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[energyresources] Existing Examples For Soft Landing

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  • Andrew MacKillop
    ... violence and dieoff is more a cultural and political question than a question of technical feasibility. We start with more natural resources and
    Message 1 of 11 , Jun 1, 2002
      >Whether US/Europe could convert to Nepali consumption levels without
      violence and "dieoff" is more a cultural and political question than a
      question of technical feasibility. We start with more natural
      resources and scientific prowess, but vastly higher expectations.
      <

      Not wanting to dent this picture of rural harmony and low-energy bliss, but
      does the author know Nepal is in the throes of a Peruvian-style
      Marxist/Millenarian peasant revolt in which 100s of persons are murdered
      every week (sometimes a thousand a week) in a small population country ?

      Having colleagues (including Sam Ramsahoye) who have made long study of
      Nepal's micro and mid-size hydro potential it is noted that this country is
      energy RICH but the ongoing reality for about 75% of the population not
      benefitting from world tourism or other crumbs from the GloMarket economy
      is of Mediaeval poverty - a peasant revolt (as in Europe around 1450 or
      Peru since the 1980s) is entirely logical. One note for would-be tourists
      is that they are not untouchable and inviolable, so careful where you go on
      those jet tours to folksy third world countries.

      A McKillop
    • bigbrain
      PA ----- Original Message ----- PA From: tvolckhausen ... I would disagree to a point. The Nepalis don t _have_ to adapt to
      Message 2 of 11 , Jun 1, 2002
        PA> ----- Original Message -----
        PA> From: "tvolckhausen" <tom.w.volckhausen@...>

        >> Whether US/Europe could convert to Nepali consumption levels without
        >> violence and "dieoff" is more a cultural and political question than a
        >> question of technical feasibility. We start with more natural
        >> resources and scientific prowess, but vastly higher expectations.

        I would disagree to a point. The Nepalis don't _have_ to adapt to a low
        energy lifestyle; they are already living a low energy lifestyle.
        US/European peoples live within - and are completely dependent upon - a
        high energy infrastruture. 'Dependent' as in the wheels would grind to a
        complete stop if someone pulled the plug unexpectedly.

        So there is an important technical component to the problem. The idea
        that the primary basis of the problem is political and cultural seems
        right. But, should the myriad political problems prove surmountable (and
        the Hansonites have some pursuasive arguments to the contrary) then the
        technical hurdle of structural adjustment must be faced. This becomes a
        game of "Beat the Clock" on a global scale.

        -- Cheers,

        bigbrain
        (The Cerebrum Group)

        mailto:bigbrain@...
      • Jimbo
        ... Makes it a bit more of an adventure, rather than just a vacation! Happy Don t Give Up the Ship Day, -- Jimbo - Renegade Intellectual - 07Z-0D~D
        Message 3 of 11 , Jun 1, 2002
          Andrew MacKillop wrote:

          > One note for would-be tourists
          > is that they are not untouchable and inviolable, so careful where you go on
          > those jet tours to folksy third world countries.

          Makes it a bit more of an adventure, rather than just a vacation!

          Happy Don't Give Up the Ship Day,

          --
          Jimbo - Renegade Intellectual - 07Z-0D~D
          (http://www.galactic-guide.com/articles/2R10.html)
          Attaching the electrodes of knowledge to the nipples of ignorance.

          The trouble with good ideas is that they soon degenerate into a lot of hard
          work.

          The advantage of the emotions is that they lead us astray.

          Man is the missing link between apes and human beings.

          Perspective is everything
        • catsears_2000
          ... But, but, but ... Andrew, you are talking as though Mediaeval poverty is a bad thing! Seriously though - is your (negative) concept of Mediaeval
          Message 4 of 11 , Jun 3, 2002
            > the ongoing reality for about 75% of the population not
            > benefitting from world tourism or other crumbs from the GloMarket
            > economy is of Mediaeval poverty

            But, but, but ... Andrew, you are talking as though "Mediaeval
            poverty" is a bad thing!

            Seriously though - is your (negative) concept of "Mediaeval poverty"
            distinct from the 1000's-year-old traditional lifeways of the Nepali
            people ? Now, the whole Glomart vision designed to upscale the
            people from the supposed horrors of (traditional) Mediaeval poverty.
            One could quibble about the exploitative and manipulative way this
            Glomart vision is carried out, but then you are already fighting on
            their home turf. Then you would already have accepted the basic
            Glomart premise that traditional lifeways are inherently inadequate.
            So, if your equation is that the traditional lifeways of the Nepali
            people = Mediaeval poverty (i.e. something negative), then we've got
            a concepetual problem here.

            If, on the other hand, your equation is that Mediaeval poverty (i.e
            a painful and inherently undesirable concept) has been directly
            caused by brutal Glomart long-distance exploitation and profiteering
            incursion and trashing of those traditional lifeways, then why do
            you call it "Mediaeval" poverty ? Wouldn't something like "Space Age
            Poverty" or whatever be more accurate ?

            Please clarify my misunderstanding of your point.

            -Scott Meredith
            [AlasBabylon list owner]
          • charris990@aol.com
            from Littlefield 4 via Harris While I am certain the original intended recipient can well answer his own meanings to issues and probably won t agree with me at
            Message 5 of 11 , Jun 3, 2002
              from Littlefield 4 via Harris



              While I am certain the original intended recipient can well answer his own
              meanings to issues and probably won't agree with me at all, just have to do
              the two bits things.  Misery cares not by what name you say it came from,
              inherited traditions/laws such inherited debt with usury by our standards
              forcing lifelong labor to pay off a debt that never can be extinguished, out
              of slavery as once was in Saudi Arabia and perhaps not completely
              extinguished, of white slavery that still exists and appears to be expanding
              like it never was before, a person in small US town who sees employment
              NAFTAed to Mexico, the Mexican who sees his job outsourced to the PRC or
              Indonesia, the coal miner in West Virginia who sees his job lost to oil
              furnaces, to electricity, the oil patcher who sees his job lost to local oil
              field playing out, the refinery worker who looses his to EPA regulations
              making his plant too costly to revamp, the hooker, barkeep, waitress, short
              order cook, clothing store clerk, apartment owner, real estate agent when
              Congress shuts down the local military post, broke and out of money,
              dwelling upon what one is unable to afford what one wishes is misery. It
              really doesn't matter what you call it or how the poor got poor and stay
              that way, poor is relative and a matter of personal expectations.  If I
              don't drive a Rolls and believe a Roll's is a critical part of being of
              worth, I am poor. Likewise, if a Vespa is my aspiration, I am not poor.  The
              poor of the world are poor only because they have a comparison.
              Unfortunately it is a rare culture that does not instinctively believe he
              has the most toys wins even if their idea of toys is not ours, the concept
              is there and that makes and defines poverty.  Misery on the other hand has
              nothing to do with a lack of wealth but in the popular view, the root cause.
              Misery is just how one deals emotionally with the cards one has been dealt.

              Littlefield

              -
              > the ongoing reality for about 75% of the population not
              > benefitting from world tourism or other crumbs from the GloMarket
              > economy is of Mediaeval poverty

              But, but, but ... Andrew, you are talking as though "Mediaeval
              poverty" is a bad thing!

              Seriously though - is your (negative) concept of "Mediaeval poverty"
              distinct from the 1000's-year-old traditional lifeways of the Nepali
              people ? Now, the whole Glomart vision designed to upscale the
              people from the supposed horrors of (traditional) Mediaeval poverty.
              One could quibble about the exploitative and manipulative way this
              Glomart vision is carried out, but then you are already fighting on
              their home turf. Then you would already have accepted the basic
              Glomart premise that traditional lifeways are inherently inadequate.
              So, if your equation is that the traditional lifeways of the Nepali
              people = Mediaeval poverty (i.e. something negative), then we've got
              a concepetual problem here.

              If, on the other hand, your equation is that Mediaeval poverty (i.e
              a painful and inherently undesirable concept) has been directly
              caused by brutal Glomart long-distance exploitation and profiteering
              incursion and trashing of those traditional lifeways, then why do
              you call it "Mediaeval" poverty ? Wouldn't something like "Space Age
              Poverty" or whatever be more accurate ?

              Please clarify my misunderstanding of your point.

              -Scott Meredith
              [AlasBabylon list owner]



            • Jim Baldauf
              ... Yeah. I guess a baby does indeed have some kind of personal expectation that it will eat rather than starve. And as it is dying in misery, of starvation,
              Message 6 of 11 , Jun 3, 2002
                Someone opined (Littlefield, Harris?):
                >poor is relative and a matter of personal expectations. Misery is just
                how one deals emotionally with the cards one has been dealt.<
                 
                Yeah. I guess a baby does indeed have some kind of "personal expectation" that it will eat rather than starve. And as it is dying in misery, of starvation, it might well reflect that it simply hasn't played its hand properly, in terms of optimum emotional response.
                 
                What kind of elitist bullshit is this?
                 
                Jim in Austin
                 
                ----- Original Message -----
                Sent: Monday, June 03, 2002 7:18 PM
                Subject: [energyresources] Existing Examples For Soft Landing

                from Littlefield 4 via Harris



                While I am certain the original intended recipient can well answer his own
                meanings to issues and probably won't agree with me at all, just have to do
                the two bits things.  Misery cares not by what name you say it came from,
                inherited traditions/laws such inherited debt with usury by our standards
                forcing lifelong labor to pay off a debt that never can be extinguished, out
                of slavery as once was in Saudi Arabia and perhaps not completely
                extinguished, of white slavery that still exists and appears to be expanding
                like it never was before, a person in small US town who sees employment
                NAFTAed to Mexico, the Mexican who sees his job outsourced to the PRC or
                Indonesia, the coal miner in West Virginia who sees his job lost to oil
                furnaces, to electricity, the oil patcher who sees his job lost to local oil
                field playing out, the refinery worker who looses his to EPA regulations
                making his plant too costly to revamp, the hooker, barkeep, waitress, short
                order cook, clothing store clerk, apartment owner, real estate agent when
                Congress shuts down the local military post, broke and out of money,
                dwelling upon what one is unable to afford what one wishes is misery. It
                really doesn't matter what you call it or how the poor got poor and stay
                that way, poor is relative and a matter of personal expectations.  If I
                don't drive a Rolls and believe a Roll's is a critical part of being of
                worth, I am poor. Likewise, if a Vespa is my aspiration, I am not poor.  The
                poor of the world are poor only because they have a comparison.
                Unfortunately it is a rare culture that does not instinctively believe he
                has the most toys wins even if their idea of toys is not ours, the concept
                is there and that makes and defines poverty.  Misery on the other hand has
                nothing to do with a lack of wealth but in the popular view, the root cause.
                Misery is just how one deals emotionally with the cards one has been dealt.

                Littlefield

                -
                > the ongoing reality for about 75% of the population not
                > benefitting from world tourism or other crumbs from the GloMarket
                > economy is of Mediaeval poverty

                But, but, but ... Andrew, you are talking as though "Mediaeval
                poverty" is a bad thing!

                Seriously though - is your (negative) concept of "Mediaeval poverty"
                distinct from the 1000's-year-old traditional lifeways of the Nepali
                people ? Now, the whole Glomart vision designed to upscale the
                people from the supposed horrors of (traditional) Mediaeval poverty.
                One could quibble about the exploitative and manipulative way this
                Glomart vision is carried out, but then you are already fighting on
                their home turf. Then you would already have accepted the basic
                Glomart premise that traditional lifeways are inherently inadequate.
                So, if your equation is that the traditional lifeways of the Nepali
                people = Mediaeval poverty (i.e. something negative), then we've got
                a concepetual problem here.

                If, on the other hand, your equation is that Mediaeval poverty (i.e
                a painful and inherently undesirable concept) has been directly
                caused by brutal Glomart long-distance exploitation and profiteering
                incursion and trashing of those traditional lifeways, then why do
                you call it "Mediaeval" poverty ? Wouldn't something like "Space Age
                Poverty" or whatever be more accurate ?

                Please clarify my misunderstanding of your point.

                -Scott Meredith
                [AlasBabylon list owner]




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              • Andrew MacKillop
                ... But, but, but ... Andrew, you are talking as though Mediaeval poverty is a bad thing! Seriously though - is your (negative) concept of Mediaeval
                Message 7 of 11 , Jun 4, 2002
                  >
                  > the ongoing reality for about 75% of the population not
                  > benefitting from world tourism or other crumbs from the GloMarket
                  > economy is of Mediaeval poverty

                  But, but, but ... Andrew, you are talking as though "Mediaeval
                  poverty" is a bad thing!

                  Seriously though - is your (negative) concept of "Mediaeval poverty"
                  distinct from the 1000's-year-old traditional lifeways of the Nepali
                  people ? Now, the whole Glomart vision designed to upscale the
                  people from the supposed horrors of (traditional) Mediaeval poverty.
                  One could quibble about the exploitative and manipulative way this
                  Glomart vision is carried out, but then you are already fighting on
                  their home turf. Then you would already have accepted the basic
                  Glomart premise that traditional lifeways are inherently inadequate.
                  <
                  Yes and no.
                  Take it we have 6+ Billion mouths to feed and cant feed them all. We have
                  to undertake energy transition to less energy and lower intensities. This
                  means decentralisation and dispersion (you could use measures like Watts/sq
                  meter and relate this to persons/sq kilometer if you wanted to play
                  scientific).
                  Whatever the 'eqilibrium/sustainable population' is it will be lower than
                  6Bn, except for demographic fascists, Popes and techno optimists.
                  Getting there can be by war, necessarily nuclear war, or by concertation,
                  cooperation, planning, etc.
                  Nepal IS a good example. Its Buddhist religion, very unlike the other
                  so-called Great Religions, has a strong underlying ANTI natalist component.
                  Read some of the Dalai Lama's books. Anyway, religion has failed relative
                  to economic and demographic parameters in Nepal. Peasant revolt has
                  occurred - very Mediaeval, not necessary, could be replaced by transitional
                  uprating of Nepal's commercial energy capacity and production, to maybe
                  one-third or one-fifth of typical European energy/capita levels and because
                  hydro and biomass would be the pillars this would have a potential
                  'transition lifetime' stretching 100 years or more into the future. That is
                  mid-term transitional sustainability.
                  Currently this is out of the question in Nepal. Its only future is No
                  Future, that is more Peasant revolt and more starvation.
                  Take another track - what was Nepal's population 1000 years ago? Probably
                  not above 5% of today's population, growth has come even later than in
                  so-called advanced industrial societies. Therefore organized, planned,
                  minimum-suffering transition is unlikely, dieoff to much less than the long
                  term equilibrium/sustainable level is probable. But who can say that is a
                  good thing?
                  Lifeways or lifestyles are constrained or set, at the base, by population
                  density + technology + energy and resources. My argument is that we should
                  respond to worldwide fossil energy depletion by minimising transitional
                  suffering where we can. Nepal is a flagrant case in that it has really vast
                  hydro potential - and peasants rip their tree cover off and starve, and
                  descend into mass killing, when this isnt necessary. And even the nicest,
                  most innocent backpacker can have their throat slit.
                  its a paradigm for our own Glomart transition. Just like it is
                  theoretically unsound to say there is No Alternative to 'Mediaeval' civil
                  war and strife in Nepal, it is practically impossible to achieve and then
                  maintain the fully-integrated Global Economy

                  A McKillop
                • bigbrain
                  Monday, June 03, 2002, 8:57:02 PM, jim wrote: ... JB Yeah. I guess a baby does indeed have some kind of personal JB expectation that it will eat rather
                  Message 8 of 11 , Jun 4, 2002
                    Monday, June 03, 2002, 8:57:02 PM, jim wrote:

                    JB> Someone opined (Littlefield, Harris?):
                    >>poor is relative and a matter of personal expectations. Misery is
                    >>just how one deals emotionally with the cards one has been dealt.<

                    JB> Yeah. I guess a baby does indeed have some kind of "personal
                    JB> expectation" that it will eat rather than starve. And as it is
                    JB> dying in misery, of starvation, it might well reflect that it
                    JB> simply hasn't played its hand properly, in terms of optimum
                    JB> emotional response.

                    JB> What kind of elitist bullshit is this?

                    JB> Jim in Austin

                    Much too existential and out-of-context. Happiness *is* entirely
                    relative but that has no bearing on the issue. From what I read and
                    hear in the media you'd think America is jam-packed with the most
                    miserable people on the face of the earth. That's of little matter to
                    the topic - which has more to do with the psychology of *reduced*
                    expectations as opposed to *increased* expectations, and the resulting
                    politics of paralysis leading to crash and calamity rather than
                    adjustment to a level of existence compatible with the means at hand
                    (and if thats not a run-on sentence what is?)

                    b
                  • charris990@aol.com
                    Message 9 of 11 , Jun 4, 2002
                      From Littlefield3 via Harris



                      Ah the flames of indignation have arisen. Good.  Still stand by the
                      definition of misery - however, dealing with hunger, malnutrition, curable
                      or preventable disease, clothing suitable to meet the climate and local
                      cultural standards of decency, housing along the same lines and
                      opportunities for economic/social mobility - which does work in both
                      directions, honest courts and fair government administration including
                      police and military, those are real issues and should be addressed as such.
                      The use of the all encompassing word misery is utter tripe, an appeal to
                      emotions that will not put a single slice of bread or bowl of rice in a
                      single person's hand.  Land reform, education on better farming techniques,
                      better food storage techniques, how to build adequate housing and how to get
                      and keep water free from pathogens, basic hygiene, that will allow people to
                      live longer and hopefully "better" - but we still ain't gonna get out of
                      life alive.

                      Littlefield  

                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: Jim Baldauf [mailto:jfbaldauf@...]
                      Sent: Monday, June 03, 2002 7:57 PM
                      To: energyresources@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: Re: [energyresources] Existing Examples For Soft Landing


                      Someone opined (Littlefield, Harris?):
                      >poor is relative and a matter of personal expectations. Misery is just how
                      one deals emotionally with the cards one has been dealt.<

                      Yeah. I guess a baby does indeed have some kind of "personal expectation"
                      that it will eat rather than starve. And as it is dying in misery, of
                      starvation, it might well reflect that it simply hasn't played its hand
                      properly, in terms of optimum emotional response.

                      What kind of elitist bullshit is this?

                      Jim in Austin


                      ----- Original Message -----

                      From: charris990@... <mailto:charris990@...>  
                      To: energyresources@yahoogroups.com <mailto:energyresources@yahoogroups.com>

                      Sent: Monday, June 03, 2002 7:18 PM
                      Subject: [energyresources] Existing Examples For Soft Landing

                      from Littlefield 4 via Harris



                      While I am certain the original intended recipient can well answer his own
                      meanings to issues and probably won't agree with me at all, just have to do
                      the two bits things.  Misery cares not by what name you say it came from,
                      inherited traditions/laws such inherited debt with usury by our standards
                      forcing lifelong labor to pay off a debt that never can be extinguished, out

                      of slavery as once was in Saudi Arabia and perhaps not completely
                      extinguished, of white slavery that still exists and appears to be expanding

                      like it never was before, a person in small US town who sees employment
                      NAFTAed to Mexico, the Mexican who sees his job outsourced to the PRC or
                      Indonesia, the coal miner in West Virginia who sees his job lost to oil
                      furnaces, to electricity, the oil patcher who sees his job lost to local oil

                      field playing out, the refinery worker who looses his to EPA regulations
                      making his plant too costly to revamp, the hooker, barkeep, waitress, short
                      order cook, clothing store clerk, apartment owner, real estate agent when
                      Congress shuts down the local military post, broke and out of money,
                      dwelling upon what one is unable to afford what one wishes is misery. It
                      really doesn't matter what you call it or how the poor got poor and stay
                      that way, poor is relative and a matter of personal expectations.  If I
                      don't drive a Rolls and believe a Roll's is a critical part of being of
                      worth, I am poor. Likewise, if a Vespa is my aspiration, I am not poor.  The

                      poor of the world are poor only because they have a comparison.
                      Unfortunately it is a rare culture that does not instinctively believe he
                      has the most toys wins even if their idea of toys is not ours, the concept
                      is there and that makes and defines poverty.  Misery on the other hand has
                      nothing to do with a lack of wealth but in the popular view, the root cause.

                      Misery is just how one deals emotionally with the cards one has been dealt.

                      Littlefield

                      -
                      > the ongoing reality for about 75% of the population not
                      > benefitting from world tourism or other crumbs from the GloMarket
                      > economy is of Mediaeval poverty

                      But, but, but ... Andrew, you are talking as though "Mediaeval
                      poverty" is a bad thing!

                      Seriously though - is your (negative) concept of "Mediaeval poverty"
                      distinct from the 1000's-year-old traditional lifeways of the Nepali
                      people ? Now, the whole Glomart vision designed to upscale the
                      people from the supposed horrors of (traditional) Mediaeval poverty.
                      One could quibble about the exploitative and manipulative way this
                      Glomart vision is carried out, but then you are already fighting on
                      their home turf. Then you would already have accepted the basic
                      Glomart premise that traditional lifeways are inherently inadequate.
                      So, if your equation is that the traditional lifeways of the Nepali
                      people = Mediaeval poverty (i.e. something negative), then we've got
                      a concepetual problem here.

                      If, on the other hand, your equation is that Mediaeval poverty (i.e
                      a painful and inherently undesirable concept) has been directly
                      caused by brutal Glomart long-distance exploitation and profiteering
                      incursion and trashing of those traditional lifeways, then why do
                      you call it "Mediaeval" poverty ? Wouldn't something like "Space Age
                      Poverty" or whatever be more accurate ?

                      Please clarify my misunderstanding of your point.

                      -Scott Meredith
                      [AlasBabylon list owner]




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