DISCOLORED DOOM 3*
note: want to learn to reload steel cases or turn Berden primered cases into Boxer? Check out the YouTube channel The Ammo Channel click here
Looking back on industrial infrastructure, creative destruction was in full bloom. Where once water power was the first machine fuel, that was displaced by coal or even sometimes by wood ( or prior, wood was displaced by water ). Steam coal power was replaced by petroleum or natural gas. In most cases one area was abandoned and another closer to the new fuel source had its new infrastructure built up and the old area saw abandonment. Think of the town and railroad of a tapped out gold mine rusting and falling down, and apply that to manufacturing.
Peak Oil wasn’t the only reason our factories moved overseas. We had already encouraged steel mills elsewhere to account for the Peak Iron Ore here. But what those early mills showed us was that our fifty year plus old plants were inefficient compared to the newer ones. They were closer to the ore, they used less energy and as a bonus labor was cheaper. Domestic Peak Oil was an isolated event that pushed the factories out that were already headed there. Now, take that manufacturing issue and apply it to all other infrastructure such as roads and water and sewer lines and electrical generation and airports and finance. Because most of the rest of the world either had zero modern infrastructure ( based on oil consumption ) or had it destroyed by the war, everybody got brand new crap.
Whereas the US was still using all infrastructure ( not just manufacturing ) from the beginning of the petroleum age.
This accounts for some of the disparity between ours and most other locations, infrastructure wise. They started building everything when ours was already thirty to fifty years old. And most of what we had built was already forecasted to be obsolete not too long after the war anyway. The fact it has lasted this long with minimal issues is testament to the far better materials and labor used a century ago ( or longer ).
Yet not everything built new after 1945 was the same quality as 1900 ( World War One was largely a rural rather than urban destruction ). To some extent it was certainly superior to anything built today, but there was also a quantity verses quality issue. Most of the world had to be paved over, built up, dammed, connected with electricity and the like. There was independence from the old empire, so, for instance, Indian wealth stayed at home rather than being diverted to Britain. Even First World nations like Canada built up infrastructure. We all know the story of China building up from a rural Japanese colony to the factory to the world. They started even later, but they kept the pace of infrastructure construction going.
The destruction of WWII wiped out almost all quality infrastructure in the industrial world ( Britain’s had been even older than ours and been decaying from an earlier start. Bombing just ended the process-with the Pound Sterling dead before that ). What replaced it was of lesser quality but allowed excess quantity ( cement went from centuries old Roman to decades long rebar supported. Building went from massive iron beams to thin steel and window walls. Sewers went from bricked tunnels to plastic pipe. Even the best replacements don’t have longevity ). When old tech is bypassed by new, when the old wasn’t available such as phone lines in Africa, it is plastic and silicon and is delicate by nature.
Everything new was shiny and bright, but it also will not last as long as the old over engineered and overbuilt everything we in the US are still relying on fifty years past their pull date. Not only that, the new build, but also factor in military spending. Most of the rest of the world spends little above nuclear deterrence and national police forces for their military. Sure, the Dutch send over a military unit to help out in Afghanistan as part of NATO pressure. Then they stay at base, not fighting. Why should they? One engagement gone wrong and almost their entire infantry structure for the whole military is wiped out!
Almost all spending and manufacture is dedicated to military uses these days in the US. Other countries keep the water from being poisoned ( unlike Dearborn Michigan and Anywhere USA fracking ) because they don’t have that expense. You can’t accuse them of “not paying their share to ensure Freedom/Democracy” when you never wanted them challenging your hegemony to begin with and didn’t allow their military to grow ( Japan, Germany ).
Okay, so most other places have new-ish infrastructures, and economies not wiped out in military spending. And they don’t need US Dollars because they are butt paper as soon as they aren’t good for buying oil. Doesn’t that give the rest of the world a head start from our collapse? Unfortunately, no. Newer infrastructure is not built solid. Everything was built to take oil. The reason our infrastructure is neglected is because there are NOT the resources to fix or replace. And the only thing keeping the oil flowing is secure trade and banking.
If their infrastructure is now oil based, because the new build up decimated the pre-petroleum infrastructure, and the Spice Stop Flowing, they are in just as bad of a place as we are now. As crappy of a deal as the PetroDollar is for everyone else, our greedy banks and our incompetent military still allow global trade. The structure of Global Policeman is always necessary for trade. Without them, you get Somali Pirates everywhere and nothing gets delivered cheaply enough that the market can bear the extra.
No, we are NOT an effective Global Policeman anymore. We really haven’t been for some time. If we were, there would not be the Chinese non-naval carbon fuel infrastructure being built at huge cost ( the infrastructure of China is especially fast and flimsy and they need the fuel to keep it all running, performing the same short sided fuel inefficiency for cheaper upfront cost we did ). They aren’t JUST building it because they want energy independence but because we can’t be as protective of trade as we were. Our Policeman role has degraded a lot. This ain’t your grandpappy’s multi-thousand ship navy anymore ( with, you know, ships and personnel that actually performed to a minimum standard ).
As crappy as our banking and military industry is, they perform somewhat. Now imagine that absence ( another reason for Chinese alternate trade systems-not just militarily or economic. Without credit and financing AND a military protection, trade doesn’t happen ). So, I’m not claiming that without the US the rest of the world collapses. I’m saying without infrastructure in place the rest of the world collapses. If there was an infrastructure ( don’t JUST think pipes and wires. Finances and payment systems are also infrastructure. They don’t collapse from poor material, but from diminishing returns and lack of the material infrastructure supporting it, like communications and military protection ) that could take its place, it would all transition.
But there ISN’T an infrastructure to take its place, such as when an oil economy took over from a coal economy ( the US from Britain ). Not only do we NOT have another petroleum empire to take over, we probably won’t even have a functioning coal empire ( China ). Just to maintain, forget growth, what we have now we need petroleum. Which is in decline Net Energy wise. Regional economies can survive, but not a global economy. Which is an oil economy.
The economy needs infrastructure to survive. And nobody has an infrastructure they can maintain or replace. The whole world is going down, not because the USA won’t be there to run it, but because the oil won’t flow. Globalization was a stupid idea, but it did allow the best extraction of oil. The party was great while it lasted, but it about Oil, not the Good ‘Ol USA, ‘Murica #1!
END ( today's related link http://amzn.to/2iouds0 )
* By the by, all my writing is copyrighted. For the obtuse out there
Thanks for the link to the ammo channel! Some great info there.ReplyDelete
Having all that old Brit 303 brass berden primed ammo, I was very interested in the subject. Also, while a smidge dangerous, I think I can now effectively ( post-apoc ) remove the Russian 54R primers from the steel case ( when no components were available I bought 25 cent Russian ammo for their bullets ( same .311 diameter ) and powder ( about three quarters of the powder in a 54R to a 303B-I have the weight amount somewhere ). Now I can salvage the primers too. I can't believe I didn't think about searching YouTube earlier on this subject. This seems to be a trend. Nothing naturally comes to mind. I usually just get these recommended to me by the computer.Delete
Not all powder is the same. Chemical composition as well as physical shape/compression affect the burn rate and peak pressure. This will affect safety as well as accuracy.Delete
We have access to excellent powder as well as good brass and bullets right now. I'm stocking some surplus pulled bullets as well as primers and powder for the boxer brass that I go out of my way to buy to buy and gather. Steel case 54R is in my collection, but it is as disposable as the weapons that fire it (to me). I'm thinking that M-N (esp. the M44 "flash-boom bayonet handle") and the 54R Bulgarian Heavy ball would be most useful as "trap" weapons, totally illegal and a bad idea now.
Whenever I handle this stuff, I want to buy more good NATO 7.62x51 M80 FMJBT in battle packs from Austria to feed the good self-loaders and bolts. Prices are fine now, compared to the past 10 years.
It wasn't the prices, it was the availability that prompted me to by the 54r. Nothing was for sale. And now that I have it, I'm done buying more. Not perfect is okay ( the powder info was from a guy that experimented to get the charge amount ).Delete
Yep, expect a systematic break down of systems of trade,commerce,finance,society functions as it is all linked. There may be some reorganizing on local or close regional areas due to existing networks:family ties, business ties, churches, etc. But that is going to be closed loop trading-barter. You'll need plenty on hand as no containers from china, underwear/socks from honduras etc. You might be tradin with farmers or traveling gypsys but they may not value or want your items. Dollars may be still be used as a necessary medium of exchange but on a local circulating chit-type system. Maybe with fuedal type sytems developing in several adjoining counties or portions-connecting states that will function outside or parallel to national/global economies. Seems kind of exciting, can't wait for the fun to start! Jim, great hair as usual!ReplyDelete
Thank you, yesterday was Haircut Day and for the next two or three days my scalp will shine.Delete
Been cutting my own hair since the late '60s and figure I've diverted almost $15,000 to other, better purposes. Technique? Just cut as much off as you can reach. It grows back. So cut it off again.Delete
Now expand that to other areas, and you are saving more every year than you are making.Delete
Oil. aka Energy. Right now we are at the cusp, the energy return on investment (how many soldiers does it take to get that gallon of gas to your SUV?) is clearly in decline. How much decline, how steep, how quickly that slope changes, that is all up in the air and most vital in the final effects on US alive now. - But our great grandkids will see the final results and will only say that it wouldn't have mattered if it happened differently,they would still be in the same position.ReplyDelete
If there is any sort of grand conspiracy with the 'water carburetor' or 'Fusion electric generation' or 'room temp super conductors' they would have the choice of using it right now and becoming important members of our global civilization OR holding onto it for another few decades and becoming the God Kings on Earth of our PODA.
Realistically, a break through on Fusion power, or Zero Point energy, or BOTH super energy storage and solar power conversion are the only things that MIGHT save our current civilization with only massive pains to adjust to the changed infrastructure.
"Realistically, a break through on Fusion power..."ReplyDelete
So, realistically...we are humped. My only unknown is, do I get to retirement age before or after the collapse? Anything five years from now, max, is way up in the air. Ten years is like looking three centuries into the future. I'm enjoying every damn day, now, as I see it as a miracle.
the decline/collapse is going to be ... bumpy. Plateaus and upswings on both large and small scales, followed by little and big drops. I suspect for most people the upside of 40 SOME retirement will pay out for at least a little while. It won't, however, last the next ~@30-40 years of their currently expected lifespans. And if one is under 30? forget it - the only retirement those student debt saddled younger folks are going to get is whatever they own in their own names outright, debt/lien free (so, for most, the clothes on their backs and their tats and piercings).Delete
Also I really don't know why our scientist haven't gotten fusion working on a controlled basis - we have it as an explosive afterall, I kind of wonder if the grant givers found the most promising path toward it _too_ promising and easy and forced the scientist to look into other directions (mostly by controlling the money). While planning to 'discover' fusion after they have been made into god-kings... Or, it could really just be that hard.Delete
I see it as we have not progressed since the start of the collapse fifty years ago. Everything new and exciting now, was invented/discover before then. Some things, like space travel, we can't even do anymore. If it wasn't a "thing" fifty years ago ( fracking oil was, BTW ), it won't happen at all.Delete
Yep Fracking is an older technology from the first half of the 20th century. They only improved it a little and responded when oil reached ~@$100/barrel to pull the tech and the fracking fields out of mothballs. I am sure there are other techs out there that make no sense at the current price of oil and energy that will be dragged out into the light of day - thus the upward bumps on our downward slide of collapse, BUT since they will be more expensive than our previously cheap oil the slide will continue shortly there after. I picture our civilization as Calvin and Hobbes at the top of a huge steep snow covered slope, never knowing if they are going to hit a bump or hill or even a tree hidden behind the swirling snow. Thats our descent from where we are now... Let's hope we can philosophize and bandage our wounds at the bottom. And maybe even figure out a way to go AGAIN! :DDelete
Shale oil was extracted here in Elko in the 1920's. Worked as good then as now :) About like trying to keep the cows alive in winter with imported feed, and still keep free range economical. The SRS Rocco Report was just talking about the failed Grand Canyon gold mining operation. Net energy still matters.Delete
Yes, humped. 7Billion people have futures as bio-fuels and or agricultural supplements, well before they would like to be done with a normal lifespan. I will add, IF a "magical" source of base-load electricity becomes available, that it will INCREASE the speed of depopulation, not decrease it. Elites will have it to make their systems work better and allow the use of remaining Diesel/JP8 stocks to effectively dispose of the target populations (terrorists/rebels/criminals/BadThinkers/BadEaters and their supporters, natch').Delete
Matt Bracken is an optimist, as was The Club of Rome.
Club Of Rome Was An optimist. I love it!Delete
Waxing philisophical again guys. Stay in your pay grade. It is good mental exercising on the macro level of these subjects, but, at your/our/mine dirt level of things it won't make two poops difference whether this unfolds much later, soon or not at all. Based on obvious evidence present, times are o.k. now but expect bad news weather in the future. Prepare accordingly/you have been warned. Carry on, end of message.ReplyDelete
You are probably correct, but foremost in my mind is always the vat of yeast, still half empty at 11:59. I for one can't help but always worry. Doesn't matter if it makes no difference.Delete
A human generation is not 1 second like yeast, but ~@20 years; and our doubling has been slowing to the point it is taking more than that. "Because of declining growth rates, it will now take over 200 years to double again". "Current growth rate is about 1.2 % / year". However this all might indicate a change in resource availability (i.e. peak oil), and that the population is about to contract significantly.Delete
I would say that areas unsustainable now ( in the presence of contracting fuel for trade ) will crash even without growth, and those somewhat sustainable will be overwhelmed by populations from the unsustainable areas and hence have far more than the 1% growth. The US has what kind of growth from immigration? So, yes, no hope because of less growth.Delete
Note the growing anti-immigrant sediment? I think in less than 20 years we are going to see "refugee" invaders kicked out, and slaughtered if they don't leave.Delete
Unfortunately, immigration will only be rejected after the damage has been done. Look at the New Mexico and SoCal economy strip mined after immigrants took over the government.Delete
There are places to avoid the crash, and live okay in a low-energy way. Look at the night view of North America. Cities are glowing brightly at night, with lit roadways between. The dark places far from the lights are safer when the crumbling really gets going.Delete
Of course, those places to live then, are they sustainable? No place goes unpopulated without a good reason.Delete
"No place goes unpopulated without a good reason."
Some much wisdom in so few words. Well said Jim.
Thank you. See, I'm multifaceted. I can drone on and on with horrifying detail, or I can turn around and transfer the idea to a bumper sticker :)Delete
How does the reason for depopulation work? NorK nukes, or the biggest false-flag ever?ReplyDelete
The population is safe as long as the banks can make some coin off of us ( primarily through govt. payments for most of us ).Delete