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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.
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Resource Depletion: More than Half of China’s 50,000 Rivers have Dried Up since 1990.

China Has Lost 55% Of Its Most Valuable Resource
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A study by China’s Ministry of Water Resources found that approximately 55% of China’s 50,000 rivers that existed in the 1990s have disappeared.Moreover, China is over-exploiting its groundwater by 22 billion cubic meters per year; yet its per-capita water consumption is less than one third of the global average.This is astounding data.More than 400 major cities in China are short of water, with some 110 facing “serious scarcity”.Beijing and other northern cities get most of their water from underground aquifers. Over the last five decades, China has had to drill increasingly deeper to gain access to water.Another challenge China faces is logistics. More than 60% of China’s water is in the southern part of the country, but most of the usage is in the north and along the coastlines.When you consider that this is a country that has almost one fifth of the world’s population and is soon to become the world’s biggest economy, this is rapidly becoming a global problem.The Chinese are of course well aware of this and are trying to mitigate the consequences by diversifying internationally, or as I call, planting multiple flags.In China’s case, it’s a ‘water flag’.Since the most efficient way to save water is not to use it, a sensible strategy is to import water-intensive goods and commodities. Corn and wheat are great examples.China has been acquiring land across Africa and South America; last week when I was in Ethiopia, the place was crawling with Chinese delegates in the ag business.The goal is to increase China’s food supply, reduce its dependence on the US for grain imports, and reduce its domestic water demand.China has the economic capacity to do this. Most nations don’t.
From; http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-08-26/china-has-lost-55-its-most-valuable-resource

Posted on Tuesday, September 23rd 2014

Drought, Climate Change & Resource Depletion: South Americas Largest City About to Run Out of Water. Photo: Cantareira Reservoir, Sao Paulo   
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100 days until São Paulo runs out of water – Worst drought in state’s history triggers water rationing for 3.6 million people in 29 cities
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The ongoing drought crisis in São Paulo has reached a critical level that continues towards rock bottom. Brazil’s largest city, home to more than 9 million people, could run dry in the next 100 days according to Brazil’s Public Ministry.The Cantareira reservoir which supplies 45% of the city’s metropolitan population has reached a record low of 10.7% capacity. Despite ongoing recommendations to implement water rationing to the city, the São Paulo state have failed to do so.
The drought, affecting Brazil’s southeast and central regions, has prompted rationing in 19 cities, undermined hydropower generation, pushed up greenhouse gas emissions and led to squabbles between states vying for dwindling water resources.Supplies are usually abundant. Brazil has 12% of the world’s freshwater and less than 3% of the world population. Apart from the arid northeastern Cerrado, its cities are normally more likely to be plagued with floods than droughts. With big rivers like the Amazon and Paraná, the country generally meets 80% of energy needs with hydropower.But this year, the rain fronts that are normally carried south from the humid Amazon have largely failed to materialise and temperatures have been higher than usual, prompting the authorities to scrabble to tap new sources and reduce demand. “It has been a terrible year. The last rainy season was drier than the dry season,” Mauro Arce, São Paulo’s water resources secretary, told the Guardian. “This is a crisis and we are responding with technical measures and the support of consumers.”
From; http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2014/09/100-days-until-sao-paulo-runs-out-of.html

Drought, Climate Change & Resource Depletion: South Americas Largest City About to Run Out of Water. Photo: Cantareira Reservoir, Sao Paulo
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100 days until São Paulo runs out of water – Worst drought in state’s history triggers water rationing for 3.6 million people in 29 cities
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The ongoing drought crisis in São Paulo has reached a critical level that continues towards rock bottom. Brazil’s largest city, home to more than 9 million people, could run dry in the next 100 days according to Brazil’s Public Ministry.The Cantareira reservoir which supplies 45% of the city’s metropolitan population has reached a record low of 10.7% capacity. Despite ongoing recommendations to implement water rationing to the city, the São Paulo state have failed to do so.
The drought, affecting Brazil’s southeast and central regions, has prompted rationing in 19 cities, undermined hydropower generation, pushed up greenhouse gas emissions and led to squabbles between states vying for dwindling water resources.Supplies are usually abundant. Brazil has 12% of the world’s freshwater and less than 3% of the world population. Apart from the arid northeastern Cerrado, its cities are normally more likely to be plagued with floods than droughts. With big rivers like the Amazon and Paraná, the country generally meets 80% of energy needs with hydropower.But this year, the rain fronts that are normally carried south from the humid Amazon have largely failed to materialise and temperatures have been higher than usual, prompting the authorities to scrabble to tap new sources and reduce demand. “It has been a terrible year. The last rainy season was drier than the dry season,” Mauro Arce, São Paulo’s water resources secretary, told the Guardian. “This is a crisis and we are responding with technical measures and the support of consumers.”
From; http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2014/09/100-days-until-sao-paulo-runs-out-of.html

Posted on Monday, September 22nd 2014

Glaciologist: If we release a small fraction of Arctic carbon (methane), ‘We’re fucked’

More Methane releases discovered in the Arctic. This time from the Ocean Floor.
Numerous methane seeps found on Atlantic sea floor – ‘They found that there was much more methane coming out than was suspected beforehand’ ____________________________________________
1 August 2014(Vice) – This week, scientists made a disturbing discovery in the Arctic Ocean: They saw “vast methane plumes escaping from the seafloor,” as the Stockholm University put it in a release disclosing the observations. The plume of methane—a potent greenhouse gas that traps heat more powerfully than carbon dioxide, the chief driver of climate change—wasunsettling to the scientists.But it was even more unnerving to Dr. Jason Box, a widely published climatologist who had been following the expedition. As I was digging into the new development, I stumbled upon his tweet, which, coming from a scientist, was downright chilling.Box, who is currently a professor of glaciology at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, has been studying the Arctic for decades. His accolade-packed Wikipedia page notes that he’s made some 20 expeditions to the Arctic since 1994, and served as the lead author on the Greenland section of NOAA’s State of the Climate report from 2008-2012. He also runs the Dark Snow projectand writes about the latest findings in the field at his blog, Meltfactor.In other words, Box knows the Arctic, and he knows climate change—and the methane plumes had him blitzed enough to bring out the F bombs.
From; http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2014/08/glaciologist-if-we-release-small.html

Posted on Monday, September 22nd 2014

It’s Time To Get Off Fossil Fuels.

Given the ranging concerns on fracking — from health and safety to environmental impact — this lack of openness is far from reassuring, particularly given regular reports of safety issues from the US where the industry is now in full swing. The government’s position on shale stands increasingly at odds with public opinion – according to the Coalition’s own polling data, support for fracking has fallen 5% since March. An industry-sponsored poll claiming the opposite was roundly criticised on methodological grounds. Industry enthusiasm for shale gas in the UK highlights the desperate state of traditional fossil energy as more accessible resources, including North Sea oil, dwindle. While it is true that fracking has temporarily revitalised US oil production after years of decline, recently released data from the US Energy Information Agency (EIA) shows that this rejuvenation has beenfuelled by debt. Data for 127 major oil and natural gas companies shows the gap between cash earnings from operations and expenditure increased from $18bn in 2010 to $110bn in the past three years. The cost of producing oil is soaring while a fragile global economy keeps prices pegged around $100/barrel. The oil and gas industry is unsustainable environmentally, and increasingly unsustainable economically. It’s time to get off fossil fuels.
From; http://www.resilience.org/stories/2014-08-22/energy-crunch-redacted

Posted on Sunday, September 21st 2014

The Collapse of America

Coasting Toward Zero
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In just about any realm of activity this nation does not know how to act. We don’t know what to do about our mounting crises of economy. We don’t know what to do about our relations with other nations in a strained global economy. We don’t know what to do about our own culture and its traditions, the useful and the outworn. We surely don’t know what to do about relations between men and women. And we’re baffled to the point of paralysis about our relations with the planetary ecosystem.To allay these vexations, we just coast along on the momentum generated by the engines in place — the turbo-industrial flow of products to customers without the means to buy things; the gigantic infrastructures of transport subject to remorseless decay; the dishonest operations of central banks undermining all the world’s pricing and cost structures; the political ideologies based on fallacies such as growth without limits; the cultural transgressions of thought-policing and institutional ass-covering.This is a society in deep danger that doesn’t want to know it. The nostrum of an expanding GDP is just statistical legerdemain performed to satisfy stupid news editors, gull loose money into reckless positions, and bamboozle the voters. If we knew how to act we would bend every effort to prepare for the end of mass motoring, but instead we indulge in fairy tales about the “shale oil miracle” because it offers the comforting false promise that we can drive to WalMart forever (in self-driving cars!). Has it occurred to anyone that we no longer have the capital to repair the vast network of roads, streets, highways, and bridges that all these cars are supposed to run on? Or that the capital will not be there for the installment loans Americans are accustomed to buy their cars with?The global economy is withering quickly because it was just a manifestation of late-stage cheap oil. Now we’re in early-stage of expensive oil and a lot of things that seemed to work wonderfully well before, don’t work so well now. The conveyer belt of cheap manufactured goods from China to the WalMarts and Target stores doesn’t work so well when the American customers lose their incomes, and have to spend their government stipends on gasoline because they were born into a world where driving everywhere for everything is mandatory, and because central bank meddling adds to the horrendous inflation of food prices.Now there’s great fanfare over a “manufacturing renaissance” in the United States, based on the idea that the work will be done by robots. What kind of foolish Popular Mechanics porn fantasy is this? If human beings have only a minor administrative role in this set-up, what do two hundred million American adults do for a livelihood? And who exactly are the intended customers of these products? You can be sure that the people of China, Brazil, and Korea will have enough factories of their own, making every product imaginable. Are they going to buy our stuff now? Are they going to completely roboticize their own factories and impoverish millions of their own factory workers?The lack of thought behind this dynamic is staggering, especially because it doesn’t account for the obvious political consequence — which is to say the potential for uprising, revolution, civic disorder, cruelty, mayhem, and death, along with the kind of experiments in psychopathic governance that the 20th century was a laboratory for. Desperate populations turn to maniacs. You can be sure that scarcity beats a fast path to mass homicide.What preoccupies the USA now, in June of 2014? According to the current cover story Time Magazine, the triumph of “transgender.” Isn’t it wonderful to celebrate sexual confusion as the latest and greatest achievement of this culture? No wonder the Russians think we’re out of our minds and want to dissociate from the West. I’ve got news for the editors of Time Magazine: the raptures of sexual confusion are not going to carry American civilization forward into the heart of this new century.     In fact, just the opposite. We don’t need confusion of any kind. We need clarity and an appreciation of boundaries in every conceivable sphere of action and thought. We don’t need more crybabies, or excuses, or wishful thinking, or the majestic ass-covering that colors the main stream of our national life.
From; http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/coasting-toward-zero/

Posted on Saturday, September 20th 2014

Overpopulation & Infectious Disease: Ebola Going Ballistic. 
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Exponential: Ebola Cases Now Double Every 3 Weeks; CDC Warns As Much As Half A Million May Be Infected Soon
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Since the start of the outbreak, the Ebola virus has infected 5,357 people, killing 2,630, according to the WHO; and as The UN explains, the outbreak is the largest the world has ever seen with the number of cases is doubling every three weeks. As Sierra Leone instigates a 3-day nationwide shutdown to contain the deadly virus, the UN Secretary-General explains “Ebola matters to us all,” as we noted previously theodds of the infection coming to America is around 18% by year-end. The CDC, however, hot on the heels of the UN’s proclamation that “the gravity and scale of the situation now require an unprecedented level of international action,” has warned that unless government intervention is increased significantly, 550,000 people could be infected by the end of January. “Contained?”As The Secretary General of The UN stated…The Ebola crisis has evolved into a complex emergency, with significant political, social, economic, humanitarian and security dimensions.  The suffering and spillover effects in the region and beyond demand the attention of the entire world.  Ebola matters to us all. The outbreak is the largest the world has ever seen.  The number of cases is doubling every three weeks.  There will soon be more cases in Liberia alone than in the four-decade history of the disease. 
From; http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-09-19/exponential-ebola-cases-now-double-every-3-weeks-cdc-warns-over-half-million-may-be-

Overpopulation & Infectious Disease: Ebola Going Ballistic.
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Exponential: Ebola Cases Now Double Every 3 Weeks; CDC Warns As Much As Half A Million May Be Infected Soon
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Since the start of the outbreak, the Ebola virus has infected 5,357 people, killing 2,630, according to the WHO; and as The UN explains, the outbreak is the largest the world has ever seen with the number of cases is doubling every three weeks. As Sierra Leone instigates a 3-day nationwide shutdown to contain the deadly virus, the UN Secretary-General explains “Ebola matters to us all,” as we noted previously theodds of the infection coming to America is around 18% by year-end. The CDC, however, hot on the heels of the UN’s proclamation that “the gravity and scale of the situation now require an unprecedented level of international action,” has warned that unless government intervention is increased significantly, 550,000 people could be infected by the end of January. “Contained?”As The Secretary General of The UN stated…The Ebola crisis has evolved into a complex emergency, with significant political, social, economic, humanitarian and security dimensions.  The suffering and spillover effects in the region and beyond demand the attention of the entire world.  Ebola matters to us all. The outbreak is the largest the world has ever seen.  The number of cases is doubling every three weeks.  There will soon be more cases in Liberia alone than in the four-decade history of the disease. 
From; http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-09-19/exponential-ebola-cases-now-double-every-3-weeks-cdc-warns-over-half-million-may-be-

Posted on Saturday, September 20th 2014

Australia is the Worlds Largest Exporter of Carbon Pollution in the Form of Coal. It Now Wants to Export Even More & is Willing to Destroy Large Areas of the Great Barrier Reef to Achieve this.

Great Barrier Reef’s ‘unprecedented’ threat from dredging, dumping
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The impact of dredging and dumping sediment on theGreat Barrier Reef has been far greater than the mining industry has claimed, with nearly 150m tonnes of new dredging set to take place in the reef’s waters, a study shows.The report collated by the Australian Marine Conservation Society states that the reef is under “unprecedented” threat from the proposed expansion of coastal ports and industrial development.
Planned expansion of ports, or the creation of new ones, at sites including Gladstone, the Fitzroy Delta, Abbot Point and Townsville, would involve dredging 149m tonnes of seabed to allow large ships to access ports.The society’s report warns that the dredging process is dangerous to marine life. Worse, should this sediment be dumped within the Great Barrier Reef world heritage area, corals and seagrasses would be damaged, impacting animals such as dugongs and sea turtles.The amount of damage caused to the reef by coastal development and dredging has proved highly contentious after the government’s decision to approve five million tonnes of sediment being dumped within the reef’s marine park, as part of the expansion of Abbot Point, near Bowen.The mining industry has pointed to research showing the degradation of the reef is down to cyclones, bleaching and coral-eating starfish, rather than dredging. The Queensland Resource Council has branded groups such as WWF as dishonest, launching a series of TV ads to argue its case.But in an assessment of the health of the Great Barrier Reef released last week, Unesco said it had “concern”over the dredging program, querying why work on ports had begun before a long-term strategic plan was in place.The society’s report states that previous dredging, such as at Hay Point in 2006, damaged corals, contrary to industry claims.
From; http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/07/great-barrier-reefs-unprecedented-threat-from-dredging-dumping

Posted on Friday, September 19th 2014

Worse than the 1930s: Europe’s Recession is Really a Depression
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The Black Line in the Graph Above is Europe’s Current Recession measured against previous recessions. 
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As I was arguing last week, it’s time to call the eurozone what it really is: one of the biggest catastrophes in economic history.There have been plenty of those lately. And it’s not just the Great Recession. It’s the way we’ve struggled to make up the ground we lost since. The United States, for one, has had its slowest postwar recovery. Britain has had its slowest one, period. But, six and a half years later, Europe has distinguished itself by not having much of a recovery at all. And, as you can see above, that’s about to make it worse than the worst of the 1930s.I’ve taken the chart above from Nicholas Crafts, and extended it a bit to put Europe’s depression in, well, even more depressing perspective. Eurozone GDP still hasn’t gotten back to its 2007 level, and doesn’t look like it will anytime soon. Indeed, it already wasn’t clear if its last recession was even over before we found out the eurozone had stopped growingagain in the second quarter. And not even Germany has been immune: its GDP just fell 0.2 percent from the previous quarter.It’s a policy-induced disaster. Too much fiscal austerity and too little monetary stimulus have crippled growth like almost never before. Europe is doing worse than Japan during its “lost decade,” worse than the sterling bloc during the Great Depression, and barely better than the gold bloc then—though even that silver lining isn’t much of one. That’s because, at this rate, it’ll only be another year until the eurozone is well behind the gold bloc, too.So how is Europe making the Great Depression look like the good old days of growth? Easy: by ignoring everything we learned from it.
From; http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/08/20/worse-than-the-1930s-europes-recession-is-really-a-depression/

Worse than the 1930s: Europe’s Recession is Really a Depression
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The Black Line in the Graph Above is Europe’s Current Recession measured against previous recessions. _______________________________________ As I was arguing last week, it’s time to call the eurozone what it really is: one of the biggest catastrophes in economic history.There have been plenty of those lately. And it’s not just the Great Recession. It’s the way we’ve struggled to make up the ground we lost since. The United States, for one, has had its slowest postwar recovery. Britain has had its slowest one, period. But, six and a half years later, Europe has distinguished itself by not having much of a recovery at all. And, as you can see above, that’s about to make it worse than the worst of the 1930s.I’ve taken the chart above from Nicholas Crafts, and extended it a bit to put Europe’s depression in, well, even more depressing perspective. Eurozone GDP still hasn’t gotten back to its 2007 level, and doesn’t look like it will anytime soon. Indeed, it already wasn’t clear if its last recession was even over before we found out the eurozone had stopped growingagain in the second quarter. And not even Germany has been immune: its GDP just fell 0.2 percent from the previous quarter.It’s a policy-induced disaster. Too much fiscal austerity and too little monetary stimulus have crippled growth like almost never before. Europe is doing worse than Japan during its “lost decade,” worse than the sterling bloc during the Great Depression, and barely better than the gold bloc then—though even that silver lining isn’t much of one. That’s because, at this rate, it’ll only be another year until the eurozone is well behind the gold bloc, too.So how is Europe making the Great Depression look like the good old days of growth? Easy: by ignoring everything we learned from it.
From; http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/08/20/worse-than-the-1930s-europes-recession-is-really-a-depression/

Posted on Thursday, September 18th 2014

NASA: Hottest August Globally Since Records Began In 1880
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Last month was the warmest August globally since records began being kept in 1880, NASA reportedMonday. The globe just keeps warming.
Over West Antarctica, however, it was so hot NASA had to put in the color brown to cover the 4°C to 8°C (7°F to over 14°F!) anomalous warmth.
NASA data shows 2014 year to date (January through August) is the fourth hottest on record. All the hotter years were either El Niño years or had an El Niño preceding them — there is a few-month delay between the peak El Niño temperature and peak global temperature.Because of global warming, all global temperature records will be broken (again and again and again and …). If there is an El Niño, this should happen even sooner.
From; http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/09/15/3567464/nasa-hottest-august/

NASA: Hottest August Globally Since Records Began In 1880
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Last month was the warmest August globally since records began being kept in 1880, NASA reportedMonday. The globe just keeps warming.
Over West Antarctica, however, it was so hot NASA had to put in the color brown to cover the 4°C to 8°C (7°F to over 14°F!) anomalous warmth.
NASA data shows 2014 year to date (January through August) is the fourth hottest on record. All the hotter years were either El Niño years or had an El Niño preceding them — there is a few-month delay between the peak El Niño temperature and peak global temperature.Because of global warming, all global temperature records will be broken (again and again and again and …). If there is an El Niño, this should happen even sooner.
From; http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/09/15/3567464/nasa-hottest-august/

Posted on Wednesday, September 17th 2014

Smoke from Russian Wildfires drifting over Greenland Ice. 
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fire, ice, soot, carbon: Dark Snow Project 2014. Wildfires release significant amounts of Carbon & Methane into the atmosphere. Causing Global Warming & More Wildfires. 
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Wildfire is a source of carbon dioxide, methane and black carbon to the atmosphere. Jacobson (2014) find that sourcing to be underestimated in earlier work. Graven et al. (2013) find northern forests absorbing and releasing more carbon by respiration due to Arctic warming’s effects on forest composition change. At the global scale, the land environment produces a net sink of carbon, taking up some 10% of the atmospheric carbon emissions due to fossil fuel combustion (IPCC, 2007). Yet, whether northern wildfire is becoming an important source of atmospheric carbon (whether from CO2 or CH4 methane) remains under investigation. University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers find:“fires shift the carbon balance in multiple ways. Burning organic matter quickly releases large amounts of carbon dioxide. After a fire, loss of the forest canopy can allow more sun to reach and warm the ground, which may speed decomposition and carbon dioxide emission from the soil. If the soil warms enough to melt underlying permafrost, even more stored carbon may be unleashed.“Historically, scientists believe the boreal forest has acted as a carbon sink, absorbing more atmospheric carbon dioxide than it releases, Gower says. Their model now suggests that, over recent decades, the forest has become a smaller sink and may actually be shifting toward becoming a carbon source.“The soil is the major source, the plants are the major sink, and how those two interplay over the life of a stand really determines whether the boreal forest is a sink or a source of carbon
From; http://www.meltfactor.org/blog/

Smoke from Russian Wildfires drifting over Greenland Ice.
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fire, ice, soot, carbon: Dark Snow Project 2014. Wildfires release significant amounts of Carbon & Methane into the atmosphere. Causing Global Warming & More Wildfires.
______________________________________

Wildfire is a source of carbon dioxide, methane and black carbon to the atmosphere. Jacobson (2014) find that sourcing to be underestimated in earlier work. Graven et al. (2013) find northern forests absorbing and releasing more carbon by respiration due to Arctic warming’s effects on forest composition change. At the global scale, the land environment produces a net sink of carbon, taking up some 10% of the atmospheric carbon emissions due to fossil fuel combustion (IPCC, 2007). Yet, whether northern wildfire is becoming an important source of atmospheric carbon (whether from CO2 or CH4 methane) remains under investigation. University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers find:“fires shift the carbon balance in multiple ways. Burning organic matter quickly releases large amounts of carbon dioxide. After a fire, loss of the forest canopy can allow more sun to reach and warm the ground, which may speed decomposition and carbon dioxide emission from the soil. If the soil warms enough to melt underlying permafrost, even more stored carbon may be unleashed.“Historically, scientists believe the boreal forest has acted as a carbon sink, absorbing more atmospheric carbon dioxide than it releases, Gower says. Their model now suggests that, over recent decades, the forest has become a smaller sink and may actually be shifting toward becoming a carbon source.“The soil is the major source, the plants are the major sink, and how those two interplay over the life of a stand really determines whether the boreal forest is a sink or a source of carbon
From; http://www.meltfactor.org/blog/

Posted on Wednesday, September 17th 2014