• Podcast

    David Collum: Pandemonium

    If we don't change our trajectory, we're headed for 'very, very bad' places
    by Adam Taggart

    Thursday, December 26, 2019, 9:46 AM

The only thing nearly as enlightening as reading David Collum’s epic Year In Review is listening to him and Chris Martenson riff about its highlights.

Strap in, grab some eggnog, and listen to this year’s recap:

We are so close to a financial crisis now that we may be way, way past the fail-safe.

We’ve got all these unfunded liabilities that we have to pay or face the consequences of — and they are fantastically enormous.

The pensions are all underfunded — at the top of a financial asset price bubble, mind you.

Social Security is a disaster. And we’re promising so much medical help for everyone that is now profoundly expensive.

There are so many things out there that are unmoored. The Fed is unmoored. The digital world is taking us to this digital gulag, in my opinion — I don’t think I’m being hyperbolic.

I think we’re heading for very, very bad places.

Click the play button below to listen to Chris’ interview with David Collum (84m:24s).

Other Ways To Listen: iTunes | Google Play | SoundCloud | Stitcher | YouTube | Download |

Transcript

Chris Martenson: Dave Collum, thank you so much for being back with us and all our listeners here today.

Dave Collum: Hey, it's great to be here. This is a tradition I look forward to immensely.

Chris Martenson: Hey, me too. I'm just wondering, based on something you wrote in this year's review, do we need to start with a trigger warning here for any listeners? Maybe remind them that their computer has an off button if they choose?

Dave Collum: Well, you know, I can keep it clean on a podcast. So, it's up to them. I mean, if you take me in a direction that I hammer someone, as I actually said in the review, I said, you know, this is about humor and--humor and sarcasm someone has got to get hurt it might be your turn.

Chris Martenson: Well, you know, what caught me right in part one is cause this come sin two parts of course, was the Limerick King(PH) we follow each other on Twitter, really like the guy. He started with, there was a mad chemist named Dave. His year in review is the rave. With Epstein and Powell and repos most foul his comments are sure to be grave. That's a good--

Dave Collum: I solicited that. I tell limerick king what I'm going to talk about and then I said just whip out a limerick for me. Most years I have Jeff Mackey of CNBC fame rip out some art but his life is remarkably full so I actually had my wife do that, so I tend to open with a limerick and a Mackey original but a Candacy Cornell original this time.

Chris Martenson: Fantastic. You know, as I was reading through this it really feels like this year in review has a very different flavor from the prior ones and I'm wondering if you would be willing to talk about that.

Dave Collum: Yeah, you know, it's when I write this thing it's, I go real deep lizard brain on this, and as I actually spend more time at the opening describing where it comes from and how I write it. I always give an autobiography. There has always been about the author part but I go deeper. I go back to when I was 12 years old. It's only a page and you know it--it is funny. And, but I kind of explain myself in part because of the feel that it was different. So, this year I wrote it and I wrote it in order of importance. So, I picked the section that I thought was most important when I had to write then I picked the second one and the third one.

When I got to the end, and you know, you can't write a year in review in May, right? So, I have to write it all at once and I bang out, this one is 147 pages, right? And so this is kind of writing at the rate of William and Buckley at this point and I got to the end and I looked at it and I go holy cow, the entire thing is about social change. And one of the things that is omitted, and I don't even know if people will be disappointed or happy, there is not much finance actually.

One of the reasons is it feels like we are at the top of something and it feels like we are on the cusp of something. And even if we're not, it is just getting crazier and to document it--to document getting crazier something didn't make sense to me this year. There was stupid IPOs and dumb debt and all that stuff but that has been getting crazier and crazier. At some point you have to say look, this is the pregame. I'm not going to pay attention until the game starts. And so I've got reams of notes and I sorted them and I said look I'm not going to write about this stuff this year. Or I just didn't get to it as my priority.

I don't write about Trump because everyone on the planet is writing about Trump and impeachment and some stuff like that. And so--so I went for the things that I spent a lot of time. So the thing that absolutely passed like a kidney stone for me was literally 32 pages on climate change. The second part I wrote is on Epstein which I think is far more profound than people are giving it credit. And then I go back to share buyback because people are still missing them. That's kind of finance. But my conclusion goes very dark and--and part of it is unsupported in the sense that I go dark in ways you go you didn't write about that. I go yeah, but it's on the cutting room floor and it's bugging the crap out of me. And so, and I think we are heading for a strange future here. And so, as you mentioned in our pregame discussion it is kind of a fourth turning field for me.

Chris Martenson: And this is really what I want to focus on because this has been well central in my thoughts in part as well; listen, bubbles always get crazy towards the end, right? You know, and there are those I have this bad habit of detecting bubbles really early and missing out on a lot of the fun and because I am more of a fundamentalist and it always amazes me how much longer they can go on than seems normal, right? So, the housing bubble I was sure very painfully housing stocks in 2007; it took a while before they turned around and mortgage insurers and all that.

But even here, this is--this is like the third bubble in a row but it is more extreme; it is everywhere and they are doing whatever it takes to keep it going and all of that--and despite all of their best efforts in printing all of these happy, happy stock prices with the help of some Trump tweets, always well timed--you get the sense that there's always something really dark lurking here, as well, and that people are as unhappy and as anxious and as fearful and as polarized as they have ever been.

And so, that to me, is the potential energy in a story like two great static electricity sources, one positive and one negative just sort of building. Hey, look, how great everything is. And things aren't great. Do you feel that I mean you seem to be writing about that gap and I'm wondering why you think that is there at all?

Dave Collum: Well, God, there are so many layers to an onion there. I happened to just this morning catch a quick video of Adam Schiff getting yelled at by guys in the audience being called a liar and stuff.

Chris Martenson: Yeah, that was great.

Dave Collum: Right. It and these were not you know hipsters from Harvard, right? These were salt of the earth type guys, to put it bluntly--but that's a tactic that used to be, let's say, used to be like a year ago or even six months ago was a tactic in my opinion, I'm going to upset some listeners, was a tactic of the left. Right? Disrupt the speaker, interrupt people at dinner, stuff like that. I don't think the right was doing that. And I've been watching for it. I'm sure other people see it and I don't but now you see that. And I, we don't want to see that either at some level, right? I really hate Schiff--I really hate Schiff but when that stuff starts happening, that's a bad sign, even if he's deserving. Right? That's a very bad sign.

Chris Martenson: And what is that a sign of, do you think?

Dave Collum: Well, it's a sign that people are angry and it's a sign that well, it's a sign that politics has gotten completely toxic. I--I was what I call Trump tolerant, so I sort of with a shaky hand pulled the ever for the Donald. In part, because his platform was don't bomb the hell out of other countries. It's why I support Tulsi Gabbard, don't bomb the hell out of other countries. And Trump has kind of been wavering on that. I think he's battling, you know, the Deep State to try not to bomb other countries too much that sort of thing.

So, I think in some sense he is achieving what he set out to do in that he is minimizing it. But there is some bad stuff, right? You know, you watch the war in Yemen, it's just a mess. The further along I got, the more I see him--this is just going to freak out some of your listeners, but I see him as kind of this odd hero figure battling some very bad people and he--and he's such an unlikely package. He is like Colombo is to law enforcement or something. I don't view Trump as an evil person. He has got his idiosyncrasies. He has got his flaws. He has got everything that, I understand why people hate him. But the people he is battling I really find to be much more dangerous.

Chris Martenson: Well, let's--I think the title--

Dave Collum: I don't write about this, ironically. I don't write about this because it's a pandemonium out there.

Chris Martenson: I know, and we're really deep into the belief territory you can tell because the emotions are so high and of course facts and opinions don't really play well in that landscape. That of course, I think has been whipped up by the media, which is doing I think when I look at it from a psy op psych 101 like what they are doing to me seems really obviously designed to fracture and polarize people. So, what's interesting is you see the people show up in their pink hats and you see ANTIFA out there like you know, beating people up on the street; it is sort of the--the retail level.

But you know what I haven't seen, Dave, not once? I haven't seen one organized protest against healthcare costs and the fact that my premiums went up 22% this year. And the healthcare CEOs are raking in 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70 million dollars each every year just at the CEO the whole C suite. Who knows what the numbers are, right? It's obscene, it's perverse. If the media chose I'm sure they could whip up some righteous indignation over that travesty and racket but they don’t.

And it feels--it feels rather coordinated to me on that front.

Dave Collum: Yeah, well, I view the media somewhere around the edge of treasonous in many, many ways. I think that they are--I think that they are part of an insidious--I don't want people lying to me from either side, right? There is very few journalists just seem to try to get it right. I have become a super Tucker Carlson fan. He again, is a flawed character in many ways. But I have seen him go after sacred cows on both teams. And I used to hate him so--so somehow people think this is just some--some doctrine that I'm following, you know, some right wing thing that just follows me everywhere I go. I hated Carlson before. So, it was a real conversion for me.

But I think the guy is amazing in many ways. And so, he is one of here few guys, you can't predict which way he is going to go until he goes there and I like that. Then there seems like you know, the Fed is so unmoored. There are so many things out there that are unmoored. The digital world is taking us to this digital gulag in my opinion. I don't think I'm being hyperbolic. I think we're heading for very, very bad places.

Chris Martenson: And, it's not any one thing, right? It's too much debt and ridiculous Fed policies, as well, lurking away on the other side is 80% of the insects are going and we don't know what's happening to all the fish in the ocean but they seem to be getting you know, destroyed and on and on and on. So, I have this theory that humans as an organism; we are evolutionary designed to be reactive and sensitive to our environments which makes a lot of sense particularly for an adaptive species like ours; you need to know when to go to the next valley if you sort of played this one out. And we don't have--there is nowhere to go. There's no next valley and we are sort of playing this one out and we don't really have a plan for that except more, more, more of the same which has gotten us to where we are. I think that's at least part of the anxiety people are feeling is this sense that maybe we are not all going to go to Mars, after all.

Dave Collum: Or none of us. That also applies to the American Empire. A lot of people somehow think American exceptionalism which by the way was a Stalin term, American exceptionalism we build an empire but we had what at the time was unlimited capacity to move west. And so, we had strong immigration programs cause we could populate any amount of territory and not run out and now we have hit California, right? Now you look at California; it is like a tsunami of craziness building up in California everyone is piled up out there. They are doing insane stuff in California in my opinion, politically and socially and we are now at the boundary of our expansion.

Now, again we still have a lot of acreage per capita for a lot of countries and stuff like that but we are also the system is rotting, right? Socialism has totally invaded our thinking. We got an entire generation of younger adults who think socialism is fine. I understand where it came from but I also understand it is a system that has failed without fail, right? Has failed every time.

Chris Martenson: Let me put my view in, which is, I think, we were already running socialism it's just socialism for the .1% that's all.

Dave Collum: So the 2020 elections is going to be: now it's my turn, right? I wrote a lot about modern monetary theory because it is going to be about: now you are going to print money for us; and I understand their anxiety I have written hostilely about bankers and central bankers and corruption but the problem is, I go, but that is going to cause more trouble. That's the problem.

Chris Martenson: I’m sympathetic. I agree that it's going to cause trouble, but I'm sympathetic to it because if you are a young person you say gosh, you have been printing out money and handing it out to Jamie Diamond: why not us? Just put the fire hose this way instead of that way. It's our turn. I get it, right? It's going to be very harsh. Yeah.

Dave Collum: It will sell real well. It will sell brilliantly. It will sell brilliantly because there is truth, right? If Elizabeth Warren by the way, had stayed on let's get the bankers she would be the front runner, right? But so --

Chris Martenson: No, I agree with that. Before we go too much further I got to return to the title -- which is this year's year in review is Epstein didn't Kill Himself which I am so enjoying the memes. So this really broke through. I think this is a seminole thing because it broke through into the larger consciousness. So, I go to all these social media sites like Reddit and there are usually highly allergic in a very corporatized way to conspiracy theories. So, if you go to like the subreddit for news or world news they just poopoo and immediately shut down anything that smells like you know, mentioning that you know kerosene can't melt steel or something like that. But this one broke through.

You now find this meme and all these clever ways that people are spelling out Epstein didn't kill himself in public and all of that; it really broke through because it was just completely obvious that he didn't kill himself, right?

Dave Collum: Right. Totally. Impossible almost, right? Round it to the nearest integer, zero.

Chris Martenson: So my PhD to do a little background on me is in pathology so I do autopsies. We do some stuff. We do some forensic pathology. I can tell you that to break those three hyoid bones I went out and looked online looked at all of the case--let's put it this way--if the police showed up and your wife was found with three broken bones in her neck, you're going to jail for strangulation cause 99.9% chance that is what happened. It is just such a signature injury for strangulation, non a slump hanging off of a bed post. Just completely obvious.

Dave Collum: And there is no bedpost in that cell. There--there is nothing to hang yourself from in that cell. I read all about the various aspects of those, you know safety cells, and there's no posts, no rails, nothing. Your sheets tear, your clothes tear, you cannot kill yourself in one of those cells, there's no doorknob there is no nothing.

Chris Martenson: So, take us through it.

Dave Collum: Let me--so everything is wrong with the Epstein story, right? When I write about it, it is the second topic I wrote about in the hierarchical Collum way and there is the obvious stuff that I think most people know--there are a bunch of pervs. Some people know that Epstein was hired by Bill Barr's father, Bill Barr's father has intelligence connections, right? But people don't know that. Epstein supposedly went to Wall Street and with no bachelor's degree made a billion dollars. You go yea, of course pretty easy to do, right? No one on Wall Street knows him. No one knew him. No one could say there is Epstein wasn't like Madoff. They knew Madoff. But where did Epstein get a billion dollars?

Well, turned out he had one client. Lesley Wexner and Wexner has all these intelligence ties. So, as you and I know there is this woman called Whitney Webb who kind of pulled it all together where it turns out Epstein was has been an asset for intelligence possible multiple intelligence agencies for his entire adult life. There is only Maxwell who I tastelessly nicknamed Jizz, he, her father was Robert Maxwell, one of the most famous Israeli spies of all time. Right? And he fell off a yacht and died right in the middle of something that wasn't very tasteful.

So, it turns out that Webb does this great job of connecting Epstein with this whole idea of the honey trap, the whole idea of compromising politicians and compromising people in power. But then what you do and this is where Michael Krieger said something to me that made sense is that you don't blackmail them per se you just give them more power and so that you compromise them but then you pull them into your fold and you say by the way,we are going to elevate you, we are going to help you here, we are going to help you there etcetera, etcetera. Where this all connects is it turns out the Massad has huge number of former Massad agents populating Silicon Valley.

It appears to me that Israel's remarkable tech industry it is well known that Israel has a great tech industry. Probably sort of 100% intelligence, probably 100% you know, national security and--and so there are subroutines being wedged into various programs stuff like that but Barack is amazingly prominent in Silicon Valley. So, this whole story is this whole story of this web of international intrigue, after Epstein gets convicted of pedophilia hi--his exceedingly prominent associates like Prince Andrew and Barbara Walters and Stephanopoulos and all these people, Charlie Rose, they don't disown him. Right? I mean if you were a public figure and Epstein got convicted of pedophilia you are saying to him hey, Jeff sorry I can't be seen with you now you're toxic. And he was not.

And they sealed up all the cases, how do you do that? So every--these stories where every single shred make no sense. Now, I am going to disagree with one thing that you said and that is and I get the--I don't think he's dead. I think he's in witness protection. Because I don't think you can kill him. It's real simple, right? If he's been collecting dirt on powerful people and not getting assassinated himself, which means therefore he wasn't threatening him with it, right? You get killed if you are threatening people with it. He is sitting in a cell and he is going to say look, get me out of here alive or I release the hounds. That is how Daniels Ellsberg released the pentagon papers. That's what you do. It's called a suicide switch.

And the guy has been doing this for 40 years knows what a suicide switch his. So, if you wanted to off Epstein you couldn’t do it because you trigger a wave of hits flying across the globe. So, you have to protect him. In fact the most dangerous things to them would be if Epstein got whacked by someone who wanted that release to occur. That would be the risky thing. So, I think I staged the whole thing.

The hyoid bone just keeps us chattering which they are happy to say someone offed him, right? We throw it on the Clinton body count and laugh about it, right? That's nothing. They don't care about the--they don't are about offing Epstein in a cell. They care about revealing this massive web of connectivity that goes to the church, goes to the beltways, goes to Silicon Valley, goes to Israel, goes to everywhere. This is a web of people in power and influence and it's massive. I think it's the biggest scandal in history and they are furiously trying to put it away.

Even Prince Andrew's interview--even Prince Andrew's interview makes no sense.

Chris Martenson: That as such a disaster--I don't sweat. What was that? I don't even understand what was--

Dave Collum: I think he had to take one for the team but I don't know how that fits into the plot. There is no logic in it. So, until you can see logic in doing that interview, you don't understand.

Chris Martenson: This is how I know just how dirty this whole thing is--it wasn't until I think two months after he had allegedly killed himself or a month after, the FBI finally raided his island. Which was just sitting there for the whole world to know about. And as far as I know they still haven't gone to his New Mexico ranch. In what world where you have child porn all over the place and by the way, thank you media for making me so mad at you again because the media was always with this underaged women thing. Yeah, we have another name for that child rape.

Dave Collum: Kids.

Chris Martenson: Kids. Underage women. God, NPR did that, New York Times did that.

Dave Collum: An adult petting zoo is what I call it.

Chris Martenson: It's awful but the investigators--

Dave Collum: I love this line I put this line in -- I have to make fun of it I because it's so sad. But I have the--the plane, the plane and then the Ricardo Montalban guy responded he said yes, unshackle the girls. And then there's stuff like how do you seal up a civil case in which the women in the civil case are saying this guy raped me?

Now, I know for a fact that they--the judge in that case is by law required to pass that to the authorities and they didn't. They sealed it and it was the Secretary of--what was the cabinet Secretary he was a cabinet member with Trump? Secretary of Education-it wasn't education something like that though. Yeah, labor. And then, he re--he retires he says okay I'm out of here. He admitted he sealed the case because Epstein was intelligence. And where is this Gizzel Maxwell, right? Why isn’t she being interrogated? Why isn't Gerschwitz under the--the hot lamp? Cause one of the women in the transcripts said Gerschwitz she put right at Gerschwitz.

Chris Martenson: Yeah or Bill Clinton or 100 other people who should all--if this was a year in my pay grade down here you know the FBI would be having us hauled up and put down under oath and taking statements, right?

Dave Collum: They're never going to go. They're never going to do it.

Chris Martenson: Yeah. And that's why I think this is of such importance because it now broke into the public awareness to the point where people are getting oh my gosh there is two sets of rules in play here, obviously. And of course we saw you know we always know that justice is a two tiered system. It is now becoming more obvious and it is really starting to grate on people more and more, right.

Dave Collum: Let me point out one thing and I am not going to divulge I don't know if you got that part yet or not but the question that is well then who is the dead guy in the gurney? I am going to make your readers read it. The dead guy on the gurney there is a theory of who he is that is so funny you will wet yourself when you read it.

Chris Martenson: All right, I'm going to go hunt that down as soon as we are done here because I am super interested in that. I did see the pictures of him allegedly being wheeled out on a gurney and somehow the nose and the ears don't quite line up. All I can think is--

Dave Collum: There is a guy whose nose and ears do line up and you are just going to wet yourself when you see who that is and he died three weeks earlier--he died three weeks earlier--cause unknown.

Chris Martenson: Oh, okay. Well--

Dave Collum: You can search it.

Chris Martenson: I have to go through this crazy sort of thing like oh maybe he died and you know, fell on his face and his nose and his ears got smooshed. I couldn’t make sense of it. They don't line up with him if that is a real picture anyway. So all right well speaking of this two tiered thing you were writing on gold manipulation you wrote that "two employees were put on leave while Jaime Diamond nothing ever happens. A prosecutor closed a five year silver manipulation case abruptly. Five days later he was in private practice defending the very same JPM metals manipulators."

This is just, it is just so blatantly in your face that it is a corrupt system at this point in time and so you spent time sort of chronicling all of it, but it is almost too much to keep up with at this point.

Dave Collum: That again with finance I think I am going to return to the financial topics when stuff starts happening and when the system starts breaking again, then it is going to be pandemonium. Right now, all I can do is write about things that just look wrong and I can write about things that look incredibly risky, and I can write about how a world record awfulness in so many ways. But the average person looks at their 401k and says look, I am up 20% this year. I say go read last year's. It has gotten worse. That's it.

Chris Martenson: Yeah. Yeah. It is just getting worse and worse and, of course, some of that is just sort of bubble dynamics and you know I can't figure out when the plug is going to get pulled on all this. I for one think the fed is just freaking out. I would like to turn now to the whole idea of what is going on with this repo madness. And I think the best explanation I have heard so far just came out recently from Martin Armstrong and he said look, nobody actually has a clue what is going on here right now we just know something's not quite right. All you need to know when the repo market is blowing out is that the four big banks in control of most of it aren't interested I lending to other parties even overnight. That means trust is broken. We don't know what it is in the cheap seats, yet. To me, the Fed is obviously panicking and either lying about it or being ignorant about it. Either way, I don't feel comfortable with any of that stuff. What do you think is going on there?

Dave Collum: Well, I wrote a lot about it I listed all the theories that I have been able to collect over the year and I put out an APB on Twitter and I got a lot of highly authoritative answers that vary all the way from Zero Hedge conspiracy theory to Hillary to Donald to Jaime Diamond shaking down Powell. There is just a gazillion things. So the one that I opened with and then had everyone tell me I was an idiot is that the banking system is an emergent system which means it basically has a mind of its own and -- and once in a while it just goes crazy, right -- it is like when the fish all of a sudden wash up on shore by the hundreds of thousands. No one knows why that happens, right?

And so, every once in a whole the banking system just has a coronary and I think in this case it's not just the banking system it's the shadow banking system. I think you're right. I think Powell is terrified and if he's not, then he really is an idiot but I am suspecting he is terrified. And they keep trying to normalize truly extraordinary behavior, and so this smacks of a tremor, right? This smacks of sort of San Andreas fault stuff and they are trying to furiously put it away. They are trying to find a way to calm it down. But if it is meta stable it is just a matter of time, right? And they say the banking system is stable. They say the banking system is in much better shape because of Dodd Frank blah, blah, blah.

I go okay, right now 39% couldn't have gone like 39% of corporate debt is junk. Now, I'm not sure I'm saying it is rated junk, it is garbage and you got the leverage. But 39% of corporate debt is junk and when that junk goes bidless how is the banking system going to be doing?

Chris Martenson: Well, there's that and there is all the cove light and leverage loans which don't give them a lot of protections.

Dave Collum: It's all crap I mean it's super crap. It's super garbage.

Chris Martenson: Yes and we had the PIS last year and say hey, not for nothing, maybe you should pay attention but one in eight companies is a zombie, meaning it can't even--their operational cash flows don't even cover the interest payments so they have to keep tapping that endless credit market to keep the bid going. So, that is what the Fed is trying to do here to make sure the credit markets are always amply supplied but the longer they do that the more the junk piles up. So, we haven't had a brush fire and I think we are facing an Australian crown fire at this point if anything does get started and they don't want anything to get started. So, everything has to keep going up. It's just such a ridiculous system.

Dave Collum: Why do you think the BIS is so honest? The BIS seems to be the only source of non-Pinocchio like pronouncements. It's a fascinating question cause they are kind of the bank of banks, right? They are the kind of the top of the food chain they should be in subsets that are lords right? But they come out and say stuff you go, whoa--who that should people and it doesn’t.

Chris Martenson: I agree. Some of the best papers I have read came out of the BIS including you know one that said talked about openly the--the ways in which central bank scan hide their tracks so that they can more effectively manipulate currencies cause blah, blah, blah they use proxy agents. Like they make the whole thing out--these are the things we have studied that work well. And so, I'm thinking if the central banks a decade ago were using proxy agents such as JP Morgan at all to go out and manipulate currency markets, what other markets would you think are off limits to central banks who decide that they as a small unelected cabal of people know best what the price of stocks ought to be, gold, currencies, I mean everything. I think they feel they are responsible for setting the prices of everything without studying history and discovering that price setting is not usually an optimal way to go.

Dave Collum: Right. It's the way the Soviets tried; the Soviets set prices right? And--and the Fed things they are in charge of setting prices. The Soviets actually were trying to cheat because what they were doing was setting the prices watching U.S. prices and saying okay we'll just covertly just set our potato rates at the same as the US--and therefore we can kind of fake it. And not recognizing that well maybe potatoes in Russia aren't the same price, right? Maybe the supply and demand curve is different. So, it didn't work. Now, you have the central bank they think they are in charge of climate change. They think they are in charge of, they think they are in charge of Brexit. Then you got that wacky, wacky, wacky Bill Dudley memo that he wrote; the former head of the New York Fed he writes an op ed in the New York Times saying to the extent the President is a risk to the economy it's the Fed's jurisdiction to worry about who is president, right? That was extraordinary.

And then he in the, Wall Street Journal came out, wrote this op ed and said holy cow. This guy is trying to tell us that the Fed is politically independent and then Dudley writes that--the Wall Street Journal was absolutely unambiguous in their shock that Dudley would write that. And then Dudley backed up and said, this is not about the deep state. This is my opinion. There is no cabal. And I am going, dude thou doth protest too much, right? So the question is--why did he do it. Why did he do it? Why did Mark Carney talk about the dollar losing reserve currency status? Why did Dudley talk about--about, you know, overthrowing the President? What is going on?

It's not like Dudley muttered it on stage like Japo did. Dudley edited an op ed.

Chris Martenson: Yeah, which was vetted I'm sure up and down the lines.

Dave Collum: I think the question is you say you are -- the Fed's job is to make sure we have the right President? What a stunning op ed from a former New York Fed president. 2018 that's a doddering old fool he might be an old fool but 2018 is when he stepped down. This is fresh stuff.

Chris Martenson: No, it's clear the Fed is wildly political. Obviously, and they have you know, whatever that nose of the camel went under the proverbial tent the Fed has been getting more and more and more active in interventionist and I get the sense that they feel that they are in charge of everything. They are responsible for setting all prices and that they know what they should be higher, usually. And, they have been absolutely immune. So, I'm on this one man campaign on Twitter to try and bash the Fed. I have quite a few fellow travelers on it.

Dave Collum: There is at least two, then.

Chris Martenson: At least two, right? But here is what I mean why does not one journalist say Mr. Powell, your policies are directly fostering the wealth gap. Right now, five people have as much wealth as half the world. We are wondering, where is the line? Where do you stop? Is it when those five people own 100% of everything. No, how can they? You are not allowed to deny somebody--that is like Ted Bundy denying what he was up to. You can't. You know, the evidence is there plain as day. You print money and you shovel it into the markets and it goes you might as well wire it directly into the .1% bank accounts, right? You might as well. So, he is responsible for that and why does nobody ask him the most simple of questions which is you are playing with social fire here. You are burning people. You are a redistributive organization. You don't create wealth but you do print up purchasing power, which means it came from somewhere where did it come from? Oh, everybody else. And you hand it to who? These guys.

Dave Collum: Here is what would happen--you know what would happen. First of all, he would never expose himself to a real interrogation, right? He would orchestrate it. If he was ever, for example, giving a speech somewhere and they had a you know, let's say questions which I don't think you would ever do. But if someone said that. He would then give an answer that was some canned answer like you know, we got the lowest unemployment, the little guy has been helped by Fed policy. You know what they say. Right? And then you would not get the mic back. And therefore, that would be the final word. That's the problem. You need a scenario where he says it and then you come back you say no, you are full of crap for these three reasons please clarify and he won't expose himself to that.

Chris Martenson: And, if you were a journalist and you asked that question of course you would never be invited back you would be out. You would be out.

Dave Collum: Exactly. Access journalism is the problem.

Chris Martenson: Yeah. Remember it was Janet Yellen who canned, I think it was Pedro Decosta? Just canned him because he dared to ask a question about some insider junk that was not cool where an outside firm was getting early intelligence form the Fed and he tried to corner Janet Yellen with that. She just turned away from being a kind, grandmotherly persona into an iron lady all of a sudden. That was it. He was it. He was out. Done.

Dave Collum: So, I ran a Free Pedro Twitter campaign. I was so mad at that. And I just all day long just venomous tweets Free Pedro blah, blah, blah you skanks. I just was so mad and then at night I got an email from Pedro he said you know, that was really meaningful to me. I appreciate you doing that. But he is now not asking Fed questions. He lost his job. He quit, I think, you got--so, what happened was after that was that was--was the Free Pedro campaign was when the next Fed meeting occurred the head of the Wall Street Journal. The head of the Wall Street Journal walked into Pedro's office said, you're not going. Then Pedro said why? They said, you're not going. So, the--the Wall Street Journal got told DeCostas is not allowed. That is why I did the Free Pedro.

He then set into motion an email I think that day to quit. I think he is at the Peters Institute or something now, but he was so mad and in any event yeah. And I mean he is not even the most militant. But--but you can't do that, right? You are now challenging the elite power structure. You are challenging the people; the one thing they all agree they want to be powerful, but they still want to retain their power, they want to be elite.

By the way, here is a thought on the retaining elite I do not want to talk about impeachment with the exception of one thing; to me the smoking gun on the impeachment trial was Sondland.

Chris Martenson: Was what?

Dave Collum: Sondland. Sondland in the morning gave a speech that basically said Trump and all his buddies are guilty as guilty can be. If you listen to that speech I heard it on the--I heard it. I was driving somewhere I was on a trip or something and I heard it and I go wow that guy just nailed Trump. And then in the afternoon on cross examination he said I don't know anything, I didn't hear anything, I didn't see anything. I just presumed it. The guy was lying. The guy was lying either in the morning or at night. Right? In the afternoon. There's no chance that that same person gave those two--so, if you were a CNN person you heard him hammer Trump. If you were a FOX person, you heard him declare that he knows nothing.

And it was the same guy and I'm going how is that possible? And I realized here is the smoking gun--he gave two sides their talking points. And so, the Democrats could say blah, blah, blah the Republicans could say blah, blah, blah. And--and neither is talking about committing perjury. They each got their talking points. And the reason is because they all agree, whether it's Schiff or whether it is Jordan they want to be re-elected and they got their talking points. There is no way Sondland's testimony makes sense by a normal model. I think he gave up the two sides. It's like the Mueller Report, right? The Mueller Report came out and said not guilty and put this stuff in and both sides screamed about how they won. Mueller Report had, it's like you know, the classic you'll be lucky if you get this person to work for you line. Mueller handed both teams something to talk about.

Chris Martenson: Yeah, what a travesty that report, that was though, I mean two and a half years.

Dave Collum: I think he found nothing. I think the report generally came to the conclusion there was nothing there. And now this Horowitz report stuff. So, you know, Trump is anti-fragile. Every time they attack him and they don't bring him down he gets stronger. So, if you're a Trump hater, this should bother you to no end. Because he is like the guy with the glowing eyes on Star Trek. He is getting stronger and stronger every time they fail to bring him down.

Chris Martenson: Well, I'm just a little bit shocked that the so called Deep State so you got Clapper, Brennan all those people they just openly--openly lying about stuff.

Dave Collum: Comey--

Chris Martenson: And then nothing comes of it. Do you remember, I think it was, I think that the CIA even got caught I think hacking into Senate staffers laptops. I mean domestic spying. Worst of the worst. He lied about it in front of an open committee and then later it turned out he had been lying and nothing happened. He is still an eminent person and I have to watch him on CNN from time to time and it's just it's astonishing to me the level of brazen rule breaking, law breaking criminality that can exist at that level with nothing--no consequences.

Dave Collum: So, here's what's happening. If you--if you go to the conclusion of my annual write up I go super dark and I go through all of this. I go through all of this even though I didn't write about it all because--because I talk about the digital, the digital gulags that they are setting up. Sort of like Milo Yanopolous who is a hateable guy--I find him fascinating. But I understand why people hate him. Certainly, why the left hates him profoundly but they have been able to erase him. This guy was able to find microphones everywhere. They have erased him from the public forum. They took him off Twitter, they took him off Facebook, they took him off Twitter, they took him off everything because they didn't want him there anymore.

And they took off Gavin McGinnis who by the way, was nowhere near as polarizing as he was made out to be. He's gone. He got vaporized. And they boot Roger Stone who, he is hateable from both sides in my opinion. But you can't boot them, right? The next person booted is you. They will say but your opinions are not worthy. I got in that thing where they booted my YouTube. I did a QTR podcast and YouTube booted it. I didn't give a damn, so what.

Chris Martenson: You had many feathers in your cap this year and I think getting banned off of YouTube; that was one of them.

Dave Collum: That was great, wasn't it. They are a bunch of Nazis. And by the way, YouTube is changing and I don't think people have noticed. YouTube has these new rules that says the little guys if they are not earning enough money, we can boot them. You know what that means that it has gone--it's corporate now. It’s not the word you no longer matters. The word you is gone. I know there are videos that used to be on YouTube if you search them you can't find them. What you can find are new stories that have the video in them but they are corporate news stories. So YouTube is no longer about you. This is--this is an encroaching Stalinism. I really don't think I'm being hyperbolic here. And they are controlling us.

I don't think it's just that though cause that's a speech now. We talk through digital, right? We communicate through digital. We don't write letters to the editor anymore we have Facebook, we go to YouTube we go to Twitter and the fact that they can--through the years right Standard Oil, Exxon, U.S. Steel, all of the major industries, they were powerful, right? They built an empire but they were powerful. Never did I feel like they controlled me. And these new companies control me.

It's not that they know everything about me I've long since given up on that.

Chris Martenson: Me too.

Dave Collum: They control me. Here is a story that I tell--in China -- if it is in China now don't think it's not going to make it here. In China, they are talking to a couple of expats they are saying tell us about life in China. They are like oh, it's blah blah blah, a guy says well because of all the camera and facial recognition the other day I crossed the road and by the time I stepped onto the curb I got a text message that said you just j walked we've deducted this much from your bank account. I don't want to live in that world. That's--I don't want to live in a world where if you do 31 in a 30 you get deductive from your bank account.

I don't want to live in a world where they can catch you doing anything, right? We're all married, right? We got someone watching over our shoulder enough we don't need--we don't need a digital overseer, overlord. I want to have to get caught. I don’t want them putting in a car that monitors your driving that perceives your driving is distracted they alert the authorities. I will never buy a Volvo if that's the case. But then the other cars will do it. This is beta testing. This is horrifying to me. We give up civil liberties one at a time, cash right? They want to get rid of cash.

I had a Kaiser Report the other day and I was unaware that Michael Hudson thinks they are going to take negative interest rates before this is done negative 25%. I said it will be a cataclysm if they take interest rates to -25% right? That will be and what is happening in the world right now? Violence is trending. That is the problem. Violence is trending. How many countries in the world are there violent protests, right? Dozens. Hong Kong is getting the press but Portland, Oregon is always flaring up. The Yellow Vests in France, this is first world not third world.

Chris Martenson: Yes.

Dave Collum: Violence is trending. At some point the people say no, I have had enough. And once it starts, how do you stop it? Not only is currency fiat but government is fiat. The government declares they are in charge until the people say oh no you are not. And then they’ve got a problem.

Chris Martenson: Yeah and they are really you know, one of my little quips yesterday on Twitter was I said, if band-aids could cure cancer I would be totally what the Fed is up to. We have these structural issues that papering over with another half trillion of liquidity before year end just can't address, you know. And this is the part that I think is leading to hso much of the stress. And some of it we can just-look, this always happens. In all of the ancient religious texts they had this concept of a jubilee. And, if they had debt based systems where there was interest involved, they understood that over time compounding systems get away from you. So what was a jubilee? It was seven periods of seven. It was 49 years.

And, that's about how long it takes before a compounding system really gets away from you. And here we are approaching in early the 50th year of coming off the gold standard. It has been a fun ride but look what has happened. We are now entrenched into a system where we are compounding our debts more than twice the rate of income growth even on a nominal basis, let alone real. There is nothing you can do about that except to keep lowering rates to get to 0 and then you have to get stupid and say well maybe we just go into negative territories; the linear extrapolation of what you have been up to but everything goes wonky in negative territory cause it doesn't make sense. Because fundamentally it says the productive output of your excess surplus has a negative value, right? What--what kind of--how do you make sense of that? I don't even know what to do with that kind of a decision.

Dave Collum: Time is a thing of value too, right? So time is of negative value--why would I lend someone money to get less back. By the way, there is a [unintelligible] explained who is behind all the negative interest rate loans. I said who is buying those things, right? And it turns out that these bond funds are set up just like equity funds where they are sort of market cap weighted. And so to the extent the equity funds the banks have bigger and bigger proportion because the higher their price the bigger market, more money gets dumped into those shares. And so those virtues cycling off will become a vicious cycle that is through the same thing as the bonds approach zero and the price of the bond goes up. Apparently, what should cross your own it goes bananas.

Chris Martenson: So yeah, this negative interest rates are just insane and -- and that was a really big story coming in through the middle of last year. Seems to have come back a little bit. Yeah, we are still talking 10 trillion in negative yielding interest rates.

So, I want to get to the conclusion of all this though because I do believe in this fourth turning aspect and I think where you went is where my mind and heart has gone which is to say there is--it is going to get darker before it gets better and that is just trend extrapolation for me because people I have -- I have to confess I have lost friends or former friends who have taken on emotional views that I can't--I just can't follow. And I see this gap getting wider and wider and wider between the various parties. And in my mind I now actually begin to understand something that I was reading this article by this Colonel whose job was to foment civil wars and insurrections in various countries. Welcome to the empire.

At any rate, they have this whole model and they characterized it and they said there are eight things you have to do or need to see before you can reliably get some sort of a civil war started or an insurrection going. And his concern was that he saw that the United States had six out of that eight. And I think with this new polarization we are seeing we are up to seven. So, I am beginning to understand, I think, we already have an intellectual civil war. I am starting to see how sides can become so entrenched and separate in their views really there is no reconciliation available until some sort of catharsis. Is that where you are sort of heading with all of this?

Dave Collum: Yeah, yeah, and when you are watching a video and some guys are beating the tar out of ANTIFA and you are rooting for them you realized you are jumping on the train. So, as I'm watching I would scream at Schiff. Which on the one hand I was sympathetic to him I was more alert to this I said Dave if you are rooting for these guys, you are rooting for this armed insurrection approach to life. And, I think we are going there. It will not work well, right? It never does. Revolutions never work out for the little guy. They are always sold to you as we the proletariat, we the people are going to take back our government and then guess what? You and it to a dictator. It never works well with the exception of the American Revolution where we are shaking our shackles from across the pond.

But civil wars don't work out well at all, right? That is where my brain is headed. Totally.

Chris Martenson: There is really no resolution. I don't think to the sort of financial mess we have gotten ourselves into or the fiscal mess or monetary mess. All of these things feel like what we did. Right around 1913 is when we came up with this brilliant idea of sort of hey we can just do this really, really intense fractional reserve thing. It was right about the time oil was coming online and then it worked magically, but correlation is not causation. And it just happened to be that we were not coincidentally going deeper and deeper into debt as we had more and more of this tasty, tasty fuel to do things with. It was a lot of fun.

But now that that is sort of nosed over, and by the way conventional oil peaked years ago and we are replacing it with this ultra-expensive stuff which by the way, doesn't pencil out economically. You know, every shale company I follow is losing money and has already burned a quarter of a trillion dollars. It is not coming back out of the ground. We can throw more money in holes in the ground but that is a different story. So now that this awkward part of the story where we have this entire entrenched system of constant exponential growth of money and credit and claims and we don't have a system that can accommodate that in the real world, so it is really a human derived fantasy model which is fun because it gets to entrench power and it is great.

And the reality of the world which is oh we are it just can't support that level of growth anymore. Combined with the idea that China and India together are coming online to bring forward a billion middle class people to more than eclipse the entire middle classes of both Europe and the United States and their demand on resources, that is the story that I see shaping up coming forward. And nobody knows how to make sense of that. And you know, the status quo is just busy trying to pretend as if we can just persist. That to me is the conflict. Our narrative doesn’t work anymore. Just doesn't work.

Dave Collum: I saw some crazy, I am going to make it up, this is not true. It was something that if the country we will call country X produced no, you know, produced no C02. Let's use C02 as a proxy for economics to the extent that energy burns the economy you burn energy to grow the economy. That country x if they put out no C02 that that would be the equivalent of what China puts out in 10 minutes. Some crazy stat like that. And then, so the tragedy of the commons is taking place on a gargantuan scale as India and China do what we are attempting to for better or worse, whether logical or not, reverse.

Chris Martenson: Well, this has been one of my chief critiques about the climate change movement is that you know, I read these articles that say we need to be zero carbon by 2030 or 2050.

Dave Collum: Right.

Chris Martenson: And, I just pencil that out and I say cool just tell me which half of the people you think should die. Cause we can't feed them, right?

Dave Collum: Or 90%, right?

Chris Martenson: Or 90% which how many which nine out of 10 jobs should go away? It's just the idea that we will just sort of comport ourselves by other means because we have decided that we should be able to use wind towers still misses the fact that if you watch a wind tower getting put up and you see the 100,000 pounds of concrete and steel go into the base and then you see the giant tower go up and a cell and all the blades--there is fossil fuels in every single one of those components just dripping off of it.

Dave Collum: Can you get that back or not from a wind tower? Is the energy negative per milliwatt?

Chris Martenson: I don’t know because we have no closed loop system that says we entirely use the energy from a wind tower to mine and produce all the components. My guess is probably not.

Dave Collum: I would think not.

Chris Martenson: So, it is just such a hyper complex interconnected system like where do you draw the lines in that study?

Dave Collum: The cost of shipping the stuff and everything, right. Exactly.

Chris Martenson: The sandwich the trucker ate, where did that sandwich come from? How about the roads that they drove on? What were those made out of?

Dave Collum: So for your listener, I put in 32 pages on climate change. And I'm not qualified to evaluate climate change, right? You have to be wildly, broadly read and you have to be incredibly smart and diverse and a polymath and all this under the sun and then spend 10,000 hours. Well, what I have tried to do is to adjudicate it like maybe like a judge would adjudicate a case where they are not really qualified either but they just listen to the two sides argue and then say okay, here is my decision.

And the climate change story is a very complex one. One thing that I can guarantee you is that you are being lied to in a profound way in the climate change story. There is so many physics, so much politics, there are so many things, so many vested interests, it is not just Exxon--there is vested interest. $600 billion is being put per year into climate change. $600 billion if you bean counted across all the different stuff.

And so, hypothetically let's say climate change turns out to be a dud, right? I don't doubt that your model, which by the way we first met years and years ago but when we first started communicating you were probably a third of the way through the crash course and I remember you going is anyone even going to listen to this? I said, I think they will. But--but I am a big research depletion hawk and things like that. I totally agree with everything you say about the pollution and the plastic. We don't need to pack everything in plastic. What kind of garbage heap protocol is that? Everything comes in plastic.

But I don't think the climate is going to be our problem. That's my conclusion. And if climate change is a dud, here is the problem--here is the biggest conflict of interest of them all, it is a dud that 600 billion goes poof, right? That 600 billion: departments on campuses, agencies and governments, subsidies for various kinds of energy which I support various kinds of energy. I love the tech, except for Facebook. And I support doing all that. But--but--but the push goes poof if climate change turns out to be a dud. What are the odds of climate change is going to be a dud? By that model? The answer is zero. They are not going to let $600 billion go poof. It's too important.

And so, they are going to lie their ass off. And here as a scientist, and you are a scientist here as a scientist I watch the arguments, I watch for emotional arguments, I watch for database arguments, I watch for plots that are rigging data and plots that are cherry-picking start points and stuff like that. It appears to me that the climate change crowd are the frauds. I'm, the deniers I'm not picking up the lies out of the deniers, I'm not picking up the conflicts out of the deniers at all. I spent a lot of time.

And I could be wrong to really--I haven't read a lot of the primary papers, right? All I have done is looked at the arguments as though it were a Harvard debate club, right? But the specious arguments are coming out of the changers. The ones where I can point to and say that's crap right there. That's crap.

Chris Martenson: Yeah.

Dave Collum: And I read plots for a living, right? My day is staring at plots and trying to tease information out of them. When I see one I go oh man that is just a chart crime right there.

Chris Martenson: Yeah, well you are a scientist, I am a scientist we have spent a lot of time looking at these things and we understand that--that scientists are people and that cherry-picking data is very easy to do. And, confirmation bias is a thing and so you know, as a scientist I am more skeptical of science than most people I think, right?

Dave Collum: Me too, yeah.

Chris Martenson: Particularly in areas where I know there is vested interest so you want to get me started on something like any--any sort of healthcare study I am just immediately suspicious. Oh we analyzed 17000 kids and discovered that there's no negative correlation to screen time. I'm like yeah, I need to know who funded that study.

Dave Collum: It is so easy to screw up one of those studies, too. In polls my god polls oh my god are they corruptible and things like that. You are really, here is the thing that is so frustrating to me is you can reach a point where you believe nobody. You literally believe nobody. And--and Daniel Ellsberg warned Kissinger of that. When Kissinger was about to get top security clearance Ellsberg said Henry you are about to see stuff that is going to be amazing, you are going to be elated and then you are going to be talking to some guy who thinks he knows what he's talking about--but he doesn’t know what you know and then you are going to realize that he is wrong because he didn't know what you know. And then you are going to stop listening to people and then you are going to be a bonehead.

Chris Martenson: That's pretty smart. I like that.

Dave Collum: I'm afraid of reaching a point where someone will say well here is a study. I go, I don’t believe it.

Chris Martenson: Yeah.

Dave Collum: And that's a dangerous place, too. But I'm getting close to that. The whole climate thing is so--I've never seen such a profound conflict of interest. And it's not Exxon, right? Exxon doesn't need to be conflicted. You and I both know they are going to sell whatever oil they can get out of the ground, right?

Chris Martenson: Yeah.

Dave Collum: They're not going to--they're not going to not be able to hawk oil. When--wind power is not going to compete with Exxon. They are not afraid of hydroelectric. They are not afraid of geothermal. Because they know they are the best game in town by a mile as long as--by the way, I read Exxon's 1980--here's one for you.

Chris Martenson: Yeah, I read that, too.

Dave Collum: I read Exxon the 1982 report on climate change?

Chris Martenson: Yeah.

Dave Collum: Did you pick up the one line that was important in there where they mentioned that--that in the worst case scenario so I thought it was a brilliant report. I thought it was incredibly scholarly, balanced and said there is evidence--Exxon knew that climate change was a fraud; no, they were evaluating the published literature. Publicly published literature and trying to figure out what it all means.

But there was one line in there that caught my attention I was like oh, this is a Chris Martenson moment here they said, in the worst case scenario the C02 problem could become a problem before resource depletion. And I'm going, I think that's the first time I've seen a--a big oil company refer to the running out of resource.

Chris Martenson: Yeah.

Dave Collum: You probably have heard it. You probably have heard it cause you know these guys.

Chris Martenson: Yeah, so I was--I served on this UN panel for a while and there was a gentleman there who was a former president of U.S. Shell. It was a couple of years ago when peak oil was dead--peal oil is dead you know the media is just drumming it off.

Dave Collum: Fracking our way to prosperity.

Chris Martenson: So like hey, what do you think about peak oil. He goes oh totally real. Like we were in the business of looking for oil, trust me we know exactly how hard it is to find and we scoured every inch of the globe and there are a few basins where we think there is a little leftover in Africa and maybe down in South America but it is pretty well punched through. So for somebody who is in the biz there is no question about what is happening. None whatsoever.

Dave Collum: You go to the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico to get oil if it is easy to get, right? That's the bottom line you are squeezing the last drops out of a sponge, right? Boy, this is a long time back when it was all about Hubbard's Peak and Matt Simmons. Wow that seems like an eternity ago that peak oil was actually getting the attention. Now it's calm because they found a way to frack us back into oil and, as you have said a million times, the fracking wells don't last and the fields are getting drained.

Now, is it possible there is shale type oil all over the planet that we haven't discovered? Is it possible that stuff exists? Very different price. Very different price.

Chris Martenson: We have uncovered a few of those basins, right? There is the Vacomuerta in Argentina looks pretty good. Russia has got a pretty big play that looks pretty good. So it is there you know, China--

Dave Collum: But it's not unexplored is the point. They've been identified in your opinion?

Chris Martenson: Pretty good sense of it at this point in time. We will probably find some more -- I still think Africa is probably the last big prize. I don’t think it has been picked over the way every other place has. I mean Africa is huge, right? Like basically the size of all the other continents you care about in one. So--

Dave Collum: So, 50 years from now what's happening? Are we--have we somehow bridged to some energy or are we going to be living in a smaller footprint?

Chris Martenson: I'm going with smaller footprint on this one because you know, it is -- the amount of energy we take to--to develop ourselves. Here is where I would suddenly become hopeful instead of pretty cynical. If suddenly you know, our government came out and said hey, look we got a lot of oil because we can still frack some more but it is not infinite. We think there is X quantity. We need X - Y to build out towards this new future and that is what we are using it for. This new future is going to be more local, more electrified, yadda, yadda. Probably looks a little bit like Europe with our green belts and cities and all that stuff, right? Whatever.

At least there's a plan to say we think it is going to take an allotment of energy to build a new thing, a new system and then we use it for that. Then the rest of it go ahead. Put it in your F150 and take your kid an hour away to soccer practice, have at it. But this allotment over here is for getting us into this new future. But we're not doing that.

Dave Collum: So you use the seed corn to plant seeds.

Chris Martenson: Yeah and so--

Dave Collum: So, can we do this can we transition without hitting the nukes? I think we got to do the nukes and the problem is as I see it for us the local boys is that we are not going to hit the nukes fast. And--and China and places like that, are.

Chris Martenson: Well, if we can get the thorium reactors going I would be even more hopeful. China and India are working on it pretty hard that--that seems like a pretty decent fuel cycle. Investigated it a bunch and the lift reactors and stuff like that. There is--there is something there. But again, you would have to get started on it right now. So here is my prediction for the United States, we are not going to get started on anything. We are going to pretend like we can keep driving our F150s and Tahoes and all that other stuff. And then, there is a crisis, right? Somehow. And, we all go oh gosh now we are short on energy but guess what? That's a bad time to start trying to make your plans, right? Because that--

Dave Collum: That's Easter Island right there. Wait a minute we cut down the last tree.

Chris Martenson: Yeah, at that moment you have this towering pile of debt which was all predicated on the infinite future and something that is revealed as a fantasy and so your entire financial system goes into disarray which means I think coming up with a giant capital intensive very technologically interwoven build project that's larger than anything we have ever undertaken. You know, crisis is a bad time to sort of envision and execute something like that. That's how I look at it.

Dave Collum: I totally agree. But the problem is we are so close to a financial crisis now that we may--we may be way, way past the fail safe on--we don't have 50 trillion left in us, in my opinion, to do this without doing some serious damage to the dollar and to the economy and all sorts of stuff. I just don't see it. We got all these unfunded liabilities that we have to pay or--or face the consequences of, and they are enormous. They are fantastically enormous. The pensions are all underfunded. At the top of a bubble, Social Security is a disaster and we promised so much medical help for everyone that is now profoundly expensive.

By the way, you know who is making a fortune in this medical thing? You mentioned it I've been trying to find out where all the money is bleeding and I have made the argument, I think on your podcast before, if you look at pharma, they are profitable but collectively the big ones you don't you can't find unsightly you can't find unseemly profits you find good, healthy profits--the insurance companies are going nuts. The insurance companies are printing money.

They have found a way to make the higher healthcare costs even more profitable.

Chris Martenson: Yeah, I know they are really disgusting, amoral shameful people and I am hoping for the public humiliations to start at some point in the future because it is really awful what they are doing. Just awful.

Dave Collum: Good luck with that one.

Chris Martenson: Yeah, I know. Well, what do you see in the closing moments here--you went dark at the end. You think this gets a little worse before it gets better but what--what are you actually seeing in the next few years coming forward?

Dave Collum: Well, at some option we are going to have a recession and then we are going to find out if Dave is right or wrong on his economic forecasting. I am sort of in the John Hussman club of over valuation and over extended. I see all these guys they said yeah we are going to blow off the top. I don't care about that. If you tell me that in five years we are going to have buildings burning to the ground economically I am happy to step aside now and--and they are kind of talking that way now. The blow off top lingo is the way to say stay invested, don't jump out because this is where you are going to make a lot of money. I go yeah, that's I'm not buying that model.

I think we're going to end up in the next recession whenever it comes and it is way overdue in my opinion we are going to find out where the dead bodies are buried. And the question is, if it is a generic recession, I'm wrong. And I think it's going to be a mean one. I think it's going to be an awful one and I think that people are going to be mad. It is going to have social unrest associated with it because guys are going to go I lost my job again and now you are asking me to bail out the banks again? How is this possible, right? And that is what they are going to try to do. We are not--there is some farmer who said, quit talking down to us. We are smarter than you think.

And that's correct. That is, our collective wisdom is unbelievable. We are reading this year about how the Syrian chlorine gas attacks were a fraud. I wrote about that last year. Twitter totally debunked them, right? The populous knows this stuff now. You can't miss this stuff if you are paying attention. And now, all of a sudden, it is like we know Comey and these guys have lied their asses off. The Horowitz report is not a shock to me, not a shock to you.

Chris Martenson: Nope.

Dave Collum: We knew they were lying and at some point, at some point Joe Sixpack says that's it. I've had enough and I don’t know what happens. I don’t know what happens. I keep thinking you are going to tell me because you are so much more sort of up to speed on this social societal stuff. But I can't picture how it--it is sort of like a person with stage four liver cancer. You go, what next? I go, you're going to die. Right? And you can't wrap your brain around it.

Chris Martenson: Well, here is the thing. You mentioned a government by fiat and it is by the consent of the government of course we have been fairly willing with our consent for a long time but that can break quickly like that school of fish turning left. And then we have a system of money by fiat. And it is really a faith based system and credit really operates on trust. Well, we don’t have that is the general theme here to me is this loss of trust. And it is that erosion of the institutional trust. In fact, it's worse than that. People now trust the healthcare executives are going to be greedy, shameful pigs who are going to do everything they can to screw them right or wrong, right? We know that.

Dave Collum: And the media is letting us down. That is the thing that is bothering me the most, the media is letting us down completely. And that--that bothers me to no end because they are kind of the sheriffs on the beat. They are supposed to be out there watching and writing their Woodward and Bernstein. There are some good ones like Cheryl Atkinson, but there are some that are so bad.

And this is where Trump is correct when he attacks the media. Now, it the people hate Trump again, I get it but the media is awful. And they're constitutionally protected. They don't deserve the protections. Get them on the bench, bring someone off the bench and give them a shot. Here by the way some guy--Starbucks, you want greed? The Starbucks CEO just got offered a $50 million bonus if his shares three years from now have been 80% of the S&P irrespective of whether it is up or down. And here is the offer I would make, I would find a smart potential CEO and here is the deal--we will give you a job. You work for free. The Starbucks has reached these metrics has nothing to do with share price. Share price is cancer to the system.

You give the CEO a chance. You say you are going to work for free for three years and if you get these metrics of wealth creation to this level you get to keep the job but you are going to work for free until then. And there would be people with a deal I'll take it, I'll take it, I'll take it. You don't have to give a guy a huge salary and a $50 billion bonus. Some people would just love that job.

Chris Martenson: I would love that job.

Dave Collum: I would hate it actually I would be so incompetent. But there's people who would say great. I don’t' need money I need a company. I would run a company right? So, the reason he is getting a $50 million bonus regardless of what the share price does as long as he beats the other guy; think of how much corruption that is going to create. Think how much the insider crap and buybacks of something he is going to do because he has got a $50 million bogey he is going to hit and he will rig it until he hits it. There is no chance he cares about the shareholders, long-term he will get the share price that is not long-term. Someone is going to get screwed if you pump the price up. We know that's true.

I want a person who runs companies well. I don’t want a person who--who just focuses on share price. Share price is a false indicator.

Chris Martenson: And as we've seen, the reason I think this is going to be a barn burner of a recession--it's not really a recession. A recession is a business cycle this is a credit cycle that is going to burn itself out. And when credit cycles end it is like lights out, right? All those C suite decisions like how many shares we are going to buy back? Well, they just decide that afternoon no more. And you know, all sorts of things that were sort of running flawlessly and forward grind miserably into reverse. It was really fast. That was my learning from the last two bubbles when Pets.com closes its doors down it happens pretty much overnight and everybody is fired. Right? It's really fast. Whereas in a normal recession the business cycle starts to turn and Ford says well, maybe we got a little too much inventory. Just takes money to sort of wind things down in mothball stuff and make painful firing decisions. But when your credit runs out and you are a zombie company its lights out that next day. It's over right?

Dave Collum: Yeah, 10% of the S&P, 14% are said to be zombies. 14 that's a James Grant number. 14% of those major companies are said to be zombies, meaning their cash flow doesn't pay the interest on their debt. Those are going to be auctioned off on the courthouse steps when we hit the next--and as you--as you pointed credit cycles--you ended up in... I'm not afraid of deflation. I am afraid of a deflationary collapse. Deflation is fine. If we had let deflation do its thing we would be in great shape. But no, we don't. But a deflationary collapse is a disaster, right? That’s Great Depression 2.0. We're not tough like we were in the 30s.

Chris Martenson: No, but you know what? I know some people are trying to be tough cause they see it coming. There is a little bit of a movement out there amongst at least the people I hang with to become more resilient and in great shape and learn how to grow a few things in your garden because we might need to bring those skills back here on this next one.

My summary is a pox on both houses and shape on the institution that is failing us so badly be it the Fed or the media. But that’s really on us, you know. Those are self-inflicted wounds at this point in time. So, you know, I guess I'm okay if those chips have to fall where they are going to have and it's just you know, hopefully it's not too bad.

My fear is that it is too bad and that you now, it once things really begin to correct and go into collapse the financial system. That is when politicians bring out their worst sides. They blame China, say it was Russia. They just make crap up and next thing you know there are missiles flying different sort of a nuke. I’m really worried about that possible outcome because listen the DNC had a chance to say wow, we put up probably the single worst person in the universe and they actually lost to Donald Trump. We need to look in the mirror and not do that again. And instead they just--

Dave Collum: They are talking about bringing her back.

Chris Martenson: And, instead oh God, please. And instead they said oh must have been Russia and came up with this whole thing that was easily debunked by people with a functioning computer inside of minutes and somehow that evaded the entire superstructure of commentators and journalists and it is just a mystery to me. Anyway, if we lack the ability to have even that level of introspection around these things, I don't I'm not too positive for how we are going to respond when the next crisis starts.

Dave Collum: No. I totally agree. So, they are--I think that is what the Fed sees. So, if I am going to give them credit by the way, watch out this is a totally tangential thing but the world hasn't picked up on this one. There was a model put out by the St. Louis Fed for a change in various reserve habits and what the Fed proposed to do was to let--was to let banks sell non reserve assets to the Fed at will, and that would encourage them to keep their reserves to a minimum. It was put forth by a guy named David Andolfatto, who is actually supposed to debate and he bailed on me, he unfollowed me on Twitter he didn't like the fact that I have been hammering the Fed relentlessly.

What they are trying to do they are trying to give the banks the power to be at will. And it has gotten no press the Andolfatto trade model. It has gotten no press. Now he got mad at me when he was saying look what they will do is they will sell their treasuries they will take their excess reserves and they'll buy treasuries. Now, I think the model was it will allow them to then unwind the balance sheet cause the excess reserves are used by the treasury so the Fed can keep selling into the marketplace. But I said: but David, what they are going to do is they are not going to buy treasuries. The excess reserves are just going to be used to leverage up elsewhere and they will become non excess by statute they don't lend reserves, they lend against reserves when you have excess reserves you have excess lending capacity, and they will do that instead you got to lever up the system. He got mad. But watch for that because I think they are going to have QE on demand is what I would call that model. I wrote quite a bit about that. And it got no press. Got no press that I can see but I think it's coming.

Chris Martenson: Well, it's just you know we are going to try more and more crazy things anything to keep this whole thing sort of going. Of course, without a plan a master plan that says hey if we do keep this all going here is how it resolves. Here is where the growth returns, here is when we finally pay stuff down. It is never a good time to pay stuff down during an expansion hey why should we and then when the correction comes hey now is a terrible time. It is always a terrible time. So, you just keep pushing this further and further.

Eventually, the big math problem here is people go oh, $300 trillion of debt versus 12 times that in unfunded liabilities and all of those only make sense if we can have a future that's larger than the present. Well, how do you get a larger future? Oh, you gotta burn more oil. You got to make more cars. Got to build more houses. Takes resources.

So, sooner or later people go oh, we don't even have the resources to make this square the circle in this story. That is just so painfully obvious to me. I don't know why it isn't--

Dave Collum: So, I quoted you when you said, I think it was not too long ago, actually, where you said we have doubled our global oil consumption since the 1990s. How many more doublings do we have left? And that is exactly right. To the extent that doubling the oil consumption is-is not only a proxy for doubling the economy but it is a mandate for doubling the economy, right? You burn oil to--to grow the economy. You can't keep doubling, right?

I go all the way back to the original Crash Course where you hit a puddle in the infield in the stadium that drilled the in field by noon, right? You can't keep doubling. The exponential function, the Albert Bartlett moment, it doesn't work and that's the--the great insight of the crash course is nothing--nothing that is exponential is sustainable.

Chris Martenson: Right. Well, thank you for that and it's--listen we're out of time. Let's do this again. Let's do it again soon. We have a lot more to talk about. This has been an absolutely fascinating romp and thank you so much for, of course, taking the time. It's a real public service, I think, writing your year in review. This one is a doozy it is really good. I think people actually need to spend some time with it and to think through not just what are the implications if this fourth turning comes as it seems to be coming and what are the social implications of that but also what are the responses to that going to be. Ho war they going to personally -- you know, what actions are you going to take nothing? Something. A lot here to chew on, a lot to consider and it is funny, too. So thanks for making it many moments of levity in there. Great quotes. It’s perfect.

Dave Collum: Cool. You're welcome and thank you for having me.

Chris Martenson: All right, Dave until next time. People you can find the year in review of course, at Peak Prosperity and we will have a link right at the bottom of this podcast, so take it, read it, read it over a couple of mornings and let's have a great conversation about it at the site. Dave, thanks again.

Dave Collum: You bet. Thank you.

Related content
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51 Comments

  • Thu, Dec 26, 2019 - 8:22pm

    #1

    Oliveoilguy

    Status: Gold Member

    Joined: Jun 29 2012

    Posts: 851

    3

    Jubilee

    The thought of 7 x 7 years compounding debt since we got off the gold standard is all I need to know about our economic situation. A jubilee might be in order. Great observation Chris.

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  • Thu, Dec 26, 2019 - 8:46pm

    #2
    MRush

    MRush

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    Joined: Aug 05 2015

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    15

    MRush said:

    Come on...David Collum takes on climate change without  reading the primary scientific literature, by admission! WTF! While criticizing the political aspects of a changing climate as shaping the discussion, it is on that basis he reaches his conclusions.  Anyone else find this audacious and troubling?

    I like Collum and think he makes wonderful points regarding many trends, but on this topic, he loses many kudos for me, especially as he is a scientist.

    To David C:  you have several thousand hours to go...

     

     

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  • Thu, Dec 26, 2019 - 9:07pm

    #3
    centroid

    centroid

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    Joined: Nov 16 2014

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    0

    too many useless voices created by the fiat money system

    we keep having to listen to voices whose identities have been created as manlinvestments caused by the fiat money system. if we have any hope of averting runaway climate change, then the money system has to change first back to a hard money standard. eg/ big government, growth narrative etc

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  • Fri, Dec 27, 2019 - 8:54am

    #4
    KugsCheese

    KugsCheese

    Status: Gold Member

    Joined: Jan 01 2010

    Posts: 912

    1

    Gurney?

    Who's supposedly on the gurney?

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  • Fri, Dec 27, 2019 - 9:02am

    Steve

    Steve

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    2

    Gurney

    Tony Rodham.  He's Hillary's brother who passed away.

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  • Fri, Dec 27, 2019 - 12:30pm

    PaulJam

    PaulJam

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    PaulJam said:

    Yes, I found it disappointing as well. But whatever. I also don't care for his style much, but on the other hand, I do find much of value elsewhere in his point of view.  I'm not a supporter of this site so that I can have all of my views fully validated by whatever content is offered.

    I've been following this issue closely for 30 years. As a conservation scientist, I know more than a few independently-minded colleagues who decided that the issue was legit more than 16 years ago. At this point, even if there was such a thing as the alternative energy tooth fairy, it is way too late in the game for other's viewpoints and opinions to matter much in terms of the trajectory of the issue, so it is not worth expending emotional energy on.

    If I was scrupulously judicious about guarding against my own confirmation bias, I would read his summary section on climate change and put my own time into figuring out where I think he was mistaken.  However, I simply don't have the time and bandwidth for this right now, for better or worse.

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  • Fri, Dec 27, 2019 - 1:59pm

    #7

    thc0655

    Status: Platinum Member

    Joined: Apr 27 2010

    Posts: 2129

    7

    Personally, I’ve lost interest

    ... in proving or disproving the climate change agenda. Now I’m just interested in the proposed “solutions.” Do nothing and continue with business as usual? I won’t listen to anyone with that agenda. Give up what’s left of our independence and freedoms to a massively bloated, all-powerful government and its huge bureaucracy so that they can save the children and the world? Nope. Enrich the banksters with billions in profits from a carbon credits scheme? Not happening.

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  • Fri, Dec 27, 2019 - 3:51pm

    soulinrevolt

    soulinrevolt

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    soulinrevolt said:

    Yeah, when I heard him say Trump was a "hero figure," I had a good chuckle.  If you want to talk about overreach in the so called "intelligence community," fine, but to call Donald J. Trump a hero is the goddamnedest thing I've heard since the last time Ben Carson said something publicly. Apparently you can be a good scientist and have bat-shit crazy views on other things?

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  • Fri, Dec 27, 2019 - 4:10pm

    #9
    phoenixl

    phoenixl

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    Joined: Nov 01 2015

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    15

    There's interest groups and then there's primary science

    I think Dave got sidetracked by reading the opinions out there on is there or is there not climate change and forgot that the individual or interest group doing the talking (e.g., fossil fuel energy industry, alternative energy industry, political parties, media (and who owns them) is also going to cherry pick which studies or parts of studies they mention to help drive home whatever point they have, so you cannot get a good idea of the status of climate science by listening to any of these folks. They all have an agenda and can't give accurate climate science information. You have to pore over lots of the primary research to see what which assumptions and limitations they have put into their predictive models, and you need to go over the history of primary research to see what the trends have been for the last several hundreds of years to see the changes so far, and the acceleration of changes since about the '70s. I have been teaching climate, land use, and water resources at the undergraduate and graduate level for 30 years and it's pretty clear from the primary sources across several fields what changes we have seen (atmospheric, oceanic, terrestrial, etc.) and how they are accelerating.

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  • Fri, Dec 27, 2019 - 9:30pm

    #10
    MKI

    MKI

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    Good interview

    Was pleasantly surprised with how much I agreed with David Collum's unorthodox views throughout the interview, especially his bemused take on "climate change". Thanks for the interview.

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  • Fri, Dec 27, 2019 - 9:33pm

    MRush

    MRush

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    MRush said:

    Yes, that's it exactly. What put me off most about DC's article was the reference to the CATO Institute, regarding climate change. CATO is an authority on this issue? Again, WTF.

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  • Sat, Dec 28, 2019 - 10:28am

    KugsCheese

    KugsCheese

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    0

    CATO et al

    To disprove a theory requires only one counter example.  So change the theory.  Let's establish what observations would DISPROVE, that's science!

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  • Sat, Dec 28, 2019 - 2:51pm

    #13
    climber99

    climber99

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    0

    Just a question of accounting.

    Carbon neutral by 2030, easy.  Carry on burning fossil fuels but count every wind turbine or solar panel that you install as a carbon credit.

    Creative accounting.

    When the Ponzi scheme collapses, I'll be investing in renewable energy.

    By the way, I am just joking.

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  • Sun, Dec 29, 2019 - 9:55am

    #14
    ksubutai

    ksubutai

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    Joined: Dec 16 2014

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    5

    Can't be spot on all the time.....

    I've been reading David Collums Year in Review for a few years now courtesy of PeakP. Have never agreed with all he wrote but enjoyed considering an alternative viewpoint. And he did make me laff.

    That being said his opining on Climate change was a bit much. Considering the CATO institute a relevant source pretty much says it all. I guess if you spend 18 hrs on a computer it's hard to get outside and actually be in nature. And observe.

    Reminds me of a good friend who is one of the funniest people I know. Quickest wit and all. However every now and then he unloads a verbal turd. The danger being if you want to be that guy who is quick on the draw with opinions on all things, be prepared to look like an jerk every now and then.

    As in all things. No one has all the answers. Some like hearing their own voice. Some need to be outrageous for the sake of it.

    Filter what you need.

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  • Sun, Dec 29, 2019 - 11:52am

    #15
    davidbj

    davidbj

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    Joined: May 07 2010

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    6

    bad tone

    I really disliked the tone of DC-- 'everybody is stupid except me' is how it came across. But I admit I did not listen to it all. I had to shut it off when he stated that he didn't think climate change is going to be a problem. Really!? And, Chris, just because climate scientists don't have a solution for who is going to eat and who will not should we achieve zero emissions by 2030 0r 2050 d0esn't mean they are stupid for not asking that question. Please, a little more humility and recognition that none of us is ready for what's coming. Anyways, this interview is atypical of the generally thoughtful content of Featured Voices.

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  • Sun, Dec 29, 2019 - 2:14pm

    #16
    agitating prop

    agitating prop

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    agitating prop said:

    I have a couple of friends who regularly send me YouTube videos where some bloviating nut is yammering on about Trump taking on the deep state.

    Cambridge Analytica, a military operation, helped to get him in. Intelligence or deep, or steady state runs the subterranean gamut and Trump represents the military wing.  The military wing is at odds with civilian agencies, it appears.

    Plus...Trump has to somehow conform to the nonsense that he is a pacifist until after the elections, or he'll lose his libertarian base.

    Though the end of year interview with David Collum is entertaining, it's not particularly funny to be quoting the Cato institute on matters that are gravely serious. We need a good laugh, but not about climate change.

     

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  • Sun, Dec 29, 2019 - 3:34pm

    ao

    ao

    Status: Platinum Member

    Joined: Feb 04 2009

    Posts: 1386

    8

    heresy

    I have to say that, contrary to one of the commenters above, I actually liked Dave's tone.  First of all, if you read his introduction, he was very self deprecating.  Quite the opposite of saying he's smarter than everyone else.  When something, "comes across" in a certain way, how it comes across may depend upon the transmitter but may also depend upon the receiver.  I think if one is secure about oneself, one would not feel threatened by his tone but, hey, maybe that's just me.  But, in fact, he IS smarter than most. He doesn't brag about it though.  He does interject some much appreciated humor and wit (and goodness knows people are much too serious and dour about issues they have little to no control over) and turns what could be very dry and boring into something that is entertaining, informative, and quite comprehensive in its scope.  I applaud him for this amazing accomplishment each year.

    I read the review but didn't listen to the audio so I can't comment on the CATO Institute comment but the sense I get is that there is a knee jerk opposition to those politics.  However, it's not uncommon that some entity outside of a particular field of knowledge can reveal insight or facts that seem to have eluded those within a particular field of knowledge.  Did Chris start out to be an expert in economics?  Nope.  And being outside the field to start with probably gave him insights and perspectives that would not have been so readily obtained if he had gone through the indoctrination process so many others had.

    Climate change is occurring but whether it is the disastrous "climate change" of epic proportions being that is wholeheartedly being embraced by so many as an "end of the world" type scenario is a whole different matter.  The panicky manner in which it is being promulgated as the source of everything bad occurring on the planet just puts me off.  Any time people panic, they're courting disaster.  Even if I go to my death, I'd rather be calm and present about it.  It has always amazed me when you're on an aircraft that runs into some really dicey situation and people start screaming.  Like that's going to help anything?  Get a grip!  Do what you can to improve the situation and influence others to do so but stirring up emotional drama and dragging others into it doesn't do anyone any good.  People like AOC saying the world's going to end in 12 years?  Lunacy!  Anyone here like to place any monetary bets on that?  I'm interested in any takers.

    I'm just reading "The Only Three Questions That Count" by Ken Fisher.  I'm not a Ken Fisher fan but the book has made me think more deeply about many things. For example, he dispels the myths that high P/E markets are riskier than low P/E markets, that big government budget deficits are bad, that a weak U.S. dollar is bad for stocks, that higher oil prices are bad for stocks and the economy, etc.  And he's very candid about always questioning himself, conventional wisdom, prevailing theories, personal assumptions, and even hard data.  After all, no one is omniscient, no one knows everything, no one has ALL the data, and no one, absolutely NO ONE, can reliably predict the future.  We're always looking for that unfailingly accurate prediction but it virtually never happens, except by a bit of luck and circumstance, and then, only to a partial extent which is generally not greater than chance.

    I don't fully embrace so-called climate change (and I repeat, what a dumb, vague, imprecise name) nor do I fully reject it.  I don't know.  AND NEITHER DOES ANYONE ELSE FOR SURE!  I don't even fully embrace the 3Es.  There's a lot of good data and factual information supporting them and they are very important but I personally see them as being secondary rather than primary influencers.  One has to constantly question oneself and the facts and the data.  It's tempting to slap oneself on the back and say how enlightened we are and point fingers at others and say how ignorant or wrong they are, but that's not a very good way of learning and growing.

    Think back and ask yourself what you knew for certain decades ago and then honestly evaluate how accurate you were.  It's a humbling but worthwhile exercise.  Being intractable and unwilling to listen and to change does not serve one well.

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  • Mon, Dec 30, 2019 - 1:25am

    #18
    peter31

    peter31

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    Posts: 36

    1

    Prince Andrew, Epstein and conspiracy...

    I usually enjoy the Peak Prosperity podcasts and Mr Collum's annual review, but I felt this one wasn't up to the usual high standard, partly because of all the conspiracy theories.  I'm still not clear whether a lot of it was tongue in cheek, but I'd like to propose a couple of simple answers to a couple of Mr Collum's questions.  Remember Occam's Razor - the simplest answer is often the correct one...?

    Why did Prince Andrew give that interview?

    Because he's stupid.  "Randy Andy", as he is not-so-affectionately known by the British people, has been an embarrassment to the British people and the British Royal Family for decades.  I don't have the time or space to list all the gaffes and errors of judgement he has committed.  He is basically a would-be playboy who is attracted to power, money and glamour like a moth to a candle, to the exclusion of common sense.  Thank goodness he's now retired from public life.  To suggest that he is somehow at the centre of a web of intelligence intrigue is just plain silly.

    Is Epstein still alive?

    No.  He died in jail, in circumstances which admittedly leave a few questions to be asked, but bearing in mind that jailed paedophiles have a rather shorter life expectancy than the rest of us, it's not altogether unexpected and he won't be missed.

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/236277588_Suicide_and_the_Publicly_Exposed_Pedophile

    Hope this helps.

    Post Peak Medicine

     

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  • Mon, Dec 30, 2019 - 8:20am

    TLWA1879

    TLWA1879

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    Joined: Oct 11 2017

    Posts: 23

    1

    With all that said, what do you recommend?

    AO, that's a well written response that I personally appreciate.  I believe you're correct that we can't predict the future and many that try have failed.  However, what's your recommendation?  Nobody knows for 100% certain if pumping CO2 and other greenhouse house gases into the the atmosphere will be disastrous or not.

    If we look back a decade ago (or two decades ago) at the warnings from climate scientists do we find that they were way off?  Were they spot on?  Were they directionally correct?  Are there any metrics at all that we can agree are meaningful measures that would help us?  Personally, I look at these metrics from NASA (https://climate.nasa.gov/).  I don't have any reason to doubt NASA's presentation of historical and present data.  I don't believe they faked the moon landing either.

    Do we categorically reject the data (from the community of scientist commissioned to figure out out if there is a disaster or not, including NASA, NOAA) of past/historical, present, and modeled/predicted climate?  I know modeled/predicted scenarios are very suspect, but somebody's got to do it.  It has to be done with as much capability as possible.  It has to evolve over time and converge on greater accuracy.  Failures are part of that process.  What's the basis for rejecting that data?  Is there competing data (not funded by oil industry) that presents a strong case there won't be a climate disaster?

    Shall we continue to debate and stall action (BAU) and make no changes until we know for 100% sure that a disaster is headed our way.  Shall we just plan to keep burning that oil?  Or, do we know enough to count climate change as one of the many reasons to move forward to make meaningful change in this world?  Can we stop talking and start doing?

    I don't intend this to be an in your face challenge, I just don't get it when I hear that similar line of reasoning from David C or others in the PP community.  What do you recommend as the next step?

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  • Mon, Dec 30, 2019 - 8:25am

    #20
    Time2help

    Time2help

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    Re: Prince Andrew, Epstein and conspiracy...

    "I felt this one wasn’t up to the usual high standard, partly because of all the conspiracy theories"

    "Why did Prince Andrew give that interview? Because he’s stupid."

    "I don’t have the time or space to list all the gaffes and errors of judgement he has committed."

    "To suggest that he is somehow at the centre (British spelling, "center" in American) of a web of intelligence intrigue is just plain silly."

    "Is Epstein still alive? No."  Proof?

    Suspect he's probably on a beach somewhere in a sunny, non-extradition local. Which sunny local is an exercise left to the reader.

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  • Mon, Dec 30, 2019 - 8:36pm

    ao

    ao

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    unintended consequences, NASA, lies, cui bono, aliens, spirit, and such

    Your questions and statements are valid ones.  I wish I had answers for you but I don't, at least not the type I think you're seeking (but more on that later).  But I know this.  When people don't know what to do for certain, but say "We have to do something!", the something usually doesn't turn out too well.  What if the McPherson paradox turns out to be true and reducing particulates and aerosols along with carbon gases causes the planet to heat up even faster?  I know, I know, there are some who claim the paradox has been debunked (just like there are those who, in my opinion, wrongly claimed questions of the JFK assassination and 9/11 have been debunked).  What if the solar grand minimum folks are right and the planet will be heading into a cooling phase?  We'd want all that CO2 to heat it up a bit.  I know local weather is not an indication of climate change but I've shovelled 75 inches of "global warming" since Thanksgiving and am getting a bit tired of it. 
     
    I've had enough personal experience with the scientific mainstream both as a researcher in my early life and as a clinician in my main career to not trust it, especially with the degree of corruption that is permeating all levels of society these days with the moral decline of our culture.  You mentioned NASA.  One would think they are a pretty innocuous and trustworthy organization.  I know I did, at least at one time.  But I had an 8 hour conversation with NASA's top auditor (since deceased rather suddenly from cancer).  He was the childhood best friend of a very good friend I've come to know as an adult.  He revealed the shocking extent of corruption and deceit permeating that organization and the federal governmental bodies presiding over it.  So I no longer trust them.  And think about it.  How did the National Aeronautical and Space Administration get into the climate business?  Doesn't it seem odd that they are climbing all over this agenda?  They should be dealing with rocket launches, satellites, and space exploration, not politicized hot potatoes.
    I also had a fairly in-depth conversation with a PhD mathematician working for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission that I met on a cruise around South America.  I played dumb asking questions.  He was either very naive or stupid (and I doubt either of those) or lying through his teeth (that one I'd wager on) from what he told me.  Refer to Dave C's discussion of Bart Chilton and silver manipulation for more on that subject.  Suffice it to say, I don't trust that organization either based on their "fruits" (i.e. referencing the Biblical adage, "By their fruits, ye shall know them."). 
    I've seen the lies with certain medical procedures getting rammed down our throats.  I seen the lies with certain pharmaceuticals getting rammed down our throats.  I've seen the lies with certain vaccines getting rammed down our throats.  I've seen the lies with the wholesale revamping of the American educational system, core curriculum, Chicago math, and the rest of that nonsense being rammed down our throats.  I've seen the lies with cultural Marxism on our college campuses and in our media getting rammed down our throat.  I've seen the lies with being told that surgical revision of perfectly normal genitals in a 3 year old who may have some degree of gender confusion at an age where they know next to nothing should be considered perfectly acceptable.  I've seen the lies with wars getting rammed down our throats (democracy and freedom, yeah right).  I've seen the lies with the war against drugs (while the CIA is the biggest drug dealer in the world) getting rammed down our throats.  So forgive me if I don't wholeheartedly and unabashedly embrace the climate change narrative with no reservations.  Nothing personal here but refer back to the life lessons I referred to in a post about a week or so ago.
    Let's apply cui bono here.  Do you think you and I and the average person are going to benefit from all this to the same extent as an elite who know that the whole climate change/carbon management agenda will be the most lucrative ever promulgated on this planet and will serve to extract and transfer wealth, consolidate and centralize power, and tighten control over the population more than any program ever promoted in history.  Or are we going to be farmed for our labor and wealth?  I tend to think the latter.  Let's say we go to zero carbon.  What about the dioxins, neonicotonoids, radioactive waste, microplastics, and the thousands of other forms of pollution affecting the planet, almost all of which, in my opinion, will have a far more deadly, unnatural, and irreversible effect upon humanity and the planet than carbon dioxide and methane.  TPTB don't seem to be very worried about those, do they?  Neither do they seem to have any heroic global plans for ridding the planet of these substances like they do for naturally occurring carbon dioxide and methane.  Neither do they seem to have any plans to sacrifice their personal ease, comfort, convenience, and wealth for the cause but they certainly want us to.  Does that hypocrisy cause you to question their agenda and their motives?  It does for me.
    I've written about this in the past but it was before you joined this site so at the risk of being repetitive, I'll state a couple of things again.  As a young person in elementary school and high school, I was fascinated by such things as nuclear fission, nuclear fusion, magnetohydrodynamic generators, etc.  Just after I graduated from college, my wife to be and I went out with one of her friends who had just started dating a PhD in nuclear physics.  I remember asking the physicist why, with all our technological development, the predictions were that practical nuclear fusion for the generation of electrical power was still at least 100 to 150 years off.  I'll never forget his answer.  He smiled and said, "We all need jobs.".  In other words, they were in no rush since these areas provided life time employment.  Then we could get into the issue of Tesla, free energy, energy transmission, etc. but that is a whole other subject. 
    Here's another thought.  Anyone who has studied the subject realizes that we are not alone in this universe and alien contact has been made.  That's not speculation, that's for certain.  And it's clear they have two things that could prove incredibly valuable in providing mankind with a quantum leap into the future.  One is a transportation system that is completely silent, totally non-polluting (at least chemically), and unbelievably fast.  Two is an energy generation system that would provide power beyond our wildest imagination.  Imagine we had both of these.  Imagine how life on this planet could be transformed.  These things are known by people in the government.  The NASA auditor I mentioned above was one who talked about it.  I can hypothesize about why this knowledge hasn't been released though.  One possibility is that it would strip much of the elite of their ability to extract wealth from the masses.  Imagine if you didn't have to pay your gasoline, oil supplier, natural gas supplier, electricity supplier, etc., etc.  Another possibility is that those who created and possess the technology deem us not sufficiently advanced spiritually to make wise use of these technologies.  The Billy Meier readings have alluded to such things.  I don't know.  But I do know we don't have them but some do and they could change life on this planet in a heartbeat for the better.
    That brings me to the subject of spiritual development.  To me, this is THE most important issue for humans.  A spiritually advanced human is not greedy.  He does not take what is not his (and does not needlessly and recklessly incur debt).  He shares what is his with those who are truly in need (not those who just want what you have when they haven't rightfully and honestly earned it).  He does not take more than he needs.  He is his brother's keeper and takes responsibility for helping his fellow man.  He is a steward of the planet and takes care of the animals, plants, the earth, the water, the air, and rest of the natural world.  He takes care of his own body, mind, and spirit as well.  He eschews ignorance and strives for knowledge and applies that knowledge for the betterment of himself, his family, his community, his nation, and his world.  He seeks wisdom even above knowledge.  He seeks the light, not the darkness.  He eschews evil.  He strives to know where he comes from and what his purpose is and where he's going.  He recognizes, respects, and values his connections to all things.  In this universe of multiple dimensions beyond the four we commonly interact with, the spiritual world shapes the physical world, not the other way around.  If we work on developing ourselves and others into these advanced spiritual beings, the problems of Energy, Environment, and Economy will melt away like butter on the sun.  The problem of climate change, as far as man can control it, will disappear like the smoke from a match in a hurricane.  That my friend is the best solution I can offer.  And if I may be so bold, it's the only solution I think will work.                        
     
        

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  • Mon, Dec 30, 2019 - 10:25pm

    #22
    agitating prop

    agitating prop

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    Couldn't agree more! Thanks AO

    If we were happier with much less, looked after others, revered nature as an expression of the greater spirit, we would be living in a different world.

    I guess we have to overcome fear, revulsion, hatred and egocentricity first. Hard to do as these features of character have become survival mechanisms.

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  • Tue, Dec 31, 2019 - 2:03am

    davefairtex

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    3

    cheap energy = space travel

    AO-

    While I agree with almost everything you said...  🙂

    There remains the possibility that humanity is not ready for space travel.  Cheap, limitless energy also brings with it the potential to travel to the stars.  Why would that be a bad thing?

    Well.  Before we get to the stars, there are all those asteroids floating around in the solar system.  Interplanetary travel available to the masses (or just "the rich" - or maybe even just small organizations) might enable some terrorist organization to strap boosters on one (or more) of those asteroids and fire it (at some fraction of lightspeed) at the earth, at the cost of a few million bucks.

    Cheap space travel (which would result directly from "free energy") really complicates keeping the earth in one piece.  And maybe that's why they are keeping it all a secret.  And have been since  - say - 1947.

    Imagine this scenario.  Aliens meet the President.  They show footage of planets that "got space travel", many of whom have had ELEs due to on-planet warfare turning into asteroid-lobbing contests.  Perhaps they have statistics.  Perhaps those stats are not so favorable.

    Its just a thought.

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  • Tue, Dec 31, 2019 - 2:42am

    #24
    Chris Martenson

    Chris Martenson

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    Amen!

    That brings me to the subject of spiritual development.  To me, this is THE most important issue for humans.  A spiritually advanced human is not greedy.  He does not take what is not his (and does not needlessly and recklessly incur debt).  He shares what is his with those who are truly in need (not those who just want what you have when they haven’t rightfully and honestly earned it).  He does not take more than he needs.  He is his brother’s keeper and takes responsibility for helping his fellow man.

    He is a steward of the planet and takes care of the animals, plants, the earth, the water, the air, and rest of the natural world.

    He takes care of his own body, mind, and spirit as well.  He eschews ignorance and strives for knowledge and applies that knowledge for the betterment of himself, his family, his community, his nation, and his world.  He seeks wisdom even above knowledge.  He seeks the light, not the darkness.  He eschews evil.

    He strives to know where he comes from and what his purpose is and where he’s going.  He recognizes, respects, and values his connections to all things.  In this universe of multiple dimensions beyond the four we commonly interact with, the spiritual world shapes the physical world, not the other way around.

    If we work on developing ourselves and others into these advanced spiritual beings, the problems of Energy, Environment, and Economy will melt away like butter on the sun.  The problem of climate change, as far as man can control it, will disappear like the smoke from a match in a hurricane.

    That my friend is the best solution I can offer.  And if I may be so bold, it’s the only solution I think will work.

    This speaks very strongly to me.  It is the path.  We either evolve spiritually - or in consciousness - or we mostly die off and maybe go extinct.

    So much is possible if we can set aside our monkey-mind egos, and begin to truly see, and feel, and be at peace (or as one) with what is.

    We know it's possible because individuals can do this.

    As I was thinking about writing up a piece that spoke to this dynamic, along came Caitlin Johnstone writing up the exact piece, only better than I could have done.

    As we sit on the very cusp of saying goodbye to the Twenty Teens, and lurch into the Twenty Twenties, I would offer up this contemplation of hers as the a beacon of sorts for the journey we need to be taking:

    Humanity’s Salvation Will Necessarily Look Like A Leap Into The Unknown

    If humanity is to turn away from its murderous, omnicidal, ecocidal, oppressive and exploitative trajectory, it will necessarily involve a sharp, drastic deviation from all its previous patterning.

    You would think that this would go without saying; obviously a drastic change in behavior will look drastically different from the behavior which preceded it. This is self-evident. Yet when you look at the arguments that people are making today, there’s almost universally a built-in assumption that humankind’s salvation will in some way involve a continuation of its previous patterning.

    Most people with an ear to the ground understand to some extent that the collective behavior of our species is unsustainable. Where they differ in opinion is on what should be done to address this problem. Where they unify in opinion is on the assumption that the solution will look like their own personal ideology winning out over all the others. Capitalists believe that capitalism will provide technological solutions to the problems that capitalism has created, and that this will happen more quickly and efficiently if the fetters on capitalism are removed. Socialists believe that socialism will solve the problems that socialism has been powerless to provide this entire time, if only this consistent pattern of socialism’s inability to obtain dominance is magically deviated from somehow. And so on.

    But if you really think honestly about it, how can that possibly be? How can any preexisting ideological pattern possibly create a deviation in patterning? Any ideology you are bringing to the table will almost certainly be one which has been a part of humanity’s collective patterning for generations, and probably for centuries. How can an ideology which has been promoted in more or less the same patterns for generation possibly lead to a pattern deviation?

    Believing you can create a sharp change in direction by shoving in a direction people have already been shoving for generations is like believing you can dry yourself off using water. The old patterns cannot create new patterning any more than water can create the state of dryness. It is against their inherent nature.

    Because of our limited lifespans and our cognitive inability to perceive everything at once, it’s difficult to see the big picture of humanity’s plight as a whole. It’s difficult to give due significance to the fact that the ideological tug-of-war game which seems to be presenting in one particular election in one particular location we’re particularly passionate about has actually been going on all over the world since long before we were born, and all that it has gained us is the situation in which we now find ourselves. The shoving of your one preferred ideology is inseparable from the whole of our total collective patterning, and it always has been.

    What this means is that if there is to be any deviation from our species’ self-destructive trajectory, the cause of that deviation will come completely out of left field. No one will expect it, because it won’t come from a direction that we have been conditioned through our experience to look. Our unpatterning will necessarily come from a completely un-patterned direction. A collective movement in an unprecedented direction will necessarily have an unprecedented antecedent.

    So in what way is what I’m saying useful to you? If the only hope for humanity lies in the arrival of conditions you can’t possibly predict, then it makes no difference what you think or do because those conditions will either arrive or not regardless of your conditioned patterning, right?

    Well, yes and no. Obviously there’s nothing you can do to create the conditions of a change agent you can’t possibly anticipate with your learned mental patternings. So in that sense you may as well keep fighting the bastards in whatever way seems best to you in order to keep them at bay for the time being (and also because fuck them). But one thing you can do in order to help grease the wheels of drastic change is to prepare yourself and the world for a leap into the unknown.

    Because that’s necessarily what a drastic pattern deviation will look like: a leap into the unknown. The precipice of the changes we all intuitively sense are on our horizon is the precipice between the known patterns and the unknowable unpatterning. The annihilation that many are predicting will look like literal human extinction may well end up actually presenting as the annihilation of our conditioned patterning. Which is, experientially, a kind of death.

    So what you can do on a personal level is let go of your attachment to the known. Sell off all stocks you’ve invested in your conditioned mental patterning and begin doing the hard inner work necessary to embrace the unknown and unknowable.

    Begin surprising yourself, and opening doors to allow life to surprise you. Take chances on new and unpredictable situations instead of taking refuge in the known and the familiar. Give less and less interest and attention to your conditioned, looping mental narratives and more and more to the uncontrollable present moment in which literally anything can be born.

    You can carry this embrace of the unknowable out into the collective level by creating and expressing from it. Make art which comes from an unpatterned direction. Do things which make people question how reliable their patterned expectations are. It may sound cliche, but there is immense wisdom hidden in the saying “practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty”.

    Making this your way of life can help create little gaps in our patterning, so that if and when the change agent for humanity’s evolutionary transcendence of its self-destructive patterns arrives, you and those who’ve encountered your unpatterning dance in the world will be better able to improvise along with it, without fear or inertia.

    Can I get another Amen?

    Amen!

    That's really the challenge here.  How do we allow for these whole new patterns to emerge?  Because it's plain that trying to tackle climate change or any other predicament by tweaking from within the current framework ('fixing' debt-based money via MMT, or microplastics via more regulations) is using the same patterning as created the predicament in the first place.

    Might as well treat your alcoholism by switching from beer to wine.  Let's solve personal transportation by using lithium instead of gasoline.

    All which means the great undertaking of the next century is the rebalancing of life.  Equal measures to both the profane and the divine.  The earthly and the spiritual.  To the bottom of Maslow's hierarchy of need and the very tippy top.

    Whatever your preferred orientation or language is just fine.

    The question then, is how to get there?  It's like we need some new arrangements, a new center of study that doesn't fall prey to the usual dictates of ego.

    I'm very curious about this - what can we do as individuals beyond attending to our own individual development?  How do we then advance together so that our individual transformations and spiritual development becomes our transformation and spiritual development?

    It's such a worthy pursuit.  Maybe the only one that actually has any purpose or meaning.  All the other efforts seem to be rearrangements of the deck furniture.

     

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  • Tue, Dec 31, 2019 - 6:50am

    #25

    Oliveoilguy

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    Spirituality, Civility, and Concealed Carry

    Thanks AO and Chris ..........Yes....solutions are most likely going to come from a spiritual realignment and I’d like to add “good communication” to that. My mission lately, in light of all the violent rhetoric and divisiveness, is to find common ground in any and every random encounter.
    Quick story.

    I was in a Starbucks getting high octane fuel for my old body when I saw a guy sitting alone with a screaming bright tee shirt that said something about Mother’s for Gun Control. I looked down to see if I had my tiny Ruger 380 in my pocket. It is so small that it often lives there unnoticed. It must have been in my truck. Anyway I cautiously approached the man and Asked if he would like to talk about gun control. He looked at me carefully trying to figure out where this might be going. And he asked “what Is your position? ” My answer was “ My position is that communication and dialogue is possible no matter what people believe.”
    He softened and invited me to sit down. At the same time the Starbuck’s barista must have noticed our encounter and thought that it was a potential “situation”.  His contribution to world peace was to bring over two cups of complimentary coffee with some white stuff surfing on top. I drink my coffee black....and I drink lots of it, but I graciously accepted the gift as did the guy with the screaming loud tee shirt.
    What we talked about for 30 minutes isn’t nearly as important as the fact that we were diametrically opposed in our views, but managed to listen to each other, and enjoy each other, and gain some new understanding.
    He had long hair and was about 50 and of course I love to look at people and try to figure out what they do for a living, what interests they might have, what motivates them. It very often yields an opportunity to find commonality. So besides knowing that he wanted more stringent gun control, I decided to take a stab at guessing his profession.
    (By the way.....in addition to believing in the 2nd amendment right to gun ownership, I do support universal background checks.)
    But anyway.....I said.......”are you by any chance a musician? “.  He smiled and showed me a YouTube link of his group pounding out some acid rock music in front of a pretty big audience.
    I told him that I was a wannabe musician in a bluegrass band and played in my church as well. ( I didn’t mention that my job in church was to lock the side door when the service started and have my little 380 on standby) We truly enjoyed each other....and the free coffee.

     

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  • Tue, Dec 31, 2019 - 8:02am

    #26
    ao

    ao

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    and a couple of amens right back at you guys

    It’s such a worthy pursuit. Maybe the only one that actually has any purpose or meaning. All the other efforts seem to be rearrangements of the deck furniture.

     

    My answer was “ My position is that communication and dialogue is possible no matter what people believe.”

     

    And Dave, what you hypothesize is certainly possible.  It's what I alluded to when I said we may not be spiritually advanced enough to be allowed to have these things.  In other words, if we haven't learned how to play nice, we may not get these new toys.  After all, if we haven't learned how to behave on our own planet, why would any more advanced civilizations want us running around the rest of the universe, spreading our mayhem and havoc.

     

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  • Tue, Dec 31, 2019 - 8:17am

    Petey1

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    ao excellent!

    The last part of your post really spoke to me.  If you don’t mind I’d like to share it with some friends.  It is difficult for me to communicate with friends about these issues without emotions getting out of hand.

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  • Tue, Dec 31, 2019 - 9:02am

    #28
    drbost

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    Importance of spirituality

    Thanks so much for pointing out the importance of spiritual capital as we move forward!  Regardless of the language and symbols that speak best to each of us, it's very important to have a "guiding star".  Without it, we are prone to "wander in the wilderness".

    I would submit that established religions and philosophies don't have a blueprint for where and how we need to make this journey.  Perhaps contemplative practice--just remaining quiet and being present to what is--will help us to be open to new insights and actions that will help us in this transition.

    I would like to suggest a couple of resources.  One is the programs and daily meditations led by Richard Rohr through the Center for Action and Contemplation.  They are available at www.cac.org/category/daily-meditations.  The other is a book by Rob Hopkins titled From What Is to What If: Unleashing the Power of Imagination to Create the Future We Want.

     

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  • Tue, Dec 31, 2019 - 9:07am

    #29
    Steve

    Steve

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    War and rumors of war

    Ah, we wake-up this morning to unrest in Baghdad, a puppet regime.  There are more tools to the markets than financial manipulation.  If all else fails, take us to war.  War and rumors of war.

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  • Tue, Dec 31, 2019 - 10:17am

    TLWA1879

    TLWA1879

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    Thanks AO: Aliens vs. Climate Science

    Thanks for the well written response AO.

    One humorous outcome - I'm committed to not letting my spouse and friends know I'm a dues paying member to a community that believes in aliens, but is skeptical of climate science. lol.

    What I take from your explanation is the skepticism is more that TPTB will seek political and economic gain from climate change hysteria, but you're not necessarily skeptical that global temperatures are warming, glaciers are melting, or that human industry and agriculture are pumping greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.  That would be a good differentiation for me.  I get that.  This could be compared to the pharma industry as you referenced.  The science behind developing drugs is just science.  The drug does what it does, like alleviating symptoms, and possibly causing side affects (some stated, some not).  The marketing, profit optimization, politics, and lies of the pharma industry is a different beast.  Pure scientific endeavors (a spiritual like commitment to principles) = good, big pharma = bad.  You might also compare elite athletic competition to modern olympics.  Amature athletes competing on elite scale = good.  Olympics/nations/commercialization = corrupt.

    I think your solution is a good one (spirituality and truth) for individuals, however, I don't hold out hope that it will occur on a grand enough scale to solve the issues of energy, economy, and environment in my lifetime.  It is an important part of the solution.  However, spirituality = good, organized religion = ???

    Those that are "climate skeptics" seem to separate the issue of climate change from other forms of human caused environmental issues.  They're all in the same bucket, caused from bad industrial or agricultural practices. All in the name of good (free markets, freedom from poverty, health), however, are subject to greed, politics, and lies.  The solutions are also in a similar category with many descriptive lines starting with the word "less".  There's no need to separate climate from environment, but there is a need to separate the concept that we're destroying the environment from the concept that greed, politics, and lies will interfere with accurately identifying the problem and then coming up with properly positioned solutions.

    I do believe doing something is better than doing nothing, especially when you have enough information to at least be directionally correct (not good advice for brain surgery, but good advice for agriculture and industry).

    Thanks for the discussion!

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  • Tue, Dec 31, 2019 - 10:24am

    PaulJam

    PaulJam

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    Whither spirituality

    These discussions are why I love PP!!

    I strongly agree to a point regarding the importance of spirituality.  For many years I was a student at a Zen monastery – dozens of intensive retreats, a monthlong monastery residency, hours of daily mediation practice at home, literally tens of thousands of hours of silent “cushion time” over the years, etc etc.  From having had lived with and interacted with a few different teacher, monks, and hundreds of other students with similar aspirations, I’ve concluded a few things:

    Regarding with people who have practiced much more intensively than I ever will, there will always be human foibles, blind spots, etc that manifest themselves in many different weird and undesirable ways, in spite of a context of the focus on intensive and exceptionally difficult practices oriented towards self-realization.  And moreover, spiritual practice of this nature is an excruciatingly difficult endeavor on many, many different levels – so much so that only a small fraction of the population are pre-disposed to even begin to engage in them in the first place.  And it is a major endeavor to even scratch the surface in own’s own practice – my time spent doing Zen practice revealed just how hard it is to shift really sticky things in one’s life even just a little bit.

    Moving the needle on true sustainability in a collective sense has to come about through a shift in cultural narratives (or myths if you will), and related norms and values.  It can (and should be) be informed sensibilities that arise from the few that go deep into these practices (and only if some a minefield of pitfalls are avoided), but will never come about through mass adoption of intensive spiritual practices, valuable as they may be on the individual level.

    One passage in a book that I’ve been slowly reading (The Patterning Instinct – Jeremy Lent) has stuck with me – he relayed a story of an anthropologist working with a group of hunter-gatherers, who had gifted to this group a fat oxen to butcher and eat in a time of hunger and scarcity.  But instead of being thanked for the gift, the researcher was castigated and criticized – the fat ox was denigrated as skinny and pathetic, and the effort itself to bring forth the gift was cast off as a waste of valuable time.  Precisely the opposite reaction of what was expected.  Turns out this researcher encountered a cultural mechanism that enforced an egalitarian social structure within the community.  Hunters returning with a big kill were treated similarly.  This reaction was a cultural device to avoid any one individual from gaining too much prestige, power, and ego-inflation, because these things were more damaging to the integrity of the tribe than the gains that were realized from the gifted or hunted quarry.  Contrast that to our own culture.

    To me this is an example of the level of needed cultural change that is alluded to by Caitlin Johnson’s article, and the type of change we are looking at when we talk about creating a society that is more sustainable and just.  The changes are unimaginable, foreign, off-putting for anyone our western industrialized society (including myself).

    An effort has to be made to plant seeds, but those seeds will only have a brief chance, if at all, to grow after existing structures collapse, attendant with a horrific measure of human death and suffering.

    The most difficult transition of all I’m afraid will have to be some kind of shift away from individualism to people viewing themselves as more importantly a part of a larger tribe or group.  To use just one example, in our culture, having children is viewed as an expression of individual fulfillment and perpetuation of a family.  In other cultural contexts, having children is more seen as “feeding” a tribe/village/culture, and often adults-by-age are not considered true adults until they have children, because they have failed at this fundamental aspect of contributing to the perpetuation of the culture/village.  In contrast, our basic social unit is the individual and then the family.

    I say this as a childless mid-50’s white guy who is as baked into the western industrialized individualist norm and value structure as anyone.  I have no idea how to plant seeds to make this leap, but we have to somehow try.  And I’m happy not to have kids, because I see less in our culture that is worth feeding and perpetuating, and on balance, more that somehow needs to be extinguished.

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  • Tue, Dec 31, 2019 - 1:21pm

    #32
    Mike Anderson

    Mike Anderson

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    On turning inward for knowledge

    I’m slow to engage in conversation even about a subject I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about—spirituality and religion—because I’m a slow writer, I have other demands on my time, and the effort of reasoning through things, a matter that is relevant to this discussion and Caitlin Johnstone’s article: while introspection, empathetic connection, and openness to new ways of living should not be neglected, they are not directly useful for epistemology, how you come to know what you think you know. What I think I know, or perhaps better framed as what I have confidence in, is a result of thousands of hours of careful study, collaborating with others who have worked thousands of hours in their respective fields. This way of knowing looks a lot like science, but includes a lot of inference to the best explanation in less testable fields such as history, linguistics, and psychology. It looks a lot like what Dave Collum tries to do in his amazing years in review. But it doesn’t look much like turning inward and simply “knowing” something as in many mystic traditions.

    I see a danger developing. As people get worn down in a flood of information, much of it fake news and deliberately misleading “science,” our social networks collapsing because no one knows who to trust, people increasingly turn inward for direction. The problem is that when you turn away from the tools of discovering objective reality, you become vulnerable to suggestion and control. Perhaps people will find common ground in their inward experiences, and this collective dream might seem to be the path to world peace, but what really remains in a person when you throw out logic? Only instinct and barely-controlled power, both the perceived impersonal energy of the cosmos and power over others.

    Only by appeal to reason do we consent to be governed, through working out laws that we hope will limit the power of the elite. It’s too much to expect that those who have access to power will not abuse it, so the proper level of analysis is still the individual, not the collective. Unless you think individuals really don’t matter, that there’s no injustice when Thanos kills half the population.

    I have the luxury of holding some legacy ideas such as justice for and the worth of the individual because, contrary to what you might expect from my defense of logic, I am some flavor of Christian, the kind everyone is suspicious of because I don’t conform to any church and I’m pretty darn literal in my interpretations. I have some definite expectations for the next several years, and having that confidence brings me peace. (In the heady days of Peak Oil theory, I didn’t have a good idea of the future, and as a result I built a resilient homestead such that reading Ben Falk’s book was mostly a review of what I had already experienced.)

    Which brings me back to epistemology. While I don’t think being nice to everyone and meditating on your oneness with the universe brings knowledge directly, I do believe in a God who is the rewarder of those who diligently seek him. I can give many examples of information that metaphorically dropped into my lap while I was just serving others as I thought Jesus would have done. These realizations have made me even more enthusiastic about science done in back rooms and dusty corners while creating separation from Christians who are increasingly spurning logic for inward guidance. I don’t think it will go well for them.

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  • Tue, Dec 31, 2019 - 1:52pm

    Matt Holbert

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    Process Philosophy/Theology

    PaulJam- 15 years or so ago I listened to an online discussion between Ken Wilber and someone by the name of Tammi (Tammy). Tammi/Tammy recorded conversations with individuals who were considered spiritual leading lights. One of her comments stuck with me... She indicated that all of these folks had major flaws/issues...

    ...I'm wondering how many here are familiar with Process philosophy -- the philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead and others? To me, this could be the leap that Caitlin Johnstone is talking about. I am in the process of completing a reading of a book that is the result of a tribute to one of Process Theology's most critical thinkers. The book is entitled Reason and Reenchantment: The Philosophical, Religious, and Political Thought of David Ray Griffin. Many of you may know that DRG has written 10 books questioning the official explanation of 9/11. Most may not know that he is one of the most prolific writers/thinkers in the area of Process Philosophy/Theology. The tribute to DRG gives one some insight into why DRG jeopardized his career to ask questions that needed to be asked. (Several years ago I asked a long-time correspondent who has written several books on Integral Philosophy what he thought of DRG's latest book. He responded that due to DRG's 9/11 books he (DRG) was now persona non grata. That was my last correspondence with this individual.) It should be noted that the core constituency of Process Philosophy/Theology has stuck by DRG as evidenced by the essays in the book mentioned above.

    The bottom line is that I think that understanding Process Philosophy/Theology may be the key to understanding the leap discussed by Caitlin and it also dovetails with the spirituality comments on this thread.

    Happy New Paradigm, Matt

    P.S. It should be noted that adherents to all sorts of religions -- Mormons, Catholics, Jews, etc. -- have embraced Process Philosophy.

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  • Tue, Dec 31, 2019 - 4:19pm

    #34
    agitating prop

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    agitating prop said:

    We have a long way to go in terms of shifting or changing patterns of thought and emotion. The change will likely be imposed on us from external forces, working with a series of events, in tandem with what can best be described as the conjuring force of the imaginal realm.

    I sense that entheogens like magic mushrooms will be a big part of the future. People will be able to gently go from zero to transcendent in a brief period. It shouldn't take years and years and be hard hard work. Or, you could say that we need a glimpse of the eternal before committing ourselves to endless years of meditation.

    We have been operating outside of the natural world and have suppressed our natures, through a war on some drugs. It's made us cripples...able to think but unable to feel, experience and sense reality directly.

    Entheogens will help us adapt to all the weirdness that is bound to occur in the next while. It's going to be shocking. Have to qualify that though. They will only help insofar as they don't overwhelm. After the weirdness kicks in, full force, it will NOT be a good time to expose your brain to anything entirely new, in terms of drugs of any sort.

    So best to try them in conservative quantities beforehand.

     

     

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  • Tue, Dec 31, 2019 - 4:54pm

    #35
    ao

    ao

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    a good message for our times

    Up front, there's a disclaimer.  I'm not a Catholic.  In truth, I can find much fault in the Catholic Church.  But I don't find fault in those who are Catholic and are seeking the truth.  My best friend in adulthood is one and is one of the finest men that I know.  I'm hoping none find offense in this message that I personally found to ring true and I think, despite our beliefs (or lack thereof), this is a message we can all benefit from as we enter into a new year and a new decade.

    On Mercy in a Merciless Age

    Happy New Year all!

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  • Tue, Dec 31, 2019 - 5:56pm

    agitating prop

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    agitating prop said:

    Very nice, AO. Thank you. Random acts of kindness, for sure. So many religions seem to have an infectious bacteria or a hungry archon that demands worship, at their core.

    I like to think of God and angelic forces as being friends and Jesus as someone to emulate, not worship. Can't do that. That's like feeding botulism.

    C.S Lewis always frames things away from gob smacked worship, in favor of careful and articulate explanation. I've read everything he has written.

    When people claim it is belief alone that sets you free,  it's a turnoff. It's the shadow aspect of Abrahamic religions and in its own way it mirrors shamanism that devolves into sorcery.

    If all you have to do is believe (usually goes hand in hand with excessive worship) it creates an illusion of freedom. Acts set you free. Kindness and goodness set you free. The belief alone idea allows for horrible behavior as long as the gods are appeased with worship and belief.  Creates holy wars.

     

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  • Wed, Jan 01, 2020 - 12:44am

    davefairtex

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    a cranky bunch

    TLWA-

    One humorous outcome – I’m committed to not letting my spouse and friends know I’m a dues paying member to a community that believes in aliens, but is skeptical of climate science. lol.

    Your entirely accurate assessment made me laugh too.  🙂

    I think it comes from being a cranky, skeptical bunch.  If the gang in charge were desperate to label everyone who worried about the climate as tinfoil-hat nutjobs, denied them grants, and whatnot, while Greta Thunburg marched on Davos and demanded they all do something about contacting the Aliens, and this Alien-focused campaign was massively supported by the mainstream media, with those who were skeptical about Aliens pilloried by all right-thinking people as "deniers", we would probably have a different set of beliefs.

    It goes back to ao's 7 principles.  If the entire system is shoving something down your throats (as they are with climate, and other things), then you should probably be skeptical.  If they are ridiculing it as a tinfoil hat conspiracy that only nutjobs would believe in (as they are with Aliens), then it might require closer examination.

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  • Wed, Jan 01, 2020 - 8:23am

    #38

    sand_puppy

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    Same, for me, with Vaccines

    From AO and DaveF

    If the entire system is shoving something down your throats (as they are with climate, and other things), then you should probably be skeptical.  If they are ridiculing it as a tinfoil hat conspiracy that only nutjobs would believe in (as they are with Aliens), then it might require closer examination.

    This is where I am at with vaccines.  As of about 2005, 15,000+ cases had been submitted to the "vaccine court" for vaccine induced long term neurologic injury that included autism and and many other symptoms.  Many of the parents and families of these kids are highly educated people with a deep conviction that the autism is related to the vaccination.  They will not be going away.

    Yet balanced information on vaccine safety is simply not available.  So I just don't know if the overall value to current society is positive or negative.  The information just isn't there.

    The great foil:  Correlation is Not Causation

    (or, "These are Not the droids you are looking for")

    So Dirty Harry shoots a guy in the chest with his 44 magnum revolver, "the biggest handgun" made.  The punk falls over and dies.

    The explanation is offered that just because he collapsed and died right after being shot doesn't mean that the shot killed him.  Correlation is not causation.

    I mean, perhaps he had a congenital heart defect or something that manifested suddenly at the moment of the gunshot?  The temporal concordance of the gunshot and the death doesn't prove anything!

    I have expert scientist who will tell you which droids you are looking for and these droids are not them.

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  • Fri, Jan 03, 2020 - 12:22pm

    #39

    kelvinator

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    Often Agree with Collum, But His Message Doesn't Seem Spiritual to Me

    I stopped reading through David Collum's annual write-ups awhile ago, since they seemed too heavy on snark, drama, and attitude while being underweight on truth, and the humility and deep balance that goes with it, from my point of view.   Balance often doesn’t make for as interesting reading, though, since the truth is complex, frustrating and difficult, and people are generally a mix of good and bad qualities, not the caricatures we make of them – and so not nearly as satisfying and entertaining as calling out absurdity or over-reach, it seems – and there’s a lot of that on all sides to call out.  I find earnestness less satisfying but much more useful than snark these days, though, even though I can certainly be faulted for my own snark at times.  Overall, I find Chris to be much better at trying to track truth and balance, even though I strongly disagree with him now and then, as seems bound to happen between any two people trying to figure out what's true to any depth.

    I agree with Collum's view that science should always be open to other views and to possible disproofs of climate change findings, & that science is never settled.   But my own strong belief (and it’s just that – no one knows for certain) is that the IPCC probability predictions on climate are very likely true.  It’s also true, as with everything in life, that we almost always have to make decisions – often crucial ones -  and to act based on probability and partial information rather than certainty.  My belief comes not just from IPCC reports, but from the entire context of my life experience, seeing and reading about weather events over my life, seeing videos of melting glaciers, the NASA video disappearing Arctic ice, and importantly, from making character judgements about the people and organizations on each side of the argument.  I’ve heard from Eskimos who’ve talked about historic changes in the regions where they live, about melting permafrost on ground that in living memory has always been perpetually hard, from midwest farmers who are seeing the timing of seasons shift from when they were much younger.  I’ve talked to Robert Watson, a former head of the IPCC and heard from other scientists.  I certainly trust the character and intent to avoid bias far more from scientists and others I’ve heard from who believe climate change is likely a significant threat than from the fossil fuel supported establishment Dems that do nothing about it or fossil fuel supported Trump and his supportive Libertarians & establishment Republicans who deny it's happening.  As a Libertarian, Collum outlines the conspiracy case for self-interest by those evil globalists make would make us slaves in their fight against climate, while ignoring the multi-decade and well-documented conspiracy case that the oil companies and Libertarians like the petro-elite Koch brothers have poured huge sums into supporting libertarianism and climate change denying views and electing climate denying politicians.  Heaven forbid that humans would ever have to organize to collaborate at a level much higher than the local town council – better to not acknowledge there might be a reason to do it.  (okay, now I'm getting into my own snark tendencies, apparently).  Anyway, I think Collum is downright foolish on this subject, and I imagine he’d say the same of me.

    Again, with Greta Thunberg, Collum is his happily offensive self, and demonstrates both his divisive snark and his extremely poor character judgement all at once, IMO.  It’s pretty clear that Greta is sincere and adamant in her beliefs, whether you think she’s right or wrong, something I think Chris has pointed to more than once in a positive way before.  Cynically implying that she’s in it for the speaking fees, as Collum did in his write-up, is absurd on its face.  Again – just more attitude and drama, more red meat for the libertarian or denialist tribe.  I don’t need it – there’s enough of that disease already going around.

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  • Fri, Jan 03, 2020 - 2:41pm

    #40

    thc0655

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    Ok, so what are your solutions Kelvinator?

    First, are you actually responding to this year’s column by Collum without reading it? Really?

    I stopped reading through David Collum’s annual write-ups awhile ago, since they seemed too heavy on snark, drama, and attitude while being underweight on truth, and the humility and deep balance that goes with it, from my point of view.

    I ask because that’s the plain meaning of your statement above, and you don’t address any of his concerns or conclusions in your post. It sure seems like you’re “responding” without having read what he wrote. So, there’s probably a better word than “response” for what you’ve written; I just can’t think of what it would be right now. Maybe your post could be called your “boiler plate response” for all climate change discussions.

    Second, do I understand you correctly: you divide people regarding climate change into two groups as either “believers” (like yourself) or “deniers” (which is “unbelievers”) like Collum? If so, it seems to me that the scientific debate is at most only secondary to you because “belief” is the crux of the matter. Belief (like religious belief) is usually discussed as a personal matter about which dogmatism is considered rude in polite company. But you seem pretty dogmatic.

    Personally, the scientific debate has become secondary to me too. I’m focused now on the proposed responses or solutions to our climate change predicament. I accept that the climate is changing for <whatever> reasons. Now I want to investigate the proposed solutions for actions I can take personally or should support others taking on a macro level. What solutions do you advocate? On the macro level do you support increased government control (national and global) over markets and every day life in order to address climate change? Exactly what governmental structures do you advocate and how much control over individuals, nations and the world do you think will be necessary to effectively address climate change?

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  • Fri, Jan 03, 2020 - 5:57pm

    #41
    agitating prop

    agitating prop

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    agitating prop said:

    On the macro level do you support increased corporate oligarchic control (national and global) over markets and every day life in order to ignore climate change? Exactly what corporate/oligarchic structures do you advocate and how much control over individuals, nations and the world do you think will be necessary to effectively address climate change?--OC55

    Flipped this around for you OC55.

    I would rather have my future defined by govts. monopolizing on real dangers to our planet and our lives, than the oil cartel.

    The oil cartel is losing its grip on power a bit and they are freaking out. The link below is Max Kaiser and Stacy Hebert interviewing the economist, Michael Hudson about who is really in control and why libertarians get things so ass backward. They don't understand how power moves, morphs and where it originates.  It helps explain the current climate change conundrum deniers find themselves in.

     

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  • Fri, Jan 03, 2020 - 7:32pm

    thc0655

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    Be specific about your solutions agitating prop

    I’m listening. Really. Say more about this and be specific about what kind of government, how much power, and what kind of actions. Maybe you could specify which current government(s) you think are doing it right by climate change today, and why.

    I would rather have my future defined by govts. monopolizing on real dangers to our planet and our lives...

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  • Fri, Jan 03, 2020 - 11:57pm

    #43
    agitating prop

    agitating prop

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    agitating prop said:

    I am all for U.S. govt agencies that work on behalf of their citizens but am against factions of government completely entwined with corporate interests.

    In my country, I am more or less for the government insofar as they provide the lowest cost national healthcare for all.  Our tax dollars come back to us in the form of services not the least of which is science backed research into global warming. I see what is happening, know it's not a fiction and trust their research over some knob on YouTube.

    'Government' has become a dirty word in the U.S. because it masks the reality of  almost total corporate takeover.  You don't have what I would call a proper government above the local level.  I don't even know a word that fits.

    As far as what is called the government in the U.S., I do trust the scientific community within government agencies that have been working diligently for decades to gain leverage over the oil lobby that is hand in glove with the military.  The military has the largest budget and inordinate power and is currently the most powerful faction of a (mostly) corporatocracy.  Do I believe your current oligarchic corporate controlled government on climate change?  No, because it is belief centered and caters to preconceived notions, knee jerk responses and oil interests.

    Do I think scientists can get things wrong, be blinkered and dogmatic to the point of idiocy at times?  Of course!  I am into Ufos, so have had first hand experience with that.

    But if I have to make a choice of what crowd to fall in with, it will be with brilliant scientists who might be making big mistakes, rather than 'scientists' who have clear ties to the oil industry.

     

     

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  • Sat, Jan 04, 2020 - 5:52am

    Oliveoilguy

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    Which climate scientists to “side” with?

    Agitating Prop,

    You concluded “But if I have to make a choice of what crowd to fall in with, it will be with brilliant scientists who might be making big mistakes, rather than ‘scientists’ who have clear ties to the oil industry.”

    I would suggest that you don’t have “to make a choice of what crowd to fall in with” The search for truth has no “sides”. As soon as we get away from polarized thinking and name calling (deniers...alarmists....child actress props.....oil industry shills ) ..we will have a better chance to find factual data and make informed decisions.
    Science is based on truth. Let’s be objective and let the chips fall where they may.

     

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  • Sat, Jan 04, 2020 - 10:35am

    kelvinator

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    I appreciate your comments, Tom

     

    First, are you actually responding to this year’s column by Collum without reading it? Really?

    Yes, really.   For me, Collum’s annual write-ups are like a dish whipped up every year by your aunt for the family Holiday dinner that has some nutrition but always isn’t to your taste – maybe a little toxic. Would you feel compelled to down another heaping serving of the stuff by the third or fourth year it appears in front of you? Of course not.  I took another taste this year, but didn’t like it again, so I simply accepted his Trigger Warning invitation at the beginning of Part I to once again not read most of his annual compendium. By his definition stated there, that makes me a ‘douche bag who cannot take a joke’, since he claims what he’s doing is comedy and satire. Ha ha – gotta love him, right? Not really – no more than I would an obnoxious stand-up comedian who yells lame stuff like that from the stage at a guest heading for the exit. Anyway, per my experience, some of his writing is worthwhile or funny, but much not. Some love his bad boy act, I’m sure, but to each his or her own. I find much of what he writes really not worth reading.

    It doesn’t mean I don’t listen to or read articles by more serious, open people who have new thoughts, different views than I do and, IMO, are interested more in communicating than snarking to the choir. I do all the time, and some have contributed to a significant change in my thinking in the last year or two – including you, by the way, Tom, even though I’m sure we still disagree on many things.   And I wasn’t attempting to comment on the vast chunk of his writing I didn’t read this year. I was commenting on what I’ve read from David Collum for years. As I said, though I agree with many of Collum’s views (and disagree with others), but I consider him a shit-stirrer, a title I really imagine he’d be proud to claim as his own, given his perpetual bad-boy act bemusement at how people react to him – how they love him or hate him. Divisive. For me, there’s already plenty of that around. Life is short and there are better things to do. That was my comment.

    Second, do I understand you correctly: you divide people regarding climate change into two groups as either “believers” (like yourself) or “deniers” (which is “unbelievers”) like Collum? If so, it seems to me that the scientific debate is at most only secondary to you because “belief” is the crux of the matter. Belief (like religious belief) is usually discussed as a personal matter about which dogmatism is considered rude in polite company. But you seem pretty dogmatic.

    Your response, on the other hand, while potentially critical, was earnest and to the point. On controversial stuff, as I said, I really prefer that, at least as a starting point. You didn’t assume you understood what I said, but double checked it – avoiding a key mistake we all often make of reacting before making sure what the other is actually communicating, eg that I'm using words like ‘belief’ the same way you do, etc.  And you asked the important questions.

    My impression is I didn’t communicate well, and/or you didn’t understand well the point of what I was trying to make about how I formed my own beliefs about climate, but that’s okay. I have zero interest in getting into the scientific debate at this point, after 40 years, and like you, consider it somewhat less relevant in the light of general overshoot.   We’re not going to be sorting the climate science debate out in a few crisp exchanges here, and that was the underlying point. It feels like a waste of time. That’s why I made reference to the fact that I don’t believe that, at this point, it’s the scientific details that decide what one thinks about climate science. It’s more one’s overall life experience, who your family is, what ‘tribe’ you identify with, etc., and in particular, how you see the motivations, integrity and belief context of those making the arguments. I think Collum’s implication that, even it’s going to be catastrophic, we can’t detect serious climate change in our lifetime is hogwash, but that’s just my opinion. And that's just his opinion, based on whatever facts he’s cherry-picked. He’s got his stats, I’ve got mine. You obviously must not agree with his statement either, since you said you accept that climate is changing, for whatever reason.

    On solutions, the brief answer is that my opinion has shifted, probably to more in agreement with your and Collum’s views in some respects.   I’ve become convinced by my readings and interactions everywhere, in person and online over the last year or so, (including your and my conversations a few months back), that politically and practically, a Green New Deal can’t replace fossil fuels in the time needed to avert climate change on the IPCC schedule or resource overshoot disruption schedule, and that, however it happens, eliminating fossil fuels will be a giant disruption to our unsustainable consumer society juggernaut. Art Berman’s and Gail Tverberg’s, Bill Rees (Post-Carbon Institute) analyses, and many other sources online shifted my view.   You know, non-snarky, earnest people, sincerely trying to collaborate and communicate something. 😉  That doesn't mean that I don't think we shouldn't try to make a shift to renewables as part of the process, just that we have to be realistic about what's useful and what's not, what can be accomplished in what timeframe.

    At this point, I think we’re in over-shoot and the best case for helping ourselves and the planet will be trying to make the best of a meaningful break down of the current system and to start immediately focusing and thinking about how to live lives that sustainably use less energy and resources, starting both individually and at a community level – up to whatever macro level coordination can be achieved. That’s where we’re headed, so better to put as much thought and friendly collaboration into it we can. Hurling insults, creating caricatures and implying evil motivations can be fun and appropriate occasionally in the process, but on the whole isn't that helpful.  Getting on the same page as much as possible and collaborating as much as possible seems better in the really tough situation we face.  The family-level, community-level, national and international level arguments (and war dangers) will likely only grow as difficulty increases, and it's good to try to counter that.  And the sooner the real danger signals start breaking through and disrupting the current system and triggering thought and action the better, even though it’s very likely to not be a good situation, economically, politically, etc.  Unlike Collum, I do believe that humans are massively disrupting the global ecology and causing species die off in addition to depleting the resource base, so the sooner our unsustainable system starts breaking and forcing change toward a more sustainable one, the better.

     

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  • Sat, Jan 04, 2020 - 1:48pm

    #46
    Daniel Hromyko

    Daniel Hromyko

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    Joined: Feb 06 2010

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    1

    Climate Change

    Over 70% of the earth is covered by water. Look at the area between the latitudes that receive the most energy from the sun. The Pacific Ocean is an immense heat sink. The Arctic now has the fabled Northwest Passage. The loss of ice across the planet is happening not in geologic time scales, but human time scales. There is an agenda on both sides, and Mr. Collum states that there is a huge amount of money invested on the pro climate change side vs the denier side. Big oil and gas don't need to spend much on their side because they have no trouble selling oil or gas regardless. What he doesn't address is how, and who and to what end, started the climate change debate, that enabled ?? to amass all this money? Scientists from all over the world thought it was good idea to promote that the use of the substances that provide everyone the luxury they live in has to stop? Americans can't even stop wars, or their government from provoking more wars, including risking wars with countries that have nuclear weapons, when (excluding a tiny fraction) none of them can ask themselves concerning what the government is doing in all these foreign lands, "is it in my best interest?" "is it in the interest of anyone I know?" "does it benefit me?" "does it benefit Americans?" with an answer of Yes. Not only can't Americans stop what is not benefiting them now, (it does but their conscious minds are forbidden to recognize the true relationship between themselves and their government and its true relationship towards other countries and peoples) they can't prevent all their lives from being put in danger, even when the potential danger becomes an imminent threat. The pro climate change beneficiaries would first have to overcome all the biases against what they were saying in significant numbers to benefit, and they have succeeded to the extent they have with no viable alternative to replace the energy of fossil fuels. There's plenty of magical thinking of renewable energy replacing fossil fuels, and indeed they will, but that is a future without private automobiles, and not too far in the future, one without armies for a century or three or more, and that future depends on avoiding nuclear war, and/or the spent fuel rods currently being stored in cooling ponds at every nuclear power plant in the country being successfully managed through the collapse of ponzieconomics and its aftermath. Among all these clever scientists predicting/calculating the negative aspects of climate change and what is causing it, most of them have considered not only the consequences for business as usual, but the consequences of eliminating the causes. How many of those scientists followed through with what the negative affects on society would be without fossil fuels, and applied the rigors of scientific method to figure out what they might be is unknown.  Forget about renewables, and focus on just eliminating fossil fuels from the global economy that supports 7.6 billion people directly or indirectly, as surly as a lot of the scientist promoting climate change did. It doesn't take a lot of research to discover that nothing can replace fossil fuels to support human population and civilization as it stands now, and in any event, in all cases lacking something resembling a miracle, several billion people less than our current population will be inhabiting the earth a century from now with or without climate change. The only motives that I can see behind promoting climate change is that it is a very real concern or, far less plausible, it is a way to slow the depletion of fossil fuels and manage the decline, or as I heard Richard Heinberg refer to it as, the great simplification of society. The latter of the two motives doesn't add up because the economies of scale required to access a significant, if not most of the remaining fossil  fuels allegedly available now, will shrink as the economy does, and not necessarily in a linear fashion. Mr. Collum should consider the propensity for people to have "normalcy bias" and that he's not immune. He should also consider the wise words of H L Mencken that apply to us all, to some degree or another, even the most skeptical.

    "It is the nature of the human species to reject what is true but unpleasant, and to embrace what is obviously false but comforting."

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  • Sat, Jan 04, 2020 - 7:50pm

    gyrogearloose

    Status: Gold Member

    Joined: Sep 08 2008

    Posts: 357

    3

    Vacinations

    It may not have made the news much in the states, but down under here in NZ due to the number Samoan immigrants here, and following a measles outbreak here,the measles outbreak in Samoa has claimed 81 lives as of 27 Dec.

    "At least 20% of babies aged six to 11 months have contracted measles and one in 150 babies have died"

    A pretty good 'experiment' on the risk profile of measles, against a very low known adverse vaccination reaction.

    Even if there is an autism link it must be at low levels. Given the risk rate it the Samoan 'experiment' I am nowhere near revising our decision to vaccinate our children or ensure our present and any future grandchildren are vaccinated.

    How many children died in Samoa thanks to the anti vaxxers???

    Regards Hamish

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  • Sun, Jan 05, 2020 - 9:55am

    wcj1287

    wcj1287

    Status: Member

    Joined: Dec 02 2009

    Posts: 2

    2

    wcj1287 said:

    Hammish, you seem to be blaming the so-called anti-vaxxers for the deaths of 150 Samoan babies.  These deaths could also be “blamed” on the pro-vaxxers as well.  Measles virus in the past almost always infected children between 3 to 10 years old.  Rarely infants.  Why?  Because vaccine antibodies are different from naturally acquired measles antibodies, young vaccinated moms today cannot give longer lasting naturally acquired measles antibodies to their newborns. Vaccines simply do not confer the same kind of long-lasting immunity that is obtained from experiencing and recovering from the natural disease.  And infants do not have adequately developed immune systems to fight the virus.

    So it could be said that if the natural cycle of measles was left alone, these babies would have been protected by their mothers passing a protective antibody titer trans-placentally.  And would not have died.

    Just another perspective.

    Also, you give a link to Wikipedia, which is blatantly against any alternative medical opinions.

    The following is from https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2019/06/11/what-is-going-on-with-measles.aspx

    In the first paragraph, the author describes her experience with measles, which is virtually identical to mine, as I was born in 1950.

         Measles in US in 1950s: Mild and 90% not reported

    I had measles in the 1950s, along with my sister and half the kids in my class. I               remember staying home from school, wearing dark glasses in the house and eating       chicken noodle soup and orange Popsicles, while waiting impatiently for the spots         to disappear so I could go back to school and see my friends again. The same thing         happened with chickenpox, but that was way more uncomfortable because even             with calamine lotion, I kept itching when I shouldn't have.

    There were 555,000 reported cases of measles in 1955 with 345 associated deaths         in a U.S. population of 165 million people that year.23,24 Actually, though, an                 estimated 3 to 5 million Americans every year got wild type measles, usually before       age 15.25,26,27 If 3.5 million Americans got measles in 1955 and 345 died, the                   measles death rate was about 1 in 10,000.

    Most cases like mine were mild with a fever, sore throat and rash that went away in       a week. Back then, few mothers called a doctor for a common childhood infection           every child got, and 90% of cases were not reported to the government.28

    In fact, if you look at vital statistics data from the early 20th century, although               measles can cause complications like pneumonia, ear infections and brain                       inflammation, measles infections have never been a leading cause of death or                disability in this country.29 By the mid-20th century there were antibiotics to                  address many complications, and measles was not considered a big problem by              most parents and clinicians in the U.S. or Europe, especially in healthy children.30

     

     I do have a medical background, having practiced veterinary medicine for 44 years and have administered thousands of vaccines.   I am not a rabid anti-vaxxer, but am very cautious now as to believing the propaganda put out by the medical establishment.  And I recommend to my children (and their children) not to follow the current recommended vaccination protocols.

     

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  • Tue, Jan 07, 2020 - 7:50am

    MargfromTassie

    MargfromTassie

    Status: Member

    Joined: Oct 21 2011

    Posts: 5

    5

    MargfromTassie said:

    Yes, this guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about re climate change. It’s like - he’s now a Trump supporter and watches Fox, so there can’t be climate change. If you look at the evidence for human induced climate change, it’s overwhelming. Has he read the IPCC reports, the NASA website. The Sceptical Science website, the books written by investigators in the field ie in Alaska, in Siberia, in Greenland. (Try Dahl Jamail’s recent book - The End of Ice, Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything and so many more.
    Has he seen the interviews with scientists like Professor Peter Waddams, who has been studying Greenland ice for forty years? Has he seen the graphs showing a big rise in greenhouse gases since WW2 and the corresponding graphs of increasing world temperatures and increasing ocean temperatures and levels of acidity.  No I bet he just regurgitates the crap put out by the right wing denialists, not the 97 % of climate scientists who know it’s real. All the fire chiefs in my country Australia, both current and retired say that the extraordinary devastation that’s taking place here is because of the steadily increasing “moisture deficit” occurring in recent years which has made things that much more combustible. One said that in his 46 years fighting fires he has never seen anything like this. And the same phenomenon has caused the Great Barrier Reef to die off, as well as the huge and extensive kelp beds off the east coast of Tasmania. Warmer water fish from the north are moving into these southern regions like never before. Tropical weeds are now being seen in regions which have recently become warmer. Sydney and Canberra have just recorded their hottest days ever.
    Meanwhile Scotland recorded it warmest December day ever and yesterday someone  on Reddit posted that it was currently 20 degrees above normal in their home area of west Norway. Climate denialists can’t accept the truth because they can’t face the reality that modern industrial civilisation and extreme capitalism with extraordinary levels of consumption  ( and waste) of both material goods and energy is  at fault.

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  • Tue, Jan 07, 2020 - 10:38pm

    gyrogearloose

    Status: Gold Member

    Joined: Sep 08 2008

    Posts: 357

    0

    Carefull...

    I posed a question as to how many of those deaths were as a consequence of anti vaxxers efforts.  Interesting that you interpenetrated my phrase as blaming all 150 on the anti vaxxers.

    I linked to the wiki page as a quick starting place for those who wanted to look further.

    Since you were so down on it as blatantly anti ani vaxxers I had a better read and looked at some of the referenced links. It is certainly not complimentary to them but overall comes across to me as fairly factual. What parts did you find particularly troublesome?

    One paragraph from a reference link in the wiki page that stood out in light of your comment was “Most of the kids have severe pneumonia, often complicated by multi-resistant bacterial infections,” explains Stephen Owens, an infectious disease paediatrician working with an 18-strong emergency medical squad who flew in from the UK last month."

    Your linked article said "By the mid-20th century there were antibiotics to address many complications". May have been true then but today not so much

    Read your linked article, but the citation links were not working so I used duckduckgo and "measles immunity breast milk"

    The first article (that the search page brief looked like a paper rather than someone commenting on a paper) was this. "58 per cent of these children had lost the protective maternal antibody by the age of 4 months and only 3 per cent of the children had enough antibody to protect them between the ages of 6-9 months. Fifty-five colostrum samples from the same mothers and 347 breast milk samples collected at various periods of breastfeeding also showed that anti-measles IgA had dropped below the protective cut-off within the first 2 weeks of birth. It is evident that the Nigerian child is born with solid anti-measles antibody but the rate of waning has left a large number unprotected before the first dose of the vaccine."

    Given your articles authors claims on this matter I expect that there are an number of papers with varying degrees of infant protection found, but I suspect that a bit of cognitive bias is exhibited by the author of your link.

    Finding good data on the death rate from vaccine complications is a bit hard but it seems to be well below that of the risk of measles, but in your article I saw no numbers on this aspect.

    As to my childhood, If someone in the district got chicken pox, those who had not had it would go round to play and hopefully catch chicken pox.

    These days if you catch it you are not allowed to school, which is a bit like closing the barn door after the horse has bolted as you are infectious before symptoms appear!

    Regards Hamish

     

     

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  • Tue, Jan 07, 2020 - 11:09pm

    gyrogearloose

    Status: Gold Member

    Joined: Sep 08 2008

    Posts: 357

    0

    Aust bureau of meteorology rainfall record

    Aust bureau of meteorology rainfall record

    Looking at the link this year certainly has been an exceptionally dry year drier, last year soso.

    A rough eye over I would say recent times are on average wetter than the twenties/thirties.

    Interestingly the bright red color is labeled as lowest ever, yet 2019 and 1961 have a common area of driest ever.....

    Regards Hamish

     

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