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30 September, 2010

The Oil Drum: The Oil 'Peak' Has Been Reached

The Oil Drum: Europe | The oil 'peak' has been reached: "'Peak' oil is no longer debatable. The projections for the year, the five-year period, or the decade when global oil production would start declining 'are now a part of history', says Luis de Sousa, member of ASPO-Portugal and contributor to the blog 'The Oil Drum', talking to the Expresso. 'The period of peak is already being lived. Predicting it is no longer relevant', he adds.

According to this specialist, the vast majority of the important mathematical and accounting models of oil production used by entities independent from the oil industry all point to a similar time period when oil production reaches a maximum and begins to decline. This is a period of about a decade centred between 2008 and 2010, and the maximum oil produced is between 78 and 85 million barrels daily.

Luis de Sousa emphasizes that since 2005 world liquids production has been bound between 80 and 82 million barrels per day, clearly in agreement with those models. This plateau 'has been sustained by the increase of natural gas liquids, with pure crude [petroleum] in decline since 2005'.

Recently, the 'peak' has returned to the spotlight because of a secret report by the Future Studies group of the German Centre for the Armed Forces Transformation, a military think tank working for the Berlin Ministry of Defence. The study was published by "Der Spiegel", causing considerable concern by those less used to the issue and its geopolitical implications...

... The report has an alarming tone: 'scarcity shall affect everyone' and 'oil price increases pose a systemic risk, not only for transport systems, but also for all other systems'. And left a message: 'It is vital to secure access to oil', for in a fairly short time-frame, between now and 2040, we may see 'a change in the international security panorama with new risks - like that of fuel transport - and new actors in a possible conflict around the distribution of an increasingly scarce resource'.

The German report concludes that 'oil exports available through the market of supply and demand will shrink' and that need for oil diplomacy will sky-rocket because of oil's geo-politization.

The increasing scarcity referred by the Germans is associated with 'an almost unchanging level of oil production, fixed within a band that began during 2004,' emphasizes Luís de Sousa..."


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Study - World's 'Peak Coal' Moment Has Arrived

Study - World's 'Peak Coal' Moment Has Arrived - NYTimes.com: "Is the world about to begin running out of coal?

Two researchers say so. In a peer-reviewed article published in the journal Energy, they write that the world will hit 'peak coal' production next year or shortly thereafter, and then mining would begin a long, steep decline.

Bottom line, say the paper's co-authors, Tadeusz Patzek, a University of Texas engineering professor, and Greg Croft, a St. Mary's College of California earth science professor, is that the 7 billion tons of coal the world is now mining and burning each year is about the best it can do...

... The pair's prediction is based on the 'Hubbert Cycle,' the resource-depletion theory that American geophysicist M. King Hubbert used in the 1950s to correctly forecast that U.S. oil production would peak two decades later.

Patzek predicts coal will peak not because supplies are running out but because the remaining deposits are increasingly difficult to mine. Alaska's North Slope, for example, has coal reserves that rival those of the continental United States, but turning that coal into energy would be practically impossible, Patzek argues.

'It would take 10 or 11 of the largest coal terminals on the Earth operating 24-7, 365 to load ships above the Arctic Circle during the polar night,' he said.

Russia, China and other energy consumers face similar logistical difficulties with coal, Patzek said.

And while global supplies are set to trail off, the stage is set for demand to spike, Patzek said. U.S. consumers use slightly less than 1 billion tons of coal annually, the Chinese use an estimated 3.5 billion tons, and emerging energy giants like India and Indonesia are hungry for more..."


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29 September, 2010

UN Warned of Major New Food Crisis at Emergency Meeting in Rome

Good article. But, of course, no one wants to talk about the true underlying cause behind most of our issues, including pollution, food shortages and even peak oil: overpopulation.
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UN warned of major new food crisis at emergency meeting in Rome | Peak Oil News and Message Boards: "The world may be on the brink of a major new food crisis caused by environmental disasters and rampant market speculators, the UN was warned today at an emergency meeting on food price inflation.

The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) meeting in Rome today was called last month after a heatwave and wildfires in Russia led to a draconian wheat export ban and food riots broke out in Mozambique, killing 13 people. But UN experts heard that pension and hedge funds, sovereign wealth funds and large banks who speculate on commodity markets may also be responsible for inflation in food prices being seen across all continents..."

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28 September, 2010

Robert Hirsch Told Not To Talk About Peak Oil

Exclusive interview: Robert Hirsch | Energy Bulletin: "James Schlesinger, President Carter’s Energy Secretary, wrote the foreword to a book written by Dr Robert Hirsch, an former US official who predicts a fall of the oil production within 5 years.

Never before has a high-ranking political figure like Schlesinger given his support to such a prognosis. The book will be published in the US on October the 1st. Here is an exclusive interview with its author.

Dr. Robert Hirsch has a unique place in the ‘peak oil’ issue. Back in 2005, he was the main author of the first pessimistic report ever published by a public administration (presentation on Wikipedia).

Not just any public administration : the Department of Energy of President George Bush.

Robert Hirsch has been a manager of petroleum exploratory research at Exxon, a senior staff member at the RAND Corporation, and director of the US research program on nuclear fusion energy.

His 2005 conclusions did not get any attention from the mainstream or financial media.

Today, Robert Hirsch perseveres. According to him, it’s now obvious : we will soon face a decline of world black gold supplies...

... What is your hypothesis ?

We will stay in this band, and within 2 to 5 years, world oil production will go into decline...

... What should we expect, before the world is able to catch up with the ‘peak oil’ issue ?

From a world standpoint, Growth Domestic Product will decline every year for over a decade, and could easily be down 20 or 30 % over this period of time. That’s what I mean when I say « catastrophic ».

Wherever you live, somebody has to get food to you. And modern farming is run by oil, because the tractors that plow the ground and plant the seeds, and do the harvesting, run on oil. And then you have to transport the food to some kind of processor, and from there to the consumer.

In 2008, when the price of the barrel of oil was above 130 dollars, there’s been hunger demonstrations in more that 20 countries all over the Third World. Do you believe that it is the kind of things that we have to expect a much larger scale and for many years ?


Yes. My background is physics. There’s a term that I love. It's called “non-linear”. Linear is like this (Dr Hirsch draws a straight line in the air).

Non-linear is this, or that, or this, that, that (he draws many lines and curves going into very different directions), and so many things feed back on other things, and so forth.

Getting in and trying to understand the problem in some kind of detail is impossible because it’s very non-linear : that will impact this, and that will impact that, and that will impact people.

And people may behave rationally, or they may strike and go out in the streets. There may be political chaos ! When that happens, the police have to get out and then, you know, wars may happen. It gets very messy...

... What happened after you published your 2005 report on ‘peak oil’ for the US Department of Energy (DoE) ?

The people that I was dealing with said : « No more work on peak oil, no more talk about it. »

People that were high in the administration hierarchy ?

The people that I was dealing with were high in the laboratory level. They were getting their instructions from people on the political side of the DoE, at high levels.


After the work we did on the 2005 study and the follow-up of 2006, the Department of Energy headquarters completely cut off all support for oil peaking and decline analysis. The people that I was working with at the National Energy Technology Laboratory were good people, they saw the problem, they saw how difficult the consequences would be – you know, the potential for huge damage – yet they were told : « No more work, no more discussion. »

That was in 2006, under Bush administration. Has anything changed with the Obama administration ?

It has not changed. I have friends who simply won’t talk about it now. So I have to assume that they are receiving the same kind of instructions
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27 September, 2010

British Defence Secretary Warns of Electromagnetic Disruptions Due to Solar Flares in 2012 or 2013

Liam Fox warns of electromagnetic disruptions due to solar flares | TopNews United Kingdom: "Defence Secretary Liam Fox has highlighted the fear that once-in-a-century phenomenon of a large solar flare could cause electromagnetic disruptions which could paralyse the earth.

Earlier this year, NASA scientists had warned that large solar flares could be caused by a peak in the sun's energy cycle in 2012 or 2013, which would be powerful enough to leave many countries, including the UK, without crucial communication signals.

The electromagnetic disruptions could widespread power blackouts around the world by crippling electrical equipment as well as satellites that are orbiting our planet.

The super-flares that cause electromagnetic disruptions occur once in every hundred years. The last major flare had disrupted the early telegraph system in the mid-nineteenth century, and the scientists fear that a similar event now could paralyse modern life totally as it could hit computers, telephones and water & food supplies..."

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Groundwater Depletion Rate Accelerating Worldwide

Groundwater depletion rate accelerating worldwide: "In recent decades, the rate at which humans worldwide are pumping dry the vast underground stores of water that billions depend on has more than doubled, say scientists who have conducted an unusual, global assessment of groundwater use.

These fast-shrinking subterranean reservoirs are essential to daily life and agriculture in many regions, while also sustaining streams, wetlands, and ecosystems and resisting land subsidence and salt water intrusion into fresh water supplies. Today, people are drawing so much water from below that they are adding enough of it to the oceans (mainly by evaporation, then precipitation) to account for about 25 percent of the annual sea level rise across the planet, the researchers find.

Soaring global groundwater depletion bodes a potential disaster for an increasingly globalized agricultural system, says Marc Bierkens of Utrecht University in Utrecht, the Netherlands, and leader of the new study.

'If you let the population grow by extending the irrigated areas using groundwater that is not being recharged, then you will run into a wall at a certain point in time, and you will have hunger and social unrest to go with it,' Bierkens warns. 'That is something that you can see coming for miles.'..."

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Arctic Ice in Death Spiral

Arctic Ice in Death Spiral - IPS ipsnews.net: "The carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels have melted the Arctic sea ice to its lowest volume since before the rise of human civilisation, dangerously upsetting the energy balance of the entire planet, climate scientists are reporting.

'The Arctic sea ice has reached its four lowest summer extents (area covered) in the last four years,' said Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center in the U.S. city of Boulder, Colorado.

The volume - extent and thickness - of ice left in the Arctic likely reached the lowest ever level this month, Serreze told IPS..."
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On Thin Ice | Rolling Stone Politics: "... Most of the ice in the world is contained in two great, ancient ice sheets, each of them the size of a continent: One covers Antarctica and the South Pole, and the other, not nearly as big, covers Greenland. Both of these formations slope gently from high interiors down to the coast, with ice edging outward in vast frozen rivers known as glaciers. Snowfall at the top of the slopes presses down on the glaciers, helping gravity propel them toward the edges of the continent. There, when it meets the warmer water, some of the ice melts slowly into the ocean. Until a few years ago, scientists like Hamilton thought of the ice sheets as changing only imperceptibly, on the time scale of centuries. But as the planet has warmed, they have come to see the ice as far more volatile and nimble. The ice sheets no longer seem static; they are mysterious, complicated dams that help hold back entire continents, keeping coastal cities free from flood...

... As the helicopter headed toward the coordinates on the glacier where Hamilton wanted to land, he gazed out the window. His mind drifted absently across the landscape. The steep rock of the fjord rose above the dark, pooling water below, the glacier still miles upstream. Suddenly, Hamilton was startled out of his grogginess by a squawking in his headphones: The pilot was trying to tell him something. Hamilton asked the man to repeat himself. 'We're here,' the pilot said.

Hamilton looked down. They were over open water. The glacier had vanished.

Confused, Hamilton picked up the satellite image. Perhaps he had given the pilot the wrong coordinates. In the sketch, he could see two tributary glaciers that emptied into Kangerdlugssuaq right where he had wanted to land. He looked out the window. There were the two tributary glaciers. But they were emptying into the sea. In the few months since the image had been taken, the front end of Kangerdlugssuaq had disappeared. 'It was here for more than 50 years,' Hamilton says. 'And now it was gone.'..."


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26 September, 2010

US Government 'Hiding True Amount of Debt'

US Government 'hiding true amount of debt' | News.com.au: "THE actual figure of the US' national debt is much higher than the official sum of $US13.4 trillion ($14.3 trillion) given by the Congressional Budget Office, according to analysts cited by the New York Post.

'The Government is lying about the amount of debt. It is engaging in Enron accounting,' said Laurence Kotlikoff, an economist at Boston University and co-author of 'The Coming Generational Storm: What You Need to Know about America's Economic Future'..."

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Canadian Company Develops Subconscious Screening Technology

Canadian Company Develops Subconscious Screening Technology -- OTTAWA, Canada, Sept. 21 /PRNewswire/ --: "The National Mental Health Association reports that over 65 million Americans suffer from some type of mental illness and that 1 in 5 people will experience some mental illness during their life... Northam Psychotechnologies, a Canadian-based company, holds the North American patent pending to futuristic technologies that provide a profoundly powerful solution to this impending problem.

Semantic Stimuli Response Measurement (SSRM) is one of many powerful psychological screening tools they have developed. It is the world's first technology designed and utilized to meticulously measure the response of the subconscious mind outside of a laboratory setting. Internationally renowned brain researcher Dr. Semyon Ioffe has adapted and further developed this technology, which is the direct result of a worldwide body of scientific knowledge, to accommodate the North American conglomerate..."

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25 September, 2010

Investors Seeing Farmland as Safer Bet Than Stocks

Investors seeing farmland as safer bet than stocks - Los Angeles Times: "Investors seeing farmland as safer bet than stock.  Wary of fluctuations on Wall Street, more wealthy Americans, private funds and foreigners are putting money into parcels of cornfields, fruit orchards and other U.S. agricultural products..."

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24 September, 2010

Study: Industrial Failure in 10 years

Study: Global warming, energy & food shortages, recession to cause 'industrial' failure in 10 years: "In the first peer-reviewed study of its kind, a new report by a Westminster think-tank warns that abrupt climate change, energy shortages, food scarcities and economic turmoil could plunge industrial societies into chaos after 2020.

The study, A User’s Guide to the Crisis of Civilization: And How to Save It (Pluto Press/Macmillan, 2010), predicts that converging crises may trigger resource short-falls leading to political and economic failure in the West, while accelerating international conflict including ‘intercommunal’ warfare in less developed countries.

Authored by international security analyst Dr. Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed – Executive Director of the IPRD and Associate Tutor at the University of Sussex School of Global Studies – the study is the first systematic review of data, evidence and theory across physical and social sciences, including academic research and industry reports, assessing the connections between different global crises including the danger of violent conflict...

... The study predicts the ‘terminal depletion’ of the world’s traditional mineral energy reserves – oil, gas, coal, and uranium – within the first quarter of the 21st century, and warns of ‘catastrophic convergence’ between energy, food and water shortages due to abrupt global warming as early as 2018. Developed economies could consequently experience a ‘collapse’ in public services, while large states such as the US, Russia and China would struggle to maintain territorial integrity, potentially becoming embroiled in geopolitical conflict for land and resources.

The study also shows that public anxieties about global crises are already fuelling the break-down of community cohesion. Author Dr. Ahmed, an expert on the systemic causes of mass violence who predicted the global banking crisis in August 2006, said: ‘Crisis convergence will magnify the probability of civil wars and cross-border conflicts. The chaos would be ideal breeding ground for Islamist, far-right, and other forms of extremism. We could even see a resurgence of conflict between major powers, including the spectre of genocidal violence’.

The report warns that without drastic change – akin to ‘a post-carbon industrial revolution’ – industrial civilization cannot survive by the end of this century..."


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23 September, 2010

Modern Bread Lines

Wal-Mart's CEO Provides The Starkest Visual Of The Modern Bread Line Yet | zero hedge: "In today's Art Cashin Comments there is a stunning admission by none other than the CEO of Walmart on what modern day bread lines look like...

'... it's real interesting to watch, about 11 p.m. customers start to come in and shop, fill their grocery basket with basic items – baby formula, milk, bread, eggs – and continue to shop and mill about the store until midnight when government electronic benefits cards get activated, and then the checkout starts and occurs. And our sales for those first few hours on the first of the month are substantially and significantly higher...'

... The country is collapsing everywhere and all the leaders can do is lie to their electorate that things are great. Images of the Titanic come to mind..."

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Jeff Rubin: "... The age of cheap oil is over..."

Jeff Rubin - The Globe and Mail: "... What’s being overlooked is that last cycle’s rate of growth was fueled for the most part with cheap oil—oil was below $30 a barrel for the first half of the period. Even today’s oil prices weren’t encountered until the last year of growth. That’s not incidental to the performance of the U.S. economy, which relies on imports for over half of its 19-million-barrel-a-day requirement.

Feed the U.S. economy cheap oil, and you’ll see robust growth rates and a drop in the jobless rate to four-decade lows—no matter who’s in the White House. But throw in $147-per-barrel oil, and the U.S. economy stops dead in its tracks.

Unfortunately, President Obama can’t bring back the cheap oil prices that fueled most of last cycle’s growth. The recent BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico probably drove the final nail into the coffin of the last frontier of untapped domestic supply— deep water.

He may be able to get oil from Canadian oil sands (provided the Environmental Protection Agency approves Transcanada’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline) before China can siphon it off through the competing pipeline Enbridge wants to build to the west coast. But even if he is able to secure tar sands fuel for American motorists, the price of that oil will have to be very near triple digits or it won’t flow in nearly the quantities needed.

The age of cheap oil is over, and that means recalibrating the speed limit for the world’s largest oil-consuming economy. In a world of $75–per-barrel to triple-digit oil prices, the U.S. economy is not likely to grow more than by 1 to 2 per cent per year until it can curb its oil appetite significantly.

Trying to substitute fiscal stimulus for cheap oil won’t make the American economy grow any faster. It will just make an already record-sized deficit that much bigger."


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22 September, 2010

The 25 Countries That Will Be Screwed By A World Food Crisis

The 25 Countries That Will Be Screwed By A World Food Crisis: "Concerned about whether you have enough food in your fridge? How about for the worst case scenario?

Japanese investment bank Nomura produced a research report detailing the countries that would be crushed in a food crisis.

Their description of a food crisis is a prolonged price spike. They calculate the states that have the most to lose by a formula including:

* Nominal GDP per capita in USD at market exchange rates.
* The share of food in total household consumption.
* Net food exports as a percentage of GDP.

We've got the top 25 countries in danger here and the list, including a major financial center, may surprise you..."

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Third World America

Third world America - Macleans.ca: "In February, the board of commissioners of Ohio’s Ashtabula County faced a scene familiar to local governments across America: a budget shortfall. They began to cut spending and reduced the sheriff’s budget by 20 per cent. A law enforcement agency staff that only a few years ago numbered 112, and had subsequently been pared down to 70, was cut again to 49 people and just one squad car for a county of 1,900 sq. km along the shore of Lake Erie. The sheriff’s department adapted. 'We have no patrol units. There is no one on the streets. We respond to only crimes in progress. We don’t respond to property crimes,' deputy sheriff Ron Fenton told Maclean’s. The county once had a 'very proactive' detective division in narcotics. Now, there is no detective division. 'We are down to one evidence officer and he just runs the evidence room in case someone wants to claim property,' said Fenton. 'People are getting property stolen, their houses broken into, and there is no one investigating. We are basically just writing up a report for the insurance company.'

If a county without police seems like a weird throwback to an earlier, frontier-like moment in American history, it is not the only one. 'Back to the Stone Age' is the name of a seminar organized in March by civil engineers at Indiana’s Purdue University for local county supervisors interested in saving money by breaking up paved roads and turning them back to gravel. While only some paved roads in the state have been broken up, 'There are a substantial number of conversations going on,'
[according to one involved party]. The state of Michigan had similar conversations. It has converted at least 50 miles of paved road to gravel in the last few years...

... Cincinnati, Ohio, is cutting back on trash collection and snow removal and filling fewer potholes.

The city of Dallas is not picking up litter in public parks. Flint, Mich., laid off 23 of 88 firefighters and closed two fire stations. In some places it’s almost literally the dark ages: the city of Shelton in Washington state decided to follow the example of numerous other localities and last week turned off 114 of its 860 street lights. Others have axed bus service and cut back on library hours. Class sizes are being increased and teachers are being laid off. School districts around the country are cutting the school day or the school week or the school year—effectively furloughing students. The National Association of Counties estimates that local governments will eliminate roughly half a million employees in the next fiscal year, with public safety, public works, public health, social services, and parks and recreation hardest hit by the cutbacks...

... Some governments are looking for creative ways to replace plummeting property and sales tax revenues. Facing a US$1-billion budget shortfall, Montgomery County in Maryland appealed for corporate sponsors to step up and adopt porta-potties in its public parks. In the end, the privies were saved by a combination of park employees taking early retirement, a few private sponsorships, and a negotiated discount from the supplier, Don’s Johns. Meanwhile, Montgomery County’s school system, banking on its reputation for high standards and test scores, took the unusual step of selling its curriculum to a private textbook publisher, Pearson, for US$2.3 million and royalties of up to three per cent on sales. As part of the deal, county classrooms can be used as “showrooms”—which critics said effectively turns students and teachers into salesmen for a corporation...

... Over the past decade, private sector job growth was sluggish. Combined with recession job losses, there are now only as many private sector jobs as there were in early 1999, a decade ago, while the population continues to grow. And incomes stagnated for a full decade—the longest such period since the U.S. Census Bureau has been keeping track of household income...

... 'We have to remember that, even when spending is not at record-setting levels, each dollar the government collects is taken directly out of the private sector,' Boehner said in a recent economic speech. He added: 'I’m not afraid to tell you there’s no money left. In fact, we’re broke.'

But where does that leave people like the good citizens of Ashtabula County, Ohio? How can they be safe from criminals without a fully staffed local police force, TV station WKYC asked a local judge in April. 'Arm yourselves,' came the reply from Ashtabula County Common Pleas Judge Alfred Mackey. 'Be very careful, be vigilant, get in touch with your neighbors, because we’re going to have to look after each other.'

And so they did. In July, a group of farmers removed the safeties from their shotgun triggers and surrounded a trailer in which a suspected house robber was hiding while they waited for the county’s last, lone squad car to arrive
...."


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CDC Allegedly Falsifies Reports to Obscure Up to 3,587 Miscarriages from H1N1 Vaccine

NCOW Press Release Contact: Eileen Dannemann, phone: 917-804-0786, e-mail: ncowmail@gmail: "A shocking report from the National Coalition of Organized Women (NCOW) presented data from two different sources demonstrating that the 2009/10 H1N1 vaccines contributed to an estimated 1,588 miscarriages and stillbirths. A corrected estimate may be as high as 3,587 cases. NCOW also highlights the disturbing fact that the CDC failed to inform their vaccine providers of the incoming data of the reports of suspected H1N1 vaccine related fetal demise..."

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21 September, 2010

Peak Oil, Total Collapse, and the Road to the Olduvai

Oilcrash.com: Peak Oil, Total Collapse, and the Road to the Olduvai - A Commentary by Perry Arnett – 18 April 2007:
"1) most members of Western Industrial Civilization are about to enter a ‘Bottleneck’ of historical magnitude and significance;


2) a confluence of various events is acting to cause the Bottleneck;


3) some of those events are: the peaking of production and ultimate decline of cheap, readily available exosomatic energy resources; the economic bankruptcy of nations; the depletion of water, soil, critical minerals, sea life; etc.


3.1) The entire basis upon which Western Industrial Civilization is built, — growth, and ‘Capitalism’, as a form of political economy, is based on the theoretical construct of ‘perpetual resource discovery, acquisition, development and exploitation’; and thus, as finite resources decline and ultimately deplete — as they must, capitalism and perpetual growth must decline and ultimately cease also!


4) humans are but one of numerous life forms and follow the same biological laws as do those other life forms;


5) humans thus, have no more probability for ‘perpetual existence’ than do other life forms;

6) the central banks of numerous nations have run the printing presses so fast and so long of late, that the world is awash with ‘liquidity’ (some 18-24% increase globally during 2003/2006), such that it allows false price-sensing for things like stocks and real estate; but few realize that the more dollars they hold the less they are worth; thus, there exists an intellectual disconnect for many between one’s real economic status/lifestyle, and one’s perceived economic status/lifestyle. This makes global economic collapse more probable than most realize.

7) “international resource wars” — wars fought to secure for the victor natural recourses — have begun in earnest, and the preemptive subjugation of weaker nations by other nations is now part of the permanent natural resource acquisition and exploitation scenario;

8) since some categories of weapons are so cheap (for their perceived ‘benefit’), these wars will be fought with ANY weapons available, including nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, and the prospect for Nuclear, Chemical or Biological ‘Winter’ is more imminent than ever before;

9) while some individual humans will of course pass through the Bottleneck, most humans, and their highly complex cultures, civilizations and societies will not;

The quality of water, food, crops, soil, air, have all deteriorated during the past 50 years or so and at such a rate, that many parents are today, probably more well nourished than are their kids; so that the diminution, and lack of general intellect, self-discipline, will power, delayed gratification, and the increase of antisocial and criminal behaviors, diseases-of-civilization, etc., — all are probably due to fossil-fueled exponential population increase, and the consequent disastrous effects of those populations on the environment.

Those best equipped to survive the coming collapse are those with ‘mongrel genes’, hardiness to disease, and ruggedness of constitution; — NOT the rich, the privileged, the educated, the well to do! Some few will make it — most will not!

There will be a vast reduction of human populations from present numbers down to something FAR BELOW ‘carrying capacity’, i.e. LESS than 50 million or so globally, before population numbers begin to rise again to “optimal carrying capacity”.

Lifestyle standards are devolving NOW (as they have for most since ~1979), and they will continue to devolve until within say, five to seven years (2012/2014), when life will be much different for most from what it is today.

Two Key Premises Regarding the Immediate Future

a) the “effective” rate of depletion of “all [petroleum] liquids + NG” [natural gas] will continue to RISE in such a manner that end users, will, this year or next, see effective world “all liquids + NG” depletion rates running at ~15% per annum or more; and,

b) as a corollary and consequence, the severe reduction and loss of grid-supplied electricity to industrialized nations will bring down most all world telecom, banking, credit, governance, etc.; thus, ALL aspects of THIS Industrial Civilization as we know it, will severely decline, and (for all intents and purposes) will stop within a very few years.

Analysis and Proofs:

1) Current “all liquids + NG” depletion rates running at 15% per annum (or more) means the effective end of the ready availability of cheap fossil-fueled energy resources (except some coal) in seven years or so, i.e. ~2014!

2) The loss of liquid fossil fuels will contemporaneously cause the loss of coal also. Think ‘trains’:

Coal-hauling trains (in the U.S.) run on diesel fuel (not coal — or anything else).
Trains haul coal from the mines to coal-fired electrical generating plants, in many cases, hundreds of miles from the mine mouth.

Depleting oil production means less diesel fuel with which to run coal-hauling trains.
Fewer coal trains running means less coal delivered to coal-fired electrical generating plants — per unit of time. [There is only so much rail trackage and coal-loadout infrastructure currently available. What prudent investor wants to build more?]

Coal-fired electrical generating plants produce ~54% of the electricity in the U.S.
Less coal delivered to those generating plants means less electricity generated and fewer oil refineries operating, thus producing even LESS diesel fuel!

Less electricity generated means less electricity available for use and consumption by industry and individuals.

The same principle applies also to coal-hauling trucks and river barges.

Per-capita energy use defines a civilization. Thus, as Richard Duncan suggests, electrical blackouts and brownouts will occur, having been DIRECTLY caused by declining oil production.

Thus, per-capita energy use must continue to decline as it has since ~1979.
«Other factors remaining constant, culture evolves as the amount of energy harnessed per capita per year is increased, or as the efficiency of the instrumental means of putting the energy to work is increased. … We may now sketch the history of cultural development from this standpoint.» — Leslie White, “White’s Law,” 1949
3) A projected depletion rate of ~15% per annum equals ~seven years [1/15 = 6.6], or year 2014/2015 for year 2007 lifestyles to devolve back to ca. 1886 or before lifestyles. Circa ~1886 is an arbitrary date chosen to represent the time at which liquid fossil fuels generally began to create ‘modern’ Western lifestyles, and to allow the creation of this Industrial Civilization. When liquid fossil fuels are gone, lifestyles must of necessity, retrograde back to that of a prior time fueled by something other than liquid fossil fuels.

One can have his “time-to-collapse” interval however he wants it! That is:

An annual depletion rate of 2% allows roughly 50 years for all of a resource to deplete, (and for one to get one’s mind around the concept of the import of that event.) An annual depletion rate of 3% gives one 33 years.
4% gives one 25 years.
5% gives one 20 years.
6% gives one 16 years.
7% gives one 14 years.
8% gives one 12 years.
9% gives one 11 years.
10 % gives one 10 years.
11% gives one 9 years.
12% gives one 8 years.
13% gives one 7.6 years.
14% gives one 7 years; and,

An annual resource depletion rate of 15% gives one just ~6.6 years until the energy resource is, for all practical purposes, GONE! We must remember that we are talking here about the continuance or the cessation of this fossil-fueled Industrial Civilization — NOT patching joints on sailing boats on the shores of the Black Sea.

We should also remember, that as more liquid fossil fuels are depleted, the depletion rate per annum will continue to INCREASE to 50% and higher in the final years, until the resource is ultimately (for all practical considerations) 100% depleted, thus ANY time period one chooses will be drastically shortened as it approaches its own end.

Pick a number! YOU pick the period of time that you would like to give yourself for accepting reality, and realizing the inevitability of the event. One can pick a false low depletion rate and attempt to fool oneself into denying the inevitability, or one can pick a depletion rate that is at or near the ACTUAL, EFFECTIVE depletion rate, and accept the consequences. We all have that choice.

The most probable, critical sequence time-line:

1979 US per capita energy use peaked; still floundering on a plateau in 2006, but ready to fall precipitously (‘cliff’) at any time
2005 World crude oil probably peaked; still on an undulating plateau in 2007; starts off the ‘cliff’ ~2010-2012 or before
2005 World food production (grains) peaked
2008 World Natural Gas peaks (or sooner)
2010 NG ‘cliff’ arrives (or sooner)
2012 US electricity blackouts and brownouts become the norm (or sooner)
2012 US potable, available water peak and ‘cliff’; shortages and waterborne diseases increase
2015 US Health Care System in complete chaos, breakdown and failure; sanitation, drugs, return of communicable diseases, poorer nutrition, etc.
2015 World “Dieoff” begins in earnest; largely starvation, disease and poor healthcare caused
2030 US per-capita energy consumption hits the “30% mark-AFTER peak”, equaling year 1930 lifestyles again (probably much sooner than 2030)

4) With available electricity having declined to less than ~11% or so of current production in the next few years due to the non-delivery of oil, coal and NG to electrical generating plants, and due to poor maintenance of the grids, electrical brownouts and blackouts will begin to be the ‘normal’ case, much of the time, by 2014/2015, seven years hence.

5) Thus, even though the decline toward collapse will be ‘gradual’, and insidious, and steep, year 2007 lifestyles will be thrust back to the equivalent of at least year 1886-, or even to year 1,200 AD-lifestyles, by the years 2014 to 2020. [Hard to imagine? Yes it is!]

6) There will be little difference between living at an 1886-lifestyle, or a 1,200 AD-lifestyle, or a 10,000 BC-lifestyle; that is, once the Collapse and Devolution begins in earnest (which, due to current world events, I believe has already begun), there will be no turning back, and the only difference in per-capita energy lifestyles will be by small matters of degree, measured in most cases by the gross daily caloric nutritional intake available for individual humans: YOU may have 1,000 calories available today, while your neighbor has only 400. ‘Collapse’ will happen fast enough for most, that some individuals, depending upon where they are and how well they are situated, may pass through several arbitrary ‘devolution checkpoints’ or ‘Bottlenecks’, in as little as a day or a week. For others, it may take as long as a few months.
[One might ask here: What is ‘progress’? How do we define that term? How many TV’s can one watch at one time? How much ‘labor-saving’ provided by technical devices is enough to warrant their manufacture and use? How much progress is desired or even wanted? Though relevant, those are topics for another time.]

7) Some Practical Lifestyle Comparisons:
Year 2007 lifestyle: electrically-powered double stacked washer and drier; electrically pumped, in some cases for hundreds of miles, gravity fed, chlorinated and fluoridated water from the tap; switch operated, under-sink garbage disposer; indoor plumbing with unlimited soft toilet paper; “flush a pint of pee to the ocean with 5 gallons of fresh water”!
Year 1930 lifestyle: gas engine-driven wringer washing machine (if lucky); bathe on Saturdays; hand well-water pump near the kitchen sink; slop bucket under the sink drain; pit-dug outhouse WITH a Sears Catalogue
Year 1886 lifestyle: wash board and tub; water drawn from a well; outhouse with NO Sears Catalogue; corn cobs, if lucky
Year 1,200 AD lifestyle: constantly dirty clothes, well water within a mile or so — if safe; bathe once a year; pee in the garden (humanure)
Year 10,000 BC lifestyle — the “Olduvai”: leather clothes; no need for a washing machine!; drink from a spring or stream; pee in the bushes;

8) Opponents of this ‘devolution timing thesis’ may argue with the first premise of cited depletion rates. But a thorough analysis of very recently published data will confirm that Cantarell, North Sea, Ghawar and Canada are all declining at published rates of at least 8% (Ghawar), to 12% (North Sea), 20% (Canadian NG), and 25% ! (Cantarell); and that ~64 oil — or NG — producing nations have already peaked, and only ~36 remain to peak. So by [admittedly] loose averaging, and adding in the inevitable effects of extraneous greed, graft, corruption, bribery, theft, loss, diversion, hiding, rationing, military use, military destruction, hoarding, chaos, inefficiencies, leakage, etc. of energy resources, (overwhich no one has any control!), any “published rates of depletion” are more probably actually at 13-15% average decline rates currently, to the end user, than they are at, say, 2% decline — as opponents might argue.

[And while I cannot offer much proof at the moment of the following thesis, I submit that the recent ~18-24% INCREASE in world financial (fiat) liquidity, is a ‘tightly-coupled proxy’ for, and a derivative of a markedly similar DECREASE in available exosomatic energy resources. That is, I suspect the mechanism is such that since central bankers and other power brokers in governments are fully aware of Resource Depletion Theory, and Oil Depletion in particular, they have created for themselves an ‘ad hoc race’ to see who can drive the other guy into national bankruptcy first(!); ‘money’, in this case, serving as a last ditch GDP proxy tool replacing ‘real’ oil that no longer exists for ‘real’ wealth generation; sort of like playing King-of-the-Mountain. This suggests that as oil depletes further, fiat liquidity will continue to rise in similarly corresponding amounts.]

So while the ‘actual geological depletion rate per annum’ for a field might be only 6%, it will probably be reported as being only ~3.5%(!), yet when the extraneous factors cited above are added in, and are compounded with the actual depletion rate, the ‘effective depletion rate to end users’, (like farmers, grain millers, bread makers, and ultimately consumers), may be easily 15% or more. It is this “effective depletion rate to end users” that must concern us, NOT the ‘reported’, nor the ‘geological’ rate of depletion. It is the number of fewer loaves of bread on YOUR shelf, in YOUR store, on YOUR corner, in YOUR town, TODAY, that matters. Little else! All other depletion numbers are ‘interesting’, but functionally of less value! There are a myriad of ways by which a resource can be ‘effectively depleted’ even though it may not yet be ‘geologically depleted’.

A prioi ‘geological depletion’ has already started the ball rolling, but it’s all the other extraneous factors added to that, that will keep depletion rolling until there is no more oil left! Yes, anyone who argues we are ‘not running out of oil’ is silly; that was settled long ago with the old song: “Yes, we have no banana’s today”! Some will be ‘priced’ out of the oil market; others will be kept out by ‘actual depletion unavailability’, but in the end, ALL, will at some time, find that oil depletion has affected their life in one way or another — some sooner, some later. ‘The Donald’ and Ted Turner may be fighting over that last barrel of crude, but only one can win! Like polio and TB, this imminent regression back to the New Stone Age is no ‘respector of persons’.

9) Thus, the Duncan-forecasted ‘energy cliff of 2012’ should be well started by at least 2012 or before; and the 30% per-capita-energy demarcation point signaling the retrograde back to year 1930 lifestyles should occur by at least year 2014 or before. (I cannot see how it can be delayed until 2030 as Duncan suggests!)

10) There is a human need to tend to diminish and to underreport bad news! Many will thus, take issue with the depletion rates used here. The depletion rates cited are what are currently reported, even though most would rather ‘believe’ depletion rates are in the 2% range or so, thus giving themselves ~50 years or more to face the problem, rather than the 6 to 12 years we may really, only have!

However, as a seasoned inventor and machine designer, I have devoted most of my life to trying to define reality to three-decimal-places. Thus, I have to look at the numbers from the worst case perspective. That is, if, e.g., a machine design can cause harm to others, one must know all the ways in which that potential harm can occur, and all the types of harm that can be inflicted, in order to be able to mitigate those potential worst case events, if possible. In this case, there is no mitigation for the ultimate decline and total effective depletion of finite natural energy resources. So reality must be accepted and reported, and be used in calculating future lifestyle possibilities for potential Collapse survivors.

We know that all natural resources are finite, and that (if exploited) they deplete over time. We can measure how much depletion has occurred in the past so we can reliably estimate how much of the resource is left to be depleted in the future. We can measure depletion rates in real time. We can extrapolate those real time depletion rates into future depletion rates.

The nature of depletion of natural resources per the Hubbert Theorem suggests that the rate of depletion accelerates AFTER the peak of production has been reached (since the easiest resource to extract is taken first), and since it appears from all indications that the peak of “all liquids” has already passed, (or is ‘in-plateau’ at the present time), it seems most logical to use worst-case numbers rather than best-case-numbers when attempting to assess the probable effects of world energy resource depletion on one’s life and on the lives of those one cares about. The Cornucopian-techno-optimist-Pollyanna-denier mindset will NOT serve one well in attempting to glimpse at what the future may hold. Assessing, and facing reality will!

When a resource has depleted to the point that it is either ‘actually unavailable’ or is ‘effectively unavailable’ for an individual, one can say without question that for that individual, that resource does not exist, and is effectively GONE. So, contrary to what the Cornucopian-optimist-denier-obfuscators would like to call it, WE ARE, in fact, “RUNNING OUT OF OIL”! Call it by any other name, but ‘effective unavailability’ is for those who do not have it, the same as ‘NON-availability’. Unavailable oil left in the ground is of no more value to one than is no oil at all!

11) Those who live past the Bottleneck will always be exploiters of exosomatic energy resources; as that is one definition of what it is “to be alive”.
The life contest is primarily a competition for available energy. — Ludwig Boltzman, Physicist (1886)
Thus, per-capita energy use will always RISE to the theoretical limit of available supply, and will consume ALL the energy resource available, if possible.

Secondly, human populations will continue to rampantly INCREASE until a sufficient Die-off-event reduces the need for further population DECREASE. Then populations will resume their biologically-mandated INCREASE.

Thus, the depletion curve for energy resources will NOT be flattened nor mitigated on the back side due to either population decrease, nor due to reduction in per-capita energy use, [as so many Cornucopian-optimists suggest], since, to accomplish either, would require one to change human nature, and that is not possible, now, nor after having passed through the Bottleneck.
«Do you believe,» said Candide, «that men have always massacred one another as they do today, that they have always been liars, cheats, traitors, ingrates, brigands, idiots, thieves, scoundrels, gluttons, drunkards, misers, envious, ambitious, bloody-minded, calumniators, debauchees, fanatics, hypocrites and fools?»
«Do you believe,» said Martin, «that hawks have always eaten pigeons when they have found them?»
«Without doubt,» said Candide.
«Well then,» said Martin, «if hawks have always had the same character, why should you imagine that men have changed theirs?»
«Oh!» Said Candide, «there is a vast deal of difference, for free will—»

Candide, Voltaire
The depletion curve will be ‘flattened’ only AFTER the world human population has fallen so far below the energy resources available for exploitation at that time, that (for our purposes and lifetimes) it won’t matter then whether the depletion curve is flat or not!

12) With the exception of some few individual survival ‘lifeboats’ and ‘retreats’ that may provide some temporary comfort for some few individuals and families for some limited period of time, the “high tech-low EROEI” alternative energy ‘solutions’ propounded by some are NO solution to the macro-decline of fossil fuels, and they will thus, NOT save Industrial Civilization from its Imminent Collapse. There is NO so-called “prosperous way down”! “Powering Down” is not an option. The Road to the Olduvai and the New Stone Age beckons us all!

13) For so long as there are people who have babies, in the macro-sense, there will NEVER be any “destruction of demand” for oil. Thus, the long term trend is for oil to become always LESS available, and for its relative cost to always go HIGHER.
However, some limited “demand destruction” of fossil fuel use WILL occur as population numbers decline aggressively, stretching out the future (back) side of the depletion curve a bit, but significantly, whatever demand is ‘destructed’, will accrue beneficially ONLY to governments and their military forces, who will by that time have total control of all energy resources. Thus, planning for the future lifestyles of individuals and family units ought therefore, NOT be based on ‘demand destruction’ to forestall or influence their devolution back to the Olduvai!

14) The above thesis does NOT include the very high probability of global nuclear, biological, or chemical Resource Wars, and consequent Nuclear, Biological or Chemical ‘Winter’ in the next few years — which will only change things for the worse; time-to-total-collapse will be compressed, and living conditions equating to former times will devolve for most, far more rapidly than otherwise. Die-off of world human populations could reach ~99% by 2030 or before, from numerous causes like typhus, cholera, ebola, sars, unsafe water, no normal medical care, plague, bio-warfare, contagious diseases, etc.

15) Obviously, assumed by all this, is the collapse of the global stock markets, transportation, trade, commerce, mega-food production and delivery, medical care and drugs availability, etc.
Thus, most ALL parts of this fossil-fueled Industrial Civilization will ALL come down in quick succession, at or near the same time; — and it can happen at ANY time.
cf.: Ubiquity, Why Catastrophes Happen, Mark Buchanan

What to do?

Don’t believe ME! Do your own homework; run the numbers for yourself. (If I can find the data, you surely can! I’ve given a few sources, but most are now readily available in the public domain.) Then (if you agree), recognize the inevitability of it all. Entropy reigns! And accept the fact that humans are as prone to Die-off as are other species; accept that we blew it when some of us thought that Cornucopian-growth could last forever, and we burned up all the crude, and polluted the air, the water, and the top soil; and accept that we have no claim to any more longevity than do other living things.

16) Consider this little observation also: that from this point on, NOTHING is going to get any better! That’s right, nothing in your material life surely, and most things in the rest of your life will never get better than they are right now! (…traffic will get worse; taxes will go higher, political corruption will get worse; wars will become only more horrendous and more frequent; individual liberties will be steadily eaten away; food will get more expensive, more scarce and more dangerous; the quality of medical care will steadily decline; your job will only get worse; your commute will get longer; your boss will get crabbier; toilet paper will get rougher; the Internet will get slower; … you get the picture)

BECAUSE of the decline, and ultimate depletion of finite fossil fuels, NOTHING that any of us alive today, touch today, that we consider to be a ‘problem’, will get better in the future, nor will the problems be lessened — that is, until AFTER the Peak Oil-caused world human population Die-off. Then none of those problems will be problems! And they won’t matter anyway. The insane exploitation of fossil fuels created and gave us the civilization and culture we have today; only the depletion of those fossil fuels will ‘solve’ those same civilization — and culture — caused problems. The worse it gets, the worse it WILL get!

17) One might consider thus, that the real meaning of the concept of “Peak Oil”, is simply that when oil peaked, it represented the ‘highest point’ of this energy-driven civilization and culture; the highest potential level of almost EVERYTHING! And consequently, AFTER oil has peaked, that same civilization can only go into irreversible decline. ALL that we have and all that we are essentially, was given to us by, or through cheap, readily available energy resources; take those away and you take away from us ALL that we have and most all that we are!
[cf. again: Helmholtz above]
THIS is the concept to get a handle on: — that human life is little different from other life — unless we exploit energy resources better than other life forms do (we don’t). When we consume to the ultimate depletion of a resource (as we have), then we destroy our own livelihood and civilization. No, humans are NOT “smarter than yeast”!

So, Peak Oil is not just about OIL — it’s about EVERYTHING with which humans interact.
This is the mother of all concepts and events relating to humanity on this earth. It is one of the few “mega-wholistic a prioi” concepts. We ARE carbonaceous life forms ourselves, and we are exploiters, consumers, depletors, and destroyers of carbon-based energy resources. When OIL goes — WE (most of us) will go with it! — and everything that we have, that we are, that we’ve created, that is uniquely ‘human’ goes too.

The realization of the fullness of this concept of the all-encompassing nature of Peak Oil is numbing — but necessary, for one to make peace with what is headed our way.

Example: There will be fewer Steinway grand pianos after Peak; there will be fewer Stradivarius violins after Peak; there will be fewer Rembrant’s after Peak ; — there will be NO 110 piece symphony orchestras after Peak; no 500,000 strong Woodstock’s after Peak; NOTHING that stratospheric oil profits allowed industrialists to use to fund the arts, the sciences, the humanities, literature, research, medicine and the like. That will all be gone very quickly. As oil profits disappear, so will the benefits of those profits. Oil energy, and oil profits provided a ‘scale’ to human existence that will soon disappear and which will be replaced by a new scale, orders of magnitude SMALLER (or lower) in size, scope, breadth, complexity and impact than the present.

Except for those few that may be secretly preserved somewhere, Steinway’s, Rembrant’s and Strad’s will be burned for their heat value(!), NOT saved for their beauty! [Recall the sacking of the Iraqi National Museum at the onset of the current war. The supposed strongest nation on earth could not (or would not) secure those priceless treasures; you think things will be any LESS horrendous in the future?!] Art and music will not go away, however; they will, like everything else, just be down-sized to their proper “carrying capacity” and ‘place’. [Carnegie Hall will soon become a somewhat functional, though unheated, homeless shelter, for a while, rather than remain a hall of (sophisticated) culture.]

Yes, there were Strad’s, Steinways, Rembrant’s, La Scala and ‘rock’ concerts PRIOR to ~1886. However, like the insidious disastrous compounding effects of the cross-cascading defaults of fractional reserve debt, when this oil-created civilization goes, it will take not only what was made available to us BY oil, but it will also take with it most everything that was created ‘BEFORE oil’. [This connection is subtle, I realize, but it is sure.] That is, the culture cannot just devolve back to a prior point in time and take with it the ‘good stuff’ that exists now (as so many hope to do!). It will devolve back to at least ~10,000 BC or so ultimately, and most everything that we know of, that was created between then and now will be gone TOO. It cannot be any other way! [Why? See the following]

Just as when you jump from the high board into a pool, you dive to a deeper level below the water’s surface than you do if you had dived from the low board; so it is that since this oil-driven Industrial Civilization became the high point of human existence (in many ways), it therefore has the farthest distance to fall. So all of humankind, and all our trinkets, or possessions, and ‘cargo’ will not fall to just some arbitrary ‘zero line’, but we will have to fall far below the zero line, and then will have to slowly climb back up to get to the zero line at some time far into the future.

I lived in Las Vegas from 1954 until 1972. There was a “culture of excellence” on the Strip at the time that easily surpassed the best of anything from Hollywood, Broadway, or Paris. Gambling profits were sufficient to fund ANYTHING! And they did! Food, drinks, beauty, art, music — you name it. Imagine this: You are a Musical Director for a major Strip Hotel, and you’ve been given the charge to create a special concert starring say, Barbara Streisand, or Sinatra, Andrea Bocelli, or…?

First, you will have almost unlimited funds at your disposal. Sure, there is a ‘budget’, but what a budget! Secondly, you will have the intangible Streisand and Las Vegas ‘culture of excellence’ reputations to uphold. So, you can hire the very best musicians in the world, bar none! Composers, arrangers, writers, copyists, conductors, instrumentalists, sound engineers, lighting engineers, — and stage techs all over the place. But only the very BEST!

You want to create a “lush string sound”? Hire those crotchety old farts that’ve been playing cello for 50 years and who know everything there is to know about the cello, AND who can sight-read anything you can put in front them producing world-class performance at a first reading! …the best ‘screech’ trumpeters in the world? You can have ANY that you want — take your pick! Of the best trombonists in the world, hire any FIVE! Fly them in from wherever, doesn’t matter. With unlimited money one can buy or create unlimited quality, and with unlimited quality one can produce events of unprecedented excellence. [Only if you’ve been there, and have been associated with that culture to any degree, can you appreciate what I’m trying to refer to here.]

Now, imagine taking away all that: the money, the reputation, the culture, the musicians, their instruments, the intangible concept of what it is to be, or to exhibit “the best”, and — take away the reason for the special concert itself.

That’s what I’m trying to describe here with the demise of Oil. This oil-created civilization was for a while, the “Top of the Mark”, for all intents and purposes. Now it is coming down, and with it will come down ALL that it was. Las Vegas will soon return to being the little oasis [“The Meadows”] in the blow-sand desert that it was in the 1850’s, — as will this current Industrial Civilization with it.

This seems to be the concept least understood by so many; the easiest way to say it is: “the bigger they are, the harder (the farther) they fall”.

18) So, what now?
What to save? What to store? What to procure? What to hoard? HOW to survive?
Understand the difference first, between ‘short term’ survival and ‘long term’ survival:
Short term survival: you won’t have nearly enough of ANYTHING to get yourself through the neck of the bottle!
Long term survival: NONE of what you have will be of any value WHATSOEVER after having gotten yourself through the bottle’s neck!

POINT: What you prep with may get you from THIS current level, to the next lower level of devolution, but the farther down the Olduvai Road you travel, the less ‘stuff’ that will be relevant, and thus, the less ‘stuff’ you will need. The main obstacle to your survival thus, is getting through the “transition period” [the neck of the bottle] between NOW and THEN, and your main priority is, getting yourself from HERE, to the on-ramp that leads to the Olduvai Road. Once on it, you’ll be discarding ‘stuff’ with each foot step taken.

So, do what YOU are comfortable doing; make choices that follow YOUR own definition of “prudence”; if you like, max out those credit cards; re-fi your house; buy all the ‘stuff’ you can possibly imagine having a need or use for. (After all, its only money, remember!?) Realize, however, that it is all expendable; and that NOTHING has any intrinsic value; that all the ‘stuff’ you may acquire now is but a means to a very immediate end; that being, your individual quest for survival from here, to the next level down the devolution ladder.

19) Timing the future:
Take your best shot; I’ve given you my thoughts and timelines; I may be too grave — or not grave enough! Generate your own! However, better to be 10 years early than 10 minutes late.
The Transition Period between NOW and The Immediate Future is what one can prep for. The aftermath of that will come naturally — if we live through it!
After all, it’s only YOUR life!

We are all guests here together — if we can survive what’s coming! Few of us will, surely, and for those who do, life will be vastly different from what it is now. For them, it will truly be “the end of the world — as THEY know it”.
«It is not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change.» — Charles Darwin
Why all this? Knowledge is power — to those who possess it. The cheapest commodity on earth is the produce of another man’s mind.

Best! Perry Arnett

© 2007 Perry Arnett"

20 September, 2010

Your Media Is Making You Stupid

Witness below proof of the shocking disparity between what is real and important and what THEY want you to believe is real and important. THEY treat us like children to keep us docile; a population is much easier controlled when they are on their couches with one hand in a bowl of greasy chips and the other clutching some cheap beer, distracted by the newest Dancing with the Stars. Bread and circuses, my friends.
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Desdemona Despair: The Great Pakistani Deluge never happened: "The Great Deluge in Pakistan passed almost unnoticed in the United States despite President Obama’s repeated assertions that the country is central to American security. Now, with new evacuations and flooding afflicting Sindh Province and the long-term crisis only beginning in Pakistan, it has washed almost completely off American television and out of popular consciousness.


Few Americans were shown -- by the media conglomerates of their choice -- the heartbreaking scenes of eight million Pakistanis displaced into tent cities, of the submerging of a string of mid-sized cities (each nearly the size of New Orleans), of vast areas of crops ruined, of infrastructure swept away, damaged, or devastated at an almost unimaginable level, of futures destroyed, and opportunistic Taliban bombings continuing. The boiling disgust of the Pakistani public with the incompetence, insouciance, and cupidity of their corrupt ruling class is little appreciated..."

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"... The cover story for Newsweek magazine’s September 2006 edition was 'Losing Afghanistan' in Europe, Latin America, and Asia. It was 'My Life in Pictures', a story about the photographer Annie Liebovitz in the U.S...."

"... The cover story for Newsweek magazine’s October 2006 edition was 'Global Warming’s First Victim' in Europe, Latin America, and Asia. It was 'Off Message', a story about Republican Congressman Mark Foley’s sexually suggestive emails and IMs to teenage boys..."

"... The cover story for Time magazine’s April 2007 edition was 'Talibanistan' in Europe, Latin America, and Asia. It was 'Why We Should Teach the Bible in Public Schools' in the U.S...."

[Source]

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A little tongue-in-cheek below, yet shockingly accurate:


TIME Announces New Version Of Magazine Aimed At Adults


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16 September, 2010

Leaking Pipeline Cuts Off Nearly a 3rd of U.S. Oil Imports From Canada

Enbridge digs up leaking Illinois pipeline | Reuters: "Enbridge Inc on Saturday started digging up the pipeline that halted nearly a third of Canada's crude oil exports to the United States when it sprung a leak two days ago, but the company does not have an estimate on how long repairs will take..."

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Near-Miss Asteroids a Call for Improved Earth Watch: NASA

Near-miss asteroids a call for improved Earth watch: NASA - Science - Canoe.ca: "While not big enough to ruffle your hair, an unexpected near-miss by two asteroids speeding past Earth earlier this week shows our planet spins in a precarious position, a top NASA official warns.

And Lindley Johnson, program executive of the Near-Earth Object program at NASA headquarters in Washington, tells QMI Agency the misses bolster the argument to build a better surveillance network so something much bigger doesn’t take us all by surprise.

On Wednesday, a pair of asteroids did a flyby of Earth — both within the orbit of the Moon and the closest coming about 248,000 km above our heads. But what’s more alarming is scientists didn’t stumble on their arrival until last Sunday..."

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11 September, 2010

The Trouble with Civilization

The Trouble with Civilization | The University of Virginia Magazine: "... The search for knowledge has drawn both Trella and Wattenmaker to Upper Mesopotamia, which spans modern Iraq and part of Syria and Turkey. Here, in the Fertile Crescent, humans first domesticated animals and cultivated crops like wheat and barley. Five and a half thousand years ago, city-states in the region left behind the earliest evidence of writing and elaborate burial rites for kings. Trella draws on 14 years of experience, which includes sites in Turkey and Syria, where he studies the Early Bronze Age, between 2500 and 2000 B.C. He uses bones, both animal and human, to trace changes in population density and food sources that reveal a compelling narrative of early civilization—and how we view progress...

... But the cities didn’t simply get bigger and better. The archeological record reveals that different eras showed vastly different populations in the cities as they went through boom-bust cycles. Cities grew for several hundred years, then dwindled as populations dispersed into the countryside—and later grew again.

What fueled the growth cycles? Trella points to intensified food production and increased specialization among citizens. When not everyone had to work to produce food, city residents could become warriors, priests, traders and kings. They erected stone buildings; they irrigated fields. They invented writing.

But where is the tipping point that caused cities to decline and populations to disperse?...

... some of the same factors that allowed cities to grow may have ultimately caused them to disintegrate. Trella’s studies in Upper Mesopotamia indicate that farming was intensified to provide more food to support growing populations. With limited transportation, cities depended on the fertility of nearby land. When populations were small, fields were left fallow biannually and used as grazing land for animals that fertilized the soil with their dung. Population growth changed this practice and potentially motivated the use of city wastes to fertilize fields. Analysis conducted on animal bones indicates that after several centuries of habitation, city dwellers no longer pastured their livestock in fallow fields, but instead moved them farther into the countryside, where their dung no longer benefited crops. All of these factors likely decreased agricultural sustainability..."


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Long Island Man Arrested For Defending Home With AK-47

Long Island Man Arrested For Defending Home With AK-47 - CBS New York- News, Sports, Weather, Traffic and the Best of NY: "He was arrested for protecting his property and family.

But it’s how the Long Island man did it that police say crossed the line

George Grier said he had to use his rifle on Sunday night to stop what he thought was going to be an invasion of his Uniondale home by a gang he thought might have been the vicious “MS-13.” He said the whole deal happened as he was about to drive his cousin home.

'I went around and went into the house, ran upstairs and told my wife to call the police. I get the gun and I go outside and I come into the doorway and now, by this time, they are in the driveway, back here near the house. I tell them, you know, ‘Can you please leave?’' Grier said.

Grier said the five men dared him to use the gun; and that their shouts brought another larger group of gang members in front of his house.

'He starts threatening my family, my life. ‘Oh you’re dead. I’m gonna kill your family and your babies. You’re dead.’ So when he says that, 20 others guys come rushing around the corner. And so I fired four warning shots into the grass,' Grier said.

Grier was later arrested..."


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10 September, 2010

Gauging the Threat of an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack

Gauging the Threat of an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack | STRATFOR: "Over the past decade there has been an ongoing debate over the threat posed by electromagnetic pulse (EMP) to modern civilization. This debate has been the most heated perhaps in the United States, where the commission appointed by Congress to assess the threat to the United States warned of the dangers posed by EMP in reports released in 2004 and 2008. The commission also called for a national commitment to address the EMP threat by hardening the national infrastructure.

There is little doubt that efforts by the United States to harden infrastructure against EMP — and its ability to manage critical infrastructure manually in the event of an EMP attack — have been eroded in recent decades as the Cold War ended and the threat of nuclear conflict with Russia lessened. This is also true of the U.S. military, which has spent little time contemplating such scenarios in the years since the fall of the Soviet Union. The cost of remedying the situation, especially retrofitting older systems rather than simply regulating that new systems be better hardened, is immense. And as with any issue involving massive amounts of money, the debate over guarding against EMP has become quite politicized in recent years..."

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Washington Faces Possible Armageddon Unlike Any Since Civil War

Washington Faces Possible Armageddon Unlike Any Since Civil War : MunKnee.com

The U.S. debt crisis represents a unique, unparalleled, and unimaginable convergence of circumstances yet, despite the utter gravity of our plight, nothing is being done to change our course. Washington must either muster the courage — and the support of the people — to accept the pain and make the sacrifices of a lifetime … or face the downfall of America. 

Lorimer Wilson, editor of www.FinancialArticleSummariesToday.com, provides below further reformatted and edited [..] excerpts from Martin Weiss’ (http://www.moneyandmarkets.com) original article* for the sake of clarity and brevity to ensure a fast and easy read. (Please note that this paragraph must be included in any article reposting to avoid copyright infringement.) Weiss goes on to say:

The United States government and its agencies have, by far;
1. the largest pile-up of interest-bearing debts ($15.6 trillion),
2. the largest accumulation of unsecured obligations (over $60 trillion),
3. the largest yearly deficit ($1.6 trillion) and
4. the greatest indebtedness to the rest of the world ($4.8 trillion)… of any country in the world.

In proportion to the size of its economy, one important country, Japan, does have more debt than the U.S. Unlike Washington’s debts, however, nearly all of Japan’s are financed by its own citizens — loyal, long-term savers who are far less likely to pull out in a storm.

Despite the utter gravity of our plight, nothing is being done to change our course. To whit …

Consequence #1: Higher Interest Rates
Due to the avalanche of government borrowing to finance the deficit, there is no power on Earth that can avert sharply higher interest rates.

Consequence #2: Higher Bond Yields
All long-term bonds — whether issued by other government agencies, corporations, states, or municipalities — will also collapse, driving their yields through the roof because, when Uncle Sam has to pay more to borrow, they inevitably have to pay more as well.

Consequence #3: Higher Mortgage Rates
Rates on mortgages and car loans will surge. Why? For the simple reason that they’re also tied at the hip of long-term Treasury rates. If you want to take out a 30-year fixed mortgage (now close to 5 percent) on a median-priced home ($178,300), and you can afford a 10 percent down payment just …

a) a 1 percent rise in rates will drive your monthly payment from $861 to $962 [that's $1212 a year!]
b) a 2 percent increase will drive it to $1,068 [that's $2,484 a year!!) ...
c) and the kinds of rate increases possible in a bond-market collapse could drive it to levels only Midas could afford. Worse, if you go for variable-rate mortgages, balloon mortgages, or other now hard-to-get alternatives, the impact of surging interest rates will be even more traumatic.

Consequence #4: Stagnant Recovery
The fledgling recovery in housing and auto sales — the pride and joy of Washington's bailout brigades — will be toast.

Consequence #5: Lower Long-term Bond Yields
Institutions and individual investors holding piles of lower yielding long-term bonds will get killed which includes:

a) the U.S. households stuck with $801 billion in Treasuries, $979.5 billion in municipal bonds, plus a whopping $2.4 trillion in corporate bonds
b) banks and credit unions holding $199 billion in Treasuries, $228 billion in munis, $1.066 trillion in corporate bonds and, worst of all, $1.408 trillion in government agency (and GSE) bonds
c) insurance companies buried in Treasuries ($196 billion), munis ($444 billion), agency bonds ($469 billion) and a TON of corporate bonds ($2.180 trillion) and
d) private pension funds, state and local governments, and even their employees' retirement funds [which are] all loaded with similarly vulnerable bonds.

Not all of the [the above] holdings are of the long-term variety, but most are, and investors and institutions who own them, on behalf of millions of retirees, will suffer shocking declines in the market value of their portfolios. [In addition,] they could suffer a chain reaction of defaults, gutting their income stream and, worst of all, they now have some reason to fear the de facto default of the biggest debtor of all — the government of the United States of America. I doubt very much we will see THAT happen but two events are very possible, even likely, [namely]:

1. America will lose its triple-A rating
If the Wall Street rating agencies don’t have the moral fiber to announce downgrades, the marketplace will do it for them.

2. Our leaders will face an Armageddon unlike any since the Civil War.
Like California and Greece … like every household and any company … our government MUST cut back and accept the rest of the consequences:

#6: Declining home values
#7: Falling stock prices
#8: The end of the recovery
#9: And many, many more [dire consequences]!

Washington… will no doubt seek every [possible] alternative and try every other trick [to avoid either of the above scenarios] but, alas, no printing press can run faster than our foreign creditors can sell their U.S. bonds. No one will bail out America.

Ultimately, there is NO choice. Washington must either muster the courage — and the support of the people — to accept the pain and make the sacrifices of a lifetime … or face the downfall of America. Yes, we MUST bite the bullet!

*http://www.moneyandmarkets.com/armageddon-10-37926 (Money and Markets is a free daily investment newsletter from Martin D. Weiss and Weiss Research analysts offering the latest investing news and financial insights for the stock market, including tips and advice on investing in gold, energy and oil. To view archives or subscribe, visit http://www.moneyandmarkets.com.)


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09 September, 2010

Norway's Ark

Personally, I don't buy into the 2012 stuff, but anything that gets people prepping is a plus in my book.


YouTube - Norway's ark-Doomsday CNN- 2012 Planet X ?

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Homeowner Shoots and Kills Two Suspected Gang Members

Two Suspected Gang Members Shot Dead, Eight Arrested in Beer Keg Ripoff; Homeowner Who Shot Party Crashers Not Facing Charges - Phoenix News - Valley Fever: "A Chandler homeowner opened fire on suspected gang members who had infiltrated his party early Sunday and attacked him while trying to steal a keg of beer.

Two of the suspects were killed at the scene in a neighborhood near Ray Road and Arizona Avenue. Cops have arrested eight other gang members or associates of gangs linked to the crime and seek charges of operating as a street gang, armed robbery and first-degree murder..."


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08 September, 2010

U.S. Departments of Labor and Treasury Schedule Hearing on Confiscation of Private Retirement Accounts

US Departments of Labor and Treasury Schedule Hearing on Confiscation of Private Retirement Accounts | Coin Update News: "On August 26, the US Department of Labor issued a news release (http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/newsroom/2010/ebsa082610.html). It lists the agenda for the joint hearings being held with the Department of Treasury September 14-15, 2010 on what is euphemistically called “lifetime income options for retirement plans.” The hearings are being conducted by the Labor Department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration.

I don’t like speaking in tabloid-style terms, but the unstated agenda of these hearings, as I understand it, is to push for the US government to eventually nationalize (confiscate) all assets in private Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and 401K plans!..."

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