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Dmitry Orlov on Collapse
John Robb, Global Guerrillas
Had the opportunity to attend a presentation by Dmitry Orlov (author of the excellent book Reinventing Collapse) last night, with my friend Steve Wardell. Dmitry makes a compelling case that the US empire will suffer the same fate as its most hated rival, the Soviet empire, for many of the same reasons:
While Dmitry's top level analysis is great, it's the details (from his experience with how people dealt with the economic/political/social collapse of the Soviet Union) on how Americans will cope with daily life after a collapse, that are the most entertaining/sobering. In a nutshell, life in a US Banana Republic means: we're going to grow lots of our own food, make our own energy, and buy most our products at flea markets.
(18 November 2010)
Author John Robb is "an author, an entrepreneur, and a former USAF pilot in special operations."
Peak Energy, Climate Change, and the Collapse of Global Civilization: The Current Peak Oil Crisis
Tariel Mórrígan; Global Climate Change, Human Security & Democracy, UCSB,
A new report was released in October entitled, "Peak Energy, Climate Change, and the Collapse of Global Civilization: The Current Peak Oil Crisis", by the Global Climate Change, Human Security & Democracy (GCCHSD) research group at the University of California at Santa Barbara.
The report is a synthesis of the current state of knowledge on energy resources and global climate and environmental change. The findings clearly indicate that the convergence of peak energy resources and dangerous anthropogenic climate and environmental change will likely have a disastrous impact in the near- and long-term on the quantity and quality of human life on the planet (see synopsis below). Topics include: peak oil, coal, natural gas, uranium, and phosphorus; climate change; environmental degradation; population; food and agriculture; water resources; and the limits of biofuels (including algae-based biofuels).
GCCHSD published this report to both inform the public and policy-makers about the threats and challenges of peak energy and climate change, and to provide its Global Advisory Council of policy-makers and statesmen with timely and detailed science-based information on these impending crises.
This report is currently released as an eBook (pdf file). Hard copies are not available yet from the GCCHSD, but the eBook may be printed out and distributed. This report and other GCCHSD publications may be found at the following url:
Interested persons are encouraged to contact the author of the publication with any comments or questions regarding this publication.
Peak oil and the events associated with it will be an unprecedented discontinuity in human and geologic history. Peak oil crises will soon confront societies with the opportunity to recreate themselves based on their respective needs, culture, resources, and governance responses. Peak oil will require a change of economic and social systems, and will result in a new world order. The sooner people prepare for peak oil and a post-peak oil life, the more they will be able to influence the direction of their opportunities. Nevertheless, there are probably no solutions that do not involve at the very least some major changes in lifestyles. Consequently, peak oil will probably result in some catastrophic upheavals. Peak oil will also present opportunities to address many underlying societal, economic, and environmental problems.
Humanity has already passed the threshold for dangerous anthropogenic interference with the natural climate system. Peak energy resources and economic decline may make it more challenging for societies and their economies to adapt to future climate and environmental changes.
This report considers energy resources, climate change, ecological balance, and the Earth’s capacity to supply food and water to support human life from the perspective of governance and human security
Some key messages from the report include:
A massive report (252 pages) that covers many of the issues we have been working on at Energy Bulletin and Post Carbon Institute. Good job, Tariel and the Global Climate Change, Human Security & Democracy (GCCHSD) research group! Direct link to the PDF (14 MB). -BA
The Economy Is Not Coming Back
Gilles d'Aymery, Swans Commentary
Part III: The Reasons it Shouldn't
The first part of this long essay presented an abridged history of the road to the current deep socioeconomic crisis that some observers had predicted, even though no one could pinpoint the exact timing of the implosion. The second part submitted that there are objective factors that explain why the economy is not going "to come back" any time soon. But, more importantly, profound and intensifying environmental and ecological crises militate in favor of not having the economy revert to the shape and form it had. Some of these crises are the object of this third part. In short, to return to business as usual will lead to collective suicide, which Mother Nature will trigger in the not so distant future.
... Fossil fuels have been feeding the materialistic economic paradigm, whether under capitalism or socialism, since the early 1800s. Their use increased moderately between 1850 and 1950, thereafter shooting up like a rocket. (5)
... With these few facts in mind, where does the world stand in regard to fossil fuels?
Since the beginning of the current latent depression, as oil consumption has flattened or slightly decreased, the topic of peak oil has by and large disappeared in the mainstream media. Were it not for the Blogosphere (7) that keeps bringing facts of oil depletion to the fore, one would believe that everything is fine and dandy -- and, anyway, the alarmists are deemed radicals (right or left) and as such are discounted. However, what to make of Charles Maxwell, a senior energy analyst at Weeden & Co. -- certainly not a "radical" -- who has written and talked extensively about The Gathering Storm? (8)
Or what about Robert Hirsch? Swans readers may recall Hirsch's 2005 report "Peaking of World Oil Production: Impacts, Mitigation, and Risk Management" that was highlighted on January 29, 2007, in the dossier, "Energy Resources And Our Future," by Admiral Hyman G. Rickover. In that report, Hirsch, an oilman par excellence, showed the dire challenges the world faces and how to possibly mitigate them.
(15 November 2010)
Swans Commentary is a journal of the left. -BA