Daily Digest

Daily Digest 9/10 - The Truth About Coal Supplies, Population - The Elephant in the Room, Time to Start Hoarding Coffee Beans?

Friday, September 10, 2010, 10:50 AM
  • Is It Time to Start Hoarding Coffee Beans?
  • The True Cost of the Bank Bailout
  • Jobless Thursday - America's Infrastructure Crisis
  • IMF Resumes Direct Gold Dumping, Sells 10 Tons of the Shiny Metal to Bangladesh
  • Recovery Fades in the UK; UK Trade Deficit Hits Record
  • Mining the Truth on Coal Supplies
  • Peak Oil, Carrying Capacity and Overshoot: Population, the Elephant in the Room - Revisited

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Economy

Is It Time to Start Hoarding Coffee Beans? (pinecarr)

Perhaps you shouldn't read this until you've had your first cup, but wholesale coffee prices have skyrocketed on fears that global supply will fall short of demand.

In plain English: There's a worldwide coffee shortage. No kidding.

Prices for arabica beans—the kind used in a decent cup of roast coffee—have jumped by more than a third in the past few months to multiyear highs.

The True Cost of the Bank Bailout (Davos)

We all know about TARP, the Troubled Asset Relief Program, where $700 billion dollars went to bail out the banks in 2008. That money was scrutinized by congress and the media, but it turns out that that $700 billion was just part of a much larger pool of money that has gone to propping up our nation's financial system, and most of that taxpayer money hasn't had much public scrutiny at all.

According to a team at Bloomberg News, at one point last year, the US had lent, spent or guaranteed as much as 12.8 trillion dollars to rescue the economy. That's trillion, with a T.

Jobless Thursday - America's Infrastructure Crisis (Ilene)

What a disaster!

Not only are our students failing to keep up with the rest of the World but America is close to getting a failing grade in Infrastructure.  That’s right, what was once the World’s mightiest and proudest economy, this once great nation of builders has been given an overall grade of D in the American Society of Civil Engineers report on our Infrastructure.

IMF Resumes Direct Gold Dumping, Sells 10 Tons of the Shiny Metal to Bangladesh (Megan W.)

It has been a while since the IMF sold gold directly to sovereign countries. Today that changed, as once again the IMF is either telegraphing it is happy with a gold price of $1,250 (although its sales last year did not prevent gold from surging to record highs as of two days ago), or that it is increasingly poorer (as it is now solely supporting a broke Europe, that would not be surprising). Dow Jones reports that the IMF just sold $403 million dollars, or 10 metric tons, to Bangladesh (yeah Bangladesh).

Crash Course DVD Build the strength and resilience of your community – host a Crash Course viewing (NTSC or PAL)

Recovery Fades in the UK; UK Trade Deficit Hits Record (Anonymous)

The recovery in the UK has faded, with manufacturing, housing, and services all weakening in August.

Energy

Mining the Truth on Coal Supplies (Jeff B.)

No matter how bad coal might be for the planet, the conventional wisdom is that there is so much of it underground that the world’s leading fuel for electricity will continue to dominate the energy scene unless global action is taken on climate change.

But what if conventional wisdom is wrong?

A new study seeks to shake up the assumption that use of coal, the most carbon-intensive fossil fuel, is bound to continue its inexorable rise. In fact, the authors predict that world coal production may reach its peak as early as next year, and then begin a permanent decline.

Environment

Peak Oil, Carrying Capacity and Overshoot: Population, the Elephant in the Room - Revisited (Anonymous)

At the root of all the converging crises of the World Problematique is the issue of human overpopulation. Each of the global problems we face today is the result of too many people using too much of our planet's finite, non-renewable resources and filling its waste repositories of land, water and air to overflowing. The true danger posed by our exploding population is not our absolute numbers but the inability of our environment to cope with so many of us doing what we do.

Article suggestions for the Daily Digest can be sent to: dd@PeakProsperity.com. All suggestions are filtered by the Daily Digest team and preference is given to those that are in alignment with the message of the Crash Course and the "3 Es."

12 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
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Posts: 2783
Re: Daily Digest 9/10 - The Truth About Coal Supplies, ...

"Sept. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Financial markets don’t fully grasp the extent of deterioration in the U.S. fiscal position burdened with rising health-care and Social Security costs, Boston University economics professor Laurence Kotlikoff said.

“The potential for the U.S. fiscal crisis to kick off a global financial meltdown is significant,” Kotlikoff wrote in the September issue of the International Monetary Fund’s Finance and Development magazine. “Once the world catches on to the true extent of the U.S. fiscal insolvency, the ability of the United States to continue to finance its government borrowing could come to a halt.”"

"New York State Controller Thomas DiNapoli warned Thursday that the recently adopted state budget relies on risky and temporary funding that could put New York in another crisis.

The Democratic controller's annual analysis says the budget enacted four months late totals nearly $136 billion.

"After months of budget dysfunction and delay, New York is still on the edge of a very steep financial cliff," DiNapoli said.

He predicted the current spending rate will produce budget gaps of $15.6 billion by 2013-14 and a cumulative gap of $37 billion through 2013-14."

"Fear that a double dip recession will threaten their personal finances is driving nine out of ten potential buyers out of the market for big ticket items like homes and cars for at least the next three to four months, according to a new national consumer survey released today.

A survey taken in the last week of August by the polling firm StrategyOne suggests that fence sitting by home buyers will dramatically increase in the fourth quarter. Some 87 percent of consumers say they do not plan to make a big-ticket purchase (such as a house or car) in the next 3 to 4 months. Nearly half, 49 percent, say they have already delayed making a big-ticket purchase during the past few months. Only 13 percent said they plan to make a big purchase during the balance of the year.

Consumers will be less likely to cut back on overall spending than on big ticket items. Over half, 52 percent, expect to spend the same amount in the fourth quarter as they did during the last three months. Forty-one percent plan to spend less and only 8 percent plan to spend more."

  • Other news, headlines and opinion:

Congress Yuan Action May Spark China Treasuries Sale, Roach Says

Dallas Fed: Sovereign debt default is politically strategic

Trennert: Treasurys and the Danger of Short-Term Debt

Russia Budget Deficit Widens to 645.8 Billion Rubles

China to Pass US as Largest Credit-Card Market by 2020, MasterCard Says

Governments and banks to compete for financing: Fitch

Euro Nations Have Yet to Start Cutbacks in Earnest, Fitch Says

US commercial paper market falls for 3rd week -Fed

China's Posts Trade Surplus of $20 Billion in August

Freddie Mac Sells $5 Billion of Debt at Higher Yield Spreads

Next Mayor Will Face Tough Decisions to Solve Financial Mess (Chicago...deficit "to hit a record $655 million for 2011")

Spanish government allows cities to take new loans to rescue them from bankruptcy

Trichet Says Weaning Banks Off ECB's Emergency Lending Will `Take Time'

EU Stability Fund `Increasingly Likely' to Be Tapped, Morgan Stanley Says

Greece May Need to Roll Over EU Loan for 6 Years, JPMorgan Says

Pennsylvania's Rendell Working to Avoid Harrisburg Bankruptcy

Why So Many Half-Empty Strip Malls In Far East El Paso?

Beshear: State faces $470 million shortfall in Medicaid budget (Kentucky)

health insurance costs expected to surge

Florida Issuers Borrow $442 Million as State's Debt Costs Rise to Record

NIA Discusses Whether JP Morgan's Silver Manipulation is Over

Romanian August Inflation Quickens to Fastest in 2 Years on VAT Increase

Tucson city council addresses huge budget deficit ($51 million.....News Video)

Budget Analysis Predicts $1.3B Budget Hole for Indiana

Second look at (gasp) bankruptcy (Stockton)

Health benefits for retirees will cost OC agencies $1 billion (Orange County, CA)

Study: NM state pension plan will run out of money in 13 years

Reports: Distressed Commercial Real Estate Equals $187B

UK plans Royal Mail sell-off, unions angry

Long Beach's "Problem" Threatens Public Safety, Pensions

rjs's picture
rjs
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Re: Daily Digest 9/10 - The Truth About Coal Supplies, ...

a question that might also be worth asking about coal is how much diesel fuel it takes to mine & transport a ton of it, and how that cost will be affected by oil supplies...

leo0648's picture
leo0648
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Re: Daily Digest 9/10 - The Truth About Coal Supplies, ...

As energy per ton decreases, it takes more truck loads to get the same energy required.  As noted in CM's crash course, we are already at the point where more energy is required to get less net energy.

Not only does the decreasing energy/ton increase mining costs, it also increases refining/transportation costs.  All at a time when cost of energy is increasing.  Thins will get interesting in the next few years as all of these factors are combined with inflation.

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Poet
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Posts: 1844
Re: The Genteel Nation

A really interesting New York Times opinion article about America's workers and where they've shifted their priorities:

"...Office workers did not want their children regressing back to the working class, so you saw an explosion of communications majors and a shortage of high-skill technical workers. One of the perversities of this recession is that as the unemployment rate has risen, the job vacancy rate has risen, too. Manufacturing firms can’t find skilled machinists."

The Genteel Nation
New York Times
Thursday, September 9
by David Brooks

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/10/opinion/10brooks.html?_r=1

straight's picture
straight
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Posts: 103
Overshoot is not our future, if we choose it not to be and ACT.

Ask Bill Mollison, the 'co-inventor' of permaculture if our population is too large to be sustained, as I did, and he will reply, 'no!'  Ask him what he thinks is the worlds biggest problem; Is it peak oil? no. Is it population? no! Is is global warming? no! 

Soil loss is his answer.  Bill is adament, as is Geoff Lawton and other Permaculture and sustanabile farming practitioners I know, that we can feed our population of over 6 billion if we change the way we live and the way we farm, and we regererate the trees on the first ridges facing the sea on all coasts.  Our standard of living will increase too.  Our bank accounts wont increase, neither will our pension funds, neither will the list of shit we own.

I shit you not, this stuff about overshoot, is simply not true.... or at least it doesn not have to be true.  Business as usual and then yes, I agree, we are in for a major correction in population figures... but we have a choice. It can be done.  It is not rocket science.  It doesnt require batteries, or rare earths.  it requires will power and a change of focus. this wont happen without  understanding why we live in denial of the predicament we are in.

straight's picture
straight
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Posts: 103
The Oil Drum.

http://www.theoildrum.com      http://www.lifeaftertheoilcrash.net/

These sites are dangerous.  Wonderful. Awesome. Important.  and.  Dangerous, if you focus on them at the exclusion of the possible solutions.  These sites paint a wonderful picture of a 'business as usual' future which we might have before us if we dont act. 

The problem is that such is the nature of humans that the picture these sites paint can be disempowering and stop people from acting to change course.

I heard a peak oiler talking of this problem, and he put it this way. Peak oilers are running around yelling, 'the kitchen is on fire, the kitchen is on fire'.  This isnt a problem, indeed it is a great help. it only becomes a problem is he doesnt stop and put the fire out.

The artiles on sites like 'the oil drum', excite us, but they dont chanell that excitement into some useful action... and i think that is because they dont have the answers.  If only they lived in Australia.  Home of Permaculture and some of the worlds best and brightest alternative thinkers. 

Yes, we need to change the so called 'economy' and every institution on earth. Yes we have to resettle the worlds populations out of cities. Yes we have to teach everyone to feed themselves again.  Yes we have to tell everyone their money wont work for them, only they will work for them. 

Yes this will be hard... But not as hard as watching 1/3 of our brothers die!

We have half the oil left. We have all the shit we have built so far to pull down and re-use.  We can do it.

straight's picture
straight
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Posts: 103
Food Forrests.

I wont spam.  Sorry about this.

Google video search 'food forest permaculture'.  The most productive areas of earth are NOT modern industrialised farms. TPTB want you to believe that, so you will support them.  The most productive places on earth are forests and reefs.

Permaculture can put you in the middle of food forests and food reefs... in touch with the planet and your place on it.

First i suggest we have to come to grips with the root of our denial... then the answers will flow.

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jumblies
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Re: Daily Digest 9/10 - The Truth About Coal Supplies, ...

To straight's point, Michael Pollan mentions this around 10:48 in his excellent talk on TED

 http://www.ted.com/talks/michael_pollan_gives_a_plant_s_eye_view.html

idoctor's picture
idoctor
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Posts: 1731
Re: Daily Digest 9/10 - The Truth About Coal Supplies, ...

In the past, our growing economy fed our growing government.  Now our growing government is starving our shrinking economy.

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Davos
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Re: Daily Digest 9/10 - The Truth About Coal Supplies, ...

idoctor wrote:

In the past, our growing economy fed our growing government.  Now our growing government is starving our shrinking economy.

++++++++++++++++++++++++1 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Uncle Scam has enslaved its' citizens for 8 months of the year. For 8 months everyones' entire earnings feed the bloated beast. 

We have, taxation without representation. The politicians represent big corporations who have sent our manufacturing jobs off-shore. As a result of that bonehead move we compete against some poor person making 2 bucks a day. The domino effect on that is that our wages were blown back 4 decades to 1973 levels. 

40 year old wages and 4 months of income has tanked the economy. Credit hid it thanks to the Greenspan/Bernanke bubble.

The vultures (read: Fed banks) are circling the masses, ready to prey on the 4 month side of them.

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idoctor
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Re: Daily Digest 9/10 - The Truth About Coal Supplies, ...

Davos Uncle Scam is so fitting LOL!!

idoctor's picture
idoctor
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Posts: 1731
Re: Daily Digest 9/10 - The Truth About Coal Supplies, ...

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