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James Howard Kunstler: It's Too Late for Solutions

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Chris Martenson of Peak Prosperity,

Author and social critic James Howard Kunstler has been one of the earliest, most direct, and most articulate voices to warn of the consequences -- economic and otherwise -- of modern society's profligate wasting of the resources that underlie its growth.

In his new book Too Much Magic [7], Jim attacks the wishful thinking dominant today that with a little more growth, a little more energy, a little more technology -- a little more magic -- we'll somehow sail past our current tribulations without having to change our behavior.

Such self-delusion is particularly dangerous because it is preventing us from taking intelligent, constructive action at the national level when the clock is fast ticking out of our favor. In fact, Jim claims we are past the state where solutions are possible - instead, we need a response plan to help us best brace for the impact of the coming consequences. And we need it fast.

[We now live in] this weird, peculiar period in American history when the delusional thinking has risen to astronomical levels -- predictably, really -- in response to the stress levels that our society feels. And it is expressing itself as sort of "waiting for Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy" to deliver a set of rescue remedies to us so that we can continue running Wal-Mart, Walt Disney World, Suburbia, the U.S. Army, and the Interstate Highway System by other means. That is the great wish out there. It is kind of understandable because that is the stuff that we have, and people tend to defend the stuff that they have in any given society and the systems and platforms that they run on.  But it is probably a form of collective behavior that is not really going to benefit us very much and really amounts to simply wasting our time, and wasting our dwindling resources, and even our spiritual resources when we could be doing things that are a lot more intelligent.


Here is something I have detected as I travel around the country: there is a clamor for “solutions”. Everywhere I go people say "Don't be a doomer, give us solutions." And I discovered that the subtext to all that is they really want solutions for allowing them to keep on living exactly the way they are living now. To keep on running Wal-mart, and keep on running suburbia, and keep on running the highway system, and the whole kit of parts. And what that really means is, that they are looking for ways to add on additional complexity to a society that is already suffering from too much complexity.


So I am trying to propose something a little different. Rather than so-called solutions, I am proposing that we use the term "intelligent responses", which is not so grandiose. It does not come with a whole grab bag of promises that life is actually going to work out exactly the way you wish. A lot of the intelligent responses that we could be making to our predicament would have a lot to do with decomplexifying and with simplifying. But we do not want to do that; we just want to add more complexity, and that is what some of the wishful thinking and vanities about technology are all about.


We are discovering more and more is that the world is comprehensively broke in every sphere, and in every dimension and in every way. The governments in every level are all broke, the households are going broke, the banks are insolvent, the money really is not there. And the pretense that the money is there has been kept going simply with accounting fraud. And accounting fraud really accounts for most of the so-called "innovation" that we chatter incessantly about – this is at the heart of Too Much Magic [7] and the wishful thinking about technology. We are so intoxicated with this idea that we can create new and wonderful things. And we have absolutely no sense that the new and wonderful things that we created in the money system are destroying the money system.


One of the lessons that used to be at the center of a liberal education, and no longer is, is that life is tragic. And by that I do not mean that happy endings are impossible or that bad outcomes are guaranteed. What I mean is that there are consequences to the things that you do and that everything has a beginning and a middle and an end. And we have to get real with those.


It seems to me that the whole capital issue is going to accelerate hugely over the summer. I really do not see how the Europeans can get out of the box they are in – it really does not look like they are going to be able to form a European fiscal union. And it really does not look like the Germans are going to be willing to print money into a hyperinflation. And so I think that the disappearance of money is going to accelerate, and it is going to be all getting sucked into a black hole over the next six months. And that is going to be the beginning of a broad-based social awareness of the nature of this problem.

Click the play button below to listen to Chris' interview with James Kunstler (41m:10s):



Click here to access the transcript.


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Sun, 07/15/2012 - 15:35 | 2618114 woolybear1
woolybear1's picture

this guy has no clue, makes a living trying to scare the serfs


Sun, 07/15/2012 - 15:36 | 2618119 veyron
veyron's picture

There are many bearish permaclowns, though not as many as hopium addicted permadouches.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 15:48 | 2618144 brewing
brewing's picture

his weekly blog says it all - "clusterfuck nation"...

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 15:51 | 2618159 I think I need ...
I think I need to buy a gun's picture

I hope this doesn't mean they are going to cancel my home and garden television,,,,i particuliary enjoy my yard goes disney show

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 16:51 | 2618283 ZerOhead
ZerOhead's picture

"And so I think that the disappearance of money is going to accelerate, and it is going to be all getting sucked into a black hole over the next six months. And that is going to be the beginning of a broad-based social awareness of the nature of this problem."


And the masses no doubt will blame... Iran. 

(Especially since the internet will likely be down for a spell... )

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 18:05 | 2618539 Doña K
Doña K's picture

I particularly like the new reality TV "Beverly Hills nannies"

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 19:15 | 2618756 SWRichmond
SWRichmond's picture

Poor Martenson can't get through the first minute of the thing without going off about peak oil. 

Mon, 07/16/2012 - 08:04 | 2619661 ndotken
ndotken's picture

Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy will all show up before we get a so-called "intelligent response" from Washington.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 18:45 | 2618681 sgorem
sgorem's picture

a little humor, (albeit crude), are we talking about Oprah or Michelle?

Mon, 07/16/2012 - 00:38 | 2619380 The Big Ching-aso
The Big Ching-aso's picture



Broad-based social awareness in this country means what's her name who's doing the real naughty pole dance?

Mon, 07/16/2012 - 04:15 | 2619512 Reptil
Reptil's picture

no they'll blame "evil socialism" or "nasty prepper terrorists". much closer to home, and dividing the populace. confusion during breakdown. perfect.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 16:27 | 2618267 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

You guys don't understand.  He is an absurd optimist:


The wishful thinking dominant today is that "with a little more growth, a little more energy, a little more technology -- a little more magic -- we'll somehow sail past our current tribulations without having to change our behavior.


That statement implies that he believes a fix is possible with changed behavior.  It's absurd.

Tell the yeast that all will be well if they just stop eating.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 16:47 | 2618322 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Correct.  The system cannot be saved.

The best we can do is to prepare.  As individuals.


Got gold?  Got food & water?  Got guns & ammo to protect yourself and your family?  Best get started...  Now.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 17:58 | 2618516 FEDbuster
FEDbuster's picture

"Got gold?  Got food & water?  Got guns & ammo to protect yourself and your family?  Best get started...  Now."

I would reverse the order of your suggested preps.  If readers here haven't taken that advice yet, there is no use warning them now.  You have either figured out how this ends (maybe not when), or you haven't.   I hope "they" can kick the can till after the election, gives me a few more months to take care of some final preps. 

The bigger they are, the harder they fall. 

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 18:29 | 2618627 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture

"Don't be a Doomer" is the attitude that will not work fothe majority of people.

I am a Doomer and have spent time to get ready. I consider it moderately successful after realizing you cannot get ready for everything.

Now I suspect the Government is getting ready to provide and inject the Population with mandatory versed in the morning and Demerol at nighttime.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 22:49 | 2619202 FEDbuster
FEDbuster's picture

We are way past worrying about the unprepared and what other family and friends think.   This is about trying to survive.   Self-sufficiency is the goal, but boy it's a lot harder than anyone thinks.  I am getting to know and buying food (eggs, chicken, veggies, etc...) from local sources now, so they know me after the SHTF.  I just hope the grid stays up, no electric and everything goes FUBAR.   Trying to prep for grid down, is a whole different ball game.

Mon, 07/16/2012 - 00:37 | 2619371 Founders Keeper
Founders Keeper's picture

[We are way past worrying about the unprepared and what other family and friends think.]---FEDbuster 

I agree FEDbuster.  For those whom I have tried repeatedly to teach and warn of the unfolding Depression(or worse), their minds are absolutely impenetrable. 

(Yes, I bought extra food and water for them.)

So certain are they that I am wrong, if the economic downturn unfolds as a spectacularly sudden event, they would not credit me with the foresight, research, and reasoning that foretold the eventuality.  They will instead blame some innocuous trigger event as the real cause.  Which is of course the hope of the TBTF---must not allow a panicking public to know the real causes of the public's impoverished misery.

God Bless.  And thank you for your posts.



Mon, 07/16/2012 - 00:42 | 2619389 The Big Ching-aso
The Big Ching-aso's picture



Fighting off zombies 24/7 seems like one helluva reward 4 being so well-prepared.   Maybe actually being a zombie is the better way 2 go?

Mon, 07/16/2012 - 10:03 | 2620025 Citxmech
Citxmech's picture

Trying to spec an off-grid solar system is illuminating regarding how much benefit we get from subsidized power distribution. 

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 18:21 | 2618594 bankruptcylawyer
bankruptcylawyer's picture

those who prepare in groups , are far better off. 

Mon, 07/16/2012 - 00:43 | 2619391 The Big Ching-aso
The Big Ching-aso's picture



You obviously haven't met my mother-in-law.

Mon, 07/16/2012 - 04:57 | 2619532 FreedomGuy
FreedomGuy's picture

I do not think the system can be saved but "we" can be saved and can build something better. I do believe the system is too far gone and will destroy itself.

Try talking Social Security reform or anything but more free healthcare or other free stuff with your parents or grandparents and see how that goes.  You will feel the doom as they outvote anyone else.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 17:04 | 2618372 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

There will be morphing. Many think that we can all go home to kansas again if we just say "OK, we learned our lesson. We won't do it again too soon". But you can never go home again. 

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 18:30 | 2618630 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture

That is gone forever.

Yes you can travel back to your stomping grounds, only to realize that a different People and Culture inhabits it now.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 17:30 | 2618429's picture


The wishful thinking dominant today is that "with a little more growth, a little more energy, a little more technology -- a little more magic -- we'll somehow sail past our current tribulations without having to change our behavior.


That statement implies that he believes a fix is possible with changed behavior.  It's absurd.


He's describing "magic" as an aspect of wishful thinking undertaken by others which is bound to fail. It is not a position which he ascribes to himself. How did you manage to misunderstand such a simple statement?

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 17:47 | 2618485 This just in
This just in's picture

With just a few more unicorns...

Mon, 07/16/2012 - 01:55 | 2619443 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Idiots who watch TV enable and empower the elites.  Keep watching sheep.  Your viewership and monthly cablet/sat TV bills and support of Hollywood keep The Matrix and SkyNet in control.

Mon, 07/16/2012 - 03:56 | 2619502 zhandax
zhandax's picture

I turn on the TV at least once a week whether I watch it or not; just to burn off the dust until football season.

Mon, 07/16/2012 - 07:03 | 2619597 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

Pretend, for now, that you are a sheep.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 17:42 | 2618470 Coast Watcher
Coast Watcher's picture

No, that isn't what the statement implies. In fact, he believes exactly the opposite. Reading comprehension problem, perhaps?

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 18:01 | 2618534 Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

Damn. I wish I could determine exactly what somebody believes by reading a few paragraphs of their writing.

You can't generally do that with what I write, though. Because I'm a fictional character to start with.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 19:12 | 2618750 Errol
Errol's picture

Crash, you are correct...I have read JHK's two novels set in the future, and they are indeed VERY optimistic (although most people consider them to be dystopian).

I'll say the same for the movie "Hunger Games": reviewers called it "dystopian"; I didn't have the heart to tell them it's actually wildly optimistic...

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 20:57 | 2618938 Things that go bump
Things that go bump's picture

He is certainly optimistic if he thinks government is going to willingly make or accept any change that would involve giving up one iota of its power over its citizens or its hegemony.  The drive here is visibly to acquire more and more power, control more and more of our substance and gather it into fewer and fewer hands. I believe the government will kill us all before it will let us go.   

Mon, 07/16/2012 - 02:00 | 2619448 Freddie
Freddie's picture

The union govt thug zombies in the USA and Europe want all their benefits including illiterate public school "teachers."

Mon, 07/16/2012 - 03:50 | 2619497 Lester
Lester's picture

It is Kuntsler that is clusterfucked.

Fucking guy is in his own demented world; unable to see the energy manipulations, unable to grasp that the world is "out of money" because the weasel-fucks at the top conspired to steal it all and did so very nicely.

There is no real modality to trust to gauge the energy situation worldwide.  The so-called world indebtedness was manufactured and siphoned off by the blow-buddies all the way to the bailouts, then the mega-pigs got the bailout money and robbed US another time.

If Kuntsler had any brains he would see the collapse has been intentionally engineered and everything that could be done to make a USA or global renewal possible has been stolen or sabotaged.

The plan is to kill as much of the population in global war and asshole-Kuntsler hasn't a clue what is coming.  He is just another anoying liberal-fuck who thinks the right/left paradigm isn't contrived, and his naivete will cost any family he's responsible for their lives.


Not gonna be a "solution".  TPTB have killed-off or bribed all the solution-guys.  They intend the great-culling to happen for real; or haven't you been paying attention to all the really-rich fuckheads who plan to have their world populated by about 250 million humans at most; and they ain't including us into their new demographic....

Mon, 07/16/2012 - 07:01 | 2619593 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

The Georgia Guidestones were not built and paid for because some guy was too lazy to head to Vegas to blow some serious money.

TPTB created the Matrix.

We are insects to these monstrous people. Read the inscriptions on the Stones. They put in in every language. They were very clear.

Get Ready to Rumble.


Lester gets an up arrow.

I would practice me some archery. UN soldiers can't hear an arrow. Then you steal their stuff.

Carry on.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 16:12 | 2618213 no life
no life's picture

Which moron is worse?

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 16:49 | 2618325 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Nicely phrased veyron!

+ 145

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 16:01 | 2618187 Vooter
Vooter's picture

LOL...which part of what he wrote is wrong?

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 16:12 | 2618203 Peter Pan
Peter Pan's picture

This guy has hit the nail on the head as well as the fingers that are holding it. On a technological level man is now doing more with less, whereas as a society we are now doing less with more, hence the growth of government has outpaced the growth of the productive sector which in turn creates deficits which in turn creates enduring debts.

If we don't adopt the attitude of expecting a bang from every buck that is spent by all of us, we will continue wasteful expenditures at all levels until there is no more available.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 16:20 | 2618241 Bob
Bob's picture

One word:

Odd that the finance community gives it so little attention.

It's their guy behind the curtain.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 22:39 | 2619161 ItsDanger
ItsDanger's picture

Yes, totally agree on your pt, good luck trying to reverse that though.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 16:23 | 2618253 Kayman
Kayman's picture


So... reach deep in that Happy Sack of yours and give us the clue(s) you are hiding.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 16:33 | 2618282 Michael
Michael's picture

I used to scare people shitless with my complete and total economic collapse prognostication, while cheer leading the dot-com bubble and housing bubble growth using reverse psychology and warning at the same time. Only a total worldwide reset is going to fix what is wrong with America. Now people more articulate and eloquent than I are trumpeting the gory details for all to hear. I told you so and now everyone is jumping on the band wagon telling everyone so, as they should.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 17:07 | 2618378 cranky-old-geezer
cranky-old-geezer's picture



Only a total worldwide reset is going to fix what is wrong with America.

This "reset" you speak of would have to remove all the bankers and their political puppets from power. 

It ain't gonna happen.

America is finshed.  All that's left is the looting.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 18:17 | 2618587 Doña K
Doña K's picture

How Amerika and the bankers are going to survive with only the gov workers, the lame and the freeloaders remaining?

Free spirits, free thinkers and freedom lovers will find a way to escape, if not physically, perhaps spiritually and resoursefully. This battle against bankers must be won once and for all. For us and for generations to come. let's start pooling cooperative banks owned by the people for the people by pooling money and creating new lending institutions to responsible people. Create insurance funds by again pooling money. Create hospitals by pooling money and hiring doctors. Eliminate the middle men.

It can be done. I know that the gov will attempt to legislate this type of business out of existence but this battle can be won also.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 20:33 | 2618883 Offthebeach
Offthebeach's picture

Please, it's not "looting ". It's income redistribution. As in, "Everyone get your hands up, this is a income redistribution! Move and you will be shot!"

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 18:31 | 2618637 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture

It's going to take a war. A war that consumes all.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 20:23 | 2618872 Wolf-Avatar
Wolf-Avatar's picture

Very true, Michael , but now that it's 'economists' saying it ... it must be real. The same economists who have been getting it consistently wrong until they started listening to the people that they were saying were consistently wrong.  


Go figure!

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 16:43 | 2618312 Snidley Whipsnae
Snidley Whipsnae's picture

Ask James how his Y2K prediction worked out...

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 16:50 | 2618329 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Nice!  Good to see ya around Snidley!

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 18:52 | 2618697 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

Snidley, is he wrong on this? Tell us how we are NOT FUCKED. Then mock him for a prediction that did not turn out right.

I think the fact that folks got worried about the Y2K thing PREVENTED IT FROM BEING AN ISSUE. Folks kicked it into high gear to repair the problem.

I like your posts typically but this critique is not fair.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 21:03 | 2618947 otto skorzeny
otto skorzeny's picture

you are delusional if you think that the american way of life can continue any way but putting the rest of the world at the tip of our bayonet

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 21:13 | 2618973 mick68
mick68's picture

Wonder if the sheeple tell their banker not to be a doomer when they call about the 3 month overdue mortgage payment. 

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 21:35 | 2619025 Ned Zeppelin
Ned Zeppelin's picture

Wooleybear1 thinks Joe Paterno was pretty much a bad guy who was misled; he holds other bullshit beliefs as well, his thinking to dangerous to those who what is really going on.

Mon, 07/16/2012 - 03:52 | 2619499 The.Oracle
The.Oracle's picture

Please differentiate between opinion and fact. It should read 'I am of the opinion that _____'
And then we could pat you on the head and say 'OK :) '

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 15:35 | 2618116 Rich Bagg
Rich Bagg's picture

From Peak Oil to Peak Prosperity and now we have reached Peak Bullshit.

Kuntster is a Loser.


Sun, 07/15/2012 - 15:38 | 2618120 veyron
veyron's picture

When do we reach peak Ponzi?

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 15:43 | 2618134 caimen garou
caimen garou's picture

I think we hit peak ponzi, it just takes a while for all for it to hit msm.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 16:09 | 2618190 vast-dom
vast-dom's picture

peak ponzi only occurs when the perpetrators are stopped and the scheme implodes. that is the first and final law of ponzi.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 20:35 | 2618888 Offthebeach
Offthebeach's picture

We need a perpetual ponzi machine.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 16:10 | 2618205 q99x2
q99x2's picture

When the system becomes entirely cashless.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 16:36 | 2618294 mick_richfield
mick_richfield's picture

July, 2008.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 17:33 | 2618441 CH1
CH1's picture

When do we reach peak Ponzi?

When do we reach Peak Obedience?

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 17:34 | 2618443's picture


When do we reach peak Ponzi?


Immediately prior to Ponzi jumping the shark.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 17:51 | 2618498 This just in
This just in's picture

No, Ponzi will jump a snark.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 15:41 | 2618127 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Care to discuss EROEI?  Or would you rather ad hom POT?

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 22:18 | 2619119 tenpanhandle
tenpanhandle's picture

we reached peak bullshit about three and a half years ago.  There's about a six foot peak of it occupying the white house right now but in the runup to the last president election that same peak of bullshit was hundreds of feet higher.  It was in all the news - didn't you see it?

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 15:45 | 2618141 RobotTrader
RobotTrader's picture

I'm still laughing at how "Crash Course" and "Peak Oil" and "Resource Scarcity" suddenly morphed into "Peak Prosperity".


Next thing you know, Peter Schiff will re-name "EuroPacific Capital" to "United States Homeland Capital".


Sun, 07/15/2012 - 15:49 | 2618152 brewing
brewing's picture

let the junking commense...

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 16:12 | 2618211 q99x2
q99x2's picture

Can't junk someone with tits like that. Even if it is a cover for a HOMO.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 17:06 | 2618373 Manthong
Manthong's picture



peak trust , peak truth, peak common sense..
peak capital formation (not bank fabrication)..
peak opportunity..
brick wall.. reset..
peak complexity..
not out of the realm of possibility..

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 18:32 | 2618644 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture

"Peak Life"

After which point your life descends towards death with a ever increasing amount of breakdown and rot.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 22:08 | 2619091 MarsInScorpio
MarsInScorpio's picture

Wow, aren't you just such a fun person . . .


It's Sunday night on ZH - time for all of you to take your happy pill and pull out of this depression you drive yourself into by the end of the week.


ZH is a great site - but you really do need to take a break from it to maintain some semblance of joy and peacefulness in your life. Yeah, it's all going to Hell in a hand basket, but I've got a wife that loves me, a son topping a 3.5 GPA, a church that is a giant family, friends who I actually like, and lovely ladies who flirt back with me despite just turning 60.


Maybe it's time you took an inventory of what's right in your life. Sorry if any of those items in mine aren't in yours; but you've got some things to be happy about, and maybe you need to focus a little bit more on the fact that you aren't in an African desert herding skin and bones sheep, with no meds, no hospitals, no communications, no mental stimulation, no nutrition, no air conditioning, no personal transportation vehicle, no soft bed, no weather-proof home . . . none of the things that let you sit at your computer (oh yeah, no computer, no internet, no cell phone . . .) and complain constantly about how bad things are in your life, and the world around you.


You thankless fool, you've got it better than 99% of the humans that ever walked the planet. And all you can do is complain about it.


If you really think your fiat paper is so worthless, give it to me. There - fixed it for 'ya! It ain't so worthless after all , is it?


So turn off the computer, go make love to your wife - if you still can, and if you can't testosterone replacement therapy and Cialis really work - and thank your Higher Power that He, She, It, Whatever, allowed your worthless hide one more day of life.


Sun, 07/15/2012 - 23:25 | 2619259 Hurdy Gurdy Man
Hurdy Gurdy Man's picture

Fear is useful, Mr. Dumas.  It gives people useful information which should not be disregarded.  Criticizing others' experience may be consistent with being an Alcoholic (TM), Your Fucking AA(TM) Recovery, your so-called journalism, and Your Fucking Church, but it demonstrates little skill in coping with that which you cannot control. 

I'll suggest you "take an inventory" of your own actions and attitudes, and see how you'll fare when your neighbors are not people you've cherry-picked, but people you genuinley don't like and otherwise *haven't had to get along with *. People you genuinely don't like.  How about sitting in on some different churches, or synogogues, or muslim places of worship on otherwise-comfortable times of observance, for starters. 

Then drop your wife and kids off in the poor section of town, without you around.  See how comfortable you are when you discover when they get back in the car that your wife, daughter and son are very intrigued by the prospect of big, black dick.

Your parrochial bullshit would have to be the first to go, or basically, you'd get kicked off the fuckin' island.

Just trying to help.  Peace!

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 23:26 | 2619278 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Don't go takin' shit too serious, bro.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 23:35 | 2619301 MrSteve
MrSteve's picture

Flirting is disrespectful to your wife, strictly speaking.

So your chastising ZH with a broad brush loaded with self-righteousness is just a lot of sanctimonious bullshit which is also a total waste of everyone's time; strictly speaking.

Mon, 07/16/2012 - 06:21 | 2619570 WAMO556
WAMO556's picture

I junked three of you knuckleheads for missing the point; and if I could more junk for being retarded.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 15:55 | 2618170 akak
akak's picture


Sun, 07/15/2012 - 16:05 | 2618197 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

Again - if we ignore it....

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 16:09 | 2618200 Hulk
Hulk's picture

Ignore what ???

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 16:53 | 2618340 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

What are you guys talking about???

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 18:56 | 2618714 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture


Sun, 07/15/2012 - 15:49 | 2618149 JamesBond
JamesBond's picture

these days, americans solution to any problem is take from someplace else and give to me



Sun, 07/15/2012 - 15:57 | 2618174 JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

Hardly just an American solution.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 18:33 | 2618647 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture

No, it was and always is to throw money at it... the problem that is...

Nowadays the money itself has become a burden as ten to a hundred times as much needs to be thrown.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 20:11 | 2618849 FeralSerf
FeralSerf's picture

 Throwing money at it is taking from someone else and giving it to the favoured ones.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 15:58 | 2618177 oklaboy
oklaboy's picture

were are off to see the wizard....


see you in Oz



Sun, 07/15/2012 - 16:01 | 2618184 sessinpo
sessinpo's picture

People just don't want to accept the facts and the eventual solution that the markets will impose on us all after the government intervention delays. The business cycle continues.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 16:30 | 2618275 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture


It doesn't.

The descent is in progress.  We had our chance to get off world and find more oil.  We didn't make it.  Decline is forever now.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 18:17 | 2618551 Max Fischer
Max Fischer's picture

No. The descent is NOT in progress. There were 1.65 trillion barrels of oil reserves at the end of 2011, compared to 1.62 trillion in 2010 and 1.27 trillion a decade ago. Oil reserves are INCREASING, as technology gets better at extracting more oil from known Reserve pools. Natural gas levels are increasing, too.

You peak oil alarmists are starting to sound like Creationists in your constant refusal to accept FACTS, your denial of science, and your overly dramatic claims about modern society coming to an imminent end which sounds awfully similar to the book of Revelation.... the end is near! The day of judgement is upon us! We must now pay for our sins, both in spirit and in shameful consumption!

Yes, I'm aware that the Earth is finite and all the arguments that accompany it. But the facts are the facts and they can't be denied no matter how enticing the end of the world may seem. Peak Oilers have been predicting the end of oil more often than wingnut Christian snake-handlers have been predicting the return of Christ.

You both are wrong. And you both sound equally kooky.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 18:20 | 2618591 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

I do not think you have very much knowledge about this matter.

Reserves created by inkstroke are not reserves.

Go take a class in petroleum geology.  Or three.  Learn what permeability is and what porosity is.  And then take a few physics courses and learn about what energy input and energy output means.

Then, or hell, even before then, book a flight to Oklahoma.  Look at all that land out there that is available for drilling.  The leases are already approved.  No environmental obstacles. Been drilling there about 100 years.

Yet their oil production per day is down 75% from what it was at their peak in 1927.  75%.  That's about 90 years of technological miracles and yet, down 75%.   When you are confident about abundance and numbers provided to you about things that tell you abundance is everywhere . . .

. . . ask yourself why they are drilling in 3 miles of water and then another 6 miles down from the seabed, instead of in Oklahoma.


Sun, 07/15/2012 - 18:44 | 2618667 Max Fischer
Max Fischer's picture

Your post is pure rhetoric, no substance. Give me verifiable facts. Have oil reserves increased or decreased YoY, and from a decade ago? 2001-11?

And please broaden your argument beyond Oklahoma. You win the " peak oil in Oklahoma" argument, but, luckily, the world is not dependent on Oklahoma.

Lastly, the reason we're learning how to stick straws through the crust of the Earth in the middle of the ocean is because $100 oil allows oil companies the profitability to do it. Yes, the low hanging fruit has been picked, but unlike yourself, I (and the entire science community) do not believe the tree is dead.

Peak oil will happen, but not anytime soon. You - in EVERY SINGLE POST - pretend it already happened.

Stop pretending. Stick with facts, not drama.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 18:55 | 2618711 Marginal Call
Marginal Call's picture

Max, oil reserves are based on economically viable barrels.  So if the price goes up to $200, you'll see reserves grow.  It's an accounting trick. 

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 20:24 | 2618864 FeralSerf
FeralSerf's picture

It's a gigantic mistake to presume that those dollars you are using to compare the cost of oil for the last 50 years are of constant value.

In 1963, I bought my first new car, a Pontiac GTO (wish I still had it) for $3000.   Gas for it was 50 cents a gallon.  I bitched about the sky high cost of fuel a lot.  Now, almost 50 years later a comparable new car is about 15 times as much (my most recent new car was a BMW at $58,000).  Gas is now about 8 times more expensive and we're still bitching about the cost.  It looks to me that gas is really cheaper in constant transportation dollars.

The BMW uses half as much gas as the Pontiac did and is just as fast, more comfortable, heavier, and bigger.

Yep, it's an accounting trick.

Mon, 07/16/2012 - 09:42 | 2619948 Cloud9.5
Cloud9.5's picture

Another more realistic way to look at the price of gasoline is to consider how many gallons could be bought by a minimum wage worker say in 1962 as compared to prices in 2012. In 1962 a gallon of gas cost 31 cents.  The minimum wage was $1.15.   The current minimum wage is $7.25.  Current average gas price is $3.42.  I don’t know about you, but I think the guy on minimum wage is a little poorer.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 19:47 | 2618818 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

Excellent. So you grant that Oklahoma is horribly post Peak, not that Oklahoma's oil production fall cares if you do or not.

How do you feel about Illinois?  In about 1936, Illinois was one of the great oil producing states.  About 424,000 barrels/day.  It's now 76 years of technological oil-production miracles later and Illinois last year produced 27,000 bpd.  That's only a 94% decline on the right hand side of their Peak and technology clearly triumphed there.

So if you like, you can book a flight to Illinois and have a look at their capped-and-abandoned wells, maybe even a twofer on your flight to Oklahoma.

But perhaps Oklahoma and Illinois are obscure flyover states for your ideological mindset.  How about we look at California?

California's production rose to its 1985 peak of about 1.1 million bpd.  This year's April numbers, 27 years of technological miracles later, Calif produced a smidgeon over 500K bpd.  Over a 50% decline in just 27 years.

You can always claim environmental constraints are the cause of this (for 27 years) particular state's oil devastation, but that argument is weakened by the reality that the average well in Cali produces far less than 100 bpd.  At that rate, you'd have to drill 10s of thousands of wells to just get back to the Peak, assuming, of course, you could find a place to drill.  (FYI, Cali has the problem all earthquake areas have; millions of years of caprock cracking shakes that let the oil escape in those aeons.  Their oil is either shallow or isolated, and in both cases already pumped)

So there we have it.  I'll find some more states for you to fly to, if you like.


Sun, 07/15/2012 - 20:30 | 2618880 FeralSerf
FeralSerf's picture

Is there any oil left under the Gulf of Mexico or did it all leak out thanks to BP and Deepwater Horizon?



Sun, 07/15/2012 - 20:54 | 2618933 Offthebeach
Offthebeach's picture

What effect does increase gov costs and to do regular business have to do with making many small low prudction well close? A series of Wells in 1960, with then no to low environment and
regulatory costs might still produce but not to cover today's overhead.
Say today you found a untapped field like what
was a sweet little field from 1910-1969, but today
the enviro ,nymby, permits would eat you alive.
Lots of stuff isn't allowd anymore, like timbering in Maine, but the trees are still there.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 20:57 | 2618937 Max Fischer
Max Fischer's picture

Oklahoma... Illinois...

Blah, blah, blah

Everyone recognizes the US peaked in the early 1970's.

Are you going to list all 50 states, 2 and 3 at a time?

No one disputes US peak oil figures.

I'm referring to world production, and you know it. You're diverting the discussion to meaningless statistics in an effort to avoid having to admit that world oil reserves are INCREASING!

Your tactic is very transparent and stinks of red herring.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 21:05 | 2618955 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Out of curiousity, when did oil discoveries peak in the US? And how many years after did the US peak?

Repeat the exercise for the World, taking into account discoveries peaked in the 1960s....

Somewhat heuristic, but deeper than you think....

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 22:10 | 2619101 Henry Hub
Henry Hub's picture

***No one disputes US peak oil figures.***

Now wait a minute. We have been told repeatedly that if we could only get the government off the back of private enterprise the United States would reach oil self-sufficiency in no time. We would have millions of well paying jobs in oil production for Americans. "Drill baby drill." Now your telling us we have reached peak oil. What a let down!

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 22:32 | 2619112 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

Terribly sorry.  In an abundance of compassion, I was just trying to save you airfare.

Perhaps you'd like to book a flight to London, or points a bit north.  UK oil production in 1999 was about 3 million bpd.  13 years of technological miracle later and they are down 60% to 1 million bpd, and falling just as fast as those numbers suggest.

Hell, while you're there, sashay over to Oslo and have a chat with the energy ministry there.  Norway's oil production in just about the same time frame/year was 3.4 million bpd and presto, 13 years of technological miracles of recovery assert themselves to yield today's output of 2 million bpd.

A quick train ride south to Romania will get you peak of about 250,000 bpd (yes, more than was flowing in the 1930s, pre war) but alas, the date was 1976ish, and with the golden age of oil production technlogical miracles just unfolding, here we are today at about 70,000 bpd -- which I'm sure you can get them to tell you can improve if they could just get more "investment".

Look, this can go on and on.  Spend some time on petroleum geology.  Learn especially about All Liquids vs Crude Oil and the magical yardstick of 5.6 million BTUs per 42 gallon barrel.  For your kid's sake, do this (assuming you have kids).

And let me offer up one more thought to ease this smash on you . . . on the day or week or year or decade that it is clear the Peak has arrived, or is now arriving or will arrive . . . whenever that is, be it today or next year or next decade -- there will be folks saying "Yes, the Earth is finite and a Peak will happen, but it won't be for a long time."

That is so now, and it will be so at all points in time around the Peak.  Especially if the person(s) have young kids.  People with young kids cannot possibly accept all this and the reality that misery is all that lies ahead. 

Mon, 07/16/2012 - 06:11 | 2619563 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

I love you man.

Anyone doubting that we have not hit peak oil, or anyone who thinks it is far far away... goodness... they are living in the la-la-est of la-la fairy lands.

As that professor from Colorado said, "the greatest shortcoming of the human race is its inability to understand the exponential function."

Maybe some people can only think linearly...

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 23:10 | 2619253 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Maxine Fischer, douchebaguette extraordinaire, said:

I'm referring to world production, and you know it.

Here are a couple from the world, then.

Production from Mexico's Cantarell field was 2.1 million barrels per day in 2003. By the end of 2010, Cantarell was producing 464,000 barrels per day.

Indonesia withdrew from OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) in 2009 because it had become a net importer of oil.

You're diverting the discussion to meaningless statistics in an effort to avoid having to admit that world oil reserves are INCREASING!

Your tactic is very transparent and stinks of red herring.

Production, the critical factor, is not equivalent to reserves. You're diverting the discussion to meaningless statistics in an effort to avoid having to admit that world oil production is decreasing.

Your tactic is very transparent and reeks of equivocation.

Mon, 07/16/2012 - 06:24 | 2619571 i-dog
i-dog's picture

It actually reeks of sock puppet ... with tinea!!

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 23:45 | 2619313 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

you're not making any sense

answer flak's question.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 20:37 | 2618891 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

You rookies always confuse the signifigance of Reserves and Flow Rates.... Not to mention you also confuse or conflate light sweet crude with Bitumen or Kerogen or think that a barrel of NGL is the same as a barrel of generic crude from a energy density standpoint...

Same fuckin story every fucking time...


Sun, 07/15/2012 - 21:57 | 2619079 toady
toady's picture

I heard some talking heads making the 'oil reserves increasing' argument this morning, citing Canadian oil sands and Nebraska oil shale as the worlds Savior.

They missed the whole light sweet argument too.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 21:41 | 2619039 Ned Zeppelin
Ned Zeppelin's picture

Max, the cost to access the oil and other hudrocarbons is the issue. The days of cheap energy are coming to a close, and the entire shaky financial edifice is founded on cheap energy - the minute energy input costs increase at a sustained level the leveraged nonsense  crumbles.  

The new wells are far more costly than the old, shallow, easy to get to oil,  duh.

Mon, 07/16/2012 - 04:49 | 2619526 jack in the box
jack in the box's picture

Out of curiosity, where does one keep 1.65 trillion barrels of oil and how much space does it take up?

Mon, 07/16/2012 - 07:25 | 2619620 spinone
spinone's picture

Oil reserves are collateral for the quality of life of Saudi princes and OPEC elite.  Do you think reserve estimates are accurate?  They have been levereaged a hundred times over to buy jets and bentlys.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 16:03 | 2618194 q99x2
q99x2's picture

James Howard Kunstler

Where's this dude been. We already have your DHS, TSA, CIA, NDAA, got your FEMA camps and your 400,000,000 rounds of 40 caliber, got your drones, your spy drones, your attack drones, your communications scrambling drones, got your 400,000 4x4 coffins and your 1,000,000 mini-meals.

We're prepared. Guys apparently on the wrong side.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 18:04 | 2618548 Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

If this is the first you've heard of Kunstler, you need to get out of the basement more.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 18:50 | 2618690 Real Estate Geek
Real Estate Geek's picture

(Pssst . . . he's taking on the role of TPTB.)

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 18:59 | 2618724 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture


Sun, 07/15/2012 - 16:04 | 2618196 daneskold
daneskold's picture

There is a global balance sheet consisting of assets, liabilities, and owner's equity.


It is literally impossible for every entity of size in the world to be broke.


There will be a global reset of debt deleveraging...down to true net asset equity.


This notion that all debt will just evaporate entirely is sophomoric thinking.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 16:23 | 2618250 Peter Pan
Peter Pan's picture

If I borrow a loaf of bread but do not produce anything with my labour with which to pay my debt and buy my own bread, the next day I will need to borrow another loaf. If I do this enough times I will get to the point where the lender will not lend me anymore. I will be broke and starving and my lender who thinks he has a debtor that owes him a considerable number of loaves, in fact has nothing.

This is why the sum total of assets is exceeded by the sum total of liabilities. Assets are at todays prices whereas liabilities keep increasing due to interest regardless of the general economic conditions.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 20:34 | 2618885 FeralSerf
FeralSerf's picture

America, in her relationship with China, has proven this theory to be wrong.  As long as you have IOUs, there should be no problem getting bread.

If that doesn't work, there's always the military option.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 21:14 | 2618886 FeralSerf
FeralSerf's picture


Sun, 07/15/2012 - 16:25 | 2618259 sessinpo
sessinpo's picture

Using your logic, then no company would go bankrupt. But we know that isn't true.

If you understand the accounting equation, then you understand that despite size, the owner's equity becomes zero in such an instance.

The problem is that debt is recognized as a asset in the form of loans (as per the accounting equation). There is nothing wrong with the accounting equation, but as been demonstrated, those loans (assets) are non performing and become a problem.

No one is saying all debt will evaporate. I don't know where you got that notion from. But the essence of deleveraging is that assets are overvalued and that deleveraging to net asset equity puts many people and institutions in the red including governments. So instead of a  GDP of +$5 trillion for the US, we might see a true net GDP of $3 trillion. Similarily smaller numbers worldwide. It's all about rebalancing the accounting sheet to reflect new values. Declines will be written off and owner's equity (which is usually the tax payer or stockholder) will take the loss in the form of lower standards of living.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 16:39 | 2618302 Kayman
Kayman's picture

Your liabilities are somebody else's assets.  To the extent that you cannot pay your liabities, then someone else's assets are overstated.

Money creation and Credit creation over the past generation far exceeds the capacity of the Productive economy to carry the vig.

Ergo, deleveraging in assets will continue.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 16:45 | 2618316 sessinpo
sessinpo's picture

And your point is?.. or are you just saying what I said in another way?


"It's all about rebalancing the accounting sheet to reflect new values. Declines will be written off and owner's equity (which is usually the tax payer or stockholder) will take the loss in the form of lower standards of living."


If you understand the post, then you understand that the eventual result of such deleveraging is lower standards of living. Deleveraging doesn't continue forever. It is part of the business cycle. Otherwise we would not have had the boom cycle after the Great Depression. We are just in another deleveraging stage that will wipe out mal investments. A boom cycle will eventually follow but that is at least a decade away.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 17:37 | 2618450 deflator
deflator's picture

 A boom cycle will eventually follow but that is at least a decade away.


 And like cold fusion--the next boom cycle will always remain at least a decade away.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 23:48 | 2619320 Kayman
Kayman's picture

 "then you understand that the eventual result of such deleveraging is lower standards of living"

How can you have a lower standard of living when what you had was a mirage to begin with.

If assets (paper or hard assets) can't carry the debt, then they were overpriced at the outset.  Tell Bernanke his toes are getting wet.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 17:55 | 2618508 lasvegaspersona
lasvegaspersona's picture


the debt will be made whole with worthless paper and will appear on your front lawn...the rules are about to be changed...for a while..

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 21:43 | 2619047 Ned Zeppelin
Ned Zeppelin's picture

 daneskold - hello , LEVERAGE, ever hear of it? Has this funny trait of wiping out equity when it is overused.  Duh. 

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 16:11 | 2618206 OutLookingIn
OutLookingIn's picture

No fence sitting - please!

Either you believe or you don't.

If you believe, then you are half way there and are preparing.

If you don't ~ then please replace head back in sand. Keep ass high. You know whats coming next, don't you?  

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 16:14 | 2618219 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

Ice cream?

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 16:17 | 2618231 OutLookingIn
OutLookingIn's picture


It will definately be creamy!

Long line of bankers and politicians.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 17:57 | 2618514 This just in
This just in's picture


Sun, 07/15/2012 - 18:28 | 2618626 akak
akak's picture

Correction: Injections of Liquidity.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 23:48 | 2619319 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

will the economy look as good as all those injected lips?

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 19:59 | 2618830 Ignatius
Ignatius's picture

I was thinking of a 'Fudgesicle'....

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 16:22 | 2618249 Fix It Again Timmy
Fix It Again Timmy's picture

Read some books on the Siege of Leningrad - it's never too late.  Well, when they throw you in the ground, it's a bit late but then it also is a solution.....

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 17:38 | 2618457's picture

I've read that there were more field stills in operation at Stalingrad than field kitchens. A bit off topic, but interesting and fun!

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 16:26 | 2618264 George Orwell
George Orwell's picture

We can have prosperity for 1000 years if Earth did not have 7 billion people.  So I must say this one more time until you people realize our predicament.  The FINAL solution to our energy problems is to eliminate at least least 6 billion people.  That means preemptive nuclear strike against China, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Nigeria, etc.


To maintain our standard of living in a world where oil production is FLAT, at least 90% of the human population must be eliminated.  It's either us or them.  CHOOSE.  Do you want to live or do you want to live in a shit hole so that the Chinese and Indians can drive around their cities in Hummers and single family houses with backyard swimming pools?



Sun, 07/15/2012 - 16:30 | 2618274 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

I don't think that's quite how George would have framed it.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 18:26 | 2618618 Max Fischer
Max Fischer's picture

It's also total bullshit.

At current consumption rates measured against current known, available reserves, there's 54 years of oil remaining. This was a recent (2012) study by BP Oil.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 19:03 | 2618732 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

You don't believe a thing you type. BP of course has objective, truthful reporting.

I love the show Max. You may be our best troll yet.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 20:35 | 2618887 maximin thrax
maximin thrax's picture

...there's 54 years of oil remaining.

On the 55th year - then what?

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 20:47 | 2618920 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Max, it'll be more  like 540 years at average production of 1/10 the current rate...

Again, another fucking rookie mistake on your part....

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 21:46 | 2619057 Ned Zeppelin
Ned Zeppelin's picture

What does the cost of oil look like in year 50? I bet it is pretty pricey by then, probbaly has stopped civilization in its tracks. 

MAGICAL THINKERS AND CARGO CULTISTS: I bet this Higgs-Boson particle discovery turns into energy somehow.  

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 21:51 | 2619069 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

I seriously doubt it re: the Higgs, after all it only took 48 years to show that the thing or something behaving like it actually existed...

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 16:39 | 2618281 akak
akak's picture


The FINAL solution to our energy problems is to eliminate at least least 6 billion people. That means preemptive nuclear strike against China, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Nigeria, etc.

But then who is going to make all the crap sold at Wal-Mart and answer all our customer service phone calls?

"Hello, thanking you for calling Dell Computer Customer Service.  My name is Robert.  How am I going to be doing the helping of you today?"

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 23:51 | 2619323 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture


Sun, 07/15/2012 - 16:34 | 2618285 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

I am infectious.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 16:36 | 2618290 OutLookingIn
OutLookingIn's picture

Earths human population was fairly stable at about 5 billion humans for over a thousand years.

Oil and the internal combustion engine came along with the last 200 years.

The farmer could then support a much larger number of humans.

We have reached peak human population support. Hunger and starvation will be wide spread.

Don't look for a "magic bullet." There is none. The bullet will be real, from a real gun.

At the moment, there are 5 ~ 6 billion too many humans on the planet, to be supported by the coming new paradigm shift. Question is - who goes and who stays?  

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