Archive for November 28, 2007

America’s Going Out Of Business Sale

America Going Out Of Business

The recession of 2007 is in full swing, and people are calling their friends and former co-workers to line up prospective opportunities if/when they get laid off.

It’s amazing to see the networking going on right now as top level and middle managers get sweaty foreheads. I’m sure LinkedIn is active as ever and demand for Starbucks will remain steady through the beginning part of the recession. After all, people are meeting up to talk about lining up that next job.

After a while though, they will start meeting at their houses and save money by serving home-brewed coffee. Maybe dinner with the missus, and lots of ideas being traded.

That’s because no one’s job is safe anymore. The ship is crashing, and people are starting to feel it. Kinda scary, isn’t it? As John Michael Greer puts it:

“Debates about whether world petroleum production will peak before 2030 or not miss a point obvious to anybody who’s looked at the figures: world petroleum production peaked in November 2005 at some 86 million barrels of oil a day, and has been declining slowly ever since. So far the gap has been filled with tar sands, natural gas liquids, and other unconventional liquids, all of which cost more than ordinary petroleum in terms of money and energy input alike, and none of which can be produced at anything like the rate needed to supply the world’s rising energy demand. As depletion of existing oil fields accelerates, the struggle to prop up the current production plateau promises to become a losing battle against geological reality.”

Right now, people are starting to feel the big effects of peak oil and global warming. Disguised as economic hardship, it really means we are using more energy than we can drill and the cost of living will only continue to rise. Man, that just sucks.

“This is one hell of a shock to the financial system,” says Professor Tim Congdon, a leading monetarist at the London School of Economics. “A market that has taken 30 years to build has completely imploded in a matter of months. Lenders have been squeezed savagely. We’ve moved into a different era,” he said.

It will be hard work, but we can fix this place. To secure America’s safety and make sure you don’t get overwhelmed with stress, you had better listen up.

We need to work together and get smarter, pronto. We need the thinkers to come out of the woodwork and help fix this boat, because the ship is sinking fast and Americans are waking up in shock as they start to feel the cold water. Brrrrr!

If you get laid off, you should quickly learn skills in one of these areas:

– Small engine repair
– Small appliance repair
Small scale farming
Small scale alcohol fuel production
– Invention

That’s right, you need to become more inventive, right now. Think of what you offer society, or what skill you can perform. Do you have enough money to learn what you have always wanted to learn how to do? Could that new skill help you earn money in a downward economy?

There are still many opportunities to live a happy, secure life. You just need to wise up and start listening to folks who can help.

PS – If you are wealthy, consider using your wealth to improve the situation so that future generations remember your name with respect. There are some great inventions out there that can help with this mess and make you big money in the meantime.


November 28, 2007 at 5:00 pm 7 comments

Is Public Transportation Bursting At The Seams?

Overcrowded Public transportation

I wonder what we’ll do as our public transportation system begins to get overwhelmed by riders. Will we begin to look like those countries where people hang off the sides of trains and pack 50 people on TOP of the bus?

Yesterday I took the bus from one side of Portland to the other. The first leg of the journey was typical:

Most of the people on sit in silence, engaged in their own world, nose deep in a book or game unit, or staring into space. I think many people figure there is no reason to engage with people for such a short amount of time, so as social creatures we choose to wall ourselves in.

There was enough room on the first line, but as I waited at the next stop – it hit me that we are starting to see the strains of our existing infrastructure. As the bus pulled up to the stop, it looked like a college prank where a class tries to fit way more people into a physical space than physics allows.

The driver merely pulled up to the stop, looked me in the eye, and drove right off. He didn’t even open the doors to say “We are too full.”

The sailor mouthed guy next to me certainly had no problem spouting his thoughts out loud, mentioning that this is happening to him more and more. My martial arts instructor then informed me it is also happening to his girlfriend more and more.

Now, logistically, operations managers must have a handle of traffic loads and peak hours for ridership, so what gives? Are we seeing massively increased ridership, or is this just bad route planning?

For anyone interested in Carpooling, Carpool Crew is a great site.

November 28, 2007 at 9:31 am 2 comments

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