Understandably, bicycles became much more popular, and by 1896 they were a genuine craze.
The price of bicycles themselves didn't have a bubble - they were already at a very high level - but they did crash after the boom. The bubble was in the shares of bicycle companies. A small number of existing bicycle companies suddenly reaped enormous profits, and their shares suddenly rose, sometimes by a factor of 10, making some investors rich overnight.
As Charles Kindleberger said, "There is nothing so disturbing to one's well-being and judgement as to see a friend get rich." So a few investors getting rich attracted what we'd describe as 'speculative' investors to the bicycle share market - people who buy things because they think the price will go up, rather than because they think it's a good company. Speculation is self-fulfilling - people buy because they think the price will rise, but people buying causes the price to rise. By the spring of 1897, bicycle companies were trading at a far higher price than their profits could justify, especially since the fashion for cycling was starting to fade. There was no "crash" as such - we describe it as a slow puncture - but by 1900 cycle shares had fallen by about 80%, and the vast majority of companies were bankrupt.
The survivors went on to become household names, though. Dunlop, Raleigh, and Rover were all bicycle bubble companies.
This might remind you of the dot-com bubble - the general story is pretty similar!
Didn't the Wright Brothers build bikes? Did they already have the bike shop in 1896? Did they get into airplanes because the bike market crashed? This may be a modern question: Can you compare the bike bubble to electric car bubble?
I've heard that they did. Quite possibly they got into airplanes because the bicycle boom crash - that's how Riley and Rover got into cars. I don't know, though. The American bicycle boom around the same time wasn't part of the project - that's another PhD for someone else to do!
Thank you Dr. Quinn for taking the time. From all the historical bubbles you’ve studied, what were some qualitative and quantitative commonalities in most (if not all) of them? Do you see the same symptoms in today’s world?
1. Abundant money and/or debt - people have lots of money to invest with. Bonus points if it's someone else's money. Usually this means low interest rates, but it can also mean banks have eased lending standards.
2. Marketability - assets are easy to buy and sell. Most bubbles are preceded by sudden increases in marketability, such as the conversion of untradeable debt into tradeable equity in 1720, or the use of mortgage-backed securities in the 2000s.
3. Speculation - people buy assets for no other reason than because they think the price will go up.
4. A "spark" - something that creates an initial price rise, attracting the speculative investors. We divide these into technological sparks e.g. the dot-com bubble, and political sparks e.g. ~all housing bubbles, the 1720 bubbles.
Do I see the same symptoms in today's world? YES. Interest rates are low, economies are loaded up with debt, and the internet makes everything much easier to buy, sell, and speculate in.
This is why we think bubbles are so much more common than they used to be. Between 1929 and the 1980s there were pretty much no major bubbles - a lot of financial economists started to think they were a myth. Since then we've had the Japanese stock and housing bubbles, the dot-com, housing bubbles all over the place, Chinese stock market bubbles in 2007 and 2015, the crypto bubble in 2017. So I expect we'll keep seeing bubbles happen pretty frequently, though it's very hard to say what they'll be in.
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Thanks for this answer Dr. Quinn. A follow up question to your response on historically common characteristics between bubbles. Are there common actions that economies have historically taken to correct course and turn a potentially malignant bubble to something more benign?
The record of governments during bubbles is... not great. Some would argue that the Australian government did a good job of keeping house prices under control during the 2000s. But the German and US governments tried to tackle bubbles in the 1920s by raising interest rates, and in both cases this made things far, far worse.
We've definitely got better at managing the immediate aftermath of bubbles, largely by protecting financial institutions and credit channels. OTOH, the bursting of a bubble often reveals systemic problems that need to be reformed in the medium or long term, and we might even have got worse at fixing those.
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What would you say are good examples (if any exist) of bubbles which didn't burst - situations where everything you outline above was true, but in the end nothing much happened and the market just continued rising steadily or stayed leveled? In other words, if what you describe above is a "bubble test", what are some famous false positives?
So say we divide bubbles into political and technological. A political bubble might never burst because the government finds a way to sustain high prices indefinitely. London after 2008 might fit this description.
I don't know of any technological bubbles that didn't burst, but a lot of them burst much later than people expected them to. Over the course of the 1990s, for example, internet stocks were a good investment for much longer than they were a bad one.
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Did the crypto bubble really have enough of an impact on the economy to classify it as a proper bubble, as opposed to a twenty first century tulip mania?
You might be right - the crypto bubble had very little economic impact. It did involve financial assets though, rather than commodities. I think it has more in common with stock market bubbles than with the tulip mania, but it could be argued either way.
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Wouldn’t the progressive income tax rates in this time period also account for the lack of bubble bursting?
There was an active effort by governments to restrain capital at that time, which kept money, debt, and marketability at low levels. Progressive income tax rates were a part of that wider effort, but I don't think they were the most important part - these were the days of capital controls and strict regulation on how much risk banks could take.
Hi! Thanks for doing this. My personal interests lie in history much more ancient than 1720s, so I tend to pay attention more to things like Mansa Musa's trip to Cairo and the inflation that occurred as a result of his largess, and the impact of Spanish gold on the Imperialist-era economy of Europe, but you're saying that the large fall in price comes with no "obvious cause" for it to count as a proper boom-and-bust cycle. Given my shaky understanding of the American housing crisis and my even looser understanding of how Roman apartments worked during the Republic (and how many records the Romans left), I'm a little surprised that there isn't more evidence of ancient boom-and-bust cycles. Do you have any speculation for why this is apparently a modern phenomena?
It's a great question. The Mansa Musa trip was one of my favourite things I learned in my very first course in economic history.
I do think there were bubbles before 1720, but there really isn't much direct evidence of them. Partly this is because direct evidence is hard to find, and there aren't too many ancient financial historians around to do the work. But it's also probably fair to say that bubbles were much, much rarer pre-1720 than they are today.
We think this is because most assets weren't marketable enough. The appeal of investing in a bubble is getting rich quick - you buy it today, the price goes up 200% tomorrow, then you sell it and profit. But this only works if the law lets you do it, it's very easy to find a buyer and seller, and the whole process isn't too much hassle. So, for example, if there's no secondary market for government debt, you can't really get a bubble in government debt. And before 1720, that's how things were.
But 1720 marked the widespread adoption of financial assets that could easily be bought and sold. It could have marked the start of a new era of semi-frequent bubbles... except that after the Mississippi and South Sea Bubbles, governments quickly decided these assets were a terrible idea and most of them were banned. So we didn't see another bubble until 1825 (or arguably the Canal Mania of the 1790s, but the government really kept a lid on that one).
Thank you for stopping by AH, Dr Quinn. I am curious as to why you feel that the Dutch tulip mania "doesn't count" as a bubble. Other authors, such as Kindleberger, consider that it was, and I've always found the efforts made by writers such as Garber to suggest that the pricing of bulbs in the 1630s was fundamentally rational to be less than convincing. Can you elaborate on your thinking in this regard?
Ha, I knew I'd get pulled up on that!
Tulips are consumption goods, so we can't really say whether their price is rational or not, just like we can't make that kind of call about, say, fine art.
That said, Garber denies that they became objects of speculation, which I find completely implausible. So even though it's untestable, I do think it was probably a bubble.
It definitely wasn't a major bubble though, because it was so completely economically inconsequential. We don't see anything happening in economic or price data, we don't see any bank failures. We don't even see a blip in the number of recorded bankruptcies, which suggests that participation in the market must have been extremely small (which makes sense, since the prices of the bulbs were prohibitive for all but the very rich).
So it's really just a bit of a curiosity, similar to the bubbles in beanie babies or baseball cards during the 20th century. It's just not in the same category as era-defining events like the 2000s housing bubble or the Wall Street Crash.
Hi Doctor Quinn, thank you for doing this AMA! During the earliest bubbles, did anyone recognise that the price increases were unsustainable? Did people predict the bubble bursting?
Yes, lots. Daniel Defoe and Jonathan Swift were two notable bubble-sceptics during the South Sea Bubble. Lord Hutcheson, an MP, wrote an excellent financial analysis of the South Sea scheme explaining why it was a terrible investment.
I think the majority of people are usually sceptics during a bubble. But if you think there's a bubble in something, what can you do beyond not investing in it? Short-selling in a bubble is usually a terrible idea. It's like Keynes says, the market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent.
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Interesting: so I'm guessing you don't think the ability to short a stock / a market (I don't know how long this ability has existed, whether or not it's a more recent phenomenon) has had a positive impact in tamping down or even preventing bubbles in more recent times?
I think it probably helps tamp down bubbles a bit. It's just that it's so much easier and less risky to buy a stock than it is to short it, and it always has been.
Maybe we wouldn't see many bubbles in a market where it was as easy to bet against a stock as it was to bet on it. There's a bit of experimental work on this, but history doesn't tell us an awful lot.
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Interesting. This might be a little too in the weeds, but... Do you have ideas in mind of how to make short selling easier? Or, to put it more broadly, would such a task be on your list of 'initiatives to avoid future bubbles'?
I'm not sure if that would be a good thing. Easy short selling might make bubbles less likely. But it might also lower asset prices, making it expensive for companies to raise capital, which would be bad for the economy. There hasn't been a huge amount of research on the real economic effects of short selling and short sale constraints.
Hello Dr. Quinn, it's nice to see such a subject come up here. You are talking about some bubbles being fairly benign but in my mind, when a bubble explode, there is money technically disappearing "overnight" and it is bound to have some repercussions on the economy, even if it's indirectly - like a landowner having to increase its rents to make up for the lost money. How can a bubble not affect the overall economy or even have beneficial effects?
Thanks, it's nice to be here!
It's more accurate to say that there's a negligible effect on the overall economy - there is some effect, but it's so small it wouldn't show up in any economic data. This is the case when:
1. The people who lose money can afford to lose it, so the wealth effects you describe are minimal
2. The banks aren't exposed to the bubble
Technology bubbles could have beneficial effects by encouraging massive flows of money into very innovative parts of the economy. Whereas in a fully rational market, R+D is underfunded. If you get a financial crisis or a severe recession afterwards then this is completely insignificant, but if not, it might be fair to say that a bubble was a good thing for society.
What's common between different bubbles that have burst and what may be something that's unique about some (maybe the recent ones)? Also, have there been instances when a bubble was identified in hindsight but it never burst or rather just sizzled? Thank you!
I'll answer the second question first. Most bubbles just sizzle rather than bursting. There are two big exceptions - 1929 in the US, and China in 2015. This was because during those bubbles, so many stocks were held on margin (i.e. with borrowed money). When prices started to fall, the banks issued margin calls, forcing indebted shareholders to sell their shares. This caused prices to fall further, leading to more margin calls, and so on.
But usually, prices fall pretty gradually.
I answered about commonalities earlier, so I'll talk about what was unique about the most recent bubbles in the book- the Chinese bubbles of 2007 and 2015. These were characterised by extensive state involvement in the market, culminating in a series of increasingly desperate (and unsuccessful) attempts to stop the crash. At one point, students at Tsinghua University were instructed to chant "Revive the A shares, benefit the people; Revive the A shares, benefit the people" at their graduation. All markets have some government involvement, but this was a new level.
Are bubbles black swan events that can't be predicted? Or can they be predicted? If they can be predicted, what are some indicators that you can look for? (Sorry if it's a dumb question, my only knowledge of financial bubbles comes from the movie The Big Short which is about a few individuals who saw the 2008 crash coming).
The Big Short is a great movie, love it.
It depends what you mean by predicted. I think it's hard to tell when a bubble is coming in advance, but not impossible. To make it sound much easier than it is: if the government is pushing policies that will cause house prices to rise, then house prices will probably rise.
I think it's possible to tell when you're in a bubble. I wouldn't say it's easy. With the dot-com bubble, a lot of people who were praised afterwards for being the voice of reason were actually saying we were in a bubble long before we were. But there were also plenty of people who called it correctly.
I think it's almost impossible to tell when a bubble is going to burst. That's why I wouldn't recommend shorting one!
Hi thanks for doing this. Who generally suffers the most from these bubbles? Is there a general trend in the solutions that have been used to recover from the crisis after a bubble has burst?
Strangely, we don't really see a common trend in the distributional effects of the bubbles themselves. It's not really the case that the rich are systematically better at riding the bubble and getting out at the right time.
But bubbles can lead to recessions, and in a recession it's always the poorest who are hit hardest.
Cleaning up the aftermath is much like managing any other recession. I'm more or less on board the very broad consensus in economics that governments should loosen monetary and fiscal policy while protecting the financial sector.
Hi, from my understanding the South Sea bubble had key figures responsible for the mayhem (it was Walpole). Are there any other bubbles that had mischievous actors significantly responsible for what happened?
Yes! In the same year as the South Sea Bubble, the Mississippi Bubble was 100% John Law's baby. The Bicycle Mania was driven by a couple of very dodgy "promoters", most notably Ernest Terah Hooley, who engineered the flotation of the Dunlop Company.
At other times we push back against the role of the individual. The US media in the 1920s were obsessed with what powerful men were doing during the bubble, but we think its causes were much more structural.
What is your background Dr. Quinn? Economist or Historian? What fascinated you so much about the topic that made you dedicate so much time to writing a book about Financial Bubbles. I've tried to read a lot of economics focused literature in the past and I've always been a little disappointed in the lack of macro economic theory/metrics being referenced. (I also love graphs.. Haha) Thank you in advance if you do respond.
Haha great question. Economists think I'm a historian and historians think I'm an economist.
My interest in bubbles would explain my choice of PhD - I think finance only gets really interesting when things go horribly wrong. As I was finishing up, the opportunity came up to spend three years writing this book with John, and I didn't have to think twice about it. Writing is hard and painful, but I couldn't do any other job.
I have a more general question: are all developed economies damned to be cyclical? There's so much discussion in politics about economic policy but in the end it seems like there's recession every 5-10 years brought on by one thing or another.
It's a good question. I would say the answer depends on what you mean by cyclical. Does it require the economic cycles to be of a relatively fixed length?
If yes, then non-cyclical economies do exist. Booms can last anywhere from a few months to several decades, and recessions the same.
If no, then saying "economies are cyclical" is the same as saying "booms happen sometimes and recessions happen sometimes". And I do think recessions will always happen sometimes.
Dr. Quinn, how would you compare the parts malfeasance and greed/stupidity play during a boom? For example, I am incredibly frustrated by downplaying things like obfuscation of risk and sidelining the risk management units during the 2000s housing boom. But should I be?
Oh you're completely right to be angry.
Malfeasance and fraud are often a part of bubbles, but what really stands out about the 2000s housing bubble is the total lack of consequences for those responsible. Those involved in other bubbles were dragged over the coals whether they deserved it or not. The Financial Times keeps a list of all the bankers who go to jail for their role in the 2000s crash: https://ig.ft.com/jailed-bankers/. The U.K., where I live, has none; the U.S. has one.
The Western coverage of Japan in the 1990s was fascinating to look back on while researching the book. The bubble and subsequent crisis were attributed to an unhealthily close relationship between politicians and businessmen, which shielded both from any consequences. But in comparison to the aftermath of the 2000s bubble, a lot of very powerful Japanese people went to jail for their activities during the bubble.
When did we come up with the idea of "bubbles"? How has our understanding/response changed from before/after we slapped a label on it?
In the 1700s, "to bubble" meant "to deceive or defraud", and bubble was then used as a noun to describe the deceptive and fraudulent companies that sprung up when the South Sea scheme was taking place. This led to the Bubble Act of 1720, which outlawed almost all such companies. Over time, the meaning sort of morphed to describe a boom and bust in prices.
I would trace the concept back to Charles Mackay's Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds of 1841. It's a very unreliable source, but it also probably marks the first attempt to place these boom-bust episodes into one category to be analysed as a distinct phenomenon.
The Australian land boom you mention coincides with the process of federation of the Australian colonies. Did the bubble or its effects play a particular role in shaping federation?
Good question! I really don't know. It was one of the most economically destructive bubbles ever, so it must have had some knock-on political effects, but I don't know what those effects were.
Hello! Thanks for stopping by to talk today about your work. Always great to hear from another scholar! 😁 Although I don’t have a question about financial bubbles in particular, I was hoping you’d be willing to talk about your and your co-author’s process while writing this comprehensive of a work. What made you decide to cover so many different types of bubbles across different continents of multiple centuries? Were there any particular difficulties with working with such disparate material? Did the material lend itself to universalist discoveries, or were different socio-cultural factors affect each bubble differently? Hopefully these questions can provide some interesting discussion, and congratulations on the publishing! Thanks!
Had to think about this one!
We thought it was time someone did it - Kindleberger first came out almost 50 years ago, and so many bubbles have happened since, so much work on bubbles has been done.
There are language barriers for sure. An ongoing theme in the book is the role of the press, but we couldn't really cover that for the Japanese or (to a lesser extent) the Chinese bubble - we'd be relying on secondary sources too much.
We came up with a general theory of bubbles - the bubble triangle - which I posted above. It's not perfect, no theory is, but we think it fits the data very well. Personally I don't think history is at its most useful when it refuses completely to deal in generalities.
Have you identified any historical occasions where people thought there was a bubble, but the asset was actually not as overpriced as people thought and it did not crash?
The early parts of the dot-com boom were like this, especially the Netscape IPO, which turned out to be an excellent investment. By the bubble's peak in 2000, one of the reasons people weren't listening to pessimists was because they'd been wrong so many times before.
What is the most common mistake people have made throughout history during bubble bursts?
Probably overreacting. Historically the best times to buy stocks or houses have been in the aftermaths of busts.
That's tautological, but it still needs to be said, because overly optimistic investors get all kinds of mockery after a bubble, whereas overly pessimistic investors always seem to get away with bad predictions.
Hi Dr. Quinn, What are your thoughts on this this article? Their conclusion is the Japanese Asset Bubble and subsequent “lost decade” is the worst bubble of all time - I’ve noticed that this bubble hasn’t been mentioned elsewhere in the thread.
I like it! I messaged the writer on Twitter when it came out.
The Japanese Bubble is a great choice for the greatest bubble of all time. The other candidates are the 2000s, for the global impact, and the Mississippi Bubble, which ate the entire French economy and set their financial development back a century.
Thank you for doing this! What economic tools/methods/techniques did the pre 20th century economists have at their disposal to identify with substantial evidence (relevant to their times) any potential bubble? Are there instances in that period when a potential bubble was identified and downsized before its repercussions hit the market? How did they achieve that?
Very similar methods to the ones we'd use today, surprisingly! Lord Hutcheson used discounted cash flow analysis to argue that there was a bubble in South Sea stock in 1720, which is still the most theoretically sound way to value a stock.
how did people not catch on to the shenanigans keeping the south sea company afloat? pun intended
Because it was so complicated!
Try to explain the scheme to someone today, with 300 years of research to draw upon. They'll look at you like you've tried to explain a collateralized debt obligation to them in 2005.
What do you think about the Austrian model of the business cycle from Mises and Hayek and how artificial low interest rates and government stimulus cause large booms, creating malinvestments that make busts harder and longer?
The funny thing about the Mises/Hayek hypothesis is that they wrote it after the 1929 crash, for which it doesn't add up at all, because most of the bubble took place when interest rates were quite high. For other bubbles it fits much better.
I would agree with them that a lot of market movements are driven by political economy, often in the ways they describe. But the Austrian school seem to think that underneath all the political interference there's a market mechanism that would produce excellent outcomes, if we could only get rid of the politics stinking it up. I think politics is an imperfect solution to the existence of power in the world, and without politics, this power would manifest itself in violence more often, making markets even less efficient. But that's just how it looks to me.
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I don't think bubbles, in the way we define them, are 'inherent' to capitalism, because a lot of capitalist economies have existed for a very long time without experiencing any bubbles.
But clearly they're a capitalist phenomena. One of the sides of the bubble triangle is marketability, which is the essence of capitalism. And as we see in China, as countries become more capitalist, they experience more bubbles.
Hello Dr. Quinn! Very cool AMA so far, and I'm excited to read this book when it comes out. I'm not an Economics Major, but I do love reading and listening to materials on this topic, especially "The Big Short". Also, congratulations on getting this published in Cambridge University Press, I've heard that's no easy feat! First question: Due to the interconnection of a lot of the world markets, especially with instant electronic trading and massive amount of global trading, are bubbles and busts more frequent? Does the interconnectedness of world markets encourage overweighing the value of particular assets? Second question: In your research, did the asset bubbles typically require government action or intervention like the 2008 mortgage crisis? Thanks for taking your time for this AMA!
Thanks! The answer to the first question is yes. Increased capital mobility is one of the main reasons for the increased frequency of bubbles and crises after 1980.
Interconnectedness tends to lead to the overvaluation of particular assets at particular times, because when one country or sector is exciting, the whole world can mobilise its money towards it. This money can then leave countries just as quickly, which often causes a financial crisis.
Did the government need to react to the consequences of asset bubbles? For the bigger ones, yes, to protect the financial sector. At other times they would have been better off reacting less. The stock market bubble of the 1920s theoretically shouldn't have damaged the US economy very much. But the Federal Reserve raised interest rates because it was worried about it, and this caused big problems elsewhere in the economy, especially for banks.
Hope you enjoy the book!
Is there a comparable setting in history regarding the disconnection of ownership and allocation of financial assets that we can see these days and, if yes, what could we learn from it? (For example, my pension savings are managed by my employer who gives them to Allianz who invests it wherever, even in hedge funds that by far don't follow any of my moral standards.)
As far as I know, institutional investment on this scale is completely unprecedented. It doesn't seem healthy to me - so many incentives are messed up in so many ways. But unfortunately it's an area where the economic historians haven't been able to add much.
Great AMA, thanks! Looking forward reading your book, wonder if you see any trends in history of bubbles, how they change in their nature? What do people and governments learn from them and how (if at all) this correlate with development of economic science?
They're becoming more common and, like everything else, more global.
Economics has learned too much to mention from the 2000s housing bubble. Maybe the one big lesson is that modern economies are deeply interconnected and absolutely dependent on a handful of multinational financial corporations. That leads to very different policy advice than you would give when it was possible to analyse nation states as individual economic units.
I look forward to reading about the Australian land boom, as it's a very important part of my period that I've never truly gotten my head around. I was wondering how the international nature of some of these bubbles affects how you study them. So to take Australia as an example: how do you follow chains of causality when you have a crisis that hits six autonomous economies but where so much of the disaster takes place in the City of London? How do you begin to identify what matters when you have so many different sources- dozens or hundreds of banks and finance houses, seven legislatures, probably thousands of newspapers and so on.
The short answer is that it just takes THAT much work. Both of us worked non-stop on it, full time, for 3 years. The bibliography has over 700 sources in it, and that's after we trimmed it - it could easily be over 1,000. Then there was a lot of manual data entry, research that ended up going nowhere, and so on.
With Australia, we ended up following the money. House prices were driven up by a lot of first-time buyers - where did they get the money from? Mostly they borrowed it from land-boom companies - a bit like shadow banks. What were these land-boom companies? Where did they get their money from? And so on.
Hope you enjoy the book!
Would you find the causes associated with the 2000s housing bubble and the English South Sea Bubble comparable?
Only in the sense that they were both driven by government policy. The motivations involved were very different. The South Sea Bubble was an elaborate scheme to reduce the government debt. The 2000s housing bubble arose from the political desire to expand homeownership without making houses more affordable.
I once heard someone claim that all major financial crises were in some way caused by the government. Do you know of a good counter-example?
The government makes the rules for the financial sector, and any financial crisis could have been prevented by different/better rules. So in that sense it's true.
But if the intention of the claim was to argue that government intervention in the economy is inherently bad, the Australian financial crisis of the 1890s is a good counter-example, because it happened in a minimal-government-intervention, ultra-low-regulation environment.
Do you consider the “market cap to gdp” ratio a good indicator for a forming stock market bubble? I’ve been following the trend in the last 3-4 years and I noticed that it spiked to highs we haven’t seen in forty years. Everybody’s talking about investing but I’m just sitting in the sidelines thinking : “is everyone crazy? Everything points to a bubble about to burst.” I would love to hear your opinion.. and thanks for the AMA!
Right now, stock prices are high by traditional measures because the government won't allow them to fall. Whether now is a good time to invest largely depends on whether you think this is sustainable or not. Maybe it is and maybe it isn't, but I wouldn't call it a bubble about to burst.
It's also hard to find an alternative. All investment assets are expensive at the moment.
Was the decline of Egypt in the Bronze Age not accompanied by a bubble?
I've not heard this before! Do you have a good source on it?
Thank you Dr. Quinn. I was wondering what your opinion is of the effect of an increased pool of investors in a market in which they make uninformed investments because "everyone else is doing it and making so much money." A couple of examples come to mind like the dot com bubble and the subprime mortgage crisis, where large swathes of the public speculated in certain investments, internet stocks and mortgages respectively. Do you think an essential part of mania and bubbles is an increase of involvement of the general public?
Definitely, the entry of new investors into the market comes up again and again. Very notable in light of the recent day trading boom!
what period or periods of history are ignored by schools or whatnot
All of economic history is ignored by schools!
Does your book include The Mississippi Bubble and John Law/Louisiana?
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Policy objective (noun): A policy objective is a desired outcome that policy-makers wish to achieve. A policy target is a specific level or rate set for the chosen objective.
When a lawmaker makes a law, there is a policy objective. Oftentimes, the policy objective is to increase the GDP, help the stock market, protect the oil or health care industries from domestic threats in their respective markets, or even to protect those same and certain other industries from unfair foreign competition. The goal of the Quality of Life Lobby is to lobby lawmakers to once more make the quality of life of people in the USA a policy objective.
Ever since NAFTA, there has been no policy objective to protect the USA labor market from unfair foreign competition--or from anything else for that matter. From white collar workers to the ones in the service industry, we have been subjected to lowering wages and higher inflation. The cost of living has increased and the purchasing power of the dollar in our domestic market is getting weaker and weaker yet our wages have not risen. Any attempts to raise wages are brushed aside with talks of inflation being the outcome of such measures, but no other solution is given. The ability of the market to correct itself thanks to competition has been overlooked. If Campbell's tries to sell beans for $4.00/can the invisible hand of the market will see to it that Goya or Procter & Gamble will compete with them by selling it for $3.00/can, $2.00/can and so forth until it is reasonably priced again. Inflation is no excuse to not address the cost of living issue in this country. How do we do that? What is causing the cost of living to rise while wages stagnate? That is why we are here. We need to discuss the problems at hand whether they be economic, social, or related to the justice system to identify the root source of each major quality-of-life-impacting issue and potential solutions. We aren't here to find one solution and praise it, flaws and all. Point out the flaws. Find ways around them if you can, or point them out so that someone else may. We need to create a platform on prevalent problems and proposed solutions so that we can lobby law makers and thereby raise our quality of life. Common problems mentioned on Reddit include:
Quality of life afforded by a 40-hour-per-week job. Many note that their grandparents could work one job and afford a high quality of life, but they themselves can not despite having more education. Many even are forced to work multiple part-time jobs because no one in their zip codes are hiring full time to avoid insurance, sick leave, and other liability associated with employing full-time labor. Leaving isn't an option since they can't accumulate the wealth needed to move (first and last month's rent in new accommodations and cost of living until they can secure a new job in their new zip code and moving costs such as a van in some instances.) As most can see, even when moving is an option, it more often than not isn't better anywhere else hence the widespread dissatisfaction on this front.
Cost of education. Most people remember that their parents or grandparents could afford university with a summer job. That is not the case now. Many university presidents are paid more than the president of the United States of America for crying out loud, and you or your children are going into usurious debt to finance it--and to boot, that is after your state taxes subsidize those selfsame universities. Why? You know it affects your quality of life and your local consumer and housing markets. You know it doesn't have to be that way because it wasn't before. What changed? How can we get this beast of a situation under control?
Selective law enforcement. We hear about some reports being prosecuted and others not being prosecuted, but there is little consistency in some cases. Someone steals your bike? Tough luck. Your car? Tough luck...sometimes...but maybe not. We need consistency. Are the police departments underfunded or unwilling? Do we need to commission RAND Corporation to find out and give suggestions? What is the law enforcement situation in your city or state, and how can it be improved? What support does law enforcement need to do its job, and how do we lobby our lawmakers for that support to be given?
Dismissal of the concerns of the middle class. This is pervasive. You pay $20,000 per year in taxes...and you have nothing to show for it. You have no subsidies under the affordable care act, your kids get no financial aid in university, you don't qualify for any type of assistance, but you probably are nearly out of money at the end of each month. No one takes your plight seriously because they compare you to the most poverty-stricken in society. It's enough to make you resent them. They are worse off, but it doesn't mean that you don't have problems--and as much as you pay in taxes, your problems should be a priority, too. Why are all the taxes put on you? Upper income households and corporations often can more adroitly lessen their tax liability, and corporations get subsidies and bailouts when times get bad, but what about you? Stop being the middle child in a dysfunctional household who has all of the responsibilities to take care of the younger children and none of the privileges of the first-born and make your plight heard NOW!
Demonization of the poor. You work two part-time jobs or one full-time job, but after rent, food, gas, car insurance, utilities, health insurance (part timers don't get company benefits), and finally day care if you have kids, nothing is left at the end of the month. You even need help with food. You get a food stamp card, now known as SNAP benefits, and despite all of your hard work some people have the nerve to call you a taker and blame you for their high taxes. They tell you to "better yourself" but don't explain who will pay your rent when you are in class instead of at work to do it. They don't explain who will pay your health insurance. They think you get everything for free when in reality medicaid will only cover you if you are the parent of a dependent child, permanently disabled, or over 65 no matter how in need you may be. You are scapegoated and arguably economically exploited by your employer. "Market value" of your skills is used to explain why you are not paid enough to live without a SNAP card despite working for a very profitable company and being very economically productive. If your coworkers and you suddenly couldn't show up, the company you work at would lose $5000-$10000 per day, but somehow you are not worth more than $80 per day despite having only a few other coworkers if you work in a small store or restaurant. Don't get me started on large stores. Your grandparents weren't demonized for working with their hands, and they could support themselves without being had for fools, paid so little as to need charity, and socially scorned. What went wrong for you? Make your voice heard now, too! If your company was forced to pay you according to your productivity as gauged by net profits every month instead of "market value," maybe the poor middle class wouldn't be taxed to death for your SNAP card and you could buy a few luxuries--which you certainly deserve for all of your hard work.
Tokenism. "Build a wall!" "Stop them from using the bathrooms!" "Let them use the bathrooms!" "Stop the abortion!" "Give the abortion!" "We shall build a turtle fence!" "I think I'll get a woman vice president." "I know more about viruses than anyone!" At what point are we being taken for a ride? When you wake up every day and go to work, how is any of this shit affecting you? The bathroom issue may, but once we know a candidate's stand on that--or any of the above for that matter--it is no good reason to vote for that person if (s)he only has that one stance going for him/her. What actually affects YOU, YOUR NEIGHBORS, YOUR FRIENDS, YOUR FAMILY, or SOME GROUP OF PEOPLE YOU FEEL SORRY FOR LIKE THE ELDERLY OR THE POOR? When a candidate is not running on a single-issue voter platform or engaging in tokenism, they are often focusing on issues that tug at your heart strings but don't fill your wallet. Who cares about a wall or a fence or anything else for that matter if you have less than $500 in your account at any given time and your car could break any minute? I bet the lawmakers running for office don't live with that kind of sword of Damocles hanging over their heads, and if you work 40 hours a week, as I live, you shouldn't either. Vote with that in mind. The goal here is to form a large group of voters who can lobby for issues that affect them with one voice and cut through the fluff that is, quite frankly, not going to affect the quality of life for you at all and only get into office someone who once there won't make your quality of life a policy goal.
If they pick on you it's because we let them. Let's not let them. WE have a democracy, and once we identify the problems affecting us and their solutions, law makers can either implement our solutions, find and implement their own solutions to our problems, or promptly be voted the fucking hell out of there. The choice can be theirs...if you make them. We have to form a lobby and a credible voting block--that means growing this sub. The companies kicking our working asses have lobbies. It's time to make our own or forever hold our peace. (It also would take less than one or two hours a week if it takes off for even the most active members since once we identify issues I and other moderators can compile them and the most supported proposed solutions and put them up for vote in a poll so that we can form a list of problems and their corresponding solutions one at a time. We can then have a document which we can use for our political platform and lobby lawmakers with. Once this document is made, it is not time consuming to publish it, lobby other voters with it, and form a voting block around it to lobby lawmakers with and vote them in or out depending on their ability to address OUR needs. Upon the completion of this hopefully less-than-10-pages-long political platoorm document, it can be shared on social media as well to gain traction.) P.S. To all of the high-income earners, you are not left out. Democracy and rights to the fruit of one's labor and a high quality of life are for everyone. If you are not underpaying your employees, we do not want your money. We want the people they work for to pay them (and probably you, too, so that you can invest in USA companies and create jobs through the creation of businesses or your increased consumption in the housing and consumer markets) so that your taxes don't get raised for their SNAP cards any more than they already have. We are not advocating socialism. Also, one may notice that as we have a mixed economy* some aspects of it are already socialized, like medicaid and disability. We are not going to set parameters on the discussion as we have faith in the critical thinking skills of everyone here to pick and choose from all ideas set before them on the merits of the ideas and not the system the one presenting the ideas may advocate for--or not advocate for. One may run out of other people's money, but you never run out of the money your labor has earned your company, and the goal here is to make sure that the people in the USA do not have their quality of life drastically affected because they don't get an equitable share of that. (One of the goals of this sub is to decide and debate what an 'equitable share of the fruits of their labor' is in terms of a percent of net profits of the entity they work for and what an equitable share of the fruits of one's labor is in the context of nonprofits, public entities like libraries and schools, etc and related minutiae.) If you are a doctor--as much money as doctors make--you still should not live in fear of a missed student loan payment or be worked to the bone with excessively long shifts for years. The same goes for other high-income earners. You should be paid according to your value to that hospital(or other employer), and they should take steps wherever possible--not just wherever convenient--to ensure that you and their other staff do not suffer unnecessarily. Suffering is going to happen, but the goal of the Quality of Life Lobby is to reduce it where it is not necessary and to find ways to do it without creating a bigger problem. Please feel free to contribute your concerns regarding your quality of life and how it can be higher even if you have a pretty high quality of life already or feel that others' concerns are more dire than your own. We are working for everyone here to raise everyone's quality of life as much as it can be in their own context. *Mixed economy (noun): an economic system that combines aspects of both capitalism and socialism. A mixed economic system protects private property and allows a level of economic freedom in the use of capital, but also allows for governments to interfere in economic activities in order to achieve social aims.Apr 27, 2020 Example: We have had a mixed economic system at the least since Franklin D. Roosevelt enacted the Social Security Act of 1935 and a series of financial reforms, regulations, programs, and public work projects called the New Deal during the seven-year period of time spanning from 1933 to 1939. Example: One of the goals of the Quality of Life Lobby is to lobby for financial reforms and regulations to protect the quality of life of people in the USA from undue foreign market interference and from the affects of a growing population and decreased need for labor as caused by automation, AI, other technological advances, and competition with foreign markets which are not accounted for in traditional market theory. --www.investopedia.com
I would have never guessed that Ethan would talk about my left nut.
I’m the guy that made fun of the #teamtree proof. Timestamp of the podcast. Emotions got the better of me and when I heard Ethan quoting me, I was taken a bit aback that I wrote something so… bad… As a big h3 fan I need to clarify some stuff. AndI'mashamedthatIwrotesuchahatefulcomment EDIT march 2020. After posting here, I took this post and made it in a comment format. It was the most awarded comment of december 2019 100+ awards And it is also on medium It is easier to share I know it may be a bit boring but please bear with me 5 minutes. You wait 5 minutes for the coffee to be done. 5 minutes is eating a nice salad. It took me hours and hours to write the below. So go, make your coffee, take your salad and please read the following. And please read it with an open mind. I’ll try to sum up why planting trees is a marketing stunt and we are past the saving point. Everything in here is backed by sources and not some “doomsday” fantasy stuff. Here you have an image of the likelihood of SHTF events of happening. So we are not talking about some alien stuff, war or EMP, but global warming. I’m the same age as Ethan and I’m a Ph.D. in int.relations with a specialization in climate conflicts(I have other masters too). If you look at my top comments on reddit most of them are well researched. Bear in mind, English is not my mother tongue. 10 years ago I was the guy chained up to a tree, 5 years ago I was the guy blocking the street trying to get your attention to stop eating meat. I was arrested, ridiculed and "roughed up". Now I’m just resigned and I’ll try to present you with some graphs and news and then sum it up at the end. Most people don’t want to read white papers because they are too boring. On the other hand, journal articles are backed by private corporation’s money and they try to minimize global warming. nconvenientnews created a great post about the latter, on how the billionaires are discrediting the climate activists. Good GQ article on how the billionaires caused the climate change and in here you have 20 firms behind 1/3 of CO2 For all you white paper junkies, here you’ll find 30,000 scientific papers about how F*cked we are. For all audio lovers here you have a 30 minutes talk about why everything must collapse. "There's no infinite growth"
Let’s get to it.
5 years ago there was a tv show called The Newsroom. It was mostly a serious tv show with some comedic tones about the world of media. There is a famous 5 minutes clip about climate collapse. It was "comedic" back then however now it is the reality.
Why tree-loss prevention is more important than planting them.
This used to be the point at which scientists thought we were OK. In 2018 the IPCC wanted to stop global warming at this temperature predicting we will hit it with a 10% chance by 2023. At this temperature, heatwaves across the globe will happen every single year, and these 'new' heatwaves will be as hot as the Sahara Desert. There will be massive crop destruction, 70% of coral in the ocean will be bleached, and drought will affect 360M people. source. Guess whataccording to the month-old IPCC 2019 report we are at 1.5C already . The number of loss events (Tsunamis, storms, flood, wildfire) between 1980-2015 has QUADRUPLED. Historically, every climate summit missed their target of limiting GHG emissions by a lot. Another angle.
Biomass and 6th extinction
Earth appears to be undergoing a process of "biological annihilation." Up to half of the total number of animal individuals that once shared the Earth with humans are already gone. A 2017 study looked at animal populations across the planet by examining 27,600 vertebrate species — about half of the overall total that we know exist. They found that more than 30% of them are in decline. Some species are facing total collapse, while local populations of others are going extinct in specific areas. Moreover humans wiped out 60% of animal populations since 1970 Source Insects are dying off at record rates. Roughly 40% of the world's insect species are in decline, according to one study. Insects aren't the only creatures taking a hit. In the past 50 years, more than 500 amphibian species have declined worldwide — and 90 have gone extinct — due to a deadly fungal disease that corrodes frog flesh. Source And Plants are going extinct up to 350 times faster than the historical norm On the other side, Look at the explosion of domesticated animals between 1950 and 2000. Cattle is one of the causes of global warming. Ie. The Amazon is being cut down not for lumber but to make room for cattle SourceOur hope in her is all the Beyondmeat, Impossible burger which are not using animal protein and are way better for the environment.
The steep steep curve of population. If our numbers grow by 228,000 on an average day, then in one week, we will have added about 1,589,000 extra persons to world population. And five days after that we will add another million and then another and another, and we are on track to continue this way repeatedly into the foreseeable future. Never before in human history have we asked our governments, infrastructure, social institutions, earth's environment, and the social fabric of our civilizations to respond to and accommodate such mammoth increase numbers in such compressed periods of time. Source. To prepare for it Humanity must produce more food in the next four decades than we have in the last 8,000 years But we are wasting so much food and losing so much water in irrigation that taking all this into account Society will collapse by 2040 due to catastrophic food shortages. The results show that based on plausible climate trends, and a total failure to change course, the global food supply system would face catastrophic losses, and an unprecedented epidemic of food riots. Source
2.0 degree of warming:
Permafrost and Methane
At this level we expect 6.6 million square kilometers of permafrost to thaw. And create a feedback loop of releasing a lot of methane which means that melting ice caps and permafrost becomes a self-accelerating extinction. Already boiling with Methane But that is also terrifying because we know that there are pathogens frozen in that permafrost - pathogens like anthrax. Zombie antrax.
We are running out of topsoil Source, by 2055 we will have none of it video. That's the warning of "Surviving the 21st Century" author Julian Cribb to an international soil science conference in Queenstown, New Zealand on Dec 15, 2016. "10 kilos of topsoil, 800 litres of water, 1.3 litres of diesel, 0.3g of pesticide and 3.5 kilos of carbon dioxide – that's what it takes to deliver one meal, for just one person," Cribb says.. And it takes 2000 years to form 5cm of topsoil If ecosystems start to break down, that means bees will eventually die. Which means that we will stop having pollination. Which means plants will die. Which means our crops will die. If you don't think this will affect you...just you wait until food becomes the rarest commodity on Earth. If you think you have seen human barbarity, just wait until those same humans are starving and desperate for food. This won't mean millions starving. It will mean billions starving. Including you.
A Blue Ocean Event means that huge amounts of sunlight won't get reflected back into space anymore, as they previously were. Instead, the heat will have to be absorbed by the Arctic. As long as the Arctic Ocean has sea ice, most sunlight gets reflected back into space and the 'Center-of-Coldness' remains near the North Pole. A Blue Ocean Event will not only mean that additional heat will have to be absorbed in the Arctic, but also that wind patterns will change radically and even more dramatically than they are already changing now, which will also make that other tipping points will be reached earlier. This is why a Blue Ocean Event is an important tipping point and it will likely be reached abruptly and disruptively by 2022.source The arctic ice volume over the years in one chart. It is a Death spiral. Oh, and rising seas could affect three times more people by 2050 than previously hought
The ice sheet feedback loop
And when it comes to rising ocean levels its becoming increasingly difficult to predict because not only are we heating the air, heat is getting trapped in the oceans too which means that ice sheets in the Arctic circle and Greenland are melting from above and below - meaning they're melting much MUCH faster than we estimated even in our most extreme estimates. Vice news video about it. This will mean that Florida and New York could be completely underwater. If you're worried about refugees from Central and Latin America or Africa, you'll want to start thinking about the tens of millions of people that will be fleeing inland as climate refugees to escape the inundation of their homes. Warming oceans doesn't just mean rising ocean levels either - it means more ocean water gets evaporated, which means larger, faster and deadlier hurricanes and torrential disastrous downpours.
Extreme heatwaves that kill even healthy people within hours will strike parts of the Indian subcontinent unless global carbon emissions are cut sharply and soon, according to new research. Even outside of these hotspots, three-quarters of the 1.7bn population – particularly those farming in the Ganges and Indus valleys – will be exposed to a level of humid heat classed as posing “extreme danger” towards the end of the century. The new analysis assesses the impact of climate change on the deadly combination of heat and humidity, measured as the “wet bulb” temperature (WBT). Once this reaches 35C, the human body cannot cool itself by sweating and even fit people sitting in the shade will die within six hours. There are already part of thw world above 32-33
oceans are absorbing a large portion of the CO2 emitted into the atmosphere—in fact, oceans are the largest single carbon sink in the world, dwarfing the absorbing abilities of the Amazon rainforest. But the more CO2 the oceans absorb, the more acidic they become on a relative scale, because some of the carbon reacts within the water to form carbonic acid. If acidification decreases marine emissions of sulfur, it could cause an increase in the amount of solar energy reaching the Earth’s surface, speeding up warming—which is exactly what the Nature Climate Change study predicts. Researchers estimate that the pH of the ocean will drop by 0.4 pH units by the end of this century if carbon emissions are not stopped, or by 0.15 units if global temperature rise is limited to 2C. source And plankton and all fishes are plunging. There is a mass extinction in the oceans right now
We have at most 30 years if we stop completely CO2 emissions. Every powerplants needs to stop today. Today. Not tomorrow, not by 2025, not by 2030. I know it is impossible that’s why we have at most 30 years. But the sooner we accept it the sooner we may make peace with it. By continuing on this path, we are creating more feedback loops that are out of our control and forest fires, migrations, wars may happen sooner than expected.
Costs of going green are insane and the global economy is unable to bear the brunt of this mass switch. Going 100% green energy is not possible with the current consumption. Earth lacks enough metals to produce solar panels, batteries and ways to distribute energy around the globe. Building one wind turbine requires 900 tons of steel, 2,500 tons of concrete and 45 tons of plastic. Solar power requires even more cement, steel and glass—not to mention other metals. Global silver and indium mining will jump 250% and 1,200% respectively over the next couple of decades to provide the materials necessary to build the number of solar panels, the International Energy Agency forecasts. World demand for rare-earth elements—which aren’t rare but are rarely mined in America—will rise 300% to 1,000% by 2050 to meet the Paris green goals. If electric vehicles replace conventional cars, demand for cobalt and lithium, will rise more than 20-fold. That doesn’t count batteries to back up wind and solar grids. SourceA periodic table of elements that we are running out of And China controls 90% of all rare minerals source A single electric-car battery weighs about 1,000 pounds. Fabricating one requires digging up, moving and processing more than 500,000 pounds of raw materials somewhere on the planet. The alternative? Use gasoline and extract one-tenth as much total tonnage to deliver the same number of vehicle-miles over the battery’s seven-year life. The new green deal is not enough. The Developing World Is Increasing Emissions At Such A Rate That Any Emission Reduction By The Developed World Will Be Offset. Even if we imagined that the political will could be found in both the United States and the European Union to spend trillions on a Green New Deal, and we made the somewhat generous assumption that these plans would be successful in achieving net zero emissions by 2030, it would really have no meaningful impact on global carbon emissions. The rapidly industrializing developing world is increasing emissions at such a rate that even if the US and the EU achieved zero emissions by 2030, it would be entirely offset. Same with a meat tax. We can impose a tax on meat in the developed countries but China, India or South america are eating more and more meat by the day. According to Asia Research and Engagement's report "charting Asia's protein journey", meat and seafood consumption in Asia will rise 33# by 2030 and 78% from 2017 to 2050
An international team of researchers has looked at the material demands and pollution that would result from a push to get the globe to 40 percent renewables by the middle of the century. The analysis finds that despite the increased materials and energy demands, a push like this would result in a dramatic reduction in pollution. And for the most part, the material demands could be met, with the possible exception of copper. 40% Green Energy requires 200% more copper 100% green energy requires 500% more copper. We move some 3 billion tons of earth per year to get 15 millions tons of copper. We cannot recycle it into existence. Substituting aluminum for copper takes 5X the energy and is less safe. And there is no substitutes for the metals
We have increased fossil fuel use more this century than in the last two decades of the 20th century. More than half of all fossil fuel emissions released over the previous 25 years are more than was released in all of recorded history before 1990.
Even though we have had over 21 international conferences on fossil fuel reduction, and we had international treaties since at least 1993 pledging we would reduce global warming, we still are about 67% higher in carbon emissions than the early 1990s. (Atmospheric carbon emissions is probably the best way to measure future global warming.)
In 2018 carbon emissions increased another dramatic 2.7% and they are projected to rise once again in 2019.
Edit2: Someone asked me what’s the most crazy SHTF thing that may happen but is backed by science? My personal favorite a Carrington-level solar storm. “A Carrington-level, extreme geomagnetic storm is almost inevitable in the future. The total U.S. population at risk of extended power outage from a Carrington-level storm is between20-40 million, with durations of 16 days to 1-2 years “ Source. According to unpublished FEMA documents obtained by Government Attic, a FOIA database and non-profit organization, the Department of Homeland Security agency once mapped out a disaster plan for the occurrence of another geomagnetic "superstorm," noting that the rare—yet "high-consequence"—scenario has "the potential for catastrophic impact on our nation and FEMA's ability to respond." Source Edit3: What can you do to prepare for collapse?
buy land, build a community around it and enjoy life. (nearly impossible as you need a lot of money)
become a prepper, learn skills, stockpile food and water.
EDIT4: thank you for the plat, gold and special (?) award! For any future donator, instead of gilding please donate to Cool Earth link. They try to save the rainforest, David Attenborough supports them and they are the most cost-effective charity to date which works on mitigating climate change through direct action. Thank you! (And my response to the anonymous note with the plat award - I'm a member ;) )
Copied and pasted a long thread about the 2020s (part 1)
I have found a very interesting thread in a forum, I decided to copy and paste all the comments that the author of the post made. The author posted this in 2018, the author also posted another in 2019 about the same subject. But this will be about the 2018 post (part 1) Here is the link for part 2: https://www.reddit.com/The2020s/comments/exoexp/copied_and_pasted_a_long_thread_about_the_2020s/ ---------- As I write this thread it is the year 2018, which is only two years away from the 2020s. It wasn't long ago when I felt that the coming decade felt like a distant future, but now it is very near. I want to try and predict what could happen in the 2020s, I have based my predictions on considering the age of all the generations that will be alive then and deciding their most likely role. The generations I will include in the overview are as follows: Generation Z, people born from 2002 to current present. Generation Y, people born from 1981 to 2001. Generation X, people born from 1965 to 1980. Baby boomers, people born from 1946 to 1964. First of all the decade will start off strong with a presidential election, the eldest of Gen Z will be old enough to vote while the majority of voters will be Gen Y and X. The voting trend for authoritarian and socialist candidates will peak during this decade, more people will care about the environment and will be more willing to do something about it. And yes, Donald Trump could win the next election. More people will be willing to sacrifice some of their personal freedoms to work for a shared cause, I don't exactly know what that will be but I can guess it would have something to do with climate change or globalism. Baby boomer power will lose its grip in this decade with Donald Trump being one of the last, Gen X will take their place with Gen Y being the driving force of the implemented changes. I can see Gen Y as becoming a group divided into different hive-minded tribelike groups, each group working hard together to make their ideologies a reality and to make changes. The internal strife that we are seeing today will continue to worsen in the 2020s, with increasing conflict, upheaval and revolution being the defining themes of the early to mid 2020s. Internal strife will eventually end by 2030, this could mark the end of Americans position as the worlds superpower with the spotlight to be replaced by a more authoritarian power. In such a scenario our values and lifestyles will change. After the revolution the world will see an explosion of new technologies, the new technologies will give people hope about our future and will improve our life's but will also be a cause of new dangers and threats that we don't have today. The new generation after Gen Z will be the first people born into the new world order. I know this thread was slightly vague but I hope I have put in enough information to let the reader know of what I think could happen in the 2020s. But what do you think would happen? Do you agree with any of those predictions? Would you like to add anything? If you want to share your thoughts I'd love to read them :-D ---------- A decline in living standards for the many is definitely something I can see happening, and it will be a big reason why people will fight more and more for change in the coming years. People will fight for a stronger community that better provides for its citizens, but things will continue to get worse before their protests are answered accordingly. ---------- It is indeed a shame that people are still apathetic about the current situation, Jeremy Corbyn tried to help but all he got in return was mistreatment and its almost as if they are getting what's coming to them. With the way the UK is headed I cannot say for sure what will happen, but my gut says that people will coerce the government into leaving the EU, I could be wrong. Do you think the UK will leave or remain in the EU? ---------- 'In short, what you both have described is pretty much the last 50 years, so it will probably continue as it is now.' Its cool you pointed that out because I based the 2020s predictions from the late 1940s. America 10 years ago was when its stock market crashed which resulted in the 2008 financial crisis, if the UK is 10 years behind we can assume that the UK is headed for an equally severe economic crisis if it hasn't happened already. 'to clarify, declining from now, or from the peak of 'living standards', if so, what year was that do you think?' I meant declining from now, I'd largely blame climate change for the upcoming decline in living standards but for the sake of the thread I will blame economic and social dynamics as they are contributing factors too. ---------- Thank you for your input :) And indeed 2010s saw the biggest political shift since the mid-1900s and politics will continue to change for a few more years to come (until 2030 max.), some people feel threatened by this new political climate while some embrace it. 'Putin held a press conference where he gloated and bragged that the US was in extreme decline, no longer the major power and how trump took his advice. We sent some umpty-ump there last week and he, supposedly an aggressive man, allowed Putin to insult American symbols and chuckled along.' With the way Donald Trump is headed and the fact that he is friends with Russia and North Korea, it is not farfetched to assume that Donald Trump may do to America what Putin or Kim advices him to do, as Donald Trump is willing to sacrifice American liberty for profit and to maintain peace. 'I am encouraged by the younger generations becoming a political force.' It is unlikely that you will be disappointed by a lack of young voters. It will be the decade where Gen X take over the white house, you could see the first Gen Y candidates and by then Gen Y will already be changing the world. The voice of Gen Z will become more influential too and by the end of the decade many Gen Z's will vote. We will likely see the first Gen X president after Trump, the president would more likely be less conservative and would more likely deal with things in a sensible way as the president guides America through the next crisis of the mid-to-late 2020s. Generation Y will most likely be more liberal than Gen X but they will value social and national security more than their parents will. They will likely vote for a liberal or socialist candidate that promises for free healthcare and education. Generation Z will care the most about the environment, by the end of the 2020s a lot of Gen Z individuals may become green activists. The 2020s could be summed up as a battle of the generations, with Gen Y and Gen Z growing more tired of reckless consumerism and capitalism, Gen X gladly taking the Baby Boomers place with the remaining Baby Boomers trying to remain in power. ---------- 'more surveillance I bet, secretly going towards George Orwell's vision.' Very likely! Today we can share everything about ourselves (even our genetic code!), the trend of sharing everything about ourselves will continue to grow in the 2020s and could be the defining feature of the upcoming new world order. Gen Y in particular are known to share everything about themselves online, in the 2020s Gen Y will make up the majority of the workforce which would mean that you are required to share your private information at the interview. This could expand into every area of our life and it will be increasingly difficult to keep your information private, but Gen Y will probably thrive the most in such an environment as they are more likely to give up their privacy. On a more positive note, there will be a decrease in terrorism and crime. I worry, and this is a bit far fetched I know, what if we get a dictator in power, and turns Britian into a communist country, and then everything I've written and commented on youtube on the conspiracy theories, blaming the government for corruption, and stuff I've said about Trump's hair and Theresa May's dancing - I'd probably be rounded up and put in a prison camp. But don't think it's gonna get that far. It likely won't get that far, at least not in America/Britain anyway so you should be fine :) But it probably wouldn't be wise to troll online in the 2020s, trolling (in particular cyber-bullying) might become a criminal offence and it will be much easier to get into trouble and have your identity tracked by law enforcement. ---------- True, no matter what year it is some things never change, that people in power will always allow human suffering for the pursuit of profit. ---------- Thread edit: (Note: This focuses heavily on Gen Z and may seem out of topic.) Thinking about Gen Z and what year marks the beginning of their generation is yet to be determined today, and I can't see the range of Gen Y and Gen Z to be fully confirmed until by 2030-2035. When first posting the thread I marked the beginning of Gen Z at the time when 9/11 occurred (as controversial as that is), sure the event triggered the war in Iraq but it did not trigger a change in political leanings like we see today (2018). Although 2001 is indeed a possible starting point for Gen Z, the most likely year I think is 2008 when the global financial crisis barged in like a rude awakening. 2008 changed the political climate more than 2001 may have done, the western world and many people got deeper into debt. In 2010 the conservatives took over the British parliament when David Cameron promised to improve the economic situation, in 2016 the Americans wanted a leader who would get them out of debt and to stay relevant which resulted in Donald Trumps victory. 2008 was the end of reckless spending, credit card purchases and economic consistency. But marks the beginning of Gen Z, a generation raised by worried parents wrought with uncertainty, growing up in a world that is becoming more authoritarian and to come of age as cautious and conforming citizens of the future new world order. In the year 2020 the age range of Gen Z would be 0-12 years, in 2025 0?-17 and 2030 0?-22. Spite their young age Gen Z will still be a political force to be reckoned with, especially by the late 2020s. Although they will likely be too young to vote, they will join inn the activism and will care much more about the environment than the previous generations. About half of Gen Z's will grow up in the new world order where censorship and security is compulsory. Gen Z will probably look up to Gen X having an idealized view of the 1980s-1990s, a time of rebels, of manliness, of woman power dressing, of excess, and having the freedom and confidence to express oneself and to say what they really think. ---------- Many new technologies we saw in the 2010s would be commercialised on a larger scale by the 2020s, technologies like virtual reality, 3D printing and robotics with sophisticated AI. 3D printing will become more practical and could become an affordable product for the public by 2030, 3D printing has the potential to revolutionise how a lot of products will be made since the potential of 3D printing is massive. It is even possible to create synthetic organs using 3D printers, which in itself will revolutionise healthcare. Virtual reality too will become more practical and affordable for the public, its level of commercial success will affect little of peoples attempt to improve its immersion. In the 2020s virtual reality headsets will likely be downsized into portable wireless glasses/goggles. Researchers will continue to study robotics and AI. Robots will slowly replace humans in war, humans in factories and humans in data management, this process will not be a fast one and a process which will likely result in unemployment. The rise of Neo-Luddites (which will consist of people who fear technology and people who have lost their jobs to robots) is a real possibility in the 2020s and a movement that may disrupt the robotic movement. Artificial intelligence will be implemented in the management of data as they are better at mathematics and do not tend to make mistakes, AI may also be implemented in the management of the economy in the hopes of preventing the next stock market crash. The new technologies that we could see in the 2020s are as follows: Vertical farming. Vertical farms are greenhouses made into skyscrapers, they could revolutionise agriculture for later decades as climate change makes traditional farming more difficult and less productive, it will be a practical solution too as more and more people will be moving into cities. Vertical farms would likely be self-sustaining as they water their plants with captured rainwater and run on renewable energy. We will likely see the first vertical farm in the 2020s, and soon after more will appear. Hypersonic flight. The first hypersonic planes will be in use for the public, especially for the rich. They are the 2020s equivalent of the Concorde from the 1970s, hypersonic airplanes will be much faster and will be able to fly higher in the sky. This technology will expand into hypersonic weaponry, which will be used in missiles and bombs. 5G technology. 5G technology means a faster internet, increased storage capacity, and increased internet connectivity. Gadgets will run much faster and internet delays could even be a thing of the past. In the 2020s we may see a trend where more and more things will be able to connect to the internet, even mundane items. We could see tables with touchscreens, fridges with touchscreens, doors with touchscreens, we could even see touchscreens on walls. Smart grids. Smart grids will be used to better manage our use and storage of poweresources, more and more houses will be connected to the smart grid. This will be a gradual process and won't be fully implemented until the 2030s. Advanced drilling. This technology will likely be used to drill out the remaining sources of oil, gas and coal. It would also reveal more sources of energy that were previously undiscovered, could potentially replace fracking. Gradual technological projects: Cars will slowly switch to electricity. It is not likely that all cars will be electric by 2030, but we will see a big increase in hybrid vehicles and an increase in electric cars. It will be easier to have an electric car as they become more efficient and power outlets will appear in many petrol stations. Increasing commitment to renewable energy. More solar energy will be built, more windfarms will be erected, more geothermal plants will be constructed and more hydro-power plants will be installed in our rivers. Breakthroughs in carbon-capture. In 2015 we have reached a dangerous atmospheric level of carbon dioxide, today some people are working hard to build carbon-capture plants and research a more efficient technology. By the 2020s we could have a more effective way to capture carbon dioxide from the air to store or sell, whether or not we will fully commit to this technology is yet to be seen. The 2020s will indeed be an interesting age of technological upheaval, I nearly forgot to mention but it will also be an age of space exploration, India will conduct its first space mission and space tourism will be available for the rich. ---------- I do think that the 2018 November election will indeed have a significant affect on how the beginning of the 2020s will play out. If the Democrats win Donald Trump would be impeached and his ability to rule over America would be dramatically weakened. More aggressive investigations will be made against Donald Trump, going so far as to attempt to overthrow Trump. 'ATM, Joe Biden is the most popular choice to run in 2020. baby boomer, obviously.' If the Democrats win it will surely make Bidens presidency more likely. If the Republicans win Donald Trump would likely be in the same situation as before, except for a slight increase of approval for Trump within the office which will give him more power to implement his wishes. With the liberal-democrat movement being on hold. Either way political division will remain in America as both sides continue to jostle for power, with political violence further increasing. I cannot predict which side will win, especially after the 2016 election where everyone thought that Hillary Clinton will win. ---------- Thank you, but you have contributed much to this thread, so thank you for that also. :-D Tea party rule would set us back disastrously. Without a doubt and would actually add to the list of things to protest against for the liberals. If the Tea Party rule came to be I doubt that many people would allow it to run for long, especially if the majority by then have liberal leanings. This may seem like a longshot but a republican victory could result in California vouching for independence, I do think that we will see at least one state earning independence at some point in the future, even as early as the 2020s. ---------- The mid-term election results will make Donald Trumps re-election much less likely and his impeachment or resignation more so, drama within the white house will intensify more and more while Donald Trump remains in office. Such white house drama and the possibility of Trump impeachment will make the majority of American news. What does the election results mean for the next election? There will be many more prominent Democratic candidates in 2020 and will have better chances of winning in my mind. The fight for the first woman president in 2016 may pale in comparison in 2020, there will be more women democratic candidates who may have more popularity than Hillary Clinton did. I'd be surprised if we do not see the first woman president by 2030 since many democrats are working hard to achieve their progressive milestone. I'm gonna type in my current prediction of the 2020s, which mainly focuses on the Western world: The Democratic party may further dominate the white house progressively and will eventually look back at Trumpism as a temporary mistake or hiccup, a mistake that they blame Russia for. Relations between Russia and America could turn sour especially if the Republicans win votes even though the American public actually favour the Democratic candidate, Republicans may blame Russia or declare a war against cyber-hacking since voting numbers are very easy to tamper with. Cyber-security will be heavily funded as a result, the government will hire skilled hackers to protect their voting numbers and other sensitive data from would-be hackers. Not long after more organizations will increase their cyber-security, hacking will become a more sought after talent and will become a valid way to make a lot of money. However the internet will become more and more security enforced, in my mind it would not be far-fetched to assume that you will need a licence to use the internet and a record free of illegal hacking. The use of the dark web will explode in use, the government would likely make the dark web illegal to use due to the threat that hackers have on society. I have mentioned that our society will become more strict and authoritarian and in my mind the Democrats will be the ones who will establish the New World Order. This process may begin in earnest in the 2020s, SJW's and feminists may likely have more power to enforce their ideology, many white will allow this to happen since they fear being ostracized for being racist/sexist. I think the most accurate representation of the upcoming New World Order (which would be at its peak through 2026-2032) is 'Demolition Man', which is a film where a man from 1996 is frozen and thawed in the year 2032. In the movie everything that is deemed bad is banned or illegal, people are more soft and are less equipped to deal with hard times. People in 2032 see themselves as the most enlightened and most peaceful people in history, and see people from the 20th century as 'savages'. I don't think that the upcoming New World Order would be as extreme as the society seen in Demolition Man, but it would likely share many similarities. Here is a video link of predictions made by the film that may come true: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exILtC-3c_I ---------- *Democrats may blame Russia or declare a war against cyber-hacking since voting numbers are very easy to tamper with. ---------- 'the number 1 issue among citizens is healthcare. young people are also more ambitious in making education available for all and regulating gun control.' I noticed that young people are already working aggressively on regulating gun control, eventually gun control will be implemented I think which will result in outcry but the majority will approve. Free or cheap healthcare may likely be implemented too, I can see this happening after the legalization of cannabis and the explosion of profit following the legalization. Nearly all young people approve of the legalization of cannabis so it may be inevitable as soon as they are able to, cannabis tax will allow America to afford free healthcare which many people by then will be protesting for. At the moment these events are in the air which is now surely cementing into reality, these events may truly take off when the next democratic president is elected or maybe even before that. ---------- I cannot say for sure what will likely happen and how or in what order the following predictions will play out, but I think that sooner or later our government will be replaced with something else. I've noticed lately that some people are not taking our governments seriously anymore and the people who feel that way do not see them as competent leaders, this trend will grow in the 2020s as fast as technology will. Today the biggest threat to our outdated leaders is the internet, and I can see the government trying to control or censor the internet in a desperate attempt to stay relevant. Technology is advancing much quicker than our outdated leaders can keep up with and our society is moving ever faster, even today we can see that our leaders are not as effective as they once were in the 19th-20th century. Today there is a British environmental 'Extinction Rebellion' movement who feel that the government has failed to take conservative measures to protect the environment hence threatening the future of our species, the 2020s will see a significant rise of similar groups who feel that their leaders have failed them. The widespread unrest will spread the idea that todays government is no longer effective and may reach to the point where nobody takes the current government seriously anymore, this could result in a global power vacuum in which a new form of government takes its place. As for Trumps presidency I cannot say what would happen, if Donald Trump wins the next election in 2020 his influence would more likely cause countries to pull out from the Paris Emission Agreement, the current protests in Paris may be a possible recipe for France itself to postpone or even cancel the Paris Emission Agreement. If Donald Trump loses the next election or gets impeached then a Democratic candidate would likely take his place. A Democratic president will likely replace Trump at some point in the 2020s, the chances of Democratic dominance will increase as the decade marches on. If not 2020 then much more likely in 2024. Due to personal bias I cannot see the Conservatives fairing as well as Donald Trump, if a public rebellion were to happen the Conservatives would likely back down and implode due to resignation. The 2020s will indeed be a time when the current government will gradually crumble as they cannot keep up. The point where the government gives up their power would not happen until probably around 2025-2040, but until then they would likely try to remain in power as long as possible while the public and the internet grow stronger. ---------- The 2020s would also be a time much like the start of the Industrial revolution, in the 1700s machines took peoples jobs and the rich got richer while the poor got poorer which rhymes a lot with today. During the peak of the Industrial revolution in the 1800s London was over-populated and many working-class people suffered terrible living and working conditions. The 2020s may not be like 1800s London but at some point in the future it would reach to the point similar to 1800s London, how would this happen? We are going through a trend where people are seeking for scientific methods to achieve immortality, knowing us this trend will never cease to grow until we actually do achieve immortality. The 2020s will likely see medical breakthroughs and a boom of immortality-based projects, hypochondria and health-obsession becomes normal, people use technology to monitor their own health and strive to live the healthiest longest life possible. The 2020s will see a boom of personal healthcare which recommends lifestyles medicines and diets best suited for your genetic make-up. The rich will likely have the most access to the latest cybernetic implants to extend their lifespans as well as the latest medicine, the 2020s would likely be the start of the Transhuman revolution as cyborgs become more common. The first Transhumans would likely be rich people while the poor people fall behind, the Transhuman trend may reach to the point (2035-2100) where we have a society of a powerful minority of elitist cyborgs and a great number of working-class humans who are struggling to survive, working-class humans may not be able to afford cybernetic implants and would likely die of a natural lifespan while cyborgs live longer. The future Transhumans would likely not allow the majority to have access to life extensions due to the fact that the Earth may not be able to sustain such a high population, hence they believe that many people will have to die for the 'greater good'. Below I have listed some likely trends of the 2020s for fun :-D Likely trends: Britain and America continue to decline as global superpowers. More people move into cities from rural areas. Cities continue to grow into cosmopolitan centres of civilization while more rural areas become neglected. The first megacity, likely in Asia. More people get sick because of pollution. The middle-east is the wealthiest region. The first trillionaire, the rich become more rich and the poor poorer. Unemployment reaches crisis levels as robots take over more jobs. Neo-Luddite risings. Environmentalist terrorism and uprisings. Increase of obesity. The first water wars, by 2030 water will be the most fought after resource and will become a weapon of war. Increase of meat consumption. More and more unemployed people get involved in protests and activism. A continuous refugee and migrant crisis, in response right-wing and nationalist counties further reinforce their borders while left-wing countries allow the migrants to immigrate. America accepts more refugees after Donald Trump leaves office. A higher risk of war including World War III. China becomes the first technocratic state. ---------- I think Donald Trump would have to be lucky to remain in office until 2020, his disproval rating is generally one of the highest in Americas history if not the highest. With the way things are at the moment my gut feeling says that Donald Trump would more likely be impeached than remain until 2020. Elizabeth Warren is a likely candidate that would be the next president after Trump, especially if the Democrats end up taking the majority of the seats in the White House. There would likely be a few Hillary Clinton-esque candidates who will fare better than Hillary Clinton did. Meat consumption has indeed decreased in the Western World as well as some other developed countries, however meat consumption is on a rapid increase in developing countries. In terms of meat consumption the developing world is currently in the same situation that American was in at 1950-1970 when it was on the rise, even today American meat consumption continues to increase but I doubt this would carry on for long especially if America implements a meat tax. Personally I think little would discourage the developing nations from having a taste of what the western world has, unless Veganism becomes strong enough to reverse this trend. ---------- Got some more predictions for the 2020s :-D I may end up repeating a number of things I have previously mentioned already in this thread, but I think repeating themes is a way to work out likely outcomes as repeated predictions are a mathematical equivalent of working out the average. Increasing unrest and stress: The brewing social unrest in the western world will heat up to the point it threatens the system (system being referred to as western society), many social unrests happen because the demands of society exceed the limit of what humans can tolerate. Because of the technology that we have today, we have provided entertainment and other leisurely pursuits to distract the public from the pressures of day-to-day life and to offer temporarily relief, we also prescribe antidepressants to people who are depressed etc. We have the technology to enhance the human threshold of tolerance and in our currant situation are prolonging the inevitable reform/revolution. A reform/revolution: The 2020s will be a time with ever increasing stress, unhappiness and yet more unrest. A sense of powerlessness and a feeling of emptiness may be the primary force behind this trend as well as frustration, an increase of leftism being a primary symptom. If a reform/revolution were to happen in the western world a leftist movement would likely take lead. The leftist movement would initially promise equality for everyone, that the system will care for every individual and provide free education/healthcare, peace and prosperity, and would also promise to solve unemployment. Although the leftist reform would initially have good intentions things would likely not turn out as promised, while many leftists are moderate and tolerant the kind of leftists who would be in power will usually be the ones who want absolute power over everything. Even in the 2020s soon after the reform people will notice that more things are being banned, political correctness would tighten its grip on personal freedom. This trend would set the stage of a socialist America that would eventually wane down in 2035-2065 due to hedonistic tech savvies. More Technology: In the 2000s a cell phone was only an option because nobody needed a cell phone to be a functioning member of the system, in the 2010s however you are required to have a cell phone to be a functioning member of the system. Imagine what would happen if implants became an option in the 2020s but became a requirement in the 2030s, it would not be farfetched to assume that you would not be able to do many things without an implant that tracks your health and/or any other information. As technology advances life in the system will become more complex and stressful, technologies will often bring on problems not foreseen. For our currant civilization to survive it will have to reach a point where people are required to be upgraded so they can keep up and remain functional members of society. The future leftist party would likely be pro-technology, because initially they believe that technology will solve all of our problems and will benefit humanity. Worsening economy: The 2020s will be a time of worsening global recession, America would especially suffer from this. The economic crisis of the 2020s will likely be a huge contributing factor for whatever would happen in the 2020s. The economic crisis could even result in a global shutdown and a global economic reset, it is possible that the reform/revolution would happen during this turbulent time. ---------- Thank you :-D I'm glad that my predictions make sense and are believable (that's what I was aiming for), and there is nothing wrong with eating meat so don't worry about that, I thought I would try and predict the future trend of meat consumption since I covered many other things too. Donald Trump sure is making quite a power vacuum which will be released once he leaves office, it is likely that Trump leaving office would start the leftist dominance of American politics. This could happen as early as 2019 but most likely as soon as the 2020s begins at the 2020 election, however if that happens there may still be a reform/revolution in the 2020s but it would focus more on making America more left as some liberals would feel like not enough progressive action is taken. ----------
EAT-Lancet push for plant-based diets - MEGATHREAD
We're going to have endless posts about this for the next couple of weeks. This will act as a megathread - please post new links you find in the comments and I'll update this main text post. - Please read the RESPONSES section at the bottom for counter arguments. https://eatforum.org/eat-lancet-commission/
Full PDF - 47 PAGES!31788-4) Abstract Food systems have the potential to nurture human health and support environmental sustainability; however, they are currently threatening both. Providing a growing global population with healthy diets from sustainable food systems is an immediate challenge. Although global food production of calories has kept pace with population growth, more than 820 million people have insufficient food and many more consume low-quality diets that cause micronutrient deficiencies and contribute to a substantial rise in the incidence of diet-related obesity and diet-related non-communicable diseases, including coronary heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Unhealthy diets pose a greater risk to morbidity and mortality than does unsafe sex, and alcohol, drug, and tobacco use combined. Because much of the world's population is inadequately nourished and many environmental systems and processes are pushed beyond safe boundaries by food production, a global transformation of the food system is urgently needed. https://www.smh.com.au/environment/sustainability/civilisation-in-crisis-science-tells-us-how-to-eat-to-save-our-planet-20190116-p50rsp.html
Humanity must radically change the food we eat to avert catastrophic damage to the planet, including cutting our red meat intake by more than half, a major international consortium has warned. Our predilection for diets high in meat, sugars and processed foods is stretching the earth to its limits and threatening the existence of humans and other species, food security and sustainability experts have said. The EAT-Lancet Commission has devised the world's first scientific targets for a universal "healthy planetary diet", which it set out in a report titled Food in the Anthropocene, published on Thursday. "Civilisation is in crisis," the editors of The Lancet wrote in an editorial accompanying the commission's report. "We can no longer feed our population a healthy diet while balancing planetary resources," they said, adding that addressing food insecurity was "an immediate challenge". Our main source of protein will need to be plant-based. Red meat should account for zero to no more than 14 grams of red meat a day, in line with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals to end hunger and the Paris Agreement on climate change. Roughly 35 per cent of our calories should come from whole grains, while our intake of legumes, nuts, vegetables and fruit should double, the commission advised in its report. The diet follows similar principles of the Mediterranean and Okinawa diets, the researchers wrote. "The world’s diet must change dramatically," said Dr Walter Willett from Harvard University, who co-led the commission - a collaboration of 37 experts in health, nutrition, environmental sustainability, food systems, economics and politics from 16 countries including Australia. The benefits of increased food production in the past 50 years are now being offset by the global shifts towards unhealthy diets, high in calories, sugars and animal-based foods, the commission authors said. The world's meat production is on an unstoppable trajectory and is the single greatest contributor to climate change, the accompanying comment piece said. The world’s population will be 9.8 billion by 2050 and increasingly wealthy with an appetite for animal-based foods. The commission argued that feeding us all will be impossible without fundamentally transforming current eating habits, improving the way we produce food and reducing waste. "The human cost of our faulty food systems is that almost 1 billion people are hungry, and almost 2 billion people are eating too much of the wrong food," the commission wrote. The authors made a suite of recommendations to shift the way we produce food and eat so as to stay within the planet's "safe" boundaries and to avoid potential ecological catastrophe from climate change and the destruction of biodiversity, land and fresh water, as well as nitrogen and phosphorus flows. Co-author of the commission’s report Tim Lang, from the University of London, said the food we eat and how we produce it determines the health of people and the planet. "We are currently getting this seriously wrong," he said. Adopting the "planetary health diet" would improve nutrient and micronutrient intake, and could avert 10.9 million to 11.6 million premature deaths a year, according to the commission’s modelling.
The EAT-Lancet Commission's controversial campaign
A global powerful action against meat?
The kick-off meeting will held on January 17th in Oslo EAT is a global, non-profit startup dedicated to transforming our global food system through sound science, impatient disruption and novel partnerships. According to the website, "the EAT-Lancet Commission on Food, Planet, Health brings together more than 30 world-leading scientists from across the globe to reach a scientific consensus that defines a healthy and sustainable diet". But the campaign, that will be launched in Oslo on January 17th, sounds like a powerful push to shift global diets by discouraging animal products. It is fuelled by large budgets and will be mediatised for a long time to come, scheduling more than 30 events around the world. But a closer look into its background reveals some perturbing elements. The danger is that the overstatement of certain concerns will result in an anti-livestock narrative, create a false impression of scientific consensus, and do more harm than good in a world in need of nutrient-rich meals and sustainable food systems. EFA News has received this text which we gladly publish to encourage public debate. These crucial issues, in our humble opinion, should be the responsibility of public authorities, rather than private associations that inevitably act as pressure groups. By Frédéric Leroy, Martin Cohen Will 2019 be remembered as the year of the EAT-Lancet intervention, arguing for a planetary shift to a so-called “plant-based” diet? Isn’t it remarkable how meat, symbolizing health and vitality since millennia, is now often depicted as detrimental to our bodies, the animals, and the planet? Why exactly is the minoritarian discourse of vegetarianism and veganism currently all over the media? This widespread representation of meat as intrinsically harmful is worrying, to the point that some academics, health professionals, and expert committees are now expressing concern that it will add to malnutrition in wealthy countries, and sometimes even act as a cover or trigger for disordered eating. As a rising societal trend, “plant-based” lifestyles have of course a complex raison d’être and display heterogeneity among their mostly well-intentioned adherents. Nonetheless, the main discourses look remarkably script-based and some of the soundbites are coming from well-respected actors. Take Christiana Figueres, former Executive Secretary of the United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). She has compared meat eaters to smokers - who likewise were once role models but later became pariahs - and believes that they should be having their meal outside of the restaurant. Or Harvard's professor Walter Willett, who has claimed that one on three early deaths could be saved if we all gave up meat, and Oxford's vegan researcherMarco Springmann who has called for a meat tax to prevent over “220,000 deaths” and save billions in healthcare costs. Remarkable statements, all the more when coming from prestigious universities, as such calculations are based on weak and confounded epidemiological associations that do not allow for causal claims. Furthermore, they ignore the need for risk assessment and disregard inconvenient data, such as the lack of harmful effects on markers for cardiovascular risk and inflammation during intervention studies. The nutritional robustness of animal products is persistently undervalued, especially for the young and elderly, and the same is true for the ecological advantages of well-managed livestock. Comparable “meat-is-bad” narratives are spread by authorities as the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the World Health Organisation. An editorial in The Lancet32971-4/fulltext) (“We need to talk about meat”) centred on the advice that meat eating should be reduced to… “very little” and concluded with a cryptical message: “The conversation has to start soon”. But hold on, is it a conversation or a lecture? EAT-Lancet: new kid on the block with all the latest gear To be able to answer this question, one needs to find out where the action is. All of the scientists and organisations mentioned in the previous paragraph have a common background: they belong to the EAT-Lancet Commission (with the exception of Figueres who will nonetheless be a speaker at their upcoming Stockholm 2019 Food Forum). What exactly is EAT, now incontournable in food policy debates? Its origin is surprising: it was founded in 2013 by Gunhild Stordalen, an animal right activist for the Norwegian Animal Welfare Alliance and wife of hotel tycoon Petter Stordalen. The couple is among Europe’s richest and - according to an article in Forbes - displays a particularly lavish lifestyle despite its image of green avengers. The Stordalens have both the means and networks to put their ideas into action, as their contacts include CEOs, politicians, and royalties. And if budgets allow it, influence can be purchased: 3.5 million NOK was paid to Bill Clinton - who went vegan in 2010 - for a one-hour speech at an EAT conference in 2014. Another scheduled speaker, at the Stockholm 2019 Food Forum, is Khaled bin Alwaleed. Khaled is a Saudi Prince who sees dairy as “the root of all environmental evil” and is on a “mission to veganize the Middle East”. The portfolio of investments of this powerful ally includes companies that develop… fake meat and dairy. Such as the Beyond Burger, which Gunhild happily endorses on social media. When talking about vegan junk food, the otherwise primordial issue of healthy diets suddenly seems to matter a lot less? After the 2018 Nexus Global Summit, held at the Headquarters of the United Nations in New York, Khaled posted a photo of himself alongside self-proclaimed “vegan political leaders”. Proudly posing among them: Gunhild Stordalen. The meeting’s aim was to “expedite the transition”, now that a tipping point is within reach, and make it permanent, instead of just a passing trend. Khaled also serves on the Advisory Council of the Good Food Institute, among “scientists, entrepreneurs, lawyers, and lobbyists, all of whom are laser focused on using markets and food technology to transform our food system […] toward clean meat and plant-based alternatives.” The road to a plant-based future is paved with good intentions… and business calculations This is the point where “Big Ag” steps in, having discovered that the “plant-based” lifestyle market generates large profit margins, adding value through the ultra-processing of cheap materials (e.g., protein extracts, starches, and oils). The world’s leadingfoodmultinationals are related to the EAT network via FReSH, a bridge to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). The WBCSD is a CEO-led organization of over 200 international companies. Unilever, for instance, offers nearly 700 vegan products in Europe and has now also acquired the Dutch Vegetarian Butcher. The latter’s marketing activities, by the way, have been designed by a key politician of the Dutch Party for the Animals and a Seventh-day Adventist. WBCSD’s origins go back to the Rio Earth Summit of 1992, where it was created by the industrialists Stephan Schmidheiny and Maurice Strong, the controversialarchitect of global climate policy. Strong was both a top diplomate for the United Nations and a businessman, for instance as president of Petro-Canada. As a strange hybrid product of the oil industry and environmentalism, he fostered some outspoken ideas (not to mention the bizarre esotericbeliefs of his wife and friends, with whom he supported the Lindisfarne group). Strong’s desire was to strengthen the grip of the UN on global affairs and to accommodate crisis-ridden capitalisms, with environmental alarm being ideal to set the machine in motion. Starting with the Stockholm Conference in 1972, he managed to establish sustainability as part of an international development agenda and became a key member of a long list of organisations, of which many now constitute… the EAT-Lancet constellation. Except for the WBCSD, Strong was instrumental in the development of the World Resources Institute (a close partner of EAT, see below) and the Stockholm Environment Institute and Beijer Institute (now both incorporated in EAT’s co-founder, the Stockholm Resilience Centre). In this shared ecosystem, we also encounter the World Economic Forum, the World Bank, the International Institute for Sustainable Development, the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, the WWF, etc. Strong stepped down in 2005 after he was mentioned in the Oil-for-Food scandal, but his legacy lives on. In addition to its alliance with WBCSD and FReSH, EAT is closely working together with another food campaigning group called the Barilla Centre for Food and Nutrition (BCFN). Both Gunhild Stordalen and Walter Willett have been keynote speakers at its International Forum on Food and Nutrition. BCFN defines itself as an “independent think tank”, even if the owners of the pasta giant Barilla are on its board of directors. The authors of a study promoting BCFN’s double food pyramid have declared that they acted “in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest”. The model discourages the eating of meat and recommends… cereals. The more critical issue here is how something that resembles a marketing tool can end up as a scientific instrument for global policy development? And become part of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Italian Ministry for Education, to be presented as an “educative project” targeting primary schools? “Social engineering” via the Shift Wheel, or: how to direct the public toward fake meat? Taken together, EAT seems to have all it takes to implement its global agenda. In January 2018, a multi-stakeholder event was organised in Davos, to “improve synergies and accelerate progress” of food system change. In 2013, Stordalen had already contacted the Stockholm Resilience Centre with the demand to create a “Davos for food”. Co-organizers of the event included the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, the inevitable BCFN, and the International Food Policy Research Institute. The strategy was clear: market forces have to be shaped, consumers redirected. This is a task taken up by the Food and Land Use Coalition, an umbrella organisation where the broader strategic lines are divided between EAT, WBCSD, GAIN, IIASA, and a crucial EAT partner: the World Resources Institute. The WRI is funded by several governments, companies, and foundations (e.g., Ford, Rockefeller, Open Society, Bill & Melinda Gates, Shell), aiming to interfere in society at large. Particularly intriguing is its focus on something called the Shift Wheel in one of its working papers, as “a new framework based on proven private sector marketing tactics”. Some suggested options are to “disguise the change”, open up “new markets”, and make meat “socially unacceptable”. Potential interventions are familiar (in order of increasing compulsion): influencing nutritional labelling and dietary guidelines, 30-day diet challenges, taxing meat, and… removing meat from restaurant menus. At first, the EAT-Lancet agenda seems to be a noble, academic endeavour. On second sight, however, it shapeshifts into a more ambiguous mix of honest scientists and researchers with an agenda, and of philanthropic ideologists and various vested interests. Moreover, the fact that the entire cluster is reassembling the remnants that were once developed by a Machiavellian oil businessman do not inspire confidence. Be that as it may, the pervasive influence of various industry platforms and Foundations, that have been funding this constellation over the years, have been criticised for directing policies toward quick-win methods. As such, they are pushing the system toward “market-based and techno-fix solutions to complex global problems”. Bill Gates-backed biotechnology efforts to produce fake meat and lab meat are telling examples. Conclusion: what’s really going on? The initial effect of the EAT-Lancet campaign seems to be not so much to promote animal welfare as to open up for “Big Ag” lucrative new markets and feed the hunger of governments for new tax bases. What start as academic and scientific debates become political arguments thataredangerouslysimplistic and may have several detrimental consequences for both healthand the environment. Of course, climate change is real and does require our attention. And, yes, livestock should be optimized but also be used as part of the solution to make our environments and food systems more sustainable and our populations healthier. But instead of undermining the foundations of our diets and the livelihoods of many, we should be tackling rather than ignoring the rootcauses, in particular hyperconsumerism. What we should avoid is losing ourselves in slogans, nutritional scientism, and distorted worldviews. Frédéric Leroy, Martin Cohen Frédéric Leroy (B) (@fleroy1974) is a professor of food science and technology, investigating the scientific and societal aspects of animal food products, writing in individual capacity. Martin Cohen (UK) (@docmartincohen) is a social scientist whose latest book “I Think Therefore I Eat” (2018) takes a philosophical and sociological look at food science and argues for a more holistic approach to food and health debates.
Cryptopia CEO Alan Booth on the Cryptocurrency Exchange Realm (Full Article No Link)
Alan Booth is the CEO of one of Cryptopia, an exchange regarded as having one of the widest selection of tokens. Founded in 2014, Cryptopia is one of a handful of blockchain-focused companies in New Zealand. The Cryptopia team is often tasked with researching hundreds of projects to determine their efficacy before any other major exchange has touched them. The exchange lists many projects in their early stages and post-ICO. As an entrepreneur and business consultant for over 50 years, Alan Booth’s story is fairly atypical of that of many entrepreneurs in the cryptocurrency world. His perspective on the cryptocurrency is grounded in decades of business development experience, and he views the cryptocurrency exchange realm as one of the most exciting opportunities yet. In the following interview, we dive into everything from cryptocurrency psychology, the coin listing process, and blockchain entrepreneurship. How did you get introduced into the crypto world? That’s interesting. I was consulting for Cryptopia or consulting to assist them in their development path for several months when it became obvious that they needed some senior leadership to move them from where they are, which was basically a reactive technical focus to a more business global focus on how we develop their business model. We are very conscious of the fact that you need a higher level of thinking. You need a global perspective, particularly from New Zealand because there’s not a lot of us down here. That probably predicates why we’re a global business grown out of such a small population. We’d known each other for a while, certainly six months or so, and when the opportunity came up, why wouldn’t I move from a very safe, comfortable, fun job that I had previously, which was the chief executive of an international flying school. Nothing really scary goes on there. I am at the latter end of my working life, somewhat semi-retired and all my colleagues went, “You’re going to do what? Are you kidding?” Of course, the blood pressure went up and I said, “yeah, I’m going to have a go at this.” So, it’s really about the opportunity when you’ve learned so much over 40 or 50 years of developing business models and floating companies and taking them to the world, which is primarily what I’ve done. To find something that’s new and a full of excitement and fear and trepidation and where is all this going? Then it’s an opportunity you can’t afford to pass up. So, it’s just the daredevil saying let’s go. The risk and the general fervor for the industry have gotten a lot of people very excited. What are the top concerns for exchanges moving forward from your perspective? They are many fold and they are variable based on feedback from the community and somewhat driven by legislation, driven by corporate requirements. The FinTech world, we’ve got to look at that as well as the coin world. If we want to grow and deliver a product that the average consumer can consume, then we have to deliver all the things that they would typically expect. So, if you went into a retail store to buy a heater, you expect to have a warranty. You expect to be safe, you expect to be treated well with clarity. And typically, the coin industry to date has not been very good at that because it’s been evolving and mostly evolving from a technical perspective with probably less weight put on the public consumption of the coin. It’s being technically driven as a technical product when you look at it. When you go to the exchange, some of them take a fair bit of thinking about before you can operate. So, for us, the first thing is trust. If people can’t trust your brand, and that means every part of it, you’re not going to succeed. So, we are very proactive here in New Zealand, talking to legislators, government agencies in and out of New Zealand. KYC, AML, CML, all of that stuff. We are drafting our own internal rules and then most cases they exceed the requirements of our banking partners. So, they look at us and they go, wow, you’re way ahead of where we thought it would be. So, developing a trust relationship with our consumers and business partners is vital. The next thing is developing a stable and functional platform. I don’t just mean the coin exchange itself, but all of the underlying technology. Will we be up? Do we have latency? Are we speedy? Have we purchased the right partnership relationships for our equipment and how do we continue to be able to scale at will and not risk failing to deliver a result? That means helping people get an exchange done, their coins on and off. I suspect it’s the same as every other exchange. Only thing is, down here, we have really focused on three things to move us very quickly forward. One is the public-facing components. That’s the help desk if you get stuck. We want to be able to respond very quickly. And like the other exchanges, we headed enormous influx in the early part of the year and that was debilitating. Nobody was ready for it. We employed teams of people to come in and train as support operators. We’ve since then spent a huge amount of money on a new ticketing system, which actually went live yesterday. So, this morning when I come in, there’s smiley faces trying to get their head around it going, wow, this is amazing. So, we triage all the tickets on the inbound route now and puts it in a good space for our response team to reply as quickly as possible, I want. At the moment, we’re not there. Instead of being 40 or 50 hours and all these horrible delays, I want people to have a response from us immediately and I mean within seconds saying we’ve got your ticket. I can’t answer it right now, but we’re on you. Then, within hours, get back to those customers and fix their problem. They don’t deserve to wait 24 hours or 48 hours. People are anxious. Ticketing, we’ve done something about it. Highly trained staff, we’re employing all the time. We’ve developed foreign offices to beat the time zone thing. We now have a support office in the UK that we have had for some time, actually. The next thing is just the stabilizing of our software and hardware. When you start these things, the enthusiasm and the inexperience of the development team may not know what’s here to them and now we’ve bought in bigger, stronger, international teams. So, that’s great what you’ve got, but let’s do this. So, that’s the phase we’re on now. We’re spending all of our money. In fact, every penny that we generate in this business goes straight back into furthering and developing the products. Nobody’s racing home in Lamborghinis or flying their jets around. They’re just piling into it. So, that’s how I am in terms of producing a high-quality product. It’s not a decision we just made. It’s always been there, but we are now articulating it internally, that we want to be in the top five of crypto exchanges and digital asset exchanges of some form within the next two years. In the top five, bar none, in every respect. Would you say the number one component of being thought of as one of the top five would be trading volume? Is that the primary metric? I absolutely agree with you, but you can’t have trading volume unless you provide the other things first, like security, safety, a good trading platform. If you want trading volume, I have to have a reason for you to trust me, which has to be if I have a failure, will my ticket, be answered? If you do those things, you will get trading volume. I don’t believe you look at it the other way and say, hey, let’s create trading volume because if that comes at you hard and sharp, how are you going to cope with it when something breaks? It’s technology, things will break. It’s how you address things that go wrong that made you successful, not what you put in place to drive that business in. That will happen if you’re good. The word gets out saying this is a great exchange. They fixed my tickets, they’re fast, they’re responsive, it’s safe. That will create trading volume. Trading volume for us is income and of course, we want it. We have actually slowed down on coin listings. We’ve slowed down on taking new customers and we’ve slowed down on developing relationships with partners simply to get our platform in better shape so that we can become the most reliable, trusted partner you can have. That will create trading volume, no doubt about it. Although trading volume does bring in a sizable amount of revenue, there comes a point where it just becomes a vanity metric where people are using an exchange simply because there just aren’t any better alternatives out there.. So, if there is an exchange that can offer all the features that you’re talking about and a premium level of service, then the trading volume will trickle down. There’s no real loyalty for exchanges other than preferences. Absolutely. We wouldn’t ask for that. Why would you say to somebody, hey, you got to be loyal to us? That’s just silly. You will be loyal to us if I offer you a great experience. That means volume of coins, a huge range to trade through. Ease of trading. One click, two clicks. How about some trading tools just like you see in a modern foreign exchange opportunity? Some arbitrage tools, some tools for measurement, some nice desktop tools. We want to introduce other things. It just means that you’ve got control over your own reporting and your own desktop environment. It can become a very powerful tool to use as long as we listen to the customers and say, hey guys, we can develop that. Give us a couple of months, let’s put it in front of you. What is the coin listing process for you guys? What’s the process for someone who wants to get their coin listed on Cryptopia? We’re just reviewing that and we’re being very focused on changing the way we list coins and who we list. We’re very conscious to gain trust. We are actually your first port of call for particularly those people who don’t know much about coin, so they have to trust their exchange partner. Therefore, we have to make sure that if we list a coin, it’s a viable trusted, honest coin that’s going to give value. Not just to us as an exchange but it’s not a scam coin. It’s not something just to raise money, pump and dump thing. We have coin listing teams who are very tough. I have introduced people as the CEO to my coin listing team and I can’t get it through them. I’ve said, but these are great guys and I have a great story and I met them in Vancouver and boy, they’ve convinced me. My coin listing technical team does all the due diligence. Everything from GitHub, Facebook pages, normal stuff like that. If it doesn’t look like a viable product to us on many levels, then it doesn’t get listed. That’s the end of it. If [the coin] gets past that, we do further due diligence. We’ll actually interview the company. We’ll ask why do you want to list? Why do you want to list with Cryptopia? What’s your plan for the coin? What do you want us to tell customers because they’re going to be relying on us? So, we’d like to do more than just have a coin called 21 Million sitting on the exchange. How about if we had a link to that with some of the criteria we use to judge whether that was a good opportunity. Whether it was a good coin. We might have a 10-point plan and we might say, hey, this coin passed at 9.7. This coin is in, but it only got in at 2.4. Whereas the negative coins, the coins that have gotten negative plans, negative equity in our mindset, they just don’t get on the exchange. We have a very large number of coins at the moment. We want to remain in that space, be the leader. That means that clearly, we’re not going to get it right all the time because we make mistakes and actually, so do the some of the honest and reliable coin generators. Their plans might not just happen, so they get the benefit of the doubt for a while. As long as we see that they’re not doing something deliberately to disrupt the market or just to take money, then we’ll support them until they get their business model right. But we’re very focused on a coin listing to us is actually a business partnership. We’re not just going to throw coins up there. I think 2018 is the year of reckoning, wherein 2017, pretty much anything got listed anywhere. It didn’t really matter how functional the coin was or whether it was legitimate or not. So, it’s really cool to see the trend in exchanges making a stance against that because if the ax falls, it doesn’t fall on the anonymous coin team that could be in Switzerland and Ethiopia. It’s falling on the CEOs and the exchange teams that are allowing access. People come to us and they say, hey, I haven’t got my money. You’re the exchange. I go, well actually, the coin that we listed, I’m afraid the wallet’s faulty or they didn’t do this, or they ran away. People don’t care. They’re relying on us. That’s why Cryptopia has to be a business partner with each and every user, not just a provider of some coin listings. That would be unethical. Absolutely, and it’s good to hear. Speaking of regulations, how do you think that’s going to evolve for exchanges, especially being out of New Zealand? I welcome a regulatory intervention for many reasons. The primary one is that as soon as the regulators start imposing their will and taking notice, it means that it’s a genuine opportunity. They don’t waste their time on something that’s not going to affect global economies or our economy. For example, the New Zealand regulators, we’re working and we’re working with them because they recognize that somebody has got to work with them to tell them what’s going on. The other side of the fence, that’s us. We have to work with them to say, you can’t do that because it won’t work in this environment. So, working with regulators is critical, in my opinion, and we’re doing that very well. Regulation has to come. It was just announced in New Zealand a few days ago that we’re going to start, this is unrelated to coins, collecting GST, which is our equivalent of your local taxes, on online purchases. So, typically anything up to $400 that you buy online from Amazon, for example, in New Zealand, you wouldn’t pay tax on and they’re changing that. They’re taking the same view with coins. So, the government is saying, how do we tax revenue? When do we tax revenue? What should it look like? How do we make it fair for you, the exchange and how do we make it fair and manageable by the consumers who may have to declare a capital gain if they’re going, for instance, as an equity or a property as pure speculative fun like betting? And if that’s the case, when should we do this? Should we backdate all that stuff? Every country is going through this and some have jumped in and made decisions that they’ve had to backpedal on. They were a little bit hasty. In New Zealand, in particular, we have a great relationship with the regulators and all the powers that be, right down to the banks, and are all looking at the space saying, you know what? We don’t quite know what to do, but let’s start doing something and I welcome it. And the more understanding and control we have on these things at this early stage these next few years, the neater and cleaner will be over the next few years. Just as banking has become very stabilized through regulations, so will this crypto business, whatever it ends up looking like. New Zealand has its advantages because a smaller population could make building direct relationships with regulating authorities easier. Tim Draper, for example, is investing in Papua New Guinea to try and make this whole digital citizenship country. The Binance guys just moved over to Malta. The global landscape just opened up, and governments will have to start offering distinct advantages to attract companies that could hypothetically set up virtually anywhere. That’s great because that’s exactly what online trading is about. It’s online and it’s global. We have to join the global party, but we better start from a position of understanding and strength in our own environment. Make sure we have our own stuff together before we start yelling about what someone else should do. Yeah, absolutely. Shifting gears a little bit, what do you think about decentralized exchanges and how they’re going to affect the whole exchange thing? The quick and easy answer to that is it will definitely affect the global exchange market. It will definitely affect FinTech because if people who are regular investors and that’s people with mom and pops with a few dollars, right up to institutional investors, if they can see a way of generating revenue and it’s safe, they’re going to move there. They’re not going to discard their other investment opportunities and they’re not going to discard regular exchange-traded equities or working on the stock exchange. But there’s a space here that we haven’t quite worked out who that’s going to work for or how, but the more we regulate, the more we make the tools visible. The stronger we look to the market and the more professional we look. That doesn’t necessarily mean just wearing a suit into a meeting, but the more gravitas we have behind those discussions demonstrating that we’ve done on the work and that we’ve got smart people here and the technology’s good. We’re ready to come and meet and talk equitably to investors and traditional investment houses. Then there will be a way that they join up. There’s no doubt about it. I mean, it can’t be helped. How about the lightning network and atomic swaps where you could pretty much exchange peer to peer. You could trade Litecoin for Ethereum directly in one single transaction without an exchange. Centralized exchanges have their benefits, like for example, there’s someone you can knock on their door and say where’d my money go? I need customer support. So, there are advantages there, but then the advantages of a decentralized exchange are just the efficiency. I’m wondering how is that viewed for the centralized exchange world? I don’t want people to take away my income opportunity. We’re building a business. We would argue, and I think it could be demonstrated to date until the blockchain comes up with some technical solutions. We’re building a trust environment and we are taking on, at considerable cost, the responsibility for providing the trust. First, it’s a coin that we like and here are the reasons. We’ve done the due diligence on your behalf. We allow the transactions to take place and here’s how we regulate, manage and deliver that transaction and manage the wallet relationships. Cryptopia’s Coin Information display That’s a role we take on. So, if you trade with a centralized exchange, you’ve got a whole lot of advantages that you don’t have by trading peer to peer. It’s fairly obvious what a peer to peer relationship looks like. If that’s on a personal level, that risk is much greater. If it’s on a more corporate structured level, I don’t know what that looks like yet, but I think we’ve got a long way to go before we could move from centralized exchanges to peer to peer simply because there’s going to have to be some regulation around it. How would the regulators engage in that space? Who are they engaging with? Every single person who wants to trade? At the moment, they can deal with an exchange that has potentially 2,000,000 to 10,000,000 customers. That’s not easy for a regulator or a tax authority. So, there’s the regular regulatory component. That’s got to be there. Then there’s the trust management and then there are just a few more technical issues that I think have yet to evolve. It all comes down to running a business. It takes money and capital to get all these users you want to get. If the technology works, that’s great, but onboarding users take resources. How do these projects plan on doing that? It’s just a missing component of every single white paper that tries to go after that who isn’t trying to build a centralized business to oversee it. I think philanthropy is wonderful and when people are talking about decentralization. It’s a great idea and it’s philanthropic and it would be wonderful if the world could work like that. But there’s never been a business model that has worked without generating revenue. There isn’t one. Everyone’s tried, but you can’t name one that doesn’t have to generate revenue at some point or another. Even if that revenue is simply generated to make the action happen, the hardware, the software, the bandwidth, someone’s got to pay. So, if you’re decentralizing, how do you get paid? How do you police it? How do you manage it? Why not stick to a model that works? And it’s not just about centralized coin exchanges. It’s not just about front-end institutions. This is a model that’s worked since the first inhabitants of Earth swapped a bean for a stick or can I give you my dinosaur to cook while I bring you a giraffe? I don’t know, but you can’t have a society without an exchange happening of some value in exchange. Even if I go to a coffee bar with you, here’s the simplest thing. I would say, hey, I’ll meet you for coffee, on me I might pay for the coffee, but guess what? We’ve sat down and exchanged information. I’ve gotten something out of it. How do you do stuff without exchanging value? It’s push and pull between advancing technology and proving the model works but then what’s the incentive to run it and popularize it because you’ve got that whole chicken and egg problem. We need a bunch of users for this to work efficiently, but we’re not going to make any money doing it. Hopefully, we’ll see how things play out in the next couple of months or years or decades. I’m down for decades and a lot of failures. We’ll be there watching them saying we’ll help you if we can and hey, go and play guys, but come back here when it doesn’t work because we are going to be here. What are your thoughts on Bitcoin dominance in general compared to all the other coins out in 2018? So, what does a cryptocurrency landscape look like if Bitcoin happens to fall down to, let’s say, 15\% or 10\% of the market? Does Bitcoin really dominate or is it just big? If you look at the exchanges and watch the traffic, can you see as much traffic taking place and as much interest in the CoinCash or 21 Million or Kenya or any of these things? They’re all there and people are trading them for various reasons. Mom and pops are going to be doing this to buy a new car. Someone else purely looking as a store of wealth and other people are looking to dominate a market. So, I’m not sure that you could say Bitcoin dominates. It might be the largest store of wealth at the moment. Does it dominate people’s thinking? I’m not sure about that. If you’re a coin developer, it’s your coin that’s dominant in your mind and you’ll go after a particular vertical, even a geographic market. So, you have the potential to develop your store or your story within that business scope. Why does Bitcoin dominate? Simply because it was seen as an opportunity? Is it dominated because the people who trade in Bitcoin put so much faith in it being a store of wealth or an opportunity for capital gain? But a lot of those people have run away. That’s why it’s not $20,000 at the moment. It’s just trading between 8,000 and 10,000 in there. So, it stabilized. So, what if it fell over? Some people will lose money. It’s not going to change the blockchain, it’s not going to change our thinking about cryptocurrencies. It’s not going to change Cryptopia’s approach to the market. It might dominate in volume. I’m not sure it’s the dominant force supporting cryptocurrencies. I see what you’re saying. It might just be a dominance of user acquisition because there’s a larger chance they heard of Bitcoin instead of Ethereum if they have heard of cryptocurrency at all. So, it’s like the gateway crypto. Take care that people aren’t saying Bitcoin just like a Hoover, the vacuum cleaner. Every vacuum cleaner for 20 years was called a Hoover. That was the dominant brand. Hey, I’m going to Hoover the floor. What they meant was I’m going to get my vacuum cleaner of which there are 80,000 different makes out there now and they’re going to vacuum the floor, but they just called it a Hoover. So, I trade in Bitcoin. I’ll bet you someone who says, yeah, I trade Bitcoin, he’s only saying bitcoin because he knows or she knows that people understand that you’re referring to a cryptocurrency. If you say to someone I trade in Clearpoll or CoinMedic3, they have no clue what you’re talking about. They go what is that? Oh, it’s Bitcoin. Oh, I get it. If you went home to your mom and dad and they asked what are you doing? You’d say, oh yeah, I’m trading cryptocurrency. They’d go, oh? What’s what? You’d go, Bitcoin. They go, oh, that thing. Bitcoin Cash is competing to be known as the Bitcoin for a reason. In the next four or five years, there are millions of people that haven’t even heard of crypto that would probably receive a lot of benefits from being onboarded into the cryptocurrency world. I’m not really sure how what they get onboarded to first matters immediately, but I know it plays a substantial role for a lot of people. It’s an initiator. It’s a keyword that attracts them to the space that we’re in. It’s simply because it’s got brand dominance in the public persona. If you say a Bitcoin, most people know you’re talking about that strange online thing that no one understands and there are a few other coins, but we don’t know what their name is. As soon as they hit an exchange, if they really want to try it, they’re going to look at the next one down and say oh, I didn’t know that existed. They’ll make their way right to the bottom of the 2,000 list. So, I really don’t think we should worry too much about dominance or anything that’s measured in that way in the space because the variables that change our value perception on any of these products is a mystery to everyone. A rumor can cause change overnight and things like that have happened. Guess what? They also happen in traditional exchanges. Go to the London stock exchange and you’ll see a piece in the paper tomorrow that prices rocketed or have fallen over the next day because the public is there. The public is there late, remember. If you see it in the news, it has already happened. That’s the same thing for this. So, what are your favorite projects out right now? It has to be blockchain focused. I mean, coins seem to be a tool that are being used to raise capital, raise awareness, create hysteria over or some fun. Some of them, and I believe it’s very few of them, I wouldn’t like to statistically put a number on that, but I think it’s very, very few have actually got a basis of a typical good investment. Is company strong behind it? Do they have good ethics? Why are they doing this? What’s it for? Or is it just to raise money? When they’ve got money they can go, oh, look how much money we’ve got. Let’s do something. That’s not the way to grow a business. Somebody has to have a good story that’s technically supported. It has to have social value these days. And that means is it good for mankind? Is it going to save the planet? Will it do something? Create manufacturing? Whatever it is. Hey, I’m not a philanthropist. I’m not saying you’ve got to do something to save the planet. But the youth of today are much more conscious about anything we/they do is about social conscience and social values and responsibility. So, for me, any of those projects, whether they be blockchain based or coin based that do something more than just making money for a bunch of guys, so they can go buy a Lamborghini, gets more of a look and support from us than the others. There are ways of going and creating wealth for yourself than preying on opportunities that exist simply because exchanges listed them. So, we’re very careful about that. So, I wouldn’t like to say at this stage, we have anyone in particular. We do have some businesses we’re looking at, but they all are very well rounded in terms of their sales pitch. It’s ethical, it’s got a good background. They have strong management, a history. They’re well-funded already. They’re not just grabbing money to then decide what they’ll do with it. Well said. The one point you made about how these projects need to be ethical and how that impacts those business models because again, you tap into to the same vein of projects that are looking to substantially change industries that had been stifled by inefficiencies or corruption. It stretches a long way. If you find a solution that bugs business and usually if it bugs a business, it bugs and effects people, consumers, in some way. That might just be, where it’s blockchain related, securities and tracking things to make this whole trust environment that we live in. The point is we say we can trust but we can’t trust. Everything we do is about trust. We get lawyers to look after our trust issues and we shake hands and we still wonder whether it’s a deal. So, solving trust issues globally is probably one of the biggest benefits to mankind because once we solve the trust issue, you can then be positive or confident that something that you want to happen and agreed to happen is actually going to happen. If it doesn’t happen, it’s not just about the broken trust. It’s then about the finances involved before you got there. That’s all gone. The future has all gone around that business model. So, trust management in blockchain and around coins and around exchanges, decentralized exchanges, is probably the biggest thing we have to deal with. Which takes me back to my core development program right now, which is developing a trustworthy exchange. Make it clear, unambiguous. Make it reliable, deliver what we said we were going to do. What does a day in the life of Alan Booth look like? What do you do for fun when you’re not doing exchange type things? If there’s even time for fun. If you’re running an exchange, it’s 26 hours a day to run an exchange. If you can squeeze another hour in, you might find some fun. This is probably my last employment opportunity. I’m in my 60’s. I’ve spent 50 years being an entrepreneur and an arm waver. Wave your arms and see who’s taking notice and make something happen. So, fun for me is actually the exploitation of a business opportunity. I go to bed hoping that I wake up in the night with an idea to scribble on the pad. I come to work a very early. I’m up at 5 am. I get here at 7 am if I can with the work already done. I don’t want to arrive at work and look at emails. If you’re looking at email and other stuff, it’s other people’s requests on your time. I’m going to arrive here being creative. I want to arrive every day going, I’ve got nothing to do except be creative and compel all of my employees and partners to support that creativity and bring their own creativity to it. So, you couldn’t have more fun than that, could you? What else is there? Just to make stuff and see people get excited and give them the opportunity. But when I’m outside of this, hey, I liked to fly light aircrafts. I ride fast motorbikes. I do guy stuff, and when I’m not doing guy stuff, I’m at home helping my wife in the garden. Just an ordinary guy. Most of my daylight waking hours is about being that global entrepreneur with regard to this huge global opportunity which is let’s change the world. It’s like moving from coal to steam, steam to mechanization, mechanization to electronics, and now we move into the digital age and we’re in it. What a fantastic place to be. So, how exactly do you do that? Do you just wake up earlier and just get everything done at 5:00 AM? There’s never enough time in the day. What it is, it’s being super critical about what’s actually important. If you open your email when you get to work, I will guarantee that you will sit there procrastinating and jump between emails. Most people don’t work from the top to the bottom or the bottom to the top. You’re a little bit selective, so already you failed to do what people expect you to. Email and inbound inquiry are other people’s expectations of how to use your time. They’re imposing their requirements on you. So, you’ve already allowed yourself to be managed by outside rules. You’ve got to arrive at your office with nothing that interferes with the creative process of why am I at this office? Why did I come here? I came here to understand what we’ve got. So, that’s a constant job. To work with the clever people that you have employed. I have a major role in employment and myself. Only employ smarter people than yourself, only. Because if you’re employing people that aren’t smarter than you, you’re going to have to tell them what to do and you don’t have time for that. Now, employing people smarter than yourself, for me, that sets the bar quite low, that’s easy, so I get really good pickings. But, generally speaking, you need to employ the best people and get them going and then you’ll be so busy running around trying to keep up with him, not them keeping up with you, that you actually have no time for all that outside noise. You’ve got to impose on the world what you want, not the world imposing on you what they want. Turn it around. Every time I have a conversation with somebody, it’s about what I want, in the nicest possible way. We will listen to inbounds but we already have a path to follow. If you start following other people’s paths, you’re not going to get where you want to go. Here’s the thing. I’ve been a business mentor for probably 20 years. Mentoring basically new CEOs. New CEOs, it’s the loneliest job in the world because it might be your first CEO job, so you can’t talk down because those people below you expect you to be the boss, so you can’t ask them. You can’t talk up because you’re the CEO. It’s no good asking the board, they’re looking down at you. You can’t talk sideways because they’re your competitors. So, the first year or two as a new CEO is the loneliest place on the planet. So, what you have to do is be entirely focused on what you need to get done and that is by changing what you used to do before you became a CEO or a boss. What you used to do is respond to every bit of noise that came at you and it filled your day up until you went nutty. Thank you! Cryptopia CEO Alan Booth on the Cryptocurrency Exchange Realm
CoinCentral's owners, writers, and/or guest post authors may or may not have a vested interest in any of the above projects and businesses. None of the content on CoinCentral is investment advice nor is it a replacement for advice from a certified financial planner.
Alex is the Editor-in-Chief of CoinCentral. Alex also advises blockchain startups, enterprise organizations, and ICOs on content strategy, marketing, and business development. He also regrets not buying more Bitcoin back in 2012, just like you.
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Inside the brain of a gambling addict - BBC News - YouTube
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