Thursday, October 27, 2005

Things I've Been Reading Today

Hello! I've been scouring websites tonight. Don't have a whole lot to add to a conversation but alot of others do!

For instance, Bill Moyers has written a piece on CommonDreams called Finding Justice in Charity. In the article, he reviews Jared Diamond's new book "Collapse":

There's a book I wish we could make required reading for every member of Congress: Jared Diamond's new book, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed . The Pulitzer Prize winner tells us that one of the main factors in the decline of earlier societies was the insulation of elites. Mayans on the Yucatan Peninsula, for example, suffered as environmental degradation - deforestation, soil erosion and poor water management - diminished food supplies. Chronic warfare made matters worse as more and more people fought over less and less land and resources. Although Mayan kings could see their forests vanishing and their hills eroding, "They were able to insulate themselves from problems afflicting the rest of society. By extracting wealth from commoners, they could remain well fed while everyone else was slowly starving." Too late, the elites realized they could not reverse the deteriorating environment, and they became casualties of their own privilege.

Any society, Diamond warns, contains a built-in blueprint for failure if people at the top insulate themselves from the consequences of their actions and from an awareness of the commonplace experiences of life. He goes on to describe an America where elites cocoon themselves "in gated communities, guarded by private security patrols, and filled with people who drink bottled water, depend on private pensions, and send their children to private schools." Gradually, they lose the motivation "to support the police force, the municipal water supply, Society Security, and public schools." At the end of this road is a state of nature - a war of all against all - "where the strong take what they can, and the weak suffer what they must."

Then I started down my blog list where I came upon Bill Totten where he has posted 30 Steps to an Oil Free World which he obtained from

For a break, I decided to check out Dead Ants where I rediscovered Frappr!-Peak Oilers, and wow! The list has grown since I placed my name on the list a couple of days ago! I saw a couple of new blogs on the list I thought I might check out. I hope the one dude who wants to send all Mexicans back to Mexico with the "white power" icon by his name is just kidding!! (shudder)

Next stop was Energy Exigency where (ack!) I found out that natural gas prices increased by 10% in the U.S.A. today! I moved along after reading that. I don't want to know that right now! (fingers in ears)

Nothing caught my interest until I hit Middle Earth Journal for some good 'ole feel good political administration bashing where Ron covers Truthout's Maureen Dowd calling Cheney the "Lord of Darkness"!

Then I come to Odograph. If I remember right, he is somewhat of a conservative? Anyone know? He is not happy about Cheney either, see here, although for different reasons.

Monkeygrinderis also worried about this administration except this is from a DIFFERENT front--Syria!

Things are just so bad these days that Vermont is considering suceding from the USA! This I found on Peak Oil Anarchy. I wonder if they would accept a left libertarian?? I didn't realize there were so many libertarians in Vermont. I thought it was New Hampshire that hosted a majority of the libertarians.

With Peak Oil News I was back to strictly peak oil, "The Coming Petro Collapse" written by the New York Press. Again, this piece alludes to our leaders deciding to go to war in Iraq and compares their policy with how our leaders might address declining resources in our nation. Not good for the track record, I suspect.

Here's another disturbing article I noted from someone else's suggestion on my yahoogroup. The Ergosphere posted "Republicans to lose Red America?" on Monday. This kind of hits home as my son-in-law has been contemplating quitting farming because he can hardly afford it anymore. They really are hurting.

The next thing to catch my eye, I got to "all oil all the time"--The Oil Drum where things don't look good for Saudi oil output according to Matthew Simmons....

which led me to the interesting peak oil dates that Ben at theWatt found here from the Foreign Policy Research Institute. 48% expect an oil peak around 2010. Ouch.

I'm tired enough now! Whew! I think tomorrow evening I'll go through the more optimistic sites under my Food, Alternatives & Sustainable Living List. Have a good day!

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