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Author Topic: The Wheels Come Off the United States of America  (Read 10344 times)

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Offline RubySlippers

Re: The Wheels Come Off the United States of America
« Reply #50 on: December 23, 2008, 03:18:24 PM »
The computer you are using was, in its earlier iterations, hundred of thousands of dollars and the size of a room.

Things improve. They get smaller, cheaper and easier... until the 500sq. ft. computer becomes a simple 1sq. ft. 4-pound laptop like theone I'm using.

True but face in the microcomputer was a dramatic and innovative technology created by the free market overall. Government may have using research and using it first started the ball rolling but ultimately it and the internet were technoolgies that grew due to market demand. People and businesses liked having computers the internet came out and developed because of demand. Not by government handouts and foisting them on people.

Like I said I'm sure the technology will be popular when its cost effective to use, that is the whole thing coal and oil are cheap and until the citizens start demanding green energy they will not really push it forward. Clean water stopped diseases, clean air people wanted and the government responded and so forth.

And in Tampa Bay its one of the largest population areas in the state a light rail makes sense over building roads if we can get people on them, that is true.

Online Valerian

Re: The Wheels Come Off the United States of America
« Reply #51 on: December 23, 2008, 03:21:18 PM »
This passive solar energy IS cost effective to use.  All new home builders have to do is ask for it.

Offline Trieste

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Re: The Wheels Come Off the United States of America
« Reply #52 on: December 23, 2008, 03:29:11 PM »
True but face in the microcomputer was a dramatic and innovative technology created by the free market overall. Government may have using research and using it first started the ball rolling but ultimately it and the internet were technoolgies that grew due to market demand. People and businesses liked having computers the internet came out and developed because of demand. Not by government handouts and foisting them on people.

Like I said I'm sure the technology will be popular when its cost effective to use, that is the whole thing coal and oil are cheap and until the citizens start demanding green energy they will not really push it forward. Clean water stopped diseases, clean air people wanted and the government responded and so forth.

And in Tampa Bay its one of the largest population areas in the state a light rail makes sense over building roads if we can get people on them, that is true.

What Valerian said. Also, how could the prospect of having the power company pay you not hold popular appeal? It's a sound business investment when you look at it that way because over the cost of years, it will pay for itself, much like rechargeable batteries. That alone is the sort of thing that will drive it along until it will be developed to the point that it is affordable as a matter of course by more than entrepreneurs... same as most all technology.

Offline OldSchoolGamerTopic starter

Re: The Wheels Come Off the United States of America
« Reply #53 on: December 24, 2008, 01:20:54 AM »
If you are financially able to retrofit your home or business to be more energy-efficient, by all means do so, as this will definitely help your bottom line in the low-carbon world to come.

However, economics isn't called "the dismal science" for nothing, and a little math reveals the impracticality of such retrofitting as a scalable solution.  Let's say a retrofit costs $10,000.  That seems reasonable enough, right?  I mean, that's on a par with putting in a new kitchen or most other mid-level remodeling projects.  Well, for a medium-sized city of 200,000 homes and businesses, you're looking at $2 billion.  For a state with 2 million homes, $20 billion.  For America as a whole, with 100,000,000 homes, that's a cool trillion dollars.

Except that it would, in reality, cost far more than that.  To retrofit millions of homes at the same time, or even within a few years of each other, would cause shortages of the resources needed for the retrofit.  Shortages drive prices up.  Not that we can even afford a trillion now, with the deficit ballooning.  The states certainly can't.

So we're right back to the ethanol dilemma.  Ethanol is a viable fuel for farmers and some small agriculture-centered communities.  Try and scale it beyond that, and you place strains on resources, like land, and end up spiking the price of the commodities required to produce ethanol to the point that ethanol is no longer a viable solution.

While some individuals may be able to afford retrofits, as a nation, we're largely going into the upcoming energy shortage with the infrastructure we have today.

Offline Trieste

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Re: The Wheels Come Off the United States of America
« Reply #54 on: December 24, 2008, 02:22:36 AM »
Except, the way it works is that you have a guy who does retrofits for a living (*resists Joe the Retrofitter sarcasm*). He gets four contracts a month, and he's taking care of 48 retrofits a year. When he's doing all these retrofits he gets better at them, and the men who work for him get better at it. They make fewer mistakes, they use fewer materials. Maybe they discover that, while traditional wisdom requires that they use six roof panels, five roof panels suits just fine, cuts the cost for the customer, and allows them to get jobs done more quickly, allowing them to make more money. They are then able to get more bids because they can charge less than their competitors who are doing things by the book at 6 panels. Competitors catch on ... and they come up with their own shortcuts. Some work, some don't.

But the cost comes down.

And that's not even taking into account any particular advances lab-side. That's not even accounting for industrial advances, or new installation technology.

The more something is in demand, the cheaper it will become. This is also economics...

And economics is called the dismal science because they desperately want people to think of them as a science. I am offended by this. *stamps foot, then puts away soapbox*

Offline RubySlippers

Re: The Wheels Come Off the United States of America
« Reply #55 on: December 24, 2008, 05:24:11 AM »
Not exactly basic economics dictates that the increased demand for the retrofits will increase the costs of materials as more people do this to earn a living, so likely any savings from the labor would be quickly eaten up on the materials end. So the other responder is correct.

Then we must add in the "sleaze factor" the percentage of contractors that will cheat people, use substandard parts and labor and take contracts and just not do the work which will drive up costs. More of this if the government is sticking our money into the system we see that with Medicare when they sell power wheelchairs to everyone at retail price when I could get the same chair on-line paying myself and save 20% or more.

Big projects like this in big programs like Al Gore would like not just invites but will cause corruption and wasted money - want proof where did the banks spend the $300+ bilion the government gave them they aren't saying now are they.

On the plus side I do agree eventually the tech becomes viable and people will use it but its going to be a pain getting there and who says people can afford this even at $10000, with the economy the way it is. If I see one glimmer it will increase contracting jobs and get people employed but I'm not sure if that alone is worth it.

Online Valerian

Re: The Wheels Come Off the United States of America
« Reply #56 on: December 24, 2008, 08:05:45 AM »
First, a big ditto to what Trieste said.  As far as I know, the materials for the retrofits are fundamentally the same materials that would be required for nearly any remodel -- there's nothing that bizarre or rare involved.  Besides, to grow the economy, in any way, always requires increased use of materials and labor.  You can't make anything from nothing.

And most of all, no one ever said that passive solar was the one thing that would save the world.  That's only one way to help the situation.  While the remodels are going on, and new buildings are starting out with the technology in place, there will be other things happening as well -- and some of them will be as basic and inexpensive as people becoming more conscious and careful with the way they live.  To take probably the most basic example, spend two dollars on a couple of cloth shopping bags and never have to worry about using paper or plastic again.  That's only a drop in the bucket, you say?  Well, multiply that out among millions of people like Ty did, and it makes a huge, huge difference.

Yes, some of the measures will have to be big projects, and of course there will be waste and outright corruption sometimes.  That always happens, whether government is involved or not.  But other measures cost literally next to nothing, and are very small, person to person and neighborhood to neighborhood.  Those will be just as important in the end.

Offline Trieste

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Re: The Wheels Come Off the United States of America
« Reply #57 on: December 24, 2008, 09:10:00 AM »
Reading Ruby's post and having gotten some sleep, I notice that something I posted probably need clarification.

The more something is in demand, the cheaper it will become. This is also economics...

Should probably point out that I'm referring to the long run, here, not the short-term rarity increase. The way things work in theory is that they go into high demand, but remain in the same supply, which drives up the price. The supply is increased to meet the demand, and the price begins to come down. The supply catches up with and exceeds demand, the price hits a low and demand may or may not decrease due to the item no longer having a perceived rarity. Demand goes down, market is flooded with low-priced item for a while, then supply slows down because demand is no longer there. If you have a circular system, that would be when demand once again started to peak.

That's what I was referring to - I know the price would be high at first. Just to make that clear.

Offline OldSchoolGamerTopic starter

Re: The Wheels Come Off the United States of America
« Reply #58 on: January 03, 2009, 04:05:08 AM »
I just about split a gut laughing at the stock market today.  Here we had the worst manufacturing reading since the Seventies, basically indicating the U.S. manufacturing sector was somewhere between asleep and in a coma, and the Dow popped like 200 points.  What were they doing, handing out uppers on the NYSE trading floor?

Online Silk

Re: The Wheels Come Off the United States of America
« Reply #59 on: January 03, 2009, 07:44:22 AM »
The funny thing is that there is alternatives for petrol, granted nowhere near the same quality but more often than not people need to get out of their 1 to 60 gas guzzler cars, end of the day all that matters is that you get to your destination.

I mean they can run a car on methane gas, that's right run the car on your own waste, even cow crap! There are plenty of options its just that nobody bothers to attempt them.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: The Wheels Come Off the United States of America
« Reply #60 on: January 03, 2009, 08:20:47 AM »
The problem is the US relies on gasoline taxes to pay for the roads, bridges and transit systems and they are already looking to alternative taxation systems to get the money. For example a GPS system that would tax per mile of travel between fill ups of whatever you use. So I suspect any saving would be eaten up when they tax higher and if the fuel is more expensive than gasoline it will be another hit on the average person in the US. No one said if any of these new technologies would be as easy to get, process and trasnport as gasoline and be as efficient at producing energy for what it costs to process them. And Ethenol is full of red herrings like using up food production land for fuel, it biodegrades, is a weaker energy source, more farming to grow corn the standard crop in the US needs more pollutants and water.

Your better off having a large efficent coal power plant producing electricity and having all electric cars with the pollution per mile calculated, they did that when the EV1's were debated in the 1990's and it was clearly cleaner than gasoline.

Offline OldSchoolGamerTopic starter

Re: The Wheels Come Off the United States of America
« Reply #61 on: January 03, 2009, 01:39:35 PM »
The bugbear that haunts alternative energy of all kinds is scalability.  The dismal truth is that there is no source--not wind, not solar, not cow farts, not ethanol--that can be ramped up to anywhere near what we need to run our civilization on anything near the scale we're accustomed to.

Take solar power.  Solar definitely has a niche.  Putting a few square meters of solar panels on the roofs of, say, 200,000 homes and businesses in Las Vegas would definitely help on those hot, clear summer days that are so common there.  Figure 10% efficiency, plus the tilt, and you'd get 100W per square meter, at ten square meters a pop...that's 2 million square meters at 100W a piece yields 200 megawatt-hours of electricity between, say 10:00am and 4:00pm.  That's nothing to sneeze at. 

But then the sun gets low in the sky, and by 6:00pm or so that's already dropping way off.  Or a thunderstorm rolls in.  And that's the rub.

EDIT: As far as passive solar homes, if you can afford to build one, yes by all means do so. 


Consider wind.  There are some geographic areas where it makes sense.  Near where I live, about three out of four summer days, there's a sea breeze.  Put windmills in the gap in the coastal range, you'll get fairly reliable wind during summer afternoons and evenings.  But not all the time, and when winter comes, the sea breeze drops off to almost nil...

The bottom line: we need strong conservation now, and a Manhattan Project-style push for thermonuclear fusion as a power source.  It's the only energy source even on the drawing board with the lifting power to run our Information Age civilization.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2009, 01:43:33 PM by TyTheDnDGuy »

Offline The Overlord

Re: The Wheels Come Off the United States of America
« Reply #62 on: January 03, 2009, 05:13:05 PM »
The bugbear that haunts alternative energy of all kinds is scalability.  The dismal truth is that there is no source--not wind, not solar, not cow farts, not ethanol--that can be ramped up to anywhere near what we need to run our civilization on anything near the scale we're accustomed to.


Two points here-

1. I may sound like I'm going in circles and delivering the same old counterpoints, but unless you're in high echelon government or science and engineering, you simply don't know how scalable it is. Saying we can't sustain on alternatives is a moot point now; we have to do it, end of story. The house is burning and instead of whining 'no I don't have a big enough water bucket', you start using the buckets you have while you work on bigger ones.

2. Second point, the key phrase here was 'run our civilization on anything near the scale we're accustomed to'. We probably can't now; likely a solution is going to require us to meet the planet halfway.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: The Wheels Come Off the United States of America
« Reply #63 on: January 03, 2009, 05:57:47 PM »
Two points here-

1. I may sound like I'm going in circles and delivering the same old counterpoints, but unless you're in high echelon government or science and engineering, you simply don't know how scalable it is. Saying we can't sustain on alternatives is a moot point now; we have to do it, end of story. The house is burning and instead of whining 'no I don't have a big enough water bucket', you start using the buckets you have while you work on bigger ones.

2. Second point, the key phrase here was 'run our civilization on anything near the scale we're accustomed to'. We probably can't now; likely a solution is going to require us to meet the planet halfway.

To reply in order to your points -

1. Its not a big issue in my lifetime now is it? Oil and natural gas and coal will likely not run out altogether for a century by then I will likely be dead so why is this my problem that is for the next generation now isn't it let them worry about this and all. We can work on alternatives if they are free marketwise working and people want them but this is really a non-issue in the United States there is no real big demand to Go Green if there was we could do that. But with oil cheap, coal cheap, nuclear power ok not as cheap but available and our high energy demand culture I don't see a major shift happening anytime soon.

2. Humans = Dominant Species Why should I care what we do to the planet providence gave us oil and coal and natural gas and uranium to harness and use and until they are depleted I see no reason to worry.

Offline Oniya

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Re: The Wheels Come Off the United States of America
« Reply #64 on: January 03, 2009, 06:09:08 PM »
To reply in order to your points -

1. Its not a big issue in my lifetime now is it? Oil and natural gas and coal will likely not run out altogether for a century by then I will likely be dead so why is this my problem that is for the next generation now isn't it let them worry about this and all.

I'm going to assume from this statement that you don't plan on having children?  Just because the oil/gas will last until after you die doesn't mean that it will last until after your children die.

There are two points that people seem to be bringing up as a reason not to switch over - one is that it will take too long to become cost-effective, and the other is that we have 'enough' to last through our lifetime.  Even assuming that the latter point is correct, wouldn't that be the best time to research and develop new energy sources: when we apparently have the resources to last us until the new sources become more feasible - which they won't be if we wait until we run out of oil/gas before we start working on them.

Offline The Overlord

Re: The Wheels Come Off the United States of America
« Reply #65 on: January 04, 2009, 12:05:59 AM »
To reply in order to your points -

1. Its not a big issue in my lifetime now is it? Oil and natural gas and coal will likely not run out altogether for a century by then I will likely be dead so why is this my problem that is for the next generation now isn't it let them worry about this and all. We can work on alternatives if they are free marketwise working and people want them but this is really a non-issue in the United States there is no real big demand to Go Green if there was we could do that. But with oil cheap, coal cheap, nuclear power ok not as cheap but available and our high energy demand culture I don't see a major shift happening anytime soon.

2. Humans = Dominant Species Why should I care what we do to the planet providence gave us oil and coal and natural gas and uranium to harness and use and until they are depleted I see no reason to worry.


Actually, I'm so befuddled by the lack of foresight, reasoning and wisdom in this post that I don't even think it deserves a full response. And that's as nice as I can put it.

I will say only this-

We are the dominant species on Earth....FOR NOW. What nature has shown us is that nature can swat us off the face of the planet like a cow swats flies off its ass. A response like yours I hear every so often, and it makes me really truly wish we get taken out as a species. Completely.

For all our progress, we're apes. To paraphrase George Carlin, we're too busy killing our neighbor because he prays to a different invisible man in the sky then we, or something almost as foolish.

All I say is if we screw it; if we take the paradise of life in the universe called Earth and frack it up, then we've blown our evolutionary wager. We'll have had our shot and utterly wasted, and we'll deserve to go down with all the species we drive into extinction. Were just so fracking cocky we will deserve a good hard kick when we finally get one.


I will say this once for everyone here that isn't getting it.


WE BELONG TO THE EARTH NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND...IF ENOUGH OF YOU BELIEVE OTHERWISE THEN WE'RE FRACKED. ALL OF US.


I will not excuse the red type because right now it matches the color of my face when I read this post. I will say this much more; when the shortsighted of the species drive us into the extinct book, if I'm around I'll look death in the eye and laugh knowingly that all my fellow humans are going down with me.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2009, 04:14:34 PM by The Overlord »

Offline Zakharra

Re: The Wheels Come Off the United States of America
« Reply #66 on: January 04, 2009, 09:10:47 AM »
 We're not going to run out of coal for many centuries. There are huge stocks of it in the US. I agree that we should look for alternative sources for energy, but simply put, ones like wind and solar are limited. wind throws off ice in the winter, kills hundreds of birds that fly right through the blades and the turbines cannot be put in some areas that are best for them. Solar is limited to daytime only.

 Nuclear is a clean resource and the used fuel can be stored safely. As is coal. Clean burning plants can be made that will provide enough electricity for all.  Geothermal is a possibility since as I understand it, the US and N. American tetonic plate over all, is thinner than the European and Asian ones. The Yellowstone basin would be a excellent place to put large scale geothermal plants. Fusion reactors is another promising way, if it can be done.

 The elevtric cars that people have been bringing upo have to get their power from somewhere. Which means massive power plants burning something as fuel to produce the electricity. In addition to the machines we have that require power.

 At some point I hope we can get by the enviromentalists and get a effective reusable shuttle/orbital vehicle going so we can expand into space. There are many resources, metals and ores, floating around that are just waiting to be gotten. Plus with access to unlimited solar radiation, huge city sized solar panel fields can be made and used to power space stations, smelters and heavy industries in space. All without polluting the planet.  The solar fields could even be used to channel energy to the earth in microwave beams for clean power. As long as the damned beams shut off the moment they loose the relay from the earth based recieving station. Wouldn't they maker excellent weapons for terrotists and hackers..

 What some people are objecting to, is the push for alternatives to be used now, despite the damage to the enviroment, economy and feasability of scale.

 Ethenol is an excellent example of that. To get the ethenol the US along needs, requires a huge amount of farmland. with factory style farming to get the yields needed to begin to come close to the needed amount, plus it removes land from food production, requires constant use of fertilizers, equipment, and herbicides. Then there is refining and the fact ethenol cannot be shipped through pipes like oil or gas. Making it necessary to use trains or trucks to haul the fuel. Which does degrade and isn't necessarily any cleaner than the gas it is replacing, or as effective in the tank either.

Offline OldSchoolGamerTopic starter

Re: The Wheels Come Off the United States of America
« Reply #67 on: January 04, 2009, 02:06:51 PM »
I'll agree ethanol is a dead end.  It has limited, small-scale uses (like for farmers themselves, or maybe small agriculture-centered communities) but as a general transportation fuel for use by everyday Americans, it's a non-starter.

As for building huge things in space...wonderful idea, but it's not going to happen.  One need only look at the cost of building the International Space Station (billions of dollars) and scale up for building much bigger things.  Look up the cost of putting a pound of mass into orbit and you'll see what I mean.

The energy shortage on Earth is going to have to be solved on Earth.  We need a new Manhattan Project to harness thermonuclear fusion.  Then we can have cheap, abundant energy again, and then we can look at tackling more ambitious projects in space.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: The Wheels Come Off the United States of America
« Reply #68 on: January 04, 2009, 04:27:31 PM »

Actually, I'm so befuddled by the lack of foresight, reasoning and wisdom in this post that I don't even think it deserves a full response. And that's as nice as I can put it.

I will say only this-

We are the dominant species on Earth....FOR NOW. What nature has shown us is that nature can swat us off the face of the planet like a cow swats flies off its ass. A response like yours I hear every so often, and it makes me really truly wish we get taken out as a species. Completely.

For all our progress, we're apes. To paraphrase George Carlin, we're too busy killing our neighbor because he prays to a different invisible man in the sky then we, or something almost as foolish.

All I say is if we screw it; if we take the paradise of life in the universe called Earth and frack it up, then we've blown our evolutionary wager. We'll have had our shot and utterly wasted, and we'll deserve to go down with all the species we drive into extinction. Were just so fracking cocky we will deserve a good hard kick when we finally get one.


I will say this once for everyone here that isn't getting it.


WE BELONG TO THE EARTH NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND...IF ENOUGH OF YOU BELIEVE OTHERWISE THEN WE'RE FRACKED. ALL OF US.


I will not excuse the red type because right now it matches the color of my face when I read this post. I will say this much more; when the shortsighted of the species drive us into the extinct book, if I'm around I'll look death in the eye and laugh knowingly that all my fellow humans are going down with me.


Humans are rather hardy as a species I'm sure someday we will settle down likely after serious wars, environmental demands likely hitting poor nations and key resources deplete at that point humanity will have our finest hour or die out, I won't be around to worry about it most likely.

Since the simple fact is your not going to get China and India on board I see zero reason to think we can stop global warming we should focus on adapting to it as a nation working on our survival long term now. Unlike the poor nations we have many advantages and can stand alone if we had to it just may hurt some. I'd rather be in the US when the shit is flying than in some shithole in Africa which is going to be hit hard.

Offline OldSchoolGamerTopic starter

Re: The Wheels Come Off the United States of America
« Reply #69 on: January 04, 2009, 04:50:38 PM »
Unlike the poor nations we have many advantages and can stand alone if we had to it just may hurt some. I'd rather be in the US when the shit is flying than in some shithole in Africa which is going to be hit hard.

I understand your logic, but I'm going to play devil's advocate here and say that the Third World might actually make out better than you think.

When the cheap-oil blowoff of the 20th century unwinds completely, the death of cheap oil is pretty much going to hit societies with a hardness proportionate to how much they prospered during the boom. 

A farming village in Nigeria doesn't rely on 3000-mile caesar salads and driving four miles out of suburbia to buy a loaf of bread.  A fishing village in Mexico probably would by improved by the death of oil, at least in the long run, as the overfishing of fisheries would be far less likely without petrol to run big drift-net fishing boats.

On the other hand, can you imagine Las Vegas or Phoenix without cheap air conditioning?

Offline Zakharra

Re: The Wheels Come Off the United States of America
« Reply #70 on: January 04, 2009, 04:58:57 PM »
I'll agree ethanol is a dead end.  It has limited, small-scale uses (like for farmers themselves, or maybe small agriculture-centered communities) but as a general transportation fuel for use by everyday Americans, it's a non-starter.

As for building huge things in space...wonderful idea, but it's not going to happen.  One need only look at the cost of building the International Space Station (billions of dollars) and scale up for building much bigger things.  Look up the cost of putting a pound of mass into orbit and you'll see what I mean.

The energy shortage on Earth is going to have to be solved on Earth.  We need a new Manhattan Project to harness thermonuclear fusion.  Then we can have cheap, abundant energy again, and then we can look at tackling more ambitious projects in space.

 Make a few power plants to make liquid hydrogen and oxygen, which are used on rocket fuel. The reason the ISS is taking so long to build is because it's mainly being done by governments. They are controlling how, why, when and where it's parts are built. Hand an ambitious company or consortium of companies the incentive to build a space station and refueling depot in orbit and I can say it would be done a lot quicker than the ISS is being built.

 Engines can be designed to be more efficient, but unless we get over the hurdles of the more inefficient rockets/shuttles, it'll be a hard road to step into space. That's if the environmentalists don't get the space program shut down for atmospheric pollution.

 Reliable fusion reactors could be a few years off or decades, so waiting just for them before doing other things in space is a potential stumbling block. Like a 5-year plan, with specific layouts on what's to happen when and where. The question also comes to mind, how much would the project be funded with?

Offline The Overlord

Re: The Wheels Come Off the United States of America
« Reply #71 on: January 04, 2009, 10:20:09 PM »
Humans are rather hardy as a species I'm sure someday we will settle down likely after serious wars, environmental demands likely hitting poor nations and key resources deplete at that point humanity will have our finest hour or die out, I won't be around to worry about it most likely.

Since the simple fact is your not going to get China and India on board I see zero reason to think we can stop global warming we should focus on adapting to it as a nation working on our survival long term now. Unlike the poor nations we have many advantages and can stand alone if we had to it just may hurt some. I'd rather be in the US when the shit is flying than in some shithole in Africa which is going to be hit hard.

Yes, perhaps we will reach the semi-Utopia given to us in Star Trek, where we've got past our troubled, extended adolescence as a species and gone into the rest of the solar system confidently because we've learned how to treat the home planet correctly. I can only hope we reach this pinnacle as it will truly be our finest hour and history can look back at the day when human civilization finally became civilized.

However, I'm concerned how many other of nature's beautiful species will be there to share it all with us; I'm afraid a lot more than just humpback whales will miss the guest list.  >:( >:( >:(


This will sound extremely heartless but China and India Im not so concerned about; their main problem is size, and if they dont hop on board, the overpopulation problem will correct itself in the end. Try getting all your tech help and crap at Walmart from another supplier; they'll be far too busy as nations building caskets.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2009, 10:24:53 PM by The Overlord »

Offline Zakharra

Re: The Wheels Come Off the United States of America
« Reply #72 on: January 04, 2009, 11:38:15 PM »
 China and India have a readymade way to solve most internal problems, including overpopulation. China has what? 100 million young men with little prospect of finding wives? I can see them arming and training them and using them to expand their territory. In search for resources like the oil fields in Central Asia. India.. might tear itself apart in a civil war. The problem is they are armed with nukes.

Offline OldSchoolGamerTopic starter

Re: The Wheels Come Off the United States of America
« Reply #73 on: January 05, 2009, 02:29:25 AM »
Now we enter January, the month of Obama's inauguration.  For all the talk of change, Obama seems poised to pick up right where Bush left off in pumping as much fiat money into the economy as possible in a vain attempt to resurrect it. 

Contrary to cheesy science fiction, you can't bring a corpse back to life no matter how many volts you pass through it.  But you can make it twitch and jerk in some bizarre imitation of life, and probably we'll see the stock market do just that in the coming weeks.  However, just like the corpse eventually gives off a stench that makes its "dead" status impossible to ignore, so the hard data on employment and GDP for the end of 2008 will confirm the economy went belly-up. 

The problem is that this "recession" is not cyclical, but rather structural.  The cheap energy and easy credit that built the consumer-driven, mall-centered American economy are gone.  The government can produce more paper wealth with the printing-press (note that every republic that's gone that route has gone kaput, and we officially started with the bailouts), but oil is what it is. 

Really, if the America I was born and raised in hadn't turned into a nation of media-saturated, apathetic overfed clowns, we'd have realized long ago that things ain't what they used to be.  In 1970 a working man could support a mortgage, a car note, a wife and two kids.  Now, after the bean-counters got the bright idea of having us compete against Chinese slave labor and Japanese drones and Southeast Asian peasants, two working spouses get foreclosure notices left and right.  And anyone who has looked at food prices knows the official inflation statistics ought to be perforated, put on a roll, and hung next to commodes across the land. 

My advice to anyone reading this, especially Americans, is to begin preparing for the failure of the government and economic systems we have taken for granted lo these many years, and to do so soon.  Like, right now.  If you have land and water, plan on gardening this year...and pretty much every year after that.  If you don't know how to grow your own food, learn how.  (For instance, I plan on growing tropical fruits indoors against the day when cheap transportation of oranges and other tropical fruits may no longer be possible.)  Inventory your personal skill-set, and consider ways you could become involved with the underground (read: non-conventional, localized) economy.  Remember: the crash of Big Everything doesn't mean we're all going to die.  It simply means our lives are going to be reorganized and reprioritized. 

Offline The Overlord

Re: The Wheels Come Off the United States of America
« Reply #74 on: January 05, 2009, 03:25:25 AM »
China has what? 100 million young men with little prospect of finding wives? I can see them arming and training them and using them to expand their territory. In search for resources like the oil fields in Central Asia.

Problem is that they can't really use it. Any large countries that have the capacity, namely Russia or India, will use WMD's or something nearly as horrific to blunt a club that big.

Russia has proven historically they'll endure tremendous hardship to kick out invaders; they'll bleed China white if it comes to it. A battle of China vs. India is going to be the mother of all attrition battles that will make the casualties from the biggest Eastern Front battles from WWII look small.

Should they push east and take Japan; well easier said than done, and the US will jump in. The US has the capacity to hand the Chinese devastating casualties in the hundreds of millions. You don't play pillow fight with a country the size of China, if you're doing your job you've wiped at least 20 million of them in the opening days of the war, but it's a moot point because war between us would take out the global market and it's not going to happen.

China has the capacity to expand but any major aggression will slit its own throat.