The Rise and Fall of Spain

“THIS WORLD”, B.B.C. produced a very accurate documentary on “The Spanish Crash” which details the reasons why the stupid idea of unlimited growth failed in the past and will fail again. Here ’tis . . . .

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Greed, Fear and a $1 Quadrillion debt.

Max Keiser “On the Edge” interviews Nicole Foss from “the automatic earth” explain ‘austerity’ and the necessity for banks and governments to sell assets in a vain attempt to collateralise the existing $1 quadrillion derivative debt. The impossibility of this happening in a flatlining global economy will re-ignite the fear that stopped the world in 2008.

“They can’t get ahead of the curve; everything they’re doing is too little too late, and when fear is in control then you have a downward spiral and it won’t stop until deleveraging has run its course. Until the small amount of remaining debt is acceptably collateralized to the few remaining creditors, and we’re absolutely nowhere near that point at the moment, we’re far closer to a top than a bottom.”

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Nicole Foss has also presented a ‘book length’ article, one of the most comprehensive I have read explaining why a global transformation to renewables is not going to happen.

Renewable Energy: The Vision And A Dose Of Reality

Dmitry Orlov, a presentation and an interview.

A recording of the public lecture by Dmitry Orlov on 9 June 2009, at the Davenport Hotel, Dublin, Ireland.  This was the opening talk to the 3 day conference The New Emergency: Managing Risk and Building Resilience in a Resource Constrained World.
This conference was organised by Feasta, the Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability. The talk is entitled  “Seizing the Mid-Collapse Moment”

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More recently Dmitry Orlov gave an interview with Tancrede Bastie which is available in FRENCH at http://www.orbite.info/traductions/dmitry_orlov/index.html and at http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/ and                                  http://energybulletin.net/stories/2011-12-16/conversation-dmitry-orlov-about-europe

The last question and response are incisive comments about the difficulties associated with the future.

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“If you read Dmitry carefully, scrupulously separating the factual bad news, which are beyond his control, from his views on what can be done to survive and live in a post-industrial world, you will find evidence of strong optimism.”  T.B.

TB: What difference do you see between American and European close future?

DO: European countries are historical entities that still hold vestiges of allegiances beyond the monetized, corporate realm, while the United States was started as a corporate entity, based on a revolution that was essentially a tax revolt and thus has no fall-back. The European population is less transient than in America, with a stronger sense of regional belonging and are more likely to be acquainted with their neighbors and to be able to find a common language and to find solutions to common problems.

Probably the largest difference, and the one most promising for fruitful discussion, is in the area of local politics. European political life may be damaged by money politics and free market liberalism, but unlike in the United States, it does not seem completely brain-dead. At least I hope that it isn’t completely dead; the warm air coming out of Brussels is often indistinguishable from the vapor vented by Washington, but better things might happen on the local level. In Europe there is something of a political spectrum left, dissent is not entirely futile, and revolt is not entirely suicidal. In all, the European political landscape may offer many more possibilities for relocalization, for demonitization of human relationships, for devolution to more local institutions and support systems, than the United States.

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