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Peak Civilisation is in the rear view mirror for most humans on the planet. Economies, lifestyles & environment are declining almost everywhere. Overpopulation, resource depletion, pollution & energy decline continue to exacerbate the problems. Available net energy is the determinant of the quality & complexity of civilisation. As the inexpensive, easy to get energy sources decline, disorder in human systems & the biosphere will increase.. Entropy (disorder, randomness) increases. Entropy Wins

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Economic Collapse. 
Excluding Oil, The US Trade Deficit Has Never Been Worse
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What this chart shows is that when it comes to core manufacturing and service trade, that which excludes petroleum, the US trade deficit hit some $49 billion dollars in the month of May, the highest trade deficit ever recorded! In other words, far from doubling US exports, Obama is on pace to make the export segment of the US economy the weakest it has ever been, leading to millions of export-producing jobs gone for ever (but fear not, they will be promptly replaced by part-time jobs). It also means that the collapse in Q1 GDP, much of which was driven by tumbling net exports, will continue as America appear largely unable to pull itself out of its international trade funk, much less doubling its exports.
From; http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-04/excluding-oil-us-trade-deficit-has-never-been-worse

Economic Collapse.
Excluding Oil, The US Trade Deficit Has Never Been Worse
________________________________________
What this chart shows is that when it comes to core manufacturing and service trade, that which excludes petroleum, the US trade deficit hit some $49 billion dollars in the month of May, the highest trade deficit ever recorded! In other words, far from doubling US exports, Obama is on pace to make the export segment of the US economy the weakest it has ever been, leading to millions of export-producing jobs gone for ever (but fear not, they will be promptly replaced by part-time jobs). It also means that the collapse in Q1 GDP, much of which was driven by tumbling net exports, will continue as America appear largely unable to pull itself out of its international trade funk, much less doubling its exports.
From; http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-04/excluding-oil-us-trade-deficit-has-never-been-worse

Posted on Friday, July 25th 2014

What Is A Dark Age? Well, We’ve Started Our Descent Into One So Perhaps We Should Understand.

Varo, a Roman Historian, divided up history into three ages—an age of history, for which there were written records; before that, an age of fable, from which oral traditions survived; and before that, a dark age, about which no one knew anything at all. It’s a simple division but a surprisingly useful one; even in those dark ages where literacy survived as a living tradition, records tend to be extremely sparse and unhelpful, and when records pick up again they tend to be thickly frosted with fable and legend for a good long while thereafter. In a dark age, the thread of collective memory and cultural continuity snaps, the ends are lost, and a new thread must be spun from whatever raw materials happen to be on hand.There are many other ways to talk about dark ages, and we’ll get to those in later posts, but I want to focus on this aspect for the moment. Before the Greco-Roman world Varro knew, an earlier age of complex, literate civilizations had flourished and then fallen, and the dark age that followed was so severe that in many regions—Greece was one of them—even the trick of written language was lost, and had to be imported from elsewhere centuries afterwards. The dark age following Varro’s time wasn’t quite that extreme, but it was close enough; literacy became a rare attainment, and vast amounts of scientific, technical, and cultural knowledge were lost. To my mind, that discontinuity demands more attention than it’s usually been given.  What is it that snaps the thread that connects past to present, and allows the accumulated knowledge of an entire civilization to fall into oblivion?A recurring historical process lies behind that failure of transmission, and it’s one that can be seen at work in those homeless children of Dade County, whispering strange stories to one another in the night.Arnold Toynbee, whose monumental work A Study of History has been a major inspiration to this blog’s project, proposed that civilizations on the way to history’s compost heap always fail in the same general way. The most important factor that makes a rising civilization work, he suggested, is mimesis—the universal human habit by which people imitate the behavior and attitudes of those they admire. As long as the political class of a civilization can inspire admiration and affection from those below it, the civilization thrives, because the shared sense of values and purpose generated by mimesis keeps the pressures of competing class interests from tearing it apart.Civilizations fail, in turn, because their political classes lose the ability to inspire mimesis, and this happens in turn because members of the elite become so fixated on maintaining their own power and privilege that they stop doing an adequate job of addressing the problems facing their society.  As those problems spin further and further out of control, the political class loses the ability to inspire and settles instead for the ability to dominate. Outside the political class and its hangers-on, in turn, more and more of the population becomes what Toynbee calls an internal proletariat, an increasingly sullen underclass that still provides the political class with its cannon fodder and labor force but no longer sees anything to admire or emulate in those who order it around.
From; http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/the-broken-thread-of-culture.html

Posted on Thursday, July 24th 2014

For The First Time Ever, Two Consecutive Hottest Months On Record. May & June 2014. 
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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says that record ocean temperatures led to the hottest June since records started in 1880.
NOAA said July 21 that June was the hottest on record worldwide at 61.2 degrees F, or 1.3 degrees F higher than the 20th century average. June followed the hottest May on record, with an average worldwide temperature of 58.6 degrees F, or 1.33 degrees F above the 20th century average.
From; http://cir.ca/news/noaa-state-of-the-climate-report

For The First Time Ever, Two Consecutive Hottest Months On Record. May & June 2014.
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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says that record ocean temperatures led to the hottest June since records started in 1880.
NOAA said July 21 that June was the hottest on record worldwide at 61.2 degrees F, or 1.3 degrees F higher than the 20th century average. June followed the hottest May on record, with an average worldwide temperature of 58.6 degrees F, or 1.33 degrees F above the 20th century average.
From; http://cir.ca/news/noaa-state-of-the-climate-report

Posted on Wednesday, July 23rd 2014

“What the government is good at is collecting taxes, taking away your freedoms and killing people. It’s not good at much else.” 

Above headline by Author Tom Clancy
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Call it what you will—taxes, penalties, fees, fines, regulations, tariffs, tickets, permits, surcharges, tolls, asset forfeitures, foreclosures, etc.—but the only word that truly describes the constant bilking of the American taxpayer by the government and its corporate partners is theft.We’re operating in a topsy-turvy Sherwood Forest where instead of Robin Hood and his merry band of thieves stealing from the rich to feed the poor, you’ve got the government and its merry band of corporate thieves stealing from the poor to fatten the wallets of the rich. In this way, the poor get poorer and the rich get richer. All the while, the American Dream of peace, prosperity, and liberty has turned into a nightmare of endless wars, debilitating debt, and outright tyranny.
From; http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-22/stealing-america-cops-courts-corporations-and-congress

Posted on Wednesday, July 23rd 2014

Overpopulation And Drought In India. Causing Food Price Increases & Shortages.

Worsening Droughts Add To India’s Desertification Problem

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While India has seen impressive economic growth in recent years, the country still struggles with widespread poverty and hunger. India’s poor population amounts to more than 300 million people, with almost 30 percent of India’s rural population living in poverty. The good news is, poverty has been on the decline in recent years. According to official government of India estimates, poverty declined from 37.2% in 2004-05 to 29.8% in 2009-10. Rural poverty declined by 8 percentage points from 41.8% to 33.8% and urban poverty by 4.8 percentage points from 25.7% to 20.9% over the same period (World Bank 2012).India is home to 25 percent of the world’s hungry population. An estimated 43 per cent of children under the age of five years are malnourished (WFP 2012). India remains an important global agricultural player, despite the fact that agriculture’s share in the country’s economy is declining. It has the world’s largest area under cultivation for wheat, rice, and cotton, and is the world’s largest producer of milk, pulses, and spices (World Bank 2012). Nearly three-quarters of India’s households are dependent on rural incomes. Agricultural productivity in the country’s semi-arid tropical region is impeded by water shortages and recurrent drought, while environmental degradation and vulnerability to weather-related disasters pose challenges to the country as a whole.
Worsening droughts in India are having an impact on the desertification trend, as vegetation dries up and is often never replaced. On Wednesday, India’s environment minister, Prakash Javadekar, said that up to 25% of the country was now desert.Farmers and environmental policy makers have been watching out for India’s ever expanding deserts for years, but Javadekar’s estimate is far ahead of what scientists have forecast. In 2007, India’s Council of Scientific & industrial Research, one of the oldest industrial research and development centers in the country,said that by 2050, a little under 10% of the country would be unusable desert land mass. Judging by their methodology, India wouldn’t hit 25% desert for another 100 to 140 years.“Land is becoming barren, degradation is happening,” Javadekar was quoted saying in The Economic Timestoday. “A lot of areas are on the verge of becoming deserts but it can be stopped.”
Drought-like conditions have developed throughout India as a result. The monsoon season’s rainfall deficit has widened to 49% less than this time last year since the rainy season began on June 1 and temperatures remain close to 113 degrees Fahrenheit in many regions, delaying crop planting and worrying policy makers who would like to see a fat harvest to help curb the years long rise in food prices.Lackluster rainfall in the early part of the monsoon season occurred in 2009, when the worst drought in four decades triggered a prolonged burst of inflation something the new government does not want to mess with. This deficit is worse than 2009. That year, rainfall was 47% less than the previous year in June before it returned to normal in July.Besides unreliable weather patterns, poverty and environmental degradation are also problems in dry areas of India, where forests and trees contribute significantly to rural livelihoods. In order to eradicate poverty in the dry lands, it is important to protect the land from deforestation, fragmentation, degradation and drought.
From; http://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2014/06/18/worsening-droughts-add-to-indias-desertification-problem/
And; http://www.foodsecurityportal.org/india/resources

Posted on Wednesday, July 23rd 2014

Plastic Pollution of the Oceans. 
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Millions of tons. That’s how much plastic should be floating in the world’s oceans, given our ubiquitous use of the stuff. But a new study finds that 99% of this plastic is missing. One disturbing possibility: Fish are eating it.If that’s the case, “there is potential for this plastic to enter the global ocean food web,” says Carlos Duarte, an oceanographer at the University of Western Australia, Crawley. “And we are part of this food web.”Humans produce almost 300 million tons of plastic each year. Most of this ends up in landfills or waste pits, but a 1970s National Academy of Sciences study estimated that 0.1% of all plastic washes into the oceans from land, carried by rivers, floods, or storms, or dumped by maritime vessels. Some of this material becomes trapped in Arctic ice and some, landing on beaches, can even turn into rocks made of plastic. But the vast majority should still be floating out there in the sea, trapped in midocean gyres—large eddies in the center of oceans, like the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.To figure out how much refuse is floating in those garbage patches, four ships of the Malaspina expedition, a global research project studying the oceans, fished for plastic across all five major ocean gyres in 2010 and 2011. After months of trailing fine mesh nets around the world, the vessels came up light—by a lot. Instead of the millions of tons scientists had expected, the researchers calculated the global load of ocean plastic to be about only 40,000 tons at the most, the researchers report online today in theProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “We can’t account for 99% of the plastic that we have in the ocean,” says Duarte, the team’s leader.He suspects that a lot of the missing plastic has been eaten by marine animals. When plastic is floating out on the open ocean, waves and radiation from the sun can fragment it into smaller and smaller particles, until it gets so small it begins to look like fish food—especially to small lanternfish, a widespread small marine fish known to ingest plastic.“Yes, animals are eating it,” says oceanographer Peter Davison of the Farallon Institute for Advanced Ecosystem Research in Petaluma, California, who was not involved in the study. “That much is indisputable.” But, he says, it’s hard to know at this time what the biological consequences are. Toxic ocean pollutants like DDT, PCBs, or mercury cling to the surface of plastics, causing them to “suck up all the pollutants in the water and concentrate them.” When animals eat the plastic, that poison could be going into the fish and traveling up the food chain to market species like tuna or swordfish. 
From; http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2014/07/ninety-nine-percent-of-plastic.html

Plastic Pollution of the Oceans.
________________________________________
Millions of tons. That’s how much plastic should be floating in the world’s oceans, given our ubiquitous use of the stuff. But a new study finds that 99% of this plastic is missing. One disturbing possibility: Fish are eating it.If that’s the case, “there is potential for this plastic to enter the global ocean food web,” says Carlos Duarte, an oceanographer at the University of Western Australia, Crawley. “And we are part of this food web.”Humans produce almost 300 million tons of plastic each year. Most of this ends up in landfills or waste pits, but a 1970s National Academy of Sciences study estimated that 0.1% of all plastic washes into the oceans from land, carried by rivers, floods, or storms, or dumped by maritime vessels. Some of this material becomes trapped in Arctic ice and some, landing on beaches, can even turn into rocks made of plastic. But the vast majority should still be floating out there in the sea, trapped in midocean gyres—large eddies in the center of oceans, like the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.To figure out how much refuse is floating in those garbage patches, four ships of the Malaspina expedition, a global research project studying the oceans, fished for plastic across all five major ocean gyres in 2010 and 2011. After months of trailing fine mesh nets around the world, the vessels came up light—by a lot. Instead of the millions of tons scientists had expected, the researchers calculated the global load of ocean plastic to be about only 40,000 tons at the most, the researchers report online today in theProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “We can’t account for 99% of the plastic that we have in the ocean,” says Duarte, the team’s leader.He suspects that a lot of the missing plastic has been eaten by marine animals. When plastic is floating out on the open ocean, waves and radiation from the sun can fragment it into smaller and smaller particles, until it gets so small it begins to look like fish food—especially to small lanternfish, a widespread small marine fish known to ingest plastic.“Yes, animals are eating it,” says oceanographer Peter Davison of the Farallon Institute for Advanced Ecosystem Research in Petaluma, California, who was not involved in the study. “That much is indisputable.” But, he says, it’s hard to know at this time what the biological consequences are. Toxic ocean pollutants like DDT, PCBs, or mercury cling to the surface of plastics, causing them to “suck up all the pollutants in the water and concentrate them.” When animals eat the plastic, that poison could be going into the fish and traveling up the food chain to market species like tuna or swordfish.
From; http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2014/07/ninety-nine-percent-of-plastic.html

Posted on Tuesday, July 22nd 2014

Descent Into Despair. Dade County, Drugs, Violence, Gangs & Shattered Dreams. 
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There are times when the deindustrial future seems to whisper in the night like a wind blowing through the trees, sending the easy certainties of the present spinning like dead leaves. I had one of those moments recently, courtesy of a news story from 1997 that a reader forwarded me, about the spread of secret stories among homeless children in Florida’s Dade County.  These aren’t your ordinary children’s stories: they’re myths in the making, a bricolage of images from popular religion and folklore torn from their original contexts and pressed into the service of a harsh new vision of reality.God, according to Dade County’s homeless children, is missing in action; demons stormed Heaven a while back and God hasn’t been seen since. The mother of Christ murdered her son and morphed into the terrifying Bloody Mary, a nightmare being who weeps blood from eyeless sockets and seeks out children to kill them.  Opposing her is a mysterious spirit from the ocean who takes the form of a blue-skinned woman, and who can protect children who know her secret name. The angels, though driven out of Heaven, haven’t given up; they carry on their fight against the demons from a hidden camp in the jungle somewhere outside Miami, guarded by friendly alligators who devour hostile intruders. The spirits of children who die in Dade County’s pervasive gang warfare can go to the camp and join the war against the demons, so long as someone who knows the stories puts a leaf on their graves.This isn’t the sort of worldview you’d expect from people living in a prosperous, scientifically literate industrial society, but then the children in Dade County’s homeless shelters don’t fit that description in any meaningful sense. They live in conditions indistinguishable from the worst end of the Third World; their lives are defined by poverty, hunger, substance abuse, shattered families, constant uncertainty, and lethal violence dispensed at random. If, as Bruce Sterling suggested, the future is already here, just not evenly distributed yet, they’re the involuntary early adopters of a future very few people want to think about just now, but many of us will experience in the decades ahead, and most of humanity will face in the centuries that follow: a future we may as well call by the time-honored label “dark age.”
From; http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/the-broken-thread-of-culture.html

Descent Into Despair. Dade County, Drugs, Violence, Gangs & Shattered Dreams.
________________________________________
There are times when the deindustrial future seems to whisper in the night like a wind blowing through the trees, sending the easy certainties of the present spinning like dead leaves. I had one of those moments recently, courtesy of a news story from 1997 that a reader forwarded me, about the spread of secret stories among homeless children in Florida’s Dade County.  These aren’t your ordinary children’s stories: they’re myths in the making, a bricolage of images from popular religion and folklore torn from their original contexts and pressed into the service of a harsh new vision of reality.God, according to Dade County’s homeless children, is missing in action; demons stormed Heaven a while back and God hasn’t been seen since. The mother of Christ murdered her son and morphed into the terrifying Bloody Mary, a nightmare being who weeps blood from eyeless sockets and seeks out children to kill them.  Opposing her is a mysterious spirit from the ocean who takes the form of a blue-skinned woman, and who can protect children who know her secret name. The angels, though driven out of Heaven, haven’t given up; they carry on their fight against the demons from a hidden camp in the jungle somewhere outside Miami, guarded by friendly alligators who devour hostile intruders. The spirits of children who die in Dade County’s pervasive gang warfare can go to the camp and join the war against the demons, so long as someone who knows the stories puts a leaf on their graves.This isn’t the sort of worldview you’d expect from people living in a prosperous, scientifically literate industrial society, but then the children in Dade County’s homeless shelters don’t fit that description in any meaningful sense. They live in conditions indistinguishable from the worst end of the Third World; their lives are defined by poverty, hunger, substance abuse, shattered families, constant uncertainty, and lethal violence dispensed at random. If, as Bruce Sterling suggested, the future is already here, just not evenly distributed yet, they’re the involuntary early adopters of a future very few people want to think about just now, but many of us will experience in the decades ahead, and most of humanity will face in the centuries that follow: a future we may as well call by the time-honored label “dark age.”
From; http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/the-broken-thread-of-culture.html

Posted on Monday, July 21st 2014

Geo Politics & The Decline Of America.

The Emerging German-Russian Axis

Vladimir Putin commented at a German-Russian official function: “We value the accumulated potential of Russian-German relations and the high level of trade and economic cooperation. Germany, one of the European Union leaders, is our most important partner in enhancing peace, global and regional security.” We would contend that we are seeing a decisive shift in the political character of Eurasia as ’continental empires’ are starting to challenge the monopoly of ‘legal’ international violence that the US has exercised for the last 25 years. Such struggles have the potential to become major regional problems, but what is intriguing is the emerging continental alliance between Russia and Germany - a combination of German industrial might and Russian raw materials and military strength would instantly create a colossus.
From; http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-02/emerging-german-russian-axis

Posted on Sunday, July 20th 2014

Tens Of Thousands Of People Now Die Every Year From Infections Resistant To All Known Antibiotics. This Is Darwinian Evolution At Its Finest.

Superbugs risk taking us back to the dark ages’: Cameron vows Britain will lead fightback against antibiotic-resistant strains

David Cameron says action is needed to tackle rise of untreatable bacteriaTens of thousands already dying of infections that are resistant to treatmentWorld Health Organisation warns scratches could be fatal if nothing is doneScenario where antibiotics do not work is unthinkable (wotfigo; Unthinkable? Really? Perhaps Cameron should read Charles Darwin’s book).
‘This great British discovery has kept our families safe for decades, while saving billions of lives around the world.’But that protection is at risk as never before.’Resistance to antibiotics is now a very real and worrying threat, as bacteria mutates to become immune to its effect.’He warned 25,000 people in Europe already die every year from infections resistant to anti-biotic drugs.’Tthis is not some distant threat but something happening right now’, he added. ’If we fail to act, we are looking at an almost unthinkable scenario where antibiotics no longer work and we are cast back into the dark ages of medicine where treatable infections and injuries will kill once again.’That simply cannot be allowed to happened and I want to see a stronger, more coherent global response, with nations, business and the world of science working together to up our game in the field of antibiotics.’Following discussions at the G7 last month, I have asked the economist Jim O’Neil to work with a panel of experts and report back to me and other world leaders on how we can accelerate the discovery and development of a new generation of antibiotics.’Mr Cameron has become the first world leader to speak out about the threat of antibacterial resistence.
From: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2677491/Cameron-declares-war-against-superbugs-PM-pledges-Britain-lead-fightback-against-antibiotic-resistant-strains.html#ixzz36NwGiHA0 Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Posted on Saturday, July 19th 2014