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Paradigm Shift

Posted on April 8, 2006
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Navigating to a better world

The year 2000 did not spell the end of the world, but in many ways it has proven to be a significant line of demarcation. A global paradigm shift is in progress. We are already over halfway through the first decade of the new millennium, and it seems that so far we’ve had nothing but bad news: Globally, we have more wars and rumors of wars. Domestically, we are reminded almost daily that China will dominate this century while America’s economy is falling behind. Total US government debt now tops $8 trillion, and the current account deficit is close to 8% of GDP – both new records. Our fiscal sloppiness is pushing the value of the dollar down and the prices of precious metals to record highs. And this has not even begun to address global problems such as peak oil bird flu , or global warming.

As the news of the world looks increasingly bleak, American confidence in its government is crumbling, with 70% of Americans believing the country is on the wrong path. The unanswered questions surrounding 9/11, and the war in Iraq are beginning to take their toll.

Paradigm shifts are painful events, with both winners and losers. Progressives who sense the changes, see the evolving direction and can take advantage of their knowledge can benefit. Those with vested interests in the old way will fight to protect the status quo.

As far as the global economy goes, it seems that we have (at least) two potential scenarios: The first is that, as American dominance wanes, we see a relatively orderly decline of the dollar, leading to long-term, sustained inflation in goods and commodities. Under this scenario, the prices of everything else will simply catch up with the supremely overvalued housing and financial markets of this country. Inflation will shrink debts and allow people (and governments) to pay them off. This appears to be what is going on now. But can it last indefinitely, until the global economy is rebalanced? Such a scenario would likely be unpleasant, what John Mauldin calls “the muddle through economy,” but it would not be catastrophic.

The second potential scenario is a quick, sharp global meltdown that catches just about everyone by surprise. Many claim to see a global financial meltdown coming – that it could literally happen tomorrow – but it would still be a huge shock to everyone, and few are truly prepared for such an event. It would take everyone by surprise and lead to…lead to what? What would the world look like under such a scenario? The sun would still rise. People would still get up in the morning, but what would they do? Would they go to work? How could stocks, bonds or commodities be traded if the dollar loses all support? Would grocery stores be stocked if electronic payment mechanisms locked up? How could truckers buy diesel for their rigs? Certainly a barter economy would arise, but how would it be sustained?

One thing that seems clear is that the current economic status quo – built on debt, consumption, and American world dominance – is unsustainable. How will the world be transformed, and what will the future look like one, five ten and twenty years henceforth? What can we do to prepare for the future? Is it all doom and gloom – all bad news, or are they rays of light?

My question here – and this thread is open for all opinions below – is: Which scenario is more likely? Can the sharp collapse be avoided, and if so, how? If not, what would the world look like after such a collapse? How will people in the suburbs fare, if the gas stations run dry – either through a financial meltdown, or because of peak oil — with no hope of a reliable fuel source? Should people take steps now to get “off the grid,” and if so, how? There would obviously be a massive exodus but where would the people go? What would the government response be? Maybe this is part of the rationale for the big detention centers that the administration has contracted Halliburton to build. Under this scenario, would we inevitably creep towards a fascist, police-state future like the one portrayed in the movie “V for Vendetta”? (On second thought, are we already there?)

Looking forward to the discussion.

Michael

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Comments

62 Comments so far
  1. Stew Gable April 8, 2006 10:59 am

    This web site below, will provide you with enhanced visibiity the issues facing our society.

    USAWakeUp.Org

    Stewart R. Gable
    Colonel USAF [Ret'd]

  2. qrswave April 8, 2006 11:01 am

    I’m not going to venture into answering the questions you posed, though they are very important ones. I suspect that the next few months will narrow down the viable possibilities.

    Just want to point out that inflation will NEVER be allowed to “shrink debts and allow people (and governments) to pay them off.” At least not in the aggregate. Not as long as the Federal Reserve is functioning.

    The Fed continues to increase interest rates for the sole purpose of ensuring that money lenders are ahead of the inflation curve. That is how our economy keeps accelerating as it has over the past 50 years. And this is why the system is unsustainable.

  3. Marc Authier April 8, 2006 11:17 am

    It ressembles more to chineese water torture. Drop by drop, the USA but also all western nations are losing their manufacturing and even some of it’s services industries. And what will be left? Not very much. Big and cancerous overbloated miltitary complex like in the USSR! Bush as Clinton, has been no friend of the middle class or ordinary people trying to do a decent living by doing things. Buffett has a nice word fot what is going on. A society of stockcrappers. Welcome to the future.

  4. ex disabled soldier April 8, 2006 11:22 am

    Those who are now in powerful positions in the US govt are leading us down the road to hell. The nation, its economy is being run for the benefit of globalists corporations and the satanic strangle hold of a foreign ethnic domination who soaks huge amounts of tax dollars from us commits espionage against us and through its influence are destroyingour sovereignty. I dont need to tell you who this ethnic group is. We cannot fix anythng through voting, do you think if the votes counted they would let you vote? That to me leaves just one other way.

  5. lob April 8, 2006 11:48 am

    Mid-cycle correction or something more ominous? One thing is for sure it is rare to have a full-blown recession/ err slowdown so soon after the last one. Generally, they occur once every 8-10 years or so. Or is that the so-called official end of the slowdown so quickly pronounced sometime ago really did not end? One thing is for sure America will remain the repository for the wealthy until such time as another nation comes along to ursup it. Right now that nation is not on the horizon. So for now, who are you more comfortable with? The U.S.? China? Japan? Germany? France? Britain? Who? Whose bonds are they buying with their “I gotta count on this money”, no matter what happens to the rest of my far-flung investments, etc.!

  6. m_astera April 8, 2006 11:49 am

    Hello Stew-

    Here’s your link, made clickable.

    http://www.usawakeup.org/

    I watched it and found it somewhat entertaining, but also confusing. Just who are the enemy? What is suggested as a course of action?

    Surely you are not advocating religion as the solution to the world’s problems? If so, I would be forced to the unfortunate conclusion that you are advocating some brand of “christianity”, at which point I would cease paying attention. Advocating a particular religion is not the solution, it is a major part of the problem. If I have misunderstood you, or this site’s message, feel free to correct me.

    m_astera

  7. patriot April 8, 2006 11:52 am

    Lots of questions with no firm answers except that the dollar will crash at some point in the next 10 years, probably sooner rather than later.

    Until about 2 years ago I was firmly in the Republican camp. I now realize that both republicans and democrats are just different sides of the same coin, so to speak. Neither party is really steering the ship and neither side really believes that the constitution is relevant any longer. Monetary policy, the future for our children and to a large extent foreign policy is directed by members of an elite banking group. This group is involved in every major aspect of American life. Whether through foundations to steer educational material taught in our schools or through the state department appointments to steer gov’t policy. The whole set up has evolved through decades of manipulation through lobbying and other means. Read confessions of an economic hitman for an explanation of how the banking cartel manipulates 3rd world countries for example.

    I have read several books now that give fairly detailed analysis about how our government and those in Europe were corrupted by the banking and oil families starting in the 1700’s in europe. Had anyone ever told me that I would believe this type of conspiracy theory I would have laughed. I’m a former naval aviator/officer and airline pilot. We are generally not known for being paranoid or delusional, although perhaps I’m the exception.

    Regardless, I believe that there will be many other ordinary, mentally stable folks that arrive at the same conclusions that I have after being presented with the same evidence.
    My main point being that I believe it is no accident that we are now at the cusp of a dollar crash. We have been positioned for this eventuality by the ultimate monetary authorities. I have no idea what the final goal of the cartel could possibly be in this regard. Whether it is a one world monetary order or something equally as sinister. I do know that not many major events that have taken place in modern history have been unplanned or unaffected by this group of madmen. When contemplating the “whys and wherefore’s” it always helps to ask “que bono”? Who benefits? I guess we will see.

    I always am reminded of a great quote by Thomas Jefferson when I think about this fraud we call the Federal Reserve System:

    “If the people ever allow private banks to issue their currency, first by inflation then deflation, the banks and corporations that grow up around them will deprive the people of their property until one day their children wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”

    I believe that quote was made in 1809 during the debate over the recharter of the 2nd U.S. bank. Regardless, you get the point. The future is going to be rough regardless of what we collectively do to take back our government from the idiots currently running it into the ground. I personally don’t hold out much hope that enough people will turn off american idol long enough to actually pay attention and make a difference. Most of them will just be happy to que up in a food line without questioning how they got to that position in life. Buy gold, guns and food then hope for the best.

  8. River April 8, 2006 12:21 pm

    Michael,

    I hate to think it is true, but I see no other option. I’m not terribly optimistic about the future for the country, or for humanity. I don’t believe the administration is stupid, just extremely short sighted and self centered. They benefit from the global corporate banking system they control, and they have lost sight of the working people that are the source of their wealth. As a result, it will all crumble - it will all crumble.

    The question is what average people like us can do about it, and I am ashamed to say that I am simply keeping my head down, working for a living, and hoping that everything passes okay. I hope it goes down like in your first scenario, for the scenario in my head - involving global warming, peak oil, a mass migration of people, marshall law and the complete breakdown of civility - is much more unpleasant. I thought that 9/11 marked the beginning of it, but things seem to have settled down.

    I’m not the type to buy guns. Living in an apartment in an urban area, thre is only so much food I can buy. I would be interested to hear if anyone knows of any communes that are off the grid, or if anyone is interested in pooling resources and trying to start one.

    I agree that we can’t change what has already been set in motion. Is America a democracy? Look at the poll on this website. My solution is to avoid and ignore the government, and start a new civilization under its own rules, like the founding fathers did 230 years ago. I just don’t know how to go about it.

    - River

  9. larry ross April 8, 2006 12:43 pm

    it appears as per usual, biology will dictate.the economic and political models,are just that.ultimately,the strains and limitations of this finite globe will prevail.alvin toffler described in the mid 70’s,’the population bomb’and the associated grinding attrition it would bring to bear on us all.he nailed the whole carrying capacity issue with the concommitant resulting over depleting exploitation of the planet.the degredation is and will be associated with equivalent chaos of those man made constructs.so,will we see increasing strain and scarsity with associated frantic reactions by governments and economic models.i sadly think yes.a world of v for vendetta.it is now.”artists lie to tell the truth:politicians to hide it.”the it is here…..these are verrrrry serious times.

  10. 'Kiwi' from N.Z. April 8, 2006 12:55 pm

    Dear Michael;

    I am writing this to you from New Zealand; You have posed some excellent and very relevant questions, which are important for all of us to consider and find the answer. Whilst New Zealand is a very quiet, tranquil and isolated Country of 4 million people, we seem also to have our own internal problems and issues.

    My own developing views of the matter is simply the lack of “intelligent and clear thinking, independent and selfless, Political Leaders, who perform their Representative role specifically for the people who voted them in”.!! Throughout the World, the Political representatives have failed in their main purpose of representing and benefiting the People. These selfish and self-centred people, have in turn allowed the armies of Bureaucrats to similarly ‘look after themselves’ and to now perform their functions so that they themselves receive a greater benefit or gain.!

    In the past, there were usually two distinct groupings of people in any Society; ie. England - Labour and Liberals, USA – Democrats and Republicans, Australia – Labour and Liberals, New Zealand – National and Labour, etc. etc. etc.. It was these two distinct groups, that usually set the agenda for the Political activity that happened in those Countries.
    Today, in my humble view, we still have two distinct groups of people that determine the Political agenda, but they can now be classified as follows;
    (a) Wealth creators – those people from the Factory floor to the Boardroom, that are engaged in adding value to a wide range of raw materials, that sell these finished items for a profit, that then pay “exorbitant and oppressive” Taxes on these profits (plus further stealth taxes that are ever being designed, ie. speeding tickets, parking tickets, Pet registration fees, etc. etc.).
    (b) Parasites – these are the ‘wealth destroyers’ in our Society and who gain their Income and live off the efforts of the Wealth creators; these Parasites have no cognizance of how to create overall “Wealth” for the Country, but only wealth for themselves; their greed and thirst for ever increasing their budgets and own salaries, is unrelenting. These Parasites, ‘do not pay taxes’ as they do not create wealth in the first instance, and worse than this they have no understanding that the “Tax paid” on their Pay packet slip, is only an Accounting ‘book entry’ to make them “feel” as if they are contributing to the Tax system.!!
    So heading the List of ‘Parasitic Wealth Destroyers’ are : Politicians, Govt. Bureaucrats, Lawyers, Social Welfare Beneficiaries (although not all of this group are parasites, as we do have some needy and deserving people in Society that require and deserve our care.), etc..

    The “problem” with the current, so called Democratic system (Democracy), is that those in power have forgotten who it is that is important; these so called ‘Democratic Leaders’ deludingly see themselves as ‘gods’ with their bureaucratic minions ever encouraging their ascension, so as to benefit themselves.!

    If this is “Democracy” then let it’s end be hastened; For what can replace it, I am not certain at this time, but if we all do not do something very soon, then our cultures and societies will only continue to decay and perish.

    We need to have a system and a Society that rewards excellence and hard work (not corruption and illicit payments), a Society that encourages and supports its own people to help and nurture amongst themselves (not to foster and expand a Social Welfare system that creates ‘generational families on dependence’), a Society that respects Property rights and Individual freedoms (not State run theft, manipulation, and controls), and a Society that believes that “People and the Family” are the most important and central requirement for a respectful and ‘wealth creating’ Nation.!

  11. Breck April 8, 2006 1:06 pm

    Stew Gable is what’s wrong with the American people. Those that aren’t asleep wake up and see “terrorists”. Hey Colonel it ain’t the Arabs that are the terrorists. They are just patsies. The real “terrorists” are not terrorists at all, they are Traitors and they run YOUR government right now!

  12. Dan C. April 8, 2006 1:22 pm

    Our founding fathers would be so disappointed with what we have become. A depression is coming and as Martha would say “IT WILL BE A GOOD THING”, sadly it is needed to right all the wrongs we have done as a bankrupt society.

  13. Dan April 8, 2006 2:09 pm

    Tim Wood of http://www.cyclesman.com suggests that the next 4 year cyle low that is due, ideally, by April of 2007 will give us clues as to where the economy is headed. He believes that a low that ends ABOVE the 2002 low will mean that the FED’S massive money infusion effots(hidden M-3), has overwhelmed the natural market forces of the primary bear market that started in 2000. This would imply that the economy is headed for HYPERINFATION. If however, the 4 year cycle low ends BELOW that of 2002, then the natural market forces will have overcome the FED’S money infusion efforts. This would imply that a multi-phase bear market is still dominate, and that the economy is headed for DEFLATION/DEPRESSION. The 2002 levels for the DJIA and S&P 500 were 7197 and 768.

    Also of interest to this thread is the http://www.afr.org web site. This is a site that proposes a 2 pillar strategy that attempts to move the massive federal government back toward the more limited vision of government that our Founders had. It is a site that is worth checking out.

    Best…Dan

  14. Nolan April 8, 2006 2:17 pm

    So 10 out of 10 feel quite pessimistic. As someone who greatly values contrarian approaches, I find this quite encouraging, even though I personally am someone who is also inclined to view present circumstances as very risky and threatening. But if you look, you will notice that already there are many signs of change. The Administration’s decline in popularity is one. The rise of a new socialism in Latin America is another. While socialism may not be a complete answer, it is an alternative. It is other-directed and more responsive to people’s needs. Ask yourself how people managed to get through the Great Depression and you’ll remember the power and significance of community. Capitalism as we know it today is very self-centered. People have come to be very arrogant, self-righteous, and out of touch with reality. It is as though they have lost their common sense. Not only do they find it difficult to work together; they can’t see how they are destroying their own nests.

    Difficult times force people to see things differently. Either they do or they die. We know that. Hence the popularity of Jared Diamond’s book, “Collapse” which gives examples of societies that destroy themselves through their own intransigence. The fact that the book is being discussed at all is encouraging. But there are other things as well. Consider “Free Cycle”. Consider the sustainability movement and “simplicity circles”. Consider the renewed interest in “Intentional Living”. Consider the film “Take”. Consider the myriad forms of worker owned businesses and cooperatives that are making comebacks and growing more and more popular all the time. Consider the organic food movement. This thing has really taken off. It is now big business. Consider Community Supported Agriculture. See if you can find a copy of the film, “The Real Dirt on Farmer John”. Consider “Operation Hope”, a new inner city service being promoted to some extent by banks that intends to teach poor folks how to manage their money better. Consider Henry C.K. Liu’s call for a labor cartel. Things ARE happening. And in time, we will remember who we are. We are social animals that thrive when we work together. Synergism is real. It works and even big business recognizes how true this is.

    All that is necessary is that people find ways to take care of themselves. In effect, they walk away from the corporate dominated lifestyle. And who is not ready to at least think of doing that?

    Best regards.

  15. Sandalaphon April 8, 2006 4:10 pm

    The truth is always stranger then fiction..

    Lets leave the Economic BS folks and take the red pill, the MATRIX goes so much deeper then what your minds can ever possibly concieve.

    the info is all their

    http://www.sherryshriner.com/

    Study this site and you’ll start to see the veils unwind

    good luck

  16. R April 8, 2006 4:38 pm

    Why would the dollar have to go away? Even in the worst case scenario?

    Many currencies have lost many many times their value and still hang around.

    So, the dollar looses value? Where is the point of equilibrium? 3 times less than current value? Two? Ten? Somewhere. It does not have to die. And it is not just the dollar that is junk, the Euro is also trash (maybe more so) as is the New Zealand dollar (lost 16% of its value in the last year…its debt is a larger percent of GDP than the US!) and look what is happening in Iceland. So the dollar may be trash, maybe more trash than most, but not
    totally trash.

    So a massive rebalancing, but what would that mean? Very harsh realities, potentially very fast, almost over night.

    But other than Starbucks, life would go on as normal. Prices would quickly readjust and spending habits would change. Americans would have much less monetary and stuff wealth. The business landscape would change. US Manufacturing would become profitable again. Luxury goods companies would have to look elsewhere to sell their goods. People will readjust quickly.

    Young people will still make a sport of love, old people will still talk about how it used to be, and parents will still hope for the best for their kids. Maybe people would start looking at gaining true wealth.

    In times of hardship, the best comes out of most people.

    And you know, the US still has the greatest structure to invent and build new business in the world. Far superior to China or Japan. They just copy, sometimes better, but primarily just a copy.

    R

  17. khill April 8, 2006 7:05 pm

    Priority one is the energy drought that is fast approaching.I see no viable solutions in any combination outside of a global rationing plan which is pure fantasy at this time. Population reduction will solve the energy issue but that is impossible also. So we will eventually see spot food shortages, increased disease and starvation and increased violence erruptions from small outbreaks to regional and global war. What may happen is a bio weapon attack on the U.S. that kills millions on the North American continent. North America would be quarintined. The continent would suffer a depression and energy consumption could ease for while buying the rest of the world a little more time to transition from oil. North America my be the sacrificial lamb that desperate planners see as the only way to manage the global energy drought. As the U.S. consumes a 1/4 of the worlds oil pruduction a regional dieoff would be a rational choice in an impossible situation. What else can a planner do? Suggest a lottery system for early death on a global scale? Allow a global pandemic to occur and let all systems fail under the weight of mass chaos? Pursue a global war that may likely see a release of all nuclear weapons that will destroy the entire planet? I beleive there is high risk living in North America. Brazil is looking better every day. Brazil has 90% hydro for electricity and 40% ethynol usage for cars. Good workers, good government and plenty of natural resources.

    Good luck, North America, I think you are toast.

  18. Event_Horizon April 8, 2006 9:39 pm

    In regards to the unanswered questions surrounding 9/11:

    HOW the buildings were brought down does not necessarily answer the WHY. The possibility that explosives were used does not explain the motives for demolishing the buildings. In all likelihood, there were probably multiple motives, including the politically driven ones, and they are all subject to valid debate. However, I present below another possible motive (economically driven) that has not gained mainstream attention, namely the tremendous value of base metal content that could be salvaged and recycled from the scrap of such a wreckage.

    http://www.brookhunt.com/BHWeb/CDA/StoryPg.aspx?ID=9&Ver=4
    - website of mining & metal industry consultants
    - this is a recent article on what is happening in the zinc market, which has gone hog wild as of late
    - note that “LME stocks fell below 300k [tons] in March, the first time that they have been this low since July 2001.”

    http://www.kitcometals.com/charts/zinc_historical_large.html#lmestocks_5years
    - this shows a 5-year historical chart of zinc warehouse stocks at the LME, clearly showing that there was a critical shortage of supply at that point in time, as is the case today (stock levels under 300k tons).
    - interestingly, the stock levels have risen sharply since the months after 9/11
    - more interestingly, the spot zinc price back then was already at an all-time low, so from an economic perspective, it would be plausible to assume that the sudden increase in warehouse stocks did not come from a surge in mining production (in fact, zinc mining companies were facing sever liquidity pressures and operating at a loss, and there was a chronic under-investment in capital expenditures to support mine production)

    http://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/2004/1196am/
    - this is a government research paper studying the recycling of metal commodities in the U.S. (published in 2004)
    - no need to read the detailed science behind it, just pay particular attention to the brief Foreward, which partly justifies the study in the name of “national security”

    Other facts about zinc:
    - almost 50% of its application is towards galvanizing steel to increase strength and corrosion resistance
    - the construction and auto industries would be primary users - it can be as much part of a car as part of military assets (such as aircraft or naval ships)
    - we all know how much the average American likes to buy homes and cars, but the U.S. Government (i.e., Pentagon) is also a very BIG consumer with its own unique “demands”

    I’m not trying to draw linear conclusions here, but to provide another plausible perspective on WHY the buildings may have been “demolished”.

  19. qrswave April 8, 2006 9:47 pm

    I was about to chide R for living in la-la land, until I read khill’s comment. La-la land started looking attractive.

    I’m stuck in North America. So I must plan for a way to survive. I’m sure that if we can just put an end to this insane usurious money system, we can begin to emerge from the darkness that envelopes us.

  20. Nish April 9, 2006 5:58 am

    It is hard to tell whether there will be a quick adjustment or a slow adjustment, that is up to the FED and bankers (central planners) to decide. At the end of the day there will be an adjustment that will lower the standard of living for americans and europeans and possible all western societies.

    Lets face the facts, we have had this lifestyle for the past 100 yrs, due to our military and political exploitation of the third worlds resources. Now today, our leaders are exploiting the labor cost between countries for their drive to be the ultimate kings and drive us to slavery that we are not concious of.

    The best way to fight this is to:

    Spread the word of fiat money (the ultimate tool used to slave the western world, while military might is used in the third world)

    Buy up all the gold and silver. Reduce our dependency on fiat currency by storing our wealth in gold and silver

    Reduce our dependency on corporate food, by starting to grow fruits and veges in our back yards

    Reduce our dependeny on corporate energy, by installing solar panels and geo-thermal energy on our homes. Take the loan today, for that money will be useless tomorrow.

    Buy the way, by some accounts there is no peak oil, canadian oil sands and US OIL Shales can last us for another 200 to 300 years. The trick is when industries become monopolized and the demand is in-elastic,one can maximize profit and control by reducing reducing supply.

  21. Chen April 9, 2006 6:51 am

    Americans are so optimistic about everything. The history of China is so long that it has seen everything - history rises and falls like a wave, then rises again. When the wave starts to roll, you must make a decision - either you ride the wave or you get out of the way. China has seen the full circle of history that America is living through - the rise, the fall and now it is starting over again.

    There are always new challenges - the changing climate will affect everyone, but the choice is the same. See the wave, and ride it or get out of the way.

    qrswave says, “I’m sure that if we can just put an end to this insane usurious money system, we can begin to emerge from the darkness that envelopes us.” This is part of the wave, and this wave has much momentum behind it. It will wash its way out, but your comment is similar to looking at a storm the size of Katrina and saying, “if we can just stop it somehow, everything will be fine.”

    Everything happens for a reason. The affairs of men have their own rhythm and path, and even the best laid plans can be demolished by something unforeseen. These ideas mentioned above — peak oil, global warming, dollar crash — everyone is well aware of them. The event that starts the storm is likely to be something altogether unexpected.

    No one knows what the future holds. The best advice I can give is to live happily and remain flexible. Things will not always be the same, but the majority of your pain will come from wanting things to be a certain way when in reality they cannot be that way.

    In other words, go with the flow and let nature take its course.

  22. Tim A. April 9, 2006 7:11 am

    One empire ends, another begins. The British Empire ruled the world until the ascendance of the American Empire after WWI. What’s that you say, America is not an empire, it doesn’t have an emperor? You are partially correct. We became an economic empire between WWI and WWII, but our political system hasn’t quite caught up. IMO that will change within 20 years and we will see the end of Congress and the courts as a meaningful balance to executive power.

    Throughout history, the average lifespan of democracies is about 250 years, so we aren’t really looking at anything unexpected or out of the ordinary. Inflation? Delation? We’ll likely see plenty of both as true economic reality intrudes into our 15 second attention spans. People who create things of value will become wealthier while people who pretend to work or who live on the dole will become poorer. And that’s as it should be. My advice would be to live as independently as possible in a place far from crowds of angry people.

  23. Nish April 9, 2006 8:41 am

    Tim,

    In my opinion, we are still in a British / European Empire. With Corporations bigger than nations, who know who the board of directors are major stock holders are. A Rothchild or Rockefeller could be a major share holder on thousands of firms.

    You are correct though stating that independent living is best. I also say, spread this gospel to your friends and family and locals at the local bars.

  24. khill April 9, 2006 9:49 am

    PEAK oil is about energy production falling behind energy demand and our global system’s abilties to adjust. It’s not about how much energy is in the ground it’s about replacing easy energy like oil with difficult energy like tar sands and coal. PEAK oil is about percentages, capacities and time plus reactions and emotions. When peak oil production hits how fast can the world adjust? At what rate will oil production decline? How do economies deal with $200 oil, gas lines and brown outs? Can any business model produce sustainable profits in any industry? Is there enough investment capital to retool a post oil world? PEAK Oil is potentially in my view man’s extinction event. We have never faced such a major problem. In a technology dependant age can 6-8 billion humans make the adjustment? We all can’t go back to the farm. Most don’t even know how.

    Easy energy produced easy and ample food and the human population exploded. When that process stops and reverses population drops. Imagine if a bio weapon is used against the U.S. what will happen. Mass panic, hoarding and riots. Grocery store shelves will be emptied in a day or two. Delivery trucks will need security to make it to a store. All ships and planes and their crews will have to go through decontamination procedures. Shortages of all things will be rampant. PEAK OIL is coming and we have no viable solutions that I can see. If there is a solution it will take at least 20 years to impliment. What is war? It’s something we are getting better and better at and it keeps us entertained while problems go unsolved. It was only a matter of time when hijacking large aircraft and suicide bombers combined to turn passenger jets into ICBM’s. It’s most likely only a matter of time when a “final solution” mindset converges with a bio weapon capacity. 100’s of millions of lives are at risk and only a handfull of the willing and able could do the task. We have had at least 30 years to look at PEAK Oil and start the transition but instead we built SUVs. Is there a secret energy solution out there waiting to save us?

    Come on people, cheer me up.

  25. Rich April 9, 2006 9:55 am

    I believe we are at the crossroads of humanity. We’re reaching Peak Humanity, and that is the real issue.

    Chen’s perspective is right on, just ride the wave man!

    In the last five years the world has come face to face with it’s own destiny. Whether it’s financial meltdown and global depression, climactic change on an unprecedented level, a pandemic or a manmade WW III, there really is very little we can do about it.

    Our final destination is to individually learn what is beyond this mortal coil, and to (hopefully) come face to face with our maker, and someone to answer for our lives here on earth.

    Should this be the case then I would like to know I did what I could to try to bring people to their senses……while I rode the wave!

    Cheers Rich

  26. ron April 9, 2006 10:23 am

    Peak oil has not arrived. The BBC reports that Venezuelas reserves have been radicaly upgraded by the inclusion of heavy oil that was formerly regarded uneconomic. They alone can “satisfy global demands for a century”. Chavez and OPEC are pushing a stable oil price of $50/B. If the U.S. would stop disrupting global oil production the price would soon fall to this level and stabilize. We need to plan for this possibility because global warming is real. Ultimately a global carbon tax is the only solution because too much carbon based energy remains and market forces will not limit it’s conversion to co2. China is moving forward with coal gasification, the U.S. is on a coal fired power plant tear, none of this is environmentaly sound.

  27. J April 9, 2006 10:50 am

    Michael..a thought-provoking editorial with intelligent responses. The major crisis as I see it is an earth with limited resources, the most important of which is water and the fact that big business is - and has been - buying water rights/districts throughout the world, especially in the U.S., where in many localities the people of a community are being victimized by corporate greed..a little town in N.H. being a case in point, where local politicians were bought off by corporate raiders, who care not if their rate raise causes hardship on the people.

    Right up there with a shortage of water is oil, whether from a peak situation or manipulation, foretelling a future of hardship for the masses, the younger of which here in the U.S., are not used to hardship and who do not possess the knowledge of survival by self-sufficiency. In an effort to survive during a time of crisis many of them will take the low road and turn to violence against those who had the foresight to provide for themselves. The only protection the latter have is to form communities of like-minded people..I don’t refer here to communes, simply small communities of people preferably in the country/forests where they can grow their own food and have sufficient fuel on hand to keep them warm in winter.

    Eventually we will achieve a better world - those of us who are left - but getting from here to there will take a lot of doing as we move into hyperinflation that may last into 2008/9, when deflationary forces move in to counteract and the U.S. dollar is reduced to ashes. It is time now to rearrange our lifestyles if not already accomplished, live simply, consume little, store food, water, medical supplies, and learn the basics of survival. J

  28. the stranger April 9, 2006 10:52 am

    I think the potential for a domino effect is massive.

    In the short term, we don’t have to run out of oil, just run short to have a chain reaction collapse; and the chance of this happening soon is high. Matthew Simmons’ lays this out convincingly. Several good books on Peak Oil help the reader understand EROEI is the crucial formula here. Sure, plenty of coal and tar sands exist and they will be exploited, but they require more energy to generate the finished product than pulling sweet crude out of the ground. Seems we’ve discovered the underground saving account of ancient sunlight and spent half of it growing the world population to six billion plus. Oops…

    As for the global financial system, make that financial process, it looks like it’s ready to blow. It may be too large, too complex, and too far gone for a soft landing; a delay would be welcome though, to those of us preparing to use hyperinflation to obtain parachute materials.

    Living in North America I shudder at khill’s summary, but I wake up at night thinking exactly what he wrote; no telling what’s in store. A sustainable community is a good goal, but it better be somewhat remote; mobocracy is a bitch. There will be plenty of angry folks wanting your water, your veggies, and your mercury head dimes. Blackwater mercenaries collecting taxes for the cause? WTSHTF, surviving will take some clever maneuvering and a lot of luck.

    And by the way, I think climate change is real and getting worse. But I have a hard time believing that all the poison we put in the atmosphere is heating the oceans faster than undersea volcanic activity (I think I’ll turn up the hallway thermostat and boil some eggs). Climate change we can’t mitigate? There’s a possible paradigm shift.

    But the paradigm shift may just be when everyone knows what we suspect, that the Titanic is taking on water and doesn’t have enough life boats. Yeah, stay away from angry crowds; North America may be toast.

  29. ron April 9, 2006 11:12 am

    Stranger,
    The sun radiates many magnitudes more heat than the earth. No matter where we are in the process of consuming stored energy, we will have to deal with the environmental crisis well before we have a true (non-manipulated) energy shortage. How can people survive as societies should be the question because to believe you can go solo is fantasy.

  30. the stranger April 9, 2006 12:50 pm

    Ron,
    The sun radiates more heat than the earth? OK.
    We will have to deal with the environmental crisis well before we have a true (non-manipulated) energy shortage? Really? Says who? If we have a manipulated energy shortage tomorrow, the economy collapses. Who will be stopping climate change then?
    And, to believe you can go solo is fantasy? Agreed - lonely too.

    If the coming energy shortage is fake, and if fossil fuel induced atmospheric change is solely responsible for climate change, then we have control – theoretically. But what if control is actually beyond our reach.

    “Venezuela’s reserves have been radically upgraded by the inclusion of heavy oil that was formerly regarded uneconomic.” ERORI; our society runs on cheap oil, not oil at any cost. Again, khill’s comments in his second post (which I hadn’t read when I posted mine) are dead on. PEAK oil is about percentages, capacities and time plus reactions and emotions – we may never run out of oil, especially if the infrastructure collapses. I don’t see Chavez and Venezuela as a solution to anything. I don’t know what bothers me more; South America going socialist or the fact that we caused it. I digress.

    And trust me, I hate pseudo science that tries to explain away results that corporations don’t like, but there is a lot of good science telling us that massive climate change is cyclical, normal if you will; albeit somewhat tragic. Whether or not we caused this climate change, it just might be unstoppable.

    I think, how can people survive as societies IS the question.

  31. ron April 9, 2006 1:12 pm

    The current climate changes are an extreme event on a geologic scale. This is not comparable to ant cycles that have occurred during human evolution.
    Those who engineer oil prices do not aim to collapse the economy. As Daniel Jurgin points out in The Prize,the cycles in oil pricing mainly serve to allow big oil to profit from the shakeout of smaller upstarts when oil falls. Something for investors to consider.
    As for Chavez, the Bolivarian movement is not really socialist. Simon Bolivar meshed anti-imperialism with the principles of the French revolution(liberty equlity and brotherhood). With these he swept Sain from the continent.Today several hundred million people live under Bolivarian constitutions that banned slavery well before ours. Latin America is pursuing a form of social democracy and managed economy that appears to be flourishing.

  32. the stranger April 9, 2006 7:05 pm

    My glib comment on Chavez was a distraction and your take on the Bolivarian movement is fine.

    CO2 levels are higher than they’ve been in at least 400 thousand years and definitely caused by humans burning our one time endowment of fossil fuels. This may not be comparable to other periods, but the current extreme climate changes are; and that bothers me. Ocean levels rise and fall repeatedly in geologic history. Magnetic poles shift, ice ages come and go, and all without our help. Nature remains dangerous. That’s all I’m trying to say. I have a few more books to read before I can rule out natural cycles as a contributing factor. That’s not denial - I want to understand it.

    I think oil is cheap at $70.00 a barrel. Gasoline at $3.00 a gallon is equally cheap. Beer costs more than that. So many oil fields are in decline we can’t keep up, we’re losing ground every day. And demand just keeps rising. The cost will go up and that’s a problem. There will be supply disruptions as wells collapse without warning, and that’s a problem. My sense is that this is real, and when it happens it will be accepted; paradigm shift.

  33. imnotacrook April 10, 2006 6:51 am

    Lunatics on the fringe, or more? Check this site out and share your thoughts:

    http://ken-welch.com/PageOne.html

    Regards,

    Stone

  34. KTM April 10, 2006 7:11 am

    I have to laugh at the hubris of people who insist we have to “do something” to correct the climate changes we are observing. As if a few million bags of protoplasm can effect meaningful changes in a system as large as the Earth/solar system! Climate changes occurred long before Man walked upright, and they will continue long after we are extinct. Concerned scientists now breathlessly tell us this time it’s different, and of course WE are the forcing factor of the doomsday scenario. Yeah right.

    If we follow the money trail it’s obvious what their real motives are — self-enrichment from the coffers of governments populated largely by lazy dolts. Spending money is easy when it’s not yours. Adapting to climate changes we can’t alter is much harder to do as it requires learning, hard work, and sacrifice.

  35. ron April 10, 2006 8:42 am

    KTM’
    I think you will recall that banning ozone depleting chemicals has had an impact.I would be interested in the money trail you write about. Let’s look at it.
    My experience has been that the money trail is most prominent when the precautionary principal is opposed.
    Polluting the environment with coal emmisions is a big money trail of externalized costs. The costs of asthma, childhood leukemia and climate change are shunted to others. I guess in a kleptocracy this is acceptable.

  36. KTM April 10, 2006 10:03 am

    Ron tells us about the positive effects of “banning ozone depleting chemicals” as if that ban actually ocurred. The Chinese bought much of the equipment scrapped by U.S. and European companies and are now busy blow-molding, refrigerating, and cleaning with those “banned” chemicals. The PRC government of course claims otherwise, but their official numbers do not match the exports of products made using these processes.

    Ron also lectures about the dangers of coal emissions. Perhaps he should take his protest to Beijing where the ruling party signed a deal with East European countries to buy their old, obsolete coal-fired generating plants, disassemble them, and ship the components to China where they are being reinstalled at the rate of several every month. I wonder how long he would sit in prison?

    The money trail I referred to runs on an axis from DC to Brussels and involves lobbying groups run by lawyers and assisted by lackey scientists and helpful idiots. I’m sure there are well-meaning folks in the mix somewhere, but they don’t get paid or drive Mercedes sedans.

  37. Brian Farmer April 10, 2006 10:28 am

    In his book Memoirs, published in 2002, David Rockefeller, Sr. made the following remarks, startling in their very frankness: “For more than a century ideological extremists at either end of the political spectrum have seized upon well-publicized incidents such as my encounter with Castro to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and economic institutions. Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as ‘internationalists’ and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure — one world, if you will. If that’s the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.”
    So much for labeling as “conspiracy kooks” those who have been writing for years about the efforts of certain power elites and organizations to dismantle America, and fold it into a so-called “New World Order.”
    As long as we are recommending websites, check out this one: http://www.jbs.org

  38. ron April 10, 2006 10:28 am

    KTM,
    How can we verify this money trail from D.C. to Brussels?
    Where does your info re: China come from?
    For another take on Chinese policy you should check the story currently posted at matthewsfunds.com about thier new tax laws that reduce taxes on small cars while raising them for gas guzzlers.

  39. KTM April 10, 2006 12:31 pm

    And then we have this tidbit:

    http://tinyurl.com/sxkue

    If lines projected into the future end at doomsday, what happens when the line has a kink in it?

    LOL!

  40. ron April 10, 2006 1:30 pm

    KTM,
    I wonder why a journalist or scientist isn’t the author of the oppinion piece at your link? I guess it’s because then fact checking would be required.
    Still looking forward to reading your sources regarding the money trail and China.

  41. bp April 11, 2006 9:18 am

    so, KTM - what do you think of this site? - http://www.realclimate.org/

  42. Chris in Melbourne April 11, 2006 12:19 pm

    ron said: “Still looking forward to reading your sources regarding the money trail and China…”

    The following is an alleged extract from an independent report on the 2005 Bilderberg meeting. The whole piece is most illuminating in regards to the elite framing of global policy.

    http://www.bilderberg.org/2005.htm

    ————————————

    China

    European and American Bilderbergers realising the most urgent of needs to expand into developing markets in order to help sustain the illusion of endless growth have agreed to name Pascal Lamy, a French Socialist and a fanatical supporter of a European super state as the next WTO President.

    It will be remembered that Washington gave a conditional support to Lamy´s nomination in exchange to European support of Paul Wolfowitz as head of the World Bank.

    According to insider sources within the Bilderberger group, Lamy was chosen to help steer the global trading system through a time of rising protectionist sentiment in rich countries such as France and Germany, both reeling from high unemployment and reticent to increasingly muscular demands for market assess from emerging economies.

    Third World states, for example, are insisting on cuts to EU and US farm subsidies. The WTO liberalization drive collapsed in acrimony in Seattle in 1999 and again in Cancun in 2003. The Bilderbergers have secretly agreed on the need to force the poor countries into a globalized market for cheap goods while simultaneously forcing the poor into becoming customers.

    The current rift with China is a good example, as the Chinese have flooded the Western countries with cheap goods, amongst them textiles, driving down prices.

    As a trade off, the Bilderbergers have entered into an emerging market ripe and vulnerable to superior western know-how. Similar developing countries are slowly acquiring more purchasing power and the industrialized world is gaining a foothold in their domestic economies by targeting them for cheap exports.

  43. ron April 11, 2006 12:27 pm

    Chriss,
    While I have no doubt that the bilderberg group has much influence, I don’t find a conection here to global warming science. As for China, the info on re-habbed coal plants from Europr what what we were looking for.

  44. Rabach April 11, 2006 4:38 pm

    Well there are a lot of different questions posed. While I personally believe that our economy is going to experience a severe slowdown or a depression I certainly hope I am wrong. However, I believe that the Feds are allowing inflation to go high in order to eat up the record debt that the government and all of the citizens of the US have racked up. After all I see the housing boom coming to an end and just maybe our way of American life. Globalization and the heavy imbalance of our imports/exports is not a joke. I am sickened to hear that the Chinese can save such a high percentage of their inocme when Americans saving rate at a record low, even into the negative.

    Jobs are disappearing every day and now people must provide cheaper food and products to catch the business of the American consumer. All of the fast food chains now have a dollar menu of some sort. Another form of inflation that nobody sees is product obsolence. Have you noticed that the stuff you buy from the store isn’t built like it used to be and doesn’t last nearly as long? Just wait to ‘Corporate America’ finally conquers the US. Then they can start charging you a lot more for that junk because you will have no other place to purchase it. This is already the case with certain products.

    I do think, however, that most people are missing the big picture. Some of you comment about being very optimistic about our country’s future. Many of you know about the detention camps and the truth of 911. A lot of people are now starting to see through the lies of this society. One man even mentioned how bankers and oil companies still ‘own’ this country. (I would love if you would give a few book titles to read.) Do you know the whole story? Why is this happening? Well I could write a book helping to explain today’s situation but I sure I would be incorrect on a lot of points and just blowing air on others. I don’t think there is any regular citizen who truly knows the scope of the corruption of our world leaders. We may learn about this incident or that, one group of people or another , and other facts but we still only have a glimpse of the tough reality of our present day existance. Personally I see another major ‘terrorist’ attack on American soil, an outbreak of the ‘bird’ flu or something else similar being used as an excuse for the economy’s collaspe in the future. The point is this, what are you going to do about it? Are you going to work a form of violence? Are you going to stockpile food and try to get off the grid? Are you going to move to a remote place in the world? For those of you that see something coming and are trying to safeguard yourselves and your family there is only one answer, Jesus Christ.

    The problem with this answer is that it is simple and complex in nature. Most Americans claim to believe in God yet most Americans are probably going to go through the tribulation. I think what we are seeing is the start of the tribulation. We are all first hand witnessing the setup. By the way did you know that those detention camps they are building is under the code ‘End Game’? You need Jesus as he will sweep you off this earth before things get really bad.

    I good website I recommend for some truthful biblical information is http://www.a-voice.org. Just as we are being lied to in this country that same group of people who trick everyone has also allowed the church to run into apostasy and most churches are not true churches. Check out the website and compare it to your scriptures. Just make sure you use a KJV bible as the NIV and some others are taken off of the incorrect text. (See the website to explain that.)

    To accept Jesus all you have to do is believe that He died and rose from the dead. Truly repent of your sins with a pure heart.

    I am not trying to preach to everyone on this website I am just offering a warning as a friend for anyone who may need it.

    Rabach

  45. Look Out Below April 11, 2006 4:59 pm

    Just exactly how is Jesus Christ going to save this country or the world ?
    Your a member of a another fanatical group (christian) that is also trying to destroy the world, and your preaching here.

    Simple talk, ridiculous nonsensical solutions for simple minds. Religion IS PRECISELY why were in the predicament were in today, religion is MASS CROWD CONTROL. PULLLEEEASE…..QUIT DRINKING THE KOOL -AID !

  46. Doug April 11, 2006 5:20 pm

    Reminds me of the signs I used to see as a kid in the south-Get right with God. Maybe good for your soul, but not much help on earth…
    I see debts dragging down the average family and with it the economy.This leads to less money velocity.Then recession.Possibly a restatement of the value of the dollar-as with the peso not too long ago(yes we are becoming a banana republic)Possibly bankruptcy or nonpayment of foreign debt holders.(Or payment with de facto counterfit dollars)When these come home we all will compete for goods, so inflation is a given.
    Whatever you can spend your cash on now for survival will pay off in the future.
    Of course invest in either oil, gold or silver.Watch for shysters in these stocks, though.
    Small towns are the place to be for the next ten years.You might learn how to hunt and garden and have a place these are possible.Of course you are out of debt.
    Watch for another 9-11 and all the phoney propaganda that goes with it.
    Anything else?Collapse or slide….I say very messy slide with occasional panics.

  47. Look Out Below April 11, 2006 5:39 pm

    I see a very tough predicament for the world and especially the USA in general. Stores of wealth are almost impossible. Buy gold or silver and you run the risk of being singled out when they (Masters of the Universe) decide to round up all the gold like last time, plus, at that point nobody will be able to take gold in commerce legally, Buy gold or silver “certificates” and you get EXACTLY that, a piece of useless paper…a “Certificate” if you will, not physical gold or silver. Not to mention the logistics of storing actual gold or silver somewhere and all the defensive postures that would entail. If you keep your wealth in cash currencies, it would be useless if the dollars collapse.

    I have a sneaky suspicion ammunition will be one of the future currencies. Stock up NOW, while you can. It will be the FIRST thing that will be govermentally curtailed if anarchy is the rule of the day. If it comes to that, dont expect the police to come protect you and your family from the marauding thugs hellbent on getting your gold, water, food, wives, daughters etc… Remember New Orleans, Mobocracy is a very physically dangerous rule of law. I think one would do well to watch a 3rd. world society and see what THEY use for stores of wealth and protection, it could very well come to that here in a crisis.

    Im watching the world collapse from the golf course, retired with not enough money to worry about, (monthly income only), a little cash, no real estate, few assets, no plausible/feasible plan and partially disabled.
    Its kind of depressing. I dont mention the “End of the World” to many of my friends, they would think im a kook, that could be however, Hahaaa……

    I am thinking about getting into the T-Shirt business as a business venture I could afford to get into, my T-Shirt will say, NO WAY ! That CANT happen here in America” on the front….whaddya think ? Can I make a few badly needed bucks with that idea ?

  48. KTM April 11, 2006 7:35 pm

    “so, KTM - what do you think of this site? - http://www.realclimate.org/

    I think it’s a blog for scientists interested in global climate changes — BFD. As a young man I worked as a research scientist in the area of atmospheric sounding. We assisted NASA in developing prototypes for many of the satellite instruments that today provide those pretty images you see on the Weather Channel. I am quite familiar with the way science is practiced in the trenches and even more important, how it’s funded.

    Science and the search for truth is a wonderful, beautiful, even sacred endeavour. But when that quest is subverted by money and the lust for power, bad things can happen to otherwise good people. I am afraid that some of what passes for environmental science today is in reality a play for funding and/or control.

    All of you doomsday guys need to remember that the Earth has multiple, redundant feedback loops which tend to moderate changes in climate over time spans of centuries. Since we don’t yet understand these mechanisms with any certainty, IMO it would be foolish in the extreme to spend lots of money in an attempt at effecting a change.

  49. cornhusker April 12, 2006 5:47 am

    I encourage everyone here to read this essay…a little long, but ties in to everything we discuss on this board. Maybe I’m getting soft in my old age, but I actually cried a bit after reading this. How could we have allowed them to do all of this?

    http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/yearoftheslave.html

  50. bp April 12, 2006 6:06 am

    KTM, I too have worked in science and have seen how funding drives research - NASA has always been a research arm for the military, agriculture research for agri-business and chemicals, etc., etc. but…I tend to deal with the world in terms of Vann diagrams - where things start to overlap, I tend to think there is something “real” there.

    As for spending large sums of money…come on - I think the real problem is whether any of the money spent would get to where it is supposed get to - I have no answer for that, but I do know one can’t crawl into a hole and wait for the end of the world.

    As for your comment that “the Earth has multiple, redundant feedback loops which tend to moderate changes in climate over time spans of centuries.” I take it that you are willing to take the risk that your graet-grandchildren will have to live in an inhospitable world due to our unwillingness to take precautions - guess you don’t believe in health, life, car, or home insurance.

  51. ron April 12, 2006 6:10 am

    KTM,
    It appears that you have fallen for Bush’s M.O. (deny until it’s undeniable and then just say oh well we can’t do anything about it anymore). Maybe your source is Rush or something similar? There are always informed choices societies can make. Norway banned leaded gas in 1919. How much childhood brain damage did we suffer in this country until we finally caught on?

  52. bp April 12, 2006 7:55 am

    Hi Michael, another “interesting” thread, I appreciate the effort you put into this site - I have seen other sites I’ve enjoyed lose their energy - hope you hang in there. It’s good to see other’s points of view - forces me to reconsider my point of view, my assumptions. Interesting too - your choice of title for this thread - Paradigm shift - a popular word it seems - makes me uncomfortable - it seems you may be implying that the old solutions, beliefs, patterns of behavior no longer work.

    I suppose I would have to say I lean that way myself, maybe that is why I interpert your words that way. But more and more I find myself seeking insight from nonrational sources like the references in George Ure’s site to the webbot information - http://www.urbansurvival.com/week.htm - not that I’m pushing him.

    Yet, I see by your posted article yesterday on silver that there is some strong possibility that the web bot’s indication that the price of silver would go way up may have some validity - interesting…

    As for your question concerning the projected scenario - I think there are too many variables to predict a path, but the final outcome seems fairly clear - there is a very high possibility of global economic collapse - my guess is that it is pretty certain - whether it is sharp or a slow devolution is beyond me.

    What will the world look like after a collapse - I figure Iraq is a fair picture of what things will look like - no consistent conditions across the board - some places will have water, others won’t, some will have energy, others won’t - tribalism will be in effect in many areas - transportaion will be spotty - slow in getting changed over to other sources of fuel.

    For me, I think survival will be as much a matter of luck, as it will be of preparation - gold and silver, stored food and other things don’t hold up too well to hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, and fire. And no matter how it works out with those there’s always biological and man-made problems which are too numerous to mention.

    But all-in-all I kind of tend to agree with the I Ching - the fruit has to fall and rot before new growth can occur. And there is definitely a fair amount of rot in all of our institutions

    And yeah - I am interested in “getting of the grid” and would like to hear what others ay as to “how” - never hurts to take out small insurance policies, even if they come to naught.

    And yes, it’s good to be flexible, but at this point I think having a well developed intuition is going to really be useful to avoid the feet of Shiva as he does his dance of destruction. Old patterns of thought may be a detriment - interesting times indeed! Not so sure I want to go with the flow, if the flow is a whirlpool pulling us down a hole, I’ll trust my intuition first.

  53. the stranger April 12, 2006 9:05 pm

    hey, good find… http://www.realclimate.org/ thanks

  54. khill April 13, 2006 11:05 am

    Brazil is looking better every day. Is there a message from the elites to the little people from the shows “Survivor” and “Lost”? Maybe the elites have concluded all is not well or manageable in our not too distant future. Sometimes choas is the order of things. And yes, luck will be a major factor in our survival. Gold, commodities, back to the farm, small towns with less than 30,000 population, learning to live off the grid are good things to do. If you are not in good financial shape you might start speculating in small gold and silver companies. One thing is certain, government will be of little help when things unravel — just look at FEMA. We all should have a minimum of 30 days food and water in our homes. Never give up, try to have an attitude of gratitude for the little things and the simple pleasures and remember that giving is living.

  55. cornhusker April 13, 2006 12:19 pm

    Jesus Christ IS the answer. Too bad most of you fools won’t get this until it’s too late for you. Whenever I feel “stuck”, I repeat this over and over:

    “Dear Jesus, I believe in you and I receive you. Amen.”

    I don’t know the words to describe to you what it feels like to recognize that Jesus lives in my heart and always has…it’s got to be like a blind person seeing for the first time. Have a nice day.

  56. the stranger April 13, 2006 6:11 pm

    He who calls another man a fool is in danger of hell’s fires fire? Or, how does that biblical saying go? One too many Pacifico’s I guess. What a beautiful day today. I’ve had more than I deserve; ambiguity acknowledged. And there goes khill again, spouting timely logic and human “Christian type” values (sounds like a well read, spiritual, atheist – presumptuous of me, I admit). When will he ever learn? Just click your heels together brother. There’s no place like home. There’s no place like America. There’s no place. Ah what’s the point?

    This has been a good blog string (in my humble opinion – I haven’t been party to many). I got a lot out of it. Like the “slaves” rant and other links – I hadn’t seen em; excellent. I think we answered the question posed at the beginning. Summaries, just talk as it should be; otherwise we’d be rewriting the books we’ve read, rather that a concise statement (or question) that entices another to investigate further.

    Much thanks to those I disagree with; I have to check and recheck my contentions. And thanks to the khill’s, I’m not really drinking these beers alone.

  57. Chris in Melbourne April 15, 2006 6:06 am

    Cornhusker said (in reverse order), “I don’t know the words to describe to you what it feels like to recognize that Jesus lives in my heart and always has… Too bad most of you fools won’t get this until it’s too late for you…”

    Cornhusker, if you sincerely feel that you have found “the peace that passeth all understanding,” may I humbly point out to you that your words do not reflect this profound, loving realization.

    Preaching to non-believing “fools” is as pointless as “casting your pearls before swine.”

    Try another site brother, you’re wasting your time here.

    Sincerely Chris

    (Yesod-on-topic: “Thou shalt not extort thy brother as an usurer.”

  58. David April 16, 2006 7:44 pm

    Well, as a buddhist, here’s a buddhist angle to everything that’s going on.

    The one constant in the universe, is change.

    As for the end of the world, well here’s a little story. One day, a wolf caught a squirrel, and was about to eat him. The squirrel cried out, “No! Don’t eat me! It will be the end of the world!” To which the wolf stopped in shock, and said, “Really? The world’s going to end if I eat you?” And the squirrel said, “Yes! If you eat me, my world ends!”

    Just had to throw that in there for some perspective.

    Peace.

  59. David April 16, 2006 7:55 pm

    Oh yes, and one more buddhist perspective on the things we’re facing…

    Ahem. Singing! Monty Python’s Always look on the Bright Side of Life

    ======================================================
    Some things in life are bad
    They can really make you mad
    Other things just make you swear and curse.
    When you’re chewing on life’s gristle
    Don’t grumble, give a whistle
    And this’ll help things turn out for the best…

    And…always look on the bright side of life…
    Always look on the light side of life…

    If life seems jolly rotten
    There’s something you’ve forgotten
    And that’s to laugh and smile and dance and sing.
    When you’re feeling in the dumps
    Don’t be silly chumps
    Just purse your lips and whistle - that’s the thing.

    And…always look on the bright side of life…
    Always look on the light side of life…

    For life is quite absurd
    And death’s the final word
    You must always face the curtain with a bow.
    Forget about your sin - give the audience a grin
    Enjoy it - it’s your last chance… for now.

    So always look on the bright side of death
    Just before you draw your terminal breath

    Life’s a piece of shit
    When you look at it
    Life’s a laugh and death’s a joke, it’s true.
    You’ll see it’s all a show
    Keep ‘em laughing as you go
    Just remember that the last laugh is on you.

    And always look on the bright side of life…
    Always look on the right side of life…
    (Come on guys, cheer up!)
    Always look on the bright side of life…
    Always look on the bright side of life…
    (Worse things happen at sea, you know.)
    Always look on the bright side of life…
    (I mean - what have you got to lose?)
    (You know, you come from nothing - you’re going back to nothing.
    What have you lost? Nothing!)
    Always look on the right side of life…

    ======================================================

    I changed to last chance “anyhow” to “for now” to reflect reincarnation.

  60. Kentar April 16, 2006 11:13 pm

    Anything that is unsustainable … eventually won’t be. Before the carbon energy era began in the mid 18th century, the earth supported about 1.5 billion people. In the next century, we’ll use up most of the remaining petroleum/coal on the planet. After that, I suspect that the earth will be able to sustain about 1.5 billion people unless some new technology comes about to increase carrying capacity. There certainly will be the economic incentive to invent a new energy source. If it happens, great. I’m not going to hold my breath.

    So what is a likely scenario for the near term? Well, we’ve got a few imbalances that are clearly unsustainable. We in the USA have about 5% of the world’s population, but we use about 25% of the petroleum. I don’t have figures for total energy usage handy, but I’m sure we’re leading the way here too. We have ever increasing current account deficits, mounting government deficits, and promises from elected officials that cannot be redeemed. Our debt levels are increasing everywhere.

    We require foreigners to buy and hold our debt paper. Amazingly, they are all too willing. For now, that is. What happens if oil prices spike? Will the rest of the world be able to scrimp and save so we can continue living the life we’ve become accustomed to? We’re using 80% of the world’s savings. High oil prices may cause the threads to start to ravel by reducing the amount of excess worldwide liquidity. Is that hissing sound from the housing bubble?

    Daily worldwide oil production may have plataeued near 85 million barrels per day. It should stay here +/- a few MBPD for the next 5-10 years. Demand will continue to increase and price will determine who receives the oil.

    Fortunately, that still gives us time to prepare. Unfortunately, we as a nation will squander this opportunity. Expect the American car companies to continue making SUVs rather than shifting to more appropriate transportation. Why? The big boys receive bonuses based on quarterly profits. Retooling is expensive and takes time. A few bad quarters and they’re unemployed. Expect politicians to start erecting trade barriers. Why? They always look for scapegoats. It makes it look like they’re trying. If they stood up and accurately depicted our situation, they wouldn’t get reelected.

    Expect unemployment to start rising, especially when the housing bubble deflates. It will start in earnest with the construction and financing specialists. Then, it will trickle through the system. Debt will be a 4 letter word. I expect deflation in used things as all these unemployed people will be desperately seeking buyers for their expensive toys. Because the Fed will come riding to the rescue, I expect massive inflation to show up in the new things. Eventually, our economy will collapse. My guess is within 5 years, mostly because of what I expect petroleum supplies will do.

    When petroleum becomes scarcer each year, some tough decisions will need to be made. Expect the elected government officials to step up to the plate. The populace will be ready to hear the truth, since it will be unavoidable.

    These are some questions that you need to answer for yourself if you want to get off the grid. What is important for survival? You need water, food, and shelter. You need to keep out the thieves, too. Thieves come with all sorts of clothing. Don’t expect to do it all yourself. You will need a community. Set yourself up to be an honorable, necessary member for your community. The more things you can do, the better.

    Learn what you can about self sufficiency. Take a martial arts class. If you’re in a big metropolitan area, think about moving to an area with less population. Remember, people who have nothing to lose are dangerous. Become involved in your community now. The more you give and the less you take, the better. The practice will do you good. Set up a working vacation on a farm so you can taste this life. It isn’t easy work. Practice cutting back and saving. Sell what you don’t need now while prices are higher, rather than later. Get out of debt. Gold and silver are better than paper, but don’t expect it to be your saving grace. The thieves can separate you from it.

    If we’re lucky, we’ll have 5-10 years. Don’t expect our American way of life to last that long.

  61. khill April 17, 2006 8:13 am

    yep…………

  62. khill April 17, 2006 8:37 am

    Brazil is looking better every day,cheap living,less dependant on oil,great weather,beautiful people and lot’s of room.Take some time and check it out http://www.escapeartist.com/International_Real_Estate/Brazil/Brazil.html I mean,why sit in the U.S. and be a victim if you don’t have too?The founders of the U.S. did it.After the dust settles we go back and rebuild.IMO going against the major trends is just plain crazy unless you have no choice.There is nothing wrong with getting out of the way of a killer storm,in fact it’s called common sense.It seems to me that Brazil will be experiencing a gold rush type economy for the next two decades.Plenty of opportunity and life experiences to be had.We just need to look around and be willing to change.Get out of the rut.Don’t sit around and rust.Life is too short for that.

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