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Degrowth Thread

How to save energy through both societal and individual actions.

Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 27 Jan 2019, 12:04:48

The concept of a painless bottleneck is beyond my comprehension.
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Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby Newfie » Mon 28 Jan 2019, 08:20:28

Baha,

I think your overall analysis is correct but I think you timing is off. IMHO we were no where near a collapse last week. Perhaps in 2008, but not recently.

We may or may not see it coming. If it’s a financial crisis, or a bad bacteria or virus, then it may sneak up on us. But for the most part we the people are asleep and have no clue nor do they want one.

In my own conversations with well educated folks there is generally a good sense we are over populated, in overshoot, even among the CC deniers. But it’s buried on a deeper level, they know it but do NOT want to think about it.

Other classes? Don’t know. But my guess is there are a lot of truly ignorant folks out there with extremely little awareness of things in general.
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Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby Ibon » Mon 28 Jan 2019, 08:37:07

Baha's comments are well understood in corrupt 3rd world countries. We just never thought that the same dynamic exists in our supposed enlightened 1st world.

Specifically in third world countries, the oligarchies get locked into their corruption because if they lose power they go to jail or worse. So this perpetuates the corruption because the entire oligarchy is compromised. Or they divide up the pie as in the Philippines for example where during the last 100 years the same 14 families have taken turns running the government with few exceptions. Each family has a segment of the market whether it be beer breweries or cement manufacturing etc.

In the financial sector it is not that different in the USA. Specific industries like pharmaceuticals, health care, insurance companies etc are similarly rigged with lobbyists completely controlling the legislation. Obamacare was doomed from day one not because of a mandate or any other reason except for the huge FOR PROFIT safeguards the industry lobbyists insisted on. IT came out of the gate compromised for that reason, not for any ideological reason. This is legal institutionalized corruption.

The tragedy is how effectively the citizens of the US are duped into believing the scripted narrative that is created by the media and politicians, puppets of lobbyists, that keep everyone divided and hating eachother while the extreme wealthy stand on the sidelines smiling...

Baha thinks not for long. I still don't know if this is wishful thinking or if his day to day wandering around rural America has given him an insight that there are deep rumblings in the citizenry. I don't know, I am too far away.

My faith in American citizens is not that great frankly in rising up. They are medicated on consumption and materialism to the point of being pretty much brain dead.
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Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby Ibon » Mon 28 Jan 2019, 08:44:17

Newfie wrote:
Other classes? Don’t know. But my guess is there are a lot of truly ignorant folks out there with extremely little awareness of things in general.


In my experience in developing countries your average citizen is very very well aware of the power structures and corruption and have pretty much lost faith in their public institutions. Knowing about it though does nothing to stop the ongoing corruption. There is deep resignation but they are not ignorant. Same goes for over population. It never ceases to surprise me when my construction workers will be shooting the breeze during a lunch break and touch on the topic of climate change or over population or China or whatever. Your average citizen in developing countries seem to know more about geopolitics and some of the bigger issues out there than your average American has.. The reason is that in developing countries there is not this deep layer of consumption keeping everyone stupid. Americans are deeply apathetic about world events because they maintain deep infatuations still for shiny new objects.

I would love for anyone here on this board to step up and counter this caricature I am painting. Isn't it still the case?
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Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby Ibon » Mon 28 Jan 2019, 12:47:56

baha wrote:My wanderings fill me with unrest. Everyone has one gripe or another. At the root is a growing awareness that something has to change. Each group follows the issues their preferred Leader spouts. But none of them have the right answer!?

It is diminishing returns. A pickup truck can have 6 wheels, four doors, and four screens. What do you get for the next $10k of price they keep adding on. The shiny stuff has less effect each day. Awareness is sinking in. The consequences are building. We are being milked and left in an environmental shithole.

And 90% are blindly following one idiot or another down the hole. Maybe I'm premature, or maybe I'm hopeful people will start looking up and find new leaders.

OK, help me out here...is that effect or affect? :razz:


I can only offer the contrast of what I see outside the borders of the USA. I don't have a sense where the pulse is in terms of things heating up in rural America.

When I talk to some of my old friends and colleagues who remained in rural America I hear countless stories of financial hardships. Most of these stories are personal stories about how their or their relatives or friends farms had to shut down or their town depopulated etc. I see very little of folks connecting the dots to the macro reasons why this is happening.

Plantagent in a recent post brought up the invisible hand of supply and demand and how the market has this somehow magical power to self regulate. You know, the theory of Adam Smith and the book Wealth of Nations.
It seems like most Americans are a lot like Plantagent, that somehow this capitalistic system we have is ordained as wise and absolute. Or that it may not be perfect but any other alternative is worse. Similar like the saying that democracy and free enterprise doesn't really ever work but its better than all the other systems. You get the impression that Americans are deeply embedded in not being able to have a voice or do anything about the systems in place and the best they can do is rationalize that anything else will be worse.

A very compliant population to the status quo.... Tow the line, don't rock the boat, adhere to your tribe and die without taking even the smallest risk.

How will this segment of the population rise and demand accountability to the wealthy. The very act of questioning labels you a communist.

So better to just grin and bear it and put your hopes in the next clown who comes along with empty promises.

P.S. I want someone here to prove me wrong on this assessment. To demonstrate that the heat is on the rise and that the pressure is building. That the source is being targeted and not scapegoats like the other party, or immigrants, etc. etc. etc.
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Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby Plantagenet » Mon 28 Jan 2019, 14:15:48

Ibon wrote:It seems like most Americans are a lot like Plantagent, that somehow this capitalistic system we have is ordained as wise and absolute. Or that it may not be perfect but any other alternative is worse. Similar like the saying that democracy and free enterprise doesn't really ever work but its better than all the other systems.


Yes, thats pretty much sums it up. Capitalism is the worst possible economic system, except for the available alternatives. Our Republican style of government is in constant crisis and paralysis, but never forget that the founders DESIGNED it to operate that way. They feared dictatorship by kings and despots, and they feared mob rule if there was too much democracy, so they DESIGNED our government to be in perpetual paralysis and conflict so that the government wouldn't take over absolutely everything.

They did a pretty good job of it too.

Ibon wrote: I want someone here to prove me wrong ... demonstrate that the heat is on the rise and that the pressure is building. That the source is being targeted and not scapegoats like the other party, or immigrants, etc. etc. etc.


Of course the "heat is on the rise." We just had an election and the Ds took over the House of Repesentatives. We are now on track for even MORE conflict and argument and crisis and paralysis in DC then we had before. And maybe we'll get some bipartisan compromise along †he way. AND that just how the founders intended it all to work. Myriad D presidential candidates are even now arising to proclaim the wonders of socialism, and the Rs are predictably against it. Again, thats how the system is supposed to work. If the American people want socialism, they'll elect Elizabeth Warren and big D majorities in the Congress and we'll get socialism. And then if they don't want socialism two years later they'll elect Ds to congress and they'll block it.

Consider this idea---the crisis and arguments and political mess and economic unfairness and dysfunctions in the USA isn't a BUG ....its a FEATURE. Its exactly how the system is supposed to operate.

And its all kind of entertaining too----and thats an extra bonus.

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Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby GHung » Mon 28 Jan 2019, 14:33:12

If the American people want socialism, they'll elect Elizabeth Warren and big D majorities in the Congress


Foul! I have yet to hear any candidate, Democrat or otherwise say they want socialism. Show me where any of these people have said they want the State to own all means of production and distribution, provide all services, and for all Americans to be employed by the State. Or maybe you need to stop using the hot-button term "socialism" in such a dishonest (or ill-informed) way.
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Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby Ibon » Mon 28 Jan 2019, 14:38:27

Baha, how many rural Americans read Plantagent's propaganda bullshit about democrats and walk away believing him?

And how many are able to cry Foul as Ghung just did?
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Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby Plantagenet » Mon 28 Jan 2019, 14:49:44

GHung wrote: I have yet to hear any candidate, Democrat or otherwise say they want socialism. Show me where any of these people have said they want the State to own all means of production and distribution, provide all services, and for all Americans to be employed by the State.


Actually. almost all the D candidates are calling for huge expansions in government control of the US economy.

Yes, none of them are saying they want "all" Americans to be employed by the state. But virtually all of them are saying they want much more extensive state control of many aspect of the US economy, starting with more state control over US Medicine implicit in the demand of Medicare for All and extending to Elizabeth Warrens demands for more state control over all large US corporations.

democrats-have-their-thatcher-in-elizabeth-warren-if-they-dare

Her Accountable Capitalism Act would produce the semi-nationalization of large corporations, with federal charters requiring (among other things) 40 percent of their directors to be elected by employees. Such accountable-to-government (not to markets) corporations must have “a material positive impact on society . . . when taken as a whole.” This gaseous metric will be defined and applied by government. Such federalization of corporate law would inevitably be the thin end of an enormous wedge of government control, crowding out market signals. As would her ... American Housing and Economic Mobility Act. And her Affordable Drug Manufacturing Act (government-run production of generic drugs).

What law professor Richard Epstein calls Warren’s “surreptitious socialism” would, he says, “likely lead to the largest flight of capital from the United States in history.”


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Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby Newfie » Mon 28 Jan 2019, 15:08:18

My guess is under 50%.

The tragedy is how effectively the citizens of the US are duped into believing the scripted narrative that is created by the media and politicians, puppets of lobbyists, that keep everyone divided and hating eachother while the extreme wealthy stand on the sidelines smiling...


The bolder bit above is where I have disagreement. I think few on this board have been duped, maybe here and there but in general we are pretty well informed even if we disagree on the means and methods. I don’t know if a single CC denier here. And its not that we are not deniers, in general we all understand tha the full effects of cc will bring about catastrophic results within 2-3 generations if not sooner.

That is far from the attitude in the common public. Just continuing to pick on CC because it is an easy target, many folks are deniers and many more who claim to believe in CC have no real understanding of its importance and impacts.

Something like 50% of inner city HS kids graduate as “functional illiterates.” That has been going on a long time and accounts for a substantial percentage of the population eligible to vote. Then there are many more who, despite being at least marginally literate never read or worse only expose themselves to their chosen “echo chamber.”

These folks are not being “duped”, they are all actively participating in a grand coverup. They are willingly turning their heads from the light to the “glittery things.” We can’t get Americans to work dirty jobs? Why then we will just have to provide welfare and turn a blind eye to the drug dealing and other illegal high status alternatives to “dirty jobs.”

There is a lack of personal responsibility for our Commons and our culture. We are in an age of anarchists. The table of the mob who can tear down but not build. Our “leaders” are merely modern day Robespierre’s. Rush to stay in front of the crowd as they shout “follow me.”
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Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby Newfie » Mon 28 Jan 2019, 15:20:14

The Alarmed are fully convinced of the reality and seriousness of climate change and are already taking individual, consumer, and political action to address it. The Concerned are also convinced that global warming is happening and a serious problem, but have not yet engaged the issue personally.

Three other Americas – the Cautious, the Disengaged, and the Doubtful – represent different stages of understanding and acceptance of the problem, and none are actively involved. The final America – the Dismissive are very sure it is not happening and are actively involved as opponents of a national effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions..


0B3BF0A2-E07E-4631-9A40-C4D69E6C85B8.png


Only 29% of Americans are Alarmed. I would say that means on 29% of Americans are awake and aware. An additional 30% have some dim idea that there is a potential danger.

There is NO excuse for anyone in he USA to not be alarmed. There is a vast amount of information from a multitude of sources. They are not being duped, they are willfully hiding their heads.

To say they are “duped” makes them victims.

They are not victims, they are perpetrators.
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Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby GHung » Mon 28 Jan 2019, 15:29:10

Plantagenet wrote:.......

What law professor Richard Epstein calls Warren’s “surreptitious socialism” would, he says, “likely lead to the largest flight of capital from the United States in history.” [/i]

Cheers!


Epstein is a libertarian who has expressed disdain for anything that could be construed as leaning socialist. Maybe I should quote Marx on the evils of capitalism. Then we'll get exactly nowhere. And Warren? Really?

As for "Medicare For All', of course that has been discussed considering the dismal state of US healthcare, which is arguably a massive extortion scheme with third world outcomes. Got a better idea?

Regardless, non of them are calling for all-out socialism as you said upthread. But I'm sure that when the small government people come up with workable solutions that aren't ripe with abuse, fraud, dog-eat-dog utter inequality, they'll get plenty of support. We'll just keep ignoring that some of the healthiest, happiest, and most prosperous societies these days are in fact "social democracies".

Then again, considering humanity's collective course, none of this is likely to matter much in the long run. Cheers yourself.
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Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Mon 28 Jan 2019, 16:05:17

The idea that a collapse must occur - a perceptable event, that is - is nonsense. Most economic indicators you can name are increasing. Population is increasing. Money supply is increasing. Standard of living is rising. Poverty is falling. I could go on and on, the message being things are improving and - for all the shrill cries of Doomies everywhere, things are getting better and better for more and more people.

I completely understand the limited planetary resources. The message being that we exceeded the capacity of the natural world to tolerate humans a couple of centuries ago. Growth since then has been via mankind modifying the ecosystem via agriculture, medicine, animal husbandry, industry, and limited preservation efforts for the remaining ecological diversity.

There is no reason to believe that with the help of Science and the aid of our digital slaves, Mankind cannot manage the state of the planet until 10 Billion or 25 Billion or - whater the real limit is - humans exist upon the Earth, and manage the ecology to support that many without hardship.

Indeed, given the rate of progress in the last 200 years, I am about 90% certain that will happen. No collapse ever, on a world made by mankind.

Note that I am not saying that wars will not happen, or economic conniptions like the Great Depression, or pandemics such as the Spanish Influenza. Not to mention the failure of many Marxist regimes and the reset of those economies. All these things are growing pains in the new normal for the newly transformed world.
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Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby Plantagenet » Mon 28 Jan 2019, 17:10:40

GHung wrote:We'll just keep ignoring that some of the healthiest, happiest, and most prosperous societies these days are in fact "social democracies".


Why ignore the facts?

It would make more sense to lean in even more and acknowledge the fact that Scandinavian countries like Sweden and Denmark have decided to shrink their government sector because it was too socialist, too large and too inefficient. Right now the government sector in Sweden is SMALLER then the government sector in the USA. No wonder they are healthier, happier and more prosperous.

scandinavia-not-socialist-utopia

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Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby Newfie » Mon 28 Jan 2019, 20:01:20

Plant,

Elsewhere you noted that the Mueller teams approach is similar to the one used on Mafia Dons. And of course that the same standards are not being applied evenly across the board.

Then we have sanctuary cities, if not states, who openly flaunt Federal law.

But then again in the cities we have a strong gang culture because the city government has failed some sector of the citizenry. Which is not entirely dissimilar to the right wing religionists who also feel abandonded by the Federal government.

When I look at all this together it strikes me the coherent drift is away from a “law abiding” culture (typically agronomist) towards a “honor society” culture (pastoralist/herders).

Then I think of the way our culture is changing: disintegration of the family, people moving more and further for jobs, the lack of security in jobs, the growing “gig” culture, the inclusion of more and more outsiders as one would expect from a mobile culture, #metoo. When I look at all of this in unision I get the sense that what we are seeing is this cultural shift towards “honor society” behaviors, damn the law, take revenge.

Perhaps it is a necessary alteration that occurs when a highly structured, stable and secure society devolved into a disenfranchised, mobile and anxious society. People no longer trust the government, they will revert to vigilantism and honor codes within their sect.

Just thoughts rumbling through my head.
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Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby Plantagenet » Mon 28 Jan 2019, 23:51:19

Newfie wrote:Plant.... it strikes me the coherent drift is away from a “law abiding” culture (typically agronomist) towards a “honor society” culture (pastoralist/herders).


Yes, I read your earlier comments on this idea. I think you're on to something big with this idea.

But is it because of a change in the culture (ie driven from the bottom up) or a failure at the top to administer the laws in a fair and just way (ie driven from the top down)? I'd argue we are seeing systematic failures in the justice system that are making people in the culture lose faith in the American justice system.

Its more and more apparent that law enforcement in our society is not always administered in a fair and even handed way, and its true all through the legal system. The Black Lives Matter movement sees a problem in the biased way police deal with black people. Rs see a problem in Mueller's effort to prosecute every possible thing while investigating Trump and his staff in contrast to the DOJ/FBI's unwillingness to prosecute anything when they were looking at Hilary and her staff. And I'm still ticked off the Obama administration spent billions bailing out the wealthy banksters who caused the 2008 global economic collapse instead of prosecuting them.

Newfie wrote:Just thoughts rumbling through my head.


IMHO thoughts and ideas are the most important things we've got. Thanks for sharing these great ideas.
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Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby Tanada » Tue 29 Jan 2019, 16:05:27

Newfie wrote:
The Alarmed are fully convinced of the reality and seriousness of climate change and are already taking individual, consumer, and political action to address it. The Concerned are also convinced that global warming is happening and a serious problem, but have not yet engaged the issue personally.

Three other Americas – the Cautious, the Disengaged, and the Doubtful – represent different stages of understanding and acceptance of the problem, and none are actively involved. The final America – the Dismissive are very sure it is not happening and are actively involved as opponents of a national effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions..


0B3BF0A2-E07E-4631-9A40-C4D69E6C85B8.png


Only 29% of Americans are Alarmed. I would say that means on 29% of Americans are awake and aware. An additional 30% have some dim idea that there is a potential danger.

There is NO excuse for anyone in he USA to not be alarmed. There is a vast amount of information from a multitude of sources. They are not being duped, they are willfully hiding their heads.

To say they are “duped” makes them victims.

They are not victims, they are perpetrators.


Here is where we part opinions. I am firmly in the 'Concerned' group in the sense that i see no use in being 'alarmed' about something I now see as unchangedable. The way I see it massive climate change is now 'baked in' and we should be doing whatever we can to adapt ourselves/families/situations to transition from current to future conditions. A little under a decade ago I moved from my home to a more rural location so 50 miles away where I have built relationships with the local population. Sure if there is a fast crash and the roaming hoards of urbanites make it this far we will all be wiped out, but that was infinitely more likely in my former location than it is here. I don't actually think a fast crash is a high probability but I did what I could to plan for it so my loved ones and I can survive if I am wrong about that. I think the long slow grinding type of crash is a very high probability and my current location is highly survivable in those circumstances provided no crazies get power in government, something I also can do nothing about. To my way of thinking being 'alarmed' was where I was before I moved because in that location my chances were somewhere between slim and non-existent. Now that I have done what I am able being anything passed 'Concerned' is a waste of energy I can ill afford that I am better off using to build local relationships among other things.
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Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby Newfie » Tue 29 Jan 2019, 17:26:46

Tanada,

Substitute so word other than “Alarmed” for that group, maybe call it “Activated” or “Motivated” or “Making Physical Changes” and you fit that group. You have modified something in your life to adapt (call the “Adaptors”). That’s the crucial difference, action as opposed to contemplation.

And the study participants don’t get to put themselves into the boxes, they are filed by the researchers. From my view point, reading what you just wrote, you are among the most active adaptors in the country.

No point arguing about it, just how I read it.
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