Volatility

November 3, 2011

Redolent of Olduvai

Filed under: Peak Oil, Relocalization, Tower of Babel — Tags: , — Russ @ 8:18 am

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I haven’t read Richard Duncan’s Olduvai theory in a long time, but over the last few days I’ve been thinking about it a lot. It’s a Peak Oil theory which forecasts a pretty rapid collapse of civilization. One of its novel features is the prediction that blackouts of increasing frequency and length will plague technological societies. When we see these occurring, that should be taken as a milestone along the road to collapse. The proximate cause of this or that blackout isn’t what’s important according to the theory. The point is that as fossil fuels becomes harder and more expensive to extract, energy harder and more expensive to deliver, the likelihood of any particular event causing a blackout will increase, and the likelihood of that blackout being severe in range and duration will increase.
 
This is an anecdotal post along the lines of my previous one on Hurricane Irene. Last weekend the region experienced a snowstorm. I’ll grant that it was unseasonal and unexpected until a few days before, and the snow was pretty thick, but there wasn’t that much of it, and rapidly warming temperatures quickly melted most of it in most places. Yet it’s left many places without power entering the sixth day now. It’s simply astounding how the “greatest civilization on earth” looks utterly incompetent to even keep its lights on the moment a few flakes fall and a little wind blows. Based on what I’m told by people I know who lost power, they can’t get accurate information when they talk to the utilities, only optimistic timetables whose deadlines come and go. One town seems able to restore electricity by the street, seemingly at random, but has a long way to go to get everyone up. The main impression one gets of the “authorities” is of desperate, confused struggle. I say again, we got one snowfall over c. 12 hours, with nothing but beautiful weather since then.
 
Nor should repair efforts be much hindered by traffic, since the roads ought to be less traveled considering how many other systems were shut down. Many corporate schools remained closed, mostly on account of lack of power, for days. My nephew only finally went back to school on Wednesday, and with a delayed opening on that day. (Meanwhile, my friend’s home-schooled children didn’t miss a single day, even though they too still have no electricity. They’ve also endured the electricity loss with little trouble, while others I know, corporatized types, had to flee their houses as refugees to sleep on couches.)
 
Meanwhile I saw several towns which looked like disaster zones. Traffic lights out, clearly insufficient police to direct traffic at major intersections, traffic snarling at those intersections, the back roads filled with cars trying to avoid these snarls, and topping it all, major emergency roadwork, detours, and “Local Traffic Only” signs everywhere you looked. We couldn’t figure out what it was all about, but it must have had something to do with the storm. A little snow, and everything looks like an anthill kicked over.
 
I know this isn’t exactly a new phenomenon. I recall sneers and complaints about how people were becoming prone to panic over a little snow as early as the 90s. But as I recall, that was mostly just the psychological aspect. As my friend commented the other day, they jam the stores to stock up on bottled water, and not because they think the taps will run dry, but because they can’t conceive drinking tap water for a few days. We’ve long seen this psychological decadence.
 
But this menagerie of blackouts and incipient infrastructure collapse does look more recent to me. I grew up used to big snowstorms in suburban areas, and it doesn’t seem like it used to be this way, that a lesser storm has such crippling effects.
 
So it was while surveying all this that I thought of Olduvai again. It does seem like more and more this extremely top-heavy tower is unstable, tottering, and finding it harder and harder to right itself given the slightest breeze.
 
Of course, we’re talking mostly about the infrastructure and neighborhoods of the 99%. No doubt anything the “public authorities” needed to do for the 1% was done crisply, well ahead of time. Looking at my friend’s generator, it occurred to me for the first time that for someone from a suburb to feel the need to buy a generator is a form of covert privatization. One is implicitly conceding that one has to go to a private market to actually obtain a service one’s public taxes already paid for. The list, of course, could be multiplied forever, starting with her needing to home school in the first place. Here again we see what I’ve written about many times before, how the taxes on the 99 are merely extortions by the 1.
 
I’m not saying I’ve changed my mind and become a believer in the fast crash scenario. I still think it’ll be a tortured process taking decades. But this confirms my existing prediction of a weaker form of the thesis, that degradation will be much faster in some areas than others, and that lumpensuburbia and its desperate corporatism-hangers-on will be especially vulnerable.
 
Meanwhile, as I’ve alluded to here, those of us who are already trying to build lives outside the system are already giving some proof of principle, that we’re better off physically and psychologically.
 
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31 Comments

  1. I think it’s significant that we’re talking about a basic collapse in electricity provision without anything that looks like an energy shortage. I don’t know what the power situation is like in the US, but the privatisation of public power utilities in Canada ended up with exactly this sort of thing happening- “unimportant” areas could go for weeks without power after moderate storms. If we continue on this political-economic path, it’s not clear to me how important peak oil is going to be as a constraint, particularly if fossil fuel usage is increasingly limited to the 1%, as you suggest. Ultimately peak oil is best incorporated into a constellation of biophysical/thermoeconomic constraints when plotting out the terrain of the future, I think.

    Comment by paper mac — November 3, 2011 @ 9:17 am

    • 2008 caused a rejiggering of Peak Oil theorizing for just the reason you say – the kind of financial and economic chaos which was projected to be caused by absolute energy shortages instead came prior, although surging fuel prices did play a role as predicted. In other words, the politico-economic aspect was going to remain predominant. Actual Peak Oil effects would increasingly affect human politics, but those would remain decisive.

      (Perhaps it’s not an exaggeration to say that this particular realization in 2008 finally turned on the real light bulb in my head, after so many years of vague radicalism and then a short period of fanatical belief in “classic” Peak Oil.)

      One of the reasons I found Olduvai so intriguing was its implicit open-endedness about causality, political vs. material. It reminded me of Marxism. As always, we have only natural resources, human labor, and subhuman crime.

      (In light of the previous thread’s discussion, I guess you could call that my trichotomous thinking.)

      Comment by Russ — November 3, 2011 @ 9:30 am

      • It’s interesting the weird resonances that are showing up around this end of the blogosphere lately- JMG has been talking about the dangers of dichotomous thinking and the benefits of tri- or manifold-chotomous thinking, etc. He’s gotten into some fairly funky terrain lately, with discussions of thaumaturgy and other forms of consciousness-influencing propaganda/ritual/magic, but it’s interesting stuff.

        Comment by paper mac — November 3, 2011 @ 12:40 pm

      • I often come across such synchronicity. I think we’re gradually zeroing in on a shared movement consciousness from which something discrete will then sprout from the range of possibilities.

        The last time you reminded me of Greer and I read some of his stuff again, I found it thought-provoking. Then I lost touch with it again, but this movement thaumaturgy business sounds like I’ll have to check him out again, since that’s something I’ve long been pondering, but still in a vague way.

        I took a stab at something which may be similar here.

        https://attempter.wordpress.com/2011/07/17/movement-and-psychologyspirit/

        Comment by Russ — November 3, 2011 @ 1:06 pm

      • “Trichotomous thinking.”

        For at least a decade I have done my best to always think in threes and describe things in terms of three things, a habit that I’ve called “triangulation.” The whole point of the exercise is to see opportunities (and explanations) that others miss.

        Comment by Tao Jonesing — November 3, 2011 @ 10:35 pm

      • . . . finishing

        I did not realize there was already a term for my triangulation.

        Cool.

        Comment by Tao Jonesing — November 3, 2011 @ 10:36 pm

      • I think you might get a kick out of some of JMG’s recent stuff as well, Tao. I disagree with a lot of what he says, but he’s got some good arguments and observations about human behaviour in amongst the chaff that he knows less about.

        Comment by paper mac — November 4, 2011 @ 1:15 am

      • I didn’t know that was already a word either. I should go look up if trilemma was already a word before Rodrik used it. (Although his term is a divide-and-conquer scam; globalization must necessarily destroy both democracy and nationhood. But Rodrik wanted to peel off supporters of either of the latter by convincing them that they could sell each other out and still survive.)

        Comment by Russ — November 4, 2011 @ 6:31 am

  2. I have a vague memory of the entire Philadelphia city being disrupted during snowstorms in the 1960’s.
    As a kid, I thought it was great, because we got to NOT go to school for at least one day. FUN FUN FUN.
    No power cuts, though. Not that I remember.
    In the 1980’s even, I could still find clothes that were not made of 100% SYNTHETIC materials.
    Now, it is harder and harder to find them…
    And I conclude that we BELIEVE in synthetics (up until very recently. Now we are going in the opposite direction. Fast.) Along with the old adage “more of a good thing is always better”.
    (In France there is a proverb “le mieux est l’ennemi du bien” : better is the enemy of good. I like that. Very nice.)
    What is interesting in the electricity setup is the idea behind. The idea behind the UTILITIES (like “utilitarian”…) is NETwork.
    I think that Illich was already on to the idea of network. Where it was taking us.
    Network is behind Babel. Particularly impersonal, disembodied network, with NO FACES, VOICES OR BODIES.
    Where I’m living, in the country that gave the world the Enlightenment experiment, lots of people have dug wells in their yards, and are busy installing generators in their backyards..in suburbia.
    Nobody home schooling though. France’s religion is its public school system.
    One of the most destructive things about the idolatry of money is the belief that your taxes PAY FOR, etc etc.
    I think I am old enough to remember J.F.K. saying :”ask not what your country can do for you, ask what YOU can do for your country”.
    In today’s world he would be laughed off the podium…
    How times change.
    On predictions : I believe that chance is the joker card that opens up the possibility that freedom exists.
    Some philosopher must have already said that somewhere….without my knowing it.
    Did Nietzsche use the expression “the sheeple” ?
    Just curious…

    Comment by Debra — November 3, 2011 @ 11:23 am

    • One of the most destructive things about the idolatry of money is the belief that your taxes PAY FOR, etc etc.

      It’s funny how where we’re driven to extremes (that is, where simple morality and common sense are at the furthest extreme from the status quo radicalism), stuff blends together.

      We start with the “conservative” idea that your money is your money, and anything the government takes in taxes is the taking of your money.

      Then we understand that this is a lie under capitalism and economic hierarchy in general, because wealth concentration, property concentration, money itself, are nothing but creations and extensions of big government. (That’s already far beyond “liberalism”, which is much closer to conservatism and really just a modification of it.)

      Finally we reach the full truth, where human beings who actually work take the original lie, turn it right side up, and say: The produce of our work is our wealth, while any government which takes any part of the produce of our work in taxes, or serves as thug for private parasites, corporations and “property” holders, to take far more of that produce, is nothing but a robber.

      I think I am old enough to remember J.F.K. saying :”ask not what your country can do for you, ask what YOU can do for your country”.
      In today’s world he would be laughed off the podium…

      Certainly I’d be laughing the loudest.

      Did Nietzsche use the expression “the sheeple” ?

      I suppose not, but the equivalent, many times. In fact, he loved animal metaphors and may have used sheep in a manner similar to sheeple (but in a more spiritual and intellectual context). But he also liked bunny rabbits for that.

      Comment by Russ — November 3, 2011 @ 1:07 pm

      • Last night my little… ELITE group that has been translating “Macbeth” into French for the past 6 years or so met.
        There is a neat line in that fantastic scene between Malcolm, Macduff, and Ross where Malcolm is casing Macduff out IN ORDER TO DETERMINE WHETHER HE CAN TRUST HIM OR NOT, and Ross has to play the part of the messenger with bad tidings who tells Macduff that his whole family, wife, babes, servants has been savagely slaughter (yep, like little lambs to the slaughterhouse…).
        Macduff says : “Naught that I am, Not for their own demerits but for mine Fell slaughter on their souls.”
        Say it out loud. It rolls off your tongue majestically. It is BEAUTIFUL language. But tortuous syntax, that is not straightforward at all. Nobody in Shakespeare’s time talked like that, I bet. IT IS NOT NATURAL AT ALL. (Because it is poetic…)
        We translate with several French translators as references. We do OUR OWN TRANSLATION, but from time to time, it is helpful to look at tradition, and see how our predecessors have dealt with that sticky problem of moving from one…. WORLD to another.
        Ironically enough, the MOST FAITHFUL TRANSLATION among the five or six basically contemporary ones that we are using is that one that dates back to the end of the 19th, beginning of the twentieth century : François Victor Hugo.
        The other translators ? You can tell that they have their eyes trained ON THE MEANING. What they are interested in is that consummately ABSTRACT dimension of language that is “the meaning”.
        THAT IS WHY THEY ARE BAD TRANSLATORS (in my opinion… I believe, shall we say).
        Because they BELIEVE that what they are rendering in French, by GETTING THE GENERAL GIST of the language, IS THE EQUIVALENT of the original English.
        Bad plan that.
        Those horrible EQUIvalents…
        They will be the death of us….
        Some advice : read Galbraith’s “The New Industrial State”. The problem is not big GOVERNMENT, the problem is.. “BIG”.
        It is not just government that has been getting “big”. Corporations have been getting “big”. Industrial parks have been getting “big”. Hell… even airplanes keep getting… BIGGER AND BIGGER. Internet NETWORKS getting bigger and bigger.
        I put those quotation marks there for a reason. Because the problem is not big ; it is “big”.
        This ties into what I call… the PHALLIC logic.
        The phallic logic is linked to the penis. Because there are some times when it is frightfully important for the penis to be BIG.
        But… can you imagine running around with an erection 24h/24 ? (Remember.. IDOLATRY is the 24h/24 topo…)
        That would be pretty painful, wouldn’t it ?
        That would be.. NO FUN.
        That BIG penis has to DEFLATE every once in a while in order to be able to GET IT UP AGAIN.
        That’s the way the world works. Except that we have blinders on.
        WE want.. the penis to be BIG 24h/24… EVEN WOMEN WANT THEIR PENIS TO BE BIG 24h/24….(!)
        Hubris, she says…

        Comment by Debra — November 4, 2011 @ 5:08 am

      • Oops, I just realized that I was a traitor to my own thought, there…
        Strike “penis”, and substitute “phallus”.
        THEY ARE NOT EQUIVALENT.
        “Phallus” is.. a metaphor. “Penis”… is NOT.
        (Boy, am I having FUN… !!)

        Comment by Debra — November 4, 2011 @ 5:14 am

      • Sorry for getting so excited… I JUST REALIZED THAT I DON’T BELIEVE IN SYNONYMS.
        (A while ago, I started thinking about the IDEOLOGY behind the dictionary. There HAVE to be ideas, even behind the most familiar aspects of our modern LANDSCAPE.)
        Organizing language in terms of synonyms is a way of postulating that WORDS CAN BE EQUIVALENT. (We have not always had dictionaries..)
        But… they are NOT equivalent. If they were, why even bother having TWO DIFFERENT WORDS ??
        If we think they are equivalent, it is because we are all gung ho about the idea of things being equivalent, and being able to substitute one … (you fill in) for another. (Follow this one out a little bit, it goes a long way).
        But if we constantly BELIEVE that the words are equivalent, then we will throw them around interchangeably. They end up not only being equivalent, but THE SAME (in our eyes and ears…)
        Shakespeare had an ENORMOUS vocabulary. HE did not seem to believe that the words were.. EQUAL ? EQUIVALENT ? What’s the difference ??

        Comment by Debra — November 4, 2011 @ 5:24 am

      • It sounds like that’s an example of your overly reductive thinking right there, if you think that synonyms are supposed to be exact equivalents, or that anyone else thinks that way. That’s an example of the kind of straw man you’re prone to set up.

        But no one thinks synonymous means “exactly equal”. A good working definition could be: Equivalent denotation, but differing connotation.

        That could be applied to positive democracy as well. Sure, there may be some liberals who take “egalitarian” in a literal reductive sense. But no true democrat wants anything but the equal denotation and the infinitely varying connotations within that range. (By contrast, the “range” of capitalism or any other coercive hierarchy is a fraudulent range of denotations while all connotations collapse to one Hobbesian struggle. It ends up being the difference between a Lorenz attractor vs. a dead, sterile point.)

        That can be written as follows: Freedom presupposes material equality, since by definition there can never be a free relation between those who significantly differ in wealth and power.

        In the political sense, freedom presupposes equal opportunity for democratic participation. The community as a polity must be primarily a dedicated space for political participation.

        In turn, this space, this polity, this opportunity, this freedom, all presuppose material equality. That’s a prerequisite, the denotation, one could say. From there all possible human connotations have freedom to flourish.

        Comment by Russ — November 4, 2011 @ 6:17 am

      • MY overly reductive thinking ??
        This one goes right back to why we will probably always be at each other’s throats.
        It’s.. Freud, and his “Dream Interpretation”.
        Freud who noticed how WE THINK BY ASSOCIATION, and how most of that association is really UNCONSCIOUS ASSOCIATION that the entire publicity/marketing industry is based on, by the way, if you hadn’t already noticed it.
        So… if YOU want to REDUCE YOURSELF to that itsy bitsy tip of the iceberg that is your CONSCIOUSNESS, go ahead.
        (So many Americans think that way already…)
        YOU have other ways of thinking THAT YOU DON’T AND CAN’T CONTROL, any more than you can control…other things, shall we say ?
        Today I was reading Colum McCann’s book on Rudolf Nureyev (spelling ? Sorry Rudy…).
        That Communist utopia sounds very much like what you’ve preached above. Very much.
        I am going to deliver a GROSS GENERALIZATION here, so watch out.
        The WORST, absolutely WORST aspect of OUR Christian heritage (that goes back way beyond the Puritans, but is visible in the Communist utopia too…) is HOW MUCH THESE UTOPIAS REALLY WANT TO SPOIL OUR FUN, AND BLOT OUT OUR JOY.
        Yours too, by the way, from the sounds of it. (Making material equality a necessary condition for FREEDOM is tantamount to idolatry of money. And look at the way you just HAD to go and spoil ALL MY FUN.) Homework : Ingmar Berman’s “Fanny and Alexander” which is unfortunately not very available right now. But it is very instructive for seeing how fanatical we are about being joyless, AND WHERE IT COMES FROM.
        These days it looks like we are really revving up for a BIG NUMBER of joykilling.
        BIG, BIG, BIG.
        Sad. Very sad.

        Comment by Debra — November 4, 2011 @ 2:19 pm

      • Uh huh. Wanting to abolish money, which we didn’t need for 99% of humanity’s natural history, is “idolatry of money”.

        I suppose no one had fun for those tens of thousands of years either.

        Comment by Russ — November 4, 2011 @ 5:37 pm

  3. This must be the same Debra who used to post over on Sudden Debt?

    Well, my power finally came back on and I must say it is welcome. Again we had generator failure based on bad gas, broken parts.
    It takes a lot of human energy to haul water from the creek to the animals and they don’t like it all that much. We are all used to the deep well with its 220 pump.

    I agree with you how much more frequent these outages are and how much longer it takes each time to get back up online. Partly it is because the street trees are getting old and brittle in my town. This time the outages were widespread and people were having trouble getting gas for their generators. There were gas lines around me (rural.) Others with propane generators had to call for repair trucks with parts. All of the hardware stores were out of the plugs that allow generators to power 220 pump systems.

    Also, I had some time to listen to the radio. Relying upon NPR for news was not fun. But I did get to hear a very scary NPR piece on cyber warfare. If a resource war is in our future then the very first thing the combatants will do is to disrupt each other’s energy supplies. That would make for a very quick, widespread grid crash and a very slow recovery indeed. And, if the lights go out for any length of time, the east and west coasts, booby trapped as they are by old nuclear plants, are toast.

    I am going to get a hand pump for the well and try to create a small solar/wood hot water system in a small space off of the kitchen. I am going to try to get as comfortable as I can on wood and hand labor. But I am not feeling at all hopeful about our future at the moment. Enjoying a hot bath while I can!

    Comment by Ellen Anderson — November 4, 2011 @ 4:59 pm

    • I don’t know Sudden Debt, but this Debra’s typography and manner are unmistakable, and I think I’d know it anywhere too.

      That’s a great account, Ellen, and your plans sound good. You say you don’t feel much hope, but you’re in much better shape than most.

      Comment by Russ — November 4, 2011 @ 5:43 pm

      • Perhaps better shape than most but not at all ready for permanent ‘lights out.’

        Comment by Ellen Anderson — November 4, 2011 @ 7:35 pm

      • I don’t think anyone here is. In the psychological sense some are much better prepared than others. But no one’s close to being physically ready; there are just points along a spectrum toward it.

        Comment by Russ — November 5, 2011 @ 3:34 am

  4. Gail, at Wit’s End seems to have diagnosed the aftermath of last Saturday’s snow storm: The trees are dying from atmospheric ozone, leading to increased limb breakage, which brought down power lines in many more places. She writes that as recently as three years ago she noticed marked acceleration of diseased trees. I just discovered her blog last night, and, like a deer in the headlights, horrified, I’ve been reading back through her posts of the past month. If what she reports is as bad as it seems, our forests may be dead in a decade. She also reports on ozone effects on crops (not just nuts and tree fruit).

    In her October 24 post Gail reports that the USDA Forest Service’s annual national Biomonitering Program, which has been collecting and analyzing samples of leaves for ozone damage at plots around the country, every year since 1994, has been quietly discontinued because “the results are getting too scary.”
    http://witsendnj.blogspot.com/2011/10/biostitution-and-marginal-leaf-burn.html

    http://witsendnj.blogspot.com/

    We’d been noticing the dying of our own trees over the past three years. Last month, a bitternut hickory, 3′ diameter at the base, fell over, separating from its roots, rotten inside the lower trunk, yet fully leafed, with green limbs. Gail writes that this is not unusual. See her post and photos of trees downed by the snow storm. The ozone damage to leaves (ozone enters through the stomata) reduces their ability to nourish their roots. Die-off is happening now.

    Russ, I read all of your posts, and find the discussions very stimulating and nurturing.
    ———
    As for Greer and thinking outside the box, as one who grew up not watching TV, who reads voraciously, it was hard for me to imagine how people can be content to remain willfully ignorant of reality unfolding, until I read Dave Cohen’s recent posts at Decline of the Empire: ‘The Optimist’s Brain’ http://www.declineoftheempire.com/2011/10/the-optimists-brain.html. Cohen is the most realistic blogger on peak oil and economics that I’ve come across. He has human nature pegged, and it ain’t purty: ‘Homo laeviculus — “Clueless Man”‘
    http://www.declineoftheempire.com/2011/09/homo-laeviculus-clueless-man.html
    ———
    “In the psychological sense some are much better prepared than others. But no one’s close to being physically ready”

    I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the difference between those of us who are psychologically and physically preparing, and those who are informed about the energy/economy/environment crisis, but who prefer denial. I think the latter are stuck in an addictive personality. The thought of not being able to access comforting things, as consumers, is not tolerable. Having to rely on one’s own wits and inner strength, and cope with feelings of abandonment is a big challenge.

    Comment by AR — November 5, 2011 @ 4:45 pm

    • Hi AR,

      Sorry your comment got stuck in my spam filter.

      The deterioration of the trees themselves hadn’t occurred to me, but it makes sense. That’ll certainly work in tandem with general infrastructure deterioration and lack of maintenance.

      I’m not surprised that they discontinued the study. Many have been discontinued, including many required by law like the TRI. I don’t think it’s because they find the results scary, though, except in the sense of scary to corporate propaganda.

      You may be right about the psychology of denial on the part of even many who know better. I’ve never been a “consumer” myself except in some superficial ways, so I’ve never known the pathology of feeling the need for all this material junk to continue being endlessly available at artificially low prices. Of course it’s economically impossible for consumerism to continue in the West even not counting resource limitations. (But those render this mythical infinite Asian consumer base impossible as well.) The “middle class” is being liquidated regardless. But the kleptocracy is counting on these psychological sunk costs to keep everyone quiescent as long as possible, and where necessary the elites plan to use that psychology toward fascist purposes.

      Our task is to prepare on individual, family, and community levels while at the same time organizing the democratic movement against, under, and over the corporate tyranny.

      Thanks for what you said about the blog. I didn’t know if you were still reading. You haven’t commented in a while. (Although I haven’t been writing as much lately; I’m sort of taking stock.)

      Comment by Russ — November 6, 2011 @ 8:32 am

  5. Russ,

    Thought you and fellow readers might enjoy this radio interview of Charles Eisenstein by Michael Ruppert. Fascinating little fun fact, the U.S.’s number one cultivated crop in terms of land mass is LAWN GRASS!! And of course all the fun chemical treatments that come with it. Anyway, artificial scarcity, old money paradigm, collective shift in consciousness, Occupy everywhere…. all discussed. Great stuff.

    http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-lifeboat-hour/2011/10/28/the-lifeboat-hour-103011.html

    Comment by Pete — November 6, 2011 @ 9:43 am

    • Thanks Pete. That doesn’t surprise me about the grass, as far as acreage.

      So much wasted, idle land.

      Comment by Russ — November 6, 2011 @ 9:59 am

  6. Very interesting stuff here. Although somebody needs to pull herself together about certain anatomy issues. Glad everyone else is grown-up, apparently!

    Russ, great blog!

    Comment by DualPersonality — November 6, 2011 @ 2:37 pm

    • Thanks DP!

      Comment by Russ — November 6, 2011 @ 3:47 pm

  7. There are a surprising number of people to whom I’ve spoken that managed very well during the power outage. We had the luxury of a generator (which is better than allowing oneself to become a refugee, but still too dependent for my taste. Plus, I’m still enriching the fuel companies.); these folks used camping equipment, wood stoves, rain barrel water to flush toilets,etc. I felt humbled when I was hearing this, yet at the same time inspired! All is not hopeless.

    Comment by DualPersonality — November 6, 2011 @ 2:45 pm

    • Sounds like you’re on the right track. We just try to do things better one thing at a time.

      Comment by Russ — November 6, 2011 @ 3:46 pm

  8. […] from one year ago. Links are in the original.)   I haven’t read Richard Duncan’s Olduvai theory in a long time, […]

    Pingback by Olduvai One Year Later « Volatility — November 4, 2012 @ 7:03 am

  9. […] like this never happened. It’s now getting to be a regular event. I wrote last year how the Olduvai Theory of Peak Oil predicts exactly these phenomena. I think I’ll repost it today.   So far I’ve been lucky with the gas. I filled up on […]

    Pingback by Storm « Volatility — November 4, 2012 @ 7:07 am

  10. Hello there! This article couldn’t be written much better! Looking at this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He always kept preaching about this. I will forward this post to him. Fairly certain he’ll have a
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    Comment by aumento peniano — August 2, 2013 @ 8:21 pm


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