2013 Forecasts

DDP Newsletter, January 2013, Volume XXXI, No. 1

It is difficult for the Met to predict precipitation in the UK because it can’t tell what the jet stream is going to do. It is impossible to make reliable predictions on the economic or political front because of the vagaries of human behavior. Yet fundamental laws will not be defied with impunity. First, let’s attempt to identify key questions.

1. Will Iran get the Bomb, and what will happen if it does? Richard Maybury makes the shocking suggestion that if Iran wants a nuclear weapon, it already has one (Early Warning Report, December 2012, www.chaostan.com). As a general military training instructor in the U.S. Air Force in the 1960s, Maybury covered nuclear weapons, and spent many hours talking to Sam Cohen, the “father of the neutron bomb.” A few facts: (a) Atomic bombs are a 1940s technology. (b) During the 1950s, the U.S. distributed bomb-grade uranium to allies—including the Shah of Iran—under the Atoms for Peace program. (c) Iran has natural deposits of uranium. (d) We do not know how many Russian plutonium and uranium bomb cores have gone missing—possibly hundreds. At the Ulba highly enriched uranium facility in Kazakhstan, a U.S. nuclear inspector found shipping crates stamped with the destination “Tehran, Iran” (EWR, January 2013). Maybury speculates about ways in which a nuclear weapons threat may have already been used, say for blackmail, by one of the 14 nations known to have nukes (or maybe #15). Americans don’t know what really happened at Benghazi. What else don’t they know?

According to an anonymous source, the Iran bomb program is complete, operating out of seven sites, some unknown to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Key areas are buried deep within a mountain to protect against air strikes, and defended by two buried missile sites (WorldNetDaily 1/7/13, http://tinyurl.com/bbh6qsg).

            2. Will the U.S. dollar collapse? The U.S. military depends on the backing of a strong economy—and a reliable currency. The U.S. dollar is the world’s reserve currency. As Peter Schiff states in The Real Crash: America’s Coming Bankruptcy—How to Save Yourself and Your Country, the dollar’s status is “what allow us to buy something without really paying for it. Once we lose that status, the free ride ends.” What if those who have oil stop accepting dollars? Remember that Rommel lost when his tanks ran out of gas.

One “fiscal cliff” may have been averted—for a couple months. But how much confidence can creditors have in our ability to pay our debt? As Terry Anderson and D. Bruce Johnsen point out in “Sell Yosemite, Hold a Smithsonian Yard Sale,” selling national treasures could only bring in a few trillion, not enough to hold creditors at bay for long (WSJ 12/27/12). Tax revenue depends on the productivity of the economy. Simon Black (“Sovereign Man”) plotted U.S. per capita GDP in ounces of gold from 1791, when it was 2.6 oz, until now, when it is 28.4 oz. Since the end of the Great Depression, per capita GDP has been less than 30 oz only in 1980 and now. The postwar average is 72.83 oz. In other words, the largest economy in the world is producing as much as it did in 1931, and the trend is downward (http://tinyurl.com/be7vgem).

Maybury and Schiff hold the optimistic view that once the U.S. hits bottom, it may recover from its addiction to big government and spending other people’s money. But at best we are facing very painful readjustments.

3. Will the Western world commit “green” suicide? Any prospect of recovery for the U.S. economy (and Western Europe’s) depends on abundant, affordable energy. Some signs of awakening are occurring in Europe.

Faced with the prospect of deindustrialization and with 800,000 Germans in fuel poverty, unable to pay their electric bills, the Energiewende is having a second look, and 23 new coal-fired plants are under construction. Six times as many solar panels were installed as predicted, and the cost to consumers of the green electricity law (EEG) is twenty-fold higher than promised. After billions of euros in subsidies, solar has contributed an imperceptible 0.084% of Germany’s electricity over the past 22 years. Germany hoped to get 30% of the installed capacity out of its wind farms (vs. 85%-90% out of nuclear, gas, coal, or hydroelectric), but actual yield was only 16% (http://tinyurl.com/aphubtp). Germany’s neighbors are beginning to defend themselves against having to bear the cost of its status as the eco-conscience of the world. Poland and the Czech Republic are building a huge switch-off at their borders to block the unwanted importation of green energy from Germany, which is destabilizing their grids and threatening blackouts (Die Welt 12/28/13, http://tinyurl.com/csolmvp).

The European Union is rediscovering industry as the source of wealth creation, and promotes a goal of increasing industry’s share of GDP to 20% by 2020. It is now at 15%, having fallen from 22% in 2000. This would, however, require a “small revolution,” as re-industrialization would prevent achievement of “climate goals,” which have had unconditional priority (http://tinyurl.com/bsr3fq5). UK officials are weighing the resumption of fracking and a shale tax break (CCNet 10/8/13).

In the U.S., the shale gas bonanza is reversing the fortunes of the chemical, plastics, aluminum, iron and steel, rubber, coated metals, and glass industries. Some companies are “re-shoring” from China, in what PricewaterhouseCoopers calls the “Homecoming” (Telegraph 10/29/12, http://tinyurl.com/8ogebdn). The renaissance of America could, however, be thwarted by the “new robber barons,” writes Paul Driessen. Officials in Congress and the Executive Branch are locking up centuries of resources and plundering productive industries for the benefit of “green” “crony capitalist campaign contributors” (Canada Free Press 12/22/12, http://tinyurl.com/bd5ubkp).

HARBINGERS

There is growing evidence that the U.S. government is not anticipating times of peace and prosperity. Advice from ready.gov to have a “72-hour” kit, so you could survive being without government services for a few days, arrived with the water bill. As more people started asking questions about solicitations on FedBizOps, some information about ammunition purchases was classified. Numerous agencies, including NOAA, TSA, DHS, and the Social Security Administration are stockpiling some 2 billion rounds of deadly hollow-point ammunition, which is too expensive to use for target practice, as well as rounds generally used by snipers. More and more federal agents are armed, even the women who sell tickets at the Oregon Caves. Americans are under increasing surveillance; the potential uses of tens of thousands of drones in the U.S., which could be for life-saving purposes in disaster, is causing concern among civil libertarians.

2013 ANNUAL MEETING: HOUSTON, JULY 12-15

This year, we will offer a special 5-hour course on mass casualty care taught by Dr. Steven Hatfill, including hands-on practice. You need not be a physician to attend. Space is limited, and we need your reservation now. Call 520-325-2680. There will be a fee of $100 to cover costs. Topics include hemorrhage control, rapid initial airway management, emergency management of penetrating chest injury, shock, and hypothermia. A tour is being planned for after the meeting, on Monday, July 15, of oil refineries and/or a NASA facility. Watch for details on www.ddponline.org.

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