What I Believe

Off the keyboard of Irv Mills

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Originally Published on The Easiest Person to Fool  April, 2012 (now updated)

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With this article, the Diner welcomes Irv Mills to the pantheon of Diner cross posting bloggers.  Irv began his blog almost precisely when the Diner was launched.  I'll periodically go back into his archives for some old stuff, as well as publih his latest entries, if they fit the Diner blog spin.  This article is a page on his blog introducing himself, so you know where he is coming from.  In the next 2 weeks, we will feature articles from his recent series Evaluating Existential Threats. -RE

I posted the original version of this page in April of 2012 and added to it in a post on Feb. 26, 2013. Based on statistics, it looks like a lot of people who visit this blog have a look at this page, so it's probably worth keeping it up to date. I have a few new ideas that need to be put down on "paper", so I guess it is time for just such an update. Here we go.

In one of the […] Continue Reading…

Bye, Bye Miss R/COLLAPSE Pie

Off the keyboard of RE

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Published on The Doomstead Diner May 7, 2017

 

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Another one bites the dust.

Last week, after 2 years participating on the Reddit sub r/collapse, I threw in the towel and called it quits.  Before I go into the reasons for that, let me review my medium-length history of participation there and the reasons I subscribed in the first place.

Despite the fact I have been floating around the Collapse Blogosphere for a full decade, I was never aware of the r/collapse sub.  In fact, I wasn't even aware of the whole Reddit platform.  I only found out about it after discovering the work of Allen Stromfeldt Christensen on the blog From Filmers to Farmers, and he mentioned to me that he occasionally made links there.  So I went to check it out, and there were indeed quite a few good links to Collapse articles around the net to be found there, and they changed pretty regularly.  There is a complete turnover of links on the Homepage about every 24-48 hours, depending on how many net "upvotes" a given article receives from the subscribers.  The […] Continue Reading…

The Cool Lab

Off the keyboard of Albert Bates

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Published on Peak Surfer on April 2, 2017

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"Is it possible that technology no more complicated than an Easy Bake Oven — one that pays for itself — can reverse climate change?"

 

 

Permaculturally, the first stage of any design is protracted observation. What does a biological system have in over-abundance? What is scarce? How will it restore balance? What are the obstacles?

Let us say that an impoverished village in Haiti risks being carried away by mudslides that follow brush fires where the forest has been cut down to supply wood for shelter and cooking. What things are scarce? In no particular order:

 

 

food
water
cooking fuel
secure shelter
energy
productive employment
biodiversity
soil
birth control
health care

What things are over-abundant?

 

mud
deforestation
rain
hurricanes
earthquakes
unemployed people
superstition
resentment
mosquitoes
climate change

Lets see which of these things we can match up and cancel out. What we are about to describe is a carbon cascade.

The hillside needs to be planted with vegetation. It is especially important that the hilltops be forested. A keyline analysis will show us where water wants to go when it rains, and how best it can be held high in the landscape and directed both to subsurface flows and […] Continue Reading…

Decline & Fall of the Western Empire

Off the keyboard of Ugo Bardi

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Published on Cassandra's Legacy on May 3, 2017

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The auditorium of Fiesole, near Florence, Italy. A monster of glass and concrete, it was announced almost 15 years ago but it was never completed and probably never will be. It can be seen as a metaphor of the decline of the West: if there are no more resources to produce or to distribute goods, the whole economy grinds to a halt. 

 

The Decline of the West: Left or Right, It Doesn't Matter

In a previous post, Miguel Martinez examined the retreat from Moscow of Napoleon's army as a metaphor for the decline of the Left in the West. Martinez notes how the Left has normally emphasized the redistribution of the goods produced by the economy but that, nowadays, the resource crisis makes it impossible to produce enough goods to distribute. It is just like when the soldiers of Napoleon's army found little to plunder in Moscow after that they had conquered the city.
 

In practice, the plight of the Right is not different from that of the Left. Traditionally, the Right emphasized production rather than redistribution. […] Continue Reading…

Book Review | When Trucks Stop Running: Energy and the Future of Transportation

Off the keyboard of Allan Stromfeldt Christensen

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Published on From Filmers to Farmers on April 30th, 2017

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I left off last week's post – "Money Doesn't Grow on Trees, Industrial-Scale Renewable Energy Does" – by mentioning the existence of a rather excellent resource. By that I didn't mean an energy resource, but rather a book – a book that nonetheless gives a rather fine breakdown of our various energy resources and their applicability to a world in the midst of peak oil and declining EROEI levels. That book would be When Trucks Stop Running: Energy and the Future of Transportation by systems analyst Alice J. Friedemann.

But before I get to the book, it's worth reiterating from said previous post the notion that just as the coal lobbies, nuclear lobbies, and all the other "dirty" fuel lobbies are wont to exaggerate and obfuscate the specifics of their energy resources, so too are lobbyists for the large-scale application of "renewable" energy sources more than willing to exaggerate, obfuscate, and even fudge the facts when it comes to conveying the benefits and advantages of their energy resources. And as I also […] Continue Reading…

60: Life and Times of a Boomer Doomer Chapter 1

Off the keyboard of RE

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Published on The Doomstead Diner May 3, 2017

 

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Unbelievably, I made it to the Big 6-OH, my 60th year walking the Earth as a Homo Sap Meat Package in this iteration of incarnations of my immortal soul.  My last Big Birthday Party on the Diner was 5 years ago when I turned 55. That was when we first launched the Diner, and now it is getting close to 6 years old itself, 10% of my total lifespan.  That's a pretty significant chunk of my life!

Actually, my focus on Doom predates the Diner by quite a bit, I got started down this Rabbit Hole after the collapse of the investment bank Bear Stearns in early 2008.  Actually a bit before that since I was observing the lead up to this in 2007.  So call it a solid Decade now as a "Kollapsnik".  Given I am now 60 years old, that is 1/6th of my life or 16.66%, even more significant.

I can break up my life into defined segments, each of which almost is a life unto itself.  When I look back on […] Continue Reading…

EU Election Fake Newz

Off the keyboard of John Ward

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Published on the The Slog on May 1, 2017

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May has PND episode as Hunt cracks down on rogue NHS traitors, Macron’s DNA revealed & TLF boss Corbyn goes OTT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TODAY’S FAKE NEWS ABOUT EU ELECTION HARMONISATION

There’s a sort of vaguely medical theme to things today, although there’s nothing of any great significance to that….beyond the observation that when things are a little odd, one goes to see the doctor. Most of the people featured here never did: as a result, we’re stuck with them as they are.

Take Ms Thearse May, for example. She is obviously suffering from the worst case of post nasal depression I’ve ever come across. As these tragic pictures show only too well, she is in the tertiary stages of this mentally debilitating illness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rafe Roydian-Slippe  of the London School of Conkology comments that “it is a rare condition in which the victim becomes convinced that her nose is growing. After many years of looking down their noses at people, sufferers keep catching sight of the hooter and becoming increasingly disturbed. In the last three shots, we […] Continue Reading…

Oil Facts & American Dreams

Off the keyboard of Thomas Lewis

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Published on The Daily Impact  March 6 & 9, 2017

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The Oil Industry’s Alternate Facts

  By Tom Lewis | March 6, 2017 | Energy

Podcast: Play in new window | Download

The two articles appeared within 48 hours of each other. One was produced by Bloomberg News, one of the most respected names in traditional journalism. The other appeared in Oilprice.com, a veteran and well respected source of objective news about the oil industry. No one has ever credibly accused either of these organizations of producing “fake news.” Yet when each of them decided to publish an assessment of the state of the American shale oil industry in the first week of March, 2017, the two articles were diametrically opposed in all their conclusions.

Bloomberg proclaimed “The second Coming of American Oil Shale…” with production “on the rise again.” [This is a piece of unrelieved optimism. Do the headline writers at Bloomberg know that the Second Coming is the end of the world?] Oilprice.com, rather than a trumpet fanfare, sounded a klaxon alarm —  “Why Investors Should Beware […] Continue Reading…

Sexual Appeal

Off the keyboard of RE

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Published on The Doomstead Diner March 23, 2017

Johnette Napolitano            Janis Joplin

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A few weeks ago I ran across a You Tube Video of an acoustic performance of "Joey" by the band Concrete Blond.  They were a 90s Alternative Rock Band that never got super popular, and this was their biggest hit, but they did last pretty long into the early 2000s.  I wasn't a big fan of this band, but I remember the song Joey very well and in my trucking years it played fairly often on the radio on the alt-rock and college stations I tuned into in those years as I cruised the interstate across the country.

Inside the Diner, we run a continuing thread with favorite Music Videos called the Diner Juke Box, and a while back I put up the Vevo Official Music Video of Joey.  But then in doing my general nightly music scan of old music I like to listen to periodically, I ran into another video with Joey as the tune behind it, put together by a fan with still […] Continue Reading…

The Joke

Off the keyboard of Pastrick Noble

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Published on Convivial Economy on January 19, 2017

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It is a great joke, that the deepest commons have been passed on in daylight, unnoticed by thought police, secret police and dragoons.

No disguise, samizdat, remembered whisperings; no underground… These commons are bequeathed in a code that anyone can read – elegance of architectural design, fine lines of a boat, laughter and tears extracted by good verse and prose…

Ancestors speak and are heard, in spite of ephemeral yet despotic newspeak of a particular time. The soul of culture – liquid notes of blackbird, the blue bell wood in sight and scent, stitchwort and campion guide a lane to unspoken tenderness of generations, settled in one ecological space… – generational echoes – once heard, become rites of passage to adulthood and personal mortality. Become the echo, and we may claim a birth right – to be human, despite the coercion of power. A spade, chisel, needle, shuttle… well-sent, are enough.

Subjects of tyranny have called to the echo; to natal soil; to the vivacity of it; unseen by defilers and so undefiled. Yet it […] Continue Reading…

Wetiko & Rescuing Los Angeles

Off the keyboard of Albert Bates

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Published on Peak Surfer on March 19 & 26, 2017

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Wetiko

"When we visited Los Angeles, what we were seeing was not so much a collective neurosis as a collective separation from underlying rationality."

 

  Coming to Los Angeles we had the sensation of slipping into a cultural fogbank. We could not say whether we were actually being bombarded by messages from microwave ovens or watched by cameras concealed in television screens, but the sense was that we had departed from reality.

Frankly we consider ourselves a citizen of the world and find it discomforting to experience provincialism whether upon re-entry to the United States or having conversations in some distant back country hostel. We are not speaking of localization or bioregionalism — all well and good. Rather, what we encountered in Los Angeles was the absence of a fact-grounded worldview across a broad spectrum of the population. Had we been gone that long?

 

The media has cannibalized the minds of millions — drawing their mental attention toward the issues that are bounced around in these information echo chambers and syphoning it away from the deep, systemic […] Continue Reading…

How I Survived Collapse: Chapter 22

Off the keyboard of RE

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on April 27, 2017

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Kenny pulled the van into the parking lot of the Red Bird Restaurant & Wine Bar, finding to his delight that it had electrical outlets for block heaters in the parking spaces.  Even though his two Deep Cycle Marine Batteries were usually fully charged just from driving around to do his landscaping, if he found an available outlet with free juice he would always plug in to top off the big batts as well as charge up all his smaller electronic devices with Li-I batts.  A full charge to the whole setup gave him a week at full normal usage for everything, and with reduced usage he could go 2 weeks to a month without any recharge at all, although he did have his solar PV panels and RV Wind Generators that could keep the system charged up most of the time if he was frugal in usage.

Kenny and Kirsten held hands as they walked across the parking lot to the entrance, past numerous Mercedes, Jaguars, Hummers and even a couple […] Continue Reading…

Evil leaders: what makes their brain work?

Off the keyboard of Ugo Bardi

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Published on Cassandra's Legacy on April 24, 2017

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Benito Mussolini (1883-1945) led the Italian government from 1922 to 1943. During the final years of his career, he made a series of truly colossal mistakes that led to disaster for Italy and for him, personally. Was Mussolini mad? An idiot? Or brain damaged? We cannot say for sure, but the problem with the way the minds of leaders function seems to be more and more important in our times.

An evident trend that we observe in history is that, in times of crisis, strong leaders tend to take over and assume all powers. It has happened with the Romans, whose government system moved from democracy to a military dictatorship managed by emperors. It seems to be happening to us, too, with more and more power being concentrated in the hands of the man (rarely the woman) at the top of the government's hierarchy.

There are reasons for this trend. Human society, as it is nowadays, doesn't seem to show any sign of collective intelligence. It is not a "brain," it can't plan for the […] Continue Reading…

Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees, Industrial-Scale Renewable Energy Does

Off the keyboard of Allan Stromfeldt Christensen

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Published on From Filmers to Farmers on April 19th, 2017

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When you wish upon a star the Blue Fairy sends Tinker Bell, who plants a magic seed, which grows into a giant beanstalk, which leads you to the goose that lays golden eggs, which can buy you all the renewable energy you could ever want. The End.

Follow the headlines and you can hardly be blamed for thinking that we're on the cusp of a monumental renaissance, one that'll usher us into a renewable energy paradise and allow us to maintain our profligate first-world standard of living for… well, forever!

My favourite recent headline indicative of this supposed renaissance came via the website Ecowatch (by no means a lowly-ranked website), which proclaimed in one of its article's titles that "California Generates Enough Solar Power to Meet Half its Energy Needs".

Half!

Half?

Well kinda half – "haaaalf." For as the article's second paragraph states,

Recent data shows California coming through. The state briefly generated enough solar power to meet nearly half of the state's electricity needs, according to data from the largest grid operator in the state, […] Continue Reading…

Earth Day 2017

From the keyboard of Surly1
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Photoillustration by Surly1

“The wide world is all about you: you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot forever fence it out.”   -J.R.R. Tolkien

Saturday marked Earth Day 2017. Across the country, tens of thousands of people took proud part in hundreds of "March for Science" events.  Out in force to protest the anti-science rhetoric and assertively ignorant actions wafting from thankfully-incompetent-but-still-malign trump Administration, a rat's nest full of climate change and science denier billionaires, they sent an unmistakable message of resistance.

In southeastern Virginia, there were four separate events. All well attended.

The President took time out of his busy Saturday grabbing photo-ops wherever he could (such as the one in which he "congratulated" an Army Sergeant who received a Purple Heart for wounds resulting in amputation). Such gaffes used to be politically disfiguring, but in an age without shame or accountability, our reality-show POTUS gallantly soldiered on with his propaganda show designed to change the subject to anything-but-Russia.

Neither shame nor evidence could staunch the borborygmus emerging from trump, as he issued a typically flatulent statement marking the occasion:

"Rigorous science is critical to my administration's efforts to achieve the twin goals of economic growth and environmental […] Continue Reading…

Holy Guacamole! My Excellent Mexican CHEAP Dinner Recipes

Off the keyboard of RE

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on April 23, 2017

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The general focus of the SNAP Card Gourmet series is to find ways to feed yourself with "relatively" healthy food at a price you can afford on a SNAP Card budget, which generally comes in the neighborhood in the FSoA right now of $140 per person, or somewhere around $5/day.  So whenever I write one of these SNAP Card Gourmet posts, I try to stay inside this parameter of $5/day for your nutrition needs.  This meal goes a bit over the target price, but it's a huge meal and you could shrink it some to stay inside the $5 target.

In this episode of TSCG, we're going to discover how to make a fabulous Mexican style meal for 4 people, coming in around $6/per person.  There's very little in the way of "real cooking" in this recipe, it mostly uses off the shelf frozen or canned foods, along with some fresh veggies, like Avocados for your Guacamole.  You can of course make it somewhat healthier if you make your Burritos and Chimichangas from scratch, […] Continue Reading…

Let them Eat Chocolate Cake

From the keyboard of Pepe Escobar
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  Published on Sputnik on April 13, 2017

Piece of Cake: New Normal of Trump's Foreign Policy

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Here's the Commander-in-chief of the Beautiful Piece of Chocolate Cake School of Foreign Policy, expanding on his next move regarding North Korea.

"We are sending an armada. Very powerful. We have submarines. Very powerful. Far more powerful than the aircraft carrier. That I can tell you."

 

 

 

As if bombing nuclear-armed North Korea would be as much of a piece of cake as Tomahawking a semi-deserted air base in Syria. But then, that's the beauty of a box of chocolates foreign policy; you never know what you're gonna get.

 

© REUTERS/ Jonathan Ernst

Trump: NATO No Longer Obsolete, Needs to Play Bigger Role Fighting Daesh

 

 

 

NATO was "obsolete." Then it was "no longer obsolete." China was a currency manipulator. Then it was no longer a currency manipulator. There would be no more adventures in the Middle East. Then it's back to pulling a Hillary and bombing Syria. Russia was supposed to be a partner – basically in oil and gas deals, while a Kissingerian Divide and Rule remix would try to unravel the Russia-China strategic partnership. Then Russia is bad because supporting "animal" (sic) Assad.

 

Some […] Continue Reading…

How I Survived Collapse: Chapter 21

Off the keyboard of RE

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on April 21, 2017

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After work on Wednesday, Kenny dropped his trailer at the Storage Unit, then headed over in the Stealth Van to Target, which also actually was in a strip mall on his parking list because there was also a 24/7 Mickey D's in a separate building on the corner for drive-thrus, but utilising the same parking lot.  It was always better to have a real toilet facility available for middle of the night emergencies, rather than using his shit bucket while in town.  That left you with the waste disposal problem and the cleanup of the bucket, so the Van didn't end up stinking like shit after a while.  He did use a liner in the bucket, usually the Oil Polymer Shopping bags that the stores provided when you bought mechandise, they fit pretty perfectly into a 5 gallon bucket.  Still, there was always some cleanup to be done and it was time consuming.  It made life much more convenient and easier if you could just go into a public bathroom and […] Continue Reading…

Will England & Sotland become One-Party States?

Off the keyboard of John Ward

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Published on the The Slog on April 19, 2017

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SNAP ELECTION: New shocker as England & Scotland on verge of becoming One-Party States.

 

  Theresa May broke her word to call this election. After it, she will break her word on Brexit. But there is no Opposition to stop her. Whose fault is it?

 

Four years ago, I posted a piece about the then Culture (sic) Secretary, Jeremy Hunt. His sole response in the Commons, to damning evidence that he had abused his office to favour the Murdoch family, was “I have done nothing wrong”. Shortly after this, the then Prime Minister David Cameron denied that the favour involved (letting Newscorp grab BSkyB largely unhindered) had been discussed at a secret Boxing Day lunch with James Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks. They’d just all had lunch in the strictest secrecy because they were pals. The way you do.

Two MPs I spoke to at the time (one Labour, one Conservative) said almost exactly the same thing: that things had got to a stage in the clique running the Tory Party where, after surviving that lot, they now […] Continue Reading…

The Economy is like a Circus

Off the keyboard of Gail Tverberg

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Published on the Our Finite World on April 17, 2017

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The economy is like a circus. It comes to town, and eventually it leaves town. We get paid in tickets to this circus. As long as the circus stays in town, we can use our tickets. Once the circus leaves town, we are pretty much out of luck.1

The reason the circus stays in town is because the economy stays in sufficient balance that the economy can go on. This is much like the way many other self-organized systems function. For example, our bodies continue to function as long as there are suitable balances in many different areas (oxygen, food, water, air pressure). Ecosystems continue to function as long as there is sufficient rain, adequate temperatures, and enough sunlight.

There are many different views as to what limits we reach in a finite world. Some people think we will “run out” of oil, or of energy products. Some think that the energy return will fall too low, as measured in some manner. I see the adequacy of the energy return as being very […] Continue Reading…

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Hi jerry, “…the slave trade…is horrifying, absolutely horrifying.” Good grief. Here we go again. jer [...]

You are very correct. But this stage since 2008/2012 could take 20-35yrs more to unwind fully for ma [...]

Much of high tech farming seems to be geared towards greens, not calories. That this product is for [...]

I guess its not practical to point out that 2007-2008 was the breaking point in the global system. O [...]

There are limits regarding the scale of such farming: maybe some vegetables can be grown like that. [...]

Someone over at Peak oil news said that the oil companies are shorting the oil price in the futures [...]

If the Hills Group is right, Donnie T. is a genius to sell off the Strategic Petroleum Reserve! [...]

Hello everyone. Steve, what's your take on this? "CLOGGED" WITH OIL From the Malacca [...]

Wall street wants to make money off of the Trump agenda, while the military industrial complex wants [...]

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?

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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

Usnic acid contents in acetone extracts of 31 samples of lichen Parmelia flexilis collected from dif [...]

The SWATDRAIN model was developed by incorporating the subsurface flow model, DRAINMOD, into a water [...]

Accurate understanding and detecting of vegetation growth change is essential for providing suitable [...]