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20 January 2016 @ 03:55 pm
Whether or not there is an outright global recession in 2016, it's definitely starting to look a lot like not Christmas around the world. After a period of inactivity, more and more people began posting and commenting over in the_recession, so we've formally restarted the group. I know a lot of members here who were active and we are a sister community. Please feel free to come on by and discuss the recession or global recession 2016 with us, as well.
 
 
10 May 2014 @ 07:38 pm
Warning: Bad Headline.
NASA Study Concludes When Civilization Will End, And It's Not Looking Good for Us [Policy Mic]
A soon-to-be published research paper, 'Human and Nature Dynamics (HANDY): Modeling Inequality and Use of Resources in the Collapse or Sustainability of Societies' by University of Maryland researchers Safa Motesharrei and Eugenia Kalnay, and University of Minnesota's Jorge Rivas, was not solicited, directed or reviewed by NASA. It is an independent study by the university researchers utilizing research tools developed for a separate NASA activity.

[...]

Analyzing five risk factors for societal collapse (population, climate, water, agriculture and energy), the report says that the sudden downfall of complicated societal structures can follow when these factors converge to form two important criteria. Motesharrei's report says that all societal collapses over the past 5,000 years have involved both "the stretching of resources due to the strain placed on the ecological carrying capacity" and "the economic stratification of society into Elites [rich] and Masses (or "Commoners") [poor]." This "Elite" population restricts the flow of resources accessible to the "Masses", accumulating a surplus for themselves that is high enough to strain natural resources. Eventually this situation will inevitably result in the destruction of society.

[...]

In other words, the benefits of technology are outweighed by how much the gains reinforce the existing, over-burdened system — making collapse even more likely.

[...]

"Although the study is largely theoretical, a number of other more empirically-focused studies — by KPMG and the UK Government Office of Science for instance — have warned that the convergence of food, water and energy crises could create a 'perfect storm' within about fifteen years. But these 'business as usual' forecasts could be very conservative."

aka, things we have known since 1972's "Limits to Growth" which predicted collapse by 2050.
 
 
12 April 2014 @ 09:13 am



a sign posted on the road reads:
there is no bread
no flour
no milk
no paper
no safety
no butter

DO NOT ENTER


when insanity becomes normal
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmvAdRntWH8
 
 
Nasa-funded study: industrial civilisation headed for 'irreversible collapse'? [The Guardian]
A new study sponsored by Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Center has highlighted the prospect that global industrial civilisation could collapse in coming decades due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution.

Noting that warnings of 'collapse' are often seen to be fringe or controversial, the study attempts to make sense of compelling historical data showing that "the process of rise-and-collapse is actually a recurrent cycle found throughout history." Cases of severe civilisational disruption due to "precipitous collapse - often lasting centuries - have been quite common."

[...]

By investigating the human-nature dynamics of these past cases of collapse, the project identifies the most salient interrelated factors which explain civilisational decline, and which may help determine the risk of collapse today: namely, Population, Climate, Water, Agriculture, and Energy.

These factors can lead to collapse when they converge to generate two crucial social features: "the stretching of resources due to the strain placed on the ecological carrying capacity"; and "the economic stratification of society into Elites [rich] and Masses (or "Commoners") [poor]" These social phenomena have played "a central role in the character or in the process of the collapse," in all such cases over "the last five thousand years."
The whole thing is gold; you should read it.

Geoengineering side effects could be potentially disastrous, research shows [The Guardian]
 
 
11 March 2014 @ 09:10 am
8 Reasons Young Americans Don't Fight Back: How the US Crushed Youth Resistance [Films for Action]
  1. Student-Loan Debt.
  2. Psychopathologizing and Medicating Noncompliance.
  3. Schools That Educate for Compliance and Not for Democracy.
  4. “No Child Left Behind” and “Race to the Top.”
  5. Shaming Young People Who Take Education—But Not Their Schooling—Seriously.
  6. The Normalization of Surveillance.
  7. Television.
  8. Fundamentalist Religion and Fundamentalist Consumerism.
The biggest thing, in my opinion, is that young Americans tend to believe the propaganda -- they believe the American system can work for them. This is touched on in the above (3, 7, 8), but not explicitly.

Oakland emails give another glimpse into the Google-Military-Surveillance Complex
Main item on the agenda that night: The “Domain Awareness Center” (DAC) — a federally funded project that, if built as planned, would link up real time audio and video feeds from thousands of sensors across the city — including CCTV cameras in public schools and public housing projects, as well as Oakland Police Department mobile license plate scanners — into one high-tech control hub, where analysts could pipe the data through face recognition software, surveil the city by location and enrich its intelligence with data coming in from local, state and federal government and law enforcement agencies.

[...]

The anger wasn’t just the standard objection to surveillance — or at least it was, but it had been intensified by a set of documents, obtained through a public records request by privacy activists, that showed city officials were more interested in using DAC’s surveillance capabilities to monitor political protests rather than fighting crime. The evidence was abundant and overwhelming: in email after email, Oakland officials had discussed the DAC usefulness for keeping tabs on activists, monitoring non-violent political protests and minimize port disruption due to union/labor strikes.
Big problem with Iditarod: Plenty of mushers, sleds, but little snow [LA Times]

Mars One Way: Meet The People Who Want To Go To Mars And Never Come Back [Digg]

Global Warming Slows Antarctica's Coldest Currents [Scientific American] Incomplete study, but interesting.

Chipotle Warns It Might Stop Serving Guacamole If Climate Change Gets Worse [Think Progress] Maybe now we will get some action on climate change. Ha ha ha.

The FBI Announces Gangs Have Infiltrated Every Branch Of The Military [Business Insider]

Drought leaves dark cloud over California ranchers, growers [LA Times]

Teachers Offered Personal Loans to Buy School Supplies [Sociological Images]
 
 
 
22 January 2014 @ 12:05 pm
Some of these are a couple of years old, but are still relevant.

A Student Writes….Global Extinction Within One Lifetime? [The Ecologist]
Malcolm Light; inventor, retired professor and the name behind this report, believes he has accurately calculated methane gas warming potentials. He says: “This process of methane release will accelerate exponentially, release huge quantities of methane into the atmosphere and lead to the demise of all life on earth before the middle of this century.”
Apparently, the report is this: Global Extinction within one Human Lifetime as a Result of a Spreading Atmospheric Arctic Methane Heat wave and Surface Firestorm [Arctic News] ... so not the best source ever, but still worth considering.

New, privatized African city heralds climate apartheid [The Guardian]

Report: World's 85 richest have same wealth as all of bottom 50 percent [Al Jazeera]

More oil spilled from trains in 2013 than in previous 4 decades, federal data show [KC Star]

Oil Supply Limits and the Continuing Financial Crisis [Gail the Actuary; Gail Tverberg; Our Finite World] Gail explains how oil scarcity created the financial crisis (the details of who it affected were caused by the greed of the rich), and why the financial crisis will continue.

Why EIA, IEA, and Randers’ 2052 Energy Forecasts are Wrong [Gail the Actuary]

What If Your Autonomous Car Keeps Routing You Past Krispy Kreme? [The Atlantic]
 
 
US Army colonel: world is sleepwalking to a global energy crisis [The Guardian]
Lewis also referred to US Energy Information Administration (EIA) data showing that although global crude oil exports increased "year on year from 2001 to 2005", they "peaked in 2005 and have been trending down since 2009." Lewis attributed this trend to rapidly rising populations in the Middle East which has led to escalating domestic oil consumption, effectively eating into the quantity of oil available to export onto world markets.

[thus confirming the Exportland Model]

The IEA report also shows that despite oil industry investment trebling in real terms since 2000 (an increase of around 200-300%), this has translated into an oil supply increase of just 12%.

[clear evidence of peak]
See also: Now the Pentagon tells Bush: climate change will destroy us from 2004.

Global temperatures to rise 4 degrees by 2100 [The Economic Times, quoting a researcher who recently published in Nature]

James Inhofe interrupts Senate unemployment debate to blame climate change on God [Raw Story]

Slowly, Water Is Flowing Again In West Virginia [NPR]
Phrases such as "light at the end of the tunnel" are being used by officials in West Virginia as they give about 300,000 people there hope that they'll soon be able to use the water that's supplied to their homes and businesses.

It was last Thursday, as we reported, when a chemical used in coal processing leaked into the Elk River near Charleston and then into the region's water supply system. Residents and businesses across nine counties were warned not to use the water coming from their taps because the chemical — methylcyclohexene methanol — can cause severe burning in the throat, vomiting and skin blistering.
"Clean coal," LOL
 
 
26 December 2013 @ 02:28 pm
Dramatic decline in industrial agriculture could herald 'peak food' [The Guardian]

Original Source: Distinguishing between yield advances and yield plateaus in historical crop production trends [Nature]
To summarize, we found widespread deceleration in the relative rate of increase of average yields of the major cereal crops during the 1990–2010 period in countries with greatest production of these crops, and strong evidence of yield plateaus or an abrupt drop in rate of yield gain in 44% of the cases (Table 1), which, together, account for 31% of total global rice, wheat and maize production (Table 2). The results strongly support the proposition that estimates of future cereal production should be derived from yield projections based on linear models, with breakpoints and plateaus to reflect the linear nature of the crop yield gains in an ascending phase during which modern crop management practices are adopted, and the existence of a biophysical upper limit for grain yield best estimated by robust crop simulation models.
 
 
23 December 2013 @ 01:32 pm
Okra-homa: As the climate warms, Midwestern farmers plant southern crops [Al Jazeera]
Agriculture specialists say two things are happening: higher temperatures and a lower water table. The summer of 2012 was the third-hottest summer on record for the U.S., according to the National Climatic Data Center, with record-breaking heat waves continuing in 2013.

At the same time, little water fell. Much of Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma fell into the "exceptional" or "worst" drought category in 2012, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. It remained dry throughout much of 2013, rivaling the Dust Bowl years.

The corn wouldn't pollinate. The tomatoes crashed. Broccoli withered. So farmers started looking for hardy plants that could handle the long 100-degree spells in July and August.

The heat didn't just affect the plants. It was so dry last year, Skeeba said, that her goats went into heat months early. The goats had a set of kids in December — usually born in March or April — and then a second set at the end of June.
Freshwater shortage could double climate change effects on agriculture [UPI]

How Wall Street Power Brokers Are Designing the Future of Public Education as a Money-Making Machine [AlterNet]

Corporations increasingly spying on nonprofits, group says [LA Times]
 
 
The 2014 Shrimp Season In The Gulf Of Maine Has Been Canceled [Think Progress]
Perhaps most worrying is the fact that juvenile shrimp have not been picked up in a survey since 2010. Northern shrimp live about five years, so the lack of younger shrimp for three years straight may mean empty nets for years to come.
“During the last ten years the water temperature in the Gulf of Maine has been running about 2.5 degrees Celsius or about 5 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the previous one hundred year average,” Annala said. “We don’t know what the thermal threshold of this species is, but the Gulf of Maine has always been the southernmost extreme of their range, so we probably don’t have much wiggle room.”
Even if Northern shrimp prove themselves to be more heat tolerant than scientists predict, the warmer waters in the Gulf of Maine are proving deadly to the shrimp’s food supply, tiny zooplankton. Last spring, the usual surge in plankton never happened. Many species of plankton are also at the southernmost end of their thermal tolerance. Warmer waters are also making the Gulf more hospitable to shrimp predators like dogfish and red hake.
“Decisions like this one show how fishermen are on the front lines of the battle against climate change,” said Michael Conathan, Director of Ocean Policy at the Center for American Progress in a phone interview.
Report: Half of U.S. Families Live on the Edge of ‘Economic Chaos’ [Color Lines]

48% OF U.S. SCHOOLCHILDREN LIVE IN POVERTY [Sociological Images]

Arctic Storms, Warming Mean More Methane Released [Climate Central]

Toxic Lakes From Tar-Sand Projects Planned for Alberta [Bloomberg]