Thursday, October 9, 2014

Update by Simon Michaux

Siv Jensen. Photo: Kjetil Ree
It's absurd these days seeing our financial minister Siv Jensen presenting the state budget for 2015. She talks with great enthusiasm about the glorious future of Norway and our children and grandchildren. I cannot remember to have seen a politician ever before so fanatically indoctrinated by The Religion of Progress. But after all she's representing a party with the idiotic name The Party of Progress or in Norwegian "Fremskrittspartiet".

Sometimes I wonder if our politicians and leaders are genetically manipulated by aliens to self-destruct our civilization, so that they can easily take over planet Earth when we are gone? At least, to listen to Siv Jensen and our current political leadership appears much more scary to me than any horror movie I can think about.

I want to repeat the last part of Michaux's update:
Current political leadership are engaging in squabbling over the dregs of what resources are left and maintaining the status quo. We are using the last of the easy to get resources, to do the equivalent of straightening bananas. All of this indifference does suggest a certain outcome.
Simon Michaux's recently added comment to his brilliant lecture:
Data has been collected since this was uploaded and this presentation has evolved.  I now have data to show that the year 2005 was a turning point.  Oil supply became inelastic and at the same time Chinese demand for raw materials accelerated.  Metal prices (Au, Ag, Ni, Pb, Cu, Fe, Zn, etc) spiked and became very volatile.  The 2008 economic correction  of the GFC did not resolve these issues and return metal prices to the levels prior to 2005 nor did it create a new level of stability.  This means that the underlying issues were not addressed and market speculators were not the controlling force.

We are now 8-9 years into an era of industrial transformation.  I believe this is a signature for the start of transformation as a consequence of Peak Oil.  All of our resources are following this pattern.  Peak oil is certainly not the only problem we are faced with. Our financial and economic systems are far too fragile and disconnected from reality to engage in the required industrial reform.

There are some technological solutions which might help if applied correctly.  The real constraint is now time.  We are out of time.  We really need 10-20 years to manage the transition after the political will has been established.  These problems here now.  Current political leadership are engaging in squabbling over the dregs of what resources are left and maintaining the status quo.  We are using the last of the easy to get resources, to do the equivalent of straightening bananas.  All of this indifference does suggest a certain outcome.
Eivind Berge recommends Michaux's lecture:
Thanks for posting that, Øyvind. Simon Michaux has been a big influence on my thinking about peak oil and mining as well. His lecture on peak mining is a real eye-opener and highly recommended.

Did you dare to see Michaux's lecture? Or do you prefer to remain blissfully ignorant as long as possible?

Published at P2P-Foundation on Octobre 4, 2014.

A comment by Norman Pagett:
Noam Chomsky summed things up very well: Do you think anyone would care if the main export of Libya was asparagus?

WW2 was an energy war. The Germans and Japanese had no oil of their own, so had to grab somebody else's to drive their war machine. The USA was awash with the stuff, The losers were the ones who ran out of gas first.

We are now in WW3, again fighting over energy and the Arabs aren't stupid. They don't buy the idea that Christian oil accidentally got put under Muslim deserts, and so oil must continue to prime the pumps of western industry. 
They know full well that when the oil is gone, their guntrucks stop and they go back to goat herding and camel trading. So they are grabbing what they can, right now, in a (vain) attempt to hold onto what's left of their lifestyle, just as we are. 

Our politicians and economists convince us that we can have more, just as the imams convince their followers they can have more, if only warfare continues.

But as ive tried to point out in my book there really isn't any more. And Ive even been taken to task for offering no solutions. There are no solutions. We are conditioned to fight over energy sources until we reduce ourselves to a mean level where conflict becomes pointless and unsustainable. In the case of muslim ideology, this appears to be based somewhere in the 14th century.

Here in the developed west we are as yet only dimly aware that our 100 year cycle of constant growth is slipping away from us. We regard current outbreaks of conflict as a minornuisance in faraway places. Our supermarket shelves are still full, and pumps still dispense fuel so where's the problem?, 

The problem is of course that as resources slip into severe depletion, and become less available to everyone, resource wars will take many forms, in many different places..not just desert nations 5000 miles away. A century of constant growth, doubling every decade or so, means that no one is alive who knows differently. Not your problem?

Right now in the USA oil fracking is staving off reality for--what? Five years at most. The country produces 10mbd, but burns 17Mbd. And substiutes printed money to make up the difference. It takes 2500 wells in the Bakken to deliver 1 Mbd, the same even in Iraq only takes 50 wells. THAT is oil economics.

When fracked oil finally peters out, reality will kick in, and you will have resource wars literally on your doorstep. Forget about the Middle east. A fully armed population will not take kindly to being told that there is no more. When the fighting over what's left is over, we too will be left with the economics of the 14th century.

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