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    They’ve Stolen Our Future!

    Collapse is in the cards
    by Chris Martenson

    Tuesday, May 21, 2019, 12:42 PM

It’s time to have a serious conversation.  I know we’ve been having it, but maybe there’s another glove hidden beneath the one we’ve already taken off.

Put bluntly, there doesn’t seem to be any hope of avoiding a collapse of civilization.  The forces of the Business-As-Usual crowd are just too strong, the narrative machine too honed, the interests too entrenched to allow any sort of meaningful course correction at this time.

But is that the case?

Writing about the outcomes of the recent Australian elections which saw a pro-business, conservative government elected, Australian based reader-member ezlxq1949 said:

“They’ve stolen our future!”

That was the wail of the 11-y.o. daughter of a Greens candidate who cried herself to sleep the night after the astonishing election results came in. It couldn’t be worse; the public have sold themselves into almost complete captivity to the neoliberal élites called the Liberal Party. (Liberal = Conservative. Go figure.) It was supposed to have been a climate change election but became a jobs ‘n growth election.

Mind you, it wouldn’t have been much better if the opposition Labor Party had won; they’ve moved so far to the right that like the US we really have only one party with two heads. For instance, Labor would not commit to stopping the monster Adani coal mine.

So it’s goodbye to:

  • the ABC (the excellent government broadcaster which has the gall and temerity to criticise the government of the day; the government badly wants to get even)
  • renewable energy (fossil fools rule ok)
  • the Great Barrier Reef (sliced and diced to let coal ships cross it)
  • our river systems (suck them dry, privatise the water, send the profits to the Cayman Islands — as is already happening)
  • the Great Artesian Basin (world’s largest and deepest, to be contaminated by coal mines and fracking)
  • public services (cut back yet again to create a damaging government budget surplus)
  • public health (to be Americanised)
  • public education (to be privatised; maybe high schools this time)
  • the Great Australian Bight (a pristine area which may have oil under it; damn the pollution, full greed ahead)
  • southern ocean fish stocks (they’ll let the supertrawlers in now).

The environment is completely expendable. All resources are permanently abundant and all will be fed into the growth machine. Climate change is NOT HAPPENING. It’s fake, right? Bah. Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we fry.

There’s one ray of hope. Steve Keen predicts a severe recession, Depression really, within 6 months to a year from now. Our economy is indeed wobbling already. This will happen on the Liberals’ watch and they will be blamed for mismanaging the economy. This isn’t supposed to happen. Only Labor does that. Only Labor mismanages the economy. That’s what the Murdoch press drums into our heads. The Libs will panic. The Murdoch press won’t know what to say. Maybe this will shake up people’s belief and confidence in mainstream economics.

I’m not sleeping well at the moment. I wonder why.

(Source)

I feel your pain and anguish ezlxq1949!  You’d think by now people could have and would have gotten the message that Business-As-Usual (BAU) is a killing machine.

But, no, sadly they have not speaking to the power of the BAU narrative machine to spew out complete rubbish unchallenged in either deed or thought.

I wish I shared the hope that elections might do something, but I have no data to support this idea.  Whatever parties you have in your country, no matter how they differ at the margins, they are both, or all (depending on your country’s system), in agreement on the need for jobs, economic growth, and keeping things more or less headed exactly where they are now going.

For example, we might note that under Obama what few binding agreements came from Kyoto were set aside for another generation.

This piece captures that well, and speaks to the necessity of having some sort of a rebellion:

Social collapse and climate breakdown

A huge number of people – 350,000 and counting  – have downloaded Jem Bendell’s paper Deep Adaptation: A Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy.

Here I want to develop one thing that Bendell talks about: social collapse.

But first, for those who have not read his research paper, there are three key truths Bendell tells.

Three truths 

Firstly, climate change has been moving much faster than scientists predicted. Things are going to get very bad within the lifetime of some of us now living. We don’t know and can’t know how bad, or how quickly this will happen.

Everyone that Bendell speaks with bases their predictions on their political beliefs. That’s true of everyone I talk to too.

Bendell chooses to think that social collapse is inevitable, catastrophe probable and extinction possible. That’s my guess too.

A second truth: scientists have, for many reasons, been under constant pressure to downplay the dangers and extent of climate change, and not to scare the mob.

Non-governmental organisations have constantly colluded with governments and corporations to conceal the scale of the catastrophe, and to push solutions that will not solve it. Scientists and NGOs do this because their funders demand that.

A third truth: Bendell says it is hard, at first, to accept what is coming. I have found that too.

Climate politics

I first got involved in climate politics because I’m a freelance writer and in 2004 I decided to write a book about climate change. I thought it would be interesting and there would be a market, God forgive me.

I got involved with a climate action group – the Campaign against Climate Change – and started reading. Several months later I began having the same nightmare most nights for months. In that nightmare I was trying to tell some people something, and they were not listening.

What was happening is that I was understanding the implications of what I was reading. One reason is that I take science seriously, and I understand numbers. The other is that I already understood social collapse.

That was bad enough. For the next four years I knew what would happen if we did not act. Then at the end of the UN climate talks in 2009, on a Friday lunchtime in Copenhagen, I read the text of the agreement Barack Obama had just made the other governments agree to.

That text ended the Kyoto agreement and said that henceforward no government would have to make compulsory cuts in emissions. Every government could choose what cuts or increases they wanted. The Paris talks in 2015 extended that to 2035.

I understood what Obama had done immediately. That text ended the possibility of action for a generation. Since then, I have understood social collapse is coming.

(Source)

The Extinction Rebellion is capturing that energy of those who realize that we may well yet have to go down swinging.

The powers that be would like us to continue with the fantasy that politics could, may, might, possibly offer a sliver of a chance…if only we could elect the right sorts of people!  (Spoiler alert, those sorts of people are never placed on offer to be elected…they are comprehensively weeded out well before then, as we see with Tulsi Gabbard currently in the US for merely daring to offer an alternative to the Bomb First crowd).

In the end, it may simply be that humans cannot rise above their brain stems.  Collapse is already baked in the cake.  So then the question becomes who you wish to be in these times?  How will you act?  What sorts of decisions are you going to make?

That’s what I asked in my most recent pieces entitled From Survival to Significance and Creating a World Worth Inheriting.

The continued ““market”” jamming efforts (as well underway today, again) are just attempts to ignore the inevitable.  The continued efforts of the mainstream media to heavily promote completely irrelevant items while totally ignoring extremely important topics are best understood through the lens of evolutionary biology.

Humans, you see, are with few bright exceptions, wired wrong to manage connecting complex dots.  When given the choice between basic biology (eating, reproducing, and staying safe & warm) and engaging in a bit of temporarily difficult introspection or thought, nearly everybody defaults to basic biology.

Our leaders know that dynamic well, as do advertisers and media moguls and so they give the people what they want.  It’s dreadfully simple, easy and popular.

It takes a rare individual to buck that trend.  The young tend to be far more facile at it than the old.  That’s why rebellions usually begin with the youth.

But meanwhile, the unthinkable is forcing its way into our collective consciousness.  The ecosystems of the world that have gently held civilizations over the past 10,000 years are collapsing.

Rains no longer fall where they should, or too much where they shouldn’t.  The careful food webs developed over hundreds of millions of years are being suddenly upended.  What will it mean that phytoplankton numbers are dropping like a rock, or that insects are 80% depleted?  Nobody knows.  What happens next is completely unpredictable.  Such is the nature of complex systems.

Let me quote again from the above piece of writing, which goes on to speculate how the power structures will go about dealing with the inevitable crises.  After writing about the many tens of millions killed during various state imposed famines, wars, and pogroms he writes:

All these numbers are approximate, you understand. No one was counting properly.

Almost none of those horrors were committed by small groups of savages wandering through the ruins. They were committed by States, and by mass political movements.

Society did not disintegrate. It did not come apart. Society intensified. Power concentrated, and split, and those powers had us kill each other. It seems reasonable to assume that climate social collapse will be like that. Only with five times as many dead, if we are lucky, and twenty-five times as many, if we are not.

Remember this, because when the moment of runaway climate change comes for you, where you live, it will not come in the form of a few wandering hairy bikers. It will come with the tanks on the streets and the military or the fascists taking power.

Those generals will talk in deep green language. They will speak of degrowth, and the boundaries of planetary ecology. They will tell us we have consumed too much, and been too greedy, and now for the sake of Mother Earth, we must tighten our belts.

Then we will tighten our belts, and we will suffer, and they will build a new kind of gross green inequality. And in a world of ecological freefall, it will take cruelty on an unprecedented scale to keep their inequality in place.

These formerly “unthinkable” thoughts are now popping up all over the place in print, word and deed.  The students on strike in Europe, the Yellow Vests, and the Extinction Rebellion are all examples.

I hinted at these things in The Crash Course, and purposely did not expound upon them because I was trying to gently wake those who were close to waking already.  I did not want to scare people back to sleep by drawing the conclusions to the many possible ends.  For those with the ability to add and subtract, and to connect dot A to dot B, the implications were clear enough.

A global civilization that is expending 10 or even 20 calories of fossil fuels to grow and deliver a single food calorie, yet has no plans on the books for how it will feed everyone once that source of energy runs down, has a predicament on its hands.  The author quoted above takes the next step and connects the dots through history to conclude that we’ll probably just ignore that predicament until we can’t and then be rather unpleasant about it all with each other when the time comes.

He’s got history on his side, and the 11-year old quoted at the top has managed to rightly conclude “they’ve stolen out future!”  Indeed, they have.

Sustaining the Unsustainable

I would hazard that about 99% of everything in the mainstream media is dedicated to sustaining the unsustainable, and 100% of everything in the financial “markets” is geared towards the same.

Politicians seem to have a near complete inability to grasp these issues while in office, and a stunning ability to “get it” once they’ve left.

Would it surprise you to learn that most of the financial titans who spend their every waking hour promoting and leveraging the system for their own private gain also have but out plans and escape holes readied?

This idea of sustaining the unsustainable is really so popular that it’s never examined.

I did recently when I observed that if the US Federal Reserve gets its way, and somehow magically manages to create 3% real GDP growth for the next century, what will it have done?  Will it have saved us all and delivered to us some awesome future?

Well, if we take the US economy as being $20 trillion now, it will be $385 trillion after 100 years of 3% growth.

That would make the US economy alone nearly 5 times larger than the entire world economy right now.  Need we point out again that even 1x current world GDP is killing the planet?  Is it not self-evident that it’s not possible for the US alone to be 5x larger than the entire current world economy without destroying everything that even makes having an economy possible (or worth it) in the first place?

Or what if we magically held world population steady from here, but then delivered the equivalent of an Australian standard of loving to everybody?  Well, then we’d increase consumption by the planet’s citizens by a factor of more than 20.  Oops.  Another unworkable idea.

These are very simple thoughts to entertain but let me list for you know every single question of this sort posed by every journalist covering the Federal Reserve’s hearings and press announcement:  0

None.  Nada.  Zilch.

How is this even possible?  How can the most powerful entity in the world, charged with steering the economy to ever larger levels never, not once, be asked a question along the lines of “tell us please, if you are as successful over the next 100 years as you have been over the past 100, what sort of world do your models indicate for us?”

How is this not a legitimate question to ask?  Every one of us has an interest in the answer, including every single journalist, but the question is never asked.

Why?

Probably because the answer would be too disturbing to the average sensibility (or brain stem)

And yet, the pressure grows.  The natural world that sustains us all, the immature space fantasies of Bezos and Musk aside, is the most important thing there is.  Destroy that, and all the rest matters not one tiny bit.

Someday, I predict, your choices will narrow down to “join the young” or “become one of them.”  Rebel, or suppress the rebellion.  This side, or that.  Agent of change, or victim of circumstances.

Same as has been true every time throughout human history when the rains did not come, and resource became tight.

Once things have gone too far in one direction, then collapse is in the cards.

~ Chris Martenson

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77 Comments

  • Tue, May 21, 2019 - 2:24pm

    #1

    xraymike79

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    You cannot negotiate with the universal laws of physics, chemistry, and biology.

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  • Tue, May 21, 2019 - 2:48pm

    #2
    brushhog

    brushhog

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    This has happened before

    Back in the middle ages when they entered the “mini-ice age” crops died and people starved. The reaction from many was to blame somebody. Some “person” must be responsible. That’s what started the witch trials. Because humans are essentially anthropocentric, we believe that what we do determines what happens in the universe [ rather than the other way around ].

    When we ask the question, “what made the universe”? Our answer is that a very powerful human must have done it. We call him God…he is made in our image or vice versa, doesnt really matter. When things go wrong, the crops dont grow, the rain doesnt stop, we blame ourselves. The giant human in the sky must be mad at us. It’s all our fault….maybe its a witch….or a company….or a president. Lets burn him at the stake to appease the giant sky-man and make the weather change back.
    400 years later and the only thing thats changes is the terminology. Still think humans are a self-determinate species?

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  • Tue, May 21, 2019 - 2:52pm

    #3

    Chris Martenson

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    EU summer forecast looks grim

    Hey Xray…good to see you again.

    The prognosis for weather across Europe this summer looks like a repeat of last summer; hot, maybe brutally so.

    (Source)

    Like any long-range weather forecast, it might be right and it might be wrong.  But I’m not finding many that are projecting cooler rather than hotter.

    Meanwhile, could be a fluke, but the tornadoes in the US right now and the early arrival of a named Atlantic storm make 2019 to be a promising year for goofy weather.

     

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  • Tue, May 21, 2019 - 3:10pm

    Reply to #3
    Rodster

    Rodster

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    Here You Go Chris, More Data and It's Spooky Accurate

    Exxon predicated almost to a single PPM what CO2 levels would be like 40 yrs ago in 2019.

    https://earther.gizmodo.com/exxon-predicted-2019-s-ominous-co2-milestone-in-1982-1834748763

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  • Tue, May 21, 2019 - 3:19pm

    Reply to #2
    Rodster

    Rodster

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    This Time Could Be Different And Could End All Life On Earth

    Let’s not discount that. This time every economy on the planet is tied both globally and are doing the EXACT same stupid things as everyone else. Just look what happened to the markets around the world when Cyprus had their Bank Holiday. Look what happened to the global markets when Greece threatened to default on their IMF bailout loans a few yrs ago.

    The planet is ruined with petro-agri chemicals, plastics in the ocean with the soil being turned into a chemical junkie where nothing grows without it. We have been warned repeatedly that continued use of these agri-chemicals will result in a very bad outcome, eventually. Then there’s the bee, birds, ocean, coral reefs and wildlife die-offs just to name a few. Then there’s sea level rise, a changing climate that’s not conducive to supporting billions on this planet.

    So count me in the group that in a 100-150 yrs from now it’s quite possible all of this is a permanent game changer unlike anything humans have ever experienced.

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  • Tue, May 21, 2019 - 3:39pm

    #4

    MICHAELJAEB

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    How to enjoy the end of the world

    In line with Chris’s points above ….watch this one hour presentation and question everything. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=5WPB2u8EzL8

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  • Tue, May 21, 2019 - 4:47pm

    Reply to #3
    ezlxq1949

    ezlxq1949

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    A couple of months ago my wife and I were passing through the Rutherglen area of Victoria. This is a long-established, prominent wine-producing region in a part of the country known as the Garden State.

    At one cellar door we got to chatting to the vineyard owner about the 2018/2019 summer, which in over much of the south-east had been a total scorcher. The south-east of Australia is the nation’s main breadbasket, vitally important.

    “Hot? You bet it had been hot!” he told us. “We had ten days in a row over 46° (115F). Unprecedented. The grapevines shut down until it got cooler. We’re lucky to have had a vintage this year. In fact it’s been getting hotter and hotter for years now. We’re planting Portuguese varieties which can handle the heat better than the French ones.”

    The climate change deniers simply say that it’s all cyclical, we’ve had more than one horrendous heatwave in the last 200 years, it’s all part of the Australian climate, the rains will return, they always have, in abundance. But were the glaciers melting 200 years ago?

    Remember the school strike of only a couple of months ago? We know some nice people who uncritically accept newspaper stories which say that (a) there ain’t no climate change, and (b) other nations are putting lots of carbon into the air so why shouldn’t we? Also, they’re angry about the school strike because to them that sort of behaviour is simply teaching the children to be insolent and rebellious towards their parents and elders. Never mind that lots of parents and elders were in evidence at the strike demo in Sydney. No, the kids should be quiet and submissive, study hard and prepare to become cogs in the wheel (my phrase). Now, isn’t that precisely the attitude of the 0.1% towards the rest of us?

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  • Tue, May 21, 2019 - 5:33pm

    #5

    CleanEnergyFan

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    We still have options even if our home location remains stuck in BAU

    As I am sitting here looking out over Lake Arenal in Northern Costa Rica watching the wind turbines and parrots and other birds/wildlife  while reading your article I am reminded of why I am here.  I don’t know how to start a revolution back home in the USA but I do know how to plan an alternative.  Chris I know you have brought up the idea of a Plan B and look forward to hearing more about a potential gathering spot for some of the tribe at some future point.  I have read how some feel this is somehow running away from the problem or not being an appropriate Elder to the young but if you can’t change your home culture you still have the option to move to another culture that might be more in tune with your beliefs (and which might also offer better options for your future progeny).  The act of moving is itself a strong statement against the BAU and might spur more change at your home location than simply remaining stationary….its happened many times throughout history and I see no reason this time should be different.   I truly hope we can change things back home and haven’t given up hope on that possibility but don’t want to feel powerless to take definitive action regardless of what the Fed, the media and our politicians do going forward.

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  • Tue, May 21, 2019 - 6:21pm

    #6
    skipr

    skipr

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    desperate deniers and future growth industries

    It must be getting tough for the deniers when “brilliant” minds like these are the only ones still standing.  I wonder if this is the same congressman who said that god is a white supremacist and humans coexisted with dinosaurs.

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2018/05/17/mo-brooks-rocks-causing-sea-levels-rise/621389002/?fbclid=IwAR3pi3mdnPpk7TNQK9M1cTPMAlYJsd9O99kvw8GbUwe4K8m-Y039D9YRUmg

    There will still be some growth industries out there to cash in on.  Erik Prince will soon blow Jeff Bezos out of the financial water and become the first multi-trillionaire when his 21st century Pinkerton style mercenary army (formerly known as Blackwater) is brought in to globally “maintain the peace.”  Those South American death squad troops from the 80’s are probably looking to keep their families well fed and have a little fun on the side.  Hell, the drug cartels will blow off the drug peddling when much more money can be made defending the last remaining and privatized sources of clean water.  They could even merge with Bechtel.

    The real free market has always been the black market.  Mercenary armies are just following Monsanto’s example, or is it the other way around.

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  • Tue, May 21, 2019 - 6:40pm

    #7
    ezlxq1949

    ezlxq1949

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    Electoral Therapy

    Right now I’m finding the Travelling Wilburys’ “End of the Line” quite therapeutic. The air of gentle melancholy, perhaps?

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  • Tue, May 21, 2019 - 7:22pm

    #8

    sand_puppy

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    How to Enjoy The End of The World

    The link posted above by MICHAELJAEB was absolutely awesome.  Sid Smith is a Ph.D. mathematician and head ov the Virginia Green Party.

    I strongly recommend his talk.  Chris, you will like this guy.  He supports what you have been saying for years and is clear and realistic.  We are way into overshoot, complex social structures collapse when energy flows do not sustain them. We are way past the turn around point.  We are headed into massive collapse, population reduction, and possibly, will have the option to build a simpler, less complex life in the aftermath.

    Wow!

     

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  • Tue, May 21, 2019 - 11:22pm

    #9
    GerryOz

    GerryOz

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    Plan for Extinction

    Here’s a useful analogy: Sitting in a motor car with the windows down, on a lovely sunny day. You feel comfortable, the air is blowing through the car keeping you cool.

    Then you wind up the windows. That’s what we have done with greenhouse gasses.

    After 10 minutes, you still feel fine. No problems. You may feel a little warmer. That’s where we are now.

    But after an hour, it’s become dangerously hot in the car and you can’t stand it anymore, so you wind the windows down.

    The difference between someone in a car in the sun, and all of humanity on this planet is that we don’t have a way of “winding down the windows”. We have no viable technology to draw down these warming gasses from the atmosphere. The turnover time of CO2 in the atmosphere is 500-1000 years. The IPCC takes for granted that such a technology will be forthcoming, but we still don’t have it, other than the slow and pretty ineffectual methods of tree planting, carbon sequestration in soils, biochar production and other measures that are like farting against thunder. Eventually we’ll be forced to attempt a geoengineering solution, such as pumping sulphates into the atmosphere to shield us, and that will come with its own potentially disastrous effects, and may not even work.

    Catastrophic climate change will not be prevented. It’s already happened. I have stopped worrying about it with the help of an article in The Economist that discusses how we can apply a “discount rate” to the value of the future, depending on how much more important we deem the present to be. Read it.

    I have one son, almost middle aged himself, and he is determined to have no offspring, so we really can ramp up the discount rate! 100% is where I’m setting it. Yes, we’ll take down some other species but Nature is fecund and in a billion years the place will be humming with life again.

    If I had grandchildren, I’d be forced to see things differently. I was listening to a Radio Ecoshock podcast in which one person described buying a mango, itself transported long distances to the point of sale, then another chimed in about driving the mango home in an SUV, then putting the mango into a fridge, and how all this was pretty unsustainable. It struck me then that yes, it IS unsustainable, but it’s a very pleasant way of life, one to which we have all become accustomed, and the alternatives will be nasty. I live on 4 fertile acres and let me tell you, growing your own food is no picnic. One bad weather event and the crop is gone. If we stop transporting food over long distances, if we stop refrigeration, if we abandon vehicular transport, and so on, life will go back to a time when living was brutish, hard and very arduous.

    It would be much, much easier for the whole of society to agree that we are living unsustainably, to agree to continue living in this very agreeable way until we — the current living generation — all die, but also to agree that people should simply stop breeding.

    I see no great trauma in the loss of our species.

    No matter what we do, our goose is cooked. At 500 parts per million1 of equivalent carbon dioxide concentration, enough greenhouse gases are currently in the atmosphere to ultimately warm the planet 4-5°C above 1700s temperatures, raise the sea level by 67 meters (based on past longer-term paleoclimate change response), remove significant amounts of soil moisture, leading to the destruction of agriculture. And this is without any other carbon releases or feedbacks.

    It’s just a matter of time now. There’s enough GHGs out there to make living on Earth quite horrible for our descendants, so let’s simply agree that to have to live in this much hotter world, and simultaneously to be forced to give up so much of what makes life tolerable and comfortable, is simply unacceptable, and decide that our collective time on the planet is over. If we have no children, our species’ end is not personally sad. Children would gradually become more and more rare, is all.

    I have a feeling that this is going to happen, one way or another, with or without general agreement, no matter what. I and my son have made this decision already, and from casual discussions I’ve had online, several other people admitted that they too were following that plan, although more unconsciously. It’s simple logic in some ways. Food for thought.

    * https://www.theguardian.com/science/2019/apr/03/south-pole-tree-fossils-indicate-impact-of-climate-change
    * https://thinkprogress.org/carbon-dioxide-levels-sea-antarctica-b435497e1266/

    1- CO2 is 414ppm, but 500ppm is approx CO2 equiv if you add in methane and other GHGs

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  • Tue, May 21, 2019 - 11:30pm

    #10

    Poet

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    Long time no see...

    Hi all. Some of you old timers may remember me.

    Some years ago, I began devoting more of my attention and effort in Reddit’s /r/Collapse community, under a different alias. And about a couple of years ago, I moved on to Facebook’s Near Term Human Extinction Support Group.

    i still come back here from time to time. This time I logged in to comment on Chris’ post.

    I believe it is too late to stop the inevitable, as we are 7.7 billion people who all cause pollution, carbon emissions, and environmental devastation with every activity from driving to electricity use to taking a shower to eating and use of toilet paper. Current carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere correlate geologically with over 100 feet of sea level rise. We are just waiting for the ice to melt, as weather extremes continue to pick up. In addition, we have peak cheap oil, the sixth mass species extinction ongoing, and ocean phytoplankton die-off and deforestation has led to the loss of about half what we had even 40 years ago – a major problem for us oxygen-breathers.

    Now is the time for bucket lists and coming to terms, before the truth become more evident and chaos begins to consume civilization.

    Sincerely,

    Poet

     

     

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  • Wed, May 22, 2019 - 12:13am

    #11

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    the biggest impediment to addressing climate change is the fiat money system

    after reading “the bitcoin standard” by saifedean ammous, i believe the biggest impediment to climate change is the fiat money system, which fuels big indecisive beauracracies and indecision. heres something i blogged on an australian website:

    John Maynard Keynes was born into privilege, never studied economics, never did real work and visited child prostitutes.(“The Bitcoin Standard” – by Saifedean Ammous p 95)

    In Australia we have an immigration policies built around consumption and Keynesian economics. From here on If we want a modern economy of some sort then we have to recognize that our lives are constructed around fossil fuel on a granular level. it’s in every aspect of our lives: what we live in, what we are clothed in, what we eat, what we drive; and the main way to reduce carbon emissions is to reduce population and stop digging up fossil fuels. Based on our use of fossil fuel, Australia is way, way, way overpopulated NOW. Big government and massive mal-investments caused by the fiat money system are in the way of us actually getting things done.  We need to abandon Keynes and return to The Classical Gold Standard or the Bitcoin standard and have a net population decrement policy. Under a hard money standard big government and mal-investments will quickly melt away (the money once created out of thin air would not be there). (and maybe we might get the right people in government – engineers, physicists, biologists etc) The jobs market will quickly adjust.  The Australian economy could be physically a lot smaller if we operated it using the correct money standard, a hard money standard. The Australian media and education system is shocking.

    Did you know that the biggest market in the world is the foreign exchange markets?; at around 1860 trillion dollars/year this amounts to 25 X more than actual global gdp?(global gdp 2016=75Trillion, “The Bitcoin Standard”- by Saifedean Ammous p 130).(Really think about these numbers). Do you realize that the foreign exchange market would be virtually non-existent under an international gold standard or a hard money standard of some type? Think of all the resources that would be saved or that could be directed into battling climate change. Because Australians are being taught the wrong economics (Keynesianism) instead of classical economics we are not even beginning our debates in the right place. We need to freeze immigration overnight.

    We need to develop a nuclear power industry. It is much safer now.

    There is another thing we need to look at: what was the economic model of the Australian aborigines?. Their culture survived the longest….

    Where are you “4corners”, where are you “Insight”, where are you “the drum”, where are you “the project”, where are you “60 minutes”, where are you “the labor party”, where are you “the liberal party”. you need to take the courage to ask the right questions, the questions that only a minority are asking, the questions that seem a bit esoteric, the questions that are not in fashion. The money system we are in shortens our time horizons and works against long term thinking and planning. you see it in our politics, you see it in our culture. the most momentous changes in the history  occurred between 1870 and 1913, when most of the world was on the gold standard.

    All roads lead back to the fiat money system. Broken pension plans. Broken countries.  Broken trade.  Broken people. malinvestments. Even climate change.

    End the fed. End the Ecb. End the boj. End the pboc. End the Boe. End the Snb . End the rba

    Bring back the classical gold standard

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  • Wed, May 22, 2019 - 4:45am

    #12
    macro2682

    macro2682

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    3+

    Political solution...

    People need to unite, restore democracy, and overwhelm entrenched interests.  The way this happens is using social media.

    Create an Earth badge to place on people’s profile picture  in exchange for $3/mo donated to a climate change PAC.  It will spread virally, and once we hit 2.5 million people, the PAC would have more lobbying money than the defense and healthcare industry combined.  That PAC (representing the people [of Earth, not just the US]) then hires lobbyists and dismantles campaign finance rules by overwhelming it.

    Climate change solved.  Democracy restored.

    Somebody get to work on this and save the planet already.  Setting up a PAC and website costs like $1500 in legal fees and maybe 30 hours of a millennial’s time.  Message me if you need more details.

    Idea is free. Go do it.

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  • Wed, May 22, 2019 - 6:54am

    Reply to #8

    Chris Martenson

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    RE: How to enjoy the end of the world

    At the 23 minute mark he makes the analogy of a gallon of gas being used to propel a car and then having that car pushed back to its starting point using human labor.

    Seems familiar…

    🙂

    I always enjoy knowing that the messages in the Crash Course found their landing spots and continue to ripple outwards.

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  • Wed, May 22, 2019 - 7:18am

    #13

    sand_puppy

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    Yep.

    Hearing your ideas and metaphors circulating in other settings is the indicator that your seed planting was effective!  A deep recognition of the value of your intelligence, synthesis and presentation skills.

    🙂

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  • Wed, May 22, 2019 - 7:48am

    #14

    pyranablade

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    Good Try Macro

    We’ve just read this nail-on-the-head Martenson blogpost which was very dark.  And then I get to your very optimistic post, Macro. On the one hand, we need at least a small amount of optimism about things, enough to try and I seriously thank you for trying. While I’m not sure that your idea won’t work, your comment fails because you’re saying hey, I have this great idea, somebody do the legwork on it. If we’re going to slow the earth-dying process, it will be done with people leading by example, doing the legwork themselves, not just telling others “Hey, you should pursue my idea.”

    On the old Chris Martenson website there was a prominent “What Should I Do” series where you could get practical ideas about bread-and-butter kinds of things. If there is anything about Peak Prosperity that can be both honest and optimistic right now it would be those kinds of things. You want to focus on grander goals? Restore real democracy to the USA? I won’t stop you from trying. But the powers that be – BAU – is very powerful and they don’t want us to quit our roles as consumers.

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  • Wed, May 22, 2019 - 8:39am

    Reply to #10

    ckessel

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

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    The predicament

    Glad to see you back Poet. Ten years ago when I came across Chris’ work it very much resonated with me. I have been a daily reader since although I do not post very much.

    For me, the answer to the question “When did you know?” is 1971. I was studying architecture at Cal Poly Univ. in San Luis Obispo, Ca. I had a very progressive 5th year design instructor named Don Koberg who referred our class to M. King Hubberts’ paper on peak oil. His question to the class was “How do you anticipate this information will impact your career as an architect?” His broader message was to challenge the class to “design your own future” using the tools you have and create your vision of the future. “Why not design your life? Why not design your future?”

    This was all very inspiring to me and as a result I decided to focus my career on energy efficient and more broadly sustainable design principles. Needless to say, back then I thought that things would turn out very differently than they have. And I have built a career around designing and building solar and energy efficient structures which continues to this day. It’s like being permanently retired and doing what I have always wanted.  (That is on good days which are the usual but running a small business and being the govt’s police force for finance has its moments!)

    When Chris published the Crash Course, I took the data and presented it locally to a very accepting audience and had good success in getting the message out. After all, the next ten years will be nothing like the past! True enough! But again, my hopes for change fell far short of the reality and an evolution of mindset similar to that of the 70s seemed to recur. People had great hopes for change and when the expected change failed to materialize, that hope could not sustain the actions needed to really deliver the product on a daily actions basis.

    So the answer to the second question “What did you do about it?” can best be answered by ‘Keepin’ on despite the problem that I can’t go on’. One of the problems I have is in dealing with the ‘talking about the issues’ vs. the actual doingness of creating the world we want to inherit. That tends to prevent me from spending time posting.

    But my reality is that in this day of instant global communication I think we have an opportunity to make more of a difference than ever before and participating in it is also vital. So I wanted to say I’m glad to see you back!

    Coop

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  • Wed, May 22, 2019 - 8:42am

    #15

    kleymo

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    trade war may help

    Gail Tverberg has a new post up that basically says anything else is better than globalization, as we are now in a zero sum game brought on by a resource problem/predicament (depending on where you live).

    I myself am conflicted, as I have two children. I want them to have a safe future. Not much I can do beyond having them aware that the world is changing, and to have multiple skills.

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  • Wed, May 22, 2019 - 10:08am

    #16

    travissidelinger

    Status Member (Online)

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    There is no solution

    What would a sustainable human civilization look like?

    I’ve asked this question before.

    Sure you could go into lots of technical details as to how we would all live in eco homes with organic gardens and fission powered electrified transportation, but none of that matters. You neighbor will eventually come up with the idea to start exploiting a resource and grow exponentially. Once that neighbor is economically or militarily an equal, it is game over. You can’t stop them. The larger group with more resources wins. That’s the game humans have been playing since the beginning of time. You grow, or you loose.

    The really sad point now is that we’ve probably set the planet on a climate course that will wipe out most life on the planet. We here might even get to watch it happen, and die with it.

    What will I do in the end, just try to hold out as long as I can while protecting my family.

    Here’s a link I would like to share. He’s a professor in climate science and posts often. I’ve learned a lot about what’s going on with our climate. We don’t know for sure what will happen, but at this point there are just too many paths that lead to human extinction for comfort.

    https://www.youtube.com/user/PaulHBeckwith

    “In unrelated news, a record number of client scientists report frequent symptoms of depression”

    -Travis

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  • Wed, May 22, 2019 - 11:40am

    #17

    LesPhelps

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    Woah, man. Bummer!

    Chris,

    You keep hitting them out of the ball park. To me, this piece was channeling Donella Meadows and Dr. Albet Bartlett, but with more fire, probably because the consequences are happening now, instead of being predicted in the near future.

    Do you remember President Carter attempting to sell the ideas in “Limits to Growth.” He lost his bid for a second term to Ronald Ragan (Zap), who removed the solar panels Carter had installed on the Whitehouse.

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  • Wed, May 22, 2019 - 11:56am

    #18

    thatchmo

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    Posts: 319

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    Got a Revolution...

    Hey Les,  I think it was Ronald “when you’ve seen one tree, you’ve seen them all” Raygun (zap!).  I think it was Grace Slick at Woodstock.  Volunteers of America…..Jeez, is it too late to take the Blue pill?

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

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  • Wed, May 22, 2019 - 12:02pm

    Reply to #17
    Jitiy

    Jitiy

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    history of the White House solar panels

    https://understandsolar.com/white-house-solar-panels/

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  • Wed, May 22, 2019 - 12:06pm

    Reply to #18

    thatchmo

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

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    1+

    then again....

    …..maybe Canned Heat had the right idea….Aloha, Steve

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2t4ChnIWqw

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  • Wed, May 22, 2019 - 1:00pm

    Reply to #8

    Pipyman

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    There I was thinking you’d “borrowed” it! Nice one …….👍

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  • Wed, May 22, 2019 - 2:07pm

    #19
    climber99

    climber99

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    Posts: 178

    Tad Patzek and geologic time.

    It just so happened that I watched a lecture on geologic time by Tad Patzek today. There are many, many people out there that get it and Tad Patzek puts our predicament into perspective better than most.

    The question and answer session towards the end is worth listening to too.

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  • Wed, May 22, 2019 - 2:22pm

    Reply to #14
    macro2682

    macro2682

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    Actions over words...

    I get it man. I’ve been sharing this idea with anyone who will listen for the past 5 years (ever since that red equal sign movement spread like wildfire and accomplished exactly nothing).   I sent it to Facebook, the Obama administration, the Sanders campaign.  I’ve pitched it to private equity firms and high net worth investors.  If you private message me with your email address I’ll send you my materials.

    …But you’re right.  I didn’t go out and execute this myself for a few reasons:

    1.) My wife thinks I’m a grandiose doomer, and I have to keep my views and initiatives largely to myself in order to protect my marriage.

    2.) I have a high paying job, and a family that relies on it. I can throw money at the idea (to a point) but I can’t go all in.

    To summarize, I am a selfishly responsible coward.

    I do have an organization that I’ve convinced to use the marketing strategy to raise money (it will be implemented soon), but it’s not for climate change or campaign finance reform.  I’m hoping its  success will be a proof statement for others to pick up and run with it.

    Until then I will keep using the only tools I have available to try and spur some bored jobless millennial into action.

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  • Wed, May 22, 2019 - 2:30pm

    #20

    LesPhelps

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 30 2009

    Posts: 465

    1+

    US Presidents on Limits and Growth

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  • Wed, May 22, 2019 - 3:18pm

    #21

    dcm

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 14 2009

    Posts: 106

    Here’s our Story it’s Sad But True

    About a World that I once knew…..     I’m not sure what emotion I feel when, after ten years, I see a steady “progression”  from Chris not only telling us, but also showing us, how pathetic and dangerous our real world has become. The message, like the problem, grows exponentially dark. Perhaps, like Chris, I feel a complex collection of impulses – survival, human empathy, and passion just short of anger to both tell and demand the truth. Mostly, I think of my children and try to calculate some balanced formula of truth without panic. It’s difficult. Sometimes I find myself talking to the  rest of the living world instead – my dog, my garden, even the insects. Like some bizzare confession . It seems      “crazy“ but sometimes I think they look at us and use the same description

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  • Wed, May 22, 2019 - 3:42pm

    Reply to #8

    Mots

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 65

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    "How to enjoy the end of the world" videocast

    Sandman, thank you for this link to a wonderful video presentation.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=5WPB2u8EzL8

    The talk points out many things.  Two things stick out that need to be combined in an optimistic path forward during the collapse as follows:

    At 26:41 into this lecture: The EROI of solar electric (the one energy source which is growing exponentially!) is basically good, but becomes bad because “we need to store the solar energy”

    At 38:58 he explains that solar electric is no solution because “not available when ‘needed’

    At 1:01:45  he explains “as the collapse unfolds, we can enjoy a new freedom, to be resilient, to adapt, and have agency to reorganize the elements of our world”

    The alleged failure of solar electric to provide an energy path forward becomes a non issue for those willing to “reorganize” daily life to drastically increase the EROI of solar electric.  I write from personal experience and am not hypothesizing or conjecturing:

    1. 1/3 of household energy is for water heating: water acts as a battery and can be heated by excess solar electric during noon and used at night (I do this now and made circuits to do this cheaply)

    2. much of the remainder is used for cooking, which can be done during sunlight hours  a. this requires behavior change (crockpot usage, fry meat in the afternoon instead of at night etc) I made circuits that allow boiling of water etc during cloudy and rainy conditions via efficient use of large numbers of solar panels, for example.  Clothes washers and dish washers can be turned on during sunlight and can automatically pause when clouds arrive overhead, and can accommodate a non-steady energy input via use of more panels or pausing operation in extreme cases

    3. air conditioners can be run almost directly from solar panels when sun shining and automatically turn off when clouds form/rain falls, without energy storage or expensive equipment such as inverters.  I do this now using existing (commercially sold for normal use), cheap heap pumps.  I had to make my own circuits to do this.

    My point is that EROI of an exponentially increasing energy supply (solar electric) goes up 5-10 via our own behavioral changes.  The videocast alludes to the fact that a future of peak prosperity can exist for those who make behavioral changes.  The denigrators of our exponentially increasing energy source refuse to see that the low EROI which they tout as evidence of failure are directly affected (5-10 fold) by such behavioral changes.

    CM loves to throw dirt on solar electric by constantly quoting the same nuclear power industry pundit written EROI studies that count concrete pouring, security guards, bankers fees, land siting fees, batteries, R&D costs, government negotiation lawyer costs and other fillers as reasons why solar electric takes too much energy.  In fact, individual initiative and behavioral changes (see above) provides 5-10 times higher EROI for this exponentially growing energy source.

    I expect that CM will attack me again for pointing out the possibilities of solar electric and going against his mantra of solar electric = poor EROI.
    Let the mud slinging begin.

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  • Wed, May 22, 2019 - 6:39pm

    Reply to #18

    LesPhelps

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 465

    2+

    I’ll throw Steppenwolf’s “Monster” in the contest as possibly the most prescient song of the era. The lyrics haven’t lost any of their relevance,

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  • Wed, May 22, 2019 - 6:46pm

    Reply to #12
    bydesignovertime

    bydesignovertime

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    This is the problem

    You do it, I’m busy.

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  • Wed, May 22, 2019 - 7:44pm

    Reply to #8

    mememonkey

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    Tilting at 'solar' powered Windmills

    My point is that EROI of an exponentially increasing energy supply (solar electric) goes up 5-10 via our own behavioral changes. The videocast alludes to the fact that a future of peak prosperity can exist for those who make behavioral changes. The denigrators of our exponentially increasing energy source refuse to see that the low EROI which they tout as evidence of failure are directly affected (5-10 fold) by such behavioral changes.

    CM loves to throw dirt on solar electric by constantly quoting the same nuclear power industry pundit written EROI studies that count concrete pouring, security guards, bankers fees, land siting fees, batteries, R&D costs, government negotiation lawyer costs and other fillers as reasons why solar electric takes too much energy. In fact, individual initiative and behavioral changes (see above) provides 5-10 times higher EROI for this exponentially growing energy source.

    I expect that CM will attack me again for pointing out the possibilities of solar electric and going against his mantra of solar electric = poor EROI.
    Let the mud slinging begin.
    Mots,

    You’ve re-framed CM’s observational ‘critiques’ of the viability of low EROI solar electric as a strawman argument.

    By your own admission in this post, your multiplier on EROI of 5-10 is predicated on behavioral changes on the margin as a function of adaption to due to either enlightened prescience or presumably necessity in the emerging collapse.

    To my knowledge Chris has always been a proponent of individual initiative, behavioral change,and use of small scale solar, particularly thermal solar.

    Discussions or critiques on the viability of solar as a substitute energy source to run industrial society and replace liquid fuel transport, power the grid etc rightly calculates embedded energy costs, scalability issues etc.

    That is an important and critical critique as ‘greening’ BAU industrial society is the context that the discussion of moving away from carbon based economy is ‘understood’ by well intentioned but scientifically illiterate proponents of clean energy and the less well intentioned and still scientifically illiterate policy makers.

    mm

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  • Wed, May 22, 2019 - 7:56pm

    Reply to #16
    MAV

    MAV

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    travissidelinger is right, there is no solution

    We will collapse.

    I LOVE the book Ishmael by Daniel Quinn.  In the book he talks about Takers and Leavers.  We are all Takers.  This thread seems to be asking if we can turn ourselves back into Leavers.  The book itself explains that when a Taker culture intersects with a Leaver culture, only one of two things can happen.  The Leavers are turned into Takers, or the Leavers are destroyed.  That’s it.  They cannot co-exist.

    What are the odds we could convince all the countries of the world to live sustainably?  Zero.  The odds are zero.  I can’t even convince my family members.

    This is my favorite answer to the Fermi Paradox.  We have not encountered alien life because it is the nature of all life (even intelligent life) to burn through your natural resources, overshoot and dieoff.

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  • Wed, May 22, 2019 - 8:21pm

    Reply to #1
    gkcjrrt

    gkcjrrt

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    Posts: 14

    Human mind and free will

    I would submit for that the most powerful force on the Earth is in fact the Human mind coupled with free volition.

    What’s going on derives from the same original sin – pride – “we can solve any problem” and pursuit of mammon instead of  truth.

    Even thought we may act so, we are not locusts.  Man’s lust and greed got us into this and only a change of this heart is going to get us out.

    I recommend the book “A guide for the Perplexed” by E F Schumacher.

     

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  • Wed, May 22, 2019 - 8:23pm

    Reply to #1
    gkcjrrt

    gkcjrrt

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    Posts: 14

    Human mind and free will

    I would submit that the most powerful force on the Earth is in fact the Human mind coupled with human free volition.

    What’s going on derives from the same original sin – pride – “we can solve any problem” and pursuit of mammon instead of  truth.

    Even though we may act so, we are not locusts.  Man’s lust and greed got us into this and only a change of this heart is going to get us out.

    I recommend the book “A guide for the Perplexed” by E F Schumacher.

     

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  • Wed, May 22, 2019 - 10:10pm

    #22
    peter31

    peter31

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    Posts: 26

    Economics as a religion

    You’re quite right Chris, and coincidentally I have just published a blog post along similar lines, exploring the themes of economics-as-a-religion and the inability of journalists to understand simple arithmetic.  You can find it here:

    https://postpeakmedicine.wordpress.com/2019/05/22/reaching-out-to-the-high-priests/

    https://postpeakmedicine.com

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  • Wed, May 22, 2019 - 11:37pm

    #23

    dabenham

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    Posts: 21

    1+

    Human Extinction vs Homo Evolutis

    Chris, excellent post about not being able to sustain the unsustainable and that some sort of collapse is baked in already.  Did you mean a complete collapse leading to (likely) human extinction?

    My modest crystal ball says that after after a serious reduction (famine, wars, etc) of the human population 60-70 years from now, say to about 1B people or so, many will turn to gene editing to speed evolution in order to survive, if not thrive.

    Hence, do you think the period of Homo Evolutis is nearly upon us?  Where our (grand)children will be able to precision engineer their offspring – our (great)grandchildren – into an altered species, one with capabilities to thrive in a climate chaotic, post peak energy world.  Comments/thoughts?

     

     

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  • Thu, May 23, 2019 - 12:17am

    Reply to #23
    peter31

    peter31

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    Posts: 26

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    Homo evolutis?

    dabenham, I agree that we are in line for a reduction in numbers to 1 billion or so, but I think the survivors of the Great Reduction will be too busy trying to eke out a living with subsistence farming to worry about gene editing!

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  • Thu, May 23, 2019 - 3:25am

    #24
    robie robinson

    robie robinson

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    Posts: 859

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    The Abolition Of Man

    its a short read at 80 pages, and a good one too. C.S.Lewis

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  • Thu, May 23, 2019 - 4:22am

    #25

    sand_puppy

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    Posts: 1839

    1+

    Would love to learn DC applaince opperation direct from solar panels

    Mots,

    If you ever bring your electrical engineering stuff to market, I would LOVE to learn how to operate AC household and shop appliances, at mid-day, directly off an abundance of solar panels.  Great idea about running the freezer and water heater at mid-day as a way of “saving” energy for the less sunny hours.

    I agree with mememonkey that Chris embraces local solar usage for homes and has shown us his home PV and solar thermal set-ups a number of times.

    I appreciate your exploring how a shop or home can be wired for direct DC solar use.  You are at the forefront of this movement.  When you can, show us how we can do this too.

     

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  • Thu, May 23, 2019 - 5:50am

    Reply to #8

    Chris Martenson

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 4505

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    On Solar...

    Yes, as Mememonkey said, there’s a bit of a strawman built up there Mots.

    I happen to have solar on my own home, and I’m a big fan of it.  I think where we disagree is in scale.  At the individual level solar makes a ton of sense, especially if people can modify their actions and behaviors around the sun’s and weather’s schedule.

    But I also don’t have any illusions that my solar panels will be industrially replaced at some point in the future if/when they wear out and the world is trying to live entirely off of the sun’s and wind’s output.

    To create a solar panel is a major industrial undertaking that is currently almost entirely funded by fossil fuels, with diesel being the most vital.

    We don’t have a way of rebuilding the entire industrial supply chain using only the output from solar panels.  It currently cannot be done.

    Can it?

    I have my doubts, because of the low EROIE’s that accompany grid scale solar installations which have to include the costs of making the site, and maintaining the panels.  That involves cleaning, protecting, replacing and rebuilding throughout the lifecycle.

    It’s non-trivial.  Things happen.  Sandstorms, pollen, hail, tornadoes, earthquakes, vandals.

    There are hundreds, if not thousands of individual components that go into converting DC to AC, which remains a necessity at scale so that electrons made here can be shipped a long distance to be used over there.

    I’m not hostile to the idea of solar, as you seem to imply, but skeptical.   I’ve read as many EROEI  studies as I can get my hands on.  None of them has made me feel particularly good about anything except for alt energy to be a wedge of the pie giving us some more time.

    And that would be a fantastic thing, if we used the time wisely.

    To do that, I believe people need the facts as they stand.  Right now, those facts include the idea that a full-cycle solar industry operating in perpetuity off of itself while still providing enough surplus to run the rest of society at a complexity level sufficient to make more panels, is just that.  An Idea.

    One with relatively poor math beneath it.

    We need a very complex response to the future, and solar certainly has a role, but it cannot be the starring role as we understand things today.  Not without making enormous changes to our lifestyles, which you, admirably, have done.

    We’re going to need a big mix of things, including nuclear (thorium, fusion hopefully), LENR (if it’s real), vastly re-made building codes to require less HVAC, mass transit, and localization efforts to pull it off.

    I think having the right narratives in play is essential to that transition,. If it’s to happen.

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  • Thu, May 23, 2019 - 6:06am

    Reply to #25

    Mots

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 18 2012

    Posts: 65

    3+

    "DC" appliances

    Hi Sandman, thanks for your interest.
    1. I will be in N Virginia near you at the end of July and can bring devices.
    2. I am selling, but only in Japan now (or to people I know in the US).  I often go to China (at  Chinese govt expense) and show off my stuff there.
    3. I cannot do fridge/freezers but rely on regular (old) technology for that.
    4. Most (non-fridge) appliances are already DC or DC compatible EXCEPT for their mechanical switches.  My invention (used for over 5 years) is >99% DC but has a brief interrupt that protects switches by removing spark activity.  Computer power adapters actually are 10% more efficient on the DC because they are DC and suffer power factor correction problems with AC used presently.
    5.  To start with it is best to connect about two kw of panels to an existing electric water heater(s) to start the process of electrical resilience and use excess power for occasional power tool, coffee pot etc usage. My system automatically prioritizes and allows easy expansion into a grid.
    WHY this is efficient and simple/cheap: I do NOT change voltage (responsible for much complexity/cost and  a great deal of inefficiency (look at any charge controller and inverter: the thing is mostly heat sink and fans to throw away wasted power).  My box lacks a regular heat sink and fan.  Also I dont convert DC to AC to DC.
    I can run split unit heat pumps (these in Japan use DC compressors for the last ten years) with a second box that I build.   But I am still optimizing a system that will  automatically turn off/drop off the heat pump compressor when a cloud goes by and hope to have that finished by July…….
    The whole point is to avoid batteries and expensive equipment, to achieve a higher EROI.
    I still have a small law office and am developing an olive farm.  Due to lack of time, I cannot push this very hard.  I built a grid in the Congo rain forest they  had Ebola there more recently and I cannot go back but hope to go to another place that needs low cost electricity.
    Best regards
    Mots

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  • Thu, May 23, 2019 - 6:44am

    Reply to #8

    Mots

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 18 2012

    Posts: 65

    4+

    solar is poorly understood

    Very few people even in the industry understand  solar.  Solar cells dont act  like batteries and also create a form of electricity that  is much closer to what the end user needs, but corporate infrastructure forces conversion to this  100 year old bizarre stuff known as 60 hertz AC which, by the way has killed many people over the years due to the need for grounding one of  the sides. (when  I checked 2 yrs ago about half of US solar DC circuits were ungrounded and  thus safer although the aluminum frames  need grounding).
    Fossil fuel often comes from  a very large surface area locked up in a rock (isnt that diffuse?) but we dont consider it diffuse because it gets purified later.
    Solar is extremely concentrated.  If you take two high voltage/current wires + and minus and touch them together you quickly appreciate this.  Also it is much easier to transport and share and blend.
    Unlike fossil fuel, solar gets cheaper and easier to get (lower EROI) with time, courtesy of much of the same technology that gave us Moores law.   I explained before  that I discussed with an engineer expert who told me that if silver prices get high, they can make using copper instead of silver and two companies already did this.  Not science fiction.  I was a patent attorney for a major manufacturer and saw these changes over ten years.
    I read many EROI papers too and conversed with some authors.  I am convinced that the big difference between high EROI papers and low EROI is due to the globalist corp approach  versus the DIY operator who puts panels on his roof himself.  HOWEVER such small operators underestimate their  true costs by large margins.  If I were limited to using existing equipment off the shelf and standard hook ups I would not be enthusiastic at all about solar and would have low EROI: all equipment is less efficient than stated, most are not even rated below 10 or 20% light level because efficiency is extremely low.  Everything wears out (breaks) MUCH more often than anyone realizes.  Some people pay more for inverters etc  than solar panels and the equipment often is  replaced at least twice during the life of the panels.   I have a large number of broken/blown inverters, charge controllers etc.  I am not a believer in the present system of solar technology installations and know first hand that the believed EROI for DIY is not what is expected.  However I learned that the biggest factor towards  lower EROI at the non-corporate level is behavioral- life style changes. THIS is what I am focusing on and there is an important story here…..
    This field is in great ferment. However, unlike that for fossil fuels, costs (energy needed  to get the energy-EROI) is genuinely dropping (significantly actually) with time.  Thus, installations at least in Asia are increasing exponentially…… What was that about the exponential function?…………………….
    Best regards
    Mots

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  • Thu, May 23, 2019 - 7:56am

    Reply to #23

    travissidelinger

    Status Member (Online)

    Joined: Nov 17 2010

    Posts: 40

    1+

    Gene editing

    I thought what they are finding out is that many of the traits we’d like to select in our offspring are actually the combination of many hundreds or thousands of genes. And changing one gene can have many unintended consequences. Sure, we may find a few unhelpful genes, like those that cause major diseases, and we can “fix” those, then why not do it. If we could have designer babies, what traits would be select anyways? We could argue that all day. Nature is fine with the trail and error method, but are we?

    Selective breeding may still be the best and simplest option. Ones parents would simply “assist” in the marriage selection process, and the community would socially reject pregnancies outside of wedlock. Wait a second, maybe humans already had that figured out. (Note, I personally feel it’s completely unfair where communities place that social burden on their women alone. Men should be 50% responsible. And we have the technology to know which man it was, and to simply quit a pregnancy.

    -Travis

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  • Thu, May 23, 2019 - 9:18am

    #26
    ezlxq1949

    ezlxq1949

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 29 2009

    Posts: 199

    3+

    Solar in the land of coal

    I live in Australia’s capital, Canberra, a city of about 430,000 people located in the Australian Capital Territory or ACT. It’s a beautiful, low-stress, well-designed city in a beautiful setting, and has been described as one of the great human achievements. By virtue of a well-educated populace in a government town, we have a remarkably far-sighted set of local politicians — I am actually rather pleased with many of them — and we have legislated a goal of 100% renewable energy by 2020. We are in fact on target to meet that goal using a mixture of wind and solar, although we’re still connected to the national grid.

    Here’s a report from the ABC which saves me a lot of typing.

    Rooftop solar panels are plentiful, and the ACT is are working towards making the ACT’s power grid intelligent via smart meters, software, domestic & EV betteries, and so on. Were it not for baseload power requirements, it would be possible for us to sever ourselves from the national grid.

    When it comes to baseload power, a set of pumped hydro locations has been identified around the entire country, sufficient to meet our entire needs for many years. This in the second-driest continent on earth! But I doubt that our coal-controlled neoliberal federal government would ever move to capitalise on this asset. Coal is so cheap to dig up and burn locally for electricity and it’s so easy to sell overseas and just ignore the fact that a large Chinese corporation just cancelled a huge mine proposal citing lack of viability and anyway CLIMATE CHANGE IS A MYTH, got that?

    Solar panels are proliferating. My house has 32 panels, and other houses have even more. For a while government subsidies were available to help with the intial cost of purchase and installation of panels. I expect the few remaining federal subsidies to be removed now that the COALition has come to power. (Although there’s still the Senate to get around, but I don’t know how the numbers stack up.)

    Speaking personally now, thanks to the PV system our domestic electricity bills have dropped considerably, by a factor of 4 or more, until they’re almost trivial. We have solar hot water, although 3 cloudy days in a row and we need to turn on the gas booster. We still use gas for heating and much cooking, and the gas bills are definitely not trivial! We’d like to reduce our dependency on gas but the cost is an issue, and it’s great to have a backup energy source for the (so far) infrequent and short blackouts. We have a storage battery attached to the PVs, but it has failed twice in service and we are waiting for it to be replaced under warranty. Doesn’t help that the battery manufacturer (an Australian company, well-respected in its field) has abandoned the domestic market and is concentrating on the mining sector. The solar and battery installers are hugely busy and the wait has been an annoyingly long one.

    But none of this could have been manufactured or installed without the easy availability of fossil fuels. In this I must agree with the neoliberal federal government and Chris Martenson and Gail Tverberg and others: we do have a need for fossil fuels. Australia has some crude oil but imports most of its transport fuels. My unhappiness is of course that I want to pursue a fuel policy that reduces carbon emissions, while the neolibs think that all their problems are solved by exporting coal and letting someone else deal with the emissions.

    Canberra people are definitely reacting against the atomising and deadening effects of neoliberal economic theory and practice. Community groups are numerous. My wife and I are building community connections as best we can, such as a local suburban group revitalising the local shopping centre, and a group of volunteers working the Canberra City Farm. More than a few of us are growing some of our own food in our front yard and back yard and at the City Farm. There could be a very bright future in Canberra for urban agriculture.

    We don’t agree with the notion some people have of rugged, independent survivalism, one little family unit against the world. We think our future is best faced by being part of our local community, and ideally that community can and should extend to the entire city population! United we may stand; divided we will most certainly fall.

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  • Thu, May 23, 2019 - 11:15am

    #27
    Uncletommy

    Uncletommy

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 03 2014

    Posts: 514

    Storing solar energy

    It was a sustainable method until unchecked human population growth got the upper hand. https://duckduckgo.com/?q=wood+fired+steam+locomotion&atb=v154-1&ia=videos&iax=videos&iai=3U2D20I5zMI

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  • Thu, May 23, 2019 - 11:30am

    #28

    Michael_Rudmin

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 25 2014

    Posts: 836

    I don't understand the big deal w/ inverting

    simple inverter with clocked 3-phase input

    I do agree that your first use should be direct; the second use should be simple storage; the third use can be inverting.

    I also understand that for somethings such as refrigeration, AC may be better. But (see pic) I don’t get what is so hard about inverting, if it’s needed. A simple clock, a counter, a few power mosfets… maybe even a power capacitor or three in series… and then you take the output into a variable transformer, take that output through a filter, and I think you’d be golden. Am I missing something?

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  • Thu, May 23, 2019 - 12:19pm

    #29

    Time2help

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 08 2011

    Posts: 2225

    1+

    Getting ready for a long summer

    Artist credit to Robert Byron

    Department of Health: Prepare for wildfire smoke now (KIRO 7 News)

    “The Department of Health is advising Washingtonians to prepare now for upcoming smoky days and unhealthy air quality that is expected this summer.

    While inhaling wildfire smoke isn’t good for anyone, certain sensitive groups are more susceptible to health problems. These groups include children, adults over 65, people with heart and lung diseases, people who have had a stroke, people with illnesses and colds, pregnant women and people who smoke.

    On especially smoky days, people should limit outdoor activity and stay indoors. Symptoms from smoke exposure can include watery or dry eyes, wheezing, sinus irritation, headaches or chest pain.

    What you can do now:
    * Look at air quality reports in your area
    * If you or someone you know has heart of lung disease, including asthma, ask a doctor what precautions you can take when air quality is poor. Have necessary medication on hand
    * Buy a portable air cleaner and create a “clean” room to spend time in when the air isn’t healthy”

    Photo credit KIRO News 7

    This wildfire season could be the worst for Washington State (YakTriNews)

    “GLEED, Wash. – Firefighters across the state are gearing up for another heavy wildfire season; with 300 wildfires already this year, the Department of Natural Resources is predicting this could be the worst yet.”

     

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  • Thu, May 23, 2019 - 12:48pm

    Reply to #29
    VeganDB12

    VeganDB12

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jul 18 2008

    Posts: 109

    1+

    We had 18 consecutive days with rain from April 20th to May 7th in the outskirts of NYC.https://weather.com/news/weather/news/2019-05-08-northeast-rain-fatigued-but-might-catch-break-soon It is a lush verdant green everywhere here. Cloudy most days. Just like PNW is supposed to be. So strange to see so many rainy days here.  Things seem backwards. I feel for the people out west. Tough times and more to come.

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  • Thu, May 23, 2019 - 2:34pm

    Reply to #28

    Mots

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 18 2012

    Posts: 65

    4+

    I don't understand the big deal w/ inverting

    Michael
    The number one problem with boosting or bucking or any kind of inversion is that the transformer core saturates, which forces use of 5X oversized equipment for simple refrigerators.  When you turn on a motor, especially compressor, there is a gigantic pulse-rush of electrons (current pulse) which saturates any inductor and essentially shorts it out magnetically.  This is why most small invertors will NOT drive your little 160 watt fridge, and a genuine 1000W inverter is required to start/operate that small refrigerator.   A smaller problem is that transformers are inherently designed for an optimum voltage and current (I have done many experiments along the lines you describe and a transformer designed for one voltage etc does not work well for another).  Also a sufficiently large sized transformer is extremely expensive. Also at best the thing loses 10% power as heat unless you are always operating at its optimum point (nearly impossible) and spent tons of money on it.
    Power MOSFETS dont turn on immediately and act as resistors during the time it takes to turn on: this is the main source of their inefficiency.  They are susceptible to damage from voltage spikes and wear out from the above described heat.  Recent modern MOSFETS have lower on resistance (heat loss when turned on) but still generate heat loss.  Capacitors however are usually the weakest link and most equipment has capacitors that are designed to wear out within about 5 years, because otherwise you would never buy them because they are too expensive.  This problem with electrolytic capacitors has been around from the beginning of the electronic age.  Also, they are not perfect in other ways and have electrical series resistance and change with time etc.  Our Platonic ability to “think” about a perfect circle, square, transformer, capacitor, MOSFET is in strong contradiction with the cold hard reality that such perfect circle,, square transformer, capacitor MOSFET simply does not exist.
    Mots

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  • Thu, May 23, 2019 - 2:40pm

    #30

    newsbuoy

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 10 2013

    Posts: 67

    3+

    While We Make Plans, This Fellow Was Already There

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  • Thu, May 23, 2019 - 2:46pm

    Reply to #30

    newsbuoy

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 10 2013

    Posts: 67

    1+

    Sovereign Fiat Is An Old Structure Waiting To Be "Pulled"

    Buy Bitcoin as a hedge. Consider how much fiat you have deployed to coffee and consider buying yourself a digital coffee. Start stacking now. HODL or close.

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  • Thu, May 23, 2019 - 5:28pm

    #31

    Michael_Rudmin

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 25 2014

    Posts: 836

    Still doesn't seem that bad

    You speak of the current surge upon startup. The cheap solution used on our AC/heater blower is a starter capacitor. It’s not the best, but it works.

    You could gear the compressor for startup… and that would also help. Get your compressor up to speed, then switch gears (bike chain might be all that was needed, but lower efficiency; actual gears or a variable gear set might be better) to bring it up to full power.

    I agree that it isn’t one-and-done simple. But I also don’t think it’s that hard.

    You size your transformer to what you regularly need; and then you control your needs to fit the envelope.

    Also I sketched a 6-phase E/M inverter. If you need better power quality, there is no limit to the number of input phases you could have.

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  • Thu, May 23, 2019 - 6:05pm

    #32
    ezlxq1949

    ezlxq1949

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 29 2009

    Posts: 199

    2+

    I don't understand inverting…

    … except in a very general way and as a spectator, not a participant. OK, so we have a technical discussion here about ways and means of converting DC to AC. That’s good for raising awareness, but what’s someone like me who is rather clueless in the sparks and juice department to make of it and do with it?

    Unless someone comes up with commercial, off-the-shelf equipment, which I understand already exists, then I cannot build my own. There’s more than a few workshops around town which could feasibly construct inverters and other electrical items, but when the substances really do hit the fan, how long will the electronic components be available anyway?

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  • Thu, May 23, 2019 - 8:15pm

    Reply to #32

    Mots

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 18 2012

    Posts: 65

    I dont understand inverting.....

    If I were you I would attend the workshops and buy 3 of everything you need and especially buy stuff that is bigger than what you need.  (Chinese made is still cheap for now and even brand name stuff is Chinese…….)

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  • Thu, May 23, 2019 - 8:23pm

    Reply to #31

    Mots

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 18 2012

    Posts: 65

    The cheap solution

    There is no cheap solution for compressors.  All starter motors have starting capacitors that help alleviate the smaller pulses.   Talk to an inverter dealer in your area.
    I dont have any more time for conjecture and chit chat and will not comment further.

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  • Fri, May 24, 2019 - 12:01am

    #33
    Ejohnson

    Ejohnson

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    Joined: Oct 26 2018

    Posts: 9

    3+

    Expectation management

    ”they’ve stolen our future!” Is an expectation based statement. The future is just time that hasn’t happened yet. No one can steal it.

    the implication is that the future you assumed you would have, or believe that you should have, has been stolen. And that is correct, in all the ways Chris laid out.

    I think the best thing I can do is equip my kids physically, spiritually and morally to face the future they will (likely) have. Again, that future is not what I or anyone else wants, but I would be remiss to launch them unprepared into it.

    Thanks to all the contributors in this community for providing me ideas and inspiration to make this millennial family a little more resilient each day.

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  • Fri, May 24, 2019 - 12:30am

    Reply to #15

    SagerXX

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 11 2009

    Posts: 394

    11+

    I have a a 2-1/2 year old son and....

    ….while I still have the same concerns about the future world that I’ve had since I joined this community a looong time ago, I’m not feeling guilty or worried about his future.  I know it’ll be hard, and uncertain, but we are going back to how it was before the fossil fuel and financialization “miracles” happened.  Things will get smaller and slower and local-er.  None of those things are bad things, per se, from a quality of human life standpoint.

    Sure, if we go past some liminal CO2 point and the world floods and burns and everybody dies, that’ll suck.  But it’s become clear that these decisions have been made in places where the political process cannot reach and, leaving bloody armed worldwide revolution out of it, the process cannot be stopped.

    I love to sport in the ocean.  I have not the grace to actually surf.  But I love to take my bodyboard into big waves (like, 6-8′ high).  When you catch a big one, it’s an awesome rush and it’s sweet to spot with the force of nature like that.  Sometimes, while I’m paddling hard to catch a wave, it’ll become apparent I’m going to miss it.  When that happens, one immediately backpaddles like heck to let the wave pass by.  But sometimes you get caught up in the middle of the wave process — too far back to catch the wave, too far forward to back off and skip it — and you go “over the falls” — you fall that 6-8′ through the air and then tons of water land on top of you and run you through the “washing machine”….  I can play in the ocean like this because I cultivate my body’s strength and flexibility and I have knowledge of how the ocean works and what to do when I fcuk but and go over the waterfall.

    If you’re strong (resilient)…the wave can land on you and you laugh as you fall and get thrown willy-nilly.  If you’re not, you could lose your life.

    Seems like the waterfall is coming for all of us.  Skill up, strength up, supply up, community up, y’all.  We humans didn’t get this far because we’re helpless or despairing.  Just keep giving up stuff you don’t need.  Then give up some more.  Locate the essential (stuff and skills) and find your tribe.  We’re gonna make it.  Just going to be…way…way…different.  Get OK with that.  Life is still beautiful without the internet and air conditioning….

    Not a perfect metaphor for what is coming but if anybody finds it instructive, then I didn’t waste my time typing this out.

     

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  • Fri, May 24, 2019 - 5:17am

    Reply to #15

    Snydeman

    Status Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 481

    9+

    Spot on, Sager

    Your post really resonated with me, Sager. I have two children, and while I certainly do not relish what’s coming, I also do not want to live in perpetual fear of it at the expense of actually living life. Living life requires flexibility, humor, and resilience, and I too learned this through interacting with nature, through body-boarding, through raising kids, and through gardening (to name a few things). What good does it do anyone to prepare for the imminent crises we face as a species if you don’t also cherish and enjoy life?

     

    It’s always amusing to me when people who don’t know me accuse me simultaneously of being overly pessimistic and of being “one of those crazy preppers.” The two, in my mind, are mutually exclusive ideas. First off, I’m only “pessimistic” when measured against the inane levels of Hopium/Optimism-At-All-Costs our cultural meme spews out. Secondly, if I was so pessimistic about the future, why would we be spending time, energy and money to prepare for the future in the first place? It would be so much easier to give up and just live in the moment, but my wife and I have chosen the far more difficult path of living in as much joy in today, while also acknowledging the difficulties tomorrow is likely to bring and preparing for it. We prepare because we are not hopeless or helpless. Our “pessimism” combines with our joy for life, and this is the fuel that keeps us moving forward.

     

    Anyways, I’ll stop rambling now. Great post, Sager.

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  • Fri, May 24, 2019 - 6:53am

    Reply to #28
    marti61

    marti61

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    Joined: Nov 30 2015

    Posts: 5

    1+

    Danzer refrig etc.

    Hello- like your reasoning- have been following the lowtechmagazine community for more thought in that vein. Have you seen the Danzer DC refrig and freezer line? made in USA and DC powered, well insulated. Real goods has them…

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  • Fri, May 24, 2019 - 7:24am

    #34

    LesPhelps

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 30 2009

    Posts: 465

    Greater Good

    “It isn’t about the greater good. It’s about what is right and wrong on an individual basis. Because if you neglect the people, the idea of the greater good is a pipe dream created by those whose idea of greater good, almost always, favors themselves and people like them.”

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  • Fri, May 24, 2019 - 8:05am

    #35

    Michael_Rudmin

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 25 2014

    Posts: 836

    Good choice, mots; I agree

    This isn’t worth the time it takes to discus it. Indeed, I really don’t think it’s such a big deal to rig an inverter if it’s needed — but that’s a waste of time if I don’t need it. Nor do I disagree with the basic points that 1) you want to your your electricity at it’s source, and not waste energy storing, transforming converting, transmitting.

    Nor will this save us. Rather, my thought was that an inverter should not be too much of a worry, if it’s needed.

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  • Fri, May 24, 2019 - 9:37am

    #36

    AKGrannyWGrit

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 06 2011

    Posts: 450

    3+

    Thanks Sandpuppy

    Really liked Sid Smiths podcast “ How to Enjoy The End of The World”.  I also listened to his 1st podcast.

    Quote “Capitalism doesn’t have any concern for  the future”. Sid Smith

    Hmmm, that about says it all.

    Someone once said that blood didn’t flow through Michael Angelo’s veins paint did.  I suspect he didn’t consciously choose his life’s path it was an inner drive.  And I suspect that Chris didn’t design his life he has a gift as well and it has lead him to help us, nature and our medow.(planet for those who didn’t watch the podcast)  Stay the course Chris!

    Am grateful for this site and its contributors!

    AKGrannyWGrit

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  • Fri, May 24, 2019 - 12:24pm

    #37

    newsbuoy

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 10 2013

    Posts: 67

    Is It Old News If No One Heard It?

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  • Fri, May 24, 2019 - 1:04pm

    #38

    dcm

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 14 2009

    Posts: 106

    1+

    The kids

    Nice post Sager

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  • Fri, May 24, 2019 - 5:19pm

    #39
    ezlxq1949

    ezlxq1949

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 29 2009

    Posts: 199

    1+

    Proof that the Australian elections are very good for BAU!

    The Australian business sector is very happy with the election outcome! To quote from The Saturday Paper, 25–31/5/19, front page:

    Investors were clearly pleased with the Coalition’s win, seen as a victory for shareholders and the wealthy over the community at large. The finance sector jumped 5.6 per cent, with the Big Four banks doing particularly well, their shares up by between 6.3 and 9.2 per cent. …

    Health insurers did even better, on the understanding that — unlike Labor — a Coalition government would not prevent them from raising premiums for their customers. Medibank Private and NIB were both up by 11.5 per cent and 15.8 per cent respectively.

    Larger, though, than all of those gains on the Australian market was that of one company listed on the National Stock Exchange of India — Adani Enterprises. On Sunday the company saw its share price leap almost 30 per cent.

    The win of the Modi government in India means that Adani’s empire building schemes get a huge boost, among them new coal-fired power stations. Guess where that coal will come from. We’re stuffed.

    Comments:

    A recently-concluded Royal Commission (of Inquiry) into the conduct and practices of the Big Four banks found them guilty of deceptive practices and of cheating their customers out of huge amounts of money. The Coalition government fought the setting up of the Commission all the way. Why would they do that?

    For the time being we still have the publicly funded Medicare system and it is not necessary to carry private health insurance. I’m still considering withdrawing from Medibank Private and relying on Medicare.

    Consolation:

    As some sort of consolation, play this at 11 and immerse yourself in it:

     

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  • Sat, May 25, 2019 - 7:32am

    #40
    mjtrac

    mjtrac

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    Joined: Jan 17 2014

    Posts: 3

    1+

    Dark Side of the Moon

    The lyric that I’ve believed, for 40 years,  best sums things up is from Pink Floyd’s “Brain Damage”:

    The lunatic is in the hall
    The lunatics are in my hall
    The paper holds their folded faces to the floor
    And every day the paper boy brings more

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  • Sat, May 25, 2019 - 1:14pm

    #41
    t.tanner

    t.tanner

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    Interesting shift

    Chris, it’s been a long, long time since I’ve engaged on Peak Prosperity, in large part because I felt like you were ignoring the 800 lb. gorilla in the room by steering the site away from a realistic discussion on climate change.  I just looked at an old e-mail of yours, from 2011, where you explained that it simply didn’t make sense to discuss climate.  I’d like to thank you for shifting to a much more proactive position.  I’m not sure I agree with your assessment that civilization is facing imminent collapse – there’s still a fair amount of inertia in the system, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we muddled along for another 20 or 30 years before everything goes off the rails – but there’s absolutely no doubt that risk of collapse is serious and getting worse by the day.  In any case, thanks for evolving your stance to reflect the reality of the situation.

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  • Sat, May 25, 2019 - 3:31pm

    Reply to #41

    Chris Martenson

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    Re: Interesting Shift

     I’m not sure I agree with your assessment that civilization is facing imminent collapse – there’s still a fair amount of inertia in the system, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we muddled along for another 20 or 30 years before everything goes off the rails

    My timing is not known because I specifically don’t and have never put out a time frame for when a collapse event will occur.  I have said that the next twenty years will be completely unlike the past twenty years.

    I have also said that collapse is a process, not an event, and that it’s actually already underway.  If you shared my views on insects alone, and the deeply unwise practice of wiping out the bottom of the food chain, you’d agree with me that collapse is already underway.

    But let’s assume that I agreed with your assessment of 20 to 30 more years before things really begin to go off the rails.  Even with that timing I’d say that’s “imminent” because of the vast lead times required to do anything about anything at scale.

    If you said “we have 30- years to fix the energy infrastructure to move 100% away from fossil fuels” I would respond “we’re scroomed then, there isn’t enough time.”

    Sorry to say, I haven’t really changed my view of the utility of climate change as a useful human organizing principle and change agent.  It remains distant, statistical, abstract, something about which any one individual has practicality zero agency, and easily ‘disproven’ by people’s local weather experiences.

    Worse, the face we’d have to attach to it is the one in the mirror.

    I noted the students striking all over Europe again last weekend and felt really good about that.  At the same time I wondered how many of them were willing to give up cheap clothes made half way around the world, their cell phones, or any of a thousand other expressions of “cheap and easy” that fossil fuels deliver to them personally.

    I bet a fair lot of them would more easily and readily give up creature comforts than their elders, but still it would be a small number I’d bet.

    Yet that’s what has to happen – we have to change our lifestyles and adjust our expectations towards a world without this economic ‘growth’ we’re all so fond of.

    That means changing the narrative.  If climate change proves to be the narrative that finally wakes people up and moves them to action, I will be glad to have been in the wrong about that.

    In the meantime, I’ll continue to promote people making individual changes to their lives that build greater resilience, knowing that these are the same steps that are necessary to create a world worth inheriting whether one’s focus is climate change, The Everything Bubble, or the looming energy predicament.

    I’m thoroughly agnostic.  Whatever works best and fastest.  We really don’t have a lot of time.

    20 – 30 years is ridiculously imminent given the challenges and numbers of people involved.

     

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  • Mon, May 27, 2019 - 9:22pm

    #42
    pgp

    pgp

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    Lemmings on the move...

    Perspective is always a difficult hurdle.  There is no right and wrong because point of view is always tainted by emotion.  Emotion that is an undeniable component of the human decision making process.

     

    To be clear, the Australian liberal party won their election by default.  That’s because the voting public is inevitably torn between humanitarian idealism, communism, union dictatorship or business-as-usual.  There is simply no-one worth electing.

     

    Ultimately this is a recurring theme in elections world-wide, of late.  There is no-one worthy of power and that’s simply because an incompetent and disconnected establishment has become so fully entrenched in politics that they’ve begun to separate away from the general public like expired paint.  Their emulsifier is simply a hasty mix of lies and smoke that doesn’t last past election night.

    You can try and spin some kind of positive survival or resurrection story onto what has become an overpopulated, leaderless global community of barely educated and emotionally immature parasites but the inertia from 8 billion people, most of whom can barely add three numbers together, unwilling to give up the high energy dream sold to us by an Anglo-American business culture, is unstoppable.  Like Lemmings heading for their seasonal suicide the human race is due for its own cyclical political cataclysm.

     

    Only when the dust settles, in the apocalyptic hell that follows political self-destruction, will it be time to act.  Hopefully by then the perspective will be more focused on practicalities as opposed to Hollywood dreams.

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  • Fri, Jun 07, 2019 - 10:54am

    #43

    Barbara

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    World Bank suggests recession

    Hey Chris,

    When the world bank starts to agree with us, we know we’re in trouble.

    These guys are futurists with a pretty sophisticated AI that trolls for trends.  You may have to set up a free login to read this.  They are worth looking at from time to time.

    https://www.shapingtomorrow.com/home/alert/7425457-Recessionary-Signals-

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  • Fri, Jun 07, 2019 - 11:15am

    Reply to #43

    Barbara

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    Thoughts on anti fragil planning

    This is an interesting summary of Taleb’s work in the context of urban design.  Something to think about when we’re considering where to relocate and into what type of community structure.  Resilient is good; anti-fragil is better.

    https://www.cnu.org/publicsquare/2019/04/17/beyond-resilience-toward-%E2%80%98antifragile%E2%80%99-urbanism

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  • Sat, Jun 08, 2019 - 4:57am

    #44

    Michael_Rudmin

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    Anti-fragile... an obituary

    There’s an old man who just died, who lived across the street from us.

    https://hburgcitizen.com/2019/06/06/maybe-he-knew-something-we-didnt-know-the-legacy-of-quiet-t-please/amp/?__twitter_impression=true&fbclid=IwAR0Jpf56TYilEuroXA5Kuimo1riB33x6ZhyVosyt3bMde_si5nOE_MGVL4k

    Notice the antifragile ideas he had about policing.

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  • Sat, Jun 08, 2019 - 9:03am

    Reply to #12

    dtrammel

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    Probably Useless Virtuous Signaling

    Create an Earth badge to place on people’s profile picture  in exchange for $3/mo donated to a climate change PAC.  It will spread virally, and once we hit 2.5 million people, the PAC would have more lobbying money than the defense and healthcare industry combined.  That PAC (representing the people [of Earth, not just the US]) then hires lobbyists and dismantles campaign finance rules by overwhelming it. Climate change solved.  Democracy restored.

    Not to dismiss the emotional appeal of using social media to fight for action on climate change, but a PAC and badge are probably not the way to go about it. Read this article about how the Tea Party has been killed by grifters asking for money.

    https://www.nationalreview.com/the-morning-jolt/the-real-problem-conservatism-faces-today/

    Any sort of Earth Badge would be quickly cooped or out right stolen by people who want to line their own pockets.

    It would also be little more than a way to shame people while signaling how virtuous a person was. The fight to preserve some sort of Future for our children isn’t going to be won by little things like using reusable grocery bags, or outlawing single use straws, its going to be won when people hold the big corporations accountable.

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  • Sat, Jun 08, 2019 - 10:24am

    Reply to #12

    Barbara

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    Useless Virtuous Signaling Not without cost

    Absolutely right about this dangerous trend of social media signalling as a meaningless identity politics driven mistake.  It can be faked and copied by the unscrupulous.  If it requires a donation, we can also shame the poor who can’t afford to toss money toward a questionable cause.  It’s not like you know beforehand that they will do anything other than line their pockets and create cute badges.  Maybe a few cat videos too.

    I purchased a used Prius for totally economic reasons (drive long distances for work).  People in a leftist university town see it and assume I can’t balance my checkbook so I bought it as an eco statement (even though the numbers say if you add in all manufacturing and disposal costs, it’s not eco friendly).

    More importantly, this symbolic social media crap does NOTHING constructive.  However, it gives the lazy and willfully blind the impression that they are doing something useful for the environment, so they don’t need to make any substantive changes in their own lifestyles.  In the overall scheme of things, it is a terrible idea.  Joining the right tribe in the virtual world and high-fiving each other for how politically correct our posts are distracts from the overwhelming need to make constructive change in the real world.  It also serves as a polarizing force that prevents exchange of ideas with those in a conflicting tribe.  I’ve put my virtual stake in the ground and left no place for constructive dialog with those flying the other flag.  Gridlock polarization, here we come.

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