Episode-1552- The Long Slow Socioeconomic Emergency — 66 Comments

  1. I was in Sinclair Wyoming a few years back and the the Price of Gas was outrageous, The Sinclair Gas Station was right next the Sinclair Refinery and i asked why is the Gas so high here…the Sinclair Refinery is right here….She laughed at me and said I have to get my gas from Denver…These Bastards make me buy it from a company that has the rights to sell it…Insane!

  2. Going back to my early 20’s (I’m almost 60)and being enrolled in a community college, I was face to face with the major concerns on over-population and limited resources in our not-to-distant future. The population of California in 1970 was around 20 million, today it’s over 40 million. Two classes I was taking were sociology and psychology and class discussions were on the tests performed by Ethologist John Calhoun who coined the term “Behavioral Sink”. Calhoun conducted over-population/diminishing resource experiments on lab rats and the results were startling and used and taught as a model of societal collapse. In a normal setting all the rats are happy and content but as their space becomes over populated and their resources of food & water are not enough to go around, their behavior changes, like Jeckel & Hyde. They become violent towards each other, rape increases, they start killing & eating their young and then each other. In some cases disease sets in and wipes out the population to a sustainable level. When the population diminishes they become docile, less stressed for space & resources and they go back to their happy lives….then history repeats itself. As my professors said “It’s dog eat dog, and the strongest dog survives.

    • *ALL* of these animal models are FALSE and CANNOT be applied to humans. Animals do not make their own food. They do not harvest or move their own water and animals do not invent, do not create, do not advance and do not learn like the human animal does. We are a hell of a lot smarter than a box of rats and its really pretty insulting to have that model applied to humans and say that we will behave like that.

      Yup… things very well will change, but change is what man does (even if he does not like it) but one person can come along and make beneficial change for all of man. Fleming (antibiotics) was one of those that changed the lives for all of us. So if there is to many people for the water situation in California we will either find more fresh water or move more fresh water from a longer distance or take sea water and turn it to fresh water. If all of this fails we will then change. People will either use less of if they can’t use less than they will move and there will be less people in California.

      I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, there is no such thing as over population when it comes to humans. Not when you look at it through the glasses of ingenuity. Just fly over the USA and you’ll see a tremendous amount of vacant land NOT being used for farming or cities. Humans literally live on 1% of the habitatal land in the world.

      …and some of you will write and say BUT BUT BUT BUT BUT… well no BUTS. Look at it with ingenuity. We have not even started to farm the seas let alone live under the seas, and that’s 75% of the Earths surface and we are now on 1% of 25% of the earths surface. There is a world of possibilities out there, stop using a STATIC model to say there are ‘too many people.’ People invent, create, inspire, hope, dream and accomplish. Look at what Jack has done on 3 aches, he’s taken barren worthless property that his neighbors have said could not even grow grass and he’s turned it into an oasis in just 2 to 3 years, and he’s just one man. Jack created his environment and is thriving in it and now he’s taking his example of what he’s done and is teaching us all. The genius of what Jack did on his property is now being taught to us. One is teaching many. Jack talks to over 100,000 people a day and all of those who desire , from this 100,000 per day, to learn this from Jack can learn and replicate all of what Jack has done. This is human ingenuity. This gives us, you, me and others, more food, more opportunity and more independence. This is why you CANNOT apply a ‘static’ model to human population and say there are too many people. Jack sure as hell is not static, he’s dynamic. Dynamic models change. Before Jack did this, he needed his property and a super walmart to live, now he just needs his property to live if he so desires for a certain period of time (months or years).

      p.s. One candle lighting another looses NOTHING. Jack is one of those candles and he’s lighting us if we so desire. Again, this is a dynamic situation, one candle lighting another and a static model of rats, or anything else, does not apply.

      • @Steve we disagree again. Animals are far better at finding their own food, seeing to their own water needs, etc than humans.

        @Shannon, that is one of the most pointless talking points ever made. Can you fit everyone in Texas, sure, can you feed them with Texas, not on your life.

        If either of the two of you think this planet can really support 10 billion people sustainably I suggest the two of you start smoking dope together, because you might as well.

        • Isn’t Geoff Lawton frequently talking about the ability of properly-applied Permaculture to feed far more people on far less space than we do now [in part due to the immense uptick in productivity when people grow their own food as opposed to massive fields feeding the masses]?

          Obviously our present resource-wasting system can’t sustain 10 billion people on this earth… but whether or not the earth could sustain 10 billion people isn’t quite so clear to me.

      • Jack..

        you are correct on the animals. Let me clarify my statement, animals in pens or confined areas can’t make their own food and water.

        and for the record, I’ve never ever done an illegal drug in my life and I’m not about to. So I don’t think I’ll be smoking with Shannon 🙂

        ..but I’m talking 50 BILLION people, not 10. and Yes, we can do it. Look at what you’ve done with 3 acres, that was done with knowledge and ingenuity. Man creates, invents and adapts. We can do 50 billion and more and it will happen. Like I said before, we’ve NOT even started to farm the seas, let alone live under them. I could talk with you for an hour about living under the sea, how it would happen, the energy available its endless. Farming the seas is a whole another story. What can be done there is huge.

        I guess the only thing I need to stress is these are DYNAMIC models, and not Static models. The static model for your property would be to water the grass, grow the grass and then mow the grass, and that’s about all the property would be able to grow, is grass, and do so very badly. Then something DYNAMIC happens, Jack comes along, Jack learns permaculture and Jack applies it. Now a property that could support a population of ZERO I bet could support a population of 4 to 6 people in about 5 years from now when all of those trees are producing fruit and those grapes are in production and everything else is is full swing and then there is the WHOLE DYNAMIC thing that YOU are doing Jack. You taught Josiah, and then you two and others formed PermaEthos, and now permaethos has a large customer and its just going to grow from there. That’s dynamic and that’s how 50 billion people can live on the Earth. If I used a static model it’d just of been you and Dorthy living on 3 acres, mowing the grass and going to walmart for food for the next 40+ years.

        Don’t blame me Jack, you taught me a lot about what can be done with these crazy integrated permaculture environments.


      • ” Just fly over the USA and you’ll see a tremendous amount of vacant land NOT being used for farming or cities.”

        And I would like nothing more than for it to stay that way. Sure we could use up more space, but doing it and digging ain’t the same thing. There’s too much damn humanity already!

        Oh, give me land, lots of land under starry skies above
        Don’t fence me in

        • @Steve my add on to what Chad just said in response to this,

          ” Just fly over the USA and you’ll see a tremendous amount of vacant land NOT being used for farming or cities.”

          You are showing seriously how poorly you understand the problem here.

          Ever try your hand at homesteading? Know how hard it is, how long it takes?

          Know how much of that “vacant land” is damaged really badly?

          Can you tell me why the most pristine creeks in our shared home state of Pennsylvania have Mercury and PCB warnings about eating fish out of them?

          Now it is true a lot of unused land could be put into great horticulture use, with animal and plant systems combined in ways that would actually restore nature, but there is no plan on any scale to do it. It is harder than most people realize and would take a lot longer than most people are willing to wait for.

          Instead when push comes to shove, they will bulldoze, burn and crop, until the natural systems refuse to support us any longer.

          The human species is a regenerative force but it is currently acting like a disease. The first step in fixing that is to realize what the disease never does, the success of the virus in time results in the death of both the disease and the host.

          As long as the attitude is we can just make more, use more, take more, it is only a matter of time before we run up against this fact.

          “The probability of extinction of populations or a species is greatest when the density is very high or very low.”

      • This was a lesson my 1970’s professor did: He held up a white golf ball and said “Think of the “Earth” as this golf ball. Everything we are and ever will be are on this golf ball. Now set this golf ball on the table and go home and when you come back tomorrow tell me what has changed on this golf ball”. The next day we’re all standing around the golf ball and the professor picks it up and asks each of us “What has changed on the golf ball?” We all answered “Nothing”. That’s right, the golf ball (Earth) has not changed at all. It has not grown in size, it’s the same size as it was yesterday. What the Professor pointed out was that “the population” had changed, it grew, just like it always has through out history and it continues to make it’s demands on the ” limited resources available”. The water on the plant was the same amount as it was a million years ago! Ice, liquid vapor, it’s all the same amount, locked in different forms but still “a set amount”. It’s even locked up in “Human Forms” until we die off, just a bit more polluted. The population keeps growing and making demands on the limited “Golf Ball” resources. In our 1970’s higher education that we worked and paid for ourselves, we learned the answers on the cost of raising a child to the age of 18. It was $100 Thousand dollars. That did not include a higher education. As students and young adults we dug our heels in! We realized we had to be responsible and accountable for our actions and we must teach our children (if we even had any) the same ethics. If you can’t feed, cloth, educate and provide health care to your off-spring then you can’t afford to bring them into the world. I had one child to take my place. After her birth (a long time ago) I was sterilized, I had to fork up $400 for this. When my one daughter came into this world I lit a candle for her. I made a pledge to her that I would put her before me. She’s carrying the torch and has far surpassed me in opportunity and sustainability. She has the good education and high paying job and she has the farm! Thank you Lord!

        • The amount of fresh water on the planet is not fixed. It can change significantly. In addition to that we can make tremendous amounts of fresh water from sea water. You have two choices, either use large scale solar evaporation (solar heating), which was done in Chile on a large scale in the EARLY 1900’s, a very well proven method, or you can spend electricity to do it via reverse osmosis. GE (go figure) is one of the largest players in the reverse osmosis sea water to fresh water industry. Its a very well proven science that has been done on a large scale. Here is a link to it being done in San Diego.
 From what I read, its the worlds largest desalination plant.

          Here is a wikipedia link on solar desalination.

          I also have a solar water distiller in my book I authored titled Sunshine to Dollars.

          p.s. for all of those ‘warmers’ out there. Know the video they always show of ice falling off a glacier and into the ocean and they say the glaciers are melting ?? Glaciers “calve” or drop off ice into the ocean when they are EXPANDING !!! NOT melting. Think about it. If yo have an ice cube on your table and its melting do you see any parts of it dropping off ?? no.. you do not. Now put that ice cube in a freezing environment and have a slow water drop going onto it where the water freezes on the ice cube as it drops on it. The ice cube will expand and parts will fall off. You are being lied to by people with their own agenda.

  3. There will NOT be ANY peak oil. I have books from 1910 talking about ‘when’ we will run out of coal in the next ‘few decades’. If you look at all of the books through history, there is always someone calling for the sky to fall and we ‘run out’ of something. Its because people think in terms of a ‘static’ model. Of things always being the way they are today. They do not account for innovation, creativity, genius and change.

    I’ve been calling peak oil people kooks since the 1990’s and I’ve told lots of investors DO NOT GO LONG ON OIL. Because its a fact, that adjusted for inflation, our energy gets cheaper and cheaper on a decade to decade basis. Sure..there are spikes in prices, but rarely do those last for a decade.

    Oil will not ‘run out’ for a variety of very intelligent reasons. 1. All oil wells since before WWI (one!) still have 80% of the oil left in them and we can go back with horizontal drilling and fracking and get more out.

    2. We are moving to a more and more natural gas based energy system. Its an evolution of energy that you can’t stop. We start with energies high in carbon and move to energies low in carbon and with more hydrogen in them. Methane CH4 – one carbon, 4 hydrogen, is a great example of this. More and more our transportation will rely on natural gas in the future and with a few more changes in nat gas storage technology we will be able to store more natural gas energy per unit of volume (gallon) than we get out of a gallon of gasoline. This will happen. You can’t stop it. After we get on a natural gas standard, we’ll move to a hydrogen standard. Again, this has nothing to do with any environmental movement, it has to do with the movement of man through the history of energy. Solar in a solar thermal chemical energy format will be many times more efficient than a solar electric (panels) approach. Nuclear will become a larger portion of our energy eventually (this is nuclear fission) and then we’ll move to nuclear fusion and then to anti-matter energy, with the first anti-matter energy being anti-hydrogen and then we can move through the periodic table with anti-elements being even better than anti-hydrogen (anti-matter). Again this is the history of man advancing through energy history. It cant’ be stopped, and it can’t be accelerated or retarded too much either.

    The other thing regarding ‘oil’ and its ‘peaking’ which is false, is that since WWII with germany having some 37 synthetic oil plants in germany and poland we have had the ability to synthesis oil and even diesel fuel and other distillates. These synthetic oil and fuels can be made from garage, coal and the easiest is natural gas.

    Natural gas is endless. Not only do our landfills make it for us, as does every decomposing organic material in the world, but there are endless amounts of it stored in the ocean in the form of methane hydrates…which is from the decomposing or organic material below certain depths of water of the ocean. The natural gas becomes a ‘solid’ and that can be drilled for. I can write a book on this subject alone.

    I can also make natural gas from solar thermal chemical processes. So literally I can take solar heat and any organic material, or anything with carbon in it, and I can make natural gas, or I can make hydrogen and carbon monoxide (syn gas) and from any of these I can make anything else, like oil or diesel fuel. All of this is WWII level chemistry, let alone with we can do with Apollo ear (NASA) chemistry and that does not include what we can do with post year 2010 chemistry.

    When you understand energy and chemistry in depth you can see the world of possibilities and what can endlessly be done and all of this is possible when you have faith and love for human life rather than a hatred for it.

    So you’ll understand why I say what I say when I say stuff like peak oil is false, and always will be. Everything I’ve mentioned is public knowledge chemistry. If you think what I just said about energy is fascinating you’d be flabbergasted to know about them confidential level chemistry I have done with Roy McAlister regarding what can be done and made with energy from organic sources as well as high temperature solar energy. The possibilities are endless and we are not going to be running out of energy anytime soon.

    We will start to use less and less oil for transportation and then we will start to overall use MORE AND MORE OIL. Yes. We will use more oil in 2030 than we do today and only a fraction of it will be used in cars as a fuel? Know where the other portion of the oil will be going to ?? Making carbon fibers for carbon fiber manufacturing of goods. The way we are in a world today that make from concrete and iron, our child and grand children will be living in a world made from carbon. Buildings will be made from carbon, I beams will be from carbon, electrical wires will be made from carbon and even the insulation around those carbon ‘wires’ be made of carbon.

    When you really really understand chemistry after spending at least 10,000 hours in the field working with it you will see the endless and endless possibilities that lie ahead of us. Its a world of opportunity….and if you are really really smart, then you’ll know where to invest your money because these fields will be exploding continually in the future as we advance through our history of chemistry and energy.

    I hope you found this interesting.

    • Actually I think you are full of shit if you claim a finite resource isn’t finite or that there are no limits to oil. Though I agree that the timeline is way hyped and largely we have seen most of this movie before and the promised catastrophic plot is never realized.

      I honestly think you might be confusing peak oil with running out of oil Steve either that or your typical attitude in such matters is creating a cognitive dissonance on the matter.

      Can we make synthetic oil, sure, can we do it at the scale necessary in time to deal with the reality that is coming our way, sure, will we, likely not.

      • I’m not sure about peak Oil, the Russians rebuilt their economy by drilling 40,000 feet down and their scientist believe the earth creates oil…it’s not a Fossil fuel…True or not i don’t know

        • Even if the earth is making oil, do you think we can just pump the shit out of it and not cause any problems? Do you really?

      • Jack… go back and read what I did in a bit more detail. I don’t hold anything you are saying as critical. Its not finite because we can make it and it can be done on a massive scale. Plus we are moving away from oil and towards natural gas, this will leave more oil to be used for making carbon fiber based materials and thus my prediction that we will use more oil in 2030 than we do today and we’ll use it for making carbon based goods. We’ll be long gone using other forms of energy before we run out of oil, or coal. Look at how the computer industry has changed since 1980. It’d be like saying, “in year 2015 we’ll be storing TeraBytes of information on each computer and we’ve done a model and found out that we can’t make enough floppy disks to meet this future need”. Floppy disks have become abandoned for something that is better, as this will also apply to oil and coal. It will be left abandoned for something better. Its only a matter of time and history. Things we are doing today could not of been accurately predicted in 1980. We have some good guesses and some great visionaries who had a glimpse of what would happen. The same goes for the entire field of energy and chemistry, while not changing as fast as Moores law (the computer field) it is changing and advancing and as we change more, we change more often. Change in year 2015 is incredibly faster than change in 1915. For any energy problem you might pose I can give a chemistry answer that will solve it. Now will it be 2020, 2030, 2040 or 2050 before there is wide scale use of that technology, that is where opportunity comes in.

        I agree with you Jack.
        p.s. As to can we do it on a ‘scale’. I said yes, but I want to put an example with that. Germany made 40% of its oil with synthetic oil from coal. It did this with 37 plants in germany and poland and this was in 1944 and they were making enough oil for 40% of their oil, in a war economy, and not a peace time economy. So yeah… with year 2015 or 2020 technology, we can make enough synthetic oil to do what we desire. Our automation and manufacturing is light years ahead of a country that was being bombed. In the decade or two ahead of us you’ll see a lot of ‘stranded’ or ‘flared’ natural gas being converted into synthetic diesel or ethanol and then hauled away and put into a pipeline. Even with $20 / barrel oil, the economics of this will be so good that it will drive its wider scale development and use.

        • Do you have any idea how bad coal mining is, how fucked up it is Steve? How much more damage is done by it, how it puts metric shit tons of mercury into our oceans and sulfur into our ground and surface water? Do you have a clue how much damage has already been done? I don’t think you do, I don’t to be fair think most people do.

          Nat Gas is a HELL of a lot cleaner than coal, so you are right on that. I do think we can solve the energy problem, I don’t think they have even started to try though. I think people making statements like you and Shannon here need to step back and actually consider environmental impacts. Just because the global warming people are wrong about CO2, doesn’t mean they are wrong about the lager problems of pollution and environmental destruction.

          We have some real horrible things going on right now, and we humans are the cause of most of them.

      • Jack….

        as I have stated kinda sorta in a previous message, coal will eventually be abandoned and left in the ground forever. We will move away from it just as we have been doing for decades. Its the evolution and history of energy and the continual change that is man living on the planet. Coal has to be physically mined, like a rock, and hauled around. The only reason its still being used is because we can move it by barge and rail, and a great deal is moved by barge on the inland water ways.

        pipelines are a by far better way to moving energy around. We can move natural gas, ethanol, oil and other liquids and gases by pipeline a lot better and cheaper than pushing a barge full of coal up a river.

        As far as the burning of coal, we do it better than anyone in the world. China and India does it very badly, and they are suffering from it.

        I still say it will be abandoned and left in the ground but one thing you can do with coal that does not involve the ‘burning’ of it is the gasification of coal. There is only 1 plant in the USA that ever did this, but again, we might do this in the future as a step away from it and the better use of it.

        Coal and steam can be mixed at high temperatures (2000+F) where the coal reacts with the water to make either CO and H2 or CO2 and H2. This is called steam reformation with a water gas shift reaction. At this point of the process the heavy metals such as mercury won’t transfer through, but can be harvested, and sulfur can easily be scrubbed (as it is now) before the gas moves on. The CO2 is easily separated at this point because there is only it and hydrogen in the gas stream, this can go to green houses and the hydrogen moves on to be burned in a combustion turbine which turns a generator. Doing this is by far more efficient than burning coal and heating water to make steam that turns a turbine and turns a generator. One way is the way we’ve done it since 1910 and the other way is a way of the future. Also, once I have CO and H2 or CO2 and H2 I can make almost any organic chemical I want (or fuel) so I can make natural gas, I can make ethanol, I can make synthetic diesel and I can even make carbon fiber and carbon fiber can build the world.

        Its endless possibilities, the pollution in China is so bad that they are near the worst that they can get and change will be forced by necessity and they will clean up their process and they will eventually move away from coal just as we will. I’d guess that China is where we were with coal 40+ years ago.

        The real key to coal as I said is gasification, and I have 55 gallon drums full of coal that I have used in gasification (one advantage to living in PA). It works great. This is me working with the gas from gasification (video). Coal or wood, it does not matter, its all carbon at the 4000F I was working with it at. This gas will run my generator as well, and I have video of it running my generator, but its not on youtube.
        Tell me if you see anything ‘dirty’ about my gas there ?? Even though I say it from ‘wood’ its really from charcoal or ‘char’ by time the wood makes it to the gasification zone, and because of something confidential I was using in the gasification process, what you are seeing is pure carbon monoxide burning. Carbon monoxide only makes one thing when it burns, clean carbon dioxide. It makes for the most hypnotic and pure blue flame you’ve ever seen. Seeing it in real life is nothing to you seeing it in the video.

        I still say that by time we are done and moving on with energy, the coal will be left in the ground, yet I can still talk about a world of things that we can do (cleanly) with coal. See the video I have above.

        All my best,

        • Wood gas and wood as a fuel is clean but it is only sustainable if grown in systems that utilize things like coppicing and pollarding. As long as we clear cut and plant monocrops of pine we are again hastening our own destruction.

          I think we agree more than we disagree in reality but I also think you fail to understand the true environmental catastrophe we are sitting in the middle of right now.

          I can understand why the Global Warming people think the people in power just want to suck the earth dry and destroy it, they believe it because it is true, they are just wrong about the how, and that is by design.

        • I don’t think so I think there is a critical difference.

          You are saying there are tons of problems but it will all be okay because there are solutions that will be used as needed to solve them.

          I am saying, there are tons of problems and it will be far from okay because while there are solutions to solve them, there is no plan to implement these solutions and we won’t even try until we have no real choice, additionally those in charge don’t understand said solutions, and by then a lot of damage will be done, a shit load of people will be dead or dying and it will seriously fuck things up for civilization.

          Let me give you a real example. Remember that Self Reliance Expo when fat ass Ron tried to stiff you for your expenses? Remember how the original plan was for you and your wife to join Dorothy and I in Estes Park? Did you know we went to Colorado Springs instead? Know why?

          A year earlier we did a expo in Denver, we went to Estes and had a blast. But when we went to Rockey Mountain National Park I saw thousands of acres of standing dead pines from the blue fungus that the beetles give them. Now this is a whole topic about our pending demise to itself but sometimes shorter realities show us disaster. I said to my wife, the first major rainfall this place gets the streets of that town will flood and flow with mud. I said this was because the idiots in Government refused to cut these standing dead trees, the roots were dying but they were still preventing anything from regrowing. She said don’t you think the people running this park know what they are doing, I said no.

          Well Steve we didn’t go to Estes that very next year, because flooding hit and you fucking guessed it Estes Park was flowing with that very mud I said was coming.

          My concern is in spite of the tremendous number of solutions that are available, the people in charge are the same ones that could not see what a hick hillbilly coal miners kid could see in one National Park in 5 minutes flat. I am not that smart in reality, the people in charge however, sadly seem to make me look very smart and that scares the shit out of me.

      • @Jack… oh… the people in charge will NEVER make the changes and the solutions that I’m talking about. You are so 100 correct in that. I know that a Mark Zuckerberg will come by and single handedly start a whole company and enterprise and force the change himself without the government or the people in charge and he’ll (or she’ll) do it all from scratch. From a diagram on a dorm room window to a mega hundred billion dollar a year company.

        Change will happen and change and opportunity can be the same word. Someone will pick up the dropped ball and turn it into a profit and change for the good.


      • Heck no….There are people who think the oil is the blood of the keeps massive Earth quakes from happening and Volcanoes from erupting….I’m not sure about all that but I do think it will have repercussions…..I personally think we should go away from an Oil based society….but it won’t be happening anytime soon…..I wish we would at least start the Process…but we won’t until it’s too late…but that’s a hundred years away

  4. It’s not just oil, it’s food, water, air, pretty much anything that can be used as a proxy to get people worried and allow their leaders to show them the light. Paul R. Ehrlich wrote the book ‘Population Bomb’ back in the 70s stating that rises in human populations in industrialized nations would lead to a worldwide food crisis, and that we’d completely run out of food by the late 80s at the latest. It’s reassuring to know that even the most positive of outcomes from this academic scare-mongering agenda haven’t come to pass. But somehow we’re the conspiracy theorists for offering truly sustainable agriculture, human liberty, and back-to-the-land commitment and ethics.

    The current fear of the month is the energy problem and how it ties in with climate change. Somehow, the brain wizards and social witch doctors have convinced many that taxes on carbon output will magically stave off disaster. Taxing the air we breathe. It makes one wonder what could possibly be next.

    Ever get the idea that the inmates are running the asylum?

    • Just because those in power are excessive in their fear mongering doesn’t mean that it isn’t based on an underlying reality.

      There are two reasons most Americans don’t think we are in a food crisis right now when we are not only in a crisis but amid a total disaster.

      1. They don’t go to be hungry while billions around the world do.

      2. Then don’t get that the food they eat is killing them, making them sick, giving them cancer and destroying their health.

      Again we are sitting in an event horizon with no understanding of what it means. We are far more fucked because of the slow decent. It allows people to say stupid shit, including people I really respect and generally consider smart and have their cases and talking points seem to look valid even though they are factually false or irrelevant to the actual problem when factually true.

      • I KNOW what an event horizon is. Though many don’t. Its a very disturbing thing to say that we are at an event horizon.

        There is something called the concept of 11:59. If you put a single bacteria in a barrel at 11:00 , and it doubles in size every minute, at what time will the barrel be HALF full of the bacterial if the whole barrel would be full in 1 hour??

        The answer is at 11:59. at 12:00 the barrel will be full of bacteria and at 12:01 it will be overflowing with 2 barrels of total volume of bacteria. The concept is used to describe an exponential increase in change. You might not see the change until its ‘half full’ and then you only have 1 minute to change it before it overwhelms you.


      • If its 11:50 right now, that means the barrel is less than 1/1000th full right now. at 11:59 it will be half full.

        2^10th power is 1024. So the barrel is 1/1024th full.

        • Exactly and Steven has missed his own point, at 11:50 it appears we have plenty of time and no real problem.

          Thing is this clock only started in earnest about 200 years ago and the ticking is speeding up as we move forward in time.

          Steve your point is my point, it is called a false sense of security due to severe cognitive dissonance.

          The fact that you once said on air, “we need to stop buying oil from the rag heads”, shows this in great detail.

          Keep looking deeper my friend, I can show you the path but can’t make you walk it!

      • Jack.. you KNOW how much I bitch about people having a false sense of security, its one of my hot topics that I talk about. Nothing will kill you quicker than a false sense of security and people talk themselves into this situation by desire most of the time.

        …and Hey… I’m the one that told you about the concept of 11:59 to support your event horizon discussion !!! I think that I get it.

        ..and for the concept of 11:59 you don’t need to speed up the clock. the bacteria or the problem is growing to the power of 2. So its even scarier of the tick tock stays the same.

        Like I said. if you say its 11:50 now, then the barrel is 1/1024 full right now, and in 9 minutes it will be half full, in 1 more minute after that it will be 100% full, in 1 more minute there will be 1 barrel of goo and 1 barrel of goo on the floor and around your feet.

        but the statement by what’s his name about ‘nothing being done in the last 30 years in energy’ was just plain stupid. Hybrid electric vehicles, plug in hybrids, the entire NiMH AND Lithium ion field came about in the last 30 years for batteries. Energy star efficiency standards came out and refrigerators went from 1200 watts and taking up an entire circuit on their own to 120 watts of power. Canadian Tar sands, horizontal drilling, fracking, deep water oil and gas extraction. The entire class of VLCC (largest ships on the planet) for the carrying of not only oil, but now liquefied natural gas around the planet, the entire GPS system to make navigation simpler and thus reduced fuel usage. Vehicles going from 8 miles per gallon to 40+ miles per gallon. Pick up trucks now getting 27 miles per gallon (unloaded), this and hundreds of other things have happened in the energy field in the last 30 years. Oh…compact florescent light bulbs, LED light bulbs, the entire LED illumination field in itself… I can go on and on and on. Fuel injection, multi port fuel injection, direct cylinder fuel injection, all have increased fuel efficiency… and on and on I can go.

        Sorry, but when he called me out by name, I could not stay silent.


        • No Steve you don’t get it, you really and I mean really don’t. You also didn’t tell me about 11:59, you just brought it up, there is a difference.

          No you don’t get it and you won’t get it until you give yourself permission to do so, you are simply not ready to do so yet.

        • Steve may be you should watch Chris Martinson’s “Crash Course” he doesn’t get it 100% right but he makes what we are discussing here pretty damn clear, that is if you are ready for it.

        • Oh and Steve let me ask, why in 1967 was Chevy capable of making a 327 fule injected motor turning 300 horses that got mid to upper 20’s in MPG and now in 2015 we are supposed to be impressed with something similar?

          That is actually a serious question, not a baited one. Now I will give up a few MPGs since that motor went in things like Corvettes vs. Pickups but it seems to me the tech needed to get 27mpg from a pick up with real power is pretty old stuff.

  5. How comical it is to hear about how much finite energy we have left. How easily we forget that the easiest energy is extracted first and hardest last due the simple fact is that what makes the most economic sense.
    That’s why we have used tar sands and deep water drilling like off the coast of Brazil only till late in the game. Not only is this energy expensive it takes tremendous amounts of it to get it useable. Not sure how accurate these numbers are but in the early 1900’s, it only took the energy of one barrel of oil to extract a hundred barrels of it. Current oil production takes the energy of one barrel of oil to extract 10 barrels of it. At some point, it will not make sense to chase more expensive energy options.
    It’s also comical to think of how reliable our current system is. I was just a kid when the oil embargo of 70’s hit, but it caused increased waste and major disruptions with only minor (but very psychological effect) decrease in supply.
    I really believe we have reached an event horizon in energy because we have done jack diddley in the past 30 years about, we have collectively put our head in the sand and pretend that everything will be ok because we can fix everything thru technology. Our energy usage in the US is ridiculously higher than anywhere else in the world, and I am not here to blame our leaders for this, the average American has failed to take his diaper off and think and act for himself.

  6. Can anybody explain the need to have 7 billion people on the planet let alone 50 billion. Sure, there is the ponzi debt scheme that our bankers and government have created but other than that, why? Why do we to fill every corner of the planet with people, does that create happier people? No green spaces, no forests, no beaches w/o people piled up like cordwood? I have never got it and tired of the stupid argument of some religious morons that state the bible, “thou shall populate the earth”, and so easily forget that it doesn’t say “over populate” too. It also states in the bible that we should be stewards of the earth, and when overpopulated, that ain’t going to happen.

    • Maybe we have too many people, maybe we don’t. Calling people of faith morons doesn’t help, just shows your bias. Do you have kids? does that make you part of the problem? Many would like a smaller population, but want to live and have family themselves. Those who most want to reduce the population can start by taking themselves out. Hey, it’s a start!

      • Saying some religious people are morons in the way they view life due to their faith, is VERY ACCURATE and inferring that they use misguided religion to push stupid ideas is also accurate. It is also absolutely NOT stating that people of faith are morons because they are people of faith.

        Just as if I say, some people are idiots, doesn’t mean all people or even the majority of said people are idiots.

        Just is if I say, some people use race as an excuse doesn’t mean all people or even most people of minority races use race as an excuse.

        If you are going to believe in anything, at all, religious or otherwise, thicken your skin or you will end up “offended” daily if not hourly.

  7. Steven you crack me up. “A Mark Zuckerberg will come along. ” Didn’t a Mark Z. basically screw over the people that helped him create Facebook? Part of our problem to finding solutions is we have lost our moral ground. Too many are greedy assholes and will do their damndest to take advantage of everyone that they can and feel no remorse for it. Sure, he created something huge, but under it all, he is still an asshoe IMO.

    When Jack talks about creating community, it is one based on trust, giving, teaching and helping others building a better life. It is local, and it is based on the heart. I’m really thrilled to see Jack open up his place for workshops, it creates bonds and relationships that will so helpful in inspiring others to do the same. Wouldn’t it be great if there were thousands of workshops like that across the entire US and around the world?

    I’m not bashing you about “the Mark’s of the world”, but change is so much better from the bottom up, from us peons, without the assistance of corporate and governmental assistance.

    • Not to mention Zuckerberg is a part of the new Oligarchy! Don’t think for a minute that the NSA has to do any hard work at all to get your data off facebook.

      Old Zucky has a entire bank of fricken multiplexed OC768s pumping data strait to the NSA data centers all paid for with your tax dollars!

      Google OC768 and then think about it!

      Then google multiplex and think some more!

    • Jeff… I’ve ignored the vomit of ignorance of humans and history and energy that you spewed from your last 2 postings. Almost every single thing you said was wrong and came from a hatred of man kind. I really just had to ignore them, but now you are calling me out by name.

      Zuckerberg not only paid his friend, and truly one of his best friends, a great deal of money when he realized his error and realized that his friendship with Ed meant more to him than the money and what his lawyers were telling him, many tens or hundreds of millions of dollars, and he put his name back on the masthead of the corporation, but he started the entire business from nothing. He was a peon. A peon who was smart enough to get into Harvard, but a peon none the less. He started his first part of facebook with Ed with an investment of $1000.00. He personally wrote all of the software for the vast amount of the software that was the birth of facebook. Marathon coding sessions. I remember those from the 1980’s and 1990’s. I’d stay awake for 36 hour writing code. Those were the days.


  8. Jack, Steven – COOL IT! As somebody who is old enough to be a father of you both, otherwise I will send to your rooms!

    I admire and do business with you both, although I do not agree 100% of either on everything.

    As well as being an old fart, I am and have been a partner in energy-related companies as well as other ongoing businesses.

    A good part of what I do for and with them, for over eleven years is doing research into where things are going in the future, so that we collectively can make the best possible business decisions. This research quickly expanded to studying a variety of aspects, including marketing, consumer trends, technological trends, economics, politics, sociology, the environment, history and more. We call it the “Wayne Gretzky” approach of “Skating to where the puck will be rather than where it is.”

    Jack, I must say this show was one of the best you have ever done (granted those with Steven rank right up there as well). While I agree with many other serious (critical) thinkers, I do not think things are NOT going to go downhill overnight. Actually the downward, but up-and-down wavy trend, started in the 60’s and 70’s yielding a slow, unnecessary decent. And Jack, your listeners need to be aware of this trend, so they can adjust to it – and actually create better lives for themselves and others in the process.

    Steven, I love the technologies you have brought to me including my recent acquisition of the Silver Fire cook stove, its gasification burner works as advertised boiling a gallon of water in 15 minutes and may get used as our 2015 hurricane season approaches; your eneloop rechargeable batteries; and making us energy-independent of the grid whenever the power goes out (9 times so far this year) with your home/auto battery backup system.

    In regard to ever-improving technologies, one of the companies I am a 1/3 partner in for our Caribbean area has developed a proprietary, patented, Process Engineered Fuel, PEF, system, utilizing organic “waste” that has been surpassing all expectations by Energy from Waste, EfW industry leaders. So I believe in technological advancements – up to a point.

    Steven, your are correct to fault the current development of solar photovoltaics in favor of solar thermal. The Energy Return on Energy Invested, EROEI, is much better, and probably will always be (due to greater simplicity). However, taking into consideration the EROEI, for example, fracked oil and gas costs some $75/barrel (oil) to drill for it, deepwater drilling can cost more. So it is not a question of “peak oil” or whatever, but it is really about “cheap peak oil” – or whatever energy source of technology.

    Jack, you are ever so correct to bring the environment into the issue. It affects all kinds of things. One small example is, either from your source, Diego’s Permaculture Voices or elsewhere that acid rain falling on West Virginia, where our PermaEthos Elisiah’s Springs Farm is from coal fired power plants had a pH of 1 – not exactly “beneficial” to the soil – and hence food production. This is partly the reason I chose to live in the Caribbean where the biggest pollutants we have blown in via the tradewinds are occasional volcanic ash from Mount Monserrat, up wind and Sahara Dust from Africa – every year I vacuum camel shit out of the bottoms of the jalousie windows.

    Bottom line is I believe everybody needs to be prepared and CURRENTLY making personal changes so they will be ready for the future. If, as unlikely as you, me and others predict, no downward change will happen, those who make those adjustments in their lives, whether it be power independence as you suggest, Steven, or creating your own business (in a whatever may come scenario), Jack, we will all be better off.

    As far as what a number of us have been putting together, as you may recall Jack, from at least one question I posed to you (and you answered – thank you) is: guiding wealthy individuals who realize (and they are doing so in ever-increasing numbers) to cash-out of their ever-increasingly “risky” (as in “bubble”) equity and debt instruments and investing in and developing expert designed and managed permaculture farms. These farms are to be located in more-or-less rural areas where they can be of mutual benefit to the local communities, yet be somewhat out of the direct path of the worst results of things in a SHTF scenario. It is such a perfect example of creating sustainable communities made up of all kinds of skills – including non-farm skills.
    And Jack, in response to your personally responded advice (thank you) about dealing with state laws (“local” in your response as being even worse) I have decided to seek out such wealthy, savvy, investors who not only realize it is a great financial move, long-term investment, short-term income, and with tax advantages, they should have a residence in whatever state we work in, but perhaps also be well connected in the state/community, and perhaps be an attorney – as I am hardly an attorney-basher (at least good ones) and having as many as three at one time.

    [NOTE: This is obviously an open-source idea that I have. Those like Mark Shephard, who also are willing to work with big money, if that is what it takes to expand Permaculture/Agroforestry/Regenerative Agriculture/etc. but would prefer working with those who, like PermaEthos “Element Partners” would rather by-the-sweat-of-their-brow and smarts work their way to personal prosperity.]

    Anyway, I love you guys, both. Hopefully, someday, we (individually or together) will meet over a beer (I will host if it is on my “turf”) and we can have an amicable discussion over our relatively small differences and perhaps get some insight from one another.

    In the meantime, although we all have those differences, let us work for the unifying ideals we all subscribe to. You both give your all and will hopefully never give up doing so.

    • John… Jack and I are in agreement. We’re not fighting. It brought out great dialog from both of us. We both were saying the same thing only from the opposite directions. Jack was saying there are lots of problems, I was saying that our solutions outnumber our problems. Its was pretty darn good IMHO.

      Thanks for the nice comments John. I really appreciate it and I’m glad you got some good tools and knowledge from what I brought to the show. I’m very glad.

      Email me anytime, I’m here for you

      • I don’t think we agree, I think we disagree about key things but yes we are not fighting, we can disagree and still be friends because we are men vs. boys.

        That said Steve, the fact that you think we agree here, proves my point, I am NOT saying it with different words, I mean it differently. Also in defense of Jeff he doesn’t hate mankind, he hates much of what modern mankind has done and continues to do to our planet, on that Jeff and I agree.

  9. Oh, Steven,

    I have wondered for years, why hasn’t any real funds other than the ARRA funds have not gotten to real technological development rather than just rebuilding our road (with great storm water gutters, I must admit); new busses for our 5,000 population; and new state-of-the-art futuristic, fuel-efficient catamaran (replacing the old fuel guzzling mono-hull) ferry boats to-and-from St. Thomas

  10. John… you live in a very nice area…can we come and visit ?? The private market and economics was the driver behind the upgrade of the monohull fuel guzzling ferries over to the more efficient catamarans etc….

    People over here complain about energy being too high in price, all of your gasoline must be imported by ship, all of your electricity comes from imported diesel fuel fueling diesel fuel generators and you can easily pay 40 cents per KWH where we pay 10 cents per KWH….however that is the price you pay to live in paradise.


  11. Steve, Of course you can come and visit. We have a very “open door” policy – no locks, except for hook & eye types – oh, and a couple of great dogs, who welcome those they are properly introduced to.

    While our gasoline is currently $3.72/gal (which helps keep the office, computer and wireless internet going thanks to our “mobil battery bank” you helped me put together) to get us through the 2/mo, current power outage averages; and our electricity is currently at $0.42/kWh, I rarely pay over $100/mo – thanks to efficiencies and natural Trade Winds Cooling, in spite of having two refrigerators, two computers, an electric HWH (on a timer).

    As far as the electricity rates, for some of my commercial clients, (mostly restaurants) that have paid over $22K per mo! – we are working on that.

    • John,

      See…that’s the thing… you don’t really have an AC bill. You cool with the trade winds. That is also why you can make money in the islands with bio based energy is because you’re paying 5x what we are paying for electricity.

      The restaurant probably has electricity for its cooking as well, I have not heard of much ‘gas’ (propane or natural gas) on the islands, and even then its expensive. but the restaurant not only make heat from the kitchen and cooking, but then the people in the building create about 350 BTU’s per hour per person in heat and water vapor removal but the AC unit has to now cool the building from the heat of the outside, take out the heat of the people and TAKE OUT all of the heat from the cooking.

      So to make a restaurant more ‘efficient’ I’d make sure they had great exhaust moving the heat of the cooking outside by forced air rather than AC. I’d probably even flood the cooking area with outside air (no AC at all), especially depending on the outside temps. So AC for the dining hall only. I’d raise the inside temp of the AC a bit and increase over head fan and air circulation, I’d make sure that the ‘condensers’ for all of the ‘refrigeration’ and ‘freezers’ were plumbed outside the building so I was not spending electricity to cool warm good, which is making heat out the back of the ‘refrigerator’ and then for that heat to be removed by the AC. I’d also make sure these were shaded and NOT in the sunshine.

      When it got cool at night, if it does, depending on the time of the year, I’d have significant air movement (no one is in the building) to cool the inside of the building down to the cool temp of the outside, that way I use the ‘thermal mass’ of the building for its cooling for an hour or more at the start of the day or the opening of the restaurant. *ALL* Lighting without exception would be ALL LED. That will drastically reduce the amount of heat being put into the building (heat of light) that has to be removed by AC. I’d spray foam the entire roof with a good 4 to 6 inches of polyurethane foam to keep all of the outside sunlight off the top of the building from heating it up. If I had a south facing front of the building the whole thing would be ‘canopies’ so the cloth took up the heat of the sun and dissipated it into the air before it hit the front of the building. I’d have a double door air lock to keep the heat outside as people walked into the building.

      I would make sure that the restaurant had the best, highest efficiency AC system available. These would be newer high pressure systems. I would COOL my AC condenser with fresh water that then goes to the hot water system of the building. So I’m cooling my AC with water that I was going to spend energy on for the heating of water to be used in the kitchen and the bathroom anyways. I’d have a ‘heat pump’ hot water heating system instead of a straight AC resistance heating system (these are becoming more popular). Again, make sure the condenser of this is outside the building and not inside the building. This and about a few dozen other things are what I’d do if I had to pay 42 cents / KWH (or more) to heat, cool, cook, light and to keep a restaurant open.

      There is just so much that can be done. I’d have to see the location to make any further suggestions…but with what I’m talking about, if you can get an intelligent enough ‘system’ like I’m talking about, and it’d probably be a custom system, now there’s a market for this, I bet you could cut the electric bill in half each month, at least. ROI would be in 6 days to 6 months to 2+ years depending on the system that was put in.

      oh..and if they are cooking with electric heat, switch over to induction based heat for cooking, this will lower your heat in the kitchen DRAMATICALLY !! and lower your electricity usage for cooking. There is a world of things that can be done John and you can start a business to bring in all of this technology and items into the islands to redo the restaurants. I’d get in bed with the very best HVAC business on the islands as well and work in conjunction with them. If your thermostat is the most intelligent thing in the building… then you have a problem.

      Let me know if you want to know more.


      • As funds allowed [or if I were consulting for a new restaurant which hadn’t yet been built] I’d construct a shaded [and rain-sheltered and netted-against-bugs] outdoor kitchen rather than an indoor one.

        Obviously only appropriate for subtropical/tropical locations which I believe we’re currently discussing.

      • Lukkas

        I’d do the same thing. I think that would work great in principle. In practical I think it would not be secure enough and your $100,000 in kitchen stuff would be liberated by mid-night engineers. 🙂

        but right on in concept, LOTS of people in the tropics, high temp zones around the world all cook outside in the heat of ‘summer’


        • You raise a valid point. Said outdoor kitchen could totally be constructed much more securely [think a cage of concrete or steel] but that would dramatically up the cost.

    • John,

      What is the current price of propane the restaurant is paying ?? What size cylinders do they deliver or is it delivered by a truck into a “Pig” ?


  12. Steven –

    Yes, like Hawaii, high electricity rates here make alternative energy more attractive, once we got the ball rolling, with things like back in 2007 when a bunch of us were invited to testify at our and got our Public Service Commission to force our USVI power utility, WAPA, to allow full net metering for solar PV and wind. Now with that victory, but having reached the relatively small cap of 15MW total (of a total peak demand of around 125,000 MW for all three main islands) for all three islands for private and business installations there are other alternative additions developing.

    The typically resistant to let go of generating electricity, power utility, ours has also entered into Power Purchase Agreements, PPAs to additional Tens of megawatts of solar PV, some of which is on line and has a signed PPA with a Bio-Fuel company to produce some 8MW more as well as working with others for possible wind turbine development.

    Also, sort of to WAPA’s credit, they are also trying to lower the cost of electricity by getting away from diesel and #4 fuel oil powered generators by converting the those generators to being powered by imported propane in a $185M project which just completed on St. Croix and is scheduled to completed in a couple of months on St. Thomas (St. John is powered via underwater cables from St. Thomas). However, the promised 30% reduction in electricity bills according to our research will not materialize.

    A company I am a 1/3 partner in has been working with the USVI Waste Management Authority to turn 60-80% of the USVI organic solid waste into energy along with helping them close their two landfills that are under an EPA mandate to close by 2019 – with several additional energy producing/storage/cost savings twists we have added (not just harvesting landfill gas – which they are already partially doing). Depending on what additional elements we have in mind and are ultimately accepted the project could add another 6 to 12 MW of base load total, combined for both St. Thomas and St. Croix.

    As far as the restaurants go, as elsewhere, most professional chefs prefer to cook with gas (popane is our only choice), it is the other electricity usages that drive up their bills. Even our small, non- AC “hole-in-the wall” (20’X20’) drink and burger food and beverage establishments have electric bills of up to and more than $5K/mo.

    I agree with your suggestions about keeping the heat of cooking and that which is generated from condensers for walk-in refrigerators etc. outside. This is why another company I represent, services their kitchen exhaust systems to help remove that kitchen heat.

    Regarding natural building cooling efficiencies, we do have one natural cooling system going for us – thermal mass of the Caribbean and Atlantic which keeps our ambient temperature roughly 75 to 85 degrees all year around (as a Chicago native, I feel sorry for everybody up north). So many of our restaurants and homes (even many $M+++ ones) are open-air cooled. Indeed, in centralized locations with plenty of exposed concrete, thermal mass works against them. That said, I have a personal home room-addition project that takes advantage of ground thermal mass. With the structure being built on something like a 30 degree slope we chose to build it down, rather than out. Our island of St. John is almost all volcanic rock once you dig down one foot, so we jack-hammered down and that plus the reinforced shaded concrete block walls in that area keep the room at least three degrees cooler than the upper, equally well ventilated, stories.

    As far as LEDs go, I graduated from CFLs to LEDs a few years ago and have found great ones with wonderful color renderings plus are dimmable. One of our larger restaurant clients bit the bullet and changed out all of their lighting to LED and took their AC restaurant’s monthly electric bill down from $22K/mo down to $18K/mo – still a lot but some $4k less.

    I like your other energy efficiency ideas and employed some of them when I lived in Tucson over fifteen years ago. Currently I am working on negotiating with representing energy efficiency companies to do more down here. It is really a shame to see good businesses, like grocery stores driven out of business due to $28K/mo electricity bills; our only St. Thomas dairy for the same reason; and other potential businesses not wanting to relocate or start up here for the same reason.

    Steven, in Arizona I did the same water cooling with AC units in a couple of my residences.

    Yes, over the years I have helped make our residential property much more efficient and sustainable including never having to pay for any water, potable, irrigation, or general use; expanded grey water systems; etc.

    And thanks to your ongoing help am virtually energy independent.

    Also, this dialog has given me the idea that if I can’t find somebody locally who can help VI businesses become more energy efficient, and with all the other things I am involved with, perhaps with my connections and your expertise we might make it economically feasible for you to provide your expertise.

  13. I thought that this episode was one of the better ones I’ve heard on TSP over the past year — and that’s saying something when comparing it to some of the others since you came back from PV2, Jack.

    I have two specific thoughts on this episode that I’d like to share.

    #1: Last weekend, I was visiting my in-laws and my brother-in-law was telling me about how a young guy moved into the house above him. The guy (in his 20s) throws parties pretty regularly, and one Saturday night the bass was actually loud enough that it woke up my BIL around 2 AM. He asked me what I would do about it if I were in his position. I said I would go up there during the day, introduce myself, welcome him to the neighborhood, and then just explain what happened and ask him if he could just turn things down a bit after midnight. He told me that he had asked several other people he knew and I was the FIRST person who told him something other than, “Just call the cops, the guy is probably an asshole and he’ll never know it was you who made the call anyway.”

    I just shook my head and asked when we became the kind of society where we can’t even bother to talk to each other and work out minor differences, where we had to get the state involved at the first sign of disagreement.

    #2: Have you ever read the book “Player Piano” by Kurt Vonnegut? I ask only because when you described the whole trend of automation completely undermining people making things with their hands, it very closely resembles the dystopian society portrayed in that book. If you’ve never read it, I recommend it and think you would enjoy it.

    • @ Jack — I’ve read everything that Kurt Vonnegut ever wrote, including collections of his interviews. I’ve read Harrison Bergenon (it’s actually a short story, not a novel), but never saw the movie based on it. And yes, it is quite disturbing.

      • There is a short movie too that is totally different, the 90s movie that I linked to is a lot better. Watch it when you have time.

    • I had a neighbor in an apartment complex come talk to me about about my music once ( I was recording on a 4-track) and I appreciated the direct contact and apologized and kept it down. Probably won’t work with everyone because of our Jerry Springer culture.

      I always like this story:

      Trout, incidentally, had written a book about a money tree. It had twenty-dollar bills for leaves. Its flowers were government bonds. Its fruit was diamonds. It attracted human beings who killed each other around the roots and made very good fertilizer.
      So it goes.

      Kurt Vonnegut – Slaughterhouse Five

  14. Its a real shame to see the only dairy on the island close. Wish we could of helped them before they closed. Being the only dairy on the island must of been a ‘cash cow’ for them. They should of raised their prices to offset the expense. I’m sure now that all dairy is imported, from who knows where, the prices are higher anyways.


  15. Great show Jack, I’m a little behind and listening a little out of order.
    It sounded like the last little part about Almond Trees and Geoff Lawton’s videos was in response to something I wrote on the forum for a previous podcast. So, I just wanted to clarify my position, I wasn’t saying that watching Greening the Desert would magically transform the Central Valley into a lush landscape without need for irrigation. My point was that annuals like corn and sunflowers tend to take a lot of water, and there’s not much you can do about it because of how they grow, but proper management techniques should mitigate and eventually eliminate the need to irrigate perennial trees. The fact that almonds are such a drain on water says a lot more about the farmers techniques than a “drought” in California.
    I completely agree with you about the cities and suburban areas cementing everything off. The first thing I did when I bought my house was redirect the roof gutters that were going straight into the storm drain so that it’s watering the grass. I’ve lived there 2 years now, and I’ve only watered the grass once, it stays green year round (a little browning around August), and yes, I live in Southern California where the drought is the worst. I feel that if I can do it with mowed and edged grass, an almond, peach, or pistachio farmer should be able to do it with a 15 year old almond tree.
    That’s not me trying to point the finger at farmers as the problem, the truth is the average suburbanite is far more abusive with water waste with their backyard swimming pool and marathon grass put on clay soil with no soil prep whatsoever.

    It’s just frustrating to me that there are solutions out there to every problem we face, and yet we never hear them. I remember as a kid there was a similar drought, and they told us in schools that we should put as much acrylamide in our garden soil as possible and that will solve the drought.