11 results back to index

pages: 235 words: 65,885

Peak Everything: Waking Up to the Century of Declines by Richard Heinberg, James Howard (frw) Kunstler


anti-communist, Asilomar, back-to-the-land, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, demographic transition, ending welfare as we know it, energy transition, Fractional reserve banking, greed is good, Haber-Bosch Process, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), land reform, means of production, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post-oil, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, the built environment, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, urban planning

Table of Contents Praise Title Page Join the Conversation Acknowledgements Foreword Preface Introduction ON TECHNOLOGY, AGRICULTURE, AND THE ARTS Chapter 1 - Tools with a Life of Their Own Classy Tools It’s the Energy, Silly Peak Oil and the Limits of Technology Staring at Techno-Collapse Chapter 2 - Fifty Million Farmers Intensifying Food Production The 21 Century: De-Industrialization Examples and Strategies The Key: More Farmers! If We Do This Well Chapter 3 - (post-) Hydrocarbon Aesthetics Designing for the Tragic Interlude of Cheap Abundance Hydrocarbon Style: Big, Fast, and Ugly Oh, To Be Hip Again Manifesto for a Post-Carbon Aesthetic ON NATURE’S LIMITS AND THE HUMAN CONDITION Chapter 4 - Five Axioms of Sustainability History and Background Five Axioms Evaluation Chapter 5 - Parrots and Peoples Chapter 6 - Population, Resources, and Human Idealism THE END OF ONE ERA, THE BEGINNING OF ANOTHER Chapter 7 - The Psychology of Peak Oil and Climate Change Explaining Our Incomprehension Acceptance and Beyond: Peak Oil Grief Collective PTSD A Model for Explanation and Treatment: Addiction and Dependency Proactive Application: Social Marketing Chapter 8 - Bridging Peak Oil and Climate Change Activism Differing Perspectives Differing Recommendations Supply Side, Demand Side Common Ground Chapter 9 - Boomers’ Last Chance?

., “sustainable yields” on investments) that can have no substantial impact whatever on society’s ability to survive into the future. This chapter represents my effort to help refine our working definitions of these key terms. It is somewhat tougher reading than the rest of the book, and I had thought of making it an appendix; however, it is not an afterthought, but goes to the heart of every other significant discussion in the text. Three chapters were inspired by creative works: “(post-) Hydrocarbon Aesthetics” came from a visit to an Arts and Crafts museum exhibit; “Parrots and Peoples” followed my viewing of the documentary film The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill; and “Population, Resources, and Human Idealism” was my response to the Broadway musical, Urinetown. In each case, the result was not a review in the usual sense, but rather an exploration of ideas relating to the theme of this book.

Rather than consigning ourselves to that fate, let us accept the current challenge — the next great energy transition — as an opportunity not to try vainly to preserve business as usual (the American Way of Life that, we are told, is not up for negotiation), but rather to re-imagine human culture from the ground up, using our intelligence and passion for the welfare of the next generations, and the integrity of nature’s web, as our primary guides. 3 (post-) Hydrocarbon Aesthetics THOUGH I COULD HARDLY call myself a professional violinist these days, I still get the occasional call for a wedding or other special function, and I cherish these increasingly rare opportunities to work alongside competent players. This past April I was hired to play in a string quartet to provide the requisite “musical wallpaper” for the opening of a traveling exhibit (“International Arts and Crafts: From William Morris to Frank Lloyd Wright”) at the de Young Museum in San Francisco.

pages: 372 words: 107,587

The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economic Reality by Richard Heinberg


3D printing, agricultural Revolution, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, banks create money, Bretton Woods, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, computerized trading, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, dematerialisation, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Elliott wave,, energy transition, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, Gini coefficient, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Kenneth Rogoff, late fees, liberal capitalism, mega-rich, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage debt, naked short selling, Naomi Klein, Negawatt, new economy, Nixon shock, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, post-oil, price stability, private military company, quantitative easing, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, short selling, special drawing rights, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trade liberalization, tulip mania, working poor, zero-sum game

We begin the chapter with a rather stark portrayal of a “default scenario” of what is likely to transpire if the managers of the global money system continue with current policies. Along the way, we learn about alternative currencies, ecological economics, and the economics of happiness. Finally, Chapter 7 discusses what individuals and communities can do now to prepare for changed conditions ahead, laying the groundwork for the post-growth, post-hydrocarbon economy and way of life. As hopeful signs and opportunities, we explore Transition Initiatives and Common Security Clubs. I recommend reading these chapters in sequence. The book develops its argument cumulatively. The process of writing the End of Growth changed me. Even though I was well prepared to undertake the project, having spent the past four decades observing how and why our current growth-based economy is unsustainable, I found the process of coming to terms with the implications of an ongoing cessation of worldwide economic expansion more than sobering.

As was argued in Chapter 6, if we focus on maximizing social and cultural benefits rather than on increasing GDP, we could actually come out ahead in some respects — enjoying, for example, the sense of security that comes from knowing that the skills one learns today will still be relevant in twenty years, or from knowing that species one sees today will still be around for one’s grandchildren to see as well. Sometimes questions about what is possible can be answered with an experiment. In this case, the relevant experiment might consist of a community trying to build a sustainable post-hydrocarbon economy while maximizing social and cultural payoffs. Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage is precisely such a research project. Founded about 15 years ago by a small group of recent West Coast college graduates, Dancing Rabbit is an intentional community of about 50 people set amid the hills and prairies of rural northeastern Missouri. The stated goal of its residents is “to live ecologically sustainable and socially rewarding lives, and to share the skills and ideas behind that lifestyle.”20 Members of the community explore natural building, ecological food systems, and consensus decision-making; they have a vehicle co-op, a co-op healthcare fund, and guest space for visitors.

pages: 829 words: 229,566

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate by Naomi Klein


1960s counterculture, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bilateral investment treaty, British Empire, business climate, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, Climategate, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, Community Supported Agriculture, complexity theory, crony capitalism, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, energy security, energy transition, equal pay for equal work, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, financial deregulation, food miles, Food sovereignty, global supply chain, hydraulic fracturing, ice-free Arctic, immigration reform, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet Archive, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, light touch regulation, market fundamentalism, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, new economy, Nixon shock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open borders, patent troll, Pearl River Delta, planetary scale, post-oil, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rana Plaza, Ronald Reagan, smart grid, special economic zone, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, structural adjustment programs, Ted Kaczynski, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, trickle-down economics, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, wages for housework, walkable city, Washington Consensus, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

ECUADOR: Nick Miroff, “In Ecuador, Oil Boom Creates Tensions,” Washington Post, February 16, 2014; BOLIVIA AND VENEZUELA: Dan Luhnow and José de Córdoba, “Bolivia Seizes Natural-Gas Fields in a Show of Energy Nationalism,” Wall Street Journal, May 2, 2006; ARGENTINA: “Argentine Province Suspends Open-Pit Gold Mining Project Following Protests,” MercoPress, January 31, 2012; “GREEN DESERTS”: “The Green Desert,” The Economist, August 6, 2004; BRAZIL: “The Rights and Wrongs of Belo Monte,” The Economist, May 4, 2013; RAW RESOURCES: Exports of Primary Products as Percentage of Total Exports, “Statistical Yearbook for Latin America and the Caribbean,” Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, United Nations, 2012, p. 101; CHINA: Joshua Schneyer and Nicolás Medina Mora Pérez, “Special Report: How China Took Control of an OPEC Country’s Oil,” Reuters, November 26, 2013. 45. Eduardo Gudynas, “Buen Vivir: Today’s Tomorrow,” Development 54 (2011): 442–43; Martínez in Temper et al., “Towards a Post-Oil Civilization,” p.17; Eduardo Gudynas, “The New Extractivism of the 21st Century: Ten Urgent Theses About Extractivism in Relation to Current South American Progressivism,” Americas Program Report, Washington, D.C.: Center for International Policy, January 21, 2010. 46. Personal interview with Alexis Tsipras, May 23, 2013. 47. Patricia Molina, “The ‘Amazon Without Oil’ Campaign: Oil Activity in Mosetén Territory,” in Temper et al., “Towards a Post-Oil Civilization,” p. 75. 48. William T. Hornaday, Wild Life Conservation in Theory and Practice (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1914), v–vi. 49. “Who Was John Muir?” Sierra Club,; John Muir, The Yosemite (New York: Century, 1912), 261–62. 50.

Ossie Michelin, “Amanda Polchies, the Woman in Iconic Photo, Says Image Represents ‘Wisp of Hope,’ ” APTN, October 24, 2013; “Greek Granny Goads Riot Police at Gold Mining Protest with Wartime Song,” (video) Keep Talking Greece, March 8, 2013; David Herron, “Government Still Ensuring Hydraulic Fracturing Happens in Pungesti, Romania, Despite Protests by Villagers,” The Long Tail Pipe, January 5, 2014. 23. FOOTNOTE: Maxime Combes, “Let’s Frackdown the Fracking Companies,” in Leah Temper, et al., “Towards a Post-Oil Civilization: Yasunization and Other Initiatives to Leave Fossil Fuels in the Soil,” EJOLT Report No. 6, May 2013, p. 92. 24. Esperanza Martínez, “The Yasuní—ITT Initiative from a Political Economy and Political Ecology Perspective,” in Temper et al., “Towards a Post-Oil Civilization,” p. 11; KC Golden, “The Keystone Principle,” Getting a GRIP on Climate Solutions, February 15, 2013. 25. “Chop Fine: The Human Rights Impact of Local Government Corruption and Mismanagement in Rivers State, Nigeria,” Human Rights Watch, January 2007, p. 16; “Niger Delta Human Development Report,” United Nations Development Programme, 2006, p. 76; Adam Nossiter, “Far from Gulf, a Spill Scourge 5 Decades Old,” New York Times, June 16, 2010; Christian Purefoy, “Nigerians Angry at Oil Pollution Double Standards,” CNN, June 30, 2010. 26.

Note that after Shell pulled out, pipelines crossing Ogoni territory from other wells remained active. Godwin Uyi Ojo, “Nigeria, Three Complementary Viewpoints on the Niger Delta,” in Temper et al., “Towards a Post-Oil Civilization,” pp. 39–40; “Nigeria Ogoniland Oil Clean-up ‘Could Take 30 Years,’ ” BBC News, August 4, 2011; Carley Petesch, “Shell Niger Delta Oil Spill: Company to Negotiate Compensation and Cleanup with Nigerians,” Associated Press, September 9, 2013; Eghosa E. Osaghae, “The Ogoni Uprising: Oil Politics, Minority Agitation and the Future of the Nigerian State,” African Affairs 94 (1995): 325–344. 29. Osuoka interview, January 10, 2014; Ojo in Temper et al., “Towards a Post-Oil Civilization,” p. 40. 30. Elisha Bala-Gbogbo, “Nigeria Says Revenue Gap May Reach as Much as $12 Billion,” Bloomberg, November 1, 2013; Ed Pilkington, “14 Years After Ken Saro-Wiwa’s Death, Family Points Finger at Shell in Court,” Guardian, May 26, 2009; Frank Aigbogun, “It Took Five to Hang Saro-Wiwa,” Associated Press, November 13, 1995; Andrew Rowell and Stephen Kretzmann, “The Ogoni Struggle,” report, Project Underground, Berkeley, California, 1996. 31.

pages: 127 words: 51,083

The Oil Age Is Over: What to Expect as the World Runs Out of Cheap Oil, 2005-2050 by Matt Savinar


Albert Einstein, clean water, energy security, hydrogen economy, illegal immigration, invisible hand, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, post-oil, Ralph Nader, reserve currency, Rosa Parks, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Y2K

No invention was mass-produced and no resource was distributed without an abundance of cheap oil. Dealing with an energy crisis of this scope is not as simple as just "thinking of something." We are talking about the collapse of a highly complex society. Complex societies make massive changes over the course of decades or centuries, not 5-15 years. When faced with sudden change, complex societies tend to collapse. The post-oil collapse of North Korea, for example, while not completely analogous to countries such as the US, shows us what happens when a complex, industrialized, nation runs into a massive oil shortage: North Korea has never had any real oil resources of its own. During the Cold War, it imported its oil from the Soviet Union, China and Iran. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1990, North Korea's oil supply plummeted.

They had plenty of necessity, in addition to as much native intelligence and work ethic as any other people, but they were unable to come up with any inventions that even moderately alleviated their situation. Necessity is the mother of invention, but she needs some food (oil) to give birth to anything. The entire world now finds itself in a situation similar to the one North Korea found itself in 1990. With worldwide oil shortages on the horizon, there is no one we can appeal to for more oil. The post-oil collapse of North Korea should serve as a warning to anyone who dismisses the issue of oil depletion with a cavalier, "I'm not worried — we'll think of something." 53. People survived for thousands of years before oil. There is no reason we can’t survive without oil. Absolutely, as long as the population contracts to what it was before the oil age. 54. What if everybody went out and got a hybrid car?

But this cannot happen without massive political pressure, and our problem is that no one ever rioted for austerity.191 99. What are some steps we can take as a society to deal with Peak Oil? What are some public policies that, if implemented, will help us manage this crash instead of just running into it? Peak Oil is going to happen. People are going to die. We cannot stop it. But we may be able to minimize the amount of suffering while maximizing the chances of building a successful post-oil civilization if we implement appropriate public policies such as: 102 The Oil Age is Over A. Civilized Measures to Support Population Reduction The primary cause of the looming energy crisis is the fact that the world has more people than can be supported in a steady-state-renewable-energy environment. The obvious solution is to reduce the world's population in the most civilized way possible.

pages: 497 words: 144,283

Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization by Parag Khanna


1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, 9 dash line, additive manufacturing, Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Boycotts of Israel, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, British Empire, business intelligence, call centre, capital controls, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, complexity theory, continuation of politics by other means, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, data is the new oil, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deglobalization, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, Detroit bankruptcy, digital map, diversification, Doha Development Round, edge city, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy security, ethereum blockchain, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, Ferguson, Missouri, financial innovation, financial repression, fixed income, forward guidance, global supply chain, global value chain, global village, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, Hyperloop, ice-free Arctic, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, industrial cluster, industrial robot, informal economy, Infrastructure as a Service, interest rate swap, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Julian Assange, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, Khyber Pass, Kibera, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, LNG terminal, low cost carrier, manufacturing employment, mass affluent, mass immigration, megacity, Mercator projection, Metcalfe’s law, microcredit, mittelstand, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, openstreetmap, out of africa, Panamax, Parag Khanna, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post-oil, post-Panamax, private military company, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the built environment, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transaction costs, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, WikiLeaks, young professional, zero day

Foreigners often set up companies in offshore “Creative Zones” located (onshore) in other emirates such as Fujairah, granting them residency permits that they then use to set up and fully own onshore companies. The ruling class knows full well that were it not for upgrading to superior international standards for governing every sector, Dubai would have remained little more than a shipping entrepôt. Most important, opening the door to foreign-operated zones has paved the way for a post-oil future in which already 75 percent of Dubai’s economy is construction, real estate, finance, manufacturing, retail, and other services. As Dubai’s rapid rebound since the crisis has proved, governments and companies working hand in hand is crony capitalism only in theoretical orthodoxy.2 In the real world, it is part of strategic economic survival. — DESERTS ARE LIMITLESS PLACES, but only with modern desalination and irrigation—and air-conditioning—has man been able to colonize the desert at large scale rather than merely, though with great fortitude, crossing it as Bedouin have done in the Sahara and the Gulf’s fabled Empty Quarter.

The few known cases have taken place after about thirty years of residence, and it has only been granted to Muslims with very strong domestic patrons. *3 KAEC is also home to the country’s first dedicated innovation lab, SiNova, and nearby is the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, which was developed in collaboration with leading Western universities and focuses on environmental sciences and crop engineering, key areas for a post-oil and pro-employment Saudi economy. *4 Over three million people and almost two million vehicles cross this border annually. CHAPTER 12 GETTING ON THE MAP POP-UP CITIES The recently published Global Trends 2030 report of the National Intelligence Council includes a very plausible scenario called “Non-state World” in which urbanization, technology, and capital accumulation together accelerate the rise of special economic zones effectively run by capitalist forces: “It is as if the central government acknowledges its own inability to forge reforms and then subcontract out responsibility to a second party.

pages: 397 words: 112,034

What's Next?: Unconventional Wisdom on the Future of the World Economy by David Hale, Lyric Hughes Hale


affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, capital controls, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, cognitive bias, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, debt deflation, declining real wages, deindustrialization, diversification, energy security, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, floating exchange rates, full employment, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, global village, high net worth, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, index fund, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Just-in-time delivery, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, Long Term Capital Management, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Wolf, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Mikhail Gorbachev, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage tax deduction, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open economy, passive investing, payday loans, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, post-oil, price stability, private sector deleveraging, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, technology bubble, The Great Moderation, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Tobin tax, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, Washington Consensus, Westphalian system, women in the workforce, yield curve

While the near-term economic horizon is currently dominated by an uneven economic recovery process and a reduced appetite for commodities as an asset class, a longer-term time horizon is needed to make sense of market behaviors that fail to be fully determined by the present supply-demand balance. Let us reflect, therefore, on what has been learned since the financial crisis of 2008–2009 regarding the longer-term market determinants. We shall begin with the move toward a post-oil economy that some think could be imposed by geological limits—“peak oil” and the assumed twilight in the desert1—or by concerns for climate change. We shall then turn our attention to the energy investment scene and its implications for spare production capacity, and conclude with an examination of the short-term determinants of energy prices, including investment in “paper barrels.” Peaks on the Horizon: Wall or Mirage?

pages: 394 words: 85,734

The Global Minotaur by Yanis Varoufakis, Paul Mason


active measures, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, business climate, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, corporate governance, correlation coefficient, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, debt deflation, declining real wages, deindustrialization, endogenous growth, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, first-past-the-post, full employment, Hyman Minsky, industrial robot, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, light touch regulation, liquidity trap, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, market fundamentalism, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, money market fund, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, negative equity, new economy, Northern Rock, paper trading, Paul Samuelson, planetary scale, post-oil, price stability, quantitative easing, reserve currency, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, structural adjustment programs, systematic trading, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, urban renewal, War on Poverty, Yom Kippur War

The tacit US–Japanese accord was simple: Japan would continue to recycle its trade surpluses by purchasing US debt and investing in America; in return, it would be granted continued privileged access to America’s domestic market, thus providing Japanese industry with the overall demand that Japanese society was incapable of producing. However, there was a snag: when one buys foreign assets, at some point these assets start to generate income, which must eventually be repatriated. Japan thus ran the risk of ceasing to be able to remain a net capital exporter and of turning into a rentier nation. This prospect was at odds with the post-oil crisis Japanese growth strategy, which was to concentrate on high-value-added, low-energy-using industries like electronics, integrated circuits, computers and mechatronics (industrial robots). On 22 September 1985, the United States, Japan, West Germany, France and Britain signed the Plaza Accord. The agreement’s stated purpose was to devalue the US dollar in an attempt to reduce America’s trade deficit (and, by extension, its budget deficit), in other words to rein in the Global Minotaur.

pages: 443 words: 112,800

The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power Is Transforming Energy, the Economy, and the World by Jeremy Rifkin


3D printing, additive manufacturing, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, borderless world, carbon footprint, centre right, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate governance, decarbonisation, distributed generation,, energy security, energy transition, global supply chain, hydrogen economy, income inequality, industrial cluster, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Isaac Newton, job automation, knowledge economy, manufacturing employment, marginal employment, Martin Wolf, Masdar, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open borders, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, post-oil, purchasing power parity, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, supply-chain management, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, urban planning, urban renewal, Yom Kippur War, Zipcar

There is a saying in the Middle East that goes something like this: “My grandfather rode a camel, my father drove a car, I travel on a jet, and my grandchild will ride a camel.” Not necessarily. The deserts of the Middle East and North Africa have more solar potential per square inch than any other region in the world—more energy potential, in fact, than all of the oil ever extracted from deep beneath its sand dunes. The United Arab Emirates, the fifth-largest oil producing power, is already preparing for a post-oil era. Abu Dhabi is investing billions of dollars in the construction of a new city rising from the desert. It’s called Masdar, a post-carbon city that will be run exclusively by the sun, wind, and other forms of renewable energy. It’s a Third Industrial Revolution urban space, the first of thousands of such cities that will be nodes in the distributed networks that will crisscross every continent.

pages: 497 words: 143,175

Pivotal Decade: How the United States Traded Factories for Finance in the Seventies by Judith Stein


1960s counterculture, affirmative action, airline deregulation, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, capital controls, centre right, collective bargaining, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, desegregation, energy security, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, feminist movement, financial deregulation, floating exchange rates, full employment, Gunnar Myrdal, income inequality, income per capita, intermodal, invisible hand, knowledge worker, laissez-faire capitalism, liberal capitalism, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market bubble, Martin Wolf, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open economy, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, post-industrial society, post-oil, price mechanism, price stability, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Simon Kuznets, strikebreaker, trade liberalization, union organizing, urban planning, urban renewal, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, working poor, Yom Kippur War

Often oil was bartered for industrial plants and armaments. Iraq agreed to supply Japan for ten years in return for a $1-billion credit for a liquified petroleum gas (LPG) processing facility and a refinery, as well as petrochemical, fertilizer, and aluminum plants.69 France negotiated a similar deal. Britain, France, and Germany contracted for Saudi Arabian oil in return for armaments.70 Forced to pay more than the posted oil price, the industrial countries got their revenge by overcharging on the goods they delivered. The paupers paying cash got to pay the higher oil prices because the barter price became the market price. The British, banking on future North Sea revenues, also did not work for lower prices.71 Japan, completely dependent upon Middle East oil, which constituted 80 percent of its energy mix, lacked diplomatic leverage, so it adjusted to high prices.

pages: 510 words: 120,048

Who Owns the Future? by Jaron Lanier


3D printing, 4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, augmented reality, automated trading system, barriers to entry, bitcoin, book scanning, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, cloud computing, commoditize, computer age, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, David Graeber, delayed gratification, digital Maoism, Douglas Engelbart,, Everything should be made as simple as possible, facts on the ground, Filter Bubble, financial deregulation, Fractional reserve banking, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Akerlof, global supply chain, global village, Haight Ashbury, hive mind, if you build it, they will come, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jacquard loom, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Metcalfe’s law, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, packet switching, Peter Thiel, place-making, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-oil, pre–internet, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart meter, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Market for Lemons, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

It’s hard to imagine China deciding to throw much of its own population into unemployment. It is still a centrally planned society to a significant degree. It’s hard, even, to imagine one of China’s neighbors doing it. Would an aging Japan automate its factories to undercut China? Seems like a significant risk. But somebody somewhere would find the motivation. Maybe a low-population but capital-rich Persian Gulf nation worried about the post-oil future would fund gigantic automated factories to undercut China in the production of consumer electronics. It might even happen in the United States, which has ever-fewer manufacturing jobs to protect anyway. What would it look like to automate manufacturing? Well, the first word that comes to mind is temporary. And the reason is that the act of making manufacturing into a more automated technology would inherently move it a step closer to being a “software-mediated” technology.

pages: 433 words: 127,171

The Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Future by Gretchen Bakke


Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, autonomous vehicles, back-to-the-land, big-box store, Buckminster Fuller, demand response, dematerialisation, distributed generation, energy security, energy transition, full employment, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, Internet of things, laissez-faire capitalism, Menlo Park, Negawatt, new economy, off grid, post-oil, profit motive, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart grid, smart meter, the built environment, too big to fail, washing machines reduced drudgery, Whole Earth Catalog

In other words if a problem exists the engineer can fix it using the problem-solving approach and succeed in perpetuating progress.” Hirsh (1989), 125. America like a sledgehammer: Daniel Barber argues that there was a sense of worry about the imbalance between sites of production (of oil) and sites of use as early as the late 1940s in the United States and that midcentury solar architecture (craftsman) homes are a result of this. Nevertheless the reality of this issue didn’t hit home until 1973. Daniel A. Barber, “The Post-Oil Architectural Imaginary in the 1950s,” public lecture, “Lines and Nodes: Media, Infrastructure, and Aesthetics,” at New York University’s Media, Culture, and Communication symposium, 2014. investor-owned leviathans: “U.S. Electric Utility Industry Statistics (2015–2016 Annual Directory & Statistical Report),” American Public Power Association, accessed October 26, 2015,