Saturday, July 22, 2017

The Next Financial Crisis Is Not Far Away

Our Finite World: "In fact, affordability is the key issue. When the world economy is stimulated by more debt, only a small part of this additional debt makes its way back to the wages of non-elite workers. With greater global competition in wages, the wages of these workers tend to stay low. The limited demand of these workers tends to keep commodity prices, especially oil prices, from rising very high, for very long."

Capitalism and overpopulation

It may seem confusing that capitalism is always pushing for more babies, but at the same time allows starvation and disease.

People are just another resource. Of those educated, healthy, and mobile, they want more. Poor or self-sufficient are worth little to them.

The system is caught in a vise, because birth rates are falling fast in the group of which they want more. This forces them to increase immigration in some areas. But they are careful to make sure the immigrants are abused and kept second class so there is no upward pressure on wages.

The people of Yemen are suffering because the capitalists don't need them. The war in Yemen is mostly about protecting oil shipments.

So we are seeing a massive, preventable, epidemic of cholera.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Oil wars and oil glut, no contradiction

There has not been a good price for oil since conventional (easy-to-get) oil peaked in 2005. Any price is too high for consumers and too low for producers.

Oil still is the blood of capitalism. There is no easy substitute. Trillions of dollars of infrastructure and systems are dependent. Things like millions of square miles of sprawl can not be converted quickly enough.

The owners of this infrastructure have decided to squeeze it until the last dollar and if the biosphere goes down, oh well, too bad. They don't really have much choice given they are locked in a dog-eat-dog system of competition.

There is still some conventional oil in Iraq, under Kirkuk. So war is raging over that. All the profits have been borrowed-against, but the oil is needed just to keep the whole debt-ridden system working for another decade.

It's no longer about profit, it's about interest on debt -- survival of the billionaires.

Leading the Public Into Emergency Mode: A New Strategy For the Climate Movement

The Climate Mobilization: "The climate crisis is an unprecedented emergency. It is, far and away, the United States’ top national security threat, public health threat, and moral emergency. Humanity is careening towards the deaths of billions of people, millions of species, and the collapse of organized civilization. States under severe climate stress, such as Syria, are already starting to fail, bringing chaos, violence, and misery to the region and political instability to Europe. America’s political system is also starting to convulse as the two-party system is showing signs of fragility.

How we react to the climate crisis will shape centuries and millennia to come. Given the stakes, and the extremely short timetable, it is imperative that we strive to maximize the efficacy of our actions — from ourselves as individuals, from our nation, from the global community of nations, and from the organizations that are trying to avert this catastrophe. "

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Staving Off the Coming Global Collapse

The Tyee: "The biophysical evidence — that is, reality — shows that material consumption and waste production are still increasing with population and GDP growth. Meanwhile, carbon dioxide is accumulating at accelerating record rates in the atmosphere and the years 2014, 2015 and 2016 sequentially shared the distinction of being the warmest years in the instrumental record.

There is little question that the immediate drivers of overshoot are overpopulation and excess consumption, so there is widespread support for the idea of “clean production and consumption.” What only a few realists are willing to state out loud is that this must soon translate into less production/consumption by fewer people."

Monday, July 17, 2017

People trying to stop the exploitation of nature are being murdered

Global Justice Ecology Project: "Nearly four people were murdered every week in 2016 whilst protecting their land, forests and rivers from mining, logging and agricultural companies, a new report from Global Witness reveals."

Thursday, July 13, 2017

1989 - U.N. Predicts Disaster if Global Warming Not Checked

ap: "UNITED NATIONS (AP) _ A senior U.N. environmental official says entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000.
Coastal flooding and crop failures would create an exodus of ''eco- refugees,' ' threatening political chaos, said Noel Brown, director of the New York office of the U.N. Environment Program, or UNEP.
He said governments have a 10-year window of opportunity to solve the greenhouse effect before it goes beyond human control.

...The most conservative scientific estimate that the Earth's temperature will rise 1 to 7 degrees in the next 30 years, said Brown.

...He said even the most conservative scientists ''already tell us there's nothing we can do now to stop a ... change'' of about 3 degrees."

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Inevitability Of DeGrowth

Investing.com: "Humans can print currency (money) but we can’t print fresh water, energy, wild fisheries, etc. If one unit of currency currently buys one liter of petrol, printing 10 more units of money doesn’t create 10 more liters of fuel. --Creating currency out of thin air isn’t free in our system: all new currency is loaned into existence and accrues interest. As a result, all currency is a claim on future earnings. If we borrow enough from the future, and earnings remain flat or decline, eventually there’s not enough income left to support the debt service and the expanding consumption the status quo needs to keep itself glued together."
Basically correct, but leaves out the fact that most of the energy we use is wasted on stupid things like autos and sprawl.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

End, don't mend, the auto system

People are struggling with the hell caused by the private auto. They call for
  • tougher enforcement of infractions
  • campaigns against distracted driving
  • lower speed limits
  • more bike/ped infrastructure
  • more subways
  • traffic calming
These are not solutions. They are weak attempts to beg for mercy. We need a strong campaign to get back to bikes and walking by breaking the monopoly of the subsidized auto. The best path is fare-free buses.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

How harsh #degrowth will play out over next ten years

The future will look like the present... but with the bad things getting worse and the good things getting to fewer and fewer people.

The dollar will be protected through energy wars to the bitter end. Nukes will be used, if necessary, but in a "limited" way.

100's of millions of poor people will die from heat, drought, flood, starvation, and disease, though the focus will be on drowning refugees and suicide attackers.

The 10% energy-haves, who use 50% of the energy, will get electric self-driving cars and batteries and such.

Corporate media propaganda will take over more and more of social media.