Reach for the skyr

A few things to tackle today. Firstly, there was a story doing the rounds a couple of days ago that Trump and Putin were making secret arrangements for a tête-à-tête in Reykjavik pretty soon after The Donald assumed the gilded throne of the Murcans.

Fox News, I think, was the purveyor of the canard. Along the lines of The Donald was going off to get his instructions from his KGB handler, etc. This story seemed to come out of the “Any shit we can make up against Trump is good enough to print” pile. And funnily enough, to show how easy this type of thing is, I’d written up the very same scenario for my daily ‘morning pages’ piece only a week ago.

My thoughts were that Donald and Vladimir might hole up in some glam volcanic spa for a day. Then there’d be a smiley photo op while a portentous official communique is distributed. D&P give the punditry an hour or so to work up some froth before the pair of them start putting out ‘OK, this is the real enchilada’-style tweets, outlining the likely direction of hegemonic shifts over the next few years. Ideally tweeted in French or Portuguese just to unsettle and annoy Anglophones.

Charles Hugh Smith has a good piece today on the US power elites’ germophobic response to outsiders getting into power. Trump follows in the footsteps of Nixon and Carter as someone whose unintended election, in place of the elites’ anointed candidate, was plainly some kind of operational glitch. So while the East coast mandariniat hunt down and torture the clumsy fool who left the door to the White House open to the neighbours’ cat, the media will obediently attack the foreign body in the Oval Office.

The difference between Trump and earlier outsiders is that in Nixon and Carter’s time the net fossil energy gravy train was in still full flow. Even when the insiders’ had sated their appetites over and over, there was plenty left over for Joe 99%. Not so in 2017. We appear to be five or so years away from slipping over the edge of the net energy cliff.

That means we’re three to five years away from the shine starting to seriously come off modern industrial civilisation. And 10-15 years before very deep cracks show up even here in cosy old, ‘what could go wrong in a country like this?’ Blighty. Think more-frequent brown outs, internet outages and off-the-scale motoring costs for most people.

Plenty to talk about over a bowl of skyr at the end of a long day’s summiteering in Reykjavik, then.