Being Here Now,
Richard Heinberg, who has been writing about the limitations of a finite world, with finite oil, vanishing ecosystems, and exponentially expanding human economy for decades, has an update. I have excerpted his book this year, Our Renewable Future. Heinberg is a serious analyst of the large bodies of data, and the conclusions of rational analysis remain the same. The minds of most humans remain religious, not analytical. There's one of the gaps. Heinberg says to "mind the gap". It's important. If we are analytical, find modest adaptations which we can actually do, and work together with others of like mind, we can do much better than if we just rely on the massive life-support-system ercted in our service.
In Slowly, Then All At Once, James Howard Kunstler looks at the mayhem of the current American elections as an introduction to the fact that we are already in a world without economic growth, contracting, in fact, but we still have to deny it, because, ... well what else can we possibly do?
Actually, he recommends organizing and working a 10 acre farm, instead of devising a new smart-phone ap. (Few who can do one can do the other.) We probably have to find anything practical we can do to expand our personal envelope, and cut out some addiction at the same time, to make room.
The Death of the Bakken Oil Field Has Begun, and the Eagle Ford shale, too, down 25% and 40% respectively from their late 2014 production peaks. Rapid decline is the rule for this kind of drilling. They never even made money, so how can they clean up the godawful mess that's just starting to surface?
Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Virginia and North Carolina are all states of gasoline emergency today. This happened due to one 1962 oil pipeline having a serious leak. This is a fragile system, far more fragile than in the 1970s oil-crisis. (Got bicycle?)
Russia is restructuring her economy, from the collapsed state-driven model of the Soviet Union, to the bleeding and crawling Yeltsin-era invalid, to the proud-but-modest recovery under Putin, to a German model of manufacturing and export. Russia will use Russian resources to export finished products, not lumber, gas and oil. Central Bank head Elvira Nabiullina spearheads this effort from the monetary and financial side. Russians work like Germans, it appears. Russia has already weathered collapse, and is rebuilding conservatively.
(China has been rebuilding since Deng Xiaopeng took the reins in 1978. China has some resetting to do, but not another cultural Revolution. China has taken a long view for the last 4 decades. The US has not reset since 1929, right?)