Doughnut Economics

Off the keyboard of Ugo Bardi

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Published on Cassandra's Legacy on June 17, 2017

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Doughnut Economics:a step forward, but not far enough

Doughnut Economics, by Kate Raworth (Chelsea Green, 2017) is an interesting book that goes in the right direction in the sense that it promotes a circular economy, But it leaves you with the impression that it missed that extra step that would have lead it to define the goal in the right way. Bridging the gap between standard economics and biophysical economics is still far away.

So, what is this "Doughnut" that gives the title to the book? Initially, I had imagined that it was supposed to be a sort of mandala representing the concept of circular economy. But that doesn't seem to be the case: circular mandalas often represent the cyclical movement of a wheel, but the doughnut doesn't (as, indeed, most doughnuts are not supposed to be used as wheels). Here is how it is represented in the book:
 

It is described as "a radically new compass for guiding humanity this century." Ambitious, to say the least, but how is that supposed to work, exactly? Maybe […] Continue Reading…

SUN☼ Finds a Home Base

Off the keyboard of RE

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Published on The Doomstead Diner July 5, 2017

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This article is a continuation of a long running series of articles I have written on Gypsy-style, on the road living.  It actually began in the earliest years of the Diner with my Over the Road series, which chronicled my years as an OTR Trucker.  In that case, I was travelling all over the Lower 48 plus some Mejico and Canada and living in my Freightliner tractor, pulling 20 tons of some shit for Konsumers to buy at some store somewhere.

In this new iteration, it began a month or two ago with the purchase of my Stealth Van (now Christened SaVANnah), a 1999 Conversion Van on a Ford Chassis which I got for the bargain price of $5000.  It's in great shape, and after several Tests already, I am quite confident on its mechanics for long trips OTR.  The goal now for next year is to bring Brother RE's Travelling Collapse Salvation Show to the Sheeple in the Lower 48 who don't frequent internet collapse websites.  Not sure I will actually be able to […] Continue Reading…

Water Commons Thinkery Report

Off the keyboard of Mark Garavan

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Published on FEASTA on June 27, 2017

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A Thinkery on Water Commons was held in UCC on Friday, June 23rd. This event was jointly organised by Feasta’s Water Commons group and Orla O’Donovan from UCC, Patrick Bresnihan from TCD, and Kevin Flanagan. There were a total of sixty participants. The event was over-subscribed with quite a number of people therefore unable to attend. The Thinkery was however recorded for video and this should be available in a month or two.

The following is a very brief Report on the event. There were five parts to the Thinkery, each of which lasted an hour.

The first part was facilitated by Roisin O’Gorman from the Theatre Department of UCC. She guided participants in a bodily exercise designed to enable us connect with the water within us. We are after all composed of at least 50% water. This was a very calming exercise which also involved challenging our dominant metaphors of field and space in favour of water metaphors such as flow, pool, lapping and so on.

Next, Patrick Bresnihan led a dialogue with Miriam Planas who is […] Continue Reading…

Paleofuturism

Off the keyboard of Albert Bates

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Published on Peak Surfer on June11, 2017

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"We haven’t hit the temperature levels we can expect from current CO2 levels, and by the time we do, CO2 levels will be even higher."

 

According to Danish politician Karl Kristian Steincke, “It is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future.” Steincke was cataloging a comment made in the 1937–38 session of the Danish Parliament (without translation: “Det er vanskeligt at spaa, især naar det gælder Fremtiden”), which if you consider what befell Denmark shortly thereafter, was prescient.

 

 

It was too good a line to attribute to Danish politicians, so it fell to less rigorous quotists to ascribe it to Yogi Berra, Mark Twain or Sam Goldwin.

 

 

It seems especially apt when we read predictions of what the world will be like at mid-century or later. Truth is, nobody can know — and less now than before. This is not your parents’ future any more.

 

At the risk of serving our readers more dollups of doomer porn — after only just telling ourselves to stop doing that because it frightens people — we have been reminded of the Michael Mann hockey stick chart […] Continue Reading…

Going on a Land Hunt

Off the keyboard of RE

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Published on The Doomstead Diner July 2, 2017

 

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This is Part 4, the final installment of the Alaska Sustainability series.

Read Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3 at the Links.

In our last episode of this 4 part series on the Survivability and Sustainability of Alaska once TSHTF here in Collapse, I took a Road Trip up to Talkeetna in my new Stealth Van (now Christened with the name SaVannah) to have a look at a possible piece of property for the first SUN☼stead.  Prior to that in Part 2, I looked at the property through the lens of Google Earth, which without actually going there and for FREE, you can get a pretty good fly over view of just about any patch of land on earth.  It's a great tool, and these days you wonder how anyone could search down a real good property without it?

As good as it is though, it's still no substitute for Boots on the Ground investigation of a property you might want to fork over your hard won FRNs for.  There's a lot more to consider than […] Continue Reading…

Fear and loathing on the Afghan Silk Road

Off the keyboard of Pepe Escobar

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Published on Asia Times on June 21, 2017

An Afghan policeman looks at the bloodstains of victims outside a mosque where a suicide bomber detonated a bomb in Kabul, June 16, 2017. Photo: Reuters / Omar Sobhani

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Will the New Silk Roads, a.k.a. Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) ever manage to cross the Hindu Kush?

Temerity is the name of the game. Even though strategically located astride the Ancient Silk Road, and virtually contiguous to the US$50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) – a key BRI node – Afghanistan is still mired in war.

It’s easy to forget that way back in 2011 – even before President Xi Jinping announced BRI, in Kazakhstan and Indonesia, in 2013 – the then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton touted her own Silk Road, in Chennai. No wonder the State Dept.’s vision bit Hindu Kush dust – because it assumed war-torn Afghanistan as the plan’s lynchpin.

The state of play in Afghanistan in 2017 is even more depressing. Dysfunctional does not even begin to describe the administration that emerged out of the fractious 2014 presidential election and which passes for a […] Continue Reading…

Industry Kills & The Columbo Gambit

Off the keyboard of Thomas Lewis

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Published on The Daily Impact  May 1 & May 3, 2017

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Industry Kills What Industry Touches: Now Solar Power

Podcast: Play in new window | Download

 

 

 

 

Concentrated solar power — in which sunlight is focused to boil water, for example, which then is used to generate power — is the highest industrial form of renewable energy. And is turning out to be a very big mistake.

 

 

 

 

When a practice arises that is detrimental to the profits of industry — you know, any practice that helps to heal the planet and its human occupiers — industry has a long-practiced, graduated response. First it ignores, then it attacks, and if all else fails it co-opts, and having co-opted, advertises heavily.

Organic farming, for example, was first ignored as a fad, then derided as “no way to feed the world,” then co-opted. Now every other box and package in any supermarket, including cow milk and chicken parts, bears the label “organic.” And by this stage, you know it’s a lie. When asked if he would seek federal certification as an organic grower (federal certification follows industrialization, as […] Continue Reading…

Whither the Future of Food?

Off the keyboard of Geoffrey Chia

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on June 29, 2017

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SHOULD OUR FUTURE FOOD PRODUCTION BE LEFT IN THE HANDS OF FRAUDSTERS AND THEIR CHEAP SLUTS?

by Geoffrey Chia, June 2017

Dear Doomstead Diners.

I am postponing the final instalment of my medical series "Lessons learned from death and near death experiences part 4" in favour of the juicy email exchange below. Minimising the catastrophic devastation of our biosphere and saving as many lives as we can requires more than just changing our light bulbs, it requires changing our lifestyles. It requires more than just promoting good, it requires fighting evil. The following relates to the latter and refers to a meeting held at the “Global Change Institute” of the University of Queensland on 5 June 2017. https://www.gci.uq.edu.au/events/are-we-getting-outcomes-we-want-our-food-system.

Those who look the other way in the face of atrocities are guilty of enabling those atrocities. Those who remain silent in the face of fraud are guilty of perpetrating that fraud. My goal is not to convert "the powers that be" to do the right thing using evidence and reason. That will simply not happen. I […] Continue Reading…

The Itchy & Scratchy Show

Off the keyboard of RE

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Published on The Doomstead Diner June 28, 2017

 

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As regular Diners know, I have been battling many health issues resulting from my injury to my neck along with chronic spinal deterioration.  Immediate symptoms after the injury were overall muscle weakness, partial paralysis of my right arm, bowel immediacy issues (when you gotta go, you gotta go!), tinnitis ("ringing" in the ears) and severe pain for a couple of months which eventually calmed down to just steady medium level pain.  All of these stem from the same place, the injury to the C3-C5 vertebrae, where the nerve bundle got squished down to about 2 centimeters.  You're normally supposed to have around 8cm of space in there for your spinal chord.  It stayed this way for quite some time, because I was uninsured and I wasn't going to go in without insurance, because first off just the testing would nearly have wiped me out financially, and second after that I wouldn't have been able to afford the price of an operation, so why bother spending the money on testing?

Injuries this high up […] Continue Reading…

Interview with Ugo Bardi

Off the keyboard of Ugo Bardi

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Published on Cassandra's Legacy on June 7, 2017

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…Climate, Fossil Fuels, Resources and All That

 

The MEDEAS project team at a recent meeting in Barcelona. At the center, the project coordinator, Jordi Solé, Another group of well-intentioned people engaged in saving the planet. Yes, we know it is difficult: we are doing our best. 

 

 

This interview was recorded this February and is reported here from the site of the European Project MEDEAS, only minimally edited. Take into account that none of the people involved (interviewers and interviewed) are native English speakers and you can understand why the grammar and the syntax are, well, let's just say "not perfect". Then, as in all non-edited interviews, the flow of the concepts is also far from being perfect. However, I thought to reproduce it here because it contains much of what I have been trying to say, lately. Maybe you'll find it interesting (U.B.)

On 17th February 2017, during MEDEAS first General Assembly in Brno, Czech Republic, Ugo Bardi from INSTM, partner of MEDEAS Project was interviewed by Mikuláš Černík for Deník Referendum, an independent online newspaper focused […] Continue Reading…

Collapse Step by Step, Part 2: End Points

Off the keyboard of Irvine Mills

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Published on The Doomstead Diner June 26, 2017

Kincardine Harbour and Lighthouse, June 16, 2017

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In a recent post I talked about how we can expect the collapse of our civilization to be slow and bumpy—uneven geographically, unsteady chronologically and unequal socially. But I was deliberately vague about what's going to happen first, where collapse will go from there and where it will end up. I suspect many of my readers found this rather unsatisfying—I know I did. In this and my next few posts I'll be getting down to the "nitty-gritty" details of collapse.

Number one on that list is that collapse is already happening, and has been since the early 1970s, when oil production in the continental United States peaked and America's shiny new world empire began to crumble.

We'll get back to that soon, but today I want to talk about the end point of the process. Or rather, I should say "end points", since I don't expect things will decline to the same level across the whole planet. Allowing for that, where will we be when collapse is complete and […] Continue Reading…

Maiden Voyage of SaVANnah

Off the keyboard of RE

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Published on The Doomstead Diner June 25, 2017

 

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This is Part 3 of a 4 Part series on the sustainability of Alaska in a post-Collapse World, and how to make it happen.

Read Part 1 HERE. Read Part 2 HERE.

 

In our last episode of the Alaska Sustainability & Resilience series, we shifted the focus of the location of the first SUN☼stead from South Carolina to either Alaska or the Pacific Northwest of OR, WA, ID and MT.  This due mainly to the MONEY problem of raising enough FRNs to pull off a project like SUN☼ in the relatively expensive neighborhood of the East Coast of the FSoA.  Besides the expense were the problems of the presence of Nuke Puke reactors in the neighborhood, plus the fact this area has already been developed for the most part around the unsustainable Suburban Car dependent model.  So, Plan B has been implemented to look for cheaper land in a less populated area with NO NUKES!

Since I LIVE in Alaska and am currently twiddling my thumbs waiting for my SSA Hearing to resolve the dispute between […] Continue Reading…

The Way

Off the keyboard of Albert Bates

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Published on Peak Surfer on June 4, 2017

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"Patterns of regenerative thinking augur regenerative patterns of living and the reverse is also true."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Ten years ago, Brian Eno suggested a word to convey the extreme creativity that groups, places or “scenes” can occasionally generate. The word he came up with is “scenius.” Scenius is like genius, only embedded in a scene rather than in genes.

 

 

In a Wired interview  in 2011, Kevin Kelly described the idea this way:

Really, we should think of ideas as connections,in our brains and among people. Ideas aren’t self-contained things; they’re more like ecologies and networks. They travel in clusters.

Historical examples are the Yosemite rock climbers Camp 4 in the 1930s, Building 20 at MIT, the Algonquin Round Table, Silicon Valley, Soho, Burning Man, the North Beach of the Big Island in the 1950s, Greenwich Village, the Panhandle flats in the Haight in the 1960s, Glastonbury, Akwesasne, the affinity groups at Seabrook, the bioregional congresses, the World Social Fora, the UN climate summits, and the Amazonian Shamanism conferences.

We have been lucky to stumble into a number of those […] Continue Reading…

Blood on the tracks of the New Silk Roads

Off the keyboard of Pepe Escobar

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Published on Asia Times on June 14, 2017

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China’s cardinal foreign policy imperative is to refrain from interfering abroad while advancing the proverbial good relations with key political actors – even when they may be at each other’s throats.

Still, it’s nothing but gut-wrenching for Beijing to watch the current, unpredictable, Saudi-Qatari standoff. There’s no endgame in sight, as plausible scenarios include even regime change and a seismic geopolitical shift in Southwest Asia – what a Western-centric view calls the Middle East.

And blood on the tracks in Southwest Asia cannot but translate into major trouble ahead for the New Silk Roads, now rebranded Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

When he said, on the record, “I decided … the time had come to call on Qatar to end its funding [of terrorism]”, President Trump essentially took credit for the Saudi/UAE-orchestrated excommunication of Doha, the aftermath of his now notorious sword dance in Riyadh.

 

 

 

 

US President Donald Trump and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud attend the Arab Islamic American Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 21, 2017. Photo: Reuters

Trump’s senior staff though maintains […] Continue Reading…

Using Energy to Extract Energy – the Dynamics of Depletion

Off the keyboard of Brian Davey

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Published on FEASTA on June 21, 2017

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The “Limits to Growth Study” of 1972 was deeply controversial and criticised by many economists. Over 40 years later, it seems remarkably prophetic and on track in its predictions. The crucial concept of Energy Return on Energy Invested is explained and the flaws in neoclassical reasoning which EROI highlights.

The continued functioning of the energy system is a “hub interdependency” that has become essential to the management of the increasing complexity of our society. The energy input into the UK economy is about 50 to 70 times as great as what the labour force could generate if working full time only with the power of their muscles, fuelled up with food. It is fossil fuels, rfined to be used in vehicles and motors or converted into electricity that have created power inputs that makes possible the multiple round- about arrangements in a high complex economy. The other “hub interdependency” is a money and transactions systems for exchange which has to continue to function to make vast production and trade networks viable. Without payment systems nothing […] Continue Reading…

Summer Solstice 2017 in my Crippled Life at the End of Industrial Civilization

Off the keyboard of RE

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Published on The Doomstead Diner June 21, 2017

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Back home in the digs after a hellishly long, exhausting and frustrating day.  I'm was going to just write a couple of posts Inside the Diner on this, one in the Stealth Van thread on the Trailer Purchase issues and then another one for the RE is Dying thread (Diners Only!), but after writing the first couple of paragraphs I realized this was Blog Length material and should be up for the Blog Lurkers to read as well.  So, ater a nap on the return home, I knocked this one out in one night.  It covers one horrific day in the life of a cripple at the end of the Age of Oil and Industrial Civilization

The issues began early with the trip in.  I woke up around 5AM with the itches, even though I set my alarm for 6:30.  I killed some time on the net and scratched and rubbed, then changed into more respectable clothing for meeting doctors and trailer sellers.  Then around 6:30 I felt drowsy again and went to […] Continue Reading…

Lessons Learned from Death & Near Death Experiences 3

Off the keyboard of Geoffrey Chia

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on June 20, 2017

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LESSONS LEARNED FROM DEATH AND NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCES

Part 3: Type A aortic dissection

By Geoffrey Chia, MBBS, MRCP, FRACP, June 2017

Chest pain is a very common symptom and most of the time is not dangerous – the most common causes are pain from the chest wall (ribs, muscles) or pain from the stomach and gullet due to acid reflux, so-called “heartburn”. Sometimes the exact cause of chest pain cannot be determined, but if we can rule out potentially dangerous causes, then we can strongly reassure the patient. On the other hand, the most lethal causes of chest pain are the unholy trinity of myocardial infarction, pulmonary embolism and a very rare but fatal condition called type A aortic dissection1

 

The trickiest of all to diagnose is aortic dissection, which caused by a tear in the internal lining of the aorta (the main artery emerging from the heart), causing blood to enter and split (but not rupture through) the aortic wall. Blood entering the wall creates a cavity called a “false lumen” which […] Continue Reading…

The Future Monetary Ecosystem

Off the keyboard of Graham Barnes

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Published on FEASTA on June 8, 2017

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Over the next generation or two, there will be increasingly visible turf wars between money-suppliers with four very different motivations. It’s not really a fair fight, but it isn’t as one-sided as it used to be.

The spoils

The general term for the benefit associated with the issuance of a currency is seigniorage. Historically, the term has been associated with the profit made by a government from issuing currency, especially the difference between the face value of coins and their production costs. At the risk of outraging pedants we can use the term more broadly to include a wide range of benefits accruing to the issuer.

The spoils may be in the form of direct financial benefit (like the interest charged on credit-money created ex-nihilo). Or they may be indirect, in the form of influence that can in due course be traded or cashed-in (for example preferentially allocating credit to favoured partners).

There is, however, a further dimension. Money congeals as wealth. The location of wealth signals the ‘revealed preferences’ of the underlying money-system. Sure, there’s luck, inheritance […] Continue Reading…

Half A Loaf

From the keyboard of Surly1
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Originally published on Daily Kos on June 17, 2017

“Half a loaf is better than no bread.” —Thomas Jefferson 

I wrote about this briefly last month in a Facebook status update, but recent events suggest that I revisit it. It was the episode wherein a so-called (and former) FB “friend” announced,

“I am unfriending any idiot who calls Trump a Putin puppet. You're hating for all the wrong reasons.”

Didn't know I required a full portfolio of reasons. I thought emolument clause violations, grifts of various sizes, and treason was quite enough.

This person is a Michigan resident who proudly announced her unswerving support for Jill Stein, along with her unwavering hatred for "the Hillbot." She was one of 10,000 Stein voters in a state where the margin for Trump was 10,000, so we can fairly argue that she and voters like her helped elect Trump in Michigan. Because math. And logic.

Finding this thread a target rich environment, I explained how dozens of intelligence agencies had found a reason to investigate Trump before the election, that subpoenas were tumbling out the Eastern Virginia district, and that Trump is in the process of handing over Russian real estate […] Continue Reading…

Seeking a SUN☼stead

Off the keyboard of RE

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Published on The Doomstead Diner June 18, 2017

 

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This is Part 2 of a 4 Part series on the sustainability of Alaska in a post-Collapse World, and how to make it happen.

Read Part 1 HERE.

 

I'm taking off for a shakedown cruise of the new Stealth Van tomorrow, and will be keeping a diary of the trip, and will publish the whole thing after I get back.  Meanwhile, I've given the trip a whole additional purpose besides just checking the gas mileage and reliability of the SV, I am going to do some Land Shopping for the first SUN☼stead!  

Our project in South Carolina has stalled, it's generally speaking out of budget for where we are right now financially. Without some investors from Inman, it's just not going to happen there.  So far, although SUN☼ got a very positive response from the Movers & Shakers in Inman, to date nobody has ponied up one thin dime to make the project happen there.  So it's time to move to Plan B.

If we can't get the money together for a demonstration property in SC, I'm […] Continue Reading…

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Palloy, You're usually spot on with your physics, but I think you're a little off here. What the rocks offer is high thermal mass, something RE and I spent some time learning about from a master, David South. You don't want metal, which is efficient a...

It is 4PM Alaska time.  The doorbell rings.  These days, when the doorbell rings it's not usually the Jehovah's witnesses or the Mormons seeking to recruit me, it's usually a UPS delivery.  I've been ordering shit faster than I can get rid of the packa...

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Correct Bergen! We are knocking on the 100Mbd door for global oil demand. A figure Matt Simmons sugg [...]

If shale oil cannot fuel modern society then solar panels certainly cannot. Shale oil is about as cl [...]

Wrong again..... well done! Your prize is 7 pounds of shit in a 5 pound bag. Congratulations! [...]

For getting the answer wrong ... you win a 6 pounds of shit stuffed into a 5 pound bag Well done [...]

Welcome to new day, added 's' to 'http' so everyone should feel more secure ... [...]

Just to be clear about all the different administrations mentioned; All the while not one thing that [...]

Clintons job was to keep the party going, BJs under the desk for all! Bushs job was to tell jokes an [...]

Hey Steve, why don't you look into becoming REs neighbor. After the great power down, you can l [...]

Think Vermont. All you need is a wood stove and an internet connection. I'll bet you have a lot [...]

RE Economics

Going Cashless

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Simplifying the Final Countdown

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Bond Market Collapse and the Banning of Cash

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Do Central Bankers Recognize there is NO GROWTH?

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

Singularity of the Dollar

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Kurrency Kollapse: To Print or Not To Print?

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SWISSIE CAPITULATION!

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

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Merry Doomy Christmas

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Peak Customers: The Final Liquidation Sale

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Collapse Fiction

Useful Links

Technical Journals

There is evidence that access to green spaces have positive effects on health, possibly through bene [...]

The objectives of this study are to use a clustering technique to identify homogeneous rainfall regi [...]

The city of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) is located in a tropical zone of the planet, in medium latitude [...]

Drought is one of the major threats to societies in Sub-Saharan Africa, as the majority of the popul [...]