convenient, easily accessible and highest quality resources get used up first. That makes sense as far as it goes, but it means as time goes by we are forced to use less easily accessible and lower quality resources. This takes more energy and more complex equipment, and is more costly.

Many of the resources we rely on are non-renewable—there is a finite amount of them on this planet, and "they" aren't making any more. Further, we use them in very wasteful ways. It is important to be aware here that, even at best, there is always some irreducible waste in our use of any resource, but currently we tend to make things, use them once and throw them "away". This means that depletion of many resources is happening thousands of times more quickly than it really needs to, and as I said in the section on outputs, that waste is accumulating in the environment.

Some of the resources we use are renewable, but the processes by which they are renewed work at a limited rate. We are using many of these so called renewable resources at greater than their replacement rate, and so they too are becoming depleted.

Conventional economists will tell you that when a resource starts to get rare, its price goes up, encouraging the development of substitutes. This is true to some limited extent, but many of the most critical resources simply have no viable substitutes. Not unless we are willing to make significant and unwelcome changes to the way we live.

At this point, we should look at some specific resources and the unique problems each of them presents.

Energy, Fossil fuels

Despite what conventional economists would tell you, energy (not money) is actually the keystone resource for our economy. Nothing happens inside our civilization without energy as an input and degraded energy (waste heat) as an output. Money functions as a medium of exchange, a unit of account and a store of value, all of which is very useful, but energy is what makes the economy function and grow. About 80% of that energy currently comes from fossil fuels (primarily coal, oil and natural gas). The remaining 20% comes from sources that we can only access using equipment that is both made using fossil fuels and powered by them.

So, our civilization is utterly dependent on having a cheap and abundant supply of fossil fuels. "Peak Oil" enthusiasts have been saying for decades now that we'll soon run out of oil and things will come to a grinding halt. In fact, though, there are still large quantities of hydrocarbons to be found in the earth's crust, so you might ask, "What's the problem?"

Well, there are two problems with continuing to burn fossil fuels.

One is the consequences for the climate of burning hydrocarbons and releasing ever larger amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This is a very serious problem, for which we are having trouble finding and implementing any sort of solution.

The other problem, I'll be calling it "the surplus energy problem", is in many ways more complex and more serious.

Because we use various forms of technology to access energy, many people think that technology makes energy, and with improved technology we can always make more energy. Or, in this case, access the difficult to access hydrocarbons that currently remain in the ground. But in fact, the opposite is true—technology uses energy and won't work without it.

The energy that remains after we've powered the processes used to acquire that energy is referred to as "surplus energy." For instance, the technology used to drill oil wells and pump crude oil out of the ground uses energy. Back in the day, it used to take the energy equivalent of about one barrel of oil to get 100 barrels of oil out of the ground, leaving a surplus energy equivalent to 99 barrels of oil. This is usually expressed as "Energy Returned on Energy Invested" (EROEI), in this case 100/1, giving an EROEI of 100. Another way of looking at this is to talk about the Energy Cost of Energy (ECoE). In this case that would be 1/100, or 1%. Note that both these numbers are just bare numbers without units, and most significantly without a dollar sign in front of them. The "money cost" of energy is another thing entirely and since it is influenced by speculation on future supply and by fluctuations in demand (as we have seen in 2020 during the pandemic) it is not a reliable indicator of the actual cost of energy in energy terms, or the future availability of energy.

Conventional oil discoveries have not been keeping up with depletion for some time and our use of conventional oil actually peaked in the last few years. So we have been forced to switch to lower quality and more difficult to access sources. Conventional oil today has an EROEI ranging from 10 to 30. Tight oil and gas (from fracking), heavy oil and the "dilbit" (diluted bitumen) made from tar sands all have EROEIs less than 5, or ECoEs of 20% or greater.

"So what?" you might say. As long as the net amount of energy available is sufficient to power our civilization, what's the problem? Well, it's not just the amount of energy available from any particular source that really counts, but the EROEI. Or more precisely the weighted average of the EROEIs of all the various energy sources an economy uses. That number needs to be around 15 or more to keep that economy growing.

When the average EROEI goes below 15, growth slows and eventually stops and it becomes difficult to raise enough capital to even maintain existing infrastructure. Why our civilization needs to grow is a topic for another day, but it certainly does. This is what most people are missing about energy. Yes, a country can use debt to finance access to low EROEI energy resources in order to keep the economy going. But only for a while, until its economy contracts to the point where things begin to fall apart. This is certainly the case in the US. Fracking has made sufficient energy available, at what seems like a reasonable dollar price, but the real economy is mysteriously contracting, and debt is continually growing. Both economists and politicians, while putting on a brave face, are hard pressed to do anything about it, because they don't understand the surplus energy problem.

As we saw in the section on "Outputs", there are pressing reasons not to continue burning fossil fuels. But even if that were not the case, it would not be possible to continue running a growth based industrial civilization on the low EROEI fossil energy sources now available to us. For this reason alone, collapse seems like a sure thing to me, and I would say it has been underway since oil production in the continental U.S. peaked in the early 1970s.

But, you may say, what about renewable energy sources? Like non-conventional fossil fuels there are large amounts of energy available from sources like hydro, biomass, wind, solar and so forth. A great many people today believe that renewables can replace fossil fuels and solve both our surplus energy and climate change problems. In fact it has become very unpopular to challenge that idea, but I am afraid I must do just that.

This post ened up at over 6000 words long, enough to try the patience of even my most loyal readers. So I have split it in two at this point, leaving the second half for my next post, which will pick up from here and cover renewable energy sources, ecosystem services and fossil water.



Links to the rest of this series of posts, Collapse, you say?

 

Industrial Civlization in Intensive Care: The Generational Blame Game

youtube-Logo-4gc2reddit-logo

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Friend us on Facebook

 

Published on The Doomstead Diner  on October 7, 2020

Discuss this Video at the RE is Dying Table inside the Diner

 

Before going on to the closing act of this ran't, I just want to express my thanks to the Lurkers and Viewers who don't post up much but when they do contribute they carry a Big Stick and they don't do it for the accolades or attention.  Today's thanks go out to a Lurker from Poland and to another Krippled Kollapsnik doing the ExPat Tango down in Old Mejico.  They are probably among the most financially challenged Diners, yet they gave among the largest of Donations this weekg.  One thing you will always find true is that the poorer someone is, the more generous they are.

OK,  let's get back and close out the rant.

 

 

 

CODA

 

 

Industrial Civilization Collapse from Intensive Care: Trumpovetsky gets COVIDified

youtube-Logo-4gc2reddit-logo

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Friend us on Facebook

 

Published on The Doomstead Diner  on October 5, 2020

Discuss this Video at the RE is Dying table inside the Diner

 

See the source imageIn a long awaited and expected irony, the Denier-in-Chief has been diagnosed with Coronavirus. Trophy Wife Melania has as welll, and so apparently has about half the White House staff. Former NJ Gubernator Chris Christie has it and a whole Gaggle of Senators running for re-election do also . The main question is who will drop dead before election day, and also whether you can vote for a corpse?

At the left here you see a Photo Op for TEN of The Donald's doctors, possibly more including docs who got cropped out of the pic.  Out here in the rel world of the not rich, not famous and not politically powerful, you don't even have 10 CNSs ("Certified Nurse Assistant") per patient, in fact just the opposite, each CNA has about a dozen patients to shuttle around to for changing bedding, cleaning shit buckets and so forth.  At my current Jazzed up nursing facility, these folks aen't even the lowest on the totem pole, we have something called "Neighborhood Helpers" who are below them.  This because apparently not enough people are qualified to make it through a 2 week training class to learn how to change your sheets and properly wipe your ass with Shield disinfectant wipes.

Any given facility of this type has exactly ONE MD or DO nominally "in charge" as Medical Director, and then a couple of Nurse Practitioners and/or Physician's Assistants who also can write prescriptions a pharmacy will fill.  The Nurses themselves work usually 12 hour shifts 3 days a week and they basically cruise around non-stop with a cart, make copious and formula notes to your chart   and then head off to the next COVID patient room to Rinse & Repeat.

At the end of your 12 hour half-day shift you strip off the layers of PPEand hope not to bring home the dreaded virus to your Kindergarten age Girl Scout Brownie and your HS age Quarterback with his first shot at making the Starting Team in a neighborhood where NOTHING is of greater propriety than football.

As for me, I am still doing the Fundraiser for my Hospital Bed for when I hopefully get released out of here at the end of the month.  $300 raised so far, $1900 to go!

View of Industrial Civilization from Intensive Care

youtube-Logo-4gc2reddit-logo

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Friend us on Facebook

 

Published on The Doomstead Diner  on October 4, 2020

Discuss this Video at the RE is Dying Table inside the Diner

 

I have been recording vids while on my Death Bed here in Hospital but do not have my editing software on this computer nor do I have energy to edit the vids if I did have it.  Just working up the energy to gfet the camera rolling and look cheery is a major effort. So I am just going to drop the raw vids on the Diner once or twice a week to catch up on the latest bullshit happening in the world surrounding my hydraulically powered bed. You may or may not find the stuff interesting.

In Good Newz but not covered as of yet in this video is the fact Trumpovetsky has joined me in Hospital, now diagnosed with COVID-19.  This is the ultimate irony of course, the Denier-in-Chief himself coming down with the disease, in fact a strong enough case to already require Oxygen, so the NYT reports.  Assuming he does survive, does this help him or hurt him in the election?  Will the Repugnants run Pensky if El Trumpo is too sick during the rest of the campaign?

Don't forget to make your contribution to the Diner Get Well Soon RE PayPal button so I can order my new bed for my digs before they kick me out of here on October 20th. 🙂  Medicare only pays for the first 20 days in the Advanced Care Nursing faciity, after that first I have a co-pay pf $176/day, then it goes up to the full freight of $985/day.  I will not be staying here to have my piddling savings account bled dry in here this way.

Sick of Collapse

youtube-Logo-4gc2reddit-logo

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Friend us on Facebook

 

Published on The Doomstead Diner  on September 27, 2020

Discuss this article & video at the Medicine & Health table inside the Diner

 

If you're not a regular Diner frequenting the tables inside our establishment, you may not know quite how BAAAAD my health problems actually are just from my Utoob vids where I try tlo put a bright and cheery face onto the Collapse of Industrial Civilization.  No Cheery Face this week; not too many jokes either.  Reason is I came in for a landing at the Mat-Su Valley Regional Medical Center nearly 3 weeks ago and have been stuck ever since.  As Hospitals go, it's a good one, but Hospitals are a lousy place to finish out your life.

After a decade of following the progress of the Collapse of Industrial Civilization on the DoomsteadDiner.net and the CollapseCafe.com Utoob Channel, my body and physiology is starting to violently rebel against the non-stop flow of BULLSHIT being pitched at us by our "Leaders" on a daily basis. OK, to be fair this diagnosis has not been verified by any "doctors" currently treating my symptoms and failing epically to pave a smooth trip for me into the Great Beyond. However, many Diners have been showing a variety of symptoms of Collapse Sickness. The road ahead does not look good.

The view from my Hospital bed

My particular road requires a new machine, a Hospital Bed of my own for my digs so I don't have to die in this God Forsaken place or some Assisted Care Nursing Facility.  So I am out here BEGGING for money again to buy this bed with all the hydraulics which will cost me $2000 + $200 for delivery and assembly.  No donation is too small!  I'll also need to hire in Cripp;e Helpers more often than I have been over the last few months.  Medicare MAY pay for a PT 2 a week for a while, not sure how that one will go yet.  I'll be negotiating this next week with the Social Workers from my Hospital Offfice. lol.  My goal is to get out of here by Friday Oct 1st but I'm not counting on it by any means.  That is a very optimistic estimate.

Hopefully I can make the seat transfers from the bed to the Cripple Cart and the Cripple Cart to the Toilet and Office Chair.  That is my big current challenge, to do those all without assistance.  My Right Leg presnts the biggest challenge to standing up, it simply will not straighten again, no matter how many excruciating exercises I do courtesy of the PT  (Physical Therapist, Pain Today, Pure Torture).  Every day one of them comes in with a big smile and tells you how great you are doing and how much improvement you are making while you scream in agony at the latest exercize to do.

My symptoms of Collapse Sickness are relatively unique to me, but just about all the Diners show some sort of symptoms these days.  Depression is common, as is Denial.  Diners who have been friends and observers of Collapse for a Decade have turned on each other in a cannaballistic frenzy.  This for me has been the most painful aspect of Late-Stage Collapse, even more painful than the exercizes the PTs come up with for you to do with big rubber bands and broom handles.  I think many of even the most dedicated Doomers did not really want to accept that Collapse would arrive in their own lifetimes, and now they choose to blame the other Kollapsniks for the pain that has arrived at their doorsteps.

Close the Skoolz

youtube-Logo-4gc2reddit-logoOff the keyboard  of K-Dog

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Friend us on Facebook

 

Published on The Doomstead Diner on March 9, 2020

 

Discuss this article at the Education Table inside the Diner

 

Because dead people can't teach students to spell. If the point is to teach students to spell, dead people can't do it. The same goes for teaching anything at all. Dead people can't teach. What is hard to figure out about this?

The summer could have been spent figuring out how to pair educated and unemployed Americans with students furloughed by COVID-19. Doing this would eliminate problems caused by remote learning and keep lives moving ahead. Like lives matter.

The knee-jerk solution, remote learning, by itself has serious problems. The biggest problem is the mere suggestion of remote learning causes a person to think the problem is solved. Techno-narcissism creeps in and stops thought. Today we have remote learning and tomorrow we will have Mars. It takes a strong mind not to go fantastical. Particularly if you are an educated person who has used the internet to acquire a skill or two or three. You think everyone can do it and you don't see that you are unique, special and hooked up. You are also likely to think that there is no problem technology can't solve.

Remote learning is part of a solution for doing education in a pandemic but it is not a one size fits all solution. Distance learning panders to a connected elite in the same way mail-in voting does but more so. Part of a solution under the circumstances but far from ideal. A minimum computer literacy, which many students do not have, is required for remote learning to work. Those most in need are the least capable.

Schools as a COVID-19 Petri dish is a true fact even to those who deny that COVID-19 even exists. A rational person can be perhaps slightly forgiven for the current situation since the idea that the COVID-19 pandemic would not have been contained by September seemed crazy in May. Sadly we live in crazy times, and we are now in crisis. Paring educated and unemployed Americans with students furloughed by COVID-19 leads to small classes which by their size, contain COVID-19 infection.

Thinking about what to do about schools in September was put on hold. According to President Trump America will panic if they find out that we are in a COVID-19 pandemic. Trump's solution thus has been to pretend COVID-19 does not exist and that it will just go away someday. Obeying the impulse to follow the herd, America continued to assume it had a leader all summer long. Easily seduced America trusted in the miracle of remote learning. In both cases trust has been misplaced. Everything goes away and soon enough we are all dirt. Knowing this and knowing that it is the POTHUS job to protect the nation, I find the Trump reassurance disgusting.

Small class sizes so outbreaks can be contained. An obvious answer and one which in a time of no leadership is ignored. A national program using the forcibly retired and unemployed. Homeschooling at the local instead of the family level of implementation. This is and continues to be, a valid solution. Perhaps the only solution. A solution which could be deployed now as early as January.

Elite leadership made the mistake of pretending that the COVID-19 problem does not exist. Getting classes up and running in the fall because of the choice made in the spring is nonsense now. Countries which took appropriate action can recover somewhat. It may be safe to have coffee in a Rome Café now because Italy locked down. Not so in America which made no progress in eliminating their COVID-19 problem with any national lockdown. In America money has been far more important than lives and this continues to be true. COVID-19 remains someone else's problem in America. It is an exceptional point of view which on the scales of cosmic justice does not balance.

I realize an effort to create a New Deal style program of citizen teachers has no chance of being adopted by the major US political parties. It would empower people far beyond any mainstream Democrat or Republican level of comfort. I write this knowing that America will continue to choose ignorance because this is a 'write' thing to do.

The Last Steak Supper

youtube-Logo-4gc2reddit-logoOff the microphone, cameras & keyboard of RE

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Friend us on Facebook

 

Published on The Doomstead Diner  on September 6, 2020

Discuss this article in the Diner Pantry inside the Diner

I toyed with many different titles for this article from "A Tale of Two Steaks" to "Birthday in Collapse", but in the end it got the title at the top due to some unforseen circumstances which came after I did the recordings and shot the pics.  More on that in a bitt.

This week marked the beginning of my 64th year walking the earth as a meat package in this iteration of my immortal soul..  Many ups & downs through the years, some of which veteran Diners know from prior birthday articles and autobiographical ones as well.  One consistent joy for me through all the years and trials & travails was FOOD, both eating it and cooking it.  I love fine restaurants, although of course these days you can hardly find an open one.  Not to mention up here where I live "Fine Food" is pretty much relegated to Pizza and Chicken Wings.  lol.  OK, to be fair there are a couple of decent restaurants here in the Mat-Su Valley, but they ain't Lutece or Smith & Wollensky in NY Shity.

Brazilian Steakhouse Meal - Rio Grande Churrascaria | Groupon Of all the food I loved to cook and eat through the years, one stands out as #1.  STEAK! "Beef.  It's what's for Dinner."  In Brasil we had the great Churrascarias (Brazilian BBQ), and when we returned I started BBQing on a little Cast Iron Hibachi in the backyard of our McMansion in Queens.  After the divorce of my parents, when my Dad had me on the weekends for his visitations, every once in a while he would take me to Tad's Steajhouse in NYC.  Pretty decent steak grilled over an open flame for around $2 at the time as I recall.

So to celebrate my arrival here on the Big Blue Marnle 63 years ago I decided I would cook up a restaurant quality STEAK Dinner worthy of Delmonico's or any of the other great steakhouses around the world, generally located in the Big Shities where they can charge the customers through the nose for them.  As it turned out I ended up making not one but two STEAK dinners, one for just me on my actual birthday,  the other a couple of days later for a neighbor and his family.

Flannery Beef - Midwestern Dry Aged Prime Rib Roast - Midwestern - USDA  Prime Beef - Butcher For a great restaurant quality STEAK, you have to start with a great piece of Cow Flesh, generally USDA Prime, although sometimes a Choice cut is about as good if you find a good one.  AVOID Select except for Stews unless you like chewing Shoeleather.  Of course if you really wanna pay through the nose you can go for Wagyu beef, but I can't see spending THAT much money on a STEAK dinner.  I'm not a Billionaire of course.

Anyhow, over the course of the year whenever I saw a great cut of meat at a great price at 3 Bears, I would buy it and stick it in my chest freezer.  For the dinner I cooked for myself, I pulled out a Filet Migon and prepared it in real Gourmet style as Steak Au Poivre.  That's the cooking video at the top of the page.  If you want to see a SPECTACULAR flambe, do not miss this vid!  lol.

For the family dinner with the neighbors, I had scored a FABULOUS Standing Rib Roast whick I intended to cook for the Community for the Summer Solstice,but unfortunately COVID-19 jumped in and my Mobile Restaurant plans for this summer hadda be scrapped.  So it hung out in the freezer a couple of more months until I found enough people to cook it for and a Celebration WORTHY of such a lovely piece of a Dead Cow.  My Birthday definitely qualified as worthy. 🙂

Now, many ecologically aware Kollpsniks are vehemently against eating meat, for all sorts of reasons.   You have your traditional Vegans, Religions which are against it, animal rights activists who feel thiis is cruelty to animals and climate activists worried about Cow Farts and resource depletion.  Raising beef for the dinner table uses up a lot of water and land..

Predicting Mars Cuisine: Grasshoppers with a Side of Fungi | Space Also true is we can't possibly feed the current global population the way Amerikans have become accustomed to, with a Hamburger Joint in every Strip Mall,  There's just not enough arable land and water around to do that.  The most likely candidate for animal protein in the Homo Sap diet moving forward into the Collapse future are insects, which really can be quite good.  Grasshoppers and Mealworms are pretty good, at least if prepared well.

There is the other side of the coin though,which is that Homo Saps have been Omnivores ever since we dropped down out of the trees a few million years ago.  We are geared to eat a mixed diet of veggies and animals, which makes us very resilient as a species.  Given the choice, most HS would choose Filet Mignon or Prime Rib over Grasshoppers & Mealworms.

There is aso the acculturation aspect.  I have been cooking and eating STEAK basically my entire life.  I like it!  Now at 63 years old with one foot already in the grave I should switch to a Vegan diet when there is stiil plenty of top quality beef  in the refrigerated  meat department at 3 Bears?  This will save the world?  OF COURSE IT WON'T!  This will go on until it can't, and all the animal rights protests won' change that.  If I don't eat that STEAK, somebody else will or it will get thrown out.  The cow is already dead.  This is an utterly useless for of trying to improve the world and Homo Sap behaviors.

Now let us move on to the STEAKS themselves, which both were among the most perfectly done I have ever cooked, which you should be able to get a good idea of from the pics. 🙂  Well seaasoned and super juicy too!  Sadly, I couldn't eat more than a couple of bites from either one straight out of the stove/oven and hot like you would get it in a restaurant.  My appetite and ability to eat has once more taken a vacation/crash.  So most of my portions went in the fridge for leftover meals.

In terms of The Cooking Zone YouTube channel, the Steak au Poivre video is likely the last one I will do for quite some time, because my physical collapse has taken a rapid and marked turn for the worse over the last 2-3 weeks.  Now, I not only cannot Walk, , but I can't even stand up or do some seat transfers.  My legs are horribly swollen and extremely painful.  So I cannot stand in the kitchen to cook, and doing it from my Ewz is not at all practical.  I am now subsisting on Frozen TV Dinners, Canned Soups and Fritos. lol.  For the record, this stuff is almost all Vegan.  Pasta dishes for the frozen, Minestrone soup and Fritos are of course just Corn Chips.  I have them with Bean Dip or Salsa, also both Vegan friendly.

I now can no longer avoid going into Hospital, and if I make it out of there alive, then into some sort of assisted living arrangement.  I would rather go to a Euthanasia Clinic, but sadly I don't think they exist here.  I will look into an Assisted Suicide.  I think it's legal in Oregon.  I'm too big a coward to do it myselft, and I would probably fuck it up.

So I am likely to be quite scarce around the Diner as time progresses here, although I will bring my laptop to hospital as I usually do and report from there. I fully expect to be admitted.  I will be shocked if I am not, although there may be a shortage of beds due to Coronavirus.

It is fitting here that my own personal Collapse so closely matched the timeline with Industrial Civilization Collapse.  About the only thing I missed here is the Zombie Apocalypse and Global Thermonuclear War.  Not sorry to miss those.

Take care of the Diner for me, I will drop enough money on the server to keep it running for a couple of years after I Buy My Ticket to the Great Beyond.

Food Preservation in Collapse: Cheesemaking

youtube-Logo-4gc2reddit-logoOff the microphones & cameras of Irv Mills & RE

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Friend us on Facebook

 

Published on The Doomstead Diner  August 30, 2020

Discuss this video at the Diner Pantry inside the Diner

Candles in Collapse

youtube-Logo-4gc2reddit-logoOff the microphones & cameras of Irv Mills & RE

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Friend us on Facebook

 

Published on The Doomstead Diner  August 23, 2020

Discuss this Video and Article at the Doomsteading Table inside the Diner

 

More  from Irv Mills and me on Collapse & Emergency Prepping, this time in the area of Heating & Lighting.

School Lunchrooms: A COVID Petri Dish

youtube-Logo-4gc2reddit-logoOff the microphone & camera of RE

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Friend us on Facebook

 

Published on The Doomstead Diner  August 16, 2020

Discuss this Vid at the Medicine & Health Table inside the Diner

 

Companion article to come later tonight or tomorrow.hopefully.  I am too wrecked right now to write, it's been a rough couple of days here.

Some Old White Cripples Once Could Jump

youtube-Logo-4gc2reddit-logoOff the microphones & cameras of Irv Mills & RE

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Friend us on Facebook

 

Published on The Doomstead Diner  August 9, 2020

Discuss this video at the Doomsteading Table inside the Diner

 

Tihs post fits under the category of my autobiographical articles which covered various parts of my life.  The longest of these was the 5 part Over the Road series of articles which covered my years in the Trucking industry, but there have been many others, covering my early years in Brazil, my years at Stuyvesant HS in NYC and my years at Columbia University as well.  I have however neglected one period of my life, the 'tween' years between when I returned from Brazil around age 10 until I headed off on the #7 Flushing Line Subway to Stuyvesant at age 13 or so.

There are a couple of reasons I am writing this post now.  One is that at this time of year, every year, I get nostalgic for the days of my youth, when I was a fast and very coordinated athlete. My birthday rolls around at the end of the month.   That's me in the pic at the left, doing a backflip in the South of France around age 29 as I recall.  Kinda hard to believe that is the same guy you see in the video above in the Header here. The Cripple who can now barely make the walk from his Cripple Cart and pretend to take a shot at the Basket.  It's hard for me to believe it myself actually.  It was Long Ago & Far Away in another Galaxy.  But so it goes, age and living hard and fast take its toll on your Meat Package, and I have done some serious damage to mine over the years, so now I get to pay the price for that.

The other more proximal reason for this post is what went on Inside the Diner on our Forum over the past 3 monts or so.  Two of the longest Diners got in a row over a Political topic they both have strong opinions on, from opposite sides of the Political Spectrum.  Basically it was about Social Justice Warriors (SJW) and Black Lives Matter (BLM).  For a good 3 months, the forum discussion was monopolized by this dispute, which became ever more vitriolic over time as neither of these ideologically pure combatants would give an INCH on the topic.  As the verbal Napalm began to flow ever more freely off both keyboards, it became nothing less than emabarassing.  Embarassing for the 2 authors of these posts which became ever more juvenile and began to resemble the commentariat of The Burning Platform back in 2010,  embarassing for the Diner because it completely took the discussions off Collapse and onto this sub-topic, and embarassing for me because I did not put a stop to it sooner.  The final straw for me came when I got this message in my e-mail:

"Can you please get these two jerks to shut the fuck up on the racism stuff?  I visit the Diner to read about the latest news in collapse, not about racial politics.  Usually you guys have done a good job with this, but I'm not going to come back here anymore if this keeps going."

I myself felt exactly the same way, *I* no longer enjoyed visiting the forum myself!  So that did it for me, I decided to use the Power of Admin to squash this shit out, no matter what the consequences.  The consequences were that  BOTH of them went Walkabout and no longer post to the Diner Forum, and say they never will again.  I suspect both of them will also blame me for this outcome, which was entirely of their own making.

One of the biggest ironies here and what brought me to the topic of Basketball was because both the combatants attempted to justify their positions with anecdotal stories along the lines of "some of my best friends are/were Black".  "I grew up as a Poor White Boy in TX, and worked with all Blacks in a factory".  "I had a co-worker who was a Black Panther back in the 60's".  etc.  On both sides, these stories are not statistically relevant arguments and justify nothing.

What this did do though was bring back in my memories the years I spent playing Hoops on the playgrounds of NY Shity.  Returning from Brazil at age 10, I really was only good at 1 Team Sport, Futbol (aka Soccer here in the FSoA) which was none too popular at that time here.  I played with almost all Black Boys from the Favelas back then.  In NYC at the time, the New York Knicks were a dominant team, with Willis Reed at Center, Dave Debuscherre & Bill Bradley at Forward, Earl Monroe & Walt Frazier in the backcourt and Phil Jackso the "6th Man" who could play any position at all and came in as regualar substitute.  A very nicely integrated Black/White team of the era.  So I decided I would learn to play Basketball.

Which I did, playing by myself usually in my school playgrpunds, mostly filled with White kids because our neighborhood was almost all Irish & Italian.  It was not until my Junior High years that I found out all the REALLY GOOD  hoops players were in the BLACK neighborhoods!  So once I FINALLY got permission from my mom to ride my bike to Jamaica (another neighborhood in Queens but mostly populated by Blacks) I would ride over there and sit on the ground watching mostly, because for at least the first half dozen or so times I went there I never got picked for a game.

This for 2 reasons basically.

#1-  I wasn't Black, I was White.  Usually I was one of the only White boys on the playground at all.

#2-  I am not Tall, and Hoops is in general a Tall Meat Package game.

So I suffered "Reverse Discrimination" in 2 areas, one because of my Skin Color, the other because I was Altitude Challenged.  This sort of discrimination though is obviously nothing compared to economic descrmination as you reach adulthood for a Black kid.  You do get some sense of it though.

Finally I got picked to play in a 3 on 3 half court game, because there was nobody else there with the right skin color and personal altitude to pick.  lol.  I finally had my shot at the "Big Leagues", for my area of Queens anyhow.  Mostly I passed the ball to the other guys, but a couple of times I got an opening and all the time I had spent doing outside Jump Shots paid off.  I SWISHED a couple from around 15-20 ft out.  The next time I got there, a Black guy name of Ruben picked me right off the bat!  He was not very fast and really not a good athlete at all, but he was pretty fucking big for 14 years old, around 6'2" and probabably 220 lb would be my guess.  He could do a good layup and he could rebound, and he could deck about anybody else playing in that playground.  No Refs in playground Hoops, nobody ever gets called for a foul.  Ruben was on the other team we had played against.  We became friends, and practiced together on give & go and fast passing and setting pick & roll.

When I got to HS I practiced more in the playgrounds of Stuyvesant Town with my friend Sheldon and I had one ULTIMATE GOAL!  To be able to STUFF the Ball through the Hoop.  But at my height at the time, this was pretty fucking hard to do.  But I was one White Boy who COULD JUMP, and eventually I worked up a technique to do it, although it took a HUGE run-up and clear sailing all the way to get it done.

So one weekend I went down to Jamaica to play with Ruben and he says to me "Black Jacks and us are getting together and we are going to Harlem to play Full Court next week with the Big Hitters.  You wanna come?"  I nodded my head and gave the Thumbs up on that one!  It was a HUGE honor just to be asked!

The guys playing Ball there were better than us, but not THAT much better.  We got beat most of the time, but ocasionally squeaked out a victory.  We were playing there a few months when my BIG BASKETBALL MOMENT of FAME finally came to pass. 🙂  Ruben was blocking up the lane waiting for rebounds, and then a shot came which I could tell was off trajectory.  I took off heading for my basket just HOPING Ruben would pull in the rebound, which he did, He hurled the ball about 15 ft in front of me and I had to run hard to catch up with it, my full speed of the time.  I was at my top speed and the basket was all clear in front of me.  So no layup this time I decided, a split second decision.  I am gonna DO IT!  In a full court game, not practice!  And so up I went with the adrenaline flowing and every ounce of energy I could muster up and I got the job DONE.  I stuffed it!  Jaws Dropped on the court (especially the girls! 🙂 )  I got the greatest compliment any White boy could get  on the asphalt, "GODDAMN!  That little Mother Fucker is a White Nigga!". lol.

Anyhow, I tell you this history to make a point about the embarassment our two Diners caused us here, which is if you ain't Black, you cannot possibly know what it like to BE Black in a White dominated society, no matter how similar your childhood experiences may have been  For a Black person from the ghetto to rise out of that poverty is even more rare than a small White guy who can jump high enough to stuff the basket.  It does happen, of course, some rare talent in music or sports usually make Millionaires out of some Black people.  Statistically speaking however, it is an extrordinarily rare event.

The outcome of this exercise in Pitching Napalm was that BOTH the Diners went Walkabout.  Not only did they ruin the Diner experience on the Forum for everyone else, they ruined it for themselves as well.  But I am certain they will both blame me for this outcome.

Collapse Food Preservation: From Cucumber to Pickle

youtube-Logo-4gc2reddit-logoOff the microphones & cameras of Irv Mills & RE

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Friend us on Facebook

 

Published on The Doomstead Diner  August 2, 2020

Discuss this video at the Doomsteading Table inside the Diner

 

   

 

This week I am back together with my Hoser counterpart in Prepping in the Great White North of Canada, Irv Mills.  This is the firrst of 3 vids, this one on Pickling.  The topics covered in the other 2 vids will remain a clsely guarded secret until I actually publish them for the following 2 Collapse Cafe Sunday Brunch Specials. 🙂  A little Mystery & Anticipation always makes opening the Present more fun!

Actually, the three vids were all recorded in one looonnng session, but I know most viewers of Prep Vids don't have a long enough attention span, so I cut the vid into 3 reasonable size chunks.  It also divided up quite nicely into 3 separate topics.

In this first vid, Irv explains the process first of grwoing the cucmbers, then the processing of those Cukes into Pickles.  It's quite a complete tutorial on Pickle Making from the very beginning of the process of grwoing the cukes out of the ground to bottling them for long term preservation in the absence of electricity and refrigertion,

I am trying to get Irv to make me some Garlic-Dill Half Sour Pickles that are as good (or better!) than my favorite commercially purchased pickle from my NY Shity years, Batampte Half Sours.  Made in a Pickle Factorry in Brooklyn, I have only rarely found them in the Food Superstores since I left that sewer more than a Quarrter Century ago,  I have never found them here on the Last Great Frontier of Alaska.  I'll give them a plug though in case you live in a neighborhood thatt carries them

Fight me: Ba-Tampte Half Sour pickles are the best grocery store pickles

Moving On

Off the keyboard of K-Dog

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Friend us on Facebook

Published on the Doomstead Diner on July 30 2020

Discuss this article at the Favorite Dishes Table of the Diner

 

There are days when rolling your own blog is worth doing and today is a day like that. Last week also had a day like that when I hosted my own video (extracted from a tweet I was shown) and sidestepped You Tube censors. That felt good, very good. If I did not have my own blog as a place to post my heart would have felt chilled. I'd be unable to express myself. No options. I would have been silenced and I know what being silenced feels like. The humiliation of being silenced without options is hard to take. I have been silenced before which is how I became aware of special attention for the first time.

s K-Dog Experienced?   If it involves needles, no. But If I ever meet Edward Snowden I'd ask him

how many of us were getting the kind of special attention I was getting when he absquatulated. He would know.

 

Since then, I've posted an original Standing Rock video because I know someone who was there. My K-Dog for president KDFP escapade is not going unnoticed I'm sure. So I was not surprised that Homeland Security You Tube censors eliminated the video in my sidebar before I could even link to it. Less than two minutes. Thankfully HTML 5 makes embedding your own videos very easy. If you have access to a place where you can post some HTML that is. As I do.

I am aware I have personal attention. Everything I do is closely watched, but I am not writing to grind that ax. Things are happening that are a lot bigger than I am. The nation is being ripped apart and the ripple effects of executive mismanagement by Donald Trump are everywhere. People are turning on each other. Anger at the leader of the American Empire can't be meaningfully expressed and this is leading to that anger being 'acted out' in different ways. The anger is feeding on itself and growing.

I don't like gore and the video I have posted in my sidebar is hard to watch. (direct link here) A sanitized version was played by major main-stream media and my video is the part at the end which was cut from the publicly shown version. The American government would like people to think less-lethal munitions are less lethal and the video I show gives perspective which suggests otherwise. I wish the violence had never happened and the video did not need to be shown, but it happened and it does. The video needs to be shown.

Americans spend most of their waking hours lost in one fantasy or another. They have trouble appreciating reality and their fantasies tend to become more real than reality itself. The video in my sidebar helps to provide a lacking perspective. It is a frightening to know that Americans believe themselves to be well-informed, educated, and immune from propaganda. That belief is a lot easier to deal with than reality and we all like easy. Dealing with the truth would be a lot of work. America lives in a soup of propaganda and most people don't, I am sad to say, know propaganda for what it is.

For years, I have been active on the internet posting comments under articles and engaging in dialog with all sorts of people. This began with my interest in 'peak oil' which I became interested in on my own at an early age and long before the birth of the internet. An author widely read years ago among peak-oil people was James Howard Kunstler who wrote the 'Long Emergency' which describes that the end of oil will bring a storm of converging catastrophes into America's future. Jims' ability to write made him one of the minor gurus in the Peak Oil Movement and Jim has a blog called Clusterfuck Nation. I became a frequent commenter at Jims' blog and was for over ten years. Yesterday I decided I would not be commenting there in the future. Too long have I ignored James Howard Kunstlers' right wing conservatism and his insensitivity to other people.

Whenever you cease an activity you are able to make observations which you had been previously suppressing. I am a better man than most of the filth Jim allows to inhabit his blog. That is a truth and I need to own it. I can admit this now because a serious and well-thought-out comment which I wrote was censored by Jim yesterday. I don't take it as a personal affront. Someone who has their own blog does not have to explain what they do with their own property. They can do what they want. All they need to do is live with the consequences.

So through the years it comes down to the guttural expressions of right wing tyranny allowed at Clusterfuck Nation is what James Howard Kunstler is really all about. He is not interested in contrary points of view or the notion that the world could be a better place even on the way down. So I am gone. JHK is now a full-metal Trump supporter who wants the protest in America shut down. He considers the protest, unlike I, to have no rational basis at all. He considers no middle ground. Donald Trump is going Qasem Soleimani on Americans and we can't abide this. Fortunately the readership of Clusterfuck Nation is small and its role to the American government is primarily one of a Honey Trap (caught me it did) and it is not an organ of influence.

I did not like Mayor Ted Wheeler who had been tear-gassed by Trump troops being disparaged by JHK. I don't like a duly-elected mayor being tear-gassed by federal troops without there being profuse apologies no matter who they are. So I'm done with the curmudgeon. I don't want to be one.

* The above was posted at chasingthesquirrel.com yesterday before I had to go to Seattle to pick up my car which had spent last night at a dealership for service.  On the way home…

More agent provocateur violence. A Large peaceful protest today in Seattle induced by Trump troop presence. I was in Seattle, the dog-mobile had a recall inspection because the sun roof on my car could de-bond resulting in the sunroof possibly flying off the car at speed or something. Turns out my car is safe, not all cars have the problem.

As I returned to my side of Lake Washington I drove through a thick plume of black smoke which was blowing over I-90. A group of agent provocateurs had lit dumpsters on fire at the Seattle Youth Shelter. The same group then raged along the street smashing car windshields. This is a neighborhood where a lot of minorities live. I hope their insurance is paid up.

Nearby a Starbucks was trashed. I hope the employees were not hurt. The Subway shop next door was untouched showing the vandalism is targeted. I remember the trouble in the news a couple of years ago and why Starbucks would be a target of Boogaloo instigation. But a nearby minority owned hair salon which also had customers inside was also attacked. That one is going to be hard to blame on BLM or Antifa. Hate may have made a mistake there and succumbed to temptation. I hope the hair salon has insurance.

It seems to me the American Führer is playing both sides to make himself look good in an American Kristallnacht. As Americans do not consider themselves propagandized, Trumps' ploy could work. I'm not sure it will because Trump incompetence and racism is so egregious. But I'm afraid if I look at history I may find myself wrong.

I knew a dog named Boogaloo once. She was a Cockapoo.

 

Note from RE:  I did not spend near the time on Jimmy's Blog that K-Dog did.  I think he booted me off after about 5-6 posts in the commentariat.  lol.  I did however have several long correspondences with him via email, partcularly when we ran the Human Extinction Survey here on the Diner.  Other notables like Dr. McStinksion and Dmitry Orlov also part of that email stream.  I do not know if JHK is connected to the NSA or any other "Honey Trap" out there.  I can tell you however he is a first class asshole, much the same as Dimitry and Mr. Wizard John Michael Greer.  JHK is a good writer and can turn a phrase quite well, but he is a jerk, and he hasn't had a decent new insight in at least a decade.

 

Sunday, Bloody Sunday 2

gc2reddit-logoOff the keyboard, camera & microphone of RE

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Friend us on Facebook

 

Published on the Doomstead Diner on July 26, 2020

Discuss this article at the Kitchen Sink inside the Diner

 

It's been a Bloody Week in the World of Collapse, and inside the Diner as well.  Never a dull moment inside the Diner, but this was an exceptionally strife ridden week.  Things have calmed down now some though, since the 2 Diners causing the most havoc and making life unpleasant for everyone have decided to go Walkabout.  These 2 guys are like the 2 guys from the original Star Trek series episode "The Alternative Factor".  It's the same guy, but they come from different Universes, one made mostly of Matter, the other mostly of Anti-Matter.  If they ever come in direct contact with each other, both Universes are instantly annihiliated.

They came as close as we have ever been to the annihiliation of the Diner Forum, but thankfully we survived it. 🙂  Together they did a better job of Nuking the Forum than all our worst Trolls of the past, known colloquially on the Diner ast Moriarty, Watson & F-Bomb.  Somewhat amazing to me that 2 long time Diners I consider friends would be so destructive.  It is now once again however a safe place to have a rational and respectful discussion of Collapse issues.

In the world at large, today I cover 3 major Collapse stories in progress, the Demonstrations which began in Portland and now have expanded to other cities as well. POTUS Donalditry Trumpovetsky sent in the SS to make Political Points with his Base as the "Law & Order" President, which so far has pretty much backfired on him as almost everything he does is ill conceived and poorly executed.

After that, I cover the required COVID story, which is more about Education since the Public Skules are scheduled to fully reopen here on the Last Great Frontier in less than 3 weeks.  This as new COVID cases climb here exponentially, with much of the disease problem being brought to Alaska by the Commercial Fishing industry.

Finally, I discuss the latest brouhaha with China, this time WRT the Embassies each one has in the other country.  In tit-for-tat fashion, both countries are requiring the other country to close its embassies.  This of course is another harbinger of War on the Horizon.

So, fix yourself a Loaded Bloody Mary and enjoy another 20 minutes reviewing the world in Collapse with me.  Try my new Anti-COVID Bloody Mary recipe as well!  It may not actually help, but it certainly will make you feel better (although your Breath will smell worse).  lol.

Education in the Age of COVID-19

gc2reddit-logoOff the keyboard, camera & microphone of RE

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Friend us on Facebook

 

Published on the Doomstead Diner on July 19, 2020

Disuss this article at the Education Table inside the Diner

 

 

The Grand Reopening has turned into an Epic Failure, although not according to the Imbecile in Chief who gets on the Tube and spits out on bald faced lie after lie.  Basically he believes if he says it, that makes it true.  Fortunately I think this approach is losing its effectiveness even with his "base"  Coronavirus isn't a political problem, it's a health problem and you can't sweep100,000 Dead People under the rug.  They need to be buried, by the truckload.  Bring out the Caterpillar Back Hoe for digging the mass graves.

The biggest of the many COVID issues to lately become the hot potato pollitical football is the Education issue and the reopening of the Public Skules in the fall.  The normal reopening date is around a month away, and Trumpovetsky wants a full reopening, everywhere because in his warped mind, Amerika has won the battle against Coronavirus.  This is of course preposterous as cases spike up in many states even without reopened schools.  It's inevitable if kids go back to school they'll pass around the virus,bring it home and pass it on to other family members.  What is even more insane is some school districts are advocating reopening without even requiring masks or social distancing!  You just can't get more reckless than that.

So what possible solutions are there to this Morton's Fork?  Well, there is no real solution that doesn't have huge blowback, which is why it's a Morton's Fork. However, there are a few things we might do to ameliorate the problem in the near term:

 

Recommendations for an Education Plan from RE, M.S.Ed

1- Get rid of Donalditry Trumpovetsky.  He's the most dangerous man on the planet  right now.

2- Establish a nationwide, comprehensive Distance Learning program.  Distance Learning has many problems, because parents often don't monitor it or enforce it too well.  This is particularly important in the elementary grades.  But at the moment, it's about the best we can do.  Without the active participation of parents in the Elementary school grades, Virtual Classroom learning is virtually useless.

3- Reconfigure classrooms currently configured for 30 kids in the room to 6 kids in a room, and have them rotate and come in once a week for a review session with a live in person teacher.  Require Masks, hand sanitizers and gloves.  Open Air Classrooms are another possibility, particularly in the warmer climates of the Southern States, where the biggest spike ups are currently occuring.  The school vacation time can also be changed, and make the long vacation from December-February, instead of May-August so outdoor classes are more plausible through most of the year.

———————————————–

Another problem has cropped up in higher education, where many small colleges are now going bankrupt. Blowback from that is many of the local biznesses that depend on the college kids for their income, also going bankrupt.  College kids doing Online classes will not save the local cafes from bankruptcy.  In all likelihood, these towns wil suffer economic death over the next year or two.  Property values will fall, and the Rentiers will go bankrupt too.  It is a Cascade Failure of the system.

The education system as pursued since the 19th Century and the beginning of the Industrial system has alway been a terriffic failure, getting ever worse over time.  It's job was to warehouse kids until they were old enough to become workers in the industrial machine.  It is a system in need of eradication anyhow, and if this helps hurry that along, all to the good.  But how will kids get an Education, how will they get Socialized you ask?  Prior to the late 1800s, there were no real Public Skules, and kids got educated just fine and socialized just fine.  It's not the only possible model for education.

Moving forward into the future of Collapse, many things being taught now simply will not be necessary and many things currently not  taught will be.  Education needs a top to bottom revision and reexamination of its goals.  Coronavirus gives us the opportunity to do that.

————————-

Finally, in today's video I discuss nutrition and a few of my recipes to help you in the Battle against COVID-19.  None of my advice should be considered Medical advice, nor has it been in any way tested for its efficacy and effectiveness.  It is however based on sound Nutritional principles, and generations of Jewish Grandmothers will swear by it.

Jewish Penicillin

Collapse, you say? Part 1: Introduction

gc2reddit-logoOff the keyboard of Irv Mills

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Friend us on Facebook

Published on The Easiest Person to Fool on June 30, 2020

Discuss this article at the Kitchen Sink inside the Diner

 

New Bamboo
2020

Most of the writing I have done for this blog assumes that my readers are at the very least open to thinking about the collapse of our civilization, and more likely that they have already accepted it as probable and are interested in discussing the details of how it might happen and how to cope with it. But it is pretty clear to me that the general public, even in the midst of a global pandemic, are not ready to entertain the idea that civilization could collapse. If I bring up the idea, the response is most likely to be, "Collapse, you say? Surely not."

There are a number of reasons for that attitude, the simplest being a cognitive bias against change—the feeling that tomorrow is likely to be pretty much like today. This is aided and abetted by a lot of propaganda about how great BAU (Business as Usual) really is and the progress it promises for the future. Indeed, we are told that there simply isn't any better way of running the world than neo-liberal capitalism, no real alternatives at all. We've been told this for so long (at least the 30 years or so since the USSR fell) and so forcefully that most of the world's population is experiencing an almost complete failure of imagination. And that is both a failure to imagine any better way of running things, and a failure to conceive what the consequences might be if we continue as we are.

Along with this, when the subject of collapse does come up, it is almost always discussed in terms of a hard and fast collapse—more of an apocalypse, really—which understandably stirs up such feelings of fear that people retreat into denial. But even minor suggestions of things like "degrowth" are not well received—we've been promised on-going progress, and any suggestion that a reduction in our consumption level, a little less comfort and convenience, might be in order, is met with consternation. You hear people saying that, if that's what's ahead of us, they'd rather be dead.

On the other hand, there are people like me who are convinced that the collapse of our civilization is either already happening or soon will be. Why do we think that?

It might be wise at this point to dig a little deeper into what I mean by "the collapse of our civilization". Well, one characteristic of all civilizations is that their individual members are not entirely self sufficient—they rely at least to some extent on the mechanisms of production and distribution built into their civilization for the necessities of life. What those necessities might be varies with who you ask. My list includes air, water, food, housing, health care, education and meaningful work, all provided in a context where people feel that they belong, where help is available when you need it and where you have a role to play in helping others when they need it. Of course, there are many approaches to how these necessities are to be acquired, and various ideas about what constitutes enough.

In our "industrial" society, since the invention of heat engines powered by fossil fuels, the production and distribution of what is needed has largely been mechanized. Our population is hardly self sufficient at all—only very rarely do we make anything we need with our own hands. And only a very few people, living in the remotest locations are independent of this system. We have filled up essentially the whole world, and converted it to our uses, so that a return to subsistence agriculture or hunting and gathering would not be possible for most of us even if we wanted it, and most of us don't.

When a civilization starts to collapse, its mechanisms of production and distribution begin to work less and less well. A decline in both population and complexity ensues. In our industrial society, where human and animal muscles have been largely replaced by machines powered by various forms of energy, there will also be a significant reduction in energy use and consumption of manufactured goods.

All this continues until the collapsing civilization either falls apart completely or overcomes its difficulties and recovers in a different form. In the past it often took hundreds of years for a civilization to collapse. My opinion is that our society started to collapse about 50 years ago and has a few decades, or at least years, left to go. But however long it may take to get to the end of the process, it is important to realize that, nowadays, collapse is going on around us all the time.

A scholarly expert on collapse might now offer some numerical measures to help us judge when a society has actually collapsed. I like to look at that a little differently, to turn it on its head, so to speak. I would say that if you, as an individual, are no longer being supplied with the necessities of life then for you collapse has already occurred, even though everything is going along quite normally for the people driving over the bridge that you are living under.

I seems to me that collapsing civilizations share some characteristics, and I can see those characteristics in events today:

  • One, collapse progresses slowly, so that if you're viewing it from inside and it hasn't hit you with any great force as yet, you may be hard pressed to recognize what is happening.
  • Two, collapse progresses uneven geographically—some places continue to do just fine while others fall apart disastrously. If you live in an area that is not yet affected, you may wonder what all the fuss is about, or at least think that while it's tough for those other folks, it can't happen to you.
  • Three, collapse progresses unsteadily in the chronological sense, with long periods where nothing much changes, separated by sudden steps downward. During those long quiet periods, you could be excused for thinking that everything is just fine because, at least on the surface, it is.
  • And four, collapse progresses unequally across social classes. The upper, ruling classes are in control (as much as anyone is) and have the wherewithal to direct resources to their own benefit, and away from the lower classes. And because they can get by just fine without knowing much at all about how things are going in the rest of society, they are often unaware that there is any sort of problem. Of course, when collapse finally does hit them, it is felt all the harder because they have never experienced hard times. For those at the bottom of the social ladder, collapse is just more of the same shit they've been putting up with all along.

Ideally, as an individual, family, or community in a collapsing civilization, you would like to be aware of what's coming, prepare for it and eventually succeed in adapting to it. But as you can see from the four points I've just listed, this is difficult because it's hard to tell what's going on until it's too late.

This started out as a simple, "one post topic", but now it looks like it is going to take about five posts to clearly get across why I think collapse is happening and to have a look at what options we have and where this process is likely to take us:

  • This post, in which I've introduced the subject.
  • Two, in which I'll look at the inputs and output of our civilization and what is wrong with the way they are being handled.
  • Three, in which I'll look inside our civilization at its fundamental, structural weaknesses.
  • Four, in which we'll look at how all this has been and continues to contribute to collapse.
  • And five, in which, we'll look at several possibilities for our future—what the rest of this collapse may look like.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

And so it continues.JOWLink: https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/state/sa/2020/11/27/fires-heatwave-australia-november/Text: Fires ignite as sweltering heat moves across SE Australiasa bushfire emergencyThe CFS says the fire may pose a threat to pub...

Actually good to see it is being investigated. We have a pretty good rule of law here in Oz. Lots of other stuff gets ignored by authorities.Thats what bought WIKI leaks to the fore; collateral murder.JOW

Disbanding one troop of the SAS so far.. Will be a few war crimes charges laid from this. Pretty ordinary behavious; shooting un-armed civilians. Everything you are told as a grunt should tell you this is not legal. Has brought the whole SAS regiment i...

Quote from: Eddie on November 25, 2020, 05:47:46 PMFigured it was about time for you guys to be getting a little early winter. Well done.yup, luckily the new property is 700ft lower in elevation and 90 minutes south so t...

Figured it was about time for you guys to be getting a little early winter. Well done.

Recent Facebook Posts

No recent Facebook posts to show

Diner Twitter feed

Diner Newz Feeds

  • Surly
  • Agelbert
  • Knarf
  • Golden Oxen
  • Frostbite Falls

Quote from: UnhingedBecauseLucid on March 18, 2019 [...]

CleanTechnicaSupport CleanTechnica’s work via dona [...]

QuoteThe FACT that the current incredibly STUPID e [...]

Quote from: K-Dog on February 24, 2020, 06:23:52 P [...]

I wonder how much these coins have been debased? [...]

Precious tip of the day.....Buy silver NOW  She [...]

Scientists have unlocked the power of gold atoms b [...]

Quote from: azozeo on August 14, 2019, 10:41:33 AM [...]

I am OUT of Jury Service!  I got summoned to be a [...]

Quote from: Eddie on May 16, 2020, 10:30:30 AMQuot [...]

Quote from: RE on May 16, 2020, 08:20:06 AMQuote f [...]

Quote from: RE on May 16, 2020, 08:20:06 AMQuote f [...]

Alternate Perspectives

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

Getting Out of Dodge By Cognitive Dissonance     Recently I received an email from a reader who aske [...]

Penalizing Prudence By Cognitive Dissonance     “Economy, prudence, and a simple life are the sure m [...]

Harvest at Chez Cog By Cognitive Dissonance   It became obvious to Mrs. Cog and I by early February [...]

  Perhaps a Crumble Rather Than a Collapse Chapter One By Cognitive Dissonance     “...we can endure [...]

The Flim-Flam Men by Cognitive Dissonance   I suspect if average Joe or Jane were asked to identify [...]

Event Update For 2020-11-25http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

Event Update For 2020-11-24http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

Event Update For 2020-11-23http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

Event Update For 2020-11-22http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

Event Update For 2020-11-21http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

In the meantime, industrialised chickens – and their viruses – have come home to roost in Victoria, [...]

Based on extensive scientific research, a fictional reminder that COVID-19 is but a mild pandemic – [...]

In other words, treat COVID-19 like a dry-run for the upcoming "big one" [...]

However don't expect strikes and yellow vests to fix underlying problems [...]

Daily Doom Photo

man-watching-tv

Sustainability

  • Peak Surfer
  • SUN
  • Transition Voice

"Can a global population of 8 to 10 billion people be fed, sheltered, kept healthy, and still h [...]

"70 million USAnians voted for Krusty the maniacal clown instead of Mr. Rogers. Is it that we g [...]

"Pandemic lockdowns curtailed jet travel, closed shops and schools, and reduced global dimming [...]

"Biophysical inertia, technological lock in, and the socioeconomic addictions we hear parroted [...]

The Great Pause Week 32: Deficit Spending"Many people reject the notion that we could already be beyond carrying capacity, but try to pi [...]

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 [...]

Camus didn't predict Covid, but he studied enough about pandemics throughout history to depict [...]

Sarah Chayes spent decades studying networks of corruption in the Third World. Now she's findin [...]

What extinction crisis? Believe it or not, there are still climate science deniers out there. And th [...]

My new book, Abolish Oil Now, will talk about why the climate movement has failed and what we can do [...]

A new climate protest movement out of the UK has taken Europe by storm and made governments sit down [...]

Top Commentariats

  • Our Finite World
  • Economic Undertow

In reply to Mirror on the wall. So which part of the USA are YOU in? [...]

In reply to Mirror on the wall. Conference times 28‐30 November, 2020 10:00am‐5:00pm GMT You can con [...]

Re: live SNP annual conference this Saturday The SNP annual conference takes place this Saturday. It [...]

Tim Watkins goes negative on the Great Reset: https://consciousnessofsheep.co.uk/2020/11/27/the-real [...]

In reply to Bill Sodomsky. While it's great to read new stuff from Steve in its own right, ther [...]

Hi Steve, I'm sure that I speak for many others when I say it sure would be good to hear from y [...]

In reply to steve from virginia. Kind of like the opposite of, "Oops, there it is"? [...]

The President of the USA has the disease coronavirus. This disease is known to cause acute breathing [...]

I was born in 1947. Shortly several billion young people, around the world, will realise that my gen [...]

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

Sri Lanka is experiencing various social and environmental challenges, including drought, storms, fl [...]

Crop yield depends on multiple factors, including climate conditions, soil characteristics, and avai [...]

Recently, assessments of global climate model (GCM) ensembles have transitioned from using unweighte [...]

Increasing evidence of changing climate patterns is being observed, and the impact of this change on [...]

The Chitwan Annapurna Landscape (CHAL) is the central part of the Himalayas and covers all bioclimat [...]