The Flight of the Bumblebees …



In the North-East, in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, there are emergency workers, linemen, construction crews clearing roadways of fallen trees and sand, pumping water, replacing electric lines, and trying bring back services to the stricken New York-New Jersey areas. Meanwhile, thousands of irate drivers are waiting in long gasoline lines such as this one pictured below:

 

 

Gas lineup of cars in New Jersey (Jeff Jarvis) Heaven forbid that Americans be deprived of the means to drive where and when they please! Certainly, the citizens of New York and New Jersey have the God-given right to cruise around and ‘see what’s open’/what’s destroyed.

Question? How will the same citizens cope with permanent crude oil shortages? If not during a disaster, when? Here is what James Howard Kunstler’s ‘long emergency’ looks like in its initial stages. Americans are indoctrinated to where cars are central to every possible activity. No gas = no car = (c)armageddon.

Notice the gasoline shortage that first appeared in California has migrated to the East Coast. The proposition is always the same: a defect in delivery mechanism, a refinery- or refineries shut down for various reasons yet with ‘plenty of gas’ in the delivery pipeline.

Is there really plenty of gas? If there is, why lines?

In California there were very high pump prices in areas with less gasoline, in New Jersey the gas is still cheap by mandate … where gasoline can be found. Why not market clearing prices? $20/gallon gasoline and there are no lines, and no frivolous waste of gas, either.

After the storm the river crossings into New York City were reopened to traffic, the streets were immediately jammed with single-occupant vehicles. Service vehicles and buses were unable to move until authorities began turning away all cars with fewer than three occupants, the 2d day after the storm.

– The city should ban all private vehicles from operating on New York City streets except for transit, emergency and delivery vehicles. The city should also ban any parking on arterial streets and free up space for buses. Oops! Can’t be done, the governments are all too ‘pro-car’.

– People waiting in long lines suggests the need for a rationing regime: odd-even days with the last number on the license plate being the determinant.

– People waiting in long standee- lines with gas cans in hand represents the triumph of marketing over common sense. The ongoing sequence of damaging storms since 2000 has convinced tract-house residents to ‘invest’ in portable generators. Users don’t realize how much fuel even a small, 3kw generator uses … A generator large enough to supply a tract house ‘normal’ power (Watts) uses more fuel in a day than a person can carry easily. People buy generators the way they buy cars: they obtain the largest and most powerful units they can afford … they run the refrigerator and the big-screen television and have lights on all over, they must also burn a gallon of gasoline per hour while doing so … a five-gallon Jerry-can weighs 45lbs filled … which is too heavy for most to carry more than a few hundred feet … this means daily trips in the car looking for large amounts of gas.

– The sensible approach is to use the smallest generator rather than the largest … run it sparingly … only when needed to charge telephones and laptops and use essential devices … the television is not essential.

- Keep yourself and your car off the roads until the emergency is over, period! Emergency services have enough to do without dealing with YOUR car wreck. In an emergency there is no need to drive anywhere … provided driving isn’t necessary to escape immediate danger.

– In an emergency stick close to your house. Check on your neighbors and make sure they are not ill or hurt. After hurricane Katrina, a great problem in New Orleans was the 100+ degree heat, high humidity and absence of water and power. Neighbors helped neighbors, there was no one else to whom to turn.

– Comparisons will be made between New York and New Orleans post- their respective hurricanes.

– The level of damage to both places and surrounding areas is very similar. The actual level of physical destruction won’t be accurately determined for months (if New Orleans is a guide).

– The bosses have learned: New Jersey, New York and Connecticut governments plus FEMA are more effective now than Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama plus FEMA were post-Katrina. In New Orleans many police ran away, others looted or formed ad-hoc death squads that randomly shot at- and killed negroes. Later, ‘security duties’ were given over to private security goons who harassed and abused inhabitants. Meanwhile, road-blocks and miscommunication kept food and water trucks out of the city.

– Many rooftop rescues took place because Louisiana locals ignored police/military commands to stay out of the city and patrolled areas with small boats.

– Cleanup after the storm was a bonanza for well-connected ‘contractors’ who subcontracted- and subcontracted again and again much of the public work. So far, none of this seems to be taking place in the NY-NJ area … but it is too soon to claim that such abuses won’t take place in the future.

– Most of the storm destruction in the south was outside of New Orleans: coastal Mississippi was particularly hard hit. Ditto the coastal areas of New Jersey and Long Island. Right now there is little information about LI damage but it is likely to be severe.

– Reports of looting made no mention that even rescued persons lacked access to food or water or means of travel (boats). There was no violence @ Superdome or Civic Center even with these places packed with thousands without food, water or working toilets … despite numerous wild tales of violence at these places in the news media.

– New Orleans was closed to all for about 6 weeks … this allowed for a second major hurricane to smash the city and add more flood water … but kill no more people.

- Much of the traffic on New York-area roads is gawkers. How about arrests?

– A household should have enough basic supplies, food and water to function without refrigeration/power for at least 30 days without needing trips to the store. 30 days isn’t an extreme period of time and was considered basic household preparation only a couple of generations ago. Dried vegetables, starches, grains, smoked and salted meats keep intact for long periods without refrigeration. In cold weather, perishable items can be put outdoors in sealed containers (to keep roving pests out of your food).

– Every household should have a good supply of soap, salt, toilet paper, water, towels and blankets. Sweaters, long woolen undergarments and blankets are zero-energy solutions to cold/wet weather. They are more effective than running a 7KW generator to power a space heater. A small fan can be a life-saver in hot climates.

– Water should be stored in glass bottles not plastic or plastic-coated metal containers. Plasticizers contained therein leach into the water and accumulate, these are highly toxic. One-gallon glass bottles for vegetable oil are good after cleanup for water storage. Rotate your water storage periodically and keep it away from light … this keeps algae from growing in the water and making it slimy. Stored water can be rendered potable by use of purification tablets or by boiling.

– Before a disaster, seal and fill the bathtub to the overflow. This will be a source of washing and toilet-flushing water. 2 gallons of water are all that is needed to flush the modern toilet. Use the tub water for cleaning and rinsing first, then the wash water for toilet flushing. Flush the toilet once a day, close the lid when not in use.

– In any emergency closely ration your drinking water! DO NOT WASTE WATER you don’t know when clean water will be available. New Yorkers are learning the hard way how little fun it is to hump five gallon buckets from fire hydrants up twenty or more flights of stairs in the dark in high-rise buildings …

– Backup heating: a woodstove or fireplace with some firewood is the best backup. If there is no fireplace, the wick-type kerosene heaters are thrifty and newer models are safe. Do not use ‘salamanders’ or job-site kerosene heaters as these gobble electricity. Neither the generator nor the heater should be used in confined spaces due to carbon monoxide emissions. Do not use electrical space heaters.

– In a hurricane, there is little a homeowner can do when the storm is raging outside. Inside, some tarps, drop-cloths, duct tape, plywood, a hammer and some nails can be used to temporarily close an opening that allows the wind and rain to enter.

– In a snowstorm, the owner should be aware of snow loading his roof and be ready to shovel snow.

– During emergencies, commuters form car pools. Fortunately, the surface commuter rail systems in the New York City area are likely to be back in operation next week.

– In an emergency, the most useful tool is the shovel. It can be used as a pry bar, to remove mud, sand and water and to dig snow and ice. The second most useful is a flashlight.

– In an emergency, the greatest problem is not danger but boredom. Americans are used to being continually entertained. The demand for entertainment is such that content sources are exhausted … Keep some ‘old-fashioned’ games, cards, books (the paper kind), drawing materials, musical instruments and puzzles. Everyone in a household should be given chores to do including cleanup which is essential. Provided the house isn’t destroyed or seriously damaged, an orderly environment is helpful for morale, particularly over extended periods. Looking after neighbors is part of expanding the orderly environment beyond the house.

It is likely that most filling the roads in the New York-New Jersey hurricane zone are simply bored with being in a house with no lights, a droning generator and no junk food to gobble … Americans need to get over this need for outside stimulus … most will be spending extended periods inside one house … within one town … likely to be a small and boring town … for their entire lives. The gasoline shortages will be permanent … what then?

???

36 thoughts on “The Flight of the Bumblebees …

  1. Ed

    I live in New York, and I’ve been in favor of banning private non-commercial vehicles from Manhattan for as long as I can remember. This could even be done gradually, start with lower Manhattan below Chambers Street where the 17th century street grid doesn’t function well with cars anyway, and two of the big uptown-downtown avenues (First Avenue on the East Side and an avenue on the West Side, and four cross-town streets. The avenues and the cross-town streets can have local and express busses running both ways.

    On storing stuff, most people in Manhattan live in apartments that are simply too small for that. They are forced to live a just-in-time lifestyle, though there is a nice effect in that you are limited in how much stuff you can accumulate.

    I completely agree about the boredom, and I am embarrassed to admit I developed a bad case of cabin fever myself (I live in Midtown, but if I go to a bar or restaurant I go downtown, the ones in my own neighborhood are overpriced, mediocre, and the last few days have been way too crowded).

    1. The Dork of Cork.

      @ED
      Geneva is engaging in “terrorism against the car!”

      http://ardsl.wordpress.com/2012/10/14/geneve-ne-veut-plus-de-voitures-en-transit-au-centre-ville/

      PS

      interesting BBC doc. of Pompeii
      Fast food joints everywhere and small apartments with limited kitchen space.
      ( go to 15.00m to 17.00m)

      In pompeii the rich mainly eat at home while the general masses eat in fast food tapa like bars.
      (38.00 m to 43.00 m)

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zyz0kM25uoc

  2. dolph

    There’s a reason to prepare. Preparation should not be done to “survive.” Nobody makes it our of here alive.

    Preparation should be done so that you and your family can make it through the transition period, the unraveling of modern America, relatively intact. An unraveling that will make the European implosion of the early 20th century seem like a walk in the park.

  3. p01

    Other ideas include liquid stoves (work with almost all liquid fuel including kerosene, coleman fuel, gasoline), small kerosene heater, deep cycle battery and inverter for radio (scanners) and laptop, led lights. Run a tiny gasoline generator only to recharge the deep cycle batteries and to keep the freezer in an energy-reduced coma.
    Always have big buckets and a ton of salt on hand for the unfortunate case when the freezer cannot be run anymore, in which case simply throw the meat in the buckets with the ton of salt. Add more salt. And then some more. It won’t spoil. Just add more if you really want piece of mind.
    Meat can also be pressure-canned or fried in lard until the moisture evaporates, and then kept submerged in lard-filled jars at room temperature, but this has to be done in advance, and has to be cycled, or it will spoil at some point.

    1. p01

      A dutch oven and a haybox made from some odd cooler that will fit the little cast iron lifesaver inside plus a quilt to isolate it might save one’s life also, when used with a liquid fuel stove; get a coleman dual burner multi-fuel stove while you still can (like right this minute?) and try and steer clear of the ones with the fuel tank below the flame, get the ones with the fuel tank separated.

    2. p01

      BTW, in an emergency situation if you don’t have water filters, get plain old bleach that will certainly gather dust on the supermarket shelves. You can use it to purify water. A teaspoon per gallon will do, but you have to wait for the chlorine to evaporate before drinking.

      1. enicar666

        Here is a cool little item – I have a pair set aside in the basement just in case.

        “…the Texas Baptist Men initiated the development of a practical, inexpensive, but very effective, ceramic water filter. They call it the “Just Water Ceramic Drip-Filter.”

        Ron described it as, “A ceramic, half-micron water filter that removes water-borne bacterium.” In March 2011, the filter hole size was reduced from .5 to .2 micron (a 60% reduction). Nothing gets past this filter. Some Hospitals are using the water directly for IV tubes.”

        http://www.monolithic.com/stories/a-practical-life-sustaining-water-filter

        Our local bakery sells the empty plastic food grade buckets and lids that pastry fillings come in for $1.25. They are the diameter of a 5 gallon bucket, but 1/2 the height – and as Steve noted – you aren’t going to carry around loaded 5 gallon buckets very far. Drill the holes, mock it up, then take it all back apart and store it on the shelf. I have a set with lids for fetching.

        Cheap, easy, practical. Invaluable when clean water is suddenly not available.

      2. p01

        Thanks, enicar. I just searched on ebay for “ceramic water filter” and found the .2 micron right there (of course they’re manufactured in China and shipped by Chinese “Texas Baptist Men” just as the the ones that the “Baptist Men from Texas” sell :-)). I remember when I panicked in 2008 and bought Katadin pocket filters for 10 times this price (which was half the MSRP at the time), I had to start eating rice for a couple of months to pay back the credit card. These will prove valuable.

    1. steve from virginia Post author

      I’m sure she’s okay, there is no power and little communication on LI right now.

      Keep us informed ….

  4. jb

    One of the little tricks I use when the power goes out here is to string our LED Christmas tree lights around the dining room and kitchen using painter’s tape and plug the lights into a computer backup battery / surge protector. This provides more than enough light to cook by over our 4 Dog Wood Stove and play games. When space and budget are tight, look for dual purpose items.

    1. steve from virginia Post author

      Thanks, RE …

      I didn’t know you lived in NY.

      I don’t know if this particular storm is apocalyptic or not … but certainly that ratcheting down will take place. The coastal/low-lying areas certainly won’t be the same.

      1. Reverse Engineer

        Once a New Yawker, always a New Yawker.

        I’m not convinced myself yet it is entirely apocalyptic, many conflicting signals coming from the Nabe.

        Next week should prove interesting insofar as Wall Street is concerned. ConEd has maintained they will have all power restored to lower Manhattan by the end of the Weekend. If not, I think Tyler Durden and his fellow Piglets on Zero Hedge will start complaining more vociferously.

        Anybody living on Manhattan Island in any neighborhood at the moment has tobe experiencing some shortages. Besides living in NY Shity, I also Drove OTR, as I think you know. The distribution system is marvelously screwed up here now, with only the GW Bridge from the Mainland really functional at this point. Goods that come in via Rail are blocked up, the rail lines are not strictly Commuter you know, a decent amount of stuff still goes through rail tunnels into Manhattan.

        I am Unconvinced by most of the material coming in from the MSM on how the major Conduits are functioning at the moment. The rapid loss of fuel through the Nabe suggests to me that some conduits are in terminal failure mode. Also the fact this has been turned over to the Military to handle is very significant.

        Gotta watch it close.

        RE

      2. Ed

        There seem to be three disaster zones.

        In coastal suburban areas, namely the Jersey Shore, Long Island, plus Staten Island, southern Brooklyn, and the Rockaways (Staten Island and the Rockaways are suburbs despite being with in the New York City municipal boundaries), you have the complete hurricane disaster package, with homes destroyed, people killed, no supplies getting through, and so on.

        With Manhattan below 34th Street, the big impact was the five day or more (the power started coming back yesterday) blackout, though there was flood damage at the lower tip of the island, plus deliveries not coming through.

        Elsewhere, such as Midtown where I live, you would no know there was a hurricane. Except we are somewhat affected by the disruption of deliveries. And any part of our lives that involved getting to downtown or Brooklyn was put on hold, and the streets are clogged with what seem to be refugees from the lower parts of Manhattan.

        The blackout, all in all, would seem to be a lesser impact than the devastation in the suburbs, but you had a week’s worth of economic activity from half of Manhattan wiped out. It will be interesting to see what impact this has on the U.S. economy, there is a theory that what New York has really be exporting in recent years has been rent seeking.

        My guess is that the coastal suburban areas will be rebuilt, though even without the hurricane there was a strong argument that they never should have been developed in the first place.

  5. steve from virginia Post author

    No doubt, supplying millions of NYers is a drag right now.

    – Most of NYC’s food distribution is from centers in New Jersey: non-functional due to no power, flood damage, fuel shortages, etc. Centers have to have supplies from elsewhere in America/overseas to distribute. The Port of NY/NJ is not open yet. Everything from fuel on barges and tankers to containers filled with bananas and oranges are sitting on ships waiting for port access in New Jersey (Port Elizabeth/Newark and Howland Hook).

    – Almost all goods into NYC is by truck, either by GW bridge into the Bronx and distribution centers there (and thence into the city or by way of Verrazano bridge into Brooklyn-Queens and thence to Long Island. There is one freight rail line into Queens via Long Island Railroad and it does indeed carry goods but there is limited intermodal capacity and getting freight by rail from Newark, NJ to the east side of the Hudson River requires a detour to Albany, NY … a 300+ mile extra trip!

    Right now there is no freight tunnel under the Hudson or a freight bridge over it, there has been a 20+ year campaign to build a tunnel under NY harbor but the costs are frightful. In days of yore, train cars were ferried around the various islands on freight car floats, not so much any more.

    As of current: Holland and Battery auto tunnels are out of service. Lincoln tunnel operated continuously during the storm (although parts of Weehawken were flooded and the tunnel entrance is low-lying. Lincoln Tunnel carries a lot of truck traffic along with much of the transit bus traffic from Northern New Jersey. Weehawken rail tunnels are New Jersey Transit and do not carry freight: NJ Transit and Amtrak only. I believe only one of these tunnels is open. NJ PATH tunnel to lower Manhattan is flooded and will take a few weeks to open.

    Biggest problem in the city is traffic … the city is clogged with private commuter/gawker cars. A spin-off prob is that a large component of NYC economy is tourist/entertainment. This is very transportation dependent .. that is where economic costs to the city will emerge.

    From watching the MTA deal with other large repairs the trains are all likely to be up by end of next week. Salt water damage is overstated: NYC is a marine environment, thousands of tons of salt are poured into the MTA system every time it snows (from street snow removal). If the system was immersed for months as in New Orleans, there would be a salt-corrosion problem. Ironically, the immersion problem is effecting the built-in ejector pumps b/c motor controls are now under water and power is off. Other public infrastructure will likely be free of water fairly quickly: Battery and Holland tunnels, FDR Drive underpass, access roads near La Guardia airport, etc. I believe ConEd when they claim to be up city-wide this weekend. Their effected infrastructure is relatively small: service pits and tunnels carrying cables and steam lines. ConEd has tens of thousands of employees to throw at the problem … since most of NYC electric infrastructure is underground there isn’t the downed wire/tree problem. The issues are local, in low-lying areas generally.

    Private property will take longer to repair as there are only so many private contractors: part of the NYC ‘business’ regime is very high barriers to entry to many service jobs such as plumbing. Finding enough ‘qualified’ (Mafia-approved) contractors will be a problem. Water is in heating/cooling/refrigeration, back-office, storage, elevator control, electrical distribution, fire control systems in thousands of buildings. 1st floor living/retail is flooded and there is damage. Some big buildings with water in the basement will be out of service for months as getting workers, parts, repairs, inspections, etc. will be tough. Small businesses/landlords at the bottom of the economic totem pole are going to be swept away … as well as long-term inepts such as NYC Housing Authority: look for hi-rise housing projects to be without elevators, power, heat, etc for months as the agency cannot source needed parts, or make timely repairs. Effected projects are in Lower Manhattan as well as Rockaways and Coney Island.

    Staten Island is a mess. Their little train might be out of action for awhile (none of it is in a tunnel). The ferries are running.

    Unlike the subway system, little in ordinary residential and commercial buildings is hardened against water intrusion. The signal, switching and control systems for the subway are configured the same as above-ground freight railroads with same heavy-duty, water-proofed equipment.

    Atlantic City is the place with problems. See Mississippi and its waterfront casinos as a parallel. Atlantic City is likely to be permanently diminished b/c of Sandy. AC casinos were under siege due to competition from Indian casinos and increased ‘action’ in non-gambling states. Look for some casinos to fail.

    Not much info out of Long Island but water front areas w/ their multimillion dollar ‘homes’ were smashed: poor babies! They can afford the hit. LI and New Jersey will have very long waits for electric power, a lot of infrastructure was simply washed away. Gas problems won’t end soon, refineries were flooded and fuel distribution points are cut off from both power and access. Many beachfront areas will never be rebuilt: owners lacked insurance and the means to rebuild. Frankly,: the US is broke, there will be no ‘Katrina 2.0′ flood of Federal ‘guilt cash’ flowing anywhere near the Northeast. Roads and bridges will get the cash, the peeps will have to bootstrap themselves.

    How the utilities intend to rebuild the grid in the storm area is a question that needs asking. Look for a jury-rig to power houses over the winter, long term reconstruction is iffy. Most of the North-east US grid is an antiquated mess, breaking up the vertical monopolies that provided generating station-to-house meter electrical service left fragmented firms without the means or the desire to make the needed (large) investments to rebuild the grid. To pay for a new grid means base electric distribution charges to ratepayers much higher than current. These ratepayers are de-housed, have less- or no income, have less or no insurance, are dependent upon a (broke) state to restore basic infrastructure such as water and sewer. This in turn leaves a diminished ratepayer base for utilities …

    Meanwhile there is an intransigent national politicians who believe the effected citizens are ‘liberals’, ‘faggots’ and ‘niggers’ who have finally gotten what they deserve. Funds will flow to big business ‘friends’ and tycoons … and away from the Northeast.

    The totality of the mess has not completely emerged … wait until the end of the month … everyone will be shocked how massive and costly this disaster truly is … at least there are no meltdowns.

    1. Reverse Engineer

      Good additional info here, thanks Steve. I’ll add it to the comment threads going on at the Diner and on The Burning Platform. Jim Quinn cross-posted Subway Swan Song on his Blog as well.

      RE

    2. Reverse Engineer

      “From watching the MTA deal with other large repairs the trains are all likely to be up by end of next week. Salt water damage is overstated: NYC is a marine environment, thousands of tons of salt are poured into the MTA system every time it snows (from street snow removal). If the system was immersed for months as in New Orleans, there would be a salt-corrosion problem.”-SfV

      I disagree with this part of your analysis Steve.

      When Salt from the snow clearing operations washes down into the Subways, it is all channelled away from the electrics. The relay rooms are positioned well above the tracks and never see any salt at all.

      If it is true that the tunnels were flooded Track to Ceiling, those relay rooms were IMMERSED in Salt Water, under quite a bit of pressure. It would infiltrate at every connection point.

      Anytime a major electrical system is flooded, it has to be ripped out, even with fresh water flooding. With Salt Water, every connection is compormised with short circuiting.

      The only way these systems go operational is if it was not in fact true that they had track to ceiling flooding. This is information we are not getting, and can only go by the results and the amount of time it takes to get these stations and associated tunnels up and running.

      As I said over on TBP, I will believe MTA has the system running when I see the Suits exiting the South Ferry Subway Station.

      RE

      1. steve from virginia Post author

        The signal boxes and track controls are all down low … at trackside. 3d rail and power controls are also down low. Believe it or not, the tunnels have water in them all the time … ordinarily the ejectors handle it and nobody pays attention.

        If the ejectors can’t handle it .. enter the pump trains! There are 3 of them:

        http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/pump-train-restoring-order-sandy-article-1.1195701

        Problems will appear with farecard machines and turnstiles that were immersed. Intercoms won’t work. Some of the station manager’s booths will be closed. There will be plywood where metal grates and cheesy wall coverings were washed away. Effected stations will be dingy and dirty, they’ll smell bad. (Effected stations were dingy and dirty … and smelled bad … before Hurricane Sandy!)

        Only a few lines have electronic controls, one is ‘G’ line which will be out for a while longer than the others, nobody rides the G anyway!

        Most of the track controls in MTA system are run with compressed air which is unaffected.

        The big problem will be cleaning up rubbish from the tracks themselves. Hundreds of tons of junk were washed into the tunnels.

        Right now, 80% is running only L and G are out, R is out under the East River (the other lines are running), Coney Island, Rockaways, Canarsie and Battery areas are still shut down. Canarsie yard is right on Jamaica Bay, Rockaways were damaged by surf, R yard is at Coney Island … more here:

        http://alert.mta.info/sites/default/files/pdf/hurricane_recovery_map_bw_Nov5midday.pdf

  6. rcg1950

    The biggest effort was to get Manhattan operational, including transport to Brooklyn where huge numbers of the grunts who service the city economy work. That seems to have been done in much less than a week, which is truly impressive.

    As for the rest of the area, pretty hard to know. I haven’t heard anything on the numbers of residences permanently destroyed. Was it 5000? 25,000 … 50K or more? The fact that this info is either still uncollectable at this point or has not been reported is not a good sign. I work in a Manhattan based office jobbing out printing and graphics work to vendors around the area. [manufacturing is much too costly in Manhattan and was deliberately forced out by the banks, landlords and city government in the 90s]. A shop I do a lot of work with on LI about 2 miles from the shore appears to be a total loss. Millions of $ in presses destroyed and 50 people out of work. Other shops I work with in NJ and northern NY suburbs are still without power. This sort of story probably is repeating itself all up and down the coast from the Philly area to Montauk. (a relative of mine near Philly is still without power 6 days after the event)

    There are a couple of views of collapse, not necessarily mutually exclusive. There’s the sudden huge cascading down the drain event of the type described Korowicz. [http://www.feasta.org/2012/06/17/trade-off-financial-system-supply-chain-cross-contagion-a-study-in-global-systemic-collapse/] Very dramatic, very scary. But there’s also the “death by a thousand cuts” scenario that goes on much longer where little by little, through financial storms, stupid policy, extreme weather and resource depletion life inexorably gets harder as infrastructure becomes less and less capable of supporting the current number of people in the style to which they/we have become accustomed. An on going series of small, medium and large events over a few decades and you wake-up one day to discover that not only are we not living in Kansas anymore but that nobody even remembers or what that means. Or cares.

    1. cg

      The ‘death by a thousand cuts’ has been going on for some time, the stupid policies for generations; I hold that the point at which it becomes widely noticed is where it shifts to a faster pace. At some point infrastructure spoils faster than it can be built, some areas in this country have been there for a while.

  7. The Dork of Cork.

    Bruce Karsting seems to have given up the old investment thingy

    “Investing?

    I have no power. It will be days before I do. The fucking generator is running out of propane and the fucking propane company has no gas.

    I have next to no water left. I have to sleep on the couch near the wood stove. That won’t do the trick tonight. By 4am the fire will be banked, and I will be freezing.

    I have no cable. No TV. I’m going stir crazy. I might take it out on the fucking cat.

    I posted this using a wi-fi hot spot on my I-phone. Fucking ATT has like no service, so I’m running at dial-up speed. It reminds me of the days of AOL. Fuck AOL.

    Gas is a problem. People are going nuts without it. There is a long line in my town for gas right now. BUT there is no gas at the station. All of those people are waiting on line because there is a rumor that there is going to be a delivery soon. I asked the guy inside if there was any truth to the impending delivery. He said that he had no word.

    So you’ve got people lining up for a rumor of gas. That’s fucking crazy.

    Anyway, investing is the farthest thing from my mind right now. Fuck investing.
    bk”

    1. steve from virginia Post author

      Karsting? Who dat?

      do you have a source for that?

      Inquiring minds would like to know …

  8. The Dork of Cork.

    Interesting document from HMT…….

    http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/d/press_106_12.pdf

    In particular the 2 graphs showing UK goverment reserves and BoE gross holdings which I believe show the devaluation of the pound in 2008.
    Unlike what this city guy stated in 2010
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7bXjusku5M

    , it is not about exports – I don’t think post 1971 devaluations are really about exports
    Its about the intensity of oil use in the economy.
    http://www.drdni.gov.uk/quarterly_road_and_rail_transport_statistics_apr-jun_2012.pdf
    The stark difference between Northern Ireland and southern Ireland transport use patterns post 2008 can only be explained by the above given that IR & NIR are not dissimilar companies.

    “The rail network in Northern Ireland is not part of the National Rail network of Great Britain and NIR is the only commercial, non-heritage, passenger operator in the United Kingdom to operate a vertical integration model, with responsibility of all aspects of the network including running trains, maintaining rolling stock and infrastructure, pricing etc.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NI_Railways

    The rise in UK rail passengers is not about their privatisation experiment – the controlled experiment in northern Ireland proves this.

    You cannot even get post 2010 transport data in southern Ireland.
    The Irish bulletin of vehicle and driver stats is normally published between July & October each year , it has not been published yet.
    This gives you crucial info regarding the remaining vehicles on the road rather then gross sales numbers

    http://www.transport.ie/upload/general/13362-IRISH_BULLETIN_OF_VEHICLE_AND_DRIVER_STATISTICS_2010-0.PDF

    I believe Sterling is about to devalue again (the North Sea problem) – if so southern Ireland is out of the eurozone.

  9. The Dork of Cork.

    The famous or not so famous battle between a “respected” free trader

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Cobden

    and a now little known mad Irishman

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feargus_O’Connor

    “I am one of those who from experience has learned that consideration of foreign interests has been forced upon us by neglect of our domestic resources: and I believe that overgrown taxation for the support of idlers and the unrestricted gambling speculations upon labour, applied to an undefined and unstable system of production without regard to demand, is the great evil under which manual labourers are suffering”

    The Whiteboy & later Rockite Irish movements new how hopeless their position was –

    They were both anti Ascendancy and anti Catholic church in their outlook so had few friends.
    Given that they knew what a rotten place the world was as their homeland was a hinterland for the financial interests extraction operations they could not honestly believe in anything or anyone.
    Thus they lacked focus.
    Therefore they were much like the occupy movement today……….rudderless.

    People of faith on the other hand can achieve much – however they can be easily led up the garden path.

    The unique properties of energy goods be it corn or oil make them special topics of discussion as their consumption or lack of changes all things.
    Talk of free trade vs internal trade thus orbits around the question of “growth” or redundancy from very powerful goods that can change pretty much your entire physical environment.

    But distant vital goods such as this can easily fall withen hidden monopolistic control …….this is surely better then domestic monopolistic forces which must at least work withen domestic energy & political systems.

  10. steve from virginia Post author

    The NYC Subway gets closer to full operation:

    http://alert.mta.info/sites/default/files/pdf/hurricane_recovery_map_bw_Nov6am.pdf

    Excellent, in-depth article about so-called ‘alternative’ electric generating schemes by Nicole Foss at Automatic Earth:

    http://theautomaticearth.com/Energy/renewable-energy-the-vision-and-a-dose-of-reality.html

    Today, election day … does it matter any more? Rebecca Solnit discusses Climate Change @ TomDispatch from the vantage point of New York City:

    http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175613/tomgram%3A_rebecca_solnit%2C_the_name_of_the_hurricane_is_climate_change/

    1. jb

      Following up on Steve’s link to Foss’s piece, I’ll add this interview with Ozzie Zehner on the Extraenvironmentalist:

      http://www.extraenvironmentalist.com/2012/06/05/episode-42-green-illusions/

      As a practicing architect who specializes in energy efficiency and LEED certified residential construction, this interview resonated deeply with me. The challenge is not how to make technology meet our lifestyle demands, but rather how to adapt our lifestyle to a lower EROEI way of life.

      Heavy voter turn-out in Charlottesville; I waited 45 minutes to spin the roulette wheel.

  11. The Dork of Cork.

    Sov UK taking the surplus from Europe ?

    http://www.smmt.co.uk/2012/11/resilient-new-car-market-growth-continues-in-october/

    “UK new car registrations rose 12.1% to 151,252 units in October, bucking current demand trends in Europe

    SMMT has revised up its forecast for the full year to over two million units, from 1.94 million in 2011.

    Demand for small cars has risen rapidly, in part due to new models. The Mini segment has grown by 52.0% over the year-to-date and the Supermini segment by 5.8% or over 35,000 units. Collectively these two segments account for close to 40% of the market.
    The Ford Fiesta (a Supermini) was the best-selling new car in October and the year-to-data”

    Dork :
    This is in direct contrast to many European markets where larger more expensive cars are increasing market share.
    Also the petrol / diesel mix is more balanced in the UK

  12. The Dork of Cork.

    At the same time there is neo – liberal forces are rising in France even after the dramatic collapse of the Irish example.

    http://ardsl.wordpress.com/2012/10/08/le-car-en-passe-de-concurrencer-le-train/

    The liberalization of long distance bus in France will destroy the nodal nature of French towns.
    In the 1970s Jacque Chirac (PM) closed down many little used rail lines but preserved a system where the bus network would feed central rail stations just as in the past. – these stations would then have a critical mass of passengers (rail needs large numbers of passengers so as to be viable)
    On a holistic level this free market thingy will cause massive resourse misallocation.

    This never ending war against rational dirigisme principles is destroying collective wealth / the commons on a scale hard to imagine.

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