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    In Denial: We Pursue Endless Growth At Our Peril

    A requiem for planet Earth
    by Chris Martenson

    Friday, May 29, 2015, 2:09 PM

As we've been discussing of late here at PeakProsperity.com, humans desperately need a new story to live by. The old one is increasingly dysfunctional and rather obviously headed for either a quite dismal or possibly disastrous future. One of the chief impediments to recognizing the dysfunction of the old story and adopting a new one is the most powerful of all human emotional states: Denial.

I used to think that Desire was the most powerful human emotion because people are prone to risking everything in their lives – careers, marriages, relationships with their family and close friends – pursuing lust or accumulating 10,000 times more money and possessions than they need in their desire for “more.”

Perhaps it was my own blind spot(s) that prevented me from really appreciating just how powerful human denial really is. But here we are, 40 years after the Club of Rome and 7 years after the Great Financial Accident of 2008, collectively pretending that neither was a sign warning of the dangers we face — as a global society — if we continue our unsustainable policies and practices that assume perpetual growth.

Economic Denial

In the realm of economics, the level of collective denial gripping the earth’s power centers is extraordinary. Perhaps that should be of little surprise, as we're now at the height of the largest set of nested financial bubbles ever blown in world history.

The bigger the bubble(s) the bigger the levels of denial required to sustain their expansion. These bubbles are doozies, and that explains the massive and ongoing efforts to prevent any sort of reality from creeping into the national and global dialog.

To understand this pattern of avoidance of unpleasant realities, consider the behavior of cities — even entire nations — which cannot bring themselves to talk openly about their state of insolvency, let alone do something about it.

Chicago has amassed debt and underfunded liabilities totaling $63 billion, or more than $61,000 per household. Illinois already ‘enjoys’ the second highest property tax rate in the nation at 2.28 percent of a property’s value, which means the average property tax bill for the median home is $5,200 per year. On top of that, Illinois' income tax is a flat 5% and brings in a total of $18 billion from 4.7 million households, or $3,800 per household. Combined, that's $9,000 in taxes per year per average household (which earns $38,625).

Here's the brutal math: the current city deficit is 675% of current tax receipts. How exactly does Chicago plan to scrape another $61,000 out of each household on top of the existing tax bills? 

It doesn’t. It has no plan. The plan is to simply remain in denial and ignore everything until it all breaks down. Which it has indeed started to do, with the ever-late, after-the-horse-has-already-left-the-barn downgrade of the city’s debt to junk status by Moodys.

Or perhaps we could note that of the six mayoral candidates seeking election to run the city of Philadelphia, not one has even talked about its massive $5.7 billion pension shortfall during the campaign, even as they promise expanded pre-kindergarten programs and tax cuts. Not one. Do you think that any of them has an actual plan to address that budget gap's dream-crushing burden?

They don’t. The only ‘plan’ they have is to remain in denial and ignore everything until it all breaks down. And then, we might guess, blame the prior administrations.

Japan has the most debt per person of any nation in the world, standing at nearly $100,000 per resident. And that burden is growing every year. Yet in 2005, Japan passed an important milestone as its population peaked at 128 million. It's been declining ever since. Japan lost 244,000 net residents in 2013, and is now trundling on a downwards population trajectory for the next 50-60 years. And at the same time, it is growing older — Japan has the second highest median age in the world.

Clearly that demographic profile is a recipe for economic shrinkage, not growth. And yet the Japanese central bankers and politicians are hell-bent on creating rapid economic growth via the twin cattle prods of reckless money printing and excessive government borrowing. How is it that the leaders of Japan have convinced themselves that rapid economic growth is what they need (instead of the more rational and opposite case of managed economic shrinkage)? What’s their plan, exactly?

They have no plan. The plan is to simply remain in denial and ignore everything until it all breaks down.

The same story is written everywhere, with every example sharing the same common element of presumed perpetual growth. Everybody plans on growing steadily, forever into the future, amen.

The United States is no different. It's own entitlement shortfalls, pegged at anywhere from $60 trillion to $220 trillion, are themselves still derived with the assumption of future growth.

Here’s the ‘plan’ for the US according to the CBO:

Yes, the ‘plan’ is for the US to someday have an economy equal to the entire current world GDP as it stands here in 2015. Does that make any sense to anybody at all? Who thinks that’s a realistic plan?

By 2080 when this is supposed to take place, the entire world will be past the peak of all known sources of energy. And Phosphate. And soil. And fresh water. And oceanic fish biomass. And who knows what else. And yet the CBO blithely assumes that US, all on its own, will be producing and consuming 100% of what the entire world does today.

The above chart helps us visualize one of the largest and most potentially destructive forms of denial on display. Our collective denial of limits.  It's also good to remember that all of the entitlement shortfalls are 'only' as bad as they because of the assumption of uninterrupted US economic growth.  Should economic growth fall short of that spectacular run that will take the US to a worldly level of consumption and production, then the entitlement programs will prove to be just that much more underfunded.

Ecological Denial

Sadly, it's on the natural fronts that human denial seems to be at its most extreme. Hollywood visions and SciFi fantasies aside (where humans live in sealed capsules and subsist entirely on man-made foods), humans are 100% utterly dependent on the natural world for their survival. Food, water, oxygen, and predictable temperatures and rainfall patterns provide the basics of life.

To focus on just one part, which I also detail in The Crash Course book, humans are rapidly degrading our soils upon which everything depends.

Not only are we obviously losing topsoil to erosion and generally turning soil into lifeless dirt by stripping out its biological diversity, we are mining these soils for their micro and macro nutrients yet have no coordinated plan for replacing them.

Obviously if you take minerals like calcium and magnesium out of the soils in the form of harvested grains and vegetables, they'll need to be replaced. Right now they are mainly flushed out to sea, never to be economically recovered.

The situation is pretty grim as I recently outlined in a recent report on our nation's poor soil management practices. Here’s some more context for that view:

Britain has only 100 harvests left in its farm soil as scientists warn of growing 'agricultural crisis'

Oct 20, 2014

Intense over-farming means there are only 100 harvests left in the soil of the UK’s countryside, a study has found.

With a growing population and the declining standard of British farmland, scientists warned that we are on course for an “agricultural crisis” unless dramatic action is taken.

Despite the traditional perception that there is a green and pleasant land outside the grey, barren landscape of our cities, researchers from the University of Sheffield found that on average urban plots of soil were richer in nutrients than many farms.

“With a growing population to feed, and the nutrients in our soil in sharp decline, we may soon see an agricultural crisis,” Professor Dunnett said.

“Meanwhile we are also seeing a sharp decrease in bio-diversity in the UK which has a disastrous knock-on effect on our wildlife Lack of pollinators means reduction in food.

(Source)

Scientists in the UK are being matched by scientists elsewhere, noting that humanity’s general approach towards soils and farming are obviously destructive and exceptionally unsustainable. It should be setting off alarm bells that urban plots are found to be more nutrient-dense than many farms.

The loss of biodiversity is something that we just cannot yet fully comprehend, as all of nature is an enormously intertwined set of complex relationships. Of course, our failure to understand and appreciate the true role(s) of biodiversity will not protect us from the consequences of destroying it.

Any culture that ruins its soils cannot claim any sort of sophistication at all. That just flunks the basic IQ test. It’s not unlike watching a brilliant piano prodigy starve to death because he can't manage the details of making his own meals despite a well-stocked kitchen. No matter how beautifully he can play, he simply lacks the necessary skills to sustain himself.

Human security at risk as depletion of soil accelerates, scientists warn

May 7, 2015

Steadily and alarmingly, humans have been depleting Earth's soil resources faster than the nutrients can be replenished. If this trajectory does not change, soil erosion, combined with the effects of climate change, will present a huge risk to global food security over the next century, warns a review paper authored by some of the top soil scientists in the country.
The paper singles out farming, which accelerates erosion and nutrient removal, as the primary game changer in soil health.

"Ever since humans developed agriculture, we've been transforming the planet and throwing the soil's nutrient cycle out of balance," said the paper's lead author, Ronald Amundson, a professor of environmental science, policy and management at the University of California, Berkeley. "Because the changes happen slowly, often taking two to three generations to be noticed, people are not cognizant of the geological transformation taking place."

(Source)

Notice the shifting baselines phenomenon happening here. Because the changes have taken place over three generations, our culture is incapable of recognizing the threat, let alone properly responding to it.

Instead of a bucolic pastime, farming has become just another mirror reflecting our destructive ways. Rather than carefully working within natural cycles, the average farming practice seeks to dominate and override nature.

Just spray and you’re done! Easy-peasy. Of course, this has the chance of knocking out your birds and your bees as well as the butterflies and who knows what other essential and beneficial insects as I recently laid out in the report: Suicide By Pesticide.

Pesticides kill the bugs we don’t want and many more besides. Herbicides knock out weeds, but also lots of other life-forms we do need and want kept alive. Fungicides knock out bad funguses and good ones alike.

This lazy approach to farming, although chemically sophisticated, lacks any real connection to the cycles of nature the most obvious one being the strip-mining of the macro and micro nutrients.

There was a reason that the herbivores roamed over the same grounds for hundreds of thousands and even millions of years. That worked to keep everything in balance and led to the creation of the thickest and healthiest soils imaginable when the American West was first plowed not all that long ago (by historical standards).

Horribly bleak study sees ‘empty landscape’ as large herbivores vanish at startling rate

May 4, 2015

They never ateanybody — but now, some of planet Earth’s innocentvegetarians face end times.Large herbivores — elephants, hippos, rhinos and gorillas among them — are vanishing from the globe at a startling rate, with some 60 percent threatened with extinction, a team of scientists reports.

The situation is so dire, according toa new study, that it threatens an “empty landscape” in some ecosystems “across much of the planet Earth.”

The authors were clear: This is a big problem — and it’s a problem with us, not them.

This slaughterand its consequences are not modest, the article said. In fact, the rate of decline is such that “ever-larger swaths of the world will soon lack many of the vital ecological services these animals provide, resulting in enormous ecological and social costs.”

Herbivores, it turns out, don’t just idle about munching on various green things. They play a vital role as “ecosystem engineers,” the paper said — expanding grasslands for plant species, dispersing seeds in manure, and, in the ultimate sacrifice, providing food for predators.

(Source)

It’s the last paragraph that’s essential to understand.

Nature is so subtle and complex, that we have only recently learned that wolves shape rivers. Or perhaps the Native Americans knew that and it is our ‘modern’ culture that is only re-figuring all this out. I was confused by the thought of wolves shaping rivers the first time I heard it too, but it’s all laid out in this handy 4 minute video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysa5OBhXz-Q

The loss of large herbivores will re-shape the landscape in ways that we do not yet understand and therefore cannot appreciate. But they are certainly ‘ecosystem engineers’ and the loss of those services, to put it in transactional terms that economists might relate to, will lead to a whole host of as-yet-undefined changes some of which we will regret.

We're Not At The Tipping Point; We've Already Passed It

The roles of eating, digesting and spreading seeds and manure seem like things we can make do without, here at the apex of the petroleum age, but in a few short decades we will understand just how much energy was necessary and how much value was created by the actions of these herbivores.

In Part 2: Life Beyond The Tipping Point we look at the looming net energy crisis is mathematically certain to place increasing limits on the modern way of life, in our lifetime — likely much sooner than we want or are prepared for. In sum, despite the intent of world leaders to blindly deny the economic, ecological and energetic cliffs we are hurdling towards, society has already long past the point where painful ramifications can be avoided. At this stage, destiny will be determined at the individual level, depending on what steps each of takes now, before those ramifications arrive in force. 

Click here to read Part 2 of this report(free executive summary, enrollment required for full access)

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189 Comments

  • Fri, May 29, 2015 - 3:04pm

    #1

    Rector

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 07 2010

    Posts: 321

    I liked it better when we talked about gold. . .

    It's  depressing to see how stupidly we are managing our affairs.  When this stupidity is  constrained to the realms of economics and petroleum it seems like the collapse will "fix it".  But these ecological catastrophes will take centuries to fix.

    We don't own these resources – we were tasked with managing them with care.  We  were called to be stewards of the resources of this planet.  And just like all bad managers we are going to be fired. 

    "The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it."

    Rector

     

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  • Fri, May 29, 2015 - 4:26pm

    #2
    HarryFlashman

    HarryFlashman

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    Joined: Jul 31 2008

    Posts: 33

    Stewards????

    We are not stewards! We are part of the eco-system and a massively skewed part of it as I write this comment. Stewardship is a religious concept and it is that type of thinking that has got us into this situation and threatens to make it impossible to get out. 
     

    This planet that we live on, almost certainly the only habitat in the universe ,that we have any hope of ever reaching or occupying, is badly overpopulated. We can argue about consumption and numbers and waste until the cow get slaughtered, but the people who live now are doing too much damage as it is, what happens when the rest of the world (the other 6/7ths who don't have a first world lifestyle) gets what we've got? (Well, nothing, because it's never going to happen, not enough resources, mi'lord! ). We need action now on population, but it's never going to happen, because no politician has the spine and would never get voted in on that platform. 

     

    So, what does this mean? Nothing will happen, as Chris said, there will be no action, because it's too difficult and democracy will never allow it. Turkeys do not vote for Christmas! Happy extinction everyone! The following article says it all really! Just take a look at the comments from the Indians in there, basically,' You had it and we want it even if it kills everyone!' seriously……..

     

    http://www.theguardian.com/news/2015/may/27/why-india-is-captured-by-carbon

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  • Fri, May 29, 2015 - 6:00pm

    Reply to #2

    thc0655

    Status Platinum Member (Online)

    Joined: Apr 27 2010

    Posts: 1435

    Not stewards????

    Harry wrote:

    We are not stewards! We are part of the eco-system and a massively skewed part of it as I write this comment. Stewardship is a religious concept and it is that type of thinking that has got us into this situation and threatens to make it impossible to get out. 

    "We are not stewards" is every bit a religious/faith belief as is "We are stewards."  Harry, I dare say there has been very, very little thinking among the masses of humanity throughout history that:

    1. We are not the ultimate authority or power on the Earth or in the universe.

    2. There is such an ultimate authority/power who created the universe.

    3. That Power put us here as part of the Earth's ecosystem with specific instructions to prosper from the Earth's bounty (just like the rest of the Earth's organisms do), but also to take care of the Earth because we ultimately have to answer to that Power for how we have treated and mistreated each other and this Earth.

    I believe it is to the extent that humanity has denied one or more of those three unproven beliefs above "that has got us into this situation and threatens to make it impossible to get out," as you said. 

    However,

    those who deny that there is an ultimate Power but still see that we have to take care of the Earth for humanity's own sake

    are the allies of

    those who believe there is an ultimate Power to whom we must ultimately answer for how we have treated the Garden with which we were entrusted.

    I embrace you Harry as my ally on this Earth, even though you don't share my faith perspective.  I say we can work together wisely, within the natural limits and cycles of this Earth, to both prosper and hand off a healthier Earth to the next generation.

    Will you join me in cooperation Harry, or have you made me and others like me your sworn enemies?

    Tom

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  • Fri, May 29, 2015 - 6:41pm

    #3
    climber99

    climber99

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    Posts: 178

    When it becomes evident that

    When it becomes evident that we are at the limits to growth, governments will be forced to reduce debts and liabilities.  There many ways that this can be done. Here are just a few; (see if you can see what they all have in common).  Debt jubilee (savers take the hit), currency revaluation (savers take the hit), debt free money creation (savers take the hit), negative interest rates (savers take the hit).  i.e. INFLATION.     Debts, liabilities and savings get diminished in equal measure.  Whatever way it is done, it will be deeply unpopular amongst savers and this is why politicians don't want to talk about it.

    And by the way, before anyone attacks me, I will be affected just as badly as any other saver. If you are young and have been forced to take on too much debt to get educated or get a roof over your head then this will be a good thing.  There is no other way out.  The fact remains that savings are only borrowed money in our monetary system after all and this has evolved to expand and contract in line with underlaying GDP.

    At the end of the day, we, the baby boomer gereration, have done very well out of it at the expense of the planet and future generations.

    ps. I love your "we are at the apex of the petroleum age" phrase. 

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  • Fri, May 29, 2015 - 7:08pm

    #4
    Doug

    Doug

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 01 2008

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    Stewards

    If we are not already, then we must become stewards of the earth's ecosystem.  We are the only beings on this rock who have the conscious ability to manipulate the ecosystem.  We've done a pretty bad job so far.  What we have done is more akin to pillaging than stewardship.  Along the way, of course, we have created a way of life in the developed world that is the envy of the rest of the world.  What most do not yet understand is that the status quo is not sustainable.  The so-called third world must come to terms with the reality that they cannot live like us.  It may not be fair, but as we have repeatedly been told, life ain't fair.

    The developed world must come to terms with the reality that we cannot continue to live like this.  We must sacrifice…a lot.  Pretending that we can continue our lifestyle on renewable energy is a fantasy.  We have to start downscaling and soon if we are to salvage a survivable society using much less energy.

    I'm taking a permaculture course in which we are told that developing our own landscape should be 2/3 work and 1/3 sitting around looking at the landscape, understanding how it currently functions and figuring out how we can transform it into a productive self sustaining resource that will support not only our family but produce a surplus for the community as well.  And then figure out how we can bring the rest of the community on board with the same goal.  It is an intimidating task and one I am far from certain can be pulled off.  But, it must be done everywhere if the planet and its inhabitants are to survive.

     

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  • Fri, May 29, 2015 - 7:08pm

    Reply to #2
    robie robinson

    robie robinson

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    I wish, Tom

    I could give you more thumbs up

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  • Fri, May 29, 2015 - 8:15pm

    #5
    HarryFlashman

    HarryFlashman

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    'If we are not already, then

    'If we are not already, then we must become stewards of the earth's ecosystem.  We are the only beings on this rock who have the conscious ability to manipulate the ecosystem.  We've done a pretty bad job so far. '

    I couldn't agree more with this, but not from a religious perspective. We do need to become 'Stewards', but no higher power made us this way and if there was one, just imagine how annoyed he'd be with us for the dreadful mess we've made!

    thc0655, yes,I'll work with anyone who doesn't expect me to share their nonsense, and who has the best interests of our species in mind. 'the best interests' means an end to reckless breeding, in opposition to 'go forth and multiply'……….

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  • Fri, May 29, 2015 - 8:47pm

    Reply to #2
    climber99

    climber99

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    Religious hogwash. 

    Religious hogwash.  As the late Catton would say;  we are no different from yeast in a vat of sugar.  The population increases uncontrollably until all the sugar is used up and then it crashes.  Our sugar is fossil energy.  In a couple of hundred years time a few Homo Sapiens (numbered in millions rather than billions) may still be around.  In a couple of thousand years time the climate will have stabilised, radio activity from our abandoned nuclear power stations will be down to background levels and other species of animals will have recovered their numbers.  No doubt, other religions will have been invented by then and fought over. Same old same old.

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  • Fri, May 29, 2015 - 9:19pm

    Reply to #2

    New_Life

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 18 2011

    Posts: 185

    Thankfully a reasoned approach.

    [quote=climber99]

    Religious hogwash.  As the late Catton would say;  we are no different from yeast in a vat of sugar.  The population increases uncontrollably until all the sugar is used up and then it crashes.  Our sugar is fossil energy.  In a couple of hundred years time a few Homo Sapiens (numbered in millions rather than billions) may still be around.  In a couple of thousand years time the climate will have stabilised, radio activity from our abandoned nuclear power stations will be down to background levels and other species of animals will have recovered their numbers.  No doubt, other religions will have been invented by then and fought over. Same old same old.

    [/quote]
    Religon and the concept of a god is human made fiction, which thankfully we are (albeit slowly) evolving beyond.

    Ever took a second to stop and think that given there are many religions that claim they know the answer, they can’t all be correct, please consider just for a second that all religions are false.

    We are all simply organic matter. Everything that has, does and will ever exist is purely the result of a moment of randomness exploding into infinite nothingness 13.7 billion years ago.

    Its incredible (but also inevitable) that anything at all exists, even more so that we exist and are able to witness it.

    The concept of god is purely that, it was just a less evolved mans concept/fairytale that’s been handed down for probably less than 500 generations of humanity.

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  • Fri, May 29, 2015 - 9:21pm

    #6

    Adam Taggart

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 25 2009

    Posts: 2523

    Caution - remember our Discussion Guidelines

    I'm taking a moment away from working on the new book Chris and I are writing to request folks remember this site's Discussion Guidelines & Rules, specifically our requirement that we stick to empirical data and leave our own personal belief systems at the door (i.e., let's keep discussion of religion/politics/etc out of the comments)

    Let's let the moderators have a restful weekend.

    tx

    A

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  • Fri, May 29, 2015 - 9:28pm

    #7

    Brad Peters

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    Joined: Nov 12 2014

    Posts: 29

    Lot of different perspectives

    The amazing thing which stood out to me in reading the comments is that we all have a common desire to do what is right for future generations, regardless of religious/non perspective. But the skeptic in me reads Doug's comment "We are the only beings on this rock who have the conscious ability to manipulate the ecosystem. " and had to laugh a little.  I question this statement. We, on an individual level, sure, we can do this. But on a collective level, all the various special-interests come out and gum up the decision making apparatus to the point where all we can do is keep on walking the same path.  Collectively, I don't have much hope.

    I read somewhere that when scientists model human decision making on a grand scale, they count us as incapable of foresight-based decision making. As only capable of changing as a result of crisis. I think that's true, leaving us all just as impotent as those over-breeding deer who couldn't help starve themselves to a population collapse. As a result, I fear our biggest bubble is not a currency bubble, but a population bubble. 

    Lastly, my $0.02 on continued growth. I believe that CBO projection on economic growth is nearly exactly correct. For one reason – it is stated in fiat currency. The unlimited printing presses of the world can growth the economy to any extent required… but the Primary and Secondary forms of wealth will hit real limits of growth. That's inflation.

    Chris' advice through the Crash Course led me to diversify into Primary and secondary forms of wealth, and I can happily state that, as of 2 months ago, I managed to buy 70 acres of forest land beside a lake here in the Pacific NorthWest, where I plan to put a house.  Now if things go really well, fingers crossed, I'm hoping that inflationary trend will wipe out my dollar-denominated debt… 😉

    Best wishes to everyone, and if there are PP'ers looking to gain experience in building a timber-frame house or setup a permaculture food-forest, reach out to me. I'm very much in need of volunteer's and/or people who know more about construction than I

     

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  • Fri, May 29, 2015 - 9:30pm

    #8

    New_Life

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 18 2011

    Posts: 185

    But let's get on

    I’m not here to troll or be argumentative.
    I accept that my views above are difficult for many to accept.

    As Chris says let’s focus on what we agree on, he is less interested in why our reasons differ for moving to action as they can be a distraction.

    Peace and Prosperity to you all that care.

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  • Fri, May 29, 2015 - 11:10pm

    Reply to #7
    climber99

    climber99

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    Posts: 178

    Human perspectives

    "we all have a common desire to do what is right for future generations".  Not sure about this.  As my wife tells me, as I bore her yet again about my predictions about the future, most people don't think about it at all. 

    Page 19, Limits to Growth, Figure 1 Human Perspectives illustrates it perfectly.  Most people think in terms of "family" and "next week".  Very, very few think in terms of "world" and "children's lifetime".  This explains why such an important book as this has made exactly zero difference in the real world since it was first published in 1972,  why Catton compared us to yeast in his book Overshoot in 1980 and why sites such as this one continue to make very little impression on policy makers round the world.

     

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  • Fri, May 29, 2015 - 11:37pm

    #9

    Arthur Robey

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 03 2010

    Posts: 1814

    My fantasy

    It is interesting that Religion has made an appearance. It means that the message has got through to us.

    There are no atheists in foxholes.  Let me make a prediction. Theism will surge back as more people face their (inevitable) existential crisis.

    I am in complete denial about mine. I phantasize about clean white sheets in a friendly hospice. I have my doubts. I think I will go and have a nice cup of coffee.

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  • Fri, May 29, 2015 - 11:40pm

    #10

    Time2help

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 08 2011

    Posts: 2225

    Doomers, we get it

    Head nod to the doomers out there, most here get it.  Population is going to come down, probably way down, most probably in an uncontrolled fashion.  Assuming we don't all go the way of the dodo, Nature is gonna be out of whack for a good long while for those that remain.

    Doesn't get us off the hook for trying though. If you give a s*** you have to try. So maybe ease up a bit on the doom. Most here get it. And The Thing isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

    "Enjoying" another toasty warm day here in the Pacific Northwest.  With my tomato plants.

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  • Sat, May 30, 2015 - 12:44am

    Reply to #6
    robie robinson

    robie robinson

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    Joined: Aug 25 2009

    Posts: 857

    folks

    Why did the negative karma come from the non-theists? isn't it usually the christians who spread vehemence and vitriol?

    I believed Sartre when he said, "for the finite to exist, the infinite must exist as a reference." is it possible for all that to be a hominids anthropomorphization of the infinite?

    smile yawl, we all love MaMa.

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  • Sat, May 30, 2015 - 1:17am

    Reply to #2

    Rector

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 07 2010

    Posts: 321

    How do we move forward?

    You can tell what's true by what is angrily opposed. Thanks for the verification. 

    How do we make "progress" on reducing the population?  What actions can we take?  Something like China has instituted perhaps?  That kind of final solution doesn't sound better to me. Especially since it seems like I might be part of the problematic group that needs to be reduced. I have 4 kids. Perhaps I should sterilize myself and then what?  Any ideas on implementation or can we get back to taking better care of the planet and our resources?

    Stewardship – :  the conducting, supervising, or managing of something; especially  :  the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care <stewardship of natural resources>

    Rector 

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  • Sat, May 30, 2015 - 2:50am

    #11
    ezlxq1949

    ezlxq1949

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 29 2009

    Posts: 197

    Sea change

    I presume I'm not the only PP reader to have noticed the sea change in the tone and tenor of PP in the last few weeks: from vague optimism to clear pessimism.

    But that's OK: PP is coming to terms with the fact that the world is NOT going to change course until forced to, and that will be destructive and painful.

    Nothing new here. I and many others have been glum and pessimistic about the course of the world since the dawning of the environmental movement in the 60s. I remember a report back then in Time or Newsweek of an Alaskan businessman getting stroppy about this new concept of environment: "It used to be the limitless outback but now it's the [expletive deleted] fragile tundra!" Whether he ever came to terms with it is not recorded.

    All of us in PP feel a collective responsibility to take the best care of our planet that we can, so let us continue in doing just that. Our example matters and is noticed.

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  • Sat, May 30, 2015 - 3:05am

    #12

    kaimu

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 20 2013

    Posts: 161

    WELCOME TO COSTCO!

    Aloha! What religion is worshipped anywhere other than "consuming"? Even Christopher Columbus and everything Captain Cook did was to further the religious beliefs of "consuming"! The BIGGEST empires consumed the most! That is how we measure the wealth of any Nation on Earth. That is how we measure the wealth of any individual on Earth! It is human nature. Sure there are a few Mother Theresas out there that stumble onto a meager existence and somehow promote it to the masses and get a few awards in the process, but those are the extreme rare humans … the .000000001% of the .01%!!! The rest of us are just on Earth to consume our way through our life and we don't think! Let me say it again … WE DON'T THINK!!! The economic misery index has to be off the charts lowest of the low for any group of humans to forgo their life of consumption in order to make the life of the next generation better.

    I am sorry but who here would give up everything they worked for to be a George Washington or a Fidel Castro for that matter? Who wants to voluntarily give up their Lexus SUV and their mini-Mansion and hide in the Rocky Mountains fighting the US military for the next ten years? Show of hands???? Hmmmm … any? Just one? Huh? Any "Freedom Fighters" out there? Not one? Ah … okay … 

    If anyone here has children then "you were not thinking" about anyone other than yourself! Having children is one of the most self consumed actions any human can take and yet somehow we are all brainwashed into believing it has some noble purpose and that we deserve huge accolades! The IRS even hands out tax credits for your reckless behavior! I think you deserve huge tax credits for NOT having kids! Anyone have kids out there? How much of the Earth's resources will it take to get your child from a baby to 80?

    Here you go …

    Holy … man … 3.11 million pounds!!! Unreal …

    I know … maybe your child will be the one who invents a process that creates unlimited energy from one oxygen molecule! More than likely though it is this scenario that the human species is predestined to inherit in all its grandiosity …

    Josh Duggar and the Catholic Church take a bow …

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  • Sat, May 30, 2015 - 3:53am

    Reply to #12

    Time2help

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 08 2011

    Posts: 2225

    Not thinking

    [quote]

    If anyone here has children then "you were not thinking" about anyone other than yourself! Having children is one of the most self consumed actions any human can take and yet somehow we are all brainwashed into believing it has some noble purpose and that we deserve huge accolades! The IRS even hands out tax credits for your reckless behavior! I think you deserve huge tax credits for NOT having kids! Anyone have kids out there? How much of the Earth's resources will it take to get your child from a baby to 80?

    [/quote]
    Clearly not everyones parents were thinking when they had offspring.

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  • Sat, May 30, 2015 - 5:03am

    #13
    Yoxa

    Yoxa

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 20 2011

    Posts: 286

    Family planning

    [quote]  I have 4 kids. Perhaps I should sterilize myself [/quote]

    After 4 kids, yes, that's definitely something to consider.

    The Sunkist operation … great juice and no seeds!

    We took that step after our third child.

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  • Sat, May 30, 2015 - 9:22am

    Reply to #2

    davefairtex

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 03 2008

    Posts: 3107

    angry opposition, population problem

    Rector-

    You can tell what's true by what is angrily opposed. Thanks for the verification.

    Eh, that's not a method of analysis I'd rely on.  In the real world, everyone has their own hot button issues – push hard enough, they will become angry, regardless of truth or falsity of the statement/accusation.

    How do we make "progress" on reducing the population?  What actions can we take?

    Chris has always said, "be the change you want to see."  Seems like that applies here.  That doesn't mean we all run around trying to impose change on everyone else – although that sure is tempting, it flies in the face of the whole "free will" thing.  Educating everyone as to impact of population growth seems like a good place to start.  Kaimu's baby article was – if accurate – pretty neat.

    Understand the impact of everything we do.  Then we can all decide for ourselves if its the "right thing" or not.

    Your four kids are already a done deal.  All you can do is educate them on the impact of each of them having four kids in turn.  Up to you what you tell them, of course.  Just like throwing litter out the window, no one individual is responsible for all the trash on the side of the road, but if we all stopped throwing trash, there wouldn't be any there to clean up.

    We have a population problem.  Will adding more people to the problem help or hurt?  All else being equal, it will hurt.

    "But my kids are a good addition."  I'm sure.  Yet here we are, in an exponential growth situation.

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  • Sat, May 30, 2015 - 9:30am

    #14
    climber99

    climber99

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 12 2013

    Posts: 178

    We all agree that something

    We all agree that something needs to be done.  Our resolve falters however when courses of action are suggested.  Here's a few to get you started and that you can all deride.

    1.  End child support and child subsidies.  Penalise larger families through the tax code.

    2.  Introduce energy rationing.  Everyone is allocated a 150 kWh per day credit card. This allocation to be gradually reduced over time to 100 kWh by 2030 and then further still.  (bear in mind that it is estimated that we consume about  200 kWh per day each, on average, in the US and Europe).  If you want to go above your allocation you can buy part of someone else's.  Children under the age of 16 have no energy allocation so it comes out of the parent's allocation.  (rather than energy rationing you can call it carbon credits if you like)

    Not so keen now, are you all ?

    Ha ha  best to forget about it then !!

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  • Sat, May 30, 2015 - 9:40am

    #15
    robie robinson

    robie robinson

    Status Gold Member (Online)

    Joined: Aug 25 2009

    Posts: 857

    measure, then reward, farmers for increases

    in their soils sequestered carbon.

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  • Sat, May 30, 2015 - 11:20am

    Reply to #11

    Chris Martenson

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 07 2007

    Posts: 4501

    I'll take some responsibility for that...

    [quote=ezlxq1949]

    I presume I'm not the only PP reader to have noticed the sea change in the tone and tenor of PP in the last few weeks: from vague optimism to clear pessimism.

    But that's OK: PP is coming to terms with the fact that the world is NOT going to change course until forced to, and that will be destructive and painful.

    [/quote]

    I knew that when I began to write more specifically about the Environment "E" that not only would more pessimism arise, but something deeper I'll call grief.

    I'm not totally clear on the right word, because for me the feeling is a mixture of dread, shame and sadness. 

    The dread from the sense that all of this is unstoppable, which is itself rooted in the profound gap between my complete faith in the individuals I know and my utter lack of faith I have in the big blob of humanity to do the right thing (without being forced to).

    The shame comes from the feeling that everything in the entire world, human and natural, is magical, spiritually derived, and the manifestation of consciousness and energy dancing in ways I can barely detect but struggle to describe.  This quote comes close to articulating the source of my shame.

    "Man is the most insane species. He worships an invisible God and destroys a visible Nature. Unaware that the Nature he is destroying is this God he is worshipping." – Hubert Reeves

    It seems beneath us to be so unconsciously and carelessly destructive.  We can be more, so much more than we choose to be.  Maybe shame is too strong, perhaps I am just embarrassed for how we are behaving, as if one of my children went into a beautiful temple and carved their initials into a previously unblemished 1,000 year old elegantly carved wood panel.  My god child, what were you thinking?  Oh…you weren't…

    My sadness, I now realize, comes from the awareness that I am connected to everything and all life.  As the strands of the web of life break something breaks inside of me.  When I read about the loss of the Rhino species, sadness arises, but I wonder if I did not already know that information on some level before reading about it. 

    To me this helps to explain the deep seated anxiety that so many people express, in so many ways, rich or poor, S&P at new records notwithstanding.  We are all aware on some level that the very container in which we were formed is being destroyed by our own actions.  Imagine waking up one day and discovering that in a heroin induced haze you had irreparably harmed your own mother in body and spirit.

    Regret, sadness, shame…those will be the legacy emotions that our species will need to process as a result of our fossil fuel induced haze.

    So yes, this material runs deep and I am extremely proud and encouraged by my association with the people here at PP who are not afraid to wade into those turbulent waters, look the demons in the eye (even if that means looking in the mirror), and taking the first steps towards recovery.

    Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart.

     

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  • Sat, May 30, 2015 - 1:33pm

    #16
    Tim Ladson

    Tim Ladson

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 22 2012

    Posts: 16

    Slipery Slope

    Chris,

    Thankyou for putting into words what I have felt for quite a while. Having the advantage of six decades of observation, it is indisputable that Mother Earth is suffering from our treatment. I applaud your willingness to address the third rail of religion even though the knives will undoubtedly come out. Prior to reading your post I read a blog article that basically denied that any climate or overpopulation issues exist because humans aren't in control of this precious planet, it is God's plan and we mere humans can relax and enjoy his ride, no worries ! Your quote from Hubert Reeves is simply the most eloquent expression of how this thinking misses the "forest for the trees", I have ever encountered.

            

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  • Sat, May 30, 2015 - 2:00pm

    Reply to #7

    ckessel

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Nov 12 2008

    Posts: 164

    Nicely said ChandOne.

    I live in the rural foothills of the Sierras and am currently helping friends in northern and central Idaho with plans to improve their properties. You can contact me via this site. 

    I have been working with local folks here for the past 6 years to improve primary and secondary forms of wealth and I am always amazed at our dependence on the good old fossil fuels. Every time a milestone of sorts is reached I know another ah-ha moment is just around the corner.

    An example is the broadfork. It is a soil decompaction tool and we fabricate our own to suit a persons body size and so on. Yesterday I was musing about how nice it was that the iron ore had been mined and turned into steel of a convenient size, that the tools for cutting and welding it were readily available. So simple yet so complex and so dependent.

    That said, it is a far better use of resources than some other things I observe going on!!

    Coop

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  • Sat, May 30, 2015 - 2:37pm

    Reply to #11

    ckessel

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Nov 12 2008

    Posts: 164

    Your visit to California

    You comment this morning Chris reminded me of the drive we took one afternoon several years ago across the Central Valley farmland of California. As we passed by the town of Manteca where housing developments were covering the farmland at a record pace I said something to you about my own shame as regards the practice of architecture. I felt as though I had failed my profession in not doing more to prevent that from happening.

    I think the root of shame perhaps dwells deep inside all of us and is triggered by our desire to perhaps make things better or somehow to do more of the right thing.  But in recalling that moment I will not forget that along with the shame was also the desire to do something different and perhaps that is where a new narrative is created.

    Thanks for keeping the light on here at Peak Prosperity Chris. I like the direction you have taken things recently and while the subject is difficult, it needs to be discussed.

    Coop

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  • Sat, May 30, 2015 - 2:37pm

    #17

    doug_ks

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 16 2009

    Posts: 1

    Farm Resettlement Congress

    Chris,

    Thank you for this article. A new awakening/movement has begun in the US midwest based on "resettling" all that has been "unsettled" (reference to Wendell Berry's works). Galen Chadwick of Missouri has launched the Farm Resettlement Congress, and it features a rigorous and inspiring 20 Year Plan to put land and land management back into the hands of We the People, resettle our youth, veterans and displaced farmers into a productive ecological and societal restoration. It is organized by biological regions as opposed to political boundaries, and focuses on sustainability and regeneration in food, economy, community and environment.

    Jack Spirko has just posted an excellent interview with Galen on his podcast:

    Episode-1583- Galen Chadwick on the Farm Resettlement Congress

    Chris, I strongly suspect you will want to have a discussion with Galen yourself. He is quite an amazing individual with a character and a message that is rapidly building energy in the communities becoming organized under the FRC. Everyone please check out this very deep interview, and Chris I can put you in direct contact with Galen should you be so inclined. He would deeply value the opportunity to talk with you.

    Doug

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  • Sat, May 30, 2015 - 5:15pm

    #18

    Quercus bicolor

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 19 2008

    Posts: 190

    Thank you Chris

    for the change of focus.  This is exactly what we need to be looking at.  I'm glad that PP has become another avenue for me to focus on the important inner and outer work it points towards. 

    When you posted the video from Andrew Harvey a few days ago in which he describes the 5 communal and 5 personal shadows, it was so spot on that I listened to it over and over, transcribing it so I could internalize it more fully.  It was a very well thought out description of just what stands between us and facing the predicaments that are so obviously in front of us with eyes, heart and mind wide open.

    I've found myself more motivated to focus on both personal work and reaching out to others in a way that works for them over the past few weeks, at least partly due to the inspiration I get from your recent posts.  Thank you.

    One more thing – I have lots of lettuce in the garden – and I was bringing an extra head to my next door neighbor yesterday evening.  She had a friend over and her 23 year old son – it just so happens they were making a salad at the moment, but that's another story.  They invited me to hang out around the fire in their backyard later.  After the kids were in bed I stopped by and got into a conversation with her son.  He quickly turned the conversation to the subjects we discuss here  – and he had a very balanced and well thought out view point like many people here.  He told me that just seeing me bring the home-grown head of lettuce over, he knew that I would be a good person to talk to.  I invited him to the event that Chris, Becca and Charles Eisenstein are speaking at in Connecticut on June 12, so maybe some of you will get to meet him.

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  • Sat, May 30, 2015 - 5:24pm

    Reply to #11

    Quercus bicolor

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 19 2008

    Posts: 190

    shame

    Coop, my moment came when I was driving north into the Adirondacks 20 years ago to lead my first wilderness expedition with a paying customer.  It was a warm Columbus Day weekend.  Monarchs were still common them and they were migrating southwestward en masse.  It was so beautiful until I realized the shoulders of the highway were littered with butterfly carcasses.  And then I realized I was contributing to the carnage.  I did the best I could, driving slowly and even trying to avoid them, but wasn't 100% successful.  It wasn't lost on me that here I was taking people to learn wilderness living and nature connection skills and we were killing these beautiful creatures in the process. 

    Since then, I've come to realize how important it is to be aware, really fully emotionally aware, of how our lives contribute to the destruction.  It is only through this awareness and the skills to process the emotions that come up in a healthy way that will will motivate us to live differently and set an example that others will be able to follow.

    Steve

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  • Sat, May 30, 2015 - 8:27pm

    Reply to #14
    DennisC

    DennisC

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 19 2011

    Posts: 101

    U.N. to the Rescue

    This should help too (in a round about manner), by cleaning up a backlog of pensioners (along with the requisite social benefits and caloric requirements).

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/elder/11637179/Elderly-face-NHS-discrimination-under-new-UN-death-targets.html

    Potential downstream solution to an upstream problem.

    Carousel anyone?

     

     

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  • Sat, May 30, 2015 - 9:22pm

    #19
    climber99

    climber99

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    Joined: Mar 12 2013

    Posts: 178

    Pessimism : noun - the

    Pessimism : noun – the tendency to see, anticipate, or emphasize only bad or undesirable outcomes, results, conditions, problem, etc 

    Realism : noun – the tendency to view or represent things as they really are

    Predicament : noun – an unpleasantly difficult, perplexing, or dangerous situation that may not have a solution.

    People who have labeled some of the comments as pessimistic do not fully comprehend the predicament that mankind is in. 

     

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  • Sat, May 30, 2015 - 9:48pm

    #20

    Empirical Spiritual

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 01 2012

    Posts: 14

    the fictions we make

    On a related theme, Hariri ‘ s Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind argues that humans basically make fictions that we place on top of the natural world. Whether that is Laws, Ethics, The Corporation, or Money. Some of these can persist as long as the underlying natural world supports us, but it does seem like our fictions are in for a rude awakening.

    I have 2 great kids who are smart and questioning, but I can’t share some of my deeper concerns with them yet. As for me I often flip from being optimistic to pessimistic / stoic all the time.

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  • Sat, May 30, 2015 - 9:53pm

    #21
    MikeS

    MikeS

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 16 2014

    Posts: 49

    Are we programmed for denial?

    There's a very good reason almost everyone's in denial:  most of us are wired that way.

    And I'd be very surprised if most PP followers are not INTJs too.

    Programmed to ignore

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  • Sat, May 30, 2015 - 10:42pm

    #22
    agitating prop

    agitating prop

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 28 2009

    Posts: 282

    Grief

     

    Maybe it would be better if we were suspended in a larval state, given minimal nutrients for survival and lived out our lives in a simulation, like the movie the Matrix. Or perhaps we could dream about shopping for non-essentials rather than putting the planet through a Pacific gyr to satisfy our weird fads and neurotic obsessions. Consumers should be shipwrecked on floating islands composed of styrofoam, empty Pez containers, croc shoes and plastic water bottles. Bleccchhh!  Just for a day.  It might help. The future is going to be spartan — either imposed on or embraced by the masses.  

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  • Sat, May 30, 2015 - 11:09pm

    #23
    HarryFlashman

    HarryFlashman

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jul 31 2008

    Posts: 33

    'Final Solution' did you really just say that?

    @Rector,

     

    Did you really just equate China's one child policy to the industrial genocide of WW2? I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt and believing that's not what you intended,lots of people wouldn't. I'd be a bit more careful with your linguistic analogies next time……
     

    I'd say that China's policy was the most responsible piece of statecraft there has ever been! How man extra consuming and despoiling and polluting humans did this policy prevent? 100 million, half a billion? However many it was, I thank their foresight everyday. How many tons of carbon unburned? How many tons of fertilizer unused? How many tons of fish saved and uneaten? How much pollution avoided? How many species still extant?

     

    It's never going to happen, but I would go along with the other poster who suggested that all subsidies to have children be cut today and penalties be introduced( perhaps through the tax system). A coercive 1 or 2 child policy, with the option to have more if you can win them in a lottery( as some people won't have any….and perhaps be compensated for that). If this sound authoritarian, that's because it is! Time to get ahead of the predicament……..

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  • Sat, May 30, 2015 - 11:31pm

    #24
    Luke Moffat

    Luke Moffat

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 25 2014

    Posts: 365

    Aristotle says it best

    From the man himself;

    [quote]

    “We say this because it would be odd to think that political science or wisdom is the most excellent form of knowledge, given that man is not the best of the inhabitants of the universe. What is healthy and good for human beings is not the same as what is healthy and good for fishes.”

     

    “It is evident that philosophical understanding is not the same as political science; for if you call concern with what is beneficial to yourself philosophy, then there will be many different philosophies. There will not be a single one concerned with the good of all animals, but a different one for each.”

     

    “Wisdom is concerned with conduct; so we need to have both forms of knowledge, universal and particular – the latter, perhaps, more than the former. And here, too, there will be a kind that has a supervisory role.”

    [/quote]

    Guardians of Gaia? Sign me up!

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  • Sat, May 30, 2015 - 11:58pm

    Reply to #23
    agitating prop

    agitating prop

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 28 2009

    Posts: 282

    HarryFlashman

    [quote=HarryFlashman]

    @Rector,

     

    Did you really just equate China's one child policy to the industrial genocide of WW2? I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt and believing that's not what you intended,lots of people wouldn't. I'd be a bit more careful with your linguistic analogies next time……
     

    I'd say that China's policy was the most responsible piece of statecraft there has ever been! How man extra consuming and despoiling and polluting humans did this policy prevent? 100 million, half a billion? However many it was, I thank their foresight everyday. How many tons of carbon unburned? How many tons of fertilizer unused? How many tons of fish saved and uneaten? How much pollution avoided? How many species still extant?

     

    It's never going to happen, but I would go along with the other poster who suggested that all subsidies to have children be cut today and penalties be introduced( perhaps through the tax system). A coercive 1 or 2 child policy, with the option to have more if you can win them in a lottery( as some people won't have any….and perhaps be compensated for that). If this sound authoritarian, that's because it is! Time to get ahead of the predicament……..

    [/quote]

     

    Imposed limits on population, of you want to go there, would be a wonderful opportunity to cull the herd of anti-socials, too.  Witless hedonists who drink, become wife beating drug addicts, could be easily persuaded to have vasectomies. Those not already killed in the closed loop of murder by Big Mac and Big Pharma would be offered a life supply of liquor, in exchange for a vasectomy and given 5 minutes to make up their mind, with no turning back. As impulse control is comorbid with personality disorders, most would choose the vasectomy. Everybody's happy. No coercion involved.  No muss, no fuss.

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  • Sun, May 31, 2015 - 12:02am

    Reply to #2

    Oliveoilguy

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 29 2012

    Posts: 520

    Birth Control in the Water

    [quote=Rector]

     

    How do we make "progress" on reducing the population?  What actions can we take?  

    Rector 

    [/quote]

    My wife believes that there should be birth control in the water and a person would have to demonstrate competence to get the antidote to have a child. Kinda like passing drivers ed., except that child rearing is much more important than driving.

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  • Sun, May 31, 2015 - 12:50am

    #25

    jtwalsh

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 01 2008

    Posts: 261

    Be very careful what you wish for

    Perhaps it is my background and life path that makes me bristle at this issue but I cannot let some of these comments pass without venting my angst.   I am half Irish, half Polish.  In the last three hundred years both peoples suffered the genocide and ethic cleaning imposed from from foreign governments who felt we had reproduced far too much, especially as we were not really human beings, or at least not up to par with glorious virtues of our oppressors.

    My wife is Qubecois and first peoples (native American,  or (god help us) Indian).   Both these peoples suffered under governments desiring their elimination.  When pushing them off their land did not suffice, birth rates were suppressed largely through poor nutrition and lack of medical care resulting in high fetal and infant mortality rates.

    If the present government in the United States had control of when you could reproduce you would need consent from your banker,(who would only say yes when you had accumulated sufficient debt to enslave you for life), your stock broker, (who would only consent after you invested in overpriced stocks and cds paying no interest), your local politician (who would only consent after you had sufficiently padded his or her campaign fund) and the NSA (who would never consent to a radical that frequented a site like this) before you would be allowed to conceive.

    I understand the issue of over population. Forced compliance with the plan of some government is not the answer.  It would be the equivalent of having the DMV decide who could reproduce. Education and voluntary limiting of family size is the only way to achieve the goal of reducing population.

    JT

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  • Sun, May 31, 2015 - 1:30am

    #26

    Oliveoilguy

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 29 2012

    Posts: 520

    My apologies jtwalsh.....

    I was joking about birth control in the water. But I have to agree with climber99 that education and voluntary limiting won't work when there are financial incentives to do the opposite. As he said we need to "1.  End child support and child subsidies.  Penalize larger families through the tax code."  Seems like an obvious first step.

     

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  • Sun, May 31, 2015 - 1:36am

    #27
    efarmer.ny

    efarmer.ny

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 07 2012

    Posts: 5

    The other method

    Jtwalsh said:

    Education and voluntary limiting of family size is the only way to achieve the goal of reducing population.

    Most people are probably not going to voluntarily limit their family size. My wife and I used birth control but still have many more children than most of you. That was by choice.

    My perspective continues to be that too many people are focused only on rationing children. I think the focus should be on rationing resources. If families can only buy so much food then they are left having to produce their own to feed any extra mouths. That is not a route most families would take. I have taken it (I could not survive financially without producing much of my own food).

    Climber99 said

    2.  Introduce energy rationing. [snip] Not so keen now, are you all ?

    I'm OK with this, but that is because I heat with wood and have solar panels, so I should be less affected than most people by this. An energy rationing system would also finally help me win my argument with my wife that we drive too much. I am trying to do my share by housing some oxen for a young hopeful farmer in return for them doing some of my tractor work.

    I'm not trying to toot my own horn. I just get tired of people jumping immediately to the rationing of children. I also look at it this way. The US birth rate was barely at a replacement level last time I checked. So my large family was actually needed in this particular country. Other countries will have to deal with their situations in a manner consistent with their local ethos.

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  • Sun, May 31, 2015 - 1:44am

    #28

    Jbarney

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Nov 25 2010

    Posts: 198

    This Afternoon

    I was on a 32 acre property working with a friend on making it more accessible to people in general.  Great property with great future potential.  This is a friend who I would love to get to watch the Crash Course, he was one of the first friends I tried to have view it after I did several years ago.  He still hasn't, but he does have some great world view ideas that match with a lot of the content here.

    Anyway, aside from not getting my buddy, to prepare (He is one of my best friends, Arg) he shared with me a conversation he had with his step father, who is otherwise and intelligent, hardworking individual.  Basically my buddy was home for the first time in several months and wanted to talk about some of the stuff in the news….make the point that things are changing rapidly, that buying organic or growing your own food is intelligent and safer.  He and his step father started arguing and it got pretty heated. Nearly every point my friend made, his step father simply retorted that he was being alarmist, that his concern wasn't necessary, that the world and humanity are always doing better.  Nothing is wrong…..

    I just wanted to add this on a couple of levels.  First, I can't help but identify personal disappointment at not ever being able to get my friend to watch the Crash Course.  He is going to be up here in Vermont for the next month, so maybe now is the time to shove a beer in his hand, tell him to sit on the couch, and ask him to take the red pill.

    Second, I share my friends shock at not being able to get his step father to even buy into at least one common sense perspective about a world in trouble.  Like, he would buy into nothing.  It was sad.  I think this is much of the frustration we feel about knowing a lot of the details in front of us, but not getting the mainstream to catch on and take interest. 

    It really is a shame.  Sometimes, smart people just don't want to listen when their belief system is being challenged.

    Going to continue to work on my buddy, though.

    Jason

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  • Sun, May 31, 2015 - 2:26am

    Reply to #25
    agitating prop

    agitating prop

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 28 2009

    Posts: 282

    By personality type

    I wasn't advocating ethnic cleansing just people volunteering for sterilization based on a their personality deformity.  They wouldn't be forced into sterilization, they would just miss out on free beer, if they chose not to.  I think it's perfect.  My only concern would be a possibility that drowning traits like impulsivity, recklessness and being a self serving yahoo in the gene pool, might inadvertently remove some necessary genes that code for spontaneous expression. It's a scientific conundrum, not a moral one.  

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  • Sun, May 31, 2015 - 2:50am

    Reply to #25

    Arthur Robey

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 03 2010

    Posts: 1814

    The Morals of Eugenics.

    Funny you should mention eugenics AP. (No, I am not going to go on some nostril flaring outrage.)

    In his book "The madness of Adam and Eve" Horrobin recounts that before eugenics got a bad rap it was considered morally sound. To that end they made up a list of all the families in England who would be offered free lifetime support if they submitted to sterilization.  The criteria was schizophrenia.  Families with the condition were offered this choice.

    The project was abandoned when it was discovered that there was a strong correlation between schizophrenia and genius. Lose one, lose both.

    So now we have reverted to traditional methods of eugenics.  We let the womenfolk decide who gets to breed and loses out.

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  • Sun, May 31, 2015 - 3:05am

    #29

    jtwalsh

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 01 2008

    Posts: 261

    replies

    Oliveoilguy:  No need to apologize. I just needed to get my libertarian point across that government is probably not the best arbiter of how to resolve these issues.  I agree that there should be no governmental incentives for having children (like the income tax credit) but I am not willing to go so far as to say that government should be able to impose sanctions or negative economic consequences for having more than the proscribed number of children.

    Once a child is here we are faced with a completely different problem.  Do we leave parents who cannot support their children to the vicissitudes of the marketplace or do we assist in providing food, health care and education to the child, in the hope that he or she will grow to be a productive and participating citizen.  A much more difficult question. 

    efarmerny: I fully agree that no one, especially not the government, should be rationing children, as you described it. You also state that the United States was just barely at replacement level in its birth rate.  I do not have statistics at hand but my reading indicates that many European countries are well below replacement birth rates. It appears that education and economic reality have caused a reversal of centuries old beliefs of the more children the better.  I will amend my original statement to say that education, and economic reality (without artificial incentives from government) is the only practical way to approach this issue.  Any forced regime would by definition entail a massive curtailing of human rights.

    Thanks for the discussion.  It forces my old and sedentary brain to open new neurons and rethink some of my positions. JT

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  • Sun, May 31, 2015 - 3:34am

    Reply to #25
    agitating prop

    agitating prop

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 28 2009

    Posts: 282

    Arthur Robey wrote:Funny you

    [quote=Arthur Robey]

    Funny you should mention eugenics AP. (No, I am not going to go on some nostril flaring outrage.)

    In his book "The madness of Adam and Eve" Horrobin recounts that before eugenics got a bad rap it was considered morally sound. To that end they made up a list of all the families in England who would be offered free lifetime support if they submitted to sterilization.  The criteria was schizophrenia.  Families with the condition were offered this choice.

    The project was abandoned when it was discovered that there was a strong correlation between schizophrenia and genius. Lose one, lose both.

    So now we have reverted to traditional methods of eugenics.  We let the womenfolk decide who gets to breed and loses out.

    [/quote]

     

    No nostril flaring outrage!  Too bad, but your interesting comment makes up for it!  I have a schizophrenic sibling and a genius sibling.  Genius sibling and I both decided not to have kids…too risky. For me opting out of the gene pool was no problem. Is Horrobin the man who wrote about the role excess consumption of wheat may have played as a trigger in populations making them more susceptible to the illness?

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  • Sun, May 31, 2015 - 3:45am

    Reply to #29
    agitating prop

    agitating prop

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 28 2009

    Posts: 282

    jtwalsh wrote:Oliveoilguy: 

    [quote=jtwalsh]

    Oliveoilguy:  No need to apologize. I just needed to get my libertarian point across that government is probably not the best arbiter of how to resolve these issues.  I agree that there should be no governmental incentives for having children (like the income tax credit) but I am not willing to go so far as to say that government should be able to impose sanctions or negative economic consequences for having more than the proscribed number of children.

    Once a child is here we are faced with a completely different problem.  Do we leave parents who cannot support their children to the vicissitudes of the marketplace or do we assist in providing food, health care and education to the child, in the hope that he or she will grow to be a productive and participating citizen.  A much more difficult question. 

    efarmerny: I fully agree that no one, especially not the government, should be rationing children, as you described it. You also state that the United States was just barely at replacement level in its birth rate.  I do not have statistics at hand but my reading indicates that many European countries are well below replacement birth rates. It appears that education and economic reality have caused a reversal of centuries old beliefs of the more children the better.  I will amend my original statement to say that education, and economic reality (without artificial incentives from government) is the only practical way to approach this issue.  Any forced regime would by definition entail a massive curtailing of human rights.

    Thanks for the discussion.  It forces my old and sedentary brain to open new neurons and rethink some of my positions. JT

    [/quote]

     

    Does it even make sense to aim for replacement population? More automation, fewer jobs, deteriorating environment. How could one make an argument for keeping the population static.  Granted, there may be fewer tatoo parlours and baristas.  So many jobs are so superfluous, unnecessary, polluting, encouraging insane amounts of inane diversionary consumption.  It's undignified to have to be involved in any way in a silly society with silly people buying a bunch of dorky stuff.

     

     

     

     

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  • Sun, May 31, 2015 - 4:50am

    Reply to #2

    Time2help

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 08 2011

    Posts: 2225

    In the water

    [quote=Oliveoilguy]

    My wife believes that there should be birth control in the water…

    [/quote]

    Wait, isn't that what the flouride is for?

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  • Sun, May 31, 2015 - 7:42am

    Reply to #25

    Arthur Robey

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 03 2010

    Posts: 1814

    Schizophrenia

    Is Horrobin the man who wrote about the role excess consumption of wheat may have played as a trigger in populations making them more susceptible to the illness?

    No he thought that he had found the link between prostaglandins and Schizophrenia. 

    While working as an academic investigator, in Africa and later, Horrobin developed a theory implicating altered fatty acid metabolism in schizophrenia.

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Horrobin

    He thought that the fact that Schizophrenics did not blush when injected subcataneously with niacin was further evidence of the role of hydrolipids' role in the condition.

    He earned condemnation of Giant Pharma for actually curing the "disease". Millions of dollars were at stake. (The condition is a dis-ease if it makes the person effected not "at ease". The effect on the bystanders is their problem. If they are not at ease let them take weird and powerful neuroleptics. And pay Big Pharma for them.)

    Genius is worth the price of schizophrenia. Einstein's son was Schizophrenic. We cannot have one without the other.

    I feel very protective towards Schizophrenics.  My beautiful cousin and my daughter was and is. My cousin was Prof of Music. He did things no normal person could even contemplate. The medical professions killed him. He made them feel uncomfortable so he had to be killed.

    For a clear understanding of the situation read "Mad in America" by Witaker

    More here http://www.madinamerica.com/

    It is a loss that you have chosen not to breed.

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  • Sun, May 31, 2015 - 11:09am

    #30

    blackeagle

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 16 2013

    Posts: 221

    Let's hit the wall first...

    Let's hit the wall first. This is the only way humanity will be forced to reduce its size and birth rate without politicians, bankers and NSA involved in the way described above (Well, not exactly true… They will be involved in a different way… A way we don't like, anyway).

    After that, if ignorance don't pick-up, then we may have a chance to control the size of humanity according to available resources. Otherwise, we are simply doomed to oscillate around an overall descending trend.

    Personally, lowering my standard of life doesn't scare me. Leaving in a world dominated by violence and ignorance is another story. A very uncomfortable one.

    For now, as we are very conscious of what's ahead, each of us will concentrate on his personal plan and hope to leave a durable footprint of helpful wisdom. Better to leave at least one child (and may be one friend too) continue the work we started than doing nothing.

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  • Sun, May 31, 2015 - 11:12am

    #31

    LesPhelps

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 30 2009

    Posts: 465

    wChris wrote:By 2080 when

    w[quote=Chris]

    By 2080 when this is supposed to take place, the entire world will be past the peak of all known sources of energy. And Phosphate. And soil. And fresh water. And oceanic fish biomass. And who knows what else. And yet the CBO blithely assumes that US, all on its own, will be producing and consuming 100% of what the entire world does today.

    [/quote]

    Implying that 1) the U.S. Population will be as large as the world population is today, or 2) we each have 3 1/2 times as much as we do today, or some combination of the two.

    Even if we could pull it off, that is a very scary picture.  I'm sorry to say that I'm already swimming in stuff.  I'm working hard right now to get rid of some of it.

    We would also have to eat three times as much.  Every parking lot would have to be handicapped.

    [quote=Chris]

    Hollywood visions and SciFi fantasies aside (where humans live in sealed capsules and subsist entirely on man-made foods), humans are 100% utterly dependent on the natural world for their survival.

    [/quote]

    That is pure fantasy.  Look up Biosphere II.  We do not have the know how to create a closed contained environment yet.

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  • Sun, May 31, 2015 - 11:16am

    #32

    Arthur Robey

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 03 2010

    Posts: 1814

    How it pans out.

    Consider this a motivational piece.

    http://blog.milesfranklin.com/fact-or-fiction

    Jill works in the mortgage market and Jack works for a bank so they both know this news doesn’t really add up, the discussion morphs into “are they really telling us the truth”?
     
    Then, something starts to happen at the front of the restaurant.  It looks like four or five couples are all arguing with the owner and the discussion is becoming heated.  You see, their credit cards are not working, none of them! 
     
     

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  • Sun, May 31, 2015 - 11:23am

    Reply to #29

    jtwalsh

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 01 2008

    Posts: 261

    Static

    agitating prop:  I have no issue with the population declining from its present levels.  Most of my life has been spent watching the village centered southern New England of my childhood be paved over with housing developments and endless malls full of the same big box stores and chain restaurants. I often long for a time when there were far fewer folks occupying this small piece of earth.

    I just am not in favor of government forcing the issue through mandatory birth control, eugenics, forced euthanasia, unnecessary war, etc.

    JT

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  • Sun, May 31, 2015 - 1:07pm

    #33

    kaimu

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 20 2013

    Posts: 161

    WHAT'S MINING?

    Aloha! I agree with the comments that there needs to be a more cohesive education of our youth and an even more concerted effort to educate the adults! Who here has ever even visited a mine, one in operation, not one abandoned? Unless your parents have a geology degree I doubt few Americans have even seen a mining operation. Even fewer have ever seen an exploration team looking for the metals we need every day to survive at our current rate of consumption. Out of all the industries in the world perhaps the hardest is mining. It is highly time consuming and very labor intensive and quite a costly enterprise as well.

    The baby graphic with the statistics I posted prior is backed by the USGS and the EIA. Is it accurate that every American born in America needs 3.11mil pounds of minerals to live until 80?

    Here is a link to the MEC and their attempt to educate kids. Here is a MEC power point presentation for teachers to plan a study on mining. Now, who here knows who the MEC is? Who here remembers studying anything about mining in school? Who here have kids who have had any classroom time spent on mining?

    Perhaps the old saying "out of sight – out of mind" would explain how it is Americans are per capita the largest consumers in the world yet are also the least conscious of commodities. Let me explain further. The last time the USA was a net exporter of oil was the 1930s prior to WW2. If you were alive back then living in California then a visit to a popular California beach looked like this …

    I used to surf these waves back in the 1970s. Imagine today if Americans saw this everywhere they went. We do not have to worry about these unsightly pollution ridden vistas any more. Instead, being a good Empire, we consume voraciously making sure the rest of the Third World suffers the consequences. Isn't that how Empire has always worked? 

    Here is a beach in Nigeria today. Notice the similarities?

    Empire and corruption are synonymous, always have been!

    Does $60 or $120 per barrel of oil really cover the total cost of human and ecological suffering? I think the price of oil should be jacked up to $200 per barrel and the price of gasoline in America should be at $9 per gallon. Then you will see "voluntary" cuts in consumption by Americans. In stats for 2014 the price of gasoline in Norway is already at $9 and Germany is close to $7. Germany is not exactly the worst economy on Earth yet they can sustain their economy on $7 a gallon! Imagine what American citizens would say about US oil companies if the pump suddenly hit $7 for regular!! How else do you cut consumption across the board if not by price? Let us not forget also that a huge chunk of what we pay at the pump is government taxes.

    Can we trust markets? Can we trust supply and demand mechanisms that seem to be influenced by governments and banks? Can we trust a Goldman Sachs Commodity Index when it is always subject to "rebalancing"? Can we trust that the government actually has the strategic oil reserves it says it has? Can we trust that those two entities will use those market intervention tools for the good of the people? If we go by track record then the answer is … NO! Any time we see politics and banking come into any equation then corruption leads the way.

    Distil any corrupt government or bank down to its source and it is always the "money". The US Treasury spent $2.9TRIL in net outlays so far for FY2015 and issued $328BIL in net debt and collected around $1.5TRIL in net taxes to pay for it. When such huge sums of money flows through government and not the private sector can there really be an honest government? Whenever and wherever huge sums of money exist can the human condition be trusted? Then what sort of monetary system allows for nearly unchecked and unlimited money flows globally? Quality of debt comes into question and as two of America's largest cities go into bankruptcy with more to follow how can we say there is any sort of economic recovery unless we allow government to redefine economic prosperity to include bankruptcy. Talk about denial …

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  • Sun, May 31, 2015 - 1:24pm

    #34
    HarryFlashman

    HarryFlashman

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    Posts: 33

    Replacement Reproduction?

    Yes, in the first world west population growth numbers are barely at replacement. But then you have to factor in immigration…..

    Economists are s..t scared of zero population growth because they know it's massively correlated with stagnant economic growth, once productivity increases are factored out.

    People from relative 3rd world hellholes will of course want to move! I would and so would you(probably). Immigration is problematic and emotive. In Britain, I'm against it, 100%. The British Isles is 40% sufficient in food production with some of the most intensive farming techniques in the world, therefore population growth is lunacy. An effective blockade means starvation in no time. It almost happened in WW1, when the population was much lower! 

    Again we can argue about consumption, but we have to face the fact that we live in democracies in the first world, none but a small minority will ever vote for a lower standard of living and asking people to reduce consumption is exactly that. Therefore, it's never going to happen and it's pointless even talking about it. Our choice is coercive population control with the endpoint of a stable, sustainable reasonable standard of living or ecological Armageddon. I can't see a third option ,can you? Because it won't happen if we leave it to the people to choose, you'll always have the Duggars(  reductio ad absurdam, I know…)…..

     

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  • Sun, May 31, 2015 - 2:06pm

    #35
    BeingThere

    BeingThere

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    Posts: 53

    Changing the economic paradigm

    Awareness is helpful and may build common consensus, no thanks to the corporate media.

    The real problem lies with a global economic paradigm namely Supply Side Economics and Global Neoliberalism. The whole world economy is a form of reverse engineering of self determination by banking and monopoly transnationals.

    Sadly the people have no say what type of economic system we have, it's an academic model forced on everyone leading to austerity for all but a few.

    So, getting out of this is virtually  impossible without the elite wanting a change. I'm afraid they're stuck in a thanatosian view of en-ending war with a flirting eye toward the BIG One.

    They have gutted economy under the guise of unending growth. We have been winding down, only the people living outside the basic risk/reward rules of capitalism are growing by leaps and bounds, so they win only because they have the benefits of the military and bank manipulation.

    In the meantime we want to wage war with Russia and China accusing them of land-grabbers while we continue unending war to re-make the world into a glorified trade zone with no real nation-states. The little folks get entertained by their show pony elections where they get to vote for their non-existent teams.

    We have become the world destabilizers and want to drive the nail in the coffin. In the meantime the natural world is being devastated.

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  • Sun, May 31, 2015 - 2:31pm

    #36

    Time2help

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 08 2011

    Posts: 2225

    Nostrils, prepare to flare

    How about a forward reproductive rate of 0.5 (1 child per adult pair), voluntary, with heavy financial and social disincentives for more than one offspring? Not talking about anything draconian (sorry TPTB, not really into the "master cleanse")…just your financial and community life are going will get exponentially more difficult the more kids you have. Make the "subsequent offspring tax" a significant percentage of the families net worth (no loopholes! Now how to get rid of that pesky corporate veil…).  The fees go directly to the local community (to help offset the local 3E impact).  People seem to already be cringing at large families anyway (IMO this is not a personal ding at the members of a large family, simply a reflection of the number of offspring and the associated 3E load).

    And if we actually had a culture worth half a you-know-what, maybe our kids wouldn't be so bummed about not having siblings for a few generations…if they were given the opportunity to develop real, meaningful relationships with others and nature.

    The population doesn't need to stabilize, it needs to come down. Way down. One way or the other it is going to.

    Nature is at the plate with her Louisville Slugger.  How may times do we really want to see her swing?

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  • Sun, May 31, 2015 - 4:44pm

    #37

    sand_puppy

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 13 2011

    Posts: 1837

    Destroying Other's Infrastructure for Power and Profit

    How NATO Deliberately Destroyed Libya's Water Infrastructure

    By Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed

    The military targeting of civilian infrastructure, especially of water supplies, is a war crime under international law and the Geneva Conventions.

     

    Yet this is what NATO did in Libya, and the results have worsened today.

    Numerous reports comment on the water crisis that is escalating across Libya as consumption outpaces production. Some have noted the environmental context in regional water scarcity due to climate change.

    But what they ignore is the fact that the complex national irrigation system that had been carefully built and maintained over decades to overcome this problem was targeted and disrupted by NATO.

     

    During the 2011 military invasion, press reports surfaced, mostly citing pro-rebel sources, claiming that pro-Gaddafi loyalists had shut down the water supply system as a mechanism to win the war and punish civilians.

    This is a lie.

    But truth, after all, is the first casualty of war…

     

    Critical water installations were bombed [by NATO] – then blamed on Gaddafi

    ——-

    For me (an INFJ) the significance of this type of article (and the hundreds like it) is that is cast light on the minds and hearts of the military leadership:

     

    1.  We can observe their modus operandi

    2.  The moral developmental level that they are coming from (what do they hold sacred, what principles guide their actions)

     

    3.   Which permits some educated guesses about what kinds of actions to expect in the future.

    When "the heart" of a person is known,  we can have a pretty good idea what they are up to. This is similar to the brilliant and intuitive detective (Sherlock Holmes, Silence of the Lambs, etc) who "gets into the head" of the suspect and can then guess his next move.

    Or when we discover that an acquaintance is a compulsive liar.  It is no longer rational to give their next  statement "the benefit the doubt."  You know that they lie all the time and you can classify their next statement as a lie, a priori.  To trust a known liar is not virtuous, it is simply stupid.

     

    It also allows us to see beyond the moral face used to hide the true heart.  Recall the motto of one of the greatest intelligence agencies:  "By deception we wage war."  Yet maintaining a moral "humanitarian" face pacifies the populous to not withdrawing support from their leadership.  What would happen if we all just admitted to ourselves that their morality is not our own and cannot be tolerated any longer?

    Andrew Harvey (at 2:15) really speaks to my stage in processing all of this.

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  • Sun, May 31, 2015 - 4:55pm

    Reply to #34

    Empirical Spiritual

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 01 2012

    Posts: 14

    demographics and democracy

    There has been a general trend to representative government since the French Revolution which coincides with our increasing energy usage / rising living standards. To paraphrase the great man, democracy is ” the worst form of government except for all the rest”.
    If the magnitude of changes discussed here at PP. Com come to pass, I don’t see universal suffrage surviving, turkeys don’t vote for Christmas. Fixing the 3E’s won’t happen inside the narrow electoral cycles.

    James Lovelock estimated a sustainable global carrying capacity of 500MM. It would be interesting to work out a model of how that huge change might play out in a non-violent way without mass starvation. Looking at both the macro level and the personal, as people adapt to not satisfying the drive for offspring.

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  • Sun, May 31, 2015 - 7:09pm

    #38
    DennisC

    DennisC

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 19 2011

    Posts: 101

    500 Million

    I knew I remembered that number from something I read a while ago.  Don't ask me how I got there, but I did.

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

    Guideline #1 (of 10): Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.

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  • Sun, May 31, 2015 - 7:44pm

    #39
    treebeard

    treebeard

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 18 2010

    Posts: 551

    Death and rebirth

    If the general population is in the denial stage, what stage are we in here, anger, bargaining, depression?  Have any of us made it to the acceptance phase?  When we walk through a mature forest, do we weep for the thousands of species that were part of the process that allowed this thing to come to pass, but are no longer here?  Where are the grasses, briars and shrubs that first colonized the open and unfertile soil. The early colonizing trees that first dropped their leaves, but are now nowhere to be seen.  The field birds, Blue birds, mocking birds, doves, jays and robins, where have they all gone?

    In this walk in  the forest, we can feel the soft rich soil beneath our feet, created by leaf, blade and bug over thousands of years.  We can feel the timelessness and peace of that place, even if we are agitated in mind, that peace sinks into our souls.  Yet we also feel the endless possibilities in that pregnant peace, life ready to tumble from the void, back into light.

    Ahead, a "disaster" has taken down many mighty trees, and there in the heat and light, what wondrous life, bracken and fern and that woods edge, honey suckle, wild rose, autumn olive, blackberry, raspberry, pokeweed, grasses, goldenrod, swarms of insects, the hum of bees, all dancing in a tangled mess, vibrating.  Where did this all come from, there is not another clearing for miles.  A good ecologist can laboriously describe the details, but what about the rest of us, do we just see darkness?

    What happens when the system is not just a forest clearing, but a whole planet.  What do we see? Will we be able to tear the whole thing down to little pieces and put it back again in time so that we can understand it, then explain it, or force the "right" understanding on everyone else?  Are we even conscious enough of our own small piece of reality to begin to embark on such a journey?  What have we taken on, what do we need to take on?  Do we even know who we are or what gift we have to give before we gasp for our last breath?

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  • Sun, May 31, 2015 - 9:01pm

    Reply to #2
    climber99

    climber99

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    Posts: 178

    Dr Strangelove revisited

    " Wait, isn't that what the flouride is for"

    Reminds me of the classic British film Dr Strangelove clip on flouridation

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  • Mon, Jun 01, 2015 - 1:27am

    #40

    Arthur Robey

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 03 2010

    Posts: 1814

    All things considered.

    The correct response to the situation

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_the_Court_of_the_Crimson_King#/media/File:In_the_Court_of_the_Crimson_King_-_40th_Anniversary_Box_Set_-_Front_cover.jpeg

     

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  • Mon, Jun 01, 2015 - 9:04am

    Reply to #37
    David Allan

    David Allan

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    Joined: Nov 15 2009

    Posts: 27

    Excellent link sand_puppy

    Excellent link sand_puppy and right on topic.  I watched 3 times. Andrew Harvey certainly seems to have his own unique perspective and takes no prisoners. Disillusion and rage eh? I know the feeling (even though I'm INTJ)

    Right now I'm skewered on the spike of Love of comfort. Lots to work on.

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  • Mon, Jun 01, 2015 - 10:37am

    #41
    efarmer.ny

    efarmer.ny

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    Joined: Jan 07 2012

    Posts: 5

    500,000,000

    My faith tradition contends that even if you get the earth's population down to 500 million you will still have resource wars because mankind is not inherently altruistic. (E.g. A well fed tribe says "how come their land is nicer that ours? That's not fair! We want to control the beautiful ______" waterfall, beach, forest, …)

    I just read this morning about the hawk-dove game, and perhaps it applies here. But game theory is out of my area of experience so feel free to tell me it doesn't.

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  • Mon, Jun 01, 2015 - 3:18pm

    Reply to #2

    thebrewer

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 35

    Spoiler alert

    [quote=Oliveoilguy]

    My wife believes that there should be birth control in the water and a person would have to demonstrate competence to get the antidote to have a child.

    [/quote]

    Read Dan Brown's "Inferno". I won't spoil any more than that.

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  • Mon, Jun 01, 2015 - 5:15pm

    #42
    peter31

    peter31

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    Need to be more careful about quoting sources...

    Great article Chris, I agree with every word of it, but being a scientist yourself you should be more careful about quoting your sources.  I have been unable to track down the source of the headline quote "Britain has only 100 harvests left".  The source you cite is the Independent newspaper, but they just quote an unnamed "study" for their source.  Numerous other articles (including yours) use the quote and cite the Independent as their source but without referring to the original source.  As far as I can tell, the study everyone is referring to is this one:

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1365-2664.12254/full

    which is a 2014 paper by Dr Jill Edmondson, but even she doesn't use the quote or say anything about how many harvests she thinks are left in the UK's soil.  Likewise, I drew a blank with Google.  So it's a catchy, attention grabbing quote, but I have no idea where it came from or how accurate it is.

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  • Mon, Jun 01, 2015 - 5:23pm

    #43

    Chris Martenson

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

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    OK then how about 60 years?

    I found multiple sources all saying something similar.

    Here's another from Scientific American:

    Only 60 Years of Farming Left If Soil Degradation Continues

    Dec 5, 2014

    ROME (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Generating three centimeters of top soil takes 1,000 years, and if current rates of degradation continue all of the world's top soil could be gone within 60 years, a senior UN official said on Friday.

    Nearly every study I found recorded soil degradation and erosive losses that were far beyond the natural rates of replenishment…in pretty much every country.

     

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  • Mon, Jun 01, 2015 - 6:02pm

    #44
    Peak Prosperity Admin

    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Question and a point.

    Question: I'm not trolling, I accept that resources are limited on the planet – coal, oil, metal, soil etc – but I don't understand why, in the space age, we are talking about limits to growth on a finite planet.

    Isn't economic growth soon to go into the solar system – asteroid mining, moon mining and all that stuff ?

    I understand all that may be hyped, and mixed with sci-fi, but do we really believe it will never come to fruition ?

    Even solar and wind rely on the immediate input from the sun, so we have already gone beyond the Earth as a resource source, haven't we ?

    Point:  re spirit – from Krishnamurti (chosen because it's written in a straightforward way, not because I'm a theosophist missionary)

    "On the first day while I was in that state and more conscious of the things around me, I had the first most extraordinary experience. There was a man mending the road; that man was myself; the pickaxe he held was myself; they very stone which he was breaking up was a part of me; the tender blade of grass was my very being, and the tree beside the man was myself. I almost could feel and think like the roadmender, and I could feel the wind passing through the tree, and the little ant on the blade of grass I could feel. The birds, the dust, and the very noise were a part of me. Just then there was a car passing by at some distance; I was the driver, the engine, and the tyres; as the car went further away from me, I was going away from myself. I was in everything, or rather everything was in me, inanimate and animate, the mountain, the worm, and all breathing things. All day long I remained in this happy condition. "

    Important takeaway for this context – humans can feel part of technology as much as they feel part of nature, technology is a part of nature is a part of human nature – at least from this perspective.

    Granted this is something of a minority outlook, but this is a typical and oft repeated spiritual experience, and I think it would be a mistake to define spirituality only in the terms of "nature" spirituality.

     

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  • Mon, Jun 01, 2015 - 6:42pm

    Reply to #43

    ScottT

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    International Year of the Soils

    I think the arrow was fairly close to the target.  I found this at the Rothamsted Research Station website:

    http://www.rothamsted.ac.uk/news-and-views/rothamsted-research-views-modern-farming-destroying-soil-read-prof-keith-goulding%E2%80%99s

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  • Mon, Jun 01, 2015 - 6:54pm

    Reply to #43
    peter31

    peter31

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    Evidence, and Reluctant Spouse Syndrome

    Thanks Chris.  The main reason I was looking for the source of this quote was not so much to challenge it, as to find something to help cure a difficult case of Reluctant Spouse Syndrome.  Having tried without success for several years to explain concepts like infinite growth and peak oil to her, I am hoping to find either a piece of evidence which is so authoritative that she will be convinced by it, or alternatively, I guess I just wait for the Universe to tell her. 

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  • Mon, Jun 01, 2015 - 8:58pm

    #45
    moheli

    moheli

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    Destroying the earth? Not in my name!

    Sign the most radical and encompassing call :

    « I agree to live within a One-Earth Footprint even if it means changing my lifestyle radically, if everybody else also has to. »

    « I agree that everyone on earth has a birth right to an equal share of the world’s resources and the total available gha’s (global hectares). "

    « I agree that we must share the earth with all other species and respect their right to thrive on earth. »

    « In the name of life and guided by the precautionary principle, I demand that all national and international leaders, present and future, would implement an equitable transition to a One-Earth Ecological Footprint for all by 2025 as THE top priority for mankind while assuring that the fundamental needs of all humans are met. »

    On : http://1earthadmin.polldaddy.com/s/show-your-support-to-one-earth-footprint-manifesto-1

    Visit us at : http://oneearthfootprint.org

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  • Mon, Jun 01, 2015 - 9:54pm

    Reply to #39
    Tikky2

    Tikky2

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    Posts: 11

    Grieving and acceptance

    I'm a longtime reader/PP member, but have never commented before.

    Just about everyone I know is in denial about the destruction being caused to our planet. So I greatly welcome the change in tone here on this site.

    I have grieved and continue to grieve for the forests, the oceans, the animals. Very often I pass by what was until very recently a beautiful large wooded lot, that has now been completely razed for new development. When I saw what was done to it, I wept. I see huge piles of wood chips which used to be mature, majestic trees. I breathe in and out, recalling their lives and existence, as I pass by. Working with all of these difficult emotions, almost daily, for several years now, I have reached a place of tentative acceptance.

    I have tried to talk to others about what is going on, but no one wants to hear it. I guess they will figure it out when they are ready. Until then, I hold space until their understanding catches up. In my view, we are here on earth to be witnesses to this age, to the destruction of the earth, to whatever happens.

    I don't own gold, I don't have a homestead. I live in a condo with my husband in an urban area. I'm not depressed, but I am awake and aware and I grieve when necessary. I rejoice in the nature around me, for as long as it exists. Tending a plot at a community garden keeps me sane.

    Chris interviewed Carolyn Baker several years ago: https://www.peakprosperity.com/blog/carolyn-baker-emotional-resilience-essential/63329

    She does great work on grieving for our planet. How about another interview with her?

    Tina

     

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  • Mon, Jun 01, 2015 - 10:40pm

    Reply to #41
    agitating prop

    agitating prop

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 282

    efarmer.ny wrote:My faith

    [quote=efarmer.ny]

    My faith tradition contends that even if you get the earth's population down to 500 million you will still have resource wars because mankind is not inherently altruistic. (E.g. A well fed tribe says "how come their land is nicer that ours? That's not fair! We want to control the beautiful ______" waterfall, beach, forest, …)

    I just read this morning about the hawk-dove game, and perhaps it applies here. But game theory is out of my area of experience so feel free to tell me it doesn't.

    [/quote]

    Mankind or human nature isn't fixed but arrayed on innumerable and intersecting continuums and potentials. The most altruistic generally have the most social capital, and that has survival value. It is probably more successful as a survival strategy than the cold blooded competitive, adversarial approach to life. 

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  • Mon, Jun 01, 2015 - 11:04pm

    Reply to #39
    agitating prop

    agitating prop

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 28 2009

    Posts: 282

    I hear you!

    [quote=Tikky2]

    I'm a longtime reader/PP member, but have never commented before.

    Just about everyone I know is in denial about the destruction being caused to our planet. So I greatly welcome the change in tone here on this site.

    I have grieved and continue to grieve for the forests, the oceans, the animals. Very often I pass by what was until very recently a beautiful large wooded lot, that has now been completely razed for new development. When I saw what was done to it, I wept. I see huge piles of wood chips which used to be mature, majestic trees. I breathe in and out, recalling their lives and existence, as I pass by. Working with all of these difficult emotions, almost daily, for several years now, I have reached a place of tentative acceptance.

    I have tried to talk to others about what is going on, but no one wants to hear it. I guess they will figure it out when they are ready. Until then, I hold space until their understanding catches up. In my view, we are here on earth to be witnesses to this age, to the destruction of the earth, to whatever happens.

    I don't own gold, I don't have a homestead. I live in a condo with my husband in an urban area. I'm not depressed, but I am awake and aware and I grieve when necessary. I rejoice in the nature around me, for as long as it exists. Tending a plot at a community garden keeps me sane.

    Chris interviewed Carolyn Baker several years ago: https://www.peakprosperity.com/blog/carolyn-baker-emotional-resilience-essential/63329

    She does great work on grieving for our planet. How about another interview with her?

    Tina

     

    [/quote]

    It's so beyond awful. I'm not anti-human but as a species people seem like an out of control rodent problem. Rats with bulldozers. I've cried too. Deep deep grief. Why it doesn't bother some people, I just don't understand. 

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  • Tue, Jun 02, 2015 - 7:02am

    #46
    Bellinghamster

    Bellinghamster

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    Posts: 26

    New Naritive, not pessimism...

    I am way too distracted with shifting my paradigm to notice the shift in the direction of this site from "slight optimism" to something- something pessimism.

    This article as all the others before it outlines numerous points of data that I'm too busy compiling as i shift my profession from building Mc Mansions of the affluent Microsoft crowd, to a blueberry field, that will hopefully support my family through the obvious coming disasters we all see coming. 

    You did not come to this site because you think "we are going to do better next time" or "It will just get better as the economy returns". You came here because you recognize a need for a new plan. A new idea that does not involve everlasting growth. 

    As he definition of this becomes more clear (why I'm here) the details will become a ton more depressing. Its very clear that… We live in a country slipping into fascism, we deny everything until its too late, we pursue endless growth (if it means staying afloat or endless wealth), we are a horribly destructive species, ect,, ect,, ect. 

    A large amount of things get my blood going. I am here to discuss, learn, debate and vent about all of these things. I think we all learn almost as much from the comments as the actual articles here. Or at least we should.

    I say — Speak your mind. (within the PP discussion guidelines of course) but by all means speak it.

    I am proud to be amidst the people who will. If we parish who will?

    "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter" ~MLK 

    As always people good health, good luck and look up for craps sake wink

    ~Roan

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  • Tue, Jun 02, 2015 - 12:01pm

    Reply to #44
    climber99

    climber99

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    All about energy, blob.

    Carbon blob asked:
    “Question: I’m not trolling, I accept that resources are limited on the planet – coal, oil, metal, soil etc – but I don’t understand why, in the space age, we are talking about limits to growth on a finite planet.”

    Very simply, Carbon, any kind of flying by humans, let alone space travel is totally and utterly dependant on fossil energy. Once all our fossil fuels have been burnt, that is it. (Apart from paragliding and hand gliding)

    ps. before you say renewable or nuclear energy is the answer, think again. It is very unlikely that they will even be able to renew themselves without fossil energy and in the case of nuclear be able to decommission and store their radio active waste without fossil energy.

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  • Tue, Jun 02, 2015 - 12:26pm

    Reply to #9
    fated

    fated

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    Posts: 50

    Arthurs Fantasy

    Arthur – you are obviously a lot (or just a bit!) older than me who is in my mid 30`s.

    I see my nan in a hospice living the most fossil fuel supported part of her 95 years of existence. She has earned a comfortable golden years and is one of the generation who's life started hard and only got 'easier'.

    I'm sure she will be gone soon and miss all the coming chaos.

    I've already looked ahead and resigned myself to the fact that:

    if I ever make it to her age no such places will exist.

    the crap that's coming likely will prevent me making that age.

    at my age she was a lot better equipped to deal with a harsh life than I am.

    looking ahead won't change any of this so I may as well accept it.

    I don't begrudge her any of the benefits of endless growth that she has enjoyed. Her frugal mindset has always ensured she is not wasteful or greedy. She's taught me an appreciation of nature and the environment. In a way I'm glad she's where she is, and I just appreciate how lucky I am to have access to some of the simple modern comforts I do. Not being rich there are plenty I can't afford, and others I choose not to partake in.

    I think there will be plenty we take for granted that will disappear along with endless growth.

    Mulling over some of these things in advance will help ease transition.

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  • Tue, Jun 02, 2015 - 1:52pm

    Reply to #44
    Peak Prosperity Admin

    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    ...bu-u-ut fossil fuels will

    …bu-u-ut fossil fuels will be available for a long time, and hydrocarbon fuel can be synthesised if really needed. The current space entrepreneurs are not talking hundreds of years in the future but decades.

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  • Tue, Jun 02, 2015 - 2:38pm

    Reply to #44
    climber99

    climber99

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    Keep dreaming, Blob

    Blob commented
    “bu-u-ut fossil fuels will be available for a long time, and hydrocarbon fuel can be synthesised if really needed. The current space entrepreneurs are not talking hundreds of years in the future but decades.”

    Depends what you call a long time. Conventional oil has already peaked. 2006 ie. we have already gotten through over half the easy to get oil. My estimates that peak fossil energy (in all its forms) will occur between 2030 and 2040. The world population will be 8.5 + billion in 2030. In one hundred years time we will be below 20% peak levels of fossil energy in my opinion. So there you go,

    Synthesising hydrocarbon fuel is not going to make any impression on mankind’s predicament. Keep dreaming.

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  • Tue, Jun 02, 2015 - 3:14pm

    #47
    efarmer.ny

    efarmer.ny

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    Links

    I know this thread is winding down, but I just saw this news about Germany's birth rate. I'm not suggesting we are no longer in trouble of running out of resources…just posting this to supplement things said up above.

    Germany's workforce will shrink by 6m over the next 15 years.

     

    Also, in regard to colonizing space, don't forget that there is a band of people who believe there may be a secret space program with the possibility of free energy devices. This is just for those interested in pursuing their reasons for believing this is so; I'm not trying to violate the terms regarding conspiracies. I can't even say I agree with everything these folks say.

    Secret Space Program / Breakaway Civilization

     

     

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  • Tue, Jun 02, 2015 - 3:33pm

    #48
    awsx123

    awsx123

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    silo thinking and mental echo chambers

    sure, we are going through a paradigm shift right now, but has nobody noticed how gold, far from going up in a straight line, continues to sink ever lower? 

    just fact. fact that denies what mr martenson has been telling us.

    next such fact – "endless growth" IS NOT a problem, if new products and services are more abstract than the previous generation of product, which they always are. mr martenson's theories assume a given, they assume a direct connection between physical resources and economic growth. 

    this is clearly false. obviously it takes significant physical resources to build a house and to provide a year's worth of food. but it takes less resources to build a car and run it for a year.

    it takes *far* less resources to build a computer, and run it for a year. 

    although it takes far less resources than that, to build a *smartphone* and run it for a year. 

     

    first you feed yourself, then you buy your house, and then you might buy a computer and then you might buy an iphone.

    moving up the hierarchy of maslow's triangle (google it) takes fewer and fewer physical resources to deliver. 

    mr martenson is correct that we are going through a significant paradigm shift at the moment, but the underlying assumption that economic growth is directly proportional to resource consumption is FALSE, just as the "intrinsic" value of gold is false. since you can't eat gold, or live in it, or browse the internet on it, i can assure you – it has no value whatsoever beyond psychological. the psychological value is deep, but it's not bottomless and i think it's being turned over right now.

    i made a load out of gold when it was going up, but my money has been in the stock market for the last year. investments going up strongly, while gold has gone down in price!

    my advice here is to use google to search for ideas that might *contradict* what you believe. don't create a mental echo chamber where you're only reading news that confirms your pre-existing beliefs.

    oh, and sell gold 😉

    phil

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  • Tue, Jun 02, 2015 - 4:10pm

    #49

    Chris Martenson

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 4501

    Confusing Facts and Assertions

    Phil,

    I don't normally engage drive by shooters who register and dump a pile of assertions unless I think it can provide either a teachable moment or some levity.

    Facts are what they are.  Assertions are merely statements that may or may not be grounded in data, but quite often are not upon even the mildest of examination.

    So let's parse one of your assertions.

    next such fact – "endless growth" IS NOT a problem, if new products and services are more abstract than the previous generation of product, which they always are. mr martenson's theories assume a given, they assume a direct connection between physical resources and economic growth. 

    this is clearly false. obviously it takes significant physical resources to build a house and to provide a year's worth of food. but it takes less resources to build a car and run it for a year.

    If this is clearly false, then this should be quite easy for you to prove with data.  Run a GDP series against anything you wish; cement, iron ore, oil, lumber, or even computers and smart phones.  Show that you can have economic growth without the use of more resources.  

    I've done this, of course, and guess what?  Economic growth always comes with additional use of resources.

    Next, be careful what you call 'economic growth.'  Another set of uncomfortable 'facts' is that what we are calling economic 'growth' is actually not growth at all, but merely a rise in claims against real things. Money and debt are both simply claims, but we count JPM's activities and earnings bonanzas as part of our GDP growth even though the vast majority of what financialized companies do produces nothing and merely counts up larger piles of freshly printed and 40x leveraged money as though it were the same as the installation of railroad track serving the Bakken.

    Once we strip out the easy come, easy go false prosperity the numbers become even more obviously in support of the idea that if you want real goods and services and you want them to grow, you need more resources.

    This is just patently obvious to anybody who has looked into this even briefly.  You might begin by noting world primary energy use over the past 3 decades.  Or steel use.  Or cement.  Or food.  Or fish.

    From the Minerals Information Institute, we get handy visuals like this:

    Notice this is new materials and minerals per person per year.

    Finally, I have a challenge for you Phil.  Please find where I have said that gold will go up in a straight line forever.  Or made any claims about where it will be in terms of dollars vs. time.

    I do say that owning it is a very good idea but that's for a whole host of subtle reasons that have more to do with systems fragility, human behavior, and a good sense of monetary history than how many dollars per gram it is.

    Anything that is unsustainable will stop…and nothing is more unsustainable than exponentially increasing your claims against the goods and resources of a finite world.  It's only a question of when that gives way, not if.

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  • Tue, Jun 02, 2015 - 5:54pm

    Reply to #44
    Peak Prosperity Admin

    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Climber99Well, I wouldn't

    Climber99

    Well, I wouldn't argue with oil peaking and all that, I accept it, and I wasn't thinking of synthesised fuel replacing fossil (maybe it could, maybe not), but the asteroid mining is already in the works. Branson is set to launch asteroid exploration satellites, and he's been producing peak oil reports so he obviously thinks it's not a problem for him. Hence my doubts about the economy being limited by a finite planet. Limited for other reasons maybe, but not because of that.

    If, say, I am an IT professional, and I power my computer with a solar array, earning money and adding to GDP in part via extra-terrestrial energy, doesn't that mean I have now transcended the Earth (alone) as a resource base ?

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  • Tue, Jun 02, 2015 - 6:52pm

    Reply to #29
    agitating prop

    agitating prop

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 282

    jtwalsh wrote:agitating

    [quote=jtwalsh]

    agitating prop:  I have no issue with the population declining from its present levels.  Most of my life has been spent watching the village centered southern New England of my childhood be paved over with housing developments and endless malls full of the same big box stores and chain restaurants. I often long for a time when there were far fewer folks occupying this small piece of earth.

    I just am not in favor of government forcing the issue through mandatory birth control, eugenics, forced euthanasia, unnecessary war, etc.

    JT

    [/quote]

     

    Controlled reproduction will likely start within the prison system, as the incarcerated have already been stripped of freedom and liberty.

     

    The average citizen will have no problem with physical castration of inmates as it will be performed on dangerous sex offenders, first.

     

    Slowly but surely, within the general prison population, those with serious felony offences will have their reproductive rights taken away, through vasectomy. And in women's prisons, tubal ligation.

     

    Jay walkers and litterbugs will be safe, but drunk drivers? Not so much. Any major threat, perceived or otherwise, will not be tolerated. Law abiding citizens, under increasing economic burden will be much less tolerant. A triage mentality will dominate in a resource depleted world where the law abiding will be under tremendous stress, in all ways.

     

    The genetic role of personality disorders and structural changes in the brains of psychopaths are currying great interest among neuro-scientists. These studies could help lay the groundwork for an attempt to expel this potential from the gene pool.

     

    As this program progresses and the working population becomes more stressed, there could be a growing intolerance for those on welfare, particularly multi-generational welfare families. Parents will be offered the choice of govt help in exchange for tubal ligations, etc..

     

    The government will be heavily involved with curtailing population, eventually. I don't know where it will end up, but I think this is how it will begin.

     

    I am not advocating for it. I see it as tragic, potentially very dangerous.

    Minorities, who have born a disproportionate weight of unemployment and incarceration, largely due to automation and offshoring of jobs, will be impacted in a huge way, if I'm correct. The criminal 'justice' system in the U.S. has had features of racial genocide for decades.

     

    Where's the outrage? Unless the family or friends of the complacent are directly impacted, where have THEY been? Looking the other way is where. The social petrie dish has been cultivating nothing but willfull ignorance about the rights of minorities for a long long time. That could easily be replaced by out and out hositility to those less fortunate…and a further desire to cut down on their numbers.

     

    So many people who get bent out of shape over the subject of govt's role in curtailing reproduction, (because it just might affect them somewhere down the road) have been just fine with the wholesale warehousing of minorities in the prison industrial complex.

     

     

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  • Tue, Jun 02, 2015 - 7:47pm

    #50
    Peak Prosperity Admin

    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    ..thoughts on the

    ..thoughts on the Krishnamurti thing ?

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  • Tue, Jun 02, 2015 - 7:58pm

    #51

    jtwalsh

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 01 2008

    Posts: 261

    I agree

    agitatingprop: I believe the scenario you laid out is very possible.The general population would not care about government limiting the rights of others to reproduce until it is too late and the government acquires the power to control us all.  It would run much like the quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer:  "

    "First the came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists, but I was neither, so I did not speak out.  Then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew so I did not speak out.  And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out."

    In a certain respect the loss of social connections, liberty and economic serfdom is already happening to prisoners and certain minorities in this country. 

    Having descended from people who suffered genocide and realizing that people existed, and still exist, who would be happier if I and mine were not here, makes me very touchy about this subject.  We may not be able to stop it from happening but I will not agree to any government having this power.

    JT

     

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  • Tue, Jun 02, 2015 - 8:04pm

    Reply to #25
    agitating prop

    agitating prop

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 282

    Genetic culling

     

     

    Hi Arthur,

     

    Am so sorry that your immediate and extended family have been impacted by schizophrenia. My sibling has suffered the tortures of the damned. It is depressing beyond measure to watch someone you love consumed by paranoia.

     

    I agree with you that pre-culling along lines of personality and or 'dis'ease is dangerous for any number of reasons. It's fraught with unintended consequences and moral ambiguity.

     

    Remove genes coding for psychosis and you remove creative intelligence.

    Remove genes coding for psychopathy and inadvertantly you have taken some necessary traits of fearlessness along with it.

     

    The surgeon with the steady hands is that way, because he is somewhat insensitive and uncaring. But strangely, this works in the operating room, where nerves of steel are required. Neurotypicals, overwhelmed with the potential for damaging somebody, wouldn't likely perform as well.

     

    Remove autism and you remove Aspergers. Remove Aspergers and society no longer has the benefit of cool rationale, divorced from emotion and narrowly angled specialization and way outside the box thinking.

     

    I chose not to have children because genetics put my risk of having a schizophrenic child, at the very least, 10% chance. As I share many brain traits with my sibling; minus the psychosis, (luckily) I assumed that we are genetically pretty close. It would be too risky and I would not have been able to cope.

     

    I don't agree with the theory that those severely afflicted with schizophrenia are misunderstood mystics. I think that milder variants of the illness, may present more as a benign syndrome,but certainly not severe cases, where symptoms have been present from birth.  

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  • Wed, Jun 03, 2015 - 2:45am

    #52
    MarkBahner

    MarkBahner

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    Posts: 53

    Yes, the U.S. GDP can equal (and vastly exceed) $80 trillion

    Yes, the ‘plan’ is for the US to someday have an economy equal to the entire current world GDP as it stands here in 2015.

    Does that make any sense to anybody at all?

    Makes sense to me.

    Who thinks that’s a realistic plan?

    I do.

    You need to ask yourself two questions, "Is economic growth a physical property?" And, "What causes economic growth?"

     

     

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  • Wed, Jun 03, 2015 - 4:22am

    Reply to #52

    Chris Martenson

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 4501

    MarkBahner wrote:Makes sense

    [quote=MarkBahner]

    Makes sense to me.

    Who thinks that’s a realistic plan?

    I do.

    You need to ask yourself two questions, "Is economic growth a physical property?" And, "What causes economic growth?"

    [/quote]

    Hunh.  It never occurs to me to simply state things without ever backing anything up, but we have a few of them here today.  I'm guessing that the obvious limitations of a finite planet idea bumps into a couple of belief systems.

    Just for yucks though, here's a simple list of what makes up "GDP."

    I've taken the liberty of highlighting the areas that, for sure, require physical, tangible inputs and that most definitely have 'physical properties.'

    I think a lot of people are confusing their smart phones with GDP.  But for those who don't, "goods" means solid things like furniture, cars, food, and computers.

    Fixed investment means structures and equipment.  You know, very tangible stuff.

    All Federal spending is pure consumption by nature.  It goes to salaries and transfer payments, both of which enable people to buy things like food and pay rent, while defense spending is, obviously, very much composed of hard things made out of physical stuff.

    This idea that we are all about to inhabit a virtual economy with virtual goods and virtual services is just marketing copy for the dominant belief systems of our times.  It's not real and even if it were, and we all earned gobs of money tending virtual farms and selling aps to each other, what would we spend that money on does one propose?

    That's right.  Stuff.  Things like houses and cars and plane rides and food and services like uber lifts.

    So, yes, the idea that the US will, all by itself, have $80 trillion of an economy (in current dollars!) absolutely means that the US would be flowing pretty close to an entire world's worth of 'stuff' through its economy alone.

    Happy to be convinced otherwise, but it will take real data and not a thin gruel of beliefs presented as if they were some sort of popular wisdom for "those in the know.".

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  • Wed, Jun 03, 2015 - 10:01am

    #53
    Doug

    Doug

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    Posts: 1357

    Am I the only one...

    …who is unable to see the graphics in Chris’s last two posts?

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  • Wed, Jun 03, 2015 - 10:02am

    #54
    David Allan

    David Allan

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    Posts: 27

    Watch the Crash Course

    Carbon Blob, you need to watch the Crash Course – click through from the home page. After that come back with specific questions and I'm sure someone will answer. It's more complex than just the fossil fuel situation

    Re Krishnamurti – this was a human being that experienced extraordinary states of consciousness. In your excellent quote he is experiencing non dual awareness, sometimes called unity consciousness. In this state the subject and the object have collapsed into direct experience. He is not experiencing himself as separate from anything in the gross physical realm (or the subtle or causal). Technology is of course part of physical manifestation. But there is nothing special about technology – it is simply here as physical expression of our current civilization.  And it can disappear very quickly if the conditions that support it no longer exist.

     

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  • Wed, Jun 03, 2015 - 11:26am

    #55
    Peak Prosperity Admin

    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    David yeah I have seen the

    David yeah I have seen the crash course, it was ok, some good stuff. I've been poking my nose into peak oil for quite a while.

    Anyway the Krishnamurti thing, that's right it's one of the non-dual states. You can swing it as nothing special about technology, but don't you think it means there is nothing special about nature either ?

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  • Wed, Jun 03, 2015 - 12:28pm

    Reply to #53
    Tim Ladson

    Tim Ladson

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    Posts: 16

    Graphics

    I am having trouble with graphics also.

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  • Wed, Jun 03, 2015 - 3:41pm

    Reply to #52
    agitating prop

    agitating prop

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    Posts: 282

    MarkBahner wrote:Yes, the

    [quote=MarkBahner]

    Yes, the ‘plan’ is for the US to someday have an economy equal to the entire current world GDP as it stands here in 2015.

    Does that make any sense to anybody at all?

    Makes sense to me.

    Who thinks that’s a realistic plan?

    I do.

    You need to ask yourself two questions, "Is economic growth a physical property?" And, "What causes economic growth?"

     

     

    [/quote]

    Drove out to the virtual land fill the other day. The data dump stunk to high heaven. 

     

     

     

     

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  • Wed, Jun 03, 2015 - 3:45pm

    Reply to #52

    Jim H

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 1798

    More comments on the future use of "stuff"...

    AWSX said,

    just fact. fact that denies what mr martenson has been telling us.

    next such fact – "endless growth" IS NOT a problem, if new products and services are more abstract than the previous generation of product, which they always are. mr martenson's theories assume a given, they assume a direct connection between physical resources and economic growth. 

    this is clearly false. obviously it takes significant physical resources to build a house and to provide a year's worth of food. but it takes less resources to build a car and run it for a year.

    it takes *far* less resources to build a computer, and run it for a year. 

    although it takes far less resources than that, to build a *smartphone* and run it for a year.

    As a guy whose job is to mind the "stuff" that goes into building computer chips, including the ever growing collection of antenna switches found in most multi-network capable smart phones.. I can tell you  that we are not using less stuff to build them.  While an outside observer might assume that miniaturization implies less stuff… the processes needed to create the chips grow increasingly complex, and we keep building more and more of them so that everything can eventually talk to everything else (so called Internet of Things, or IOT).  

    Building chips for smartphones and computers is stressing the world's capacity for;

    Tantalum – we use more than half the world's supply of this rare metal building these building chips, which are imagined by our trollish poster to be nearly stuff free;

      http://www.ttiinc.com/object/me-zogbi-20131113.html

    Tantalum in Electronics:

    • A more granular look at tantalum consumption in electronics reveals that capacitors and semiconductors are the most important market drivers; but additional minor markets, such as surface acoustical wave filters and thin film resistors also consume tantalum raw materials. It is also important to note that demand from the electronics industry has averaged from 50% to 70% of total tantalum demand over the past 20 years.

    Helium –    http://www.eetimes.com/author.asp?section_id=36&doc_id=1319211

    http://www.quora.com/Are-we-really-running-out-of-helium

    Inna Vishik, physicist

    3.4k upvotes by Andrew Watts, Quora User, Quora User, (more)

    tl;dr: Yes we are running out.  Everyone uses products of the many industries that require helium, and there is no way to cheaply make more.

    Many people do not realize that helium is a non-renewable resource.  It is made on earth via nuclear decay of uranium, and it is recovered from mines.  Once it is released into the atmosphere it becomes uneconomical to recapture it, and eventually atmospheric helium will escape earth altogether because it is so light.

    On the question of whether we are running out, the existing answers are absolutely correct (YES !!), but I want to add another voice.  This is an issue that many people outside the industries that use helium are unaware of, but one that will eventually affect them nonetheless.

    And also for Neon and other rare gases –         

    The neon market is also proving to be very interesting. The demand for neon has increased each year for the last few years and is continuing
    to grow.
    The drivers are mostly demand from electronic chip manufacturers that use processes which require neon-based laser gas for etching on silicon wafers. On the supply side, we have a decline in the production of neon,70 percent of which comes out of Eastern Europe.   
     
    Everyone in China, and elsewhere, won't have a cell phone without much more stuff (and energy) being used up in process.  So much for the stuff free GDP ramp.

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  • Wed, Jun 03, 2015 - 4:07pm

    Reply to #53
    jennifersam07

    jennifersam07

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    Posts: 115

    Trouble with graphics

    I'm also having trouble seeing images. In multiple posts. Starting about a week ago.

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  • Wed, Jun 03, 2015 - 4:12pm

    Reply to #53

    Adam Taggart

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 25 2009

    Posts: 2523

    On It

    Seems like we have a ghost in the machine with image serving.

    On it.

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  • Wed, Jun 03, 2015 - 4:27pm

    Reply to #52
    MarkBahner

    MarkBahner

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    Value is not a physical thing

    I'm guessing that the obvious limitations of a finite planet idea bumps into a couple of belief systems.

    The limitations may be "obvious", but they're specious. Your belief that a finite planet conflicts with a U.S. GDP of 10 times, 100 times, or 1000+ times the present value (in inflation-adjusted dollars) simply comes from your lack of knowledge of economics. It would be wise for you to ask some people with advanced degrees in economics whether the U.S. GDP can ever be $80+ trillion (in 2015 dollars). My guess is that 9 out of 10 of them will say, "Of course. Why would you think this couldn't be so?"

    You're clearly confused about GDP. The definition of GDP is, "The monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country's borders in a specific time period, though GDP is usually calculated on an annual basis." (Emphasis added.)

    Value is not a physical thing. So, for example, the value of non-durable goods in the U.S. is $2,172.4 billion in the table you reference. If that value doubles, it doesn't mean the quantity of things doubles. In fact, the quantity of things could go down, even while the value doubles. For example, the market capitalization (the total value of New York Times stock) roughly doubled from January 2013 to the present:

    https://ycharts.com/companies/NYT/market_cap

    That does not mean that the New York Times is producing more physical newspapers. In fact, they're probably producing fewer physical newspapers. Value is not a physical thing.  

    This is very basic, and has been repeatedly explained by people who understand economics:

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/finance/timworstall/100017248/infinite-growth-on-a-finite-planet-easy-peasy/

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  • Wed, Jun 03, 2015 - 5:51pm

    Reply to #52

    Time2help

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 08 2011

    Posts: 2225

    Maybe this makes more sense

    This post makes more sense to me if you replace the word "value" with "price".

    [quote=MarkBahner]

    I'm guessing that the obvious limitations of a finite planet idea bumps into a couple of belief systems.

    The limitations may be "obvious", but they're specious. Your belief that a finite planet conflicts with a U.S. GDP of 10 times, 100 times, or 1000+ times the present value price (in inflation-adjusted dollars) simply comes from your lack of knowledge of economics. It would be wise for you to ask some people with advanced degrees in economics whether the U.S. GDP can ever be $80+ trillion (in 2015 dollars). My guess is that 9 out of 10 of them will say, "Of course. Why would you think this couldn't be so?"

    You're clearly confused about GDP. The definition of GDP is, "The monetary value price of all the finished goods and services produced within a country's borders in a specific time period, though GDP is usually calculated on an annual basis." (Emphasis added.)

    Value Price is not a physical thing. So, for example, the value price of non-durable goods in the U.S. is $2,172.4 billion in the table you reference. If that value price doubles, it doesn't mean the quantity of things doubles. In fact, the quantity of things could go down, even while the value price doubles. For example, the market capitalization (the total value price of New York Times stock) roughly doubled from January 2013 to the present:

    https://ycharts.com/companies/NYT/market_cap

    That does not mean that the New York Times is producing more physical newspapers. In fact, they're probably producing fewer physical newspapers. Value Price is not a physical thing.  

    This is very basic, and has been repeatedly explained by people who understand economics:

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/finance/timworstall/100017248/infinite-growth-on-a-finite-planet-easy-peasy/

    [/quote]

    Whatever. I'm off to hug my Paul Krugman teddy bear…

    Note:  All prices quoted above are denominated in fractionally reserved thin-air printed USDs.

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  • Wed, Jun 03, 2015 - 6:14pm

    #56

    Time2help

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 2225

    Redacted

    Inflammatory, non-value added comment. My bad.

     

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  • Wed, Jun 03, 2015 - 7:34pm

    Reply to #52

    Chris Martenson

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 07 2007

    Posts: 4501

    Goodness, that's some silly ""logic""

    [quote=MarkBahner]

    I'm guessing that the obvious limitations of a finite planet idea bumps into a couple of belief systems.

    The limitations may be "obvious", but they're specious. Your belief that a finite planet conflicts with a U.S. GDP of 10 times, 100 times, or 1000+ times the present value (in inflation-adjusted dollars) simply comes from your lack of knowledge of economics. It would be wise for you to ask some people with advanced degrees in economics whether the U.S. GDP can ever be $80+ trillion (in 2015 dollars). My guess is that 9 out of 10 of them will say, "Of course. Why would you think this couldn't be so?"

    You're clearly confused about GDP. The definition of GDP is, "The monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country's borders in a specific time period, though GDP is usually calculated on an annual basis." (Emphasis added.)

    Value is not a physical thing. So, for example, the value of non-durable goods in the U.S. is $2,172.4 billion in the table you reference. If that value doubles, it doesn't mean the quantity of things doubles. In fact, the quantity of things could go down, even while the value doubles. For example, the market capitalization (the total value of New York Times stock) roughly doubled from January 2013 to the present:

    https://ycharts.com/companies/NYT/market_cap

    That does not mean that the New York Times is producing more physical newspapers. In fact, they're probably producing fewer physical newspapers. Value is not a physical thing.  

    This is very basic, and has been repeatedly explained by people who understand economics:

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/finance/timworstall/100017248/infinite-growth-on-a-finite-planet-easy-peasy/

    [/quote]

    I've not read anything quite so disconnected from reality since the OpEd in the WSJ on fracking the other day.

    This notion of "value" is utterly meaningless.  More value simply means nothing unless and until it translates into something…like cash or higher output per unit of input.

    Note that 'output' means more stuff, and that cash has no value at all unless you can spend it on something.  A lot of that "something" involves  real, physical things. Imagine that Elon Musk creates a lot of this 'value' of which you speak by selling a lot of Teslas to a lot of people.

    Super.  Now what?  Do people get to work any faster in their Teslas?  Do they themselves create more value because they drive Teslas?  No, they do not.

    And what do you suppose Elon did with all the 'value' he created?  that's right, he turned it into cash and then he spent that cash on such things as this 20,248 square foot house.

    I'm not begrudging Elon anything he might want, although I find his level of consumption a bit over the top for my taste and internal barometer, but we're all different people, right?

    Money without spending it on something has no meaning.  

    The fundamental error on display here and in the utterly ridiculous Telegraph article by some detached economist is a failure to understand that money is merely a claim on real wealth.  Who cares if the stock market rises another 1,000% if that merely represents unrealized "value" that then has to be converted into cash to have any actual value, and the amount of claims all that liberated cash would represent happens to be several times larger than the amount of real stuff out there?

    By saying that 'value is not a physical thing' you are revealing a profound inability to connect even the most basic of dots.  Open your eyes, look around, see what people are doing as they 'create value' out there in the real world, and notice that they are consuming and that every act of consumption requires energy…including especially those computers you love to cite.

    You might want to check out the power requirements for data centers…a large one housed in a single big-ish building typically uses as much electricity as a small town.

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  • Wed, Jun 03, 2015 - 7:56pm

    #57

    Arthur Robey

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 03 2010

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    Just Look

    I rode into Melbourne last night on the 6 lane freeway. I needed no graphs.It was all there before me.

    6 lanes of vehicles, one hundred miles long and all going 110kms/hr. It was an eye opener to this country hick.

    Guess what happens next? You don't need no stinking models. You just need to look,  and think . What happens next?

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  • Wed, Jun 03, 2015 - 8:02pm

    Reply to #57

    Time2help

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 08 2011

    Posts: 2225

    Exactly

    [quote=Arthur Robey]

    I rode into Melbourne last night on the 6 lane freeway. I needed no graphs.It was all there before me.

    6 lanes of vehicles, one hundred miles long and all going 110kms/hr. It was an eye opener to this country hick.

    Guess what happens next? You don't need no stinking models. You just need to look,  and think . What happens next?

    [/quote]

    Period.

    Game. Set. Match. Done.

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  • Wed, Jun 03, 2015 - 9:05pm

    Reply to #55
    Peak Prosperity Admin

    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Posts: 1613

    I chopped my initial reply

    I chopped my initial reply down because I didn't want to waffle, but I think I'll stick it all up, as the actress said to the bishop.

    David yeah I have seen the crash course, it was ok. I've been poking my nose into peak oil for quite a while.

    Anyway the Krishnamurti thing, that's right it's one of the non-dual states. You can swing it as nothing special about technoogy, but I think the thing that people don't want to hear is that there is nothing special about nature either. Separating nature from man made thing is common in christianity and such traditions etc but this is a mental exercise, any christian mystic will have found the same as Krishnamurti, that it's just a natural facet of the same thing. This includes all the pollution and dangerous products. Aversion to these is an instinctual thing, like aversion to feces and poisonous insects, but it's all natural and it's all equally sacred. IMO.

    In 10,000 BC to be one with all would be to be one with trees, mountains, pottery and logboats. In 0 AD to be one with all would be to be one with trees, mountains, ox carts, galleys, aquaducts. For krishnamurti it was trees, mountains, cars, hand tools. For a silicone valley guy it's trees, mountains and server farms. For a Beijing factory worker it's trees, sky, buildings, smog, traffic.

    So do the hippies and indigenous people have it right, that mother Earth is sacred, civilisation is profane, we are killing Gaia and such ? Or is that half a story ?

    What happens to this as humans go into space, depend on technology, leave the Earth totally, or go the full transhumanist trip and go bionic ?

    Assume a doomer collapse scenario in which society splits into a shrunk elite hanging on in guarded citadels, maybe even in orbit, and a mass living in favelas and rubbish dumps and deep in the woods. It's going to be the same. Anyone having a real spiritual experience in their guarded compound is going to be experiencing themselves one with the mountains, trees, air conditioning, swimming pool, hired goons, humvee. Someone in the favela will experience oneness with the mountains, trees, rubbish dump, open sewers, bicycles, old abandoned TVs etc. Someone deep in the woods is going to be one with the trees and forests, nice and simple. From orbit a spiritual experience is probably going to be something like Edgar Mitchell found as he was returning from the moon. It's generally oneness with whatever the experiencer perceives, whatever and wherever that is – unless you want to get into even wilder non-local territory.

    Perfectly legit to grieve for the passing of interglacial ecosystem, but spirituality won't end with it. I personally would prefer the trees and mountains to stick around a while before the next glaciation.

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  • Wed, Jun 03, 2015 - 9:09pm

    Reply to #52
    MarkBahner

    MarkBahner

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    Yes, that's right, value is not a physical thing.

    By saying that 'value is not a physical thing' you are revealing a profound inability to connect even the most basic of dots. 

    No, Chris, I'm revealing that I've read and understand basic economics.

    The Hope diamond currently has a value of over $200 million. If I took a hammer and broke it in two pieces and then super-glued the pieces back together, the physical size wouldn't change…but the value would likely change significantly.

     

    Similarly, the size of the Hope diamond has no relationship to the size of $200 million worth of coal, copper, steel, platinum, timber, caviar, graphene, whatever.

    Again, it's not like there's any controversy at all about what I've written…or what Tim Worstall wrote. Here's a blog by an economist (Noah Smith). He has links to more than 10 other blogs written by economists in the right hand column of his blog:

    http://noahpinionblog.blogspot.com/2015/05/economists-dont-have-physics-envy.html

    Go to 10 of them at random and ask them this question:

    "Mark Bahner says that the U.S. economy could grow to more than $80 trillion, in 2015 dollars. I say he's crazy. Which one of us do you think is correct?"

    I'll be happy to bet you $20 that at least 9 out of 10 of them (who offer a definitive opinion) will say that I'm correct, and you don't know what you're talking about. 

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  • Wed, Jun 03, 2015 - 9:15pm

    #58

    Time2help

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 2225

    Survey says

    Nine out of ten keynesian economists recommend fractionally reserved fiat currency to debt-enslave the masses. What a load of crap.

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  • Wed, Jun 03, 2015 - 10:17pm

    #59
    efarmer.ny

    efarmer.ny

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    Posts: 5

    Economic Denial

    In the article, Chris said

    The same story is written everywhere, with every example sharing the same common element of presumed perpetual growth. Everybody plans on growing steadily, forever into the future, amen.

    I am not an economist, but here is my thought experiment.

    I have a small farm that I develop as a side venture. Hopefully it is becoming my retirement fund.

    As I add mini-enterprises to the farm they take up resources like building space, lumber, fields, etc. They also (theoretically) increase my farm's gross production. Let's pretend that eventually every nook and cranny of my farm is engaged in something productive, and that all of the farmland within a reasonable distance is unavailable for me to use to expand.

    At that point I would no longer be a "growing steadily" business. I am out of resources with which to expand my farm.

    Undoubtedly inflation would allow me to raise my prices so that the economic "value" in a statistic would increase. But the actual value in terms of how many people my farm will feed will remain constant.

    So in my thought experiment I think that Chris is vindicated within the larger context of the piece he has written. Quibbling over the one example of the US economy reaching some arbitrary number seems to ignore the bigger picture, which is that my farm's (fast) initial growth in gross production came as I used the resources available to me, and the later (slow) growth came as a function of money expansion.

    The world is experiencing slow growth. The world is having a lot of money expansion. Is the world running short on resources? That is something to consider…

    – – –

    As long as I'm commenting, let me say that Arthur in 105 above is really keeping me on my toes by mixing miles and kilometers in the same sentence.

     

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  • Wed, Jun 03, 2015 - 11:28pm

    Reply to #52

    Quercus bicolor

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 19 2008

    Posts: 190

    MarkBahner wrote:The Hope

    [quote=MarkBahner]

    The Hope diamond currently has a value of over $200 million. If I took a hammer and broke it in two pieces and then super-glued the pieces back together, the physical size wouldn't change…but the value would likely change significantly.

    [/quote]

    Interesting example Mark.  I would argue that the hope diamond only has that insane value because of the ridiculous amount of fiat currency that's been created out of thin air in recent years.  It's practical value is probably a few bucks.

    [quote=MarkBahner]

    http://noahpinionblog.blogspot.com/2015/05/economists-dont-have-physics-envy.html

    Go to 10 of them at random and ask them this question:

    "Mark Bahner says that the U.S. economy could grow to more than $80 trillion, in 2015 dollars. I say he's crazy. Which one of us do you think is correct?"

    I'll be happy to bet you $20 that at least 9 out of 10 of them (who offer a definitive opinion) will say that I'm correct, and you don't know what you're talking about. 

    [/quote]

    There's a key assumption that I strongly suspect you're making here.  I'll phrase is like this: "Professional economists have a good grasp of actual physical reality."

    My personal experience tells me that assumption is false. I would argue that what they have a good grasp of is the the fantasy that comes when one assumes that money systems which exist only as markers for real stuff are more useful in trying to understand the world than the real stuff itself.

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  • Wed, Jun 03, 2015 - 11:29pm

    #60

    Sterling Cornaby

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 05 2012

    Posts: 150

    I am in Denial

    I am in denial

    My tablet that I read articles on does have incredible value, its key components are made in multi-billion dollar fabs, one fab for the processor, one fab for the screen, and one fab for the memory (did I miss something?).  The tablet's searching for information power is supported by warehouses of servers.  The information I can gather is generated by millions of people working, given time for generate that informational work because the tractors and combines running on gas harvest and plant food to keep these people fed. My little tablet asks this collective of information questions and these supercomputers (powered by coal) give my little tablet the address for suggested places to look.

    Economic turtles all the way down to… the bottom is gas and coal… I can see the bottom!?!? We are still burning fires as we did eons ago, we are just so much more creative with it and we found better stuff to burn.  Is this denial?

    After all of that my tablet is essentially a very valuable toy.  Do I really absolutely need this tablet to live my life? It is giving me new stories and information; is this information a need?  I think it is but I am in denial.

    My family needs food, My family needs shelter, my family does have things it really needs.  Earlier this thread talked about population; I have five kids and yes, I am in denial.  A large reason I have five children is the stories I have inherited are deeply rooted in both the culture and religion I grew up in.  Can I even change these stories for my children?  I am too late to change this issue for myself, and yes I am in denial.      

    What do I need? What is valuable? What must I discard?  The difference between these things is the blurring of denial.

    Do I suffer from selection bias on the information I choose to use? Don't we all? I am in denial. 

    I can only change my denial so fast; my biggest hope is that I can change fast enough that my denial does not permanently harm me and all of my future posterity.  I have to change my denial quickly enough to keep up with our changing reality.  Is our stupid reality changing? Noah, really, I don't see any rain clouds!

    Yes, values will be changing and they might even add up to a 80 trillion dollars GDP for the USA in 2080.  Is that the price for humanities birthright in the USA?

    What is the price in dollars worth for your denial?

    Thank you for a space to let go a bit.

    I am in denial

     

       

     

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  • Thu, Jun 04, 2015 - 1:13am

    #61

    Arthur Robey

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 1814

    Nermal?

    In case you were wondering.

    Nermal is not quite Normal.

    http://garfieldcomics.tumblr.com/post/2372720452/meet-nermal

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  • Thu, Jun 04, 2015 - 1:18am

    Reply to #52

    Arthur Robey

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 1814

    Value and Quality

    Persig  tackles the problem of Quality in his book Zen and the Art of Motorcycling"

    This is a philosophical argument that has long roots. (Let us hope we do not come to blows, which is the traditional way of resolving the matter)

    The argument is between the Rhetoricians and  Aristotle's mob. The Rhetoricians claimed that there was such a thing as Arete (roughly Excellents as opposed to the Aristotelian view of the Forms) 

    Persig shows that the Rhetoricians were  correct, but they lost the fisticuffs.  This is why the phrase " it is only a Rhetorical argument" is offered as a dismissive. As though that closes off the discussion. 

    So here we go again.

    But it might offer us an opportunity to escape the iron grip of the fact of our limited rubbish dump. We could continue expanding the economy by re using materials to increase their Quality. At the moment the plastics and poisons floating about in the air and in the oceans have a negative Quality. This tablet that I am typing on has  Quality but not enough.

    I wonder if the Keynsian economist would like to address this issue  so that we can resolve the issue traditionally?

    PS : I have just had another email about Cold Fusion that I have not read yet. Energy is the Key to our survival. Oh, and we need a good dollop of schizophrenia too. Nermal thinking just won't cut the mustard. 

    We have got to get everyone off the planet. Quality will plummet if we fail.

    (I wonder if there is any connection between Quality and entropy?)

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  • Thu, Jun 04, 2015 - 2:35am

    Reply to #58
    MarkBahner

    MarkBahner

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    It's not just "Keynesian economists" who disagree with Chris.

    These people are definitely not "Keynesian" economists:

    Scott Sumner

    David Henderson

    Veronique de Rugy

    Don Boudreaux

    Bob Murphy

    I doubt you'd get any different answer from them. 

     

     

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  • Thu, Jun 04, 2015 - 2:38am

    Reply to #58
    lunableu22

    lunableu22

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    Reality by consensus?

    Mark, maybe we should all post on Facebook and whoever gets the most likes wins!  Yay! 

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  • Thu, Jun 04, 2015 - 2:46am

    #62
    treebeard

    treebeard

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    "Freedom without responsibility....

    has no meaning".  My favorite quote from Krishnamurti, as long as we are bringing him up.  Nobody likes to talk about the destructive side of creation or death or especially about responsibility, but its all part of the package.  States of non-duality, where the division between the perceiver and the thing perceived, are not quite what they are cracked up be.  Hard to convince the "scientifically" minded sometimes that such a thing is possible, but such drug free drug trips are entirely possible.  But you still have to get up in the morning and make breakfast and process through all the crap you inherited as part of your physical incarnation.  Perhaps that is a little harsh, but I hope you get my drift.  Perceptual transformations from such experiences are important part of our species evolution, but they are one step in a long process.

    Everyone hackles at the idea of limits.  I get it.  But that is kind of the thrust of this whole site in a way (my apologies for putting what goes on here in such a small box, in lot of ways it is much more than that of course). It is an expression of an aspect of what humanity is processing right now.  We are in the process of transmuting our conception of growth from the material (GPD, if anybody still thinks those numbers are real, I have some real estate I'd like to sell you) to the immaterial.  Nothing worse that taking spiritual principals and driving them into the dirt by by trying to materialize them. Things rapidly devolve into the senseless and the insane.  The answer to enthalpy is consciousness.  The use of spiritual principles to and explain away material limitations is a futile exercise.  Can a shift in consciousness allow us to do so much more with so much less that it will seem like there are no limits?   Yes.  But I can guaranty you it has nothing what so ever to do with mining extraterrestrial bodies.

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  • Thu, Jun 04, 2015 - 4:12am

    #63
    darleneortiz

    darleneortiz

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    it really pathetic that

    it really pathetic that strict measures are still not taken to overcome this upcoming catastrophe..!!!

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  • Thu, Jun 04, 2015 - 5:51am

    Reply to #62

    Arthur Robey

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

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    Lets Get Real

    My interpretation of the Quantum Erasure Experiment is that the illusion of Reality will show us whatever is necessary for our development. 

    If that requires turning barren asteroids into Life, then the necessary history will be generated to Support such an observation. 

    So far I am really enjoying this beautiful simulation. Tomorrow I will be presented with a brand new simulation, complete with the necessary memories to support it.

    I really don't understand the necessity of this spelling challenge though. Perhaps it is to slow my thoughts down so that I can get all my ducks in a row.

    Consider this input as my discussion with the Author. Perhaps the illusion will be adjusted accordingly. But then I would never know if my memories are also fixed, now would I?

    This was all hinted to by the Author in the Anime production "Ghost in the Shell"  which inspired "The Matrix" . I prefered the the Japanese version. Hollywood is too preachy for my taste. They are always slipping in some social norm with which I am uncomfortable. 

    Anyway the Japanese put more effort  into their supporting music.

    Kenji Kawai – Cinema Symphony – Ghost In The Shel…: http://youtu.be/z64HCi2rQkE

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  • Thu, Jun 04, 2015 - 10:30am

    #64
    treebeard

    treebeard

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    Transform the other......

    …….everyone wants to do that, the problem is always somebody else's fault, we all have our very long lists, the Fed, Keynesian economists, Austrian economists, Monsanto, Materialists, Spiritualists, Scientists, the Religious, Republicans, Democrats, etc, etc.  I admit it, I do have my own.  But the path to freedom is through personal responsibility, it's the message the universe has been screaming at us that we are so diligently trying to avoid and for oh so long.  Material reality may be an illusion, but it is what we have woven so that we can fulfill the meaning of our own existence (not somebody else's).  Discard it at your own risk.

    To discard the illusion of physical reality is to participate in delusion.  As PD Ouspensky said, the chief characteristic of all human beings is that we are liars.  Jesus warned us against such behavior in another way:

    For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

    The world seems so cruel and unfair, downright brutal, certainly we are not part of creating that, well the sad fact is, that we are. In the old days we called that original sin, but that has picked up way to much negative baggage, let say instead, that we are the dream weavers, fashioning darkness into light by waking up.

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  • Thu, Jun 04, 2015 - 11:44am

    #65
    Peak Prosperity Admin

    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Posts: 1613

    "The use of spiritual

    "The use of spiritual principles to and explain away material limitations is a futile exercise. " Agreed, there are legit questions about the interaction of mind and matter, and there is hocus pocus. You can follow The Secret and write a check to yourself, expecting the universe to fulfill it for you, but you'll be disappointed because only bankers have that siddhi.

    I live near one of the proposed fracking sites in the UK, the UK passed peak conventional years ago – as we know and as per Hubbert – and now some fools want to drill through the main aquifer in the area and slurp hydrocarbons through it. Not only that but it's the area most at flood risk in the UK and a couple feet of sea level rise will endanger the lot. It's all happening right in front of me, but i stil don't see why asteroid mining will not go ahead even if the English eastern seaboard is evacuated (a real possibility) or turned into a second Netherlands. The trend of life on Earth is expansion and migration, with occasional extinctions. Maybe only some post-human life form wa-a-ay in the future, post anthropocene extinction, will leave the planet for good, but at the moment it's looking like it will be humans within this century.

    I've got a cheap little solar powered calculator here, sometimes i use it for doing my business accounts. It's been sat in my desk drawer for at least ten years and I fish it out now and then. The value I get from it isn't limited by Earth's energy resources, it's part of an Earth-Sol economy. Isn't it ?

     

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  • Thu, Jun 04, 2015 - 12:28pm

    #66
    Doug

    Doug

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    carbon blob

    [quote]You can swing it as nothing special about technology, but I think the thing that people don't want to hear is that there is nothing special about nature either. [/quote]

    I keep getting stuck on this point.  Perhaps this is OT and I acknowledge I know nothing of Krishnamurti and am not particularly taken by highly speculative or abstract thought patterns.  However, to speculate there is nothing special about nature is wildly wrong.

    As I think of nature, it encompasses all of life that we know of.  We have detected no life anywhere else in the universe, let alone so-called intelligent life.  I am totally willing to stipulate there probably is life elsewhere and probably intelligent life.  But, we haven't detected or communicated with such life.  Further, even if we do detect some life elsewhere, is it on a planet that would be liveable for higher life forms from this planet.  And, even if we do detect such life (a nearly infinitely small probability) can we get there?  The answer, in all probability, is no.  We haven't even figured out how to get to other planets in our solar system alive.  If distances are measured in light years (which any other destination would be), there is no way, Star Wars and Star Trek notwithstanding.

    Given all of that, nature as it is expressed on earth is indeed very special.  To my way of thinking, nothing is more important.  We must protect and preserve what we have.  There is no viable option.

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  • Thu, Jun 04, 2015 - 1:36pm

    Reply to #66
    Peak Prosperity Admin

    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Well, from the scientific

    Well, from the scientific viewpoint you're right, we haven't detected life anywhere else, SETI has drawn a blank so far. The spiritual viewpoint can be very different with regards to what constitutes life or not. So much mysticism is natural in context, but then again, much is centred on technology too – Japanese zen methods spring to mind, zen archery is entirely dependent on technology, and martial technology at that.

    Looking through a database of spiritual experiences of scientists http://www.issc-taste.org/arc/dbo.cgi?set=arc&ss=1 shows both facets

    –Nature–

    Expansion of Self in the Antarctic
    Red Hong

    I was about 34 I think and working as a scientist in Antarctica for the summer. We had been flown in to Lake Vanda in the dry valleys to clean up an oil spill that happened when a drum being dropped from a Hercules on a routine delivery run split on hitting the surface of the frozen lake. It took 2 days to chip the polluted surface ice off the lake with ice-picks. Then there was a blizzard back at base so the chopper pilots couldn't come and pick us up and we had a (much needed) 2 day holiday. As you do on holiday, we went for a walk.

    We walked (or rather rock-hopped) up to the end of the valley and then climbed up Bull Pass. We all went up the hill at our own pace, so I was separated from my companions by the time I reached the top and sat down to recover. My mind was totally blank. After a while I realized that I had expanded. I was no longer a small discrete consciousness located in my head – I encompassed the whole valley. I was HUGE. I was part of everything – or rather everything was part of me. I was ancient and unbelievably powerful. It was wonderful.

    After some time, I don't have much idea how long but it might have been about 10 minutes, my friends appeared and my state snapped back to normal. I was very sorry about this, but also fairly relieved! We ate some Spam, regretted that no one had brought anything to drink, and slid off down the hill again. And that was that.

    Contributor's Comments on the Experience

    At this time I had never felt any inclination towards spiritual seeking. I was a regulation, standard-issue scientific atheist and didn't even know what meditation was, let alone what it was supposed to accomplish.

    –Technology–

    Awareness Of A Train
    Martha diChristi

    I took the train from Boston to Philadelphia, and felt very happy looking out at the world. All things pleased me and seemed to me blessed. At one point I felt drowsy, so I stretched out a bit across two seats, and put my head on some books. The motion of the train and allowing myself to rest was very pleasant.

    I felt at some point that I had nodded off, and then at some moment I became aware that I was in a state that was neither waking or sleeping, and that I had been in that state for what seemed to me 4-5 seconds. In this state, although my eyes were closed, I was completely aware in detail of the train car I was in and its contents. But I was aware in a different way than if I had simply been lying awake with my eyes closed. I was aware of the train car with my mind and not with my perceptions – sight, sound… And yet I was completely aware of it, not as a concept or a memory!

    You might say I knew the train car. And this awareness was melded somehow with the awareness of everything else in my mind. That is, my awareness of the train car was of exactly the same order as my awareness of the rest of my contents of my mind. That is, the usual sense I have of something being inside me (my mind) and outside me (the things in the world that I perceive) was dissolved, and there was no longer any such distinction. This seemed to me to result in a state of mind that was neither sleeping nor waking.

    The instant I became aware that I was in such a state, I snapped out of it and converted to an ordinary waking state with my eyes closed. This state was a very good state, not because I felt any particular emotions. What I experienced was on a level of fact, and there was no evaluation like that implied in emotions, good or bad. But exactly in the absence of what I would call emotion was something much "better," more "joyful" than the best positive emotion.

     

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  • Thu, Jun 04, 2015 - 3:38pm

    Reply to #62

    Time2help

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 2225

    Freedom comes with Responsibility

    [quote=treebeard]"Freedom without responsibility has no meaning".  My favorite quote from Krishnamurti, as long as we are bringing him up.  Nobody likes to talk about the destructive side of creation or death or especially about responsibility, but its all part of the package.[/quote]

    Great quote Treebeard.

    Freedom lies in Responsibility.

    [quote]If you want freedom, you’ll need to take responsibility.  

    When you take full responsibility for your life :

    • You see the consequences of your actions
    • You feel empowered
    • You stop complaining about what could be and start making changes and going forward
    • You adopt a learning mindset and learn from your mistakes
    • You focus on what you can do to improve your life and not on what’s wrong with your life
    • You accept what comes to you, deal with it, and use it : you turn problems into opportunities
    • You take your power back
    • You can be proud of what you do[/quote]

    Another personal favorite:

    [quote]Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you’re a man, you take it.

    – Malcolm X[/quote]

     

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  • Thu, Jun 04, 2015 - 4:29pm

    Reply to #58
    MarkBahner

    MarkBahner

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    Posts: 53

    Agreed...Facebook likes isn't a good way to determine reality

    Reality by consensus?

    Mark, maybe we should all post on Facebook and whoever gets the most likes wins!  Yay! 

    smiley

    Seriously, though…we have two opinions: I say that the U.S. Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is correct, and that the U.S. GDP (adjusted for inflation to 2013 dollars) will eventually equal $80 trillion (approximately the present world GDP). Chris says it will not.

    One of us will be wrong, and one of us will be right. There's no way that we can either both be wrong or both be right. But how does anyone decide which of us is likely to be wrong, and which is likely to be right?

    Well, isn't it logical that economists would likely be a source of knowledge about future economic growth? Presumably, the CBO, whose projections Chris mocks as being completely unrealistic, has some economists. Do those economists at the CBO know what they're talking about?

    One way to check whether the CBO economists know what they're talking about would be to ask other economists whether the CBO is right, and that U.S. GDP (adjusted for inflation to 2013 dollars) can eventually equal $80 trillion. I don't think there's any controversy in the CBO analysis. I think every single economist contacted (Keynesian or not) would agree that the CBO is right, and Chris is wrong.

    Of course, maybe whole economics profession is wrong, and Chris is right. Well, that's a truly extraordinary claim, and as the late Carl Sagan observed, "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." Chris has not provided such evidence. He's basically provided anecdotal BS that is easily debunked. (But it takes time to debunk each piece of BS, and very little time to provide new pieces, so debunking every piece may take more time than anyone is willing to spend.)

    Take soil, for example. His claims that "Britain has only 100 harvests left" or that worldwide there are "only 60 years of farming left" are absurd. They are examples of somebody saying a ridiculous thing on the basis of no solid research, and then the ridiculous things being parroted across the Internet (by people who know nothing about the subject, but love the idea of an imminent environmental apocalypse). 

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  • Thu, Jun 04, 2015 - 4:34pm

    #67
    robie robinson

    robie robinson

    Status Gold Member (Online)

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    Mark?

    unless I'm wrong, there is little here with which you agree. Then, may you consider why are you here?

     

    ps. i've been moderated before

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  • Thu, Jun 04, 2015 - 4:54pm

    #68

    Time2help

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 2225

    Mark

    Your real last name wouldn't happen to be Darbikrash?  Just curious.

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  • Thu, Jun 04, 2015 - 5:03pm

    Reply to #67
    MarkBahner

    MarkBahner

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    Why am I here?

    Hi Robie,

    unless I'm wrong, there is little here with which you agree. Then, may you consider why are you here?

    Well, that would depend on how we define "little." For example, I definitely agree that Japan's national debt seems problematic (at least for people in Japan). But I tend to comment on things with which I don't agree, rather than things with which I do agree.

    I'm here mainly because future world economic growth and present and future energy technologies (and their environmental impacts) are subjects about which I've devoted quite a lot of thought and study.

    It pains me a bit to see people being led into conclusions that I think are obviously wrong (i.e., that world food production is likely to collapse because soils will be depleted, or that the world economy is likely to collapse due to lack of energy). So I try to point out that the research (as I understand it, and on things like energy I've studied the subject a whollllllle lot) leads to different conclusions.

    I also come because there's a (remote smiley) chance I may be wrong.

    Mark

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  • Thu, Jun 04, 2015 - 6:21pm

    Reply to #62

    Quercus bicolor

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 19 2008

    Posts: 190

    treebeard wrote:States of

    [quote=treebeard]

     States of non-duality, where the division between the perceiver and the thing perceived, are not quite what they are cracked up be.

    [/quote]

    I agree with that treebeard.  I've experienced a handful or two of those over the years, and it's amazing how little impact they have had on my day to day life a few weeks or even a few days later other than those times when I've kept on doing the work of staying present.

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  • Thu, Jun 04, 2015 - 7:23pm

    Reply to #66

    Quercus bicolor

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 190

    Doug wrote:Quote:You can

    [quote=Doug]

    [quote]You can swing it as nothing special about technology, but I think the thing that people don't want to hear is that there is nothing special about nature either. [/quote]

    I keep getting stuck on this point.  Perhaps this is OT and I acknowledge I know nothing of Krishnamurti and am not particularly taken by highly speculative or abstract thought patterns.  However, to speculate there is nothing special about nature is wildly wrong.

    As I think of nature, it encompasses all of life that we know of.  We have detected no life anywhere else in the universe, let alone so-called intelligent life.  I am totally willing to stipulate there probably is life elsewhere and probably intelligent life.  But, we haven't detected or communicated with such life.  Further, even if we do detect some life elsewhere, is it on a planet that would be liveable for higher life forms from this planet.  And, even if we do detect such life (a nearly infinitely small probability) can we get there?  The answer, in all probability, is no.  We haven't even figured out how to get to other planets in our solar system alive.  If distances are measured in light years (which any other destination would be), there is no way, Star Wars and Star Trek notwithstanding.

    Given all of that, nature as it is expressed on earth is indeed very special.  To my way of thinking, nothing is more important.  We must protect and preserve what we have.  There is no viable option.

    [/quote]

    Add to that the fact that we have evolved over millions of years to be finely tuned not just physically, but neurologically (sensory, emotional, etc.) to the natural environment as exists on this earth.  Can we adapt to different "off planet" environments with different stimuli while maintaining a functional social system and a healthy psychology?  Some evidence on "denatured" (i.e. urbanized or industrialized) environments on earth suggests the answer is "no".

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  • Thu, Jun 04, 2015 - 8:26pm

    #69

    New_Life

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 18 2011

    Posts: 185

    Mark - Stay!

    As long as you're not trolling let's hear you intelligently articulate your opinions, I can't remember which of Chris'es podcast guests challenged him to have more guests that disagree

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  • Thu, Jun 04, 2015 - 9:18pm

    Reply to #66
    Peak Prosperity Admin

    Peak Prosperity Admin

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 31 2017

    Posts: 1613

    Add to that the fact that we

    Add to that the fact that we have evolved over millions of years to be finely tuned not just physically, but neurologically (sensory, emotional, etc.) to the natural environment as exists on this earth.  Can we adapt to different "off planet" environments with different stimuli while maintaining a functional social system and a healthy psychology?  Some evidence on "denatured" (i.e. urbanized or industrialized) environments on earth suggests the answer is "no".

    Well I personally find city life more stressful than beautiful countryside for the most part, partly because I live in a poor area, and I find streets a bit claustrophobic. Camping and bathing in streams is a real treat. But humans are adapted to all sorts of extremes – deserts to ice fields, and regularly seek isolation in remote places. There's a long tradition of people isolating themselves for religious reasons – lamas in caves etc.

    But yeah, industrialisation is often too fast a process to adapt to, hence rickets used to be a problem in the industrial revolution UK – amongst other things. Nobody seems to have adapted to smog yet, and it doesn't look like fossil fuels are going to be around long enough for anything like that. But often urban living is OK, often described as beautiful, even. Just depends where you are.

    Come to that, humans haven't fully adapted to agriculture yet, hence all the tooth decay and obesity, and the trendiness of the paleo diet. But adaptation happens, somewhere along the line some people adapted to be able to digest milk, for example.

    Adaptation for permanently leaving Earth would be a step change again, or multiple ones, but it's in the works it seems.

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  • Thu, Jun 04, 2015 - 9:44pm

    Reply to #62
    Peak Prosperity Admin

    Peak Prosperity Admin

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 1613

    treebeard wrote:States of

    treebeard wrote:

    States of non-duality, where the division between the perceiver and the thing perceived, are not quite what they are cracked up be.

    I agree with that treebeard.  I've experienced a handful or two of those over the years, and it's amazing how little impact they have had on my day to day life a few weeks or even a few days later other than those times when I've kept on doing the work of staying present.

    I know what you mean. I thought it worth raising because I see so much about the Earth set against civilisation, and a widespread tendency to place a barrier between nature and civilisation, one as sacred the other as profane, and it seems misconceived. Possibly a hangover from monotheism – swap God for Gaia, add some original sin, say the sacred is always outside you somewhere, say that Gaia isn't really in control of everything but that you have free will to muck things up, and here's some commandments for you. Or is it swapping Gaia for God ? The old question – why does God allow man's evil if he's omnipotent? Why does Gaia make a species that messes her up out of her control? The answer is (seems to me)… they don't.

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  • Thu, Jun 04, 2015 - 10:12pm

    Reply to #58

    Chris Martenson

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 07 2007

    Posts: 4501

    More baseless, untested assertions

    [quote=MarkBahner]

    (…)

    Well, isn't it logical that economists would likely be a source of knowledge about future economic growth? Presumably, the CBO, whose projections Chris mocks as being completely unrealistic, has some economists. Do those economists at the CBO know what they're talking about?

    [/quote]

    No, that's not logical at all.  Economists have not predicted any of the many recessions in advance, their entire profession remains glued to 1700's versions of closed form equations, despite overwhelming evidence that the economy is an open source system.  This means, of course, that the economy is dependent on outside sources of energy for its complexity and order.

    For anybody curious this is laid out in beautiful detail in Erik Beinhocker's book The Origin Of Wealth.  

    To have "predicted" an increase in economic activity as energy extraction was increasing had nothing to do with economists knowing anything at all.  It just happened and it would have happened without a single economist noting anything or running incomplete equations attempting to explain it all.

    Which beings us to the next silly assertion (again being masqueraded as fact or at least a well considered and deep opinion):

    One way to check whether the CBO economists know what they're talking about would be to ask other economists whether the CBO is right, and that U.S. GDP (adjusted for inflation to 2013 dollars) can eventually equal $80 trillion. I don't think there's any controversy in the CBO analysis. I think every single economist contacted (Keynesian or not) would agree that the CBO is right, and Chris is wrong.

    Yeah, not so much.

    Peter Victor is one who says 'no' quite unequivocally and who also makes the awesome point that humans have been around for 125,000 generations but it's only in the last 8 of those that we've had the form of growth to which everyone now seems to have adjusted as normal and our divine birthright.

    Of course Herman Daly, and Bonaiuti and other ecological economists would heartily protest your blanket claim as well.  A pretty good summary of the obvious decline of economic returns across the sweep of history (spoiler alert: decreasing marginal returns is a 7 decade trend at present) can be found here.  There are LOTS of economists who have serious to grave doubts about endless growth.  They are quite easy to find.

    I don't mind being challenged at all, but I am completely allergic to people who make sweeping assertions, fail to back them up and then carry on as if having made a fine point.  It is this mind-set that I think is going to sink us, and I have low tolerance for it.  After all, arguing against unreasonable assertions is a waste of time.

    If Mark wants to show some data, perhaps a few calculations to demonstrate how the US is going to undergo a 470% increase in GDP he's going to also have to demonstrate where the resources for that are going to come from.  For example, one rule of thumb (that has been very consistent over many decades) is that each 1% increase in GDP will require 0.5% of electricity growth.  This would mean the US will need 230% more electricity than it currently consumes.  

    Since he's studied this issue extensively, this should be easy.  And, no, waving about a few Ray Kurzweil or Amory Lovin quotes about what we might be able to do won't cut it.  No and then a miracle happens! stuff is allowed here, because that stuff is really all just belief systems pretending to be wisdom.  

     

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  • Thu, Jun 04, 2015 - 11:16pm

    Reply to #58
    MarkBahner

    MarkBahner

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    Posts: 53

    How about putting your money where your mouth is?

    I wrote:

    I think every single economist contacted (Keynesian or not) would agree that the CBO is right, and Chris is wrong.

    Chris responds:

    Yeah, not so much

    OK, how about putting your money where your mouth is? Contact Peter Victor and Herman Daly and pose them this question:

    The U.S. Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says that by 2080, the GDP of the U.S. will approximately equal the present gross world product (approximately $80 trillion in 2015 dollars). I say that the GDP of the U.S. could never equal the present gross world product. Do you think I'm right, and the U.S. GDP could never equal the present gross world product?

    If they both agree with you that the U.S. GDP could never equal the present gross world product, I'll give you $40. If either one disagrees with you, you give me $10.

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  • Thu, Jun 04, 2015 - 11:37pm

    Reply to #58

    Adam Taggart

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 25 2009

    Posts: 2523

    No

    I'm wading in here, Mark, to enforce some limits, now that you're clearly over-stepping.

    Instead of demanding that Chris jump to your tune, one still unsubstantiated by anything but your opinion, how about you comply to this site's Discussion Guidelines & Rules and back up your assertions regarding 2080's GDP with some calculations, published theory, or anything remotely empirical?

    IF you take the time to do this, and IF Chris has the time, he MAY respond once you've given him something concrete to engage with.

    But he does not exist (nor do I) to chase down the whims of those too intellectually lazy to meet us halfway, on the terms this site community has agreed to. 

    I strongly suggest you put effort into making sure your next response complies with our posted guidelines. If not, odds are high you'll be hearing from our site moderators.

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  • Fri, Jun 05, 2015 - 12:41am

    #70

    SailAway

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 234

    Nature doesn’t care about our dreams!

    That was part of Tom Murphy response when asked by Theo Leggett of the BBC: Can the World Get Richer Forever?

    The discussion in the comments section of Tom’s blog is interesting and touches on the subject of growth of non-physical exchanges.  On the theoretical almost limitless growth of information flow here is his reply:

    I’m not quite sure how much we care to have: my brain has limited bandwidth and needs sleep sometimes, so I perceive some limits to how much information flow I want. –

    Interesting…

    Fred

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  • Fri, Jun 05, 2015 - 7:39am

    #71

    New_Life

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 185

    Intelligently articulated opinions

    To quote myself above, let’s be respectful and quote data.
    The reason I like people respectfully challenging views, is that I believe it follows the scientific method to bring out the truth.

    Every time I’ve seen Chris appropriately challenged, he seems to find another gear and explain facts with even greater clarity and share more evidence. He expertly separates facts from beliefs and opinions.

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  • Fri, Jun 05, 2015 - 8:31am

    #72
    David Allan

    David Allan

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    Transform the other

    This is one of your best posts treebeard. I was about to launch into something but deleted the lot. All I was attempting to do was transform the other.

    But old habits die hard. There seems to be a lot of confusion in this thread. I would simply suggest anyone interested learn a little about Integral Theory (Ken Wilber). It really is a brilliant map of the internal and external facets of our universe. I don't have a specific place to direct you. Just google it and follow your nose.

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  • Fri, Jun 05, 2015 - 12:24pm

    Reply to #72
    Peak Prosperity Admin

    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Posts: 1613

    Well, it would be nice to

    Well, it would be nice to read some Wilber, but there's way too much "genius" and "remarkable" and "brilliant" and "wilber says" for my taste. I'm not really into touching the hem of the robe of the great one, but go on, what should I read ?

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  • Fri, Jun 05, 2015 - 2:56pm

    Reply to #39

    Christopher H

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 120

    Bulldozers are tools, it's all in how they are used

    agitating prop wrote:

    I'm not anti-human but as a species people seem like an out of control rodent problem. Rats with bulldozers.

    I used to think this way, but not so much anymore.  The reason for that change is not because I don't think that if we continue on our current path we are essentially f—ed.  No, I believe that even more now.  The reason that I don't see us as "rats with bulldozers" is that there are growing instances of using tools like bulldozers and earthmovers to precipitate amazing and accelerated levels of ecological regeneration and restoration.

    I just finished taking Geoff Lawton's online Permaculture Design Course, and he has shown countless instances of using large earthmoving equipment to install landform features that help rehydrate landscapes, build soil, and bring degraded land into more abundance than we can possibly imagine.

    Then, there's this documentary by John D. Liu — that profiles ecological restoration in Ethiopia as well as an area larger than the entire country of Belgium in the Loess Plateau in China.  The latter at a cost of only $600 per acre, starting with one of the most degraded landscapes in the world that was transformed into abundance in only a decade's time, at a grand cost of $600 per acre.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4R-a55FiQv8

    The problem isn't that we have too big and destructive of a footprint.  The problem is that we have not discovered how to increase our handprint in working with natural systems.  Whether or not this can support the world's current population is an open question, but it certainly offers a better alternative than BAU or just surrendering to the notion that we are incapable of being anything but self-destructive.

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  • Fri, Jun 05, 2015 - 5:01pm

    Reply to #58
    MarkBahner

    MarkBahner

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    No, Adam, the burden of proof is on Chris. (And it's heavy.)

    Instead of demanding that Chris jump to your tune, one still unsubstantiated by anything but your opinion,…

    You're very confused, Adam. It's not my opinion. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) of the U.S. government has estimated that, circa 2077, the U.S. GDP will be about $70 trillion (in year 2013 dollars).

    Chris Martenson (Bachelors in biology, PhD in…Pathology? Something related to Neuroscience? Worked in the pharmaceutical industry…) then asked, "Does that make any sense to anybody at all?"

    The answer, obviously, is that it makes sense to the CBO. The CBO is widely respected as a non-partisan expert evaluator of economic issues. Furthermore, as I pointed out, the CBO projections are in no way controversial. I provided links to blogs of economists across the broad political (Democratic, Republican, libertarian) and philosophical (Keynesian, Monetarist, Austrian) spectrum, and invited him to ask those economists whether they thought the CBO was right or Chris was right.

    So the answer is that the CBO–and probably the overwhelming majority of the economics profession–thinks that the CBO projections make sense.

    It is up to Chris (and you, if you agree with him) to explain why the CBO projections don't make sense, and why the U.S. GDP could never equal the present world GDP.

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  • Fri, Jun 05, 2015 - 6:00pm

    Reply to #58

    SailAway

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 11 2010

    Posts: 234

    Re: No, Adam, the burden of proof is on Chris.

    Mark,

    To me the CBO chart looks like a pure interpolation in the future of the past growth. Before doing this graph, have they really asked themselves where we will be in the energy, natural resources and environment stories in 2077? Or they just assumed somehow we’ll figure it out? Or maybe they just assumed the real world doesn’t matter? How can you possibly be so confident about the future knowing all the fundamental challenges that we are going to face in the real world over the coming decades?

    Fred

     

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  • Fri, Jun 05, 2015 - 6:01pm

    Reply to #39
    agitating prop

    agitating prop

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 28 2009

    Posts: 282

    CAH wrote:agitating prop

    [quote=CAH]

    agitating prop wrote:

    I'm not anti-human but as a species people seem like an out of control rodent problem. Rats with bulldozers.

    I used to think this way, but not so much anymore.  The reason for that change is not because I don't think that if we continue on our current path we are essentially f—ed.  No, I believe that even more now.  The reason that I don't see us as "rats with bulldozers" is that there are growing instances of using tools like bulldozers and earthmovers to precipitate amazing and accelerated levels of ecological regeneration and restoration.

    I just finished taking Geoff Lawton's online Permaculture Design Course, and he has shown countless instances of using large earthmoving equipment to install landform features that help rehydrate landscapes, build soil, and bring degraded land into more abundance than we can possibly imagine.

    Then, there's this documentary by John D. Liu — that profiles ecological restoration in Ethiopia as well as an area larger than the entire country of Belgium in the Loess Plateau in China.  The latter at a cost of only $600 per acre, starting with one of the most degraded landscapes in the world that was transformed into abundance in only a decade's time, at a grand cost of $600 per acre.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4R-a55FiQv8

    The problem isn't that we have too big and destructive of a footprint.  The problem is that we have not discovered how to increase our handprint in working with natural systems.  Whether or not this can support the world's current population is an open question, but it certainly offers a better alternative than BAU or just surrendering to the notion that we are incapable of being anything but self-destructive.

    [/quote]

    It goes without saying that bulldozers can also be used for beneficial purposes. But nothing beats just simply leaving Mother Nature alone, in the first place.

    We've left footprints all over her house, fowled her water and wrecked her climate. Now she's angry. Mother Nature has become a Gaiian Mommie Dearest —  and sending a crew with bulldozers over to her house to 'help make things right' when her home encompasses the entire globe, is not going to touch the central problem.

    And what with the law of unintended consequences, increasing our hand print might look a lot like sending a kindergarten class with grape jelly covered hands over to clean her windows. 

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  • Fri, Jun 05, 2015 - 6:07pm

    Reply to #58

    ScottT

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    Posts: 35

    Bias denial

    The CBO is widely respected as a non-partisan expertevaluator of economic issues. Furthermore, as I pointed out, the CBO projections are in no way controversial.

    I think it's short sighted to think that the government produces facts and figures without a bias.  At the end of the day the government wants growth of the economy because ultimately it's what gets politicians (re) elected!  

    I would be very careful about blindly accepting the CBO's  forecasts, facts and figures.  If they seem too good to be true especially when logical data or arguments are presented against such figures, such as here at PP, they probably are.  You know what they say about forecasts…they are always wrong.

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  • Fri, Jun 05, 2015 - 6:08pm

    Reply to #58
    agitating prop

    agitating prop

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 28 2009

    Posts: 282

    MarkBahner wrote:Instead of

    [quote=MarkBahner]

    Instead of demanding that Chris jump to your tune, one still unsubstantiated by anything but your opinion,…

    You're very confused, Adam. It's not my opinion. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) of the U.S. government has estimated that, circa 2077, the U.S. GDP will be about $70 trillion (in year 2013 dollars).

    Chris Martenson (Bachelors in biology, PhD in…Pathology? Something related to Neuroscience? Worked in the pharmaceutical industry…) then asked, "Does that make any sense to anybody at all?"

    The answer, obviously, is that it makes sense to the CBO. The CBO is widely respected as a non-partisan expert evaluator of economic issues. Furthermore, as I pointed out, the CBO projections are in no way controversial. I provided links to blogs of economists across the broad political (Democratic, Republican, libertarian) and philosophical (Keynesian, Monetarist, Austrian) spectrum, and invited him to ask those economists whether they thought the CBO was right or Chris was right.

    So the answer is that the CBO–and probably the overwhelming majority of the economics profession–thinks that the CBO projections make sense.

    It is up to Chris (and you, if you agree with him) to explain why the CBO projections don't make sense, and why the U.S. GDP could never equal the present world GDP.

    [/quote]

    Is the cbo taking externalities into account or simply extrapolating from current trends? If it is not taking into account, for example, the effect of wwater shortages, climate change, all kinds of environmental problems, it's not worth quoting. It is boneheaded and does require scientific facts to anchor it in reality. 

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  • Fri, Jun 05, 2015 - 6:24pm

    Reply to #39

    Christopher H

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 29 2009

    Posts: 120

    Respectfully, agitating prop, I could not disagree more

    I honestly believe that to simply leave nature alone at this point would be one of the worst things that we could do, almost as bad as trying to continue with BAU.  Why?  Because when we get down to it, we are a part of nature.  Implying that we can somehow leave her alone is based upon the assumption that we are somehow apart from her.

    It's this concept of separation that is at the heart of most of the problems we currently have.  It's a good part of what got us to the point that we currently find ourselves.  Only by abandoning that false conception of the world, and realizing that our purpose in nature, as humans, is to use the gift of intellect we have been given to work in harmony with nature.  It is in the healing of ecosystems that we will heal ourselves.  So long as we stay away from that, we will continue to be wounded, flailing about and striking out as hurt and wounded people typically do.  As the saying goes, "Hurt people hurt people."

    Furthermore, if we are to save ourselves, it may be the only choice we have.  Watching the documentary I posted was one of the most inspirational things I've ever come across.  It helped me realize that I could use my academic training and professional experience as a civil engineer, and instead of feeling shame for all of the destruction my profession has caused and continues to cause to ecosystems and watersheds, I could instead pursue a path where that knowledge was applied toward positive, restorative ends.  Now that's what I devote myself toward in my spare time, with the goal of making it my paying gig as a business venture.  It takes nature hundreds of years to generate an inch of new topsoil. 

    Through conscious interacton and intervention, we can help her to create it in only a couple of years.  I fail to see how leaving her alone in this instance is somehow "better."

    Finally, I reject the concept of focusing on the entire globe, because I don't have to necessarily fix the entire globe.  What I do have to do is to focus on living within the limits of my watershed and bioregion, and to apply my gifts toward making it better.  If that leads me to the opportunity to engage in projects in other watersheds and bioregions, and to help teach others how to make their homes better (like Geoff Lawton has been able to do), then all the better. 

    I'd much rather start with the question of, "How can I do something to make things better?" instead of, "How do I get myself and others to be less bad?"

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  • Fri, Jun 05, 2015 - 6:32pm

    #73

    Time2help

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 08 2011

    Posts: 2225

    Galactic BS

    The current economics profession (and the central banks that espouse it) have in large part brought the world to the edge of an unmitigated disaster. The CBO might as well be a parrot.

    Growth, Dave, we need Growth.

    I have no words… 

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  • Fri, Jun 05, 2015 - 6:51pm

    Reply to #58

    ScottT

    Status Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 35

    CBO assumptions

    Is the cbo taking externalities into account or simply extrapolating from current trends?

    Probably not…

    A further caveat is that CBO’s long-term projections are not predictions of what CBO thinks is likely to happen. Instead, CBO uses simple assumptions to represent aspects of current policies and then projects what would happen if those policies were mechanically followed into the future. Source

    This is a biggie worth watching over the coming years…

     If current laws governing taxes and spending stayed generally the same—an assumption that underlies CBO’s 10-year baseline budget projections—source

     

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  • Fri, Jun 05, 2015 - 6:55pm

    #74
    agitating prop

    agitating prop

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 28 2009

    Posts: 282

    CAH,To live as part of

    CAH,

    To live as part of nature, we would have to expose ourselves to nature. No antibiotics, no prenatal care, no agriculture, particularly modern methods. We have all kinds of barriers that set us apart from the viccisitudes of the natural world.  

     

    When we take hikes through the wilderness and feel 'at one' with the forest, that feeling is predicated on a massive infrastructure that has manufactured the steel water bottle we pack water in (from China). The REI duds, incorporating Lycra, which is oil based and cheap labor, which is morally repugnant.  If you drive to that little piece of paradise….??

    We can't restore lost biodiversity. When animals become extinct they are just that … Done. 

    As far as people being bad. People are willfully ignorant, blind and can be just plain stupid. Morally speaking there are actually a few very bad people out there. I think that what people actually need and what they will get, is to be scared out of their wits by climate events. 

    I am glad you have hope and a job that supports it. I am hoping for an epic climate event that will shake humanity to its foundations. 

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  • Fri, Jun 05, 2015 - 6:57pm

    #75
    efarmer.ny

    efarmer.ny

    Status Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 5

    Historical Accuracy of CBO

    I am not an economist. I am not an historian. I can't read this whole thing and parse out the true from the false. Maybe I should not trust this source. But here is what they came up with.

    CONCLUSION
    The CBO’s budget projections are widely followed by economic policymakers, investors,
    and other financial participants. In this paper, we analyze 34 years of CBO budget projections in
    an attempt to determine the extent to which policymakers and the public should rely on such
    projections. It is not our intent to malign the CBO. Rather, our purpose is to ascertain whether
    the process that produces the baseline budget projections yields reasonably accurate results, given
    the constraints they face. Our results suggest several conclusions. First, and not surprisingly,
    projections for longer horizons are considerably worse than those for shorter horizons.

    Obviously there is more they say…

    Source (2012, quoted material from p. 17)

    And other examinations are available through your favorite search engine.

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  • Fri, Jun 05, 2015 - 6:59pm

    Reply to #39

    ScottT

    Status Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 35

    Working with Nature

    Great points CAH. I am presently doing what you are doing…

    focus on living within the limits of my watershed and bioregion, and to apply my gifts toward making it better.  If that leads me to the opportunity to engage in projects in other watersheds and bioregions, and to help teach others how to make their homes better (like Geoff Lawton has been able to do), then all the better.

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  • Fri, Jun 05, 2015 - 7:06pm

    Reply to #74

    Christopher H

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 29 2009

    Posts: 120

    If we don't have hope, then all else is ultimately lost

    I think that we have to maintain a sense of hope about the future.  Not the kind of empty, saccharine hope that was used as a marketing slogan in the 2008 election, but the kind of real hope where we trust that if we stay true to our higher calling, and spread our gifts into the world, that we can achieve positive things in the future.

    I do not have a job that supports my hope.  Rather, I am endeavoring to create a livelihood around it.  I know that it will likely not be anywhere close to as financially rewarding as my current job.  But I also am confident that if I am able to pull this off, that my life will become richer and more abundant in countless ways.  Maybe I will make it work, maybe I won't — but the important thing is that I have to give it a go.

    I am hoping for an epic climate event that will shake humanity to its foundations.

    Sorry, I can't join you in that "hope."

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  • Fri, Jun 05, 2015 - 7:13pm

    #76
    efarmer.ny

    efarmer.ny

    Status Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 5

    The Man Who Created Paradise

    A short story by Gene Logsdon about a man and his bulldozer…

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  • Fri, Jun 05, 2015 - 7:15pm

    Reply to #74
    agitating prop

    agitating prop

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 28 2009

    Posts: 282

    CAH wrote:I think that we

    [quote=CAH]

    I think that we have to maintain a sense of hope about the future.  Not the kind of empty, saccharine hope that was used as a marketing slogan in the 2008 election, but the kind of real hope where we trust that if we stay true to our higher calling, and spread our gifts into the world, that we can achieve positive things in the future.

    I do not have a job that supports my hope.  Rather, I am endeavoring to create a livelihood around it.  I know that it will likely not be anywhere close to as financially rewarding as my current job.  But I also am confident that if I am able to pull this off, that my life will become richer and more abundant in countless ways.  Maybe I will make it work, maybe I won't — but the important thing is that I have to give it a go.

    I am hoping for an epic climate event that will shake humanity to its foundations.

    Sorry, I can't join you in that "hope."

    [/quote]

     

    I am unsure about what you mean by 'our gifts'. If I understand you correctly, you mean we should all employ our talents to restore the environment?  How do you see this happening in a substantial way without popular support?  The popular support required by taxing the wealthiest appropriately would require something that scared them. To the Koch brothers the environment is something to be raped, for example. The climate is fighting back. But she has to fight HARDER. You can't appease monsters with your hope. 

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  • Fri, Jun 05, 2015 - 7:29pm

    Reply to #74

    Christopher H

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 29 2009

    Posts: 120

    No, you don't understand me correctly.

    When I say "our gifts," what I am referring to is the need to approach the world and our fellow man from a spirit of service, rather than trying to get what we can out of the interaction.  Now, that being said, I have no control over what anyone else does in response — all I can do is try and influence them through my example.

    I can't waste time on worrying about what the Koch brothers think, nor do I think that any strategies involving centralized authorities taxing the very elites who control those centralized authorities have a snowball's chance in hell of working.  I have control over one thing — my own actions.  And by living my life in a way that demonstrates an alternative to BAU, those in my immediate neighborhood might look at what I'm doing and start making similar, positive changes in their own lives and the way they show up in the world.  And so on.

    Is any of this rapid change?  No?  Is it a long, slow, slog?  Absolutely.  But I think that the desire for immediate change to "fix" things is what got us in this mix to begin with.  I have no intention of appeasing anyone or anything with my hope.  I'm just determined to show up in the world and do whatever I can to make my corner of it a little better of a place.  Ultimately, I'll take that over doomer fantasies or appeals to convert everyone to a certain way of thinking seven days a week and twice on Tuesday.

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  • Fri, Jun 05, 2015 - 8:02pm

    #77
    Peak Prosperity Admin

    Peak Prosperity Admin

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 31 2017

    Posts: 1613

    A sensible fellow who knows

    A sensible fellow who knows he is part of nature.

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  • Fri, Jun 05, 2015 - 8:22pm

    #78

    davefairtex

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 03 2008

    Posts: 3107

    CBO projections

    MB-

    So CBO projections are interesting, but they assume no recessions, and like most economists, no limits on growth – population can grow infinitely, energy use infinite, resources are infinite, etc.  If they do speak of such things – can you please include a reference?

    While I'm not hobbled by a PhD in Economics, my review of GDP growth and its inextricable link to energy production growth tells me that if we're generally not growing our liquid fuel supplies over the next 60 years, the Hirsch Report suggests we're going to have a very hard time  staying even, much less growing at the "standard" rate of 2.5% per year, assuming no business cycle.

    If we assume that a miracle occurs – LENR might be one, zero point energy, intervention by space aliens (hey, could happen) – then I believe the CBO ends up being right.  Assuming population keeps growing, and we figure out a way to rebuild our soil before we starve.

    But CBO doesn't mention energy.  Neither do the mainstream economists.  From what I can tell, they just postulate that more resources appear from "somewhere" as a result of price signals.  Seems like a flaw in logic that ends up only biting them once – once a peak resources condition manifests, when no more resources can possibly appear because they simply don't exist at economical concentrations any longer.

    Its a logic flaw I've never heard any mainstream economist talk about.  Perhaps resources will appear from the asteroids given the correct price signal – but I'd like the mechanism explained in greater detail, since I'm used to designing actual systems that have to work in the real world, and this is one of those "known unknowns" that I'd like to get nailed down before we actually commit to the schedule.

    Space travel, mining asteroids, if all that happens due to a new energy discovery, we're golden.  Short of that…CBO will be wrong.  Laws of physics, etc.

     

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  • Fri, Jun 05, 2015 - 8:30pm

    Reply to #58
    MarkBahner

    MarkBahner

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    Joined: May 25 2012

    Posts: 53

    OK, taking those things into account, what will the GDP be?

    If it (the CBO) is not taking into account, for example, the effect of water shortages, climate change, all kinds of environmental problems, it's not worth quoting.

    That's not how science works. The CBO produced estimate of U.S. GDP through the 21st century. The graph basically predicted a GDP (in 2013 dollars) of about $72 trillion in the year 2080 (i.e., approximately equal to the present gross world product). An approximate tabular version of the CBO graph is:

    Year –> GDP (in 2013 dollars) –>Annual growth rate in interval (% per year)

    2013 –> $17 trillion 

    2020 –> $20 trillion –> 2.3%/year

    2040 –> $30 trillion –> 2.1%/year

    2060 –> $49 trillion –> 2.5%/year

    2080 –> $72 trillion –> 1.9%/year

    2090 –> $90 trillion –> 1.2%/year

    To which Chris responded: "By 2080 when this is supposed to take place, the entire world will be past the peak of all known sources of energy. And Phosphate. And soil. And fresh water. And oceanic fish biomass. And who knows what else."

    Now you say the CBO prediction needs to take into account, "for example, the effect of water shortages, climate change, all kinds of environmental problems."

    Well, whatever. That isn't science. Einstein didn't say that Newton was wrong, and clocks aboard a satellite would not read the same as clocks on earth. Einstein said how much different they would read, and why.

    So if Chris thinks "peak soil" (or "peak phosphate" or "peak fresh water"…or whatever) has some sort of big impact on the future economic growth of the U.S., he needs to show how the curve of U.S. economic growth in the U.S. in the 21st century actually will look, given whatever things he thinks are important.

    And you need to either take what he has and add your own stuff, or accept his curve as the best guess. It's not science to say, "their graph is wrong, but I can't tell you what the right graph is." 

    When someone says a scientific (e.g. economic) prediction is wrong, the burden of proof is on the person saying the prediction is wrong to provide a better prediction. Then people in the future can look back and see who was right and who was wrong. (Or perhaps both the CBO predictions and Chris's/your predictions will be much too low.) (Or perhaps a very large meteor will unexpectedly strike earth and kill 90% of the population, and everyone will understand that such an event wasn't expected, and so neither the CBO nor Chris's/your predictions can be faulted.) 

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  • Fri, Jun 05, 2015 - 8:38pm

    #79
    Peak Prosperity Admin

    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Joined: Oct 31 2017

    Posts: 1613

    I went to have a look at this

    I went to have a look at this 100 harvests thing, and some kind person at a farmers forum had linked the academic work.

    http://thefarmingforum.co.uk/index.php?threads/only-100-harvests-left.33474/

    https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/news/nr/allotments-could-be-key-sustainable-farming-1.370522

    Which tells us some really cool things about allotments, and how fertile they are compared to intensively farmed land.

    I'm not convinced that the UK is in trouble regarding food supply, starting with the 30% of food that gets thrown away, and the amount of energy wasted removing nutrients. The main problem is the social structure which means a million people went to food banks last year, which is set to get worse. I know people involved in both food banks and allotments, BTW. certainly when the financial crisis hit allotments were rapidly snapped up as wages dropped and food price went up.

    I don't doubt the soils have been depleted, but 100 years is a long time to sort it out and divert some human pee and poo onto the fields, though it might take some serious riots to change things.

    Elsewhere, though, climate change will be really tough on food supplies, Russian wheat harvest, Arab Spring etc etc. I expect more turmoil.

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  • Fri, Jun 05, 2015 - 8:43pm

    #80
    Peak Prosperity Admin

    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Posts: 1613

    BTW, what happens when

    BTW, what happens when oestrogen and cocaine laden pee goes on vegetables ?

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  • Fri, Jun 05, 2015 - 8:49pm

    Reply to #58
    Peak Prosperity Admin

    Peak Prosperity Admin

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 31 2017

    Posts: 1613

    Won't everything be in Yuan

    Won't everything be in Yuan or bitcoin by then ?

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  • Fri, Jun 05, 2015 - 9:19pm

    Reply to #58

    davefairtex

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 03 2008

    Posts: 3107

    falsification

    MB-

    So if Chris thinks "peak soil" (or "peak phosphate" or "peak fresh water"…or whatever) has some sort of big impact on the future economic growth of the U.S., he needs to show how the curve of U.S. economic growth in the U.S. in the 21st century actually will look, given whatever things he thinks are important.

    Nah, he doesn't.

    If someone draws a projection of human population on the earth, and I can see that it postulates that the human population residing on the earth will eventually exceed the number of atoms on the earth itself, I am perfectly within my "scientific" rights to call bullshit on the projection without needing to generate my own population projection.

    This scientific process is called falsification.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falsification: "The act of disproving a proposition, hypothesis, or theory"

    There is no requirement for Chris to supply his own projections in order to falsify those made by the CBO, all he need do is prove that the CBO has made a fatal and faulty assumption – in this case, the assumption that resources will simply appear given a large enough price signal.

    Hope that helps.

     

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  • Fri, Jun 05, 2015 - 9:52pm

    #81

    New_Life

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 18 2011

    Posts: 185

    CBO vs Chris

    The CBO + economists are a subset of human biology.

    My money is on the chap with the BSc in Biology and PhD in a pathology.

    His previous qualifications do not pigeon hole his intellect of other fields, Chris examines our world holistically.

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  • Fri, Jun 05, 2015 - 9:53pm

    Reply to #58

    Adam Taggart

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 25 2009

    Posts: 2523

    Lazy and Obtuse

    Well, at least you've made the decision easy for us, Mark. You've completely missed/ignored the point of my earlier intervention, so your comments will now be on moderator review. They will only be posted if they present an empirical argument for your position (i.e., if you think the CBO estimates are believable, what are your specific reasons why besides "The CBO says so"?)

    As to Chris' position on the matter, it has been clearly presented in myriad ways, over years. I've lost count of the number of articles we've published on the topic of how resource constraints will place limits on future economic growth, as well as how the government-published numbers (including GDP) are extremely specious.

    Here are several:

    Of course, these and the many other related articles he's posted on these topics join the 4.5 hours of Crash Course videos, the Crash Course book, the overall PeakProsperity.com website and the years of speaking engagements and media appearances Chris has conducted — all for the purpose of explaining why future economic growth (read: GDP growth) is slamming into limits created by growing resource scarcity. And that the establishment mindset of our economic and social leaders (read: the mainstream economists you're so fond of) is, so far, unaware of or in denial of this.

    I think Dave put it well, that to use data and math to identify flaws in a model is indeed a sufficient act of a scientific and curious mind. Chris is not required to construct a competing GDP methodology to prove his point. Though for future reference: instead of pushing an unfounded demand, you could have simply asked him What type of growth curve for GDP would you expect instead over the next 5 decades? I'm confident he would have not only had an informed idea on the matter, he would have been happy to share it.

    And also for future reference: if it's so important to you to get the opinion of certain economists, fine. That's your prerogative. However, do your own legwork. 

    So… by your continued closed-mindedness to our feedback and insistence we dance to your tune, you've shown yourself to be both lazy AND obtuse. The good news is we don't need to suffer your tone-deaf bloviation anymore, as you are now placed on moderator review. IF you can add constructively (read: empirically) to the debate, your future comments will be posted. If not, good riddance.

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  • Fri, Jun 05, 2015 - 9:54pm

    Reply to #74
    agitating prop

    agitating prop

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 282

    CAH wrote:When I say "our

    [quote=CAH]

    When I say "our gifts," what I am referring to is the need to approach the world and our fellow man from a spirit of service, rather than trying to get what we can out of the interaction.  Now, that being said, I have no control over what anyone else does in response — all I can do is try and influence them through my example.

    I can't waste time on worrying about what the Koch brothers think, nor do I think that any strategies involving centralized authorities taxing the very elites who control those centralized authorities have a snowball's chance in hell of working.  I have control over one thing — my own actions.  And by living my life in a way that demonstrates an alternative to BAU, those in my immediate neighborhood might look at what I'm doing and start making similar, positive changes in their own lives and the way they show up in the world.  And so on.

    Is any of this rapid change?  No?  Is it a long, slow, slog?  Absolutely.  But I think that the desire for immediate change to "fix" things is what got us in this mix to begin with.  I have no intention of appeasing anyone or anything with my hope.  I'm just determined to show up in the world and do whatever I can to make my corner of it a little better of a place.  Ultimately, I'll take that over doomer fantasies or appeals to convert everyone to a certain way of thinking seven days a week and twice on Tuesday.

    [/quote]

    An immediate desire to fix things, implemented under Jimmy Carter and then undermined by subsequent administrations, could have easily turned things around.  Instead we are facing climate cataclysm, Mother Nature's wrath.  A long slow slog would be fast tracked if those in power felt personally threatened by climate fiasco.  And, of course, the general population facing the full brunt of droughts, flooding, etc… would comply. Mass extinctions through mechanical displacement of animal populations, among other factors, doesn't seem to be enough. 

    I don't mean to minimize your efforts.  I am just trying to put the scope of the problem into perspective as Chris has done in his article.  

    Hope doesn't break through denial.  A problem has to be acknowledged on a cerebral level and then FELT emotionally and through all the sensory apparatus for it to be real to them.  We are insulated from nature in a profound way.  We watch decay on TV and encounter it locally, at times,  but then return to our safe artificial environments.  

    Hope is the icing on the cake after fear moves people to get cooking by breaking through denial. 

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  • Fri, Jun 05, 2015 - 10:19pm

    #82
    agitating prop

    agitating prop

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    Posts: 282

    CAH,Maybe I should explain a

    CAH,

    Maybe I should explain a little better here. I feel a 'living on two worlds' nearly took hold of me. I felt that I had devoted so much time to thinking about this subject and have done so many things, on a local level and in the way I live my life, that I could just kick back.

    I had a sense of 'time left' and not wanting to compromise my peace of mind and health with even thinking of too much ugliness.  I am VERY typical for my age.  I felt that being positive and hopeful was the best strategy. 

    It IS part of the answer and I appreciate all the people who are working their butts off trying to change things.  Ultimately, though, I think we also have to consider that hope has it's limits and can easily segue into complacency for many people (like me) Personally, I think it's my responsibility to, at the very least, think about tptb, what motivates them and try to assess what it would take to get them to change.  

     

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  • Fri, Jun 05, 2015 - 11:03pm

    Reply to #58
    Luke Moffat

    Luke Moffat

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 25 2014

    Posts: 365

    MarkBahner wrote:Instead of

    [quote=MarkBahner]

    Instead of demanding that Chris jump to your tune, one still unsubstantiated by anything but your opinion,…

    You're very confused, Adam. It's not my opinion. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) of the U.S. government has estimated that, circa 2077, the U.S. GDP will be about $70 trillion (in year 2013 dollars).

    [/quote]

    ooh, 'estimated'. Can i use that word? Pretty please…

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  • Fri, Jun 05, 2015 - 11:17pm

    Reply to #79
    Luke Moffat

    Luke Moffat

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 25 2014

    Posts: 365

    Deflation?

    [quote=Carbon Blob]

     BTW. certainly when the financial crisis hit allotments were rapidly snapped up as wages dropped and food price went up.

    [/quote]

    Eh? In the UK? Where did you get that? Who was bidding up the food prices if wages came down and oil came down?

    Info here and here

    "With milk, cheese, eggs, vegetables and convenience food all cheaper than they were a year ago, fresh food prices were down 1.2%, the deepest deflation since the BRC shop price index began in December 2006."

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  • Sat, Jun 06, 2015 - 1:04am

    Reply to #79
    Peak Prosperity Admin

    Peak Prosperity Admin

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 31 2017

    Posts: 1613

    "Eh? In the UK? Where did you

    "Eh? In the UK? Where did you get that? "

     

    Gregg's

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  • Sat, Jun 06, 2015 - 4:50am

    Reply to #58

    mememonkey

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Nov 01 2009

    Posts: 99

    CBO Discuss New Energy resource that WILL allow unlimited growth

    [quote=MarkBahner]

    The answer, obviously, is that it makes sense to the CBO. The CBO is widely respected as a non-partisan expert evaluator of economic issues. Furthermore, as I pointed out, the CBO projections are in no way controversial.

    So the answer is that the CBO–and probably the overwhelming majority of the economics profession–thinks that the CBO projections make sense.

     

    [/quote]

    Here is a short video clip demonstrating similar consensus logic as the CBO discuss  what plants crave.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c708Rinx6hE

     

    mememonkey

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  • Sat, Jun 06, 2015 - 6:37am

    Reply to #58

    Sterling Cornaby

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 05 2012

    Posts: 150

    Dffttyhgfrds

    [quote=MarkBahner]

    Now you say the CBO prediction needs to take into account, "for example, the effect of water shortages, climate change, all kinds of environmental problems." 

    Well, whatever. That isn't science. Einstein didn't say that Newton was wrong, and clocks aboard a satellite would not read the same as clocks on earth. Einstein said how much different they would read, and why.

    So if Chris thinks "peak soil" (or "peak phosphate" or "peak fresh water"…or whatever) has some sort of big impact on the future economic growth of the U.S., he needs to show how the curve of U.S. economic growth in the U.S. in the 21st century actually will look, given whatever things he thinks are important.

    And you need to either take what he has and add your own stuff, or accept his curve as the best guess. It's not science to say, "their graph is wrong, but I can't tell you what the right graph is." 

    When someone says a scientific (e.g. economic) prediction is wrong, the burden of proof is on the person saying the prediction is wrong to provide a better prediction. Then people in the future can look back and see who was right and who was wrong. (Or perhaps both the CBO predictions and Chris's/your predictions will be much too low.) (Or perhaps a very large meteor will unexpectedly strike earth and kill 90% of the population, and everyone will understand that such an event wasn't expected, and so neither the CBO nor Chris's/your predictions can be faulted.) 

    [/quote]

    OK me being a PhD physicist (using my authority?!?!) I am crying 'foul' on this logical fallacy of appeal to authority.  I do not care one wit or tittle about what Einstein or Newton said.  Physics is about asking nature about her mysteries.  Yes, these guys exposed some of nature's mysteries, but I am sure you are aware even though we understand more stuff then ever before, nature still has a lot of secrets. Do not forget, nature is the master of physics and not any of us, and she is the one playing this game.  As an hard core experimentalist, I only trust theories if l don't have time to ask nature (in an experiment).  Even perfect theories are prone to gross errors because of us, because we —all of us— are quite good of putting garbage into a 'perfect' theory and getting garbage out.  Be very careful with appeals to authority, they do get many things right, but when they are really wrong they are monumentally wrong.  
     
    Also, I am trying to understand you MarkB.  I find it very entertaining that you are challenging stuff here, but why?  Why defend the CBO?  Are you just messing around, trying to find out something or what?  
     
    All I can say is  I trust nature more then I trust physicists, and I trust economies more then I trust economists. 
    "We shall see"
     
     
     
     
    Wow, this thread will not quit!

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  • Sat, Jun 06, 2015 - 9:52am

    #83
    treebeard

    treebeard

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 18 2010

    Posts: 551

    Psychotic break

    CAH has hit the nail on the head.  Many people have written more eloquently on this subject than I will ever be able to.  This has been a subject of discussion many times here before.  Descartes has often been fingered as the father of the psychotic break in western philosophy, others take it back to the roots of the Judeo-Christian tradition, others to Aristotle and Plato.  "I think, there for I am", the statement that is the foundation or our narcissistic me centered, self destructive culture.  And even as we explore the limits of exponential growth here, we still try to solve the problem with the old narcissistic mind set, so deeply ingrained in the culture it is.  New wine going into old skins.

    Indeed, the destruction of the division between the perceiver and the thing perceived is the ticket in, but we don't take it seriously, when we return to our normal perceptual structures, it becomes another self centered experience.  It is only through the crisis that is about to destroy our current way of life that we will be transformed.  But even that we see backwards, it is something bad that is happening to us, because somebody else is doing something wrong.  How long will we live in unconscious pain?

    Oh, how I hate to write, but I feel compelled to do so!!!  I did not want to incarnate here and now, when so many others were fighting to do so, at a time of great planetary transformation, at a point of great discontinuity. Ahhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!  Even the prince of peace said let this cup pass me by. Why me!!???

    Do you understand how brave and amazing you all are, that you came here now to do this work.  With such earnestness and sincerity. I am a much more reluctant participant.  I have opened the doors or perception to fast and did not build a strong enough heart to bear what I see.  I have been standing alone on this precipice for to long. Perhaps we will make it where others have not. Perhaps it does not matter in the way that I think that it does, perhaps that is what I am here learn, we will succeed even if we fail. That is a hard lesson to learn, but maybe that is a way to find our hearts.

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  • Sat, Jun 06, 2015 - 10:23am

    Reply to #58

    Michael_Rudmin

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 25 2014

    Posts: 836

    CBO NOT an expert.

    The CBO is NOT widely respected, and is not an expert. Indeed, they don’t claim to be. They are a clearinghouse for political lies to achieve a level of political respectability.
    All the time, the CBO acknowledges that their numbers have nothing to do with reality,but are constrained by the limitations Congress puts on their modeling to achieve the statistical lie that Congress wants to achieve.

    So even the CBO does not respect itself as an expert.

    Here’s one: if the tax and investment structure remains the same…

    Since when has the tax and investment structure remained the same for EVEN THREE years during normal times? Has there ever been an abnormal time in which they have remained the same for three years?

    And it is based on this, that balanced budgets are declared “within twenty years”.

    Has THAT ever happened? How long has it been before the assumptions of that balanced budget have been blown sky high?

    So non-partisan? Sometimes, yes. Expert? No. Respected? Only if you put an asterisk “by politicains, for politicianse, truth need not apply”.

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  • Sat, Jun 06, 2015 - 11:08am

    #84
    treebeard

    treebeard

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 18 2010

    Posts: 551

    CBO, ha ha ha ha!

    To misconstrue what the CBO does as any form of serious prognostication is absurd.  It is a mere bureaucratic projection of the status quo into the future so that the completely absurd budget process in Washington can take on the semblance of sanity.  The "experts" the economic field didn't see the financial crisis of 2008 until they walked deaf, dumb and blind into the middle of the s^#t storm.

    Clinging to the "experts" at a time like this is a very dangerous thing.  By definition an expert is a person who has "comprehensive and authoritative knowledge". Authorities are by definition the keepers of the current status quo, and in transformative times they can be counted on to be wrong.  It is a time to beyond verification of the truth by virtue of the title of the person speaking. The thing must be verified in real time by direct perception, and as recounted in this thread multiple times, such things are entirely possible by many modalities.

    You must become your own expert, anything else is a waste of your very valuable time.

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  • Sat, Jun 06, 2015 - 12:20pm

    Reply to #79
    Peak Prosperity Admin

    Peak Prosperity Admin

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 31 2017

    Posts: 1613

    Luke Moffat wrote:Carbon

    [quote=Luke Moffat]

    [quote=Carbon Blob]

     BTW. Certainly when the financial crisis hit allotments were rapidly snapped up as wages dropped and food price went up.

    [/quote]

    Eh? In the UK? Where did you get that? Who was bidding up the food prices if wages came down and oil came down?

    Info here and here

    "With milk, cheese, eggs, vegetables and convenience food all cheaper than they were a year ago, fresh food prices were down 1.2%, the deepest deflation since the BRC shop price index began in December 2006."

    [/quote]

    OK the food price was caused by oil price rise

     

    … but the timing was pretty much the same (and many finger oil price as popping the US mortgage fraud bubble, no?). I remember very well suddenly allotments were like gold dust because I was spending a  lot of time chilling on one.

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  • Sat, Jun 06, 2015 - 12:31pm

    #85

    jtwalsh

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 01 2008

    Posts: 261

    Saturday Morning Thoughts

    I agree with CAH.  I need to move forward in hope.  This is not hope in a religious sense or as an emotion, but hope as an intellectual exercise followed up with action. According to the Oxford dictionary. (Oxford Press online) Hope as a noun is: a desire for a certain thing to happen: As a verb it is: To want something to happen or be the case.

    The hope which I try to practice is very close to perseverance. Even though there may appear to be no way, continue to look for a way. Hope (want and desire) that through perseverance and the application of our minds the universe will reveal an answer, or will provide answers that are not yet here. Succumb to pessimism and fear and there will be no door, there will be no way. Even worse, the answer might be here and we will not see it as we will not be looking for it.

    Some of you will say I am in denial.  I answer that approaching the future with the point of view that all is lost, that all efforts can only amount to nothing, is the ultimate denial.  Believing you can do nothing, excuses you from doing anything. If I did not practice hope about the future I would take my favorite drug of choice (Bourbon at the moment) and sit in blissful denial in my beloved New England woods until time and events finally take me.  Why waste the energy of posting, arguing, preparing, attempting to teach others, or even the tiring and emotionally draining work of thinking, if you have no hope that the effort can make a difference?  We cannot have knowledge or certainty of the future but we can hope about it, for it, and take action based on that hope. I do not see hope as the “icing on the cake” but as one of the motivators that can urge us to action.

    As Treebeard said, “Perhaps it does not matter in the way that I think that it does, perhaps that is what I am here (to) learn, we will succeed even if we fail. That is a hard lesson to learn, but maybe that is a way to find our hearts.” We may not succeed, but to surrender without continuing the effort, to me, would be the greatest tragedy and, to my mind, the ultimate act of denial. We are the ones we have been waiting for.  No one else will do it.

    Leave a world worth inheriting.

    JT

     

     

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  • Sat, Jun 06, 2015 - 12:38pm

    Reply to #58
    Peak Prosperity Admin

    Peak Prosperity Admin

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 31 2017

    Posts: 1613

    Do not forget, nature is the

    Do not forget, nature is the master of physics and not any of us, and she is the one playing this game.

    Also don't forget that we are part of nature, so she's playing with herself.

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  • Sat, Jun 06, 2015 - 1:08pm

    #86
    Peak Prosperity Admin

    Peak Prosperity Admin

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 31 2017

    Posts: 1613

    What do folk think about this

    What do folk think about this fantastic organic farm on the Alaskan permafrost ?

    Permafrost Farming: It’s Possible!

     

    or this indoor hydroponic farm, also in Alaska

    http://www.adn.com/article/20150315/vertical-farm-poised-rise-inside-old-mat-maid-building

    Alaska Natural Organics has attracted $500,000 in start-up money, including $250,000 from the Alaska Accelerator Fund that Hermann helps manage. The fund is an angel investor fund trying to diversify the state’s oil-based economy.

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  • Sat, Jun 06, 2015 - 5:17pm

    Reply to #85
    agitating prop

    agitating prop

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 28 2009

    Posts: 282

    Addressing my points

    [quote=jtwalsh]

    I agree with CAH.  I need to move forward in hope.  This is not hope in a religious sense or as an emotion, but hope as an intellectual exercise followed up with action. According to the Oxford dictionary. (Oxford Press online) Hope as a noun is: a desire for a certain thing to happen: As a verb it is: To want something to happen or be the case.

    The hope which I try to practice is very close to perseverance. Even though there may appear to be no way, continue to look for a way. Hope (want and desire) that through perseverance and the application of our minds the universe will reveal an answer, or will provide answers that are not yet here. Succumb to pessimism and fear and there will be no door, there will be no way. Even worse, the answer might be here and we will not see it as we will not be looking for it.

    Some of you will say I am in denial.  I answer that approaching the future with the point of view that all is lost, that all efforts can only amount to nothing, is the ultimate denial.  Believing you can do nothing, excuses you from doing anything. If I did not practice hope about the future I would take my favorite drug of choice (Bourbon at the moment) and sit in blissful denial in my beloved New England woods until time and events finally take me.  Why waste the energy of posting, arguing, preparing, attempting to teach others, or even the tiring and emotionally draining work of thinking, if you have no hope that the effort can make a difference?  We cannot have knowledge or certainty of the future but we can hope about it, for it, and take action based on that hope. I do not see hope as the “icing on the cake” but as one of the motivators that can urge us to action.

    As Treebeard said, “Perhaps it does not matter in the way that I think that it does, perhaps that is what I am here (to) learn, we will succeed even if we fail. That is a hard lesson to learn, but maybe that is a way to find our hearts.” We may not succeed, but to surrender without continuing the effort, to me, would be the greatest tragedy and, to my mind, the ultimate act of denial. We are the ones we have been waiting for.  No one else will do it.

    Leave a world worth inheriting.

    JT

     

     

    [/quote]

    JT, I am very happy for you and your hope.  I have it too. What I don't want to take hold of me is complacency based around my sunny 'positive' attitude. Some kinds of hope can be false optimism, in disguise.

    I took pains to make a few points that obviously weren't comprehended.  

    First, that hope can be reassuring and useful, once the individual moves past the denial stage and incorporates that we have a serious three e problem. If they are not there yet, self servicing complacency, greed are likely part of the problem.  Or stupidity, sloth…take your pick.

    There is only one emotion that trumps all of the seven deadly sins and that is fear.  Don't underestimate it.  If humans can use it to sell deodorant, Mother Nature can use it to drive a few salient points home, regarding what she she surely feels is attempted matricide.

    Second, that using bulldozers to restore the natural environment to anything  close to its former pristine condition, can be done. It can't.   If one thinks that it is possible to restore the rainforest using this method, they are mistaken. 

    Even on a local, less dense and complex scale,  natural biodiversity that has taken millions of years to evolve, can't be recreated.

     The reason I take such exception to the notion that we can restore our way out of this mess, is that part of the 'hope' behind this idea is that population explosion might not be the problem we think it is.

    The argument goes, if people just do things differently, they can continue to breed like out of control hamsters — that overshoot is amorphous, unknowable, unmeasurable. Wrong!

    Third, that we are the masters of our destiny and completely control reality with our attitude.  If life operates this way, it can be concluded that there are others out there with billions of dollars creating their own reality using bricks, mortar, oil, chemicals, instead of pure attitude mental imagery and local effort.  

    Like Freddy Kruger, the .0000001 % haunt our dreams, twist our realities, undermine our efforts. Our hope is not going to change them. Gut wrenching fear?  That might work. A drain on the vein of their life's blood — money, might just get them moving, too.  

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  • Sat, Jun 06, 2015 - 10:30pm

    Reply to #72
    Peak Prosperity Admin

    Peak Prosperity Admin

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 31 2017

    Posts: 1613

    davidallan wrote:This is one

    [quote=davidallan]

    This is one of your best posts treebeard. I was about to launch into something but deleted the lot. All I was attempting to do was transform the other.

    But old habits die hard. There seems to be a lot of confusion in this thread. I would simply suggest anyone interested learn a little about Integral Theory (Ken Wilber). It really is a brilliant map of the internal and external facets of our universe. I don't have a specific place to direct you. Just google it and follow your nose.

    [/quote]

    So i did go and look up Ken Wilber, having a chat with Kevin Kelly about his Technium. I'm into it, having grown fed up of being urged to magically separate the human, technical and natural worlds. Much better to see them as all part of the same thing.

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  • Sun, Jun 07, 2015 - 8:40pm

    Reply to #37

    Bankers Slave

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jul 26 2012

    Posts: 513

    Just no way we would ever

    be allowed any of this! NATO is renamed as the North Atlantic Terrorist Organization. 

     

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  • Mon, Jun 08, 2015 - 2:01pm

    Reply to #82

    Christopher H

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 29 2009

    Posts: 120

    Thank you for sharing that, agitating prop

    I do sincerely appreciate it, as it gives me some additional insight into where your previous comments are coming from.  There is much in your statement that I sympathize with, and have experienced myself at various levels and various times. 

    I have young children now (8 and 4) and, with that, I really have no choice but to try and be hopeful about creating a little bit better of a world (or at least my corner of it) to bequeath to them.  Because if I engage the pessimistic doomerism that I used to embrace, I am effectively saying that they are condemned to a bleak, hopeless future.  That's a place that I just cannot allow myself to go.

    My father, who is now 82, often expresses concern about my plans to transform my life, step away from a fairly lucrative but soul-sucking career as an engineer in the corporate sector, and embark upon a new path.  He often cites the fact that I have a family and have to earn an income as justification for that view.  When I think about it, I'm left thinking that the fact that I have kids and a wife is precisely why I have to embark upon this path, because if we are going to move in a different direction we can't expect TPTB to do it for us.  We have to become the leaders that we're all waiting for.

    One of the major hurdles I've had to get over in this regard is to not let adherence to ideology displace action.  As an example, although I know that fossil fuels are major causes of pollution and strife throughout the world, I cannot eschew their use completely and make a difference in my community and bioregion.

    Anyway, thanks for the exchange.

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  • Mon, Jun 08, 2015 - 3:06pm

    #87
    Doug

    Doug

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 01 2008

    Posts: 1357

    CAH

    [quote]At no point did I state that we could use bulldozers to restore the natural environment to its former "pristine" condition (whatever "pristine" means, given that humans have been modifying the environment to suit our purposes since the early Paleolithic).  Rather, we can use earthmoving equipment to go into highly degraded landscapes and, using consciously applied design, restore ecological function to them in a relatively short period of time?[/quote]

    Well said, I couldn't agree more.  I have been trying to grow more of my own food for some time on property that has been altered and degraded over the last couple centuries.  The one overwhelming virtue of this land is abundant water.  Unfortunately, the water is either in places that aren't helpful to my "forest garden" or runs off during the spring melt and heavy rains.

    So, I have developed a number of plans to divert water and store it in ways and places that will see me through the driest spells.  Not surprisingly that requires machinery.  That need plus the fact that my old garden tractor is on its last legs and needs some kind of replacement has led me to buying a new larger tractor with backhoe, front end loader, three point hitch and mower deck.  There will probably be more attachments I acquire over time.

    But, the point is I will be able to do a lot of work that will make my property much more sustainable and productive for the indefinite future with relatively little fossil fuel power once that is accomplished.  The tractor should last the rest of my life and be of value to my heirs.

    I have long felt that the highest and best use of fossil fuels is to develop ways to live without them.  That's my goal.

    Doug

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  • Mon, Jun 08, 2015 - 3:11pm

    Reply to #85

    Christopher H

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 29 2009

    Posts: 120

    Please let me clarify regarding "bulldozers"

    agitating prop wrote:

    Second, that using bulldozers to restore the natural environment to anything  close to its former pristine condition, can be done. It can't.   If one thinks that it is possible to restore the rainforest using this method, they are mistaken.

    At no point did I state that we could use bulldozers to restore the natural environment to its former "pristine" condition (whatever "pristine" means, given that humans have been modifying the environment to suit our purposes since the early Paleolithic).  Rather, we can use earthmoving equipment to go into highly degraded landscapes and, using consciously applied design, restore ecological function to them in a relatively short period of time.

    Did you watch the documentary (Green Gold by John D. Liu) I linked to?  Because it details how this kind of work has been done on a massive scale in Ethiopia and the Loess Plateau of China.  Not wishful thinking, but actual results.  Within a decade.  In the Loess Plateau, people there are now getting 3x as much productivity out of the land while using 40% of the land mass they previously used.  And the ecosystems are actually getting more robust and resilient over time, not more degraded.  All of this for a cost that is the fraction of what we spend on mindless consumption and waging war all over the globe. 

    As John D. Liu himself asked in the film, "If we know how to restore large-scale damaged ecosystems, then why aren't we doing it?"  Since I think that the 0.0001% has a good bit to do with that, then I have to ask myself the simple question, "Why aren't YOU doing it?"  Blaming the 0.0001% is not an acceptable answer to this question, it is an evasion of responsibility.  As Bill Mollison stated in the beginning of the Permaculture Designer's Manual, "The only ethical choice we have to take responsibility for our own lives, and those of our descendants."  I've decided to do it and transition my life to something that, while much more uncertain in the short term than what I have right now, is much more positive, regenerative, and resilient in the long term.

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  • Mon, Jun 08, 2015 - 4:30pm

    #88
    MarkBahner

    MarkBahner

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 25 2012

    Posts: 53

    Empirical evidence the CBO estimates are reasonable

    "…if you think the CBO estimates are believable, what are your specific reasons why besides "The CBO says so"?"

    Let's review the CBO estimates for annual real GDP growth: about 2.3 percent per year to 2060, about 1.9 percent per year from 2060 to 2080.

    U.S. real GDP growth in the 80 years from 1930 to 2010 declined from about 5% per year to 3% per year. U.S. real GDP growth from 1970-2008 averaged pretty steady at 3.1% per year.

    http://www.itulip.com/images2/AverAnnualRealGDP1926-2006wtmk.png

    http://www.econedlink.org/lessons/images_lessons/811_em811_figure21.jpg

    So the CBO estimate of 2.3% per year to 2060 and 1.9% per year from 2060 to 2080 is certainly reasonable given the last 80+ years of U.S. economic performance.

    The CBO estimate is also completely in line with the Department of Energy's Annual Energy Outlook for 2015, which uses a "Reference Case" real economic growth rate of 2.4% per year from 2014 to 2040:

    http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/section_economic.cfm

    “…you could have simply asked him What type of growth curve for GDP would you expect instead over the next 5 decades? I'm confident he would have not only had an informed idea on the matter, he would have been happy to share it.

    Chris, what type of growth curve for GDP would you expect instead over the next 5 decades?

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  • Mon, Jun 08, 2015 - 11:56pm

    Reply to #82
    agitating prop

    agitating prop

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 28 2009

    Posts: 282

    Thanks Cah

    I have a better understanding now and see why you took such exception to what I wrote. Hopefully our survival as a species is predicated on an improving biosphere, through whatever means it takes. I hate to think that we are so successful using new more advanced methods of intensive farming that we double our global population, even if we end up using no more farm land. That's really my area of concern. Too many people displacing too many other species. 

    Tossing aside a job you don't like for one that is sure to reap much greater long term benefit, for you and your family, seems to be beyond reproach. Plus, it is an area where there will,be much more attention focused, in the future. I don't know what it is with parents. They think purely in terms of safety when it comes to their kids. And safety for many people means status quo. 

     

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  • Tue, Jun 09, 2015 - 12:43am

    #89
    Peak Prosperity Admin

    Peak Prosperity Admin

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 31 2017

    Posts: 1613

    New farmland-mapping research

    New farmland-mapping research published today (June 1) shows that up to 90 percent of Americans could be fed entirely by food grown or raised within 100 miles of their homes.

    Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-06-percent-americans-fed-local-agriculture.html#jCp

    New farmland-mapping research published today (June 1) shows that up to 90 percent of Americans could be fed entirely by food grown or raised within 100 miles of their homes.

    Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-06-percent-americans-fed-local-agriculture.html#jCp

    http://phys.org/news/2015-06-percent-americans-fed-local-agriculture.html

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  • Tue, Jun 09, 2015 - 8:16pm

    Reply to #46
    agitating prop

    agitating prop

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 28 2009

    Posts: 282

    I share your point of view

    [quote=Bellinghamster]

    I am way too distracted with shifting my paradigm to notice the shift in the direction of this site from "slight optimism" to something- something pessimism.

    This article as all the others before it outlines numerous points of data that I'm too busy compiling as i shift my profession from building Mc Mansions of the affluent Microsoft crowd, to a blueberry field, that will hopefully support my family through the obvious coming disasters we all see coming. 

    You did not come to this site because you think "we are going to do better next time" or "It will just get better as the economy returns". You came here because you recognize a need for a new plan. A new idea that does not involve everlasting growth. 

    As he definition of this becomes more clear (why I'm here) the details will become a ton more depressing. Its very clear that… We live in a country slipping into fascism, we deny everything until its too late, we pursue endless growth (if it means staying afloat or endless wealth), we are a horribly destructive species, ect,, ect,, ect. 

    A large amount of things get my blood going. I am here to discuss, learn, debate and vent about all of these things. I think we all learn almost as much from the comments as the actual articles here. Or at least we should.

    I say — Speak your mind. (within the PP discussion guidelines of course) but by all means speak it.

    I am proud to be amidst the people who will. If we parish who will?

    "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter" ~MLK

    As always people good health, good luck and look up for craps sake wink

    ~Roan

    [/quote]

     

    I share your point of view.  It is not enough to make necessary personal change.  I've made as many as I can but continue to seek out more information about how the world works; politically, economically and environmentally. Currently I am trying to get a handle on whether the beef industry is marginalizing or simply minimizing one of the greatest sources of environmental degradation out there.  

    Apparently there is evidence to suggest non profits like Green Peace and the Sierra Club are mum about this subject because they receive a lot of their funding from —  let's call it 'Big Cattle.'   There's a documentary called 'Cowspiracy' that documents this.  I haven't watched it yet but plan to. 

    During my hope and complacency phase, which lasted a few years after my mind was hijacked (rightfully so!) by the 911 fascist coup d'état, I realize, I have to get back in the game, so to speak and continue to educate myself about the grim realities.  

    My late husband was a working member of Architects and Engineers for 911 Truth. I feel it's important to continue his legacy, in this regard.  It's a mere drop in the bucket, but I feel it's important. 

    Blueberries.  Yum.  Hope you are getting more rain than I am!

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