Forum Replies Created
Raising the dead eh?! Must be why I’m back.
The problem is there are no problems. A problem by its nature suggests a solution, and as there are no ‘solutions’ there are no problems.
What there are in fact are systems, as there always have been. These systems are myriad in form and nature, and interact with both themselves and other systems in a highly complex way. They are also constantly changing in a dynamic equilibrium, new ones evolving, while others both new and old die off. The much used term hyper-complexity doesn’t even come close. We, who think we are autonomous individuals, are part of the human system, which itself has myriad subsystems, from language and thought to all sorts of knowledge systems and systems of technique, euphemistically called technology (which is a bit like calling the animal kingdom zoology – any ology is the study of something, not the thing in itself). All of these systems are in a state of flux, which is what Schrodinger was perhaps alluding to in his 1944 work “What is Life”. Think for a moment when that book was written… and all of the ‘systems’ that have come and gone, and those that are still stubbornly clinging on. The most stubborn thought system is that of capitalism, and is the religion of today; why else would 400,000 copies of Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” be given away to high school students every year by the Ayn Rand Institute’. Her objectivist philosophy however is a closed system, and as such suffers all the ‘problems’ that such a system will incur, it will drown in its own excrement, or be forced to eat it, or both.
“My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.”
— Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
Oh those patriarchal heroes, written by a woman no less, but then she was pretty down on her own sex, apparently stating on a television interview that a woman should never become president. Bad luck Hilary… It is in my mind, the last bastion of the reductionist/materialist/egoist mindset that emerged out of the first phase of the industrial/scientific revolution, before the realisations of quantum physics and systemantics took hold, and is epitomised in the ‘Jetsons’ cartoon of the early sixties; the notion that material progress (on the back of neo-liberal capitalist idealogy) would take us all to a technological utopia. That this dinosaur 1950s L. Ron Hubbard-esq system has survived points only to one thing, that it has been adopted as a religion by those who run the ‘Empire’, much as the decaying Roman empire adopted Christianity and became the Holy Roman Catholic Empire. After all, if god is dead as Nietzsche suggested, and all hope of a spiritual life, what else is left to idolise but material creation? Arise the empire of consumption. Yet as we know, all empires rise, exist for a while and then collapse, usually down to resource depletion/destruction, economic collapse, and/or invasion by another empire. Also their leaders always end up corrupted, almost as if its a natural law.
However, unlike all other forms of ‘super colony’, from ants to reindeer stuck on islands with no predators, humans have an ability for reflection, that for some members of the species at any rate goes beyond the current models of reality, and allows the possibility of the formation of new models. Like new species, it will be down to pure chance whether these new systemic models such as permaculture or the ‘gift economy’ (Eisenstein) will survive the coming extinction of the existing dinosaurs, and find niches to ride out the storm and take over when the big beasts are all dead. One thing is for sure, symbiotic cooperation and not just tooth and claw competition is a key to survival of any species. No one species can ever dominate an ecosystem, as an ecosystem itself relies upon diversity. That much systems ecology has taught us. Meadows predictions are bang on, he was just wrong about any of it being a ‘problem’.
As for Zombies, if Atlas Shrugged, Lazarus laughed!
Check out Yanis giving the low down at teh RSA:
Sid.November 8, 2013 at 2:24 pm in reply to: Sometimes Humor Is The Best Way To Tell A Tragic Story #8974
Here I have an idea for you. What say you and me set up a BS (bull sh*t) export/import company. You’re based in Holland right (? ) which is a bit low lying. UK has stacks of BS so we can offload some to boost your land levels with added fertility for growing all those tulips. We can use the eurotunnel so also boosting the French economy which is about to keel over any ways (the Elite are scarpering like rats leaving the sinking ship). We could use both rail and freight, there by incentivising the building of the HS2 (high speed no.2’s). If we insist on electric vehicles for the road side haulage collection from all the local source points (house of commons ‘enclosure’, government think tanks, utilities boardrooms etc) we could also restart the UK engineering base, based on Dyson technology for instance. That would solve the front end collection problem – we just vacuum the sh*t up! 😆
Hell it might work for Hull:
There is much confusion in the minds of the media and electorate as to exactly which direction the UK economy is actually travelling. This is not easy to guess. GDP is frequently heralded as the most reliable compass. It is most certainly not, if indeed it ever was.
Let us take a look at what GDP is. How is it defined? I am comfortable with the Penguin Dictionary of Economics: “As a measure of the total flow of goods and services produced by the economy over a specific time period”. There are a number of caveats attached but they are simple and non controversial and this is not an economics paper but an aide memoire for the interested layman.
Let me give two examples of why it is such an unreliable measure of economic success. Using my Euro-constituency as my first, let us imagine I was a benevolent plenipotentiary in Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire and my subjects judged me on GDP growth for the kingdom.
At present this figure is close to zero, stifled by 20% VAT, employment legislation, business rates, EU regulation and the usual list of either engines of modern government designed to place a millstone around the neck of the wealth-creating sector.
However, I have a cunning plan. I intend to build an earth mountain on the south bank of the Humber. I intend to create this by digging the most enormous hole on the north bank. This will double the tolls on the Humber Bridge, expand massively the haulage business so create jobs for truck drivers and hence transport cafes and service stations. Health and safety expenditure will, of course expand exponentially, the council will take on more people as will highway repair companies. Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire will experience a bonanza. House prices will soar and the high street retail trade will recover. So what’s not to like?
Let us look again then at recent UK numbers. Zero point eight per cent growth in last quarter’s GDP. But what does it really mean? Money printing on an enormous scale to support the banks and recycle money into area of financial assets. Mud pies only with money substituting mud. So real money is degraded, interest rates on savings are negative, those on fixed incomes are crucified. Inflation figures are skewed by government who pretend all is well.
Because it is a financial fake boom, the apples never fall far from the tree. So London booms and the rest of the country flat-lines at best. The national debt grows, the party goes on, no longer good quality wine in the punch but home distilled rot gut. That is what this government’s figures are. Moonshine.
The government has printed £350 billion in its term of office. It borrowed £120 billion last year, spent nearly 50% of GDP and the national debt climbs at ten per cent a year. For what? A measly 0.8% in the last quarter and the government is boasting about it. How the Far East economies must laugh at us as they quietly accumulate our gold reserves and our manufacturing companies.
Godfrey Bloom is an independent member of the European Parliament for Yorkshire and the Humber
On arrival in Holland, it gets offloaded to boost existing land levels or even reclaim more, enough for another Oostvaardersplassen:
Ain’t nature a bitch! Bring back the wolves or maybe the people could go ‘Future Primitive’
Nonetheless, the literature can provide highly useful assistance, if approached with an appropriate method and awareness and the desire to proceed past its limitations. In fact, the weakness of more or less orthodox modes of thinking can and does yield to the demands of an increasingly dissatisfied society. Unhappiness with contemporary life becomes distrust with the official lies that are told to legitimate that life, and a truer picture of human development emerges. Renunciation and subjugation in modern life have long been explained as necessary concomitants of “human nature.” After all, our pre-civilized existence of deprivation, brutality, and ignorance made authority a benevolent gift that rescued us from savagery. “Cave man” and `Neanderthal’ are still invoked to remind us where we would be without religion, government, and toil.
This ideological view of our past has been radically overturned in recent decades, through the work of academics like Richard Lee and Marshall Sahlins. A nearly complete reversal in anthropological orthodoxy has come about, with important implications. Now we can see that life before domestication/agriculture was in fact largely one of leisure, intimacy with nature, sensual wisdom, sexual equality, and health. This was our human nature, for a couple of million years, prior to enslavement by priests, kings, and bosses.
Sid.October 29, 2013 at 3:19 pm in reply to: Energy Is A Power Game – 3 (They Cheat And They Lie) #8925
Its the final evisceration of empire, instead of the centre exploiting the periphery, the periphery now eviscerates the centre.
Besides, in a neo-liberal global economy, being owned by the PRC is nationalisation. The people (Chinese) will be fine… :blink:
On energy/food budgets, this UN report attempts to address the issues
One of the contributers, Gunnar Rundgren sums it up here:
“The world needs a paradigm shift in agricultural development: from a “green revolution” to an “ecological intensification” approach. This implies a rapid and significant shift from conventional, monoculture-based and high- external-input-dependent industrial production towards mosaics of sustainable, regenerative production systems that also considerably improve the productivity of small-scale farmers. We need to recognize that a farmer is not only a producer of agricultural goods, but also a manager of an agro-ecological system that provides quite a number of public goods and services (e.g. water, soil, landscape, energy, biodiversity, and recreation).”
This is one of the key messages of a new report from United Nations Conference of Trade and Development, UNCTAD. The Trade and Environment Report 2013, subtitled Wake up before it is too late: Make agriculture truly sustainable now for food security in a changing climate, warns that continuing rural poverty, persistent hunger around the world, growing populations, and mounting environmental concerns must be treated as a collective crisis. It says that urgent and far-reaching action is needed before climate change begins to cause major disruptions to agriculture, especially in developing countries.
Hey at least they’re recognising that the current system doesn’t exactly work very well… 🙂
From ZH JPM Sees “Most Extreme Ever Excess Liquidity” Bubble After $3 Trillion “Created” In First 9 Months Of 2013
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 10/28/2013 15:04 -0400
In just the first 9 months of 2013, DM countries have injected $1 trillion in liquidity sourced exclusively by central banks; EMs have injected another $2 trillion driven by bank loan demand.
The total global M2 is over $66 trillion, growing at an annualized pace of over 6%.
The amount of excess liquidity, i.e. the infamous “liquidity bubble” in the global fungible system is “the most extreme ever in terms of its magnitude”
And that’s really all there is to know: the music is playing and everyone has to dance… just don’t ask what happens when the music ends.
“…just don’t ask what happens when the music ends.” Which is exactly what TAE has addressed in their ‘Century of Challenges/World of Change’ presentation.
Or… will they allow the currency to ‘devalue’ so that you’ll need all the ‘liquidity’ just to buy a loaf of bread. And no, I’m not talking ‘inflation’ here, but some perverse systemic manipulation unlike anything ever done before. I mean what’s to stop them pumping the QE handle forever until those that benefit own everything. Then they just reset the game by issuing a ‘new’ currency system, cancelling all ‘their debt’, but transferring all the other ‘private’ debt. If the system is completely rigged, with strange ‘flash crashes’ and ‘flash corrections’ on the stock markets, with commodity markets manipulated who knows where this is going? I think humanity has reached a historical disconnect: this is NOT Rome. Rome did not have (to my knowledge) high frequency trading, flash crashes and POMO (permanently open market operations). Maybe I’m just too stupid to understand all the ‘market fundamentals’ or to see the obvious that the ‘system’ will just crash; but something tells me that ‘they’ who are running the ‘show’ will not let that happen until they are good and ready. And when they are, I think that we will all be surprised… :unsure:
Interesting goings on in the halls of ‘power’:
Will Heaven of the Telegraph:
Nuclear power vs wind farms: the infographic the Government doesn’t want you to see
Hat-tip to our Energy Correspondent Emily Gosden for this Department of Energy & Climate Change infographic. It was deleted from Gov.uk this week “because of sensitivities”, according to a DECC press officer. “Hmmm,” says Emily. Quite.
It turns out that the Renewable Energy Association called it “unhelpful” in a press release, pleading that “as Ed Davey stressed… it is not an either/or choice”.
Of course if the nuke plant were to ‘malfunction’ there is the (no doubt remote) possibility that a large part of the west country real estate might not be as desirable as it was… :dry:
Dilemmas dilemmas dilemmas, of course using less is not an option…
Via Press Association:
Fuel poverty campaigners have written to Prime Minister David Cameron demanding that party leaders act on the “national crisis” of cold homes.
The UK is second only to Estonia among European nations for the number of people who are struggling to pay their energy bills, according to research by the fuel poverty alliance Energy Bill Revolution found.
The alliance, which includes Age UK, Barnardo’s, Consumer Futures and National Energy Action, has told leaders that investment in “super insulation” for the nation’s homes is the only way to end the “scourge” of fuel poverty and the best way to bring down energy bills.
Thanks for a great overview of the UK and EU energy crisis. I’ll keep my usual soliloquy short. I have my suspicions that ‘solar’ is being used to meet the 15% renewables by 2020 commitment purely on ‘nameplate’ capacity – that it gives a high capacity figure for relatively little or no cash outlay – the ultimate in empty bag handling. So not only do they get to claim an over inflated generating capacity from solar renewables, but its gets paid for by someone else – what’s not to like? Politicians get great photo ops on a cloud less midsummer day at the only time it generates any where near its ‘name plate’ capacity, meanwhile midwinter the energy companies get to fire up their gas and coal ‘standby’ plants at a bonus rate. Welcome to the new [strike]robber[/strike] energy barons! :dry:
Mind you, wrt the Arctic Bubble, keep an eye on Unst property prices! 🙂
+ Brand and Paxman on changing the current system & Brand on not voting due to the ‘elites’ current control of everything:
Within the existing paradigm change is not dramatic enough not radical enough… When there is a genuine option vote for that … why pretend why be complicit in this ridiculous illusion… Occupy movement… 1% vs. 99%… for the first time in a generation people are aware of massive corporate and economic exploitation.
Welcome to UK politics, where politicians are comedians, and the comedians are politicians! 😆
Ah ha, so this is how you ‘clean up’ a nuke site:
Tetsuya Hayashi went to Fukushima to take a job at ground zero of the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. He lasted less than two weeks.
Hayashi, 41, says he was recruited for a job monitoring the radiation exposure of workers leaving the plant in the summer of 2012. Instead, when he turned up for work, he was handed off through a web of contractors and assigned, to his surprise, to one of Fukushima’s hottest radiation zones.
But the real insight is the use of ‘debt slaves’:
…In extreme cases, brokers have been known to “buy” workers by paying off their debts. The workers are then forced to work until they pay off their new bosses for sharply reduced wages and under conditions that make it hard for them to speak out against abuses, labour activists and workers in Fukushima said.
Soon there could be plenty of opportunity in the UK as interest rates could rise sooner than ‘expected’. Debt peonage in a nuclear age… :dry:
Yes, you mean this:
This one is interesting as it has the 1950s sub records in it:
Arctic and Antarctic Sea Ice Extent Anomalies, 1979-2012: Arctic sea ice extent underwent a strong decline from 1979 to 2012, but Antarctic sea ice underwent a slight increase, although some regions of the Antarctic experienced strong declining trends in sea ice extent. Thick lines indicate 12-month running means, and thin lines indicate monthly anomalies. See the Arctic Sea Ice FAQ for more information. Image provided by National Snow and Ice Data Center, University of Colorado, Boulder.
In the first Daily Arctic Sea Ice Extent graph in your link, trending on the green 2013 line seemed to have stopped on 7/7/13, but its ‘volumetrically’ albeit marginally more than 2012. Maybe the earth has given us a last minute reprieve to turn things around. :unsure:
So you have Chinese and French companies build – and own! – Britain’s future energy supplies (the expertise is no longer domestically available). How does that make you feel? Think it’s a good idea to hand over control of your energy needs to anyone but your own people? How about your drinking water? Or the air you breathe?
Well where did you expect the neo-liberal deregulation privatise everything experiment to end? In an equitable socialist nibbana? As for Monibot losing his marbles, have you ever read “Heat”? Talk about techno-narcism and too much magic George is obviously an alumni of the Hogwarts ‘green’ school. Still at least he has a plan, unlike any UK government for oh about the last forty years… :dry:
You see its all about right wing divine wrath against the unions, epitomised in the ‘Dagenham Girls’ who brought production at the then Ford Dagenham plant to a halt in 1968. That and the entrenchment of the left/right union/free market ideologies through the seventies and eighties that has seen a devastating evisceration of the heart of British manufacturing. The latest is the Grangemouth refinery closure closed on the back of a so called ‘union dispute’. Not to even mention the outright ‘theft’ of the Post Office – watch them sack all the workers and then [strike]re-employ[/strike] create double the number of zero contract unsecured no pension jobs – no doubt using poor Chinese immigrants who lost their own livelihood when the local mandarins built a ‘ghost town’ on their land. The so called ‘elite’ in this so called country decided a long time ago that the British worker was not worth even the slightest consideration. Foreign workers were to be invited in to show the ‘British working class’ how it should be done (as it had been in the colonies aka slaves). It was and still is the final ‘act of enclosure’ the taking away of common rights to a decent livelihood. All are now slaves, foreign and indigenous, slaves often in every way the brutish reality of that word relates to, but also their ‘owners’ as well slaves to debt and to energy. It would not surprise me if there is indeed soon a tax on ‘air’ as well.
As for houses, from an Englishman’s home is his castle to castles in the sky:
.. well its up in the air anyway 😆
Housing ‘dream’ programs are back with a vengeance, with Sarah Beeny’s (a UK property developer who cashed in big time in the boom years pre-2008 with a tv series called ‘property ladder’, and the less popular Property Snakes and Ladders – wonder why that was?) currently starring in Double your house for Half the Money which in one program a couple bought an old doctors surgery in urban semi detached land, went mad with a rebuild and are now thinking its worth £2.5 million – thinking mind you as I doubt anyone would pay that for the monstrosity. At least the BBC is more in tune with the times with its House that £100k Built. But the ubiquitous ‘Grand Designs’ is everywhere, with a new series on designer sheds (well its all the rage don’t yew know). Though Reality is setting in:
Leah Hyslop in the Telegraph:
‘Grand Designs’ converted water tower has £2m knocked off price
A Grade II-listed water tower which appeared on Grand Designs is on sale for £4.5m, nearly £2m less than its original asking price.
Lets hope shed or castle they are well insulated, lest we get a cold winter – Global Sea ice didn’t get the memo about ‘warming’:
Anarctic Sea ice stobbornly refuses to stop setting new records for Maxima:
While current Arctic sea ice is well within the ‘average’ range:
Which might cause a delay in Cameron’s growth in the Arctic ploy… :unsure:
Grangemouth Update- Wages frozen and pensions cut and no strike for three years:
(By Simon Falush and Alexander Winning for Reuters) – A rescue of the Grangemouth refinery and petrochemical plant in Scotland was secured on Friday as the union and the company reached a deal, saving 1,400 jobs and preventing a heavy blow to Scotland’s economy.
The Unite union, the largest in Britain, agreed to a freeze in pay and a cut in pension benefits and pledged it would not strike for three years.
Operator Ineos had said losses would force it to close the petrochemical plant and could also force the closure of the 210,000 barrel-per-day refinery.
A closure of the refinery, which provides power for a major oil pipeline, could also have reduced supplies of the major North Sea crude that underpins the Brent oil benchmark, used as a basis for setting oil prices around the world.
Threatened closure comes form excessive EU capacity, and ‘shrinking demand’ (see: ‘A Barrel Full’ blog). But as regards China’s interest in UK energy (from ‘killajoules’, a Barrel Full sub-site):
PetroChina Company Limited (PetroChina) and INEOS Group Holdings plc (INEOS) announce that on 10 January 2011, PetroChina International Company Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of PetroChina, has entered into a framework agreement with INEOS European Holdings Limited and INEOS Investments International Limited, each a wholly-owned subsidiary of INEOS.
The Framework Agreement sets out the main principles pursuant to which the parties will work towards forming joint ventures related to trading and refining activities at the Grangemouth refinery in Scotland and the Lavéra refinery in France.
The signing of these agreements is to be witnessed by Nick Clegg, the British Deputy Prime Minister, and Li Ke Qiang, the Chinese Vice Premier.
Next it might be new Chinese built coal plants, as the ‘large reserves of UK coal’ were discussed on BBC’s Question Time as debate raged about the whole ‘nuke thing… :whistle:
Sid.October 19, 2013 at 12:19 pm in reply to: Winter In America Gets Colder : Why We Choose Poverty #8895
Yeah, two interesting idea sets about what’s going on and how it will play out. Combine them both and its pretty much what TAE are about. No 56 & No 39 are pretty good too – in fact most of them are really great. However, reality as always will fall between all opinions… :dry:
Sid.October 19, 2013 at 1:19 am in reply to: Winter In America Gets Colder : Why We Choose Poverty #8892
There are [strike]millions of Americans[/strike] billions globally who’ve been unemployed so long they no longer even count as unemployed. There are [strike]millions[/strike] billions more working jobs that don’t pay the bills. This can and will not simply be undone by a growing economy. Many are scarred for life, and that certainly goes for the huge numbers of children growing up in poverty and now seeing their food stamps cut to boot. Leaving aside whether we see rising inequality as a good or a bad thing, we need to realize that it is a choice we make for ourselves and others: there is no need for [strike]25% of our children to be too poor to function well[/strike] 1.5 million children to die every year from hunger, there is enough wealth in our societies to provide for them. We would just need to redistribute that wealth, and to limit inequality to the levels we had when our economies were doing better than they ever have, before or since. Would that really be such a bad thing? Are we truly better off creating this fake Darwinian jungle we have today? Just asking.
And then of course there’s that last remaining question: “How long do you think such a society can last?”
…just added a few tweaks… I think your picture at the start says it all really – nothing has changed. But just to add Total percentage of U.S. households that are at risk of hunger = 11% Percent of world population considered to be starving = 33% So they’ve still got some catching up to do…
As for how long it will last? How long has any despotic regime/Empire lasted? Despite falling energy reserves and increasing costs of extraction, there is still way more than enough energy to keep the elite and their military boot boys in control for decades, if not centuries. Just look how long the Edo period of Japan lasted (1603–1867) with its own brutal social structure with its caste system of Samurai, Peasants, Artisans and Merchants, with an ‘outcaste’ class of baraku, yet very sustainable ‘society’ as discussed by Azby Brown:
To be honest it is becoming clear that we are seeing the beginnings of a global feudal system, which like all ‘feudal systems, has an all powerful elite commanding a loyal guard of enforcement. And as for ‘society’ making a choice – its doubtful if there ever was one given the deluded power crazed nature of most humans, after all power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Sid.October 18, 2013 at 11:12 am in reply to: Reply To: Re: Nobel Winner Robert Shiller Demolishes UK's Help-To-Buy Scheme #8882
And this from the ‘shutdown’ agreement – perhaps what they wanted all along???
From ZeroHedge – Submitted by Simon Black of Sovereign Man:
“How did you go bankrupt?” Bill asked.
“Two ways,” Mike said. “Gradually and then suddenly.”
The dialogue above is from Ernest Hemingway’s 1926 novel, The Sun Also Rises.
As part of the bargain codified in HR 2775 (which President Obama signed into law), the Treasury Department is authorized to SUSPEND the debt ceiling. In other words, for all intents and purposes, there is now NO LIMIT government borrowing.
This limitless borrowing authority will expire on February 7, 2014. But it sets the precedent that dismissing the debt ceiling is a perfectly viable course of action.
Congress has effectively removed their handcuffs… so you can almost assuredly bet down the road that this provision will be extended, and ultimately become permanent.
No one in the Land of the Free seems to care. But foreigners do. The lead commentary out of China’s state media the other day was very clear in its position:
“It is perhaps a good time for the befuddled world to start considering building a de-Americanized world.”
Watch that debt increase from 20 to 200 to 2000000 times… etc. At precisely what point it goes from gradually to suddenly remains to be seen.
Sid.October 17, 2013 at 11:00 pm in reply to: Nobel Winner Robert Shiller Demolishes UK's Help-To-Buy Scheme #9353
Sorry out of sync here – I was chomping on a reply to Ilargi – see above.
yes good point about ‘loans’ drying up – which is my point about a/the shift in assets ownership taking place – which TAE have oft talked of and Ilagi alludes to in the above article- to the mega wealthy. Both by buying up ‘real estate’ in choice hotspots around the globe, not so much as a capital growth option but more as a return on capital which in a zirp environment they cannot get anywhere else. Also above and beyond the j6p bag holders, many ‘players’ in the super elite property game will still be ‘wealthy’ even if their properties crash as many have large deposits or are out and out cash buyers. Those middle income/class buyers on the other hand who are already maxed out and have gone for the gov’t ‘help line’ will probably get fried if/when prices tumble and rates rise even just a bit. They will get repossessed and the aforementioned mega wealthy will just hoover up the remains, and probably put up the rent to boot! Unless some nice new regime were to bring in rent controls… not that anyone will have a job to pay either mortgage or rent soon the way things are going. :dry:
Cycles. Things move in cycles – and sometimes, supercycles.
…and sometimes things just fall off a cliff:
Edit: Ha, this on ZH:
Pretty soon ‘they’ will own everything… “…its a game, their game, and you ain’t nothin’ but dust on their pawns.” :dry:
Sid.October 17, 2013 at 10:13 pm in reply to: Nobel Winner Robert Shiller Demolishes UK's Help-To-Buy Scheme #9352
…I dare you to explain both the correlation AND the consequences we can derive from on the one hand those graphs and on the other the population one, which will look pretty similar.
Not that I’m an economist 😆 or would even want to pretend to be one, but short answer to both is that they look suspiciously exponential and we all know where that ends.
The ‘long’ answer needs a few more random charts and actually the one I was going to add anyway, apart from some nice info-graphics here from demonacracy.info, was this one by Gail Tverberg on her ‘ourfiniteworld’ website:
The correlation is plain to see (from wiki this one):
However referencing the 1970’s (as that was what Dave was doing), the US debt chart goes from 400 billion to over 23trillion that’s about a 60 fold increase. Population has only gone up about 2 fold (3.5 billion around 1970), the same interestingly for energy consumption.
Given that debt to GDP now stands at about 3 times what it was in the 70s you could say ‘real’ US debt has increased by a factor of 20 times.
But what is also missing in these charts is the ‘depreciation’ of the currency. Here is ancient Rome as a comparison (from financemymoney.com):
So how does all this tie together? Energy (as Ayres and Warr have shown) has been the real driver of economic growth and also via its technological application to food production via firstly mechanisation and then via the green revolution, of human population. However trying to say that one thing leads to another is misleading. There are many cultural factors as well as economic that affect population, as seen in declining populations in some developed countries (excluding immigration). Also the ‘measure’ of GDP is very controversial as no one is quite sure exactly what it is supposed to mean, as many factors such as unpaid housework and voluntary labour together with environmental degradation and varying living standards are considered externalities. However, as this graph of ‘Real’ GDP – that is inflation adjusted show, it has indeed roughly tippled since the 1970s (from measuringworth.com):
https://www.measuringworth.com/usgdp/ Select 1970-2009, then plot ‘real’ GDP.
Given that ‘price’ inflation has been about 1200% since 1970 and US debt has gone up over 5000% if we take the 400billion to 23trillion figures, or a more inflation adjusted figure of 1900% for a 20 fold increase relative to GDP! And this is only the start of it (or the end) as being exponential, the slope looks likely to only increase – Al Bartlet’s ‘doubling’. So only at one minute to midnight do we find that another doubling will fill the fish pond or in this case crash the economy/ecosphere. Even if we found another planet it would take – metaphorically – only another minute to fill that one as well, as the ‘doubling time’ is only a minute.
The caveat is that energy production has slowed all by itself so to speak; i.e. – ‘doubling’ every two decades or so. Oil per capita consumption has already started to decline, but this is more than made up for by large increases in coal and natural gas (and we’ve all seen where ‘shale’ gas is going right here on TAE):
Thus the ‘really real’ engine of growth – energy itself, though having increased recently along with population is also getting a lot more expensive as the costs of extracting harder to get and lower grade reserves starts to impinge on that ‘doubling rate’. In all the excitement of the last two centuries of economic growth, we seem to have plum forgotten that these energy resources are limited. So you have to ask yourself, do you think they will double again in the next twenty or so years? Well, do you feel lucky, [strike]punk[/strike] people ?
(Its empty of course…)
Quite what is going to happen to all that debt barring some form of hyper devaluation is anybodies guess – deflation anyone? :whistle:
So in a nut shell cheap energy has fuelled a vast engine of ‘economic production’ mostly of consumer junk that has in turn driven the ‘debt’ bubble: that is the issuance of pseudo ‘money’ issued in the form of debt to buy said junk, with increasing numbers of ‘bag holders’ lining up to join the party. The immediate consequence of the slowing of the until recently increasing flow of cheap fuel has been price increases of energy which has increased the prices of everything else and slowed the ‘engine’ of economic ‘growth’ necessary to service all the debt, which in turn has meant less ‘pseudo money’ to buy said junk thus slowing said engine even further. The consequence has been central banks issuing their own ‘pseudo money’ in the form of QE to keep the banks who usually issue the pseudo money for junk alive. Unfortunately they are so sick that they refuse to keep issuing the pseudo money to the bag holders who are now forming ever longer queues as they have yet to stop breeding. Quite when and where it will all end nobody really knows, as the doubling time intervals are, relative to human lifetimes, quite long and we are only five years into a crisis that to have any real bearing on the matter probably needs twenty years or more to run – that’s the rough doubling time for energy from the graph above… :unsure:
As for consequences… Ya Feelin’ lucky? 😆
Sid.October 17, 2013 at 6:05 pm in reply to: Nobel Winner Robert Shiller Demolishes UK's Help-To-Buy Scheme #9347
i like this one:
From Future Timeline.net
Now what was that thing about exponential functions… :whistle:
Of course the GDP has a similar profile:
…so debt to GDP isn’t that bad…
…but look at the steepness of the ‘curve’: if that was surf dude you’d be looking at wipeout time! :ohmy:
Sid.October 16, 2013 at 12:18 pm in reply to: Nobel Winner Robert Shiller Demolishes UK's Help-To-Buy Scheme #9339
Actually this situation points to another unsaid shift, that of assets shifting to a asset wealthy ‘rentier’ elite, while everyone else shifts towards a poor assetless renter. While house prices are rising in most areas in the UK (except Scotland), buy to let is also booming:
Richard Dyson in the Telegraph:
Putting two and two together and making minus three point seven, I’d say that those ‘rich’ people looking for returns on their cash are piling into BTL (or maybe they just wanted a BLT? – that’s a Bacon, Lettuce and tomato sandwich, a delicacy of UK cuisine :lol:) with the great rates, gov’t subsidies (!) on offer and rents going through the roof what’s not to like? Everyone needs a roof over their head don’t they ‘guv? Shed with a bed anyone? :huh:
From the ‘beeb’:
Check out the video for a ‘modern day shack’:
A series of modern day British slums have been described as “sheds with beds”.
The illegal structures, some dangerous and cramped, are offered by landlords – often to Britain’s illegal immigrants.
Many occupants send money back to their families in India, paying thousands of pounds to traffickers. But the economic downturn means work has dried up.
As they point out in the film, with rents of £800 a month for a shed, its one way to pay the mortgage… :dry:
Sid.October 12, 2013 at 12:09 pm in reply to: Your Pension Is Under Attack From All Sides. Here’s 10. #9326
Hi Dave, Nassim,
Another factor often missed, besides the fact that ‘price increase’ does not equal ‘inflation’ in the technical economic term of increasing monetary supply, is the ‘profiteering’ (as opposed to the ‘profit problem’) by companies especially ‘middle men’ such as the giant ‘food chain’ supermarkets, who up their prices to offset declining spending by their customers. This heavily distorts the deflation picture and coupled with the increase in energy prices due to the exhaustion of the easy to get ‘cheap’ stuff (its more expensive to extract and so more expensive to end customer) leads to increasing costs of production and ultimately prices regardless of speculation (as discussed here just short while ago). This is why it is so deadly to clear understanding when ‘price increase’ is conflated with ‘inflation’. Today’s price increases have nothing to do with an increasing money supply but everything to do with increasing energy cost, market manipulation and profiteering. But your average dumbed down Jo is only interested in ‘strictly come bake off’ and accepts the terms the ‘good news’ people provide that price inflation is a fact of life and prices always go up, unlike their wages which can go down as well as up. But then sheep apparently like to be fleeced… :dry:
As regards medical and educational establishments, there is also the ‘demographic’ shifts of increasing medical hyper-complexity and a general systems creep in all things medical where the system has become its own raison d’etre. And in ‘education’ where degree inflation (the factual lowering of standards and general dumbing down) and the demographic shift upwards of age of entry into the work place due to an increasing population living longer coupled with fewer ‘manual labour’ jobs being available disguised as a policy of ‘betterment’ by having more [strike]people[/strike] sheep being fattened on debt before they even start earning is the main ‘raison’ for the huge increase in ‘higher’ education. Ultimately its all symptomatic of a sclerotic system on the verge of collapse… though the way things are going it could grind on on life support for decades. :unsure:
Sid.October 11, 2013 at 6:28 pm in reply to: Your Pension Is Under Attack From All Sides. Here’s 10. #9323
The price of a Big Mac, for instance, has risen faster than the official rise in consumer prices and has been doing so since the late ’90s. In 1998, the average price of a Big Mac was about $2.50. Today, the average Big Mac is $4.56. If we were using the Consumer Price Index (CPI), the price of a Big Mac today should be about $3.40.
Oh no – not ‘burgernomics’… :sick:
I mean c’mon, it shows the level of analysis that has been stooped to when this initially ‘jokey’ comparison was made back in the 1980s:
The Big Mac index was created by Ng Yat-chiu and introduced in The Economist in September 1986 by Pam Woodall as a semi-humorous illustration and has been published by that paper annually since then. The index also gave rise to the word burgernomics.
Talk about empirical hegemony – let them eat BMs… The analysis is more full of holes than a mad cows brains. Y’know like the ‘local’ costs of beef production/shipping beef patties half way round the world, the ‘local’ costs (or not – zero hours contracts etc) of labour, flour cooking energy gas electric or dried cow dung yet alone if the locals want to eat this sh*t in the first place. Its the ultimate farce analysis of the whole ‘globalisation project’:
One [strike]Ring[/strike] burger to rule them all, One [strike]Ring[/strike] burger to find them, One [strike]Ring[/strike] burger to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
Wolf nipple chips anyone?:
Bag of otters noses! 😆
Sid.October 10, 2013 at 11:57 am in reply to: Your Pension Is Under Attack From All Sides. Here’s 10. #9312
Maybe its spinning the sheep to get the fleece nice’n’dry before they shear it right off! As regards Syria, anecdotal evidence (some one who recently flew out of a Greek island with a US base) said there was ‘a lot’ of military activity – so much so their flight was slightly delayed waiting for ‘the military’ to clear the runway/airspace. Go figure… :unsure:
Also the ‘cash supply’ outside of the states looks pretty healthy according to ZH: The Rise Of The C-Note “And” The Cashless Economy?…
“printing $350 billion worth over the last 12 months to meet anticipated robust worldwide demand. “
Whereas in the US itself its strictly cash-less:
For the just-ended 2013 Fiscal Year, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (part of the Treasury), produced just 1.8 billion dollar bills. That’s the lowest production count on record since 1980 and a fraction of the 5 billion notes printed in 2000 and 2001 during the Y2K scare. Even back during 2007 and 2008, the BEP was pumping out +4 billion bills a year.
Which equates to $cash inflation on the outside, $cash deflation on the inside… go figure again… :huh:
Sid.October 9, 2013 at 11:57 pm in reply to: Your Pension Is Under Attack From All Sides. Here’s 10. #9304
And since government debt is far more secure that corporate debt, it’s hard to see how the former would stop borrowing before the latter (unless these borrow straight from the government). Governments have millions of people who can pay off the debt sometime in the future.
…all the money your gonna have is under the pillow
Talk about a freak show – is it just a distraction to hide the shouts of [strike]the emperor has no clothes[/strike] look at the new suit – this one will taper for ever???… :dry:
Sid.October 9, 2013 at 2:59 pm in reply to: Gordon Gecko Moved To London To Finish Where He Left Off #9302
I think the best bit was this from the ‘[strike]Son[/strike] Clone of Thatcher’:
“The mortgage market today isn’t working,” Cameron said [..] . “There’s a market failure going on which the government is helping correct.”
So your saying that the ‘free market’ doesn’t work and that ‘gov’t ‘ has to step in and help it? 😆
Talk about a myth eating its own tale… I wonder if this is how the Aztecs went down after sacrificing all those people and things to Huitzilopochtli. After all it was considered a form of debt payment, according to ‘Wiki’:
While not the most reliable of sources, I thought it too ironic to miss… :dry:
This is the nature of corruption and how systems fail. As if to prove a point, a Monsanto executive and the founder of Syngenta are to receive Nobel prizes of agriculture, for a ‘technology’ that impoverishes farmers by making them buy the seeds and chemicals every year, and poisons the land and water with those same chemicals. I guess this is the icing on the ‘legitimisation’ cake which Ilargi talked about earlier in this article: Time To Stop Monsanto And The US Supreme Court.
You can protest to stop it here:
Here’s the url if you want to tell others: https://action.sumofus.org/a/world-food-prize-monsanto-syngenta/?sub=mtle
Sid.October 2, 2013 at 11:40 pm in reply to: Your Pension Is Under Attack From All Sides. Here’s 10. #9274
Thanks for that garbage.
Sorry, usually enjoy your posts but I had the misfortune of watching that interview on The Economic Collapse blog yesterday and I don’t fancy another go. Its not that I disagree with her on everything she says – its that I don’t know what she is blathering on about half the time so cannot make an informed decision to agree or disagree with her. You’d really think a World Bank lawyer would be at least a little bit succinct in explaining herself and/or her argument…
Yes I know… Sorry, should have added /sarc at the bottom of that! I guess it does show one thing – if she is wanting to be considered sane, how mad are the other lot and what’s going on in their heads?
But it does raise some serious points about just what are the options going forward? Forget about the Roman/Aztec/Khmer empires – no one to my knowledge has ever lived through a total global collapse of a technological society. There are so many log-jams of hyper complexity out there just waiting for a chance cluster…
but have to wonder at what point all the intellectuals who frequent TAE will decide to cut their losses in terms of workable solutions and start preparing for the fact they may have an inevitable fight on their hands for the simple privilege of survival. Not because their ideas aren’t sound or appreciated by other TAE’ers, but because most of the people are terminally dependent on our current operating system and thus have already plotted our course to disaster, setting the system to ‘autopilot’…
When it goes down it will most probably not be pretty given the vagaries of human nature, especially in the supposedly more developed ‘first world’. Elsewhere it will probably just be another day for most people – maybe it will get a whole lot easier without first worlders telling them what to do all the time. One can conjure up any number of scenarios as the Hollywood fantasy shop amongst others has shown over the years not to mention the doomster blogosphere. :dry:
Sid.October 1, 2013 at 11:42 pm in reply to: Your Pension Is Under Attack From All Sides. Here’s 10. #9268
Any and all public treasures are fair game in today’s societies, and unless we find ourselves a large group of politicians and judges that cannot be bought, everything will end up being sold to the highest bidder.
B-b-b-but isn’t that the point of a ‘free market economy’???
Its all a big club, and you ain’t in it! From the horses mouth (ex-world bank lawyer) ‘pensions to pay pennies on dollar – we was robbed’, ‘time to stand up and say enough is enough’ etc:
Not quite sure how everyone suddenly getting ‘wealthy’ will solve anything now though… :dry:
James Kunstler has just recently done a podcast with Richard Heinberg about his new book, Snake Oil: How Fracking’s False Promises of Plenty Imperils Our Future. It raises the issue that current gas prices are too low to sustain the cost of fracking so any claims about ‘fracking’ reducing the cost of gas is a non-sequitur, as prices need to rise to make it even possible – which I think is what you have been saying all along on TAE.
Great call on the Clash btw. :cheer:
Cameron had better be careful – if they were to start fracking in his back yard, he might get booted out as locals in frack threatened Balcome, normally a conservative heartland, have said they will look else where come the next election. Though a recent poll suggests that opinion is actually split fairly evenly.
However, the biggest opposition is surprisingly not going to be public but corporate – the Uk water companies through the industry group Water UK have challenged the energy industry over safety claims. This is especially prevalent in the UK where water companies annually extract 2,135 million cubic metres of water from the ground and many private householders extract less than 20 cubic a day as you don’t need a licence for less then this amount.
Looks like the PM has signed his own political death warrant – or maybe he knows something we don’t… :dry:
Yes I know all about that and have commented upon it before. Immigration legal or otherwise is a ruse by TPTB to grow the ‘economy’ through population growth by trying to avoid the demographic shift of ‘developed’ industrial economies. Cameron’s recent visit to India was almost an open invite. Its the ‘growth at any cost’ + slave labour (by flooding the market and slashing wage cost) mentality. But I was not talking about immigration (which you seem to think is a bad thing despite being an emigre yourself???)
My ‘argument’ for a global citizens income/living wage would IMHO reverse this trend and help sustainable development around the world as has been shown in the examples and would also take pressure off population growth – a main driver of mass migration – by giving women equal access to a share of the worlds wealth. But this won’t happen with the current psychos in charge who are fixated upon accumulating ever more for themselves.
We really need to install a ‘new operating system’ before this defunct and decrepit old one boots us all off the planet, rich and poor alike. While a citizens income is no panacea, it offers the potential to stabilise the velocity of money, and also enable smaller more dynamic communities especially if accompanied by land reform. We need to ‘garden’ the earth and restore the environment using tools such as Allen Savory’s holistic land management and the teachings of Robert Hart, Masanobu Fukuoka and Sepp Holzer. With a mass return to the land in an equitable way we might just stand a chance… BAU and we stand no chance at all.:dry:
I’m sorry I just don’t get the point you are trying to make. I was talking about a fair an equitable distribution of ‘wealth’ that has been proven to stabilise unstable societies as it is well documented that inequality destroys social order quicker than a despot on crack. People tend to emigrate mostly when desperate and for economic reasons – they cannot afford to live where they are. Besides aren’t you in Oz? Were you born there? :unsure:
Not sure of your logic:
“I suspect it would be a fantastic magnet for people from poorer countries. “
Who by default would not be ‘citizens’. If it was rolled out globally in every country, perhaps they would have more incentive to stay put and improve their lives and their own locality where they are. After all, all the ‘citizens income’ guarantees is the ability to able to afford to live – a fair share of ‘wealth’.
One of the recurring ideas that crops up in alternative economics circles is the citizen’s income. In a nutshell, it’s a universal and unconditional payment made to every adult in the country, every month. This provides everyone with a ‘guaranteed minimum income’, which is an alternative name for it.
We have it in a form in the UK already, through child benefit payments. A full scale citizens income would include adults too, with different rates for different stages of life. Everyone would receive it, and it would replace child benefit, state pensions, unemployment benefits and a host of other tax credits.
Reactions to this idea generally divide in two. The first group is ‘brilliant – free money from the government’. The second comes from those who think about it a moment longer and realise that it would be funded through taxes. Then they ask why you’d want to give benefits to rich people as well as poor people.
A fair question, but there is some sensible thinking behind the idea of the citizens income that makes it more than the national pocket-money scheme it appears at first glance. It’s also one of those ideas that has been advocated by politicians and economists from right across the spectrum. It’s been a recurring policy in the Green Party, but free-marketer Milton Friedman was a fan too. Martin Luther King called for it. So did Napoleon. It was discussed by the Labour Party in Britain in the 50s, and by the Republican Party in the US in the 60s. Bertrand Russell wrote that it allowed society to enjoy the best of anarchism and socialism at the same time, as part of a largely forgotten libertarian socialism movement. There aren’t many ideas that can cross these sorts of ideological boundaries so freely, and when you find one it’s well worth investigating it a little further.
An example of a ‘mini-basic income’ is the Permanent Fund Dividend which in an annual individual payout to Alaskans. Though the payout is relatively small and only annually distributed, it still goes to show that this kind of program is being used today: https://pfd.alaska.gov
Research from Namibia revealed that the introduction of a Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) led to an increase in economic activity which contradicts critics’ claims that the BIG will lead to laziness and dependency. Learn more about it here: https://bignam.org
Namibia had amazing results in a number of other things as well, namely poverty reduction, which is a pivotal point in and of itself, and a reduction in crime rate by 40%. Now, imagine what a global basic income guarantee could do.
But like I said it won;t happen – its too fair and compassionate for ‘psychopaths’:
From the Guardian
Look beyond the headline figures at the values underpinning housing policy and its impact on tenants
The psychopaths in control have no concern other than for themselves:
A person suffering from chronic mental disorder with abnormal or violent social behavior.
So are you feeling squeezed or starving? :dry:
No, it means 1. being p***ed off about something, or 2. reporting bad behaviour i.e. ‘telling on someone’ – its a slang word. See: urban dictionary here.
As for thinngs getting unpleasant, they already are incredibly unpleasant for many people in these sceptered isles, its just not reported in msm. Large parts of the country have been struggling with basics since the eighties and the loss of the industrial base. The number of people turning to food banks since the start of the school holidays is alarming:
Trust running country’s largest network says some branches have had double the number of requests for emergency parcels since start of school holidays
Not long now before all hell breaks lose and they start detaining people in ‘work camps’ – “arbeit macht frei” n’est pas?
There has never been a better time for a ‘Citizens income’ – but the behaviour of the elite will never allow it – its too compasionate and fair… :dry:
Admin- is it just all my machines or has the ‘boardcode’ stopped working??? I’m having to type in the smilies 🙁
Of the $1 quadrillion+ in derivatives out there, at least half are interest rate swaps. Rising interest rates will cause massive deleveraging in the field.
Which is probably the real reason the the new Bank of England Governor is linking the interest rate rises to when unemployment levels fall below 7% – clever man – he knows that ain’t gonna happen (2 million being taken off the sick benefit – where are they gonna find work?) – so interest will perpetually remain at effective zero rate for the foreseeable future… :huh:
Meanwhile house prices leap ever upwards, and the gov’t moots plans to cancel the mortgage support scheme before it even starts (in 2014). :silly:
Now what was that analogy of something very fast meeting something very big and solid?… :dry:
Yeah, to paraphrase a theme used here recently, its like they bought the worst horse in the glue factory and are now trying to make it look like a thoroughbred – and when the young lad by the side of the road points out that its legs aren’t moving and its on wheels, they’ll creatively “write everything off in “masterful” ways, so the hurt is limited” as Ilargi pointed out above.
Welcome to the new normal as they say… :dry:
Its more likely to be $8-16 capital per bbl over the life time given the 500,000 to 900,000 bbls per well quoted above… given ongoing maitenace adn transport costs they reckon cost price comes in at about $90.
Again from ‘Oil and Gas Investments’:
A vertical well into a conventional oil field costs something like $1 million. The Bakken’s horizontal, multi-stage frack wells cost an average of $9 million, according to the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources.
That’s a huge upfront cost. Each well produces approximately 615,000 barrels of oil, meaning the breakeven price for each Bakken well ends up in the $70-$90/barrel range, once taxes, royalties, and expenses are included. If oil prices slump below that level, a lot of people say Bakken wells aren’t worth the cost.
As the wells in the Bakken grow closer together, initial production rates are sliding. According to some sets of data, average first year well output climbed steadily from 2005 to a peak in mid-2010, then declined almost 25% over the following 12 months.
With more wells tapping into the same resources, there is simply less oil pressure available to each well. And when initial well output starts to fall, an accelerating number of new wells must be brought online to sustain overall production volumes.
Energy independence yeah – for a day maybe… 😆
Bakken May 2013 statistics: 109 additional wells month over month, about 540,000 barrels more month over month. At least $8,000,000 per well. Indeed, the math does not suggest nothing but blue skies (872 million/540,000).
=$1614.81 per barrel. (???)
Todays Price (7/Aug/13):
WTI Crude Oil
Brent Crude Oil
They will need to produce a lot more at zero further investment cost to bring that price down given depletion rates of 40% – do you have cumulative produced volume against current total investment?
From the ‘Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC)’:
Of that 167 Bbbl of oil, the NDGS estimates approximately 2.1 Bbbl is technically recoverable with early 2008 technology.13 At about the same time and using different methods, USGS released an estimate stating approximately 3.65 Bbbl is technically recoverable from the U.S. portion (North Dakota and Montana) of the Bakken using 2008 technology. These numbers are also roughly in agreement and represent only 1%–2% of the oil that may be trapped in the formation.
Oil Recovery Well Per Well
On an individual well basis, ultimate recovery from North Dakota wells range from 500,000 to 900,000 bbl per well, compared to 100,000 to 400,000 bbl per well in the Elm Coulee Field of Montana. Improved hydraulic fracturing technology including more fracturing stages have become significant contributors to improved production. In addition, the productive reservoir section on the North Dakota side of the Williston Basin is thicker and more widely distributed, typical of an unconventional resource play. If the predictions prove to be accurate and are repeatable over a wide area, the Bakken would likely be the most prolific onshore oil play in the United States.
Recoverable does not mean ‘profitable’… :ohmy:
From ‘Oil and Gas Investments’:
Bakken Oil Production: Can the Giant Oil Formation Reach 1 Million Barrels a Day?
by Keith Schaefer on December 28, 2012
Proven resources are barrels of oil in the ground that have a 90% chance of being economically recoverable. In other words, the black line showing the ‘proven’ future is a near certainty, one that would be derailed only if oil prices fell a lot.
“…derailed only if oil prices fell a lot”. Luckily that will never ever ever happen… :unsure:
The shale industry has from the start been based on huge, and hugely exaggerated, reserve estimates. This is not an innocent mistake, it’s part of an enormous speculative landgrab. The profits on buying and selling land have been mind-boggling. But now the best land has been traded to the greater fools, and it’s time for profits from actual production. Which turns out to be so far below the initial estimates that even a wealthy corporation like Shell has started to write down its worst assets, for which it realizes there is no greater fool available anymore; Shell itself is the greatest fool.
In the nineteen eighties the oil market was deliberately flooded with North Sea and Alaskan oil and gas to lower prices after the rise in the late seventies. In 1985-6 there was a sharpe drop in price:
This had the effect of economically bankrupting the then Soviet energy industry and the Union itself as much of the money from oil went to pay for grain imports.
It is ironic that in the current situation the US has flooded its own market based economy with tales of cheap gas that has crashed the price thus hastening the inevitable energy decline due not least to the waste of fuel not ‘profitable’ to bring to market. That and a lack of proper management and foresight of a declining resource and we all know what that will lead to:
…The fall of the Soviet Union, wrote Gaidar in a 2007 paper, “should serve as a lesson to those who construct policy based on the assumption that oil prices will remain perpetually high.”
Engineer, blogger and author Dmitry Orlov would mostly second that conclusion. He experienced the collapse first hand and attributes much of the chaos to peak oil.
“The Communist regime was so corrupt and stealing as much as they could that they didn’t pay attention to the system. It was on autopilot,” said Orlov in a recent talk.
…But in the mid-1980s, Soviet oil production topped off at 12 million barrels a day due to poor management, old technology and lack of investment. And then oil production started to drop. As oil fields ran dry, the authorities spent more cash to coax more petroleum from aging reservoirs with massive water flooding programs.
But these technological fixes didn’t put much of a dent in the nation’s oil depletion rates.
Just before Soviet oil production peaked in 1988 (the event walked hand in hand with a major drop in oil prices), the empire realized that it no longer had enough black gold to pay its bills.
History may not repeat, but it certainly rhymes… the US could become it own Greater Fool – its certainly on ‘auto-pilot’.
Of course similar events won’t stop the Haliburton’s of this world from making huge profits, after all the current ideology is growth at any cost (with side dishes of energy independence) even in the face of a Reality that says otherwise; its no wonder that idealogical driven politicians (US, UK etc) lap this stuff up:
“The only thing greater than profit is ideology, and the only thing greater than ideology is profiting from ideology.”
We can’t understand life, and we can’t measure it, or even catch it in words; the best we can do is to stand in awe and be grateful that we get to see it unfold in motion for the few short years we are given.
Indeed, compared to this from Cyberselfish by Paulina Borsook:
The most virulent form of philosophical technolibertarianism is a kind of scary, psychologically brittle, prepolitical autism. It bespeaks a lack of human connection and a discomfort with the core of what many of us consider it means to be human. It’s an inability to reconcile the demands of being individual with the demands of participating in society, which coincides beautifully with a preference for, and glorification of, being the solo commander of one’s computer in lieu of any other economically viable behavior. Computers are so much more rule-based, controllable, fixable, and comprehensible than any human will ever be.
Bill Gates ‘Education Model’ aka [strike]Microsoft[/strike] Microschool:
You ‘buy’ some education.
You don’t own it.
You can ‘use’ it , but only in ways that we say you can.
You cannot modify it.
We will upgrade it for free, but it might not work after we have patched it.
After a few years, we will make it obsolete, so you will have to buy some new education and learn to do the same sh*t a different way.
We believe in education for life (as long as you pay and you do not VIOLATE our EULA (Education Under Large Asshole?) BTW, MS patents apply, copyright and trademarked – we own this sh*t ok?)
If you try to do your own thing, we will find you and shut you down, unless you agree to do it OUR WAY with OUR School Ware!
“IMPORTANT—READ CAREFULLY: This End-User License Agreement (“EULA”) is a legal agreement … addendum to this EULA may accompany the [strike]Software[/strike] School Ware.”
Microschool – Where Don’t We Want You To Go Today?
Interesting ‘antidote’ to ‘isms’:
Oh and for those who cite Hardin (‘Tragedy of the Commons’):
Briefly, in five short pages, Hardin (1) erected a conjectural house of cards upon small, scenic, sandy patches of theoretical shoreline which have long-since subsisted into the sea (8). This creates a special problem for those who have cited and continue to cite ‘Hardin 1968’ without considering the wide array of grave, logical implications this misattribution freights.
Neo-liberal ideology is a symptom not the cause of our broken relationship with that ‘thing’ we call nature, our True Mother, the origin of us and all we see about us. :dry:
But that was not my point. I wanted to address a different fallacy: that of trying to put dollar values on – sections of – our destruction of the world we inhabit. Capitalism tends to express everything in dollars, and that’s where it fails: it has no other values, and therefore might as well have none. If we convince ourselves to believe that the demise of the polar bear or the bumble bee or, for that matter, half the population of Bangla Desh, can be expressed in numbers or dollars, we lose all hope of understanding the issues involved, let alone doing anything to counter them.
It’s hard to believe people allow their minds to go there (and still claim they love their children).
Actually I would argue that they don’t love their children, or rather they do not know what love is, its not in their value system. Its an insane society that has ‘pissed’ on the childrens fire:
As I’ve commented before, if your value system is corrupted, or worse still is non-existent, then how can you know, ever, what you are doing? Whether it is right or wrong? Many do not know, this is why they do not know what they are doing. What do you value? What has Real Value and not just a price? People horde money and material possessions thinking they have value. This happens because they do not know what they are doing. They allow over a thousand people, half of whom were women and also many children to die in a building collapse in April earlier this year (2013) at Dhaka, a suburb of Savar in Bangladesh to save a few pennies on clothes. Do you think that would happen if they knew what they were doing?
Most people today are mad; they have the wrong set of values and insanely cling to them – status, power, control and wealth. These are not true values, these are objects of desire and greed. True values are about caring; they are about Love, Compassion, Beauty and Truth. And you cannot charge for them because they are free.
Then again, I don’t agree with Doug Tompkins that we have stopped evolution. Evolution, which is another word for life itself, is a force much grander than mankind. We are but an afterthought in the scheme of evolution. And if we don’t fit that scheme, we will end up as just another one in a multi-billion years’ series of billions of failed species. If we wish for our progeny to survive, we need to focus our efforts on understanding, not ignoring it. We are not bigger than life itself. At least that we should be able to agree on.
I agree, though I question the term failed species – failed in what way, by whose criteria? Ours? Evolution itself is another theory, co-opted by the same forces to support their dogma of selfish competition. Darwin agreed with Wallace that the term survival of the fittest was better than selection due to its less anthropomorphic connotations, but they meant by this an adaptation to immediate local environment in what one would now term symbiosis, not a total domination over the whole planet with a view to using it as it pleases which is the current societies ‘ism’. :dry: