I wish I'd Brought My Diary, You should Always Have Something Sensational To Read On The Train

7 posts / 0 new
Last post
Vanityfox451's picture
Vanityfox451
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 28 2008
Posts: 1636
I wish I'd Brought My Diary, You should Always Have Something Sensational To Read On The Train

In every opportunity I get, promoting the Crash Course has become second nature to me. With no exception, a regular train journey I make from Totnes to _______ has me singling out an individual who'll hopefully become enlightened about the realities of energy decline, what it means to them in terms of how it will impact upon their own life, and all of this explained as simply as possible rather than the overall big picture that ordinarily would send even me into a glazed eyed catatonic state.

The British way of starting a conversation with somebody on a train is in how you approach their seat. If the train is quite full, most people try to maintain a double seat as though their lives depended on it, almost like saying, "don't you dare invade my space", with nothing more than a glance and the fact you have to go through the ritual of asking them to move their bag so as to allow you to sit down next to them! My favourite is the opposite side of a table. Many people in the UK will treat two facing seats to a table like getting a double seat, and if they see just one person sitting, they won't sit down opposite without a cough or something to make aware that they're going to sit opposite.

I love these little British rituals because they are indeed openers to discussion.

The story I have for you here is the opening of a talk I had with a man in his early thirties called Jonathan a few days ago. After getting past the seat ritual, I opened by saying how you never can tell who you're going to meet on a train and how being caught as a captive audience can be awkward. Also, had he found he talked a great deal less to strangers on trains in the last few years than he had previously? These questions always gain a response. I'd already read with his body language that the last thing he wanted to do was strike up a conversation with a stranger and would much rather spend his journey staring out the window and daydreaming.

What works next for me may not work so well for others, so I press on. "Well", I say, "I'm getting off at  ________, which is about 20 minutes away; not too long for being caught as a captive audience, and I promise you I’m not selling you anything, and that includes both religion or anything from Am Way International, and that’s a promise. Tell me", I ask, "have you ever heard of a thing called the 'Exponential Function?" At this point, a nervous look comes into my captives eyes; memories of all those lectures from parents about talking to strangers. A shaky "no ... no I haven't heard of that..." is all I've gained at this point. So, I rush on.

I started to tell him a story, only I made him a character in it. I said, "You live next to a beautiful lake where on summer evenings the sun dances gold on the ripples of the water. You've lived there for almost ten years, and most every evening, you take your playful and curious Jack Russell for throw and fetch and a pleasurable walk around it. On this one walk around the lake, something different from your normal routine happens. Leaning down at the edge of the lake, you see old Roger, the local hermit, who you've not been able to say any more than a hello to in all of the time you've lived there. Your extrovert Jack Russell called Bob, still acting like a puppy even though he's seven, runs down the gentle bank of the lake to see exactly what Roger is doing there. You follow Bob down to the waters edge. After all, it’s an excuse to see for yourself exactly what it is that Roger is doing there.

"Hello Roger, don't mind Bob", you say, "he's always up to mischief". Roger, startled out of his daydream, pats Bob affectionately, and surprises you by talking animatedly and excitedly about an experiment he's doing with the lake. "Good evening Jonathan, you've just caught me putting into the water the most beautiful lily I've ever seen! I saw it on Gardener's World on the telly and it has this exquisite pink petalled flower. You'd never believe it, but every day it double's itself so there are two tomorrow and four the next day, and so on, and so on. Soon it will stretch as far as the eye can see, right across the lake. Now, won't that be beautiful?" "Well, yes", you politely agree, "I suppose it really will". Bob who has now lost all interest in Roger is now in the process of spooking the ducks, and worse still, a breeding pair of swans. Careful that Bob doesn't get clipped in the muzzle by one of the cobs wings, you make your excuses to Roger and go and retrieve Bob.

Now Jonathan is almost lulled into a state of comfort by the story when I say, “this all happens on the !st of June, and by the 30th, the lake is completely covered in pink petalled lilies. What day was it when the lake was half full?” 

Jonathan starts to squirm again. “Don’t worry”, I say, most people tell me they think it’s the 15th of the month, is that maybe what you were thinking?”  Visibly relaxing, I continue on, but now I’ve drawn the attention of an elderly gentleman sitting opposite to us and his attention is now rapt. “On the 29th day, the lake was half full. On the 28th day, the lake was a quarter full. On the 27th, an eighth, the 26th, a sixteenth. What day was it when you realised there was a problem and that the lake was in ecological peril?”

“I think maybe when the lake was half full? He says.

“O.K. There’s no right or wrong answer to that one, I’ll give you another.”

Jonathan is now leaning forward in his seat.

Now I give him Chris Martenson’s example of Fenway Park and the magic eyedropper and how much time he has to escape from his handcuff’s sitting in the highest bleacher seat in an imaginary water-tight baseball ground. He and the old be-spectacled gentleman, who is wearing an expensively smart hand-made tweed suit, are listening to my every word.

Now to Dr.Albert A Bartlett’s example with a little of my elaboration: -

“You’re the king of your own country and Empire, but you’re easily bored. The people of your kingdom think it wise to entertain you as much as possible, because a bored King has been known to raise taxes? By and by, an inventor, summoned by your court’s council is invited to show you his new invention. What he then puts before you is a game called chess. You’re so impressed by all the pawns and rooks and knights and Kings and Queens and the wondrous psychology and strategy of the game that you grip the inventors wrists and demand him tell you what he wishes you to pay for it”.

“The inventor, known for his quick mathematical mind and generous wit tells you, “put a grain of wheat on the first square of the board, two upon the second, doubling again and again until you run out of square’s; that can be my payment”.

“How much wheat do you feel this would amass for the inventor? Would it be a mound of corn that would come up to your knees, enough corn to fill up this entire train carriage we’re in, or maybe the size of a water tight Fenway Park baseball ground?”

Head scratching by both the old gentleman and Jonathan now. “O.K, to be honest with you, all three of those possible answer’s I just gave you are completely wrong”, I tell them. “Those were all leading question’s to draw you in. The actual answer is - Four Hundred Times The 1990 World Wide Harvest Of Wheat! Frankly, it sounds impossible, but I can assure you that it’s true”

“Let me connect together for you the reasoning behind all three of those stories.

In 1859, a man called Edwin Drake found a new method of drilling for oil using segmented cast iron as a boring tool. The rest since then is history. The motorcar is a good example off of oil extraction, with less obvious ones such as plastics, the production of leather such as your shoes, cotton and nylon for your jacket and jeans. Anything and everything in modern life is interconnected with oil, including how we grow and distribute food. In fact, all of our modern day food is literally dripping in production oil.

So what does this have to do with the exponential function that I spoke of earlier? Listen carefully, this is the kicker. All of the oil that was used between 1859 and 1970 to build bridges and roads and businesses and supply the energy for two world wars was used again, between 1970 and 1980. All of the oil used between 1859 and 1980, was used again between 1980 and 1990. All of the oil used between 1859 and 1990, was used again between 1990 and 2000. Yet again, all of the oil used between 1859 and 2000, was used again between 2000 and 2010.

Now, if you think that sounds incredible, I have more to add than this. A man called Fatih Byrol who is the Chief Economist of the International Energy Agency based in France, ordered a stunning survey of all of the 800 existing oil wells of the planet in 2008. In 2007, the survey was something similar to your gas and electricity meter reader arriving at you house, and finding you were out, giving you an itemized billing. They gave a global oil decline rate of 3.2%. In 2007, but when the study was physically completed in 2008, the IEA arrived at a figure of 6.7% decline.

Now, let me explain doubling time in layman’s terms. If your local newspaper wrote on the front page that crime was rising in your city at an average of 7% that would mean that crime would double in 10 years. If crime were at an average growth of 10%, then its doubling time would be 7 years. Therefore, if oil is declining globally at 6.7%, there are signs that the world will have half the oil it uses today somewhere between 11 and 12 years from now, based on present day usage.

Worse still, since oil is finite and money can be digitally printed from thin air and is infinite, don’t you feel it would be better to measure the world based on energy than with money?

America is a great example of declining oil fields in the way that the globe now is. Studies show with a degree of accuracy that 1933 was the year that the lower 48 States found the most oil it ever would. In 1948, a geologist and physicist called Marian King Hubbard started a study of declining oil fields that he made public in 1956. He stated in his lecture that the United States would reach a peak in its production of oil extraction between 1966 and 1971.

For this information however, he was told he was talking rubbish and lambasted and harassed for quite a number of years after he went public with his finding’s. But in 1971, when production figures could be looked back on like the rear view mirror in your car, the US realised that they had produced the most oil they ever could in 1970, which was some 10 million barrels a day, and were at the beginning of a very obvious decline.

What is frightening is that in 1995, the US became a net importer of oil for the first time in its history, and now, in 2010, using the exponential function as a rule of thumb, are now importing 16 million barrels of oil a day to add on to the 5.5 million barrels they produce themselves.

The world itself produces an estimated 84 million barrels a day and the US is using a quarter of the entire worlds resources to support and maintain the economy for a population only 5% of the entire planet.

The most startling point of reckoning is how the price of oil has gone from $12 a barrel in 2001, to over $80 a barrel so far in 2010, and is expected to climb in price for the foreseeable future. All of this expense to Joe Public to the cost of what began as cheap energy has been doing its best to fray the edges of the way we live, as has been seen in 2008 with the beginning of a not yet stated in the media, but definitely on the cards Wall Street Crash Two, which has had, so far, and will have in the future, a sweeping effect on the UK economy”.

The old man, who seems vaguely familiar but I can’t quite place has been keeping an ear to the discussion for its 15 minute duration. Jonathan now fully enthralled, tells me that he had gotten out of banking in 2008 directly before the crash with anticipation of it but had no idea of the reason behind it before I started talking to him today. With a banking and loan background I plunged in a little deeper.

“I bought a house in 2004. I liked living there but, with the financial housing bubble beginning to frighten both myself and my wife, we decided to bail out of the market while we still could. Since selling up, I’ve had my eyes widened to just exactly what kind of a trap the house really was. Going over its history brought up some surprises.

In 1998, the house sold for £26, 000 and was sold again to the previous owners to us for £33,000 in 2001. We bought it from them in 2004 for £71,250 and sold it for £94,500 in the summer of 2007 to a lady called Susannah. Susannah gained a mortgage from Northern Rock for the sum of £110,000, bought new windows and a heating system for the house and bought a new car. In January 2010, I checked the market from where the house was, and its market value has dropped mightily, now sitting at an estimated £68,000. That means that Susannah has a negative equity amounting to some £42,000.

What shocks me most is that with declining energy and the fact that oil is the energy we convert into our wages so as to pay our mortgages is set to such a decline that I wonder quite how we’ll be able to get loans from banks if the banks cannot guarantee enough future energy to pay the amount back. The value of properties as you can now see, will never go up in the way that the media is playing it. In the US for instance, the reset for true values has been projected as being between 34% and 50% nationally, meaning every house within the United States.

Listen”, I said, “I can see you’re shocked by what I’ve been describing over the last 20 minutes and the station I’m getting off at is just coming up. If you want a clear picture of what changes are going to happen over the next 20 years, you couldn’t do better than Googling Chris Martenson and completing a set of films called The Crash Course. Here’s the information that you’ll need on this card”.

The train, a minute away from the station now was slowing down gradually when Jonathan leaned toward me asked me conspiratorially, “do you know who that man is that’s been listening to you talk to me?”

That was when I looked over and the penny finally dropped.

Paddy Ashdown

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paddy_Ashdown

Wikipedia wrote:

Jeremy John Durham Ashdown, Baron Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon, GCMG, KBE, PC (born 27 February 1941), is a British politician and international diplomat.

Ashdown was Member of Parliament (MP) for Yeovil from 1983 to 2001, and leader of the Liberal Democrats from 1988 until August 1999; later he was the international High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina from 27 May 2002 to 30 May 2006, following his vigorous lobbying for military action against Yugoslavia in the 1990s. A gifted polyglot, Ashdown is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and other languages. He was made a Knight Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George (GCMG) in the New Year Honours 2006. In his 2009 autobiography, he revealed that he has worked as a spy for British intelligence.

 As I was stepping off of the train, I walked over to Paddy with my hand outstretched and asked him, “You did hear all of what I said didn’t you?”

“Yes”, he said, as he warmly shook my hand.

Links

   ~ VF ~

cmartenson's picture
cmartenson
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 7 2007
Posts: 5967
Re: I wish I'd Brought My Diary, You should Always Have ...

Awesome story Paul - thank you for taking the time to write it up and share it!

 

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
Re: I wish I'd Brought My Diary, You should Always Have ...

Wow Paul.....  that was truly AMAZING!!

Thanks for sharing.....

Mike

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
Re: I wish I'd Brought My Diary, You should Always Have ...

I was particularly taken by this bit:

"So what does this have to do with the exponential function that I spoke of earlier? Listen carefully, this is the kicker. All of the oil that was used between 1859 and 1970 to build bridges and roads and businesses and supply the energy for two world wars was used again, between 1970 and 1980. All of the oil used between 1859 and 1980, was used again between 1980 and 1990. All of the oil used between 1859 and 1990, was used again between 1990 and 2000. Yet again, all of the oil used between 1859 and 2000, was used again between 2000 and 2010."

One way to "enhance" that little story would be to then say that between 2010 and 2020, a volume of oil comparable to all that was used between 1859 and 2000 will not be available......!

Mike

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
Re: I wish I'd Brought My Diary, You should Always Have ...

Actually Paul.......  having thought about this a lot (because it is an extraordinary claim), "all of the oil that was used between 1859 and 1970 to build bridges and roads and businesses and supply the energy for two world wars was used again, between 1970 and 1980. All of the oil used between 1859 and 1980, was used again between 1980 and 1990. All of the oil used between 1859 and 1990, was used again between 1990 and 2000. Yet again, all of the oil used between 1859 and 2000, was used again between 2000 and 2010." is COMPLETELY UNTRUE.

If it was doubling every 10 years, then that would mean oil consumption increasing at 7% per year, but it has only been growing at 1.3% per year averaged over the 40 years to date, and only 5 years scored more than 5%.

Decade Kb/d
70-79 577,996
80-89 599,981
90-99 685,681
00-09 789,001
 
Vanityfox451's picture
Vanityfox451
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 28 2008
Posts: 1636
Re: I wish I'd Brought My Diary, You should Always Have ...

Chris,

really glad you appreciated it!!! I had a serious struggle trying to find a way to teach people about the 3 E's for a long time. Then, about 6 months ago it all clicked into place. I'm geting a high hit rate with this teaching method. Last week was exceptional, going from a pair of awe struck painter and decorator's who fired questions at me for over two hour's, to an American mother of three from Ohio called Peggy who took my email and a card with details of the Crash Course with a mind to share all she could with family and friends and keep in touch - to an ex-party political leader of the Liberal Democrats.

This week I've been helping my friend through the final details in exchanging contracts with his house sale. I've been a part of the reasoning behind the sale from the outset, with the processes of getting it de-cluttered, to painting and decorating it through, to personally performing the viewing's myself. The sale has been perilously close to the next step of the collapsing housing market in this area of the UK, and since an offer was accepted in January, houses that were comparable in price have shaved off as much as £15,000 from their asking prices!!! 

Anyway, I digress. We were in the office of the local real estate office that's dealing with the sale. Finding myself with a captive audience ...Wink... I went right through all of the details above. I then directed her to your film Bubbles and Chapter 15, and suddenly she said, "hey, didn't you speak to my husband about a month ago?" Sure enough, I had. She'd already watched that section of the Crash Course in shock and disbelief. By meeting and talking to her directly though, I've offered to take her through the Crash Course with an eye on the rest of the staff at the office coming along to the viewing also.

Remembering this is a small community, with a little over 8600 people, the word is getting out exponentially ... Cool...

Anyway, that's the story of a week in my life ...

My very best to you, your wife and your children in these interesting time's,

Paul

Vanityfox451's picture
Vanityfox451
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 28 2008
Posts: 1636
Re: I wish I'd Brought My Diary, You should Always Have ...
Damnthematrix wrote:

Actually Paul.......  having thought about this a lot (because it is an extraordinary claim), "all of the oil that was used between 1859 and 1970 to build bridges and roads and businesses and supply the energy for two world wars was used again, between 1970 and 1980. All of the oil used between 1859 and 1980, was used again between 1980 and 1990. All of the oil used between 1859 and 1990, was used again between 1990 and 2000. Yet again, all of the oil used between 1859 and 2000, was used again between 2000 and 2010." is COMPLETELY UNTRUE.

If it was doubling every 10 years, then that would mean oil consumption increasing at 7% per year, but it has only been growing at 1.3% per year averaged over the 40 years to date, and only 5 years scored more than 5%.

Decade Kb/d
70-79 577,996
80-89 599,981
90-99 685,681
00-09 789,001
 

Hello Mike,

I endlessly thought it through, over and over, trying to find a way to clearly and cleanly put over to Joe Public a snappy explanation of the past, the present and the future of global oil decline. Then, in a flash of inspiration it hit me. I figured, by the time they've worked out what you and I already know, they'll know a whole lot more than they did!

Something I learnt from a few well known politician's: -

Bullsh*t Oils The Wheels Of Progress - ...Cool...

My Very Best,

Paul

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Login or Register to post comments