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Michael Lynch: The Myth Of America’s Addiction To Oil


Some years ago, President George W. Bush, the putative oil man, shocked the nation by saying that America was addicted to oil. Needless to say, any number of groups echoed the charge, and I wrote a piece then, but it seems time to revisit the case, given changes in oil prices and rebounding sales for large vehicles. In the near future, as tax breaks for electric vehicles reach their limits and CAFÉ standards start to bite, there will no doubt be new howls about our addiction.

The claim that we are “addicted” to oil reveals an ideological bias, as well as a degree of energy illiteracy, which is frankly quite common. Those stating this are either being less than honest (politicians and special interests) or have failed to comprehend either addiction or economics.  For example, why say Americans are addicted to oil, but not food, housing and clothing?  Or cement or steel?  It is easy to compare the traditional types of addiction with the reliance on these substances to see where oil falls on the spectrum.

Addictive substances typically cause changes in brain behavior, create a sense of euphoria and a biophysical reaction that makes it hard for some to resist them. People consuming these substances find themselves all but helpless to stop and will sacrifice family, career and health to their addiction.

Additionally, they also reduce productive activity, making citizens less capable and/or less interested in being productive. While there are many functioning addicts, there are also huge numbers whose lives have been ruined by their addictions, one reason why some religions ban their consumption (Mormons, Southern Baptists, etc.).

Arguably, the only positive effect from satisfying most addictions is a feeling of euphoria. Now, driving a Tesla with the Ludicrous option might generate euphoria in most people, but if you ask any driver on the Mass Pike at rush hour if they are experiencing euphoria and you will see a classic example of road rage. With a Boston accent.

Nor do people seem incapable of controlling their consumption of oil. Gasoline consumption in the US peaked in 2007 and declined afterwards, primarily due to less driving and a shift towards purchase of more efficient vehicles. Given the high oil prices, this contradicts addictive behavior and instead resembles economic rationality.

On the other end of the spectrum, how does oil consumption compare to economic inputs? Steel is an input for other products, such as machinery and buildings, which are useful and valuable.  No direct pleasure is provided, though many are enamored of structures and machinery (I like trains myself), and people buy it or not as needed and depending on prices.  No one drives into a bad neighborhood late at night to use their last dollar buy steel from strangers.  Yet, it seems that we cannot do without it, and import whatever we cannot produce ourselves.

So, on the spectrum of goods—psychoactive substances to economic inputs, heroin to steel—where does petroleum fall?  Do we see homeless citizens begging for coins on street corners to fill their SUVs?   Lying to their families about their purchase of premium gasoline?  Losing their jobs because they can’t give up ‘the juice’?

On the contrary, petroleum is used to transport goods and services, and to move people to work so that they can be economically productive.  It also provides mobility, increasing the freedom of the citizenry significantly over the days of horses and steam railroads, thereby improving their quality of life. That people will continue driving at high prices is a recognition of the marginal utility of gasoline: would it really be rational to refuse to drive to work just because your commute costs an extra $10 a day when gasoline prices are high?

Similarly, the devotees of electric cars—most of whom are unwilling to pay for them without massive taxpayer assistance—seem to feel that gasoline engines were forced on consumers by car makers or “Big Oil.”  A typical comment:  “one of the reasons why electric cars were abandoned 100 years ago is because the auto companies made a deal with the oil companies and decided to go ahead and pursue that, rather than do batteries.”  It means nothing that, even after a century of development, batteries still cannot compete with the internal combustion engine in economics, range, power, or performance.

The electric car is in fact a Potemkin village on wheels—a high-tech façade that disguises the heavy, dirty industry behind it, both in the manufacture of the vehicles and batteries and the electricity generated to power them.  Given that only the well-off will be able to afford them (expensive toys for rich boys), even with substantial tax breaks, the expenditure of government money ($200 million a year in California) to subsidize them is nearly criminal in this time of constrained budget resources.

What, then, can we conclude about our ‘addiction’ to oil?  It is a totally fallacious concept, promoted by those who have an inherent bias against oil and the oil industry and are seeking to explain the failure of the American public to choose to pay extremely high electricity prices and buy expensive cars incapable of traveling one hundred miles on a single, multi-hour, charge.  The truth is that American consumers have ample choices and have chosen wisely.


45 Comments on "Michael Lynch: The Myth Of America’s Addiction To Oil"

  1. adamc18 on Sun, 25th Oct 2015 8:12 am 

    The reason that governments all over the developed world are offering incentives to their citizens to buy electric cars is because we urgently need to reduce the pollution from oil-fuelled vehicles which is killing citizens both in the short-term through air-borne toxins and in the longer-term through CO2 emissions.

    I suspect that the majority of those buying electric cars therefore see it as the socially responsible thing to do, for the sake of the health of their fellow citizens and to improve the otherwise dismal future of their own children and grandchildren.

    It seems that people like this writer see the individual’s role as grasping as much as possible as cheaply as possible in the very definite addiction of unlimited consumerism.

    Some of us feel that unthinking consumerism is a degrading debasement of human life and that human beings are not just consumers.

    The complete failure to address the reason for the development of electric cars suggests that the writer is a planet destroying science denier.

  2. onlooker on Sun, 25th Oct 2015 8:37 am 

    Good comment Ada “The complete failure to address the reason for the development of electric cars suggests that the writer is a planet destroying science denier.” So this writer seems to imply people just woke up one day and decided they did not like the oil industry and its role in our society. I can hardly contain my laughter. These are the clowns who typically write for the mainstream media. The writer is practically imploring that we continue using oil like their is no tomorrow. How quaint. Oh and no mention of the salient reasons to diverge from oil as fast and as much as possible

  3. Davy on Sun, 25th Oct 2015 8:53 am 

    The article opens stupid with the lame attempt to equate addiction to oil consumption. We can reasonably say we are dangerously dependent to oil. Oil is a non-renewable resource and this resource is showing signs of depletion. This depletion is both quantitative and qualitative in regards to its remaining resource and its economics of production. Today’s oil is not dad’s oil experience.

    Electric transportation does have a niche at best. It is another greenie fantasy and delusion. It is a dirty and complex production process that should not be given a green label. If we could power these electric vehicles with renewable energy directly for localized use I say that is a good application. When you attempt to offer electric vehicles as replacements to fossil fuel transport they are a flop. The hybrid technologies I see as a plus. We know stopping and starting in city traffic is much more efficient with a hybrid. Tesla vehicles are a big joke. They are rich man’s toys. Our future is going to need to focus on slower and less tech not faster and more.

    Here is the oil pervert at his best with snakeoil hypocrisy. Is this not the black kettle calling the pot black or what?

    “The electric car is in fact a Potemkin village on wheels—a high-tech façade that disguises the heavy, dirty industry behind it, both in the manufacture of the vehicles and batteries and the electricity generated to power them. Given that only the well-off will be able to afford them (expensive toys for rich boys), even with substantial tax breaks, the expenditure of government money ($200 million a year in California) to subsidize them is nearly criminal in this time of constrained budget resources.”

    Then you get to the bottom to see this is a Forbes article. Forbes is brown corn porn at its finest. Forbs has no regards to fairness, balance, or science. Forbes is a failure of a psychopathic system of capitalism preaching all is well when all is not well. I hope Lynch reads our comments and comes on the board like he has in the past to brag on his credentials. Nothing worse than an asswipe braggart who is a snakeoil salesman.

  4. onlooker on Sun, 25th Oct 2015 9:11 am 

    Yes let the delusion enablers continue with their canards and bogus claims so that we can dissect their arguments point by point and reduce them to their true hollow wishful and false nature. Asswipes are useful for they bring into focus the rampant delusional thinking that still permeates the main stream media as well as the minds of the masses.

  5. shortonoil on Sun, 25th Oct 2015 9:15 am 

    Lynch is either a science illiterate, or a complete prostitute for the industry. Comparing petroleum use to heroin is ridiculous. This writer could insult the intelligence of a fruit fly!

    The establishment is, however, obviously aware of the grave situation unfolding in the petroleum industry. Otherwise they would not employee such a hack to promote the all is well theme. At $44/ barrel the industry now has one foot in the grave, and the other on a banana peel. All this article accomplishes is to help reconfirm our original evaluation.

  6. ghung on Sun, 25th Oct 2015 10:22 am 

    I’ve never found anything substantive or relevant in Lynch’s writings. Basically a fictionalising word minkey.

  7. ghung on Sun, 25th Oct 2015 10:24 am 

    Apologies to Inspector Clouseau 😉

  8. Tom S on Sun, 25th Oct 2015 10:32 am 

    The “addiction” thing was just a metaphor. It fits in some ways but not in others.

    “…the expenditure of government money ($200 million a year in California) to subsidize them is nearly criminal in this time of constrained budget resources.”

    I think California has about 20 million taxpayers which means each one is paying $10/year to subsidize electric cars. This has helped an important industry to get a start. It’s not “criminal” or anywhere close to it to pay $10/year/taxpayer in order to get this EV thing going.

    These days, almost all major manufacturers are planning electric cars, and Tesla is building a Gigafactory. Who knows how it will all turn out. However if EVs are even modestly successful (meaning more than 5% of sales by 2025), then the $10/year will have been well spent, in my opinion.

    -Tom S

  9. MrNoItAll on Sun, 25th Oct 2015 11:42 am 

    I think that “addiction” is a pretty good analogy for the relationship between not just America and oil, but also between the current state of human civilization and oil.

    Needs a regular supply to maintain current dysfunctional and ultimately self-destructive way of life? Check!

    Will experience violent life-threatening withdrawal symptoms if unable to get the regular fix? Check!

    Will lie, cheat, steal, murder, sell one’s own children and sacrifice all human dignity in the desperate need to keep the regular fixes coming? Check!

    When supply is running out, will scrape the bottom of stash can (planet earth) and crawl on one’s belly searching desperately for residue and crumbs with which to put together another fix? Check!

    When the supply runs out or is no longer accessible, will experience a protracted period of severe pain and agony and may not even survive at all, but if survives, will be vastly changed and arguably better off in the long run having finally “kicked” the habit. Check!

  10. MrNoItAll on Sun, 25th Oct 2015 11:45 am 

    “President George W. Bush, the putative oil man…”

    Also, the putative fighter pilot. The putative winner of the presidential election. The putative war leader. The putative cowboy. The putative human being.

    He was a putative favorite of mine!

  11. joe on Sun, 25th Oct 2015 11:48 am 

    I just wish I had that 40 seconds of my life back.
    No comment.

  12. Plantagenet on Sun, 25th Oct 2015 11:52 am 

    Yes we have to get off oil. Yes the world should shift to electric cars.

    No the government shouldn’t subsidize it—-or at least they should change what the way they subsidize it now, since the subsidies go to mainly to wealthy people.

    Any program that taxes the poor to subsidize the rich is wrong-headed, even if its a subsidy to buy electric cars.


  13. Davy on Sun, 25th Oct 2015 12:02 pm 

    Addiction and dependence are similiar and different mainly by intent. An addiction is a psychological and or physical need for something that has a connotation of pleasure needs gone destructive. Dependence has connotations of life supporting but also can mean a negative state of need.

    Oil is vital. If you take it away BILLIONS will die PERIOD. That is dependence. Is our dependence bad? Yes. Can we solve this dependence yes but many of us will have to give up significant lifespan to change that. Many will die relatively quickly.

    There is addictive element to our dependence on oil. That addiction element is consumerism and liesure that are high intensity fossil fuel driven. They have morphed into a necessary aspect of our global economy but not necessary for our basic survival. The problem now is they are a vital component to the economy. If ended the economy ends. If the economy ends our vital life support ends. Do you smell a catch 22?

  14. Bob Owens on Sun, 25th Oct 2015 12:27 pm 

    The “oil addiction” term is simply social shorthand for the fact that we (US) are required to import a sizable fraction of our oil from unstable countries that are constantly at tribal war and which, because of our addiction, we have been forced to defend militarily and socially (think of the Saudi 9-11 terrorists that the US has never acknowledged as being Saudis). It is an addiction we could overcome with a little willpower and determination, but have chosen not to. So we spend Trillions on our military and our wars. We will never learn.

  15. GregT on Sun, 25th Oct 2015 12:48 pm 

    TomS above is a perfect example of what it is that we are really addicted to. Energy, and modern industrial society. Oil just happens to be the energy source du jour, that is allowing us to exploit the natural environment for creature comforts that we do not need, and it is the energy source that has allowed us to overshoot the carrying capacity of the Earth’s natural ecosystems. People like TomS are looking for alternatives to keep the high going for a little while longer, while remaining in complete denial of the real problems that we face. Consumption, industrialism, environmental degradation, and above all else, overpopulation.

    We need to ditch the techno-utopian-fantasy-future, and embrace sustainability and localism. We are no longer only exploiting the Earth, we are now exploiting the future of all life on this wonderful planet.

  16. apneaman on Sun, 25th Oct 2015 1:03 pm 

    Bob Owens, how did they become the countries they are? Who drew the lines? Who goes to great and bloody effort to get their pet dictator in power then blows the country up when he turns? Same play book as Ukraine last year. Same old same old. How fucking stupid do you have to be to not spot the pattern?

  17. rockman on Sun, 25th Oct 2015 1:54 pm 

    I get the impression that some who thinks he buys the addiction angle as valid must not have read to closely. As far as him advocating oil consumption he’s just seems to be describe the dynamics at play. While one might not like those dynamics but pretending they don’t exist doesn’t help changing them. Saying those dynamics are wrong and trying to wish them away for many years now hasn’t changed the situation so I doubt continuing doing so in the future will either IMHO.

  18. Bob Owens on Sun, 25th Oct 2015 2:19 pm 

    Apneaman, Do you always try to make yourself look good by trying to put other people down? That just leads to a bitter life for you.

  19. onlooker on Sun, 25th Oct 2015 2:41 pm 

    So true we have put all our eggs in the oil basket. So global trade and many economies absolutely rely on oil to keep their economies humming. Take away the oil, the economies come to a screeching halt and as Davy said critical life support systems sputter and halt. Yet even now one can see the outline of the future in that those with the economic and military power will appropriate themselves of what remaining oil their is. Globalization will slow and eventually halt. Then countries must make do with their “own” resources with little or no fossil fuels to count on. Then we shall see what the TRUE carrying capacity of Earth is. Of course all this with global warming looming as an ever more disruptive force. Three key factors would come into play. Those countries who still have access to some FF, those who are not too overpopulated relative to resources and those who still have arable land that can permit the growing of food in a traditional non fossil fuel manner and have the corresponding fresh water resources. Let us just eliminate whole regions as hopelessly unsustainable with respect to these factors: Asia, Middle East, Africa, Europe. So that leaves the Western Hemisphere with the possible exception of Russia as the only area that perhaps can weather the figurative storms/problems ahead, though GW is the wildcard nobody would be able to deal with.

  20. Newfie on Sun, 25th Oct 2015 3:41 pm 

    Michael Lynch is addicted to writing bulls–t.

  21. apneaman on Sun, 25th Oct 2015 5:24 pm 

    Bob, I already look good. The rest is just for fun.

  22. Snoopy on Sun, 25th Oct 2015 5:54 pm 

    apneaman – No you don’t, although it is refreshing to not have you post dozens of links in your comments.

  23. apneaman on Sun, 25th Oct 2015 6:53 pm 

    Snoopy, for every sniveling, whining, bed wetting, sissy like you who bitches about my links, I get 10 compliments for them. Is someone forcing you to click on them? How about reading my comments? What’s wrong retard, too many big words?

    Have a couple Links on me

    Why 400 U.S. cities will one day be under water
    Climate scientist Anders Levermann explains his new study, which has bad news for coastal cities.

    Learning to Die in the Anthropocene: Reflections on the End of a Civilization

    Drought in Brazilian Amazon Causes Drop in River Levels, Lack of Electricity

    Radiation Sensors in Major U.S. Cities Turned Off Because They Don’t Work

  24. makati1 on Sun, 25th Oct 2015 8:04 pm 

    Do any of you realize that most of the world’s population is NOT hooked on oil? That many would not even notice the disappearance if it ended tomorrow? It is an addiction of the more wealthy, not the poor. And anyone who makes over $10K/yr* is in the ‘wealthy’ percentages of the world’s population. About 14% of us. The other 86% are below the median an have little use for the stuff.

    And, don’t mention food as a result of oil. Again, it is mostly in the developed 14% where food comes from the oil wells and benefits the wealthy. Yes, there will be die-off when the SHTF, but it will be all over the world. Not just in the ‘poorer’ countries but mostly in the spoiled Western and wannabee countries of obesity, and diabetic food addicts.
    Food independence is NOT true of any country today.

    “… Seasonal and climatic factors drive U.S. imports of popular types of fruits and vegetables and tropical products, such as cocoa and coffee. In addition, a growing share of U.S. imports can be attributed to intra-industry trade, whereby agricultural-processing industries based in the United States carry out certain processing steps offshore and import products at different levels of processing from their subsidiaries in foreign markets….” **



  25. Davy on Sun, 25th Oct 2015 8:13 pm 

    Mak has a poor understanding of the global food chain. I am asking you folks do you think those 86% of the world population are going to survive the end of oil? Basically folks Mak is saying 6BIL people will be surviving the end of oil and the 1BIL rich will perish. Folks is that just off the wall or what?

  26. GregT on Sun, 25th Oct 2015 9:23 pm 

    “No you don’t, although it is refreshing to not have you post dozens of links in your comments.”

    What do you care Snoop? Judging from your above comment, I’m willing to bet that you don’t read them anyways.

    Ignore the blue text, and everything in the world will be right as rain……for you.

  27. onlooker on Sun, 25th Oct 2015 11:49 pm 

    I would have to agree more with Davy then Mak. First of many of the poorer countries are receiving food aid from those few countries that export food in substantial amounts. Second, countries like India and China do utilize the Green revolution to augment their food supply to the level it is at. In addition the transporting of food to all corners of a country is done via fuel powered vehicles. It is a question of physics of resources (food) to match population size. I am not saying die-off will not occur in rich countries as well, for it will. Yet one must be realistic in admitting how overpopulated areas such as Asia are. I will provide here a link to arable land per capita so Mak and others can see how food insecure most countries are.

  28. GregT on Mon, 26th Oct 2015 12:35 am 

    According to your link onlooker; Argentina, Australia, Canada, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Paraguay, Russia, Ukraine, and Uruguay have the most arable land per capita. I don’t really see that as a viable indicator of food production post oil though. I see the countries (or rather locales), with the greatest populations of people producing food with the least reliance on fossil fuels, as the ones that will fare best.

    Canada should not be at the top of the list then. We have a very tiny population of people that could be considered to be poor rural farmers. We are almost entirely reliant on oil for food production, and our standards of living are comparably high. The people everywhere around the globe that are the most likely to do well post oil, are the people that are already relying on oil the least, and the people that are already accustomed to a life of sustenance.

    In that regard, I would have to agree more with Mak, then Davy. Which is exactly why I myself have opted out of the life of plenty, and returned back to a small rural local community.

  29. GregT on Mon, 26th Oct 2015 12:52 am 

    And also, in Maks defence, nowhere in his above post did he mention China or India.

    Mak said “Yes, there will be die-off when the SHTF, but it will be all over the world. Not just in the ‘poorer’ countries but mostly in the spoiled Western and wannabee countries of obesity, and diabetic food addicts.”

    Sadly, being a member of one of those “spoiled western countries”, I completely agree with him. UNLESS, our governments engage in a massive program to curb consumption, and to get people back on the land so to speak. I do not see that occurring yet, and I would be dumbfounded if it ever did happen.

    Almost no one in the west strives to become a poor dirt farmer.

  30. theedrich on Mon, 26th Oct 2015 1:09 am 

    Dieoff?  But Clitorine Clinton says she will solve it all.  By exterminating all White males outside of the Demonic Party, that is.  Then everyone will be able to drive an electrocar, get a Ph.D. and a Nobel Prize for peace at birth, and have heaven on earth.  ThirdWorld bacteria will be able to flow into America and expand our population to a trillion or more, enriching it with their ThirdWorldism.  Mother Nature will suspend her laws in deference to our queenie.  The Millennium will have arrived, and there will no longer be any reason for people like Lynch to write meaningless pap about metaphors.

  31. peakyeast on Mon, 26th Oct 2015 1:34 am 

    First we need to wean the electric cars and their industry of their addiction:-) to fossil inputs.. Then we can shift to them…

  32. onlooker on Mon, 26th Oct 2015 2:00 am
    I would point out that contrary to the point that poor countries are not reliant on FF is the fact that the Green revolution around the 1960’s is the basis of the high productivity of arable land in developing countries. You take away the prolific application of synthetic fertilizers and you would see a fall in productivity. Furthermore, China and India just themselves account for almost 1/3 of the world’s population. Also, remember this is a holistic problem, water is becoming a dire issue in China and India. So the food situation is complicated but it matters not how many farmers you have working if the amount of arable land and its productivity is lacking to feed all your population. I submit that is the case for almost all countries. Whether because of huge populations or over reliance on modern agriculture, the result is the same, entropy will set it and conspire to limit populations to levels commensurate with natural carrying capacity. by the way did you notice the arable land per capita of China and India.

  33. makati1 on Mon, 26th Oct 2015 2:43 am 

    Onlooker, as in financial advice, past performance is no indication of future performance.

    Look at what climate change is doing to The Us food basket. Ap has been putting up references to the changes happening today to the Us ability to grow food. Cali is getting salt in their aquifers, that still exist. Not to mention the drying up of the Southwest. Heat? Dust bowl in the making like in the 30s? If so, there goes a lot of the corn and wheat belt. Unpredictable weather will take out a lot of future crops. The Us already imports about 20% of its food.

    With about 2% of the Us population actually living on farms and the rest being corporate industrial ag with high petroleum and NG input, who is going to grow your veggies and fruits and chickens when the SHTF? Beef will be history. As will coffee, and nice things like chocolate, for Americans, because they are imports.

    As for American farm soil. How much of it has been saturated with pesticides and things like Round-up? Did you know that many of them actually remove the necessary minerals and amino acids that you need to be healthy? I didn’t know that until I read a well documented paper about Glyphosate, that was not sponsored by Monsanto. It is the most deadly poison possible as it destroys not only the soil but the people who consume it in their foods everyday. I cannot reference it here as it is not online and too long to message as a comment, but in part:

    “Numerous studies have shown that health issues regarding glyphosate cannot continue to be ignored. Glyphosate blocks three amino acids thereby reducing the amount of amino acids that can be used to build neurotransmitters in the brain such as serotonin, dopamine, melatonin, and norepinephrine, and neuromelanin and melanin (Racke 14). Low levels of serotonin are related to depression while low levels of dopamine are associated with Parkinson’s. Other studies have shown a build-up of formaldehyde in the body and gut with exposure to glyphosate. Formaldehyde is neurotoxic and contributes to the formation of plaques similar to those found in Alzheimer Dementia (Nie 9). When glyphosate is combined with aluminum, it has been documented to cause encephalopathy, disruption of the body’s metabolism, and fatty liver (Mailloux 2232). Fatty liver and metabolic syndrome are the new and upcoming diseases of the decade with new diagnoses rising astronomically. Glyphosate also enhances penetration of aluminum in the gut causing Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and leaky gut (Mailloux 2235). As we already know, a person does not even have to have aluminum in his body since glyphosate combines with it in the soil.
    As a chlelator, glyphosate depletes the soil of many minerals such as zinc, manganese, magnesium, copper, and calcium, the same minerals that are necessary for proper brain function. Zinc is one of the most common trace minerals in the brain; low levels of zinc are found in people with Alzheimer Dementia (AD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and increases the risk for both (Brewer 107). Magnesium, another mineral, is the most common ion in the brain; lower levels of magnesium affect the central nervous system functioning, muscle function, oxygen absorption, energy production or metabolism, and electrolyte imbalances (Mithieux 128). Zinc and magnesium together have protective properties during a brain injury that help to limit or contain the damage. While not a mineral, Omega-3, an essential fatty acid, is greatly reduced in the presence of glyphosate. Omega-3 has shown to reduce the toxic effects of glutamate, a chemical that is released after a TBI limiting the secondary damage to gray matter (brain tissue) (Mills 83). America is experiencing an epidemic of Vitamin D3 deficiency that has been worsening for years. Even if a person is not deficient of Vitamin D3, glyphosate disrupts the enzymes that activate D3 limiting the amount of D3 in circulation. Low levels of Vitamin D3 are associated with “inflammatory disease, autoimmune disease, cardiovascular disease, neuromuscular disease, neurodegenerative disease, and cancer” (Kulie 699). Lower levels of D3 are associated with increased Parkinson’s disease, dementia, Alzheimer Dementia, stroke, and the appearance of lesions in the vessels of the brain (Kulie 699).
    As an endocrine disruptor, glyphosate has been shown to alter androgen and estrogen receptors and disrupt sex hormones. Androgen receptors in men are disrupted causing increased necrosis, or death, and shedding of the foundational cells for sperm creation (Gab-Alla 1119). Glyphosate also can imitate estrogen and act as an estrogen substitute stimulating the abnormal growth of breast cells that are estrogen-dependent (Hokasin 749). Another study shows that glyphosate increases the growth of cancerous breast cells (Thongprakaisang 134). Gestational exposure to pesticides and herbicides has shown to cause an increase in Autism Spectrum Disorder and Developmental Delays in children according to the CHARGE Study conducted in California (Tassone 533). Multiple studies have documented liver and kidney damage as well as blood chemistry changes with exposure to glyphosate (Gab-Alla 1120) (Kilic 1168) (Seralini 599) (Seralini 4222) (Seralini 2) (Tudisco 194). By now we have learned that glyphosate has toxic effects on the brain, the metabolism, the liver, the kidneys, the gut, the blood, the vessels, endocrine hormones, minerals and vitamins.”

    I know now why so many countries are banning GMO and Round-up like products. They are indiscriminate killers. What is in YOUR food?

  34. peakyeast on Mon, 26th Oct 2015 2:54 am 

    @onlooker: Its some nice graphs, but I wonder what makes arable land grow in so many countries…

    I find that very hard to believe without using trickery…

    Trickery being for example cutting down forest preserves, using chemicals to fertilize otherwise poor soil.

  35. makati1 on Mon, 26th Oct 2015 2:57 am 

    Onlooker, how many of those Indian hectares have multiple annual growing seasons? How about China? More than one? Much of the 3rd world is not locked into the growing cycles of the North.

    I can grow four crops per year here in the Ps. No winter. Temps 70s to 90s all the time. 365 days of production. Our ~12 acre farm is equal to 50 acres of Pennsylvania farmland as far as production is concerned. PA has one short growing season as does most of the Us. Even Florida now gets regular frosts.

    No offense meant.

  36. onlooker on Mon, 26th Oct 2015 4:02 am
    Mak and others. I think we are talking degrees here, like how many bullets needed to kill someone. The entire planet since the 1960’s has been wed to the benefits of the Green Revolution and now to its drawbacks. The links I provided show that China and India have serious pesticide problems as well. The other link cites that pesticides without naming any particular one, all can have negative effects to animals and humans. But let us see the issue more broadly, US the leading food exporter, exports most of its food surplus guess to where, yes developing countries. Another critical factor is water shortages in China and India as wells/aquifers are being emptied at alarming rates. The entire world is living unsustainably, it is rather absurd too try an nitpick who exactly is living more unsustainably. The planet is in overshoot plain and simple.

  37. onlooker on Mon, 26th Oct 2015 4:07 am 

    In basic ecology 101, which I tried to verse myself in, the aftermath of overshoot is always die-off.
    Here is link to a primer on overshoot

  38. Davy on Mon, 26th Oct 2015 7:30 am 

    Sorry folks, this comes down to carrying capacity. Carrying capacity is consumption and population based. You can be like the Makster and try to interject anti-American agenda but nature could give a shit about Makster and his delusions. Carrying capacity overshoot is variable across regions, nations, and locals. It is characterized by consumption requirements and population levels. These operated together.

    In the US we have both problems. The vast urban areas on the east and west coast are in poor shape. They rely on high energy consumption with a population in overshoot. The US has less population than other regions but is very exposed to a population that has been habituated to high energy living. The US has an overconsumption carrying capacity issue and localized population overshoot.

    In Asia you have an even worse situation because they have the consumption overshoot of an aspiring populations increasingly concentrated in mega urban populations. You have a population overshoot rural and urban that is deadly in Asia. They can’t feed themselves now just wait until collapse. You have all this in Asia along with an ecosystem that has been destroyed by both industrial development and population development. Ecosystems are failing from pollution and overpopulation. Asia is a dead man walking.

    Each and every other region and nation is in this similar dynamics. Take the Middle East. Here we see the worst of all conditions including socio-political failure. Europe has too many people and too many big urban areas that are in consumption overshoot. Africa is similar to Asia. Everyone is in climate changes cross hairs with an unknown at the most basic level of a food chain. This discussion should not be a Makster style agenda game. This needs to be looked at objectively at all levels.

    There are locals in all areas that have potential with luck. Asia is absolutely in the most precarious situation with 4.5BIL people in a relatively small area with a destroyed ecosystem. Yet, no other region is positioned well. I see Russia and Canada as probably the best positioned but that is just on the surface. Russia will not remain the Russia we know because of great people migrations that will change the boundaries and ethnic compositions. Canada may be overrun by millions of Americans. This is about a status quo that will pop along with a human bubble. Yes we humans are a bubble at the most basic level. All other bubbles are just fizz.

  39. onlooker on Mon, 26th Oct 2015 7:50 am 

    Great overview and reply Davy! Yes the planet is in overshoot. Let us at lease all agree upon that.

  40. Kenz300 on Mon, 26th Oct 2015 9:20 am 

    Climate Change is real….. we will all be impacted by it……

    Exxon’s Climate Change Cover-Up Is ‘Unparalleled Evil,’ Says Activist
    Oil and Gas Companies Make Statement in Support of U.N. Climate Goals – The New York Times

  41. Kenz300 on Mon, 26th Oct 2015 9:21 am 

    Electric vehicles, bicycles and mass transit are the future…….

    How The Decline Of Cars Is Changing Cities For The Better

  42. Davy on Mon, 26th Oct 2015 9:42 am 

    Kenz, you are hurting your message by stuffing the board with your copy and paste spam. I never read it because there is nothing new but a hollow and shallow message. Start engaging others like a human and quit your bot activity. Quit being a pussy and man up. You message has validity your approach is a failure.

  43. Boat on Mon, 26th Oct 2015 9:50 am 


    Rather than mass transit why not less people. To stack people in boxes 20 stories high to gain efficiency is not my idea of sustainability. Right now the US is close to 320 million, 250 million seems like a good 100 year target.

  44. BC on Mon, 26th Oct 2015 10:12 am 

    Kenz, are you a bot? Are bots self-aware?

    Growth of US wind and solar electricity production peaked with the price of oil in 2008-09 and has followed the price and change rate of oil since, with the oil/commodities cycle turning negative as it did in 1986 and the early 1960s. Wind and solar production as a share of US energy production has likely peaked, as well. Growth of wind and solar production will turn negative in the years ahead with the oil cycle.

    EV sales are contracting YoY after decelerating to 5%/yr. since 2013. Without generous subsidies, including up to $25,000/vehicle for a Tesla, EV sales will crash.

    Bicycles for an aging population? Not a chance. In inclement weather? Likewise.

    Mass transit? At 0% real GDP per capita secular trend growth and fiscal constraints from excessive debt and an aging population? Again, no.

    We’re at least 40-45 years too late to the AltE-based economy/infrastructure/society. When the US reached peak oil production per capita in 1970-85, we had a small window of opportunity to transition from from an predominantly oil-based system, but TPTB chose a fiat reserve currency regime, financialization, deindustrialization, and militarism to expand Anglo-American empire to oppose the Soviets and secure ME oil supplies and shipping lanes.

    Now the financial and net energy costs of empire have become prohibitive, including the high costs of maintaining the existing infrastructure, let alone continuing to build out AltE with electricity consumption per capita at the levels of 15-17 years ago.

    So, in the context of the foregoing, your bot-like repetition makes your message appear uninformed, naive, and silly.

  45. Boat on Mon, 26th Oct 2015 3:23 pm 


    Growth of US wind and solar electricity production peaked with the price of oil in 2008-09 and has followed the price and change rate of oil since.
    Wind and solar production as a share of US energy production has likely peaked, as well. Growth of wind and solar production will turn negative in the years ahead with the oil cycle.

    It is most unfortunate we have to disagree again. In Texas wind just hit a record of 37% for one day. The wind industry is still alive and kicking. I read about a trade off in Congress to allow the XL pipeline in trade for more renewable subsides. It may be decided by the upcoming election.
    Solar is still in it’s infancy. I predict huge growth, still politics plays a role. But if you follow the wind market infrastructure there are transmission lines being built and many more in the planning stage.

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