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Daily Digest 8/17 - Ignorance In The Information Age, Who Is Leading the Charge in Energy Storage?

Monday, August 17, 2015, 9:05 AM

Economy

What We Don’t Know Will Hurt Us: Ignorance In The Information Age (jdargis)

When discussing what makes a difference in the health of Canadians, we tend to think first of the health care system. Doctors and hospitals, physiotherapists and pharmacies; these things are important. But they are far less important than other elements of people’s lives. Income, education, employment, housing, nutrition, and the wider environment have a far greater impact on whether we’ll be ill or well, whether our lives will be long or short. These upstream determinants of health are outside the purview of the health care system, but they are very much in the realm of politics and public policy.

Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace (jdargis)

Thanks in part to its ability to extract the most from employees, Amazon is stronger than ever. Its swelling campus is transforming a swath of this city, a 10-million-square-foot bet that tens of thousands of new workers will be able to sell everything to everyone everywhere. Last month, it eclipsed Walmart as the most valuable retailer in the country, with a market valuation of $250 billion, and Forbes deemed Mr. Bezos the fifth-wealthiest person on earth.

A Trail of Evidence Leading to AT&T’s Partnership with the NSA (jdargis)

Several submarine cables near Japan were damaged after the earthquake. However, only one of them was restored on August 5, 2011, according to Satoru Taira, vice president in the Crisis Management Planning Office at NTT Communications, the Japanese telecom that operates the Japan landing station for the cable. That restored cable is the northern leg of the Japan-US cable that is operated by AT&T in the United States, according to Federal Communications Commission filings.

Is the Economy Ready for Higher Interest Rates? (Tiffany B.)

Low interest rates act as a boost to the economy; they spur lending and encourage spending capital. Higher interest rates do the opposite; they suppress lending, and encourage saving — both of which slow an economy.

In other words, if rates were to lift off in a fragile economy, one like we have, it could cause a greater collapse than the financial crisis because the few people who are spending now would stop and sock their wealth away in savings to enjoy the higher rates.

Europe shouldn’t worry about migrants. It should worry about creeping fascism (jdargis)

The ultimate victory of fringe groups is not to enter the administration, but to change its direction, and Ukip has done this with aplomb, playing into a broader, well-orchestrated European meltdown over migration. Every paper has led with headlines about the supposed “immigrant crisis”. The prime minister describes migrants to Europe as a “swarm”, and the foreign secretary goes further, warning the people of Britain that the thousands of desperate people drowning in the Mediterranean are “marauding” foreigners who must be prevented from coming here because they will threaten our “standard of living” and our “way of life”.

In heroin fight, White House will push treatment (jdargis)

Two senior officials described the initiative to The Washington Post on the condition of anonymity because the program was not scheduled to be announced until Monday. The new program is a response to a steep increase in heroin use and deaths in much of the nation, especially in New England and some of the other Northeastern states covered in the new program. The death rate from overdoses has quadrupled in the past decade, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Who Is Leading the Charge in Energy Storage? (pinecarr)

Danielle Fong, the founder of Lightsail, is extremely upbeat about Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES), a concept which has been around since 1870s but has failed to generate traction earlier due to limitations associated with the extraction of stored energy from underground caverns. According to Fong, Lightsail Energy’s technique of using ‘above the ground’ storage tanks is not only efficient but also commercially viable. This technique has been tested successfully in the laboratory and is now about to be tested in the field in North America. Moreover, with $58 million dollar funding from global players such as Total, Khosla Ventures, Peter Thiel, Founder Funds and Bill Gates, Lightsail’ s investor portfolio is indeed impressive.

Low Oil Prices Pose Threat to Texas Fracking Bonanza (jdargis)

“Everybody is waiting for doomsday,” said Vi Malone, the Karnes County treasurer. “Everything was good, and everybody was getting these big checks, and everybody waited for their land to be leased, and then it all came to a screeching halt around the beginning of the year.”

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 8/14/15

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

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33 Comments

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Book with a silver lining, literally

Bug-killing book pages clean murky drinking water

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-33954763

A book with pages that can be torn out to filter drinking water has proved effective in its first field trials.

The "drinkable book" combines treated paper with printed information on how and why water should be filtered.

Its pages contain nanoparticles of silver or copper, which kill bacteria in the water as it passes through.

In trials at 25 contaminated water sources in South Africa, Ghana and Bangladesh, the paper successfully removed more than 99% of bacteria.

The resulting levels of contamination are similar to US tap water, the researchers say.

 
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On Fascism.

Not understanding the meaning of the term "Fascism" I turned to Wiki. 

Not withstanding it's use a a general pejorative by teenagers against their parents I see it as on the opposite end of the political spectrum to Social Darwinism.

With the collapse of Communism and the morphing of Capitalism into Corporatism I see Fascism's inevitable rise. The other contender in the race could never get their act together, Anarchism.

None of these labels are Ideals, they are states of existence. Forced to choose between Capitalists,  Communists, Anarchists or Fascists I would choose Nudists as they have nothing to hide. 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism

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Population will continue to rise through 2100

Bad news for those of us hoping that the world population might level off at "only" 8 or maybe 9 billion...

...this is 'old' news since it came out last September (2014), but I've only just come across it and digested it:

Experts be damned: World population will continue to rise

Sept 18, 2014

When it comes to the party that is planet Earth, we might need to plan for a few extra guests, according to scientists. A new statistical projection concludes that the world population is unlikely to level off during the 21st century, leaving the planet to deal with as many as 13 billion human inhabitants—4 billion of those in Africa—by 2100. The analysis, formulated by U.N. and University of Washington (UW), Seattle, researchers, is the first of its kind to use modern statistical methods rather than expert opinions to estimate future birth rates, one of the determining factors in population forecasts.

“The U.N. in the past has been criticized for not doing complete statistics on their data and now they’ve done it exactly right,” says demography researcher John Bongaarts, vice president of the Population Council in New York City, who was not involved in the new work.

Through the early 2000s, most researchers thought that the world population—which today hovers around 7 billion—would reach 9 billion by midcentury and then stop growing. But the projection assumed that birth rates in Africa—the highest in the world—would steadily drop as access to contraceptives and women’s education improved. Instead, birth rates in most African countries have remained stagnant or declined only slightly. This can be explained partially by smaller jumps in contraception and education than predicted, though most scientists don’t fully know why the rates have stalled so much.

Africa’s situation is only part of what’s led to the new numbers. Every few years in recent history, the United Nations has recalculated its population projections after consulting with individual demography and statistics experts who provide best-guess estimates of future fertility (birth rates) and mortality (death rates). But not all experts agree on the trends these numbers will take. And the United Nations couldn’t run advanced statistics on the forecasts, because there were no quantifiable levels of uncertainty associated with the projections.

“Experts are pretty good at knowing where things generally stand with these rates,” says statistician Adrian Raftery of UW, a senior author on the new paper. “But what they don’t seem to be good at is integrating the newest data into future estimates in the right way.”

Rather than rely on expert opinions for the newest population projections, the United Nations teamed up with Raftery and his colleagues, who developed statistical equations—based on historical and real-time data—that describe how the fertility rate is changing over time in different places around the world. This let them crunch the numbers in a new way, and—in addition to calculating a single estimate—determine the statistical probability of different events, such as the population leveling off.

“The combination of a new method that’s not based on assumption but is based directly on data, and also the new data on Africa, have combined to make quite a big change to the overall population projections,” Raftery says.

To wit, there’s a 95% chance the world population will be between 9 billion and 13.2 billion by the year 2100, the team concludes online today in Science.

So the bottom line here is that the old methods of population projections relied on expert opinions but this new estimate does not assume anything and uses statistical analysis of real data to make projections.

The Club of Rome chart is looking scarier by the day...

Needless to say, the number of key resources that are past peak and in serious decline by 2100 is a very long list.  Heck, by 2050 it's a long list.  Rapidly advancing world population meets an approaching cliff of resources.  

Meanwhile, the US twiddles its thumbs and contemplates another Bush/Clinton election that promises exactly more of the same...

 

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Migrants: How are others feeling about this issue?

Europe shouldn’t worry about migrants. It should worry about creeping fascism

Exponential population growth and asymetric collapse seems baked into the cake as far as the near-term human experience.  This is NOT fun.

How are the rest of you feeling about the problem of immigration and assimilating the people fleeing local areas of collapse, be it from war, water shortage, famine, disease? 

The above article articulates one approach.  [In Spiral Dynamics terms, it is a solid GREEN Meme position.)

Do you have an extra room in your house for a migrant family?

No?  Would you be willing to double up to free up a bedroom?

They will need to be fed and will want to watch TV with you in the living room, too. 

And their relative will need to come over soon.  May we put a tent in the back yard for them?

 

 

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Military escalation in Ukraine?

Either there's a significant escalation in "kinetic military activities" in Ukraine and the MSM isn't saying a peep about it, or there isn't an escalation and "Chicken Littles" are running amok spreading unnecessary alarm.

http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/report-russia-prepares-to-deploy-50000-troops-to-ukraine-cities-burning-hundreds-dead_08172015

The second Ukrainian ceasefire appears to have fallen apart as reports from around the country indicate that heavy fighting has resumed.

Though Western media has yet to report on activity that began Sunday, independent journalists and eye witnesses have been updating social networks with photos, videos and first-hand accounts.

It’s all-out war in the Ukraine with multiple Ukrainian cities now under attack by rockets, mortars and heavy artillery fire

Other sources note that as many as 50,000 Russian military personnel have massed either inside of Ukraine or directly on its border, with heavy armor, including T-90A tanks making their way to the hot zones:

 

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Two sides to that population equation...

Well I guess that means it is unlikely we will do enough to control our birth rates to keep population at the already ridiculous expectation of 9 billion. Having four times as many people in Africa as we have today seems unlikely to be sustainable given the amount of strife that we already have. Humans are amazingly adaptable and I have no doubt that we will get quite creative as food limits bite but the real limit is going to be fresh water. We are roaring up on some hard limits and there are no substitutes.

At present we are using oil to access water by either pumping it from deep underground, over hundreds of miles, or extracting it through desalination plants. Much of globalized agriculture is really the export/import of water by proxy. Aquifers around the world are going to run dry before 2100 even if we can afford to keep pumping from ever deeper depths. Once the water goes, so do the people. Forced migrations are unlikely to be well received in a planet already full to capacity. If you want an example of this in action just look to the Syrian conflict.

We might theoretically be able to finagle the food for 13 billion people by acting as locusts over the planet but water availability is likely to be our collective undoing. According to the United Nations, by 2025, 1.8 billion people will be living in areas of absolute water scarcity and two-thirds (!!!) of the world population could be under water stress conditions (link). That's just 10 years from now! Pushing that out another 75 years to 2100 under conditions of growing populations, increasing resource limits and climate change is asking a lot.

Unless we manage to pull a very large rabbit from the hat in the near future we might just prove Malthus correct in our life times. Population change adds new births but subtracts deaths. Since the global birth rates aren't coming down to the existing death rates the death rates will have to rise to meet or exceed the birth rates if population is to stabilize or decrease. War, famine, disease, take your choice.

Note, this doesn't have to occur in a global apocalypse but that will be cold comfort to the regions that are experiencing what seem to be their local apocalypses one after another. The true scale of the problem is almost beyond comprehension. If a global pandemic came along and killed off half of us (>3.5 billion people) tomorrow then we would be right back where we are today, in terms of population, within 50 years.

 

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Violent crime spiking in D.C.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/uptick-in-crime-affects-residents-across-the-district/2015/08/16/d4b899e8-4037-11e5-8d45-d815146f81fa_story.html?hpid=z2

The gunman ran up Georgia Avenue, shooting along the way. Struck in the back, the 33-year-old victim collapsed in front of a Metrobus. A witness on the bus told police the assailant “stood over him and shot him two more times.”

This brazen killing last month in Northwest Washington’s Park View neighborhood, described in a police report, underscores the renewed violence that is surging across the District. It occurred at 9:30 p.m. and was witnessed by a man looking out a nearby window. 

“Straight up execution,” the man said in an interview. “Right in the middle of a main thoroughfare of Washington, D.C.” The slaying remains unsolved.

Authorities are grappling with the District’s escalating homicide count. As of Sunday there were 93 so far this year, a 23 percent increase over the 72 at the same time last year. One challenge for police is that the violence has not been contained to any particular part of the city.

Not a whisper about "The Ferguson Effect" (TM): cops holding back, reluctant to put themselves in harm's way and the media spotlight.  But this:

Authorities say they have not identified any one factor driving the violence. The shootings in Shaw and Park View seem indicative of the broader spike in violent crime — old and petty disputes, the simplest of slights — turning deadly. Police say they’re seeing more bullets fired, more scenes with multiple victims, more powerful guns. D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier said Thursday that repeat violent offenders, including ones implicated in past killings, are part of the problem.

Police say they are trying to put as many officers as possible on foot and bicycle patrols, shifting them to address problem spots. They also have attended community meetings and met with residents holding a neighborhood march.

The police union blames the violence on a shrinking force trying to police a growing city. Others think a new generation of gunmen are settling long-dormant disputes...

Police urged assistance from other agencies so the full brunt of social problems doesn’t fall on them. “It’s quality of life,” said police Cmdr. Wilfredo Manlapaz. “It’s people loitering. It’s people drinking in public. We have to balance how we respond. We just can’t arrest everybody.”

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sand_puppy wrote: Migrants:
sand_puppy wrote:
Migrants: How are others feeling about this issue?

Do you have an extra room in your house for a migrant family?

No?  Would you be willing to double up to free up a bedroom?

They will need to be fed and will want to watch TV with you in the living room, too. 

And their relative will need to come over soon.  May we put a tent in the back yard for them?

 

 

three of my grandparents and my father's grandfather were immigrants who were fleeing from oppression in Europe, so my feelings are mixed...of course, my grandparents didn't sit around and watch TV and beg others to be fed...one grandfather had been a butcher's apprentice, so he got a job slaughtering cows in the stockyards, and eventually opened up his own grocery and employed kids from the neighborhood...my other grandfather went to work in the steel mills, bought a triplex, and took in migrants himself during the war...so if the migrants are willing to work and want to make a better life for themselves, i can't see that they're much different than my grandparents...on the other hand, if they just want to be fed, watch TV, live in the bedroom, and bring kin over to live in a tent in the backyard, they can just stay where they are...

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rjs wrote: sand_puppy
rjs wrote:
sand_puppy wrote:
Migrants: How are others feeling about this issue?

Do you have an extra room in your house for a migrant family?

No?  Would you be willing to double up to free up a bedroom?

They will need to be fed and will want to watch TV with you in the living room, too. 

And their relative will need to come over soon.  May we put a tent in the back yard for them?

 

 

three of my grandparents and my father's grandfather were immigrants who were fleeing from oppression in Europe, so my feelings are mixed...of course, my grandparents didn't sit around and watch TV and beg others to be fed...one grandfather had been a butcher's apprentice, so he got a job slaughtering cows in the stockyards, and eventually opened up his own grocery and employed kids from the neighborhood...my other grandfather went to work in the steel mills, bought a triplex, and took in migrants himself during the war...so if the migrants are willing to work and want to make a better life for themselves, i can't see that they're much different than my grandparents...on the other hand, if they just want to be fed, watch TV, live in the bedroom, and bring kin over to live in a tent in the backyard, they can just stay where they are...

Garet Garrett explains very well in his "The People's Pottage" (1952) how the can-do American Spirit was transformed into the Give Me Give Me Spirit during FDR's administration.  Even Senator Steagall was aghast at FDR's seizure of gold and the Inflation Control Act (the birth of QE).

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Immigrants

Good answer.  Most of us in the US had immigrant ancestors.  My great grandparents came from Germany, Switzerland and Ireland.  They worked hard, learned to speak English (even the Irish, lol) and assimilated into the great melting pot.  As long as today's immigrants are willing to do the same, I say bring 'em on.  The problem, IMO, seems to be that a higher portion of today's immigrants don't want to follow that example.

 

rjs wrote:
sand_puppy wrote:
Migrants: How are others feeling about this issue?

Do you have an extra room in your house for a migrant family?

No?  Would you be willing to double up to free up a bedroom?

They will need to be fed and will want to watch TV with you in the living room, too. 

And their relative will need to come over soon.  May we put a tent in the back yard for them?

 

 

three of my grandparents and my father's grandfather were immigrants who were fleeing from oppression in Europe, so my feelings are mixed...of course, my grandparents didn't sit around and watch TV and beg others to be fed...one grandfather had been a butcher's apprentice, so he got a job slaughtering cows in the stockyards, and eventually opened up his own grocery and employed kids from the neighborhood...my other grandfather went to work in the steel mills, bought a triplex, and took in migrants himself during the war...so if the migrants are willing to work and want to make a better life for themselves, i can't see that they're much different than my grandparents...on the other hand, if they just want to be fed, watch TV, live in the bedroom, and bring kin over to live in a tent in the backyard, they can just stay where they are...

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Sympathy For The Devil.

I see Africa mentioned in dispatches and I feel that is my cue.

The beds of some tributaries of the Congo river are pottery shards. Who put them there? No one knows. But we do know that the area supported a large population at one time. The shards are all the evidence that we have.  The area appeared virginal to European explorers.

Zimbabwe ruins stand testament to the Mwanamutapa. It is acknowledged that the population grew too large for their area, which was how far a woman could walk to gather firewood and back again. They could not sleep out because of lions. The population became so weak that they were unable to defend themselves from the Rozvi and the Portuguese who had come in search of the source of the gold and King Solomon's mines. ( Does that sound about right?).

OK, there is a theme building here. Evolutionary pressure has caused some humans of Africa to enter into a breeding race. Winner takes all. This appears to happen again and again with large populations vanishing without trace.

Bob Mugabe considers that the ideal number of people for Zimbabwe is 10 million.  He has got ~ 15 million starvelings. And the white farmers want to keep feeding them? Can you see the problem? 

Begging, persuasion, economic penalty, feminism and the pill have all been tried on the aBantu to limit their 5.6 babies per womb average by us Big Bad Colonials. They laughed at us. Who was going to look after them in their old age?

The San bushmen leave anyone behind, (not a much beloved baby), who is unable to keep up. My understanding that this was the fate and duty of Inuit elderly too.

Norsemen living on isolated patches of soil at the head of fjords inspected every new baby for defects and calculated whether the infant was an asset or a liability before leaving it out in the snow with a lump of fat in it's mouth to stifle it's crying.  

Living in balance with your foodstuff has a down side.

 

 

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Excuses, excuses...

As good a reason as any to go fishing Thursday.

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G-20 Growth Won’t Hit Pre-Crisis Pace Anytime Soon, Moody’s Says

 

  1. G-20 Growth Won’t Hit Pre-Crisis Pace Anytime Soon, Moody’s Says
  2. Technical Default Hits Illinois
  3. More Pain Predicted for Indian Banks by Largest Bad-Debt Buyer
  4. China Reserves Seen Dropping $40 Billion a Month on Yuan Support
  5. Mexico central bank sells $200 mln in currency auction
  6. March Keeps Heat on Rousseff as Worst Slump Since 1931 Looms (Brazil)
  7. Eurozone outlook dim for economists
  8. New Taiwan dollar plunges 0.78% to six-year low against the US dollar
  9. Housing Excesses Bigger Than Pre-Crisis Bubble Grip Copenhagen
  10. Turkish Lira Slide Deepens as PM Says Coalition Talks Failed
  11. Brazil’s Corporate Rating Cuts to Outpace Upgrades, Fitch Says
  12. Algerian dinar hits record low as central bank seeks to curb imports
  13. Venezuela's Economic War: Tons of Food Found Buried Underground
  14. Away from Caracas, shortages even worse in Venezuela

"About 20 percent of the nation's 900,000 miles of interstates and major roads need resurfacing or reconstruction, according to one analysis of federal data. A quarter of the 600,000 bridges are considered structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. That doesn't necessarily mean they are about to fall; it means they are showing worrisome problems or are no longer adequate for today's traffic."

"Money has been Washington’s primary weapon in the decades since British economist John Maynard Keynes proposed aggressive government spending to battle the Great Depression. The U.S. generally injects cash into the economy through interest-rate cuts, tax cuts or ramped-up federal spending.

Those tools could be hard to employ when the next dip comes: Interest rates are near zero, and fiscal stimulus plans could be hampered by high levels of government debt and the prospect of growing budget deficits to cover entitlement spending on retired baby boomers."

 

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Brazil economy contraction to last through 2016: bank

"The outlook for Brazil's economy worsened Monday with GDP contraction forecast to extend into next year and inflation projections also slightly rising.

A central bank survey of economists showed the economy is on course to shrink 2.01 percent this year and for the first time indicated that the contraction will continue through 2016 with a shrinkage of 0.15 percent."

"That will probably mean the Bank of Canada keeps its benchmark lending rate at 0.5 per cent for about another year, according to the survey’s median estimate. Governor Stephen Poloz cut rates in January and July as lower oil prices triggered a plunge in business investment."

"Ports across the world suffer worst hit since the Lehman crisis as emerging markets wilt, but trade may not matter so much to global GDP any longer"..........................

"The great worry is that companies in emerging markets will struggle to service $4.5 trillion of US dollar debt taken out in the boom years when quantitative easing by the Fed flooded the world with cheap money, much of it at irresistible real rates of 1pc. This is up from $1 trillion in 2002.

The monetary cycle has gone into reverse since the Fed ended QE in October 2014 and cut off the flow of fresh liquidity. While the first rate rise in eight years has been well-telegraphed, nobody knows for sure what will happen once tightening starts in earnest."

"Japan’s government is considering pressuring companies to raise wages again next year as the economy stalls due to weak consumer spending, several government sources said.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government has nudged major companies into raising wages for the past two years in the spring with a series of meetings with major business lobbies and labour unions.

Voices are now growing within the government to use the same tactic for next year’s wage negotiations, the sources said, after data this week showed the economy shrank in the second quarter as exports slumped and consumers cut back spending."

"Moody's Investors Service cut its forecast for India's economic growth to around 7 percent this year from 7.5 percent because of lower-than-expected rainfalls in the ongoing monsoon season, the ratings agency said on Tuesday.

Moody's maintained its forecast of around 7.5 percent increase in gross domestic product (GDP) for 2016, but pointed to risks ahead that include delays to the government's reform plans.

Moody's rates India at its lowest investment grade rating of "Baa3" with a "positive" outlook. "

 

Manufacturers: Israel's economy is deteriorating to a standstill

Jerusalem Post Israel News-10 hours ago
Fresh off Sunday's news that Israel's economy grew a feeble 0.3 percent in the second quarter of the year, Manufacturers Association of Israel president Shraga ...
 

"Stephen King of HSBC warns the world's financial system may face another crisis without China as a backstop "

 

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PBOC injection shows China worries about outflows

"China's central bank injected the largest amount of cash into the financial system on a single day in almost 19 months Tuesday, signaling Beijing's growing concerns about capital outflows following the recent weakening of its currency.

Short-term interest rates and bond yields in the world's second-largest economy have spiked in the past week, following an abrupt decision by the Chinese authorities to devalue the yuan last week."

 

-131.90 -3.30%

 

Volume 388.29m

Aug 18, 2015 1:53 p.m

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Population and Emmigration: Mote in God's Eye

Larry Niven and Jerry Pornelle wrote a great sci-fi story in 1975 titled The Mote in Gods Eye.  It was very well received and nominated for the Hugo and Nebula awards and won Robert Heinlein's praise as "possibly the best science fiction novel of all time."

Set in the year 3017, humans make contact with the first non-human race living on a planet in the constellation, "God's Eye."  The planet comes to be called The Mote or Mote Prime and the creatures who live there Moties.  The Moties are furry, intelligent and about the size of a small primate.  They are intensely specialized:  tool makers, engineers, communicator's.  Each specialty has skills superior to the humans.

The story evolves with lots of tension as two entirely dissimilar life forms try to come to understand each other.  Gradually though, humans begin to like and appreciate the Moties.

Later in the story, the Moties' vagueness about their million year cultural history starts to disturb the human crew.  They seem to be hiding something.  Humans start to piece together the following picture:

The Moties are sequential hermaphrodites, changing sex over and over again during the course of their lives. However, if a Motie remains female for too long without becoming pregnant, the hormone imbalance will kill her. There is an almost uncontrollable instinctive need to mate and reproduce.  Attempts at population control through chemicals or infanticide have always failed for the Moties, because those who breed uncontrollably eventually swamp those Moties who comply. Once the population pressure rises high enough, massive wars inevitably result.  Civilization is destroyed.

The few survivors subsist at a stone-age technological level for generations.  Descendants of the survivors start to develop technology again from scratch.

The collapse and rebirth of civilization has happened so many times in Motie history that deep underground museums are built and sealed before the final war (of that cycle).  They are designed to be discovered after the collapse by the survivors.  The museums teach the survivors how to develop basic tools and guide them step by step to rebuild a technological civilization.

After humans come to understand that the Moties are absolutely powerless to control-- or even moderate-- their exponential population growth / war / collapse cycles, they understand that humans can never allow the Moties to access the worm-hole entrance point that would let them travel outside their system into the galaxy.  To do so would doom the entire human confederation of planets to being overrun and destroyed by the Moties inevitable population cycle.  

Human biochemists offer to help the sincerest request from the Moties to find a cure for the uncontrollable need to reproduce that has destroyed their civilization repeatedly.  But until then, emigration must be absolutely denied to Moties.  A permanent human garrison is stationed at the worm-hole entrance point to ensure that the Moties never get loose from their solar system.  

 

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HughK
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Capital labor and immigration
sand_puppy wrote:

Human biochemists offer to help the sincerest request from the Moties to find a cure for the uncontrollable need to reproduce that has destroyed their civilization repeatedly.  But until then, emigration must be absolutely denied to Moties.  A permanent human garrison is stationed at the worm-hole entrance point to ensure that the Moties never get loose from their solar system.  

I always appreciate the sci fi references, Sandpuppy.  Controlling immigration is one way to deal with limits to growth problems. However, if we are not going to allow people to cross borders, to what extent is it reasonable to allow goods (real capital) and financial capital to cross borders?  We all know that the average inhabitant of the Global North (i.e. the developed world) consumes way more resources that the average inhabitant of the Global South.  

Also, the industrialized countries had high population growth as well until they reached later stages of industrialization and higher standards of living.  So, any assertions that only certain races or nationalities have out of control birth rates ignore the high birth rates of the UK, Germany, Japan, Norway, Sweden etc when these countries were going through rapid industrialization, in the 1800's and early 1900's. Britain's population was under 8 million in 1800 and today it's over 53 million.  It seems that population growth rate has less to do with culture and more to do with food supply and medicine, at least in the earlier stages of the demographic transition model.

I wonder how many people who advocate reducing or stopping immigration would also be willing to only buy domestic oil products and domestically produced electronics made with domestic metals. 

If we're going to look down our noses at the Sub-saharan Africans, with their high birth rates, then maybe we shouldn't dirty our hands with their oil and their other resources.

As a reminder of differences in consumption - and hence differences in damage/depletion to the biosphere, here's a link to daily per capita oil consumption by country.  Here's the US - an oil importer - and Nigeria - an oil exporter:

 

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Arthur Robey
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A Change in Iron Ore Traffic.

The shipping list for the Esperance ports has only two iron ore ship listed until 2018.

This can either mean that the forward contracts have run out or there is a change in the method of populating the list. In the past the list was all iron ore and infrequent passenger ships.

http://ws.epsl.com.au/full/fullShippingList.aspx

 

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Europe shouldn’t worry about migrants. It should worry about?

In an overpopulated world, perhaps Europe should worry about both fascism and immigration?  I am not a fascist, yet I worry about migrants to the U.S.

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Possible good (bad) news about population peak
cmartenson wrote:

Bad news for those of us hoping that the world population might level off at "only" 8 or maybe 9 billion...

Experts be damned: World population will continue to rise

“The U.N. in the past has been criticized for not doing complete statistics on their data and now they’ve done it exactly right,” says demography researcher John Bongaarts, vice president of the Population Council in New York City, who was not involved in the new work.

...

“The combination of a new method that’s not based on assumption but is based directly on data, and also the new data on Africa, have combined to make quite a big change to the overall population projections,” Raftery says.

To wit, there’s a 95% chance the world population will be between 9 billion and 13.2 billion by the year 2100, the team concludes online today in Science.

Good (bad) news and bad news.

The world population may hit 9 billion before 2100, but 13.2 billion seems extremely unlikely.

It sounds like the study ignored resource constraints.  Was the study done by economists? devil

An update to the Club of Rome "World3" model was done independently in 2011.  Dennis Meadows gave up on global corrective action and decided not to publish a 40 year update to "Limits to Growth."

http://rs6.risingnet.net/~ddcc/wbi/World3Again.html

The good news is that the population is unlikely to reach 13 billion.  

The bad news is that worldwide famine will likely put downward pressure on population somewhere around 2045.  

The only scenario, produced by the model, that didn't culminate in world wide famine by 2050 was one where an assumption that global population growth was reduced to one child per family in 2011. 

From a birds-eye, personal observation, I'd argue that current water shortages are going a long way to supporting the approach of world wide famine.

Resources are important to consider in todays finite environment.

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Uncletommy
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HughK - if we look at it from a different perspective

Can a problem be a solution. (I'm finding I'm referring to these two gentlemen more these days):

https://www.google.ca/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&rlz=1C1VFKB_enCA605C...

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sand_puppy
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Imigration as a neighborhood-sized concern

Good Morning Hugh,

That is a very, very good point.  If a superpower is going to strip mine resources from a third world nation it is terribly inconsistent to then fail to participate in working with the social chaos that is produced.

In my thinking though, immigration is not about race, ethnicity, the superiority of one group or even primarily about continent-sized-spaces.

It is also not about fairness or an egalitarian mind-set. It also challenges the belief of "a basic human right to clean water, food, shelter and medical care."

One of the themes of virtually all post-collapse writing (both novels and historical accounts) I have read include two features:  1. population die offs, and, 2. mass migrations as city dwellers notice for the first time that there is no food and water being produced in their city.  Hunger, empty stores, taps that do not flow, and close proximity to a couple of million freaked-out people with firearms causes a light to go on and people ponder the basic principles of ecology for the first time:  Things like "Where does food come from?" and "How does water get to our house?"   An urge to "move to the country" results.  People leave the cities in fully loaded cars using their last tank of gas, or a week or two later, the slower learners set out on foot pushing shopping carts and strollers.

Avoiding living within one-tank-of-gas from a large city or along a major highway leading out of the city is a part of the recommendation for where to locate one's country home.

We live in a moderately sheltered suburb where most homes have 1/3 acre lots.  I am hoping that our conspicuous front yard garden and rainwater collection tanks will model and give permission to our neighbors to start thinking about these issues.  Should a need become apparent, our efforts towards suburban sustainability may inspire and guide our neighbors to adapt more rapidly.  

However, the hundreds of people living in the high density apartment complexes several miles from us will not be able to adapt in place.  They will have to travel to a source of food and water.

This will be the neighborhood-scale immigration.

 

 

 

 

 

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HughK
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Yes to immigration control as part of a broad transition policy

LesPhelps wrote:

In an overpopulated world, perhaps Europe should worry about both fascism and immigration?  I am not a fascist, yet I worry about migrants to the U.S.

Les and all,

Yes, I agree that we should worry about immigration, both because it matters objectively and, perhaps more importantly in terms of democracy, because it is a big concern for a lot of people.

I also appreciate your acknowledgement that fascism is something we want to avoid, as the temptation to sacrifice all ethics, evidence, and an ecology of decision makers to the simplistic narrative of a deceptive demagogue and unitary mindset will only increase as things get harder.

Mostly I'm concerned when people distort the issue of immigration in order to produce a fear-based loyalty to their party, which is done with devious proficiency, here in Switzerland

What I think makes a lot of sense is looking at immigration as one strand in a broader approach towards a transition towards sustainability and resilience. Chris has made the case that it would be wise to put more of our dwindling fossil-fuel-based energy surplus towards renewing soils, renewable energies, and other long-term, energy-wise investments.

And if we are going to reduce the flow of immigrants, i.e. labor, then why not also reduce the flow of capital? If I don't want a flood of immigrants taking from me what I see as mine, then should I still extract resources and profits from these same immigrants' homes of origin when I consume and invest? The silver miner Tahoe Resources' implication in murders in Guatemala is just one of the more violent instances of the almost ubiquitous phenomenon of rich-world investment in the developing world. Goldcorp owns 40% of Tahoe, so many of us will be profiting from Tahoe's actions in the event that precious metals stocks ever become profitable. And this is the same Guatemala that saw the largest genocide of the last thirty years in the Americas under an military junta that promoted cooperation with large American countries such as United Fruit/Chiquita.

This is an example of the more complex ethical landscape in which we find ourselves, so far from the amygdala-triggering and mendacious maquettes shaped by anti-immigration demagogues. So, maybe since anyone who uses gasoline - an important share of which is derived from oil imported from Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, the Middle East, etc. - is taking from the developing world, we should have an intelligent immigration policy that includes some amount of charity and a good measure of humility.

Another possible response to the negative effects of globalism would be to buy from Fair Trade companies & nonprofits. (index here and and here an article in the Orcadian (Orkney Isles, Scotland) about a visit from Dominican chocolate grower.)

Using the military, foreign aid, and global financial institutions to indirectly funnel resources from the periphery to the core would certainly be another problem to address, and will be informed by the extent to which we favor pragmatism over ethics, although it seems to be both more pragmatic and more ethical to reduce the West's/America's current overreach of empire.

Any way through the tangle of obstacles and pitfalls that lies before us is going to be messy, and will involve cleverness and pragmatism. It may be that foresight and enlightened self-interest coincide with ethical standards in many cases. And when our self-knowledge is great enough to see that we sometimes choose the hard road of unethical realism, then we see both the world and ourselves as we really are. This groundedness in reality keeps us from doing silly, self-defeating things like invading the Soviet Union or taking out the Sunnis in Iraq, much to the benefit of our purported enemies, the Iranian Shias.

There is a relationship between the type of self-referential, two-dimensional, and bigoted narrative found in many historical and contemporary anti-immigration movements and a tendency to not listen to other voices/ideas - including those of wise advisors -  and therefore to make stupid mistakes.

P.S. Uncle Tommy, thanks for the reminder that we can only address all the other problems once we get growth.  :)

P.P.S. Sandpuppy, I didn't see your reply before I posted this.  Thanks for that as well.

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AKGrannyWGrit
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Mass Exodus

In a collapse scenario when the hoards start leaving the cities to migrate to the country they may find the trek difficult when the bridges and roads become impassible or are destroyed. Country folk might not want or be able to host a thousand people for dinner, breakfast or even a snack on their journey.  Just a thought.

AKGrannyWGrit

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Michael_Rudmin
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Granny, don't worry about those stranger-phobic

Granny, don't worry about those stranger-phobic communities. They will quickly fall to communities that also blow up bridges to temporarily trap their future soldiers (the ones who will conquer the next town over that doesn't have any).

Even if things break down the way you think, the law of unintended consequences is still going to apply.

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westcoastjan
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I dunno Michael...

I think Granny has a point. We all prep for ourselves and families, but who the heck preps for or can even anticipate the needs/wants of a whack of people who show up on your doorstep unannounced due to an emergency in their neck of the woods?  A person's deep pantry and supplies could be used up PDQ under adverse circumstances.  So it is not so much about being stranger phobic but rather how are we going to deal with a bunch of tired, dirty, hungry people on short notice??

Food for thought, no pun intended.

Jan

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Arthur Robey
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The Economics of Colonialism.

The real reason that the European nations gave up their colonies was not because they had a come to Jesus moment. They didn't suddenly become more moral than their parents. Those considerations were mere justifications.

The real reasons were

  1. The balance sheets of the colonies showed that the European countries were losing money on the deal
  2. The disloyal colonials had gone native. Their loyalty was no longer to Mother England, or France or some other tin pot country in Europe, but to America and to Africa. Not only were they asking to be paid for their exports, but they were actually manufacturing and competing with the dear Mother country! Oh the horror. No, no this had to be stopped.
  3. The USA won the war (by hanging back and allowing the fire to burn itself down first). The USA was not interested in dealing with Europe and it's historical baggage. So they set up Quisling governments and started to destroy the very notion of "European". Why do you think multi-culti is considered an unquestioned virtue? Where did that come from when the evidence is that it is a right royal pain in the elbow?
  4. Africa's growth was deliberately strangled at birth. Why have naughty, disobedient colonials when you can control its resources with debt?

So dry your eyes girls. And reach for your cynicism tablets. Your leaders have been been blowing smoke in your ears.

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jgritter
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Priceless

I was was having a conversation with an affluent , anglo, coworker recently.  She was making disparaging remarks about migrant farm workers in the United States.  When I pointed out that several Mexican hands had probably been on the apple she was eating the look on her face was priceless.

John G

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jgritter
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One Tank of Gas

I live in a "rural" community of less then a thousand people.  That said, I find myself within one tank of gas of Grand Rapids, Lansing, Detroit, Toledo, Cleveland, Indianapolis and ...Chicago.  I suspect that if you strike a similar circle around Puget Sound, western Massachusetts, eastern Pennsylvania, eastern Virginia, central Europe, South Australia or south east Asia you run into a similar problem, a shit ton of people.  I assume that if you can sail to Hobart you can sail to Wellington, but for those of us who can't practically bug out to New Zealand by boat there would seem to be a problem.

Just thinking out loud,

John G

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jgritter
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Stranger Phobic Communities

We may be phobic about strangers, but we're not phobic about each other.  We tend to have long, long histories of mutual support.  Our police and fire department respond to requests for mutual aid instantly and without hesitation at any time of the day or night.  Our departments of public utilities are happy to lend each other assistance with specialized knowledge and equipment.  Our schools play each other in sports, we attend each others fairs and festivals.  You may get a cold reception with your out of state plates and your big city attitude, but we know who are neighbors are.  We are perfectly aware that there is little we can do for displaced people and that we may be overwhelmed, but we are also perfectly aware of where choke points are and how to choke 'em a little tighter.  Please, if you should find yourself on the wrong side of a barricade some dark day, polite and helpful is good, rude and obnoxious, not so much.

John G.

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jgritter
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Fascism

I understand that the idea of embracing fascism may not be politically correct, but if things get shitty I suspect that communities that coalesce around a strong and decisive person or group of people will fare better then those that don't.

John G

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Christopher H
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Fascism is a national, industrial phenomenon

The idea of a community coalescing around a strong and decisive person is not fascism.  Fascism is a phenomenon that depends upon a national identity, and really came into vogue during the industrial age.  What you are describing here, John G, is just natural human behavior on the village/community level.  The character of these can differ widely, however, running the gamut from a traditional village "big man" whose counsel was almost always heeded because he tended to make good decisions, to a warlord who was obeyed because he would run you through if you didn't.

Actually, now that I think about it, what you're describing here is more akin to feudalism -- what John Michael Greer has called "government by personal relations."

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