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The Green New Deal Battles Business as Usual. Both Will Doom Us

The Green New Deal Battles Business as Usual. Both Will Doom Us

We’re clinging to fantasies while the world crumbles. And we like it that way.

IndustrialFutureVignette.jpg
‘The real unfolding drama — the collapse of a global civilization founded on a highly material culture created by cheap energy — is not a narrative we want to tell ourselves or our children.’ Image via Pixabay.

The stories we tell ourselves become the reality of our experience.

Global elites are now offering ordinary people two salvation stories for our digital entertainment.

Both delusional stories are being served on the Internet with bags of virtual popcorn.

One is the so-called Green New Deal, and the other is Business As Usual, which comes in both liberal and autocratic formats.

Both are actively competing for our attention.

Let’s begin with BAU, which now boasts a variety of populist variations.

At one level or another, we can all understand BAU’s alluring and simple call to restore greatness and order.

Think of it as Vladimir Putin, Doug Ford, Jair Bolsonaro, Andrew Scheer and Donald Trump doing a rain dance to bring back lost worlds and spent energies.

Or China’s Hong Kong establishment wondering what’s wrong with those young people in the streets.

Or Emmanuel Macron asking what the hell got into those yellow vest people marginalized by globalization and carbon taxes. 

The BAU refrain is simple: trust the status quo and its armies of technocrats, because they’ll make things great again.

The BAU crowd maintains that nothing is really wrong with our failing global economic Ponzi schemes or the broken air conditioning unit that controls the climate.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

There Is No Normal

There Is No Normal


The wheel of time rolls forward, never retracing its path, but because it is a wheel, and we are riding in it, a persistent illusion persuades us that the landscape is recognizably the same, and that our doings within the regular turning of the seasons seem comfortably normal. There is no normal.

There is for us, at this moment in history, an especially harsh turning (so Strauss and Howe would say) as our journey takes the exit ramp out of the high energy era into the next reality of a long emergency. The human hive-mind senses that something is different, but at the same moment we’re unable to imagine changing all our exquisitely tuned arrangements — especially the thinking class in charge of all that, self-enchanted with pixeled fantasies. The dissonance over this is driving America crazy.

The wheel hit a deep pothole in 2008 turning onto the off-ramp and has been wobbling badly ever since. 2008 was a warning that going through the motions isn’t enough to sustain a sense of purpose, either nationally or for individuals trying to keep their lives together ever more desperately. The cultural memory of the confident years, when we seemed to know what we were doing, and where we were going, dogs us and mocks us.

The young adults feel all that most acutely. The pain prompts them to want to deconstruct that memory. “No, it didn’t happen that way,” they are saying. All those stories about the founding of this society — of those Great Men with their powdered hair-doos writing the national charter, and the remarkable experience of the past 200-odd years — are wrong! There was nothing wonderful about it. The whole thing was a swindle!

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

What Is Earth For?

What Is Earth For?

“The care of the Earth is our most ancient and most worthy, and after all our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it and foster its renewal is our only hope.” – Wendell Berry

Author Wallace Stegner once said every book should try to answer an anguished question, an instruction that I took to heart at a tender age. For over thirty years, I’ve tried to answer a number of anguished questions in my writing, photography, and activism, ranging over the fields of archaeology, history, conservation, the radical center, regenerative agriculture, resilience, and climate change. Although the questions were often daunting and suffused with urgency, in my answers I tried to be creative, hopeful and, above all, a good storyteller. It’s my nature to see the glass as half-full, even if the glass is large and intimidating! 

Slowly, a general anguished question began to reveal itself over the years, linking my various concerns and creative efforts: what is land for? Why do we do what we do to land, including its plants and animals? Why do we treat it so poorly at times and yet magnificently at others? Why are we so obsessed with its beauty and bounty and yet so harmful and destructive to its health? We are possessive of land and possessed by it, but we are also deeply conflicted about what land is for – Food? Wilderness? Mining? Inspiration? Recreation? This anguished question lies at the heart of The Sun. In my story, a young doctor inherits a large, beautiful property and must decide: what is the ranch for? Oil-and-gas? Houses? Cattle? Fish? Wolves? A casino? A spiritual retreat? Complicating things, there’s a dead body and a mystery to solve as well!

Hurricane Katrina

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Will Governments ever Listen Before there is Blood in the Streets?

Will Governments ever Listen Before there is Blood in the Streets? 

COMMENT: Thank you for ‘Why Private Blogs’. You should get goose bumps once in a while about your work~,
the project is massive in scale, certainly worthy of my respect and everyone else in readerville and your employ as well. This piece is well written and also lays out a good mission statement reminder to all. So, feel free Martin to frame it, re post it once a year, and continue to knick knack patty whack away at the world and toss us bones …. it is a worthy and respected endeavor that is already making the world a better place, especially for those to come rolling home here in the future!!! Stay fired up my friend I have not yet met……. for BETTER DAYS ARE COMING.

REPLY: I do believe people tend to think this is just about forecasting the ups and downs in markets.  I have probably met with more central banks and governments than anyone over the years. I was called in by China during the 1997 Asian Currency Crisis and the Commission forming the Euro. I was called in at the formation of the G5 and by the Brady Commission for the 1987 Crash. All of these things and many more ONLY took place NOT because my opinion is worth something someone else does not have.

All of this has been because we forecast absolutely every country in the world and people even at the upper levels understand what we are doing and this is about demonstrating that absolutely EVERYTHING is connected on a global scale.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

New Study Finds Media-Generated Fear is Driving ‘Doomsday Prepping’

New Study Finds Media-Generated Fear is Driving ‘Doomsday Prepping’

Not right wing conspiracy theories.

A new study has found that media-generated fear, not right-wing conspiracy theories, is the main driving force behind the rise of ‘doomsday prepping’.

The study, published in the Journal of American Studies, confirms that neither a backlash to the Obama presidency nor ‘extremist’ beliefs were responsible for the trend of Americans stockpiling food over the last 10 years.

Researchers interviewed preppers from 18 different U.S. states to ascertain the motivation behind their prepping.

“The results indicated that, although most did seem to be conservative and fear liberal policies, the main reason behind their motivations was the overall sense of fear currently dominating U.S. culture across a variety of media channels,” writes John Anderer. “Most Americans can’t seem to log online or turn on the television without being hit by a grim view of the future being reported or speculated on.”

The study also revealed that most ‘doomsday preppers’ don’t actually believe in imminent doomsday, but instead stockpile food because of worries over specific crises like an economic collapse, terror attack or a pandemic.

“Fear is now deeply entrenched in modern American culture and is the principal reason that so many citizens are engaging in ‘prepping’,” said lead author Dr. Michael Mills.

1177 BC – The Collapse of Society System-Wide

1177 BC – The Collapse of Society System-Wide 

QUESTION: I do not believe you have ever commented on Eric Cline’s book 1177BC, the year civilization collapsed. Do you think this is likely what we face or is this different?

WL

ANSWER: There were about eight civilizations that all collapsed with the exception of Egypt post-1250 BC. It was caused by a major shift in climate that led to droughts which resulted in the widespread famine that inspired migrations/invasions. This event of 1177BC was the Bronze Age equivalent to the fall of Rome, for they both were followed by a Dark Age.

Many have attributed this collapse of the Bronze Age to the Sea Peoples, which were most likely northern Mediterranean mass migrants due to the climate getting colder in Europe. Cline has put together a nice assembly of sources, but he missed the climate change. He assumed there was a migration southward. However, we can see the first dip to cold came about 1,800 years ago. We can see that the all-time high temperature was about 3,300 years ago.

The collapse of the Bronze Age was mostly complete by about 1100-1000 BC. Our computer has identified a 1720-year cycle beginning in the Dark Ages with the fall of Rome in 476 AD when the last pretend Emperor reigned (Romulus Augustus (575-476AD)). Our model highlighted the cycle between the Dark Ages of 1720 years which brings us to 1244 BC — right on target for the beginning of the collapse of civilization.

How Civilization Collapses
1) Collapse in centralized government
2) The rich flee and economic growth declines
3) The economy implodes without investment
4) Birth rates decline with population
5) People migrate and abandon urbanization

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Our Veggie Gardens Won’t Feed us in a Real Crisis

Our Veggie Gardens Won’t Feed us in a Real Crisis

A haul from the Author’s urban farming operation in Portland, Sept. 15, 2007 (Photo C.H.White)

Massive flooding and heavier than normal precipitation across the US Midwest this year delayed or entirely prevented the planting of many crops. The situation was sufficiently widespread that it was visible from space. The trouble isn’t over yet: Hotter-than-normal temperatures predicted to follow could adversely affect corn pollination. Projections of lower yields have already stimulated higher prices in UN grain indexes and US ethanol. Additionally, the USDA is expecting harvests to be of inferior quality. Furthermore, the effects of this year could bleed into 2020; late planting leads to late harvesting which delays fall tilling, potentially until next spring, when who knows what Mother Nature will deliver. 

Accuweather’s characterization of this as a “one-of-a-kind growing season” is literally true only in terms of its exact circumstances (given increasingly chaotic events) but not in its intensity (which will surely be exceeded). Prudence would dictate that we heed this year’s events as a warning and get serious about making preparations for worse years. Literal cycles of “feast or famine” have marked agriculture since its birth and sooner or later we will experience significant shortages here in the US, if not from the weather, than from war or lack of resources.

The Midwest floods and their possible repercussions for the food supply got some attention in the news (though not enough). One of the most common suggestions I saw on social media was: “Plant a garden!” 

If only it were that simple.

I used to be a small-scale organic farmer so take it from me: totally feeding yourself from your own efforts is very, very challenging. Though some friends and I tried over multiple seasons, we never succeeded, or even came anywhere close. 

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Future Of Better FarmingSustainable practices + smart technology = thriving soils

The Future Of Better FarmingSustainable practices + smart technology = thriving soils

While it’s *soooo* tempting to write about the stomach-churning drop/spike/dive thrill ride the financial markets have embarked on after this week’s Federal Reserve rate cut, I will resist and instead direct your attention to a topic much more important to our future.

Here at PeakProsperity.com, we’ve long warned about the dangers of inflation and of devaluation of the purchasing power of fiat currency over time. And the past decade has done nothing but validate our concerns, as the world’s central banks nearly quadrupled the money supply by printing roughly $14 Trillion out of thin air since 2008.

We’ve long encouraged investors both big and small to invest in tangible wealth (aka “hard assets”). These are assets that have intrinsic value that can’t be inflated away to nothing by a runaway printing press.

One of most desirable forms of tangible wealth is productive farmland. No matter what happens to the dollar, the Euro, the yen, or the yuan, people will always need to eat; and will trade cash, goods, services or labor for the farmer’s output.

But farmland, especially quality farmland, isn’t easy to own.

Not many folks can realistically purchase a farm. Few have the (substantial) capital to buy one, and way fewer have the expertise, energy and temperament to manage and operate one.

There aren’t many other options for investors besides purchasing shares of the publicly traded mega-producers.

But for those deeply troubled by the extractive and rapacious nature of most modern conventional farming practices — which are ruining our priceless topsoils, depleting aquifers, killing off the insects, creating toxic algal blooms and dead zones in our rivers and oceans, and producing unhealthy foods, to boot — how can you avoid supporting the evils of Big Ag?

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Here’s How Prepping Can SAVE You Money

Here’s How Prepping Can SAVE You Money

One of the most common reasons that people give for not prepping is the cost involved.  People seem to have this mental image of a  bedroom or basement dedicated to being filled to the rafters with cans of Chef-Boy-Ardee.  They imagine someone going out and spending $5000 at a time for a year’s worth of food.

The fact is, a pantry is a work in progress.

You can save a fortune on your food budget by shopping carefully and in quantity.

A well-stocked food pantry is not just there in case of an epic disaster or TEOTWAWKI.  It can provide a cushion in the event of a job loss or personal economic downturn.  Not only that but as an investment, purchasing food at today’s prices is a great hedge against tomorrow’s increases.  The cost of food will only be going up.

Take peanut butter, as an example: A few years ago, I purchased natural, no-stir peanut butter for $1.88 per jar when it was on sale.  A year later, that very same brand in the very same sized jar was $5.99 on sale due to a poor peanut harvest.  That means that each jar of peanut butter on the shelves represented a savings of $4.11  – there is no other investment that gives you that kind of return.

Before I even knew what prepping was, I had a well-stocked pantry.  When I was first married and had a newborn baby, I was struggling to put food on the table with our tiny grocery budget.  At the library, I stumbled upon a series of books by Amy Dacyczyn called “The Complete Tightwad Gazette“.  This fantastic series gave me a whole new perspective on grocery shopping, and is the shopping basic philosophy I adhere to still. (And I highly recommend the books – there are 3 or you can get one big compendium containing all 3 titles!)

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Things Fall Apart

Things Fall Apart

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

– Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

You’re not losing your mind, everybody else is. Things are crazy and getting crazier. Something must be done. Somebody, please do something.

If paying attention to global events overwhelms and results in a combined sense of dread, concern and bewilderment, you’re not alone. It’s not simply because humans have more access to more information than ever before that you feel this way, there does appear to be a quickening in the pace of the unfolding of humanity’s latest chapter. Things are genuinely falling apart, but things are always falling apart. Likewise, things are always being built and created. Governments come and governments go, as do global empires and monetary systems. Everything is dying and being born all at once, constantly and forever. This will not change.

That said, there are periods in history when the entire paradigm you’ve been accustomed to living under changes rather abruptly and for good. A change of this nature alters the entire game on a global basis and happens perhaps once in a lifetime.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

BOOM! Fossil Fuel Combustion and the Mother of All Economic Busts

BOOM! Fossil Fuel Combustion and the Mother of All Economic Busts

Photograph Source: Eric Kounce TexasRaiser – Public Domain

William Catton focussed on what follows a boom in the human population. He spelled out the scenario in his 1980 book, Overshoot: The Ecological Basis of Revolutionary Change. As one reviewer put it, “Catton believed that industrial civilization had sown the seeds of its own demise and that humanity’s seeming dominance of the biosphere is only a prelude to decline.”

Catton hasn’t been alone. Many others have warned or at least implied an inevitable human population bust. But that inevitability is no longer likely to hit solely from overshoot alone, and not in some far-distant future. Instead, with the added pressure from our booming combustion of fossil fuels, a human population bust could plausibly be kicked into gear sometime “by” — a.k.a. before — 2050, or within the next 30 years.

This could be the mother of all economic busts.

The human population boom has been the bedrock of economic boom in sector after sector. It’s been the bedrock foundation of a profit boom for the fossil fuel combustion industries that now put it at risk. In the US alone, the booming human population has been the wellspring for surging numbers of visitors to the likes of Yellowstone National Park, city managers bent on promoting growth, the basis of soaring demand for logging to supply housing for a growing human herd.

Booms thus enjoy considerable public approval and political popularity. Over and over again, the long-ongoing human population boom has afforded the political elites and local boosters an opportunity to boast of a booming economy, sometimes raising local and even national concerns that they tout growth at any cost.

Bust, on the other hand, is a dirty four-letter word.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Extinction is Stalking Humanity

Extinction is Stalking Humanity

I have previously written a summary of the interrelated psychological, sociological, political-economic, military, nuclear, ecological and climate threats to human survival on Earth which threaten human extinction by 2026. See ‘Human Extinction by 2026? A Last Ditch Strategy to Fight for Human Survival’.

Rather than reiterate the evidence in the above article, I would like to add to it by focusing attention on three additional threats – geoengineering, medical vaccinations and electromagnetic radiation – that are less well-known (largely because the evidence is officially suppressed and only made available by conscientious investigative activists) and which, either separately or in combination with other threats, significantly increase the prospect of extinction for humans and most (and possibly all) life on Earth by the above date, particularly given the failure to respond strategically to these interrelated threats.

Before doing this, however, let me emphasize, yet again, that it is (unconscious) fear that is driving all of these crises in the first place and fear that underpins our collective failure to strategically address each of these interrelated threats in turn. And, as I have explained elsewhere and reiterate now, if we do not address this fear as a central feature of any overall strategy for survival, then extinction in the near term is certain. See, for example, ‘The Limited Mind: Why Fear is Driving Humanity to Extinction’.

So, beyond the usual issues that are considered imminent threats to human survival – particularly nuclear war, ecological collapse and climate catastrophe based on dysfunctional political, economic, legal and social institutions – let me briefly outline some of these other threats and, once again, invite a strategic response to each and all of these threats so that we give ourselves some chance of surviving.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Responding to Collapse: Uncertain Future Forum Wrap-Up

Responding to Collapse: Uncertain Future Forum Wrap-Up


When we invited Dahr Jamail, Meghan Kallman, Taylor Brorby, and Winona LaDuke to answer the admittedly difficult and emotionally charged question that is this forum’s topic, we didn’t expect to get the “right” answer from any of them. There is no “right” answer. What’s “right” is subjective—very much dependent on our individual circumstances and how we define “collapse.” I would venture that the answer is also fundamentally unknowable. It will be a moving target as the complex, adaptive systems of energy, climate, economy, and politics interact in ways that we can neither predict nor fully prepare for.

But that doesn’t mean the question—how do we respond to collapse?—is futile or that the attempt to answer it is pointless. In fact, it may be the most important question each of us needs to ask—and re-ask—ourselves and one another over the coming days, months, and years.

That’s why we wanted this to be the very first topic of the Uncertain Future Forum and invited Winona, Taylor, Meghan, and Dahr to answer the question (and respond to one another’s answers) in whatever way they felt compelled. And it’s why I would like to invite you to grapple with the question and share your answer in the comments section below.

Though there are as many answers to this question as there are people asking it, I did notice some common themes in the responses of our authors. One is the need to be honest with ourselves and each other about the reality we face. Another is the need to contend with our own grief, as Dahr Jamail shared.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Scientists work to solve phosphate shortage – the dwindling resource required to grow food

Scientists work to solve phosphate shortage – the dwindling resource required to grow food

By 2030, the world’s population is projected to be about 8.5 billion people. Global food security is a major concern for governments – zero hunger is the second most important of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

However, there is a severe conflict between sustainable food production and the use of nonrenewable resources in agricultural systems, particularly phosphate. Phosphorus is a major mineral nutrient required by crop plants for optimal growth and productivity. Phosphate is the only form of phosphorus that plants can absorb — it is often applied to crops as phosphate fertilizer. 

Phosphate is obtained through rock mining. Seventy per cent of the world’s phosphate reserves are located in North Africa. China, Russia, South Africa and the United States all have limited quantities of the mineral rock. 

Finite resources

Scientists have reported that global phosphate production would peak around 2030, at the same time the global population will reach 8.5 billion people. Several reports have also warned that the global reserve would be depleted within the next 50 to 100 years. Current agricultural practice involves the use of a high amount of phosphate fertilizer in order to achieve optimal plant yield.

A phosphate shortage will threaten global food production: phosphate fertilizers are used extensively to produce optimal plant yield. Shutterstock

This is because of the chemical properties of phosphate, which interacts with soil particlesin a way that makes it difficult for the plant to acquire, leaving a large portion of the element in the soil surface.

Because plants can only uptake small amounts of phosphate, a large majority of fertilizer ends up in unwanted places, like bodies of water, making these practices ecologically and financially unsustainable. It is only reasonable to fathom that as phosphate becomes more expensive and may eventually run out, it not only poses a food security threat, but may also pose political crisis between phosphate rich countries and importing countries.+

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, Future History

Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, Future History

In Donald Trump’s go-back-to-where-you-didn’t-come-from America, where the fear of immigrants (as well as their grotesque mistreatment) still seems on the rise, just wait. There’s so much more to come. Climate change has barely begun to hit this planet big time and yet, while there’s much writing about the grim circumstances (including gangs, drugs, and violence) that continue to send desperate Central Americans north to the U.S. border, global warming is also a growing factor in the equation. If the weather destroys the possibility of growing your food, you’ve got to do something else or go somewhere else. In the coming decades, count on one thing: thanks to the way we’re changing our very planet, ever more people are going to be uprooted from their homes and sent wandering in desperation across this globe of ours. And if you think about it, since Donald Trump is so desperately intent on aiding and abetting the intensification of global warming via fossil-fueled projects of every sort, he should really be considered the ultimate “invader” of this country. Given what we know about the reactions of those not forced to flee to those who are — to, in fact, a planet already filled with the displaced and refugees escaping violence on a scale not seen since the end of World War II — expect things to grow worse. More heat, more upheaval, more wars, and whatever turns out to follow the “populist right” on an increasingly unnerved planet, along with potentially 250 million or more displaced people by perhaps mid-century. Given the backstory so far, it’s not likely to be pretty.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai III: Cataclysm
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