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Who Will Be Tomorrow's Superpower?

The geo-political map is set to change. Is the world ready?
Wednesday, December 17, 2014, 10:15 AM

There’s a popular geopolitical parlor game called Who will be the next superpower?

While the game excels at triggering a mind-fogging tsunami of nationalistic emotions, it doesn’t shed much light on the really consequential question: What is power?

These are important questions to ponder as, around the world, unsustainable policies from the 20th century are beginning to fail in earnest. What will the future geopolitical landscape look like in their aftermath? » Read more

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Deflation Is Winning

And central banks are running scared
Wednesday, December 10, 2014, 10:21 AM

Remember in the early part of the last decade, long before he was appointed the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke penned an article that caught widespread public attention entitled, “Deflation: It Can’t Happen Here” ?

Bernanke was referring to the deflationary pressures Japan had been dealing with for more than a decade. In the article, Bernanke laid out a game plan for how the Fed would respond if the US ever faced deflationary pressures. His miracle antidote for battling deflation? Printing money. Lots of it.

Little did anyone know at the time that this game plan would become the Fed’s exact response to the credit market crisis and deflationary impulse that erupted in 2008 and 2009. » Read more

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The Environment: Increasing Waste - Crash Course Chapter 24

We are killing the ecosystems we depend on
Friday, December 5, 2014, 6:54 PM

Following up on the previous chapter focusing on human-caused resource depletion, the other disheartening part of the story of the environment concerns the things we humans put back into it, and the impact they have on the ecosystems that support all of life -- ours included.

Like the economy, ecosystems are complex systems.  That means that they owe their complexity and order to energy flows and, most importantly, they are inherently unpredictable.  How they will respond to the change by a thousand rapid insults is unknown and literally unknowable. » Read more

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Oil And The Global Slowdown

It's time for central banks to admit their failures
Wednesday, December 3, 2014, 7:08 PM

The world economy is slowing down and the authorities are fretting. 

Japan, Italy, Greece and Austria are all in recession.  China is slowing down according to their official statistics, and even more according to the whispers. 

Germany, France and the Netherlands are all at stall speed. 

The US is, according to the BLS, doing just great at nearly 4% growth, but you wouldn't know that from either the quality of the few jobs being created (which is low) or consumer spending (also low).  » Read more

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National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)

The Environment: Depleting Resources - Crash Course Chapter 23

Why scarcity will define the future
Friday, November 28, 2014, 2:44 PM

The bottom line is this: we, as a species, all over the globe, have already mined the richest ores, found the easiest energy sources, and farmed the richest soils that our Environment has to offer.

We have taken several hundreds of millions of years of natural ore body, fossil energy deposition, aquifer accumulation, soil creation, and animal population growth -- and largely burned through them in the few years since oil was discovered. It is safe to say that in human terms, once these are gone, man, they’re gone. » Read more

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Happy Thanksgiving To All U.S. Readers

And an offering of gratitude for everyone
Thursday, November 27, 2014, 9:59 AM

Today is Thanksgiving in the US, a prominent holiday typically marked by insane travel nightmares for many, and a chance to spend time with non-core relatives.

To balance all that out we usually overeat, over drink, and slip into a tryptophan coma in front of the TV.

At least, that’s what the holiday has become for many.

Here at Peak Prosperity we like to remember that the holiday consists of two words, thanks and giving. » Read more

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Peak Prosperity

Energy & The Economy - Crash Course Chapter 22

Why society will be forced to become less complex
Friday, November 21, 2014, 8:17 PM

In the past few chapters on Energy EconomicsPeak Cheap Oil, and the false promise of Shale Oil, we've gone into great detail to show how our economic growth is deeply dependent on our energy systems.

Understanding the known facts behind this story, as well as each of the stated risks is what The Crash Course is about: assessing those risks and deciding what, if anything, a prudent adult should do about adapting to these realities and facing these risks. 

 
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Peak Prosperity

Shale Oil - Crash Course Chapter 21

Expensive. Over-hyped. And short-lived.
Friday, November 14, 2014, 6:38 PM

If you've watch the previous video chapter on Peak Cheap Oil, you may be wondering how any of that could be still be true given all the positive recent stories about shale oil and shale gas , many of which have proclaimed that “Peak Oil is dead”.

The only problem with this story is that it is misleading in some very important ways. And entirely false in others. » Read more

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The Consequences of a Strengthening US Dollar

It actually creates destabilization
Wednesday, November 12, 2014, 10:21 AM

In early September, I made the case for a rising U.S. dollar. Since then the dollar has continued its advance, and is now breaking out of a downtrend stretching back to 2005—and by some accounts, to 1985.

So what does this mean for the global economy? » Read more

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Peak Prosperity

Peak Cheap Oil - Crash Course Chapter 20

Still a very big, very real, threat to our way of life
Friday, November 7, 2014, 6:31 PM

Energy is the lifeblood of any economy.  But when an economy is based on an exponential debt-based money system and that is based on exponentially increasing energy supplies, the supply of that energy therefore deserves our very highest attention.

What’s clearly at work here is that we’re finding more oil, but it’s expensive. Yet total global demand for oil will climb as developing countries expand their economies and world population continues to grow. Competition for hydrocarbons will become more fierce than it has ever been. » Read more