The end is nigh

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Damnthematrix's picture
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Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
The end is nigh
I did not write this.  Anyone who has been following my posts will remember my argument that alternative energy sources will not cut it in the future, using the example of how nearly all the steel/concrete/copper/fiberglass production of the world would be needed to just build the wind turbines needed to replace just 20% of the global electricity consumption over ten years.  Those maths were done by the man who wrote the below (and compiled the amazing chart).  His name is Pedro prieto (google him for his credentials - he's not exactly short of them!)
He wrote this on a Yahoo Group called Energy resources where I cut my teeth on Peak Oil.  He is Spanish, so his English is less than perfect... but I still love the way he writes.  ENJOY!

Moody's Downgrades Spain 2 Notches
Regardless of the comments that agencies like Moody's, Fitch or S&P deserve on their ability to predict financial situations and to evaluate whole countries, you are very right that when resources decline, declines everything. But if this makes you feel happier, yes, more and more "Welfare State" people is becoming very smart about immigration (now), up to the point that there are elected people being tried for racist and fascist electoral programs for the coming November 20th. elections.

The fears about the "other" grow up in these occasions. I invite you to think and reflect a little about the chart I sent to The Oil Drum and was considered "Chart of the year"


Note the following aspects:

1. The countries and regions in the right of the chart hold about 20% of the world population, but spend 80% of the world resources, while the big majority, on the left, represents the 80% of the world population and has access only to the 20% of the world resources.

2. Consumption of energy has a straight relation with the GDP, the form of measuring the wealth for such a smart evaluators as Moody's, Fitch or Standard & Poors. Therefore, those holding the biggest energy consumption per capita, have also the biggest GDP. The few singularities (i.e. Middle East countries or Russia), with high energy consumption than GDP should correspond to, are because they are big producers/exporters, which have an enormous amount of energy spent in serving aliens interests. For instance, Saudi Arabia (27 million inhabitants) has recently passed Germany (80 million inhabitants) ion oil consumption, but despite of the tremendously wasteful way of living of the Saudis (copy of the American Way of Life, by the way), it is not clear how much of this accountedconsumption goes to keep their own gigantic machinery up and running (net energy)for exports.

3. If you trace a line with the CO2 emissions per capita, the line is almost overlapping the GDP line, thus proving that GDP pollutes the world and anyincrease in GDP increases pollution. Whether we can afford it or not, is a different issue. We are talking about mathematics. That is, energy consumption is the origin and cause of the Nature transformations (to worst) and resources exhaustion in a very, very direct relation.

4. If the world had to reach the European way of living, the energy consumption will have to more than double; something that is not only undesirable from thepoint of view of the carrying capacity or environmental. It is also because it is physically impossible, once the main fossil fuels start to  deplete (right now in historic terms).

5. If the world would have to replicate the American Way of living, the world would have to increase its energy consumption between 4 and 5 times. This is even more impossible for the world than trying to reach the European way of living. You have to admit it: the American Way of Living IS DEAD, no matter if you put 2 million of Steven Seagals with telescopic rifles in the borders with Mexico. Is this so difficult for you to understand?

6. If you could kill the 5 billion of the left side, imagine with no "collateral damages" in your own numbers, you will still have a clash/crash course for
resources with your neighbours of the right side of the chart within very few years. And they all have weapons of Mass Destruction. Not to forget that China, India and Pakistan are in the left side of the graph and they have also WMD's in their arsenal and something to say about the part of the cake they deserve of the world resources.Your obsession with immigrants is sick.

7. The black horizontal line shows how much energy the world is consuming per person in a world average(in the range of 2,500 watts of average power per person) is already a 40% over the total world carrying capacity. This means that if we want to continue living in this planet, the trend has to COMPULSORY be to go down, not to continue like crazy trying to go up in economic activity and GDP increase year after year. Data is not mine. It is from the BP statistical information of year 2010. GDP from World Bank sources.

8. It is obvious that we can propose to the world that EVERY ONE decreases voluntarily its consumption in a 50% and we could come back to reasonable ecological footprints and tolerable carrying capacities. But this is only a mathematical possibility. As this possibility seems already quite utopic, let's think on the slogans of May 68 in France: 'be realistic: demand the impossible'. And in this sense, it seems much more reasonable (and moral, if we still have principles that cannot be changed, if you wish, as per the famous phrase of Groucho Marx)) that we, the people of the richest states, voluntarily decrease in a 70%. Please, observe that I am not talking about a 0.7% as some of the NGO's that use the charities as the marchionesses of the Middle Ages, by pouring some coins to the beggars at the exit of the Holy Mass to wash their conscience. I am not talking even to give up the 7% of our GDP for the rest. I am talking to decrease in a 70% of our present use of resources, for those of the right side. These are elemental mathematics, be them impossible or not.

9. If we fix our eyes in the graph and trace the flows of energy, we will notice that the flow goes mainly from left to right. The same happens if we trace the most important flows of row materials. And what is more surprising, if we trace the financial flows in a coherent world it should happen that they should go from right to left to compensate the others. But very much on the contrary, and due to the abusive (for centuries) unequal exchanges and abusive contracting forms in the international circuits, (many of these abusive and usury LEGAL contracts, backed by the corruption practices, the alliance of the big financial powers of the right with the elites of the left working as foremen for them, or, when necessary, by the Armies of those in the right, of course, always in the name of the "progress" and the "democracy"), end also flowing from left to right. This is what has created, specially along the last centuries and very specially in the last century, the dire imbalance of the graph.

10. And then, as a consequence of the above, if we fix our eyes again in the human flows, I do not understand why you find so strange or undesirable that the main human flows now go in the same direction, from left to right. It is may be undesirable for the ones in the right, of course, but it is a natural right or temptation, for those in the left and besides, ABSOLUTELY unavoidable in the long term, despite of the Steven Seagal's idiotic pose.

Pedro from Madrid

h2oBoy's picture
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 18 2009
Posts: 52
The end is nigh

Damnthematrix, Thanks for such an illuminating article and chart. Everyone in the developed world should swallow hard and attempt to digest the direction they are taking the planet, though we all must fear that only a unimaginable series of crises will ever come close to easing the stress on our planet. I will be forwarding it to all I know.

Damnthematrix's picture
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
More wise words from Pedro...

We, the rich of the right side of the chart will be soon closer to the 5 billion of the left, basically the immigrants calling more and more to our doors. There is no way in the world for the 5 billion to go up and reach the European or even less the American Way of Life. No enough energy. Not only that. The energy resources are clearly dwindling.

So, what I am saying is that if it is mathematically unavoidable, let us organize in a form where we, the few rich of the right side of the chart organize to start a) cutting not only the immigrant's flow, but also and mainly all other natural resources flows and also the financial flows, always flowing from left to right. And better to do it in an organized way, even painful, than in a military way, if possible, because we are close in time (historical time)
to have clashes for resources, not with a defenceless Iraq or Libya, but with big countries with plenty of WMD. And these scenarios will not be like the comfortable march in Libya with an Army of mercenaries paid by objectives by the NATO.

I do not want just to open any border (neither to close it), but yes, I am in favour of accelerating the process of Western citizens to understand this dire and inescapable reality. I do not need to send the message to the 5 billion of the left side of the chart, because they are already very aware of what lack of essential resources is and have no much technical, economical or military capacity to destroy the planet. We perhaps could do much with another type of much less consumerist society.

And yes, I want the Westerners to understand that either we lower in about 80% our consumerist way of living, because this is a MORAL duty, rather than hiding the head in a hole like ostrich and believe in the lies of our media saying that we are spoiling the world for the sake of human rights and liberty and to teach democracy to the desperate of the left side of the chart.

Nobody wants to lower his/her way of living, this is clear. The question is that, sometimes, if we pretend to be rational and decent and do not want to become cynics, we have to give up and sometimes, to given up too much.

If you are Christian, you should look to the parable of Luke 18,18-24:
18 A certain ruler asked him, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
19 "Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good—except God alone.
20 You know the commandments: `You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.'[a]"
21 "All these I have kept since I was a boy," he said.
22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
23 When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was very wealthy.
24 Jesus looked at him and said, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!
25 Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God."

And may change nowadays the commandments of God with the commandments of Al Gore (switch off the mobile charger, buy low consumption bulbs, use a Prius, recycle, buy class A+ electrical appliances, etc.). But even still if you comply with this, it will not be enough. You have still lack one thing, to reach the level of the master, who was a humble person with a tunic as the only property: to give 80% of your wealth and means to the dispossesed .

And Westerners are now exactly in this position of the young rich man: when they are told to be aware of the needs to inherit a sustainable life (go down in a 80% of your wealth), we all become very sad and leave with our wealth. It seems that we obviously prefer to seat in front of the TV and enjoy with the dragged remains of Gaddafi, convincing ourselves that the world will now be better.

It is a 2,000 old year history that remains updated: still today is easier than a camel go through the eye of a needle than for someone that is rich to enter into the kingdom of sustainability and common sense.

Pedro from Madrid

kaman's picture
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 24 2009
Posts: 51
Wow.  This article gets

Wow.  This article gets your attention like someone in directly front of you doing 70mph on a crowded highway suddenly slamming on their brakes while you're balancing a Crispy Cream, a hot cup of coffee, and steering with your pinky's!

Thanks for sharing, as I now have with everyone I know.

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