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Muskular Magic

E lon Musk, Silicon Valley’s poster-boy genius replacement for the late Steve Jobs, rolled out his PowerWall battery last week with Star Wars style fanfare, doing his bit to promote and support the delusional thinking that grips a nation unable to escape the toils of techno-grandiosity. The main delusion: that we can “solve” the problems of techno-industrial society with more and better technology.

The South African born-and-raised Musk is surely better known for founding Tesla Motors, maker of the snazzy all-electric car. The denizens of Silicon Valley are crazy about the Tesla. There is no greater status trinket in Northern California, where the fog of delusion cloaks the road to the future. They believe, as Musk himself often avers, that Tesla cars “don’t burn hydrocarbons.” That statement is absurd, of course, and Musk, who holds a degree in physics from Penn, must blush when he says that. After all, you have to plug it in and charge somewhere from the US electric grid.

Only 6 percent of US electric power comes from “clean” hydro generation. Another 20 percent is nuclear. The rest is coal (48 percent) and natural gas (21 percent) with the remaining sliver coming from “renewables” and oil. (The quote marks on “renewables” are there to remind you that they probably can’t be manufactured without the support of a fossil fuel economy). Anyway, my point is that the bulk of US electricity comes from burning hydrocarbons, and then there is the nuclear part which is glossed over because the techno-geniuses and politicians of America have no idea how they are going to de-commission our aging plants, and no idea how to safely dispose of the spent fuel rod inventory simply lying around in collection pools. This stuff is capable of poisoning the entire planet and we know it.

The PowerWall roll out highlighted the “affordability” of the sleek lithium battery at $3,500 per unit. The average cluck watching Musk’s TED-like performance on the web was supposed to think he could power his home with it. Musk left out a few things. Such as: you need the rooftop solar array to feed the battery. Figure another $25,000 to $40,000 for that, depending on whether they are made in China (poor quality) or Germany, or in the USA (and installation is both laborious and expensive). Also consider that you need a charge controller and inverter to manage the electric flow and convert direct current (DC) from the sun into usable alternating current (AC) for your house — another $3,500. So, the cost of hanging a solar electric system on your house with all its parts is more like fifty grand.

What happens when the solar panels, battery, etc., reach the end of their useful lives, say 25 years or so, when there is no more fossil fuel (or an industry capable of providing it economically). How will you fabricate the replacement parts? By then the techno-wizards will have supposedly “come up with” a magic energy rescue remedy. Stand by on that, and consider the possibility that you will be disappointed with how it works out.

What gets me about Tesla’s various products and activities is that, when all is said and done, they are meant to extend the fatal rackets of contemporary life, especially car dependency and the suburban development pattern. Car dependency can and probably will fail on the financial basis, not on the question of how you run the car. The main economic problem we face is the end of growth of the kind we’re used to, the kind that generates real capital and enables bank lending. It is already happening and has led to fewer loans for fewer qualified borrowers. It will also lead to the end of government’s ability to pay for fixing the elaborate hierarchy of paved highways, roads, and streets that the cars have to run on. Imagine the psychic pain of the Silicon Valley billionaire driving his $87,000 Tesla P85D down a freeway that the State of California hasn’t been able to repair in five years.

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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 the four-book series of World Made By Hand novels, set in a post economic crash American future. His most recent book is Living in the Long Emergency; Global Crisis, the Failure of the Futurists, and the Early Adapters Who Are Showing Us the Way Forward. Jim lives on a homestead in Washington County, New. York, where he tends his garden and communes with his chickens.

544 Responses to “Muskular Magic” Subscribe

  1. AKlein May 11, 2015 at 9:49 am #

    Before JHK draws a lot of fire regarding the viability of Musk’s battery, I believe we should focus on JHK’s main message; we need a major paradigm shift in the way we live. And with that in mind, Musk’s battery is just a distraction which keeps us from focusing on the real problems we face. And consequently keeps us from arriving at truly durable solutions.

    • Neon Vincent May 11, 2015 at 10:17 am #

      “Musk’s battery is just a distraction which keeps us from focusing on the real problems we face.”

      That’s something Greer brings up regularly. The response to peak oil and all the related issues that flow out from it has not been to face what Kunstler, Greer, Heinberg, Bardi, and the people who read and comment on their writings see. It’s been to figure out how to maintain as much as possible of our current lifestyle for those who can afford it. It’s also been to keep enterprises in business that enable those lifestyles. Hence, a lot of emphasis on sustainability in cars among companies like Ford and Tesla, both of which are attempting to continue business as usual while adapting to conditions. My students have picked up on this and found two examples of PR for green cars, one each from Ford and Tesla.

      As for our host’s comment about “a freeway that the State of California hasn’t been able to repair in five years,” that’s starting to happen here in Michigan and the residents of this state are balking at doing something about it. They had an opportunity to raise Michigan’s sales tax to pay for road, bridge, and highway maintenance on Tuesday. They declined overwhelmingly. The measure was defeated by a 60% margin, 20% to 80%. That’s the greatest drubbing a state ballot measure has ever received in Michigan.

      • Petro May 11, 2015 at 11:49 am #

        Neon, as you know, but other CFN readers may not, this statewide ballot proposal to raise the sales tax 1% was defeated for a whole host of reasons—and not necessarily from Michigan drivers’ demand for better roads or even a willingness to pay for them. The 4-to-1 no vote reflected concerns—even outrage—from both the “right” and the “left” about this complicated proposal. I won’t get into all of them, but one I kept hearing over and over reflected something we’ve read from JHK and others here: the crumbling lack of trust in the honesty and competence in such state institutions as the Michigan legislature and the rest of the bureaucracy.

        • Petro May 11, 2015 at 12:00 pm #

          I should have written: “…Michigan drivers’ LACK of demand for better roads…”

      • shotho May 11, 2015 at 2:18 pm #

        Good for Michigan! May all states do the same. The sooner all of that concrete and asphalt returns to earth and stone, the better we will all be. And, if that doesn’t bring on localism, I don’t know what will.

        • johnc May 11, 2015 at 5:44 pm #

          Good point. There is a guy walking around California with 3 mules advocating for a nationwide trail system. That seems like a good idea.

          • BackRowHeckler May 12, 2015 at 4:08 am #

            Sounds like somebody the CHP, the FBI, ATF and NSA will be keeping a close eye on.

            brh

      • mastman23 May 11, 2015 at 8:00 pm #

        The states tax us to death for fuel and those taxes are in a trust fund for highway repairs and maintenance. SHOW ME THE MONEY! I remember Bush tried to raid the federal highway trust fund when he was president did the states do the same? If so who approved this theft of funds? Why are the people not asking this question?

    • sauerkraut May 11, 2015 at 11:33 am #

      AK, I think that any attempt at “durable solutions” involve depopulation. That may prove to be unpopular.

      • AKlein May 11, 2015 at 12:00 pm #

        Deep in my psyche, what you opine resonates. For obvious reasons, I try to ignore that resonance. I expect that I am not alone in that behavior.

        • ozone May 11, 2015 at 9:05 pm #

          Nossir, in no wise are you alone in that.
          …And due to it’s nagging insistence (despite pointed attempts at changing the subject in my internal dialogue) I continue to try for some small measure of resilience to leave for the next struggler to perhaps secure a meager living from.
          …Of course, if the haline conveyor shuts down, this will become a frozen wasteland here anyway and I’ll join the extinguished earlier than I might have expected! 😉

          (As has been said here time and again, preparing and growing a food garden is a *lot* of trial and error, even with good reference books. A lot of “folks” are going to starve waiting for miracles and saviors.)

      • mastman23 May 11, 2015 at 8:29 pm #

        May be unpopular but it is the plan as I see it. The big think tanks are trying to find a way to eliminate the USA mass over consumption of resources in relation to the rest of the world. If they cant get it done peacefully it will be done forcefully.

        The USA right now is what we used to describe in the military as a SHIT SANDWICH and everyone must take a bite.

        World consumption is out of control but still promoted by business and government. We have Chickens leading us when we need Roosters.

        The return to small rural farming communities is the only way out of this SHIT SANDWICH. Our kids and grand kids will need to learn what the real HOE is not the rap slang version

    • PeteAtomic May 11, 2015 at 12:02 pm #

      ya, absolutely. Good first post to the article.

      There is a great number of opportunities to leave globalization and re-localize the economy. So the Great Transformation will occur when, instead of a majority of the current workforce is indentured at the big box– people become engaged in an economy of scale where they are, as a community, able to provide the goods & services to their neighbors which replaces and moves the onus of service and creation back to the local economy.

    • gsmith May 11, 2015 at 5:29 pm #

      While I planned on a more technical response to that lack of knowledge letter,after reading other commits I see it would be as lost on this group as Musk’s entire infomercial was. So I’ll state this only,
      25 days of Government borrowing would pay for enough Solar panels
      to have enough carbon free energy to run every car in America.
      To be more specific. One acre of panels runs 500 cars for the year give or take the size of the cars. As a Director of a Vertical shaft Windmill
      Company (built in India of course) Due to Politics in USA this country will be a last adapter to Non big Oil remedies.

      G Smith

      • johnc May 11, 2015 at 5:52 pm #

        Good point. As a silicon valley resident I see the problem on the other side of the continent with a failure of our leaders in DC to propose or adopt an energy policy that will take us off of our dependence on oil. The technology is there and spending to implement it will benefit the whole economy. I can’t say I agree about the electric cars. It would much more efficient to turn all our highways into electric rail.

      • mastman23 May 11, 2015 at 8:06 pm #

        Big Oil the MIC and Medical mafia own our representatives period. Nothing will change until the graft system in Congress and the White House changes.

  2. Ken Hall May 11, 2015 at 9:53 am #

    Pleased am I to observe that you hold Herr Musk in the same high regard as do I when it come to his hair brained electricity is “free” ideas. I am a retired engineer (BS Astronautical Eng. CU, Boulder 68); however I spent the majority of my working life as an Electronic Eng.

    • toughbretts May 11, 2015 at 12:46 pm #

      Ever have physics professor AA Bartlett?
      “Bartlett regarded overpopulation as “The Greatest Challenge” facing humanity”
      He knew technology was no substitute for the earth’s finite capacity for human population.

      • Ken Hall May 12, 2015 at 1:14 pm #

        I know well of Dr. Bartlett; however, I was assigned to DR. Frank Oppenheimer’s classes, you may have heard of his brother J. Robert Oppenheimer.

        • sprawlcapital May 13, 2015 at 9:22 pm #

          Ken–
          Your academic and career achievements are impressive. That said, I’m sure you won’t take offense at my pointing out that “hair brained” in your above post should be “hare brained”. Hare in this metaphor is a rabbit. That creature is not noted for intelligence, hence, a hare brained idea is a bad idea.

  3. sprezzatura May 11, 2015 at 9:54 am #

    ” Imagine the psychic pain of the Silicon Valley billionaire driving his $87,000 Tesla P85D down a freeway that the State of California hasn’t been able to repair in five years.”

    It’s already happening. I’ve been driving for 50 years, and I cannot remember seeing so many potholes (Nova Scotia). We are becoming unable to fix our roads.

    My wheel rim got bent in a pothole, I was getting a slow leak on my “unround” rim. A Volvo rim is $400. @#$%&*

    • orbit7er May 11, 2015 at 10:02 am #

      In the former Automobile capital state of Michigan voters just overwhelmingly rejected a proposal for more taxes to fix their roads.
      This follows by a few years Michigan’s decision to just allow a number of rural formerly paved roads to devolve back into gravel…

      • LLPete May 11, 2015 at 11:45 am #

        I grew up in rural Nebraska in the 1950’s and well remember the scary gravel roads with dust, flying rocks, dangerous passing. And even gravel roads need constant maintenance with road graders to keep the gravel evenly distributed on the road surface and to smooth out the washboard effect. I am not nostalgic for gravel roads.

    • uslabor May 11, 2015 at 11:18 am #

      Here in Colorado Springs, Colorado the roads are crumbling away, and few here in Militaryville want to pay taxes to maintain them. We can continue to dodge the big holes, for a while.

    • mastman23 May 11, 2015 at 8:16 pm #

      Better buy an old truck and get ready for dirt and gravel roads. we will head back to the 1940s when all rural and secondary routes were oiled gravel or dirt not paved.

      It will be fun to watch the techno s in their 80 grand BMWs follow my dust cloud in my old Dodge Pick up. Just the thought of it get me going

  4. FincaInTheMountains May 11, 2015 at 9:55 am #

    “Also consider that you need a charge controller and inverter to manage the electric flow and convert direct current (DC) from the sun into usable alternating current (AC) for your house — another $3,500. So, the cost of hanging a solar electric system on your house with all its parts is more like fifty grand.”

    Correction – Power Inverter is definitely included into the PowerWall utility pack. Yes, you will need the charge controller, but only if you are planning on installing rooftop panels.

    The PowerPack could run without Solar Panels – it uses the electric grid to charge the batteries. The idea is that it could do the charging at night, when the cost of electricity is less ( I am not sure that electric company differentiates on that). Also, in case of a grid failure, it could run your house for a few hours, depending on the use, in my estimate the standard configuration will run the average house for 2-3 hours.

    I have used such systems for about 10 years now, and I hate them. Batteries usually last not more than a year, and very expensive to replace.

    Overall, it is better to buy separately power inverter and batteries – you need a “deep cycle” 6-V batteries, and you need to buy them in pack of 4 to generate 24V.

    Bad news, if only one battery in the pack of 4 went bust, you will need to replace the entire pack of 4.

    • Jimmy Drinkwater May 11, 2015 at 2:37 pm #

      Re-correction: Power Inverter is definitely NOT included into the PowerWall utility pack………per specs on theTesla website:

      “Requires installation by a trained electrician. DC-AC inverter not included.”

      http://www.teslamotors.com/powerwall

    • justjohn May 12, 2015 at 10:12 am #

      As Jimmy clarifies, the actual PowerWall unit is just a battery, no inverter. It is confusing to figure out what exactly it does, since some of the literature includes the other parts that would be handled by the “professional installer”.

      I was going to try to dig out the technical details myself, but that is a lot of work, ran across this webpage over the weekend:
      http://www.wholesalesolar.com/tesla

      “For example:

      7 kWh Powerwall for $3000 vs our UPG 7.2 kWh for $1327

      10 kWh Powerwall for $3500 vs our Surrette 10.3 kWh for $1506”

      So the Tesla part costs roughly twice as much as the older lead technology. In Tesla’s favor, I think they provide a ten year warranty on the battery. But if you treat that Surrette nicely, it should last 10 years too.

      Remember that no matter which you buy, if you include a solar panel it becomes eligible for the 30% Federal tax credit. (please verify this before spending your money) Tax credit expires 1/1/2017.

      PS – if you are really burning thru batteries yearly, you should consult with someone that knows what they are doing.

      • Exscotticus May 12, 2015 at 3:52 pm #

        Sounds like he’s using lead-acid chemistry and not following the 50% SOC rule. With lithiums, you can actually drain the battery without issue. And they’re significantly lighter. And they last 10x longer. Really, the only downside is cost and a more complex charging regimen.

        • benr May 12, 2015 at 11:47 pm #

          Oddly all the green technoligy proves is that you off load one toxic mess for another!
          Has anyone checked into how toxic making batteries and solar panels really is?
          You might be surprised just how toxic it really is!

  5. percival May 11, 2015 at 9:59 am #

    Not to mention the ecological disaster that said technology is creating:

    The dystopian lake filled by the world’s tech lust

    http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20150402-the-worst-place-on-earth

    • Pogo May 11, 2015 at 10:52 am #

      Thanks for the link to an interesting article about the real costs of obtaining exotic minerals.

      Did you happen to notice the sidebar link to “A Flying Car for Everyone…The idea isn’t as far-fetched as you may think”? Now there is some real pie-in-the-sky thinking!

      My understanding is that lithium-ion batteries cannot be recycled like the good ol’ lead-acid batteries and that we only have one or two lead acid battery recycling plants left in the USA. Exide had one in Vernon, CA that what shut down a few years ago.

      What will become of all the used lithium-ion batteries? What if we bury them in a land fill in Santa Clara county, California?

      • budizwiser May 11, 2015 at 1:07 pm #

        What will become of all the used lithium-ion batteries? What if we bury them in a land fill in Santa Clara county, California?

        Pogo – give it up…. The “big picture” is dull and elusive……..

        Like yourself – I got a kick out of fixating on “peak everything” – the plot does make for some weekend feature stories……

        Bucky Fuller got “it” right – and that was some time ago…

        The real elephant in the room is the subjectivity surrounding the matrix of economics, resource allocation and disposable energy consumption.

        As long as humankind ignores the limitations of it’s host planet – we are destined to repeat the outcomes of the lowest forms of parasitic animals……..

        There is little hope of any alternative future.

    • PeteAtomic May 11, 2015 at 12:09 pm #

      salient point there.

      The falsehood of particularly the economic libertarian response/philosophy to these environmental nightmares is that “the free market” will rectify these peculiarities in tech industry with magical “new tech” that is profitable and able to address these types of problems.
      It simply does not happen. Governments are left to anemically deal with this pollution.

  6. George May 11, 2015 at 9:59 am #

    “Imagine the psychic pain of the Silicon Valley billionaire driving his $87,000 Tesla P85D down a freeway that the State of California hasn’t been able to repair in five years.”

    Five years? Fast forward ten years and in many realms the roads will be all but impassable and it’s doubtful the network will be adequate to support commerce. And that will be but one of the components of the vast web of economic infrastructure that’s being dismantled by decisions to deploy capital in far off lands offering greater returns.

    As for the Tesla, it’s reported that because it’s subsidized, it only costs around $60,000 in Norway where most of the electricity is generated hydroelectrically. The rationale: Why should they burn North Sea oil when it can be sold on the world market? As a result, Norway has the means to fund an incredible array of social programs.

  7. Robert May 11, 2015 at 10:00 am #

    ” …the Silicon Valley billionaire driving his $87,000 Tesla P85D down a freeway that the State of California hasn’t been able to repair in five years.”

    The “hasn’t been” is now. Several weeks ago I drove a 42 mile section of California State Highway 99, a two lane highway heavily used by semi-tractor trailer trucks. The outside lane is trashed. The State Legislature is scheming on how to increase revenue (taxes) to address the State’s disintegrating roads. At the same time a continual stream of revelations about the not-so-new east side of the Bay Bridge pepper the news. The problems are very serious and the integrity of the Bridge to withstand a major earthquake is now questioned.

    New Tesla’s sport a license plate holder that states “Zero Emissions”. I see many Teslas and wonder how any complex machine can be manufactured without emitting something akin to waste.

    The State of the State is denial.

  8. lsjogren May 11, 2015 at 10:03 am #

    Surprised Kunstler didn’t also add that you would need ten or more of those battery units to provide enough daily backup power, and even with that you’d still be screwed if the sun doesn’t come out on a particular day.

    • Exscotticus May 12, 2015 at 3:59 pm #

      Some deployment scenarios may not involve the sun at all. Could be wind or hydro. And the watt-hour limitations are a good thing if they make you moderate your energy usage.

  9. Hank May 11, 2015 at 10:03 am #

    I have been reading JHK for 10 years. What is the difference between now and 10 years ago? Where is the collapse? I made a comment way back that I thought it would be a gradual slide and JHK himself thought I was whacked.

    So, this is my question. Do you really think it will be different in 10 more years?

    I am holding on to my gradual slide theory.

    By the way, I think the comments posted are almost as good as the article.

    • seawolf77 May 11, 2015 at 10:10 am #

      I hear you man. Nothing in our day to day lives has changed. Nothing.

    • James Howard Kunstler May 11, 2015 at 10:16 am #

      I called it “the long emergency” for a reason. — JHK

    • Peecan May 11, 2015 at 10:30 am #

      I am of similar mind that a hasty collapse is not likely in the next couple of decades. I also have been reading for ten years JHK’s musings and realized it’s just a schtick that helps to sell his books, which, by the way are pretty good stories. But forget about any impending implosion of society en masse. There is still plenty enough “gas in the tank” to bring this bird in for a soft landing so that the people can move about the cabin freely for another 20-30 years and make the necessary adjustments to their lifestyles.

      As for Musk’s enterprising ways I think he is actually part of the solutions that will be needed to soften the landing. The guy is a visionary with the capital to boot. Give him a chance.

      • Pogo May 11, 2015 at 11:41 am #

        Your egocentric focus is apparent. If a “hasty collapse is not likely in the next couple of decades” then good for you if you live that long! At 73 there’s a good bet that I may not, but I do have some thoughts about the kind of future that my children, grandchildren and others beyond that will experience.

        What sort of “soft landing” do you envision for “this bird”. We are adding 75 to 80 million new passengers each and every year. Are they to be packed into the one you are currently flying in? Can they sit in your lap please?

        What part about peak (oil, gas, copper, water, etc.) don’t you understand? The earth will never run out of the stuff. It will just become impossible to obtain for the 9 to 10 billion that will be fighting over it. Do you have a higher claim because you live in the USA?

        By “The Long Emergency”, I think JHK means the decline will be long…as in decades. But each year can reveal a mounting loss of the sense of well being. Read some history such as “The Collapse of Civilizations”. Or maybe just the daily non-faux news.

        • Lawfish May 11, 2015 at 12:15 pm #

          I have to agree with Pogo. While it is akin to a plane crash happening in slow motion, the landing will not be soft by any stretch of the imagination. There are no “solutions” to the predicament of peak oil. The cornucopians love to believe business as usual will continue indefinitely, but it clearly will not.

          I too care about the world my children and grandchildren will inherit. Therefore, I am busy preparing for a life with less. Less energy, less stuff. Collapsing now to avoid the rush in the words of John Michael Greer.

          • Peecan May 11, 2015 at 2:05 pm #

            Business will continue as usual. Until it cannot.

        • sauerkraut May 11, 2015 at 12:23 pm #

          More elephants! More elephants!

        • Peecan May 11, 2015 at 2:04 pm #

          @Pogo. I read JHK’s The Long Emergency and Collapse of Civilizations by Jared Diamond in 2006 and I am familiar with peak oil.

        • maxnigh@gmail.com May 11, 2015 at 2:43 pm #

          Population and resource cost may do us in “in the long emergency”

      • AKlein May 11, 2015 at 12:16 pm #

        Peecan, always consider the effects of phase changes, which can occur suddenly, quickly and sometimes violently. They certainly exist in the realm of physics. For example, water when heated, gets warmer, takes up pretty much the same space, and is highly incompressible. Suddenly at 100 deg C it turns into a gas, takes up a lot more space and is highly compressible. A whole new set of physical laws apply. An observer would never guess this to happen if the basis of expectation were set by observing the heating of water from 80 deg C to 90 deg C.
        My expectation is that we will experience (correction – are experiencing) the “Long Emergency” which will be characterized by a long devolving of complex systems, punctuated by really memorable blowouts which will serve as milestones in our collective memory.

        • Peecan May 11, 2015 at 2:16 pm #

          @AK. “characterized by a long devolving of complex systems, punctuated by really memorable blowouts”

          I agree…

        • Q. Shtik May 11, 2015 at 5:20 pm #

          My expectation is that we will experience (correction – are experiencing) the “Long Emergency” which will be characterized by a long devolving of complex systems, punctuated by really memorable blowouts which will serve as milestones in our collective memory. – AK

          ==============

          This is an excellent observation, AK, and well supported by your analogy of warming water. The ‘memorable blowouts’ will be black swans of the negative type (keep in mind, there are positive black swans as well… people tend to forget about those).

        • Starman May 12, 2015 at 9:21 am #

          My first post to this board: From yesterday responding to yesterday’s commentary:
          Regarding the pace and slope of our decline, I mostly agree with Peecan and AKlein and also with Our Dear Leader: I think it will be a long slow decline, possibly punctuated by AKlein’s “phase changes”. However I would more liken it to the well known hockey stick analogy, except that it’s upside down – a long slow decline along the handle, with a single and sudden drop. The reason for this belief is the incredibly, intricate mutually interdependent economy which has some resilience and redundancy, but, when it reaches one of its many possible breaking points, collapses beyond reasonable repair. For example, think of our Just-In-Time manufacturing processes when one or two components becomes undeliverable. The lack of that/those part(s) stops the manufacturing of the product, which can, in turn, cascade into further stoppages down the line. It’s impossible to predict what specifically will happen, but it is possible to perceive the vulnerabilities of the system as a whole.

          • AKlein May 12, 2015 at 12:26 pm #

            Starman, your premise, the inverted hockey stick, also could be the outcome. Let’s put the two possibilities together – I think that might be a good bet. Initially we experience a gradual decline. Along the way we encounter those “phase changes” which result in partially contained “blowouts”. They are partially contained as a result of remedial action. But the remedial action is just a bandaid, thus it brings about it’s own set of problems, which add to the instability of the whole system. After a few “blowouts”, coupled with the cumulative gradual decline, the system is now so inelastic that it can not endure even a slight perturbation. It then collapses suddenly, precipitously.

    • uslabor May 11, 2015 at 11:28 am #

      Does Gradual Slide= Long Emergency? I’ll go with gradual slide since Long Emergency (copyright 2005) has already been taken.

    • russ May 11, 2015 at 12:16 pm #

      “…What is the difference between now and 10 years ago?…”

      That’s a very good and fair question. I would have thought we would have seen catastrophic economic collapse by now – maybe we are so far into “1984” mode by now that the ‘Government by Corporate Decree’ system really can control what we see and hear.

      Still, there are areas, good and bad, where I think we can agree some change has occurred. For example, 10 years ago –

      Had we seen oil at $ 147/barrel?

      What were the rates the average bank depositor might have realized in 2005 compared to 2015?

      How many people now think saving seeds and making compost is a good thing to do in 2015 versus 2005?

      Had we heard the term “quantitative easing” in 2005?

      Had we seen 99% versus 1% demonstrators pepper sprayed in 2005? Have we seen that since?

      We might have wondered what all the big electronics construction going on out in Utah was, but while we may have wondered if the Government was spying on all citizens with each and every e-mail and phone call, had we heard of Edward Snowden yet in 2005?

      In 2005, would we have thought that private sector losses endured in 2007-2008 would have been shunted off onto to the public to the degree that they were?

      In demonstrating that no real peak oil problem exists, would we have expected in 2005 that basically all liquid hydrocarbons now count as “oil”?

      In 2005, would we have expected significant numbers of young adults to say that they don’t really care if they ever own or drive a car?

      So collapse has not been total and catastrophic, but I think there have been some notable milestones along the way. The “system” uses all resources at its disposal, legal or otherwise, to perpetuate itself rather than try to improve the fate of average people. But there are signs that more average people are realizing that their best bet is to try to dissociate themselves from the “system”.

    • Anotherplayaguy May 11, 2015 at 1:17 pm #

      It’s going to be gradual — is being and has been gradual — until it isn’t. We’re tiptoeing to the edge of the precipice, and at any moment we can encounter the rock slide to oblivion. And there are a large number of triggers that can push that first pebble out of place.

    • Jimmy Drinkwater May 11, 2015 at 3:02 pm #

      “How does a man go bankrupt?”

      “At first slowly, then all at once.”

      paraphrasing EH

  10. 99 cent nation May 11, 2015 at 10:06 am #

    Pretty much says it all. Meanwhile I sit and listen to the wall street cheer leading idiots on cnbc which is like sitting in a casino watching people drink it up while losing their asses including their dreams of a wonderful life.

  11. davidreese2 May 11, 2015 at 10:07 am #

    Recently I found myself behind a Tesla in Boston as it was entering an interchange on I-95. I was impressed. It accelerated to 70 mph in seconds. Since there are Tesla re-charging stations all across the US, I’m sure there are Tesla drivers who are driving from coast to coast.

    None of this detracts from Kunstler’s message. Tesla cars are a wondrous testimony to the ingenuity of man, but they are not going to prevent us from coming up against the limits of Happy Motoring.

    Most of my transportation, summerwise at any rate, is on a Vespa 250 cc scooter. I ride it from Boston to Bar Harbor, Maine, every summer. The humble Vespa’s got more of a future than the Tesla automobile.

    • malthuss May 11, 2015 at 11:39 am #

      ‘Tesla cars are a wondrous testimony to tax shelters? OPM? graft?
      screwing the little people who pays taxes.

    • LLPete May 11, 2015 at 1:33 pm #

      A Vespa gets around 50mpg (your mileage may vary) and usually carries only a single passenger.
      Five friends, each on their own Vespa travel 50 miles for a meeting of the Friends of the Earth Society. They collectively use five gallons of gas.
      Five other friends also travel 50 miles to the same meeting. They all go together in a Dodge mini-van that gets 25 mpg. They collectively use two gallons of gas.
      At the meeting the Vespa group won’t speak to the Dodge mini-van group because the Dodge people aren’t green enough.

      Now Mr. Davidreese2, go do the responsible thing and trade in your gas guzzling Vespa for a Dodge mini-van. And don’t go anywhere without a full passenger manifest.
      LLP

    • BackRowHeckler May 11, 2015 at 3:07 pm #

      Phew, that’s a long ride on a scooter, David. How long does a trip like that take you?

      Summers I ride around town on an old 500cc British Army motorcycle from the 1950s. Its a lot of fun, but I find if I leave this village, I’m dodging 3 ton SUVs driven by moms on cell phones who think the speed limit is just a suggestion. I’m like a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.

      brh

  12. doug_b May 11, 2015 at 10:10 am #

    Every time I hear something out of Musk, I want to go ballistic.

    I’m a guy with a couple of STEM degrees, used to work for NASA and DoD.

    All of Musk’s solutions revolve around two components batteries – plain old batteries like the ones in your laptop, and government subsidies. Subsidies – that’s the key – OPM – other peoples money.

    Check out the Tesla auto – they are aluminum – a small quarter panel repair can easily be $15,000.

    • Beryl of Oyl May 11, 2015 at 11:13 am #

      Remember the stainless steel DeLorean? Of course you do. At the time, the thing I found most exciting about the car was that Mr. D was making them in Northern Ireland, a place where young men who had never had jobs in their lives were engaging in terrible violence. His company was going under anyway, but something I’ve only started thinking about recently, is that it was our government which made sure his business stayed dead.

      • uslabor May 11, 2015 at 11:34 am #

        Yeah….The Government conspired against his slow silly car. It was a conspiracy.

        • Beryl of Oyl May 11, 2015 at 11:40 am #

          That isn’t what I said at all, but I think you know that.

  13. FincaInTheMountains May 11, 2015 at 10:12 am #

    The analog of PowerWall – a combination of batteries and power inverter – was manufactured a few years ago by American company Xantrex. I rushed to buy one and was very disappointed – the built-in batteries went bust in 4 months, I just hooked it up to a pair of external car-sized batteries (it needed 12 volts, and that type of battery gives 6).

    Than in a year, the inverter went bust and they couldn’t get a spare part needed for the repair.

    I was using that thing just to backup computer power supply.

    • malthuss May 11, 2015 at 11:28 am #

      ‘Than in a year’. ‘Then’.

      • hineshammer May 11, 2015 at 6:37 pm #

        Watch out, Q, looks like someone is trying to take your place.

  14. pequiste May 11, 2015 at 10:15 am #

    Elon Musk; the same Elon Musk of Space-X Corp which proposes to be the private space transport for customers worldwide, including the US government (which spent the last 50 years of your tax dollars to do the exact same thing for all Americans benefit?) Oh yes, and his rockets are the most ecologically friendly devices – each Falcon 9 launch vehicle expends just how much poison into the atmosphere?

    Of course! It’s the same Elon Musk who made his fortune in PayPal – a “financial services” company well known for having wedged itself nicely between the customer and and the credit card company so that extra service charges can be added to the fees: A.K.A. the “Vig.”

    When Mr Musk can launch his SpaceX rockets with his battery packs then maybe he will have something to show. Until such time, he only provide us with more high-tech, gee-whiz junk, in a Dizneyesque phantasy mode, based on the standard energy use paradigm.

    • malthuss May 11, 2015 at 11:31 am #

      And he is Riche. No wonder the media loves him.

  15. peakfuture May 11, 2015 at 10:22 am #

    The road thing, as mentioned by sprezzatura, is the key issue here, and goes back to the (obvious) concept that the Musk system (and everything else in a highly technological society) requires inputs from many places. If parts are not available, then everything falls apart.

    It would be interesting to find a place that has had high levels of technology, and has been sunk by the lack of working supply chains. My first thought is the former Yugoslavia during the war; a relatively technical society that went south quickly (in some places) when supply lines faltered. Any other examples?

    The issue of rare earth metals is also another one. Yeah, all of these toys work pretty well, but only if everybody plays nice with each other and trade is unhampered.

    Maybe Musk’s battery system will work, but scaling things up could be a different story.

    JHK’s point on the financial aspects is another obvious point. Who can buy these things if they can’t afford them?

    Of the technologies available in the renewable field, solar hot water seems like one that has the lowest technological complexity, and highest impact.

    JMG said, “There’s no such thing as technology in the singular, only technologies in the plural;” what other sort of technological suites might survive in the WMBH? Things up to the 1920s or 1930s?

  16. orbit7er May 11, 2015 at 10:27 am #

    great commentary by Mr Kunstler!
    Actually it is certainly possible to have a far greater proportion of US
    electricity produced by renewable sources with the political will.
    Costa Rica has been running on renewable electricity for many months now. Also to my great surprise Costa Rica has recently begun transitioning slowly off its horribly congested Auto addiction by reviving dormant rails meant for bananas into passenger Rail.
    The major problem and delusion with Elon Musk’s Tesla electric car project is that the whole privatized personal car is a huge waste of resources and especially land – it takes 10 x the formerly green space for private Autos huge highways, parking lots, driveways, cloverleafs etc. Rail can be and often is ALREADY electric and also DRIVERLESS, the next “Holy Grail” for the privatized technoutopian plutocrats.

    Actually the real utility for battery powered electric vehicles would be electric shuttles, buses etc which traverse fixed terminal points where charging stations could be installed – bus depots, shuttle depots etc. to supplement Rail based grid electric transit.
    A major drawback to the Tesla and any all electric vehicle is the range problem – who wants to get stranded out in the desert or anywhere else when the battery goes out? By using this instead for shuttles or buses or even lightweight ebikes etc which traverse fixed points you would not have the range problem.

    To think that we are going to have trillions of dollars to deploy electric charging stations in the desert and the vast miles of the American West is absurd. But it is certainly possible at train stations, bus stations, shuttles to provide last mile connections.
    Actually the train station at Morristown, NJ has had a charging station and Zipcars for a number of years now. But due to the cuts in Transit by our Teabag Gov Christie it is lightly used.
    Gov Christie is actually proposing cutting the only Green Transit link from supposed Transit Hub Morristown to Livingston, NJ…
    as he has cut NJ Transit’s operating budget from $300 million per year to $33 Million per year. Ironically, Gov Christie, in collusion with the machine neoliberal Democrats, has provided hundreds of millions in “Urban Transit Hub Tax Credits” directly to Corporations!
    Ie $102 Million to Panasonic, $25 Million to Honeywell, hundreds of millions to the Meadowlands disaster, right from the pockets of NJ taxpayers to the coffers of major Corporations. While the actual TRANSIT is cut to the bone!

    • johnc May 11, 2015 at 6:25 pm #

      Great points. I have a lot of the same views about more electric rail and fewer cars. With electric rail there is no need for charging stations the power is provided through the rail. To help pay for it in California we could turn our freeways into toll roads at least during rush hour. This would be fairer than adding express lanes proposed by the local transit authority to allow single riders to use the carpool lanes for a fee. This would encourage more cars instead of reducing the number of cars. We need to make cars more expensive and public transit nearly free to encourage the use of public transit. Adding a gasoline tax would be another way to discourage personal cars and subsidize and fund more public transit.

  17. barbisbest May 11, 2015 at 10:32 am #

    James Howard Kunstler May 11, 2015 at 10:16 am #

    I called it “the long emergency” for a reason. — JHK

    ZING.

  18. FincaInTheMountains May 11, 2015 at 10:33 am #

    If you seriously want to prepare for possible periodic blackouts in US, my advice: buy 3.6 kw Power Inverter (between $800 – $1200) and 8 6V Deep Cycle batteries (better find a place for them outside of the house) – about $100 a piece.

    That system will cost you around $2000 and you could easily hook it up yourself with a little digging around.

    It will run your refrigerator, ceiling fans, TV and computer for about 8 hours which will hopefully be enough for the blackout to end.

    If it doesn’t and the blackout lasts for couple of days, then you will need a generator. Avoid buying cheap gasoline ones, your best option would be a 8-12 kwh Diesel generator – they are much more economical and quiet. That size generator will not only run your house, but in couple of hours will re-charge your batteries, so you could use a hell of a lot less fuel and stop the generator.

    You will also need to be planning the power capacity – forget about using the A/C, or plan for a much more expensive system.

    Overall, for about 10 grand you could have a reasonably good backup system.

  19. Pogo May 11, 2015 at 10:35 am #

    This entire conversation is a waste of time. The real enemy is us.

    March 2015 (in the year of our Lord) made history when the entire month achieved 400 ppm of atmospheric CO2, the highest recorded in 800,000 years and maybe as long as 20 million years. As JHK wrote in a essay a year or so ago “We are flat fucked”.

    Connect the dots: CO2 has been known as a greenhouse gas for over 100 years. No scientist on earth will dispute that. We have (by burning fossil fuels) increased it from about 270 or 280 to 400 ppm in a very short span of human existence. The rate of increase each year increases.

    If we continue to rely on Sen. Inhofe (who is incapable of connecting the dots) and others like him to determine our future…then we shall have a short future.

    So does it really matter who drives what and how it is propelled? The only cars in the future will look like the one Fred Flintstone drove.

  20. nsa May 11, 2015 at 10:36 am #

    Again, one proven source of renewable electrical energy has been completely overlooked and now needs to be reconsidered. This source uses existing technology, offers low start up costs, requires no battery, and produces only organic waste that is easily recycled…….the venerable Hamster Wheel Generator. All that is required to make this clean source of power economically viable is a generous subsidy to both producers and consumers….something similar to that provided to the solar and wind power industries. And maybe some Darpa money to study the feasibility of larger versions of the Wheel being powered by say the homeless, newly arrived undocumented democrats, or even unemployed fatties. Immigration, unemployment, obesity, and power generation could all be solved at the same time……

    • FincaInTheMountains May 11, 2015 at 10:38 am #

      What about body heat? Isn’t that why US companies need so many “warm bodies”?

  21. saharasergei May 11, 2015 at 10:49 am #

    Even though Mr. Kunstler says it’s too late for European-style high-speed rail in America, Jerry Brown is making a Herculean effort to make it a reality in California, despite the Koch brothers’ and Darrell Issa’s attempts to stop it. Perhaps Elon Musk would like to consider diversifying his ventures and give Mr. Brown a helping hand by offering his transport expertise to the state’s rapid-rail project. Anyway, Germany is going nuclear-free and is pushing for more renewables to run the generators, even as it makes the best cars and offers one of the best passenger rail systems. It seems we reconstructed the Germans better than we can rebuild our own country or change our own citizens. Certainly the attempt to build a more enlightened society in the South pback in the late 1860s and the 1870s was a bust. The South is now pro-auto, pro-NASCAR, anti-environmentalist, and anti-civilization, and northern states like Wisconsin are adopting its bad habits.

    • barbisbest May 11, 2015 at 10:58 am #

      Please don’t generalize about the south saharasergei, some southerners are enlightened and aren’t worshipers of Nascar and so forth. But, I do agree with you about Germany, they are ahead in the game. I have cousins there and visited a few years back. They have many engineers and the people walk a lot. Of course, it is a very small country compared to ours and real estate is at a premium. There may be advantages to being small.

    • Ken Hall May 11, 2015 at 12:22 pm #

      As doug_b pointed out nothing induces the saliva to pool in Elon Musk’s mouth as does the olfactory trigger of OPM (other peoples money AKA tax dollars) to this he brings the answer to your wish; the Musk “Hyperloop” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperloop

      • BackRowHeckler May 12, 2015 at 4:14 am #

        Doesn’t the Tesla burst into flames every once in awhile due to overheated batteries. Not a good selling point.

  22. mtennant May 11, 2015 at 10:50 am #

    I suggest that this might solve many energy problems. Short and informative.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjvL4zNLOGw

    • hineshammer May 11, 2015 at 6:57 pm #

      I’ve always heard that cold fusion, at least at a scalable level that is productive, is a pipe dream.

      • mtennant May 11, 2015 at 9:53 pm #

        Time marches on and so do discoveries. Check out investments by Tom Darden in High Tech Heat.

  23. barbisbest May 11, 2015 at 10:50 am #

    AKlein May 11, 2015 at 9:49 am #
    ‘ Before JHK draws a lot of fire regarding the viability of Musk’s battery, I believe we should focus on JHK’s main message; we need a major paradigm shift in the way we live. And with that in mind, Musk’s battery is just a distraction which keeps us from focusing on the real problems we face. And consequently keeps us from arriving at truly durable solution’

    Very well said A Klein! I have heard JHK talk about responding intelligently to our problems, but I don’t really see any degree of desire to do so by civilization.

  24. PeteAtomic May 11, 2015 at 10:50 am #

    Good article/comments.

    This is the Law of Diminishing Returns at work– more & more money and resources to maintain a lifestyle obsession that is no longer feasible for more & more people.

  25. daofirry May 11, 2015 at 10:54 am #

    JHK mentions the problem of the spent fuel rods at the nuclear plants. Does anyone here have any strong opinions about Guy McPherson? He talks and writes about many problems we face, and he thinks it is too late. He thinks we are not only screwed economically, but we won’t even survive the next two or three decades…. his starting point is climate change, but high amongst his concerns is the problem of decommissioning the nuclear power plants. He talks a lot about how there are about 400 of them, all of which will have some kind of meltdown if they start experiencing problems keeping cool, which will happen as the grid goes down…. sorry, this is too complex for me. Look on YouTube, there are plenty of Guy McPherson videos. He posts a lot at Nature Bats Last, which is at Guymcpherson.com.

    • malthuss May 11, 2015 at 11:36 am #

      ‘starting point is climate change’. You lost me there.
      Without ‘climate change’ the Human species would not exist. At least not in its present form.
      Climate / Nature is in constant flux.
      The ‘CC’ term is more BS.

    • Anotherplayaguy May 11, 2015 at 1:26 pm #

      McPherson talks about 23 feedback loops that will extinct humanity. And all 23 have passed their tipping points. Nuke plants are a different menace. 10 days without a power grid and boom.

      Of course, five years ago he predicted that the interior of the US would be uninhabitable in five years. (Aside from the people, this prediction has not proved out.) On the whole, though, he uses science to make his points.

      If we’re lucky and the planet is not, we might make it to 2030.

    • russ May 11, 2015 at 2:53 pm #

      Granted, Dr. McPherson’s reasoning is very strong. It may well be that we have no chance at this point to overcome the problems he cites.

      Where I depart from his arguments, however, is over the question of ‘is it ever too late to try to do something nice; something humane?’. I think the Stoics might argue that even in the face of defeat, if you know a given action is the right thing to do, shouldn’t you try anyway – even if all hope is gone?

      When for example is it too late to try to offer solace? To make some small gesture of penance?

  26. Beryl of Oyl May 11, 2015 at 10:57 am #

    I think a lot of things in daily life have changed, but we don’t always connect them back to the central theme of energy.
    Here’s one random item, a fire at a nuclear power plant caused an oil spill in the Hudson.
    Another random item, the former KGB guy in charge of IT systems for the grid, or something like that. Back in 2003, when many people weren’t satisfied with nonsensical explanations for that major power failure, some theorized that it was an attack by a foreign nation. This particular KGB agent wasn’t involved with energy at the time, but who knows who else may have been?
    There was an unexplained oil spill down where the casino is supposedly going, in Schenectady.

  27. Hank May 11, 2015 at 11:00 am #

    I realize that I am throwing softballs to an AllStar team, but unless you are 5, do you really think we will run out of gas, the banks will fail and the world will end in your lifetime?

    Go ahead with the zingers.

    • seawolf77 May 11, 2015 at 11:05 am #

      When you are a doomer, the world is a dark place.
      ” I wanna soak up the sun, wanna tell everyone to lighten up.”
      Sheryl Crowe

    • uslabor May 11, 2015 at 11:52 am #

      Don’t you remember the bank failures of 2008? The government stepping in to keep the To Big To Fail banks from failing? Do you think the issues that caused that crisis has been solved?

      Do you suppose oil is a finite resource? Why drill for it so deep in the Gulf of Mexico if it isn’t easier to find?

      How long is a lifetime?

    • peakfuture May 11, 2015 at 12:36 pm #

      Hank-

      That’s a good question, and probably the biggest one we all ask ourselves – when does this all stop?

      For some, it has already – folks who lost a lot in 2008. But yeah, for most of us, the banks are still ‘functioning’ and we can pretty much get gas when we want.

      “The future is here, it just isn’t uniformly/evenly distributed,” is a quote that’s been bandied about. Maybe that’s the same for collapse.

    • Anotherplayaguy May 11, 2015 at 1:28 pm #

      Yes. And I’m 65.

      Sad thing is we’re going to take it all with us.

    • PeteAtomic May 12, 2015 at 11:14 am #

      “do you really think we will run out of gas, the banks will fail and the world will end in your lifetime?”

      1)No, but it will be too expensive for all the wealthy to use, 2) yes there is a good chance particularly with the unregulation of the financial sector, 3)nope

      🙂

  28. FincaInTheMountains May 11, 2015 at 11:03 am #

    “we need a major paradigm shift”

    No, we don’t. I don’t like “major paradigm shifts”, like the one they started in Russia in 1917 or in Ukraine last year.

    The first rule of any politician, like a good physician, should be “do not cause any harm”

    For instance, there are many advocates out there of eliminating Federal Reserve. That is a perfect example of causing more harm than good. You can’t throw the baby with dirty water out of the bath tub.

    People forget that Federal Reserve does a lot of useful things, like for instance check clearing (and other funds). You can’t run your foreign trade without a National Central bank.

    So, instead of calling for eliminating the Federal Reserve, we need to call to change some of its policy regarding lending – like for instance, do a preferential lending to the agriculture, production of tangible goods and State’s infrastructure vs pure financial speculation.

    • AKlein May 11, 2015 at 11:52 am #

      Fincaln, the kind of paradigm shift required doesn’t necessarily include making radical and risky changes. In fact, I would suggest that an appropriate paradigm shift would entail our becoming much more pensive and thoughtful – taking into consideration the true costs of any planned changes to current practices. That’s exactly what we do not do in our current paradigm. That’s what Musk is doing. That’s what the nuclear industry did (with maybe some exceptions here and there). Their premise; all other things being equal, they’ve improved humanity’s situation. The problem is, all other things are not equal – they just chose to ignore those “things” in their cost-benefit equations. We can’t afford this shell game any more. The stakes are getting way too high.

      • sauerkraut May 11, 2015 at 12:26 pm #

        “The problem is, all other things are not equal – they just chose to ignore those “things” in their cost-benefit equations. We can’t afford this shell game any more. The stakes are getting way too high.”

        That should be read by every economics major. Well said, AK.

      • ozone May 11, 2015 at 8:50 pm #

        The “shell game” to which you refer is a careful hiding of the ‘externalities’ that J M Greer keeps [justifiably] hammering on.
        When enough of these can no longer be hidden by a combination of expensive propaganda and cheap misdirection, then the fun will really begin. (Well, not so fun… but certainly not boring!)

        …And I would agree; these legislative bodies, packed to the gills with assho… ahem, Great Leaders, would do us all more favors by sitting on their well-padded butts doing nothing than inflicting upon us added layers of stupidity (that all seems to be driven by a bad case of profit motive) covered in a thin veneer of the legal law (tm Deputy Dawg).

    • seawolf77 May 11, 2015 at 12:54 pm #

      The FED has to go. Anything it does the US Treasury can do. Our money should not be in private hands. Period. Why are the owners secret? I’ll tell you why. It’s because the likely owners of the Federal Reserve would shock us, and no its not the Rothschilds. UGH!

      • Q. Shtik May 11, 2015 at 6:25 pm #

        the likely owners of the Federal Reserve would shock us, and no its not the Rothschilds. UGH! – sea

        ===============

        Lemme guess, it’s Jay Z, Beyoncé and Snoop Dogg.

        • hineshammer May 11, 2015 at 7:04 pm #

          No that’s silly. It’s Tupac and Biggie.

  29. capt spaulding May 11, 2015 at 11:04 am #

    The biggest problem is that only a minority of people look ahead and see the wisdom of simplifying the way they live. I think that history shows that people have to be forced by circumstances to give up their conveniences, it’s never voluntary, sad to say.

  30. peakfuture May 11, 2015 at 11:05 am #

    mtennant – the Cold Fusion idea, even if it works, still doesn’t help with the heat problem, as noted by Tom Murphy:

    http://physics.ucsd.edu/do-the-math/2012/04/economist-meets-physicist/

    The rate of adoption would have to be staggering.

    The upshot of all of this, is that we have exceeded our planet’s carrying capacity. The Long Emergency, indeed.

    The real surprise is that we’ve lasted this long, doing the Wile E. Coyote thing off the cliff of finite resources. How we handle the next “steps” when we’ve got no ground beneath our feet – those are the things that pique my interest now. As I like to write, “more questions than answers…”

    • FincaInTheMountains May 11, 2015 at 11:13 am #

      “The upshot of all of this, is that we have exceeded our planet’s carrying capacity”

      How about placing the nuclear generators on the low orbit and transmitting the power down using laser?

      If we stop playing friggin games of thrones and put our heads together, we should be able to solve pretty much anything

      • Ken Hall May 11, 2015 at 12:34 pm #

        Low Earth orbit requires regular expenditure of propulsive effort to maintain. When the nuclear material you propose placing into a low Earth orbit returns to Earth as a fire ball spewing radioactive dust how do you propose to contain it?

      • sauerkraut May 11, 2015 at 2:52 pm #

        “If we stop playing friggin games of thrones and put our heads together”

        Oh, but that would be neither ‘practical’ not be ‘economical’. It is far more practical and economical to have a certain mass die-off, and probable human extinction.

    • mtennant May 11, 2015 at 9:57 pm #

      Peakfuture, you make a good point. The heat problem was noted by Arthur C. Clark when he weighed in on cold fusion years ago (as usual, ahead of his time).

      Carrying capacity is indeed a serious problem, and giving everyone their own energy generator would solve problems but create many more.

      Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

      • peakfuture May 12, 2015 at 9:49 am #

        Yeah. There *is* something to the CF work (I’ve met and worked with some of the principal investigators in the field, and some interesting things are afoot), and if checks out, great. If (and that’s a big if) we could get a technology like that working *and* change the fundamental growth paradigm of our culture, *and* figure out what to do with the excess CO2, things might work out.

        My core question is how to handle the growth issue, and the fact that we take any new technological solution and exploit it until we get problems. Jevon’s Paradox is a real killer.

  31. barbisbest May 11, 2015 at 11:11 am #

    JHK mentions the problem of the spent fuel rods at the nuclear plants. Does anyone here have any strong opinions about Guy McPherson? He talks and writes about many problems we face, and he thinks it is too late. He thinks we are not only screwed economically, but we won’t even survive the next two or three decades…. his starting point is climate change, but high amongst his concerns is the problem of decommissioning the nuclear power plants. He talks a lot about how there are about 400 of them, all of which will have some kind of meltdown if they start experiencing problems keeping cool, which will happen as the grid goes down…. sorry, this is too complex for me. Look on YouTube, there are plenty of Guy McPherson videos. He posts a lot at Nature Bats Last, which is at Guymcpherson.com.
    Yes, daofirry, we have may problems. I appreciated JHK’s inclusion of that part in this week’s blog about nuclear reactors. Many scientists estimate that the planet could be desertified in 70 years. JHK has talked about the health of the planet in the past as well. Who knows, but for me I think a mini ice age could be in the cards if we don’t change our ways. Nature does bat last, and if you mess with it, you’re going to get slammed. It talks about that in the film Fall and Winter. I just hope the progeny of this splendid place get to experience re-enchanted life, as JHK says it. We have taken so much for granted. But, there was a beautiful, golden full moon shining down on all of us not too long ago, shining down on all of us and our fig trees and the gardens waiting for the planters. It is a beautiful world sometimes,

  32. maxnigh@gmail.com May 11, 2015 at 11:13 am #

    Please .”Free” is a much maligned term. Free advisory letters, free
    i.e. . It has lost its meaning. “The long emergency’, is losing its meaning too. We are with a long period to ,such a time, and it becomes a dream.
    The new backup battery for houses is one more toy for us tech nuts, and fills our time and thought so we can ignore “the long emergency”.

  33. subgenius May 11, 2015 at 11:15 am #

    Had to comment…As I am sick of seeing Musk take credit for shit he simply didnt do…as gates and jobs both dod before him.

    Try reading this

    http://www.businessinsider.com.au/tesla-the-origin-story-2014-10

    For example.

    The Musk family are (in my experience) egotistical assholes, very much out of the sociopathic bullshitter end of the spectrum.

    • malthuss May 11, 2015 at 11:37 am #

      Musk ‘stole’ the name ‘Tesla’.
      Even the name is borrowed and unoriginal.

    • Therian May 11, 2015 at 12:09 pm #

      Indeed, Subgenius!! I live in Palo Alto and after 36 years there I’m leaving because I cannot stand a town full of sociopathic egotists. The products of most of the start-ups here are laughable like “customer loyalty points” apps which try to start the cyber version of S&H green stamps. Remember them? Housewives eventually figured out that spending months of putting stamps in their S&H stamp books wasn’t worth it when all they’d get was a free bottle of shampoo. Or restaurant table boxes that make interactions with waiters “unnecessary” except it’s nonsense because if the food order involves alcohol the waiters have to come out and check that the patrons are 21 or over. After one year, those boxes are no longer anywhere to be found.

      As a good Subgenius ought to know … they should “pull the wool over their own eyes”. Praise Bob!!

      • malthuss May 11, 2015 at 2:18 pm #

        Nice post. I will add ‘food deliveries’. Remember 1990s the IPOs for companies that would [gosh] would drive yr groceries to you?

        Whats left of them? ‘Yummy’ is the only one. Oh, Pink Dot.

        Home deliveroes were not new in the 1990s. Grocery stores back in the 1930s? had trucks to deliver orders.

        here,Where Webvan Failed And How Home Delivery 2.0 Could …
        techcrunch.com/…/why-webvan-failed-and-how-home-deliv…
        TechCrunch
        Sep 27, 2013 – Editor’s note: Peter Relan was VP of the Internet Division at Oracle, founding … on the thesis that the unit economics of home grocery delivery would be profitable. … Are Today’s Home Delivery 2.0 Startups Doing It Differently?
        Webvan – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
        en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Webvan
        Wikipedia
        Webvan was an online “credit and delivery” grocery business that went bankrupt in … and Winder Farms in the Western United States existed before the Internet …
        17 Dot Com failures and their modern counterparts – The …
        thenextweb.com/…/17-dot-com-failures-and-their-modern…
        The Next Web
        Oct 27, 2011 – Many of the latest startups look eerily similar to failed Dot Com … try not to laugh at) what Boo.com looked like at launch via the Internet Archive. … Webvan was founded in 1999 as an online grocery store, delivering goods

      • Q. Shtik May 11, 2015 at 4:36 pm #

        S&H green stamps. Remember them? Housewives eventually figured out that spending months of putting stamps in their S&H stamp books wasn’t worth it when all they’d get was a free bottle of shampoo. – Therian

        =================

        This is a false and ridiculous statement. There were no free bottles of shampoo. Every item in their catalogue carried a price stated in books of stamps in quarter book increments.

        The business thrived from 1896 into the ’80s and eventually petered out due in large measure to the oil crises in 1973 and 1978. I guess those housewives were pretty stupid. It took them more than 80 years to figure out they were getting screwed by the businesses that rewarded them for their loyalty.

        I suspect I know more about the workings of S&H than you since I worked for them as an auditor and District Operations Manager for 13 and a half years.

        BTW, loyalty programs are not new. They’ve been around since shortly after The Big Bang.

        • Therian May 11, 2015 at 7:55 pm #

          It’s false by a micron and you damned well know it. So you worked for S&H, eh? If it was such a terrific idea then why didn’t it make a comeback in the 1980s? It’s a rhetorical question because the answer is obvious: it was more trouble than it was worth. My mother gave it up long before I went to college for precisely the reason I gave.

          S&H was kind of like CVS stores. First you mark something up and then you give “coupons” to bring the stuff back down to the retail price of Safeway or Giant. True, I thought those stamp books were for freebies but the fact that you’re getting all high and mighty because it was for DISCOUNTS is like arguing whether Willie Mays hit 660 home runs or 662. It’s a tempest in a teapot and you’re the “boiler”. The point is … Green Stamps fell out of favor before the 1980s so you’re telling a HALF TRUTH.

          The software industry’s agenda is manufactured “necessity”. You gonna pick nits at this assertion too? Have at it because I’m an old school techie who read “God and Golem” by none less than Norbert Wiener, one of the three founders of cybernetics.

          • malthuss May 12, 2015 at 4:12 pm #

            Like discount coupons in ‘community mailers’ [yes, they still are mailed] for IHOP or other places where you ‘get a free meal with the purchase of a male, BUT you must order two overpriced drinks’.

            I heard of a similar mess from someone who use ‘groupon’.
            At the end of the meal the place wouldnt honor the groupon discount.

      • Lawfish May 15, 2015 at 12:28 pm #

        Good time to get out Therian. I hear the Chinese are buying 750 square foot apartments for $1,500,000. Now would be a great time to sell to one of those suckers and cash out before the entire state runs completely out of water. That place will be dry as a popcorn fart in a couple years.

  34. BeerBarrel May 11, 2015 at 11:20 am #

    People are easily deluded as Jim says – they forget to consider the means to their technological salvation.

    Take for instance, the idea that we could set up a desert-scape with solar panels, even supposing that enough panels were available. What people will then forget to include in their thinking that to simply elevate the panels at an angle so they can catch the sun requires a metal framework (and footings, etc.) that, to supply a sufficient amount of power from a central location, would require metals (aluminum or steel) in amounts that exceed current global production capacity!

    It’s stupid stuff like that – I believe people are indoctrinated that everything just rolls in on a truck from the magical corporate machine – the machine that greedily and busily consumes the world’s natural resources to regurgitate mostly landfill-ready trash!

    There’s just no way to electrify the world any more than we have without using the means we already are using the methods Jim neatly listed – and right now, it’s all barely hanging in there. Even so, there’s the liberal environmental wackos who want to decommission scores of coal-fired generation plants – the same idiots who have no answer as to what the replacement will be – blackness is what I gather.

    • sauerkraut May 11, 2015 at 11:48 am #

      “… there’s the liberal environmental wackos who want to decommission scores of coal-fired generation plants – the same idiots who have no answer as to what the replacement will be – blackness is what I gather ”

      Please see Pogo’s post upthread. So you prefer near term extinction? Now, who is the ‘wacko’ and ‘idiot’ ?

  35. FincaInTheMountains May 11, 2015 at 11:21 am #

    “JHK mentions the problem of the spent fuel rods at the nuclear plants.”

    Russia has already started building new nuclear reactors that would convert the spent fuel rods into usable nuclear fuel – fast neutron reactors. First nuclear plant is already operating on a closed nuclear fuel cycle.

  36. Therian May 11, 2015 at 12:01 pm #

    Loved the way you got down to brass tacks this week, Jim. I live in Palo Alto and after 36 years I’m trying to escape it because of the unbearable social effects of a town full of geeks who make products which have zero or marginal utility for the human race who think they’re “all that”. They go to SF Giants games so that they can loudly talk about their salaries and drive away people in nearby seats. They don’t care about baseball. I cannot make this shit up. Truth is stranger than fiction. Techies used to be shyly socially maladaptive but now they’re obnoxious “rock stars”.

    Yes, Tesla is a joke and a young man I know who used to work for them was fired. Why? Because he threatened to blow the whistle on them for constructing inferior bodies and because he knew about the battery fire scandal when Tesla was trying to hush-hush it. But the main thing is the pretension of the Tesla buyers that they’re being “green” when they plug into a power grid whose power comes almost entirely from fossil fuels and nukes. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that an overnight battery charge does not involve an insignificant amount of electrical power.

    I live in “the belly of the beast” but only for a few more months. This town is now chock-a-block with the techie version of Stepford Wives. You can’t go anywhere without seeing hordes of people, all between 28 and 35 traveling in immense “sticky” groups because everyone in it is a company droid just like them.

    • Q. Shtik May 11, 2015 at 5:01 pm #

      Yes, Tesla is a joke and a young man I know who used to work for them was fired. Why? Because he threatened to blow the whistle on them for constructing inferior bodies………… etc. etc.

      ==================

      The first sentence above wins the non sequitur of the day award… maybe even the whole week. We’ll have to wait and see.

      And what’s up with this constructing of inferior bodies?

      I have no doubt there are lots of ‘techholes’ around Palo Alto, Therian, but you need to do a better job of making your case.

      • Therian May 11, 2015 at 8:03 pm #

        I need to do a better job making my case??? Jesus Christ, man, how many Tesla employees have you known PERSONALLY, much less a guy who took them to court for wrongful termination … and WON!!??

        It’s NOT a “non sequitur” to agree that Tesla is a joke and then supply EVIDENCE of said joke i.e., horrible construction of cars resulting in deterioration normally reserved for a 15-year-old car. It’s absolutely a “sequitur” because it FOLLOWS ON the James’ point about Tesla being a joke. They ARE a joke.

        Try being logical since you’ve put the mantle of “blog logician”, to say nothing of “blog grammarian” onto your corpus. A non sequitur is a point that, in no way, relates to a point previously made. My post absolutely followed on to James’ assertion that Tesla is a joke and I went one step farther with a personal anecdote which speaks to the basic construction of Tesla bodies and batteries. Where is it “non”? Nowhere. Quod erat demonstrandum.

  37. TimBloom May 11, 2015 at 12:07 pm #

    I don’t have much in common with Mr. Musk, so please don’t consider this comment a defense of him personally. In fact, anyone who’s planning on moving humanity to Mars just hasn’t read his Ray Bradbury:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2776270/Elon-Musk-wants-MILLION-people-Mars-2100-SpaceX-founder-says-colonise-red-planet-face-extinction.html

    But his new battery pack is pretty neat. For both off-grid and battery-backup grid-tied, they (allegedly) operate better and longer than lead-acid for the same storage capacity and are cheaper out the gate. No, the happy-motoring society will NOT be saved by solar or wind, but this IS a new disruptive technology that will bring down the cost of home-based energy production. My number crunching for adding solar/battery backup to my house is $30K, not $50K. Well, that’s less than what I paid for my car. While much of America is flat broke, those of use who could choose to hold off on a car purchase could never have to pay a utility bill again. Frankly, that’s not going to keep roads paved, etc. But for me personally it will lower my carbon footprint while adding resilience to my home in excess of my life span. BTW, solar panels do not as rule “fail” — they degrade. The panels I buy this year will “only” operate at 70% capacity 30 years from now. Frankly, that’s longer lasting than any other part of my house except perhaps my geothermal heat-pump.

    Further, Musk’s “consumer” offering of his batteries is, according to him, just a stop-gap to utility-sized arrays to even out large scale solar/wind. While I agree that this isn’t “THE” answer to a predicament that has no answers, I respect his tenacity to at least attempt to guide “industry” towards a livible future. While I expect a near-term economic/political collapse, I don’t relish it. If the ingenuity of guys like Musk allow humanity to carry on without trashing the planet, I’ll gladly admit I was wrong. In the meantime, my home’s solar capacity will be cheaper and longer-lasting due to his offering. So even if he is an “evil deluded industrialist,” pecking at his latest offering isn’t going to help anyone “see the light”. There are so many other targets…

    • Therian May 11, 2015 at 12:14 pm #

      Well, Tim, the whole propaganda shtick with high tech veritably assumes that the average American can toss around $30K or $50K like it was just popcorn. So, $30K is “less than what you paid for your car”. You’re the landed gentry and I assure you that the market penetration for the Musk Battery will never exceed 10% and I’m certain that a good portion of that 10% really can’t afford the start-up cost.

    • Florida Power May 11, 2015 at 7:33 pm #

      Whether the chemistry is lead-acid, nickel-cadmium, or lithium-ion amp-hours removed must be replenished. Grid recharging incorporates losses stemming from the charge efficiency of the cells all the way upstream to the generator. PV recharging is dependent on available photons and the panel efficiency, which generally ain’t great.

      But despite the lack of free lunch it’s silly to suggest there have been no energy breakthroughs over the years — even if these enhanced efficiencies will serve only to make the long emergency heated and cooled, if not televised.

      • Therian May 11, 2015 at 8:09 pm #

        Where did I say there were “no energy breakthroughs” … or are you responding to someone else? I can’t tell sometimes with the board format.

        • Florida Power May 12, 2015 at 1:20 pm #

          Only a general comment. At times there is an anti-techno-narcissism at work on the board.

  38. VegasBob May 11, 2015 at 12:07 pm #

    Elon Musk is just a carnival barker, sort of like a 21st-century PT Barnum.

    His enterprise is kept alive by government subsidies for his cars. If those subsidies ever stop, he winds up in bankruptcy court.

    • Therian May 11, 2015 at 12:16 pm #

      Word!! And Musk is a sociopath because his cars have horrible bodies where fenders come unglued on Teslas that are only a few months old. Then there was the battery fire scandal. I know a young man who was fired from Tesla because he threatened to blow the whistle on this giant put-up job.

  39. Cold N. Holefield May 11, 2015 at 12:12 pm #

    Elon Musk sounds like the brand of a cologne or a famous fashion designer. For a battery designer/inventor, a name like Victor Shakapopulis would be more appropriate.

    Don’t all these fancy city batteries require rare earth metals? Aren’t they called rare for a reason? Oy Vey!!

  40. barbisbest May 11, 2015 at 12:13 pm #

    Mother Earth is a powerful, living being. We all have two mothers. Nothing lives without the earth. Not too long ago, the native indians lived as hunter gatherers. They worked 500 hours a year to get what they needed to live. That’s progress for you. They enjoyed pretty long life spans.Sure, there were no dentists, so life wasn’t all deliriously happy. Their diets were different too. They didn’t have Twinkies, so maybe they had less cavities. They spent some of the time dancing, singing, and writing about the real world. Where is community now.

    It’s great that JHK mentions the nuclear reactors today, the 11th. Many, including Harvey Wasserman, fast the 11th day of each month to bring attention to the nuclear nightmare.

    I now return you to your industrial produced (non) reality.

    • Janos Skorenzy May 11, 2015 at 3:06 pm #

      Earth is the Mother? Ok, so what are you forgetting? The Father. Who dat? The Sun. Mr Daymaker as the Hindus call Him. Or the World Candle as do the Norse. And without Him, the Earth is null and void, a dark, lifeless crater. Patriarchy is deeper than Matriarchy. And just as the Sun rules the Earth, Men should rule women. But yes, they must be worthy and not profit driven psychopaths as so many people (both male and female) are today. Feminism is a female lead psychopath movement.

      • Buck Stud May 11, 2015 at 3:25 pm #

        Patriarchy is deeper than Matriarchy. And just as the Sun rules the Earth, Men should rule women.

        So you allow two capitalizations for “Team Feminine” but when it get’s more real and less lofty “women” just get the lower case treatment.

        Form embodying content; content defining form.

        • Janos Skorenzy May 12, 2015 at 2:25 pm #

          Such nitpickery and passion! Yet you never jump in to criticize when Whites are not capitalized. I made a mistake here. But you have revealed yourself.

      • beantownbill. May 11, 2015 at 4:30 pm #

        Only you, Janos, can turn a discussion about energy limitations into a deriding of women and feminism. Really, I do appreciate that aspect of how your mind works. Now, try to blame the Jews for the Long Emergency. Your creativity abounds.

        • Janos Skorenzy May 12, 2015 at 2:27 pm #

          Sorry you all can’t take responsibility for that. For much of the financial chicanery, yes.

          If you listen, you will hear Jews boasting about their power to make mischief.

      • hineshammer May 11, 2015 at 7:18 pm #

        Jeez, talk about your non sequiturs.

      • seawolf77 May 12, 2015 at 9:00 am #

        Life is a battle between the penises and the vaginas.

        • AKlein May 12, 2015 at 12:44 pm #

          That sounds intriguing! Does that yield the possibility that losing could actually be winning? I mean, as in the winner takes the spoils. I had a business associate once who, when the discussion wandered into the topic of gender ambiguity, confided to me that the reason for his empathy stemmed from the fact that he was a “lesbian trapped in a man’s body”.

          • seawolf77 May 13, 2015 at 12:49 pm #

            Remember the movie, “Unforgiven.” Best portrayal of this battle on the silver screen ever.

      • sprawlcapital May 17, 2015 at 4:32 pm #

        Janos: Feminism is a female lead psychopath movement.

        Should be: Feminism is a female-led psychopath movement. (A hyphen makes it more clear.) (Not that I agree with the statement.)

  41. elysianfield May 11, 2015 at 12:15 pm #

    “Car dependency can and probably will fail on the financial basis”…

    Saw this coming when the lending institutions began offering 10- year-term loans on used cars….

    • Cold N. Holefield May 11, 2015 at 12:16 pm #

      At what point do we start calling car loans mortgages? When people start living out of their cars en masse which is any day now.

  42. Cold N. Holefield May 11, 2015 at 12:15 pm #

    Petro said: I won’t get into all of them, but one I kept hearing over and over reflected something we’ve read from JHK and others here: the crumbling lack of trust in the honesty and competence in such state institutions as the Michigan legislature and the rest of the bureaucracy.

    That’s me. Once upon a time I would have supported Single Payer. No longer. I don’t trust the gubmint any longer. It’s a wholly-owned division of the Too Big To Fail.

    • beantownbill. May 11, 2015 at 4:32 pm #

      There ya go. I’m glad you’ve seen the light.

  43. olduvai May 11, 2015 at 12:19 pm #

    Canada’s national media (CBC) posted an article (well, really, marketing propaganda, that it seems to be doing more and more of) for this product on May 1st (http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/tesla-launches-powerwall-home-battery-with-aim-to-revolutionize-energy-consumption-1.3056587) and here’s what I had to comment in light of the absolute ‘gushing’ by most commenters:
    We have been promised panaceas for our unsustainable lifestyle many times over the years. From nuclear power that would be too cheap to meter, and thus basically free, to this latest fix-all that will serve to support everything from our igadgets to suburban lifestyles. What is not discussed in this latest snake-oil type sales pitch (remember, this is a business focused on a profit so will only raise seemingly positive attributes to attract sales and investment) is the downside. Bringing such technology to scale for a broader public will be next to impossible for any number of reasons, not least of which are the constraints imposed by the finite resources necessary to construct all the solar panels and batteries. In addition, battery storage units are known for their limited lifespan so will require replacement in perpetuity and where will all the waste from these products end up? As James Howard Kunstler argues in his book, Too Much Magic, our blind faith in technological solutions to our impending energy crisis is nothing more than wishful thinking–or as his states, “delusional groupthink” and “ongoing fantasies about a technological rescue from the very predicaments already spawned by the misuse of technology.”

  44. Lkat May 11, 2015 at 12:21 pm #

    As Wendell Berry says, beware of anything you have to buy that promises to help the environment.

  45. Cold N. Holefield May 11, 2015 at 12:29 pm #

    The Road Warrior/Mad Max remake has recently been released in theaters. Of all the near-future scenarios, the Road Warrior/Mad Max theme seems the most likely. Perfect timing, perhaps?

    Mad Max: Fury Road

  46. Cold N. Holefield May 11, 2015 at 12:31 pm #

    Does anyone here have any strong opinions about Guy McPherson?

    As a matter of fact…..

  47. Lawfish May 11, 2015 at 12:32 pm #

    So the “solution” to temporary power outages is a zillion dollar battery backup? A couple weeks ago, we lost power at my office for three and a half hours. The first thing I noticed was how quiet it was. Wonderfully, truly quiet. No hum of air conditioners, computers, little nagging devices in every nook and cranny. I think in the future, we will again appreciate quietude.

    • Beryl of Oyl May 11, 2015 at 12:54 pm #

      We had a power outage lasting days, a while back. I noticed the neighborhood children became calm. They still played, in fact, they played outside more, and they made noise, but it was different somehow.
      I wonder if all these ADD type problems kids are increasingly being diagnosed with aren’t being caused by all the electronics. How inconvenient would that be?

      • seawolf77 May 12, 2015 at 8:58 am #

        I think you might have something there.

  48. fodase May 11, 2015 at 1:33 pm #

    Well JHK finally gets back on track and talks about energy.

    His statement that no one knows how to decommission nuclear plants and handle the waste is prima facie incorrect. What arrogance and disregard for hard science’s advances.

    Fits in with the non-factual based ranting by his sycophants. Notice how they never provide fact-based counterarguments, only vapid allegations based on their own fantasies of what should be. Because the collapse is baked in the cake.

    I agree that the Tesla battery isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. But Jim conveniently forgets to take note of the fact that multi-megawatt CSP facilities have been and are being constructed in the US which power several hundred thousand homes.

    Up from zero homes 10 years ago.

    Glad he’s taken my advice and brought Germany into the equation, of course negatively.

    Europe, which gets about 30 times less sun that the US, makes JHK’s assertion that “renewables” provide only a sliver of the US and A’s energy laughable.

    On the Old Continent, they are getting up to HALF their electricity from WIND+SUN.

    The US – California in the vanguard at 5% solar – will vastly outperform this figure when it gins up its solar installations – which it is doing. There is currently a 2nd 550MW solar electricity utility being built out West.

    Why? Because we get 39 times the sunlight that Europe does.

    Desert Sunlight, Another 550MW Solar Farm From First Solar, Now Fully Operational

    oops – this plan is already up and running. A half-gigawatt facility is not technofantasy, Mr. Kunstler. You are a good writer but a very poor prognosticator when it comes to licking the so-called energy descent scenario.

    That puts the lie to any discrediting of “renewables”.

    But these two projects from First Solar will soon yield their glory to SunPower’s 579-megawatt solar project in Antelope Valley, Calif., which is scheduled to go fully operational in the first half of this year and claim the title of the largest operational solar project on the planet.

    oops – make that THREE half-gigawatt solar facilities.

    How do you explain this, Mr. Kunstler?

    The entire world is on this path – even the middle eastern oil producers.

    I wonder why?

    • subgenius May 11, 2015 at 2:23 pm #

      Where is the real-world example of a successfully decommissioned nuke plant and the safe long-term handling of the waste…?

      • justjohn May 12, 2015 at 10:35 am #

        Here’s one in Michigan that was decommissioned in 1997:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Rock_Point_Nuclear_Power_Plant

        Maybe that doesn’t speak to the waste (I’m not sure if any was sent off-site), but “As part of the sale of Consumer’s Palisades Nuclear Plant, the new owner Entergy accepted the responsibility for a basketball court size piece of property at Big Rock containing that plant’s eight casks of spent fuel.”

        You can see the site on Google Earth. My Internet here is slow, so the PDF is still downloading, but it looks like the site is a park now. Seems like you can stand within cherry pit spitting distance of those casks.

    • sauerkraut May 11, 2015 at 2:36 pm #

      “His statement that no one knows how to decommission nuclear plants and handle the waste is prima facie incorrect. What arrogance and disregard for hard science’s advances.”

      I don’t think that JHK meant it literally. I suspect that he meant, “Too many societies cannot make nuclear power work. Among the problems are decommissioning on time and dealing with the waste.”

      This is certainly true. The communist Soviets gave us Chernobyl. The capitalist Japanese gave us Fukushima. Political gridlock gave us Yucca Mountain. Some reactors are in use well beyond their design specs. Sadly, it takes only the carelessness of one society to give us very real radiation problems for 12 generations of men (i.e. half lives of Cesium 137 and Strontium 90).

      The problem is not with the science, or even the engineering. There are several walk-away-safe nuclear power plant designs, one of them even in use. But these designs are more costly to build, and some societies are incapable of appreciating quality, or even noticing it. Other societies are incapable of analyzing risk.

      And it takes just one incompetent nuclear society.

      • sauerkraut May 12, 2015 at 1:31 pm #

        Sorry, half lives are 30 years. Ten half lives, or 12 generations is the time required to reduce radiation to 0.1%

    • Janos Skorenzy May 11, 2015 at 3:29 pm #

      What about ocean thermal plants in the tropics that would use the differential between the warm surface and cold depths? Some say they alone could power the world. Anything is better than Finc’s nuclear nightmare of orbiting bombs waiting to drop. If we could do that, we could also put gigantic solar panels in orbit with much less risk. Beam the energy back by microwave. Anybody who gets caught in the beam gets fried.

      • sauerkraut May 11, 2015 at 6:08 pm #

        Good idea about the solar panels in orbit, Janos. The engineering problems have been solved, and it turns out that an increase of 25% in the microwave region is sufficient to transmit the energy back, which is not enough to cause serious injury.

        You are in good company Janos – a Princeton physicist worked out the details back in the day.

        • Janos Skorenzy May 12, 2015 at 12:44 am #

          Hopefully in the future we will ply the solar system in Sailing Ships, riding the solar winds with sails of miles in diameter.

      • seawolf77 May 12, 2015 at 8:50 am #

        I wrote a paper about using the temperature differential in the oceans to generate power when I was in college. It’s not big enough to really do anything. The Carnot efficiency of a machine is ultimately governed by the width of the band. If the band is narrow, so is the amount of power you can generate. The ocean is also an incredibly hostile environment, so the machines would be short lived. Lose, lose.

        • sauerkraut May 12, 2015 at 1:32 pm #

          Thanks for the response based on calculation.

        • Janos Skorenzy May 12, 2015 at 2:30 pm #

          Interesting. Kdog thought it looked promising – as did Sci Fi writer Jerry Pournelle.

    • Q. Shtik May 11, 2015 at 6:41 pm #

      Because we get 39 times the sunlight that Europe does. – fodase

      ================

      Absurd on its surface. Maybe you meant 39% more. Also, who is we? Brazil or the USA. In any case, what would cause ‘us’ to get so much more sunlight?

  49. Anotherplayaguy May 11, 2015 at 1:36 pm #

    About electric cars being green: it’s not just the non-green generation of electricity to run them. They are also huge energy and material hogs while being produced. Can’t be manufactured without the grid and huge carbon inputs.

    • seawolf77 May 12, 2015 at 8:57 am #

      Exactly. People have to lose the notion that they have a right to a mechanical horse. It is TRANSPORTATION. That’s all. Lose the freakin go cart mentality. It’s killing all of us and the planet.

  50. Cold N. Holefield May 11, 2015 at 2:32 pm #

    I hate to say it, but it must be said; this is what you get when you have English Spoken Here.

    English Spoken Here: Lithium Batteries

    English Not Spoken Here: Ghettos

    Paper or plastic.

  51. Lightningheart May 11, 2015 at 2:34 pm #

    Although I agree with the gist of James’ piece, he has some of the economics wrong. I just had panels (German made) installed by one of Musk’s ‘side businesses, Solar City. The panels, inverter, charge controller and installation cost me exactly NOTHING. I have a 20 year lease on them at a guaranteed $18.00 per month including the utility bill. You read that right $18.00. That is about 66% cheaper than I was paying NYSEG for electricity. I was so impressed with the whole procedure that I became an evangelist for the company. It is a win, win, win situation. I get a lower bill, Solar City gets to sell the extra power from my panels to NYSEG and NYSEG can build less coal or nuke plants. Now is the time to use what fossil fuels are available to transition. I have friends with 40 year old panels that are still at 90% efficiency.

    • jscheppke May 11, 2015 at 3:32 pm #

      Thanks for the comment Lightningheart. The costs of rooftop solar that JHK mentions in this post are wildly exaggerated. I bought a complete turnkey system (13 panels, inverter, installation) 3 years ago in Oregon for about $12,000. After incentives and tax credits (state and federal) my out of pocket cost for this system was about $1,000. It makes enough electricity to power my 1,800 sq. ft. home about half the year, even in cloudy Oregon. The downside is that it is a “net metering” system that is connected to the grid (Portland General Electric). If the grid goes down my system goes down. I’d be very interested in a low cost battery system that might allow me to go off the grid someday.

      • Q. Shtik May 11, 2015 at 9:15 pm #

        After incentives and tax credits (state and federal) my out of pocket cost for this system was about $1,000. – jscheppke

        ===================

        BINGO re tax credits. Very smart of you and Lightning to sock it to the rest of us poor schmucks (both state and federalwise) who are picking up the tab for your share of the tax burden. I would do the same (i.e. sock it to my fellow citizens) if it weren’t for a host of other reasons that make solar impractical or impossible for me and others.

        My home has a 104 year old slate roof which requires replacement of broken slates every couple of years. What if those needed replacements are under the solar panels? What about the installation of solar on slate in the first place… all those holes.

        My home is surrounded by 5 huge oak trees which shade the house about six months of the year. It’s a blessing in the summer months. The house is oriented SSE which is close to optimal for 50% of the panels that would be facing in that direction but the back of the house faces NNW… suboptimal. This is all moot until after the leaves fall off and it turns to winter when the amount of sunlight is considerably less. And what about snow? Will 6 inches or a foot of snow cover the panels and stay covered for long cold snaps like we had this winter?

        And what about those poor schmucks who rent apartments with no choice in the matter of investment in solar? What percentage of people in the US rent rather than own? As a pure guess I’ll say 50%. They and I will be paying for your tax credit. When this becomes better understood by the common man there may be some political backlash.

      • James Howard Kunstler May 12, 2015 at 9:29 am #

        You’re just plain wrong jscheppke.
        I installed an 8,000 watt grid-linked solar electric system in my house in 2013. The retail cost of the system, before federal; and state subsidies was 52,000 for the whole rig (inc battery backup and related extra electronics).

  52. BackRowHeckler May 11, 2015 at 2:52 pm #

    People are taking out car loans for as long as 10 years now. Many are carrying monthly payments of more than $500 per month. (‘Death on the Installment Plan’, Louis Ferdinand Celine) What this means is that many can no longer afford automobiles under ordinary circumstances, and these automobiles will be in the junkyard long before they’re paid off. Many of these loans will never be paid off. On the other hand, the way things are set up now how does one survive here without a car? Its almost impossible. And have you noticed the price of gasoline is creeping back up?

    brh

    • sauerkraut May 11, 2015 at 2:56 pm #

      Good observations, with an obvious and frightening conclusion waiting to be drawn.

    • Janos Skorenzy May 11, 2015 at 3:18 pm #

      The Car and House must become one thing. The mini house movement is a false start. We must live in our cars. They already have entertainment centers, now just add toilets and showers. Even this will prove too much. Ultimately we must create “life suits” that meet all our needs for shelter, like the still suits the Fremen wore in Dune.

  53. shastatodd May 11, 2015 at 3:15 pm #

    “What happens when the solar panels, battery, etc., reach the end of their useful lives, say 25 years or so, when there is no more fossil fuel (or an industry capable of providing it economically).”

    and dont forget the lifespan of inverters is typically 8 to 10 years. unfortunately this often means rewiring the array if input voltage parameters have changed.

    and thanks for the reality about the “sexy tesla batteries” gimmick. i was shocked at how many of my mindless friends ate up the “free lunch” nonsense.

    humans seem so enamoured with our “intelligence” we think we can somehow mitigate the mathematical impossibility of unlimited growth on a finite planet. this will not end well…

  54. Cold N. Holefield May 11, 2015 at 3:16 pm #

    George Zimmerman was shot at today through his closed car window in an apparent road rage incident. He was taken to the hospital with minor injuries to his face. A cursory glance at comment section shows liberals for the sick fucks they are. They’re lamenting the fact that the road raging maniac didn’t kill Zimmerman.

    • Janos Skorenzy May 11, 2015 at 3:22 pm #

      George is one of those men who wasn’t born great but attain greatness thru adversity. One is reminded of Whitaker Chambers, a weakling and homosexual, who in the end could not betray his country and at enormous personal rise, spoke out against Communist infiltration.

      I wish he was a White Hispanic so we could claim him for our race. But alas he is a mutt – the current American ideal. How strange that they should hate him so!

      • seawolf77 May 12, 2015 at 9:09 am #

        George Zimmerman is great? That reminds me of the Seinfeld episode with the ugly baby being called “breathtaking.”

  55. m111ark May 11, 2015 at 3:19 pm #

    Is there not a statute of limitations on the doom and gloom?

    I’ve been hearing the same shit since 2004, haven’t you guys opened your eyes in the past decade? Sure, we got all those problems, so what! We also got solutions, that’s why problems exist, so that we’ll come up with solutions. And, we will, I don’t know how, when, or who… neither does anyone else… but that’s what humans do, we learn, adjust, and grow…

    And if I have put money down, I’ll bet we do it again.

    So, GROW THE FUCK UP!!!

    • Janos Skorenzy May 11, 2015 at 3:26 pm #

      You forget we are no longer a brilliant homogenous nation of European stock. We will not overcome because we are no longer the same people. Latin America and Black Africa never overcame. Now that we are them, we wont either.

      And of course, it’s far more complicated than even that, with huge numbers of Asians and Muslims pouring in as well. Even if all the stocks were high level, homogeneity matters as well. For example, the Asians are very hard workers, but they are not us.

      • FincaInTheMountains May 11, 2015 at 6:15 pm #

        Janos, the problem is not that you are not all whites, the problem is that you have betrayed your own ideals and became the nation of tolerasts – that is a combination of two words: tolerance and pederasty.

        • Janos Skorenzy May 11, 2015 at 6:38 pm #

          Well if Whites were able to maintain control, that would be one thing. After all, parts of Latin America are high tech. But we seem to be giving our civilization away to make ourselves feel good or something. And there’s no evidence that Mestizos or Blacks will be able to maintain it. And even if they could maintain the infrastructure, they still wouldn’t be us. But of course you’re the guy who wants to turn Russia over to Central Asians. How can I expect you to understand or sympathize? One writer described Jews in relation to us: empathy without sympathy. In other words, you do understand you just don’t care and/or you have your own agenda.

    • AKlein May 11, 2015 at 3:42 pm #

      I won’t be as articulate as Janos. I’ll ask in the vernacular. Regarding your comment “I’ll bet we do it again.”. Who exactly is this “we”, Kemo Sabe?

      • m111ark May 11, 2015 at 8:16 pm #

        Americans AKlein, Americans.

        Throughout history, it’s only 10 percent of the people who contribute to advancing civilization, the rest are just taking up space.

        Warren buffet ALWAYS bets on America and continues to do so, seems he’s done alright for himself so I’ll agree with him. With the caveat that all empires fail sometime… or we may do the right thing and give it up or be forced to… I’ve no crystal ball, just tired of the constant negative crap from people who probably know less than I do.

        • AKlein May 12, 2015 at 7:07 am #

          Such confidence is touching, but it brings to mind a very old adage; “Pride goeth before the fall.”

          • m111ark May 12, 2015 at 7:25 am #

            Actually, my confidence is in change. While not always for the better, more and more people are awakening from the stupor of the “american dream.” We are yet small in number but we don’t need a majority of numbers, just people willing to speak and commit to truth. Hersh’s revelation of the actual events of Bin Laden’s death will awaken more…

            the entire system is corrupt to the core and must be displaced… an election won’t do it as the real power rest with the non-elected financial oligarchs. They must be brought down and their wealth taken from them. We’ve done it before, can we do it again?

        • Ken Hall May 12, 2015 at 2:31 pm #

          “May 12, 2015 at 7:25 am” You claim “the real power rest with the non-elected financial oligarchs. They must be brought down and their wealth taken from them. We’ve done it before, can we do it again?”

          I agree that “the real power rest with the non-elected financial oligarchs”; however, I am confused as to who are the “we” and when did “we” bring down the “financial oligarchs” of the past?

  56. FincaInTheMountains May 11, 2015 at 3:32 pm #

    King World News just discovered a bicycle

    Germans Looted Occupied European Countries By Rigging Currency Markets

    “The Nazis changed exchange rates in favor of the Reichsmark. The pre-war exchange rate between the French franc and the reichsmark like one franc to two reichsmarks. After the Nazis got control of the Bank of France they changed it (the conversion) to something like one reichsmark to 20 francs.

    The result of this was to draw all industrial and agricultural production out of occupied France and into Germany and nothing flowed back. The Nazis in eastern Europe, where there were not sophisticated banking systems, rigged the currency markets by issuing special occupation currency that could be used only in the occupied countries but was invalid in Germany itself.

    Again, the effect of this rigging of the currency markets was to make sure that all production flowed from the occupied zones into Germany but nothing flowed back. And for 4 or 5 years Germany ran an incredible balance of trade deficit.

    Guess, who is doing it now?

    U.S. Now Running Massive Trade Deficit, Just As Nazi Germany Did

    Well, who else is doing that today? The United States gets away with its balance of trade deficits because we print the reserve currency and we control the currency markets through rigging. It’s really the primary mechanism of imperialism. The Nazis did it and now the United States is doing it with the help of its Western allies.”

    http://kingworldnews.com/is-this-the-most-shocking-interview-of-2015/

    • FincaInTheMountains May 11, 2015 at 3:45 pm #

      The only difference was that the Nazi Germany was rigging the currencies of occupied European countries, US is rigging the entire financial system.

      And when they ran out of new markets to rig, they complains about “financial crisis”.

      It is not peak oil, or peak energy, or peak prosperity. Its peak cheating.

      • seawolf77 May 12, 2015 at 9:11 am #

        Exactly. In the final analysis war is a crime. An manufactured excuse to steal and murder and rape and pillage.

        • AKlein May 12, 2015 at 1:03 pm #

          In German, the colloquial word for “to get” is “kriegen”. The word for war in German is “Krieg”. The similarity is not coincidental.

  57. FincaInTheMountains May 11, 2015 at 3:57 pm #

    Sweden homosexual activists are going to scare Russian submarines away using the submerged signs with gay slogans

    http://www.svt.se/nyheter/inrikes/har-skrams-homofobiska-ryska-ubatskaptener-bort-med-neonskylt-pa-havets-botten

    The letters on the sign reads in both English and Russian: “Welcome to Sweden. Gay since 1944”

    • hmulleril@att.net May 11, 2015 at 5:08 pm #

      That may only encourage those Russian submariners to come hither.

      • FincaInTheMountains May 11, 2015 at 5:34 pm #

        Don’t think Russian sailors give a sh*t either way. Just waiting on Putin’s orders.

    • BackRowHeckler May 12, 2015 at 12:41 am #

      Those steely eyed Russian sub commanders will be pissing in their pants when they see that sign; might make them surface and order abandon ship, surrender before the first shot is even fired.

      brh

      • capt spaulding May 12, 2015 at 11:47 am #

        They’ll probably paint penises on their torpedoes just to hear the shrieks of joy.

  58. seawolf77 May 11, 2015 at 4:08 pm #

    A devolution of complex systems into chaos, or an evolution of complex systems into simplicity. Are complex systems and simple system mutually exclusive? Supply and demand systems are simple yet extraordinarily complex. JHK could have written “The Long Emergency” in the 1950’s, the 1960’s, the 1970’s, the 1980’s, the 1990’s, the 2000’s, or the 2010’s. It really doesn’t matter. He wrote it as a warning and a rallying cry, a modern day Noah pointing at the ground instead of the sky. In that respect it has failed. The Peak Oil crowd are looked upon with askance. They are doomers. They are a drag. The tin foil hat people.

  59. Georges1202 May 11, 2015 at 4:28 pm #

    Musk could stand there and introduce a steaming pile of dogshit and the smart set will oooh and aaah. He is the poster child of a kind of 21st century techno-creature that believes (really, truly believes) that they will all just figure it out.

    Meanwhile this idiotic excuse for an economy ‘innovates’ with cute ways to order dinner and get a ride around town. Unreal to say the least.

  60. hmulleril@att.net May 11, 2015 at 5:06 pm #

    Yes, it would be nice if solar power were cheaper, simpler, and more user friendly. Hopefully, one day it will be. I don’t know why Kunstler is against it. It’s one of the cleanest energy alternatives we have.

    • FincaInTheMountains May 11, 2015 at 5:16 pm #

      It would be also nice if it could generate enough electricity at a reasonable price without tax subsidies. What’s enough? May be just enough that you wouldn’t have to run to the well every time you need to flush your toilet.

      • FincaInTheMountains May 11, 2015 at 5:17 pm #

        “Clean” energy = full of shit toilets

    • Georges1202 May 11, 2015 at 5:55 pm #

      I believe Jim is not so much against it as much as highly realistic about it. It is doubtful we can ever keep the horrid way we live going with just solar.

      • FincaInTheMountains May 11, 2015 at 6:03 pm #

        What’s so horrid about flushing the toilet? I personally like the feature.

        • Georges1202 May 11, 2015 at 6:12 pm #

          Living is about toilet-flushing. Welcome to the age of diminished expectations.

          • FincaInTheMountains May 11, 2015 at 6:22 pm #

            Shit, George, you would be amazed how good it is to be able to flush the toilet. I started to appreciate the feature only after I was sitting without water from local fucking water utility for a week and my water tanks ran dry.

  61. FincaInTheMountains May 11, 2015 at 5:23 pm #

    “A devolution of complex systems into chaos, or an evolution of complex systems into simplicity.”

    It is rather a simplistic evolutionary chaotisazation of systemic devolution into complexion.

  62. ninabenitez May 11, 2015 at 5:37 pm #

    You can’t compare Musk to Steve Jobs. Tesla is a money loser. Apple is highly profitable. Never trust a businessman who consistently loses money.

    • FincaInTheMountains May 11, 2015 at 5:56 pm #

      If you haven’t noticed, Apple was marked by the beast to become a winner since like mid-90s.

      Name me a single Hollywood flick where the good-looking and sophisticated hero was using anything but Apple? That’s a on of free advertising. You think Steve Jobs paid for all that? F*ck no!

      Same goes to Microsoft, Google and Facebook – they are marked by the beast

      • seawolf77 May 12, 2015 at 12:56 pm #

        Steve Jobs was the reincarnation of Alan Turing. Turing invented the “universal machine,” a mechanical computer that was used to crack ENIGMA, the German code machine. He was a homosexual, a crime at that time in England, and after several lewd incidences, he was ordered by the court to be chemically castrated. He killed himself by lacing an apple with cyanide and eating it. The bitten into apple was found at his bedside. Nine months later Steve Jobs is born. Later, he founds a company called Apply whose logo is a bitten into apple.

        • Janos Skorenzy May 12, 2015 at 3:39 pm #

          Makes sense. The last thought is the keeper, the determiner of the next life. Of course suicide is generally the cause of a lower birth, most likely in hell. Maybe the extenuating circumstances of his persecution moved the Lords of Karma to relent in his case.

          • seawolf77 May 13, 2015 at 12:50 pm #

            The best example/proof of reincarnation since Charlie Christian and Jimi Hendrix.

  63. johnc May 11, 2015 at 6:48 pm #

    I don’t believe the Tesla automobile will find broad acceptance in the market but will remain a status symbol for the few who can afford one. It is going to be difficult for Tesla to make money selling electric cars at a loss hence the move to home storage. His new idea actually makes more economic sense and has the potential to be widely adopted globally as the demand for renewable energy accelerates with the global climate change resulting in droughts and more intense weather patterns. It is a push to move away from the oil based economy that has total control of our government. The oil industry is spending billions in developing new technologies like fracking to scrape the last bit of oil from the bottom of the barrel. It would better to invest that money in alternatives and let the oil industry die. It is already on that path with the lower oil prices unable to pay for the new technology. There is good technology and bad technology. We need to spend our money on good technology. Good technology is any technology that reduces our need for oil.

    • FincaInTheMountains May 11, 2015 at 6:52 pm #

      “His new idea actually makes more economic sense”

      No, it doesn’t, not yet. When you will have a mandatory 4 or 8 or 12 hours blackouts, it would, but not economical – since you’d hate to sit 12 hours in the dark without ability to access the CFN and read my wonderful posts.

  64. FincaInTheMountains May 11, 2015 at 7:12 pm #

    Special re-post for Janos

    For the first time in history, Russian Defense Minister Shoigu made the sign of the Cross before the beginning of the celebrations

    For one thing, nobody in his right mind would suspect Shoigu of ever doing anything just “for show”. The man has an immense capital of popularity and credibility in Russia and he has no need for political hypocrisy. Furthermore, those who saw the footage will immediately see that Shoigu was very concentrated, very solemn, when he did this.

    Shoigu quite literally asked for God’s help in one of the most dangerous moment in Russian history in which he, the Russian Minister of Defense, might be called to take momentous decisions from which the future of the planet might depend.

    Does that mean that Shoigu converted to Orthodoxy? Not necessarily. Buddhism is very accepting of other religions and I don’t see much of a contradiction here. But the fact that the first Russian government official to begin the historical Victory Day parade by making the sign of the Cross and appealing for God’s help is a Buddhist, is, in itself, quite amazing.

    To see this Tuvan Buddhist make the sign of the Cross in the Orthodox manner sent an electric shock through the Russian blogosphere: everybody felt that something amazing had happened.

    http://russia-insider.com/en/history/something-truly-amazing-happened-today/ri6696

    • Janos Skorenzy May 12, 2015 at 2:38 pm #

      That’s nice. But can we ever forget the treatment of German women at the hands of the Mongolians – encouraged and enabled by their Jewish commanders?

      Resorting to Christian Universalism is a smart move though. Look how it’s leveled the West. You people have got the White lumpens thinking that they don’t have the right to have their own cultures and nations anymore.

  65. Cold N. Holefield May 11, 2015 at 7:20 pm #

    The nutjobs are really lighting it up on Twitter about Zimmerman — calling for his death. I’ve responded to some of them here:

    https://twitter.com/TheLewdLonghorn

    It’s a Lynch Mob and Zimmerman is a White surrogate even if he is Hispanic and, oh yeah, the fact that he was exonerated fairly and squarely in a court of law in hostile territory no less means nothing to this Loretta Lynch Mob. They smell blood thanks to Obama and CNN and they’re ready for some crucifixions.

    • Buck Stud May 12, 2015 at 10:38 am #

      Oh yes, it’s ‘Obama’s fault’. Anyway, Zimmerman always seems to be embroiled in some type of controversy, whether it be ‘playing sheriff’ and killing people or beating up his wife, facing assault allegations, etc, etc, etc.

      I seriously doubt that Zimmerman will try and live a quiet, private life as a peaceful, law abiding citizen.

      Put another way, he’s a bad guy; a troublemaker. Period. And trying to contort Obama, CNN and ‘the liberals’ as the ‘crucifiers of Zimmerman’ is ludicrous.

      Zimmerman and his ilk always hang the noose around their own necks.

      • Janos Skorenzy May 12, 2015 at 2:48 pm #

        A troublemaker he says. Sure, just like Robin Hood, Rob Roy, William Tell, and every other popular hero who ever lived. You are utterly separated from the people. You do not trust us and we do not trust you.

        The local boss (the Jew Gessler) put his cap on a pole and everybody who came into town had to bow to it. William Tell refused. So Gessler demanded that he shoot an apple off his son’s head. And the rest is history. And yes, his request ended up being his quietus in the end.

        http://history-switzerland.geschichte-schweiz.ch/william-tell-switzerland-hero.html

    • ozone May 12, 2015 at 12:22 pm #

      Sorry, carol, since you’ve proven yourself time and again to be little more than a distractionist and inflammatory provocateur, neither your opinions nor your motivations (whatever those may be) can be trusted.

      • Janos Skorenzy May 12, 2015 at 2:49 pm #

        But yours can? You are a Greerist, an populist elitist, a doomer snob.

    • ozone May 12, 2015 at 6:30 pm #

      …Oh, that would go for vlad too.
      Experts at “machs nicht”.

  66. wes loder May 11, 2015 at 8:26 pm #

    While not disagreeing with the thrust of your latest essay, I do wonder if your figures for the costs of a home solar setup are a bit too high. Now, it is possible that those figures are based on people wanting to go off-grid or remove their carbon imprint but, at the same time, being unwilling to give up a typical American electrical consumption lifestyle.
    However, if push comes to shove, as it looks like it will do, such a lifestyle may no longer be possible.
    But let us consider our own personal experience. We have been completely off-grid for five years now. Our solar panel setup includes 1.2KW of panels which easily cover our average daily consumption of 2.6KWH. In those five years, we have turned to a backup generator only twice—and we live in east-central Pennsylvania. While we use a solar dryer and solar hot water system to reduce electrical consumption, we do not feel in anyway constricted in doing what we need or want to do.
    Total cost of that system in 2010 dollars was $16,600.00. With prices coming down, I feel that your cost approaching $50,000 to be to a stretch. It does not need to cost that much, particularly if a family is willing to give up a few toys and gadgets and live a little more by doing things by hand.

    • James Howard Kunstler May 12, 2015 at 9:36 am #

      As i wrote above, I installed a system on my own house in 2013. Retail price: $52-K

      • justjohn May 12, 2015 at 11:09 am #

        Maybe you should do a post on the details of your system, to share your experience with us?

        I looked at solar systems in 2013, about the first thing I determined was that the battery cost was half of a system. Compared to a grid-tie (no battery) system, the battery system would probably never break even. My house loses electricity briefly about monthly, but that isn’t a big problem. We have lost electricity for several days maybe 3 times. It just isn’t worth it to buy batteries.

        I would try to do a DIY system. The parts cost about $1/watt. Compared to a professionally installed system, that is at least $3 and more like $4 to $5 / watt.

        Did you get the Federal tax credit? You would need to have income to qualify for the credit, so that can be a problem for some people.

        My state doesn’t offer any additional incentives, but the power company does have a program. If you win their lottery (about 40% of applicants do), you can sell them solar kilowatts at 25 cents each for 17 years. Versus buying them at 12 cents each. They might not allow a DIY system, which might also be against electrical code now.

        Sadly, I use about 18,000 kWh annually. Rough cost about $3000. I calculated I could do a system for about $12000 after tax credit, and break even in five or six years.

        But on the whole, I’m 99% in agreement with your long emergency concept. And my calculations include tax credits. And of course I’m not worrying about replacing the solar panels, they will out live me. Seems iffy that industrial civilization will be producing them in fifty years (for other than the 1%).

        There is a site http://www.builditsolar.com/ that has several examples of DIY systems.

        • shastatodd May 12, 2015 at 1:40 pm #

          50 kWh/day? holy crap! what are you doing with all that energy???by comparison, we use 17 kWh/day which includes space heating.

          installing solar without a serious energy audit to eliminate your waste, is akin to putting lipstick on a pig.

          • justjohn May 18, 2015 at 11:17 am #

            We live in the country, no other utilities available there. So electric for hot water & space heating are the big users. (Michigan climate)
            After installing the geothermal system 15 years ago, we grew to like the AC too.

            I could say more, but it might come back to haunt me.

  67. mastman23 May 11, 2015 at 8:43 pm #

    The USA is all about the Automobile. the freedom the car gave to millions of people and the ability to leave the declining crime ridden cities. Yes to buy that little piece of heaven with the white picket fence was for all of us a dream come true.

    We were and still are the envy of all world citizens and they came here buy the millions to seek out the dream and live it. Now the game is changing. To many cars to many people to many other countries replicating our lifestyle. The time has come for change but will those who steer the ship of industry now make the course correction? Or will they sail on into the storm?. All indications so far is we are all headed for the storm. Truly this is a bad decision by the DECIDERS as Bush called himself.

    The system will not change until it is changed. WW3 will be the Phoenix that finally accomplishes the change. But will it leave anything worth saving?

  68. ghostlimb May 11, 2015 at 10:20 pm #

    Let’s face it, the roads, the bridges, the falling concrete from overpasses isn’t getting fixed – much less fixed properly.

    For states, roads & bridges have become a perpetual jobs project – actively promoted by the cabal of Big Trucking, Big Construction, Big Engineering and Bigger than Big Finance.

    If you live anywhere north of America’s frost-line, the degradation is just that much faster and more widespread. Heavy Trucks who pay a fraction of their destructive impact pummel roads to smithereens – then the citizen schlubs get to pay for it all with the privilege of sitting in endless construction delays. Wonder Bread concrete paving shallower road beds that need repair/replacement more often – a racket even a Teamster like Jimmy Hoffa couldn’t dream up – while buried in concrete himself.

  69. Pucker May 11, 2015 at 10:21 pm #

    Speaking of electricity and nuclear power, according to the book “Clinton Cash”, when Hillary Clinton was US Secretary of State and sat on the Committee on Foreign Investment (CFIUS) she gave the nod to the acquisition by Russian state owned enterprise, Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation ( http://www.rosatom.ru/en/ ) to buy a controlling state in Uranium One. The acquisition gave Rosatom control over US uranium production. Putin gave Rosatom funds for the purchase from Russian state coffers. Rosatom has been assisting Iran to develop its nuclear power industry.

    The Iranians have made no effort to hide their desire to nuke Israel.
    In fact, I heard that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has a new rap tune out entitled: “Juke the News”.

  70. Pucker May 11, 2015 at 10:25 pm #

    Key beneficiaries of the Rosatom acquisition of Uranium One deal made substantial contributions to the Clinton Foundation just prior to CFIUS approval of the deal. Shocking!

  71. BackRowHeckler May 11, 2015 at 10:33 pm #

    Our state has embarked on yet another road building/widening campaign. Price tag is about $30 billion, one big, endless construction site deep into the future. No matter how wide they make the roads there’s still traffic jams everywhere. They can’t make them wide enough; only thing to do is pave over the whole state and make it ONE BIG ROAD! The Governor has statistics predicting automobile use, doubling, tripling, these projects are ‘shovel ready’, and the wreeks and the wrecks enthusiastically put their backs into.

    brh

  72. Pucker May 11, 2015 at 11:09 pm #

    Do any of you CFNers remember under the Dick Cheney regime the Osama Bin Laden Look-Alike who didn’t look anything like Bin Laden? They’d wheel him out whenever they needed to make a crap video to scare the American people.

    What was that bloke’s name?

  73. trypillian May 12, 2015 at 12:14 am #

    Guy McPherson is quite right. The average spent fuel pool contains about 30,000 Hiroshima bombs equivilent – you can look it up. Should the worlds nuclear plants fail, (not if, but when) 12 million Hiroshima bombs would be released. The good news is this would not happen overnight but rather a protracted release over time, as with the ongoing catastrophe at Fukushima. All living things would die sooner or later with massive radiation dosage. Canada has recently approved a nuclear waste repository a few hundred miles north of Detroit on the shores of Lake Huron. Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Buffalo, Toronto and Montreal need not be concerned with nuclear waste radiation since everything is under control, what could possibly go wrong! The failed US nuclear waste repository WIPP ( Waste Isolation Pilot Project ) Carlsbad, NM has had an accident within a few decades of its expected lifespan of 10,000 years. Plutonium is leaking there, from 50 gallon drums into the atmoshere and is out of control with no solution. Radioactive plutonium is the most dangerous substance in the known universe and will continue to be around till the end of time.

    • peakfuture May 12, 2015 at 9:56 am #

      Interestingly enough, as I recall, those programs where they postulate what would happen if people stopped existing (The World Without Us, After People) do bring this up, but they kind of gloss over the effects somewhat.

      A technology that could convert these to truly harmless substances might be of great help, but you might as well wish for unicorns (and a pony!).

      • trypillian May 13, 2015 at 12:26 am #

        There is a ‘best before date’ for nuclear power plants. It is another long emergency. The warming arctic ocean is currently in an irreversible process releasing methane exponentially. Methane is 100 times more powerful than carbon dioxide per molecule. NOAA has just published co2 has breeched 400 ppm. The existing methane as a co2 equivilent means the true greenhouse gas number is 600 ppm. The life support system for Spaceship Earth will be done in. Nuclear power plants need grid power to operate and they will go down due to extreme heat waves or cold, drought will prevent cooling water from being available, some will be flooded due to extreme weather, faulty containment and reactor core design will do in the rest. This critical mass (pun intended) will happen within twenty years more or less, according to many climate research scientists. The near term extinction event is an empirical reality. Have a nice day.

  74. BackRowHeckler May 12, 2015 at 12:32 am #

    Therian and Malthus …

    keep on with those ‘Posts from the West coast’

    very interesting observations, a whole different outlook you have out there. Therian, one doesn’t too often hear criticism of Silicone Valley for example; its presented as a sort of fabulous tech utopia, beyond criticism. You have to live there to know the truth about the place. Same with Malthus reporting on craven PC campus politics, which seems to have spread to colleges and universities across the US. Very enlightening!

    • Therian May 13, 2015 at 11:28 am #

      Thanks, BRH. Yes, the hype of Silicon Valley disguises the misery out here. Restaurateurs on University Avenue in downtown Palo Alto are either losing money or making very little, even with full crowds, because of the landlord class. A young kid just out of college thinks his $100K Google job makes him “rich” after he lived on peanut butter and jelly in college. Reality? He’ll pay $36K a year just for a one-BR apartment roof over his head. He’ll take home $65K of that $100K so he’s paying 56% of his “large” salary on rent.

      Palo Alto must have THE most boring downtown for a university town in the entire country. Ridiculous boutique clothing stores, foo-foo restaurants, cell phone stores, and wacky tech ventures (like Beam where a screen follows you down the street to start a conversation) define the place.

      There’s a lot of pain here all disguised by the faux “prosperity” which is all being passive-incomed away by the rentier class.

  75. FincaInTheMountains May 12, 2015 at 4:37 am #

    Putin is bankrupting the West with new spiral of arms race

    As soon as Russian announced that the sale of anti-aircraft C-300 systems to Iran will go on, the United States have urged Saudi Arabia to invest billions of dollars in the construction of the missile defense system. So compare the cost of a pair of battalions of C-300 and billions of dollars to build a missile defense system.

    After construction – hundreds of millions to maintain that entire American junk in working order. The difference in cost is at least a thousand times.

    This is called an effective counteraction. It is more than enough to pay for the cost of Russian military maneuvers and landing on the North Pole. Putin seems to have managed to impose a military tax on the West, in which the West now has to play a catch up game in a new arms race.

    Recall similar story when one flight of Russian strategic bomber makes the NATO planes to take off around the entire bomber route and causing huge financial damage to virtually all of Europe. Putin simply robs the national defense budgets of the EU. For the West just to stay afloat, it is necessary to deplete the resources of existing and order new aircraft. The only problem is that they will have to order obsolete planes since there is no funding or time to develop new models.

    All this is happening against the backdrop of financial losses due to sanctions against Russia. Sanctions – are very expensive weapon to punish someone, you have to limit yourself, your economy and your citizens. If Saudi Arabia will build a missile defense shield, it is this shield, not the Russian missiles that will break the camel’s back.

  76. FincaInTheMountains May 12, 2015 at 4:56 am #

    Washington’s “Creative Destruction” threatens new war in the Balkans

    Bloody provocations on Russian Victory Day that everybody was waiting for in Ukraine took place in the Balkans.

    Storm troopers of “Kosovo Liberation Army” entered the Macedonian town of Kumanovo at 5 am on May 9. While all over the world were celebrating the victory over fascism there was bloodshed in the Macedonia. Fighting continued in the city for two days. The gang was commanded by the Kosovo Albanians. Outcome is sad. 15 militants were killed, 30 captured. The police lost 8 killed, 37 wounded. One civilian was killed, several were injured. Among the dead storm troopers is well-known Kosovo politician Dzhambar Zimberi.

    Albanian militants intend to disrupt the construction of the “Turkish stream” gas pipeline. Pro-fascist “Kosovo Liberation Army” decided to help the Macedonian opposition led by millionaire Zoran Zaev. They would not stop at anything. Zaev and his supporters brought thousands of people on the streets of Macedonia capital and demanded the resignation of the government of Nikola Gruevski.

    The scheme is developing strictly according to scenario of Kiev’s “Maidan” protests, the protesters act on the instructions of their mentors from Western intelligence services and the people of George Soros.

  77. FincaInTheMountains May 12, 2015 at 5:50 am #

    Yuan can quickly displace US dollar to become world’s No. 1 reserve currency

    China has long been advocating the inclusion of its national currency, the yuan, in the list of reserve currencies of the International Monetary Fund. Yet, the United States remains opposed to this claiming that the yuan is still not strong enough for the honor. However, many economists, including in the United States, think otherwise
    .
    Presently, the IMF has four currencies: the US dollar, the euro, the pound sterling and the Japanese yen. At the same time, China’s economy, though inferior to the economies of the euro zone and the US, remains superior to Japanese and British economies.

    Trying to include the yuan on the list of reserve currencies of the IMF, China wants to raise demand on its national currency. This, in turn, will lead to an increase in investment flows to China. However, if a currency is used as a settlement currency, in which people keep their savings, it automatically becomes a reserve currency without any formal inclusion elsewhere, including the IMF list.

    “America is opposed because the main reserve currency in the world is the US dollar. The yuan may displace the dollar from financial turnover, – doctor of economic sciences, professor of economic policy at the St.Petersburg State university, Gennady Alpatov said in an interview with Pravda.Ru. – The euro had displaced the dollar from international turnover before, so now the yuan can do the same.”

    Therefore, the use of the dollar has thus become tighter. This means that a smaller number of banks around the world will support the dollar. All banks support the US dollar as a reserve currency. They are forced to do it, because they keep dollar reserves. They do not want the dollar to lose its value. If the yuan starts to displace the dollar, the dollar sphere will diminish, and dollar supplies will turn out to be excessive. As a result, the dollar rate will start to fall,” the expert told Pravda.Ru.

    China, trying to fall into the basket of reserve currencies of the IMF, pursues the goals that the United States had after the Bretton Woods agreement from 1944, when the US started printing more dollars than was required for domestic traffic, the expert said. The dollar sphere will grow smaller, and the need for the yuan will increase.

    http://english.pravda.ru/business/finance/07-04-2015/130211-yuan_reserve_currency-0/

    • Therian May 12, 2015 at 7:30 pm #

      I’m skeptical of all the calls for the death of the dollar even though more and more banks are doing transactions in something other than the dollar internationally. The entire civilized world has a problem with too many retirees and too few kids, especially Japan and Europe and, to a lesser degree, the USA. These kids are not only much smaller generations of people but they are also rather like the much-complained-about American “Millenials”. This means that governments around the world are on an unending Keynesian experiment that has no end in sight.

      Thus, around the globe it’s the “race to the bottom” as far as paper money goes. Governments in Japan, the EU, and the USA will constantly try to print their way out and they will not succeed. However, the alternative, ruinous deflation, means that China, Japan, the EU, and the USA, all heavy debtors, cannot afford to repay that debt in more expensive currency. Though this experiment is doomed to failure, it doesn’t mean it won’t continue until it “pushes on a string”. When will this happen? Nobody knows.

  78. barbisbest May 12, 2015 at 8:22 am #

    ” This stuff is capable of poisoning the entire planet and we know it.”

    Yep, we know it.

    Do we have an inkling too that the Gulf of Mexico has a pretty large dead zone.

    “We all live in a house on fire (now), no fire department to call, no way out.” Tennessee Williams

    “We’re stupid enough to get ourself into trouble, why ain’t we stupid enough to get ourselves out.” Will Rogers

  79. FincaInTheMountains May 12, 2015 at 9:29 am #

    ”This stuff is capable of poisoning the entire planet and we know it.”

    Currently, we do not have any alternative to nuclear energy, we just need better technologies to use it, including “closed fuel cycle” developed by Russians that re-processes the spent fuel into new fuel elements. Also, by using Uranium 238 it extends available Earth’s energy resources at least 100 times, eliminating the need to burn hydrocarbons to produce electricity.

    As far as transportation, I think electric car is a promising concept along with development of better public transportation infrastructure, like high-speed rail for suburbs and underground metro for large urban areas.

  80. peakfuture May 12, 2015 at 9:52 am #

    FincaInTheMountains – do you have a blog? It would be good to see these arguments in one place.

    • FincaInTheMountains May 12, 2015 at 10:21 am #

      I do, but in Russian – I run it for local Russian residents living on the Island.

  81. Poet May 12, 2015 at 10:02 am #

    The other “elephant in the room” issue is human history which strongly suggests that humans do not have the character needed to use what they have the genius to invent in anything but a destructive way.

    Alfred Nobel thought dynamite was the ultimate engineering tool. Nuclear theoreticians conceived of energy so inexpensive to produce that it would not need to be metered. Nobody at Dupont (or anywhere else) brags about “better living through chemistry” since Love Canal or Bhopal. The progress of the human species seems to be one step forward followed by one step backwards.

    • nsa May 12, 2015 at 10:17 am #

      Nothing to do with character….everything to do with too many of them. Get rid of 98% of the humans (giant planetary viruses, really) and all the other complaints would also disappear. We here in Ft. Meade and Langley have concocted designer diseases to accomplish this needed die-off and will be unleashing them at a propitious moment………

      • FincaInTheMountains May 12, 2015 at 10:23 am #

        Do you volunteer to take the pill first? Honest to God, we will follow…may be, not really…. fuck no!

  82. Buck Stud May 12, 2015 at 10:24 am #

    Fincal writes:

    “After construction – hundreds of millions to maintain that entire American junk in working order. ”

    Look Ivan, when Russia can manage to light up all five rings at an Olympic opening ceremony, then maybe you have earned the right to talk shit about other countries “junk”.

    In the meantime, you’re hyperbolic shrilling for a “four ring country” suggests that your own personal light bulb isn’t quite “fully illuminated”:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=–KHLA8woPE

    • Buck Stud May 12, 2015 at 10:25 am #

      *your*

    • FincaInTheMountains May 12, 2015 at 10:40 am #

      Listen, John, shit happens, so one god damned ring did not light up, so what’s the big frigging thing compared to almost a trillion dollars spent (or stolen by American MIC kleptocracy) on F-35 program and it still can’t fly?

      In one case we’re talking accident, in another systemic failure

      Here, enjoy the video of US flag flying to the floor during Olympic Gold Medal Ceremony

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=if1qCfMsy_A

  83. FincaInTheMountains May 12, 2015 at 10:31 am #

    “As far as transportation, I think electric car is a promising concept along with development of better public transportation infrastructure, like high-speed rail for suburbs and underground metro for large urban areas.”

    I mean since I left Moscow, about 30 years, I can’t recognize 75% of all Metro Stations on Moscow underground map – they increased it at least 4 times.

    When I go to Chicago, same old stations built 100 years ago. What the f*ck is wrong with American decision-makers? Did they give up on US long time ago? Are they’re waiting for some kind of Yellowstone blowout? Just doesn’t make any sense. It appears they wanna everything go virtual reality….

    • peakfuture May 12, 2015 at 10:59 am #

      Have to agree with FincaInTheMountains here. The infrastructure in the US is horrible.

      Fincal, definitely link your login to your blog, we can always get a butchered translation online :-).

      The F-35 thing – don’t get me started. It’s the F-111 aircraft ALL OVER AGAIN.

    • AKlein May 12, 2015 at 12:00 pm #

      Fincaln, yes, “they” gave up on America quite a few decades ago. I would hazard a guess, say, right after WW2. I could be off by a decade or two. But what you experience here in the US is what JHK makes a big point about. Namely, the lack of concern the leadership, such as it is, has for the “public realm” or “public space”. The subways is Moscow are a fine example of public investment in the public realm. Now an argument that we here in the US also care about that might be made with our highway system. Certainly our highway system is better than Russia’s. But here’s a little factoid few know; what is (or perhaps was) the formal name of the US Interstate Highway System? It was started under Eisenhower and it’s formal name is the “National Defense Highway System”. I think it all has to do with logistics; how to get materiel from one point to another, country-wide, quickly and in quantity. There’s validity in this strategy, for sure. But as the future has turned out, much new value is intangible. We have witnessed the emergence of knowledge workers. And with knowledge workers, logistics are better handled with personnel density (cities) and easy, swift transport (subways). So Moscow has an emerging huge advantage over many US big cities, even New York. Additionally, it’s certainly true that the Moscow subway system is edifying, New York’s is mostly an embarrassment. This I believe relates to the fact that among the movers and shakers in the US, they just don’t care about the public realm. Highways are needed for the Beemers, Mercedes, Audis and Teslas. So they are important. Subways are used by worker bees. Thus they get much less concern. What’s becoming very apparent is that the highways, and the attendant suburban sprawl, is an epic malinvestment.

      • Janos Skorenzy May 12, 2015 at 3:52 pm #

        It vastly accelerated after Kennedy’s assassination, which might have been a de facto coup. That’s when they ended civil defense, mocking it as silly even though the Elite never gave up theirs. Check out Switzerland’s system which can accommodate all its citizens who would then emerge to engage any invading force.

        The Citizen Soldier=the Buffalo, neither predator nor prey.

        • BackRowHeckler May 12, 2015 at 4:10 pm #

          We never gave up our Civil Defense round these parts. Trips to the public range down in N Branford are a weekly staple.

          brh

    • Janos Skorenzy May 12, 2015 at 2:58 pm #

      Yes, they did. One rumor is that the Elite know an Ice Age is coming and America is doomed anyway. Thus they are just using it as a resource pool as they shift to the south. Other answer: they are too busy on the global stage to have anything left for America. They feel the Middle East is more important in terms of Geo-Politics.

      • Therian May 12, 2015 at 8:01 pm #

        The Holocene Epoch had to go sooner or later anyways. The changes out west here are amazing. Phoenix, AZ had a much rainier winter than central and north-central CA. They’re now having a much rainier spring as well. The southern part of the west coast, always at least semi-arid, is transitioning to total aridity. There’s evidence that our current drought is part of a 500-year drought. The last decade is not the anomaly … the 1980s and 1990s were.

  84. PeteAtomic May 12, 2015 at 11:34 am #

    Musk is a great salesman & charlatan, and that’s what America has become– a nation bedazzled by techno-alchemists. It’s really very appropriate. America was founded in part by the 17th century’s version of advertising agents.

    Instead of a meaningful national conversation on any multitude of relevant topics– whether it be energy policy, the financial system, or race relations– the US has figures like Al Sharpton or Elon Musk. They’re marketing agents & opportunists. Ad men. Entertainers.

    The majority of Americans don’t want the truth. They want the advertisement, because the lies & sorcery are much more attractive and then reality.

    • PeteAtomic May 12, 2015 at 11:39 am #

      Sorry, some days I need a good editor, lol

      “The majority of Americans don’t want the truth. They want the advertisement, because the lies & sorcery are much more attractive than reality.”

      • AKlein May 12, 2015 at 12:05 pm #

        No worries, Atomic. There’s only one person on this site who would obsess over a finger error and in the process completely ignore the intellectual content and value of your post.

    • Janos Skorenzy May 12, 2015 at 3:34 pm #

      Yes, people knew of the Americas since ancient times and there was far more contact between the Old World and the New than people generally known. But the Ad Men of the Post Renaissance made it out to be brand new, unpopulated, populated with savages, or noble savages – whatever spiel fired the imaginations and desires of the Europeans of the time.

    • Therian May 12, 2015 at 7:44 pm #

      It’s interesting that some of the biggest bullshitters in the world are the current and past heads of technology companies. I remember when I worked at the Stanford Research Institute in the 1980s when Larry Ellison’s software brought our huge VAX servers to their knees because Oracle was a piece of shit. Of course, back in the 1980s beta meant beta but now Version 1.0 really means beta. We’re on a course now where you might really have the beta test version of things until Version 3.0.

      As an old techie myself, I am amused that FAILURE is the new SUCCESS. Witness the humble cell phone. I don’t have one friend with whom I haven’t had a 3-drop cell phone conversation. Not one. In the old days, your TV worked for 15 years and then died when the tube blew up, literally. Now, we expect about 3 days worth of Comcast outages per year with “mini-outages” (like a sudden failure of “last channel” on your remote) much more often than that.

      But look how technology has annihilated the social realm. I don’t care if you’re in Palo Alto, Phoenix, or Philadelphia, everywhere you go on the street or in malls you get a huge number of people staring at their damned smart phones. And then we wonder why teen suicide rates are so alarming, especially here in the Belly of the Beast. Kids’ parents can’t even see when they’re about to off themselves because they’ve dropped out of being present in their environment, too.

  85. FincaInTheMountains May 12, 2015 at 1:31 pm #

    “Fincal, definitely link your login to your blog, we can always get a butchered translation online”

    I’d rather not, First off, it has my real name (which is not Ivan), secondly it is a forum, not a blog and targets specific audience.

    If you have an idea of a new blog that would be dedicated to current world’s affairs from not American-centric point of view, give me a holler. May be we could throw in somehow my experience in running 200% all-natural dairy farm and palm nut feed factory. (That’s all for real, by the way and only 3 hour flight from NY).

    I am always interested in new projects.

    • peakfuture May 12, 2015 at 5:03 pm #

      Completely understandable.

      Well, the closest blog that exists in the Peak Oil world that I know of now is Club Orlov, but something new would always be welcome – the US-centric view of the news drives me nuts.

      Great to hear about your farm and palm nut feed factory.

  86. Janos Skorenzy May 12, 2015 at 3:31 pm #

    George Zimmerman? The ultimate irony: racially he is the American Ideal in all its mongrel glory. He’s a little bit Spanish, American Indian, Jewish, and even Black. And he is completely assimilated to American Culture, such as it is. Yet American Liberals are so far gone that they can’t embrace the very thing they say they want. So they play with his story, leaving out things they don’t want to make him seem like the ultimate evil, a Conservative White Male. They leave out that he helped an old Black Man he felt was being targeted by the police. They leave out that a Black Police Chief spoke on his behalf, saying that he would gladly accept Zimmerman at the Police Academy once he was financially solvent. They downplay Zimmerman’s saving a White family from a burning car.

    They want to destroy this man. Why? Because he dared defend America against their idol, their God – a young Black Thug. And what kind of monsters would have such a thing as their God?

    George’s brother spoke out for him – the guy looks like a movie star and speaks like a statesman. Yet he was not chosen. The mantle of greatness fell on poor, roly poly George, the ultimate underdog. Pure Americana. Hearing the Oprah/Ellen dog whistles, his roly poly White Wife left him, claiming abuse. She retracted her accusation before she could get in trouble in court. More Americana.

    Let’s face it: we have a Hero here. He is US writ large. He is fighting for US. Let’s not wait until he’s dead to acknowledge him. Let’s get moving. Anyone know any graphic novelists? Zim deserves his own graphic novel, describing his deeds and trials. And another book to chronicle his life, thoughts, and sayings.

    Take you now this post and start spreading it far and wide. Or use your own words if you think they are better than mine (unlikely). But just do it.

    • Janos Skorenzy May 12, 2015 at 3:36 pm #

      The White family Zim saved wouldn’t even thank him. He was just outside the pale, ghostlike world of political correctness. Such people are ghosts – as opposed to the demons who actually run and profit off the enterprise.

    • Therian May 12, 2015 at 7:50 pm #

      I know I never let Zimmerman die in my social discussions with friends. Glad to see you haven’t either. The US polity has become a Thugocracy or a wordshipper of thugs which is why the name Trayvon Martin will be remembered, even by whites, for decades to come. I challenge anyone to ask their friends the name of the guy whose head Trayvon bashed against the pavement. Bet you more than 80% can’t remember.

  87. carstars May 12, 2015 at 3:46 pm #

    The most over used phrase of our age “Game Changer”. Keep seeing posts about solar roads – like how much copper needs to be mined for that? The actual productive ability of the average worker in our post industrial post peak energy world is equal to what? Next to nothing as they are being automated away by robots and computer systems. And all the pie in the sky dreams require unlimited capital yet their is no one credit worthy to every pay a dime of it back.

    • peakfuture May 12, 2015 at 5:05 pm #

      Solar roads? If the F-35 discussion gives you ulcers, a conversation will give you an aneurysm.

  88. BackRowHeckler May 12, 2015 at 4:18 pm #

    Working down in Waterbury today, formerly an industrial powerhouse, now a dystopic crumbling wasteland. Huge traffic jams in I 84; where’s everybody going? There is nowhere to go! Cheap Strip Malls, fast food restaurants, auto repair shops, miles upon miles of it. The ugliness of it is monumental. Its going to take decades, maybe centuries to clean up this mess!

    brh

  89. FincaInTheMountains May 12, 2015 at 5:09 pm #

    It appears that American soldiers from the 173 Brigade of 503rd Airborne Regiment are directly involved in the hostilities in the east of Ukraine.

    http://pravosudija.net/sites/default/files/styles/620px_wide/public/main/articles/wdv2.png

  90. beantownbill. May 12, 2015 at 6:39 pm #

    @Poet:

    I believe you are correct in blaming character, or lack thereof, in not facing up to our issues. Another reason is that Americans lead soul-destroying lives. Imagine sitting in a cubicle 8 hours a day performing duties that have no personal meaning, plus having to commute 2 hours a day in nerve-wracking stop and go traffic, with no prospects for change in the future. No wonder so many people become substance abusers or TV addicts in order to cope with such empty lives. When feeling hopeless and spiritually bereft, one has no emotional energy left to devote to resolving societal problems.

  91. hortonz May 12, 2015 at 8:28 pm #

    Latest headline from AP: “Merkel lets it be known that Germany feels deceived by Putin.” And you thought America was uniquely gifted in self-deception? Tell me Angela, what did you expect from Moscow after the West has repeatedly demonstrated that its’ words and actions are two very different things? Was it when you made promises to treat Russia as an equal partner in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union but then ignored its’ objections to bombing Serbia and Libya, two of its’ closest allies? How about your lies about respecting a nation’s territorial integrity and then launching a coup that led to the breakup of Ukraine? Or was it when you pretended that you could incur the wrath of Mother Russia with economic sanctions while forgetting that without Russian energy supplies, most of Europe would revert to a pre-industrial civilization? And while were on the subject of deception, how could the Canadian and American governments so quickly forget that Russia was our ally in two world wars? Were it not for Russian’s instrumental role in the defeat of the Third Reich, North America would have become a vassal of Nazi Germany.

    • EvelynV May 12, 2015 at 11:58 pm #

      I’d suggest throttling down on the Kumbya with regards to Russia saving us from Germany in WW2. Had Hitler stuck with the agreement Stalin had made with him, the outcome wouldn’t have made you so affectionate in your reminiscence.

      • hortonz May 13, 2015 at 1:26 pm #

        Good point. Stalin was a cowardly despot and Hitler was a fool for launching a military campaign against Russia in the east while fighting a war against Great Britain and America. And Putin, from all I’ve heard, is no paradigm of virtue. as JHK pointed out, Russia is an economically bankrupt nation with two vital cities. But why is America so intent on making the Ukraine the 51st state when it can’t even keep its’ own house in order? And why did the EU go along with the American charade knowing full well that Russian oil and gas are critical to Europe’s stability?

    • EvelynV May 13, 2015 at 12:01 am #

      However, I do agree with you that poking the Bear as we’ve been doing warrants the Noble Prize committee taking the unprecedented (??) step of retracting a previously awarded peace prize.

    • Janos Skorenzy May 13, 2015 at 2:00 am #

      Good movie about the atrocities committed by the Allies against the defeated German people. The Russians were the worst, but Eisenhower was no slouch, killing hundred of thousands of POW’s in his death camps. He called them something different so he wasn’t technically breaking the Geneva Convention. And he tried to keep it a secret. Either he hated the German people or else he was just a pawn of his Jewish handlers.

      http://www.davidicke.com/headlines/hellstorm-exposing-the-real-genocide-of-nazi-germany/

      The Nazis were no threat to America per se and deeply wanted an alliance with Great Britain and by extension, the whole English speaking world. No threat to an American America in other words. The nascent globalist state? Perhaps a different story.

  92. Janos Skorenzy May 12, 2015 at 9:02 pm #

    Sounds like they’re getting ready to take Andrew Jackson off the 20 dollar bill and replace him with Harriet Tubman – a twofer. The triumph of the enemy is complete. Lord have mercy.

  93. seldom-seen May 12, 2015 at 9:12 pm #

    “the cost of hanging a solar electric system on your house with all its parts is more like fifty grand.”

    Really? I recently put a 3Kw system on my roof for <7K (including inverter, which runs ~ 1K). It has been producing avg 18Kwh p/d.

    It does not provide all my electric but about 60%. I suppose I could use to power an electric car, but as I rarely drive, I don't.

    I will keep an eye on these batteries and may in the near future opt for grid defection.

    Oh, BTW, 25 yrs? Perhaps, but I planned on 20. The system and I will both reach our expected life span around the same time.

    • stelmosfire May 12, 2015 at 10:42 pm #

      question, What is your latitude?. Any trees?.Angle of your roof and orientation to south?.Days overcast?. We are not all so blessed as thou.

      • seldom-seen May 13, 2015 at 4:28 pm #

        33.20 N
        No trees, Southern exposure. 90% sunny and clear.
        I moved here for the weather and chose the site specifically for solar.
        The tea-party gov here outlawed solar but I got grand-fathered in under the wire.

        • Q. Shtik May 13, 2015 at 5:50 pm #

          Google tells me that Baghdad is at latitude 33.20 N.

  94. nsa May 12, 2015 at 11:05 pm #

    Janos,
    We here in Ft. Meade and Langley introduced a dollar coin a few years ago as a favor to the vending machine industry…..and had some fun putting Sacagawea on it….you know, the indian chick that serviced the Lewis and Clark trek. Now that was a real “twofer”…a minority female. Some vulgar souls referred to it as the “cunt coin”…..

  95. Janos Skorenzy May 12, 2015 at 11:39 pm #

    The Earth is spinning. Shouldn’t it be possible to orbit it the opposite direction and create gigantic batteries from the “friction”? That’s just one way, there must be others. The Earth itself is a power plant if we could but see it. Even the atmosphere is full of energy as per the northern lights or lightening. Where is the Franklin who will harness the beams? No doubt in Black Africa. Some poor emaciated kid. We need to bring them all here and educate them lest we miss the one who will reveal the truth. Is it not said, a child will lead them?

  96. benr May 12, 2015 at 11:54 pm #

    Simple answer cars running on bio diesel grown in Salt water and fed sewage with hybrid tech.
    Grow the algae in the desert and pipe the sea water in the sewage is freely available!

  97. FincaInTheMountains May 13, 2015 at 1:16 am #

    Trolling at a high level: Russian FM Lavrov arrived for a meeting with Kerry in Sochi driving a white “Victory” – s Soviet era car made in 1950s

    Kerry obviously come to bargain. On the table (not in order of importance): The Bank of BRICS, Chinese AIIB, delivery of S-300 to Iran, Yemen, the global oil market, Syria, Libya and Ukraine, and the most important – the integration of Russia into the Silk Road 2.0

    There is still worth noting that the idea of “saving Europe from Russian gas using shale” have miserably failed, it admitted even by Bloomberg:

    “Russia Was Right: Shale in Europe Has Proved a Dud”
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-05-11/russia-was-right-shale-in-europe-has-proved-a-dud

    This makes Moscow’s position in the negotiations with the EU much stronger, especially in the context of significant progress on a contract to supply China with gas over “western route”, which was previously intended for the European Union.

    It is logical that Kerry needed to talk with Putin BEFORE Moscow begins to play the endgame of the European party. Trying to bargain before the final round – is so Anglo-Saxon.

    Lavrov did not come to a meeting on the white “Victory” car for nothing. Diplomatic trolling is a great art. Just one gesture, and already everything is clear: there can be only negotiating the price that Washington is willing to pay to save its face.

    The main reason – China. The parade was the icing on the cake.

    Among the American experts was deeply rooted belief that Putin will never be able to agree with China on acceptable terms. That did not pin out. The time has come to carry out a manual depilation of hair just below the back. This is a traditional ritual of American diplomacy after a major miscalculation.

    http://crimsonalter.livejournal.com/55906.html

    • FincaInTheMountains May 13, 2015 at 1:38 am #

      The first result of bargaining in Sochi:

      US Secretary of State John Kerry warned the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko from the resumption of military operations in the Donbass. The statement was made on the results of today’s talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Sochi.

  98. Pucker May 13, 2015 at 3:56 am #

    Hillary Clinton vs. Jeb Bush……Coke vs. Pepsi….Big Mac vs. Whopper….Alien vs. Predator…..

    Shit…..

    I hate to ask this question, but here it goes: Do the American people deserve what’s coming to ’em?

    Adopting a Biblical frame of reference, God punishes those who are apostate—Judgment…. But this relates to a moral turning away from God. But what about just plain idiocy? Should a person be punished for being Wilfully Ignorant? Should the Hand of Almighty God smash those who watch NASCAR? Or those who vote for Hillary, or Jeb?

    • AKlein May 13, 2015 at 9:43 am #

      In our human context a moral “turning away from G-d” is really the same as being willfully ignorant. Ignoring the way of the world and its evidenced truths is apostasy. Whether we like it or not, we have to work “within the system.” Try any other way and perdition awaits; the “hand of G-d”. Janos keeps trying to explain this dynamic one way or another in his posts. From a different vantage point – Ben Franklin said “experience keeps a dear school but fools will learn in no other.”

    • Therian May 13, 2015 at 3:11 pm #

      Gee, what’s not to like about NASCAR? You mean watching 1000 left turns and no right turns doesn’t do it for you? Tee hee.

  99. Pucker May 13, 2015 at 4:51 am #

    If Hillary is elected POTUS, she’ll start her presidency at the ripe old age of 70 years old.

    Hillary supported the take over of US uranium production by Russian state owned enterprise Rosatom, which bought a controlling interest in Uranium One with the approval of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Rosatom is assisting Iran to develop nuclear weapons to exterminate Israel.

    Jeb supports NSA mass surveillance of American citizens.

    • Therian May 13, 2015 at 3:14 pm #

      You’re right. It’s like being given the choice of death by drowning or death by fire. Not much of a choice since you’re still dead.

      What’s with these “family” elections of Presidents in the US? We need ANOTHER Bush or ANOTHER Clinton? Clinton’s daughter tells you all you need to know about whether the sins of parents are visited upon their children. She’s a rapacious suck-up to plutocrats. Her mom is trying to run as a champion of the working class while being a consummate Wall St. insider for four decades.

  100. FincaInTheMountains May 13, 2015 at 4:51 am #

    Norway sold to Russia super-secret naval base for the price of apartment in Manhattan

    Russia has acquired from the Norway top-secret and equipped with latest technology naval base on Norway territory, carved into the rock of a fjord, at the price of luxury apartment in Manhattan (some 4.4 million Euros)

    Worse than a betrayal

    Indeed, this mistake (is it?) is being discussed by the whole of Norway, NATO and NATO leadership itself. But to the part of the Norwegian public the deal looks like a betrayal of national interests and violation of the sovereignty of the country. It’s no joke: the super-secret naval base in a remote fjord Olavsvern on the territory of this northern country, which at the end of the 1960 NATO invested half a billion (!) Dollars, was sold for a ridiculous amount. While at current prices it costs no less than several tens of billions of Euros.
    It was cut in late 1960s into the rock mainly for American submarines patrolling in the northern latitudes and small special radar tracking ships. And cut down a serious area in square kilometers. Plus 13.5 thousand “squares” of its land part. In the era of confrontation between the two superpowers, Olavsvern served as “home port” for American submariners, the base was located near the border with the Soviet Union.

    To the astonishment of the NATO command Olavsvern suddenly started to be frequented by the Russian ships: first research vessel “Akademik Nemchinov,” then “Akademik Shatsky” … NATO generals and admirals ran a quick investigation: “You sold it to whom?!?”

    But that is not all. It turned out that the sale was led by … NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

    In short, because of the sloppiness of military officials and their desire to sell everything that is not nailed to the floor, NATO lost the strategic site of colossal importance, and Norway, apparently, for a long time will have a headache and a dent in the country’s national defense shield. Well, the next time will be more intelligent.

    http://svpressa.ru/war21/article/121377/

  101. Pucker May 13, 2015 at 5:06 am #

    During the 2004 election, George Bush, Jr. supporters carried signs that read: “Who would Jesus vote for?!”

  102. BackRowHeckler May 13, 2015 at 6:51 am #

    @Little more about electric cars. There’s really nothing new about the electric car concept, ha! From 1895 till about 1920 the Pope Electric was manufactured in Hartford, CT, in the former Sharps Rifle/Columbia Bicycle plant on Capitol Avenue. The man behind it was Col Albert Pope, Civil War Hero, business man, and capitalist. He was behind bicycle craze in the US in the 1880s and 1890s with his Columbia bike, and was also the catalyst for getting public roads paved in America. Interestingly enough, many of the engineers in his electric car company had roots in the gun industry and links to the gun manufacturing in New England, Christopher Spencer, Percy Maxim (Maxim Machine Gun), and Harry Pope being a few examples.

    The Pope Electric was a viable machine and competed with Ford and other car makers in Detroit for about a decade. Teddy Roosevelt had one and once drove it from his home on Long Island to his sisters house up here in Farmington. The range on the car was about 60 miles before it had to be recharged, and top speed was 50 mph. At the time the big question was how much oil is in the ground to make gasoline to run automobiles. Many geologists claimed there wasn’t much. But the big oil discoveries at Spindletop in Texas in 1903 proved them wrong, dooming the electric car, and giving ascendancy to gasoline powered vehicles.

    I’ve read that the batteries used in the Tesla are not that much different than the batteries used in the Pope Electric, that battery development really hasn’t advanced that much over the past century. I’m not sure how true that is, but in reading about the Pope I’ve never come across one spontaneously bursting into flame on the open road.

    • beantownbill. May 13, 2015 at 9:46 am #

      Quite interesting – thanks for the info. When I was a kid, Columbia bikes were very popular. Keep your history lessons coming.

      • stelmosfire May 13, 2015 at 1:25 pm #

        Hey BTB, “The Pope” as it was known was huge in Westfield, MA. My father and grandfather worked there as did thousands of locals. The huge chimney was a landmark. Torn down a few years back in the name of progress. You can still get a Columbia bicycle but it comes from China. ;0(
        http://www.vintagecolumbiabikes.com/id65.html

    • seawolf77 May 13, 2015 at 1:56 pm #

      Jump to: navigation, search

      1910 Waverley Coupe.
      Pope-Waverley was one of the brands of the Pope Motor Car Company founded by Albert Augustus Pope and was a manufacturer of Brass Era electric automobiles in Indianapolis, Indiana. The company was originally formed as the Indiana Bicycle Company in 1898 changing to the American Bicycle Company in 1900. In 1903 it became the International Motor Car Company before joining the Pope group in 1903. From 1908 until production ceased in 1914 they became independent again as the Waverley Company.

      The 1904 Pope-Waverley Chelsea was a runabout model. It could seat 2 passengers and sold for US$1100. The single electric motor was situated at the rear of the car, and produced 3 hp (2.2 kW). The car used 30 batteries.

      The 1904 Pope-Waverley Road Wagon was a smaller wagon model. It could seat 2 passengers with an open box at the rear for cargo and sold for US$850. The single electric motor was situated at the rear of the car and produced 3 hp (2.2 kW). The car used a 24-cell battery and could travel at 5 or 15 mph (8 or 24 km/h).

      The 1904 Pope-Waverley Edison Battery Wagon was a runabout model with 48-cell Edison batteries. It could seat 2 passengers and sold for US$2250. The electric motor was situated at the rear of the car.

      The 1904 Pope-Waverley Tonneau was a tonneau model. It could seat 5 passengers and sold for US$1800. Twin electric motors were situated at the rear of the car, producing 3 hp (2.2 kW) each with a special 12 hp (8.9 kW) overload mode. The armored wood-framed car used 40 batteries and could reach 15 mph (24 km/h).

    • EvelynV May 13, 2015 at 10:48 pm #

      Interesting info until your last paragraph. A pretty absurd assertion that battery development hasn’t advanced much and what an irrelevant non-sequitur your self referencing comment about batteries bursting into flame.

    • malthuss May 14, 2015 at 1:43 am #

      I saw a huge color billboard this week.
      It salutes ‘Hispanic’ [whatever that is] soldiers.

      Just did a web search and cannot find it.

      Eerie that as Barry wants to allow wetbacks to be in military and these wars drag on, illegals maybe will enroll in greater numbers and billboard salutes a group that – mostly- refuses to assimilate.

  103. Poet May 13, 2015 at 9:42 am #

    @Beantownbill–

    You wrote: “…Americans lead soul-destroying lives. Imagine sitting in a cubicle 8 hours a day performing duties that have no personal meaning, plus having to commute 2 hours a day in nerve-wracking stop and go traffic, with no prospects for change in the future. No wonder so many people become substance abusers or TV addicts in order to cope with such empty lives. When feeling hopeless and spiritually bereft, one has no emotional energy left to devote to resolving societal problems.”
    ****************
    incomplete work tasks produce incomplete lives and lead to the prolonging of immaturity and endless dependency. Dependency on the distraction of meaningless ritual. Meaningless ritual such as consumption for consumption’s sake, endless TV watching, and professional sports (which include virtually all non-participatory observation of any sports.
    Today everyone and everything is a commodity with a price and a potential profit to be made. The brokers are not on Wall Street, they are in public relations and advertising agencies. What they sell is the hypnotized attention of empty lives. It takes real strength to break this spell and it cannot be done unless or until you realize the enchantment under which you have come.

    • AKlein May 13, 2015 at 9:54 am #

      This thread is wise and certainly identifies humanity’s major weakness. Regarding our somewhat dubious progress over the millennia, a quote from Thoreau comes to mind; “improved means toward unimproved ends.”

    • Buck Stud May 13, 2015 at 11:21 am #

      “@Beantownbill–

      You wrote: “…Americans lead soul-destroying lives. Imagine sitting in a cubicle 8 hours a day performing duties that have no personal meaning, ”

      Actually, performing duties from a cubicle’ may have plenty of personal meaning; like, for instance, putting a roof over one’s head, feeding one’s children etc, etc, etc. In fact, the larger meaning might be spelled out as SACRIFICE: Yes, I would love to be making custom surf boards in Maui ( even that would turn into a job at some point; those of us ‘following our bliss’ realize that even ‘meaningful work’ becomes and feels redundant and meaningless at times; hence, the eternal mental struggle to ‘stay in the moment’ and as detached from desire and projection as one’s capabilities allow) but my family needs me to provide a living here, in Dullsville USA so off to the cubicle I go, day after day, week after week…. At the end of such a life, one viscerally understands the deeper meaning of ‘mounted on a cross’ in service of others. As John Stuart Mill wrote, the only worth asceticism is sacrifice for others.

      I recall reading –and I believe I still have the book– “Chop Wood , Carry Water” written in the 70s’ which addressed the subject of ‘meaningful work’ etc. At the end of the day, we humans create our own meaning, just as the Japanese monk creates meaning from an everyday act such as serving tea.

      • Q. Shtik May 13, 2015 at 12:07 pm #

        Buck,

        Spot on, Bingo and Nailed it.

        I believe I said the same thing, only far less artistically, the other day. Your work is what you make of it.

        • Therian May 13, 2015 at 3:17 pm #

          We all understand the need to feed ourselves and our families. However, let’s not get ridiculous in asserting that a cubicle can EVER become fascinating. By transitivity it’s like you’re saying: “A cubicle is what you make of it.” I prefer Groucho Marx’ far less reaching comment: “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.”

          • Q. Shtik May 13, 2015 at 4:10 pm #

            asserting that a cubicle can EVER become fascinating – Therian

            =================

            You refuse to “get it.” It’s not the cubicle that can become fascinating, it’s the work, despite the cubicle.

            For me, this line of discussion just ended. We are beginning to beat a dead horse.

      • Poet May 13, 2015 at 3:07 pm #

        @buckstud wrote:

        “I recall reading –and I believe I still have the book– “Chop Wood , Carry Water” written in the 70s’ which addressed the subject of ‘meaningful work’ etc. At the end of the day, we humans create our own meaning, just as the Japanese monk creates meaning from an everyday act such as serving tea.”
        *************
        I doubt that you are such a person, but taken at face value your statement can lead to such extremes as the utterance by a senior presidential adviser to President George W. Bush that “We’re an empire now and we create our own reality”.

        In the name of such doctrine, everything from the pogroms of Russia and the death camps of Nazi Germany to the torture programs used by the CIA and US military to coerce confessions from those who in many cases had no idea of what they were supposed to confess have been and continue to be justified.

        On the individual level it suggests that the US is some 300 million plus souls acting like they are all individual empires busily creating their own reality. It also reminds me of JHK’s analysis of the culture of the US being based on the Disney assumption that “when you wish upon a star your dreams come true” and ‘that something can be created out of nothing”.

        • Q. Shtik May 13, 2015 at 3:57 pm #

          At the end of the day, we humans create our own meaning ……………..I doubt that you are such a person, – Poet

          ==================

          Poet, I think you are grossly misconstruing Buck’s meaning and, for whatever the reason, deliberately so. Your likening of “humans creating our own meaning” to empire building and death camps is sooo not spot on.

          “We humans create our own meaning” = humans can find pleasure in the damnedest activities. How about training for and competing in marathons… mindless and exhausting drudgery yet thousands do it. Yeah, I know, they do it for the endorphins.

    • Therian May 13, 2015 at 11:37 am #

      A lot of it is just the pragmatics of modern jobs. When most jobs involved growing something or building something, there was an enormous amount of psychological pride and psychological income in seeing that one built a widget, a building, or grew crops. Most jobs now are these hypermodern, teched-out, “office” jobs where most people just push around papers and meeting agendas all damned day. They cannot point at something that people eat, use, or occupy and say “I helped make that!!”

      Even in tech companies, for every programmer that builds a product, there’s about 50 “support staff”. And most of those few programmers who build products build garbage with the most marginal (if any) utility to the human race. In fact, I’d say tech almost epitomizes the misery of the modern job.

      • volodya May 13, 2015 at 12:43 pm #

        Q is right, your work is what you make of it.

        But you’re also right, and here I think I may be putting words in your mouth, your work is also what others make of it.

        Yeah, you actually get paid for producing paper with words and numbers and yeah it may go to feeding a family and keeping a roof over their heads. But it would be really nice if it didn’t end up in landfill. You know, that dread inducing existential question, did anyone read this? Did anyone use it? Because it looks to me that a lot of corporate life is just make-believe, rituals designed to make outsiders think that the company complies with laws and regulations and that management has a fucking clue. Which, as evidenced by the endless line-up of corporate crack-ups and the next merger to be regretted – the Verizon-AoL deal – I think it’s a valid question, is there management out there that isn’t brain-dead?

        • Q. Shtik May 13, 2015 at 1:29 pm #

          Yeah, Vol, when you carry this “meaningful job” conversation far enough you come round to the greatest existential question of all: what is the meaning of life?

          Therian is obviously a very disgruntled and unhappy person who should give up his big bucks job in ‘tech’ of which 50% goes for rent and get the hell out of Palo Alto. He should go where the grass is greener, where they only pay half as much and rent, for some strange reason, is still half of take-home.

          To get into some of Therian’s hyperbole, the notion that high-tech has 50 indirect people for every direct labor person is just plain silly as is the notion that Clarence Victor Jarvis (the farmer I picked lima beans for back in the ’50s) felt more fulfilled by his life’s work than exhausted.

          • Therian May 13, 2015 at 3:33 pm #

            I’m “obviously” … none of what you say. I worked at the Stanford Research Institute and a south Bay community college for a total of 34 years. Never had a cubicle but even as a young lad I knew soul destruction when I interviewed at it. Don’t be such a prig as to tell me “who I am”. If you continue, then I’ll start to make ridiculous extrapolations about who you were/are.

            As for your assertion about my 50/1 ratio, you’re being silly. The core programming group at major companies produce the product (whether it be a Google search engine or Facebook). They are rarely ever more than one to two DOZEN individuals. There is a layer of white box QAs on top of them. Then there’s a layer of black box QAs on top of them. Then there are the teachers who go out and teach clients how to use the product, field support, and phone support. Then there are the line, middle, and upper managers. Then there are all the secretaries and guys who do the terrible job of maintaining the customer-facing web interfaces (and it IS a terrible job where you do “pseudo-programming” and a lot of clerical work. Real programmers know that HTML with a tad bit of Javascript is a long, long way from C++ or even Python.).

            No product, no company. Outside of the programmers that make high tech products, arguably the only TRULY tech savvy people are the white box QAs who almost have enough skill to be programmers … but not quite. And the products made by tech companies are so inherently convoluted that field support, phone support, and upgrading are an endless process because even the best programmers cannot write great code with a timeline Sword of Damocles hanging over their heads.

            Ever notice that once your washing machine got working you didn’t need “phone support” after that? Most technology is the new Orwellian “Failure == Success” paradigm. You want to get down on the ground and wrestle, Q., because when it comes to tech you’re just a management noob who thinks he knows it all. Don’t test your luck. I can actually write Unix device drivers … even at age 63. I doubt you really know what one is except from the “Brochure for Managers” point of view.

        • Janos Skorenzy May 13, 2015 at 2:28 pm #

          Buck used to work as a wood carver. Now instead of carving wood he is crucified on a cross that isn’t even made of wood. And instead of raging against the night, he accept his chains and even defends the system that did it to him. As Nietzsche says, Human, all too human.

          Mr Kunstler’s work is a repudiation of this psychology of submission to the system. Btw, I’m not blaming Buck for doing what he must – but only his defeatism.

          • Buck Stud May 13, 2015 at 3:38 pm #

            Thanks for informing your truly that he’s no longer a wood carver. I guess that means I don’t have to finish these two carved entry doors and ship them off to Mill Valley California –whew.

            Instead I will do something meaningful, such as plein air painting for the rest of the summer.

          • Janos Skorenzy May 13, 2015 at 6:05 pm #

            Ok, glad to hear you’re keeping your hand in. I thought you had said or at least implied that you made a living with your art at one point. If I got it wrong, I apologize.

          • Buck Stud May 14, 2015 at 1:38 am #

            Your comments are surprising to me because you strike me as the type who would commend something along the lines of a ‘Protestant Work Ethic’ attitude. And yet I have read you also chastise BRH for working at a job that he says really isn’t financially necessary.

            You write about “The System” –“Rage Against The Machine” lol–but isn’t one of the secrets of life being able to “create room” within the inevitable oppressive confines–“The System” for instance’– that most of us must eventually negotiate in one form or another? I believe they used to term these type of people as ‘well-adjusted’.

            And how about the pathos of say,”The Grapes of Wrath”. Those Okies obviously didn’t have the luxury or “room” to contemplate the angst of an existential employment crisis; they needed work period,

            Anyway, I do get where everyone is coming from on this subject and yes, if ‘the night jobs pays’ by all means go for it.

      • Poet May 13, 2015 at 1:49 pm #

        @Therian wrote:

        “Even in tech companies, for every programmer that builds a product, there’s about 50 “support staff”. And most of those few programmers who build products build garbage with the most marginal (if any) utility to the human race. In fact, I’d say tech almost epitomizes the misery of the modern job.”
        ***********************
        As I read your evaluation of tech manufacturing the term “planned obsolescence” came to mind. Planned obsolescence used to be the deliberate practice of suppliers to make something that will either break down or be superseded by some “new improved” model. I remember reading how Microsoft (remember them?) used to never release a new web browser until it had its successor ready to release. By such subterfuge whatever skill or innovation it took to create Windows 95 had already been surpassed by its successor patiently collecting dust on the shelf prior to its predecessor’s initial release.

        Today planned obsolescence has been expanded to include not only the formerly non-mercantile rituals of society but also to the people who populate it (now known as “consumers”).

        Whether you agree with their premises or not, Christmas once upon a time used to be a religious observance. For nearly a century it has been morphing into a marketing vehicle to sell merchandise and the credit debt needed to keep on buying it. It’s the same with Halloween (formerly known as all hallows eve followed by All Saints Day) which is used to peddle candy and other junk food to youngsters.

        Memorial Day, Armistice Day (now called Veterans Day in the US), and Independence Day have been turned from their original purposes of remembering the senseless loss of life in wars or the birth of a nation into military recruiting opportunities to try to keep the gullible youth of the country enlisting in the armed forces so there will be people to fight our endless wars (war being the ultimate “consumption for consumption’s sake” enterprise).

  104. fodase May 13, 2015 at 10:51 am #

    “the cost of hanging a solar electric system on your house with all its parts is more like fifty grand.”

    REPLY:Really? I recently put a 3Kw system on my roof for <7K (including inverter, which runs ~ 1K). It has been producing avg 18Kwh p/d.

    this is a typical jhk WILDLY exaggerating.

    As if several MILLION rooftop solar systems in very un-sunny Germany aren’t proof that this works.

    Kudos for bringing him back to reality.

    So, we have $50,000 versus ca. $7,000….

    Only a SEVENFOLD exaggeration.

    yeah I know the prices vary depending on lots of factors.

    but anyone can see that PV prices have fallen like a rock the past several years.

    Denmark , which is even LESS sunny than un-sunny Germany, is getting 131MW of solar power at this instant:

    http://energinet.dk/Flash/Forside/UK/index.html

    time to join modernity, CFNers

    fodase

  105. Q. Shtik May 13, 2015 at 11:30 am #

    As i wrote above, I installed a system on my own house in 2013. Retail price: $52-K – JHK

    ==================

    Fodase and others,

    ^Above^ is what Jim had to say about the price of his solar system. Dare I, (who am in constant danger of banning) use the phrase “weasel-worded?” I think the conflict in his price vs the much lower figures mentioned by others results from use of the word “retail.” It’s like list price on a car which is paid only by fools and goyim.

    The question I would ask Jim is “Forget the retail sticker price… what did you pay? And second, what is the sum total of state and federal tax credits to be deducted off what you paid?”

    Despite this argument over what a solar system costs I find it most interesting that the author of Too Much Magic had a solar system installed on his home. I would also be interested in hearing what the results have been. Is it producing enough juice to have made it all worth while? What is your estimated payback period?

    • Janos Skorenzy May 13, 2015 at 2:58 pm #

      Wouldn’t his price be higher because he’s including all the hidden costs? What man doesn’t want a bargain be he Jew or Gentile, Greek or Barbarian, Slave or Free? But so many bargains prove to be no bargain at all. Sometimes it saves to pay full price up front to insure quality.

      But yes, it’s a big bunch of change for most people. I think we all want to know was it worth it. Or is it at best, insurance for a disaster that may or may not come within his lifetime.

  106. FincaInTheMountains May 13, 2015 at 1:22 pm #

    ” that dread inducing existential question, did anyone read this? ”

    During my 20 years work as a software developer in US – I always worked as a self-employed consultant – I estimate that about 75% of the projects I participated in went directly into trash bin, with multi-million dollar tags.

    The bigger the company, the bigger the bust. The biggest I saw was with Motorola – a complete fuck up.

    Can’t complain, though, was making tons of money.

    I do “real” work now – like running the farm, building the house (it has been built already), constructing the machinery for the feed factory. A lot of fun and satisfaction, almost zero money.

    So I guess our society is arranged the way that the more meaningful work you do, the less money you get and vice versa.

    May be that’s the real reason for the crisis?

  107. Poet May 13, 2015 at 1:47 pm #

    @Therian wrote:

    “Even in tech companies, for every programmer that builds a product, there’s about 50 “support staff”. And most of those few programmers who build products build garbage with the most marginal (if any) utility to the human race. In fact, I’d say tech almost epitomizes the misery of the modern job.”
    ***********************
    As I read your evaluation of tech manufacturing the term “planned obsolescence” came to mind. Planned obsolescence used to be the deliberate practice of suppliers to make something that will either break down or be superseded by some “new improved” model. I remember reading how Microsoft (remember them?) used to never release a new web browser until it had its successor ready to release. By such subterfuge whatever skill or innovation it took to create Windows 95 had already been surpassed by its successor patiently collecting dust on the shelf prior to its predecessor’s initial release.

    Today planned obsolescence has been expanded to include not only the formerly non-mercantile rituals of society but also to the people who populate it (now known as “consumers”).

    Whether you agree with their premises or not, Christmas once upon a time used to be a religious observance. For nearly a century it has been morphing into a marketing vehicle to sell merchandise and the credit debt needed to keep on buying it. It’s the same with Halloween (formerly known as all hallows eve followed by All Saints Day) which is used to peddle candy and other junk food to youngsters.

    Memorial Day, Armistice Day (now called Veterans Day in the US), and Independence Day have been turned from their original purposes of remembering the senseless loss of life in wars or the birth of a nation into military recruiting opportunities to try to keep the gullible youth of the country enlisting in the armed forces so there will be people to fight our endless wars (war being the ultimate “consumption for consumption’s sake” enterprise).

    • Janos Skorenzy May 13, 2015 at 2:48 pm #

      Who is your Dead Poet hero? Whitman? He believed that America was for Whites and that Whites were the most evolved people on Earth. The other races will attain our current state “some day”. And imagine where we’ll be then.

    • Therian May 13, 2015 at 3:08 pm #

      As regards Christmas … ugh!! I dread the late fall and early winter not because of the approaching chill and dark but rather because of the two months of TV Christmas ads and the legions of miserable consumers trying like hell to pretend how joyful they are. I can’t tell you how many Christmas dinners I’ve attended where the energy was moribund because people were sick or exhausted from sending out 100 Hallmark Cards or buying a beer cozy for eccentric Uncle Henry or buying 100 toys for kids. When did they start requiring parents buy a ROOMFUL of toys?

      Thanks for being one of the few people outside of myself who remembers that the real holiday is All Saints Day, November 1. It feels as though American society is dominated by a kind of “laugh track” mentality where you’re supposed to be giddy and giggly on cue. I like what male model Quentin Crisp once said about all this: “Happy people do not need festivity.” I heartily agree with him.

      Another work which exemplifies the truth of Crisp’s quote is in the book “Dying Inside” by Robert Silverberg. It’s a sci-fi novel about a psychic who can scan minds. The protagonist lives in NYC and throughout the novel he scans thousands of miserable souls on the party circuit in Manhattan, though they’re always laughing and giggling like loons. The only person with a content soul in the entire novel? A grumpy looking farmer alone in his field.

      • Janos Skorenzy May 13, 2015 at 6:12 pm #

        I can’t believe it – another Quentin Crisp fan. And I read Dying Inside too – great stuff.

        I find the forced nature of so much of today’s jocularity incredible. First Night where subhumans cavort in sub freezing temperatures in Time Square while guarded by snipers on roof tops. This year’s media coverage took the cake: during the last few numbers of the count down to zero, instead of showing the ball drop, they switched to the corporate logo that was sponsoring the whole thing, some Japanese company.

        • Therian May 14, 2015 at 1:24 am #

          Exactly … the FORCED nature of much alleged “jocularity”. Life is full of interesting paradoxes. I remember seeing a comedy act in Vegas once and talked to the comedian afterward at the bar in the venue. He said (paraphrase): “Yeah, almost all comedians are on antidepressants. They’re usually really unhappy people.

          In fact, comedy itself has largely been destroyed because they’re reaching soooooo hard for a laugh that half of the “humor” consists of jokes about penises, vaginas, or bodily secretions. The subtle jokes of the old guard of humorists were virtually never scatological except by clever implication, even Rodney Dangerfield … “My wife likes to talk to me a lot after sex. So she calls me from a Motel 6.”

  108. beantownbill. May 13, 2015 at 4:14 pm #

    A perfect remedy for today’s American culture (?) is to read the book Siddhartha. Even I, a technophile, appreciates the beauty in simplicity.

  109. Q. Shtik May 13, 2015 at 5:11 pm #

    Re; Therian
    May 13, 2015 at 3:33 pm #

    I’m “obviously” … none of what you say. – Therian

    ==============

    Really? You’re not disgruntled and unhappy? You could have fooled me. You are to high tech what Janos is to Jews, Blacks, Commies and Women.

    I am arguably the most “technically challenged” person in America (I can barely use a cell phone) but I do know a lot about the accounting for direct vs indirect labor in a high tech company. I worked for one of the largest for 26 years. 50 to 1 indirect vs direct would put a company out of business in a week. Please don’t force me to research the numbers on Google or Apple… I don’t have the time or inclination for it.

    I’ll be charitable and suggest your concept of who and what employees constitute the “hands on” (direct labor) in the making of a product is limited.

    Further, although you never had to suffer the degradation of a cubicle you are no less miserable about your work experience for it. I guess the cubicle is not the deciding factor in a “meaningful job.”

    Finally, I am amused by your Sword of Damocles complaint… as if nobody else but programmers has had to face unreasonable deadlines.

    • Therian May 13, 2015 at 6:04 pm #

      I never said that OTHER people didn’t have deadlines. However, they’re not doing unbelievably complex things like getting five million lines of code to do what it’s supposed to do. Rather obvious, isn’t it?

      I’m not a “technophobe” nor am I against technology. For example, I think ATMs are great because I don’t have to wait in line. I think fuel-injected cars are great because the micro controllers spit JUST the right amount of fuel in. The founders of cybernetics have the right idea i.e., that computers were meant to run MACHINES so that people could largely be freed from bondage to mechanisms. Were they also “silly”?

      I’m in favor of computers churning out payroll, landing planes, and a lot of other things that humans either erred at or because humans cannot make thousands of micro-adjustments like an onboard lander.

      Finally, how do you know I was “miserable” at my work? You don’t. Another fabulous and illogical Q. extrapolation. I loved SRI. Loved it. The community college gig, less so, but the first 15 years were great. I won’t even talk about whether or not you are “miserable” whether at work, at home, or any other place because I DO NOT KNOW YOU. Therefore, stick to statements that address immediate points being made lest you make an ass out of yourself.

      Sometimes, I actually agree with you, Q., but strictly valid rhetorical tactics aren’t your forte.

  110. Q. Shtik May 13, 2015 at 5:29 pm #

    Thanks for informing your[s] truly that he’s no longer a wood carver. – Buck

    ===============

    Yeah, I was wondering about that. Figured I’d missed a post along the way.

  111. Pucker May 13, 2015 at 5:30 pm #

    Hillary blithely erased her email server containing all of the emails of her corrupt dealings during her tenure as US Secretary of State.

    William Jefferson “Bill” Clinton (born William Jefferson Blythe III; August 19, 1946) is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Previously, he served as Governor of Arkansas from 1979 to 1981 and 1983 to 1992, and the state’s Attorney General from 1977 to 1979. A member of the Democratic Party, ideologically Clinton was a New Democrat, and many of his policies reflected a centrist Third Way philosophy of governance.

    The adjective blithe used to mean happy and carefree, but over time it’s acquired a new understanding of someone who isn’t paying attention the way they should.
    If you have a blithe disregard for authority, you might just smile vaguely when a teacher is yelling at you to continue writing on the lockers with a Sharpie. If you’re dancing to music while driving, and pass blithely through a red light, chances are you will be pulled over and given either a ticket or a talking to.

  112. fodase May 13, 2015 at 5:53 pm #

    Q, cfn’ers (that’s the ebonic spelling) always wildly exaggerate.

    like Fincal claiming 75% of his software projects went straight into the trash can.

    i’ve worked on loads of software projects, and they all delivered what they intended, albeit with lots of hiccups, which is par for the course.

    why oh why is jhk using useless solar power? and shelling out 50 GRAND?

    sounds like a noob to me lol.

    welcome to the future jimmy, we knew ya cud do it man!

    like ive said befer, kunstler (and the rest of you cfn mob) will be riding around in self-driving cars within 5 years telling us about technofantasy, after accidents have fallen 80%.

    fodase

    • Therian May 13, 2015 at 5:56 pm #

      Uh … right … just because your projects delivered that’s “proof” that Finca doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Anecdotal evidence (i.e., “testimonials”) have never been a valid form of discourse as far as I know.

      Yeah, there’ll be self-driving cars for everyone in the same sense that the crashes of 2000-2001 and 2008-2009 “never happened”. Sheesh.

  113. fodase May 13, 2015 at 8:27 pm #

    Anecdotal evidence (i.e., “testimonials”) have never been a valid form of discourse as far as I know.

    couldn’t fincal’s experiences also be labeled anecdotal evidence (i.e. “testimonials”) then?

    ===========
    re the irreality of self-driving vehicles:

    there are 100 self-driving cars on the streets of Stockholm, Sweden in 2015 – 100% self-driving.

    California’s DMV is already issuing licenses that allow you to not touch the steering wheel for extended periods of time

    care to explain why that is?

    you cfn’ers try very hard to be illiterate regarding technological developments, and you’re very successful.

    don’t understand why things as plain as yer nose are dismissed as fantasy….makes no sense

    do a little research fer chryssake

    fodase

    • Therian May 14, 2015 at 1:33 am #

      Wow, an entire HUNDRED self-driving cars in Stockholm?? Why, that’s one car every 5000 cars. A whopping 0.02 percent. Gee, I’m under … I mean over … whelmed. Of course, California is going to issue licenses for people who plan to own a driverless vehicle. It’s the ultimate technological hipster state, what do you expect?

      You should live here, Fodase, so that we have another technological cheerleader who knows very little about ACTUAL technology. Techno-triumphalists are as rife here as overpriced houses and apartments. C’mon down!!

  114. Q. Shtik May 13, 2015 at 10:06 pm #

    “hair brained” in your above post should be “hare brained”. – sprawl

    =====================

    Here is what the on-line Free Dictionary has to say about hair vs hare – brained

    Usage Note: The first recorded use of harebrained dates to 1548. The spelling hairbrained also has a long history, going back to the 1500s when hair was a variant spelling of hare. The hair variant was preserved in Scotland into the 1700s, and as a result it is impossible to tell exactly when people began writing hairbrained in the belief that the word means “having a hair-sized brain” rather than “with no more sense than a hare.” While hairbrained continues to be used, the standard spelling of the word is harebrained.

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I did not know this.

  115. Q. Shtik May 13, 2015 at 11:17 pm #

    This article should bring joy to the heart of Janos… and a loud “I told you so.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/13/business/economy/as-global-number-of-pupils-soars-education-falls-behind.html

    The accompanying photo, with its brilliant incoming light and resultant dark shadows reminds me of Edward Hopper paintings (or is it Edwin?). What say you Buck?

    And on the subject of paintings Buck, did you see the Rothko painting (blue and yellow bands of color) that sold for more than $46 million? Is their any reasonable rationale for this? I don’t get it.

    • Buck Stud May 14, 2015 at 1:06 am #

      Good eye Q; I agree there is a Edward Hopper feel to the image.

      46 million for a Rothko what can you say other than the buyer presumes 46 million will be 56 million someday. Art as investment, in other words.

      Rothko is deceptive in that yes it’s just blue and yellow bands of color. But some of his works have a monumental simplicity that simply doesn’t translate via a photo IMO. His best stuff projects a certain type of ‘phenomenology’ to use a fancy art speak term.

      By the way, speaking of meaning/meaningful being defined by value some of Van Gogh’s paintings were used to prop open windows and subject to the elements before acquiring value.

    • Janos Skorenzy May 14, 2015 at 1:58 am #

      Yes, if only the world would listen to us, much human time, energy, and wealth could be saved. This is the book for any who are interested. The Finnish Prime Minister condemned his own father for being the co-author of it.

      http://www.amazon.com/Global-Inequality-Richard-Lynn-Vanhanen/dp/1593680244/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1431582550&sr=1-2&keywords=iq+and+the+wealth+of+nations

      Afro-Americans often make fun of pure blood Blacks for how dark they are, calling them spooks or saying that they couldn’t even see them. Not very nice. Felt a touch of jungle fever the other day seeing a pure Black girl with delicate features (East Africa or the Sahel) and skin like Black Velvet.

  116. Pucker May 14, 2015 at 3:15 am #

    George Carlin: “Be thankful for what you got because it’s not going to get any better.”

  117. FincaInTheMountains May 14, 2015 at 4:06 am #

    Long live PetroRuble!

    It’s been one and a half month since a wide coalition of Russian patriotic forces, including the “New Liberals” organized a successful takeover of Moscow Futures and Commodities Exchange. The visible result of that takeover was firing from the post of the head of the Derivatives Markets of one Mr. Sulzhik, a US citizen and a fan of Senator McCain.

    The first result was the launch of trading in the futures on the currency pair ruble-yuan. That project under the management of Mr. Sulzhik was “lying on the shelf” for a year and a half. Putin referred to this event as an important element of the development of relations with China during the recent visit of Comrade Xi on May 9.

    Today the Russian government has instructed the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) on the development of exchange of trade contracts denominated in rubles.

    According to the FAS, at the moment there are all necessary preconditions for the implementation by the largest Russian producers of goods – mainly oil and oil products – of export contracts denominated in rubles through exchange trading and fixing that on the legislative level.

    FAS believe “it will improve the competitiveness of the Russian currency and the creation of additional demand for the ruble, reduce the outflow of capital, and form the transparent tax base and fair market prices for exported goods.”

    Russians are showing Americans a good example of making the changes beneficial to the Nation by not destroying the existing institutions, like Ron Paul is calling for “Eliminating the FED”, but rather changing their policies and management, essentially taking them out of the foreign hostile control.

  118. FincaInTheMountains May 14, 2015 at 4:44 am #

    Kerry’s entourage to Sochi had a notable absentee – Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, the mastermind behind the “regime change” in Kiev in February last year.

  119. FincaInTheMountains May 14, 2015 at 5:16 am #

    Lavrov and Putin to Kerry: We don’t really give a shit

    As strange as it may seem, but suddenly there was a paradoxical situation. In Russia, that according to the West is languishing under the weight of sanctions suddenly did not have any serious problems or important tasks it needs to discuss with Europe or the United States. There is no actual agenda. Hence the tremendous feeling of inner freedom, immediately caused panic among Western politicians.

    In contrast to Russia, the Western actual agenda is oversaturated. And no problem, in principle, it could be solved without Russia.
    Ukraine is gradually sinking deeper into chaos, tremendous financial and moral weight is hung on the US and Europe. For Russia there are no urgent tasks, freezing the conflict in the Donbas is playing into Russian hands. Possible escalation of confrontation could not hurt very much, it just quickly run Kiev into the ground. Russia simply does nothing and waits for the complete collapse of Western policy in the country.

    Approximately the same situation is in Syria. Things there are pretty bad, but not catastrophic. There is no quick fix and cannot be. ISIS with all the Western help is not powerful enough to destroy the Assad regime, and time is working against ISIS, and against its Western sponsors. The idiotic US policy in the Middle East pushes the seemingly completely conquered Iraq in the direction of Russia.

    The situation with Iran is even clearer. After all the years of unprecedented pressure on Iran it is more than ever close to a diplomatic victory over the United States on its nuclear program. Renewal of the contract for the supply of C-300 just underscores the results of many years of conflict.

    And the situation in Europe is quite interesting. For so many years all talked that the most important task for the US is to tear Europe from Russia that the latter felt like an enviable bride with a rich dowry. And the loudmouths here and there indefinitely believed that this is the case. And the United States, invoked all their resources in recent years to literally rape Europe into pro-American position even to the detriment of itself. And suddenly it turns out that Russia does not care. Europe feels robbed and fooled. United States, have already prepared to fight with Russia over Europe to complete disintegration of the latter, suddenly realize that they almost killed their single ally with their own hands.

    In general, the situation is that the US have seeded a lot of problems in different parts of the world, all of them stuck without clear prospects for a successful resolution. At least not without the Russian help. And the clock is ticking, measuring the time until the start of uncontrollable decomposition processes of the overseas empire. And resources are running out.

  120. FincaInTheMountains May 14, 2015 at 6:19 am #

    “Russia is an economically bankrupt nation with two vital cities. ” — hortonz

    First off, make it least 3 vital cities – you’re forgetting the great city of Yekaterinburg in the Urals – my home town.

    And how exactly is “economically bankrupt nation” could afford a paid maternity leave – 70 days before the birth and 70 days after? Or free medical care for all its citizens? Or paid 28 day vacation for workers?

    • FincaInTheMountains May 14, 2015 at 6:31 am #

      Oh, one more thing. In Russia, physicians still make home calls. Tell me. when was the last time you have spoken to your doctor for more than 10 milliseconds?

      • AKlein May 14, 2015 at 7:12 am #

        Those Russians have to get with the times. Free medical care? Doctors make house calls? 28 day vacations? Paid maternity leave? Modern subways that don’t smell like urine? What gives?There’s only one nation that’s exceptional, and that’s us here in the US!

  121. FincaInTheMountains May 14, 2015 at 8:15 am #

    After the Amtrak train that wrecked in Philadelphia it is high time for Americans to demand from the FED to start buying State’s infrastructure bonds to fund large-scale domestic projects without affecting the Federal or State budgets, or dealing with Tea Party morons in the dysfunctional Congress.

    Or you still think it’s better for FED to continue to buy private banks junk paper, and give free money away for its founding members, mostly foreign.

    • Buck Stud May 14, 2015 at 11:09 am #

      “…Tea Party morons…”

      ^ WORD!

        • malthuss May 16, 2015 at 3:55 pm #

          http://www.nbc15.com/home/headlines/78479527.html

          Brandi Grayson / Young, Black, and Gifted [facebook]

          Her 1/2 sibling Tyrone Adair murdered TWO white women and their children!

          What’s the significance– 5 years later? Why his sister Brandi Grayson (they never share a surname it seems) was thusly inspired to form … an anti-white peoples group!

          Young, Black, and Gifted (I say Shiftless), the vehicle for which this disciple of Sharpton coordinates various local protests and demands for white cop blood.

          Of course the DWL moron brigade around here just loves Ms. Grayson to pieces (she leads the fight against institutional “oppression” of black people who are expected to pay child support and not deal drugs and stuff) and have been appropriately sheltered from learning of her family’s murderous history.

          Thats for the ‘If I Had a Son he would look like etc’ department.

    • AKlein May 14, 2015 at 2:01 pm #

      In buying the banks’ junk paper the FED benefits its valued constituency. From its perspective that plan makes excellent sense; we’ll have to guess the quid pro quo. From our perspective – well, ah, our perspective doesn’t matter. That message has been coming through loud and clear.

    • S M Tenneshaw May 18, 2015 at 4:15 am #

      WE don’t think any such thing. But our overlords don’t care what we think.

  122. fodase May 14, 2015 at 8:50 am #

    Wow, an entire HUNDRED self-driving cars in Stockholm??

    yes, up from 0

    the cars are so safe that they are allowed to operate themselves. they never fall asleep at the wheel, stay perfectly within their lanes, reduce congestion by changing routes depending on traffic density, etc.

    besides Sweden, the UK is now allowing driverless cars:

    At the recent launch of a self-driving “pod”, the UK government announced a change in its regulatory framework that will allow for autonomous testing to begin on British roads in controlled conditions later this year. “Driverless cars are the future,” said the UK’s transport minister Claire Perry at the event. “I want Britain to be at the forefront of this exciting new development, to embrace a technology that could transform our roads and open up a brand new route for global investment.”

    so my challenge to you is to explain how this is not actual technology, as you state in your post.

    i know this is in vain, because we have entire nations getting up to half all their electricity from wind+solar and cfners steadfastly maintain that solar and wind are pipe dreams.

    the lack of intellectual honesty here is ghastly

    fodase

    • FincaInTheMountains May 14, 2015 at 8:58 am #

      Could you imagine a HUNDRED self-driving cars going bonkers due to a new computer virus? Ooops, small bug in the crash-avoiding software, those damned Indians again…

    • Therian May 14, 2015 at 3:11 pm #

      I’m not an opponent of wind and solar. A skeptic … slightly … but certainly not an opponent. Just because you get a quote from a British Minister being a techno-triumphalist being herself doesn’t mean anything.

      Why don’t you reply to ONLY points made in a person’s post? Since my post didn’t even go near solar and wind, why do you feel like dumping your advocacy of those in your reply is germane?

      Sometimes you and WPA seem to reply to a person’s posts by putting in promos for every other point of view you hold near and dear. Stick to the points to which you’re replying. When I wrote my reply, it had NOTHING to do with wind and solar.

      As for ACTUAL technology, I was merely pointing out that you, yourself, are NOT a technologist yourself and therefore know little except what you glom off the internet. I was not saying that wind, solar, and self-driving cars were not technology. Try not to fill your replies with endless non sequiturs and, Q., if you’re watching this … Fodase’s reply to my reply is a CLASSIC non sequitur.

  123. fodase May 14, 2015 at 8:55 am #

    by the way, the first semi-autonomous 18-wheeler is in operation in Nevada:

    http://www.wired.com/2015/05/worlds-first-self-driving-semi-truck-hits-road/

    therian, please explain how this is not how “actual” technology works, to quote you.

    fodase

    • FincaInTheMountains May 14, 2015 at 9:00 am #

      “worlds-first-self-driving-semi-truck-hits-road”

      worlds-first-self-driving-semi-truck-hits-another-one

  124. FincaInTheMountains May 14, 2015 at 9:02 am #

    Before we start to masturbate on a self-driving cars, we better fix AmTrack, and start replacing it with mag-lev, high speed rail lines,

  125. fodase May 14, 2015 at 9:09 am #

    Could you imagine a HUNDRED self-driving cars going bonkers due to a new computer virus? Ooops, small bug in the crash-avoiding software, those damned Indians again…

    you should tell Mercedes Benz they forgot to think about this, when designing/engineering/programming/manufacturing/testing their vehicle.

    c’mon finca, you’re a software guy, right? i’ll leave it up to you to figure out the answer to this problem.

    you can do it.

    fodase

    • FincaInTheMountains May 14, 2015 at 9:12 am #

      “c’mon finca, you’re a software guy, right? ” exactly

  126. FincaInTheMountains May 14, 2015 at 9:17 am #

    Why the hell the Westerners, instead of doing real work and technological development, or simply repairing the crumbling infrastructure, always want to play with new software toys and call it “new technology”? Infantilism?

  127. FincaInTheMountains May 14, 2015 at 9:23 am #

    I know how I am going to employ my software skills: I am going to write a small app for the browser that will make all silly Fodase posts disappear and give it away to all CFNers.

    The software will carry a feature to hide anybody’s posts, including mine – but that for a small monthly fee.

  128. fodase May 14, 2015 at 10:30 am #

    So says Therian – “I went one step farther with a personal anecdote [about Tesla being a joke]

    Therian – “Anecdotal evidence (i.e., “testimonials”) have never been a valid form of discourse as far as I know.”

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA

    Q, this one makes my day!

    re Finca….what can you say about folks who deny obvious technological progress?

    Even JHK has a solar array….

    Can anyone explain why?

    like trying to reason with kindergardners….it can’t be done.. i assume wpa_ccc gave up or was banned, lol

    in real world driverless car news:
    a
    In early April, Delphi’s autonomous Audi drove 3,400 miles from the west coast to New York, 99 percent of the distance without a driver controlling the car. The test was undertaken to demonstrate the vehicle’s capabilities.

    silly, isn’t it?

    fodase

    • nsa May 14, 2015 at 11:30 am #

      Your techno wet dreams are the stuff of nightmares….

    • Therian May 14, 2015 at 3:16 pm #

      Who denied “technological progress”? Like WPA, you claim that person X said Y and then you proceed to attack them as if they DID say Y. I’ve already said that there’s TONS of technology I believe is an advance for the human race and there’s TONS more that isn’t. Don’t try this chicanery of saying I’m against ALL technology and then proceed to pillory me for a position I do not hold.

      Tell me people, is Fodase WPA in disguise. Sure seems to have the same sneaky argumentative techniques.

  129. Buck Stud May 14, 2015 at 11:33 am #

    I just watched a TV commercial in which Kenny Chesney singles some beautiful woman out of the crowd and my-oh-my was she ever thrilled: All of her cubicle hour angst was surely evaporated with this cotton-candy Chesney gesture.

    Meanwhile, the bricklayer is asking himself why he didn’t get an air conditioned cubicle job instead of toiling in the smothering summer heat. Fingers taped with calluses; trowels spreading mortar and tapping bricks into place; all day long laying one brick in the wall after another –hey hod carrier, are you sure that scaffolding is stable;it’s feeling a little wobbly way up here?

    And then off to the lounge and a frosty mug of beer to savor while t temporarily drowning the reality of a repeat on the theme come sunrise the following day.

    Oh well, at least it’s not winter–yet.

    • malthuss May 16, 2015 at 3:56 pm #

      How do you know who he is? do you follow ‘country’ music?

      and do you read Fincalns posts? what is the ‘gist’ of them?

  130. fodase May 14, 2015 at 12:05 pm #

    Google’s self-driving car passes 700,000 accident-free miles, can now avoid cyclists, stop at railroad crossings

    Audi driverless car drives coast to coast….

    The nine-day trip traversed 15 states and the District of Columbia. Along the way, the vehicle encountered complex driving situations such as traffic circles, construction zones, bridges, tunnels, aggressive drivers and a variety of weather conditions. Crucial to the success of the Roadrunner’s journey was the vehicle’s “eyes” — its radar, vision and Advanced Drive Assistance Systems (ADAS), most of which were supplied by Mobileye. Now standard on many new car models, Mobileye’s system alerts drivers when they come too close to vehicles and pedestrians, or when they veer out of their lane, sending out a beep that gets the driver’s attention, and hopefully gets them to slow down. New versions of the system can also detect cyclists, debris on the road, curbs, barriers and construction zones, and can also detect traffic lights and read road signs. The advanced version of the system – the one installed in the Roadrunner – is enabled by a number of forward-facing cameras and a number of low-cost radars.

    Driverless cars trialled on UK roads for first time in four towns and cities…

    Driverless cars are the future…starting now.

    CFN has been thoroughly discredited so many times.

    I don’t expect kindergartners to understand that, though.

    Spain currently covering 34% of electricity production using WIND:

    https://demanda.ree.es/eolicaEng.html

    None so blind as those….

    Nevertheless, we salute you as we soar high above you powered by clean, renewable energy into an age of untold abundance grounded in technological advances, high, high above your kunstlerian mules as you tap out your manifestos of never-occurring doom on rusting typewriters and count up your stores of gold, guns and beans.

    fodase

    • Janos Skorenzy May 14, 2015 at 2:12 pm #

      In other words, that translates as the Elite not needing truck drivers anymore. There goes another million or so jobs in America. Hell, they don’t need humanity wasting THEIR resources by existing anymore. And they’re working on that too. Keep up the good work. They couldn’t do what they do without people like you.

  131. barbisbest May 14, 2015 at 12:32 pm #

    Janos Skorenzy
    May 11, 2015 at 3:06 pm #

    Earth is the Mother? Ok, so what are you forgetting? The Father. Who dat? The Sun. Mr Daymaker as the Hindus call Him. Or the World Candle as do the Norse. And without Him, the Earth is null and void, a dark, lifeless crater. Patriarchy is deeper than Matriarchy. And just as the Sun rules the Earth, Men should rule women. But yes, they must be worthy and not profit driven psychopaths as so many people (both male and female) are today. Feminism is a female lead psychopath movement.

    JANOS – JUST BECAUSE YOU HAVE ONE DOESN’T MEAN YOU HAVE TO BE ONE!!!!!!!!!! The earth is all of our mothers!!!! I don’t know about you, but I know who my father is. And BTW Here’s a tip. Keep your legs closed Janos when the cornpones come!!!!!

    • Janos Skorenzy May 14, 2015 at 2:07 pm #

      Same to you sister: Just because you have one doesn’t mean you have to be one.

      You like Corn? Watch Harvest Home to see what Matriarchies did to the Corn King. The Mother has bled for us and now she needs blood to replenish herself.

      Actually Barbie, in Up From Eden our hero Ken Wilber makes it all clear. There is Great Mother and Great Goddess. in other words people at opposite ends of the consciousness spectrum may be worshiping the same symbol at the same temple. Ramakrishna worshiped Kali as Great Goddess who wants all people to sacrifice their egos to her. The Thugees worship Kali as Great Mother who wants blood – so they give her other people’s. Apparently in ancient times, sometimes people willingly sacrificed their lives – even Kings.

      Likewise, Sun worship has had its higher and lower aspects in both the East and West. Eclipses were terrifying for the Aztecs – better kill someone to entice the sun to come back.

  132. barbisbest May 14, 2015 at 12:34 pm #

    Somebody shut Janos off.

    • Janos Skorenzy May 14, 2015 at 2:26 pm #

      She doesn’t believe in the First Amendment. Nor the other nine either probably.

    • Therian May 14, 2015 at 3:17 pm #

      Shut him off?? Why, because he has the temerity to disagree with you? Spoken like a true modern femme bot.

  133. wpa--ccc May 14, 2015 at 2:00 pm #

    fodase, I have been IP address banned.

    • FincaInTheMountains May 14, 2015 at 3:15 pm #

      Don’t worry, nobody missed you

      • Therian May 14, 2015 at 3:18 pm #

        Amen, brother Finca!!

      • malthuss May 16, 2015 at 3:58 pm #

        That is the best [and perhaps briefest] post of yrs that I have read.

  134. nsa May 14, 2015 at 4:28 pm #

    WPA,
    We missed you here in Ft. Meade and Langley….many of your ideas are superlative disinfo innoculations and have been routed to our vast array of media assets via our daily talking points emails….. The Honorable Senator Sanders has been especially adept at rebroadcasting your concepts to a very receptive audience of aware and concerned citizens…..keep up the good work.

  135. fodase May 14, 2015 at 9:20 pm #

    Keep up the good work. They couldn’t do what they do without people like you.

    Janos, you hypocrite. Why aren’t you sending in your comments via snail mail, in order to make sure someone has a job delivering paper letters?

    If you’re so worried about people being displaced by technology, what are you yourself doing using technology that has displaced so many people down thru the ages?

    Do you still have the coal boy deliver your coal? Do you subscribe to real newspapers delivered to your door?

    Didn’t think so.

    Get ye behind me, Janos.

    wpa_ccc, how did you get your comment out here if you’re IP banned?

    They tried it with me, too, but there’s a simple way around it.

    As for ACTUAL technology, I was merely pointing out that you, yourself, are NOT a technologist yourself and therefore know little except what you glom off the internet. I was not saying that wind, solar, and self-driving cars were not technology.

    Therian, just shut your stupid mouth, you contradict yourself every second post (“I was anecdotally stating” vs. “Anecdoes aren’t valid discourse” etc.) and act as if you personally are debugging 5 million lines of code. What asinine rubbish.

    Your above quote doesn’t even make sense – stating the phrase “ACTUAL technology” somehow means another persons isn’t a technologist??? That’s not how anyone who understands English thinks…

    Just read the goddamn facts – there are 100 self-driving cars running without drivers – that is ACTUAL technology, plain and simple.

    Re pointing out that I’m not a technologist – I’ve been programming for over two decades, along with being a professional translator for 4 languages for almost 3, so I think I fairly qualify to be one of your vaunted technologists.

    How the hell do you assume someone’s not a technologist without knowing their background?

    I’ve worked with plenty of software doofuses like you, you’re all the same – dorky flabby guys who can’t really rise above lower programming positions who think you’re smart. You can’t even put together rational English language sentences.

    Per always, not one of you hysterical jhk suckups has offered a factual retort to any of the “actual” technological advances I ceaselessly point out here.

    Because you can’t.

    fodase

    • Q. Shtik May 14, 2015 at 9:37 pm #

      I’ve worked with plenty of software [doofuses] like you, – fodase

      =================

      doofi

      • S M Tenneshaw May 18, 2015 at 4:25 am #

        Is that in Webster’s?

    • BackRowHeckler May 15, 2015 at 6:38 am #

      Hey fodase with these self driving cars I was wondering who will be held responsible in the inevitable case of accidents?

      brh

  136. fodase May 14, 2015 at 9:25 pm #

    wpa_ccc, if you’re reading this, just log on using a proxy server that disguises your IP.

    Worst case, enter the site via a proxy server disguising your IP, then create a new account, then post.

    Therian, that’s ‘actual’ technology, you’re not a technologist and only know what you glom off the internet, so I added these simple instructions for your benefit.

    you may now go back to personally debugging 5 millions lines of code.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

    as if anyone believes that…..

    fodase

  137. fodase May 14, 2015 at 9:31 pm #

    nsa said:

    Your techno wet dreams are the stuff of nightmares….

    yeah, do you actually have anything to say that’s rooted in fact that contradicts what i say?

    Once again, like always with you mighty mites, I didn’t think so.

    Spain getting 41% of all its electricity from the WIND as we speak:

    https://demanda.ree.es/eolicaEng.html

    Hows that for technofantasy?

    CFN has been thoroughly & utterly discredited.

    fodase

  138. wpa--ccc May 14, 2015 at 10:33 pm #

    Thanks, fodase, for the assist. Saves trips to the public library computers.

    JHK says: “Elon Musk … rolled out his PowerWall battery last week with Star Wars style fanfare, doing his bit to promote and support the delusional thinking…”

    Criticizing something that has proof of concept but is in the version one stage, is shortsighted and ignorant. The religious fundamentalist preachers did the same thing in 1903 criticizing the Wright brothers and the idea of flight, saying were not intended to fly… etc. It was too much magic for them.

    Many dogmatic CFNers cannot accept the idea that we will not have to touch the steering wheel, or the brakes, in future cars. Too much magic, I guess. Or maybe they are so attached to the American romance with the automobile that they cannot give up the control they want to feel in “driving” the vehicle.

    Little by little they will be dragged into the future. I bet many CFNers have already come to peace with not using their right foot to depress an accelerator peddle… content to allow the car to change velocity on its own with cruise control.

    Version one of the Power Wall is just like the precarious first flights at Kitty Hawk in 1903. Nobody in 1903 was imagining transcontinental commercial jet flights. Given advances in batteries, energy storage technology, and sustainable energy alternatives, the future of the Power Wall is bright.

    • EvelynV May 15, 2015 at 12:22 am #

      wpa-ccc,

      By the end of the week this forum always becomes so stuffy with same incessant bickerers conducting their usual bicker-fests.

      When you finally come along it’s like someone has opened a window to let in some fresh air.

      • Therian May 15, 2015 at 1:01 pm #

        Yes, fresh air from a manure pasture. The “bickers” of which you speak are because we have the temerity to argue with people like him … and you. WPA insists that the economy, for example, is just in fabulous condition because government bureaus release only stats which support this view and he buys it.

        God forbid that people like me actually want working people to thrive instead of being out of the workforce (workforce participation is now at a 38-year low), in debt up to their eyeballs, or on food stamps. One in six Americans is now on food stamps. Let’s just shout jubilant Orwellian slogans so that we don’t bum people like you out.

        You waste everyone’s time by just posting a “What he said!!” opinion without, of course, a scintilla of evidence that his “fresh air” really is “fresh”. The guy you’re lionizing has, for many years, dominated this board with about 40% of total posts. He has no life. The only reason he hasn’t recently is that his login here didn’t work.

        • malthuss May 16, 2015 at 4:00 pm #

          EBT makes Wall Street richer. Thats why it exists.

          Who administers EBT? JP.

    • Q. Shtik May 15, 2015 at 11:32 am #

      content to allow the car to change velocity on its own with cruise control. – wpa

      ===============

      You mean NOT to change velocity, right?

      But, that aside, I’m curious about your being banned. Was JHK pissed about something? Did he send you an email and say cease and desist or was the banning more on the order of a technical glitch?

      Lastly, CFNers might take a different view on technology and innovation if they read How We Got to Now by Steven Johnson where he describes at some length the technological innovations in six areas: glass, cold, sound, clean, time and light.

      There is little doubt in my own mind that Solar will succeed. The innovations that will occur may make those roof mounted rectangles look laughable in 25 years. This all assumes some mega Black Swan of the negative type, such as a nuclear holocaust or a total honey bee die-off, doesn’t happen first. In any case I won’t be around.

      P.S. It’s we’re, not were, intended to fly.

  139. FincaInTheMountains May 15, 2015 at 2:50 am #

    Immortal Regiment

    Did you hear of the spontaneously organized procession in which, after the official parade, half a million people marched through Moscow with portraits of their relatives who died in World War II? The event was called “The Immortal Regiment”. Similar processions took place in many cities throughout Russia, and the total number of participants is estimated at around 4 million.

    “Immortal Regiment” united all: the Orthodox and atheists, Muslims and Jews, the former Soviet citizens who now find themselves citizens of different states, Eastern Europeans and Western Europeans and Americans and Africans and Asians – all whose fathers and grandfathers fought with fascism on a variety of fronts – and won. Moreover, it throws the bridge from the fathers to the children, from the grandparents to grandchildren, combining not only the countries and continents, but generations.

    Society gets the idea that unites its various layers in the present and combines it in a few generations. It receives political and historical stability and reliable marker, allowing a person to tell the friend from foe.

    “Immortal regiment” kicks in Western propagandist’s last trump card – an attempt to represent the Great Victory as a purely Russian national pastime. It collects under its banners anti-fascist International and raises questions over the responsibility to ones ancestors not only Russians, not only ex-Soviets, but all whose ancestors won the Great Victory.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8tmji_2Q3w

    • BackRowHeckler May 15, 2015 at 7:32 am #

      We’ve pretty much forgotten about WW2 here. Go to any HS or College Campus and ask when WW2 was, who was the enemy, and who won? Probably 1 in a 1000 would know the answer.

      • FincaInTheMountains May 15, 2015 at 7:36 am #

        It wasn’t just a World War – it was a rare unifying civilizational event of victorious fight against fascism and extreme nationalism.

    • elysianfield May 15, 2015 at 11:27 am #

      With all respect, the march was impressive and emotive…but probably not spontaneous.

  140. FincaInTheMountains May 15, 2015 at 3:48 am #

    Migrant crisis: EU plan to strike Libya networks could include ground forces
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/13/migrant-crisis-eu-plan-to-strike-libya-networks-could-include-ground-forces

    France and Britain have jointly destroyed Libya

    The massive influx of refugees from North Africa to Europe is caused solely by the fact that Europe has in a couple of centuries of continuous efforts made a significant part of the population of North Africa even poorer than their ancestors were before Europe laid eyes on these lands.

    Now France and Britain jointly destroyed Libya because its leader tried to use for the benefit of its people, oil revenues that Europeans long ago considered theirs. This naturally caused a new surge of mass migration; it is because the people have once again become significantly poorer.

    In addition, chaos reigns in Libya. Americans came up with initial idea, but this time they have managed not to open fire on their own, and the responsibility lies with the British and French. The probability of dying from gang violence in Libya is much higher than crossing the Mediterranean by boat.

    People will go because they do not have other chances to survive

  141. BackRowHeckler May 15, 2015 at 7:02 am #

    Is it too late to talk about Baltimore? I know its been about a month. I’m a little puzzled by something; since the death of Freddy Gray there have been about 40 shootings on the ‘Streets of Baltimore’. This after a ‘Concert for Peace’ by the artist formerly known as Prince, a March for Peace’, ‘Rally for Peace’ (whenever you encounter one of these marches for peace its best to head in another direction), Crips and Bloods standing shoulder to shoulder with the Attorney General, Mayor, Councilmen, the Chief of Police on the podium at City Hall, and most importantly of all 6 criminals we were told are responsible for all the violence in the city — police officers — are under arrest! Still the carnage continues. The only logical thing to do is arrest the entire Baltimore Police force and put an end to this violence once and for all!

    Speaking of Street Gangs, how long before they begin teaming up with ISIS? I know it sounds crazy. But so doesn’t Crips and Bloods appearing in Public with the Baltimore Mayor and Chief of Police.

    I turned on the local news this morning and it was 2 solid hours of shooting, robberies, beatdowns, road rage incidents, arson fires, stabbings, child molestations, missing kids, kids left alone in cars for hours while their parents gambled in casinos, dead bodies found behind shopping centers, 2 massive car wrecks, entropy gone wild — mostly in New Haven, Hartford and Bridgeport. Here’s the best one today, in Meriden. A 25 year old man — forgot the name — something like Deshawn or Tupac — entered a gas station with a baby and a knife and informed the clerk if he didn’t get $40 in gas he would stab the baby to death. Needless to say police were called and a high speed chase ensued. It turns out the baby was the man’s nephew. Top that CFNers, if you can. This is the way it is now, a real multicultural paradise, one we are celebrating each and every day.

    brh

    • Buck Stud May 15, 2015 at 11:55 am #

      Lol, that is a classic BRH. You should post that on Daily Kos or someplace similar just to witness the reactions!

      • malthuss May 16, 2015 at 4:04 pm #

        Prince [the 1/4 Black of questionable sexuality-despite fathering at least one child] reminds me of Obamas buddy Stevie Wonder, who refuses to perform in Fla, trayvon and ‘stand yr ground’.

        http://www.slate.com/…/stevie_wonder_s_florida_boycott_his_zimmerma...
        Slate
        Jul 17, 2013 – Stevie Wonder declared that he would not perform in Florida ……..
        Wonder’s boycott announcement was drenched in emotion, deeply

  142. BackRowHeckler May 15, 2015 at 7:19 am #

    Also, I’ve been working days with this Millwright, a guy I met when he was setting up machinery in our plant. He asked me if I would go along and help him out during the day sometime. Last week or so we’ve been working in this ancient factory in Waterbury, dismantling these massive machines and moving them out onto flatbed trucks. I enquired “Where’s this stuff going anyway”. The answer, “to India”. I’m not sure if its for scrap or if they’ll get this old machinery — big milling machines, giant lathes from the 1920s, working again. Its really fascinating how they rig this stuff up — which weigh many tons — and move it from one place to another. My friend is not a deep thinker and mostly talks about all the broads he’s nailed over the years, which is quite a few apparently. Yesterday he says to me in the ride down to Waterbury “Marlin, I like ’em two at a time”. Two What? Shots of Vodka? Bottle of Bud? “No, broads you idiot!” I should have known.

    The steel alone in this machinery is something to behold, relics from an earlier age, the likes of which we shall never see again.

    brh

    • Buck Stud May 15, 2015 at 11:56 am #

      There you go again BRH, rolling up your sleeves and working your life away. Janos is not going to be pleased with your time allotment tendencies.

      • Buck Stud May 15, 2015 at 12:58 pm #

        And yes, there was a time when American machinery was the best in the world…lathes, planers, jointer, large bandsaw…and as you say, we’ll never see that type of quality again…and your and yours were right it the middle of it, or so I think I understand.

        • BackRowHeckler May 15, 2015 at 1:10 pm #

          Just about everybodys dad was a machinist or toolmaker or something like it, Buck. We used to have this guy in our neighborhood, a full blooded Mohawk Indian who we used to call ‘Chief’, missing fingers and left eye from a Kamikazee attack aboard a US Carrier at Okinawa in 1945, who could make anything out of steel, iron or wood, fix any machine, and even build any tools you might need, right in an open garage in his yard. He had an enormous belly and drank Ballentine ale by the case. In fact all the WW2 vets loved that Ballentine.

          brh

  143. fodase May 15, 2015 at 9:13 am #

    Hey fodase with these self driving cars I was wondering who will be held responsible in the inevitable case of accidents?

    an highly (the ‘n’ is for Q) unusual forwardthinking (cue Q) comment by a cFn’er.

    congrats BackRoW! refreshing.

    wpa_ccc, welcome back bro, i’d love to meet you to talk things over over a bottla som’in.

    we have our disagreements for sure, but it’s clear you are a civilized gent, just whut the whurld is in dire need of….a rarity these daze.

    in fact, although we are not one and the same poster, our similar thinking is uncanny at times, viz. I was just about to offer an analogy on the progression of technology using the evolution of flight….

    which you promptly did.

    you are highly correct to state that cFn’ers will subtly begin to use all the advantages modernity is offering up on its abundant plate, viz. driverless vehicles, in-ear smartphones that you answer (and hang up) by nodding your head, etc.

    they’ll also disavow that any progress towards energy ascent and improvement in living standards is taking place, no doubt using wind- or solar-generated electricity to power their laptops while writing energy-descent diatribes.

    Spain has 55 million people…and is getting 40% of all its electricity from the wind as we speak…..

    jimmy kunstler, who is a good painter & believes strongly in solar power (he has a $52,000 system on his roof(s)), is eerily quiet on these colossal nation-sized successes which disprove his central tenet.

    There are 3 500MW+ solar electricity plants functioning in the US Southwest.

    jimmy kunstler, explain this please, in terms of how this is not a successful response to the spectre of energy descent.

    These 3 solar utilities power 500,000+ homes.

    These are not trifling numbers.

    Ireland getting 35% of all its electricity from WIND as we speak!

    https://www.energyelephant.com/page-traffic-light

    Denmark currently getting 25% of all its electricity from wind and SOLAR as we speak…..and Denmark doesn’t even have any sunshine compared to most other countries.

    these and other incontrovertible demonstrations of the success of alternative energy in meeting the spectre of energy descent will not
    be discounted by cFn’ers with any factual rebuttal.

    because they can’t deny the obvious, they can only belittle it

    fodase

    • Therian May 15, 2015 at 5:24 pm #

      Why do you feel a need to enumerate almost every one of your talking points, as if you’re ADVERTISING YOURSELF, in half of the posts you make. We get it, we get it!! You’re into alternative energy. We’ve gotten it a hundred times over. Rarely do you have a circumspect analysis, just “promo sentences”. It’s a kind of self-admiring HIPSTERISM. Okay, dude … YOU BE HIP!! Sheesh.

  144. barbisbest May 15, 2015 at 9:15 am #

    Pardon Janos. Makes me a little prickly at possible edges of epochs, that and time changes. Here’s the thing, initiates used to have ritual procedures for rites of passage in holotropic states to internally confront the shadow side of themselves. Something that may be lacking in modern civilization (?) Modern civilization does leave some things to be desired. For those of us who have experienced something of this nature, it can create a psycho spiritual transformation. Psycho-spiritual transformation can give insight into the current global crises. That’s borrowed from Stanislav Grof actually. Thanks Stanislav.

    Let me ask you this. What did you eat yesterday? None of my business. Okay, but chances are it came from good ole mother earth. Nothing lives without her. Or, you can say father earth. Doesn’t matter. Mother Earth, Father Earth. What’s in a name, in this case. We owe it all to this planet. No life without it.
    Right now the gulf of Mexico has a pretty large dead zone, The Pacific Ocean, at least around Japan, probably the same half of the earth’s top soil depleted in the past 150 yrs., a third of the bees perished in the last couples years, and you can go on. Without bees we eat onions. It seems every one takes, takes and no one gives back to him, her, the planet.
    But, the good news is, I got peaches on my peach trees and figs comin. YEEHAW. AND, Robert Duvall is a neighbor up the street. Whoppee. But, he did do a good job in Tender Mercies. Sense of humor till the beginning.

    Yes, I believe in the amendments, you do have a right to free speech and your opinion. Remember Stands with Fists in Dances with wolves, my archetype. I wish y’all lived up the street, funner to spar in person. Speaking of which, we should have like a Kunstler convention, you know like Trekkies, Star Trek fans. Eh, I should’ve went to the Rowe Center last week. Joanna Macy, how not to lose control in a really fd up place, or something like that.

    Cheers Janos. All opinions have merit.

    • elysianfield May 15, 2015 at 11:40 am #

      “All opinions have merit.”

      Please develop that thought. Are you using the term “merit”, in the same sense as the politically-correct use the term “special”?

    • Q. Shtik May 15, 2015 at 1:48 pm #

      I should’ve [went] to the Rowe Center last week. – barb

      =============

      gone

    • Janos Skorenzy May 15, 2015 at 3:00 pm #

      Not all opinions have merit. Ken would tear that one apart. He got so tired of New Agers that he started his own Foundation and avoids them as much as possible. He loathes Feminism needless to say.

      Remember Bette Midler’s song “The Rose”. The Earth produces nothing without the Sun’s love. Likewise, women don’t produce life – men and women do together. This kind of gynocracy drives Ken crazy. Me too. You obviously have a case of this and need to do some work on yourself.

      You have a point about different symbolic systems. Some cultures call the Sun feminine and the Moon masculine. As long as the system is internally consistent, it’s valid.

      Gender is above sex. As the Ancients said, Adore the Feminine, beware the female. Obviously they were writing for men. You could also say, Adore the Masculine, beware the male. But you don’t adore the Masculine. You are in reaction against it. How can we create a balanced civilization when educated women are in reaction against men?

      • Buck Stud May 15, 2015 at 3:21 pm #

        I’m going to remember this post when dealing with some vitriolic lesbian with an adversarial attitude simply because I’m a male. I have met these types many times and start out asking myself what I did to offend them. Obviously it’s the wrong question to ask of myself. As Stallone’s loan shark boss quipped in “Rocky”, some people are just going to hate.

  145. barbisbest May 15, 2015 at 9:25 am #

    Fodase, think what JHK sets forth is solar and wind and any other alternate energy systems have a petroleum foundation. AKlein is right when stated we need a paradigm shift in the way we live.

  146. fodase May 15, 2015 at 9:36 am #

    Wind farms produce 20-25 times more energy than their petroleum inputs.

    ergo they replace the equivalent in terms of petroleum.

    thats a great tradeoff, and one of the contributing reasons why there are oil gluts everywhere, though probably a small one still.

    nextly, all the PV panels produced and generating electricity have eclipsed the petroleum inputs used to produce them, see Stanford University study.

    also, i’m not sure but i’d wager that the concentrated solar power utilities producing 500MW+ don’t require as much petroleum inputs since they use mirrors to reflect and concentrate the sun’s rays.

    could be wrong, it’d be nice to see a cFn’er do a little research to get the skinny on this angle.

    fodase

  147. barbisbest May 15, 2015 at 10:11 am #

    “I’d like to tell you, we used to live in paradise.” William Klotke

    The first line from the film Fall and Winter. For the start of a psycho-spiritual transformation, this is definitely recommended viewing for all human and even semi-human inhabitants of this magnificently beautiful planet. That, and listen to symphonic Led Zeppelin-Stairway to Heaven. Kidding on that last part. All this without peyote.

    Janos, speaking of amendments time for the morning constitutional.

  148. fodase May 15, 2015 at 10:24 am #

    zeppelin is for less developed organisms, try Bartok

    fodase

    • barbisbest May 15, 2015 at 1:05 pm #

      fodase May 15, 2015 at 10:24 am #

      “zeppelin is for less developed organisms, try Bartok”

      got it Fodase, but symphonic Zeppelin is amazing. Less developed organisms?!?!? What are you trying to say, huh?

      Furthermore, 50%of primates,our closest relatives, on our home, are at risk of extinction. Not our relatives you say, to those of you christian evangelicals who don’t believe in evolution. yes, there is such a thing as science, Salk did develop the vaccine for polio. Our lack of respect and not working in harmony with all life on the planet is having a ripple effect on every spectrum of life.

      I appreciate AKlein’s #1 comment about a new way of looking at life on this planet, a new paradigm. You nailed it!!!! Makes me wonder if you are an Andrew or an Amanda. Doesn’t really matter. I like the way you think.

      We are at peak water, peak farmable soil and peak peace,among other things. That’s the real blinger, that peak farmable soil thing, if you ask me. So, what is the human species to do then folks.

      The comments and views expressed here are not necessarily those of the management. This has been a public service announcement.

      I do think Fodase we should shoot for renewables, you’re preaching to the choir. I just think it comes down to being petroleum supported. Hope you’re right Fodase. And, I’ll look into that Bartok thing. Thanks.

      Someone, have mercy, turn me off.

  149. ozone May 15, 2015 at 10:42 am #

    A screen lies inert
    Its power to dazzle gone
    Yet the earth abides

    Water is being “stolen” in Kali-for-nigh-eh(?), but remain calm and docile, shelter in place… and while waiting for assistance, pay close attention to your personal screen; an app to quench your thirst is being developed with all due haste.

    In case of unwarranted panic, place one thumb firmly in your rectum and the other in your mouth. (Hygienically, it is not advised to swap thumb locations after insertions are accomplished.)

    Thank you for your

    • ozone May 15, 2015 at 10:43 am #

      …. Thank you for your continued unquestioning belief in, and support of the status quo,
      -The Management

  150. Buck Stud May 15, 2015 at 11:53 am #

    I wonder why our resident ‘All Things Russian’ poster never manages to talk about any of the finer things in Russian culture? It’s always the prospect of war–military, economic, etc–and international intrigue: A real “DEBKA” acolyte in spirit and sentiment.

    For my two cents, posted below is one of the crown jewels of Russian culture. Evengy Kissin performing Rach Three with an especially fearsome and spirited “Ossia Cadenza” apex starting at around minute 4:00 or so:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VY81hTXGh98

    • BackRowHeckler May 15, 2015 at 1:24 pm #

      ‘Specially the Short Stories of the Good Doctor Chekov, ‘The Steppe’, and ‘In the Ravine’ to name two unforgettable ones.

      The closest any American come to Chekov is Hemingway, whose was a MD, too.

      brh

    • Q. Shtik May 15, 2015 at 2:22 pm #

      I like the beat, it’s easy to dance to, I’ll give it a 98.

  151. barbisbest May 15, 2015 at 1:11 pm #

    Why didn’t I get invited to Duvall’s barbecue?!?!? Mercy. Step away from the lap top.

    • Janos Skorenzy May 15, 2015 at 3:28 pm #

      Name dropping, just like Ken talked about “Bill and Hillary” – two of the most corrupt people to ever disgrace American politics.

  152. barbisbest May 15, 2015 at 1:53 pm #

    30 more years of farmable soil. Seems like a biggie. So, should the human species:

    a) worry itself into a dither about Sofia Vulgara’s embryos.
    b) go RVing
    c) throw up our hands and not worry about the human species at all, or
    d) start the next american revolution and practice bio-intensive farming or gardening all over the place. love Grace Lee Boggs, she’s so real

    See what you started young man. I hope you’re happy. At least getting a couple smiles from all this.

    Long live millenias.

    • Janos Skorenzy May 15, 2015 at 3:31 pm #

      Never heard of Boggs but Sofia is hot. That’s a Woman! But unfortunately, a careerist who has refused to have more than one child. It might be for the best: she’s obviously not wife or mother material.

  153. VCS May 15, 2015 at 1:55 pm #

    Fodase and wpa present their various “facts” here, which mostly do provide reasons for optimism about the future. But these are ONLY reasons for hope. They guarantee nothing. It takes a big logical leap to conclude from them that a cornucopian energy ascent is certain.

    There are all kinds of positive and negative forces in play here, and no one really knows how it will turn out —

    A little more humility, a little less ridicule and harshness would be nice. And please — less soaring…and saluting…and sneering at the “sycophants” and “losers” and “mighty mites” and “girlies” down below.

    • Janos Skorenzy May 15, 2015 at 3:09 pm #

      Technology only helps people when it’s used to help people. This simple truth escape these two droogs. Archimedes said, Give me a level and a place to stand (fulcrum) and I will move the world. Fodase starts to cheer, “Yes, Yes, Yes!”, never asking “Move where? And move why?” Maybe the world is alright where it is. And who gains by the move? And who loses?

  154. FincaInTheMountains May 15, 2015 at 2:59 pm #

    “I wonder why our resident ‘All Things Russian’ poster never manages to talk about any of the finer things in Russian culture? It’s always the prospect of war–military, economic, etc–and international intrigue” – Buck Stud

    Actually, I am more vested in US than in Russia. The Island I live in will in any case remain in US zone of influence, I am US citizen and I have a daughter living in US. I started to be interested in politics around 2006, it was because of 911 of course, and I was reading ONLY US/UK based Internet resources – usual suspects, you know them all, no need to give them any more exposure.

    Around 2012 I realized that I don’t trust any of them anymore, the more you read that stuff the less you understand what the fuck’s going on.

    Then I realized what my problem was. I was lacking a dimensional depth. Let me explain it on a simple task: using 6 matches and a gum put together 6 equal triangles. The task is impossible to accomplish on the table (the plane), but is trivial in 3-dimensional space – a simple Tetrahedron (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetrahedron).

    I think that is the problem of most Americans, who are trying to understand US political, economical and social issues by looking at the US only. You are lacking a dimensional depth. At least one dimension is absolutely necessary, but most likely there are much more. I think looking at current US-Russian conflict gives you at least one additional dimension of understanding.

    • Janos Skorenzy May 15, 2015 at 3:03 pm #

      He’s no more Russian than Charles Krauthamer is American.

      • FincaInTheMountains May 15, 2015 at 3:08 pm #

        Oh, Janos, take a walk, will you

        • Janos Skorenzy May 15, 2015 at 3:11 pm #

          That’s what Barb said. Like Socrates, I bring up uncomfortable truths. Unfortunately for you, we still have freedom of speech over here. And I’m not going anywhere.

      • S M Tenneshaw May 18, 2015 at 4:39 am #

        Krauthammer is a damn sight more American than you could ever pretend to be.

    • Buck Stud May 15, 2015 at 3:12 pm #

      Nice post Fincal. And what could be more integral to a three dimensional understanding of a country than delving into their culture, especially the higher aspects?

      Listening to Rachmaninoff is deeply evocative for me. I hear the approaching winter and the leaves of Fall being scattered over endless steppes. I hear incredible depth, range, and spirit. In short no country–not the U.S or China–is going to invade “Mother Russia” (sorry Janos) and win. Not happening.

      Which is why all the recent American saber rattling in the region strikes me as nothing short of insane.

      • FincaInTheMountains May 15, 2015 at 3:21 pm #

        Insane? There is still a little problem of $50 billion a month trade deficit (much more in real numbers). If you were running the place, what would you do?

      • Janos Skorenzy May 15, 2015 at 3:39 pm #

        Huh? Russia is the good guy now, at least compared to us. If we were going to invade we should have let Patton go – it would saved millions of lives. Of course that would have been to admit we backed the wrong horse to begin with.

        Still identifying me with the Krauthammers (hammer of Krauts) of the world I see. When a pickpocket sees a Saint, all he’s sees is pockets. Or as Gollum would say pocketeses.

        • FincaInTheMountains May 15, 2015 at 3:54 pm #

          Janos, what’s your point? Who is a pickpocket here?

  155. Buck Stud May 15, 2015 at 3:31 pm #

    Let me answer your question with some musical lyrics:

    Gideon come up with his eyes on the floor
    Said “You ain’t got a hinge, you can’t close the door.”
    Moses stood up above his six foot and ten
    Said “You can’t close the door when the wall’s caved in.”

    50 billion trade deficit or not, caving in the metaphorical wall, is simply not a logical, rational choice.

  156. FincaInTheMountains May 15, 2015 at 3:32 pm #

    Let me spell it out for you: Americans consume way more than they produce, taking the difference for free from the “developing” nations, and they are in open revolt, lead by Russia. They are saying – enough already.

    If Russia is not defeated in the nearest year or two, you will have no option but to reduce your consumption at least 3 times.

    And how you will be able to maintain social order under that condition? All that Baltimore welfare checks and food stamps?

    • BackRowHeckler May 15, 2015 at 3:55 pm #

      What do we get from Russia? The only thing Russian I have in this house is an old heavy duty shotgun I bought at a yard sale for $25. Its a wall hanger. Russia is in worse economic shape than we are.

      brh

  157. FincaInTheMountains May 15, 2015 at 4:00 pm #

    Oh, Christ, brh, just sleep on it. Just think about it logically. I’l try to take a couple of deep breaths and explain it in more details tomorrow.

  158. FincaInTheMountains May 15, 2015 at 5:38 pm #

    Just for reference:

    U.S. Imports from Russia (2014)

    https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/product/enduse/imports/c4621.html

    Fuel oil – 11.6 Billion dollars
    Nuclear fuel materials – 0.9 Billion dollars
    Chemicals-fertilizers – 1 Billion
    Steelmaking materials – 1 Billion
    Iron and steel mill products – 2.2 Billion
    Spacecraft, excluding military – 101 Million
    Industrial machines – 54 Million
    Gem diamonds – 160 Million

    And many more. Total: 24 Billion dollars

    Trade deficit with Russia for first 3 months of 20015: -2,590.7 Billion
    https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c4621.html

  159. FincaInTheMountains May 15, 2015 at 5:43 pm #

    There are 196 countries in the world today. A billion here, and a billion there, and now you start talking real money

  160. wpa--ccc May 15, 2015 at 5:45 pm #

    “I live in “the belly of the beast” but only for a few more months.” –Therian

    The belly may be Palo Alto, but the beast is the USA.

    Have you decided to leave the USA, the beast with 4% of the population that consumes 24% of the world’s resources?

    The USA beast has the largest “defense” expenditures in the entire world. The beast is sustained by the work of little Eichmanns, in places like SRI, who are sustained by DoD funds taken from taxpayers.

    You may leave Palo Alto. I doubt you will ever leave the USA.

    “The United States, with less than 5 % of the global population, uses about a quarter of the world’s fossil fuel resources—burning up nearly 25 % of the coal, 26 % of the oil, and 27 % of the world’s natural gas. As of 2003, the U.S. had more private cars than licensed drivers, and gas-guzzling sport utility vehicles were among the best-selling vehicles. New houses in the U.S. were 38 % bigger in 2002 than in 1975, despite having fewer people per household on average.” –http://www.worldwatch.org/node/810

    • elysianfield May 15, 2015 at 8:02 pm #

      Well,
      you make US consumption sound like a moral issue…the issue, in reality, is opportunity. There is no country on earth peopled by consumers who would not embrace our rate of consumption, given the opportunity…and kick our asses into a ditch in the process, if also given the opportunity. It’s that Darwin thang….

    • Therian May 16, 2015 at 1:33 am #

      It’s a wonder you still are allowed to post here with outrageous statements like “… little Eichmanns, in places like SRI, who are sustained by DoD funds taken from taxpayers.” Really? Little Eichmanns? Do any SRI people rubber stamp transfers of people to gas chambers? What an idiotic thing to say … but then you continue.

      At no point in SRIs history has DoD funding ever been more than 48% of revenues and that was the 1980s under Reagan. In 2015 SRI is predominantly a corporate consulting firm and 15% of revenues come from DoD work. In all eras, NONE of the DoD work has EVER been of an offensive nature because the company’s charter prohibits the making of, the assembly of, or the subassembly of guns, bombs, chemical or biological agents, or any other killing machine you can imagine. NEVER.

      I do not dispute your assertions about American resource waste but what does that have to do with ME? As usual, you start with a character assassination and then insinuate that I represent all of American waste and then launch on a non sequitur attack on the US as if I were representative of the entire country’s failings. In actual fact, I own a Honda Civic that is 18 years old with 94,000 miles on it. That’s 5200 miles per year.

      This is why I’ve claimed in the past and I claim right now that YOU are the most SOCIOPATHIC person on this blog because, like a sociopath, it’s all about winning arguments through deception, red herrings, straw men, and connecting dots with depictions like above that are not actually connected. You’re EVIL.

  161. Pucker May 15, 2015 at 6:07 pm #

    The Americans have been pumped full of dogma that has little bearing to Reality, similar to The Great Leap Forward, or The Cultural Revolution. The idiot Americans confuse the dogma for Reality.

    • S M Tenneshaw May 18, 2015 at 4:44 am #

      Don’t nearly all nations do that? Seriously.

  162. FincaInTheMountains May 15, 2015 at 6:07 pm #

    “funds taken from taxpayers”

    There are no taxpayers in the US, only welfare recipients. Taxes are being paid by the other 195 countries.

    All defense expenditures are paid by the countries being under “protection”, so Pentagon is running profitable protection racket.

  163. FincaInTheMountains May 15, 2015 at 6:25 pm #

    According to Bretton Woods before 1971 there was a rule how to deal if a country runs trade deficit. The rule was enforced by the IMF according to very strict guidelines, not allowing double interpretation.

    The debt beat had a choice:

    a. Pay the balance in gold bullion (at, I think , $35 dollar an ounce)
    b. Devalue your currency according to simple formula, so next time it would be zero under the same trade operations

    Of course, rules do not apply to exceptional members.

  164. fodase May 15, 2015 at 10:06 pm #

    Technology only helps people when it’s used to help people. This simple truth escape these two droogs.

    one of the dumbest things janos has uttered.

    how is solar+wind providing close to 50% of Spain’s electricity technology not helping people?

    and the millions of Germans and Australian homeowners with systems on their roofs,and the Danes…and the Californians. all reducing their energy bills and helping the environment.

    janos you’re just as bad as kunstler.

    now, explain how this solr+wind technology is not helping people

    fodase

    • Therian May 16, 2015 at 1:46 am #

      Well then YOU, not Janos, are a little dense. The statement you’ve italicized is, in fact, a tautology like A = A. Still, in no way does his statement say that technology NEVER helps people. He says, in plain English (even if tautological logic) that technology DOES help people when it is used for that purpose.

      Now, if he said something ELSE somewhere that disrespects ALL technology (like you and Q. have erroneously accused me of) then please cite THOSE quotes because the quote you cited is, in no way, anti-technological.

      Many people on this board are badly in need of a course in critical thinking, rhetoric, or symbolic logic because the commit many logical errors like anecdotal evidence for sweeping generalizations or the
      “polarization of the argument”. That’s when a person criticizes SOME aspect of X and others polarize that by accusing the person of criticizing ALL of X.

      Technology encompasses anything from dams to computers to energy generation to medical devices to … you get the idea. It’s pretty hard to be against ALL technology unless you want to retreat to tribalism or caves. Some of us criticize certain uses of certain technologies. In no way does that mean that we detest all technology. That’s an outrageous extrapolation to a polar extreme.

      • Janos Skorenzy May 16, 2015 at 4:17 am #

        Yes, exactly. My statement does in fact imply the technology helps people. I merely condition it in the second clause by linking with intent. What is so earth shaking about that? A sharp little knife can be used to open boxes or steal a plane; operate on someone or cut their throat. As Fodase always says, it’s not rocket science yet he acts as though it is. Americans have become so extraverted or objective in their consciousness that the subjective is becoming terra incognito for them.

        Of course much of the use of technology is neither moral nor immoral but simply amoral – for profit in other words. Thus random factors take the place of morality. It amazes me that people think this will lead to a good society. They don’t run their own affairs in such a haphazard way after all. They don’t expect to gather figs off withered trees or wheat to grow without sowing seed or a garden to flourish without weeding.

        Thus the amoral use of technology is immoral and seen to be such by the wise. Those with cash register eyes may not be overtly evil but rather they simply don’t care to know the consequences of their actions.

        • Buck Stud May 16, 2015 at 10:33 am #

          In terms of technology, it’s not an issue of morality but simply how to apply and respond to technology, IMO. Take the world of medicine for instance, and specifically, the PSA test that may indicate prostate cancer. According to what I’ve read, the “detection” that this test provides results in many unnecessary and deleterious procedures such as invasive biopsies to confirm or reject an indication based on the original PSA test. Moreover, according to what I’ve read, the vast majority of prostate cancers are not of the virulent variety and many men are probably best ‘watching’ a condition that occurs in large number of males over a certain age and which many men will ‘die with’ and not ‘because of’. In fact, many medical associations are now recommending against the PSA test. And of course, many FDA approved drugs have also proved to be ‘not completely safe’.

          But is this amoral? I just don’t think there is a clear cut answer. Yes, diabolical financial interests often manipulate the outcomes of technological research/implementation and surely the victims of unnecessary medical procedures might feel victimized on some level but in many ways “Technology” is blind at birth and wobbly at standing until it garners a little more sight and stability via the mediator of further empirical observation.

          Some technology has the potential to be a true, pure champion of morality and The Good, such as DNA testing which exonerates the falsely accused/ convicted. And yet, back at ‘the lab’ some amoral individual might be manipulating the technology to provide false results which this ‘iron clad’ scientific verification process. (And speaking of Evil, is there anything more amoral than the so-called “Lie Detector test, which is based on nothing more than junk science and is, indeed, the modern equivalent of the float or sink witch test of previous times? And yet law enforcement still uses this incredibly flawed and evil “investigative procedure”.)

          Separating technology into an autonomous domain free from the humans who develop it is impossible; thus there will always be “evil” technological outcomes as a result of
          amoral human drivers.

          • Buck Stud May 16, 2015 at 10:37 am #

            *Some immoral individual rather*

          • Therian May 16, 2015 at 11:03 am #

            Buck,

            In a recent study that I read about 2 years ago (can’t find it) the upshot was that more than half of men over age 50 have SOME prostate cancer. Incredible and seemingly scary but not really. It just turns out that only a few men have no resistance to its spread while the vast majority of men’s immune systems keep it at bay and they die of something else. They do not know why yet.

            Your drugs comment is also perspicacious. Drugs are a Faustian Bargain but when you really are in serious trouble, some of them can be life savers … for a variety of conditions. I know a guy with crippling panic disorder who is on Xanax, a perniciously addictive drug. Yet which is worse, living for years or decades being unable to function in society or needing to do a Xanax taper ten years later? I would assert that the former is worse.

            Much “science” that’s really evil (like the Lie Detector) is really not “science” at all but pseudo-science. Psychiatry is full of assertions about how certain head meds work but, in reality, they don’t know the physiological mechanism even to this date. Thus, many of those drugs do the thing you want … and ten things you don’t want.

            Technology in all areas of endeavor has been used for tremendous good and tremendous evil and this will likely never change for thousands more years. It can blow up massive amounts of people or inoculate large towns against a serious illness.

          • Janos Skorenzy May 16, 2015 at 2:13 pm #

            Well morality is a buzz word with our generation. You don’t like it, assume I’m being rigid, and therefore don’t feel comfortable using it. So you say, it’s not an issue of morality, but how to apply it – as if morality can be avoided or reduced to a technical question. It can’t be. What if research showed ginseng had amazing results on a certain condition? Would the medical establishment go with it? How would that profit them? If they really felt they had to go with it because they of a residual morality or because they couldn’t keep it under wraps, maybe they’d go with “ginsana”, a patented Western formula based on ginseng. Maybe they could make some money at least with, though obviously not as much as a “med”.

            You see all of this profit driven, a repudiation or amelioration of the Hippocratic oath, a refusal of the sacred in all aspects of our culture. Of course profit does incite passion and attract brilliant people who have found out some amazing things and techniques leading to amazing cures. But profit is the main thing – the miracles are just a happy by product. If the doctor businessmen could get rich as quacks or time servers, they’ll do that. Of course some are a bit better and want fame as researchers. We often do benefit from their efforts – when we can afford it that is. They want to get rich too after all.

            As a Lefty you assume I’m a Righty who is against socialized medicine. Nothing could be further from the truth. I’m for it – for Americans. Obviously we can’t extend that to hundreds of millions of 3rd Worlders, even if they are “here” (as if that should make them citizens or something).

            Chinese Herbalists reject Ginsana as inferior to Ginseng.

            I do know how far away I am from the American mentality. And I also know America is doomed for its lack of the understanding I (and others here) possess. Needless to say, they are insane for the most part of course. Driven mad by idealism that would open our borders and lower us to Mexican or even African levels of existence.

  165. FincaInTheMountains May 16, 2015 at 3:32 am #

    “you make US consumption sound like a moral issue…the issue, in reality, is opportunity” — elysianfield

    Well, sure, kudos to you if you can keep it. The problem is that US sustains the current level of consumption by looting other Nations, and they are starting to object – mainly Russia, China and India.

    China hates Anglo-Saxon guts, do you think they have forgotten two Opium Wars? And Russia with its vague, but eternal concept of “fairness”… US could probably defeat China militarily, but not Russia. And India has a pretty good recent memory of GB occupation.

    Look at the May 9 Parade in the Red Square in Moscow. Whose foreign regiments marched along with Russian troops? Chineese and Indian.

    • Janos Skorenzy May 16, 2015 at 4:19 am #

      Until Russia repudiates its Communist past, it will never clearly have the moral high ground.

      • FincaInTheMountains May 16, 2015 at 5:02 am #

        Janos, sorry, there is no such thing as “moral high ground” in international relationships. Its all about money, resources and strength.

        • Therian May 16, 2015 at 11:11 am #

          Much of what passes for a “moral high ground” in international politics is nothing more than the use of “philosophies” to cover up highly immoral behavior. Much US military adventurism in the Middle East and northern Africa is backed by rhetoric about “liberating” people but it’s really about trying to get a centralized position there for a permanently convenient resource grab.

          However, the USA is not alone in using “philosophies” to cover up their machinations. China, for example, is buying out much of Africa. Is it because the Chinese love black people? In reality they are one of THE most jingoistic nations on earth. They are equal opportunity haters that dislike any people who are not Chinese. They’re in Africa using lots of money to grab anything from oil to yellowcake uranium (U3O8).

          This is the future of the world i.e., the powerful countries looting and pillaging everyone else using Orwellian slogans implying they’re doing it for altruistic reasons. Altruism is rare in people and almost unknown in national governments.

          • FincaInTheMountains May 16, 2015 at 12:50 pm #

            ” Is it because the Chinese love black people?” — Therian

            Of course no. Countries should behave pragmatically in the best interests of their own people.

            But, at least, you could expect following some established transparent rules of the game and not changing rules on a whim, and making good on your word.

        • Janos Skorenzy May 16, 2015 at 2:37 pm #

          Well your own posts repudiate this amoral view. You obviously think (or pretend to do so for other reasons) that Russia is morally superior to America. You may well be right. Nobody can’t mind their own business like America can’t. I merely state the obvious: that the Soviet Union was once the Evil Empire. Now America is. Russian Jews began to lose interest in Communism in favor of Capitalism during Stalin’s reign. He noticed and began to crack down on them. That increased the initial trend. Thus the two Empires exchanged identities. The transformation was complete with the takeover of the Republican Party by the Jews.

          • malthuss May 16, 2015 at 4:11 pm #

            Amazing how much ‘Low Income Housing’ in USA is now occupied by Russians.

            ‘Refugees’ w freebies for life.

      • S M Tenneshaw May 18, 2015 at 4:50 am #

        Until YOU repudiate your taste for Nazi filth, you will never have standing to judge.

    • elysianfield May 16, 2015 at 11:26 am #

      Yes, there is no question that the US has taken extreme advantage of most countries on Earth over the last 70+ years, and continues to do so…as have all other colonial powers we could care to mention. It is the way of people, and countries, to work in their best interests and in a zero-sum environment someone will always be screwed.

      I think that there is no place for generosity in global politics…and you will see little of it. NATO? The Marshall Plan? They were symbiotic in their intent but not gifts to be freely given.

      We’ve had a pretty good run, but soon the comeuppance….

    • Q. Shtik May 16, 2015 at 2:38 pm #

      Whose foreign regiments marched along with Russian troops? [Chineese] and Indian. – Finca

      ================

      One Chinee, many Chineese.

  166. FincaInTheMountains May 16, 2015 at 4:52 am #

    There are several looting mechanisms Anglo-Saxons employ. I am not a specialist, but let me name a few main ones:

    1. Including new Nation into Dollar Zone – the sweetest one

    Nation to be able to operate in the dollar zone needs to fund all its internal national currency in circulation. According to current IMF rules, it must be funded by the “reserve currency” on the IMF list according to proportions of IMF Special Drawing Rights – mostly American dollars, but some Euros, British Pounds and Japanese Yen. That is called “Currency Board” regime that the Nation’s Central Bank operates on.
    So, when in the 90s Russia had joined Breton Woods and needed say 30 trillion rubles for internal circulation, it had to buy 1 trillion of US Dollars paid by the sale of Russian resources, “invest” that money in US Treasuries and only then issue rubles.
    So US had an opportunity to print 1 trillion dollars backed by Russian resource for free. How do you think Clinton managed to “balance” the budget in the 90s?
    And it was not just Russia, but entire former Soviet bloc with over 350 million people.
    Every time when the Russian economy grows and it needs more rubles in circulation, they just repeat the operation, but on a smaller scale.

    2. Developmental Credit Policy

    All “developing” Nations are being forced by IMF and rating agencies to keep high interest rates and high banking reserve requirements. So the normal “effective” interest rates for the businesses and households in the local banking system would exceed 20 – 25%. At the same time, the effective lending rates in “developed” countries are close to zero for internal projects, but for foreign lending are around 8 – 10%. So the “developing” counties are forced to borrow not from local banks, but from the banks of “developed” countries. Foreign banks not only get to make tons of money on the difference between internal and external interest rates – so called “carry trades” – but also they could dictate the direction the colonial economy must take.

    3. Speculative currency and pricing attacks by Anglo-Saxons

    Since Anglo-Saxons keep all control over the main currency and commodities exchanges, they could rig the markets in their favor and organize an unexpected currency or commodity pricing attack on the unsuspecting Nations any time they choose to. We’ve just been witnessing such attacks on Russian ruble and oil price, but there are a lot of other examples.

  167. FincaInTheMountains May 16, 2015 at 6:30 am #

    US Secretary of State John Kerry and US Ambassador to Russia John Tefft before a meeting with Vladimir Putin in the residence “Bocharov Stream”. May 12, 2015.

    Photo Alexei Nikolsky / Press-service of the President of the Russian Federation / TASS

    http://photocdn1.itar-tass.com/width/744_b12f2926/tass/m2/uploads/i/20150512/4007248.jpg

    Look at the tense faces. They are going to meet with Putin and do not know how it is going to go. They even weren’t sure that they would meet Putin – sitting in the plane to Sochi. Kerry did not know for sure. Have you ever seen a major American diplomats under such stress?

  168. BackRowHeckler May 16, 2015 at 10:51 am #

    With all due respect, I think Fincain is crossing over into OLD/999 territory.

    Remember that?

    brh

    • FincaInTheMountains May 16, 2015 at 11:00 am #

      No, what’s that?

  169. FincaInTheMountains May 16, 2015 at 10:58 am #

    US farmland saw its first price drop since 1986

    The tragedy of the American farmer continues with worryingly pessimistic views on the future of the industry. With farmland prices falling for the first time in almost 30 years, credit conditions are weakening dramatically and the Kansas City Fed warns that persistently low crop prices and high input costs reduced profit margins and increased concerns about future loan repayment capacity, and JPMorgan concludes, the industry is currently in dire straits with the potential for a liquidity crunch for farmers into 2016.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-04-02/tragedy-americas-farmer-revealed-craiglist-sale-post

    Looks like deflationary crash scenario is on the go…

    • malthuss May 16, 2015 at 3:50 pm #

      TPTB want us ‘little people’ to fear ‘D’. Actually Inflation is bad and deflation is good.

      If yr grandpaernts or great grandparents were alive in 1930, they can tell you of inflation.
      The USA currency has lost 95% or more of its value in less than a century.

  170. BackRowHeckler May 16, 2015 at 11:06 am #

    What’s happening with Russian farmland?

    What’s the economic situation inside Russia? I’ve read its not all that great, specially since oil prices began to tank last year.

    I’m surprised JHK lets you keep on with this stuff in the comments section; it seems like so much propaganda out of the editorial offices of RT.

    brh

    • FincaInTheMountains May 16, 2015 at 11:20 am #

      Don’t really know about Russia, but on the Island they always go up. I bought mine at around $1,200 per acre about 6 years ago, 165 acres. Now it is probably close to $2,000 per acre – but it is year-round growing season.

  171. FincaInTheMountains May 16, 2015 at 11:25 am #

    “What’s the economic situation inside Russia? I’ve read its not all that great” — brh

    I bet you got that out of the editorial offices of Bloomberg. By the way, brh, do you have, perchance, a Russian imported spacecraft, not-military, hanging on your wall?

  172. FincaInTheMountains May 16, 2015 at 11:31 am #

    “I’m surprised JHK lets you keep on with this stuff in the comments section; it seems like so much propaganda out of the editorial offices of RT.” — brh

    Why don’t you complain directly to the Ministry of Truth, ask nsa for that special number.

  173. fodase May 16, 2015 at 11:46 am #

    Technology only helps people when it’s used to help people. This simple truth escape these two droogs.

    Janos, your comment above, given the context that spawned it, is intended to infer that e.g. wind power does not benefit people. The ‘droogs’ phrase makes it clear that the technology I cite – wind, solar and driverless cars – does not benefit people.

    Ergo, please tell us how wind power providing up to HALF of Spain’s electricity does not help people.

    It’s a very simple challenge.

    Therian’s muddled thinking regarding tautologies wholly fails to comprehend the context of your above-cited remark.

    Therian says:

    Many people on this board are badly in need of a course in critical thinking, rhetoric, or symbolic logic because the commit many logical errors like anecdotal evidence for sweeping generalizations

    Yet Therian himself or herself posted that ancedotal accounts are not an accepted method of discourse, after having previously posted what he or she specifically cited as being anecdotal evidence, in support of his or her argument.

    So, Therian, you prima facie contradict yourself and are hereby benched argumentatively for lack of consistency – borne out all the more so by the fact that both Q and myself have called you for being muddleheaded & confused in your logic. Ergo, you provoke the same reaction in those who read your comments, viz. “that doesn’t make sense”.

    Janos – explain how wind power furnishing up to 50% of Spain’s electricity is not an example of technology helping people.

    Even if I were a White Nationalist, which I am almost tempted to be at times, but for the love I have of the stray other-colored sheep who deserve redemption, I would still call you on this one.

    wpa_ccc, my brother of whatever colour, try kproxy dott kom to let you log on and post.

    fodase

    • Janos Skorenzy May 16, 2015 at 2:25 pm #

      Sure. No I have nothing against those. Now that I’ve cleared that up, explain how driverless cars are going to help society. Unless you are willing to admit that evil consequences are inevitable from this. And of course the liability issues are beyond belief. No doubt the companies would find a way to pass them on to the “owners”. But do you really own something if you can’t fix it? They don’t want us touching the engines now.

      They still haven’t given up on the idea of a super highway from Mexico to Kansas to unload shipments from China. This highway is not to be open to regular drivers. As such it would be a perfect place to showcase this new technology. The fewer jobs that need actual people, the more the Elite are interested in it.

      You can’t stand the whole idea of morality. You love the idea that technology can solve everything, a super invisible hand that solves everything if idiots would just get out of the way and let it do so. I think this idea is an abnegation of our humanity, not only wrong but dangerous. Lewis Mumford’s whole career was spent in combating this notion. He recommended people like you meditate on the faery tale “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”.

  174. FincaInTheMountains May 16, 2015 at 12:06 pm #

    Rostislav Ishchenko: the conflict for survival in the world was inevitable

    “We were doomed to this conflict.” – He said. – “It so happened that the United States must constantly expand. Unfortunately, Mars, we have not yet terraformed, so they have to expand into other’s people space.”

    According to expert, only Russia has enough nuclear parity and therefore it is not surprising that this confrontation is built around it.
    “Today the war is not going for the Ukraine. It is a war for survival as in “general”, and from its outcome depends who and how will live on the planet” – said Ishchenko.

    “We must all realize that we are all on the front lines. No matter where: in Vladivostok, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Odessa, Lugansk. We are all at the front lines. We are all fighting for our lives, for our children’s future. Not for the salute, or stories of veterans, but just for the very future. Is not the time for petty bickering among us. Right, left, blondes, brunettes – we all must go forward in order to survive and win.”

    • FincaInTheMountains May 16, 2015 at 12:14 pm #

      Rostislav Ishchenko (b. December 29, 1965) – Ukrainian and Russian political analyst, columnist Mia “Russia Today”

      He graduated historical faculty of the Kyev State University. From September 1992 to October 1994 he worked in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine. Attache, Third Secretary (March 1993) Department (1993 – Management) policy analysis and planning; Second Secretary (May 1994) Management of the OSCE and the Council of Europe.
      From October 1994 he worked in the Presidential Administration.

  175. wpa--ccc May 16, 2015 at 12:25 pm #

    “In 2015 SRI is predominantly a corporate consulting firm and 15% of revenues come from DoD work.” –Therian

    Wait! You just made a testable claim! You are now in the world of facts.

    You: 15%
    SRI: 63% … according to SRI’s own SRI Fact Sheet.

    SRI Revenue by Client Type: 63% Department of Defense

    http://www.sri.com/sites/default/files/brochures/sri-fact-sheet.pdf

    Your mendacious obfuscation does comport with Hannah Arendt’s work: Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil. (1963) You lived off taking federal government DoD (taxpayer) funds. Now you want to minimize your complicity, as little Eichmanns do.

    I would suggest reading On the Justice of Roosting Chickens: Reflections on the Consequences of U.S. Imperial Arrogance and Criminality (2003) by Ward Churchill.

    Fact is, your 15% is a lie.

    • Therian May 16, 2015 at 2:15 pm #

      Really? Then I guess my LIE is ALMOST up there with your “Little Eichmann’s” assertion. I figure that with you, a lie deserves a lie. However, what’s NOT a lie is that the SRI Charter prohibits ANY work dealing with weaponry OF ANY TYPE. In fact, when I was at SRI in the 1980s I worked on ZERO DoD projects. Mostly I worked with Atmospheric Physics doing climate modeling.

      I read “Banality of Evil” but, as usual, I ask you what does Eichmann have to do with SRI employees?? Nothing. It’s YOU who connects those dots and makes every SRI employee a Spawn of Satan. You!!!

      Fuck you and your fucking “reading list”. When dealing with in future, I will do as I did in my previous post … I will LIE when it’s convenient for me. It figures that when your own technique is used back at you it makes you FURIOUS. Get used to it.

  176. wpa--ccc May 16, 2015 at 1:35 pm #

    “We get it, we get it!! You’re into alternative energy. We’ve gotten it a hundred times over. Rarely do you have a circumspect analysis” –Therian

    LOL! Apparently Therian has not noticed that fodase is providing FACTS which challenge the central premise of the Long Emergency.

    fodase has repeatedly requested evidence to the contrary and gets nothing in response, just ad hominem comments which prove nothing.

    China, the country that is building more nuclear reactors than any other, continued to get more electricity from the wind than from nuclear power plants in 2014. This came despite below-average wind speeds for the year. The electricity generated by China’s wind farms in 2014—16 percent more than the year before—could power more than 110 million Chinese homes.

    http://www.earth-policy.org/data_highlights/2015/highlights50

    Thanks, brother fodase, for the assist. Saludos a la negra

    • Therian May 16, 2015 at 2:26 pm #

      What a complete imbecile!! Another non sequitur!! My critique of Fodase was aimed at his obsessive recanting of his alt-energy stance. I am NOT against alt-energy and neither is James Howard Kunstler. He is merely saying that many of the RESOURCES for alt energy ride on the back of the fossil fuel infrastructure like the mining, refining, and machining of metal ores for turbine blades or PV arrays. Is he wrong? No!!!

      If China is so green how come they have the world’s TWENTY most air-polluted cities in the world?? They’re rather “a day late and a dollar short” wouldn’t you say?? Now that it’s becoming apparent that they are a vastly overbuilt country that relies on American and European consumption, they won’t have the economy moving forward to finish a lot of johnny-come-lately green projects. I wish it weren’t so but time will tell.

      Finally, where did you get the idea that I believe in EVERY premise of “The Long Emergency”? Where? From out of your ass, that’s where. I believe in SELECT parts of it, yes. But I also do NOT believe in select parts of it. So, as usual, you start with a false insinuation (that I’m a lickspittle of James and he can assure you I am not) and then run with it.

      That’s why, in the future, I’m going to throw AS MANY LIES AT YOU AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE. And like your lies, they’ll be couched in half truths, make false attributions, and then be used for character assassinations. CFN … be prepared for some HIGH COMEDY.

  177. wpa--ccc May 16, 2015 at 2:44 pm #

    “However, what’s NOT a lie is that the SRI Charter prohibits ANY work dealing with weaponry OF ANY TYPE.” –Therian

    LOL!

    Little Eichmanns do protest: “I did not kill anyone. I had nothing to do with weapons. I only drove the trains, or scheduled the trains, pushed train papers on my desk, etc..”

    But SRI is more forthcoming about its work: “Defense contractors and government agencies require cutting-edge defense technology and creative solutions. From the strategic to the tactical, in our laboratories and in the field, SRI is meeting the nation’s needs for security and defense. For decades, SRI has played a strategic role in military and civilian efforts to defend U.S. interests at home and abroad…”

    No, SRI has nothing to do with weapons and the DoD provides 63% of SRI funding just for fun, not because DoD is getting what weaponry and war needs related to informatics, radar, GPS, atmospherics, etc.

    SRI even brags about their military role: “Technologies and programs developed at SRI play important roles in U.S. military and civilian efforts to combat terrorism, at home and abroad—from mapping systems for air combat training used during the Cold War to speech-enabled translation software deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

    https://www.sri.com/research-development/homeland-security-national-defense

    • Therian May 16, 2015 at 8:01 pm #

      Yes, I have to confess. When I worked at SRI I arranged to have [fill in your favorite ethnicity here] sent to the gas chambers. I worked in the clerk’s office and just stamped the documents. I even helped push ’em onto the cattle cars.

      Yes, I also love technology, especially the chemistry of Zyklon B. It’s hard to fight through all the protesters outside of my lab. I wish the National Guard would just mow ’em down so I can work in peace.

      Ah, I just love the smell of cyanide in the morning!!

      Adolph Eichmann

      P.S. Just in case you’re wondering, yes, I am 109 years old.