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Advice On The End Of The World...

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In light of the recent Sunday Times magazine front-page article, not to mention bird flu, global warming, the increasing acceptance of peak oil by the mainstream, etcetera, I wondered what you good folks would make of this article:

http://www.biroco.com/endofworld.htm

(NB. I posted this once before in another thread but it got a bit lost.)

What do you lot think? Alarmist? Extreme common sense? Obviously an "uber bearish" POV but seems likelier with every news bulletin... :(

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In light of the recent Sunday Times magazine front-page article, not to mention bird flu, global warming, the increasing acceptance of peak oil by the mainstream, etcetera, I wondered what you good folks would make of this article:

http://www.biroco.com/endofworld.htm

(NB. I posted this once before in another thread but it got a bit lost.)

What do you lot think? Alarmist? Extreme common sense? Obviously an "uber bearish" POV but seems likelier with every news bulletin... :(

I think that I saw it there. I think that there will be big changes for the reasons which you and the article mention. However, it is very difficult to judge the speed at which they will happen (slowish decline, fast crash, ups and downs etc.), or their timing (a few months ago, I would have said that the most popular date for peak oil was 2007-8. In the last month that seems to have moved out to after 2010. And if we have a big recession, then it will move even further out).

Peter.

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In light of the recent Sunday Times magazine front-page article, not to mention bird flu, global warming, the increasing acceptance of peak oil by the mainstream, etcetera, I wondered what you good folks would make of this article:

http://www.biroco.com/endofworld.htm

(NB. I posted this once before in another thread but it got a bit lost.)

What do you lot think? Alarmist? Extreme common sense? Obviously an "uber bearish" POV but seems likelier with every news bulletin... :(

Far to long for me to read – but I think it is just alarmist / extreme- we are more likely to die of something we haven’t thought of yet. Or there will be so few of us that survive it that we will be to concerned with getting our next meal than questioning what happened

- Me I’m heading for high ground with an acre so that I can grow my own

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Well written and thought-provoking. (You might know, I'm a twisted uber-bear.)

I've mentioned getting a retreat and building a permaculture food garden. But the wisest part of me just thinks: get foot-loose. Learn to live off whatever's available. Be with whoever's there. Do what needs doing. Get healthier. Be ready to follow my instincts. Let events lead me about.

Still, I'm pursuing this place in the wilds. At least it's moving me away from the vast cities, and the rapid "New Orleans" type horror that a big crash in all the usual food, power and water supplies there might bring.

hmm. that sounds rather like business as usual to me.

i think it will serve you well enough as i am not convinced of this big bang theory. oil will not just run out. it will be a change in the shape of a large wedge as opposed to a vertical wall.

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At least it's moving me away from the vast cities

So that’s two of us who believe that moving out of city is the best thing in this situation – The only thing against it was in the past being close to a city was where the money/ the rich is at! Or you could be a poor farmer. But this time it’s different?

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I don’t think that London had oil problems 100 years ago – but people still centered on London. Maybe they were there just to see the queen

I thought that I was agreeing with you, this time it is different?

I thought that you were saying that in a growth phase (London 100 years ago), people moved to the cities where the wealth was being generated. This time it's different (not a growth phase), so people will look to move away from the cities,

Peter.

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I thought that I was agreeing with you, this time it is different?

Peter.

Sorry – “this time it’s different?” was meant to be a question – as I am not sure which is better. I think it may be better to stay close rather than be a poor farmer although I believe now would be a good time to pick up a steam tractor before the rush

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Sorry – “this time it’s different?” was meant to be a question – as I am not sure which is better. I think it may be better to stay close rather than be a poor farmer although I believe now would be a good time to pick up a steam tractor before the rush

As I said earlier up the thread, the timing of all this is quite difficult. You have to be quite rich to be a poor farmer anyway, at the moment (land is quite expensive), but subsistence farming is not good when you have to pay utility bills, council tax, children's shoes and all the other paraphenalia of modern life (as my other half keeps reminding me). But, at some point, I think that it will become a good idea...then I'm going round to Durch's place and he can show me how his grandad used to look after bees :D

Peter.

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The World could be hit by a huge meteor next week killing every living thing within a few weeks.

I suspect Bruce Willis won't be on hand to "bring out the Judge" when it happens.

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The World could be hit by a huge meteor next week killing every living thing within a few weeks.

I suspect Bruce Willis won't be on hand to "bring out the Judge" when it happens.

dtmarque, did anyone ever tell you that you were a right knobhead?

if this particular discussion doesn't float your boat then go elsewhere.

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dtmarque, did anyone ever tell you that you were a right knobhead?

if this particular discussion doesn't float your boat then go elsewhere.

Yes, and worse. I'm in an odd mood today...

However with a thread title like "Advice on the End of the World" I imagined someone might have some sense of humour with it whether or not you like mediocre sci-fi films.

However the point is IMO valid, humans are enterprising creatures who, sadly, will perhaps eventually bring about their own destruction.

However most things we can do "something" about. A meteor crashing into the planet is something we can (presently) do almost nothing about and frankly scares me far more since it has happened before and may very well happen again in our lifetimes. Or not.

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Yes, and worse. I'm in an odd mood today...

However with a thread title like "Advice on the End of the World" I imagined someone might have some sense of humour with it whether or not you like mediocre sci-fi films.

However the point is IMO valid, humans are enterprising creatures who, sadly, will perhaps eventually bring about their own destruction.

However most things we can do "something" about. A meteor crashing into the planet is something we can (presently) do almost nothing about and frankly scares me far more since it has happened before and may very well happen again in our lifetimes. Or not.

in that case i am sorry and retract my statement. i thought you were just takin gthe piss.

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in that case i am sorry and retract my statement. i thought you were just takin gthe piss.

I can see why and I in turn apologise for jumping in as I did.

I was being, er, light-hearted because of the subject matter, while the article does make valid points, I'm not sure it's worth losing sleep over. That sounds like an odd thing to say about something so serious, so I'll have a go at expanding on that, with a major cynicism warning:

We could stop destroying the planet tomorrow and safeguard it for future generations, but we're not going to, because, ultimately, money always comes first.

We could stop destroying (and I thought I heard, maybe even repair) the damage to the ozone layer. But not until the problem becomes serious enough that people can see it with their "own eyes" as it were and the consequences are so bluntly obvious so any economic sacrifices are seen to be justified ("We will not do anything which harms our economy" - Bush re: Kyoto)

Until then, we'll do a bit and then pay a certain amount of lip service to it while our own politicians run round the World telling other Nations they need to do something while perhaps quietly dropping some of our own commitments in the face of opposition from Industry due to.... cost. Having said that, at least we signed up to Kyoto so some of the "spirit" is there if not all the action. Hopefully the action will follow. Maybe it isn't as bad as we think.

The recent devastation of New Orleans may well wake America up to the climate change issue and the oil dependency so I do think now is something of a new "phase" and it is very sad if it took the New Orleans episode to mean we can make some progress, but that's kind of how it works sometimes. I hasten to add that I would not have chosen that outcome nor that it is somehow "justified", "deserved", or a "good thing". Nor is it only the US who need to face up to this positively by any means.

When it is desperate enough I'm hoping that we will indeed have found solutions, if the solutions do not already exist and have for many years but are patented by VIs who won't release it until it suits them, hopefully in time for the new solutions to be harnessed and put to use (it wouldn't really benefit them to leave it too late).

It is only when money becomes an issue (cost of oil skyrockets and doesn't show signs of coming back down) that anyone in a position to take action is faintly motivated to deal with it positively. Perhaps I really am too cynical but environmental damage is just "unfortunate", it's only once *economic* damage occurs or people begin to die in really large numbers that really serious action is taken.

However we might be approaching that time now (economically) so the "positive" is that the mechanism which brings about that action is gearing up.

If you are of the mindset that the Iraq war was about oil, there's some really serious action and possibly a sign of things to come (World War 3 as we scrabble over what's left if it is indeed too late)

The article takes the view that it is already too late which is subjective; we can all hope not and that the human race is enterprising enough to solve this one; 50 years ago the idea of setting foot on the Moon was a challenge indeed but it happened.

The scenario the article discusses is of course possible as is the meteor, but I suspect the truth lies somewhere short of the "worst case scenario". I do hope so anyway :)

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So far as the Sunday Times article goes, it was written by Brian Appleyard, a complete tw8t. Don't take anything he writes seriously.

So far as this article in question goes, it says:

"The world economy will collapse, famine will visit the developed nations. People in cities and built-up areas won't be able to get enough to eat. The supermarkets will be boarded up, no food on their shelves. The tractors will be rusting in the fields. Those who go back to the horse-drawn plough will not be delivering their produce to the cities. And this will start to happen remarkably quickly."

If Peak Oil hit in a major way the starvation would be in the poorest nations. The poorest nations already have had their roads cleared of traffic by the oil crisis, and that is just as well as almost a million people are killed in road accidents every year in developing countries. Think it through: 80% of the world's economic activity is produced by only 20% of the population. What happens to the "unproductive" 80%? Well, in times of shortage the agenda is set by the principles of Demographic Economics. This is the study of the relationship of population to the productive capacity of the land; the "economic maximum feeding capacity". If the population exceeds the maximum feeding capacity then there has to be a reduction of the "surplus".

I expect you appreciate I don't support any of this, it is the dogma that underlay the Nazi atrocities in eastern Europe (in addition to the racism obviously). It happened once, it can happen again. Never underestimate the human capacity to look the other way if that's what it takes to fill an empty belly.

But that's an especially bleak scenario. More likely is a series of stalling crises, with some famine and a slow reduction in global population and a slow forcing back in time of the standard of living in advanced nations. In theory, societies ought to be able to adapt to Peak OIl, but I don't believe they will, instead there'll be political turmoil as rivals posture about making promises and society goes to pot. They're doing that now, so why should that change? The very rich will get back the exotic tropical resorts and luxury travel that were theirs until the 1960s - why should they want to stop a process that will return the distribution of wealth and power back to the British Mpah era? They won't.

But as I say, it will be a gradual decline and people will just get used to it without really understanding how it happened.

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Without being overly pessimistic a strike by a rogue asteroid is highly unlikely, but not by any means impossible. The only real current danger that has a certain when factor rather than if, is the super volcano in Yellowstone Park. There's been alot of geological changes in the area, and we're now overdue for an eruption (approx every 600k years)

It's certainly my favourite (strange context I know) for the next big potential threat to life on Earth.

On a happier note, advertised house prices in my area are definitely coming down. :D

Edited by Nem

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I can see why and I in turn apologise for jumping in as I did.

I was being, er, light-hearted because of the subject matter, while the article does make valid points, I'm not sure it's worth losing sleep over. That sounds like an odd thing to say about something so serious, so I'll have a go at expanding on that, with a major cynicism warning:

We could stop destroying the planet tomorrow and safeguard it for future generations, but we're not going to, because, ultimately, money always comes first.

We could stop destroying (and I thought I heard, maybe even repair) the damage to the ozone layer. But not until the problem becomes serious enough that people can see it with their "own eyes" as it were and the consequences are so bluntly obvious so any economic sacrifices are seen to be justified ("We will not do anything which harms our economy" - Bush re: Kyoto)

Until then, we'll do a bit and then pay a certain amount of lip service to it while our own politicians run round the World telling other Nations they need to do something while perhaps quietly dropping some of our own commitments in the face of opposition from Industry due to.... cost. Having said that, at least we signed up to Kyoto so some of the "spirit" is there if not all the action. Hopefully the action will follow. Maybe it isn't as bad as we think.

The recent devastation of New Orleans may well wake America up to the climate change issue and the oil dependency so I do think now is something of a new "phase" and it is very sad if it took the New Orleans episode to mean we can make some progress, but that's kind of how it works sometimes. I hasten to add that I would not have chosen that outcome nor that it is somehow "justified", "deserved", or a "good thing". Nor is it only the US who need to face up to this positively by any means.

When it is desperate enough I'm hoping that we will indeed have found solutions, if the solutions do not already exist and have for many years but are patented by VIs who won't release it until it suits them, hopefully in time for the new solutions to be harnessed and put to use (it wouldn't really benefit them to leave it too late).

It is only when money becomes an issue (cost of oil skyrockets and doesn't show signs of coming back down) that anyone in a position to take action is faintly motivated to deal with it positively. Perhaps I really am too cynical but environmental damage is just "unfortunate", it's only once *economic* damage occurs or people begin to die in really large numbers that really serious action is taken.

However we might be approaching that time now (economically) so the "positive" is that the mechanism which brings about that action is gearing up.

If you are of the mindset that the Iraq war was about oil, there's some really serious action and possibly a sign of things to come (World War 3 as we scrabble over what's left if it is indeed too late)

The article takes the view that it is already too late which is subjective; we can all hope not and that the human race is enterprising enough to solve this one; 50 years ago the idea of setting foot on the Moon was a challenge indeed but it happened.

The scenario the article discusses is of course possible as is the meteor, but I suspect the truth lies somewhere short of the "worst case scenario". I do hope so anyway :)

i agree with most of this.

the two problems that are making progress difficult in this new world order are:

1) political system is adverserail with too short a term in office. this makes it impossible for successive administrations to even suggest long term solutions with painful short term consequences.

2) free market economy. no one will invest in something that doesn't make money over a period of a few years. fair enough!

the problem is that by the time alternative renewable sources of energy are 'cost effective' it may well be too late to implement in a timely fashion.

i share your cynical view as do most of the investment community and governments i expect. i do not believe that any institution or government is inherently evil or stupid but that the rules of the game negatively dictate our collective ability to mitigate this crisis.

i say again though, i DO NOT believe in this big bang theory although i do believe the next fifty years are likely to be very different to most peoples expectations.

Edited by Losing Faith

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The smartest soundbite of global worst-case scenario possibilities was coined by Einstein who said something like this “I don’t know what weapons the Third World War will be fought with, but the Fourth World War will be fought with sticks and stones” at least I think it was him and I think that’s what he said. Could be wrong though. Could well have imagined it. Who knows.

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The smartest soundbite of global worst-case scenario possibilities was coined by Einstein who said something like this “I don’t know what weapons the Third World War will be fought with, but the Fourth World War will be fought with sticks and stones” at least I think it was him and I think that’s what he said. Could be wrong though. Could well have imagined it. Who knows.

The really important truth behind that quote?

The assumption that conflict is eternal.

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The really important truth behind that quote?

The assumption that conflict is eternal.

Indeed, it contains truths on many levels. He was quite a sharp bloke.

Do you reckon he'd have bought a house right now?

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  • 301 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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