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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

ten years in


TEN YEARS IN

“A Scientific Romance” by Ronald Wright is a bizarre novel meshing a classical education, a study on the collapse of civilizations and a Wellsian time machine romp five centuries after the implosion of England where one small tribe survives in the north.  I must say, you’d be better off reading his non-fiction “A Short History Of Human Progress”, but this novel does have enough to pay back your purchase price.  One classic line, a few pages into chapter five: “Civilization is always a pyramid scheme.  Living beyond your means.  The rule of the many by the few.  The trick is to keep wringing new loans from nature and your fellow man”.  Bravo.  And here we are, ten years in after the start of Peak Oil, and the pyramid scheme does seem to be running out of loans.  Sometimes literally, as the financial shenanigans supporting fracturing oil are already unwinding.  The January 20th  issue at Club Orlov is the best work yet by anyone on the latest oil price dump ( far better than my Best Guess article was ).  Probably already knowing the national industry as a whole was going to go bust this or next year, some bright boy in the FedGov decided they might as well benefit from the fiasco by folding that house of cards early ( one imagines Goldman made a killing with shorts since they always seem to have advance information, doing the Rothchild’s of yore one better ) and trying to bankrupt our enemies such as Iran and Russia.  Of course, Iran has hardened itself from our previous embargoes and Russia doesn’t allow bankers to run its economy like we do, so it seems to be NOT working in spectacular fashion.

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And this is just one sorry spectacle in the last ten years of Peak Oil ( peak conventional, peak growing supply, peak cheap ).  The last time we had oil go to stratospheric heights ( purt near $150, and was back when that bought a lot more ) we had a bit of a disaster with the global economy.  This dip will give us the same as it wipes out most costlier Fake Oil production.  That was one of the only highlights, keeping total production from falling.  That looks to be ending, and get ready for global production to fall ( then, we’ll be lucky if we only see $150 ).  So, that “can kicked down the road” can’t be used again.  We also resorted to doubling the national deficit and running 60% in the red on the national budget every year.  And that was WITH the petro-dollar.  Without it?  Hyperinflation.  Oh, there was conservation.  Total miles driven has declined every year.  And fuel efficiency averages are probably about as good as they are going to get, because every time oil whiplashes in price and destroys another segment of the economy ( remember the squishy sound of the majority of the middle class freefalling to the pavement? ), they don’t recover.  Less and less new, better mileage cars are going to be bought.  But those two factors did make a difference.  Not next time.  In other words, bottom line, we picked all the low hanging fruit ( fake oil, controlling trading, conservation, mass deficits )  coping with the onset of Peak ten years ago.  And we can’t repeat it.  You think the last ten years were rough?  Just wait.

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6 comments:

  1. Which means one should take advantage of current low oil prices. By stocking up. Not stocking up on oil based fuels (though maybe some) but by buying the production of those fuels in the form of the essentials of life - Water, Food, and Shelter - especially infrastructure related items for the production of your own in your local area. Buy your insulation, windows, and building supplies for your domicile, and enough extra that you can replace it all on your junk land. Buy your grains stored in airtight plastic or metal containers. Buy your rainfall collection tools and water filters. IF you are reliant on a petroleum fuel (or worse electricity) for heat and cooking, get your replacement or lifetime+ supply ASAP. (Magnificently Coifed lord bison- this means YOU need to get your propane for the rest of your lifes heating needs, propane doesn't go bad).
    Once the OPEC price war winds down the prices will begin going up for all these things.

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    1. Don't disagree with anything, esp. my propane. I have about two years stored. I was buying an extra tank here and there but now with the new budget...I'll at least need a solar oven and a few more wood saws ( sage brush ). And I REALLY need to get off my butt on the rain catchment. I'm just not quite there yet on the savings ( just a couple hundred to go ). And eyeglasses ( only one extra pair on hand ). And...million things to go.

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  2. "So, that “can kicked down the road” can’t be used again."
    I enjoy your blog, but that, sir, is a a naive view. You could have said the same thing about QE, but here we are.

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    1. OK, I won't deny that should have been expanded on. At twice the price for one tenth the results, if any, and if it doesn't negatively impact other activities. Any better.

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  3. Good article as usual James. I don't know how you manage to pull it off everyday, but you do?

    You must read non-stop in your spare time? Well, there are certainly worse hobbies, and that one will fill the hours post collapse. Better stock up on more books!

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    1. Now that I'm working part time, about five or six books a week on a good week. I haven't been this "wallowing in a sty" happy for twenty years, in regards to free reading time.

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