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Why are we war-mongering in Ukraine and nearby?

"The geology of the region itself as well as its position as a geographical gateway to the Middle East, explains wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, confusing dialogues with Iran and, now, moves on Ukraine. I really wonder if Australian politicians actually realise what they are backing in the region." Sheila Newman (Evolutionary sociologist specialised in oil geopolitics.) 1 This article summarises the initial Western misrepresentations and informs or reminds the historically educated reader of the history of this ancient petroleum-bearing region.

Who is in charge in Ukraine today?

We republish from VoltaireNet.org an article which gives the non-Anglophone sourced version of what has been happening in the Ukraine. There are, according to Global Research 6 ultra-right members of a neo-nazi party in the current government, whose Acting Prime Minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, was welcomed by Obama on March 12, 2014. Hostility towards their treatment by Russians during the Second World War and the then perception of the German Nazis as a rescue force, underlies some of the anti-semitism and fascist sympathies of Ukraine today. We should not overlook, however, the real energy behind events in this regions, which is the battle between alignments with superpowers, Russia, US, EU, and China, for the difficult to access but tantilising oil and gas reserves in the Caspian Sea, and the power to decide who dominates the countries the pipelines go through and to what destinations future pipelines will go. (Editorial comment by Candobetter.net: Article follows.)

EastWest Link and the Land Transport Infrastructure Amendment Bill 2014 - Kelvin Thomson

"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.

Rising Energy Costs Lead to Recession; Eventually Collapse


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:

EIA should provide data on cost of North American shale gas exploitation to make balanced reports

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.

New trade wars attract pirates and anti-pirate entrepreneurs

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 [2011] and 2039 [2012]). It is estimated that the state of Nigeria is losing $1bn of crude oil through theft every month."

Market failure alert! Australian natural gas shortages and our crazy government policies

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.

What do Victorians think about the 'next' port near Werribee instead of Hastings?

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?

US Presidential: R.I.P. Growth economy

In the US Presidential race, both roads lead to financial collapse, resource depletion, war, irreversible climate change, species extinction, chaos, despair and hopelessness.

Costs of population growth going up all the time in Australia

Here is yet another example of why big business and governments want more population growth - they can always milk it for money while you and I pay for it. With the right press, this can even appear helpful, although it's really just the opposite. "To reduce congestion, imagine the government charged by the kilometre," says David Hensher of the University of Sydney. "The hip pocket must be where road pricing reform commences. The call for a congestion charge is getting louder and more frequent in many countries, as major metropolitan areas experience increasing levels…" Growth doesn't pay for itself - you do.

Canadian Tarsands and Migrant Workers: More Terrifying Math.... And Unsustainable Oxymorons

Australia and Canada are in a race to the bottom to dig up all their minerals. They are importing workers and failing to train their own. Their politicians are caught up in the myth of sustainable economic growth. "The tar sands are the engine of that growth. And we'll want top dollar for what we export because the thirst for tax revenue is insatiable. We'll want the Americans to compete with the Chinese for the privilege of burning our bounty of black death. No wonder then that the support for continued mass immigration is bipartisan. We are in a big hurry to get that resource out of the ground and get it shipped out ASAP---so we bringing in migrant labour like mad to satisfy a "shortage" in skilled labour that we assume to exist because we have never conducted a proper inventory nor seriously tried to train our own people."

Sustainable happiness in a post-apocalyptic world is yours for the asking

Johnny and Joanie were once the typical post-apocalyptic Stone Age couple. Each day was a tribulation. Minding the kids, fending off predators and raiders from adjacent tribes, hell, just putting food on the table were stressful enough. The versatile Tim Murray reaches out to new-agers everywhere in this article about personal adjustment in a time of advanced oil-depletion.

The Century of Famine

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.

There Ain't No Cure For The Recession Blues

One day it will dawn on us that this is no ordinary recession. This is not a fiscal or credit crisis. Another trough in the usual boom and bust cycle. This time Keynesian prime-pumping won't work (if in fact it ever did, contrary to legend). We cannot spend or inflate our way out of this one. And if we do the reverse, if we cut back spending and implement austerity and conservation measures, we will only be taking our foot off the gas pedal-----not braking our motion toward the cliff. And the poor and the unemployed will suffer a disporportionate amount of the pain. Traditional left wing or right wing strategies are obsolete. The problem they would attempt to solve is much deeper than they imagine, and beyond their comprehension.

Ted Trainer questions Uni-dimensional views on Development, Wealth and Progress

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.

Syria -70% vote to end one-party state - why aren't we celebrating?

70 per cent of Syrians voted in referendum to end one party rule and to have elections but have been hit by EU sanctions anyway. Aljazeera reported that no-one would vote, but it seems that a lot did. Basically the world is dividing into an Eastern and Western bloc over this, with Russia and China supporting Syria's right to settle its own affairs and the US and other Anglophone western nations and the EU are looking for a pretext to intervene and threatening crippling sanctions. Further down we might expect EU imposition of a no-fly zone to give them an excuse to invade, as has already happened in Libya. Is the end-objective to isolate Iran for its oil reserves? What's up? Here are some views.

The Ultimate Mechanism of Control is Nature

Resource scarcity is the root of war and terrorism, and liberty is the first casualty of conflict. But as oppressive as state surveillance and detention can be, nature's noose will be even tighter.

The Lesson That Pearl Harbor Should Teach Us----Seven Decades After The Japanese Attack And We Still Don't Get It

Once again, we come upon another poignant anniversary. December 7, the day that the Japanese Imperial Navy attacked Pearl Harbor some 70 years ago. Like 9/11, it is traditionallly marked as a significant historical event. But I believe that it is significant for entirely different reasons than what we have been given. On December 7, 1941, the Japanese government undertook a desperate gamble. The questions we need to ask are several. What made them desperate? What would make nations desperate today? What do desperate nations and desperate people do when they reach desperation? And what do we do when these desperate nations and people are armed with nuclear weapons?

Fracking democracy - Gaslands- the movie, the industry and national responses

France is about to debate a law to totally ban fracking for gas. Australia has allowed the practice with problems quickly developing. Mexico has no defenses. The United States is deeply affected. "Fracking" was developed by Halliburton, the second largest oilfield services corporation in the world. The term comes from the extraction method of hydraulic fracturing of shale beds to access "unconventional gas" i.e. gas that comes out of wells other than classic oil-wells. Under President Bush, the fracking industry was exempted from environmental laws, including clean water protection. As many of us have come to understand, when you take away environmental protection, you take away almost all human rights to object to big business, even if citizens lives are obviously threatened. We also mention the Australian film made by Four Corners investigating the impacts of the industry in Australia.

Discussing Australia's Dependency ratio 2009 with graph by Dr Katharine Betts

We look at Dr Katharine Betts's latest graph of ABS statistics on the ratio of working to dependent in Australia, noting that it is both untrue and discriminatory to imply that the 'Aged' are by far the biggest group of 'dependents.' In relation to the graph, we also look at the role of land-use planning and the social division of work in industrial society in creating financial dependencies where none previously existed. We note that established financial and institutional investment in the post-war industrial-contractual model makes it inflexible and resistant to changes in economic feedback, but that change it must as fossil fuels deplete. Left to their own devices, Australians would probably return to the human default social organisation around kin and place, which is flexible and low cost. This will only become possible, however, with cheaper land and an economic system which permits increasing relocalisation and more flexible use of land than the current plans for packed appartments and dense dormitory-suburbs anticipate.

Solar panels in France and elsewhere: comparing techology uptake, prices, policies and subsidies

This story is based on a report on France2 television news about growth in public and private stock of photovoltaic panels in France, payments by Electricite de France (EDF)for contributions to the electricity grid, tax rebates available, income from providing electricity to the grid and prospect of funding retirement through this for farmers and others with roof and other space. The bottom part of the article contains comments about the situation of rebates etc in other countries. Readers are asked to add comments about their own experiences. We can build up an international policy data base here.

Nuclear power, totalitarian spin and overpopulation in Australia

Nuclear power is promoted by the growth lobby as an investment opportunity which will provide employment, international importance, and new industries. Rationales offered to the public are the [manufactured] imperative to provide power for projected (politically engineered) population growth and the desirability of off-setting greenhouse gas contributions from coal-fired electricity and coal exports. (Australia is the world’s largest coal exporter.) Australian planning is dominated by what the corporate sector wants. There are many indications that public sector scientists are expected to support private, corporate research and development rather than leading with public research responding to public need, which might result in moderation rather than accelerated consumption. Let's look more closely at this 'investment opportunity'. See also "Normalising endless immigration and coupling it to nuclear power in Oz"See also "Ziggy Switkowski, Population Numbers and Nuclear in the Australian"

denis's picture

The crucial question

Human know how combined with technology has built up a valuable temporary infrastructure for civilization by irreversibly drawing down on the available natural bounty, income and capital. What happens now that the capital is seriously depreciated.

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