23 votes

If you REALLY wanted to change the world for the better - what would YOU do?

http://ian56.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/if-you-really-wanted-to-...

The following are a few of my thoughts.
What would YOU do to really change the world for the better?

Military spending

The United States would spend about $800bn less per year on the military.
(It would still be spending about 5 times more than China.)
It would have lower taxes for most people (start by cutting taxes for those at the bottom - e.g. raise tax thresh holds).
Consumers would consume more - they would have more money to spend on consumer goods.
There would be more jobs in the US.
There would be less unemployment in the US.
There would be less spending on welfare.
There would be more jobs in the rest of the world.
Everybody would enjoy a higher standard of living.

US military spending - $1,219bn in 2012.
http://archive.truthout.org/the-real-us-national-security-bu...
Global military spending
http://www.iiss.org/publications/military-balance/the-milita...
Military spending in general and it's detrimental effects on people's standard of living.
http://ian56.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/national-and-civil-defen...

The UK would spend about $50bn less per year on the military.
EVERYBODY would be better off - see above.

France would spend about $50bn less per year on the military.
EVERYBODY would be better off - see above.

Saudi Arabia would spend about $35bn less per year on the military.
They could put that money to work to grow their domestic economy.
There would be more jobs in Saudi Arabia.
There would be fewer unemployed or poverty stricken young males to turn into religious extremists.
EVERYBODY would be better of.

etc. etc. etc.

How to start fixing America's economy and create jobs and prosperity.
http://ian56.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/how-to-fix-americas-econ...

A similar thing needs to be carried out in all other Western countries.

Here is how to fix Greece
http://ian56.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/if-i-were-greece.html

And here is how to fix the UK
http://ian56.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/uk-perilously-close-to-t...

Africa
You would reduce the food tariffs currently applied to exports from Africa to the US and Europe.
You would reduce these down to zero in a few years.
Currently it is uneconomic in the vast majority of cases to grow food in Africa for consumption in the US and Europe because of trade tariffs and taxpayer subsidies given to US and European farmers.
Large parts of Africa could make a living exporting food to the West.
At the moment, it is often the case that they don't even grow enough food to feed themselves.
There would be less malnutrition and people starving in Africa.
There would be fewer humanitarian crises.
The price of food generally would go DOWN.
There would be fewer conflicts in Africa - people who have the basic necessities of life and are economically stable have less propensity to join up for wars.
There would start to be better governance in Africa.
EVERYBODY would be much better off.
(You would also reduce the taxpayer subsidies currently given to American and European farmers.)

Philanthropy in Africa would be used for useful things, like paying for education and clean water supplies.
Not as a means of controlling Africa's population and making them dependent on the West - like the Bill Gates Foundation currently mostly does.

Internet markets in Africa would be greatly expanded so that African producers could get the best prices for their goods - across the entire globe.
In the few areas in Africa where this has been tried so far, an economic boom has transpired.

China is building a massive factory complex in Ethiopia, which will eventually employ 10,000 people and export $4bn worth of cheap shoes a year.
A load more factories like that making a variety of cheap goods and pretty soon the Ethiopians could afford to buy shoes for themselves.
That's how you make a DIFFERENCE. Not with charity, but via productive investments that improve living standards for almost everyone.
How many factories would a trillion dollars a year build (the savings from arms spending - re-directed)?

Education
There would be NO government controlled schools anywhere in the world.
(Starting with the West.)
95% plus of people would have a far higher standard of education.
Education would also become slightly cheaper.
A better educated population is the most important thing a country can do to improve the living standards of it's people. (After the basic economic needs of food, warmth, clothes and shelter to sustain life are met.)
EVERYBODY would be much better off.
How to do this.
http://ian56.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/how-to-make-dramatic-imp...

The Western focus on college education for subjects that don't need them, would cease.
College education is required for the sciences, engineering and doctors.
It is NOT needed for the vast majority of other jobs / careers.
It would be much better to go back to on the job training and work experience for all these other jobs.
Young people would cease to start out in life weighed down by $10,000's of debts.
There would be less demand for colleges and college education in general would become cheaper for those that did want it / benefit from it.
Prices ALWAYS fall, when there is a reduction in demand. It is a basic market principle.

Western support for Israel would cease.
Israel has a population of less than 8 million people, but it's capacity to stir up global conflict, wars, terrorism, arms spending, hatred and bigotry is hugely disproportionate to it's tiny population.
Israel operates much like Apartheid South Africa with it's treatment of the Palestinians.
Social pressure should be brought to bear on Israel to encourage better treatment of the Palestinians and eventually a peaceful solution.
E.G. by the exclusion of Israel from all social events - like the Eurovision song contest, the Olympics, the World Cup (soccer). Very similar to that which was done to marginalise South Africa's Apartheid regime.

I am against trade sanctions as a means of persuasion because it only affects the poor - who die and suffer because of disease, lack of medical supplies, inflation etc.
The rich who control the regimes upon which sanctions are applied do not suffer.

(Israeli athletes would not be too badly discriminated against - they would apply for dual citizenship in another country - much like South African cricketers moved to England during Apartheid.)
Western foreign "aid" to Israel would entirely cease. This is mostly used by Israel to buy Western arms to terrorize the Palestinians.

There would be far less conflict generally in the Middle East and there would be far fewer Islamic Extremists in the world, if the West got tough on Israel and held them accountable for their appalling behavior.

Other countries would spend less on arms.
EVERYBODY would be better off - including the vast majority of Israeli's.

N.B. there are large numbers of Jews that do not support zionism and there are many more christian zionists than there are jewish ones.

For hundreds of years the Muslims and the Jews got along / muddled through in the Middle East.
The Arabs treated the Jews much better than the christians did in the Middle Ages (and up until Western attitudes towards the Jews started changing for the better in the 1800's).

Apply the Rule of Law in the West
The Rule of Law no longer applies to large corporations.
They have enough money to bribe politicians and judges to get away with most things.
Occasionally a government will give a large corporation a slap on the wrist as a PR exercise to persuade the people that the government is working for them and not the large corporations.
Prosecute the large corporations with the full rigor of the Law and apply deterrent penalties to stop bad behavior.
Jailing the CEO's of JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs for 20+ years hard labor would do wonders to clean up Wall Street and the Financial industry.
(After a fair trial for their white collar crimes of fraud etc. that they have committed - there is plenty of evidence to charge them with multiple crimes.)

Even in the very rare cases that the rich are prosecuted they only get a slap on the wrist.
Conrad Black got sentenced to 4 years in a white collar jail, but he is out after a year. Conrad Black does not think that this is any deterrence from his recent comments.
Give the rich hard labor in blue collar jails and give them meaningful sentences like 20 years actually spent in jail.

Reinstate ACCOUNTABILITY in the West.
The abuses of power are legion in the West and there are widespread abuses of power and corruption.
From GW Bush's lies to sell the invasion of Iraq, Barack Obama's hundreds of Executive Orders to increase the power of the Presidency, politicians selling their souls to corporate interests on Capitol Hill, Westminster, Paris and Rome.
To TSA abuses, routine cops on the streets abusing their power and all levels in between none go punished to deter the abuses.
Make the people who are supposed to serve the people ACCOUNTABLE for their actions.
Boot the corrupt politicians out of office don't vote them back in.
95%+ of politicians on Capitol Hill are deeply corrupt - quite a lot of it to raise the money to get re-elected and keep their personal gravy train rolling.
Things are not much better in London, Rome, Paris, Berlin, Brussels or Tokyo.
Jail public servants who abuse their powers - at the moment it is likely to be the victim that goes to jail or suffers some form of penalty - not the perpetrator.

Stop the abuses of interest rate and money supply manipulation.
There was a widespread outcry over the recent LIBOR interest rate fixing.
But this is what the Federal Reserve, Bank of England and the ECB do every day.
Reinstate market interest rates so that better decisions are made for investment in the future, instead of the current preponderance of short term speculation.

Stop the massive increases in the money supply that causes inflation.
It looks like the Federal Reserve is still trying to inflate but has been pushing on a string since 2008.

Stop the system that allows the National Debt to massively increase.
It is now at $16.2tn and rising rapidly.
Neither the GOP or Barack Obama have any plans to address it - both plan to run well over $1tn deficits ad infinitum.
There is always a price to pay for increasing the National Debt too much.
Either the country defaults on it's debts or it has to pay them off eventually.

US National Debt

The ECB is still trying to inflate the money supply.
It is doomed to failure - the eurozone's problems are not just due to a shortage of money - the far bigger problem is a structural one of the relative competive difference between Germany and most of the rest of the Eurozone.
http://ian56.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/eurozone-problems-its-st...

Prices ALWAYS go up when there is more money to buy limited resources and resources are ALWAYS limited in some form or another.

Stop the system that allows governments to massively borrow to pay for wasteful things like war, or government corruption, or corporate welfare to special interests that donate to the politicians, or inflated public servant wages or benefits (like pensions).
There is no such thing as an economic free lunch, there is always a price to pay eventually - look at what has happened to Greece.

Stop the system that creates financial crises that are FAR LARGER in magnitude and occur FAR
MORE frequent than they used to be prior to 1913.
http://www.historyshots.com/financialcrisis/index.cfm
Get the politicians and the bankers to read a book and learn from it.
This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly by Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff.

Stop the system whereby the taxpayers pay a private company to print money and for that private company to charge interest on the money they create out of thin air.
Stop the system where a private company can just lose $9tn of taxpayer money (as they admitted on a fairly recent questioning session).

It is time that the world was not held to ransom by private bankers.
It is time to end the Federal Reserve system which controls and manipulates the money supply and interest rates throughout the globe.

Stop the so called "War on Terror"

Since GW Bush initiated his so called "war on terror" in 2001 there are many more Islamic Extremists in many more countries and more countries have governments that are controlled or are heavily influenced by Islamic Extremists,

Obama's drone warfare and double tap drone strikes in Pakistan and cluster bombing and drone strikes in Yemen are counter productive due to the very large number of innocent civilians that are killed.
It only serves to radicalize the local (and Middle Eastern) populations and recruit more Jihadists.
Ageing Islamic Extremist leaders are killed off; only to be replaced with younger, more energetic, more vengeful, more hateful and more extreme leaders.

How to end the "Age of Terror"
http://ian56.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/it-is-time-for-american-...

Drones in general
http://ian56.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/us-drones-are-threat-to-...

GW Bush, the neocon agenda and his disastrous legacy for America
http://ian56stupidstuph.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/bushs-legacy....

Stop the so called "War on Drugs"

Prohibition did not work in the US for alcohol in the 1920's and it patently does not work for drugs prohibition now.
The so called war on drugs merely achieves the following main things :-
It costs US taxpayers $200bn per year.
It MASSIVELY increases corruption and criminality (like alcohol prohibition did in the 1920's) and destabilises large areas of the world.

A detailed analysis of the effects of the war on drugs can be found here.
http://ian56.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/how-to-save-200bn-pa-fro...

Energy
Stop the myth that there is a global energy shortage.
This myth is propagated by oil companies to raise the oil price and by arms companies and governments to increase military and arms spending and to persuade public opinion that intervention in oil producing areas is necessary.

The US became nett energy neutral in 2011.
It will have a surplus of energy as things like the North Dakota shale gas fields are developed.
There are many trillions of dollars available from fracking in the US and Europe just from the very small amount of exploration that has been done so far.
(N.B. any damage to the environment from things like fracking should be paid for by the energy companies that cause it. Bad behavior should be punished, with penalties that deter - not slap on the wrist penalties like BP got from Alaskan pollution or Deepwater Horizon.)

Encourage more research into potential alternative energy sources like cold fusion.
The oil companies, arms companies and governments do not like research into these fields - see above.

N.B. If the world was really serious about renewable energy, it would build 100 sq mile solar farms in the middle of the Sahara desert, Central Spain and Southern California, Texas, Nevada, Arizona etc.
But Western governments play with the green lobby and raise energy costs for everybody by subsidizing small renewable energy schemes that are uneconomic.

There isn't a shortage of energy in the world.

There is a deliberately controlled shortage of investment to keep energy prices high.
E.g. in lack of infrastructure for refineries or pipelines or new developments.
The aim of current policy, is to NOT deliver the available energy cheaply to the consumer and businesses.

Western governments are entirely complicit in this, with a raft of government regulations to keep energy prices high or subsidies for uneconomic energy supplies or restrictions on energy businesses to prevent them from delivering more energy more cheaply.

The Peak Oil Theory myth
http://ian56stupidstuph.blogspot.co.uk/2011/12/peak-oil.html

Climate Change
Stop the anthropogenic climate change myth.
The Earth has been warming up and cooling down for hundreds of thousands of years, the evidence is all in the ice cores.
The Earth was much warmer in the Middle Ages than it is now.
It would seem the most likely explanation for climate change are natural variations in the strength and polarity of the Sun's magnetic field. This causes variations in the amount of cloud cover and hence variations in the amount of the Sun's energy that is reflected back into space before reaching Earth.
The Earth too has a natural variation of it's magnetic field. It's polarity switches suddenly every 10,000 years or so - North becomes South and vice versa.

N.B. pollution is a bad thing and the appropriate measures should be taken to stop it.
Nobody wants to go back to the London smogs or acid rain in Europe.

The anthropogenic climate change myth
http://ian56stupidstuph.blogspot.co.uk/2011/12/climate-chang...

Media Propaganda
The media is almost entirely owned by 6 large corporations in the US.
It is the messages that these corporations want to put out and the message of their large corporate advertisers that are broadcast to millions of Americans every day.
Anything that threatens the power of the corporations is suppresed.

It is a similar story in Europe, Canada and Australia - but there it is a mixture of government and corporate controlled TV channels and corporate owned papers.
But since the politicians have been bought by large corporations, it makes little difference whether a TV channel is government or corporate run.
Anyone who thinks the BBC for example is an independent news source and not controled by corporate interests should look again.

The only way to diminish this media propaganda and almost total control is to stop buying the products of the large news organizations and the products of their large corporate advertisers and to go and get your news from truly independent media - the internet.

How Western consumers became willing victims of Corporate Greed.
http://ian56.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/journalists-are-easy-to-...

The Middle East and the Islamic world

The overwhelming majority of Muslims are decent, law abiding and moderate people.
Their main wish (like Westerners) is for a better life for themselves and their children.

However (just as in the West) the general population is manipulated by leaders who are in power or who seek power or wish to pursue a radical political agenda, to gradually radicalize the population to recruit more Islamic Extremists or Jihadists.

In this the Islamic Extremists are greatly assisted by current Western government policy and the current support for Israel's abuse of the Palestinians.

If left to their own devices support for Islamic Extremism and the Islamic regimes would wither and die (just like it almost died with the defeat of the Islamic radicals in the Algerian civil war of 1995).

A Global Caliphate or Islamic Extremist model is a far inferior economic model to that of the West (or China) and would die a natural death, just as the USSR's, so called communist, system was an inferior economic model to that of the West.
The USSR was not defeated by invasions or by dropping bombs or firing bullets - it was defeated ECONOMICALLY.

The US and the West should stop interfering in the Middle East.
It is counter productive.

The list of US accomplishments since 1992
Current US and Western policy should be turned around 180 degrees in order to improve the living standards of their populations.
http://ian56.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/list-of-us-accomplishmen...

Just a few of my thoughts of what should be done if you really wanted to change the world for the better.
I might have some more later.
What are YOUR suggestions?

Hopefully you can start to see just how badly the world is currently being run.
And how relatively easy it would be to start making it radically better.




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Half the world lives on $1 a day

There is absolutely enormous scope for productive investments to improve people's living standards.

"In the end, more than they wanted freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life, and they lost it all -- security, comfort, and freedom. When ... the freedom they wished for was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free."

Sure, but but by stealing

Sure, but not by stealing from others to do it.

The scope is simple. Leave people alone.

The government cannot help in the long term because in order for the government to expand, it must fail. No one will spend money on a problem that has been solved, much less increase funding. Often in fact the problem is manufactured in the first place.

Every problem the government sets out to solve has been made worse. This is as inevitable as human nature, because it is human nature.

Repeat, the government must always make problems worse. If it does not, it puts itself out of business. That won't happen. It will make a problem seem better in the short term to reward recent allocation of resources. Eventually it must always make the problem worse.

Government cannot solve poverty. Poverty cannot be solved by theft. As soon as you legitimize theft, theft will go to the highest bidder. The rich.

Fascism.

Poverty can only be marginalized by liberty.

You assume too much

You're incorrect assumption is that the government WANTS to solve problems. Sure some in the government may want to, but all the authorities of it have been taken over long ago by those who only want to create monopolies and problems to be solved by monopolies.

Looking at it this way completely changes one's perspective on how to fix things.

You misread maybe. I think I

You misread maybe. I think I am saying exactly what you are.

Some people in the government may want to do good, but the organism of government does not.

If you remember the Kurt Russell version of "The Thing" (didn't see the latest one) they determine who is the thing by burning a part, the blood. It's just like this but reversed. Parts may have good intention but the whole must always fail in it's nominal purpose. If it does not fail, it cannot expand.

The state obeys the same evolutionary forces we are all subject to. The problem is it only grows by failure. It is quite literally a cancer on humanity. It will kill any part of humanity that lets it get out of hand. But like cancer, it can't do any good. Limited cancer is better than aggressive cancer. But there's no good to come from it no matter the size.

I didn't misread it

I agree that we are on the same page for identifying the problem. Our differences, IMHO, are in how we address them and go about trying to change them.

You seem to be saying that it's inevitable that it runs its course, eventually giving way to public opinion and will to wipe the slate clean and start anew.

I'm saying that the problem behind the problem is the money power and that we can and must change that before things hit the fan. Not doing so will place the transition during the crash and the new organization after the crash both back in the hands of those who now wield that money power. In other words, stop blaming the government and start blaming those in charge of the big global banks. Blame them directly. Go after them directly. Take their wealth back to the people. Either fight them directly or indirectly. I don't care, but stop wasting time and mass awareness on what's wrong in the government. As you very eloquently put it, the organism (I read that as the structure) does not want to do good.

I have spent many an hour writing on this site about this very subject and it has repeatedly gotten sidelined. If you care to know how I would tackle it, take a look at some of my posts.

The short version is to financially starve them into bankruptcy and it's easier that most would believe.

The medium version is that we already have all the technology to operate our entire world independently of big financial controls and to make it benefit people so much that they would never turn to government or any mega-industry for assistance again. But to get this done, we have to set that first precedent. We have to use the currently corrupt financial system to fund a differently structured business that can show people just how beneficial it is to operate independent of those banks.

Well maybe it depends on what

Well maybe it depends on what you mean by 'it' when you say I'm saying 'it's inevitable it runs it's course'.

So I'll clarify, and then you can decide if we agree or not:)

If you start with theft, you'll get more theft. If a government is empowered to violate rights, it will always use that power to redistribute resources to the rich. It will claim to do the opposite, and in so claiming, appeal for more power.

Having a plan that involves giving the government some power that will 'even the playing field' is a suckers game.

Any plan that removes power from the government is good. Any that further empowers it is bad. Whatever noble intention may be behind it, it will be, and must always be, suborned.

As much as I might like to 'steal back' all the wealth of the bad guys, if that power exists, it will be used by the bad guys. Our only option is to stop the theft and reject theft.

Just logically, if I would use evil to my ends, how am I not one of the bad guys? How will even worse guys not use this as justification?

So this is my fundamental difference with the OWS crowd. They think the evil can be put to good use and somehow reduce the 'aggregate evil';) It can't. This can be shown logically, demonstrated economically, and abundantly observed historically.

Very true

While I am advocating that we take that money (power) back from the banks and give it to the people, I'm not advocating that we use government force to do so.

By avoiding the use of those banks (AND the government), we can create businesses that are about 40% on average, more profitable than bank-debt-financed competitors. Just think of locally financed and sourced companies instead of multi-nationals, in terms of overhead and regulations. This will allow the people to keep that money and as it filters around them, it will grow organically. As the portion of bank income that we took back grows, those banks' bottom lines will go negative, rapidly. (Remember, they're leveraged heavily!) This puts more of them out and makes our job that much easier.

Without the power that comes with the money, they lose increasingly more power over government. (Lobbying gets more rare.) This is just the beginning because so many social aspects branch off from there.

We're good:D

We're good:D

Hey!

You said I could decide if we were good. lol

just came in here do say the

just came in here do say the same
they more money we throw at poverty the worse it seems to get

And the next step toward actually fixing it

is to detail out what the world would actually look and run like if all these problems did get solved. This gives people an idea of how good things could be and what tangible differences they would experience directly in their lives.

For example, my research shows that between 40% and 60% of all GDP goes to the elites, either directly or indirectly. So, if we stopped that, where would that wealth settle to?

Would it go to the people and cause price inflation? Initially, maybe but not in the long run because those same people ARE the beneficiaries of those prices (under this new paradigm). So, prices would actually trend towards representing the value (in hours of labor) that people value that product or service.

Would it go to the people who hold the keys to the highly productive technology? Maybe at first but not in the long term. Every high tech innovation eventually works its way to the common person. From cell phones to computers to 3D printers to online education to mesh inter-networks to aquaponics, the people are the ultimate end "implementer" of these technologies. This is because they have the lowest overhead of all (being local and having no sales, distribution, marketing, shipping, labor, legal, etc. expenses)

So, after some settling period, the result would be increased wages due to increased productivity and reduced prices (due to less overhead) and reduced consumption (due to increased quality) and eventually reduced retirement ages (due to higher savings). This, then leads to numerous social benefits but most apparent would be reduced unemployment as the available work force settles to match the newly reduced work force operating on higher (automated / advanced) productivity.

This is the story that will get people to listen.

If I was the sole, omnipotent Power That Be for a day

I'd eliminate the Rothschild empire and all the skanky banksters.

During a visit to Britain in 1763, The Bank of England asked Benjamin Franklin how he would account for the new found prosperity in the colonies. Franklin replied:
"That is simple. In the colonies we issue our own money. It is called Colonial Script. We issue it in proper proportion to the demands of trade and industry to make the products pass easily from the producers to the consumers. In this manner, creating for ourselves our own paper money, we control its purchasing power, and we have no interest to pay to no one."

"When a government is dependent upon bankers for money, they and not the leaders of the government control the situation, since the hand that gives is above the hand that takes... Money has no motherland; financiers are without patriotism and without decency; their sole object is gain."
Napoleon Bonaparte, 1815

If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.
James Madison

Good assessment - with caveats

First the good. You outline the various problems fairly well. The majority of them would be sufficiently fixed if your proposed solutions were implemented. This is half the battle. Kudos.

But this is only half the battle. You offer no consideration for how to accomplish your goals. Sure, we could eliminate cavities in children - all we need to do is have them brush their teeth twice a day. The problem we face is how to get them to do that. They are both hard to educate on the future problems of bad teeth and they are easily distracted by sweets and sugars.

What you need is a healthy, sweet, sugar based, teeth cleaning treat. While that doesn't exist at this point, it's counterpart for your other problems does exist.

On the other side, you suggest that we could do renewables easily (agreed) but then go the other way and suggest that we have abundant oil, gas and room for greenhouse gases. Which is it that you support?

I would suggest that you've been duped into believing the climate change people are just trying to get carbon taxes and that the oil companies are just trying to keep their price high. While this is true in many cases, it has zero correlation with the actual truth. This is where large number math and focused science can come to the rescue.

Peak oil is not a myth. One only needs to perform some basic math to realize this. Take any estimate you want for the oil reserve quantities left (your choice among any that exist) and divide that by the oil use rate today. When you do, you'll get a finite time-frame of oil supply. That much I guarantee. Starting with that date, then scale it back based on the very real factors that are usually missed. When you start, you'll probably be 60-70 years out and when you complete this exercise, you'll be between 8 and 20 years. This again, I guarantee. It's not a matter of opinion, but rather scientific fact and mathematical certainty.

Some of those factors include: (All are well proven - no pun.)
Production from any "one given well" follows a bell curve.
Production from any collective field follows a smoother bell curve.
Production peaks when reserves reach half of original quantity.
Cost follows the inverse of "the slope" of this bell curve.
Cost of the field is hyper sensitive to this due to futures market.
Energy Returned On Energy Invested is falling at every scale.
Price is inversely locked to EROEI; 1:1 = infinity.
EROEI MUST be over 2:1 to make any money at all.
ALL new technologies (shale, fracking, deep, etc.) are < 3:1 EROEI.
All US biofuels are < 1.5:1 and propped up by subsidies.
Conventional oil (>5:1) is holding the price from running away.
Conventional advertised 'reserves' are Geo-political overestimates.
When conventional reserves peak, unconventional prices will go nuts.
Current demand reduction is due to the economy, not efficiency.
This demand reduction is "elastic" and will rebound violently.
Five years' worth of 2-3% growth has been suppressed.
Neither current, nor future increases can cover this rebound.
Developing countries can no longer be sequestered.
More countries are switching from exporting to importing.
ANY genuine shortfall will cause hoarding at all levels.
Hoarding will drain reserves and dramatically increase need.
Most rationing scenarios will increase demand.
Wars over national rationing increase demand.
Food supply emergencies increase demand.

There are so many more that I could go into but I'm sure you get the point. Each of those are proven to affect that elusive date. All attempts to avoid it's approach in the past have proven to be only band-aids and not to genuinely move the peak out. You can cite any and all research you want, but we have already peaked (our production can't match our demand) but just like monetary default, it has been silently kept from blowing up.

This DOES NOT mean that the left isn't using this issue to push for carbon taxes. It also doesn't mean that the oil companies aren't manipulating things their way too. These are resulting problems, not initiating ones. Same goes for climate changes and big agra-biofuels. Being used for ones cause doesn't mean they aren't problems on their own.

The good news is that you're correct about one thing. We can easily switch over to renewables. Solar, yes, but solar PV, no. We need to stop listening to the media, the finance experts and the energy experts. They're all holding different motives than we are. We need real solutions like concentrated solar electric - which can easily be stored without a battery. This is not only how to solve the energy problems but also the jobs, then economy, then social, then political, then who knows? But it all starts with agreeing on the starting point.

Good article.

Did you read the article on the Peak Oil Myth?

The world's oil equivalent reserves got a huge boost in the last few years.

If it is economic to build large solar farms, let them be built.
There are lots of deserts in America's SW.
If they are relatively close to large population centers, it may be economic to build them.

There should be no government subsidies though.

The oil companies wouldn't like large scale solar power production - it would be a negative factor on the price of oil.
So any influence by the oil industry would have to be negated by the imposition of the Rule of Law.

Obama is giving subsidies for small scale solar power production in places like Wisconsin and Pittsburgh for purely political reasons.
California and Texas are not swing states.

We also have to see if other alternative energy sources are viable.
Things like the mini cold fusion power generators that are just being released into the market. Are they feasible/workable?

"In the end, more than they wanted freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life, and they lost it all -- security, comfort, and freedom. When ... the freedom they wished for was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free."

Agree, again with caveats

Peak oil: Did you include those new finds in your resource number when you did the math I requested? Regardless of how big they are, they may make some difference but the end result will be the same. The problem is that people just gloss over big numbers. Do the math and you'll see for yourself. No estimates anywhere in the public domain offer more than 60-70 years of supply at current rates of demand and when you factor in those problems I listed below, they all drop to catastrophically short time frames. And yes, I did read your article and the linked one inside it.

Let solar be built: Agreed on that completely. Being in that industry, I can offer this knowledge. The bigger the projects, the harder it is to just move money from one account to another. Whether its a foreign account to a US, visa-versa, or US to US, it makes no difference. The banks are putting roadblocks on money transfer to all large solar plants. The only way they've been getting done is for a large company to use their own money up front. With the fiat money crashing all over the globe, I see this roadblock breaking down very soon.

No subsidies: Absolutely dead on. Without subsidies, gas would have been more than double in price for the last 20 years and NG would have dipped and then spiked in the 80's, plateauing (wow, that was 4 different vowels in a row - cool) at $6+ per MMBTU. Nuclear would never have been built and wind would have began its kick-off a decade earlier. Electric vehicles like the EV1 would have ushered in companies like Tesla 15 years earlier and battery companies like A123 would not have gone under because of some legal games. Under those conditions, solar PV would have become more price sensitive (following its tech, not the market) 30 years ago which would have pushed solar thermal plants into mainstream in the early 90's. We would have been so much farther than we are now. Hydrogen storage as condensed hydrides would have allowed fuel cell autos to enter the market a decade earlier. Also, bio-fuels would all come from high performance algae farms and corn would be a tiny crop. Just MHO.

Wisconsin: While not 'as economic' to do solar there, solar with storage (again concentrated solar thermal electric power - CSP) does make sense. There's much more sun than needed hitting each rooftop to net+ power that house, even up into parts of Canada. Germany has a very high concentration of solar and they have 80% of the annual sun of Wisconsin.

Cold fusion / other alternatives: We definitely don't need to waste any money researching more unproven tech just to get energy independent. There are so many problems that are never discussed with cold fusion. Large scale is both a liability nightmare and a single-point-of-failure for any unplanned outage. Our grid is not designed for multiple gigawatts to go offline all at once. Small scale, it's also not economical because there are numerous expensive safety sensors involved that need regular calibration. Even if the CF system was completely free, these would drive the cost beyond feasibility.

We do, however, have many other high tech systems that never get noticed. There are innovations in wave, tidal, jet-stream wind, orbit-concentrated solar, ocean solar, sewage plant reclamation and more that have been on their funding hunt literally for decades. And that's not even counting the home scale CSP systems that will reach the market very soon. All combined, these technologies will offer 3-5 times our power needs globally and do it at reduced costs compared to current prices. There are so many more viable technologies that have been proven and are just waiting for money to patent and get built. (Lack of protection is a big reason the public hasn't heard about them.)

So, the problem isn't the tech. It's the monetary system.

I'm curious on if you're an

I'm curious on if you're an authority or if you're basing this off others who are. I wonder this because your annalasys relies on the "seen" but ignores the "unseen".

Your predictions, and your math, use assumptions of the future that you can only guess at. This is made worse by the fact that you can't account for the "unseen" and have no idea which direction anything will go with energy. Did you see Natural Gas coming? What else don't you know about?

You make a good point... oil may be finite. However, I don't think you can model what effect that will have. I kinda got triggered on this when you said "wind would have kicked off 10 years ago". Where did you get that knowledge?

Just very active in the industry

I keep in touch with people at pretty high levels in various related industries. The consensus among them is far from what is public knowledge.

As far as the unseen. Sure, one can say that no one 'knows' what will be found but there are significant trends to follow. Once you learn the classifications and the trends of each of those, you'll see the big picture. Basically, there are 5 categories of field sizes. Each is 50-100 times the size of the one smaller. We used to find the largest ones about once each decade. Now we haven't found one of either of the top two sizes in 40 years. It is simply not possible to make up this loss with 1 Bakken, 1 Ghawar and 1 North Sea "medium" find in the last 20 years.

Also, we used to pump 20-400 times the amount of oil 'per well' as we do now. Nowadays, we regularly have 40,000 wells pumping globally to do what 100-500 used to do. ...because the majority of it is coming from those small and tiny fields. The nutshell on this is that we're getting much more skilled at draining those much faster. This effectively steepens the falling side of the bell curves and makes our crisis run full speed to that cliff.

Further to that point, this so called "boom" we're experiencing in North Dakota is far from it. It may be producing large amounts quickly right now but just wait until the economics catch up with it. You just can't waste that much water, that much energy and that much equipment and labor for each barrel of oil forever. At some point, the financial scam of subsidized money will go away. The price will then have to compete directly with other energy forms whose price is steadily dropping.

That's the point where ethanol has been the last year or more. Those plants are quietly closing up and going bankrupt very fast. (I personally know two owners and it's not good.) Surprisingly, it's the rail and corn lobby that stands to lose the most on that deal. They actually ship corn from the upper mid-west down to Texas to qualify for subsidies, and then ship it back to refine it to ethanol. It's nothing short of insane.

I started my renewables activities in wind about a decade ago. At that time, it was the bastard child of big fossil fuels that CSP is now. You couldn't fund a project if your life depended on it. Even my state (where I personally met with almost every senator, then energy dept. and the governor), we ended up with 47th least renewables despite having the 3rd most total renewable resources available. Without those undue influences, however, many states would have installed large farms at the bare minimum.

The big picture, however, depends on simple math. Until we change the game with new technology, energy demand has always and will always grow at an exponential rate. Even a 4% per year rate will have us DOUBLING our energy needs in just 17 years. Can you honestly say that even those criminally optimistic IEA forecasts can cover that? Their most optimistic ones only show it rising maybe 30% in 30 years. IMHO, we've already peaked (May 2005), and just haven't seen the hard times because the price shocks and depression has suppressed the demand. If / when that returns (i.e. the dollar doesn't crash), we'll be in shortage almost immediately.

I do understand people's criticism but I have to attribute it to them just not doing the math. Had you done it yourself, you too would have predicted pretty much everything that's happened, including NG's bust/bubble.

Currently the US imports 11m barrels of oil a day

but has a large excess of Natural Gas and could produce a lot more.

The balance of usage somehow needs to be addressed.
It should be addressed by market forces medium term.
Building more natural gas power stations in the future to replace old oil fired power stations would help to redress the balance.
The US government sees no need to redress this balance - dependence on foreign energy supplies is a useful mechanism to help justify war and astronomical levels of war spending.

Most of your arguments are valid but they are severely slanted away from the use of fossil fuels and pro renewables.
Your statements are biased.
Understandably so - you work in the renewables industry.
http://ian56.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/the-peak-oil-myth.html

But I also advocate more investment in solar power in hot countries/areas where it is economic to do so.
See my post on how to fix Greece.

"In the end, more than they wanted freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life, and they lost it all -- security, comfort, and freedom. When ... the freedom they wished for was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free."

I'm Biased? We're all biased.

I came from the plant automation industry. I used to connect steam, power and waste-water treatment plants to computers to run them. What that means is that I literally wrote a program that was intimately knowledgeable of every single system from the gas line or water inlet pipes all the way to the municipal billing. I became extremely aware of the waste and abuse involved in not only the actual plant but the outright blatant fraud in the contracts. There had to be a better way.

From there, I investigated wind. AT THE TIME, I supported it. ...Until I became aware of its limitations and corruptions. Please note the companies putting up wind farms. Their interests are NOT those of the people they provide power for. They're in it to soak every last penny from them. There had to be a better way.

Then in '04 or so, I got heavy into CSP research. I found that the deals didn't go corrupt and as such, it died off. This was puzzling since I knew the intimate details of the economics. Way back in the early 90's, it was cheaper than coal (which is cheaper than all others) so I followed each and every deal. Cheney met with big oil in '05 and used a report from Stearns & Wheeler to justify killing it. The problem was that I had possession of that original report. It showed CSP was 12 cents/kWh with room to cut that in half. I knew it was doctored 'up' by at least 40% but figured that's how contracts get inflated. The problem is that the report submitted to congress got changed. It was nearly doubled again. I estimated that CSP would take 30+ years to come down in price. They were INTENTIONALLY killing it! There had to be a better way.

In '08, I naively started a company to fund various solutions. I had so many entrepreneurs come to us with their solutions that I think I signed over 200 NDAs. When we got close to funding our first independent project (a very cheap wind farm), we got blindsided and bankrupted. It all happened in a flash. One day we were celebrating our impending wealth and the next, we were buried in debt with no relief in sight. Again, there had to be a better way.

I have now partnered with a number of those companies (only the very best tech ones) and we are pushing them together. My company is producing a home scale CSP system that eliminates all the methods the banks or utilities or government can control it. It produces all the power a home needs, in all forms. It can easily go off-grid. It is cheaper even before subsidies. It will satisfy all the requirements and then some. When they get to market, people will be able to install them for 3-7 years' worth of current energy bills and then get free power afterward.

Actually, every one of the companies in our group follows all these attributes. There is currently (big caveat) no way they can be shut down. People can use all these systems without the fear of government intrusion. Lumped together, they basically solve all our monopolized problems across the board. There are solutions for everything from energy and transmission to food to education, communication, information, money, finance, lending, environmental stuff (soil, water, ocean, climate, extinction, forests, coral, etc.) and even waste management. All of them do this in a very local-centric way to focus the return as higher wages, not higher profits for the few.

Returning back to energy, I created a big spreadsheet in ?? '08 ?? that implements all of these in a private manner. I outlined the cost to government, industry and individuals. I listed jobs created and I listed energy shifts across the board. The overall result was that we in the US can produce nearly double our electricity and cut coal and oil out, while leaving nuclear and 10% NG in place. We can cut our pollution by 93% (100% of all carcinogens). We can create over 4 million long term jobs. And we can do this in a decade with about $60B government (annually - tapering to zero), $400B private (at 6%) and individual expenses would not change until the people paid off the systems. This model is easily applied to most countries around the world.

But it all depends on how we and when get started. And I should have that answer fairly soon (really really can't wait any longer!!!!). And just so my motives are clear, my paycheck-earning day job is still working at a ng/oil fired utility plant and my son works at a coal generation plant.

The problems with wind energy are 2 fold

1) The wind does not always blow so the energy supply is intermittent.
You have to have a back up supply for when the wind is not blowing.

2) The wind energy is produced far from population centers and in low concentrations.
The cost of building the infrastructure to transport the energy to where it is needed is often prohibitive.

Wind energy is also a blight on the landscape.
It takes a huge area to produce any meaningful amounts of energy.

"In the end, more than they wanted freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life, and they lost it all -- security, comfort, and freedom. When ... the freedom they wished for was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free."

Wind has many problems, but they're all fixable.

Current turbines rely on ground level wind and the speed-cubed power curve. This means that as wind speed doubles, the power available is 8 times what it had been. This is a tremendous low-hanging fruit for investors. They can't pass this up. Their motives have become 'get the highest, biggest ones up there and go after that higher wind speed'. This is ok, as long as the other factors (like you mentioned) are considered but they're not.

The genuine 'wind solution' isn't even ground based turbines. The solution essentially lies in hanging smaller turbines from a kite. That's overly simplistic, but quickly illustrates it. Now picture that system scaled up and placed in the Jet Stream where speeds average 300 mph all the time. Think back to the speed-cubed law and you'll see that prices for power can drop by 80% or more and land footprint can be cut to one special substation. (Just 4% of the airspace that's already no-fly could power the entire country.)

Certainly this isn't a national or global solution by itself but it brings in so much baseload capacity that it drastically changes the regional layout of the problem. Now you kick in the others as their geographical nature permits and you find yourself with massive excesses.

Using solar on homes places the decision in the individual's hands. With CSP, the high/low sun question becomes a balance of collection mirrors vs. thermal storage (and backup heat). For many residents even at our norther borders, this will make sense. So, with coal first displaced from homes and power companies, we gain double. The reason is that a majority of our rail is only to ship coal from WI to PA and from PA to WI. (PA only uses WI clean coal while WI allows dirty PA coal!) This means we drop our oil (diesel for trains) use by more than 12% in one swoop.

Are you starting to see why big energy is fighting renewables at every turn?

I really can't argue. You've

I really can't argue. You've convinced me.

Allow the Rule Of Law

To apply to apply to these bureaucratic scum.

On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and complete narcissistic moron.

The reinstatement of the Rule of Law

is included in the list of changes required in the article of how to start fixing America's economy.

Parts of it are also included in the main article.

"In the end, more than they wanted freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life, and they lost it all -- security, comfort, and freedom. When ... the freedom they wished for was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free."

Not Sure....

BUT I once heard Dr. Stuart Crane say, "If I was dictator for a day" I'd make everyone read Bastiat's small book "THE LAW."

OK, OK "Dictator for a day" is a little over the top. Just have it as manditory reading in all publick skools.

Eh, what's the dif?

Because: Some animals are more equal than other animals. -Animal Farm-

What the? > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MTIwY3_-ks

Change yourself

It's a life long project. Be an example for others. Do not try to put out other people's fires. Just shine brighter.

“With laws shall our land be built up, but with lawlessness laid waste.”
-Njal Thorgeirsson

Change?

Do no harm.

Take the moral high ground and defend it.

That shoe factory of China's in Ethiopia will be no workers' paradise imo.

It will throw Chinese workers out of work too. China is outsourcing lol

I still think China is an abomination but they can be useful at times. As long as the West holds the moral high ground China will implode imo. There is way too much corruption there. It is their lack of self control and think. This is why they always need military governments.

How many party members are there in China?

donvino

The factory in Ethiopia will be a sweat shop

It's still better than starving.
It's a start.
Factories in America in the 1880's weren't very nice places either.

"In the end, more than they wanted freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life, and they lost it all -- security, comfort, and freedom. When ... the freedom they wished for was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free."

I agree

Yet at least there were property rights and religious rights.

donvino

Too late to change this world

One would have to be a deity to do so. I rather we all had somewhere else we could go to start our own peaceful, liberty minded society without interference.

Conscience does not exist if not exercised

"No matter how cynical you get, it's impossible to keep up!
---Lily Tomlin