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Unfixable (UPDATED)

Friday, December 2, 2011, 3:15 PM

Two weeks ago, Chris flew to Spain to speak at the 2012 Gold & Silver meeting in Madrid. He gave his latest, streamlined version of the Crash Course titled "Unfixable".

GoldMoney was a sponsor of the event and recorded the presentation, which has subsequently been put onto the Internet. The wide pickup and positive reaction have been a real pleasure to see.

If you're one of the few who has yet to run across it, here it is. Of particular note is how deftly Chris handles the Q&A segment, which starts about mid-way through.

If it's been a while since you've watched the Crash Course, you'll find this good fuel for recharging your 3E sensors.

Great job, Chris!

cheers,

Adam

Update: GoldMoney has since released another video discussion between Chris and GoldMoney founder James Turk, covering the future of Europe, the global banking crisis, sound money and a number of other topics: 

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50 Comments

Poet's picture
Poet
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Posts: 1836
Great Short Crash Course. Q&A Section Excellent!

This is a good 30-minute-or-so condensed version of the (roughly) 3.5 hour crash course and 317-page book. It's definitely more approachable.

The Q&A section after is excellent, with Chris addressing and rebutting the most comment points people might raise. That was golden and well worth watching.

I highly recommend passing this out!

Side Note: Again, I suggest as I did when the book was announced, that the original Crash Course videos look a little tired. They should be updated to reflect current events and statistics, charts and graphics, and more refined phrases and arguments Chris may have picked up since. The numbers and figures presented are rather outdated now. Updated charts would be even more dramatic today. Yes there's a book, but the book is 317 pages long and requires purchase - it's not someting you can spread to the masses the way the original Crash Course brought us here.

Poet

FNKRoue's picture
FNKRoue
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Respect

Chris,

I've been a member of this site for some time and I visit it daily.  I have to say I have tremendous respect for your ability to think logically and with restraint (not skepticism) but healthy realism on the issues that are at hand.  As a mechanical engineer working in specifically the energy research field I have to say there is a great degree of insight your presentations could make even to people of incredible academic background and skills.

It is truly an age of incredible engineering challenges, scientific and application.  But the clarity I get when I digest the material you provide allows me to think as an engineer, to deduce steps, make reasonable assumptions and come to some sort of solution.

Prior to, and I believe without this resource, I would feel much more subject to the eager and loud whims of many voices who lack a more grounded and scientific thought process.

Thank you, I will be sharing this particular video for it's information density many time.

G

Adam Taggart's picture
Adam Taggart
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Poet

Poet -

Your feedback (and that of others) on the freshness of the Crash Course has not gone ignored. Updates as well as new video content (lots of it) are on the roadmap.

Some of this new content will be available with the launch of the new site early next year. Look for the rest to roll out across the remainder of 2012.

A

Travlin's picture
Travlin
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The book?

So which question got the book? 

Thanks for posting the video.  The presentation was excellent as expected, but I was also impressed with how Chris handled the Q&A, rattling off key data to support his position.  His demonstrated mastery of the subject makes his views more convincing.  He looked very sober-sided and a bit grim though, unlike his usual genial self.  A few more smiles would have helped alleviate the heavy topic.  Great job though.

Travlin 

Travlin's picture
Travlin
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Good news

Adam wrote:

Poet -

Your feedback (and that of others) on the freshness of the Crash Course has not gone ignored. Updates as well as new video content (lots of it) are on the roadmap.

Some of this new content will be available with the launch of the new site early next year. Look for the rest to roll out across the remainder of 2012.

Good to hear Adam.  I'm sure you folks have put a lot of work into these projects.

Travlin 

Mark_BC's picture
Mark_BC
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FNKRoue, I second your

FNKRoue, I second your comments. The fact that Chris does not come from an energy background (as far as I know) makes the Crash Course, when it came out, ever more visionary.

As another mech. engineer working in the field of energy, what I find interesting / astonishing / distressing is that the majority of even so-called "experts" in these related fields just don't seem to be able to put 2 and 2 together to grasp the predicament we are in. The answer to fossil fuel shortages? Dig more out of the ground! The answer to food shortages? Cut down more forest and throw more fresh water and fertilizers on it! Even amongst the hundreds of employees in my office, the greater picture of "where is all this energy coming from?" just isn't addressed. We need work, and we want to grow the company, and we get that work by building more machinery to gobble up more natural resources. We have our place in the overall machine of the neoclassical economics-modelled economy and even though the people I work with are fully capable of grasping these concepts if they decided to put in the effort, it is not part of our mandate and even if we did understand what's coming, what else is an engineering company going to do?

These issues are complex and it takes a sound understanding of energy, engineering, ecology, economics, and sociology to really come to grips with them all. And then on the other side we have the media .... The current situation is as much an education in how the human mind can be influenced in certain directions under the proper conditioning and suggestion (and television "programming"), even when undeniable evidence to the contrary is presented. I am sure we can alll speak to this from personal experience.

gamingthemarket's picture
gamingthemarket
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This is brilliant.

Martensen is brilliant in the methods he uses to make difficult concepts easy to digest.  I teach public speaking at a California State University.  I will be incorporating this speech into my lecture for next semester.  The field of rhetoric needs to bring more attention to these core concepts.  I am working to do my part as an academic.

spinone's picture
spinone
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an uncommon man in uncommon times

I have suspected as much in the past, but this video confirms for me the following:

Chris's IQ is off the charts. Truly in the 99.99% range. His thoughts are so well ordered that he speaks off the cuff as if he is reading from a book.

Chris has a photographic memory. His command of facts is incredible.

Chris is the opitome of a believable expert witness.  His tone of voice, demeanor and body language portray complete veracity.

In short he is the ideal person, with the ideal message, at the ideal time.  That such people step forward in times like this, in the spirit of altrusim and decency, gives me hope for our future.

pinecarr's picture
pinecarr
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Great presentation,

Great presentation, Chris!

spinone wrote:

I have suspected as much in the past, but this video confirms for me the following:

Chris's IQ is off the charts. Truly in the 99.99% range. His thoughts are so well ordered that he speaks off the cuff as if he is reading from a book.

Chris has a photographic memory. His command of facts is incredible.

Chris is the opitome of a believable expert witness.  His tone of voice, demeanor and body language portray complete veracity.

In short he is the ideal person, with the ideal message, at the ideal time.  That such people step forward in times like this, in the spirit of altrusim and decency, gives me hope for our future.

+10 Really well said, spinone!

DurangoKid's picture
DurangoKid
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Die Back

Guns trump cheque books.

I follow these issues daily.  I have yet to read anything that disuades me from a die back scenario on some large scale.

1. Top soil depletion cannot be remedied by throwing money at fields.  Add to that the coming oil scarcity and climate change leads me to the suspicion that agriculturally marginal area will have extreme problems with fertility and processing.  Global grain supplies are already strained.

2. Money flows faster than oil.  If there is another oil shock, currencies will fail.  For those who depend upon selling their labor for money to buy food, things will get dicey.  In four minutes you suffocate.  In four days you die of thirst.  In four weeks you starve.  There are currently no massive networks for the distribution of commodities and labor save markets in the developed countries.  Typically, there is a three day supply of food in any urban area.  In the off seasons, the next harvest is months away.  Even people in areas that produce commodity crops will be in trouble for want of access and processing.

3. How far will the well armed countries go to protect their resources interests around the world?  As nation states falter, will regionalism replace nationalism?  Will California stop shipping vegetables east?  Will Montana stop shipping coal south?  Or will these networks collapse for want of currency?

4.  The next oil shock will likely cause some states to fail.  The unrest that can foment such outcomes is already happening.  In an interlocked global system, how many states can fail before the rest of the dominos fall down?

5.  If you follow Michael Ruppert (I don't buy everything he says), the 2013 time frame for the next oil shock may be the make or break point for all his lifeboat builders and the rest of us, too.  It seems plausible that if one is not prepared to grow a significant part of your own food, establish trade networks with your neighbors, and learn what the heck is going on here, one could find oneself in a big pile of doo-doo.

6.  This suburban landscape is like a millstone around our necks.  It's possible that it alone may be the biggest impediment to getting through the rough patch.  It's amazing that we have build deserts around all of our cities.  Here in the Bay Area, large tracts of land were in production as late as the 1960's.  Now, paved over and usless.

I think I need to take my meds now.

nigel's picture
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gallium

There is a gallium mine in australia.

JAG's picture
JAG
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Major Discord in Message

Since I first watched the Crash Course several years ago, each time I consume this content I'm left with only one conclusion for the economy; deflation.

Yet, on countless occassions, Dr. M proposes an inflationary endgame in his reports and postings. This seems very contradictory and nonsensical to me from someone who's primary contentions are:

  • The next 20 years are going to be completely unlike the last 20 years
  • The economy cannot continue to grow (implied)
  • Total debt is no longer growing exponentially
  • Peak Oil is unfolding
  • Dwindling resources

What gives Dr. M? How can there be anything but transient inflation in this predicament?

Thanks for your time....Jeff

Concobb2's picture
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Population Transition

All,

A few years ago I stumbled upon the Crash Course youtube series.  It’s synthesis of macro trends resonated strongly in my thoughts on global systemic interdependence and the systems non-linear response to small perturbations.  Since then the macro scale indicators are all consistent with core Martenson themes. I am convinced Chris is correct that the system will contract.  However, on a macro scale, I remain deeply concerned over HOW our contraction will occur.

What I find missing in Chris's materials (and in many others arguments), is a direct analysis on the implications of systemic energy contraction on world population.  

With only cursory knowledge of closed system population growth cycles, it is very clear that planet Earth has already substantively exceeded its carrying capacity.  If you believe in analogies, empirical animal population studies ranging from  yeast growth in a petri dish to deer populations on an island,  imply that the potential human population contraction could be 1-3B (heck, most of these studies show contraction to only a remnant).  UN and most other population models apply extrapolated the western world’s birth rate rolloff to the developing world.   The flaw, is that the western birth rate roll off is directly tied to a standard of living supported by cheap energy.  Take away cheep energy, and the trend is very different than the politically acceptable conclusion of indefinite sustainment of 9B.

Paul Chefurka's prescient 2007 paper  "World Energy and Population" (http://www.paulchefurka.ca/WEAP/WEAP.html) shows a population contraction to 6B by 2030 and ultimately to 1B by 2095. Chefurka's  numerical energy and resource models are more conservative than Chris's data. Chefurka’s resource models are equally reasonable.

So, if we believe Chris’s trends are true,  how do you contract human population by ~1B in a ~15year period?

If we here on these pages are to even start a discussion on what needs to be done, should we not begin with a clear-eyed view of the scale of the human implications?  What are our options? Do we try to minimize the contraction? Do we maximize power in global central governments? Do we diffuse government power by de-centralization? Do we build walls around our our territorial claims?  Do we stockpile/horde resources? To we prioritize preservation of our global ecosystem for indefinite sustainment  of all life forms?  In the absence of a deliberately developed framework, as a species we will likely default to our baseline animalistic reflexes - ie violence.  

Objectively, the human animal has the technical power to destroy  not only billions of people but also a significant percentage of higher order life on planet earth.

It seems to me that EVERYTHING in Chris's arguments is ultimately pointing to the central questions of HOW to constrain events during the inevitable rapid and sever population contraction.  

Respectfully.

DavidC's picture
DavidC
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Here's a link to Chris's

Here's a link to Chris's presentation on ZeroHedge, for anyone who wants to read the comments and feedback.

www.zerohedge.com/news/chris-martenson-lecture-why-next-20-years-will-be-marked-collapse-exponential-function

Chris, Adam,

If there is anything I can do to help with the updating of The Crash Course I am more than happy to volunteer and assist.

DavidC

crash_watcher's picture
crash_watcher
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Population Transition

What I find missing in Chris's materials (and in many others arguments), is a direct analysis on the implications of systemic energy contraction on world population.  

Hi Concobb2, I took a stab at this very question a while back:  Part 7 The relationship between global population and global petroleum production  (not for the faint of  heart)

Nice presentation Chris.

Marteen's picture
Marteen
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Africa

THough i am dutch living in france, 8 out of 12 month i make my living in Nigeria. Yep in the oil rich delta.

Nigerians are the most happiest people on our planet but it is also an incredible mess and very dirty. They are very optimistic that their future will be much bigger then it is now.

Unfortunately chris is mainly focused on how the developped world will be in for a chock.

I am also very concerned how the african countries will be stolen from their dream of being a developped country with plenty shops and consumables. An other economic crisis in the developped world will be a hammer slash for the "poor' Africans.

It seems to be sorry for them!

Marteen

Doug's picture
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concobb2

I think your concerns are well founded.  But, I am increasingly of the opinion that what we are "to do" is becoming beyond our control.  We cannot feed the world, we cannot distribute decreasing energy resources equitably, we cannot stop 3rd world wars or famine or pestilence.  Our power to be the world's policeman is rapidly diminishing and increasingly stretching our resources.

The bottom line is to decide how we (US and western world in descending order) will respond to events beyond our control in the rest of the world.  That seems to me to mean we will increasingly need to plan from a defensive posture.  In other words, your question: "So, if we believe Chris’s trends are true, how do you contract human population by ~1B in a ~15year period?" is the wrong question.  'We' won't contract population.  All those animal population studies don't rely on outside forces, nature takes its course.

The No. 1 determinant of human population growth is women's education levels, which implies economic forces that look familiar to westerners.  We cannot provide 1st world living standards to the billions living in 3rd world conditions.  The earth cannot support that.  And, the west has shown little interest in taking measures to make our lifestyles sustainable, like decreasing energy usage, decreasing our effects on climate and minimizing other environmental damage.  So, to a very large extent we will just have to live with the folly of our indifference and make the best of it we can at a local level.

Doug

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Coal use

They did use coal in the 1770s (in Britain) the Newcomen engine was invented generations previous to this, 1712.

ao's picture
ao
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well done

Excellent presentation Chris.  Such mastery of a subject and its presentation is rare and the questions were handled adroitly.  I shall pass this video along.  I'm sure it will be very effective in spreading awareness. 

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Concobb2 wrote: With only

Concobb2 wrote:

With only cursory knowledge of closed system population growth cycles, it is very clear that planet Earth has already substantively exceeded its carrying capacity.

I agree Concobb2, the ecological / social aspect is something that needs greater consideration. The technical energy / monetary aspect of why there is inevitably going to be a collapse is pretty solid, and while not understood or appreciated by our leaders or the vast majority of the public, amongst Peak Oil bloggers it's pretty much accepted and well understood.

I recently found a number for how much fossil fuel energy is required to produce food, and it's greater than I suspected. Apparently to produce one calorie of food requires 10 calories of fossil fuels! That is a HUGE input. Now, if those inputs are taken away or greatly diminished, how much will food production drop? I don't know, let's say five times? This would need more analysis. Not only that, but without the fast and energy intensive food distribution systems we currently enjoy, food spoilage will go up, requiring even more food to be produced.

http://physics.ucsd.edu/do-the-math/2011/11/mpg-of-a-human/

So that is a huge shortfall that is going to have to be absorbed, and there are only two outcomes (short some miraculous new enery supply coming online) -- we either eat less, or we raze every last tree on the planet to get land to produce more food for us. It seems that both outcomes would happen together, however, because there isn't enough capacity on the planet to feed everyone like this.

This then sets the stage for some of the social problems that are going to emerge. On paper, the Hubbert Curve looks nice and mooth and symmetrical. Going up the curve was a dream -- everyone was happy and enjoyed increasing wealth. But going down is not going to be a happy experience; it will be miserable. As mentioned, the Africans and Chinese who have their hopes pinned on a prosperous future as they enter a new middle class like the West has (had) will have their hopes crushed. Westerners will be in even greater dire straits because they will have to accept a substantially reduced standard of living, and Westerners have a can-do attitude that if they just try harder, any obstacle can be overcome. That will be shattered.

But the above paragraph assumes that 1) it will even be possible to maintain 9 billion people at a lower standard of living, and that 2) everyone just begrudgingly accepts the situation and says, OK, let's hunker down and deal with it. But I'm not sure human nature will react that way. As you say, we have the capacity for great destruction.

What is the actual carrying capacity of the planet? I don't know; without fossil fuels probably around 3 bilion or so, I'd guess. Let's just go with that figure for now; if anything it may be optimistic. If that's the case, then 6 billion people are going to die. There is no way around this unless we find some new source of energy; it's simple cold hard ecological energetics. So how does removing 2/3 of the world's population actually pan out? What kind of a world will that be? Will it be one based on collaboration to develop new technologies to bring about energy solutions?

This really has the potential of a classic Malthusian Collapse, which may be much worse than the typical lynx and hare dynamic simply because we have extended ourselves so far over the cliff due to fossil fuels.

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Kudos to Chris

Congratulations on the presentation, Chris. That was a great condensation of the CC into about an hour and the Q&A showed your in-depth knowledge of the topics you'd presented.  

CS

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thc0655
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Utter collapse

I imagine a train hurtling at 90 mph toward the end of the tracks where there is an immovable object.  Chris, others, and even ourselves are now aware of the unavoidable crash and are doing our best (which varies a lot from person to person) to warn others of what's coming and what they can do to try to survive it.  Most of the passengers aren't paying the least bit of attention.  Some have become concerned, but have either turned away because it's too terrible to contemplate or have become frozen in place (the proverbial deer in the headlights).  Some now have sat down in the aisles to protest the situation we're in. Occasionally, someone dives out a window or jumps from the door, never to be heard from again.  Those of us who are preparing have moved to the last car in the train and have set about strapping ourselves in, padding all hard surfaces, stockpiling medical supplies, and so on. Some are trying to uncouple our car from the rest, but I don't see how that can work.  Who can say with certainty exactly what will happen, when, and in what order? Certainly, not me, and I'm pretty sure no one can get it more than 70% right.

However, for me, some of the broad strokes are discernible if only because to some extent they are happening TO us and cannot be changed.  I agree with JAG that the real world is contracting/deflating.  I agree with Chris that governments and central banks will do what they always do because it's all they know -- they'll print and print, and there will be a temporary (months or couple of years) inflation/hyperinflation.  (This is only the monetary world.  The real world of resources will still be contracting/deflating.)  Then there will be a collision (which may unfold over a few years, as if in slow motion to us). This will be the utter collapse: monetary systems, social systems, legal systems, moral systems, trade networks, etc.

I agree with those who see a die off.  I don't know HOW big it will be, but it has to be BIG considering the number of passengers and the speed of the train.  I don't know to what extent people will wither away and die (by starvation, disease, hypothermia, suicide, etc.), or will be killed in local violence in the struggle to survive, or will be killed as nations fight each other for survival. Life will become "nasty, short and brutish."

Then, I think, there will come an eerie silence as the dust settles. At that time, the survivors will face the daunting task of rebuilding. At that point, the changes we could have made before the crash will have been forced on us by powers beyond our control. We'll have no choice but to make the appropriate adaptations we have so far refused to make. I'd like to be there for the beginning of the rebuilding, but I doubt I'll make it.  But it won't be for lack of trying.

Mark_BC's picture
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I'm in my 30's thc0655, so I

I'm in my 30's thc0655, so I may be around to witness that rebuilding. I have good survival skills so I plan to get there. I am hoping to get some land way up north soon as a refuge.

One way or another, the coming year seems likely to be the most interesting one in all of human history, possibly the Earth's history too.

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Die Off

As this scary idea has become one of the issues being discussed in this thread, I do wonder what CM's view of such an event actually is.  He is a data person, and seems to get really excited about interpreting information.  To this point almost everything I have seen from him has avoided this gruesome topic, and I am not sure he is specifically forecasting it.  Infact, in the video we are all reacting to, he goes out of his way to say that he is not predicting a massive die off.

I wonder if he chooses not to comment because the horrible reality would scare too many people and the rest of his message would be lost in the fallout.  I wonder if a die off is part of the message, CM just wants you to read between the lines and come to that conclusion on your own.

CM's premise that the world of growth is coming to end and with it a lot of things we really see as "every day" are no longer going to exist is sound.  Energy costing too much, food being delivered from one section of the country....cities not having the space available to support massive populations....yah, I guess thing could get pretty bad.  Perhaps it is hope, thinking the disruptions won't be too distructive or too long lasting, but maybe I just have not thought through the reality of so many people trying to feed themselves.  

If a die off does occur, looking at the present world gives some indication of where things might be most difficult.  Frankly, the countries like China and India, where over a billion people live in each, are likely to get hit pretty bad.  Of course, I know nothing of their food shipment patterns or farmable land.

We in the West will probably get hit pretty bad too, although the potential for growing food here in the long term seems at least doable.  Many Americans don't have much of a concept of physical labor and will have to learn.

Again though, I find myself wondering how far CM has taken these thoughts.

Jason

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mannfm11
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You changed my thinking

I have followed the oil markets since the early 1970's.  Next fibonacci up is $233, as the last one corresponded to $144.  This video has clued me into a lot of ideas though.   For one, what is China doing, building excess construction when even an idiot would know it is a mistake.  Could it be they are building it now while they can still build it?  Copper in the $3 to $4 range doesn't fit a depression.  Neither does $100 oil.  Point being, we are in a depression and it is going to slow from here, most likely, which would put the day of reconning off a few years on oil. 

One thing I have studied over the years is exponential functions.  My education is finance and that is all you do in finance is discount or project with exponentials.  Based on 1970 estimates, all the oil proven at that time has been used and more.  Seems the elephant fields that have been found have been in Iraq, so there may be a little salvation on the way, but then we have the declines.  The fly in the ointment has been the new demand out of Asia, which has pushed the industry into a rate of production that is sure to tax the proven reserves we have today.  China was a non player in demand merely 15 years ago, now they are the second largest consumer.  There probably wasn't room in the long range plans for another large consumer. 

There is a counter argument, price.  We had a 20 year bear market in oil.  The argument to that is what Chris said about the efficiency of getting more oil against the energy it takes to produce it.  Price can't work if there isn't a ready gain in net energy output.  Seems I recall the US had 37 billion barrels of proven reserves in the early 1970's and they have produced over twice that amount since.  There are no gushers left onshore in the lower 48, only a few good producers.  The North Dakota play is not going to do anything but maintain the trickle and the rumors of massive reserves are no more than a dirty joke.  It might be there, but it isn't coming out. 

If the debt problem wasn't so big right now, buying oil and minerals would be a no brainer.  Chris has sold me on the peak oil, not because it is necessarily peak so much as the extraction rate is too high to build more capacity.  The hockey stick can be solved on a log chart, but all the same, 3% growth is a double in 24 years.  We don't have another double in the cards. 

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There are population trends

There are population trends that are already reversing.  Most of the industrial world has a problem with low birth rates, which threaten the  structure of their social systems.  Being they are the high demand end of the game, some of this might take care of itself.  China's one child policy will tremendously affect its population demographics going forward.  Population is declining in Japan  Population is growing in areas where people are already near starvation. 

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thc0655
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Harder than it has to be

Of course, like ALL things involving us humans, we're going to make this crisis "harder than it has to be" and possibly WAAAAYYYY harder than it has to be.  If all peoples were rational, cooperative and wise the contraction/deflation we're starting down would not absolutely require "shrinking" the world population down to 5 billion or 2 billion, or whatever.  If we could all just use our heads and get along to get through this crisis, we wouldn't be going through this crisis to start with. So, human nature is not going to change overall, in spite of some truly inspiring examples of ingenuity, self-sacrifice, cooperation and generosity at certain times and places. We're still going to be greedy, cruel, short-sighted, self-destructive, selfish and violent. Weapons of mass destruction are the wild card and the "proper" application of them could get us down to 1 billion in less than 6 months.

Good luck, Mark_BC.  It's not my age or level of preparations that makes me pessimistic about making it all the way to the absolute bottom when the rebuilding begins.  It's just the odds, and the unknown unknowns. I'm very pessimistic about my chances if my city is targeted for a nuclear weapon while I'm still here, or a maximized EMP hits the US (natural or man-made).

I can only prepare for so many possibilities and I'm at peace with that.  Luck, divine providence, and stubborn determination will have to do if my preps for less-than-a-huge-die-off are not enough.  Those things will get many survivors through even if its not you or me.

I agree with Jbarney's implication that this might scare off a lot of people, or at least cause more to go deer-in-the-headlights on us.  The way I handle it is to only attempt to deal with possibilities I have the resources to deal with.  The rest will have to go unaddressed.  Now, if I was becoming aware of these things and had $100 million at my disposal then there are more scenarios I could prepare for. Besides, it's more important to me that I conduct myself honorably during the crisis (whatever it is) than I survive.  Live or die, at all times I want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

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Coal

Coal was used in England centuries before the industrial revolution.  With exception of Newcomen's engine, coal was used for heating things.  The difference is in how the heat is applied.  The prime inovation of the IR was the use of heat in engines to do useful work.  Here's a short list of pre-IR things they did with coal.

Space heating.  Wood was the prefered fuel for this.  As wood became scarce, coal was reluctantly applied.  Beach coal was gathered where the shore cut through coal seams.  As beach coal became scarce and the demand  for coal generally increased, pit coal supplanted it.

Roasting of barley for ale, particularly stout.  One of my favorites.

Coke.  Coked coal is a very good fuel for crucible steel.  Crucible steel prior to Bessimer, et al, was made in small batches for fine cutting tools, clock springs, and such.  It can also be used for the manufacture of glass.

Smelting of iron.  Everyone knows the story of Abraham Darby of Coalbrookdale.  Ore, limestone, high grade coal came together to make greater quantities of iron than previously thought possible.

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Yup

Correct.  In my population biology course in undergrad many years ago, the prof drew a triangle on the board.  He described that there are many small mammals (think shrews) at the base of the triangle.  Asyou go up, the animals get bigger, but the number of animals gets smaller.  Finally, at the top, there are only a few big mammals (think whales). He said now, there is a big bulge about 2/3 of the way up the triangle, because there are so many humans.  Humans are on the big side for mammals, so we are near the top of the pyramid.  This is because we are clever and have much more energy at our disposal, and use it for things that increase our survival rate.  I would expect that without oil inputs the triangle would go back to its original shape, leaving about as many humans as other medium large mammals in the world (think bears, feral pigs, goats, those about 160 lbs or so) 

Human females are in oestrus monthly, rather than only once or twice a year as other mammals, but usually only bear one offspring, and raise that infant for a long time.  So we compair more to a bear, that produces one offspring that it raises for a long time, than a feral pig, that produces a litter of 4 or 6, and raises them for a short time.   On the other hand, we live communally and share resources, which gives an advantage over solitary animals like bears.  The population of feralpigs int he USA is 4 million, the population of bears is 32K, so we would be somewhere between those without oil.

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CM Quote From Presentation

51:35 into the Presentation Chris said:

"I am not here predicting a mass die off..."

and then....

"I'm not here predicting catastrophe; and I am not going to tell you when...."

Just thought I would include these for sake of the discussion.   If CM is not predicting these things (publically) how does that gel with other views...of a die off?  He has all of the data.  He saw the need to give us all the crash course....does he avoid the die off discussion because it would alienate too many people?  Just wondering....so many seem to be concerned about it here.

Jason

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Dieoff

I think the dieoff is inevitable, but it's also taboo.  Nobody wants to confront the idea.  Anyone interested in dieoff should certainly see this http://dieoff.org/

I cut my teeth on Peak oil with this site.  I haven't visited it for quite some time, and just discovered that it has been substantially updated from the last time I visited, probably pre discovering THIS site!  Jay Hanson has a facebook link at dieoff.org, so I clicked on it, and to my amazement, saw that at the top of the list of his "friends" is no one other than......  CHRIS HIMSELF!

There are things Chris may prefer not to discuss.  Climate Change, and Dieoff are two, because they can be divisive, even taboo.....

I think the future is pretty well set in stone now.  It's too late to change anything except one's personal and private affairs.  Discussing Dieoff is interesting, but in the end it's only a personal preference whether (as I have) you wish to confront the truth.  I see little to gain by avoiding inconvenient truths, but that's me......  I'm a dyed in the wool doomer these days!

Bed time here in Australia.......  it will be interesting to reopen this page when I wake up tomorrow!!

Mike

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I don't see nuclear..

...now biological or chemical I do. This would preserve the lands and resourses. Then again, any of these would be insane so...? Folks, we have all pondered these things, it really is a useless exercise. It may be our reality but the here and now is too., even more so, and way more gratifying. So make good every day. Happy Holidays.

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I think it's as simple as this

Jbarney,

I think it's as simple as this: mass die-offs and loss of life on an enormous scale is merely one of many possibilities, not a certainty.  So why make a prediction of something that is just one of many likely possibilities?  I don't know if you've noticed, but Chris seldom makes 'predictions' and rather tends to frames things in terms of varying probabilities.  That's one of the things that draws me to his writings.

Now here I'm only speaking for myself, but even though I consider the probability of this outcome to be significant and worth noting, I seldom discuss it at length or devote a majority of my thoughts towards it.  For one, it's not something many people can seriously think or talk about at length cooly and logically, and as you mention this has the potential to either alienate people, or have them act purely out of fear (tends to be counterproductive), or have them shut down from the conversation as a defense mechanism (and then sometimes you get people who will latch onto it in an excessively eager manner, but that's another story).  The second reason is that for the majority of us there's no direct actions we can take that can affect the outcome since most of us are not in a position to directly make or influence policy, so dwelling on it can lead to a feeling of helplessness.  The third reason is that just about all the actions and preparations we take to prepare for a world of less are the same ones that prepare us for this specific outcome should it come to pass, so preparation-wise there's not a whole lot to gain by devoting a lot of time on it.  And the last reason is more of a mental thing; if you focus a lot on a specific outcome or event you'll often find your thinking dominated by that mindset in other aspects of your life which inhibits you from thinking outside that box (I think it was Chris that said something like this, though I don't remember where).  And at the risk of getting a little metaphysical, I do believe that our minds and thoughts have varying degrees of influence in the material world, and a thought pattern or idea that becomes widespread has a greater chance of influencing reality in unseen (to us) ways.  So from my perspective sure it's worth some time pondering and thinking about just as with any other possibility.  But if one is going to spread a message that may grow and influence reality, it's better that the message focuses more on opportunities and what can be done to realize achievable better outcomes and that just may give reality a little 'nudge' in a better direction.... 

- Nickbert

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Human Nature?

If past wars were fought over economic resources, why would the future be different?  One could imagine that a world war (more noticeable if one is already going on) will occur that moves more economic wealth around the globe than ever before by a large margin.   If this occurs, it leaves Europe very vulnerable since it has relied on the US to provide security.   Since Russia has very old arms it would look like a China (more man power and less machine) versus US (more machines and less man power).  Then it will be a last man standing based on who controls the energy (and maybe steels the gold).  When things collapse on an economic scale, isn't war the usual reactionary result?

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thc0655

As a person who never, ever wanted to know anything about the world of investment and has been dragged backwards into it as a defensive move in an unhinging system, your comment (quoted below) really clicked with me.  It's a way to see what's happening on our big beautiful world in real terms.  It also connects well with Chris' explanation of primary, secondary and tertiary wealth.  (Sorry - can't find a reference in the website so I must have heard him say this in an interview.)  Sometimes a single sentence can clear a lot of fog in this transitioning mind. Thanks! 

"I agree with JAG that the real world is contracting/deflating. I agree with Chris that governments and central banks will do what they always do because it's all they know -- they'll print and print, and there will be a temporary (months or couple of years) inflation/hyperinflation. (This is only the monetary world. The real world of resources will still be contracting/deflating.)"

So there are 2 balls to keep an eye on:

1) What's happening in "the real world of resources" and how can I become a beneficial and benefiting player there? 

2) Meanwhile, how do I convert my "tertiary" assets into real wealth asap?

As for the die-off discussion....  I take it as evidence of Chris' skill as a communicator of extremely difficult concepts that he neither gallops in on nor minimizes such potentially paralyzing parts of our predicament.  We all know good people who are immobilized because their brains can't stand to turn on around concepts like die-off so it doesn't seem like a good starting place for most!  And I take it as a measure of our courage and committment that we try to shake the paralysis enough to talk to each other about what we may be facing.  My worldview and self-concept get kicked and pushed into new shapes daily in coming to terms with this thanks to you all!   I think it's my job to let that happen, facing loss and fear directly as best I can.  An emerging understanding:  whatever it may be next, being human on this planet so far has been riches beyond all asking at least in this part of the world.  To know water, mountains, breathing, to have a star shining in our sky every day, to have the use of a fine body for decades, to be surrounded by living entities that can convert starlight into a biosphere that supports starfish, coffee and  elephants, and to know the brilliant minds of other humans - this is wealth and it has been mine.  I will look for the spiritual courage to become ever more appreciative and the practical skills to become a functioning part of Earth's primary wealth until I do die off.

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What If

Excellent presentation (Unfixable) as usual Chris.

I wondered while listening to your segment on exponential growth if society would react the same way under official declarations of energy emergency?

What if, wave energy and the cultivation of industrial hemp were viewed as the least energy intensive technologies to produce electricity and oil products.  Governments would decree that within a twelve month period there would need to be sufficient infrastructure to produce energy as a substitute for legacy and more expensive renewable technologies.  That decree would be based on, among other criteria the least amount of carbon produced per dollar spent, not invested by the government.  The distinction here is critical because gov would spend into the economy rather than incur debt through borrowing, since Government is the currency monopolist as you have pointed out, previously.

What if, the existing wave energy technology, The Gorlov Helical Turbine, which is scalable and well tested, were manufactured and deployed under emergency conditions? 

What if, half of the 90 million arable acres in the USDA setaside were planted to industrial hemp with its four harvest per year in southern climates?

These are dependent upon political decision makers who are cognizant of your thesis and who realize that we're running out of time for structural shifts in energy production and distribution/use.

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What if we could coordinate

What if we could coordinate car pooling, turning off devices and unplugging, reducing heat/cooling level, reduce waste, etc.   Would it matter with China modernizing?

How did America build the Express Way system, Cable system, etc?   It seems we cannot build anything of scale anymore because the finance industry has taken most of the money (Chris has pointed this out so eloquently). 

As Chris has pointed out over and over, the future energy will cost much more to extract in terms of cost in money (opportunity cost?), environment, and stress.  The more land we devote to energy production, the less we have for food production.

From a past podcast, it used to take 1 barrel of oil to extract 100, then it went to 1/10 then the government stopped reporting this stat.

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missing the point......

KugsCheese wrote:
As Chris has pointed out over and over, the future energy will cost much more to extract in terms of cost in money (opportunity cost?), environment, and stress. 

More to the point......  Future Energy will cost much more to extract in terms of ENERGY.

To misquote Clinton, "it's the energy stupid"....... not calling you stupid of course, but there is a propensity on this site for people to concentrate on money instead of the REALLY important things.  Like food, energy, and water.  Everything else is a luxury...... and a distraction really.

Mike

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Damnthematrix

Damnthematrix wrote:

KugsCheese wrote:
As Chris has pointed out over and over, the future energy will cost much more to extract in terms of cost in money (opportunity cost?), environment, and stress. 

More to the point......  Future Energy will cost much more to extract in terms of ENERGY.

To misquote Clinton, "it's the energy stupid"....... not calling you stupid of course, but there is a propensity on this site for people to concentrate on money instead of the REALLY important things.  Like food, energy, and water.  Everything else is a luxury...... and a distraction really.

Mike

Right, which is why I included the "Oil Barrel stat".  However, when setting up shop, the capital cost are paid for in dollars, not oil.

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Yep

pinecarr wrote:

Great presentation, Chris!

spinone wrote:

I have suspected as much in the past, but this video confirms for me the following:

Chris's IQ is off the charts. Truly in the 99.99% range. His thoughts are so well ordered that he speaks off the cuff as if he is reading from a book.

Chris has a photographic memory. His command of facts is incredible.

Chris is the opitome of a believable expert witness.  His tone of voice, demeanor and body language portray complete veracity.

In short he is the ideal person, with the ideal message, at the ideal time.  That such people step forward in times like this, in the spirit of altrusim and decency, gives me hope for our future.

+10 Really well said, spinone!

I'll second (third?) that!  Bravo!

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i like to think more of the

i like to think more of the live off than the die off.  eventually from some cause i will die....so i've made peace with that.

so a short discussion on dying. but i hope i can see this thread shifting to how do we live , now and in the future.

i was told bedtime stories as a child, of johnny appleseed ...going around planting apple trees.

i am also reminded of a comment from an aging farmer who asked me why was i planting little trees at my age, certainly i was not going to live long enough to see them mature.....to which i responded....i may not, but someone will see them and enjoy them after me.

we not only prepare for ourselves and families, we prepare for those who follow us.

i may not live to see the start up of the new way, but i will have left behind a 14 acre parcel that can sustain life without oil or electricity.

i'm learning as much as i can about how to live with what is here ..naturally

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Being Human On This Planet Has Been Riches Beyond All Asking

herewego wrote:

...being human on this planet so far has been riches beyond all asking at least in this part of the world.  To know water, mountains, breathing, to have a star shining in our sky every day, to have the use of a fine body for decades, to be surrounded by living entities that can convert starlight into a biosphere that supports starfish, coffee and  elephants, and to know the brilliant minds of other humans - this is wealth and it has been mine.  I will look for the spiritual courage to become ever more appreciative and the practical skills to become a functioning part of Earth's primary wealth until I do die off.

Eloquently said.

Reminds me of another: "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate..."

Poet

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Thanks

Good interview with CM and James Turk.  Don't feel as gloomy after watching this one.  Thanks for posting both of them.....

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 Excellent interview. I

Excellent interview.

I think Chris shines even more in question  / interview format than the prepared,  formal lecture mode..  the spontaneity and body language.

Two concepts.

In times of crisis we'll look for what is tried and tested.. (off-the-shelf, "shovel ready" solutions.)  The flight to certainty.

First mover advantage. Beating the rush.

eg: When power cuts become a huge problem, suddenly *everybody* wants candles and torches..

if you prepare ahead, not only do you avoid the panic and shortages, you reduce them by bringing forward demand in advance.

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Damnthematrix
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missing the point......

KugsCheese wrote:

Right, which is why I included the "Oil Barrel stat".  However, when setting up shop, the capital cost are paid for in dollars, not oil.

They're paid in both.....  and the enrgy audit is the IMPORTANT ONE.  I don't know how many times Chris has to say so......

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Simply outstanding...

Chris and Adam,

The goldmoney presentation is simply head and antlers above the CC in terms of quality and persuasiveness.

I certainly don't mean to dump on the CC in any way - you know I think it's a masterpiece. But hey, Chris was "new at this" when he started working on the CC. To be brutally honest, that showed in the first several chapters. But this is just plain rock star stuff.

If you possibly can, I encourage you to REPLACE the CC with a shorter (1hr max) version, similar to this one, with Chris' face on camera. Nothing wrong with the CC, but it's time for new material to spruce the place up, and Chris was just plain on fire in this vid.

Best,

Erik

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Chris, I have been reading

Chris,

I have been reading your interviews / free materials off and on (sporadically) since about 2008.  Sometimes I thought you had a handle on things and sometimes I thought you were a bit off base.

However, the two videos posted to this entry were fantastic.  Very well done. 

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Damnthematrix
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Simply outstanding...

Erik T. wrote:

The goldmoney presentation is simply head and antlers above the CC in terms of quality and persuasiveness.

If you possibly can, I encourage you to REPLACE the CC with a shorter (1hr max) version, similar to this one, with Chris' face on camera. Nothing wrong with the CC, but it's time for new material to spruce the place up, and Chris was just plain on fire in this vid.

I totally concur with Erik.....  those two videos were smashing!  AND I think they are far more valuable to anyone "just starting out", much more digestible than 3 1/2 hours of CC which, unless you are already convinced and knowledgeable about the looming crisis, can be a bit daunting.

Best

Mike

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I like to think more of the

Beautifully stated butterflywoman!  

One of the most laudable assets a humane being can possess is the ability as you state to "not only prepare for ourselves and families" but to "prepare for those who follow".   

It's the only way to survive and leave behind a legacy in this world of diminishing resources.

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Sovereign Fiat Currency and Federal Taxation

Chris, 

MMT proponents posit the following: Because the Gov. (Federal Reserve and Treasury) issues all of the currency, as much as it wants whether grants, loans or payments for goods and services, it is not constrained by revenue to spend. 

This is a logical construct for a monopolist issuer of our currency, what then are the fiscal policy purposes served by federal taxation other than to manage aggregate demand?

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