Riots in Spain and Greece

27 September 2012

Norman Pagett writes;

So the rioting in Greece and Spain goes on, with the eternal demand that life should also go on as it has always done, that there should be jobs for everyone and wealth generated into an infinity of prosperity, a demand that money should be borrowed and spent in order to create more money that can then be spent yet again. Continue reading

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The end of our economic system

27 September 2012

Guest blogger:

We have enjoyed a few generations of prosperity where spending money seemed to be the answer to grinding poverty. Nations have created various models of economic function, some have called it capitalism, or fascism, or communism, or variants of all three. As each prospered, citizens became frenzied with the ‘success’ of their ‘economic system’, and followed their leaders blissfully and blindly into labyrinths of confusion that led to ultimate destruction. Continue reading

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The latest evidence on climate change demands a radical reappraisal of our approach.

25 September 2012
Ian T Dunlop.
Ian Dunlop is an independent commentator, Fellow of the Centre for Policy Development, Director of Australia21, and a Member of the Club of Rome. He chaired the Australian Coal Association 1987-88, the Australian Greenhouse Office Experts Group on Emissions Trading 1998-2000 and was CEO of the Australian Institute of Company Directors 1997-2001. Ian is also the Deputy Convener of the Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil and an Energy Expert at the Climate Change Task Force.

original article available here

The Arctic has been warming 2-3 times faster than the rest of the world. In the last few weeks melting of the Arctic sea ice has accelerated dramatically, reducing the area and volume to levels never previously experienced. Some 80% of the summer sea-ice has been lost since 1979; on current trends the Arctic will be ice-free in summer by 2015, and ice-free all year by 2030, events which were not expected to occur for another 100 years. More concerning, the Greenland ice sheet this year has seen unprecedented melting and glacial ice calving, adding to a trend which will substantially increase sea level rise. Continue reading

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Will America be great again.

25 September 2012

Norman Pagett writes

Read your history
Britain used to be ‘Great Britain’, why? The history book will tell of ironclad ships outclassing all other navies, of armies equipped with the latest weaponry. But that wasn’t the reason,
The UK was sitting on more hydrocarbon energy (coal) in 1800 than Saudi has oil now; plus colossal amounts of iron and other mineral wealth. Then it was all burned by building cities, armies, pretending to be ‘world policeman’, and fighting world wars to safeguard the empire necessary to suck in cheap food to feed the growing millions of factory workers. Continue reading

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Downsizing

25 Sept 2012

Norman Pagett writes:

Downsizing, in whatever form it takes seems to envisage life in some sort of bucolic bliss where we all tend to our veg plots, walk everywhere and say hello to nice neighbours doing much the same thing.
just where do these fantasies come from?
First off it presupposes nice neighbors. Now however pleasant your neighborhood is, sooner or later it will run up against a neighborhood that isn’t very nice, or more likely, downright unpleasant and not at all nice to live close to. Continue reading

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The Athabasca Tarsands

22 September 2012

Norman Pagett writes:

Canada, so near and friendly a neighbor that her resources cannot be thoughtfully considered foreign and alien, has a vast area of tarsands in Alberta, the largest known deposits of oil in the world Saturday Evening Post 1943
As far back as the 1770s Alexander Mackenzie had described ‘bituminous fountains’ there. In 1882 the tarsands phenomenon was described as ‘thickened petroleum’ by Robert Bell, a federal surveyor.
So the tarsands are not a newly discovered source of oil. Continue reading

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The origins of money

21 September 2012

Norman Pagett writes:


Our infrastructure is a dynamic of energy input. Or to be more specific, a dynamic of energy surplus because all forms of energy are essentially the same thing.

10,000 years ago when man decided to stop chasing his food and grow it close to home, the first farmers gradually found they could grow enough food (energy) to support themselves, and as their farming skills improved they found they had a little left over which they could pay people to guard it, or a holy man to pray over it. How the excess was used is irrelevant, it was surplus energy which had unwittingly created the trading medium for exchange of skills and employment; The soldiers needed weapons, the holy man needed a house of worship, neither could be paid for unless there was a surplus of food-energy to do so. In basic terms, the churchbuilder and the weapon maker had jobs and their wages were paid by surplus energy.
After that it was a simple and logical step to tokenise energy with volumes of gold and silver and convert it into money, and a good builder or metalworker or any tradesman could command higher payments for his work if there was enough food energy to support him. Continue reading

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how long can the USA hold together?

21 September 2012

Norman Pagett writes:

Nations are melded into cohesion by events, which, while seeming disparate, are seen in an historical context as critical to the whole.
The United States is no exception.

The nation was nominally created in 1776, one year after the viable steam engine was patented by James Watt in England.
Unconnected?
Try to imagine a country the size of the United States being built and held together in only a century without the leverage of the steam engine. Continue reading

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When will Saudi become an oil importer?

19 September 2012

Norman Pagett writes:

“If Saudi Arabian oil consumption grows in line with peak power demand, the country could be a net oil importer by 2030,” Heidy Rehman citigroup analyst
In 1900, Saudi Arabia was just ‘Arabia’, the country of the Arab people, part of the Ottoman empire; remote and of little interest to anyone other than Muslim pilgrims. It had a population of about 1 million, concentrated mainly along the coast, eking out a pastoral living as goat herders and camel traders. Its interior was called the empty quarter, because it was pretty much just that. Empty. Then in 1908 came the first discoveries of oil, with hints that there could be vast amounts of the stuff.
Fast forward a century, and Saudi oil provides now 11.6% of world oil, and as swing producer, is the only source of oil which can be increased to counteract shortfalls in supply elsewhere in the world; it has become the linchpin of global industry. Continue reading

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we are at maximum food and oil production

18 September

Norman Pagett writes:

Food production of grain staples is hitting a plateau at just about the same time as oil has hit its production plateau. There is little doubt that global food producers have reached maximum output. Japanese rice production has not increased in 17 years, European wheat production has not increased in any meaningful sense for a decade. China is fast approaching the same inescapable conclusion, that land will only give so much, and then no more. Continue reading

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