Blog

soft_light/Shutterstock

Ready Or Not...

The unsustainable status quo is ending
Thursday, September 25, 2014, 4:00 PM

~ Walking straight in a hall of mirrors

I have to confess, it's getting more and more difficult to find ways of writing about everything going on in the world. 

Not because there's a shortage of things to write about -- wars, propaganda, fraud, Ebola -- but because most of the negative news and major world events we see around us are symptoms of the disease, not the disease itself.

There are only so many times you can describe the disease, before it all becomes repetitive for both the writer and the reader. It's far more interesting to get to the root cause, because then real solutions offering real progress can be explored.

Equally troubling, in a world where the central banks have distorted, if not utterly flattened, the all important relationship between prices, risk, and reality, what good does it do to seek some sort of meaning in the new temporary arrangement of things? 

When the price of money itself is distorted, then all prices are merely derivative works of that primary distortion. Some prices will be too high, some far too low, but none accurately determined by the intersection of true demand and supply.

If risk has been taken from where it belongs and instead shuffled onto central bank balance sheets, or allowed to be hidden by new and accommodating accounting tricks, has it really disappeared? In my world, risk is like energy: it can neither be created nor destroyed, only transformed or transferred. 

If reality no longer has a place at the table -- such as when policy makers act as if the all-too-temporary shale oil bonanza is now a new permanent constant -- then the discussions happening around that table are only accidentally useful, if ever, and always delusional.

Through all of this, the big picture as described in the Crash Course grows ever more obviously clear: we are on an unsustainable course; economically, ecologically, and -- most immediately worryingly  -- in our use of energy.

So let's start there, with a simple grounding in the facts.

By The Numbers

Humans now number 7.1 billion on the planet and that number is on track to rise to 8 or 9 billion by 2050. Already 'energy per capita' is stagnant across the world and has been for a few decades. If the human population indeed grows by 15-25% over the next three and a half decades, then net energy production will have to grow by the same amount simply to remain constant on a per capita basis.

But can it? Specifically, can the net energy we derive from oil grow by another 15% to 25% from here? 

Consider that, according to the EIA, the US shale oil miracle will be thirty years in the rear-view mirror by 2050 (currently projected to peak in 2020). And beyond just shale, all of the currently-operating conventional oil reservoirs will be far past peak and well into their decline. That means that the energy-rich oil from the giant fields of yesteryear will have to be replaced by an even larger volume of new oil from the energetically weaker unconventional plays just to hold things steady.

To advance oil net energy on a per capita basis between now and 2050, we'll have to fight all of the forces of depletion with one hand, and somehow generate even more energy output from energetically parsimonious unconventional sources such as shale and tar sands with the other hand.

These new finds...they just aren't the same as the old ones. They are deeper, require more effort per well to get oil out, and return far less per well than those of yesteryear. Those are just the facts as we now know them to be.

In 2013, total worldwide oil discoveries were just 20 billion barrels. That's against a backdrop of 32 billion barrels of oil production and consumption. Since 1984, consuming more oil than we're discovering has been a yearly ritual. To use an analogy: it's as if we're spending from a trust fund at a faster rate than the interest and dividends are accruing. Eventually, you eat through the principal balance and then it's game over.

Meanwhile, even as the total net energy we receive from oil slips and our consumption wildly surpasses discoveries, the collective debt of the developed economies has surpassed the $100 trillion mark -- which is a colossal bet that the future economy will not only be larger than it is currently, but exponentially larger.

These debts are showing no signs of slowing down. Indeed, the world's central banks are doing everything in their considerable monetary power to goose them higher, even if this means printing money out of thin air and buying the debt themselves.

Along with this, the demographics of most developed economies will be drawing upon badly-underfunded pension and entitlement accounts -- most of which are literally nothing more substantial than empty political promises made many years ago.

These trends in oil, debt and demographics are stark facts all on their own. But when we tie these to the obvious ecological strains of meeting the needs of just the world's current 7.1 billion, any adherence to the status quo seems worse than merely delusional. 

Here's just one example from the ecological sphere. All over the globe we see regions in which ancient groundwater, in the form of underground aquifers, is being tapped to meet the local demand.

Many of these reservoirs have natural recharge rates that are measured in thousands, or even tens of thousands, of years.

Virtually all of them are being over-pumped. The ground water is being removed at a far faster rate than it naturally replenishes.

This math is simple. Each time an aquifer is over-pumped, the length of time left for that aquifer to serve human needs diminishes. Easy, simple math. Very direct.

And yet, we see cultures all over the globe continuing to build populations and living centers - very expensive investments, both economically and energetically – that are dependent for their food and water on these same over-pumped aquifers.

In most cases, you can calculate with excellent precision when those aquifers will be entirely gone and how many millions of people will be drastically impacted.

And yet, in virtually every case, the local 'plan' (if that's the correct word to use here) is to use the underground water to foster additional economic/population growth today without any clear idea of what to do later on.

The ‘plan’ such as it is, seems to be to let the people of the future deal with the consequences of today's decisions.

So if human organizations all over the globe seem unable to grasp the urgent significance of drawing down their water supplies to the point that they someday run out, what are the odds we'll successfully address the more complex and less direct impacts like slowly falling net energy from oil, or steadily rising levels of debt? Pretty low, in my estimation.

Conclusion

Look, it's really this simple: Anything that can't go on forever, won't.  We know, financially speaking, that a great number of nations are utterly insolvent no matter how much the accounting is distorted. Said another way: there's really no point in worrying about the combined $100 trillion shortfall in Social Security and Medicare, because it simply won't be paid.

Why? It can't, so it won't. The promised entitlements dwarf our ability to fund them many times over. There's really not much more to say there.

But the biggest predicament we face is that steadily-eroding net energy from oil, which will someday be married to steadily-falling output as well, can't support billions more people and our steadily growing pile of debt.

Just as there's no plan at all for what to do when the groundwater runs out besides 'Let the folks in the future figure that one out,' there's no plan at all for reconciling the forced continuation of borrowing at a faster rate than the economy can (or likely will be able to) grow.

The phrase that comes to mind is 'winging it.' 

The wonder of it all is that people still turn to the same trusted sources for guidance and as a place to put their trust. For myself, I have absolutely no faith that the mix of DC career politicians and academic wonks in the Fed have any clue at all about such things as energy or ecological realities.  Their lens only concerns itself with money, and the only tradeoff concessions they make are between various forms of economic vs. political power.

If the captains supposed to be guiding this ship are using charts that ignore what lies beneath the waterline, then you can be sure that sooner or later the ship is going to strike something hard and founder.

I'm pretty sure the Fed's (and ECB's and BoJ's and BoE's) charts resemble those of medieval times, with "Here be dragons" scrawled in the margins next to a series of charts of falling stock prices and unwinding consumer debt.

So there we are. The globe is heading from 7.1 billion to 8 or 9 billion souls, during a period of time when literally every known oil find will be well past its peak. Perhaps additional shale finds will come along on other continents to smooth things out for a bit (which is not looking likely), but it's well past time to square up to the notion that cheap oil is gone. And with it, our prospects for the robust and widespread prosperity of times past. 

Because all of this inevitably leads to some sort of time of reckoning, natural questions emerge: What might happen and when? What would that feel like?  How would I know it's started? Given the knowns and unknowns, are there any dominant strategies for mitigating the risks that I should undertake?  What are the challenges and what are the opportunities?

In Part 2: The 3 Likeliest Ways Things Will Play Out From Here we're going to explore three scenarios as a means of teasing out what's most likely to happen over the coming years as the above forces increasingly impact our way of living. Simple math tells us the status quo is unsustainable and therefore will change. What will those changes be? And what can you do today to mitigate their impact on your life and well-being?

Click here to read Part 2 of this report (free executive summary, enrollment required for full access)

Endorsed Financial Adviser Endorsed Financial Adviser

Looking for a financial adviser who sees the world through a similar lens as we do? Free consultation available.

Learn More »
Where to Buy Gold & SilverWhere to Buy Gold & Silver

We endorse this dealer as our all-around favorite for purchasing and storing precious metals.

Learn More »

Related content

45 Comments

Arthur Robey's picture
Arthur Robey
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 4 2010
Posts: 3936
Set in Concrete.

The most striking thing about the Titanic was an iceberg. (Gallows humour.)

I have just finished watching Steven M. describe the situation and was wondering where to put it. This will do fine.

Blow after blow describing the predicament-without one word about resource depletion. (Resource=energy)

Sterling Cornaby's picture
Sterling Cornaby
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 6 2012
Posts: 138
This is the chorus to your song.

This is the chorus to your song.  Keep on singing it so any willing to hear will hear. 

The time line is continuing to move, and society is making awful creaking sounds at a faster clip.  Your song is needed, thank you for your continued effort in singing it. (Speaking to everyone at PP, and the PP community, who makes this information so easily accessible.)

climber99's picture
climber99
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 12 2013
Posts: 121
The Standard Run will play out



The standard run from Limits to Growth will play out. Too late now.   I've been very lucky to have lived most of my life during the Classical period of our civilization.  We, the generation in power, have only one objective, to keep the Ponzi scheme going for a little bit longer. The future be dammed.  Another 10 years traveling round the world (still climbing 8a hopefully) on the remaining oil reserves, then 20 more quiet years riding out the decline on my accumulated capital.  This will do me.

Ed

Rector's picture
Rector
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 8 2010
Posts: 399
Why The Rush?

Fellow Worriers,

I have been looking at this a whole new way these days.  Enjoy. Every. Day.  Make use of the time available and the vastness of the available resources to get ready for a different future.  If you are all set up, then enjoy air conditioning, air travel, the internet, and sashimi.  As we use to say in the Infantry: "There is no need to practice suffering.  When the time comes, you won't have any choice."

Soon enough the roof will cave in, the barbarians will be at the door, and the whole edifice of bull will come crashing down.  Until then, make the most of life and bank "good days".  There will certainly be some bad ones up ahead.  I'm going to go tickle my 2 year old.

Rector

GM_Man's picture
GM_Man
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 4 2012
Posts: 71
Impressive Summation

I love the way that you laid it all out Chris!

Step by Step to the inevitable conclusion.  We are executing our plans and preps as we move forward.  

Keep up the great work!  You lead a great team!

Cheers!

cmartenson's picture
cmartenson
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 7 2007
Posts: 4476
Really?

climber99 wrote:



The standard run from Limits to Growth will play out. Too late now.   I've been very lucky to have lived most of my life during the Classical period of our civilization.  We, the generation in power, have only one objective, to keep the Ponzi scheme going for a little bit longer. The future be dammed.  Another 10 years traveling round the world (still climbing 8a hopefully) on the remaining oil reserves, then 20 more quiet years riding out the decline on my accumulated capital.  This will do me.

Ed

Ed, you can climb 8a?  Holy smokes!  That's truly impressive.  I never got anywhere close to that level at my very best.

Good on ya!

treebeard's picture
treebeard
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 18 2010
Posts: 491
The disease

It's not lack of energy, it's lack of consciousness and that problem can be solved in the present moment, tickling a 2 year old is part of the solution, it's not enjoying life in spite of the problem. When will we awaken? When will we stop asking how and start asking why and then be willing to live without an answer?

davefairtex's picture
davefairtex
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 3 2008
Posts: 3251
not lack of energy

treebeard-

I disagree.  Lack of energy will cause the current edifice to crumble, no question about it.  Whether that ends up leading us all to ruin and decay, or is simply a catalyst for change in consciousness is the question for me.

My preferred outcome (although Tom tells me I don't get a vote - I think I do get one) is that we receive a big enough kick to dislodge the current paradigm in control, and as a direct result one of the fringe things that have been repressed comes into the light of day (LENR, space aliens, whatever) and we end up having both more consciousness as well as more energy.

But first the style of thinking currently in control needs to be thoroughly discredited by events...

How's that for a "none of the above" choices?

JayPaul's picture
JayPaul
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 28 2014
Posts: 30
Live and let live...

I think we will have population reduction, not so much of war or famine but because of the civil mindedness of people choosing no families or very few, natural selection (Ebola) and baby boom die off. 5 billion by 2050 or less. Waste is the lowest hanging fruit so will be rationed and rightfully so. Free anything is not happening, you come and work for your sustenance. Folks barter much more, the church becomes a place to worship and becomes the community center once again. Shared sacrifice is a humble and proper balance in which to function as a society and keep your dignity. Leaders are born and we have those so expect the best of the best rising up as the 99% elect realists and hold them to their pledges. History shows we have enjoyed our standard of living for a very short period of time. Many barns still have hanging the straps and harnesses of the day when we all worked hard to survive, so many teachers still live who can be valuable resources and get geared up again for what the future will always need, food. I know this, we are survivors, it's a genetic thing and we will move as one once the rot leaves the system after one serious shock to our system, after just having a serious shock. I have noticed many more are aware as we are since 2008, and we get another crisis and people will want to know when we get to work, get done what needs to get done. Optimistic? Yep. 

climber99's picture
climber99
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 12 2013
Posts: 121
Ta

Ta Chris.  I've been lucky. The key is to stay fit and lean, manage injuries throughout life and not use age as an excuse. Novalo Marin climbed 8b+ at the age of 60. www.dpmclimbing.com/climbing-videos/watch/novato-mar%C3%ADn-en-g%C3%A9mi...

ps If you're ever in the UK and want a vacation in the Yorkshire Dales, I know of a great guest house you can stay at (free of charge to you). Great climbing, hiking and biking.  Keep up the good work.

LesPhelps's picture
LesPhelps
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 30 2009
Posts: 509
cmartenson wrote: I have to

cmartenson wrote:

I have to confess, it's getting more and more difficult to find ways of writing about everything going on in the world. 

Not because there's a shortage of things to write about -- wars, propaganda, fraud, Ebola -- but because most of the negative news and major world events we see around us are symptoms of the disease, not the disease itself.

There are only so many times you can describe the disease, before it all becomes repetitive for both the writer and the reader. It's far more interesting to get to the root cause, because then real solutions offering real progress can be explored.

One of the problems we, as readers, face is that virtually no one else is telling this story.  It's completely missing in the MSM.  Of the other rare sources I've found, none tell it as clearly as Peak Prosperity.  

Those of us who have been with Peak Prosperity for a while, need updates on the situation from somewhere, to both hold our resolve and retain a level of sanity, in a world almost entirely described in lies.

Lies are all you get from the governments and MSM.  Delusions are all you get from friends and neighbors. On that note, I've got to hand it to you.  I've largely stopped trying to tell people what's happening.  The aghast and angry reactions I've faced in the past have convinced me that people want to maintain the illusion until the bitter end.

Even my wife is in the middle ground.  Her response; "Is there anything we can do to fix the problem?"  If not, I don't want to hear about it or think about it.  Let's enjoy today and face tomorrows problems tomorrow.

I sympathize.  It must be tough to find different ways to say the same thing over and over again.  But please don't stop.  We need the regular reminder from somewhere.

Snydeman's picture
Snydeman
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 6 2013
Posts: 174
Little steps, I suppose.

Well, nothing about this article surprised me. What surprises me is that no other media sources in the mainstream seem to have the ability to latch on to the obvious signs of decay and the failure of modern life. I have many intelligent friends whose attitudes can best be summed up by "Oh, I'm sure science will figure that problem out," or "I'm sure better minds than mind already are coming up with alternatives." These are people with Master's degrees, too. Just more proof that intelligence as generated by books and school lie across a vast chasm from intelligence as generated by wisdom, logic, and intuition. Seeing as how the latter is the thing we try to beat the hell out of our kids in school, I shouldn't be surprised. I try to be a teacher who does the opposite.

Meanwhile at our household we've quietly settled in to a pattern of learning how to grow things (our Muskmelon, soybeans, green peppers, potatoes and tomatoes did wonderfully this season! Spinach and onions...not so much) as well as keeping stockpiles of food high in our pantry. I don't know what else to do, since we're not one of the lucky families who have a house off the grid, perfectly located with ample farmland, fresh water, far away from the paths the urban dwellers are likely to take should anything go REALLY wrong. It's the best we can do.

I supposed I'm spreading the word in other ways, too. I'm using parts of the Crash Course in my economics class, and what heartens me is that my students - 15/16 year old girls - are easily capable of the logic required to see the unsustainable nature of the financial system. When I was explaining stocks, bonds, Treasury notes and the like, several girls pointed out that debt taken on now would come due when THEIR generation was in power, which they felt was unfair. When another student then asked if the current levels of debt were sustainable, I took a quote from Chris and simply stated that any debt now is a claim on future prosperity. When she prodded further - a look of adolescent distrust on her face, as if she felt I was just about to lie to her like most adults do - and asked whether I felt the current levels of national debt could be credibly paid off in the future by her generation, I actually answered honestly and said, "No, it is not sustainable. You are wise to pick up on how reckless this is." She seemed a bit shocked at my honesty (kids these days are used to us adults just saying everything will be fine), but then asked what we can do about it. I shrugged and said "I'm still thinking about it. But what is clear is that we, as a society, need to start thinking and talking about it NOW, not tomorrow, and that spreading awareness of the big crises we as a nation and globe face would certainly help." (Not quite in those words, but essentially)

And here's the punch line: I teach at a private school, and some of my kids are children of the "elite"-- bankers, investment managers, lawyers, etc., and even THEY know the gig is almost up.

Sorry if any part of this post is jumbled. I haven't finished my morning coffee, and I'm grading essays on the effects Columbus's accidental discovery of the Americas affected the world. Multitasking for the win!

Not.

-S

Snydeman's picture
Snydeman
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 6 2013
Posts: 174
Oh, and Chris...

No need to apologize for repeating the same message. Never underestimate how many times we may need to hear it, AND you never know how many new people are visiting the site every day; they are unlikely to go back and look at past articles, so renewing the message keeps them up to date. Those of us who have been visiting the site for a few years now can just avoid any article that feels redundant (though I never do).

dkyates's picture
dkyates
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 29 2012
Posts: 11
Permanently Depleting Aquifers

Something we don't hear about is how aquifer depletion can be permanent.  Aquifers are quite often not just underground lakes.  They are large volumes of sand-filled layers which hold water like a sponge.  When the water is pumped out, the sand collapses, and the earth above it subsides, compressing the sand and converting it into sandstone.  After that, it won't matter how many hundreds or thousands of years one waits, the water will not recharge the aquifer, because it cannot penetrate the now dense and collapsed sand. 

Areas like Mexico City and Houston, Texas, for example, are subsiding at alarming rates.  At some point, there will be no option to draw water from underground.  At that point, even if you have energy for pumping, no amount of pumping will produce water.  In that case, it may be that lack of water will be what precipitates an economic and cultural collapse in that locality, rather than a lack of energy.

Perhaps we should be talking more about peak water.

Snydeman's picture
Snydeman
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 6 2013
Posts: 174
</span>dkyates<span

</span>dkyates<span style="font-size: 13px;"> wrote:

Something we don't hear about is how aquifer depletion can be permanent.  Aquifers are quite often not just underground lakes.  They are large volumes of sand-filled layers which hold water like a sponge.  When the water is pumped out, the sand collapses, and the earth above it subsides, compressing the sand and converting it into sandstone.  After that, it won't matter how many hundreds or thousands of years one waits, the water will not recharge the aquifer, because it cannot penetrate the now dense and collapsed sand. 

Areas like Mexico City and Houston, Texas, for example, are subsiding at alarming rates.  At some point, there will be no option to draw water from underground.  At that point, even if you have energy for pumping, no amount of pumping will produce water.  In that case, it may be that lack of water will be what precipitates an economic and cultural collapse in that locality, rather than a lack of energy.

Perhaps we should be talking more about peak water.

Isn't that the whole reason WHY many of us feel the gig is almost up? One crisis, we can overcome. Two, we can perhaps manage. Three is pushing it. Four or more? Doubtful. And when you break it down, there are multiple BIG crises looming for modern society, and all of them seem to be converging rapidly. Still, the vast majority seem content to watch the chariot races and attend events at the coliseum while Rome, literally, collapses around them. *sigh*

It's peak oil, peak fresh water, peak agriculture, peak population, peak commodities. The Three E's - each of which contain multiple levels of crisis - all coming together.

I need to go tickle a two year old now, because, indeed, there lies the most important thing in the world; caring for others, community, working together, and living life every day.

Thetallestmanonearth's picture
Thetallestmanonearth
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 28 2013
Posts: 310
long sigh

Isn't that the whole reason WHY many of us feel the gig is almost up? One crisis, we can overcome. Two, we can perhaps manage. Three is pushing it. Four or more? Doubtful. And when you break it down, there are multiple BIG crises looming for modern society, and all of them seem to be converging rapidly. Still, the vast majority seem content to watch the chariot races and attend events at the coliseum while Rome, literally, collapses around them. *sigh*

It's peak oil, peak fresh water, peak agriculture, peak population, peak commodities. The Three E's - each of which contain multiple levels of crisis - all coming together.

It almost feels like a Hollywood plot when we watch the simultaneous convergence of all these problems in one lifetime.  What are the odds that we would be endowed just enough fossil fuels to change the climate, just enough fossil water to last us until the fuel ran out? I struggle with issues of faith, but it's almost enough to make me think that this is a test of our character from a higher power.  Unlike most christians, I believe that if we are to be judged, it will be by our actions, not by our unwavering faith in redemption through faith (circular logic if you ask me).

We are the few paying attention to what is coming our way and that is a huge responsibility.  We first have to prepare our families and then work to have a positive stabilizing effect in our communities.  I have never quoted scripture here, but this seems appropriate.  Faith can be a powerful organizing tool and we will need those as the false paradigms that currently cohere society crumble around us from the outside in.

1 Timothy 5:8 But if any provideth not for his own, and specially his own household, he hath denied the faith.

Time2help's picture
Time2help
Status: Diamond Member (Online)
Joined: Jun 9 2011
Posts: 1962
RE: Long sigh

Thetallestmanonearth wrote:

I believe that if we are to be judged, it will be by our actions, not by our unwavering faith in redemption through faith (circular logic if you ask me).

1 Timothy 5:8 But if any provideth not for his own, and specially his own household, he hath denied the faith.

Amen Tallest.  You are what you do.

Jim H's picture
Jim H
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 8 2009
Posts: 2112
When does TSHTF

Dave Kranzler's opinion;

http://investmentresearchdynamics.com/why-is-eric-holder-stepping-down/

While head of the Justice Department, Holder’s reign helped usher in financial system fraud and criminality of unprecedented proportions.  Yet, financial industry investigations and prosecutions declined precipitously under Holder’s watch to levels that were below even that  of the Bush Administration, itself extraordinarily lenient in its tolerance of Wall Street fraud.

Our entire financial and economic system is on the precipice of major collapse.  It is no coincidence that Holder is leaving the mess he helped create before the napalm ignites. It’s similar to Bill Gross’ timely exit at Pimco, where his “famed” Total Rate of Return flagship bond fund is nothing more than a viper’s nest of dangerous derivatives.

For me, the departure of both of these people signify that the flames of Rome are about to engulf our system.

Doug's picture
Doug
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 1 2008
Posts: 3015
A little optimism

After a week in which, in order, 400,000 people marched in NYC to fight climate change, a U.N. climate summit was also held in NYC and, in a joint venture between Elon Musk and NY state, ground was broken on what is described as a gigafactory that will produce the cheapest most efficient solar panels in the world at a rate sufficient to replace a nuclear power plant a year, I'm feeling a bit better about our prospects.  Oh yeh, the gigafactory will employ 1,450 people in Buffalo, a perennially depressed rust belt city.  If successful, I'm sure it will spawn many copycats and subsidiary businesses that can go a long way toward solving the grand daddy of all our problems, climate change.  Perhaps peak oil will also be ameliorated along the way.  Crash programs to transition from fossil fuels to renewables are absolutely necessary for both the climate and energy.  The numbers are daunting, but if we wake up in time, the world may not crumble around us.

Sure, there will be wrenching dislocations associated with the problems described by Chris, particularly water.  But we have had wrenching dislocations before and somehow survived them.  It seems to me that we mere mortals can best survive any economic crash by insulating ourselves from the depredations of governments and bankers with all the methods described over the years here at PP.  Get your money and assets out of the system, build your community and become more self sufficient.  As I have written before, economic crashes are common, but we somehow muddle through.

Perhaps most crucial of the resources is water.  We can't live without it.  Although we are seeing rapid depletion of aquifers and surface water in the American southwest and other arid regions around the world, there are still many places where water is abundant.  I can't help but think that Elon Musk had that in mind when he picked Buffalo over many offers from California and other locations around the world to build his factory.  The Great Lakes hold 20% of the world's surface fresh water and is surrounded by a huge land mass that gets abundant rain, lately perhaps too much rain.  (One of the mixed blessings of climate change)  It is easy to imagine yet another mass migration back to the rust belt for the same reasons that the greatest industrial engine ever to power the world's economy was built here in the 19th and 20th centuries.  It is also a region that lends itself to small farming which is becoming more important as industrial ag is shown to be unsustainable.

As I said, there will be huge dislocations, most of which I think will again involve people moving to find opportunity.  As the necessity of reducing atmospheric carbon, finding alternative energy sources and ensuring water security become more obvious, I think people will respond and do the right things.

Doug

LesPhelps's picture
LesPhelps
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 30 2009
Posts: 509
Snydeman wrote: Well, nothing

Snydeman wrote:

Well, nothing about this article surprised me. What surprises me is that no other media sources in the mainstream seem to have the ability to latch on to the obvious signs of decay and the failure of modern life. I have many intelligent friends whose attitudes can best be summed up by "Oh, I'm sure science will figure that problem out," or "I'm sure better minds than mind already are coming up with alternatives." These are people with Master's degrees, too. 

A while back, I tried to discuss the debt bubble with my brother in law.  He retired from a major oil company as a VP in the finance department.  After a few sentences, he interrupted me and said that They would find a way to reset that."  End of conversation.  He never said who they were.  That is the battle.

LesPhelps's picture
LesPhelps
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 30 2009
Posts: 509
Snydeman wrote: Well, nothing

Snydeman wrote:

Well, nothing about this article surprised me. What surprises me is that no other media sources in the mainstream seem to have the ability to latch on to the obvious signs of decay and the failure of modern life. I have many intelligent friends whose attitudes can best be summed up by "Oh, I'm sure science will figure that problem out," or "I'm sure better minds than mind already are coming up with alternatives." These are people with Master's degrees, too. 

A while back, I tried to discuss the debt bubble with my brother in law.  He retired from a major oil company as a VP in the finance department.  After a few sentences, he interrupted me and said that They would find a way to reset that."  End of conversation.  He never said who they were.  That is the battle.

climber99's picture
climber99
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 12 2013
Posts: 121
You're not alone.

My wife has exactly the same reaction as yours.  It's just the way most people think.  I had the same reaction when talking about hyper text and the internet in the late '80s.  Some people like predicting the future, most don't care.

Bheithir's picture
Bheithir
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 2 2008
Posts: 21
The Sky

Rector, why did God make the sky Blue?

Doug's picture
Doug
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 1 2008
Posts: 3015
Richard Heinberg seems to agree...
...with a better understanding of the complexities involved.
 
 
Quote:
To be clear, we at Post Carbon Institute advocate massively deploying renewable energy and putting a price on carbon. If humanity has any hope for the future, there is simply no other option. But we just don’t see how this can be achieved without: 1) raising the cost of energy and 2) leading to an increase in greenhouse gas emissions during the renewables build-out, unless other parts of the economy are allowed to contract. When it comes to energy, there is no free lunch.
 
Ultimately, climate change is not the only reason perpetual economic growth is incompatible with a finite planet. The world faces a suite of ecological problems related to water, soil, and biodiversity, all stemming from past growth, and all seemingly requiring reduction in human consumption levels for their solution.
 
We believe that humanity can enjoy an improved quality of life and build a more sustainable future even as we reduce overall resource throughput. There is ample waste to be cut in the excessively consumption-oriented western way of life, and there’s still plenty of opportunity for less-wealthy countries to develop their economic and social systems in ways that are truly equitable and sustainable (and not fossil fuel-reliant). But that means changing priorities. Like fossil fuels, the growth fetish is something we must leave behind if we are going to have any chance of living sustainably on this planet.
 
Doug
pgp's picture
pgp
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 2 2014
Posts: 179
Dead right

CM is dead right as usual, once you become aware of the numbers you discover how badly it all adds up.  But even without the oracles within PP.com it's clear that people, perhaps those that gravitate to this web site, at some point in time realized something was wrong with "things" and sought explanation. 

Sadly it appears the human race has been on a binge for thousands of years and its simply taken those millennia to finally exhaust energy, living space, food and water at an exponentially rapid rate as population exceeds the capacity of the planet to "heal".

But what drives that unsustainable attitude?  Well it appears to be genetically imprinted into our animal brains.  But as humans and unlike any other species we have the gift of choice.  And what did we do with that choice, well we just invented a culture that accelerated the unsustainable course in pursuit of prosperity. 

So there it is man is doomed by his stupidity made infinitely worse, I would suggest, by his Victorian, Christian culture.  A culture that actually condones exploitation of the environment and the pursuit of material and family prosperity.

Had the human culture developed with a mind to conservation, respect for the environment; the idea that women and children are not chattel or some gift from God and that sustainability was more important than that extra child, car and rambling mansion we probably wouldn't be in this mess. 

We label the lost tribes of the American Indians, Amazon or the Kalahari as primitive but culturally they probably were more advanced if only because they practiced a culture of sustainability.  They bred within the limits of their environment and they respected what nature provided to them, taking only what they needed and understanding the importance of giving nature time to renew.  Maybe this was forced upon them in part by technological limits but it was none the less a way of thinking that is completely absent from modern culture.

The history of humanity is littered with empires that fell due to resource exhaustion and one could easily draw the conclusion that societal death is simply a part of the human cycle.  But I would argue  that it is supposed to be an evolutionary process where each societal collapse conditions the remnant culture, at the cost of a lot of death and misery, to hopefully do things a little differently the next time.

So here we are, thousands of years of cultural evolution leading us to this current Anglo-Victorian-Christian peak where the lessons of sustainability have yet to be learned or been forgotten.  And ironically it seems, the humanitarian cancer on modern culture, in striving to make everyone's life a fulfilling and happy one, does so at the cost of even greater unsustainability.  Its a culture that smacks of a disconnect between practical reality and idealism and it appears to be being nurtured by the democracy of human sheep relying on a broken culture to set direction.

Collapse and the suffering it brings is therefore written into our culture, driven by the primitive nature of our being.  It is the culture of throwing that wrapper out of the window and not in a bin, the culture of road rage and racial intolerance, the culture of "right to smoke", "right to bare children" and "right to own a gun".   It is a culture full of contradictions that actually deserves collapse like a weakened old buffalo falling behind the main herd deserves its fate at the claws and teeth of the lion.

Doug's picture
Doug
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 1 2008
Posts: 3015
Oops

The last two paragraphs of the above post are actually the remainder of the quote from Heinberg.  Somehow they didn't wind up within the quote.

Doug

robie robinson's picture
robie robinson
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 25 2009
Posts: 943
God didn't, it was Maxwell-Faraday-Gauss-Planck-Minkowski and

many more employers of vector, differential, and tensor calculus describing EM propagation, emissivity, diffraction I hate to type

OBTW, blue is the resultant

A. M.'s picture
A. M.
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 22 2008
Posts: 2367
Blue sky

It's Rayleigh scattering:

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rayleigh_scattering

Sorry for being pedantic. It's a special to me.

Cheers,

Aaron

Arthur Robey's picture
Arthur Robey
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 4 2010
Posts: 3936
Dont Stop Robie.
God didn't, it was Maxwell-Faraday-Gauss-Planck-Minkowski and

many more employers of vector, differential, and tensor calculus describing EM propagation, emissivity, diffraction I hate to type

OBTW, blue is the resultant

Don't stop looking Robie. You are describing a reality "out there". There is the most repeated experiment in history Quantum Erasure, that says that it is all information. There is nothing "Out There." Your Reality is subjective.

Enjoy the trip.

treebeard's picture
treebeard
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 18 2010
Posts: 491
The world is perfect

To say that it creates exactly what we need is to diminish it's perfection. It is what we need, it is what we need collectively and individually.  We have created this world, not Eric Holder, George Bush, Janet Yellen, Ben Bernanke, name your devil. What we will get up in the morning and will do tomorrow creates this world, to blame someone else for the circumstances we are in is to denigrate our own power and self worth.

What are we afraid of, death?  Aren't there a thousand things worse than death? How about living a small minded life in meaningless self centered pursuits, ignoring those who need and love you?  Living without self respect or dignity?  What does this world owe us and what do we owe the world?  Aren't all the things worth while in this world the things that no one can take from you in any circumstances?

Do we need new miraculous technologies to save us, more resources made available to squander and waste, fight over?  Haven't we already been doing that for thousands of years.  The level of fraud, waste, ignorance of what we have been given is still beyond our comprehension.   Do we have enough food to feed the world, enough houses to shelter them, enough cloth to clothe  them?  Yes, yes and yes again. What is it that needs to change? Do we need better technology, more stuff?

I need that big car, otherwise I don't feel safe on the highway, Oh I need that condo in Florida, I don't like the snow, what else can I do in the winter?  I need to buy all those clothes from that big box store made is some third world country, otherwise I could only have 5 shirts in my closet instead of twenty.  Hey did you get the new iPhone 6, I heard the picture quality is great, texting is so much faster now.  How are those Yankees doing, doesn't look like their going the playoffs this year, did you see what he/she had, how did they get that, they don't deserve that, I want that, and on and on and on........

Haven't we trampled what we have been given (whether you consider it a happy universal accident or a divine gift), do we even remotely understand what it means to love one another (isn't the meaning of that clear whether you are a secular humanist or religious).  We love to get into the twisted nuances of these completely insane human constructs, trying to figure out their logic, as if they have some greater cosmic meaning. Do we want to be the smartest guys/girls in the room?  So smart we are complete fools? Isn't the circumstances of our painful ignorance simply going to get more intense until we change, and if we don't change mother nature, god, the universe, quantum mechanics, what ever you decide to call the world, will simply start over. Is that necessarily a bad thing? It just is.

If we are awake, being alive is enough come what may, and don't believe the news and what your mind tells you, it is both worse and better than we think, and that is exactly what we need and are looking for.

Mark_BC's picture
Mark_BC
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 30 2010
Posts: 345
I've always maintained that
I've always maintained that we behave just like any other animal population does -- we grow and support that growth by oxidizing complex carbon molecules until that growth cannot be sustained anymore. Either a collapse or leveling-off follows, and which of those two routes is followed depends on how renewable the carbon sources are and how far into overshoot the "progress" has ventured.
 
It's one thing to say it but every once and a while it hits home in a new way. That happened the other day when I was listening to Nomi Prins' interview with Greg Hunter. In it she described how the western banks are desperately searching for some kind of new oil pipeline project in the Middle East to "infest" I believe is the word she used. This could then be multiplied fractionally and with derivatives and keep the global fiat ponzi scheme going for a little while longer, to inject a little bit of real value into the paper.
 
So it's not  just that the system must keep growing, but that it is actively seeking out anywhere on the planet anything that can deliver complex carbon molecules (aka, wealth) and basically start "producing" them. Of course, what's actually happening is the opposite of "production"; it's consumption, or more accurately, it's the destruction of useful potential energy gradients. The entire system is designed to seek out, extract, and ultimately consume and destroy non-human life wherever it can, leaving nothing behind; there is no way to get around this conclusion. It hasn't yet destroyed every living tree because that complex carbon isn't as useful as fossil carbon is. But it will at some point as our collapse progresses.
 
The system is a monster, it's like some Star Trek space being roaming the universe looking for energy to feed off. We can have all the protests in New York we want but the bankers in charge of this system are not going to relent until a bloody and violent revolution usurps them, and unfortunately we aren't going to have that revolution until things get so bad that people have no choice -- in other words, when it's too late. We will have little warning of this due to the manipulation of markets up until that fateful day.
 
Our leaders are completely corrupt. Here in Canada the criminal Complex-Carbon-Consuming Parasites (aka, "CCCP", or oil companies) have now taken over our governments in the last couple terms. BC has also recently moved in that direction. Like maggots in a carcass, the criminals have now moved on to greener pastures than the US, on to the last sources of concentrated carbon molecules left in the West.
 
And what's amazing is that almost all mainstream economists still believe that the actions of central banks and oil companies to maintain the status quo are a GOOD thing! They believe in this fairlytale Keynesian multiplier and the delicate balance between producers and consumers that needs to be fostered by the central bank. They think that economic growth is a good thing! They simply don't have a clue. So many people are so close to the economic system that they can't see it for its true ugliness, and how closely, exactly, it follows the pattern of a population of any animal ("heterotroph" which feeds off complex carbon molecules) population that grows and needs carbon.
 
Any advancements in renewable energy will merely be used by the banking system to justify more growth, to extend the wealth-extracting ponzi scheme a little further. They will do this via fractional reserves and derivatives to ensure that no renewable energy ever reaches a point that is sustainable because just like the paper gold derivatives, its true value will be multiplied many fold over to facilitate further growth.
 
Sadly, there really is no hope. How can there possibly be when 99% of people just don't have a clue, and don't want to have a clue? They have been totally brainwashed, and their collective actions are making the situation even worse? I just resign myself to the Archdruid Report and accept that this is humanity's destiny; just marvel at it and be thankful that you were alive during one of the most interesting couple of decades in the history of the world, and aware enough to actually understand what's happening.
RogerA's picture
RogerA
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 18 2009
Posts: 106
But

we are being told what is coming.

One of the problems we, as readers, face is that virtually no one else is telling this story. It's completely missing in the MSM. Of the other rare sources I've found, none tell it as clearly as Peak Prosperity.

http://www.discovery.com/tv-shows/naked-and-afraid

Media is mind programing. Its called programs for a reason.
Its main purpose is to disinform, misinform and confuse (operation Mockingbird comes to mind).

Huxley and Orwell were insiders and have revealed the blueprint.

Stimulus money were spent kickstarting smartgrid globally. Australia, India, Brazil, China, Usa....
so forget about BRICS, its just a means to an end. (See Buckminster Fullers ideas)

Our own mind is used against us.

An example of how we are manipulated. They like to call it the nobel prize in economic sciences to make it sound scientific and noble. The fact is nobody has ever received it because it does not exist. Nobel did not like economists/speculators. What is called nobel prize in economics is an invention of the Swedish central bank. 

According to a head of state (female) the great culling is about to start.

Relax. The next step is planned a long time ago. But I am not saying it will succed.

RoseHip's picture
RoseHip
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 5 2013
Posts: 138
This has been one of the best

This has been one of the best threads I have ever seen happen at pp or really anywhere. Honest, insightful, diverse, void of criticizing comments, supportive, and emotional. Having all these traits converge in real life inside of one mind is rare it's even more rare in a group that organizes by Internet and without a definite power structure. Hmmmm I wonder what is going on here and how this can be modeled? I certainly don't claim to be an expert but I'm sure it has something to do with the massive power potential associated with the combination of leadership, vulnerability and authenticity. But mostly vulnerability. Which is still a little strange to me because thru the work I have done on myself via men's circles I have experienced first hand how I and we have been brought up in a culture that teaches that vulnerability is a weakness in men especially. And then there is that word culture, like RogerA is rearing to. Thank you Chris for your willingness to speak freely and question everything.

Rose

ervinm's picture
ervinm
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 4 2009
Posts: 1
Great Summary

Once again a great summary Chris. Perhaps the best I have seen in some time.

I would offer a different view of population growth. I don't believe any of the prognostications of 9 billion or the later 11 billion the UN talks about for the year 2100.

The mathematics of population growth are not done on just birth rates. The key variable is birth rates minus death rates.  It has only taken a small surplus of births over deaths to drive the exponential growth in population. The future you are describing, especially the approaching  future crisis in fresh water available for food production, as well as the approaching end of economic growth and the rapidly dwindling availability of oil exports from the few exporting countries, and the resultant collapse of global financial systems, means only one thing to me. The birth rate minus the death rate globally will become negative in that future just described. And we will witness how fast exponential growth turns into exponential contraction. In only two generations the world populaton could be approaching 4 billion or less. And it will not stop there.  11 billion people in 2100 is delusional.

Keep up the education!

Thetallestmanonearth's picture
Thetallestmanonearth
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 28 2013
Posts: 310
This has been one of the best

This has been one of the best threads I have ever seen happen at pp or really anywhere. Honest, insightful, diverse, void of criticizing comments, supportive, and emotional. Having all these traits converge in real life inside of one mind is rare it's even more rare in a group that organizes by Internet and without a definite power structure. Hmmmm I wonder what is going on here and how this can be modeled? I certainly don't claim to be an expert but I'm sure it has something to do with the massive power potential associated with the combination of leadership, vulnerability and authenticity.

I believe that the catalyst for this community is a leader with clearly articulated and self-evident ideas who teaches the subject, but doesn't dictate the reaction.  Imagine how powerful that same style of leadership could be if it went beyond a small internet community into the real world and could avoid dilution and bickering so common in main stream politics, media and American life....if only.

pinecarr's picture
pinecarr
Status: Diamond Member (Online)
Joined: Apr 13 2008
Posts: 2030
More on mind programming, RogerA...

...that you may find interesting, from a story on ZH, "Your 'New Normal' Life (In Pictures)": http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-09-26/your-new-normal-life-pictures

Submitted by Stucky via The Burning Platform blog,

You were born free … a bundle of tremendous potential.

585

.

pinecarr's picture
pinecarr
Status: Diamond Member (Online)
Joined: Apr 13 2008
Posts: 2030
P.S. More re Mind Programming story

I just checked the original reference for the "Your New "Normal Life" (In Pictures)" story on the Burning Platform site, @  http://www.theburningplatform.com/2014/09/25/pictorial-essay-your-life/ and it goes a little longer than the version on ZH, 3 more annotated pictures.  They were motivational, so I liked them -who can't use more motivation these days?  So I wanted to make sure others were aware of them as well.

SPAM_Matthew Blain's picture
SPAM_Matthew Blain
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 24 2010
Posts: 14
How Long Have We Got - A Quick Straw Poll

Yes agree, need a quick rehash every now and again. Keeps me sane.

When the gents in TV news rooms across the globe toss their jackets, undo the top button, let that tie loosen a bit, go all "war room" on us, that'll be the ball-of-doom finding its place on the roulette wheel. Anyone wish to place a wager? 2 years from now? Five? Ten? Put me down for $20 on Red Seven... 

Question is, will the pretty girl with the dead-pan face simply call for more bets and spin again? http://www.fouroulette.com/roulette-wheel.htm

Now back to mainstream programming I go.

Matt

kaimu's picture
kaimu
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 20 2013
Posts: 111
Rukeyser V2.0

Aloha!  In the day there was Luis Rukeyser Wall Street Week! Anyone recall those TV shows? What we need is a similar alternative show.

I just got back from LA where I have a partnership with a digital TV studio based at the backlot of Paramount Studios. The studio is run by a former Paramount marketing exec as well as the former founder of Aspect Ratio and Ignite Productions.

I have informed Chris Martenson and Mebane Faber as well as Bill Cara of the opportunity. Instead of complaining about MSM make our own media! In the spirit of "build it and they will come"!

We have cutting edge TVU technology supported  by TVU Corp whereby we can turn any iPhone 5+ into a HD camera. Just now the NFL is starting to use this app. It renders Skype obsolete. Now no excuses!

What good is this "community" or any community if the resources are not fully engaged? Crowd fund the show? I have one of the premier crowd funding experts on the planet to do the logistics ... I myself am a producer for NaleoTV channel 54, here in Hilo, Hawaii. 

Again ... what good is community if all  you do is talk the talk???

grekko's picture
grekko
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 2 2013
Posts: 1
Naysaying!

Peak oil?  Big deal!  Usually Chris M. is better at his game than this article.  It is almost Malthuisian.  Mankind has pleanty of ingenuity left to overcome peak oil.  Check out this source:

http://www.iter.org/proj#milestones 

SagerXX's picture
SagerXX
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 11 2009
Posts: 2150
Whoa, Grekko...

...your first post here and you're throwing up links to "Fusion Will Save Us!" websites.  How far will any (stupendously expensive and with a long, looong implementation timescale) Energy Savior project get without finance?  If you've spent any time here you're aware there are 3 Es, not just the Energy E.  And with respect to all three Es we as a species face rather ticklish predicaments.  And predicaments do not have solutions, only outcomes.  

A sudden reprieve from the energy E would be a fine thing, and might help alleviate the economic E (viz:  cheap unlimited energy would allow growth to begin again and that would provide the inflationary path to [maybe, MAYBE] unwind the ludicrous levels of debt built up over the last 40+ years).  But that still leaves the environment E looming like Damocles' Sword.

IMO this piece (and the companion piece in part II) are fine examples of Dr. Chris' "game".  And my opinion plus ~ US$1200 will buy you 28 grams of Au.

Viva -- Sager

treebeard's picture
treebeard
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 18 2010
Posts: 491
Points of connection (the world is perfect)

I guess speaking "cryptically" is a waste of time, but there are so many misperceptions that are built into our language and awareness that addressing them all is extremely cumbersome and time consuming, but then again, consciousness needs to express itself. "Cryptically" is not really the right word, but it's use is necessary here because the proper word is so badly understood in our current level of awareness that it would create additional difficulties.

Worrying about those high up in the current food chain, and their control over our lives and economy is a complete waste of time, whether they be bankers, politicians, or multinational corporate heads and their international meetings where the deals are done and theoretically the world is run.  So many points of connection (at one level) have been destroyed that this global political and economic system has been completely destabilized. If one were to speak statistically (which is an unhealthy way of thinking) one might say that the probability of rapid and perhaps catastrophic change has become extreme.  But living systems don't work that way, they are self correcting and typically early stages of self correction are not noticed or understood because they exist outside the current paradigm. But that is why collapse is always miss predicted, (earlier and more often then is actually the case), even when awareness reaches the point where the instability begins to enter consciousness, because it is still processed with the reductionist thinking that created the need for paradigm collapse in the first place.

But there again language fights with us, the word paradigm gets bandied here and there but is not deeply understood. That shallow perceptual awareness is what is killing us.  Assumptions and current perceptual realities are built into modes of thinking and into a very language and vocabulary we use on a daily basis.  Reductionist, power centric, single solution thinking is so ingrained in awareness that we are not conscious of it. The drive for a unified field theory is the problem with our banking and political system.  This drive towards singularity is actually (and necessarily) born of dualistic thinking ironically, but apologies for not having the time of the patience to explain that, but lets just say that we have long ago discovered that the earth is not the center of the universe about which all things turn, but we have not yet understood that the physical brain in the head of a man is not the place upon which all reality turns.

The reality is that consciousness and even what we call conventional thinking does not occur only in our heads, but is dispersed throughout our bodies and consciousness extends within and beyond our physical forms. It even exists beyond ourselves (surprise, surprise).  Our bodies are not simple machines controlled by the command center located in the head, which is the reductionist and self destructive model upon which all our political and economic systems are built. Instead our bodies are rather complex ecosystems that have more foreign DNA than our own.  There are thousands of points of connection between conventional awareness, our consciousness, our physical form and the physical and conscious world forms around us, which is an expression of the nature of reality.  It is the destruction of all these points of connection in the broader world around us, which we have inflicted based on a misunderstanding of who and what we are that is destabilizing the current paradigm.  Or perhaps put another way, our lack of understanding of who and what we are has lead us to create inherently unstable systems that are subject to regular collapse.

Perhaps this all seems hopelessly abstract and we need a concrete example.  Our current agriculture system is based on body as machine, mind as computer control system which we perhaps begrudgingly admit to possess some level of consciousness, provides a perfect example. Diversity of major food production crops such as apples, potatoes, tomatoes, corn have been reduced by 90%, engineered crops, in this plant as machine paradigm are now wholely dependent non renewable imputs of herbacides, insetisides, aquifer irrigation and fertilizers that grow on increasing lifeless, toxic and eroded soils. Design engineering and control of these systems have been pulled from the fields and put into the labrotories of a few multinational corportions which are now the top down mind as machine "brain" of the operation.  Points of connection between the us, ecological systems, the food system have been destroyed, take a McNuget into a class room of young kids know what it is, but show them a potatoe and it is unreconizable.  Extraodinary amounts of food are wasted because its value or effort to produce it are not understood.  The quality and nutritian of the food is being destroyed, obesity is out of control, even the ability to cook a simple meal is being lost by large portions of us. But at the same time there is the creation of a sense of entitlement, that we all are owed three meals a day. Stability and diversity of this system is all but gone.  All these effects travel together and are from the same source, though each could be explored in a small book of their own. They stem from our understanding of ourselves.

This same analysis can be compared to any of our systems, for banking, just substitute food for the dollar and corporate labs for the central banks, there is no substantive difference. We create what we believe ourselves to be. The words "you are the world" invokes all this, though its meaning has been destroyed by senseless repetition of those words by those who do not understand their meaning.  We are not machines but our projection of that onto the world by creating the systems we do is destroying both us and the world around us.  Things are worse and better than we understand because those destructive forces always and necessarily contain there oposites, it is so important to talk about that but I have run out of time. We and the world are living conscious beings and what needs to be done is both much and much less than we understand. Everything is still possible.

RogerA's picture
RogerA
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 18 2009
Posts: 106
Thanks for the link to "my life"

I see this time as a window of opportunity. The last 5 years have been unbelievable. Seeing the matrix materialize is amazing.

A link to info on the liberal arts, which was removed from our education about 150 years ago .

http://www.triviumeducation.com/

SagerXX's picture
SagerXX
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 11 2009
Posts: 2150
Ready or Not

It's funny.  In many ways I'm quite ready -- especially in some of the more challenging areas like spiritually and psychologically -- for the next turn.  And my preps are pretty decent considering the upheavals in my personal life over the last four years (short sale of house [and concomitant loss of life savings, more or less], divorce, three moves).  I've got a bunch of the major bits in place -- as many as possible, considering.

My take is that TPTB will keep the "new normal" going for a pretty good while yet.  5+ years, give or take.  But the new normal will keep morphing ever-so-slowly, accompanied by an unholy din of bad, dis- and mis-information all skillfully crafted to keep everybody (well, a large enough majority of everybody) in bounds and playing along.  And all the while what is "normal" keeps changing, shifting, sliding.  Think about what is "normal" today, in politics, business, markets, jobs, etc.  Could you have possibly imagined it in 2007?  There's no way TPTB could have just imposed the current normal over the 2007 normal without causing a total shitstorm.  But over 6-7 years?  People are dumb, disinterested or have a vested interest in rationalizing the changes or are themselves profiting from them.  (I know a fairly large number of the latter through my business.  They're making out like bandits and they feel like they deserve it.)

I think as long as TPTB keep the lights on, the food trucks rolling, gas under $5 (or whatever number allows the new normal economy to keep staggering forward), the MIC cranking and the Media/Entertainment complex blaring, there won't be any major upheaval.  Seriously:  what did the Tea Party or Occupy accomplish in terms of changing or reining in the system?  Pretty much zilch.  Co-opted, scattered, worn down and worn out.  

Folks like us?  We must keep on keeping on.  Be ready to educate others & hopefully help others make the changes we're all busy making as we shift out from under the oppressive weight being heaped on our shoulders.  Unplug from MSM, get busy with alt food sources (CSAs, local farming, backyard gardens), lessen all our dependencies on the system, which will be making life as it is currently lived more and more expensive (requiring more work to maintain the status quo, leaving less and less time to live a beautiful human life).  

In a few months I'm putting the last phase of my action plan into, uh...*action*.  Making a long-distance move out to the edges of the American Bubble.  It will be the final piece of my several-years-in-the-making effort to set myself up where I want and need to be.  Of course, it also signals the beginning of creating a new community (or joining one I find simpatico) of like-minded folks, re-building my biz from scratch one more time, and re-starting all the sorts of resilience-related projects that can only be done when you know you're putting down roots in a particular place for the foreseeable (most obviously, a big honkin' garden).

So maybe I'm soothing myself by saying it's all going to carry on like it has for the last half-decade or so:  bumpy, more and more surreal and sad-making, harder to make a go of it as a Damned Independent Thinker (and biz-man), and so forth.  It just seems to me that TPTB are enjoying things carrying on as they are, and since they hold enough cards and control enough levers to keep jacking reality in their preferred direction, it's a Slow Burn for the next 5-15 years.  At some point the realities of peak cheap energy will cause a disjunction, but between desperate measures like fracking & shale oil etc., and demand destruction, I don't think that disjunction is right around the corner.

One man's opinion.  

I love this community.

As always -- VIVA! -- Sager

Thetallestmanonearth's picture
Thetallestmanonearth
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 28 2013
Posts: 310
Hollywood seems to be as good

Hollywood seems to be as good a barometer as any for the mood of the country as any.  The message here: we're screwed, but a few of us might make it to another planet before we completely destroy this one....because technology.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Login or Register to post comments