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This book will crack you up.
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Climate, Oil, War, and Money

[Apologies for server problems today.  We’ve migrated kunstler.com to its own dedicated server to better handle traffic.  It should be running properly now, 3pm Monday.]


*

     Against a greater welter and flow of incoherence jerking the nation this way and that way en route to collapse comes “ClimateGate,” the latest excuse for screaming knuckleheads to defend what has already been lost. It is also yet another distraction from the emergency agenda that the United States faces – namely the urgent re-scaling, re-localizing, and de-globalizing of our daily activities.
     What seems to be at stake for the knuckleheads is their identity, their idea of what it means to be an American, which boils down to being an organism so specially blessed and entitled that it is excused from paying attention to reality. There were no doubt plenty of counterparts among the Mayans when the weather changed and their crops failed, and certainly the Romans had their share of identity psychotics who doubted reality even when Alaric the Visigoth was hoisting off their household treasure.
      Reality doesn’t care if we are on-board with its mandates or not. The human race has to get with whatever program reality is serving up at a particular time. Are we shocked to learn that scientists fight among themselves and cheat as much as congressmen?  Does that really change the relationships we understand about parts-per-million of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere and the weather?
     What the people of the world can do or will do about a change in climate is something else. My guess is that the undertow of entropy is now too great to provoke any meaningful unified change in behavior.  The collapse of the US economy is too close to the horizon, and the so-called developing nations will have problems equally severe.  In the meantime, it is unlikely that any of the major players will burn less coal and oil, or not cheat on each other even if they pledge to burn less.  People who are not knuckleheads will make the practical arrangements that they can. These will, by definition, be localized, small-scale, and non-global communities, doing what they would have to do anyway.
     A parallel identity mania afflicts those who have decided that the Bakken shale oil deposits and the Marcellus gas play will allow the USA to cancel any modifications to our living arrangements. This cohort of knuckleheads wants to believe the public relations of the oil and gas industry, and in particular the bankers who are arranging the financing for these ventures. The facts are irrelevant to their identity-claims (that the USA has limitless energy resources). In fact, the Bakken shale formation is unlikely to produce more than a few hundred thousand barrels of oil a day in a nation used to burning about twenty million.  A few hundred thousand might mean a lot if were only used to light kerosene lamps, but it is unlikely to keep the faithful motoring off to WalMart and Walt Disney World – which is the exact expectation of the knuckleheads.
      Shale gas is a similar story. It will be too expensive to get out of the tight rock at a flow that will allow business as usual to continue.  It certainly won’t be produced at under $10 a unit, and the nation’s comprehensive bankruptcy accelerates every day, making it less likely that the public can pay premium prices within the framework of our current living arrangements.
*
      Who the hell really knows what we’re up to in Afghanistan.  President Obama tried to present a coherent explanation last week but, frankly, it all just seemed an exercise in futility – and reminded me of those countless wealth-sapping expeditions the Roman army made to the frontiers of their own empire during the period of collapse.  Paul Craig Roberts, the former Reagan treasury official turned fierce critic of bail-out economics, said on a podcast last week, that he thought our adventure there was about protecting a Unocal oil company pipeline from Turkmenistan.  Sorry, Paul.  I can’t buy that.  Like, we’re going to post soldiers every two hundred yards across some of the most forbidding terrain in the world?  And keep them posted there, and provisioned… forever?   I don’t think so.
      One pet theory of mine about the Af-stan adventure is that we wanted to make a baloney sandwich out of Iran by posting armies on both sides of them, with Iraq and Af-stan as the Wonder Bread. All I can say about that is that it doesn’t seem to have affected Iran much during the past six years, or modified or influenced their behavior favorably. Or perhaps it just allows us to stand close by to Pakistan, in case the Islamic maniacs get their mitts on central power there – and by extension, on a bagful of nukes. It’s a lot less easy to believe that we have any prospects for really domesticating and/or democratizing Af-stan itself. And even if we do manage to suppress the Taliban for a few years, are we prepared to continue the mission… forever?  As soon as we’re out of there, the Afghanis are back to tribal business-as-usual.  So why not just bail while the bailing is good?  Make like the Russians and the Brits before them and cut our losses?  Is our prestige at stake? And by extension our identity as world-savers?
      I suppose this leads to larger questions of a.) the stability of Islamic Central Asia in general, and b.) the capabilities and intentions of the maniacs within it who would like to inflict punishment on us Western crusader types.  One popular theory, of course, is that they only feel that way because of our intrusions in the Islamic Ummah; that they would back off and mind their own business if we would just quit sending our knights over there. I have no idea if this is true, though one would suppose there is a certain inertia in play that would keep their animosities at work for a long time to come, not to mention the millions of under-employed young men who seek to work off their testosterone by blowing things up.
     One thing you can state pretty categorically about the Af-stan war: it sure is a good way to blow an additional one trillion dollars worth of capital – that is, money we lend to ourselves, which leads to the next link-in-the-chain: the destiny of our national finances. If a clerk at H and R Block sat down for an hour with Uncle Sam, he’d surely be reaching for the Pepto-Bismol after five minutes. We’ve been able to play games with ourselves for a whole year about the true state of our capital resources.  It is a mighty big system, kept chugging along on little more than inertia, as things will when they are headed downhill and gravity exerts its influence.  But it begins to seem now like a great reeking freight train of toxic waste out-of-control on the downgrade and headed for a very nasty smash-up. &nb
sp;The Green Shoots crowd – a sub-category of identity maniacs, who think the USA is immune to the laws of history and physics – has made common cause with the oil and climate knuckleheads to proclaim that we are returning to normal, back to the “consumer” orgy, the suburban sprawl nexus of McHousing and miracle mortgages, and new frontiers of corporate profit-raking. 
      They are tragically wrong.  Instead, we’re headed into the wildest king-hell debt workout that the world has ever seen, which will propel a lot of people used to working in air-conditioned cubicles into a world made by hand.  We march day by day into the great holiday season with mortgages going unpaid and the credit cards getting cancelled and money disappearing and the fears and grievances mounting.  Pretty soon, the folks doing “God’s work” at Goldman Sachs (and their tribal kin on Wall Street) will announce their annual bonuses (because they are publicly-held companies, which have to do so).  Won’t that be a galvanizing moment for us all?

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About James Howard Kunstler

View all posts by James Howard Kunstler
James Howard Kunstler is the author of many books including (non-fiction) The Geography of Nowhere, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, Home from Nowhere, The Long Emergency, and Too Much Magic: Wishful Thinking, Technology and the Fate of the Nation. His novels include World Made By Hand, The Witch of Hebron, Maggie Darling — A Modern Romance, The Halloween Ball, an Embarrassment of Riches, and many others. He has published three novellas with Water Street Press: Manhattan Gothic, A Christmas Orphan, and The Flight of Mehetabel.

179 Responses to “Climate, Oil, War, and Money” Subscribe

  1. Joe December 7, 2009 at 10:09 am #

    First!

  2. Freedom Guerrilla December 7, 2009 at 10:40 am #

    Peak Everything.
    Thanks for this. It’ll help me focus on navigating through a whole pile of crap today.
    I uploaded some video on High Frequency trading…..
    http://freedomguerrilla.com/
    Thanks again.

  3. Puzzler December 7, 2009 at 10:55 am #

    There are knuckleheads on all sides of the Climate Change issue. Belief in man-caused climate change has turned into an industry and a Faith, disconnected from the science.
    The Algore-ites will ruin the world by ruining the economy and by displacing capital into hare-brained schemes to keep everyone driving, just as much as the right-wing deniers will get us there by other means.
    The really inconvenient truth is that cutting carbon output isn’t going to effect climate change. If you want to do anything, prepare for change.

  4. WanderingOak December 7, 2009 at 10:58 am #

    Took me a while to get in- server issues, too many people pounding at the gates trying to get in?
    You make some good points about Afghanistan. It is definitely becoming a black hole, sucking every dollar that we have into it’s inescapable gravity well of corruption. However, even if America is no longer the world’s police force, we do have an obligation to the Afghan people. It’s the old Pottery Barn metaphor, we broke it, we bought it. We have to at least make an effort towards setting things aright, before we abandon ship.

  5. suburbanempire December 7, 2009 at 11:12 am #

    “Why do we stay?” Really is the question of the day now isn’t it? I found an article written by Henry Kissinger in 1975… it appeared in Harpers, and the NYT. Whenever questions of foreign policy arise it helps to review it. http://www.suburbanempire.com/front
    Kissinger me once… Kissinger me twice… and Kissinger me once again… it’s been a long, long time!

  6. Lynn Shwadchuck December 7, 2009 at 11:26 am #

    James, I’m happy to hear you using the word knuckleheads, rather than morons. ClimateGate is a phenomenon not of the cognitively deficient, but of the short-sighted and self-interested. Denial is an emotional state available to a whole range of smart people. Krugman, for example is a pretty smart guy and his column today reflects exactly the knuckleheadedness you describe. He’s crowing that Obama is going to swoop in at the end of Copenhagen and save the day by instituting a system that will allow business even better than usual – green jobs, blah, blah, blah.
    James Hansen is saying, “dealing with climate change allows no room for the compromises that rule the world of elected politics. ‘This is analagous to the issue of slavery faced by Abraham Lincoln or the issue of Nazism faced by Winston Churchill,’ he said. ‘On those kind of issues you cannot compromise. You can’t say let’s reduce slavery, let’s find a compromise and reduce it 50% or reduce it 40%.’
    Alex Evans (globaldashboard.org) “writing as someone who’s also done a stint in officialdom working on emissions trading (though only of a few months rather than Williams and Zabel’s few decades between them)” thinks “they are totally right about the disastrous train crash that is allowing ‘offset’ permits in to cap-and-trade schemes.”
    And now there’s fresh data from the scientists drilling ice cores in northern Greenland. They found a spot where the temperature rose 20 degrees within a two year period. Now that’s real news. (Some choose to interpret any science that shows abrupt change in the geological past as proving humans didn’t cause this episode. But the difference with our current instance is that the preconditions arose so quickly – 200 years. That didn’t happen in the past.)
    Just chugging along here trying to stir people to scale back their eating, if not to halt climate change, then at least to prepare ourselves for a tough time to come.
    Lynn Shwadchuck
    http://www.10in10diet.com/
    Diet for a small footprint and a small grocery bill.

  7. suburbanempire December 7, 2009 at 11:37 am #

    Hahahahahahaha! Too funny Lynn! I like the “reduction in slavery” analogy.
    the Clusterfuck is sort of a clusterfuck today! (lots of traffic) and it is hard to post commentary.
    The link in my last comment didn’t take
    http://www.suburbanemprie.com/front
    HAPPY MONDAY EVERYONE!

  8. CM Collins December 7, 2009 at 11:57 am #

    I liked Gregory Cochran’s comment a few months ago.
    Richard Steven Hack Says:
    September 3rd, 2009 at 11:04 pm
    None of this is even remotely relevant to dealing with Al Qaeda.
    The whole “safe haven” thing is a pure myth. If the US can attack Al Qaeda in Pakistan with impunity, I see no reason why the US can’t attack Al Qaeda in Afghanistan with impunity, regardless of who’s running the country. What is the Taliban in Afghanistan going to do? Shoot down our Predator drones? With what?
    This whole thing is pure nonsense. The sole reasons the US is in Afghanistan are:
    1) Pipelines for oil.
    2) Heroin for the CIA.
    3) Money for the defense industry.
    4) Promotions for US military officers.
    Everything is pure, unadulterated ruminant evacuation.
    If Obama tells you anything different, he’s as big a liar as George Bush.
    gcochran Says:
    September 4th, 2009 at 2:48 am
    Hack is of course wrong. There’s no reason at all.
    http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/archives/2009/09/washington-post-rewrites-history-of-afghanistan-policy.php#comment-1660664

  9. Consultant December 7, 2009 at 12:08 pm #

    Comcast wants to take over NBC Universal. Comcast wants to move the few remaining “broadcast” viewers to (paid) cable.
    I think people will continue to pay those crazy cable bills until they can’t. They might cut back on food before they cut their cable. It would be interesting to know how many foreclosed “homeowners” were paying their cable even after they quit paying the mortgage.
    I hate cable, and I hate every aspect of the criminal housing Ponzi scheme that is raging through our country like that monster in the movie Cloverfield.
    That Cloverfield monster was unstoppable.
    Our political and economic institutions are like the Cloverfield monster.
    We are screwed.

  10. ~micheal~ December 7, 2009 at 12:22 pm #

    I would never have guessed that the total collapse of industrial human society could have been mitigated and postponed for as long as it has.
    Can there be another bubble beyond the global money-printing bubble? The central banks apparently are taking on the debt generation duty – surely the strategy of last resort.?.
    It appears that all of the available energy is being consumed and consequently, that as many as possible of the motors of commerce and consumption are being kept running while currencies are being kept in motion. It has been a slow collapse so far. How long can “they” do it?

  11. Neon Vincent December 7, 2009 at 12:23 pm #

    Speaking of the tag line about Goldman Sachs, here is something from Bloomberg about them.
    Arming Goldman With Pistols Against Public: Alice Schroeder
    Looks like they’ve been reading your columns.

  12. MonkeyMuffins December 7, 2009 at 12:30 pm #

    “Are we shocked to learn that scientists fight among themselves and cheat as much as congressmen?”

    Speaking of not dealing with reality, try as they might, scientists have clearly been unable to convince you, and just about everyone else, of the truth about the denial-sphere dog-and-pony show of “climategate”.
    1) the fighting was about the denial-sphere and all that entails (Who woulda thunk it? Scientists frustrated-and-mad as hell that stupidity captures the “imagination” of morons more than intelligence. This increasingly dumber-than-rocks reality boils my blood–and offends and terrifies me–as well); and
    2) there was no–zero, zip, nada–“cheating” whatsoever: period, end of story
    For those not so easily ensorcelled, I proffer the following:
    VIDEO:
    littlegreenfootballs.com/article/35289_Video-_Smacking_the_Hack_Attack
    WORDS, EVIDENCE & DATA:
    climateprogress.org
    desmogblog.com
    climatedenial.org
    peruse the recent history of the first two above referenced sites to find abundant logical posts about “climategate”
    and read the, climatedenial.org, “SWIFTBOATING THE CLIMATE SCIENTISTS” post (currently the most recent post)
    there are also many rational articles about it but this one is as good as any:
    grist.org/article/2009-11-20-skeptics-claim-global-warming-fake-scientists-emails-CRU/
    and to plumb the depths of evidence and data:
    realclimate.org/index.php/data-sources/

    Thanks JHK, for perpetuating the myth and meme that “cheating” occurred when it did not.
    Nice work.
    Good job.
    I still think–not that you care–that you deserve special recognition within the Peak Community, such as it is, for your logic, courage and dignity in consistently being the only high-profile-person to speak out against nine-eleven-was-an-inside-job conspiradroid-moonbats (the same kind of moonbats which the Peak Community gives refuge to: Michael Ruppert, Richard Heinberg, Carolyn Baker, Jan Lundberg, Alex Smith, et al.).
    But I would hope you could apply the same logic, courage and dignity with regard to Global Heating, Climate Change and Peer Reviewed Science (not to mention the myths of Free Markets and The Invisible Hand versus the realities of Lemon Socialism and The Iron Fist).
    To put peer-reviewed science in the same category as the mafia-style criminality that is the US Government-and-Economy is as wrong and counterproductive as it is silly and inaccurate.

  13. MonkeyMuffins December 7, 2009 at 12:36 pm #

    I hasten to add that Paul Craig Roberts is also a nine-eleven-was-an-inside-job conspiradroid-moonbat.

  14. zerotsm December 7, 2009 at 12:52 pm #

    As far as Comcast taking over everything, let’s see if Obama does any anti trust action. I don’t watch TV at all it’s garbage for the most part. I killed my cable TV years ago, I only have Comcast for high speed internet, I’m too far away from the telephone central office to get DSL, otherwise I would.

  15. cougar_w December 7, 2009 at 4:15 pm #

    The fabrication involved in ClimateGate is that there is a ClimateGate.
    This was about the process of deciding what papers would be included in the IPCC report, and on what grounds they might not be. Some were marked for non-inclusion because they would be taken out of context by the deny-o-sphere to damage the IPCC report as a whole. The papers were eventually included anyway but that there was ever a discussion on the topic is illustrative.
    Climate scientists have been badly burned by the professional deny-o-sphere and the corporate and government demagogues they serve. Climate scientists are now gun-shy. They see their work and their reputations dragged over broken glass for the profit of a few. It happened with the tobacco “debate” and it’s happening again with climate research, and we all know how this movie ends and nobody likes it.
    Climate scientists would need to be insane to *happily* continue to leave themselves open to random and baseless attacks simply because their observations and recommendations run contrary to the will of the majority. They continue to do so only because they are compelled. That compulsion ought to count for something, but clearly it does not, and they will continue to be slaughtered in the press for simply saying what is true within the context of climate research and their growing understanding of how the universe operates.
    On honest reflection it might be that science is even dead, killed at the altar of corporate profits and mindless BAU, and has been for a long time. If so, then so be it. I say this as a scientist myself. If my practice is destroyed, I can do other things. Actually I can survive just fine as I have many fine skills outside investigations and data analysis. The goal of science always was to inform the interactions between humankind and the universe, but if that is no longer valued and is seen even as suspect or fraudulent… then we can probably do without it. Perhaps we have learned all we will ever know about the universe and anything more is too much information. The world used to be simpler and people lived and died (and suffered) without knowing why things were the way they were. Maybe that was a good thing. When troubles mount the people can turn to religion and mob violence — as always they did before — and over time reduce to a period reminiscent of the Middle Ages.
    This is probably fine, and in any case may be inevitable. I don’t think I can allow myself to have a problem with that if that is how the majority of the people want it to be.
    Oh, but destroying climate science won’t automagically restore gasoline supplies at $.17 a gallog. Everyone needs to understand that going back means having less, or even having nothing. But in fairness most won’t know where the oil disappeared to, why the climate is changing, why they have less security this year than least year (every single year) or why much of anything else is happening.
    But they’ll be happier for not knowing. I think.
    Though I don’t pretend to understand that.
    cougar

  16. trav777 December 7, 2009 at 4:47 pm #

    Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) is a faith-based issue on both sides.
    We CLEARLY do not understand much about this and anybody who has done substantive research into the topic, as I have mostly by reading real publications like Science, quickly determines that the issue is full of BS everywhere.
    Listen…the champion for AGW is Al Gore? This is who you trust? Besides, the ACTUAL emissions responsible for AGW if it exists, are NOT CO2! Water vapor is a significantly higher AGW emission than CO2 by many orders of magnitude.
    When you cannot frame the debate on valid scientific grounds, why should anybody listen to your position? The ClimateGate scientists DID fudge data and their models are immature. In fact, again, if you read Science you’d have found that atmospheric albedo in certain regions (Indian Subcontinent et. al.) actually produce a net COOLING effect.
    “Climate change” is not the same as global warming and “climate change” includes atmospheric pollution due to aerosol contaminants, which tend to change rainfall cycles as opposed to merely correlating at 1.0 to mean surface temperature. However, these are conveniently left out of the discussion which revolves around freaking carbon credits!
    Additionally, there is the matter of falling pan evaporation rates (over half a century, decreasing by 30%) suggesting LESS solar intensity reaching the earth. After 9/11, during the grounding of civilian air travel, there was a significant noted decrease in mean surface temperatures overnight, as reradiative cooling was enhanced by the lack of aircraft contrails (water vapor)!
    If you do not know these terms I am speaking of or are unaware of this data…well, how to put this bluntly – you are not qualified to have or state an OPINION on AGW. PERIOD.
    Algore demonstrated a *correlation* between CO2 and apparent rising mean surface temperatures over the last century, but the most inconvenient truth is that a correlation is NOT causation. Supposing aircraft contrails are a significant co-factor, then the correlation is explicable as that CO2 emissions have risen with temperature as passenger airmiles have risen, i.e., coincidentally. We do not KNOW.
    Peak oil will solve the emissions problems anyhow, so why in the hell would we create yet another derivatives casino for the banksters? Why, so the BankerManchurian Candidate can posture in Copenhagen and score another Nobel?
    If we kill ourselves, TRUST ME, the earth won’t miss us. We didn’t cause the ice ages nor the 10 degree rise in the precambrian extinction that killed 90% of life on earth. They want to sequester carbon? Plant things. Stop ripping down mature forests to build exurban planned communities, etc.

  17. erikSF99 December 7, 2009 at 5:01 pm #

    I’m glad JHK mentioned the shale gas. I was thinking, what if it did work? What if they could get the gas out? What if it were virtually unlimited (whatever that would mean)? It always, for me, comes back to JHK’s comment: Recovery to what?
    I watch German TV news and their reports from around the world and every place on earth is the same now (if it’s not in dire poverty): Some 8-lane, 10-lane road full of cars, lined with high-rises. Is that economic success? Is that life? Would we take our shale gas riches and keep on going? How? What would we produce, what would we do, what world not-made-by-hand would we build?
    In this context the climate debate is a moot point: we’ve already wrecked the place and our number one priority is an economic and life structure to keep on wrecking it. Even if the world temperature stays about the same for the next 100 years or so, do you want to be here to see the end result of our current economy activities?

  18. cuddletuffy December 7, 2009 at 5:11 pm #

    This was posted earlier and no longer shows. Don’t know if it was removed.
    Either, “they”, know something we don’t, or, “they”, have missed the memo and are putting a lot of money at risk. This just in from Yahoo news:
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_space_tourism
    IMO, even if we weren’t near or past peak oil production, this whole space playground for the super-wealthy is just absurd. I’ve never read any convincing counter-arguments to the peak-oil prognosis by people like Simmons, Kunstler, Heinberg … … In fact all of the counter arguments I’ve encountered have amounted to admissions that we are only going to consume existing reserves more quickly with better technology. None have addressed much less disputed or refuted the facts about reserve declines.
    Then I come across this, and have to ask myself, “Why are these guys spending huge sums of money on space tourism in the face of peak oil?” You would think their business plans would include comprehensive forward looking analysis of one of the primary inputs/necessities of their business – abundant, inexpensive fuel with supplies lasting long enough to make the enterprise profitable assuming proper execution in all other areas of the business strategy.
    Then there is the market research that must point to the fact that there will be enough global wealth to patronize their business. Is their market analysis like the derivatives fiascos, where the models only looked at history, and even then only a very small tranch of historical data where the markets only went up? What the hell is going on here?
    You don’t start up a business that requires billions in capital, (and have multiple competitors risking capital in a fledgling market), without a solid forward looking plan. Or do you?
    Are we this stupid to believe peak oil while Bransford knows something we don’t, or are he and his space tourism brethren the next set of people in line for subsidies and bailouts in a few more years? (Assuming they aren’t already getting government subsidies for R&D, fuel … …)
    I would love to see their business plans. I’ll dig around and see what can be found. This is a bizarre disconnect. JHK? Anyone? What gives?
    Honestly Jim, I’d really like to get your take on this or a pointer to someone who could give us an assessment. My question is, given the disconnect between peak-oil outlooks and ventures like Virgin Galactic, someone’s logic and/or assumptions must be deeply flawed. So, whose would that be?

  19. tester December 7, 2009 at 5:13 pm #

    [Apologies for server problems today. We’ve migrated kunstler.com to its own dedicated server to better handle traffic. It should be running properly now, 3pm Monday.]

    Dedicated server seems to be working now.

  20. dale December 7, 2009 at 5:14 pm #

    I don’t think either you or I can be a credible critic or proponent of GW. Your source Professor “Bob” however, doesn’t seem to have clean hands or empty pockets in this argument either. Also, his credentials as a climate scientist seem a little short.
    From Wikipedia: “he is on the research committee of the Institute of Public Affairs, a right-wing group that has received funding from corporate interests including oil and tobacco companies.[14]”
    Sui Generis once again. If you can’t belief one group who you think is taking money to make a point then why would anyone believe another which clearly has the same problem.
    Professor Bob is a little too tainted for my taste.

  21. romco December 7, 2009 at 5:39 pm #

    Practical Globalization – I like sardines. Notice that the next time you buy a can of sardines, 90% of the time it will be a product of Thailand (wherever Europe, N. or even S. America). About a year ago I was in some village in Malaysia 20 miles from the Thai border and about 100ft from the Gulf of Thailand. I walked into the shop and bought a can of sardines and noticed that they were “Product of Norway”. That was the day that I realized that something one day just has to give! I do agree that things will have to become more localized.
    On another note: I run my own small oil and gas company. I produce shale gas. According to Jim we can produce only at $10. Hmm. The next time I do anything I better consult Jim on what and what not is possible. Jim discussing about what we can and can’t do based on God knows what sources or experience is like me discussing opinions on surgical procedures, because it interests me and I read a lot about it.
    What exactly is the problem? The model of a future he presents is like about 30 no-name sci-fi novels I remember reading as a kid presenting the future as some post apocalypse agricultural neoworld. Nothing creative about that. Growing food in your own yard and raising animals? Nothing new there – head to eastern europe and people have been doing that for years after economic collapses. And not living half badly mind you.

  22. dale December 7, 2009 at 5:47 pm #

    One of the problems with “predictions”, especially those of imminent major change, is the ease with which one can shoot holes through such speculation. I for one am neither a believer in some sort of “V” shaped recovery or the current stock market rally, in fact I am quite skeptical of both, but it is easy to make a well reasoned argument that both are “real”, or are at least possible.
    Bear in mind that compared to the combination of the world economy, PO, Global Population Growth, Gw etc., the stock market is a rather simple problem, and yet the evidence cannot be regarded as conclusive about any particular direction or outcome.
    An excellent example of this ability to argue both sides well is demonstrated nicely here:
    http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/12/the-rally-apologistas-handbook/
    Seriously, if it were so easy, why aren’t the doomers all rich, since predicting the stock market (or RE market, or the market of your choice) should be “duck soup” for them, given their confidence in predicting something with far more variables?
    Speculation is interesting and fun, but don’t ever get the idea that guys like JHK are any more likely to get it right than you…..or a roulette wheel.

  23. asoka December 7, 2009 at 5:54 pm #

    FeFe said: “yeah, yeah, yeah, his work is peer-reviewed”
    You are trying to slip one past us, aren’t you, FeFe Fail?
    Professor Bob Carter does have a lot of peer-reviewed articles. Unfortunately, they are not related to climate science. His only work related to climate science are opinion pieces refuting evidence, not studies containing evidence.
    Carter could well be described as “a prominent research geologist with a personal interest in the issue of climate change”
    http://bit.ly/8PyLjV
    “In March 2007 the Sydney Morning Herald reported that “Professor Carter told the Herald yesterday [March 14th 2007] the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change had uncovered no evidence the warming of the planet was caused by human activity. He said the role of peer review in scientific literature was overstressed, and whether or not a scientist had been funded by the fossil fuel industry was irrelevant to the validity of research. ‘I don’t think it is the point whether or not you are paid by the coal or petroleum industry,’ said Professor Carter. ‘I will address the evidence.'”
    Carter is a member of the right-wing think tank the Institute of Public Affairs, and a founding member of the Australian Environment Foundation, a front group set up by the Institute of Public Affairs.

  24. dale December 7, 2009 at 5:55 pm #

    “Jim discussing about what we can and can’t do based on God knows what sources or experience is like me discussing opinions on surgical procedures, because it interests me and I read a lot about it.”
    ============================================
    Yes….it’s interesting what a little fame and fortune will do for one’s self confidence, right away it seems to make someone an expert about everything. My wife (a doc) and I love to watch Bill Maher and laugh about his crackpot ideas about diet and healthcare etc. Funny guy, and insightful at times about politics and current events…..but he doesn’t know shit about medicine or diet, and he has the gall to try and argue with experts about it, like he is one himself! hysterical.

  25. Joe N December 7, 2009 at 6:01 pm #

    Mr. Kunstler’s comments about Iraq and Afghanistan “sandwiching” Iran are very perceptive. Oil! Oil! Oil! The United States uses about one quarter of the worlds oil. Iraq + Iran produce about one quarter of the worlds oil. As long as international oil trading is conducted in dollars, the dollar is de facto backed in oil.
    Now that the euro, ruble, yen and yuan are all emerging as competitors to the dollar, the dollar’s value is sliding. The American ruling elite is panicked. Between bail outs, bad mortgages, bad consumer debt, deficit spending on wars — we are teetering on hyperinflation. (indeed it is only the fact that the Saudis and Chines have trillions of dollar denomninated assets has prevented that from happening. Our biggest creditors need to have a “soft landing” to the dollar which allows them to convert their holdings to something else before they disinvest in the US.
    Having the oil needs of the United States met by a defacto colony that is compelled to sell oil to the United States for fiat dollars preserves the value of our currency. It also gives the American consumer economy 20 to 30 more years of life. During which our ruling elite hopes to solve the problem by discovering some abundant “free” source of energy like cold fusion of antimatter which they hope will allow the status quo to continue indefinately.

  26. Glenn December 7, 2009 at 6:11 pm #

    I posted this near the end of last weeks blog:
    The latest on Climategate is interesting, albeit perhaps only a setback. That being said, climate change is something humans and some other life forms can live with.
    What we and countless life forms in the oceans (that we depend on) cannot live with is continuing increases in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that inevitably dissolves into sea water, acidifying the oceans.
    As the oceans become more acidic, life forms with shells are in considerable peril. Many of these are close to the bottom of the food chain. Coral reefs will also suffer – does this matter? Coral reefs are the nurseries for many species of marine animals.
    While there were some cheers (premature I think) from the anti-climate change crowd, I fear that the last noise from humanity won’t be a cheer when many of us run out of food from the oceans.

  27. upstatebob December 7, 2009 at 6:21 pm #

    What, me worry?
    The tacos were great at Foster’s freeze in Inglewood back in the
    70s. Like Lion’s dragstrip and Orange county raceway, all gone.

  28. keithishere December 7, 2009 at 6:25 pm #

    we have gone from morons to knuckleheads but I’m thinking JK’s clueless is the most appropriate moniker of all.
    I’m one of the old time faithful who would be proud to wear a ‘peaker’ T-shirt but I would seriously think twice about taking the effort to put one on.
    Nobody cares because there is no benefit in accepting reality. People believe what they want to and in what benefits them. They don’t care about what is really true.
    Caring about truth and caring about others outside ones own tribe are acquired skills. It really is too much to expect clueless knucklehead morons to accept reality unless it feels good to them or something else is in it for them. To expect more from uneducated cheese-puff munching masses and their cheerleaders is irrational and ignores human nature.
    Talk about the sky falling all we wish, it won’t matter to a knucklehead until he/she gets hit on the head with a big chunk of blue.
    The truth is out there and has been for years now. History is proving that people won’t look for or accept inconvenient truths until they have suffered personal negative consequences. This is a truth that playing out right now.
    Climate change is an inconvenient truth but it pales next to the inconvenient truth of resource depletion and it’s inevitable consequences.
    But knuckleheads won’t accept reality until a die-off is well under way. But it won’t matter then if climate change is true or not. All a good knucklehead will be caring about are selfish needs and survival.
    Sorry to be so inconvenient but its not a matter of clarification explanation or persuasion. You can lead a knucklehead to the waters of knowledge but you can’t make him think.
    I wish it were not so.

  29. wagelaborer December 7, 2009 at 6:35 pm #

    What if the US left Afghanistan and the flow of heroin stopped?
    What if a addict knew that the heroin was almost gone and he was going to have to quit sooner or later, but there was a neighbor with a stash of heroin who had no means of self defense.
    Would the addict do the responsible thing and quit? Say even taper off, so the withdrawal wouldn’t be as painful?
    Or would he attack the neighbor and worry about peak heroin later?

  30. SNAFU December 7, 2009 at 6:35 pm #

    If I recollect correctly Paul Allen first teamed up with Burt Rutan in the late 1990’s or very early 2000’s with Branson signing on in 2003 or early 2004. Rutan had been designing the so called Space Ship One in all likelihood for some years before Allen and Branson came up with the funding to build it. This is not a new program nor is it in any way comparable to NASA’s space missions.
    The Space Ship One program won a $10 million prize for a manned ballistic flight 60 miles AGL. The cost to design and build the One exceeded $30 Million. Space Ship Two is the follow on to One which will ostensibly take sight seers up for about a 2 1/2 hour flight with a whopping 5 minutes of weightlessness as the craft approaches reaches and exits it’s apogee. Branson claims he will build his initial fleet of 5 Two’s for about $400 million; less than half the cost of a single launch and recovery of the Shuttle.
    I find Branson’s claim that he will exceed NASA’s man in space program specious. Putting men and women in low Earth orbit and sending them to the Moon and back as NASA has done appears to me to somewhat exceed the toe in the water 5 minutes of exceeding the arbitrarily established edge of space 60 miles above the Earth. I also found his contention that he will implement a 100% safe spaceship amusing. Damn he must be good!
    SNAFU

  31. asoka December 7, 2009 at 6:36 pm #

    The raceway is dead, but the Orange County Speedway lives on.
    http://www.ocstrack.com/

  32. Agriburbia December 7, 2009 at 6:41 pm #

    JHK:”Who the hell really knows what we’re up to in Afghanistan.”
    Come on now, THINK ABOUT IT Mr Kunstler. We are in Iraq to secure the oil supply of the USA, the UK, Israel, and some other nations for the next few decades (by invading Iraq we totally bypassed OPEC), and we are in Afghanistan to control not oil but rather OPIUM, which is a necessity of the medical sector of all nations nowadays; seeing as we now ‘control’ Afghanistan we thus have our hands on the lever of the world’s macrosupply of opium which is of course worth hundreds of billions per year (at least) on the international market.
    The British Empire used to have a monopoly on the opium trade for a very long time, but that long-term monopoly largely fell apart during the 20th Century for various reasons.
    Now the USA, the UK, Israel, and some other nations are back in Afghanistan and again in the control of the world’s macro-supply of opium, and seeing as every single country in the world needs and uses opium and its various derivatives for critical medical purposes they now have to go through the newly established world opium monopoly (the USA, the UK, Israel, etc) to get the constantly needed opium for their growing medical sectors.
    I hope this post doesn’t get erased just because I mentioned Israel in it.

  33. suburbanempire December 7, 2009 at 7:10 pm #

    Snafu- Remember Sir Richard’s “Bio fuel flight?”
    Like all things Branson it was a high publicity stunt. He will be in space vacation business until a starship full of oober millionaires become one with the ozone upon re-entry.
    And Agri, nothing runs on heroin in our little suburban empire, even heroin addicts don’t run very well. Our big pharma is strongly discouraged by DEA to distribute opiates (sp?) at all.
    Besides, Codeine, and Morphine are cheap. And the government is about to go after Oxycodone like they did crystal meth…. starting in Florida.
    Not saying the CIA doesn’t fund their adventures with coca leaves and poppies…. but we don’t send the army (and Halliburton) unless there is oil nearby. (Iran)
    http://www.suburbanempire.com/front
    Asking Henry (Kissinger); today @ Suburban Empire

  34. Agriburbia December 7, 2009 at 7:14 pm #

    JHK:”There were no doubt plenty of counterparts among the Mayans when the weather changed and their crops failed…”
    The best research/theories available today places the main reason for the Mayan demise as being the massive deforestation they carried out, not ‘climate change.’ However, cutting down most of the trees in a region or area can actually causes a local/regional climate to change/shift because massive deforestation eventually leads to droughts in the long term: believe it or not, the trees and other natural vegetation of a region or area actually ‘interacts’ with the local/regional atmosphere to produce needed rain, humidity, and other beneficial weather patterns.
    However, when the short-sighted Mayans slashed/burned a bunch of the lush forests surrounding them for agriculture to feed their growing population, initially the heavy tropical rains of that region didn’t disappear immediately of course — thus whenever it rained heavily as it tends to do in tropical regions, a whole lot of this newly exposed topsoil was simply washed away due to the lack of trees and other vegetation, the roots of which once served to hold that precious topsoil in place. Also, over time incessant winds (which were once mostly blocked by trees or other vegetation) also served to loosen or blow away the vital topsoil, which then additionally became increasingly dried out from the tropical sunlight beating down on it constantly due to the lack of a forest canopy to protect it from getting sun-baked on a daily basis. It is a quadruple whammy…no more trees or other plants to hold crucial topsoil in place, thus: lots of topsoil washed away from heavy rains —> lots of topsoil also blown away from wind —> remaining topsoil or subsoil then sunbaked due to lack of tree canopy and thus made very hard to till or work —> eventual reduction in agricultural output from the soil, degraded soil soon rendered near useless, time to slash/burn some more, rinse/repeat.
    This same process is currently happening down in Brazil and some other places where they are slashing/burning ancient forests for vast fields of (temporary) monocrops and/or livestock grazing. And to make matters worse, the topsoil of most tropical regions on Earth are already very thin and fragile to begin with, which only expedites the process of wholesale topsoil wastage in these areas.
    In the long-term though, widespread deforestation causes droughts. When you cut down most of the trees in an area and clear the land for houses, parking lots, shopping centers, skyscrapers, factories, etc, (or for crops/livestock like the Mayans, modern Brazilians, etc) the land will eventually become a desert or semi-desert if trees are not eventually re-established in to the habitat. The Mayans met their demise and Mother Nature slowly reforested the place because there was no one around the keep clearing away all of the new vegetation which was becoming re-established.
    Did you know that much of Italy, Spain, and a lot of North Africa used to be heavily forested back a few thousand years ago in part of the ancient Greek/Roman times and of course long before that? Now though widespread desertification or semi-desertification has occurred in many areas of those countries since the ancient inhabitants of those areas (who were nomadic slash/burn farmers and/or livestock ranchers) often cleared the land of trees to make room for farmland, pastureland, and towns/cities and thus a lot of the precipitation eventually left those areas as a result of the loss of regional vegetation.
    READ – http://journeytoforever.org/farm_library/Wrench_Recon/Wrench_Recon_6.html

  35. Agriburbia December 7, 2009 at 7:20 pm #

    I am now obliged to mention that I am a life-long ‘corn-pone White American Male Southerner’ with roots in my specific Southern region stretching back to the Colonial period.
    So maybe now y’all Yankees might realize just this once that not all of us are NASCAR lovin’ dummies down here.
    And I’m only 27 years young. How about them corn-cobs?!

  36. Dark Fired Tobacco December 7, 2009 at 7:24 pm #

    As an engineer of JHK’s age who attended the original Earth Day, helped start a city-wide recycling program and later a public transit system, I have grown increasingly concerned about the political nature of the global warming movement and its potential to divert attention from peak oil, restoration of passenger rail, traditional neighborhood development, and everything else that is essential to sustainability.
    Frankly, global warming has never passed the “smell test” for many technically-oriented people. As those old lines of Fortran get broken down by bloggers, expect to see some impressive analyses from some elite “knuckleheads” who just happen to know something about science, math, and statistics.
    Now here we are, with “movers and shakers” jetting into Denmark burning more carbon than entire countries and dismissing reasonable questioners as “deniers” and, even worse, “non-elites.” If global warming as advanced by this particular group proves to be a fraud, we can forget any rational discussion of our energy future, alternative modes of transportation, and a stop to urban sprawl until the gas fuel hits “empty” in front of the bone-dry fuel pump.
    Our “hope and change” administration put more money, $50 billion, into the GM death star, than the sum total of over 250 applications submitted to the USDOT for high speed rail. And here we are, coming up on the first anniversary of this administration, and Amtrak has yet to place orders even for replacement cars in its fleet. Oh, and that federal transportation funding bill that expired on October 1st. They’ll get around to it in 18 months or so.
    Our infrastructure that will be needed to support intra and intercity bus routes as well as essential services is crumbling, from roadways to bridges to water treatment and wastewater treatment facilities. Our energy distribution system is ancient, our natural gas pipelines are graying, cities and states are facing bankruptcy, and DC is clueness.
    When I read the first of the three JHK books on my bookshelf I remember hoping he was not a prophet. Hope is running low.

  37. cougar_w December 7, 2009 at 7:25 pm #

    trav777, you have my sympathies. You really do. You seem approximately smart and display a lot of interest in the topic but you’ve been tooled, and that is really sad. It’s sad because nobody has time to undo the damage, so there you remain at the end of the day — damaged. No way out for you, is there?
    About half the time I come to this site and read the comments and come away appalled and unnerved. JHK has it right; we’re a nation of yeast people and morons. Didn’t have to be that way, doesn’t need to stay that way, but by my lights I cannot see how to change it.
    I guess trav is right in the end; the earth won’t miss us.
    But _I’ll_ miss us. I really will. By God I will.
    cougar

  38. Agriburbia December 7, 2009 at 7:26 pm #

    JHK:”Pretty soon, the folks doing “God’s work” at Goldman Sachs (and their tribal kin on Wall Street)…”
    Careful there Mr Kunstler, as some might seek to construe that there as an ‘anti-Semitic’ statement.
    The last think you need is Grand Rabbi Foxman breathing down your neck, believe you me.

  39. messianicdruid December 7, 2009 at 7:28 pm #

    “How long can “they” do it?”
    The 64 quadrillion “dollar” question.

  40. cougar_w December 7, 2009 at 7:33 pm #

    DFT: “global warming has never passed the “smell test” for many technically-oriented people.”
    Look up “Dunning-Kruger Effect” at wikipedia. Here, I’ll give you the URL:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning-Kruger_effect
    Read that and know that you are blown. Toasted. Pwned. Real common actually with all the self-proclaimed technical types running around with their hair on fire. Just get another hobby and you’ll be fine.
    The rest of your post was pretty much right on.
    But on AGW, you are blown. Get over it.
    cougar

  41. cougar_w December 7, 2009 at 7:40 pm #

    Agriburbia: You are behind on your reading. Goldman themselves proclaimed that they were literally going God’s work. The financial blogs have been using that in any and all Goldman commentary for weeks.
    See, you just can’t make this stuff up anymore.
    cougar

  42. Agriburbia December 7, 2009 at 7:43 pm #

    It doesn’t even really matter if ‘global warming’ or ‘climate change’ is occurring EXACTLY as the official climate scientists say it is because ALL people with plain common sense can agree that the constant spewing of massive and unknown amounts of unnatural and toxic fumes in to our air every year, every month, every week, every day, every hour, every minute, every second, and every millisecond is not a good thing for our Earth’s environment in any way, shape, or form.
    That fact being established, we must now begin to take the necessary steps ASAP to reduce these obviously harmful mass-emissions caused by the wanton burning of huge amounts of fossil fuels.

  43. Agriburbia December 7, 2009 at 7:47 pm #

    cougar – I know all about the “doing God’s work” absurdity which was proclaimed by GS CEO Blankfein; I read about it when it happened.
    You are the one who missed the allusions in my comment.

  44. messianicdruid December 7, 2009 at 7:47 pm #

    “When you cannot frame the debate on valid scientific grounds, why should anybody listen to your position?”
    Agreed; AGW is like observing an automobile moving down the highway and noticing that there are gases coming out of the tailpipe, taking measurments of their volume, pressure and tempurature and then building a model that purports to demonstrate this is what is moving the vehicle down the highway.

  45. DaveKimble December 7, 2009 at 7:49 pm #

    The main reason why the US is in Afghanistan is because the US is the world’s biggest importer of heroin, and Afghanistan was the world’s biggest exporter of heroin, until the Taliban got in and closed the whole thing down in 2001. So the Taliban had to go, and the industry started up again, and is now producing more heroin than ever.
    New York Times: Is Afghanistan a narco-state?

  46. wagelaborer December 7, 2009 at 7:54 pm #

    The hoopla is now on the email scandal to take away focus on what the elites jetting into Copenhagen plan to do.
    As James Hansen points out, cap and trade will not solve any climate problems. But that is what they are planning.
    The plan is to reinvigorate the financial markets by introducing a new item to gamble on.
    Europe has had cap and trade for a while, and carbon emissions have gone up, not down.
    This is a farce and a travesty.

  47. cougar_w December 7, 2009 at 7:57 pm #

    On Af-stan:
    Maybe the best way to look at all these seeming non-connected things is as moves in an end-game.
    The way I see it, technical civilization as we know it is cooked. Stick a fork in it. This because we grew like Topsy on 100 years of free energy (free because it came with no strings attached) and that energy source is about tapped out.
    And just as we near the end of massive growth … oops we need to turn on a dime and then massively grow in a sustainable way. But me-oh-my we’re tapped out! what to do what to do…
    I tell you what you do. You take over the entire world.
    Who ever owns the world gets all the cookies. Fewer cookies than a score years ago, sure. But still a lot of cookie if you have all of them. With all the cookies in the world you turn your little corner of the world around and pull a little rabbit out of the hat. And those other losers and go back to pounding rocks together.
    And you don’t have to kill a bunch of people to take over the world. Certainly not if you are the world’s last superpower. You just sort of take what you want quietly and with a lot of hand-waving and apologies. But you take it all the same.
    Now, it’s an end-game, see. You don’t have to keep the occupations going for very long … just until the end. After that your problems take care of themselves. And after-the-end looks a lot like just-before-the-end except that the overall acceptance of your end-game strategy just went parabolic upwards. That is to say, which ever superpower leader was at the helm when they took over the world is set forever. No chance of anyone saying “hey wait a sec you just took over the entire world you Fascist donkey!” because — hey — we’ll be too busy enjoying it … and those other losers will be back to pounding rocks together.
    That’s the lesson of history, people. The winners write the history books and it is ALWAYS a good thing, in the end.
    I’m not advocating it, I’m justing calling it. I’m part Comanche and the Comanche nation and others got hit with it hard. You could say the American experience was the start of the end-game strategy.
    cougar

  48. Al Klein December 7, 2009 at 8:05 pm #

    JHK notes that a turning point may occur when Goldman Sachs and their Wall Street cohorts announce their 2009 bonuses. I say, let’s get JHK’s warning on the radar screen. It’s only a few weeks from now so we won’t have to wait long. I think it’s likely a foregone conclusion that GS and associates will continue to reward themselves richly for all their heavy lifting. The big question is, what will the American public say, or do? What will Obama say? My guess? The public will say nothing and do nothing. Why? Because doing anything else is tacit recognition that the honeymoon is over. The great SUV, McMansion and Disney World reverie is over. They simply will not want to bring themselves to that. JHK speaks of the allure of prior investment, where people keep pouring treasure into futile projects because they can’t accept that their prior investment was wasted. This is certainly true and can be seen every day. But it is also true for psychic investment too. People have invested in a mindset that has no future. But by accepting that truth they will effectively deconstruct themselves. The organism simply cannot take that level of catharsis. So they reject reality and stick with their reverie until reality swamps them.
    So let’s watch and see how Goldman Sachs plays this. It will tell us all a whole lot, methinks.

  49. cougar_w December 7, 2009 at 8:12 pm #

    “When you cannot frame the debate on valid scientific grounds, why should anybody listen to your position?”
    Um … IPCC report? um … Four of them?
    Oh yeah sorry — what’s wrong with me — that wasn’t a debate. It was a massive compendium of scientific fucking findings for fuck sake. But no findings for you, no sirrah! Just debates! No, better still shouting! I LIKE TO SHOUT!! Bring the shouting Sparky cuz we’re all wasted crackheads and cannot be bothered with dry scientific fucking findings for fucks sake. No that would require five hours of reading for comprehension. Comprehension is for geeks.
    Debates!!1! I am a MaN! DEBATES ME Y0u fagot scitist know-everything fagots. you Frenhc.
    *headdesk*
    cougar
    mad-scientist-in-residence

  50. wagelaborer December 7, 2009 at 8:32 pm #

    I wouldn’t discount the value of opium.
    What you lose in price per unit, you can make up in volume.
    http://wagelaborer.blogspot.com/2009/10/markets-for-opium.html
    I do agree that the US is not in Afghanistan just for the opium.
    The pipeline is a BIG deal. Anyone who understands peak oil should know that the control of the remaining supply is something that they will kill millions over.
    And the ability to have military bases in Russia’s back yard?
    Priceless.

  51. asoka December 7, 2009 at 8:41 pm #

    On Af-stan, I’m surprised of all the theories based on oil, Israel, Iran, Iraq, etc.
    Could be simpler than that: Obama wants to be re-elected and needs swing voters in places like Tennessee who have too much testosterone and now might vote because we are in the middle of a war, Obama is out-Bushing Bush in going after Al-Qaeda, and those Tennessee militarists, who are politically centrists, wouldn’t want to change horses in the middle of the stream when the war is going well.
    Obama is proving his commander-in-chief credibility. He has already sent more troops to Af-stan in one year than Bush did in six years, and Af-stan is where Al-Qaeda was training, not Iraq. And Obama always has Pakistan in reserve if he wants to widen the conflict and take control of the nukes there.
    When the stakes are high, and the incumbent is sufficiently militarist, patriot swing voter independents in middle America won’t vote for a change of commander-in-chief in 2012.
    In other words, Obama is sending kids to Af-stan for domestic political purposes… and it will work.

  52. Headless December 7, 2009 at 8:50 pm #

    I have to wonder how morons such as FeFe (which, by the way, means urine in Korean), can “rah rah” his/her/its dog in this GW/AGW fight without seeming to have the slightest understanding of what it would mean if he/she/it were right? I.E.: a global conspiracy of the science community to enslave the rest of the world. Do you get that Fefe? The world would have turned out to be Goldman-Sacks-like corrupt times 100! As it is, the world is about to fall under the theivery perpetrated by a few brain-damaged egomaniacs that walk through the doors at 85 Broad each day. We’re really fucked if you turn out to right; there’s no use in spending your time arguing, cause there will be little time left in a free world. Have a drink and go get laid while you still can.

  53. messianicdruid December 7, 2009 at 9:15 pm #

    “Last week’s Archdruid post, Hagbard’s Law, was especially good. Greer starts with the law, observed by Robert Anton Wilson, that “information can only be communicated between equals, since in a hierarchy, those in inferior positions face very strong incentives to tell their superiors what the superiors want to hear.” Then he moves on to climate change, where “well funded groups on both sides are using dubious science to advance their own agendas and push the debate further toward the extremes.” And both ideologies, for different reasons, are ignoring paleoclimatology, which shows that Earth’s climate is extremely unstable. Finally, he wonders why peak oil is so much less popular than climate change, and guesses that it’s because climate change is about human power, and peak oil is about human weakness.”
    This sounds a lot like what you {both} are saying.
    via http://www.ranprieur.com

  54. econ101 December 7, 2009 at 9:15 pm #

    The real problem is over population. Too many people for too few resources. There were about 1 billion people on earth in 1860 when oil became a useable energy resource. By 1900 it was still about that same number.
    Now we have 6.7 billion people. When “cheap” oil goes away those extra 5.2 billion people wont live. But it will take 50 or 60 years for the die off. By then the Boomers will be dead anyway and the cultures will have changed to “Made by Hand”.
    Those billions are the same people who are depopulating the forests and spewing carbon into the air. I dont agree with the GW algore knuckleheads, but I do think over population is the problem. Read about the Kalibab plateau in Arizona and the deer population to see what is ahead.

  55. econ101 December 7, 2009 at 9:21 pm #

    I see where Goldman Sachs executives are arming themselves in fear of a prolitarian mob. And I always thought they lived in gated communities with guards who had guns. These guys cant be too smart if they think a hand gun will stop a mob. Seriously, JHK, you need to send them the book by the Argentine guy. Great book, I learned so much just reading the excerps I am trying to find a copy!

  56. Lynn Shwadchuck December 7, 2009 at 10:11 pm #

    I read that essay and was quite surprised to find out Greer is so willing to make those statements. A bunch of his regulars corrected him, saving me the trouble. I wouldn’t be quoting him as an expert on climate change. Skeptical Science presents a very nuanced catalog of refutations (with bibliographies of peer-reviewed pubs) of denialist hogwash.
    Lynn
    http://www.10in10diet.com/
    Diet for a small footprint and a small grocery bill.

  57. stardustdrifter December 7, 2009 at 10:13 pm #

    Cowabunga!!! JHK comes across once again.
    Years ago, when involved in a revitalization organization in San Diego County, “The Geography of Nowhere” & “Home From Nowhere” were must read books for our membership.
    JHK just gets better with the years.

  58. Vlad Krandz December 7, 2009 at 11:05 pm #

    The Earth has been cooling for at least a decade. These people are just doing the bidding of their evil Masters-dogs currying for favors and treats. The Masters want to contract the economy drasticaly-probably because they know what JHK knows-that the situation is unsustainable. But they also have an agenda-staying on top while it contracts. And to do that, fast is good, catastrophic is better. According to the Standing Stones they put up (Georgia Guidestones), they want the world population at no more than 500 million. And knowing their agenda and capacity for ruthlessness, I advise people to get real paranoid. Only the paranoid are going to make it in the coming world.
    RAW thought that naked women were god. I don’t agree, but I know what he means. The Universe is hierarchically strucutred, and true cultures are built on this model. In its denial of this most fundamental fact, Liberalism becomes the sum of all errors.

  59. Vlad Krandz December 7, 2009 at 11:11 pm #

    Hill and BO are looking to sign us onto the the UN small arms treaty. An end run around the Constitution. Get ready to bury em. There’s better ways to go than dying in bed. Maybe you’ll get your own statue someday. The pigeons will remember you then even if no one else does.

  60. jerry December 7, 2009 at 11:12 pm #

    james, great post. I agree with much of what you said. This is what I believe. We have 3 economies: 1) the financial-investment banking economy, which has been backstopped with $13T of Fed and Treasury cash supplied by the taxpayers; 2) the War Profiteers and HLS economy, which has been supplied by the taxpayer via 1/3 of the US budget. These war profiteers cannot make their profits in the private sector marketplace. They have to earn it in the government-socialistic-system making products that go puff in the night; 3) the real manufacturing-service economy, which has been neglected purposefully in favor of the other two economic pieces of our economy,
    http://eye-on-washington.blogspot.com

  61. Tituspullo8780 December 7, 2009 at 11:41 pm #

    I’m astonished that JHK is indifferent to scientists spinning research results so they can push a political, rather than an empirical, agenda. That scientists would willingly burry strong evidence that contradicts a group think POV is disturbing and not science. Furthermore, for JHK to write that this behavior has no bearing on our ‘understanding’ of what carbon dioxide does in the atmosphere is amazingly short sighted, if not plain stupid.
    Yes Jimbo – real facts produced by honest researchers matters. It impacts our understanding of how the world works. This is especially true when you’re researching a system as complex as the Earth’s climate and atmosphere. Our understanding, based on real facts, is proportionate to our ability to predict outcomes.
    *Just like our understanding geologic science tells us that there is a finite amount of light sweet crude oil in the ground. This scientific reality, matched with our understanding of the importance of petrochemical inputs to the functioning of modern industrial societies, is what enables us to roughly predict the net effects of a shrinking oil production profile.
    What is more comical still is that many doomers tend to assume that global warming is occurring in tandem with peak oil, without much of a grounding in climatology (*aside from owning a copy of An Inconvenient Truth on DVD).
    Shouldn’t a rapidly decreasing oil production profile dramatically reduce carbon emissions at the same time? I’ve read the repeated rant on this blog that the motor utopia is heading for an abrupt end in the very near future. Won’t that address our co2 emission problem?
    It’s sad that you doomers can’t get past the end of the world scenarios – always there is no hope and no one in power is paying attention. Anything the press focuses on aside from the coming peak oil collapse of society is a stupid diversion.
    I hate to contradict such a clean position – but if there is anyone out there that does not adhere to the notion that we are on the eve of the apocalypse (*I suspect that a few of your don’t want to live in a world that looks a lot like Cormac McCarthy’s The Road) – I encourage your to check out the work Matt Simmons has done on liquid ammonia.
    A little background on liquid ammonia:
    Cars can run on it with minor modification, it can be produced by windmills in the Ocean from sea water (*sea water is pretty much limitless), and the production of liquid ammonia can generate electricity and clean water as byproducts. The state of Maine has a couple of test production windmills placed offshore RIGHT NOW.
    Take a look and let me know if you think maybe, just maybe, we might actually engineer ourselves out of this Peak Oil mess. Here’s an interview with Matt that you can download on the subject. (http://www.financialsense.com/fsn/main.html) or check out this series of articles on the work being done to ramp up liquid ammonia production in Maine: http://freepressonline.com/main.asp?SectionID=50&SubSectionID=72&ArticleID=3961
    Btw, Simmons has been calling the alarm on Peak oil for years, so he’s no pollyanna on energy. His book Twilight in the Desert is an excellent piece of investigative journalism on Peak Oil and how Saudi Arabia’s peaking of oil production is synonymous with global Peak Oil.
    Liquid ammonia may be bad news to all you doomers out there, but fear not. No one stopped the Unabomber from setting up a self-sustaining community of 1 in the Montana wilds (sans running water or electricity of course). So there is nothing stopping you doomers from setting out for a nice piece of land in the middle of nowhere so you can be free of the oil economy. However, you’ll have to give up your Internet connection and will have to restrict your end of the world scenarios to your immediate family. Sorry….

  62. asoka December 8, 2009 at 12:15 am #

    Ammonia is very attractive as an energy carrier for its high energy density and potential of being a ‘zero-carbon” fuel.
    Hello, Nudge, “high energy density”… ding, ding, ding, ding, ding.
    Liquid ammonia is toxic, and because of the very high vapor pressure of liquid ammonia (?8 bar at room temperature), there are safety concerns about storing liquid ammonia for end-user applications.
    Amminex has developed a method to store ammonia safely as solid metal ammines. The Amminex product, Hydrammine™, is a non-pressurized storage material, and has an energy density similar to that of liquid ammonia (?110 kg H2/m3).
    Hydrammine™ enables safe use of ammonia as an energy carrier for end-user applications. Amminex has been active in integrating the solid ammonia storage technology with PEMFC and SOFC stacks.
    Instead of liquid ammonia, focus on the potential of ‘solid” ammonia as a carbon-free energy carrier for mobile and transport applications, system integration (PEMFC and SOFC), and future opportunities.

  63. asoka December 8, 2009 at 12:38 am #

    Tituspullo8780, I don’t want to leave the impression that liquid ammonia is useless!
    On-board hydrogen storage and production via ammonia electrolysis could result from an ammonia electrolytic cell (AEC) and a breathable proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC).
    Hydrogen-dense liquid ammonia stored at ambient temperature and pressure is an excellent source for hydrogen storage. This hydrogen is released from ammonia through electrolysis, which theoretically consumes 95% less energy than water electrolysis; 1.55Whg?1 H2 is required for ammonia electrolysis and 33Whg?1 H2 for water electrolysis.
    An ammonia electrolytic cell (AEC), comprised of carbon fiber paper (CFP) electrodes supported by Ti foil and deposited with Pt–Ir, could electrolyze an alkaline ammonia solution.
    In terms of electric energy, when hydrogen from the cathode compartment of the AEC is fed to a polymer exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) input to the AEC is less than the output from the PEMFC, yielding net electrical energies as high as 9.7±1.1Whg?1 H2 while maintaining H2 production equivalent to consumption.

  64. Kitaj December 8, 2009 at 1:05 am #

    And Greer is deeeply psychologically invested in his long descent.
    He throws people off of his website if they: mention climate tipping points and abrupt, non-linear changes in global climate (as has happened) and who mention the fact that our situation today is unprecedented and simply plays his “youve-got-an-apocalyptic-personality” card like the one trick pony that he is, a card he beats people over the head with on a regular basis.
    He gets very upset if you mention the ideas that James Lovelock has been voicing over the past 4 years – because he, Greer, knows more about climate than Lovelock, and I guess, by extension, James Hansen.
    Greer has an ego the size of a locomotive and one big axe to grind. He has a mean streak and his devotees are so obsquious that they begin all their posts with hymns and genuflections to their master, something Greer demands of any and all devotees.
    Funny he is quoting from Illuminatus! Robert Anton Wilson loathed Bush, while Greer throws off of his website anyone who tells the truth about Bush and the elite he fronts for.

  65. asia December 8, 2009 at 1:19 am #

    for once a REAL post!
    see ‘ seeds of terror’ [book] and solari.com
    and econ 101,,,even servants /armed guards must be fed and get home..what happens in collapse ..well history will repeat itself!

  66. asia December 8, 2009 at 1:20 am #

    welcome to the world of ‘green bigots’ southna

  67. asia December 8, 2009 at 1:23 am #

    ‘ would never have guessed that the total collapse of industrial society could have been m postponed for as long as it has.’
    Clearly theres $ to be made in it? right?
    even the soviet union lasted 70 years!
    and the comments someone made about sardines are hysterical..once i read a JohnBirch report in the 80s that said fidel had 2 things to give the USSR..cheap soldiers and sardines..hehhahahhahah

  68. asia December 8, 2009 at 1:27 am #

    and HAPPY PEARL HARBOR DAY to all…the reports from denmark are:
    the danes are the most garbage heavy civilization and the most carniverous…eat way more meat than even americans
    and for the cynics AM radio reprorts ‘lots of limos and hookers descending on copenhagen’

  69. asia December 8, 2009 at 1:28 am #

    ‘has no bearing on our ‘understanding’ of what carbon dioxide does in the atmosphere is amazingly short sighted, if not plain stupid.’
    welcome to green bigotry

  70. cowswithguns December 8, 2009 at 1:40 am #

    Sorry to interject in the midst of what appears to be a technical conversation about alternative fuels, but has anyone ever heard of a guy named Michael Ruppert? I just came across a trailer on a documentary about him slated for release soon.
    The documentary is called Collapse. It looks interesting.

    The video cannot be shown at the moment. Please try again later.

  71. cowswithguns December 8, 2009 at 1:44 am #

    Another interesting clip on hydrocarbon inputs for food production/transportation from Collapse.






  72. turkle December 8, 2009 at 2:32 am #

    Hey, f-f-feefee. You’re on your 5th account, now, after getting banned from this site four times. This is a subtle clue that you should f-f-fuck off, you f-f-fucking f-f-fucktard.

  73. turkle December 8, 2009 at 2:35 am #

    Michael Ruppert used to run the From The Wilderness website, which carried a lot of good Peak Oil material back before this was a very popular topic. The best article I read on there was about the dependence of agriculture on fossil fuels. He also wrote a 9-11 book, which I read but wasn’t completely taken by. He thinks Dick Cheney did it by manipulating all the war games taking place that day. A bit far-fetched.
    Ruppert has also written a lot of material on the powers that be and has a great presentation about the revolving door between Wall Street and government, specifically the CIA. Maybe you can find it on youtube.

  74. Vlad Krandz December 8, 2009 at 3:14 am #

    One blade of grass could power a whole city for years if we just knew how to access its power. Just think what mushrooms could do. Or pine cones. What makes grass green or anything for that “matter”.
    Anyway, just three more years to go till the End. This civilization sucks so bad it will be welcome. The End will provide meaning as in Jim Morrison’s song, This is the End, beautiful friend…12/22/12. 4 twos and 2 ones. 8, the number of bits in a byte. 2, the basic binary of the bit. Ask 8 yes/no questions and you can find out anything if you ask the right ones.
    The sky will roll up like a scroll. There will a thunderous clap of thunder and a great boom of laughter. The TV’s will go blank and the electric lights will fade rapidly away. The sheep look up. A new kind of light is coming down. Everyone is becoming transparent, inside out. Everyone can see what everone is thinking and feeling. Not too comfortable is it? A difficult phase for sure. Almost like hell. Better get clean now. No one ever said that the End was going to be all fun and games. Meaning never is.

  75. Celsius 233 December 8, 2009 at 5:44 am #

    JHK is generally spot on regarding his reportage; but in the end it is a chronicle, day by day, month by month, and finally, year by year of our decent into hell. It has been clear for some time now that things are not going to change; so, I’ll just stay where I am and do what I do, content (happy) with my few possessions and a carbon foot print of just a wee bit more than zero. No heating in winter, no cooling in summer and a wonderful bicycle that gets me around day by day.

  76. Lost-in-North-Dakota December 8, 2009 at 8:48 am #

    Yeah, people in North Dakota seem to think that the Bakken Formation is going to bring us to perpetual prosperity. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the generated wealth leaves the state, what little remains provides mostly grimy oilfield jobs, most of which provided by ex-convicts or losers who couldn’t get better work in a warmer climate. Almost all the oil leaves the state (there is only one small refinery in Mandan), and we have chronic diesel fuel shortages every year during harvest. So, the Bakken does us little good.

  77. trav777 December 8, 2009 at 9:46 am #

    cougar…dude, you’re not qualified to patronize me.
    If you want to make a SUBSTANTIVE refutation of anything that I have said, please feel free to do so, otherwise STFU and let the adults speak.
    I was not “tooled” by reading Science. Do you even know what that publication is? There are a variety of peer-reviewed climate studies research papers in that publication on a regular basis, examing solar intensity variance, surface albedo changes WRT aerosol contamination, and a variety of other significant factors.
    I agree with you on one point, YOU are a nation of idiots. When you graduate beyond press releases from politically interested committees funded by a fat hasbeen oligarch politician, please get back to me.
    You are bound by the same faiths as you accuse others of. I cannot even get my head around how stupid everybody is these days, how dissent on either side gets met with derision. Why? Because you and they are IGNORANT. You accept whatever data fits your selection bias in order to feed your hidden pet fetishes.
    Nobody is amenable to rethinking their positions based upon FACT anymore. It’s all opinion and spin and picking a team. We are fucking doomed not because of what the AGW deniers “think,” but because of the phenomenon evinced by the PRO-AGW crowd. No dissent is tolerated, everything is personal. Everyone has an angle, an agenda, some kind of personal or pecuniary skin in the game.
    There are huge business interests set up to MASSIVELY profit off of climate trading; Lakshmi Mittal just netted $1B off of his company’s carbon credits. And neo-Luddites like JHK are willing to overlook the inconsistencies, ignore the evidence, play 3 monkeys with the money changing hands all because it is the ENDS that matter and the means are irrelevant.
    THIS is what is wrong. The ENDS do NOT JUSTIFY THE MEANS. Truth is truth and fact is fact. If the data does not fit what you would like it to, you DO NOT FUDGE THE FREAKING DATA in order to DIRECT a conclusion! You leave your hypothesis open and ask for others to try to help in the analysis.
    Gresham’s Law is in full operation, here and elsewhere. Your opinions are counterfeit, your thoughts are ersatz, your beliefs are phony, but you cling to them like a life ring.
    Peak oil and the end of Growth is a scary thought; but LIFE GOES ON. There is more to life than growth or worry or the not-so-hidden derision that JHK has for mouthbreathing cretins who get to enjoy high consumption rates that HE doesn’t believe they “deserve.”
    This place really is Planet of the Apes…

  78. Tituspullo8780 December 8, 2009 at 11:04 am #

    Thanks Asoka. The larger point I was making with Liquid Ammonia research and the project in Maine as an example, is that there are mitigation options and alternatives on the table now. We need to support them where we can, and we need to try and wake up our respective governments into positive action (*this is a global problem if there ever was one).
    To paraphrase Kenneth Deffeyes, I’m not worried about where society will end up in 15 years – it’s the next 5 years that terrify me.
    I agree with that sentiment.
    I also believe that we likely have already passed peak and much of the economic dislocation that we are seeing in the headlines is an indirect result. Getting alternatives online as quickly as possible is critical – not because I love Walmart, but because those alternatives are key to the continued functioning of modern civilization.
    For those of us aware of Peak Oil – our collective time would be better spent supporting whatever mitigation option or alternative energy we believe might help us out of this mess rather than ranting about the end of the world. Or at least try to get your family somewhere that will whether the impact of Peak better than the US.
    As a side note – it’s pretty obvious that big swaths of the investment community have come around to believing that there is a serious supply issue in light sweet crude and are betting accordingly. Richard Rainwater has openly talked about Peak Oil to the press, not to mention T.Boone Pickens. There are numerous hedge fund managers that are looking at this and trying to play the primary, secondary and tertiary effects for all they are worth. I myself have been investing with Peak Oil top of mind and have made pretty decent money. I can also see that these trades are getting pretty crowded again.
    Lastly, if the investment guys know what’s up with Peak Oil, then it’s a good bet that every pol from the President down through the congress is well aware of the problem. Likely, they see no political juice in trying to address it.
    So again, if you so hate industrial society that you get some emotional gratification from fantasizing about the apocalypse, then by all means, piss off and move to the jungle. There is still some left in South America and Africa. Otherwise, try doing something constructive with your time.

  79. ozone December 8, 2009 at 11:25 am #

    Keith sez:
    “Talk about the sky falling all we wish, it won’t matter to a knucklehead until he/she gets hit on the head with a big chunk of blue.
    The truth is out there and has been for years now. History is proving that people won’t look for or accept inconvenient truths until they have suffered personal negative consequences. This is a truth that playing out right now.
    Climate change is an inconvenient truth but it pales next to the inconvenient truth of resource depletion and it’s inevitable consequences. ”
    Thanks for this Keith. I feel that [unfortunately], you’re absolutely correct. Now it seems we’re mostly the home of delusional chicken-hearted fools.
    To add another “little” horrid truth, just look at what we’ve wrought with our petro-chemical wizardry. “Millions in US drink dirty water” (NYT) Now, I’m not talkin’ yer plain ol’ bacterial infestation (solely); plenty of cleaning fluid and radioactive isotopes have been “re-introduced” to the tap water from the “treatment” facilities. Ahhhh, the sins of the fathers, and all that. Got any thoughts about the firestorm of cancers going on? Think that’s due to just “better and more reporting”?
    I won’t entertain that much it’s-all-good thinking any more. Too many in my very immediate surroundings are being cut down by the BIG C.
    So, one can immerse oneself in this climate change non-argument, OR…..

  80. Vlad Krandz December 8, 2009 at 11:26 am #

    Yes, Gresham’s Law has a wide applicability. Bad anything drives out good-if people can’t see what’s good. And they can’t. They’re just not smart enough. The average IQ of 100 is scarcely capable of maintaining a technical civilization. It could never have founded one-that comes from smarter people. And now that America’s collective IQ is falling due to the new people, there really is little hope.
    Given all this, Democracy so called, has no viability. It just becomes first the rule of the mob or planet of the apes, and then the rule of the stronmen or keepers of the apes. Zoo Masters. You are argueing for Aristocracy if you just apply the results of Gresham’s Law to political systems. After all, the skill set needed to claw to the top is not the skill set needed to govern. And even if a just man makes it, he will just be toppled by the next climber. No, better to have a stable class who rules, with some social mobility of course for the worthy.

  81. Vlad Krandz December 8, 2009 at 11:37 am #

    Ned Ludd or King Ludd, was a good man. He tried to save his People, the Weavers, from becoming slaves in the mills of Manchester and Liverpool. The Luddites simply said “Teach us to use the machines. Rent them to us and we will do the work as we always have.” Nothing doing. The leaders were executed and the People did become slaves. As Blake said, “Naked in Albion, At the mill with the slaves.” Ned Ludd died for his people. Nothing was allowed to get in the way of England conquering the world-for what? Ned Ludd lost but he was right. And Enland conquered the world only to lose its own soul. Get off at Heathrow Airport now and you wont see one White English face. It would have been better to stay home with Ned and Gandhi and spin wool by hand. The Third World invasion may be our karma, but let no one be stupid enough to call it brotherhood. As Enoch Powell said, it will end in blood.

  82. Vlad Krandz December 8, 2009 at 11:53 am #

    Black Gold or Texas Tea? One get you mellow and you get you high. As the Germans says, he who chooses has trouble. But why choose if we don’t have to. Barack Obama should take a tip from Tiger and diversify. Say no to no nukes and yes to know nukes. There may be a uranium shortage but surely we can use something else. And the waste? Just shoot it into the sun to keep it flaming bright. There’s been a record deficit in sun spots lately. The sun need us.

  83. ctemple December 8, 2009 at 1:19 pm #

    This was a very good post this week by JHK.
    I think one of the main reasons that nothing reasonable gets done is the same bunch of corrupt bureaucrats run things regardless of which party is in power in Congress or the White House, free traders, globalists, banksters, war mongers. It’s the same bunch of political hacks, it doesn’t make much difference who gets elected, and they spend most of their time arguing about abortion or gay marriage. These are minor issues compared to the economic and social problems the country faces.

  84. Ed Nauseum December 8, 2009 at 1:40 pm #

    “And now that America’s collective IQ is falling due to the new people”
    Spoken like a true COJONES GAZER.

  85. Puzzler December 8, 2009 at 1:54 pm #

    Well said. Too much faith instead of science in what is perceived to be a “good cause.”
    Pro-AGW forces blather on about peer-reviewed science when it’s becoming apparent that core portions are peer-manipulated.

  86. Jim from Watkins Glen December 8, 2009 at 2:28 pm #

    Here’s hoping we get good at smaller and less. Some of our woes are simple immaturity, and maybe there’s time to grow into the new system. Our overuse of the planet has a parallel in learning to play music in a band. At first, you’re satisfied with just hitting the notes. Then you get better, and most people overplay everything and the band sounds like crap. Then you figure out that restraint makes better music. This matters if anyone’s still around to hear it.

  87. Cash December 8, 2009 at 2:33 pm #

    I have two questions. If climatologists know how Earth’s climate works then they should be able to answer this: Earth has had periods of glaciation and glacial recession over the past two million years. What is the next expected onset of glaciation?
    The next question is this: If man made climate change is as big a force as a lot of people say it is then how will global warming affect the next expected glaciation? Will it slow the onset? Will it stop the onset altogether?
    The reason I’m asking is that the ice ages and their end were the big kahunas of climate change. If climatologists know their stuff they should be able to answer these basic questions about climate change. Is there anyone out there that knows the answers? Thanks.

  88. turkle December 8, 2009 at 2:45 pm #

    Those who deny global warming believe that humans cannot affect the planet’s climate. It has been proven that we can and do in numerous scientific reports. Of course, there are natural climate cycles, but we are having an obvious and measurable effect on C02 levels and this exacerbates the consequent greenhouse effect. It is a well known and simple effect. What is so hard to understand about this? You want to believe that humans are somehow special and above ecology. As they say, “Mother nature bats last.” Just because you deny a problem doesn’t mean it goes away.

  89. turkle December 8, 2009 at 2:49 pm #

    Cash,
    The effects of global warming could be counter-intuitive, and I don’t think anyone knows exactly how the earth’s climate works at a high level of detail. The butterfly effect means that small changes can have large effects later, so this is difficult to predict and hard to model.
    For instance, if the “conveyor belt” pushing warm water past Great Britain was shutdown, this area would become a lot colder. This could happen if the global temperature was raised significantly.
    Global warming just means a rise in average temperature. It doesn’t necessarily mean that everyplace gets warmer.

  90. dale December 8, 2009 at 2:57 pm #

    A simplified explanation of the arguments for and against CO2 warming. More science and less sarcasm than “Professor Bob”.
    http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/climate-change-deniers-vs-the-consensus/

  91. turkle December 8, 2009 at 2:59 pm #

    Anyone ever read “Overshoot” by Catton? Fantastic and (IMHO) terrifying book.
    Overshoot and die off is what other species do by default when in a constrained ecosystem. Humans are no different, and with overpopulation and the proliferation of technology, we have made this eventual fate even more likely.
    No one is to blame. It is just how living things operate.

  92. turkle December 8, 2009 at 3:06 pm #

    dale,
    The science seems clear to me. Visible light can pass through the atmosphere. When it is reflected back into space, it is emitted as ultraviolet. These rays are then absorbed by greenhouse gases such as C02, thus adding to the heat energy of the atmosphere and raising the temperature. Of course, there are a lot of other things that effect the climate including the state of the sun and the axial orientation of the earth, but the effect from this particular mechanism is quite clear.
    People who deny that global warming is occurring are basically atavistic and believe that the earth is a static system, which it isn’t. It is one massive ecology that can be affected negatively by the organisms within it. This goes for global warming as well as other types of pollution.
    Ten of the hottest summers on record by average temperature were recorded within the last 20 years. Doesn’t this data say something? If it doesn’t tell you something, then you’re not listening.

  93. dale December 8, 2009 at 3:13 pm #

    “No one is to blame. It is just how living things operate.”
    ==================================
    Good point, and reinforces a point I’ve been making here for some time, it’s not about morality, The Earth doesn’t care about anyone’s morality, what happens happens.
    This whole argument about CO2 Warming and Manmade impacts also reminds me of the complexity of similar problems (including PO, Overshoot etc.) and why predicting them is so fraught with danger.
    I believe in the argument advanced in my earlier post for Man influenced GW, which is the consensus view of science. It would not shock me however, to find out they have made some critical errors, it wouldn’t be the first time.
    From what I have seen of the data it seems likely that efforts to make meaningful curbs in CO2 emmissions will be extremely difficult and long term. I think it might be more productive to expend more effort on how we will adjust, since much more warming seems to be in the cards no matter what we do.

  94. dale December 8, 2009 at 3:21 pm #

    People who deny that global warming is occurring are basically atavistic and believe that the earth is a static system, which it isn’t.
    =======================================
    I doubt that deniers give that much thought to science at all. For many in the so-called conservative movement, science is little better than demonology. After all, if you are willing to believe that the earth is 7,000 years old, with so much evidence to the contrary, then disbelieving in GW is not difficult at all.
    The other reason for denial is simply selfishness, many people want to keep driving the big cars and ski boats etc., and don’t want to feel bad about doing so.
    I saw one conservative bumper sticker a while back which was at least honest about this type of selfishness, it said; “No oil for pacifists”

  95. not mommy December 8, 2009 at 3:24 pm #

    “I believe in the argument advanced in my earlier post for Man influenced GW, which is the consensus view of science.”
    How would you account for the fact that
    co2 levels rose 4% in the past ten years yet temperatures went down?

  96. not mommy December 8, 2009 at 3:28 pm #

    “People who deny that global warming is occurring are basically atavistic and believe that the earth is a static system, which it isn’t.”
    What a laugh! Stasis would indicate warm or a bit warmer. Those who disagree with man made theory say it gets cold then hot (then cold again). Always has. Always will. BEFORE man, DURING man, and possibly AFTER man. That is as far from stasis as one can get. (MORON.)

  97. turkle December 8, 2009 at 3:29 pm #

    mommy,
    To my knowledge, no one has claimed that CO2 level in the atmosphere is perfectly correlated with global average temperature. CO2 levels can strongly influence the temperature trends, but this is one effect among many. Other natural effects influence the climate like natural global climate cycles, the axial orientation of the earth, etc.

  98. Qshtik December 8, 2009 at 3:29 pm #

    To: Vlad Krandz
    WELCOME BACK JAEGO
    Hope you used your time in purgatory to do something useful … like move to Montana.

  99. turkle December 8, 2009 at 3:30 pm #

    mommy,
    I couldn’t understand your last post. Sorry.
    Yeah, not a moron, at least not compared to you.

  100. not mommy December 8, 2009 at 3:31 pm #

    “Ten of the hottest summers on record by average temperature were recorded within the last 20 years. Doesn’t this data say something?”
    Are you asking in terms of the geologic record? If so it tells me nothing. Nothing.

  101. turkle December 8, 2009 at 3:32 pm #

    What is it with these losers who get banned and keep coming back here on different accounts? It reminds me of a dog that comes back to lick up its own vomit.

  102. abbeysbooks December 8, 2009 at 3:33 pm #

    You might be interested then in reading Foucault’s analysis of knowledge and power interlocked in a grid so fine it looks like microscopic mesh. Each one feeds the other. Each depends on the other for its existence.

  103. Qshtik December 8, 2009 at 3:34 pm #

    Asoka, the world’s greatest authority … even on chemistry. SEB would be impressed. Why don’t you take all that knowledge and get a job and stop being a burden on society.

  104. asia December 8, 2009 at 3:36 pm #

    ‘There are huge business interests set up to MASSIVELY profit off of climate trading; Lakshmi Mittal just netted $1B off of his company’s carbon credits. …..it is the ENDS that matter and the means are irrelevant’
    I KNEW IT…THANKS FOR THE FACTOID….
    Js vladik was banned for his ‘ racism’ but he said ‘ greens the new red’…or green is the new green..the rich get richer and the poor listen to limbaugh!

  105. asia December 8, 2009 at 3:37 pm #

    yes.. a friend saw it and called me…he predicts TOTAL collapse in 1 to 2 years?

  106. asia December 8, 2009 at 3:39 pm #

    when ya get banned this time reincarnate as….i dunno
    green power or ‘ daisy’ or ‘freefree’

  107. asia December 8, 2009 at 3:41 pm #

    geo records..what are we phd candidates?
    lets talk the next 10 years based on the last 10 years….is that possible?????????????????????

  108. Qshtik December 8, 2009 at 3:41 pm #

    Titus forgot to mention (in the interest of full disclosure) that he owns 40,000 shrs of the only pure play in liquid ammonia.

  109. turkle December 8, 2009 at 3:41 pm #

    Recently, anyone driving a Government Motors pickup has become a certified climate scientist, able to easily refute thousands of pages of thorough scientific documents in a single internet post.

  110. asia December 8, 2009 at 3:42 pm #

    ‘”People who deny that global warming’
    are suspicious of the media and the left id guess.

  111. asia December 8, 2009 at 3:42 pm #

    are you shittin me?

  112. turkle December 8, 2009 at 3:43 pm #

    That the hottest recorded summer temperatures in specific localities occurred in the last 20 years tells you “absolutely nothing”.
    Then you’re scientifically deaf.

  113. turkle December 8, 2009 at 3:45 pm #

    Something tells me that if the coldest winters on record all occurred in the last 10 years, the global warming deniers would be all over it.

  114. Qshtik December 8, 2009 at 3:45 pm #

    Is it possible that TRAV777 could be Johnny Rico reincarnated?

  115. turkle December 8, 2009 at 3:46 pm #

    Vlad,
    Pass the bong, dude.

  116. asia December 8, 2009 at 3:46 pm #

    ‘ things are not going to change; so, I’ll just stay where ‘
    by THINGS YOU MEAN GOVT? and the masses of ‘consumers’ wondering about tiger? yet unable to pay their bills?

  117. not mommy December 8, 2009 at 4:25 pm #

    “What is it with these losers who get banned and keep coming back here on different accounts?”
    What’s with this Nancy-Boy that keeps running to his mommy crying. Billy hit me? It reminds me of a dog that keeps returning to his vomit, licks it up. takes a shit, vomits, licks it up….

  118. Poet December 8, 2009 at 4:27 pm #

    Okay which is funnier (or more embarassing)?
    Barak Obama going to Oslo after the do nothing climate conference to accept the Nobel Peace Prize or the Nobel Committee giving this guy the same prize awarded to the likes of Albert Schweitzer and Martin Luther King.
    If the Nobel commitee had any moxie they would laugh the guy off the stage when he gives his acceptance lecture.

  119. trav777 December 8, 2009 at 4:27 pm #

    Sigh…nobody has suggeste that man cannot affect the climate.
    JFC, did I NOT JUST SAY that if you do not know what aerosol contamination leading to net cooling plus rainfall pattern disruption MEANS, then you are NOT QUALIFIED TO HAVE AN OPINION on this topic?
    CO2 is a MINOR greenhouse gas. Just because it “SEEMS” to you of very limited intellect that this mechanism of warming is “easy to understand” DOES NOT MAKE IT SO.
    No, you CANNOT take the “last 10 years” and infer ANYTHING. That is a “Texas Sharpshooter” data selection method which INEVITABLY directs a conclusion! Mean solar surface intensity is DECREASING! I was very CLEAR about that. This is why pan evaporation rates have fallen by 30% over 50 years!
    JFC, I need to give a remedial statistics course to nearly every one of the AGW cult. Aircraft contrails are a SIGNIFICANT affector of mean surface temperature, especially at night! This has literally ZERO to do with CO2. It may very well be that CO2 emissions are a TINY factor in GW and that other issues such as cow methane, volcanic activity, solar intensity variance, passenger air-miles, etc., SWAMP CO2 by orders of magnitude (they do). JFC, Pinatubo altered the climate FAR MORE substantially than even the WORST “assumptions” the AGW cult passed off as fact!
    Fine, join in the mantra behind Al Bore, ignore those vastly more intelligent than you, whatever…screw us all trying to get the fatasses out of their SUVs…make Bore another $100M, Mittal another $1B and Goldman “Climate Exchange” Sachs another fifty kabillion…all for the means to the end. This AGW hysteria is a thin veil to actualize misanthropy, the same as the warhawks with their endless “terrorist threats” and other BS.
    I JOIN with anybody who wants to determine the REALITY of manmade climate change, be it pollution or emissions or the fucking DECREASE OF FORESTLAND leading to desertification leading to INCREASED SURFACE ALBEDO (again NOT CO2). But…instead, I am arguing with people who cannot SPELL “albedo” much less understand what it means.
    This is why we are doomed. At what point did a nation full of AVERAGE intellects begin believing that they were brilliant???

  120. not mommy December 8, 2009 at 4:30 pm #

    “mommy,
    I couldn’t understand your last post. Sorry.”
    That is because you are a MORON. (Sorry.)

  121. turkle December 8, 2009 at 4:30 pm #

    mommy,
    Unfortunately for you, I have better things to do than continue this “conversation”. You’re going to have to find some other “friends” on here. Bye, now.

  122. turkle December 8, 2009 at 4:31 pm #

    mommy,
    Back on what, your seventh account now, stinkEye. You must really like it here.

  123. not mommy December 8, 2009 at 4:32 pm #

    “Unfortunately for you, I have better things to do..”
    Terribly, terribly unfortunate. But when you got to go color, ya got to go color. (Its OK if you stray out of the lines. Don’t let your mommy tell you otherwise.)

  124. trav777 December 8, 2009 at 4:41 pm #

    and one more thing…the Copenhagen proposals to tax developed nations and “give” the money to poor nations is DOOMED.
    Poor nations are headed universally by utterly ruthless and corrupt kleptocrats who will funnel the money into their own pockets just as surely as CARE’s food shipments ended up sold for weapons by Somali warlords.
    The DEVELOPING world is NOT the problem…OUR consumption is. You can google per-capita consumption rates of oil by nation and see the DIRECT connection between GDP and energy, a theme I have expounded upon in many other forums over the past few years.
    The problem in most of the world is insufficient intelligence. The stupid of any stripe are easily misled by propaganda, like how advertisers say “nothing is proven better than product X” to try to lead you to INFER that X is the best when they are literally saying that all competing products are of EQUAL efficacy.
    I use this on my CHILDREN to get them to understand how lack of sophistication in thought ends up in punitive and disadvantageous outcome. Live in a townhouse community? NO house in this neighborhood is taller than ours is, kids! If you ask them what the advertiser MEANS, they will say that they mean product X is the best. And most people have the mind of a child.
    The entire discourse, whether it is “death taxes” or “pro choice” is ENGINEERED by people who have studied NLP to force a particular emotional reaction or inference from you. Bore did precisely that in “Inconvenient Truth” where he followed a graph of CO2 concentration with a graph of mean temperature. Correlation IS NOT causation.
    So long as people believe what they WANT to believe instead of what IS TRUE, we are utterly and totally screwed.

  125. not mommy December 8, 2009 at 4:45 pm #

    “That the hottest recorded summer temperatures in specific localities occurred in the last 20 years tells you “absolutely nothing”.
    Then you’re scientifically dead.
    How long have we been “recording” temperatures? 300 years. I’m guessing that is on the high side but for the sake of argument lets say we’ve been doing it for 1000.
    You want to point out the last 20 years, relative to 1000 years of recorded weather temperatures. In terms of global weather patterns consisting of approx. 3 to 5 billion years you want to pick 10 out of the last 20 and state something of significance? Ah, OK. If you really must. It won’t amount to any such thing but if you really must…

  126. not mommy December 8, 2009 at 4:51 pm #

    “So long as people believe what they WANT to believe instead of what IS TRUE, we are utterly and totally screwed.’
    I don’t believe you. But not because I don’t want to.

  127. k-dog December 8, 2009 at 4:54 pm #

    OZONE – Thanks for feeling me man. My thoughts on cancer, I agree with your thoughts on cancer, the world is getting poisoned there is no doubt about it.
    So you would agree that people will believe the universe is driven by an overweight fairy on a green cheese bicycle if it gets them stuff. Worrying about the future is scary and goes against the flow, its unpleasant to talk or think about. Going against the flow does not get one stuff.
    Lots of stuff at Walmart you know. Big Screen TV,s and lots of snacks. Not so many books but there are a few with titles screened just for you. No green cheese though. Cheese doodles would probably last a thousand years and would probably turn white. Lots of cheap stuff to keep one from worrying about the end of stuff.
    I wish I could use JK slogan of “It’s all good” but that’s just not true. The end of stuff happens with the end of cheap stuff. It will happen like a thunderclap. No slow transition because everything depends on cheap oil. Without cheap oil there is no cheap stuff and without cheap stuff the service economy falls on it’s face.
    ‘JK’ has been ranting about how we need to fundamentally change our living arrangements for quite a while now. Climate change is just another part of the mix but to quote ‘trav777′ above. – “So long as people believe what they WANT to believe instead of what IS TRUE, we are utterly and totally screwed.”
    I’m formerly ‘keithishere’ I re-registered cus I like k-dog better

  128. CaptSpaulding December 8, 2009 at 5:06 pm #

    Considering the fact that most folks here claim to understand various issues such as climate change, the state of the economy etc., I’m surprised that nobody seems to be capable of dealing with the Trolls here. If you ignore them, do not respond to them, they eventually will go away. So many otherwise intelligent people should be able to deal with such a simple problem. If you can’t stop a Troll, don’t expect to have the answers to the complex problems we now face. The Trolls cheapen an otherwise fascinating blog. Regards to all

  129. abbeysbooks December 8, 2009 at 5:12 pm #

    When I read things like your comment I think of Evan Connell’s The White Lantern (2 vol)in which he writes of the discovery and exploration of the Northwest Passage. It seems some on a wrecked ship (I am hazy) started their treck carrying silverplate services and other goodies. They trudged on and starved and froze to death. They refused to copy the Inuit mode of traveling in the Arctic. You know, the natives, who didn’t know anything about civilization.
    We are like those Brits and other explorers. We will carry on our outmoded ways and die on the way.

  130. abbeysbooks December 8, 2009 at 5:16 pm #

    Well just think like your grandmother and plant poppies in your backyard. They grow here. They can be harvested for opium. Why spend a fortune to get it from the middle east any way we can?

  131. not mommy December 8, 2009 at 5:21 pm #

    I’m surprised that nobody seems to be capable of dealing with the Trolls here.”
    Trolls? Are you seeing things Capt? Do you see Martians as well? I saw a leprechaun once. He was on a box of cereal. Does that count?

  132. abbeysbooks December 8, 2009 at 5:21 pm #

    Foucault said humanity is just a face drawn in the sand.

  133. abbeysbooks December 8, 2009 at 5:26 pm #

    The Discourse is controlled by dominant interests.The problems can’t be talked about in any other way. So we all rail helplessly.
    The Discourse must be changed first. How? Not a clue.

  134. John Howard December 8, 2009 at 5:32 pm #

    I’m a write-in candidate for Senate in Massachusetts, and I have proposed that we use any remaining Stimulus money to reclaim land to make more local farms (especially in Massachusetts), to re-localize and re-scale and de-globalize our food supply.
    Our factory-farmed food supply is a major public health hazard (see Food Inc, read Eating Animals), so even if it was sustainable it needs to be shut down as soon as possible and replaced with local farms. We’d better be ready with local farm capacity or people will be hungry. Also, creating and working these farms will create lots of good long term jobs (assuming we pay farmers what they are worth, which might require tax breaks or something).
    I wrote a post about it on RedMassGroup (and my antagonist there is a darn good example of a knucklehead!).

  135. John Howard December 8, 2009 at 5:36 pm #

    Oops, forgot to paste in the link to Use Stimulus for Local Farms
    Also, see my post Yes, we must negotiate with the Taliban.

  136. abbeysbooks December 8, 2009 at 5:47 pm #

    The problem with the melting ice is that you can’t see it. It is the same problem that the flatearth people had. It doesn’t look that way to us. Prove it’s round all you want, it doesn’t appear that way.I’m still cold this winter, so it isn’t warming, is it?
    TED had a youtube of cameras planted all over the ice in Greenland and elsewhere set to click on at various time intervals. A week, 24 hours, etc. When you watch the film you can see it sliding into the sear. Ice that has been there for milleniums suddenly sliding into the sea at a rate the cameras catch for you.
    Nothing will be done to fix the barn door until the horse gets out. No pun intended.

  137. abbeysbooks December 8, 2009 at 5:48 pm #

    Yep. Try to explain that to a flat earther.

  138. abbeysbooks December 8, 2009 at 5:55 pm #

    Well I taught a stat and experimental design course for a University extension in the Ozarks. My students couldn’t do 6th grade arithmetic. The text book I was slated to use was one of those really difficult ones but it had a great kickback for the director. So I found a programmed instruction text on the internet that I knew about and xeroxed it.
    I gave them all the class time to do it in. Still they complained, wanted to leave erly for a church social, come late because of a child’s basketball game, and not come at all because the weather wasn’t nice.
    It started with 2 + 2 =5 and went all the way to analysis of variance, tests of significance, plotting etc.
    Now it is not possible to think these people understand anything having to do with the way science reports its results. It is all just meaningless numbers to them. And would be to me too if I weren’t educated.

  139. abbeysbooks December 8, 2009 at 6:03 pm #

    Piaget theory discourses on levels of cognition. Most people are at a pre-operational level.

  140. abbeysbooks December 8, 2009 at 6:08 pm #

    I heard a woman at a thrift store ask for Xmas lights saying that they were exdpensive at an auction in Branson. But Wal-Mart didn’t have any and the thrift store lady said she didn’t have any and couldn’t find any. (Me I have loads picked up for 25 cents over the years.
    Why no lights? They are all from China. Does China not ship for dollars anymore?
    Ideas? Why?

  141. James Crow December 8, 2009 at 6:41 pm #

    “the mafia-style criminality that is the US Government-and-Economy is as wrong and counterproductive as it is silly and inaccurate.”
    Lots of muddiers of the waters here posting, mixing supposed “beliefs” whilst absolutely discounting the obvious. There is absolutely no proof “9/11″ was planned and conducted by anyone other than the USFedGov. “Al Qaeda” is a creation of the CIA, it does not exist as a “terrorist” organization. “Terrorists” are a myth created to be used as a political tool to instill fear, and thereby fool and control the populace. The only “conspiracy theory” is that of the peculiar myth of the “lone nut”.

  142. Puzzler December 8, 2009 at 7:01 pm #

    Trav77 you’re one of the few on here who knows what they are talking about re AGW. Most are parroting stuff they heard from Al Gore. You are right that most aren’t qualified to have an opinion about climate change.
    You should write an essay or blog about climate change.

  143. turkle December 8, 2009 at 7:31 pm #

    No proof except the 9/11 Commission Report, which I assume you haven’t read. And NIST issued a detailed writeup on how the towers fell. And a number of phone calls were made from passengers on the plain telling how terrorists with box cutters had taken them over. And Bin Laden and Al Qaeda claimed responsibility.
    Should I be convinced that it was an “inside job” by poorly or non-sourced reading material like “9/11 Synthetic Terror”?
    A bunch of Middle Easterners defeated all of our security measures, because these were focused outwards in a Cold War orientation, not inwards. The immediate response was botched due to simple incompetence.
    I don’t see how people in the United States government could have plotted 9/11, executed it, and then gotten away with it. At any rate, how would they have known they wouldn’t be caught? Would a senior official in the US government have risked this? I’m seriously doubtful.

  144. turkle December 8, 2009 at 7:39 pm #

    “The problem in most of the world is insufficient intelligence.”
    There aren’t enough resources on the planet for everyone to live the high-energy 1st world lifestyle, yet people in poorer countries now want this more than anything else. Hell, there aren’t enough resources for the 1st world to continue much longer on its current path, because so much of what sustains current systems is non-renewable. That’s the problem. It has little to do with intelligence. There are resource constraints that we’re bumping up against due to overpopulation. Saying that it is all a matter of everyone thinking harder is fatuous and arrogant. It is like saying the yeast in the wine vat just need more intelligence so that they don’t pollute their environment with deadly alcohol. But that’s just what yeast do, ya dig? Just like humans make gigantic islands of plastic in the Pacific, cause other species to go extinct, and cause deforestation and desertification. It can’t be helped. Everyone is just following their programming like little bits of yeast.

  145. E.G.Palmer December 8, 2009 at 8:00 pm #

    It’s been my assumption that we’re in Afghanistan to cut Russia off, and to prepare for the invasion of Iran. The U.S. government doesn’t really give a rats ass about the Afghans, or the Taliban. Al Qaida is just a good foil, an excuse for pushing policy.
    I think every move is motivated by the preparation for Peak Oil. Iran and Iraq sit on most of what’s left. We’ve already got a good grip on the Saudis.
    Within two years, we’ll be invading Iran.
    The Federal Government will spin it as a liberation. That’s why Obama and co. didn’t throw any support to the student protesters before. They want them to fail and be crushed so that they can paint our invasion as a selfless and heroic liberation of the downtrodden.
    There’s not a snowballs chance in hell that the U.S. will ever pull out of Iraq, no matter what timetables or conditions they blather about on the evening news.
    We’ll invade Iran, and we’ll stay until the last drop of oil is pumped out of the ground, or the U.S. disintegrates.
    Not what I’m in favor of, of course. I’m with Jim on relocalization and such. I make a hobby of predicting likely outcomes, and I see nothing that would persuade me that people will suddenly behave in ways other than they have in the past.

  146. Keith December 8, 2009 at 8:28 pm #

    If you remember when we first got into Afghanistan, Bush and co. said we would fight the terrorists in foreign lands instead of our own. I have to believe that, because there is no other option to believe. The CIA is behind the scenes to sell opium or the protecting a an oil pipe. You have to also realize we haven’t had an attack on America soil since 9/11, so perhaps it is working. Amongst all the conspiracy theories out there, maybe the Afghanistan war is what is was promised. One we fight to keep them from attacking us. Those young Muslim men are recruited and sent to fight the war in Afghan. The war just might be keeping them busy. Is it winnable is another debate.

  147. Celsius 233 December 8, 2009 at 8:29 pm #

    Basically, yes.

  148. asoka December 8, 2009 at 9:09 pm #

    abbey said: “Now it is not possible to think these people understand anything having to do with the way science reports its results. It is all just meaningless numbers to them.”
    I hope these are the people who are joining the armed forces and cannot manage any math having to do with coordinates for bombing or artillery. I hope they fail in their attempts to kill others.
    Millions of dollars a day in firing weapons into a desert is money lost forever to our society… money that could have been invested in entitlement programs.
    Money spent on entitlements, for example $12,000 a year to an elderly person, is spent in its entirety and reinvested into the American economy to support local businesses and generate employment.
    Entitlement spending has an economic multiplier effect. Defense spending is just theft, a complete waste that is weakening our society… money down a desert rat hole.
    Bring all the troops home and let them get productive employment at home instead of pissing away taxpayers’ dollars killing strangers.

  149. messianicdruid December 8, 2009 at 9:13 pm #

    “Why no lights? They are all from China. Does China not ship for dollars anymore?”
    Maybe they don’t ship for credit anymore…

  150. asia December 8, 2009 at 10:08 pm #

    you should talk, capt. catnip!!!

  151. asia December 8, 2009 at 10:13 pm #

    The DEVELOPING world is NOT the problem ..SAYS YOU! Ever hear of the ‘ asian brown cloud’?…of course not..those nations had the dreaded Un change its name to…THE ATMOSPHERIC BROWN CLOUD..it can be seen from outer space..or so im told.
    have you been to Miami lately? 1 in 3 haitians have moved to the usa…noam Chomsky says blame clinton for that..1 in 4 elsalvadoreans/mexicans have move ‘ elnorte’…sure the times will publicize ‘ enriques journey’ and it gets a pulitzer but wake the f up!

  152. abbeysbooks December 8, 2009 at 11:04 pm #

    I agree that these idiots could not have pulled it off. However, since the attack on the WTC in the early 90’s it was a definite possibility that they would tryit again. Why not.
    And so just ignore info that indicated they were planning anything, and get those fear mongers out of our daily sessions. And so the warners were banished.
    And when it happened it was a windfall for Bush.

  153. abbeysbooks December 8, 2009 at 11:36 pm #

    As Toynbee says when the empire disintegrates, the military is far from its borders and employs barbarians, teaching them the new weapons they have made available for them. It seems that we are importing barbarians here. I don’t mean a slur on immigrants, but the poor and dispossessed and uneducated are the ones coming in. It will take a few generations for them to become absorbed, educated, etc and we don’t have that leisure time anymore, do we?
    This is the only reason I want the immigration to stop. It’s about cheap labor and is destroying the US labor market, and that means they can’t buy anything, and so it goes down down down. If they can get health care then they will absorb that too. There are good reasons why it is difficult to emigrate to Australia and New Zealand. The UK with its open European borders is tanked out too. I have known friends who went to the UK to get medical work done that they couldn’t get done here.
    And just wait until the doctor monopoly is outsourced. Get your dental work done just over the border in Mexico and your serious surgical replacement work donein Delhi.

  154. tester December 8, 2009 at 11:41 pm #

    Considering the fact that most folks here claim to understand various issues such as climate change, the state of the economy etc., I’m surprised that nobody seems to be capable of dealing with the Trolls here. If you ignore them, do not respond to them, they eventually will go away. So many otherwise intelligent people should be able to deal with such a simple problem. If you can’t stop a Troll, don’t expect to have the answers to the complex problems we now face. The Trolls cheapen an otherwise fascinating blog. Regards to all

    Agreed, Captspaulding. Stuff like that “P.S. Rico delenda est.” from a few months ago is exactly what these trolls want. Just ignore them and they will shrivel up and go away.

  155. TomOfTheNorth December 9, 2009 at 12:36 am #

    No you aren’t

  156. asoka December 9, 2009 at 12:43 am #

    Capt. Spaulding,
    Several times now you have posted (off-topic) comments that qualify you as a troll (by complaining about trolls) but never identifying who you are complaining about, trying to get a reaction by saying things like: “Nice blog except for the trolls”
    Definition of a troll:
    1. To make inflammatory comments on the internet for the purpose of starting controversy and gauging people’s reactions.

  157. Vlad Krandz December 9, 2009 at 2:17 am #

    Daisy? Ok you want it, you got it. My brother, (not me, God knows not me) told me that Asia is a girl’s name in Mexico. He thinks you’re a Chica, a Chicano Chick! I defended you saying that not only your messiness, but your obvious pleasure in grammatical disorder, is a sign of quintessential masculinity. As he said, you never mess up the same way twice. Masculine insouciance I said. Sassiness he said. What can I say-he’s a smart man, but I’m staying the course with you dude.

  158. Vlad Krandz December 9, 2009 at 2:26 am #

    Schweitzer was a racist and King a communist. The biggest joke is that anyone takes these fools seriously. After all, they gave him Obama the prize before he did anything-basically just for his color. Shame on them and those who voted for him here in America. It was clear to Conservatives what his policies would be as soon as we saw who his backers were. It’s not rocket science or climatology.

  159. MINDfool December 9, 2009 at 2:36 am #

    There is some evidence that china is limiting the amount of US debt it is acquiring.
    For a long discussion of the trade “collapse,” see http://www.voxeu.org/report/great_trade_collapse.pdf
    People all over are sorting out what optimum strategies are to benefit themselves on a local level, but the definition of a local is itself local.

  160. MINDfool December 9, 2009 at 2:49 am #

    The same is probably true about “climate change.” It is is to some extent pure presumption to think we can do anything to reverse 150 years of environmental modification. Just as the forests disappeared from North Africa, the best we can hope for is a new “stasis,” that is not too inimical to “us,” again defined on a local level. In all of this, there will be winners and losers. Yes the Maldives may disappear under the sea. Upstate NY may recover somewhat after its 100 yr episode of deflation, capital, and industrial flight. However, in all likelihood, the transition will be much nastier than for example the collapse of the Argentinian economy discussed elsewhere.

  161. Vlad Krandz December 9, 2009 at 2:51 am #

    From what I’ve read, the next ice age is due any day now. For the last million or so years, the pattern has been a hundred thousand years of ice, an interglacial lasting ten thousand years or so, and then another ice age. We’re just a little past ten thousand years now. So anyday now or within another century or two probably (unless we are fucking with things).
    Fascinating implications: ice ages are the norm, not the brief interglacials. And so perhaps all this has happened before…a civilization rises slowly from barbarism and to technical glory only to be downed by a new ice age. After all, global warming could be dealt with by dikes and gradual evacuations. Global cooling is much more catastrophic, especially if it comes on fast. A few degrees down will mean crop failure and the death of hundreds of millions. Just for starters.
    But there are many caveats: the temperature at the equator doesn’t change that much during the “ice ages”. Only the temperate zones are much smaller-but still could support human life and even some civilization. And even within an ice age there are many variations. Sometimes the temperatures will rise for a couple of thousand years and the ice will retreat hundreds of miles.
    The weather for the last ten thousand years has been great, now back to life as usual. See you all in the next interglacial. I’m transforming into a barbarian. Nietzsche’s law of eternal return meets Horbigger’s doctrine of eternal ice. Our ancestors grew strong in the ice and snow and so shall we. Yeah, I’m talking to you palefaces.

  162. MINDfool December 9, 2009 at 3:08 am #

    Sure, some decisions are not as smart as others: such as starting a colony on the shores of Gronland by the Norse, prior to the last LITTLE ICE AGE. I suspect, rape and pillage aside, that North Carolina away from the shore might come out OK.

  163. eightm December 9, 2009 at 4:10 am #

    Instead of wasting so much time talking and talking and talking about climate change, co2, scientists right or wrong, etc. etc. WHY ON EARTH DON’T THEY PROPOSE, AND ONCE AND FOR ALL A HUGE WORLDWIDE MASS, PUBLIC (OR PRIVATE) TRANIST SYSTEM !?!??! I cannot believe how totally idiotic, cluseless, total morons, all of these thousands of scientists, politicians and economists are!! A worldwide serious, and very easily measurable improvement in mass transit, be it buses, trains, high speed trains, and everything in between is very easily measurable and very easy to implement. Every nation increasing their public mass transit by say 100 buses more each day gets further credit. Easy as pie.
    Hike up the price of gasoline each month and with that money pay for public – mass transit, force this mass transit on people everywhere worldwide, get serious. This saves billions of dollars in gasoline and really seriously attacks the global warning, since more than 60 % of that co2 is from private cars. JHK TELL THEM ALL THIS, DO SOMETHING!!!!

  164. MINDfool December 9, 2009 at 4:49 am #

    “The third biggest greenhouse gas, methane, is 23 times more effective at trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide; even though methane emissions are far below those of carbon dioxide, it still accounts for an impressive 4-9% of global warming.”
    “When fossil fuels are burned to produce energy the carbon stored in them is emitted almost entirely as CO2. The main fossil fuels burned by humans are petroleum (oil), natural gas and coal. CO2 is emitted by the burning of fossil fuels for electricity generation, industrial uses, transportation, as well as in homes and commercial buildings. In 2006, petroleum supplied the largest share of domestic energy demands, accounting for an average of 47 percent of total fossil-fuel-based energy consumption in 2006. Coal and natural gas followed in order of importance, accounting for 27 and 26 percent of total fossil fuel consumption, respectively.”
    Automotive/truck use is important in its contribution, but the number 60%+ applies only to the transportation sector in the US. Even in countries like Germany where public transportation is massively encouraged, 80% of travel is still by auto/truck/bus. Further, energy usage to mass transport is still a replacement, so the effective possible reduction is a percentage of a percentage of a percentage. One only needs to go to a second/third world country like Argentina or Jamaica to see the clouds of diesel smoke and people hanging on the roofs of autobuses to realize it is not a one for one trade. Yes, some marginal efficiencies can be garnered, but as JHK correctly points out it will take major shifts in attitude, life style, acceptance of alternatives in all modes. AND this will need to happen before the multiple vectors of collapse: war, resource depletion, overpopulation, as well as the climate thing converge to put us in a new reality.

  165. messianicdruid December 9, 2009 at 7:23 am #

    The banks{ters} are preparing to do with carbon what they’ve done before: design and market derivatives contracts that will help client companies hedge their price risk over the long term. They’re also ready to sell carbon-related financial products to outside investors.
    [Blythe] Masters says banks must be allowed to lead the way if a mandatory carbon-trading system is going to help save the planet at the lowest possible cost. And derivatives related to carbon must be part of the mix, she says. Derivatives are securities whose value is derived from the value of an underlying commodity — in this case, CO2 and other greenhouse gases…
    Among the credit derivatives that grew from the bank’s early efforts was the credit-default swap.
    Some in congress are fighting against carbon derivatives:
    “People are going to be cutting up carbon futures, and we’ll be in trouble,” says Maria Cantwell, a Democratic senator from Washington state. “You can’t stay ahead of the next tool they’re going to create.”
    Cantwell, 51, proposed in November that U.S. state governments be given the right to ban unregulated financial products. “The derivatives market has done so much damage to our economy and is nothing more than a very-high-stakes casino — except that casinos have to abide by regulations,” she wrote in a press release…
    However, Congress may cave in to industry pressure to let carbon derivatives trade over-the-counter:
    The House cap-and-trade bill bans OTC derivatives, requiring that all carbon trading be done on exchanges…The bankers say such a ban would be a mistake…The banks and companies may get their way on carbon derivatives in separate legislation now being worked out in Congress…
    Financial experts are also opposed to cap and trade:
    Even George Soros, the billionaire hedge fund operator, says money managers would find ways to manipulate cap-and-trade markets. “The system can be gamed,” Soros, 79, remarked at a London School of Economics seminar in July. “That’s why financial types like me like it — because there are financial opportunities”…
    Hedge fund manager Michael Masters, founder of Masters Capital Management LLC, based in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands [and unrelated to Blythe Masters] says speculators will end up controlling U.S. carbon prices, and their participation could trigger the same type of boom-and-bust cycles that have buffeted other commodities…
    The hedge fund manager says that banks will attempt to inflate the carbon market by recruiting investors from hedge funds and pension funds.
    “Wall Street is going to sell it as an investment product to people that have nothing to do with carbon,” he says. “Then suddenly investment managers are dominating the asset class, and nothing is related to actual supply and demand. We have seen this movie before.”
    Indeed, as I have previously pointed out, many environmentalists are opposed to cap and trade as well. For example:
    Michelle Chan, a senior policy analyst in San Francisco for Friends of the Earth, isn’t convinced.
    “Should we really create a new $2 trillion market when we haven’t yet finished the job of revamping and testing new financial regulation?” she asks. Chan says that, given their recent history, the banks’ ability to turn climate change into a new commodities market should be curbed…
    “What we have just been woken up to in the credit crisis — to a jarring and shocking degree — is what happens in the real world,” she says…
    Friends of the Earth’s Chan is working hard to prevent the banks from adding carbon to their repertoire. She titled a March FOE report “Subprime Carbon?” In testimony on Capitol Hill, she warned, “Wall Street won’t just be brokering in plain carbon derivatives — they’ll get creative.”
    Yes, they’ll get “creative”, and we have seen this movie before …an inadequately-regulated carbon derivatives boom will destabilize the economy and lead to another crash.
    http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2009/12/woman-who-invented-credit-default-swaps.html

  166. not mommy December 9, 2009 at 8:41 am #

    “The UN Copenhagen climate talks are in disarray today after developing countries reacted furiously to leaked documents that show world leaders will next week be asked to sign an agreement that hands more power to rich countries and sidelines the UN’s role in all future climate change negotiations.
    The document is also being interpreted by developing countries as setting unequal limits on per capita carbon emissions for developed and developing countries in 2050; meaning that people in rich countries would be permitted to emit nearly twice as much under the proposals.”

  167. Pat O December 9, 2009 at 9:20 am #

    I want to praise cougar above for his defense of the climate scientists! The ones I know have their noses in their algorithms and a dislike of politics. They are adamant about global warming being a reality and wish they knew a way to break through the BS. The best they can do is to restate what they’ve been telling us. The most recent data they have on hand, according to Prof. Masatoshi Yoshino of Tsukuba University, show June to have been warmer on average worldwide than any month recorded to date. The most recent debate among the scientists is whether or not the observed warming will result in more intense typhoons or not–the formation may be disrupted by stronger winds aloft. Greenland is melting. The climate deniers are just so “the world is flat”! That doesn’t mean the powers that be won’t find a profitably bogus way to take advantage of this proven reality.
    Good on you, Jim, for taking a stand on the side of the scientists! I also just loved your take on Afghanistan: “Who the hell really knows what we’re up to in Afghanistan.” How true.

  168. dale December 9, 2009 at 10:31 am #

    “How would you account for the fact that
    co2 levels rose 4% in the past ten years yet temperatures went down?”
    ======================================
    I’m not qualified to “account” for issues at this level of scientific inquiry, and neither are you, that’s the job of scientists.
    If you read the simple chart I posted yesterday it responds in short fashion to most the arguments against global warming that have been advanced here in the last few days including those given by “Professor Bob”. If you really are interested in “science”, instead of ideology, then you should read it’s point by point response to the issues raised.
    For those who missed it here it is again. I would suggest that centering the arguments around this post should end this nonsense about the inplausibility of GW :
    http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/climate-change-deniers-vs-the-consensus/

  169. dale December 9, 2009 at 10:48 am #

    “I’m transforming into a barbarian.”
    =================================
    No sweat, you’re already there.

  170. trav777 December 9, 2009 at 10:50 am #

    The Asian Brown Cloud causes a net cooling effect.
    Read that again – it is the truth. It also disrupts rain cycles by attenuating the ability of water to form significantly large droplets to precipitate. You get a persistent haze instead of the typical tropical thunderstorm behavior. This causes droughts in Africa for example.
    Climate is NOT as simple as CO2=warmer. That’s simply bullshit. CO2 concentration has increased coincident with the rise in mean surface temperature; I stipulated that, but this is not the same as saying that CO2 or industrial emissions CAUSE “global warming.”
    In many cases, emissions, especially those with high particulate loads, cause cooling by increasing atmospheric albedo. Water vapor in the air is a higher factor in warming than CO2 by orders of magnitude. While I applaud the scientists trying to create a critical mass to get a discussion started about humans’ impact on the environment, every single time they cheapen THIS to “CO2″ they erode their own credibility and subject themselves to attack. I cannot side with people who let the ends justify the means.
    And, why is the developing world doing this brown cloud stuff? They want to consume like the developed world.
    The problem IS insufficient intelligence because the intelligent en masse would reject the macroeconomic policies of limitless consumption growth. The mediocre room-temperature IQs out there will vote for “leadership” that slams the throttles full ahead. They are the ones that bitch at “oil companies” for the price of gasoline’s rise. They simply aren’t qualified to have an opinion nor properly capable of even understanding the problem.
    Exponential growth is like this – suppose you have a bottle. At noon, there is one bacterium in it. The population of bacteria doubles every minute and the bottle is full at midnight. At what time is the bottle half full?
    Most people cannot answer this question. Even my accountant could not. It is a psychological fact, demonstrated by recent studies, that people attempt to grasp the exponential function through linear interpolation of two relatively close points on the curve, leading to a fatally large underestimate of future scalar values.
    There are problems that cannot be solved by infinite numbers of people of average intelligence…this is just fact. Adding more “manpower” to a thought problem does not make solution more likely. Another anecdote…logic problem passed around via email at a jobsite I used to work at. This was a place with professional statisticians, people with masters degrees in mathematics, who did operations research and manpower forecasting via statistical methods. We all started at the same time, I finished in 10 minutes, the next person came back in 45 and another in 1.5 hrs. Nobody else could come up with a solution, they simply gave up and found the problem intractable. Software developers, database professionals, smart, educated people. But the problem was a 2% or 1% threshold question. That is the same as growth, finance, AGW, etc…these are not issues which can be grasped by anybody inside 2 sigmas to mean. So they just swallow whatever makes them happy, buy copies of “The Secret” and drive out anybody who says something that makes them “feel” bad. This is Gresham’s Law as it operates on thought.
    I told JHK in an em that Gresham’s Law is actually a very powerful evolutionary maxim…counterfeit beliefs are far cheaper than real ones and we have an environment that selects for cheap. Everyone would be wise to accept this because what we see transpiring in terms of mass psychology or zeitgeist flows from it.
    And it explains in an instant the frustration of JHK and others (inc me) as to why people “don’t get it.” It’s simply cheaper not to.

  171. dale December 9, 2009 at 11:14 am #

    Again, you have to understand there is a significant percentage of the population that is openly anti-science, since the religion they subscribe to is fighting an uphill battle trying to disprove such widely accepted science as the age of the earth and evolution. So it goes beyond cost and selfishness, it’s an anti-science bias.
    Arguing against climate science (or anything else which might however vaguely auger against man’s dominion over earth) is virtually a religious position for them. Often, they also figure the end is near anyway (an obsession with some Christians) so what difference does it make if we use it up?

  172. Qshtik December 9, 2009 at 11:48 am #

    DEFINITION:
    TROLL, anyone who disagrees with the absurd views of anyone else (such as, but not limited to, Tester, Capt Spaulding or Abbeysbooks) and expresses that disagreement with gusto.

  173. trav777 December 9, 2009 at 11:51 am #

    Dale, please do not introduce red herrings or straw men to the discussion.
    It is virtually impossible to have a discussion these days without people resorting to numerous logical fallacies or other emotional debate tactics.
    Who freaking CARES about this “them”? Am I one of THEM? You either respond to ME or else take it up with THEM wherever THEY are.
    This is the essence of a strawman…you erected this “them” out there as an artifice to beat down, allowing you to essentially bypass anything that I have said.
    Then you resort to argumentum ad populum as a buttress, “widely accepted,” as if that is an endorsement of truth.
    GFD, is there no hope at all? Every day that passes, I become ever more pessimistic.

  174. The Stig December 9, 2009 at 11:51 am #

    Wow, I am beginning to disagree with Jim more and more.
    First, yes, oil is running dry and the peak will happen. However, on a per unit basis WalMart style distribution systems are far more efficient than localized systems, oil or no oil. Imagine people driving from store to store to store, and from farmers market to farmers market, all one at a time, vs popping into Walmart. Both systems require energy inputs, but moving massive quantities by rail, sea or even transport truck is far more efficient than moving a 4lb bag of apples in a Toyota Prius.

  175. The Stig December 9, 2009 at 11:57 am #

    On the climate change front, I still am not buying the human contribution. I agree the climate is changing, and I agree that it will have significant impacts – but climate change destroyed Mayan civilization too (as Jim points out) but they weren’t tooling around in Escalades. I just don’t think human beings are that important in the whole ecosystem to have that big of an impact – seems egocentric to me.
    What I find worrysome is that people who disagree with the religion of global warming are considered conservative idiots, but blindly following the herd is not considered idiotic.
    What would the great scientific minds of the past think if they heard Al Gore say “the science is conclusive and there is no more debate”. Sounds more like religion than science to me. Whenever I hear “the debate is closed” I immediately look for fault in the argument, because decrees are not science. He may very well be right, and we may be destroying the only planet we’ve got, and mother nature may just shake us off like a bad cold. But I don’t think the debate on that is “closed”.
    Remember that “science” taught us the world was flat, the sun revolved around the earth, and humans were made up of 4 humors – blood, yellow bile, black bile, and phlegm. If people accepted that “the debate was over” then…..

  176. Qshtik December 9, 2009 at 12:11 pm #

    Stig, I agree with your two posts above.

  177. dale December 9, 2009 at 12:44 pm #

    I wasn’t arguing with you, nor do I care to. I was suggesting that the reasons behind denialism are not purely economic, as you suggested. That is not “introducing strawmen” or whatever, it is just pointing out that a significant part of the population couldn’t care less about science as a source of truth.
    If you believe yourself smarter than the broad consensus of science, which was the “them” I was referring to with “widely accepted” then so be it, there are a lot of people on this website who think they are smarter than everyone else and freely dispute accepted science, as if they are qualified to do so.

  178. Qshtik December 9, 2009 at 12:50 pm #

    DEFINITION #2:
    TROLL, a pejorative label applied to persons who hold, and express in no uncertain terms, views in opposition to those who use the Troll label. Use of the Troll label is a defense mechanism and is in some ways similar to an “ad hominem.”

  179. dale December 9, 2009 at 12:52 pm #

    “Remember that “science” taught us the world was flat”
    =======================================
    Completely untrue, “Perception” led us to believe the world was flat, because that it the way it appears. Science taught us our immediate perceptions are not always true, and in this case was completely false.
    The Catholic Church taught us the Earth was the center of the Universe because that validated the notion of the importance of the human species as a divine creation. Once again science put things in the correct perspective.
    Science isn’t always right and at times it can behave much like a religion, but your attempts to stand the truth on its head and blame science for notions like flat earth etc. is completely rediculous.

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