Monday, April 28, 2014
Now that Capitalism in the 21'st Century has been Pickety'd to the bone, and the pundits have bloviated up another bubble of gas bigger than the methane veil enveloping the planet, a strange thought occurred to me that's maybe just silly, but with the El Nino that's building in the equatorial Pacific getting ready to pulse the accumulated warmth of a decade into our collective faces, I can't help but wonder about its dynamic.
What made me consider it was an article going all ga-ga about solar and how it was going to save the planet and asking so why isn't everyone installing it. Besides the many good reasons for that not being the case, the one that intrigued me was a bit more esoteric, but, being as it has to do with global entropy and the redistribution by the planet itself of the absorbed radiation from our star, I think it not too impertinent to think it pertinent.
It's understood, methinks, even by the likes of Sarah Palin and her ilk, that the greatest amount of solar radiation is absorbed in the equatorial regions of the globe, and that what the trade winds, Gulf Stream and other natural phenomena do is redistribute that fallen radiation to other parts of the planet that are less blessed with it.
Yet the vast majority of solar panels are being installed in the temperate zones of North America, Asia. and Europe, so that , to take the well-known phenomena of Greece and Germany as an example, solar radiation falling on Germany, a northern clime, is transferred, via manufactures, to Greece, who, as evidenced by its trade deficit with Germany, transfers much less of its more bountiful supply of solar radiation to the German economy.
The US Agricultural policy fosters the same phenomena on the rest of the world, transferring the products of its temperate zone solar radiation, in the form of foodstuffs, to those areas of the globe, such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and, yes, Africa, where an overabundance of solar radiation already falls, and burning oil the whole way.
So, whereas the natural energy system of the world transfers enormous amounts of the product of solar radiation to other parts of our orb, mankind insists on returning that energy to the area most besotted with it. Looked at another way, it's as though there were planetary systems that sequestered CO2 in the form of stable hydrocarbon pools under the ground, living steady-state ecosystems, such as rain forests, buried peat bogs and tundra, or in subterranean rock and shale, resulting in an oxygen-rich atmosphere that enabled creatures with lungs to exist, and those creatures, in order not to have to use the muscles and skeletons millenia of evolution had endowed them with, were to dig up those pools, smash those rocks, hew down the oxygen-creating rain forests and set fire to the tundra, thereby returning all that CO2 into the atmosphere diminishing the one ingredient essential to their continued existence.
OMG! That's just crazy. But then again, so's "Free Trade". Remember this, it's a good rule of thumb: anything that has the word "free" in front of it is a lie. That's the pure and simple truth. Anything. We're all familiar with the saying, "There's no such thing as a free lunch", yet live as though we have never heard of it. This isn't to say that you can't momentarily profit from something extended to you that's been labelled "free". But that just means it's free to you ... for now ... and invariably deceptively. Because, it is not free. It costs. Someone else. There is no free health care, free education, or free ride, interest-free loan, or free trade, especially free trade. It is the costliest of all the freebies. And the harder it is to discern just who's footing the bill, the more sure you can be that the costs associated with the "Freedom" that's being advertised are the most onerous. Because it is in fact this so-called free trade that is the main driver of mankind's insane transference of energy back to the tropics, mostly in the form of manufactures, most of those in the products of militarism and automobility.
To illustrate the concept, remember Risk-free? The main driver of the financial meltdown, it tried to convince (Okay, it DID convince) the investing public, as well as some supposedly inured veterans of trade wars, it was unabashedly selling what they euphemistically referred to as "products" that were actually ADVERTISED to be hiding risk; dicing it up and spreading it around, ie, hiding it, so that no one could tell who was holding what, and this while all the time spouting about the "magic of the Market" that, because of EMT, or EMH (Efficient Market Theory/Hypothesis: the supposition being that everyone in the market, knowing everything, are equipped to make rational decisions as to how to allocate their financial resources), were therefore risk "Free". But how can that be when the very rationale behind the instruments the "industry" designed was to keep the most important element of investment-making decisions, that upon which everything, especially price, was based, Risk, purposely obfuscated and opaque by design?
The purpose was to deceive, and the purpose of calling it Free Trade is to deceive as well. So when you see ads selling solar panels that claim Free Electricity, it may not be a bad idea to check into the economics of investing in it, but don't be thinking it's free, there really is no such thing. Everything has costs associated with it, including this free internet, which is anything but (e.g., using all the electricity generated by all the solar panels currently installed would not be enough to supply just its power requirements, and it incurs many other costs besides raw power).
Posted by Robert Lowrey at 12:02 PM
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Plan it Janet decide to Bore us Yellen again this week: “Fundamental to modern thinking on central planning, I mean banking, is the idea that monetary policy is more effective when the public better understands and anticipates how the central bank will respond to evolving economic conditions".
Just who, you may ask, does she mean when she refers to "the public"? And what exactly is modern thinking, and what good is Forward guidance when the seeing eye dog is just as blind as the person he's leading? Which, before she was even appointed, Yellen, assured us she was, as she practically bragged about being completely clueless about the impending Global calamity that jettisoning of Lehmnan Bros would let fester no longer but turn into a full-scale rout.
Does this mean that she really doesn't see that her predecessor has pulled the same stunt that HIS predecessor pulled on him? Because Greedspan, having coaxed the public into financing their asset purchases via ARM's that started at low interest rates, lit the fuse that would cause the financial instruments derived from such low interest rates, to blow sky-high, when he initiated the "baby-steps" of .25% rising interest rates that his successor BB was then stuck with, and which was the catalyst for the concatenating failure initiated by the subprime implosion.
So now, in a similar move, Bernanke has started the same process, under the guise of a diminishing QE, and then bowed out leaving Yellen to continue down the path to economic destruction.
An epiphany of sorts occurred to me this week although perhaps it's just day-dreaming, I'm not sure. IT was triggered by the term used by economists when they talk of QE, or ZIRP, or even Capitalist growth on a finite planet, and that term is sustainability. As though all we need do is figure out a system that is steady state and it will be sustainable. This sounds rational and even desirable to me. But when you consider that we are, in reality, literally stardust, the earth and our own sun products of an exploding star, you can see that the very engines of creation and source of energy for all life, stars, despite their longevity and awesome power, are quite simply unsustainable; doomed to destruction by the very forces that created them and ignited their nuclear furnace.
But all stars don't self-destruct in the same way. Some blow up and then settle down to become white stars and burn in a more limited capacity for trillions of years, while others blow up in such a cataclysmic way that they collapse into black holes and are so dense, more so than even Paul Krugman, that not even light can escape their gravitational pull. The manner they collapse depends on the way they lived, and there are certain parallels, I believe, between the fuel available to stars and how that affects their demise, and the fuel of economies and how that affects theirs.
But the one thing they both have in common, is that they rely on that fuel, and once its supply is burned out, once all the hydrogen's been fused into Helium, a reconfiguration takes place mandated by the laws of physics and power of gravity, which is the hidden power we neither see nor comprehend, in the case of the star and in an economic system, the profit-generating engines it contains.
And the engine running the current system is misfiring on several cylinders, and the fuel its running on is like the ethanol the government mandates be mixed in with gasoline: on the surface everything runs okay, but the price is high and the energy conversion is deceptively lower. Gasoline at $4/gal, when mixed with ethanol, doesn't get the same mileage, so although it's nominal price hasn't changed, it is more expensive to run your car on a mixture of gas and ethanol, as you will have to fill it up more often even though you drive the exact same number of miles. It's no accident that you didn't know that.
The automotive infrastructure, like the economy itself, is running on fumes, the capital necessary to keep it going as diluted as summer-blend fuel, and even more deceptively. Because, whereas the fact that the general population doesn't know they put less energy-intensive gas into their vehicles for the summer "driving season", it is deception by omission, as well as emission, (now surpassing 12 gigatons/year, but we won't go into that), whereas the deception in regards to their economic prospects, is one that has been, blatantly, for this entire century, even millennium, to be more dramatic, deliberately engineered.
The purported reason for this is to keep home values from plummeting to their real value, far less than what they are priced at currently, a dynamic which, with more than 60% home ownership, caters to the majority. But whereas we all believe in minority rights, when that minority is renters, they are slammed without the majority giving a damn. Because if the Fed is using/abusing its powers to levitate asset prices above what the market will bear, all the while bloviating about "Free Market Economics," which their very existence belies, then the majority should not be able to take undue advantage of the minority, and therefore, as long as the Fed is allowed to continue its ZIRP policy, and to continue buying up MBS paper, then there needs to be a moratorium on renter evictions, or a re-imposition of rent-control laws, as the tyranny of the majority is crushing and forcing the minority to pay for their own evictions, because if its true that consumers pay Corporate taxes in the guise of higher prices for consumer goods, as per Robert Reich's "Super Capitalism", then it's just as true that renters pay property taxes in the form of higher rent, and it is this source of revenue that's used to pay the officers that come to your door fully armed with loaded weapons on their hips, to throw you into the street because the owner has to raise your rent to pay for the higher taxes he must pay thanks to increased appraised values.
It's because of this exact dynamic that the State of California instituted a "Renters' Credit" on its income tax forms, so it's not something tax official and economists are not fully aware of. It is as if you or I took the engine out of a BMW and replaced it with a Chevy Vega engine so as to get a higher price for the lower quality product. Because the property values of the economic entity known as a Sovereign Sate are derived from the productive capacity of the economy in which they exist, so that if the Central Planners have to lie about it ,even though everyone knows it's a lie, then from that point on, everyone knows that the IOU's issued, the compromised collateral of which is the broken underlying economy, then everyone knows that the price of things no longer even pretends to reflect a thing's actual value, as it has become what the Central Authorities have decided it should be. Like, for example, Venezuela. Except that there, it is the price of bread that is state-controlled; here, it is the price of the only asset most people are allowed to actually own, the roof over their head.
The best way to illustrate this is in the art market. If a millionaire or foundation has mistakenly bought a forgery, as long as the experts maintain that it is an original, Monet, let's say, and not one done by one of his students, which in this case we'll say it is, then the value remains the same, but the price becomes untenable by any but the super rich, or someone already in the market, and so could sell what they have, perhaps a Picasso, to buy what they take for the real thing, the classic pea under the cup scam, who gets caught with the fake when the veil of intrigue gets lifted, as it inevitably does, leaving those new to the game, and therefore unaware of the scam they've bought into, holding the proverbial bag.
Well, now that currencies are no longer pegged to anything in which we all have decided has a stated intrinsic value, such as gold, but is instead predicated on the value of the economy that produces it, then anything that arbitrarily and fraudulently raises the purported value of said economy necessarily misprices everything in that economy and gives a decided advantage to those already in possession of assets and effectively bars all others from entry, or at least pushes the risk of defaulting prices onto the backs of the newcomers who had to pay a premium to get into the so-called Game. Such that Capitalism is, by its own dynamics, transformed into Ante-Capitalism. It is when an economy has reached this point that financial stability becomes equated with economic stability and transmogrifies into class rigidity.
Which finally brings us to the genesis of the title of this post, which was inspired by Yan Lianke's book, "Lenin's Kisses". The strange plot of the book is that this town in China, a place called Liven, that has a population so replete with the handicapped that those without one are called "wholers", is so determined to "withdraw from society" that it concocts this scheme to buy Lenin's corpse from Russia (the time-frame being the late 90's), as the Russians seem unable to keep it intact, and bring it to Liven where they plan and build a mausoleum in which to ensconce his corpse in a crystal coffin. To get the money to do this, they have to first tour as a group of carnival-like acts that are designed to use the very disabilties that allow them to reside in Liven to wow the public with the talents they have honed to adapt to their shortcomings.
So they feature a paraplegic woman who can embroider on a butterfly's wing, a cripple who uses a bottle for a leg and then vaults over a flaming platform, a blind woman who can tell what you're wearing just by the sound of your approach, a deaf man that lights off firecrackers next to his face, a one-armed man who can thread 27 needles at once, and a 242-year-old woman and her centenarian son.
Everything goes along swimmingly, with storybook success, until the last tour, which ends at the mausoleum for a grand finale performance. But the truck driver for the stage props and portable living quarters of the troupe, jealous that a bunch of crips and deaf and half-blind people are coming away from the enterprise very well-heeled, allows his cohorts to rob their quarters during the show and then locks them all in the Mausoleum and extorts the rest of their earnings, which he's convinced (rightfully so, as it turns out) they've hidden in places the robbers have missed, and then throwing in the rape of four nins, diminutive girls, whose anguished screams the rest of them, except the deaf ones, are left to helplessly listen to in anguish, as a final insult.
So, using Lenin's preserved corpse as a metaphor for the remnants of the Communistic philosophy of State-run banditry, we see the Chinese adopting the corpse as their own, then, by combining it with Capitalism, using the spent forces of each to enable them to construct a society of their own, and withdraw from the aegis of the two forms of State-sponsored extortion, and live their lives, more impoverished, but also more connected to each other and therefore less unstable. Like Hugo, Lianke is convinced that "the enemy of good is better", and writes this parable about the struggle, not of the individual, as the West would have done, but of the village, one with its own attributes and eccentricities that, although it didn't exactly flourish, had learned the wisdom of the poem with which the book concludes,
I am a blind man, and your leg is lame.
You sit on the cart while I pull it.
My feet stand in for yours,
while I borrow your eyes from you.
To me this shows a grasp of the true meaning of economics. There is not just "The Economy" as Statists like to pretend, but is the economic interaction of various dynamic forces at different levels of existence, the facilitation of which, the Central, or Federal, Government was instituted to provide. It instead has become an onerous burden as it deliberately undermines the prosperity of the citizenry it pretends to function for, because, in reality, it operates for the benefit of its own constituents. Hence, the only unions, for example, that have any power now, are public employee unions, such that the only employees that receive living wages and benefits anymore, are public employees, without whom the middle class would have all but collapsed already.
And thus we have Adam Smith's Kisses good-bye, as Kamikaze Kapitalism has nothing to do with the economics described in "The Wealth of Nations", even as, like the Russians lining up to view Lenin's corpse, we pretend our economic system and the philosopher whose values it upholds, have anything to do with the man propped up as a symbol of its virtues.
Posted by Robert Lowrey at 2:52 PM
Thursday, April 17, 2014
|LSMFT: Lucky Strike Metastasizes into Financial Turmoil|
In my rush to praise Mike Ruppert's book, "Crossing the Rubicon", yesterday, it didn't really occur to me that it would read as an indication that I ascribe to his belief that the WTC bombing was done, even orchestrated by, the Federal government. I mean how can one not, if you praise his book written to prove just that? Talk about cognitive dissonance!
Well, one reason, for me, is that having shared his view of what the Bush family was really like and what they were really up to, in which they were so assured the arrogant son wore his true colors on his sleeve, was that Mike Ruppert was exposing so many of the fallacies in their claims for future US economic prospects, all of which were believed by a childishly naive middle class, that my brother, since I'd been explaining the real future they were preparing for the middle class to him, would call me occasionally and ask what my crystal ball was saying that week, because, as the bankruptcies of GM, Bear Stearns, the GSE's, all fell like dominoes, and all were predicted by Mr. Ruppert, as well as the housing bubble that started imploding, not in 2008, like most people believe to this day, but years before that in 2006, when prices peaked (yet Bernanke was still raising interest rates, insuring that all those ARMS taken out with the encouragement of his predecessor, who maintained that people stuck in fixed rate mortgages were losing tens of thousands of dollars in interest costs (never mind that those costs are deductible, so it was the US Treasury, of which the Fed is an ARM, that was losing) When you lower interest rates, then the price of the housing itself rises, (that is the whole justification for ZIRP: to push "asset prices", that asset being Your home, higher, to its 'true" (ie pre-financial crash) value)).
This pours additional funds into government coffers on ALL levels: State, Federal, and, via rising property value assessments, Municipal, and is a policy being followed to this very day, as less of the cost of 'owning' property is deductible from your State and Federal taxes and the value therefore rises, increasing your property tax bills as well: win-win-win; but not for the owner, escalating the true costs even as healthcare, energy and food costs increase simultaneously.
This was not something that occurred by accident, there are, believe it or not, actually not only economists, but people who work with real-world numbers, called accountants, also working for the Federal government, and conspiring with the Bush administration to connive a way to pay for the tremendous costs associated with the rampage in Iraq (Exposed by Lawrence Lindsey to be underestimated by a factor of 10 of what the administration was claiming, a transgression for which he was summarily fired), to keep its true costs hidden from the American public so they wouldn't question too rigidly the f*cking reason we were there in the first place.
All this was completely obvious to anyone who cared to look, because, as I said, Bush wasn't too cagey about hiding what he was up to. Why should he be? The Republicans thought themselves in such a vaunted position of ascendancy that they believed that nothing could knock them down again, having forgotten that they thought the same thing in 1992 when that other Bush, having ridden in in '88 on the fumes of his puppet, Trickle-down Reagan, and having won that first shameful war in Iraq, thereby buttressingg his families many interests in the middle east, and, determined to showoff the ascendancy of American techno-power, then fumbled badly and committed the unforgivable sin of allowing Clinton to "take" the White House (many Republicans have still not gotten over their outrage over this theft of what was rightfully theirs), they assumed that their ascendancy was unstoppable.
And it is for this reason that the idea of this same administration being responsible for the planning and execution of a caper that would result in the destruction of 3000 American lives didn't seem that controversial or inconceivable to me. Because the reason that hey did so, as outlined by Mr. Ruppert and detailed to an outstanding degree, were much more convincing than any of the reasons that were given for our second invasion of Iraq, which resulted in the destruction of a full 25% MORE American lives than the bombing of the WTC did, and yet had no justification, and for which none of the instigators of this criminal aggression have ever been held accountable. To this day, every single reason for going to War in Iraq has been proven absurd, if not simply an outright lie, like the flimsy, easily seen-through WMD excuse.
But Bush knew he didn't have to justify it, that any reason would satisfy Americans who are besotted with "A Terrible Love of War" (James Hillman), and, despite the denials by the CEO's of companies that stood to gain enormous profits from it, all wars are undertaken for the acquisition of wealth, and in this case, also for the plundering of the files at the Iraqi Oil Ministry wherein lay the proof that Bush needed to destroy: documents that detailed the complicity of Cheney, (while serving as the first Bush's Secretary of Defense), Halliburton, and his father in the cross-border theft, using Halliburton-engineered horizontal drilling techniques that had been tried and proven in the Bakken region of North Dakota in 1987, to drill into Iraqi oil fields in order to keep declining production in Kuwait's Burgen oilfield from causing a cascading failure in their leveraged debt, as it was collateralized on the assumption of rising revenues that were instead falling.
Because, although oil is fungible on the world market, it is easily chemically analyzed to tell its source, and the Oil Ministry had the proof, via such chemical analysis, of the fact that much of Kuwaiti oil was not the same oil as that from the Burgen field.
The only difference is that Americans didn't give a damn about invading Iraq. They could care less about the complete destruction of another country, what the reasons were nor how many would die, even of their own country men. Why I feel so convinced on this latter point was that in August of 2002, while taking a statistics course, I designed and conducted a survey in the Boston area of people's attitudes about the coming war with Iraq. After being taken aback a bit, as there was no indication, to those more intent on shopping than world politics, that another War was already being planned, they answered with close to 70% agreement that, as many as 50,000 American soldiers was an acceptable cost, even though the reasons for going to war were somewhat vague. The idea of an enemy was enough, seeing the aim of war as being nothing more than its continuation, as we were as a matter of fact, already bombing Iraq on a pretty regular basis.
But, as Heraclitus said, "The true nature of things loves to hide, and to stay hidden", which is why conspiracy abounds undetected, and those who try to bring it to the surface are ridiculed, because it's so hard to prove, because no one cares to, even given what they learn afterwards, reassess their opinion held at the time it was being actively shaped by forces of which they were unaware and for reasons other than those put forth.
So, whereas I believe that the Iraq wars were waged, not with the best interests of the US, neither the nation itself, nor its constituent members, but for the benefit of a rather small club of elites, who all are today far richer and powerful than they would be had it not been waged, the attack on the WTC is a far more dangerous operation for the Government to be directly involved in. They undoubtedly knew both the means and the timing of the attack. After all, the month before Bush gave full control of the defense of the country to Cheney in May 2004, he had given $45 million dollars to the Taliban, and the very next day after the attack he was whisking members of the Bin Laden family out of the country while all actual citizens were grounded. The President of the United States couldn't assure the citizens of his own country safe passage int he air, but he could certainly do so for the family of the accused perpetrator of the most heinous crime ever committed on US soil, and he could do so without a whisper of protest from those who had put him into office.
Less obvious a connection, but one I think is important, is that both the president and the vice president conspired to run on the same ticket, even though they were both from the State of Texas, despite a Constitutional ban on exactly that, which they knew, and so set up a false residency for the soon-to-be VP in another state (this is conspiracy, btw, as it was done for the explicit purpose of evading the law, as Cheney was first the "scout" for a VP candidate for GW, while he changed his legal residency, and then Voila!, he, as it turned out, was the best candidate!), and they then ran the country not as a country, but as a proxy for the state of Texas, which is still reaping the benefits as the price of oil remains north of $100/bbl., which, sans Peak Oil, which they vociferously deny is a reality, is therefore a result of their own policy "failures"). Yet the rest of my countrymen, still preposterously labor under the delusion that energy isn't at the very core of their economy and government's Power and geopolitical strategy.
This still baffles me fully as much as the question of the WTC attacks, because the three, as Mike Ruppert understood better than anyone else, are inextricably entwined.
Posted by Robert Lowrey at 11:26 AM
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
|A Voice from the Wilderness has been Silenced.|
Reading this morning of Mike Ruppert's death by a self-inflicted gunshot wound, reminded me of Hunter Thompson's similar fate, and made me pause from my usual internet meanderings to stop and reflect on the man who inflamed my mind into starting, among other things, this blog.
On my desk , sandwiched between Taleb's, "Fooled by Randomness" and Kindleberger's, "Manias, Panics, and Crashes" sits Mikes seminal volume, "Crossing The Rubicon". It has such a place of prominence because I shared with Mr. Ruppert, who started the first site I ever subscribed to, "From The Wilderness", the, what to us was the self-evident, idea that oil was not just another commodity. It was an energy source as vital to the running of the modern economy, military, and State as the sun is to plants in providing the full spectrum domination of the planet from which photosynthesis is derived, and without which all life perishes. Which also, if the theory of the fossil derivation of oil we all subscribe to, is correct (there is a much-maligned alternative definition, referred to as abiotic oil, which posits that oil is instead produced by internal processes of the earth) means that we all live on the byproducts of the sunlight that gave rise to prehistoric biota, and is therefore a gift, or curse, that spans eons of time before being presented to mankind, with unforeseen consequences that, as we now know, wreak havoc with the natural planetary checks and balances as it collapses time, bridging, Jurassic Park-like, the millions of years between the carboniferous and the present, to ultimately visit upon us the conditions of prehistoric time, as it unleashes a Pandora's Box of furies along with its wonders.
But Mike was more down to earth about the unctuous underpinnings of our modern existence, and what CTR is mostly about is Peak Oil, Corruption of government as the very highest levels, and the complicity of the Bush administration, mostly in the person of Dickhead Cheney, in the horrific crimes committed on 9/11/2001.
In 2004, long before the rest of us were aware of it, and there are still millions in denial of it to this day, he wrote (p451) that "our government and economy operates as a system of organized crime", one of the main theses of this blog. So it is no wonder that he had such a contempt for the snakepit of crooks that ran it.
But unlike me, Mike Ruppert had the backing and the expertise, and the "fire in his belly' to dig up and document the many pertinent facts, that are still ignored, regarding the many co-incidents of that day and the many links and intertwined ties between the Bushies, big oil, the Saudis, Pakistanis, banking, and money. Piles of money. Money flowing in such torrents as to take your breath away. But not in torrents to the economy, but instead redirected via such institutions as BCCI, Halliburton, Carlysle Group, Enron, Delta Oil, tax havens in the Cayman Islands, Unocal, Bechtel, and the CIA, into the pockets of the notorious crime syndicate and their friends that had ensconced themselves in the seat of Power.
The motive for their crimes, and the justification for their actions Mike hypothesized to be Peak Oil:
"At some point between 2000 and 2007, world oil production reaches its peak; from that point on, every barrel of oil is going to be harder to find, more expensive to recover, and more valuable to those who recover and control it. Dick Cheney was well aware of the coming Peak Oil crisis at least as early as 1999, and 9/11 provided the pretext for the series of energy wars that Cheney stated, "will not end in our lifetime and began with the so-called "war on terror" which is actually a war for the world's last remaining hydrocarbon reserves".
He goes on to state that:
"We live in a global economic system based on endless growth, and that growth is only possible with endless hydrocarbons to burn. Demand for oil and gas is increasing at staggering rates; after peak, there will be demand that simply cannot be met, and energy prices will rise inexorably."
The peak to which he refers was indeed reached, it is generally agreed, in 2005. From there oil prices escalated until in 2008 they also peaked, at $147.00/bbl, crashing the economy as it exposed bets that could never be covered and fraud for which none of the perpetrators would ever be prosecuted. But because one company, Halliburton, flush with billions from its non-competitive contracts awarded to it by its CEO-in-Chief in the White House, was drilling in the Bakken in North Dakota (again ...at $11/bbl, the price when the junta took office, it simply wasn't profitable. The real plan of the attack on Iraq being, not to GET their oil, but to keep it in the ground so as to constrain supplies, raising its price and THEN redeploy Halliburton technology to "save the day"), the Eagle Ford formation in Texas, and the Marcellus shale in Pennsylvania, augmenting conventional reserves with tight oil, the fumes of the oil-age, which keeps us limping along in the manner we do today while our leaders pretend that our economy is "in recovery", as though it simply had an alcoholic binge from which it will stagger on to greater heights: it won't.
Even though many deny we ever reached peak oil production, claiming it to be a fiction (Cambridge's Cera's Yergin being the most infamous), the actuality we are at today reflects the prognostications made in 2004 by Mr. Ruppert almost to the dollar:
"The resulting economic catastrophe may see oil hit $100 per barrel before the end of this decade. Oil not only keeps us warm and moves our cars, it is used to make all plastics and is, together with natural gas, the most important ingredient keeping modern agriculture afloat. It is a little known fact that for every 1 calorie of food energy produced, 10 calories of hydrocarbons are consumed."
We eat oil.
Without cheap oil, billions of people will freeze or starve and unfortunately, there is no combination of renewable energy sources that can replace oil and gas consumption without massive conservation efforts that are nowhere in sight. (They still aren't).
Cheney knew about this.
There are no national plans for conservation in America. As Dick Cheney has stated, "The American way of life is not negotiable." (A phrase our current President picked up on and re-iterated, together with his speech made while accepting the Nobel peace prize in which he re-iterated Cheney's threat that War (this time to keep the peace, as European leaders uncomfortably squirmed in their seats) will not end in our lifetime, revealing that his so-called "Hope" was Hype). Many industry experts have been speaking to the reality of Peak Oil for some time. One of those experts - perhaps the most prominent in the world - was in Dick Cheney's National Energy Policy Development Group (NEPDG).
Just four days after Dick Cheney became Vice President he convened the NEPDG. Among the experts whose opinion Cheney paid for (with taxpayer dollars) was Matthew Simmons, one of the most respected energy investment bankers in the world. Simmons has been speaking out about Peak Oil for years, and there is no question that the urgent story of Peak Oil is what he told Cheney's NEPDG.
The content of the NEPDG documentation has been illegally withheld from the American public with a rubber stamp of approval from the Supreme Court. FTW has always contended that the deepest, darkest secrets of 9/11 are in those documents. That's why they've been guarded so tightly."
As revealed in Rachel Madcow's documentary on the Iraq War, Cheney chided the Democratic opposition for the Presidency in 2000 for not having any such plan. But what the documentary, nor Ms Maddow, nor any Democrat or journalist bother to point out is that, from the Republican point of view, held to this day, is that "planning" by, of all things, The Federal Government, smacks of well, planning, and that makes it Central Planning, which is a hallmark of Communism, and therefore evil. Had the Democrats put forth an Energy Plan before Cheney the RNC would have ripped them a new one for being Dirty Commies (Washington DC's maybe?). But an energy plan put together by private individuals for their own profit who get invited right into a secret meeting with the Vice President to negotiate how big their piece'll be? No problem.
I bring up the above factoid to illustrate the complicity of the Democrats and liberal journalism in the many-faceted attacks on our freedoms that was the central topic of both CTR and FTW, including TIA, which the revelations made by Snowden proved the existence of, and PROMIS software, which Ruppert warned about that:
"lays out the connections between the providers of PROMIS software (stolen from the Inslaw corporation in the 1980s by the US Justice Department and others) and the network of terrorist financing (sustained with US blessing) that has pervaded U.S covert operations for years (any who doubt this nexus still exists should peruse Seymour Hersch's article in The London Review of Books about the Sarin gas attack in Syria and the covert channels by which they obtained it). That deep-political relationship is at its strongest in the Bush administration, whose Saudi and Pakistani ties go back decades.
Dick Cheney, James Baker, GHWB, Dubya, and the people in and around the once and future American ruling junta have financially live links to the Muslim Brotherhood milieu that formed part of BCCI and, more recently, al Qaeda (this is also the context of a fascinatingly influential relationship among Kermit Roosevelt, GHWB, and Adnan Khashoggi). Nazis and their admirers are the third piece in the triangle, connected to Islamists since the Muslim Brotherhood's creation in 1928 by Hitler ally Hasam al-Banna, and connected to the Bush clan through decades of interdependence with American oil and intelligence elites - including the Rockefellers (Standard Oil) and the Harrimans (Brown Bros. Harriman / Kellogg Brown and Root / Halliburton)."
All of which reminds us of what we should know about criminal justice but seem to have forgotten, along with President Obama, who thinks we should just "forget about the past" as we "conquer the future", but which Mike reminds us of in "Crossing the Rubicon". Which is that "criminals who are not brought to justice will commit more crimes". But since "governments have been turned into franchise operations of corporations" justice has been bought and paid for, and whereas Mike thought bringing this information to the public was of vital concern in order to turn back this tide, his suicide, methinks, was an act of despair as he realized that the only reaction ever to be wrung from the American public despite all his work was a simple shrug and tacit capitulation to the fact that "That's The Way it Is".
Posted by Robert Lowrey at 1:43 PM
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
After reading an interview with Immanuel Wallerstein, posted on Theory Talk, on World Systems and the imminent collapse of capitalism, the title of Wolf Richter's piece on his Testosterone pit blog, "What Happens when all Assets become too expensive?" naturally caught my eye.
I say naturally because, one of the many salient points Wallerstein brings up in his discussion of Capitalism, is the eventuality that is rapidly becoming reality whereby the inputs necessary to drive the industrial machine become more expensive than the resultant high price necessary to charge in order to still result in a profit for its Captains and investors. Now, although couched in different terms, this is pretty much what I was trying to say yesterday in my rather inflammatory post, "The Climes, They are a-changing", along with many of my other posts citing the fraud now prevalent throughout our economic system which, as the title of this one suggests, is thrown in our collective faces as cynical feel-good phrases, like "The Wealth Effect", "Extend and Pretend", or TBTF, which are all just barely disguised substitutes for the word "Fraud".
You can see this is so by merely looking at the meaning of the phrase, the latest, as well as the oldest, being "The Wealth Effect". Its disguise is in fact provided by its age, in that when it was first bandied about by our then King of Fraud, Bernanke, or his mentor Greedspan (are they really different people? who knew?), it was during the housing mania when it was used to convince the general population that, because their housing was rapidly becoming too expensive for them to afford to even pay the taxes on, that they were thereby enriched, but has, in its current resurrection, become much more associated with the stock market, even though everyone (seriously, even children know it now) knows that the stock market is blatantly goosed by the machinations of the Central Bank we like to call the Fed, in order to reflect a valuation far in excess of its actual worth. The reason the Fed is doing this is so that the wealth effect such gerrymandering engenders will convince investors that they are flush enough to risk putting their disposable income, what we used to call savings, into said stock market, because, thanks to ZIRP, it will otherwise diminish in value to zero (thereby exposing the real meaning of ZIRP: Zero Interest's Ramification's Poverty), as it is eaten into relentlessly by that other Fed-goosed culprit, inflation.
What Wallerstein does so well in his essay is provide the rationale behind such legerdemain by describing the rising costs of the components of the system that need to be reflected in the price of its products, which, because the strategy of reducing the costs of one, personnel, makes a rising price unsupportable, cannot be raised (a conundrum which is the primary cause of the Fed doing an abrupt about face and changing overnight from a crusader against inflation to the avatar of inflation). The three costs he concentrates on are personnel, inputs, and taxes. It is the first, personnel, that by reducing the costs, which at first was feasible, as industry sloughed off its"excess" workers resulting in organisations that are quite literally lean, and especially, mean, but, more to the point, has the effect of leaving the remaining personnel unable to procure their necessities should their prices rise, especially in the face of continuing wage reductions.
Which, with rising health care insurance costs far surpassing both any wage increases and inflation, every year, year after year, continue to cost the employer more than inflation and consequently delivering less than inflation's increases, in the form of wages, to the worker. Who, although this is ignored by Wallenstein, is beset by the exact same costs as industry, namely, personnel, inputs and taxes, as well as a myriad of other responsibilities that burden a citizen that Corporations are immune to. The personnel of an individual could be construed as their hairdresser and other grooming temps, and others such as mechanics, financial advisers (what a waste, but nonetheless...), house-cleaners, tax preparers, even bartenders, all of whom expect that, since you have a "real job", you will extend extra compensation to them in the form of a tip. Next are their children and parents, siblings and social circle who need to be maintained as they make life possible in the first place.
Next are inputs. these would include the cost of procuring transportation to and from work, a communication device, usually more than one, such as a computer as well as a cell phone of some type, and both the necessary expenditure to buy the hardware and the never-ending ever-escalating cost of access to the networked and the requisite security, back-up, and replacement costs of the hardware, all of which need to be maintained throughout the employee's tenure, whether they be a temp or a permanent employee. The temp's expenditures being a degree higher as they usually have the added expense of having part of their salary garnished to pay the agency that got them the gig, as well as their own healthcare insurance, and, should they ever need time off, a week or two every year without any paycheck.
But these are the endpoint, after someone's been hired. But the employee's inputs start long before they're hired. They are responsible to first pay the bribe to get the job in the first place, via a diploma mill that used to be called college, but which is now more often less than an education than indoctrination into the work ethic of corporate America but paid for via loans and parental financial inputs.
The third is self-explanatory. As the corporate tax rate drops and the upper class both of whom derive the lions' share of the benefits from the capitalist system, but do their utmost, and spend the most money in order to not have to pay it to the government on whom they depend much more than you or I, whether you agree with that position or not, means that the third factor, taxes, can only go up for the personnel of the enterprises for whom personnel is always trumpeted as being their number one expense.
So these three items are together causing the end of the system we are now laboring under, as succinctly put in the following paragraph from Wallenstein:
"They always have to pay all three, and would always like to keep them as low as possible. There are structural forces that have steadily increased the cost of these factors as a percentage of sales prices over five hundred years, until the current point where they’re so high that you can’t really accumulate capital to any significant degree anymore, which means capitalists are no longer going to be interested in capitalism because it doesn’t work for them anymore. They are therefore already looking around for serious alternatives in which they can maintain their privileged position in a different kind of system. After five hundred years of successful functioning, the fluctuations of this system are now so great and uncontrollable that no one can handle them anymore".
Bingo! What we are experiencing personally is what the system on the whole is rife with, the structural impossibility of continuing life as we've come to know it. This is absolutely the problem we've been grappling with, yet been in complete denial about, for decades.
So, when, instead of resolution, you see the changing of accounting standards, the constant push to force money onto people whose credit ratings scream that they 'll never be able to pay it back, the squeezing of the poorest workers via payday loans, and other forms of usury and trickery, the constant descent of promises of the good life being attainable only by spinning a web of deceit and con games, face it, the game's afoot and you'll never get ahead, even with a handout (sorry).
And the number one culprit in the rising costs is energy, which I have tried to emphasize time and again, but which falls on deaf ears, but has risen by a factor of TEN, since the turn of the century. The very fact that this unparalleled and permanent increase of the lifeblood of both our military and or economy is never even mentioned, when a mere quintupling of it was the subject of conversation for the entire decade of the seventies, should alone indicate to any thinking adult, that they are being mightily deceived as to the true scope and intractable nature of our situation. Because since our dependence on centrally generated energy hasn't gotten less, but has greatly increased, means that it is in somebody else's best interest other than our own to keep us ignorant of the dynamics of our economic dilemma.
Even as the Kyoto protocols were being signed, SUV's were flying off the showroom floors and everybody was buying a computer and all the peripherals necessary to go with it, since as a stand-alone processor, it's practically worthless. From inside said industry, in the networking business that is the heart of Banking, finance and the entire military, including, as is now clear, the intelligence agencies, but which, unfathomably, no one would believe before Edward Snowden, I could see how the rich were using the full power of the federal government, ie , the public purse, to develop for themselves the weapons, technology (including robotics, cell phones, drone warfare, plastic surgery and other life-extending technologies) and psychology of extraction to assure their ascendancy when the structure they were aware far before any of us were, (Thanks a lot RR, you clown, because, "The Way We Live Now" was explained to him very well, by the first VP who ran the Whitehouse: GHW Bush; Cheney learned how to run the Presidency from the VP position from Le Maestro, except Cheney was so arrogant he didn't care who knew whereas Bush hid behind his puppet as his complete dedication to serving the interests of his own class to the detriment of the rest of us was well known) would, dragged down by its own weight, collapse into the dust.
And this is why all the talk about ameliorating climate change is exactly that: talk. Because what it will deliver, or what the rich hope it will deliver to them, is a world much more prone to disaster and therefore willing to have itself protected by strong central authoritarian governments, to whom they are not answerable, but the contrary, are answerable only to the Rich. Ask the Central Bankers. They know who rules them all. One King to rule us all and in the darkness bind us. While they crow about the wealth Effect, a chimera that keeps us hopelessly oppressed with a conceited hope that is as wispy as a cloud.
Posted by Robert Lowrey at 3:45 PM
Monday, April 14, 2014
As the NYT writes yet another hand-wringing report about the good, albeit inadequate, job we're doing on the climate change front, even though we're closing in on doubling the amount of CO2 we're pouring into the atmosphere since the Kyoto protocols were signed, it becomes more and more like an "Alice in Wonderland" or, probably more appropriate, "Through the Looking Glass" world.
At the conference in Berlin, it was claimed that there is not only still time to avert the worst, but there's also the rising political will to do so, however it's made manifest that instead, just the opposite is true, by one single necessity: that industry pay for their emissions. But, as we all know, even though we all deny it, because we have to since it is the big lie we all live by, which is that the structure of Capitalism cannot afford to pay for any of its what, in polite circles, we prefer to refer to as "Externalities", which, of course, amounts to nothing more than the true costs of their operations. When Capitalist enterprises were forced to pay for, as threatened in the US by laws that required clean air and clean water, or pension funds or health care for their workers, its true costs, Capitalism's industries fled the country in what can only be described as a rout, for the shores of the only remaining Communist power on the Globe, Red China.
It is only by sloughing off the true costs of doing business onto the rest of society, which is forced to do the work for them without getting paid a nickel for it, the Banks being the most egregious example of that at the moment as they unabashedly flay the economy to extract every red cent they can by buying politicos to allow them to sell what they call "products", to citizens whereby all the risk is pushed onto the purchaser, all the profits into their pockets, and then hire phalanxes of lawyers and accountants to assure they don't have to pay any taxes on said profits, what is the chance, or even the possibility, that any industry is going to pay for the privilege of burning coal to furnish you with something that you're demanding anyway? At the lowest cost possible, to boot, and not 'cause you're too cheap, but because you simply don't get paid anything for working 60 hours a week (if you include the commute time) beyond what it costs you to buy and maintain your own carbon-spewing machine that is the only method possible for you to get to the carbon-spewing factory you go to to obtain your pittance in the first place.
Which is a very good example of industry having no responsibility for externalities, even though without them they couldn't exist. The carbon that's necessary to get a workforce to the plant and back every day of the week every week of the year, isn't even among the factors the panel in Berlin is considering, and yet, in toto, it is the largest source of car-bon pollution, and that source is growing at an unprecedented pace, as, if it doesn't, every modern economy, each of which has lashed itself to the same profit machine of the internal COMBUSTION engine (notice how seldom you hear that word when talking of the largest source of mechanized combustion in existence?) would collapse. The only thing keeping the retail numbers in the positive in the US, for example, are car sales, and those are kept high, not only by channel stuffing, but by strangling consumer credit for other goods by providing it at no cost to people with lower and lower credit rating scores so that they may purchase their own private pollution engine.
This is the path that brought GMAC, now ALLY Bank, to its knees a mere 6 years ago, requiring that the taxpayer save it from extinction, as its liabilities were tentacled through the rest of the TBTF banks (yes GMAC was actually a TBTF institution) and the reason is exactly the one stated above. There is no economy without the car, and there is no amelioration of the carbon intensity of our industrialized societies without that particular problem being addressed. Because, to put it quite simply: no car, no modernity. The "Washington Consensus" crumbles to dust.
So we now have this TBTF institution, meaning that, even as it goes "private", which means that we will once again allow the criminals who run it to skim off whatever they deign necessary to maintain their much-vaunted lifestyle while they sneer at the rest of us, but which, when its liabilities bring it once more to the brink of insolvency, will become the taxpayers' liabilities again, greasing the skids of carbon pollution even as we all pretend that the two aren't related, our egos being that inextricably entwined with our cars, a machine that, whether electric, hydrogen, nat-gas, whatever the F*ck you fuel it with, is not now, nor ever will be, a "Green" machine.
Which, all-in-all, makes the picture they presented, as printed in the NYT, in Berlin really easy to assess: Nothing, but nothing is going to change; it's all merely the same ole, "Don't worry; move along, nothing to see here", as we continue to pretend we're doing "something" about Climate Change, even as that something translates into actually accelerating it.
Posted by Robert Lowrey at 5:38 PM
Friday, April 11, 2014
|The inspiration for Batman's Joker?|
Toward the end of Victor Hugo's novel, "The Man Who Laughs", before the protagonist, Gwynplaine, aka Lord Fermain Clancharlie, realizes that, having been elevated from his condition of poverty and thrust into membership in the House of Lords, where he is laughed at and ridiculed for revealing his dreams of a better condition for mankind's down-trodden, he expostulates to the Chamber with the following speech:
"This laugh which is on my face your King placed there and expresses the desolation of mankind. This laugh means HATE, enforced silence, rage, despair. This laugh's the production of Torture: a forced laugh a mutilation of mankind, which has deformed right, justice, truth, reason, intelligence, turning its heart into a sink of passion and pain, its feature hidden in a mask of joy. This people is a sea of suffering, smiling on the surface. There will come an hour when convulsion will breakdown your oppression; when an angry roar will reply to your jeers. The Republic was destroyed, but it will return. Tongues which were torn out are turning to tongues of fire and scattered by the breath of darkness, are shouting through infinity. Those who hunger are showing their idle teeth, while false heavens built over real hells, are tottering. Never has a light more sinister illumined the depths of human darkness" (until now?).
The laugh he refers to is the smile that has been permanently sculpted on his face by a nasty servant of the King who, wishing, well, ordered, to destroy the birthright of the King's heir, disfigures it beyond recognition, and, regicide being feared in much the same way that Queen Elizabeth feared it, the progeny is then given to comprachicos, dealers in the selling and buying of children, whence he is offloaded to a group of gypsies, who, as is explained in the first half of the book, desert him now, at the end of a peninsula, as they sail off, under pursuit, into an incipient snowstorm that will soon be fully raging at sea.
Neither the crew nor passengers are to survive this wintry tempest, but before the ship goes under, they write the history of the boy they've left to fend for himself, put it into a bottle and place a waterproof bung on the end of it and toss it into the sea even as their vessel plunges forever into the frothing blackness. It is the discovery of this bottle that 15 years later, elevates Gwynplaine from the carnival act he has become to a Lord, a peer of the realm, from one who everyone laughed at to one they fawned over, and completely destroyed his world, his love, his life. Yet, to have hoped overmuch was his whole crime. Driving home the maxim repeated several times throughout the novel, and one of its central themes: "The enemy of Good is Better".
Because, although, "The rich have no hearing when it comes to the plight of the disinherited. Of lords and princes expect Nothing. He who is satisfied is inexorable. For those who have their fill the hungry do not exist. The happy ignore and isolate themselves", having been thrown into their ranks, he yet is burdened with a fondness for the life that had given him Dea, whom he'd rescued from under her mother's dead body while trudging through the same snowstorm that destroyed those who had deserted him, and the one person in the world who could, being as she was blinded by her ordeal, find him beautiful. He, alas, exaggerated hope into believing in that thing at once so brilliant and so dark which is called society.
We resemble Gwynplaine in this respect. We think that, having been elevated from our brutish existence by modern amenities and luxuries become necessities, such that we consider it now our birthright, we turn our backs on the things from which real happiness is derived to pursue vanities. We are become as the Aristocracy, blind to the travails of those whose lives our own ascendancy crushes into the dust and blaming them for their downtrodden state. Like Hugo's description of the House of Lords, we cherish the same illusion, that we do not change, in which respect we resemble a pretty woman and object to having any wrinkles, and therefore, expect them never to be mentioned by others, as to do so is heretical to our self image.
This can provide us with a clue to explain our incapacity to conceive of, or even consider the possibility of, a world that is not so utterly dependent on growth. Like medieval peasants enthralled by magic, we care not by what mechanisms the fulfillment of our desires are wrought, only that they continue to be magically catered to. This leads to the mentality in which we 'mine the wealth' of the earth, and leave the environment to suffer the fate of a Princess fallen into the hands of robbers, as we cut off her fingers as the most expedient way to get at her jewels, mindless of the beauty we unnecessarily destroy in the process. And it is in this brutal manner of wealth accumulation that one can see the incipient failure of all that we hold to be true, and that we have invested in as the cohesion that holds society together: money.
Because money is not now, if in fact it ever was, what it pretends to be. What should be apparent to all, but is mentioned by none, is that money, although still perfectly useful as a medium of exchange, is no longer, nor shall ever be again, a store of value. As soon as something is monetized it begins to bleed from the many wounds it is then heir to, until it becomes, in a shorter and shorter time span, worthless.
To keep this fact hidden from view is the entire undertaking of the Fed now, its dual mandate nothing but a poor joke, the Chairman, simply The Man Who Laughs as he forces cash out of the hands of the middle class into riskier and riskier 'investments', even as the richest 'people', the Corporations, hoard mountains of it precisely because there are no good investments, because investing looks into the future, trying to foresee, or even create, our needs as we follow our timeline. But to do so, means you have some idea of what it is going to look like. However, we don't. Because it is only by frantically digging up and setting on fire the energy reserves of the planet that we can see any future for our society. But we know that down that road lies ruin.
We all make fun of the so-called "Climate-change deniers", but if you look at how we live, we are all climate change deniers. We talk like we are really really concerned, but it's our actions that make change possible, and those, in that car manufacturing is now producing more automobiles than it ever has before, still planning on creating more than 20 million per annum before 2020 (as just one example), speak of a completely bankrupt imagination and a total capitulation to the dynamic of simply letting the chips fall where they may, as, Pontius Pilate-like, we wash our hands of any responsibility for the consequences, no matter how manifest they may become.
In "The Man who Laughs", Ursus (beast) is the man who rescues the ten-tear-old carrying his precious burden of a blind child through a blinding blizzard, and offers them shelter and sustenance. Sharing his homestead is his wolf, Homo (man), such that the names are opposites of their bearers. Such is the plight we find ourselves in now, in that the machines, which were conceived of and developed with the intention of serving man, have had their roles irrevocably reversed, in that man now lives to serve the machines, which we are completely incapable of living without, even as they make inevitable our utter destruction.
Posted by Robert Lowrey at 3:01 PM
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Carbon carbon, Burn it up,
But our lives don't interrupt,
Don't alarm us with climate scare,
To be quite frank, we just don't care.
The numbers are in, and they do all the talking.
100 billion barrels of recoverable reserves.
That's the finding released by the CEO of Pioneer Resources, as reported by the vauntedOil & Gas Journal.
It's not just quantity; it's also quality shale. "It's the perfect kind of shale," says geologist Gary Dawson. "It is jet black and brittle... It creates and contains vast quantities of oil and natural gas."
It's a field that's right here at home in the U.S.A. And there's currently just one company — trading at $8 a share — with a stranglehold on its production.
Identified in this report is the name of the company, in addition to the field's location, size, and potential. The free report puts a special emphasis on the $8 stock that we expect to yield stratospheric returns in the coming months.
Click here for the free report. And enjoy the ride.
The above was the ad from a pump-and-dump newsletter I've been receiving for years, while on the same day, the NYT's op-ed page published an article by Ted Nordhaus and M. Schellenberger decrying all the brouhaha about global warming, that ended with the phrase,
" While the urgency that motivates exaggerated claims is understandable, turning down the rhetoric and embracing solutions like nuclear energy will better serve efforts to slow global warming."
But none of the claims they listed in the article were exaggerated in the least , in fact, as Sam Carana and Robert Scribbler have been saying for at least 6 months, the MSM does exactly the opposite, it downplays the severity of the crisis, usually using the exact nonsense that nuclear energy, itself a nonsense phrase, a simple shorthand method to do exactly what the authors want to do to climate change, couch it in terms that hides the horrible repercussions of relying on it for an energy resource as evinced by both Chernobyl and Fukushima, it should rightfully be called, splitting atoms to cause a nuclear chain reaction in order to boil water, yet that may result, in fact pretty much will eventually result, in the release of radioactive byproducts to every place on earth. To accomplish this amazing feat of boiling water, in order to run a steam generator, matter that has been condensed in the heart of stars, by forcibly bonding atoms together under inconceivable gravitational pressure, thereby forging elements that otherwise would never exist, and destroying that matter to release its intrinsic energy. But nuclear energy sounds much more benign and safe. But it isn't. It's chillingly, intrinsically, irredeemably fraught with peril.
That is the real story here, not that the dangers of climate change are being overstated, but the fact that there is no way that humankind will take any measure, aside from the annihilation of large amounts of its population, to deter it.
This, in fact, is what will happen. Just as I documented the dawn of peak oil, and accurately predicted that its impacts, far from being mitigated, would merely be blamed on something else, and the Great crash of financial obligations built around cheap oil crashed in 2008, justifying my prediction that the only way to avoid peak oil was via an economic depression, so too, the only way to slow down, to any amount that is meaningful, the acceleration in global levels of CO2 in the atmosphere, will only come about via a mass annihilation, which, just as in the case of peak oil, will then be given a completely different reason for its occurring. Exactly the way that peak oil has been ignored, and the financial crisis has only to do with subprime, and various other financial con games.
The above two referenced articles spell out precisely why. If CO2 is pouring into the atmosphere in ever greater and greater amounts, instead of reduced quantities, in the midst of a, well, really a depression, but, since that word's a no-no, let's say, stagflation, then, just what do you think would happen should all the hope hype about the economy have even a kernel of truth in it (it doesn't), but that the rate of CO2 exhaustion into the atmosphere would spike unprecedentedly, with those 100 BILLION barrels of recoverable reserves mentioned above, being burned at a faster pace than already planned. And since the EROI equation is so much less than it's ever been in the history of fossil fuel combustion, then the faster it is burned, the faster more of it needs to be burned to find the reserves to replace those that have been spewed into the atmosphere already, with those new-found reserves having even a smaller EROI, all the while replacing precious oxygen with poisonous CO2, and yet, and here's the kicker, as evinced by the unprecedented amounts of money, trillions and trillions of dollars, just sitting, uninvested in future production, on corporate balance sheets, leaving the vast swath of the population idle, waiting to die from lack of jobs, lack of water, (or a deluge of it) and, sooner than we may think, lack of food, as mass agriculture, more than any form of farming, requires predictability of the weather, which is disappearing, not because of "natural variation" in the climate, not because of exaggeration of climate change in the media, but because the rate at which CO2 is being poured into the atmosphere has become so drastically out of balance with any other world system that it has changed both the tropical rain forests and the Arctic from being what used to be referred to as 'carbon sinks', in that they absorb CO2 from the atmosphere, into "carbon pumps", in that they have been so altered in their respective ecology that they no longer function as they have for eons, the latter one, the Arctic, having been transformed so utterly that if it were a country, it would be the 4'th largest emitter of CO@ on the planet, behind only the US, China, and Western Europe, even as the authors of the op-ed cited above, fantasize that nuclear power will somehow be a "solution".
But don't be alarmed. Your lives won't change. Nothing will happen. You can still sit in your carbon-spewing SUV's while every day you wait in a long line that snakes around the block while waiting to pick up your children from day-care or elementary school; it's so touching to see how much you care for your children as you destroy their world.
Posted by Robert Lowrey at 3:23 PM