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Ukrainian Rhapsody

General Ideas

“Our future will be more about artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and non-state actors than stump speeches from the back of a bunted caboose. Facebook and Twitter have been weaponized.“ There has been a recurrent theme here at The Great Change over the past several months. It began with revelations from whistleblowers from Cambridge Analytica speaking to […]

What Made Me Reconsider the Anthropocene

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Looming over the new food court of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History is one of those creatures so massive and menacing that its mere existence in Earth’s ancient past counsels against time-travel research. It is an accurate, if unbelievable, model of the Megalodon shark—52 feet long, dagger-studded maw agape. These things ate baleen […]

Fire Engulfs New Saudi High-Speed Rail Station

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Online videos showed what appeared to be major structural damage. The station is the centerpiece of a new multibillion-dollar high-speed rail project. A massive fire on Sunday ripped through a new high-speed train station leaving at least five people injured in Saudi Arabia’s coastal city of Jeddah. Videos posted on social media showed black plumes […]

Before Greta Thunberg, there was “Peak Oil”. Has everyone forgotten?

Before Greta Thunberg, there was “Peak Oil”. Has everyone forgotten? thumbnail

If you search the website of the Irish Times for the phrase “Peak Oil” you will find that it appears only once in 2019, in a motoring column, and only then as a throwaway comparison to the Chinese car industry. It is the first time the phrase has appeared in Ireland’s most august newspaper since […]

Kurt Cobb: Oil prices and the coming financial ‘Ice Age’

General Ideas

Albert Edwards turned bearish on stocks back in 1996—well, not exactly bearish, but cautious. He recommended to clients that they overweight long-term, high-quality bonds and therefore underweight stocks in their portfolios. It turns out that clients who followed his advice fared not quite as well as those 100 percent invested in stocks but also took […]

Richard Heinberg: Peak Oil & The Coming Crash

General Ideas

Richard Heinberg is Senior Fellow of the Post Carbon Institute and one of the world’s foremost advocates for a shift away from our current reliance on fossil fuels. In our examination of the themes presented Richard’s recent essay “Our Bonus Decade,” Richard discusses the role skyrocketing oil prices played in the financial crisis of 2008 and […]

A math equation that predicts the end of humanity

General Ideas

The most mind-boggling controversy in the contemporary philosophy of science is the “doomsday argument,” a claim that a mathematical formula can predict how long the human race will survive. It gives us even odds that our species will meet its end within the next 760 years. The doomsday argument doesn’t tell what’s going to kill […]

Prophets of doom: Is the end of the world near?

Prophets of doom: Is the end of the world near? thumbnail

Armageddon didn’t happen in 1982 as predicted by American evangelist Pat Robertson (born in 1930). Then, he prophesied again and again, and flopped again and again. Even in predicting the end of the world, Americans and Russians were rivals. Grigori Rasputin (1869-1916), a Russian mystic who was assassinated in 1916, prophesied that fire would extinguish […]

Humankind’s innate ability to adapt will see us through brighter, hotter, days to come

General Ideas

The Enlightenment’s greatest forecasting error was made by a mostly forgotten Englishman, the Reverend Thomas Malthus. His mistake was due to his failure to account for mankind’s second most important trait; adaptability. The good pastor noticed that humans reproduced exponentially. Starting with merely two humans some four thousand years previously, there were one billion at […]

The Hawkwood Elephant

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“Large-scale problems do not require large-scale solutions. They require only small-scale solutions within large-scale frameworks.” The author’s book signing circuit for small publishers like New Society and Chelsea Green is more likely to have you at something in Marianne Williamson’s comfort zone than Joe Biden’s, and it often brings me to scenic places with biodynamic […]

Has humanity reached ‘peak intelligence’?

Has humanity reached ‘peak intelligence’? thumbnail

You may not have noticed, but we are living in an intellectual golden age. Since the intelligence test was invented more than 100 years ago, our IQ scores have been steadily increasing. Even the average person today would have been considered a genius compared to someone born in 1919 – a phenomenon known as the […]

John Michael Greer: The Long View

General Ideas

For more than three years now, the themes of these online essays of mine—here, and in my previous blog The Archdruid Report—have had a relatively tight focus on the events of the present day. That hasn’t been accidental by any means. In 2016, strains that had been building for years within Western industrial civilization burst […]

Things aren’t so bad

General Ideas

In last week’s column I raised an issue that had hit home a bit personally — the increasing number of mass murders committed in our country’s public places by madmen who, armed with high-powered rifles and abundant ammunition, kill as many as they can. It had become a bit more personal because our company underwent […]

How to Survive Doomsday

General Ideas

Let’s be optimistic and assume that we manage to avoid a self-inflicted nuclear holocaust, an extinction-sized asteroid, or deadly irradiation from a nearby supernova. That leaves about 6 billion years until the sun turns into a red giant, swelling to the orbit of Earth and melting our planet. Sounds like a lot of time. But […]

Too Many People, Too Much Junk—Enter the Land of Confusion

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Consider this extraordinary item for a moment: The population of the planet is greater than at any other time in human history. Chances are you already know this, but it is not on your mind every day. The rock band, Genesis, was thinking about it back in 1986 with their hit single, Land of Confusion.* […]

Kunstler with Rob Gourdie about Oil Price Waves and peak Oil

General Ideas

download (size: 0 MB )   #317 Rob Gourdie is Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics at Virginia Tech. He is also Director of the Center for Heart and Reparative Medicine Research at the same university. He writes under the pen name of Tom Therramus.  In his “day job,” he works on the repeating waves […]

“The Storm” and “Tower Time” – Simple Names For A Complicated Situation

“The Storm” and “Tower Time” – Simple Names For A Complicated Situation thumbnail

I’ve written a bit lately about “The Storm” and “Tower Time” and “The Long Descent” – everyone knows what I’m talking about, right? Right? Such is modern language. Words get used in new ways – seemingly at random – and before long they become a part of ordinary language. Except that everybody doesn’t know what […]

Kunstler: The Zeitgeist Knows

General Ideas

Who said the global economy was a permanent installation in the human condition? The head cheerleader was The New York Times’s Tom Friedman, with his 1999 book, The Lexus and the Olive Tree, the trumpet blast for the new order of things. Since then, we partied like it was 1999, with a few grand mal […]

Collapse Now and Avoid the Rush by John Michael Greer

General Ideas

Like John Michael Greer’s numerous other books on the subject of industrial civilization’s demise, this one reveals its author to be an astonishingly gifted guide to a future that most people refuse to contemplate. The 25 short writings it contains were originally published on Greer’s former blog, The Archdruid Report, which was an institution among […]

Too Many People, or Too Much Greed?

General Ideas

During the dark early morning hours of a September 27 a few years after the Second World War, a passenger ship cruising calm South Atlantic waters struck a drifting forgotten mine, was violently breached, and quickly sank before any distress signal could be broadcast. Daylight found 26 survivors massed in, or floating in the sea […]

Peak Oil Infographic

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A simple infographic created with BBH and GQ, and the art director Todd Bois that shows our journey to peak oil and beyond. Jeff Johnson

Going the Distance with Family Planning

General Ideas

Lower population growth, achieved through effective family planning, translates into higher per capita GDP, leading to higher incomes, savings, and investment. If Indonesia is to reap these benefits, it will need to revitalize a family-planning program that was once one of the most effective in the world. GOTHENBURG – Indonesia, home to 264 million people, […]

Why the World’s Richest Man Wants Humans To Live on Floating Space Cities

General Ideas

In a Washington D.C. ballroom, bathed in dark royal blue and twinkling star-like lights with a space-themed soundtrack playing, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos revealed the hydrogen-fueled Blue Moon lunar lander, the spacecraft destined to deliver human cargo to the moon’s surface by 2024. But to preface this ambitious moonshot, Bezos also laid out a convincing […]

The Peculiar Blindness of Experts

General Ideas

The bet was on, and it was over the fate of humanity. On one side was the Stanford biologist Paul R. Ehrlich. In his 1968 best seller, The Population Bomb, Ehrlich insisted that it was too late to prevent a doomsday apocalypse resulting from overpopulation. Resource shortages would cause hundreds of millions of starvation deaths […]

Energy and commodities highlights: Crude contamination, alternatives to Iranian oil, China shale gas

General Ideas

Supply-side issues continued to preoccupy oil markets at the start of May, after Russian crude exports to Central and Eastern Europe were hit by a contamination problem that caused disruption all along the supply chain. Problems with crude quality on Russia’s Druzhba (Friendship) pipeline began to emerge on April 18, and the pipe was subsequently […]

Present at the Death

General Ideas

Well, the penny finally dropped.  I’m not sure why it took me this long to realize that the collective tantrum that’s seized America’s mass media, intelligentsia, and privileged classes generally for the last two and a half years, since the election of Donald Trump to the presidency, was described right down to the small details […]

The Extinction Conundrum

General Ideas

  Audio Only:   (audio-only MP3 provided in case you want to multi-task and listen while sitting in traffic on the way to work in your cubicle or digging post holes for your fencing on the Doomstead or kneeling by the throne and Praying to the Porcelain God.  mp3 Audio can be downloaded from Diner […]

Who is Cassandra?

General Ideas

A wonderful interpretation of the ancient Trojan prophetess in a performance by the theoretical physicist Sabine Hossenfelder on her always interesting blog “Backreaction.”  You can find more of her songs at her youtube page. But who was Cassandra? I can tell you that from personal experience. She appeared to me in person — well, as […]

Jay Hanson Dies in Diving Accident

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Last week Nate Hagens informed me of some sad news and offered a brief reflection: Friends, I was informed by Jay Hanson’s wife today that he died unexpectedly on a diving trip in Indonesia. Many of us were greatly influenced by Jay’s thinking and writing over the years and the many listservs and websites he […]

Adrift In An Airship

General Ideas

The collective confusions we’ve been exploring since I returned from January’s break form a tangled web, and no one loose end leads straight to the heart of it. It so happens that in recent months I’ve had the chance to explore it from yet another angle, by way of the research I’ve been doing for […]

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