Thursday, December 07, 2017


News Links, December 8, 2017

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
A Radical Critique of Universal Basic Income
UBI is the last gasp of a broken, dying system, a "solution" that institutionalizes all the injustices of serfdom under the guise of aiding those left behind by automation.

## War on cash/cashless society ##
Trump's Latest Pick for the Fed Is No Fan of Paper Money
Marvin Goodfriend says it would be easier to impose negative interest rates if people couldn't hoard cash.
Bitcoin Exchanges Are Buckling While the Price Surges Past $16,000
Steam stops accepting payments in bitcoins

## Airline death spiral ##
Airline crews are being forced to restrain more unruly, drunk passengers
Turf War Takes Off at Beijing's New Airport

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Indonesia calls Russian bombers visit part of navigation exercise
The Russian Air Force has for the first time sent strategic bombers to visit an airport in eastern Indonesia on Tuesday, as the Russian military increases its presence in Southeast Asia following years of relative inactivity.
Asia is increasingly becoming the province of the Russians and the Chinese. On the other hand, the US will find it gradually more difficult to maintain a far-flung, global military presence, and it will eventually have to pull out of Asia. -- RF
Pentagon: US Troops to Remain in Syria
Deployment Will Continue 'As Long as Necessary'
Japan's summit with China, South Korea unlikely this year
Beijing's anger at Seoul's missile installation is biggest hurdle
Trump's Scheme to Carve Up Palestine
President Trump's big idea for Israeli-Palestinian peace was the "outside-in" plan in which Israel's new Saudi allies would squeeze the Palestinians until they accepted a bogus "state."

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Protestors Shut Down A Minnesota Wells Fargo Over Oil Investments

## Energy/resources ##
The 'Mega' Oil Field That Will Never Boom
2017 will most likely witness a continuation in the decline of conventional oil discoveries. This year has seen no major onshore discovery.
For years, shale companies burned through cash to grow production, a strategy that promised future returns even at the cost of a sharp increase in debt. The problem was that, by and large, the vast majority of shale companies have come up short, failing to turn a profit even as production soared. They added barrels to the market at an amazing clip, but shareholders have been left disappointed.
For renewables, Westwood said the growth for offshore wind should offer "a significant opportunity" for the helicopter fleet. By its estimate, growth in offshore wind translates to $119 million for helicopter spending through 2022.
Offshore wind power advocates need to think seriously about how to do this without that ICE-powered helicopter fleet, and without fossil fuels. Electric helicopters? Electric boats and cranes? And how will the boats and helicopters be made? For that matter, how will turbines be made? -- RF
Lifetime extension of nuclear plants is big problem for EU power sector
Fewer nuclear reactors are being built worldwide but more and more nuclear power plants run for longer periods than originally planned. It is therefore high time that those term extensions become a European issue, Claus Mayr of the German Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union told EURACTIV Germany in an interview.
Fuhgeddaboudit: Going off-grid in the UK
In my recent post featuring a residence in Tucson, Arizona (latitude 32 north) I found that no reasonable number of Tesla Powerwalls would allow the homeowner to go off-grid using a combination of solar and battery storage. In this post I review a residence in UK (latitude 52 north) and find, unsurprisingly, that its prospects for going off-grid with solar and Powerwalls are likewise non-existent.

Why You Won't Live Forever: The Human Body Already Peaked, Scientists Warn
Although people have made great biological strides in recent centuries, including increasing lifespans, there has been a great slowdown of those improvements, a group of experts wrote in an article for the journal Frontiers in Physiology. They say that's because our species has reached its peak and will only trend downward from here. And climate change may help drive that dive.

Russia-gate's Reach into Journalism
The investigation to somehow blame Russia for Donald Trump's election has now merged with another establishment goal of isolating and intimidating whistleblowers and other dissidents.

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
The Tangled Threads of Russia-gate
A curious feature about the Russia-gate "scandal" is that its proponents ignore the growing number of moments when their evidence undercuts their narrative. Instead, they press ahead toward a predetermined destination in much the way that true-believing conspiracy theorists are known to do.
Russia: Our New (and Old) Official Enemy

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Will the Navy go out with a whimper instead of a bang?
A world-girdling navy is of course unsustainable, but tell that to the admirals. -- RF
Upgrade of India's Mirage fighter fleet in jeopardy as maintenance contracts lapse
The upgrade of India's Mirage 2000-H fleet could face a roadblock, after the maintenance warranty from original equipment manufacturers Dassault Aviation and Thales of France expired with nobody willing to continue footing the bill.
An innovative look at the phenomenon. The "networked system" concept is also central to the work of Gail Tverberg at Our Finite World. And note this statement: "Decline of conventional oil production since it peaked in 2005 has led to desperate harvesting of unconventional oils pushed through by means of political deceit, fraudulent market misrepresentations and financial/economic distortions." Sharp readers will instantly notice that this is in effect what I've been saying about fracking for shale oil and mining oil sand: They are billed as technological marvels that "unlock" new sources of energy and save the day, but in reality the exploitation of such junk energy is a sign of desperation. Rough ride ahead, so strap yourselves in. -- RF

More laughable claptrap on human population decline. The mistaken and dangerous controlling ideology at work here is that human populations must be kept at current grossly inflated levels to prop up the moribund perpetual-growth economy, maintain insolvent Ponzi pension schemes, and accomplish other impossible tasks. What growth advocates don't understand is energy. The global human population (to the detriment of non-human populations) has ballooned to its current multi-billions because of the fossil fuel energy bonanza which humanity has been exploiting over the past few centuries. And the reason that populations are now falling is none other than net energy decline, i.e., the net energy of the global economy is no longer high enough to sustain current populations. Hence populations are falling around the world because people can't afford so many children (people see this as a problem of money, but it's actually energy). Economists and policymakers need to see that their analysis of the problem is wrong, and that their efforts to maintain the human population are futile. Finally, even if for illustrative purposes, the idea that ultimately there will be only 300 Japanese left because of current demographic trends is preposterous. The population of any country or region will stabilize at a level which is commensurate with available energy (this also holds for non-human populations). Japan's population in the Edo period is estimated to have been fairly stable at about 30 million. Keep in mind that Japan at that time was closed to the outside world and was therefore totally self-sufficient. As such, even without fossil fuels, electricity, or any of the other trappings of modern civilization, this small archipelago can support tens of millions. Do not lend your years to the maniacal ravings of brain-dead growth advocates. Following their dictates can only end in disaster and tears. -- RF
China U-turns on coal ban amid growing outcry over numbers left freezing in winter cold
Northern officials told that keeping people warm is 'number one' priority as dash for gas fails to ensure adequate power supplies

## UK ##
Medical issues affect British army readiness
One in five soldiers -- about 18,000 -- is unable to participate in full combat situations.
The Tax Bill is a Big Win for U.S. Oil And Gas
Renewable energy could get hit hard.

And finally...

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