These Are The 'Good Old Days'

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Bill was 48 when his wife stunned him with a request for divorce.  Right up until that moment, he’d thought everything was fine.

He’d been pouring all his energy into his work to provide a very comfortable life for his wife and 2 children.  But she was unhappy and fell out of love while Bill wasn’t paying attention to matters at home.  He'd taken her for granted and forgot to be present for the most important people in his life, and to be grateful in the moment.

After she was gone, Bill was filled with emptiness and regret. All he wanted was to get her back, but it was too late.  The damage had been done.  What he had before was now in the past.

This parable of Bill's loss serves as a reminder to all of us that, with all that’s awry in the world, it’s all too easy for those of us who are paying attention to gripe about everything that's going wrong.

Yes, there are many trends that are headed on the wrong trajectory.  But this tumultuous period of history also affords each of us the fantastic opportunity to contribute positively to the new future that's on the way.

Please take this article an invitation to be grateful for what you have, and to notice just how wonderful our current lifestyle truly is.  It won’t remain this way, as I'll expound on in a moment.

So take the time to be grateful, hug those that you love, and feed the parts of your life that nourish you most.  Maintaining perspective in times such as these is really important.

The truth is that we happen to be alive at a time of peak abundance and technological miracles.  It’s never been easier or more comfortable to be a human.

On nearly every dimension -- longevity, dependable access to food, quality of shelter, personal safety, leisure time, intellectual pursuits, technological advancements -- no previous generation of humans have enjoyed the excesses and luxuries that we currently do.

What are you going to do with that good fortune while it lasts?

The 'Good Old Days'

Once I truly understood the role of net energy in delivering the miraculous abundance we experience, and then connected that to the impending decline of global fossil fuels, I came to a startling conclusion: These are the "good old days".

This is as good as it gets.  This is as easy and wonderful as it’s ever been for the average human on earth. And we're now at (actually, likely past) the peak. Soon, everyone will fondly reminisce about this soon-to-be-bygone era:

“Remember when you could just hop on a plane and go anywhere in the world for the cost of just a day or two of your income?”

“Or how about walking into a grocery store, anytime of the year, and buying whatever fresh veggies you wanted -- at any time of the day or night, no matter what season it was? Remember that?”

Today's daily miracle of life is insanely good.  Simply click a mouse button and in just a day or two the big, brown truck of happiness rolls up your driveway delivering goodies.  Or blythely sleep through a painless surgical procedure.  Maybe use GPS to navigate the worst Boston commute as you smoothly glide in a well-engineered personal chariot with 150 horses under the hood.

Face it, we have it better than true royalty did just 100 years ago.

Too Many People, Too Little Energy

But our modern way of living won’t last.  It can’t.  The flows of energy that are required to maintain the complexity of our current system simply aren’t there.

These energy systems which make our current global economy run are still 80% reliant on fossil fuels. So are our current alternative energy systems -- which are are still mined, refined, built and installed using fossil fuels.

There are exactly zero full-cycle alternative energy systems that can be rebuilt using their own energy output.  As Nate Hagens wisely says: they are not really renewable energy systems, but replaceable energy systems.

We could and we should be doing things very differently here at this moment in human history. But we’re acting like we always have; ignoring problems up until the point things start breaking badly.  This is simply insane with nearly 8 billion people on the planet (quickly heading towards 10 billion) and yet we have no comprehensive plan for weaning ourselves off of fossil fuels.

Looking out at the next 20 years is downright frightening.

By 2040, we'll be well past the point of Peak Oil if this model is correct (which is running three scenarios based on how much oil there might be, low med, and high):


The implications of oil's inevitable and predictable decline are so profound that it’s a crime you're only reading about it here and maybe one or two other “fringe” places on the net. Given its importance to everyone living on the planet today, it should be constant front page news everywhere.

Once we’re past peak production of oil, the entire suburban Ponzi experiment folds like a cheap card table, modern industrial agriculture becomes too expensive to continue, and the entirety of the financial system loses its motive power.

But, there’s no plan at all for addressing this. Not from any national government that I've seen. And I've been tracking this predicament for 15 years now.

Which brings me back to gratitude, which I think will be critical for dealing with the coming grief of losing our current comforts.

Having gratitude for what you do have is infinitely better for your mental well-being than worrying about what you don’t, or won’t, have.  When I fly somewhere I'm grateful for the magical speed and ease of the technology.  When I fill up my gas tank on my car, I'm grateful for the incredibly complex supply chains and financial systems that have to be in place for that to happen.

'Happiness is not having what you want, it is wanting what you've got.'

~ Sheryl Crow

We really better appreciate all we have right now. Because our modern lifestyle just can't last.

Don’t Be Like Bill

Bill made mistakes and now lives with regrets.  Don't be like Bill.

It’s perfectly clear that much of what we take for granted today is the product of multiple unsustainable systems all trundling towards the day when they fail.

We're in ecological overshoot; which means the birds, bees and big game still around today may be extinct in our lifetime.  And along with them, much of our food web.

Imagine the regret we'll feel then.

We're also in debt overshoot; which means that a future of economic austerity awaits as companies and households start to fail in large number.  Whether the killing blow comes via deflation or inflation is academic at this point.

The end result will be the same: less prosperity and opportunity for all -- because we splurged today without thought for how we'd pay tomorrow's bills when they arrived.

Imagine our regret then.

We’re burning through the last dregs of high-net energy oil. And we’re in population overshoot, too.  Replacing that oil and feeding so many of ourselves will take energy -- lots and lots of energy -- but where will it come from?

We don't yet know at this point. And we're not even yet admitting to ourselves that we have a problem. A big problem. So we're highly likely to slam head-first into the biggest global ever energy crisis modern man has ever seen.

Imagine our regret when that day arrives.

What Happens Next

While all this probably sounds depressing, it’s doesn't have to be.

It’s just how things stand today. But there is still time to improve our destiny, at least, at the individual level.

Let this wake-up call become your invitation to bring your very best self to the game.  You can either choose to be engaged in the reformation of life on this planet, or be carried along by the changes as they emerge (which will probably be far less enjoyable than the former option).

The true opportunity here is for each of us to appreciate that this is the one and only shot we're going to get at life, as far as we know.  So make of it what you can.

That’s the invitation.

Our ‘tribe’ here at Peak Prosperity is full of people actively engaged in answering this invitation by bringing their best selves. It really is community of high-achieving quality thinkers and doers unlike any other. I invite you to join us.

Together, we’re facing these multiple problems and predicaments head on, and using them as motivation to align ourselves and our actions with the world as it truly exists -- not as we wish it were.

It’s not easy. But then again nothing worthwhile ever is.

In Part 2: Preparing For The Reckoning we forecast what is most likely to happen next as the current policies in play begin failing. How few years left of status quo can we enjoy before the repercussions become too painful to ignore?

What can we each do today to improve our own destiny tomorrow?

At tipping points like now, our future is dependent on the steps we take in the present.

Click here to read Part 2 of this report (free executive summary, enrollment required for full access).

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

We eat dinner as a family almost every evening. Sometimes I look at the bounty we have available and can’t help but think - “these are going to be the good old days”. I then explain to my four kids that someday, when they are rooting through a dumpster, or fighting a pack of dogs for a dead goat carcass, they will look back on these meals of sushi, etc. with great fondness. Much eye rolling ensues. . .
I live every day with knowledge that we are blessed with a material abundance unmatched in human history - and it will end.

‘It’s not having what you want, it is wanting what you’ve got.’
~ Sheryl Crow
Lol I was literally thinking of those lyrics today.
For years now people in the fringe have been warning that the longer the bubble lasts the worse it will pop. I think we’ll see an ugly pop. Those were some nice rounded peak oil scenarios above but I dont think there will be any mistaking the peak oil cliff when we hit it. So much oil production today is enabled by cheap credit and is not profitable. When the financial system crashes, oil production will crash because the financing for it will evaporate. Even high prices wont bring more out of the ground. And when the financial crash happens, so many people will be poor so they wont be able to afford it. Demand will drop. Price will rise. Production will tank.
Peak oil and peak finance will crash as the same time. But hsrdke anyone has any idea peak oil is even a thing anymore. I have literally heard arguments here in Canada for developing the tar sands because they are “sustainable” jobs lol.
I think the truth is being intentionally kept from the masses because there is nothing that can be done. It was discussed back in the 70’s but those concerns were ignored and we moved into the future without a plan other than to steal the rest of the world’s oil. “We” made that decision and now we will face the consequences. Thanks a lot, Reagan.

The parable is missing what Bill’s wiser brother (Tom) did. You see they were both hard working and looked after their families. But Tom observed so many other men being divorce raped by their wives so he set up a trust to hold all his wealth. And before he got married he signed a prenup with his new bride.
She of course was resistant to this, saying “If you trust me you won’t need a prenup”. He replied “If you’re trustworthy you won’t mind signing one”. So she signed.
Both their wives were friends, and after the seven year itch arrived, Bill’s wife was told by her lawyer “Kick him out the house, take all his wealth including his house, deny him custody of the children and blame it all on him for not being home when he was earning money to feed your family.”
But Tom’s wife was told by her lawyer, “Oh dear, if you try this kind of crap, you lose everything but the children. But that won’t help you because if you don’t give him access he’ll just withhold support. And no, you cannot claim meaningful support through the courts because he’s just dumped his job and gone onto minimum wage. If you leave you condemn yourself to a life of abject poverty”. So she stuck by him like a responsible wife should have done.
But the story doesn’t end there. Bill’s kids were a boy and girl and they followed the statistics of kids brought up by solo mums. The boy was 8x more likely to be a rapist and 20x more likely to end up in jail (and so he did). The girl was 10x more likely to be “promiscuous” (a slut) at an early age and 14x more likely to commit suicide (which she did).
So the moral of this story, is for every man to protect themselves with a trust and prenup because men who don’t have a 50% of divorce rape and seeing their children destroyed.
If you want resilience in your marriage and heirs… follow the example or wise Tom… not foolish Bill.

That was some dark and irrelevant commentary. You should seek counseling and move on.

The Good Old Days - “focus on ones phone”.
I see my grandchildren posing at various places taking selfies to share. In my day we would have called that vanity. Now its called friendship.
Its all perspective.

Let me de-construct your snide comment Rector:

Dark”? Post #1 speaks of “... rooting through a dumpster, or fighting a pack of dogs for a dead goat carcass” and post #2 draws attention to the pending catastrophe of peak oil. Relatively speaking, my post was hardly “dark” now was it? So it was something else that drew your response.

Irrelevant”? This blog post begins with a parable that clearly suggests to the unbiased reader that it is reasonable for a wife to leave her responsible husband even if he has “... been pouring all his energy into his work to provide a very comfortable life for his wife and 2 children”. Why? Because “... she was unhappy and fell out of love”. What isn't stated but under Western law and practice, Tom lost his children, wealth, income, home and had his life was destroyed. All justifiable because he's not spending enough attention and time with her and so she “fell out of love”. You're didn't put much thought into your choice of words did you Rector?

You should seek counselling and move on.” This wasn't sincere advice was it? Be honest now, this was just a public slur. You give no reasoning or argument for your position. Nor did you give it the slightest reflection. It's the typical response of the dumbed-down citizen who reflexively replies with a slur whenever a formidable and informed counter-argument is absent. It's on the same level as the slurs of racism, homophobic, Islamaphobic, Misogynist etc. It's to shut down opinion when an opposing argument is lacking, especially from those who've accepted programmed responses to articulated reasoning.

Here's a final little factoid for you: in Victoria (Australia), 50% of all male suicides are by men who have experienced the Family courts. And so while you gave no concern for the destruction 50% of all married men and their children, I gave a practical and legal avenue for men to protect their wealth and children; surely this is most “relevant” on a site like Peak Prosperity. My post advocated Family Trusts and Prenup's and gives hope to those who have done the numbers and understand that modern marriage holds a destruction probability of 50% to the man.

“modern marriage holds a destruction probability of 50% to the man.“
Statistically speaking a woman is most likely to be killed - by a male member of her family, most likely her husband or boyfriend.
Gavin deBecker
”Most men fear getting laughed at or humiliated by a romantic prospect while most women fear rape or death.”
Rector is right — the post exudes anger and victimhood get some counseling and move on.

Fifty - fifty odds? We’ve made it to 49 years, despite the odds. However, there is something to the old Shakespearean quote:
“Bravery’s best component is careful choice; it is by exercising that careful choice that I survived.”
Or for the less literary;
"When considering a relationship dear;
There’s only one thing to fear;
When two become tight,
It begs for a fight,
So, be careful when phrasing, “yes, Dear!”

I’m sorry your personal life has taken this unfortunate turn, but I would never counsel a young man to put a prenup in front of his fiancé. I cannot think of a more effective way to undercut the commitment that matrimony implies. Marriage isn’t a contract - it’s a covenant.
Post #1 was obvious hyperbole.
Like I said, seek counseling and move on.

AKGranyWGrit stated “Statistically speaking a woman is most likely to be killed – by a male member of her family, most likely her husband or boyfriend.”
Well I say statistically a man is more likely to be trampled by an elephant than a woman (but really what matters is the chance YOU will be trampled by an elephant). In the same manner you should ask what is the chance YOU will killed by your husband.
Statistically a child is more likely to be physically injured by the mother… but statistically most mothers do NOT injure their children - and nor do most men kill their wives.
But when a man can deduce that there’s a 50% statistical chance of being divorce-raped by his doting bride, which means losing everything, including his children, then it’s worth taking serious precautions if they’re available. And precautions ARE available.
If you’re worried about being murdered by your husband then the precaution is to leave. If you’re worried about being trampled on by an elephant then the precaution is don’t become an elephant trainer. And if you’re a man thinking about getting married (or care about your son’s future) and you’re worried about becoming a 50% statistic in divorce rapes, then the precaution is to get a family trust and prenup.
Oh… and if you cannot understand basic math(s) and apply numbers to life’s realities then go back to school. But DON’T prove you numerical illiteracy to an automation engineer.

I will pray that you find effective ways to deal with your anger and hurt. They must be great indeed.
Most sincerely,

I also found your post distasteful and irrelevant to the thread, not because there are not myriad problems with the institution of marriage particularly in the context of our increasingly narcissistic culture and also disparities in how things are adjudicated between the sexes in Western Divorce law but because of the aggressively paternalistic tone with which you ‘parable raped’ an innocent parable to make your point which also reveals a belief system that appears to consider women chattel in the context of a marriage and somehow without agency in the absence of the “male provider” or evil ‘divorce raper’ attorney.
You took a friendly parable that illustrates the importance of focusing on personal connection over materialism and projected on to that what appears to be a very emotional and personal issue of inequitable divorce. In so doing you managed to imprison Bill’s rapist son and kill Bills daughter but not before slut shaming her. So yes, that’s kind of dark.

Men. if you want defend your right to own property, wealth, income and live with your children then take my advice above if you intend to get into a relationship, whether it be marriage or de-facto. However if you want to chance your life and heirs on essentially what is a flip of a coin then take the advice of those who've taken exception to my post. Because if you choose the latter, you're too stupid to be protected from your own stupidity.

To my detractors: I have very high income, my own industrial automation business, a stable family who's wealth is protected by a Family Trust and prenup. I live on acreage and hold three citizenships. I can only groan when you post such low IQ replies that I shake my head in disbelief. So here's a simple question for you to complete in your head without calculator or pen/paper:

What is the square root of sixteen, reciprocated, and expressed as a decimal. If you need more than 30 seconds to do this or you come up with the wrong answer then you're in the bottom 50% of IQ. That's nothing to be ashamed of because by definition 50% of the population must always be below average. But DON'T make public replies with reference to numbers or statistics when you're too tragically stupid to know how stupid you are.


I'm now logging off to enjoy the affections of my chattel and the company of my heirs.

More LOL!

My bachelor farmer German uncle (everyone should have one) drilled this into my head. “Yunga mach da augen auf, Hirot ist kine da farda kauf.” Young man be cautious, Marriage is not horse trading. I was lucky. When my wife got the seven year itch she found out everything was in a family trust and untouchable. Be careful out there.

and I think I might have some insight into the source of some of your relationship issues. But since you’re an automation engineer, I’m sure you have it all under control. Being at the far right on the bell curve and all. . .

I can’t resist.
30 seconds seems like a long time to solve your little pre-algebra problem. Might want to try something else if your trying to sort out who’s stupid and such. I didn’t even need a pencil!?

Ah Rector, but you didn’t give an answer. Perhaps a little doubt crept into your mind about your own math(s) abilities? LOL.
The question wasn’t to prove who’s stupid, it was to indicate to those who attempt the question if they’re in the bottom 50% in IQ - and I stated that’s there’s nothing to be ashamed of if indeed that’s the case. The answer had to be both correct AND within 30 seconds to get a pass. About 50% do pass so there’s nothing to boast about in getting it right.
Your written reply should be worrying to you though - you couldn’t even comprehend a few simple sentences written in plain English. What does that say about your IQ? Although you didn’t claim to be the sharpest tool in the shed, you have actually proved you’re one of the bluntest. Ouch!

Honestly, I don’t even know where to begin in trying to processes Mr. Crappy’s VERY dark missive regarding “divorce rape” of married men and the alleged societal and financial ills which he attributes to women/(ex)wives. Crapper, I pray, pray, pray that your ex-wife and children are safe, far away and healed from the trauma of your toxic anger and victimhood. You provide “evidence” of your success/stability as your alleged wealth, acreage, and business acumen, and even include a little “test” to assert your imagined superiority over any who dare to disagree with your point of view, disparaging them as “low IQ”.
So that is your idea of success?? I know you’re new here, having joined PP just today (perhaps triggered to join so you could post your pearls of twisted wisdom…) but please do take some time to look through the site content and even spend some of your substantial wealth to buy the book, “Prosper” to gain further insight into the various dimensions of wealth.
I’m an extremely private person and have overcome my aversion to social media to join the Peak Prosperity community trying to make sense of and prosper in a really crappy world; ideally to make a world and “future worth inheriting.” I am a single mother, having successfully raised three very young children (including one with Autism) by myself after Mr. decided marriage and parenthood was too “stressful”. The courts decided that, unlike Mr., I had “earning potential” even though I was temporarily unemployed at the time, and awarded Mr. spousal support that exceeded the (pitiful) child support that he reluctantly provided via wage garnishment. In 20 years with unlimited visitation, he visited only nine days total. Mr. was awarded two of the three properties we jointly held during marriage, and he retained via devious means more than $100,000 from jointly held funds.
Every day, I struggled to keep my children fed and clothed, lights and heat on, and made parenting and supporting my children my highest priority even while working very stressful but rewarding jobs that paid above average income. Fast forward, today I have GREAT relationships with my now-adult children (albeit, the one with Autism is a lifetime “work in progress”), all of whom have grown to be productive, college educated and inspiring adults–not a rapist, jailbird, “slut” or suicide in the bunch!! :wink: They maintain authentic, healthy relationships, rewarding careers and strive towards sustainable living as productive and caring citizens.
So, yeah: sh*t happens. Am I the female counterpart to your “divorce-rape” male victim? Absolutely not!!! I am blessed! Everyday I THANK GOD that I was able to live and raise my children without the undue influence of a very toxic spouse.
Your original post and subsequent posts are truly disturbing. I appreciated the very insightful and appropriate responses from Rector, Mememonkey and AKGrannyWGrit. Still, six PP members gave your original post a “thumbs-up”, which I found really disheartening… Rector’s advice is sound: get counseling and move on.

Thank you for sharing!
Question for admin -
So, on this new platform how do we block people that we feel bring no value to a conversation?