infrastructure

Podcast

California Department of Water Resources

Scott Cahill: Collapse Risk At The Oroville Dam Is Still Unacceptably High

Bungled repairs and new concerns at the tallest US dam
Sunday, August 20, 2017, 5:20 PM

Remember the crisis earlier this year at the Oroville Dam? 

The overflow from California's winter of heavy rain threatened to overpower our country's tallest dam. A cascading failure of the dam's main gates, its primarily spillway AND its emergency spillway had the world watching hour by hour to see if a catastrophic breach was going to occur.

Fortunately, the rains stopped long enough for the situation to be brought under control. The dam remains in place and repair crews have been working all spring and summer.

But should we breathe easy at this point? Not at all, says dam safety expert Scott Cahill.  » Read more

Featured Discussion

Why Has Ancient Rome's Concrete Lasted So Long?

Why Has Ancient Rome's Concrete Lasted So Long?

Modern concrete is so much shorter-lived. We'll need to replace most of our crumbling infrastructure over the next few decades. 

Insider

ASCE

Off The Cuff: Our D-Minus Infrastructure

We can hardly afford to maintain it, let alone rebuild it
Tuesday, February 21, 2017, 6:21 PM

In this week's Off The Cuff podcast, Chris and Charles Hugh Smith discuss:

  • The War Within The Deep State
    • Which regime will triumph?
  • Our Crumbling National Infrastructure
    • Can the American empire still afford itself?
  • How The Oroville Dam Is An Omen
    • Systemic collapse always surprised with its swiftness
  • The Wrong Mindset
    • Our leaders aren't incented to care about preserving what we have
Blog

Oroville Dam Threatens To Collapse

Short-term thinking has put lives at risk
Monday, February 13, 2017, 8:51 AM

This is a running commentary on the rapidly developing Oroville dam situation. Because the story developed so rapidly, there wasn’t time to write a complete report.

I’ll have a tidy summary at some point, but first we have to scour and assemble the information. » Read more

Blog

If We're Going To Borrow Against The Future, Let's Borrow To Invest

The are much better ways to spend the next $1 Trillion
Thursday, April 2, 2015, 12:21 PM

We are at an important juncture as a global society: either we immediately prioritize a new trajectory focused on creating a positive, functional future or -- by continuing the consumptive, extractive, exploitative status quo -- we will default into a nasty nightmare. » Read more

Blog

Peak Prosperity

A National Failure to Save & Invest - Crash Course Chapter 16

Compounding the challenge of Too Much Debt
Friday, October 3, 2014, 7:08 PM

As detailed in earlier chapters, the US' debts and unfunded liabilities far exceed its assets. But making matters worse, the country is suffering from a prolonged failure to save and invest -- both at the personal and national level.

Being over-indebted and under-capitalized is a recipe for hardship as we move into the future, especially if economic growth is going to be harder to come by (which we forecast in the upcoming chapters on net energy). Each year we continue this deficit makes us less able to withstand systemic shocks (a 2008-style financial crisis, an energy shock, the outbreak of war), some number of which lie undoubtedly ahead at some point. » Read more

video

This chapter of the new Crash Course series has not yet been made available to the public.

Each week over the rest of 2014, in sequential order, a new chapter will be made publicly available (we've currently published up to Chapter 15)

If you don't want to wait, you can:

 

 

 

 

Podcast

Michael Pettis: The Future of China

The challenges it faces are truly massive
Saturday, August 17, 2013, 4:59 PM

Is China destined to emerge as the dominant superpower that will drive the 21st century to new heights of prosperity? Or instead, might it collapse spectacularly under the weight of its own overinvestment, dragging the global economy down with it in history's largest 'hard landing'?

Few people can see the big picture in China more clearly than Michael Pettis, Beijing-based economic theorist and Professor of Finance at Peking University. Michael sees China's future prosperity tied to its ability to successfully address: » Read more

Blog

The Real Reason the Economy Is Broken (and Will Stay That Way)

More and more economic sinkholes
Tuesday, February 12, 2013, 9:54 PM

We are far enough and deep enough into the most heroic monetary and fiscal efforts ever undertaken to finally ask, why aren't these measures working?

Or at least we should be.  Oddly, many in DC, on Wall Street, and the Federal Reserve continue to steadfastly refuse to include anything in their approaches and frameworks other than "more of the same."

So we are treated to an endless parade of news items that seek to convince us that a bottom is in and that we've 'turned the corner' often on the flimsy basis that in the past things have always gotten better by now. » Read more

Insider

Four More Years

Predicting a global recession in 2013
Thursday, November 8, 2012, 11:51 AM

Obama has been re-elected. Given the hyperbole and highly emotional rhetoric of the election, it is hard to imagine that the U.S. is anything but slightly more divided than before, with the gaps and divisions widening more and more as time goes on.

The real tragedy in this story is that virtually none of the really big and important issues were even touched in this election cycle. One party pointed to how much they managed to increase military spending while the other promised to exceed even that. One side said they'd promote even faster drilling and extraction of our dwindling energy reserves and the other promised they could do it even faster. Both said they wanted more growth and more jobs and more, more, more. » Read more