Famine

Top 10 Drought Locations

Drought-Monitor-July-8-2014gc2reddit-logoOff the keyboard of RE

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Publishes on the Doomstead Diner on November 17, 2015

Drought-No-Swimming-Sign-Photo-by-Peripitus

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Top 10 Drought Locations

Syria

Drought is a major reason for the  Refugee Crisis in Syria, besides the ongoing Bombing and war over the Oil Resource.

South Africa

Drought is destabilizing the South African Goobermint, and heightening already strained race relations between Blacks & Whites

Brazil

Sao Paolo is the epicenter with a population of 20M, but Rio de Janeiro also has drought problems.  Slash & Burn deforestation of the Amazon Rain Forest exacerbates the problems.

California

Lake Mead is under stress, CA groundwater subsides a few more feet each year and nobody has a clue what to do if 40M Califonicators are forced to migrate.

Eastern Europe

Eastern Europe has water issues and also is on the main migration routes from MENA countries.  Their already overstressed Water resource come under more stress as a result.  A double-whammy.

Australia

Oz sheep ranching is collapsing, and they also are under Refugee stress from South East Asia.  In the best of times, Oz is mainly desert in the interior, mostly only coastal areas are inhabitable.

New Guinea

Despite periodic flooding events, New Guinea has some of the worst drought problems around.  Destination of choice for those migrants? Oz of course.

India

India depends on Monsoons and the runoff from the Humalayas for its water supply, and they have to share the water with Pakistanis as well. All are stress points, and 100s of 1000s of Indian Farmers have committed suicide over the last decade.

Western Russia/Ukraine

Another cause of the onoing and escalating war in Ukraine, traditionally the "Breadbasket" for Mother Russia.

Puerto Rico/Jamaica

Relatively small populations, but the migration issues and economic issues for the FSoA make them sigmificant problems.

Globally, the number of places wit Drought Stress increases daily.  This forces migrations, and then areas not under drought stress become overtaxed in consumption and in waste.  Remember that in most Big Shities, water is used for disposing of Human Waster, and most migrants at least at first end up in Big Shities.

From the Global Drought Information Website:

Current Conditions

By the end of September 2015, drought conditions intensified in many locations.  El Nino is present and is currently being characterized as a strong event, similar in strength to the 1997-1998 event.  It is expected to impact the weather at least through the coming winter. In Europe, drought conditions continued to impact the majority of the continent.  Some improvement was seen in the center of the continent while drought intensified in Eastern Europe. In the Czech Republic, the hop harvest is expected to drop 34% this year due to the drought.  In Asia, drought is present from western Asia, through central and eastern Russia and in Southeast Asia and the Indian sub-continent. Some areas in southern India are too dry to plow. In Africa, drought remains entrenched across the equatorial region and through much of the South. South Africa has declared a drought disaster for Free State and North West Provinces.  In North America, the El Nino has brought some relief to the southwestern US while conditions in the Southeast and through Mexico and across the Caribbean remained dry.  The Dominican Republic and Jamaica have already experienced significant crop losses. In South America, drought remains entrenched in Brazil and has intensified through the central Amazon Basin.  In Oceana, drought has intensified throughout much of the region north of Australia while drought conditions in Australia have continued unabated. Papua New Guinea has released relief supplies for those most affected by the current drough

Sense a problem here?  MANY places are both in serious drought conditions AND they were already food importers even in the good times.  The FSoA continues to be a major food exporter, but that is entirely dependent both on the water supply flowing to CA and to the Ogallala Acquifer in the grain belt of the midwest.  Globally, we are only one bad season away from an overall food deficit.  Once the buffer is gone, the starvation begins.  It may not happen next year, but each year we inch closer to this critical point.

Where will drought problems hit first and hardest?  When will the real crunch time come?  Take the Collapse Drought Survey TM and give us your opinion.

Oil supply shock, food shortages, and potential starvation in Sweden?

PhoenixRisinggc2Off the keyboard of Fenixor

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Published on Peak Resources on October 8, 2015

 
Discuss this article at the Energy Table inside the Diner
 
In 2013 the Swedish Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering (JTI) released a report about potential impacts on the country’s food supply from sudden oil import shocks. JTI looked at three different scenarios, where oil imports would be redistricted (-25%, -50%, -75%) for a period of 3-5 years. Not enough time to make a transition to some other fuel. 
 
In the worst case scenario, where 75% of oil imports disappear, the authors stated that the diesel price could increase to some SEK 160/litre, and we would likely experience widespread starvation! Food supplies, in stores and warehouses, would only last for 10-12 days. Swedes don’t even know that the government has said that it’s up to the citizens themself to provide for their own food needs in a crisis situation. Most people seem to believe we still live in the 1970s when Sweden was a socialist country, not any more, not since the neoliberals came into office and started dismantling healthcare, defence, education etc. There is no emergency preparedness!
 
Without fossil fuels (oil and gas) we wouldn't be able to produce enough food in Sweden. This is partly due to our high food imports (50%)​, large-scale mechanisation of farms, loss of small-scale farmers and high costs (taxes) on farming. Most farm machinery runs on diesel while oil is used for heating and transportation. Areas like Stockholm and parts of Norrland are especially dependent on food imports. For example, the Stockholm region only produces some 5% of the milk consumed and less than 10% of the meat.
 
Today there are no food or fuel reserves, instead the entire country is totally dependent on “just-in-time” supplies. Again, in the worst case scenario, there will be no cooking oil, 75% less fruits and berries, 67-70% less grains, 40% less milk, and 64% less pigs, chickens and eggs. The only thing increasing is sheep and cow meat since a lot of land only will be used for grazing. Grazing animals get their food from sunlight (grass) and contribute with manure.
 
Based on SPBI data
Swedes can be kept over the starvation line if only 25% of oil imports disappear, but we will experience food shortages and risk of starvation if a larger oil shock occurs (50-75%). Looking at the export-import data some commentators have estimated that 90% of all oil imports will be gone by 2030. And this is probably a conservative estimate since it doesn’t account for sudden shocks due to an economic crisis, conflict, and so on. 

 

In a recent opinion poll (2013) two out of every three (63%) Swedes stated that they wouldn't be able to handle a shorter crisis. People in Gotland, Öland (islands) and Småland were most worried about a future crisis (49% think they will experience a crisis). Most people (58%) can only manage for about one week but it's likely that the respondents underestimate how much resources are actually required for everyday life. For example, water (3 litres/day) and heating during the winter.

 

Sweden's food supply is in any case extremely vulnerable to a shortage in oil imports, and Swedes are not prepared despite a lacking government. Our dear politicians have absolutely no plan on changing this, instead they claim “we need to stay competitive” totally missing the point that growth is over! (0.3% per capita GDP growth the last decade). The situation is not made better by half of all our oil imports now coming from Russia that we are engaging in trade wars with (sanctions etc). 

The 1783-84 Laki Eruption: A Catastrophic Volcanic Eruption that Changed the Course of Human History

gc2smOff the keyboard of A.G. Gelbert

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on September 16, 2015


On June 10th wrote Sæmundur Magnusson Holm at the University of Copenhagen, falling ash coloured black the deck and sails of ships travelling to Denmark.


Discuss this article at the History Table inside the Diner


Most people are propagandized by the leaders of the societies they live in to believe that history is simply a collection of facts strung in chronological order. The truth is far more nuanced.

Historians interpret the importance of events as if they are the only ones qualified to do so, or just leave them out all together, for allegedly "objective" scholarly reasons. Nothing could be further from the truth.  Human history is rife with key pivotal events that don't make it into the flag waving, hero worshipping, designated bad guy demonizing, condensed narrative.

The fact that these key events are deemed "not credible" as key events by the academic community, despite the fact that said "scholars" (see lock step lackeys) accept that the event occurred, should be a red flag to anyone that still retains the ability to think critcally.

I have written about the Piri Reis maps in an article titled Evidence that Demands a Verdict: The Consensus Historical View that Piri Reis used South American Coastline maps made by Columbus . I have pointed out how they do not "fit" the world view of the "scholars" of history. But that is an extreme example of the capacity, willingness and bulheadedness of historians to engage in agnotology (i.e. culturally induced ignorance or doubt) to avoid admitting even the possibility that their narrative is, not just flawed due to innocent mistakes, but a product of status quo defending mens rea.

So what else is new? Humans lie to puff themselves up. We all know that, right? Or do we?

Here, on this forum, among highly educated, intelligent people. I occasionally run into assumptions about our history that are the product of agnotology propaganda. Individuals who are properly cynical of government motives for doing this, that, or the other in our time are blissfully accepting of all the mendacious double talk that infects our history books.

Conspiracy is the norm, not the exception, among powerful and influential humans now, is it not? WHAT makes you think it hasn't been the history twisting norm as long as we have been human?

I wish historians were more open to criticism of their interpretaton(s) of history. I wish they would NOT leave stuff out just because they decided a certain event was not key.

No, I'm not here to tell you that George Washingon's wooden false teeth were really made from Native American pelvic Indian "Ivory" (I'm kidding!) and he was a Sith Lord. It's true that walking sticks made from the femur bones of the "savages" were all the rage among the white well-to-do in our great and grand cities for over a century after the USA got started, but that's not what I want to discuss either.

What I am about to discuss is NOT, as the walking sticks and other bits of European empathy deficit disorderd cruelty, a conspiracy theory, as many claim (but I don't).

The events I will discuss have all been accepted by modern historians as factual. What they have not accepted is their cause and effect relationship.

The case I wish to make is for the tremendous effects, in subsequent history from 1783 to 1825, of the Laki Volcanic Eruption.

Natural historical events that coincide in time with human historical events are rarely given the importance they merit by the "scholars" that populate the academic institutions. Their convenient NON-interpretation of, or ignoring of, natural disasters as key causes of subsequent human historical events evidences a bias that exaggerates the power of human ideas and thought over the power of nature.

Our behavior as individuals and as a society is strongly influenced by any natural disaster that we happen to witness due to the massive pointless suffering and death involved. We are generally stunned by such events. This the way it is for most of us.

But for the elites of powerful, warlike countries, and conversely among the leaders of the downtrodden of said countries, natural disasters cause plans to do this or that to be postponed by the former, and conversely, accelerated by the latter.

Since the survivors of disasters and/or the victors of wars write the history books, this cause and effect sequence rarely makes it to the flag waving masses. 
 


1755 Lisbon Earthquake and Tsunami


It's a side issue that I mention only briefly now, but Voltaire was deeply affected by the 1755 earthquake and tsunami which caused massive human suffering and death. He wrote some biting satire about the "Best of All Possible Worlds" did he not? TRY to find how that fits (and believe me, not the historians, it DOES!) in the historical narrative from that time period AND how that has affected human society and thinking to this day! You won't find it. Had the 1755 earthquake and tsunami not occurred, it is not a stretch to assume that no GIGANTIC society affecting satire would have been written.

QUOTE: The earthquake and its fallout strongly influenced the intelligentsia of the European Age of Enlightenment. The noted writer-philosopher Voltaire used the earthquake in Candide and in his Poème sur le désastre de Lisbonne ("Poem on the Lisbon disaster"). Voltaire's Candide attacks the notion that all is for the best in this, "the best of all possible worlds", a world closely supervised by a benevolent deity. UNQUOTE
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1755_Lisbon_earthquake

If Voltaire wasn't an atheist before that 1755, I would wager that the huge loss of life convinced him to eschew theism. I am not defending his decision. I don't agree with it. I simply understand where he was coming from. The corrupt church in those days wasn't exactly a source of inspiration for intellectuals, or anybody else.

As a Christian, I find it perfectly appropriate for a Just God to destroy all the churches in Lisbon, along with killing the Grand Inquisitor of the Catholic Church there, while sparing all the brothels. Lisbon's "pious" society, all of them claiming to be Christians, would gather routinely to cheer the burning at the stake of "heretics" and "those engaging in witchcraft".

Lisbon was one of the richest cities in Europe because of it's lucrative slave trade and it's lucrative influx of gold. That gold was mined in South America. That gold was obtained by cruel forced labor exploitation of South American natives and African slaves. A portion of that gold found its way into the spectacular amounts of gold gilding in Lisbon's churches. Lisbon's churches were the envy of Europe at the time because of their copious amounts of gold gliding. The Portuguese were Empathy Deficit Disordered human predators.

So, if God did it, why isn't He more consistent in His wrath? I don't know. However, what happened in Lisbon seems like a great example of Divine Justice visited on a particularly blatant example of egregious religious hypocrisy in the service of greed and rampant cruelty. People claiming to be Christians are, according to the Judeo-Christian Scriptures, far more likely to get Da Business from God than other humans. Google ""Judgement begins in the house of God"" for details.

But perhaps Voltaire, a product of his time, didn't see it that way. Voltaire's conclusion was that a Just God would not destroy Lisbon, so there must not be a God, period. The selective application of justice was not acceptable for God, according to Voltaire. That seems logical to me. ;D

However, for humans like Voltaire, selective application of "Enlightenment" justice, was, though hypocritical in the extreme, quite acceptable  :P.  As you will learn in the final part of this three part article, despite his atheist "Enlightenment" rhetoric, born of the suffering he observed in Lisbon (and later in France), Voltaire did not seem to believe his  ideas applied to African slaves.

If you think that earthquake did not change human history all the way TO THIS EMPATHY DEFICIT DISORDERED, ATHEISM DEFENDING DAY, you are wrong. But that's another, rather sore, subject.  I KNOW there are WAY TOO MANY cheerleaders for the "Enlightenment" (see Orwell) here for me to make a dent in their mechanistic reductionist, cause and effect comfort zones. The flexibility of those fine fellows in those matters is akin to that of one year old cured concrete.

So, for the moment, forget I mentioned Voltaire and implied that the "God is Dead" fun and games that begat Darwin and Empathy Deficit Disordered profit over planet began with an earthquake in 1755.
 
Travel with me back  in time to England in the year of our Lord 1783.
 


English two-decker ship of the line


Ships are, compared with today, small. Even the majestic clipper ships of the late 19th century have not been invented yet. It takes over a month to cross the Atlantic from England to the American Colonies that just successfully revolted. It cost the crown a lot of money to move a fleet with weapons and soldiers from England to the American Colonies and prosecute the, now failed, war effort, thanks to the well timed arrival of a rather impressive French fleet.

Jamaica is still in the English fold, however. I mention it now because of the role it played in some Simon Bolivar history (mentioned in part 3 of this article). I also mention it now because, unlike the American Colonies, it continued to be exploited in order to provide commodities for the English Empire.

As of 1783, the commodities flow coming from the American Colonies has been severely curtailed for several years and the English are not happy campers.

England is a Maritime Empire. Testament to that is the fact that the English language is populated with sailing terms. Ships are the vessels through which the life blood of this warlike island nation flows. Ships need to know where they are when they are at sea. They navigate by compass, some pretty accurate clocks and sightings of the sun at noon and/or the 'moons of Jupiter positions' (ephemeris).

Moving ships from here to there profitably is a matter of life and death for the British Empire. Any interruption in profitable shipping activity hurts the empire. Warships are profitable only if they can secure rebellious colonies and protect the commodities flow from the colonies and the finished goods (the English colonial "business model") to them.

British America's most valuable exports in the early 1770s, in order of total value: sugar, tobacco, wheat, rice.

Value of annual British imports to the North American colonies in the 1770s: nearly £885,000.

http://www.shmoop.com/american-revolution/statistics.html

Let us compare "Now" (1783) to the British national debt about 19 years ago (about ten years before the American Colonies revolted):

British national debt in 1764: £129,586,789 (this was money that the British government borrowed from banks and investors, and it would be the equivalent of tens of trillions of dollars today).

http://www.shmoop.com/american-revolution/statistics.html

The war against the American colonies had finished only in 1782 during Rockingham's second ministry and the wars against most of the rest of Europe had been concluded by Shelburne's ministry in 1783.

http://www.historyhome.co.uk/c-eight/pitt/taxpitt.htm

Total British casualties from battle and disease in the Revolutionary War: around 24,000.

http://www.shmoop.com/american-revolution/statistics.html

The Rebellious American Colonies avoided the cost of sending a fleet across the Atlantic. They did a little better than the English in the war.

Total American battle casualties in the Revolutionary War: 6,824 (estimates range between this figure and 4,435; some 90% of them came from the Continental Army).

Total Americans wounded in the Revolutionary War: 8,445.

Total American deaths from disease in the Revolutionary War: 10,000 (approximation).

Total Americans who died in British prisons in the Revolutionary War: 8,500.

Total Americans captured in the Revolutionary War: 18,152.

http://www.shmoop.com/american-revolution/statistics.html

The  British forces under Cornwallis at Yorktown had surrendered in October of 1781. In March of 1782, the British Government authorised peace negotiations.

But before the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1783  (formally ending the Revolutionary War), a very big volcanic eruption began in Iceland. The eruption immediately affected history by delaying the ratification of the treaty.

Official ratification of the peace accord was delayed for months by a mix of political logistics and persistent bad weather. The makeshift U.S. capital in Annapolis, Maryland, was snowbound, preventing assembly of congressional delegates to ratify the treaty, while storms and ice across the Atlantic slowed communications between the two governments. At last, on May 13, 1784, Benjamin Franklin, wrangling matters in Paris, was able to send the treaty, signed by King George himself, to the Congress.

http://press.princeton.edu/chapters/i10195.pdf

 


June 8, 1783 the Laki Eruption began. It lasted EIGHT MONTHS. It killed about 22% of the human population of Iceland and sixty percent of their grazing animals.

The Laki eruptions had a staggering effect on Iceland itself, in large part due to the volcanic gases released in the eruption and not the lava flows themselves.

Sulfur dioxide released by the lava flows stayed close to the ground (within 5 km) in Iceland, creating acid rains that were strong enough to burn holes in leaves, kill trees and shrubs and irritate skin.

The eruption released 8 Mt of fluorine, so as that fluorine settled out and was incorporated into grasses, grazing livestock got fluorinosis. Sixty percent of all grazing livestock died due to the effects of the Laki eruptions. The “Haze Famine” as it is called in Iceland killed over 10,000 people (~22% of the population) from famine and disease.

http://www.wired.com/2013/06/local-and-global-impacts-1793-laki-eruption-iceland/

But that was only the beginning.

Of the 122 Mt of sulfur dioxide released in the eruption, 95 Mt made it to the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere, so it entered the jet stream and was circulated around the entire northern hemisphere (see right). The haze quickly reached Europe and by July 1, 1783, the haze was noticed in China.

There are not many historical records from North America that mention the arrival of the Laki haze, but tree ring records from northern Alaska suggest that July and August 1783 were very cold. The mean temperature in northern Alaska is 11.3ºC, but the mean temperature recorded in May-August 1783 was only 7.2ºC. Russian traders in Alaska noted a population decrease in the years after the eruption while Inuit oral histories do refer to a “Summer that did not come” that could correlate with the Laki eruption as well.

Globally, those 95 Mt of sulfuric dioxide reacted with atmospheric water to form 200 Mt of sulfuric acid aerosols. Almost 90% of that sulfuric acid was removed in the form of acid rain or fogs, while 10% stayed aloft for over a year. This might explain why northern hemisphere temperatures were 1.3ºC below normal for 2-3 years after the eruion.

Thordarson and Self (2003) created an excellent figure to show how the sulfur aerosols were dispersed during the eruion (see below), where 80% was part of the explosive phase of the eruion and launched 10-15 km, producing distant haze across the world while 20% came directly from cooling lava flows, so it stayed close to the ground to produce the local haze in Iceland. The sulfuric acid was even damaging to crops in Europe, where noxious dews and frosts (sulfur precipitates) formed. Ash from the eruion was noted as far away as Venice, Italy and many places in between.
http://www.wired.com/2013/06/local-and-global-impacts-1793-laki-eruion-iceland/

Here's a graphic of the aerosol spread from the Laki Eruion:


NOBODY outside of Iceland knew what was causing the haze which killed people, animals and crops and then made it real, real cold.

 

The Laki Eruption effects on England


"When an Icelandic volcano erupted in 1783,  many feared it was the end of the world…"

By June 22 it was above Le Havre in Normandy, and a day later arrived in Britain.

Reports at the time stated that the fog was so thick boats stayed in port, unable to navigate. The skies became unrecognisable, with 'the sun at noon as blank as a clouded moon, but lurid and blood- coloured at rising and setting'.

According to an article in Gentleman's Magazine in July 1783, a visitor to Lincoln reported: 'A thick hot vapour had for several days before filled up the valley, so that both the Sun and Moon appeared like heated brick-bars.'

Another account, by Gilbert White in his Naturalist's Journal, spoke of: 'The peculiar haze or smoky fog that prevailed in this island and even beyond its limits was a most extraordinary appearance, unlike anything known within the memory of man.'

But it was perhaps the observations of the travelling evangelist and founder of Methodism, the Reverend John Wesley, which put the drama in its most illuminating context.

When he visited Witney in Oxfordshire in 1783 he witnessed a combination of summer thunderstorms and thick fog which left inhabitants convinced the end of the world was nigh.

Yet at the time, in the summer of 1783, no one knew why so many farm labourers and outdoor workers were succumbing to fever and dying. Nor could they explain the strange, nauseating fog that had descended on the island, or the peculiar pall it cast over the sun.

In fact the deadly cloud that shrouded Britain was a toxic mix of volcanic gases and particles sweeping south from the eruptions of the Laki Craters in southern Iceland.

The sulphur dioxide and sulphuric rain it contained was destroying the lungs of its human and animal victims. Just as devastatingly, crops withered and died leading to famine, corruption and ugly riots.
This week we have seen the crippling effects of another volcanic eruption in Iceland. But air-traffic chaos, stranded passengers and economic fallout pale into insignificance when compared with the catastrophic events of 1783.

The series of eruptions then – which were severe for five months and lasted eight months in total – were 100 times stronger than those we have seen this month (April 2010). They propelled 120 million tonnes of toxic gases into the atmosphere.
Without the benefits of modern science and accurate meteorological predictions our ancestors had no comprehension of what was happening to them.

In some parts of eastern and central England entire families of farm workers (and it was typically the rural workers who toiled each day outdoors, breathing in great lungfuls of polluted air) were virtually wiped out.

Families lost their father figures, their breadwinners and their fit young men, as the shortage of manpower left vast swathes of produce unpicked.

Farmers had not enough hands to gather their harvest as the sight of grown men being carried out of the field – many of whom would die where they were lain – became commonplace. Towns and villages used to burying only a handful of people each season, suddenly had to deal with four times the usual number of deaths.

As quickly as the grave- diggers could excavate the plots, men fell to fill them. Little wonder then that many assumed the apocalypse was fast approaching.

Describing the unrelenting thunder and lightning, he wrote that: 'Those that were asleep in the town were waked and many thought the day of judgment had come.'

Throughout the day the panic intensified. 'Men, women and children flocked out of their houses and kneeled down together in the streets.' At Sunday service Wesley reported a full church, 'a sight never seen before'.

Such was the mounting anxiety that many became afraid even to go to bed – convinced an earthquake or worse would befall them. Others begged their clergy to carry out exorcisms to rid the land of this evil.

The poet William Cowper told his friend the fog was wreaking havoc. 'We never see the sun but shorn of his beams, the trees are scarce discernable at a mile's distance, he sets with the face of a hot salamander and rises with the same complexion.'

And Gilbert White, who lived in the Hampshire village of Selborne, noted: 'There was reason for the most enlightened person to be apprehensive.' 
 
The effects of the choking ash cloud were compounded by the abnormally hot summer, combining to frighten even the most rational of inhabitants.

At some points the heat was so intense that butchers' meat was rendered inedible just a day after it had been killed and the flies it attracted irritated the horses, making them treacherous to ride.
As time wore on, the masking of the sun led to a severe drop in temperature and frost and ice were reported in many places in late summer. All vegetation was affected.

Leaves withered, crops failed, insects died in their millions, preventing the pollination of fruit and flowers. Fruit simply fell from the trees for lack of nourishment.

Then the effect spread to animals. The first impact was on their food supply, as reported in a Cambridge newspaper. 'The grazing land, which only the day before was full of juice and had upon it the most delightful verdure, did, immediately after this uncommon event, look as if it had dried up by the sun, and was to walk on like hay.

'The beans were turned to a whitish colour, the leaf and blade appearing as if dead.'
At the same time sores and bare patches began appearing on the skin of the livestock. Little wonder then that this rural chaos led to disruption of food supplies and prices.

By the autumn of 1783 shortages meant grain was being sold at 30 per cent more than its pre-fog price, sparking protests and riots.

At Halifax market, men gathered from the surrounding weaving villages and formed into a mob to force merchants to sell their wheat and oats at the old prices.

All across the country similar scenes were being played out, and at ports many even formed blockades to stop producers exporting grain in order to achieve higher prices.

At the same time the fog was continuing to claim thousands of human lives. Tragically, it was often the younger and fitter members of the community as they were typically the agricultural workers who spent most of their time outdoors in the fields, breathing in the deadly particles falling from the sky.

Recent analysis of climate detail and burial records shows eastern and central England saw their death tolls rise most. And even when the fog finally began to dissipate, the gases in the atmosphere continued to divert the sun's rays, precipitating a period of global cooling and the abnormally cold winter of 1783/4 which saw temperatures hit their lowest level for centuries.

Mercury levels were typically two degrees celsius below the norm and Selborne in Hampshire experienced 28 continuous days of frost.

For many, the twin catastrophes of the extremely hot then extremely cold weather coupled with the choking dry fog were attributed to God, but as this was the age of the European Enlightenment, other theories, not dependent on religion, began to emerge.

In the days before global communication and mass media, it was several months before word of the Laki explosions filtered through to the rest of the world.

Even with that knowledge no one could prove the connection (a feat achieved only relatively recently). Anyway, by that time the effects of the fog were beginning to decline and Britain had new worries to contend with.

The last quarter of the 18th century was dominated by the aftermath of American Independence and the looming French Revolution. Consumed by these events, historians lost interest in the dry fog. 

It is only now, as we once again face the cataclysmic effects of Mother Nature, that the true significance of those distant events can be put into perspective.
• Adapted from Britain's Rottenest Years by Derek Wilson, published by Short Books, £12.99. To order a copy at £11.70 (p&p free), call 0845 155 0720.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1268405/And-thought-THIS-eruption-nasty-When-Icelandic-volcano-erupted-1783-feared-end-world-.html#ixzz3jVNLiICD

 

Increase in Mortality in England directly caused by the Laki Eruption


Through analysis of monthly burial data we have revealedthat two periods of mortality crisis occurred in Englandduring the Laki Craters eruption. The first mortality crisis peak occurred in August and September 1783, nearly two months after the start of the eruption and the first reported appearance of haze in England, and the second peak occurred in January and February 1784, with mortality re-maining above normal in the following two months. If the parish data are assumed to be representative of England as a whole, then the peaks represent ~19,700 extra deaths in the country during this period.
http://www.academia.edu/3860865/Mortality_in_England_during_the_1783_4_Laki_Craters_eruption

Below please find an example of historical facts that completely ignore the deleterious effects of the Laki Eruption on British coffers. Nevertheless, anybody that can add and subtract, if they compare things as they ARE in 1784 to the way they were a mere 20 years earlier (British national debt in 1764: £129,586,789), understands that England was in no position to wage war for several years to come:

… Britain's economic condition in 1784 apparently bordered on catastrophe.

the National Debt stood at £250 million. That was twenty times the annual revenue of £12.5 million from taxes

the annual interest on government borrowing, which stood at about £8.3 million, automatically produced a deficit which was funded by further borrowing resulting in increased interest and an even greater deficit.

National bankruptcy was a strong possibility.

http://www.historyhome.co.uk/c-eight/pitt/taxpitt.htm
 

Profound effects of eight-month eruption in 1783 caused chaos from US to Egypt,


SNIPPET:

Then, as now, there were more wide-ranging impacts. In Norway, the Netherlands, the British Isles, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, in North America and even Egypt, the Laki eruption had its consequences, as the haze of dust and sulphur particles thrown up by the volcano was carried over much of the northern hemisphere.

Ships moored up in many ports, effectively fogbound. Crops were affected as the fall-out from the continuing eruption coincided with an abnormally hot summer. A clergyman, the Rev Sir John Cullum, wrote to the Royal Society that barley crops "became brown and withered … as did the leaves of the oats; the rye had the appearance of being mildewed".

"The sun, at noon, looked as blank as a clouded moon, and shed a rust-coloured ferruginous light on the ground, and floors of rooms; but was particularly lurid and blood-coloured at rising and setting. At the same time the heat was so intense that butchers' meat could hardly be eaten on the day after it was killed; and the flies swarmed so in the lanes and hedges that they rendered the horses half frantic

… the country people began to look with a superstitious awe, at the red, louring aspect of the sun."
Across the Atlantic, Benjamin Franklin wrote of "a constant fog over all Europe, and a great part of North America".
The disruption to weather patterns meant the ensuing winter was unusually harsh, with consequent spring flooding claiming more lives. In America the Mississippi reportedly froze at New Orleans.  :o

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/apr/15/iceland-volcano-weather-french-revolution

The wretched state of the British economy kept the Brits licking their wounds while the Laki Eruption caused crop failures and famines in France that served as triggers for the French Revolution in 1789. 

As usual, the historians list all the social problems festering at the time as primary causes. I believe they contributed, but were not the primary causes. Despotism wasn't exactly a new fad in Europe, was it?  Historians also give a lot of credit to the "Enlightenment" for said Revolution. Of course, those factors are real. But without the crop failures and the famines, THAT Revolution would probably have occurred much later than 1789. 

The Haitians took a keen interest in the French Revolution.

Here's the "scholarly" Cliffs Notes type boilerplate for the French Revolution. NOTICE (i.e. LACK of bold font  ;)) how the lack of available food is low balled in comparison to the "Enlightenment" and the "American Revolution". LOL!


HELLO? WHERE is the Laki Eruption that caused the crop failures that caused the famines that caused the high food prices and bread riots that were, ADMITTEDLY (by academia) a sine qua non factor in the French Revolution?

Richard Saul Wurman knows his history. And he is not happy about how we are not taught the historical cause and effect FACTS of history in general, and the MAIN cause of the French Revolution in particular.

He has been awarded several honorary doctorates, Graham Fellowships, a Guggenheim and numerous grants from the National Endowment for the Arts as well as the Distinguished Professor at Northeastern University. He is the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Smithsonian, Cooper-Hewitt Museum. Wurman has also been awarded the Annual Gold Medal from Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, a Gold Medal from AIGA and will receive the Boston Science Museum’s 50th Annual Bradford Washburn Award in October, 2014. He is also a Fellow of the AIA and in the Art Director’s Club Hall of Fame.

PLEASE, take 3 minutes of your time and watch this Richard Saul Wurman  video (start at the one minute mark):
 

The Volcano That Caused the French Revolution


TED founder Richard Saul Wurman believes knowledge of history is crucial to understanding our present and future. On today's EPIPHANY Wurman shares a now obscure story about a volcano that altered the course of history.
Conservative estimates are that 5 MILLION people died from the THREE YEAR EFFECTS (1783- 1786) of the Laki Eruption.
 

21 Sept 1792 – In France, The Republic is declared, abolishing the monarchy. In January of the following year Louis XVI is beheaded.
Upheavals in France and Saint-Domingue 1792–1796

Ideas don't move people to Revolution if they are well fed. How is it possible that historians don't know that? Downtrodden people resist change (see long train of abuses) unless they lose all hope of a reasonable existence. Losing all hope is what famines do to people when the Empathy Deficit Disordered "Enlightened" elite that rule their country turn a blind eye to the starvation of the masses. "Enlightenment", my ass! Most of the people in France couldn't even read!

The ones sucking up Voltaire were part of the OPPRESSOR class. They loved all his pretty words about equality and justice, as long as the rabble never read them. Yeah, the church (that pretended to be Christian, while in truth it had eschewed all Christian ethics and embraced elite cruelty) was part of that same corrupt and cruel class too. But the very definition of ethical behavior was (and is) RELATIVE for the "enlightenment". You call THAT an improvement? Yeah, most readers here do.  :(

It really torques me that historians try to cast "Enlightenment" ideas as some sort of "hunger and thirst for justice" magic wand that produced the French Revolution.  Such stuffed shirt, idea glorifying arrogance is breathtaking! But, it is expected from insulated ivory tower types that have never missed a meal.

Or perhaps they know better and, in order to not miss any meals and retain their tenure job security, are just toeing the lock step line dictated to them by the history "sanitizing" propagandists.

Ashvin, a scholar and a lawyer, said the following hard truth that modern academics refuse to accept:

Quote

Secular ideologies can be abused and cause just as much harm as religious ones, and if there was ever any doubt about this fact, they should have been stripped away by the events of the 20th century.

 

 

At any rate , for those who have their eyes open, you can SEE the results of the "Enlightenment" ALL AROUND YOU in the year 2015.  :P

But for now, we are in Haiti in 1790. The French Revolution is a green light for the ever opportunistic English to see what they can conquer in France. France has a dictator in the wings called Napoleon, who was working his way up the ranks at the time. I'm sure he had lots of enlightened ideas about equality, fraternity and so on…

Here's a timeline of all the "fun and games" going on back then:
Principal Dates and Time Line of the French Revolution

Any historian will acknowledge that the opportunistic English aggression against the French was directly connected with French weakness from the Revolution. But for some reason, they fail to make the SAME connection with the motivation of the slaves in Haiti to cast off the slavery yoke.

The French sent some dudes down to Haiti to tell them all about equality, fraternity and so on. The slave owners were nervous about that even though, of course, they knew that equality stuff (probably) did not apply to the slaves. Nevertheless, the slave plantation owners were not amused. The Haitians were.

Both groups thought it was happy talk propaganda. History has proven them right.

But at the time, the slaves decided to do a little liberty, equality and fraternity of their own.  Which brings us to August 22, 1791.

 

How the French Revolution triggered the Revolution in Haiti


SNIPPET:

One must emphasize the struggles that had been occurring for decades prior to the 1791 outbreak of full-scale rebellion. Yet the French Revolution was also crucially important, for the conflicts between whites about what exactly its ideals meant triggered an opportunity for blacks.
http://scholar.library.miami.edu/slaves/san_domingo_revolution/revolution.html

In the following video, the historical importance of the Haitian Revolution in concert with the American Revolution and French Revolution is clearly established. It is a historically accurate video about Haiti.
Somehow Voltaire never managed to voice any defense of the Haitian Revolution. Perhaps the FACT that Haiti provided two fifths of French overseas trade had something to do with that hypocrisy by Voltaire and his "enlightened" luminaries  ;).

Haiti was known as the Pearl of the Antilles. Haiti, little bigger than Maryland, was the richest colony in the new world, producing HALF of the word's sugar.
 

 

General Toussaint Louverture


February 1793 – Rebel leaders, including Toussaint Louverture, join Spanish forces to fight against the French. France declares war on England and Holland
Agelbert NOTE: The forces of the North or the South, as referred to below, are in regard to Haitian geography.

Early June 1793 – Louverture offers to aid French General Laveaux, Chief Commander of the republican forces in the North. Louverture offers his support and 5,000-6,000 troops in exchange for full amnesty and general emancipation. Laveaux refuses and Louverture continues to aid the Spanish for another full year.

20 September 1793 – British troops sever ties between the North and South, isolating the provinces from each other as the Europeans, planters and rebels all fight for control. The British intend to restore order, make Saint-Domingue a British colony, and reinstate slavery.
 

Benoit Joseph André Rigaud (1761 – 18 September 1811) was the leading mulatto military leader during the Haïtian Revolution. Among his protégés were Alexandre Pétion and Jean-Pierre Boyer, both future presidents of Haïti.


Land ownership in Saint-Domingue was a critical issue before, during, and after the Haitian Revolution. Land ownership granted access to power and prosperity and was sought after by all of the colony’s social classes.

During the build up to the revolution whites were increasingly threatened by the mulattoes and free blacks who were becoming powerful landowners. At the beginning of the revolution, one of the slaves’ central demands was to have small plots of land and an additional free day during the week to cultivate them. Later on, during Louverture’s reign, laborers objected to his adherence to a plantation-based economy which required blacks to work land that was not theirs.  

Through the course of the revolution, and in the years following, former slaves felt owning land was critical in order to truly claim their freedom. To that end they fought for the colonists – and even their own leaders – for land rights, never giving up their goal to own the fields they worked in.
 


29 August 1793 – Sonthonax issues a General Emancipation decree abolishing slavery in the North. More slaves in the colony have their freedom than ever before. Monsieur Artaud, one of the colony’s wealthiest planters with more than 1,000 slaves, tells Sonthonax that “only universal freedom could spare the whites from being totally annihilated.”

Agelbert NOTE: The "issue" of potential annihilation is often presented in historical narratives involving the decision by European whites to agree to reforms that provide African slaves with freedom. But, as you will see, these reforms are mostly on paper.

What you are seeing here is a precursor to a similar white reaction to freed slaves in the US in the South after the Civil war. And even before that, in the American Revolutionary war, both sides offered freedom to African slaves in return for becoming cannon fodder. As soon as the war was over, most of the promised freedoms were arrogantly discarded. It's all documented in "The Unsteady March", a truthful, hard hitting, thoroughly referenced, scholarly work on African American history from the first colonies in North America to the present.

Returning to Haiti in 1793:

Following decrees further restrict punishments and grant minimal pay to slaves – now called “laborers” – in the colony. Skilled laborers are legally allowed on administrative councils. However, the declarations of freedom are bound solely to theoretical property rights. Slaves are still regulated by the government, legally bound to the same plantations and masters. Their daily lives change little. In protest, many slaves go on strike, arriving to the fields late, leaving early, and doing little work. Disarmed, many former rebels turn to vagrancy as their main form of resistance. Notably, women demand that they are granted equal pay and rights as men. Under the current system women are held to the same rules and punishments but paid only two thirds of men's wages.
Upheavals in France and Saint-Domingue 1792–1796
CLEARLY, the African-Haitians wanted exactly the same things that American and French Revolutionaries wanted. African-Haitians were not stupid, backward or unable to grasp. or take responsibility for, Liberty. Even the women were far more progressive than American, English or French women of that time period!

The Haitians, despite a brief period of working with France against the British and Spanish, decided to get rid of the "liberty, equality, fraternity " rhetoric spouting French once and for all. WHY? Because the Haitians discovered that the French had no intention of treating African-Haitians as anything but commodities to exploit, PERIOD.

For those who don't get that, a cursory look at  all the post French Revolution rhetoric coming from France (i.e. proclamations and laws about this, that and the other in regard to ending slavery and codifying freedom for the Haitian blacks) will reveal that Napoleon reversed ALL of it in short order.

The Haitians got the message. They sent their own message to the French troops. This was VERY expensive for France. Over fifty Thousand French soldiers had died by 1803. France, with its new emperor Napoleon, had tried to reinstate slavery. France lost many soldiers, ships and stopped getting sugar from the Pearl of the Antilles.
Casualty Facts Haitian Revolution

Napoleon needed money to keep his war machine up to snuff. As you know, he had plans for expanding his "empire" to the east, as well as war with England. He had a racist friend in the USA (always happy to do anything he could to give England a hard time) named Thomas Jefferson who helped him get it.  It was called the Louisiana Purchase.

The back story to the Louisiana Purchase, not taught to most Americans, is that France only got "title" to that massive amount of land from Spain in 1800!

On October 1, 1800, Spain ceded the Louisiana Territory to France in the Treaty of San Ildefonso. The territory was equal in size to the entire United States at the time. Napoleon Bonaparte envisioned a Caribbean empire, with the Louisiana Territory providing the resources to support the center of the empire on the island of Santo Domingo (now Haiti). At the time the Treaty of San Ildefonso was signed, Santo Domingo was controlled by former slaves, under Toussaint L'Ouverture, who had driven their masters from the island. Napoleon dispatched the French army to regain control of the island, but the islanders met the troops with fierce resistance. Faced with this resistance, and many troops suffering from yellow fever, the French retreated in defeat. Napoleon gave up on his plan for a Caribbean empire.

By 1802, France had still not taken control of the Louisiana Territory, leaving it in the hands of the Spanish despite the fact that the land belonged to France. In October 1802, the Spanish colonial administrator in New Orleans prohibited American crops from being deposited at the port of New Orleans before being shipped to other nations. This severely constricted US commerce in the southwest, and many Americans believed, incorrectly, that the order had actually come from Napoleon. Fears of French control of the Louisiana Territory, and especially of New Orleans, loomed large. Jefferson began efforts to ingratiate himself to the British in preparation for enlisting their aid against the French. 

Jefferson sent James Monroe and Robert Livingston to France with the intention of negotiating the purchase of the port of New Orleans, in an attempt to end, at long last, American difficulties there.
He also instructed them to negotiate the purchase, if possible, of as much of Florida as possible. However, the envoy found Napoleon had given up on his plan for a Caribbean empire in order to focus on the war in Europe.
http://www.sparknotes.com/history/american/firstyears/section6.rhtml

Agelbert NOTE: You do not have to be a rocket scientist to understand why no French defeat in Haiti would have meant no Louisiana Purchase!

Napoleon figured if he could get a quick influx of money from a deal with the United States, he could curry some favor with his own people as he geared up for more war with  England. The $15 million deal was broken down as such:

The French received $2 million cash up front.

France received 60 million francs ($11.25 million) over the 20-year loan.

The French debt of 20 million francs ($3.75 million) to the United States was forgiven.
http://history.howstuffworks.com/revolutionary-war/louisiana-purchase2.htm

Napoleon was also already slugging it out with England when the Haitians kicked the French out.

1801 Battle of Aboukir 8 March – British-Turkish army under Sir Ralph Abernathy defeats French Army of Egypt under Jacques de Menou

1801 First Battle of Algeciras 6 July – English naval defeat by French

1802 Battle of Delhi 11 September – British forces under Gerard Lake defeat Maratha forces led by French officer Louis Bourquin Battle of Assaye

1802 18 November – Haitians defeat French in last battle of war of independence

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_battles_1801%E2%80%931900

The Englsh had gradually bounced back from the dark days in 1783 to a robust economy that could finance predatory capitalist wars.
 
Pitt the Younger became PM in December 1783 at the age of 22. The effects of Pitt's economic policies were a substantial increase in Britain's trade and an upturn in the economy. Confidence was restored in the £.  Worries, especially over the National Debt, ended and more people were prepared and able to lend to Government at guaranteed rates of interest.

Anglo-American trade quadrupled, providing an example of the effectiveness of free trade.
Pitt rebuilt the financial foundations of Britain, which later enabled him to subsidise European armies to fight France in the French wars.

As 1804 begins, Thomas Jefferson, having digested the news of the French defeat in Haiti, is in a panic (and high dungeon) over the very idea that African slaves are running their own country. ALL the despotic colonial powers were in full agreement to DO what they DO to "uppity" Africans. That is, if it was too hard to defeat them in combat, then white=civilized countries would agree to not give them loans of any sort, allow their ships to engage in commerce with "civilized" nations or buy their export commodities.  It is right and proper for "civilized" folks to treat "uncivilized" blacks in an uncivilized manner, right? Ah, the smell of Orwellian enlightenment in 1803.

Not much changed for well over a century. And when it did change, it was when American military forces INVADED Haiti and set up a puppet government to start the predatory capitalist "business model" shafting the Haitians all over again. Whitey just loves to have fun, don't he? THAT is why Haiti has not done better.
 
When France finally recognized Haiti in 1825, something Haiti sorely needed to trade internationally, the massive "reparations" Haiti was forced to pay kept the nation without working capital to improve its infrastructure and economy for OVER a century. The "debt" (with lots of usurious interest, of course) was not paid of until 1947! French Liberty, Equality, Fraternity and the "Enlightenment"? I don't think so. Hypocrisy and empty rhetoric is more like it.

But l digress. The English took note of the Louisiana Purchase. Tell me, dear readers, how do you think the English received the news that the "traitor" Jefferson was helping Napoleon spruce up his war machine? Napoleon wasn't going to use that money for spreading Liberty, Equality and Fraternity, was he?

I do believe the English Maritime Empire, now with a healthy economy, was thinking that:

1) France was weakened BY THE LOSS OF HAITI.

2) The Rebellious American Colonies were giving money to an enemy of England.

3) Said American Colonies could still count on French help as long as Napoleon was a threat to England.

4) When, not if, France was eliminated as a threat to England, the Rebellious American Colonies were in line for a good thrashing (and good, properly dictated, trade deals!).

SO, the British Empire, in 1803, continued to kick French ass whenever and wherever they could. The Americans would be dealt with by English maritime "policies" until France was out of the picture. Then a military visit  to the American Colonies would be in order.
 

1803 British war song against the French


The amazing amount of hero worshipping glorification of Thomas Jefferson's OBVIOUS unconstitutional embrace of the Louisiana Purchase by historians is breathtaking, if not downright Orwellian.
 
They go to great lengths to call Jefferson a "strict constructionist" (because of all his high flying Constitutional rhetoric, still liberally quoted to this day). They want us to picture him as being involved in soul searching and hand wringing about whether to make the deal with Napoleon or not. They say he considered "making it legal"  by getting an Amendment to the Constitution passed that would authorize the purchase of FOREIGN lands.

He didn't need to bother. The US Congress, despite some hemming and hawing from Federalists, went for the Louisiana Purchase like bees to honey.

As usual in the USA, when expansion is in play, the Constitution is just a piece of paper to be amended at oligarchic will. The historians are then tasked with burying all the bodies and providing sainthood for the oligarchs. So it is with Jefferson. The historians even try to portray Jefferson as a big enemy of Napoleon. That too is Orwellian. Jefferson admired, then feared Napoleon.   

An objective analysis of history at that time shows that Jefferson's concern for English agression against the USA was his main worry. Historians today try to paint Jefferson as trying to "ingratiate" the USA with England. That is simply NOT TRUE. Jefferson understood England quite well. He KNEW they would be back to the the US mainland in high dungeon as soon as they could. The Brits, especially from the Revolution on up to 1806, were NOT the forgiving sort.

The American Revolution, followed by the Laki Eruption, almost destroyed England. Were in the hell do historians get the idea that the Brits were not extremely angry with the Rebellious Colonies all the way up to the War of 1812 and a few decades after? 

Moving right along, we now arrive at 1806. Napoleon rattles his saber at England.

A chain of cause and effect events, begun by the Laki Eruption, followed by the French Revolution, followed by the Revolution in Haiti, followed by the French defeat in Haiti, followed by Napoleon's new plan to focus on Europe instead of the Caribbean, followed by the Louisiana purchase, followed by Napoleon getting funds to build up his war machine, now brings about the conditions for the War of 1812.
  
In 1806 France prohibited all neutral trade with Great Britain and in 1807 Great Britain banned trade between France, her allies, and the Americas. The US Congress passed an embargo act in 1807 in retaliation, prohibiting U.S. vessels from trading with European nations, and later the Non-Intercourse Acts, aimed solely at France and Britain.

The embargo and non-intercourse act proved ineffective and in 1810 the United States reopened trade with France and Great Britain provided they ceased their blockades against neutral trading.

Great Britain continued to stop American merchant ships to search for Royal Navy deserters, to impress American seamen on the high seas into the Royal Navy, and to enforce its blockade of neutral commerce. Madison made the issue of impressment from ships under the American flag a matter of national sovereignty—even after the British agreed to end the practice   —and asked Congress for a declaration of War on Great Britain on June 1, 1812. Many who supported the call to arms saw British and Spanish territory in North America as potential prizes to be won by battle or negotiations after a successful war.

Pro-British Federalists in Washington were outraged by what they considered Republican favoritism toward France. The leading Republican, Thomas Jefferson responded, that “the English being equally tyrannical at sea as he [Napoleon] is on land, and that tyranny bearing on us in every point of either honor or interest, I say ‘down with England.’”

The United States declared the war on Britain.
https://history.state.gov/milestones/1801-1829/war-of-1812

Agelbert NOTE: If you don't think the Brits, (as soon as they had a strong economy post 1803) weren't deliberately goading the USA to war, you are a history challenged historian. We learned that Modus Operandi from the Brits! It works every time! 

The Brits were giving France (and Argentina) a hard time and winning. The British Empire was on the move.

1811 – Battle of Paraguarí 19 January – Revolutionary Argentinian forces are defeated by Royalist troops

Battle of Barrosa 5 March – Minor British victory during Peninsular War

Battle of Tacuarí 9 March – Revolutionary Argentinian forces are defeated by Royalist troops

Battle of Lissa 13 March – British fleet defeats French fleet

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_battles_1801%E2%80%931900

And then the WINDOW England had been waiting for to enable her to give the Rebellious Colonies a thrashing, opened up.

After Napoleon’s disastrous Russian campaign of 1812, the British concentrated on the American continent, enacting a crippling blockading of the east coast, attacking Washington and burning the White House and other Government buildings, and acquiring territory in Maine and the Great Lakes region. American forces, however, won important naval and military victories at sea, on Lake Champlain, and at Baltimore and Detroit. Canadians defeated an American invasion of Lower Canada. By 1814 neither side could claim a clear victory and both war weary combatants looked to a peaceful settlement.

Under the mediation of the Czar of Russia, Great Britain and the United States came together in the summer of 1814 to negotiate the terms of peace.
https://history.state.gov/milestones/1801-1829/war-of-1812

Meanwhile, Haiti was isolated and embargoed by all the maritime powers. Finally, France recognized Haiti in 1825 in return for onerous payments plus interest that keep that nation in dire straights. The "debt" was not paid until 1947. Consider what NAZI Germany did to the planet. THEIR DEBT was mosty reduced to peanuts within TEN YEARS of WWII!

But let us go back to the year 1815.

Haiti, unlike the European powers and the USA, actually tried to live up to the ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity, at least for a while, until they were forced by cruel, racist embargoes into poverty, which opened the door to massive, foreign imposed, corruption.

In 1815, they were a shining beacon of hope for freedom for enslaved people in general and enslaved Africans in particular. That is why Thomas Jefferson hated them. That is why historians downplay the following event. If they gave it the importance it deserves, the European powers and the USA would look like the despotic, racist oligarchies that they were.
 


Simón José Antonio de la Santísima Trinidad Bolívar y Palacios (known to gringos as Simon Bolivar  ;D)


Simon Bolivar is famous for leading a successful campaign to liberate a large part of South America from the Spanish. But he would have failed in this noble effort if Haiti had not granted him sanctuary at a crucial time. This is a key historical event of  incalcualble importance. Despite this key help by Haiti, Bolivar was a bit of ingrate.  

In 1815, after a number of political and military disputes with the government of Cartagena, Bolívar fled to Jamaica, where he was denied support and an attempt was made on his life,[14] after which he fled to Haiti, where he was granted sanctuary and protection. He befriended Alexandre Pétion, the leader of the newly independent country, and petitioned him for aid.[13]

In 1816, with Haitian soldiers and vital material support, Bolívar landed in Venezuela and fulfilled his promise to Alexandre Pétion to free Spanish America's slaves on 2 June 1816.[8]:186
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sim%C3%B3n_Bol%C3%ADvar

Simón Bolívar received help from the Haitian goverment under Alexandre Pétion for his military campaigns. Pétion secretly supplied Bolívar with 4,000 muskets, 15,000 pounds of powder, flints, lead and a printing press and asked in return for South America’s slaves to be freed. (Heinl p. 158 – See also footnote 430 of The Struggle for the Recognition of Haiti…).

Bolívar left Haiti on April 10, 1816 for Venezuela, but returned in mid September of that year to Les Cayes after lost battles in South America. Resupplied by Pétion he sailed again from Haiti on December 28, 1816, this time to successfully conclude his struggle for South American liberation from colonialism. The Haitian help was given because he promised to free slaves, Bolívar landed in Venezuela and captured Angostura.

Despite the crucial logistical support from Haiti, Bolívar never recognized the independence of the former French colony Saint-Domingue.
[img]http://www.createaforum.com/gallery/renewablerevolution/3-200714183337.bmp[/img

Latin America’s Debt to Haiti: The Untold Story
https://thoughtmerchant.wordpress.com/2010/01/15/latin-americas-debt-to-haiti-the-untold-story/

As I told Surly before, in so many words, the people of this world, who actually WALK the "liberty, equality fratenity" TALK, owe Haiti a giant debt of gratitude for all they have done in the service of freedom.

Alas, Haiti has instead been treated with cruelty, disdain and 'blame the victim' vicious propaganda born of Racism and Empathy Deficit Disorder.

Human power structures are infested and dominated by aquisitive, opportunistic, aggressive, greedy, oligarchic, tyrannical but, oh so polished, educated and erudite humans that dress up Empathy Deficit Disordered.

The Zombie Patrix Apocalypse

gc2smOff the keyboard of Albert Bates

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Published on Peak Surfer on September 13, 2015

 

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"“We recapitulate the conditions that create our fears, subconsciously wanting to relieve the original stress, but then we make the same bad choices, because of our conditioning, and so it goes, we have to do it again.”"
 

161: the number of countries in which environmental disasters, most of them due to weather-related events, have caused mass displacement of people since 2008.
27 million: the average number of people displaced by environmental disasters each year between 2008 and 2013.
350,000: migrants seeking entry into the EU in 2014.

200 million: likely migrant number seeking entry into the EU when the full impact of climate change is felt.
The Independent (London) 12 Sep 2015

 
(c) Marko Djurica/Reuters

Masses of young men in their twenties with beards singing Allahu Akbar across Europe. It’s an invasion that threatens our prosperity, our security, our culture and identity, far-right Dutch leader Geert Wilders said this week. As the EU parliamentary council was debating how to react to the refugee crisis and scaling up its quotas, Wilders called the wave of refugees an Islamic invasion of Europe.” 
 
Up to 800,000 asylum seekers are set to be taken in by Germany by the end of the year. At the same time, Hungarian prisoners were rushed to the Serbian border to construct a massive fence, three meters high and topped with razor wire, to stop refugees from crawling over the previous, lower border fence. Shades of World War Z.
 

Buchenwald Gate: "To Each His Own."  

Dramatic footage from television in Europe shows people at Hungary's main refugee camp being fed like wild animals. Crowds of men, women and children struggle to catch bread thrown out from trucks. RT-TV called it "Hungary's Guantanamo." Meanwhile, refugees who made it into Germany earlier in the year are being housed in the barracks of the former Nazi concentration camp Buchenwald, near Weimar.

 


On the opposite side of the country, Austria halted train service with Hungary due to 'massive overburdening.' Train services between Denmark and Germany were stopped by the state owned train operator, DSB, because of exceptionally tedious passport checks at the border. In southern Denmark, police shut off a section of highway to stop a march of a large group of migrants chanting "Sweden, Sweden," the Associated Press reported September 9th. Just to the east that day, some 300 refugees, including children, were seen entering Denmark on foot from Germany.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Wednesday that since the beginning of 2015 about 500,000 people had come to Europe, mainly Syrians and Libyans. Half are children. He urged EU member states to "compulsorily" accept 160,000 migrants to residency within the EU over the next two years. Talk about band-aid approaches. 
 
Since 2012 more than 6.5 million Syrians have been displaced from their homes — 40% of the country's population. They joined 5 million Palestinians already in exile, and equal numbers of Afghans and Somalis. Last year 435,000 people asked for asylum in the EU and 136,000 were awarded it. The rest were deported or went underground.

Today we have a different category of refugees, they are not desperate, starving, poor and unemployed people. No, they are mostly people with average income who primarily seek peace. They need conditions for work and education and European governments must apply effort to this,” the head of Russia’s Federal Migration Service told journalists. 
 

In 2013 and 2014, over one million people fled into Russia from southeast Ukraine after the US and its NATO allies engineered the overthrow of government, installed a puppet regime and threw the country into civil war and chaos. As the armed conflict over eastern cities subsided, about 600,000 Ukrainians decided never to return home. Of this number 114,000 took part in the Russian program of resettlement and received material aid and a short track to citizenship.
 
In mid-June this year the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said that in 2014 the influx of Ukrainian citizens seeking refuge put the Russian Federation in first place in the world by number of asylum applications.
 

In 2013 the number of people who fled their homes across the globe went over 50 million for the first time since World War II, a new UN report says.  Amnesty International blamed the UN for ineffective or delayed responses, but the UN is understaffed and underfunded and can do little more than issue warnings to belligerents that yet more refugees will be produced for every bomb they drop. 
 
You know, there are 805 million food-insecure people in the world, and we only reach between 80-100 million of them on an annual basis,” Ertharin Cousin, the chief of the UN World Food Programme, told reporters. In total, there were 51.2 million refugees and 33.3 million internally displaced people registered by the UN in 2013. Another 32,200 flee their homes every day. Whenever she is meeting with Obama or Putin, she said, she cannot bring up politics — it would be a waste of her time — she can only attempt to bring to their attention the need for more aid.

 
US Secretary of State John Kerry said, “You think migration is a challenge in Europe today because of extremism, wait until you see what happens when there's an absence of water, an absence of food, or one tribe fighting against another for mere survival." 
 

We may not need to wait long
 
"Syria was destabilized by 1.5 million migrants from rural communities fleeing a three-year drought that was made more intense and persistent by human-driven climate change, which is steadily making the whole eastern Mediterranean and Middle East region even more arid," says Richard Seager of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, who published a report in March on the role of climate change in the Syrian conflict.
 

"Syria is not the only country affected by this drying. Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, Iraq and Iran are too. However the various social, religious and ethnic wars play out, in the coming years and decades the region will feel the stress of declining water resources."


Seager has also studied the Southwestern United States and what the future holds for that region. Drawing upon nineteen different climate modeling groups around the world, Seager and his colleagues concluded that the California drought is only the start of a new regime. “In the Southwest the levels of aridity seen in the 1950s multiyear drought, or the 1930s Dust Bowl, become the new climatology by mid-century,” they reported.

 

A recent study from the group, Organising to Advance Solutions in the Sahel, suggested that over the next three to four decades up to 200 million Africans are likely to be without sustainable food supplies. This assumes temperatures in the Horn of Africa and Levant rise only 5°C by 2050 and that population continues to grow from about 100 million now, to 300 million in 2050.
 
"It would be totally implausible to sustainably accommodate this scale of growth," said the report. 
"Without immediate, large-scale action, death rates from food shortages will rise as crops wither and livestock die, and the largest involuntary migration in history could occur."
 

The Patrix
 

“We recapitulate the conditions that create our fears, subconsciously wanting to relieve the original stress, but then we make the same bad choices, because of our conditioning, and so it goes, we have to do it again.”
Andy Langford is explaining The Patrix, his term for our cultural prison. He confesses to being middle class white anglo-saxon male, which means he was born to a certain degree of privilege, although just one generation away from mineworkers and growing up in Devonshire, and has often been back on the endless, deceptive treadmill, required of his social class, to advance out of poverty.
 
He gives the example of when he was a cigarette smoker and he would find himself wanting to quit but giving into another fag, then realizing he was breaking his vow, thinking of himself as a bad person, a chronic loser, and weak-willed. He mimics the slumped shoulders of a great weight bearing down on him as he lowers his self-esteem. 
 
“It's the oops moment,” he says, “that has the real power.” It is the point at which you have the first recognition that you are failing, that moment of cogent observation, that is the point at which there is an opportunity for intervention and change. Stub out the cigarette before you take a last drag, or descend into the downward cycle of internalizing your addiction with rationalizations and sublimations. The choice is there. What do you do in that moment?
 
We are in the Gaia University tent at the 2015 International Permaculture Convergence in England, and Andy is explaining his theory of The Patrix to a couple dozen permaculturists who want to know how it relates to climate change.
 
“We are very sensitive to being hurt,” he explains. Hurt can be emotional or physical but we are taught as children to put aside the pain and buck up, tough it out, stop wingeing, and grow up. So instead of healing the emotional pain on the spot by nurture, weeping, commiseration and other therapies, we internalize the pain and it festers. “It becomes a veil of distress, which later leads us to perverted behavior, such as requiring our children to fall into the same pattern, or institutionalizing it.” Our society becomes shaped, not by logic but by self-oppression. We take out our unhealed hurts on others. 
 
Thus the horrors of WWI lead to WWII, which leads to the Cold War, Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, Operation Desert Shield, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, etc. 
 
Andy says that climate change is, in a warped sort of way, the echo of our collective near-extinction experiences following supervolcanoes and meteor impacts. Some part of us still recalls that pain, and so wishes to recreate similar crises in hopes of healing our deep hurt from before. We have known for a hundred years what we are doing to the atmosphere. We have known since Malthus the inexorable math of population growth. We have known since at least the Club of Rome report in 1971 about the limits to natural resources and insufficient capacity of the planet to absorb our wastes. We ignore our knowledge — we become ignorant — in order to draw ourselves closer to another apocalypse.
 
We are fascinated with zombies. Scenes of mass-migrations rivet our attention.
 
He reckons that if we were willing, we could probably reverse 80% of this embedded hurt in twenty years. It would take a lot of re-evaluation counseling, and permaculture has a role to play. He invites people to contact him — patrix@gaiauniversity.org — if they'd like to join this discussion. Generally speaking, we aren't moving in that direction at present, and so the climate crisis simply grinds away like compound interest on our damaged psyches.
 
And somewhere on the road to Sweden, another Syrian child whose feet ache and belly growls starts to cry and is told to be brave, to stop crying, to hold it in and move along.

A Tsunami of Climate Refugees is Drowning Europe

Off the keyboard of Tom Lewis

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Published on The Daily Impact on August 12, 2015

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refugees-greek-sea

Can you imagine what it would take for you to take your family on a vessel like this to cross an angry sea to a foreign country, just to stay alive? This boat is bound for a Greek island from North Africa.

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One of the most desperate and destructive diasporas in history is rolling out of the parched regions of Africa and the Middle East, over Europe, toward extinction. They are being called refugees from war, but the wars they are fleeing have their origins in the desperation of people who have no food, and they have no food because of the savage droughts being inflicted on their countries by global climate change. Hence, it is perfectly legitimate, and more importantly it is honest, to call them climate refugees.

(Among all 423 current candidates for US President, only Martin O’Malley demonstrated a grasp of this reality when he said that climate change is responsible for the rise of ISIS. He was almost universally ridiculed for saying it, and this tiny, lonely spark of sense fell on wet ground and was instantly extinguished.)

In just the latest ramification of the new Dark Age advancing on Europe, 1,000 Afghan and Syrian refugees who had made their way to the Greek Island of Kos were rounded up by riot police yesterday (after having been herded with fire extinguishers) and imprisoned in an open stadium until they could be “registered.” At last report there were three — count them, three — officers taking names. It is not that the authorities are heartless, they are overwhelmed. Those 1,000 refugees are not all the refugees on Kos, that is how many refugees arrive every day. “The situation on the island is out of control,” said the mayor of Kos, “blood will be shed.”

“Greece faces a crisis within a crisis,” said prime minister Alexis Tsipras. “The migrant flows exceed the capacity of our state infrastructure.” About 120,000 refugees have stumbled ashore on the Greek Islands so far this year, four times the influx during all of 2014. The other principal landing for refugees traveling to Europe by boat, Italy, estimates that 100,000 have come aground there this year.

Imagine that you have lost your job, been served with an eviction notice, lost your car to the repo man and 20 of your closest relatives arrive on your doorstep in search of food and shelter. That’s that’s going on here. Neither these countries, nor the United Nations, nor the NGOs operating in the area, can possibly handle this rip tide of human misery.  Nor is it limited to Greece and Italy. Let’s take a brief tour:

Hungary is rushing to complete a 110-mile-long fence along its border with Serbia to stem the flow of mostly Syrian refugees — 2,000 in 2012, now 1,500 people per day —  seeking asylum in a European Union country so they can travel freely among the other EU members.

Germany is the Mecca for most of these refugees, who are fully aware of the desperate economic straits of countries such as Greece and Italy. Germany is expecting 450,000 refugees this year, double the amount of last year, and the resulting tensions are rising. So far this year there have been 150 attacks on refugee shelters, most of them attempts to burn the shelters down. When the flood of refugees overwhelmed existing camps, the government called in the army to help, a move that inflamed those who insist that any use of the army inside the country is unconstitutional.

Across Italy, increasingly violent protests are breaking out over the strains produced by the relentless onslaught of the destitute. The mayor of Rome said this week the city does not have the resources to take in any more refugees. The wealthier northern districts of Italy, called on to help by taking some of the influx, refused. Meanwhile, the Italian coast guard last weekend rescued at sea and brought ashore another 1,800 people (so far this year an estimated 2,000 refugees have died at sea).   

The first tendrils of this massive onslaught of humanity have reached England, and have convulsed the country’s politics. The prime minister speaks of a “swarm” and the foreign secretary says “millions of marauding Africans” threaten the standard of living, and must be returned to their home countries, and their own standards of living. The reality underlying this panic is that a few thousand refugees, having reached Calais on the west coast of France, have tried to walk or hitch rides through the English Channel Tunnel to England. So far, one has made it, only to be arrested at the exit. Now thanks to a mile long fence at the Calais entrance to the Chunnel, and some nasty camps of hovels for the refugees who make it that far, fewer are able to make the attempt. But the extra security has choked travel through the Chunnel, negatively impacting commerce and tourism.

Still, the bleak tide rises. Still Europe sinks beneath it as the desert sands spread from Africa to Arabia to Asia. Still, no one offers a solution, for the terrifying reason that no one has yet identified the problem.  

Confessions of a Carnivore

Off the keyboard of RE

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Published on the Doomstead Diner  on August 1, 2015

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http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Ribs-Filet.jpg

The Meat FIX for the week…

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I have a confession to make.

I am a MEAT ADDICT.

This addiction may be even worse than my Beer Addiction, it's a tossup.

http://shepherdexpress.com/imgs/hed/art10330widea.jpgI can blame the Meat Addiction on my parents.  Growing up in my youngest years in Brasil, they often took me to Churascarias where many delicious cuts of meat were served up directly off the spit.  My Taste Buds became so entranced by the flavor of Meat cooked over an Open Flame that upon returning to the FSoA around age 10 or so, I immediately embarked on a career as a BBQ Chef, utilizing a small Cast Iron Hibachi that was the site of many Steaks, Burgers, Chicken Wings and Salmon Fillets being Grilled to PERFECTION! 🙂

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/412UgoxHaSL.jpg

I am of course aware these days of how poorly treated the cows, pigs and chickens are by our Industrial Ag system, but people aren't treated a whole lot better and it becomes a bit much to worry about the unfortunate life of a cow in a feed lot when there are a few billion people not living much better lives, and besides I just LOVE MEAT!  So I can't quite buy in to the Vegan mind set because of this.

http://beefambassador.com/wp-content/gems/2014/04/feedlot-1.jpgBeyond the downside of the unfortunate life for an an Industrially raised, fed and slaughtered cow in some Chicago Feed Lot is the ENERGY and WATER problems involved with a diet copiously laden with MEAT in it.

According to HuffPo, it takes around 1847 gallons of water to raise up a Pound of Beef.  Chicken does a lot better at just 518 Gallons for a pound of Chicken, and Beer does better than Wine at 296 vs 872, although you then get into serving size questions as well.

In any event, as you can see it takes a whole heck of a lot of water to put the meat on the table, and even the Beer in your Bottle also!  To acquire enough of that water these days also takes energy, pumping it up from ever more depleted Aquifers like the Ogalalla.

However, the problems of Industrial Ag and its treatment of animals used for food sources, the problems of energy consumption and the problems of water consumption are NOT the reason I am writing this article!

The reason is that due to a few reasons, I cannot STOP buying MEAT at the grocery store!  The Feature Photo at the top of the page has this week's selections, a rack of Baby Back Pork Ribs which ON SALE came in around $4/lb, and 3 nice Filet Mignon Cuts coming in at $12/lb.  That wasn't a sale, but it's still pretty cheap for Filet Mignon.

http://storage.googleapis.com/zgt-user/Boston-Chicken-Photo.pngPrior to buying this meat, I still have in the fridge leftovers from LAST week. particularly some nice Short Ribs and about 1/3rd of a Rotisserie Chicken left to eat, and that is BEFORE I take the carcass and throw it in the Slow Cooker to make a batch of Chicken Soup, which itself will last me another 2 days EZ.

Layered on top of this is the fact that my neurological problems from my neck injury are depressing my appetite, so most of the time I just don't feel like eating any of it!  Regardless how good it smells or looks!  I'm just not feeling HUNGRY enough to devour it!

Now, because  I can't help myself as an ADDICT, I keep buying this stuff.   I'm NOT living on the SNAP Cad Gourmet budget of $2/day (yet!), but neither am I spending much more than $5/day either on food.  The Filet Mignon I picked up for around $12, The Pork Baby Back Ribs for another $16, but together this is enough Animal Protein for 2 weeks EZ!  If I would just STOP buying the stuff when i see it ON SALE, I COULD stay under $2/day!

 

http://i5.walmartimages.com/dfw/dce07b8c-fae7/k2-_f9c906d7-2db2-412b-b285-669ed7dfd238.v1.jpgBut I can't stop buying it, I'm a JUNKIE for Meat!  Not just beef, any Animal protein.  You know what ELSE I bought this week?  A Cocktail Shrimp Ring for $10!  Like I really need this with all the freaking leftovers I have in the fridge right now?  It will take me a month to work through just the LEFTOVERS, and some of it will probably go bad before I am hungry enough to eat it!

Supermarket-meatsI can't even vaccuum seal it up and put it in the Freezer!  Why not?  Because the freezer itself is JAM PACKED with as yet uncooked Steaks, Fish, Chicken and Sausage I have purchased on other occassions travelling down the Meat Aisles of the local Food Emporiums.  I'm like a kid in a Toy Store when I walk (or these days cruise on the Ewz) down the meat department.  Look at those beautifully marbled Rib Eye's ON SALE!  Gotta have those.  Hot Italian Sausage ON SALE!  Mmmm, think of the great Spaghetti Sauce I can make with those!  LOL.

Meanwhile of course out there in the rest of the world and even here in the FSoA, plenty of people have trouble just putting enough Rice in a Bowl to get the daily necessary intake of calories.  Houston, We Have a Distribution Problem!

You might think this would make me feel guilty about buying more meat than I can actually eat, but it doesn't.  Why not?  Because all the dead cow flesh in the local freezer will never make it onto the plate of a starving child in India, and in fact a good deal of it never even goes to feed the homeless up here either.  It just gets tossed if it gets too old and can't even be sold at discount. It's not my fault the distribution system is so fucked up, and I am not going to blame myself because I have more meat to eat than I can handle and somebody else has none.  It happens to be the shelf at my local grocery store, and I happen to have money to buy it, so I do.

http://lorax.blog.drugisvet.com/files/2011/11/Skinny-cow.jpgThe other reason I can't stop buying the Meat is because of the problem I KNOW is coming down the pipe here at some point, which is that the stuff just won't be available to buy AT ALL.

Cattle are already not looking too good in many parts of the world, and here in the FSoA as the water depletes out of Ogalalla and the energy isn't there to pump it up either, the Cattle right here are going to look just like the one at left.  The ones still left anyhow, since the ranchers are already culling the herds, which leads to some pretty weird effects not dissimilar from what is going on with Oil, which is that in spite of a real shortage, the prices go DOWN rather than UP. as a temporary GLUT hits the market.

You have the additional problem where as Credit dries up, the first folks to lose access to the credit are the actual End Consumers of the product, be it either Rib Eye steaks or Gas for your SUV.  If the end consumers don't have credit to buy the stuff, where can the price go but DOWN?  This deflationary driver is ongoing across the Globe at the moment, and is likely to continue on for quite a while in many places, while in others new Credit is created, driving an inflationary spiral in those places.  Eventually either way though, without the stuff on the meat rack to buy, the Money Dies.  It simply stops working to buy things, and you revert to a barter economy if you are fortunate, this already is occurring in Greece.  You do need something to barter though that somebody else wants, and they have to have something you want.  Both of those things are also likely to start disappearing too.

Which brings us back round to the old question of TIMELINE, how long will it take for this to play itself out, in what locations first and how can you best negotiate what is inevitable here, for yourself and your progeny?  There are no firm answers to those questions, but we do tackle them daily here on the pages of the Doomstead Diner.

 

Gleaning

Off the keyboard of Ugo Bardi

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Published on Resource Crisis on July 23, 2015

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Gleaning women in Italy in 1930 (image source). The ancient peasant society had found in gleaning an elegant and efficient way to optimize the management of low-yield resources.
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Gleaning is an ancient tradition, deeply embedded in the agricultural world. In the past, it was common practice that the poor were given access to the grain fields after the harvest, so that they could collect the spikelets left on the ground by the harvesters. It wasn't done just with grain, but with all kinds of agricultural products: fruit, olives, chestnuts, and more. Whatever was left after the first pass was for the poor and for the destitute to collect.

Gleaning was so important in the past rural societies that it was even sacred. We read in the Bible that God explicitly ordered to owners to give to the poor a chance to glean in their fields. And the origin of David's lineage in the biblical tradition is related to gleaning, as described in the story of Ruth, a poor Moabite girl who married the owner of the fields where she gleaned. Other religions do not have such explicit references to gleaning, but most of them convey the idea that the rich should partake with the poor what they don't need. For instance, a similar sharing command from God can be found in the Islamic tradition directed to water.

Gleaning remained a fundamental feature of rural societies until recent times; it is still done, occasionally (as you can see in this movie), but it has lost importance with the onrushing growth of the industrial society. It is not considered sacred anymore; on the contrary, the suspension of the property rights associated with gleaning is often seen as subversive in a world that emphasizes fenced private property and strictly regulated activities. In some cases, it was specifically prohibited, as in the Soviet Union in the 1930s. That was a terrible mistake that aggravated the famine known as the "holodomor" in Ukraine.

But why gleaning was so common? Why even sacred? And can we learn something useful for us from this ancient tradition? It turns out that, yes, we can. Far from being a primitive tradition, gleaning is a sophisticated and efficient technology designed for managing low yield resources. It is a technology that we could still use and that, probably, we'll have to re-learn as the gradual depletion of high-yield mineral resources forces us to abandon the wasteful and expensive industrial technologies we have been using so far. But it is a story that needs to be told from the beginning.

Gleaning to optimize the agricultural yield

Few of us have direct experience with the sickle (or the scythe, its long handled version, used specifically for reaping). We can only imagine how hard it must have been to use it to harvest crops during the Summer, under the sun; going on day after day, swinging it over and over, for as long as there was enough light. It took not just physical strength, it took endurance and skill. But it was the task of the peasant to do that and it has been done for thousands of years.

Now, imagine a line of reapers advancing in a grain field. Obviously, they had to stay at a certain distance from each other while swinging their sickles. So, it was unavoidable that some grain stalks would be left standing and that some spikelets would fall on the ground. Could you avoid this loss? Maybe you could try to get the reapers closer to each other; but that could even be dangerous. Or maybe you could force the reapers to be more careful, or to stop and collect what they let fall on the ground; but that would slow down the whole process. In short, we have here a classic problem, well known in economics: efficiency shows decreasing marginal benefits. The optimal yield of harvesting is surely obtained collecting less than 100% of the grains.
 

Now, there comes gleaning; and it is an extremely smart idea simply because it is so inexpensive. First of all, gleaners didn't need tools, nor needed special skills. They would simply walk in the fields, equipped with nothing more than their hands and a bag, collecting what they found on the ground. Gleaners didn't need to be trained in harvesting, nor to be in perfect physical shape. Women could do it, just as older people and youngsters could. Then, it was a totally informal operation, without the costs of bosses, of hierarchies, of organizations. (Image on the left "La Glaneuse", by Jules Breton, 1827-1906. Note how this girl has no tools, no equipment, not even shoes!)

But gleaning was not just a question of efficiency, it was way deeper than that. It provided a "social buffer" that allowed flexibility (or, if you prefer, "resilience") to the agricultural society. The vagaries of the weather, of insects, pestilences and other calamities always made the yield of the harvest uncertain. So, a peasant family that faced hard times could always fall back on gleaning to survive. Then, when the good times came back, the same family could provide the human resources for the regular harvesting. So, gleaning played the role that today we call "Social Security" or "welfare", reducing conflicts and frictions within society.

But the idea of gleaning went beyond this utilitarian factor. It had to do with the very fact of being human and of helping each other. As such, it takes the name of solidarity (or, sometimes, of compassion). The harvesters knew that the spikelets left on the ground would be collected by the gleaners following them. Would they leave some falling on purpose? We can't know for sure, but we can read in the story of Ruth in the Bible how the owner of the field himself ordered the harvesters to leave something on the ground for her to collect.

Biophysical economics of gleaning

Economics theories never considered gleaning. This is in part because gleaning does not involve money and prices and, therefore, it is invisible to economists. At most, economists might define the spikelets that fall on the ground as "diseconomies", goods of negative value. But why does the economic process generate goods of negative value? And how to get rid of them? (maybe it is this kind of reasoning that led the Soviet Government to enact a law that called for shooting gleaners)

So, if we want to understand the mechanisms of gleaning, we need to go to a different concept: "biophysical economics". It is the view that sees the human economy as an activity that mimics biology. So, each economic activity is like a biological species; it uses resources to live and reproduce, while producing waste.

Once we take this view, we immediately see what gleaning is. It is a "trophic cycle;" a manifestation of the fundamental idea in biology that one creature's waste is some other creature's food. Spikelets fallen on the ground are a low-yield resource not worth processing by traditional harvesting and therefore should be considered as waste from the point of view of the primary productive process. But, from the viewpoint of gleaners, it produces a sufficient yield to make it worth processing. Gleaning is, therefore, a processing method specialized in low-yield resources. We can express this idea also using the concept of "energy return for energy invested" (EROI or EROEI). The energy yield of the spikelets fallen on the ground is not sufficient to generate a good EROEI if they were to be harvested by mechanized methods or by specialized personnel. But, if we reduce the energy investment by means of gleaning; then the process must have generated an acceptable (or even very good) EROI if it was so commonly used in agriculture.

The low cost of gleaning derived from several factors, one was that it wasn't associated with the costs of private property; intended as claiming it, fencing it, defending it, and more. Indeed, gleaning can only function if the resource being gleaned is managed as a "commons;" that is, free for everyone to collect. Traditionally, it meant that private land ceased to be such for the period of gleaning (as in the case of grain fields). Other kinds of resources shared this characteristics, being so low yield that they can be gathered only informally and in a situation of commons; e.g. mushrooms, wood, grass, and others. That's true also for hunting as it was practiced in very ancient times. Overall, we can see gleaning as a "hunting and gathering plug-in" applied to the agricultural society.

 

On the subject of the commons, the analysis by Garrett Hardin is very well known under the name of the "Tragedy of the Commons". Hardin made the example of a pasture managed as a commons, noting that every shepherd can bring as many sheep as he wants to the pasture, and that the more sheep he brings the more the economic yield for him. However, if the total number of sheep exceeds the "carrying capacity" of the pasture, then the pasture is damaged. The cost of the damage, however, is spread over all shepherds, whereas each single shepherd still has an individual advantage in bringing one more sheep to pasture. The result is we call today "overexploitation". It is the eventual destruction of the resource being exploited.

However, if the commons have survived for millennia in agricultural societies, it means that the tragedy described by Hardin was not at all a common phenomenon. Harding was not wrong, but he applied an industrial logic to an activity that was not industrial in the modern sense. For the "tragedy" to occur, there must be some kind of capital accumulation that you can re-invest in order to increase the rate of exploitation of the resource. Gleaning, instead, hardy generates capital accumulation. But think of gleaners collecting grain: how would they accumulate capital? Can't be; the most they can do is to is to collect enough to feed their families. The very concept of monetary capital is a burden that gleaning cannot afford.

Hence, we see how beautifully optimized gleaning is; a far cry from the brutal and inefficient method of "privatize and fence" often proposed as the solution to all problems. And we can also understand why gleaning has nearly disappeared from our world. With the energy supply that society obtains from fossil fuels, there was no need any more for such a radical optimization of the agricultural process as gleaning could provide. The industrial world was (and still is – so far) rich enough that it can think that it doesn't need to be efficient; it doesn't need gleaning. Indeed, the wealth generated by the industrial society can provide better services than those that gleaning produced, long ago: pensions, social security, food security and more. All that was the result of the high energy yield of fossil fuels. For how long that will be possible, however, is a completely different story; considering the fact that fossil fuel are not infinite.

3. Gleaning in the modern world.

One of the problems of the modern industrial economy is waste. We are possibly at the height of a historical cycle of energy production and, as a consequence, we probably never generated so much waste as we do today (there are indications that a decline in waste production may already have started in the rich regions of the world, see this article of mine). But, as mentioned before, we don't know very well what to do with this stuff that we call "negative value goods."

Normally, we tend to try to get rid of waste by using expensive industrial processes, for instance incineration plants which – miracle! – are said to produce energy (and, hence, they are renamed "waste-to-energy plants"). And our concept of recycling involves expensive methods that almost never repay their cost. But, as Einstein is reported to have said, we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.

However, if we look at the hidden side of waste processing, we can see that gleaning, although nearly completely disappeared from agriculture, is still there; alive and well. An early example of modern waste gleaning can be found in the novel by Franck McCourt "Angela's ashes," where the author tells us of how his family could survive in the winters of the 1930s in Ireland, literally gleaning coal; that is collecting coal lumps fallen from coal carrying carts. Today, you could call "gleaning" the activity of "binners," "cartoneros," and "cataderos" who recover what they can from the trash bins of the rich Western society. (more data at this link)

These activities go under the general name of "informal participatory waste management" – a fancy term for what is simply gleaning applied to industrial waste. These modern gleaners use no expensive equipment, mainly bags and old carts. They move on foot or, occasionally, use supermarket carts as skateboards. They separate the mixed waste into (modestly) valuable objects by hand. In the picture, you see Professor Jutta Gutberlet of the University of Victoria, Canada, discussing with a Brazilian "catador."
 

We don't have precise data on the world trends of this kind of activities, but it seems clear that the increasing number of people who live in poverty in rich countries has generated a return to ways of living that seemed to have disappeared with the booming economy of the second half of the 20th century. Then, in poor countries, the poor have always been "gleaning" landfills, even though the poorer the country, the poorer also must be the landfills. It is a job that doesn't pay well (obviously) and that carries considerable danger: you never know what you can find in a waste bin. It can be something sharp, poisonous, contaminated, or dangerous for all sorts of reasons.


The gleaning of household waste is seen in different ways in different parts of the world. Some European and North-American countries have implemented "container deposit legislation." That is, the consumer who buys a bottle or some other kind of container, pays an extra as deposit, which can then be recovered by bringing back the container to the seller. This kind of legislation, obviously, generates a considerable gleaning-like activity on the part of poor people who actively search and collect thrown away containers.

The gleaning of industrial waste would seem to be a good idea under many respects; and it even seems to work where it has been implemented. However, there are big problems with making it a widespread and commonplace technology for waste management. On the basis of my personal experience, I can tell you that trying to fight the vested interests of the companies that make money out of traditional waste management is hard; think of taking away a fish from the crocodile's mouth. In some cases, disturbing the crocodile can even be dangerous, considering the widespread network of illegal activities related to waste management. Then, in proposing participatory waste management, you risk being considered as an "enemy of the people." Plenty of well intentioned people will think that you want to prevent the poor from their legitimate right of becoming 9 to 5 office employees. You may also be seen as an enemy of science and technology, as you are intentioned to block the development of new and wonderful technologies that will bypass thermodynamics and transform waste into a high yield resource. Finally, often you face a stumbling block in the form of the "zero waste" idea, often intended as meaning that no waste should be produced at all. The fact that perfect efficiency implies zero resilience seems to be completely alien to the way of thinking of those who propose this idea. That's true also for the concept that "waste is food" and, hence, zero waste means zero food for those who could profit from it.

So far, no one seems intentioned to propose shooting the informal waste collectors, as it was supposed to be done during Stalin's times, but it is easy to get discouraged facing the complete lack of understanding of the situation at all the levels of the decision making process. Most people simply don't want to hear about this subject, and the idea of having the poor scavenging their household waste horrifies them. They want it burned or removed from their view, and that's it. Hence, we are stuck with the traditional, industrial techniques of waste processing for as long as we will be able to afford them (not forever, for sure)

Conclusion: the future of gleaning. 

How can we see gleaning in our society? Can we see its return in one of its many possible forms? And, if so, will it be useful for something, for instance to solve the waste problem?

Personally, I would avoid seeing gleaning as a solution for any problem. Gleaning is simply something that happens, it is part of the way our world works and the way human beings adapt to change. Gleaning really never disappeared from human society and it will never disappear as long as human beings exist. The future will bring us the gradual winding down of the industrial society as cheap fossil fuels are burned and disappear. As a consequence, it will become more and more common to return to gleaning-like technologies that can optimize the return of low-yield resources, such as those left by the industrial binge of the past few centuries.

In this vision, a good case could be made that the gleaning of waste should be encouraged already today by laws and subsidies. Even if you don't agree with this idea, at least, we should avoid the mistake of forbidding gleaning, or to make it impossible under the burden of taxes and bureaucracy. It is not just a question of opportunity, but a wider one of solidarity. God Himself (or Herself) commanded us to let gleaning be and, as God is said to be compassionate and merciful, I think we should take that into account.

Simplifying the Final Countdown

Off the keyboard of RE

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on July 19, 2015

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Discuss this article at the Economics Table inside the Diner

It's been a watershed week here in the world of collapse, watching both the European economy and the Chinese economy circle the toilet bowl.  Oil also is back on its downward trend line, and Pigmen everywhere remain perplexed, blaming the problems variously on Socialist Goobermints, Unions or Keynesian Economists, but none of those are in the least bit correct.

The problem is really a very simple one, which is that there are too many people chasing too few resources, particularly the energy resource necessary to live the Industrial lifestyle those of us who have enjoyed that in the west have been pursuing for the last 200 years or so.  Here is how we looked diagramatically 200 years ago at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution:

Industrialization-Beginning

oilwellAs this trip began, there were just tons of Fossil Fuels in the ground, Coal, Oil and Natural Gas, and they weren't too hard to find or extract either.  In fact in the early years, the Oil just squirted out of the ground under its own pressure, as soon as you popped a hole in the container.  It has become progressively harder to extract though, and nowadays to get the last of the extractable stuff up, the Frackers have to pump millions of gallons of water and chemicals to coax the stuff up out of the rocks it is embedded in.  Similar with NG, it takes real sweet high tech equipment that can drill horizontal wells to get to the remaining supplies of this stuff.  Its not cheap to get this out of the ground anymore.

You also had a relatively low population that was mostly agrarian at the beginning of this trip.  Both the North & South American continents were relatively empty of people, with most of the indigenous population wiped out by the Smallpox, Tuberculosis, Scarlet Fever and other diseases brought over to the continent in the early years of colonialization.

There was little pollution in those years, you could pretty much drink out of any stream or even lake without treating the water in any way.  Long as you disposed of your own waste downstream from wherever you were, you were OK long as there was nobody else immediately upstream from you.

Most of the CO2 in the atmosphere up at that point was what occurred naturally from forest fires, vulcanism and so forth.  There was some addition from Homo Saps burning stuff to smelt metal for Ag Equipment and War Tools, but since the population overall was not that large, it was not overwhelming the capacity of the earth to absorb this waste, or the sun to provide enough energy to replace what was wasted. Overall, it was a fairly Balanced system to this point, although Ag was defintely desertifiying many portions of the planet where it had been practiced for 1000s of years.  Over time, even without Industrialization, Ag as practiced in most places would have done the same job as industrialization, though probably not quite as fast.

Fast Forward now here to the situation 200 years later in this game:

Indistrialization-Now

All the main resources are shrinking in size, quite rapidly in many areas.

In Fossil Fuel Energy Resource, the real easy sources of Coal, Oil and NG are gone, and just extracting what is left takes more energy and more technology all the time.  Accessing Debt Money to do that extraction becomes more difficult as well, and credit to the end consumer to buy that energy also becomes more scarce.  All together, this reults in fewer people able to afford to waste this energy, and so little by little, country by country, some folks are triaged off of the credit necessary to participate in this economy.  It is most obvious in Greece right now, but it is occurring just about everywhere, even in the Core economies of Industrialized Nations of the FSoA, Germany, the UK and China.  In these places you have an increasingly large underclass of people receiving Food Stamps and supplements to stay alive, but they aren't commuting to work and aren't buying tankloads of gasoline for their SUVs every week.  Currently, out of the 320M people living in the FSoA, 45M of them are on Food Stamps.

http://www.trivisonno.com/wp-content/uploads/Food-Stamps-Yearly.jpg

While the energy resource continues to deplete, as the second diagram shows the total Global Population continues to increase, which will continue until there is a major fracture in the total system, which seems more imminent all the time.  More people all the time need the water, energy and food that the planet can provide on a daily basis.  No amount of Debt Issuance can resolve a food deficit problem, in a given year the food to support the population is either there or it is not.  A certain amount can be held in reserve, food storage techniques are pretty good these days, but overall the margin here is pretty small.  Currently, if there were to be a major falloff in any major food producing region, within one year there would be a major deficit in available calories for the population as a whole.  We are already looking at a major falloff in food production from Sunny Califonia, where the ongoing and accelerating Drought situation is likely to make produce a good deal more expensive right here in the FSoA pretty soon.  This problem of drought is mirrored in many areas of Ag production of the globe right now, from India to China to South America.  It is unlikely to improve anytime too soon.

Drought-Monitor-July-8-2014While you have the problem of steadily increasing human population and steadily decreasing sources of energy, water and arable land, you ALSO have steadily increasing CO2 content in the atmosphere (exacerbating Climate Change issues) and steadily increasing areas of Desertification turning formerly productive food growing regions into deserts.  There is no absolute quantification for this I am aware of, however anecdotally it is possible to track it from Syria to Sao Paolo, from China to India and beyond.  Pretty clearly, the Earth is maxed out in converting solar energy to food, and the Human Population can only survive at current levels with close to the current levels of food available to them.

In the end, this is a very simple and straightforward Thermodynamic Problem of how much energy it takes to run the Human Population Engine.  In order to survive, each Homo Sap consumes X number of calories each day in food.  Because of distribution problems and diet issues with types of food consumed, you have some fat people in some places and some emaciated people in others, but in aggregate you need X calories to keep all the Homo Saps currently walking the Earth ambulatory.

http://www.chemguide.co.uk/physical/equilibria/haberflow.gifThe Industrial Revolution enabled Homo Sap to produce more Food Calories than he ever had before in history, by several orders of magnitude.  In the aftermath of WWII, we learned how to create Ag Fertilizer directly from Oil, through the Haber process  The Ammonia produced is used to make Ammonium Nitrate, useful in bombs but also useful as an Ag Fertilizer.  The very same plants that made the Bombs dropped in the Fire-Bombing of Dresden were converted into making the fertilizer that spawned the "Green Revolution".

Cheap food was produced by the truckload, and the population of Homo Saps EXPLODED over the last 70 years, from around 2.5B in 1940 to around 7B now.  All those people compete for the same resources of water and food, and nearly all of them are dependent on the same monetary sytem that distributes that water and food.  It's a GLOBAL SYSTEM at this point.  Few places are completely independent, even food exporting nations like the FSoA are not independent, since in order to export so much food, it imports a lot of Oil.

It's not just the fertilizer here that enables this, it is also all the farm machinery from tractors to combines, and the whole transportation system from trucks to rail to container ships that moves all this food all over the globe, and often puts outta biz any local production of food as well.  It comes in cheaper even with all the transportation than local food production, and each year thousands of small farmers commit suicide because they cannot make a living selling the food they grow.

India's shocking farmer suicide epidemic

Falling into a debt-trap and besieged by bad weather, thousands of farmers are taking their own lives each year.

Bhagwan Datatery said his father was under tremendous financial pressure before killing himself [Baba Umar/Al Jazeera]

The MSM, and even the Blogosphere on websites like Zero Hedge often paint the problems we face as simple Monetary Problems and Political Problems, Socialism vs Capitalism, Keynesiasm vs Misesanism, Gold vs. Fiat, Democracy vs Dictatorship, etc.  It is none of those things.  It's a straight resource and energy problem which nobody in control will acknowledge, because there is no palatable economic solution to it.  It's not that the only solution entails giving up the Carz and the Happy Motoring lifestyle we have come to expect as a God Given right (the Amerikan lifestyle is NON-NEGOTIABLE according to Dick Cheney), it's that the only solution is a lot of DEAD PEOPLE.

http://i0.kym-cdn.com/entries/icons/original/000/012/818/Movie_i_see_dead_people-769472.jpg

"I see Dead People"

There is no way whatsoever to engineer the death of billions of people in an equitable manner, there IS no equitable manner for such a catastrophe.  Occassionally you hear talk on the internet in the collapse blogosphere of reducing population through birth control, but first off the Chinese tried that with the One Child policy over the last 30 years and it really did not work, and second even such a policy can only be implemented by the most powerful of governments.  To be really effective, it requires such onerous proceedures as FORCED STERILIZATION and MANDATORY BIRTH CONTROL, and both of those are wicked difficult to implement on the grand scale in any case.

On the upside to this, the Birth Rate in many developed nations is falling, as more people who realize they simply can't afford to have children stop having them, but that is more than made up for as people in the 3rd  World countries reproduce as fast as they still are able to do so, long as they have enough food to do that anyhow.  That supply of food looks like it will run short or be unaffordable for them (or both), so high birth rates and high survival rates for infants in these locations seems unlikely moving forward into the future.

The total population will diminish at some rate, from a decreasing birth rate, and increasing child mortality rate and an increasing death rate in the adult population as well.  That will all come from the usual vectors, the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Famine,Pestilence, War and DEATH.

http://aeroventure.com/END-TIMES/the-four-horsemen-of-the-apocalypse.jpg

The only real questions left now are how fast this will occur, where the best & worst locations will be to be trying to keep living, what are the best strategies for surving this catastrophe, and whether anybody at all can make it through the Zero Point.  Is this Extinction, or a Knockdown Event?

https://33.media.tumblr.com/e25d581eb34b31b9e0a2c909d0d5cf1b/tumblr_nia06yYg6e1rnh7cyo1_500.gifFor the individual who realizes this is coming down the pipe, I don't think it matters which way it actually ends up, because either way, if you want to LIVE, you are going to operate in the same way.  You pick the best strategies for survival you can think up and also implement in some fashion, given the resources you personally have.  You absolutely cannot depend on you Goobermint to save you in the end, since your Goobermint is quite likely to collapse even before you do, at least if you are fairly young anyhow.  Either way its a sorry end, because if everybody dies, its the end of Sentience on Earth.  If you or your progeny survive it, it is still a sorry end, because you are left with Survivor Guilt.  It is a sure thing that if you are to survive this, somebody else must die in your place.  There are just too many people on board the Spaceship Earth now, as a species we are in serious Overshoot, probably 3X to 4X minimum as of now, maybe more than that.

The Greek situation remains an important one to keep track of, because they are the first of the European Nations being kicked off the Titanic of industrial Civilization without a Lifeboat.  How quickly will the situation deteriorate there, how long before they deteriorate to Civil War, how long before Contagion brings their problems to the rest of Europe?

These are questions we do not have answers for today, but they will be coming down the pipe in the not too distant future.  Of one thing you can be certain here, we are NOT exceptional.  This is a very straightforward problem of Thermodynamics, and it will engulf the entire population of Homo Saps currently walking the Earth.  It has little to do with the political systems or economic systems we run to manage the resources.  None of them can work anymore.  There are too many people, too much pollution and waste and not enough resource left for this planet to bear.

That is all she wrote.

http://www.dfwchild.com/Dallas/images/features/Noted_Cursive_ArticleImage1.jpg

RE

The Human Extinction Survey

SURVEY SUBMISSIONS TO DATE: 277

Off the keyboard of RE

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
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Published on the Doomstead Diner on May 17. 2015

extinction-button

05-24-human-extinction

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Discuss this Survey at the Kitchen Sink inside the Diner

human-extinctionEarly on when I began my journey into the World of Collapse, probably the biggest and most contentious issue that got kicked around on the Collapse forums and blogs was whether the monetary system would collapse in Hyperinflation or Deflation.  In fact here on the Diner itself this remains one of the most popular threads, with more than 30 pages of posts at this point.

Lately however, the Doom community has become more Doomerish, and what is being kicked around now is whether Homo Saps are bound for Extinction, not in some long distant future but in the Near Term.  In fact, some folks like Guy McPherson of Nature Bats Last are predicting this Extinction Level Event will occur as early as 2030, only 15 years down the line from present day.  Obviously, if you are in the process of going Extinct, the monetary issues pale before that one!  LOL.  For the purposes of this survey though, we will consider anything under a Century as "Near Term".

In an effort to get a better clue on what people think will occur here (and WHEN!?) as we move along the Collapse Highway, I worked up a little Survey utilizing yet another of the numerous Plugins I have installed lately to spruce up the Diner before I Buy My Ticket to the Great Beyond TM. 🙂

Before you take the Main Survey, if you haven't done so already here on the Diner, you may want to place yourself in on our Taxonomy of Doomer Types Survey.  If you have already done this survey before, don't do it again, it will skew the results.  I haven't got a way yet to stop Duplicates out by User.  I don't want to require email addys or any identification for these polls, as I think that would discourage readers from responding to them.

I came up with this taxonomy back in my days Blogging on The Burning Platform with Jim Quinn.  I had just 2 categories for it back then, now I am up to 4 with it.  Here's the old table though for some descriptions.  This goes back to 2011 BTW.

Topic

Doom Lite

Full Doom

 Dollar & Monetary System  We can fix the monetary system and rehabilitate the Dollar if we STOP PRINTING, feed Helicopter Ben to the Lions, Slash Spending, allow TBTF Banks to FAIL, Incarcerate the Criminal Banksters and use Precious Metals to underpin the currency.  The monetary system cannot be rehabilitated by any means, there will be a complete collapse of ALL Fiat money and financial instruments and commerce will for quite some time be mainly Barter.  PMs will only retain value in areas where there is a surplus of basic commodities.
Inflation, Hyper-Inflation, Deflation, Stagflation, DICK UP YOUR ASSFLATION WTF CARES ANYMORE?  WE ARE TOAST NO MATTER HOW IT COLLAPSES. WTF CARES ANYMORE?  WE ARE TOAST NO MATTER HOW IT COLLAPSES.
Energy To resolve our Energy problems, we must IMMEDIATELY begin building more Nukes, Drill Baby Drill for more Local Oil and build more Hydro Plants and Wind Farms, and eventually pick up the slack from lost energy from Imported Oil sources. Lost Energy from depleted Oil is Irreplaceable and it is far too late to stop an extensive Power Down throughout society which will halt most of our Transportation methods and bring down the Electrical Grid.  Our only choice is to prepare for a Low Energy footprint in the future.
 Goobermint  We can fix Da Goobermint if we Vote Out all the scumbag CONgress Critters and replace them with Honest Politicians who cannot be Bought who all demonstrate the Wisdom of the Founding Fathers and abide by the Constitution.  Said new Goobermint will be made much smaller with fewer Regulations and less Taxation, allowing Commerce to revive as the Free Market takes over.  Da Goobermint is inherently unfixable and corrupt and cannot be rehabilitated via the Ballot Box.  Only a Revolution can remove the current power structure, and the results of a Revolution will likely bring a new Goobermint as bad or WORSE than the current one.  The failure of the monetary sytem and energy systems will eventually render all large scale Goobermints unable to function, with the power vacuum filled by local Warlords and Dictators in most places.
Jobs We must stop the offshoring of Productive Jobs and rebuild our Manufacturing Base in order to build an export based Mercantilist economy with a Trade Surplus. The Industrial Model is FINISHED, even if we could rebuild Factories here in the FSofA, we wouldn’t have the Oil to run them anyhow, and there won’t be anyone here or abroad who could afford the products we build with them anyhow, because of the upward spiraling cost of energy measured in EROEI.
 Immigration  We must Seal the Borders and deport all Illegal Aliens and get FSofA Citizens to work at all the scut jobs at below Minimum Wage they currently fill to reduce Unemployment and reduce the liabilities of Aliens who are soaking up free Medical Care in the Emergency Rooms of our Hospitals.  We can TRY to seal the borders and deport the Illegal Aliens, but they will just be replaced by more home grown Citizens who are falling off the economic cliff and will be just as big a drain on the Medical System.  Besides that, at least on the Border with Mejico,  it will likely create an ever growing Shooting War with a Tsunami of Wetbacks seeking to escape an even worse situation in Mejico.
 Imperialism & Foreign Wars  We must STOP trying to be the World’s Policeman, bring all our Boys & Girls HOME and reduce the outrageous COST of maintaining the Big Ass Military.  As soon as we STOP running all our Imperialist adventures, we will basically be CUT OFF from the Foreign Oil still making its way across the Sea Lanes to our Refineries.  We also will crash just about the only type of “productive” thing we build here anymore, which are the Weapons of War and we will bring back a whole new crew of people to put on the Unemployment line.
 Free Shit Army & 30 Blocks of Squalor  We must end all transfer payments, all Welfare, Social Security and Medicaire which are all unfunded Liabilities we cannot afford.  Former Welfare recipients will be FORCED to go back to work and become Productive Citizens rather than Useless Eaters.  Old Folks will rely on their Savings and their Extended Families to take care of them in their dotage.  The minute we knock down all these social support mechanisms is the minute we turn into Egypt or Libya or all the rest of the 3rd World countries where the people with Nothing Left to Lose go BERSERK.  We don’t HAVE jobs these people could do, even if they were qualified to do any job, which they are not for the most part.  Most Old Folks have no savings, and the Extended Family died back in the 1950s for the most part.  The Medical Industry as a whole would COLLAPSE without Goobermint input, putting the Doctors, Nurses and Medical Records folks on the UE lines also.

China

 China will succeed long term because they are net creditors, have most of the Industrial infrastructure and have more Science and Math geniuses studying at Elite Universities.  China is TOAST because of outrageous Population Overshoot, a depleted Water Supply, insufficient arable land and insufficient local supplies of remaining Fossil Fuel energy.

 

FINAL

SOLUTIONS

 Boomers should be EXTERMINATED  Pigmen should be EXTERMINATED

 

The latest Compact Description of each of the new categories is below, and you can go HERE to take that Survey if you have not done so already.  However, don't navigate away from this page until you take the Survey below, which is much more comprehensive.

Tell Us How you Categorize Yourself

Cornucopian: You believe current problems are temporary and Homo Saps will eventually go Star Trekking
Doomer Lite: You believe we will have a Greater Depression, but eventually rebound from it
Full Doomer: You believe Homo Saps will undergo a massive Population Knockdown but will not go Extinct in this century
Uber Doomer: You believe Homo Saps will be extinct by the end of this century
 
Now, onto the Main Extinction Survey itself!
 
survey-saysAll questions in the Surveyl are Optional to answer, in fact even taking the Poll is Optional!  You're not required to leave any identifying information if you don't want to.
 
It may not appear to you that the form submission worked, because I haven't got the feedback page working yet.  However, trust me it does work! I tested it. I'll publish the Survey results after I get enough reasonably literate responses to it.  If you choose to write a really LONG answer to any question, I highly recommend that you compose it in a Text Editor on your own computer and Save It there before copy/pasting it into the Submit Box and hitting the Submit Button!  Just In Case.
 
There are Text Areas for each question, if you wish to explain your reasoning for your choice.  You are also encouraged to join us in the Diner Forum for discussion of these choices.  You can also use the Blog Commentary below for further discussion and explanation, although that will not go into the Published Survey Results.
 

the-apocalypse11

RE

On Climate Change & World Hunger

Off the keyboard of Ugo Bardi

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Published on Resource Crisis on March 23, 2015

Overshoot

Discuss this article at the Population Overshoot Table inside the Diner

Climate Change: how to make the problem bigger. Lessons from the case of world hunger

Results of a search for “world hunger” using Google Ngram Viewer. Clearly, the perception of hunger as a major world problem is relatively recent: it peaked in the 1980s and it remains well entrenched in collective consciousness today. Would climate change show the same trajectory in the future? And, if it does, does it mean that the problem can be solved? Or won’t we only make problems bigger in the efforts of solving them?

Momentum is clearly building up for climate action, even though denial is still putting up a stiff resistance. So, in a way, things are going well, but is it enough? Do we still have time for significant action against climate change? And if we will engage in such an action, will we take the right decisions?

Normally, the key of the future lies in the past and we can examine our present situation with climate in light of an older problem: world hunger, which went through a path of perception and action which may go in parallel with the climate problem.

Famines have a long history and, in ancient times, they were often perceived as “acts of God.” The idea that something could be done against hunger took time to penetrate humankind’s consciousness and we can perhaps find a first glimpse with the satirical essay titled “A Modest Proposal” written in 1729 by Jonathan Swift (best known for his “Gulliver’s Travels”), where he proposed that the Irish poor should sell their children as food for the rich English. In reading it, you get a feeling of the frustration that Swift felt for the way the problems of Ireland were perceived in his times and, clearly, that hunger was no concern of the elites of the time. One of the results was the slow and ineffective response of the British government to the Irish famines which came in later times, in particular to the great famine of 1845 that killed millions of people.

Perceptions about world hunger changed in mid-20th century and the interest in the problem rose up rapidly and peaked in the 1980s. Afterward, it went down, but remained a clearly visible problem, something that everyone agrees it must be acted upon. Can we hope for a similar evolution of the concept of climate change? If we use google Ngram viewer, we can compare the terms “world hunger” and “climate change” and here is the result:

We should not pay too much attention to the relative magnitude of the curves. What counts is that the “climate change” curve has not yet saturated, but the use of the term is growing rapidly. It may still take some years before the curve reaches a peak, but there may arrive a moment in which the importance of climate change becomes obvious and nobody will deny it any more.

These are good news; but there is a problem. Suppose that the moment comes when everyone agrees that climate change is a big problem and we have to do something about that. Then, will anything be done? Will something be done fast enough? And will the right things be done? On this point, I am afraid that there will be problems. Big problems.

Let’s go back to world hunger: most people today seem to agree that it is a success story and that the problem was solved by the so called “green revolution” that is, greatly increasing food production worldwide. It was, surely, a remarkable technological success, but did it solve the problem? Or didn’t it just create a rat race between food production and population? In this case, we only made the problem bigger, instead of solving it (a case of the “black swan” trap). And the green revolution is all based on the idea of turning fossil fuels into food. But if population keeps increasing, while the stocks of fossil fuels can only decrease, we are going to have big problems. Actually, enormous problems. We’ll never solve the hunger problem if we can’t manage to stabilize the human population.

The reaction of humankind to climate change could be the same. Once we finally recognize that it is a problem, we may look for some technological quick fix to solve it and that may only make the problem bigger. Think of the various proposals of climate engineering that involve at spreading reflecting substances in the high atmosphere. If some of these proposals were implemented, then we could keep emitting greenhouse gases without generating atmospheric warming; and we probably would. Then, with emissions going up, we’ll need more screening of sunlight, and, with more screening, we would keep emitting. It would be another rat race between emissions and screening. And what if something were to go wrong with the management of solar radiation? Something we didn’t predict or we didn’t understand? Then we would be in deep, deep trouble (anyone said “black swan”?). We’ll never solve the climate problem if we don’t manage to stabilize the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Nobody likes to play the role of the catastrophist but, here, it is clear that we have a gigantic problem. It is not so much a physical or a technological problem, it is that we never developed methods to solve worldwide complex problems; we mostly tend to worsen them. It happens all the time (the political situation in North Africa and Middle East comes to mind as just another example). There have been several attempts to develop new and more effective ways to tackle big problems, such as focussing attention on the leverage points of systems. These methods are true game changers, but will any decision maker pay attention?

Knarf plays the Doomer Blues

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CHICAGO – Agribusiness is increasingly turning to [...]

Since October, a wave of anti-government protests [...]

This coming week’s virtually certain House impeach [...]

Diner Newz Feeds

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[img]https://scontent.forf1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0 [...]

Doomstead Diner Daily December 15The Diner Daily i [...]

Doomstead Diner Daily December 14The Diner Daily i [...]

This is How a Society DiesAmerica and Britain are [...]

Florida man died from meth overdose before h... [...]

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

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

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

Mayor LaToya Cantrell has declared a state of emer [...]

CHICAGO – Agribusiness is increasingly turning to [...]

Since October, a wave of anti-government protests [...]

This coming week’s virtually certain House impeach [...]

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

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

Wisconsin Bill Would Remove Barrier to Using Gold, [...]

Under extreme conditions, gold rearranges its atom [...]

The cost of gold futures on the Comex exchange inc [...]

OK, I gave it to myself.    Guaranteed FREE Shippi [...]

The remission is OVAH!  The Cancer is BACK!  I got [...]

1 week, even 2 here in Alaska is total BULLSHIT! Y [...]

Now UP on GEI!  REposted on 01 December 2019A Worl [...]

Alternate Perspectives

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

Missing In Action By Cognitive Dissonance     As a very young pup, whenever I was overdue and not ho [...]

Politicians’ Privilege By Cognitive Dissonance     Imagine for a moment you work for a small or medi [...]

Shaking the August Stick By Cognitive Dissonance     Sometime towards the end of the third or fourth [...]

Empire in Decline - Propaganda and the American Myth By Cognitive Dissonance     “Oh, what a tangled [...]

Meanderings By Cognitive Dissonance     Tis the Season Silly season is upon us. And I, for one, welc [...]

Event Update For 2019-12-13http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

Event Update For 2019-12-12http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

Event Update For 2019-12-11http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

Event Update For 2019-12-10http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

Event Update For 2019-12-09http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

With fusion energy perpetually 20 years away we now also perpetually have [fill in the blank] years [...]

My mea culpa for having inadvertently neglected FF2F for so long, and an update on the upcoming post [...]

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

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

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Sustainability

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Our Final Exam in Madrid"Why are we hauling giant container shiploads of Christmas decorations from Vietnam to England? [...]

First cut of the Madrid climate summit"“Buying an offset to fly here is absurd. It takes decades for a tree to grow enough to recoup [...]

"The drift towards near-term human extinction must be averted at all costs."I confess. I a [...]

"Since 2005, winters in Mexico have been my Hemingway Machine."  As winter descends upon m [...]

Waterboarding Flounder"Serious oxygen loss between 100 and 600-meter depths is expected to cover 59–80% of the ocean [...]

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

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

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

Visit SUN on Facebook Here [...]

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

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

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

The success of Apollo 11 flipped the American public from skeptics to fans. The climate movement nee [...]

Today's movement to abolish fossil fuels can learn from two different paths that the British an [...]

Top Commentariats

  • Our Finite World
  • Economic Undertow

"Sweden’s central bank is planning plans to create a pilot platform for a digital currency know [...]

"The world’s oldest central bank stands to be the most significant this month as it pioneers a [...]

The resources of Russia are closer to China, India, Korea or Japan, so Australia is in trouble, unle [...]

Maybe better could be said "the winter (or the lack of energy) eliminates the species that do n [...]

Listened to an interesting lecture by a solar scientist at an English university. It’s seems there’s [...]

Trump was born in 1946 so he's another stinkin' Boomer. Bernie and Biden were born during [...]

The millennial consensus is that Boomer is more a state of mind than an age. A lot of older millenni [...]

Bill Clinton was first boomer president, followed by Bush, Obama, and Trump. True, neither candidate [...]

Biden and Bernie are members of the Silent Generation. Neither one is a boomer. I think Trump is on [...]

RE Economics

Going Cashless

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Simplifying the Final Countdown

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Bond Market Collapse and the Banning of Cash

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Do Central Bankers Recognize there is NO GROWTH?

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

Singularity of the Dollar

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Kurrency Kollapse: To Print or Not To Print?

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SWISSIE CAPITULATION!

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

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Merry Doomy Christmas

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Peak Customers: The Final Liquidation Sale

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Collapse Fiction

Useful Links

Technical Journals

Thermal environmental design in an outdoor space is discussed by focusing on the proper selection an [...]

The present work shows the experimental evidence carried out on a pilot scale and demonstrating the [...]

Climate change is expected to affect the occurrence of forest pests. This study depicts a method to [...]

The grapevine (Vitis vinifera, L.) has been long since recognized as an ozone-sensitive plant. Ozone [...]

Climate change imposes great challenges on the built heritage sector by increasing the risks of ener [...]