Mark Jones wrote “Battle of the Titans” when he was dying of cancer in 2005. This project animated his last days and he believed that what he had to say was of utmost importance. Many readers will find it prophetic, except in so far as he overlooks the role of Russia as an oil supplier. He does not overlook China, however, and America’s willingness to use all its remaining fuel to retain global hegemony. Here I have extracted passages which fit quite well together and give a somewhat clairvoyant view – from 2005 – of today’s frantic posturing, propagandizing and stirring up trouble in Ukraine, by the United States and Europe as they perhaps tried to influence China to side with them through their power-play in the Ukraine, then, helplessly watched Putin sign the massive gas supply contract with China.
If you thought that the affairs of the Ukraine and Crimea were too abstract for you, maybe this will make you more curious. Natalya Poklonskaya is or was a government prosecutor in the Ukraine Crimea. She has been made into an anime character in a video. She made strong statements about upholding the rule of law and is now on the illegitimate coup-installed Ukraine government's wanted list. The Ukraine government came to power as a result of a US/NATO orchestrated coup in the resource depletion wars of the 21st century. Russia is defending its oil and gas pipelines in the region. Russia had the very first and the longest petroleum product pipeline in the world in the late 19th century and British, US and European governments and commercial interests have been plotting to get more control there ever since. The region is criss-crossed with oil and gas pipelines going in many directions from Baku to as far as Germany and China. Natalya Poklonskaya rightly wants her message to be heard and dismisses this video, however it may be the way to get her message better appreciated worldwide, so we are promoting it. And we include in this article a video with Poklonskaya's real speech, with English sub-titles.
"The East West Link is a white elephant that risks undermining Melbourne's productive capacity and living standards. The tunnel is not a solution. It does not provide value for money. Generations of Victorians will be burdened by an $8 billion debt for a tunnel that will have long passed its use-by date. It is regrettable that this government is seeking to amend the Infrastructure Australia legislation to give the minister heightened discretion rather than going through the proper independent, transparent processes that Australians expect when it comes to large spending on infrastructure projects." - Kelvin Thomson, MP. Wills.
Has capitalism, corporatisation and globalisation corrupted big international aid organisations. Is there some way we can boost the grass-roots activists and reinforce whatever is still working within troubled countries like Syria. And what are we doing there, anyway? AMRIS interview inside.
How does the world reach limits? This is a question that few dare to examine. My analysis suggests that these limits will come in a very different way than most have expected–through financial stress that ultimately relates to rising unit energy costs, plus the need to use increasing amounts of energy for additional purposes:
In a press release entitled, "North America leads the world in production of shale gas," the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) boasts long and loud that US gas quantities extracted by fracking shale beds vastly exceed production in Canada and China. Energy resources analysts, however, are critical that the EIA never releases balanced accounts on petroleum and gas production which would reveal the growing costs of extraction.
The Alliance against fracking in South Africa, AfriForum and Treasure the Karoo Action Group (TKAG), has said that shale gas exploration cannot proceed, following a statement by Trade and Industry Minister, Rob Davies, that Government could authorise shale gas exploration before next year's elections. See also other candobetter articles on fracking here: http://candobetter.net/?q=taxonomy/term/3020
Former career mining professional Simon Michaux gives a public lecture in Adelaide describing the onset of 'peak mining' and its various implications for natural resource management. A significant and comprehensive update to the field. Governments will be watching this one and trying to ignore it.
Another sign of overpopulation and resource competition: We publish a press release from a commercial anti-pirate operation which offers naval escort services across the Gulf of Aden, the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean, where easy collection of oil is no longer guaranteed. . "In West Africa in the area known as the Gulf of Guinea, where there is no UK, EUNAVFOR or US Naval presence (nor is there planned to be), maritime crime is escalating and is spiralling to such levels that the UN Security Council has recognised it as a specific threat to international security (Resolutions 2018  and 2039 ). It is estimated that the state of Nigeria is losing $1bn of crude oil through theft every month."
Amazingly or perhaps, true to type, Australia is experiencing extreme shortages of domestic natural gas supplies. World-wide there is a gas-rush. It also looks like oil is already not keeping up with demand as countries scramble for new more energy costly, polluting and environmentally destructive forms of energy, like tarsands, fracked gas, and sugarcane ethanol. The media is failing to paper over the cracks: Australia looks like a cartoon demonstration of entropy with energy dispersing, the environment overheating, overpopulation and political disorder. And there is nowhere for Australians to escape.
On November 6, 2012 it was reported that the Victorian government was cooling on the idea of another port for Hastings and instead its planners were casting their collective beady eye in the direction of Werribee. ("Government looks west for next port development," The Agep.6.) One imagines hope springing on the Mornington Peninsula as a dark shadow turns west to cast its pall on Werribeeans instead. But do we even need one new port?
The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports the highest population growth rate since 2009. An 18 per cent increase in annual net overseas migration to 197,200 is responsible for the rise. Australia is entering a period of uncertainty for which we will be better prepared if we do not have to support ever more people - native born or immigrants. -- Sustainable Population Australia (SPA)
Report on Richard Heinberg's tour of Australia, Melbourne talk: We should remember that the economy is a subset of the environment and that 'not sustainable' does not mean 'insufficiently eco-groovy'. Heinberg pointed to Australia's growing reliance on petroleum and its decreasing production and suggested that the policy of growing our population needs a profound rethink. Some strange and interesting responses from the audience. And a standing ovation for Australian MP Kelvin Thomson, who was chairing Heinberg's session. Not to mention Jenny Warfe - a terrific new Vice President for SPA Victoria and Tasmanian Branch.
Kelvin Thomson MP will be chairing Richard Heinberg's talk about his book, The End of Growth7.30pm. on Saturday 22 September 2012 at The Wheeler Centre, 176 Little Lonsdale Street. Heinberg is a well-known U.S. peak oil blogger and writer who delivers an entertaining and stimulating message on the serious subject of resource depletion which Australian governments and financial planners at all levels simply cannot cope with. At a time when Australia continues to back military intervention in the oil-rich Middle East, Richard's talk is especially topical. As well as that, it is the reality we all must deal with. So go along and then take the message back to your state and federal political representative and your growth-obsessed local council.
Bill McKibben has recently unveiled some new "terrifying math" about global warming. But there are other numbers that terrify me more. My mother used to tell me to stop worrying, because it is not the things we worry about that usually get us, but the things we don't see coming. I think she was right.
"Wind turbines are a compulsory backdrop for Julia Gillard when she is talking about the carbon tax but how often have you seen an image of her farewelling one of the huge coal laden boats at a Queensland port or staring into a giant open cut coal mine in the Hunter Valley? You could say that wind turbines help to mask the truth that there is a continuing growth in the usage of fossil fuels and in energy use generally." The decline in real environmental politics: despite the rising dangers of economic and population growth, an increasingly sidelined mainstream conservation movement finds false comfort in endless damage control and symbolic activity. The WW2 generation lived the community gardens, food and petrol rationing that are now goals of oil depletion awareness groups today. We were much more sustainable then. The way forward in a steady state economy would include equality and sustainability. Dr Mosley also drew a useful distinction between 'equality' and 'equal opportunity'.
Australia's new Foreign Minister Senator Bob Carr continues his predecessor's enthusiastic volunteering of Australia in the Coalition of the Willing, this time against Syria. Between 1991 and now, the Coalition caused the deaths of possibly 1,500,000
Humanity has struggled to survive through the millennia in terms of balancing population size with food supply. The same is true now, but population numbers have been soaring for over a century. The limiting factor has been hidden, but this factor -- oil and natural gas, or petroleum -- is close to or beyond its peak extraction. Without ample, free-flowing petroleum, it will not be possible to support a population of several billion for long.
Originally posted on Culture Change on 2 March 2010. Re-posted here by author Peter Goodchild.
I live in a community of right-brained people with innumerate minds full of New Age mush, devoid of logic and antagonistic to science. The shibboleths of 'compassion' and 'caring and sharing' prevail over dispassionate analysis. The medieval mentality of Tibetan Bhuddism combines with the prescriptions of soft-green environmentalism to produce a brew of 'thinking' that is toxic to comprehension. It is a community where people will pay $50 for a psychic reading or a quack medical therapy but balk at paying the same amount of money to fix a leaking kitchen sink or a subscription to Science Daily. I wrote this almost 5 years ago, and despite the development of our much acclaimed "Community Garden" and a local "transition" initiative, I can think of no good reason to make more than one amendment----even we do grow a backbone and a "hard edge"---a local 'fortress' would not indefinitely endure. We are hopelessly dependent on the outside world in ways that we have not yet contemplated. Our deficiencies will only become apparent, I think, when our "Long" emergency becomes a permanent one.
Social Scientist and petroleum depletion writer, Ted Trainer, gives his views on a way forward that does not involve growth. Most of you out there are working three times too hard, and going down with depression and obesity, as your social cohesion crumbles. How about trying a different, simpler way? Frederick Trainer is the author of a new book, Transition to a sustainable and just world, Enviro Books.
Robert Bowman writes about the need to restore the Constitutional rights of American citizens, enhance their national security through a return to Constitutional foreign and military policies, and rebuild their economy by providing financial security to American families. None of these things can be accomplished so long as the giant multinational corporations, the banks and financial service companies, the insurance industry, the fossil fuel conglomerates, the weapons manufacturers, and the billionaires are running the US government. Therefore the first priority of American patriots, he says, has to be separating big money and political power.
Has the prospect of global temperature rises between two and six degrees centigrade got you down? Don’t worry, for the world might well be in for a cooling trend. The kind that comes after the planet is enveloped in a canopy of ash and debris following a thermo-nuclear war. See also:The myth of renewable energy of 22 Nov 11
The supply of the world's most essential energy source is going off a cliff. Not in the distant future, but within two years. Production of all liquid fuels, including oil, will drop within 20 years to half what it is today. And the difference needs to be made up with "unidentified projects" – in other words, we face a potential ‘rank shortage’. According to this graph, we stand on the edge of a precipice, with no prior warning from either the industry or governments, which ostensibly protect the public interest.
The current social/political/economic system is based on the notion that greater economic/material well-being will lead us to "happiness." It doesn't seem to be working too well. Here's why. Although a certain degree of material well-being is necessary for a "decent" life, it is not a sufficient condition for "happiness." What's missing is a centuries-long colonization of the mind that has divorced human life from nature. Unless we reconnect, we will never find "happiness."
Population analyst, Brian McGavin, writes about the silent crisis in our midst, of overpopulation. "Today there is a ‘Silent Crisis’ in our midst. The crisis, still largely unrecognised, is potentially greater than all the other problems that transfix our policy makers. For many decades now there has been a willful blindness in recognising that relentless human population growth is one of the pre-eminent problems we face. Rather than providing solutions and leadership, "More and more developed countries offering new ‘baby bonuses’ make it even less likely that we will achieve the lower figures being quoted in the media."