Capitalism

    Nate Hagens discusses energy, specifics oil as the foundation of the modern economic system.

    There are ecological and energetic laws that apply to all life, including humans and our economies. By accessing a huge surplus of dense carbon energy in the form of fossil sunlight, we’ve effectively turbo-boosted our economies, populations, and material wealth - but what happens if this fossil abundance were to go away? What are the systemic implications of an economy tethered to growth, tethered to carbon?

    He ends the video with “10 Systemic Inferences” which I would simplify as: The primary problem is global capitalism.

    It’s interesting and insightful to view the planet as an organism in which increasingly complex human social organization (dominated currently by capitalism) based on intensely concentrated fossil fuel energy has resulted in a machinery that is, by it’s own logic, not capable of a solution.

    10 Systemic Inferences

    1. Oil is not the problem - the exponential monetary system is
    2. We need SYSTEMIC, not piecemeal, solutions to climate (eg EVS)
    3. Reduced oil availability will cause a financial/economic cascade
    4. The Maximum Power Principle applies to our energy behavior/choices
    5. Solving for: a) climate, b) equity and c) growth have different solutions
    6. Climate change is an emergent cultural phenomenon - not the fault of fossil fuel companies
    7. Oil is the master resource and will leave us before we leave it. The UK is unlikely to ‘stop oil’
    8. Democracies will never vote for austerity
    9. We are in a new ‘biophysical world. Old rules and expectations no longer apply
    10. Currently there is no “choice” to slow our metabolism. (But there are other choices)

    Just Stop Oil !? Part 2 - Oil is the Economy | Frankly #39 - YouTube

    Chapter 20 of the Ministry for the Future begins with a description of the Gini coefficient.

    From Wikipedia:

    In economics, the Gini coefficient, also known as the Gini index or Gini ratio, is a measure of statistical dispersion intended to represent the income inequality or the wealth inequality or the consumption inequality within a nation or a social group. It was developed by statistician and sociologist Corrado Gini.

    Gini coefficient - Wikipedia

    World map of income inequality Gini coefficients by country (as %). Based on World Bank data ranging from 1992 to 2020. A different map showing Gini coefficients but then for wealth within countries for 2019

    Beau of the Fifth Column: Let’s talk about the railroads….

    Democrats and populism in 2022

    As an anarchist I’ve long thought the two party electoral system of the US is deeply, fundamentally flawed. It’s never been a democracy so much as a republic with a veneer of democracy. Of the two parties the Democrats are the ones that are, in recent decades, the party seen as being “left” or progressive. Of course it’s not at all but it has those elements within it and is seen as the best chance for a manifestation of those political expressions.

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    Extreme Living

    Several weeks ago I shared the below video on a family thread and one of the comments I received was: Takes an extreme mindset to live this type of “one with nature lifestyle”. Watching the video I’d had the opposite reaction. My reaction was that it felt natural, healthy, fun, beautiful. I mulled over that response, “that it requires an extreme mindset” and I suppose that for many that live and grow up in “Western/developed” nations would agree.

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    2021 General Strike?

    At the Guardian, Robert Reich asks if America is experiencing an unofficial general strike? Corporate America wants to frame this as a “labor shortage.” Wrong. What’s really going on is more accurately described as a living-wage shortage, a hazard pay shortage, a childcare shortage, a paid sick leave shortage, and a healthcare shortage. Unless these shortages are rectified, many Americans won’t return to work anytime soon. I say it’s about time.

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    Dipping further into micromobility

    I wrote a few days ago about rural cycling and micromobility and since then I’ve spent a bit of time reading and listening on the larger concept. Much of what I’ve come across thus far is focused on micromobility in the urban setting because that’s where it is most useful and where so many humans live. Also, worth noting perhaps, is that my current primary source on the topic is Micromobility.

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    Only Radical Transformation...

    The “Great Dying” Has Begun. Only Transforming the Economy Can Stop It. Life is once again headed for total collapse. While coverage of last week’s major Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)reporton biodiversity loss rightly played up the dire numbers — an estimated 1 million species gone by 2050 — what’s truly remarkable are the solutions the authors offer in response. Ditching the timid pragmatism of technocrats, these scientists are calling for nothing less than the total transformation of the global economy.

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    Deeper is not Better

    Over the past couple years Automatic Earth has become one of my favorite economic blogs and Ilgari’s Christmas Eve post is a good example of why I venture there daily. Ilgari makes the point that the past year’s economic developments were, essentially, about the transfer of private debt to the public. This picture just gets worse and worse: Many people today feel happy and positive when they look at the stock markets, because they think these reflect the real economy, and since the markets are up, things must have changed for the better in the past year.

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    Worth reading...

    It’s been awhile since I pointed folks to any of my favorite blogs and when I came across this quote over at the Automatic Earth I thought I’d remedy that. First, from this post at the above mentioned site: Joe Bageant has something to add to that picture: Speaking of motives, there are those who worry about an American authoritarian police state one day rounding folks up, shuffling them off to geographically remote camps, such as the Department of Homeland Security’s scattered FEMA Camps.

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    Deepening Crisis

    Oh yes, I know that the stock market had an orgie of a day yesterday on the news of the schemes being cooked up by the Obama administration to deal with the toxic assets currently in the financial system. More of the same and it won’t work because it is a refusal to deal with reality. The whole reaction to this massive mess of fraud is more fraud. The spectacle is truly disgusting.

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    Abyss Indeed

    Exactly. In his latest post, The Abyss Stares Back James Kunstler writes: In the broad blogging margins of the web that orbit the mainstream media like the rings of Saturn, an awful lot of reasonable people have begun to ask whether President Obama is a stooge of whatever remains of Wall Street, with Citigroup and Goldman Sachs’s puppeteer, Robert Rubin, pulling strings behind an arras in the Oval Office. Personally, I doubt it, but it is still a little hard to understand what the President is up to.

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    Getting through this

    I thought I’d direct folks to this fantastic post at The Automatic Earth regarding the costs of homes in relation to personal income and the role of banks in removing wealth from our communities. Some interesting points there about the end of a functioning capitalist system as well as a sensible, community-based approach to dealing with foreclosures. The only thing I’ll add is that we have been far too focused on wishful thinking in this country and that has to end.

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    Understanding the Greater Depression

    Want to get a better foundational understanding of the Greater Depression that we have now entered? Here are a few blogs I’d suggest you read every day or at least a few times a week. Sites which focus on the economic system specifically: Chris Martenson The Automatic Earth The Market Ticker Sites which discuss a broader range of issues (peak oil, self reliance, homesteading, climate change, suburbia…) related to the current collapse and what will follow:

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    Peeling the Onion: What’s Behind the Financial Mess?

    Sharon Astyk has peeled back the layers of the current economic collapse… an excellent essay worth checking out.: What is reducing the amount of productive work accomplished, and moving the money increasingly only into a few pockets? It is the high price of food. And what is the root cause of the high price of food? Well, the single biggest factor, according to a number of studies, including the UN studies, has been the move to food based biofuels.

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    The Greatest Looting Operation in History

    As of now we all know that the bailout did not pass though it could still happen. Chris Martenson on the government bailout:The Greatest Looting Operation in History: Here we must face the hard truth that merely transferring the failed loans from the insolvent banks to an insolvent nation will do nothing but forestall the problem until a slightly later date (when it will be larger and more severe, by the way).

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    The Injustice of an Absurd Bailout

    Vermont’s Independent Senator Bernie Sanders: While the middle class collapses, the richest people in this country have made out like bandits and have not had it so good since the 1920s. The top 0.1 percent now earn more money than the bottom 50 percent of Americans, and the top 1 percent own more wealth than the bottom 90 percent. The wealthiest 400 people in our country saw their wealth increase by $670 billion while Bush has been president.

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    The Crash Course

    Want to know more about the current economic situation and coming Depression? Check out the Crash Course by Chirs Martenson. This is a fantastic series of flash video/slide presentations that explains money, inflation, and the economy. Watch it and share it. This guy does a really excellent job of presenting the history and the current situation… everyone should watch this at least once. It is… STUNNING. Pass it on. Technorati Tags:

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    Growing into tomorrow

    Over the years I’ve spent countless hours reading, learning and speculating about the future of humanity and the planet we call earth. In my first years of college in 1988-1990 I first started learning about the human rights movement, alternative agriculture, and the budding american Green movement. I founded a Green local in my college town, Kirksville, MO and I began to identify myself as an activist. Between my time away from family as well as this fundamental shift in my identity I began to notice a crack which became a gulf in how I related to my fellow humans and they to me.

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    Of politics and a warming planet

    Regarding the recent U.S. elections Ted Glick writes that it was Not the Revolution, But an Opening: Fundamental, revolutionary, political and social change is clearly needed in the USA and the world. Corporate domination of the economic and political system and mass culture is a huge threat to the possibilities for a decent and sustainable future for humankind and for all forms of life on the earth. King Coal and Big Oil continue to use their power and vast wealth to keep us locked into a reliance on earth-heating fossil fuels that, if not quickly reversed, will lead to a steady escalation of catastrophic climate events and a breakdown of an already-stressed ecosystem.

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