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I’ve been a long time, though occasional, reader of both OilPrice.com and ZeroHedge.com. Viewed from an ecological economics standpoint both sites are mired in neoclassical economics to a level almost on par with self-irony. A recent swipe through the top news on OilPrice really got me thinking about our near term future though.

It’s not that their authors suddenly realized that infinite growth is impossible on a finite planet, or that resource depletion has started to show its teeth to the world economy. Rather it’s those tiny puzzle pieces that are so close to each other, that all it takes…


To emotionally accept the end of a lifestyle on global scale — the end of this civilization — is not much different to facing our own mortality. It means giving up all our hopes and wishes for us and our children. No more holidays at the seaside. No fixed income. No pensions. Maybe not being able to make ends meet from time to time. Once one realizes that the future will be not so bright and shiny as advertised — in fact quite the opposite — a lot of not-so-pleasant questions pops into one’s mind: will I have food when…


Last week we have discussed the schizoid feeling related to living in two worlds at the same time: an old civilization unaware of its unsustainability and thus destined to fail, and a new world-view of limits. What are the core beliefs of this old world then, which has brought about its success, but will also lead to its inevitable end? Most would mention capitalism or inequality as the source of all things evil, but as usual things are bit more complicated than that. If you have ever contemplated this topic in greater depth, you know it’s not easy to escape…


Knowing what’s coming and yet forced to inhabit a world that insists it could last forever is schizoid feeling to say the least. I’m not talking about climate change here, which most people are already aware of, but the radical and forced transformation of our lives as we step on the slippery slopes of the Hubbert-curve (i.e. gradually decreasing oil and thus overall energy “production” due to our inability of expanding fossil fuel infrastructure further and being forced to give up oil-fields one-by-one caused by depletion and/or extraction becoming uneconomic both in monetary and energetic terms).

Yet, trucks are still…


Today, I have turned forty. Surprised? Me too! I’m not nearly as fast as I was earlier, and it aches here and there already. This body will not last forever and eventually put an end to an idiosyncratic brain activity when it eventualy stops working. Half (or more?) of my life has already passed, along with my youth: today I officially turned into a middle aged man. I will consider it a great success (and luck!) if I’m still alive in 2050 — I want to see how the end of this civilization might unfold (or not). …


Technological shift of the 21st century

(excerpt)

Written by: Rick Mortynsen, tech-historian 2121 AD

This study is aimed at explaining the reasons behind, and the mechanism of the technological shift occurred in the 21st century.

Note: most of the data presented here are from anecdotal sources and from memoirs as the original sources were lost or became technically or otherwise unreadable. Exact years of events were thus not possible to be identified for certain, only decades could be given as reference.

Last decades of abundance

People in the Developed World (as nations called themselves in the then existing United States, Canada, European Union, Japan and Australia) took technologies making their…


The IPCC has released its 6th assessment report (AR6) last week — a major update to the previous assessment report released 7 years ago. It is grandiose scientific work synthesizing 5 years of climate related publications (from 2014 to 2019). The past 2 years was spent on achieving first a scientific, then a political consensus on the contents of the report. Now, all countries around the world and all scientist involved have come to an agreement on its contents.

This comes with certain caveats with regards to the results. The report represents the bare minimum on which all parties could…


Last week we have taken a tour on the “pessimistic” — or rather: the better informed — half of the spectrum of future possibilities. This time we will ride on the sunny side: reviewing the behavioral patterns aimed at reaching an optimistic outcome. Before we delve deep into what can be reasonably done to achieve these scenarios, let’s revisit the chain of underlying assumptions or premisses behind this analysis.

Premisses

  1. Humans live in a self-organizing adaptive system called Earth. …

Following the discussion of our civilization’s unrevealing (part 1 & part 2) and evaluating the probabilities of future scenarios one might ask: OK, now what? Before an absolute nihilism sets in, let’s review the adaptive responses our society as whole can give to the predicament at hand and see what might work and what not. As usual, I propose a structured approach, so no scenario is left sobbing in the corner feeling unfairly treated.

Premisses

Before we delve deep into what can reasonably be done, let’s review the chain of underlying assumptions behind this analysis:

  1. Humans live in a self-organizing adaptive…

Based on my posts on The Honest Sorcerer, one might consider me a pessimist — someone who sees only the risks and pitfalls ahead and expects the worst to come. To some extent this is true. What makes me ponder though is this: what is a more appropriate approach in our time? Evolutionary, you have a better chance for survival if you look for risks and expect the worst outcomes when things go south, rather than hoping that everything will just turn out fine and hit the wall head first. On the other hand, you gain much more if you…

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A critique of modern times - offering ideas for honest contemplation.

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