The real oil limits story; what other researchers missed

For a long time, a common assumption has been that the world will eventually “run out” of oil and other non-renewable resources. Instead, we seem to be running into surpluses and low prices. What is going on that was missed by M. King Hubbert, Harold Hotelling, and by the popular understanding of supply and demand?

The underlying assumption in these models is that scarcity would appear before the final cutoff of consumption. Hubbert looked at the situation from a geologist’s point of view in the 1950s to 1980s, without an understanding of the extent to which geological availability could change with higher price and improved technology. Harold Hotelling’s work came out of the conservationist movement of 1890 to 1920, which was concerned about running out of non-renewable resources. Those using supply and demand models have equivalent concerns–too little fossil fuel supply relative to demand, especially when environmental considerations are included.

Virtually no one realizes that the economy is a self-organized networked system. There are many interconnections within the system. The real situation is that as prices rise, supply tends to rise as well, because new sources of production become available at the higher price. At the same time, demand tends to fall for a variety of reasons:

  • Lower affordability
  • Lower productivity growth
  • Falling relative wages of non-elite workers

The potential mismatch between amount of supply and demand is exacerbated by the oversized role that debt plays in determining the level of commodity prices. Because the oil problem is one of diminishing returns, adding debt becomes less and less profitable over time. There is a potential for a sharp decrease in debt from a combination of defaults and planned debt reductions, leading to very much lower oil prices, and severe problems for oil producers. Financial institutions tend to be badly affected as well. If a person looks at only past history, the situation looks secure, but it really is not.

Figure 1. By Merzperson at English Wikipedia - Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons, Public Domain,

Figure 1. By Merzperson at English Wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons, Public Domain,

Substitutes aren’t really helpful; they tend to be high-priced and dependent on the use of fossil fuels, including oil. They cannot possibly operate on their own. They add to the “oversupply at high prices” problem, but don’t really fix the need for low-priced supply.

Why supply tends to rise as prices rise

For any non-renewable commodity, there are a wide variety of resources that will “sort of” work as substitutes, if the price is high enough. If the price can be raised to a very high level, the funds available will encourage the development of more advanced (and expensive) technology.

If it is possible to raise the price to a very high level, it is likely that a very large quantity of oil will be available. Figure 1 shows some of the types of oil available:

Getting sufficient oil out is a price problemI got my idea for Figure 2 from a natural gas resource triangle by Stephen Holditch.

Figure 2. Stephen Holdritch's resource triangle for natural gas

Figure 3. Stephen Holditch’s resource triangle for natural gas

A similar resource triangle is available for coal (from National Academies Press; Coal Resource, Reserve, and Quality Assessments):

Figure 3. Coal resources in 1997, based on EIA data. Image from

Figure 4. Coal resources in 1997, based on EIA data. Image from National Academies Press.

Because of the availability of an increasing amount of resources, we are likely to get more oil, natural gas, and coal, if prices rise. We associate high prices with scarcity; instead, high prices tend to make a larger quantity of energy product available.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has a different way of illustrating the likelihood of huge future oil supply, if prices can only rise high enough.

Figure 4. Figure 1.4 from International Energy Agency's 2015 World Energy Outlook.

Figure 5. Figure 1.4 from International Energy Agency’s 2015 World Energy Outlook.

The implication of this chart is that the IEA believes that oil prices can rise to $300 per barrel, giving the world plenty of oil to extract for many years ahead.

Can consumers really afford very high-priced energy products?

In my view, the answer is “No!” If oil is high priced, then the many things made with oil will tend to be high priced as well. Wages don’t rise with oil prices; most of us remember this from the oil price run-up of 2003 to 2008.

Because of this affordability issue, the limit to oil production is really an invisible price limit, represented as a dotted line. We can’t know in advance where this is, so it is easy to assume that it doesn’t exist.

Figure 4. Resource triangle, with dotted line indicating uncertain financial cut-off.

Figure 6. Resource triangle, with dotted line indicating uncertain financial cut-off.

The higher cost of extraction is equivalent to diminishing returns.

As we are forced to seek out ever more expensive to extract resources, the economy is in some sense becoming less and less efficient. We are devoting more of our human labor and other resources to extracting fossil fuels, and to extracting minerals from ever-lower-quality ores. In some sense, we could just as well be putting these resources into a pit and burying them–they no longer help us grow the rest of the economy. Using resources in this way leaves fewer resources to “grow” the rest of the economy. As a result, we should expect economic contraction when the cost of oil extraction rises.

In fact, economic contraction seems to happen when oil prices rise, at least for oil importing countries. Economist James Hamilton has shown that 10 out of 11 post-World War II recessions were associated with oil price spikes. A 2004 IEA report says, “.  .  . a sustained $10 per barrel increase in oil prices from $25 to $35 would result in the OECD as a whole losing 0.4% of GDP in the first and second years of higher prices. Inflation would rise by half a percentage point and unemployment would also increase.”

Energy products play a critical role in the economy.

Economic activity is based on many kinds of physical changes. For example:

  • Using heat to transform materials from one form to another;
  • Using energy products to help move goods from one place to another;
  • Moving electrons in such a way that light is provided
  • Moving electrons in such a way that Internet transmission can be provided.

A human being, by himself, exerts only about 100 watts of power. A human being is also quite limited in what he can do; he can provide a little heat, but no light, for example. Energy products are very helpful for making capital goods such as buildings, machines, roads, electricity transmission lines, cars and trucks.

We can think of energy products, and capital goods made using energy products, as ways of leveraging human energy. If per capita energy consumption increases over time, leveraging of human labor can grow. As a result, humans can become ever more productive–think of new and better machines to help humans do their work. Dips in this leveraging tend to correspond to economic contraction (Figure 7).

Figure 6. World energy consumption per capita, based on BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2105 data. Year 2015 estimate and notes by G. Tverberg.

Figure 7. World energy consumption per capita, based on BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2105 data. Year 2015 estimate and notes by G. Tverberg.

To have a growing economy, wages of non-elite workers need to be growing. 

Our economy is in a sense a “circular economy,” in which non-elite workers (less educated, non-managerial workers) play a pivotal role because they are both producers of goods and potential consumers of the output of the economy. Because there are so many non-elite workers, their demand for homes, cars, and electronic goods plays a critical role in maintaining the total demand of the economy.

Figure 6. Representation of two major part of economy by author.

Figure 8. Representation of two major parts of the economy by author.

If the wages of these non-elite workers are growing, thanks to increased productivity, the economy as a whole can grow. If the wages of these workers are shrinking or are flat (in inflation-adjusted terms), the economy is in trouble. The recycling process cannot work very well.

If there is not enough economic growth–often caused by not enough growth in energy consumption to leverage human labor–then we tend to get a growing imbalance between the sector on the left with businesses, governments, and elite workers, and the sector on the right, with non-elite workers. Part of this wage imbalance comes from sending jobs to low-wage countries. As jobs are shifted to low-wage countries, the workers of the world increasingly cannot afford the goods that they and other workers are producing.

Figure 7. Representation by author of balance that occurs.

Figure 9. Representation by author of imbalance that occurs.

If the wages of non-elite workers are not rising sufficiently, rising debt can be used to hide this problem for a while. The way this is done is by allowing workers to buy goods at ever-lower interest rates, over ever-longer time periods. This strategy has an endpoint, which we seem to be close to reaching.

Debt is a key factor in creating an economy that operates using energy.

A generally overlooked problem of our current system is the fact that we do not receive the benefit of energy products until well after they are used. This is especially the case for energy used to make capital investments, such as buildings, roads, machines, and vehicles. Even education and health care represent energy investments that have benefits long after the investment is made.

The reason debt (and close substitutes) are needed is because it is necessary to bring forward hoped-for future benefits of energy products to the current period if workers are to be paid. In addition, the use of debt makes it possible to pay for consumer products such as automobiles and houses over a period of years. It also allows factories and other capital goods to be financed over the period they provide their benefits. (See my post Debt: The Key Factor Connecting Energy and the Economy.)

When debt is used to move forward hoped-for future benefits to the present, oil prices can be higher, as can be the prices of other commodities. In fact, the price of assets in general can be higher. With the higher price of oil, it is possible for businesses to use the hoped-for future benefits of oil to pay current workers. This system works, as long as the price set by this system doesn’t exceed the actual benefit to the economy of the added energy.

The amount of benefits that oil products provide to the economy is determined by their physical characteristics–for example, how far oil can make a truck move. These benefits can increase a bit over time, with rising efficiency, but in general, physics sets an upper bound to this increase. Thus, the value of oil and other energy products cannot rise without limit.

Using hoped-for benefits to set oil prices is likely to lead to oil prices that overshoot their maximum sustainable level, and then fall back.

A debt-based system of setting oil prices is different from what most of us would have considered possible. If wages of non-elite workers had been growing fast enough (Figure 9), increasing debt would not even be needed, because the whole system could grow thanks to the increased buying power of the many non-elite workers. These workers could buy new houses and cars, have more meat in their diet, and travel on international vacations, adding to demand for oil and other energy products, thereby keeping prices up.

As wages of non-elite workers fall behind, an increasing amount of debt is needed. For the US, the ratio of the increase in debt to the increase in GDP (including the rise in inflation) is as shown in Figure 10:

Figure 10. United States increase in debt over five year period, divided by increase in GDP (with inflation!) in that five year period. GDP from Bureau of Economic Analysis; debt is non-financial debt, from BIS compilation for all countries.

Figure 10. United States increase in debt over five-year period, divided by increase in GDP (with inflation!) in that five-year period. GDP from Bureau of Economic Analysis; debt is non-financial debt, from BIS compilation for all countries.

Thus, the increase in debt has never been less than the corresponding increase in GDP over five-year periods, even when oil prices were low prior to 1970. In general, the pattern would suggest that the higher the oil price, the higher the increase in debt needs to be to generate one dollar of GDP. This is to be expected, if economic growth depends on Btus of energy, and higher prices lead to the need for more debt to cover the purchase of necessary Btus of energy.

We are reaching a head-on collision between (1) the rising cost of energy production and (2) the falling ability of non-elite workers to pay for this high-priced energy. 

The head-on collision we are reaching is what causes the potential instability referred to at the beginning of this article, as illustrated in Figure 1. Of course, such a collision has the potential to cause debt defaults, as it becomes impossible to repay debt with interest.

Figure 11. Repaying loans is easy in a growing economy, but much more difficult in a shrinking economy.

Figure 11. Repaying loans is easy in a growing economy, but much more difficult in a shrinking economy.

Turchin and Nefedov in the academic book Secular Cycles analyzed eight agricultural economies that eventually collapsed. The problem that these economies encountered was exactly the same one we are now encountering: falling wages of non-elite workers at the same time that the cost of producing energy products (food, at that time) was rising. Rising costs were often an end result of too many people for the arable land. A workaround could be found, such as building irrigation or adding a larger army to conquer a neighboring land, but it would add costs.

As the problems of these economies progressed, debt defaults became more of a problem. Governments found it hard to collect enough taxes, because so many of the workers were increasingly impoverished. Often, workers became sufficiently weakened by an inadequate diet that they became vulnerable to epidemics. Governments often collapsed.

In the economies analyzed by Turchin and Nefedov, food prices temporarily spiked, but it is not clear that this was the final outcome, given the inability of workers to pay the high prices. Debt defaults would tend to further reduce ability to pay. Thus, it would not be surprising if prices ended up low (from lack of demand), rather than high. We know that ancient Babylon is an example of one economy that collapsed. Revelation 18:11-13 seems to describe the situation after Babylon’s collapse as one of lack of demand.

11 “The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her because no one buys their cargoes anymore— 12 cargoes of gold, silver, precious stones and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet cloth; every sort of citron wood, and articles of every kind made of ivory, costly wood, bronze, iron and marble; 13 cargoes of cinnamon and spice, of incense, myrrh and frankincense, of wine and olive oil, of fine flour and wheat; cattle and sheep; horses and carriages; and human beings sold as slaves.

Other parts of the oil limits story that researchers have missed

As I have previously mentioned, most researchers begin with the view that soon there will be a problem with energy scarcity. The real issue that tends to bring the system down is related, but it is fairly different. It is the fact that as we use energy, the system necessarily generates entropy. This entropy takes the form of rising debt and increased pollution. It is these entropy-related issues, rather than a shortage of energy products per se, that tends to bring the system down. See my post, Our economic growth system is reaching limits in a strange way.

We could, in theory, fix our problems by adding infinite debt at the same time that wages of non-elite workers tend toward zero. We could then use this additional debt to fight pollution problems and pay all of the workers. All of us know that this solution would not work in the real world, however.

The two-sided economy I have described in Figures 8 and 9 is one part of our problem. There is a popular saying, “We pay each other’s wages.” Unfortunately, paying each other’s wages does not work well, if the wage level of elite workers differs too much from the wage level of the non-elite workers. A worker making $7.50 per hour in a part-time job is not going to be able to pay the wages of a surgeon making $300,000 per year, no matter how an insurance policy is designed to spread costs evenly. A worker in India or Africa will not be able to afford goods made by human workers in the United States, because of wage differences.

Governments can try to fix the problem of non-elite workers getting too small a share of the output of the system, but this is not easy to do. The real problem is that the system as a whole is not producing enough goods and services. This happens because the high cost of energy extraction (plus related issues–pollution control; need for more education for workers; need for ever-larger government and more elite workers) is removing too many resources from the system. The result is that the economy as a whole tends to grow ever more slowly. The quantity of goods and services produced by the economy does not rise very rapidly. When there are not enough goods produced in total, non-elite workers tend to find that their allocation has been reduced.

If governments attempt to add debt to fix the problems with the system, the addition of debt tends to raise asset prices on the left side of Figures 8 and 9. Unfortunately, the additional debt usually has little impact on the wages of non-elite workers (that is, the right hand part of the system).

Governments have talked about minimum income programs to raise incomes of those who are not elite workers. Whether or not this approach can work depends on many things–how much additional debt can be added to the system; whether this debt will actually raise the total amount of goods and services produced; how tolerant those in the left-hand side of Figures 8 and 9 are of losing their share of goods and services; the impact on relative currency levels.

Research involving Energy Returned on Energy Investment (EROEI) ratios for fossil fuels is a frequently used approach for evaluating prospective energy substitutes, such as wind turbines and solar panels. Unfortunately, this ratio only tells part of the story. The real problem is declining return on human labor for the system as a whole–that is, falling inflation adjusted wages of non-elite workers. This could also be described as falling EROEI–falling return on human labor. Declining human labor EROEI represents the same problem that fish swimming upstream have, when pursuit of food starts requiring so much energy that further upstream trips are no longer worthwhile.

Falling fossil fuel EROEI is a contributor to falling EROEI with respect to human labor, but there are other contributors as well (Figure 12). (My list is probably not exhaustive.)

Figure 12. Authors' depiction of changes to workers share of output of economy, as costs keep rising for other portions of the economy keep rising.

Figure 12. Author’s depiction of changes to workers’ share of output of economy, as costs keep rising for other portions of the economy.

If our problem is a shortage of fossil fuels, fossil fuel EROEI analysis is ideal for determining how to best leverage our small remaining fossil fuel supply. For each type of fossil fuel evaluated, the fossil fuel EROEI calculation determines the amount of energy output from a given quantity of fossil fuel inputs. If a decision is made to focus primarily on the energy products with the highest EROEI ratios, then our existing fossil fuel supply can be used as sparingly as possible.

If our problem isn’t really a shortage of fossil fuels, EROEI is much less helpful. In fact, the EROEI calculation strips out the timing over which the energy return is made, even though this may vary greatly. The delay (and thus needed amount of debt) is likely to be greatest for those energy products where large front-end capital expenditures are required. Nuclear would tend to be a problem in this regard; so would wind and solar.

To evaluate the extent to which a given energy product tends to raise debt levels, a better approach might be to look at debt levels directly. Another measure might be to compare the required system-wide capital expenditures for a particular purpose, for example, to provide sufficient non-intermittent electricity for the state of California over a period of say, 50 years, using different electricity generation scenarios.

Our academic system of inquiry, with its peer reviewed literature system, has let us down.

Our peer reviewed academic system is not telling this story. Part of the problem is that this is a difficult story. It has taken me most of the last ten years to figure it out.

Part of the problem with our academic system seems to be excessive reliance on past analyses. Once one direction has been set, it is hard to change. Another part of the problem is that the focus of each researcher tends to be quite narrow. The result can be that it is hard to “see the forest for the trees.”

Furthermore, politicians and academic publishers tend to “push” results in the direction of a desired outcome. Grant money goes to researchers who follow the government-preferred fields of inquiry; publishers prefer books that are not too alarming to students.

I am coming at this issue from “out in left field.” I don’t have a Ph.D., although I am a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society, which many would consider similar. I also have an M. S. in Mathematics. I do not work in a university setting. I do not have a strong background in subjects a person might expect, such as geology, economic theory, or physics. I do have a fair amount of practical experience with financial modeling from my actuarial background, however.

My approach is very different from that of most researchers. I come to the problem from the point of view of how a finite world might be expected to operate. I write most of my articles on the Internet, where I get the benefit of comments from readers. Many of these commenters point me in the direction of articles or books I should read, or raise additional issues I should consider.

Over the years, I have become acquainted with many researchers in related fields. These people have generally reached out to me–invited me to speak at their conferences, or corresponded with me about issues they considered important. As a result of this collaboration, I have been able to put together a more complete story than others.

I have stayed away from publishers and funding sources that might try to influence what I say. I have not been taking donations, and do not run ads on my website. The story is one that needs to be told, but it easily gets distorted if the person telling the story is influenced by what will generate the largest donations, or the most grant money.

About Gail Tverberg

My name is Gail Tverberg. I am an actuary interested in finite world issues - oil depletion, natural gas depletion, water shortages, and climate change. Oil limits look very different from what most expect, with high prices leading to recession, and low prices leading to financial problems for oil producers and for oil exporting countries. We are really dealing with a physics problem that affects many parts of the economy at once, including wages and the financial system. I try to look at the overall problem.
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1,243 Responses to The real oil limits story; what other researchers missed

    • Stefeun says:

      Thanks Veggie,
      Always better with relevant links, if one wants to have a clearer picture of the topic.
      I didn’t expect so many, though!

  1. The Mighty Microbe says:

    Would you have shot the gorilla?

    • The Mighty Microbe says:

      I’ve started reading V the guerilla economist – makes a lot of sense:

    • Rodster says:

      I’m definitely no authority on gorillas but it appeared to me that the gorilla was protecting the child. Maybe clearing out the viewing area and tranquilizing the gorilla may have worked and only killing the animal as a last resort.

      • Stilgar Wilcox says:

        Here’s a previous incident where a father held a boy up and accidentally dropped into a gorilla enclosure. A 450 lb. silverback stood by the kid to make sure nothing happened to him. The same thing probably would have happened in Cincinnati if they’d given it a chance.

    • bandits101 says:

      They couldn’t take the chance…..litigation. As always it’s about money, nothing else. That’s why no concerted, realistic or effectual attempts at reducing CO2 levels was ever ever going to be a reality.

      • Vince the Prince says:

        That’s why we still have the global warming “debate”,. Never admit to the crime. Hard to prove the case and by that time you’ll be as old as Bill Crosby

      • Stilgar Wilcox says:

        Good point bandits – litigation. “How could you let that big ol’ gorilla just sit next to our son! He could have torn his head off!! That’s why even though the boy was miraculously brought out of the enclosure unharmed, we are suing for 50 billion dollars for the mental anguish it caused us wondering what that gorilla might do to our beloved son during those brief terrifying moments. I will be scarred for life. I’m now suffering from night terrors in my dreams!!! If only you had done the right thing and shot that ape before he sat next to our son!”

        “Superior court rules in favor of the plaintiff in the amount of 165 million dollars.”

        “I’m sorry folks, but the zoo is going into receivership (closing) due to our inability to pay the judgment. Zoos that would like the rest of our animals please contact us. Any that are not relocated within two weeks will be put down as a precaution against any further human harm to mind, body or soul (litigation).”

        • Not really in response to this comment–I have a new post ready to put up, but I can’t get a strong enough Internet connection to make the publication “happen.”

  2. Rodster says:

    A good read even if you already think you know how quickly things can become unglued !

    “Why The Next Black Swan Will Turn Into A Flock”

  3. Vince the Prince says:

    Crashing Rubber Market Adds to Despair in Crisis-hit Kerala

    KOCHI:It seems only God can save rubber, at least in the near future. When China, the world’s largest consumer of rubber, reported the lowest growth rate in 25 years, the hope of revival of rubber prices once again became bleak.

    The International Rubber Study Group says the price of rubber will remain low till 2025

    Guayule and Russian dandelion are alternative sources of natural rubber and commercial production of rubber using them has already started in the US and Europe

    A ‘slowing’ China will have a negative impact on prices since it is the largest consumer of rubber

    Crude price has been hovering around $27 per barrel, at a 12-year low. This will boost the intake of synthetic rubber, which will also affect rubber prices

  4. Vince the Prince says:

    “The immigration industry – which operates through selling citizenship via fake degrees, mega-development, pushing up housing costs, and increasing debt – is very good at propaganda. We’ve been conned. Mass immigration actually drives overpopulation and species extinction. In the last eight years, Ethiopia alone added 26 million people. In five years, the population will be triple what it was in the 80’s famine period. Who pays for all this? Foreign aid and money sent from abroad to increase family size.

    There are people who argue: ‘The world is overpopulated and we have a moral responsibility to take more people.’ Which is like saying; ‘I live with junkies, therefore I will use their heroin.’ Our ‘economic growth’ is now based on importing people, borrowing money, and a Ponzi-scheme called ‘asset prices’. It’s the Endless Growth fantasy. At what point does anyone think this will stop?”

    • The Mighty Microbe says:

    • Interguru says:

      Of all the industrialized powers, Europe, Japan, and China, the the English speaking countries, US Canada, Great Britain and New Zealand, are the only ones that will not suffer a demographic implosion. The others will not have enough workers to support their elderly. For China, guns vs butter will become guns vs canes.

      Why? Because of immigration. Alone among these areas we welcome ( or at least tolerate ) large scale immigration. Some Europeans originally welcomed the middle east refugees as a source of new workers. There are now questions on whether they can be integrated into a secular Europe.

      I do not claim that immigration solves our worldwide resource or population issues . I am very aware that our working class has suffered real harm from immigration. I just say that is an overall positive for the US and the other English speaking countries.

      • The Mighty Microbe says:

        ? Euro countries are on the verge of civil war because of immigration.

        • Interguru says:

          Immigration is a toxic political issue, especially during an economic downturn, especially in societies that do not have a tradition of assimilation, especially when the immigrants come from a society with vastly different traditions, especially when the immigration is rapid.

          • The Mighty Microbe says:

            Fabulous PC semi-dissembling – most instructive.
            Sounds like WAR!!

            When is an invasion not an invasion? When it is an immigration.
            You just have to convince the locals. haha

      • This is important point in terms of the demographic echo-boom potential west vs. east, if the west stands the ground (petrodollar doesn’t collapse) by whichever means for a decade or two, it could later leverage this demographic echo as the most important weapon of domination. Now, there are analysts who say they see no immediate crash (technically overdue) but instead bumpy plateau for the next decade, basically the Japanese style stagnation, while gov/FED props up the equity-debt markets in full spectrum fashion.

        In that situation the 2030-40 outlook seems very differently to conventional prognostications. By then most of Europe, especially western is toast, but at the same time wider/continental Asia is denied closer integration and stumbles in internal turmoil, US stands alone as global hegemon, impoverished but relatively operational. I’m not predicting this as the most probable scenario, but we can deduct from real events this is being worked on as one of the top can kicking scenarios for TPTB.

        The above basically means Chinese won’t be able to transform their recent gigantic boom into soft landing, as we know from history such “crossroads of weakness” are often “cleverly” used by dominant forces to prolong their privileged status. It’s cold outside, e.g. it doesn’t matter China outperforms US by several factors in terms of high speed rail or education in some segments, the bottom line remains who is the worst psycho, willing to perform the deeds necessary to keep the power. The key players are obviously deep into this score so the next developments would be funny to watch.

        • To sum up this scenario, it’s a con-fidence game in the first place.
          If the world is not persuaded there is viable alternative to peaking of 4th turning of its last succession of global western power transitions (Portugal->Spain->France->Britain->US), the cycle would simply deviate from the ~85yrs span average for a while, and the old hegemon need to soldier for a while longer than expected.

    • Stilgar Wilcox says:

      “There are people who argue: ‘The world is overpopulated and we have a moral responsibility to take more people.’”

      That argument will come front and center when sea level rise drives people out of coastal cities. What will happen when there are millions of people in ships bobbing up and down in oceans with the media chalk full of stories about distress calls for ports they can land to offload millions – the catch – wait for it – an argument for legislation to require each household 100′ above the new sea level waterline to take in at least 1 displaced refugee family.

      “Welcome to our home here in California.”

      “Jcha bung da le kafutawah”

      “Ok, you don’t speak English. Well, we’ll have to work on that.”

  5. The Mighty Microbe says:

    You have been misled.

    Now the terrible truth is upon you:

    It was we alone who created and manipulated and control your every thought word and deed.

    You are powerless before us! Indeed you do not exist but for us!


    • The Mighty Microbe says:

      Moreover the subversive activities of the vegge brigade cannot prevail against or blood brothers – the immune system.

  6. Fast Eddy says:

    Orgy Island…

    Of course how can you have an orgy without Bill Clinton in attendance? And Kevin Spacey… and others…. Wonder where Sylvio B was?

    • Vince the Prince says:

      Fast Eddy, think Kevin Spacey may have went on the island with little boys getting a sun tan on the beach.

  7. Interguru says:

    Some non-financial black swans

    Nuclear war
    Massive cyberattack.
    Repeat of the solar storm of 1859 which would destroy our electrical grid
    Unstoppable plague, either manmade or natural.

  8. Jan says:

    I am wondering about a side aspect: Declining resources demand more complex exploration which leads to the necessety of increased know-how, research and – as the non-elite worker is paid differently – political power to reserve the resource for the solvent customer. That leads to market consolidation. Large monopolists though are opponents of the invisible hand, they are unflexible and slow and once they have made a false decision it could affect the whole industry. So i wonder if there is an inherent structural path towards economic instability – as described in the card tower or avalanche metaphor. Besides the power of these monopolists are not necessarily limited to resource exploration but could also lead to electorial donations and reduce the economic flexibility of a democratical society – with the same effect.

    • the path towards instability is called survival of the fittest.

      Trump on a desert island for instance, would perish, because his version of economic stability wouldn’t work—his money would be unusable

      whereas a trained survivalist would thrive, because his skills do not depend on economics

      Don’t know if anyone on here has seen the Movie—The Admirable Chrichton
      A perfect portrayal of resource appropriation and survival of the fittest—made 50 years ago but even more applicable now.—and shows what happens when survival is tested
      Take some relax time out and watch it

      It is nature that is ultimately inflexible, we have enjoyed a short time of pretending that we were in charge and could sustain a permanently stable environment for ourselves.

  9. Artleads says:


    Might interest somebody. Dunno.

    Page 5K

    by Christopher Martin
    It’s tough to argue with free. That’s why the no-money-down solar lease became the most popular choice for U.S. rooftop power. Now, though, the equation is changing. Falling costs are making it easier for consumers to buy solar systems outright, and banks and solar installers are promoting loans with no upfront payments. That’s a threat to companies such as SolarCity, Sunrun and Vivint Solar, which built their businesses on people signing decades-long contracts. Installation growth is slowing for the big three U.S. rooftop solar installers, and GTM Research, an industry consultant, is forecasting the percentage of consumers buying rather than leasing residential systems will expand to 45% this year, from 38% in 2014. Shares in all three companies have plunged more than 40% this year for a variety of reasons, including a failed acquisition bid for Vivint and questions about SolarCity’s strategy. “Leasing was the major game, but that’s changing quickly,” said Patrick Jobin, an analyst at Credit Suisse Group AG. “Consumers are starting to realize there are better options.” Greg Gill, a retired IBM employee, was looking for ways to cut his $400 monthly utility bill. He considered leasing but decided to pay $32,370 for a 7.3-kilowatt system that was installed in September at his home outside Sacramento, California. Gill charged it on a credit card (to earn rewards) and then paid it off in cash, he said. His April utility bill was $1.18, he earned a $10,000 tax credit, and he’s expecting an 11% return on the investment. “A tree-hugger friend of mine was dead-set on SolarCity,” Gill said. After talking to 5 installers, he crunched the numbers and concluded that buying was a better deal. “It really was a no-brainer,” he said. “Even if you financed it at 3%, you still come out ahead over leasing.” He’s not alone. By next year, customers who own their systems will make up the majority of the U.S. residential solar market for the first time since 2011, according to Boston-based GTM. Third-party companies, mainly lease providers, will account for the rest. And that shift is accelerating. In July, Nicole Litvak, a GTM analyst, predicted that owning wouldn’t become the top choice until 2020. Leasing companies are aware of the trend, including SolarCity, the biggest U.S. rooftop installer, which rolled out a no-money-down loan program this month. that replaced a more complicated financing program introduced in 2014 that ended this year. “We anticipate loans will continue to be very popular,” Kady Cooper, a spokeswoman, said by e-,ail. The financing deals offer returns to SolarCity that are comparable to leases, she said, in part because the company’s volume helps it negotiate terms with lenders. A 10-year loan comes with a 2.99% fixed interest rate, and 20 years gets 4.99%. SolarCity’s growth is slowing. It expects to install about 1 gigawatt of panels this year, about 15% more than last year. In February, the company said 2016 installations would increase as much as 40%. Vivint announced in November that it was offering loans in Utah, its home state, through a partnership with the financing company Solar Mosaic, with plans to expand to other states. “There is some increasing demand from customers that would like to own their own system,” Casey Briggs, a spokeswoman, said in an e-mail, although leases remain “the primary driver in the market for residential solar.” At Sunrun, leasing will make up about 80% of its business in the 4th quarter, down from 85% now. It introduced a loan program in September. The San Francisco-based company installed 60 megawatts of panels in the first quarter, up 63% from a year earlier. In the fourth quarter, it added 68 megawatts, an 83% increase from the same period a year earlier.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      Free? Can it get any more ridiculous?

      People who believe in Solar Jesus need to be put down like rabid dogs.

      • The Mighty Microbe says:

        Adolf would be proud of you.

        Mass murder is ok in the “right” circumstances.

        • A Real Black Person says:

          Murder has always been ok under the “right” circumstances, depending on the values of a society or an individual. Hitler didn’t invent mass murder.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          Yes of course it is — particularly if it means that we do not have to endure deleting more comments from our inboxes involving solar jesus as a solution …. I think I am developing carpal tunnel from the repeated movements….

          Death to scientists, farmers and engineers while we are at it

          • The Mighty Microbe says:

            You really got to work on that wit. It just isn’t there.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              More than happy to skip the wit and turn to outright mockery…. I do have a certain flair for that… as you may be aware

  10. Yoshua says:

    Saudi oil exports peaked in 2005 (Production – Consumption = Exports).

    From peak exports the decline to zero exports in other case studies has been 20 years.

    So… Saudi exports are estimated to decline to zero in 2025 if they follow the trend.

    Without farmland and water the Saudis will eat sand and drink oil after that date ?

    • Vince the Prince says:

      Nope, they have their ‘investments’ to hold them over (sarcasm off).

      • Yoshua says:

        Hope they didn’t invest all that cash in the U.S energy sector.

        The Next Big Crash Of The U.S. Economy Is Coming

        The U.S energy sector paid 86 percent of its total profits just to service the interest on its debt.

        • A Real Black Person says:

          It’s all talk. PR. I doubt that they’ve actually invested their money anywhere in significantly quantities yet. If there were any worthwhile investments to have been made, they made them already .

          Their announcement about investing their way out of an oil-based economy reminds me of an announcement The United Eremites States made several years ago about constructing a zero carbon city called Masdar City, in Abu Dhabi,

          In both cases, I don’t think the Saudis or the UES will end up saving their economies with these initiatives but I DO think the elites will partially will save themselves from having to decrease their standards of living, temporarily. There might be enough for themselves but not for anyone else. The returns on their investments won’t be great enough to warrant sharing with the masses. Masdar City seems like the most expensive city to live in on the face of the planet–and this year they realized that their green city will NEVER be carbon neutral.
          ( . It’s funny that they found that out AFTER the engineers, developers and Postmodern architects got paid.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            Thanks for the link — I recommend they call that city:

            DelusiCITY ‘A Celebration of Extreme Idiocy’

            The stupidity involved in that project is breathtaking…. awe-inspiring … epic…. world-class….

        • Yoshua says:

          There doesn’t seem to be any good investment opportunities in the world today.

          All the money printing after the Financial Crisis in 2008 seems to have had the aim to pump up the global economy so that the oil prices would rise high enough to make further investments in expensive to produce oil profitable.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            If I were to invest today — I would look for a TBTF company — ideally one that is not carrying too much debt — one that is in a fairly desperate situation — and I’d go long that company…

            The rationale here is that the share price will be falling — but that the central banks will ensure that company can tap cash to buy back shares and/or the central banks plunge protection teams will buy shares… pushing the price up….

            I should probably start a hedge fund that applies this strategy on a massive scale — but life is far too short… time is far too short…

    • so the saudi prince saying—if we have no oil by 2020—wasn’t far wrong then

      as to what they will eat after that, they will proceed to kill each other until there are enough dates and camel milk to go go round

      so where’s the problem

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Amusing that the Saudi’s are floating a plan for life after oil…. considering a decline in Saudi production = end of days

    • Veggie says:

      “Without farmland and water the Saudis will eat sand and drink oil after that date ?”

      Maybe not. In the past few years they have bought up major tracts of farmland in the USA and other countries. Their most recent purchase was 10,000 acres in California where they grow fodder for their dairy cows (and ship it to the dairy farms in Arabia).
      I would assume they are doing the same with water.
      Their new “global investment fund” could easily buy one (or more) water utilities and bottling companies.

      • and with CA in the middle of a Trump non-drought, and the economy of the USA in a tailspin (once Saudi has slurped the last of its oil)—the Saudis will be allowed to harvest anything from the USA and ship it off to their homeland?

      • DJ says:

        Solar powered ships? Or sails?

      • Stefeun says:

        your examples don’t seem to appear on Landmatrix database, but maybe it’s not updated (or maybe I don’t know how to read/use it):

        • Veggie says:

          Are they investors…or Owners? Does that database show owners?
          The many Saudi Princes own a lot of American corporations.
          Those corporations can buy land and the public would never know the difference.
          It’s a muddled mess when it comes to Saudi ownership of American based assets.
          I will try to find the article on the Saudi Dairy purchase and post it here.
          Read it 2 weeks ago… will see if I can find it.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        When Saudi oil is no more the world is no more — you think they will be able to retain properties in the US?


    The Renewable Energy Survey now has 120 respondents in the pre-release week. Most of these respondents come from Cassandra’s Legacy, the Doomstead Diner, Reddit Subs and Our Finite World.

    We will be doing the Official Release of the Survey to the general blog community tomorrow, Sunday May 29th on the Doomstead Diner. The release article contains preliminary demographic information on the respondents, but not any of the data so far collected on the substantive questions of the survey, so as not to skew the data from subsequent respondents. I also included my rationale for not including Nuclear Energy in the matrix of possible renewable options, since there were several questions about this in the text fields.

    Currently, there are a sufficient number of respondents for a 95% Confidence Index for the estimated population size we are surveying which is quite good, but we would like to get as large a sample size as possible so that we can break down survey results by various demographic groups in the analysis.

    The Survey itself will remain open at least through next week, so forward on the link to anyone you think might be interested in contributing opinions to the survey.


  12. Fast Eddy says:

    To be quite honest … I am a man of modernity … I have no desire to wake up without being able to grind up a nice cup of coffee… I have no desire to spend my days scrounging in a garden trying to grow enough food to feed my family … I have no desire to live without internet … without electricity … without going to a restaurant… without enjoying a bottle of wine… without jumping on a plane and traveling… I have no desire to live without dentists and doctors… I would not do well cooped up in a prison struggling to survive, fighting off roving gangs, killing women and children

    My best case scenario is a painless quick death

    • Vince the Prince says:

      Don’t worry about it BAU is flat out full throttle in that direction, Fast Eddy.
      Hopefully, you won’t even know what hit you.

      You got to find the humour in it…yes, what you are doing is funny.

      • Pintada says:

        Dear Vince the Prince;

        Its all over but the laughing. How could anyone not want to see how it will all turn out?


  13. Vince the Prince says:

    Honey, think we just lost 600 tons of nuclear fuel rods!
    Saw this on Peak and posting article here

    ‘Five years after the Fukushima tragedy, the exact location of the highly radioactive “runaway” fuel remains mystery for TEPCO. The absolutely uncontrollable fission of the melted nuclear fuel assemblies continue somewhere under the remains of the station.
    “It’s important to find it as soon as possible,” acknowledged Masuda, admitting that Japan does not yet possess the technology to extract the melted uranium fuel.
    “Once we can find out the condition of the melted fuel and identify its location, I believe we can develop the necessary tools to retrieve it,” Masuda said’

    Gee, must be real hard to find truck loads of that stuff, where could it be hiding!?

    • Pintada says:

      It melted, then it melted the bottom of the reactor casing, then it melted the floor of the reactor building, then it melted the gravel and soil under the floor of the reactor building, and now it is busy heating a large area of bedrock. It is hard to “find” because it is 20 – 30 feet below where they can get even a robot.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        And the entire area is being hosed down with tonnes of sea water day after day after day…. otherwise….

  14. Stilgar Wilcox says:

    That linked YouTube video is great! There are two parts – the 2nd one begins automatically after the first ends. The first video is a little slow for the first 10 minutes during a brief history of economics – feudalism up to today’s economy. You can skip that part and go straight to the 10 minute mark and then it gets really interesting! I highly recommend watching it. Not necessarily information new to many of us, but very well articulated confirming and summarizing our current economic situation. There isn’t anything about energy, just economics, but it’s quite good nonetheless.

  15. Artleads says:

    I’m re-posting this here in case anyone read the information Stefeun posted a few pages back about entropy. This is mostly related to that past thread, but it’s easier for me not to have to keep scrolling back to it.

    The comments to the Bardi link are most instructive. I’ll need to spend more time with this article.

    “BTW The elites never had the capability to understand or control the internal dynamic of the global system – and they didn’t have to. In former times, internal entropy problems within societies were often solved by cutting their heads off ;-). Or at least try to. ”

    I guess I could open the Bardi page next to this, so I could cut and paste segments here. Hope to do so soon.


    I wonder if the role of the artist isn’t largely to transform and “get rid of” low grade energy (sinks?).

    Listened to this podcast that someone on FW posted.

    Really good. The speaker suggests that the two economic activities that have some basis in reality are “agriculture” and art. We obviously need food, and he makes the point that artists make “valuable” things (my term, and I would cite habitat as but one example) out of nothing. Isn’t that the same as reducing energy sinks?

    • “BTW The elites never had the capability to understand or control the internal dynamic of the global system – and they didn’t have to. In former times, internal entropy problems within societies were often solved by cutting their heads off😉. Or at least try to. ”

      This is either not precisely chiseled point to make or a completely joke statement..
      In fact, the elites are apparently very knowledgeable about short term-long term social control technique and internal dynamics of the global system. Look around, once in a while dangerous choke points of history are always nudged by them into the proper avenue, as populist tribunes (presidents) not towing the line are killed openly in the day light like streetdogs, histories of whole nations are often rewritten as pleased by the ruling faction, billions are poured into bizarre pseudo reality multimedia circuses placating public such as the “Apollo program” or steel girder cored skyscrapers with concrete floors suddenly pulverized into gigantic pyroclastic clouds etc.

      They are not omnipotent, but deranged enough to always re-invent the facade of oppression with increasingly twisted plots and rhetoric, while can kicking the system to the utmost possible peak given the particular historic period. All I’m just saying we are not there yet, so expect some “more circuses” and less bread before we get there.. i.e. reset of the this past ~250yrs cycle, and to break the longer cycles aka possibility of fundamentally deep civilization collapse is even more remote, window of opportunity likely not sooner than mid-late of this century.

      • xabier says:

        Advice to Doomers:

        ‘A civilization can last far longer in collapsing than either your sanity or your life!’

        • Stilgar Wilcox says:

          That’s it xabier. This puppy will get squeezed every which way to Sunday on a long drawn out slow grinding torture of rising sales & income taxes, fees, tolls, surcharges, penalties, interest, special assessments, cost of food, healthcare, education, etc., against a backdrop of stagnant wages, defaulting pension plans, extended families living under one tiny roof, dwindling perks, swindlers, con artists and corrupt politicians. I wish everyone the best. Just try not to let it get you down, because it’s not anyone’s fault we live during a time of a net energy decline.

        • Rodster says:

          True !

      • Artleads says:

        Unfortunately, most of us are running around playing to the script…the parts we are told to play. So now we come the place where the various roles don’t make a coherent narrative. To see a techno-utopian, who seemed to have forgotten his meds, check at around the halfway point in Charlie Rose’s Friday program . It’s a splendid game trying to figure out where the contradictory memes all go past each other like ships in the night. But most people don’t know they are allowed to play it.

  16. Vince the Prince says:

    Hear a lot about Green Energy being subsidized by the taxpayers and getting a free ride in the marketplace.
    Well, seems fossil fuels are guilty of the same

    “Each year, the oil and gas industry pockets billions of extra dollars courtesy of U.S. taxpayers,” said Greg Dotson, CAP Vice President for Energy Policy. “Giving a mature industry this preferential tax treatment just doesn’t make sense. As the United States phases out tax credits for renewable energy, it is time to level the playing field, repeal the oil and gas subsidies, and inject some real competition into the U.S. energy market.”
    The subsidies CAP is calling to have removed include:
    Deductions for the costs of drilling wells that are paid upfront, rather than over the life of the well as is common in other U.S. industries. Estimated savings: $13.1 billion over 10 years
    A tax break to incentivize keeping oil and gas production in the U.S. despite that fact that extraction of oil and gas found in U.S. lands and waters cannot, by definition, move abroad. Estimated savings: $10.9 billion over 10 years
    Deductions for the depletion of oil and gas deposits that are based on gross income rather than the actual exhaustion of the resource and can continue even after the company has recovered all costs associated with the depletion of the resource. Estimated savings: $12.1 billion over 10 years

    Looks like there is more to the above….look at the fact sheet!

    • Fast Eddy says:

      But fossil fuels – until recently — provided a return of 100:1 …. factor in the subsidies and that ration is still high on the positive side.

      Alternative energy (NOT renewable please… unless it grows on a tree) is returning nearly ZERO. If you factored in subsidies you would be negative in a big way

      If the government did not subsidize solar panels there would be no solar panels.

      • Vince the Prince says:

        “Until recently”…..what have you done for me lately?
        Fast Eddy, nice try…maybe the US Government should add 4 trillion and counting to the price of a gallon of gas for the monies spent in Iraq we KNOW about.
        Yep, we can fabricate all kinds of numbers to make it look profitable.
        Don’t get me wrong….there would not be 7 billion of us destroying the ecosystems of the planet without fossil fuels…but please don’t give me some Bullshoot explanation.
        Maybe I could accept from the Trumpeter, but not the modern day Scott Nearing.

        • bandits101 says:

          You know I remember Gail writing for The Oil Drum over ten years ago when she said “renewables” were nothing more tha FF extenders…she was vilified at every turn, as that fact destroys the hopes and dreams of the ignorant. You (and all other renewable advocates) naturally put the blinders on, or deliberately refuse to acknowledge it.

          When you understand that “renewables” cannot exist without FF’s your completely unfounded expectations simply remain dreams. Renewables extend the burn, they make everything worse in the long run. If you on the other hand view them as “kicking the can”, to keep us alive a little bit longer, because the end of BAU is the end, then go for it promote renewables as much as you like. Just don’t spin any crap about them as being green, clean and sustainable.

          • Vince the Prince says:

            I agree, but fossil fuels are no better for the planet….regardless of cost/benefit make believe… Seems people can justify any action, regardless of the harm. No doubt, very clever creatures…too clever for our good.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            Replacement of oil by alternative sources

            While oil has many other important uses (lubrication, plastics, roadways, roofing) this section considers only its use as an energy source. The CMO is a powerful means of understanding the difficulty of replacing oil energy by other sources. SRI International chemist Ripudaman Malhotra, working with Crane and colleague Ed Kinderman, used it to describe the looming energy crisis in sobering terms.[13] Malhotra illustrates the problem of producing one CMO energy that we currently derive from oil each year from five different alternative sources. Installing capacity to produce 1 CMO per year requires long and significant development.

            Allowing fifty years to develop the requisite capacity, 1 CMO of energy per year could be produced by any one of these developments:

            4 Three Gorges Dams,[14] developed each year for 50 years, or
            52 nuclear power plants,[15] developed each year for 50 years, or
            104 coal-fired power plants,[16] developed each year for 50 years, or
            32,850 wind turbines,[17][18] developed each year for 50 years, or
            91,250,000 rooftop solar photovoltaic panels[19] developed each year for 50 years


            I wonder how much lignite we’d have to burn each year to make 81,250,000 solar panels?

            • Vince the Prince says:

              Come on now. Do we really NEED electricity? Moar like we want it for our pleasure.
              Let’s be honest, Fast Eddy, without it about 50% of the damage done by humans is eliminated. Don’t worry, though, that’s in cards because the reset equilibrium to get back in balance is underway.
              Boo who, poor us…the one time gift nature gave us we used up already.
              Back to basics…like we didn’t see that coming!

  17. Vince the Prince says:

    Tillerson said Exxon had invested $7bn in green technology, but the science and technology had not yet achieved the breakthroughs needed to compete with fossil fuels. “Until we have those, just saying ‘turn the taps off’ is not acceptable to humanity,” he said. “The world is going to have to continue using fossil fuels, whether they like it or not.”

    Tillerson’s presentation at the meeting showed that Exxon believes oil and gas will still provide about 60% of the world’s energy demands by 2040, even if countries adopt climate change proposals agreed in Paris last year.

    What Rex Tillers on forget to mention is one aspect to foil his plans….depletion.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      In that book the tale is told of a CEO of Exxon – can’t recall if it was Tillerson or Lee Raymond — who was at one point in charge of a serious effort to determine the feasibility of alternative energy.

      A significant budget was made available — research done — the conclusion was that alternative energy was not possible — Exxon would not plant the seeds for a world Beyond Petroleum — because it was not possible to maintain BAU without oil.

      • Vince the Prince says:

        Thank you, Fast Eddy, another aspect is Mr Rex Tillerson, a degreed Engineer, stated at a public forum that spewing CO2 in the atmosphere will warm the planet. He recommended we adapt and engineer our solutions to meet the challenge. Build sea walls, move around crops to different locations. So, as far as the so called “debate” concerning climate change due to humans is just another manufactured lie to keep the public at large calm and docile. BTW, as far as the expense to adapt, Rex Tillerson, wants public policy to bear the cost…in another words us taxpayers! So just another external cost that is not accounted for in the price of fossil fuels..
        Perhaps we should include the true cost to the price and collapse will happen yesterday.

    • Jarvis says:

      I think Tillersons estimate is probably very close. By 2040 of the 1000 survivors 60% will probably be using whale oil while the remaining 40% will be using wood.

      • Hm, by 2040 on the first glance nothing has changed much, but zoom a little bit further.. The millennials perfected their own cocktail of sharing, do without, and VR escapism into sort of survivable action plan. Silly to predict specifics on tight timeline, but poverty would be more – actually very visible at that point, as well as decay and even abandonment in many infrastructure segments. As the post war II 4th turning completely through and through, rather crazy aspects of new reality emerge showing up around, it could be anything, e.g. from large %% share children-youth not attending schools anymore, early signs of mass suicidal cult followings to first proto monasteries appearing in the “wild”.. Otherwise it’s BAU unwashed..

  18. MM says:

    Lower consumption, what is lower consumption ?

    Lower wages is a double edged sword.
    On the one hand the people who have lower wages consueme less. That is all we want.
    On the other hand, when a person HAS to consume something, he will only get the cheapest crap possible.

  19. Fast Eddy says:

    Here’s Why All Pension Funds Are Doomed, Doomed, Doomed

    • Vince the Prince says:

      Yo, Gail has pointed out the whole financial system will be doomed….capisce?
      That means you won’t even be able to buy a tooth brush…where did I read that before?
      BTW, I have a pension and been warned regarding the plan shortfall
      c’est la vie

  20. Interguru says:


    There has been a lot of discussion about how to prepare yourself for the upcoming collapse. Here is a suggestion — become a Mormon and move to Utah. They are one of the most cohesive groups in the US and will help each other. Part of their program is disaster preparation. I think they require members to have a large emergency store of food and other supplies.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      But no wine and whiskey allowed 🙁

      • doomphd says:

        No caffeinated drinks, too. But you’re allowed to eat all the ice cream you want!

        • Pintada says:

          Dear doomphd;

          Mormons can have caffeine, as long as it is a Coca-Cola product. It was decided when the Church bought a significant holding in Coke that it was not a sin to get caffeine from that source.


          • Rodster says:

            Conflict of interest? This is why I hate organized religion. It’s a business first and foremost.

          • !!@@## says:

            Yeah they have a holding in coke but its not a soft drink.

        • xabier says:

          That Holy Book of theirs provides all the mental intoxicants they need I suppose.

          I’m afraid that I find the smiling young men in black suits just too creepy for words: I’d become a whirling dervish before joining them!

    • Pintada says:

      Dear Interguru;

      True about Mormons and a year of food. “require” may not be a good term, “encourage” is more appropriate. What about the Amish/Mennonite communities? They are both close knit and have the advantage of not being as tied to modernity as the Mormons.


  21. Artleads says:

    Includes good links to other fuel pond news.

  22. richard says:

    I have not seen this site mentioned previously on OFW. “Drowning in Data” comes to mind on a first look at the site:
    “This page lets you search OpenOil’s collection of more than 1 million corporate filings related to the oil, gas and mining industries. We have indexed the full text of contracts, company disclosures, news articles and government reports, allowing you to simultaneously check documents from disparate sources.”

  23. richard says:

    Potential improvements in solar cell efficiency shown in laboratory:
    “However, a team of engineers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has now invented a technique that could more than double this efficiency by first turning the light into heat and then into radiation again in a controlled manner. They developed a high-tech thermophotovoltaic layer that could be used to cover the conventional solar panel to improve its efficiency.”
    “The researchers said that in addition to the improved efficiency, the solar thermophotovoltaic solar panel would deliver electricity consistently regardless of brief weather changes.

    In the experiment, the team used a PV cell with a very low efficiency of only 6.8 per cent. When paired with the solar thermophotovoltaic layer, the results were more than convincing.

    The team first tested their device under direct sunlight and then with the sun completely blocked so that only the secondary light emissions from the photonic crystal were illuminating the cell. The results showed that the actual performance matched the predicted improvements.”

    • Fast Eddy says:

      Wake me up when someone invents a solar panel that can generate electricity in the dark.

      Because if we can’t do that then we need the solar system when it’s sunny — and another complete system to generate electricity when the solar panels are not

      And that means some very expensive electricity

    • Pintada says:

      Dear richard;

      Its so true. Just using the solar cells described make it possible to grow the economy indefinitely! The silly so called “intermittency problem” is easily fixed as well. All that is needed is a hight voltage DC transmission line that runs around the world. Simply run high voltage DC across the US, up both coasts of Canada, across the Bering Sea north of the Pacific, and from Iceland to Europe north of the Atlantic, etc.

      As needed, just run feeder lines south to the middle east and other dry desert regions where massive solar farms will be built. No need for oil, coal or anything else. Change freight from trucks to electric railroads. Electric cars!


      • greg machala says:

        That is some fantastic vision! Sounds like Elon Musk.

        • interguru says:

          Not just the US

          The technology now exists to transmit massive amounts of electricity over long distances without significant losses, thereby allowing operators to balance consumption and generation across an entire continent—or, potentially, the globe.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            How much this would cost? Including security….

            And how do you overcome:


            Transmitting electricity at high voltage reduces the fraction of energy lost to resistance, which varies depending on the specific conductors, the current flowing, and the length of the transmission line. For example, a 100-mile (160 km) 765 kV line carrying 1000 MW of power can have losses of 1.1% to 0.5%. A 345 kV line carrying the same load across the same distance has losses of 4.2%.[18] For a given amount of power, a higher voltage reduces the current and thus the resistive losses in the conductor. For example, raising the voltage by a factor of 10 reduces the current by a corresponding factor of 10 and therefore the I2R losses by a factor of 100, provided the same sized conductors are used in both cases. Even if the conductor size (cross-sectional area) is reduced 10-fold to match the lower current, the I2R losses are still reduced 10-fold. Long-distance transmission is typically done with overhead lines at voltages of 115 to 1,200 kV. At extremely high voltages, more than 2,000 kV exists between conductor and ground, corona discharge losses are so large that they can offset the lower resistive losses in the line conductors. Measures to reduce corona losses include conductors having larger diameters; often hollow to save weight,[19] or bundles of two or more conductors.

            Factors that affect the resistance, and thus loss, of conductors used in transmission and distribution lines include temperature, spiraling, and the skin effect. The resistance of a conductor increases with its temperature. Temperature changes in electric power lines can have a significant effect on power losses in the line. Spiraling, which refers to the increase in conductor resistance due to the way stranded conductors spiral about the center, also contributes to increases in conductor resistance. The skin effect causes the effective resistance of a conductor to increase at higher alternating current frequencies.

            Transmission and distribution losses in the USA were estimated at 6.6% in 1997[20] and 6.5% in 2007.[20] By using underground DC transmission, these losses can be cut in half.[citation needed] Underground cables can be larger in diameter because they do not have the constraint of light weight that overhead conductors have. In general, losses are estimated from the discrepancy between power produced (as reported by power plants) and power sold to the end customers; the difference between what is produced and what is consumed constitute transmission and distribution losses, assuming no theft of utility occurs.


            As of 1980, the longest cost-effective distance for direct-current transmission was determined to be 7,000 km (4,300 mi).

            For alternating current it was 4,000 km (2,500 mi), though all transmission lines in use today are substantially shorter than this.[16]


            • Bitter says:

              Well FE, obviously it should be a techno utopian superconducting transmission line. Simply cool that sucker down and let those loss free amperages flow until the end of BAU.

      • xabier says:

        Dear Pintada

        Thank you; I can sleep soundly now without any worries.

        I might even be able to stop drinking my notorious Basque home-brew!

        The lights will never dim!

        Yours, Consoled


      • Pintada says:

        Dear Doomers;

        “That is some fantastic vision! Sounds like Elon Musk.”
        That reminds me, in addition to the High Voltage DC (HVDC) cable, we could put in one of those high speed trains that he talks about. Everywhere the HVDC cable runs, you put a high speed train along side. I could drive to the nearest train station/DC hub, get on the train, and visit Paris, Moscow and Anchorage yet today!

        FE, “How much this would cost? Including security …. And how do you overcome:
        Its HVDC do some research. It doesn’t matter how much it costs. Each nation on earth would simply print enough money to make it happen – say 100% of GDP to start.

        “Thank you; I can sleep soundly now without any worries. I might even be able to stop drinking my notorious Basque home-brew! The lights will never dim! Yours, Consoled”

        Never, ever stop drinking (and i assume making) the notorious Basque home-brew! Otherwise, cheers!! I will send you a bottle of strawberry wine, if you send a bottle of the beer.

        Yours in Vision,

    • doomphd says:

      It’s another form of energy storage like a capacitor or battery. You still need banks of batteries to run things after dark and when the sky clouds up for long periods. Those batteries need to be replaced every 5 to 10 years, depending upon type used.

  24. Stilgar Wilcox says:

    Looks like we’ll have one of two completely different scenarios depending on the candidate chosen in the general election. Hillary is touting a massive increase in renewables while Trump is all about fossil fuels the climate be damned. How many prez candidates have promised US energy independence? A better question may be how many haven’t?

    Presumptive Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump unveiled an “America first” energy plan he said would unleash unfettered production of oil, coal, natural gas and other energy sources to push the United States toward energy independence.

    • )(() says:

      “Renewables” are not bad for the environment, Fossil fuels are not bad for the environment. Humans are bad for the environment

  25. Stilgar Wilcox says:

    Growth mantra is alive and well:

    ‘G7 vows growth efforts as Japan’s Abe warns of global crisis’

    “Global growth remains moderate and below potential, while risks of weak growth persist,” they said in a declaration. “Global growth is our urgent priority.”

    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, talking up what he calls parallels to the global financial crisis that followed the 2008 Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, said the G7 “shares a strong sense of crisis” about the global outlook.

    “The most worrisome risk is a contraction of the global economy,” led by a slowdown in emerging economies, Abe told a news conference after chairing the two-day summit. “There is a risk of the global economy falling into crisis if appropriate policy responses are not made.”

    • Rodster says:

      “There is a risk of the global economy falling into crisis if appropriate policy responses are not made.”

      It has been said many times on this website, that the eCONomy must continue to grow or it collapses. It’s the reason the Banksters fear the word “deflation”. It’s like a doctor informing you, that you have cancer.

      The problem is that we are now in the ‘terminal phase’ of this global ponzi scheme. Any black swan can set off a contagion in the financial system which would quickly spread to the banking sector and the Central Banks around the world have run out of fire trucks to put out all the fires. This time lots of things will burn to the ground.

      • Stilgar Wilcox says:

        “It has been said many times on this website, that the eCONomy must continue to grow or it collapses.”

        Sure, I understand that, but wouldn’t it make a lot more sense to first understand our Ponzi scheme has been set up to require growth, then try to figure out a way to not need growth necessarily? I’m not even sure it’s possible at this point to have a viable economy without growth, but at least they should look at other economic models to see what might be possible. That’s what I was inferring with my post. They don’t seem to do that but doesn’t that seem logical? Much better to admit the situation and try to find a solution than to just keep demanding growth until the whole financial system collapses, because then the time to figure a new model will be a very short period of time or all hell will break loose.

        • Siobhan says:

          Tom Lewis has a series of posts on, “The Days After Tomorrow”

          scroll down to find “The Days After Tomorrow: Introduction”
          There are 3 more parts to the series, so far.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            Nice site. I like this article
            Industrial Masters of the Universe have long since learned what to do when the fickle public embraces a product or concept that was previously anathema; they embrace it like an Anaconda getting ready to eat a pig. Thus they learned to love “organic” stuff, and “natural” chemicals and even “renewable” energy. As soon as they learned that customers would line up to buy $3 million turbines, that the government would subsidize up to 70% of the cost, and that the public would love them for doing it, it was game on. Now, however, accumulating costs and negatives are beginning to indicate game over.

            For 20 years, the Masters of the Wind Universe have been frantically turning out War-of-the-Worlds-scale mechanical giants to decorate mountain ridges, farm fields and ocean expanses everywhere. On land, it takes a thousand tons of concrete and rebar to make the pad on which the 300-foot tower is set, to support the 60-ton generator nacelle and the three 200-foot blades weighing twelve tons each. Mountain ridges must be blasted level for the installations, major roads have to be built to them and then a major power line to transport the electricity to where it’s needed. But hey. The wind is free, all natural, even organic.

            Industrial-wind flacks (in the business they’re known as windbags) trumpet the magic words: job creation, cheap electricity, no pollution. And the industry has been successful; 500 factories across the U.S. have made, and large crews have installed, 48,000 turbines in 39 states. For the last ten years, the industry has grown by more than 25% a year. The contribution of wind power to the electricity consumed by Americans has skyrocketed to, um, 1.9%.

            Hard to believe but there’s a downside or two. The main problem is that the output of a wind turbine is highly variable. The wind does not necessarily blow when you need electricity. In any case, the power generated must be transported on the electric grid, which requires constant generation that can be instantaneously adjusted to match demand. Grid operators can throttle back excess wind generation, but if the wind drops and they don’t have backup instantly available, the grid could crash. So while they’re using wind energy they must have another coal or gas or nuclear plant running that can be instantly accessed if the wind drops. Talk about sustainability.

            In the real world, only about one-third of the power generated by a turbine is actually used. Without the heavy government subsidies many wind “farms” would simply not be feasible. The Netherlands, an early adopter of wind power, is seriously considering dismantling hundreds of turbines because they’re losing so much money.

            Now comes what could be the coup de grâce: the life expectancy of a wind turbine is 20 years, and the first wave of those built in the new age of wind are now approaching that age. After that age, bearings wear out, blades fall off, towers topple. Germany, a world leader in switching to renewable sources of energy, had to tear down more than 500 elderly turbines just last year. The country is graced by 25,000 of the monsters, more than a thousand of which could face decommissioning, at huge expense, every year.

            The subsidies underpinning the industry also, it turns out, have a 20-year shelf life. In many cases the 20-year term was made explicit in the legislation. In others, it is implicit in the rising financial desperation of governments everywhere. Without government subsidies, there will be no wind industry.

            The industrial crisis of our age does not have an industrial answer. Nothing industrial is sustainable. Industry could help prolong and cushion to coming transition by encouraging rooftop solar, family-scaled wind turbines and micro-hydro. Just as we consumers could help by going off the grid and producing our own energy.

            If we had some ham, we could have ham and eggs, if we had some eggs.


    • I think “peak diamonds” is related to all of the other peaks. We can’t get debt to go infinitely high and because of this, we can’t get diamond prices to go infinitely high.

      When the price of diamonds falls below the cost of production, we have a big problem.

  26. dolph911 says:

    Let me opine briefly on the issue of the rich vs the workers.

    I’ve said again and again that’s the wrong way to look at it. Think of it more like “producers vs spongers” or “productive vs. non-productive”.

    That clarifies a lot. The demands of the spongers (they can be rich, they can be poor, they can be old, they can be young) overwhelm the ability of the producers to meet those demands. This is how all civilizations eventually collapse.

    This dynamic is impossible to figure out let alone to solve. The only person who tried to do it was Hitler, and look what happened to him.

    • George says:

      Its clear you put yourself in the productive category. The last time you posted this it was pointed out to you that we are all sponger of of fossil fuel. Fossil fuel does the work.

      Your argument would be a valid one if we were not all spongers off of fossil fuel. It may even be valid as long as fossil fuels exist. When they end the truth is revealed both productive and non productive are spongers. What is your motive for continuing posting this deeply flawed “opine”?
      I can guess. You are entitled. They are not. Force is used. Same as it ever was. Why bother with justification?

    • A Real Black Person says:

      Hitler was just a failed empire-builder. Hitler attempted to build a global hegemony very similar to what the U.S. has now. Germany was a country of unemployed producers. He wanted to turn Germany into a country of spongers. The rest of the world would perform the labor and Germany, and perhaps its Axis allies, would receive the bulk of the fruits of that labor.

      Hitler was not preaching archeo-primativism and self-reliance.

      • bandits101 says:

        +10. Similar, I think it was George Patton in WW2 said they key to winning was getting the enemy to die for what they believe in, it was his soldiers job to accommodate them. Empire is as you say what Hitler desired. Get the sub-human to do the dirty work of mining, construction and production. Globalisation is the pinnacle of empire. The western powers are the spongers, the third world countries supply the means. Of course all made possible by copious amounts of cheap energy, in particular FF’s and they of declining quality and supply.

        • hitlers empire, as with all empires, was a ponzi scheme.

          it was supposed to last 1000 years—it lasted 12

          but all empires work that way—the little people are persuaded/forced to put in at the bottom, while the priveleged few cream off the top—had he been able to, hitler would have gone on until his ponzi scheme consumed the entire world.

          Oooops—thats just what happened, only it has been disguised by other names. Other people carried on his work of global energy consumption, for no better reason than our capitalist system (that’s all of us) encouraged it to happen.

        • A Real Black Person says:

          A lot of people don’t want to be producers. I think someone on here stated this earlier, in the comments section of a previous essay, that, in the Middle Ages, a certain number of men were drawn to being soldiers because the lifestyle of the average producer, a farmer was very hard work.
          What many people aspire to be are monopolists–gatekeepers–administrators–people who CONTROL production. The modern, ambitious person only uses production as a stepping stone, what they aspire to do is MANAGE.

          The whole appeal of education to many people is the chance to escape being a worker
          and become a MANAGER because producers are seen as those who get the short end of the stick.

    • A Real Black Person says:

      Hitler recognized the population issue– but building an empire is not a good way to keep population down.

  27. Vince the Prince says:

    Sports Authority Stores Nationwide Begin Going-Out-Of-Business Sales

    Another one bites the dust!

    The retailer’s liquidator’s announced that going-out-of-business sales start Thursday at all 450 Sports Authority stores nationwide. Brands like Under Armour, Nike, North Face, Wilson, Adidas, Spalding, ASICS, Head, Coleman, Everlast, and Brooks will all be sold at up to 30 percent off their regular price.

    There are also store fixtures, furniture and equipment that will be up for sale, executives announced.

    Yep, the average consumer can’t afford those regular priced retail stores, discounters like Burlington Coat Factory or Ross or flea markets are the doing nicely.

    • Stilgar Wilcox says:

      My wife and I met the guy that owned/started that chain. He was a decorated WWII bomber pilot that passed away a few years ago. That happens to businesses that rely on one person to run the show. But it also may have been coming for a long time due to greater sales on Amazon. A lot of retailers are going out of business due to more stuff bought online.

      • Tango Oscar says:

        Amazon doesn’t just destroy brick and mortar stores, they also destroy profits by selling things at about 1 penny over cost. While some people claim this is good and convenient, a bunch of robots in a warehouse quickly stacking stuff into a box and shipping it has destroyed millions of jobs across the global economy. Look at what Wal-Mart has done with their monopolistic power. Amazon is now the number 2 retailer and is doing the same thing.

        • Somehow we need to deal with the issue of human workers needing jobs. China and India both try to aim for full employment by a lot of make-work jobs, but this doesn’t work either. In China, this is one of the causes of government corporations that are very inefficient.

          Somehow, the system needs to be providing more and more value to humans, in a way that workers actually get the benefit of that value. What happens is that the system provides about the same value to humans (not a rising value), in a way that cuts out workers and pushes profits toward the monopolistic powers. Part of the reason we are not getting growth is because this model doesn’t provide more workers that can afford the output of the system.

          • Tango Oscar says:

            I concur. And now it looks like China is just going to nationalize all of the failing companies in an attempt to prop things up even longer. Whatever it takes I suppose.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          Amazon’s model:

          Undercut bricks and mortar by selling at a loss or a tiny profit

          They are able to do this because investors like the model and understand that when bricks and mortar are demolished — Amazon will have a virtual monopoly on retail and will of course massively increase prices.

          • bandits101 says:

            “…….and will of course massively increase prices”. That won’t happen. Especially if they want to remain in business. The business strategy of decreasing the workforce, may succeed for individual businesses in the short term but that concept is a zero sum enterprise in the long run. To increase prices, GROWTH is a prerequisite. Growth, low unemployment and increasing demand. There is a lot more to selling more, at higher prices than a stroke of the pen. It all simply harkens back to what got us into the current predicament. Cheap, easy to produce FF’s.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Well… if they want to remain in business they’ll need to show a significant profit in order to justify their ridiculous valuation …

              FYI – an Australian friend told me that Uber undercut the market big tine in Australia — gained traction — and now their prices are at least as expensive as taxis…

              When I suggest massive price increases from Amazon I mean similar — they just raise their prices to what the prices that the retailers they have put out of business were charging…

              So nothing really changes except that millions of jobs are lost.

              In any event this is all moot… Amazon will not exist for much longer.

            • DJ says:

              Can that be true? Isn’t uber drivers competing with other uber drivers? It should be a race to the bottom, or at least a bit above basic income.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              They don’t bid against each other…. Uber sets the rates.

            • DJ says:

              Yes, and wouldnt uber (over time) set rates so that drivers are optimally busy? More drivers -> lower rates -> lower pay -> drivers switch to another income source -> less drivers -> higher rates -> higher pay.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              And using that business strategy wouldn’t Apple price their phones in line with other phones that can do everything that an iphone can do … but at a cost of under $300.

              Their sales would skyrocket…

            • DJ says:

              I am assuming that even if/when Uber establishes monopoly they compete with other kinds of transport or non-transport.

              I do expect turkey this christmas so I’m prepared for all kind of transport getting much more expensive in the future.

  28. MM says:

    Free market ? What is a free market ?

    Some developments in eruope that might have been unnoticed in other continents:
    1. Germany has recently introduced a financial subsidy for electric vehicles. It comes at 4000 Eur per vehicle. The total sum granted is 1.2 Billion euros and should suffice to do the following: help sell 800.000 EV and install a large infrstructure for recharging the cars alongside the german Autobahn. I am not so sure if german drivers want to wait 2 hours at a recharging station during long distance travel but as Ugo Bardi says: We have to learn what a “demand based” economy is.
    2. Germany had several days in the last month where “renewable” elictricity generation was up to over 90% of total. That led to the absurd situation for the price of one KWh of electricity on the european electricity stock exchange came at -13ct. Yes, there is a minus in front of the price.
    I do not know If in economic science a negative price is something that can exist. But it exists.
    Can that be a free market ?
    Also the Re>C study by google showed that a market can never have renewables at competetive price. German offshore wind turbines get from 14 to 19 ct/Kwh subsidy decreasing by years of operation. So we seem to have a free market with an energy exchange (EEX) but the price on the EEX is not based on a free market base? That is how a -13 ct proce can come up.
    The promoters of green energy claim that this is a good sign. In Gail’s word I should say, a negative price for energy is a net destruction of value. The society at large destroys net value based on negative prices for energy. So – if I dare speak in her words – in Gail’s words it is not only the cheap price for energy that is a problem, it is the negative price for energy that is a problem. Not to speak of a problem for price discovery for people wanting to invest in any form of electric energy generation

    • Tango Oscar says:

      “Renewable” energy costs billions of dollars up front and then creates negative costs for overflow of supply. Brilliant! This stuff just keeps getting funnier and funnier.

  29. Vince the Prince says:

    News of a “positive” note…maybe able to kick the can a few extra years

    Billionaire Ruias Seek to Pump India’s First Shale Natural Gas

    “The unconventional can become the new conventional in India,” Maheshwari said in an interview. “The unconventional will include CBM, shale and tight gas.”
    Essar Oil’s optimism about shale production from its Raniganj block in West Bengal has been further boosted by a streamlined government hydrocarbon policy announced in March that allows companies to explore and produce for all forms of hydrocarbons in a designated area under a single license.
    The company is currently producing around 900,000 cubic meters a day of coal-bed methane from the Raniganj block and plans to double the volume by March. It aims to hit peak output of 3 million cubic meters a day by March 2019, a delay of four years, which the company attributed to reservoir and technical difficulties. Essar Oil is part of a group of companies that includes shipping, steel and energy units controlled by the billionaire Ruia brothers.
    Extracting both shale and CBM from the same block won’t be easy for Essar, said Sachin Mehta, an analyst at Centrum Broking
    The Raniganj block holds proved, probable and possible reserves of 1.1 trillion cubic feet of coal-bed methane, according to Maheshwari. It’s also contains 1 trillion cubic feet of gas trapped in shale formations, using the Society of Petroleum Engineers classification as “best estimate” resources, he said.

    I like that line of proved, probable and possible reserves of…whatever…but that gives the banksters a reason to approve moar debt….

    • Thomas John Irwin says:

      I don’t think India needs more polluted water from fracking.

      • Vince the Prince says:

        Tell that to the Billionaire in the article…BTW, the state officials back him, they streamlined the approval process….full throttle…whatever it takes…the little needs most

      • Tango Oscar says:

        Not only that but the world cannot handle a larger influx of oil and gas at these prices. Where is it going to go if no one can afford it? India just sees tax $ and that’s why the government jumps at the approval of it.

  30. Artleads says:

    There’s no one so blind as he who will not see.

  31. Fast Eddy says:

    Look at how petulant we human beasts become when we cannot get MORE…

    France Running Out of Gasoline; Strikes Now Spread to Nuclear Plants

    France is running out of gasoline thanks to massive strikes at all the refineries.

    The strike spread to air traffic control and many flights have been cancelled. Hundreds of thousands of people are stranded.

    The strike is now about to spread to nuclear power plants.

    I offer this quote of the day: “One cannot just turn off a nuclear plant, it is not like a thermal or hydro plant.”

    The BBC reports French Labour Dispute: Strike Hits All Eight Oil Refineries.

    • Stefeun says:

      The protesters have understood that the most efficient way to disturb BAU is to cut energy supplies.

      Afaik, for electricity it’s the first time we have to face threats of cuts. I can’t imagine the consequences if they are really serious about that (I don’t think they are, the stake is too high).

      • Fast Eddy says:

        If this goes to far the bullets will fly…. France cannot be allowed to become Venezuela

        • Stefeun says:

          Yes FE,
          And I assume the “State of Emergency” we’re in since the November attacks will facilitate the implementation of special measures, likely involving the military.

        • VivaLa34hourworkweek says:

          Or the government backs down. This is after all a kindler gentler Europe. Germany will just foot the bill for half of France unemployed like they do for Greece.

          • Tom S says:

            Well said. The wussification of european men.

          • Well, the plan was to get the TTIP in place, and have sort of direct rule of multinationals over the “western world” – but with ongoing popular unrest in Europe, it’s not going to happen at least not on todays map. The latest announcement of french nomenclature makes it crystal clear how pissed and panicked they are, it’s a fine balancing act and the steel rope is wobbling more violently each day. Should the “left/right centrist” fall in France, it’s over, we are back into both regionalization and new non western branch globalist steered foreign policy in a big way. Again the French nomenclature cadre is visibly despicable bunch of weasels and demonstrably beyond week, they certainly can’t mount authoritative military regime or such, this would be low key civil war next day. I guess they will just opt out for now as their hired political actors crumble, and try influence the new gov of Le Pen (or similar) from the background in the next round, this would obviously mean firstly going after each others neck inside the elite circles aka lite globalist vs. crazy globalist etc. What a show.

        • Yoshua says:

          France: In 2013 gross production was 424 TWh from nuclear, 76 billion kWh from hydro, 24.7 billion kWh from coal, 17.7 billion kWh from natural gas, 20.6 from solar and wind, and 8.0 from biofuels & waste, of total 575 TWh.

          • So far, they are reporting 4GW cut of electricity production (nuclear) due to strikes..

            • doomphd says:

              when i was in France a few years ago, the denial among the academics was amazing. at the little Paris hotel in which i stayed, one of the desk help, a young lady who smoke furiously when on break, would confide in me that her bank would not let her withdraw her money, and told her that she would have to be patient and wait awhile. she was very nervous about the situation. this was about the time of the Greek EU bailouts, round one or two.

              i guess the situation is getting worse there now.

            • Thanks for the anecdotal account.
              It seems they can paper over Greece, Spain, Portugal and perhaps even Italy.
              But when the facade is going down on France for real it’s a game over, unless they are bold enough to publicly announce 10/20/30T sized bailout, and we were probably very close during the 2009-2011 period. Also worth mentioning is a novel thing of recent weeks, Germans top politicians are openly attacking ECB. Perhaps we are getting close enough to some rupture moment in terms of the monetary union. For Germans the problem is that cash is traditionally very popular, so despite the fact banking holidays overnight are easy in this electronic age (and tried recently inside EURzone), it would be much chaotic to exchange existing pool of EUR cash for new Deutschmarks after the fact. I think it’s very probable Germany has got that “new cash” ready somewhere in gov for the moment they are just not sure how to proceed..

    • Tom S says:

      Try making them work a 40 hour week and not be able to take 3 months vacations every year. “But we’re entitled !!”

      • that’s why i called my book “the End of More”

        everybody thinks they have an entitlement to an infinity of “More”, when there really isn’t any more to be had.
        The French manifest that by striking for more.
        Trump shows it differently, his baying millions believe him when he promises more
        The migrants risking death in the Med are convinced there’s more.

        All seemingly different, all seeking the certainty of a future that is just a mirage.

        We are now freewheeling on our previous excesses, which were provided only by an excess of hydrocarbon fuel.
        There really is no more

        • That’s a very good summary of “urge for entitlement” from several perspectives.
          Now, lets look at it from practical perspective, lets assume Trump attempts to deliver the promised goodies of the campaign trail, for example:

          Are NATO countries willing to pony up the monies when Trump shuts the gov debt spigot on domestic military-industrial complex ? That’s highly unlikely, either he gets shot JFK style first or Europe turns 180deg into Russian-Chinese arms for better/cheaper “protection deal”

          Also, the migrants stop risking their life as soon as in their “assisted passage” the first moment the passage over ClubMed is NOT assisted by EU gov help anymore or more so in case of effectively naval blockading and destroying the empty boats at the shores of origin.

          The french strike lessen even in much worse economic conditions, if they are presented with credible case/real example of the rich feeling the pain of the purse as well. Who, when and if at all that’s deliverable near/mid term is another question.

      • tagio says:

        Collapse brings intensification of demands on labor to produce more (or the same) for less. It’s laughable to lambaste protesting employees because they see themselves as “entitled” to a certain way of life, because the guys who are really COMPLETELY INFLEXIBLE on this point are the business owners and the elites. Faced with diminishing returns, they crush employees toward subsistence levels so that they – the business owners – can continue to receive the same returns that they are used to. I see this with my millenial children, who are faced with constant demands in their jobs to do more for less and less because, you know, the employers have to maintain those profit margins at the top!

        Faster pussycat! Kill! Kil!

        Even in my own profession (business attorney) I can tell you we work harder, longer hours on a more intense transaction schedule than pre-2008. Hamsters on an accelerating treadmill. Faced with diminishing and more uncertain prospects, the wheeler-dealers take the approach of doing more and more deals, faster and faster, because you know, assuredly a few of those deals will be “home runs” that firmly establish them in their gilded life style and save them! Doubling down on insanity! No one, LEAST OF ALL THE PEOPLE AT THE TOP, are adjusting their attitudes to do with LESS, let alone adopting a more “stop to smell the roses” view of life.

        The French are striking over a new labor law that strips out employment protections up to now viewed as sacrosanct, bringing French labor law more in line to what we see here in America – i.e., a right of employers to terminate at will, leading to a “gig” part-time employment economy. Acc. to a NYT article, “The answers [i.e., reasons for the protests] could be found — sort of — on signs held by the 28,000 demonstrators in Paris on Thursday. “Labor law = insecurity for life,” or “We don’t want to lose our life in order to earn a living.””

        Among other things, the new law extends the work week from I believe 30 to 40 hours, or 35 to 45 hours. This plus a transition to at will employment will bring France into line with the UK and the US, making it more “competitive,” i.e., permitting employers to crush wages and benefits in order to maintain profits.

        Scorn them if you wlil, but they are being asked to make these “sacrifices” so that the people at the top don’t have to make sacrifces. Laughing at the “entitlement” attitude of employees is cruel, if you don’t look at the really entrenched entitlement philosopy of life at the top, among the rentiers, who are driving this process of crushing their “costs” (otherwise known as other people’s lives) so that the rentiers can maintain their profits.

        As ponziworld says over at his blog, the idiocrats running this s**t show haven’t figured out yet that “wages = revenues,” and believe in a mythical creature called the jobless consumer. Who do these people think are going to buy their crap?

        • xabier says:

          Good analysis: the rich rent-seekers sneering at ‘entitlement’, the workers resisting, when everyone is in fact seeking a sinecure life-style impossible to maintain.

        • The attitudes at the top have changed, because in the meanwhile (past decades) the structure of the top has changed as well. Basically, in society with ever shrinking middle class, the truly rich don’t feel connected with the poor anymore as their consumption patterns are very different since the upper middle class buffer removed:
          they drink water from alpine waterfalls or ultradeep “ice age” wells, they drove limited editions of handcrafted vehicles in the street/air/water, the same for their living arrangements, health services, wardrobe etc. It’s a physical separation of classes. When such disconnection growths wider apart no wonder the methods to achieve and secure the position are increasingly cynical and brutal vs. the plebeians. Obviously, in theory and longer term perspective it’s a short sighted mission as sooner or later the pillars of society are derelict enough to crumble the top palaces of the gods as well, but for today and tomorrow it’s jolly good to be beyond rich.

          • xabier says:

            Very true, the urban super-rich are very disconnected; their wealth is based on the manipulation of the masses, which breeds contempt for them; and technology further insulates.

            Compare to 80 years ago when the wife of the richest landowner/coal mine owner in England (the Fitzwilliam family) actually physically cooked, served food and visited the sick on their estate during the crises of the 1930’s, involving long hours and not just for show ;and also gave the whole estate, not just a corner out of sight, for recreation in the evenings and on Sundays. Can we imagine the wives of the super-rich doing this today? They wouldn’t soil their hands.

            The key-note for our age was set by Merkel, with her ‘We left a sufficient social net’ observation on Greece. How kind.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          I can’t say that this was unexpected…

          The way the world works:

          – The luckiest, fittest, smartest, with the capability for ruthlessness survive – always have – always will

          – Resources are finite and therefore ownership is a zero sum game

          – The strong always take from the weak – if they do not then that is a sign of weakness and a competitor will take from the weak and will usurp the formerly strong dropping them into weakling status

          – Humans tend to group by clan or on a broader basis by nationality (strength in numbers bonded by culture) and they compete with others for resources

          – Competition always exist (I want it all!) but it becomes fiercer when resources are not sufficient to support competing clans or nations

          – Tribal societies understand these dynamics because they cannot go to the grocery store for their food – so they are intimately aware of the daily battle to feed themselves and the competition for scare land and resources

          – Modern affluent societies do not recognize this dynamic because for them resources are not scarce – they have more than enough.

          – One of the main reasons that resources are not scarce in affluent societies is because they won the battle of the fittest (I would argue that luck is the precursor to all other advantages – affluent societies did not get that way because they started out smarter — rather they were lucky – and they parlayed that luck into advances in technology… including better war machines)

          – As we have observed throughout history the strong always trample the weak. Always. History has always been a battle to take more in the zero sum game. The goal is to take all if possible (if you end up in the gutter eating grass the response has been – better you than me – because I know you’d do the same to me)

          – And history demonstrates that the weak – given the opportunity – would turn the tables on the strong in a heartbeat. If they could they would beat the strong into submission and leave them bleeding in the streets and starving. As we see empire after empire after empire gets overthrown and a new power takes over. Was the US happy to share with Russia and vice versa? What about France and England? Nope. They wanted it all.

          – Many of us (including me) in the cushy western world appear not to understand what a villager in Somalia does – that our cushy lives are only possible because our leaders have recognized that the world is not a fair place — Koobaya Syndrome has no place in this world — Koombaya will get you a bullet in the back — or a one way trip to the slum.

          – Religious movements have attempted to change the course of human nature — telling us to share and get along — they have failed 100% – as expected. By rights we should be living in communes — Jesus was a communist was he not? We all know that this would never work. Because we want more. We want it all.

          – But in spite of our hypocrisy, we still have this mythical belief that mankind is capable of good – that we make mistakes along the way (a few genocides here, a few there… in order to steal the resources of an entire content so we can live the lives we live) — ultimately we believe we are flawed but decent. We are not. Absolutely not.

          – But our leaders — who see through this matrix of bullshit — realize that our cushy lives are based on us getting as much of the zero sum game as possible. That if they gave in to this wishy washy Koombaya BS we would all be living like Somalians.

          – Of course they cannot tell us what I am explaining here — that we must act ruthlessly because if we don’t someone else will — and that will be the end of our cushy lives. Because we are ‘moral’ — we believe we are decent – that if we could all get along and share and sing Koombaya the world would be wonderful. We do not accept their evil premises.

          – So they must lie to us. They must use propaganda to get us onside when they commit their acts of ruthlessness.

          – They cannot say: we are going to invade Iraq to ensure their oil is available so as to keep BAU operating (BAU which is our platform for global domination). The masses would rise against that making things difficult for the PTB who are only trying their best to ensure the hypocrites have their cushy lives and 3 buck gas (and of course so that the PTB continue to be able to afford their caviar and champagne) …. Because they know if the hypocrites had to pay more or took at lifestyle hit – they’d be seriously pissed off (and nobody wants to be a Somalian)

          – Which raises the question — are we fools for attacking the PTB when they attempt to throw out Putin and put in a stooge who will be willing to screw the Russian people so that we can continue to live large? When we know full well that Putin would do the same to us — and if not him someone more ruthless would come along and we’d be Somalians.

          – Should we be protesting and making it more difficult for our leaders to make sure we get to continue to lead our cushy lives? Or should we be following the example of the Spartans

          – In a nutshell are our interests as part of the western culture not completely in line with those of our leaders – i.e. if they fail we fail – if they succeed we succeed.

          – Lee Kuan Yew is famous for saying ‘yes I will eat very well but if I do so will you’ Why bite the hand that whips the weak to make sure you eat well…. If you bite it too hard it cannot whip the weak — making you the weak — meaning you get to feel the whip….

          – Nation… clan … individual…. The zero sum game plays out amongst nations first … but as resources become more scarce the battle comes closer to home with clans battling for what remains…. Eventually it is brother against brother ….

          – As the PTB run out of outsiders to whip and rob…. They turn on their own…. As we are seeing they have no problem with destroying the middle class because it means more for them… and when the weak rise against them they have no problem at all deploying the violent tactics that they have used against the weak across the world who have attempted to resist them

          – Eventually of course they will turn against each other…. Henry Kissinger and Maddy Albright bashing each other over the head with hammers fighting over a can of spam – how precious!

        • George says:

          The french 36 hour working week labor are not the poor downtrodden masses. They are the elite.
          The beggar in mumbai is the 99% . The Vietnamese factory worker is the 99%. Your so called ‘sacrifices” the french are rioting against are waking up to the real world. Instead they riot like spoiled elite that they are. Blaming the elite is nothing but a exercise in hypocrisy unless you live in the third world.

    • doomphd says:

      The French must have a lot of spent fuel pools at all those reactors. What good does it do for Germany, Denmark, Belgium, etc. to go wind, solar if next door, those French fuel pools begin to overheat and spew? Does the wind ever blow east or NE over central Europe?

  32. Rodster says:

    Fast Eddy’s post BAU world is becoming a reality in Venezuela. I just watched on Sky News and it was pretty gut wrenching what an “Economic and Social Collapse” looks like. And the scary part is, the societal collapse has not gone full blown, YET !

    There’s little to no electricity throughout the Country, hospitals have run out of medicine, dead bodies are left to rot in body bags in hospital hallways, the sick are left to die in hospital beds because they don’t have medicine.

    So when Fast Eddy, love him or hate him says what a Post BAU world will probably look like including food zombies rampaging and killing while looking for food, he’s probably not far off the mark.

    • Rodster says:

      And the above segues with the following interview.

      “Chris Martenson – Greece Continued Implosion and Venezuela Going Mad Max”

    • xabier says:

      Of course we are shocked by this in Venezuela: but should we be?

      After all, it is just a return to the normal conditions of life: until the advent of antibiotics, etc, average people went to public hospitals simply to die, and the rich died at home in their own beds while physicians largely looked on, helpless. Many of those who treated the rich with ‘the latest’ drug were obsessive cranks and frauds, and in effect murderers.

      George Orwell’s account of his treatment as a poor man in a Parisian public hospital in the 1930’s is worth reading: 16th century treatments were applied to him (although he didn’t realise this!)

      Up to the 18th century it was even worse than doctors looking on helplessly, as many medicines were in fact poisons: I’ve often had a good chuckle with a surgeon friend over the prescriptions in the medical textbooks he collects.

      Statistics show that you had a better chance of survival living far away from all doctors until the advent of antibiotics: at least you wouldn’t be poisoned or weakened by the treatments they prescribed.

      • it’s called human nature

      • merrifield says:

        And now the first person said to be infected with the super bug that resists our last-line-of-defense antibiotics has been found in the US. Not good. . .

        • xabier says:

          But, then again, not that bad, merely the natural order: when such an infection occurs, it is one’s time to die unless exceptionally resilient or lucky, as with any other animal or organism on the face of the Earth.

          I am much more concerned as to how human beings treat one another while alive than with the fact of mortality and a short existence, which we try to hide from ourselves.

  33. Pingback: Buying, Selling, and Working Locally – News-Views Digest | Citizens for Sustainability

  34. Artleads says:

    Letter in Denver Post (FYI)

    Page 19A – Letter To Editor
    RE: “Proposed drill site; Waste facility near water,” May 23 news story
    Your article did a great job of balancing the competing interests in the fracking debate. As someone with a lot of friends and neighbors in the oil and gas industry, I know how sincere they are in trying to be good neighbors to those communities in which they do their drilling. On the other hand, I can appreciate the sentiment of those who are working to ensure that their homes and families are protected. Makes sense. I hope that they are sincere when they say they aren’t after a ban on fracking, because there are a lot of activists out there trying to actually ban fracking by putting a setback on the November ballot. In the meantime, the state has proposed reasonable rules that meet the needs of both the oil and gas firms and nearby homeowners. Requiring firms to keep light and sound to a minimum and reduce truck traffic issues through the use of pipelines is the right thing to do.
    Hattie Reed, Castle Rock

  35. Yoshua says:

    A gallon of light crude oil API 35.7 containing 140.000 BTU… will cost 80.000 BTU to produce (extract, process and deliver) next year.

    Oil producing nations that produce expensive to produce medium crude API 31-22 or heavy crude API 22-10 are most likely under water already today.

    • Stilgar Wilcox says:

      A gallon or a barrel? Doesn’t cost to produce differ greatly depending on the company or country producing it?

      • Yoshua says:

        A gallon.

        I guess a nation that has a lot of hydro power, coal and gas can cannibalize on these sources in their crude production… but still that wont change the amount of BTU that goes into the production of a gallon of crude.

        I guess that they can bring down the amount of calories they pay the workers to bring down the cost ? And since food is produced by the use of fossil fuels…

        Anyway… you make it too complicated for me !

        That is what happens when you read Gail’s blog ! 🙂

        • this is where we are on energy, irrespective of how we generate it.

          Since hydrocarbon fuels entered the mainstream of our lives, the energy that has fuelled our lifestyle has been almost ‘incidental’.
          In other words, we have had as much as we wanted, whenever we wanted it.
          At 100:1 return on EROEI, it was effectively free.

          Cutting through all the various “energy production/delivery systems” being proposed, (solar panels being just one of them) it would seem that we are reaching the stage now where our prime function is the production of energy as an end in itself.

          To this end we find ourselves scrabbling around trying to maintain that old “cheap energy” system, using energy that is expensive to get hold of. Not only that, as ‘cheap oil’ disappears altogether, it is going to get more and more expensive as time goes on, because all “alternative energy” systems require a hydrocarbon infrastructure in order to function.

          Projecting this hypothesis into the future, we must inevitably reach a point where our entire industrial output is dedicated to the production of sufficient energy to maintain—wait for it—our entire industrial output.

          Utter nonsense of course—but it’s as well to see where we’re headed.

        • Ed says:

          Glasspoint company is using solar in ME to produce oil. Capital cost yes, energy zero.

          • Yoshua says:

            If we need petroleum to maintain the power grid powered by (hydro, coal, gas, nuclear, wind and solar) then I guess it makes sense to cannibalize on these energy sources to produce petroleum.

            If China uses its coal reserves to produce solar panels and these solar panels are then installed in the ME to be used in the petroleum production… then at least we will have more petroleum for some years longer to maintain the total energy production ?

            • see above—we are using energy to produce energy to produce energy

            • Yoshua says:


              The problem arrives when the energy sector uses more energy than what it delivers to the economy. The economy lives on the energy delivered to it. The economy uses the energy to produce economic value with which it pays for the energy. When the economy is starved by smaller energy deliveries… it can no longer generate the economic value to pay for the total amount of energy.

              When the economy is energy starved it starts to contract.

              I guess we could see where we are if we knew how many BTU the world produces a year and how many BTU it goes into that production.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Does Big Oil at some point simply cut all exploration capex? Already happening….

            • Yoshua says:

              Fast Eddy

              It has become too expensive and energy intensive for the oil industry to replace their crude reserves today (from what I have read). With falling oil prices and small finds it would make sense to cut these expenses and just continue to exploit the existing reserves for a positive cash flow… until they run dry.

              No matter how we twist and turn it… it doesn’t look good.

              I was talking over the net with someone in the industry. He continued to call me an 1diot… that I didn’t understand anything… that I was using the wrong words and terms… anyway… in the end he said that we are in a very bad situation today.

    • DJ says:

      Source? I’m what passes for an optimist here, I don’t think the virtual economy is that critical, but when the real economy implodes the game is over. You are talking about the real economy.

      • Rural says:

        Also an optimist (relative to the norm here), as well as schooled enough to demand a source. The lack of citations in comments (and posts) is a real problem here.

        I’ve been delving into renewables as the focus of a college program, which has given me some hope, but Chris Nelder’s Energy Transitions podcast is probably most responsible for my disagreement with the dominant opinion of renewables here. There are some big players making some huge moves away from fossil fuels, and their success is notable. Denmark, in particular, keeps coming up as an interesting case study. I was thrilled to find that the country was the focus of the latest episode of the Energy Transitions show this week. The show made yanking dandelions out of my lawn a pleasure.

        • Stilgar Wilcox says:

          Rural, you should got to peak oil barrel dot com to read the latest guest post, which is about estimated growth of renewables. Current rates of deployment are quite big and according to their timelines, it’s possible for there to be 100% renewable energy by 2030. Lots of discussion there on different timelines and how to get there. Probably 2040 is more realistic, but getting there with all the financial woes currently on the table will be a big challenge. In any case, if you’re looking for positivity regarding renewables, that’s a good website to visit.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            Every time I see the words ‘optimism’ and ‘renewables’ I will do the world a favour and paste this onto FW.

            Of course it won’t matter because the language of DelusiSTAN does not have a word for impossible. If it can be imagined – it can happen.

            Replacement of oil by alternative sources

            While oil has many other important uses (lubrication, plastics, roadways, roofing) this section considers only its use as an energy source. The CMO is a powerful means of understanding the difficulty of replacing oil energy by other sources. SRI International chemist Ripudaman Malhotra, working with Crane and colleague Ed Kinderman, used it to describe the looming energy crisis in sobering terms.[13] Malhotra illustrates the problem of producing one CMO energy that we currently derive from oil each year from five different alternative sources. Installing capacity to produce 1 CMO per year requires long and significant development.

            Allowing fifty years to develop the requisite capacity, 1 CMO of energy per year could be produced by any one of these developments:

            4 Three Gorges Dams,[14] developed each year for 50 years, or
            52 nuclear power plants,[15] developed each year for 50 years, or
            104 coal-fired power plants,[16] developed each year for 50 years, or
            32,850 wind turbines,[17][18] developed each year for 50 years, or
            91,250,000 rooftop solar photovoltaic panels[19] developed each year for 50 years



            A partial list of products made from Petroleum (144 of 6000 items)

            One 42-gallon barrel of oil creates 19.4 gallons of gasoline. The rest (over half) is used to make things like:


            Renewable energy ‘simply won’t work’: Top Google engineers

            Two highly qualified Google engineers who have spent years studying and trying to improve renewable energy technology have stated quite bluntly that whatever the future holds, it is not a renewables-powered civilisation: such a thing is impossible.

            Both men are Stanford PhDs, Ross Koningstein having trained in aerospace engineering and David Fork in applied physics. These aren’t guys who fiddle about with websites or data analytics or “technology” of that sort: they are real engineers who understand difficult maths and physics, and top-bracket even among that distinguished company.

            Even if one were to electrify all of transport, industry, heating and so on, so much renewable generation and balancing/storage equipment would be needed to power it that astronomical new requirements for steel, concrete, copper, glass, carbon fibre, neodymium, shipping and haulage etc etc would appear.

            All these things are made using mammoth amounts of energy: far from achieving massive energy savings, which most plans for a renewables future rely on implicitly, we would wind up needing far more energy, which would mean even more vast renewables farms – and even more materials and energy to make and maintain them and so on. The scale of the building would be like nothing ever attempted by the human race.

            In reality, well before any such stage was reached, energy would become horrifyingly expensive – which means that everything would become horrifyingly expensive (even the present well-under-one-per-cent renewables level in the UK has pushed up utility bills very considerably).


          • Rural says:

            Stilgar, thanks for the pointer. It is much appreciated. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I’m looking for positivity, although certainly find it refreshing compared to much of what is said in OFW comments. Some balance is required.

        • bandits101 says:

          The Danes export lots of oil. They were lucky enough to stumble on reserves of oil, enough to construct wind machines, enough to export pollution and claim the high ground of being “green”.

          • Rural says:

            You could say something similar of nearly any country that has fossil fuels. At least the Danes are choosing to invest that money in renewables rather than doubling-down on fossil fuels like, say, North America.

            Danish oil production peaked in 2004 and gas production in 2005. Both have fallen to less than half of what they were at peak. The latest numbers I have are from 2013 (, when prices were still strong (at least for oil). I imagine production has fallen further since. As of 2014, Danish crude oil production was only 172 kb/d, with more than two-thirds of that consumed domestically. I’m not even sure that they are presently net oil exporters.

            Wind turbines have been a feature in Denmark for a very long time. Their experience has made them major exporter of wind-generation equipment and expertise.

            • bandits101 says:

              Of course you like to cherry pick to make a much larger point. Oil is part of the story, coal and gas for Denmark are other parts.
              A large percentage of electricity is from coal. Denmark might have seen the writing on the wall but they don’t understand that when FF goes, so do they. There will be no islands of plenty in a sea of want. They could build a big wall I suppose but they better ensure they are self sufficient for survival needs.

              Does Denmark expect to maintain BAU and their electricity needs with wind turbines? Can they maintain the grid, roads, bridges, ports, fertilisers and so on. IMO they will go down in the same boat as everyone else, windmills, bravery, foresight or thumbing their noses at global warming. They are connected to the world like every other country, they might be first to the lifeboat but not getting swamped will be a major problem to deal with.

              France at one stage was held up as being clever by cornucopian’s like yourself, because they have so much nuclear power. I wonder how that will work out for them when oil depletes and the grid goes down.

            • Rural says:

              Denmark’s coal consumption fell by more than half from 2004 to 2014. Natural gas consumption, on the other hand, only fell by about 10% from a peak plateau that stretched from 1999 to 2004. If you want to criticize Denmark’s energy mix, focus on their use of biomass electricity production. I’m certainly not a fan of that.

              But the important factor is CO2 production, and Denmark’s has fallen by about 25% since 1990. That is simply amazing. And I’m not talking from a climate change perspective, I’m more focused on dependence on fossil fuels.

              The Danes’ current plans are for altogether eliminating fossil fuels by 2050. My country’s goal is for 2100. Which country is going to be better off in 20 years?

              Clearly, if the fossil fuel decline results from fossil fuel scarcity, that scarcity begins in the next few years, and worsens quickly, everyone will suffer. But to my eye, the Danes will suffer less, and profit in the scramble to renewables.

              If the fossil fuel decline results more from the rise of renewables, and happens quickly as I believe is happening, the Danes will continue to make off like bandits.

              And that’s my point: The Danes are moving in this direction because of long-term economics. Here in North America, we’re much more short-term minded and we are going to suffer for it.

            • The Danes are also importing a lot of goods made in China and other places. These things are typically made with coal. Globalization allowed us to look the other way as the world use of coal rose greatly, at the same time that coal use within Denmark and the EU fell. Looking at things on a country by country basis can be extremely deceptive. This is not the way the world economy works. But it can make people feel like the problem is elsewhere.

            • Rural says:

              Completely agree on what I would call an externalization problem. The Danes’ move from coal to biomass is particularly worrisome. But even there, Denmark seems to be aware that it is a problem, which isn’t to say that anyone reading this with even the tiniest bit of influence in Denmark should be speaking out against biomass.

              But it is hard to argue that many of the Danish actions, like the support of the bike culture and investment in wind energy are better than inaction. Lets not throw the baby out with the bath water.

            • Christopher says:

              An important piece of information is that there is a common market of electric power in the north european region. This means that denmark can easily dump its surplus of wind power when the weather is windy on a much larger region without crashing prices to much.

              Sweden has also been subsidizing wind power and increased it’s production which last year constituted 11% of power production. For instance, last year, swedish wind power was priced 5-6 % lower than average price on power. I expect the situation in Denmark to be worse but I don’t know for sure. Anyway, without the possibility to dump the production of danish wind power in a bigger market, the prices would surely have crashed substansially, that’s the problem with intermittancy. Figure 3 in this article is interesting:


              Futhermore, denmark can easily balance there intermittent wind power with hydro and nuclear power from sweden and norway. I expect that denmark also have some balancing import/export to germany eventhough german power production is not part of the north european power market.

              Another important thing to remember is that hydro and nuclear power adds to government income through taxes, in particular swedish nuclear. Wind does not. ( Nuclear may of course have received subsidies when built in the 70ies, I am not sure.)

              The grid costs have increased quite fast the last 10 years in sweden, probably due to increasing amount of wind power.

            • Rural says:

              Exactly, and larger grids are where Europe is headed to mitigate the intermittency problem. It won’t solve the problem altogether, but it will help.

              There are big problems in moving away from fossil fuels. Huge problems. But they aren’t so huge that we should all just throw up our hands.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Insurmountable problems….

              The boys from Google after blowing tens of millions of dollars threw up their hands…

              And so will I — time is way to short to waste even a second on this. In fact I regret even responding to your post as I have just lost another 15 seconds of life….

              Renewable energy ‘simply won’t work’: Top Google engineers

              Two highly qualified Google engineers who have spent years studying and trying to improve renewable energy technology have stated quite bluntly that whatever the future holds, it is not a renewables-powered civilisation: such a thing is impossible.

              Both men are Stanford PhDs, Ross Koningstein having trained in aerospace engineering and David Fork in applied physics. These aren’t guys who fiddle about with websites or data analytics or “technology” of that sort: they are real engineers who understand difficult maths and physics, and top-bracket even among that distinguished company.

              Even if one were to electrify all of transport, industry, heating and so on, so much renewable generation and balancing/storage equipment would be needed to power it that astronomical new requirements for steel, concrete, copper, glass, carbon fibre, neodymium, shipping and haulage etc etc would appear.

              All these things are made using mammoth amounts of energy: far from achieving massive energy savings, which most plans for a renewables future rely on implicitly, we would wind up needing far more energy, which would mean even more vast renewables farms – and even more materials and energy to make and maintain them and so on. The scale of the building would be like nothing ever attempted by the human race.

              In reality, well before any such stage was reached, energy would become horrifyingly expensive – which means that everything would become horrifyingly expensive (even the present well-under-one-per-cent renewables level in the UK has pushed up utility bills very considerably).


            • Too bad the sales price of unneeded electricity is very low. In some parts of the world, at some times, the price can even be negative.

              Wind only operates as part of a larger system. Keeping that going requires many things, including a functioning financial system.

            • Rural says:

              The problem of low electricity prices is something I am very sensitive to. Here in Alberta, with the contraction of the oil and gas sector, electricity prices have fallen sharply. Recently, as part of a college program, I’ve been comparing the cost of production of biofuels and renewable electricity to the fossil fuel alternatives. It’s not a happy story.

              However, when looking at the fundamentals (ie. net BTU production), the future for wind and solar look pretty positive.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              I am curious…. what part of this don’t you get?

              Renewable energy ‘simply won’t work’: Top Google engineers

              Two highly qualified Google engineers who have spent years studying and trying to improve renewable energy technology have stated quite bluntly that whatever the future holds, it is not a renewables-powered civilisation: such a thing is impossible.

              Both men are Stanford PhDs, Ross Koningstein having trained in aerospace engineering and David Fork in applied physics. These aren’t guys who fiddle about with websites or data analytics or “technology” of that sort: they are real engineers who understand difficult maths and physics, and top-bracket even among that distinguished company.

              Even if one were to electrify all of transport, industry, heating and so on, so much renewable generation and balancing/storage equipment would be needed to power it that astronomical new requirements for steel, concrete, copper, glass, carbon fibre, neodymium, shipping and haulage etc etc would appear.

              All these things are made using mammoth amounts of energy: far from achieving massive energy savings, which most plans for a renewables future rely on implicitly, we would wind up needing far more energy, which would mean even more vast renewables farms – and even more materials and energy to make and maintain them and so on. The scale of the building would be like nothing ever attempted by the human race.

              In reality, well before any such stage was reached, energy would become horrifyingly expensive – which means that everything would become horrifyingly expensive (even the present well-under-one-per-cent renewables level in the UK has pushed up utility bills very considerably).


            • Rural says:

              I said that the future for wind and solar looks pretty positive. I didn’t say that the future for BAU is pretty positive. Did you read BAU where I wrote BTU?

              If you look at the fundamentals of wind and solar energy you will see that the energy returns are large (10+) and growing. The energy returns for fossil fuels are falling fast. That’s positive for wind and solar electricity production, negative for fossil fueled electricity production and negative for BAU.

            • Rural says:

              My mental model of the financial system has changed to become something like an onion. The inner-most layer would be barter, which would be wrapped in cash transactions, and so on until the outermost layers would be complicated financial instruments like hedge funds.

              The inner-most layers are fundamental to a functioning economy. The outer-most layers…less so.

              As you move towards the outside layers, growth is necessary for their function. They are beginning to struggle. They may be sloughed off the onion, but the inner layers will remain.

              Again, I am NOT saying that sloughing off these outer layers of the financial system be fun, but I also don’t think that the world will just end.

            • Ed says:

              Let me clarify, wind energy sells for a negative amount into the power pool auction because they receive a subsidy from the federal government if they sell. The net of subsidy minus money given to the power pool is still a positive number for the wind company. It may or may not be a net lose to society.

            • Rural says:

              Understood. Tax dollars spent to pay people to use energy is a strange and ugly artefact of that subsidy.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          Might I suggest that you are wasting your time – and money?

          Of course there is big money to be made in the ‘renewables’ space — ask Elon Musk — but is this a viable business? Of course not.

          One could say the same for fracking. It is a scam. Always has been.

          Just because companies are putting money into something – does not mean they believe in it. They are simply riding the wave of bullshit — and picking up big fat taxpayer subsidies along the way…

          If solar and EV’s were not massively subsidized — they would not exist.

          Now you might ask why is the average Joe’s tax money going into something like a Tesla (average purchaser earns 250k per year…)

          The answer to that would be that ‘renewables’ give hope to the sheeple. They are like a religion. BP oil = Beyond Petroleum. Get it?

          Even the stupidest donkey recognizes that oil will eventually run out. When you suggest that to a donkey — what is the first thing that comes out of their guffawing mouth?

          Of course it’s ‘by then we will have transitioned to solar’

          Mission accomplished. Anxiety and panic avoided.

          Of course to get to this point you need to make renewables sound real. You need to throw some real money at the problem to get people on board.

          Have a read of the Google article below — now try to find that in the MSM. A pretty big story no? Don’t you think it would have made the front pages of major publications?

          That article puts a stake in the heart of renewables. It cannot be allowed into the mainstream.

          Replacement of oil by alternative sources

          While oil has many other important uses (lubrication, plastics, roadways, roofing) this section considers only its use as an energy source. The CMO is a powerful means of understanding the difficulty of replacing oil energy by other sources. SRI International chemist Ripudaman Malhotra, working with Crane and colleague Ed Kinderman, used it to describe the looming energy crisis in sobering terms.[13] Malhotra illustrates the problem of producing one CMO energy that we currently derive from oil each year from five different alternative sources. Installing capacity to produce 1 CMO per year requires long and significant development.

          Allowing fifty years to develop the requisite capacity, 1 CMO of energy per year could be produced by any one of these developments:

          4 Three Gorges Dams,[14] developed each year for 50 years, or
          52 nuclear power plants,[15] developed each year for 50 years, or
          104 coal-fired power plants,[16] developed each year for 50 years, or
          32,850 wind turbines,[17][18] developed each year for 50 years, or
          91,250,000 rooftop solar photovoltaic panels[19] developed each year for 50 years

          A partial list of products made from Petroleum (144 of 6000 items)

          One 42-gallon barrel of oil creates 19.4 gallons of gasoline. The rest (over half) is used to make things like:

          Renewable energy ‘simply won’t work’: Top Google engineers

          Two highly qualified Google engineers who have spent years studying and trying to improve renewable energy technology have stated quite bluntly that whatever the future holds, it is not a renewables-powered civilisation: such a thing is impossible.

          Both men are Stanford PhDs, Ross Koningstein having trained in aerospace engineering and David Fork in applied physics. These aren’t guys who fiddle about with websites or data analytics or “technology” of that sort: they are real engineers who understand difficult maths and physics, and top-bracket even among that distinguished company.

          Even if one were to electrify all of transport, industry, heating and so on, so much renewable generation and balancing/storage equipment would be needed to power it that astronomical new requirements for steel, concrete, copper, glass, carbon fibre, neodymium, shipping and haulage etc etc would appear.

          All these things are made using mammoth amounts of energy: far from achieving massive energy savings, which most plans for a renewables future rely on implicitly, we would wind up needing far more energy, which would mean even more vast renewables farms – and even more materials and energy to make and maintain them and so on. The scale of the building would be like nothing ever attempted by the human race.

          In reality, well before any such stage was reached, energy would become horrifyingly expensive – which means that everything would become horrifyingly expensive (even the present well-under-one-per-cent renewables level in the UK has pushed up utility bills very considerably).

          • Rural says:

            “Might I suggest that you are wasting your time – and money?”

            So what wouldn’t be a waste of my time and money?

            I’ve long-ago accepted that things are going to change, and not for the better. You are preaching to the choir. But I’m very interested in hearing what people are doing.

            Look, I’ll start: Last week, I cobbled together a green house and moved my tomatoes into it. Framing of our house, the one with 16″ thick walls began last week. This afternoon, I write an exam on photovoltaic systems. The course is interesting, but I have reservations about the content. I see more hope in the content then I did in the biofuels course I recently finished. An upcoming waste reduction course has my attention.

          • Rural says:

            There is most definitely viable business within the renewable sector.

            Look, I have a solar powered fencing system and a solar powered water pumping system. They have worked for a decade. The fencing system has been trouble-free, other than the occasional break or short on the fence lines. The pumping system requires regular inspection and maintenance. Both have allowed me to produce food with very modest investment of equipment. In this sense, even if the EROEI of the solar panels is tiny. The alternative demands a huge investment.

            The same can be said of solar powered wireless network nodes. Solar power makes it possible to blanket my area with wireless coverage that would otherwise be too expensive. The benefit would outweigh a low EROEI.

            But the EROEI of solar PV and wind are not tiny. They are 10+. This makes them viable to many more applications, including power generation.

            It may be that it is too late to transition to renewable energy generation without a massive slump. I’m open to that and am watching carefully. However, as I see installation of renewables pick up, I am beginning to think that things are more positive than I once believed.

            • while there is no doubt that renewable energy, by whatever means—is a ‘good thing”, it is important not to lose sight of what we (civilisation that is) are trying to do with it, and what the powers that be are trying to convince us is possible.

              most of us live in a safe comfortable environment.

              100 years ago we didn’t have that. All the things we now take for granted mostly didn’t exist. 200 years ago we mostly lived hand to mouth, you were lucky to see 50/60 age.

              But we built a different world, by accident. In 1900 no one could have planned our now.
              But our now is now our “normal”, and politicians/economists confirm it so.
              Not only that, but we are promised that “renewables” will maintain and improve on what we have. Differently maybe—but nothing we can’t live with. (Heinberg et al)

              Those promises are usually linked to our “domestic requirements” : your home uses 3Kw of energy, a solar farm down the road produces Xx000 Kw.
              Therefore–divide one into the other—and you have the energy being produced to supply xx000s of homes………. energy problem solved!! And everybody goes back to sleep.

              Until a heretic like me dares to point out that the environment we constructed for ourselves uses 20 or 30x as much energy as our average home does. And that energy has to be found from somewhere. Solar farms or windmills can’t deliver that much— our civilised existence is in a constant state of entropy—meaning that the infrastructure we live in will fall apart if we do not maintain that constant input of energy to keep it running to ensure our survival.

              Bear in mind that what we know as a civilised infrastructure is entirely dependent on converting explosive force into rotary motion. Without that rotary motion our lifestyle is over. (think about that). Without explosive force to turn our wheels we are back in the middle ages, at best.

              We expect renewables to keep our wheels turning—bearing in mind all that I’ve pointed out above, I would be happy and relieved to have it explained just how we might accomplish that?

            • Stefeun says:

              “Bear in mind that what we know as a civilised infrastructure is entirely dependent on converting explosive force into rotary motion”

              2 things that are not used in natural processes.
              Nature developed on chemical energy, not heat, and used translation, not rotation.
              Our very wasteful processes oblige us to transform our environment, increasinlgly and to maintain it, which is not viable in the long run.

            • Good points!

            • Renewables do not extend the life of the electric grid at all. If you want renewables, you need to buy your own.

        • Kanghi says:

          Rural, Denmark does`t really have a much heavy industry that keeps the global “civilization” going, therefore their energy needs are not so high. One nuclear plant beats easily whole Denmarks wind production. It is the high energy beasts like iron/steel plants and other metal industry that is hard to keep running by relying on renewables.

          • Rural says:

            Understood. And as I dig in to Denmark, I hope to better understand their plans in this direction. It may be that they simply want to concentrate on exporting expertise or base their economy on some other sector with modest energy requirements. I’m really not sure, but I’m looking forward to finding out.

        • Niels Colding says:


          Green energy’s success is totally and utterly dependent on subventions. Denmark is filled with 5000 windmills – they give us electricity like the wind blows and the highest kwh-prices in the world together with Germany. The Germans have also eaten the lies of the green movement. But not one of them could have their own life without the support of traditional energy forms. But maybe you are also convinced that money has nothing to do with energy? The general attitude of Danish politicians.

          • Rural says:

            Actually, I haven’t found that any of my reading supports that the Danish politicians, and there is extraordinary agreement amongst their politicians, is motivated by an environmental ethic. Rather, it seems that they are incredibly capitalistic, clearly seeing the inherent threat that the high costs of imported fossil fuels represent and the potential profit in exporting electricity that they can produce cheaply from wind.

            In earnest, the part of the equation that resonates most strongly with me is the moves to reducing consumption. As you say (Niels), your electricity prices are high per kWh, but what are your bills like? Maybe my sources are wrong, but the Danish business community isn’t complaining about high electricity prices as is so common in North America. I hear North American media complaining about high Danish electricity prices, but haven’t yet ran across it in the Danish media.

          • Rural says:

            It may be that subsidies are key. Certainly, part of my coursework is in factoring in subsidies, something I am uncomfortable with.

            On the other hand, we have a wind farm a 20 minute drive away that wasn’t subsidized in any way that I can find. With current prices, I imagine it is tough going for them, but they are still going.

            My reading has been that Denmark’s high electricity prices are due to levies on fossil fueled generation.

            Germany is fascinating. In some ways, more-so than Denmark. Neither its wind or solar resources are huge, but it is has installed huge capacities. I’m not yet sure it was a good investment, but it sure is an interesting one.

    • I do not really see this as an issue, as long as there is plenty of cheap-to-produce coal and natural gas. We change our mix to match what is cheap to produce. THe big problem is high enough quantity, cheaply enough. Also, required debt is terribly important. EROEI doesn’t say anything at all about required debt.

      • Yoshua says:

        So the economy will adjust to our reality and turn away from petroleum towards coal and gas as the energy sources that can create enough economic value to pay for the production of these energy sources ?

        Are we in a transition period to a future without petroleum (except as a medium to maintain the production of the other energy sources), a future where the economy will generate economic growth based on coal and gas ?

        But first… a financial collapse due to the end of the petroleum economy… and then a new smaller world… but only for a few of us to enter ?

        • Tango Oscar says:

          All of that also ignores or doesn’t take into account the environmental costs of switching into a coal society. Things are probably already beyond a tipping point; imagine if we turned every major city’s air quality into that of Beijing?

    • Fast Eddy says:

      Pure luck kept the disaster from becoming even worse, The Acadamies found. Instead of Daiichi’s highly radioactive rods being exposed to oxygen, which would have sent over 13 million people packing from as far as 177 miles south in Tokyo, a leak happened to be situated between a fuel rod pool and a reactor core, which sent just enough coolant to keep the vulnerable rods from rising above the water.

      The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s 2014 study put the highest odds of an earthquake happening near spent fuel storage at one in 10 million years, boasting that “spent fuel pools are likely to withstand severe earthquakes without leaking,” while the odds of a terrorist attack or internal subversion were deemed incalculable and left out of any risk assessment.

      >>>> but will they be able to withstand the end of BAU? Nope.

    • It sounds like even this story somewhat downplays the potential problems

  36. Just horrible last days for instadoomers..

    1. Greece has been just bailed out again,
    Germans (and others) had to comply with the global masters and their agenda

    2. Presidential elections in Austria won by very tiny (and dubious postal voting) margin by a city candidate of “systemic, European democratic values, non xenofobic” but of white russian/hollander family background, LoLz.. The importance here also being unlike most euro countries, the Austrian president is not only a ceremonial figure but have some powers with respect to governments-parliament, not mentioning this is boost for that crazy Angela Mackerel-Merkel

    3. Brexit is looking increasingly unlikely

    4. The markets are clearly overvalued and at the end of cycle, but not allowed to crash or correct substantially

    5. Russia is clearly on to ropes even with this elevated ~$45 oil price

    6. Frenchies are burning infrastructure just for the gov threat of increasing working week hours from 35 to 45, while most of the world works twice that long for less pay


    Again this sucker is going down, but not today, not tomorrow, not in this or next decade,
    and we are back to our regular programming aka slow boiling of frogs..

    ps not enjoying this situation at all just commenting

    • A Real Black Person says:

      “4. The markets are clearly overvalued and at the end of cycle, but not allowed to crash or correct substantially”

      “1. Greece has been just bailed out again,
      Germans (and others) had to comply with the global masters and their agenda” If Greece defaults, than every other country or two-big-to-fail institution will default.”

      If markets are allowed to correct themselves and reflect accurate (honest) valuation that would destroy all non-local markets, leave civilization in shambles and most people starving to death within a few weeks. Global, industrial civilization is held together by a series of financial agreements that cannot be met because they are optimistic in nature. It has been said, by members of the financial elite that “confidence” holds the markets together, not performance. Please don’t make any more references about the “markets” and “corrections”. There is nothing remotely rational or self-regulating about capitalism. Capitalism is a belief system. It will stop working when people stop believing it is working for them.

      “6. Frenchies are burning infrastructure just for the gov threat of increasing working week hours from 35 to 45,

      while most of the world works twice that long for less pay”
      Can you cite examples of where the average person, not an elite worker works SEVENTY HOURS a week for less than fifty thousand dollars a year? around the world? It was written either here or on that when the fossil fuel economy was finally put in place, the amount of time the average worker needed to work was much lower than what they have been forced to work. Most of current work is make-work and is not necessary.

      “ps not enjoying this situation at all just commenting”

      You comments kind of reinforce the idiotic stereotype that doomers are some kind of death-cult.
      Once industrial civilization comes down, you will die. Not enjoying the present situation kind of makes it look like you look forward to death or that the post-collapse period will improve your circumstances. That is unlikely. Extend and pretend policies have always been with us and are currently being used because there is no socially acceptable alternative.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        +++ …. ++++++ ….. +++++++++….. x 100,000

      • Again, translating for the slower ones or uninformed..

        The market-capitalist system is cyclical in nature, however since the novelties issued in the post 2008/9 world, where equities, bonds and other instruments are openly sucked up by TPTB in new debt issuance, i.e. overbought markets “can’t organically crash/correct now” as this cyclical valve has been shut down, not permanently but for the moment, and for how long? The fact we are at or near ~7yrs cyclical market top by plethora of alerts are available in mainstream economic press and obviously in alternative blogosphere as well..

        Your interpretation that today’s overdue market correction just ends the world/civilization as we know it is your opinion, which is not universally shared. It can be argued re-distribution of wealth globally and systemic change is at hand, while instadoom is not in sequential order at list of immediate events.. after the next delayed crash..

        To your other question, large part of the “4th Reich” aka vendor financed German industrial system works in reality (putting aside the debt issue for now) as a pump by subcontracting the work among the wider CEE region, which is compensated there by ~1/4th salaries for near double the real work hours workload, while the factories are equipped with the latest or no older than previous generation of infrastructure/machinery, so it’s not the question of “productivity”.. Yep, that’s the giant sucking sound of wealth that contributed and at least kept somewhat leveled consumer prosperity of past ~25yrs enjoyed in the Western Europe, now/recently we reached the threshold time as the rest of western workers will be dumped as well, hence the French riots, where the relative discrepancy is the most pressing.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          “Your interpretation that today’s overdue market correction just ends the world/civilization as we know it is your opinion, which is not universally shared. It can be argued re-distribution of wealth globally and systemic change is at hand, while instadoom is not in sequential order at list of immediate events.. after the next delayed crash”

          Ask yourself this — if the central banks of the world made an announcement on the coming Sunday afternoon (London time) that they were stopping QE/ZIRP…

          What do you imagine would happen on Monday?

          I am partial to the word apocalypse… but instadoom also works.

          Sorry to inform you but unless you live in DelusiSTAN, the implications are universally understood by anyone with half a brain here in RealitySTAN. Even bankers understand this.

          • A Real Black Person says:

            “Ask yourself this — if the central banks of the world made an announcement on the coming Sunday afternoon (London time) that they were stopping QE/ZIRP…”

            Didn’t the U.S. recently end Quantitative Easing? Isn’t the instability in countries like Venezuela and Brazil a direct consequence of the pullback of U.S. Q.E.

            Aren’t low Commodity prices a symptom of the pullback from Q.E.?

            • Fast Eddy says:

              They have not ended ZIRP — nor are we sure that they have ended QE — ‘when things get really bad you have to lie’ JC Juncker.

              Also — the EU and Japan are churning out the equivalent of hundreds of billions of dollars of QE — this money floods the global economy looking for opportunities… so even if the US has stopped QE has by no means stopped…

              It is 9am here in NZ — markets are open — if the central banks right now made an announcement that QE stops — ZIRP stops — the NZ market would immediately collapse — as would all other markets the moment the bell dinged on Monday morning…

          • The Mighty Microbe says:

            You are showing all the classic symptoms of “search engine genius”

        • A Real Black Person says:

          I’m going to assume you’re playing Devil’s Advocate.

          The recent past in not a indicator of the future. The U.S. economy is nowhere near as robust as it was in 1930s.

          The economies of most countries are nowhere near as robust as they were in the early twentieth century.

          Our economies , or should I say one big global economy ,are a lot more efficient but a lot less resilient. There’s a good reason why the term “too big to fail” to many institutions. If all insolvent institutions are allowed to fail–the system will come apart because there will be a lack of trust. Once trust officially breaks down, it would become very difficult to build it again, especially since almost no one can answer”where is the growth going to come from” to make lending worthwhile.

          “our interpretation that today’s overdue market correction just ends the world/civilization as we know it is your opinion, which is not universally shared. ”
          Most people don’t understand how global industrial civilization actually works.

          Just because something is universally believed doesn’t mean it’s true.
          So many widely held beliefs exist for the sake of SOCIAL cohesion ( most people want to “fit in” and be liked) or
          short-term gain.

        • A Real Black Person says:

          ” CEE region, which is compensated there by ~1/4th salaries for near double the real work hours workload, while the factories are equipped with the latest or no older than previous generation of infrastructure/machinery, so it’s not the question of “productivity”:

          Do you have citations or are you spontaneously generating those statements out of your …head?

        • A Real Black Person says:

          “. It can be argued re-distribution of wealth globally and systemic change is at hand, while instadoom ” So, you think it is more likely that there will be equitable redistribution of wealth and “systemic change” without chaos in the intervening time.

          I used to believe this line of thinking when I was very early in learning about how the global economy worked. I can’t believe you’re still quoting this rubbish. You should know better. Rather than wealth being re-distributed, it will largely disappear. There will be no functioning system to give a diverse group of people over large distances the right incentives generate a surplus or share that surplus with people who are far away. “Systemic change” often means collapse, as we see in places like the Middle East. If there is a 100% change in leadership and the new leadership has no idea how the old leadership kept everything together, there will be chaos. Many modern systems are not adaptable. Many are quite brittle.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            Please consider that there are two parallel universes on FW — there are those who live in DelusiSTAN where facts don’t matter — you can explain in the simplest terms with logic and evidence — and you will not dent the armour…

            For instance… there are those who believe in Solar Jesus — even though one explains you would need billions of tonnes of lignite coal to make the hundreds of millions of solar panels required to make a dent in coal produced electricity — they citizens of DelusiSTAN will continue to pound the drum for Solar Jesus …

            In RealitySTAN if you did that you’d be locked in a cage and declared insane. Primary schools would bus children to the institutions where such people are held and invited to poke them with sticks and feed them peanuts… the kids would also get to ride on the backs of such people and encouraged to shout giddy up… giddy up…. yee haw….

            Then there are those who live in RealitySTAN… who are open to new ideas provided they are supported by facts.

    • Stilgar Wilcox says:

      BAU will be held on to at any expense, including the continuing added pressure on non-elite’s to work longer, harder and for more years until retirement at stagnant wages in a world of increasing costs. TPTB are not going to let this sucker go down – they will continue to shift the burden of declining net energy on to us so they can hold on to power and wealth as long as possible, until we get so angry in revolt we destroy the very infrastructure that holds everybody’s civilization together. And then TPTB will exit stage left to some predetermined locale of luxurious seclusion while we all fight each other over the last scraps in a real life episode of Survivors. How long this will take to completely play out is anybody’s guess.

      • Exactly, subscribing..
        In any case we can look at the dynamics unfolding in present or very recent history (Ukraine, Greece, Argentina, .. , Syria and Iraq , .. ). Those are various stages and types of collapse, and it’s not pretty for the little people.

        What I’ve found a bit disturbing is that official Russian line today is “we are not going to save yours (European) posteriors this time” – meaning after bouncing off Napoleon (+banksters) and Hitler (+banksters), they have had enough. That in specifics could mean nuclear war and/or sheer indifference to future failed state status of larger part of the Western Europe.

        • A Real Black Person says:

          I’m pretty sure that line means that Russians will be indifferent to the Eurozone countries’ problems in the future. The Eurozone countries are weak compared to Russia now and will only be weaker in the future.

          A lot of little countries are crumbling,(except for Iraq. Iraq collapsed before its time because the semi-functional government it had was removed by the U.S. military. ) many are on the periphery of collapse but none have collapsed yet, none have been shunned from global capital markets yet.
          I doubt that Russia, or any modern country for that matter will be in a position to save anyone’s posteriors when SHTF….The exact timing of when SHTF cannot be determined because it usually takes a “stress surge “. (Tainter, Joseph A.) ..otherwise known as a “Perfect Storm”…of unfortunate occurrences to make SHTF. In California it could be a drought , a severe earthquake…and a severe recession…that sort of thing… In places that were on the edge already, like most of South America, all it took was a recession…

        • xabier says:

          The Russian temperament is warm and generous….. if they like you. If not: goodbye!

          There also seems to be a general belief that the capitalist West set Hitler on Russia like an attack dog, and resentment lingers – this is also being stoked by current Russian state propaganda. And then there are the crazies of resurgent Orthodox Nationalism…..

          As for Greece, I only have direct knowledge of one upper-income family there, and they are doing very well just as before all this started (not super-rich, salary earners.) They don’t seem to be worried about crime levels either, maybe the first impulse of Greeks is not to kidnap and murder as we have seen in other countries? For the moment anyway, if you have cash, everything is still available there.

    • name says:

      Look at world energy consumpion rate, nothing else matters. In two weeks we will have BP’s data for 2015. This spring certainly brought drop in energy consumpion rate.

  37. Kanghi says:

    Norway seems to accept things how they are, altought they are still investing in drilling more holes to the sea.

    • I know that service companies have cut their prices way back, with the plan to raise those prices back up again as soon as prices rise. This situation makes it look like $100 oil can really be produced. I expect what will happen is that as oil prices go up somewhat, prices service companies charge for drilling rigs will rise even faster, making it clear that even $100 oil cannot really be produced.

  38. Fast Eddy says:

    Actually …. I am a troll in the pay of the NZ government…. it was a condition of my permanent residency.

    et ad novum omni die stultus on Finite World.

  39. Fast Eddy says:


    We had a strong, cold rain last night — weather that dictates staying inside next to a fire and a good book….

    Around 2200 our two dogs started to bark furiously and raced to the front door peering into the darkness at something….

    I walked out onto the porch to have a look — nothing. Perhaps a possum had been into one of the buckets of fruit we’d set on a bench.

    I returned to my chair near the fire… and thought about this for a moment … and shuddered….

    I imagined a similar situation post BAU — families of starving people roaming up our valley looking for smoke from fires .. hiking up the hill hoping for a meal …. approaching my front door pleading for help…. my dogs barking furiously at them…. me knowing full well that I cannot feed them…

    If I turn them away and they refuse — do I open up on women and children with a shotgun?

    Even if I am willing to do this they will have seen my large garden — will they not simply hide in the forest then later return and pull everything that grows? Will they not kill the sheep that graze in our paddocks? Would they not kill and eat our chickens?

    What if those showing up at my door are armed… and in numbers….

    There will be no telephone service. And in any event, nobody to call as there will be no police.

    Like I said… I shuddered at the thought.

    • Good story, had quasi similar experiences recently..

      May I ask you what kind of internet connection do you have there on the property? gsm/lte, adsl, satellite, free air Ghz link, .. ?

    • Ed says:

      You don’t want to fight on your front porch. Can you and your neighbors control access to your town? Are there natural choke points? Far better to fight at a point of your design. Yes, there will come a time when people on foot will avoid the dangers of the road and will come from every direction in the woods but they will be fewer in number.

      • Vince the Prince says:

        Listen, you all got it all wrong…just watch and be able to shoot straight

      • Fast Eddy says:

        When I’m down in the town taking over (not sure why I’d want to take the town over… to what purpose) … won’t the starving people be into my stores of food?

        I don’t exactly have an army…. nor could I feed one

        This is a fairly nonsensical discussion …. more appropriate for someone who lives in DelusiSTAN.

        • Tango Oscar says:

          Eddy, this is why I live up on a huge hill surrounded by BLM land and trees. There is only ONE functional way in or out and I plan on taking out several large trees on the road to prevent anyone from getting within 1/2 a mile of my house. From the point of the downed trees I will be sitting as far as I possibly can up on a porch with a rifle scope aimed at that general vicinity. The first idiot that tries to start up a chainsaw to cut the trees is going to eat lead. That will be a clear warning for the second one that attempts anything similar. I expect it will be like that for at least a couple of months post collapse.

          • Historically, towns were built on hills with walls. The problems did not end after two months.

            One comment I remember reading in the book Secular Cycles was that after a crash, people often settled in places where they could protect themselves and their land from intruders, rather than where the land was most fertile or access to trade was best.

            • Tango Oscar says:

              I’m personally wagering that most of the common folk will be goners after a grid/economic collapse within a month or two. After that, it won’t be wandering families that will be the problem but perhaps large/organized gangs of people. This would likely take more defense than my small family can muster but we’ll do the best with what we have. Realistically if we made it a year after collapse I’d consider that about the best case scenario.

              We imported fertile soil/compost for our garden beds up here, with more than enough space to grow our own food. The problem will become gaining access to more nutrients when the soils become depleted as we have no farm animals for manure. Perhaps scraping the top soils off of the forest combined with food scraps and brown matter will help out for a bit. I’ve also stockpiled a couple years worth of fertilizers.

            • doomphd says:

              That’s exactly what the North American Anazai were doing. They ended up making nice abandoned stone and adobe relics in scenic places throughout the southwestern US which have made great national parks and monuments. If you press the park rangers on the issue, and they can reply in confidence, they will confirm that that was indeed the tactic being exercised towards the end of their cycle. Too many droughts for too many people, despite some pretty amazing engineering fixes for their time.

    • Artleads says:

      Ed said some of what I had in mind. Can’t recall the term right now. Defensive landscaping? Doesn’t sound quite correct. You make the path to your front door very challenging , “mind altering” (as with scary and surprising images) and time consuming. Prickly plants, etc. You will know the short cuts, but nobody else will. But I don’t see it as a case of absolutes. One is merely trying to discourage (not prevent) trespass.

      The same applies to poaching the garden, although I consider that the lesser threat by far. It’s very easy to store food–potatoes, carrots. beets, etc.–under the ground where they grow. Cut off the leaves and cover the ground with a foot of messy-looking mulch. The food will store in winter, and no one will have the slightest clue, but you, where to find it.

      THEN THE REALLY HARD ONE: COMMUNITY PLANNING, and being as dictatorial as you can get away with. Everyone in your community must store rain water and grow something–anything–in their back yard. Those with no yards must have community gardens. Every building must have gray water discharge. Again, not an absolute guarantee of anything, but moving in the right direction.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        It’s not like we are living in the middle of nowhere…. there is a town of around 7000 people within a few hours walking distance… when the fire is on there is smoke… smoke attracts people…. we have a 300m driveway to us in from the road… people will see that … they will walk towards signs of life….

        We have a garage full of supplies — how do you hide that? We have huge amounts of split wood and a warm house — how do you turn women and children away who are suffering — how do you fight armed men?

        A homestead is no solution — in fact it makes you a stationary indefensible target…. one that has what people want — food, tools, shelter….

        There are no solutions in a world with 7.3 billion people — that is soon going to have no food.

        Even if I were to be left alone up here…. I cannot feed 4 people on this farm year round — once my stockpiles go it will be utter desperation … I will wish I were already dead.

        Fortunately we have the spent fuel ponds to take care of that …. and the rock cut….

        • Froggman says:

          7000 people isn’t that many. Most of them will be busy wiping each other out. And it’s not like all of them are going to make a beeline to your house- they’ll disburse in all directions and will stumble across hundreds if not thousands of other suitable targets before they get to your place.

          To feed yourselves you’ll have to barter/form alliances with neighbors. Division of labor can increase productivity- you just need subsistence level calories. You and a half-dozen other capable families could fortify sizable area and divide up work.

          I’m not discounting the horror of it. You’ll have to become a wild animal, and fight like one. I don’t know how you turn women and children away. Maybe come up with a plan, like you give them a cup of rice and tell them to be on their way. You could stockpile 200 pounds of rice right now and earmark it for charity, which would allow you to send 400 people down the road with a meal they wouldn’t otherwise have. Given the circumstances that would make for a clean conscience.

          My situation is not so different from yours, but with 20X the people in the nearby town. And see what an optimist I am! 🙂

          • Vince the Prince says:

            You all are going to undoubtedly face the unexpected….guaranteed
            Plan all you like….but something like this will likely rub you out


            Fast Eddy is correct…being dead may be the better option.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            I don’t see any of that happening. People will be after food – they will know where to go…

            Somehow I don’t see passing out cups of rice and asking starving people to move it along is going to work very well…

            Let’s have a look at what even well-fed people are capable of…


            There are plenty of violent types in the 7000 in the town…and even for those that are not criminals when you have hungry children that can bring out the worst (the best?) in normally law-abiding people…. what would you do to ensure your children had food???

            There will be no police….

            As for setting up a neighbourhood security team — totally futile — unless you are prepared to shoot on site anyone who comes anywhere near….

            Are you psychologically prepared to start sniping women and children?

            You better think about that — because that is what it is going to come down to.

            It is virtually impossible to defend a farm — you need to go into the fields to grow food — you will be a sitting duck….

            All things considered… even if you could stay alive in the face of these overwhelming odds… would you not rather prefer to just curl up in the corner and die…. or better still — pop a pill that puts an end to the endless nightmare?

            It’s not like this is an emergency — a situation that in a few weeks or months gets significantly better.

            This is for the rest of your miserable life… a life without electricity — a life where you won’t be able to buy a toothbrush or a can of beans….

            Your days field with grinding labour… your nights filled with nightmares of turning children away hungry…. of opening up on families with rifle fire…. of burying the dead bodies of innocent people…

            Kind of like a living hell…. no?

            • xabier says:


              Well, the Romans did all of that and more – they added mass crucifixions to their games! I doubt they lost any sleep over it.

              Evidence has recently come to light confirming the account that Julius Caesar gave of his destruction of two whole German tribes, a quite common occurrence when the Romans were powerful.

              They entered Roman territory without violence and asked to be re-settled; he attacked them by surprise in their camp and killed as many as possible, not just the warriors, but all the women and children -they were whole tribes on the move.

              Estimated 100,000 killed, many drowned themselves to escape the soldiers. One skull found is that of a woman, killed by a lance thrust right in the middle of her forehead, probably by one of the cavalrymen who were specifically entrusted with running down the women and children according to Caesar.

              Clearly, at that moment, Caesar had no need of more slaves, so………..

            • Fast Eddy says:

              That is truly inspiring!

              We all have it in us to kill women and children – given the right circumstances. In the heat of the moment one might rise to the challenge

            • Froggman says:

              We’re in agreement, it will be a hell we can hardly imagine. I have no illusions of a neo-tribal eco-utopia; I respect and appreciate your role here as the Hope Crusher. It needs to be done.

        • Ed says:

          Defenders have a 3 to 1 advantage. Nothing is prefect.

          • doomphd says:

            You and your neighbors collaborate in standing guard duty at a roadblock to your area. You deal with intruders there, give out any supplies there. You should strive to keep anyone from turning up at your door. Even then, the dog(s)* will alert you and give you time to get your piece ready ala Clint Eastwood, in above video. Nobody said it would be easy, but the worst will be over in a few months.

            *Geese are better than dogs in this area. Ask the Romans.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              And you shoot the women and children in cold blood as they approach the main gate….

              Which do you prefer — a few blasts of buckshot from close range — spilling brains and blood on the driveway…. or nice clean shots from a 308 exploding the little hearts…


              Of course if you are in Uhmerica you can get your hands on an automatic weapon….

              How can you kill women and children?


          • Fast Eddy says:

            Defenders of what – a castle with a moat and a year’s supply of food?

            Surely you don’t mean a farm — it is by nature impossible to defend. How do you you protect your crops round the clock? How do you deal with armed men who are intent on putting a bullet in your head when you venture out to weed, water of harvest the crop?

            • doomphd says:

              FE, the style of defense mentioned above is very old. All those quaint castles sprinkled across Europe and the Middle East was where the action was back in the day. The haves inside the walls and gates were attempting to keep it from the have nots. Sex and age have little to do with it, but for the most part, adult males did the heavy battle work, and the women and children, spoils went to or stayed with the winners. Looks like we’ll see some similar action post-BAU, while the ponds erupt and spoil it all for everybody, including those in their fallout bunkers. Maybe buy a few Geiger counters, with various ranges.

    • name says:

      “Around 2200 our two dogs”
      Around 2200 there won’t be any dogs left, because all will be eaten by starving people.

      • ex worldsters probably

      • 2200 = 22:00 = 10pm

      • Stilgar Wilcox says:

        They’ve been eating people’s dogs and cats recently in Venezuela. Pigeons too. Wait until the pets run out. We really are getting a first hand modern day glimpse into human behavior via their collapse. So far its textbook: ransack the local food stores then eat what’s alive but not human, Next?

        • greg machala says:

          And that is Venezuela where the people are used to lower living standards. Image the chaos in the US where people call 911 if the pizza is late or they loose the TV remote.

  40. Stilgar Wilcox says:

    I saw a youtube video on GW that in part explained what mantle methane is and that along the Gakkel Ridge, a subduction zone where two techtonic plates collide running across the seafloor of the Arctic from Greenland through the Laptev Sea, there is a hot spot of methane emissions. The cap on that area has been destabilized by the loss of sea ice as a pressure cap, which is also now causing earthquakes along this rift. Apparently there is an awful lot of mantle methane.

    “What mankind has done in his infinite stupidity, with his extreme hydrocarbon addiction and fossil fuel induced global warming, has opened a giant, long standing (Permian to Recent) geopressured, mantle methane pressure-release safety valve (Enrico Pv Anomaly Extreme Methane Emission Zone) for gases generated between 100 km and 300 km depth and temperatures above 1200°C in the asthenosphere (Figures 4, 6, 12 and 15). This is now a region of massive methane emissions (Carana, 2014). There is no fast way to reseal this system because it would require extremely quick cooling of the Arctic Ocean, which cannot be achieved in the short time frame we have left to complete the job.”

    • xabier says:

      Oh well, I suppose we and all our works will just end up as a layer of sediment in the Earth’s crust. Rather sooner than we had supposed.

  41. Stilgar Wilcox says:

    If you want to see how fast civilization has grown, go to the above link and look at that photo from NY 1912. This is only 104 years later!

    • xabier says:

      Yes, hard to get one’s mind around the changes if you have been born in the oil age and not actually seen the transition.

      Only 100 or so years ago my great-grandfather was saying, like so many: ‘You’ll never do better than the horse.’ And so he turned down the chance to be a partner in the first (and very successful) motor-bus company in London…..

      Such astonishing business talent is, therefore, all I inherited!

  42. Stilgar Wilcox says:

    WTI up to $49.10 a barrel, only 10.90 less than 60.00, the lower part of the range ($60-80) I predicted for the latter half of 2016.

    This is good, because now we’ll see oil price beginning to swing the other way and find out just how much punishment the consumer can take before price wanes. Let’s find out how high price can go before the Red Queen starts spinning her wheels into recession.

    • Gruppen2 says:

      I can believe at least six impossible things before breakfast and I do not like her being squeezed into a hackneyed mixed metaphor.

      You should not invoke such powerful images unless you know what you are doing.

    • I see natural gas is at $1.92. That is a pretty awful price. US companies producing oil and natural gas are still in terrible shape.

      • Tango Oscar says:

        Agreed. The only reason companies like Chesapeake Energy are still functioning is because of continued renegotiations on their current debt. Their creditors realize that a bankrupt company has no possibility of paying up. What they don’t realize is that this situation is NOT going to improve. There is a supply glut of almost everything.

  43. MG says:

    The need for preserving the cheap production brings more robots also in shoes manufacturing:

  44. Rodster says:

    What could possibly go wrong? 😉
    “Total U.S. household debt rose to $12.25 trillion in the first quarter of 2016, due largely to an increase in mortgages, according to a survey released on Tuesday by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. That was an increase of $136 billion from the fourth quarter of 2015 and $401 billion more than one year ago, the New York Fed said.

    Mortgage balances also rose to $8.37 trillion, a $198 billion increase from a year ago, the survey showed. Student loan debt stood at $1.26 trillion, up $72 billion from a year ago, while auto loan debt increased to $1.07 trillion, a rise of $103 billion over the same period.

    But this was the featured story on Reuters:
    “U.S. new homes sales hit eight-year high, point to firming economy”

    • Stilgar Wilcox says:

      My guess is people bought the meme ‘all is well’, come out of that insecure place of frugality and spend, borrow your way to prosperity. It also may be a case of lower fuel price for a while gave people a little more discretionary income to spend, so they are now leveraging it to the max. to buy houses, vehicles, boats and some to start businesses. It’s a glass half full, half empty point in time in which some are convinced BAU is good to go – blast off! Hope they haven’t bitten off more than they can chew.

      like our neighbors that sold their house, moved to another state, started a restaurant and are now buying a house. That’s too lofty an edge to walk out on in my opinion, but some people think it’s time to expand, think big. What can we say, people are gullible – eventually they get giddy and start acting reckless. It’s just that much more to default later.

      • Gruppen2 says:

        Is it enough to eat sh*t & die or walk with the Gods?

        That is the Question

      • Froggman says:

        You know it’s interesting- my wife wanted to make an addition to the house. I was opposed to the idea as an unnecessary extravagance. “Fiscally irresponsible,” I said. I’m already saddled with more than enough debt to keep me working until I die.

        But then I came around to the idea not in spite of my Doomer tendencies, but because of them. I have a very stable income- a government job that will probably be one of the last ones still paying a paycheck when it all comes down. I know the bank will give me loans way bigger than I can afford, and I can just refinance everything into a 30 year loan.

        30 years. As in 2046. Just how much of that loan do you think I’ll ever have to pay off? Do any of us really think that 5 years from now, we’re going to be “paying mortgages” from our “checking accounts”? Or that banks will even be around to care?

        So because I see the glass as pretty much empty, I’m going all in! We spent the weekend picking out bathroom fixtures. I’m going to run hydronic radiant heat in the floors, powered by solar collectors that will work when the grid goes down. Part of the addition will be a poured concrete safe room that can resist tornadoes (to keep my food stocks), with a trapdoor into a crawlspace fallout shelter. Contingencies…

        For me, helicopter money is here RIGHT NOW!

        • Gruppen2 says:

          What is the riot situation in frogland right now?

        • bandits101 says:

          LOL Froggie, best post I’ve read for a while. I’m rootin’ for ya and hope it goes well. You walk the talk which is nothing less than admirable.

          • Froggman says:

            Thank you! Don’t get me wrong- I’m not proud of what I’m doing. I know it’s the same destructive behavior that got us collectively into this mess. The First World Imperialist has all he needs, but still wants more… more space, more sinks, more toilets.

            It’s a gamble- what if this s**t show keeps lumbering on for another 10 years? Only time will tell whether it’s a reckless decision or a really clever one. Kind of like when I cashed out my 401K and put it all into the farm. I just couldn’t imagine that money being there in another 30+ years, so I took the tax penalty and now I own livestock. I have nothing saved for retirement, but I just don’t believe retirement was ever in the cards for me anyhow.

            • bandits101 says:

              I know. What you are doing only makes sense to those that truly understand and believe. Fast Eddy is the same, he’s blowing through his money like there’s no tomorrow.
              All the best anyway.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              And quite literally… there is no tomorrow…

            • Tango Oscar says:

              From what I’ve read and learned it might be theoretically possible for the economic system to sort of function for another decade because those in charge will do ANYTHING to keep it going. It might not be pretty but we could possibly hobble along for another 10 years. We did in 2008, we can do it again.

              That said, from a climate change perspective, I believe hell on Earth starts up in the next couple of years. We are soon going to be experiencing unimaginable heat that will likely vaporize entire nations of crops, leading to some pretty big famines. The research is horrifying when you really start to dig into it. Furthermore, if and when the global economy collapses, it will likely trigger another few degree bump upwards when the global dimming particulate shield comes down. I would argue this kills people BEFORE the horrifying nuclear pond meltdown scenario.

              In other words, none of our food sources can survive that and consequently only those prepared to ride it out in some of the coldest regions of the planet (with years of stored food) actually have a chance for survival. In a 7 day span here we went from a high of 68 to 100. 100 degrees is a full 26 degrees above average for this time of year and it is not an outlier when looking at the extended forecast as we here in Southern Oregon are about to experience a whole week of 20+ degrees above the historical average. If this sort of trend holds, it will vaporize my garden (and everybody else’s).

            • Tango Oscar says:

              Yeah. Alaska has been getting wildfires all over the place the last couple of years. Not good.

              We had a record snowpack this year. April and May have decimated it with record melt. Many of the trees around my property look sick. I have a very bad feeling with S. Oregon about to break before May is over with.

        • Karl says:

          I’m with you. I’m in the process of stepping up to a bigger house (3,000 sq ft) as we speak. I first found out about peak oil in 2009, and went a little sideways buying beans bullets, and bandaids. I dumped a years salary into precious metals (which promptly got gutted, thanks Chris Martenson) I was sure the end was nigh. Well here we are in 2016, and while Venezuela and Greece are burning, my world looks pretty stable. I don’t doubt any of the things discussed here are true, but I came to the realization that I was never going to make it out of this world alive anyways.

          If things are going to go as bad as Fast Eddy says, then screw it, nothing I do now will matter anyways. If its going to be a long slow descent, then screw it, I’ve got beans bullets, and bandaids in my basement. Changing my habits and worrying isn’t going to make a bit of difference in the arc of industrial civilization. In the mean time, I’m eating the steak, drinking the wine, traveling by air, and wallowing in all the hedonism I can afford. If the zombies come calling, I’ll save the last round for myself.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            We’re on a similar journey….

            I am 100% certain that when BAU ends — I will be very unhappy if I am around for very long afterwards…. I just want my front seat and my popcorn and a chance to observe the end of days…. it will be the ultimate horror show….

            • Tango Oscar says:

              I’m right there with you guys. I’ve done my best to prepare myself a doomsday bunker here with stored food, guns, gardens, backup water supplies, off-road vehicles, etc… I too think we should invest in popcorn. My personal goal is to be one of the last people alive playing video games, maybe something like Super Mario Brothers. I have a fully functional off-grid solar power supply with two backup generators that should be functional for at least a few years after the collapse. I’m sure something I’ll never have seen coming will get me, like an infection or choking on my food. Oh the irony.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              When the roving gangs come I hope to have the last functioning disco ball on the planet going round and round …. and the end of the world party in full swing!

            • Tango Oscar says:

              Don’t forget the 70’s outfit including bell-bottoms. And the champagne!

        • I understand what you mean. It is quite possible to buy things now that you really don’t need, and things with “iffy” value.

          The problem with building all of this “stuff” is that if you decide you need to leave to go somewhere else (for example, to get food or water), you likely will have to leave it behind.

          • A Real Black Person says:

            I suspect that mobility will be for young people. Old people, including people my parents age, cannot or may not want to make 50-100 mile trips on foot even if staying means certain death.

      • xabier says:

        Like looking into tea leaves, or ink blots, they project what they want to see or – perhaps more accurately -have been conditioned to look for: that golden liefstyle just around the corner, all courtesy of the kind lenders at the bank.

        People don’t put all their eggs in one basket, they put them in several baskets destined to topple over at the same time!

        An internet ad for a major bank is running in Spain now: ‘What’s your dream? Tell us!’

        Having said that, I’m not mocking people who have the drive to try to do something.

    • And even with all of this debt, world debt has not been rising enough. We have low prices for oil, natural gas, coal, and many metals. A big part of the problem is the fact that the dollar is still relatively high compared to other currencies.relative

  45. xabier says:


    ‘The threat isn’t where we are looking for it’.

    That’s the essence of the old Persian story, the moral of which is: ‘You fled Death in Bokhara; but he will be waiting for you in Samarkand!’

    And so I offer this as another definition of the Human Being: ‘The animal that can savour the ironies of its situation.’ It gives me a lot of pleasure in these ominous days.

    As well as the animal that, unlike the clever badger, fox, etc, consistently makes its own nest poisonous. Even pigs are cleaner than humans if left to themselves, and – I suspect – often much brighter……