preptip: Save Your Sole

Bedwell Trail, Strathcona Park, British Columbia, July 2020

Walking in nature is one of the best things to do,

because our genetic memory makes it very enjoyable,

and it’s good for your body’s respiration and motility,

and it calms your soul in times of stress,

and it requires little money, fossil energy, or equipment,

except a good pair of boots,

and assuming your food and shelter needs are met,

you can continue to enjoy walking in nature,

long after SHTF,

and after you’re too old for other activities,

so you can depend on walking in nature,

provided you have a good pair of boots,

and in addition,

after fossil energy is scarce,

and when you need to earn a little money,

doing physical labor,

because that’s the only work that will pay,

or you need to grow a little food,

because you need to eat,

you can use those same boots to help,

and given the mind boggling complexity required,

to manufacture and deliver a pair of boots,

they will never be better quality or more available than today,

and given the trillions of dollars being printed,

to pretend and extend the impossible,

they will never be less expensive than today,

and given they don’t go bad,

and will be valuable to trade for other necessities,

there is no good reason not to have a few spares,

of my personal favorites,

sitting at the sweet spot of price, utility, comfort, and durability,

for everyday walking,

the Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX,

and for overnight hikes with heavy loads,

the Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX,

both of which are among the most popular boots in Canada,

and which almost never go on sale,

except today,

perhaps because the virus is hurting suppliers,

and they need to juice their year-end revenue,

when I noticed they are 25% off at some retailers,

like Valhalla Pure Outfitters,

which is why I wrote this preptip.

Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX
Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX

86 thoughts on “preptip: Save Your Sole”

  1. An observation on how the need to make a living can impact discussing reality…

    On September 10, 2020, after 9 months of almost daily excellent reporting on Covid-19, Chris Martenson said he intended to shift his YouTube channel back to its roots on how we should respond to human overshoot, or what Martenson calls the 3-E’s: energy (peak oil), economy (end of growth), ecology (climate change, species extinction, et al).

    He did 2 videos on his new homestead, never once mentioned human overshoot, and then went back to daily reporting on the virus.


  2. I can confirm from 8 years of work on small farms that old equipment is very reliable and you can usually fix it yourself, but it definitely cannot be used on the mega-farms that feed our civilization.

    Dennis L. today @ OFW…

    Thinking of complexity:

    Combines are hugely expensive, more and more it appears they are purchased with a 4 year life time and a bumper to bumper warranty after which they are sold and a new one purchased. They seem to be almost impossible to repair, and if attempted require heated machine sheds that have fifty foot doors and are literally the size of a small aircraft hanger.

    If there is a downturn as many here think, there is no return to simpler combines as they are too far in the past. Large machines harvest large fields and without them large acreages are a cost, there are only 16 usable days in the fall to bring in the crop – sometimes it rains, sometimes it snows, those days don’t count.

    We could be facing a scenario where we have the land, but we cannot afford to harvest the crops with either the manpower or the machines we have.

    Tractors and tillage are the same, we can fertilize a row to the inch and go back and plant seeds in the same row, that is incredible and is part of the reason fields are prepared so carefully, seeds are expensive and spacing is now also down to the inch. Modern tractors are computers on wheels in the mud, when something goes wrong they go into limp mode and barely move until serviced which cannot be done with out computer codes which are many times not available to the farmer, only dealers. Part of this is secondary to emission requirements, etc.

    A couple of years ago, talking to a full time tractor mechanic, part time bartender he related all the old tractors were being purchased, placed into cargo containers and shipped to the former USSR, where they went from there is anyone’s guess. Scuttlebutt is it is the same with construction equipment as the old stuff is shipped to the third world, they don’t want the new stuff. Machine tool auctions have shipping containers, what is won is placed in the container, when it is full off it goes, little of it is cnc, all manual. Manual stuff is getting hard to find unless it is basically a boat anchor.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can attest to the fact that complex CNC woodworking machines have been built solely to mass produce crappy furniture and deskill the workforce. I was a woodworker and initially an upholsterer for most of my adult life and my shop tools were very basic. I worked on all the work processes from start to finish. My table saw (a 1940s three phase Powermatic) still was running strong when I sold it just recently. I was part of a group of sixties people that went back to working with our hands i.e. potters, woodworkers, glass blowers, silversmiths. There are still people out there doing this kind of craft but because the work is so labor intensive, we found ourselves working mostly for rich people. Everyone else gets to buy stuff which doesn’t last or is obsolete in a few years. For a while I lived in a twelve story building that had mostly garment workers on the floors. Over the years, they all disappeared and the equipment was shipped overseas. So this process has been going on for a long time.

      I bought a pair of Asolo hiking boots years ago and over time the sole delaminated from the rest of the boot. In the seventies I had traditional heavy hiking boots that were sown together. I eventually couldn’t wear them anymore because the leather got so stiff. Just saying nothing lasts forever.

      Liked by 3 people

        1. Rob, I had some good leather-lined Timberland boots where the sole just began crumbling after several years. The plastics just don’t last all that long.


  3. I’ve been pretty happy with the leather work boots that I got from Red Wing, made in USA. (Not all Red Wing shoes are made in USA, but almost no other work boots are.) I preserve the leather with “SnowSeal” (oil and beeswax). Plastic materials might be waterproof, but deteriorate with time regardless.


    1. Thanks for the tip on Red Wing. I don’t see many people in Canada selling them.

      I have a pair of leather hiking boots that I bought in the 70’s. I also use SnowSeal on them. They are very durable but also a little heavy.


  4. I am not preparing for a collapse. Too hard. I am too lazy. Too old probably. But I am thinking about coming disruptions and shortages. I have made a list of my “essentials” that I think might get harder to obtain. Shoes are on the top of that list. My observation is that shoe quality is rapidly falling. Billions of more people want shoes. To satisfy that demand/make a profit, most shoes are made with petrochemicals now. Grab the few good pair left while you still can. Also on my essentials list is clothing of high quality cotton and wool, leather. Quality undergarments, cold weather gear, work gear, etc. Multiple pair of cheap reading glasses. Anything with supply chained in China, such as computer batteries. Some toiletries, kitchen items, etc. etc. All the little things I don’t want to be without.

    Maybe when I complete these little essential purchases I will consider some bigger purchases that are on the usual end of the world survival lists. But for now, my big purchase decision is around a new personal transport vehicle. New car, old car, or EV? Any thoughts on how to go forward there? Yes, I should try not to own a car. But it is hard to step out of the existence into which I was born and exist and subsist. No doubt change will be forced onto me sometime in the future. I do own several bikes.


    1. That’s a good list. I built my list by imagining what I will need to survive with a little pleasure, and what may be hard to find in the future.

      My next vehicle will probably be a small used gasoline powered car that has a reputation for reliability and that sold in large numbers so parts and expertise will be common. Something like a Honda Civic. I was thinking about a diesel car for it’s fuel economy but I worry that when SHTF diesel will be shunted to agriculture and trucking.

      My friends are buying electric cars. I don’t like their high price and I remain skeptical about battery life and replacement cost.


    2. ” Too hard. I am too lazy. Too old probably”………… too. Plus, I don’t care. I’m 54 & have been a misanthrope for about a decade now. Why would I go to all that effort just to spend more time with a species of emotional halfwits that behaves worse every year? It/they are only going to get worse. The current crop of criss cult disciples will look sane in a decade.

      If you ask me, life is overrated. If I change my mind later on, I still have firearms to help me convince others to share.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. New cars are just computers on wheels. They really can be “bricked” during certain situations, particularly electrics. It’s hard to beat an old (early 90s or earlier, but especially ’70s and ’80s) pickup truck. They’re so much easier to wrench than the inaccessible, only-repairable-by-computer-software autos of today. Plus they haul lots of stuff and you don’t have to worry about them looking shit or being stolen. I drive a ’14 Volkswagen Golf (gas), and though it’s a pretty good car it’s really tough for me to wrench as it requires computer repair codes and such. I miss my Mom’s old (1972) VW Super Beetle.


    1. This production is well-produced and well-intentioned, but it avoids the deeper/wider problems in favor of blaming “bad people” [as if people are only bad or good rather than both on a spectrum]. The root cause of this mess is the kleptocratic corporate-government complex and the inequality that it causes. Of course, overshoot is the even deeper root cause. But addressing these core problems seems too much for almost all humans, which is why we’re totally fucked.


        1. Legalizing hard drugs is a way to attract a lot of hard-drug users and the type of people who like to sell hard drugs. So there’s that to look forward to.


  5. I listened to the audio book, born to run by Chris Mcdougall a year or so ago. We evolved to run long distances bare foot across the African Savannah. We actually need to run to maintain optimal health. No other animal needs to do this.
    There is a correlation between expensive sneakers and injury. Surprisingly the shittier your shoes the less likely you are to injure yourself.
    We are not designed to run landing with great force on the heel of our foot. Nike has known this for a long time and yet continue to manufacture shoes that encourage runners too do exactly that.
    We are perfectly evolved to walk and run bare foot.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Amen to that. If I had to walk out of my house in the forest/pasture interface without mud boots at this time of the year – my feet would freeze and I would sink 3″ into the mud. Being a former jogger/runner I agree – the more expensive the shoe the more injuries I had. Now just Muck boots and loggers boots.


      2. Our ancestors didn’t have to contend with gravel roads. I don’t think it would be possible to run with bare feet on the forest tracks around where I live without being injured. I wear shoes. Just not good ones!
        The idea that we need boots to provide arch support, ankle support and a nice cushion under our heels is wrong.
        I also read somewhere once that a pound on you feet is equivalent to 5 pounds on your back. I haven’t worn boots out walking for a long time. I just wear a pair of cheap shitty sneakers. Yeah sure they probably don’t last as long but I like the feeling of being light footed. I really did notice a big difference when I gave up my boots.


  6. Too many stitching lines that all need to be sealed with shoe goo so that abrasion from bush doesn’t destroy them prematurely. Strictly a trail shoe, not for off-trail use.


  7. More fun facts for bipedal old-timers.

    How Carrying Around Extra Weight Affects Your Feet and Ankles

    “For overweight people, the feet and ankles end up bearing the brunt of the load. So it’s not surprising that overweight and obese people are at higher risk for conditions that cause foot and ankle problems. That extra weight can make standing and walking uncomfortable and even painful. It even stretches out and wears down the connective tissue and fat pads in the feet. Being overweight changes your gait and that can screw up your arches and the tendons in your feet.

    In other words, the more weight you carry, the more your feet and ankles are going to hurt. It’s not pretty.
    Even a few extra pounds can be very hard on your feet

    There’s no doubt that many of us carry extra weight on our frames, so the number of people who are dealing with this is pretty huge. So we asked UFAI’s Dr. Bob Baravarian about this issue and he told us something that was downright sobering. “Many people don’t realize how being overweight can impact their feet. It only takes only one pound of extra weight to add 10 pounds of additional pressure on your feet and ankles. So if you could stand to lose 10 pounds off your waistline, can you imagine how much better your feet would feel!”
    Many common foot problems are made much worse by being overweight”

    Does one pound off your feet really equal five pounds off your back?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Expanding on Perran’s comments about research into humans evolving to run. I’ve heard similar, but from a different researcher – Daniel E. Lieberman on a PBS show, probably NOVA, a decade or so ago.

    30 September 2020

    The barefoot professor: Daniel Lieberman on why humans are born to run

    “After realising our ancestors would never have chosen to work out, the evolutionary biologist wrote “an anti-bullshit book” on health and exercise. ”

    In Daniel Lieberman’s Skeletal Biology Lab, we have been investigating the biomechanics of endurance running, comparing habitually barefoot runners with runners who normally run in modern running shoes with built-up heels, stiff soles and arch support.
    Here is a summary of our findings, which we explain with the aid of videos and images in the following pages:

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The story of the human body: evolution, health, and disease

    “In this landmark book of popular science, Daniel E. Lieberman—chair of the department of human evolutionary biology at Harvard University and a leader in the field—gives us a lucid and engaging account of how the human body evolved over millions of years, even as it shows how the increasing disparity between the jumble of adaptations in our Stone Age bodies and advancements in the modern world is occasioning this paradox: greater longevity but increased chronic disease.
    The Story of the Human Body brilliantly illuminates as never before the major transformations that contributed key adaptations to the body: the rise of bipedalism; the shift to a non-fruit-based diet; the advent of hunting and gathering, leading to our superlative endurance athleticism; the development of a very large brain; and the incipience of cultural proficiencies. Lieberman also elucidates how cultural evolution differs from biological evolution, and how our bodies were further transformed during the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions.
    While these ongoing changes have brought about many benefits, they have also created conditions to which our bodies are not entirely adapted, Lieberman argues, resulting in the growing incidence of obesity and new but avoidable diseases, such as type 2 diabetes. Lieberman proposes that many of these chronic illnesses persist and in some cases are intensifying because of “dysevolution,” a pernicious dynamic whereby only the symptoms rather than the causes of these maladies are treated. And finally—provocatively—he advocates the use of evolutionary information to help nudge, push, and sometimes even compel us to create a more salubrious environment. ”

    Liked by 1 person

      1. This one is related. It has some good info in spite of it’s ‘self helpiness’.

        Get Up!: Why Your Chair is Killing You and What You Can Do About It

        James A. Levine

        That the average adult spends 50 to 70 percent of their day sitting is no surprise to anyone who works in an office environment. But few realize the health consequences they are suffering as a result of modernity’s increasingly sedentary lifestyle, or the effects it has had on society at large. In Get Up! , health expert James A. Levine’s original scientific research shows that today’s chair-based world, where we no longer use our bodies as they evolved to be used, is having negative consequences on our health, and is a leading cause of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. Over the decades, humans have moved from a primarily active lifestyle to one that is largely sedentary, and this change has reshaped every facet of our lives—from social interaction to classroom design. Levine shows how to throw off the shackles of inertia and reverse these negative trends through simple changes in our daily lives.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. One tribe of monkeys resolved to live within their means, and did so for 70 years, because they did not want to repeat the mistake of their grandparents, but as soon as those means got a little too low, some of the monkeys started to cast doubt on what caused the mistake, so that they could print money and live beyond their means, like all the other monkey tribes.

    A debate is playing out in the German-speaking media about whether inflation or deflation was behind the rise of Adolf Hitler in the 1930s. Conservative economists have been arguing that public overspending and the 1923 hyperinflation destroyed the middle class and thus paved the way for the National Socialists. Most recently, Hans Werner Sinn, a well-renowned economist and former chairman of the Ifo Institute for Economic Research, reiterated that argument in an interview with Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ), saying: ‘People lost their savings and life insurances which became worthless. Ten years later, Adolf Hitler became chancellor. I don’t say that something like that will happen again, but we need policies that prevent it from the outset. We need tighter budget limitations.’

    But not everyone agrees with that analysis of how Hitler came to power. In an op-ed for business newspaper Handelsblatt two weeks later, Philipp Heimberger from the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies argued that the response of the German government under chancellor Heinrich Brüning to the Great Depression was mainly responsible for the election results in the early 1930s which saw the National Socialists winning up to 43.9 per cent of the vote.

    h/t Panopticon


  11. Charles Hugh Smith today on reality denial…

    Of the lavish banquet of absurdities laid out in 2020, one of the most delectable is Time magazine’s December 14 cover declaring that 2020 was the “worst year ever.” You’re joking, right? In history’s immense tapestry of human misery, it’s not even in the top 100 worst years.

    Declaring 2020 “the worst year ever” reveals much about the psychology of our delusional state of affairs. It reflects an absolutely abysmal grasp of human history and a self-absorbed desire to exaggerate the calamity so the rebound will be gloriously triumphant.

    It also embodies our delusional addiction to measuring the well-being of the human populace with financial markets: as long as stocks are hitting new highs, we’re all doing wonderfully.

    So party on, because “the worst year ever” is ending and the rebound of financial markets, already the greatest in recorded history, will only become more fabulous.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sure the black death of 1347 was hard on our wayback grand parents, but it wasn’t a ‘Plandemic’ like ours which is way way worse cause of Jews-N-stuff.

      Everything old is new again.

      Black Death: How Jews were blamed for the plague and massacred

      What was a medical phenomenon soon turned into a socio-political one, with many chroniclers struggling to decide if more Jews died due to the plague or the persecutions against them.

      Ok the conspiracy-tards haven’t slaughtered any Jews yet, but not because they don’t wish them dead. It’s because they are helpless babies & physical cowards – shaped by their environment – & still too comfortable.

      Perhaps they’re waiting for the future where ethnic cleansing is automated.


    1. I’m pretty tolerant and couldn’t remember why I asked you to stop posting here so I went back an re-read your last post. It questioned the existence of reality, suggested there may be life after death, and posted a talk by a Christian that studied the paranormal.

      I did the right thing by asking you to discuss those issues elsewhere.

      We don’t do woo woo on this site.


  12. Alice Friedemann today found a very good paper on the insanity of burning trees to make electricity.

    The 2015 Paris climate change agreement states that burning biomass is carbon neutral.

    Not true.

    Over 800 scientists have written the European Parliament to tell them that burning wood for heat or electricity emits 1.5 x more CO2 than coal and 3 x more than natural gas. It puts forests all over the globe in danger and destroys biodiversity.


      1. I am here – in the aether – with lots of shoes. The Jews haven’t come with a suitcase full of money nor have the Christians to convince me to cease and desist. Damn them. So I guess I’ll have to pay the bill and continue on. At least I don’t have to keep the thing going for subscribers or think of new material for consumption. I’ve been trying to reconcile the particle physicist angle and the magnetic/dialectric angle to the universe and have learned the meaning of the word “incommensurability.” It would however be nice to know for what reason we are doing all of this killing, eating, procreating and so on. And the reason may be as simple as the fact that the universe is expanding and being fed by entropy. We are complex forms in an energy stream that must always meet the conditions of having a positive EROEI. The stream of used sunshine evaporates into space as infrared radiation. The radiation facilitates the expansion of the universe. Visible clumps of matter won’t go along with the program and are squeezed by gravity which is the universe’s attempt to smooth-out the clumps of matter and it works, especially if the mass is high enough and can start a fusion reaction. At least that’s my take on things so far. Otherwise the clumps of visible matter seem to be stuck for now. There really is no need to go into space or much of the rest of what we do. Nature just wants to take back what plants stole from it and rightfully belongs to the aether. So go eat something and take a walk, it’s good enough for the universe.

        “So Dark energy is a result of the entities that create spacetime repelling and accelerating them relatively “outwards” as the goal is to reduce the E0 energy to near zero everywhere. In doing so, it increases the entropy of the E0 energy state where 94% of the universe’s energy exists. (Note that E0 energy is still totally unincorporated properly into current theory) The energy gradient that has to be created by the repelling nature of the entities, then act to accelerate the mass containing particles along the decreasing energy direction of the E0 energy gradient.”,the%20means%20for%20creating%20a%20particle%E2%80%99s%20energy%20fields.


        1. Everything you say is true.

          There is no purpose except to degrade energy, but it’s very cool to be on a rare planet on a rare branch of life that evolved to deny reality so it’s capable of, but usually choses not to understand any of this, and for us to be in a small minority of our species that lacks these denial genes so we can have this conversation.

          I’m very grateful to be alive with energy gradients in my cupboards that allow me to walk in nature.

          It’s exhilarating. Enjoy it while it lasts.


          1. I feel so handicapped. Evolution created us to dissipate energy gradients. As part of that process (to make us better dissipatives?) we evolved sufficient intelligence to be good communicators (and psychologists?) in social settings. The downside is that the intelligence so created allows us a small understanding of nature. Large enough to understand we are inconsequential but not large enough to understand the whole purpose/process of nature (what is the fate of the universe? what brought the universe into existence? is there anything “outside” the universe?) My mind is too small.


            1. “My mind is too small.”

              Yes but it’s much larger than every other species on this planet, and possibly other planets. I’m in awe when I listen to someone like Sabine Hossenfelder explain what we do know.


          2. Definitely enjoy life in all its wonder. I would’t say that I lack the denial genes. I just have read about the issues brought up here since the 60s when I was in college. It really hit home in the last two decades when I stopped working and had extra time on my hands. I was an anthropology major in college and was fascinated by the variety of human culture. I do see the human propensity to create gods and afterlives as a coping mechanism to deal with mortality. If you think you’re going to live forever in the afterlife why worry about what’s going on in the present.

            Liked by 1 person

  13. 2020 will be the hottest year ever recorded AND the rate of global warming accelerated. On December 14, 2020 Dr. James Hansen, former NASA Goddard Space Institute Director, released a new post called “Global Warming Acceleration”. This explanation for the rapid burst of warming may surprise you.

    But it gets more shocking. This should have been a cooler year. The great cooling phenomenon called La Nina was strong in 2020. The Sun’s power was at minimum levels, as part of the solar cycle. Western economies closed down at times, and human emissions were measurably lower than in previous years. A slow-down in planetary warming, but the opposite happened.

    “…we know that if the only forcing changes were the GHGs and the Sun (black curve in Fig. 4) there would be no acceleration of global warming in the past five years – indeed, there should be a decrease in the warming rate. The real-world acceleration tells us that there must be another forcing, which is unmeasured. There is only one good candidate: aerosols. Although NASA chose not to measure the aerosol climate forcing (Chapter 33 of Sophie’s Planet), some aerosol models suggest that global aerosol amount has decreased in the past decade (Bauer et al., 2020).”

    They are not saying the world should have cooled in the last five years! The world is warming of course, because we continue to push more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. But the RATE of warming is even greater than expected from those emissions. Why? They conclude the only explanation is less pollution. There are various ways pollution can cool the planet. Smog can block sun from reaching the surface, or land or ocean. Burning fossil fuel also releases tiny specs of sulfates, which can reflect the Sun’s energy back into space, before it reaches us.

    The important point is: our pollution has been cooling us. The general run of science leading to reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says we have been cooled by somewhere between half a degree to just over one degree C. If one degree C, could smog have cooled us as much as fossil fuels have warmed us?

    If you think that through, our situation is very serious. Even with that blanket of reflective smog, we have warmed the Earth by at least one degree C, almost 2 degrees Fahrenheit. The results are already grim, with almost half of Australia’s broadleaf forest burning last year alone. The heat waves, the hurricanes, you know the rest. If we cleaned up pollution completely, this planet would already be past the 2 degrees of warming which we can supposedly tolerate.

    Pollution is being reduced, and it can dribble down to almost nothing if world industry and transportation were to suddenly shut down. That just happened of course in many countries, due to the pandemic. It could also occur in an economic melt-down, or widespread grid failures.

    Maybe the aerosol problem turns out worse than the IPCC science community think. Hansen and Sato say the IPCC and other climate models have gravely underestimated the protection we had from pollution. In 2011, Hansen and other authors published a paper showing aerosol cooling was really about 1.6 W/m2 – one third higher than the standard assessment. It might be possible that if pollution stops, and is rained out in a few weeks, planet Earth could already be approaching 3 degrees of global warming. We may already be in a disastrous state, but the impacts have been hidden by aerosol pollution!

    P.S. Not all scientists agree with Hansen. Alex Smith presents a different theory in the same episode.

    Click to access 20201214_GlobalWarmingAcceleration.pdf


  14. This denial thingy is amazing.

    I just watched Chris Martenson’s year end discussion with David Collum.

    I know they both understand limits to growth.

    They spent 90 minutes trying to make sense of the world’s insanity and never once mentioned limits to growth, despite the fact that limits to growth explains everything they’re troubled about.

    You can’t make this shit up.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Mac10 was good today.

    Excuse me, but I’ve got to cut this short to go buy some Tesla.

    Most gamblers today are obligated to believe in a thing called “The Plunge Protection” team. It’s the belief that central banks can bail them out of any risk. These people believe that central banks can both inflate bubbles and keep them from popping. It’s an unfortunate fantasy that both the Chinese and Japanese have learned the hard way is not true.

    Even in the U.S., the PPT theory has had several spectacular failures. Most notably in 2008. The Fed’s largest balance sheet expansion in history (up until this year) took place in November 2008. The market bottomed four months later, down -40%.

    And as we see below, even the so-called bailout in February and March was an unmitigated gong show:

    When global markets went RISK OFF at the end of February, the S&P 500 crashed -10% in one week – the fastest correction in history. On Tuesday March 3rd, in an unscheduled meeting, the Fed cut rates by .5% which many pundits said was a panic move. Unimpressed, the market crashed for a week and a half straight after that meeting. Then on Sunday March 15th, in another unscheduled meeting, the Fed slashed rates by an entire 1% down to 0%. AND they launched a massive $700 billion QE program. Still unimpressed, the casino was limit down that night and Monday was the biggest down day of the entire debacle -13% at the lows. The VIX peaked at 90 on Monday, but the casino bottomed on Friday.

    What I expect this time around is a far more violent and uncontrolled crash. Of course, as it was in Feb/March there will be massive 1-3 day rallies. However, I see the Fed and central banks having even less control this time around. First off, there is no ability to cut interest rates. Secondly, dollar shorts – explicit and even more so implicit – are far more leveraged now than they were in February. The overall reach for risk is far greater this time around (see bubble section below).

    People always want to know, what will be the “catalyst” for a crash? The catalyst this time will be the same as last time – rampant stupidity and a financial services industry pushing people further and further into risk, on the belief that central banks can both finance risk and eliminate risk at the same time.


  16. Wisdom from the strangest sources:

    “So what we’ve learned here is there’s constant recycling. There are only so many atoms on earth. Basically, if you want to succeed as life, what you need is to make yourself from poo, because that’s how you recycle the atoms that were something else before you. The ocean is a massive recycling system, and we’re basically all made from poo, because that’s how a healthy ecosystem works.”
    Dr Helen Czerski Royal Institution Christmas Lectures 2020

    Rob, what does your soil scientist friend have to say about Rattan Lal’s work?


    1. I added this year’s Royal Institution Christmas lectures to my library yesterday but have not watched them yet.

      I’m not seeing the profundity of Czerski’s comment. What she should have said is that life is self replicating chemical reactions that compete to assemble complexity from matter to maximize energy throughput, until it wears out and dies, when its matter decomposes back to simple components for reuse by other life, and that her species had to evolve an ability to deny unpleasant realities before its brain could understand any of this, and that this intelligence combined with reality denial has resulted in severe human overshoot which will cause great suffering for most of the children attending her lecture.

      I know nothing about Rattan Lal and so have nothing to say.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. “I have a good friend who is a retired university professor with a PhD in soil science. I will ask him if your claims are reasonable and feasible.”, I’m curious as to what said professor makes of the other professor’s work.


  17. Gail Tverberg’s most recent essay was published by ZeroHedge. I scanned the comments section. The majority thinks our predicament is a conspiracy.

    There was one good comment:

    comment: We burn SIX barrels of oil for every ONE we find.

    reply: They should stop looking now, before we run out!!!


    1. If Trump’s responsible for the stock market & Trump et al politicians are responsible for jobs then that means they’re communists who luvs them a centrally planned economy.

      If any one man can dictate & make or break ‘the market’ then the entire notion of ‘free market’ capitalism is a fucking joke.

      The other dead giveaway that they do not understand what capitalism is and/or it’s an ideology of convenience, is their endless snivelling about ‘our jobs’. The only job you own is the one you make – self employment.

      Government guaranteed jobs is what communists do.

      Bringing in cheap labour or moving the factory to countries with cheap labour (and lives) is what capitalists do. It’s what they are supposed to do.

      If the MAGA-tards don’t like capitalism they should get the fuck out of the country.


      1. I hate the word capitalism. It’s loaded with emotion and every person has their own definition. I won’t discuss capitalism with someone unless they first define what it means to them.

        I think “isms” are mostly about property rights, contract law, free markets, and how much reward for risk and wealth inequality the taxation system allows.

        A completely separate issue, and the thing that enables us to live beyond our means and that has pushed us into an overshoot bubble, is the monetary system. Every “ism” in the world today uses a debt backed fractional reserve monetary system. Change the monetary system to an energy backed full reserve system and overshoot mostly goes away, regardless of the “ism”, because we’d be forced to live within our means.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Maybe you should buy yourself a small timber mill and become an artisan woodworker into your old age. Robby Driftwood….has a certain ring to it don’t you think🙂.
      I watched the above link by Alex Smith last night. Rather sobering. I first heard about global dimming in 2005 and the data seems to be as bleak today around the issue as it was back then. If the world is already at 3 degrees of warming once global dimming has been taken into account then we along with most other life on earth is totally screwed.


      1. LOL. I’m thinking people won’t spend much money on art in the future. I think I’ll continue to help out on the farm in exchange for food security. Maybe also do a little handyman work for minimum wage or barter.

        James Hansen is one of the good guys. I trust him.

        It’s becoming very hard to hold an integrated view of the threats we face. You can see why peak oil people like Gail Tverberg and Nate Hagens dismiss climate change. The implications of peak oil are hard enough to absorb and discuss without adding another problem of equal size.


        1. Peak oil could result in a major human dieback this century, but the lack of abundant energy by it self will not result in human extinction, whereas all the mass & many of the lesser extinctions were caused by climate change (hothouse earth or it’s considered to be a major factor/trigger (eg:Canfield ocean) in them. Creatures 99lbs & greater aren’t know as big survivors of mass extinctions. Humans are reliant on a great many other species for their survival & people can tell me a million times how adaptable humans are, but they are a relatively new species that’s barely been tested by this planet – oh the shit mother Medea has done to 99.9% of her other children. The conditions homo sapiens have lived under have been rather mild in the context of earths history. Especially the last 11,000 years. Some have said there is no agriculture or civilization without those 11,000 years of ‘goldilocks’ climate conditions (I’d add megafauna extinctions too). IMO, the ancestors did not ‘invent’ agriculture 11,000 years ago, but were forced to do it. I’ll wager they had a great understanding of plants for thousands of years before they became agriculturists. The agriculture story is not a simple one-way overnight transfer from hunter gathering to farming. It was messy & back & forth for thousands of years.

          One can claim nuke war could result from peakoil & I’d agree it a possible knock on effect, but so could major crop reduction & mass water shortages due to climate change.

          This is still one of the best

          Stories From The Stone Age: First Farmers pt 1

          Liked by 1 person

        2. I generally trust Hansen. You are right he is a good guy, but he is in big time denial. I read his book a number of years ago. He’s right in that climate change needs to be addressed NOW. However, I never remember him saying anything about overshoot or population reduction. He has (and as far as I know) been (and is) a big proponent of nuclear power as a partial solution to running our economies on carbon. Nuclear is not a solution and is part of the problem – so that looks like denial to me. I thought Alex Smith (or maybe someone else?) had a piece sometime recently that said that the temperature had not risen much during the pandemic (global dimming was not suppressing temperature rise as much as was thought-which would be good news). I could be wrong about that.


          1. In my very first post 9 years ago I reviewed Hansen’s book and discussed his blind spots:

            Then again in 2015:

            Varki also explains why the brain’s denial mechanism is general rather than specific. This means it tends to deny all unpleasant things, not just mortality.

            How else can we explain that James Hansen, the finest climate scientist in the world, understands that we must reduce CO2 emissions to avoid human extinction, yet also believes we can do so without reducing our standard of living or population?

            And again in 2016:

            Unfortunately his proposed solution to shift from fossil to renewable energy while continuing to grow the economy will not work and will make the situation worse.

            We must shrink the economy but no one has the courage to say this.

            I’m ok cutting Hansen a little slack because without belief in a happy solution he probably could not stay motivated to continue his important work.

            And again in 2016:

            It is remarkable that a really smart scientist could believe something so obviously wrong, and something that conflicts with the laws of thermodynamics that all scientists must bow to.

            And again in 2017:

            As an aside, I think Hansen makes a serious error by stating that a carbon tax will be effective without damaging the economy. A carbon tax will indeed reduce CO2 emissions, but it will also reduce our standard of living, as will any effective climate change policy.

            And again in 2018:

            James Hansen is a great man, and a great example of the power and ubiquity of Varki’s MORT theory.

            Despite working harder than any scientist on the planet to bring reality to government climate policies, Hansen himself is also in denial about one aspect of climate change, namely the implications of reducing CO2 emissions.

            Wealth is proportional to energy consumption. Over 90% of energy comes from burning carbon. Most “renewable energy” is dependent on burning carbon for manufacture, installation, and maintenance. Basic physics dictates that reducing CO2 emissions must also shrink the economy.

            Notice that in this and almost every other article on climate change there is never an honest acknowledgement of the implications of reducing CO2 emissions.

            The reality is that one way or the other we are going to have fewer and poorer people soon.

            A carbon tax is one way. Raising interest rates is another. A one-child-policy is another. Starvation, forced migrations, disease, and war are another.

            We get to choose. Doing nothing is also a choice.

            Liked by 1 person

  18. Irv Mills today with part 4 of 5+ on overshoot…

    So in this series of posts I’ve been talking about what collapse is and why I think the our civilization has been slowly collapsing for several decades and will continue doing so. This in the hope of laying out the facts clearly enough that just about anyone should be able to recognize the seriousness of the situation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yabut the stock market-N-stuff.

      I’m not worried, I’m gonna win the lotto, buy a 100 pairs of high dollar hikers & get my old flame back. Saved!


  19. Reasons to Give Up on Human Beings

    “It’s peculiar to think that there might be a word like ‘misanthropy’ in our language: ‘a dislike of humankind.’ For a phenomenon to become a word, it needs a sufficient number of people to identify with it; it has to be an idea that we recognise in ourselves and others and then want to name and, in some cases, wear with pride.

    That we have such a stark and straightforward word in so many languages suggests that, whatever our apparent allegiance to our species, it isn’t very uncommon for a human being to look at who we are collectively – what we get up to, how we behave, how our thoughts run – and in the end want to give up at the sight of our limitless violence, wickedness and folly and wish that we had never evolved, homo sapiens having ultimately proved an unending and undignified plague upon the earth whose reign should end without regret.

    Misanthropy isn’t bias or prejudice or snobbery. The misanthrope isn’t singling out or prioritising any one group. They’re treating everyone equally, even themselves. They’ve just reached the unfashionable view that we are a disgrace; that we don’t deserve life. It is a supreme movement of the imagination: to be human and yet to settle on the considered judgement that humans might be a cosmic error, a moral mistake.

    What thoughts underpin the misanthrope’s convictions? What is so appalling about us? A true list would be very, very long; a beginning might look like this:

    – We are ineradicably violent. We keep justifying our recourse to brutality through an appeal to a higher goal (we are fighting for a little while for the sake of the motherland, for justice, for God) but so regularly and gleefully do we erupt into cruelty that something more basic seems to be at play: we are violent because we have an ingrained taste for blood, we destroy because without a chance of a rampage, we would be bored, because it’s in the end a lot of fun to fight.

    – We are unavailingly vindictive. Someone does us wrong, but rather than being spurred on to a little more tolerance and humanity, our wounds charge us up to smite others back with even greater force the moment we have the chance. An eye for an eye is for weaklings; we’d rather just kill outright when it’s our turn.

    – We are immeasurably self-righteous. A part of our mind is constantly spinning a story about why it’s right for us to do what we do – and erasing the slightest doubts as to actions or any possible need for self-examination or apology. It’s always the others’ fault, there’s always a reason why we don’t need to say sorry; why we are victims rather than perpetrators. Placed end to end, our moments of guilt and atonement might amount to no more than half an hour across a lifetime. We are shameless.

    – We are fatefully inaccurate in who we punish. We are hurting, but the person who hurt us isn’t in the room, or we can’t get to them, so we redirect our rage onto the closest available defenceless target. We kick the dog on a grand, planetary scale.

    – We do eventually learn and improve. There’s a higher chance of having good sense after some decades on the planet, but there are always newer, hungrier, more ferocious types coming on the scene, ready to refuel humanity’s reserves of vehemence and savagery. We can’t hold on to our insights; the wisdom painfully built up through wars, divorces and squabbles gets reliably erased every few years. We return back to primal rage with every generation. Our knives get sharper and our weapons keener, but moral progress eludes; the gap between our power and our acumen widens ineluctably. We’re as dumb as we ever were.

    – We’re entirely uncurious as to why people we dislike made mistakes. We gain far too much pleasure from calling them evil. We adore never for a moment having to imagine that they too might simply be worried or sad or operating under compulsions they regret. We thrive on a sense of our rectitude.

    – We are jealous of all the perceived advantages of others; but rather than admit to our feelings of inadequacy and impotence, we turn our sorrow into fervour. We attempt to destroy those who unwittingly humiliated us. We turn our feelings of smallness into sulfurous cruelty.

    – We loathe compromise. We only want purity. We can’t accept that something might be ‘good enough’ or that that progress might come slowly. We’d rather burn the whole house down now than patiently fix a wall.

    – We find gratitude intolerably boring; we’re sick of having to appreciate what we have. Grievance is so much more interesting.

    – We can’t laugh because we don’t, despite everything, find ourselves ridiculous. We hire professional comedians, as though finding ourselves stupid were a possibility someone else had to explore for us.

    – We’re obsessed by justice; we think so little of kindness. Justice means giving people what they are owed; kindness – a far more important quality – means giving someone something they’re not owed, but desperately need anyway. It means knowing how to be merciful.

    Misanthropists love people of course – or they did once upon a time. What high hopes one has to have started with in order to end up feeling so sad at the state of our species. How much one would need to love humanity in order to conclude that we’re a cosmic error. Misanthropes aren’t mean: they’re just casting around for a few solid reasons to keep faith with the human experiment. And, for the moment at least, they’re struggling.”

    Struggling indeed, but since the arbitrary ‘new year’ date has rolled around again & the MSM has filled me with hopey hope (simply cuz it’s 2021) I want to share a song with my fellow humans that best expresses my sentiment towards them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great post, Apneaman, thanks. The description of misanthropy by “The School of Life” is by far the most lucid and penetrating I’ve come across. It articulates my essential thoughts and feelings about our species better than I ever could. At the bottom of it all it’s just profoundly painful, irrevocably painful, to comprehend and feel the truth about humans.


      1. You’re welcome David.

        The piece is not attributed to any one author, but The School of Life essentially revolves around philosopher Alain de Botton. Alain has a good sense of humour (a must to study the humans) & I think I recognize his style in the article.

        The School of Life is a business & always trying to sell you shit like tee shirts & coffee mugs that say ‘The School of Life’ , but buying is optional & there’s plenty of good, free stuff. Apparently philosophers need to eat & have bills too – who knew?

        Modern philosophy has not reinvented the wheel, but it has incorporated & keeps up with findings from evolutionary psychology, neuroscience & cultural changes due to our rapidly advancing(?) technological ‘wonders’. The better ones talk of exploding population & consequences too.

        I like this talk from Alain de Botton a few years back.

        Liked by 1 person

  20. Blair Fix today explores the relationship between energy use and complexity.

    My take-away is that as energy depletes, businesses will become smaller and more local, but there will still be plenty of inequality in our communities.

    In other words, we’re on our way to medieval lifestyles, if we’re lucky.

    A common thread among degrowth thinkers is that sustainability requires an end to corporate globalism and a transition to community localism. The evidence reviewed here lends credence to this view. The growth of large corporations seems to go hand in hand with using more energy. It makes sense, then, that a reversal towards smaller institutions would help us consume less energy. It is not clear, however, which causes which. Would degrowth energy policy automatically lead to smaller institutions? Or should we focus on making smaller institutions, with energy reduction coming as a side effect? I will investigate these questions in the long-form essay to follow.

    And what about inequality? It is tempting to think that if we pursue community localism, inequality will naturally go away. The reasoning is that smaller institutions will have less hierarchy, and hence, less inequality. Unfortunately, this reasoning turns out to be false. The problem (which I will explore in the long-form essay to follow) is that hierarchy is fundamentally non-linear. This means that shrinking large hierarchies has almost no effect on inequality … until the hierarchy has become very small. Pursuing small-scale localism, then, will likely not guarantee equity. Instead, we will need explicit policies for reigning in hierarchical despotism. I will explore these ideas more in the next instalment.


    1. Perhaps religion will make a comeback & we’ll get all the religious holidays & festivals the medieval peasants got along with their life of body breaking toil.

      Degrowth is an oxymoronic weasel word. People who use weasel words are bullshitters with agendas & in this case in denial too because they are scared.

      As less is available the strong will take from the weak whatever they can. Sure there will be cooperation – that’s where strength & security lie. Predators will also tribe up.

      The first to come for the rest of your shit will be Corp &s Gov, with even more monopoly control/no choice & more taxes & fees. Then police & military will want extra protection money like in corrupt 3rd world countries which are like a permeate state of decline. When shit falls apart the former police & military will attempt to rule & tax.

      I know of no warm-N-fuzzy historical precedents to decline–>collapse. The ‘degrowth’ speculators are just telling themselves comforting stories

      Just look at the lack of resilience & selfish ‘fuck you’ behaviour, from all levels of society, from a modest pandemic.

      How will they react when things get really bad?

      Who pray tell will lead the people when the shit hits?

      Here’s A List Of Canadian Politicians Caught Travelling Over Holidays
      More than a dozen officials travelled to warmer destinations in December.

      “More than a dozen elected officials and political staffers travelled abroad over the Christmas break while public health officials pleaded with Canadians to remain home as COVID-19 cases surged.

      A growing number of federal and provincial politicians from across the country have come under fire for crossing borders to tend to California homes, for example, or take a break from busy legislative seasons.”

      Canadian born, raised & educated. The politicians are a reflection of the people & their values.


        1. The ones we know about. The ones who got caught. Under the circumstances the risk of further public outcry & not getting re-elected was too great not to wrist slap & shitcan the morons. More strategy from the rules for rulers playbook. As far as being a politician their only mistake was getting caught. Same as it ever was.


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