Daily Digest

Daily Digest 10/11 - Less Stuff, More Happiness; Slovakia Refuses To Bail Out Greece, Households Face Fuel Poverty By 2015

Tuesday, October 11, 2011, 10:48 AM
  • Less Stuff, More Happiness
  • Slovakia On Why It Votes "No" To EFSF Expansion: "The Greatest Threat To The Euro Is The Bailout Fund Itself"
  • Peak Silver Revisited: Impacts of a Global Depression, Declining Ore Grades & a Falling EROI
  • Average household faces fuel poverty by 2015
  • Appalachia Coal Decline: Industry Faces Steep Challenges
  • Canadian Oil Sands - A Good Investment? Not in Europe, Apparently
  • Peak Oil and the Financial Crisis: Where do Oil Prices Fit In?
  • How Many People Can Earth Hold? Well...

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Economy

Less Stuff, More Happiness (June C.)

Writer and designer Graham Hill asks: Can having less stuff, in less room, lead to more happiness? He makes the case for taking up less space, and lays out three rules for editing your life.

Slovakia On Why It Votes "No" To EFSF Expansion: "The Greatest Threat To The Euro Is The Bailout Fund Itself" (TomA)

"A few years back, we survived an economic crisis. With great effort and tough reforms, we put it behind us. Today, Slovakia has the lowest average salaries in the euro zone. How am I supposed to explain to people that they are going to have to pay a higher value-added tax (VAT) so that Greeks can get pensions three times as high as the ones in Slovakia?"

Peak Silver Revisited: Impacts of a Global Depression, Declining Ore Grades & a Falling EROI (June C.)

The world is about to peak in global silver production. This will not occur due to a lack of silver to mine, but rather as a result of the peaking of world energy resources, declining ore grades, and a falling Energy Returned On Invested – EROI. The information below will describe a future world that very few have forecasted and even less are prepared. This is an update to my previous article Peak Silver and Mining by a Falling EROI. In my first article I stated that global silver production may peak in 2009 if we were to enter a worldwide depression. We did not have the global depression as massive central bank printing and bailouts have thus far postponed the inevitable.

Energy

Average household faces fuel poverty by 2015 (anton95)

Next month, the average annual bill for a dual fuel customer will reach £1,293, or 6 per cent of median household income, compared with 3.3 per cent in 2004. Any household that spends 10 per cent of median income on electricity and gas lives in “fuel poverty”, according to the government’s definition.

Appalachia Coal Decline: Industry Faces Steep Challenges (Jon R.)

Coal here is getting harder and costlier to dig – and the region, which includes southern West Virginia, Virginia and Tennessee, is headed for a huge collapse in coal production.

The U.S. Department of Energy projects that in a little more than three years, the amount of coal mined here will be just half of what it was in 2008. That's a significant loss of a signature Appalachian industry, and the jobs that come with it.

Canadian Oil Sands - A Good Investment? Not in Europe, Apparently (James S.)

Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers vice-president of oil sands and markets Greg Stringham said, “The concern for us is one of principle and precedent. The importance of it in the EU for us is that it could set a precedent on which others then build their policies,” adding that the EU is playing favorites, as it imports oil from Nigeria and Russia, whose energy products have similar greenhouse gas emissions as oil sands.

Peak Oil and the Financial Crisis: Where do Oil Prices Fit In? (James S.)

Even though NY oil prices have fallen by some $38 a barrel since peaking in April, gasoline and diesel in the US are still retailing for 70-80 cents a gallon more than last year. There is growing recognition among researchers that oil prices above $90 a barrel clearly cause significant economic damage in the US and other OECD countries. Additional dollars going into fuel tanks are not spent on other goods and services; hence discretionary consumer spending will contract and will continue to do so until oil prices fall significantly below $90 a barrel. In the winter of 2009, oil prices fell to circa $60 a barrel following the summer's oil price spike to $147 a barrel. This spectacular drop in oil prices did as much or more to quickly bring the country out of recession than the government's stimulus.

Environment

How Many People Can Earth Hold? Well... (Jeff B.)

“In the last half century, people have estimated human-carrying capacities for the Earth that have ranged from less than one billion to more than a trillion. They can’t all be right. In fact, those numbers are political numbers, not scientific numbers. Because the question how many people can the earth support is an incomplete question, and doesn’t take account of with what technologies, at what average level of well-being, with what distribution of income, with what political and economic institutions.”

Article suggestions for the Daily Digest can be sent to [email protected]. 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."

13 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
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EndGamePlayer's picture
EndGamePlayer
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Posts: 546
RE: Peak Oil & Finacial Crisis . .

Well and article from 2004 detailed we were spending 46 Billion a year

With stubbornly high prices, the U.S. economy is feeling the drag of dependence. In the first nine months of 2004, the U.S. exported $72.5 billion for oil.11 Every day the U.S. pays out $390 million for foreign oil, with half of every dollar going to OPEC and a quarter to the Persian Gulf (see figure 4). While some of those dollars could make their way back into the U.S. economy, recent trends suggest that those paid out to OPEC will not be reinvested here.12 And OPEC countries are profiting handsomely from surging oil prices; in fact, they are expected to pocket $300 billion by the end of the year

And, a 2008 article by USA today says in 2008 we spent 245 BILLION....

WASHINGTON — It's an attention-grabbing claim: Americans each year are sending $700 billion to unfriendly countries for oil, as much as the entire cost of the Wall Street bailout plan. In rare agreement, both presidential candidates use the number. But is it real?

"We have to stop sending $700 billion a year to countries that don't like us very much," Republican John McCain said again Wednesday night during the candidates' final debate.

Democrat Barack Obama joined the refrain recently, declaring at a Wisconsin rally that a push for alternative energy "will stop us from sending $700 billion a year to tyrants and dictators for their oil."

The claim, however, wildly exaggerates the amount of money going to unfriendly nations. It also significantly inflates spending in general on petroleum imports, especially considering recent dramatic declines in oil prices.

I guess if we hadn't spent all that money - we'd have for production of goods.

EGP

heffe's picture
heffe
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"When Normality becomes Distortion" by Peter Joseph

Since I know how much everyone here loves hearing what Peter Joseph has to say, I thought it would be nice to share his most recent lecture, "When Normality becomes distortion"

Its a tremendous talk, and if you are willing to pay attention it may bring some new insights into your life.

 

Take care.

Nate's picture
Nate
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peak silver revisited

I read Peak Silver Revisited  last night.  The food EROI's in this article was the most important take-away for me.

FOOD EROI’s

Hunter Gatherer =

10/1

Pre-Industrial farmer =

10/1

Modern high-tech farmer =

1/10

SailAway's picture
SailAway
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Posts: 404
Re: peak silver revisited

Yes Nate, the food EROI is very interesting.

This picture also is impressive, net energy is completely falling off the cliff in just 10 years or so!

Peak Net Energy

heffe's picture
heffe
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Food EROI fails to address multiple circumstances
SailAway wrote:

 Yes Nate, the food EROI is very interesting.

 

This picture also is impressive, net energy is completely falling off the cliff in just 10 years or so!

 Peak Net Energy

 

Does everyone here have an emotional attachment to the idea of collapse?  Im sure Dr. Martenson does, as he has a lot invested into the idea of collapse, and anything contradicting his/your position is never even considered.  Whats it been three or four occasions where Chris basically states "THE END HAS COME! MAKE YOUR FINAL PREPARATIONS!"

This EROI chart is framed within current circumstances, where the majority of the world uses oil (We wouldn't be if it weren't for collaborative relationships between oil conglomerates and gov't).  Every community can produce 3 times more energy than it needs through locally based renewable energy sources. Combine this excess energy with indoor, aquaponic farming systems, and we can grow an abundance of food, year round, with a continual excess of energy.

There is no energy crisis, what we have is a backwards approach to resource management, coupled with a majority of people whom retain a limited framework in which to view the world. I know Chris, along with many of you here will never regard this, as you have all invested your lives into the idea of collapse. I only hope for the world, your peers and friends, that we call strive for something better.

dingalls's picture
dingalls
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Posts: 28
heffe wrote:This EROI
heffe wrote:

This EROI chart is framed within current circumstances, where the majority of the world uses oil (We wouldn't be if it weren't for collaborative relationships between oil conglomerates and gov't).  Every community can produce 3 times more energy than it needs through locally based renewable energy sources. Combine this excess energy with indoor, aquaponic farming systems, and we can grow an abundance of food, year round, with a continual excess of energy.

There is no energy crisis, what we have is a backwards approach to resource management, coupled with a majority of people whom retain a limited framework in which to view the world. I know Chris, along with many of you here will never regard this, as you have all invested your lives into the idea of collapse. I only hope for the world, your peers and friends, that we call strive for something better.

I have no attachment to the idea of collapse, in fact would prefer if most things generally kept as they are now for my entire life (shameful but true).  Or if there is going to be a change that it is peaceful and painless.  However, since researching the whole idea and looking at the numbers (examples as illustrated in Nate's posted graph) I can see clearly that things are not going to be as they are now.  Something has to give somewhere, and soon.  It seems that there are slightly differing versions of what exactly will happen and how, but to attach such a dismissive attitude about the "transition" in general looks a bit uninformed to me.

To this, "Every community can produce 3 times more energy than it needs through locally based renewable energy sources. Combine this excess energy with indoor, aquaponic farming systems, and we can grow an abundance of food, year round, with a continual excess of energy."  I think the most operative word there is CAN.  Even if it were true, the problem is that they would not on any kind of relevant scale unless and until they are forced to by circumstance (what is the most common reason given for not eating locally produced food? ).  And by that time there will be a lot of hungry folks around.  What I came away from Chris Martenson's discussion of this in the Crash Course is that there is going to be a painful period where the old way will no longer work, but there will not have been anything built in to replace it yet.    I like to live by the sentiment in an old expression, "have faith in {God} but always tie your camel". 

In other words, "hope for the best, but prepare for the worst"

derekrawson's picture
derekrawson
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Posts: 22
Hope for the best?

 

Quote:

In other words, "hope for the best, but prepare for the worst"

How about some preparing for the best and hoping we don't get the worst???

I think Heffe's question about an emotional attachment to collapse is appropriate - I feel it in myself - and sense it the posts here. I keep wanting to abandon my visits to CM.com but it continually draws me back.

The OWS movement gives me new hope though and I feel my emotional tide turning. I'll be at Occupy Melbourne at the weekend. Maybe see you there.

Poet's picture
Poet
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Posts: 1891
Elizabeth Warren - The Woman Who Knew Too Much

If you have read Dr. Martenson's article, America Is Being Looted, then consider the following to be a story from the trenches...

The Woman Who Knew Too Much

"Millions of Americans hoped President Obama would nominate Elizabeth Warren to head the consumer financial watchdog agency she had created. Instead, she was pushed aside. As Warren kicks off her run for Scott Brown’s Senate seat in Massachusetts, Suzanna Andrews charts the Harvard professor’s emergence as a champion of the beleaguered middle class, and her fight against a powerful alliance of bankers, lobbyists, and politicians."
http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2011/11/elizabeth-warren-201111

Poet

Bonus:

Woodman's picture
Woodman
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Posts: 1028
It's not about collapse

 What do these ridicuousy vague terms "Collapse" or "The End" mean?  I don't get that at all from Chris. I've heard him talk about how we have everything we need right now to deal with these impending economic, energy, and environmental issues.  But are we taking the right actions at a fast enough rate?  It's the transition that will be the rough part, but choosing to accept and embrace change could lead to a simpler but higher quality life in the future.  That's what I'm invested in figuring out.

mobius's picture
mobius
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
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Posts: 160
to heffe

I 2nd what Woodman says. 

The attachment that we are witnessing is TPTB to keep a complex, failing financial system going.  Too much money & energy is being poured into maintaining the status quo when the warning lights are indicating otherwise. 

I am not attached to the idea of "collapse".  My parents & other loved ones will suffer tremendous loss should it come to pass.  In fact,  since the 00s they have not been gaining in a financial sense, but I fear that in their geriatric age, the services that they will come to rely upon will not exist in the form that they once knew.

Arthur Robey's picture
Arthur Robey
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
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Posts: 3936
What iceberg?

The world's gross domestic product (GDP) is only about $65 trillion, or roughly 10.83% of the worldwide value of the global derivatives market, according to The Economist. So there is literally not enough money on the planet to backstop the banks trading these things if they run into trouble.

 

From here

But I can hold two opposing ideas at the same time.

Reality is not either/or. There will be some people who get caught up in the back eddies of the torrent and will benefit. The trick is to be aware of the general direction of the flow and how the waters swirl. This little fishy wants to find quite back eddies.

Prof. James Lovelock says we haven't a snowballs chance.

Speak for yourself Prof.

 

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
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Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 4145

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