Die Off

Open letter to Doctors for the Environment Australia

youtube-Logo-4gc2reddit-logoOff the keyboard of Geoffrey Chia

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on April 21, 2016

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In the USA and especially Hollywood, "DEA" stands for drug enforcement agency and conjures up images of trigger happy feds in helmets and flak jackets carrying M16s. In my world, DEA stands for "Doctors for the Environment Australia" which conjures up images of kindly, well meaning physicians who unfortunately do not fully realise the enormity of the planetary predicaments we face, nor fully understand exactly what can and cannot be done about them.

 

Open letter to Doctors for the Environment Australia

Geoffrey Chia, MBBS, MRCP, FRACP. April 2016

Dear Colleagues,

I attended your DEA conference in Brisbane on 17 April 2016 as a non-member delegate. I agree with the broad philosophy of DEA, that failure to care for our environment is causing adverse public health consequences worldwide and we need to take appropriate action. Unfortunately that is about as far as it goes. I have utmost respect for you as fellow medical professionals, but I beg to differ with the DEA's official position regarding the current state of the planet and the actions we ought to take to reduce human suffering and death.

Although I am a Cardiologist, my real interests lie in scientific and ethical philosophy and how these can be applied to confer the greatest amount of good to the greatest number of people for the longest duration. I convened the group "Doctors and Scientists for Sustainability and Social Justice" from 2006 to 2013 during which we held monthly meetings at the S&N pathology boardrooms in Taringa and invited many speakers, all experts in their fields, to educate us on important environmental and social matters.

Here are my points of disagreement with DEA:

  1. DEA's overall message is that climate change, although accelerating, is still fixable if we campaign hard enough for reform. Climate change is without doubt the gravest challenge facing humanity, but I must emphasise two points. Firstly, it is no longer fixable, it has spiralled out of control. The IPCC reports were all politically watered down deceit. A proper understanding of the paleoclimate record, self reinforcing feedback mechanisms and observation of the extreme events occurring year upon year, which will only get worse, demonstrate beyond any reasonable doubt that even if all anthropogenic carbon emissions were to cease today, worsening climate change is unstoppable. At least 4 degrees C eventual global average temperature rise is already locked in, which will mean the end of large scale agriculture and hence the end of civilisation. However in the long run there will probably be 8 to10 degrees rise, although the final equilibrium temperature may be slightly reduced by what we do now1. Secondly, climate change is not the most immediate issue.

  2. DEA focus almost exclusively on climate change and pay little attention to other major issues which will cause the collapse of industrial civilisation and massive global human die-off much sooner: namely the impending implosion of the worldwide financial/economic system and, intimately related to that, resource depletion, principally petroleum depletion. Economic meltdown will lead to civil unrest and, depending on the country affected, either collapse of the State as a functioning entity or imposition of martial law by fascist governments, with loss of democratic freedoms. Either way, there will be loss of future options for those individuals who remain trapped in the belly of the beast (the crumbling cities). Competition for resources such as water and energy will trigger wars between nations, which will become more frequent, more barbaric and possibly even global. These views are entirely consistent with hard headed think tanks such as the Peak Oil task force group in the UK (a business group), the Pentagon and the German military. Anyone who still claims the invasion of Iraq by the Halliburton proxies in 2003 was about anything other than oil, is either a liar or a fool or both.

  3. DEA offer nothing with regard to the practical measures which sapient people can and must take now to mitigate against the above.

I realise my views may be viscerally repugnant to you, indeed I experienced the same revulsion when I came to those conclusions in 2012, which led me to disband my D3SJ group in 2013. Nevertheless it is absolutely essential that we accept the evidence-based truth of a situation, no matter how horrific, so we can pursue the most effective actions, to enable the best (or least bad) outcome. With my deepening understanding of these worsening predicaments, my thinking over the years has shifted from global technological solutions (now impossible), to the mitigation of suffering and death for the majority of humanity (now also impossible), to at present, striving to avoid near term human extinction. Bitter experience has taught me it is a waste of time and energy to look to governments and corporations for solutions. They mouth meaningless green-wash platitudes and are in fact the cause of our problems. The only solutions forthcoming will be those which arise from our own individual actions.

Here is another stark reality you may find repugnant: it will not be possible to prevent the premature die-off of the majority of humanity.

This is the goal of most Australian medical practitioners today, myself included: we take whatever measures necessary to ensure our patients can live a good quality, "normal" duration of life of at least 85 years or so. In our wishful thinking, we would like to extend that goal to the other 7.5 billion people around the world. However, with the inevitable curtailment of fossil fuel energy2, it will not be possible to generate enough food, services and materials to comfortably support more than 500 million people worldwide, assuming a stable climate and a thriving ecosphere. Unfortunately, with worsening climate devastation and the sixth great global mass extinction well under way now, even 100 million survivors will be extremely unlikely. Such a view is entirely consistent with those held by top scientists including James Lovelock, many members of the Royal Society of London including former president Martin Rees and scientists who updated the original Limits to Growth models, in particular Ugo Bardi and Graham Turner. We may well face a "genetic bottleneck" with human numbers reduced to just a few thousand, confined to the deep South of the Southern hemisphere.

I do not accept that near term human extinction is certain. NTHE is not a guaranteed, forgone conclusion and I vehemently oppose those who ideologically adopt such a nihilistic position and promote defeatism. However irrefutable evidence forces me to accept that NTHE is a genuine possibility, indeed a significant probability if we take no action or waste time pursuing the wrong actions.

DEA may feel politically obliged to offer a positive, uplifting facade to their members and the public, however such a position is detrimental, indeed actively harmful, to anyone who follows your manifesto and your recommended course of action. Why? Because adoption of your current goals will cause your members to waste precious time, energy, resources and money pursuing useless activities based on delusional hopes. I am amply qualified to make that statement because I too have been guilty of such useless behaviour.

You will be familiar with the "golden hour" after a severe injury, when appropriate vigorous action taken by ambulance officers and A&E staff can make all the difference between life and death, between good quality survival and permanent disability. Correct, timely action makes all the difference.

Time is short. Right now we are reaching the end of our metaphorical "golden hour”. If we miss this vital window of opportunity, we stand to lose all future options. The impending collapse of numerous fraudulent schemes such as shale oil (which dwarf the previous sub-prime mortgage scam) means that we are on track to experience the next global financial meltdown soon, from which systemic recovery may be impossible. This may occur in a couple of years or even this year. Things may seem “fine” to you now, however things also seem “fine” to the passenger snoozing in the plush seat of an air-conditioned coach which is speeding towards the edge of a cliff.

What correct, timely action should we take? Exhaustive studies and practical experience from contributors to research bodies such as the Post Carbon Institute recommend we decentralise our lifestyles and become as self sufficient as possible. Here are some practical suggestions:

What to do: http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/2015/01/20/doctors-scientists-for-sustainability-social-justice/

Where to go: http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/2016/01/14/location-location-location/

One viable strategy: The off-grid Tiny House permaculture community:

http://www.resilience.org/resource-detail/2544932-building-a-tiny-house

I am not advocating that you move immediately to a remote off-grid self-sufficient homestead, but I am advocating that you set up such a homestead immediately, which will then be ready for you to move to at short notice. Alternatively you can, right now, build a relationship with an established self-sufficient community, which you can then move to at short notice, provided you have useful skills to offer and you have pre-arranged your own accommodation.

We face unstoppable and unimaginably horrific events which will radically alter our world. Only radical adaptation will enable our survival. Nature dictates that failure to adapt will lead to extinction.

It is no coincidence that by making the radical lifestyle changes suggested above, you will also reduce your carbon and environmental footprint to essentially zero, which I believe is the ultimate goal of DEA. It is not appropriate for us to harangue others to abandon coal fired power unless we ourselves can show them how to live well without coal fired power. Talk is cheap but if we lead by example we are more likely to be taken seriously.

 

Footnotes:

  1. David Wasdell's comprehensive explanation is probably the best one, available here: https://soundcloud.com/radioecoshock/facing-the-harsh-realities or here: http://www.apollo-gaia.org/ and independently vindicated here (transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh):

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-12/uoe-com120915.php

  1. Current low oil prices are misleading. We are now experiencing the calm in of the eye of the storm, a storm which will shortly return to decimate the global economy. Please see: http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/2015/11/16/peak-oil-revisited-part-1/

Pacific Apocalypse: The Great Dying Continues

Off the keyboard of Thomas Lewis

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Published on the Daily Impact on May 26, 2015

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The Pacific Ocean appears to be turning toxic to all life, a prospect with unimaginably dire consequences for humanity. News stories about it are fragmented, and slotted into the “Environment” category, and thus easily ignored by the rich and famous and their news channels. (Breaking News: Donald Trump Running Mate May be Caitlyn Jenner!) In just the latest manifestation of this calamity, what may be the largest bloom of toxic algae ever detected is poisoning sea life from California to British Columbia — with toxin from it detected not far off Alaska. Crab and clam fisheries have been shut down in two states so far, and the so-called red tide is still growing. In Monterey Bay, California, the concentration of domoic acid secreted by the algae is the highest ever recorded.

One of the few stories on this event to be found in the general media, on the CNBC website, is at great pains to reassure its readers that they can go about their business, nothing to see here:  the red tide “doesn’t pose a health risk to people who eat commercially caught fish,” it says in paragraph two, although it could kill people who eat crabs or shellfish; “no significant impact on commercial fishermen, who have moved on to harvesting other species” it says, mainly because the crab season is over anyway, and this will all blow over by fall, right? “Blooms are common,” it says reassuringly, then explains that this one is unique.

The CNBC piece, like most, makes only passing reference to the growing avalanche of mass deaths of marine life that have been plaguing the Pacific Coast for at least two years.

  • The Pacific population of the forage fish that form the base of the marine food chain — sardines, anchovies, and herring — has been decimated, with inevitable ill effects on the species that feed on them — salmon, sharks, whales and sea lions.
  • Not coincidentally, this is the second year in a row that record numbers of emaciated, dying sea lions have been washed ashore in California.
  • The number of bluefin tuna in the Pacific Ocean has declined by 95 per cent. Mexico has banned fishing for them, the United States is still thinking it over.,
  • Oysters, a staple seafood product of the Pacific Northwest, have been declining in number for ten years because of rising ocean acidification related to its absorption of carbon dioxide from the air.
  • Virtually all species of marine birds are disappearing from the coast, their populations reduced by 75% and more. It, too, is now being called the largest die-off of its kind in history.
  • Hundred of thousands of dead red crabs are washing ashore on California beaches from San Diego to Orange County right now. Says Reuters, in the second paragraph of its story, “Such strandings take place periodically and are not necessarily a threat to the species.” Move along, nothing to see here, just miles and miles of obscene red death.
  • Even whales in larger numbers than usual are washing up dead on California’s shores. No one knows exactly why, so everyone insists it has nothing to do with anything else.
  • Starfish, more properly known as sea stars, have been virtually wiped out from Mexico to Alaska, apparently by a virus that turns them to mush. It may be the largest mortality event ever witnessed by humans.

Scientists, cautious as always of their reputations and the constant yelps of criticism from the right, are reluctant to ascribe this massive dying across the spectrum of marine life to any particular cause. El Nino and Fukushima radiation are popular villains, indicted but not yet convicted, with ocean acidification and climate change soon to go before the grand jury.

With your house in flames from the basement to the attic, it doesn’t make much sense to debate whether the fire was started by a match or a propane lighter. It would make sense to get out of the house.

But where are we going to go?


Thomas Lewis is a nationally recognized and reviewed author of six books, a broadcaster, public speaker and advocate of sustainable living. He also is Editor of The Daily Impact website, and former artist-in-residence at Frostburg State University. He has written several books about collapse issues, including Brace for Impact and Tribulation. Learn more about them here.

First They Came for the Sardines…

From the keyboard of Thomas Lewis
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The fish held a meeting, and decided to spread the alarm, but it was too late. They were all dead. (Photo James Palinsad/Flickr)

The fish held a meeting, and decided to spread the alarm, but it was too late. They were all dead. (Photo James Palinsad/Flickr)

First published at The Daily Impact  March 24, 2015

You see the stories here and there, usually in local West Coast papers and on specialized websites. One has a gross picture of a dissolving starfish, another a heart-tugger of a starving sea lion pup. Then there are the stories that have no pictures  because they are about something that isn’t there, such as sardines and krill. Or something that is happening but cannot be watched, like the slow impassive death of oyster beds. It takes a while for it to begin to dawn on you: Holy Crap! Everything on our Pacific Ocean coast seems to be dying!

In yet another tribute to the limitations of expertise and the need for generalists, you seldom find a review of everything that is assaulting the creatures of the western sea. So let us try to step into the vacuum, which we abhor.

  • Starfish. Millions of sea stars have died along the West Coast from Alaska to Mexico in the past two years, afflicted by a pathogen that causes them to get multiple lesions, disintegrate and turn to mush. Fearing extinction, 12 members of Congress are pushing legislation to declare an emergency and fund research. So that should take care of that.
  • Sea Lions. For three years, sea lion pups by the hundreds — more than 1450 so far this year just in California, the worst year on record —have been washing up on shore dead or nearly so, from hunger, disease and parasites.
  • Sardines. The population of Pacific sardines has collapsed. Estimated at 1.5 million metric tons in 2007, the size of the stock has declined by 90%, to just 150,000 metric tons. In a few weeks the Pacific Fishery Management Council is expected to ban fishing of sardines until they can recover, although no one thinks overfishing has had anything to do with the decline.
  • Shellfish. Beginning in 2009, shellfish larvae have been dying in stunning numbers of the coast of Washington, Oregon and British Columbia. Since then other hot spots on both coasts have also been experiencing high shellfish mortality. The industry on the West Coast reports that its revenues are down 70 to 80 per cent.
  • Birds. In the last year, an estimated 50-100 thousand Cassin’s auklets, small divers that feed on krill, have died and washed ashore on West Coast beaches. They showed no evidence of disease or trauma, they simply starved to death. This is the latest in a wave of similar die-off affecting pigeons, pelicans and several other species.
  • Whales. Orca whale pods off British Columbia and Alaska are reported suffering extremely high infant mortality rates — approaching 100% — along with adult deaths and unusual behavior.

Any one of these stories is scary (oddly, very few of them mention any of the others). Put all the stories together and they are terrifying. And terrified minds want to know: what’s doing it? What one thing is the cause of all this, and which magic pill can we take to make it go away?

Unfortunately it never works that way. Contributing causes range from ocean acidification (shellfish) to warmer water (sardines) to altered currents, to pathogens enabled by all the above, to food-source changes caused by all the above. But if you follow each chain of evidence all the way back — what’s warming the water, making it more acid, changing the currents, screwing with the food sources — and you will come hard up against the massive pollution gushing from the smokestacks and sewage pipes of the industrial age.

Once again we meet the enemy. Once again, it’s us.

 


 

Thomas Lewis is a nationally recognized and reviewed author of six books, a broadcaster, public speaker and advocate of sustainable living. He also is Editor of The Daily Impact website, and former artist-in-residence at Frostburg State University. He has written several books about collapse issues, including Brace for Impact and Tribulation. Learn more about them here.

 

 

Morning Hunt

Off the keyboard of K-Dog

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Published on Chasing the Squirrel on February 24, 2015

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The grass field was fifty feet below the potato garden. He locked the gate behind him as he always did. His air rifle pointed down towards the ground. He stepped down the rock path through bushes, carefully placed the bushes provided seclusion.  They hid his path and guarded the fence. High pressure sodium lamps along the fence top shown over grass. He looked for shape or movement. The first rabbit was easy and soon into his cloth bag. The second one was caught after a short walk in the concealing wood opposite the grassy meadow. Two in the bag and now back through the hidden gate in his fence, an hour before dawn, lights off.

His land everything from the edge of the bushes by the fence and inside. The sloped bank of rock and bush and the wide valley of grass field, wood and creek to the opposite slope a half mile away, public recreational area. His rabbit farm.

He always listened quietly before opening the fence gate. Coming or going he was cautious, taking care not to be seen. Better to drop the bag and take the long way around than be seen. Going to the back of his shed against the fence any noise that could possibly be human and hunting or enjoying its fruits would wait for another day. Today had been quiet, nothing amiss through his peepholes going and all was quiet coming back. The hunt had been a go and had given meat.

He quietly slipped through his hidden gate locking it from the inside his shed where the gate opened from. In the shed he dressed his kill and hung it making it ready for a later meal continuing to listen. Now he unlocked the shed door and glided through his potato patch back over to his house. His .177 pellet rife was quiet and accurate and hunger improved his aim. His hollow point ammo deadly. Public parkland in a city that now had no time for parks fed his family. He was quiet; not noticed, telltale robust health disguised by heavy clothing.

In the house the pellet gun would be put away and the regular gun checked. Curfew would end at sunrise and it would be safe to walk the streets. Neighborhood control would keep order with militia arriving if large crowds appeared. Unsavory and curious types were dealt with privately. Property was protected. He would head out for news and a chance for rations when he saw the neighborhood watch patrolling the road outside.

News had been getting better. Fewer people had been dying recently. Deliveries were keeping up with demand for the first time in months. Things were getting stable and a third of the local population was still alive. His neighborhood had done well. The properties were large and gardens had been tended the months when food prices had soared.

Soon vacant houses would be razed to produce more agricultural land. The country had changed and it had only been a year since American had collapsed from what had once been a land of plenty. Now with die-off nearly complete food security was achievable.

All it had taken was the trucks to stop running but now with food deliveries under military control trucks ran once again. Diesel was allocated to emergency services, police patrols, food delivery, construction equipment as needed. Some of the land soon to be cleared would be growing biodiesel along with food and the power grid was working fine. The claims of its demise had been exaggerated. It had only been a year and from now on its maintenance would be a priority. He had not needed his generator except for the single time the wind storm had knocked things out for weeks. It had been a serendipitous wind storm though; lights out. It had been a good time for night travel to be difficult. Desperate mobs filled the land. They walked as long as they could before they dropped and died. Devastating everything in their path. No neighborhood wanted wandering mobs; but the mobs had not been able to plunder in the dark. By the time power was restored all the wandering were dead.

The plan was under military control. Each region had an agricultural plan and land for biodiesel allocation fell out naturally from the plan. Global tumult would not interrupt food delivery a second time when the plan was in place.
Throughout the rest of the world populations were being thinned. Pervasive drought combined with no fuel for transportation devastated crop yields everywhere. The world had starved. In America only in the most rural of areas did dogs survive.

Extinct—Extincter—Extinctest

From the keyboard of Dmitry Orlov
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Image: David Herbert

Image: David Herbert

Published at Club Orlov on February 17, 2015

 

This blog is dedicated to the idea of presenting the big picture—the biggest possible—of what is going on in the world. The abiding areas of interest that make up the big picture have included the following:

1. The terminal decay and eventual collapse of industrial civilization as the fossil fuels that power it become more and more expensive to produce in the needed quantities, of lower and lower resource quality and net energy and, eventually, in ever-shorter supply.

The first guess by Hubbert that the all-time peak of oil production in the US would be back in the 1970s was accurate, but later prediction of a global peak, followed by a swift collapse, around the year 2000 was rather off, because here we are 15 years later and global oil production has never been higher. Oil prices, which were high for a time, have temporarily moderated. However, zooming in on the oil picture just a little bit, we see that conventional oil production peaked in 2005—just 5 years late—and has been declining ever since, and the shortfall has been made up by oil that is difficult and expensive to get at (deep offshore, fracking) and by things that aren’t exactly oil (tar sands).

The current low prices are not high enough to sustain this new, expensive production for much longer, and the current glut is starting to look like a feast to be followed by famine. The direct cause of this famine will not be energy but debt, but it can still be traced back to energy: a successful, growing industrial economy requires cheapenergy; expensive energy causes it to stop growing and to become mired in debt that can never be repaid. Once the debt bubble pops, there isn’t enough capital to invest in another round of expensive energy production, and terminal decay sets in.

2. The very interesting process of the USA becoming its own nemesis: the USSR 2.0, or, as some are calling, the USSA.

The USA is best characterized as a decomposing corpse of a nation lorded over by a tiny clique of oligarchs who control the herd by wielding Orwellian methods of mind control. So far gone is the populace that most of them think that things are just peachy—there is an economic recovery, don’t you know—but a few of them do realize that they all have lots of personal issues with things like violence, drug and alcohol abuse, and gluttony. But don’t call them a nation of violent, drug-abusing gluttons, because that would be insulting. In any case, you can’t call them anything, because they aren’t listening, for they are too busy fiddling with their electronic life support units to which they have become addicted. Thanks to Facebook and the like they are now so far inside Plato’s cave that even the shadows they see aren’t real: they are computer simulations of shadows of other computer simulations.

The signs of this advanced state of decomposition are now unmistakable everywhere you look, be it education, medicine, culture or the general state of American society, where now fully half the working-age men is impaired in their ability to earn a decent living. But it is now particularly obvious in the endless compounding of errors that is the essence of American foreign policy. Some have started calling it “the empire of chaos,” neglecting to mention the fact that an empire of chaos is by definition ungovernable.

A particularly compelling example of failure is the Islamic Caliphate, which now rules large parts of Syria and Iraq. It was initially organized with American help to topple the Syrian government, but now threatens the stability of Saudi Arabia instead. This problem was made much worse by alienating Russia, which, with its long Central Asian border, is the one major nation that is interested in fighting Islamic extremism. The best the Americans have been able to do against the Caliphate is an expensive and ineffectual bombing campaign. Previous ineffectual and expensive bombing campaigns, such as the one in Cambodia, have produced unintended consequences such as the genocidal regime of Pol Pot, but why bother learning from mistakes when you can endlessly compound them?

Another example is the militarized mayhem and full-blown economic collapse that has engulfed the Ukraine in the wake of American-organized violent overthrow of its last-ever constitutional government a year ago. The destruction of the Ukraine was motivated by Zbigniew Brzezinski’s simplistic calculus that turning the Ukraine into an anti-Russian NATO-occupied zone would effectively thwart Russian imperial ambitions. A major problem with this calculus is that Russia has no imperial ambitions: Russia has all the territory it could ever want, but to develop it it needs peace and free trade. Another slight problem with Zbiggy’s “chessboard” is that Russia does have an overriding concern with protecting the interests of Russians wherever they may live and, for internal political reasons, will always act to protect them, even if such actions are illegal and carry the risk of a larger military conflict. Thus, the American destabilization of the Ukraine has accomplished nothing positive, but did increase the odds of nuclear self-annihilation. But if the USA manages to disappear from the world’s political map without triggering a nuclear holocaust, we will still have a problem, which is that…

3. The climate of Earth, our home planet, is, to put it as politely as possible, completely fucked. Now, there are quite a few people who think that radically altering the planet’s atmospheric and ocean chemistry and physics by burning just over half the fossilized hydrocarbons that could possibly be dug up using industrial methods means nothing, and that what we are observing is just natural climate variability. These people are morons. I will delete every single one of the comments they submit in response to this post, but in spite of my promise to do so, I assure you that they will still submit them… because they are morons. [Update: yup, QED.]

What we are looking at is a human-triggered extinction episode that will certainly be beyond anything in human experience, and which may rival the great Permian-Triassic extinction event of 252 million years ago. There is even the possibility of Earth becoming completely sterilized, with an atmosphere as overheated and toxic as that of Venus. That these changes are happening does not require prediction, just observation. The only parameters that remain to be determined are these:

1. How far will this process run?

Will there still be a habitat where humans can survive? Humans cannot survive without plenty of fresh water and sources of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, all of which require functioning ecosystems. Humans can survive on almost any kind of diet—even tree bark and insects—but if all vegetation is dead, then so are we. Also, we cannot survive in an environment where the wet bulb temperature (which takes into account our ability to cool ourselves by sweating) exceeds our body temperature: whenever that happens, we die of heat stroke. Lastly, we need air that we can actually breathe: if the atmosphere becomes too low in oxygen (because the vegetation has died out) and too high in carbon dioxide and methane (because the dead vegetation has burned off, the permafrost has melted, and the methane currently trapped in oceanic clathrates has been released) then we all die.

We already know that the increase in average global temperature has exceeded 1C since pre-industrial times, and, based on the altered atmospheric chemistry, is predicted to eventually exceed 2C. We also know that industrial activity, thanks to the aerosols it puts into the atmosphere, produces an effect known as global dimming. Once it’s gone, the average temperature will jump by at least another 1.1C. This would put us within striking range of 3.5C, and no humans have ever been alive with Earth more than 3.5C above baseline. But, you know, there is a first time for everything. Maybe we can invent some gizmo… Maybe if we all put on air-conditioned sombreros or something… (Design contest, anyone?)

2. How fast will this process happen?

The thermal mass of the planet is such that there is a 40-year lag between when atmospheric chemistry is changed and its effects on average temperature are felt. So far we have been shielded from some of the effects by two things: the melting of Arctic and Antarctic ice and permafrost, and the ocean’s ability to absorb heat. Your iced drink remains pleasant until the last ice cube is gone, but then it becomes tepid and distasteful rather quickly. Some scientists say that, on the outside, it will take 5000 years for us to run out of ice cubes, causing the party to end, but then the dynamics of the huge glaciers that supply the ice cubes are not understood all that well, and there have been constant surprises in terms of how quickly they can slough off icebergs, which then drift into warmer waters and melt quickly.

But the biggest surprise of the last few years has been the rate of arctic methane release. Perhaps you haven’t, but I’ve found it impossible to ignore all the scientists who have been ringing alarm bells on Arctic methane release. What they are calling the clathrate gun—which can release some 50 gigatons of methane in as little as a couple of decades—appears to have been fired in 2007 and now, just a few years later, the trend line in Arctic methane concentrations has become alarming. But we will need to wait for at least another two years to get an authoritative answer. Overall, the methane held in the clathrates is enough to exceed the global warming potential of all fossil fuels burned to date by a factor of between 4 and 40. The upper end of that range does seem to put us quite far towards a Venus-type atmosphere, and the surviving species may be limited to exotic thermophilic bacteria, if that, and certainly will not include any of the species we like to eat, nor any of us.

Looking at such numbers has caused quite a few researchers to propose the possibility of near-term human extinction. Estimates vary, but, in general, if the clathrate gun has indeed gone off, then most of us shouldn’t be planning to be around beyond mid-century. But the funny thing is (humor is never in poor taste, no matter how dire the situation) that most of us shouldn’t be planning on sticking around beyond mid-century in any case. The current oversized human population is a product of fossil fuel-burning, and once that’s over, human population will crash. This is called a die-off, and it’s something that happens all the time: a population (say, of yeast in a vat of sugary liquid) consumes its food, and then dies off. A few hardy individuals linger on, and if you throw in a lump of sugar, they spring to life, start reproducing and the process takes off again.

Another funny aspect of near-term human extinction is that it can never be observable, because no scientist will ever be around to observe it, and therefore it is a non-scientific concept. Since it cannot be used to do science, the scientists who throw it around must be aiming for an emotional effect. This is quite uncharacteristic of scientists, who generally pride themselves on being cool-headed and prefer to deal in the observable and the measurable. So, why would scientists go for emotional effect? Clearly, it is because they feel that something must be done. And to feel that something must be done, they must also feel that something can be done. But, if so, what is it?

Always first on the list is the effort to lobby governments to limit carbon emissions. This has not been a success; as to one of the many reasons why, consider point 2 above: the USA is one of the biggest offenders when it comes to carbon emissions, but the rotting corpse of America’s political system is incapable of any constructive action. It is too busy destroying countries: Iraq, Libya, Syria, Ukraine…

Second on the list is something called geoengineering. If you don’t know what it is, don’t worry; it’s largely a synonym for mental masturbation. The idea is that you fix things you don’t understand by using technologies that don’t exist. But given many humans’ irrational belief that every problem must have a technological solution, there is always some fool willing to throw money at it. Previous efforts along these lines involved the idea of seeding the oceans with iron to promote plankton growth, or putting bits of tin foil in orbit to reflect some of the sunlight, or painting the Sahara white. These are all fun projects to think about. How about using nuclear weapons to put dust into the atmosphere, to block out some of the sunlight? Or how about nuking a few big volcanos, for the same effect? If that’s politically difficult, how about something politically easy: a limited nuclear exchange? That will darken the skies, bringing on a mini nuclear winter, and also reduce the population, which will cut down on industrial activity. There are enough nuclear weapons to keep the planet cool for as long as it takes us all to die of radiation poisoning. This geoengineering solution, along with all the others, is in line with the popular dictum “If you can’t solve a problem, enlarge it.”

And so it seems to me that all the talk about near-term human extinction is just so much emotional hand-flapping designed to motivate people to try things that won’t work. Still, I believe the topic is worth pondering, for a simple reason: what if you don’t want to go extinct? We’ve already established that human extinction (whenever it might be said to occur) will never be observable, because no human will be around to observe it. We also know that population die-offs happen all the time, but they don’t always result in extinction. So, who will be most likely to die, and who might actually make it?

First on the list are the invisible victims of war. By now lots of people have seen photographs of piles of dead Ukrainian soldiers left to rot after another failed attack, or videos of residents of Donetsk expiring on the sidewalk after being hit by a government-lobbed artillery shell or mortar. But we don’t know how many children and women are dying in childbirth because the government has bombed maternity clinics and hospitals: such casualties of war are invisible. Nor will we be shown footage of all of the Ukrainian retirees expiring prematurely because they can no longer afford food, medicine or heat, but we can be sure that many of them won’t be around a year hence. When it comes to war, there are just two viable survival strategies: refuse to take part; and flee. Indeed, the million or so Ukrainians that are now in Russia, or the million or so Syrians who are no longer in Syria, are the smart ones. The Ukrainians who are volunteering to fight are the idiots; the ones who are fleeing to Russia to sit out the war are the smart ones. (However, the Russians, who are volunteering to protect their land and their families from what amounts to an American invasion, are clearly not idiots. They are also winning.) In this sense, war is a Darwinian process, delivering extinction to the foolish.

Next on the list of extinction episodes to avoid happens in major cities during a heat wave. It’s happened across Europe in 2003, and resulted in 70,000 casualties. In 2010, a heat wave in the Moscow region (which is quite far north) resulted in over 14,000 deaths in Moscow alone. The urban heat island effect, which is caused by sunlight soaked up by pavement and buildings, produces much higher local temperatures, driving them over the threshold for heat stroke. While the fossil fuel economy continues to operate, cities remain survivable because of the availability of air conditioning; once it shuts down, urban heat wave extinction episodes will become widespread. Since 50% of the population lives in cities, half of the human population is at risk of extinction from heat stroke. Therefore, if you don’t want to go extinct, don’t spend your summers in a city.

The list of places you don’t want to be if you wish to avoid extinction gets rather long. You wouldn’t want to live in California, for example, or in the arid southwestern states, because there won’t be any water there. You wouldn’t want to live along the coasts, because they are likely to be flooded by the rising oceans (they will eventually rise over 100 meters, putting all coastal cities underwater). You wouldn’t want to live in the eastern half of North America, because, paradoxically, a dramatically warmer Arctic region causes the jet stream to meander, producing increasingly fierce winters, which, minus fossil fuels, will cause widespread deaths from exposure. Even now, a bit of extra snow, which is likely to become the new normal, has caused the entire transportation infrastructure of New England (where, luckily, I am not) to roll over and play dead. Nor would you want to live in any of the places where the water source comes from glacial melt, because the glaciers will soon be gone. This includes much of Pakistan, large parts of India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Vietnam and so on. The list of places where you wouldn’t want to be if you don’t want to go extinct for this or that reason gets to be rather long.

But the entire northern half of Eurasia looks quite nice for the foreseeable future, so if you don’t want to go extinct, you better start teaching your kids Russian.

 

 

Dmitry Orlov is a Russian-American engineer and a writer on subjects related to “potential economic, ecological and political decline and collapse in the United States,” something he has called “permanent crisis”. He  has written The Five Stages of Collapse and Reinventing Collapse, continues to write regularly on his “Club Orlov” blog and at EnergyBulletin.Net.

Podcast: Gail Zawacki – Looking at Collapse

Off the microphones of Gail Zawacki & Monsta

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Aired on the Doomstead Diner on September 28, 2013

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Discuss at the Podcast Table inside the Diner


Collapse Café: Gail Zawacki – Looking at collapse
Originally published: Saturday 28th September 2013
Length: 42:53 (39.3mb)
Opening/Ending track: XTC – Dear God/ Fritz Wunderlich Handel – Xerxes

Summary: In this edition of the Collapse Café Monsta and Gail Zawacki have a general collapse discussion covering a broad range of topics from environmental destruction caused by pollution to unconstrained economic growth. What are the underlying reasons for this mindless pursuit of growth even when the detrimental effects on our ecosystem our obvious to anyone who cares to look? Is growth simply a part of the current capitalist economic system or is growth and profit just an underlying trait of the human condition?

What will be the main limiting factors to growth? Will it be energy, resources, excess accumulation of pollution or a combination of factors? And once those limits are reached how will people behave in the midst these converging crisis? Will there be a smooth protracted transition to cleaner sources of energy or will people burn cheap dirty fuels? Worse yet, will there be a die-off or even a extinction level event? Find out more by tuning into the this episode of the Collapse Café!

Over The Road V: Internet Beginnings & Collapse Endings

Off the keyboard of RE

Discuss this article at the Kitchen Sink inside the Diner

It’s hard these days to remember “life before the internet”, when if you were in correspondence with anyone, you generally would take weeks between exchanging letters. Now, if I don’t get a response to some email I send out to somebody or some corporation that screwed up on billing me for something by the next day, I figure I am either being ignored or it is a conspiracy or both. LOL.

I used to watch TV in those days though, so that filled the need for constant information input, and I didn’t get the Writing Jones until PCs were well into their development in the early 90s. I started but never finished a couple of Sci Fi novels before that and wrote some Poetry during my College Years, but writing wasn’t a big part of my life until the Laptops showed up and I turned Solitary as an OTR trucker.

The Internet was already in existence by then, although accessing it while OTR was pretty difficult. It was Dial-Up modems in those days, and I had to find access to a phone line with a Local Number I could call in order to stay online for anything more than a few minutes. Typical 800 Number charges were 10 cents/minute, $6/hr to stay online on the times I went that route. So in those days I would often compose as I am doing now in a word processor, copy into the buffer and then briefly sign on at some truckstop and paste my post into one of the yahoo groups I ran at the time, then sign off again. My email POP program would download messages I could read off the computer while not online in a few minutes, so for about $1/day I stayed caught up with my friends and net acquaintances that way.

A couple of years into my OTR driving years, a company called Park-n-View started providing Cable TV, Phone and Internet service to truckers right in your Truck, by connecting up with Phone line and Coaxial Cable to a Port that was installed in each parking spot for the trucks. It was a pretty robust port made out of heavy metal in case the truck tandems ran over it in parking, as they almost always did. It also had to be well shielded from the elements, and remarkably to me these ports worked most of the time. Hadda be hell for the guys driving the Snow Plows in those parking lots though during the Winter. I suspect they kept the Plow Blades up 2″ or so off the ground level to clear the ports.  Well built as they were, at right is what they look like today. Nice metaphor for technology in general, and in a sense its just a miniaturized version of Detroit screwed right down into the pavement.

At the very end of my trucking years, rudimentary WiFi began to hit the scene, I got a Sprint Cell Phone I could access a dial up modem with, and had an Unlimited Minutes plan for this. It was mighty slow of course, but in those days it was all just Text, no Pics and certainly no Vids. I was off the road a long time before REAL High Speed WiFi started to be offered in all the Truckstops.

There were of course many hours/days where I had no access to a phone line or even a Park-n-View connection to check in on the net, check my email and so forth, stuck in a Shipper or Receiver waiting for a load or unload. To fill those many lonesome hours in the cabin of my Freightliner, I played on my laptop. I installed graphics programs and publication programs and database programs. I taught myself rudimentary database programming and started creating publications that incorporated pictures into them. I learned the basics of HTML during this time as well, though never have really become a super geek with the uderlying Code that runs websites like the Diner. All of what I did accumulate in knowledge during that time though I now use to make the Diner a lively looking and functional website, though the underlying code comes from Peter, not me.

Most of all though during those lonesome times, I wrote. Not about Doom though in those days, other topics occupied my mind back then. Still in the course of that writing I developed the Gonzo Style and “Atitude” I still use today in my writing, bombastic and over-the-top quite often.

As it progresses here to today, I find some things very interesting in exactly who you find on the Internet to chat with. It is very demographically skewed of course. Despite the prevailing zeitgeist that it is the younger people who are conversant with Computers and the Internet, you wouldn’t know that as you travel around the Collapse Blogosphere, that is for sure. The main Bloggers are just about all 40 & Up, and the older they are, the more Prolific they are in what they write. Likely because once Retired from whatever their normal job was, they have tons of time on their hands to write whatever comes into the Senior Mind. LOL.

Similar demographics in the Commentariat on these Blogs also, heavily weighted toward the aging population of Boomers & Silents. Almost everyone of these folks has developed a “Lifetime Philosophy”, which often breaks down to very conventional Political Classifications of “Socialist” or “Capitalist”. There are of course innumerable variations on these ideas, but basically it seems to me to come down to those who think the Individual is more important versus those who think the whole Community is more important. Individual “Rights” versus Social “Welfare”, that sort of thing.

It is not just in age demographics that you get a skewed perspective, it is also across cultural lines as well. Even though a good part of the “well-educated” of 3rd World countries speak English and can afford a Laptop and Internet connection, I have never had a Native Chinese or Indian or Brazilian or Russian show up on any of my blogs or forums, though I did run into a few Eastern Europeans on Peak Oil in the HOT years from around 2006-2010. Mostly though what you find on the Internet in the Collapse Blogosphere are people from the native English Speaking countries of the FSofA, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. So is it just these English-speakers who are concerned with Collapse Issues? The Well-Educated of China and India and Russia have no interest in investigating this stuff and discussing it?

Perhaps on their own local net in their own languages there is something similar going on, but you know I really doubt it. I think the whole “contemplation of collapse” meme is pretty consolidated into a relatively small demographic of Boomers & Silents living in the 1st World English Speaking countries. Why is that?

First off, I think the theories put forth by folks like M. King Hubbert and Richard Duncan have been very poorly disseminated outside the English Speaking world, hell even INSIDE this world said theories are not well known. I think in most countries particularly in the 3rd World that the “Progress Meme” is still being highly promoted amongst the Intelligentsia, and these folks are more concerned with CATCHING UP ot the 1st Worlders than with Reverse Engineering their societies toward a low energy footprint society.

The “progress” or move toward Social Media as a primary function of the Internet is also IMHO in large part responsible for poor information dissemination in this area. The English speaking world got Computers and the internet early enough on in the game that your current 40-70+ year old class of people here have been researching and reading about these things for quite some time, at least the most active of them have been. for the younger folks, the Internet has become more of a Sound Bite medium much like Television, with the Internet mainly used as a Comunications medium between friends, not as a Research medium for Information. If ya can’t consolidate it down to a 3  line Tweet or a 2 minute Vid, you can’t get many people to pay attention to what is presented on the net. I certainly have been criticized ENDLESSLY for the fact most of my Essays and Articles run in the Nabe of 2000-5000 words as being just too LONG for people to read. WTF? How can you detail out any reasonably complex idea in much less than this? Books are much longer…oh but yea people don’t read them anymore either!

The upshot of all of this is that the truth about Collapse is very poorly disseminated information, both Globally across cultures and Demographically across age groups. It is most certainly NOT taught in the Schools ANYWHERE at all. What is taught and promoted is to take out huge loans to get an Engineering Degree which in all likelihood by the time the average 18 YO today graduates will be quite worthless. If even the “well educated” class of people with access to computers and the internet are systematically routed away from exploring these issues, it certainly makes it quite difficult to generate a new consensus. Is that a Purposeful Plan of the Illuminati? If not, then it certainly was a fortuitous outcome for them to have a generation of clueless people distributed around the globe just about everywhere.

Henry Ford remarked once that if J6P understood the Monetary System at all, there would be a Revolution the next day. Ignorance is promoted and promulgated by the Illuminati. Anybody SMART enough to understand any of it is Coopted into the Game, and becomes a Mid-Level “Successful” Apparatchik, and over time develops a Rationale which explains and justifies his “Success” to himself. In justifiying that success, the same person demonizes and denigrates those less successful than himself as simply too stupid or too lazy to be successful. These are the people who make our Enslavement possible, these are the people who have brought us to the Brink of Extinction.

This facet of cultural development represents the “Banality of Evil”.  The apparatchiks aren’t the ones truly “running the show”, but they ARE the ones who make the show possible at all.    In one respect or another, anyone who participates in the system as a middle level apparatchik ends up functioning to perpetuate the Evil we have before us.  You work, you pay your taxes, you vote, all of this serves to perpetuate the system.  Dropping OFF this system, or “Dropping Out” really is an extraordinarily difficult thing for most people in Industrial Society to do at all.

If you buy yourself a Doomstead somewhere to set up Permaculture Farming, you are going to have Property Taxes to pay, and it is quite questionable as to whether the farm can both Feed you and Family AND sell the excess produce to increasingly broke populations.  Trying to go out Rewilding, you will find that nearly every spot on the Globe is “owned” by somebody, or by Da Goobermint which has restrictions on just what you can Fish or Hunt up and kill.  More or less a version of the old “King’s Fox Hunting Ground”, nobody but the King can go there and shoot anything, all the creatures on that plot of land belong to HIM. You gotta go mighty far out in marginal territory to be let alone to hunt & fish and gather as you will, at least for now that is the case.

Here on the Diner, we engage in the process of “Work Arounds” for these many facets of the failing industrial economy and how you might negotiate the shitstorm to come.  The FOOD problem remains of paramount concern to most Diners, as we are all aware that the JIT shipping paradigm that utilizes the kind of Big Rig I drove  is amongst the most vulnerable of the systems we are dealing with here and if/when it fails can rapidly bring extreme Hunger & Starvation to the most highly populated neighborhoods in the industrialized world, the Big Shities as I refer to them.

Is there ANY reasonable solution which has some CHANCE at success?  In fact there is, though hope is slim that it will be implemented on a large scale in a near enough timeline to ameliorate an extreme and rapid Die Off event for Homo Sapiens.

What IS that HOPE?  It is Hydroponics, a means of growing vast quantities of food in a Water and Energy conservative manner that can utilize much of the flotsam and jetsam of the Age of Oil ALREADY manufactured to produce vast quantities of  food in many locations otherwise unsuitable for typical Ag techniques, including Permaculture.  Here on the Diner, you can begin your exploration of Hydroponics in the Hydroponics NOW! thread inside the Diner, along with numerous other threads devoted to this topic.

Is Hydroponics a FOOLPROOF Solution to the Food Problem we will face as the spin down progresses onward here?  No it is not, there are many difficulties involved, not so much with the technology or even having available the varous plumbing stuff from the Age of Oil.  Even though you can scale down to create a system just big enough to provide for our own needs as the above pictured setup does for Diner Admin Peter, you do face the problem of Have Nots, aka as “Zombies” who in all likelihood will resort to violent tactics to acquire the food you have or are producing.  Although more secure than exposed plots of land, not that much more secure.

In more remote areas, you probably can pursue such a technique with reasonable security, but inside a Big Shity or Suburb, even hidden in a basement your neighbors will quickly recognize you are not getting so skinny quite so fast as they are.  They will knock on your door to ask for food, and eventually at the Point of a Gun likely ask to search your premises for food.

So even though it is technically feasible to pursue Hydroponics as a Solo Adventure for yourself and family, this really is not the best route to go for most people in most neighborhoods.

Rather, instead of HIDING what you are doing, ADVERTIZE IT!  Let as many people as you know in the neighborhood KNOW about it, and TEACH them to do the same thing.

Learning to do anything like this takes Time & Experience, and time you put in now to teaching yourself how it is done makes you a VALUABLE member of your Community.  People will Look to YOU to HELP them, and you will have the means to do that.  Not with Money, but with that which NEVER can be taken from you by Da Goobermint, what you KNOW HOW TO DO.

Will it be IMPOSSIBLE to do Hydroponics once JIT fails and the Parts you buy now are no longer available from the Big Box Stores by way of Slave Laborers working in China?  Not at ALL, because just about ALL of it can be scavenged from the parts used to construct your McMansion and your SUV!  What cannot be scavenged this way can be facsimilated from local materials.  Even Timers and Pumps can be created locally out of available materials.

If like some of the Diners here you decide to try and build a Hydroponics grwoing facility in your McMansion or Garage or Basement, I urge you not to think of it as just a means to feed self and family, but rather as your autodidactic method of gaining the knowledge necesary to help everyoneelseinyour community do the SAME THING.  So you do not need a HUGE setup for this, and a good beginner system can be set up at an affordable price. for all but the totally destitute already.

The Diners are here to help you.  We are all in the same mess of course, and this is something you CAN DO.  Wherever you live right now, even in a Big Shity it is possible.  Perhaps, just PERHAPS it is possible to get enough of your neighbors to WAKE UP in time to stave off the Zombie Apocalypse.  Is this the Picture you want for the Future?

 

Or is it THIS

You can CHOOSE right now to make the second picture the OUTCOME here.  Or at least make the EFFORT at it.  Even if you FAIL, at least you know when you Buy your Ticket to the Great Beyond, you did NOT quit, you did NOT go down without a fight, and you made your very BEST effort to….wait for it…


Save As Many As You Can

RE

Grand Unified Theory of Collapse: GUTOC

Discuss this article inside the Diner

Mark wrote:

I think a key point from what Steve said there was the debts could be canceled and you would have to borrow to infinity anyway to keep industrial civilization as we know it running. Triggering the global derivative markets would probably lead to such a reset of debt would it not? Or they would just end derivatives? Many liberal techno fantasy folks I know trumpet that solution but it seems it would destroy the supposed assets of the too big to fail banks.

In theory you could cancel out the derivatives market, but this would crash the biggest of the TBTF banks. It would be massively deflationary, leaving only “real” assets on their books, but those assets are also all impaired. Loan books that are not paying off, Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDOs) with no worthwhile collateral backing them up, etc.

Besides bringing down the main Global Banking system, same players control global trade of all kinds, and once they are outta biz you don’t have a coherent means to keep this up, not on anywhere near current scale anyhow. Who will issue Letters of Credit, based in what currency? Gold? Pfffft. Even if Saudis accept Gold for Oil, anybody running an industrial economy will bankrupt themselves of that Gold using it to keep buying Oil for a while. Once the Saudis HAVE all the Gold, then what do you buy their Oil with?

So you are left with the fundamental problem that once this monetary system crashes, rebooting a new one based on any worthwhile assets is pretty tough. You can say the Land is the Asset, but for land to be an asset it actually has to be productive in some way. A McMansion is not a productive asset of course. Farms can be productive assets, but current Industrial Ag is not, it requires too much input of fossil fuel energy to be net productive.

A Perfectly run Permaculture Farm could be considered Productive, but basing a monetary system on that is quite the challenge unless you Nationalize this. See, if each individual person runs their own Private Property Farm, its not a State Asset at all. You can barter your produce with others, but there is no Money involved here in this. Only once the State taxes your produce and creates a currency of some sort from that taxation can you have money flowing around the economy.

Anyhow, even if you do drop down to this level (which is basically the Feudal system), you have massively deflated Industrialization out of Biz as unaffordable, you have very little functioning Money around of any kind (and what there is probably is very local), and you are left with Feudally Run (by local Warlords no doubt) permaculture Farms which probably do not produce enough to handle the current local population’s needs. So lots of people go to the Great Beyond here in this process of contraction.

So of course our Global Masters are doing every last thing they can think of to keep the system propped up, because when (not if) the Global Banking system collapses it doesn’t mean just a Monetary Reset here. It means the real onset of Civilization Collapse and an Die Off in population of unprecedented proportions in all of Recorded History.

The Solution which will be undertaken to this problem is not a Monetary one, it is WAR. When you no longer can afford to BUY the resource you need, you STEAL it. So through War the attempt is already underway to steal the Oil remaining from the MENA countries to keep propping up the economies of the core Industrial Economies of Germany, China and the FSofA. The Ruskies mostly have their own Oil and aren’t directly involved, but their problem is they can’t afford their OWN oil. They have been contracting down since the collapse of the Soviet Union, population stats way down here over the last 20 years with more to go.

Its the War issue which makes the local collapse here in the FSofA so unpredictable. A Military State such as Rome can persist for quite a while through conquest and theft. However, the fact we are in the end going to go Mano-a-Mano or Nuke-a-Nuke with the Chinese for the last of the remaining Oil means in all probability the Big Ass Military will not last so long as it did in the Roman Collapse, which actually took Centuries to complete. In this case it probably doesn’t last 5 years, and in fact could be over in a matter of minutes. Generaly speaking though, I think MAD will prevail and if Nukes are used, they will be mostly tactical ones, not ICBM MIRV equipped City Killers.

To conclude here in this digest of GUTOC, the sequence of events is pretty clear even if the Timeline for them still remains a bit murky. Overall my predictions have been very accurate in terms of sequence since I got started on this, I predicted the Nation State BKs coming down the pipe in 2008 after Lehman collapsed. The length of time TPTB have been able to extend this out continues to astound me, along with the endless creativity in accounting and the endless gullibility/acceptance of eating shit by the general public as well. This will not last in perpetuity though, up at the Top it is coming apart at the seams now and fracture is imminent. War looms on the Horizon.

RE

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

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

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

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

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

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

Top Commentariats

  • Our Finite World
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I was just rearranging their little totally incorrect statement. I agree with you on all the extras [...]

Thanks Kim. I hadn't heard about the functions of boron, and I will definitely look into that. [...]

I was thinking more about things within the economy but not inside an actual physical market. For in [...]

I don't have nearly enough knowledge or expertise about the oil industry to be able to make a j [...]

Yes, I am sure that mineral deficiencies are common due to eating food grown in poor soil. Boron hel [...]

Hi Steve. I recently found what I believe is a little gem, and I'm quite confident you'd a [...]

The Federal Reserve is thinking about capping yields? I don't know how long TPTB can keep this [...]

As some one who has spent years trying to figure out what the limits to growth are. let me say that [...]

Peak oil definitely happened for gods sake. Just because it isn't mad max right now is no indic [...]

@Volvo - KMO says he made some life choices he regrets. Not sure what they were. And I don't th [...]

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

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Technical Journals

This paper assessed the variability and projected trends of solar irradiance and temperature in the [...]

Following the impact of droughts witnessed during the last decade there is an urgent need to develop [...]

A “nadir-only” framework of the radiometric intercomparison of multispectral sensors usi [...]

A fuzzy random conditional value-at-risk-based linear programming (FCVLP) model was proposed in this [...]