Oil prices have declined substantially from the heady “peak oil delusion days” of the last decade. Now we are offered two separate narratives explaining why oil prices are likely to stay low: Demand depletion vs. splintered demand.
The first [narrative] centred on technology. Amy Myers Jaffe of the University of California Davis suggested that a “technology revolution” will further decouple energy use from economic growth. Big Oil no longer dominates, and Chinese demand can no longer be relied on… with every new indicator of falling demand, the impetus will be for suppliers to pump out more, and turn their resources into money while they still can.
Another narrative, hinging on geopolitics, came from the geopolitical strategist and former diplomat Peter Zeihan. He suggests that oil will cease to be a global market… Mr Zeihan pointed out that China, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea, all dependent on oil imports, are geographically far removed from any oilfields. They risk being drawn into conflict with each other, as they compete to send navies to escort tankers all the way home.
___ FT (sub)
Short Video: Dependence of China on Global Trade
Why China must grab and control territory that is not China’s — violating international law — in order to have any chance to control its access to global trade in the future. The alternative would be to cooperate peacefully with the outside world, which would not be like today’s China at all.
The peak oil delusion still rules supreme among people with nothing important to do or think about. But serious people need to pay closer attention to what is actually going on, so that they can adjust their plans as the global geopolitical and economic picture inevitably shifts.
Unlike the peak oil armageddon delusion and the climate apocalypse cult hoax, in the real world there are genuine concerns.
Global Financial Tremors: SWIFT Banking System Hacked Again
__ SWIFT, the global financial messaging network that banks use to move billions of dollars every day, warned on Thursday of a second malware attack similar to the one that led to February’s $81 million cyber heist at the Bangladesh central bank.
… The organization [SWIFT], a Belgian co-operative owned by member banks and used by 11,000 financial institutions globally, said that forensic experts believe the second case showed that the Bangladesh heist “was not a single occurrence, but part of a wider and highly adaptive campaign targeting banks.” __ Another SWIFT Heist
If (presumably Russian and Chinese) criminal/state organisations are successfully hacking the global money transfer system, the infrastructure of global trade and economics is not as secure as governments and media pretend. That might cause some people a bit of concern.
Simulating the End of the World
In the years since it was incorporated by the Department of Homeland Security by Congress, NISAC has assembled a multidisciplinary team of physicists, geologists, data and environmental scientists, computer programmers, and more, all to try to comprehend the marvelous, terrifying complexity that touches every aspect of our daily lives.
… In one 2009 paper, NISAC analyzed how fear will affect cities in the days after an attack or pandemic. “The impacts to food demand caused by household stress, fear, hoarding, and observing others doing the same could be far greater than those caused simply by the disease itself,” conclude the three authors.
… In many cases, NISAC’s job is to show why the government shouldn’t be concerned about a particular disruption. Adaptation isn’t always negative; in fact, humans are remarkably good at surviving. Modeling how humans will respond to crises is its own scientific challenge—and one that’s important for NISAC. __ http://www.fastcodesign.com/3058542/the-scientists-who-simulate-the-end-of-the-world
In the days of hoaxed holocausts, it is important that at least some groups of bright people with top computing resources can get together and look at potentially serious problems from the ground-level up — without all of the madding crowd assumptions that pollute so much of modern discourse from governments, media, academia, political lobbies / foundations / thinktanks etc.
Collateral Supplies and Infrastructures
Humans organise themselves on many levels, to supply basic needs. From the individual level to the family to the non-governmental community to the governments on all scales, hierarchies of supply and control tend to form almost spontaneously. But all of these supply structures and infrastructures contain fatal flaws and weaknesses.
Recent concerns about resilience and anti-fragility have seeped into the public sphere — largely via alternative, non-official pathways of information. The combination of robust resilience with anti-fragility would involve adding a lot of (often ad-hoc) parallel pathways of supply and infrastructure to human comminities on all scales. And it would absolutely involve the incorporation of much higher levels of competence (and Dangerousness) into our young.
Robust Resilience and Anti-Fragility Involves Knowing What Won’t Work (Among Other Things)
It will do no one any good to sink resources into expensive parallel energy infrastructures that are dependent upon grid-scale wind and solar energy. Big wind and big solar are unpredictable, low-quality, exorbitantly expensive sources of unreliable energy that cannot be depended upon even at the best of times — much less in the worst. Learning to trash the bad ideas wisely but quickly can mark the difference between a culture that survives, and one that commits suicide.
But the concepts of micro-grids and micro-supplies in parallel with vulnerable central grids and supplies, make a great deal of sense from the standpoint of robust resilience. Likewise, a toughening of grid and generation infrastructures against EMP, cyber-attack, and physical attack, make sense from a robustly resilient perspective.
It is Never Too Late for a Dangerous Childhood
A human network cannot be resilient or anti-fragile if its nodes are incompetent, fragile, and corrupt. This is the problem of modern governments, academia, foundations, think tanks, media, and political organisations of all types.
A strong injection of competent Dangerousness is needed. For the most part, such an injection must take place from the bottom up at this time — given the general corruption and incompetence so prevalent at the top levels of media, government, academia, etc.
While focusing on helping to build competent Dangerousness within the human infrastructure, we also need to focus upon building parallel infrastructure and supply lines.
Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. It is never too late (or too early) to have a Dangerous Childhood.