Daily Digest

Daily Digest 5/1 - Portraits Of Greece In Crisis, Visualizing The Ends Of Oil, Spain In Recession As Austerity Bites Deep

Tuesday, May 1, 2012, 9:44 AM
  • 25 Horrible Statistics About The U.S. Economy
  • Data Points To Weaker Economic Momentum
  • Spain In Recession As Austerity Bites Deep
  • Can Gold Be Used As A Currency?
  • Portraits Of Greece In Crisis
  • Visualizing The Ends Of Oil
  • The Art Of Recycling: Converting Plastic To Oil
  • U.S. 'Dirty Oil' Imports Set To Triple

Follow our steps to prepare for a world after peak oil, such as how to store & filter water


25 Horrible Statistics About The U.S. Economy (David B.)

Despite what the mainstream media would have us to believe, the truth is that the percentage of working age Americans that are employed is not increasing. Back in March 2010, 58.5 percent of all working age Americans were employed. In March 2011, 58.5 percent of all working age Americans were employed. In March 2012, 58.5 percent of all working age Americans were employed. So how can Barack Obama and the mainstream media claim that the employment situation in the United States is getting better? The employment rate is still essentially exactly where it was when the last recession supposedly ended.

Data Points To Weaker Economic Momentum (Ernest W.)

Consumer spending climbed 0.3 percent in March, just below the median forecast in a Reuters poll, but inflation ate up most of that gain. "The higher gas prices we saw last month are taking their toll," said Todd Schoenberger, managing principal at the Black Bay Group in New York.

After-tax income climbed 0.2 percent when accounting for higher prices, the Commerce Department said.

Spain In Recession As Austerity Bites Deep (Ernest W.)

Spain's demand for electricity, a good indicator of the strength of economic output, fell for the eighth month in a row in April, the national grid operator said.

Spanish bonds showed little reaction to the GDP report but yields have risen to around 6 percent in recent weeks. At around 7 percent, they are seen as financially unsustainable.

Can Gold Be Used As A Currency? (Ernest W.)

It worked! Kinda. I took Matthew Bishop’s challenge, and tried to spend a gram of gold like I would any other currency. And, frankly, didn’t have a lot of luck — until I managed to find a small business where the owner just happened to be standing around.

Portraits Of Greece In Crisis (jdargis)

After years of building up more than $400 billion in debt, Greece was devastated by the recent global economic crisis. Fearing the fallout from a Greek bankruptcy, fellow Eurozone members provided aid packages -- under strict conditions, including the adoption of severe austerity measures. Greece is entering a fifth straight year of recession, its economy poised to shrink another 5 percent in 2012. Average unemployment is at a record 21.8 percent -- with youth unemployment (under 25) at 51 percent. Years of increasingly difficult conditions have hit the citizens of Greece hard, and the uncertainty and frustration have led some to flee, a few to take their own lives. Collected here are images from a nation in the midst of a deepening crisis.

Visualizing The Ends Of Oil (jdargis)

In 1997 Burtynsky had what he describes as an "oil epiphany."As he said at a TED talk: "After 17 years of photographing large industrial landscapes, it occurred to me that oil is underpinning the scale and speed ... at which we’re taking our resources.” One result was his monumental Oil series, exhibited in 2009 at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., with a lavish companion volume published by Steidl. The series is intended to “map an arc” in the industrial cycle of oil, from extraction to consumption to disposal.

The Art Of Recycling: Converting Plastic To Oil (James S.)

Scientifically referred to as “Thermal Depolymerization” the depolymerization process reduces complex organic materials—usually biomass plastic—into light crude oil. Scientists originally based this process of the geological processes they believed produced fossil fuels. Utilizing pressure and heat, the process breaks down the long chain polymers of hydrogen, oxygen and carbon, decomposing them into short-chain petroleum hydrocarbons.

U.S. 'Dirty Oil' Imports Set To Triple (Ernest W.)

U.S. imports of what environmentalists are calling "dirty oil" are set to triple over the next decade, raising concerns over the environmental impact of extracting it and whether pipelines can safely transport this Canadian oil.

The United States currently imports over half a million barrels a day of bitumen from Canada's oil sands region, according to the Sierra Club. By 2020, that number is set to grow to over 1.5 million barrels -- or nearly 10% of the country's current consumption.

High Voltage Politics, Life and Times of the Electric Car (James S.)

According to Forbes, the Chevy Volt sold 2,289 units in March 2012 alone. While that’s good news for the Volt, it is tempered by forecasts from auto-industry executives who believe that the electric car will not gain more than 10 percent of the market even by 2025 or beyond.

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."


saxplayer00o1's picture
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Posts: 4240
saxplayer00o1's picture
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 4240
National debt in April nearly unchanged....until today



Treasury Direct link

Date Debt Held by the Public Intragovernmental Holdings Total Public Debt Outstanding
04/06/2012 10,884,645,947,631.29 4,733,994,331,951.64 15,618,640,279,582.93
04/09/2012 10,884,773,109,942.45 4,736,672,624,190.38 15,621,445,734,132.83
04/10/2012 10,885,339,078,286.01 4,741,493,518,408.95 15,626,832,596,694.96
04/11/2012 10,886,106,101,181.97 4,731,981,942,323.66 15,618,088,043,505.63
04/12/2012 10,880,527,647,709.21 4,734,467,120,134.11 15,614,994,767,843.32
04/13/2012 10,880,890,738,953.68 4,734,835,298,368.98 15,615,726,037,322.66
04/16/2012 10,903,326,597,003.36 4,751,311,928,394.28 15,654,638,525,397.64
04/17/2012 10,903,987,805,036.21 4,757,586,427,562.61 15,661,574,232,598.82
04/18/2012 10,905,376,996,162.03 4,755,359,667,725.93 15,660,736,663,887.96
04/19/2012 10,857,988,065,192.96 4,757,602,909,829.41 15,615,590,975,022.37
04/20/2012 10,858,146,916,544.62 4,759,211,613,825.31 15,617,358,530,369.93
04/23/2012 10,858,204,873,838.22 4,761,969,175,722.01 15,620,174,049,560.23
04/24/2012 10,859,176,801,419.86 4,769,089,697,288.18 15,628,266,498,708.04
04/25/2012 10,860,722,926,433.74 4,762,562,602,020.67 15,623,285,528,454.41
04/26/2012 10,859,267,672,675.69 4,765,079,937,801.18 15,624,347,610,476.87
04/27/2012 10,859,635,596,261.41 4,764,061,611,155.98 15,623,697,207,417.39
04/30/2012 10,916,070,898,102.68 4,776,297,169,202.55 15,692,368,067,305.23
h2oBoy's picture
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Posts: 52
Referencing search for resilient communities from a few days ago

 A very good site for resilient community information, emails daily. At  http://www.resilientcommunities.com/

This is an exerpt from today's email

Today's Spotlight: Atami Village, New Zealand 
By John Robb

Today's resilient community in the spotlight is Atamai Village.

It's a new, semi-rural developed community located in the northern part of New Zealand's South Island.   Here's a well done video they made.

The Village Approach

Here's an example of how they describe themselves (the best part is the bullet list at the bottom).  It's an interesting way to think about resilient communities that departs from intentional/communal, communal, or strictly commercial approaches.


A village is a settlement where people move from the privacy and separateness of their individual homes and families to their daily exchanges with others - all within the village and its environs. These are exchanges for basic needs such as food and other goods, social exchanges of support and mutual interest, cultural exchanges for fun and enjoyment, exchanges where projects are planned and carried out with others, a place where goods and services are exchanged to the benefit of both parties.

Village life is filled with opportunities for exchanges with a deeper texture, where the depth and breadth of relationships is enriching at many levels; where the joys and tribulations of a full life are felt and shared. Village life involves a sense of place and connectedness - to the land and the people - where relationships to both are rich and mutually sustaining.

A village operates on a human scale:

  • where people know the land and each other
  • where that knowledge translates into caring and support for both
  • where people pay attention to the local because they depend on it for their well-being
  • where there is a connection to the broader world, but where that connection is based on fair exchange rather than dependency.


Local Business Incubation

Another goal of Atamai is to foster the development of local work as a supplement to the global telecommuters that are moving there.  The community's goal is to enable 60% of the residents to obtain their livelihoods in the community or the immediate environs.

To accomplish this, they built a business incubator to grow local businesses, many of which will get their start supplying the community with products and services.  Here's a list of the services the community is offering via their incubator:

  • Agricultural land
  • Infrastructure
  • Some machinery available
  • Internet access
  • Accounting help
  • Website design
  • Shared marketing efforts
  • Shared sales channels
  • A ready market within the village
Damnthematrix's picture
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
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Posts: 3998
What If A Collapse Happened And Nobody Noticed?

What If A Collapse Happened And Nobody Noticed?

Every once and awhile I'll be listening to a podcast with one or the other writers specializing on the subject of Peak Oil or collapse and the subject of timetables will come up. When will the collapse finally be here, the callers ask insistently, almost pleadingly, so that they can finally justify their investments in freeze-dried foods, water purification tablets and solid gold coins. Inevitably the guest will demur, and speak more in general terms. But I'm going to be the first pundit to go out on the limb and assign a timeline for the collapse. Spread it far and wide, and let's see just how good my predictive powers are. Are you ready? Here it is:

Right now.

Mr. Fri's picture
Mr. Fri
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 21 2009
Posts: 220
Noybody Noticed?

Yes, there are signs of collapse all around us. BUT, I can't imagine something like a banking failure in either the Euro or Dollar with nobody noticing. I think that type of collapse is what most people think of when they're looking for timing. (I know it's an obvious statement but someone had to say it.)

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