Predictions and declining standard of living

“There is, in all the world, not enough available untilled land to fill the net increase of 50,000 stomachs every day (…) Russia’s forests are largely inaccessible (…) There are no untapped grasslands; we had better enjoy our steaks now, since there will be many less of them within [our lifetime]”

“Increasing expenses and  mounting taxes are hitting most Americans. Hospitals are restricting their facilities. Our schools are being starved and the quality of our national education is dropping rapidly. Some of our essential governmental services are being wrecked in the name of the economy. Eleemosynary institutions, such as museums, libraries and colleges, are poorer every year. The purchasing power of the middle classes, especially the professional groups, is being more and more restricted to the necessities of life.”

Guess the year.

2010? 2015?

Actually, 1948… (William Vogt, Road to Survival)


EROI y Eficiencia

Eficiencia energética en el punto de consumo está muy bien pero sin analizar EROI de los recursos, lo que podría entenderse como eficiencia energética en el punto de producción de la energía, ¿hay futuro civilizado?


El punto con asociar la realización personal a viajar lejos es que inmediatamente tenemos que descartar a casi todo el mundo que vivió antes de fines del siglo XIX, cuando empezó a ser más comúnmente factible el turismo a más de un par de decenas de kilómetros.


Old World Order

The present continuance of institutions such as the EU, NATO, UN, and others suggests that the world goes on exactly as before. In fact, these alphabet organizations are becoming shadows of their former selves, more trouble to end than to allow to grow irrelevant. The conditions that created them after the end of World War II, and subsequently sustained them even after the fall of the Berlin Wall, no longer really exist.

The once grand bipartisan visions of American diplomats such as Dean Acheson, George Kennan, George Marshall and others long ago more than fulfilled their enlightened promises. The U.S. in 1945, unlike in 1918, rightly stayed engaged in Europe after another world war. America helped to rebuild what the old Axis powers had destroyed in Asia and Europe.

At great cost, and at times in both folly and wisdom, the U.S. and its allies faced down 300 Soviet and Warsaw Pact divisions. America contained communist aggression through messy surrogate wars, avoided a nuclear exchange, bankrupted an evil communist empire, and gave Eastern Europe and much of Asia the opportunity for self-determination. New postwar protocols enforced by the U.S. Navy made the idea of global free trade, commerce, travel, and communications a reality in a way never seen since the early Roman Empire.


Perhaps in the 21st century we are returning to the old 19th-century notions of balance of power, reciprocal trade, bilateral alliances, and military deterrence in keeping the peace rather than soft power and UN resolutions.

Trump is blamed for ending the postwar order. But all he did was bury its corpse—very loudly and bigly.