May 2009

Economy and Peak Oil04 May 2009 08:58 pm

I just came across Chris Martenson’s The Crash Course, a truly excellent series of presentations about the very special set of problems facing us in the next couple of decades: our growth-dependent economy, the end of cheap energy, and the depletion of a number of important resources.

Much of the information Mr. Martenson covers I was already aware of, and have discussed here, but he explains the ties between these issues in a way that strikes me as profound and jaw-dropping. He has a real gift for distilling a problem to its essence, and explaining rather complex topics in a way that makes them seem almost obvious. He uses examples that provide clarity without drawing false analogies.

I urge urge urge you to watch all 20 ‘chapters’ from beginning to end; I’m certain this a 3 1/2 hour investment that will pay for itself many times over.

Despite my urging (what, I didn’t emphasize it enough??), some of you just won’t watch the whole thing. If that describes you, at least catch Chapter 16: Fuzzy Numbers and Chapter 17a: Peak Oil.

Some of the more eye-opening bits for me:

  • The extent to which our current financial system is dependent upon growth. The fractional reserve system we have had for the last several decades will collapse if not ‘fed’ by a continually growing economy.
  • The extent to which figures like CPI and GDP are subject to manipulation. During the last few (Democratic and Republican) administrations, such fundamental metrics as debt as a fraction of GDP have become so twisted as to become almost meaningless. The policy which results can be downright frightening.
Family Life03 May 2009 12:14 pm


I uploaded some new gardening and soccer pics. Enjoy.