Friday, March 18, 2011

Links 3/18/2011

Japan and the Economy: What You Need to Know (by Daniel Gross, Yahoo! Finance):  A typically misleading mainstream media article on the potential impact of Japan's crisis on the US economy.  Most telling is how the article does not even mention the fact that Japan is a significant buyer of US Treasuries, currently holds some $800 billion in them, and will likely not only have to stop buying them but sell off their stock in order to finance reconstruction.  Also no mention of the way that Japan will likely begin importing significantly higher quantities of diesel in order to keep their lights on, thus pushing even higher demand on an oil market that already is stretched to its production limits.

The Vegetarian Myth (interview with Lierre Keith on Peak Moment Television): Interview with a former vegan on the myths of vegetarianism, specifically that it is a lifestyle that decreases violence by reducing harm to animals, when agriculture has proven to be one of the most biologically destructive processes ever designed by man.  If you doubt this point, just look at the current condition of the so-called "Fertile Crescent" where agriculture began.  Other points in this discussion will be the likely focus of a future post.

When the Lights Go Out (by Ashvin Padurangi, The Automatic Earth blog): Contrast this view with the Yahoo! Finance article above.  I tend to take something more seriously when it doesn't ignore energy -- the lifeblood of the global industrial economy.

George Will: Driving a Wedge (by Don Plummer, The Trillium Patch, accessed on Energy Bulletin):  I honestly didn't even bother to read the original Newsweek piece by Will cited in this article, but I'm all for anything that points George Will out as the fatuous gasbag that he truly is.  Having lived in Westchester County and commuted by train daily, I can state with pretty reasonable confidence that many traveling via rail had a conservative perspective, and that they didn't see the train schedules as leading to any kind of "collectivism."  It's probably more likely that they, like me, found the train to be a comfortable and convenient means of transportation.

The Limits of Incantation (by John Michael Greer, The Archdruid Report, accessed on Energy Bulletin): Greer describes how Americans seem to believe that incantation can relieve us from our current and future predicaments surrounding the availability of cheap, dense energy.  It seems to mirror some of the things that I wrote about in a recent post, American Ignorance on Energy, Part One, as well as a much older post (and one of my own personal favorites), The Myths of Historical Positivism.  

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