The Consciousness of Sheep series
Tim Watkins provides a detailed and thoroughly researched explanation of the current predicament of Western civilisation; the ways in which the crises are likely to unfold; and the progressive responses that are beginning to emerge. It is a fascinating read for anyone interested in economics, the environment, and the future of the human race. The message is stark but ultimately positive – it is time for us to develop a sustainable way of life for all of humanity.
Suppose there was a “pin” which burst every major economic bubble of the industrial age. And suppose that “pin” left a signal in data preceding the ensuing economic crash. Suppose that prior to 1929, 1973, 1980, and 2008, that “pin” appeared months and sometimes years before the crisis went mainstream.
This time is different: These crises were each temporary. By 1929, the USA was leading the way to the oil age. The developed world would follow between 1945 and 1973. And even with the arrival of OPEC, there was no appetite for depriving the world economy of oil. Indeed, despite the rate of oil production falling after 1973, the volume continued to grow right up to November 2018. But in 2005, conventional crude had peaked, setting in chain the events leading to the 2008 crash… which inadvertently created the conditions for the brief expansion of the US fracking industry. But by the end of 2018, all oil production – including condensates and natural gas liquids – was in decline. Even without the pandemic lockdowns, we would have had a recession. But with growing evidence that we have passed peak oil production, and with no energy-dense alternative power source, not only is a deep recession inevitable, but – barring an energy miracle – the western way of life is over. A shrinking economy is now inevitable.
Humanity faces a bottleneck of crises which threaten the collapse of industrial civilisation. Of these, most people are only aware of climate change, which most believe can be solved via electrification and a range of simple changes to our lifestyles. But climate change is just one of myriad crises, including: antibiotic resistance, biodiversity loss, chemical pollution, cyber-attacks/AI, energy shortages, famine, financial crises, governance failure, infrastructure failure, microplastic contamination, migration waves, natural disasters, nutrient run-off, ocean acidification, resource depletion, soil depletion, war, water shortages, weapons of mass destruction, to name but a few.
Any one of these crises threatens to undermine our complex industrial civilisation. But taken together, they constitute an existential threat to humanity as a whole. And yet, faced with this dire predicament, no “great leader” has come to the fore. Nor have “we the people” rallied to action. Instead, our self-identifying leaders seem impotent, while the population at large is passive. Why should this be?
In Why Don’t Lions Chase Mice, economic and social scientist Tim Watkins explains that without a theory of energy and with a poor and erroneous theory of money, the “experts” and politicians charged with leading us out of the gathering crises – banking and financial collapse, unemployment, under-employment and depression, energy shortages, resource depletion, environmental destruction and climate change – are leading us down a blind alley. Only when we understand the essential role of energy in the economy can we properly understand the stark choices before us.
Decline and Fall: The Brexit years is a commentary and compilation of contemporary essays and articles written throughout the Brexit years which sets the Brexit crisis within its proper context. In this wider predicament, Britain is unique in being the cradle of industrial civilisation from the mid-eighteenth century; the first country to experience relative industrial decline from the 1880s; the first to experience absolute decline in the aftermath of the Second World War; and very likely the first to collapse into some new grouping of post-industrial localised economies – beginning with the independence of Scotland and the semi-independence of Northern Ireland – as a very likely consequence of Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union
When the Mafia make money they use the same plates, paper and ink as the government. The include the same security features and use the same serial numbers. Even to the most trained eyes this counterfeit currency is physically indistinguishable from the real thing. This being the case, why – exactly – is this Mafia money a crime? Who are its victims? Why should we care? The answers to these questions draw us into the fraud at the heart of our contemporary financial system; a fraud so vast in its scope yet so cleverly disguised that almost all of us treat it as normal while less than one in a million ever sees it. It is the fraud of debt-based money.
Marx was 95 percent correct when he reasoned that one or more of the inputs into production must be paid far less than the value it generates in order to produce profit or “surplus value” at the end. Marx arrived at the blindingly obvious – and entirely wrong – conclusion that this input was labour. What Marx began to see toward the end of his life was that while labour could be exploited, automation meant that something else must be generating surplus value…
We dare not talk about this… Politicians dare not discuss it for fear of causing mass panic… North Sea oil and gas production peaked in 1999. The oil bonanza is over – the oil income spent. Britain is once again an energy importer. Worse still, we are increasingly dependent upon imports from the world’s trouble spots and hostile regimes – Libya, Nigeria, several Gulf States and Russia. Even worse, successive governments have failed to invest in new electricity generation; let alone a switch from petroleum-powered vehicles…
The same message has been trotted out time and again by economists and politicians from all parties: “We must pay off the deb,t” “We have to balance the books,” “We should have fixed the roof when the sun was shining,” “Only by cutting public spending can we hope to return to economic growth.” What if they are wrong? What if austerity causes recession? The early cuts triggered a recession, and economic growth has been anaemic ever since. What if these are the direct consequence of a misguided policy of austerity?
Mental Health publications
If someone close to you has mental health problems, you need to read this book! Most people do nothing when a relative, friend or colleague has mental health problems. The reason is not a lack of care or compassion. it is simply that most of use are frightened of doing or saying the wrong thing. Unfortunately, doing or saying nothing is the wrong thing. It leaves the person you care about felling isolated and unloved. So what will you do? Helping Hands: How to help someone else cope with mental health problems uses an easy to learn, evidence-based 4-stage approach that you can employ to help those that you care about. In addition, Helping Hands introduces you to mental illnesses and the treatments that are available for them, and provides case studies that show you how the symptoms and warning signs manifest in day to day life. Helping Hands also sets out what is meant by wellbeing, and shows you how encouraging the use of self-management techniques will lead to recovery.
Defeat Depression is the latest self-help book from Tim Watkins. It builds upon his earlier Depression Workbook and incorporates information on the new science of willpower. This explains why so many of us fall back into habits of thought and behaviour that exacerbate depression; and what we can do to overcome them. The book offers the reader a comprehensive approach to self-help for depression that actually works.
Defeat Depression is written in plain language, and provides the reader with 80 self-help techniques that can be easily included in a daily routine in order to begin the journey out of depression.
We have been taught to treat stress as an illness – an enemy to be defeated; a disease to be cured. But how do we square this view with the old saying that “a bit of stress is good for you”? How do we reconcile it with the observation that many high achievers seem to thrive on their stress?
It seems that many of the things we have been taught about stress and stress management are wrong. It turns out that negative beliefs about stress are far more damaging than stress itself. Moreover, many of the techniques we have been taught for managing stress provide at best short-term relief rather than a genuine solution.
Life Surfing booklet series:
- No More Panic!
- Depression Workbook: 70 Self-help techniques for recovering from depression
- Distress to De-stress: Understanding and managing stress in everyday life
- Food for Mood: A guide to healthy eating for mental health
- How to Help: A guide to helping someone manage mental distress
- Getting to Sleep: A guide to overcoming stress-related sleep problems
- Depression: A guide to managing and overcoming depression