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Book Data

ISBN: 9781603582643
Year Added to Catalog: 2009
Book Format: Paperback
Dimensions: 5 3/8 x 8 3/8
Number of Pages: 256
Book Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
Old ISBN: 1603582640
Release Date: December 21, 2009
Web Product ID: 520

Also By This Author

Confronting Collapse

The Crisis of Energy and Money in a Post Peak Oil World
A 25-Point Program for Action

by Michael C. Ruppert

Reviews

Michael Ruppert: To Protect and Serve

January 10, 2011 - Transition Voice - Lindsay Curren

It is said that the Lord works in mysterious ways. That in loss and failure we find our greatest blessings, if only we look. If only we press on.

Substitute the word spirit for Lord, if you prefer. The idea is the same. That sometimes when we feel we’ve lost the most, we’ve only just begun to discover the best in ourselves. To meet our purpose.

The deciding moment

This was the case for Michael Ruppert, the analyst and commentator behind CollapseNet. It’s the same Michael Ruppert behind the earlier watchdog and exposé site From the Wilderness. And the same Michael Ruppert who wrote Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil, his controversial 9/11 book.

All of these efforts have had one thing in common for Ruppert: To dig deep into a story, discover emerging patterns, and bring to the surface information he felt was vital to the truth, particularly when this meant he could dispel misinformation, stop crime, restore honor, protect the innocent, and even save lives.

But to find out how he got here, we have to go back even further.

In an even earlier incarnation, Ruppert was a beat cop and then a narcotics detective with the LAPD. He was rapidly promoted, earning the department’s highest ratings. But all that nose-to-the-ground gumshoeing set Ruppert on a course with destiny that would bring him face-to-face with his own truth while killing more than a few dreams on the way.

It was the late seventies, when Vietnam and Nixon were behind us, the nation was in thrall to Happy Days and I was a kid goo-goo eyed over the likes of Shaun Cassidy.

Ruppert’s obsessions were deeper and darker.

While on the LA force, Ruppert says he discovered a vast CIA narcotics trafficking scheme that would make even The Dude blush. And he wasn’t about to stay silent about it, no matter what it cost him.

And it cost him.

“I  was looking forward to a bright career but this thing came up about CIA dealing drugs from my fiancee, a woman I loved more than anything else in the world. And what I’d realized was that I couldn’t compromise something inside myself because if I did, whatever else followed in life wouldn’t have any meaning.”

Ruppert came out about the CIA dealing, and resigned from LAPD over what he felt was the department’s continued willingness to close its eyes to the government-backed illegal drug trade right under its nose. In the process, Ruppert also broke up with his fiancee, which he says broke his heart. To add insult to injury, he says he faced continued intimidation, threats, and even attempts on his life.

But at least he had the truth. And he kept his self-respect.

Sacred honor

Ruppert grew up in a CIA and military family where honor played a big role. Though that theme had played out in myriad ways over the course of his life, the government drug-ring discovery forced his hand, moving honor from a meaningful yet intangible place to what Ruppert would call “the sacred,” which for him goes beyond a singularly religious perspective to something broader, something fundamental about how a person lives. The ethical choices they make. To Ruppert, the sacred is also the mark of integrity in a culture.

“If you say the word ‘sacred,’ people automatically go to, ‘I’m going to be forced to kneel and forced to do a catechism in church.’ All of that happens before they ever open their mouth. So there’s a lot of hubris and energy wasted on people’s preconceptions about what’s even being discussed to begin with. I think that’s in the way.”

Ruppert refers to a recent dust-up in the larger peak-oil / collapse / Transition community where definitions of the sacred and assertions of what qualifies as the sacred tangled folks up in what is or isn’t the right and true path, and how much religion, if any, to include in shared concepts of “the sacred” as society faces the industrial collapse that Ruppert sees coming soon.

For Ruppert, that which is sacred is bound up with that which honorable, uncompromising and true. It’s that dividing line he faced when he knew he couldn’t be complicit in police corruption. But to him, it’s also the willingness to stake one’s life on standing up against lies, speaking out against atrocities and finding and cultivating a baseline connection among people—and including the earth—that allows us to live with integrity, balance and a certain respect for the boundaries that give meaning to human experience.

“Let me just take a second on the word ‘sacred.’ If you look at some kind of horrible atrocity that takes place—the murder of a bunch of children—you might think to yourself, ‘Is nothing sacred?’ In other words, Is there nothing that is inviolate, that is a rock bottom, fundamental, bedrock belief that you never compromise? That’s what sacred means.”

And what’s sacred in Ruppert’s terms is what’s driven his work since that fateful day in 1978 when he resigned from the LAPD.

None of this means, however, that Ruppert is trying to distance himself from that which is also spiritual. In fact one of the most surprising and delightful elements of our nearly two-hour Skype talk was his candor on the topic of his own spiritual journey.

Having grown up Catholic, Ruppert says he’s read the Bible several times. He quoted from scripture in our talk in a way that revealed his enduring respect for messages that resonate, wherever they originate. And in a quiet, personal way Ruppert says he has long had his own vivid spiritual life and perspective over the years. It’s nothing he’s talked much about. It’s his private journey experienced—again—with that broader, non-sectarian perspective that he’s drawn to. But it’s one where he feels he has a purpose, a purpose guided by his connection to his spiritual life.

“I do believe there is an element of fate and destiny in my life, and that this was the point where I was supposed to be at where I could reach the people that I reach with the message that I reach (sic) now. And now I’m going to be 60 years old in February so I’m looking on the downslope and I just say, ‘okay all I want is to do is stay true to this course to the end’.”

Only now the stakes are higher.

The Collapse Channel

Ruppert’s spiritual life has recently taken on a more public turn as he’s written essays and shared videos concerning the role of spirit and the sacred in our lives. Believing that the collapse of human, industrial civilization is imminent, as he puts it, “God is now on the table.”

In making such a case for both rapid socioeconomic decline and the need for a spiritual perspective, Ruppert seems to understand the old saying that success is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. Perhaps it goes back to his old flatfooting days, which were followed by a career turn in investigative journalism that has essentially stayed with him since in varying forms.

One thing Ruppert knows how to do is stay at the table until the work is done. Witness the prolific output at CollapseNet’s World News Desk (subscription required), where Ruppert’s team churns out 50-60 news items a day, researching patterns and then delivering analysis on the trends in energy and economy on which all of us depend, and which, in the end, will bind us all together, for good or for ill, in the collapse that Ruppert sees coming in “weeks or months.”

There may be no better and more comprehensive analyst of the troubling and converging trends of peak oil, peak corruption and economic collapse than Ruppert.

Laying out the case for the converging elements of collapse with a detailed, straightforward presentation that wasn’t bound up with extraneous showmanship, I think I learned more in twenty minutes from Ruppert’s rendition of credit default swaps, derivatives packages, Mortgage-gate and the amoral imperatives of Wall Street than I have in the past year from all other sources combined.

I now know why, if I can’t pay my mortgage sometime soon, the bank will want to foreclose on me super fast, robo-style. Ruppert explained that they just want to book both an asset (possessing my house being 9/10ths of the law) and a loss, the failed loan. Never mind the impact on people, communities and the country by putting families out on the street. (But I don’t want to default, so please support Transition Voice’s General Operating Fund.)

Now where was I? Oh right, liars, cheats and thieves.

Economy, sure, but don’t forget about oil

Since so much talk in the past year has been devoted to the global derivatives sham, and Wall Street’s in-plain-sight heists of the taxpayer’s coffers and the threat of imminent financial collapse as the bubble meets its natural inertia, that focus has in some ways overshadowed the peak oil story. At least financial crimes, schemes, and government-backed “remedies” can be made visible. That makes the economic crisis more real and actively potent to the public. Clear villains, clear responses, clear culpability, even in government. But energy issues are harder to grasp, because like air, in an industrial society energy is with us always and it’s often just as invisible.

What’s refreshing about Ruppert is that he continually brings it back to energy, back to the real on-the-ground need for energy input, keeping it in the center of his analysis as often as possible. Yes, he’s as economic-collapse-focused as the rest of the peak oil All Stars, but he talks about energy more than the rest of the them seem to do right now. And for those of us whose primary concern is energy, that’s important.

“The only thing that matters anywhere in the world right now is saving as many lives as possible in the face of collapse,” said Ruppert. “And peak oil is clearly here….The International Energy Agency admitted that it happened in 2006. And we are awash now in official reports of its reality.”

That reality has huge implications, as those who are schooled on peak oil understand. Ruppert’s urgency to communicate the implications as widely as possibly reveals a deep compassion for others, his honor at work.

You can hear the urgency in his analysis and in the advice that comes out of it.

“I am more convinced than ever that individuals are not going to make it,” says Ruppert. “If you do not have a community, and if you do not have people around you to support you and share the load you’re going to fail miserably.”

But he’s heartened at least a bit by what he sees as a growing awareness of the problems and a growing dialogue aimed at solutions.

“What I’m really gratified by is…that there are so many people doing so many things now. This is why Transition US is so helpful— is to network and share the information because it accelerates the learning curve. And that’s really important. And there’s going to be an element of luck to this, too. I think the first and foremost ingredient is attitude. It’s your own mental and even spiritual attitude.”

Resilience starts at home

On that score, his own attitude seems in the zone. This was also surprising to me. After having seen the chain-smoking, slightly addled Michael Ruppert whose solo voce star turn in the documentary film Collapse left me both more energized about the peak oil message getting out there yet also made me a little suspicious of his personal style.

Being a communicator myself, I put a lot of stock in the HOW behind a given missive, the methods used to share the info. And as a die-hard film buff, after Collapse, my critic’s cap went on. Why, I wondered, would someone give voice to what seemed like a guy who appeared more than a little rankled, who maybe didn’t meet a conspiracy theory he didn’t like?

But maybe I’d be a little shaky too, if after breaking the Pat Tillman case I found my office smashed to smithereens, a death threat on my head. That’s what Ruppert says happened to him. No fun.

“Poking the hornet’s nest,” as Ruppert puts it, didn’t always earn him friends in high places. The enemies, however, were generous, says Ruppert, creating a fresh mood of intimidation that left him seeking an ex-pat escape hatch in Venezuela, where he hid out for a while. And he says was poisoned there.

But he says he wasn’t about to stop seeking and telling the truth. “It’s in my genes.”

After convalescing and reassessing, Ruppert took up the CollapseNet work he’s now doing in earnest, less for the exposé, more for the preparation of as many souls who are building the “lifeboat” needed to make the transition to the civilization that’s to come as the limits to growth reach their natural tipping point. And on The Lifeboat Hour, his Sunday-evening radio show on the Progressive Radio Network, he talks up the figures and factors making up the peak civilization story.

It’s this Ruppert who’s now on the stage.

Interviewing him, I encountered a thoughtful, lucid, and very well balanced man whose combined seriousness, humor, sensitivity, insight, research, analysis and compassion showed me that his various life-and-death experiences, and the theme of truth-seeking have coalesced to expose the measure of the man.

One part gumshoe, one part honor guard, one part soapbox professor and one part spiritual seeker, Ruppert offers his readers and subscribers and those in the larger community a wealth of information. His  startling track-record of prediction successes gives credibility to the advice he offers to help us all prepare for the next phase of this awe-inspiring adventure we call life.

The spirit works in mysterious ways.

Read the original review.

 


Confronting Collapse: The Crisis of Energy and Money in a Post Peak Oil World

 

AudioBook Book Review

June  29, 2010

I first learned of Mike Ruppert through a chilling trailer for his then upcoming movie, Collapse. Ruppert has a long history as an investigative journalist that began when he broke away from the mainstream after his excellence in the LA police led him to be actively recruited by the CIA for running cocaine through South-Central LA. Ruppert realized this wasn’t the world he’d pledged to serve and tried to break the story only to find that the systems he was working to support were quite different from how we perceive them in the mainstream. I went to the Vancouver International Film Centre with a few friends for a screening of Collapse only to have my tentative notions of civilizational instability confirmed in a tour de force of face melting facts. I quickly got a hold of Ruppert’s latest book, A Presidential Energy Policy, which had been re-printed as, Confronting Collapse to draw more attention to the work which had been largely ignored. Explaining bad news is not a route to popular success, as witnessed by the rapid end to careers of any American politician over the last 20 years that tried to curb deficits by cutting spending or raising taxes.

Confronting Collapse is a far better introduction to the topic of Collapse for the lay person than the corresponding movie is. And I say that because it is possibly too easy to write off Ruppert as a crank and a lunatic on-screen when he’s talking about governments breaking down and a global population that might face a huge die-off. This is so far outside the mainstream narrative that most people who aren’t receptive to it will completely block it out. It is much harder to ignore the case Ruppert makes for industrial civilization’s collapse when it is nicely footnoted and indexed. Ruppert’s writing style is absolutely clear and accessible to someone that isn’t a technically adept reader but might come across as “arrogant” for someone unwilling to look at the evidence. Modern economists counter the claims of the Peak Oil/Collapse theorists by saying that market corrections will solve the problem, Ruppert clearly explains that the only market corrections available will be in the form of tremendous suffering and loss of human life.

Read the whole review here.


Book Review: Confronting Collapse

Wise Bread

By Philip Brewer
May 15, 2010

We hardly talk about collapse here. Wise Bread is all about living large, while collapse mitigation is usually about living small. But that doesn't mean that there aren't things we can learn from books about collapse.

I'm kind of a connoisseur of books on collapse. I've been reading them since the 1960s (when they were mostly about overpopulation) and read a lot in the early 1980s (when they were mostly about financial collapse due to government debt and inflation). The most important thing I've learned is that many systems — biological, environmental, social, political, economic — are more resilient than people have any right to expect.

Ruppert's new book largely focuses on the threat of peak oil. It effectively makes the point that energy drives everything in the economy: When energy gets expensive, so does everything else (in particular, food and water). It does a workman like job of dismissing the fantasy sources of additional energy (tar sands, clean coal, fusion). More important, it gets it just about right on the non-fantasy sources (wind, solar): They're real and important, but they're no substitute for cheap oil.

Read the whole article here.


A Robot, I Am Not

Confronting Collapse
By jritch

April 6, 2010

I first learned of Mike Ruppert through a chilling trailer for his then upcoming movie, Collapse. Ruppert has a long history as an investigative journalist that began when he broke away from the mainstream after his excellence in the LA police led him to be actively recruited by the CIA for running cocaine through South-Central LA. Ruppert realized this wasn’t the world he’d pledged to serve and tried to break the story only to find that the systems he was working to support were quite different from how we perceive them in the mainstream. I went to the Vancouver International Film Centre with a few friends for a screening of Collapse only to have my tentative notions of civilizational instability confirmed in a tour de force of face melting facts. I quickly got a hold of Ruppert’s latest book, A Presidential Energy Policy, which had been re-printed as, Confronting Collapse to draw more attention to the work which had been largely ignored. Explaining bad news is not a route to popular success, as witnessed by the rapid end to careers of any American politician over the last 20 years that tried to curb deficits by cutting spending or raising taxes.

Confronting Collapse is a far better introduction to the topic of Collapse for the lay person than the corresponding movie is. And I say that because it is possibly too easy to write off Ruppert as a crank and a lunatic on-screen when he’s talking about governments breaking down and a global population that might face a huge die-off. This is so far outside the mainstream narrative that most people who aren’t receptive to it will completely block it out. It is much harder to ignore the case Ruppert makes for industrial civilization’s collapse when it is nicely footnoted and indexed. Ruppert’s writing style is absolutely clear and accessible to someone that isn’t a technically adept reader but might come across as “arrogant” for someone unwilling to look at the evidence. Modern economists counter the claims of the Peak Oil/Collapse theorists by saying that market corrections will solve the problem, Ruppert clearly explains that the only market corrections available will be in the form of tremendous suffering and loss of human life.

In the book, Dr. Colin Campell sets the stage by discussing the short time humanity has had access to energy dense petroleum reserves (only about 150 years). Ruppert uses the first chapter to make the case on why the US Federal government might keep the severity of the energy supply situation confidential and why we might question the status quo on this issue, “if we were lied to about mortgages, 401(k)s, stock portfolios, hedge funds, derivatives, insider trading… the invasion of Iraq and torture… why do so many accept on faith everything we have been sold about energy?”

Ruppert is clear that he views the entire American political and economic system as broken and corrupt and subservient to corporate/financial interests. This is something that neither Barack Obama or John McCain were willing to confront in their naive energy policies and political solutions. Thus the reason no real leadership exists and America/The World might be headed off a very steep and disturbing cliff in the near future. This assumption might lose some readers right away but if you read further, you can see why Ruppert has reached these conclusions.

Read the whole article here.


Prophet of Doom Finds Joy as Film Stirs Efforts to Survive Oil Crisis

Vineyard Gazette Online

By Mike Seccombe
Friday, March 5, 2010

Think of humanity as a herd of caribou living on an arctic island with no predators and abundant sustenance. We reproduce wildly until inevitably the sustenance, the energy source, is overtaxed and collapses.

Then we begin to die. In the case of humanity, billions of us.

The analogy and the dark prophecy are Mike Ruppert’s. And he argues it already has begun, this great dying, and there is nothing we can do to stop it.

For the resource that has sustained human civilization for the past hundred or so years, which underpinned the quadrupling of global population and on which our whole industrial civilization is built, is in accelerating and irreversible decline. That resource is fossil fuel, and in particular, oil.

Cop turned Cassandra Michael Ruppert. As Mr. Ruppert, a middle-aged former L.A. cop turned journalist and author, details at length in his book, Confronting Collapse, and also in the documentary Collapse, which will open this year’s Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival next week, that decline means a great deal more than finding an alternative to run our internal combustion engines.

Oil is everywhere in our daily lives. In everything plastic. In paint. There are seven gallons in every car tire. We literally eat of fossil fuels, for they are the feedstock of fertilizers.

They are the food of our economic system, too. Hence the subtitle of the book: The Crisis of Energy and Money in a Post Peak Oil World.

Oil production passed its peak of 8.5 million barrels a day in late 2005. And though the bursting of the housing bubble which followed shortly thereafter gets most blame for the great recession, Mr. Ruppert argues the energy crisis underlaid it; it was for oil that America went to war in Iraq, and so built its massive debt.

And the passing of peak oil will ensure the economic crisis never really ends, for any increase in economic activity will simply push up energy prices and thus snuff itself out.

 

Read the whole article here.


Failure Magazine

Review by Jason Zasky

The coming energy crisis will be “a crisis as great as any we have ever faced as a nation,” writes Michael Ruppert in “Confronting Collapse,” in which the author—in no uncertain terms—predicts the end of the Age of Oil and explains the repercussions of this potentially devastating development. Originally self-published under the title “A Presidential Energy Policy: Twenty-five Points Addressing the Siamese Twins of Energy and Money” (2008), Ruppert’s work inspired the documentary film Collapse, which in turn prompted Chelsea Green Publishing to republish his manuscript with little more than “topical updates.”

Read the whole article here.


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