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Collapse probably won't happen Pt. 3

General discussions of the systemic, societal and civilisational effects of depletion.

Collapse probably won't happen Pt. 3

Unread postby Pops » Tue 04 Jan 2022, 20:20:36

mousepad wrote:BTW, this has nothing to do with white (as you seem to suggest).

Do you read what you write? You start of complaining about forced multiculturalism, move on to barrios and Mexican welfare then with a straight face say it's not about white?

It has everything to do with white and uneducated, both men and women.

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That's the trump demo, that is the trump movement: hold my beer while we burn this bitch down.

We discussed this before and figured that super wealthy doesn't matter much because those guys can't ever spend their wealth and they end up simply donating it away most of the time.
What I'm trying to understand is the drain caused by small scale investor.

I thought I explained and backed it clearly, the more inequality the less mobility. The less mobiity the more hostility. Enter trump.

The decline in social mobility is a main reason for the decline of the republican party. All these years they've been preaching trickle down and the voters lapped it up—but guess what? The trickle is a firehose pointed at the very wealthy.

Then, "those guys can't ever spend their wealth" is not an excuse, it is a main reason their greed is bad for the economy. They can only own so many yachts so they must find someplace to stash the money and they wind up blowing huge bubbles that take everyone down when they blow. The FIRE economy has grown from nothing to 20% of the economy (?) in 40 years and it is just the commission on churning money.

A small0time investor holding some stocks, or like me flipping houses, is the ideal. What isn't ideal is low pay and outsize profits.

Now go back one step to the white people who feel left behind. Why didn't they just go to college and get an MBA? Because they thought they could go to work down at the plant and just like old dad and uncle Fred they would be able to have an OK life, a little house and a pension. But the pension was raided, the corporation itself was then raided and the parts sold off and jobs exported to China in the service of what? say it with me, corporate profits, executive pay. And all along Raygun was talking about cutting taxes and regulation and drowning government and guess what all his voters got? zip

Guess what? Now those guys and gals are pissed and need a scapegoat so it's multiculturalism, Mexicans, Libtards & Critical Race Theory (otherwise known as history).

Finally, I'm pretty sure I said nothing about the middle class investor. I've been all over the spectrum from bottom 20 to top 20 and I've met some millionaires but I have likely never been in the same zip code as the top 1%, let alone .1% Any number of people in the Oakland hills of Cali paid $30k for a house back when that's worth, nominally, @2-3 million today. So it isn't the number. If you have 3 employees and replace them every couple of months because you are such a tightwad you won't pay a decent wage you are just as bad as the Waltons or Bezos.

It is beyond irony that the victims of the republican donor-ship are predominantly the republican voters themselves.
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Re: Collapse probably won't happen Pt. 3

Unread postby Doly » Wed 05 Jan 2022, 15:31:48

And then of course we sold them down the river with globalization rather than fixing the flaws in their labor organizations (not that it was everyone else's requirement to do that for them).


Labor organizations may have had lots of flaws, but that wasn't the main thing that made globalization happen. What made it happen, mostly, was three things. First, cheap transport. Second, free trade. Third, differences in labor costs. When the Chinese can make the same thing at half the price because their labor costs them a lot less, it really doesn't matter how good or bad labor in your country is.

The second and third were policy decisions. The USA could have chosen to put barriers on trade to protect domestic manufacturing, but the choice was made that it didn't matter. The USA could also have encouraged the rise of standards of living in other countries with foreign policy decisions, but in general everyone thought it would be just great to have poor people in other countries building stuff and just buy the stuff from them. The chickens have come home to roost, and it was a pretty predictable outcome, in fact.
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Re: Collapse probably won't happen Pt. 3

Unread postby AdamB » Wed 05 Jan 2022, 18:35:02

Doly wrote:The USA could also have encouraged the rise of standards of living in other countries with foreign policy decisions, but in general everyone thought it would be just great to have poor people in other countries building stuff and just buy the stuff from them. The chickens have come home to roost, and it was a pretty predictable outcome, in fact.


I agree with you, but did not see it coming. I also paid very little attention to socio-economic issues prior to bumping into them as doomer porn arguments, and most of the times they are just that in the hands of the zealots. But your statement appears to be both succinctly explanatory and reasonable in conclusion.
What does a science denier look like?

Armageddon » Thu 09 Feb 2006, 10:47:28
whales are a perfect example as to why evolution is wrong. Nothing can evolve into something that enormous. There is no explanation for it getting that big. end of discussion
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Re: Collapse probably won't happen Pt. 3

Unread postby theluckycountry » Sun 23 Jan 2022, 17:10:02

These issues of decline, wealth gaps and mass immigration causing discontent are nothing new, you can trace examples all the way back to ancient Rome. I hate bringing up the Roman Empire, it's like bringing up Hitler to make a point, but it is the best match, right down to the welfare system, the political system and the wealthy growing wealthier with the average Roman citizen being pushed onto the dole by local and offshore cheap labor. My point is, there is no solution to the decline of empire. It's not a problem, it's a common dilemma, and dilemmas don't have solutions only outcomes.

No political party or structure could prevent it, just look at Japan as an example. They were all set to take over the world in the 1990's, but then all the wheels fell off? And that was a nation with strict political control; a very united population, no immigration to speak of, and very little in the way of unionization or Green warriors fouling industry. If they couldn't consolidate and move on to greater highs what hope does a place like the US have? There is no point in analyzing Japans' fate, what the triggers were, blah blah blah, the fact is that it grew to global prominence without any native energy or mineral reserves to speak of, totally at odds with every other recent empire which grew fat on coal and oil. Yet it floundered and fell into obscurity even having ongoing access to all the inflows it needed.

Japan was a victim of it's own success, it's ever higher wages doomed it, as it doomed England before it, and the US as well. That's one of the major triggers for Rome's collapse as well. Hundreds of thousands of disillusioned 'former' workers pushed onto the scrap heap. And it's unavoidable too, it's a natural part of the progress of a nation and any attempt to stop it, by increasing wages or putting up tariffs will fail because all these nations I refer to grew fat by exporting to the world. Once another nation in the world leverages it's cheap labor, either willingly or by force from the reining Empire, they undercut the empires labor pool and you're off to the races. Millions of workers out of a job and all the product (and profit) made by offshore workers.

People don't like to see their living standards decline, they will fight back, rebel! The solution to that is to distract them from reality with bread and circuses, food stamps and football, and to divide them so they are fighting each other, Politics, race issues, vaccine compliance, anything that gets the job done. Even if they existed, which they don't! There is no way of people on this forum ever coming up with and agreeing on viable solutions to the problems we face because of these divisions.

The Alternate energy circus being a chief division I would suggest and the political and race issues following. Someone above suggested a switch to Hybrid cars will save the US lifestyle lol. No mention of the overall cost to do this of course, the trillions of barrels of oil needed now and in the future to replace the fleet and then replace them again when their batteries die. These schemes are all just smoke and mirrors by corporations fighting over the last profits of the oil age. The outcome for us on the street (not solution) is the same as Rome's was. poverty and dieoff for the masses, dissolution of the Empire of global energy gluttony with those that can fleeing to safe havens with their wealth.
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Re: Collapse probably won't happen Pt. 3

Unread postby Plantagenet » Mon 24 Jan 2022, 01:10:52

theluckycountry wrote:These issues of decline, wealth gaps and mass immigration causing discontent are nothing new, you can trace examples all the way back to ancient Rome. I hate bringing up the Roman Empire.... but it is the best match, right down to the welfare system, the political system and the wealthy growing wealthier with the average Roman citizen being pushed onto the dole by local and offshore cheap labor. My point is, there is no solution to the decline of empire. It's not a problem, it's a common dilemma, and dilemmas don't have solutions only outcomes.


Please don't apologize for talking about ancient Rome. I agree 100% with you that there are lessons to be learned from ancient history.

However, there is one key difference now......the difference now is that when Rome fell....it was just a regional empire, and it was immediately followed by other regional empires..... such as the Byzantine, Seluicid, Ottoman, Austrian-Hungarian, British, etc. etc. etc.

But our global industrial civilization won't be followed by another global civilization.....the collapse we are watching all around us will mark the end of all empires and the end of all global civilizations. IMHO We'll be lucky if humans manage to avoid extinction.

theluckycountry wrote:Japan was a victim of it's own success, it's ever higher wages doomed it, as it doomed England before it, and the US as well. That's one of the major triggers for Rome's collapse as well. Hundreds of thousands of disillusioned 'former' workers pushed onto the scrap heap. And it's unavoidable too, it's a natural part of the progress of a nation and any attempt to stop it, by increasing wages or putting up tariffs will fail because all these nations I refer to grew fat by exporting to the world.


Rome wasn't a trading or manufacturing city exporting to the world. Rome was a military empire that specialized in conquering other countries and stealing their wealth. Rome didn't export....it depended on food imports and other imports to survive. And when Rome collapsed it wasn't due to high wages for the plebes....it was due to military defeats that decimated its legions and cut Rome off from its food sources in Egypt and elsewhere. Rome fell due to mismanagement, military defeat, plague and famine as it lost its food sources.

A similar thing is going to happen to our modern civilization over the next few decades. Global warming is going to create climate chaos, and it will destroy those habitats that 7 billion humans currently depend on for our food supplies. And when the food goes, we'll have famine to finish off what political and economic mismanagement, plague, and pointless military wars will have already degraded.

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Global warming will destroy the habitats where we currently grow crops....global famines and global collapse will inevitably follow.

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Re: Collapse probably won't happen Pt. 3

Unread postby AdamB » Mon 24 Jan 2022, 10:20:07

Plantagenet wrote:A similar thing is going to happen to our modern civilization over the next few decades. Global warming is going to create climate chaos, and it will destroy those habitats that 7 billion humans currently depend on for our food supplies.
Cheers!


Don't you have a plane to catch to do some global jet setting to make sure you do more than your fair share of contributing to the problem? Pretending you care though is quite touching. Headed off on a baby seal hunt somewhere soon I imagine?
What does a science denier look like?

Armageddon » Thu 09 Feb 2006, 10:47:28
whales are a perfect example as to why evolution is wrong. Nothing can evolve into something that enormous. There is no explanation for it getting that big. end of discussion
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Re: Collapse probably won't happen Pt. 3

Unread postby Pops » Mon 24 Jan 2022, 11:13:30

People in the US are more angry, spiteful, self-destructive these last 10 years than I can ever recall. Even during the protests and bombings of the 70s there wasn't this kind of hair-trigger animosity at every school board meeting, airline flight, yogurt shop showdown. Add in a couple of guns for every man, woman and child; and entire regions of the country in thrall to know-nothing politics and conspiracies and the prognosis isn't good.

And this is at the height, the peak if you will, of technological civilization. Hard to fathom how hard people look for an excuse to be unhappy in the midst of plenty. I guess it is the nature of monkeys to throw shit, vie for dominance, fool themselves into suspending disbelief to accept their own narrative. Society has always cycled through war and peace, feast and famine and we are too many now to peacefully transition to a lower energy lifestyle without making vast numbers of those people pay for our discomfort. We have gone about a lifetime without bringing down something really bad, of our own making, on ourselves.

Having said that, and regarding energy, I believe renewables are going to work fine, 20 years ago I wasn't so sure. EROI is a crappy indicatornot only because of the problem of setting boundaries but because it doesn't consider time. Time is important, after all we don't say "OMG we'll run out of oil completely in 312 years!" What we are concerned with is the rate of flow, the Barrels Per Day. A viable alternative source will pay back the energy needed to produce another unit quickly and we're getting there finally.

Currently the payback period for PV for example seems to be around 1 year plus or minus depending on conditions including controls but not counting storage. With a guaranteed panel life of 20 years and a practical life of double that at lower output, I think we can do fine. Current estimates of fracked LTO are 12:1 and everyone thinks they are a miracle — even though they've bankrupted innumerable companies.

I'll stipulate that we can do fine as individuals if a) we stay out of the way of the hoard, b) attempt some level of individual resilience. The possibility of an afford independent energy source is huge. Add in some water and spuds and there you go. Every story I see about remote work gives me hope.
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Re: Collapse probably won't happen Pt. 3

Unread postby mousepad » Mon 24 Jan 2022, 11:54:31

Pops wrote:I believe renewables are going to work fine


I'm wondering if that is true. I visited a solar panel plant once. I'm also a supplier of high tech components for wind turbines.
Nothing about this renewable is low tech. It's all high tech requiring high tech materials to high tech manufacturing to high tech engineering (which requires high tech education). It's not like a bunch of villagers digging up a mountain to get some coal. I'm wondering, once the economy shrinks if this kind of industrial complex needed to produce renewables can be maintained.
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Re: Collapse probably won't happen Pt. 3

Unread postby Pops » Mon 24 Jan 2022, 13:42:10

mousepad wrote:
Pops wrote:I believe renewables are going to work fine


I'm wondering if that is true. I visited a solar panel plant once. I'm also a supplier of high tech components for wind turbines.
Nothing about this renewable is low tech. It's all high tech requiring high tech materials to high tech manufacturing to high tech engineering (which requires high tech education). It's not like a bunch of villagers digging up a mountain to get some coal. I'm wondering, once the economy shrinks if this kind of industrial complex needed to produce renewables can be maintained.

It is a good question. From the EROI standpoint I think alts are fine and getting better. Their big problem is their success comes at the expense of the fossil lobby who is very good at propaganda.

I think how far we get to an electric world depends on how soon we start and the speed we transition— and the rate fossils decline. If before depletion really bites it is recognized that it's either build out renewables or go back to grubbing in the mud then I think we have a shot. But that is the problem, we can lever fossils to transition only if we start while fossils are still affordable. If we wait until diesel is $20 or $30/gallon and we're hauling blades out to the site with 100-man draglines we'll be in trouble.

I've been thinking about this stuff for decades, and we have been doing stuff, in baby steps. The first house I built in the 80's was as tight, insulated and passively heated as possible for the day. Back then there were simply no viable alternatives for any reasonable amount of money. You might make a watt or 2 with a homemade windmill or hydro but every appliance was such a wasteful power hog it was a useless amount.

It's ironic that GW has so far been at least as good a motivation to preemptive transition as OPEC, shortage and high price. But I don't see global warming being a sufficient impetus alone, it is somewhat scary for some portion of the world but for many who listen to corporate-sponsored media it's fake news.

We need a big buy in to move fast enough.
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Re: Collapse probably won't happen Pt. 3

Unread postby mousepad » Mon 24 Jan 2022, 15:41:37

Pops wrote:We need a big buy in to move fast enough.


Yes, but is that enough? You have to keep society powered at current levels just to be able to produce/replace/maintain the renewable system. Is there a path to power down, let's say to 50% less energy use? Or does power down mean you will lose high tech and then lose it all?
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Re: Collapse probably won't happen Pt. 3

Unread postby theluckycountry » Mon 24 Jan 2022, 15:53:17

Plantagenet wrote: I agree 100% with you that there are lessons to be learned from ancient history.

However, there is one key difference now......the difference now is that when Rome fell....it was just a regional empire, and it was immediately followed by other regional empires..... such as the Byzantine, Seluicid, Ottoman, Austrian-Hungarian, British, etc. etc. etc.

But our global industrial civilization won't be followed by another global civilization....


Yes there were major differences, it didn't manufacture much, art forms mostly I believe, and while it was a regional empire, the same could be said for Spain-England-USA, each one replaced by the emergent empire. The global industrial civilization is as you say, a one shot affair. I firmly believe this because once the cheap energy is gone there will be nothing to hold it together.

My contact lenses come from Taiwan, so do the bicycles I ride. Just yesterday I went to order a specific 2022 model bike and was told that none will be coming in this year. What? He couldn't explain why but it didn't surprise me. Whatever spin people want to put on this collapse of the global supply chains it is getting worse and may not recover to former glory.

If you like deep analysis of decline have a look at this page. This site is still maintained and updated, not bad considering my earliest archives from it were dated 2001.

https://www.ourcivilisation.com/theend.htm

...They did not want to become citizens of Rome but to retain their own culture within the Roman community, which made them a liability to the Roman Empire.

Declining Culture Vulnerable to Parasites


The impact of the intrusion of an alien culture upon a failing culture is similar to a parasitic attack suffered by any failing creature. Though the citizens of a declining community are slowly losing their attachments to their own community, they still feel some sense of obligation towards it. It is their community, full of their own kind, which is their tribe, so regardless of their growing indifference to their society's tradition, they still feel a concern for its welfare. Whereas migrants from alien cultures have no such concerns; they are among strangers with a different culture.


I would say that reflects the current state of thinking in many quarters in the US, and here.
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Re: Collapse probably won't happen Pt. 3

Unread postby Plantagenet » Mon 24 Jan 2022, 21:46:17

Pops wrote:People in the US are more angry, spiteful, self-destructive these last 10 years than I can ever recall. Even during the protests and bombings of the 70s there wasn't this kind of hair-trigger animosity at every school board meeting, airline flight, yogurt shop showdown...... entire regions of the country in thrall to know-nothing politics and conspiracies and the prognosis isn't good.


Its hasn't helped that our political leadership has been so wacko and unclassy for years now. From Obama giving the finger to reporters and conniving in the "Russia agent" conspiracy theory about Trump, to Trump tweeting out over and over again whatever crazy thoughts cross his mind at 3 am, to Biden being utterly incompetent and then cursing out loud at reporters who ask questions he does't like at his press conferences, the US has been singularly unlucky in having such a bunch of angry, spiteful and self-destructive losers as President for these last 10 years.

"stupid-son-bitch"-biden-goes-potty-mouth-after-being-asked-about-americans-biggest-worry-inflation

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Lets see who can be the most angry, spiteful, and self-destructive and see how that affects the country....

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Re: Collapse probably won't happen Pt. 3

Unread postby JuanP » Mon 24 Jan 2022, 23:23:22

Plantagenet wrote:
Pops wrote:People in the US are more angry, spiteful, self-destructive these last 10 years than I can ever recall. Even during the protests and bombings of the 70s there wasn't this kind of hair-trigger animosity at every school board meeting, airline flight, yogurt shop showdown...... entire regions of the country in thrall to know-nothing politics and conspiracies and the prognosis isn't good.


Its hasn't helped that our political leadership has been so wacko and unclassy for years now. From Obama giving the finger to reporters and conniving in the "Russia agent" conspiracy theory about Trump, to Trump tweeting out over and over again whatever crazy thoughts cross his mind at 3 am, to Biden being utterly incompetent and then cursing out loud at reporters who ask questions he does't like at his press conferences, the US has been singularly unlucky in having such a bunch of angry, spiteful and self-destructive losers as President for these last 10 years.

Cheers!


Ten years? Try 20 at least, if not 30! Please don't tell that you approve of George W. Bush's performance as a US President. He's a borderline retard and he started the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.
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Re: Collapse probably won't happen Pt. 3

Unread postby Pops » Tue 25 Jan 2022, 10:19:07

mousepad wrote:
Pops wrote:We need a big buy in to move fast enough.


Yes, but is that enough? You have to keep society powered at current levels just to be able to produce/replace/maintain the renewable system. Is there a path to power down, let's say to 50% less energy use? Or does power down mean you will lose high tech and then lose it all?

The advances in RE are certainly a result of the tech enabled by oil. And transition will takes huge amounts of energy as it is built alongside the existing system. All of which is why we need to start before oil begins decline. If not we fall into Murphy's Energy Trap and perhaps fail altogether.

All of us are invested in the system, I have 2 ICE vehicles, a gas furnace, and get my groceries at the store with the big blue asterisk trucks like everyone else. But there are also large amounts of impersonal capitol invested in fossils that will take every opportunity to protect their cash cow. They'll continue funding the war on transition, fighting the green deal, global warming mitigation, EPA, Greta, etc. The big freeze in Texas last year saw people still cold and in the dark when vested interests started railing about windmills.

I do think a part of transition is power down, for the rich world anyway, I don't know what the percentage might be or what it looks like but we won't have the easy, virtually free energy slave anymore. It will be like reconstruction in a sense because the near-free energy slaves will be eliminated. This reconstruction will be uglier because everyone is a slaver.

One definition of collapse is declining complexity. The transition is an exercise in reducing complexity. A solar panel, battery and vehicle motor compared to the entirety of the oil extraction, refining, transport, and combustion in a complex internal combustion engine is a drastic reduction in complexity. There is still mining and manufacturing involved in producing the parts but the ongoing use requires no significant input.
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Re: Collapse probably won't happen Pt. 3

Unread postby mousepad » Tue 25 Jan 2022, 12:36:34

Pops wrote:I do think a part of transition is power down, for the rich world anyway,

One definition of collapse is declining complexity.


Yes. But then again, I have to ask the question. If power down means less complexity. The first thing that will go is the high tech, and high tech is required to maintain the renewables. Is it even possible to power down?

For example. I bought a fancy heat pump water heater which is pushed (and subsidized by my state). It saves me a bunch in energy cost to heat water. Problem of course is once it breaks, it requires specialized parts and electronics no local service man can repair. They can only replace modules, made possible by high tech and its high tech supply chain. I have my doubt, that once we power down, fancy water heaters are still possible.
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Re: Collapse probably won't happen Pt. 3

Unread postby Pops » Tue 25 Jan 2022, 13:56:03

mousepad wrote: But then again, I have to ask the question. If power down means less complexity. The first thing that will go is the high tech, and high tech is required to maintain the renewables. Is it even possible to power down?

The only way oil price can rise enough to wring out the last of the tar is that lower utility uses for oil will be eliminated. Then a smaller but more utilitarian demand will balance the remaining supply at the much higher price. It is an ongoing juggle, supply falls > prices rise > more conservation (waste eliminated) ...
And repeat.

At the same time if we try to build a sustainable system we'll "power up" the most important features first.

It is a billion value judgements at each step. The features of this life retained will be what a majority think is most important. So what is least useful, most wasteful, just fluff will be discarded—there is lots of fluff.

Your heat pump is pretty important if you live where it gets cold and a good example because it is super efficient compared to anything else. It is tech that will stay around a long time because it meets both the 'tech to retain' and the 'efficient use to power up' criteria. In fact pumps will replace lots of other sources.

Unless you have a forest near by (left standing) or a super-insulated house and some passive features, you're gonna get cold. If you don't like being cold you are going to want that pump fixed and will be willing to pay whatever you can. If enough of your neighbors also want to stay warm they too will pay. If enough are able to pay then that feature will survive.

Unless of course we continue to drag our heels and argue over the need for transition. I'd say then all bets are off.
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Re: Collapse probably won't happen Pt. 3

Unread postby Doly » Tue 25 Jan 2022, 15:35:44

It is an ongoing juggle, supply falls > prices rise > more conservation (waste eliminated) ...
And repeat.


That assumes that prices do, in fact, rise. Let's suppose that they don't, because central banks or other actors high in the financial world aim to keep oil prices stable in order to keep inflation stable, transmitting the problem to other corners of the economy. In that case, would that lead to conservation of oil products?

The features of this life retained will be what a majority think is most important.


A majority of all the population, or a majority of the rich people? Those would be two very different scenarios.

If you don't like being cold you are going to want that pump fixed and will be willing to pay whatever you can. If enough of your neighbors also want to stay warm they too will pay. If enough are able to pay then that feature will survive.


But that will depend critically on whether spare parts to repair the heat pump are available when it breaks down. The problem is, in the same way that money can't make oil magically appear under the ground, money can't also magically make a factory that has closed down re-open and manufacture the spare part that you are missing. I can give you plenty of examples of important and very useful equipment that had to be abandoned and replaced with something else because spare parts were no longer available. If that sort of thing happens today, imagine what could happen in a world with shortages of all sorts of things, because transport or some other necessary input has become too expensive for a significant number of manufacturers to break even.

I used to think along the same lines as you do, but after seeing how the world has been going for the last 15 years, I'm more pessimistic. Nothing near enough has been done to limit dependence on oil and other fossil fuels, and even talking about the problem meets quite a bit of resistance in many places. And very few people talk about the fact that a lot of the technology we use today is energy-intensive to manufacture because it's made up from parts that have been put together from all over the globe, impossible to repair except if you got a spare part from the same manufacturer, and a sufficiently serious supply chain breakdown could in principle bring modern civilization to a complete halt.
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Re: Collapse probably won't happen Pt. 3

Unread postby Pops » Tue 25 Jan 2022, 17:24:05

Doly wrote:
It is an ongoing juggle, supply falls > prices rise > more conservation (waste eliminated) ...
And repeat.


That assumes that prices do, in fact, rise. Let's suppose that they don't, because central banks or other actors high in the financial world aim to keep oil prices stable in order to keep inflation stable, transmitting the problem to other corners of the economy. In that case, would that lead to conservation of oil products?

Hmm, I'm trying to figure out how would they do that?
Nixon put a freeze on oil prices and what froze was supply. There would need to be a global agreement between countries to limit price or oil would just go elsewhere. And if the price were below a profitable amount supply would be gone overnight.
The only way I see energy prices not rising is renewables become so cheap the transition is painless, and I'm not holding my breath for that.

The features of this life retained will be what a majority think is most important.


A majority of all the population, or a majority of the rich people? Those would be two very different scenarios.

No doubt. I guess it matters how long the rich last, number one. Many own stock that will become useless fairly quickly if the economy retreats, The stock market for example is all about future growth —who in their right mind buys an investment with 34 years to profit? It is all a gamble on growth, not profit. Ditto bonds and whatever kind of paper, they're all worthless without growth to pay the interest, let alone the principle. There will still be people with wealth, but it will likely be of the physical type.

More to the point a billion people wanting a motor for their heat pump is a big market. If it is possible to produce it for a price they can pay then why would it not happen. I know we have supply problems now but I also think much of it is particular to the pandemic, an overly stimulated consumer and frankly too much stuff of low utility.

If that sort of thing happens today, imagine what could happen in a world with shortages of all sorts of things, because transport or some other necessary input has become too expensive for a significant number of manufacturers to break even.

You answered your point, the price must be high enough to overcome the limits imposed by low levels of diffuse energy. And we haven't talked about lower levels of income as all the foam is scraped off the top. Even, dare I say, returning to muscle powered paychecks.

Just like most but not all uses of unleaded at $2/gallon are eliminated by gasoline at $20/gallon, a myriad of other items of marginal value will be eliminated in favor of heat pump parts when incomes start to fall..

I used to think along the same lines as you do, but after seeing how the world has been going for the last 15 years, I'm more pessimistic. Nothing near enough has been done to limit dependence on oil and other fossil fuels, and even talking about the problem meets quite a bit of resistance in many places. And very few people talk about the fact that a lot of the technology we use today is energy-intensive to manufacture because it's made up from parts that have been put together from all over the globe, impossible to repair except if you got a spare part from the same manufacturer, and a sufficiently serious supply chain breakdown could in principle bring modern civilization to a complete halt.

I agree with all of that. I'm not proposing some pastoral nirvana. I'm saying that the cost and efficiency improvement in renewables in the last period has been very encouraging to me. PV prices have fallen 80% in a decade and efficiency increased to over 20% and higher experimentally. So I say renewables will work fine.

Here's where I'm coming from. 20 years ago, not so long after 9/11 I ran off to a farm in the Ozarks because I believed current events of the time foreshadowed an eminent peak, why else were the 2 oilmen who were running the country invading a country with the largest untapped oil reserves?. At that time Cheney was fairly well correct in that our lifestyle was not negotiable... because there was no oil alternative besides collapse. I worked hard for a dozen years setting up a landing pad for my kids and learning how to do things with low/old tech should such a fast crash happen. I'm not some cornucopian with my head buried in a fog of normalcy bias and shallow imagination arguing bad things never happen. LOL

We could well crash for any number of reasons, not the least being a willing disinterest in democracy. Still I'm happy and encouraged at the falling price of renewables.
The legitimate object of government, is to do for a community of people, whatever they need to have done, but can not do, at all, or can not, so well do, for themselves -- in their separate, and individual capacities.
-- Abraham Lincoln, Fragment on Government (July 1, 1854)
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Re: Collapse probably won't happen Pt. 3

Unread postby theluckycountry » Thu 27 Jan 2022, 22:04:41

mousepad wrote:
Yes. But then again, I have to ask the question. If power down means less complexity. The first thing that will go is the high tech, and high tech is required to maintain the renewables. Is it even possible to power down?

For example. I bought a fancy heat pump water heater ...it requires specialized parts and electronics no local service man can repair. They can only replace modules, made possible by high tech and its high tech supply chain. I have my doubt, that once we power down, fancy water heaters are still possible.


And what are seeing? A breakdown of the complex international shipping system and of the national shipping system. That's were it starts first, at the international level, then at the state level, finally at the local level. International and state cohesion is disappearing because of the ineptitude of governments around the world, if that's what's really happening? Personally I think it's a managed power-down. Stopping people from buying mountains of consumer product because we are running out of oil is a hard sell, but because we are running out of ships and truck drivers? Now that's a set of circumstances no government can be really blamed for.
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Re: Collapse probably won't happen Pt. 3

Unread postby Pops » Fri 28 Jan 2022, 09:52:22

theluckycountry wrote:And what are seeing? A breakdown of the complex international shipping system and of the national shipping system.

No, what we're seeing is a massive increase in consumption as people stayed home and shopped with government checks.
26,000,000 containers arrived in the US last year, an 18% increase over 2020 & 2019
China is building double the new containers, 6,000,000—that is not the sign of collapse.

It isn't anything like a breakdown, it is exactly the opposite.

It's the same with the chip "shortage" it isn't falling it just isn't keeping up with demand. Auto makers killed all of their orders early in the pandemic and we're surprised with how little demand fell, again as people sit home and buy stuff.

The problem with JIT is its inflexibility and we're seeing and paying for it big time. But don't mistake this for some great cascading societal collapse... that comes later. LOL
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-- Abraham Lincoln, Fragment on Government (July 1, 1854)
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