Tag Archives: Collapse

Fish in the Sea

The above graphic shows the decline in fish stocks in the North Atlantic Ocean over the course of the 20th Century:

It’s hard to imagine the damage over-fishing is wrecking on the oceans. The effects are literally invisible, hidden deep in the ocean. But there is data out there. And when you visualise it, the results are shocking.

This image shows the biomass of popularly-eaten fish in the North Atlantic Ocean in 1900 and in 2000. Popularly eaten fish include: bluefin tuna, cod, haddock, hake, halibut, herring, mackerel, pollock, salmon, sea trout, striped bass, sturgeon, turbot. Many of which are now vulnerable or endangered.

Dr Villy Christensen and his colleagues at the University Of British Columbia used ecosystem models, underwater terrain maps, fish catch records and statistical analysis to render the biomass of Atlantic fish at various points this century (see the study)

Plenty More Fish in the Sea?   [InformationisBeautiful]


Economic Growth Cannot Buy the Planet More Time

Writing for the BBC, Andrew Simms argues very well that the notion of unlimited economic growth on a finite planet simply doesn’t work and a new model is drastically needed – before it’s too late.

Are alternative measures of success available? Yes, many. But politicians and the business press remain uncritically spellbound by the equation “all GDP growth is good”.

Here is an irony: the hard science of climate change is subjected continually to the most extraordinary degree of critical scrutiny in the media.

Given their actual number, informed sceptics are given disproportionate airtime and column inches.

But where the “dismal science” of economics is concerned, the daily reporting of its central tenet – growth is good – passes unchallenged.

The much vaunted journalistic balance is abandoned. Why? Perhaps it is because this type of economics is not science at all, but doctrine. To question doctrine makes you a heretic, and heretics get excommunicated.

Economic Growth Cannot Buy the Planet More Time [BBCNews]

The Ghost Fleet of the Recession


With the global recession in effect, about 12% of merchant vessels aren’t operating. They simply have nothing to carry and nowhere to carry it. Due to the fact that at any given time the majority of vessels spend their time at sea, these empty vessels need somewhere to go. Enter the Ghost Fleet. Hundreds of these empty bulk carriers, tankers, etc. are anchored off the coast of Singapore with just enough crew to prevent collisions. From the article:

It is so far off the beaten track that nobody ever really comes close, which is why these ships are here. The world’s ship owners and government economists would prefer you not to see this symbol of the depths of the plague still crippling the world’s economies.

So they have been quietly retired to this equatorial backwater, to be maintained only by a handful of bored sailors. The skeleton crews are left alone to fend off the ever-present threats of piracy and collisions in the congested waters as the hulls gather rust and seaweed at what should be their busiest time of year.

Local fisherman Ah Wat, 42, who for more than 20 years has made a living fishing for prawns from his home in Sungai Rengit, says: ‘Before, there was nothing out there – just sea. Then the big ships just suddenly came one day, and every day there are more of them.

‘Some of them stay for a few weeks and then go away. But most of them just stay. You used to look Christmas from here straight over to Indonesia and see nothing but a few passing boats. Now you can no longer see the horizon.’

Revealed: The Ghost Fleet of the Recession [Mail Online]

How to Survive in a Post-Apocalyptic Wasteland


Today on Del Squacho: a comprehensive guide for survival following the end of the world as we know it. Here’s an excerpt:

Boy, I sure hope you like canned goods, because fresh fruits, vegetables, and proteins are probably going to be pretty hard to come by. Sure, you might think you’ll be able to grow/raise all of your own food, but if you’re like most of the people in the civilized world, you have absolutely no clue how to do so. Therefore you will almost certainly starve to death before surmounting the learning curve unless, of course, you supplement your meager diet with Spam and Hot Dog Chili.

It’s a wise idea to start stocking up on non-perishable foodstuffs as soon as possible, because hitting up the local Wal-Mart in the middle of humanity’s death knell is just not a good idea. Not only will things be even more chaotic than Wal-Mart generally is, but you’re not going to be the only person who comes up with the idea. That means fighting through giant, and probably well-armed crowds of people who are doing their damnedest to ensure that they don’t starve to death. If you’ve got a nice stash at home you can wait out the melee, and simply show up a few weeks later and take what you need amidst the broken and mutilated carcasses of your former friends and neighbors.

Pretty morbid, I agree. But an entertaining read! Who knows, it could come in handy. Here’s the link:

How to Survive in a Post-Apocalyptic World [Del Squacho]