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« MENA - A Model of the Future? | Main | Doomstead Diner Podcast »

July 03, 2013


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Tim Elmer

"So, keep your eyes on Egypt and carefully observe what transpires. You may be looking at your own situation within the next decade if things devolve at an accelerating rate."

I would suppose that one outlet for the rage - that would lead to an outlet for the failure of the Egyptian economy to grow - due to resource constraints - would be - to attack Ethiopia.

Ethiopia’s Plan to Dam the Nile Has Egypt Fuming

Read more:

Paolo C.

An excellent analysis on the Guardian:


@Paolo C - Thanks for referring us to this stunning analysis in the Guardian (in train with George's prognosis) but this piece should be on the front page, not buried in a section reserved for middle-class environmentalists.

Typical of the MSM, to think that the truths set out are of peripheral interest.

Juan Pueblo

I agree with your assessment of Egypt's situation completely. A military dictatorship is probably their best choice right now and eventually they will get there, but it is going to be very hard for Egypt's younger generations to accept this. They are dreaming of democracy, human rights, and economic growth and it’s going to take a lot of pain and suffering to kill those dreams and face reality. Everything they do will be too little too late.
I repeat what I’ve already said: Egypt will depopulate through war, disease, starvation, and migration. There is simply no other way out. In the meantime they will become a failed state.

Reverse Engineer

About the only solution for the typical Egyptian here is to GTFO of Dodge. This is of course not an easy thing to do if you are living on $2/day. A sailboat might be a good choice here, even a Kayak.

Anybody STAYING in Egypt is on the Die Off list here in the Near Term. The Knockdown in that part of the world will be substantial to say the least.



>Typical of the MSM, to think that the truths set out are of peripheral interest.

Not only the mainstream media thinks that. If you look at the energy issues you will at some point find out that we don't really work anymore in the physical sense, we more or less control matter and ultimately energy flows. To give an example, the energy that goes into food production is 10x higher (which I need to check since this can't be right, its starts with EROI 2-5 on the field, see Pimentel) than what we get and then our eta is around 25%.When we actually do work we use power toys that have a ridiculously higher energy throughput.

So my conclusion is: we do not work. Normally I use this fact to annoy the guys who spew forth the usual propaganda, mainly about immigrants who multiply faster than us (Germans), and that have drunk the protestant work ethic coolaid.

Once you talk about energy you will also start to think about how all the information society stuff comes from all those other guys who don't work on the farm anymore.

All this specialization excessive energy input has made possible. Unfortunately this specialization has made us dependent. I cannot work when some of the few chip fabs have to close or produce less.

No matter what your background is, this is a sobering topic, not only does it frighten ones fragile ego, it also tells you that you aren't safe no matter what your role in society is.

That MSM cannot easily sell this message. Also because you cannot currently offer a way out. Maybe the Guardian should post an ad on the energy page for a suitable antidepressant.

Regarding Egypt, the probability that people won't start forming groups that start pointing fingers and beat each other up, and talk soberly about their options how to organize the way down without driving society apart, I would bet to be 0%.

Alexander Carpenter

...if a city, which from its origin has enjoyed liberty but has of itself become corrupt, has difficulties in devising good laws for the maintenance of liberty, it is not to be wondered-at if a city that had its origins in servitude finds it not only difficult, but actually impossible, ever to organize a government that will secure its liberty and tranquility.

Niccolo Machiavelli, Discourses, 1, XLIX

George Mobus


Thanks for the link. This one is certainly making the rounds of the energy-aware sites.


I had been thinking that when Al Jazeera broke out of the ME they would start reporting into that part of the world how democracy and capitalism were breaking down in the west so that people who still harbored the belief that these were the routes to prosperity would become disenchanted with that myth and seek more practical approaches. But on reflection even if that had happened it would have been too late.

Ah well.


Afraid I have to agree. Where would aid come from when everyone else in the world is broke and running on fumes at best. I understand Abu Dhabi may loan some $$$ to Egypt, to be paid back when they get back on their feet. It is going to take a lot of tourists to make that happen.


That MSM cannot easily sell this message. Also because you cannot currently offer a way out.

You would think that MSM-NEWS would report the news. But that stopped happening when I was a young adult. I often wonder how they would handle the reporting of an impending and unstoppable asteroid (planet killer) hit. There is no way out of that.


Thanks. I must confess though I'm not sure how to interpret it in this context. Could you help me out here?




I have viewed energy availability so far mainly as a boundary for our ambitions given a certain amount of knowledge about its use.

I'm certain that there is more to the relationship between peoples culture and energy availability than this view is permitting. (Marvin Harris was mentioned here or on NBL regarding the topic).

I'm kind of wondering now whether Machiavelli was actually right. Also, I'm not sure what he means with servitude.

If it is slavery, the topic is entering the energy domain.
I sense specialization and improved efficiency, no wonder some culture would remain stuck with it.

Now I'm surprised how this liberty thing could actually come about, well I might have an idea - getting rid of the guy with the whip possibly means even higher efficiency.


How long will it take Americans..
How long will it take Britons..

I don't like these presumption that the people of each nation are any different to the others, in these matters.

The best words that Tony Blair ever said-
"Education, education, education."

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