Nicole Foss, Ottawa, Canada
Ms. Nicole Foss (Stoneleigh) is senior editor for The Automatic Earth and former editor of The Oil Drum - Canada.
Foss is a biologist, an environmental attorney, an energy industry insider, and an expert in the economics of finance. Foss believes that resource limits (peak oil) and the collapse of global Ponzi finance are a “perfect storm” of converging phenomena that threaten to trigger wealth destruction, social discontent, and global conflict. The consequences for unprepared individuals and families could be dire.
In Foss's presentation "A Century of Challenges", she discusses the many converging factors that are contributing to the predicament we face today, and how individuals can build a “lifeboat” to cope with the difficult years ahead. She explains how our current financial system is an unsustainable credit bubble grounded in “Ponzi dynamics,” or the logic of the pyramid scheme.
Foss argues that this crisis has developed in the context of the fossil fuel age, an age which will prove to be a relatively brief period of human history. She says that we have already seen oil reach a global production peak, and other fossil fuels are not far behind; and while there is still plenty of fossil fuel in the ground, production will fall, meaning that there will be less and less energy available to power the economy at prices afford to pay.
Foss continues that societies have gone through boom and bust cycles before, examples include: the Tulip Mania, the South Sea Bubble and the “Real” Great Depression of the 1870s; but most people in the Western world today will face this crisis without the knowledge or means to provide the basics of their own survival. The industrial system has nearly destroyed the individual capacity for self-reliance.
Foss argues that individuals and communities that take steps now to prepare stand a much better chance to thrive in a changing world.
Warwick University says of Foss's work, "[she] writes a finance blog with a difference; instead of saying how to make money, it tells ordinary people how to avoid losing it."
Foss travels extensively on speaking tours throughout North America, Europe and Australia.
Nicole M. Foss is co-editor of The Automatic Earth, where she writes under the name Stoneleigh. She and her writing partner have been chronicling and interpreting the on-going credit crunch as the most pressing aspect of our current multi-faceted predicament. The site integrates finance, energy, environment, psychology, population and real politik in order to explain why we find ourselves in a state of crisis and what can be done about it. Prior to the establishment of TAE, she was editor of The Oil Drum Canada, where she wrote on peak oil and finance.
Most recently, Foss ran the Agri-Energy Producers' Association of Ontario, where she focused on farm-based biogas projects and grid connections for renewable energy. While living in the UK she was a Research Fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, where she specialized in nuclear safety in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union, and conducted research into electricity policy at the EU level.
Her academic qualifications include a BSc in biology from Carleton University in Canada (where she focused primarily on neuroscience and psychology), a post-graduate diploma in air and water pollution control, an LLM in international law in development from the University of Warwick in the UK. She was granted the University Medal for the top science graduate in 1988 and the law school prize for the top law school graduate in 1997.
Nicole Foss's talk from 2010 June:
Radio interviews podcasts:
Stoneleigh’s peak oil/finance talk by Shaun
Chamberlin, June 14, 2010
Nicole Foss: A Century of Challenges by James Samuel, June 14, 2010
Our "end of the economy" moment by Joanne Poyourow, June 27, 2010
An interview with Stoneleigh - the case for deflation by Euan Mearns, Oct. 30, 2009
Nicole Foss to talk at Mayo Sustainability Forum in Castlebar -- announcement
News and Analysis
The Automatic Earth -- Web site maintained by Foss and writing partner on financial news
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