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Cake day: June 26th, 2023

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  • Yep, plus they are talking about INCREASING short term debt issuance versus going back to QE. They have to because of the deficits. But this can create feedback and we’ll have the situation of both government spending and bondholder cash contributing to the inflationary dynamic. So for some time to come, the trend will be inflationary, even as the Fed balance sheet winds down. Though, if you look at their balance sheet, it can only go down so far, since Treasury’s bank account is at the Fed and I don’t see that decreasing soon either.



  • My general theory is that yes this was true for the Cold War era when there was a “trilateral” system of the USA with arms in Europe (what eventually became the EU) and East Asia (Japan, SK, Taiwan, etc) against the communist bloc. But since the 2000s, right before the GFC the EU was getting to be as big GDP as the USA and turning into a serious competitor and with more viable productive industry. Ever since then, I think US policy has been to harm the EU more and more. The US wants subservient allies, not self-sufficient ones. Alienating EU’s energy ties to Russia has been more damaging to European industry than to Russia thus far. And as far as I can tell US oligarchs mainly care about the Ukraine because of the agricultural potential of that land and the US policy of controlling world food supplies. Supposedly some millions of hectares of Ukrainian land have already ended up owned by various Western companies like Cargill or Bayer (not sure if this has been proven but I’d not be surprised).



  • I also think there will be financial crashes, and likely more than one – just as the last leveraged bubbles collapsed in 2008 and 2020. Of course, he is right that this will lead to them adopting an inflationary model to “solve” it, which will result in a worse version of the same dynamic with time. Eventually I think we will get the dreaded hyperinflation if it goes on long enough.

    The wild card is that the demographic collapse and energy descent trends will be highly deflationary no matter what government does, but that’s a longer term issue.



  • I downvoted because the poster didn’t back up any of its claims and these kind of hit and run, insulting posts are getting more and more common. I am starting to suspect there’s a concerted effort by green energy shills to infiltrate these message boards and spread nonsense. We know there are organized efforts by bad actors to spam sites and spread discord and misinformation, and these kind of attacks have become so frequent that one really becomes suspicious. Green energy has big, institutional money behind it and a vested interest in lying to the public who subsidizes it about its viability, so there’s plenty of motive to misuse sites both large and small for this purpose.



  • I believe that Western Europe’s population at the dawn of the 17th century was about 20-25 million and this did not represent a base case for preindustrial organization – in fact it was quite scaled up and organized in its own preindustrial way, with population having been significantly less at certain places and times before that. So that gives an idea of where things may be headed, and that doesn’t take into account the accumulated damage to the biosphere that we can expect on the downside of the slope which did not have any parallel in the preindustrial world.




  • A lot of these younger leftists are authoritarian and anti-intellectual, and react with hostility to any disagreement with their beliefs. This was a problem on Reddit and it’s a problem on Lemmy. I don’t know what happened to the left, but when I was young they were the intellectual and rational ones. These days, anything other than “fully automated luxury communism” is ecofascism I suppose. Yes, they do take the view that an accurate assessment of our predicament makes you a terrible person.

    Also blaming white people for this is inappropriate as there is basically no part of the world today that’s on a sustainable trajectory in the scenario of energy descent.


  • Probably belongs in the “local observations” thread but all of the employers in my area (Midwestern USA) are doing at least partial RTO – it started midway through 2022 and picked up momentum since. Obviously SWE can easily be done from home with digital meetings, and so it’s just a lot of time and energy wasted commuting. I could see 1x/2 weeks for a sprint meeting or something but the way they are doing this is just absurd. It’s all to shore up control and their CRE which will collapse anyway.

    All of which goes to clarify the fact that, pay aside, corporations are really just not the place to be when it comes to innovation or forward thinking.




  • Hillmarsh@lemmy.mltoCollapse@lemmy.mlOr, to put it another way
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    5 months ago

    The piece is generally good, although I’d take issue with the statement that there’s no historical precedent for decline such as we are about to see. The main difference is in the global scale and population numbers in civilization now as versus previous known collapses, e.g. the Roman Empire, the Lowland Mayans, the “Bronze Age Collapse” and so on. But in all those cases, very high population densities were achieved that pushed the limits of their carrying capacity as much as ours do now. And other trends not unlike our context, cultural decadence, mass migration, falling birth rates, etc all made their appearance as well.

    Also the “life expectancy not exceeding thirty” claim is commonly repeated but is mistaken. The number was obtained because they did not omit infant mortality from the statistics, whether out of an intention to mislead or simple error I’m not sure, which was much higher in premodern times. Once that is accounted for, Europeans of the so-called “Dark Ages” lived to between their 40s-50s and occasionally 60s. It did represent a falloff of life span but not quite so drastic as is claimed here.

    In America I see complacency continuing, because I’ve learned from experience that as long as an oil boom is in progress, you cannot get Americans to accept energy descent as a concept. It will take another Great American Oil Bust like in 2015-20 to wake them up a bit. Even then I don’t know whether Americans can accept the reality of limits, because they have a natural optimism that is hard to pierce.


  • Observing American health care firsthand thanks to ill relatives, I can say that it still functions but it is probably a few years at most to collapse. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services budget is about 15% funded and getting worse each year. Wait times for specialty appointments are months, surgery a half-year at least (unless urgent/life-threatening), care impossible to access – many people have to go to the ED just for diagnosis. Life expectancy down significantly in the last 10 years. We won’t escape Canada’s fate.

    The homeless population increasing in a geometric ratio is something I have also seen in the USA. Luckily it has been a very mild winter or we would likely have large numbers of people freezing to death here as well.



  • In the Upper Midwestern USA, we have had an unprecedented warm spell this winter, with almost no snow in December, and the mildest winter on record thus far. The only blip was a minor cold snap of below-zero wind chills for just over a week, and that just ended in the past couple of days. Now we are in a January thaw that looks to cause an entire melting off of the snow cover, which I don’t recall ever happening before during January in my life. This pattern is the result of a combination of overall warming and a “Super El Nino” pattern in the Pacific this year.


  • Hillmarsh@lemmy.mltoCollapse@lemmy.mlIt doesn’t really work like that
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    6 months ago

    That’s fine as long as people can admit to themselves that energy throughput with renewables is going to be a fraction of what it was in the age of abundant fossil fuels. And the problem I see is that most people touting green energy are either unrealistic or mendacious about this. We still haven’t got past the phase of people thinking they will keep their consumer and commuter friendly lifestyles in the coming decades.