Posted by Big Gav in , ,

JD at Peak Oil Debunked notes that ex-From The Wilderness proprietor Mike Ruppert is starring in a new movie called "Collapse". JD notes that Mike has made a few hasty and slightly incorrect predictions over the years, something I too have noticed (though I still think he did a good job on the Iran-Contra thing all those years ago - though maybe he was just riding on Gary Webb's coat-tails) - MIKE RUPPERT, THE "PROPHET" .

Just when you thought you'd he'd checked himself into a good psychiatric facility....

Mike Ruppert roars back as the star of a new feature film "Collapse".

Owen Glieberman posts a rave review from the Toronto Film Festival:
I said in my first post from Toronto that you could feel the anxiety of the economic crisis in any number of the films here. Yet even as I wrote that, I could never have guessed I’d end up seeing a movie that would tap into those anxieties with the power and terror of Collapse. It’s one of the few true buzz films of the festival (by the time I got to it, I’d heard a dozen people talking it up), yet the movie, which is 82 minutes long, consists of nothing more than an on-camera interview with Michael Ruppert, a former Los Angeles police officer who became a rogue investigative reporter and author.

A bluntly unassuming and rather plain-looking man in his late fifties, Ruppert sits in what looks like a brick bunker and talks about where he thinks the United States is now headed. It is not a pretty picture, but it’s not a naive one, either. Ruppert has more than a perception — he has a welter of facts, a restless and skeptical intelligence, a grasp of history that is professorial in the best sense, and an ability to slice and dice the platitudes of mainstream media. He’s like Noam Chomsky as a gripping pundit of doom. The drama of the movie, and it’s intense, is that even if you want to argue with him (and you will, since he’s predicting very bad things), you can’t dismiss what he’s saying.

He starts out with a trump card of credibility. In 2006, Ruppert predicted the economic crisis — I mean, he really saw it coming. We’re shown clips of him from that year, and there’s nothing vague or abstract about his statements. He glimpsed the whole house of cards in prophetic detail: the sub-prime mortgage crisis, the inevitable breakdown of a system built, like a gold-leaf castle in the air, on leverage. His astonishingly acute foresight seizes your attention, and so you’d better believe that you’re sitting up and listening as he starts to talk about “peak oil,” the term that’s used to describe the fact that the majority of oil reserves on the planet have, in all likelihood, already been depleted, and that the remaining supply will now perpetually be in decline. (He cites reports that the Saudis have resorted to off-shore drilling — infinitely more costly than on-shore — as evidence that they’ve begun to see the bottom of their wells.)

Now for the reality check...
While I had serious doubts about America's ability to recover from Katrina, I am certain that - barring divine intervention - the United States is finished; not only as a superpower, but possibly even as a single, unified nation with the arrival of Hurricane Rita.
-- Mike Ruppert, September 21, 2005



What lives in the psyche of doomers that let's them take in and process complex ideas about a problem that faces us, but keeps them from continuing on to solutions?

Why do they get stuck at the point at which the problem gets defined?

Why can they not look back to other cases of impending doom and see that while people often suffered, they also worked their way past the problem?

Are they abnormally pessimistic people who are unable to think about more optimistic outcomes? Unable to use their intelligence for problem solving?

I've quit reading the Oil Drum as it seems to be dominated by this type of individual. Some are quite well informed but seemingly unable to process good news. Anything that suggests that there is an alternative to 'crash and burn' gets dismissed by them as they go forward with their very bleak vision of the future.

If someone presents a solution their job assignment seems to be to find a flaw in the idea and rather than suggesting a fix that might make the solution more possible, they then dismiss the idea and crawl back into their very dark space.

Oops, I apparently hit publish rather than preview.

Apologies for any undiscovered pre-morning coffee word salad.

Yes - I know what you mean.

In defence of TOD, there are plenty of good articles published there - and while I get fed up with the doomer fraternity in the comments, it will never get better if more optimistic types don't participate (even if you just ignore the negativity and talk about the solutions further).

Mike's new book is all about, well not solutions, but approaches that can and should be taken to mitigate the effects of our peaking energy resources. When people talk of 'solutions' in the case of peak energy, it seems to apply that we can figure out a way to continue this growth based economy.

I don't have anything against Mike per se - I just wish he quit the bombastic predictions of doom, especially when he's been so wrong, so often - he does seem to have good intentions.

I'm not sure he really offers any worthwhile solutions - not when he insists collapse is inevitable.

Personally I don't have a problem with "growth", so long as it leads us to a stable, healthy human population that has created a sustainable industrial system that leaves the environment intact.

Admittedly there are many "growth" scenarios that don't lead to that outcome...

I also think "growth" has achieved the same status as "peak". Both are words quickly thrown out without any real insight and thought.

Can we continue growth which relies on heavy use of limited resources? Can we continue growth which pumps CO2 into our environment?

(Clue: No to both.)

Can we create decent housing, adequate food, and reasonable health care for all the world by growing smarter, using renewable energy and materials?

Can we further improve the living conditions of those in the developed world through more efficient use of energy? Through better agricultural practices?

Yes, I think we can.

And all of these activities are "growth".

Again the doomers identify a problem. Then they throw up their hands and declare "We're finished!". They can't seem to think solutions, just failure.

Gregg   says 3:00 PM

Who is the "we" in the "we should build a sustainable economy"? Or the "we" in "we should stop using fossil fuels"? The use of "we" is an example of a false community of interest. It assumes that all of us should want a particular outcome or paradigm when in reality, no such community of interest exists. There is an unspoken dichotomy here. There's the "we" who can see the problem and propose solutions and the "they" who have no interest in doing so. Unfortunately, it's the "they" who are in the entrenched centers of power who are content to keep on with business as usual. "We" are on the outside, without power and without access.

The solutions will come only when the "they" in power decide to either implement ideas they are diametrically opposed to or they are removed from power. Of course, after the revolution there's no guarrantee that the new boss won't be the old boss. But, without a replacement of the political class, change at best will be too little too late. These so-called pessimists know that the first step in solving the big problems is to remove those who perpetuate them. The best one can hope for under the current situation is for the elites to give up a few crumbs in order to keep most of the loaf of bread. The problems of resource depletion and climate disruption are too urgent for such an approach to succeed. There are good ideas floating around, but they'll remain ideas until the roadblocks are removed. Any suggestions on how to throw out most of the government and the political class that owns it? And what would the response of the political class be if they perceived the "we" as a threat to their interests? The USA PATRIOT Act? Another 9/11 synthetic act of terror? More FOX news channels? The Mohawk Valley formula?

If their actions are any indication, the political class has figured out that there is no profit to be made in dealing with Peak Oil or climate change. Why throw capital at an insoluble problem? Regardless of how the economy runs, they plan to be at the top of the heap. Will the "we" take it on the chin? Do the "they" care? As long as there is capital to accumulate, I'm sure "they" are perfectly happy with business as usual.

Well - I think viewing the political class as a monolithic entity who refuse absolutely to spend any money on trying to solve these problems is a false one.

Yes - some of them are evil and will fight hard to remain entrenched at the top of the pile no matter what, but I don't think that's true of the majority

Greg - let's review history for a moment.

First let's start with the fact that things continuously change and have continued to change as far back into history as we can peer.

Second let's ask how often those changes are brought about by abrupt overthrow of established power. 1776 (US Independence), 1789 (French revolution), 1917 (Russian revolution), ....

You get my drift? Abrupt power shifts are rare. It isn't how we typically make change.

We generally make change by changing the mindset of the public. As people learn a better way they force a gradual change in their government. Even totalitarian governments generally know that they have to bend to the public will to some extent in order to avoid violent uprisings.

Now, take a look at what is happening in our (American) culture. Climate change and renewable energy are part of our realities. We've got elected officials working on the problem. We've got very rich old dogs like T. Boone Pickens and George Soros putting fortunes into renewables.

Power centers are shifting. People like the head of the climate change denying Chamber of Commerce are being pushed aside.

We're in the middle of revolution as we normally do it. A little bit at a time....

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