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Guest Post: Energy Independence - The Big Lie

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Mon, 11/14/2011 - 16:39 | 1876844 pods
pods's picture

I agree that it will be repriced.  And things will start anew.

Ask the Romans what happened when they suffered a collapse.  It doesn't have to be pretty.

I do not think that the collapse will be as bad as the Roman collapse, but it sure as hell is not going to be a positive step for liberty.  Some type of new supra-national currency is probably in the works.  

And as long as it is another debt based system it will have the exact same outcome that it must have.  Only the timing will change.


Mon, 11/14/2011 - 19:17 | 1877342 AGuy
AGuy's picture

Your assuming no Global Nuclear war happens. Its unlikely people and gov'ts will simply accept fate without a fight to take the last remain resources for themselves.

I also worry about a major global pandemic, As energy become expensive it will lead to malnutrition, especially in the developing world. This increases the chances of a major regional panademic that spreads globally. Consider that a few minor pandemics started in Africa when the price of oil was near $140, as supply chains in Africa began to fail because Africa was priced out of oil. Fortunately Oil prices crashed and supply chains in Africa were restored before the issue became critical.

Much of the "Factories" will not operate without access to global supply chains. consider that a factory sources materials and parts from thousands of miles away. Very rarely is there a factory that can operate (or even improvise) on local aquired materials.

Another critical factor is how critical industries adapt when energy gets rationed or access becomes unreliable. Farms depend on Oil and infrastructure to harvest, process and transport food. If the supply chain is disrupted for a period of time, it may collapse the system that prevents any hope of restart (cascade effect). Oil supplies disrupt food production, loss of food production disrupts the supply chain needed to bring fuel to the farms, Population centers destabilize shutting down the grid, interstate commernce, imports, etc.

Perhaps some systems will restart, but it would require a major reduction in the population (80 to 90% depopulation) to restore balance on supply\demand with out access to cheap and reliable source of energy and access to global imports (of finished and non-finished good - parts, tools, electronic components, chemicals and other raw materials)

Mon, 11/14/2011 - 16:20 | 1876726 css1971
css1971's picture

BTW, when someone defaults, the money does not change hands, it goes poof. 

The debt goes poof. The credit has already been spent into the economy. It's why defaults are inflationary, and self limiting.

We should encourage them.

Catchy slogan: "Can't pay, Don't pay! Can't pay, Won't pay!"


Mon, 11/14/2011 - 16:34 | 1876817 pods
pods's picture

So home prices are rising due to all the defaults?


Mon, 11/14/2011 - 20:23 | 1877565 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Does the economy consist only of homes?

Or were people encouraged to take on excess debt and spend the money on other things, placing that currency into permanent circulation?

Mon, 11/14/2011 - 15:27 | 1876439 epwpixieq-1
epwpixieq-1's picture

Some GDP vs real wealth story:

I had a pain back for some time. I went to several MDs in the US. They took pictures, gave me drugs and I payed over $1000 dollars of medical bills, and still no improvement. Clearly I had it enough!

This summer on my annual vacation to Eastern Europe, visiting my home country. I went to local generational medical person, no medical degree, but A LOT of knowledge about the human body and herbal medicine. For about 10 minutes with some herbal cream and right pressure on my back, the pain was gone! And now 5 months after that no pain at all!!!! The price? Actually the local person did not want to take any money!!! I barely was able put the equivalent of $25 on the table in the house. This, in the local currency, is one day high salary wage.

Now how is that for higher and higher GDP. Clearly the GDP of USA went up with $1000, but no useful work/solution to the problem was performed,not to speak about the waste of my time. Only paper transfer.. Cheaper paper -> more transfers -> higher GDP -> less useful / problem solving work.

Everything is relevant! A person can leave without any money, but if they have useful skills they can create real wealth, and all the people around them will be wealthier.

Mon, 11/14/2011 - 16:11 | 1876669 pods
pods's picture

Buy an inversion table and strengthen your core.  And stay the hell away from any and all western medical experts on back problems.

Also raise your omega 3 to omega 6 fat intake ratio.  Omega 3s are a wonderful anti-inflamatory.  High levels of omega 6s will raise your arachadonic acid levels, which adds to the inflamation, pain, and sciatica.

Also, systemic enzyme therapy can help with healing.


Mon, 11/14/2011 - 18:33 | 1877253 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

your story highlights the "medical profession" ponzi in amrka - the "professionals" have huge debts for their educations, and the letters after their names invoke reverence in their patients, who will continue to feed the ever-increasing costs of keeping the "professionals" in their hospital ivory tower hierarchy - no one can truly be healed, else how would the ponzi be maintained? once "trust" is invested in the mythical system, then the patient must continue to worship at the altar, irrespective of continuing ill-health, a "life" maintained with copious amounts of pills and whatnot, which also feeds the Big Pharma corporations invested in ill health. . .there's a reason the basics for sustaining life - food, water, breathable air - are all toxic in amrka. . .

or one can learn to understand how the body "works" and wants to maintain "health" and then treat it accordingly - as Pods contributes here. . .

really appreciated reading your post.

Mon, 11/14/2011 - 22:24 | 1877915 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

You've summed up our corrupt healthcare system quite nicely.

Mon, 11/14/2011 - 17:14 | 1877007 aerojet
aerojet's picture

The waste is not to your employer, that's why.  Nobody gives a shit how long you sit in traffic or how much fuel you have to waste to get to your shitty job.  Until the American public puts its colletive foot down about a lot of things, nothing will change.

Mon, 11/14/2011 - 22:27 | 1877920 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

Much of our transportation is pure waste.  Part of putting your foot down is living where you don't need to drive so much.  I agree with Kunstler that the suburban build up in America was a huge mistake.

Mon, 11/14/2011 - 19:06 | 1877312 doggings
doggings's picture

Well over 50% of jobs could be done more efficiently from home. We will never wake up to this, it will only happen when it is forced upon us because nobody can afford to drive anymore.

the government will catch on to this and tax people into playing along. happened in the UK, loads work from home now.

Mon, 11/14/2011 - 14:04 | 1876117 Dr. Acula
Dr. Acula's picture

I wish I had food independence.

I'm always buying food from Safeway and they NEVER buy food from me.

In my house, it's all about the four F's: Frankfurters, Fishsticks, Fudgesicles, and Fava Beans.


Mon, 11/14/2011 - 14:05 | 1876119 fuu
fuu's picture


Mon, 11/14/2011 - 14:45 | 1876251 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

To be fair though, I've never purchased software from my food producers.

The only people with food independence are farmers. But still, they have energy dependence, machinery dependence, clothing dependence...

The idea that one should be independent (or can be) is to go back to peasant living, where one provides for most of their own necesities. Only through mature, stable economies can the living standards of the masses rise due to the wealth effect we all receive through division of labor.

Mon, 11/14/2011 - 15:26 | 1876435 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Of course, the division of labor also gets perverted, eventually spawning financial alchemists.

Mon, 11/14/2011 - 14:07 | 1876120 Quadlet
Quadlet's picture

Christina Romer: The Fed Must Do MORE, Not Less

Mon, 11/14/2011 - 14:55 | 1876281 jcaz
jcaz's picture

Since no one ever did less than Christina Romer, I appreciate her expertice on the subject......

Mon, 11/14/2011 - 15:17 | 1876386 Cruel Aid
Cruel Aid's picture

Romer told O in her last report with the administration, that you can not get more money by raising taxes. Boom... Mmm bye bye!

She is a conflicted Dem. She did a lot by leaving the scene of the crime.

Mon, 11/14/2011 - 14:06 | 1876121 shano
shano's picture

In that graph mentioning all the consumer products produced with oil---all of them can be replaced by Industrial Hemp.  Every single use plastic in any sector from medical waste to lighters and plastic bottles.  The real crime is that the oil-tree pulp-cotton monopolies lobby against any changes in the law.  We should be demanding legalization.


It would create new products and new jobs in every industry than now uses oil for production.  This new industry would cause much less pollution, some products would last longer (paper and fabric are stronger when made from hemp), and using hemp in crop rotation actually improves the top soil.

Mon, 11/14/2011 - 14:11 | 1876138 samsara
samsara's picture


Yes, you can produce them with hemp.  Pick ONE. 

You will never replace the VOLUME of material needed.   Unless it comes out of a Unicorn's butt. 

Mon, 11/14/2011 - 14:46 | 1876253 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

No bearing grease from hemp.

Mon, 11/14/2011 - 14:53 | 1876276 Oracle of Kypseli
Oracle of Kypseli's picture

Those who need to get high pay attention.

Hemp is good. You can also smoke it. You don't need designer drugs.

Mon, 11/14/2011 - 14:20 | 1876167 American Sucker
American Sucker's picture

You can't grow hemp without using oil, and you can't grow hemp without displacing food products.  Modern agriculture is entirely dependent on oil, and there is precious little arable land left for growing much of anything.

Mon, 11/14/2011 - 15:04 | 1876319 clawfoot tub
clawfoot tub's picture

"You can't grow hemp without using oil"


"and you can't grow hemp without displacing food products."


"Modern agriculture is entirely dependent on oil"

The poison you can't possbily classify as food is.

"and there is precious little arable land left for growing much of anything."



Mon, 11/14/2011 - 15:50 | 1876552 Financial_Guard...
Financial_Guardian_Angel's picture

You are a waste of oxygen. You have been smoking too much hemp. Got anything to back up your "Wrongs"?

Mon, 11/14/2011 - 16:08 | 1876651 clawfoot tub
clawfoot tub's picture

Always looking for a handout or just on this discussion? Do some independent research, it might inspire you in other ways.

Mon, 11/14/2011 - 20:31 | 1877596 tmosley
tmosley's picture

To start with, hemp grows in ditches on its own.  There is a reason it is called "weed".

When not grown for its THC, it grows very densly and quickly with no care needed, even in the crappiest of soils.  Plenty of semiarid land that could be used for it.  The irrigation systems here in west Texas are circular, and leave big gaps where other things that don't need much water could be grown.  I'm sure they would love to have such a low maintenence crop available to plant there, especially given that it will reseed itself.

Please note that I have never used marijuana, and never plan to.  It should be legal, though.

Mon, 11/14/2011 - 14:08 | 1876123 blu
blu's picture

The NWO Illuminti don't want us to discover abiotic oil! Or energy from water! Or the hydrogen economy! Or zero-point energy!

People keep telling me there are gas mines on Uranus. Why don't we go to Uranus? How hard would it be?

Solutions abound. All this peak oil hocus-pocus is chicken little.


Yeah sarc. What the hell, you thought I was serious? Now I'm seriously depressed.

Mon, 11/14/2011 - 14:22 | 1876158 Dr. Acula
Dr. Acula's picture

>Now I'm seriously depressed.

That's odd. Because if I had special knowledge that a commodity was going to run out, I would buy futures to help preserve it for a time in the future when it will be urgently needed. I could then reap financial gains as a reward for my shrewdness and for speeding the economy to equillibrium. The gains would be especially large if I succeeded in proving other speculators to be wrong.


Mon, 11/14/2011 - 14:23 | 1876177 blu
blu's picture

Okay. I see I was wrong. I was only slightly depress when I wrote that.

But now I am really seriously depressed 4 realz.

Mon, 11/14/2011 - 14:37 | 1876208 Dr. Acula
Dr. Acula's picture

Do not fear, groundling.

FYI the Sun emits 3.8x10^25 watts of energy.

The Earth absorbs 174x10^15 watts of solar energy.

So the Sun generates enough power to run about 218,390,804 Earths. 

Mon, 11/14/2011 - 14:39 | 1876228 Carlyle Groupie
Carlyle Groupie's picture

We need a Sun tax to cool things off a bit.

Mon, 11/14/2011 - 14:41 | 1876238 Dr. No
Dr. No's picture

An interesting factoid which has no practical application.

Mon, 11/14/2011 - 14:54 | 1876277 Citxmech
Citxmech's picture

I concur. Ringworld ain't gonna happen, let alone a Dyson Sphere.

Mon, 11/14/2011 - 14:56 | 1876283 buckethead
buckethead's picture

<object width="640" height="360"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/rsuB-6-n-MM&hl=en_US&feature=player_embedded&ve..."></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/rsuB-6-n-MM&hl=en_US&feature=player_embedded&ve..." type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowScriptAccess="always" width="640" height="360"></embed></object>

Mon, 11/14/2011 - 15:24 | 1876422 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Nice factoid... what does it prove and what is your point?

Mon, 11/14/2011 - 14:08 | 1876130 samsara
samsara's picture

Notice the chart of "Proven Reserves"?   Notice the Saudi's claiming 260?

Did your background reading remind you that they have been using that same figure since before 1990?   With all the oil they have pumped in the last 20 years,  their stated 'Proven Reserves"  never changes?

Peak Oil Ya'll.

And Peak Lies

Peak Oil  = End Of Growth


Mon, 11/14/2011 - 14:21 | 1876165 Rusty.Shackleford
Rusty.Shackleford's picture

Right on, except for peak lies, as this drags out the lying and bullshit will sky rocket

Mon, 11/14/2011 - 14:20 | 1876166 blu
blu's picture

End of growth? Listen, that's not even a serious concern.

There are more people living on earth right now than have ever existed in the history of the human race. Fact. We went from 2 billions to over 7 billions (as of a few days ago) in just over one generation.

Of those 7 billion, probably 5 billion were fed, clothed, housed, medicated, heated, cooled and transported via oil. Not coal or switchgrass or cow dung -- oil. Without cheap oil a big chunk of those 5 billion will not have enough food, clothing, housing, medicine, heating, cooling and transportation to survive.

We could divert our last oil reserves into creating a sustainable world that might (maybe) support 7 billions. But we won't. Because we (the western world and the halls of industrial power) do not give a flying fuck about that because they can't monetize it using their current set of financial and exploitative instruments.

So, game over for a bunch of us.

No way out. No escape. No hope at all.

End of growth. Yeah. End of something.


Mon, 11/14/2011 - 14:25 | 1876183 Dr. Acula
Dr. Acula's picture

Actually the world is full of unused lands, unused resources, idle factories, and material factors of production waiting to be turned into economic goods.

Life would be much easier if there were closer to 70 billion people rather than only 7 billion.


Mon, 11/14/2011 - 14:29 | 1876194 blu
blu's picture

Umm ... I'm sure you're right.

Mon, 11/14/2011 - 14:44 | 1876239 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

You need to read up on how the nitrogen cycle, the phosphorus cycle, the sulfur cycle, and the carbon cycle work.  In order for life to exist those cycles must turn these elements through various oxidation states (plants can only use nitrogen in the NO3 and NH3 forms) and it takes ENERGY to turn those cycles.  

The population got to 7 billion thanks to the Haber Bosch process and burning tons of fossil fuels to make fertilizer (ammonia and nitrates).  Even though some plants will associate with diazotrophic bacteria (legumes), if you don't turn those plants back into the soil, you still need to add the reduced nitrogen from somewhere.  Sorry, if we were to rely on only Mother Nature to turn the nitrogen cycle, we go back under a billion pretty quick, but the phosphorus cycle and the fresh (clean) water issue may become more of a problem before we run out of coal or oil to burn to drive the Haber Bosch process.  Hope you don't invest on bullshit, do your homework and good luck.  Turn off the power or water flow to California and let me know how all those folks in L.A. county alone do once their food spoils.


It all about energy and the FLUX of energy into manipulating these cycles etc. in order to provide enough food FAST.  FLUX is the real issue, many of us have systems to cycle these nutrients in our greenhouses etc.  and we are living off the food we grow.  But we are small in number and the realative area, clean water and good soil we use is still significant (about ten acres for my family).  I could probably be more efficient with my composting etc, but the math is what it is.  Best to avoid urban areas just the same.

Mon, 11/14/2011 - 14:51 | 1876259 Dr. Acula
Dr. Acula's picture

Whatever, Malthus.

Is liposuction a solution for my obese child?



Mon, 11/14/2011 - 15:14 | 1876373 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Gee, what a well thought, research-backed by experts and peer-reviewed response - NOT.

Shit, Tom has a better response than you.  At least Tom wants the free markets to take care of this.


hey phucknut, there are people who spend there whole lives identifying and developing solutions, there are real experts, and you don't do them any credit.  Let the shit crash and burn and let those solutions come to light.  The REAL ones will find support, people are funny like that when it comes to survival.

Mon, 11/14/2011 - 15:30 | 1876442 Dr. Acula
Dr. Acula's picture

>At least Tom wants the free markets to take care of this.

Yes, the market will solve this - if it is allowed to operate unhampered.

The government-funded experts trying to save the world 100 years from now with socialist policies and subsidies and wealth transfers and fiascos like Solyndra aren't part of this solution. Socialist indoctrination in government-run biology classes isn't part of the solution. Trying to control how large a dump a person is allowed to take (http://mises.org/daily/3997) won't save the planet.


Mon, 11/14/2011 - 14:53 | 1876274 blu
blu's picture

You lost them at "oxidation states"

Okay people, homework assignment: To understand why 50% of the human population are probably going to die of starvation before the year 2040, study up to understand the background to everything that comment contains.

As a bonus, you'll have a good start on a graduate degree in Biology. The only down side is nobody will invite you to their parties anymore.

Mon, 11/14/2011 - 15:12 | 1876350 Dr. Acula
Dr. Acula's picture

"To understand why 50% of the human population are probably going to die of starvation before the year 2040"

Knowledge of biology alone does not qualify one to make apodictic eschatological proclamations involving the future scarcity of economic goods like energy, fertilizer, or food.

This is rather the domain of the speculators who risk their own fortunes: people who specialize in forecasting unknowable, future market conditions and factors like consumer demand, human ingenuity and technology, and the prices of factors of production.


Mon, 11/14/2011 - 15:24 | 1876421 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

nor does using big words or a philisophical argument against math and the laws of physics, which really don't give a shit and will win in the end.

I think we do agree on one point.  End the fucking manipulation and the government lobbies that are crushing real innovation by picking the winners and losers for us.  Let irresponsible acts and those who commit them accept the consequences of their actions, period.  The current system is not good for real innovation.  In any case, crash the fucking system already so we can find out precisely what the "value" of everyone's labor really is.

Mon, 11/14/2011 - 22:35 | 1877938 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

If you are saying that our biggest problems are political, not economic or technical, then I agree.

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