Register

Peak Oil is You


Donate Bitcoins ;-) or Paypal :-)


Page added on January 20, 2018

Bookmark and Share

Richard Heinberg: Post Carbon Music

Richard Heinberg: Post Carbon Music thumbnail

On November 30, 2017 at the New England Conservatory of Music, Richard performed Paganini’s “Sonata Concertata For Guitar And Violin” and spoke about what the future might mean for today’s young musicians and artists, and the important role they have to play in the societal transformation ahead. 

Full transcript:

Over the next few minutes I hope to share with you a little of what I’ve learned about the likely trajectory of industrial society for the remainder of this century, and some speculations about the possible role of music and related arts within that trajectory. Perhaps the best way to introduce the ideas and information I want to share is to tell you some of my personal story.

I grew up in the Midwestern states in the 1950s and ’60s, where my interests swung between the sciences (my father was an industrial chemist) and the arts: I loved drawing and painting, and at age 11 fell in love with classical music. I demanded that my parents get me a violin, and fortunately when they did they also paid for lessons with the concertmaster of the local symphony—a gentleman named Louis Riemer, who had studied briefly with Leopold Auer at Juilliard. Mr. Riemer gave me a good technical foundation on the instrument, for which I will always be grateful. But, just as I was graduating high school and heading for college, the Summer of Love and the Vietnam War overtook America. Suddenly playing Haydn quartets seemed less interesting.

At the University of Iowa I continued with music lessons and played in the orchestra, but spent increasing amounts of time attending protests, experimenting with psychedelic drugs, and listening to the Grateful Dead. I taught myself to play the guitar and spent the next seven years professionally playing electric guitar and electric violin in rock bands. But something else happened right after college that would eventually send me down an entirely different path: I started reading environmental literature.

Probably the most influential book I came across at the time was The Limits to Growth. A team of young experts in a new field called systems dynamics, working at MIT, had used a computer to model the likely interactions between Earth’s resources, human population, pollution levels, food production, and other basic factors of the economy. They found that, in their models and simulations, global growth in population and industrial output could be maintained for only a few decades, no matter how they jiggered the software or the input data. Doubling Earth’s resources would put off the inevitable peak and decline by only a few years. The only way to generate a scenario without a crash was to model policies to end population growth and dramatically cut the rates at which we’re consuming resources. In other words, the only way to avoid the collapse of civilization was to voluntarily scale back just about everything we’re doing that entails interaction with the physical world around us. At the time, the Limits to Growth authors were optimistic that, once policy makers understood the alternatives and the consequences, they would choose to restrict population and consumption.

However, the notion that economic growth might fairly soon crash against the planet’s limits proved extremely unwelcome to economists and politicians, who had come to count on the endless growth of the economy to provide jobs for workers, profits for investors, and increasing tax revenues for governments. Articles appeared in New York Times, Newsweek, and other prominent publications pretending to debunk the idea of natural limits. Ronald Reagan would soon insist that “There are no such things as limits to growth, because there are no limits to the human capacity for intelligence, imagination, and wonder.” That’s an inspiring sentiment. But, of course, the MIT scientists hadn’t been modeling intelligence, imagination, or wonder. They were looking at mineral resources, soil fertility, and the capacity of the atmosphere and oceans to absorb wastes and pollution. Imagination and wonder are terrific, but by themselves they don’t increase the size of the world’s forest cover or the number of wild fish in the oceans. In reality, the pushback against the MIT study was all smoke and mirrors.

An abundance of subsequent research supported the Limits to Growth scenario studies. The computer software used in 1972 was primitive by current standards, but it has been upgraded regularly since then. The data have also evolved in the intervening decades. Today you can supply upgraded software with the very latest figures on population, resources, food production, and industrial output, and climate change, and essentially the same scenarios will tumble onto your computer screen. The “standard run” scenario, in which policy makers continue to seek as much growth as possible, always shows a peak and decline in world industrial output around the end of the first quarter of this century, followed by declining food production, then declining population. And here we are, rapidly approaching the end of the first quarter of the century.

Five years after the publication of The Limits to Growth, I was experiencing my own limits—in terms of success in the commercial rock music scene. In retrospect, that was a very good thing. Making music is often wonderful, but the music business often isn’t. With my interests straying toward other subjects, I started writing essays as a way of making sense of the world. My stuff started getting published, and soon I was making my living with words.

In effect, I was chronicling the early phase of society’s collision with natural limits as it was happening. Here’s the current scorecard: We’re now losing 25 billion tons of topsoil a year due to industrial agriculture. At the same time, we’re adding 80 million new humans each year on a net basis, with our population growing by about a billion every 12 years. Meanwhile, the planet is reeling from human-forced global warming: glaciers and permafrost are melting, the seas are rising, and the pace is accelerating. Global wildlife populations have declined nearly 60 percent since the 1970s, and species are going extinct at 1,000 times the normal background rate. Healthy coral reefs could be completely gone by 2050, and by then oceans may be almost completely free of fish due to climate change, overfishing, pollution, and habitat loss.

Over the years, I have written several books about fossil fuel depletion, co-authored a lengthy report on the unsustainability of our current food system, and researched and discussed climate change and other pollution issues. I even produced a book in 2011 titled The End of Growth, which explains in some detail how we are living out the “standard run” scenario from 1972.

Along the way, I’ve tried to satisfy my own curiosity with regard to the question, How and why have humans gotten themselves into this mess? Finding answers required that I delve into history and anthropology. It turns out that, while we humans have been expanding our range and altering our environments for millennia, our efforts got turbocharged starting in the nineteenth century. The main driver was cheap, concentrated sources of energy in the forms of coal, oil, and natural gas—fossil fuels. These were a one-time-only gift from nature, and they changed everything.

Energy is essential to everything we do, and with cheap, abundant, concentrated energy a lot became possible that was previously unimaginable. We used newly invented technologies to channel this sudden abundance of energy toward projects that everyone agreed were beneficial—growing more food, extracting more raw materials, manufacturing more products, transporting ourselves and our goods faster and over further distances, defeating diseases with modern medicine, entertaining ourselves, and protecting ourselves with advanced weaponry. We used some of our fossil fuels to make electricity, an extremely versatile energy carrier that, among many other things, enabled music to be amplified, recorded, and reproduced on an assortment of media. In short, fossil fuels increased our power over the world around us, and the power of some of us over others.

But our increasing reliance on fossil fuels was in two respects a bargain with the devil. First, extracting, transporting, and burning these fuels polluted air and water, and caused a subtle but gradually accelerating change in the chemistry of the planetary atmosphere and the world’s oceans. Second, fossil fuels are finite, nonrenewable, and depleting resources that we exploit using the low-hanging fruit principle. That means that as we extract and burn them, each new increment entails higher monetary and energy costs, as well as greater environmental risk. Basing our entire economy on the ever-increasing rate at which we burn a finite fuel supply is the very definition of stupid. And yet we do this with brilliant technical efficiency.

Fossil fuels made us a more successful species, able to increase our numbers and averaged per-capita consumption, and powerful enough to steal rapidly increasing amounts of ecological space away from other creatures. This success has had serious side effects, including the fouling of air and water, the decline and extinction of a rapidly growing list of other creatures, and the increasing lethality of warfare. Fossil fuels made rapid economic growth possible, yet the expansion of Earth’s carrying capacity for humans, based on fossil fuels, must inevitably prove to be as temporary as those fuels themselves. Like rapidly proliferating bacteria in a Petrie dish, we are destined to consume our nutrients and face the consequences.

In 1997, I was invited to help design, and teach in, one of the first college programs on sustainability. Ten years later, I joined the environmental nonprofit think tank Post Carbon Institute as Senior Fellow, a position I am happy to fill currently.

Throughout all these years there was always music. I played wedding and orchestra gigs, and enjoyed concerts and reading sessions with string quartets and string trios, and duos with guitar or piano. Today, I still spend two hours a day practicing—you know the drill: an hour of scales, arpeggios, and etudes, followed by an hour or so of repertoire—doing my best to hone my modest technique and learn new music. It’s nearly always the highlight of my day.

How do these two activities—writing about our environmental crisis and playing music—fit together? And more deeply, what role might music and the arts generally play as part of our human response to climate change and ecological overshoot? In the 1997 film “Titanic,” Wallace Hartley, the violinist and leader of the band on the ill-fated ship, turns to his band mates as the water rises around him and says: “Gentlemen, it has been a privilege playing with you tonight.” Is the only contribution we musicians can make at this moment in history to bravely go down with the ship, lifting the spirits of other passengers? I think we can do quite a bit better. What I mean by that will take a while to unpack, and will require a little meander.

*          *          *

We might start by asking, What makes a culture worth sustaining? One answer that comes to mind is, beauty—from the spare, honest beauty of a Zen temple or a shakuhachi flute, to the over-the-top ornate beauty of an Italian Renaissance cathedral or a Puccini opera. Aesthetics are a product of time and place. But the human response to beauty, and the urge to create it, are instinctive and transcend humanity itself.

We know this because other animals are also obsessed with beauty. During the 1940s, English musicologist Len Howard devoted herself to studying the music of wild birds. According to Theodore Barber’s account of her work (in his marvelous book, The Human Nature of Birds),

she became personally acquainted with many and knew some for their entire lives. . . .  Her intimate study of bird songs led to . . . surprising conclusions:

1. Birds, like humans, enjoy their songs. They take pleasure in singing, and they enjoy hearing even their territorial rivals sing.

2. Birds not only convey messages and express feelings and emotions in their songs, but at times they sing simply because they are happy.

3. [Birds of the same species] can be reliably identified by their unique variations of the species’ song. In fact, conspecific birds apparently differ in musical talent as much as humans. This unexpected variability is due to the individual bird’s interpretation of the theme, his technical ability in executing it, his “style” of delivery, and the quality or timbre of his voice. Some very poor singers are found in every songbird species. . . . There are also very superior musicians among songbirds. For instance, over a period of a few days, a talented blackbird creatively and spontaneously composed the opening phrase of the Rondo in Beethoven’s violin concerto. (He had not previously heard it.) During the remainder of the season he varied the interpretation of the phrase; “the pace was quickened toward the end . . . a rubato effect that added brilliance to the performance.”

Of course, it’s a long way from a bird’s song to a performance of Mahler’s “Resurrection” symphony; the latter is a lot more complicated and expensive to produce, and requires a lot of cooperation. Music and the other arts came to be developed to extremes of complexity largely as a result of the process of professionalization—which again can only be understood in terms of anthropology and history.

Hunter-gatherers had music, but it was relatively simple—as simple and beautiful in its way as a birdsong. With more intensive means of food production—farming—we were able to produce food surpluses that could be stored. That enabled the construction of cities and full-time division of labor. Homo sapiens has been around for about 350,000 years, but farming is a comparatively recent development, starting only about 10,000 years ago. It was a fateful shift. For the first time in the human story, we see writing, money, and far more sophisticated weapons and other tools. We also see full-time artists and musicians.

Each of these developments, and each of these technologies, changed us. For example, Marshall McLuhan and others have pointed out that the use of writing, and especially alphabetic writing, tended to nudge our thought processes in certain directions. As the classicist Eric Havelock once put it,

It is only as language is written down that it becomes possible to think about it. The acoustic medium, being incapable of visualization, did not achieve recognition as a phenomenon wholly separable from the person who used it. But in the alphabetized document the medium became objectified. There it was, reproduced perfectly in the alphabet . . . no longer a function of “me” the speaker but a document with an independent existence.

The earliest important document in alphabetic script was the Bible—The Book. And to this day millions of people regard that document with awe as an almost animate source of absolute wisdom and authority. Johann Sebastian Bach was himself devoted to the Good Book, and he lived not far from the birthplace of the printing press, an invention that further intensified the psychological impact of the written word by emphasizing (through its movable type) the interchangeability of alphabetic characters, and by enabling the majority of the population to own and read printed Bibles. The printing press also set inventors to contemplating the usefulness of interchangeable parts, thus helping seed the industrial revolution.

If the writing of words made human thinking more rational and sequential, the writing of music had an analogous effect. Rather than being memorized, tunes could be jotted down and read later, perhaps by someone else who had never heard the tune before. Tunes could become more complicated, yet still be “remembered” on paper. Tunes could take on an existence of their own; they could be bought and sold.

Every new technological advantage implies the potential loss of some former ability. Writing, as Plato noted, saps the memory. Similarly, reliance on musical notation does little to foster the ability to improvise. Everyone who has spent much time around a professional orchestra knows that most classical string players are spectacular sight-readers but utterly inept improvisers (though that’s changing). How many times have I been requested to “Play us a tune,” only to hear myself reply ineptly, “But I don’t have any music with me. . . .”

And so progress is usually a tradeoff. And like biological evolution, it is only temporarily directional. Evolution doesn’t have a final goal in mind; it’s just an endless process of adaptation. Often it leads to dead ends. All species eventually go extinct, and, sometimes, vast numbers of species go extinct all at once. Similarly, cultural evolution appears to proceed in cycles: over the past ten thousand years, roughly 24 civilizations have arisen, but they have all tended to go through a process of expansion and then collapse. With our linguistic brains, we tend to assign cosmic meanings to these gains, and often-rapid losses, of complexity. But in the end, it’s not about smiling or angry gods; it’s not about human ingenuity or collective moral decay; it’s about environmental carrying capacity.

*          *          *

In his theory of culture, anthropologist Marvin Harris located the arts in what he called the superstructure of society, together with religions and ideologies. In Harris’s formulation, the superstructure and structure (politics, economic system) of society primarily tend to respond to changes in infrastructure, which is the interface between society and nature, the means of production and reproduction. With one type of infrastructure (hunting and gathering), we get a consistent set of tools, religious practices, and ways of organizing society, across the globe. With another type of infrastructure (early forms of agriculture) we see the rise of kingdoms, the appearance of sky-god religions, writing, and so on—whether in India, China, Central America, or Mesopotamia.

Harris’s view would have been that the industrial revolution and overwhelming societal changes that flowed from it—the growth of the middle class, credit, advertising, mass marketing, propaganda, mass political movements—didn’t happen primarily because of literary, musical, or artistic efforts; they occurred largely because we discovered rich new energy sources. Abstract expressionism didn’t drive the social, cultural, and psychological changes of the twentieth century; rather, the art of Pollock, Kline, and de Kooning emerged in response to the development of photography and psychoanalysis, and to the social and personal alienation brought about by industrialism. With color photographic reproductions everywhere cheaply available, representational art came to seem hokey and pointless. Instead of painting people and nature, the artist’s job was now to portray the interior of the psyche. Similarly, electronic music—including amplified rock music—followed upon the electrification of society, it didn’t inspire it.

Material conditions change; then consciousness changes; and new art forms follow to express changing consciousness. Sometimes the artist appears as a revolutionary or a social critic—think Woody Guthrie, Rage Against the Machine, or Geto Boyz. Other times, the artist is little more than a commercial or political tool.

In either case, the artist’s efforts help shape the terms by which society adapts consciousness to its infrastructural regime. The artist does modify culture, but cannot do so in a vacuum. Where there are grounds for a revolutionary movement, the artist can help give it identity and cohesion. On the other hand, employed by society’s elites, the artist can forge images that galvanize enthusiastic cooperation—whether in support of a political candidate, or in service to the projects of selling more breakfast cereal or waging a war.

The enormous complexity of modern industrial civilization theoretically offers a far wider scope for creativity than was the case in previous societies: every industrial artifact—from the paper clip to the computer mouse to the laser scanner in the grocery store to the handle on a refrigerator—has to be designed. We in the modern industrial world are thus surrounded by art to a degree unparalleled in any earlier society. City dwellers must exert effort—sometimes, considerable effort—to see a surface not designed by another human, or to hear a sound not generated by humans or their machines, including music playback machines.

In addition, the population densities that are afforded by the modern city, and thus the opportunities for interaction among artists, permit an extraordinary level of development of technique. There are more piano virtuosi alive today, playing at a higher level of technical perfection, than at any other time in history. The same with nearly every other medium: there are more highly skilled sculptors, painters, calligraphers, ballroom dancers, or whatever, than ever before.

But we pay a cumulative price for this artistic bonanza. By confining ourselves within a human-designed—and thus human-centered—universe, we cut ourselves off from the true source of art—which is nature. Technical perfection and media sophistication cannot replace naturalness of gesture. We stumble from the movie theater, sated and numbed. We get into the car, cue up some music, and drive home. We turn on the television and glance at it occasionally as we devour a logo-emblazoned deli sandwich from the refrigerator. The semblance of life grows ever more convincing as the reality of life disappears in a forest clear-cut somewhere beyond view from the highway.

*          *          *

However, as I tried to convey a few minutes ago, the current environment for the arts—urban industrial society—is basically unsustainable. Which brings us to the subject of our future. Society a few decades from now will operate very differently from how it does now, or it won’t be operating at all. At the base of this shift will be our energy regime: society will have to move away from fossil fuels this century to avert catastrophic climate change. And if it doesn’t, fossil fuels will move away from us as a result of depletion. One way or another, our societal infrastructure will shift. This will probably be as profound a historic rupture as the industrial revolution itself, maybe comparable to the agricultural revolution 10,000 years ago.

It’s tempting to think that we can just unplug coal power plants, plug in solar panels, and continue living essentially the same as we do now. But this is wrong in two ways.

First, it’s important to understand the fundamental differences between intermittent renewable energy sources like solar and wind, and depleting but available-on-demand fossil fuels. I recently co-authored a study, with David Fridley of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, titled Our Renewable Future, in which we examined how energy usage will need to change to accommodate these new energy sources. We concluded that energy usage in highly industrialized nations like the United States will have to decline significantly, and whole sectors—transportation, manufacturing, and agriculture—will need to be transformed to run on electricity rather than gaseous or liquid fuels. Our existing systems were built to fit the strengths of our incumbent energy sources; nearly everything will require rethinking to take advantage of the inherent qualities of solar and wind power. It would make sense, for example, to decentralize systems, to make them more distributed and localized, and to use energy when it’s available, rather than expecting to use it 24/7.

But there’s another reason that it would be wrong to think we can keep living essentially as we do now as, and after, we make the energy transition: our ecological crisis is not all about climate change. If climate change were the sum total of our environmental challenge, then all we’d need to do is get rid of carbon emissions and we’d be good to go. Don’t get me wrong: climate change is by far the worst pollution dilemma humans have ever faced, and if we don’t deal with it all of Earth’s creatures are in for one hell of a ride. Yet in addition to climate change we also face mass species extinctions due to habitat loss, along with the depletion of soil, water, and minerals. Our population continues to grow even as habitat and resources disappear. We need a more comprehensive way of framing the ecological crisis; I prefer to speak of overshoot, a term familiar to population ecologists. Due to a temporary energy subsidy, we have grown our population and consumption beyond levels that can be sustained long-term, and we are eroding Earth’s capacity to support future generations. The only way to deal with overshoot is to dial back the whole human enterprise.

One way or another, whether as a result of adaptation or collapse, we can look forward to a future characterized by lower overall rates of consumption of energy and materials. That raises the question of equity. Will a few luxuriate in abundance while multitudes starve? That’s a recipe for revolutions, coups, and the rise of dictators. Or will we learn to share both resources and scarcity while choosing to reduce our population to a sustainable size? Our future will also hold less complexity. That’s because societal complexity requires energy. So if less energy is available, that will inevitably translate to less globalization and more localized, smaller-scale economies. Our future will feature a less-stable climate. We will need more resilience—more adaptability, as well as redundancy in critical systems. We will need to learn how to fit into nature’s cycles rather than imagining that we can dominate our planet and move on to other planets once we’ve chewed our way through this one.

*          *          *

If, rather than simply collapsing, society adapts by becoming less centralized, more localized; if population and consumption (especially in wealthy countries) shrink rather than continually growing, then how will artists be affected by this extraordinary transformation? How could they help lead it? Perhaps the obvious answer is to produce sustainability-themed operas, motion pictures, concerti, country-and-western songs, string quartets, and computer game soundtracks. However, I think we could also be more—um, creative in our thinking.

First, I think we need to be honest with ourselves. The next years and decades will be filled with challenges of all kinds—foreseeable and unforeseeable. It will be a turbulent time and may not provide a stable platform for a tranquil, uninterrupted career in a symphony orchestra or even a touring rock band. It’s hard enough to be a successful musician in the world as it is, but someone’s about to move the goalposts, deflate the football, and rewrite the rules of the game. That doesn’t mean that making music isn’t worth the effort. It just means it will be important to avoid tunnel vision, and to pay attention to what’s happening in society as a whole so as to be able to adapt quickly and be in position to take advantage of opportunities.

I’d like to suggest three broad projects for musicians and other artists for the remainder of this century:

  1. Preserve our culture’s greatest achievements. Musicians tend to assume that the works of Bach, Mozart, Ellington, and other great composers constitute a common heritage that will last for the ages. It’s sobering to reflect on how much was lost of ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman culture when those civilizations fell. Sheet music printed on acid-laced paper will disintegrate over time; so will magnetic tape, CDs, and computer hard drives. Music cannot survive if it isn’t continually refreshed in live performance. If we really love this music, it’s up to us to carry it forward—to play it and to teach the needed and satisfying skills of music performance to younger generations.
  2. Help society adapt. As societies change, it is up to artists to reflect people’s feelings and experiences back to them, transformed into art that’s inspiring and healing. Think of how Beethoven helped reflect the beginnings of modern democracy, the Romantic Movement in poetry and philosophy, and the nascent industrial revolution—in music that shattered the aristocratic formalism of previous generations. Or recall how Shostakovich translated the horrific and protracted siege of Stalingrad into his tragic yet also hopeful Eighth Symphony. Now think ahead. We have embarked on a century in which all the systems we have built since the start of the industrial revolution—our food system, our transport systems, our energy system, our buildings systems, our financial system, and possibly our political and governance systems as well—will prove unsustainable. At the same time, the natural world will be shifting around us in unprecedented ways. Everything will be up for change, redesign, and negotiation. This may turn out to be the great fulcrum of history. Artists will have the opportunity and duty to translate the resulting tumultuous human experience into words, images, and music that help people not just to mentally understand, but to viscerally come to grips with events. And society will need the service of artists as never before as we re-weave the fabric of local community.
  3. Do what artists always do, what even the birds do: celebrate life’s beauty. Our charge is to do this well, in fact better than ever. Life is precious, and our planet is precious. As Joni Mitchell put it,

Don’t it always seem to go

That you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone?

They paved paradise

Put up a parking lot

Perhaps the most important job of the artist, after all, is to remind us that we’re already in paradise. No parking lot needed.

heinberg



37 Comments on "Richard Heinberg: Post Carbon Music"

  1. asg70 on Sat, 20th Jan 2018 2:08 pm 

    Greer is writing novels and Heinberg is playing music. Doom is…delayed.

  2. MASTERMIND on Sat, 20th Jan 2018 4:05 pm 

    Existing oil reserves are scheduled to begin a catastrophic crash within 1 to 3 years. When it hits the economic and social damage will be catastrophic. The end of Western Civilization, from China to Europe, to the US, will not occur when oil runs out. The economic and social chaos will occur when supplies are merely reduced sufficiently….

    https://imgur.com/a/6dEDt
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v481/n7382/full/481433a.html
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421509001281
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S030142151300342X
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0016236114010254
    http://www.geo.cornell.edu/eas/energy/the_challenges/peak_oil.html
    http://www.scribd.com/document/367688629/HSBC-Peak-Oil-Report-2017

  3. MASTERMIND on Sat, 20th Jan 2018 4:05 pm 

    Simple really….when the World Economy Collapses everything shuts down…the end… We’re talking about grids down all over the world and 7.5B people dropping like f*** flies in short order. The collapse will be absolutely horrible..There is no collapse or horror movie ever produced that has even come close to imagining what the collapse of BAU might look like. I’m talking about every corporation and every social program going bankrupt at once.I’m talking about people eating people. I’m talking about the Worst Catastrophe to ever happen in the history of mankind. Nothing has ever, or will ever come close….

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959652617304225?via%3Dihub
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921800914000615
    http://www.energybulletin.net/sites/default/files/Peak%20Oil_Study%20EN.pdf
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3574335/
    http://sustainable.unimelb.edu.au/sites/default/files/docs/MSSI-ResearchPaper-4_Turner_2014.pdf
    http://www.feasta.org/2012/06/17/trade-off-financial-system-supply-chain-cross-contagion-a-study-in-global-systemic-collapse/

  4. MASTERMIND on Sat, 20th Jan 2018 4:06 pm 

    Here are five peer reviewed scientific studies authored by top experts that prove beyond any reasonable doubt that global civilization will collapse within the next decade.

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921800914000615
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959652617304225?via%3Dihub
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3574335/
    http://sustainable.unimelb.edu.au/sites/default/files/docs/MSSI-ResearchPaper-4_Turner_2014.pdf
    http://www.feasta.org/2012/06/17/trade-off-financial-system-supply-chain-cross-contagion-a-study-in-global-systemic-collapse/

    The End of the Human Race will be that it will Eventually Die of Civilization –Ralph W Emerson

  5. Mad Kat on Sat, 20th Jan 2018 5:53 pm 

    What we “should do” and what we “will do” are two very different things.

    There is only a microscopic chance that we can/will change the path we are on. There is zero chance unless the Empire is brought down, globalization ends and we can revert to a simpler world without nukes or war. But that is not going to happen. I don’t be;live in miracles. Buckle up!

  6. Duncan Idaho on Sat, 20th Jan 2018 6:06 pm 

    “We’re now losing 25 billion tons of topsoil a year due to industrial agriculture. At the same time, we’re adding 80 million new humans each year on a net basis, with our population growing by about a billion every 12 years.”

    Yep, it is just a matter of time.

  7. MASTERMIND on Sat, 20th Jan 2018 7:59 pm 

    Madkat

    Who wants change? Everyone!

    Who wants to change? No one!

  8. MASTERMIND on Sat, 20th Jan 2018 9:03 pm 

    Looks like I have scared everyone the fuck away! You could hear a pin drop!

    Now I have become death! The destroyer of worlds!

  9. Mad Kat on Sat, 20th Jan 2018 9:03 pm 

    MM that was the most rational comment I have read from you. You know the change I want, and it will come, eventually. All the signs are pointing that way.

  10. Mad Kat on Sat, 20th Jan 2018 9:05 pm 

    Mm, I might add, some of us are changing to accommodate the collapse. We see what is coming and want to reduce the pain now, by doing all we can to ease the change. I suggest you do the same.

  11. Cloggie on Sat, 20th Jan 2018 10:02 pm 

    “Now I have become death! The destroyer of worlds!”

    Millimind is now entering the stage of megalomaniac self-aggrandisement. Reminds me of apneaman of former fame who opined that he was here to “inform the internet masses” about impending climate doom, en passent using that event, if any, to blame whitey for it and set him up for genocide by the “noble masses of the third world”.

    In reality, apneaman couldn’t care less about climate change, other than as an opportunity for social revolution a la Petersburg 1917, when even the dumbest European-American will finally begin to understand the real purpose of mass migration from the third world since 1965, totally organized by apneaman’s tribe:

    http://www.kevinmacdonald.net/immigration.pdf

    …namely to import a proletariate that can and will be used by the apneaman’s of this world against white civilization in North-America.

    Apneaman left this site because he understood he was no longer effective because he accidently revealed his true identity. Mafioso do not like to be known as mafioso. Perhaps he returned to this site as “mastermind”. These folks have no greater passion in life than lying and deceiving.

    Unfortunately for apneaman’s tribe it is by no means certain that the intended social revolution will actually succeed. Here a very perceptive longread from a (jewish) scolar about immigration:

    https://cis.org/Jewish-Stake-Americas-Changing-Demography

    This article is a white nationalist wet dream. Steinlight, the author, admits what the average Stormfront-poster had always claimed, namely that “the jews” were largely responsible for the immigration disaster.

    Interestingly, it begins to dawn on Steinlight, that third world immigration could backfire against the jews, namely that these third-worlders could refuse to be the obedient tool in the hands of the koshers against whitey. This is especially true for the muslims in Europe, who openly persecute jews, the very same jews who were responsible for muslim presence in the first place.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/04/is-it-time-for-the-jews-to-leave-europe/386279/

    Beer and popcorn!

    Seriously, Steinlight is right of course, mass immigration will backfire, will cause the US to split up, so that after the USSR, the jews will loose the US as well.

    For us Europeans that will be a glorious day when 1945 will be rolled back and we finally get rid of marxism, either of the Soviet or American variety, both of jewism origin.

  12. MASTERMIND on Sat, 20th Jan 2018 10:12 pm 

    Clogg

    What mass immigration?

    https://imgur.com/a/SNw1U

    Nice try scaremongering! LOL

  13. Cloggie on Sun, 21st Jan 2018 2:33 am 

    https://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/07/01/484325664/babies-of-color-are-now-the-majority-census-says

    This cumulative consequence of decades of mass migration, you marxist fool.

    The old America is gone and will be gradually replaced by a population that can’t live up to first world standards:

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/07/detroit-illiteracy-nearly-half-education_n_858307.html

    White America that in 1969 put a man on the moon (with crucial Nazi support) has committed suicide, or rather was murdered by its (((deep state))). This and nothing else will cause the demise of the US empire and likely even the US itself, that XXL Yugoslavia in status nascendi.

  14. Cloggie on Sun, 21st Jan 2018 4:21 am 

    Interesting to note how Heinberg in 2018 does NOT refer to any peak oil supply doom scenario in the near future, which of course is studiously ignored by our resident drama queen millimind.

    Not that we can expect a mea culpa from Heinberg. He quietly dropped the subject of peak oil supply and moved on to promote 100% renewable energy instead and of course Trump bashing, the hopeless suicidal leftist beta-male that he is.

    Millimind is an intellectual peak oil supply orphan, if you want to waste the word “intellectual” on dropout millimind at all.

  15. Cloggie on Sun, 21st Jan 2018 4:33 am 

    Preserve our culture’s greatest achievements. Musicians tend to assume that the works of Bach, Mozart, Ellington, and other great composers constitute a common heritage that will last for the ages. It’s sobering to reflect on how much was lost of ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman culture when those civilizations fell. Sheet music printed on acid-laced paper will disintegrate over time; so will magnetic tape, CDs, and computer hard drives. Music cannot survive if it isn’t continually refreshed in live performance. If we really love this music, it’s up to us to carry it forward—to play it and to teach the needed and satisfying skills of music performance to younger generations.

    The greatest threat against classical music is Richard Heinberg himself, in that he refuses to stand up against the takeover of his country and civilization by those people with their jungle rap, who couldn’t care less about Bach, Mozart and Beethoven. Don’t expect this kind of honesty from this drama queen and his brief period of claim to fame.

  16. Cloggie on Sun, 21st Jan 2018 4:42 am 

    http://www.resilience.org/stories/2017-02-07/richard-heinberg-on-america-first/

    I think it’s very likely that global oil production will hit its maximum in the next 2, 3, 4 years. I’ve become very hesitant about making predictions like that after the last number of years, because I’ve been writing about peak oil since my 2003 book, ‘The Party’s Over’.

    Hahahaha. Heinberg is quietly cursing that this f* peak oil hasn’t occurred yet, but remains hopeful that it will happen soon, en passant saving his face.

    I have no clue either about the exact date but instead think that the end of the oil age will come in leaps and bounds, with oil and gas prices acting like a jojo, with peak fossil bouncing between peak fossil supply and peak fossil demand.

    In fact, another 2008 $140 dollar oil price could be very beneficial in pushing the world irreversibly into renewable energy, crisis or no crisis.

  17. Mad Kat on Sun, 21st Jan 2018 5:01 am 

    I think we have passed peak NET oil energy, years ago. We are running in the negative now, only supported by huge debt to keep the pumps going. The coming financial crash will see the end of that facade and, also, the dream of a ‘renewable’ energy world that can replace FFs.

  18. Cloggie on Sun, 21st Jan 2018 5:09 am 

    American dissident online magazine discovers Paris-Berlin-Moscow:

    http://www.unz.com/article/the-russo-chinese-alliance-revisited/

    The most important sign of this was Vladimir Putin’s rather startling revelation, during his October 2017 Valdai Forum conversation with youth, of his concern for the fate of white European Christian Civilization and his desire to preserve it… The Russian-Chinese alliance today seems unshakable and it will remain so for a while, but, contrary to some opinions, this is not because Russia needs China—certainly no more than China needs Russia…
    The Russian-Chinese alliance today seems unshakable and it will remain so for a while, but, contrary to some opinions, this is not because Russia needs China—certainly no more than China needs Russia… it is becoming clear that Europe sees neither China nor the United States as friends…
    by openly stating her European cultural roots, Russia has asserted her claim to be the very real bridge between Asia and Europe and she has all the necessary economic, technological and military wherewithal to support such a claim.

  19. Mad Kat on Sun, 21st Jan 2018 5:52 am 

    Russia needs China’s one billion plus consumers. Europe needs China’s one billion plus consumers. To think otherwise is to ignore reality. China is still growing. Europe and Russia are not. Russia wants to be the trade connection between China and Europe and to sell Europe its oil and natural gas. I doubt it wants to be part of Europe’s ongoing disintegration.

    If Europe allows the US to keep urging a war with Russia, there will be no Europe, only rubble. One does not keep hitting a bear with a stick and not expect to get mauled. Nuff said.

  20. JuanP on Sun, 21st Jan 2018 7:10 am 

    Cloggie, Yesterday I went to watch the American premiere of the German movie “Good Thoughts – Zubin Mehta” which I highly recommend. Mehta (one of the greatest conductors alive) is a brown Indian Parsi. There was a pre movie show featuring a string quartet from the Alhambra Orchestra and the musicians were all hispanic. They played Mozart’s Divertimento, Bach’s Prelude No. 1, and some Piazzola, and Gardel. White people are not the only ones that like classical music. Watch the movie and you will see that many of the musicians in it are hispanic, black, and Asian, including quite a few in the world’s best orchestras.

  21. Davy on Sun, 21st Jan 2018 7:31 am 

    “American dissident online magazine discovers Paris-Berlin-Moscow”

    Europeans can’t manage a union very well as it is so one wonders how they could ever manage that difficult union with a new empire driven French, German and Russian extra. This is just more Gaulist/Nazi fantasy

  22. Go Speed Racer on Sun, 21st Jan 2018 7:37 am 

    Hi Mr Mastermind,
    I snapped your picture at the recent street rally,

    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/11/74/9e/11749e1341e0407c2e3d7cf7dc887af9.jpg

    Looks like you had a great time!

  23. Go Speed Racer on Sun, 21st Jan 2018 7:52 am 

    america is NOT a shithole country
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUiLYOVWWq8

  24. Mad Kat on Sun, 21st Jan 2018 8:11 am 

    Hahahaha! Good one Go!.

  25. Antius on Sun, 21st Jan 2018 8:46 am 

    Cloggie wrote: “Hahahaha. Heinberg is quietly cursing that this f* peak oil hasn’t occurred yet, but remains hopeful that it will happen soon, en passant saving his face.”

    It already has happened, at about the time he and plenty of others said it would, and it triggered the 2008 economic crash.

    http://www.artberman.com/wp-content/uploads/Chart_World-Con-Uncon-1.jpg

    http://www.artberman.com/wp-content/uploads/Chart_Con-OPEC-Non-OPEC-Conv.jpg

    Total peak liquids will occur in the next few years at the latest, as unconventional oil cannot continue to grow without both low interest rates and high WTI prices. The first cannot possibly continue; the second depends upon the tug of war between global conventional shortages and a global economy soon to be in deep depression.

    http://www.artberman.com/wp-content/uploads/Oil-Prod-Capex-Tight-Oil-DW-OPEC-Conv-from-SLB-Howard-Weil-032615.jpg

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-01-20/what-will-rising-mortgage-rates-do-housing-bubble-2

    What Heinberg and others didn’t anticipate was the US Federal Reserve cutting interest rates to zero and inflating the money supply to infinity. That sort of thing had never happened before in 2003, and many people at the time would never have thought the powers that be crazy or desperate enough, so I don’t blame him for failing to foresee it.

  26. Cloggie on Sun, 21st Jan 2018 8:55 am 

    There was a pre movie show featuring a string quartet from the Alhambra Orchestra and the musicians were all hispanic. They played Mozart’s Divertimento, Bach’s Prelude No. 1, and some Piazzola, and Gardel. White people are not the only ones that like classical music. Watch the movie and you will see that many of the musicians in it are hispanic, black, and Asian, including quite a few in the world’s best orchestras.

    I know. There are many highly talented people from Japan, China, India and others who excel at European classical music (conducting, piano or other instruments). But these are “globalist Davos people”. The Muslims and Africans who make it to Europe or America have zero affinity with that kind of music. When I was a kid I saw classical concerts on TV all the time, but now they are rare and making way for pop culture, rammed through our throats by this NWO MTV-shit.

    Exceptions do exist:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gO67YCECe4

  27. Antius on Sun, 21st Jan 2018 9:01 am 

    Cloggie wrote: “I have no clue either about the exact date but instead think that the end of the oil age will come in leaps and bounds, with oil and gas prices acting like a jojo, with peak fossil bouncing between peak fossil supply and peak fossil demand.

    In fact, another 2008 $140 dollar oil price could be very beneficial in pushing the world irreversibly into renewable energy, crisis or no crisis.”

    If you think that then you have learned nothing from the very considerable amount of time you have spent trolling this board over the past several years.

    The last time oil hit $147/barrel, it took the price of all other fossil fuels with it. The price of steel and all commodities hit never before seen levels. Wind turbines and other low power density renewable energy sources; require high upfront embodied energy, which is exactly why there was solid increase in new wind turbine costs up to 2010. After 2008, new renewable energy investment tapered off and has only just started to recover. Another surge in the price of oil would push the world firmly into depression. Demand for energy will decline across the board and renewable electricity sources (which after all require fossil fuel back-up) will be seen as the expensive, idealistic luxuries that they really are.

  28. Cloggie on Sun, 21st Jan 2018 9:10 am 

    @Antius – I do not blame Heinberg for anything. Freedom of speech, in which I believe, includes the right to be wrong. I read him, believed him and this had a deep impact on my life (blogging, solar panels, generator, vegetable garden and other prepping), for instance leading to hundreds of hours spend on posting on peak oil forums.

    Heinberg/ASPO2000 were probably right about conventional peak oil, but he missed the boat regarding the “third carbon age” completely. That is that previously inaccessible fossil fuel becomes accessible with new technology after all.

    If for some reason shale oil will decline, there is already a far bigger candidate waiting in the wings to be exploited:

    https://deepresource.wordpress.com/2017/01/01/underground-coal-gasification/

    …with Britain as a potential giant producer.

    I do not worry one bit about the world running out of fossil fuel soon. I hope that the prices will increase to say $140 levels, because that would stimulate the rush into renewables enormously, with Europe and its rapidly growing renewable industries being the big beneficiary, at the cost of Anglo oil companies. But I don’t expect an economic downturn any time soon.

    If I see pictures from the latest US car shows it is SUV time again. It is as if going to Walmart is like driving to the front.lol

    I think that as long as Trump remains in power we can enjoy a few more years of peace. I hope he gets reelected for that reason and stays until 2025, even if that prospect would give some here a heart attack.lol

  29. MASTERMIND on Sun, 21st Jan 2018 9:29 am 

    Antius

    You just destroyed Clogg’s fantasy world..lol

    3 years till Anarchy!

    http://www.energybulletin.net/sites/default/files/Peak%20Oil_Study%20EN.pdf

  30. Antius on Sun, 21st Jan 2018 9:46 am 

    Cloggie wrote: “If for some reason shale oil will decline, there is already a far bigger candidate waiting in the wings to be exploited:

    https://deepresource.wordpress.com/2017/01/01/underground-coal-gasification/

    …with Britain as a potential giant producer.

    I do not worry one bit about the world running out of fossil fuel soon. I hope that the prices will increase to say $140 levels, because that would stimulate the rush into renewables enormously, with Europe and its rapidly growing renewable industries being the big beneficiary, at the cost of Anglo oil companies. But I don’t expect an economic downturn any time soon.”

    The best harbinger of economic downturn is the sharply increasing yield of US government bonds and the declining value of the dollar. It is a move that pretty much guarantees that US interest rates will increase sharply before the end of the year, in order to defend the value of the dollar. That will put a torch to economic recovery, as interest rates will then need to rise in other nations as well, to prevent capital flight into the US. Nowhere is this more true than in China, which is already struggling to defend the value of the Yuan / Renminbi, or whatever they want to call it.

    Rising interest rates puts the brakes on investments of all kinds. This is especially true of renewable energy, which has high upfront capital costs. For this reason, it benefits far more from low interest rates than it does from high energy prices.

    The world’s aggregate energy intensity puts an upper limit to how much people can pay for energy in the medium term (i.e. <20 years). This is because we use energy to perform work on matter, which is pretty much the definition of economic activity. If the cost of energy outweighs the value of the GDP it facilitates, then it is no longer affordable to the economy as an input. This is why the value of those trillions of tonnes of coal under the British North Sea, will remain lower than their cost of production, unless the energy intensity of GDP can rise enough to make them profitable. This is also likely to be the case for renewable energy when interest rates go up.

    Cloggie wrote: "I think that as long as Trump remains in power we can enjoy a few more years of peace. I hope he gets reelected for that reason and stays until 2025, even if that prospect would give some here a heart attack.lol"

    Well I'm glad we can agree on something. Most of the people that voted for Trump knew that he wasn't perfect. He won the election, not because he is so damn good, but because Hillary and the Dems are so damn bad. Compared to them, a lump of wood would be a viable candidate.

  31. MASTERMIND on Sun, 21st Jan 2018 10:34 am 

    Antus

    Are you a fucking retard? Trump is an elitist pig..Who has lied over 2k times. And spent more time golfing and tax payer dollars than any president in history….And he passed a tax cut that majority benefits him and his rich friends. And he has destroyed the value of the dollar by scaring away investors. You must an ignorant racist because that is the only reason anyone could like such a pig.

  32. Davy on Sun, 21st Jan 2018 10:42 am 

    “I do not worry one bit about the world running out of fossil fuel soon. I hope that the prices will increase to say $140 levels, because that would stimulate the rush into renewables enormously”

    Who says, the school of neder the lander economics? You have little in the way of idea if that would stimulate renewables because you have little in the way of ideas on what that will do to the global economy. There is much more to the issue than oil prices with renewable development.

  33. MASTERMIND on Sun, 21st Jan 2018 10:45 am 

    Davy

    I don’t worry about the world running out of fossil fuels either. I worry about the world running short which will make growing GDP impossible and cause a global economic collapse. And that is coming soon! The global economy can’t even handle 60 dollar oil let alone 140 again.

    Causes and Consequences of the Oil Shock of 2007-08 (Hamilton, 2009)
    https://www.brookings.edu/bpea-articles/causes-and-consequences-of-the-oil-shock-of-2007-08/

  34. Antius on Sun, 21st Jan 2018 10:55 am 

    “Who says, the school of neder the lander economics? You have little in the way of idea if that would stimulate renewables because you have little in the way of ideas on what that will do to the global economy. There is much more to the issue than oil prices with renewable development.”

    Exactly Davy. A rise in the price of fossil fuels will increase the price of all goods and services, including Cloggies’ precious wind turbines and the megatons of steel needed to build them. It will also reduce any surplus income that might have been directed into investment in a growing economy. To combat inflation resulting from increasing energy costs, central banks raise interest rates, which really pushes up the price of capital intensive projects – like renewable energy projects.

    Cloggies’ beloved renewable energy projects, do best when both fossil fuel prices and interest rates are low. They benefit far more from low interest rates than they would from high energy prices, because most of the cost is upfront investment on which interest must be paid. Ironically then, renewable energy does well when FF are relatively abundant and badly when they are not.

  35. Boat on Sun, 21st Jan 2018 11:19 am 

    333 billion spent on renewables in 2017. The price avg of renewables dropped 25% compared to 2 years ago. Give renewables a decade as tech and scale advances yes even adding batteries will be cheaper than coal and nat gas. Just in time for the EV going to scale.

  36. Antius on Sun, 21st Jan 2018 11:50 am 

    “333 billion spent on renewables in 2017. The price avg of renewables dropped 25% compared to 2 years ago. Give renewables a decade as tech and scale advances yes even adding batteries will be cheaper than coal and nat gas. Just in time for the EV going to scale.”

    We will see.

    What ‘renewables’? Wind, solar, tide?

    What technology are you talking about? A wind turbine is a set of blades mounted on a shaft, turning an alternator. It is technologically simple and that is its strength. More technology means more complexity.

    Renewable energy is attracting investment for the same reason shale is attracting investment. Capital intensive projects do well when interest rates are low. They do even better when they are subsidised and other generators pick up the tab for intermittency.

    My prediction: if interest rates go up in the world’s leading economies, investment in renewable energy will crash. This is fad that has more to do with ponzi economics than real world practicality.

  37. Aluminiumleiste on Mon, 11th Jun 2018 9:37 pm 

    you are really a good webmaster. The web site loading speed is amazing. It seems that you are doing any unique trick. Furthermore, The contents are masterwork. you’ve done a fantastic job on this topic!

Leave a Reply

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