Sunday, August 30, 2015

Fall of petrodollar will not save humanity

The petrodollar is in trouble. It will fall sometime, sooner or later. What does that mean?

Many are hoping for this fall. They want to see the arrogant, hypocritical US empire humiliated. But what will this fall actually bring?

The world economic system is carrying a burden. That burden is the world financial system. The financial system is essentially debt. The interest owed on this debt must come from the energy provided by fuel or labor.

The problem is that a certain fuel, oil, is very high in net energy and has no ready replacement. It is also the fuel with the fastest falling net energy. Every day it takes more units of energy to extract, transport, refine, and distribute, than the it did the day before to produce the same units.

Oil production and use, especially use, has generated a massive fixed infrastructure. It cannot be quickly undone. So even if all debt is wiped clean in one day, there is still a mess left behind.

People should not expect this mess to be cleaned up by the US elites. We have to unwind the auto-and-sprawl infrastructure ourselves. The more we do the less painful the collapse will be. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Isis in Gaza: 100 Hamas Members Pledge Allegiance to Islamic State

ibtimes : "In a development that could have a far-reaching consequence for the entire Middle East, a new report says that 100 Hamas members have joined the Islamic State (Isis) in Gaza..."
The US war on the Islamic State is a waste of money. Estimates of the cost of killing one IS soldier vary from 1/4 to 1/2 million dollars. Meanwhile, 100's of new soldiers are recruited every day. Even if the story quoted here turns out to be false in particular, it is true in general. Many join every day, and the areas in which they can join are bigger or more numerous each month.

The US has tried to train and equip militias, or make alliances with existing ones, to try to have ground forces to oppose IS. Problem is, as soon as a group is considered a US proxy, it loses all its credibility. Wonder why.

So, here is an idea. Spend the money in the US on free buses. As more buses are free, more people will ride. As more ride, fewer vehicle miles will be driven, and more people will get exercise walking to and from bus stops. Oil demand will drop, and the US can cut back on all the terrorizing of people for oil.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Pentagon expects many years of #oilwars and #climate disaster

@nafeezahmed Middle East Eye: "Two research documents published in recent months by the US Army reveal the military establishment’s latest thinking in startlingly frank terms. The research not only lends credence to environmental warnings about how climate change will fuel political instability, but also vindicates concerns about how looming resource shortages could destabilise the global economy."

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Falling oil prices not helping world economy

Resource Insights: "As the world's central energy commodity, oil is a good indicator of economic activity. With the nearly universal conviction that the previous bounce in oil prices to around $60 signaled a stronger economy and thus stronger oil demand, logic would dictate that we now consider the opposite: That the new slide in oil prices is signaling new weakness in the world economy. If so, it's the kind that ought to frighten even the optimists this time."

Because burning up energy in traffic does not feed, house, or clothe anyone. Fossil fuels have been used to create a wasteful #autosprawl economy. Even if all the debt were to be defaulted, we would still be left with this mess. Even if all the energy wars were to stop tomorrow, we would still have this millstone on our necks. Future generations, if any, will be furious with the way we wasted all this bounty.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

We are in harsh #degrowth now. Let's soften it with #freetransit.

There are no more profits. Capitalism wasted all the cheap energy. We are left with a complex, unsustainable society. Cash is hoarded, while debt sucks the last blood of the working class.

People are fighting back. But those still employed by the capitalist system can help. Simply become a public transit advocate. They are not putting people in jail for that ... yet.

As cities have fewer cars, urbanization will accelerate. People will demand safety and education. Birth rates will drop faster.

Making buses fare-free will speed this process and ease the pain of collapse.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Atomic bombing of #hiroshima #nagasaki was #terrorism, pure and simple.

The Boston Globe: "compelling evidence that it was the Soviet entry into the Pacific conflict, not Hiroshima and Nagasaki, that forced Japan’s surrender. His interpretation could force a new accounting of the moral meaning of the atomic attack. It also raises provocative questions about nuclear deterrence, a foundation stone of military strategy in the postwar period. And it suggests that we could be headed towards an utterly different understanding of how, and why, the Second World War came to its conclusion."

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

G20 countries pay over $1,000 per citizen in fossil fuel subsidies, says IMF | Environment | The Guardian

Guardian: "“In particular, these figures reveal that the G20 countries are wasting trillions of dollars each year on subsidies for fossil fuel pollution,” Stern said. “It is time for the G20 to recognise that the extent of subsidies is far greater than has been previously understood, and to honour their commitment.”"

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Low birth rate is best way to save the biosphere, but capitalism needs growth

Here is the admission. Capitalism must grow or die. This means that degrowth needs another system.

DW.COM: "We estimate by today's standard, that by the year 2018 the economic development will decrease by 0.56 every year provided the fertility remains at a similar level. In only 10 years time, Taiwan will be a super-ageing society. One fifth of the population will be elderly, above 65 years of age. Our pension and health care systems will be in danger because we cannot support such a big elderly population without young people entering the labor market. It will be a big problem for our society."