This page has been archived and commenting is disabled.

Guest Post: The Sixth Stage Of Collapse

Tyler Durden's picture





 

Submitted by Dmitry Orlov via Club Orlov blog,

I admit it: in my last book, The Five Stages of Collapse, I viewed collapse through rose-colored glasses. But I feel that I should be forgiven for this; it is human nature to try to be optimistic no matter what. Also, as an engineer, I am always looking for solutions to problems. And so I almost subconsciously crafted a scenario where industrial civilization fades away quickly enough to save what's left of the natural realm, allowing some remnant of humanity to make a fresh start.
 
Ideally, it would start of with a global financial collapse triggered by a catastrophic loss of confidence in the tools of globalized finance. That would swiftly morph into commercial collapse, caused by global supply chain disruption and cross-contagion. As business activity grinds to a halt and tax revenues dwindle to zero, political collapse wipes most large-scale political entities off the map, allowing small groups of people to revert to various forms of anarchic, autonomous self-governance. Those groups that have sufficient social cohesion, direct access to natural resources, and enough cultural wealth (in the form of face-to-face relationships and oral traditions) would survive while the rest swiftly perish.
 
Of course, there are problems even with this scenario. Take, for instance, the problem of Global Dimming. The phenomenon is well understood: sunlight reflected back into space by the atmospheric aerosols and particulates generated by burning fossil fuels reduces the average global temperature by well over a degree Celsius. (The cessation of all air traffic over the continental US in the wake of the terrorist attacks of 9/11 has allowed climate scientists to measure this effect.) If industrial activity were to suddenly cease, average global temperatures would be jolted upward toward the two degree Celsius mark which is widely considered to be very, very bad indeed. Secondly, even if all industrial activity were to cease tomorrow, global warming, 95% of which is attributed to human activity in the latest (rather conservative and cautious) IPCC report, would continue apace for the better part of the next millennium, eventually putting the Earth's climate in a mode unprecedented during all of human existence as a species.
 
On such a planet, where the equatorial ocean is hotter than a hot tub and alligators thrive in the high Arctic, our survival as a species is far from assured. Still, let's look at things optimistically. We are an adaptable lot. Yes, the seas will rise and inundate the coastal areas which over half of us currently inhabit. Yes, farmland further inland will become parched and blow away, or be washed away by the periodic torrential rains. Yes, the tropics, followed by the temperate latitudes, become so hot that everyone living there will succumb of heat stroke. But if this process takes a few centuries, then some of the surviving bands and tribes might find a way to migrate further north and learn to survive there by eking out some sort of existence in balance with what remains of the ecosystem.
 
We can catch glimpses of what such survival might look like by reading history. When Captain James Cook landed on the shore of Western Australia, he was the first white man to encounter aboriginal Australians, who had up to that point persisted in perfect isolation for something like 40.000 years. (They arrived in Australia at about the same time as the Cromagnons displaced the Neanderthals in Europe.) They spoke a myriad different languages and dialects, having no opportunity and no use for any sort of unity. They wore no clothes and used tiny makeshift huts for shelter. They had few tools beyond a digging stick for finding edible roots and a gig for catching fish. They had no hoards or stockpiles, and did not keep even the most basic supplies from one day to the next. They had little regard for material objects of any sort, were not interested in trade, and while they accepted clothes and other items they were given as presents, they threw them away as soon as Cook and his crew were out of sight.
 
They were, Cook noted in his journal, entirely inoffensive. But a few actions of Cook's men did enrage them. They were scandalized by the sight of birds being caught and placed in cages, and demanded their immediate release. Imprisoning anyone, animal or person, was to them taboo. They were even more incensed when they saw Cook's men catch not just one, but several turtles. Turtles are slow-breeding, and it is easy to wipe out their local population by indiscriminate poaching, which is why they only allowed the turtles to be taken one at a time, and only by a specially designated person who bore responsibility for the turtles' welfare.
 
Cook thought them primitive, but he was ignorant of their situation. Knowing what we know, they seem quite advanced. Living on a huge but arid and mostly barren island with few native agriculturally useful plants and no domesticable animals, they understood that their survival was strictly by the grace of the surrounding natural realm. To them, the birds and the turtles were more important than they were, because these animals could survive without them, but they could not survive without these animals.
 
Speaking of being primitive, here is an example of cultural primitivism writ large. At the Age of Limits conference earlier this year, at one point the discussion turned to the question of why the natural realm is worth preserving even at the cost of human life. (For instance, is it OK to go around shooting poachers in national parks even if it means that their families starve to death?) One fellow, who rather self-importantly reclined in a chaise lounge directly in front of the podium, stated his opinion roughly as follows: “It is worth sacrificing every single animal out there in order to save even a single human life!” It took my breath away. This thought is so primitive that my brain spontaneously shut down every time I tried to formulate a response to it. After struggling with it for a bit, here is what I came up with.
 
Is it worth destroying the whole car for the sake of saving the steering wheel? What use is a steering wheel without a car? Well, I suppose, if you are particularly daft or juvenile, you can use it to pretend that you still have a car, running around with it and making “vroom-vroom!” noises... Let's look at this question from an economic perspective, which is skewed by the fact that economists tend view the natural realm in terms of its economic value. This is similar to you looking at your own body in terms of its nutritional content, and whether it would make good eating. Even when viewed from this rather bizarre perspective that treats our one and only living planet as a storehouse of commodities to be plundered, it turns out that most of our economic “wealth” is made possible by “ecosystem services” which are provided free of charge.
 
These include water clean enough to drink, air clean enough to breathe, a temperature-controlled environment that is neither too cold nor too hot for human survival across much of the planet, forests that purify and humidify the air and moderate surface temperatures, ocean currents that moderate climate extremes making it possible to practice agriculture, oceans (formerly) full of fish, predators that keep pest populations from exploding and so on. If we were forced to provide these same services on a commercial basis, we'd be instantly bankrupt, and then, in short order, extinct. The big problem with us living on other planets is not that it's physically impossible—though it may be—it's that there is no way we could afford it. If we take natural wealth into account when looking at economic activity, it turns out that we consistently destroy much more wealth than we create: the economy is mostly a negative-sum game. Next, it turns out that we don't really understand how these “ecosystem services” are maintained, beyond realizing that it's all very complicated and highly interconnected in surprising and unexpected ways. Thus, the good fellow at the conference who was willing to sacrifice all other species for the sake of his own could never be quite sure that the species he is willing to sacrifice doesn't include his own.
 
In addition, it bears remembering that we are, in fact, sacrificing our species, and have been for centuries, for the sake of something we call “progress.” Aforementioned Captain Cook sailed around the Pacific “discovering” islands that the Polynesians had discovered many centuries earlier, his randy, drunken, greedy sailors spreading venereal disease, alcoholism and corruption, and leaving ruin in their wake wherever they went. After the plague of sailors came the plague of missionaries, who made topless Tahitian women wear “Mother Hubbards” and tried to outlaw fornication. The Tahitians, being a sexually advanced culture, had a few dozen different terms for fornication, relating to a variety of sex acts. Thus the missionaries had a problem: banning any one sex act wouldn't have made much of a dent, while a ban that enumerated them all would read like the Kama Sutra. Instead the missionaries chose to promote their own brand of sex: the “missionary position,” which is best analyzed as two positions—top and bottom. The bottom position can enhance the experience by taking a cold shower, applying blue lipstick and not breathing. I doubt that it caught on much on Tahiti.
 
The Tahitians seem to have persevered, but many other tribes and cultures simply perished, or continue to exist in greatly diminished numbers, so depressed by their circumstances that they are not interested in doing much beyond drinking beer, smoking cigarettes and watching television. And which group is doing the best? That's the one that's been causing the most damage. Thus, the rhetoric about “saving our species from extinction” seems rather misplaced: we have been doing everything we can to drive it to extinction as efficiently as possible for a few centuries now, and we aren't about to stop because that would be uncivilized.
 
Because, you see, that's who we are: we are educated, literate, civilized persons. The readers of this blog especially are economically and environmentally enlightened types, their progressivism resting on the three pillars of pointing out financial Ponzi schemes, averting environmental devastation and eating delicious, organic, locally grown food. We do wish to survive collapse, provided the survival strategy includes such items as gender equality, multiculturalism, LGBT-friendiness and nonviolence. We do not wish to take off all of our clothes and wander the outback with a digging stick looking for edible tubers. We'd rather sit around discussing green technology over a glass of craft-brewed beer (local, of course) perhaps digressing once in a while to consider the obscure yet erudite opinions of one Pederasmus of Ülm on the endless, glorious ebb and flow of human history.
 
We don't want to change who we are in order to live in harmony with nature; we want nature to live in harmony with us while we remain who we are. In the meantime, we are continuing to wage war on the sorry remnants of the tribes that had once lived in balance with nature, offering them “education,” “economic development” and a chance to play a minor role in our ruinous, negative-sum economic games. Given such options, their oft-observed propensity to do nothing and stay drunk seems like a perfectly rational choice. It minimizes the damage. But the damage may already have been done. I will present just two examples of it, but if you don't like them, there are plenty of others.
 
For the first, you can do your own research. Buy yourself an airline ticket to a tropical paradise of your choice and check into an oceanside resort. Wake up early in the morning and go look at the beach. You will see lots of dark-skinned people with wheelbarrows, buckets, shovels and rakes scraping up the debris that the surf deposited during the night, to make the beach look clean, safe and presentable for the tourists. Now walk along the beach and beyond the cluster of resorts and hotels, where it isn't being continuously raked clean. You will find that it is so smothered with debris as to make it nearly impassable. There will be some material of natural origin—driftwood and seaweed—but the majority of the debris will be composed of plastic. If you try to sort through it, you will find that a lot of it is composed of polypropylene and nylon mesh and rope and styrofoam floats from the fishing industry. Another large category will consist of single-use containers: suntan lotion and shampoo bottles, detergent bottles, water bottles, fast food containers and so on. Typhoons and hurricanes have an interesting organizing effect on plastic debris, and you will find piles of motor oil jugs next to piles of plastic utensils next to piles of water bottles, as if someone actually bothered to sort them. On a beach near Tulum in México I once found an entire collection of plastic baby sandals, all of different colors, styles and vintages.
 
Left on the beach, the plastic trash photo-degrades over time, becoming discolored and brittle, and breaking down into smaller and smaller pieces. The final result of this process is a microscopic plastic scum, which can persist in the environment for centuries. It plays havoc with the ecosystem, because a wide variety of animals mistake the plastic particles for food and swallow them. They then clog their digestive tracts, causing them to starve. This devastation will persist for many centuries, but it has started already: the ocean is dying. Over large areas of it, plastic particles outnumber plankton, which forms the basis of the oceanic food chain.
 
The ravages of the plastics plague also affect land. Scraped together by sanitation crews, plastic debris is usually burned, because recycling it would be far too expensive. Plastic can be incinerated relatively safely and cleanly, but this requires extremely high temperatures, and can only be done at specialized facilities. Power plants can burn plastic as fuel, but plastic trash is a diffuse energy source, takes up a lot of space and the energy and labor costs of transporting it to power plants may render it energy-negative. And so a lot of plastic trash is burned in open pits, at low temperatures, releasing into the atmosphere a wide assortment of toxic chemicals, including ones that affect the hormonal systems of animals. Effects include genital abnormalities, sterility and obesity. Obesity has now reached epidemic proportions in many parts of the world, affecting not just the humans but other species as well. Here, then, is our future: chemical plants continue to churn out synthetic materials, most of these find their way into the environment and slowly break down, releasing their payload of toxins. As this happens, people and animals alike turn into obese, sexless blobs. First they find that they are unable to give birth to fertile male offspring. This is already happening: human sperm counts are dropping throughout the developed world. Next, they will be unable to give birth to normal male babies—ones without genital abnormalities. Next, they will be unable to produce male offspring at all, as has already happened to a number of marine species. Then they go extinct.
 
Note that no disaster or accident is required in order for this scenario to unfold, just more business as usual. Every time you buy a bottle of shampoo or a bottle of water, or a sandwich that comes wrapped in plastic or sealed in a vinyl box, you help it unfold a little bit further. All it takes is for the petrochemical industry (which provides the feedstocks—oil and natural gas, mostly) and the chemical plants that process them into plastics, to continue functioning normally. We don't know whether the amount of plastics, and associated toxins, now present in the environment, is already sufficient to bring about our eventual extinction.
 
But we certainly don't want to give up on synthetic chemistry and go back to a pre-1950s materials science, because that, you see, would be bad for business. Now, you probably don't want to go extinct, but if you decided that you will anyway, you would probably want to remain comfortable and civilized down to the very end. And life without modern synthetics would be uncomfortable. We want those plastic-lined diapers, for the young and the old!
 
This leaves those of us who are survival-minded, on an abstract, impersonal level, wishing for the global financial, commercial and political collapse to occur sooner rather than later. Our best case scenario would go something like this: a massive loss of confidence and panic in the financial markets grips the planet over the course of a single day, pancaking all the debt pyramids and halting credit creation. Commerce stops abruptly because cargos cannot be financed. In a matter of weeks, global supply chains break down. In a matter of months, commercial activity grinds to a halt and tax revenues dwindle to zero, rendering governments everywhere irrelevant. In a matter of years, the remaining few survivors become as Captain Cook saw the aboriginal Australians: almost entirely inoffensive.
 
One of the first victims of collapse would be the energy companies, which are among some of the most capital-intensive enterprises. Next in line are the chemical companies that manufacture plastics and other synthetic organic chemicals and materials: as their petrochemical feedstocks become unavailable, they are forced to halt production. If we are lucky, the amount of plastic that is in the environment already turns out to be insufficient to drive us all to extinction. Human population can dwindle to as few as a dozen breeding females (the number that survived one of the ice ages, as suggested by the analysis of mitochondrial DNA) but in a dozen or so millennia the climate will probably stabilize, the Earth's ecology recover, and with it will the human population. We may never again achieve a complex technological civilization, but at least we'll be able to sing and dance, have children and, if we are lucky, even grow old in peace.
 
So far so good, but our next example makes the desirability of a swift and thorough collapse questionable. Prime exhibit is the melted-down nuclear power plant in Fukushima, Japan. Contrary to what the Japanese government would want everyone to believe, the situation there is not under any kind of control. Nobody knows what happened to the nuclear fuel from the reactors that melted down. Did they go to China, à la China Syndrome? Then there is the spent nuclear fuel pool, which is full, and leaking. If the water in that pool boils away, the fuel rods burst into flames and melt down and/or explode and then, according to some nuclear experts, it would be time to evacuate the entire northern hemisphere. The site at Fukushima is so radioactive that workers cannot go anywhere near it for any length of time, making it rather fanciful to think that they'll be able to get the situation there under control, now or ever. But we can be sure that eventually the already badly damaged building housing the spent nuclear fuel will topple, spilling its load and initiating phase two of the disaster. After that there will be no point in anyone going to Fukushima, except to die of radiation sickness.
 
You might think that Fukushima is an especially bad case, but plants just like Fukushima dot the landscape throughout much of the developed world. Typically, they are built near a source of water, which they use as coolant and to run the steam turbines. Many of the ones built on rivers run the risk of the rivers drying up. Many of the ones built on the ocean are at risk of inundation from rising ocean levels, storm surges and tsunamis. Typically, they have spent fuel pools that are full of hot nuclear waste, because nobody has figured out a way to dispose of it. All of them have to be supplied with energy for many decades, or they all melt just like Fukushima. If enough of them melt and blow up, then it's curtains for animals such as ourselves, because most of us will die of cancer before reaching sexual maturity, and the ones that do will be unable to produce healthy offspring.
 
I once flew through the airport in Minsk, where I crossed paths with a large group of “Chernobyl children” who were on their way to Germany for medical treatment. I took a good look at them, and that picture has stayed with me forever. What shocked me was the sheer variety of developmental abnormalities that were on display.
 
It seems like letting global industrial civilization collapse and all the nuclear power plants cook off is not such a good option, because it will seal our fate. But the alternative is to “extend and pretend” and “kick the can down the road” while resorting to a variety of environmentally destructive, increasingly desperate means to keep industry running: hydraulic fracturing, mining tar sands, drilling in the Arctic and so on. And this isn't such a good option either because it will seal our fate in other ways.
 
And so it seems that there may not be a happy end to my story of The Five Stages of Collapse, the first three of which (financial, commercial, political) are inevitable, while the last two (social, cultural) are entirely optional but have, alas, already run their course in many parts of the world. Because, you see, there is also the sixth stage which I have previously neglected to mention—environmental collapse—at the end of which we are left without a home, having rendered Earth (our home planet) uninhabitable.
 
This tragic outcome may not be unavoidable. And if it is not unavoidable, then that's about the only problem left that's worth solving. The solution can be almost arbitrarily expensive in both life and treasure. I would humbly suggest that it's worth all the money in the world, plus a few billion lives, because if a solution isn't found, then that treasure and those lives are forfeit anyway.
 
A solution for avoiding the sixth stage must be found, but I don't know what that solution would look like. I do find it unsafe to blithely assume that collapse will simply take care of the problem for us. Some people may find this subject matter so depressing that it makes them want to lie down (in a comfortable position, on something warm and soft) and die. But there may be others, who still have some fight left in them, and who do wish to leave a survivable planet to their children and grandchildren. Let's not expect them to use conventional, orthodox methods, to work and play well with others, or to be polite and reasonable in dealing with the rest of us. Let's just hope that they have a plan, and that they get on with it.
 


- advertisements -

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Wed, 10/23/2013 - 21:28 | Link to Comment zorba THE GREEK
zorba THE GREEK's picture

AR15...check, AR10...check, several 12 gauge shotguns....check, 357 & 44 mag revolvers...check

silver...check, gold...check...6 months food supply...check.  Bring on stage 6.

Wed, 10/23/2013 - 21:51 | Link to Comment markmotive
markmotive's picture

Good interview with Orlov on the 5 stages of collapse...

http://www.planbeconomics.com/2013/10/dimitri-orlov-five-stages-of-colla...

Wed, 10/23/2013 - 22:41 | Link to Comment johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

i wanna be there when zorba the greek is shooting at, then bribing the storage pools at fukushima in an effort to keep them from falling over

 

anyone looked at that building lately?

no way it goes five more years

only bullets you'll need zorba will be for friends and family

Wed, 10/23/2013 - 22:51 | Link to Comment nc551
nc551's picture

I can't take this guy seriously, he plugs the IPCC report and calls it "conservative and cautious."

Wed, 10/23/2013 - 23:05 | Link to Comment johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

i appreciate your sentiment on the climate nonsense

but the nuke storage pools terrify me

and i think he and others are spot on in this regard

the pacific is ruined

too late for that

multiply it by a million and there is reason for concern

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 02:22 | Link to Comment Supernova Born
Supernova Born's picture

"We do wish to survive collapse, provided the survival strategy includes such items as gender equality, multiculturalism, LGBT-friendiness and nonviolence."

Sounds like the space hippies Captain Kirk and the Enterprise come across in the original series.

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 03:58 | Link to Comment Dr. Destructo
Dr. Destructo's picture

Nope. It's most certainly going to be chaos, with various tribes absorbing/killing each other outside of the feudal aristocratic city-states.

The good news is that we'll have Thunderdome.

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 06:13 | Link to Comment CoonT
CoonT's picture

Had to be said. That one line, stopped me in my tracks. Next-

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 06:55 | Link to Comment Ying-Yang
Ying-Yang's picture

Can't wait for his 7th Stage of Collapse /s

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 07:38 | Link to Comment kralizec
kralizec's picture

<rimshot!>

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 11:41 | Link to Comment SeanJKerrigan
SeanJKerrigan's picture

Heat death of the universe?

BTW: If you're looking for more to read on the subject of financial/industrial collapse, there's this

 

Also, here are some more Quotes for Times of Financial Instability:

“The only gods left are the gods of war.” — Eldridge Cleaver


“Although tyranny, because it needs no consent, may successfully rule over foreign peoples, it can stay in power only if it destroys first of all the national institutions of its own people.” — Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951)


“I dream about fighting fascism and, if it’s a deep sleep, a woman loves me for it.” — Mort Sahl, comedian


“It may be true that you can’t fool all the people all the time, but you can fool enough of them to rule a large country.” — William James Durant


“Everything’s already been said, but since nobody was listening, we have to start again.” — André Gide


“Exploitation and manipulation produce boredom and triviality; they cripple man, and all factors that make a man into a psychic cripple turn him also into a sadist and a destroyer.” — Erich Fromm


“The historical record is that no empire that has entered its twilight phase stops, takes stock of what it is doing, and then attempts to reverse its trajectory. In fact, as students of civilization such as Arnold Toynbee have pointed out, the usual pattern is to pursue precisely those actions that will accelerate the decline. In this regard, the U.S. has been depressingly exemplary.” — Morris Berman


Thu, 10/24/2013 - 02:18 | Link to Comment Supernova Born
Supernova Born's picture

double

Wed, 10/23/2013 - 23:08 | Link to Comment Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

My sentiments exactly. Orlov is brilliant...but the ipcc report??? That said thoigh,  the rest is spot on. Living/working conxitions in most of the industrialized/ developed world and the portions of countries like India that are thisly cursed, are abysmal. Deeply offensive, polluted, dirty beyond belief and people living/freated like animals.

Time to get un-civilized.

http://aadivaahan.wordpress.com

Ori

Wed, 10/23/2013 - 23:56 | Link to Comment Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

"Imprisoning anyone, animal or person, was to them taboo."

Didn't they break one leg of a kangaroo to keep it crawling around in a circle as a form of 'imprisoning it' before slaughter?

Cruelty towards the roo but it stayed fresh longer.

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 01:51 | Link to Comment Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

Orlov is a moron. Typical of the "intellectuals" who ran England into the ground between the end of WW1 and Margaret Thatcher. Thick as two planks and wet as a monsoon.

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 08:16 | Link to Comment ISEEIT
ISEEIT's picture

Almost lost me at that idiocy also.

I finished the (thankfully) short article though.

I'm grateful that ZH allows a diversity of thought and opinion. All I can agree with this guy on is that mankind collectively is absolutely moronic and by any measure of demonstrable merit not worth the air being breathed.

As individuals though we tend to be decent enough. I'm all for rational environmental stewardship.

The author clearly is not.

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 08:35 | Link to Comment drdolittle
drdolittle's picture

KGB/NWO plant

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 11:45 | Link to Comment Nehweh Gahnin
Nehweh Gahnin's picture

+ $1T coin

Wed, 10/23/2013 - 21:56 | Link to Comment g'kar
g&#039;kar's picture

Damn, beat me to it.

Wed, 10/23/2013 - 22:00 | Link to Comment IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

It's good to know that in a hyper-collapse(TM), Zerohedge and its readers would mostly survive....for a while. We would have to write notes and meet in person, but it is comforting to think that the shithead culling would move swiftly, unabated. 

Wed, 10/23/2013 - 22:06 | Link to Comment Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

So you're planning on offing yourself after 6 months. I see.

The alternative interpretation is that you have the reading comprehension skills of a newt.

What part of "near-extinction level event"* don't you understand? What are you gonna do, shoot the nuclear fallout/drought/pestilence/famine/war/dictatorship(s)? Buy them all off with your Krugerrands? Be sure to laugh right in your kids' faces as you do it, telling them all about the non-future you won't be around to suffer in.

*Not to imply that agree or disagree with Orlov, who thinks he can survive indefinitely on his sailboat by hugging the continental shores.

Wed, 10/23/2013 - 22:19 | Link to Comment cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Cognitive dissonance. That, and nobody gets how these things play out at scale. They can talk about "collapse of the global fiat monetary system" and "I've got 5,000 rounds of ammo!" in the same comment. What the actual fuck.

Wed, 10/23/2013 - 21:37 | Link to Comment Cabreado
Cabreado's picture

As an engineer, maybe you use too many words because you can't contain the problem in your mind.

What you are looking for is "Control" and in your prognostications omit it altogether.

(And this is, and will be, about Control that does not care about "living in harmony with nature.")

 

Wed, 10/23/2013 - 23:38 | Link to Comment DeadFred
DeadFred's picture

He uses the aboringinal population of Australia as an example of living in harmony with nature. When humans entered that continent 40,000 years ago they quickly drove the vast majority of species to extinction, somewhere closes to 90% of all large animals. There were no species that were domesticatable when Cook arrived because they were DEAD. This is a apt group to use as an example for scratching out survival after we've destroyed the planet but not for how to live in harmony. If those days are not foreshortened none will survive.

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 09:49 | Link to Comment LFMayor
LFMayor's picture

Now Fred, don't you up and go pee'n on the Noble Savage campfire.  That's not very considerate of other's feelings.

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 12:49 | Link to Comment Element
Element's picture

Er, the only continent where the largest species didn't almost completely die out was in Africa.

How are those plains buffalo going?

I disagree with anyone who's position seems to presuppose that humans are not animals, but must be considered or treated as different and not a part of earth's natural biota. The truth is humans are doing what evolution has always done, our brain is natural, our technology is natural, physics are natural, our metallurgy is natural, out chemical synthesis is natural, our energy use is all natural.

None of it is 'synthetic', none of it is 'artificial' (whatever that word is supposed to mean, or to signify or impart to us), we have been told it is somehow all wrong, bad, alien and irresponsible, but it is not.

Quite the reverse.

None of this is foreign to the planet, and we don't know how the natural systems will deal with it, and respond over time, maybe we should wait and see before we assume we're done for, eh?

This planet and this infinity produced all of it, and I'm quite ok with it and with our pending sooner or later extinction.

We don't have anything to apologize for, or feel guilty about, anymore than a wolf should for eating a 3-day old bambi, and feels zero guilt for tearing apart a still kicking fawn.

We did not produce us, we developed into what we are, from what we started with, and could make the most of, and we have done and mind-blowingly spectacular job of that.

If it kills us, that's too bad, but that's a part of it too, there is absolutely no reason why we have to be here, or to continue, and in time, we definitely won't. ... and? What do people expect? You got to live, stop effing whining about eventually going away.

Why kick the shit out of yourself about this? Do what humans do. And if it is a 'failure', whatever. Life will now try something completely different, elsewhere in the cosmos. So what.

There are infinite possibilities and if we do what we do, gee, you never know, we may surprise ourselves and crack the big time in unforeseen ways.

Let me remind you, 110 years ago humans got about in horse and buggies, adn the streets were covered in horse crap, and the very first airplane was flown.

Since then our early 1970s tech has flown right out of the solar system! We have moved on another 40 years, now you're readig this on a PC, written on the other side of the planet.

Now if you don't think we have potential to go further here, you are not paying attention to how far we have come, and how fast we have done it.

It remains to be seen if the 'problems' discussed above are terminal, or the price of human existence, and being what we are.

Every animal changes its environment in numerous ways to better suit its own needs, and it can change it for worse as well.

We are not doing any different, except we're so much better and faster at doing it.

We definitely have our shit together as a critter, and we should be very proud that we are the most astonishing thing that this big ball of silicate rock has ever produced, and probably ever will.

If the earth can be said to 'blossom', then we are its ultimate spring-flower, what we are doing, right now.

But flowers do not last. and that is how it must be for flowers.

Enjoy your bloom, you are extremely lucky to be able to enjoy it, just like the wolf enjoys a very full stomach on a beautiful night. Bambi was mighty yummy though, so cute and innocent.

What I do know is I love the English countryside, and others like it, and it's because generations of humans shaped it, to what humans wanted and needed. And they did a really good job of that. And I get this same sense in Australia, being in the bush, where it's clearly not optimal or ammenable for humans, so it's a real relief and a joy to get back to a rural setting that has been deliberately optimized for human beings and our needs. It is beautiful and enjoyable most of the time, the bush is just different, but both settings are extremely beautiful.

I would add however that many cities do not produce these same feelings. We have gone too far and made big urban mistakes, and what we've got now is Detroit today, and many other cities such as smogville(s) China.

But I know we can do better, and we do now know how to do that, so we should maybe get over the self imposed guilt of Bambi being lunch, and manage our human needs better as well, if we want to make a go of this 'life' thing.

Or, we could admit we're goners, and to blame for everything that's 'bad', and give up and become dinner. What to do? what to do? ...

 

No thanks ... really, ... no thanks.

Wed, 10/23/2013 - 21:36 | Link to Comment LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Saw a guy in my office building today who looked like one of the Chernobyl children.  He's a financial advisor so I didn't feel too sorry for him.   And I'm guessing he had fun last night.  I was just glad I was walking out of the bathroom as he was walking in because I had a few last night too (probably equivalent to what he drank this morning to get up) and couldn't have taken the smell.

Wed, 10/23/2013 - 21:58 | Link to Comment g'kar
g&#039;kar's picture

Was it the lizard skin or the third arm that gave it away?

Wed, 10/23/2013 - 22:01 | Link to Comment LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Could have stacked an 18 pack in each of the bags under his eyes.

Wed, 10/23/2013 - 22:02 | Link to Comment IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

Send him to www.healthcare.gov 

They'll dispatch him real quick. 

Wed, 10/23/2013 - 21:35 | Link to Comment Mike in GA
Mike in GA's picture

This guy is a unicorn breeder.

Wed, 10/23/2013 - 21:38 | Link to Comment juangrande
juangrande's picture

A few dozen fertile females. Hmmm....http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzddAYYDZkk

Wed, 10/23/2013 - 21:41 | Link to Comment lieto
lieto's picture

Japan is showing us the way to the future in so many ways.

We are so screwed.

Wed, 10/23/2013 - 21:42 | Link to Comment Poor Grogman
Poor Grogman's picture

Stopped reading at the climate change crap!

Cue crapmeister to step in with more buffoonery

Wed, 10/23/2013 - 21:58 | Link to Comment Errol
Errol's picture

Grogman, it must be nice to have such certainty regarding such a complex subject.  You must be an outstanding climate scientist.

"It ain't what we don't know that gets us in trouble, it's what we know for sure that just ain't so"   Mark Twain

Wed, 10/23/2013 - 22:10 | Link to Comment cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Certainty by another name is called fear.

Wed, 10/23/2013 - 22:18 | Link to Comment Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

I'd say it's despair.

"Despair is for people who know, beyond any doubt, what the future is going to bring."

- Patrick Curry (Defending Middle-Earth Tolkien: Myth and Modernity)

He continues:

"Nobody is in that position. So despair is not only a kind of sin, theologically, but also a simple mistake, because nobody actually knows. In that sense there always is hope."

Wed, 10/23/2013 - 22:20 | Link to Comment cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Indeed. I stand corrected.

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 04:44 | Link to Comment Poor Grogman
Poor Grogman's picture

Bite me you big pussy..

Wed, 10/23/2013 - 22:16 | Link to Comment Poor Grogman
Poor Grogman's picture

"It ain't what we don't know that gets us in trouble, it's what we know for sure that just ain't so" Mark Twain

Very true words from MT well worth remembering for the high priests of
" climate science" doom ism.

Now give me some more Benny Bux so that I can save you all with my vital research, or you will all die...

Wed, 10/23/2013 - 22:46 | Link to Comment acetinker
acetinker's picture

Orlov's a windbag.  OTOH, Samuel Langhorne Clemens has proven himself to be a wit beyond compare for over a century. Hope he, Carlin et, al; are havin a knee slappin' good time somewhere...?

Wed, 10/23/2013 - 21:59 | Link to Comment WillyGroper
WillyGroper's picture

From Jesse's.

3rd paragraph from the bottom.

http://rt.com/op-edge/us-debt-gold-price-threats-481/

Engdahl's the man.

Wed, 10/23/2013 - 22:14 | Link to Comment Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

"This tragic outcome may not be unavoidable. And if it is not unavoidable, then that's about the only problem left that's worth solving."

Not many people understand this at all, and most of those who do are firmly in the "unavoidable" camp... I'd love to know if they have family, "because if a solution isn't found, [...] those lives are forfeit anyway."

Hmmm...

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 01:53 | Link to Comment lewy14
lewy14's picture

The peasants are cluttering up the park, to be sure. We're all just the homeless and the street kids leaving our detritus around the river walks, creeping out the vibe for the "nice" families...

So, if you were the global elite, what would you do? Especially now that "the world economy" has done its job and invented means of production which don't require slaves or workers? How do you shut down the rest of humanity "gracefully"?

I know what I'd do. Surveillance, propaganda, terror, unification, other hatred, self hatred, debt, distraction, dissipation, death. Every cycle consolidates more power in fewer hands.

Rinse, lather, repeat.

Sound familiar?

What if this elite wasn't the savior from collapse, but the cause of it? Destroying the human village in order to save it.

Which side is this Orlov guy on, anyway?

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 03:58 | Link to Comment Seer
Seer's picture

What TPTB do is, at this time, irrelevant.  The "damage" has already been done.  Further, and I'd hoped that you'd gotten the point about Fukishima et al, is that NO ONE can control these things.

I've always struggled with the concept of chem trails, of their existence as some sort of population(?) control.  It's not very precise AND, I'd think, should I be one of the persons responsible for it, I would find it hard to segregate myself from the intended crowds (maybe it's only a northern hemisphere thing?)  My point here is that you really have to ask how TPTB can have any sort of game plan for their own survival with all the complexities that enter in to all of this.

Perhaps the terror IS real? (though it's not the REAL terror, such as Orlov puts forth)

And lastly, it's the MESSAGE not the messenger: whose "side" are YOU on?

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 06:41 | Link to Comment lewy14
lewy14's picture

Whose side am I on?

Call me an anthrophile. 

Orlov vibes "misanthrope" to me.

Systems would be a lot less complex with a lot less people. TPTB would like a lot less resistance to a great "simplification" which would impoverish and kill billions. They need lots of "useless idiots" to help them.

The last scapegoat is all of humanity and he sounds like he's inciting - or justifying - a pogrom.

Wed, 10/23/2013 - 22:20 | Link to Comment cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

I would have to say that Orlov gets it. I keep saying here, there is no way out. There really is no way out.

Even if you don't believe me, try it on for size some time. As an intellectual exercise if you like. Let yourself think about no way out. How that feels, what it sounds and looks like on the ground, what it means in real terms.

No way out.

It is probably like they say, about suicide jumpers. Most of them change their mind half way down, or so the survivors relate. But by then there is no way out.

Wed, 10/23/2013 - 23:52 | Link to Comment samsara
samsara's picture

It gives me the same feeling I got watching the movie "On The Beach" at the time I was something like 12.

All the nuc reactors worry me like Dmitri. Who is going to gracefully power them down when we need to?

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 04:06 | Link to Comment Seer
Seer's picture

I'd had this argument with this staunch anti-war/anti-MIC guy many years ago.  I like(d) the guy, he walked his talk: divested everything.  Anyway, I'd argued that THE primary task should be disarmament because there wouldn't be enough available energy to take things apart before entropy fully set in: in the future energy would be too scarce to "waste" it on something like this.  He thought that I was silly.

Human hubris is able to create some amazingly powerful blinders to the real world.  We refuse to acknowledge that ALL systems fail (and BIG systems fail in BIG ways).

There is only ONE way for nature to balance things out, as there are no predators: we do it to ourselves.

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 09:03 | Link to Comment mccoyspace
mccoyspace's picture

Good to know that Existentialism never goes out of style:

 

Jean-Paul Sartre - "No Exit"

http://archive.org/stream/NoExit/NoExit_djvu.txt

 

Martin Heidegger's 'Being-towards-Death'

http://philosophia.uncg.edu/sites/default/files/PHI301metivier/pdf/Heide...

 

Friedrich Nietzsche "Eternal Return of the Same"

http://www.theperspectivesofnietzsche.com/nietzsche/nrecur.html

 

Fri, 10/25/2013 - 04:03 | Link to Comment Element
Element's picture

"No way out"

You mean like when you get born you're also destined to die?

Gee, who'd want to live then?

That quandry should be a hint you've missed the point.

Wed, 10/23/2013 - 22:23 | Link to Comment NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

I'm inviting this guy to my next party.  When I want everyone to leave, I'll send him out to mingle with the guests.

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 01:08 | Link to Comment Tall Tom
Tall Tom's picture

Many of us at ZeroHedge will do just as well.

 

So how much do you pay for services rendered?

Wed, 10/23/2013 - 22:47 | Link to Comment New American Re...
New American Revolution's picture

I'd tell this fellow to Try Liberty.  It's a daily operating model of government that results in the people ruling over the government, instead of the government ruling over the people and it works really really well.   Liberty is all we talk about at electanewcongress.com.  Cheers!

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 04:11 | Link to Comment Seer
Seer's picture

"Liberty" is a WORD.

No matter how you "organize" humans any such structures are TOTALLY dependent on PHYSICAL RESOURES.

Governments, ALL governments, kill.

Wed, 10/23/2013 - 22:51 | Link to Comment geekgrrl
geekgrrl's picture

"This is already happening: human sperm counts are dropping throughout the developed world. Next, they will be unable to give birth to normal male babies—ones without genital abnormalities. Next, they will be unable to produce male offspring at all, as has already happened to a number of marine species. Then they go extinct."

Exactly. This entire process was demonstrated experimentally in fish in 2006:

"We conducted a 7-year, whole-lake experiment at the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA) in northwestern Ontario, Canada, and showed that chronic exposure of fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) to low concentrations (5–6 ng·L?1 [ng/L is equivalent to parts per trillion]) of the potent 17?-ethynylestradiol [i.e. common birth control pills] led to feminization of males through the production of vitellogenin mRNA and protein, impacts on gonadal development as evidenced by intersex in males and altered oogenesis in females, and, ultimately, a near extinction of this species from the lake. Our observations demonstrate that the concentrations of estrogens and their mimics observed in freshwaters can impact the sustainability of wild fish populations."

So stock up on your viagra boys (Not that it'll help you reproduce, but at least you can shoot blanks and pretend it's her fault). For all you environmental naysayers (and I know there are many here), you might want to keep in mind that hormone receptors are highly conserved evolutionarily, and this includes a large number of species, down to the invertebrates. What that means is that there is much less difference than one might suspect between fish and men when it comes to the simple matter of sexual development and reproduction.

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 08:32 | Link to Comment Kobe Beef
Kobe Beef's picture

Please don't bother us with biological facts... Diversity is our strength and gender is a social construct. We made it all up ourselves and thus nature has no power. We are blank slates & I can do anything I want. We're freeeee!

 

/S

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 18:59 | Link to Comment geekgrrl
geekgrrl's picture

I completely get your sarc.

This book completely overturns all those ideas about gender being a social construct. Diversity, on the other hand, is the rule of the day. None of us is really alike.

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 08:30 | Link to Comment Harry Dong
Harry Dong's picture

And Florida gators for that matter. The alligators, not the frat boys...well maybe yeah, them too.

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 19:34 | Link to Comment geekgrrl
geekgrrl's picture

Yes, there's a scientist who's been studing alligators in Florida. Louis Gillette Jr.: http://nersp.nerdc.ufl.edu/~aeneus/ljgpubedc.html

Seems the alligators have very small penises and have trouble reproducing.

But I'm sure this has no significance for man /s

Wed, 10/23/2013 - 23:00 | Link to Comment tony bonn
tony bonn's picture

"...Of course, there are problems even with this scenario. Take, for instance, the problem of Global Dimming. The phenomenon is well understood: sunlight reflected back into space by the atmospheric aerosols and particulates generated by burning fossil fuels reduces the average global temperature by well over a degree Celsius. .."

a completely ignorant statement about which i will let the author remain ignorant.

Wed, 10/23/2013 - 23:13 | Link to Comment geekgrrl
geekgrrl's picture

Are you kidding me? This IS a well-known phenomenon, and is often discussed in the scientific literature.

You might want to look at the climate effects of volcanos.

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 01:14 | Link to Comment Tall Tom
Tall Tom's picture

Why are you educating him? If he wants to allow others to remain "ignorant" then it is he who DESERVES to remain ignorant.

 

In that way we can all get a good laugh...at his expense.

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 08:37 | Link to Comment Kobe Beef
Kobe Beef's picture

Anyone who throws around the word "ignorant" in polite company is a disingenous liberal shithead and should be mocked accordingly.

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 20:04 | Link to Comment geekgrrl
geekgrrl's picture

Because sharing what I know has proven helpful to others.

Wed, 10/23/2013 - 23:05 | Link to Comment DaveA
DaveA's picture

A global currency collapse is not the end of the world. Everything that has intrinsic value -- farms, factories, oil wells, etc. -- continues to exist. Only illusory value is destroyed: pensions, investments, savings, but life goes on, at least for those who can still work. Having never learned the meaning of an honest day's work, millions of bureaucrats and welfare parasites may starve, but they had a good run and won't be missed.

Without the churn of fake money, the banking industry will shrink to a tiny fraction of its former size. Smart people will seek their fortunes elsewhere, possibly creating real wealth instead.

If the planet's resources are dwindling, this is a gradual process, and the currency collapse will likely lead to those resources being used more efficiently, instead of being wasted on bubbles blown by central banks.

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 04:16 | Link to Comment Seer
Seer's picture

Did you miss the part about environmental damage?

"If the planet's resources are dwindling, this is a gradual process, and the currency collapse will likely lead to those resources being used more efficiently, instead of being wasted on bubbles blown by central banks."

Do you understand the term "economies of scale?"  Try producing stuff "efficiently" without doing so on a big scale. And about "efficiency," read up on Jevons Paradox.

Wed, 10/23/2013 - 23:08 | Link to Comment lasvegaspersona
lasvegaspersona's picture

 mere currency collapse will not bring us anywhere near Defcon 1. It has been tried many times with similar results. Very bad for most very good for a few.

Now a collapse of the reserve currency in a fiat only world has not been tried before but the worst that can happen (in the monetary realm) is that all money dies and we make claim to the goods around us and we create new money.

The other horrible things all spring from our reaction to the collapse.

I agree that since many are unprepared and our governmental leaders are useless and incapable of actually DOING anything helpful (shit they could not design a fucking website!!...something 10 year old children can do and something done at high levels millions of times...MILLIONS!!!) that we could see some real problems...

but...consider this...the world has never seen a collapse in the modern era in which society reverted to more primative technology. Yes the newest iPhone may be further delayed but I doubt we will go back to land lines and dialup. There will be those with wealth who will demand the good stuff. the rest of us will respond and make it happen. We ourselves will demand food and there are those who will want to make it happen. As long as the asshats in the government step aside and allow mankind to go on we will.

I do recognize that there will be problems. I seriously doubt global warming will be in the top 10. Once the paid shills who taut this stuff are forced to do real work it will be a joke from a byegone era....like when we used to worry about the coming ice age back in the 70s. Oh the irony.

I do worry about the first 90 days. That is when we will see the big picture. If we get son-of-Stalin in charge and hateful governence many might die. If the average American is unleashed to provide for his family and there is fair specialization of labor organized we will come out OK. We will have lost the 'exorbitant privilege' yes...but we did well before we had it. In fact it was a curse for us and the world.

Wed, 10/23/2013 - 23:11 | Link to Comment The Persistent ...
The Persistent Vegetable's picture

How did this get article get onto Zero Hedge? Sounds like socialism to me. "Oh we musnt cage the chickens or slaughter too many fucking turtles so that we might share the bounty."

If that turtle is too slow and stupid to outwit me, than he deserves to die out and he deserves to feed me and I deserve to use his shell as a bedpan.

 

 

 

Wed, 10/23/2013 - 23:21 | Link to Comment geekgrrl
geekgrrl's picture

Since you've been here for all of 3 weeks, the better question is why Tyler let you come in from the porch.

Wed, 10/23/2013 - 23:45 | Link to Comment samsara
samsara's picture

+1

Wed, 10/23/2013 - 23:24 | Link to Comment AUD
AUD's picture

Actually, 'aboriginal Australians' had previously met the Dutch in Western Australia, had well developed trading routes & had as much regard for material objects as anyone else, especially grog.

They did wear clothes, made of skins but put together like clothes, in the colder mountainous parts of South Eastern Australia & even lived in simple stone huts where conditions suited permanent habitation. They even constructed some pretty elaborate stone fish traps in estuarine areas.

And as far as I'm aware Cook never sailed down the West Australian coast, but first met 'aboriginal Australians' at Botany Bay, on the East Coast, present day Sydney.

And the climate change stuff is speculation, likely complete bullshit like the rest of the article.

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 04:19 | Link to Comment Seer
Seer's picture

"And the climate change stuff is speculation, likely complete bullshit like the rest of the article."

Operative word: "likely."

And you might just as well be likely full of bullshit.  It's a coin toss- how are we to know?

But then again, there's the REAL damage, that's visible, that's out there.

Wed, 10/23/2013 - 23:26 | Link to Comment samsara
samsara's picture

Alright ZH. Good going Tylers.

Dmitri is good now and then. Remember reading his first few posts on EnergyBulletin.net back in 2004. One of the first comparisons between the US and Russian collapses, and the different stages.

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 00:09 | Link to Comment NIHILIST CIPHER
NIHILIST CIPHER's picture

When I was a kid, a loaf of bread was wrapped in wax paper and sealed on both ends with labels. Milk and soft drinks were sold in glass bottles that were returned to the store to be reused. TPTB put plastic into my world to the horrid point of contamination you see today. Better living through chemistry and all that rot. Water was not poisoned with chemicals, also by TPTB. The "WE" in we have ruined the environment IS them (TPTB) 

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 04:25 | Link to Comment Seer
Seer's picture

The scary/sad part is that scaling up the older means would also result in problems.  More fuel to create and transport stuff.

Plastics are ALL about "efficiency," borne from "free enterprise."

We will not have "ruined" the environment, as it will regenerate through the process of glaciation (the "Big Till").  What we will have/have done is to rob us of our future; and nothing new here (we see it quite readily evident in our monetary schemes).

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 00:19 | Link to Comment Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

Dmitry Orlov doesn’t follow solar weather. IPCC cannot control the sun, but they can control your wallet through fear. [waves] Bye-bye Dmitry.

 

5MIN News October 23, 2013: Comet Explodes, Solar Eruptions to impact Earth.

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 04:27 | Link to Comment Seer
Seer's picture

So, we can also toss aside as fiction the concerns over radiation and the trashing of the ecosystem?

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 06:36 | Link to Comment Seer
Seer's picture

Two junkers unable to present any opposing argument?

You people are pathetic.

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 01:10 | Link to Comment Ocean22
Ocean22's picture

Agenda 21. Slippery road ahead ...

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 01:54 | Link to Comment viedoklis_lv
viedoklis_lv's picture

Here is a solution:

http://youtu.be/571zSJQ17y0

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 02:55 | Link to Comment Basia
Basia's picture

Have been hearing about behavioral and health changes induced by Smartmeters. Produce a sick and docile population,

Lindsey Williams latest interview confirms this concept.  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qu87Sfg7RZ4

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 03:12 | Link to Comment Notarocketscientist
Notarocketscientist's picture

This is by far the best analysis of what happens when a complex economic system collapses...  it is impossible for anyone to control the outcome because there are literally millions if not billions of connected pieces ...  and if only one piece is pulled - the whole things falls and cannot be put back together...

http://www.feasta.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Trade-Off1.pdf

78 pages long - I have pasted a short excerpt - this is 'MAD MAX'

 

Consider briefly a 'soft-to-mid-core' (Spain, Italy

.....Belguim, France?), disorderly default

and contagion in the Eurozone, coupled, as would be

likely, with a systemic global banking

crisis. There would be bank runs, bank collapses an

d fear of bank collapses; uncertainty

over the next countries to default and re-issue cur

rency; plummeting bond markets; a

global market collapse; and a global credit crunch.

Counter-party risk would affect trade,

just as it would affect the inter-bank market. Howe

ver, production and supply-chain

networks are far more complex than the banking and

shadow banking system.

 

Within days there could be a food security crisis,

health crisis, production stoppages and so

on within the most directly impacted countries, and

the number of such countries would

rise. Those with access to cash would clear out sup

ermarkets in panic. Many would

immediately suffer as we now hold little cash and h

ave small home inventories.

 

Supermarkets could not re-stock, and even if they c

ould, there would be declining

availability of fuel for transporting goods. Hospit

als adapted to JIT would also run low on

critical supplies and staff might not be able to ge

t to work. Pandemic modelling has shown

that removing at random only small numbers of a pop

ulation can cause cascading failure

of functions across an economy.

 

Lack of inputs and

people required for production would

also begin to shut factories within days. Governmen

ts, emergency services, and the public

would by and large be shell-shocked. Without seriou

s pre-planning, a government would

be unable even to provide emergency feeding station

s for weeks.

 

There would be growing

risk to critical infrastructure.

Imports and exports would collapse in the most expo

sed countries and fall for those as

risk. It would also cut global trade as

Letters of Credit

dried up.

 

The longer the crisis went

on the more countries would be at risk. But once th

e contagion took hold, it would be very

difficult for the ECB/ IMF or governments to stop;

it would be a large-scale cascading

failure at the heart of the global financial system

.

But the countries at the centre of the crisis are a

mongst the most trade-central in the

world. That is, they are ‘hubs’ of global trade; th

ere is concentration in production flows

just as there is in banks. They also produce some o

f the least substitutable products in the

world.

 

What we know from real-life examples is that

supply-chain contagion could be fast.

The collapse in trade within some critical trade hu

bs would mean missing critical inputs

for production processes across the world, stopping

further production, which could

cascade through production globally. The more suppl

y-chains that were ‘infected’ the

greater risk that any uninfected supply-chain would

become infected. That is, supply-

chains would start transmitting global contagion, w

hich would accelerate and expand.

Factories from Germany to China and the US would sh

ut down, helping to spread further

financial and economic fears within those countries

.

Supply-chain contagion would feedback into deepenin

g and spreading financial system

contagion, which would in turn feedback into furthe

r supply-chain contagion. It would

impact on the various key-stone hubs we shall consi

der later including critical

infrastructure. It may mean that if the keystone-hu

bs were not re-stabilised, within weeks

an irreversible global economic collapse could be u

nderway.

 

We may hold off another month, a year or even a few

years, but each attempt to maintain

the stability of the system upon which we depend up

on for our immediate benefit will most

likely just displace and magnify risk into a nearer

and nearer future. For we are dependent

upon the very things we are undermining

 

 

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 05:19 | Link to Comment kurt
kurt's picture

Stick this up your Malthusian ass.

Club of Rome go f yourself

Richey Rich, don't try it.  We're watching.

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 05:31 | Link to Comment Seer
Seer's picture

Look! another math idiot!

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 19:57 | Link to Comment geekgrrl
geekgrrl's picture

Don't you think there's some Darwinian function here? I think it's pretty clear that those with false ideas about the world will be punished, not because they're bad people, but because of causality.

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 05:36 | Link to Comment Bazza McKenzie
Bazza McKenzie's picture

Guess no one told Dmitry the IPCC has been forced to admit that, despite the predictions by their "climate models" there has been no statistically significant change in global temperatures over the last 15 years.  Despite that they and Dmitry are "very confident" that man is causing most of the earth's temperature change.

Apparently Dmitry, like the IPCC is unacquainted with the standard tenet of the scientific method.  If your predictions fail, that falsifies the theory from which you derived the predictions.  The IPCC's theories have failed the standard scientific tests, but being politicians, bureaucrats and academic hoaxers on the public teat, they continue to rip off public money to promote their religion.

Apparently no one also told Dmitry that, globally, more people die from cold weather than from hot weather.  A few degrees average increase that Dmitry claims will be a disaster would actually be good for much of the globe.

And about Cook's "randy, drunken, greedy sailors", they lived far tougher lives than Dmitry will ever venture, with few of the conveniences that greedy Dmitry takes for granted.  They certainly had few personal possessions, so not obvious where his "greedy" claim comes from.  They would have found it difficult fornicating in the Pacific Islands without the cooperation of some randy islanders.  But it is only the "randy" sailors that Dmitry thinks worth mentioning, not the randy Islanders.

The whole article is a long winded exercise in self-indulgent drivel.

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 06:27 | Link to Comment Seer
Seer's picture

And the parts about threats from radiation and other man-made/released disasters is also drivel?

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 23:16 | Link to Comment Element
Element's picture

 

 

Yes, especially the part about about no one knowing what to do with the spent fuel and wastes. The waste 'problem' is not even ultimately real, it's the propaganda product of trenchant ignorant boofheads, who do not want the waste treated and taken off the surface, and would rather it stayed in SFPs, and at the surface, where it can and will be a serious hazard.

Oh bleeding heart, you're so clever, and true, and wise! ... NOT

As for no one doing anything, that is at best ignorant blind bullshit or an outright lie, as countries with brains and spine are not making dumb excuses and listening to the "ignoramus-cult", but are getting on with doing what's clearly required.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_geological_repository
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KBS-3
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onkalo_spent_nuclear_fuel_repository
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meuse/Haute_Marne_Underground_Research_Labo...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%84sp%C3%B6_Hard_Rock_Laboratory
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ontario_Power_Generation%27s_Deep_Geologic_...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schacht_Konrad
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_nuclear_waste_treatment_technologies

I've posted these links and others several times but still the ignoramus-cult wants to deny that waste disposal is a technical reality, and that it is happening already, right now. But hey, let's just keep claiming the errant bullshit that no one knows what to do with the reactor fuel rods and other waste. And given these people will never even admit that there are real working solutions, let alone agree to any rational policies, then it's time to, and necessary to, entirely disregard their abject nonsense, and put the stuff deep underground, in hard rock, where it originally came from.

 

Although I enjoyed the writing in the article, and the attempt to verbally address a very complex topic, the article had very many - many - red-herrings in it, and most of the more dopey zh readers (of which there's more and more these days, and it's disgusting how stupid, insipid and pussy-like you are) who were suckered by all the 'bummer' news, are apparently totally lacking in a capacity to think for yourselves, or maintain a sense of perspective, and to examine the direct and implied claims, and the preconcluded conclusions, surrounded by all the confirmation bias.

 

Snap out of it.

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 08:15 | Link to Comment Harry Dong
Harry Dong's picture

Point taken, but at least he's easy to understand and debate. I hope he's wrong too, but so far it looks like we're making a miserable world for (nearly) all.

Minor point. Greedy sailors may just in fact destroy their own floatation devices by removing the nails that hold it together in exchange for a bit of island time. I think destroying your own nest for short time gain counts as greed.

Fri, 10/25/2013 - 04:18 | Link to Comment Element
Element's picture

Your mean like if I destroy my recreation and leisure by going out and getting a job that I hate to make money, just to be taxed by a Govt to pay welfare to those drinking wine in local parks, to make sure they don't run dry and start to sober up?

How about this definition:

Greed is when I take from you what you needed to live, so that you can't even live anymore, without my 'generosity', and my imparting guilt to you, for becoming a lousy good for nothing 'dependent'. And if/when you get bitter and violent, I'll call you a terrorist enemy and assassinate you, as a threat to national security.

Or maybe I'll just press-gang you into the navy and send you on a voyage that will most probably kill you.

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 06:23 | Link to Comment SunRise
SunRise's picture

"I would humbly suggest that it's worth all the money in the world, plus a few billion lives, because if a solution isn't found, then that treasure and those lives are forfeit anyway."

Here's another one of those political convictions; which is, that this "humble writer's suggestion" is the opinion of God or an angel, on a higher plain than the rest of us, who "knows" that taxing all the money (labor) in the world and "sacrificing a few billion lives" (only those folks he doesn't personally know of course), for his divine cause, "because those treasures and lives will be forfeited anyway".  He doesn't show respect here for the sacred fact that ALL values arise from individual breasts, so conclusions necessarily differ - especially if I'm one of those 'billions" he's talking of sacrificing for his magnificent cause.

What IS amazing is that the Bible predicts this very world-wide disaster. . . How'd they know this was coming before he did?

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 06:32 | Link to Comment Seer
Seer's picture

It's ALWAYS happened.

"he's talking of sacrificing for his magnificent cause."

He said it was HIS cause?  Hm... missed that.  I thought that this was derived from logical analysis of how humans could manage to persist.

As inconvenient as facts might be, they are, nonetheless, facts.

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 06:26 | Link to Comment yrbmegr
yrbmegr's picture

"Those groups that have sufficient social cohesion, direct access to natural resources, and enough cultural wealth (in the form of face-to-face relationships and oral traditions) would survive while the rest swiftly perish.  Of course, there are problems even with this scenario. "   You mean, other than nearly everybody dying?

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 06:35 | Link to Comment Seer
Seer's picture

It's a certainty that there will be another glacial period.  Most of what you see ain't going to make it.

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 08:40 | Link to Comment d edwards
d edwards's picture

The dude lost me with the global warming bullshit.

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 09:36 | Link to Comment Seer
Seer's picture

No, you're conditioned to turn off at any mentioning of it.

It's a fact that the earth undergoes major climate shifts.

The good news for you is that if humans don't have any affect then YOU aren't implicated.

The bad news for you is that if humans don't have any affect then YOU (or anyone else) can have no impact, and it's all inevitible.  Would seem a bit silly, though, to NOT prepare for some possibility, and That is what Orlov is suggesting.

There are reasons for some old sayings such as "don't through the baby out with the bath water."

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 08:59 | Link to Comment Took Red Pill
Took Red Pill's picture

Carlin had an opinion on this too!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7W33HRc1A6c

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 10:35 | Link to Comment tvdog
tvdog's picture

Lost me at the third paragraph. Anybody who thinks global warming is real is an idiot.

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 14:07 | Link to Comment gdpetti
gdpetti's picture

Ditto that, I then just glanced at the rest, as like most, he doesn't see the forest through the trees. Yes, it's all a game and they will 'pull out the rug' soon enough before Mother Nature comes in to clean up the mess, as usual and on schedule next year, but it's hard to take him seriously when he believes in the GW farce. It is said, that when it happens, it happens very, very, very fast, that's why that mastodon was found with buttercups in its stomach, flash frozen, like in that film "Day After Tomorrow" and wasn't it Newsweek or Time that was referring to an ice age back in the late 70s? Yes it warmed a wee bit, but it always does just before the next cold front moves in, and looking at the cycles, we are set for a convergence of many, not just an ice age.

GW? Really? That like believing the govt is going to fix everything! That's the usual trap which is based on the 'bidding' process that utilizes free will and our silence is deemed acceptance for them to do whatever they like with us.

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 21:05 | Link to Comment Polymarkos
Polymarkos's picture

The author is a communist stooge, parrotting the official party line. We are talking collapse...where does embracing LGBT crap come into that? What a maroon that guy must be!

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 12:05 | Link to Comment ImpotentRage
ImpotentRage's picture

I now feel like sitting down, in a comfortable position, on a nice, warm and soft recliner, crack open a beer, and enjoy the show before it comes to its inevitable conclusion.

By the time you are dead and gone, the only thing that truly matters is how much you enjoyed your stay here. I plan on enjoying it to the end, whatever that end may be.

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 20:59 | Link to Comment Polymarkos
Polymarkos's picture

What a bunch of communist nonsense.

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 22:04 | Link to Comment Nassim
Nassim's picture

Captain Cook never went to Western Australia. Check it out:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Captain_cook

The Portuguese, Dutch and then the French visited Western Australia first. In fact, the French mapped much of Western and Southern Australia's coastline before the British. The French were peaceful to the local inhabitants and drew many of them. The British wiped out native Tasmanians and tried their best to do the same to those on the mainland.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baudin_expedition_to_Australia

In the same vein of irresponsible assertions, Dmitry harps on about "Global Warming". What utter nonsense!

Climate is always changing and the effect of humans is tiny compared to other more important variables. For example, the variation in the "Solar Constant" (the energy we get from the sun) is 50 times as great as all the energy released by mankind at present on Earth. Who has any accurate estimates of the heat introduced into the oceans from the natural nuclear decay constantly going on under the crust? No one.

Some engineer!

 

 

Fri, 10/25/2013 - 03:32 | Link to Comment Element
Element's picture

I can't believe I didn't notice that. Indeed, Cook mapped about 2/3 of the far eastern coast line (maybe 15% of the total coast line length), he was not the discoverer of what was variously called ...

New Holland

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Holland_%28Australia%29

Van Diemen's Land

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Van_Diemen%27s_Land

Terra Australis

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terra_Australis

One other thing, aboriginies have been in Australia almost 60k years.

In Arnhem Land the Malakunanja II rock shelter "has been dated to around 55,000 years old".[3]

Archaeological evidence indicates human habitation at the upper Swan River, Western Australia by about 40,000 years ago. Tasmania, which was connected to the continent by a land bridge, was inhabited at least 30,000 years ago.[4][5] Others have claimed that some sites are up to 60,000 years old, but these claims are not universally accepted.[6]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prehistory_of_Australia

Cook sailed on to Indonesia from north Queensland, and never went anywhere near Western Australia.

Voyage of Captain Cook:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_voyage_of_James_Cook

The Dutch Captain Dirk Hartog discovered Western Australia, and the aborigines, about 190 years prior to Cook (and possibly others even earlier than 190 years).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dirk_Hartog

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dirk_Hartog_Island

William Dampier, an English Captain, also beat Cook to Australia, and mapped some of it before him about 71 years earlier, and what he did was as impressive as what Cook did in the east. The difference was Cook's was a scientific and Naval voyage, and fully documented.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Dampier

This remarkable map made in 1697 shows Europe knew about Australia long before Cook "discovered it", and proves that numerous European Captains had mapped parts of Australia long before the British Royal Navy finally got there (73 years after this map was published):

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b4/Dampier%2C_Map_of_the...

So the Cook story is very much a myth of empire. There are also pictures of sailing boats in cave rock art in the top-end that are dated older than Cook's voyage. The real importance of Cook's Voyage was that it triggered European colonisation and a British Crown claim to the entire continent. That's what ended the Aborigines claim to it, and ended their unique isolation from the rest of humanity.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!