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Where are we on the Limits to Growth model?
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johnhemming2



Joined: 30 Jun 2015
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The energy intensity of the GDP can change, but essentially resource constraints constrain economic activity.
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Lord Beria3



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So you accept that declining cheap conventional oil supplies will slow and destroy economic growth?

You also accept that our bond and share markets are largely predicated on future economic growth?
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johnhemming2



Joined: 30 Jun 2015
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think anyone denies that the issue of energy availability of whatever form underpins economic activity, the first derivative respect to time of which is called growth.

The more complex question is what limits there are. Conventional oil production peaked in the last decade. I haven't done the detailed figures, but I would personally expect the next crunch in the next decade rather than this one. I accept I may be wrong, but we will see it coming through price increases and stock depletion.

Given that people have been complaining a lot about "austerity" in the UK when public current spending on public services has been going up in cash terms and been roughly constant in real terms, I would expect a lot more complaints when resource issues hit. This is a mixture of a PV issue and a methane hydrates issue.
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RenewableCandy wrote:
In September he'll start an Economics degree course. Dinner convos are interesting...


Heh heh, I wish I was a fly on the wall. An economist on here would be interesting...
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Lord Beria3



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://medium.com/insurge-intelligence/pentagon-study-declares-american-empire-is-collapsing-746754cdaebf

Very interesting report.

As Greer has predicted, the American empire is collapsing!

Quote:
An extraordinary new Pentagon study has concluded that the U.S.-backed international order established after World War 2 is “fraying” and may even be “collapsing”, leading the United States to lose its position of “primacy” in world affairs.

The solution proposed to protect U.S. power in this new “post-primacy” environment is, however, more of the same: more surveillance, more propaganda (“strategic manipulation of perceptions”) and more military expansionism.

The document concludes that the world has entered a fundamentally new phase of transformation in which U.S. power is in decline, international order is unravelling, and the authority of governments everywhere is crumbling.

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johnhemming2



Joined: 30 Jun 2015
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's an article about a report. What is the report itself?

Adding to this, a while ago I read a really good book about the history of the last 500 years. I have just glanced at google about this and It wasn't the Usborne book.

It essentially concluded the political and economic power went hand in hand and if you did not have economic power you would lose military and political power.

The conclusions from this are resources are a good thing to have for a country (unsurprisingly) and that you should look at the economic strength of a country as a guide to its future political and military strength. On that basis the USA notwithstanding it electing probably its most incompetent president ever is in a good position.

Strangely enough those countries which conclude that politicians are the best people to organise everything (whether elected or not) tend to be the weakest in the world.
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Mr. Fox



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnhemming2 wrote:
That's an article about a report. What is the report itself?


Linked to in the third word of the article... "An extraordinary new Pentagon study"

https://ssi.armywarcollege.edu/pubs/display.cfm?pubID=1358

https://ssi.armywarcollege.edu/pubs/download.cfm?q=1358 (PDF)

This new-fangled HTML thing takes some getting used to... Rolling Eyes
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johnhemming2



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A lot looks like a management consultancy style report. I have better things to do with my time than to read it all, but it seems the sort of report that is difficult to disagree with.

Quote:
At Our Own Peril identifies this new or newly
recognized period as one of “post-U.S. primacy.”
In the team’s assessment, post-primacy has five interrelated characteristics:
• Hyperconnectivity and weaponization of information, disinformation, and
disaffection;
• A rapidly fracturing post-Cold War status quo;
• Proliferation, diversification, and atomization of effective counter-U.S. resistance;
• Resurgent but transformed great power competition; and,
• Violent or disruptive dissolution of political cohesion and identity.
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnhemming2 wrote:
.....

It essentially concluded the political and economic power went hand in hand and if you did not have economic power you would lose military and political power.

The conclusions from this are resources are a good thing to have for a country (unsurprisingly) and that you should look at the economic strength of a country as a guide to its future political and military strength. On that basis the USA notwithstanding it electing probably its most incompetent president ever is in a good position.

Strangely enough those countries which conclude that politicians are the best people to organise everything (whether elected or not) tend to be the weakest in the world.


The power of the US stemmed from WW2 when the country had control of the world's energy supply in the form of its own oil, its industrial strength was not bombed into oblivion and the rest of the industrial world was in hock to it for all the oil, munitions and food that they had to buy from the US. The US came out of WW2 in a position of massive military and economic power which it has, until recently, maintained.

In the past few decades it has lost its own cheap oil supply, it has exported many of its industrial jobs and this has had a deleterious effect on its economic pre/eminence; it has effectively diluted its economic power by exporting its jobs to China and by importing oil from the Middle East and other places. After WW2 the world was in hock to the US but now the US is in hock to the rest of the world but mainly China.

China is now the economic giant of the world with masses of cash to splash but they don't have the internal natural resources to match what the US once was. China is in a similar position to Japan just before WW2 where they are trying to expand their sphere of influence and control to give themselves the energy security that the US once had and that Japan craved before the war. Let's just hope that China doesn't feel the need to invade other countries to give them that "security". Their expansion into the South China Sea doesn't give me much hope in that regard though: if the bordering countries don't resist with US help the Chinese may feel emboldened to go further and countries like Australia may be next on the list.

China's Achilles heal, just as Japan's and Nazi Germany's was, is their lack of an indigenous oil supply. Look out for a massive expansion in China's missile carrying naval fleet to control the sea lanes with. An expansion of concealed oil pipe lines from Russia would be another pointer to danger although such lengthy fixed installations are vulnerable to attack while indigenous supplies are less so.

In time of war the US could expand its fracked oil supplies rapidly as the cost would not be of a limiting factor. china doesn't have that option so the US is still in a better place. It was a war which rescued the US from the economic doldrums of the 1930s but I don't think it would have the same effect now as the EROEI of their oil is no where near what it once was.
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RenewableCandy wrote:
fuzzy wrote:
We haven't seen much drop in birthrate worldwide [assuming it's zero scaled]

What? That dotted line has gone down FAR more than the solid, 'prediction' one. To quote an example (that I'm particularly fond of) IRAN has had family size drop from nearly 6 children (in the 60s 70s) to just over 2 (today).

If fundie-Islamic IRAN can do it, anybody (who isn't in the throes of a war) can.

The war bit's crucial. Women often can't avoid sex in a war: they get it by force.


Here's a short piece for a bit more related perspective. The last line of the piece makes me think, America!

Quote:
The four key recommendations they identified are: have one fewer child, stop taking transatlantic flights, stop eating meat and don’t own a car. This is particularly true if you are a British, European, American, Australian or Canadian resident.

The report states: “A US family who chooses to have one fewer child would provide the same level of emissions reductions as 684 teenagers who choose to adopt comprehensive recycling for the the rest of their lives.”


Quote:
Regarding our identified high-impact actions, no guide recommended having fewer children or eating a plant based diet

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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Current (and quite conservative) research into species extinction rates here and here. And it's not just species extinctions, which is the usual focus. It's also extinction of populations, something slightly different.

Quote:
We find that the rate of population loss in terrestrial vertebrates is extremely high—even in “species of low concern.”


Quote:
Averting a dramatic decay of biodiversity and the subsequent loss of ecosystem services is still possible through intensified conservation efforts, but that window of opportunity is rapidly closing.

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raspberry-blower



Joined: 14 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

James Howard Kunstler: Diminishing Returns

James Howard Kunstler wrote:
These two words are the hinge that is swinging American life — and the advanced techno-industrial world, for that matter — toward darkness. They represent an infection in the critical operations of daily life, like a metabolic disease, driving us into disorder and failure. And they are so omnipresent that we’ve failed to even notice the growing failure all around us.

Mostly, these diminishing returns are the results of our over-investments in making complex systems more complex, for instance the replacement of the 37-page Glass-Steagall Act that regulated American banking, with the 848 page Dodd-Frank Act, which was only an outline for over 22,000 pages of subsequent regulatory content — all of it cooked up by banking lobbyists, and none of which replaced the single most important rule in Glass-Steagall, which required the separation of commercial banking from trafficking in securities. Dodd-Frank was a colossal act of misdirection of the public’s attention, an impenetrable smokescreen of legal blather in the service of racketeering.


We have morphed into an iPod addicted species that is marching very steadily towards the edge of the cliff...
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

raspberry-blower wrote:
James Howard Kunstler: Diminishing Returns

James Howard Kunstler wrote:
These two words are the hinge that is swinging American life — and the advanced techno-industrial world, for that matter — toward darkness. They represent an infection in the critical operations of daily life, like a metabolic disease, driving us into disorder and failure. And they are so omnipresent that we’ve failed to even notice the growing failure all around us.

Mostly, these diminishing returns are the results of our over-investments in making complex systems more complex, for instance the replacement of the 37-page Glass-Steagall Act that regulated American banking, with the 848 page Dodd-Frank Act, which was only an outline for over 22,000 pages of subsequent regulatory content — all of it cooked up by banking lobbyists, and none of which replaced the single most important rule in Glass-Steagall, which required the separation of commercial banking from trafficking in securities. Dodd-Frank was a colossal act of misdirection of the public’s attention, an impenetrable smokescreen of legal blather in the service of racketeering.


We have morphed into an iPod addicted species that is marching very steadily towards the edge of the cliff...


He's a snappy and entertaining writer alright.

You know what? I wouldn't worry about the iPhone generation. Things change so rapidly, what's just round the corner may be far 'worse' (depending upon your point of view).
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raspberry-blower



Joined: 14 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not worrying about the iTwat generation. I've always wondered how Western "civilization" would go careering of the edge - now we know taking pointless selfies "And this is me on Beachy Heeeeeeaaaaaaarrrgh!"
It's not the fall that's fatal. It is the abrupt landing.

Meanwhile putting it all into perspective:

Nafeez Ahmed: Inside the new economic science of capitalisms slow burn energy collapse



Nafeez Ahmed wrote:
New scientific research is quietly rewriting the fundamentals of economics. The new economic science shows decisively that the age of endlessly growing industrial capitalism, premised on abundant fossil fuel supplies, is over.

The long-decline of capitalism-as-we-know-it, the new science shows, began some decades ago, and is on track to accelerate well before the end of the 21st century.

With capitalism-as-we-know it in inexorable decline, the urgent task ahead is to rewrite economics to fit the real-world: and, accordingly, to redesign our concepts of value and prosperity, precisely to rebuild our societies with a view of adapting to this extraordinary age of transition.


All about EROI so it should be well understood on this board!
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clv101
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

raspberry-blower wrote:
Meanwhile putting it all into perspective:

Nafeez Ahmed: Inside the new economic science of capitalisms slow burn energy collapse


Good to see some proper academic studies on this. Wonder how much has been learnt since we were thinking about this a decade ago:

A Net Energy Parable: Why is ERoEI Important?
http://www.theoildrum.com/story/2006/8/2/114144/2387

Ten Fundamental Principles of Net Energy
http://www.theoildrum.com/node/2211

An EROEI Review
http://www.theoildrum.com/node/3707

And more generally: http://www.theoildrum.com/tag/eroei
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