Friday, May 30, 2008

Hope for Tomorrow

Economic growth predicted for Europe this year will only reach 0.6 percent with a decline to 0.3 percent for 2009. Consumer confidence in the United States is at its lowest in 28 years. This and other dismal headlines are available courtesy of These rumbling headlines bring to mind the life styles we practiced in that day and age. Times were not that bad. Unfortunately for us today who went through those yesterdays, we were younger, so much younger then. Plus we blissfully did not have the ability to make a comparison to what we would experience in the future.

Consequently, the whole matter resolves around making adjustments to life in an era where we will have to give up a considerable amount of ease. For the older folks, it means not having these good things to which we have grown accustomed. For the younger folks, it will be a more difficult passage to a place where they have never been.

But let us not despair. This new future, somewhat different from the one that most of us had contemplated, will not be that bad so long as economic growth does not leave some semblance of a positive figure. Even if growth "flat lines," folks will fare all right. We will adjust to public transportation and a simpler life style. Maybe even grow a garden and raise some chickens.

The fear comes, and it surely is lurking in the mind of this writer, as we contemplate a minus in the economic growth figure. Can such a thing happen? The answer hinges totally on the matter of energy availability in the future. Expensive energy, slower or little growth and life is merely simpler. No energy and we had better fasten our seat belts.

Doomers offer a stark picture of the eventuality of no energy. Somehow, that alternative seems unbelievable. Humankind is a versatile thing. Folks will find a way. For me, and my house, we will prepare for the worse and hope for something better. I know most of you will also choose this course. Hope is what it is all about.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Rube’s Perspective

Are we there? Recession or not? Joe Public with his wife and 2.4 kids thinks it is here. Depending on which economist you read, we may be and we may not be approaching the bad times. A recent conversation with one hermit, Rube Cretin, yielded the following comments which I deem worthy of passing on to you, the reader, with the admonishment that no one knows the future, but it might be smart to start a garden. Rube has bewailed the lack of acceptance by humankind of solutions for the current world situation. Based on his reviews, he proposes that the population of the earth is analogous to wine yeast. Not an original idea, he admits. Read his comments:


It is not my wine yeast analogy.  Alfred Lotka in 1922 suggested the maximum power concept as a fundamental energy law.   Rephrased it goes like this.  "In the self-organizational process, systems develop those parts, processes, and relationships that capture the most energy and use it with the best efficiency possible without reducing power. "   IMHO that's all that is going on.  When the non renewable energy source is depleted and no longer available, fewer exosomatic humans will turn back to those more primitive strategies of survival which were found to be effective in sustaining life in the low energy budget past (If we don't blow our selves all the way back to the star dust from which we came). 


Much of the information and technology available today, which give us our god like arrogance, will have no relevance in a future where only renewable resources, the sun, tides, and wind, are available.   No, I think it is human vanity that leads us to think that we are on an evolutionary path to greater consciousness and greatness.  I don't pretend to know which cultural strategies are the most effective and efficient for sustainability, surely there are more than one, but the ancients were simply adapting to their energy budget and passing their phenotypes on to future generations, which is what all life does, and it's what we are doing now.            


It seems to me the noise emanating from the beast we call humanity is the argument taking place over the mythology of many accepted beliefs which govern our existence.  Much is coming into focus.   In the areas of life by which we divide our interests, discussions are taking place.  These discussions are getting loud and violent in some quarters because as Senator Shelton Whitehouse stated the other day, "This is an existential matter."  People are beginning to figure out that resources are running out and there isn't going to be enough for all 6.7 billion of us.


 We humans are a species of greedy, narcissistic, violent bastards.  Deep down many spend considerable time thinking how they can position themselves to past through the bottleneck that the swift currents tell us is ahead.   Formal governmental alliances are restructuring throughout the world, and informal alliances among groups, families, and individuals are developing among the first to recognize the peril before us.  The corporate owned and controlled news media is diverting the masses' attention from the situation by feeding them a steady diet of bullshit information and boredom killing entertainment.  My god when one thinks about the potential of the total media to influence human activity there can be no other thing going on.   


The large corporations are also vulnerable and the frantic struggle is beginning to prepare for and hopefully survive the rapids ahead which are certain to drown many.   It is here where our future is probably going to be determined, because it is a well known fact that the people can be manipulated into positions useful for the sustainability of the large worldwide financial conglomerates.  Perhaps they are after all the god we all serve, as they represent our evolved best efforts at governance.  Few individuals can handle the fact that they are in reality valueless.  The individual is just another item of inventory, stamped and bar-coded in this world of corporations.    


Perhaps the brain like mechanisms of this thing we call life is being controlled by humans and its insidious effects are analogous to some garden variety mental illness.    


No, it's just hogs at the trough, pushing and shoving to get the remaining feed.   A slight majority believes more will arrive tomorrow, some have been left out and are hungry, a few have noticed that there is no more feed in barn and something is about to change.   

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Laugh If You Will

Not only do some folks like to ignore the unsettling conditions of the world today and what it portends for their existence tomorrow, some folks like to actually giggle and deride those that they consider to be doomsayers. Intent upon their adherence to a method and form of livelihood that will be antiquated in the future, these folks bring to mind the ignorant masses that have sought to block the progress of humankind through the ages. Similar to the grasshopper who refused to store food for the winter, these members of the population will succumb early to die off ( ) when the means of survival have to shift from competition to cooperation.

Let there be no mistake about it. Competition or greed is as different from cooperation as night from day. Captain John Smith, surveying the early settlers in his little colony, cut no slack for the greedy that would profit from the labors of others. He pronounced that all must work, if they wanted to eat. There were no special privileges permitted for the white collared folks that thought they should operate the bank and not dirty their hands. It may not have been what we today take for democracy, but it was certainly a more egalitarian way of proceeding than the fabricated untruths fed to folks today by their leadership. Untruths that now bring us to the brink of economic despair.

Because there have always been folks around who saw or imagined bad things coming, and without adequate data, tried to warn the populous, today many now refuse to even analyze or look at the data that undergird present prognostications. No less a personage than the renown Admiral Rickover tried to warn our society of the present energy situation in 1957, but few listened. See, . All that can be done now is to continue to present the word to everyone who will listen that things must change. Whether people will heed the knowledge that is presented is problematic. Like the old proverb, you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink.

Change Is Upon Us


Elections continue. Elsewhere, all "normal" activities continue. There is nothing unusual going on, say most folks. Meanwhile in the background of our existence, there is an ominous something that is happening. It is not a happening that we can do anything about, but it will change our lives profoundly.

Yesterday, the cost of a barrel of oil crossed the $130 per barrel line. The question of peak oil is no longer an issue to be debated. The cost of a gallon of gasoline averages $3.80 per gallon. This, of course, is just the beginning. Like animals in the forest that sense the approach of danger, most folks are beginning to look around and attempt to discern what is wrong. Such change in the energy supply is danger, our instincts tell us. Maybe we still know deep down the fear of saber tooth tigers and other predators that concerned us until we found the miracle of fire which permitted our forbears to keep them at bay during the long cold night. The bulk of our population does not know what to expect in the future, although there is a rich bounty of information available upon which we can base some fairly accurate speculation. Begin if you will with an explanation of the problem available at and then proceed with viewing  for a historical perspective of an issue that we have for too long ignored.

Whatever you do, don't take my word for it. At the same time, I urge you to take someone's word for the state of things and begin the long journey that hopefully will be just that—long. Continuing to ignore this situation will surely bring on the news related to us in .

Friday, May 16, 2008

Human Kind Is Evolving?

One of our readers, mustard seed, looks hopefully to the future with spiritual evolution as a by-product of the future. This is a good thing. The coming economic difficulties will be such only if we determine that to be the course. The pure physical suffering of others around the globe and here at home will certainly require a modification of mind set to cope with daily issues. Notably I can speak from personal knowledge here gained in the course of time lived in foreign lands as a young peace corps volunteer where I experienced first-hand the lack of sustenance to which I was accustomed here in the good ole USA. They were some of the best days of my life when viewed from the present vantage point.

If population increase and unbridled economic growth bring us to a simpler and more primitive time where there is little of either of them, then the thesis of Echart Tolle may well be valid and our evolvement to a higher level of spiritual consciousness is underway. Evolution is a gradual process that will be registered in the progeny of the future, however, and not in our own time. Perhaps we can fill the gap with The Power of the Collective as espoused by John Hagelin. Certainly meditation alone and with others may hasten the alleviation of strive and turmoil possibly prevailing now and later.

In the end the issue remains as to whether humankind can change the basic nature of itself. Can greed be eliminated and the suggestions of Christ, Buddha, and others adopted so that the world operates from a motivation of cooperation? Or will we continue to be bound to greed which sets soul against soul in a competition for survival? If not the former, then adoption of the latter will continue to lead to our extinction.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Why Things Have To Change


No one appreciates being frightened about anything. So I have decided to switch tactics and ask everyone to be aware of some statistics that have been bandied about. Generally, some folks say, the world on which we live has resources to sustain only about seven percent of the current population. Well, that's a fine howdy do that should have been brought forward awhile back don't ya think? Truth of the matter is that this fact has been brought forward. But folks keep pushing it away. Prophets trying to enlighten the world do not fare well. A good piece of reading on this point is David Korten's presentation at the Seattle Green Festival in April of this year. His presentation is available at .

The facts, however, continue to stare us in the face whether we ignore them or not. We cannot get around the fact that there more folks living today than the world can sustain. Just go to
to see the clock there and watch time go by. It will get your attention. Note that the clock shows the number of deaths to be less than the number of births. Note that diseases are increasing. Couple this information with shrinking world resources and I suspect we shall eventually see a change in the rates of birth and the rates of death.

What should we make of this information, you may well ask? Korten says in the article at the site referenced above:

Well, we need to grow strong caring communities in which we get more of our human satisfaction from caring relationships and less from material goods. We will need to end war as a means of settling international disputes and dismantle our military establishment. We need to reclaim the American ideal of being a democratic middle class nation without extremes of wealth and poverty. And we need to encourage and support the rest of the world in doing the same. To do all this we will need [to] create democratically accountable governing institutions devoted to the well-being of people and nature.

It is road that we must travel. We dare not refuse the challenge of tomorrow, les soon there be no more tomorrows.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Look Around You

In the previous post, I recommended the viewing of the most important video you will ever watch. The gravamen of that post was that population will outstrip the finite resources of the earth with an eventual lowering of living standards and ultimately the destruction of the species absent vital changes in the future.
One comment made to me by a friend regarding the lauded professor’s comments is worthy of partial quotation to illustrate the “head in the sand” position that most folks are assuming with regard to the current world problem. My friend wrote to me stating “predictions of eminent peril have been averted time and time again by the ingenuity of man and mother nature. I think only a fool would presume that we are very short on natural resources and very long on population.”
My friend is an educated person. Now many educated people, like my friend, just assume that a solution will be brought forward at some point. Education aside, one is reminded of the old saw that “assume” can make an “ass” out of you and “me.” My friend is committed to the correct goal, preservation of the species. Unfortunately, reaching that goal requires knowing what the problem is or whether there is a problem. One does not automatically assume that there is no problem. Unless we take the time to observe the world around us, we will be incapable of being a part of the solution in any fashion to any problem.
With regard to viewing the world around us, we recommend a very good site for your consideration which exams the need for conservation and recycling at
To close on a humorous note, cut and paste the following into your browser and enjoy:

Monday, May 12, 2008

Survival Requires Reduction of Economic Growth

The Most IMPORTANT Video You'll Ever See is located at the following address: I have just spent the past few hours watching all eight parts of the video. It is captivating and a must view for anyone who uses their head for anything other than a hat rack. If this lecturer is correct, and his math appears to be correct from my very elemental knowledge of mathematics, time is very, very short! Be afraid, be very afraid of what tomorrow, next week, or next year may bring. In a way, it is reassuring that there is definition to the level of existence in which we find ourselves today. The rub comes in the realization that such definition brings added emphasis on the quality of our existence through understanding ourselves and what drives us. We must slow down and ascertain the meaning of life. Our final judgment or conclusion in that regard must embrace simplicity in living and an appreciation for life.

The video referenced above is in eight parts. But I have no doubt that you will want to watch all eight segments after you have finished the first one.

In a previous life, I was the General Counsel for the Florida Department of Commerce. At that time, it became glaringly apparent to me that the key to continued economic growth/prosperity was increased population growth. I reckoned this without a complete understanding of the exponential factor's effect on resources to support that growth. As the lecturer in the video points out (back in 2000 at the time of the lecture), the average individual in the US uses 8 liters of gasoline per day. To have zero growth, he opined that 1.8 liters a day was the amount that was the real individual share.

Today, we rush to and fro in a vain attempt to discern a future of increased economic growth. It is unlikely to happen absent a miraculous break through in terms of energy discovery. Even so, continued growth also brings more pollution of our planet and eventual extinguishment of the species. So, is it hopeless to hope? Well, the thought crosses my mind that maybe our leadership, through devaluation of the dollar, is effectively taking us down from the proverbial 8 liters per day to 1.8 liters through the application of present inflationary policies. The result will be a commensurate increase in cost or, alternatively, a reduction in buying power, to reach "sustainability" or zero growth. It is certainly going to lead to a more simple existence for those who survive in that day

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Is It Over?

So here we have it. A world gone off the track? Or just a simple evolution to a newer level in accordance with divine direction? Are we headed for economic collapse, and, if so, are the causes "man made" or beyond our ability to change? In haste to construct this discussion post, I have probably omitted many central and important points. The goal, to quote the parlance of the life I am leaving as a judge, is to take a "brief recess" and permit anyone (who will take the time) an opportunity to express their views on the future of our existence.

Personally, I view a world that has its finite resources strained by too many people. People who choose not to value those finite resources and provide the stewardship required to sustain the life style we presently enjoy. We are past Peak Oil and the threat of global warming is increasing. Survival in the future, possibly the very near future, will require skills and knowledge that have been lost by many. Through the gateway of this blog, I encourage all who have hope for the future to take a moment and explain why we should not assume that we are simply lost and adrift on the sea of expectation without hope. This question is particularly pertinent in the face of rising oil prices, devaluation of the dollar through inflation, and a dirth of responsible national leadership willing to confront these matters.
I trust I will be reading responses that are lucid, insightful and give me cause to pause and ponder whether hope is truly gone.