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The Collapse Cardiologist from Oz Daily Double
« on: March 07, 2020, 09:07:45 PM »


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Published on The Doomstead Diner on March 7, 2020



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Discuss this article at the Seasteading Table Inside the Diner



 



by Geoffrey Chia, March 2020



 



  



MY “IDEAL” SMALL OCEAN-CAPABLE CATAMARAN / SEASTEAD



Buying a luxury yacht for recreation or as a status symbol while still living ashore may be viewed as an act of vanity and profligacy, particularly if the boat is seldom used. Buying a seaworthy boat to live aboard full time and achieve independence from the coal fired power grid and reduce your overall resource consumption (and eliminate all land dwelling expenses) is another matter however. Yachties tend to be incredibly parsimonious with their use of power and fresh water. Depending on your circumstances, an offgrid lifestyle in your “floating tiny house” may be cheaper than living ashore and can dramatically reduce your ecological footprint. “Doomers” may consider it the ultimate “bug out” vehicle.



For monohull fans, the best small oceangoing liveaboard sailboat is the Sirius 35DS. Hands down. End of discussion.



For catamaran fans the debate rages on.



I live aboard a FP Mahe 36 evolution catamaran which, for my particular purposes, was the best (and smallest) ocean capable liveaboard cat available at the time of purchase. https://www.jstor.org/stable/renetechsustfutu.120.40?seq=1



I requested some modifications from the Oz agent, Multihull Solutions, which were: a stainless steel bracket behind the hard top bimini to mount 400W of solar panels (the best location possible, not shaded by the sails and boom most of the time), removal of one marine toilet to be replaced by a Nature's Head self contained urine separating composting toilet (obviating the need for a heavy, smelly holding tank and keeping sewage management simple yet still safe), a solar hot water heating system (Heliatos flat panels) and the installation of a small 2.2kg capacity washing machine in the port head, which I use as a laundry room where I have installed drying lines for clothes. That port head still retains its original marine toilet. All have worked well although the composting toilet does need particular “delicate” management.



I have a basic sloop rig, no bowsprit and two 30HP diesel saildrives.



In light of what is available today and personal experiences, I have updated my thoughts regarding the “ideal” liveaboard oceangoing sailing cat. Of course there is no such thing as an ideal cat, only one's personal view as to what represents the optimal combination of inevitable design compromises.



If I could option a catamaran from scratch now, I would consider the Seawind 1160 lite (1160cm = 38 feet) as a rough template because I like the idea of two retractable outboards in wells. I would modify the configuration significantly however.



SIZE: A 38 foot cat is large enough for safe ocean passages, however boats any larger usually need electric or hydraulic assist devices (power winches etc,) due to the huge forces on the lines. As it is, I already need the help of another person to haul in the furling line of my (smallish) jib when sailing downwind in a stiff breeze on my 36 foot cat. I prefer to minimise dependency on complex machinery. Thirty eight feet is a suitable size for 1 to 4 permanent liveaboards (assuming 2 double cabins) and to also temporarily host 2 guests in the bridgedeck area (with a drop down table which converts to double berth).



INBOARD OUTBOARDS: Having outboards in wells which can be tilted out of the water when not in use offers a multitude of advantages. Each time I hauled out my boat I found the rubber seals around the shafts of my saildrives were peeling off and needed replacing. Until Propspeed became easily available (which needs to be professionally applied and is expensive) I had problems with growth on the props. I recently had to change the sacrificial anodes and will need to replace the aluminium props themselves soon due to electrolytic pitting. Also there is the annoying vibration of the props freewheeling when under sail when the engine is off (eliminated by putting the gears in reverse which however is not recommended by FP). If confronted with a rope-round-prop scenario, if you have a fixed engine, the only way to clear the prop (if it cannot be freed by reversing the engine) is to dive down and do the deed, a horrible task in the dirty opaque Brisbane river and rather unnerving if out in the wide ocean, especially at night when you cannot see what denizens of the deep are lurking beneath you (I speak from experience regarding the latter, but thankfully still have all my limbs intact). What if you are motoring in a storm under bare poles near a lee shore and have snagged a rogue net or rope in your prop? If you can tilt the engine up and clear the prop from inside your cockpit, that would be sheer bliss..



There are several outboard engine possibilities:





  1. The default existing option is petrol outboards which are cheap and light and easily replaced. With their high power to weight ratios and high RPMs, petrol outboards are mainly designed to push light planing vessels around at high speed. When used for displacement or multihull boats at slow cruising speeds, they are woefully inefficient compared with diesel inboards. I also have an aversion to keeping volatile petrol aboard (I mostly paddle my dinghy tender but do have an electric mini-outboard if I get lazy)





  2. Much better would be 27HP Yanmar diesel outboards which unfortunately have been out of production for many years now. They were excellent engines but had a very small market, hence were not profitable. Recently however it appears other firms have begun to make small diesel outboards: https://www.klaxondieseloutboards.com/the-features/





https://hongjunst.en.made-in-china.com/product/uyPJgLOVAzcF/China-Diesel-Engine-Boat-Motor-4-Stroke-Outboard-Motor-30HP-for-Vessel.html



Whether they prove to be of similar quality is yet to be seen. With a limited market however, after sales service and spare parts could be an issue. Diesel engines with high thrust at lowish RPMs use perhaps 40% less fuel than equivalent horsepower rated petrol engines, hence offer a much greater range with much less emissions (and are also more durable). The Oxe and Cox diesel outboards, being 150HP or larger are not relevant to our considerations.





  1. What about two electric outboards powered by one or two generator sets? My preference would be a single diesel generator that can continuously power two electric outboards equivalent to, say 20+HP each, say around 17kW each. There is perhaps 10% energy loss when converting electricity to motive power in the electric motors but my understanding is that this is made up for by other efficiency gains. Electric motors provide the highest torque and thrust at low RPMs (given suitable prop design). Electric outboards in theory should require almost no servicing and last forever. A big advantage is that being electrically controlled, it should be easy to install multiple engine control panels: one at the port helm, one at the starboard helm and another at the internal helm within the bridgedeck. Duplicating helm controls for throttle control of internal combustion engines in small craft usually requires long mechanical cables (and I have never seen them triplicated).





I know that FP working with Volvo Penta have built a hybrid electric Lucia 40 https://plugboats.com/volvo-penta-unveils-all-electric-saildrive-at-cannes/ , but from what I can gather their setup is very complicated and proprietary to their brands. Furthermore it does not seem designed to power long distances. My philosophy is to adhere to the KISS principle as far as possible and be flexible with components, not to be bound to specific brands or models (apart from the hull and rig templates). If a component fails you can replace it yourself, not depend on the original vendor to send you their proprietary replacement from Europe at great expense which may need professional installation and software reconfiguration. Hence the idea is to use any brand of electric outboard https://plugboats.com/electric-outboards-more-than-5kw/ and any brand of marine genset, so long as items have the right specifications. Each electric outboard will weigh about 60kg and need water cooling. When I attended this meeting https://renew.org.au/events/brisbane-branch/going-electric-with-boats-to-ships/ I got the impression that a diesel genset weighing less than 200kg was available with suitable output for both outboards, but subsequently I could not personally find that from a websearch. For example this 34kW genset weighs more than 550kg! https://www.phasormarine.com/k4-34-0kw.htm Dedicating 670kg of machinery to auxiliary motive power on a cat is a deal breaker. By comparison each 30HP diesel saildrive on my Mahe weighs about 160kg and the old 27HP Yanmar diesel outboard models each weighed about 120kg. If a 34kW diesel genset weighing 200kg or under can be sourced then that would be ideal (200+60+60 = total of 320kg of motive machinery). The genset will have to be placed low in one hull (for the water cooling and weight distribution considerations) and near one electric outboard, with a heavy duty electrical cable leading to the outboard in the opposite hull.





  1. What about two electric outboards powered by petrol genset(s)? I could not find on websearch any petrol genset with higher than 16kVA output. What about one 16kVA petrol genset in each hull powering the adjacent electric engine? Apart from the inadequate output of each genset, my search showed they would weigh about 150kg each. https://www.mygenerator.com.au/large-3-phase-petrol-generators.html Such weight penalty is again a dealbreaker. Furthermore they are made for use on land and are air cooled, hence not suitable for a marine environment nor using more efficient water cooling.





  2. Another consideration may be a single 50HP diesel outboard (now being made by Yanmar) in one hull which powers a heavy duty alternator which sends juice to an electric outboard in the opposite hull. It will however be tricky marrying the thrust characteristics of such different engines with their different props at different RPMs (not to mention the asymmetric weighting of the hulls).





BATTERIES: The dual electric outboard + puny genset configuration on the hybrid Lucia 40 utilises a huge 40kWh worth of lithium batteries, which alone probably costs around $50,000 and the batteries will need replacement after perhaps 8 years and it all requires very complicated electronic battery management systems. There is no value in being able to run the electric engines silently for, say 6 hours, only to have to charge the batteries up again after that with the gensets (solar panels alone, depending on capacity and available sunshine may well take weeks to recharge it). Much better to run the genset(s) at the same time the electric engines are being run, negating the need for massive battery storage. Unfortunately the hybrid Lucia gensets are grossly underpowered (5kW each) to meet the continuous demands of each electric engine (15kW each), hence their “need” for huge battery storage. If adequate genset capacity without excessive weight penalty were possible, huge battery storage would no longer be necessary and even good old lead-acid with a modest capacity will be sufficient. What if your lithium system with complex electronics fail in the remote Pacific? You can get lead-acid batteries with associated charge controllers off the shelf anywhere and nowadays you can buy 600Ah of deep cycle AGM batteries for just over $1000. That's 40 times cheaper than the hybrid Lucia option, and if you carefully manage your lead-acids with no more than perhaps 30% DOD each time, they may last you eight years. Another possibility is Nickel Iron batteries which are not damaged by 100% discharge, may last 50 years or more but need frequent distilled water top ups and, every 7 years, total electrolyte replacement. Also from what I understand they hold their charge poorly compared with lead-acid or lithium. I think, having adequate gensets, all you need (for a 12V lead-acid system) is 600Ah of deep cycle house batteries and an 80Ah (with suitable cold cranking Amp capacity) dedicated starter battery for the gensets (overall representing about 4kWh of usable stored energy assuming 50% DOD for lead acid). Of course you also need enough solar panels (500W in the Queensland sun is more than enough) to keep the batteries topped up and running your fridge/freezer (and all other electrics apart from washing machine) >90% of the time, before ever needing to fire up the generator. As for airconditioning, I advise avoiding it like the plague unless connected to mains power at the dock. Most anchorages will have enough cooling breezes, assuming your boat design enables good ventilation through large opening portholes, an absolute must.



TOPSIDE CONFIGURATION:



a) Bridgedeck cabin: One of the most annoying aspects of the seawind 1160 design is the slope of the windows in the bridgedeck cabin (which hugely increase the greenhouse heating effect). Those windows in my ideal boat would be more vertical, like a Lagoon or FP, with small eaves above. Such features will also discourage the accumulation of grime and bird poop. I do like the Seawind trifold cockpit door concept. Having a dedicated forward facing internal navigation station (where all displays such as radar, chartplotter, AIS, depthsounder etc are repeated, as well as duplicate autopilot and engine controls and aerial socket for your portable VHF transceiver) is essential for any ocean going craft. When not underway it will be your mini-office where you work on your laptop and keep your stationery.



b) Helms: Twin helms in the cockpit have many advantages over a single raised helm offset to one side. A single raised helm offers good visibility to one side but poor visibility to the other which can make approaching a pontoon on the “blind” side difficult. Under sail, the jib obstructs visibility on the opposite side and because the helm is high, it is not possible to see under the foot of the jib (unlike sailing dinghies, most cruising yachts do not have transparent windows in their jibs). A high helm is also very exposed to the elements unless a bimini top and front and side enclosures are added, which add significantly to the windage of the topsides. A soft bimini top and plastic clears are not durable (and plastic “clears” are not very clear) and I have already had to replace mine (shredded by a hailstorm) which was not cheap. Twin helms in the cockpit sheltered by a hard top overcome those problems, although not without some caveats. To ensure good visibility forward through the cabin windows (which should enable you to see under the foot of the jib), it is best to have large bridgedeck cabin windows. Also best to have drop down rear windows directly in front of each helm to minimise the number of windows you need to look through when underway.



GALLEY:



a) Galley down configuration: For some, having the galley down is a deal breaker because the cook cannot easily interact socially with the crew when preparing meals. It has many advantages though, apart from keeping weight and CG low and freeing up a huge amount of space in the bridgedeck. Not having a galley up enables clear visibility from the cockpit helms forward through the cabin (with no cook blocking your view).



b) Fridge/freezer system: My main regret was installing a cavernous front opening freezer (in addition to the fridge) to my galley, which I hardly use because I seldom buy frozen food and is a huge drain on the batteries when used (It is my preference to run all the electrical appliances on my existing 400W of solar panels and 480Ah of batteries more than 90% of the time, without needing to charge the system by the engine driven alternator). I would prefer a top opening chest fridge-freezer due to the greater efficiency, despite the hassle. In the daytime my bridgedeck cabin is always much hotter than the hulls due to the greenhouse effect (even though I have vertical windows), causing the fridge-freezer in my galley-up configuration to struggle. Therefore locating the fridge-freezer down in one cool hull would substantially improve efficiency. For maximum choice and greater affordability, given the wide availability of robust portable RV/camping type DC chest fridge-freezers these days, I would like the option of a simple low shelf on which to place that chest, with a high current 12V DC socket adjacent (supplied by heavy gauge wire). My preference would be an 80 to 100 litre chest with separate fridge and freezer top lids.



HULL ACCOMMODATION: My Mahe has, in each hull, a queen berth in the rear and a head at the front, mirrored port and starboard. Saildrive engines with vertical legs take up much less horizontal space than conventional inboards with oblique prop shafts. This enables the saildrives to be located far back at the stern, freeing up more space in each hull. Having rear cabins directly adjacent to the engine compartments renders it impossible to rest easy in a cabin when the engines are running, unless you are not bothered by the fillings being shaken out of your teeth. What about the dual electric engine + genset combination? Electric engines are near silent but gensets are not. My preferred location for each double cabin will therefore be further forward but not near the bow where there is maximum pitching motion. Pitching is least amidships, near the “pivot point”. The “island cabin” configuration for a double or queen berth is best because of easy access on either side and ease of bed-making. The long axis of the island bed is best athwart rather than parallel to the long axis of the hull because the latter will require a broader hull beam, resulting in a slower cat. The heads are best in the rear rather than up front because the latter will, when the door to the double berth is closed, prevent those outside the berth from accessing that head. The accompanying diagram shows my personal view of optimal internal hull configuration.



DAGGER BOARDS: I can understand why some folks like daggerboards, but this is a topic I choose not to get into here and will stick with minikeels for the time being. An old salt once said to me, “a gentleman does not sail to windward”.



MOVIE THEATRE: One sad genetic predisposition of the pathetic male of the species is an unhealthy obsession with big screen TVs or home movie theatres. In a small boat, a big screen TV is out of the question, hence the solution is a movie projector. But which projector and where to place it and the screen? Combining my obsessions of low power consumption, true HD resolution and high contrast ratio, I chose the LG PF1500 LED projector which I mounted on a bracket which I bolted to the bridgedeck cabin ceiling. The LEDs are supposed to last more than 30,000 hours. A newer, lighter, cheaper, lower powered model is the PF50K. The distance to the screen had to be worked out exactly as that projector has limited zoom ability. I use a retractable screen, which in the daytime is stored in a box under the table, with a nominal 72 inch diagonal size (16:9 aspect ratio), which I place against the entrance door and pull up (rather than down), fastening the loop to a hook installed above the door. Combined with a stereo bluetooth portable speaker arrangement, a high quality immersive theatre experience is achieved. I just need to keep the volume low so as not to rattle the neighbours' windows. As the projector and bluray player require AC current, when away from dock so as not to drain the house batteries for this frivolous use, I use a rechargeable 12V, 100Ah lithium battery housed in a portable power box which I connect to a pure sine wave inverter for the home theatre system. I recharge this portable battery from flexi PV panels I installed on the coach roof (not the main crystalline PV panels behind the hard bimini top which are dedicated to the house and starter batteries). This particular theatre configuration is impossible in a narrow beam monohull.



CONCLUSION: My “ideal” cat does not exist at this time, but if I can interest the Seawind designers in these modifications, who knows…





  • For auxiliary engines, my preferred arrangement is two 27HP diesel outboards in wells that can be tilted out of the water when not in use. Availability of these items and after sales parts and service however are unknown quantities at this time.





  • The existing default option of two petrol outboards has the disadvantages of poor efficiency (hence poor range) and the need to store volatile petrol. Furthermore, alternators powered by petrol outboards tend to have puny output compared with diesel engines. Up front however this is the cheapest option. If however due to Peak Oil, diesel in future becomes scarcer than petrol, this could be a “better” option.





  • At first glance the idea of two electric outboards powered by one or two diesel or petrol generators seems appealing but, based on existing gensets available, the weight penalties are too high if the system is to be used for long distance powering.





  • The Hybrid Lucia 40, having underpowered gensets, is not suitable for long distance powering, and the cost of their lithium batteries alone is prohibitive.





Hence for now, based on what is actually available at this time, my view is that for ocean going sailing cats, the best (or least bad) auxiliary engine arrangement remains fixed diesel saildrives. Can diesel saildrives be configured to be housed in wells and tilted out of the water? I think only engine and boat designers working together can answer that question.



G. Chia March 2020



 



Addendum: Economical cabin heating with diesel:



My friend Richard brought my attention to this extremely low power consumption diesel heating system designed for caravans which uses only a few litres of diesel over an entire winter. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmENqukmrTc It can be configured to source oxygen from outside the dwelling (and of course expels fumes externally). Richard, his wife and daughter have used that system in a caravan over winter in Tasmania and found it to be excellent. It appears to be ideal for boat use as well and should also work with kerosene.



 



The Economic-Oil Nexus (EON) part 2: or Fuck the Neoliberal, Neoclassical Economists



By Geoffrey Chia, February 2020



"I'm tired of hillbillies bashing Socialism as if they knew what it was. But, damn it, they love being reamed by Capitalism because of the lies we're told every day. And yet, they love them some Communist Jesus!"



– Oblio's Cap, commenting on: https://www.wonkette.com/europeans-appear-unimpressed-with-our-beautiful-american-health-care-choices



 






Readers will recall that in Davos earlier this year, Steven Mnuchin, a pompous, overblown high voodoo priest of neoliberal economics, suggested that Greta Thunberg needed to study economics in college before lecturing the U.S. on fossil fuel investments. Greta's response was, in my view, highly restrained. My response to Mnuchin is this: You, Sir, have shit for brains and need to go back to elementary school to learn basic arithmetic then to high school to learn basic physics then to college to learn basic climate science before lecturing Greta on fossil fuels. Failing that you need to shut the fuck up.



 If I was asked to define neoliberal neoclassical economics in a nutshell, it would be this: privatisation of profits and socialisation of losses.  Or perhaps we should adopt Al Capone's definition of capitalism being the legitimate racket of the ruling class.



This article, part 2 of the Economic Oil Nexus, delineates exactly how insane and amoral the neoliberal, neoclassical, neocolonial, neoconartist economists or N4Cons are. EONflowchart2 shows how the peaking of conventional oil led to the frenzied extraction of unconventional (UC) oils in a desperate attempt to keep businesses as usual, a dying animal, on terminal life support. The high energy (= high monetary) costs of UC oil extraction, transportation and processing ensured from the get go that UC projects could never be profitable, hence perverse incentives were employed to facilitate such madness. There was no clear evidence of planned collusion between the UC oily fraudsters and their equally fraudulent financiers (unlike the invasion of Iraq where there was clear collusion between the corporations, especially Halliburton, the politicians – who were in fact revolving door corporatists – and the commercial media, to perpetrate that war crime). Nevertheless the fortuitous unholy convergence of economic “stimuli” such as quantitative easing, ZIRP and NIRP magically conjured up enormous liquidity, which was eagerly gobbled up by big business borrowers to be defecated down the black toilet of UC oil extraction. This has indeed forestalled the decline of global net oil availability (with horrific emissions and environmental consequences) but has also ensured that global economic collapse, when it does occur, will be much more abrupt and catastrophic than otherwise. Collapse has merely been postponed for now, but is certain to occur when the EROEI of conventional oil inevitably falls off a cliff (if not sooner due to the bursting of monumental financial bubbles).



Other socio political issues aggravated by the N4Con agenda are also summarised on that chart. The rise of fascist, racist, right wing extremists is a predictable result of the resource constraints resulting from Peak Oil which manifest in the form of economic hardships, which the N4Cons have inflicted entirely on the poor and middle classes. However resource curtailment/destruction is also being exacerbated by worsening climate chaos which has caused the loss of houses and businesses, food and water disruptions, warfare and refugee outflows from the most vulnerable locations.



To understand our present precarity and worsening inequality we need to understand the dictums of Neoliberal Economics which have been imposed on the world by the USA (along with their partners-in-crime the AngloZionists) ever since WW2 by various mechanisms: the bribery of banana republic dictators or the imposition of regime change on targeted countries via CIA engineered assassinations or astroturf revolutions or US military bombings or invasions (in order to install US compliant puppets). John Perkins outlined those tactics in detail in his New Confessions of an Economic Hitman.



The prevailing establishment (viz the World Bank, IMF, WTO, all Western industrial economies and universities, the stooge media etc) have declared "TINA!" (There Is No Alternative!), thus shutting down any possible debate.



In part one I stated that the N4Cons are bonkers. Here are my justifications for that assertion:



N4Con artistry is predicated on these delusions, lies and deceptions:





  1. Infinite growth is an indisputable, absolute, endless requirement and can never be argued against (those preposterous claims by radical Greenies that our planet is finite must be seen for the reckless, left wing, inner-city, latte sipping, raving lunacy that it is)





  2. Externalities (pollution, ecosystem destruction, global warming, genocide of native peoples, etc.) are to be ignored. They do not affect me (the privileged rule-making 0.1%) here and now, hence they do not exist. If we are ultimately forced to acknowledge them, we must find some way to commoditise, monetise or financialise them e.g. cap and trade of carbon emissions, carbon offsetting, patenting the genomes of native plants and peoples etc.





  3. Money can be created out of nothing by governments (by issuing bonds) and banks (the fractional reserve system of homoeopathic money) which can then be loaned out as debt.





  4. Debt makes up the majority of money and money drives all incentives. No other human motivations exist: people are driven by money, money, money only and by nothing else.





  5. Interest charged on debt forces indebted businesses (essentially all businesses) to grow, which therefore drives growth of the national GDP, which is the indisputable sole arbiter of success, the holy grail which must be pursued at all costs.





  6. Natural disasters or war require rebuilding and repair of infrastructure which drive up GDP, a good thing. Funeral expenses also contribute to the GDP. Those ungrateful Iraqis should thus thank us for destroying their infrastructure and killing their people. The invasion in 2003 was certainly a good thing for Halliburton, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin &c. According to US law, corporations are people and you need to be aware that people have feelings, so please do not criticise Halliburton &c because that will hurt their feelings. As for the Iraqis, they are subhuman towel-heads, so fuck them.





  7. Energy is merely a commodity which can be created out of nothing. Given the proper monetary incentives to stimulate innovation, anything and everything is possible!





  8. Therefore energy considerations are subservient to and indeed are irrelevant to economic considerations





  9. All economic participants operate on the basis of perfect information, perfect rational self interest and perfect competition. By definition they can never do anything to harm their own self interests.





  10. A market entirely free of regulation therefore ensures optimality. We have proven this by using elegant mathematical formulae using assumed inputs from axiom number 9 above.





  11. Asbestos does not cause cancer, people cause cancer.





  12. Reducing taxes on the rich, who are the source of all wealth creation, encourages them to consume more and to create more jobs and hence increases national wealth. Hence everyone must repeat these religious mantras, "the poor must feed off the table scraps of the rich" and "a rising tide lifts all boats".





  13. The physical laws of Nature (such as the first and second laws of thermodynamics) do not apply to Economics. Economists know everything about everything (having fabricated really impressive theoretical mathematical models which are internally beautifully consistent) far better than any Scientists. Those pathetic Scientists depend on real world observations before devising their mathematical models1, which they capriciously abandon or modify should such models fail to predict real world outcomes. Scientists only accept paradigms which are both internally and externally consistent with Reality, which makes them weak. Strong Economists unburdened by Reality should therefore determine National and International policies, not pathetic weak Scientists.





  14. It is easier to imagine the Extinction of Humanity than the end of Neoliberal, Neoclassical Economics, hence the former is preferable. (I actually paraphrased the popular quote which is: It is easier to imagine an end to the world than an end to capitalism which was attributed to both Fredric Jameson and Slavoj Zizek. Nevertheless we need to sharpen our focus and be absolutely clear: predatory industrial capitalism is relentlessly driving humanity towards extinction.)





If you are incredulous that such insane, amoral "axioms" could possibly form the belief system of the N4Cons, then you surely are a sensible person, however you do not fully realise how utterly crazed their ideology is. OK, I made up item number 11 myself, but it is not far from the truth. Unchecked, unregulated “free” market ideologies enable unbridled access of hazardous items, including military assault rifles, to the lowest common denominators of society in the name of “choice” and “freedom” (translation: choice and freedom for predatory capitalists to profit from the death and misery of ordinary people)



Please note that I do not advocate the abandonment of the discipline of Economics (which however needs to be more disciplined to be called a discipline). An understanding of real world Economics is vital to facilitate material well-being. But I do assert we need to abandon N4Con artistry which is quite simply institutionalised amoral fraud designed to funnel wealth from the poor to the rich and is also relentlessly driving us towards Extinction.



Here is a summary of the 5 biggest lies of global capitalism: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/12/lies-of-global-capitalism-guy-standing/



Here is proof that the N4Con ideologies violate scientific realities and hence are, not to put too fine a point on it, off-the-wall, loony tunes garbage: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/does-economics-violate-th/



For those N4Cons who scream “TINA!” I suggest they take off their blinders and look at the Scandinavian high taxing yet highly competitive socialist / regulated capitalist systems which have delivered the highest standards of living and highest levels of happiness to their populations: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Happiness_Report#2019_report



https://www.businessinsider.com.au/sanna-marin-finland-nordic-model-does-american-dream-better-wapo-2020-2?op=1&r=US&IR=T



Yes Virginia, successful mixtures of socialism and regulated capitalism do exist, not only in Scandinavia but also in France, Germany, Canada, Australia and NZ which provide universal health care irrespective of any citizen's ability to pay. And here is the biggest mammoth in the room, a highly regulated ginormous system which has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty and single handedly propped up the world economy after the GFC of 2009, a system that the N4Cons have no idea what to make of and therefore choose to denigrate at every turn: https://www.truthdig.com/articles/neoliberalism-has-met-its-match-in-china/



https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/wellness/china-overtakes-us-for-healthy-lifespan-who-data/ar-AAy0Vhd



Some rightwingnut Troll looking to find fault with this article will probably bring up the irrelevant issue of COVID19, a big problem no doubt, but one which will inevitably be overcome in time. Are there any other countries out there that can build a brand new, fully functioning 800 bed hospital within 10 days? Meanwhile Trump continues to undermine the funding of the CDC, of scientists and of clinical research. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jan/31/us-coronavirus-budget-cuts-trump-underprepared



The prostitute talking heads of the establishment condemn Bernie Sanders because they say he will bankrupt America from his reforms such as healthcare for all. All I can say about those useful idiots is that their pants on fire and they have no regard for facts, reality or rigorous analysis:



https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(19)33019-3/fulltext



https://www.mintpressnews.com/91-percent-scientific-papers-medicare-for-all-save-money/264189/



So wake up you shit-for-brains N4Con jackasses! You Chicago and Austrian school dickheads! There ARE alternatives which DO EXIST in the REAL WORLD and WORK far far better than your corrupt, duplicitous, parasitic, genocidal, exploitative and self serving conartistry.



Of all the sins of the N4Cons, quite apart from the war they are waging against Life itself on this planet http://triplecrisis.com/neoliberalism-and-climate-change/ , there is one sin which is, right here, right now, undermining their own Capitalist foundation. The N4Cons in their syphilitic Trumpian mindsets, dazzled by their own self proclaimed brilliance as stable geniuses, have failed or refused to acknowledge the very source of their wealth: namely the working class producers who are in fact also the most important consumers. The N4Con strategy of funnelling wealth to the parasitic rich from the hard working producers (who are simultaneously being crushed by harsh austerity, thus destroying their ability to consume), bears the seeds of the system's own destruction. What is the point of generating products and services if nobody can afford to buy those products and services? The Cambridge economist, Ha-Joon Chang (not a N4Con) wrote that austerity has never worked: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/jun/04/austerity-policy-eurozone-crisis



Henry Ford understood way back in the days of the Model T that to stimulate the sales of his cars he needed to ensure there were customers who could afford to buy it. That was why he paid his workers salaries well above the population average, so they could buy those Model Ts while still enabling Ford to make a profit. Ford became a multimillionaire by caring for and nurturing his golden goose2, his workers.



Modern day Robber Barons not only lack any empathy for their workers, they are actively killing their golden goose by destroying collective bargaining, destroying employment benefits such as health insurance, destroying job security (the new “gig” economy) and by keeping pay packets below a living wage, forcing the working poor to take on multiple jobs to the detriment of their family lives, thus producing a new generation of neglected, angry, resentful, impoverished, malnourished offspring with no options, who are often forced to resort to crime. All justified by the dictums of the N4Cons. Never was there a more perfect example of a parasite actively working to kill its host.



This article is not a polemic against all economists, only the N4Cons. We need economics as a discipline but it needs to be properly grounded in Reality to be considered even a “soft” science. Hard scientific principles of Physics, Chemistry, Biology and yes, even the “soft” sciences of Sociology and Psychology, not hypothetical mathematical assumptions, must form the bedrock foundation of any economic theory if it has any hope at all of being relevant to the real world. The profit motive, competition and monetary rewards for innovation and creativity all have their place in an economy. However taken to extremes and hijacked by unproductive, self-serving parasites, the system becomes toxic and needs to be regulated by ethical, social and environmental concerns.



Thankfully, the world is finally waking up to the fraud of the N4Cons:



https://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/02/15/so-many-more-people-understand-meaning-neoliberalism-today-and-thats-huge-thing



https://countercurrents.org/2019/12/the-2019-nobel-prize-shows-why-we-need-to-dump-conventional-economics



https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/12/09/survive-crushing-neoliberalism-world-needs-intersectional-solidarity



https://theconversation.com/neoliberalism-has-led-to-a-crisis-in-care-and-we-urgently-need-to-solve-it-107920



https://www.truthdig.com/articles/mexico-is-showing-the-world-how-to-defeat-neoliberalism/



There are many economists I do respect, to name a few: Richard Wolff, Michael Hudson, Jeffrey Sachs, Joseph Stiglitz, Steve Keen, Yanis Varoufakis, Richard Deniss and of course Herman Daly. They are all advocates for environmental protection and the fairer distribution of wealth in societies. Unfortunately apart perhaps from Daly, most do not adequately take into account energy considerations and resource and waste constraints when working out economic theory. That is why, although I have great admiration for Varoufakis who is a masterful orator (and I do believe his policies, if implemented, would help mitigate much of the horrific suffering that millions of ordinary people will face on this downslope of the Hubbert curve), his green new deal is doomed to failure if it is predicated entirely on large scale centrally controlled so-called renewable energy production and distribution, and if it ignores the depletion of high EROEI energy sources.



The first five principles underlying the transition to renewable energy must be:





  1. Reduce consumption and increase efficiency





  2. Reduce consumption and increase efficiency





  3. Reduce consumption and increase efficiency





  4. Reduce consumption and increase efficiency





  5. Reduce consumption and increase efficiency





The best way to achieve that is by decentralised, locally generated renewable energy with the shortest possible transmission distance eg from solar panels on a roof to the electrical sockets of that very same house (via battery), which will also render you immune to grid interruptions caused by climate chaos. Equally important is the local production of food. Above all however, we need to pare down this bloated monstrosity called the Economy and pursue degrowth: http://www.feasta.org/2019/10/03/the-school-of-economics-as-a-suicide-academy/ to try to live within the limits of Nature.



Taking a step back from those specific recommendations however, what principles should we base real world Economics on, which all scientists can agree about and which would confer at least a modicum of credibility to Economics?



Using the definition of Material Wealth as having easy access to a wide variety of high quality goods and services, I assert, based on actual world realities, that:





  1. The production of all material goods and the delivery of all real services require the input of energy





  2. Energy sources and flows follow the physical laws of thermodynamics which are absolutely indisputable and inviolable





  3. Material goods are all derived from natural resources which are all derived from the environment.





  4. If we fuck up our environment we will fuck up ourselves





  5. Therefore preservation of the environment (which includes having a stable climate, which was the basis of the Holocene and enabled humans to pursue agriculture) MUST be a keystone principle of Economics





  6. Endless growth on a finite planet is impossible, hence steady state Economics (eg transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy, transition from mining to 100% recycling, in general the adoption of closed loop systems) should have been employed well before overshoot in order to avoid disaster. Key principles would in particular have been to limit population and limit consumption and waste production to well within the carrying capacity of our finite planet.



    There is nothing new about the above and principle number 6 was clearly expounded to us way back in 1972 with the publication of “The Limits to Growth”, which was viciously pilloried by the mainstream economists3. As we are now far past overshoot by all parameters worth measuring, disaster is absolutely inevitable. Hence those smug N4Cons can pat themselves on the back that they have won a conclusive victory and their prize is the guaranteed die-off of billions of people this century and possible near term human extinction.





CONCLUSION: Yet again I can only exhort the reader, if you are able, to set up or join a remote off-grid community in a climate resilient location and to grow as much food for yourselves as you can. Trying will not guarantee success but not trying will guarantee failure.



G. Chia, Feb 2020



Footnotes:





  1. Scientific models do require certain underlying assumptions to be made, however unlike economic models, scientific axioms must be based on the physical realities of the real world. For example, the Limits to Growth scientists made the assumption that it is impossible to have infinite growth in a finite system (our planet), an axiom shown to be inviolable in reality whether considering bacteria in a petri dish, yeast in a vat, reindeer on St Matthew Island or cancer in a human body. Neoliberal economists however saw fit to dispute this reality, based on the fact that the N4Cons have shit for brains. Other indisputable scientific axioms are the laws of thermodynamics, which cannot be violated*. All real world economic activities require energy inputs and when total net energy availability plateaus, further real economic growth becomes IMPOSSIBLE. Oil is the keystone energy commodity, required to manufacture and produce all other types of energy generation (whether nuclear power stations, hydroelectric dams, wind farms, solar panels, mining of coal, extraction of gas and indeed the pursuit of more oil itself). UC oils provide a pittance of energy compared with conventional oil, at huge energy cost. This is why we will NEVER see a return to growth and why economic contraction and eventual collapse are guaranteed as the EROEI of conventional oil declines. This is a fact the N4Cons refuse to acknowledge or accept because they have shit for brains.



    *Disingenuous nitpickers may argue that some physical principles can theoretically be violated in the quantum realm or at relativistic extremes eg near light speed or near black hole gravitation. Such theoretical exceptions are completely irrelevant to the non-quantum, non-relativistic scale we live in.





  2. More precisely, golden goose refers to the goose which lays the golden eggs, not a goose made of gold, but you know what I mean.





  3. Did I mention that the N4Cons have shit for brains?





 



References for EON part1:



Debunking Steven Pinker:




Exposing Jordan Peterson:




 

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