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    On Our Way To Freedom Fest

    "The world's largest gathering of free minds"
    by Adam Taggart

    Wednesday, July 13, 2016, 12:18 AM

For years now, a number of Peak Prosperity readers have been encouraging Chris and me to attend Freedom Fest, a conference billed as "The world's largest gathering of free minds". 

Every Spring, the calls and emails begin: Are you guys going to Freedom Fest this year?

They tell us this is consistently the most stimulating week of their entire year. And that, like at our annual seminars, the people you meet and relationships you make there are well worth the price of admission alone.

Well, this year we decided to take up the invitation.

So tomorrow Chris and I will make our way (me from the West coast, he from the East) to Las Vegas, where we'll spend three immersive days listening to speakers, panel discussions, and having 1-on-1 chats. Certainly, there will be some personalities there we're interested to meet in person — John Mackey, Senators Ron & Rand Paul, Steve Forbes, Bill Bonner, and the like — whom we'll see if we can get access to and record a podcast for the site.

Most important, though, we've been told by past attendees that the Freedom Fest audience is already completely bought in to the Economy "E" of our 3E story; however, it's quite unaware of the similarly unsustainable Energy and Environment "Es". This may be an important gathering of influencers to speak to, in hopes of propagating the full Peak Prosperity message to the sizable army of followers they reach.

At least, we think it's worth a shot.

So we'll be taking good notes and a selfie or two from the halls of this year's Freedom Fest, and we'll share the interesting nuggets we learn during the process with you all here on the site.

If you're going to Freedom Fest this year, or just happen to be in the Las Vegas area, come meet up with us. We'll be signing copies of our book Prosper!: How to Prepare for the Future and Create a World Worth Inheriting at the Valaurum booth in the Exhibitors Hall at 2:50pm on Thursday.

And for those of you who will be following our experience vicariously here through the site, much of the speeches, debates and panels will be live streamed for the first time this year. You'll be able to watch them here:

And, as a warm-up, here's an interview we did a few years back on the growing surveillance State with Mark Skousen, Freedom Fest's founder and producer:

We'll start sharing updates as soon as we're on the ground…

cheers,

Adam & Chris

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91 Comments

  • Wed, Jul 13, 2016 - 1:12am

    #1

    pinecarr

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 13 2008

    Posts: 1085

    Great idea, Adam and Chris!

    Good luck helping some of these other  well-known thinkers open their eyes to the other 2Es.  I look forward to your updates!

    On Teaching
     Kahlil Gibran

    No man can reveal to you aught but that which already lies half asleep in the dawning of your knowledge.

    The teacher who walks in the shadow of the temple, among his followers, gives not of his wisdom but rather of his faith and his lovingness.

    If he is indeed wise he does not bid you enter the house of his wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your own mind.

    The astronomer may speak to you of his understanding of space, but he cannot give you his understanding.

    The musician may sing to you of the rhythm which is in all space, but he cannot give you the ear which arrests the rhythm nor the voice that echoes it.

    And he who is versed in the science of numbers can tell of the regions of weight and measure, but he cannot conduct you thither.

    For the vision of one man lends not its wings to another man.

    And even as each one of you stands alone in God's knowledge, so must each one of you be alone in his knowledge of God and in his understanding of the earth.     

    Reference: http://www.katsandogz.com/onteaching.html

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  • Wed, Jul 13, 2016 - 1:22am

    #2

    Jason Wiskerchen

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 17 2011

    Posts: 912

    Pack extra water!!!

    I heard somewhere that there is a water shortage on the west coast – especially Lake Mead – what you don't drink can be donated to the good folks of Nevada.  Safe travels to both of you.

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  • Wed, Jul 13, 2016 - 3:07am

    #3

    Arthur Robey

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 03 2010

    Posts: 1814

    Freefall Carpet slippers

    Reaching for The Great Oracle  the Limits to Growth Curves,  I am told we shot over the edge of the cliff in 1982. 

    All sorts of Collective and Authoritarian decisions needed to be made by then. They weren't. 

    Civilization ascends in hob nail boots and descends in velvet slippers. 

    Stephan Moleneux,  quoting someone else.

    Am I supposed to be  happy saying "I told you so"? At this moment in time we have more chance of proving Einstein wrong or grasping at Alien straws than pretending that this bus will magically levitate. 

    All this talk of  Fweedom is just  that, talk.

    I could have called this piece Hitler redux but too many people would have gone running for their safe spaces and calling for an Authoritarian Daddy to make me stop.

    Oh the irony.

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  • Wed, Jul 13, 2016 - 4:15am

    #4

    CleanEnergyFan

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 29 2012

    Posts: 104

    Excellent, See you there at Freedom Fest

    Glad to hear that you and Chris are going to make it this year.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I have in the past.  They will have some interesting speakers but they could really benefit from hearing from both of you to complete the 3E picture (they really do focus on the Economy in isolation from much of the other 2Es).  Looking forward to seeing you both later this week and will stop by the Valaurum booth as well.

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  • Wed, Jul 13, 2016 - 5:54am

    #5

    HughK

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 06 2012

    Posts: 571

    Good luck at Freedom Fest

    Chris and Adam,

    Good luck at Freedom Fest.  One of the big turning points in terms of the first E for me was reading John Mauldin and Jonathan Tepper's Endgame: The End of the Debt Supercycle and How it Changes Everything back in 2011.  For many years before that, I thought that US government debt was way too high, but it was their book that put our high public debt to GDP ratio into the context of the other rich countries, showing that pretty much all of the OECD was in the same over-leveraged boat.  They also introduced me to Rogoff and Reinhart's This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, for a more theoretical look at debt supercycles and and how governments have typically responded.  

    As I think most here know, Mauldin also comes of as very…confident, to put it nicely, but his message was more important to me than his delivery style.  Also, he makes a lot of right-wing claims about economics, and as my origins are from the left, this also made it a bit challenging for me to read him.  But, it was really his book that spurred me to make my first physical PM purchase and I was also able to get it into our school library.  Since then, some students have read it.  We were also able to get Rogoff and Reinhart on the shelves, but it's not as accessible for most of them.  It wasn't the first, and I'm sure it won't be the last time that mixing the waters of political ideology was a good thing for me.

    I know Mark Skousen from his book The Making of Modern Economics, a decidedly neo-liberal and quite editorialized account of the history of economic thought.  As Clean Energy Fan points out, Skousen and most of the other luminaries at Freedom Fest are likely to be focusing on the first E at the expense of the other two.  Climate change, for example, doesn't seem to be taken seriously by either Skousen or the folks at the various Von Mises Institutes around the world, because it just doesn't fit with their economic ideology. I would guess that would also be true for peak oil.

    So, I hope that you guys are able to mix the currents of ideas in both directions, and awaken some of the folks at Freedom Fest to the possibility that the global industrial growth bus is not the way forward, and that there are constructive responses to the limits to growth that we face.

    Cheers,

    Hugh

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  • Wed, Jul 13, 2016 - 12:53pm

    #6

    KennethPollinger

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 22 2010

    Posts: 616

    In additionj to Prosper

    I hope you two sell MANY copies of the Crash Course, the foundational book that opens eyes to the THREE Es.  In fact, Id like to see you "push" the Crash Course more often on your posts, especially for newcomers.  If your original videos were played at ALL college campuses, (4 1/2 hr one), I believe the word would spread much faster, and influence the college crowd.

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  • Wed, Jul 13, 2016 - 1:35pm

    #7
    Doug

    Doug

    Status Platinum Member (Online)

    Joined: Oct 01 2008

    Posts: 1364

    Freedom?

    Hugh, you're much kinder than I would be.  Freedomfest appears to be nothing more than a sales conference to pump up the true libertarian believers.  Las Vegas is, of course, the perfect venue for such an event.  Plenty of hookers, blow and gambling for those with too much money and too little sense.  As someone once defined it, libertarianism is a philosophy abandoned by millions of college sophomores every year.

    Let's face it, libertarianism is completely inconsistent with a liveable environment.  As Ayn Rand once supposedly advised, you should find the filthiest smokestack you can, run up to it and kiss it.  If Chris and Adam want to familiarize those in attendance with the orphan E, the environment, they will find a stone deaf audience.  Environmentalism is by definition a collective enterprise, libertarianism is by definition the glorification of the individual and his/her selfish interests.  The two cannot coexist.

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  • Wed, Jul 13, 2016 - 1:37pm

    #8

    SingleSpeak

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Nov 30 2008

    Posts: 163

    Can't wait

    for the daily commentary. 

    Looking at the schedule I see among many interesting topics, "Power Moves: Latest Trends in Energy and Investment" at 10 am on Thursday, "Mock Trial on Global Warming" at 7 pm on Thursday. 

    Oh then there's one on voter fraud on Friday and oil in the middle east on Saturday. 

    You guys are going to be like 2 pigs in slop, figuratively speaking. cool

    SS

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  • Wed, Jul 13, 2016 - 4:44pm

    Reply to #1

    Mark Cochrane

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 24 2011

    Posts: 1189

    Thoughts - On Teaching (Pinecarr)

    Pinecarr,

    What a great quote from Kahlil Gibran!

    Having just taught my first seminar last week in a language other than English, in this case Portuguese (Brazil), I recognize in this quote that we are always speaking different languages to each other when we try to relate our knowledge, thoughts and beliefs.

    You cannot force ideas or understanding down each other´s throats, but with integrity, compassion, and persistence you can put them on a plate for them to contemplate. All but the most obdurate will have to eventually come to grips with these matters if they truly have merit.

     

    Doug – I hear you but am not so quick to throw the baby out with the bath water.

    None of us have the whole picture of everything. Although, from the given agenda, I can see that many attendees might be hostile to such matters as Global Climate Change (or the other 2 E´s in general), I, personally, would not be dismissive of everything espoused at Freedom Fest. If we cannot be open to the ideas of others then how can we expect them to truly listen to us? Respectfully engaging in debates does not require accepting or acquiescing to someone else´s point of view but requires both parties to wrestle with each others ideas. This can go a long way to defusing polarization even if it doesn´t result in a complete meeting of the minds.

    I´d de interested in seeing that ´Mock Trial on Global Warming´ as one of the participants is Professor Kerry Emanuel from MIT. He is about as solid a climate scientist as you will find and was one of my own professors (Meteorology) back when I was at MIT. It doesn´t look like it is supposed to be an echo chamber discussion.

    All in all, I think that Chris and Adam are likely to open many people´s eyes to a larger picture where energy and the environment provide the foundation upon which our global economy depends. Who knows, maybe next year they will be asked to return as presenters! Regardless, I look forward to hearing their impressions and reports from Freedom Fest this year. 

     

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  • Wed, Jul 13, 2016 - 5:40pm

    Reply to #7

    Michael_Rudmin

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 25 2014

    Posts: 847

    The orphan E, from the libertarian's house

    To a libertarian view, environmental destruction is a collective effort. Yes, when you have unowned resources, you can get some tragedy of the commons, and that’s bad. But that’s only one small area. To really destroy the environment, you need laws that make it prohibitively costly to protect or renew the environment.
    Things like, misapplied antitrust laws that force coal mines to blow methane off into the air, so that the government can say “see, we’re doing our job” as they turn a blind eye to their regulatory capture.

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  • Wed, Jul 13, 2016 - 6:58pm

    #9
    skipr

    skipr

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 09 2016

    Posts: 125

    good luck

    If the arctic ice cap totally disappears for the first time this September I bet the people at FF will declare it a government conspiracy.

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  • Wed, Jul 13, 2016 - 7:55pm

    #10

    Chris Martenson

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 07 2007

    Posts: 4546

    Going with an open mind

    Thanks for the feedback all.  Now that Mark has told me about the AGM connection, I will be quite interested to see what that event holds.

    I will, of course, be going with an open mind.  I've never been before and so I'm sure that there will be some there that I resonate with strongly and some less so.  

    All I really care about is if people have open minds.

    This political season has been hard, and fracturing, and so I am quite keen to see what the political mood there is.

    I'll be sure to provide updates as I can to the site, and tweet the rest.

    …now I have to catch a flight heading east and south before I can catch the next one heading west and north.  ;0

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  • Wed, Jul 13, 2016 - 9:01pm

    Reply to #1
    Doug

    Doug

    Status Platinum Member (Online)

    Joined: Oct 01 2008

    Posts: 1364

    mock trial

    [quote]I´d de interested in seeing that ´Mock Trial on Global Warming´ as one of the participants is Professor Kerry Emanuel from MIT. He is about as solid a climate scientist as you will find and was one of my own professors (Meteorology) back when I was at MIT. It doesn´t look like it is supposed to be an echo chamber discussion.[/quote]

    I didn't see that Kerry Emanuel would be participating in the mock trial.  I assumed it would be an echo chamber.  I, too, am very interested.  I wonder who will represent the libertarian perspective.

    I've been more or less following libertarianism for over 40 years since my undergrad days.  It has a superficial attractiveness, but once the implications sink in it becomes far less interesting.  It must be remembered today that when libertarians complain of "burdensome regulations", it is largely a euphemism for environmental, health and safety regulations.  Their's is a world of social Darwinism.  

    If and when they come up with realistic plans to address climate change and the other environmental rapes being committed while they drop quarters in the slots, I might begin to think differently.

    I took the time to google the other participants on the panel. A few are dyed in the wool deniers; Will Happer, Patrick Michaels and James Taylor (not that James Taylor.)  And, of course, the "moderator" is Michael Medved.  For entertainment Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic magazine, author of a book entitled Ske?tic (really) and columnist for Scientific American is also on the panel.  I'm not completely sure of his position of climate change, but he claims allegiance to science.  He has some great TED videos.

    So, Emmanuel will be decidedly outnumbered but possibly not without allies.

    It should be interesting.  I hope we can get it.

    Doug

     

     

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  • Wed, Jul 13, 2016 - 9:28pm

    #11

    Adam Taggart

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 25 2009

    Posts: 2551

    Just landed

    Man, it's hot here…

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  • Wed, Jul 13, 2016 - 9:51pm

    #12

    Chris Martenson

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 07 2007

    Posts: 4546

    Still travelling...

    man, I love in air wifi.

    🙂

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  • Wed, Jul 13, 2016 - 9:56pm

    Reply to #11

    pinecarr

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 13 2008

    Posts: 1085

    Now THAT'S what I call real-time reporting!!

    Silly, but I'm excited about you and Chris participating in this event.  Kind of like the morning at a race track when anything seems possible…  Good luck!!

    Mark, isn't that a great lesson on teaching from Kahlil Gibran?  I was afraid of coming off preachy in posting it, which wasn't my intent.  I just really liked the idea he conveyed; it rang true to me.

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  • Wed, Jul 13, 2016 - 10:37pm

    #13
    efarmer.ny

    efarmer.ny

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 07 2012

    Posts: 8

    3 E's plus 1 doesn't work

    Personally, I'm wondering if social cohesion will fail before the other E's. I tried to find a fourth E to express "civil unrest" but unfortunately the best that the online thesaurus could come up with is Edginess. So I guess I'm you are safe with just 3 E's.

    Stay safe. We look forward to your reports.

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  • Wed, Jul 13, 2016 - 10:51pm

    #14
    karenf

    karenf

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 02 2010

    Posts: 23

    i am looking forward to

    i am looking forward to hearing your experiences.  I knew Steve Moore (Cato Institute)years ago and was actually surprised to hear how his views have softened.  He used to be a hard core Ayn Rand every man for himself person. We all learn as we live.  

    I have been a long time fan of Michael Shermer (great books).  Would love to hear what he will say over the weekend.  He helped clear up my thinking so much about reality and distortion.  Eagerly awaiting your updates.  Don't think Stossel will be too interested in the other two E's.  Just saying.

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  • Thu, Jul 14, 2016 - 1:07am

    #15

    Adam Taggart

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 25 2009

    Posts: 2551

    Opening Ceremony

    I'm here at the FF opening ceremony (Chris is still en route). Things are about to kick off, and I've got my laptop out to liveblog the nuggets that catch my attention.

    I'll update this post every 5-10 minutes, so if you're reading this as am typing, hit 'refresh' every so often to get the latest.

    Speaker #1: Terry Brock/Mark & Jo Ann Skousen — Welcome & Intro

    • TB: this year's FF theme is "freedom rising". The intrusion of government is increasing, yes, but more & more are awakening to this and demanding change/making change –> choosing more freedom
    • A dance/drum procession has kicked off, reminiscent of Stomp. Supposed to be some sort of physical visualization of 'freedom', I guess.
    • Ooh, there go the flaming nunchucks….
    • MS/JS: lots planned for the next few days, will be awesome, etc

    Speaker #2: Wayne Allen Root — Is Freedom Rising?

    • Freedom is falling: GDP depressed for 7 long years (record for US economy), more businesses now close each day than open
    • If you can't keep/save your own money from govt, business suffers
    • When government takes/debases money, it is stealing opportunity for the citizenry
    • Tax & regulations are making it too onerous to start & run businesses. We are killing the 'makers'
    • Some of the assaults over the past decade: raised taxes, payroll taxes, Affordable Care Act compliance expenses, increased capital gains taxes, phased out tax credits, raised insurance premium while lowering coverage, raised legal and accounting bills needed to account for new regulations and taxes, raised minimum wage, restrict independent contractors, increasing sales taxes, IRS audits of small businesses have increased, raising Social Security qualifying age, trying to get rid of mortgage deductions, making it harder to do business or store $ overseas (I missed a few – he talks fast)
    • The solution: cut taxes, cut regulations 

    Speaker #3: Steve Forbes — Reviving America

    • US stuck in economic morass
    • But the good news is that we can fight back & pull ourselves out of this
    • The real battle is the battle of ideas (has 3 big ideas for reform to share)
    • Health Care: Health care costs are too high, as are insurance premiums which don't cover enough anymore. The reason why is that the health care market is not free, it's run as a cartel. Examples like flu shots and LASIK surgery, which are not covered by health insurance, are examples that competition brings down prices and raises quality. Forbes has a lot of specific ideas for transparency of costs/quality, choice of doctor, and other reforms that give more freedom to the patient — predicts this will lower costs and improve care.
    • The Tax Code: Way to dense and complicated; nobody knows what's in it. It's a monster. Throw it out and start all over. Replace with single rate flat tax, with exemptions for families with kids. Same thing for business. Should only take 1 sheet of paper and 1 minute to do your taxes. Will boost economy overnight. And it's moral, unlike our current solution (we spend billions of hours and dollars per year just filing taxes collectively)
    • Money: Fed is manipulating money through bad policies. Solution: take our money out of the hands of politicians, go back to a fixed rate for the dollar = return to the gold standard. During the years the US was on the gold standard we had the highest economic growth rates in history.

    Speaker #4: Lawrence Reed — Real Heroes

    • We'll need heroes to create a path forward towards an optimistic future
    • He's written a book about heroes, several stories he'll share here:
    • Fanny Crosby – lived from 1820-1915, she wrote the lyrics to 9,000 songs. First woman to address the US Congress. She knew 21 US presidents personally. She was blind, as well. Her message: no handicap is more powerful than the spirit to make a difference.
    • Jesse Owens – worked his way through college with menial jobs, supporting his family at same time. Triumphed for his country and race at the Berlin Games. Never received a thanks from the US President, even though all the white runners were invited to the White House.
    • Vivian Hellens(?) – scrappy entrepreneur anti-tax evangelist. Thought withholding taxes were wrong, could only escalate the issue by non-compliance. She did and while the IRS steamrolled her, she fought back in the courts. Similarly, she fought for women's right to own businesses.
    • Joe Louis – fought as a boxer and a WW2 soldier. Fought the IRS, as at the time, the top tax rates were 75-90%. Louis had fought a number of charity fights, receiving no payment himself — though the govt treated those fights as taxable income, creating crushing tax debts for him.
    • American needs more men & women who cannot be bought. Who are not afraid of risks to advance what is right. American, in other words, needs more heroes.

    Speaker #5: Larry Elder — The Axis of Indoctrination

    • We're in a culture war.
    • Hollywood has a real bias, and a lot of influence.
    • Academia is similarly skewed in terms of bias, and again, positioned to have an outsized impact on young minds.
    • Media is coloring the news it delivers. In many cases, the messages run contrary to the data. Elder uses stats of police shootings to make his point.

    Speaker #6: Michael Medved — The Year Of Rage

    • We do not have a news business in America. We have a "bad news" business = if it bleeds or enrages, it leads.
    • Like Elder, Medved is using police shooting stats to indicate that the media message often does not fit the actual data.
    • Average American spends over 30 hours per week in front of a screen, largely only consuming news of dysfunction. As a result, our sense of our country and what's going on it is often very afar from reality.
    • Things are not as bad as we are being led to believe — we need to take a "media diet", and give ourselves opportunity to hear news from our communities vs our devices. Even 1 day a week doing this is worthwhile.
    • Eschew anger/complaint/competitive victimhood. Embrace gratitude, optimism and hope.

    Initial Impressions

    • Tonight is just the tip of the iceberg. Tons more speakers, panels, etc tomorrow.
    • I haven't mixed with the other attendees yet, so I reserve the right to amend my initial impressions — which are intended as objective observations, not judgments
    • Folks here are pretty conservative, culturally. It's kind of interesting: many of the speakers seem like conventional Republicans in their values, except they seem (and this is me postulating) betrayed by how the current Republican party has moved away from sound money and responsible economic stewardship.

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  • Thu, Jul 14, 2016 - 1:55am

    #16
    Edwardelinski

    Edwardelinski

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 23 2012

    Posts: 321

    Looks like the the bench is stacked with

    Fox and friends?Just wondering?

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  • Thu, Jul 14, 2016 - 3:23am

    Reply to #3

    LesPhelps

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 30 2009

    Posts: 472

    Arthur Robey wrote:Reaching

    [quote=Arthur Robey]

    Reaching for The Great Oracle  the Limits to Growth Curves,  I am told we shot over the edge of the cliff in 1982. 

    All sorts of Collective and Authoritarian decisions needed to be made by then. They weren't. 

    Civilization ascends in hob nail boots and descends in velvet slippers. 

    Stephan Moleneux,  quoting someone else.

    Am I supposed to be  happy saying "I told you so"? At this moment in time we have more chance of proving Einstein wrong or grasping at Alien straws than pretending that this bus will magically levitate. 

    [/quote]

    Recently, whilst reading "Reinventing Collapse" I ran across something that resonated.

    [quote=DimitryOrlov]

    Try to form a picture in your mind: it is a superpower, it is huge, it is powerful, and it is going to come crashing down. You or me trying to do something about it would have the same effect as you or me wiggling our toes at a tsunami.

    [/quote]

    I'd love to have a more positive perspective, but there are a lot of powerful people who have horses in this race.

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  • Thu, Jul 14, 2016 - 3:46am

    Reply to #3

    Arthur Robey

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 03 2010

    Posts: 1814

    Searching in the haystack Les.

    I'd love to have a more positive perspective,

    This old trooper is going down fighting Les. From Adam's piece

    no handicap is more powerful than the spirit to make a difference.

    The way that I see it is that the monkey has got hold of the peanut and he is not going to let go. The peanut in this case is our Physics Model of Realty. Physicist themselves will tell you that they don't have a sound grasp of the nature of reality. Lesser minds question nothing. To them it is back to 1908 and Lord Kelvin.

    "There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now, All that remains is more and more precise measurement."

    But he redeems himself with this beauty.

    "When you are face to face with a difficulty, you are up against a discovery."

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  • Thu, Jul 14, 2016 - 5:10am

    #17

    davefairtex

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 03 2008

    Posts: 3131

    big tents

    If Chris can get across even the first glimmer of "hey, oil resources might not be infinite" and it really sticks, I don't care if these guys watch FOX news 24/7.  A whole lot of changes in thinking flow from realizing that resources aren't infinite, and that we're on the wrong side of the discoveries/production ratio slope and all that implies.

    Conservatives are actually well set up to believe stuff like this.  After all, money to fund government programs isn't infinite; "at some point you run out of other people's money."  Same thing here.  Concept is, there are limits, we have to have adult conversations about the limits, and all they really need to do is just add in another set of constraints.

    It is really interesting looking at the list of speakers and topics and thinking, "yeah, I remember when I believed in that stuff."

    Somehow things got a lot more complicated between then and now.

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  • Thu, Jul 14, 2016 - 3:19pm

    #18

    Adam Taggart

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 25 2009

    Posts: 2551

    Bull/Bear Debate

    The morning is opening with a bull/bear debate between Peter Schiff/Bert Dohmen (the Bears) and Keith Fitz-Gerald/Alexander Green (the Bulls):

    Q1: Despite the Fed raising rates, the oil price collapse, Brexit, "sell in May and go away" — what happened to the market correction that the bears are predicting?

    • BD: Wall Street's agenda is for the Dow and S&P to make new highs. That has now happened. It's important to note that there are plenty of stocks and stock indices that are not at highs. Especially when you look at foreign indices. The world, for sure, is not in a bull market.
    • AG: There are a lot of positives to focus on: low inflation, rock-bottom interest rates, ultra-cheap energy. 
    • PS: Dow and S&P are at same height they were at 2 years ago. Had the Fed not promised to save the markets with no more rate hikes — maybe even going to negative rates — the markets would have continued the plummet seen at the beginning of the year. The real returns are in foreign markets — in commodities, etc. His fund is seeing huge returns in commodity plays in other markets in non-US currencies.
    • KF: The bears have a lot of data that frightens — if you listen to them, you'll never invest. Yes, the Fed is meddling right now and there will be a day of reckoning; but odds are its not in our immediate future — there's money to be made now.
    • PS: There are 2 types of bear markets: one is a cyclical downturn; one is a collapse. The Fed is doing everything it can to fools us: stocks are not going down right now, but that is masking the rot.
    • KF: big question to ask yourself: do you want to participate in global growth and innovation? Or do you want to bury your head in the sand? (and miss out, presumably)

    Q2: How many of you were shocked to see the Dow hit an all-time high this morning?

    • MS: Is shocked himself, even though he's 100% invested in the markets currently.
    • AG: surprising that we're at the high so soon after the Brexit swoon. By the way, bull markets climb a wall of worry.

    Q3: Would all of you agree that gold is in a bull market, and it's time to get back in that pool? And do you have a good mining company for investors to consider?

    • PS: The high for the stock market on a real basis was 16 years ago (measuing Dow price vs gold price). Sees the Dow going to 1oz of gold. Sees gold in a bull market since 2000. It corrected in 2011 because everyone believed the Fed's rescue policies were going to work. Now folks are waking up that the Fed is going to print to infinity and the next big leg of the gold bull market (bigger than the previous up leg) is starting now. Gold stocks were hugely undervalued at beginning of year, recommends buying someone else's mining index (pushing his firm's gold fund)
    • AG: Thinks Peter is in fantasy land; comparing $800/oz gold in 1980 to $1,300/oz now. PS claims he's cherry-picking his data (run the numbers from 1970 says Schiff)
    • BD: Agrees that gold is in new big uptrend. This gives us a tremendous opportunity.
    • PS: Gold is true money (all other currencies backed by nothing). Skousen admits he's a long-term gold bull.

    Q4: What's your favorite investment for the coming year?

    • AG: Ask yourself: What is undeniably cheap and underperforming? Look to emerging markets. Marketing across 3/4 of the world's landmass is on sale. They want a modern lifestyle and will be buying .Buy an ETF like EEN.
    • KF: Stick with the unstoppable trends in areas that the government can't screw up. American Water Works – controls a huge amount of water and infrastructure, with nice dividends.
    • BD: Doesn't like one-year forecasts. Get an ETF of the gold mining stocks, like GDX — will perform better than the underlying metals.
    • PS: Emerging markets have been so hated of late. Recommends EuroPacific's emerging markets fund — these will do better as the funds flowing into the US for "safe haven" reverse.

    By applause, the audience voted that the Bulls won the debate.

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  • Thu, Jul 14, 2016 - 3:26pm

    #19

    Jim H

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 08 2009

    Posts: 1798

    Bulls vs Bears....

    Thank you for the reporting Adam.  There is always a Bull market somewhere…. The S&P and Dow may be still moving up.. but not as much as metals. 

    FFMGF (First mining finance) up 14% on the day right now.  On a day when the metals are getting smashed a bit.  BRIZF up 4% on the day.  Risk vs. reward.  Dow/S&P vs. metals…. is this a hard decision?  

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  • Thu, Jul 14, 2016 - 3:44pm

    #20

    Adam Taggart

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 25 2009

    Posts: 2551

    BitGold/Goldmoney

    Darrell MacMullin  is the speaker. Life focus is how to use to technology platforms to disrupt.

     

    • Most people don't really understand what money is: It's stored labor.
    • Despite lots of innovation since going off the gold standard, our currency sits atop the "Federal Reserve stack"
    • It seems like the BitGold guys are now embracing the GoldMoney brand (BitGold bought GM) as the main brand for the combined company.
    • Valued against the world's fiat currencies, gold outperforms all on nearly any time scale.
    • There's more value in physical gold in the world than there is in physical cash/banknotes.
    • Technology is now empowering people more than ever before in society
    • GoldMoney (aka BitGold) mission: making gold easily accessible as the best way to save & spend your money. You can "peg your life" to the gold standard.
    • Partnered with Brinks and MasterCard to create a real-time settlement platform. You have a bank account, held in gold, and transact from it to buy things in the real world. Also making it possible to earn your income in gold (help employers pay their workers in gold)
    • More to come later at FF

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  • Thu, Jul 14, 2016 - 3:55pm

    #21
    Doug

    Doug

    Status Platinum Member (Online)

    Joined: Oct 01 2008

    Posts: 1364

    Bulls or bears?

    On your entry for the bull/bear debate you identified both sides as bulls.  I guess the question should be bulls or bears in which markets?

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  • Thu, Jul 14, 2016 - 3:56pm

    Reply to #21

    Jim H

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 08 2009

    Posts: 1798

    Shiff is a bear.....

    I took it as a typo…

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  • Thu, Jul 14, 2016 - 3:57pm

    #22

    Jim H

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 08 2009

    Posts: 1798

    Goldmoney...

    You have a bank account, held in gold, and transact from it to buy things in the real world.

    For now.. I like to have my Gold exposure outside the banking system, thank you.  Once we are through whatever the next crisis is.. then maybe we can reassess counterparty risk.  

    PHYS for brokerage Gold

    BullionStar Singapore for physically held.  

    Both outside the banking system, both accessible to any size investor.  

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  • Thu, Jul 14, 2016 - 3:58pm

    #23

    Adam Taggart

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 25 2009

    Posts: 2551

    Advancing the American Dream

    Richard Fink speaking now.

    • The people fighting for freedom are from the left and the right — inclusiveness needs to be a key pillar of the freedom movement
    • Just showed a heat map of the "freedom network" in the US (education & research, think tanks, citizen activists, decision makers, and philanthropists. There is a countering "opposition network" too, but Fink's key point is that no matter what happens in the Nov election, there is a growing grassroots freedom network in play to be engaged with.
    • Fink highlights Friedrick Hayek's focus on facilitating the production of intermediate goods and then finished goods (from raw goods) is what created the boom of the industrial revolution. Fink thinks doing the same with social thought (helping free-market policies evolve) will unleash a similar boom.
    • So what are the key infrastructure components of a successful social movement?: data, investment, talent, management, communication and competitive analysis
    • Big need: to engage others outside the echo chamber. How to we engage the masses in the movement?
    • The political system can't drive this change — it's role is to protect the rights of the public to pursue such a movement

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  • Thu, Jul 14, 2016 - 3:59pm

    Reply to #22

    newsbuoy

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 10 2013

    Posts: 95

    BitGold?

    1. https://www.bitgold.com

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  • Thu, Jul 14, 2016 - 4:00pm

    Reply to #21

    Adam Taggart

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 25 2009

    Posts: 2551

    Typo fixed

    [quote=Jim H]

    I took it as a typo…

    [/quote]

    Yes, Schiff/Dohmen were the Bears. Typo fixed.

    Sorry for the flub — typing very fast here to capture the content…

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  • Thu, Jul 14, 2016 - 4:05pm

    Reply to #20

    newsbuoy

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 10 2013

    Posts: 95

    BeetGold? Nyet, Not Possibil in New Yoirka

    Only:

    Colorado

    Ohio

    Texas

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  • Thu, Jul 14, 2016 - 4:24pm

    #24

    Adam Taggart

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 25 2009

    Posts: 2551

    Libertarian CEO Panel

    Panel of Bill Bonner, John Allison, Jennifer Grossman & John Mackey.

    Q1: Panel reaction to controversial statements from Bill Bonner in his new book

    • JM: doesn't take a salary from Whole Foods. He is a large shareholder — that appropriate aligns his incentives with the future health of the company
    • JG: Important for companies to get involved with employee health (physical and mental). The company bears the costs of sick employees, and if it doesn't fill that need, it creates an opening for the government to get involved and make everything more costly/less efficient for everyone
    • BB A business has a purpose; you have to focus on that purpose above all else. Need to look outward to better serve their customers. When they turn inward, they focus on serving their own needs and the company's performance suffers.
    • JM: Rejects BB's Dickensian view of how to treat workers. High morale = high productivity.

    Q2: Role of charity

    • JM: Social entrepreneurship to solve problems is essential to the success of our society, otherwise government will get involved and make it worse for everyone (Whole Foods gives away 10% of profits each year). Sees business as having a responsibility to do so.
    • JA: Aligned with JM. Production must come first, though, before charity. It's what makes charity possible. Should not put charity first, else you give away the seeds of prosperity for the future.
    • JG: Current tax code adds friction to charitable giving.
    • BB: Big fan of private charity. When you give help/money, you have to take responsibility for the results. His views and opposition to government/institutional charity are are shaped by his time living in the ghettos of Baltimore — seeing how government welfare ruined lives and created dependence in those whom received it.
    • JM: 51% of millennials think socialism is better than capitalism. We are doing a poor job of marketing capitalism. We're in danger of our society embracing misguided values.
    • JM just threw down a challenge to BB to debate him on stage at next year's FF
    • JM: the purpose of business is not to make money. It's the greatest value creator in the world. Money is a by-product of value creation. Capitalism is all about value. That's the story we need to tell.

    Q3: Role of humility

     

    • JA: need to have an objective view of your strengths and weaknesses (a nice commercial for the exercises in my book Finding Your Way To Your Authentic Career)
    • BB: A good business leader needs to be humble to the market. The market will instruct you on your priorities if you listen to it. 

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  • Thu, Jul 14, 2016 - 8:29pm

    #25

    Adam Taggart

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 25 2009

    Posts: 2551

    Napolitano

    Just parachuted in to Judge Andrew Napolitano's keynote (20 min late):

    • The Stamp Act was largely a demonstration of the King's authority to barge into our lives whenever he wanted to. Tax collectors could knock on your door and enter you house at any time to search it to make sure the documents inside carried the required stamps. Research has shown that this program cost more than the taxes it collected. Why do it then? To make a point with the populace that they King's authority was absolute.
    • The backlash against this laid the roots for the 4th Amendment ("the right to be left alone")
    • When the French Revolution happened, the fledgling US government out of fear passed an act constraining French immigrants from coming into the country. BUT, along with this, was legislation (the Alien & Sedition Act) that forbade seditious speech against the government. How could the founding fathers pass such law so soon after obtaining the liberties (like free speech) they fought so hard for?
    • A Congressman, Matthew Lyons, who disagreed with this law was imprisoned for speaking out against it (and President Adams' waistline)
    • Jefferson repealed the Act when he became president. Lyons ran for re-election from his prison cell and wins.
    • During the War of 1812, the US captured 4 British troops. The leading US officer went to the local British encampment occupying a city and makes a deal: I'll give you back your troops, leave the town alone. The Brits accept, the town is spared, the war soon ends and the Brits go home. Later on, the US officer is arrested for treason (giving comfort to the enemy during wartime). He was tried and a jury of his peers overrode the government charge. This was the first example of a jury of the public overturning the government in a court of law.
    • Napolitano's point is that since these early days, the government has intruded much further into our liberties than the Constitution ever intended.
    • There is a lust to dominate that is inherent in government.
    • The Patriot Act, he says, is the worst abuse of freedom in the past 200 years. Among many other issues he has with it, it allows govt agents to create their own search warrants.
    • He's holding his phone, saying he wants to be on the record — that the government is listening (to all of us) over our cell phones. He stresses that the govt can record even if the phone looks like it's off.
    • Safety is always the excuse for curtailing freedom/liberty. The govt argues that the majority can take away your liberty if it replaces it with safety. Napolitano asks: how you can take something away from me that you claim is an inherent right? It shouldn't be subject to the rule of the majority; it's mine.
    • Napolitano rejects that we have to try to strike a balance between safety and liberty. In his opinion, liberty is essential. Safety is meaningless without it.
    • For Napolitano, it seems his POV is that inherent natural rights (like freedom of speech, privacy, etc) are ours to decide how to express them. The govt has no jurisdiction over inherent natural rights. His main beef is that the govt has been mucking with them, in violation of the Constitution, for a long time.
    • Clearly, he says, the government's surveillance/gun restrictions/etc are not protecting us from harm — citing the recent public shootings. He quotes Jefferson: "I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery"
    • The individuals whom we've entrusted our liberties to are not taking care of them. We must be vigilant over these overseers. There is a danger of living under more oppression going forward. We must we willing to do what is needed should the time arrive for us to stand against such oppression.

    Standing ovation…

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  • Thu, Jul 14, 2016 - 8:36pm

    Reply to #23
    darcieg76

    darcieg76

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 03 2016

    Posts: 70

    Countering "opposition network"

    Was he just referring to TPTB here?

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  • Thu, Jul 14, 2016 - 9:20pm

    #26

    Adam Taggart

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 25 2009

    Posts: 2551

    Peter Schiff

    Now at the Peter Schiff breakout session:

    • The Dow hasn't changed much vs its high 2 years ago
    • Sees the main dynamic in play right now is growing skepticism that the Fed's plan is going to work. While there was a lot of faith a few years ago, especially as stocks and housing prices strongly recovered. PS warned this was merely a "victory dance"; that the hard part will come when the stimulus ends.
    • Due to the exuberance, gold sold off, stocks continued higher. And the Fed jawboned that it was going to get serious about raising rates and ending the party. When the Fed made the tiny rate hike from 0% to 0.25%, the stock market had a violent sell-off (exactly what PS claims he said would happen)
    • The Fed doesn't want to raise rates because it can't without crushing the market/economy.
    • So the Fed backed off, and keeps delaying making the decision to raise again. Brexit pushed things back even farther. In fact, the market believes the Fed is more likely to cut rates next than raise.
    • PS has been predicting this, because the Fed is backed into a corner. For years, talking about raising rates was the Fed's "tightening".
    • PS now sees another wave of Fed easing.
    • Now, when we eased too much under Greenspan, it led to the housing bubble, the popping of which gave us the absolutely vicious 2008 crisis. Now, Bernanke and Yellen have dwarfed the easing that Greenspan did. How tremendous a crisis awaits us when that collapses?
    • PS notes that even Greenspan is a critic of Fed policy and a fan of gold.
    • PS claims the next recession is already here. The reckoning is already underway; the stock market is just not signalling it yet. Negative rates and helicopter money are being seriously pursued now — these used to be jokes/absurdities. We are at the end of the line monetarily.
    • Our leaders are doubling down on policies that have clearly failed.
    • Interest rates are the most important pricing mechanism in a free market. They should not be manipulated by the government — distortions result if they are. That's where we are now — a freakishly and dangerously out of whack system.
    • What's about to happen then?
    • The vast majority of statistics are indicative of recession vs growth. And many of these are manipulated to look as good as possible (unemployment rate, as an example)
    • Malinvestment and malincentives abound (PS is channeling my recent posts on mass layoffs and automation)
    • PS predicts the Fed will cut to 0%, and will conduct a round of QE4. As the economy weakens, politicians who feel the need to "do something" will vote to ease more.
    • PS predicts the dollar will weaken as a result, commodity prices will rise, and price inflation will really get going (after an initial lag). Initially, the government will cheer this as a good thing — finally we're hitting our inflation targets! (Schiff lambasts the idea of celebrating any kind of inflation).
    • But as the inflation rate ticks up further (even though it will be underreported by the govt), PS doesn't see any way they can contain it. They can't raise rates — they US govt can't pay the interest on its debts at higher rates. On top of that, the bond/stock/housing markets will crash. Same with the big banks.
    • So don't expect the Fed to fight inflation EVER. Instead, it's going to rationalize not taking any action at all.
    • This will really get the decline of the dollar accelerating, and inflation moving even higher. This is the horrible trap the Fed is in: kill the economy by raising rates or allow hyperinflation?
    • This is why gold jumped so high so quickly this year, and why the dollar index rise has flattened out. Folks are beginning to wake up to the possible endgame.
    • All of the problems that led to 2008 are MUCH much worse today. The next crisis will be different than 2008 — it's going to be a currency crisis. It's one the govt can bail us out from: in 2008, the world wanted Treasury bonds, which we used to paper over our problems. What will happen when folks don't want Treasurys?
    • We can default or print money. We should default, get it over with, and move on more intelligently. Instead we're going to print more.
    • "As long as no one realizes you're broke, as long as you can issue debt at low interest rates, you're fine. You're not the minute your creditors realize you're insolvent."
    • People have been buying the US dollar as a save haven. Someday, they're going to realize it's not one. That when the true safe havens will explode higher.
    • The Fed has been pretending it's going to shrink its $4 trillion balance sheet. It never is. It's much more likely to grow.
    • The Fed sucks prosperity from Main Street when it monetizes debt the way it has been. That's why local economies are hurting so badly.
    • We've hollowed out our manufacturing base and de-skilled as a nation. The rest of the world is better positioned to produce than the US. PS predicts a lot of opportunity overseas — largely in emerging markets.

    Off to the PP book signing…

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  • Fri, Jul 15, 2016 - 3:03am

    #27

    Adam Taggart

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 25 2009

    Posts: 2551

    Global Warming Debate

    Arrived 10 mins late…

    James Taylor

    • Just got his closing comments
    • Global warming scientists cherry pick their data — should be looking at temperatures for the past thousands of year vs the past 200
    • To take away our industry, productive potential and our liberties for a false threat is immoral

    Michael Shermer

    • This is not a political or economic issue — put those beliefs aside
    • Used to be a client skeptic until I looked at the science
    • 7 lines of evidence
      • CO2 is higher today than 650k years (measured by air bubbles in ice bores)
      • Rate of warming has been increasing in past 200 years
      • Increase in CO2 comes from burning fossil fuels (due to the isotopes)
      • Melting polar ice caps at unprecedented rate
      • Melting glaciers at unprecedented rate
      • Rising sea levels
      • Record heat waves – 15 hottest years happened in the last 16 years
    • The science research data comes from multiple disparate sources
    • Study revealed that 97% of 12,000 research papers conclude that global warming is real (= that is scientific consensus)

    Witness #1: Al Gore

    • Al Gore never agrees to debate. What is he afraid of?? If his position was defensible, he'd defend it

    Prosecution Witness #2: Dr William Haver from Princeton University

     

    • A physicist from Princeton, has worked in climate issues for most of his career
    • CO2 is not a pollutant
    • We've been in a CO2 famine for the past thousands of years. Much harder for plants to grow today than when levels were higher 60 million years ago.
    • The climate always changes — the world has had many warming/cooling periods in the past
    • CO2 is a minor factor in climate warming. Other factors play a much bigger role.
    • Models of global warming are spectacularly wrong vs the data
    • Extreme weather events are not increasing. The data shows its the same as its always been.
    • If CO2 doubles, the planet temperature will increase 1 percent Celsius. Those claiming 3-4 degrees are being alarmist to secure funding

    Under cross-examination:

     

    • Admits that he believes that a small fraction of climate warming is due to humans.
    • Personally thinks that more CO2 is good for the world.
    • Disagrees that the rate of warming is higher than in earlier periods

    Prosecution Witness #3: Dr. Michaels

    • Director for the Center of the Study of Science at Cato Institute
    • Climate model forecasting has been terribly off-the-mark compared vs the actual data as measured by satellites and weather balloons. As a result, we can calculate that the impact of CO2 on global warming is HALF that of what the models predict
    • The right question to ask is: How much more will the temperature rise in the future? Most scientists will have to admit less than is being warned about.

    Under cross-examination:

    • Shermer challenging Michaels on his, and the Cato Institute's, credentials on this topic.
    • Doubts private industry can address climate issues.
    • Michaels claims that latest models show that rate of increase is linear, not increasing

    Defense Witness #1: Dr. Cary Emmanuel (from MIT)

    • Has spent career studying climate science
    • Scientists are professionals: they put beliefs aside and let the data speak for itself
    • The temperature has been climbing at the fasting rate since the last ice age — the previous witnesses were flat wrong
    • Ancient warming periods were largely regional, not planetary.
    • The record shows that temperature and CO2 immediately started spiking as the Industrial Revolution began
    • More CO2 may be good for life in general, but not for humans and our way of life. 
    • If the planet warms to the point where the sea rises by several meters, the devastation and destruction of the ecosystems we depend on will be tremendous
    • We don't have to destroy the economy to address global warming
    • Doesn't agree that Paris Accord should be ripped up

    Under cross-examination:

    • Will solar and wind suffice to bring down CO2 emissions? Answer: No. Nuclear will need to play a role.
    • Natural gas can be good in the short term (10-20 years). Much less pollutive than coal. Bad in the long run.
    • Environmentalists are blocking nuclear, and access to good solutions like hydropower.
    • Believes that nuclear power should be on the table.

    Defense Witness #2: Dr. Michael Previka (from UNLV)

    • "Science is science"
    • Is skeptical of the global warming skeptics
    • Look at Venus: if the temp gets to a certain level, CO2 will no longer be absorbed in the water and the planet will experience runaway greenhouse effect
    • Data (wild fires, extreme weather, etc) show more energy in the atmosphere than in past
    • CO2 spewed out by jet planes is ejected into the atmosphere, and takes 100 years to make its way down to ground level
    • Rapid change generally causes rapid loss of life. Without time to adapt, species die off

    Under cross-examination:

    • Can't say definitively what % of the temperature increase is due to humans
    • Yes, the atmosphere is somewhat restorative — it gets hotter in one place and colder in another — BUT the concern is that the loss of ice & trees will result in trapping of more heat on average, and increasing warming
    • CO2-based warming leading to desertification

    Verdict

     

    • The trial ended with a hung jury (6 "guilty", 6 "not guilty)
    • The audience "applause-o-meter" favored the prosecution (Taylor)
    • I find myself puzzled by the libertarian stance displayed here regarding climate change. The denial of it seems based on beliefs ("nothing is worth compromising my personal liberty") than on the warnings of science ("hey, you might be free, but you might end up dead, too"). Along with the belief comes a bias against everything the greenies embrace, even if it just makes good sense — like investing in renewable energy systems. A lot of folks here seem to be rooting for Telsa's failure. Really? Won't having the technology figured out to switch from hydrocarbons to electrons for transportation be a good option, no matter what we choose to do with the remaining fossil fuels? The automatic equation of being a better environmental steward with big government/freedom loss seems unfortunately short-sighted to me. It shouldn't be an either/or choice between freedom and sustainability IMO.

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  • Fri, Jul 15, 2016 - 3:23am

    #28

    Quercus bicolor

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 19 2008

    Posts: 190

    Entire global warming debate misses the real issue

    So the deniers basically say "it's not real, don't interfere with our economic freedom."  In other words, business as usual.  Cary Emmanuel with all of his command of climate science promotes a modified business as usual with wind, solar, hydro and nuclear taking up the slack (at least as far as I can tell from Adam's notes).  My assessment (and probably many others here) says that the combined stresses of anthropogenic climate change, pollution, habitat destruction, overfishing, etc. along with coming shortfalls of energy and minerals threatens the entire project of industrial civilization.  That makes their debate almost irrelevant.  Kind of like the occupants of a train speeding towards a cliff debating about whether to continue full throttle or to ease up on the throttle a bit and maybe just coast.  Meanwhile, even aggressive braking will still result in low speed crash.

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  • Fri, Jul 15, 2016 - 5:21am

    #29

    Arthur Robey

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 03 2010

    Posts: 1814

    The failure.

    From my ex father in law, Electronic engineer 

    Yes. But does it work. No? Bring it back when you've got it to work

    This Idealism of "freedom" is basking in poor light. It cannot grapple with the problems of Climate change.  If it cannot address existential problems then it doesn't work. Mr.Darwin accepts no excuses. "Yes, but." cuts no mustard with him.

    I had better get back to my preps.

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  • Fri, Jul 15, 2016 - 5:31am

    Reply to #28

    Grover

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 15 2011

    Posts: 691

    Climate Change: So what? Now what?

    Quercus bicolor,

    What is the real issue? I used to worry about it until I realized there wasn't anything I could do about it. As long as the enormous human population continues to use resources and leave behind pollutants as byproducts, we're eventually going to hit that cliff. It doesn't matter at what speed the collision takes place. So, why try to save the system if any effort is too little and too late? Why worry about it? Do you worry (excessively) about the eventuality of your own death? I don't. (I worry about living too long rather than dying too soon.)

    I keep seeing the climate change alarmists tell us how bad everything (climatewise) is getting. That focuses on the "So what?" part of the questions. It's time to focus on the "Now what?" question. I'd really like to see some realistic plans to combat the problem. When I used to try to come up with solutions, every thought train led to a one world government that kept tabs on everyone. Frankly, that scared me much more than climate change ever did.

    Qb, I don't mean to single you out here. Your post just reminded me of my past failings. I'd like to hear from anyone who has a real plan. In the end … if nothing can be done to stop it, then nothing should be done.

    Grover

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  • Fri, Jul 15, 2016 - 8:12am

    #30

    rhare

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 29 2009

    Posts: 397

    A libertarian perspective...a bit different than Adam's take

    [quote=Adam Taggart]

    I find myself puzzled by the libertarian stance displayed here regarding climate change. The denial of it seems based on beliefs ("nothing is worth compromising my personal liberty") than on the warnings of science ("hey, you might be free, but you might end up dead, too"). Along with the belief comes a bias against everything the greenies embrace, even if it just makes good sense — like investing in renewable energy systems. A lot of folks here seem to be rooting for Telsa's failure. Really? Won't having the technology figured out to switch from hydrocarbons to electrons for transportation be a good option, no matter what we choose to do with the remaining fossil fuels? The automatic equation of being a better environmental steward with big government/freedom loss seems unfortunately short-sighted to me. It shouldn't be an either/or choice between freedom and sustainability IMO.

    [/quote]

    My take is we should get rid of all the subsidies for all fuels.  Right now we have so many distortions starting from the money system to subsidies of all energy sources include fossil fuels to know what is really sustainable or the proper solution.  When a government picks a solution (such as wind/solar) are they killing an even better idea?   Would just removing the subsidies from the fossil fuels (military counts as one) reduce use due to price rises without having to resort to crap like carbon credits that will simply enrich some other political connected entity?  I just can't put my faith in fixing the issue (real or not) with the same folks that caused the problems in the first place.  Just look at what heavy government subsidies of roads/public works has done for promoting unsustainable cities in the deserts (Las Vegas!).  Or how about those nice windmills being built with concrete that won't last.

    Then I too figure as Grover does that it just doesn't matter.  All the solutions put forth do not address the root cause of the problem at all, the fact that we are in massive population overshoot, so unless someone is going to decide how to get rid of maybe 6 billion people we are going to keep putting out more CO2 and other pollutants until we can't due to running out of fuels and then we will get the population reduction.

    I would even go so far as to say Climate Change (real or not) doesn't matter because so many other issues are going to be critical before it is.

    As far as real or not, when one side is so sure that they insist on shutting down debate, I begin to get real suspicious.   Who cares if everyone believes it's real.  If the majority do and are willing to do something about it then great, start.  When all those who are so alarmed start actually reducing their use (ie. no more jetting around in private jets), then maybe I will start to give them a bit more credence.

    As far as Tesla, I do not have not problem with what they are doing, except for the fact that they are suckling mightily from that government teat, which means they are stealing from everyone to support a megolomanic billionaire's idea of what the world should be.  If what they are doing is so great, then they shouldn't need to use violence via proxy to pay for it!

     

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  • Fri, Jul 15, 2016 - 11:38am

    Reply to #28

    LesPhelps

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 30 2009

    Posts: 472

    Grover wrote:As long as the

    [quote=Grover]

    As long as the enormous human population continues to use resources and leave behind pollutants as byproducts, we're eventually going to hit that cliff. It doesn't matter at what speed the collision takes place. So, why try to save the system if any effort is too little and too late?

    I'd really like to see some realistic plans to combat the problem. When I used to try to come up with solutions, every thought train led to a one world government that kept tabs on everyone. Frankly, that scared me much more than climate change ever did.

    [/quote]

    Continuing to tow a ski boat to the lake with your Suburban and tow your kids back and forth on tubes or skis is not the answer.  Refusing to drive energy efficient transportation because all your neighbors still have pickup trucks is not the answer.

    It's a matter of doing the right and rational thing, personally.  I can't change the world, but I can change my behavior.

    It appears to me that global warming science has been handled poorly by some, not all.  It appears to me that skeptics shoot holes in the science without bothering to look at there thermometers.

    To me, it winds up being a side issue to poor energy consumption habits and not knowing when you have enough stuff. 

    Even if you can prove global warming to be a non-issue or minor issue, you can't wish peak oil/energy away.  I drive highly fuel efficient transportation, because I have a better understanding of the true value of a gallon of gas than most of my neighbors.  My carbon footprint is improved as a result.  It's really that simple.

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  • Fri, Jul 15, 2016 - 11:42am

    Reply to #30

    LesPhelps

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 30 2009

    Posts: 472

    rhare wrote:My take is we

    [quote=rhare]

    My take is we should get rid of all the subsidies for all fuels.  Right now we have so many distortions starting from the money system to subsidies of all energy sources include fossil fuels to know what is really sustainable or the proper solution.

    [/quote]

    So efficient markets and unregulated capitalism will solve the energy problem?

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  • Fri, Jul 15, 2016 - 2:17pm

    #31
    Uncletommy

    Uncletommy

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 03 2014

    Posts: 521

    A self regulating organism?

    I wonder how much the earth has been affected by everyone flying, driving or otherwise trekking to Freedom Fest to discuss how mankind can continue to denude the planet of the community of life forms we currently have the privilege to experience.

    “The idea that humans are yet intelligent enough to serve as stewards of the Earth is among the most hubristic ever.” 

    ― James E. LovelockThe Revenge of Gaia

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  • Fri, Jul 15, 2016 - 3:06pm

    #32
    Doug

    Doug

    Status Platinum Member (Online)

    Joined: Oct 01 2008

    Posts: 1364

    I have to kind of differ

    [quote]I find myself puzzled by the libertarian stance displayed here regarding climate change. The denial of it seems based on beliefs ("nothing is worth compromising my personal liberty") than on the warnings of science ("hey, you might be free, but you might end up dead, too"). Along with the belief comes a bias against everything the greenies embrace, even if it just makes good sense — like investing in renewable energy systems. A lot of folks here seem to be rooting for Telsa's failure. Really? Won't having the technology figured out to switch from hydrocarbons to electrons for transportation be a good option, no matter what we choose to do with the remaining fossil fuels? The automatic equation of being a better environmental steward with big government/freedom loss seems unfortunately short-sighted to me. It shouldn't be an either/or choice between freedom and sustainability IMO.[/quote]

    I think Adam's final paragraph summed it up beautifully.  Denial of climate change is a non-starter still proposed only by fossil fuel interests and their proxies, many of whom are represented at libertarian gatherings.  Time to move on.

    As QB noted, there are a lot of environmental problems not primarily related to AGW.  As others note, overpopulation is a huge problem (but not the only or driving problem). Besides, it's probably harder to solve than climate change and they are not mutually exclusive.  As still others point out, we should be focusing on what to do.  Make no mistake, AGW is a, if not the, critical issue of our time.  It must be solved for the sake of the earth as we know it.

    The science is pretty clear and a lot can be done about it while recognizing there are still differences at the margins.  Wind, solar, other renewables, carbon taxes and conservation are obvious partial solutions that could be initiated and scaled up rapidly.  Don't let issues like using cement in the foundations stop us, find some other foundation methods.  Drilling into bedrock works.  There were at least dozens of small hydroelectric dams in upstate NY before they were decommissioned and torn down in favor of large grid systems.  Well, maybe its time to rethink some of those local solutions with compromises to protect populations of aquatic species.  I'm still hesitant about nuclear as it has problems that seem insoluble, waste being the biggie.  But, there are smart folks out there who might be able to resolve those problems.

    In all of this there is plenty of opportunity for private enterprise, but trying to pursue the wet dream of a totally free market is a road to disaster.  Balance and compromise are the keys.

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  • Fri, Jul 15, 2016 - 4:05pm

    #33

    Adam Taggart

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 25 2009

    Posts: 2551

    Voter Access, Voter Fraud & Gerrymandering

    Panel on the state of the US election process — panelists are Frank Atwood, Alicia Dern, Aaron Hamlin, John Fund, Hunter Scarborough

    • JF: voting process itself needs to be reconsidered. Suggesting it would be a good idea to have voters rank the choices, instead of the simple winner-take-all process right now (instead, the person with highest-weighted score would win).
    • JF: we should put term limits on Congressional seats (this got a big applause)
    • FA: advocate for approval voting. Right now voter can only cast 1 vote for 1 candidate. Under approval voting, voter can vote for all the candidates they'd be comfortable with (and not vote for those they don't like). This is the simplest, easiest way to give visibility to 3rd party candidates, and avoid run-offs.
    • AH: our voting process offers little information to the voter and is very inefficient and non-transparent.
    • HS: working with Tinder to use their technology to create a "swipe the vote" solution that has promise to bring millennials more into the voting process. Combining the Tinder experience with lots of data on the candidates to give "everyone a quick way to vote with confidence". App launches in 2 weeks.
    • HS: witnessed gerrymandering in the recent CA election. Analogizes the election process integrity as on par with the TSA — a lot of theatre to make you feel like your vote counts, but in many cases, it's not counted or miscounted.
    • HS: Approval voting, mathematically, yields the highest voter satisfaction. But it's hard to explain intuitively — which is too bad, as it's the best option.
    • Interesting work being done on "blockchain voting" (the panelist who was going to speak on this couldn't make it today)
    • JF: The system is so sloppy it's hard to tell where the sloppiness ends and the fraud begins. Our system is very vulnerable. Voter fraud is very easy to commit and very hard to police. A simple solution is to recruit more poll watchers — just having the threat of getting caught will decrease a lot of folks casting false votes.

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  • Fri, Jul 15, 2016 - 4:06pm

    #34

    Chris Martenson

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 07 2007

    Posts: 4546

    Voter Fraud Session

    All the panelists are talking about what I consider to be the edges of the vote irregularity issues.  

    Current panelist is talking about vote fraud (i.e. dead people voting, and double voting) which is the 0.00065% issue while the insecure vote tabulators are the 99.9995% problem.

    The vote fraud issue is really a non-issue, but there's a lot of focus on it here…I think because it's so easy to understand?  

    Nobody is talking about election rigging by electronic machines and tabulators.  I cannot engage in the topic when the 8,000 pound elephant is on the stage and nobody is talking about it.

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  • Fri, Jul 15, 2016 - 4:21pm

    #35

    Adam Taggart

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 25 2009

    Posts: 2551

    Term Limits/Gary Johnson

    Panel on term limits, featuring Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate for US President. Other panelists include Philip Blumel and Paul Jacob.

    • PB: adding term limits to Congress would require a change to the Constitution (invoking Article 5). There is historical precedent for this.
    • GJ: Proposes grandfathering the sitting Congresspeople exempting them from term limits in order to overcome their self-interest
    • PB: His organization is pressing sitting Congresspeople to support a vote on term limits. Currently has 40 signatures. As a realist, he knows the majority won't support unless we the people put pressure on them.
    • PB: Term limits doesn't limit voter choice. Why not? Because powerful incumbents run for their party seat each election, preventing new candidates from emerging. Term limits create open elections on a regular basis, and create more incentive for more candidates to toss their hat into the ring.
    • GJ: Paid for his own primary when he ran for governor. Freed him from the 'quid pro quo' that his opponents had to deal with. As he began to win the race, all of sudden those funding his competitors wanted to start giving him money, so they had an "in" with the winning horse. Main point: need to get money out of the campaign process.
    • PB: it's clear the US public thinks term limits are a good idea. We need to push for Congress to hold a convention on term limits. Will require huge public grassroots push to make this happen. But it's possible — cites ousting of House Speaker Tom Foley in his home district as an example when the public won out on the issue of term limits.
    • GJ: He and Bill Weld (his VP candidate) are the only candidates who have signed a pledge to fight for term limits if elected
    • Bill Weld (steps up in audience): thinks term limits could be a major issue in this campaign. Sees this year as a great election for highlighting the "fossilized duopoly" of our current political system. The 2-party system is the 'villian'; it's just not working and only serves itself at this point. Claims this message is resonating on the campaign trail. Agrees that term limits would bring in fresh ideas, new energy, and more people "serving for the right reason"
    • PJ: Politicians are better people when the voters "put fear in their hearts"

     

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  • Fri, Jul 15, 2016 - 4:32pm

    #36

    KugsCheese

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 01 2010

    Posts: 824

    Shermer

    Shermer Ad Hominem attack.  Attacks person not argument.   There you go.  Why I don't read his stuff anymore.

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  • Fri, Jul 15, 2016 - 4:41pm

    Reply to #30

    rhare

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 29 2009

    Posts: 397

    Hubris

    [quote=LesPhelps]

    So efficient markets and unregulated capitalism will solve the energy problem?

    [/quote]

    Better than some politician picking a winner based on the most benefit to themselves.  I just don't understand how the same people who helped to create much of this mess are suddenly now the ones that are going to solve it?  Why are politicians and bureaucrats going to suddenly make the right decisions? If you want something done you need the freedom to change your behavior and to convince those around you to do so as well. 

    Right now in many places you can't even grow a garden because it's illegal.  You are forced to keep using a fiat ponzi money scheme that keeps much of this unsustainable mess going. You are forced to pay for those windmills that are designed to fail in less than 100 years because some politicians got together and decided for your own good you will give up the fruits of your labor to do so.  

    Do I think "efficient markets and unregulated capitalism" will solve the energy problems – no, because there is no solution, but I certainly think billions of people looking for solutions without massive distortions are far more likely to come up with better answers than a few politicians dictating what should be done.  Here at PP there is always talk about how action should have been taken long ago, how many people would have already decided those Suburbans weren't such a great idea if oil wasn't heavily subsidized?

    [quote=LesPhelps]

    It's a matter of doing the right and rational thing, personally.  I can't change the world, but I can change my behavior.

    [/quote]

    I consider that the right attitude, but then you question my desire to have the same freedom to make my own choices? So you will do the right thing, but insist that everyone else must be forced to do so?  That's just hubris and why I find so many of the "progressives" and "environmentalists" distasteful.  Instead of supporting community by voluntary cooperation they insist on using the violence via government proxy to get their way.

    Just look at how quick you are to decide that even questioning global warming is heretic.  If your stance can't handle a criticism then maybe it's not such a strong case.  If you think your right, convince others, and don't worry about the few that think your wrong.

    [quote=Uncletommy]

    I wonder how much the earth has been affected by everyone flying, driving or otherwise trekking to Freedom Fest to discuss how mankind can continue to denude the planet of the community of life forms we currently have the privilege to experience.

    [/quote]

    Probably a lot less than those attending the various climate conferences on taxpayer money.  Talk about hypocrisy.  It's a lot easier to be wasteful when your spending other peoples money, something that those attending the freedom fest find wrong.

     

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  • Fri, Jul 15, 2016 - 5:35pm

    #37

    AKGrannyWGrit

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 06 2011

    Posts: 454

    Suggestion

    Love the new info and regular updates!  Would enjoy an Off The Cuff with both you Chris and Adam upon your return to discuss your key take-always and perspectives.  Very interesting and thanks for the almost real time sharing.  Looking forward to more updates.

    AK GrannyWGrit

     

     

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  • Fri, Jul 15, 2016 - 5:46pm

    #38

    Adam Taggart

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 25 2009

    Posts: 2551

    George Gilder: Why Wall St Recovers But Main St Doesn't

    • wealth = knowledge (how to use resources well)
    • growth = learning
    • Most learning is experimental/experiential. The reason capitalism is such an engine of learning/growth is that failure is possible.
    • When failure is removed by government guarantees, then the learning process is arrested/falsified. Tesla being held up as an example of this — too subsidized by govt (I get the criticism of govt subsidy, but not sure I agree that Tesla is not unlocking important knowledge)
    • When money is not constant, it makes it hard for businesses to allocate it wisely. Money is a measuring stick — needs to be as dependable as possible.
    • Money = time. The scarcity of money (ideally) is based on the scarcity of time. The pressure of time scarcity forces you to prioritize, and to have a sense of urgency.
    • Low interest rates slow down the time pressure of money. They literally slow down the economy, they remove the urgency to act. The economy drifts as a result — that's what we've seen in Japan, and now seeing elsewhere in the developed world.
    • The government control of money fosters inequality. We now have a bifurcated economy: 0% interest rates result in a bidding up of assets because there's no cost to taking on debt, so those with access to the debt do very well. The rest of us live in the real world and experience a rise in the cost of things we need to live.
    • A tremendous amount of money trades a day ($5.3 trillion) in our markets, many many multiples more than world GDP or assets. 77% of it is conducted by 5 big banks. It's all mostly speculative. Finance has ballooned and siphons off capital without producing any value.
    • Money is NOT a commodity. It needs to exist outside the system that it measures. Else it gets distorted.
    • Time (really, the speed of light at its most basic) is the foundation of all physical performance metrics. Everything comes back to time.

    Gilder is a clearly smart guy — this presentation was pretty wonky and a little hard to capture the linear thread going through it.

    • Someone asked the Tesla question I wanted to hear raised. Gilder seems pretty biased here, delivering ad hominem criticisms (Musk believes in global warming, wants to please his political overlords). He's now rambling about lack of sound money and sound science — but not talking about any specifics about Tesla. Gilder now poo-pooing the thought that overpopulation is an issue. Wow — he's really attacking a strawman vs answering the question.
    • Gilder believes there is great opportunity for developing alternative currencies. Big fan of Bitcoin (says its based on time, so of course he likes it). He likes gold, too (and also believes it's based on time, too).
    • PPer CleanEnergyFan is here with me and asking about Gilder's opinion on Charles Hugh Smith's CLIME labor-based currency concept. Gilder says he's been impressed with some of CHS's writings (go Charles!!!). Gilder says labor is harder to manage as money (it's part of the economy, so becomes a self-referential loop). He sees the problem with commodity money is labor, that labor changes as cost of labor changes/technology advances/etc. Gilder agrees that new models are needed — need to get the govt out of influencing our money. It needs to be absolute.

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  • Fri, Jul 15, 2016 - 7:07pm

    Reply to #38

    Jim H

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 08 2009

    Posts: 1798

    Thank you Adam! Great reporting coverage...

    Reading your coverage is almost as good as being there.   Your real time documentation and editorial comments are very much appreciated. 

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  • Fri, Jul 15, 2016 - 8:18pm

    #39

    Grover

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 15 2011

    Posts: 691

    Need a Real Plan

    [quote=Doug]

    As QB noted, there are a lot of environmental problems not primarily related to AGW.  As others note, overpopulation is a huge problem (but not the only or driving problem). Besides, it's probably harder to solve than climate change and they are not mutually exclusive.  As still others point out, we should be focusing on what to do.  Make no mistake, AGW is a, if not the, critical issue of our time.  It must be solved for the sake of the earth as we know it.

    The science is pretty clear and a lot can be done about it while recognizing there are still differences at the margins.  Wind, solar, other renewables, carbon taxes and conservation are obvious partial solutions that could be initiated and scaled up rapidly.  Don't let issues like using cement in the foundations stop us, find some other foundation methods.  Drilling into bedrock works.  There were at least dozens of small hydroelectric dams in upstate NY before they were decommissioned and torn down in favor of large grid systems.  Well, maybe its time to rethink some of those local solutions with compromises to protect populations of aquatic species.  I'm still hesitant about nuclear as it has problems that seem insoluble, waste being the biggie.  But, there are smart folks out there who might be able to resolve those problems.

    [/quote]

    Doug,

    You stated: "Make no mistake, AGW is a, if not the, critical issue of our time. It must be solved for the sake of the earth as we know it." Great! So how do we do it?

    Have you ever looked at the embedded energy (fossil fuels) in manufacturing windmills, solar systems, and other renewables? If you dedicated all the collected energy from a windmill to mining, refining, transporting, and maintaining replacements … how many could you get before the original was essentially worn out? What about hydroelectric dams? Doesn't the impounded reservoir eventually silt up? Is that really a long term solution? Isn't that just trading one environmental catastrophe for a bigger one in the future?

    Then, there is the magical carbon tax. The only way it works is with a one world government to keep all the cheaters in line (theoretically.) How else are you going to keep China (or any other sovereign nation) from polluting more to provide for their own people? How would you keep a one world government in check?

    Doug, you are a smart guy. Try to carry your thoughts a little further. Partial efforts and wishful thinking don't exactly form the foundation of a real plan. I don't expect a fully formed plan, but I expect more than mere picking at the margins. The margins will take care of themselves. Focus on the bulk of the problem.

    If there isn't any solution, then it really is a predicament that only has outcomes. Wouldn't it be better to focus on personally minimizing the impact of the potential outcomes? As an example, I keep hearing that AGW will cause sea level to rise. (I don't disagree.) That can be partially mitigated by moving to higher ground before sea level rises. I'd rather focus on mitigation techniques than the speed that the oceans are rising. I can't keep the oceans at bay.

    Grover

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  • Fri, Jul 15, 2016 - 8:24pm

    #40

    Mark Cochrane

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 24 2011

    Posts: 1189

    Checking in

    Stuck in an airport as usual, with 24 hours more to go… I really do wrestle with the cost/benefit of my traveling so much.

    Little time so just a few thoughts.

    1. Getting rid of subsidies for fossil fuels is a terrific idea, paying the full cost of their use is a better one.

    2. Convoluting climate change and politics/ideology is akin to the Roman Catholic Church insisting that the Earth doesn't orbit the Sun. After 350 years they finally admitted they were wrong but stubbornness isn't really an argument. There is nothing wrong with questioning AGW per se, but simply repeating the same old long debunked arguments while refusing to look at the facts isn't debate, it is denial.

    3. Why do people say AGW is 'the' biggest problem? It isn't one- ups-man-ship, it is the simple fact that it makes all of the other problems that we have much, much worse. The military refers to it as a threat multiplier. Ignoring it is really not an acceptable option but dealing with it effectively means dealing with our other problems (population, energy use, resource availability, biodiversity loss, ecosystem services, water scarcity, food availability, wealth distribution, etc).

    4. Criticizing Les (Rhare) for his ardent support of AGW, now that's funny. Sorry Les. Les doesn't need the crutch of AGW to do more about it than most anyone I've heard of.

    5. There is nothing wrong with the freedom to choose but we can't all be free to chose our own facts. The sad fact is that the more people we have on this Earth squabbling over less and less resources signifies that we will experience ever less freedom for all of us. If we wasted and procreated less then our kids would have better future options.

    On the move again….

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  • Fri, Jul 15, 2016 - 9:48pm

    #41

    Adam Taggart

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 25 2009

    Posts: 2551

    Bert Dohman: Will The Next Crisis Be Worse Than 2008?

    • Starts with a rant that the companies a lot of stock analysts are recommending (e.g AAPL) are losing strategic value and will be losing bets going forward
    • For those recommending emerging markets (this is a dig at Peter Schiff), he thinks that's madness. The debt burden those countries face gets monstrous in a credit crisis like we saw in 2008.
    • Thinks that the Wall Street guys you see on CNBC have conflicts of interest and are out for themselves vs their investors.
    • Wall Street is all about pumping up stocks and then dumping on the dumb money (uses Alibaba as an example here). He's warming my heart here…
    • "Wall Street is a smokescreen". You need to be aware of what's going on or else you'll be the bagholder.
    • Just today: The McClellan Oscillator is giving a warning: majority of stocks are going down. The S&P is still going up. This is a signal that the index is begin manipulated and the fundamentals are hollowing out. The majority of stocks will drag the index down as they gather momentum. BD sees this as a big warning.
    • We are not in a bull market if you look across the world. Shows the commodity price index to show that the global economy is crazy weak. Agricultural commodities doing the same. Latin America down over 80% in 2008. Asia Tiger Fund down over 65% (does not include China). China fund down 62%.
    • China is in a private sector recession. Manufacturing has been declining there for past 15 months. Dohman Capital jus issued a report titled "The China Crisis Is Here"
    • Europe looks just as bad. It's going into a banking crisis. It's bank index has declined 89% since 2008. System being kept alive by the ECB.
    • Interest rates are the lowest they've been in 500 years
    • NIRP/ZIPR has not worked, is not working. In Europe, 3/4 of govt bonds have negative yields — and no one knows what the consequences will be. Banks, insurance companies and penion plans hold these bonds and will be devastated when interest rates eventually normalize.
    • Baltic dry freight index is dead.
    • Heading off to another meeting. This stuff is pretty basic for PP readers….

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  • Fri, Jul 15, 2016 - 9:48pm

    Reply to #28

    Quercus bicolor

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 19 2008

    Posts: 190

    Exactly, Grover

    I agree with you 100% Grover.  My point was there was no point in debating business as usual vs. renewable techno-fantasy.   And yes, there's not much point in promoting aggressive efforts to stave of climate change due to the unwillingness of most folks to face the truth and take meaningful action on the one hand and the risks inherent in the government creating "incentives" on the other.  However, as rhare points out, it would be good if government removed negative incentives in the form of subsidies for fossil fuels.

    There's plenty of good reasons for those of us who see the enormous destruction to allow ourselves to feel – in the presence of others who also see it the enormity of it – the overwhelming grief it brings up.  Industrial civilization of which we all are a part of is literally scraping off the Earth's living skin, spreading poison over the surface, into the air and waters, netting most of the fish out of the ocean and creating a change in climate so rapid that it will be tremendously destructive. 

    One of those good reasons with that if we internalize the grief, we're pretty useless in terms of asking "Now what?", answering it wisely and acting on it in a good way.  We'll just go on re-enacting some story of victimhood, revenge, hopelessness, addiction, or savior complex or even "F!?% it, it's hopeless!  I might as well indulge myself in all of those consumer goods like everyone else!"

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  • Fri, Jul 15, 2016 - 10:19pm

    #42

    Chris Martenson

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 07 2007

    Posts: 4546

    Economic panel and Austrian Predictions

    This is a panel of 5 plus a moderator.

    Panelist Gene Epstein (economics editor of Barron's) – does not see a recession on the way. Sees a muddle through.

    Chris Casey (Managing Director, WindRockWealth Management) thinks that the flattening of the yield curve and would not be surprised to see a recession in the near term.

    Adrian Day (President, Adrian Day Asset Management)does not see a stock bubble, certainly not on the basis of valuations, and also because cocktail party chatter is not back to mania territory.  

    Keith Weiner (CEO monetary metals) does not trust the yield curve because the bond markets are so distorted by the CB's.  All he can be sure of in the flat yield spread is that bank earnings are getting crushed.  The other spread he sees is the one between junk debt and equity for the associated shares…some of those are widening and that spells trouble.

    A.D.  "we are building up for an enormous crisis in the bond amrkets…but maybe not for a couple of years."

    G.E. We'll get an inverted yield curve when Yellen decides to put the short term interest rate back up over 1%-2% and that will certainly skewer the stock market.  But that day is not imminent.  Also sees no bubbles.  Houses are high, but not that high.  Stocks are high, but not that high.  Maybe later we'll see bubbles there, possibly later, but not now, and not for a while.

    Justin Mohr (moderator) "What do Austrians think of the velocity of money?"

    Robert Murphy (Research Fellow, The Independent Institute) – Austrians do not even like thinking in these terms…rather speak in terms of demand to hold money, so velocity is not the right thing to measure or track.

    C.C. velocity is an indication of value, possibly, but not of demand.  The Fed is wrong to focus on and try to manage towards velocity.

    G.E. Thinks also that velocity is a blind alley.  

    J.M. "What do negative interest rates mean and how is it even possible?"

    K.W.  If you run an enterprise that destroys capital you should be out of business and soon.  Negative interest rates are merely  an invitation to scale up and destroy capital as quickly as possible.  A gold standard forces interest rates to remain positive and to reflect market values.  In a paper system, however, we are disenfranchised.  If you don't like your bank's interest rates, and you pull your money out and spend it on something else (like a rare corvette) nothing happens because that seller puts the money right back in the bank.  So there's no impact on the bank.  I think the Swiss Franc is done as a currency based on the Swiss interest rates structure.  Negative rates out to 50 years means that capital destruction is happening all across the Swiss economy and therefore the currency is being destroyed.

    G.E.  It's not irrational to pay a government to store your money if your only other options are a mattress or safe deposit box.  But negative rates are punishing and force people into risks.  

    J.M. "Adrian, what's your advice to people who may feel they have missed out on the run in gold and silver this year?"

    A.D.  I am extremely bullish in gold over the long term.  The uncertainty in Europe is very good for gold.  Another reason for being bullish on gold is that there's really very little money into gold so far.  Retail and institutional money is mostly not yet interested in gold.  An awful lot of money on the sidelines still.  The spring pullback is missing and that's because people are eager to get in.

    G.E.  gold's main value is based on confidence, or lack thereof, in the ability of the monetary authorities to control things.  Was very surprised that gold pulled back so violently from the $1900 mark given everything that's happening in the economy and elsewhere?

    A.D. well, gold was in bubble territory and had moved up very dramatically towards the end.  Once that started to fall the fall fed upon itself. And standard commodity lags led to too much gold being produced in 2013 through 2015.  Gold predicted to be between $1400 and $1500 by year end.

    K.W.  Hold on there..The thing that makes gold different is that virtually all of the gold mined is still around as potential supply under the right conditions and the right price.  The amount mined is tiny compared to that stock.  So mine output is not especially useful.  My method is to look a the spread between futures and spot to strip out the effect of speculators to derive a 'fundamental' demand outlook.  Those current fundamentals have gold somewhere around $1100 an ounce an silver at $13.

    C.C. negative interest rates are incredibly bullish for gold.  The statistics on negative bonds are eye popping and very constructive for gold.

    Q from audience – "What should I invest in today…should I avoid bonds?"

    A.D. I especially like the business that lend to other businesses.  Dividend paying BDC's And my favorite is Aeries Capital (Ticker ARCC) …currently yielding over 11%

     

     

     

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  • Fri, Jul 15, 2016 - 10:46pm

    Reply to #40

    rhare

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 29 2009

    Posts: 397

    Dissent must be crushed!!!!!!

    [quote=Mark Cochrane]

    Convoluting climate change and politics/ideology is akin to the Roman Catholic Church insisting that the Earth doesn't orbit the Sun. After 350 years they finally admitted they were wrong but stubbornness isn't really an argument. There is nothing wrong with questioning AGW per se, but simply repeating the same old long debunked arguments while refusing to look at the facts isn't debate, it is denial.

    [/quote]

    See the problem here is that your assuming the AGW crowd isn't the Roman Cathoilic Church!  Maybe they are right, a lot of evidence appears to say so, but these are complex systems with lots of inputs and can swing wildly for many reasons.  After all we had the global cooling warnings in the 1970s who many people were absolutely convinced were right.  We have also had wildly inaccurate predictions (sensationalism) from the AGW crowd and clear attempts to hide data manipulation.

    But the clear problem is just saying people are in "denial" is just like a kid taking his toys and going home.  All that we assume to be correct is up for debate, you can choose to debate or not, but trying to stifle debate is wrong and dangerous.  we have the crap where we want to stifle debate by prosecuting those that question AGW. Really?  That really sounds like a church demanding adherence to the teachings.  Then you have that the IPCC says their predictions are 66% likely to be accurate, that's a pretty big uncertainty.

    Next we come to what can really be done.  If I said we need to make a 4% reduction every year, would that make AGW fanatics winkhappy.  Well if you think the peak oil depletion numbers are accurate, then that's what's going to happen if we do absolutely nothing at all.

    [quote=Mark Cochrane]

    Criticizing Les (Rhare) for his ardent support of AGW, now that's funny. Sorry Les. Les doesn't need the crutch of AGW to do more about it than most anyone I've heard of.

    There is nothing wrong with the freedom to choose but we can't all be free to chose our own facts. 

    [/quote]

    I wasn't criticizing him of his ardent support for AGW, he is free to believe and act as he see's fit, which he appears to do.  I was criticizing the belief that he is absolutely correct and in much the same way you do above, and believe anyone who doesn't agree is wrong.  Maybe, maybe not.  There is a lot more uncertainty in these complex systems and when you start to act like a religion that must squash all dissent, that is a problem.

    Then we come to the issue of if you "force" your beliefs onto others, it generally doesn't work anyway and often has the opposite outcome.  When people are forced into situations instead of voluntarily accepting things, you get resentment and push back.  My recommendation is stop with all the "strong" arm tactics such as carbon taxes (which are just disguised force) and do education, set examples and encourage change voluntarily.

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  • Fri, Jul 15, 2016 - 10:52pm

    #43

    Jim H

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 08 2009

    Posts: 1798

    B.S. from K.W.

    From Chris' reporting on Keith Weiner's commentary;

    K.W.  Hold on there..The thing that makes gold different is that virtually all of the gold mined is still around as potential supply under the right conditions and the right price.  The amount mined is tiny compared to that stock.  So mine output is not especially useful.  My method is to look a the spread between futures and spot to strip out the effect of speculators to derive a 'fundamental' demand outlook.  Those current fundamentals have gold somewhere around $1100 an ounce an silver at $13.

    Sure Keith…. Gold is overvalued by your analysis because, as with another analyst I know, you assume that the market is not manipulated.  And yet.. and yet…also from Chris' reporting;

    Keith Weiner (CEO monetary metals) does not trust the yield curve because the bond markets are so distorted by the CB's.

    Ah… so the CB's are distorting the bond markets, but the precious metals markets are so trustworthy that Keith can do his, "fundamental" valuation and come up with a number that is actually LOWER than spot today.  LOLOLOLOLOLOL…………  total BS from KW. 

     

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  • Fri, Jul 15, 2016 - 10:54pm

    #44

    rhare

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 29 2009

    Posts: 397

    Thanks again Chris and Adam

    I also want to thank Chris and Adam for the postings of the event.  Wish I could have gone.  If you get a chance, talk with Gary Johnson, he's was a really great governor and the few personal conversations I've had with him were really enjoyable.

    I would also like to suggest people go to the site: isidewith.com.  It's a political quiz that matches up your answers to a few or many questions to those of the candidates.  It can be quick and simple or lets you answer a lot more questions and even rank their importance to give you more accurate matches.  At the end it shows overall who you match with and how much as well as who you match with on individual issues.

     

     

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  • Sat, Jul 16, 2016 - 12:16am

    #45

    Adam Taggart

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 25 2009

    Posts: 2551

    Gary Johnson: Less Government Makes More Liberty

    Started with a video parody from WeAreTheInternet.tv. The main punchline is that Trump has orange skin…

    Nicholas Sarwark, Chair of Libertarian Party, introducing Gary Johnson. During his tenure, Johnson vetoed more legislation than all of his predecessors combined.

     

    • This presidential race is so crazy that he just might get elected
    • For free market, laisse-faire policies, fiscally conservative, wants to foster entrepreneurship, non-interventionist foreign policy
    • Crony capitalism vs free markets is the big issue. Whenever governement gets involved in the equation, unfairness and waste results.
    • We need to balance the Federal budgets. To do so, we need to address entitlements head on. SS and Medicaid/Medicare are financial disasters right now. They need to get dramatically revamp. Medicaid/Medicare should be pushed down to the states. Innovation and competion will improve the system for everyone in the long run.
    • Wants to abolish the IRS, the income tax and corporate taxes. Replace them with a federal consumption tax. This would free up capital that would want to start productive businesses and get rid of a lot of bloat in government.
    • Is pro-immigration. Legal immigrants are hard-working. We'll need them if we can fix the economy.
    • 'Affordable' housing would much more affordable without all the red tape of restrictions, zoning, fees etc that govt tacks on
    • Free market would revolutionize health care. Competition would reduce costs so much that we would just pay as we go (vs insurance). And quality will be better.
    • Term limits are key. The $20 Trillion debt is a direct result of career politicians wanting to get re-elected.
    • Individual freedom/choice/liberty should be sacrosanct. Govts ONLY role is to protect those liberties.
    • We should legalize marijuana (big applause). Let's recognize drugs as a national health issue vs a crime issue — legalize them.
    • School choice is important.
    • Strong supporter of gun rights. Open to discussion of keeping guns away from terrorists and mental ill.
    • Biggest threat in the world today is North Korea. Someday, its intercontinental missels will get good enough to work. We should partner with China, and get our troops out of South Korea.
    • Thought Brexit would usher in a new era of freedom for the UK. Believes the US will be a safe haven for capital from Europe for a long time.
    • Congratulates the crowd on being activists. "I love you"

     

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  • Sat, Jul 16, 2016 - 12:36am

    #46

    Adam Taggart

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 25 2009

    Posts: 2551

    Rob Arnott & Steve Forbes: The Election & the Markets

    John Mauldin is the moderator for this discussion.

    Q1: What are your thoughts on the coup in Turkey?

    • SF: Thinks it a good thing that the Turkish army has a history of 'cleaning up' when leaders get too out of control and then handing the country back to an elected leader. Turkey's PM was going to purge the military in early August to centralize power further, the military's hand was forced and they decided to take out the regime.
    • JM: Erdogan is pro-Russian, the Army is pro-West.
    • SF: The regime had crushed all opposition mercilessly. Turkey has more dissidents in prison than China.
    • JM: This coup was planned for months. This type of strike wasn't planned overnight.

    Q2: How will this experiment being run by the world's central banks end up?

    • RA: Central banks stimulus has failed. More if it will fail more spectacularly. The next step is helicopter money. This will sew the seeds of hyperinflation.
    • SF: Stimulus money is putting the cart before the horse. They are delaying the needed structure forms, hoping the thin-air money will magically fix things. They are simply delaying the inevitable and making the eventual pain worse.
    • SF: Posits that the US (with Bernanke as the emissary) is working with Japan to help them launch helicopter money, and in return, the Japanese may forgive some of their US debt.
    • SF: The Fed has no business setting interest rates.
    • JM: could Japan run out of things to buy? Never thought that could happen, but it's now looking possible.
    • SF: Japan once had one of the highest savings rates in the world. Now its 0%. That's what monkeying around with interest rates get you. Japan has the highest national debt of any country.
    • RA: But US is worse if you add in our unfunded entitlements
    • SF: Bottom line: central banks have it backwards. Central banks unhinged, as we have today, is tyrrany.

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  • Sat, Jul 16, 2016 - 12:40am

    #47

    lambertad

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2013

    Posts: 178

    Coup in Turkey

    Anyone following the news that there is currently a coup attempt going on in Turkey? Maybe not the right forum for this news, but thought I'd put it out there.

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/coup-underway-in-turkey-president-says-hes-still-in-charge/ar-BBunKFQ?ocid=ansmsnnews11

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/15/world/live-blog-turkey/index.html

    Erdogan has cannot fly into Istanbul airport from his vacation , Germany denied his request to land in Berlin, apparently he is headed to London. NBC is reporting this. 

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  • Sat, Jul 16, 2016 - 1:09am

    #48

    Adam Taggart

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 25 2009

    Posts: 2551

    Rand Paul: Taking A Stand

    Matt Kibbe, introducer, puts a beer on the podium and says "Beer is freedom"

    • Paul walks on stage to Rocky theme…
    • Wearing his white "lucky Kentucky Derby shoes"
    • Tells a Hillary joke…
    • Uses Brexit to show that UK citizens were suffering from over-regulation from the EU ("like being surrounded by invisible barb wire"). Recommends the short video Brexit the Movie
    • The US citizen suffers similar burdens from govt regulation. We are being regulated to death. It's not just coming from Congress. It's coming from unelected regulators — this is a massive problem that few understand how it works and how bad it is.
    • Rand's opinion is that the Presidency is 1,000 times more powerful than Congress. The checks and balances of our govt system are out of whack.
    • It's not just about regulation, it's about surveillance, too. Both are out of control.
    • In wake of tragedies like Orlando shooting: Dems want gun control, Repubs want people control. Orlando showed that the shooter has been reported and investigated, yet the system still failed. Do we need to give up more personal liberties for more of what won't work?
    • In the wake of Orlando, Congress got to 58 of the 60 votes needed to approve for FBI agents to write their own warrants (vs getting one from a judge, the other source of checks & balances).
    • In many ways we no longer have a Constitutional Republic. We've devolved more and more to a general Democracy, which is the "mob rule" founding fathers like Jefferson feared.
    • Are we doomed? Are we getting to the point where the majority votes itself all the perks it can get and bleeds the country dry?
    • We'll be OK if we can give the majority hope in its capacity for self-advancement (that they'll be successful).
    • The key resource is not a commodity; it's human ingenuity
    • To be successful, we have to stand for something and offer hope — not just be against things
    • Paul has lots of ethnic friends in his hometown. Holding them up as folks who advanced by having hope in the American Dream. His point: we need to offer voters a path to greater opportunity.
    • We have to show that we care about alleviating poverty. That doesn't mean Big Government. For example, let's cut their taxes and leave that money with them (of course, this won't help the nearly 50% that don't pay income taxes…)
    • The war on drugs hits minorities a lot harder. If we stop that ineffective war, we'll improve race relations and stop putting our future in prisons.
    • Paul keeps saying "we". It's unclear to me if he means "Libertarians" or "Republicans"
    • Ending point: we need to be commited and passionate about delivering liberty
    • Standing ovation…
    • Q&A1: Will he run again for the Presidency in 2020? Was a great, but hard experience. Focused now on his Senate seat election in November. Won't say "no, but not ready to say "yes". Really enjoys the Senate — gets to wrestle with the big questions; like when to go to war, and what our foreign policy should be. Thinks Hillary is more likely to take us to war (against Assad) than any other candidate.
    • Q&A2: Why isn't Congress using its full power against Obama's executive orders? Not enough votes to block. Possibly could get to impasse, but requires a lot of courage to fight through it (i.e., risk another government shut-down). That courage isn't there in enough supply right now.
    • Q&A3: What are we going to do about the FBI rule about Hillary? She should be indicted, the FBI got it wrong. We shouldn't have one set of rules for the leaders and another for everyone else. Really damages faith in the fairness of law.
    • Q&A4: When will troops come back from Afghanistan? Paul would bring them all home today. Admits he would have voted to go to war after 9/11 to get Al Qaida, but never would have approved the following nation-building.
    • Q&A5: Had Congress declared war on Iraq, would things have been different? Paul would not have voted for war (Congress didn't get the chance to vote). Thinks it was a wrong war. Also thinks the power vacuum created was worse than the prior problem. Thinks war is the last, last option.
    • Q&A6: What are your thoughts on the 2 party duopoly? Paul supports the ability to have 3rd parties on the ballot. He's for changing the ballot rules to make that easier. It's clear Paul doesn't like Trump, but he says, we've got to support the system we have.
    • Q&A7: Can Obamacare get repealed? House and Senate majority voted to repeal it. It went to Presidents desk and is still sitting there. Could fight it, but then we're in the same pickle as the impasse discussed above. Folks waiting for next administration
    • Q&A8: What's the status of Audit the Fed? Has passed the House. But has not passed yet in the Senate. We have to work it harder. It's likely coming. Getting term limits passed will be much harder…

     

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  • Sat, Jul 16, 2016 - 5:09am

    #49
    Uncletommy

    Uncletommy

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 03 2014

    Posts: 521

    Freedom from or liberty to?

    The clock of communism has tolled its final hour. But the concrete has not completely collapsed. Instead of being liberated, we may be crushed beneath the rubble

    Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn  –  "How to revitalize Russia"

    Every system either finds a way to develop or else it collapses

    Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenisyn  –  "Letter to the Soviet leaders"

    Perhaps the American system should heed the advice.

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  • Sat, Jul 16, 2016 - 7:43am

    Reply to #35

    HughK

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 06 2012

    Posts: 571

    Term limits in Missouri (beginning in 1992)

    [quote=Adam Taggart]

    Panel on term limits, featuring Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate for US President. Other panelists include Philip Blumel and Paul Jacob.

    [/quote]

    In Missouri, term limits were imposed via Amendment 12, passed in 1992.  They limit a political official to eight years in the MO House of Representatives and eight years in the MO Senate. Realistically, this means an 8 year term limit for most representatives, as it's harder to be elected to the senate.

    I can share the experience of a former Missouri state legislator who served for 12 years mostly before term limits were passed (from 1982 – 1994) and then who also served for 6 more years well after they had time to take effect (from 2008 – 2014). These are my notes from a couple of conversations with him.

    He says that when he returned in 2008 he made an effort to observe the changes that had taken place, trying not to prejudge.

    These were his observations after term limits:

    1. Less specialized knowledge: Legislatures now do not know very much about the underlying subject matter of the committees on which they serve. In the past, good legislators would specialize: insurance, budget, education, prisons, law enforcement. Now by that time they have developed specialized knowledge they’re out. This means that the only specialists in the state capitol are lobbyists.  

    2. Less procedural expertise – Now few house members have any procedural expertise. One second year legislator said to him, “you mean we can change the bills?” They also know less about

    3. More power to legislative staff & Missouri state bureaucrats:  Example: on the budget – if a legislator wants to make a change in a certain area of the budget, the bureaucrats will stall & just wait her out until she’s gone.

    4. Increased of power for the political parties – The two big political parties tell reps. how they should vote on particular issues.  In the “bad old days” of no term limits, the parties had almost no power.  The parties don’t care a bit about the public policy, they only care about what looks good in next year’s campaign brochures

    5. Legislative staff gain power (e.g. Chief of staff to the Speaker of the House):   These staffers tend to be ideologues – if the chief of staff to the speaker asks reps to do something, they typically do it because he has so much more knowledge of how the legislature works, so he is typically not worth messing with.

    6. Less knowledge by committee chairs: Chairmen of committees don’t know as much about their subject matter and they don’t have enough time to develop either knowledge or allies; in the "bad old days," it was more difficult for a speaker to make war on a specific committee chairman. This distributed power in the legislature more evenly. For example, one of the biggest bills in the early 1990's was Senate Bill 380; an education policy bill that included included a tax increase to fund the changes. The MO governor, Mel Carnahan, was more interested in the tax increase, but the Chairs of the House & Senate Education Committees would not allow the bill to go forward until the education policy questions were how they wanted them to be. This resulted in more careful crafting of legislature within the committee structure of the legislature. This committee structure has been evolving since the English Parliament started gaining power in the 17th and 18th centuries.

    7. Less legislative power over the budget; more executive power The members of the budget committee the members don’t know very much about the budget.  This gives more power to the executive branch, reducing the representative nature and increasing the autocratic/bureaucratic nature of US states with term limits.

    8. Corporate lobbies are stronger now.  Legislators need a job after term limits force them to leave the legislature. Even if they like being public servants, now they are forced out by term limits. This increases pressure on them to do what corporations want, since corporations have lots of cushy jobs available to loyal public officials. Public interest groups and non-profits don't have this financial luxury. Also, lobbyists are permanent fixtures in Jefferson City (MO's capitol) whereas the legislators now come and go due to term limits. This also gives lobbyists, and the corporations they represent, more power.

    9. Example: CAFOs – The legislature in MO passed a law in MO that forbids people to take pictures of Confined Animal Feeding Operations (e.g. industrial pig farms and cattle feed lots), so now animal rights activists or neighbors whose land values are hurt by CAFOs can no longer gather photographic evidence about them.  Big ag. corporations (e.g. Tyson, Monsanto) pushed the legislature to get rid of nuisance laws so that landowners near CAFOs can no longer sue them in terms of public nuisance, even though this has over 400 years of precedence in Anglo-American common law. CAFOs spray the hog feces in the air and spreads it over the field, but the guy downwind also gets sprayed with pig poop. That’s a legal nuisance and common law would give plaintiffs a remedy, if the CAFO move in after the other landowners did.

    He also said that simultaneous with term limits, is intense gerrymandering – two parties conspire to draw safe districts for incumbents – this tends to push members further to the extremes because challengers can only come from the far right or far left.

    His conclusion after the last six year was that term limits were one of the most destructive things to happen to the MO legislature and that corporate lobbyists have way more influence now. The Speaker of the House and the President Pro Tem. of the Senate actually have more power because the committee structure of the legislature is weakened.
     
    There's also a strong argument that term limits are an increase in government power.  This is because it is more government control over the voter's ability to choose their representatives.  So, the irony is that libertarians and small-government Republicans who oppose term limits are actually supporting more government regulation of elections by doing so.  This is not government power with respect to corporations, which is actually weakened by term limits, but it is an increase in government power with respect to the people.  In short, why should the government limit voter choice?  
     
    After Citizens United, corporations have more "speech" in terms of campaign funding and now, in MO, with term limits, corporations have more power over the legislative process.  In both of these cases, initiatives supported by libertarians ended up giving more power to big corporations.
     
    It's also ironic when otherwise strict Constitutionalists who argue for original intent support term limits since the framers of the Constitution considered term limits and decided that they did not belong on the national level.  Here's a link to Federalist #53, in which Madison says that one of the main arguments for a two year term in the US House of Reps.  is that the lawmakers will not know what they're doing if there are a larger proportion of new, inexperienced members:

    How can foreign trade be properly regulated by uniform laws, without some acquaintance with the commerce, the ports, the usages, and the regulations of the different States? How can the trade between the different States be duly regulated, without some knowledge of their relative situations in these and other respects? How can taxes be judiciously imposed and effectually collected, if they be not accommodated to the different laws and local circumstances relating to these objects in the different States? How can uniform regulations for the militia be duly provided, without a similar knowledge of many internal circumstances by which the States are distinguished from each other? These are the principal objects of federal legislation, and suggest most forcibly the extensive information which the representatives ought to acquire. 

    Also, term limits tend to transfer power from the legislative branch to the executive branch, including the entrenched bureaucracies within the executive branch. Since, at least according to Lofgren, entrenched bureaucracies are one aspect of the Deep State, then term limits make it more likely that the unelected parts of the government will hold more power.
     
    Thus, there are some good arguments that term limits lead to a less enlightened, more centralized, and more powerful government. These are all things that the libertarians do not want.

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  • Sat, Jul 16, 2016 - 2:43pm

    Reply to #41

    KugsCheese

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 01 2010

    Posts: 824

    Re: Bert Dohman: Will The Next Crisis Be Worse Than 2008?

    Didn't know who Bert Dohmen is so google'd him and up popped this https://globenewswire.com/news-release/2015/01/05/694964/10113955/en/Investment-Guru-Bert-Dohmen-Defrauds-Old-Friend-Loses-92-of-1-Million-Even-as-Economy-Surges-Suit-Says.html

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  • Sat, Jul 16, 2016 - 10:25pm

    #50

    Chris Martenson

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 07 2007

    Posts: 4546

    The Pitch Tank

    For the morning session I went to the pitch tank and saw five separate capital pitches for a diverse array of products ranging from bottled water, to a fancy personal sponge, a video-click through buying platform, and a soil amendment that aims to deliver better yields at the expense of the Monsanto model.

    Each contestant had 5 minutes and then received judge feedback.

    All reasonably interesting and each already with customers and revenues but seeking capital to expand.

     The winner was Sumagrow, http://www.sumagrow.com/index.html, which is some sort of soil additive that as far as I can tell is a suspension of microbes that when applied to soil helps to unlock existing nutrients, fix nitrogen from air, and helps to conserve soil moisture.

    They had some awesome side by side pictures and over 800 studies have been conducted to date by various university and government agencies, so it seems to be beneficial and the real deal.

    What was interesting to me was to have the formal structure of the pitch tank to vet through various opportunities quickly.

    Adam and I have discussed making such a thing a reality at some of or future events to help close the gap between investors and smaller, local opportunities.  However, that's as far as we've gotten so far.

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  • Sat, Jul 16, 2016 - 10:31pm

    #51

    Chris Martenson

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 07 2007

    Posts: 4546

    Engaging Millenials

    Engaging millennials

    [note – I attended this one because I am very interested in attracting more younger folks to this message and our work.  After all, revolutions, be those involving ideas or pitchforks, always are driven by the young…]

    Definition:  18-34 year-old people.

    Lana Link –  Millennials are the most diverse of all generations – 40% minority – and most technologically advanced, obviously, and quite interested in freedom.

    Chris Long – educating millenials about freedom. More motivated by experiences than things – want coaching and feedback.  Not motivated by cash bonuses and healthcare.  Classically liberals – want small government, not interested in things from government – Very civic minded and group oriented.  Irreligious…small group oriented. 

    Lana – Bernie was admired by millennials for his consistency.  Not necessarily his socialism.  Millenials  don’t want to be lied to so authenticity is the most important thing.  The Hillary endorsement by Bernie was a huge shock as it violated his consistency track record.   He will not be able to recover from that one for many.

    Millennials have always had the internet, have never known otherwise.  Second, grew up under the Bush and Obama administrations….Bush turned off the conservatives and Obama turned off the liberals.  Third, grown up in a time of war.  Always been at war during their lives.  Fourth, the 2008 recession really shaped this generation.   Fifth, very tolerant of diverse viewpoints (weed, LBGT, etc).

    Outnumber boomers (rumble through the crowd) and about to flex their political muscles. 

    Lana – 400 hours of youtube content uploaded per minute.  The world is flooded with content.  What Buzzfeed did was to begin to bucket the content into precise target interests.  Does your content speak to someone’s identify?    Is it personal?  Is it relational?

    Authenticity is the key – make sure your message is on target and consistent.

    Just information is okay, but the better route is to give them something to do as an action in association with the information.

    Lana – Use humor to “knock down the ideological immune system”  George B Shaw said if you want to tell someone something they don’t want to hear, you’d better make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you.

    Chris – Millennials are very non-hierarchical.    They want their fingers throughout the organization, and want to be empowered…want to be involved and engaged.  Anything you can do to tease this out of them, is a good thing.

    How to recruit millennials?    Word of mouth seems to work best….

    On social security, millennials are just not as interested in the data, it's just too far in the future to worry about, but the would be interested in and motivated by the moral case for reforming SS. 

    The echo chambers of the internet are hard to breach…people can exist in the self-referential universes, and so engagement is a big deal.

     

     

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  • Sun, Jul 17, 2016 - 6:00pm

    Reply to #33

    newsbuoy

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 10 2013

    Posts: 95

    Recommended Book: Billionaires & Ballot Bandits

    "Yes, Obama got most of the votes and was inaugurated. 


    But 4.3 million votes were never counted – and another 4.8 million citizens were barred from registering or voting. 



    This book tells you how. And WHO. That is, WHO profited from the return of Jim Crow? 



    Includes 50 pages of comics from the smokin' pen of Ted Rall and two chapters by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. "…



                     "The Most Terrifying Book a Democrat Could Read" 

                                  – Huffington Post Books

     

    http://www.gregpalast.com/ballotbandits/

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  • Sun, Jul 17, 2016 - 7:09pm

    Reply to #40

    Mark Cochrane

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 24 2011

    Posts: 1189

    A bit dramatic (!!!!!!)

    Rhare,

    Are you stating that "Dissent Must Be Crushed!!!!!!" as a threat to anyone who disagrees with your ideology or are you feeling that anyone espousing a position that you don't believe is somehow crushing you?

    Rhare wrote:

    See the problem here is that your assuming the AGW crowd isn't the Roman Cathoilic Church!  Maybe they are right, a lot of evidence appears to say so, but these are complex systems with lots of inputs and can swing wildly for many reasons.

    Not much of an assumption is needed. 1) the 'AGW' crowd isn't an organization of any sort, 2) It certainly doesn't fit the bill as a church, 3) It isn't nearly all powerful as the Roman Catholic Church was in the 1600s, 4) It certainly doesn't have the power to excommunicate anyone or burn them at the stake, if anything, the only one's being persecuted and even threatened with death are the scientists who are trying to educate the public about the all too real dangers we are facing. So please cool it with the hyperbole.

    As for the 'complex systems' bit, your argument is a bit like saying that the human body is a complex system with lots of inputs that it can become ill for many reasons, with the implication that public health issues shouldn't be discussed or have any say in how we live our lives. Bring on the cigarettes and let's swim in raw sewage. We may not know everything about how the body or the climate works but in both cases we know quite enough to act more responsibly. I don't think that the real point that you are trying to make is to put our heads in the sand. I suspect the problem comes not from the information on AGW per se but from those who you perceive are using it to forward some sort of agenda. I have always been labeled as having 'problems with authority' and so I understand being resistant to those who try to force actions onto you or anyone without explaining the need or reason.

    I have no problem with dissent as science is an ongoing debate, not some monolithic belief system. The proviso being that what is needed is "informed dissent" not regurgitated talking points. If we would talk with each other and not at each other we might actually get somewhere. There are a lot of memes out there from the 'global cooling bit' to the 'wildly inaccurate predictions' (how about every economic prediction for decades now?) that are often repeated despite either having been long debunked or explained. It is not intellectually honest to keep trotting them out over and over again pretending they haven't been dealt with but that is what many with vested interests do (note, I am not saying you do this personally but that those who are feeding you this stuff somewhere up the line surely are). Every single alternative theory of what is driving our current rapid climate change has been systematically studied multiple times and rejected as being incapable of explaining what we are observing. AGW is the only remaining explanation and it has been tested and verified over and over again for over 100 years now. Like it or not, we are stuck with the predicament of climate change of our own forcing, primarily from our use of fossil fuels.

    I am all for voluntary acceptance of things and the power of education but how is such a system supposed to work if there are powerful vested interests who continually lie to and mislead the public about the effects of their products and who block and even persecute those who try to educate the public about the very real issues involved? The shoot the messenger style of debate that is prevalent in our ideological and corporate controlled governments has kept the world from doing anything meaningful about resource depletion, environmental destruction, and climate change for decades. Our options at this point are very limited. We cannot bargain with nature. There is no cure or solution at this point, only the questions of whether or not we are going to do anything to reduce the rate at which we are making things worse and how we will adapt. I am continually amazed that a species that names itself Homo sapiens sapiens (wise wise man!) seems to collectively get stupider and stupider as its numbers grow and grow, being now societally incapable of acting on anything further out than the next quarterly profits report into the future. Talk about a need for hubris.

     

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  • Mon, Jul 18, 2016 - 12:25am

    #52

    CleanEnergyFan

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 29 2012

    Posts: 104

    Thanks Adam for capturing Freedom Fest so accurately

    As someone who attended FF too, I thought you did a great job of summarizing the sessions you were able to attend.  I attended several different ones so it was good to catch up on those that I missed.  You must have be been a court stenographer in a previous life to have captured these rapid-fire discussions so accurately.  However, I would agree with RHARE that he captured the Liberarian perspective on climate change and government subsidies probably a little more accurately.  I think this groups biggest concern about climate change is that it will be used as an excuse by governments to seize even more control over the economy and continue to advance a one-world government and big government agenda.  If instead of focusing on environmental regulations written by government regulators/lawyers and instead focused on getting the metrics right so that externalities could have a cost such that market forces could be used to optimize resource useage and environmental degradation, then Libertarians would be much more likely to support this.  If there is one single message that unites Libertarians it is the idea of limited government and that both of the major parties have failed in limiting the size and scope of government as it was envision by our Founders and the Constitution.  I hope more PP folks are able to attend next year and that Chris is on the agenda as I think there could be a lot more overlap in interests between these two groups than either of them realize presently.

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  • Mon, Jul 18, 2016 - 1:03am

    #53

    CleanEnergyFan

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 29 2012

    Posts: 104

    My above comments referred to Comment #42

    I meant for my above comment to apply to the earlier screen and specifically RHARE comment#42 but it seems all new comments start at #51 and above and I don't know how to make comments to earlier posts.

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  • Mon, Jul 18, 2016 - 4:02am

    Reply to #52

    Adam Taggart

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 25 2009

    Posts: 2551

    Libertarian Perspective on Climate Change

    Tom & Rhare –

    My thanks to you for clarifying the core libertarian perspective on climate change and environmental stewardship. That's a platform an intelligent debate can be based upon.

    The point of my earlier observations was to convey that I was looking for such debate at this past Freedom Fest's gathering and did not find much of it. Instead, I experienced the speakers who addressed it (dismissed it, is more accurate) to have a more dogmatic and entrenched mindset that didn't feel very open to actual debate. IMO, Mark C captured my sentiments well when he wrote:

    I have no problem with dissent as science is an ongoing debate, not some monolithic belief system. The proviso being that what is needed is "informed dissent" not regurgitated talking points. If we would talk with each other and not at each other we might actually get somewhere.

    So my critique is not so much against the libertarian viewpoint, but more specifically in regards to how I experienced the attitude of the specific speakers I heard in Las Vegas.

    My hope is that we can identify a science-based and open-minded representative from the Lib side willing to engage in this important discussion. Done on an empirical basis, I think such a debate could be useful for all sides. 

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  • Mon, Jul 18, 2016 - 4:52am

    Reply to #40

    rhare

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 29 2009

    Posts: 397

    So much for trying to find a witty subject line

    [quote=Mark Cochrane]

     Are you stating that "Dissent Must Be Crushed!!!!!!" as a threat to anyone who disagrees with your ideology or are you feeling that anyone espousing a position that you don't believe is somehow crushing you?

    [/quote]

    Clearly my attempt at sarcasm was lost on you.  Next time I'll make sure and include the <SARCASM> tags. wink

    As far as who is trying to stifle debate:

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/05/28/gop-senators-complain-to-doj-over-push-to-stifle-climate-debate.html

     https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/06/02/the-first-amendment-is-now-dead-in-california-new-california-bill-would-allow-prosecution-of-climate-change-skeptics/

    That fact that either of the above actions occurred shows how crazy things have gotten.  I don't care if you walk around and claim the earth is flat, I can choose to ignore you, but when you start using violence to stifle discussion.  That is a problem – I don't care if your right or what the argument.

    [quote=Mark Cochrane]

    Every single alternative theory of what is driving our current rapid climate change has been systematically studied multiple times and rejected as being incapable of explaining what we are observing. AGW is the only remaining explanation

    [/quote]

    Really, you know this because we obviously have complete knowledge about this complex system?  How many things have we known for certain throughout history that have subsequently been proven wrong?  What I take offense to is people being so positive that they are willing to use violence to make sure every one knows they are right, and yes, that includes all the various agendas by AGW advocates and skeptics.

    [quote=Mark Cochrane]

    I am all for voluntary acceptance of things and the power of education but how is such a system supposed to work if there are powerful vested interests who continually lie to and mislead the public about the effects of their products and who block and even persecute those who try to educate the public about the very real issues involved? 

    [/quote]

    I don't care if some one lies, but when they decide to use the power of the state to force their will, that is a problem.  Using the same violence by proxy that those in power now use to further their own benefit even if it's to correct a previous wrong, is still wrong.  That was what started this all after all is, it was a discussion about Freedom Fest.   

    [quote=Mark Cochrane]

    The shoot the messenger style of debate that is prevalent in our ideological and corporate controlled governments has kept the world from doing anything meaningful about resource depletion, environmental destruction, and climate change for decades.

    [/quote]

    I'm not trying to the shoot messenger (but I do think I'm dodging bullets), I'm trying to stop a continuation of the abuse.  What we have in our political system is two sides bickering about how they are going to use the state to force their will on others. 

    [quote=Mark Cochrane]

    There is no cure or solution at this point, only the questions of whether or not we are going to do anything to reduce the rate at which we are making things worse and how we will adapt.

    [/quote]

    The only debate here is are we going to act voluntarily, or are you going to shoot people who don't act the way you want?  Are you advocating teaching and convincing others that AGW is a problem and to change their behavior, or are you advocating using the state to "shoot" people who don't conform to your way.  After all that's the only really power the state has, the sanctioned use of violence.

    I think it 's important that whenever anyone says "there should be a law" or the "government should do…" that that person understands that ultimately that means that they are sanctioning violence, up to and including death.  

    [quote=Mark Cochrane]

    Homo sapiens sapiens (wise wise man!) seems to collectively get stupider and stupider as its numbers grow and grow, being now societally incapable of acting on anything further out than the next quarterly profits report into the future. Talk about a need for hubris.

    [/quote]

    Perhaps the word you were searching for is humility.  I think we've all seen enough hubris.

     

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  • Mon, Jul 18, 2016 - 1:28pm

    #54

    Chris Martenson

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 07 2007

    Posts: 4546

    From one conference to the next

    Hi all.

    I got home last night from Las Vegas and then woke up at 5:30 to drive to the Opal 2016 Family Office and Private Wealth Management forum in Newport RI.

    This is a very different assemblage from the prior event.  

    I have great billing being on the main macro economic panel at 1:30 on the first day, so I get to spread our message directly to people who have a lot of leverage in the current system. 

    I am still formulating what I might say and how I will say it.  As always I am leaning towards delivering the truth as I understand it, not as I project 'they' want to hear it.  No filtering, but still diplomatic is where I am aiming.

    Either people will be ready to hear the truth, or they won't.

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  • Mon, Jul 18, 2016 - 8:03pm

    Reply to #40

    Mark Cochrane

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 24 2011

    Posts: 1189

    Good for the goose, good for the gander...true?

    Are you promoting an honest debate or an ongoing filibuster to prevent any action coming from the debate? The real debate about the existence of AGW happened years ago, the debate we need now is what, if anything, to do about it?

    Anyone who wants to see how the 'skeptic' manufactured debate is continued, I suggest reading and/or watching Merchants of Doubt, a well researched and sourced expose of the games being played to mislead the public on AGW, smoking, and other things threatening the profits of a few at the expense of us all.

    Thanks for the links to the materials showing climate 'skeptics' are now having their feet held to the fire too. To my knowledge, scientists have nothing to do with that process but I have a hard time sympathizing with the skeptics since they have been been playing a one-way game for years, making scientists turn over everything to them through spurious FOIA requests and legal actions just to hinder the ongoing research. I have personally been called and threatened with such actions if I didn't immediately turn over my intellectual property (I didn't). I know of people who have literally been threatened with death for publishing their research on climate science. If the ‘skeptics’ are on the up and up they shouldn’t have anything to hide, should they? Personally I wish we could just talk like adults.

    Why Climate Scientists Receive Death Threats

    thousands of abusive emails—including demands that he commit suicide or be “shot, quartered and fed to the pigs, along with your family”—were received by climate scientist Michael Mann, director of Pennsylvania State University’s Earth System Science Center, who drew and published the “hockey stick graph” that charts a steep rise in global average temperatures.

    Glenn Beck, a commentator on Fox TV, called on climate scientists to commit suicide. A climate denial blogger called Marc Morano claimed that one group of climate scientists deserved “to be publicly flogged.” And the late Stephen Schneider found his name and that of other Jewish climate scientists on a “death list” maintained by an American neo-Nazi website.

    I don't know where you get off claiming that I am in any way promoting violence, even in your definition of government being the source of all that is bad. I have not in any way suggested that some one-world government should compel everyone to do anything. I am compelled by my vocation and knowledge to educate the public to the best of my abilities so that we can have the adult-sized conversations Chris talks about that are necessary to decide what, if anything, to do. Sitting around with our heads in the sand is not freedom, it is being imprisoned with the shackles of ignorance. I am on record rather extensively over at the Definitive Climate Change Thread where I provide information on the science that cites and links to the published research. What I do not do is tell people how we have to address the matter, only that the price of not doing so is rising by the day. Scientists have the responsibility of explaining problems to society, society has to then decide how to address them. Science can then be used again to assess the likely efficacy of any proposed or implemented actions.

    Sitting around hoping that something magic that defies physics as we know it has been overlooked by thousands of scientists working on a problem for over 100 years and will conveniently pop up soon to make climate change go away so we do not have to change anything is not a strategy it is a delusional pipe dream. Whether we like it or not, the fact remains that we are doing 'violence' to innumerable people now and all future generations by our actions and continued inaction. We used to be able to claim ignorance but we can't any longer. People sticking their fingers in their ears and running around saying I'm not listening won't change this fact.

    I am not promoting any particular approach for addressing AGW but I am stating that ignoring it isn't a viable option.

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  • Mon, Jul 18, 2016 - 9:15pm

    Reply to #54

    pinecarr

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 13 2008

    Posts: 1085

    Good luck at 2nd Conference, Chris!

    Out of curiosity, I checked out who else would be speaking at your 2nd conference.  It looks like at least one other somewhat-like-minded person (at least with regard to the Economic "E") will be there; Bob Wiedemer, who co-authored "Aftershock: Protect Yourself and Prosper In The Next Financial Meltdown", and "Aftershock Investor".  It's been a while since I read Aftershock, but I remember having a favorable impression of it. 

    It looks like there are a couple of other interesting speakers, like Dr. Vincent Pry, EMP Task Force on National and Homeland Security; Ambassador James Woolsey, former CIA Director; and Special Agent (retired) Gregory Coleman, FBI (discussing the Wolf of Wall Street investigation).   

    Good luck opening some eyes!  It will be interesting to hear how your message is received by this group.

    Reference: http://opalgroup.net/conference/family-office-private-wealth-management-forum/

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  • Mon, Jul 18, 2016 - 9:54pm

    #55

    rhare

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 29 2009

    Posts: 397

    Who turned this "Freedom Fest" discussion into AGW?

    [quote=Mark Cochrane]

    Are you promoting an honest debate or an ongoing filibuster to prevent any action coming from the debate? The real debate about the existence of AGW happened years ago, the debate we need now is what, if anything, to do about it?

    [/quote]

    First off I wasn't trying to debate global warming at all – I was responding to Adams take on the Libertarian stance at Freedom Fest (notice the top of the page where it identifies the topic).  However, the rabid attack you've shown against me for even the thought that I might be questioning AGW speaks volumes.  So let me lay out the points

     

    1. I don't know if AGW is accurate.  I don't think anyone can be absolutely sure with any complex system.
    2. I don't really care, because in my opinion any action to correct AGW is probably useless, because:
      • The root problem is over population.
      • As long as population keeps growing, energy use will keep increasing and as CM has pointed out that means fossil fuels for the immediate future (ie. no way to retool quickly),
      • Because of the depletion of those resources, any of the proposed actions for AGW will probably not be as substantial as the reduction due to resource depletion anyway. 
    3. Due to the reasons in #2, I think any action forced by governments will simply have more of the same effect we have seen in other government actions: it will remove choice, make a few wealthy while probably making the problems worse.

    So, examples of why I say #3:

     

    • Subsidies of fossil fuels over many years have hidden the true cost, resulting in over consumption.
    • Other subsidies (such as roads, dams, etc) have led to urban sprawl, componding the problem and resulting it poor decisions to build giant cities like Las Vegas and Phoenix.
    • Subsidies such as those for wind power encourage rapid build out without consideration for longevity.  Build them now while huge subsidies are available.
    • Solar subsidies are just stupid, first hand experience at those.  I nicely got a huge subsidy to construct solar installations on my house.  Do those contribute to others, no, they simply reduced my cost.   In fact it's so perverse that there are times in the summer I should turn on space heaters while running the AC just to maximize my return.

    Then we come to the moral issue.  Anything that is funded by the government (that includes much of your research and livelihood working at a state university) means money was forcibly taken from someone else (ie. taxes – including those now defaulting government guaranteed student loans).  I consider that wrong.  Now don't misunderstand, I have suckled from the government teat a plenty, as has everyone else (subsidized housing via loan guarantees, interest tax deductions, child tax credits, solar subsidies, etc), but it doesn't make it right.

    Which get's to the last point I tried to make in my last comment, anytime you want government to do something for you it means you are advocating violence.  If your not personally willing to assault someone to get your way, then you shouldn't be asking a government to do it via proxy.  Which brings us back to explaining the Libertarian view (the topic at hand – again NOT AGW!)

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  • Mon, Jul 18, 2016 - 10:43pm

    Reply to #55

    Mark Cochrane

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 24 2011

    Posts: 1189

    We did, I guess...lol

    I didn't really intend for this to turn into another AGW debate either but going tit for tat with you on the subject has ended up creating this offshoot discussion. I don't think I have been 'rabid' about any of this but perhaps you and I are just pressing each other's buttons and reading more into each other's comments than was intended.

    We aren't so far off in our thinking as you might think. I agree with your bullet on population and where we differ is in the implications of the depletion of fossil fuels. If we were constrained to what we have at hand, I wouldn't be so concerned because it is getting increasingly scarce but I do not think we will go quietly into the night. There is an even bigger carbon-rich fossil fuel source out there that many are trying to tap right now – methane hydrates. They have much more potential to warm the planet than all of the oil, natural gas and coal combined. The Japanese are most industriously trying to tap them at the moment but many countries are hard at work doing the same thing. In any case, that is what drives my thinking that we won't just run out of fossil fuels any time soon.

    As for the subsidies issues you list I largely concur. The real kicker is that if we hadn't had the fossil fuel subsidies, the need for providing subsidies for wind/solar now would be much reduced or unneeded. The quick and dirty manner in which we now are trying to build out wind, solar and hydropower (see the Amazon…) is designed to be inefficient and damaging in many cases. More short term thinking that will create long term problems.

    I take your point on 'funding by government'. I find it amazing that the country ran quit well without income taxation right up until central banking got going. That is the worst hybrid of private greed and government inefficiency right there. I can't see a world without any government devolving into anything but anarchy but one with a lot less of it permeating our lives would be a hell of a lot better to my mind.

    Peace.

     

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  • Tue, Jul 19, 2016 - 4:43pm

    #56

    rhare

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 29 2009

    Posts: 397

    Voluntary cooperation - not anarchy

    [quote=Mark Cochrane]

    I can't see a world without any government devolving into anything but anarchy but one with a lot less of it permeating our lives would be a hell of a lot better to my mind.

    [/quote]
     
    I don't think things would be anarchy.  People will always self organize.  Anytime you get a group of people that want to accomplish a task that is bigger than a single person, you get organizations with leaders, followers, etc.  That's what church groups, fraternal groups, businesses, etc.  The difference is only in the use of force.
     
    All groups outside of government rely on voluntary cooperation (also known as community).  With individuals free to choose if they want to give money/time and who at anytime can choose to stop and support other groups.  However, government, as it exists is a forced relationship.  If you don't like the way your government spends money or behaves, too bad, men with guns will show up to make sure you do.
     
    So many people talk about unregulated capitalism like it's a bad thing.  It's the voluntary exchange by two entities.  What we have now in so many cases are cartels (food, healthcare, insurance, banking, money) which are forced relationships because they use government to limit your choices.
     
    That's one of the problems that often pops up when anyone talks about Libertarianism, it's always devolves to "oh – you want anarchy".  No, what I want is the right to make choices as an individual and the right to revoke those choices.  I think we would have many of the good things we have today without the forced relationship and would probably get rid of many of the things we have today require forced participation – ie. war, there is a reason conscription occurs during wars, otherwise people wouldn't fight them.

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  • Tue, Jul 19, 2016 - 6:38pm

    Reply to #40

    Grover

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 15 2011

    Posts: 691

    Now What?

    [quote=Mark Cochrane]

    The real debate about the existence of AGW happened years ago, the debate we need now is what, if anything, to do about it?

    [/quote]

    Mark,

    You've been embedded in the AGW arena for most of your adult life. I'd really appreciate your thoughts on what should happen now. As I wrote to Doug, I don't expect a fully fleshed out plan, but I'm extremely allergic to marginal solutions (as it won't be sufficient to stem the tide and comes with an enormous price tag.) I'm also wary of anything that requires a "one world government" (OWG) to work. With OWG, there won't be any force big enough to keep the "leaders" in check. You'll either be one of the elites or you'll be a serf. Much different rules will apply to each group. I'd rather take my chances with much higher temperatures.

    I just don't see any workable plan short of a massive population crash ~90% reduction. Of course, that will bring a new set of problems to the surface. Who will keep the infrastructure maintained? Who will keep the nuclear plants from melting? Etc. Life won't be as pleasant or leisurely as it is now for the vast majority.

    If personal mitigation is the best option to consider, what can be done now to make the transition less traumatic? It would make sense to move to an accommodating area while the machines are still operating. According to models you believe, which parts of the world should get more favorable climate (temps/rainfall/etc.) and which areas would become less hospitable?

    If you have a good foundation for a workable plan, I'd love to hear about it! I'd also like your expert opinion of attributes to consider when looking for a more livable area.

    Thanks,

    Grover

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  • Wed, Jul 20, 2016 - 2:24am

    #57

    Arthur Robey

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 03 2010

    Posts: 1814

    Hayek draws your line for you.

    Of cause he never had to consider the planet wide commons of the atmosphere.

    People respond to incentives therefore taxes need be imposed on CO2 as it sees the light of day.  (A more sophisticated analysis of feedback loops begs to differ,  but I cannot remember the detail.)

     

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  • Fri, Jul 22, 2016 - 11:29pm

    #58

    KugsCheese

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 01 2010

    Posts: 824

    SumaGrow

    This farmer uses SumaGrow with RoundUp: https://youtu.be/RobGkjY2jjE Thumbs Down!

    So this product is only sold to industrial farmers?  Can't buy it for large home garden?

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  • Tue, Jul 26, 2016 - 7:41am

    Reply to #40

    Grover

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 15 2011

    Posts: 691

    Silence is Deafening

    Well, it's been almost a week and the crickets have died. I haven't heard anything from Mark. It either means that he is too busy to address this minor inconvenience or he really doesn't have any answers. I've tried to look into the problem with an open mind and couldn't come up with any palatable answers. As a result, I don't worry about climate change because I can't do anything to stop it. (That feeling is quite liberating!)

    I'm going to open it up to the rest of the climate change brain trust. You people are quick to call someone a denier when they question the standard line of climate change. You must have useful thoughts. I'd like to hear your suggestions. What can be done to stop it? Please, don't be shy about coming up with useful suggestions.

    As I noted earlier, I'm very allergic to partial solutions or "one world government" (1WG) type solutions like a carbon tax. (How can you keep sovereign nations from cheating without 1WG?) Partial solutions may get the ball rolling, but where does it go from there? If it just goes over a cliff, is it really good to just get the ball rolling? Do you really think a carbon tax will actually work? Who will administer it? How will it function? 

    That's why this discussion is appropriate for this thread. Do you really think you'll have any freedom whatsoever with 1WG?

    Grover

    PS – I saw one of Mark's posts on the climate thread where he said that sea levels are changing. The title of the post was "Drip, Drip, Drip – Head For Higher Ground". Frankly, that title has lots of good personal advice. If you live near sea level (or below as New Orleans mostly is) it would behoove you to move before it is common knowledge that the real estate won't be as habitable going forward. It won't stop sea level from rising, but you won't get soaked if you heed his advice. That's a positive way to connect dots and give a warning. What likely will happen in other parts of the world??? I'd really like to know.

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  • Wed, Jul 27, 2016 - 6:34pm

    #59

    KugsCheese

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 01 2010

    Posts: 824

    Write to Polticians to Ban Synthetic Chemicals Like Glyphosate!

    Man made chemicals like Glyphosate are harming animal life and soil creatures and reducing overall Biodiversity.  Write to your politicians to ban that stuff!  Glyphosate is probably the main driver of the material increase in Appendix Cancer.  The Appendix stores good bacteria to re-seed the colon so if you lose it then odds of other medical problems increase greatly.   

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  • Wed, Jul 27, 2016 - 7:45pm

    Reply to #59

    Time2help

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 08 2011

    Posts: 2230

    Writing to politicians and voting

    In a political system that is as completely corrupted, captured and rigged as is presently, what is the expected gain from continued attempts at interaction?
    At what point is it better to just live life and accept collapse as the predictable outcome?

    No disrespect intended Kugs.

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  • Wed, Aug 03, 2016 - 6:49am

    #60

    Grover

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 15 2011

    Posts: 691

    Crickets

    I'd like to report to Chris that some of the insects he missed on his windshield during his recent trip to the beach have shown up here. Unfortunately, I don't even hear crickets. It's been another week since I asked for a plan to combat climate change … I'm really disappointed in the climate change worriers.

    [quote=Mark Cochrane]

    The real debate about the existence of AGW happened years ago, the debate we need now is what, if anything, to do about it?

    [/quote]

    If there isn't any solution, why agitate people with the constant drumming? So, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are increasing. What can be done about it? So, sea levels look like they're rising. What can be done about it? So, species are going extinct at phenomenal rates. What can be done about it?

    Do you think I enjoy harping about it? No! I really want a solution that is attainable. My problem is that I just can't see one! I'm convinced that the earth (Gaia) will find a solution to this problem. I suspect it will be something similar to advice my mother gave me: "Feed a fever. Starve a cold." As soon as the infection (human overpopulation) is under control, the fever will stop. It might take centuries for the fever to subside, but that isn't even a 24 hour bug to Gaia.

    If the real problem is human overpopulation, then any society wide solutions will fail. Perhaps we should focus on individual solutions. What can you do to avoid the peril that will strike the masses? Isn't that better than nothing? For instance, Mark wrote a post on the Climate Change thread pertaining to sea level rising 1.2 meters and impacting 1 billion people who live that close to current sea level. If I lived that close to sea level, I'd seriously consider moving to higher ground before the herd realized it and real estate values plummeted. It isn't going to change the end result, but it will save me the expense of having worthless real estate that is (literally) under water.

    If it were as innocuous as that, I wouldn't waste my time writing about it. Unfortunately, the worry warts keep the angst machine running at full speed. Other chicken littles are drawn to the doomer porn like moths to a candle. Because they can only wring their hands and sweat bullets, they're prime fodder for a charismatic charlatan who claims to know the way out of this predicament – it will be based on smoke, mirrors, and hope … and naive fools will swallow it. The answer will include One World Government with the charismatic charlatan in control. If that happens, kiss freedom goodbye forever.

    I've kept this discussion in this thread because of the freedom aspect. I'll give the climate change brain trust another week to at least address my concerns. If crickets are the only sound, I'll move the show to the climate thread.

    Grover

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  • Wed, Aug 03, 2016 - 12:17pm

    #61

    Quercus bicolor

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 19 2008

    Posts: 190

    insect update

    The katydids, crickets and that night insect that makes the buzzy click (much less noticable than the katydid chorus, but comes out at the same time) are in full swing and as loud as ever.

    Last week, I drove home at night in my Prius on a rural highway at 50-60 mph.  There were lots of moths in my headlights, but none on the windshield.  This is supporting evidence for my theory that today's cars with much lower aerodynamic drag impact far fewer insects than the cars of the 60s and 70s.

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