Chris Martenson's Crash Course and Collapse Theory Generally

Fun with supply and demand.
User avatar
rrichar911
Perpetual Poster
Posts: 4853
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2005 9:03 pm
Location: Texas, God's country USA

Re: Chris Martenson's Crash Course and Collapse Theory Gener

Post by rrichar911 » Mon Sep 27, 2010 10:29 pm

First he explains the economy is such a way as to present it as an Faustian bargain, the center of which cannot hold- basically like the US is just ordering new credit cards and using them to pay off the minimums on the previous ones... we're just printing money and our debts are now larger than our assets- that the US economy is insolvent and well on its way to bankruptcy. He does this very well, but, not having a background in economics, I have no idea if what he's saying is true.
I have trouble arguing with that.
Second is energy, which is basically peak oil. Again, with great reason he does not claim to know when oil will peak, or that it really matters, only that it is a fact that it will at some point, if it hasn't already. He makes a very simple and convincing argument that this is something we should be concerned about.
We have ~ 1.5 Trillion barrels of shale oil which has yet to be touched as government permission to touch it has been denied
Third is the environment. Interestingly he states quite clearly that he's not going to talk about global warming, I assume because he does not want to alienate those who are still not convinced. He basically talks about the planet being finite and humans continuing to grow exponentially, and that's a problem that we can already see clear signs of, in fish stocks, deforestation, etc.
The ancient Greeks said the same thing. Productivity has increased a bit since then. There are more trees in America than there was 200 years ago.
What really intrest me is whether God had any choice in the creation of the universe ~ Albert Einstein

Zapata
New Member
Posts: 44
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: Chris Martenson's Crash Course and Collapse Theory Gener

Post by Zapata » Mon Sep 27, 2010 11:05 pm

rrichar911 says:
We have ~ 1.5 Trillion barrels of shale oil which has yet to be touched as government permission to touch it has been denied
Martenson responds:
And what about the allegedly massive amounts of oil contained within the so-called tar sands and oil shales? The ones often described as equivalent to “several Saudi Arabias?” The net energy values for these are especially poor and in no way comparable to the 100 to 1 returns found in Saudi Arabia. Further, the water and environmental costs associated with them are disturbingly high.
http://www.chrismartenson.com/crashcour ... -budgeting
The ancient Greeks said the same thing. Productivity has increased a bit since then.
Productivity has increased because oil has been plentiful.
There are more trees in America than there was 200 years ago.
I'll leave your grammar out of it, but you might want to consider adding a reference every now and again.

User avatar
Lance Kennedy
Has No Life
Posts: 13342
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 10:20 pm
Custom Title: Super Skeptic
Location: Paradise, New Zealand

Re: Chris Martenson's Crash Course and Collapse Theory Gener

Post by Lance Kennedy » Tue Sep 28, 2010 12:20 am

To Zapata

You asked if I sift data to suit my own conclusions.
Of course I do. I do it unconsciously. Everyone does. It is a basic human flaw, and I am painfully aware that I am a flawed human.

The crime comes from doing it consciously. Any author who has thoroughly researched his subject, and carefully presents a view that excludes contrary data is being dishonest. I have no doubt that Martenson has done his homework, and he still presents flawed data and interpretations. I picked up on quite a few of these with one viewing of his video on peak oil. If I took the time, how many more would I see?

Now I do not dispute his main conclusions. However, that does not excuse the presenting of data that is deliberately flawed.

I remember when Prof. Stephen Schneider was interviewed on TV about global warming, and admitted that he deliberately exaggerated certain aspects. His view was that the issue was so important that it justified such distortions of the facts. My view is that this is never true. On any issue, the first step is to get the facts, and make damn sure they are correct, and not distorted in any way.

You were kind enough to suggest that we Kiwis are 'ahead' of Americans. I doubt it. We are just as human and imperfect as Americans. The only areas where I see us as being "superior" is that we have a much smaller percentage of the population who are religious, meaning that more New Zealanders seem to be able to think rationally, and we are less militant. The latter mainly because we are a small, weak nation that cannot practise any illusion of 'manifest destiny'.

I was less impressed with the solar road. I cannot for the life of me see how any such gimmick could become practical and economic.

There are enough energy options being researched to fill humanity's needs, if we invest the money and devote the will to it. How urgent this is, is very much a matter of opinion. Martenson is presenting the argument that it is vitally urgent. This reminds me of Schneider's similar opinion about global warming.

My own view is that it is definitely something we should be getting on with, and America as the world leader in research, should be getting out of stupid wars and putting at least some of its money here. However, I do not think there is any clear cut deadline. How urgent is it? Probably less so than Martenson says.

User avatar
Gord
Obnoxious Weed
Posts: 35076
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:44 am
Custom Title: prostrate spurge
Location: Transcona

Re: Chris Martenson's Crash Course and Collapse Theory Gener

Post by Gord » Tue Sep 28, 2010 2:40 am

Zapata wrote:Crazy people never realize they're crazy....
Some of us do.
"Knowledge grows through infinite timelessness" -- the random fictional Deepak Chopra quote site
"Imagine an ennobling of what could be" -- the New Age BS Generator site
"You are also taking my words out of context." -- Justin
"Nullius in verba" -- The Royal Society ["take nobody's word for it"]
#ANDAMOVIE
Is Trump in jail yet?

Zapata
New Member
Posts: 44
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: Chris Martenson's Crash Course and Collapse Theory Gener

Post by Zapata » Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:51 am

Okay, so then I guess we need to go back again to your only substantive post.

You say he said:
He uses the 40 year gap between peak oil discoveries and peak oil production as if it were a law of nature.
But what he actually said was:
Interestingly, the global peak in discoveries was exactly 40 years prior to the leveling off of this production graph, possibly echoing the US gap between the discovery and production peaks.
You said:
Today, the biggest gains in oil production do not come from new oil fields being discovered. They come from new techniques for improving extraction efficiency.
As I asked before, what gains? On what information are you basing this statement?

You said:
Thus, the 40 year gap from peak oil field discovery in the USA, which was followed by peak production 40 years later, does not apply today. When a new oil field is discovered, it leads to a lot more oil production than the same oil field would have done in 1930. Thus the field lasts longer, by quite a large margin. Conveniently, your guru carefully overlooked this fact.
But one of the first things he says is:
But the most urgent issue before us does not lie with identifying the precise moment of Peak Oil.
and later:
When world production will peak is a matter of some dispute, with estimates ranging from right now to some 30 years away.
You said:
He says that natural gas can be treated in the same way as oil. That is an outright untruth. Currently proven natural gas fields will supply the world, at current useage, for 60 years - a lot longer than currently known oil fields.
On this subject he says:
Oil represents over 50% of US total yearly energy use, while oil and natural gas together represent over 75%.
and
We’re going to examine oil in detail, although pretty much everything I am about to say about oil applies equally to natural gas.
How is this dishonest? His argument is that oil will peak and it will be a problem, and that these facts also apply to natural gas. In fact, as I pointed out before, there is only one clearly problematic statement above, which should be obvious, and that is your contention that we have 60 years worth of natural gas reserves... at current rates of use. But obviously if oil peaks and demand increases, natural gas will not continue to be used at current rates.

Plus there are a number of other problems with natural gas, like unsustainable environmental damage, and the simple fact it doesn't work in our cars. So, as I said before, after a massive reinvestment in infrastructure, we could buy ourselves a few more years of transportation with natural gas.

So, tell me: how is this not pretty much the same problem we have with oil?

Oh, because:
In addition, according to New Scientist, it has recently been discovered that there is a hell of a lot of natural gas inside rocks which was not recognised till recently.
I searched in vain for this article, perhaps you could provide a link.

Anyway, the Crash Course was made in 2008 and Martenson states quite clearly at the beginning:
Remember, these are simply my beliefs right now, and I reserve the right to change them if new information suggests that they are wrong.
So, if we do have plenty of natural gas after all, that's going to have its pros and cons for our future, but does not reflect on Martenson's integrity.

You said:
He pointed out that two thirds of domestically produced oil is used in the USA to produce and distribute food. I have to wonder if he meant to gloss over the fact that, including imports, this is just 22% of total oil consumption in the USA?
Well, I think we've been over that. I'd just add that everybody says they don't have time to watch the piece in question, and your complaint here is that he has not addressed every possible bone of contention in 17 minutes... and therefore he's dishonest.

You said:
He suggests that increasing nuclear power stations to provide for the energy that oil now provides would require an extra 750 such stations. He suggests this is practically impossible. I would dispute that.
What he actually says is:
Those 10 million barrels represent the same power equivalent as 750 nuclear power plants. Considering the issues we have with the 104 we have operating right now, I think it’s safe to say nuclear power is not a realistic candidate for reducing oil imports.
You can disagree without one of you being dishonest. He's clearly making an example using current technology.

You said:
And that does not even mention all the alternative energy technologies that will come on stream in the next several decades.
As I said before, that's the whole point- which you've already conceded- we may not have several decades.

You said:
Overall, I have to say, that while your man has some points to be noted, he is also someone who has essentially formed his conclusions in advance, and manipulates the data to support those conclusions.
And as I already said, these are not his conclusions at all. He states:
This is one of the most important chapters, this is a big subject, and I wish to acknowledge that much of this chapter stands on the shoulders of the hundreds of dedicated people who have gathered the data, made the points, and tirelessly worked to advance our understanding of the role of energy in our lives. I tip my hat to these sources and many others.
and
This completes an immensely brief tour through Peak Oil. If you have not already done so, you owe it to yourself to become knowledgeable on this subject due to its unequaled importance. I have links aplenty on the Essential Books, Essential Articles, and Resources pages on my site.
You said:
You asked if I sift data to suit my own conclusions.
Of course I do. I do it unconsciously. Everyone does. It is a basic human flaw, and I am painfully aware that I am a flawed human.

The crime comes from doing it consciously.
So, basically when you do it it's an accident, but when he tries to explain peak oil in 17 minutes, anything you think he overlooks is an act of criminal dishonesty.

I would refer you back to the very first point in his presentation:
It’s very important to distinguish between facts, opinions, and beliefs. I will try very hard to be crystal-clear when I am presenting facts, stating opinion, or communicating my beliefs.
Personally I think he does an admiral job throughout the presentation of adhering to this... but then, you don't think much of Jared Diamond either, if I remember correctly. I wonder, who does stand up to your standards of intellectual integrity?

A couple of other things:
I remember when Prof. Stephen Schneider was interviewed on TV about global warming, and admitted that he deliberately exaggerated certain aspects.
I looked in vain for that interview- it seems like the sort of thing that would be all over youtube... perhaps you could provide a link.
I was less impressed with the solar road. I cannot for the life of me see how any such gimmick could become practical and economic.
It's a road with solar panels and LEDs built in. It supplies electricity to the country and doubles as the entire grid system... seems pretty practical to me. Hey, what's a road made of now? Oil. What do we get back from it beyond a driving surface? Nothing.
America as the world leader in research, should be getting out of stupid wars and putting at least some of its money here.
Well, we certainly agree on that.

I guess- unless you want to watch another chapter- we'll just have to wait and see.

Zapata

User avatar
Lance Kennedy
Has No Life
Posts: 13342
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 10:20 pm
Custom Title: Super Skeptic
Location: Paradise, New Zealand

Re: Chris Martenson's Crash Course and Collapse Theory Gener

Post by Lance Kennedy » Tue Sep 28, 2010 8:16 am

Zapata

I cannot possibly respond adequately to all the queries you put up. I will select a few points.

Re gains from new oil field technology. In 1930, the technology was insufficient to get even 50% of the oil in an oil field. Technology for extraction has increased to the point where we are now getting twice as much oil out from an equivalent size oil field. This is a pretty big gain as far as I can make out.

In fact, I have even read of oil companies going back to the old 'depleted' oil fields and opening them up again to extract more oil.

This is why I say that the 40 year gap between peak oil field discoveries and peak extraction will not apply today. If you extract more oil per field, the field lasts longer.

I pointed out that natural gas cannot be treated the same as oil. This is simply because the time to depletion is much greater. Sure, that may be reduced if the gas is used for a lot of the things oil is used for now. But that is a different scenario.

Incidentally, the New Scientist article came from the paper copy, since I subscribe. I do not know if it has been posted on the web.

Perhaps I can call Martenson careless rather than dishonest, since you object to that word. He is no different to dozens of authors who gloss over inconvenient facts (including, ironically, Al. Gore with his "inconvenient truth.") However, he presents himself as someone who is an expert on the subject, which he almost certainly is, and hence should not fail to present the whole truth. Finagle knows, I am not such an expert, and yet even I can find flaws in his presentation.

The Stephen Schneider reference predates youtube. It was mid 1990's.

Anyway, I had better stop here. This kind of arguing point for point can occupy a hell of a lot of time.

Zapata
New Member
Posts: 44
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: Chris Martenson's Crash Course and Collapse Theory Gener

Post by Zapata » Tue Sep 28, 2010 8:27 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:
Anyway, I had better stop here. This kind of arguing point for point can occupy a hell of a lot of time.
Agreed.

Cheers,
Zapata

User avatar
Vanityfox451
New Member
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2010 3:04 pm

Re: Chris Martenson's Crash Course and Collapse Theory Gener

Post by Vanityfox451 » Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:09 pm

Lance,

When I read such things as yours, I sense that life will someday present a bill to you, that you'll find hard to pay.

The 1964 to 2004 forty year projection stands solid in regard to sweet crude production. Projected figures have proven that sweet crude is sitting on a rocky plateau, bouncing at 74 million barrels a day. (figure 3 & 4) Link: -

http://www.theoildrum.com/node/5582" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

It is human nature, when you consider that every kind of ignorance in the world results from not realizing that our perceptions are gambles. With this in mind, you continually miss many of the answers.

A good example is with Shale gas. Since the 70's, a number of companies have sort to unlock the supposed energy within it. As an example of returns offered to you in my first post, I expressed a value of 1 barrel used for a return of 100, back in 1859. Current returns for sweet crude production, due to complexity, are running at a value of 1 barrel used to return between 4 and 7. To equate these figure's, a long established system of 'Energy Return On Energy Invested, or EROEI are applied : -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EROEI" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The return on shale gas has continually met with an EROEI of 1 to 1.2, which expresses the exact reason why the US is importing gas to liquid, and 15% of its current usage from Canada, instead of producing its own. 1 to 1.2 is almost parity.

Link : -

http://www.altenergystocks.com/archives ... mises.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

and Here : -

http://www.theoildrum.com/node/5868#more" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


As are the figures for bio gas, turning corn into ethanol for instance, where figures to promote it don't take into account that oil, and not ethanol, is being used in the agricultural machinery to produce it. Quite simply, when applying to the fact that food is being turned into fuel, while there are parts of the world starving, so that fat westerners can continue to drive is disgusting, considering that a minimum of 2% of ethanol is used in every gallon of fuel burnt in petrol driven cars in the US. Add to that the tripling of certain staple food costs in 2008 through speculation, you'll realise, knife edges are coming to bear.

Without much surprise, I've been reading the non peer reviewed scientific journal New Scientist since the 70's, and an online subscriber since it went online in 1996. It was also the actual publication of merit that first drew me to the subject of Peak Oil over 20 years ago. One such recent article that adds weight to this post from that very publication, is of a link to a peer reviewed White Paper.

Link : -

http://www.ukerc.ac.uk/support/tiki-ind ... lDepletion" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

As to your assumption that Chris Martenson has no interest in renewable's, that is an outright non truth. I state that You are being more than dishonest and glossing over the facts. He has stated categorically that : -
Chris Martenson wrote:
Yes, it is entirely possible that I am raising issues here that will play out over many years, or even decades, and almost certainly will be influenced by changes in behaviour and technology. But the point cannot be denied – we are squandering precious time and remaining energy in a desperate, certainly foolish, and, possibly, ultimately unpleasant bid to preserve the status quo. We must not fall into this trap.


As for a rebuttal to your concept that technology will fill the gap, it would, if we have political will, and only if we have time to implement it. As far as Cold Fusion, for example, the technology itself has been quoted as 50 years into the future. Even with political will, it could be implemented in 20 years. Adding on top of that the years and energy consumption that would be needed to make it our power of choice, I'll use a single paragraph in expressing just how much energy would be involved in implementing 30% of present power output to out global power grid from wind power turbine.

A calculation stands, that for the world to power 30% of its electricity demand with wind turbines within ten years, an oft quoted target to combat climate change, it would require the doubling of steel production, the entire global concrete production, a thirty fold increase (3000%!) in glass fibre production, half the coal, and half the copper. I probably left something out... like the growth in demand for instance. If we were to be serious about doing this, we would have to immediately stop building cars and roads/bridges, houses, hospitals and schools. The economy would be busy doing nothing else....... a bad thing? Who knows...

Now, if you really want to involve yourself in discussion for or against Peak Oil, then I suggest you take a look at this section of threads. If you can't find answer's to your questions, post them, and wait for a reply.

Link : -
Peak Oil Chapter 17a
http://www.chrismartenson.com/forums/cr ... a-peak-oil" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Peak Oil Chapter 17b - Energy Budgeting
http://www.chrismartenson.com/forums/cr ... -budgeting" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Peak Oil Chapter 17c - Energy & The Economy
http://www.chrismartenson.com/forums/cr ... nd-economy" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

As to why I bothered to write on this forum, I noted disinformation being written around Zapata, who was unknown to me, and new to the chrismartenson.com forum.

I don't consider Chris Martenson my guru. He sh*ts, p*sses, sweats, bleeds and cries pretty much equal to you or I. He has simply created something that is an aid in drawing people to a map that can support a quest to find more knowledge about the subjects within. I note in the main that you more than agree rather than more than disagree?

I've better things to do with my life than writing here. If you want to continue this discussion, I suggest you find me where I point you.

Regards,

~ VF ~
"Play the man Master Riddley, we shall this day light such a candle by Gods grace as I trust shall never be put out".

User avatar
Lance Kennedy
Has No Life
Posts: 13342
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 10:20 pm
Custom Title: Super Skeptic
Location: Paradise, New Zealand

Re: Chris Martenson's Crash Course and Collapse Theory Gener

Post by Lance Kennedy » Wed Sep 29, 2010 7:24 pm

VF

In any issue, if you wish to operate in a rational manner, get past your emotions. Your last post was strongly negative emotions. That does not help you or anyone else. In particular, it will not garner any sympathy on this forum, where rational, critical, and non emotional thinking is held at a premium.

It also helps to read other people's views a bit more carefully. If you had done so with my posts you would realise that I am not arguing against Martenson's main message. I am being critical of the details of his 'crash course' because that was the request in the first post.

Here is Zapata's original request.

"I want to make crystal clear that this is not spam- I do think that what he's saying may be of the utmost importance, but my purpose here is not to try to convince people of that, I'm here for critical reasoning from the outside... I mean, he's got his own forum (where I am also Zapata, by the way) but everyone there is already a convert. I'm hoping for some thoughtful, informed criticism."

User avatar
Vanityfox451
New Member
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2010 3:04 pm

Re: Chris Martenson's Crash Course and Collapse Theory Gener

Post by Vanityfox451 » Wed Sep 29, 2010 8:55 pm

Lance,

The entirety of my last post was written totally rationally, with the emphasis on the use of critical thought, coolly, calmly and collectedly. If what you read of it was with the idea that there was any intention that I was trying to either insult, or otherwise cast some slight, on what I see as your rational approach to your posts and to your writing, you have me at a disadvantage, as this was not the case.

My Kindest Regards,

~ VF ~
"Play the man Master Riddley, we shall this day light such a candle by Gods grace as I trust shall never be put out".

User avatar
OlegTheBatty
Has No Life
Posts: 12007
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2008 2:35 pm
Custom Title: Uppity Atheist

Re: Chris Martenson's Crash Course and Collapse Theory Gener

Post by OlegTheBatty » Wed Sep 29, 2010 9:22 pm

The problem with doomsday scenarios is that they commit the logical fallacy of False Dichotomy.

Stein's LawIf something cannot go on forever, it will stop. If a trend cannot go on forever, there is no need for action or a program to make it stop, much less to make it stop immediately; it will stop of its own accord.

"Make it stop now" and "collapse of civilization" are not the only possible scenarios. They are not even the most likely ones. Martenson assumes the false dichotomy to be true, and so does not consider evidence for alternative scenarios.

Arguing his facts ignores the fallacious nature of his premise, and is therefore pointless. There is plenty of evidence that a scenario somewhere between his extremes is already playing out.
. . . with the satisfied air of a man who thinks he has an idea of his own because he has commented on the idea of another . . . - Alexandre Dumas 'The Count of Monte Cristo"

There is no statement so absurd that it has not been uttered by some philosopher. - Cicero

.......................Doesn't matter how often I'm proved wrong.................... ~ bobbo the pragmatist

User avatar
Lance Kennedy
Has No Life
Posts: 13342
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 10:20 pm
Custom Title: Super Skeptic
Location: Paradise, New Zealand

Re: Chris Martenson's Crash Course and Collapse Theory Gener

Post by Lance Kennedy » Wed Sep 29, 2010 9:41 pm

Good points, Oleg.

I have always been skeptical of 'doomsday' scenarios. The thing is that humanity has been down this road many times. The end of the world, r the end of civilisation has been predicted so many times, and has never actually happened. Of course, a big reason it has never happened is that people are smart enough to take appropriate action.

In the last 60 years we have seen ....

Rachel Carson, in her 1963 book "Silent Spring", a prediction of ecological disaster due to non biodegradable and toxic pesticides. It did not happen.

Paul Ehrlich in his 1968 book "The population Bomb" with its predictions of mass starvation in the 1970's and 1980's. It did not happen.

The Club of Rome in their 1973 published report "The Limits to Growth" in which they predicted oil would run out by the year 2000. It did not happen.

Ozone hole problems with predictions of mass cancer and mass ecological disaster due to high ultra violet. It did not happen.

Y2K with predictions of disaster due to computer failure. It did not happen.

If you look back in history, there are predictions of disaster due to religious ideas - the second coming and end of the world predicted for both 1000 AD and 2000 AD. Military predictions such as the destruction of the civilised west by the Ottoman Empire; said predictions made at the height of the Renaissance - the beginning of modern enlightenment.

It seems that predictions of disaster are a major human preoccupation, with many people gaining great satisfaction from making such predictions. It also seems that such predictions are almost always wrong.

(The exception is the old biblical Horsemen of the Apocalypse - War, Famine and Pestilence - which have happened periodically throughout history.)

The current fashion is ecological. So we get Jared Diamond and his book "Collapse", and now Martenson. Will they be any more correct? I doubt it, because I think people are smarter than that, and will find innovative ways of solving those problems.

User avatar
Vanityfox451
New Member
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2010 3:04 pm

Re: Chris Martenson's Crash Course and Collapse Theory Gener

Post by Vanityfox451 » Wed Sep 29, 2010 9:57 pm

Oleg,

You are missing one key element to your intelligent retort. You aren't standing safely on some Ariel pedestal, up with the Gods, watching this scenario play out from the safety of a present day reality of comfort, but as a part of the near 7 billion strong societal science project you call home. Separating the intellectual from the actual is no mean feat, if the assumption that technology is the sinc, and your life isn't expendable; that you are in fact a mortal, and not an immortal ...

~ VF ~
Last edited by Vanityfox451 on Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Play the man Master Riddley, we shall this day light such a candle by Gods grace as I trust shall never be put out".

User avatar
Vanityfox451
New Member
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2010 3:04 pm

Re: Chris Martenson's Crash Course and Collapse Theory Gener

Post by Vanityfox451 » Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:10 pm

Lance,

Judging by your last reply, I see you've read at least three quarter's of the way through all those links I gave you.
Much that I'd love to stay and pontificate, with grand slanting and intelligent retort -- as in earlier post's -- I did say I had better things to do. I was simply curious as to the kind of response you would give, after I compiled such a veritable feast for your perusal ...

I see now that my suspicion's weren't unfounded ...

You've been a pleasure,

~ VF ~
"Play the man Master Riddley, we shall this day light such a candle by Gods grace as I trust shall never be put out".

User avatar
OlegTheBatty
Has No Life
Posts: 12007
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2008 2:35 pm
Custom Title: Uppity Atheist

Re: Chris Martenson's Crash Course and Collapse Theory Gener

Post by OlegTheBatty » Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:35 pm

Vanityfox451 wrote:Oleg,

You are missing one key element to your intelligent retort. You aren't standing safely on some Ariel pedestal, up with the Gods, watching this scenario play out from the safety of a present day reality of comfort, but as a part of the near 7 billion strong societal science project you call home. Separating the intellectual from the actual is no mean feat, if the assumption that technology is the sinc, and your life isn't expendable; that you are in fact a mortal, and not an immortal ...

~ VF ~
I'm egalitarian.
. . . with the satisfied air of a man who thinks he has an idea of his own because he has commented on the idea of another . . . - Alexandre Dumas 'The Count of Monte Cristo"

There is no statement so absurd that it has not been uttered by some philosopher. - Cicero

.......................Doesn't matter how often I'm proved wrong.................... ~ bobbo the pragmatist

Zapata
New Member
Posts: 44
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: Chris Martenson's Crash Course and Collapse Theory Gener

Post by Zapata » Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:40 pm

Oleg, if you want to talk about fallacies, consider Strawman, because that's not what Martenson is saying.

Lance,
Rachel Carson, in her 1963 book "Silent Spring", a prediction of ecological disaster due to non biodegradable and toxic pesticides. It did not happen.
I wonder if perhaps there isn't a parallel universe and our interwebs are crossed, thus allowing communication between them... because in my universe we are dealing with Carson's predictions everyday.
Paul Ehrlich in his 1968 book "The population Bomb" with its predictions of mass starvation in the 1970's and 1980's. It did not happen.
That has been gone over before... you bring it up as if your statement had not already been challenged- a challange which I don't remember having been answered, by the way..

Massive starvation has been staved off (somewhat) because of massive corporate food production, made possible only by the absurdly low cost of oil... so...
The Club of Rome in their 1973 published report "The Limits to Growth" in which they predicted oil would run out by the year 2000. It did not happen.
I believe you were challenged on that as well, and failed to respond again.
Ozone hole problems with predictions of mass cancer and mass ecological disaster due to high ultra violet. It did not happen.

Y2K with predictions of disaster due to computer failure. It did not happen.
I don't know where you get your information from, but ozone depletion is still an issue, and UV rays do cause cancer. And why is it not more dire? Because some scientists said, this is a serious problem, and they were taken seriously. I wonder which side you were on at the time?

Same point with Y2K- overblown? Maybe, I guess we'll never know because of the poor schmucks who put millions of tedious hours into rewriting code so their systems wouldn't crash. Again, which side were you on? Rewrite code, or don't worry about it?

Then you go on to rework the same argument from your first post and practically every subsequent post- glass half full, people have been saying the world is going to end for thousands of years and it didn't happen, etc.

You talked about these posts taking up a lot of time- you might save yourself a bit by simply cutting and pasting your earlier posts.

User avatar
vanderpoel
Perpetual Poster
Posts: 4577
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 3:01 am
Location: Honolulu

Re: Chris Martenson's Crash Course and Collapse Theory Gener

Post by vanderpoel » Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:54 pm

Zapata wrote: Then you go on to rework the same argument from your first post and practically every subsequent post- glass half full, people have been saying the world is going to end for thousands of years and it didn't happen, etc.

You talked about these posts taking up a lot of time- you might save yourself a bit by simply cutting and pasting your earlier posts.
Ah, the pedantry of the pot calling the kettle black.
"When you put a toucan on a monkey’s ass, don’t be fooled by the brightly colored plumage, beware of the enormous bill!"

Zapata
New Member
Posts: 44
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: Chris Martenson's Crash Course and Collapse Theory Gener

Post by Zapata » Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:00 pm

When I answer thoughtfully, point for point, I'm taking up too much time.

When I make the same response to the same argument, I'm a hypocrite.

Kind of a lose/lose.

User avatar
Vanityfox451
New Member
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2010 3:04 pm

Re: Chris Martenson's Crash Course and Collapse Theory Gener

Post by Vanityfox451 » Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:11 pm

Oleg

An Egalitarian, yes ...

I am humbled that you see yourself as an equal amongst all others; an equal at Home amongst all others ...

~ VF ~
"Play the man Master Riddley, we shall this day light such a candle by Gods grace as I trust shall never be put out".

User avatar
vanderpoel
Perpetual Poster
Posts: 4577
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 3:01 am
Location: Honolulu

Re: Chris Martenson's Crash Course and Collapse Theory Gener

Post by vanderpoel » Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:21 pm

Zapata wrote:When I answer thoughtfully, point for point, I'm taking up too much time.

When I make the same response to the same argument, I'm a hypocrite.

Kind of a lose/lose.
Nah, don't think Lance is accusing you of hypocrisy, but you are berating him on form, not substance. Why would you belittle his reiterating his points whereas you are doing exactly the same thing, namely restating his points?
"When you put a toucan on a monkey’s ass, don’t be fooled by the brightly colored plumage, beware of the enormous bill!"

Zapata
New Member
Posts: 44
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: Chris Martenson's Crash Course and Collapse Theory Gener

Post by Zapata » Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:31 pm

vanderpoel wrote:
Zapata wrote:When I answer thoughtfully, point for point, I'm taking up too much time.

When I make the same response to the same argument, I'm a hypocrite.

Kind of a lose/lose.
Nah, don't think Lance is accusing you of hypocrisy, but you are berating him on form, not substance. Why would you belittle his reiterating his points whereas you are doing exactly the same thing, namely restating his points?
You are accusing me of hypocrisy, not Lance. I'm berating [sic] him on continuing to resort to form and offering little substance.

Why? Because his points are arguable, and he just continues to make them without responding to responses.

Also because the point of this thread was to argue the points of Martenson's Crash Course, not Lance's general belief that everything is going to be okay, because it always has been.

User avatar
Lance Kennedy
Has No Life
Posts: 13342
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 10:20 pm
Custom Title: Super Skeptic
Location: Paradise, New Zealand

Re: Chris Martenson's Crash Course and Collapse Theory Gener

Post by Lance Kennedy » Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:53 pm

To Zapata

We labour with misunderstandings. My point has been that predicted disasters did not happen. An important reason is that people acted to stop them. Since this has been the rule in the past, I see no reason why it should suddenly change, and I remain optimistic about the future also.

Rachel Carson. Her predicted disaster did not happen. She predicted massive ecological disaster. It never happened. And no. We are not dealing with her prediction today, since modern pesticides are now much less toxic to non target species as the ones she wrote about, and they are biodegradable. People took action, and the situation changed. No disaster happened.

Paul Ehrlich and his prediction of starvation. No, the fact that the starvation never happened had nothing to do with oil. At least, the change did not. The oil was available when Ehrlich made his prediction. He did not suddenly get proved wrong because people started using oil. In fact, the reason he got proved wrong was the green revolution, which came from work breeding new, highly productive hybrids of wheat, corn etc. Nothing to do with changes related to oil. Again, the disaster was averted by human innovation.

Ultra violet and ozone?
Sure, ultra violet still causes cancers, but only to the extent that it did long before the ozone depletion disaster was first predicted. The thing is that a disaster was predicted, and people acted to stop it.

My theme is optimistic because people are smart, and can take proper action. This has consistently been the case over the past 100 years, and should be the case over the next 100.

User avatar
Martin Brock
Has More Than 6K Posts
Posts: 6036
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2006 3:36 pm
Location: Athens, GA

Re: Chris Martenson's Crash Course and Collapse Theory Gener

Post by Martin Brock » Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:00 am

O.K. I looked at this course, listened to the intro and then skipped to "What is Money?". I've heard this story before, and I've largely rejected it. I'll explain why.

Martensen offers several assertions:

1. "Money", conventionally, denotes a) a store of value, b) a medium of exchange and c) a (divisible) unit of account. Martensen is particularly concerned with a.
2. Money is more nearly a claim on human labor, because everything money purchases ultimately comes down to labor. This idea is called the labor theory of value.
3. The U.S. dollar is "fiat money", because it has value only because the U.S. government declares it legal tender. He also states that the dollar is "backed by nothing".
4. In the old days, under a gold and silver standard, dollars were backed by quantities of gold and silver.
5. Inflationary monetary systems penalize savers by a) requiring that money be "invested or speculated with" to keep pace with inflation and b) requiring people to subject their "hard earned savings" to risk.

If Zapata thinks I've misconstrued this lesson, he may correct me. I've tried to summarize these points without caricature.

The first point summarizes conventional understanding of "money" well enough, although I don't accept a) either as an accurate description of money in practice or as a necessary or desirable characteristic of money. I certainly accept b) and c). Money is an entitlement to consume. It's a credit. When I accept money in exchange for some good, I accept credit for other goods exchanged in the market rather than accepting a particular good. I accept money denominating the current value of other goods in the market, at the time of the exchange, for which I would exchange my goods. Money is also called "currency" for this reason.

The second point is clearly nonsense. Many things are valuable other than human labor. Human labor is the single most valuable resource, as a practical matter, if we'll call it a "single resource", but it's hardly the only valuable resource. Horse labor is also valuable, though not nearly as valuable to humans as it once was. The fertility of a parcel of land is valuable. On the other hand, money in the U.S. is "backed by labor" in a sense, i.e. it is backed by entitlement to federal tax revenue, and taxes on labor dominate federal revenue.

The third point is true in a sense. The U.S. dollar is "fiat money", because the U.S. government declares it legal tender and compels the payment of taxes in it; however, it's not backed by nothing. The monetary authority (the Federal Reserve) routinely redeems its money for something. It redeems the money for U.S. Treasury securities in open market operations at a rate targeting the level of particular interest rates. U.S. Treasury securities are claims on future U.S. tax revenue, essentially debts imposed on U.S. citizens, payable in the future. The dollar is "fiat money", because these debts exist by the fiat of the Federal government, not by the choice of individuals subject to U.S. taxation.

The fourth point is also true in a sense, but it's misleading, and practically everyone who hears it misunderstands the gold standard terribly. Under a gold standard, bits of gold in bank vaults do not back each dollar in circulation. The U.S. monetary system never operated this way and was never supposed to operate this way. Dollars denominate the value of everything exchanged in the market, not only the value of gold in bank vaults.

Under a gold standard, when a bank lends dollars to mortgage a house, the dollars denominate the value of the house, relative to the value of gold, not the value of gold in a bank vault. Someone holding these dollars essentially holds a claim on the house, because the bank issuing the notes holds the title to the house. When someone demands gold for these dollars, the bank can meet the demand, in principle, not because it has so much gold in a vault but because it may call the loan, i.e. it may compel an exchange of the house for gold to meet the demand. If everyone demands gold for dollars at the same time, this demand (a run on the banks) creates a problem, but the problem is that the price of gold is fixed while demand for gold rises.

The fifth point is just factually incorrect. Certainly, inflation can be so excessive that notes lose their value as money altogether; however, more moderate inflation does not rob savers of anything, unless the savers choose to save money itself. Currency denomiates current value. If I don't want to hold money, because I want to avoid inflation, I may exchange the money for gold or any other durable commodity and save the commodity instead. The price of gold could fall in the future, relative to the price of other goods, but relative prices change all the time. Holding currency backed by gold hardly avoids this problem. If the system of redemption for gold is completely stable, the problem is exactly the same.

The risk involved in saving is not simply a product of an inflationary monetary policy. Saving involves risk, because the economy is dynamic and the future is uncertain. Saving should involve risk. Various statutory schemes to eliminate risk from saving are responsible for much economic and monetary instability, but regardless of the merits of any particular monetary scheme, saving must involve risk, because saving exchanges current consumption for future consumption, and the future is necessarily uncertain.

As the regulars here know, I'm a dyed in the wool libertarian, nearly an anarchist, so I'm certainly not defending a fiat monetary system here. I favor what economists call "free banking", which can involve a gold standard but does not involve banknotes backed, one for one, by gold. I don't favor a gold standard, and I wouldn't use a bank following a gold standard in a free banking system. I prefer a bank and money (banknotes) leveraging other commodities very unlike gold, commodities that are common, non-durable and have a highly elastic supply, but are nonetheless highly valued by humans. Agricultural commodities like grains or legumes of standard quality (corn, wheat, soy beans) fit this description.

Gold (and other precious metals) by contrast is scarce, durable and has an inelastic supply. Conventional wisdom holds that gold is an ideal monetary token, or standard of value, for this reason, but I believe this conventional wisdom is mistaken. These characteristics make gold an unstable standard of value (to be leveraged in a system of credit). A more stable standard of value has the opposite characteristics. A run on grain makes little sense, because grains spoil and more grain grows out of the ground every year. On other hand, if common agricultural commodities ever become truly scarce, a run on the bank is the least of your worries.
Last edited by Martin Brock on Thu Sep 30, 2010 11:06 am, edited 20 times in total.
People associating freely respect norms of their choice, and relationships governed this way are necessarily interdependent.

More central authorities conquer by dividing, imposing norms channeling the value of synergy toward themselves.

"Every man for himself" is the prescription of a state, not a free community. A state protects the poor from the rich only in fairy tales.

User avatar
vanderpoel
Perpetual Poster
Posts: 4577
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 3:01 am
Location: Honolulu

Re: Chris Martenson's Crash Course and Collapse Theory Gener

Post by vanderpoel » Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:02 am

Zapata wrote:
vanderpoel wrote:
Zapata wrote:When I answer thoughtfully, point for point, I'm taking up too much time.

When I make the same response to the same argument, I'm a hypocrite.

Kind of a lose/lose.
Nah, don't think Lance is accusing you of hypocrisy, but you are berating him on form, not substance. Why would you belittle his reiterating his points whereas you are doing exactly the same thing, namely restating his points?
You are accusing me of hypocrisy, not Lance. I'm berating [sic] him on continuing to resort to form and offering little substance.

Why? Because his points are arguable, and he just continues to make them without responding to responses.

Also because the point of this thread was to argue the points of Martenson's Crash Course, not Lance's general belief that everything is going to be okay, because it always has been.
C'mon now Zapata, Lance has done a great job of taking you serious and he has brought up many valuable points. He obviously looked at your videos, which is more than you could expect from most of us, and he provided lots of support for his claims.

You're doing a good enough job challenging him without the need of cheap retorts.
Leave that to the resident trolls.
"When you put a toucan on a monkey’s ass, don’t be fooled by the brightly colored plumage, beware of the enormous bill!"

User avatar
Vanityfox451
New Member
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2010 3:04 pm

Re: Chris Martenson's Crash Course and Collapse Theory Gener

Post by Vanityfox451 » Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:35 am

Lance wrote: Paul Ehrlich and his prediction of starvation. No, the fact that the starvation never happened had nothing to do with oil. At least, the change did not. The oil was available when Ehrlich made his prediction. He did not suddenly get proved wrong because people started using oil. In fact, the reason he got proved wrong was the green revolution, which came from work breeding new, highly productive hybrids of wheat, corn etc. Nothing to do with changes related to oil. Again, the disaster was averted by human innovation.
So you don't believe that the Green Revolution was about throwing billions of gallons of unsustainable hydrocarbons at the ground to create abundance?

Do you also believe that 'organic food' isn't also about throwing billions of gallons of unsustainable hydrocarbons at the ground to create abundance in that as well?

That neither of these actions are sustainable if peak oil has been reached, with a finite substance on a finite planet?

What on earth have Ehrlich or Carson to do with Martenson, other than a slim strand of fray that connects them in regard to facts that altered possible scenarios in the past.

Carson worked magic with Silent Spring, yet came up against the same belligerence as I am on this thread. In truth, diverse wildlife has reduced massively over the past 40 years, with the ground being used as a sponge for pesticides and fertilizer, the soil in 95% of farm intensive land is practically dead without fossil fuel input.

Were you born with all your certainties fitted from birth Lance, because I throw realism at you, and you throw optimism - which one is more grounded in hope than certainty?

~ VF ~
"Play the man Master Riddley, we shall this day light such a candle by Gods grace as I trust shall never be put out".

Zapata
New Member
Posts: 44
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: Chris Martenson's Crash Course and Collapse Theory Gener

Post by Zapata » Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:40 am

Lance,

Yes, we continue to miss one another's points.

In each case there are people saying, this is a serious problem, one that needs to be taken very seriously, and others who say no, it's not, no it doesn't. So, for example, Carson's Silent Spring was hugely influential in averting (to some extent) the catastrophe she predicted, because some people listened. The massive problems we still have with nasty pesticides is the fault of those who refused to take her warnings seriously, or, more accurately, were economically threatened by her conclusions.

Chris Martenson is saying that he believes the next 20 years will present humans with problems on a scale that human history has no experience with, and therefore we need a response to match that scale.

He's also saying that there's good evidence that we may not respond adequately... or perhaps more accurately that there is little evidence that we are responding adequately, and so we, as individuals, might want to start thinking about how we want to respond to this threat... you know, not be the squirrel who didn't gather nuts for winter.

Really, you've invested so much into this thread, you might as well just watch the thing at this point.

Also, check out the movie GasLand.

Zapata
New Member
Posts: 44
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: Chris Martenson's Crash Course and Collapse Theory Gener

Post by Zapata » Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:46 am

Martin,

I have some work to do now but this is the stuff I was really interested in, because economics is not my forte. I will study your post with interest... later.

Zapata

User avatar
Martin Brock
Has More Than 6K Posts
Posts: 6036
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2006 3:36 pm
Location: Athens, GA

Re: Chris Martenson's Crash Course and Collapse Theory Gener

Post by Martin Brock » Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:50 am

Chapter 14: Assets & Demographics

I basically agree with the points expressed here. I'm not predicting the collapse of civilization, but the next 20 years are certainly very unlike the last 20, and demographics seems the most salient difference to me. Climate Change pales by comparison in my opinion, and it seems more a diversion from the critical issues to me.
People associating freely respect norms of their choice, and relationships governed this way are necessarily interdependent.

More central authorities conquer by dividing, imposing norms channeling the value of synergy toward themselves.

"Every man for himself" is the prescription of a state, not a free community. A state protects the poor from the rich only in fairy tales.

User avatar
Lance Kennedy
Has No Life
Posts: 13342
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 10:20 pm
Custom Title: Super Skeptic
Location: Paradise, New Zealand

Re: Chris Martenson's Crash Course and Collapse Theory Gener

Post by Lance Kennedy » Thu Sep 30, 2010 1:08 am

To Vanderpoel

Thank you for your support.
As you implied, I am trying to deliver fair responses here. Zapata asked for critical comments, and has accepted them graciously. I am trying to be constructive and I hope others will accept my comments as such.

To VF.

Re the green revolution.
No, this was not caused by the use of oil. The green revolution came from improved crop genetics. It really centres on the work of Nobel prize winning American agricultural scientist Dr. Norman Borlaug and his team. They developed hybrid varieties of crops, which were 'dwarf' in nature. In other words, these plants grew only to a more modest height, and put resources into seeds rather than other biomass. Result was short plants with twice the grain production.

The widespread use of oil products in agriculture preceded the green revolution, and did not cause it.

What will happen to agriculture after peak oil?
Obviously no-one can answer that one without a crystal ball. My own feelings are that we will have new systems in place to replace the oil component. We will have even more productive crops as GM becomes more sophisticated and more widely adopted. We will use resources such as marine algae to give us what we can get from no source other than oil.

You suggested that wildlife loss came from widespread pesticide use. That was certainly true in Rachel Carson's day. However, that impact has dropped very substantially with new pesticides. We no longer use things such as DDT, malathion, lindane, chlordane etc. Glyphosate for weed control, and synthetic pyrethroids for insect control are almost non toxic to non target species and degrade. Currently, the factors that kill off wildlife are largely unrelated to pesticide exposure.

To Zapata

You suggest an urgent need to respond to predicted problems.
No-one can argue with that. However, that has always been the case. As I said, in the late 1990's, it was Y2K that we had to respond to. Every time in history has incipient problems that need responding to. Today is no different.

User avatar
Martin Brock
Has More Than 6K Posts
Posts: 6036
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2006 3:36 pm
Location: Athens, GA

Re: Chris Martenson's Crash Course and Collapse Theory Gener

Post by Martin Brock » Thu Sep 30, 2010 1:31 am

17a Part A: Peak Oil

I agree with much of this chapter. I read mostly skeptics of catastrophe scenarios, but practically everyone, including the skeptics, seems to agree that Peak Oil (a peak in the production of light crude oil) occurs in the next few decades, and a peak at this time is conceivable. If the peak has occurred, this fact certainly compounds inevitable demographic problems in the near future; however, Martensen also asserts that no one has found a substituted for light crude as a source of energy. I can't agree with this assertion at all. Maybe it's true at the current price of oil, but I hear plenty of people claiming that heavier oil, coal, nuclear power and other energy sources can grow in the foreseeable future if oil becomes relatively scarce and thus costlier, and per capita consumption can also decline without destroying living standards, so I'm unconvinced of any catastrophe following Peak Oil.
Last edited by Martin Brock on Thu Sep 30, 2010 1:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
People associating freely respect norms of their choice, and relationships governed this way are necessarily interdependent.

More central authorities conquer by dividing, imposing norms channeling the value of synergy toward themselves.

"Every man for himself" is the prescription of a state, not a free community. A state protects the poor from the rich only in fairy tales.

User avatar
OlegTheBatty
Has No Life
Posts: 12007
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2008 2:35 pm
Custom Title: Uppity Atheist

Re: Chris Martenson's Crash Course and Collapse Theory Gener

Post by OlegTheBatty » Thu Sep 30, 2010 1:35 am

One of the reasons that a massive effort is not needed is that there are already considerable efforts underway. In following a number of science news sites and blogs, it is obvious that significant progress is being made, right across the board. Where there is a buck to be made, you can be sure that someone is trying to develop the means to do so.

Biofuels do not need to take away from food crops for quite some time, if at all, because enough biofuel crops can be grown on marginal land to make a huge impact. The price spike a couple of years ago had nothing to do with food shortage, it was speculators pumping up commodity prices.

There is cause for concern, but I see no cause for panic, or authoritarian solutions.
. . . with the satisfied air of a man who thinks he has an idea of his own because he has commented on the idea of another . . . - Alexandre Dumas 'The Count of Monte Cristo"

There is no statement so absurd that it has not been uttered by some philosopher. - Cicero

.......................Doesn't matter how often I'm proved wrong.................... ~ bobbo the pragmatist

User avatar
Vanityfox451
New Member
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2010 3:04 pm

Re: Chris Martenson's Crash Course and Collapse Theory Gener

Post by Vanityfox451 » Thu Sep 30, 2010 1:38 am

Lance,

That is what I see. I see grand advancements in agriculture, yet I see backward steps with complexity thrown into science as factors take form. These factors are :-

Time ~ Scale ~ Cost

I pitched a film up for you earlier in the thread that you may have missed, that an acquaintance of mine in the UK made for the BBC. Her name is Rebecca Hosking. She's a wildlife film-maker, and has worked with David Attenborough for the past 20 years. The film was broadcast on BBC2 in April 2009.

I think it is an incredible film. It came to me from a man called Mike Stasse who's based in Australia, about a year ago through the Martenson site. Since then I've met her on several occasion's through lecture's, and the 100 or so people I regularly organise here for talks every month on preserving financial wealth etc.

It is eye opening as regard to present farming practice's in the UK, and I think, very much in line with NZ.

Incidentally, I lived in New Zealand and Australia over a thirteen year period with my work, and have plans to head back to NZ (Nelson) within the next two years, as I see it as being the most secure country on the planet for my needs ...

Farms For The Future

http://www.viddler.com/explore/PermaScience/videos/4/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

~ VF ~

I
"Play the man Master Riddley, we shall this day light such a candle by Gods grace as I trust shall never be put out".

User avatar
Lance Kennedy
Has No Life
Posts: 13342
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 10:20 pm
Custom Title: Super Skeptic
Location: Paradise, New Zealand

Re: Chris Martenson's Crash Course and Collapse Theory Gener

Post by Lance Kennedy » Thu Sep 30, 2010 2:35 am

VF

I watched the first part of the permaculture film. Trouble is, it is 48 minutes long, and I did not want to sit through it all, particularly when the first few minutes were dreary. By that, I mean they dragged out the factual material. Took them way too long to say anything. And, not trying to be arrogant, but I had heard it all before.

I see this particular philosophy as terribly blinkered. They have a point to make, but never seem to see that there are two sides to their story. (I might be wrong since I did not watch it right through).

For example : developments in lithium battery technology going on right now are leading to high capacity, long lasting, rapidly recharging, and inexpensive battery packs. Such devices will probably be available in a decade or two, and would permit convenient, and inexpensive clean running tractors and other farm machinery.

Biomass can be used to make organic chemicals such as pesticides etc. The R and D to achieve this is underway today.

Anyway, I cannot comment further without watching the whole thing. Please do not ask me to, since it is so damn slow!

User avatar
Vanityfox451
New Member
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2010 3:04 pm

Re: Chris Martenson's Crash Course and Collapse Theory Gener

Post by Vanityfox451 » Thu Sep 30, 2010 2:39 am

Oleg,

I also see no cause for panic, or authoritarian solutions. But action, or at the very least, knowledge and understanding, are an absolute must.

Biofuels simply are not the answer at this time, yet 17% of US crop was put toward it in 2009 as fuel security. There is also a lack of understanding that biofuel is planted and harvested with oil, and not using biofuel to run the tractor, hopper, dryer etc. This pitches the EROEI at almost 1 to 1.

Biodiversity in land is about retaining much of the vegetation from the part of the crops we do not eat. This puts back the nutrient into the soil. Crop rotation is also a necessity, in maintaining soil balance. Much of this soil balance has been resolved, even without crop rotation, by the use of oil based additives, such as nitrite fertilizer.

Without oil and gas based fertilizer, the crop land of much of the US is simply barren, with little in the way of anything growing on it for years, until its diversity can make its way back into the soil with less intensive method. The waiting game for soil recovery without oil will be nothing better than subsistence farming, which will ultimately feed a whole lot less people than can be sustained using present method, which at present numbers is around 310 million people.

Looking into Monsanto is an eye-opener. Genetic modification. Terminator seeds that only grow one season, and can't grow without Round-up(tm). We've made advancements, yes, but without oil, as metaphor, we aren't flying, we're in free-fall - we're just a long way up, and only a few of us have noticed that the ground is coming up fast. it isn't really true that mankind has managed to tame nature at all, we've just managed to hold it back a while with oil.

I'll give you a rough example. There are 6 million hectares of crop land in the UK. If we were to run all petrol driven transport on ethanol in the UK, we'd need 26 million hectares, and that without being able to eat.

I'm offering that up for debate as a soundbite that offers little in common sense as an option to take, but a rule of thumb at the size of the issue. Oil rapeseed is grown prolifically in the UK. 10 acre's of it from memory could run the UK fuel economy for less than one third of a second. This is a way of describing how diverse and how much we take fossil fuel for granted.

Another crazy scenario: How much is a fair wage for the job that you do? Imagine emptying your petrol tank in your car, then filling it back up with exactly 1 gallon of fuel. Now drive until you run out of petrol, and push your car back to where you started. Calculate how many hours it would take to push your car back to the start, and times that figure by your hourly rate. I pay £6.80 a gallon in the UK. I'm paid £11 an hour. If it took me 100 hours to push one ton of car 25 miles, I should pay myself £1100.

I need to think, and I need to act. This is why I'm writing here. This is why I'm posing question's to everyone here. Not because I want to come across smart, but because I genuinely care that people are not aware quite how big the issue is, and the responsibility they have for themselves and others; mother, brother, father, sister, aunt, uncle, grandparent, friend ...

~ VF ~
"Play the man Master Riddley, we shall this day light such a candle by Gods grace as I trust shall never be put out".

User avatar
Vanityfox451
New Member
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2010 3:04 pm

Re: Chris Martenson's Crash Course and Collapse Theory Gener

Post by Vanityfox451 » Thu Sep 30, 2010 2:42 am

Lance,

Is this faster for you?

" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

~ VF ~
"Play the man Master Riddley, we shall this day light such a candle by Gods grace as I trust shall never be put out".

User avatar
Lance Kennedy
Has No Life
Posts: 13342
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 10:20 pm
Custom Title: Super Skeptic
Location: Paradise, New Zealand

Re: Chris Martenson's Crash Course and Collapse Theory Gener

Post by Lance Kennedy » Thu Sep 30, 2010 3:06 am

Re biofuels.

I don't think too many people on this forum are going to be silly enough to hold up George Bush junior style of biofuels as the way of the future. Growing corn for ethanol is just plain stupid.

There are, however, much better possibilities. My favourite, oft mentioned, is algae grown for oil and thus biodiesel, on sewage ponds. A truly prolific rate of growth!

Back to peak oil.
One thing that needs to be realised is that peak oil actually has a number of parachutes. These are not ideal, being environmentally not the best, and being expensive. However, they will cushion the transition to a better system. I am talking of coal to liquid fuel technology (the USA already has a pilot plant making 5,000 barrels of diesel per day.), shale oil, natural gas, tar sands and the like.

I hope that better alternatives such as emission-free electricity generation methods (nuclear, hot rock, wave power etc) and better methods of storing that energy will come before we are too far into the 'cushion' period.

I mentioned lithium batteries - a technology whose time is almost upon us. There is also biodiesel for algae, synthetic fuels made from biomass plus hydrogen, and genetically modified bacteria.

One thing history should have taught us is that when the need is critical, the developments are rapid. Nazi Germany switched its entire energy economy to liquid fuels from coal in a very short time, when the allies cut off its supplies of oil. It ran its entire economy and war effort that way.

The research for most of this is under way already. Pilot plants are up and running. And we still have a period of decades before peak oil will force the total transition.

User avatar
Vanityfox451
New Member
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2010 3:04 pm

Re: Chris Martenson's Crash Course and Collapse Theory Gener

Post by Vanityfox451 » Thu Sep 30, 2010 3:47 am

Lance,

I want all of that. I just want political will to get a grasp of the situation more publicly. Take for example Paddy Ashdown. I know I'm name-dropping, but I live in the south west, and he lives down here and commutes to London on the train. I caught him, and struck a conversation with a passenger in earshot. Totally spooked the passenger, and raised the eyebrows high on Paddy, They're only just starting to release the fact that the North Sea reached peak in 2001, and that the UK became a net importer in 2007. I mean this is rediculous!!

It isn't politicians that really hold sway, but industry and investment. But it would be a hell of a good start if we were redirecting our funds away from fighting two phony f***ing wars, and put our money in something that matters; something sustainable.

Take the US. They're spending 54% of 2009 income taxes on war. That's 1.449 trillion dollars for Christ sake!!! They're supporting 600,000 army staff of different flavours, and over 150 bases worldwide, with 14 of them from memory parked around the 60% of remaining oil.

Your lithium point is well noted. In the news recently, American forces "Just Happened" to find a huge vein of the stuff, along with all those rare metals that are found alongside it. Funny how that happened, cos I thought they were trying to bust up old 'Al' and hunting out training grounds and WMD!!!

I put up Rob Newmans comedy stand up The history of OIl earlier. Here it is again : -

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid ... 6133297566#" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

You'll find a grand comedic reference to how and why the First World War came about, and not from your school text books you can be sure. Just think "Orient Express", and figure out why the UK has been invading Basra in Iraq for about 48 years out of the last 105, and you'll be getting the bigger picture!! All wars are about the advancement of energy supply, and nor about freedom or F***ing democracy for 'sand niggers', and I mean that term affectionately, since we shouldn't be there, and wouldn't have to be killing innocent cannon-fodder if we'd taken on alternatives when President Jimmy Carter was putting solar panels on the roof of the White House back in the seventies.

As fo the hydrogen economy espoused by profiteer's, it's an energy sinc, because it requires outside input to create it. For example, for the UK, we're using coal for 65% of our electricity. So you're digging up coal, to create electricity (which is basically a great big steam engine running the 21st century!) and you're running power through H20 to create hydrogen, using present method. It takes the EROEI back down to virtually no return on investment.

You and everyone else here are either going to be stuck within four inches of your computer screens for the next 100 hours of films I've posted, or running screaming from the room with your hair on fire!

I'm heading to bed. Catch you later ...

Best,

Paul
"Play the man Master Riddley, we shall this day light such a candle by Gods grace as I trust shall never be put out".

User avatar
Lance Kennedy
Has No Life
Posts: 13342
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 10:20 pm
Custom Title: Super Skeptic
Location: Paradise, New Zealand

Re: Chris Martenson's Crash Course and Collapse Theory Gener

Post by Lance Kennedy » Thu Sep 30, 2010 4:05 am

VF

I agree totally with your comments about war. There is actually a book which claims the long terms costs of the Iraq conflict will be $US 3 trillion.
http://www.amazon.com/Three-Trillion-Do ... 0393067017" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I am not a total pacifist, but I believe that going to war should be a total rarity and only when all other options are exercised and when it is absolutely forced upon you. The Americans declaring war on Japan after Pearl Harbour is one of those very rare examples. However, most wars since then do not have that justification.

I remain a total optimist, though, when it comes to the future of humanity. I think we have shown that our species can work its way through most potential disasters, and I do not think peak oil and its consequences will be more than a hiccough on the way.

User avatar
Vanityfox451
New Member
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2010 3:04 pm

Re: Chris Martenson's Crash Course and Collapse Theory Gener

Post by Vanityfox451 » Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:18 pm

Lance,

I own and have read that book, and I am an advocate, in part, of Joseph Stiglitz. I have one of 3 of his books sitting alongside me right now, called - Globalization and its Discontents - which I would have trusted as reliable content in 2002 when it was written, yet now, I see the terrible holes in his thinking at the time, after re-reading it. The escalating costs of the war, so far, will be far exceeded from the $3 trillion that Stiglitz writes of, by the time the US economy falters. Triple that amount, and you'll be one-hundredth of the way closer to the actual cost to the global economy.

It is as though the author only paid heed to one facet of the costs, though appeared to have the clearest of views. I'll quote you something from the book - Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon: -
"If they can get you asking the wrong question's, they don't have to worry about the answers".


The exemption of the present figure of $128 trillion from the picture that is the root effect (not cause) of America's apparent need to "openly" go to war with Afganistan in 2001, is a case in point. This figure is rapidly, and exponentially cycling up, and the only way I can offer you a comfortable (but by no means comforting) means of expressing such a debt, is to offer you a visualization.

Imagine the thickness of a one thousand dollar bill. It is more or less the thickness of a New Zealand ten dollar note. Now imagine stacking $1000 notes roughly 69 miles high. In the vertical, you've taken in the troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, almost reaching the thermosphere.

This next point should not be taken lightly, and memorized indelibly.

Between 1776 and 1974, the United States spent $1 trillion dollars building its economy of roads, bridges and wars etc. Exponentially, the United States just spent $1 trillion dollars in the last 12 weeks, borrowing it supposedly from unborn children in generations yet to be. 198 years, compared to just 12 weeks.

Since 1913, the US dollar has been devalued by 96%, and you could argue that wages have gone up with inflation, but not without being acted upon as a direct form of taxation of its citizen's.

Now I've formed you of a visualization technique; of 128 sixty-nine mile high stacks of thousand dollar bills; well and truly out beyond the exosphere of this planet, if you again stacked them all on top of each other, end to end.

Drawing upon this debt, you need only look at the involvement "by invitation" of the United States entering the First World War in 1917, and of the Second World War in 1941, and in noting that War is a great profiteer, and a means to draw the US out of debt. Even the Great Depression, started in 1929, was concluded as fully recovered from, by the end of 1943, halfway through the US involvement of the Second World War. In 1938, Roosevelt's plans to scupper the decline and horrific shrinking of the US economy, still hadn't created enough stimulus to stem the haemorrhage. He was simply asking one group to dig a hole, and another group to fill that hole back in.

Since 1947, the US, in one form or another, has fought a war with another nation of its choosing every 2 years, I can confirm : -

http://whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICL ... onism.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The next part of Stiglitz analysis that was briefly brushed yet not entirely entered, was that of Russia's involvement in Afganistan from 1978 to 1992, which was apparently the downfall of the former USSR, over-stretched beyond its financial capability due in part to terrain restraints. It is also much vaunted and considered that it was Ahmad Shah Massoud who finally caused the buckling, then entire collapse of the Soviet Union, with the perpetuation, and then actual happening of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, finally opening up the East with the West for the first time since 1961.

With this in mind then, these action's in Afganistan are the cause and effect of many many incendiary occurrences up to the present day, including the arrest and consequent execution of President Nicolae Ceauşescu and his wife of Romania on Christmas Day 1989, and the escalation of violence, then genocide, between 3 ideological and religious groups - Serbian, Croatian, Muslim - set up in "supposed harmony" by the efforts of the Western allays of 1917, in what would then become Yugoslavia, and what is now "The Former Yugoslavia". Think again of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Yugoslavia in 1914, and we've successfully created a series of tangents, right back through to what I would describe as the "Big Lie" in present school teaching's, as to the cause and effect of the beginnings of the First World War.

Here endeth part 1 of 'History 101'.

Now, back to the original point I'm making. The American dollar was once a redeemable promissory note valued as of a weight in gold. This was before 1933. After 1933, there was no such peg, and the US could print away without much discretion. The Glass–Steagall Act will uncover part of the illusion I'm inferring, and is directly connected to this present day collamity in the making.

If money is built upon the foundation of the energy that creates it as a value of substance, and that value of present energy is oil, and that is decline, how is the future debt paid off to all of the worlds creditors? If the interest on future debt can only be paid forward by the expansion of the currency against the growth in the extraction of oil, and oil extraction is either flat or in decline, how is interest "alone", paid back upon the debt?

In other words, if the optimistically expected "replacement energy" cannot far out-shine our present oil energy, by exponentially continuing to grow far and above present demand off into our future, the credit system that we call our monetary system has nowhere to go but to shrink. Which is exactly why in part the quantitative easing, a value that since October 2008 has placed some $20 trillion dollars of non-backed currency into a system that over all is 97% digital, and 3% coinage and paper, to counteract this immense unravel, that is apparently so simple in its practice, that it is very well hidden in plain sight, where you and most of the authors except Martin here, have missed either in whole, or in part.

This is why I direct people to http://www.chrismartenson.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;, urging them to complete the Crash Course, because it explains enough of the urgencies in a way that in the majority of its points, it is correct.

Note that no argument has been placed for three days on the other thread I wrote on here at Skeptic.com, that I'll finish this present post of mine with ...

A Massive Scam In Our Banking System
http://www.skepticforum.com/viewtopic.p ... 78#p213678" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

My Best,
~ VF ~
Last edited by Vanityfox451 on Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Play the man Master Riddley, we shall this day light such a candle by Gods grace as I trust shall never be put out".

User avatar
Martin Brock
Has More Than 6K Posts
Posts: 6036
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2006 3:36 pm
Location: Athens, GA

Re: Chris Martenson's Crash Course and Collapse Theory Gener

Post by Martin Brock » Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:37 pm

Vanityfox451 wrote:This is why I direct people to http://www.chrismartenson.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;, urging them to complete the Crash Course, because it explains enough of the urgencies in a way that in the majority of its points, it is correct.
I saw a few episodes and wasn't impressed. Some of his points are valid enough, but he's doing what all Cassandras do, listing every scary thing that might happen and systematically ignoring solutions. He even reconstructs Pascal's wager. If you buy his logic and he's wrong, what have you really lost? If you don't buy his logic and he's right, you're burning in hell forever (or starving after the great collapse in Martensen's case).

Basically, the only advice I heard in the last episode is the usual gold peddling, like owning a few ounces of a rare metal is so valuable when civilization crumbles. What am I supposed to do with the gold when blood is running in the streets anyway? I can't eat it. I can't wear it. I can't sleep under it. Why wouldn't I build a fallout shelter and hoard meals-ready-to-eat instead? The price of gold rose a lot in the last decade. It doubled twice and then some. Maybe it'll double again in the next few years. I don't pretend to know. I expect people to pay twice the price for gasoline while finding ways to consume less in the foreseeable future, because we're hooked on gasoline. I don't see how we're similarly hooked on gold. Obsessed maybe. Mystified maybe. Not hooked.

I couldn't help noticing one thing. The guy isn't selling gold himself. He's selling his course, so he can travel the world spreading the word, and he's selling it for dollars. Lots of people these days are scrambling for the entitlement to spend the last twenty years of their life expectancy traveling the world and consuming all sorts of things without producing anything more themselves, but demography is destiny. The number of people left to produce all of this stuff in the future, per would be retiree, really is collapsing, and there's nothing anyone can do about it, because raising a human laborer to maturity takes twenty years, and we can't go back in time and have more kids.

This demographic transition doesn't portend the collapse of civilization, but it does imply that baby boomers can't realistically expect the same entitlement to idleness in old age that their parents promised themselves. We live longer and we have fewer children, so we must work longer to continue producing what we expect to consume for ourselves. We have many more healthy years in which to work (as well as play), so this fate is not exactly hellish, and it doesn't mark the collapse of civilization or money or market economics or the arrival of anyone's socialist vision.
Last edited by Martin Brock on Thu Sep 30, 2010 4:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
People associating freely respect norms of their choice, and relationships governed this way are necessarily interdependent.

More central authorities conquer by dividing, imposing norms channeling the value of synergy toward themselves.

"Every man for himself" is the prescription of a state, not a free community. A state protects the poor from the rich only in fairy tales.