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Guest Post: Egypt's Warning: Are You Listening?

Tyler Durden's picture





 

Submitted by Chris Martenson

Egypt's Warning: Are You Listening?

One day, a fruit and vegetable seller was arrested in Tunisia, sparking social unrest, and a few weeks later the government of Egypt was set to topple. 

Such is the nature of complex, chaotic, and unpredictable systems. The stresses build for years and years, and nothing really seems to be happening, but then everything suddenly changes. Egypt is therefore emblematic of what we might expect in any complex system in which pressures are building, such as the US Treasury market.  

Can events in complex systems ever be predicted? No...and yes. No, because the precise timing and details can never be predicted. Yes, because we can be certain that anything that is unsustainable will someday cease to continue and things that are horribly imbalanced will someday topple. We can also be certain that the change, when it comes, will be rather sudden and abrupt, rather than gentle and linear.

That is, we can easily predict that a complex system will shift, and that it will probably do so rapidly, but not exactly when or by how much.

How unbalanced was Egypt? Very.

Here are a few quite relevant statistics about Egypt (hat tip to an email from reader Mark O., with credit to Dr. John Coulter) to which I have added a few items:

The relentless math:

Population 1960:  27.8 million
Population 2008:  81.7 million
Current population growth rate: 2% per annum (a 35-year doubling rate)
Population in 2046 after another doubling:  164 million

Rainfall average over whole country:  ~ 2 inches per year
Highest rainfall region:  Alexandria, 7.9 inches per year
Arable land (almost entirely in the Nile Valley):  3%
Arable land per capita:  0.04 Ha (400 m2)
Arable land per capita in 2043: 0.02 Ha
Food imports: 40% of requirements
Grain imports: 60% of requirements

Net oil exports: Began falling in 1997, went negative in 2007
Oil production peaked in 1996
Cost of oil rising steeply
Cost of oil and food tightly linked

The future of Egypt will be shaped by these few biophysical facts -- a relentless form of math that is hardly unique to Egypt, by the way -- and it matters very little who is in power. Given the choice, I would not want to live there, nor in any other country that has fostered or permitted such reckless population growth beyond what the country itself can sustain. 

The interesting part is that these facts have been in plain view for decades, building into economic and social pressures that were suddenly unleashed in a wave of social and political unrest. How was it that such obvious things escaped notice for so long before they suddenly reared up into plain view? Instead of being a surprising exception to the rule, we should instead brace ourselves against the idea that this is just the way things tend to work. 

Back to the main story. Without persistent (and rising) food imports, Egypt cannot feed itself. It has managed to cover up the shortfall by having enough oil to export, but, like every country, their oil reserves are finite and eventually they'll face a day of reckoning.  

The oil situation in Egypt has only very recently become an enormous and unavoidable issue.

The monthly peak occurred in December 1996 (the yearly peak was also 1996), and oil production is now down some 30 percent since then. 

While it's good to have plenty of production, what really matters to a nation that imports so much of its basic living items are exports

Of course, there are two things that typically chew on a nation's oil exports: falling production and rising internal consumption. With both of these dynamics in play, Egypt's exports have been getting mauled, not by one, but by two exponential functions: 

(Source - EIA) 

The green circle marks the date when Egypt hit its peak of petroleum production in 1996, and the blue circle and arrow marks when exports had fallen by 50%, just six years after peak production. 

The gap between those two events, six years, is a very short amount of time to adjust to the new reality -- too short, as it turns out. Such is the nature of a double exponential working against you. 

[Note:  For the energy purists, this chart from the Energy Information Agency (EIA) misrepresents things somewhat. Egypt's domestic oil consumption and production are virtually identical right now, but Egypt has the largest oil refining sector in Africa, which skews their petroleum imports to the negative side. But whether Egypt became a new petroleum importer this year or in 2007 is essentially a historical blink, and the story told by the trajectory of the chart is little changed by small matters of timing.]

Any country that has to import both oil and food is living on borrowed time. It was only a matter of time before something gave way, and apparently that time is now.

Hillary Clinton actually spoke something approximating the truth about this fact recently, although she was referring to the entire region, but nonetheless, it was an unusual moment of clarity for the US political structure:

Hillary Clinton: Middle East facing 'perfect storm'

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said the Middle East is facing a "perfect storm" of unrest and nations must embrace democratic change.

Speaking in Munich, Mrs Clinton said the status quo in the region was "simply not sustainable". "The region is being battered by a perfect storm of powerful trends.

"This is what has driven demonstrators into the streets of Tunis, Cairo, and cities throughout the region. The status quo is simply not sustainable."

She said that with water shortages and oil running out, governments may be able to hold back the tide of change for a short while but not for long.

Water shortages and oil running out? I'd decode those ideas for you, but they speak for themselves. Food and fuel are running out. The irony here is that she may as well have been speaking about the United States, Japan, or any number of countries across the globe, but any admission of biophysical limits is a good start, I suppose.

Editorially, it's not at all clear to me how the poorly defined concept of 'democratic change' will really change the equation much, as limits are immune to which 'ism' you happen to be running, but I am sure there are some in Washington DC who think ideology can trump reality. Regardless, I am somewhat surprised to see such obvious truths about water and oil being spoken by a senior US representative; it was unclear to me that anyone at that level had any awareness of these subjects at all.

My intent here is not to point out the future difficulties that Egypt faces, no matter who is charge, but to use the change that happened there as emblematic of what we might expect elsewhere, especially in the financial markets.

Egypt simply reminds us that anything that is unsustainable will someday change. It is an emblem for the world.

With abundant energy and food, we are treated to expansive and stable economies in which everyone stands a chance of gaining. Not that everyone will, mind you, but the possibility is there  In an energy-constrained world, what was formerly possible is no longer do-able, things don't work right, and there seem to be persistent shortages of everything from growth, to money, to food, to goodwill. What used to work doesn't. It is at these points that the prior stresses and imbalances are most likely to snap and suddenly change the world. 

These are the very sorts of changes that are coming to the rest of the world. Perhaps to a country or financial market near you. Are you ready?

In Part II of this report, our just-released Guide to Navigating the Coming Crisis, we analyze how the same systemic breakages in Egypt will likely manifest in the United States (and other countries). Also, for the first time ever, we have summarized the entire 'method' by which we make sense of the world. This method has allowed us to both grow our wealth and sleep better at night. Yes, there are troubling events afoot in the world, but an accurate diagnosis goes a very long way towards relieving the stresses that can cloud good decision-making and narrow one's field of view. We not only give you the information you need; we give you our best tools so that you can fashion them into the right actions that make sense for you.

Click here to read the Guide to Navigating the Coming Crisis (free executive summary; enrollment required for full access).

 


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Wed, 02/09/2011 - 19:37 | Link to Comment TooBearish
TooBearish's picture

Brent WTI spread now 15$ am I seeing that right?

 

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 19:41 | Link to Comment CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

More than $15.  And so it shall remain while pipelines Houston to Cushing are strictly one way, north.  Well, wait.  It may not remain that way.  It may get wider.

Bottom line, the price of oil is presently $102/barrel.

Do not think Egypt's 703K bpd of production will not value this and that someone is not maneuvering to get his hand in that pocket.

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 19:50 | Link to Comment hambone
hambone's picture

This is insane - I have to believe traders are buying ships intended for Western Atlantic (Gulf of Mexico) @ $86 and pocketing the $15 difference selling on the Eastern Atlantic?

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 19:58 | Link to Comment CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

It's not insane.  Canadian tar sand crude is piped to Cushing **and it can't go south to Houston from there**.  It can't go anywere but the US, and not there very effectively because WTI just doesn't pump much anymore.  It can't get to where the demand is for Brent (China and India) so its price can't rise to the Brent price.

This is not going to change until China / India have a collapse of demand.  You can't drive price of something that is in shorter and shorter supply downward unless you drive demand downward.

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 20:26 | Link to Comment hambone
hambone's picture

Canada is #1 foreign source but what about Nigeria, Venezuela, Mexico...wouldn't they all stop piping / shipping to US (where possible) at a huge discount and sell at real market price?  Hard to understand market forces (yeah, still there somewhere?) would close this gap?  Must be more structural pipeline based than I realize.

Like everything else, I don't get it?

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 22:01 | Link to Comment New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

dang long-term Contracts.  I keep tellin' my boss about them long-term Contracts...

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 22:23 | Link to Comment VegasBD
VegasBD's picture

a lot of brent oil goes thru suez, ships carrying wti oil are already too big and go around the cape, no disruptions there

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 22:37 | Link to Comment New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

+VLCC/ULCC

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 20:29 | Link to Comment Downtoolong
Downtoolong's picture

And therefore, WTI futures no longer serve as a benchmark for anything but identifying fools who bought into USO.

 

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 20:59 | Link to Comment CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

Bingo.  WTI just isn't pumped much now.  The benchmark is Brent.  And frankly, it's pumping rate is falling too.

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 21:22 | Link to Comment hambone
hambone's picture

I know the answer but I'll ask anyway - could the rationale for WTI also be that it hides the true cost of energy from Mericans?  Another politicized benchmark?

BTW - just for fun I was checking out Wikipedia regarding the discrepancy paid at pump round the world.  Seems the big variable is not the oil but the taxes...just to get the flavor, taxes added on are $6.28 per gallon in Germany and well over $6 per gallon in UK (compared to average tax $0.50 added per gallon in US).  $2.40 added per gallon in Australia (of course EU and Austrlia are in litres and converted from local currency / measurement to US / gallon for easy comp...most also include the VAT). 

Wonder how much longer til US legislators realize the gold mine of uncollected taxes at the pump???

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 22:21 | Link to Comment CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

Not really.  Refineries pay what they pay, and 2/3 of what they refine are imports.  Those imports don't price at WTI levels just because it offloads in Houston.  It doesn't offload until the money gets paid, at much higher than WTI levels.

This is largely inside baseball stuff.  If Brent goes to 150 and WTI dives to 30, you'll pay $5-6/gallon.

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 19:50 | Link to Comment mynhair
mynhair's picture

YA, HOLY SHIT!

oops, caps lock

EU is toast, and I'm outta butter.

Thu, 02/10/2011 - 06:52 | Link to Comment slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

too bearish:  it's ok. bonds had a nice rallye, so we know it's risk off.  these assholes think they are picasso's and monet's, but they are big assholes and moony about money.  thank you fair-ly mooch;  i'll pee here awl weak.

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 19:38 | Link to Comment Michael
Michael's picture

The American Revolution 2.0 will be kicked off by a single Tweet.

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 19:50 | Link to Comment mynhair
mynhair's picture

Tweet

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 19:54 | Link to Comment hambone
hambone's picture

Merican revolution will be kicked off by a single denial of more free shit to somebody (to corporations, to poor, to rich, to foreign "allies" like Egypt).

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 21:01 | Link to Comment Michael
Michael's picture

This is one way to get rid of a dirt bag congressman who voted for keeping the Patriot Act.

Rep. Chris Lee (R-N.Y.) announced early Wednesday evening that he will resign his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Buffalo-based station YNN relays a statement from Lee, who has signaled that he will vacate his post immediately:
News of Lee's decision to step down comes just hours after it was reported that the married congressman sent shirtless photos of himself to a woman who he connected with on the "Women Seeking Men" section of Craigslist.

We have snatched victory from the jaws of defeat temporarily. The Tweets are ringing off the wall, dating myself there.

Top Twitter Trends Previous tweets for trend: Patriot Act

http://toptwittertrends.com/trends/Patriot%20Act

The people who voted for this need to get an earful from you. Keep the pressure on. The momentum is on our side now.

By a vote of 277-148, the House failed to pass the extension, needed 290(2/3) Yea votes to pass- click here for the roll call vote to see how your representative voted!  See list of traitors of our nation here.    http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2011/roll026.xml

Thanks again for all you've done, but remember, we can't let up pressure now. This won't be the last we've heard of the PATRIOT Act renewal in the House.

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 22:05 | Link to Comment tellsometruth
tellsometruth's picture

agreed... keep up the pressure!

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 22:40 | Link to Comment Michael
Michael's picture

You can see the Tweets coming through the in real time at this google search.

http://www.google.com/#q=patriot+act&hl=en&prmd=ivnsub&source=univ&tbs=mbl:1&tbo=u&sa=X&ei=-EdTTc6tJtGgtwfDh9WMCg&sqi=2&ved=0CCoQ8QkoAzAA&fp=b4d787372b84ac50

"The House on Thursday will again take up a bill that would extend until December key provisions of the Patriot Act counterterrorism surveillance law, two days after the measure fell seven votes short of the super-majority required for passage under fast-track rules.

The bill will be brought up again under a "closed rule," meaning that no amendments can be offered. It will need only a simple majority to pass instead of the two-thirds that was required on Tuesday.

Lawmakers will vote on Thursday on the rules governing debate on the measure. That will be followed by debate and a vote on the measure itself, which has yet to be scheduled. A House Republican leadership aide said that GOP leaders are working with members to address any concerns they might have and that they expect the bill to move forward "in the coming days."

The timeline facing lawmakers could be tricky. The three provisions that would be extended by the bill are set to expire on Feb. 28 unless Congress acts.

Even if the House passes its version of the legislation well before then, the Senate - which is in recess until next week - still has to sign off. And the Senate is debating three different timelines, any of which would extend the Patriot Act provisions beyond the December date called for in the House bill.

Key members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have indicated that Feb. 17 is the target date by which the upper chamber must act in order for the provisions to be extended."

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2011/02/patriot-act-extension-to-be-br.html

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 21:03 | Link to Comment Arkadaba
Arkadaba's picture

Tweet, tweet, tweet ....

Couldn't resist ;)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4VCUbL7jsc

Thu, 02/10/2011 - 02:14 | Link to Comment glenlloyd
glenlloyd's picture

or a single twinkie - stolen that is.

Thu, 02/10/2011 - 10:36 | Link to Comment slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

the famous twinkie defense!  used by the psychopath who killed SF mayor moscone and harvey milk to launch "Board of Supervisor's Head Cunt"  the deplorable difi's 'carreer'!  Sen. Dianne Feinstein, CA.  dan white was the agent of change that we could believe in that day:  Nov. 27, 1978.  her husband's name is BAUM and he is one of the greatest americam puppet masters in our glorious history.  the cover was that he was "unstable" in the law enforcement dept.  his defense?  he had eaten a hostess twinkie and it made him temporily insane, so he crawled thru a conveniently left-open window in City Hall and wasted the two most popular GAY elected officials in the history of the city.  here's the link to the trial and the fact that the "jury" actually acquitted the agent of these psycopathic slugs b/c, well, with that much sugar in his system (people "knew" that "sugar is bad") he was, necessarily, able to incapacitate our dear, dear mr. white, so he was unable to PLAN the assassination, which resulted, of course, in the agent's acquittal!

dan white trial jury - Google Search

disclaimer:  now this is just one man's opinion of this "case", ok.  i wouldn't want these billionaires to think i could actually be a fuking threat to them, ok.  dan white did kill the two LEGALLY ELECTED PUBLIC OFFICIALS.  but it wasn't a crime, because he ate a tawwwinkie!  ergo, since he stood for a fair and public trial, i can only say that to me, this case reeks of criminal psycopathy.  but, what do i know?  dan white ain't gonna finger anybody if he's innocent, is he?  he acted alone.  because of the hostess twinkie, OF COURSE!!!  love yer stuff difi!  good luck with that gold mine, too!  i hope nobody checks THAT out!  they might start to notice the same odor as i have, for 33 YEARS!!!

here's a cute version of the Faust Concerto in b flat major, too.

YouTube - The Muppets: Bohemian Rhapsody

glenlloyd, nice!

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 19:41 | Link to Comment Cleanclog
Cleanclog's picture

The consumptive model is toast - and that doesn't bode well for capitalism, which is also built on a model of "growth at all costs" for return on capital.

We must stop building things to throw away.  Even with wonderful technological advances, we can't keep junking obsolete versions into landfill, waterways, and eventually outerspace.  It's toxic byproducts leach into ground water, mess up oceanic ecosystems, and will mess with satellites. Sustainability must be the model - but still insufficient political will.

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 22:11 | Link to Comment hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture

We must stop building things to throw away.  Even with wonderful technological advances, we can't keep junking obsolete versions into landfill, waterways, and eventually outerspace.

The ghost of Wayne Karp says shut the fuck up.

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 22:15 | Link to Comment New_Meat
Wed, 02/09/2011 - 22:51 | Link to Comment derryl
derryl's picture

All of our money is created as debt at interest.  For each $1000 of money that is created as a bank deposit due to a bank 'loan' at 5% interest, there is a concomitant $1050 created as "debt".  Loans = "money".  Debt = money + interest.  There is more debt owed than there is money to pay the debt.  That's why it's necessary to have constant "economic growth", so consumers and investors keep borrowing newly created bank money and spending it into the economy so people can earn it and pay principal and interest on their old bank debt.  When the music stops, when debt-money growth stalls or goes negative, we get financial cisisis.  We throw shit away and build and buy new shit to serve this impossible arithmetic of debt, for no other reason.  

Our money system and economy were not "designed" by a benevolent genius to serve the interests of "the people".  The system we have is the evolution of human weakness: greed and powerlust.  Don't expect it to be rational.  Don't expect it to be sustainable.  Don't expect it to be just.  It is animals seeking to gain advantage over other animals by whatever means they can.  Did Hank Paulson "earn" his half billion dollar fortune?  No, he "acquired" it, by animal methods, in the animal world we still live in.

Spiritual evolution is about replacing our animal motivational structure with a rational (conditioned by compassion) "human" motivational structure.  Some of us evolve, others remain animals.  We all started as amoeba.  Eventually some of us became human.  Most are still dogs and monkeys.  We are more rational, but dogs and monkeys are stronger than us.  They are not conflicted by 'morality'.  This is their world, serving their god Mammon, and they rule it in their animal fashion.

Thu, 02/10/2011 - 00:20 | Link to Comment pods
pods's picture

Dammit, you beat me to it!

pods

Thu, 02/10/2011 - 00:20 | Link to Comment pods
pods's picture

Well the simple reason that we do not live like this is because the system we are in does not allow for it.

It all boils down to growth.  Specifically growth in accrued interest.  Our system demands growth to pay for the ever increasing interest on our debts. If there is no growth, we cannot service the interest and our system collapses.

So, as an idea, sustainability is great, but in our fiat-credit at interest world it is impossible.  We need to keep building things, to keep growing. Otherwise our debts catch up with us.  Even with growth, debts catch up with a certain percent of people.  This is by design as well.  This is how the banks obtain real property and increase their wealth.  If we ever entered a zero growth model, people would soon learn the truth about our system:

That is was set up from the beginning to allow the bankers to extract real wealth from society while doing exactly nothing.

And the bankers cannot allow that.

pods

Thu, 02/10/2011 - 09:29 | Link to Comment creviceCaress
creviceCaress's picture

 

 

 

"Well the simple reason that we do not live like this is because the system we are in does not allow for it."

 

write on......solution?  opt in....play ball....gain....opt out.

Thu, 02/10/2011 - 10:25 | Link to Comment pods
pods's picture

Well I sleep better at night knowing that I have opted out.  I now have zero debt outside of a mortgage, pay with cash (no CCs) and local when I can.  I also try to keep my discussions with others on the subject simple.  Everyone knows an exponential function.  That is our system.  A simple exponential function.  And one cannot have that in the real world.  

I wish I could opt in, make some dough and opt out, but I have two problems with that.  One, tough to sleep. Two, information does not outweigh political clout. So logic, charts, etc really are secondary to the political winds.  And I cannot invest/bet on politics.

Best thing I can do is to raise my kids knowing what it took me 30+ years to learn.  That we are in fact living a lie.  Truly a Matrix, but our labor is what they want.

pods

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 19:45 | Link to Comment caconhma
caconhma's picture

It appears that the tranquility "paradise" is about to end all over the world.

The real changes take place in many places but, in America, we got only promises and lies. The question: how long will American people buy this BS?

It appears that time is running out for our power elite and the oligarchy. I expect it will be a "very  hard landing". The good news: these bastards have no place to run!

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 19:57 | Link to Comment serotonindumptruck
serotonindumptruck's picture

The Western media blackout has been quite successful, which is ultimately a moot point as it appears as if most Americans couldn't give a rat's ass less about a bunch of brown people in Egypt.

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 20:27 | Link to Comment Nassim
Nassim's picture

Don't worry. Egypt is coming to the USA :)

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 20:42 | Link to Comment LostWages
LostWages's picture

Maybe to the US by way of Europe.  Muslim population growth in Europe so rapid, most Euro countries will have a Muslim majority in 10-20 years.  The quiet jihad.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-3X5hIFXYU

They are reproducing like rabbits while the food supplies aren't keeping up with the increased demand.

 

Thu, 02/10/2011 - 05:11 | Link to Comment AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Muslim population growth in Europe so rapid, most Euro countries will have a Muslim majority in 10-20 years.

 

 

 

Are you ready to bet on that? 10 years is rather short term.

So are you ready to place money on the hypothesis that most Euro contries will have a muslim majority in 10 years?

 

Ah, propagandists, they have been killing the West slowly but surely.

 

Thu, 02/10/2011 - 08:05 | Link to Comment slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

 

 

 

bingo!  our problem is not the muslims.  our problem is america.  same as theirs.  fight club is fun!  hogs get slaughtered.  weeds get pulled. 

Thu, 02/10/2011 - 16:20 | Link to Comment serotonindumptruck
serotonindumptruck's picture

pi-rats get shat upon.

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 21:05 | Link to Comment serotonindumptruck
serotonindumptruck's picture

I'm a big fan of the clever use of metaphor.

+1

Thu, 02/10/2011 - 08:08 | Link to Comment slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

 

 

get REAL 4 eyes.  you are nowhere near meta-enuf to play, unless you stop doing this shit, ok? 

Thu, 02/10/2011 - 16:30 | Link to Comment serotonindumptruck
serotonindumptruck's picture

Yeah, very eloquent. Whatever.

Maybe you should try reading a book once in a while, and make sure that it is not one that comes with pictures on every page. It might improve your communication skills, however I seriously doubt it.

If that's too complicated, I recommend that you go back to the basics and start playing with blocks again.

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 19:52 | Link to Comment jmc8888
jmc8888's picture

Chris has got to ditch the fascism though

"Given the choice, I would not want to live there, nor in any other country that has fostered or permitted such reckless population growth beyond what the country itself can sustain."  (I wonder what fascist laws he would put in place????)

He's great at some stuff

Retarded at others

Big time.

It's called Nuclear Power, Fusion, and Fusion Arc

But specifically for Egypt...water should NEVER be a concern (or any non-land locked country).  Through monetarism, and specifically monetarism, it is.

But instead of thinking about increasing the water supply to support a wider area of agriculture in Egypt, it's better to just do with what we have, and implement fascist laws to control population growth.

Yes, Chris is still just another idiot.  Smart about some stuff, and if we act like dumbasses we could run out of everything, but oh so needlessly.  Because Chris refuses to do what I just outlined for Egypt, and what America won't do about the overall energy/resource problem.  But with an increase in one, there is a tangible increase in the others, even without fusion.

One day, all of this will be recognized.  Not yet. 

But enjoy his crash course as it is the trend we're on, even if alot of it can be changed from backing away from being Fascist Imperial Monetarists, or the kleptocracy.

Glass-Steagall

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 19:58 | Link to Comment born2bmild
born2bmild's picture

I'm re-posting my comment from today's 'jobs' article here:

 

The transition does and will blow but the world is awash in opportunity. A few years back I was trying to get my head around which alternative energy tech might ferry us to the future. Why not all of them? Solar is power is changing so fast I can barely keep up, non-silicon based pv... Energy storage  is changing nearly as fast, ultracapacitors are carbon not rare earth based, they almost never wear out and they are lighter than Li batteries. Hydrogen is still in the game as storage methods get better and on demand systems become more viable. Wind power still has a lot of potential with frictionless bearings (air bearings-youtube it) and better electrical energy storage methods. Geothermal (air and water). Natural gas (including all biogas methods). Algae has an absurdly bright future as a fossil fuel replacement (near or total): http://biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/2010/11/23/military-biofuels-algae-msw...

The American Chemical Society is liking cold fusion again: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100321182909.htm

There are literally hundreds of other alternative technologies being developed rapidly daily.

We need food and big corporate ag' isn't providing much you really want to eat while small, alternative farms are winning in the yield, methodology and quality departments:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jV9CCxdkOng&feature=related

http://www.citrusinthesnow.com/

Permaculture is a leading tech for making once useless land fertile and productive even in extreme conditions:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gPvsl9ni-4

Almost all of these technologies are under funded, but many are low tech enough almost anyone could either diy or start up a small biz doing installation (just one of many examples):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VA0urIMYmH0&playnext=1&list=PLC3C43208E7E...

The internet and youtube in particular are literally the best thing that has ever happened in the worlds of tech' / idea sharing. It really is the golden age for gearheads. All of these technologies need participants on every level from developers and techs to end users, smells like jobs.

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 21:24 | Link to Comment serotonindumptruck
serotonindumptruck's picture

I admire your optimism.

Perhaps if we had been actively performing R&D whilst implementing these alternative fuel sources 50 years ago, then the Law of Diminishing Returns wouldn't be as prevalent as it currently is.

Having said that, there's nothing wrong with your proposals. Some of them appear to be quite efficacious. I would council for a sufficiently scaled-down application (contingent upon a secured population density) of some of these potential power sources and food production models.

If you and others can secure a specified geographical zone, with good water sources and sufficient agricultural potential, you and yours may stand a good chance of surviving the coming human population dieoff. 

Thu, 02/10/2011 - 10:40 | Link to Comment pods
pods's picture

People have been researching these technologies for a long time.  There are a lot of patents that were bought by people who have a big reason to keep the status quo.  Not sonpiratorial, just looking out for their best interests.

There are technologies everywhere that would reduce our needs for oil so it may be used for autos for a transition to other tech.  

But our economic model does not allow for stasis.  We must expand or it falls apart.

pods

Thu, 02/10/2011 - 16:56 | Link to Comment RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

I like discussions about energy and especially the alternative variety.

One factor is left out of most equations, however:  Momentum.

I'm talking about the momentum of human nature.   Folks don't clean out their garages until shit actually falls over onto the car.   Governments don't work on "energy plans" until energy hits uncomfortable cost levels, or one day we wake up and it's all gone.   See the John Stewart interview with T. Boone the other night.   The "10 Year Plan" won't get any consideration until there is literally only 10 minutes left on the energy clock.  And then what actually gets done turns out to be authoritarian and oppressive in its execution.  Long range planning?  Right.

Momentum:  There ain't any at the present time.

Thu, 02/10/2011 - 10:45 | Link to Comment slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

 

 

ok, SD.  haha!  "maybe" you're no more "borderline" than i am, ok?  we've had our dance for a few daze.  peace, bro.  or sis.

 

 

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 21:52 | Link to Comment Ludwig Van
Ludwig Van's picture

 

A post of hope. Thanks, b2bm. I'm afraid it may take some desperation though to force people out of their comfort zone to try new things -- or a generation unafraid of hard work. If so, it's gonna be awhile.

 

Thu, 02/10/2011 - 10:25 | Link to Comment slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture


The Crash Course is the foundation of that framework, which illuminates the main predicament as an inherent conflict between the currently evolved types of economic and monetary systems and looming resource scarcity, especially of oil.

Enroll to Read

Your faithful information scout, Chris Martenson.

hey chris, see any psycopaths that are fuking up our county and the world at large, since "we" are so "god-blessed" to have them? 

it's really not difficult. they are on the tv constantly, telling you what to talk about and worry about.  ANYTHING BUT THEM, OK?  i know, propaganda is very difficult to recognize sometimes, especially if you have been conditioned by the "mass media" to love it more than mother's milk.  and think the "topics" are really interesting, and making money in the markets is the purpose of the universe and human life on earth, in particular. 

if you can recognize the lies, you can recognize the liars.  they are generally people of enormous wealth and power.

i actually had to sit thru a whole afternoon yesterday of people talking about how impotant it was to repeal the patriot act so call your "representatives" and make sure you let them know just how you feel.  then, gosh, it's still the "law". 

HOW THE FUCK CAN THE PATRIOT ACT BE LEGAL YOU FUCKING MORONS???   oh, well, it must be because of our government of the criminals, by the criminals, and for the criminals, which is in total control of:

1) the executive, including the SEC and the Justice Dept, as well as "housing and "welfare".

2) the legislature.  any of you geniuses noticed, yet?  eh?

3) the courts.

4) the banks.

hmmm....anything else?  oh, yeah:

5) YOU!!!,

THEY say its "legal"

i don't give a rat's ass (sorry, mom) how freaking "comfy" you are, right now.  trust me on that one, ok?  we all have self interests.  that's ok.  most of our leaders are very, very, ill.  there are children involved whom we are no longer able to protect.  yours.  mine. your neightbors'. etc.  etc.  etc.  other &tc. children here and there, too.

earlier, tonight, Alan Grayson was discussed.  he was fingering obama as being "responsible" for the lawlessness.  well who tf could argue with that?  people were ready to elect grayson to high office.  for some of us, myself included, grayson did NOT pass the "smell test". 

gee, slewie, why not? 

well, because grayson fits the definition of a "straw man" to a fuking "T".  if you don't understand what means, look it up.  then, read the stuff, here, about Grayson.  make up your own mind.  that's fair, isn't it?  maybe i'm wrong.  wouldn't be the first or last time.  trust me on that,  ok? 

i personally believe that the Dylan/grayson interview and G's "honesty about obama" is DESIGNED to draw focus and discussion from the "true" reality, of which i have given my opinion, above.  and designed to make people "believe and hope" that they can REALly change this shit, "next time". 

we have one federal government and fifty state governements, ALL or 92% at least full of absolute, stinking corruption. 

"Well, it's always been like that."  Yes, it has, at least at some level.  but not with quite the same laws to protect "homeland security"  and "patriots".  not with failed gamblers and flim-flam artists gettin $3 Tril in "loans and guarantees", or whatever figure you would like to postulate.  do we really need to keep arguing about this shit?  not with a justice (wink, wink) department under "gonzales" Holder.  not with the FED under "Alan" Bernanke.  Not with the white house occupied by "George"  Obama.  not with this Court.  Not with these state goobermints.  Not with "Hank" Geitner either, eh?  Paulson is the most successful criminal/public "servant" in the history of America.  and, he's still just enjoying everything he's "earned". 

if you're not sure what a psycopath is, consider our friend bernie madoff.  cover of forbes.  one of the "best".  people KNEW he was a total dirtbag, reported him, and NOTHING HAPPENED!!!  now, his son, mark has "committed suicide".  when?  Dec. 11, 2010.  Gee!  right in the middle of the holiday preparation and the NFL "suspense".  2 whole months ago!

look who published THIS: 


Mark Madoff Suicide: Bernie Madoff's Son Found Hanged In NYC Apartment

Dec 11, 2010 ... He left no suicide note. The person who had recent contact with Madoff said he was struggling to find steady employment and was upset by ...
www.huffingtonpost.com/.../mark-madoff-suicide-hanged_n_795342.html - Cached i put the google on "madoff suicide note", ok?  that was the first pop.  here's the second:


Mark Madoff's Suicide Note | Carole Gold

Dec 11, 2010 ... Mark Madoff left a suicide note. It may not be a literal note, on a physical piece of paper, but it's no less instructive or important. ...
www.carolegold.com/2010/12/11/mark-madoffs-suicide-note/ - Cached so, we now see, perhaps, how psychopaths operate. 1) MM committed suicide. 2) Chat among yourself about "why" and whether he "left a note, or not". slewie will tell you:  ZERO chance of MM committing suicide.  he was mudered b/c he knew too much and to protect the still- "innocent".  we are getting played by this 24 hours/ day, every day of our lives.  turn OFF your tv's. 

there are so many shills and "agents" on this site right now, that it's a wonder "tyler's" head hasn't exploded.  can ya please get with the drill and help us out a bit with REAL problems in our once-great nation?  stop pretending that the level of "suveillance" to which we are subject is for your benefit.  if you see a freaking spade, call it a spade, and if one of the ZH's doesn't understand this, rehabilitate them or nuke the asshole,  NOW!!!
slewie out.
Wed, 02/09/2011 - 20:34 | Link to Comment StarvingLion
StarvingLion's picture

Courtesy of Lyndon "We are an international organization" Larouche. 

Thanks jmc8888 but I think its time to update your $600.00 subscription to Lyndon. 

P.S. The middle class requires liquid fuels, not decades long pipedreams such as nuclear reactors.

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 23:00 | Link to Comment derryl
derryl's picture

Unfortunately we have to deal with the human nature that we have, not the one reformers and philosophers wish we had.

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 19:53 | Link to Comment dick cheneys ghost
dick cheneys ghost's picture

will china's drought make egypts people more hungry....

 

http://nakedempire.wordpress.com/

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 19:54 | Link to Comment mynhair
mynhair's picture

To paraphrase the great Kinnison:

You live in a fukking desert!  Nothing grows there!

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 19:57 | Link to Comment Dr. Porkchop
Dr. Porkchop's picture

The Ancient Egyptians had a good run. Did a few large infrastructure projects as I recall.

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 20:19 | Link to Comment mynhair
mynhair's picture

I'll find it, but in the meantime:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1GjyrQiSRs

That is it.  3:52 in, though the front is great.

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 21:04 | Link to Comment robobbob
robobbob's picture

unfortunetly they increased ancient Eyptian real GDP about the same as the US stimulus and QE plans have

 

what is up with captcha. it asks for a 3 character answer then flags me for using more then 1 character

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 22:05 | Link to Comment New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

but you, as a denizen of ZH had "sufficient perseverence" to prove your self and jump over this minor straw.

good ony'a lad

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 22:00 | Link to Comment In Fed We Trust
In Fed We Trust's picture

Of course these infrasture projects will be repo d by the feds affilate in Egypt and turned into toll infrasture, who just auctioned off to the highest bidder.

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 22:38 | Link to Comment downwiththebanks
downwiththebanks's picture

Yep - about 4000 years of advanced civilization before White boys figured out how to take a shit.

They'll be just fine.

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 19:59 | Link to Comment FunkyMonkeyBoy
FunkyMonkeyBoy's picture

Off topic, but Jebus Christ, just listening to what Ron Paul was saying today...

.... what a wet lettuce. The FED/U.S. Government/Wall street are some of the most evil people on the planet today, committing a worldwide genocide unparalleled... no way, Ron "Wet lettuce" Paul is going to bring these guys and their system down...

.... it's all a lost cause.

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 22:02 | Link to Comment In Fed We Trust
In Fed We Trust's picture

You gotta be a troll.  FunkyMonkey? Are you serious? Anti Ron Paul?

How much do they pay you per post?

Thu, 02/10/2011 - 10:11 | Link to Comment creviceCaress
creviceCaress's picture

 

ron paul = chumpberries

 

....over-rated...anachronistic....his true genes showed themselves in his son

IMHO

...apples dont stray from the footprint....something to ponder amidst a breakfast bowl of kc brains swiss-xt......

 

he may be a true dewd......but he hasnt been exactly effectual other than a beacon for people who actually think we can 'change' direction and ...."get this country back on track to honor our forefathers and what they stood for and..."    yadda+

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 22:13 | Link to Comment buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

The FED/U.S. Government/Wall street are some of the most evil people on the planet today, committing a worldwide genocide unparalleled... no way, Ron "Wet lettuce" Paul is going to bring these guys and their system down...

He doesn't have to do anything. "Their" system will collapse on its own. Why are you in such a hurry for the stuff to hit the fan?

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 22:20 | Link to Comment Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

He just likes to see Monkey shit flying everywhere.

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 22:42 | Link to Comment buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

A name change may be in order. Perhaps "Flying Monkey Feces"?

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 22:20 | Link to Comment Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

With all due respect Spank the Funky Monkey Boy, exactly how do you expect one Congressman from Texas to bring down Wall Street and the Fed all by himself when I suspect that 75% of Americans are out of touch on this subject.

Its gonna take more than Ron Paul to bring the system down.

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 20:10 | Link to Comment Captain Planet
Captain Planet's picture

-1 for jmc

Riddle me this: How long does it take to build a nuclear facility and get power running to the people. 

Next: Population growth: I'm in my early 20's with older (63 and 73 years old) parents. When my mother was born in the late 40's, the population of the world was 1/2 what it is today. Blame Egypt? I don't think so.The bigger culprit is this sedentary version of mercantilism that has confined many once nomadic peoples to concentration camps where (at least here in the good old ussa) they drink and procreate.

If you want to keep pointing the finger at Africa, direct that finger (a middle one) back towards Washington, for the consolodation of human beings into feed-lot-like urban slums, thereby creating the unsustainable pattern of having 2% of the population grow food for the rest.

That stat is probably a little off in the rest of the world, but here in the U.S., we have 2% working in food production, and  many more working in the relativley useless FIRE sector. What an acronym....that whole side of the economy has a big nuke aimed right at millions of "working" Americans asses (assets and homes).

 

 

 

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 20:26 | Link to Comment mynhair
mynhair's picture

How long?  Not enough info.

2 yrs without EPA, 20 with.

See Kinnison link above, and get edicated.  But you are in your 20's, sorry dude, you need 20 more years to get edicated.

And that middle finger is missing Sharpton and the Revvvvvverend Jackson.  Moron.

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 20:32 | Link to Comment mynhair
mynhair's picture

Hey, look!  He comprendes junk!  Such a fine specimen of Libtardness!

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 20:33 | Link to Comment topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

There is not enough room for a nomadic lifestyle, and these people willingly gave it up because a slum is still a step up for most.  If we really had such reduced efficiency that we needed ten or twenty percent of the population to produce food we would be in a world of hurt right now.  Look at the standard of living the last time a developed economy had such a high percentage of food producers and the relative price of food.  Look at the standard of living of any country that has 20 percent plus of the population producing food now.  Efficiency is what is saving us.

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 20:34 | Link to Comment mynhair
mynhair's picture

Frigging truth, Troll.

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 20:40 | Link to Comment cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Cheap oil is what is saving us.

Fixed it for you.

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 20:49 | Link to Comment topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

Thanks for the clarification!  Cheap oil allows for food production efficiency.

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 23:17 | Link to Comment cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

No argument from here.

Thu, 02/10/2011 - 10:32 | Link to Comment creviceCaress
creviceCaress's picture

 

 

mynhair, my junk was in there too,,,,call me a lib....whatthefuckever label you threw out and i'll find you, knock you down, and eat your pancreas......and get that fucking cat off of your avatar, i love cats but you sound like an asspump.

 

 

now, cheap oil allows for food production efficiency?     no.

 

oil is food.  the majority of food eaten by us "1st worlders"  is oil.....hence massive amounts of "food" being produced that spiked population frenzy.  there is no "efficiency" in conv. food prod.........if you throw assloads of cheap energy at an assload of arable land (...years ago...)then you will get a lotta food......sure as shit doesnt mean there's anything efficient about it.  drive a  $200k 120hp tractor pulling a 1.5ton chisel for 25 minutes straight before turning around to do the next row and you'll understand the 'beauty' of conventional ag food production and all it's "efficiencies"

 

captain planet sounds like a competent dude....being in early 20's makes it even better

 

 

"efficiency" is saving us from what?  dropping this farce we call civilization? 

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 21:03 | Link to Comment born2bmild
born2bmild's picture

Is efficiency saving us? What passes for efficiency most of the time seems to be what's in our way. Central banking, gigantic corporate ag' (the bee population, gmo's and other poison etc), the industrial military complex and big energy seems like it's got us backed into a corner. There are other ways (if one were to look at them). What a joke, MSM is set up that if it leads it bleeds and when it's a real solution it rarely makes it to print (and when it does you will know it by the arrows sticking out of it's back).

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 21:42 | Link to Comment serotonindumptruck
serotonindumptruck's picture

I noticed that you alluded to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) with regard to honey bees. This is truly frightening stuff. Everyone on the planet should be aware of this issue.

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes/silence-of-the-bees/introduction/38/

 

Thu, 02/10/2011 - 11:33 | Link to Comment slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

 

CAPTAIN PLANET:   VERY nice to make your acquaintance, sir.  this is Fight Club & i gotsa feeling you might be able to handle yerself pretty well in the dialectic & dialogue.  i'll take you at you word, that you are in your twenties, and you are WAY past slewie @ 27, no doubt in my mind.  don't be afraid to hang yer ass out, here.  right out the window, if you wish, sir.  say your peace and give and take the very best punches on yers and slewie's fave planet. 

i'll be 65 y.o. in a few weeks, and i would appreciate it VERY much if you invite any and all of your friends, as long as you, personally, think they would enjoy one heluva good fight.  cuz we ARE gonna have one, sir.  this is a war, sir, and if you'd like to fight with your mind, insight, understanding, and intuition, understand that when you face off, you just might have 20 older shitheads honored to cover yer backside.  form your own legion, sir, and take this shithole as far as you can.  we need ALL the help we can get, and you look like you are a damned capable fully grown soldier already.

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 20:18 | Link to Comment mynhair
mynhair's picture

Geez, post a Kinnison clip, and the site crashes.  WTF?

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 20:27 | Link to Comment StarvingLion
StarvingLion's picture

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said the Middle East is facing a "perfect storm" of unrest

Middle East to Hillary:  "The USA will suffer a 1 day thermonuclear-like wipeout in the form of loss of reserve currency status on the day when OPEC moves away from USD settlement for its oil.  Have a Happy HyperInflation!"

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 20:29 | Link to Comment topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

why would they do that?  Besides it doesn't matter what currency something is priced in.  It only matters how much of our currency is used as reserves. 
At 60 percent plus the USA is doing quite well thank you.

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 20:52 | Link to Comment BigJim
BigJim's picture

OPEC oil isn't just priced in dollars. It's paid for in US dollars.

If OPEC decide to take a variety of currencies (ruble, yuan, euro), then the rest of the world's requirement to buy around 60 million barrels worth of US dollars a day dries up. At US $100 a barrel that's $6,000,000,000 a day, or 2,190,000,000,000 US dollars a year that won't be being purchased.

Think that won't put a bit of downward pressure on the dollar?

This is the main reason the US is obsessed with the middle east. Once the petrodollar goes, so does the entire US empire, because once the US dollar is toast, so is the US.

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 22:18 | Link to Comment hedgeless_horseman
Wed, 02/09/2011 - 22:58 | Link to Comment BigJim
BigJim's picture

Hmm, interesting. Think The Bernank has seen it?

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 20:37 | Link to Comment cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Complex systems are non-linear; they trend for a while and everything seems fine and then they break over into a new state that is unlikely to resemble an earlier state.

Our current global economy is a complex system. No one person understands more than a tiny fraction of how the system works. It either works or it fails, and if it fails it cannot be fixed or rebuilt because it built itself and we have no idea how it happened.

Pretend otherwise if you like. Your mind will find patterns if you look for them. But the wheels are turning and we are all going where this machine is taking us, like it or no. There is no getting off and there is no escape because there is nothing outside to escape into. Everything you know and think and aspire to and fear is already inside the machine.

This it --- all of it --- and what it is is on the move.

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 20:42 | Link to Comment mynhair
mynhair's picture

So, Big Cat, you are saying mind fuks are not permanent?

Tell that to my dreams.

In related news: I screwed myself by being cute.  Sold AVL at 7.88, bought back at 7.50, put an ask in at 8.03, and went to the doc, came back to find I had no more AVL.  Put a buy in at 7.25.  Fell asleep on the couch (took the Wif to the aeropuerto way early).  Missed that AVL 7.27 print, and am hence naked.  God, I hope this pig drops 2 points, after the Unemployment Welfare Report in the morning.

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 20:48 | Link to Comment cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

I'm not sure what a "mind fuk" is in this context. Feel encouraged to elaborate.

But as a practical matter nothing is permanent for a given range of values of "permanent". Seems like these days people think that anything with a TTL over 48 hours is essentially permanent. That whole running on Internet time thing being in play, I suppose. Myself I worry about things that are over the horizon around 5 years, because that's about as fast as I can move. Anything that's going to change in a big way in less time than that and I figure I might as well sit down and enjoy it, because I'm sure as Hell not going to be able to avoid it.

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 21:27 | Link to Comment mynhair
mynhair's picture

Well, a mind fuk is having irrelevant inputs introduced that cause the brainpan to go into halt mode.  The brainpan has problems with non-linear episodes of 'Dancing With the Stars'.  A lack of such input puts the brainpan into crisis mode, whereby the body no longer functions to input, and channel-changing is impossible.  And so, Libs are born.

Any other questions?

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 23:08 | Link to Comment serotonindumptruck
serotonindumptruck's picture

"Any other questions?"

Well, since you asked, where's the whiskey?

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 20:58 | Link to Comment Blano
Blano's picture

It's at 7.24, did you get it??

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 21:08 | Link to Comment mynhair
mynhair's picture

WHAT?  No, don't do AH.  Means I can get it at 7.02 support tomorrow.

What a rollercoaster, who needs ETFs?

Still stand by my 13.30 target.

Thu, 02/10/2011 - 11:18 | Link to Comment slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

 

cougar:  isn't the "complex sytem" controlled by the 'intelligence' of the sun?  and isn't it "transmitted to and transformed by the sensitive 'film' of nature and life into a mind-boggling complexity which people ahve striven to grok for millenia? 

ergo, our "economy" is a product of this?  so this is the "source" of economic wealth? 

knowledge, thoughts, desires, and fears, also are driven by this mechanical system, yes.  but is it not also a fact that different "scales" are involved and invoked, here, also?  we can not control the action of the sun, moon or some of the earth, and if we're not careful , that may be a destructive rather than constructive influence.  but the knowledge, thoughts, desires, and fears, tho mechanical, in many ways, can also be influenced, and maybe even controlled.  by awareness.  consciousness.  groth of certain kinds of understanding, and so on?  so, some meachanical "reactions" and perceptions CAN be transformed a bit perhaps?

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 20:35 | Link to Comment Big Ben
Big Ben's picture

It appears that Egypt's GDP growth was 4.6% in 2009 and was estimated to be 5.8-6.0% in 2010. This isn't really in the BRIC range and they could probably do better, but doesn't seem that bad. It was much better than the US had in those years. And Mexico had a -6.5% contraction in 2009 and a 5.0% increase in 2010. So Egypt did quite a bit better than Mexico in the last couple of years.

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 20:55 | Link to Comment BigJim
BigJim's picture

I wonder if their official statistics are as laughable as ours.

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 22:20 | Link to Comment Big Ben
Big Ben's picture

Interesting question. I think that GDP and inflation estimates are linked. For example, suppose a country produces 100 billion quatloos in goods in services in 2009 and 105 billion quatloos in goods and services in 2010. So if the quatloo inflation rate is 2%, then GDP growth would be 3%. But if the quatloo inflation rate is 5%, then the GDP growth is 0%.

So it seems that if a government underestimates its inflation rate, that would automatically cause the GDP growth rate to be overestimated. What a deal!

Since Egypt's inflation rate has been in the double digits in the past couple of years, there is probably more room to underestimate it, which would mean that Egypt's GDP estimates might be even less reliable than ours.

However I am still not sure that I buy the all the doom-and-gloom overpopulation arguments. There was a guy named Paul Ehrlich who wrote a book called the "The Population Bomb" where he predicted mass starvation and wars in the 1970's. But instead there was a green revolution in agriculture and the population bomb turned out to be a dud. Of course, if we don't come up with another green revolution, bad things will happen. Who knows what will really happen?

I have always wondered is why any water from the Nile is allowed to flow into the sea. Why wouldn't they just divert it all to the desert and use it to grow crops? Of course if you do this, salt tends to build up in the soil making the land infertile. But this takes years and the if the land was desert to begin with, then what have you got to lose? Just divert to another patch of desert. Egypt has plenty of desert.

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 22:51 | Link to Comment BigJim
BigJim's picture

++ on the GDP/inflation observation.

And of course before Ehrlich was Malthus. I tend to think that what they got wrong was their timing - their general theses will be proven correct eventually.

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 20:46 | Link to Comment topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

parabolic blow off tops are bad in any type of investment.  They are also bad in population growth.  Even if it does level off as predicted we will have a billion more human beings concentrated in ButtFuckEgypt and other poor places.  There is no chance that egypt can support a doubling of it's population, or pakistan, or anywhere else for that matter.  It is rare to see a parabolic blow off top end up in a stable equilibrium somewhere near the top, whether in population dynamics of the animal world or in finance.  Most of the third world will always have a terrible standard of living.  It is not the fault of the USA.  It is the fault of these primitive, misogynistic cultures that keep their women barefoot and pregnant.  We are in excellent shape in the USA to weather this population crisis with our resource base and relatively small population.  Look at the distribution of food and water resources and you will see what I mean. 

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 20:58 | Link to Comment mynhair
mynhair's picture

Only need to edicate Amerikans that it wasn't their sperm that spawned those Soylent Green candidates.

Funny, how well Gibralter does with concrete hillsides.

How much rain could be collected by concreting Algore homes?

Preferably, with his ass inside.

Side note:  best Heart concert ever

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gpNqB4dnT4&NR=1

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 23:21 | Link to Comment johnnynaps
johnnynaps's picture

Until the native moochers' population doubles! Everything was almost rosy near a decade ago......now, not much is rosy! What's your true estimate for the next decade?

Thu, 02/10/2011 - 06:34 | Link to Comment AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Most of the third world will always have a terrible standard of living.  It is not the fault of the USA.  It is the fault of these primitive, misogynistic cultures that keep their women barefoot and pregnant.  We are in excellent shape in the USA to weather this population crisis with our resource base and relatively small population.  Look at the distribution of food and water resources and you will see what I mean. 

 

It might be true if the US was disconnected from the rest of the world. But the current shape of the US is the result of a world organized to allow US citizens in their standard of life.

The boost in population in those countries is a direct result of the US approach to economics (smithian economics) that requires vectors of demand to allow an always more efficient transfer of wealth.

If indeed these populations had not grown like that, the transfer of wealth from their corner of the world to ours would not have been done that fast.

Less inputs in the West, lower standards.

The countries that have benefited the most from globalization;  and the US sits on the top of the hierarchy; are the most exposed to the end of globalization.

A US confinment to their own resources would be a disaster at current stage. 

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 21:01 | Link to Comment Dan The Man
Dan The Man's picture

---

I agree, its not hopeless here just yet.  still room to grow, and still water to drink.  but the price instability will starve the yokels while making the rockefellers rich....er.  revolution could still easily come with resources abuntant and few who can afford them.

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 21:01 | Link to Comment What a mess_man
What a mess_man's picture

Egypt simply reminds us that anything that is unsustainable will someday change. It is an emblem for the world.

 

I liked this piece by Chris - well presented.  The math simply doesn't work for Egypt, just as it doesn't for the US.  Their time simply came faster due to their situation.  For those of us in the USA, the situation is of course far better, but unsustainable all the same.  The only trick here is that no one knows how much sand we have in the hourglass until flip time.

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 23:20 | Link to Comment serotonindumptruck
serotonindumptruck's picture

The math might work for the USA if we were all willing to grow and raise our own food, but therein lies the rub.

Americans are not willing to grow and raise their own food, thus many Americans will meet with "wrongful death" scenarios.

When fiat currency becomes worthless, you will be expected to provide physical labor to support yourself (and dependents).

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 21:02 | Link to Comment Webutante
Webutante's picture

Actually, everyone is talking about the same thing, whether it's population growth in Egypt with its multiplying need for resources, or growth of worldwide debt and subsequent 'bailouts.' 

It's all about the natural logarithm to the base 'e.'  Anyone who's taken differential equations or any natural sciences knows about 'e.'

When graphed, it goes along growing slowly in linear fashion for a seeming long time.  But as time (t) goes on, the line leaves the linear and goes differential.  When that happens, it then goes to infinity very quickly.

All natural/human systems function this way.  It's the law no matter who's president, fed head or dictator.

So we're no longer riding a nice comfortable train down the linear tracks.  Instead that train is morphing into a rocket ship that's taking us into outer space/or the depths of the abyss very fast, very steeply.

Fasten your seat belts for the e- ride of your life. And there's nothing you can do about it.

 

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 21:56 | Link to Comment mynhair
mynhair's picture

E-ride, my ass.  Got enough heavy metals to see me through, regardless of what the nimrods result in.  Thinking those cans of Red-Dot are worth two of dem gold Maples....

Ya can't shoot Gold, ya morons!

Gold bugs, step forward!  How many of you know how to make nitric acid?  How many of you have access to cotton?  Congrats, you have a rudimentary cannon.  Know what cordite is, or how to develop it?

Fukking gold bugs are going to be soooo easy pickings.

Just flash some..........the new Soylent Gold, err, Green.

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 22:14 | Link to Comment quasimodo
quasimodo's picture

As well as over confident chaps as yourself

Thu, 02/10/2011 - 03:17 | Link to Comment Sheepneck
Sheepneck's picture

Your posts are nearly incoherent.

Thu, 02/10/2011 - 00:01 | Link to Comment Milestones
Milestones's picture

Excellent, informative post. Thank you for putting it up. We are still not getting the impact of POPULUTION on resources of all types. Sustainable population is probably 2.5 Billion people.

There will be a culling, one way or another.      Milestones

Thu, 02/10/2011 - 09:22 | Link to Comment Batty Koda
Batty Koda's picture

Developed nations populations are usually steady, all todays population growth is in the third world. There's plenty of resources to go around, the problem is that parasitic bankers and CEOs are hoarding the wealth for themselves. So instead of saying we need to cull some Africans (I assume this is the green solution to overpopulation) we should help them develop so their population levels out like ours has. Which takes energy, therefore co2 emmissions.

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 21:19 | Link to Comment Arkadaba
Arkadaba's picture

I would like ZH to discuss the upcoming stock exchange mergers. Not sure if they will happen: http://arkadaba.blogspot.com/2011/02/lse-tse.html but want to get to a handle on why the exchanges are doing this now.

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 21:59 | Link to Comment mynhair
mynhair's picture

Ok, loser exchanges need to merge cuz the sheeples are almost extinct.  Need to dilute losses across acquisitions...

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 22:10 | Link to Comment In Fed We Trust
In Fed We Trust's picture

Maybe they can share porn servers to share costs.

Thu, 02/10/2011 - 06:00 | Link to Comment Arkadaba
Arkadaba's picture

lol!

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 22:14 | Link to Comment In Fed We Trust
In Fed We Trust's picture

After the stock exchange merge, we shall see central banks merging as well.

Consolidation is the name of the game when you are trying to trade a new system fot he old.

Step right up and get your social credit card compliments for your local FED, always lookin out for the consumer.

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 22:17 | Link to Comment In Fed We Trust
In Fed We Trust's picture

And just for being a participant of the new system, we the FED are authorized to put $5,000 on that social credit we just gave you. 

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 21:20 | Link to Comment Sad Sufi
Sad Sufi's picture

Look at how the cookie crumbles...In Egypt.

Some beauty here?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nd-__QZZOW4

Thu, 02/10/2011 - 06:25 | Link to Comment Arkadaba
Arkadaba's picture

Yes some beauty - shared on FB for the young ones - who are not all addicted to Jersey Shore. 

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 21:34 | Link to Comment Missing_Link
Missing_Link's picture

Excellent article.  Exactly what I've been saying:

The relentless math:

Population 1960:  27.8 million
Population 2008:  81.7 million
Current population growth rate: 2% per annum (a 35-year doubling rate)
Population in 2046 after another doubling:  164 million

Rainfall average over whole country:  ~ 2 inches per year
Highest rainfall region:  Alexandria, 7.9 inches per year
Arable land (almost entirely in the Nile Valley):  3%
Arable land per capita:  0.04 Ha (400 m2)
Arable land per capita in 2043: 0.02 Ha
Food imports: 40% of requirements
Grain imports: 60% of requirements

Net oil exports: Began falling in 1997, went negative in 2007
Oil production peaked in 1996
Cost of oil rising steeply
Cost of oil and food tightly linked

 

Exactly.  This is the real problem.  Ben Bernanke's inflationary policies are just the hyperinflationary straw that broke the overpopulated camel's back.

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 21:53 | Link to Comment hambone
hambone's picture

Yeah, all true for Egypt but reality is we are done as well.  American's just don't know it yet or understand the options. 

'11 EOY debt = $15T...total tax revenue at $2T...interest on debt at 4% average paid (full 1% below 50yr average) is $600B.  If we mean revert, we're at $750B in interest payments.  Plus no SS surplus to offset up to $200B as we have in recent years. 

Add it up and you realize there will be no slowing down the spending...only massive issuance of worldwide taxation of the poorest via inflation.  Faber, Taleb, Rogers all say the same thing.  We are passed point of fiscal return.

Thu, 02/10/2011 - 00:21 | Link to Comment Missing_Link
Missing_Link's picture

Yes, but we still have reasonable population levels, a ton of domestic agriculture, gold in the vault at Fort Knox (some of which might even be real), a Federal Reserve willing to whore out our reserve currency status as needed, and a still-impressive GDP.

All in all, we're in terrible shape, but still better than most of Europe, and not nearly as bad as Egypt and most of the Middle East.

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 21:47 | Link to Comment mynhair
mynhair's picture

Next resistance in AVL is 8.33.  But my charting ability suks.

Plus, there ain't no charts.

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 21:59 | Link to Comment New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

"...sparking social unrest..."

Light 'em up, baby!

- Ned

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 22:31 | Link to Comment mynhair
mynhair's picture

does New_Meat go well with Jamaican Jerk?  Or is Jenna required?

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 22:39 | Link to Comment New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

we don't know yet ;-)

but I got an invite from that Rusty guy to stop by for a smoke.

so we'll see.

- Ned

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 22:01 | Link to Comment mynhair
mynhair's picture

How to make a mud pie:

first, find water....

You live in a fukking desert, nothing grows out there!

Take EGT for a thou........

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 22:02 | Link to Comment rwe2late
rwe2late's picture

How about Saudi's warning?

Obama better support Mubarak or else!

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/

 

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 22:05 | Link to Comment mynhair
mynhair's picture

saudi better get their pissant, whore loving, married to blondes that haven't moved yet, cadre in line.  Fukking Saudis.  Still trying to figure out how that sand nigger prince I rented to, managed to beetch about his crap camera, the day before 9/11.

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 22:17 | Link to Comment gwar5
gwar5's picture

 

Saw that. I called it the other day. If Mubarack goes, the Saudi's would go, so they'd have to support him if Obama tried to pull the rug out. Obama is pissing off all our allies and helping our enemies. The despots are going to  really go wild for 2 years to run up the score until 2012 when their good fortune in the White House is tossed out of office. 

I don't think it's too far fetched for the Israelis to be helping and making promises to Mubarack if it were stealth.  Egypt is their firewall.

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 22:24 | Link to Comment mynhair
mynhair's picture

but, so what?  Is this a case of how long Isreal can go without resupply?

I really fukking wonder. Dem Jews ain't stupid, and they've seen our morons.

As long as they aren't NY Jews, or S FL jews.

Debbie-I-gots-lots-names-Wasserman-Schultchz?

I don't understand why seeing no sand niggers or NY Jews, is so bad.

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 22:45 | Link to Comment New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

dude, take a knee, take a breath.

(...psssst, the SN thing is nay helpful)

But, well, we all have our 'debsies' now don't we.

good sleep.

- Ned

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 22:02 | Link to Comment gwar5
gwar5's picture

The muslim brotherhood and marxists have been organizing and planning for such an event in the Middle East for some time. The muslim-marxist tandem is a toxic brew and is working both ways across the Atlantic. Hard times create opportunities and they are/were planning ahead and were ready. They are following the economic and demographic trends too and postitioning themselves to create instability. 

» Did Muslim Brotherhood Learn ‘Day of Rage’ Egypt Protest Tactics From Obama Allies Bill Ayers and Code Pink? - Big Government

Obama, Code Pink and Egypt: ‘There Are No Coincidences in Politics’

.

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 22:28 | Link to Comment mynhair
mynhair's picture

Muslim brotherhood -  another name for queer Central.  SF is giving discounts to these dips!

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 22:46 | Link to Comment downwiththebanks
downwiththebanks's picture

Too bad the Muslim Brotherhood decided to sit out the Day of Rage, as well as the beat down the Revolutionaries throughout Egypt delivered a week ago to the hooligans and thugs.

Of course the MB takes its cues from Uncle Sam and the UK - that's who established them and bankrolls them.

But when it comes to the streets, they're fucking cowards.

To suggest that they had something to do with this Revolution when they've spent the whole of it on the sidelines or sucking Suleiman's dick betrays the fact that you don't really know what's going on.

Thu, 02/10/2011 - 05:34 | Link to Comment AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Of course the MB takes its cues from Uncle Sam and the UK - that's who established them and bankrolls them.

 

Quite a leap. The fact is that the Muslim Brotherhood, through this crisis, has been revealed as a weak organization, unable to take over their own country when it was served to them on a golden tray.

Very far from the depiction of that movement prone to take over the world.

Nothing indicates though they take their cues from anyone else but themselves.

Their weakness might indicate that, if they come to power, that would not be by their strength but because a foreign power would have given them a thumb.

Thu, 02/10/2011 - 06:49 | Link to Comment Arkadaba
Arkadaba's picture

I agree that the Muslim Brotherhood has been shown as a weak entity. The times they are changing. And foreign policy around the globe is being slow recognize it. 

 

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 22:07 | Link to Comment mynhair
mynhair's picture

If they have rags on their heads, put them in the polishing Toyata lines.

 

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 22:14 | Link to Comment mynhair
mynhair's picture

Messed up, here is the best Heart concert.  Sorry.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whXeb7Ohfkk

Nancy is hot in this one!

Thu, 02/10/2011 - 13:40 | Link to Comment creviceCaress
creviceCaress's picture

 

 

seriously....myn-asscrack-hair......yer bashing gays like you need one and then you have the nerve to put up a link to a friggin heart concert?

 

you MUST live in the south.....Bama or florida

 

scary.

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 22:15 | Link to Comment cjbosk
cjbosk's picture

"One day, a fruit and vegetable seller was arrested in Tunisia, sparking social unrest, and a few weeks later the government of Egypt was set to topple."

Really?...just bam, 200,000 people protesting Mubarak who's been in office for 30 years?  Tyler, get with the program, this thing was well organized, not your dead head style flash in the pan protest.  Many bloggers that were there in Egypt were posting how the violent protesters weren't even Egyptians...

Boys and girls, can you say Calaphate....This shit is well organized and the intent is to move into Western Europe in short order.  Spain, France, Italy are all at risk and eventually so is the U.S.! 

 

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 22:46 | Link to Comment mynhair
mynhair's picture

I'am so sorry to burst your bubble, but fag fruits aren't allowed under Islam.

What will SF do, and does anybody care?

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 22:56 | Link to Comment downwiththebanks
downwiththebanks's picture

The violent protestors were the ones dispatched by (Mu)Barak using Uncle Sam's funnymoney.

Any effort to show the Revolutionaries as violent is quite simply fiction.

You're right that this was well organized - mass strikes and protests have been unfolding in Egypt for about 5 years thanks to the IMF policies Egypt was forced to accept from the global Capitalist elite who have wrecked the world and destroyed the biosphere.

Which invisible man in the sky these Revolutionaries pray to is immaterial.  What's material is the following:  GENERAL STRIKE.

Thu, 02/10/2011 - 09:07 | Link to Comment Batty Koda
Batty Koda's picture

VIVA LE REVOLUCION! DOWN WITH THE CAPITALIST PIGS! OUR REVOLUTIONARY BROTHERS AND SISTERS WILL FIGHT TILL THEIR DYING BREATH AGAINST THE CORRUPT ARROGANT BOURGEOISIE!

How about grow up instead, the 60's are over and the attempted coup in Egypt has been planned for years by the power elite through their NGOs like the NED and ICG.

Thu, 02/10/2011 - 10:52 | Link to Comment downwiththebanks
downwiththebanks's picture

Sure thing.  Nothing that the Freedom House wants more than the Camp David accords blown up and a Revolution without leaders taking charge in Egypt.

All part of the plan.

Just like it was all part of the plan to march the (Mu)Barak funded hooligans out of the square.

Things are going swimmingly for Uncle Sam - he can't be happier that NOBODY in Egypt can steady the ship and the entire course of events depends on a bunch of oppressed soldiers who make a few bucks a day.

Thu, 02/10/2011 - 20:22 | Link to Comment Batty Koda
Batty Koda's picture

We've been hearing from the corporate media about the Egyptian government being just about to topple for a week now, in reality this is all going very Iran 2009 on Brzezinski.

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 22:16 | Link to Comment bluebare
bluebare's picture

On the unpredictable behavior of complex systems...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfnvFnzs91s

 

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 22:37 | Link to Comment mynhair
mynhair's picture

You funny.  You drinky?

Freak like me:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i95DUucUFrI&feature=related

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 22:50 | Link to Comment RoRoTrader
RoRoTrader's picture

Listening is the more difficult of the 4 language skills to master for different reasons........reading, writing, speaking.

Terrific article, and if it is a measure of what lies ahead the Germans, with an inate talent for design and also probably positioned with a geographic edge among others, will be the ones ahead of the design curve in a new social paradigm shift.

Best guess is Sarkozy knows it too,

In trading terms, LONG Oil.

Thu, 02/10/2011 - 11:36 | Link to Comment MrSteve
MrSteve's picture

All major corporations and government bureaucrats use scenario planning (war games is the military's language). Their "what if" plans get rolled out right after the surprise is headlines in the media. As for LONG OIL, what happened to oil prices after they hit $140+ in 2008? LONG OIL turned into LONG FACES.

During the Weimar inflation, the price of everything including stocks went way up and when the currency imploded, the entire financial economy was impoverished while holders of real wealth survived. Better to prepare for leans years rather than speculate based on  old models. Discontinuities like the instabilty of the reserve currency require new models, like decorating with black swan motifs, no doubt a future tat favorite.

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 22:51 | Link to Comment reTARD
reTARD's picture

Chris Martenson is right. We have the economy on one side of the spectrum and we have the environment (including energy) on the other side. If we want a growing economy, we must consume and polute the environment. It's like finding the perfect laptop. I want a powerful laptop with very large screen that is also very compact and light. I also want to be filthy rich and to have a planet that is still livable as well as to have friends, of course. Something has to give. Not matter what though, mother nature will win. The earth will still be here long after we human become extinct. All species eventually expire whether we accelerate our end of life or not.

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