Considered a tad controversial this short 1 min advert pictures the world from the Chinese perspective in 20 years time. It will probably be not far wrong.
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David on his soapbox again. This time the notion of wasting valuable resources just because the current price mechanisms make them cheap gets a dressing down. Is a carbon tax that hard? Oh wait yes. Nobody likes to go backwards or pay more than they feel they should just because they once bought it cheaper sometime in the past. Pity nobody seems to realise that with peak oil the cheap days will be soon forever gone.
Terry Karl, Gildred Professor of Latin American Studies and professor of Political Science at Stanford University, discusses overcoming the resource curse. Also known as the paradox of plenty it is the fact that most resource rich, in this case oil rich countries are performing far poorer than non resource rich countries in terms of development and governance indicators, defying logical economic thought. This is largely a phenomenon in countries which have poor governing systems and high incomes (from the oil) increasing the likelihood of corruption. These oil rents/income break the traditional relationship of governments and people with the tax, representation, accountability dynamic found in developed countries such as Europe and the US. When government coffers are not dependent on taxes and are almost exclusively dependent on secret transactions between oil companies and governments it leads to the continuation of this corruption cycle. Government leaders can spend this money however they like, building up military and buying off certain key sections of the population (religious, ethnic, regional groups, etc.) and keep control of government through more autocratic means. A story that exists in the majority of oil producing countries.
Terry argues that transparency in disclosing payments made from oil companies to countries is a key first step in breaking the cycle of secrecy which helps shape the current political situations of civil war and conflict in many of these oil producing countries. Without it, development and democracy will be permanently hindered. It also has large ramifications for the world as a whole. Reporting on oil production and reserves is highly dubious in terms of accuracy and the biggest, most profitable market in the world uses this extremely bad information to predict oil prices. This helps breed uncertainty, speculation and ultimately volatility in the marketplace which is bad for every consumer of oil but also completes a viscous circle with oil producing countries as their incomes yoyo up and down, causing any budget planning to go out the window. This also helps breed mistrust between the various parties, particularly with the left out sections of the population of the oil producing countries, increasing likelihood of conflict, interruptions in oil production and further market volatility. The resource curse affects us all.
A shortened version of the Crash Course with information tailored for a United Kingdom audience.
Chris Martenson explains the predicament the UK and world economy is in from the perspective of economics, energy and the environment. He discusses concepts such as the nature of money, debt, exponential growth, natural limits, peak oil and energy yields.
Chapter 17a – Peak Oil: Energy is the lifeblood of any economy and a steady supply of energy is necessary to maintain the status quo, while an ever-increasing supply is needed to grow an economy. In this chapter, Dr. Chris Martenson explains that Peak Oil is not a theory, rather it is a description of how oil production increases over time, reaches a peak, then declines. Evidence points to a global production peak in the near future, which is troubling since the U.S. imports two-thirds of its oil and relies on it to much of its transportation and food production needs.
Chapter 17b – Energy Budgeting: Petroleum has supplied the surplus energy that has allowed for social complexity, industrialization, and the modern conveniences that we enjoy. In this chapter, Dr. Chris Martenson explains that in the future our supply of surplus energy will decline due to the fact that increasing amounts of energy will be required to produce new energy. When poor net energy (ERoEI) returns are paired with peak oil production, it points to a return to a less complex society.
This is the first video of many in a video series explaining much of what is going on in the world today with regards to the economy and it dependence on energy and the environment. At around 3 hours in length, it’s not an easy thing to sit down and watch but I highly recommend that you do. Chris does an excellent job of putting it all together and I’m sure it will profoundly affect your thinking for the better. This material dates to before the financial crash in 2008 and he has predicted much of what has happened over the last few years.
www.chrismartenson.com for more.
I love this video on so many levels. In the 11 mins I learnt more about all the financial crisis mumbo jumbo than i had with the hours of newspaper articles. And it’s so damn pretty too. My gold standard for educational videos.