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Who Will Be Tomorrow's Superpower?

Chris Martenson - December 17, 2014 - 08:15

There’s a popular geopolitical parlor game called Who will be the next superpower?

While the game excels at triggering a mind-fogging tsunami of nationalistic emotions, it doesn’t shed much light on the really consequential question: What is power?

These are important questions to ponder as, around the world, unsustainable policies from the 20th century are beginning to fail in earnest. What will the future geopolitical landscape look like in their aftermath?

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Categories: Economics

Who Will Dominate This Century?

Chris Martenson - December 17, 2014 - 08:14
Executive Summary
  • The key requirements for being a word power
  • Is the "superpower" model sustainable in today's age?
  • The key ability to leverage resources
  • Which country(ies) is most likely to dominate in this century?

If you have not yet read Who Will Be Tomorrow's Superpower? available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

In Part 1, we surveyed the nature of power to explore the concept of superpowers.  In this Part 2, we look at power as the ability to solve problems.

What Are the Available Resources?

Solving problems in the real world is not an abstract project, though abstract concepts may undergird the solutions. In the real world, we have to use whatever resources are available, with an eye on cost, scale and sustainability.

Alternative energy offers a useful example. Almost everyone agrees that alternatives to fossil fuels would be beneficial, but what is generally overlooked is the tiny scale of alternatives in the current scheme of things.  Depending on what’s being included as alternative (hydropower, etc.), alternative energy sources currently comprise a few percentage points of total energy consumption.

To scale alternatives up to even 50% of current consumption will require not just a monumental amount of capital investment; it also requires the invention and manufacture of new systems of energy storage on an equally vast scale.

As has been noted many times, this capital investment includes an extended period of fossil fuels consumption, as we need huge amounts of energy to construct alternative sources and storage systems. Some have characterized this as building an aircraft in the air while keeping your current aircraft aloft.

As Peak Prosperity members know well, capital has a variety of forms, all of which work together: financial, intellectual, social, human, cultural and symbolic. All these forms of capital must be...

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Categories: Economics

Shareable's Top 21 New Books for the Holidays

Shareable Magazine - December 16, 2014 - 08:40

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Please share with Shareable! Click here to support our coverage of the real sharing economy.

Categories: Economics

Omni Commons Opens Collaborative Space for Collectives in Oakland

Shareable Magazine - December 16, 2014 - 08:33

Common physical spaces where people can meet in person and connect with the public are more important than ever in an increasingly disconnected digital age. As urban property becomes more unaffordable and commercialized and the commons disappear, some groups are pooling their resources for shared space, shared resources, and creative collaboration.

Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 12/16 - U.S. Workers Compete With Robots, The Hidden Costs Of Cheap Oil

Chris Martenson - December 16, 2014 - 08:24
  • Eurozone Economy Expanding Slightly Despite Weakness in Germany and France
  • Good Economic News, but Democrats Differ on Whether to Take Credit
  • Economic Recovery Spreads to the Middle Class
  • As Robots Grow Smarter, American Workers Struggle to Keep Up
  • Oil price fall threatens $1tn of projects
  • The Hidden Costs Of Cheap Oil
  • Keystone XL pipeline may no longer make economic sense, experts say
  • Maine local food movement inspires credit union focused on small farms

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Categories: Economics

Sharing Cities Network Online Hub Reaches 50 Cities

Shareable Magazine - December 16, 2014 - 04:15

50 cities and counting are paving the way for sharing worldwide! Last April, we announced the launching of the Sharing Cities Network (SCN), an online hub for sharing communities.

Categories: Economics

From Fab Labs to Fab Cities

Shareable Magazine - December 15, 2014 - 22:00

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Categories: Economics

Deflation Is Still Winning!

Chris Martenson - December 15, 2014 - 18:20

As we've written on and warned about before, deflation is winning.  We're starting to see very serious cracks in the façade, beginning with oil, then various peripheral currencies -- especially from emerging market oil exporters -- and now equities.

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 12/15 - Omnibus Spending Bill Passes, Is It Bad Enough Yet?

Chris Martenson - December 15, 2014 - 10:30
  • Is It Bad Enough Yet?
  • If They Only Knew How Little You Know
  • The Omnibus Is Done
  • Dodd-Frank Budget Fight Proves Democrats Are a Bunch of Stuffed Suits
  • Abe Scores Commanding Majority in Japan Lower House Election Win
  • The Global Energy Security War
  • The New Food Police
  • Children harvest crops and sacrifice dreams in Mexico's fields

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Categories: Economics

How a Startup D.C. Purchasing Coop Saved Members $1 Million

Shareable Magazine - December 15, 2014 - 07:38

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Please share with Shareable! Click here to support our coverage of the real sharing economy.

Categories: Economics

The Top 7 Open Source Project Management Tools

Shareable Magazine - December 15, 2014 - 06:36

Cross-posted from OpenSource.com. Authored by Robin Muilwijk and Nitish Tiwari.

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Categories: Economics

Debating the Sharing Economy

Shareable Magazine - December 15, 2014 - 06:35

Article cross-posted from The Great Transition Initiative.

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Please share with Shareable! Click here to support our coverage of the real sharing economy.

Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 12/14 - Energy Bills Send Shivers in New England, The Health Benefits Of Going Outside

Chris Martenson - December 14, 2014 - 08:45
  • Abe Appears to Win Landslide Victory in Parliamentary Elections
  • Faced with few options, Japan gives Prime Minister Abe more time to fix the economy
  • Even Before Long Winter Begins, Energy Bills Send Shivers in New England
  • Climate Deal Would Commit Every Nation to Limiting Emissions
  • Fossil-Fuel Limits in All Nations Closer After UN Deal
  • The Health Benefits of Going Outside

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Categories: Economics

The Shocking Data Proving Shale Oil Is Massively Over-hyped

Chris Martenson - December 13, 2014 - 17:03

Hooray, oil is suddenly much cheaper than it used to be. That's great news, right?

Not so fast. For certain it's not good news for those counting on a continued rise in US oil production from the "shale miracle". Many drillers were challenged to operate profitably when oil was above $70 per barrel. Very few will remain solvent with oil in the $50s (as it is as of this writing).

So, expect US oil production to suffer from these lower prices if they persist. But even if oil prices rise and rise soon, there's new data that indicates the total amount of extractable oil from America's shale plays is less -- much less -- than what we're being told (or better put, "sold").

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 12/13 - Where Men Aren't Working, Detroit Residents Tested By Blight

Chris Martenson - December 13, 2014 - 09:17
  • Presenting The $303 Trillion In Derivatives That US Taxpayers Are Now On The Hook For
  • In Rare Saturday Session, Grim Senate Struggles to Pass a Spending Package
  • Furor Over Move to Aid Big Banks in Funding Bill
  • When Liberty unites, Tyranny is defeated — An Exegesis of Hayek
  • Good Intentions of Detroit Residents Are Tested by Blight
  • Parts Of Detroit Lose Electricity For Hours As Aging Grids Fail 
  • Where Men Aren't Working
  • Emit some CO2? Its warming influence should peak in about a decade

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Categories: Economics

Early Data Offers Inside Look at Homestay Market

Shareable Magazine - December 13, 2014 - 08:31

Homestays are a subset of peer-to-peer rental accommodations in which the host is always present. (Barry-Dean Dewson via Stray Asia Travel Blog)

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Categories: Economics

Kelly Kettle Systems - Special Discount

Chris Martenson - December 12, 2014 - 16:50
5% Special Discount for PeakProsperity.com Readers

We are pleased to announce that PrepareDirect is offering PeakProsperity.com members an exclusive discount of 5% off the Kelly Kettle® Volcano Kettle line of gear.  Use Coupon Code: KETTLE5

A favorite item among outdoor enthusiasts and preparedness folks. The Kelly Kettle® Volcano Kettle® will boil water in 3 to 5 minutes depending on the fuel you're using. Made from Aluminum or Stainless Steel, it is essentially a double-walled chimney with the water contained in the chimney wall.  You can boil water and cook your meal.     

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Categories: Economics

Oil Armageddon Arrives

Chris Martenson - December 12, 2014 - 14:08

Yesterday, WTIC -- that's US oil -- just broke under $60 a barrel on very heavy volume. Canada heavy crude is at $42 a barrel, and Brent is at $61.73.

All of these are multi-year lows not seen since the great oil crash of 2008 that preceded the even greater financial crash that came just a few months later.

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 12/12 - Why OPEC Will Win, Pentagon Preparing For Mass Civil Breakdown

Chris Martenson - December 12, 2014 - 09:03
  • $550 Billion Energy Junk Bond Bubble Busts; "Whac-A-Mole" Distortions in Multiple Markets
  • What Do They Know? CME Implements Gold, Precious Metals Circuit Breakers Up To $400 Wide
  • What’s in the spending bill? We skim it so you don’t have to
  • Cromnipass: US Government Secures Funding Through September 2015 After Passage Of Spending Bill
  • Pentagon preparing for mass civil breakdown
  • New Leak Reveals Luxembourg Tax Deals for Disney, Koch Brothers Empire
  • Falling oil threatens Canada’s bulletproof banking system
  • Oil Wars: Why OPEC Will Win
  • How The U.S. Could Beat OPEC But Won’t
  • Understanding intestinal microbiota to regain balance in the gut
  • Growing concern over methane from ocean floor

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Categories: Economics

Newsletter – 2014 Year end

Beyond Money - December 12, 2014 - 08:49

In this edition:

  1. Upcoming interview—December 13, 11 AM Eastern time (8 AM Pacific time)
  2. My New Course Offering — Principles of Exchange Innovation
  3. Report on California Tour
  4. Major conference upcoming, June, 2015
  5. My next book?, + video projects

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Upcoming Interview

I have accepted an invitation to be the featured guest on Bartertown Radio on Saturday, December 13.

Bartertown Radio, which describes itself as “your educational station for Trade,” is a Live Radio Talk Show every Saturday Morning at 11:00 EST ( check your local time please). My interview will be all about moneyless trading and exchange innovation, particularly as it applies to the commercial trade exchange business. To listen in and/or share your thoughts you can call 1-347-989-8557 for the show. Calls can be made using any phone or by using your Skype account which provides calls at very low cost especially for those living outside the U.S.

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My New Course Offering — Principles of Exchange Innovation

As the years pass I become ever more aware of time as a scarce commodity, and as the global mega-crisis intensifies, I feel a greater urgency about the need to transcend the global interest-based, debt-money system that is driving us to destruction. Thus I am eager to pass on to the next generations the important insights and discoveries I have made over the past 35 years. I am intent on doing this in ways that will have a greater impact than the presentations, workshops and writings I have been producing over the past many years.

While I relinquished my formal academic career decades ago in favor of independent inquiry, scholarship, writing, and consulting, I remain a teacher a heart and am making it my highest priority to offer a course in the Principles of Exchange Innovation. I am quite sure that there is no other course like this anywhere, and I am uniquely qualified to conduct it.

It is my intention to guide dedicated cadres of change agents through an intensive process of inquiry, discovery, and planning to bring to market revolutionary structures and processes for value exchange that promote a sustainable economy and have the potential to usher in a new equitable and peaceful economic paradigm.

I am willing to go wherever suitable venues might be found. I’ve considered offering this as an online course, and that can be one component of it, but I believe that the impetus toward timely and effective action requires the continuity and intensity that comes from the regular face-to-face interaction and ongoing collaboration in a classroom setting.

You can find the detailed course description and syllabus here: https://beyondmoney.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/principles-of-exchange-innovation-course-syllabus.pdf.

Prospective course participants and host institutions are invited to fill out the short form at http://wp.me/P43RA-Ea. If you know of other institutions, departments, or individuals that might be interested in participating, please pass this along to them.

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California Tour-October/November

My two week trip to California in October could not have been better. It started with the Living the New Economy Convergence that was held in Oakland, October 23-24, and ended with a delightful visit with my dear friends, the Lub family, in Napa and Martinez. In between, I gave another presentation at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, attended an open house at the new Oakland offices of Berrett-Kohler Publishers, and conferred with several long-time friends and colleagues.

Living the New Economy Convergence

The convergence was the best conference I’ve attended in many years—well organized, with excellent presenters, and participants that were enthusiastic, well-informed, and intelligent.

A few of the presentations, including one of my own, were recorded by Bitcoin magazine. My presentation during the panel on The Future of Value Exchange can be found in my blog post here. Links to the others can be found here, and a few photos that I took at the Convergence can be viewed on my Picasa Web gallery. If you would like to see a more detailed report on this event, check out this one on the Shareable website.

The convergence was followed by a two day “hackathon” that gave participants an opportunity to brainstorm together and propose ideas, collaborations, and business projects. Sergio Lub’s pictures from that part of the event (October 25) are on his Flickr site.

IONS

The event at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) on the evening of October 30, was very gratifying, drawing about a dozen participants, many of whom I’ve known and worked with over the past several years. My presentation titled, The Evolution of Money and its Potential to Improve Humanity, was followed by a lively discussion that went on for more than 2 hours. The entire proceedings were video recorded by Sergio Lub and can be seen via my blog post at BeyondMoney.net.

Sonoma GoLocal

The day before I left to return to Arizona, Sergio and I visited our friends who run the Sonoma GoLocal project. This is an exciting project that goes well beyond the conventional “buy local” agenda.

A few years ago, Sonoma GoLocal initiated a merchant rebate program, which is gradually becoming more popular. According to Terry Garrett, about 17,000 swipe cards have been issued to consumers and there are now 53 merchants offering “Reward Points,” with each merchant choosing their own percentage rate of rebate that varies from 2% to 10%, with the median rate being 5%.

Over the past year they have experienced a growth rate of about 20% in both the number of participating merchants and the number of cardholders. Between January1 and September 30, 2014, the amount of transactions involving either issuance or redemption of Reward Points was about $3.8 million with that number expected to reach $5.5 million by year’s end. Sonoma GoLocal has been publishing both a printed pocket guide and a free bi-monthly magazine that help to make the project financially viable. You can see some photos from our meeting, including cover photos of the publications here.

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Seizing an Alternative: Toward an Ecological Civilization

I would like to make everyone aware of a major conference that is upcoming next June 4-7. This conference, to be held on the campus of Pomona College, located in Claremont, CA, is the result of several events held in conjunction (10th International Whitehead Conference, 9th International Forum on Ecological Civilization, Inaugural Pando Populus Conference, Pilgrim Place Centennial Celebration, and Process & Faith Summer Institute) and will consist of 12 Sections divided into approximately 78 Tracks. Each Track will have 8 sessions, which will be 90 minutes each.

After my meeting with renowned philosopher and theologian, John Cobb, a couple years ago, he invited me to participate in this conference which he was then helping to plan. I will be presenting in Section I, The Threatening Catastrophe: Responding Now, Track 6, Political Collapse: The Alternative. You can get all the details, and register at http://www.ctr4process.org/whitehead2015/.

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My next book?, + video projects

I’m aware that in today’s information-rich environment people tend to be overloaded and getting their attention is becoming ever more difficult. Short videos on YouTube, Vimeo, or other video showcases are probably the best bet for getting a message across. I’m hoping to find someone with the requisite editing skills to help me parse some of my recorded presentations into short topical lessons. That, combined with a new book aimed at the mass market, might attract the kind of attention, and provide the essential information needed to dispel false beliefs that prevail in the minds of the general public and stimulate the kinds of fundamental structural changes that are becoming ever more urgent. I’m inclined to give this new book a provocative title, like Everything You Know About Money (And Banking) Is Wrong! It would follow a question and answer format that presents first a fundamental question, then the orthodox answer and prevalent belief, then the truth of the matter as I have come to see it.

This project is of course a major undertaking, and if it is to achieve the kinds of results hoped for, calls for some skills and resources that exceed my own. Collaborators and suggestions are invited.

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Finally, on a personal note, after spending the summer in Bisbee, I’ve reestablished myself in Tucson, sharing a house on the far east side, close to the Rincon Mountains and Saguaro National Park. Though a bit distant from downtown, it is in a lovely, peaceful setting—rather ideal for creative work.

My accustomed robust health has been disturbed in recent months by some digestive difficulties. A course of medication and a combination of dietary changes and natural supplements seem to be resolving the worst of it and I’m hopeful that I’ll soon be back to normal.

Best wishes to all for a Happy Holiday Season, and may the coming year bring a great leap forward in creating a more peaceful, just, and sustainable world.

Thomas


Categories: Blogs