As the window narrows (by Dr Tim Morgan)

Tim Morgans’ latest post provides much food for thought about the future.

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UK care workers leave industry en masse after being told to get vax or quit, with unions begging govt to reconsider policy

The RT Newsletter reports that “The vacancies for care workers could total more than 170,000 people – with 70,000 being those who refuse the jab – after mandatory vaccination is implemented later this year, according to government estimates cited in the media”.

This is a current problem with all the signs that today’s mindset underlies thinking about what to do.

I wrote a piece for the Radix Think Tank in 2018, in which I said that “Supporting people to stay in their own homes is a crucial aspect”  of a way forward I advocated, in which the “grey economy” would have to play an essential part.

This is an example of thinking from the bottom-Up the first steps of which could be started now,   The first steps of a process – a journey – heading towards local community care.  A bumpy journey no doubt.  Which is how any kind of thinking about the future from the bottom-up must be.

 

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The Afghanistan Fiasco (and Today’s High Level of Conflict) Reflect an Energy Problem

Gail Tverberg’s latest post includes:

[7] In a finite world, longer-term models need to take into account the fact that resources deplete and the population keeps rising.

Any modeler who tries to take into account the fact that resources deplete and the overall population keeps rising will quickly come to the conclusion that, at some point, every economy will have to collapse. This has been known for a very long time. Back in 1957, Admiral Hyman Rickover of the US Navy said,

Surplus energy provides the material foundation for civilized living – a comfortable and tasteful home instead of a bare shelter; attractive clothing instead of mere covering to keep warm; appetizing food instead of anything that suffices to appease hunger. . .

For it is an unpleasant fact that according to our best estimates, total fossil fuel reserves recoverable at not over twice today’s unit cost, are likely to run out at some time between the years 2000 and 2050, if present standards of living and population growth rates are taken into account.

Now, in 2021, as it looks as if this problem is starting to hit us. But no one (since Jimmy Carter, who was not re-elected) has dared tell the general public. Instead, accrual accounting with more and more debt is used in financial statements, including GDP statements. Actuaries put together Social Security funding estimates as if the resources to provide the promised benefits will really be there. Climate change models are prepared as if business as usual can go on for the next hundred years. Everything published by the mainstream media is based on the underlying assumption that we will have no problems other than climate change for the next 100 years.

[8] About all that can be done now is to start cutting back on the less necessary parts of the economy.

President Biden’s abrupt pullout from Afghanistan reflects a reality that increasingly has to take place in the world. The US needs to start pulling back because there are too many people and not enough inexpensive to extract resources to fulfill all of the commitments that the US has made. As mentioned earlier, there are a number of obstacles to success in Afghanistan. Thus, it is a good place to start.

With the need to pull back, there is a much higher level of conflict, both within and between countries. The big issue becomes who, or what, is going to be “voted off the island” next. Is it the elderly or the poor; the military or the oversized US medical establishment; university education for a large share of students or classroom teaching for young children?

We don’t seem to have a good way out of our current predicament. This seems to be what is behind all of the recent internet censorship. Renewables and nuclear require fossil fuel energy for their production and maintenance. The powers that be don’t want anyone to know that nearly all of the “happily ever after using renewables” stories we hear are based on wishful thinking.

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THE “NEW ENERGY ECONOMY”: AN EXERCISE IN MAGICAL THINKING

This is an extract from a paper by Mark P. Mill, Senior Fellow of the Manhattan Insitute

A movement has been growing for decades to replace hydrocarbons, which collectively supply 84% of the world’s energy. It began with the fear that we were running out of oil. That fear has since migrated to the belief that, because of climate change and other environmental concerns, society can no longer tolerate burning oil, natural gas, and coal—all of which have turned out to be abundant.So far, wind, solar, and batteries—the favored alternatives to hydrocarbons—provide about 2% of the world’s energy and 3% of America’s. Nonetheless, a bold new claim has gained popularity: that we’re on the cusp of a tech-driven energy revolution that not only can, but inevitably will, rapidly replace all hydrocarbons.

This “new energy economy” rests on the belief—a centerpiece of the Green New Deal and other similar proposals both here and in Europe—that the technologies of wind and solar power and battery storage are undergoing the kind of disruption experienced in computing and communications, dramatically lowering costs and increasing
efficiency.

But this core analogy glosses over profound differences, grounded in physics, between systems that produce energy and those that produce information.

In the world of people, cars, planes, and factories, increases in consumption, speed, or carrying capacity cause hardware to expand, not shrink. The energy needed to move a ton of people, heat a ton of steel or silicon, or grow a ton of food is determined by properties of nature whose boundaries are set by laws of gravity, inertia, friction, mass, and thermodynamics—not clever software.

This paper highlights the physics of energy to illustrate why there is no possibility that the world is undergoing—or can undergo—a near-term transition to a “new energy economy.

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Who determines prices?

Tim Watkins latest piece concludes that:

Since everything in the economy depends upon energy, and since the energy cost of energy is rising and can no longer be brought down, then we know that theoretically, the economy must shrink. We also understand that this forced de-growth is likely to begin in the discretionary sectors of the economy. And because in a shrinking economy it is ever less prosperous consumers rather than businesses who set the price, we look set to see a wave of bankruptcies rather than a wave of inflation in the near future.

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A path of reason, part two: PUTTING IT TOGETHER – HOUSEHOLDS AND THE FINANCIAL SYSTEM

Tim Morgan’s latest blog

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Power to Change

A new report from Power to Change provides more evidence that tackling change from the bottom-up is more effective than doing it top-down.

The paper examines the role that community organisations can play in
the government’s levelling up agenda. It argues that we need to develop a more
coherent strategy for developing social infrastructure at the neighbourhood level.

 

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GOOD IDEA, BAD IDEA: THE MERITS OF RENEWABLES, THE FOLLY OF EV

This is an example of seeing things from the bottom up.

From the top-down electric vehicles (EVs) are seen to be a very good thing.

Bottom-Up is how things really are.

Link to Tim Morgan’s Blog

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Technocracy Exposed

An interesting piece by Tim Watkins, in his blog “the consciousness of sheep” –

Technocracy exposed (consciousnessofsheep.co.uk)

– which concludes that –

“The battleground for the future will have to involve some serious consideration to how we might once again establish democratic oversight and control over “the experts” to prevent the kind of corporate welfare dependence that so many have become accustomed to abusing in recent decades. Do we need experts? Yes, of course. But do we want self-interested bodies of experts with acronyms saying that they know what is best and getting it consistently wrong? Absolutely not.

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Green Wizards

I have just come across this.

Green Wizards is a website begun in 2010 about how do we learn the skills and knowledge we need to survive and prosper in the coming collapse of civilization. What Professor Bendell calls “deep adaptation”, we just call Life in the Long Descent.

We are an outgrowth of the informative blog The Archdruid Report written by John Michael Greer and take our name from one of the books he wrote about society’s coming collapse, “Green Wizardry”.

Most of our members are not involved in the formal education system or professional classes. We are lay people with our hands dirty from garden soil and engine oil, as we focus more on the “hands-on” matters of surviving a collapse than the policy and planning stuff that many want to discuss. The time for those discussions is almost gone.

We have been developing for about the last decade a curriculum of study for people to learn to adapt to the coming collapse and to not only survive it but live it well and prosper. There will be challenges in the new World Made Harsh, but also rewards. The curriculum is laid out in this form and progression on our Forum.

  • Your Physical Health and Your Mental Welfare
  • Food and Water
  • Gardening and Composting
  • Animal Husbandry and Pests
  • Your Family and Your Children
  • Home, Shelter and Security
  • Livability, Energy and Power
  • Your Money and Your Craft
  • Recycling and Repair
  • Communication and Transportation
  • Spirituality, Magic and Religion in Green Wizardry
  • Critical Thinking and Mental Skills
  • Community Building and Whole Systems

Each of these areas of interest have an individual forum and are slowly developing an extensive level of knowledge. We view that what is needed is less than a few quick courses on gardening, compost and conservation but a complete rethinking of how you live your life and relate to the world around you.

We are also very interested in the way that storytelling and the narrative can be used to educate people as to what is coming. There is an up and coming fictional niche called “Climate Fiction” which has a lot of interest among readers. I’ve had two short stories myself published in recent anthologies on the subject. So have several of our other members. You can too.

We also have a large community of ham radio enthusiasts. Communication in the Collapse will involve simpler methods.

We feel that what we are headed into isn’t a quick and sharp downturn, but a stair-step of small crises which collapse our society as a whole and many of us individually and shrink the energy and resources we have available. As people, cities and even nations fall down in complexity that will briefly free up small amounts of energy and resources. The collapse will pause and we’ll see society reset at a slightly less level. Then a few years or even a decade later it will happen again.

This process will continue for the next several centuries and probably put the global village back into another Dark Age.

For now, though, we all must learn to do with less. We can either learn to do that now, while we have some cushion of energy and resources which will help us overcome our failures, or we can do it when we collapse and don’t have any cushion. When failing means we go hungry and cold.

As we like to say, “Collapse Now and Avoid The Rush!”

Come check us out sometime. We will tell you a hearty story over a warm cup of Stone Soup around a warm fire. Be careful of the darkness beyond the light, there are monsters out there.

David Trammel
http://greenwizards.com/

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