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Forecast 2015 — Life in the Breakdown Lane

“Don’t look back — something might be gaining on you,” Satchel Paige famously warned. For connoisseurs of civilizational collapse, 2014 was merely annoying, a continued pile-up of over-investments in complexity with mounting diminishing returns, metastasizing fragility, and no satisfying resolution. So we enter 2015 with greater tensions than ever before and therefore the likelihood that the inevitable breakdown will release more destructive energy and be that much harder to recover from.

I don’t know how anyone can trust the statistical bullshit emanating from our government reporting agencies, or the legacy news organizations that report them. Yet the meme has remained firmly fixed in the popular imagination: the US economy has recovered! GDP grows 5 percent in Q3! Manufacturing renaissance! Energy independence! Cleanest shirt in the laundry basket! Best-looking house in a bad neighborhood…!

¡No hay problema!

This is simply the power of wishful thinking on display. No one — with the exception of a few “doomer” cranks — wants to believe that industrial civilization is in trouble deep. The staggering credulity this represents would be a fascinating case study in itself if there were not so many other things that demand our attention right now. Let’s just write this phenomenon off as the diminishing returns of career log-rolling in politics, finance, media, and academia. All the professional “thought-leaders” pitch in to support the “hologram” of eternal progress that issues their paychecks and bonuses. This culture of pervasive racketeering that we’ve engineered has made us obtuse. The particular brand of stupidity on display also points to another signal vanity of our time: the conviction that if you measure things enough, you can control them.

I’m of the view that the measurers only pretend to measure and can only pretend to control things, especially in the most fragile of the systems that we depend on for running all the other systems of techno-industrial economic life: finance. The pretense has endured a lot longer than many of us had expected. The legerdemain employed by banking officials and their handmaidens was greatly augmented by the sheer wish that fragility (i.e. risk) had been successfully and permanently banished from the universe. That “magic” at least sustained a universal faith in currencies until the middle of last year when so many monies went south — except the dollar, levitating on blowback of the deflationary wind flattening everything else.

All this unreality in money and markets should be expected in the conditions just preceding systemic collapse of an entire trans-national industrial civilization, just as one should expect societies to construct their most grandiose monuments to themselves shortly before collapse. The Mayans R us. One year, they were cavorting bloodthirstily atop their garish painted pyramids and a generation later the jungle was stealing back over the temple steps and the population was a tenth of its former size. The same thing is going to happen to us, except there will be a hell of a lot more worthless, toxic debris left on the landscape.

Of course, even that is a more long-term projection than the exercise at hand calls for, viz., the forecast for measly little 2015. So without further throat-clearing, permit me to break it down for you:

Finance and Banking

As 2014 closed out, that kit-bag of frauds, swindles, Ponzis, grifts, bait-and-switches, and three-card-monte scams is looking at least as wobbly as it did in 2007 when Wall Street was busy manufacturing booby-trapped MBSs and CDOs. Except we know the true aggregate risk at stake has only grown larger and more hazardous due to all the strenuous efforts by authorities since the panic of 2008 to evade any natural process for clearing mal-investment and debt gone bad. A lot of that stank was simply shoveled into the Federal Reserve’s basement, where it sits to this day, composting steamily. As to be expected (and averred to in my previous books and blogs) financial repression, market intervention, and statistical distortion will produce ever more financial perversity. That is the hazard in decoupling truth from reality. Imposed dishonesty will always express itself in unexpected ways. Who expected the price of oil to fall by nearly half in a few months? (More on that below.)

These days, perversity expresses itself in a morbidly obese dollar gorging on junk while bulimic currencies elsewhere projectile-vomit their value away as the economies attached to them die of malnutrition. Perhaps this comes as a surprise to central bankers standing at their control panels like recording engineers at the soundboard, tweaking all the dials and slides expecting to achieve a perfect repressive inflation rate of 2-plus percent so they can melt away the onerous debt of sovereign balance sheets and Too Big To Fail banks — incidentally squeezing the citizenry of purchasing power in small annual increments that add up, after a while, to worthless money. They did manage to extend the inflation of stock market indexes another year, which the public is supposed to interpret as “prosperity.” Half a trillion dollars in stock buybacks of S & P companies were executed in 2014, much of it done with money, i.e. “leverage,” borrowed at zero interest. Stock buybacks boost share prices, of course, but they don’t represent any real increased value in a given company. They’re just snakes eating their own tails.

The belief that the world’s “reserve” currency is an implacable force, and that central bankers are omnipotent has made this trade appear to be an irresistible trend — Don’t fight the Fed! Since it’s a matrix of fraud based on thin air money detached from real productive activity, it is certain to blow up. And since 2015 is seven years past the last blowup, it can happen any time. All it requires is some small slippage somewhere, that one equivalent extra grain of sand or snowflake to bring the accumulate mass of false value down in a financial earthquake or avalanche. That obese dollar has been gorging on the equivalent of cheez kurls and Little Debbie Snack cakes, so it only grows more diseased as it gains weight. Sentient observers cannot fail to notice the advancing sickness.

Meanwhile, the US is stupidly waging currency war against other nations that can only blow back by incurring the animosity of every trading partner we have on the only planet available to live on. In 2015, I expect Russia to enlist China’s aid in undermining the dollar’s reserve status. Both countries have weaponry in the form of cash reserves and gold in their vaults. They also have the computer hacking expertise to start seriously messing with US markets — as much Fed technicians and TBTF bank algos do — bringing on mysterious flash crashes, derivatives “accidents,” and other abnormal events that will leave even the Goldman Sachs MIT graduates scratching their heads. Such hacking may accomplish what years of arrant market interventions by US technicians failed to produce: a deadly loss of faith on all the institutions that govern money and markets. Then the US will be the cleanest shirt in a laundry basket that is on fire.

The dollar these days represents two kinds of capital. The first is the stuff that the US has built and invested in since, say, the end of World War Two: a wasteland of aging and decrepitating suburban sprawl, that is, the infrastructure of a living arrangement with no future, the greatest entropic sink in human history. It extends to whole cities and their subsystems, e.g. the hell-hole of Las Vegas with Hoover dam and the dwindling reservoir of Lake Mead. Before mid-century, Las Vegas will be as desolate as Egypt’s Valley of the Kings. Try to imagine the money that went into building all that stupid shit in the desert. In another decade, across America, the housing subdivisions and commercial highway strips filled with tilt-up box stores, muffler shops and burger dispensaries will retain less value than the pyramids of Palenque had for the Mayans after their society rolled over and died. The so-called real economy is a New Age serfdom of burger fryers and janitors, indentured to that entropic sink. Below them is a widening slough of methedrine, child abuse, and tattoo art on its way to becoming Soylent Green. To put it bluntly, the dollar is entropy’s algo bitch.

The second kind of capital the dollar represents is the imaginary value based on sheer lying, making shit up, and borrowing from a future that has no chance of being paid back. This is the capital ginned up on “American exceptionalism” and “energy independence,” fairy tale memes functioning as collateral for the aforementioned malinvestments that add up to “The American way of life.” This capital has no substance, since it is just made up of intellectual and emotional dishonesty. This is the kind of constructed narrative that addicts and other functional cripples resort to to justify their behavior, and the fragility of it will sooner or later lead to the well-known condition of “hitting bottom.” That is the event horizon where the remnants of America enter what I call the World Made By Hand. It will be the greatest socio-economic shift since the fall of Rome, only much swifter.

Oil

It really deserves a sub-category of its own because it is the primary resource of our techno-industrial society and its troubles lie behind much of the present disturbances of our times. Despite the triumphal agitprop of the past few years, peak oil is for real. It just manifests more strangely than most people thought, namely, the simpleminded idea that it would only show up as ever-rising prices. No, I made point in The Long Emergency (2005) — and other commentators did too — that peak oil would manifest as volatility. And so since the actual moment of peak conventional crude around 2005, we’ve seen pretty wild oscillations in the price of oil. This is due to the harsh reality that the price people and enterprises can afford to pay for increasingly harder-to-get oil is less than the price that makes it possible to get it. This sets up a yo-yo-ing instability in economic performance that exacerbates even normal wave patterns in the business cycle (which are, in turn, aggravated by banks and governments’ interventions such as ZIRP to suppress those cycles). Below $70-a-barrel the producers go broke; above $70-a-barrel the customers go broke. So the price wobbles up and down as financial Ponzis like shale oil are introduced onto the scene in the hope that debt finagling and mineral rights leasing scams can substitute for physics and geological reality. One trouble with this is that each violent oscillation generates more economic and financial destruction. Activities like motoring, aviation, manufacturing, and retail are badly affected and the entire financial system is made more fragile by worsening increments. Most importantly, the cost structure of the oil industry itself gets battered to a degree that fewer companies can survive to produce the remaining oil.

The big story for 2014 was the crash of oil prices. It is yet being celebrated in other blogger’s 2015 forecasts as a boon to America. Wait until they find out that almost all of the “good jobs” added in recent years were associated with the shale drilling industry that is now being put out of business by low oil prices. Wait until they find out how the failure of junk bond financing thunders through the bond markets and the savage wilderness of derivatives — and ultimately into their ruined pension funds. Wait until they discover that it was but a symptom of the compressive deflationary depression now gripping the entire techno-industrialized world.

Here are my financial forecast particulars for 2015:

  • Early in 2015 the ECB proposes a lame QE program and is laughed out of the room. European markets tank.
  • Greek elections in January produce a government that stands up to the EU and ECB and causes a fatal slippage of faith in the ability of that project to continue.
  • Second half of 2015, the rest of the world gangs up and counter-attacks the US dollar.
  • Bond markets in Europe implode in first half and the contagion spreads to the US as fear and distrust rises about viability of US safe haven status.
  • Derivatives associated with currencies, interest rates, and junk bonds trigger a bloodbath in credit default swaps (CDS) and the appearance of countless black holes through which debt and “wealth” disappear forever.
  • US stock markets continue to bid upward in the first half of 2015, crater in Q3 as faith in paper and pixels erodes. DJA and S & P fall 30 to 40 percent in the initial crash, then further into 2016.
  • Gold and silver slide in the first half, then take off as debt and equity markets craters, faith in abstract instruments evaporates, faith in central bank omnipotence dissolves, and citizens all over the world desperately seek safety from currency war.
  • Goldman Sachs, Citicorp, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, DeutscheBank, SocGen, all succumb to insolvency. American government and Federal Reserve officials don’t dare attempt to rescue them again.
  • By the end of 2015, central banks everywhere stand in general discredit. In the US, the Federal Reserve’s mandate is publically debated and revised back to its original mission as lender of last resort. It is forbidden to engage in further interventions and a new less-secretive mechanism is drawn up for regulating basic interest rates.
  • Oil prices creep back into the $65 – $70 range by May 2015. It is not enough to halt the destruction in the shale, tar sand, and deepwater sectors. As contraction in the failing global economy accelerates, oil sinks back to the $40 range in October…
  • …unless mischief in the Middle East (in particular, the Islamic State messing with Saudi Arabia) leads to gross and perhaps fatally permanent disruption in world oil markets — and then all bets are off for both the continuity of advanced economies and for peace between nations.

Geopolitics

The signal event of 2015 will be the disintegration of Tom Friedman’s global economy, the trade and banking relations we have known for about a quarter century, especially the frictionless flow of goods and capital between East and West. The tactical blunders of the USA and its Euro-partners drive the so-called emerging markets, led by China’s Shanghai Cooperation Organization, into a skein of work-arounds to undermine and avoid the US dollar trade. They don’t exactly replace the dollar as the world’s reserve currency but the workarounds lead to a period of worldwide currency turmoil that can only be resolved by monies being at least partially backed by gold. Both China and Russia will continue to work to convert their dollar reserves into Gold whenever possible. Meanwhile, America and Great Britain’s campaign to discredit and devalue gold will only permit their rivals to acquire more at a cheaper price.

The rest of the world is sick of America’s interventionist shenanigans and its moronic exported culture of burgers, Grand Theft Auto, and twerking Jezebels. They are aided by America’s own obdurate foolishness and poor strategic choices, for instance the blowback from the Ukraine misadventure of 2014. Who in the White House, Pentagon, or State Department thought it was a great idea to undermine the fragile stability of Ukraine? Is there any question that Ukraine was ever not in Russia’s sphere of influence? Or that Russia would allow it to be dragooned into NATO and used as a forward base for American firepower? Dmitry Orlov’s explanation for all this is the most cogent on the web:

What the Anglo-imperialists were paying for in corrupting Ukraine’s politics was a ring-side seat at a fight between Ukraine and Russia. And what they got instead is a two-legged stool at a bar-room brawl between Eastern and Western Ukraine.

Read the whole darn thing; it’s not long.

We succeeded in turning a marginally-bankrupt, marginally-independent nation into a complete basketcase that is going Dark Age as I write — no money, no work, no fuel, no heat, no food, no prospects. Having completely botched the operation, and misplayed the game against Russia’s Putin — and Russia’s legitimate interest in a stable next-door neighbor — the US will now abandon Ukraine. It will be forgotten as surely as the US-sponsored Ukrainian air force’s role in the crash of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 — the incriminating details of which were buried by the Dutch investigating officials. Eventually, the Russians will have to care for the dying Ukraine. They will not be enthusiastic about it. They will do little and do it slowly.

Likewise our economic sanctions campaign against Russia (including the attack on the ruble) is now blowing back on the Eurozone’s export economy. Russia has survived much worse than Western sanctions in recent history. Russia will survive by turning east to Asia. This is already happening and is well publicized. What it means for Europe sooner than later is the loss of their access to imported oil and gas from Russia. Meanwhile, the North Sea fields and the Dutch Groningen gas field are dying. Good luck staying warm, Europe.

The blowback of Europe’s foolish partnership with the US campaign to punish Russia can only discredit the ruling parties and boost new right-wing parties such as France’s National Front and Britain’s UK Independence Party, both deeply nationalistic, anti Euro Union, and anti endless immigration.

The Islamic State was another legacy of blowback from American foreign adventurism. It was spawned out of the remnants of Al Qaeda in poor, broken Iraq and its conquests in 2014 ranged clear across northern Syria to several major cities in Iraq (Faluja, Tikrit, Mosul) right up to the suburbs of Baghdad. They made a lot of money off of captured oil wells and ransoming western hostages, and they shocked Western decency with their YouTube decapitations of hostages that the US and UK refused to ransom. The US’s response now is to bomb their installations and bivouacs. That can only drive them, literally, underground. IS will thrive on Western punishment. It has vast potential to recruit the population of idle, under-employed young men all across North Africa and the Middle East, and beyond to Europe and the band of Islamic society that stretches below Russia across mid-Asia. The catch is, if and when they come to actually rule most of these territories, they will be running economies reduced to Dark Age levels.

As I write, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has just entered the hospital. At 91, he is closer to the end of his story than the middle. Meanwhile, the tanking of crude oil prices has critically impaired an Arabian economy that depends on oil sales for more than 80 percent of its operating revenue. Much of that revenue goes to a national welfare system that pays just about everybody to not work. There will be a lot less money to go around now and a lot of grievance over it. The population of the Arabian Peninsula is so far beyond critical overshoot that the situation can only get ugly, especially since a large part of that excessive population consists of testosterone-jacked young men under 30 with nothing to occupy their hours but chitchat over tea and religious mummery. Consider also that when King Abdullah goes, there is liable to be a deeply destabilizing fight for the throne among the hordes of princes and competing clans — despite whomever Abdullah has named as his successor. You may be sure the Islamic State will be standing by to add fuel to those fires. That, in and of itself, could bring on a fast end of the oil age. Bear in mind, too, that the eastern side of Saudi Arabia, where most of the oil infrastructure is, contains a majority Shi’ite population. In a conflict between Sunni IS and Iran-backed Arabian Shia, a lot of stuff could just get blown up. At the least, itr could badly interrupt 30 percent of the world’s oil supply.

China is obviously struggling to prevent a financial freefall brought on by 20-plus years of extravagant debt creation and a lot mal-investment in the service of a very late entry into the techno-industrial frolic. It can’t be denied that they made a good show of it in a very short time, but they got in at the blow-off stage. Now conditions are changing unfavorably. The global economy that made China the world’s workshop is unwinding in a vortex of currency war, trade friction, territorial dispute, ethnic ill-will, and the disturbances that attend the great background problem of peak cheap oil.

The Chinese will work sedulously to try for a soft landing in the great economic contraction that looms. Chinese banking being non-transparent, overly subject to blundering central control, and deeply corrupt, may not bode well for that project. However, China has many cushions to fall back on short-term in the form of foreign money reserves and stockpiles of raw materials. But sooner or later they have to reckon with their dependence on continued oil imports. That is clearly the basis of China’s current flirtation with Russia — but with Russia arguably past its own oil production peak, that’s not a long-term strategy. China has cranked up the world’s mightiest production line of photovoltaic hardware, but solar won’t replace oil the way things currently run, and whatever they rig up may not last more than one generation if there’s no supporting platform of an oil economy for the manufacture of solar replacement parts.

Japan’s suicidal experiment with hyper-turbo ZIRP and QE is not accomplishing much except exacerbating global currency carry trades and driving down the nation’s standard of living. It may succeed in destroying the Yen and what remains of its economy in 2015. Fukushima remains unresolved and Japan’s energy future looks plain dismal. They have no energy resources of their own whatsoever. Any serious mischief in the Middle East oil fields will finish them off. The nation has been on the fast track to become the first post-industrial neo-medieval society. They could be fortunate to land back there and set up their shop while there are still residual riches in the world to work with. They might also go cuckoo and start a war with China for control over the oil fields of the South China sea. It is hard to see any other outcome from such a conflict other than China kicking Japan’s ass.

Geopolitical forecast particulars for 2015

  • Russia toughs out sanctions imposed by the USA; European partners drop their sanctions as self-evidently counter-productive. Russia threatens to post-pone debt repayments to Western banks. The ruble stabilizes.
  • Russia endures Islamic terrorist attacks and responds very harshly, embarrassing the wimpy West.
  • Baghdad Falls to Islamic State forces. Years of American endeavor are lost just like that. The IS attempts to use Iraqi oil reserves to fund its operations. It has a hard time keeping the infrastructure in repair. The USA refrains from bombing Iraqi oil installations, a decision viewed as weakness by IS.
  • The Islamic State makes inroads across North Africa. Libya, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco are all susceptible.
  • Formerly marginal political parties win big across Europe, forcing nations to rethink wide-open immigration policies. Neo-liberalism sinks into deep Weimar-style discredit. Open ethnic warfare breaks out in France, Britain, the Netherlands, Sweden.
  • European economies continue to sink for the simple reason that the growth era of techno-industrialism is over, along with affordable oil, and no amount of debt production will bring it back. All the machinations of the EU and the ECB are dedicated to overcoming this implacable reality, and thus will only lead to deeper and more intractable problems.
  • Beginning with the late January elections, which Alexis Tsipras’s Syriza party wins, Greece plays hardball with the EU for debt restructuring that amounts really to forgiveness of utterly unpayable €322 billion ($398 billion). If the EU calls Greece’s bluff and kicks them out, a European banking meltdown is almost certain. If Greece stays, then other hopelessly indebted nations of the EU declare they want the same deal. Pretty much a rock and hard place. Impossible to call except to say the situation promises mucho turmoil in 2015. ¡Hay problema!
  • Ebola contagion persists and rips across sub-Saharan Africa. Other nations are forced to pass severe travel restrictions to-and-from Africa.
  • Nigeria descends into bloody political turmoil as its oil industry falls apart in response to low prices. UN intervention accomplishes nothing. In wartime conditions, Ebola gains a foothold in Lagos, one of the world’s most overpopulated slum cities.
  • Pakistan and Afghanistan both continue to melt down into ungovernability. India is forced to take over administration of Pakistan and remove nukes. America continues to pretend that its mission in Afghanistan has some purpose, but it only remains a black hole of military expenditure and becomes a rancorous issue in the run-up to the 2016 Presidential election.

The USA Homefront 2015

For one who has been a close observer of the US socio-political-economic scene since the Kennedy era, the nation has gotten itself into a pretty sorry state. The pervasive racketeering that poisons American life from the money-in-politics farce, to the shameless, chiseling medical-pharma cabal, to the SNAP-card and disability rights empire of grift, to the college loan swindle, to the disgusting security state apparatus, to the corporate tyranny of local life and economies, to the delusional techno-narcissism of the media, to the despotic and puerile gender preoccupations of academia — all of it adds up to a society that cares as little for the present as it does for the future. And that’s aside from the pathetic digital device addiction of the generation coming up, and the sheer sordid behavior of the tattooed, drug-saturated, pornified masses of adults now forever foreclosed from a purposeful existence or a decent standard of living.

Even physically America is a sorry-ass spectacle: between our decrepitating cities, abandoned Main Streets, gruesome strip-mall highways, repellent and monotonous suburbs, dreary industrial ruins, profaned countryside, and desecrated coastline, there is little left to actually love about This land is Your Land. We’ve made so many collective bad choices about how we live that one can’t help feeling we are simply a wicked people who deserve to be punished.

Whole classes already are, of course. What used to be a working class with aspirations has devolved to the forlorn savagery averred to above. Our thought-leaders are devoid of thought. Our hopes and dreams are absurd sci-fi fantasies prompting us toward robot-assisted suicide. Our political stratagems of recent years accomplish nothing except making more trouble for ourselves while inciting the enmity of people elsewhere.

Barack Obama’s signal failure — aside from letting the banks get away with murder and omitting to counter the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision — has been his total evasion of measures that would prepare the nation for the vast changes in social and economic imperative that will attend the transition out of the techno-industrial era when he is out of office. These include supporting local small scale agriculture (rather than giant corporate agri-biz); promoting and supporting the reconstruction of local economic networks (Main Street business); eliminating multitudinous federal regulations that prevent individuals and small enterprises from operating; closing the hundreds of superfluous US military bases around the world; giving federal support to rebuild the US passenger rail system; promoting walkable communities — especially the re-activation of existing small towns and cities — instead of mindless obeisance to the suburban “home-building” industry (and its step-child in the commercial highway strip development racket) — and truly reforming medical care without the connivance of the insurance racketeers.

Obama and his party can be faulted for fostering the myth that every young person needs a college degree — leading a whole generation into debt penury for no good purpose, while depriving society of a long list of vocational roles and livelihoods based on providing genuine service or value. We will be a nation of unemployed gender studies graduates instead of plumbers, electricians, organic farmers, arborists, carpenters, machinists, nurses and paramedics, small business owners, et cetera.

This enormous bundles of myths and misplaced expectations for yesterday’s tomorrow prevents the collective national imagination from summoning a revised American Dream based on repairing the massive destruction of recent decades.

The political mood has not been murkier in my longish lifetime. Both major parties edge toward extinction as the Whigs did in the mid-1850s. The citizenry not sunk in drugs and depravity — that is, people who still read the news in some form and would like to care about their country — deserve a new faction or party that can at least express their discontent with the current situation. They will surely not get this in the generally supposed coming contest between Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush. I hope they will be so insulted by this dynastic grab that more than one new party will form and make a big stank about it. The Tea Party was a good start in that spirit, but it tripped on its internal contradictions and its association with Dixieland-style religious fundamentalist idiocy and cracker war-mongering.

All that redounds on the current state of the Republican Party, a gang of venal ignoramuses pimping for lost causes. Despite having won the 2014 midterms, and capturing both houses of congress and governorships, they seem increasingly out-of-touch with the realities of economic contraction, peak oil, and climate irregularities. The old magic of stirring up the animals on social issues of abortion, bedroom activities, and allegiance to Jesus fail to move the old base, which is becoming economically quite desperate. That base also becomes conscious of how they have been hornswoggled into voting against their own interests for years in the sense that author Thomas Frank so aptly described in What’s the Matter With Kansas.

Race relations turned very sour in 2014 with more highly publicized killings of young black men in ambiguous circumstances. The chief martyr of the year, Michael Brown of Ferguson, Mo., was a poor candidate for sainthood, and did not help advance the credibility of claims that police brutality rather than the misbehavior of young men is behind a lot of strife abroad in the land. One gets the feeling that black race hustlers are in the driver’s seat recklessly pushing African Americans toward open warfare with everybody else. My view of the situation is not popular with Progressives, viz: that black separatism and its offshoots in “diversity” politics and multi-culturalism tragically promote an antagonistic, alienated, oppositional black politics at the expense of a common culture for blacks and whites with common values and common standards of behavior. It has gotten so bad that reasonable people can sadly conclude that the long civil rights project has ended in failure. We are treading on dangerous ground here, with foolishly outmoded ideas about what to expect from each other, and of course all this begs the questions: What now? What next?

Domestic Forecast Particulars for 2015 

  • Markets tanking in Q3 destroy the illusion of “recovery.” It becomes obvious that the story was a lie and the public mood grows much more surly.
  • 2014 proves to be the year of peak shale oil. After the shakeout of 2015 due to low oil prices, production never returns to previous levels. The fairy tales of “energy independence” and “Saudi America” fall apart, deeply demoralizing a gulled public and adding yet another layer of discredit to the people in charge of things.
  • Different kinds of political revolt break out around the country among varied groups, left, right, and center. Some of it revolves around life-and-death struggles for the souls of the floundering major parties. Some of it is organized violence against the government and especially against the US security state apparatus, including overly militarized local police forces.
  • Low-grade racial warfare erupts across the US. Flash mobs, knock-out games, lootings, and hammer attack type outrages generate counter-attacks. By summertime the conflict heats up. Firefights become routine and casualties mount. President Obama proves to be tragically ineffectual in restoring peace.
  • Anti-immigration sentiment in Europe spreads to the US as falling oil prices produce political disorder in Mexico prompting tens of thousands to try to flee north.
  • Bank of America is the first of the Too Big To Fails to enter the event horizon of failure. Obama can’t get congress to go along with a bailout. By Thanksgiving, there is turmoil among the banks as they scramble to cover losses. A public furor over using taxpayer money to cover derivatives losses leads to an unprecedented concerted action by states to attempt “nullification” campaigns.
  • Citibank applies for a bail-in of account holders. Dithering, frightened federal authorities are too slow to respond, permitting a run on deposits.
  • Hillary is loudly booed and hectored at campaign stops as “a tool of Wall Street.” Her coffers overflow with TBTF bank contributions. She bows out of the presidential contest as the public mood toward her sours. But not before she generates a lot of resentful opposition and alienates many Democratic Party voters who are also furious over the eight-years of Obama’s “hope” and “change” hand-jive. Elizabeth Warren is dragooned to replace her — dubbed the “Un-Hillary” — rescuing the party from a near-death experience. She openly feuds with party bosses, who plot against her, and undermine her campaign.
  • Senator Rand Paul agitates to abolish the Federal Reserve. His senate colleagues are shamed into considering legislative reform of the Fed’s mandate. Debate on the issue is the only thing the Republican dominated congress and senate accomplish in 2015. Paul decides to challenge Jeb Bush for the 2016 nomination. This blows the Republican party apart.
  • At Christmas 2015, the DJA sits at 13,500, the S & P is at 1200. Gold is at 1750, silver at 42.

Good luck everybody. Gird your loins and fasten your seat belts.

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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.

124 Responses to “Forecast 2015 — Life in the Breakdown Lane” Subscribe

  1. charlesbasak January 5, 2015 at 9:04 am #

    Hey Jim and all!

    Wanted to say to thanks to Jim for a previous Kunstlercast where he introduced me to Jim Willie… who has been informing my thought of late. He’s got some interesting forecasts too, such as the Chinese New Year being the time when China might make a move towards a new gold backed currency, alone or more likely in an alliance with several other nations sick of the dollar. An interesting year to come for sure… let’s see if the wizards can keep it all stapled together for 2015.

    subversesjournal.wordpress.com/

  2. iczkoka January 5, 2015 at 10:34 am #

    Jim,
    Thanks for forecast that’s more detailed, specific, and thought-provoking than ever before. Excellent job.
    One year from now, we will be looking at a Bush-Clinton contest for president. Both candidates will encounter significant challenges for the nomination. A strong third party challenger will arise because of disgust with Bush-Clinton, but like Perot (1992) and Gore (2000) will do well enough in 2016 only to act as a spoiler. The 2016 outcome will depend whether the spoiler is running on the left or right.

    • iczkoka January 5, 2015 at 10:40 am #

      Perot (1992) and Nader (2000), that is.

    • Neon Vincent January 12, 2015 at 9:53 am #

      One of the commenters to “The Trigger” two weeks ago mentioned the difficulty of getting coverage of third-party candidates and especially including them in debates. In 2012, Free and Equal tried to remedy this by holding a debate where all national parties with presidential candidates were invited. The major U.S. networks ignored it, but Russia Today, Al Jazeera, and C-SPAN covered the debate. The result was that three of the four parties, Libertarians, Greens, and Justice, came to a consensus on the drug war (end it), civil liberties (major parties are trampling on them), and foreign interventionism (rein it in). Too bad they didn’t agree on economics. Also, based on a vote of viewers, the Green and Libertarian candidates debated in a second round. Unfortunately, only Russia Today covered it. With friends like that, third parties hardly need enemies.

    • Lori B February 9, 2015 at 7:58 pm #

      Hi, Ahead of schedule: MoveOn already on Warren. Back in 2007 they have “vote off” between Hillary and Obama and ever since then they supported Obama. So this just came out fm MoveOn: Yesterday, the Working Families Party of New York state joined the call asking Elizabeth Warren to run for president.1 That was just hours after progressive champion Van Jones went on ABC’s “This Week” and said that Elizabeth Warren is “on the lips of every grassroots Democrat” right now. This is Elizabeth Warren’s moment … bla bla – have a party for her in your area bla. Guess Little St James too much for Clinton?

  3. Greg Knepp January 5, 2015 at 11:05 am #

    It occurs to me that recent price fluxuations of oil – especially the current plunge – represent a failure of that most venerable of all business practices, namely price-fixing.

    Like insider trading, price-fixing has always been rather difficult to detect much less regulate, and, while there is nothing particularly admirable about the practice, at the very least price-fixing represents a form of often loosely coordinated activity that lends an oddly comforting sense that some people, somewhere know what the hell they’er doing, and have some level of control over the ebb and flow of commerce. In moderation, price-fixing smooths out the rough edges of economies.

    I’ve been in business for a number decades now (mostly seat-of-the-pants enterprises – some successful, some not) and can tell you that the total break-down of price-fixing in the trading of most important commodity off all has me more than a bit worried.

  4. Jeremy January 5, 2015 at 11:13 am #

    Correction: “DJA and S & P fall 30 to 40 points”

    You meant % right?

    Happy 2015 – and hope your gained grows.
    Let’s have some pics.

    • Neon Vincent January 12, 2015 at 10:25 am #

      The conventional wisdom is focused on what passes for good economic news under business as usual, high stock prices and cheap gas. I’m sure that neither will last. After all, these are not business as usual times. What I’m not sure about is whether stock prices will collapse as fast as the building that imploded across the street from where I teach. I expect that the indices will retreat in a more orderly fashion, and probably not as soon or as fast as our host predicts. Instead, I think they’ll start going down next year.

  5. Jeremy January 5, 2015 at 11:13 am #

    Error: Garden grows!

  6. 99 cent nation January 5, 2015 at 11:15 am #

    This is really good writing. I am going to read this several times to catch everything written.

  7. Pogo January 5, 2015 at 12:18 pm #

    Thanks, Jim, for a great and thoughtful essay. One of your best.

    I hope 2015 is good for you and that your health is good. I can’t imagine Monday mornings without coffee and your weekly CFN post.

  8. davidreese2 January 5, 2015 at 1:14 pm #

    Well done, Jim!. Should be required reading for every American.

  9. laceration January 5, 2015 at 2:09 pm #

    JHK, I know your heart is in writing fiction, even though you are probably the best non-fiction writer on the planet. But this is the first time I haven’t been able to tell the difference! I get the message though, this is the year when things really suck, even more than they have always sucked in the clusterfuck nation here. At least you have always been able to make a few bucks, the electricity stayed on and you could drive anywhere. That’s about the extent of the redeeming features so I don’t see Mexicans storming the border. Why would they, Mexico is a much better place to be poor. What is left when you can’t make any $$ here? Nothing. In fact, I know some people, like Morris Berman, emigrating from here to Mexico.
    Collapse would suck…just like status quo. I hope I get some more time to recreate my life for a world made by hand. I don’t know how hollow that would be when there are so few doing it too.

  10. ozone January 5, 2015 at 2:13 pm #

    JHK,
    Wow! Talk about thought-provoking as well as *comprehensive*. Gadzooks, someone has been keeping a keen eye on the approach of Nemesis (as always)!

    Only two minor things I might contend with: A resistance to bank bail-ins and the disintegration of the Two-Party Monopoly. (Fun little oxymoron there. 😉 )

    IMHO, desperation tends to make folks acclimated to the status quo cling even more tightly to these institutions as the panic takes hold in the face of the “unfamiliar”. (I’ve seen this phenomena more than once and find it quite strange, but “there it is”.)

    Now, I say these are minor points, because reality is going to blow the house of straw in, despite the best wishing, fiddling, fudging and finagaling the Grand Poobahs of endless growth can bring to bear.

    Thanks again for the heads-up. No matter the specific timeline, these are the kerfuffles that are going to determine which dung-heap we’re going to land in.

  11. Don H January 5, 2015 at 3:28 pm #

    Three Weeks after the Brown/Williams incident, my stringband was scheduled to play music for the Ferguson Farmer’s Market. However, the previous weekend, the Market was disrupted by protesters, who although mostly peaceful, except for beating on drums, were vocal enough to scare the bejeepers out of the rural vendors. So the Market has been indefinitely cancelled, adding to the local “food desert” situation for people there unable to drive to Walmart. (Remember, the Quick Trip was torched).

    What’s very Kunstlerish about the situation, is that for many of the self-segregating protesters, that was their first trip to Market! The lack of civic participatation by Blacks in their communities is part of the urban decay. Ferguson was in the process of re-gentrifying, but that’s finished.

    And I’m still rather certain that, dispite the huge Black influence on the developement of vernacular music in our once shared culture, we would not have been the entertainment of choice to the protesters.

    I’m not sure trying to explain my appreciation of Cannon’s Jug Stompers, The Memphis Jug Band or Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee could have warded off potential hammer-wielders. I don’t think those truck vendor/farmers will be back either.

    • Petro January 9, 2015 at 8:33 am #

      The latest hand-wringing in Detroit is over the question: Where Are All the Black People? There are a lot of fun, interesting, innovative places, activities, and events in Detroit (believe it or not)—but it’s almost entirely white folks you see taking part. What’s going on? Is someone (other than the stay-at-homes) at fault? Is it economics? How much does it cost to wander around mid-town and enjoy the lights, music, ice sculptures on Noel Night? It’s all FREE. But when you’re there… mostly white people.

      Some say the new entrepreneurs and the cultural institutions need to make city residents (ie. black people) feel more welcome. I dunno. I’ve never gotten an uptight, stiff feel from any of these things. It all seems very warm and laid-back. But maybe that’s because I’m white?

  12. CancelMyCard January 5, 2015 at 4:11 pm #

    “At Christmas 2015, the DJA sits at 13,500, the S & P is at 1200. Gold is at 1750, silver at 42.”

    Not quite, Jim.

    You are much too optimistic, and off by a factor of two in either direction.

    My forecast — at Christmas 2015, the DJIA sits at 6750, the S & P is at 1200. Gold is at 3500, silver at 84.

    There, fixed it for you.

    And if Martin Armstrong is correct about the great blowout/reset happening around 2015.75, then even my predictions are too optimistic.

    But regarding this year’s Annual Predictions — having read all of the previous efforts, I want to congratulate you on the best one ever.

    • CancelMyCard January 5, 2015 at 4:12 pm #

      Typo — Christmas 2015: S & P at 600.

    • CancelMyCard January 5, 2015 at 11:08 pm #

      Typo — Christmas 2015: S & P at 600.

      Fixed it.

  13. edward4432 January 5, 2015 at 5:49 pm #

    Yeah Jim. We have heard it all before. I am still waiting for the DOW at 4000. Remember that? Outside of a rock the size of Mars hitting us, we are going to muddle through. It won’t be pretty but that;s the way it works. toddle do.

    • CancelMyCard January 5, 2015 at 11:09 pm #

      Muddle through?

      Fat effing chance . . .

      We are all going to fall flat on our faces in the mud.

      period.

  14. Smoky Joe January 5, 2015 at 9:45 pm #

    Too dark a scenario here by far. I agree we’ll muddle through poorer, angrier, and more divided.

    That said, one point, about falling oil, really does bother me. If the US enters a deflationary spiral as Europe seems bound to do, all bets are off for avoiding another Great(er) Recession. The entire financial system is just a bunch of phantoms chasing each other while placing bets on who will fail first.

    And if any two of JHK’s predictions pan out (and that seems likely) we could not enter 2015 with a worse political culture. It is broken by money and ideology. Only an alien invasion or massive cyber-attack might pull us together. Might.

    • CancelMyCard January 5, 2015 at 11:09 pm #

      See directly above

      Muddle through?

      Fat effing chance . . .

      We are all going to fall flat on our faces in the mud.

      period.

      • Smoky Joe January 6, 2015 at 6:00 pm #

        You may well be right. I prepare for the worst and hope for something slightly better. I’ve been wrong before–I was guessing we’d have a nuclear exchange with the Soviets before 1990. Then events took a very different turn.

  15. Talon January 5, 2015 at 10:25 pm #

    “One year, they were cavorting bloodthirstily atop their garish painted pyramids …”

    Lol JHK – you still got it 🙂

    “I don’t know how anyone can trust the statistical bullshit emanating from our government reporting agencies, or the legacy news organizations that report them.”

    Amen. Although you didn’t see through 0bama for years, whereas some of us knew what to expect before he was elected. I wonder why?

    Anyway, your blog is one of the best, and after “The Long Emergency” anything else you do is a bonus – thanks!

  16. venuspluto67 January 5, 2015 at 11:25 pm #

    If I am to ever support the Democratic Party again, it is going to have to change in a huge and major way. If it doesn’t and there’s no alternative, I’ll just become a nonvoter and reconcile myself to the idea that whatever is going to happen will simply happen. I have given the Democratic Party more chances and more forgiveness than I have ever given anybody or anything, and they responded by pissing on me and voters like me Every. Fucking. Time. Well, no more.

    • kansas ham on wry January 6, 2015 at 10:25 pm #

      Agree with pretty much everything you said (except one part). With rare exception, the Dems are utterly beyond redemption. They mouth the progressive platitudes to bamboozle the credulous, but when the rubber hits the road, they can be counted on to whore for the money boys almost as impressively as the GOP. They got my vote in 2008. They didn’t in ’12 (and I think my wife is still pissed at me about that).

      But disengaging from the process only lets the bastards win. If you don’t vote, they just dismiss you as one of the apathetic mob. There are options other than the duopoly. Find a party or group that reflects your ideals and vote for them. if the best the Dums and Repugs can barf up is Clinton-Bush lite for the upcoming quadrennial, the tidal wave of popular revulsion may send voter preferences spinning off in new and novel directions. Your disgust may be a more universal sentiment than your realize. Send them a message – express your displeasure by letting both parties know that you don’t support either one of them. ‘Whatever is going to happen will simply happen?’ Maybe so. But I’m not going down without a fight. They’re going to hear me shrieking from the cheap seats about what a bunch of dumbasses they all are.

  17. Farmer McGregor January 6, 2015 at 12:54 am #

    I want to second the statement from Talon: “Anyway, your blog is one of the best, and after “The Long Emergency” anything else you do is a bonus – thanks!” though I must say I enjoyed “Too Much Magic” even more than TLE.

    Concerning conditions surrounding petrol in 2015, I suspect that by late in the year we may be seeing actual supply problems ala 1970’s “Out Of Gas” signs at filling stations. The crash in crude prices has already started shutting down development and production here in Colorado. The Denver Fox affiliate station news program aired interviews with some oil executives whining about how the price at the pump may be good for consumers but that it will cause the loss of many jobs, and perhaps even entire companies. I was astounded to hear such accurate reporting on this topic on a MSM outlet.

    The point is that if it’s not worth producing, they won’t. And when they don’t, we will eventually have to go without. Sooner, I think, than later.

    Happy New Year to you, Mr. K., and to all the CFNers out there.

  18. Arn Varnold January 6, 2015 at 7:04 am #

    Well James, it would seem history is catching up with you…

  19. lost-in-north-dakota January 6, 2015 at 8:18 am #

    Thanks, Jim, you are one of the few to “connect the dots” on one thing. The big banks used every ounce of their political influence to put the taxpayers on the hook for their losses in derivatives, in that detestable “cromnibus” bill. The timing was no coincidence. There are something like $500 billion in junk bonds out there for fracking, and the value of the credit default swaps on these bonds worth many times more. The big banks were desperate to get these covered by the taxpayers. It was subprime mortgages that blew up the economy in 2007-2008, it will be junk bonds on fracking in 2015-2016.

  20. michics January 6, 2015 at 5:20 pm #

    Jim,

    Great predictions for 2015 and many look very likely to happen. It is now Tuesday afternoon Jan 6th and the stock market already has two days of loss triggered by the continued fall of oil prices. US Steel just announced they’re shutting down two steel plants and laying off over 250 due to the oil fields reducing production.

    It’s already starting. The mass layoffs in the US oil industry is right around the corner as oil prices continue the downward slide. Saudi Arabia will continue to squeeze everyone with excess oil.

    I tend to think that the government might try to bailout the big banks. But instead of driving up the deficit will instead try to tap into everyone’s IRA & 401k monies through some congressional action.
    Claiming it’s the only way to save us from hell.

    Everyone should take a hard look at their investments to try and get into something less volatile than stocks.

    Good Luck to everyone and hang on.

  21. PeteAtomic January 6, 2015 at 8:17 pm #

    Boy.

    Too bad I drank the last of my Irish whiskey last night. I think I need a belt after reading these dire numbers of predictions.

    I was about ready to read that the Minnesota Vikings were to win the Super Bowl in ’15, as well. Then I KNOW the US is in the toilet.

    heh heh….
    (I live in Duluth, so..I know how bad my team is, lol)

    • barbisbest January 8, 2015 at 1:36 pm #

      Yeah, and the Steelers are out of the running, so everything’s going downhill!! Maybe we should’ve been more concerned with where civilization was going. It’ll at least be good to go down with some truths. In the words of Bette Davis, “put on your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night”. Glad my beloved mum passed away in December. RIP look down on us and wish us well. Well need it.

  22. Thamus January 6, 2015 at 11:24 pm #

    Seems like the US got a one legged bar stool in Ukraine and they sat down on it pretty hard.

  23. Don January 7, 2015 at 1:39 am #

    Then again, maybe everything will work out ok.

  24. ZrCrypDiK January 7, 2015 at 2:01 am #

    $200K annual sub-contractor salary “on the DOLE” (US taxpayer subsidized), and a home in Hawaii – he must have given that up because he’s a “TRAITOR”. Had it been me, I’d prolly worked 4-5 years, and retired – but that’s just *me*. (what’s Edward Snowden’s name?)

    That’s pretty much the intellect of the ADHD masses (fueled by infotainment news). I don’t think there’s any way of waking those zombies (96%+ of the US population?)…

    FWIW, I just found out I’m a grandfather at 47 years of age, on new years day 2015. And here I thought I had no children (never been married, haven’t been with a woman in 25 years)… I did get conned, *HARDCORE*. I guess I should be blessed (lulz) I didn’t have to pay alimony/child support…

    • MisterDarling January 9, 2015 at 4:59 pm #

      “FWIW, I just found out I’m a grandfather at 47 years of age, on new years day 2015.”-Zr.

      Congratulations!

      🙂

      • ZrCrypDiK January 31, 2015 at 8:40 pm #

        Max Keiser?!? Heh, yeah – he quoted you again *TONITE*!!! (a good 12 minutes, *shphing-shphing*…)

  25. barbisbest January 7, 2015 at 11:13 am #

    Guess civilization will go until it won’t go anymore. At any rate, it won’t be nice. It’ll all come out in the wash. Yes, the Mayans scaled the heights as we have, and then everything, well, you know how that went.. I’ve lived through chaotic times, some deaths quick Glad it’s easier to go than it is to come here. When a certain industries peoples’ homes just north of Big D town are larger than the palaces of Versaille maybe it must needs be. Karah’s advice a few blogs back was good, be happy now.

    I was going to write about how millenials should strive for those intentional communities, because anything’s possible. The window may be closing on that.

    • sharonsj January 9, 2015 at 6:04 pm #

      Jim wrote: “We succeeded in turning a marginally-bankrupt, marginally-independent nation into a complete basketcase that is going Dark Age as I write — no money, no work, no fuel, no heat, no food, no prospects.”

      I thought he was talking about the U.S….

  26. Farmer McGregor January 7, 2015 at 2:33 pm #

    Holy Moses!

    Urgent update to MY ORIGINAL COMMENT yesterday:

    I was just informed that there are gas stations in our town that have “Out Of Gas” tags on all but the Premium pump handles — way ahead of schedule! — didn’t expect this for several months.

    It’s not a temporary delivery issue, the weather is cold but clear, roads are all open and running, two major refineries within 50 mile radius. Whoa!

    • barbisbest January 8, 2015 at 1:28 pm #

      YIKES! Interesting times. Death be not proud

  27. barbisbest January 8, 2015 at 1:24 pm #

    Thanks for the good luck wish. Ditto kiddo. But hey, Thom Hartmann posits today that if France responds to the shootings yesterday in that country like GWB did after 9-11, it’s WWIII. Incumbents start wars you know to earn reelection. Yes, gird your loins or stick your head between your legs and kiss your ass goodbye. Same difference. Good luck to us all and God bless us every one. Happy New Year! yep, maybe a day late and a dollar short for those intentional communities.

  28. dark matter January 9, 2015 at 3:41 am #

    Wow, slow down. I think this could happen over the next 4-5 years period but not compressed into the second half of 2015.

  29. MisterDarling January 9, 2015 at 5:04 pm #

    So, it looks like the events of this week in France prepared stage for this:

    “Open ethnic warfare breaks out in France, Britain, the Netherlands, Sweden.” – J H K,

    …to happen. And we’ve barely gotten started. Should be an interesting year!

    😉

  30. BackRowHeckler January 10, 2015 at 10:04 am #

    Geez Jim, we’re only 9 days into the New Year and some of your predictions are already in motion

    One thing you didn’t forecast: Russia being backed into a corner, politically, strategically, financially, and lashing out with a nuclear strike somewhere, not necessarily here. I’ve seen that possibility mentioned in a few places the past day or so.

    –brh

  31. malthuss January 10, 2015 at 11:24 pm #

    Jim posted this over two years ago,

    The debt mountains in the USA andelsewhere far overshadow the equity and commodity market molehills, and unpaid debt will eventually overcome all the forces of untruth. Debt is a subsidiary of the force known as reality. Its will cannot be denied, even by Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, the US Treasury, and the Federal Open Markets Committee. And the unwinding of unpaid debt, honestly acknowledged or not, will thunder through the system sucking wealth out of advanced societies so efficiently that it will make the Seven Plagues of the Bible look like a flat tire on a sunny day.

    So, finally my picks for 2013:

    – Dow 4000 (What!? Did he say that!? Again!?). Even the algos will run squealing into the underbrush this time.

    – Gold $2500 by 12/31/2013 (and headed higher) after a Q-1 deleveraging swoon. Silver $125. Uncertainty trumps greed and fear.

  32. george33 January 11, 2015 at 10:54 am #

    Up with the cowafate-vote jeb bush.

  33. dvautier January 13, 2015 at 3:39 am #

    if just one-tenth of the stuff you describe comes true, we are in for one hell of a year. great writing.

  34. ezra abrams January 27, 2015 at 2:26 pm #

    for many years, Mr Kunstler has loudly and assertively said that peak oil is coming soon…sometime..maybe any day now..

    you would think that after being so wrong , for so long, so loudly, that he would suffer some reputational damage…

  35. Therian January 31, 2015 at 7:26 pm #

    I love the way a few of James’ skeptics talk about the collapse never happening. Anyone who knows the real story of the American middle class, Workforce Participation, the Velocity of Money, and many other mainline, but NEVER quoted, stats … knows that the collapse has already happened. Eighty percent of the Boomers will NEVER retire. The average family cannot raise more than $500 in case of an emergency. Seventy-six percent of the country is one paycheck from the street. It’s an employer’s market like never before and everyone is absolutely terrified at the slightest possibility of job loss.

    Collapse? It happened and the Panglossians decided to look the other way.

  36. Coilin MacLochlainn February 4, 2015 at 3:51 pm #

    Hi James,

    Near the top you take a dig at ‘doomer cranks’, but I always thought you yourself were a doomer crank and that this was why people followed you? It is why I read you and listen to your casts. I need to know what is going down and you tell us honestly.

    How can the fall of industrial civilisation be anything other than a good thing? Industrial civilisation is polluting the air and threatening our very existence. It is responsible for the mass extinction of species and leading to an inevitable collapse of the biosphere, the Earth’s life support system. It is destroying fertile soils with chemicals and washing vital topsoil into the sea. It is supporting a growing human population that will come up against the wall of finite resources, leading to global famine and the loss of most people and most living things. Will there be any life on Earth after we have finished destroying what is left of it, other than the proverbial cockroaches? I’m thinking even cockroaches will not have any future in the Earth we are bringing down on ourselves and Mother Nature. We are most likely to end up with a ‘Venus Earth’ type of world, where global warming has caused all of the Earth’s water to boil off and it is now in the Earth’s atmosphere, a massively deep cloud stretching into the stratosphere, with no life left on the ground beneath it only perhaps some pretty tough microbes.

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  38. mercpl May 29, 2015 at 10:38 pm #

    So tell me Mr Kunstler, when will you be reviewing your predictions in light of reality?

    I’d love to see a revision, say about the beginning of July based upon what has actually happened. Please don’t take this request as being disrespectful or sarcastic. I know that predicting things is hard, (especially in the future). But it’s good scientific practice to revise theories when new evidence becomes available.

  39. ZrCrypDiK August 21, 2015 at 8:09 pm #

    Wowzerz, 7 pages *scroll-spam* on the down-side (#1-65). Doubtful NE-1 reading this drivel, ‘cept for the 6-fig-govt-salaried (wink/wink, *stalkaz*).

    Thomas Merton been dead *WAY* too long. His elegy (eloquy?) story – welpz, lost in ashes and dust. Pelagian, indeed!!!

    NE-1 pay attention to Max in Chi-town?!? Too much *dragonfly*!!! Hah! He’s quite formidable, in the off-books HFT bull-sh!t. Bubbles, bubbles everywhere – but not a *bubble* for me! (pour toi!) Portal…

  40. Grace Kent October 6, 2015 at 2:37 am #

    Hi everyone here. What Tom Wilson said is very true though i may not know him. I experienced it first hand also. It was this organization called union loan service (ULS)that really helped me to pay my medical bills when i was dearly in need of money because i am a widow, a friend of my was who directed me to them, when i was about to do a major operation and i had no money at that time, they came to my rescue and in less than 48 hours, i got my loan. But to say the truth, i was nervous and scared at first because i have been scammed twice. But when i summoned up courage and follow their lending policies along with my friends advice, at the end i found myself smiling. If not for them, maybe i would have been dead by now. I have even taken another loan from them to start my business after my recovery which i am also paying back now. My only advice now is that anybody who is really in need of loan should contact them with their email via:unionloanservice@outlook.com and get a loan from them. Thanks.{Grace Kent}

  41. surender May 14, 2016 at 8:37 am #

    Well done, Jim. This is really good writing. I am going to read this several times to catch everything written.

    lavacanza.in/

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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