Register

Peak Oil is You


Donate Bitcoins ;-) or Paypal :-)


Page added on December 30, 2016

Bookmark and Share

John Michael Greer: A Leap in the Dark

General Ideas
A few days from now, 2016 will have passed into the history books. I know a fair number of people who won’t mourn its departure, but it’s pretty much a given that the New Year celebrations here in the United States, at least, will demonstrate a marked shortage of enthusiasm for the arrival of 2017.
There’s good reason for that, and not just for the bedraggled supporters of Hillary Clinton’s failed and feckless presidential ambitions. None of the pressures that made 2016 a cratered landscape of failed hopes and realized nightmares have gone away. Indeed, many of them are accelerating, as the attempt to maintain a failed model of business as usual in the teeth of political, economic, and environmental realities piles blowback upon blowback onto the loading dock of the new year.
Before we get into that, though, I want to continue the annual Archdruid Report tradition and review the New Year’s predictions that I made at the beginning of 2016. Those of my readers who want to review the original post will find it here. Here’s the gist.
“Thus my core prediction for 2016 is that all the things that got worse in 2015 will keep on getting worse over the year to come. The ongoing depletion of fossil fuels and other nonrenewable resources will keep squeezing the global economy, as the real (i.e., nonfinancial) costs of resource extraction eat up more and more of the world’s total economic output, and this will drive drastic swings in the price of energy and commodities—currently those are still headed down, but they’ll soar again in a few years as demand destruction completes its work. The empty words in Paris a few weeks ago will do nothing to slow the rate at which greenhouse gases are dumped into the atmosphere, raising the economic and human cost of climate-related disasters above 2015’s ghastly totals—and once again, the hard fact that leaving carbon in the ground means giving up the lifestyles that depend on digging it up and burning it is not something that more than a few people will be willing to face.
“Meanwhile, the US economy will continue to sputter and stumble as politicians and financiers try to make up for ongoing declines in real (i.e., nonfinancial) wealth by manufacturing paper wealth at an even more preposterous pace than before, and frantic jerryrigging will keep the stock market from reflecting the actual, increasingly dismal state of the economy.  We’re already in a steep economic downturn, and it’s going to get worse over the year to come, but you won’t find out about that from the mainstream media, which will be full of the usual fact-free cheerleading; you’ll have to watch the rates at which the people you know are being laid off and businesses are shutting their doors instead.”
It’s almost superfluous to point out that I called it. It’s been noted with much irritation by other bloggers in what’s left of the peak oil blogosphere that it takes no great talent to notice what’s going wrong, and point out that it’s just going to keep on heading the same direction. This I cheerfully admit—but it’s also relevant to note that this method produces accurate predictions. Meanwhile, the world-saving energy breakthroughs, global changes in consciousness, sudden total economic collapses, and other events that get predicted elsewhere year after weary year have been notable by their absence.
I quite understand why it’s still popular to predict these things: after all, they allow people to pretend that they can expect some future other than the one they’re making day after day by their own actions. Nonetheless, the old saying remains true—“if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten”—and I wonder how many of the people who spend each year daydreaming about the energy breakthroughs, changes in consciousness, economic collapses, et al, rather than coming to grips with the rising spiral of crises facing industrial civilization, really want to deal with the future that they’re storing up for themselves by indulging in this habit.
Let’s go on, though.  At the beginning of 2016, I also made four specific predictions, which I admitted at the time were long shots. One of those, specific prediction #3, was that the most likely outcome of the 2016 presidential election would be the inauguration of Donald Trump as President in January 2017. I don’t think I need to say much about that, as it’s already been discussed here at length.  The only thing I’d like to point out here is that much of the Democratic party seems to be fixated on finding someone or something to blame for the debacle, other than the stark incompetence of the Clinton campaign and the failure of Democrats generally to pay attention to anything outside the self-referential echo chambers of affluent liberal opinion. If they keep it up, it’s pretty much a given that Trump will win reelection in 2020.
The other three specific long-shot predictions didn’t pan out, at least not in the way that I anticipated, and it’s only fair—and may be helpful, as we head further into the unknown territory we call 2017—to talk about what didn’t happen, and why.
Specific prediction #1 was that the next tech bust would be under way by the end of 2016.  That’s happening, but not in the way I expected. Back in January I was looking at the maniacally overinflated stock prices of tech companies that have never made a cent in profit and have no meaningful plans to do so, and I expected a repeat of the “tech wreck” of 2000. The difficulty was simply I didn’t take into account the most important economic shift between 2000 and 2016—the de facto policy of negative interest rates being pursued by the Federal Reserve and certain other central banks.
That policy’s going to get a post of its own one of these days, because it marks the arrival of a basic transformation in economic realities that’s as incomprehensible to neoliberal economists as it will be challenging to most of the rest of us. The point I want to discuss here here, though, is a much simpler one. Whenever real interest rates are below zero, those elite borrowers who can get access to money on those terms are being paid to borrow.  Among many other things, this makes it a lot easier to stretch out the downward arc of a failing industry. Cheaper-than-free money is one of the main things that kept the fracking industry from crashing and burning from its own unprofitability once the price of oil plunged in 2013; there’s been a steady string of bankruptcies in the fracking industry and the production of oil from fracked wells has dropped steadily, but it wasn’t the crash many of us expected.
The same thing is happening, in equally slow motion, with the current tech bubble. Real estate prices in San Francisco and other tech hotspots are sliding, overpaid tech employees are being systematically replaced by underpaid foreign workers, the numbers are looking uglier by the week, but the sudden flight of investment money that made the “tech wreck” so colorful sixteen years ago isn’t happening, because tech firms can draw on oceans of relatively cheap funding to turn the sudden popping of the tech bubble into the slow hiss of escaping air. That doesn’t mean that the boom-and-bust cycle has been cancelled—far from it—but it does mean that shoveling bad money after good has just become a lot easier. Exactly how that will impact the economy is a very interesting question that nobody just now knows how to answer.
Let’s move on.  Specific prediction #2 was that the marketing of what would inevitably be called “the PV revolution” would get going in a big way in 2016. Those of my readers who’ve been watching the peak oil scene for more than a few years know that ever since the concept of peak oil clawed its way back out of its long exile in the wilderness of the modern imagination, one energy source after anobter has been trotted out as the reason du jour why the absurdly extravagant lifestyles of today’s privileged classes can roll unhindered into the future.  I figured, based on the way that people in the mainstream environmentalist movement were closing ranks around renewables, that photovoltaic solar energy would be the next beneficiary of that process, and would take off in a big way as the year proceeded.
That this didn’t happen is not the fault of the solar PV industry or its cheerleades in the green media. Naomi Oreskes’ strident insistence a while back that raising questions about the economic viability of renewable energy is just another form of climate denialism seems to have become the party line throughout the privileged end of the green left, and the industrialists are following suit. Elon Musk, whose entire industrial empire has been built on lavish federal subsidies, is back at the feed trough again, announcing a grandiose new plan to manufacture photovoltaic roof shingles; he’s far and away the most colorful of the would-be renewable-energy magnates, but others are elbowing their way toward the trough as well, seeking their own share of the spoils.
The difficulty here is twofold. First, the self-referential cluelessness of the Democratic party since the 2008 election has had the inevitable blowback—something like 1000 state and federal elective offices held by Democrats after that election are held by Republicans today—and the GOP’s traditional hostility toward renewable energy has put a lid on the increased subsidies that would have been needed to kick a solar PV feeding frenzy into the same kind of overdrive we’ve already seen with ethanol and wind. Solar photovoltaic power, like ethanol from corn, has a disastrously low energy return on energy invested—as Pedro Prieto and Charles Hall showed in their 2015 study of real-world data from Spain’s solar PV program, the EROEI on large-scale grid photovoltaic power works out in practice to less than 2.5—and so, like nuclear power, it’s only economically viable if it’s propped up by massive and continuing subsidies. Lacking those, the “PV revolution” is dead in the water.
The second point, though, is the more damaging.  The “recovery” after the 2008-2009 real estate crash was little more than an artifact of statistical manipulation, and even negative interest rates haven’t been able to get a heartbeat going in the economy’s prostrate body. As most economic measurements not subject to fiddling by the enthusiastic accountants of the federal government slide steadily downhill, the economic surplus needed to support any kind of renewables buildout at all is rapidly tricking away. Demand destruction is in the driver’s seat, and the one way of decreasing fossil fuel consumption that affluent environmentalists don’t want to talk about—conservation—is the only viable option just now.
Specific prediction #4 was that the Saudi regime in Arabia would collapse by the end of 2016. As I noted at the time, the replacement of the Saudi monarchy with some other form of government is for all practical purposes a done deal. Of the factors I cited then—the impending bankruptcy of a regime that survives only by buying off dissent with oil money, the military quagmires in Yemen, Syria, and Iraq that have the Saudi military and its foreign mercenaries bogged down inextricably, and the rest of it—none have gone away. Nor has the underlying cause, the ongoing depletion of the once-immense oil reserves that have propped up the Saudi state so far.
That said, as I noted back in January, it’s anyone’s guess what cascade of events will send the Saudi royal family fleeing to refuges overseas while mobs rampage through their abandoned palaces in Riyadh, and some combination of mid-level military officers and Muslim clerics piece together a provisional government in their absence. I thought that it was entirely possible that this would happen in 2016, and of course it didn’t. It’s possible at this point that the price of oil could rise fast enough to give the Saudi regime another lease on life, however brief. That said, the winds are changing across the Middle East; the Russian-Iranian alliance is in the ascendant, and the Saudis have very few options left. It will be interesting, in the sense of the apocryphal Chinese curse, to see how long they survive.
So that’s where we stand, as 2016 stumbles down the ramp into time’s slaughterhouse and 2017 prepares to take its place in the ragged pastures of history. What can we expect in the year ahead?
To some extent, I’ve already answered that question—but only to some extent. Most of the factors that drove events in 2016 are still in place, still pressing in the same direction, and “more of the same” is a fair description of the consequences. Day after day, the remaining fossil fuel reserves of a finite planet are being drawn down to maintain the extravagant and unsustainable lifestyles of the industrial world’s more privileged inmates. Those remaining reserves are increasingly dirty, increasingly costly to extract and process, increasingly laden with a witch’s brew of social, economic, and environmental costs that nobody anywhere is willing to make the fossil fuel industry cover, and those costs don’t go away just because they’re being ignored—they pile up in society, the economy, and the biosphere, producing the rising tide of systemic dysfunction that plays so large and unmentioned a role in daily life today.
Thus we can expect still more social turmoil, more economic instability, and more environmental blowback in 2017. The ferocious populist backlash against the economic status quo that stunned the affluent in Britain and America with the Brexit vote and Trump’s presidential victory respectively, isn’t going away until and unless the valid grievances of the working classes get heard and addressed by political establishments around the industrial world; to judge by examples so far, that’s unlikely to happen any time soon. At the same time, the mismatch between the lifestyles we can afford and the lifestyles that too many of us want to preserve remains immense, and until that changes, the global economy is going to keep on lurching from one crisis to another. Meanwhile the biosphere is responding to the many perturbations imposed on it by human stupidity in the way that systems theory predicts—with ponderous but implacable shifts toward new conditions, many of which don’t augur well for the survival of industrial society.
There are wild cards in the deck, though, and one of them is being played right now over the North Pole. As I write this, air temperatures over the Arctic ice cap are 50°F warmer than usual for this time of year. A destabilized jet stream is sucking masses of warm air north into the Arctic skies, while pushing masses of Arctic air down into the temperate zone. As a result, winter ice formation on the surface of the Arctic ocean has dropped to levels tht were apparently last seen before our species got around to evolving—and a real possibility exists, though it’s by no means a certainty yet, that next summer could see most of the Arctic Ocean free of ice.
Nobody knows what that will do to the global climate. The climatologists who’ve been trying to model the diabolically complex series of cascading feedback loops we call “global climate” have no clue—they have theories and computer models, but so far their ability to predict the rate and consequences of anthropogenic climate change have not exactly been impressive. (For what it’s worth, by the way, most of their computer models have turned out to be far too conservative in their predictions.) Nobody knows yet whether the soaring temperatures over the North Pole this winter are a fluke, a transitory phenomenon driven by the unruly transition between one climate regime and another, or the beginning of a recurring pattern that will restore the north coast of Canada to the conditions it had during the Miocene, when crocodiles sunned themselves on the warm beaches of northern Greenland. We simply don’t know.
In the same way, the populist backlash mentioned above is a wild card whose effects nobody can predict just now. The neoliberal economics that have been welded into place in the industrial world for the last thirty years have failed comprehensively, that’s clear enough.  The abolition of barriers to the flow of goods, capital, and population did not bring the global prosperity that neoliberal economists promised, and now the bill is coming due. The question is what the unraveling of the neoliberal system means for national economies in the years ahead.
There are people—granted, these are mostly neoliberal economists and those who’ve drunk rather too freely of the neoliberal koolaid—who insist that the abandonment of the neoliberal project will inevitably mean economic stagnation and contraction. There are those who insist that the abandonment of the neoliberal project will inevitably mean a return to relative prosperity here in the US, as offshored jobs are forced back stateside by tax policies that penalize imports, and the US balance of trade reverts to something a little closer to parity. The fact of the matter is that nobody knows what the results will be. Here as in Britain, voters faced with a choice between the perpetuation of an intolerable status quo and a leap in the dark chose the latter, and the consequences of that leap can’t be known in advance.
Other examples abound. The US president-elect has claimed repeatedly that the US under his lead will get out of the regime-change business and pursue a less monomaniacally militaristic foreign policy than the one it’s pursued under Bush and Obama, and would have pursued under Clinton. The end of the US neoconservative consensus is a huge change that will send shockwaves through the global political system. Another change, at least as huge, is the rise of Russia as a major player in the Middle East. Another? The remilitarization of Japan and its increasingly forceful pursuit of political and military alliances in East and South Asia. There are others. The familiar order of global politics is changing fast. What will the outcome be? Nobody knows.
As 2017 dawns, in a great many ways, modern industrial civilization has flung itself forward into a darkness where no stars offer guidance and no echoes tell what lies ahead. I suspect that when we look back at the end of this year, the predictable unfolding of ongoing trends will have to be weighed against sudden discontinuities that nobody anywhere saw coming.  We’re not discussing the end of the world, of course; we’re talking events like those that can be found repeated many times in the histories of other failing civilizations.  That said, my guess is that some of those discontinuities are going to be harsh ones.  Those who brace themselves for serious trouble and reduce their vulnerabilities to a brittle and dysfunctional system will be more likely to come through in one piece.
Those who are about to celebrate the end of 2016, in other words, might want to moderate their cheering when it’s over. It’s entirely possible that 2017 will turn out to be rather worse—despite which I hope that the readers of this blog, and the people they care about, will manage to have a happy New Year anyway.

The Archdruid Report by John Michael Greer



39 Comments on "John Michael Greer: A Leap in the Dark"

  1. makati1 on Fri, 30th Dec 2016 6:47 am 

    In other words, another year of the same, only worse…

  2. Davy on Fri, 30th Dec 2016 7:29 am 

    This JMG post is worth reading in regards to 2017. I don’t read him often probably because he is so wordy and goes in tangents like I do. I am on the same wave length with him on several of his points. Maybe that is a point that many guarded doomers are developing some common themes. Maybe we are on to something. We have continually failed with predictions of imminent collapse in the past. Each year we get more and more guarded because of these failures. We are not failing in our ability to tap into the macro and the systematic trend of decline. It takes a status quo detachment to see these things. Detaching from the status quo causes a surreal view of the world that others find extreme. We are generally considered extremist and fringe thinkers. That is fine and it is better than the desperation of hopium suckers and blind optimist who suffer neurosis from the many cognitive biases that infect humans in denial.

    I am to the point of not knowing what is immediately ahead. I disregard anyone who thinks they do especially main stream media and the status quo narrative of progress. I am tuned into the idea we are near disruptive thresholds. Whether these thresholds are breached is beyond anyone’s prediction. I take this further to say I think the best and brightest minds are the most deceived because of conformational biases combined with so much uncertainty. Those in the dark see the most fantasy.

    This will be an important year to see how the arctic warm up affects global climate. The instability in the global financial system may come to a head this year with clear nationalistic trends. Will nationalism succeed in extending the global status quo or fundamentally damage it? A trade war between the US and China is surely going to be very bad for everyone in regards to global GDP although this may be good as a forced game changer away from globalism. Maybe NUK war with Russia is off the table but will a new destructive Asian one takes its place. Maybe alternatives along with EV’s will increase their energy market penetration despite the republicans. Maybe alternatives will be considered too vital from a grass roots movement that combines with good economic trends of price. Social deterioration seems almost certain to increase but I have guarded optimism some of the worst in the Middle East may have been alleviated because of the Russian Syrian victory. Can people learn to get along despite systematic decline because we must if we are going to maintain our support systems?

    I am optimistic for a continued status quo near term but more guardedly doomer longer term. This is primarily because of the instability in the Arctic. Peak oil now appears to be less of an issue but one that will not go away. Peak oil is likely marginalized by economic demand destruction freeing up supply but still influencing overall decline. Supply is there for a stagnating economy but it will devastate long term growth. Alternatives seem unable to bridge this gap as they are also tied to the economy and fossil fuels in decline. One thing is certain the “Ecos” that is the summation of all those various global ecosystems is in rapid decline. What ecosystem will fail this year and what species will go extinct? That is the worst commentary of our year ahead.

  3. onlooker on Fri, 30th Dec 2016 7:36 am 

    Two things above all stand out to me in terms of possible near term collapse scenario. The first in economic collapse precipitated by going below a minimum in Net Energy to support our mode of Civilization, that would truly unleash chaos economically to what is already a very fragile and unstable economic system. Two, is climate change. We have witnessed utter anomalies in the Arctic these past two years. If a blue ocean even meaning below a certain level of sea ice in the Arctic is reached and breached, we could see truly catastrophic runaway warming if for no other reason that huge amounts of methane escaping from the melted or perforated permafrost. So that is where my binoculars are pointed.

  4. Davy on Fri, 30th Dec 2016 7:41 am 

    These are the words and actions of a great leader!

    “Putin Stunner: “We Will Not Expel Anyone; We Refuse To Sink To Obama’s Level”
    http://tinyurl.com/jlopyhs

    Putin’s statement:

    “We regard the recent unfriendly steps taken by the outgoing US administration as provocative and aimed at further weakening the Russia-US relationship. This runs contrary to the fundamental interests of both the Russian and American people. Considering the global security responsibilities of Russia and the United States, this is also damaging to international relations as a whole.

    As it proceeds from international practice, Russia has reasons to respond in kind. Although we have the right to retaliate, we will not resort to irresponsible ‘kitchen’ diplomacy but will plan our further steps to restore Russian-US relations based on the policies of the Trump Administration.

    The diplomats who are returning to Russia will spend the New Year’s holidays with their families and friends. We will not create any problems for US diplomats. We will not expel anyone. We will not prevent their families and children from using their traditional leisure sites during the New Year’s holidays. Moreover, I invite all children of US diplomats accredited in Russia to the New Year and Christmas children’s parties in the Kremlin.

    It is regrettable that the Obama Administration is ending its term in this manner. Nevertheless, I offer my New Year greetings to President Obama and his family.
    My season’s greetings also to President-elect Donald Trump and the American people.

    I wish all of you happiness and prosperity.”

  5. dave thompson on Fri, 30th Dec 2016 7:42 am 

    Greer does understand that solar is a bust at industrial scale. No sunshine no power, in most parts of the world it is dark at night.

  6. Cloggie on Fri, 30th Dec 2016 7:49 am 

    These are the words and actions of a great leader!

    Indeed. What Obama and the rest of the establishment are trying to do is hand a as large as possible conflict with Russia over to Trump.

    Putin doesn’t bite.

    Placard held high by journalist during recent yearly Putin press conference:

    http://tinyurl.com/jdghje5

    US + EU + Russia, that’s the way forward.

    #SamuelHuntingtonCertified

  7. Dredd on Fri, 30th Dec 2016 8:17 am 

    … “changes in consciousness” …

    Yep, (Evolution From Left to Right, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)

  8. efarmer on Fri, 30th Dec 2016 11:04 am 

    Very well written Mr. Greer. My empty mug of neoliberal kool-aid is indeed empty and proved to be of little savor. I watch as they prepare the new batch of neonationalist kool-aid and seeing the piss and vinegar on the list of ingredients has persuaded me to drink water and lay off the sweet stuff going forward.

  9. penury on Fri, 30th Dec 2016 11:32 am 

    Making predictions is easy. First rule; no one will remember next year what you predicted. Second rule always make your predictions vague and cloudy so you can never be incorrect.Third rule; try to include the good the bad and the ugly, that way everyone can find something they agree with and everyone is happy.

  10. Boat on Fri, 30th Dec 2016 12:27 pm 

    Davy,

    I get a chuckle out of the labeling hopeium suckers when you admit freely the continued failure of predictions of eminent collapse. So now you have morphed to the idea of guarded doomer.
    Since some of us predicted no crash and little chance of it for decades but at the same time regard climate change as a serious long term problem, are we still hopeium suckers ? Lol
    Maybe it is possible some are just better than others at predictions. To my discredit I play it rather safe predicting BAU for at least the next 10 years. That will be my assement for 2017. Ten more years of world growth with no global crash.
    I am glad to see your assement trend a little more towards the positive

  11. Go Speed Racer on Fri, 30th Dec 2016 12:55 pm 

    HEY EVERYBODY, i GOT SUMTHING TO SAY.

    OBAMA KICKED OUT THE DIPLOMATS.

    WHAT WAS PUTINS RESPONSE?
    HE CANCELLED SCHOOL!!! FOR THE
    DIPLOMATS KIDS!!

    DOESNT ANYBODY SEE THE PUTIN HUMOR ?

    LITTLE BILLY, YOU DIDNT DO YOUR CHORES,
    SO FOR PUNISHMENT, NO GOING TO SCHOOL TODAY.

  12. peakyeast on Fri, 30th Dec 2016 1:26 pm 

    @GSR: Yeah, Putins reaction is way more cool than Obamas petty revenge for others doing just a little of the same as the NSA.

  13. Davy on Fri, 30th Dec 2016 1:27 pm 

    Boat, is this about winning or losing? Maybe it is about a road to the truth which is a long hard road that demands sacrifices. Somehow I think you are laughing at yourself but don’t realize it. I am comfortable with the road I have taken with no regrets.

  14. peakyeast on Fri, 30th Dec 2016 1:28 pm 

    And right now I am not even sure I believe that Putin had something to do with it… Why?

    Because Obama and his gang of extreme deplorables has lied, manipulated and been exposed so many times it is difficult to count.

    US government, u there? You know that story about crying wolf? Well youre that boy – just way worse and way less innocent.

  15. Go Speed Racer on Fri, 30th Dec 2016 1:33 pm 

    The moral of the Hillary-Obama story:

    ‘Limousine Liberals’ like Obama and Billary are not
    helping the working class,
    And their policies are far to the left of insane.

    Trump might be worse, but Obama and Shillary could
    have been way better.

  16. Jerome Purtzer on Fri, 30th Dec 2016 1:41 pm 

    Both Hillary and The Donald based their economic stances on growth, growth and more growth. Hillary wanted to continue BAU with slight middle class modifications where as The Donald preferred warmed over trickle down economics with massive tax cuts for all his rich friends. Both of these tunes have been played ad nauseum but it seems when people get a little tired of one they just go back to the other. If you mention any kind of decline of economic growth about 99% of the public think you’re nuts. I guess that’s why I’m happy to be with the other 1% who might read JMG or PON.

  17. DMyers on Fri, 30th Dec 2016 1:42 pm 

    I agree with Greer’s analyses for the most part. I disagree with his statements regarding the following: “[T]he neoliberal economics that have been welded into place in the industrial world for the last thirty years have failed comprehensively, that’s clear enough.”

    This strikes me as a knee jerk, oft stated conclusion which completely avoids the more important cause of failure, the death of the free market, by deduction the death of neoliberal economics. What we have seen over the past thirty years is the evolution of neoliberal economics into Fascism (the merger of State and Corporate powers). Neoliberal economics requires a free market in which to function. We no longer have a free market, so what we have in operation cannot be neoliberal economics.

    Along with that, we have seen a lawless gentry of manipulators and riggers who have corrupted the market to the extent that the market no longer serves as a mechanism of price discovery (as said frequently by both J.H.Kunstler and Max Keiser).

    I’m not arguing the merits of neoliberal economics. But what is clear enough is that holding neoliberal economics responsible for failures rightly attributable to fascist economics is certain to lead to erroneous conclusions and misguided remedies.

  18. OldDane on Fri, 30th Dec 2016 2:21 pm 

    Predictions are difficult, that I found out already as a child. Often I could be afraid of something there might happen. Going to school, not having done your homework, can be a scary experience when you are only 10 years old. Then nothing bad happen to me. At other times I could be very expectant because something very pleasant should happen tomorrow, and then it turn out to be big flop.
    That made me wonder why it was so impossible to foresee what would happen the next day. I started to make rules about prediction of the future. The rules are:

    1. The bad things you fear will newer happen exactly as you predict it.
    2. The good things you hope for will turn out differently than you expected.
    3. Something that you never had imagined can often give you a big surprise – good or bad.
    4. That which you do imagine in details, will never come true.

    The above 1 – 4 is my predictions for the new year. Happy New Year!

  19. Go Speed Racer on Fri, 30th Dec 2016 4:01 pm 

    Such a gloomy 4 part philosophy.

    Wouldn’t it be better to just have a
    great big suitcase full of money, and do
    whatever you want?

  20. Hubert on Fri, 30th Dec 2016 5:28 pm 

    Hillary is suffering from Kuru disease and unlikely to survive for very long. One too many Satanic Ritual.

    KURU: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__UQQEHuRws

  21. Apneaman on Fri, 30th Dec 2016 6:29 pm 

    The two legged cancer can’t help but consume ever more healthy tissue and breed breed breed.

    Growing mega-cities will displace vast tracts of farmland by 2030, study says

    Cropland losses will have consequences especially for Asia and Africa, which will experience growing food insecurity as cities expand

    “By 2030, it’s estimated that urban areas will triple in size, expanding into cropland and undermining the productivity of agricultural systems that are already stressed by rising populations and climate change.

    Roughly 60% of the world’s cropland lies on the outskirts of cities—and that’s particularly worrying, the report authors say, because this peripheral habitat is, on average, also twice as productive as land elsewhere on the globe.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/world-on-a-plate/2016/dec/28/growing-mega-cities-will-displace-vast-tracts-of-farmland-by-2030-study-says

    Old timer – “I remember when this was all farmland”

  22. Cloggie on Fri, 30th Dec 2016 6:35 pm 

    Trump supports Putin and praises him in the highest tones:

    http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/donald-trump-lobt-wladimir-putin-ich-wusste-immer-dass-er-smart-ist-a-1128098.html

  23. Apneaman on Fri, 30th Dec 2016 7:18 pm 

    Adam Curtis has made some good documentaries over the years. In his latest effort, “HyperNormalisation” he lays out his view on how deep the rabbit hole goes and the propaganda techniques TPTB use.

    In the film, Curtis argues that since the 1970s, governments, financiers, and technological utopians have given up on the complex “real world” and built a simple “fake world” that is run by corporations and kept stable by politicians.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HyperNormalisation

    HyperNormalisation

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fny99f8amM

  24. makati1 on Fri, 30th Dec 2016 7:21 pm 

    Winter is here… but not the cold kind:
    “We perceive our civic challenge as some vast, insoluble Rubik’s Cube. Behind each problem lies another problem that must be solved first, and behind that lies yet another, and another, ad infinitum. To fix crime we have to fix the family, but before we do that we have to fix welfare, and that means fixing our budget, and that means fixing our civic spirit, but we can’t do that without fixing moral standards, and that means fixing schools and churches, and that means fixing the inner cities, and that’s impossible unless we fix crime. There’s no fulcrum on which to rest a policy lever. People of all ages sense that something huge will have to sweep across America before the gloom can be lifted – but that’s an awareness we suppress. As a nation, we’re in deep denial. … By the middle Oh-Ohs, institutions will reach a point of maximum weakness, individualism of maximum strength, and even the simplest public task will feel beyond the ability of government. As niche walls rise ever higher, people will complain endlessly how bad all of the niches are. Wide chasms will separate rich from poor, whites from blacks, immigrants from native born, seculars from born agains, technophiles from technophobes. America will feel more tribal. Indeed, many will be asking whether fifty states and so many dozens of ethic cultures make sense any more as a nation – and, if they do, whether that nation has a future.” – Straus and Howe: “The Fourth Turning”, FIRST EDITION, page 252

    https://www.theburningplatform.com/2016/12/30/of-time-turnings-stars-wars/#more-139625

    Buckle Up!

  25. JuanP on Fri, 30th Dec 2016 7:25 pm 

    After reading that Putin would announce today what Russia would do as a reply to the new insane US sanctions I went to bed last night feeling very curious. I have been smiling and laughing all day today every time I remember that Putin invited the kids of all US diplomats accredited to Russia to celebrate the holidays at the Kremlin. My guess is that the US government will secretly forbid the kids to celebrate the holidays. LOL! In this way Putin has guaranteed an American free Kremlin until next year. Obama and his team are incredibly petty and vindictive; they look like kids having a tantrum in the kindergarden’s playground. Another own goal for the Obama team. Could Trump be worse than this cowardly retard? I guess we will find out in a couple of weeks. Go Trump! LOL!

  26. Apneaman on Fri, 30th Dec 2016 7:28 pm 

    Fish Seek Cooler Waters, Leaving Some Fishermen’s Nets Empty

    “But like many other fish on the Atlantic Coast, whiting have moved north, seeking cooler waters as ocean temperatures have risen, and they are now filling the nets of fishermen farther up the coast.

    Studies have found that two-thirds of marine species in the Northeast United States have shifted or extended their range as a result of ocean warming, migrating northward or outward into deeper and cooler water.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/30/science/fish-climate-change-northeast.html?ref=topics

  27. makati1 on Fri, 30th Dec 2016 8:33 pm 

    Migrate or die. Soon to be the slogan of many humans. LOL

  28. Apneaman on Fri, 30th Dec 2016 8:35 pm 


    With enough evidence, even skepticism will thaw
    As one of Greenland’s largest ice shelves shrinks, a once-doubtful scientist has come around to the role of climate change in melting it.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/business/2016/12/30/with-enough-evidence-even-skepticism-will-thaw/

  29. Apneaman on Fri, 30th Dec 2016 9:15 pm 

    Another end of the year review with groovy images and graphsNstuff.

    These Graphics Show How Terrible Climate Change Was In 2016

    Here are some of this year’s most extreme weather events caused, in part, by climate change.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/climate-change-2016_us_5863dcb5e4b0d9a59459b4e1

  30. GregT on Fri, 30th Dec 2016 9:51 pm 

    Thanks for the link Apnea.

    HyperNormalisation

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fny99f8amM

    Brilliant documentary.

  31. Apneaman on Fri, 30th Dec 2016 11:23 pm 

    Happy new year Greg. Down south they say, “Y’all have a prosperous new year” I always liked that.

  32. Davy on Sat, 31st Dec 2016 4:44 am 

    “These Graphics Show How Terrible Climate Change Was In 2016”. These climate change milestones represent change we have not processed as a people. Maybe it is because the weather is little understood by most people at this level. We all live it but few dig deeper. A weather event is terrible climate change when its occurrence is extreme in timing and extent not just a bad storm. Many people don’t connect this determination. A bad storm does not have to be terrible climate change. Normal weather that is abnormal because of duration is the other side of the coin. Climate change is also more than bad storms it is a weather patterns. Nothing new for many here but so many in the general public don’t see this. This is a form of denial. It is intellectual negligence and laziness.

    In Missouri we have yet to have a real winter. We had one quick Arctic blast hit us mid-December. Besides that event it has been like what we call an “Indian Summer” through December. This has been great for my pasture although we have also been very dry. The goats and cows are happy. Another issue is going to be the extremes of warm and cold. With the Arctic destabilizing from unnatural warming we have seen cold patterns drop down that normally wouldn’t. Not normal is the new normal. That is not good when one realizes our civilization evolved primarily because of a stable post ice age climate.

    I think 2017 is going to be a revealing year for climate change. What new extreme or record will become the norm this year? When will these effects become socialized as a budding crisis? Are we just a few years away from widespread temperature or precipitation extremes that have dangerous economic consequences? We got a taste of this in 2016. Climate change has gone up a notch on my doom meter because of 2016. When I started tracking doom 13 years ago climate change was on my list of dangers but it was one for my kids. Now I think it is our issue. I call that an abrupt change.

  33. Hubert on Sat, 31st Dec 2016 6:52 am 

    Nothing really matters. The world is coming to an end whether these idiots like it or not.

  34. DerHundistlos on Sat, 31st Dec 2016 4:37 pm 

    Despite the incessant whining and complaining by the usual hyperbolic suspects (ex. “Obama and his gang of extreme deplorables.”), President Obama leaves office with one of the highest approval ratings ever for an outgoing president.

  35. peakyeast on Sat, 31st Dec 2016 5:34 pm 

    @DerHund: Yeah – MSM propaganda is really efficient.

  36. Cloggie on Sat, 31st Dec 2016 5:39 pm 

    CET 0:37

    Happy New Year!

    #LastPostForAWhile

  37. peakyeast on Sat, 31st Dec 2016 6:04 pm 

    2u2 cloggie. And thanks for being here again!

  38. peakyeast on Sat, 31st Dec 2016 6:07 pm 

    btw. we got a newyears gift from two friends visiting: Original “Cloggies” from the Dutch KLOMPENFABRIEK with certificates of autheticity for the whole family.. LOL..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *