The Next Financial Crisis Is Not Far Away

Recently, a Spanish group called “Ecologists in Action” asked me to give them a presentation on what kind of financial crisis we should expect. They wanted to know when it would be and how it would take place.

The answer I had for the group is that we should expect financial collapse quite soon–perhaps as soon as the next few months. Our problem is energy related, but not in the way that most Peak Oil groups describe the problem. It is much more related to the election of President Trump and to the Brexit vote.

I have talked about this subject in various forms before, but not since 2016 energy production and consumption data became available. Most of the slides in this presentation use new BP data, through 2016. A copy of the presentation can be found at this link: The Next Financial Crisis.1

Slide 1

Most people don’t understand how interconnected the world economy is. All they understand is the simple connections that economists make in their models.

Slide 2

Energy is essential to the economy, because energy is what makes objects move, and what provides heat for cooking food and for industrial processes. Energy comes in many forms, including sunlight, human energy, animal energy, and fossil fuels. In today’s world, energy in the form of electricity or petroleum makes possible the many things we think of as technology.

In Slide 2, I illustrate the economy as hollow because we keep adding new layers of the economy on top of the old layers. As new layers (including new products, laws, and consumers) are added, old ones are removed. This is why we can’t necessarily use a prior energy approach. For example, if cars can no longer be used, it would be difficult to transition back to horses. This happens partly because there are few horses today. Also, we do not have the facilities in cities to “park” the horses and to handle the manure, if everyone were to commute using horses. We would have a stinky mess!

Slide 3

In the past, many local civilizations have grown for a while, and then collapsed. In general, after a group finds a way to produce more food (for example, cuts down trees so that citizens have more area to farm) or finds another way to otherwise increase productivity (such as adding irrigation), growth at first continues for a number of generations–until the population reaches the new carrying capacity of the land. Often resources start to degrade as well–for example, soil erosion may become a problem.

At this point, growth flattens out, and wage disparity and growing debt become greater problems. Eventually, unless the group can find a way of increasing the amount of food and other needed goods produced each year (such as finding a way to get food and other materials from territories in other parts of the world, or conquering another local civilization and taking their land), the civilization is headed for collapse. We recently have tried globalization, with exports from China, India, and other Asian nations fueling world economic growth.

At some point, the efforts to keep growing the economy to match rising population become unsuccessful, and collapse sets in. One of the reasons for collapse is that the government cannot collect enough taxes. This happens because with growing wage disparity, many of the workers cannot afford to pay much in taxes. Another problem is greater susceptibility to epidemics, because after-tax income of many workers is not sufficient to afford an adequate diet.

Slide 4

A recent partial collapse of a local civilization was the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. When this happened, the government of the Soviet Union disappeared, but the governments of the individual states within the Soviet Union remained. The reason I call this a partial collapse is because the rest of the world was still functioning, so nearly all of the population remained, and the cutback in fuel consumption was just partial. Eventually, the individual member countries were able to function on their own.

Notice that after the Soviet Union collapsed, the consumption of coal, oil and gas collapsed at the same time, over a period of years. Oil and coal use have not come back to anywhere near their earlier level. While the Soviet Union had been a major manufacturer and a leader in space technology, it lost those roles and never regained them. Many types of relatively high-paying jobs have been lost, leading to lower energy consumption.

Slide 5

As nearly as I can tell, one of the major contributing factors to the collapse of the Soviet Union was low oil prices. The Soviet Union was an oil exporter. As oil prices fell, the government could not collect sufficient taxes. This was a major contributing factor to collapse. The collapse from low oil prices did not happen immediately–it took several years after the drop in oil prices. There was a 10-year gap between the highest oil price (1981) and collapse (1991), and a 5-year gap after oil prices dropped to the low 1986 price level.

Slide 6

Venezuela is often in the news because of its inability to afford to import enough food for its population. Slide 3 shows that on an inflation-adjusted basis, world oil prices hit a high point first in 2008, and again in 2011. Since 2011, oil prices slid slowly for a while, then began to slide more quickly in 2014. It is now nine years since the 2008 peak. It is six years since the 2011 peak, and about three years since the big drop in prices began.

One of the reasons for Venezuela’s problems is that with low oil prices, the country has been unable to collect sufficient tax revenue. Also, the value of the currency has dropped, making it difficult for Venezuela to afford food and other products on international markets.

Note that in both Slides 4 and 6, I am showing the amount of energy consumed in the countries shown. The amount consumed represents the amount of energy products that individual citizens, plus businesses, plus the government, can afford. This is why, in both Slides 4 and 6, the quantity of all types of energy products tends to decline at the same time. Affordability affects many types of energy products at once.

Slide 7

Oil importing countries can have troubles when oil prices rise, similar to the problems that oil exporting countries have when oil prices fall. Greece’s energy consumption peaked in 2007. One of Greece’s major products is tourism, and the cost of tourism depends on the price of oil. When the price of oil was high, it adversely affected tourism. Exported goods also became expensive in the world market. Once oil prices dropped (as they have done, especially since 2014), tourism tended to rebound and the financial situation became less dire. But total energy consumption has still tended to decline (top “stacked” chart on Slide 7), indicating that the country is not yet doing well.

Slide 8

Spain follows a pattern similar to Greece’s. By the mid-2000s, high oil prices made Spain less competitive in the world market, leading to falling job opportunities and less energy consumption. Since 2014, very low oil prices have allowed tourism to rebound. Oil consumption has also rebounded a bit. But Spain is still far below its peak in energy consumption in 2007 (top chart on Slide 8), indicating that job opportunities and spending by its citizens are still low.

Slide 9

We hear much about rising manufacturing in the Far East. This has been made possible by the availability of both inexpensive coal supplies and inexpensive labor. India is an example of a country where manufacturing has risen in recent years. Slide 9 shows how rapidly energy consumption–especially coal–has risen in India.

Slide 10

China’s energy consumption grew very rapidly after it joined the World Trade Organization in 2001. In 2013, however, China’s coal consumption hit a peak and began to decline. One major contributor was the fact that the cheap-to-consume coal that was available nearby had already been extracted. The severe problems that China has had with pollution from coal may also have played a role.

It might be noted that the charts I am showing (from Mazamascience) do not include renewable energy (including wind and solar, plus burned garbage and other “renewables”) used to produce electricity. (The charts do include ethanol and other biofuels within the “oil” category, however.) The omission of wind and solar does not appear to make a material difference, however. Figure 1 shows a chart I made for China, comparing three totals:

(1) Opt. total (Optimistic total) – Totals on the basis BP computes wind and solar. Intermittent wind and solar electricity is assumed to be equivalent to high quality electricity, available 24/7/365, produced by fossil fuel electricity-generating stations.

(2) Likely totals – Wind and solar are assumed to replace only the fuel that creates high quality electricity. The amount of backup generating capacity required is virtually unchanged. More long distance transmission is needed; other enhancements are also needed to bring the electricity up to grid-quality. The credits given for wind and solar are only 38% as much as those given in the BP methodology.

(3) From chart – Mazamascience totals, omitting renewable sources of electricity, other than hydroelectric.

Figure 1. China energy consumption based on BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2017.

It is clear from Figure 1 that adding electricity from renewables (primarily wind and solar) does not make much difference for China, no matter how wind and solar are counted. If they are counted in a realistic manner, they truly add little to China’s energy use. This is also true for the world in total.

Slide 11

If we look at the major parts of world energy consumption, we see that oil (including biofuels) is the largest. Recently, it seems to be growing slightly more quickly than other energy consumption, perhaps because of the low oil price. World coal consumption has been declining since 2014. If coal is historically the least expensive fuel, this is likely a problem. I have not shown a chart with total world energy consumption. It is still growing, but it is growing less rapidly than world population.

Slide 12 – Note: Energy growth includes all types of energy. This includes wind and solar, using wind and solar counted using the optimistic BP approach.

Economists have given the false idea that amount of energy consumption is unimportant. It is true that individual countries can experience lower consumption of energy products, if they begin outsourcing major manufacturing to other countries as they did after the Kyoto Protocol was signed in 1997. But it doesn’t change the world’s need for growing energy consumption, if the world economy is to grow. The growth in world energy consumption (blue line) tends to be a little lower than the growth in GDP (red line), because of efficiency gains over time.

If we look closely at Slide 12, we can see that drops in energy consumption tend to precede drops in world GDP; rises in energy consumption tend to precede rises in world GDP. This order of events strongly suggests that rising energy consumption is a major cause of world GDP growth.

We don’t have very good evaluations of  GDP amounts for 2015 and 2016. For example, recent world GDP estimates seem to accept without question the very high estimates of economic growth given by China, even though their growth in energy consumption is very much lower in 2014 through 2017. Thus, world economic growth may already be lower than reported amounts.

Slide 13

Most people are not aware of the extreme “power” given by energy products. For example, it is possible for a human to deliver a package, by walking and carrying the package in his hands. Another approach would be to deliver the package using a truck, operated by some form of petroleum. One estimate is that a single gallon of gasoline is equivalent to 500 hours of human labor.

“Energy consumption per capita” is calculated as world energy consumption divided by world population. If this amount is growing, an economy is in some sense becoming more capable of producing goods and services, and thus is becoming wealthier. Workers are likely becoming more productive, because the additional energy per capita allows the use of more and larger machines (including computers) to leverage human labor. The additional productivity allows wages to rise.

With higher incomes, workers can afford to buy an increasing amount of goods and services. Businesses can expand to serve the growing population, and the increasingly wealthy customers. Taxes can rise, so it is possible for governments to provide the services that citizens desire, such as healthcare and pensions. When energy consumption per capita turns negative–even slightly so–these abilities start to disappear. This is the problem we are starting to encounter.

Slide 14 – Note: Energy percentage increases include all energy sources shown by BP. Wind and solar are included using BP’s optimistic approach for counting intermittent renewables, so growth rates for recent years are slightly overstated.

We can look back over the years and see when energy consumption rose and fell. The earliest period shown, 1968 to 1972, had the highest annual growth in energy consumption–over 3% per year–back when oil prices were under $20 per barrel, and thus were quite affordable. (See Slide 5 for a history of inflation-adjusted price levels.) Once prices spiked in the 1973-1974 period, much of the world entered recession, and energy consumption per capita barely rose.

A second drop in consumption (and recession) occurred in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when easy-to-adopt changes were made to cut oil usage and increase efficiency. These included

(a) Closing many electricity-generating plants using oil, and replacing them with other generation.

(b) Replacing many home heating systems operating with oil with systems using other fuels, often more efficiently.

(c) Changing many industrial processes to be powered by electricity instead of burning oil.

(d) Making cars smaller and more fuel-efficient.

Another big drop in world per capita energy consumption occurred with the partial collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. This was a somewhat local drop in energy consumption, allowing the rest of the world to continue to grow in its use of energy.

The Asian Financial Crisis in 1997 was, in some sense, another localized crisis that allowed energy consumption to continue to grow in the rest of the world.

Most people remember the Great Recession in the 2007-2009 period, when world per capita growth in energy consumption briefly became negative. Recent data suggests that we are almost in the same adverse situation now, in terms of growth in world per capita energy consumption, as we were then.

Slide 15

What happens when growth in world per capita energy consumption slows and starts to fall? I have listed some of the problems in Slide 15. We start seeing problems with low wages, particularly for people with low-skilled jobs, and the type of political problems we have been experiencing recently.

Part of the problem is that countries with a high-priced mix of energy products start to find their goods and services uncompetitive in the world marketplace. Thus, demand for goods and services from these countries starts to fall. Greece and Spain are examples of countries using a lot of oil in their energy mix. As a result, they became less competitive in the world market when oil prices rose. China and India were favored because they had a less-expensive energy mix, favoring coal.

Slide 16

Slide 16 shows the kinds of comments we have been hearing in recent years, as prices have recently bounced up and down. It is becoming increasingly clear that no price of oil is now satisfactory for all participants in the economy. Prices are either too high for consumers, or too low for the producers. In fact, prices can be unsatisfactory for both consumers and producers at the same time.

On Slide 16, oil prices show considerable volatility. This happens because it is difficult to keep supply and demand exactly balanced; there are many factors determining needed price level, including both the amount consumers can afford and the costs of producers. The bouncing of prices up and down on Slide 16 is to a significant extent in response to interest rate changes, and resulting changes in currency relativities and debt growth.

We are now reaching a point where no interest rate works for all members of the economy. If interest rates are low, pension plans cannot meet their obligations. If interest rates are high, monthly payments for homes and cars become unaffordable for customers. Also, high interest rates tend to raise needed tax levels for governments.

Slide 17

All of these problems are fairly evident already.

Slide 18

The low level of energy consumption growth is of considerable concern. It is this low growth in energy consumption that we would expect to lead to low wage growth worldwide, especially for the non-elite workers.  Our economy needs more rapid growth in energy consumption to provide enough tax revenue for all of our governments and intergovernmental organizations, and to keep the world economy growing quickly enough to prevent large debt defaults.

Slide 19

Economists have confused matters for a long time by their belief that energy prices can and will rise arbitrarily high in inflation-adjusted terms–for example $300 per barrel for oil. If such high prices were really possible, we could extract all of the oil that we have the technical capacity to extract. High-cost renewables would become economically feasible as well.

In fact, affordability is the key issue. When the world economy is stimulated by more debt, only a small part of this additional debt makes its way back to the wages of non-elite workers. With greater global competition in wages, the wages of these workers tend to stay low. The limited demand of these workers tends to keep commodity prices, especially oil prices, from rising very high, for very long.

It is affordability that limits our ability to grow endlessly. While it is possible to argue that more debt might help raise the wages of non-elite workers in a particular country, if one country adds more debt, other currencies around the world can be expected to rebalance. As a result, there would be no real benefit, unless all countries together could add more debt. Even this would be of questionable value, because the whole effort relates to getting oil and other commodity prices to rise to an adequate level for producers; we have already seen that there is no price level that is satisfactory for both producers and consumers.

Slide 20

These symptoms seem to be already beginning to happen.


[1] This presentation is a little different from the original. The presentation I am showing here is entirely in English. The original presentation included some charts in Spanish from Energy Export Data Browser by Mazama Science. With this database, a person can quickly prepare energy charts for any country in a choice of seven languages. I encourage readers to “look up” their own country, in their preferred language.

In this write-up, I include more discussion than in my original talk. I also added Slides 13 and 14, plus Figure 1.

About Gail Tverberg

My name is Gail Tverberg. I am an actuary interested in finite world issues - oil depletion, natural gas depletion, water shortages, and climate change. Oil limits look very different from what most expect, with high prices leading to recession, and low prices leading to financial problems for oil producers and for oil exporting countries. We are really dealing with a physics problem that affects many parts of the economy at once, including wages and the financial system. I try to look at the overall problem.
This entry was posted in Financial Implications and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3,812 Responses to The Next Financial Crisis Is Not Far Away

  1. Davidinatrillionyears says:

    hackers steal digital currency…
    it would be funnier if some of the hackers weren’t going to give it back.

    so how do you steal something that is actually nothing?

  2. sindreweb says:

    can someone go here and teach them:

    • Davidinatrillionyears says:

      the conclusion “Physical resources are effectively infinite, in that physical limits to growth are unlikely to be a significant problem in the reasonably foreseeable future. The problem is social decay.”

      so he obviously doesn’t understand data and that the key resource is oil.
      looking at the “foreseeable future”, the latest data shows that there will be adequate oil supplies through the 2020’s with perhaps a slight decline.
      But then there will be a severe decline in the 2030’s.

      And correlation is not causation, but surely it will follow that economic contraction caused by oil shortages in the 2030’s will certainly then cause “social decay”.

    • Lastcall says:

      The one thing we learn from history is that we don’t learn from history…..or some such thing! And this guy seems to epitomise this.

      ‘Something really drastic must have happened to the ancient Maya at the end of the Classic Period in the 9th Century. Within a short period of time, this advanced civilization in Central America went from flourishing to collapsing – the population dwindling rapidly and monumental stone structures, like the ones built at Yucatán, were no longer being constructed. The reason for this demise remains the subject of debate even today.

      Now, researchers at the Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien) may have found the explanation: the irrigation technology that served the Mayans well during periods of drought may have actually made their society more vulnerable to major catastrophes, according to a new study published in Water Resources Research, a journal of the American Geophysical Union’.

    • Bergen Johnson says:

      Maybe ‘Jim’ should learn about EROEI. It’s been declining for a long time.

    • Artleads says:


      “Peter SchellLeaderTodd Crawford
      The infrastructure, and the plants themselves, still place a load on the roof that a conventional roof is not designed to support. As this is Canada the fact it is designed for heavy snow loads likely gives it a safety factor, but that still means it’s going to carry a heavier load in the winter than an unencumbered roof. For one thing you’re likely to get heavy drifting due to the planters acting as wind breaks.

      For another thing just walking on a tar roof frequently, especially on very warm days, is enough to break down it’s integrity over time and cause leaks.

      Understand me. I’m all for this idea. Rooftop gardens on every building in the city would do wonderful things for the environment and air quality. I just question the practicality of doing it on a roof that was not designed to hold such a load.

      I’d certainly want to consult with an engineer before trying it myself.”

      I think some large stores are subdivided inside, with resulting weight-bearing walls under the roof. I’ve always thought it would work (where feasible) to build a boardwalk on the roof with the contact points resting immediately over the weight bearing walls. Then all the gardening paraphernalia would rest on the boardwalk. As to snow accumulation, i’m not sure if a mesh over the plants would help. Heating the roof might not work next to boardwalk, and would add energy costs.

    • Davidinatrillionyears says:

      okay, so it’s on the roof… no big deal…
      I’m looking at the photo and across the street I see a big open field!
      Just being wasted growing grass!

      it’s an all too familiar question: what’s wrong with this picture?

      • Artleads says:

        The store is growing food on the roof to serve its own business needs. It already owns the building, but it doesn’t own the land across the street. What drives the roof growing development is businesses, not some requirement to grow food wherever it’s possible to grow it.

    • psile says:

      So after the financial system collapses and their customers have no money, just for starters (I won’t even go into the whole break down in logistics/supply/control), how great of a business model will it remain?

      This “model” only works whilst BAU still does.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Some have suggested roof top gardening post BAU ….

        I am not quite sure why anyone would do that …. you would have to haul the soil up to the roof — you’d have to haul your compost up there…. and you’d have to haul water up to the roof…

        That would expend more calories than would be produced no doubt…

        Maybe these same people think they will use the elevator… and that water will come out of the tap?

        Or maybe they have just not thought this through….

        • People tend to hauling compost (and other stuff) in many sort of impossible terrains.
          That’s the nature of the beast, but according to your own words you rather prefer Netflix, for “quality” entertainment and industrially produced lemonade. And of course can’t miss the BAU pleasures of visiting restaurants, which are usually filthy places as many studies clearly demonstrated even about their top level: various resistant microbes in the kitchen/fridge, personal purposely not washing hands after toilet business (as “payback” to patrons and owner), reusing of fat oils etc. Simply, fool’s paradise… as usual..

  3. Cliffhanger says:

    Musk America’s great comedian

    • Davidinatrillionyears says:

      of course, the real joke is on whoever invests in this Hyperloop madness.

      if there is government investment, then the joke is on the taxpayers.

    • Bergen Johnson says:

      It will only take a few weeks more of underground hyperloop tunneling and a person will be able to go from SF to Hong Kong in 35 minutes – Rome to Moscow in 20 minutes – Manila to Madrid in 70 minutes. Musk is springing the news on us that they have secretly been tunneling to connect every city on the planet. It’s gonna be a revolution in transportation and the knock on effect of such quick and easy transport will ignite the world economy into double digit growth for decades to come.

      All right, now I need a nap.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Holy shit — Elon is stealing my idea!!!!

        I am sure there are FWers who recall my posts from a couple of years back suggesting that the CBs hire millions of workers and have them dig tunnels by hand connecting major cities — and paying them 50 bucks per hour.

        Son of a bitch — I knew I should have patented that perpetual economic motion concept.

        Now I have nothing … no recognition … no commission … no profit…. no equity … no private jet…. sweet f789 all….

        Where’s the bloody Abilify …. and the vodka….

    • ITEOTWAWKI says:

      What a depressing life…

      • Joebanana says:

        Still, that mommy in the green shorts looks pretty fine. Hope you avoided a hangover today;-)

        • ITEOTWAWKI says:

          She’s nice Jb, it’s the life these women (and men) aspire too that I find depressing…I was never a fan of the “Keeping up with the Joneses” lifestyle even before finding out about our insoluble predicament…always this more, more, more, bigger, bigger, bigger (although happy these people exist as they contribute to BAU)…it’s never enough!

          As for my night, I suffered all day today, but it was well worth it! 🙂

        • xabier says:

          I think she needs to follow the exercise routine taught me by Lt Col Sands, British Army (Retir’d): with me as Personal Instructor. 🙂

    • Well, not a problem, sooner or later, that bag and phone is sold to some kid on Asian ebay, the car is replaced by $8k nissan-renault econobox (~1000kg @ few dozen horses), which have to last at least 15yrs. The house is either sold, disassembled for material, or depending on location subdivided not for 5beds but 5 entire family units.. And that was almost the most positive scenario related to future upper middle class conditions only..

  4. sindreweb says:

    can someone go here and teach the idiots::

  5. Jan Steinman says:

    As Tainter asserts, excess complexity is killing us:

    The parliament of Australia’s New South Wales, entertaining a recent citizen petition to cut societal “waste,” admitted that the petition’s required 107,000 signatures (already on a USB stick) would, by law, have to be submitted in hard copy (4,000 pages), even though the pages would immediately be electronically scanned into a format for data storage.

    — from Chuck Shepherd’s News of the Weird.

    Humanity will go out with a whimper, not with a bang. In triplicate. With the approval of thirteen layers of bureaucrats.

    • Artleads says:

      — from Chuck Shepherd’s News of the Weird.

      I love lists, and think we need a great deal more of them.

  6. Cliffhanger says:

    Globalism is dying also as it is destroying the antique/obsolete financial system it is built on. When the SHTF, it too will die. Debt is all that is keeping it alive. As the available energy per capita continues to shrink, so shrinks the world economy and the ability to have globalism. The end of the party, so to speak.

    • xabier says:

      Given the propensity of complexity to deliver the most just before it all collapses, we could say ‘The End is always a Party.’

  7. Third World person says:

    where i think about ic this quote gets in into my head
    Their morals, their code, it’s a bad joke. Dropped at the first sign of trouble. They’re only as good as the world allows them to be. You’ll see when the chips are down these civilized people? They’ll eat each other.

    • Cliffhanger says:

      Great quote TWP.

    • Dennis L. says:

      Disagree strongly. Because something happens does not mean it is necessary nor is it sufficient.
      For a community to exist it appears a degree of trust is necessary, Western Civilization for all its faults had that to a degree.
      Those that trust, have requisite skills will survive and prosper, those without trust will most likely end up as have previous civilizations.
      Trust is probably not sufficient, but it appears to be necessary. Also as in so many cases, perfection is the enemy of good which maybe another way of saying something is “sophomoric.”
      Batman is a poor substitute for the archetypes that have arisen and been put to practice over centuries of civilization; in my mind it is a point estimate.

      Dennis L.

      • JMS says:

        To survive a community needs internal cohesion, no doubt. Of course inside the tribe solidarity and mutual aide are crucial.
        The problem is when other internally cohesive communities covet the assets of your community, and launch vicious relentless attacks to kill and loot. It’s called war, have you ever heard of it? History books say it is one of the sports most favoured by men, especially in times of scarcity.

        • Jan Steinman says:

          There were no other extension cords in use at the time, and I take issue with “excessive use of extension cords” in the report.

          Actually, all-out warfare is an artifact of civilization, and anthropologist and archaeologists have little evidence that war has often been practiced among tribe-sized groups of people.

          • JMS says:

            A strict respect for the territoriality allowed to contain conflict between tribes, but according to Jared Diamond the natives of New Guinea lived in a constant state of conflict. If you crossed the border of your territory, even without warlike intentions, the members of the other tribe had almost a moral duty to kill you.
            But I agree that major wars were only possible beteween civilzations, because they can afford longer supply lines. The battles between tribes could hardly be fought at more than a walking day distance from home, and by the same reason they couldn’t last more than a couple of hours. But don’t kid yourself, HG’s societies were quite violent, not internally, but to strangers.

            • Jan Steinman says:

              don’t kid yourself, HG’s societies were quite violent, not internally, but to strangers.

              Yea, that’s why I stress that one of the best way of improving your odds is to get tight with some community.

              Doomsters here like to claim your neighbour is going to come take all your food. But if you’re already supplying your neighbour with food, they’re not going to interrupt A Good Thing.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Your neighbour… one neighbour? How many neighbours do you have? Can you feed all of them?

              So you pass them a box of extra vegetables…. we do that in our neighbourhood too…. eggs get passed around too… wonderful!

              But when the box is not enough — guess what — they won’t be so wonderful then….

              We have lots of neighbours — many have lifestyle blocks — none would be self-sufficient — none of them save seeds — they all order from King Seeds — some have mentioned they tried to save seeds using King Seed vegetables — but the won’t grow — so they can’t be bothered to find seeds that will grow plants that can provide viable seeds — because it is cheap and easy just to order seeds from King…

              These are multi generation farming families… they know how to farm ….. come the end of BAU — they won’t be passing around food — because they won’t be growing much in the way of food ….

              Did I mention most of them irrigate with electric pumps? It gets mighty dry in some months….

              We also have about 500 neighbours in the small town that I can see from my porch — they have no space to grow anything… well maybe a lemon tree … they know where the lifestyle blocks are — they could walk to our place in about 45 minutes…

              Then there are 6 or 7 thousand more people in the next town — they also know where the lifestyle blocks are …. they could walk to us in less than 2 hours…. they could drive in ten minutes…

              How about you Jan – how many people within a two hour walk/10 minute drive of you?

              Can you feed all of them?

              When I realized that no matter if I planted our entire 5 hectares that there was no way I could feed the neighbours — and there was no way I could keep them from raiding my garden when the shops closed.

              It was then I recognized the futility of what I was doing — and I chose not to waste my time on such a ridiculous project…

              It’s why I will be skiing tomorrow morning.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Having realized the futility of my endeavour …. to have continued … believing that I could overcome the problem of thousands of hungry neighbours …. would be make me:

              a) Naive
              b) St.upid
              c) Ins.ane
              d) All of the above

              If you said d) all of the above you have won a 5 pound sack filled with 7 pounds of!


            • Fast Eddy says:

              Have you considered building a castle — and sending your farming misfits to a military training course?

              It might come in handy when the bad guys show up wanting to take your food, rape your women (what’s the 18 yr old look like?) and enslave you….

              I’d also recommend you order one of these asap: Splurge and go for the one with the sparkling tiara…. it will impress your peasants….


            • Fast Eddy says:

              ‘little evidence that war has often been practiced among tribe-sized groups of people’


              Intertribal warfare was intense throughout the Great Plains during the 1700s and 1800s, and archeological data indicate that warfare was present prior to this time.

              Human skeletons from as early as the Woodland Period (250 B.C. to A.D. 900) show occasional marks of violence, but conflict intensified during and after the thirteenth century, by which time farmers were well established in the Plains.

              After 1250, villages were often destroyed by fire, and human skeletons regularly show marks of violence, scalping, and other mutilations.

              Warfare was most intense along the Missouri River in the present-day Dakotas, where ancestors of the Mandans, Hidatsas, and Arikaras were at war with each other, and towns inhabited by as many as 1,000 people were often fortified with ditch and palisade defenses. Excavations at the Crow Creek site, an ancestral Arikara town dated to 1325, revealed the bodies of 486 people–men, women, and children, essentially the town’s entire population–in a mass grave.

              These individuals had been scalped and dismembered, and their bones showed clear evidence of severe malnutrition, suggesting that violence resulted from competition for food, probably due to local overpopulation and climatic deterioration. Violence among farmers continued from the 1500s through the late 1800s.

              Archeological data on war among the nomadic Plains hunters are few, but some nomads were attacking farmers on the edges of the Plains by at least the 1500s. By the eighteenth century, war was common among the nomads, apparently largely because of conflicts over hunting territories.


              That kills two birds with one stone….

              1. These tribes were constantly at war…

              2. One of the main reasons for war was —– drum roll please ——– FARMING.

              Yes farming — that totally unnatural unsustainable industry that wiped wiped out wildlife pissing off the hunter gatherers…..

              Farming was the original Mega Mall …. with parking lot….. huge tracts of land would have been slashed and burned by the farmers to make way for …. permaculture….

              I can imagine the hunter gatherers hated the farmers just as much as contemporary farmers hate Walmart…..

              And people think farming is ‘natural’

              Good grief…. it’s about as natural as Central Park….

            • Yes, indeed to land on 5ha only is an exercise in futility. Again, bed of your own making, so don’t complain to us, apart from some leveraged techno agrarian setups or very excellent (rare) ability to utilize intensive permies stuff, that’s not (and never been) enough to feed a family or to trade eventual surplus produce.. You need ~25-50ha at the minimum for still somewhat constrained existence, realistically expecting occasional year’s loss of production in some respect, etc.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              5 – 50 – 500… the more you have …. the bigger the target you become.

            • xabier says:

              In Dark Age England, you had to carry a horn, and blow it regularly when travelling to prove you had no ill-intentions – like sneaking up and raping and pillaging.

              If you did not, anyone had the right to kill you on the spot. Not detain, but kill!

              I’m not sure when that law was repealed, but is is very suggested of the level of violence and mistrust in that society.

              This is why people were grateful for strong kings and queens who chased bandits and hanged ’em high.

            • “5 – 50 – 500… the more you have …. the bigger the target you become.”

              Thanks for providing another confirmation of your peculiar ways..
              So, opted for ~5ha to supposedly blend in, but doing hastily superfluous research as usual, you are now dismayed by the small acreage, which is useless, and relatively close urban settings on top of it.. What a conundrum, why don’t you sell it or move permanently into megalopolis instead?

          • Fast Eddy says:

            Here’s an idea — try googling intertribal warfare _______ fill in the blank with: north america — south america — africa — central asia — asia ….

            You are seriously delusional if you believe that tribes were not at each others throats on a continual basis throughout history…

            Perhaps you have been listening to too much of this and taking way too much LSD?

            • xabier says:

              When thinking about agricultural communities, it shouldn’t be forgotten that deliberate wasting of the fields was a constant strategy.

              Of course, it often back-fired,as the army doing the burning and slaughtering often left itself without much to eat and then had to withdraw – not too bright, our species……..

        • Fast Eddy says:

          There a lot of people who think that slavery was primarily a US phenomenon … some sort of aberration…

          In fact it was a wide spread practice…. when wars were fought it was the NORM for the victor to bring in the slave traders who would bring men women and children to market …

          This was standard operating procedure.

          Not only are the hobby farms going to be easy targets for bad guys looking for immediate food — they are also going to provide knowledgeable labour to ensure a continued supply of food….

          Any women on these hobby farms are most certainly going to be raped.

          Permies live in a Koombaya world of delusion — so they do not believe this is what will happen.

          I guarantee this is what is going to happen — because this is what men have always done ‘in times of scarcity’

          • xabier says:

            Prisoners from the English Civil wars of the 17th century, and the wars in Ireland, were enslaved and sent to the West Indies.

          • Again your limited knowledge shines through every single post.

            There is a Slave and slave, in some societies “Slaves” were promoted to very high office, while ordinary guys of the master race/class could be slowly rotting in the dungeon or rapidly eliminated, not a rule but possibility based on meritocracy. Similarly, chances present themselves for knowledgeable guys, for example like Jan to navigate through new power structure to be.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Jan doesn’t seem to be the type who gets along with anyone …. I don’t see him being promoted.

            • That’s exactly correct, because with such attitudes, you are likely not going to do much “seeing” about other’s promotions anyways by that time.. That will be likely onto guys with much more bearing on true reality and opportunities of the newly defined era.

            • xabier says:

              Slaves acquired by the Ottoman Turks in the Balkans and the Caucasus as payment of taxes were immediately given good clean clothes and regular food. Goodbye, peasant rags, lice and semi-starvation!

              As peasants, they had no real value, to their parents they were a burden but could be used to pay taxes, but to the new owner they were Property, and had to be taken care of.

              But let’s not mention the castration which awaited some, with 25 to 75% mortality rate. Even that was a profit to the Orthodox monks who specialised in doing the job…… 🙁

    • Fast Eddy says:×282.jpg

      Civilization — made possible by cheap energy …. is about to end

  8. Cliffhanger says:

    And what about your mind? Does it shine?
    Are there things that concern you, more than your time?

    • Artleads says:

      Not sure what this is about. If the tropical ‘paradise’ is a symbol of what is ‘gone’ (what it replaced), I’m OK with that assessment.

  9. Jan Steinman says:

    Jan’s name is not on the list of the island’s “notable residents”.

    Sometimes, it’s a thin line between “famous” and “infamous.” My biggest claim to infamy is that I got fired from the Agricultural Advisory Planning Commission for raising a motion to not turn fifteen acres of farmland into ball diamonds and soccer fields.

    It is pretty ludicrous to imagine everyone on the island showing up at our door. I think they’d go for the beef to the west, or the turkeys to the east, or the mixed veggies across the street. But then, there’s community farmland to the east, with some hundred plots that people “commuter farm” on the weekends, so perhaps they’d all just get to work.

    When all you have is a hammer, all the world looks like a nail. The doomsters cannot even imagine a cooperative agricultural community, and how they hang together in tough times.

    • Dennis L. says:

      Nice going Jan.
      People are fairly smart and quickly seem to discover it is easier to break things up into mutually beneficial tasks as opposed to doing everything one’s self. Amish live near my farm and they definitely specialize, but apparently have ways of limiting the inevitable disparities between abilities.
      Is the key they need eachother?
      What happens if one group has fewer skills and is not really needed as a functioning part of a community?

      Dennis L.

      • Jan Steinman says:

        What happens if one group has fewer skills and is not really needed as a functioning part of a community?

        Good question.

        We have a larger-than-normal proportion of homeless people here. As the local hospital newsletter puts it, “A comfortable climate combined with a caring and tolerant population” tends to encourage the homeless and mentally ill to come here.

        But these people are no threat. We had one living in an abandoned building a couple kliks from here. Someone told me they saw him stealing eggs from us. No matter; I’d call that “share cropping.” But some local “bubbas” gave him a good thrashing, and left him in a creek. The island’s first recorded homicide has still not been solved.

        Another group, the “willfully homeless” bohemians, have places and families to go to when things get bad. They’re typically young travellers who hang out in Centennial Park and smoke dope all day. Dope smokers are no threat to working people.

        I expect that, in times of trouble, as the support systems go down, the bohemians, homeless, and mentally ill will leave. I expect the local populace will still care for the “local” homeless — people who have grown up here — but will take decreasing interest in caring for the “imports.”

        I could be wrong, but I don’t see much of a problem either way.

        • xabier says:

          Maybe, but I doubt they would leave. Where to? You will have to let them starve or murder them, which amounts to the same thing, as they would never make useful workers or even be safe to be around.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            IDEA TIME!

            Jan — and other PermaKULTurists —- I suggest you stock up on rat poison — and ground beef.

            When BAU goes down and the hordes are at the gate you can announce – here yee here yee — we have 5 freezers full of ground beef — the power is off — so we must eat it tout sweet.

            Please queue up for your tasty Beef Balls. Tasty Beef Balls for everyone — everyone eats – come and get your Tasty Beef Balls!

            I am sure you can see where this is going … when cooking the beef balls you mix in enough rat poison to kill all those sun of a bitch salt springers…. get then all

            And for those MOFs who built the baseball diamond —- second helpings!!!!

            I was in Bali when the authorities tossed poisoned meat balls to the diseased stray dogs — that worked VERY well… I don’t see why it shouldn’t work just as well on SSI.

   I’d go for that big bucket option …. maybe you can get a better deal if you order in bulk!


            PS – I am not kidding — if you dont want to starve you need to make this happen.

            I will come back to you once I work out a plan to help you deal with the radiation ….

    • xabier says:

      That’s a very good point, Jan. Unless factions and religious/political differences develop and become irrationally polarized.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      From what it sounds like nobody is hanging together — even during good times…. clearly there was dispute over something so simple as a baseball diamond….

      When tough times hit — and people are hungry — I doubt they will be coming together…. they obviously know you are the Permie Guy … and they know where you live…..

      10,000 people at the farm gate Jan…

      Whatcha gonna do?

  10. JT Roberts says:

    So millenials don’t think oil is cool leaving a work force deficit in the industry.

    Millennials also prefer dinning out to home ownership.

    It is sad to watch these kids confusion. They know things are shrinking but don’t know why.

    • xabier says:

      True: and they aren’t helped by all the mis- and dis-information.

      In the absence of sound facts about our predicament and a coherent interpretation, they can fall back on the easy, and plausible, cynicism of ‘What can you do, the elites/Boomers have crushed us?’

      Above all, they will resort to political explanations of what is a physical problem.

      • Tim Groves says:

        It’s all Xxxxxx’s [insert hate figure] fault!

      • A Real Black Person says:

        xabier says: “they aren’t helped by all the mis- and dis-information.”

        which they are all complicit in. Judging by the popularity of cultural marxism within their official church, universities, they (the educated among them, the kind most people reading this post are more likely to come across) are not interested in the truth. They are interested in emotional validation…and this is being encouraged by the very elites themselves. They want people to scapegoat each other, as long as no one talks about them and their role…which no one does, anymore.

    • Cliffhanger says:

      Don’t forget we killed “Bar soap” as well!

    • Joebanana says:

      Not saying this is wrong but the young people here love the oil industry. Big money and good jobs. The Maritimes provide a huge amount of labour out west.

      I can proudly say my teens have jobs and are great workers. It is good for human beings to work hard.

      • xabier says:

        If you don’t work hard, how can you ever enjoy time off?

        I’ve observed the idle rich, and it leads to physical illness, neuroses and misanthropy – I would wish it on my worst enemy. 🙂

    • Ed says:

      Dining out is a rational choice. They know they will never own a house. They now they have no future. Saving for an impossible dream is not a virtue. Live now, for tomorrow we die, they do understand.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        I suspect that a lot of these kids have just given up ….

        You see a lot of this in the third world…. zero opportunity …. leading to despair … crime… drugs…

        In the west they have parents to fall back on so quite a lot of them keep sucking on the tit — can’t be bothered to work low paying jobs…. so they just wait for their allowance — and for mom and pop to kick off leaving them the loot.

        For them — the end of the road has arrived….

  11. MG says:

    Many people erroneously think that the new coal finds will save us:

    Huge coal deposits discovered in North Sea

    “Data from seismic tests and boreholes shows that the North Sea seabed contains up to 20 layers of coal, most of which can be reached with the technology already in place to extract offshore oil and gas.” – this sentence tries to convince us that the solid coal is the same as gaseous or liquid hydrocarbons, which is pure nonsense.

    It was the adoption of nuclear, that brought us cleaner and more reliable energy supply. There is no way back to the solid state hydrocarbon named coal: the less accessible simply means more costly and more polluting.

    • Again, partly irrelevant graph, as some countries are already a token net oil exporters, now focusing on natgas exports, e.g. Algeria, increasingly Qatar and others.

      This rebuttal has been posted like 10x already, but somehow FE’s feels his links are novelty or something.

      • JT Roberts says:

        That comment is not unexpected from someone who believes life originated from a lotus flower.

    • That’s why Gina Reinhart’s “pay everyone $2/day” argument works. Places like Nigeria and Gabon have very little labor cost.

      • xabier says:

        Because people don’t require much in the way of clothing, heating, cooking fuel and shelter there. Hence $2 a day……..

  12. Fast Eddy says:

    This is priceless…

    And these tossers wonder why the poor voted for Chavez… hopefully when this place goes down … the airports are burned to the ground …. and these people are forced to stick around….

    What they don’t get is that the oil is done…. this is as good as it is ever going to get…. but fortunately they don’t understand that … so they stay…..

    The 24-year-old culinary student and frequent protester of Venezuela’s authoritarian government was among a birthday party that also included a television host, a baseball agent and a gaggle of business owners. They were smoking a hookah and knocking back sangria and whiskey.

    “In the day, I’m in the march or the barricades,” Lovera said. “I come home, bathe and change and text my friends, ‘What’s the plan?’” she said. “It’s like a routine.”

    Is that Cathal on the right with the hipsters?×705.jpg

    • Artleads says:

      It really IS priceless.

    • Dennis L. says:

      Aren’t most revolutions lead by intellectuals?
      E.g. American Revolution, Communist Revolution.
      Where have the peasants ever risen up?
      Again, in the gulags, who survived longest or made it out, aristocrats or peasants?
      Labeling is an interesting phenomenon, those on this blog who express a different opinion are labeled “Delusionists.” It seems part of a very human trait to lump things together to simplify the thought process; this would be important in a hunter gather society.
      If my understanding of American History is correct, the Amerindians had fairly sophisticated societies on the eastern part of the US with crop rotation, small villages, etc. Not exactly hunter gather societies.

      Photographs are consistent with Camille Paglia’s comments that beautiful women are the same the world over and tend to group together and dress for eachother.

      Dennis L.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Not sure of your point….

        Mine is that I am hopeful that all those suffering socialites get to experience real suffering… grilled rat canapes anyone?

        • xabier says:

          Oh but they’ve already suffered…under Socialism!

          Look at the marks it’s left on them, the suffering written all over their faces!

          The memory of it, the trauma, makes them shake so that they almost spill the champagne….

          But, that won’t matter, as there’s always more. 😉

        • Dennis L. says:

          My limited knowledge of history is that this is not how things generally work. Peasants don’t revolt, intellectuals do, hard work does not always guarantee survival, indeed, even now it is the better off who live longer
          I would be hopeful that I was in their boat.
          Weren’t the lifeboats of the Titanic filled with first class passengers? Remorse was for the living.
          Why would you be hopeful these beautiful women would suffer?

          Dennis L.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            I can’t put my finger on it…

            But I am sure it must have something to do with the fact that they are protesting — then heading off to drink champagne… it just doesn’t seem right.

            Also when things were going great for them — they didn’t share the champagne… and now that their champagne is under threat — they are on the streets with the riff raff…

            Or maybe they have their own VIP protest areas?

            And if they were to get what they want… they definitely would not share the champagne with their comrades….

            I knew someone like this once… daddy was an oil man in Alberta… she was making shit money like the rest of us — but she could ‘not imagine how anyone could fly from Hong Kong to Canada in economy class’

            She was pretty too.

            Actually … what I would like to see happen to beautiful women like this …. is for times to become so tough … that they have to resort to this to make it through another day


            • jerry says:

              does anyone remember a quote by a fashion model from the runways of France circa 1980’s:
              ‘I won’t even get out of bed for less than 10,000 dollars.’

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Post BAU … she’ll get into bed for a can of tuna ….

          • “Color” revolutions aka “contra/counter revolutions” usually have the same traits all over the world and history, it’s an organized mix of the direct members of global-domestic elites, upper middle classes of rent income and tenured high gov-post, churches, ngos, finally also rented plebs mob and partly genuine plebs (mentally challenged). Funnily enough, in former Eastern block, lot of the (domestic) organizers were former commies, who lost in previous skirmishes vs their tougher former buddies..

            It’s the ~same for thousands of years of civilizations.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              ‘Colour revolutions’ = CIA backed…. even the phrase colour revolutions would have been created by CIA PR consultants.

        • xabier says:

          They should live a month or two in the place of their Indian maids……. oh, the Horror!

      • Duncan Idaho says:

        That’s why our conservative redneck friends like the rich over intellectuals.
        They could possibly be rich, but they realize they will never be intellectuals, and neither will their children.
        Intellectuals are always the first eliminated by authoritarian regimes, whether it be 1934 Moscow, or 1936 Berlin, or 2017 San Fransisco.

        • Dennis L. says:

          Counter example, Wernher von Braun. Did Bayer go out of business after WWII? Did the founders and owners of Mercedes Benz disappear or did the company cease to exist?
          Jordan Peterson had an interesting observation regarding zebras. When wildlife managers tagged a zebra with red paint or somesuch, they were eaten very quickly. The purpose of the zebra stripes apparently is to make all zebras look alike. The smart zebra is in the middle of the herd.
          Agreed, intellectuals were eliminated, the revolution was started by them; perhaps they needed better stripes.
          Dennis L.

          • Good point, as in Duncan’s fairy tale world (history ala CNN standards probably?), who then planned, design and oversaw the build up of the matching and or superior weapons against the German invasion, or prior that the wast subway or their n. bomb rapid development or all those industries incl. space program after the WWII ???
            All right, intellectuals were all eliminated in mid 1930s, ha ha..

      • Tim Groves says:

        The peasants are revolting. They have risen up countless times with pitchforks and torches. But left to their own devices they don’t do revolutions, which require intellectuals to formulate salable ideologies.

        The World Turned Upside Down

        In 1649 to St. George’s Hill / A ragged band they called the “Diggers” came to show the peoples’ will / They defied the landlords, they defied the laws / They were the dispossessed reclaiming what was theirs

        “We come in peace,” they said, “to dig and sow / “We come to work the land in common and to make the wasteland grow / “This earth divided we will make whole / “So it can be a common treasury for all”

        “The sin of property we do disdain / “No man has any right to buy and sell the earth for private gain / “By theft and murder they stole the lands /”Now everywhere the walls rise up at their commands”

        “They make the laws to chain us well / “The clergy dazzle us with heaven or they damn us into hell / “We will not worship the god they serve / “The god of greed who feeds the rich while poor men starve”

        “We work, we eat together, we need no swords / “We will not bow to masters or pay rent to the lords / “We are free men, though we are poor / “You Diggers, all stand up for glory! Stand up now!”

        From the men of property the orders came / They sent the hired men and troopers to roots out the Diggers’ claim / Burn down their cottages, tear down their corn / They came in peace, but the orders came to cut them down

        You poor take courage, you rich take care / This earth was made a common treasury for everyone to share / All things in common, all people one / They were dispersed, but still the vision lingers on

      • Artleads says:

        Upper class people who make revolutions have to fight off the great majority of their class to get anywhere. It isn’t the class that’s revolutionary, but unusual individuals within it. Meanwhile, the bulk of their support comes from below. I wouldn’t bet on these girls for revolutionary support.

    • xabier says:

      Protesting as Lifestyle. Left or Right…….

      • Fast Eddy says:

        I hear that Channel is launching a new line — Protest Grunge…. for the immaculate protester

        • Fast Eddy says:

          Those protesters actually do eat cake … and caviar … and drink champagne… poor them

  13. Lastcall says:

    Oops just realised the joke is on me; ‘Beyond Survival’ shortens to ‘BS’….so I guess its just a patsy to calm the people…or does this guy actually believe this..?! Surely Not!

    • Artleads says:

      The link kept getting hung up, so I quit. But the ideas sounded reasonable up to that point. The guy has a lot of UN refugee experience, and he’s had a lot of time to think about the subject. So where would food and energy come from? Is he talking about self-sufficiency in food production in camps? Who would get it started? How?

      • timl2k11 says:

        “So where would food and energy come from?”
        Batteries. 🙂

      • xabier says:

        The man doesn’t seem to understand at all that towns and cities are the product of energy surpluses, not places where people have chosen to live which can then be made ‘nice.’

        It is the surplus, manufacturing and trade that make a town,drawing people to live there.

        Otherwise, you simply have a dependent settlement living off surpluses from elsewhere.

        (And of course, in the past, defensive suitability. )

        In the case of camps, they have grown because that is where free food and clothes can be obtained. Simply not viable.

        • Artleads says:

          Although I see the point about them being a new, permanent form of settlement for the many, I don’t see how they produce for the system that supports them..

  14. Lastcall says:

    Gail, you have missed this option..

    ‘With a Fab Lab people could produce anything they need, a house, a car, a bicycle, generating their own energy, whatever. I mean a Fab Lab is there to do anything. We call it Beyond Survival.’

    I put another comment in but it went to moderation…? But I thought this breakthrough couldn’t wait!!

    • Duncan Idaho says:

      Very little of what I post gets published.
      Don’t feel bad.

    • timl2k11 says:

      From the transcript:
      “Things are finally moving because of the energy storage, which we suddenly have with the Tesla batteries for instance.”

      This is hilarious. The guy thinks we “suddenly” have batteries, as if they haven’t always been around but insanely expensive and resource intensive. Doh!

    • xabier says:

      The man is an incredible imbecile. One rubs one’s eyes in disbelief.

      The deserted villages of Spain -which he says could be repopulated as ‘growth zones’ by immigrants from Africa and the Middle East – have died, and for a very good reason: they are simply not viable, and the life is/was far too hard for people to bear when they have a better option.

      Even living off welfare in a town is much more comfortable than village life. You don’t have to start work at 5.30 am, you don’t end up crippled at 45 with a bad back and no teeth.

      Small village producers cannot get a living wage from their produce: to do so, everything would have to re-set to a world of small farmers,shepherds, and woodsmen.

      Villagers voted with their feet and left! That’s why my grandmother’s village, Zazpe in the Pyrenees, is now only a few collapsing farmhouses.

      He might be right about shanty towns being the future though…. 🙂

      • xabier says:

        Maybe the happy resettled Africans are meant to live off income internet cafes and phoney permaculture schools in the mountains…..

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Interesting description of how these farmers lived… and they actually knew how to farm… they were real tough guys…. and yet they suffered…. and died young….


        • xabier says:

          I have lots of old photos: those from the days when peasants really were peasants all have pain and deprivation written on their faces. Of course there were better-off people, my great-grandfather was an innkeeper (the inn is still standing!) so one assumes no starvation there.

          They lived off chestnuts in the mountains – families had their own ancient trees and harvested and stored them carefully, made flour from them – also to sell in town.

          It is not uncommon for old people who moved to town to refuse to eat chestnuts, and to be somewhat ashamed of having had to eat them in the past. That alone shows how’good’ the Good Life really was. It is moving to see the look of sadness on their faces when asked how the past was…..

          Factory job? Antibiotics? Pension? Welfare? TV and sofa? Car? Yes please!!

          Much politics in Spain can be understood as the fear of going back to that old life – hence partly the irony of the working-class Conservative vote, because they fear that the Left might tax away what they have gained (and they might be right as regards the radicals.)

          I’ve never heard a real peasant say the life was lovely. My father is sentimental about rural life, but then he has the landowner’s perspective, not the real worker’s……

          I really can’t see Abdul from Syria jumping at the chance to live in those mountains, or any deep rural location in Spain: he’ll be in town, getting some welfare, working on the black, and eyeing up the lovely women in the plaza, if he has any sense at all.

          The UN chap has been living on the moon – conceptually. He has no concept of the labour of rural worker.

          • Germany has scored in Europe’s and world’s demographics worst bin for long time, hence several waves of migrant luring program, be it the Turkish few decade ago or the very recent one, mostly African. Actually one can feel, the current overlords are not interested in future, they just demand more migrants asap to leverage and oil the credit – spending machine for today..

            • xabier says:

              Exactly right, worldof, they don’t care: all short-term, and the migrants don’t even need to work – they generate demand just by existing and basic consumption. It’s insane. How to utterly destabilise society in a few years.

      • Hm, maybe the days of ~50ha per family would return, elsewhere. The Pyrenees tiny plots have been on continuous goat herd attack for how long? Past 10000yrs at least?

        • xabier says:

          Yes, quite small plots were indeed the problem in the mountains, but at least they were family-owned which gave self-respect in poverty. I’ve never seen anything at all regarding soil-depletion, etc, but I suspect they were very carefully managed. Harvests of chestnuts were abundant, but it was just a very poor living – ‘Many didn’t even have a jacket to wear’.

          This is why they rose in rebellion against the Spanish Republic in 1936, (they were not fascists) as they feared losing their ancient land rights to collectivisation, having already lost many during the previous era of Liberalism (1870’s) when the rentiers moved in and bought up communal lands.

          • Yes, it’s all relative the soil damage – erosion must be much worse in S. Italy, Greece and other regions of continuous settlement for millenia. Pyreneess should get more moisture in comparison, but again I gather the depth of soil is not much vs deep rich black soils of Ukraine etc.

  15. Lastcall says:

    Bit optimistic assuming Govts still function….
    ‘ As oil shortages disrupt supply chains; food shortages grow larger every year from climate change, topsoil erosion, and shortages of natural-gas fertilizer; and rising sea levels displace millions, what other choice besides refugee camps will governments have? ‘

    And yep sort of, cos its happening now, if you care to notice….
    ‘The alternative is mass migrations overwhelming areas that are still managing to cope, disease, starvation, militias raiding homes and ransacking them for food, and other social disorder.’

    And then there is this OMG! Are these people serious? What are they smoking?!!
    ‘Beyond providing more thoroughly for essentials, Kleinschmidt sees additional opportunities to enable refugees with new technologies: “With a [3D-printing] Fab Lab people could produce anything they need – a house, a car, a bicycle, generating their own energy, whatever,” he said’

    Yellen is right, we can print our way to prosperity….its 3D printing that we need, not fusion generators!!

  16. Fast Eddy says:

    Update — Day 2 without running water…. have firewood and heat — fridge still works…. have gas for the stove…. internet still on ….

    Surviving … so far….

    Pray for me

    • Duncan Idaho says:

      You get used to no running water and electricity after a few months.
      It’s the human skull candle holders that are a bit freaky, but they did make good conservation pieces.
      After 6 months, it never enters your reality.
      Just need to catch enough fish to trade for kerosene and cooking oil.

      • xabier says:

        Skulls: the most ancient form of home decoration!

        With or without dried flesh, mosaics and fake eyeballs. Shrinking optional.

        ‘Bring a skull home,and show you can provide!’ 🙂

    • Joebanana says:

      Believe it or not I pray for you and all the regulars here by name at every Mass and then some. OFW is a place where people can be honest. Where else can a person, in the middle of a serious conversation, tell another how they are going to do themselves in without being dragged off to the loony bin?

  17. Artleads says:

    Study: ‘Buy America’ rules raising costs for US transit systems

    It’s a puzzle when you want to support BAU but the cost of doing that doesn’t pencil out.

    • Meanwhile, even places like Turkey are on their way towards 5000km of fast rail before ~2020. That would be equivalent of what ~25000km of upgraded tracks in the US?

  18. ITEOTWAWKI says:

    FE and Joebanana, my two favourite canucks…wish you were in Montreal!!! It is absolutely craaaaazy tonight!!!!

    • Joebanana says:

      I think somebody is having a good time tonight!. Good on ya buddy and wish I was with you.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      Enjoy the Bday celebration — hopefully there are more to come!

      • ITEOTWAWKI says:

        Thank you FE! And I really appreciate what you do here on OFW! This thing IS coming down and it’s coming down fast!!!

  19. Fast Eddy says:

    I just finished the book about the history of Afghanistan — the Brits after being routed sent in a force bent on revenge…

    And they pretty much burned Kabul to the ground….

    And I am thinking … fire…. what a great weapon…. fire inspires fire…. why are ‘the terrorists’ not using fire….

    Could it be that it never crossed their minds? Are they that stewpid?

    Hard to believe….

    • Joebanana says:

      I don’t get it either. I would never say it here but the grid could be taken down in no time. You and I could do it in an afternoon.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Funny how they never attempt anything that could really damage the economy….

        Think of how easy it would be for 10 bad guys to buy automatic weapons and walk down Wall St at lunch…… or Main St in any city…… how about 10 Main Streets at the same time….

        • Theophilus says:

          September 11 2001, ” funny how they never really attempt anything that could really damage the economy… “

          • Fast Eddy says:

            That had very little impact economically — but what it did was give the El ders a free hand to blow the shit out of Iraq and Afghanistan… and Libya and Syria….

            And of course it was a controlled self inflicted action — so a few thousand people get killed…

            The ends justifies the means…..


            Now a series of wildfires up and down the coast…. now we are talking real damage…. real money … real panic… real disaster.. real terror

            • i1 says:

              Exposing the hoaxes corners them as delusional. They’ll do any kind of mental gymnastics to avoid reality because the system runs on delusion. It’s really DAU or instant collapse.

      • Jan Steinman says:

        the grid could be taken down in no time. You and I could do it in an afternoon.

        Then how come some terrorist hasn’t done it yet?

        • Fast Eddy says:

          Good question.

          What is to stop one person from doing this across the west coasts of canada and the US….

          Toss a cigarette into the dry bush from a motorcycle and move on to the next dry bush …..

          Not sure what the answer is to that

        • Joebanana says:

          I don’t know why and would not say how publicly but I work in the industry so I know how easy it would be.

          • Jan Steinman says:

            I work in the industry so I know how easy it would be.

            Hmmm… do you have any “brown” people working there, with names like “Hussein” or “Mohammed?” If so, better report them. I think Trump’s AG is investigating.

            • Joebanana says:

              Lol, not too many bad people of any colour in Nova Scotia, Jan. I guarantee you the lights could be put out for a long time in less than 12 hours and less with help.. Thankfully the people who are motivated to kill don’t think big picture.

        • Jesse James says:

          Simple answer….because there are NONE. The “terrorists” were invented on 911 as an excuse to implement the police state.

      • Duncan Idaho says:

        Actually, someone is doing test runs (it appears) in Gilroy.

  20. grayfox says:

    In other news, I spotted a male scarlet tanager in my back yard today. He was flitting through the treetops like liquid fire. I hadn’t seen one in close to 10 years. Okay, back to gloom, carnage and despair, thanks.

  21. Lastcall says:

    If we could harness the energy of the river of de-Nile we would be fine!

    • Fast Eddy says:


      Let’s build a mega dam

      • Lastcall says:

        I think its an unusual river in that it produces hot-air – but I guess whatever it takes to turn the turbines: disclaimer – I hope and pray that they are correct and we CAN eat our cake (all of the cake has been accessed this time) and have it too!

      • doomphd says:

        eventually, that damed water basin will silt up and the dam will become a waterfall, and meanwhile the humans, ducks, etc. living downstream will starve from lack of soil nutrients and fresh water. but, it will take about 100 years or so.

    • Duncan Idaho says:

      Our de-Nile friends need to stop taking the Blue Pill.
      Really, after a bit of time screaming in a fetal position, reality is just groundless, and you realize survival is not necessary.

      • Davidin100billionyears says:



        then the nothingness of eternal death…


      • Tim Groves says:

        De-Nile is another of those crypto-religious concepts that today’s self-identifying atheists just can’t seem to give up on.

        The sting in that word comes primarily from the shame felt by St. Peter when he de-nied knowing Christ three times before the cock crowed.and the subsequent condemnation of that cowardly act by members of the clergy down the ages, including the Catholic nuns and priests who taught me catechism.

        In legal proceedings, it has always been perfectly correct to de-ny unjust and false accusations, but to de-ny the truth in an attempt to pervert the course of justice only makes the deed the worse.

        Then in the late 19th century Freud and co. came along and pushed the concept of psychological de-Nile as a form of pathology, and people in political arguments have been using that as a stick to beat there opponents ever since.

        Hence the modern concept of de-Nile as a synonym for disagreement or refusal to admit or agree with an assertion, with the strong implication that the recalcitrant party is acting either dishonestly or irrationally because “man, this is an important issue”” on a par with not telling the Investigating Roman Soldiers that you were a mate of Jesus’s.

        • Duncan Idaho says:

          Lose the superstition.
          Bronze and Iron Age Fiction are a bad genera.
          And, religion is the ultimate Blue Pill.

          • Joebanana says:

            You really believe you are smarter than everyone else. I think an alien looking at this world in real time would call this generation the climax of dumb.

            • Tim Groves says:


              Cheers for that advice. There I was thinking the ultimate Blue Pill was a toss up between Amphetamine and Viagara. And you come along and set me right. It’s amazing what one can learn from an anonymous cocksure self-identifying smartypants commenting on a blog.

              By the way, my comment wasn’t meant for you. It was intended at those capable of understanding it—the sort of people who have at least a modicum of insider knowledge of, insight into and nostalgia for Western civilization, whose rotting corpse we are currently inhabiting—the sort of people who were young, intellectual and lovely before the great dumbing down of the modern Endarkenment descended upon us. 🙂

              “Lose the superstition,” says the credulous card-carrying evangelist for one of most ridiculous quasi-religious cults to have emerged in a long time.

        • Yorchichan says:

          The story of Peter denying being a follower of Jesus never made much sense to me, even at primary school. If I’d watched a guy raise the dead, heal the sick and perform numerous other miracles, and he promised me eternal life for believing in him as the Son of God, then I wouldn’t deny him even to save my life. If somebody who personally knew Jesus didn’t believe in him why should someone who never met him?

          The story of Judas’ betrayal likewise.

          I concluded the stories were made up.

  22. Cliffhanger says:

    here’s the truth: We have squandered our planet’s resources, including air and water, as though there were no tomorrow, so now there isn’t going to be one.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      I don’t think squandered is the appropriate word… as it implies choice.

      • bandits101 says:

        …….and even if, we were some how given choices, the result would be exactly the same.

  23. jerry says:

    interesting from ‘slow burn to controlled demolition’ 6:30 – 8:00 minute mark
    pensions controlled demolition etc etc ….

  24. Slow Paul says:

    I think I’m gonna try out other doomer blogs for a while, so that the instant lights out doomers can have some intellectual peace in their final days/months/years/decades.

    I welcome suggestions to other blogs who consider “lesser enlightened” scenarios!

    • Fast Eddy says:

      I highly recommend Peak Prosperity — Wolf Street is also good ….

      Please bring the other slow people with you…

    • Cliffhanger says:

      Just remember before you go! “Pandora doesn’t go back in the box she only comes out”.

    • Davidin100billionyears says:

      ecosophiadotnet = John Michael Greer



      euanmearnsdotcom = Energy Matters



  25. Cliffhanger says:

    Timothy McVeigh was a war hero, too, and he’s responsible for a lot less unnecessary American deaths than John McCain is.

    • jerry says:

      And behind the Aldrich Plan?

    • Duncan Idaho says:

      Actually, Morgan got tired of going hat in hand to borrow money in Europe after failed capitalistic speculation and greed.
      If you are going to have capitalism, you had better have a central bank or something to control monetary policy.
      I’m not a capitalist, so just helping you lower beings out with a helpful hint.

  26. Cliffhanger says:

    “of course, to state the obvious, it is possible UNTIL it isn’t…”

    That doesn’t even make any sense. Which does make sense when you realize that denial and insanity are brothers.

    • Davidin100billionyears says:

      you stated “Industrialism is not inherently “evil” or immoral; it is simply physically impossible going forward.”
      you are using the present tense here… “is”…
      which, if taken literally, as of today is absolutely wrong…
      IC is up and running today…
      and “going forward” it will be physically possible tomorrow and for many days, weeks and probably years after…
      UNTIL there is no more IC…

      do you live in the future or the present?

        • Davidin100billionyears says:

          every time I see a cartoon response, I know that I’ve won the argument…

          • Fast Eddy says:

            I generally only post images only in responses … when I am responding to someone who is not worth responding to … someone that I have zero respect for intellectually …. a sub MOREon… an im becile…. a tool…. a id eot….

            I can see how you might interpret the images differently – give you are all of the above

            Not sure about Cliff… but I assume he is thinking the same

            • Cliffhanger says:

              I agree FE. They are paying shit these days..

            • Davidin100billionyears says:

              “I generally only post images only in responses … when I am responding to someone who is not worth responding to …”


              “– give you are all of the above”



          • Theophilus says:


      • Cliffhanger says:

        “You have two cows. You are killed by a starving mob and your cows are eaten because civilization collapses due to a massive shortage in oil supplies.”

        • Davidin100billionyears says:

          yes… that’s fairly accurate…
          person A has guns and ammo while person B has food…
          who ends up with the food?

          most commentary on peakoilbarreldotcom insists that massive shortages won’t arrive until the 2030’s…

          why are you right and they are wrong?


          • Cliffhanger says:

            why are you right and they are wrong?

            Because the industry has cut around two trillion dollars of future investment. Because private investment has been at record lows. Because new discoveries coming online are the lowest since 1947. And because 80 percent of the worlds natural conventional legacy oil fields are in decline. And there has been two peer reviewed scientific papers published in the last year that conclude worldwide oil production is now in decline. And Halliburton,Saudi Aramco, IEA, UAE,HSBC,UBS,. Have also warned of upcoming oil shortages by 2020. Based off the evidence above.

            • Davidin100billionyears says:

              yes… accurate…

              thank you…

              minor shortages by 2020 and thus rising prices…
              but regardless of the slight decline…
              the experts with all of the data conclude that oil supplies will still be fairly plentiful until the 2030’s…


            • Jesse James says:

              I would not call 20-30% less oil within 5 yrs a “minor” shortage. Get some reality in your thinking.

            • Davidin100billionyears says:

              okay, Jesse…
              the persons collecting all the available data and producing graphs at peakoilbarreldotcom don’t show that much decline until the 2030’s…

              where do you get your facts from?

              or do you just go by feelings?

      • Tim Groves says:

        you stated “Industrialism is not inherently “evil” or immoral; it is simply physically impossible going forward.”
        you are using the present tense here… “is”…
        which, if taken literally, as of today is absolutely wrong…

        Unnecessarily picky, although we can overlook that, but also totally wrong, which we can’t.

        Even if “taken literally”, the idiom “going forward” in the above sentence means “from now on”, “in future”, “at some future point in time,” etc. So the verb tense is immaterial. Also, in the context of the paragraph in question, “going forward” refers specifically to “the post-BAU world”, which is still in the future. Here’s the paragraph.

        Those who anxiously await our post-collapse world will be disappointed, assuming they live to experience it. The fact that nobody is opting to jettison the amenities afforded by an industrialized way of life in favor of a hunter-gatherer lifestyle today should be sufficient proof that our future way of life is not something to be anticipated. Industrialism is not inherently “evil” or immoral; it is simply physically impossible going forward.

        If you had bothered to read Cliff’s comment with due attention and made a sincere effort to comprehend what Cliff was trying to say, you would have had no reason to disagree with anything he said in it. But you didn’t do that. You simply skimmed the comment for something to pick on, complain about, take exception to, deride, criticize, quibble over, make much ado about nothing over. And that sot of behavior, when all else is said and done, at the end of the day, without beating about the bush, is what makes you a troll, despite your undoubted ability to sound reasonable and ask pertinent questions that put others on the spot and any other redeeming characteristics you may have.

  27. Cliffhanger says:

    worldofhanumanotg & Jan Steinman

    *Post-collapse Preparation Is the Answer*

    Myth: Well-prepared individuals, groups, and communities will survive our impending collapse and maintain healthy, fulfilling, and productive lives in its aftermath.

    Reality: Those who survive our collapse will be those who can obtain sufficient life sustaining essentials—especially clean water and food—on a continuous basis, both during and after collapse. Those who store large quantities of these essentials and those who attempt to produce
    food, either individually or in communities, will be easy targets for the vast majority who have neither the foresight to store nor the skills to produce. No matter how remote or secluded your sanctuary, somebody will know about it; and they will come to call when they become desperate; and they will be well armed and devoid of compassion. You can prepare for a last stand, but you cannot prepare for post-collapse survival. Post-collapse Life Will Be Preferable to Our Industrial Lifestyle Paradigm

    Myth: Industrialization has brought nothing but misery and degradation to the human race; our quality of life (and spiritual wellbeing) will improve substantially in a post-collapse world.

    Reality: The post-collapse lifestyle awaiting the few who survive will, under the best of circumstances, share many attributes with pre-Columbian America. Unfortunately, the realities associated with subsistence level existence bear little semblance to the Hollywood accounts.
    Those who anxiously await our post-collapse world will be disappointed, assuming they live to experience it. The fact that nobody is opting to jettison the amenities afforded by an industrialized way of life in favor of a hunter-gatherer lifestyle today should be sufficient proof that our future way of life is not something to be anticipated. Industrialism is not inherently “evil” or immoral; it is simply physically impossible going forward.

    • Davidin100billionyears says:

      “Industrialism is not inherently “evil” or immoral; it is simply physically impossible going forward.”
      of course, to state the obvious, it is possible UNTIL it isn’t…
      and checking the financials today, I see that it is still BAU…
      good thing, otherwise there would be no more OFW…

    • Fast Eddy says:

      Dead on.

      Docile farmers will be dead. DFWBD. Trying to defend a farm would be like trying to defend a castle — with no walls or gates or moats…. impossible.

      Again — the choice is waste your time prepping — or waste your time enjoying the time that remains.

      It all ends the same for everyone either way.

      ‘The fact that nobody is opting to jettison the amenities afforded by an industrialized way of life in favor of a hunter-gatherer lifestyle today’

      Take that further — people like Jan are unwilling to unplug now .. because they know that this will burst the Koombaya bubble — they would realize how monumental the task is that lies ahead — and that is without the violence and the hordes and the disease — just the work load….

      And they would give up. Because they could not cope with reality

      And despair would overwhelm them.

      Jan – have I hit the nail on the head here?

      • Jan Steinman says:

        In a rare direct reply, probably not to be repeated…

        people like Jan are unwilling to unplug now

        Right back at ‘cha… why not just put a bullet in your brain right now? That would surely burst the “SKY IS FALLING!” bubble!

        That seems to be the equivalent of what you’re asking of me.

        (We return you to your regularly scheduled ignoring of people who can’t carry on polite discourse without calling names and posting puerile pictures.)

        • Fast Eddy says:

          Why would I put a bullet in my head when I am having so much fun!

          Since 2008 I have had the most fun ever — I started the journey not thinking I was going to die soon — at that point I just assumed that another massive financial crash was going to hit at some point — so I started on my list…. but now of course it is obvious that I will die very soon — so I have accelerated things.

          I will have fun right until the very end of BAU — rather than toiling in the muck pulling weeds and keeping rabbits out of the raised beds.

          That would be a frivolous way to spend the final days of life — no?

          I most definitely will not off my self while there is fun to be had.

          I am not the one explaining how tough I am — how I can outwork a 20 year old — how I am ready for ‘The Great Adventure’ — how I will survive.

          I am not the one moaning and bitching about BAU and how the sooner it ends the better…

          Not me — I love BAU – every minute of it….

          You are the one who can’t wait — but you refuse to unplug

          Because you know unplugging = death. (deep down you love BAU – admit it)

          You are the one wasting your last years on futility — now I might understand that if you were 20 years old…. but at your age

          It’s all rather ridiculous….

          Do you think that you have found the holy grail or something?

          • Davidin100billionyears says:

            “Again — the choice is waste your time prepping — or waste your time enjoying the time that remains.

            It all ends the same for everyone either way.”

            sure… the nothingness of eternal death…

            gotta love BAU…


    • Greg Machala says:

      Based on what I have read over the years I have come to the conclusion that we humans were meant to live as hunter gatherers. We have tried to cheat the system but are running into the limits of fire and agriculture. The real “sustainable” way for humans to live is to use what is provided by nature (or dumb luck) in real time.. No storage, no agriculture, no permanent shelters. That is how every other animal survives and that is the only long term survival technique available to us.

      • Jan Steinman says:

        I have come to the conclusion that we humans were meant to live as hunter gatherers.

        A short period of pastoralism generally divides hunting and gathering from permanent agriculture. I think that is possibly the most stable inflection point. It combines the best features of both HG and agriculture.

        But, like H-G, it would require the elimination of property lines. Good luck with that one! We have a thousand hectares of wild “crown land” behind us…

        • Yes, I wrote to similar effect. There is clearly thousands years of path dependency of human terraforming influence via pastoralism-non fossil energy input agriculture on the ecosystems. That’s all those pollinators, many thousands of plants and insects adapted to spaces between forests as direct response.. etc.

          Yet, experts like FE, claim “humans only destroy nature”, well that’s sheer nonsense given well known both common sense and scientific proof of the above. However, the balance which existed in so many places needs repair one way or another (with or without humans in the next round).

        • Fast Eddy says:

          Farming produces excess food which leads to a population explosion. If we had not started to farm we would NOT have 7.5 billion people on the planet.

          Farming requires tools which leads to deforestation and technological innovation. If we had not started farming we would not have Walmart.

          Farming is just plain bad. Farmers are not different than investment bankers.

          • Nature can provide excess food and ecosystem rise/saturation in long term pulses as explained above on the example of post Ice Age period and humans filling the niche as terraforming agent, which initially increased bio diversity via cultivated landscapes.

            The pop always bumped into a (temporary) limit and stabilization phase. But the pop has been in aggregate increasing, pushing the limits threshold in several steps by various tricks so far. For example, rotating crops, water canals, sea discoveries – colonialism – global commodity trade, germ theory-sanitation, coal, hydro, oil, uranium, natgas, …

            The “urge for more” has been understood and successfully tamed in several historical periods, but for some reason the destructive human mal-adaptation won in aggregate.
            My explanation for such development works with two basic options, humans as failed short lived “experiment” in evolution or humans as “successful” agent forcing reset of previously saturated ecosystems into new dis-equilibrium, a new start if you will from very long cycle macro zoomed out view, as looking on the Earth from millions of yrs.

            • Jan Steinman says:

              The doomsters don’t know what “pastoralism” nor “Permaculture” mean.

              Oh, they’re busy googling it right now, so they can post a disparaging pseudo-fact or two. They may have read a book on Permaculture, or even taken a class, then they went to a poor country and tried to pay poor brown people to do it for them, and gave up when the brown people got tired of listening to the idiot privileged white person and went back into the bush.

              For those who are without prejudice, look up Mark Shepherd’s Restoration Agriculture. In it, he describes a system of perennial polyculture that out-performs an equal area of industrially-grown corn or beans, in terms of nutrients per acre. This is a system of biomimicry, which creates a landscape as close to the natural one as possible, while using plants and animals that humans can consume. Thus, “agriculture” is reduced to “hunting and gathering” your perennial polyculture.

              I have such control over Fast Eddy that he will find it impossible to not post a snappy, irrelevant reply! Oh wait, what if by writing that, I’m actually trying to get him to not reply, so he can prove me wrong? My bet is he can’t resist, but I win either way. 🙂

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Jan – are you trolling me? Seriously

              I know what it is — it is the type of farming that was practiced before industrial farming — it is the type of farming that many of the hunter gatherers would have converted to thousands of years ago.

              They converted because they could produce more food to feed their growing populations.

              Normally their populations would have been kept in check i.e. die-off … when they exceeded the available food in a given area….

              But because permaculture farming methods produced excess food per area — it allowed populations to expand well beyond the normal carrying capacity of the land.

              As the global population grew from millions to over one billion — all because of permaculture — the human species was again threatened with die-off because permaculture farming was hitting its limits…. see T Malthus….

              So how did the farmers respond? They turned to technology bringing in machinery — and then petro chemcials and irrigation …

              And now – because of the farmers — we went from millions to a billion and now to 7.5 billion…

              And it all started with the first seed that was purposely planted in the soil.

              Forget about blaming and hating corporations — and social media – and reality TV – and bankers — and politicians…

              If you want to blame — start with the first human to plant the first seed — and every farmer that came afterwards

              I am not sure what is wrong with you Jan if you cannot understand that — you must have a touch of me.ntal reta..rdation.

              Or maybe you were just born with a condition that will not allow you to recognize logic?

            • Jan Steinman says:

              Jan – are you trolling me? Seriously

              If that’s what it takes to get you to post a civil, only mildly condescending and nearly name-calling-free reply, well then, sure!

              Thank you for only slipping into childish name-calling once. That’s what it will take if you ever expect a reply from me. Otherwise, you’re just like noise on the radio when the last station shuts down.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              I actually do not care if you respond…. because you have no concept of logic….. your idea of logic is Koombaya…. you are pretty much ridiculous/delusional.

              You add nothing.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Enough snap for you?

          • Joebanana says:

            I think it is the leverage fossil fuels gave us more than farming. We would have never grown to what exists today without that energy supply.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        That is without question correct.

        Funny how those who have this affinity for farming cannot recognize this — and they tend to be the first ones to criticize our modern society — they abhor this drive for ‘more’

        Uh hum…. what the f789 do they think farming is — man was not satisfied with hunting and gathering — he wanted MORE food.

        So he hacked down the forests, stuck seeds in the ground, fenced off the area to keep nature out.

        He burned the trees to make metal tools so that he could have even MORE.

        Basically he built the first Walmart.

        The Permies will never acknowledge this.

        They are clean living green living Koombaya pounding hypocrites.

        Farming was the beginning of the end.

        • Grete says:

          FE: Thanks you for the always big thinking.
          We are the problem and we are about to complete the work.

          One more piece:

          Good night Germany!

        • Well, I gather that for some brainiacks here history starts and ends with 19th century “industrial” style cattle herders, and 3rd world plantation horrors.

          “So he hacked down the forests, stuck seeds in the ground, fenced off the area to keep nature out.”

          Hm, somehow the thousands of species prospering (and moving) through lush pasture disagree with your supposedly universally valid truths, “fenced off” keeping nature out, that’s one liner to remember though, multi-LoL, hah.

        • JMS says:

          I have no difficulty accepting that the human being is naturally greedy and always wants more and more. But I think it is historically incorrect to say that “man was not satisfied with hunting and gathering – I wanted MORE food”.
          I think i read in Craig Dilworth’s book that it was only after we had exterminated most of the great animals that it began to seem a good idea to stay put and start farming. IOW, agriculture arose from the need to feed a growing population in an environemnt with less big animals to hunt. After that, since agriculture is much more efficient and productive than HG, there was a need to cultivate ever larger areas, and then to migrate to other territories, etc. Till there’s no more places to go.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            Whatever the origins/motivations …. as you point out …. farming was ultimately about feeding a growing population …. and it was the catalyst for 7.5 billion people….

            Actually I do not blame the original farmers for stepping onto the treadmill…. they did what one would expect a species with a big brain would do —- adapt — innovate….overcome

            These first farmers are no different than the men who invented the steam engine – electricity — steel — computers — high finance….

            But they should not be held up as bright shining examples of sustainability – as permies would have it — Scott Nearing was absolutely not involved in anything remotely sustainable…

            Even subsistence farmers who lived thousands of years ago — were not engaging in a sustainable way of life….

  28. Bergen Johnson says:

    Musk got VERBAL approval for the longest tunnel in the world for the hyperloop in the DC area. This guy’s prolific, but now we see how long this takes.

    • Davidin100billionyears says:

      from NY to DC?
      that’s a pipe dream!
      (get it?)

    • Davidin100billionyears says:

      but really…
      humans imagine all kinds of things that never become reality.
      where are the moon colonies?
      where are fusion reactors?

      I mean, humans haven’t been to the moon since the 70s…
      what ever happened to progress?

      oh, right, the end of cheap oil meant the end of a lot of flights of fancy.

      speaking of flights, where are the SpaceX flights into orbit?
      where’s the manned mission to Mars?

      oh, right, the trillions of dollars are hard to come by.
      right, Elon?

      • Duncan Idaho says:

        Let the Russians do it— they are already getting tired bailing out the Silly Con Boys and Girls, who are good at software and toys, not so much complicated big projects, so let the Big Boys do Space.

      • “Closed” spent fuel cycle is already here:
        gen3+ reactors, breeder reactors, and recycling spent fuel facilities;
        so fusion can wait a lot longer or never make it, agnostic – not interested much..

        Manned mission to Mars, who’s in charge of the special effects today?
        In terms of human space travel, why the rush, that Moon farce wasn’t enough for you, putting long distance shot Earth transparencies on the inside windows of Earth orbiting module, and its adjustments relayed from ground control for proper TV coverage was busted by a ~teenager (NZ) few years ago, who just had the patience and went through long hours of archive footage, billion dollars operation and they eventually lost it like amateurs, what a joke, few decades later people don’t care that much anyway.

  29. Greg Machala says:

    This is funny! Mice (part of the natural world) gain access to the interior of a Chipotle restaurant in Dallas (a virtrual world) and it is national news:


    It is a struggle to keep nature out of our bubble of blissful living.

    • Bergen Johnson says:

      Would add a certain something if rats had just evolved to understand how to penetrate building ceilings en masse to gain access, but on a global scale.

      “We don’t know how to stop them. It’s getting out of hand! Those little rodents are driving us crazy!! How did they ever evolve to be smarter on our watch? Apparently the rodents are all being led by just one rat – Ben.” (for those too young to remember, there was the Willard movie followed by Ben, about rats, well, i’ll let you catch up by watching them.)

      • Davidin100billionyears says:

        on the other hand, there is the view that humans are a part of nature and therefore everything made by humans is a part of nature also…
        is it only a man-made distinction?
        is a wooden house as natural as a bird’s nest?
        where do we draw the line?

        • Greg Machala says:

          A birds nest is made with materials that occur naturally in nature. A modern house takes raw materials from around the globe and processes them using vast quantities of finite fossil fuel resources into finished products. Then, the materials are again taken through a complex infrastructure of trade and transportation to assemble them into a finished product. Virtually nothing in a modern homes occurs naturally in nature.

  30. Van Kent says:

    Things to do. Things to do.

    There are just a few small things to do for the young people of our little spaceship Earth. One or two small easy things.

    First, so far we have managed to off most of the living things on our small world, our wildlife is mostly gone. Before 1950 we had managed to pretty much destroy most of the natural habitats of wildlife on earth. Then in just 50 years, we pretty much doubled our destruction. Now we have maybe 10 years, maybe 20 years, before the biosphere collapses. A runaway massextinction event. The cost you say? Why the cost to prevent such a thing would be a measly 80 billion annually, or maybe somewhat more.

    Secondly, the energy that keeps us alive, is driving the climate crazy. The last three years are of record high temperature. This 2017 is turning out to be hotter than anybody could have even guessed. Few problems. The Arctic sea ice is going away, and that will make jet streams chaotic and erratic. Making farming a lot harder. You know, food and such. The cost you say? Nah.. just about 535 trillion. Yes. Trillion.

    Ok, young people. Everybody are looking at you. First pay off your student loans. Then pay off the two small thingys mentioned above. Then pay off the debts the previous generations have amassed. You know government debts. Corporate debts. Private debts. The whole shebang. Do these, while robots are taking your jobs. Your empire of military interventions in resource rich areas collapses. And the energy that keeps you alive becomes unaffordable. And while you are at it, also change the global system of capitalism and growth, to a steady state economy.

    P.S. young people, if you are too deluded or lazy to do these things, that everybody are expecting of you to do.. well.. hmm.. no biggy, but we can extrapolate that most things on planet earth will go away.. quickly.. Cheers, godspeed, keep your chin up and the best of luck!

    • Jan Steinman says:

      our wildlife is mostly gone

      I would put it a bit differently. We have killed off most of the “top predators,” but that means what they had been feeding on are proliferating. Deer are a scourge in suburbs. Rabbits are worse, even in highly urban areas. Canada Geese love our golf-courses. And don’t even get me started on rats.

      Could 7.5 billion live off these “trash wildlife” animals? No. But a small number could.

      First pay off your student loans.

      Or never take them out to start with! I think we have our 19-year-old intern convinced not to go $18,000 in debt for college. She said, “But you don’t have to pay if you don’t have a job!” No one had told her about compound interest! In a dozen years of “not having a job,” that $18k becomes $36k! I’m trying to convince her to get a free college education in Sweden, instead.

      But I guess at some point, a “debt jubilee” must happen, no? I mean, if the financial system collapses, aren’t the debtors off free? I’ve heard of people after the 2008 crash whose mortgage had been sliced and diced and sold so many times, that they no longer knew who to send payments to. I am not seriously arguing that one should count on their debt “going away.” Them’s with the gold make the rules. Someone, somewhere will track you down, I’m sure.

    • Slow Paul says:

      Don’t worry, Fast Eddy says climait chamge is a hoax. We will rather di.e to numbers on computer screens…

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Nope… it is always changing .. always has been…. so it is real.

        The good thing is …. we won’t be done in by another ice age…and give temps have barely moved for over two decades… we don’t have to worry about cli mate getting us.

        If you want to worry – worry about the imminent famine and radiation — nobody is talking about those are they — because they are real threats… and we cannot talk about things with no solutions… solar panels and EVs won’t fix those

        I don’t worry about anything these days for I am already dead —- as long as I keep the bottom line out of the red… and there is good snow … I remain jolly —- and frivolous… unlike all these oh so serious people girding their loins for collapse…. so serious… come on give it up — have some fun!

        • Tim Groves says:

          Absolutely excellent! One billion +s!

          All in all, frivolity is vastly underrated in serious circles IMHO. From personal experience I can say that people—people who are frivolous—are the happiest people in the world.

    • Tim Groves says:

      There are just a few small things to do for the young people of our little spaceship Earth. One or two small easy things.

      Van, seriously and respectfully, I know your advice to the youngsters is well intended, but since when has telling other people what to do ever worked for you?

      It never has for me. I know what’s best for the planet, and for is people, individually and collectively. I know that I know because I’m convinced. I’m convinced that if only other people would listen to my advice and act on it we could have heaven on earth and jam every other day.

      The only trouble is they just don’t listen. Indeed, they resent being told what to do, even when it comes as well thought out advice, a polite request, or a helpful suggestion.

      So after many wasted years trying to save the world by persuading other people to do the right thing, I got wise. I stopped giving advice. Instead I traveled overland to Lhasa where I studied under the head Lama — not the present Dali one but a previous incarnation. One of the little gems of wisdom he imparted to me was, “Grasshopper, do not give advice to people unless they ask you for it three times. Usually, if they want your opinion they will keep on asking until they get it. Giving unsolicited advice is like reciting The Lotus Sutra out of tune. Nobody wants to hear it!”

  31. ITEOTWAWKI says:

    Soooo just turned 46 today…4 more years to go before my 2013 prediction that I would not see my 50th because of the collapse of BAU, is proven wrong…let’s hope it’s the case (that I’m proven wrong that is, although with the way the financial system is stretched, I don’t see it happening)….Carpe Diem!

    • Joebanana says:

      Happy birthday old sock! It is my sincere wish you see fifty.

      • ITEOTWAWKI says:

        Haha thanks JB!!!

        Beautiful sunny day here in Montreal, so should make it a great night tonight, partying up like there’s no tomorrow 😉

        • Joebanana says:

          Don’t even talk, I partied all day yesterday and have the next two days off. Drinking beer, planting potatoes and shooting guns…I mean really, whats not to like;-)

          • ITEOTWAWKI says:

            Haha I guess you party Maritimes Style..we party a bit differently in MTL 🙂

            • Joebanana says:

              Lol, it is not a planned thing but it just happens. When I open my garage doors it is like putting a bug light out. People just start stopping in and one thing leads to another. It is why I don’t want to travel.

              I am filled with love for my home but I can’t seem to be as happy as others on OFW anymore. Looking at people as dead men walking is surreal. It is better to know the truth but I find it a very heavy cross some times.

              Oh well, too attached to life is not a good thing.

    • CTG says:

      Happy birthday!

      • ITEOTWAWKI says:

        Thanks CTG! And thank you for your razor sharp comments, always a pleasure to read them (I have kept some dating back to 2014!)

    • psile says:

      Χρονια Πολλα mate.

    • Mark (formerly Snorp) says:

      Happy b day! (broke out of lurking for the occasion)

      • ITEOTWAWKI says:

        Haha thanks Snorp….BTW I for one appreciate your comments…don’t know why JT came down so hard on you…I guess the tombstone pic did it 🙂

      • Joebanana says:

        Not sure why you got the blast either as I enjoy your comments too. Keep posting brother.

        • Mark says:

          Thanks for the kind words, I’m not offended, just wanted to be humble after getting carried away. Lurking has it’s advantages too, after all, I agree with the core. 😉

    • JMS says:

      Ah, I just need two more years to get there (my 50th i mean). Lucky me!
      Anyway, in historical terms, we can not really complain if we die at 50. I’m pretty sure my great great grandfather died before 60, and certainly did not have a life as easy and smooth as mine. We generation X are the second-luckiest generation ever born, just behind the boomers. Happy bitrhday!

      • ITEOTWAWKI says:

        Thanks JMS!

        Exactly my thoughts…even if it was to be finished tomorrow, we have lived better and healthier than 99.99999% of 40 to 60 years old (if they got to that age that is) that have ever existed…and I realize that and know how lucky we have been!!

  32. Fast Eddy says:

    Harley-Davidson Spirals Down, Announces US Layoffs, Builds Factory in Thailand

    Shares of Harley-Davidson (HOG) dropped 10% in the morning after the company reported second-quarter earnings and were down nearly 6% at the end of the day. Almost everything was bad.

    Retail sales by its dealers in the US fell 9.3% in Q2, compared to a year ago, to 49,668 motorcycles. They were “down more than we anticipated,” the company said. And with “soft sales across most markets,” sales by its dealers globally fell 6.7%.

    In addition to the industry woes, its market share in Q2 in the US dropped 1 percentage point to 48.5%. Shipments in the quarter fell 7.2% to 81,807 and are down 10.8% year to date.

    The 30-day delinquency rate on its $7.5 billion in motorcycle loans outstanding rose to 3.25%, from 3.16% a year ago, and from 2.7% in Q2 2015. The annualized loss experience on those loans reached 1.71%, the highest for any second quarter since 2010.

    Total revenues fell 5.6% to $1.58 billion. Net income fell 7.7% to $258.9 million. And despite blowing $163.2 million on share buybacks in the quarter to lower the share count and thus prop up earnings per share, earnings per share fell 4.5% to $1.48.

    Its dealer inventory is bloated, so it offered incentives on its 2016 bikes to clear them out, and that didn’t help its 2017 models, but it said bravely that it is “targeting significantly lower year-end US dealer inventory.”

    H-D cut its full-year shipments forecast to 241,000 to 246,000 motorcycles globally, down from 262,221 shipments in 2016. It said it expects to ship 39,000 to 44,000 bikes in Q3, which implies a 9% to 20% plunge year-over-year.

    Now this is one company I would love to see collapse into a heap of rubble…. my fantasy is to be given immunity — sanction to run these irritating loud piles of scrap off the roads at high speed…

    Anyone want to volunteer to ride shotgun — with a shotgun — to be used to blow these clowns off their bikes in drive by’s….

    I’ll do this for free

    • ITEOTWAWKI says:

      “these irritating loud piles of scrap”

      I agree one of the most annoying sounds to come out of our beautiful IC….

      • Joebanana says:

        ITEOTWAWKI and Eddy-
        We are so much on the same page. A bucket list thing I want to do is dump a 30 round mag into one of those noisy machines.

        • Greg Machala says:

          They old stereotypes of HD riders from 40 years ago no longer apply to today’s HD riders.

      • Tim Groves says:

        The Kawasaki Ninja H2 would be my first choice of a contemporary bike. 200 hp, 160 mph and an enormous amount of noise with a supercharger. This think should really impress the chicks!

  33. Fast Eddy says:

    Alrighty….. back to BAU …. after a short period unplugged…

    I don’t think Great Adventure would apply — you really should try Jan — you might reconsider…

    It’s a pitch black cloud covered evening …. the silence is deafening … just the ocean pounding on the rocks out front ….

    I ultimately had to cheat and use a small torch — can’t put a knee out in the dark when the ski trip is a couple of days away!!! But I did stumble about in the dark for a bit just to get a feel for it

    I even sat in the lounge chewing carrots in the dark —- pondering what I would do if BAU well and truly was done…. and I no flashlight … and I ran out of food…

    We almost never get to experience something like this — sure everyone has sat by a campfire —- but that is nowhere near the same…. there are no thoughts of what if…..

    It’s rather overwhelming…. when your mind wanders… and you imagine what it would be like without electricity…..

    Great Adventure… hmmmmm….. I don’t think so

    More like a f789ing nightmare… that never ends

    • Why are you complaining, most of us here know what does it take to have “doom monkey” on our back, be it malfunction, JIT issues, locust like neighbors etc. It’s not pleasant feeling. According to your real or imaginary accounts, you prefer frivolous joy over any sort of preparedness for the near future. Lost in NZ aka bed of your own making. I’m afraid we have heard this numerous times already, so why are you still complaining.. ah we are not there yet..

      • Fast Eddy says:

        ‘you prefer frivolous joy over any sort of preparedness for the near future’

        I am prepared for the near future — I continue to work so that I can earn enough cash so that I can enjoy the near future.

        Beyond the near future there is no future.

        Frivolous? What is frivolous about travelling the world to enjoy the wonders on display — what is frivolous about going on a month long ski trip?

        There is deep meaning to these trips — I am bucket listings.

        What should I be doing — building raised beds? Why would I waste my time doing that

        not having any serious purpose or value.

        Like I said — why would I spend my time building raised beds? What is the purpose or value of that? That is worse than frivolous — it is pointless… because I will soon be dead

        • Frivolous is very apt adjective to your typical unsolicited jet set boasting stories, which we have had to endure for some time over here. Hence a mere fact stipulation.

          On the subject matter though, it’s not about building raised beds (only), you should have known that at least from the accounts how you rejected agrarian adaptation as pointless after supposedly meticulous research into this area. I don’t take it against you, not everybody could or should do the same, just don’t push your biases on others as universal truths and or dogmas.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            It’s not boasting — it’s about setting an example …

            When you know you are going to die soon — as we all are — is it not prudent to do the things you always wanted to do because if you put them off much longer you won’t have the chance

            Do you think I would be off to the slopes for an entire month if we are not in such a grim situation?

            This is all about cramming in as many experiences as possible before the final bulkhead fills… and we go to the bottom

            Yes I know all about the permie bullshit — I wasted a few years going down that dead end road…

            If planting cabbage is on your bucket list then by all means go ahead…. but if you are planting cabbage because you think you are going to survive the end of BAU because of it — i.e. you can’t stand planting cabbage…

            Then I am your role model.

            You will be able to buy as much cabbage as you want — right up until the very end…. so don’t waste your time

            • Tim Groves says:

              I grow cabbages to feed these little guys.

              They’re my fwends!


            • Thanks for the offer, but the misunderstanding obviously continues, it’s not about the perceived ..drudgery.. of ..the permies stuff/raised beds/storing cabbage.. Actually in running somewhat established system, it’s more about not introducing avoidable mistakes into more or less natural succession, hard lessons learned.

              And in this age increasingly also about some necessary extra work, yet enjoyable tasks like fending off the locust/neighbors with their chemical cavalry, for example by planting and later trimming alley barrier taking the hit for the team (multi purpose used as fire wood) if you have the luck of more or less stable wind patterns..

              Perhaps the simple line would be it’s existence of immersion into nature to the fullest, till the last second, should it end prematurely be it a headshot from a rationing goon or locust on the march, I don’t care that much I had it good and was appreciated in/directly by so many of the critters around. A symbiosis which likely won’t be continued afterwards..

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Farming never has been and never will be about immersion in nature…. it is as unnatural an activity as investment banking… or downhill skiing

              Farming destroys nature

            • Theophilus says:

              Still working to earn money, sounds like a vote of confidence in BAU. Your actions tell a different story than your words.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              You gotta keep dancing until the music stops (even if the music is a loop of Air Supply’s Greatest Hits)

              And nobody knows when the music will stop…

          • Duncan Idaho says:

            It’s escapism- trying to avoid being uncomfortable.
            After you’ve tried sex, drugs, travel, money, adrenaline, etc, eventually ypu need to be comfortable with groundless.
            Not that getting out of a cultural backwater like the US is a healthy alternative.

          • Jan Steinman says:

            it’s not about building raised beds (only), you should have known that at least from the accounts how you rejected agrarian adaptation as pointless after supposedly meticulous research into this area.

            He never “did” nuthin’ BUT research. Never even got his hands dirty.

            He hired a bunch of cheap brown-skinned people and gave them orders, until they revolted on him. Then he ran with his tail between his legs to a “civilized” country, claiming that if he couldn’t get stupid brown people to do his bidding, it was impossible.

            The only thing worse than someone who claims something can’t be done is someone who lies to himself about having tried it.

      • Jan Steinman says:

        why are you still complaining

        That’s all he is capable of.

        We “did the challenge” a couple winters ago, during a huge storm that dumped over a metre of wet snow on unfrozen ground. Power was off for a week, including pumped well. Driveway impassible for as long. Hauled water from the stream and cooked from our extensive larder on the wood stove. Listened for updates on a hand-cranked radio. Talked to some local disaster-relief volunteers on a solar-powered 2 metre ham rig. It was sorta like camping. Inconvenient, but not uncomfortable, even.

        Meanwhile, someone is fretting about being without pumped water for 20 minutes? Give me a break.

        People who say something is impossible should not interfere with people who are doing it.

        Why do I even bother posting? I enjoy having great power over Fast Eddy. Poke him here, he predictably reacts there. It will be impossible for him to not respond to this posting. Probably with some puerile image or childish put-down.

        But that gets boring pretty quick. I’ve got fencing to do today, and cheese to get out of the press.

        • In general I think it’s not worth much trying to addressing it as such short term and narrow challenge anyway. The only ~advisable way I encountered so far, seems to have every “life support” system not doubled, but rather tripled, and better quadrupled. Different ways how to get to potable water, different heating methods, and so on, all interchangeable from the POV of the operator according to conditions, obviously the specific quality and demands of each system are pretty unique, as well its particular JIT dependencies, possible gov-rationing scheme compatibility, but that’s the whole point of it. As result the overall resiliency factor in the end is highly increased vs. single mode “tunnel vision” dependencies. And the pros (deep gov-mil) do it more or less likewise on the conceptual line, but with several factors sized output and budget obviously.

          For mere mortals, it’s surprisingly not much question of money or upkeep, although important to a degree, the bottom line being most of it is impossible to put together for people in flat or suburbia. Hence the distance factor from urban must be increased, should the transition – bumpy plateau (+ expected slow triage of large segments of pop) scenario turn rapidly into temporary or real mad dash of escape out from cities.. You see I’m enough sport to grant instas their probability among several other contending options.

          • Jan Steinman says:

            I’m enough sport to grant instas their probability among several other contending options.

            Yea, sure. I got no problem with that.

            But I think it’s better to have more than one plan than one plan. And it’s certainly better to have some plan than no plan.

            If the fast, absolute crashers “win,” what’s the worst that could happen? We worked for a better world for nothing? I can handle that karma.

            • Artleads says:


            • Joebanana says:

              I agree Jan. No matter how bleak the future I think it is good to grow food. Few things are as satisfying as seeing a healthy ecosystem that provides for ourselves and the creatures around us.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              How are you working for a better world?

              Shifting from hunting and gathering to farming is what lead us to the the point we are at now — 7.5 billion people…. who are fed because of farming.

              If the first seed had never been sown — humans would have remained hunter gatherers…. they would have – like other animals — died back naturally when populations were out of balance with food resources… and we would not be facing a likely extinction event.

            • Joebanana says:

              I think we can grow food and make our ecosystem better with what we know now. Obviously it is too late but humans have learned enough about soils and forests to make life possible for a certain number of us. We f**ked up on the nuclear.

            • Firstly, without correctly addressing the past it’s futile to argue further..
              The ecosystems we have (overhere) are relatively young JOINT product of coming from the last Ice Age, plus the forcing of human presence as disturbance (past ~8k yrs), which by pastoral life basically have had the ~similar effect as big mammals elsewhere (e.g. forest elephants in Asia, big mammals in Africa etc.), clearing spots inside and in between the forest, providing space and conditions for new habitats. At some point though, this positive impact and sort of balanced state started turning detrimental (the onset of complex civs), has lead to overpopulation, overgrazing, erosion of soils, habitat destruction.. Classic examples being ClubMed regions (although weather changed too), some mountainous regions and so on. Nevertheless, many regions apparently did manage to keep such balance for very long time. And I’m still talking about pre-industrial agriculture and land settlement, then it accelerated for the worse in the 19th century.

              What instas don’t get is that all “farming” doesn’t necessary equal destruction, we have ample case studies and direct experience from past decades of building up the soil thickness and stacking up ecosystems, simply reconstruction, rejuvenation. Is that going to feed ~7.5B pop (and protect all species)? Not at the moment by orders of magnitude, and frankly that’s also not stated goal (for me and many) anyways.

              Sometimes there are strange bedfellows and alliances, I despise industrial chemicals (although we are soaked in them on the net), yet I do support the nuclear chemists as they now contributed to lessen the stockpiles of both the nuclear arms race waste as well as from the NPP sector pile.

            • Jan Steinman says:

              What instas don’t get is that all “farming” doesn’t necessary equal destruction

              People generally don’t make a distinction between industrial food production and small farm food production, nor do they account for the notion of “tenure,” since, to them, the entire world has become commodified.

              Industrial farmers don’t plant walnut trees, and have no qualms about ripping up perennial plants after a few years and planting something else that will yield higher quarterly returns to investors. Nor do they much care for soil, which is just a sponge upon which they turn fossil sunlight into human biomass.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          Good on you Jan.

          Now imagine that week being forever.

          Imagine you have run out of split wood and you have to start chopping and hauling manually.

          Imagine you have to wash your clothes by hand. Imagine your clothes eventually tear and you cannot replace them

          Imagine doing everything manually including ploughing the fields …

          Imagine 10,000 people expecting you to feed them.

          Imagine violent armed men who have hungry children and wives — showing up at your farm

          Imagine all those spent fuel ponds being abandoned… releasing massive amounts of radiation into the air and ocean — which will head directly to where you are entering the bodies of fish and animals — being absorbed by the plants in your garden…. consumed by your chickens and goats and cows…

          Imagine what will happen when you eat these contaminated vegetables and eggs and fish…

          You are delusional if you think your ridiculous farm is going to keep you alive.

          You should change your handle to Colonel Kurtz…. there are a lot of similarities … you are as insane as he was… are you planning to put heads on stakes when BAU goes down as a warning to the hordes?

          I don’t see any method….. I don’t see any point….

          We all know how this ended for the Colonel…. a similar fate awaits you

  34. Fast Eddy says:

    Seeing as the water is out — I am going to go full Fast Eddy Challenge — for 20 minutes… fortunately the rain water tank is full so I will climb up and scoop a bucket of water out and use that to have a quick cold shower…

    I have some raw vegetables so I will not go hungry.

    All the lights go off now — I will be back….

    Pray for me

  35. psile says:

    Bank Of America System Outage

    Bank of America customers were shut out from their accounts for several hours Wednesday in a system outage.

    Coral Springs resident Eric Sleeper said he got what looked like a phishing email from the bank Wednesday and immediately started calling customer service to see if something was wrong. A message on his online account said it could not pull up his information.

    When he called his local branch, a manager said that local managers were all calling each other trying to figure out what caused what appeared to be a national outage and why they were unable to provide certain services.

    Yeah, like money. A taste of things to come…

    • i1 says:

      Bank of America’s business is not money. They deal primarily in digits masquerading as currency.

      This is money-

    • Greg Machala says:

      This is interesting! This shows how virtual these banks have become. If computing networks fail there may as well be no physical bank building either. Money is really becoming vapor.

    • Jan Steinman says:

      Bank of America customers were shut out from their accounts for several hours Wednesday in a system outage.


      Interac, the largest peer-to-peer money transfer system in Canada, was down for THREE DAYS! Right at the end of the month! We had people who had paid their rent via Interac, and a mortgage payment coming out on the 2nd! Luckily, we had a cushion, but there have been months when that would have been a problem.

      No word on what happened. I suspect ransomware.

  36. CTG says:

    29 March 2007 – What Are Our Alternatives, If Fossil Fuels Are a Problem?
    Total comments : 12

    02 July – The Next Financial Crisis Is Not Far Away
    Comments (as of 20 days) : 3371.
    Another 2 days and let us say it is 3500 in total

    From 12 to 3500 in 10 years.
    Compounded 76.5% per year
    Gail must be very proud that even her blog shows that she can grow at an infinite (or finite) rate. 😉

  37. Cliffhanger says:

    The 1973 so-called “oil embargo” which reduced oil supply to the USA by somewhere around 3% or 4%. It slammed the US economy, caused the largest stock market crash since the great depression,doubled gasoline prices, severely damaged US industry and caused a 55 MPH national speed limit which remained in effect for ten years. Just wait until we experience a 10% or 20% drop in oil supplies. In a few years or sooner we certainly will. When it hits the economic and social damage will be catastrophic. The end of Western Civilization, from China to Europe,to the US, will not occur when oil runs out. The economic and social chaos will occur when supplies are merely reduced sufficiently. As former Saudi Oil Minister Sheikh Yamani once said “The Oil Age may come to an end for a shortage of oil.

  38. Cliffhanger says:

    Don’t worry once we lose our oil supplies. we will go back to riding horses again. And there will be great new jobs created “Shoveling shit” all day.

    • David Frankenstein says:

      in the next century, after the depletion of energy resources, there will be many new job opportunities!