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    Welcome To Easter Island

    We're making the same mistakes with our essential resources
    by Chris Martenson

    Friday, October 2, 2020, 7:55 PM

Remember Easter Island? That place in the pages of National Geographic with the gigantic carved heads peeking up from grassy slopes?

Whether you recall it or not, you live there — in a manner of speaking.

Easter Island was colonized by the Rapanui, a particularly adept seafaring culture.  When they arrived, around the year 800 A.D., the island was a lush forested tropical paradise.

But eventually, according to researcher Jared Diamond in his bestseller Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, they committed ecocide.

They cut down every single tree on their island. Eventually the people had no wood to burn in their cookfires. They had to resort to burning grass, a particularly inferior fuel source.

But before arriving at that sad state, the Rapanui cut numerous huge stone effigies called “moai” out of solid rock – some weighing 14 tons – sculpted them, and moved them great distances.

For whatever reason, the Rapanui tribe felt it was very important to make these giant stone heads, often at the cost of using trees as the means for transporting and erecting them.

Somewhere along the way I’m sure there were alert members of their society quietly wondering if maybe they should instead start protecting their dwindling groves and forests?

It’s tough to be “that person” who concludes that your culture is up to something completely non-sensical.  It’s tough to open up and call that stuff out — because most people don’t see the problem themselves, and can feel attacked if you bring it up.

In this story of Easter Island, the production of the gigantic stone moai were deemed more important than every tree on the island.    Hey, maybe that was the right call – I don’t know, I wasn’t there. But whether it made sense or not, it wasn’t a sustainable practice.

It was an activity with an easily-predicted end-date stamped right on it.  Carving gigantic stone heads consumed the vital resources of a culture, yet did not offer any measurable productive returns to that same culture.  The activity diminished valuable resources instead of enhancing them.

So if ‘sustainability’ is the correct criteria to use to evaluate a culture’s actions, then the Rapanui of Easter Island wasted the last of their trees on the wrong activity.

Welcome To Easter Island

Silly islanders, right?  Right?  Amiright?

We’d never do anything so foolish ourselves! Right?  We’re certainly smarter than that these days, correct?

Actually, no.

Take oil. Our most valuable resource.  Bar none.

“Wrong!” you might think “Water is certainly the most valuable resource.”  I wouldn’t say you’re wrong…but I’d point out that with oil ,you can construct massive aqueducts to transport water a thousand miles across open desert.

With oil that’s a relatively easy project to pull off. Compare that how much less is possible in a world without oil:

What about building massive desalination plants to create fresh water, like the Saudi’s have done? Those, too, require oil to manufacture, transport, erect and operate.

So, if we agree that water can be brought to where it’s scarce due to oil, oil becomes more important than water.

In this metaphor, oil is to us as the trees were to the Rapanui of Easter Island.  And just as the Rapanui blindly consumed their trees until none were left, modern society is on the same path with oil.

Once there were vast pockets of easily-tapped oil beneath the ground.  Now?  We’re forced to drill 20,000-foot-long fracked monstrosities that might each yield somewhere between 250,000 and 400,000 barrels of oil in total over their short life of perhaps 10 years.

Contrast that with the wells drilled in Saudi Arabia in the 1950’s and 1960’s, each of which are *still* producing thousands of barrels per day and have yielded anywhere from 20,000,000 to 152,000,000 barrels.  Each.

(Source)

That means that the oil wells of old were 100x to 300x more productive than today’s newer wells.

On Easter Island, the old trees were big and strong and grew everywhere.  Today’s trees there are small and skinny and sparse.

An observant mind like yours may ask; “Maybe we should be a bit more careful in how we use our dwindling resources.”

But that question is not being discussed at any level that will change the status quo.

Society is busy ripping through the last trees and shrubs in this story, one that no longer makes any sense.  At all.

For some reason, our modern equivalent of island elders are convinced that what we need is a return to economic growth as fast as possible and by any means necessary.  That, among other things, we need more of these:

However, unlike a gigantic stone moai, these little boxes won’t last long.  They also won’t return anything useful to current or future humans.  They are a ‘sink’ not a source.

Energy in, nothing out.

Worse, they probably paved over good farmland because, hey, the ground here is flat and will allow us to build a strip mall quickly.

With equal eagerness, our culture seeks to secure more vehicle sales, houses, roads, bridges, a resumption of leisure travel and a million other activities and goods which we call, in aggregate, ‘the economy.’

All of these things have apparent utility in a world awash in oil. But most of them make no sense in a future where oil is a finite, dear and dwindling resource.

Loss of Sensemaking

My reporting on Covid is very similar to when I said the housing market was due for crash back in 2007. Or when I deduced within 48 hours of the massive 2011 Japanese earthquake that three of the Fukushima reactors had entirely melted down (a fact not admitted to by the authorities for nearly two more years).

I used my common sense to assemble the facts and make the best sense of them I could.  Perhaps it’s a rare skill. But to those of us who like to understand things, nothing less will do.

As I am fond of saying, “I don’t know what the truth is, but man, I can sure smell bullshit instantly”.

The idea that we have no national or global energy policy besides one that translates into “we’ll just keep making these gigantic stone heads here thankyouverymuch” makes no sense to me at all.

The current ‘plan,’ such as it is, centers on growth, growth and more growth.  If we wait until it’s brain-dead obvious that oil is a dwindling resource because that’s what a decade’s worth of data says (sometime around, say, 2030 to 2040) then it will be too late. By then we’ll have another 1-2 billion people on the planet to worry about.  And quite possibly, ruined ecologies that no longer support as many people, to boot.

It doesn’t have to be that way.  We can use our species’ advantage of insight and intelligence to chart a different path.

Here’s a short list of everything that we should be doing with our remaining dregs of oil:

  • Installing new energy systems and all of their components as fast as possible
  • Building homes and commercial buildings that are super-insulated and designed to last 500 years
  • Taxing the living hell out of wasteful energy consumption (e.g. private jets, mega yachts, and massive McMansions).
  • Rebuilding soil as fast as possible and shortening our food chains
  • Recycling agricultural nutrients back to the fields and for god’s sake stop flushing them out to sea
  • Installing and using new energy efficient transportation systems such as trains, electric bicycles, and barges
  • Making cities, towns and suburbs livable places that colocalize the eat/work/play functions

When we’ve run through that list and possibly a few hundred additional essential bullet points I’ve overlooked, only then should we indulge in wasteful activities.  If there’s any energy left for those activities, that is.

This all makes perfect sense.  It’s what any competent strategist would do for a company.

To be truly successful you need a good strategy, which boils down to knowing where you want to go (the vision) and how you’re going to get there (the resources).

As is always the case, grand visions are easy to come by. There are never enough resources to do everything we’d like to do.  We’d all love to live in a clean, safe world powered by a limitless energy source.

That’s an easy vision to rally behind.  But it’s not so easy to pull off, especially if we wait too long and only try once oil is hard(er) to come by.

After a certain amount of inaction, what was once “possible” is no longer. At that point, it becomes an impossible fantasy.

The Approaching Tipping Point(s)

The Peak Prosperity tribe consists of curious-minded people who are drawn to things that make sense to them.

The recent US presidential debates were nearly completely devoid of sense.  What were they even saying?  Was any of it important to our future?  How did any of their words get us closer to a vision for sustainable future?

Of course, the answer is that virtually nothing in the debates had anything to do with a future based on careful resource stewardship.  It was just two old guys arguing over how many new gigantic statue heads they were going to deliver to an increasingly hungry and emotionally-depleted culture.  They never discussed the dwindling trees at all.

In other words, they didn’t address the things that matter the most: our crumbling ecosphere, depleting fossil fuels, a stagnating economy. They have no Plan B for any of it.  Neither does the media.  The center mass of our culture is dead-set on making more gigantic stone heads, damn the consequences.

But like it or not, like-minded folks like you and I exist in that void of sensemaking. We’re going to have to put in real effort to find one another and then figure out what we’re going to do.  Because one thing made abundantly clear by the debates is that you’re on your own.

There’s no cavalry coming. No better government stepping in to lead the way.  No rational political voices are going to cut through the noise at the eleventh hour.

The Federal Reserve prints money to make big Wall Street firms and the ultra-wealthy even  richer, and then claims it plays no role in the wealth divide. The news media is captive, toothless and vapid.  Even our health authorities have abandoned science and logic to the point that they can’t even get face masks right.

None of all this makes the slightest bit of sense. We are sleepwalking towards our own destruction as we blindly consume valuable resources for…what??

This is our home: Welcome to Easter Island.

So, short of putting our heads in the sand and waiting for the inevitable reckoning, what should we be doing now?

In Part 2: The Approaching Frenzy Of Tipping Points, I detail out the specific predictable major shifts to our way of life that await ahead, and share my personal strategy for dealing with them.

Yes, change is coming, and it won’t be pleasant for those caught unawares. But for those of us paying attention and positioning smartly in advance, it’s actually an extremely exciting time to be alive.

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

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39 Comments

  • Fri, Oct 02, 2020 - 8:35pm

    #1

    Mark_BC

    Status: Bronze Member

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    Mark_BC said:

    The truth is like a wet fish. No one likes getting slapped in the face with it.

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  • Fri, Oct 02, 2020 - 10:09pm

    #2
    centroid

    centroid

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    centroid said:

    its interesting that maybe the investment in "mc mansions" is probably a direct result of fractional reserve lending. ie/ the mc mansions are a proxy for hard money. then you read saifedean ammous and you find that fiat money also pressures our thinking to be short term and then added to that democracy tends to push our thinking to short term as well. i think that even though bitcoin uses a lot of energy, basing our money around it, we could make the economy net more efficient in terms of energy whilst DECREASING population. the money system has to get back to hard money to having any hope of tackling climate change. in australia because of our "housing industry", too much money goes into the price of the house, when it should go to ward making it as energy efficient as an antartic base building. i love it when you do these types of articles chris, you summarize things well. the australian pm scott morrison ("scotty from marketing") should read your stuff.

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  • Sat, Oct 03, 2020 - 3:05am

    #3
    ezlxq1949

    ezlxq1949

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    Another view of Easter Island's decline

    I forget where I read this, but apparently the Easter Islanders succumbed to diseases brought by Europeans, not to deforestation.

    Which? Maybe both?

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  • Sat, Oct 03, 2020 - 5:13am

    #4

    LesPhelps

    Status: Silver Member

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    Ain’t it the truth

    It’s tough to be “that person” who concludes that your culture is up to something completely non-sensical.

    I’ve always agreed with every issue you address.  When I was learning accounting in the 1970s, I ran across the phenomenon, in business, of budgeting 5% growth every year.  That seemed absurd to me, but no one else.

    Where we differ, I think, is that I add animal agriculture to the unsustainable human practices.  The data is readily available, but seeing it involves recognizing an addiction.

    As a society, we are not ready to see any foods as addictive, but take a look around you.  It’s not about overeating, it’s about what we choose to eat and it’s killing us and the planet.

    I started to say our planet, but it’s not ours.  It belongs to the bears, lions, seals, cows, birds and deer also.  It used to belong to dodos and carrier pigeons as well.

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  • Sat, Oct 03, 2020 - 5:15am

    #5
    RandomMike

    RandomMike

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    Inscribe this in stone for the aliens to discover

    I think inscribing this Easter Island statement in granite in several places around the world would give the Earth a higher rating should aliens discover it when surveying the ruins.

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  • Sat, Oct 03, 2020 - 7:10am

    #6

    Franklinstower

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    RapaNui demise attribution

    "Though the consensus is that Easter Island did indeed suffer an ecological catastrophe, no doubt helped along by human folly, one theory argues that it was rats – yes, rats – that were key culprits in the demise. Archaeologists have found that nuts retrieved from the extinct Easter Island palm show evidence of nibbling by Polynesian rats. By eating the nuts, the sizeable rat population could have prevented reseeding of the bountiful but slow-growing palms across the island, causing them to die out.

    But the most likely cause of the downfall of Rapanui society is disease brought about by slavery. According to Easter Island: The Truth Revealed, approximately 1,500 to 2,000 people – half the population – were taken in 1862 in a raid by slave traders from Peru to work there, predominately in agriculture.

    After disease had ripped through the enslaved Rapanui following contact with Europeans, resulting in mass casualties, just 15 survivors were granted permission to return to Easter Island. They brought disease with them and much of the remaining population was decimated. A matter of years later, just 110 Rapanui existed, down from approximately 4,000 before the raid."

    from this website https://www.sbs.com.au/guide/article/2018/02/06/what-really-happened-people-easter-island

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  • Sat, Oct 03, 2020 - 11:43am

    #7
    robtompkins

    robtompkins

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    There are useful things to watch on Netflix!!

    For Chris and Adam and all others on this website:

    Thought you might like to be aware of this new film called "Kiss the Ground" about how regenerative farming can have very big, positive effects on reducing carbon emissions, local rainfall amounts and farmer's economies and livelihoods.  Just so you know that there are still useful things to watch on Netflix!!

    DVD

     

     

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  • Sat, Oct 03, 2020 - 2:05pm

    ezlxq1949

    ezlxq1949

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    Useful lessons from alternative RapaNui demise attribution

    • Then rats (may have) crippled the island ecology's ability to regenerate. Today we're busily destroying the planet's ability to regenerate and keep us alive.
    • Then human predation (slave traders) ravaged the population. Today there are many forms of slavery in the modern world ravaging the long-suffering population — and their rulers. Slavery warps the mind of both slaves and slavers.
    • Then disease reduced the population to a level which could not manage its environment, agriculture, forestry. Today we think we're controlling diseases, but are we? I learnt yesterday that in very deep caves in Mexico one can find ancient bacteria against which we have no defences whatsoever. There seem to be plenty of pathogens out there which we're bringing into close contact with us.

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  • Sat, Oct 03, 2020 - 3:06pm

    #9
    Mike from Jersey

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    Mike from Jersey said:

    An example of not facing reality. Shale oil drillers are going bankrupt and leaving taxpayers with the cleanup bill. In this cases Texas taxpayers are being stuck with a 100 billion plus cleanup bill to pay.  This should be on the front page of every mainstream paper in America.

    But it won't be reported at all.

    https://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/Texas-Taxpayers-Face-117-Billion-Bill-For-Orphaned-Oil-Wells.html

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  • Sat, Oct 03, 2020 - 5:11pm

    #10
    cicerone

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    Fortified Small City

    Given all of this, it seems the fortified small city or town, surrounded by agriculture, is the right blueprint. Defensible, walkable and positioned along a navigable waterway. Back to the (low energy) future. Thoughts?

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  • Sat, Oct 03, 2020 - 10:29pm

    #11
    Cre8altern8

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    The other great mythical stone head is of course, ZARDOZ

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  • Sun, Oct 04, 2020 - 2:11am

    #12
    VTGothic

    VTGothic

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    Show up. Equipped.

    We’re going to have to put in real effort to find one another and then figure out what we’re going to do.  Because one thing made abundantly clear by the debates is that you’re on your own.

    There’s no cavalry coming. No better government stepping in to lead the way.  No rational political voices are going to cut through the noise at the eleventh hour. ...

    So, short of putting our heads in the sand and waiting for the inevitable reckoning, what should we be doing now?

    Dang good question. As the trope has it: first, just show up. Show up informed, and as physically able as possible.

    1. Chris is building a kind of secular monastery. There are many such, now, around the globe. 'Showing up' might be as simple, and profound, as joining one; those with resources can establish one; those more shy of living in communal settings can emphasize social capital development among suburban or (much better) rural neighbors because it's the non-formal 'ties that bind' that bind in crisis.

    2. Foundational to the future is real wealth: arable land and the infrastructure to maintain it and build its resource reserves. This is 'restoration' and 'regeneration' work. It is experimenting and discovering what our great-grandparents took for granted. It is considerably more physical work than we are presently inclined to embrace, culturally - but it does 'settle the mare' that is our monkey-brains, too. It is more-so work if we prepare for the potential need to do the work with minimal or no oil-based power; even without solar/wind.

    3. Everyone who sees the writing on the wall needs to be learning to grow food. It isn't about replacing food at this point, it's about learning the basics of how to start, develop, harvest, preserve the harvest, and preserve seeds and 'starts' for the next crop. It's also about learning how to build soil fertility. These lessons can be learned in a small back yard; even, if necessary, in a few window boxes.

    Plus, of course, there's more value to a community in taking on an addition hand who can actually provide a hand than someone who can't contribute physically or has no practical exposure to sustaining and improving a community's common wealth.

    The 5 core foods to master first: corn, beans, potatoes, squash, and eggs. Those 4 vegetables, grown from organic, open-pollinated seed in nutrient-rich soil have the protein, starch, minerals, and enzymes to keep you alive and thriving. Eggs add a protein boost - plus, well-raised chickens or ducks will provide nitrogen-rich fertilizer for the soil. Keep the birds on a 'deep litter' bed of untreated wood chips/shavings (if you can't tractor them in fields and spent gardens) and you'll have the carbon, too.

    4. Get in shape. I have 2 adult boys who are Crossfit practitioners. They're 30 years younger than me and most definitely stronger. But my stamina - my 'wind' - is better. For work dependent on human-scale motive power, stamina matters. Humans are ideally suited for long periods of moderate exercise punctuated by short bursts of heavy exertion.

    Muscles and internal systems remember their training and adapt to how we use them. It is food-oriented farming that fits one's body for that work, and it takes time, so there's no time left to waste.

    5. We are in a period of experimentation - of trying on new "clothes" to see what fits, and the fashions will vary from place to place; partly because the specifics of the problems vary across geology, ecology, and time. Variable responsivity - in a region and across regions - is always a good thing, imo. It's A/B solution-testing in real time. Some lessons learned in a window box or suburban back yard, or in New England, will translate well to an acre of crop production in, say, the Southwest; others won't. But it's much easier to figure out how to adapt practical knowledge to new settings than to build core competency in the first place.

    Time, like nature, is an ally. But also a harsh taskmaster.

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  • Sun, Oct 04, 2020 - 8:23am

    #13
    brushhog

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    Chris, we are not on our own

    "  Because one thing made abundantly clear by the debates is that you’re on your own."

    Chris likes to say that alot. The truth is, we are not on our own, its much much worse than that. If we were on our own we'd be able to keep what we earn. If we were on our own, the markets would pick the winners and the losers instead of a round table of elitists at the fed.
    If we were on our own, we could organized an armed resistance to the rioting mobs when they come for our lives and property. If we were on our own, you could milk your cow and trade the milk to your neighbor without swat teams of government henchmen kicking your door down at 3am.
    If we were on our own, we could conduct business as usual, each individual taking the precaution he or she think were necessary to protect themselves during a pandemic. if we were on our own, nobody could print money, run up a "national debt" and force you to pay it.

    You're not on your own Chris, please stop repeating that. The fact that we are not more on our own is the PROBLEM. Most every problem we are facing today is a result of centralized power structures meddling in the lives of individuals.

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  • Sun, Oct 04, 2020 - 9:06am

    #14

    000

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    A Seamless Web

    How did we get Here?  one may ask.

    "...The need for the project was a sham — partially contrived by those who would profit from it. Trump’s claimed option on the property was a sham; he was working immense deals with nothing but a handshake. Then the project passed through a sham closing, orchestrated by its Trump-connected public sponsors, and binding the city and state. What is real, and will get more and more real in this busted city in the next 41 years, is what we gave away. Revenue not collected is as real a loss as revenue expended. The Commodore is the largest symbol of the new state and city resolve to “stimulate economic development” by giving away the future. IBM, ABC, CBS, WNET-TV, New York Telephone, the Palace Hotel, Howard Johnson’s have already gotten abatements under the new state program. Twenty-six projects have been abated in midtown already. Nine projects have been approved under the city’s incentive program, though it is still no more than a phantom program. These abatement programs are the moral-obligation bonds of a future city collapse."-- Wayne Barrett, February 26, 1979

    https://www.villagevoice.com/2019/02/28/the-dirty-deal-that-helped-make-donald-trump/

     

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  • Sun, Oct 04, 2020 - 9:10am

    #15

    000

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    The Times They Are A Changing Back

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  • Sun, Oct 04, 2020 - 9:30am

    #16

    000

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    Speaking of 1970's, a musical interlude for you

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  • Sun, Oct 04, 2020 - 6:59pm

    #17
    Nate

    Nate

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    Easter Island

    Why did Easter Island collapse?  I wasn't there, but we can all read historical accounts written by those that weren't there.

    So why did the US collapse?  So we are all here, but if we were forced to distill it down to one event, there would be nearly as many answers as participants.

    Federal Reserve.  Certainly gets one of my votes.

    Monetary system.  Enough said.

    Peak oil.  Peak resources.  Really, really big deal.

    Global cooling, warming and climate change.  Make up you mind.

    Cobid 19?  Not so much.

    Rats

    Blue team rats - unlimited welfare, MMT, really, really stupid leaders.

    Red team rats - capitalism, really, really obnoxious leaders.

    Collapse happens because numerous systems collide with reality and reality wins.  Don't hammer the messenger - Chris picked a collapsing society to help prepare the slow responders on this site.

    Very late in the game.  My garden is rocking right now.

     

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  • Sun, Oct 04, 2020 - 11:58pm

    Hans

    Hans

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    Hans said:

    hear, hear!

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  • Mon, Oct 05, 2020 - 6:42am

    #19
    sofiajoseph

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    Best Thing

    Example of not facing reality. Shale oil drillers are going bankrupt and leaving taxpayers with the cleanup bill.

    MTP Kit contains one 200 mg Mifepristone tablet and four, 200 mcg Misoprostol tablets. This kit is effective in terminating a pregnancy when it is less than 9 weeks old. Mifepristone is taken by mouth, while Misoprostol should be inserted into the vagina.

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  • Mon, Oct 05, 2020 - 4:55pm

    #20

    dcm

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    Almost the whole time humans have been around

    They had to use sunlight from the sky not the ground.  When you take millions of years of condensed energy and blow it back into the system in two hundred, wild things are bound to happen. It’s changed they way we live, the way we eat and the way we think.  They say oil is like billions of working slaves.    Get ready for one ugly revolt

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  • Mon, Oct 05, 2020 - 5:11pm

    robie robinson

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    “ We May see a swelling in our ranks”

    It’s just a moment,,,horse power,,,,https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=EIWINsaEpnw

    ready?

     

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  • Mon, Oct 05, 2020 - 6:35pm

    westcoastjan

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    ditto for Canada - notably Alberta and BC

    https://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2019/04/09/Notley-Kenney-Hiding-From-Cleanup-Problem/

    https://thetyee.ca/Analysis/2019/03/14/Fracking-Disaster-Polluters-Not-Paying/

    https://thetyee.ca/News/2020/05/20/Shell-Game-Sour-Gas-Wells/

    And for those who want to see modern slavery in action (aka oil sands workers), read this gem: https://thetyee.ca/News/2020/10/05/They-Call-It-Wapatraz/

    Making big bucks in the Fort Mac oil patch sure could line one's pockets, but at a pretty steep personal price...

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  • Mon, Oct 05, 2020 - 6:42pm

    #23
    westcoastjan

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    Spam Alert for moderator - comment # 19

    no further words needed...

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  • Mon, Oct 05, 2020 - 6:48pm

    westcoastjan

    westcoastjan

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    Robie....

    Are you the handsome man at the 2:14 mark? 😉  hee hee

    Jan

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  • Tue, Oct 06, 2020 - 3:42am

    robie robinson

    robie robinson

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    Jan,

    Years ago maybe.

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  • Tue, Oct 06, 2020 - 9:13am

    #26
    Penguin Will

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    Penguin Will said:

    Jan,

    This seems to be an old stand-by from the energy producers playbook. Sort of a "jet fly" for environmental damage. Catch the regulators leaning one way and then sneak out the other side for a quick getaway. 🙂

    There is a similar site right outside of my hometown a couple mountains away from my farm. The place was stripped and completely wrecked from an environmental standpoint. A beautiful little hollow transformed into an arsenic laced desert with house sized boulders scattered about. In short a mess.

    The owner of the mining company came in, got the rich coal that could be easily gotten, and then walked off. When pursued he declared bankruptcy and then renamed his outfit and kept trucking. There are bonds that must be posted now (and even back then when it was done) but they are tiny. Our corrupt state government does not help things any.

    They sent a federal grant our way to clean it up. That consisted of dressing up the haul roads, smoothing out the landscape a bit, and reinforcing the heavy metal laced drainage ponds. And as you could probably guess all of this is just outside the view of the road leading out of town. If there were any justice the government would put his mansion on a truck and move it from its current location in a nearby  small sized city into this disaster area and make them all live on it the rest of their lives.

    Alas it's just another Appalachian parable.

    Will

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  • Tue, Oct 06, 2020 - 1:50pm

    #27
    westcoastjan

    westcoastjan

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    Well said, Will - it is the game up here as well

    Rape & pillage of resources & screwing over of employees by corporations with limited if any real skin in the game, no accountability to anyone but shareholders, all done with the conscientiousness of sociopaths, while bought and paid for government lackeys look the other way while simultaneously handing out grants from OUR tax dollars to bail them. Wash, rinse, repeat. How many times have we said this kind of thing here...............

    I personally would love to see all those responsible forced to permanently live in the horrible wastelands they have created across the globe. It will never happen of course but it is nice to think about. I will NEVER in a million years be able to understand or relate to that kind of greed and selfishness.  I am so glad that I was hiding somewhere when that particular gene was passed out...

     

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  • Tue, Oct 06, 2020 - 2:07pm

    #28
    2retired

    2retired

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    2retired said:

    I would recommend the 'Gaia theory' an old book by Lovelock. Our human timescale is so limited, wastelands from my youth are now lush forests, and buildings have become part of the earth (really, I am only 72). Most people can remember Mt St Helen's eruption and the moonscape, that is now forest.

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  • Tue, Oct 06, 2020 - 3:30pm

    VTGothic

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    and yet...

    @2retired

    ...and yet, unlike Mt. St. Helens, Easter Island remains largely desertified.

    What do you imagine accounts for that?

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  • Tue, Oct 06, 2020 - 3:54pm

    #30
    2retired

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    2retired said:

    Rats may end up ruling the world, then again, maybe we are the rats. My current book 'Apocalypse Never' is a chronicle of unintended consequences, misunderstanding cause and effect, and banal arrogance, written by an (disillusioned) environmentalist. An antidote to despair.

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  • Tue, Oct 06, 2020 - 3:58pm

    #31

    sofistek

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    Sustainability

    There will be arguments about what happened on Easter Island but Chris is right about our unsustainable path and our worship of economic growth. However, I've yet to see a suggestion about how we should live that is truly sustainable. Sustainability requires (to put it simply) us to not use resources at a rate that is higher than the renewal rate and this applies to renewable resources as well as to non-renewable resources. Maybe the best we can do is give ourselves far more time to figure this out by markedly reducing our resource use, as suggested by Chris.

    Having said that, humans are a species and all species have a characteristic behaviour for the environment they are in. Humans are no different other that, supposedly, having some modicum of intelligence and the ability to determine the consequences of their actions. However, I've seen no evidence, over the last few decades, that humans, collectively, have the ability to voluntarily alter their characteristic behaviour. That is the basis of my "glass half full" outlook that some have noticed.

    No aspiring political leader would dare suggest that economic growth must stop or even reverse; they would never be elected. So even Green parties have either explicit or implicit economic growth policies and the UN's supposed sustainability goals still includes economic growth. People just don't get sustainability and I doubt whether, even if they did get it, they could alter their behaviour (collectively).

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  • Tue, Oct 06, 2020 - 6:10pm

    sofistek

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    Apocalypse never

    I just glanced through a review of the book and it starts with, "The way to a cleaner, sustainable planet is not to eliminate fossil fuels and nuclear power, but rather to expand their use, especially in developing countries to bring economic growth and prosperity, the way such sources did for the developed world." Is this a fair reflection? If so, isn't this what we've done since the industrial revolution? How has that worked out?

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  • Tue, Oct 06, 2020 - 6:18pm

    2retired

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    2retired said:

    That quote may be to try and get people to buy it (mine is from the library). I won't describe it that way particularly; he is more along the line of what is counter productive and what seems to work, and what is just misguided self interest by someone; and that there seems always a way that could work.

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  • Tue, Oct 06, 2020 - 6:42pm

    #34
    Mohammed Mast

    Mohammed Mast

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    Digital Farming.

    https://www.bayer.com/en/stories/digital-farming-smart-fields

    Brought to you by the same people who bought Monsanto. BTW Bayer has its roots in IG Farben. Yes that IG Farben.

    At the present time 1.3 % of the US population farms. That number will decrease drastically with digital farming. Your morning corn flakes will arrive unseen by a human being, delivered by an Amazon drone.

    Welcome to the future.

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  • Wed, Oct 07, 2020 - 1:09am

    #35
    planfortomorrow

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    " it's an exciting time to be alive"

    ...I am so juiced at the idea that I can begin something so interrelated and important. My plans are as all inclusive a deal as I can think of. In every system that Barb and I have worked on is a back up system to the back up system. We have implemented or will implement all the resources so that the cheapest fuel for instance is used as an option to the other system. If it's cheaper to run propane to heat and cook that is what we will use. If electric then no problem as well as wood. Even our two mobile and large generators bought on the cheap and I restored are tri fuel systems. Not always do we have power at the source of our project(s) so it's nice that propane, gas and natural gas hook ups can be used without loosing any power for the project being done. What's so nice too is that if all systems fail then just one generator can be used to run everything we need ran. The excess power is stored in battery's. We did this for the most part over the last 10 years and now get to connect all sources to a main location then run to the Cabin or keep isolated in the barn.

    We should be able to produce most all our own high quality foods and so will only need to add to what we have the grains and rice we won't be planting. Sugar, spices and other condiments.

    Yes!, in all of my/our life this is the most exciting and happiest times to be challenged and work out all the errors of our way to create something very special, together and inclusive of our family.

    I am so looking forward that I have no time to look back.

    I wish you all well and if I was to offer any advice it is to say: stop worrying about what others do and do what you know is right for you. I could care less if someone is carving stones (except for the perspective it gives), I only want to try and conserve what I can, store energy on my own so I have the BTU's to get the must have equipment in that makes life worth living. I will always plan to have too much of something rather than not enough. In my world it's better to have too much than not enough. To be looking at it than for it. Nothing worse than not having factored enough 2x4's or gallons of paint because it's better to have an extra gallon on hand than to delay a project because the high dollar employee has to stop and go get another gallon that may or may not be available.

    Whatever our fate is it will come headlong into my resilience and I believe, I hope, my firewalls are secure enough to give me time to adapt.

    Chris, you make too much sense...Thanks for that...Peace

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  • Wed, Oct 07, 2020 - 1:17am

    #36

    sofistek

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    Apocalypse Never

    Just found another review of Apocalypse Never. I don't think this will be near the top of my books to read. I'm more likely to get "Less is More" by Jason Hickel.

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  • Fri, Oct 09, 2020 - 3:52pm

    #37
    2retired

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    apocalypse never

    the book is not the best writing but an alternate perspective and pokes massive holes in the self righteous environmentalists successes; if you can stomach optimism, the 'Abundance'  by Peter H. Diamandis, Steven Kotler, is better reading

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  • Fri, Oct 09, 2020 - 5:37pm

    #38
    Chris Martenson

    Chris Martenson

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    Know your Apocalypse!

    Here's a handy guide, so you can be sure of which situation you're facing.

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  • Wed, Oct 14, 2020 - 8:09am

    #39
    2retired

    2retired

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    2retired said:

    The comment of a negative review of 'apocalypse never', has niggled at me and reminds me of a negative review of "the Shallows" that put me off reading it, for a few years. When I did read it, most of its prognostications and assessments had happened(!), and it became clear that the reviewer had not liked the message, so slighted the book by associations and judgemental assessments. That same thought applies to 'apocalypse never', which highlights the perverse corruption and hypocrisy behind the progressive environmental crowd. On the subject of books, "how to have impossible coversations" is a book that should be mailed out with all voter info!

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