Weekend Open Thread   11 comments

I don’t have anything special for this weekend’s open thread, where you folks can discuss any topic you like. Have at it, and enjoy your weekend!

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Posted July 5, 2013 by edmcgon in Open Thread

11 responses to “Weekend Open Thread

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  1. Interesting article on “peak water” and how it is effecting food supply. Many nations are over using their water supply to feed themselves and are falling behind. Throughout history food shortages or cost of food has spurred unrest. As an investor their are some water ETF like PIO or a stellar company that I have been following like FLO that deals in pumps and desalination.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated. Would be nice to have some weekend discussions on this board again!:)

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/2013/jul/06/food-supply-threat-water-wells-dry-up

    • Thank you for the link!
      I follow the peak-water already some time. This article is spot-on if you ask me. Look at the pictures of Saudi-Arabia taken from space and you will know enough.
      In history there are a lot of booming cities which dissapeared in no-time because they ran out of water; to me, it looks like we will a similar situation globally. As long as there is no global plan for grwoth-control, for forest/sea-control and for distribution of food and as long as there is no external control to charity, I refuse to contribute to charity as I am convinced whatever charity does these days, it’s just a stretching of the suffuring – we will run out of water.
      Two examples:
      – Personel water-wells are runnning dry here in Belgium when professional well are being placed in the same area. Meanwhile we consume A LOT of water (I think USA is the same?) – water is too cheap: for some euros, you have 1000 liter water; something so cheap is not considered valuable.
      – Can someone explain me the rationale in our charity: ‘we’ hunt the natives in forests in Brazil so ‘we’ can plant soya there. Then American and European money buys that soya to transport to Ethiopia to feed the hungry people. To me it’s just crazy that we artificially keep the population in the Horn of Africa too high – it’s desert there but the food should be as plenty as in Europe or USA? Why is an Etheopian live worth more than a native? I’ve been thrown some insults because of questioning charity and I am “a cruel man” as ‘every life should be saved’.

      All this charity, and all this “every life should be saved’ is just a kicking the can – nobody seems to dare the real questions (where have we heard that before?). If you ask me, our population is becoming a threath to itself. It will burst sometime – as do all bubbles (have you seen the graphs of the poppulation on earth for the past two-thousand years?), only question is “when?”. Water and deforestation are the real problems to me.

  2. Plas,

    I agree with you that it makes no sense that we cut down rain forests and displace native tribes in Brazil to then send food to Africa to feed overpopulation there. Same as we deplete our water supplies here in the USA to send corn, soybeans and wheat for feed people all over the world…alot of it for free.

    What happens when we can’t be the breadbasket for the world? Many countries survive on US, Brazil and a few other countries exporting food to them, when this stops those countries will face mass upheavals.

    The second part of my original questions is are you investing in any companies in this area?

    • No, I haven’t invested in those companies because of various reasons:
      – I haven’t got a clue when the disaster will happen. People tend to kick the can as long as possible. Take a look at the border-line of Haiti/Dominican Republc. Without knowing which is where, you will know where the poor country is. Same is happening in Greece already, as well as in a lot of other countries – people want to survive. A big catastrophe of the deforestation is coming to us – but I don’t have a clue when.
      – There are uprises coming – there are starting today already. Look at the middle east, Brazil, … what will happen if China and Japan will follow? What if Europe follows? What will happen to Egypt-region if Ethiopia and Soedan start using the Nile-water? Ethiopia already refused to follow the Nile-treaty from 1929. Egypt will run out of water – do you know how much water Egypt wastes?
      – I think a big turnaround will come at us – chaos. The era of cheap commodities is over. To me it is not yet clear which way is will go to. If I have to invest now in a company, I think it would be Russian of American – both USA and Russia still have agriculture land and water available, as well as a more-or-less stable government. I think South-America as well as some parts of Africa are dangerous for nationalizations – a lot of places are.

      I am really good at seeing the problems coming to us in the long run, I am not that good in seeing the possibilities (I am good at analyzing, but not in being creative …)
      What I am doing, is preparing my own life for the times to come. It is one of the reasons I will start to study Traditional Chinese Medicine next year and after that I want to study the herbs in Europe – I want to be able to take care of myself and family as I don’t think health-care will be the same in 30 years (what will happen when antibiotics stop working in about 10 years?) Besides that I am taking a little insurrance of the world – a bit of gold.

      I see the problems, I know what can be done, but the society just wants to kick the can – so I prepare myself in the first place. Unfortunatly I don’t have the time/knowledge to select a few companies and unfortunatly investing these days seems to be short-run (which I’m not good at …)

      • One good thing is I live in MN which our slogan is “The land of 10,000 lakes” Although we just came out of a very dry period we hopefully will be the last of the places to have to worry about water…..unless the dry areas in the USA try to divert water from us which they have talked about before. Luckily with Lake Superior, one of the Great Lakes, we share with Canada and through an agreement cannot divert much water without their ok.

        Your studying of Chinese medicine is interesting, my wife is a yoga teacher and very much into eating healhy and trying to use natural ways to heal yourself. We also go to a vet. who will occasionaly use chinese medicine on to help our dog.

        I am also not a short term trader and will hold a stock I like for a long time. If we get a larger correction I will probably buy FLS since they are a very well run company.

      • You can do so much with Chinese Medicine. Western Medicin is good in supress symptoms and solvind structural problems – Chinese is very good for functional problems.
        Food is very important. West almost doesn’t care about it, East thinks it’s the most important “You become what you eat”.
        Chinese medicine is helping me with a lot of physical problems atm: I have really burning eyes and out of energy because the mucous membrane of my intestines is “kaput”. West cannot explain it at all; have been to the best hospital in Belgium – while I know four other people with the same problem, West cannot explain (and with the research I have done myself, I can explain it in Western terms). Chinese Medicine is helping me, but it goes slowly. The right kind of food is doing so much for me now.
        I hope someday East and West can meet each other, they both know so much and can learn a lot from each other.

  3. Now, this is funny:
    http://www.repubblica.it/economia/2013/07/04/news/zanonato_non_riusciamo_a_pagare_tutti_i_debiti_della_pa_nel_2013-62364732/
    Italy would love to pay its bills this year, but due to technical problems Italy won’t pay 40 billion euro to companies.

  4. I was going to post something, but in lots of ways I just feel like “what will it matter?”. Most people will not care or will profit from it not changing. The people that do care well there just seems to be to little of us.

    I read the article and I can tell you that it missed a very big area in the US that will have problems in the coming years, the MidWest.
    They pointed out the west, and yes the west has problems, it has always had problems, and it only gets worse as the populations grow.
    But the MidWest feeds the world. Well the water they depend on was put there by the last ice age. Since they found out how to tap into that water the demand for it has being accelerating every year. Some estimates is that it will basically run out in 20 to 30 years. But also remember that this is over a 5 state area, so some will lose it first. And how is this water managed? Well it is what makes people money so you can figure it out from there.

    On the subject of water being to cheap and resources and humans in general.
    You are spot on, “abundant” resources are always used as if they have no value. And by abundant I mean abundant at moment, and to the person/group in question. For instance it clear the is a problem with water in the west, well then tell me why rice is grown here?
    As long as they can get water at a cheap price, they will do things like this. And just in case you don’t know, they have to flood fields to grow rice.

    Just look at the possible choices Sam put up to invest in. If think about it, in general they trade energy for fresh water.
    Currently even though desalination is being done very costly (uses lots of energy). Technology will help to make it more efficient, but in truth it will just be like other things like solar, the idea become more realistic when the prices of the thing you are trying to replace become more rare/expense.

    BTW I wouldn’t get to smug about your 10,000 lakes. Pipes can not only hold oil, they can hold water.
    And as for the agreement with Canada. Well you should look at some of the agreements we have with Mexico, and ask them if we have kept them (we are suppose to let a certain about of river water flow to them, but there have been times that water never reached them).

    I have always felt that humans are not much different then deer. Up to now they have been better at putting things off and moving things around, but sooner or later just like the deer, people will strip all the resources and then have to die back.

    Humans really don’t know how to live in balance with anything. If a city is not growing, they talk about it dieing. The same with companies, or pretty much anything else you can name. The whole “dream” is about more, more. As a matter of fact most people take great pride in the fact that they are never satisfied with what they have.

    Humans forget in the scheme of things so far they are a blip on the scope of time, and nature will most likely have the last laugh.

    • ” I was going to post something, but in lots of ways I just feel like “what will it matter?” ”
      I think it matters. Posts like these are valuable to me. In the end, there is nobody gonna look after us, so we have to do it ourselves. I do agree that humans are not so different – although many would like to think so.
      Thank you for your post.

      • Thank you. I appreciate it.

        BTW for what is worth, I’m not really sure how to invest in this either because the varying time frames involved, and in the fact that there is lot of possibilities for kicking the can politically wise, and technology might change what has been predicted.

    • I think the US has 1/3rd of the fresh water in the world. I have to agree with Plas- growing food here to overpopulate some place else has nothing but a bad ending. Worry about the when and how- no way!!! Life is to short. The planet will survive despite humans…

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