Links – Week 6, 2010

Photo by: Brandon Christopher Warren

Here are some of the articles around the internet that I found interesting this week.

Economy

Delusions of Finance: Where We are Headed

<In this presentation I> go back to my post from January 2008 called Peak Oil and the Financial Markets: A Forecast for 2008 and explain why my forecasts had turned out pretty close to correct, while many others widely missed the mark. My financial forecast really has implications for beyond 2008, so I added some more forecasting thoughts as well.

Becoming a Third World Country

<There’s> a very simple way to talk about the scope of the brutal economic contraction now sweeping through American society – a way, furthermore, that might just be able to sidestep both the obsessive belief in progress and the equally obsessive fascination with apocalyptic fantasy that, between them, make up much of what passes for thinking about the future these days. It’s to point out that, over the next decade or so, the United States is going to finish the process of becoming a Third World country.

Energy

The Peak Oil Crisis: Government in Transition

All it takes is a snowstorm or two to remind us how dependent we have become on government at all levels.

Sitting at home waiting for the plows should remind the more perceptive among us that we are no longer in the 18th century where nearly every family, equipped with an ax and a rifle, could provide for its own food, safety, shelter, and general well-being without the need for outside help. Today, when the lights go out, we rely on government to rush us to shelter where we are kept warm, fed, and even entertained until the lights come on again.

It is amazing how many among us still don’t grasp that we are an interdependent whole, needing many specialized skills and institutions to sustain life. In today’s America, only a miniscule percentage has the skills, knowledge, land, and lifestyle to survive without outside help. For most of us, it is the collective, in the form of government, that holds our civilization together – water, sewers, public health, roads, buses, and yes, even snow plows.

It’s Official: The Oil Export Crisis Has Arrived

Given the very modest increases from unconventional domestic production and Canada, the decline of imports from Mexico and Venezuela means the U.S. will be increasingly forced to depend on suppliers farther afield–the very same suppliers that China has been buying into in size. The “collision course with China” that I wrote about in July 2005 has nearly reached the point of impact.

It also means that when oil prices rise again, the pain will be far greater for the U.S. than it is for our top suppliers. Next time, the spear of declining oil exports will puncture a lung.

The oil export crisis has arrived. We just haven’t felt it yet.

Environment

How Do You Get Friends To Care?

Recently I received an email from Nicole with a very interesting question:

How do you come to terms with the fact that so many people in the world don’t seem to want to become educated about how their actions affect their world? For example, I am learning a lot about our food system lately and I really want my friends to become educated about it, too. I feel like if they just KNEW where their food was really coming from, they would make healthier and more environmentally-sound decisions. But I don’t want to see preachy or holier-than-thou. Another example: I have two friends who just don’t recycle. I can’t wrap my head around it. They CAN recycle in their neighborhoods, they just don’t. Again, I want to call them out on it, but I just don’t know how to do it without seeming judgmental – even though I AM!

This is something I think about a lot actually. I think about it when writing this blog, I think about it when I’m doing work for my clients, I think about it when I walk through the streets on my daily walk, … yes, I think about it a lot!

Environmental Implications Of The Food We Throw Away

Food waste is a huge issue in America, especially in light of the growing divide between the profligate rich and the hungry poor. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Loss Project, we throw away more than 25 percent—some 25.9 million tons—of all the food we produce for domestic sale and consumption. A 2004 University of Arizona study pegs the figure at closer to 50 percent, finding that Americans squander some $43 billion annually on wasted food. Lead researcher Timothy Jones reported that on average, U.S. households waste 14 percent of their food purchases. He estimates that a family of four tosses out $590 per year in meat, fruits, vegetables and grain products alone.

Blogs

I big thanks to those who dropped by and left a comment on my blog this week. I really appreciate knowing that there are people out there on the same page as me.

Greening of Gavin

An Ordinary Australian Man Who Has A Green Epiphany Whilst Watching A Documentary, Gets a Hybrid Car, Plants A Large Organic Vegetable Garden, Goes Totally Solar, Lowers Consumption, Feeds Composts Bins and Worms, Harvests Rainwater. All In The Effort To Reduce Our Family’s Carbon Footprint So We Can Start Making A Difference For Our Children & Future Generations To Come.

Eat at Dixiebelles

Make sure the things you do make you happy, keep you healthy and save you money. Be prepared, live frugally, and make the most of everything you have! Show kindness and gratitude to Earth and all it’s creatures!

Down and Out in a Brave New World

Most people should get the joke for at least half of the title of this blog. If you don’t then I won’t spoil it for you. Work that out and you a long way towards understanding me and how I see the world. This blog’s purpose is to let me comment on the things that I see happening in our world. Many of them I feel compelled to write about, if for no other reason than to be able to say that I didn’t sit idly by, fiddling while Rome burns.

Nevyn’s Place

The ramblings and meanerings of a wanna be greenie. nevyn is a character from a book; he is a powerful sorcerer who is trying to right a wrong from a previous life; this is not me; nevyn means no one; this is me.

A Piece of Wood

This blog follows us as we plan our move South to buy our forever house within the next few years. We’re also trying to live a more simple life which is leading to a more greener life, so I am often to be found wittering about that.  We (for one reason or another) also have an ever decreasing amount of debt, so life is focused towards getting rid of that once and for all as quickly as possible to enable us to lead the life we want to.

Crossroads

Here you can read about the challenges in our quest to change from consumers to conservers, about our drive to simplify life in as many ways possible. Our journey is about becoming less reliant upon any one system and more resilient in every way possible. Aspiring not to have more but to be more.

Ultimate Money Blog

We believe in a simple, natural lifestyle.  We strive to not only save money, but reduce our consumption and live a little more green at the same time.

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