Monthly Archives: September 2010

Half millon mortgages foreclosed since January 1 in U.S.

This Fox news video report projects one million foreclosures by year end.

No, Virginia, the economy will not recover.

When will the economy recover? When will things get back to normal? When will there be enough jobs to provide full employment? These are the questions that everyone is asking?

What if the answer is “never?” What if the present way of living cannot be sustained? What if we have reached the end of the industrial era? What comes next?

My friend and sustainability associate, Dave Ewoldt, has what I think are some pretty good answers. Dave is entering the political arena by running as an Independent candidate for State Senate in Arizona. He is trying to bring the state political agenda into alignment with realistic strategies for making the transition to a sustainable society through relocalization. Here are some excerpts from his recent message.

A global growth economy based on cheap and abundant fossil fuels to both grow and transport our food thousands of miles, and to supply the raw materials for the cheap plastic throwaway goods we’ve come to rely on, is quickly drawing to a close. We are not going to see an economic recovery, because we are not in a recession. We are at the end of an historic period in human civilization. This period is drawing to a close as the logical consequence of abusing and misusing our planet as both an endless supply of resources and a bottomless pit for waste.

…..

Relocalizing means building community networks of mutual support. It means more family farms (many, many more) and making sure they’re not forced to sell out to developers. It means living wage jobs in clean, zero-waste industries that use renewable energy; that focus on rebuilding our local economic base, recapturing the skills and craftsmanship we’re lost to overseas off-shoring, outsourcing and the model of industrial efficiency that puts quantity above quality. As an added bonus, living wage jobs also directly address the issues of affordable housing and poverty.

Relocalization means making our cities human friendly and less reliant on cars. Less asphalt and more trees means less urban heat island effect and more natural carbon uptake. Plus, rebuilding, renovating, and remodeling for low-impact, energy efficient homes, businesses and infrastructure will keep local construction industries plenty busy for decades to come.

Rather than trying to be competitive in a global economy that’s heading south–in more ways than one–we have the opportunity to become global leaders in sustainable, steady-state local living economies.

If we work together to build a sustainable model here in Southern Arizona and the Sonora Desert, and demonstrate the many ways this improves quality of life, further economic prosperity will come from teaching other communities how to be sustainable.

If we don’t have a vision for where we want to go, we will end up somewhere else. Plus we’re going to discover the truth in the phrase, “you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.”


The Transition to Relocalization

In addition to supporting the strategy of relocalization, Dave Ewoldt will help the Transition Movement support and inspire community led responses around the relocalization strategy. A Transition Initiative is a community-led response to the pressures of climate change, fossil fuel depletion and increasingly, economic contraction. There are thousands of initiatives around the world including Transition towns, cities, villages, universities, churches and more.

Read the complete article here.

Money, Power and Sovereignty: How we’ve all been caught in the “debt trap.”

This is a brilliant and inspiring presentation by Australian, Jeremy Lee, in which he clearly relates how Australia has gone from being the richest nation in the world to being massively in debt to global banking and corporate interests. It is a story that applies equally to America and virtually every country of the world.If you want to understand how your sovereignty and freedom have been taken away, watch this six part video.

How to prepare for the new economic paradigm

For years I’ve been saying that we are making a shift toward a new economic paradigm, and recommending that people prepare for it. About a year ago I posted a revised version of my Survival Strategies for Troubled Times on my other blog, Tom’s News and Views. Here is a pared down list from another related article that comes from a website called, The Economic Collapse.

10 Practical Steps That You Can Take To Insulate Yourself (At Least Somewhat) From The Coming Economic Collapse

1 - Get Out Of Debt

2 - Find New Sources Of Income

3 – Reduce Your Expenses

4 – Learn To Grow Your Own Food

5 – Make Sure You Have A Reliable Water Supply

6 – Buy Land

7 – Get Off The Grid

8 – Store Non-Perishable Supplies

9 – Develop Stronger Relationships

10 – Get Educated And Stay Flexible

You should read the full article here.

Dollar debasement and its eventual loss of purchasing power

The Federal Reserve and the banking system have been monetizing (buying) U.S. government debt at an accelerating pace. So why haven’t we seen greater increases in prices?

The fact is, some prices, like food and energy, have increased over the past 2 or 3 years. Having lived much of that time abroad, I notice it when I return. The reasons why price increases have not so far been more general are (1) the unemployment and business failures have left a large portion of the population with reduced incomes. Their diminished ability to buy and consume has offset, to some extent, the increased volume of dollars being lavished on the military, industrial, and financial sectors, (2) it takes time for those dollars to trickle down from the favored recipients who get to spend them first, and (3) the savings rate has gone up because in a depression, such as we are experiencing, people who do have money are more cautious about spending it. These savings are largely absorbed by government borrowing but they will never be sufficient to forestall debt tsunami that is building up. Add to this the fact that the rest of the world seems no longer willing to finance U.S. government deficits as they have in the past, and the outlook for the dollar is bleak. There will be no alternative to massive monetization.

A useful article titled, The U.S. Path to Collapse, was posted recently on the website of the National Inflation Association.  Unfortunately, they blame social spending like unemployment insurance, social security and medicare for the budget deficits, but ignore the massive spending to maintain the American empire and the pursuit of “full spectrum dominance” around the world. –t.h.g.

Banks still not lending; number of problem banks rising

This CNN report says that banks are still not lending, and that the number of banks considered by the FDIC to be “problem banks” has risen to its highest level since 1993. Scroll down and watch the 2 minute video summary by Colin Barr.