The industrial economy, that is. On the brink, yet again.

The real economy — not the born-again exuberance in the world’s stock markets — is stalling as the effects of easy money wear off. Indeed, investor fund flows haven’t been this bad since Lehmann Brothers collapsed in the autumn of 2008. The IMF says risks to the global economy are high, and policy makers are about out of bullets to ward off the demons. In short, the world’s industrial economy is headed for a crack up and the U.S. dollar is doomed. Small wonder, given the paltry amount of currency relative to the gihugic amount of derivatives.

Of course, had stock traders known the dire nature of AIG, for an easy example, the economy would have completed its ongoing collapse long ago. Fortunately, Americans prefer presidents and presidential candidates who lie about the likes of AIG (and, as nearly as I can distinguish, everything else).

But back to the smoke-and-mirrors recovery. It’s fizzling out and there is worse to come. The Wall Street Journal predicts collapse will come in 2011. Over on CNBC, the recommendation is to buy barbed wire as the endpoint of devaluation appears. Others prefer a different phrase: the next step down, also known as a dead end. If you’re a part of Saudi Arabia’s royal family — welcome to the blog, by the way, and feel free to post a comment — it’s time to get out before the apocalypse comes to the kingdom.

For the imperialist-in-charge, what to do, what to do? Now that the Keynesian approach has about run its course, Obama is set to re-open offshore drilling program in a feeble attempt to keep the current game going. And there’s undoubtedly more stimulus headed our way, even though we already passed the point of debt saturation: each new dollar of federal debt now subtracts 45 cents from GDP.

If you’re having a tough time swallowing the notion that the economy can go from apparent recovery to the toilet in a few years, remember what most people believed in 1930: they thought the bad economic news was behind them, too. It’s looking a lot like 1930.

Even usually clueless Americans are getting nervous about the economy — apparently they’re no longer watching television. But even the ever-soothing voices on the tube are pointing out that the gusher in the Gulf is getting worse by the day, with economic implications bound to bury the coast for decades. The BP spill is probably gushing on the order of 100,000 barrels per day, not the 70,000 bpd reported by BP, a number that keeps going up as they keep repairing the problem. The spill certainly exceeds estimates by ultraconservative marine scientists.

But even the latter scientists agree about the existence of the undersea plume (or cloud). I am definitely not applying the “scientist” label to anybody working for the Obama administration: those former scientists gave up their integrity card when they started lying in the name of political fortune. Their new jobs are to hide the facts, not reveal them.

Despite the ongoing game of obfuscation, striking similarities have emerged between the financial collapse of 2008-2009 and the Gulf disaster. Among other characteristics, BP is paralleling the actions of the big banks, aided by the Obama administration, in covering up the truth. It comes as no surprise that BP CEO Tony Hayward has racked up a “greatest hits” list of quotes only a politician’s mother could love.

Energy analyst Matt Simmons predicts BP will declare bankruptcy within a month. That would be one way to escape paying for damages. The more likely approach, in my opinion, is a full-scale bailout by you and me. That route is already wending its way through Congress, although GOP House leader John Boehner is shying away from the idea he proposed earlier.

In a stunning bit of good news — in the category of throwing us a bone — BP finally released the list of toxins in the dispersants. Now that I’ve seen the list, though, I’m not particularly happy about it.

Finally, a single article from the mainstream points out that maybe we should re-think our oil-drenched lifestyles. Oil drilling threatens our future, as even the BBC has determined. Will that be enough to get us off the devil’s excrement? Certainly not if Barack Obama or the politicians in Louisiana have their way.


This essay is permalinked at Energy Bulletin and Island Breath.

Comments 29

  • “The Wall Street Journal predicts collapse will come in 2011.”

    Following that link, the article merely states that tax revenues will fall in 2011 due to income being realized in 2010 to evade tax increases.

    I think it hurts your credibility to imply that the WSJ is predicting collapse of the industrial economy.

  • Thanks for your comment, Joe.

    Credibility? What credibility?

    A couple lines from the article are revealing:

    “When we pass the tax boundary of Jan. 1, 2011, my best guess is that the train goes off the tracks and we get our worst nightmare of a severe ‘double dip’ recession.”

    “If you thought deficits and unemployment have been bad lately, you ain’t seen nothing yet.”

    These quotes are especially important when we consider the industrial economy has nearly completed its fall several times already. I’m pretty sure Laffer knows about those times, and I’m pretty sure he’s sending a clear warning. “You ain’t seen nothing yet” sounds like a warning to me.

  • All I need is one of the following two things:

    1) The Big One waits until we can sell our ecovillage site, so we can move on to something we can buy outright, with no debt, or

    2) Someone who wants to prepare for The Big One can put at least $800,000 into this project for a near-equal share, and we can build a “lifeboat community” that can weather the storm.

    We could be ready with not too much effort. And being on an island, it’s great to have a moat around you, if things get really bad!

  • Guy, this is not directed to you personally,
    just realised I have been following the peak oil, oil drum,
    collapsatarian story for 4-5 years.

    with regards to the endless news cycles, commentary, media punditry etc
    (I read far too much of this stuff)

    ‘in life, I often get the impression
    that people speak when they having nothing to say’ SB

    the internet has spawned the end of knowledge

    so much information, and so little truth being told

    wilderness is the only truth there is

  • One of the problems with the coming collapse is that it pains with a broad brush — lots of people who are doing good are going to get hurt. We’ve been preparing for this sort of thing for five years, but find that we’re just a bit behind the curve, having taken on what we thought was short-term debt in the hope of attracting others to a simple life-style.

    All we need to continue this mission is one of the following two things:

    1) The Big One waits until we can sell our ecovillage site, so we can move on to something smaller we can buy outright, with no debt, or

    2) Someone who wants to prepare for The Big One can put at least $800,000 into this project for a near-equal share, and we can together build a “lifeboat community” that can weather the storm.

    We could be ready with not too much effort. And being on an island, it’s great to have a moat around you, if things get really bad! But we got caught up in the “things will be fine… for just a little bit longer” way of thinking, and now may get sucked down by the impending collapse.

  • For another take on the Gulf oil gusher, Matt Simmons interview on Financial Sense NewsHour:

    [audio src="http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/fsn/~3/EQYhLsxPgUA/fsn2010-0529-2.mp3" /]

    in which Mr. Simmons notes that if the gusher is not controllable. it may continue for 11 years till it exhausts the 500,000,000 barrels in the reservoir!

  • Joe sayz: ““The Wall Street Journal predicts collapse will come in 2011.”

    Following that link, the article merely states that tax revenues will fall in 2011 due to income being realized in 2010 to evade tax increases.

    I think it hurts your credibility to imply that the WSJ is predicting collapse of the industrial economy.”

    Joe, Guy pulls this crap all the time. Be forewarned. And yes, it is intentional. I guess he fights propaganda with propaganda.

  • Guy,

    Off point again, I was thinking about Transition Towns and the idea that a personal retreat is irresponsible and that the only way to face the coming slide is to band into community. It occurred to me that there are some people who naturally seek crowds and those who do not. There are people who network easily with scores or hundreds of people and those who tend to be more solitary, seeking only a few good friends and companions for company. Do you think there is anything to the idea that people who are so (angrily) insistent that only community will save us are of the group-oriented persuasion?

    I for one am not very group-oriented and thus have been working at a self-sufficient approach to coping with the impending changes rather than trying to attach myself to a community. Of course my only period of group living was courtesy of Uncle Sam 40 years ago and that probably colors my thinking on the subject. Maybe all the “only community will save us” people all live in towns already and love it? I don’t know. Maybe I just don’t play well with others. Any thoughts?

    Michael Irving

  • Oil is the devil’s urine and coal is the devil’s excrement. The metaphors are more appropriate as to physical characteristics.

  • Jan, I wish you luck getting out from under your property. Your “lifeboat community” should operate on the ‘keep it simple, stupid’ philosophy. If you can get rid of the property you might consider building a ‘lifeboat community’ similar to the one that I am building. I am building mine on the Mississippi river to use the river current for power, when the crash comes I intend to take it down the river to the sea. You have some very powerful rivers on the west coast that would be ideal for this purpose.

  • Michael,

    Why is a personal retreat irresponsible? Like you I prefer not to be part of large groups. That being said there are advantages small groups that have different skill sets. I would like to find about 20 like minded people (jack of all trades loners) that want to share the labor to build all of our personal retreats. The difference between this group and the group that we were both in 40 years ago is that in this group everyone will be equal.


  • I feel your pain, groundswell. There are no moral or pragmatic reasons to keep the industrial age going, as I’ve been writing for years. But just try to find a politician who isn’t described by this comment from The Automatic Earth: “there’s no politician left in our Western hemishpere (sic) who rises to true power and has not been pre-empted by the system he or she voluntarily chooses to function in, and who doesn’t voluntarily participate in perpetuating the hologram their voters long for in order to continue their feeling of comfort, so they can sit in their oversized homes and watch pictures of dying birds on oversized plasma TV’s.”

    vera, thanks for dropping by to shovel the insults as I try to extend the lives of a few people. You should know, but apparently you don’t, that all writing is propaganda, including yours and mine. As I’ve been writing for years, I see little evidence to suggest the industrial age will extend beyond 2012, and plenty to suggest it won’t make it that far. Does this qualify as a collapse, as opposed to a slow decline? I suppose it depends on your temporal perspective. For the twenty-somethings with whom I’ve worked for decades, a few years is a very short time. For me, it’s way too long. But whereas simply throwing stones is easy, digging up and presenting counter-evidence is far more challenging. I suppose that’s why you don’t bother.

    If you’re not on the peace train yet, I doubt there’s much hope for you, so please keep playing extend and pretend with the banksters and politicians. If the moral imperative is insufficient rationale for you to abandon civilization, we don’t need your ideas or genes on the other side of the bottleneck. Good thing, too, because I doubt they make it through.

    Michael Irving, I’m a big fan of human communities, as I’ve indicated many times before. But I’m not a big fan of cities, which represent the apex of empire. The distinction is important, if only in my mind. Transition Towns are doomed to fail because there is no viable long-term storage for energy (i.e., none beyond fossil fuels and other finite materials). Along with every other energy-literate person on Earth, I fail to see how we can avoid the post-industrial Stone Age by 2025 or the new Dark Age between now and then.

    Stephen Van Wagoner, good point about the analogies. I’m stuck in metaphors that match my age.

  • Michael Irving, you speak of “community” as if it were a choice, and that those who are not community-oriented can choose to be solitary.

    I think it’s a lot more complicated than that. Throughout most of human history, people have banded together for survival, and being “cast out” from the clan, tribe, or village was essentially a death sentence.

    I’m guessing you’re in your prime, and could build a cabin in the woods (if you had to) and grow your own food (if you had to) and perhaps make your own energy (if you had to).

    Now what’s going to happen when you are no longer able to eke a living out of the dirt? Getting old is not necessarily compatible with a low-energy life-style — most old people today would not be alive were it not for cheap fossil energy!

    This is where community kicks in. You make yourself invaluable in your prime, so that younger people will take care of you as you become an elder, whose value is in your experience, rather than your muscle energy.

    If you’re by yourself, or even with a group of similarly-aged folk, that experience isn’t going to put food on the table as well as bygone muscle energy.

  • As usual, I think Guy is more astute than his typical reader. But since none of us, including Guy, has actually experienced a civilizational collapse and termination previously, all anyone can do is look at the evidence and interpret it according to perceived patterns and the laws of probability in connection with real and real-time data.

    I notice that Mike Ruppert has closed down his blog and started a new one called collapsenet.com in recognition a perceived imminent collapse of industrial civilization and the need to immediately start “life-boating” arrangements. Anyone can join for ten bucks per month.

    I see the same sense of urgency that Guy sees, though I am reluctant to assign dates or years. But I was raised in a household where we were taught the Biblical concept that we were living in the “last days” and were taught to be prepared for the imminent end of the world. I rejected the religious dogma involved, but see something now far more persuasive, and it has to do with geology, economics, history, human behavior, and cause and effect.

    I also believe that the current industrial/materialistic/consumeristic civilization is incapable of reform. The entire worldview is flawed, skewed, unhealthy, incurable. I noted several years ago on the Wildlife Society discussion group (before I was banned for life) that the idea of “trickle down conservation” is faulty because the solutions created by donations of portions of accumulated wealth by the elite never rise to the scale of the problems caused by all that accumulated wealth. Many probably do not know it, but Henry Paulsen, the former Secretary of the US Treasury and head of Goldman Sachs, was prior to that the Executive Director of (first) the Nature Conservancy and later the Peregrine Fund. Good old Hank helped raise millions of dollars for “nature conservation” while he facilitated trillions of dollars of economic activity that harmed nature and hundreds of billions of dollars of bailout money for incompetent and corrupt bankers and securities traders. Millions of dollars to the good do not mitigate trillions of dollars to the bad.

    Nor did Reagan’s “trickle down econonics” (so admired by Obama) really change the plight of the poor and downtrodden. The good done by charity never equals the self-good done by philanthropists to their heirs (for some reason).

    The worldview of the consumerist masses is to always strive and if you cannot strive, then buy a lottery ticket and gamble on affluence, in the mistaken belief that affluence and wealth are what matter. This tendency drives a whole civilization towards unsustainability and away from sustainability. It is not really even part of the equation.

    So, even as the oil plumes trickle onto the beaches of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, not to mention Florida, the citizens of Louisiana plead to not have a moratorium for the purposes of establishing safe deep-sea oil recovery. Their jobs, their economy, their way of life is so embedded in oil and oil-based wealth, that they cannot even begin to see the possibility of a transition to another, an alternative way of life. They want to keep the current paradigm going at all costs, and the costs are unbelievably steep. Energy investor Matthew Simmons said yesterday that there is not enough money in existence to clean up the Gulf of Mexico. Repeat — there is not enough money in existence (not just BP but in existence) to clean up the Gulf of Mexico. The news media cannot seem to even begin asking the questions of why, if BP is adequate to the task, we see tens of miles (already) of oil-impacted, devastated marshland that no booms, no skimming, no cleanup personnel have gone near. The oil has only begun to come ashore, even as thousands of barrels per day seep under high pressure into the Gulf. This is the story of our whole civilization in a nutshell.

    Dmitri Orlov lived through the end of a confederation called the Soviet Union, and he can relate that much lesser collapse to US collapse. But the old Soviet Union’s collapse was tiny compared to the pending collapse of worldwide industrial civilization, which will take down Russia along with the entire world economy all across the globe and especially the US.

    This does not necessary imply extinction of humanity, but could result in it due to conflicts and emerging diseases, starvation, etc. But the world as we know it is going down and apparently within the next few years.

    And yet, Apple Computer introduces new hand-held devices and makes billions. New technology startups plan for a bright future. The World Cup is going full bore and it is fun and wonderful to see the congregated, celebrating masses of jubilant humanity in this spasm of sport, love and goodwill on the Eve of Destruction. I wonder what the typical I-Pad user would do or think if they knew that the age of electronic instant communication is going to be shorter than the age of television. I think about the radio commercials of Kaiser Permanente celebrating their use of electronic medical files in order to save trees and I wonder why they don’t inform themselves as to the reality of the collapse that will make moot their “progress”. I think of the ornithological societies and universities that no longer stock paper-based scientific articles in their shelves in favor of electronic data storage. How much knowledge from the scientific method will be permanently lost because paper was discarded in favor of digital storage on disposable media.

    I think of Guy and his goat and his mud hut and a small boy named Hawk who surely does not have a mental context of why all this is happening. Being reduced to “squatting in the mud” is probably not what Guy had in mind when he graduated from his college education a couple of decades ago. And now Guy is the wise man who gets feedback that sometimes mistakenly reduces him to an alleged state of fanaticism, when I believe Guy “gets it” and not only talks the talk, but walks the walk.

    So, I say it is a good time to watch the World Cup, eat and drink and be merry, and understand that the next World Cup may not occur. I saw a very beautiful run by a South African football player leading to a stupendous kick into goal at full stride and found it to be a mitigating factor for a civilization that otherwise is full of rot and sinking fast…

    Stan Moore

  • Jan,

    40 years ago Michael and I were killing people for 20 cents an hour because our ‘community’ could not tolerate the community of Vietnam. We did not choose to fight, our ‘community’ forced us to fight or go to prison. I can understand why he thinks as he does, there are millions of us that learned of the down side of community the hard way. We are the sum of our experiences so you just might want to cut him a little slack.


  • an interesting piece on the death of Las Vegas at the economic collapse blog:

    see: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/the-death-of-las-vegas

  • Stan et al,

    In contrast to the link you posted regarding the collapse of Las Vegas, I write from idyllic Boulder, CO, an oasis nearly untouched by the turmoil of recent economic events. To be sure, the city has taken a couple of punches this year – a few notable restaurants have gone down and a number of boutique businesses have closed – but, overall, things are pretty much status quo here – in fact, they might even be flourishing. You can’t begin to approach buying a house here for less than $320,000. The median price for a house in Boulder is $367,000 (condos included), which means that a very modest track house from the 1960’s of 1400 sq. ft. sells for $350,000 or more. To get anything that looks like the typical two kids, two cars, two dogs, family house runs around $450,000 and up. There has been either an insignificant decline in real estate values or none at all here since 2007 (in sharp contrast to the city of Tucson, down 30%, where I also live for much of the year).

    Boulder’s economy is driven first by CU, the state’s flagship university, but also by huge sums of federal dollars going to institutions like NCAR, NOAA and government defense-related enterprises (Ball, Lockheed Martin), Firms such as Amgen and Roche, tech companies like IBM, Google, Ericsson, Cisco and Microsoft, and, of course, the many natural food companies (not to mention the many medical marijuana upstarts) that make Boulder famous, are here as well. Promoted prominently is the so-called “Green Tech” industry of which Boulder considers itself a national leader. In a nutshell, and for right now, Boulder is “grooving” along just fine. This city, in my view, will be one of the last to “go under”.

    Living in Boulder has caused me to consider the nature of collapse more fully. First and foremost is that collapse is something that will not be experienced uniformly. When Guy writes about no water coming out of the taps or no electricity at the flick of a switch, we need to understand this as a rhetorical statement (or as a Tucson-centric statement). The reality is that collapse will unfold quite differently for each of us, for each of our communities, depending on where we are and the degree of resilience that exists in our communities. We ALL face collapse at some point in the future, but not all at the same time and not to the same degree. The factors that constitute collapse are many and diverse, but these will impact communities, towns and cities in a multitude of ways, and certainly not uniformly.

    A look back reveals that Boulder, CO, like many other communities in the country, was largely unscathed by the events of the Great Depression. True, hard times were acknowledged here, but not on the scale experienced by the large cities of the U.S. or of the Great Dust Bowl refugees, only a few hundred miles to the east. (Even in my own family, the contrast between my father’s experiences of the Great Depression while living in Chicago, and that of my mother, who lived in a small community in northern Wisconsin, is striking. For my mother, the Depression was nearly a non-event, but for my father it was the time of Al Capone, Baby Face Nelson, killed a couple blocks from his house, and of “hustling” in order to make ends meet.) Of course, WWII put an end to all that and…well…we all know what happened following the war (ppsstt…it started with Levittown!).

    As the Titanic sinks, we are not in the same lifeboat. Communities like Boulder will be insulated from the decline for a longer period of time than cities like Las Vegas. And when collapse finally comes, it will look quite different than it did in Detroit, Las Vegas, or Phoenix.. After all, why do you think Carolyn Baker, peak oil doomer extraordinaire, moved here?

    The Colorado Shakespeare Festival (in Boulder) is doing King Lear this summer…maybe see you there?

  • Jan,

    I was not suggesting that communities aren’t important, especially in the coming years as we try to get through the bottleneck. However, and this is my fault for not being clearer, I was trying to get at something else. So, with the caveat that I probably don’t know what I’m talking about, I’ll try again. And I warn you that I am using a very broad brush.

    From my experience, admittedly (American) provincial, there are very few groups that function long as viable, intentional communities living outside the current norms for 21st century American society. Around here I know of one commune. Other than that the Mennonites seem to be close knit, and previously we had a small number of Amish. Our Mormon community is also know for making preparations for an uncertain future but I see little evidence that other than storing some food they are doing much in the way of retraining their minds for a post carbon world. In contrast there are quite a few individuals living in the country who seem to work hard at being more self-reliant, at solving problems for themselves (heat from the woodlot rather than from the gas fields in Alberta, if you will). Of course these folks often work together for mutual benefit but they tend to cherish their independence rather than seeking to affiliate in an organized group.

    Now perhaps this is what you were talking about when you were speaking of community, a loose affiliation for mutual benefit, but I was trying to look at something else. Specifically, excepting small religions communities, the people living outside 21st century American norms are generally what would have been described as homesteaders or back-to-the-landers in the 70’s. So, I was suggesting that most of the people who possessed the skills necessary for making the transition live as individuals (families) not as members of groups. And I was asking if the people claiming, “The only way forward is through community,” were all doing so because they have no skills and therefore know they will die without the support of a broader group. For example, if you can’t bake bread you need a baker in your group, if you can’t raise food you need a farmer in your group, if you can’t cure your headache you need a doctor, if you can’t heat your house you need a woodsman, if you can’t build a house you need a carpenter…………. What I am suggesting is that there are any number of people around here who can do all of those things right now (bake, farm, raise herbs, log, build…) and none of them belong to, or feel the need to belong to, a group.

    So, if most of the people with the necessary skills are outside of groups, are most of the people without skills seeking to draw skilled people into community so that they can benefit without the due diligence of acquiring skills for themselves? In short, if you decide you want a house do you figure out how to build it yourself or do you hire a carpenter?

    Michael Irving

  • reply to Mark and the citizens of Boulder:

    Dear Mark —

    I don’t think the prospects for Boulder are as rock-solid as you do (pun definitely intended). The intial phases of the collapse may be delayed or may not be apparent to you, but the laws of physics and thermodynamics mean that Boulder will not be immune from the energy-driven collapse of civilization. And I am not sure I would want to live there in the wintertime when the grid goes down. The grid will go down in Boulder just as it will in Las Vegas, in my opinion and if you cannot grow your own food, etc., I fear you will be out of luck.

    But I hope I am wrong!

    Stan Moore

  • Mark, I commented about transition towns here. The pointed summary: “Transition towns allow us the fantasy of keeping the current omnicidal culture going, albeit in slightly different form. This model assumes a long descent that allows time for cities to develop alternative energy sources. Think solar on every rooftop, for starters, and gardens in every suburban lot. For this approach to work, though, the food shed must be sufficiently nearby and sufficiently productive to support all the people in the transition town. This seems hugely problematic in sprawling western cities, especially those with more than a few thousand people. And for areas with limited supplies of water, or water that is several hundred feet below the surface of the ground, it’s difficult to imagine a scenario that doesn’t include massive suffering along the way to a huge die-off. The inability to store energy in the absence of fossil fuels beyond a few years in expensive, transient, and toxic batteries is a microscopic problem relative to the absence of ready access to water and food.”

    Boulder has been insulated so far, in large part because of the huge ongoing influx of federal funds. And although economic collapse happens one person at a time, there is no way for citizens in Boulder to escape collapse when the stock markets capitulate and the government throws in the towel. And I’m still convinced this will occur by the end of 2012, “recovery” notwithstanding.

  • Mark:

    We’ve had similiar backgrounds.I grew up in South Shore,on the south side of Chicago,at 7646 S. Clyde Ave.,not far from the home of POTUS.
    I’ve spent some time around Hyde Park and the University of Chicago.
    I used to hang out at a bar on Clark Street,across the street from the
    garage where the St.Valentines Massacre occured.

    From 1971 to 2001 I lived in Aspen and Denver,and had many friends and associations from Boulder and the University of Colorado,because I often
    drove to Boulder to experience the great natural beauty and culture of
    the place.The inside joke was that most residents of Boulder lived on their trust funds.

    With ProfEmGuy’s prediction about the stock market collapse,it will also
    tank the trust funds of the Boulder rentiers.What will Boulder do when
    that happens.Many millions of Americans are rentiers of one form or another,without any serious work experience.

    Can you imagine the catastrope when their source of livlihood disappears ?

  • Thinking of my posting above,made me harken back once again,to Jose Ortega’s great,seminal work,”The Revolt Of The Masses”.

    The masses are going to get it in the neck.

    Double D

  • I’ve been preparing for Peak Oil for 3 years now and made some videos to show people what they can do to prepare…I attached one of them here..


  • Stan, Guy and Frank,

    You all highlight great points. I’m not saying collapse won’t happen in Boulder. My point is that as long as industrial empire limps along Boulder will do okay, whereas many other cities and towns in the U.S. will be severely gutted by upheaval (i.e. Detroit, Los Angeles). Sure, when TSHTF, if the grid goes down, or if the government “throws in the towel”, then Boulder is screwed like everywhere else. And yes, I don’t think all those Boulder “trust fund babies” are going to be good for much (I can say that from some first hand experience!).

  • Jerry,

    Sorry to disappoint you but while I served for quite a while as regular Army during the 60’s the government decided they needed me somewhere other than Viet Nam. You go where they send you. After a while even I could figure out that I’d gotten lucky.

    All respect to you for your service.

    Michael Irving

  • I was not in any danger as a sailor, to me Vietnam was just a thin blue line on the horizon. The only action that I ever seen was picking up the Ambasador and his staff in Alexandria harbor during the Six Day War. I was only in 12 minutes of war in 12 years, not really heroic on any scale.

  • This entire catastrophe with BP is idiocy. The measure of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico skyrocketed by 1000’s of barrelfuls Wednesday right after an submerged robot seemingly struck the containment cap that has been catching petroleum from BP’s Macondo well. I wonder how much devastation this entire oil spill is going to cost the Gulf when it’s all over

  • Our reliance on foreign oil is going to come to an end in the near future, I feel these kinds of articles are the only way it is going to happen. I discuss this in more detail at my Wind power website.