Sunday, March 28, 2010

Our Future and the End of the Oil Age: Building Resilience in a Resource-Constrained World

19 comments:

Kevin said...

Thank you for an excellent and usefully condensed presentation. I'll forthwith post a link to one of the online communities from which I have already begun to ramp down my participation, as per the recommendation on your penultimate page.

Patrick said...

I enjoyed reading the bullet points; I'd like to attend an actual lecture someday. I'm intrigued by your recommendation to stop exercising. What's the rationale there?

- Patrick

MontyHigh said...

Is there audio?

bryant said...

Best slide show since Closing the Collapse Gap

Phil said...

Dmitry,
Another well-focused, succinct offering. Thanks! And I love that chair.

forrest said...

About money... I've put some thought into what money 'really' is; I'd say it's "crystallized collective permission."

'Running out of money' for something means that people won't let you do it. Being in debt means being, in theory, unable to step off the treadmill, while any work produced by your efforts gets earmarked for the support of the vampire class. It has nothing to do, one way or another, with the actual physical stuff plus people available to accomplish a task iff people were willing to have the time & resources put to that use.

A small amount of money in the hands of many people helps the real economy, because they are probably forced to spend the bulk of it on real stuff, which helps pay someone to make it. A large amount of money in the hands of a parasite helps him buy permission to go on operating the fantasy economy, with the sort of result you see around you...

Dollars spent on job creation do not need to be counterproductive; they do need to go directly to workers for actual work. Marvelous things were done by the WPA; there's a beautiful tempera mural from that time overlooking the County Supervisors' chamber where the feral descendants of that age now sit around selling off the County government to their friends while entertaining the public with speeches about how they need to spend more money on Welfare Police to make sure people begging them for help really need it than it would cost them to just help more people...
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Tilapia also eat anything, and taste good...

Here in the globally warming SW US, waterways may be less available for transportation than elsewhere. Northern CA would be an exception, but may not go on sending much water south. So hydroponics might be a better bet here than there for growing food-- involves less water use or need for unpolluted soil. Plenty of sunlight most of the time; salvaging rolls of the right plastic would make for a full-time greenhouse growing season, especially if we could get perennial versions of some annual crops (but I'm not sure how that project is working out...) Meanwhile, of course, the local industries continue to be: real estate, ponzi schemes, and weapons-making, ho hum. Nobody precollapse can afford much land (at least not in my circles.)

Anyway, thanks for ongoing (& I hope, pleasurable) efforts towards mitigating our likely future!

kollapsnik said...

There's no audio may be a video from one of the two lectures; we'll see.

As far as my advice not to exercise - that's because exercise is a useless waste of time - a luxury. It is perfectly possible to stay in shape by doing some manual labor, which actually produces something useful.

Jane said...

@Patrick Pointless exercise is not only useless, but negative. It takes a lot of physical work to maintain oneself, and non-productive exercise is not only waste, but reduces one's capacity to produce what is really needed.
For example, I do grow most of my own food, and I can jsut about do enough work to support the two people here. However when one of my children comes to stay for an extended period, i cannot physically do enough work to maintain all of us.
I have heard it said that the standard of living that we (the wealthy westerners) maintain requires the equivalent of 200 slaves working for us... and I believe it.

Kevin said...

That's an interesting take on exercise, but I prefer the attitude of the ancient Greeks toward the human body. They invented body culture; not coincidentally, they also invented the Olympics. Whether or not that's a counterproductive frivolity comes down to one's values. A ditch digger develops big muscles but not necessarily a well-balanced or pleasing physique. For me, aesthetics have value, including those of the human body. Is dance - an excellent form of exercise - also wasteful? What about other arts? What about yoga, which maintains the flexibility whose loss can accelerate a decline to decrepitude? Pulling up weeds or hoisting a sail won't do that for you.

Of course the Greeks maintained the leisure to go to the palaestra by keeping human slaves, though I doubt the ratio was anything like as high as 100 to 1. I wouldn't want for us to apply that particular way of generating leisure time, not ever.

Patrick said...

Interesting observations, Kevin. I'm not a fitness nut, but it seems wise to keep one physically fit - if only in preparation for more demanding times to come, and to (hopefully) avoid the need for medical care. Myself, I prefer a brisk walk or bike ride as opposed to going to a gym, and I try to combine them with an errand or two.

I'm an artist, which I suppose could also be considered a waste of time/energy. I also play music, which - if I understand Kane's criteria - is time better spent fixing the house, weeding the garden, building a fence, etc. That is, STAYING ALIVE. But what would be the point?

mikebendz said...

Dmitry, I'm having a hard time reading the text against that background. Is there another way?

Rick said...

I have just made it so that another few hundred people will watch the presentation, many of them debt-saddled college students. Thanks for the

I personally think collapse will bring about an eventual renaissance of the physical culture as physical strength and prowess regain their former economic importance. And very possibly a musical renaissance, as musical instruments can be serviced for decades, even centuries, and there will be fewer outlets for entertainment (particularly virtual) than before. I expect more community music-making, wrestling matches, and other forms of simple fun.

Gary Paul Gilbert said...

To read the text on the slides, put the cursor on the slide, and click "select all." The text will then be highlighted. (Too bad the slides weren't designed to be legible as is on the average monitor screen.)

Gary's husband, Murdoch

kollapsnik said...

Sorry about the legibility issues. The contrast looked good on my laptop, on the laptops I used for the two lectures, and on the screen via the projectors. I would suggest adjusting the brightness/contrast knobs on your monitor. You can also bring it up in full screen mode, then download it as PPT, then get rid of the background picture in PowerPoint.

John said...

this is a joke. I dont know where to look anymore. I like this blog and you make some great points..but i think all this is a joke and we have been set up.

I subscribe to the FFT newsletter at http://www.forecastfortomorrow.com that guy is calling for a bigger event to come in the next few months. If you look back he has been spot on with things over many years, and someone that should be listened too!

IMHO this greece debt thing and commercial real estate thing could be the next thing to blow up in the US governments face. Time will tell.

Larry said...

This is a great presentation, and I'd love to see a video, YouTube, etc. A point on Slide 11 confused me a little: "People are still paying down their mortgages, putting money in their retirement accounts, etc.". Can you elaborate?

dldadky said...

This is a great slide show!

(Wish I could hear it, but I am Deaf.)

I too am a little confused about the mortgage thing. Obviously, paying down an underwater mortgage is pointless, but what if you suddenly have the money to pay off the entire remaining mortgage on a house you bought before the craziness began? You would own the house free and clear, subject to the king's taxes of course.

As for retirement accounts, which are located by default in the stock market, I think you would be better off heading down to the horse track or the local corner craps shoot.

I mean, really. When did we start to believe that handing over our life savings to complete strangers whose names we do not know, whose faces we have never seen, and whose past is unknown to us, would be a "good idea"?

And when did this idea become coupled with the idea that these faceless strangers would "make our money grow" instead of disappear?

My grandfather told me not to do this, and I didn't. So, when did it become vogue again to ship our money off to strangers in New York?

Great advice, Dmitry!

DeVaul

Survival Acres said...

Nice bullet points. Lose the forested background though, makes it difficult to read.

kollapsnik said...

Johnny sent in a very long comment about abiotic oil. The short of it is: all the oil produced to date is biotic in origin. All the oil that is left to produce is also biotic in origin. Whether or not abiotic oil is ever proven to exist, here or on other planets, this information will not be of use to this technological civilization. The discussion of abiotic oil is an example of denial fortified with a bit of conspiracy theory.