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by Chris Martenson

Executive Summary

  • There is not nearly enough net energy to meet our growth expectations in our lifetime
  • We are past the "tipping point". A hard rendezvous with limits to growth will arrive in the next 2 decades
  • What you can do to avoid that pain that the majority undoutedly will face
  • Prepare for the current "mother of all bubbles" to burst soon

If you have not yet read, In Denial: We Pursue Endless Growth At Our Peril available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

Energy Denial

It is said that you cannot explain water to a fish and I have nearly as difficult time trying to explain energy to people today. We are surrounded by it so completely it is difficult to properly appreciate.

But it is in every particle of food you eat, every piece of furniture in your house, every item you wear, and every trip you take — are all 100% dependent on energy that came from somewhere and subsidizes every single item and action.

Fossil fuels are the vast majority of all the energy we use and, it cannot be repeated enough, they visibly and invisibly subsidize the so-called renewables, too. By that I mean solar and wind power cannot be generated until and unless the components are first manufactured and installed. And those activities are nearly 100% driven by fossil fuels today.

To grasp this more fully, watch this time-lapse video of a wind tower being installed and, while marveling at the ingenuity and speed of the team involved, think about where all of the components came from:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84BeVq2Jm88

How were the cranes, bulldozers and trucks built? What fuels do they run on? How did all those workers get there? Who grew their food and how did they come to eat it? How are the roads they drove on built and maintained? How is concrete made and how did it all get to the job site? What do the factories and foundries run on that built the windmill? How far did each windmill component have to travel before arriving at the site?

The answer to all of those questions is…

Life Beyond The Tipping Point
PREVIEW by Chris Martenson

Executive Summary

  • There is not nearly enough net energy to meet our growth expectations in our lifetime
  • We are past the "tipping point". A hard rendezvous with limits to growth will arrive in the next 2 decades
  • What you can do to avoid that pain that the majority undoutedly will face
  • Prepare for the current "mother of all bubbles" to burst soon

If you have not yet read, In Denial: We Pursue Endless Growth At Our Peril available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

Energy Denial

It is said that you cannot explain water to a fish and I have nearly as difficult time trying to explain energy to people today. We are surrounded by it so completely it is difficult to properly appreciate.

But it is in every particle of food you eat, every piece of furniture in your house, every item you wear, and every trip you take — are all 100% dependent on energy that came from somewhere and subsidizes every single item and action.

Fossil fuels are the vast majority of all the energy we use and, it cannot be repeated enough, they visibly and invisibly subsidize the so-called renewables, too. By that I mean solar and wind power cannot be generated until and unless the components are first manufactured and installed. And those activities are nearly 100% driven by fossil fuels today.

To grasp this more fully, watch this time-lapse video of a wind tower being installed and, while marveling at the ingenuity and speed of the team involved, think about where all of the components came from:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84BeVq2Jm88

How were the cranes, bulldozers and trucks built? What fuels do they run on? How did all those workers get there? Who grew their food and how did they come to eat it? How are the roads they drove on built and maintained? How is concrete made and how did it all get to the job site? What do the factories and foundries run on that built the windmill? How far did each windmill component have to travel before arriving at the site?

The answer to all of those questions is…

by Chris Martenson

Executive Summary

  • The wisdom and value of scenario planning
  • Scenario #1: A Slow Burn
  • Scenario #2: Fragmentation
  • Scenario #3: A Hard Landing
  • The prudence of taking individual action now, vs depending upon "the system" to react to future events

If you have not yet read Part 1: Ready Or Not available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

It all begins with the clear-eyed recognition that the old way of doing business is clearly unsustainable. And yet knowing that the various governmental and institutional powerbrokers are doing everything they can to perpetuate the status quo way of doing business.

Business-as-usual is literally going to end in some flavor of disaster, and yet we collectively adhere to it, even when the end-point is as obvious as calculating the linear rate of withdrawal of water from a non-renewing aquifer.

But there's nothing linear about the nested and/or intertwined complex systems we call the Economy, the Environment and Energy.  Each of these is independently complex, meaning they often easily defy the attempts to manage them. And they are utterly unpredictable for anything longer than the immediate term.

For example, of the three, Energy seems the simplest, and it is.  But even there, we note that the amount of energy that can and will be extracted is a function of the price of energy, available technology and skills, capital available for investment, and what's actually down there in the earth to be pulled up.  In that list, several factors are courtesy of the Economy, which is itself dependent on Energy. A glitch in one can feedback rapidly to create a glitch in the other.

Given all of this complexity, one good way to get a handle on things is to identify the scenarios we deem to be most likely given all available evidence, and then assign probabilities to each. Asking ourselves, What can we today to prepare for Scenario X? then allows us to begin constructing action plans to mitigate our vulnerability, and even better in cases, position ourselves to prosper as the future unfolds. 

Scenario #1:  A Slow Burn

In 2008, the practice of borrowing too much caught up with the developed world and a serious financial crisis threatened to take down the entire financial system.  Indeed, according to after-action reports from Hank Paulson (then Treasury Secretary) and Mervyn King (then BoE chairman), the world came within mere hours of a full-blown global banking system meltdown…

The 3 Likeliest Ways Things Will Play Out From Here
PREVIEW by Chris Martenson

Executive Summary

  • The wisdom and value of scenario planning
  • Scenario #1: A Slow Burn
  • Scenario #2: Fragmentation
  • Scenario #3: A Hard Landing
  • The prudence of taking individual action now, vs depending upon "the system" to react to future events

If you have not yet read Part 1: Ready Or Not available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

It all begins with the clear-eyed recognition that the old way of doing business is clearly unsustainable. And yet knowing that the various governmental and institutional powerbrokers are doing everything they can to perpetuate the status quo way of doing business.

Business-as-usual is literally going to end in some flavor of disaster, and yet we collectively adhere to it, even when the end-point is as obvious as calculating the linear rate of withdrawal of water from a non-renewing aquifer.

But there's nothing linear about the nested and/or intertwined complex systems we call the Economy, the Environment and Energy.  Each of these is independently complex, meaning they often easily defy the attempts to manage them. And they are utterly unpredictable for anything longer than the immediate term.

For example, of the three, Energy seems the simplest, and it is.  But even there, we note that the amount of energy that can and will be extracted is a function of the price of energy, available technology and skills, capital available for investment, and what's actually down there in the earth to be pulled up.  In that list, several factors are courtesy of the Economy, which is itself dependent on Energy. A glitch in one can feedback rapidly to create a glitch in the other.

Given all of this complexity, one good way to get a handle on things is to identify the scenarios we deem to be most likely given all available evidence, and then assign probabilities to each. Asking ourselves, What can we today to prepare for Scenario X? then allows us to begin constructing action plans to mitigate our vulnerability, and even better in cases, position ourselves to prosper as the future unfolds. 

Scenario #1:  A Slow Burn

In 2008, the practice of borrowing too much caught up with the developed world and a serious financial crisis threatened to take down the entire financial system.  Indeed, according to after-action reports from Hank Paulson (then Treasury Secretary) and Mervyn King (then BoE chairman), the world came within mere hours of a full-blown global banking system meltdown…

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