$50 Oil Doesn’t Work

$50 per barrel oil is clearly less impossible to live with than $30 per barrel oil, because most businesses cannot make a profit with $30 per barrel oil. But is $50 per barrel oil helpful?

I would argue that it really is not.

When oil was over $100 per barrel, human beings in many countries were getting the benefit of most of that high oil price:

  • Some of the $100 per barrel goes as wages to the employees of the oil company who extracted the oil.
  • Often, the oil company contracts with another company to do part of the oil extraction. Part of the $100 per barrel is paid as wages to employees of the subcontracting companies.
  • An oil company buys many goods, such as steel pipe, which are made by others. Part of the $100 per barrel goes to employees of the companies making the goods that the oil company buys.
  • An oil company pays taxes. These taxes are used to fund many programs, including new roads, schools, and transfer payments to the elderly and unemployed. Again, these funds go to actual people, as wages, or as transfer payments to people who cannot work.
  • An oil company pays dividends to stockholders. Some of the stockholders are individuals; others are pension funds, insurance companies, and other companies. Pension funds use the dividends to make pension payments to individuals. Insurance companies use the dividends to make insurance premiums affordable. One way or another, these dividends act to create benefits for individuals.
  • Interest payments on debt go to bondholders or to the bank making the loan. Pension plans and insurance companies often own the bonds. These interest payments go to pay pension payments of individuals or to help make insurance premiums more affordable.
  • A company may have accumulated profits that are not paid out in dividends and taxes. Typically, they are reinvested in the company, allowing more people to have jobs. In some cases, the value of the stock may rise as well.

When the price falls from $100 per barrel to $50 per barrel, the incomes of many people are adversely affected. This is a huge negative with respect to world economic growth.

If the price of oil drops from $100 per barrel to $50 per barrel, this change adversely affects the income of a large share of people who formerly benefited from the high price. Thus, the drop in oil prices affects the incomes of many of the people listed in the previous section.

Furthermore, this drop in income tends to radiate outward to the rest of the economy because each worker who is laid off is forced to purchase fewer discretionary items. These workers are also less able to take on new debt, such as to buy a new car or house. In some cases, they may even default on existing debt.

A drop in oil prices from $100+ per barrel to $50 per barrel leads to job layoffs by oil companies and their subcontractors. Oil companies and their subcontractors may even reduce dividends to shareholders.

While oil prices have recently been as low as $30 per barrel, the subsequent rise in prices to $50 per barrel is not enough to start adding new production. Prices are still far too low to encourage new development.

In 2016, other commodities besides oil have a problem with price below the cost of production.

Many commodities, including coal and natural gas, are currently affected by low prices. So are many kinds of metals, and some kinds of food commodities. Thus, there is pressure in a wide range of industries to lay off workers. There are many parts of the world now feeling recessionary forces.

As prices fall, the pressure is for high-cost producers to drop out. As this happens, the world’s ability to make goods and services falls. The size of the world economy tends to shrink. This shrinkage is clearly not good for a world economy that needs to grow in order for investors to earn a profit, and in order for debtors to repay debt with interest.

Growing demand comes from a combination of increasing wages and increasing debt.

The recent drop in oil prices from the $100+ level seems to come from inadequate demand for oil. This is equivalent to saying that oil at such a high price has not been affordable for a significant share of buyers. We can understand what might have gone wrong, by thinking about how demand for oil might be increased.

Clearly, one way of increasing demand is through increased productivity of workers. If this increased productivity allows wages to rise, this increased productivity can cycle back through the economy as increased demand for goods and services. We can think of the process as an “economic growth pump” that allows continued economic growth.

Generally, increased productivity of workers reflects the use of more capital goods, such as machines, vehicles, and buildings. These capital goods are made using energy products, and operate using energy products. Thus, energy consumption is an important part of the economic growth pump. These capital goods are frequently financed using debt, so debt is another important part of the economic growth pump.

Even apart from the debt necessary for financing capital goods, another way of increasing demand is by adding more debt. If a company adds more debt, it can often hire more workers and can add to its holdings of property. These also help raise the output of the company. As long as the output that is added is sufficiently productive that it can repay the added debt with interest, adding more debt tends to enhance the workings of the economic growth pump.

The way governments have attempted to encourage the use of increased debt in recent years is by decreasing interest rates. The reason this approach is used is because with a lower interest rate, a broader range of investments can seem to be profitable, after repaying debt with interest. Even very “iffy” investments, such as extraction of tight oil from the Bakken, can appear to be profitable.

The extent of the decrease in interest rates since 1981 has been amazingly large.

Figure 1. Ten year treasury interest rates, based on St. Louis Fed data.

Figure 1. Ten year treasury interest rates, based on St. Louis Fed data.

Since 2008, additional steps have been taken to decrease interest rates even further. One of these is the use of Quantitative Easing. Another is the recent use of negative interest rates in Europe and Japan.

Falling demand would seem to suggest that the world’s economic growth pump is no longer working properly. This is happening, even with all of the post-1981 manipulations of interest rates to reduce the cost of borrowed capital, and thus reduce the required threshold for profitability of new investments.

What could cause the economic growth pump to stop working?

One possibility is that accumulated debt reaches too high a level, based on historical parameters. This seems to be happening now in many parts of the world.

Another thing that could go wrong is that the price of oil rises so high that capital goods based on oil are no longer cost effective for leveraging human labor. If this happens, manufacturing is likely to move to countries that use a cheaper mix of fuels, typically including more coal. The shift of manufacturing to China seems to reflect such a change.

A third thing that could go wrong is that pollution becomes too great a problem, forcing a country to slow down economic growth. This seems to be at least part of China’s current problem.

If oil prices drop from $100 to $50 per barrel, this has an adverse impact on debt levels.

With lower oil prices, workers are laid off, both from oil companies and from companies that provide goods and services to oil companies. These workers, in turn, are less able to take on new debt. In some cases, they may also default on their debt.

Oil companies with reduced cash flow are also less able to repay their debt. In some cases, companies may file for bankruptcy. The result is generally that existing debt is “written down.” Even if an oil company does not file for bankruptcy, it is likely to have difficulty adding new debt. The trend in the amount of debt outstanding is likely to change from increasing to decreasing.

As the amount of debt shifts from increasing to decreasing, the economy tends to shift from increasing to shrinking. Instead of adding more employees, companies tend to reduce the number of employees. If many commodities are affected, the impact can be very large.

We need oil prices to rise to $120 per barrel or more.

The current price of $50 per barrel is still way too low. A post I published in February 2014 was called Beginning of the End? Oil Companies Cut Back on Spending. In it, I talked about an analysis by Steve Kopits of Douglas-Westwood. In this analysis, Kopits points out that even at that time–which was before oil prices began dropping in mid-2014–major oil companies were beginning to cut back on spending for new production. Their cost of production was at that time typically at least $120 or $130 per barrel, if prices were to be high enough so that companies could fund new development without adding huge amounts of new debt. Oil prices could perhaps be lower if oil companies could fund their operations using large increases in debt. Company management recognized that such a funding approach would not be prudent–it could lead to unmanageable debt levels.

Today’s cost of oil production is likely to be even higher than it was when Kopits’ analysis was performed in early 2014. If we expect oil production to continue to rise, we probably need oil prices in the $120 to $150 per barrel range for several years. Prices at such a level are likely to be way too high for consumers, because wages do not rise at the same time as oil prices. Consumers find that they need to cut back on discretionary expenditures. These spending cutbacks tend to lead to recession and falling oil prices.

We can think of our economy as being like a big ball, which can be pumped up to greater and greater size with either rising productivity or rising debt.

This process can continue to work, only as long as the debt added is sufficiently productive that it is possible to repay the debt with interest. We seem to be reaching the end of the line on this process. Returns keep falling lower and lower, necessitating ever-lower interest rates.

To some extent, the pumping up of oil prices that occurs in this process represents a lie, because the energy content of a barrel of oil remains unchanged, regardless of price. In fact, the energy of coal and of natural gas per unit of production remains unchanged as well. The value of energy products to society is determined by their physical ability to leverage human labor–for example, how far diesel oil can move a truck. This ability is unchanged, regardless of how expensive that oil is to produce. This is why, at some point, we find that high-priced energy products simply don’t work in the economy. If we spend the huge amount of resources required for the production of energy products, we don’t have enough resources left over for the rest of the economy to grow.

Low oil prices, plus low commodity prices of other kinds, seem to indicate that we are reaching the end of the line in the “pump up the economy with debt” approach. We have been using this approach since 1981. At this point, we have no idea what economy growth would look like, without the stimulus of falling interest rates.

The drop in oil prices and other commodity prices since mid-2014 seems to represent a “shrinking back” of our ability to use debt to raise prices to a level sufficient to cover the cost of extraction, plus associated overhead costs, including taxes. This drop in prices should be an alarm bell that something is seriously wrong. Without continuously rising prices, to keep up with ever-rising extraction costs, fossil fuel production will at some point come to a halt. Renewables will not work well either, because prices will not be high enough for them to be competitive.

Of course, once the economy stops growing, the huge amount of debt we have amassed becomes un-payable. The whole system we have built will begin to look more and more like a Ponzi Scheme.

We are blind to the possibility that oil prices of $50 per barrel may indicate that we are reaching “the end of the line.”

The popular belief is that everything will work out fine. Oil prices will rise a bit, and somehow the economy will get along with less fossil fuel. Somehow, we will make it through this bottleneck.

If we would study history, we would discover that there have been many situations of overshoot and collapse. In fact, those situations tend to look quite a bit like the situation we are seeing today:

  • Falling resources per capita, because of rising population or exhaustion of resources
  • Falling wages of non-elite workers; greater wage disparity
  • Governments finding it increasingly difficult to fund needed programs

There is a popular belief that oil prices will rise, if there is a shortage of energy products. In prior collapses, it is not at all clear that prices have risen. We know that when ancient Babylon collapsed, demand for all products, even slaves, fell. If we are reaching collapse now, we should not be surprised if the prices of commodities, including oil, stay low. Alternatively, they might spike, but only briefly—not enough to really fix our current situation.

Too many wrong theories

Part of our problem is too much confidence that the “magic hand” of supply and demand will fix the economy. We don’t really understand how demand is tied into affordability, and how affordability is tied into wages and debt. We don’t realize that the view that oil prices can rise endlessly is more or less equivalent to the view that economic growth can continue indefinitely in a finite world.

Another part of our problem is failure to understand how the economic pump that keeps the economy operating works. Once debt rises too high, or the cost of energy extraction rises too high, we can no longer keep the system going. Price tends to fall below the cost of energy extraction. The quantity of energy products consumed cannot rise fast enough to keep the economic growth pump operating.

Clearly neoclassical economics doesn’t properly model how the economy really works. But the Energy Returned on Energy Invested (EROEI) theory of Biophysical Economics does not model the current situation well, either. EROEI theory is generally focused on the ratio of Energy Returned by some alternative energy device to Fossil Fuel Energy Used by the same alternative energy device. This focus misses several important points:

  1. The quantity of energy consumed by the economy needs to keep rising, if human productivity is to keep growing, and thus allow the economy to avoid collapsing. EROEI calculations normally have little to say about the quantity of energy products.
  2. The quantity of debt required to produce a given amount of energy by an alternative energy device is very important. The more debt that is added, the worse the alternative energy device is for the economy.
  3. In order for the economic growth pump to keep working, the return on human labor needs to keep rising. This is equivalent to a need for the wages of non-elite workers to keep rising. This is a requirement relating to a different kind of EROEI—energy return on human labor, leveraged with various types of supplemental energy. Today’s EROEI theorists tend to overlook this type of EROEI.

EROEI theory is a simplification that misses several important parts of the story. While a high fossil fuel EROEI is necessary for an alternative to substitute for fossil fuels, it is not sufficient. Thus, EROEI analysis tends to produce “false favorable” results.

Lining up resources in order by their EROEIs seems to be a useful exercise, but, in fact, the cut-off likely needs to be higher than most have supposed, in order to keep total costs low enough so that the economy can really afford a given energy source. In addition, resources that add heavily to debt requirements are probably unhelpful, regardless of their calculated EROEIs.


We are certainly at a worrying point in history. Our networked economy is more complex than most researchers have considered possible. We seem to be headed for collapse because of low prices, rather than high. The base scenario of the 1972 book “The Limits to Growth,” by Donella Meadows and others, seems to indicate that the world will likely reach limits about the current decade.

The modeling done in 1972 laid out the basic situation, but could not be expected to explain precisely how collapse would occur. Now that we are reaching the expected timeframe, we can see more clearly what seems to be happening. We need to be examining what is really happening, rather than tying ourselves to outdated ideas of how the economic system works, and thus, what symptoms we should expect as we approach limits. It may be that $50 per barrel oil is one of the signs that collapse is not far away.

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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1,650 Responses to $50 Oil Doesn’t Work

  1. Yoshua says:

    Breaking News: Oil Industry Saves The World.


    Dr. Patrick Moore, one of the original founders of Greenpeace, made a ground-breaking speech on the 14th October entitled “Should We Celebrate Carbon Dioxide?”

    This could mark a watershed in the “climate debate.” Not only has a high profile environmentalist “comes out” as a “Denier”, but the speech has been supported by many other “Environmentalists” including James Lovelock (of Gaia Theory fame).

    Some of his main points in the speech were as follows:

    •Human emissions of CO2 have saved life on our planet from a very untimely end. In the absence of our emitting some of the carbon back into the atmosphere from whence it came in the first place, most or perhaps all life on Earth would begin to die less than two million years from today.
    •There is certainty beyond any doubt that CO2 is the building block for all life on Earth and that without its presence in the global atmosphere at a sufficient concentration this would be a dead planet. Yet today our children and the public are taught that CO2 is a toxic pollutant that will destroy life and bring civilization to its knees.
    •Despite 1/3 of all our CO2 emissions being released during the past 18 years the UK Met Office contends there has been no statistically significant warming during this century.
    •We are witnessing the “Greening of the Earth” as higher levels of CO2, due to human emissions from the use of fossil fuels, promote increased growth of plants around the world. This has been confirmed by scientists with CSIRO in Australia, in Germany, and in North America.
    •During the past 150 million years there has not been enough addition of CO2 to the atmosphere to offset the gradual losses due to burial in sediments. One quadrillion tons of carbon, have been turned into stone by marine species.
    •The past 150 million years has seen a steady drawing down of CO2 from the atmosphere. If this trend continues CO2 will inevitably fall to levels that threaten the survival of plants, which require a minimum of 150 ppm to survive. If plants die all the animals, insects, and other invertebrates that depend on plants for their survival will also die.
    •If humans had not begun to unlock some of the carbon stored as fossil fuels, life on Earth would have soon been starved of this essential nutrient and would begin to die. James Lovelock (Gaia Theory) has seen the light and realized that humans may be part of Gaia’s plan. Rather than seeing humans as the enemies of Gaia, Lovelock now sees that we may be working with Gaia to “stave of another ice age”, or major glaciation.
    •You heard it here. “Human emissions of carbon dioxide have saved life on Earth from inevitable starvation and extinction due to lack of CO2”.

    When we have done our job Mother Earth will just wipe us out from the face of the earth.
    Tough love.

    • Stilgar Wilcox says:

      You do realize Y that is a climate change denial list. For example is says CO2 is claimed to be a toxic pollutant. Not true – show me where one climatologist said that?

      “there has been no statistically significant warming during this century.” But they don’t define what is considered significant and ignore warming so far, particularly in 2014, 2015 and this year so far. It’s also true that 95% of the warming from increased CO2 is going into the oceans. Some day that will start transferring into our weather and then it’s too late to stop.

      They also ignore the downward spiral of ice in the arctic and increasing methane emissions.

      These are ignorant people that simply peer through the looking glass with their own interpretations. I would ignore crap like this. But worse of all, it doesn’t matter if these people deny GW, it’s happening anyway. The world economy requires ever more energy as seen on the chart you put up yesterday that showed world oil production/consumption is still rising in spite of non-OECD declining, made up for by non-conventional sources. At this point arguing pro or con on GW misses the point – that point being it won’t make any difference even if the deniers join those with great concern.

      • Yoshua says:

        I don’t necessarily agree with every article I post here. I just thought that it was an interesting article with a different twist to co2 emissions.

        And I’m not sure if Gaya really likes Fukushima either.

      • Tim Groves says:

        What do you mean by “a climate change denial list”, Stilgar? It looks to me like a list of statements concerning CO2, each of which is either correct or incorrect on its own merits. When you describe it as “a climate change denial” list, what is you purpose? Are you saying such statements should be ignored because to seriously examine them would be to undermine the cause of “climate change affirmation”?

        It’s interesting that you say it’s “crap” and should be ignored, particularly because James Lovelock is mentioned as a supporter of Moore’s climate heresy. Lovelock is a hero of the environmental/green movement. He designed and perform the experiments that yielded the first useful data on the ubiquitous presence of CFCs in the atmosphere, devised the Gaia hypothesis, and went on to warn about the dangers of global warming before it was fashionable.

        He reach the summit of his global warming alarmism in 2005 and 6, when he was waxing as apocalyptic as any of the non-deniers commenting on this blog. The following is a sample of his warnings collected by Wikipedia.

        Writing in the British newspaper The Independent in January 2006, Lovelock argued that, as a result of global warming, “billions of us will die and the few breeding pairs of people that survive will be in the Arctic where the climate remains tolerable” by the end of the 21st century. He has been quoted in The Guardian that 80% of humans will perish by 2100 AD, and this climate change will last 100,000 years. According to James Lovelock, by 2040, the world population of more than six billion will have been culled by floods, drought and famine. Indeed, “[t]he people of Southern Europe, as well as South-East Asia, will be fighting their way into countries such as Canada, Australia and Britain”.

        “By 2040, parts of the Sahara desert will have moved into middle Europe. We are talking about Paris – as far north as Berlin. In Britain we will escape because of our oceanic position.”

        “If you take the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predictions, then by 2040 every summer in Europe will be as hot as it was in 2003 – between 110F and 120F. It is not the death of people that is the main problem, it is the fact that the plants can’t grow – there will be almost no food grown in Europe.”

        “We are about to take an evolutionary step and my hope is that the species will emerge stronger. It would be hubris to think humans as they now are God’s chosen race.”

        He further predicted, the average temperature in temperate regions would increase by as much as 8 °C and by up to 5 °C in the tropics, leaving much of the world’s land uninhabitable and unsuitable for farming, with northerly migrations and new cities created in the Arctic. He predicted much of Europe will have become uninhabitable having turned to desert and Britain will have become Europe’s “life-raft” due to its stable temperature caused by being surrounded by the ocean. He suggested that “we have to keep in mind the awesome pace of change and realise how little time is left to act, and then each community and nation must find the best use of the resources they have to sustain civilisation for as long as they can”.

        However, since 2012, Lovelock has backtracked on his rhetoric and recanted his previous alarmist views.

        In an April 2012 interview, aired on MSNBC, Lovelock stated that he had been “alarmist”, using the words “All right, I made a mistake,” about the timing of climate change and noted the documentary An Inconvenient Truth and the book The Weather Makers as examples of the same kind of alarmism. Lovelock still believes the climate to be warming although the rate of change is not as he once thought, he admitted that he had been “extrapolating too far.” He believes that climate change is still happening, but it will be felt farther in the future. Of the claims “the science is settled” on global warming he states:

        “One thing that being a scientist has taught me is that you can never be certain about anything. You never know the truth. You can only approach it and hope to get a bit nearer to it each time. You iterate towards the truth. You don’t know it.”

        He criticizes environmentalists for treating global warming like a religion.

        “It just so happens that the green religion is now taking over from the Christian religion,” Lovelock observed

        “I don’t think people have noticed that, but it’s got all the sort of terms that religions use … The greens use guilt. That just shows how religious greens are. You can’t win people round by saying they are guilty for putting (carbon dioxide) in the air.”

        “The problem is we don’t know what the climate is doing. We thought we knew 20 years ago. That led to some alarmist books – mine included – because it looked clear-cut, but it hasn’t happened;” he continues

        “The climate is doing its usual tricks. There’s nothing much really happening yet. We were supposed to be halfway toward a frying world now,” he said

        The world has not warmed up very much since the millennium. Twelve years is a reasonable time … it (the temperature) has stayed almost constant, whereas it should have been rising – carbon dioxide is rising, no question about that”, he added.

        In a follow up interview Lovelock stated his support for natural gas; he now favors fracking as a low-polluting alternative to coal. He opposes the concept of “sustainable development”, where modern economies might be powered by wind turbines, calling it meaningless drivel. He keeps a poster of a wind turbine to remind himself how much he detests them.

        Some will say that at 96 Lovelock is going senile, although these same people thought him a fine scientific mind at the age of 86 when was predicting that the only place people would be able to survive by the end of this century would be the arctic coast of Siberia. Personally, I think he’s as sound as ever, he’s discovered the merits of Dr. Hoffa’s mega vitamin regime, and that anyone who hung on his words back then has a duty to listen seriously to him now.

        I agree with you that in a very real sense it is not very important how the climate debate goes, but I also want to emphasize that it is probably not going to very important to most of us how the climate behaves either, as with the impending end of BAU we will have far more pressing concerns to deal with.

        • Tim Groves says:

          Sorry, by Dr. Hoffa, I meant the late Dr. Abram Hoffer—a man who apparently never met a supplement he didn’t like.

        • I think this is welcomed antidote to financial-fossil fuel instadoomers as well. Lets have mental time travel to peakoil “doomer” thinking and debates of early 2000s, we should have been in full blown apocalypse by now, did not happen.

          The Earth won’t stop spinning when people kick out the habit of individual cars, too much heated/cooled m3 per person, and other frivolous consumption patterns, different culture is ahead, yes, but not the end of the world or human race.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            No – of course it won’t stop spinning. It won’t even notice.

            However the spent fuel ponds will kill everything on it…

            Mars is spinning too….. as is the moon…. as are millions if not billions of other large pieces of lifeless rock in the universe…

            What’s one more?

        • Fast Eddy says:

          You need to love global warming — embrace it.

          Because so long as we are hitting new records in terms of how much fossil fuel we burn each year — that means all is well with the global economy

          You get to eat another day — you get to live — to live!!! TO LIVE!!!

          When you see stats that show fossil fuel burning is slowing —- I can imagine you will feel like opening a bottle of champagne to celebrate.

          But the toast should not be made to the end of fossil fuels and a brighter cleaner future…

          Rather it should to be to the end of a life (hopefully) well lived.

          I dread the day that we burn less fossil fuels than the year before …. that’s signals the beginning of:


          I think I will print and handout t-shirts : LUV AGW!

          • bandits101 says:

            I know the bottom line, I knew long before you did that the CO2 and climate war was lost. I just can’t stand it when the ignorant and vested interests deny reality and scientific fact.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              But don’t they have to deny it – and vociferously at that?

              Can you imagine if nobody pushed back against these fools who believe solar panel are the answer?

              We’d be covering the planet with these insane things — burning mega tonnes of coal to manufacture them — and the result would be ridiculously expensive electricity because we’d still need to run the fossil fuel plants when the sun isn’t shining.

              And this would collapse the global economy.

              I think I might sign up as an Climate Change Denier Troll…. these clowns who want us to stop burning fossil fuels need to be stopped… if someone will pay me to fire my machine gun into that crowd while screaming ‘DIE Koombayaists … die Green Brigade… hand me more ammo Mrs Fast… ice down the barrel’

              I am all for it.

          • Tim Groves says:

            I have “known” since the 1970s that modern industrial society was doomed thanks to the Club of Rome’s excellent research. It’s all in there if you know where to look.

            I remember bunking off school and watching an Open University programme on BBC 2 in which they interviewed the still youngish looking Paul Ehrlich, who in response to a question about how bad the future would be, told the interviewer: “I have a daughter aged seventeen. I doubt if she’ll see thirty-five.” I think that interview was given in the early seventies, although I am unable to confirm it. Fortunately, both Paul and Lisa Marie are still with us.

            Bandits, you have correctly ascertained that humanity is probably heading for catastrophe in the very near future. You claim to have known this long ago. And yet you “just can’t stand it” when other people question your version of reality. So your real problem isn’t CO2 or climate, or even the impending end of BAU. Your problems are poor anger management and lack of maturity, period. Not being able to stand it is the No.1 excuse offered by people who indulge in emotional outbursts and lash out at others. The world is awash with people who abuse others and inflict everything from micro-aggressions to mass murder on their fellow humans while wallowing in sentimentality and self-pity. And all because they can’t hang onto their emotions.

            I know you won’t listen to me, but perhaps you’ll take it from Uncle Lou? Her wrote this for people just like you.


            • Fast Eddy says:

              Mr Bandits: “just can’t stand it” Interesting phrase — can’t stand what?

              The realization that we are all going to die — kind of like screaming a hurricane ‘I can’t stand you’ that is wrecking your house?

              Of ‘can’t stand it’ as in we as a species (or at least our leaders) made a conscious decision to deliver us to the cusp of extinction when other options were available?

              If the latter please outline the other options.

        • Tim Groves says:

          Bandits, you are behaving like an abusive troll and making a pathetic spectacle of yourself. That’s your prerogative, but it won’t make you any friends or influence anyone in your favor.

          My previous detailed reply to you got stranded in moderation, but the gist is that when it comes to facts about the world, I can debate, discuss, consider, explore, examine, suppose and argue until the cows come home. You want to discuss changes in atmospheric CO2 and its effects on the climate, I’m up for it. But not if all you want to do is lay down dogma, crush all dissent and disparage anyone who has a contrary opinion. I’ve had it with trying to argue with drama queens. The time till the end of BAU is far too short.

        • Tim Groves says:

          Ok Bandits, you say: “I did not claim to have known we were heading for disaster long ago, I claimed that I understood that the climate and CO2 war was lost long ago.”

          And your point is? You don’t think losing the “climate and CO2 war” equates to heading for disaster? If so, what are you worried about?

          Yes I’m angry that individuals and groups such as yourself dominated all that is good about humanity.

          You make me sound like I am one of the Elders. I can assure you I’m not a member of the CFR, the Bilderberg Group, the Bohemian Grove, or even the Rotary Club. Nor am I a reptilian shape-shifter. As for dominating all that’s good about humanity, I’m not into bondage and I am regularly accused of not being strict enough with my dog.

          No, it’s not me or my behavior (actual or imagined) that makes you angry, It’s you. You do it to yourself. You’ve fantasized a totally fictitious narrative about how people like me are doing terrible things and then using this narrative as an excuse for a temper tantrum. Perhaps you enjoy the adrenaline rush, I don’t know. But it’s about time you started growing up and taking responsibility for your own emotions as well as your own speech. And if you really are so pissed off about all the CO2 you think we are “polluting” the atmosphere with, isn’t it about time you personally opted out fossil fuel use. After all, all CO2 molecules are equal in terms of their “heat trapping” capabilities, so your emissions contribute to the total PPM number just as much as anyone else’s do.

          My biggest problems in communicating with you are that, (a) you lack comprehension skills or else you can’t be bothered to concentrate on what you’re reading, which means you don’t understand clearly what other people are saying, (b) you lack sincerity, being unable even to stand by your own statements from one comment to the next without twisting or inverting them, (c) you are immersed in a “reality” consisting of black and white, cartoon goodies and baddies, oppressors and victims, liars and truth-tellers, and the real world is nothing like that, and (d) you are not in control of your own emotions to the extent that you can talk politely to people who don’t share your views, which makes you act offensively and abusively.

          Fix that lot, and I’m sure you’ll be a lot more pleasant to talk to.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          All that is good about humanity?

          As a nihilist I do not believe in good and evil…

          But by the definition of good that is used by people who are not as enlightened as I am on such matters …. I don’t really see much good in humans…

          We systemically torture billions of animals – we engage in the mass murdering each other — of course we enslave each other… the basis of our system is pillage and murder …. big time… and living off the spoils of those who do the pillaging and murdering for us (i.e. our armies paid for by our tax dollars)

          Yes I know that some people toss a few coins in the Unicef box at the check out — and they consider themselves as fundamentally good — but they fail to recognize that they are tossing coins in that box to help the people that we have destroyed so that we get to shop in mega stores — and they eat boiled rat meat….. and a sack of Unicef rice if they are lucky

          Is a lion evil because it killed at ate a young child that wandered into it’s enclosure at the zoo?

        • obnoxious says:

          Fast Eddy,

          In your carbon belching consumerism, you know it, you can hear him. He is moving inside of you screaming to get out. Yes, I am speaking of your Übermensch, the rejector of Nihilism.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            Actually no … I hear nothing. We are like bacteria in a cup … and a handful of sugar is thrown in … our sugar is oil…. we react as expected…

            To embrace nihilism is to live without frustration … my motto is ‘it is what it is’

        • Tim Groves says:

          You two are in luck. There’s a webpage especially for you. I’d join you if only I could find away to break that goody-goody programming the nuns installed in me.


          • Fast Eddy says:

            “Humanity is not much an achievement; it is likely we will self-destruct”

            We are in the process of self-extinction … which was guaranteed from the moment we harnessed fire.

            • Stefeun says:

              Even worse, FE:
              Not “we”, rather Erectus harnessed fire,
              1.5 million years before Sapiens appeared.

        • obnoxious says:

          And yet you are here, and at Wolfstreet posting, and possibly numerous other blogs. Trying to prove and debate a point that in the end is futile.

          Oh yes, indeed, if you listen carefully he is, in there somewhere, crying to get out of the suffocating carbon monoxide clouds you spout pretending to do your virtues for the Beast.

        • OP says:

          Fast Eddy, et al. is the worst kind to engage in an intellectual discussion, he sits on an arbitrary sliding scale. First it’s the farming that is the root of all evil, then suddenly the goalpost gets moved a million years to harnessing fire. What is next, the formation of the solar system? The universe itself?

          I think the problem, generally, is due to the fact many people use words and with them build sentences they not quite comprehend mentally. Simply much literature consumption and too little reflection of the true nature of things and scientific inquiry of cause, effect and logic.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            Are you accusing me of flip-flopping?

            Actually I am consistent — if you refer to my PHD thesis carried out at MIT in 2014 you will see that my position is and has been for some years now that the human species is an aberration — a freak show …

            In fact if you google Freak Show Theory you can call up the entire paper…. no paywall.

            Essentially what I argue is that the human species developed a freakishly large brain which allowed us to manipulate the environment — so instead of expanding and dying off as resources became limited (like other species)… we instead used our big brains to obtain more resources….

            This culminated in the discovery of fossil fuels — which lead to the Great Grandmother of all population overshoots — the Green Revolution — and spent fuel ponds…

            Which of course will culminate in our extinction as a result of a Combo Meal of starvation – violence — and radiation poisoning.

            One can identify literally thousands of milestones along the way to this extinction event — fire, farming, green revolution, spent fuel ponds, Facebook, Dancing with Stars….. doing so does not imply inconsistency … I fail to understand the accusation.

            Read more on http://www.FastEddyPeeHDee.com

          • Stefeun says:

            There’s no real discussion, that was just a precision.
            (I like to say we’re but mere by-products of combustion ;-))
            And I can’t see anything wrong in highlighting a couple of milestones (fire, ag., …) along our way to nothingness.

          • Tim Groves says:

            Fast Eddy, et al. is the worst kind to engage in an intellectual discussion, he sits on an arbitrary sliding scale. First it’s the farming that is the root of all evil, then suddenly the goalpost gets moved a million years to harnessing fire. What is next, the formation of the solar system? The universe itself?

            FE is an excellent intellectual foil against which to practice arguments if you have any you want to test. These days, I find very few people who do want to engage. Most of the Koombaya crowd, for instance, are merely seeking affirmation of views they’ve expressed, which are usually not even theirs but something somebody else articulated that they’ve swallowed whole so that their views hold them and not the other way around. Disagree with their views and before you know it you have caused offense, wounded their self-esteem, and committed a microagression. And off they go into a hissy fit.

            Disagree with Eddy and it’s water off a duck’s back to him. He may well adjust his sliding scale, but even then you get the benefit of being able to see your argument viewed from a new angle in a new light.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              My greatest pleasure comes when someone convinces me to change my mind on an issue — as has happened plenty of times on FW…. it is the path to true enlightenment….

        • Tim Groves says:

          Essentially what I argue is that the human species developed a freakishly large brain which allowed us to manipulate the environment — so instead of expanding and dying off as resources became limited (like other species)… we instead used our big brains to obtain more resources….

          That sounds very reasonable. I’ll take a look at your paper. Your ideas seem to resonate with some of those expressed by Arthur Koestler in The Ghost in the Machine (“Could the human species be a gigantic evolutionary mistake?”) and they remind me of a certain Kurt Vonnegut character who any time he screwed up really bad, would say to himself, “Thanks big brain!”

          • Fast Eddy says:

            What’s the Vonnegut novel where humans devolved into worms – Galapagos I think … if we could just keep BAU going a decade or so more he could be designated the heir to Nostradamus


            • Tim Groves says:

              It’s a long time since I read it, but if i remember correctly, in Galapagos, the few surviving humans had only one modest spring of fresh water to keep them going, which limited the population, so they kept their numbers small, evolution shrunk their brains down to a more appropriate size, and they lived happily ever after. But don’t quote me on that.

        • Tim Groves says:

          I like to say we’re but mere by-products of combustion 😉

          And it seems to me that we lived our lives like a candle in the wind…..

    • el mar says:

      Save the world:


      el mar

    • Fast Eddy says:

      Just like those beetles that live inside a piece of cow dung…. we too are fulfilling our purpose….


    • Tim Groves says:

      I think we should all celebrate this wonderful news with a Roundup cocktail. After you, Patrick.


  2. Christian says:

    The most topical song:

  3. Kanghi says:

    Interesting article about the rush to Arctic, including the russian so far supressed hopes of opening new fields. 95$ per barrel to brake it even for some of the proposed behemots.


    • Yoshua says:

      From the article


      Arctic oil is expensive to produce. Its break-even price—the price required to cover the cost of production—is exceeded only by that of oil sands, such as those in Canada, which require large amounts of energy to separate oil from sand.

      Break-even price of known but undeveloped oil reservoirs

      Per barrel, October 2015
      The price of oil in December 2015 was $37 per barrel.

      Oil sands


      Shale oil, North America

      Extra-heavy oil

      Onshore, Russia



      Offshore shelf

      Onshore, rest of the world

      Onshore, Middle East

      • Well, there have been “official” quotes half or third of such price listed above, who knows. But obviously, it’s about getting closer to end frontier if not scraping the bottom barrel now, as in the article for example the Russians have to venture to perfamforst Yamal peninsula, thousands km from other infrastructure, building -60C ready new railroads, new pipelines, new pressure station networks all at dozens of billions of real money and effort and not that much output or reserve replacement in return..they had to lower taxation on the projects too, easing the pain within the subcontractor chain apparently

        • Governments always expect to take very substantial taxes with respect to oil. I can’t believe that these numbers include government taxes.

      • Stilgar Wilcox says:

        Those break even price points tell us one thing for certain; onshore is cheaper. However, the onshore left to develop are mostly too small and far between to be profitable, leaving the bottom of the barrel to be scraped at a net energy loss. The giant oil fields already discovered and being tapped into are what modern civilization runs on and there is enough of it for now to allow pursuit to some extent junk like tar sands, arctic and fracking.

        If people are fist fighting in fenced rings, addicted to street and pharm drugs en masse, there’s widespread entrenched political corruption to steal from the people as much money as possible, denial about GW, regularly scamming & shooting each other while scraping the bottom of the oil barrel, it’s a sign the oil age is waning.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          With regards to break-even….

          I see two versions:

          1. That is the break-even at the well head — it ignores capital costs to find and drill the well and focuses only on the actual costs to extract — power to the pump – spare parts – labour.. maintenance etc…

          This is generally the break even costs the MSM quotes.

          It is like saying the break even for an iphone would be the sum total of the cost of parts and labour.

          They do this to make people feel better … because if people saw that the true break even was $120 — and oil was at 30 or 50 or even 80…. they would spook…. even an idiot captured by cognitive dissonance would understand that oil at 50 will end badly….

          2. Then there is the break even cost that factors in exploration, R&D, royalties, labour, parts, dividends, taxes etc….. i.e this is the REAL break even cost.

          With regards to the arctic I assume they are referring to 1. If that is the case then the real break even costs are astronomically higher — probably at least 200 per barrel.

          If that is the case I doubt we will see a single barrel of oil out of the arctic … because if the well head costs are that high it means the energy to get that oil out must be very close if not more than the energy realized from getting each barrel out.

          The oil beneath the arctic — will stay beneath the arctic — forever

          • ?

            In that firstly linked NATGEO article they clearly show running arctic oil and gas operation in Norway and Russia, so it already exists. Besides, stated reserve growth/replacement for them, so it is reality, especially for natgas. I linked the map of arctic Russia, it’s already there and the drilling and support infrastructure is growing..

            Or perhaps you meant it as the arctic oil is in effect not net energy balance contribution but subsidized by legacy onshore fields production? That is sort of agreeable notion for oil but not for natgas, which the remainder is predominantly Arctic based and already flows onto int markets..

    • Yoshua says:

      Gazprom confirms low profitability of gas exports


    • xabier says:

      Excellent, FE! So tempting to send that to my younger siblings…….. But it would be too cruel!

  4. Tim Groves says:

    Always thinking ahead, the Japanese government has recognized the need to think about recycling solar panels once they’ve outlived their usefulness for their owners. Officials have forecast that over 700,000 tons of the stuff will be generated annually by 2040, and they think there are better ways of dealing with it that dumping it in landfill.


    • Artleads says:

      Thanks for this article. Good to see that there’s a BAU Smarter way todo this:

      “Solar panels contain such metals as lead, copper, silver and tin. Therefore, the ministry has provided guidelines to waste-disposal companies indicating that recycling is more profitable than disposing in landfill sites.

      A ministry official said: ‘We have received an increasing number of inquiries from people in the recycling industry who see the situation as a business opportunity. By utilizing the guidelines, we hope to establish proper routes for disposal.’”

      I wonder if when our solar panels are nearing the end there could be a BAU way to replace them with those removed panels that have another, say, ten years to go. Like buying second hand clothes.

    • The recycling process sounds expensive to me. Besides the steps mentioned, it will be necessary to build the recycling plant, and then bring the panels needing recycling to it. Some of them would presumably be single defective panels, rather than a large assembly that will be reused. The energy cost and human cost of this arrangement will be much higher than just dumping them. My guess is that just dumping them is what will happen.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Or they could ship them to my breeding operation here in NZ…. we just glue a little wool onto those panels and some lipstick and my stud rams will make good use of them… if they still don’t look so good I throw a bit of whiskey into the ram’s feed and they tend to lower their standards to just about anything with wool involved….


      • DM says:

        If they are used for anything at all after they expire some ~20 years in the future, it is probably as a building materials for shacks or as repair materials for their generally quite crappy housing quality.

      • Artleads says:

        I see. DM’s idea for building might be a little better…although making these materials safe is probably as daunting as you say.

        • Stefeun says:

          Also, in order to be recycled efficiently, or even repaired, a device must have been designed from scratch in this purpose. Another possibility is when the discarded device can be used straight ahead as an input for a different production.
          I doubt this is the case with PV panels, don’t know if even possible because of materials and mixes involved.
          Moreover, cheap stuff is generally of the use-and-throw-away type. We tend to forget we have no longer any “away” where to throw our scrap.
          Maybe, Artleads, time for you to start to imagine structures made out of inert PV-panels..?

        • Tim Groves says:

          Thinking outside the box and attempting to kill several birds with one stone, old solar panels are mostly glass, so theoretically they could be ground up, mixed with spent nuclear fuel and re-vitrified, then encased in lead-lined containers to provide always-ON too-cheap-to-meter power for underfloor, bathtub or swimming pool heating, winter heating for greenhouses, etc.

          I know this sounds crazy, but with enough government subsidies thrown at it, somebody’s bound to try it.

          Another possible use of retired solar panels that are still capable of producing electricity will be to help power the Chuo Shinkansen—Japan’s new maglev line now under construction and planned to eventually connect Tokyo with Nagoya and Osaka at ridiculously high speed. Sadly, the line will mostly run in tunnels, but imagine if it could be made into a surface line with a roof measuring 500 km long x 10m wide? That’s 5 million square meters of potential sunshine collection space,


          Seriously, there has been a major push to expand photovoltaic power in Japan following the Fukushima meltdowns and the subsequent off-lining of the nations’s 50-odd nuclear power reactors. The panels are now springing up not only on the roofs of houses, office buildings factories, but also on mountain ridges and land formerly occupied by rice paddies, parking lots, grass verges, etc. For many individuals and companies, solar is seen as an investment opportunity. They calculate the cost of installation minus government subsidies and the expected return on the sale of electricity at guaranteed rates to power utilities, and they are anticipating a return on their capital in say seven to ten years, followed by many subsequent years of pure profit. I doubt that many of them are giving a second thought to the costs of disposal that will need to be borne by somebody down the road.

          • obnoxious says:

            When the Jap gov’t are to to blow some newly minted debt on a techno-charity jobs program these days, at least they have the decency of building something cool.

            I had the pleasure to take a trip with Shinkansen a some time ago. Smooth, fast, clean, on time, comfortable and convenient. Taking a flight seem a bit – you know.. a bit.. sh1t in direct comparison.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            I am having trouble getting my rams to mount the panels in my Hybrid Experiment.

            Perhaps I need to change tack ….

            I could take these old panels and grind them up into a powder…. then make a slurry,,, and artificially inseminate the ewes.

            I will contact the NZ government tomorrow and see if they might be willing to finance this.

            If not I will crowd fund — I hear the Koombaya Krowd is very supportive… particularly those really wealthy ones who got their neighbours to pay most of the cost of their new Teslas.

        • Artleads says:

          I know so little about this–quite far over my head. I’m building (painfully slowly) with discarded cardboard boxes, a sort of strawbale from IC detritus.

          But in considering reuse of solar panels, I’d start here:

          “The energy cost and human cost of this arrangement will be much higher than just dumping them. My guess is that just dumping them is what will happen.” A sober do-nothing approach always appeals to me.

          In my boxes, I stuff wrapping and packaging materials, all the stuff that fill up landfills. So it’s similar in principle to grinding up glass and mixing it with nuclear waste. But I don’t use energy other than my own.

          • Tim Groves says:

            “The energy cost and human cost of this arrangement will be much higher than just dumping them. My guess is that just dumping them is what will happen.”

            I suspect you are right in the first instance. But never underestimate the power of organized bureaucracy to create totally inefficient and illogical systems. For instance, where I live, for instance, it is illegal for demolition contractors to burn the old timber they recover from demolished houses or to dump it in the woods. The correct procedure is to send it to a landfill and pay the disposal cost. Contractors are not even supposed to give this wood away to third parties to burn as firewood – unless they the contractors first cut it up into firewood-sized pieces. At least, that’s what I heard from a man who works for a building company.

            Artleads, are your “strawbale” materials flame- and fire-retardant? Have you tested them?

            • obnoxious says:

              You see, the government bureaucrats need something important to do. I think it is called a jobs program.

              Expect these to become more frequent as the private sector downsizes the deadbeats.

            • Artleads says:

              I’ve checked with a builder or two about some of what I do. They generally approve, but no rigorous tests have occurred. My original push was to create little paper-pulp orbs insulation that are too tight and dense to burn. (But relying only on these would require a little industry by itself. ) It’s easier to cut up beverage materials and other packaging–just about anything, and pack the boxes tight. Beyond that, ensuring that there are no loose peeling edges to the exterior is mandatory. Then, finally, water proofing and fire retardance (word) would tend to go hand in hand.

            • Artleads says:

              Where I worked in CA, it was legal to “deconstruct” buildings to be demolished. The owner could allow someone to salvage and tear down the entire structure, then selling all the posts, beams, doors, windows on and on. Not sure of the legal details, but it was MOL a way for the builder to reduce or avoid demolition and landfill costs. And the environmental and energy benefits are obvious. I believe this is widely done (if nowhere enough) across the industrial world.

  5. psile says:

    Land Grabs Soar, Worsening Land Conflicts and Climate Change

    Industrial agriculture and financial sectors are hand-in-hand worsening climate change and then profiting from it, with an unprecedented number of land grabs over the last eight years, according to a report released Tuesday.

    The campaign group GRAIN explained that land grabs are heightening food insecurity, entrenching corporate agriculture schemes, and increasing and intensifying land conflicts.

    The wave of global land grabs borne out of the 2008 food and financial crises has now reached tsunami proportions, as GRAIN’s research shows that the number of land grab initiatives has ballooned from 100 in 2008 to 491 in 2016, spanning 78 countries across the globe with large concentrations in Africa, and to a lesser extent in Latin America, East Asia and the Pacific.

    And climate change is compounding the situation.

    “We now have even more evidence that climate change is caused not just by burning coal and oil for transport and energy, but by the industrial food system itself and the corporate quest for profits that drives its expansion,” the report states. “Indeed, climate change and land grabs are inextricably linked.”…TBC…

    Because we are so deep into overshoot and our footprint is so gargantuan, even reversing consumption, let alone standing still, will still end in our demise. As it is, we know that this is impossible, given the biological impulses behind them, and so the death march of “progress”, fuelled by fossil fuels and faux-energy credit (money-printing) will continue, until it can’t…and so the end, collapse and die-off, will be swift, profound and resounding.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      We have a comprehensive plan for our own extinction in place now ….

      We will smash ourselves with starvation, climate change, fuel ponds, violence, disease….. crush ourselves into the pavement … making sure not a single one of us vermin survive…


    • Stilgar Wilcox says:

      It’s like I’ve commented before, our species has it’s foot all the way down on the accelerator. There is no sense of slowing down, because if any resource is not taken to the full extent of what is possible, some person, a corporation or a country comes along to fill the gap to exploit that resource to the full extent possible. It’s a greed grab on a global scale. Unfortunately there is no overriding moderator based on common sense. Our footprint is like a runaway train on a set of tracks leading to a brick wall. When things come unglued the last greed grab will be for what’s left on the shelves.

      • Rodster says:

        “because if any resource is not taken to the full extent of what is possible, some person, a corporation”

        Nestle’s Food Corp is a prime example of that. One of the biggest profit makers for the company is seizing and buying up water rights from local communities, taking their water and reselling it for obscene profits. Most recently a small town in Pennsylvania fought Nestle’s and won.

    • Stefeun says:

      Thanks for this post. Makes me think of it as another form of Corporate Fascism, very similar to that described by Steve Ludlum in his latest post which is mostly about IG Farben.
      “All the Answers are Wrong”

      In first half of the 20th century, steel was the key commodity, i.e. allowing to control all the rest of the economy, more or less.
      Today it looks like this key-commodity is, or will soon become, the productive land, for food (crops and other products for the food industry) and other branches (biofuels, cosmetics/pharma, textiles, …).
      And don’t forget access to water…

      • psile says:

        The problem with us humans is that we are either unable to, or unwilling to see, how deep a motherf#cking hole we’ve dug for ourselves.

        • Stefeun says:

          Each of us (or family/community/business/nation) is hoping that the toxic dust we’re moving individually will settle onto other’s heads, and later; so that we can take short-term advantages for ourselves, and don’t care about damages. And it works, until some global limit is reached.

          Unfortunately, in a finite world we all end up surrounded by toxic dusts (from others, of course; better for scapegoating).

          • xabier says:


            Very true.

            Before we blame corporations, the fact is that most peasant farmers were at this game in all those long ages before industrialisation: do what you want to your land and ignore what it means for your neighbour; steal his land if you can by moving boundaries, and fell his trees, whatever you can get away with.

            And maybe a well-timed accusation of heresy or witchcraft so you can get the land cheap when they are fined, imprisoned or executed……

            • Artleads says:

              It would be weird to conclude that these are the best of times for humans. We’ve killed off nearly every other life form to our “benefit.” But with our own extinction looming, there could be a silver lining in here somewhere (for how we treat each other). “Too late,” says the little voice in my head. But the voice is not entirely in charge.

          • I know I have read at least one account that claimed that ownership of the commons by the group has helped to solve this problem, in the past. Right now, we have different people and groups owning separate plots of land. If the arrangement is that the local government owns the land, and assigns temporary farming or grazing areas to citizens, it has a motivation to keep the commons up as well as it can–there is still a problem with loss of top soil from cultivating land, admittedly. It is the separate plots that lead to ignoring the common good.

      • I agree with you about land and water being key commodities. But it is very hard to produce food without steel for tools. The amount of food that could be produced really increased when horses could pull steel plows. Digging with a stick is in no way similar. We will depend on our existing tools, for as long as they last.

        • Stefeun says:

          Yes of course, Gail,
          But -at least for a while- there’s an overproduction of steel, while we’re running out of land & water.
          I assume investors are expecting stronger returns on the latters.

    • It seems to me that the data I have seen shows that quite a bit of this land grab is for growing biofuels. Even if it isn’t directly, the fact that the US is using something like 40% of its corn to make ethanol pushes out other production that could take place if biofuels weren’t being grown. It is sad when biofuel production is part of what drives taking over farmland around the world.

      • Yep, the drive for “efficiency” is crazy, ethanol production – maize scrap mix is exported from Brazil to western Europe as dairy cow fodder, because it’s almost 50% cheaper (and no work) than local hay..

      • psile says:

        It’s a sad, sad game. But it must be played out until the end. Our genetic impulses direct it. After all, 20 million extinct species can’t be wrong!Who are we to bet against mother nature?


  6. Creedon says:

    I think that this is a more realistic view of the future, http://macro-ops.com/the-4-horsemen-of-the-global-deleveraging-apocalypse-part-ii-a-neutrino-debt-bomb/ Expect the dollar to increase in value over the next year.

    • We discussed it before here.

      The problem with the above linked approach is that it might turn out very differently this time. Their emphasis put on intersection of short and long term cyclic view is more or less correct, the short term panic retreat to USD and bonds by large faction of the global speculative capital pool is also correct and visible, but here is the difference today.. Simply, another large part of global capital is NOT on automatic clockwork course to pour money into the US functioning as the global reserve host entity again, for many reasons, be it of geostrategic nature in case gov/swf linked investors (China, Russia, Gulf, .. ) and or based on basic observation the US has been on borrowed life support (the dual role/nature of USD as in domestic and international function) for too long already, and they are not going gamble this time on this old crazy mule anymore..

      The resolution of this particular historic deleveraging is that the current level of global debt denominated in USD at roughly 63% level is not going to jump start again, but stumble sideways at best and more likely drop lower to some ~40-50% figure within next decade or two. That’s basically classic manifestation of very late stage in transition time in global reserve system, we have had similar developments numerous times since the late medieval period (Italy, Portugal, Spain, France, UK, US,) in which other factors like global hot war could stretch-shorten the timelines both ways and it is highly unpredictable in y/y details.

      What they have not discussed fully yet in their article, but sort of mentioned in passing is this concept of globally coordinated currency devaluations, and this has indeed high probability for the near/mid term, because in seesaw pattern the biggest debtors can chop off %% of debt exposure easily. That of course needs global coordination, we are not there yet, but in 1-2yrs as China and others took higher share in WorldBank and other institutions, the propensity to act on forcing such “solutions” only increases.

  7. Vince the Prince says:

    Tonight on Public TVee had a alarming NOVA segment

    NOVA: Cyberwar Threat – Science/Technology

    The global cyberwar is heating up and the stakes are no longer limited to the virtual world of computers. Now, thanks in part to secret documents released by Edward Snowden, the true scale of the National Security Agency’s scope and power is coming to light. Besides spending billions of dollars to ingest and analyze the worlds’ electronic communications, the NSA has set out to dominate a new battlefield—cyberspace. NOVA examines the science and technology behind cyber warfare and asks if we are already in the midst of a deadly new arms race

    Another worry to add to the pile of DOOM

    • Stilgar Wilcox says:

      Have our DVR set to record all Nova episodes and will make sure to watch that one.

  8. Christian says:

    Good graph Yoshua

    So, to sum up the nuclear issue in the us, the military asked 2 bn spending to secure civil facilities. I bet they have a good project that can be developed in a few months. Nevertheless, Obama responded with this, which doesn’t look like a rapid response:


    Peter Singer is also advocating emp protection:


    Why don’t he put the money himself? This is perhaps suggested in this paper


    Singer recently got 2,5 bn from Argentina… So, I hope the US will at least allow us to make them this gift

    • Christian says:

      The military could make appear a letter in Obama’s daughters pocket, saying something like this: “It would be nasty that mom and dad cant see you anymore. Why don’t you tell him to take care of emp?”

  9. Rodster says:

    The following has the Fast Eddy “Seal Of Approval” 😀

    Navy SEAL Reveals How To Survive The Coming Collapse 1hr 20 min video, the tl;dr version, skip to the (10 minute mark)

  10. Stilgar Wilcox says:

    Here’s a calculation of how many gallons of oil is used worldwide per minute, then per second. This breaks down the numbers to mentally visualize the size of an oil filled small river flowing by 24 hours a day, every day.

    95 million barrels X 42 gallons (rounded off) = 4 billion gallons a day world consumption
    24 hours X 60 minutes = 1440 minutes a day
    4 billion divided by 1440 = 2,777,777 gallons a minute
    2,777,777 divided by 60 seconds = 46,296 gallons a second

    • So, in addition to the cubic mile of oil, that’s another powerful visualizer, so is it really ~663,000 liters per sec, that would be in practice comparable and contrasting to for example:

      “The Nile’s average flow of water is 818,933 gallons (3.1 million liters) per second.”
      “Danube – at the delta head, its flow averages 1,550,000 gallons per second”
      “The Thames flow rate is 260,000 litres per second”

      We are fuuugked, no wonder they have to wheel chair in papa of the petrodollar Mr. Kissinger for his advice in Dresden these day for the Bilderberger conference, lolz.

    • Great Game - Well Played says:

      This is the way consumption will be reduced:

  11. Yoshua says:

    We are still on this massive plateau of conventional oil. We have been on this plateau for a decade now.


    According to this article about giant oil fields “Of that original 4,674,021 MMBOE 1,479,623 MMBOE or 31.66% of the original ultimate recoverable oil, gas and condensate remain.”


    • Is it plausible that crossing such 40.0mmbpd “psychological” threshold for non OPEC conventional, would instigate some sense of overall panic? This could be ~3yrs away or way more into the future..

      • Yoshua says:

        Looks as if will take place “way more into the future” -3,5yrs ? The decline rate seems to be 2 percent per year. There could also be a sudden collapse due to advanced depletion of non OPEC reserves.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      That is a very cool graph

  12. Kanghi says:

    Seems like the fracksters need now to prove they got some REAL mammonth in pastures for butchering, before they are getting the turnips in advance…


    ““Reserves make up a large share of the value of these companies, so it really matters,” said David Woodcock, a partner at Jones Day in Dallas who served as the SEC regional director in Fort Worth, Texas, from 2011 to 2015. “They’re looking even more closely at how companies are booking reserves, how they’re evaluating the quality of those reserves and what their intentions really are. They’re not accepting pat answers.”

    Drillers face pressure to keep reserves growing. For many, the size of their credit line is tied to the measure. Investors want to see that a company can replace the oil and gas that’s been pumped from the ground and sold.
    Find More

    There are two ways to increase reserves: buy more or find more. Fracking made it easier to do the latter, and the industry lobbied the SEC to count more undeveloped acreage as proved reserves, arguing that shale prospects are predictable across wide expanses.

    The SEC agreed, with two key limits. First, the wells must be profitable to drill at a price set by an SEC formula. The companies got a temporary reprieve for 2014 because the SEC number was about $95 a barrel even though crude had plummeted to less than $50 by the time results were reported in early 2015.

    That advantage has disappeared. When companies reported their 2015 reserves this year, the SEC price was about $50. Wells that vanished this year may return if prices rise.

    The SEC also requires that undeveloped wells be drilled within five years of being added to a company’s books. The five-year plan can’t just be wishful thinking. “The mere intent to develop, without more, does not constitute ‘adoption’ of a development plan,” the SEC explained in 2009.

    Despite those limitations, reserves surged 67 percent in the five years after the 2009 rule change, according to 53 companies that have records going back that far. Almost half the gains came from wells that existed only on paper.”

  13. DM says:

    Anyone care to guess where these Chinese infrastructure “investments” will end up?
    Not on any significant infrastructure projects, that’s for sure.
    My guess among others is a few more villa-enhancement elevators to show off the riches to the neighbors?


    • As the mainland is increasingly saturated, they will (as they do as we speak) drop the money on their immediate neighborhood ring to the west (“Silk Road”) and also infrastructure projects in Africa and S. America, I guess they are already building biggest hydro somewhere in the equatorial Africa, ..

      In terms of China proper, they plan to sink Trillions on “less polluted air and water” by phasing out coal and building up more nuclear, ccgt natgas and so on..

      That might keep them busy, at least that’s seems to be the plan..

      • Christian says:

        Right. They are to build two dams in Argentina. Macri said he was to cancel the projects (inherited from the previous administration) but China insisted they want to finance them

  14. The Brexit debate, PM Cameron vs. UKIP’s Farage..
    Now, it is clearly visible the audience has been coached, pre-selected with the proper bias, and what have you, but even after all the efforts the utmost idiocy of “the stay camp” is just beyond appalling. I know it’s a TV thing, but it’s sad the world indeed consists of such “human material”..

  15. Fast Eddy says:

    Wow! http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-06-16/sun-hung-kai-offers-120-mortgages-to-lure-hong-kong-homebuyers

    It must be really bad… I have never seen such a scheme …. who in their right mind would sign on the dotted line for this????

    Hmmm… maybe I should — get meself a nice pimped out pad and a wad of cash to buy some nice wheels… interest rates are under 2%….

    After all —- it’s not like I’ll have to pay it back 🙂

  16. Stilgar Wilcox says:

    What the heck is going on? – this is a test because I can’t get anything to post.

    • Stilgar Wilcox says:

      So the stupid test worked but not the long post?! Maybe it is time to shut this world economy down and retool like Kramer does with his Merv Griffin set.

  17. Chaff says:

    We are all living in BAU.

  18. DM says:

    It is marvelous, breathtaking productivity and energy efficiency. How many of these would be sufficient to feed the entire population I use to wonder:


    And as for the future, Humans Need Not Apply:


    Let us all watch in awe as the CB of burns the retro boosters until flameout, while a lighter, more nimble future takes off into orbit:

    • Yes, there have been several TV docus on the topic of milk overproduction in the German speaking media recently. Basically, the situation today is beyond crazy, when single family + several EURmillions investment/debt for infrastructure incl. robotics can easily handle ~1000 head cow milking operation, yet they are loosing money each day, because of the oversupplied global market and “efficiency” gained all over. On the other side are swarms of bankrupting small and middle sized family enterprises. The only ones who prosper are the niche markets of 3-5x more expensive with “100% bio natural” products and or the tiny minority of super talented farmers-business operators, who run 3x careers at once from the same establishment (farm, hotel, biogas station/gov subsidy, ski resort, ..)


      • DM says:

        Not very surprising if cheap money is available and at the same time the EU dairy industry gets deregulated due to strong demand from Asia.

        It is like 10.000 farmers collectively decide to blow a few million euros each on quadrupling production. It does not exactly take a genius to figure out the consequences regarding supply with the insanely productive technologies and cheap energy currently available?

        Have a look at DeLaval’s robotic milking marvel:

        Oops, aaand predictably we have a glut. Time for some sobbing stories on the telly as the debt slaves go belly up.

        • Right, as seen in on of those .de/.at TV docus the farmer mentioned the entry level DeLaval milking robot costs roughly EUR200K, the pricetag on a new stall building for <1000 dairy cows is ~ 2/3 EUR1M and that's likely excluding some equipment costs, and so on. One interesting tidbit was said in the milk factory, that to export milk to China on returning empty merchandise containers is cheaper than to send it via European highway per single truck like e.g. relatively short distance from southern Germany to Rome, Italy..

          With regard to "sobbing stories", these TV docus were good enough in the sense you can connect the dots on the presented material. This is not the first time in history, small scale enterprises are being swept away as the larger ones supported by even bigger debt loads are propped up.. It can be inferred from the material, that the difference between large producers barely keeping afloat and bankruptcy declaring of the smaller ones could be as tiny as ~5eurocents per liter of milk produced.

          Another issue is the whole pyramidal push of ever higher production output, where the most "efficient" dairy cows are fed almost exclusively by industrial granule mixes and won't likely survive at all in case of being put back on pasture diet, their digestion and immune system won't take it. So if the overall system goes down for whatever reason, there would be decades deficit of breeding back the necessary numbers of sort of normal genetic stock.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Most dairy farms in NZ are insolvent at the current prices — banks are extending loans to keep them from bankruptcy…. just more of the same that is happening everywhere now…. only this story is about cows.

      • xabier says:

        Yes, same in Britain: the most recent ‘reassuring’ message to farmers was that the future is bright if…….they do everything but farm on their land -‘diversification’!

  19. Fast Eddy says:

    Hong Kong’s Trade Development Council (TDC) has cut its forecast for the city’s exports this year from flat to a 4 per cent decline, a prospect that would put the figures on a par with the depth of the global financial crisis in 2009.

    The cut came after exports performed worse than expected between January and April, shrinking 5.6 per cent compared with a year earlier.

    China’s exports fall in May as central bank researchers release gloomy revised forecast for the sector

    TDC director of research Nicholas Kwan Ka-ming said the outlook was clouded by a worsening economic downturn across the border, waning growth in the United States, and deflationary pressure in the European Union and Japan.

    “It is one of the worst since 2009,” Kwan said.

    He said Hong Kong’s exports could decline by 3 to 4 per cent in each of the third and fourth quarters this year.

    • Vince the Prince says:

      Really? Well, here are some more things for you to realize also, Fast Eddy


      • Fast Eddy says:


        Just two images of markets…. arguable both are in defiance of the laws of nature….

        Think about it….

        A farmer is using technology to enter into a battle with mother nature…. he is trying to grow things in places where they would not normally grow — he is killed weeds — he is building fences — he is taking water from one place and moving it to his artificial crop …. he is accelerating composting with various scientific techniques…

        The end goal — survival.

        Likewise the trading floor on Wall Street — also a market — also relying on technology — like farming this activity does not exist in nature —- it is man-made — artificial …. unsustainable…

        The end goal — survival.

        Scott Nearing is really no different than Jamie Dimon. And Jamie Dimon is really no different than Scott Nearing


        • Chaff says:

          Nothing is bloody sustainable, not the fossil fueled economy, the biosphere on earth, the fusion reactor of our sun, not even the universe itself, in where this farce currently is taking place.

          Heat death it is inevitable in any closed system where thermodynamic laws dictate the processes of nature. Unless, of course, it is an open system from which entropy can be ejected out of, and energy infused.

          And, nobody really cares about Nearing. He is just another prepper clown, just like all the other wasteful doomerists who have too much time and energy to blow on useless strategies and tactics.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            Mr Chaff …. you have just made my day! I will need your address to invite you to the End of Days Party behind The Blue Door. I trust you have a smoking jacket….

            • Vince the Prince says:

              With your mindset you better believe it is the end…Talk about a fabricated constructed false association….Associating Wall Street with Scott Nearing…Please, Paul or whatever it is your make believe avatar persona you created. Sorry fella, you Piggie don’t fly.
              You got one thing correct…YOU don’t got a chance no matter where you flee to or what corner of the planet you seek shelter…don’t matter at all….regardless of those nuke ponds..
              Yes sir…this is the END

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Actually Vince…. the likes of Nearing gave birth to Wall Street…. just think… if Jamie Dimon did not have farmers providing him with food he’d instead be in the forest rooting about for berries and nuts.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              One can only hope one is within the blast radius … what a fantastic way to see out the end of civilization ….

    • DM says:

      Those pictures need some more sophistication.
      Fast Eddy, you can do better than that next time.

      The goons running around Wall Street pretending to do trading is just a Façade.
      The real action is taking place inside a machine or through the corrupt, deep and wide back channel.

  20. Stilgar Wilcox says:

    Yoshua, you may think I’m too optimistic with my prediction of oil price rising into the $60-80 dollar a barrel range in the June-Dec. 2016 timeframe, but get a load of Dennis Coyne’s oil prediction below from peak oil barrel dot com. Looks like DC and shortonoil have conflicting outlooks on the future of the oil industry. Probably somewhere between those two outlier predictions is the goldilocks range.

    “My model assumes oil prices will reach $88/b by Jan 2019 and that the oil price will rise to $115/b by Oct 2020.”

    $115 in 2020?! He sure has a lot of faith in consumer affordability.

  21. Christian says:

    Solar panels don’t grow on trees… may be on the grass?


    • Yep, there are many ongoing projects on tweaking natural photosynthesis into very cheap energy conversion process. There are various approaches from strictly chemical and genetic manipulation to some hybrids with chip technology. Perhaps it’s just another myth like cheap nuclear or it will eventually materialize and transform the world and our civilization to the core. We can’t simply deny it won’t happen, although chances seem pretty slim.

      However, even if successful you are stuck at least for the mid term with the same problem as today in terms of integration with the baseload grid and intermittency as ~40-50% and above wind generation is causing problems.. e.g. more on the topic euanmearns.com

      Also, it would lead to hard core decentralization and hard core autark communes, we can’t have that in our dominant socio-economic world.

  22. Yoshua says:

    Oil Industry to Cut $1 Trillion in Spending After Price Fall


    The oil industry is still spending 500 billion a year in capex.
    The oil industry makes $1,5 trillion a year on oil sales.
    So a third of their income is spent in capex.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      At some point they will completely stop looking for new oil. The easy stuff is gone — every new find is worse than worthless — to extract it would mean losing money on every barrel.

      Tick tock — goes the clock.

  23. Fast Eddy says:

    The disintegration continues….

    $271 billion in total business sales officially disappear: Census

    Total business sales in the US did in April what they’ve been doing since July 2014: they dropped: -2.9% from a year ago, to $1.28 trillion (not adjusted for seasonal differences and price changes), the Censuses Bureau reported on Tuesday. That’s where sales had been in April 2013!

    This is a barometer of just how tough business has become in the US. These sales are not just corporate sales, but total sales, including those by small operations and sole proprietorships. The data is survey based, and covers only sales in the US, unlike sales reported by S&P 500 companies, which include sales by their ventures overseas.

    These total business sales are composed of three categories: sales by merchant wholesalers (34% of total), manufacturers (35% of total), and retailers (31% of total).

    And they were crummy in April: Sales by manufacturers dropped 4.7% year-over-year to $453.7 billion, not seasonally adjusted; sales by retailers rose 2.1% to $394.3 billion; and sales by merchant wholesalers dropped 5.3% to $430.6 billion.


    • Yoshua says:

      “Sales by manufacturers dropped 4.7% year-over-year”

      Is that bad ?

      In Finland they dropped by 10 percent. Who needs manufacturing when the ECB just prints all the money we need. The ECB produces 1 trillion euro a year, it’s the best business idea ever created in the history of economics.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        CNBs BREAKING NEWS!!!!!

        The ECB announced an incredible breakthrough today as Mario Dragqueen unveiled the Perpetual Economic Motion Machine.

        He explained how everything was now obsolete and unnecessary — work, productivity, factories, taxes, poverty, hunger — absolutely everything —- by this incredible new development.

        In an analysts’ call he explained how the machine would churn out prosperity and deliver it to the treasuries of all countries and the bank accounts of all corporations and individuals.

        Everyone he said — will now live large.

        Stock markets around the world cheered this announcement with most doubling within minutes of the news.

        Draghi is reportedly working on a new machine that will make death obsolete. Stay tuned for further developments

        • psile says:

          F%ck. I mean, why didn’t they think of that before? Shoot…it’s sooo simple….

          *waiting for the other shoe to drop*

          • Fast Eddy says:

            It’s like that with all great ideas —– it looks so simple after the fact that you kick yourself thinking damn why didn’t I think of that…

            And as know – often the person who came up with the idea does not refine it to the point where it is commercially valuable…

            The Germans of course tried this idea — as did Zimbabwe — Mugabe was on the cusp of greatness — but alas he will go down as a tinpot dictator rather than the man who eliminated poverty…

            Draghi and Abe are currently leading the pack to prove this machine works…. someone is going to be a hero….

            • Great Game - Well Played says:

              We are all living in Amerika.
              Amerika – it’s wunderbar.

              “One of the options available is full dollarisation [of Zimbabwe]. While the United States has no legal provision that prohibits the adoption of the greenback as the official currency in any country, minefields lie ahead of any economy that chooses this route”


            • Rammstein says:

              We are all living in Amerika.
              Amerika – it’s wunderbar.

              “One of the options available is full dollarisation [of Zimbabwe]. While the United States has no legal provision that prohibits the adoption of the greenback as the official currency in any country, minefields lie ahead of any economy that chooses this route.”

      • DM says:

        One word:


        End of discussion.

  24. Fast Eddy says:

    Industrial Production Declines 7th Time in 10 Months; Just Manufacturing?

    Industrial production continues to put on a spectacular show in a negative sense. The index of industrial production is down yet again, this time by 0.4 percent vs. a Bloomberg Econoday consensus estimate of -0.1 percent. A steep drop in autos led the way.


    Corporate profits also down 3 quarters in a row…..

    Where the job losses? How can the monthly print possibly still be +.

    • Rodster says:

      “Where the job losses? How can the monthly print possibly still be +.”

      I’m reminded of the saying: It just goes to show how figures lie and liars figure !

      • Fast Eddy says:

        ‘When it gets really bad – you have to lie’ drunken Jean Claude Juncker.

    • DM says:

      Burn Baby, Burn and Print Mario, Print, keep on keeping on, until the mighty wings breaks off.

    • I agree. The pattern Mish is showing seems to correspond to a slowing of energy consumption. A person would expect this to show up in fewer jobs, especially in manufacturing.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        The pie is getting smaller day by day … as we burn up the cheapest energy and compensate with more expensive energy … resulting in less nett energy is available to operate the economy and governments.

        Mish probably does not understand that. Or does not want to understand that

      • DM says:

        Micro optimizations such as firing employees in a well run modern manufacturing operation achieves nothing. They are not the main cost driver.

        Either the operation is deemed viable or not, in the latter case then they should be completely shut down, assets sold and the whole lot fired on the spot.

        It is a technological race to the bottom, a nightmare for investors. The winner takes it all scenario.

        • I agree. The fewer jobs would likely come from whole businesses closing. From the view of the would-be worker, that is still “fewer jobs.”

          • Great Game - Well Played says:

            Final Push – Channel stuffing with product no one can afford, wants nor needs.
            Then the threshold effect, business shutdown, can take place.
            Case study: The Nokia Handset Collapse.
            Look at the prospects of Finland now, the regular Nokia corporate drone is mindbogglingly useless for any sound business operation.

  25. Stilgar Wilcox says:


    This is an article about an Argentine enterprising ex govt. employee caught in the middle of the night burying bags of money in different currencies worth 8.5 million dollars. Burying multiple currencies is a hedge against some of them hyper inflating.

    • Christian says:

      Yeah, this is making a lot of noise here. Not sure why, everybody knew about Kirchner’s being big thugs and the leading case is Baez’s, an old one. Lopez was also caught with a war rifle, which is not allowed here, but I didn’t knew about Japan and Qatar currencies, this is not said in the papers

      “Ah the webs the corrupt powerful elites weave for themselves – in the end, the truth will eventually find its way out” Not sure what Durden means with this, but Macri is also a big thug as well (Panama papers have him, and there are some other cases as well, but he is protected by the press because he is pro US)

  26. Derek says:

    Gail has noted in several of her articles that falling worker productivity is an indicator of the diminishing returns that characterize a failing economy. Here’s a report from FiveThirtyEight on a Federal Reserve study showing a long term slowing of U.S. worker productivity gains:


    • DM says:

      “Gail has noted in several of her articles that falling worker productivity is an indicator of the diminishing returns that characterize a failing economy.”

      The regular worker IS the problem, they have become a liability for further economic growth. Just like a farmer would be standing in the way of a tractor in mechanized agriculture.

      Now, the semi intellectual jobs offered by mundane administrative tasks are also being replaced by computers.

    • Thanks for the link. People don’t understand that everything is connected together.

      • DM says:

        Yes, but only to a certain significance and dynamic.

        It is not a very good basis for the rationale to assume that the economy both is extremely interconnected and brittle, that could at any time shatter into complete oblivion, and then go ahead and make broad conclusions and predictions from it.

        Though, my stance is that the transient effects of gradually removing nonproductive workers will be absorbed by the economy as it reshapes with a large swath of the middle class made mostly redundant. As we can see currently is taking place.

  27. Yoshua says:

    Nigeria Hyperinflation Looms As Central Bank Throws In The Towel, Devalues Currency


    And there goes another one.

  28. bogwood says:

    From Dickson’s “The Official Rules”, of the hundreds of rules some that might apply to peak resources.
    Waiting is often not the worse part.
    When all is said and done, more is said than done.
    Of course, crime does pay.
    Nature is the conjugation of the verb “to eat”.
    It is rarely over when you think it’s over.
    It depends, you never can tell.
    You can never do just one thing.
    You can get more with a kind word,even more with kind word and a gun.
    Its more complicated than that.
    For every Ph.d there is an equal and opposite Ph.d.
    There is no fuel like an oil fuel

  29. MG says:

    Russia faces big emigration of managers:


    The article is in Czech, but the contents in a nutshell is as follows:

    40 % of experienced managers want to leave the country. The population of Russia can be reduced to 80 million from the current 143 millions of inhabitants by 2050.

    • Well, you have to take it in perspective as most of the CEE media is owned and stuffed with west biased people of very little credibility and demonstrated past non-reliability of information provided. Besides by 2050 only the sheer havoc of demographics transition be it the West or Asia will have so massive influence on everything, so that’s a moot point anyway.. even before discussing to collapse proper related issues..

      PS I do suggest to watch the recent Gail’s and Ugo’s interview on DoomsteadDiner, they are talking about lot of key points, which have been called in this forum years ago, like trend of regionalization-decentralization, thread of command style economy to stall the collapse for a moment, intermittent nature of future energy settings – perhaps as the very key concept how to foresee “everything in the future” aka return to more seasonal, nature dependent living arrangements etc.

      • MG says:

        Dear worldofhanumanotg,

        the emigration and population decline of Russia is a well-known fact. E.g Israel is full of Russian immigrants that have no Jewish origin…

        • Again, I’m not disputing the fact of some peoples drain happening, I’m disputing the claimed relative effect “by 2050” Russia vs. West! Because, by that time many agglomerations of western Europe would be predominantly caliphates or 3rd world hell holes already and the rest crippled by the bad demographics of died out wave of babyboomers and fewer offspring, so no tax revenue and no staff to mount the production and system or any reforms, not mentioning armies etc.

          The above all mentioned without the overall effect of Seneca Cliff with its other contributing facets like fossil energy depletion, possible climate chaos etc.

    • Doesn’t sound good!

  30. psile says:

    Venezuela’s Oil Production Tumbles as Economic Crisis Worsens

    CARACAS, June 14 (Reuters) – Hungry Venezuelans are rioting and looting amid worsening food shortages, but the OPEC country’s remote oil fields have been sheltered from the social unrest so far.

    But Venezuela’s blistering economic crisis is hitting them full on.

    Output in the country, which has the world’s largest oil reserves, dropped to 2.37 million barrels per day (bpd) in May, according to OPEC data provided by Venezuela.

    That’s down some 5 percent from April and nearly 11 percent from 2015’s average, data showed on Monday, piling more stress on oil-dependent Venezuela as it wrestles with the economic crisis. The drop could also help erode a supply glut that has weighed on prices.

    Amid a cash crunch, Venezuela’s oil industry is suffering from shortages of spare parts, the retreat of oil services companies due to unpaid bills, maintenance issues, and crime, according to workers, union leaders, and foreign executives.

    Oil workers earn only a few dozen dollars a month at the black market rate due to the bolivar currency’s rapid tumble on the parallel market. Many lives now revolve around the quest for food, fostering worker absenteeism and a brain drain.

    “Workers’ moods are in the dumps,” said Francisco Luna, a union leader in the oil-producing area of Lake Maracaibo. “Every day it’s worse. Maintenance is lacking, equipment is lacking.”

    Officials at state-run oil company PDVSA did not respond to a request for comment. The company has blamed problems on saboteurs and international smear campaigns.

    Separately, Caracas is in talks with China to obtain a grace period in its oil-for-loans deal that would improve its capacity to make bond payments amid the crisis, sources told Reuters.

    As Venezuela’s recession appears set to worsen, many wonder how much output could slide and whether unrest could encroach on operations.

    Energy consulting firm IPD Latin America caused waves earlier this year when it forecast that output could slip to 2.35 million bpd this year, a figure on par with last month’s output.

    That would be even lower than average production in 2002 and 2003, when Venezuela was shaken by a massive oil strike.

    Even production in the Orinoco Belt, a promising swath of extra-heavy crude deposits in the Venezuelan savannah, is down.

    Beyond output, Venezuela’s refineries and ports have suffered problems due to equipment failures and power cuts. And payment delays led to less diluents for Venezuelan crudes.

    Wall Street is also monitoring the lower output amid default fears, although President Nicolas Maduro insists Venezuela will honor all debts.

    “In the short term, it will negate some of the recent oil price rise and make the bond payments in late-2016 and 2017 more difficult, though not necessarily impossible,” said a U.S.-based fund manager.

    When collapse comes, there won’t be any oil to cushion the blow. Without external resupply, once any internal resources in any affected give up, all authority will be overwhelmed…then come the horsemen…


    • Stilgar Wilcox says:

      I just happened to watch that scene again the other day on YouTube where he draws on four and watched it repeatedly, each time focusing on a different person he was aiming at to see if the timing and direction of Eastwood’s shots were accurate and they were! I don’t know how many times it took them to get that scene filmed correctly, but it’s pretty amazing. You can’t see Eastwood as the shots are being fired because it’s from the viewpoint of just seeing the gun firing with the four cowboys in the background, so it may be a stand-in, but whoever it was used his left hand to pull back on the bolt to assist with the firing and not only fired the caps really fast, but also managed to aim at each one of those guys accurately. Maybe they did the scene slowly and sped it up in editing, but it’s really well done. Today they would do a scene like that with so many viewpoints and cut so many times it wouldn’t be possible to appreciate the way we can with that spaghetti western. Sometimes simple is better.

      “Get 3 coffins ready.”
      “My mistake, 4.”

      • psile says:

        Yeah I know what you mean. The production process would just take over, plus you don’t get characters like Eastwood starring in movies anymore. I guess it was peak Westerns…lol…


    • Thanks! Venezuela indeed has big problems. Oil reserves in the ground that can be extracted with a lot of debt and high prices don’t really fix the problem.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        If they were only TBTF (like Greece) they’d at least be kept on life support and given enough to eat….

        But alas they are not important — and will be tossed out of the life boat….

    • Fast Eddy says:

      “Amid a cash crunch, Venezuela’s oil industry is suffering from shortages of spare parts, the retreat of oil services companies due to unpaid bills, maintenance issues, and crime, according to workers, union leaders, and foreign executives”

      We can see what is happening in Venezuela even though BAU is still functioning. This is what the beginning of the end game looks like. The machine is seizing up….

      Does anyone seriously think that oil is going to be extracted and refined anywhere in the world — when BAU is dead and gone?

      We need some more of that ‘whatever it takes’ — gimme some.,… gimme some….

  31. Kevin Geiger says:

    Let’s see if I have this right. We have always spent energy now in the hopes of that returning an energy profit in the future – i.e. eating a turnip to go hunt a mastodon. When that worked, we survived Then the concept of debt came along and we could borrow against a mastodon we knew was in the forest, but before we actually killed it – you would give me a turnip hoping I would bring you a mastodon steak. That borrowing from the future actually worked when the future kept getting “better” than now, because there was more net energy being produced – I actually did kill the mastodon and his cousin.
    We then had a series of cultures that boomed and busted as they played out the net energy fields of mastodons, peat bogs, forests, fossil forests, cod banks, slaves, deep loam, fossil water, waste sinks, etc. Somewhere, people were still getting more for less, for a while.
    Then, when that approach started to sputter, we doubled down and notionalized the debt itself. I would give you a coupon for the turnip I might get to give you if the last guy really brought me a mastodon steak which I could trade for lots of turnips, though no one has seen a mastodon in a long time. This works as long as there is something real to eat/burn to provide net energy while we are trading imaginary turnips hoping to find elusive mastodons (neither of which is giving us any energy at all), and we believe that there really are more mastodons to be found.

    But, we can only borrow from the future as long as we believe it is more net energy-rich than today, and as long as that belief is actually justified often enough. Take away either condition and you have problems.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      Excellent! This really simplifies the debt issue and puts it in context that is not abstract (as most other explanations tend to be)

    • Now, also take into account that such attitudes about debt, credit and bets on future value are with us in the modern form at least from the times of late medieval and nascent merchant city states, that’s almost ~700yrs, some scholars point out the worst of this happening for past ~500yrs. Either way, that’s not short time span for human evolution in terms of civilization and culture, the undoing of this long duration path dependency would be beyond brutal readjustment, but that seems what is likely ahead of us.

    • pokemon says:

      “But, we can only borrow from the future as long as we believe it is more net energy-rich than today, and as long as that belief is actually justified often enough. Take away either condition and you have problems.”

      The alternative of abundant and cheap energy is to be more energy efficient with limited and/or expensive energy, and at the same time increase productivity of the average worker.

      Thus we are now rhetorically speaking “slacking off” and burning, i.e. flaring off, the easy energy of tomorrow, thus assuming that the future will be run more efficient and the worker becoming yet more productive on remaining and ever more intractable finite resources.

      The only conclusion is that the worker is about to go the way of the dodo. As Ghawar goes, so does the corporate drone. Sucked dry, farted out, with only useless gray gunk left under its hood.

    • A Real Black Person says:

      “Then, when that approach started to sputter, we doubled down and notionalized the debt itself. I would give you a coupon for the turnip I might get to give you if the last guy really brought me a mastodon steak which I could trade for lots of turnips, though no one has seen a mastodon in a long time. ”
      I’m starting to think “when that approach started to sputter” is about the time the concept of the market economy became very ideological. This was around the time the U.S. hit peak oil , when Nixon visited China to begin an economic relationship that would bring cheap coal online, and when OPEC started its oil embargo, in the first half of the 1970s. As the 1970s progressed, the market economy became more of a belief system , not that it wasn’t one before. By the time the 1980 arrived, I think it took a larger leap of faith to lend to an individual or an organization that had no immediate way to repay debt. The financial sector was deregulated so that lenders could take greater leaps of faith. The 1980s was the decade when the rate of debt accumulation for many economic actors started to accelerate.The 1980s was the decade when around the time the service economy self-organized, when interest rates started their downward trajectory, when the use of credit cards to pay for day to day expenses became normal and when student loan debt began to substantially increase. In order for that debt to have been acceptable, I think people must have started to think the future economy would generate much more wealth than the current one.

      “. This works as long as there is something real to eat/burn to provide net energy while we are trading imaginary turnips hoping to find elusive mastodons (neither of which is giving us any energy at all), and we believe that there really are more mastodons to be found.” The last “masterdon” for the general public was the internet, in the 1990s. Since then, the total number of “masterdons” that have been discovered have been zero. The Elon Musks of the world keep saying that a new masterdon can be found if we invest in longer and and heavier spears

      Despite the grumbling that we all occasionally hear from people from all walks of life, people have not stopped believing , in large numbers that the future will be better than the present. If they did, they would try to get rid of all their financial assets, basically cash out and stop participating in The Economy.Then again, it would be impossible for the vast majority of people to sell all their stock, and remove all their money from the bank because there are policies in place to prevent that. If people can’t “cash out”, then the value of financial assets don’t reflect optimism about the future anymore. Most people here would say that the value of financial assets reflect the grim determination by central bankers to maintain civilization. I think there is more than civilization that is being maintained. I think hierarchy is being maintained.
      Dick Cheney said “deficits don’t matter” in 2002. Deficits…debt may not matter but what may matter is that there are governments who are willing to do anything to make sure investors, many of whom are older, and have retirement accounts, and are important political constituents, receive the returns that were promised to them. In the U.S. a Republican controlled government is more likely to make sure that investors and retirees get the money that was promised to them because a Republican controlled government may more readily use tools that will make the general public liable for dividend payouts such as bailouts and austerity measures. If companies cannot grow adequately to pay out dividends, bailouts and austerity measures will be used to make wealth transfers to the investor class to make up for the shortfall in the revenue of publicly traded companies.

      While resources are being redirected away from the public and towards the dividend payout for investors, the general public is being told, by the upper classes, that the future will be a kinder and gentler place with “free energy”, free education and, more discrimination, and no hurt feelings. What will be interesting is when the public realizes those things will be unaffordable luxuries in a scarcity based world. The human race entering a scarcity-based world, and not a post-scarcity based world but there is plenty of propaganda that claims the opposite is occurring . Just recently, I saw a link for a Youtube video that claims solar energy is not expensive.

      Here it is:
      People occasionally wonder why the quality of public education is uneven. This is because instructors cannot resist the urge to indoctrinate people, you know., “make friends and influence people” by not telling the truth.

      I think it will take a lot for the general public to accept that we are entering a world of scarcity. An event as drastic as a large scale crop failure may be what it takes to shake the public’s belief in a future where there will more than there is in the present. Until prolonged shortages of physical good and services that people need appear, people will still put their faith in “a better future”, here on Earth.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        “What will be interesting is when the public realizes those things will be unaffordable luxuries in a scarcity based world.”

        This awaits them:

        The Denver Post, on February 15th, ran an Associated Press article entitled Homeland Security aims to buy 1.6b rounds of ammo, so far to little notice. It confirmed that the Department of Homeland Security has issued an open purchase order for 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition.

        As reported elsewhere, some of this purchase order is for hollow-point rounds, forbidden by international law for use in war, along with a frightening amount specialized for snipers. Also reported elsewhere, at the height of the Iraq War the Army was expending less than 6 million rounds a month. Therefore 1.6 billion rounds would be enough to sustain a hot war for 20+ years. In America.


  32. Stefeun says:

    In the same vein as what is labelled as “human” is often shared by many other species, and what is “inhuman” is most of the time perpetrated by sapiens only,
    I noticed that we tend to talk about our species as a monolithic block where individual (or competing groups’) actions prevail, and OTOH talk about power of free-will and our capabilities to make choices, where in reality it’s the statistical result that matters.

    Hence, when we hear that we should do this or that, “we” as all humans together at same time, you can be sure it won’t work because there’ll always be cheaters trying to get personal advantage of the situation (and succeeding, most of the time).

    And for those who believe their choices can change, or influence, the global scheme of things, it’s most often untrue because what’s not taken by one will be taken by another, so that in aggregate the result will follow an average, or at least statistical laws. This seems to gain truth along with increasing numbers (iow, the more we are, the more we tend to behave like bacteria).

    Maybe this confusion is related to the differences between micro- and Macro-levels, where different rules seem to apply.

  33. Pintada says:

    Dear Fast Eddy;

    Yeah, I noticed that some of the geniuses with which you were “debating” are obviously trolls. In addition, I suspect that pokemon and another one was the same person. I hope Gail is comparing the IP addresses of the suspects.


    • Vince the Prince says:



      Student makes stunning oil prediction
      The results appear to show that while production of conventional oil may slowly start to go down over the next decade, ‘unconventional’ forms (tight oil and sand oil, which are mined rather than drilled) may last until the 2040s, and shale oil until the 2070s. If more reserves of these are discovered, then oil supplies could even last beyond 2100.

      Levchenko says, “When I started, I originally wanted to discuss whether an oil crisis is inevitable and to survey other potential sources of energy. This was really just a small half-semester project, and I didn’t think the work was anything special while I was doing it. I was stunned to discover that the critical moment may not arrive until 2070 at the very earliest, which would give the world much more time to develop the alternatives.”

      Thank you so much Gail….about time…after all we all may be here a long, long to time

      • Fast Eddy says:

        If cost of production were not an issue — I would not have a 20 foot container in my backyard full of stuff.

        And I would not be on FW that is for sure.

        In fact if someone could convince me that price does not matter — I will take the barrel of booze out of there and get it on ice in time for the massive giant celebration ….

        Damn I’ll even buy a teevee and watch American Idol as a gesture to the Beast.

      • psile says:

        Hell yeah, bring it on…

        But wait, what about the environment and all the other stuff that’s finite?

        Oh, that’s ok, we will just consume our way to a solution! For everything!

        Sweet. Can I have a gummi bear now!?


      • The catch is that if we get the price up to what is needed to extract the oil, no one can afford the oil.

        In fact, if we get the price up to what is needed to extract the oil, we can get out lots and lots of oil, plus lots and lots of substitutes. The price drops to almost zero, even though the cost is high. The end comes because the price falls below the cost of extraction.

        • DM says:

          Yes we can keep on affording it; if the system continuously gets more efficient at turning energy into economic growth.

          As the old adage goes:
          – “When the necessities are covered, the rest becomes entertainment”

          Which also happen to be our predicament.
          There are no more needs to be had.

          The carrot is gone and the horse is slowing down.
          And you all know what happens to old horses, don’t ya? 😉

    • Fast Eddy says:

      Possibly however the leader of the pack was the author of the blog….

    • Pokemon is changing his IP address frequently–probably using a service that does that. Not up to any good.

      Let me know by e-mail when you suspect someone is up to no good. It should be obvious, but I can look at IP addresses.

      • Yorchichan says:

        He may be just using TOR to keep his real IP address secret. Staying anonymous on this kind of blog is not a bad idea. If I had a container full of food, for example, I certainly wouldn’t be advertising it using my true IP address.

      • Doug Grave says:

        Myself I like to keep my bar code identity tattoo visible at all times so all know I am not “Not up to any good.”

  34. Fast Eddy says:

    I dared to sneak into the DelusiSTANI camp this morning over yonder at Wolf St to have a look around while they sleep….

    There was a very odd fellow standing guard who said he was practicing his new look and just waved me through (after asking me if he thought he was awesome…)


    Since all of my attacks are now ‘held for moderator approval’ I set up a few booby traps with the understanding that people with IQ’s averaging in the mid-double digits will not understand the danger they are in and will toss them back and forth…

    If only I could have brought a petrol station with me I could have wiped the entire camp out…


    I will now make my way back to RealitySTAN — and safety….


    • Yoshua says:

      Solar panels are just so cool. They are based on cool science and technology. They pop up from nowhere and start producing free energy. And Tesla is just the coolest non polluting car there is.

      To tell people that they are just a pile of brown substance, that their production is environmentally destructive, are made by burning massive amounts of coal and then they don’t even work… it’s like shooting the circus elephant during matinee time in front of children.

      They will refuse to believe it. You are probably right about the cognitive dissonance: it’s just too scary to think about it.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        If only the same people who believe this nonsense (almost everyone) were similarly thick-skulled with respect to everything ….

        It would be so easy to be the King of the World!

    • Kanghi says:

      FE, priceless, I truely appreciate your creativity in hitting the nail down skillfully and creative use of words and pictures in storytelling! 🙂

  35. Pingback: $50 Oil Doesn’t Work - Monetary Watch

  36. Christian says:

    Hi everybody

    As always, my country is an endless source of surprises… AAPRESID -the most important ag NGO, gathering ag producers since Monsanto “invented” direct seeding- is anouncing its next yearly meeting, to be held in august. And… they are throwing monsanto under the bus! They created a new word for the title of the meeting, resiliar (somthing like “to resiliate”, while the ar in the end makes reference to the country), to which they add this: “future was in us”, as if they were reckoning some mistake. The meeting is almost entirely structured to boost ecological practices: “beyond the green economy”, “simplification and uniformity vs. diversity and integration”, “rotations and economy of water and carbon”, “ecology and weed management”, “biology of soils”, “biological control of plagues”.. The two very kew words: sustainability and resiliency

    They are absolutely scared. Anything like that elsewhere?

  37. Bill Tomson says:

    Oil companies get same ‘subsidies’ that other businesses enjoy, and they pay much higher taxes as % of GDP and their products produce much higher taxes than ANY OTHER PRODUCT SOLD IN THE USA. You guys & gals need to stop spouting like lemmings. Stop listening to Bernie and OPEN YOUR EYES !!

    This industry you claim is on life support is in reality going strong. Tech is dying, our manufacturing has been sent overseas by Clinton, and horrific Fed policies by Bush & Obama appointees have destroyed the middle class.

    • pokemon says:

      “Tech is dyng”
      Are you sober? Google, Apple, IBM, Microsoft, Intel, anyone?
      Tech is replacing the useless TPS report shuffling careerist consumerist drone with the Machine.

      “Bush & Obama appointees have destroyed the middle class.”
      Technology and end of cheap oil did, not any one clown who has been told what to say when in the public eye.
      The hordes will soon get to feel the burn of hunger from a FW.

  38. Fast Eddy says:

    Good article re solar — there is no nett energy produced…

    “In very simple terms, solar PV deployed in northern Europe can be viewed as coal burned in China used to generate electricity over here.”


    • pokemon says:

      Time to fly some hot lead at wolfstreet. 🙂

    • Yoshua says:

      Wolf lives in sunny California… so what does he care about Germany. Today there is money to be made in Solar in California due to Government subsidies… and that’s the bottom line for him ?

      “A new study by Ferroni and Hopkirk estimates the ERoEI of temperate latitude solar photovoltaic (PV) systems to be 0.83. If correct, that means more energy is used to make the PV panels than will ever be recovered from them during their 25 year lifetime. A PV panel will produce more CO2 than if coal were simply used directly to make electricity. Worse than that, all the CO2 from PV production is in the atmosphere today, while burning coal to make electricity, the emissions would be spread over the 25 year period. The image shows the true green credentials of solar PV where industrial wastelands have been created in China so that Europeans can make believe they are reducing CO2 emissions.”

      • Bill Tomson says:

        Amen to a post by someone who does independent research and is not a progressive lemming.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Shocking!!! (nahhht)

        The thing is … a fair chunk of change has been thrown at this silliness…. and the MSM hammers the drum telling us that this is the future….

        So this project has been authorized at the very highest levels.

        The obvious question is why.

        No doubt the answer has already been discussed here in the past — this surely is all about calming the sheep.

        As we can see — if the sheep are prodded with facts — they get quite upset…. calm sheep are the best sheep.

    • Ert says:

      There was also discussion at Ugo Bardis blog with Hall about EROEI and then a poll from Doomstead Diner on that, including a video conference with RE, Gail and Ugo. You may look here if you are intersted: http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/2016/06/12/the-renewable-energy-survey-results/

      Hall et. all. estimates an EROEI of 2,5 for Spain… so approx 1 of (northern) Germany may fit the bill.

      As the saying goes…. no one invested in solar PV in Germany – but everyone in a big subsidy scheme!

    • Christopher says:

      Well, hard to say what to believe. The skeptics say EROEI < 1. Bardi, who represents the optimist, claims 10:


      Now Bardi and friends claim that the report Energy matters reviewed is erroneous ( that was of course expected):


      Maybe, "the truth" is somewhere between …

  39. psile says:

    80% crop losses in Mongolia

    Approximately 80 percent of Mongolia’s crops have died this summer due to extreme drought across the country, according to board member of the Mongolian Plantation Union B.Erdenebat.
    Though the situation has reached a critical level, the Ministry of Industry and Agriculture has yet to take action, let alone announce to the public what is happening.

    80 percent of crops dead, 150 billion MNT buried in the ground…

    …and the government? Frozen in the lights…this is collapse folks, when the end comes, no one, let alone the “authorities”. will be able to lift a finger to help you.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      And the aid agencies will no longer exist.

      An insightful read if anyone is interested — my favourite author of all time https://www.theguardian.com/books/2007/jun/30/featuresreviews.guardianreview6

      “Moral scruples notwithstanding (what is that, in art?), this is a deeply inspiring, profoundly thoughtful book. Intelligently translated by Klara Glowczewska, it is also a worthy tribute to Herodotus, an unfailing companion on the lonely road.”

      Highly recommend all of books by Ryszard Kapuscinski https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ryszard_Kapu%C5%9Bci%C5%84ski

    • pokemon says:

      “…and the government? Frozen in the lights…this is collapse folks, when the end comes, no one, let alone the “authorities”. will be able to lift a finger to help you”

      You have been deemed redundant. Just as the Venezuelans are now. There is no need to keep propping up resource usage, i.e. sending aid, when there is no prospect of any real economic growth associated with it.

      “The aid agencies”.

      What a bunch of baloney organized careerist feelgood resource wasters. Almost as bad as wind and solar for electricity generation.

      • Doug Grave says:

        Go to Charitynavigator.com . Ceo salaries are listed. Under 100k is rare. over 240k is not

    • Ert says:

      That’s the core-(doom-)event I’m (not really) waiting for.

      Most of the economy, etc. pp. failings can be “papered” over, laws can be changed, mended or be broken, statistics can be tuned, (required or unwanted) news can be manipulated or generated.

      But when crops fail, and that in to must parts of the world within the same year, then its over – or at least the the next stage of chaos will be ignited.

    • Also from the article:

      Last year, Mongolia harvested more than it had in over 17 years, but the state only reserved 30,000 tons of grain, a one-month reserve. According to B.Erdenebat, the Plantation Union advised the ministry to buy reserves from private companies, and received no response.

      I wonder if they have money to buy the reserves from private companies.

      • pokemon says:

        It is pretty corrupt in Mongolia, the eventual money to buy those reserves will probably go elsewhere.

  40. psile says:

    “What matters in this life as far as your survival is concerned is the ability to buy the things you need when you need them.”

    It costs $150 to buy a dozen eggs in Venezuela right now


    • Fast Eddy says:

      I don’t see cake on the list.

      How much for a piece of cake?

      Marie is suggesting they eat cake….

    • Ert says:


      Manjoc and Corn Flower are still quite cheap per calorie. Why should anyone buy/eat eggs? The rot fast, need cooling and are unhealthy anyway…. Milk powder, as mentioned in the same article, is not healthy, too. Same goes for all other animal products.

      People always confuse the basic healthy food staple with luxury (costly in terms of $) and mostly unhealthy (costly in terms of health) food. The one does one need to sustain a life, the other one to sustain ones cravings (like an addict).

      Camping and outdooring + basic nutrition know-how helped me a lot to get a very good idea about what the body needs and what food I may take as for weight, volume, calories, nutrition profile, (long term) storage capabilities under high temperatures and price.

      • DJ says:

        Eggs last a month in room temperature and is quite cheap for what you get in proteins, vitamins and essential fats.

        Bad backpacking food (unless preboiled), I agree …

        Too bad not many of the chickens looted the other day will lay eggs.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          Great back packing food — crack them into a container and they self scramble as you scramble.

      • psile says:

        For f#cks sake, this is just an example of how collapse will result in…ah bollocks…

        Mate, why are you even here? Just keep swimming, the water’s fine!

  41. Fast Eddy says:

    Alas my foray onto Wolfstreet has ended…. the hordes from DelusiSTAN attacked by the hundreds… my inbox was filled to the brim with ignorance and stupidity (and a bit of vitriol) this morning…

    I fought back viciously — lashing out with a fact wounding many DelusiSTANIs…. spinning and stabbing with logic taking down 3 at a time …. I even pulled out the Club of Evidence and Common Sense and smashed dozens of them on the head….

    But they are tougher than cockroaches…. they just get up ignoring the the wounds… and if you kill them like the true zombies that they are they get up and begin to feebly swing again …

    Even though they are weak in mind and body — they are many — and the king of the DelusiSTANIS – a man called Wolf (I reckon Sheep would be a better name…) stepped in and insisted that I stop spamming the comments and go grab a beer….

    And in parting I have wished him best of luck with ‘renewable’ energy in California — and I look forward to hearing that the desert is covered in panels and all industry in the state has left because electricity costs make them unable to compete….

    Fortunately …. Valhalla does exist….here on FW…. and fortunately there are enough warriors here to keep the DelusiSTANI’s under control….

    • pokemon says:

      I can imagine the carnage with FE going thermonuclear and conventional thermobaric on the renewable cuties:

      When is it time for FE to drop the supernova on DelusiSTAN? I wonder, though, Will it also obliterate my BAU Lite?

    • You have chosen a wrong turf, the people who frequent Wolfstreet are after chasing money after all, they expect to make a buck on the coming reset or at least limit the losses, which is foolish attitude or perhaps not, in case the real crash is scheduled for later ~2025-2045 timeframe..

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Based on the immense support for an industry that exists only because of massive taxpayer subsidies — and their support for these subsidies…

        One would be mistaken if one thought one was on a blog for those who support:


        Or perhaps they are just plain dumb…

        I am going with option two.

        • Ed says:

          Those are all male arms and hands. Where are the women and most importantly where are the transgendered?

    • Yoshua says:

      Well… you created a massive debate over at Wolfstreet… and that can’t be all bad ?

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Even if I were to convince them that they are wrong — that really achieves nothing — other than demonstrating that it is possible to knock down even the thickest wall

  42. Stilgar Wilcox says:


    A couple weeks ago a discussion on CO2 emissions asked why year on year emissions were so much higher this year, and I conjectured it may have something to do with El Nino. There were some questions about that but I couldn’t find a link – Well, above we finally have a link explaining the connection between higher CO2 emissions and El Nino.

      • Stilgar Wilcox says:

        Stefeun, that article is stating the following:

        “If you take away the El Niño effects, the gap between 2015 and 2014 is smaller…So yes, the likelihood of 2015 being a record in the real world as opposed to just in our dataset goes down a little. It is still the clear favourite though.”

        They attribute the current El Nino’s effect on the record word temperature record as about 10%. So in other words, without that effect there would still be a strong 2015 temperature record. I think once the effect of this El Nino subside we’ll know from world temps more accurately what percentage of contribution it made to the new temp record.

        The article also says some anti GW pundits are using El Nino as an excuse for the higher temps, as if to say the temp increase was all El Nino. I don’t think it was all the reason for the new temp. record but at the same time we don’t know for sure how much it contributed.

        I think we’ll just have to wait to know. The article I posted prior to yours was strictly about CO2 emissions increase. I’ve been going to a website that shows daily differences between this year and last, and it has wildly fluctuated from 2.5 to 5+ ppm difference. That’s huge and to some extent attributable to El Nino. But again we’ll have to wait until this El Nino concludes and then watch daily CO2 emission differences y on y to know what percentage of that jump in CO2 was attributable to El Nino.

        My concern is that between higher world CO2 levels (above 400 ppm at Mauna Loa, Hawaii) and El Nino, GW may have permanently kicked into a higher gear. The reason for this concern is 2014 set a new global temp record followed by a very big leap in 2015 as shown in the graph in the article you linked. It was the contention of many concerned about GW that at some point we would get a hockey stick effect and that may now be occurring. It’s just too early to conclude that – so we’ll have to wait, but probably not very long, maybe another year to have the data to draw conclusions.

        • Stefeun says:

          Yes Stilgar,
          Wait and see…
          That’s why I don’t want to discuss the topic, too many parameters at work (see e.g. http://m.earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/CarbonCycle/page5.php), as well as distorted info due to interests and PR.
          Plus various cycle times and unknown interactions, tresholds, etc… All that making predictions impossible.

          We know the general trend, that’s enough ; and if ever it has to go in overrun, well, let there be it, anyhow it’s too late to implement a fix we don’t even have any idea what it should consist in, let alone getting a worldwide agreement and realistic action-plan about it.

          The best we can do is to crash BAU, and that’s what we’re working at, daily.

          • Stilgar Wilcox says:

            Here’s one more on the topic:


            “It’ll be the first year in the history of our species that we can truly say we’ve been living in a 400 ppm world. And it’ll be this way for the rest of our lifetimes, barring large-scale deployment of carbon capture and storage technology, an idea which scientists are starting to take seriously in light of our apparent inability to give a shit about climate change. So, what does it mean to live and breathe a 400 ppm atmosphere? We’re not entirely sure yet, but the geologic past can offer clues. For instance, the last time the Earth was a 400 ppm world—the mid-Pliocene—sea levels were an estimated 50 to 80 feet higher than they are today, meaning Florida, much of the Gulf Coast, and countless other coastlines worldwide did not exist in their current form. Whether we’re poised to see a repeat of the mid-Pliocene, or something more dramatic, depends largely on our actions this century.”

  43. Yoshua says:

    We are on a plateau right now. The giant oil fields produce 60 percent of our crude and condensate. The giants are being horizontally drilled, fracked, water injected, CO2 injected and nitrogen injected to enhance the production since most of them are over 50 years old. Today 90 percent of the giants are in decline at a rate of 6 percent a year.

    The oil price crash turned the oil and gas industry insolvent. They had $2,5 trillion in debt in 2014. The industry made $1,3 trillion in losses last year. This year will be even worse. Ponzi financing is the only thing that will keep them alive from now on.

    The bread and circus will soon come to an end.

    • The Knowledge says:

      If you are very lucky – the immediate threat is Nookular War – thanks to the utterly venal CICs in the West. They really are Stoopid – it is that simple.

    • Rural says:

      Agreed. And because of the low prices, that plateau may be coming to an end right about now.

      If you want another example of what happens when a debt-laden industry is tested by a dip in the market, just have a look at the coal industry. There’s lots of carnage. A recent example: Peabody Energy declared bankruptcy in April.

      Since coal is supposed to be the cheapest energy source we have, you might wonder why the industry is struggling. Simply, excessive debt can destroy an otherwise profitable industry. Same story as in oil and gas.

      Even those companies that avoided taking on debt, in favour of slower organic growth, are beginning to fall. This is exactly what I am most uncomfortable with: Debt allows an error in one part of the economy to spread to others.

      • Coal is struggling because in recent decades natgas roughly doubled its market penetration (cogen plants) and China reached plateau of it’s ~30yrs mad rush industrialization and overall build-up based chiefly on coal exploitation. Now we are all just over-expanded and over-saturated in many if not most areas imaginable, speculating about ways what the future is going to look like.

        Eventually, coal will be back big time around ~2025-40 (as the oil depletion kicks in), but then likely on very different footprint, perhaps most likely coal as nationalized semi-autarkic industry. In part, I’m mentioning that because, lets no expect some long term lasting “market evaluation” upswings, simply because around that time frame we might have very different social and economic foundations to begin with.. In that sense I urge everybody to ask around living relatives-survivors what expectations vs. reality really meant in the past turbulent century. And we are likely headed towards much more crazier times.

        • The Knowledge says:

          Are you familiar with the works of Jay Hanson and the old dieoff site?

          Just curious.

          • Yes, but as usual my basic point of interest is the historical observation, that this is planet of doers after all, while the ever concentrating-shrinking top elite is approaching a point by which their levers won’t work anymore on keeping such complex circus in working order. Some, see this point of THE end of times, while I’d suggest something more mundane as we go forwards ala civil wars, revolutions, swift change of values (ala 4th turning and larger-deeper historical cycles), abandonment of settlements and whole industrial sectors etc. A big reshuffle is likely coming in next 2-3decades.

            • The Knowledge says:

              Swift, you want swift? I’ll give you swift – How does Thermonookular war grab ya?

              Incredibly we are nearly there.

            • The likelyhood of thermonuclear war outcome near term/mid term is not zero.
              However, you have to look at it from the point of view of the owners of the dominant system today and the global decision makers, what are the pros and cons for them in it?Have you been in a decomissioned dooms day bunker? There are few of them accessible as museums with 1980s early 1990s technology or in some rare cases even with more modern equipment in Switzerland and so on, so you can have sort of rough conceptual idea what the real fat cats can play with at the minimum. My summary, it’s pretty advanced, you can bet the top bunkers are at least 3-5yrs guaranteed as autonomous, perhaps much more, it’s spacious and relatively luxurious. So, that’s one side of the equation, now the question remains, what’s next when they finally step out into the new reality, are they going to be happy with early 19th century living standards? Because, that’s sort of the upper boundary, their preserved know-how would be able to get from activating the remnants of plebeian survivors in realistic time frames in “the rebuilding efforts” I guess, there must be factions juggling the pros and cons as of lately, some would favor deeper reset even at these costs, some can’t even imagine to personally manage such a transition. We will get the answers who call the shot soon enough. Anecdotal evidence, you might have noticed, how the aging potentates in their 90s look very healthy, from the Windsors to Kissingers etc., they evidently enjoy very much the recent progress in stem cells, blood and organ replacements, and what have you, I doubt they are keen to kick the table, unless they are really cornered, which is not the situation as of today, there are possibly ways, how to pretend and extend, can kick this dominant arrangement some more.

            • The Knowledge says:

              The wave of stupid is like a dumbed down version of Jacques Derrida’s “Deconstruction” – which is, of course, total crap.

              I know, first hand, for my brother works for a quasi-governmental organisation and he has the virus. These people really believe they can impose their will on reality by writing total crappola and dissing anyone who disagrees.

              I’m sure a lot reading this sympathise.

            • pokemon says:

              “that this is planet of doers after all”,
              It used to be. Now it is that of a useless consumerist.

              The Windsors and Kissingers have offspring so they might want to continue kicking.
              Otherwise you are pretty much spot on.

            • Doug Grave says:

              “The likelyhood of thermonuclear war outcome near term/mid term is not zero.
              However, you have to look at it from the point of view of the owners of the dominant system today and the global decision makers, what are the pros and cons for them in it?Have you been in a decomissioned dooms day bunker? There are few of them accessible as museums with 1980s early 1990s technology or in some rare cases even with more modern equipment in Switzerland and so on, so you can have sort of rough conceptual idea what the real fat cats can play with at the minimum. My summary, it’s pretty advanced, you can bet the top bunkers are at least 3-5yrs guaranteed as autonomous, perhaps much more, it’s spacious and relatively luxurious. So, that’s one side of the equation, now the question remains, what’s next when they finally step out into the new reality, are they going to be happy with early 19th century living standards? Because, that’s sort of the upper boundary, their preserved know-how would be able to get from activating the remnants of plebeian survivors in realistic time frames in “the rebuilding efforts” I guess, there must be factions juggling the pros and cons as of lately, some would favor deeper reset even at these costs, some can’t even imagine to personally manage such a transition. We will get the answers who call the shot soon enough. Anecdotal evidence, you might have noticed, how the aging potentates in their 90s look very healthy, from the Windsors to Kissingers etc., they evidently enjoy very much the recent progress in stem cells, blood and organ replacements, and what have you, I doubt they are keen to kick the table, unless they are really cornered, which is not the situation as of today, there are possibly ways, how to pretend and extend, can kick this dominant arrangement some more.”

              The danger of irradiation is not only from nuclear weapons. I submit that 46 year old GE reactors and spent fuel pools present a equally chance of eradication. If the “owners of the dominant system” do not want to be irradiated why are not simple dry casking and decommissioning taking place. Given the ability to print $ this would be easily achieved. If the media machine was put into motion with the actual truth with this it would also be achieved. In the absence of dry casking and decommissioning occurring I submit that this provides strong evidence of one of the following.

              1; ” owners of the dominant system ” Do not care if they and their children get fried. You and I, we do not want to get fried. We do not want our children to get fried. It is however a assumption that “owners of the dominant system” think this way. Some worship destruction.
              2;There is no one in control with a master plan. We are actually as stupid as we seem to be.

              BAU is coming to a end one way or another. Look at FE he has said many times that he is not only going to self terminate but terminate his whole family ( which has another not so nice word that denotes that action) when BAU ends. Extend this philosophy to someone who has their hand on the button. If we have people here on this website saying they are going to take the land rover with the family in it and drive at 110 kph into a rock wall is it really so unlikely that “owners of the dominant system” are not of the same mindset? Thermonuclear war is way more impressive as a final act of ego than smashing a car.

            • Peter Gibbons says:

              It is just a game to the owners.
              Like kids, they are playing with themselves and the human anthill.
              Nobody will be seriously injured. Except for the ants.
              The owners know that not even the ants care about themselves.
              But careful not to kill the queen, then the fun stops.

              Regarding the Fast Eddy doom, gloom and collapse drama: 😉
              Mm, yeah. Let me walk through my typical day.

        • You need a whole system to be in place to get most coal out. Back before World War I, there was a lot of coal that could not be extracted because it was terribly expensive to ship coal any distance across land. People could not afford the coal.

          • There are many versions of “coal” : deep black, brown, surface mining, ..
            For many different purposes: metallurgy, chemicals, energy, ..

            You clearly spoke about the single variety out of many available, well if people can’t from certain point afford the coal (e.g. for heating instead of protected/depleted wood or non reliable electricity) they simply have to triage and abandon some of the frivolous single family large empty space m2 dwellings for more densely concentrated family settings etc. It’s a regression time. Sorry, he who is going to rule in the future is not going to spend much time on debating such trivial issues, it will be done by force and necesity.

      • Stefeun says:

        Rural, you say
        “Debt allows an error in one part of the economy to spread to others.”

        Good point, but IMO it’s not the debt itself, rather the risk associated with it, that banking rules authorize to distribute at their convenience and spread over the rest of the system.
        The error, if any, resides in these regulations allowing to put the dust under the carpet, knowing fully well that at some moment it’ll become unsustainable.
        Instead of “absorbing” the several minor mistakes, that happen naturally in all organizations, it accumulates them, for short-term profit’s sake, until they fall on our heads all at once, later.

        And, you’re right to be afraid, because such methods are now so widespread that the whole banking system, with CBs, is contaminated ; no-one is any longer able to backup a significant default.
        Which means we should expect an avalanche to start anytime soon, and no-one to stop it.

        • Rural says:

          Stefeun, fascinating and worrying words. I expect this problem to manifest during the next run up in energy prices. If Nigeria and Libya stabilize, that could be a ways down the road. I’m in an oil producing region, and there is a lot of pain right now. I look at it as a sort of preview of what is to come.

          A fairly close relative of mine used to work for a large Canadian bank analysing oil and gas companies looking to borrow money. He now works for the same bank, but analysing how much the oil and gas companies that have been lent money are struggling. When I queried him as to what impact a major wave of bankruptcies in the oil and gas sector would have on their bank, he explained that most of the big banks had small exposure to that risk. However, there is at least one bank, a provincially-backed one, that is quite exposed, and it is beginning to show.

          Friends of ours recently bought and sold a house. The bank asked a lot of questions trying to determine how exposed this family’s income was to the oil and gas sector. It was the same story at two other banks.

          This new-found hesitancy to lend is definitely having an impact. Last summer, there were twenty-two houses being built in town. This year, only eight. The building supply store has laid off staff as a result. Same with the tool rental companies. Sales of low- and mid-range houses have very nearly stopped, but high-end homes are still moving.

          More broadly, the utility companies have laid off staff because there are much fewer installs, energy prices are very low, and growth in energy demand hasn’t just stopped, but reversed. Any businesses focussed on non-essentials (restaurants, the art store, the hobby store, the higher-end clothing stores, etc.) are hurting.

          Education is booming, as folk attempt to retrain. However, I’m not sure that retraining will pay off. At the very least, it gives folks something to do with their time, and perhaps some hope.

          Even the agriculture industry has been affected, as most land owners have wells or pipelines on their property, which provide a great deal of income in boom times, and much less now. Many farms were kept afloat by the oil and gas income.

          About the only industry that has been unaffected is healthcare…so far. Even there, funding cuts are expected, as the provincial government’s revenue has fallen.

          In short, I’ve been surprised how wide-ranging the impact has been. Debt is a major factor in hastening, worsening, and broadening that impact. Actually, its worse than that: The oil boom that ended in 2014 simply would not have happened without debt.

          • Stefeun says:

            Thanks for your precise decription of the situation in your area.

            I was a bit surprised by “Many farms were kept afloat by the oil and gas income.”, didn’t think about that.
            Mostly the big farms are affected, I assume, those with big acreage ; what do you think can happen to them if oil/gas revenues keep lowering? That said, I guess nothing will happen overnight, in this matter, lots of other things can go wrong well before anything moves due to ag-land issues (i.e. Bank problems connected to it).

            • The oil boom money goes in many different directions. The people doing the EROEI analyses ignore all but pulling it out of the ground. Clearly, money going to farmers helps them as well–they grow to depend on it.

          • Stefeun says:

            Oh, and as Gail, D.Graeber and others point out, “Debt” in some form appeared first, before money and all the rest (which are but form of debt).
            So we can safely consider that nothing related to growth, development, etc.. would have happened without debt.
            Today many people are playing with required upfront investments, that are getting bigger as the energy returns are decreasing. So it’s a bit different, compared to early times, but IMO the principle remains the same.

      • We have a networked system. It all seems to go down together. The fact that coal companies took on a lot debt is part of the problem. Part of the problem though, is that once coal prices rose (just as oil and natural gas prices rose), governments demanded bigger cuts of the total. Once these were in place, they become hard to take back. Governments begin to depend on them. Funding plans for pensions were likely affected as well.

        We cannot have prices go up and come back down. Everyone who was depending on the higher revenue suddenly has to change plans to deal with lower revenue, and they cannot make the change.

      • pokemon says:

        I can’t quite figure it out!

        Are they extracting oil from that bloated wellhead. Perhaps it is the plumbing and cabling for CO2 EOR at Ghawar?

        Or is something completely else going on there?

      • Yoshua says:


  44. Freeloader says:

    “Notice how Bloomberg and Telegraph removed comments recently — can’t have people bust the matrix….”

    The irony, the arrogance, the lunacy… It’s mindbogglingly breathtaking.

  45. pokemon says:

    Extremely well paying high tech jobs for the able minded, and as for the nonproductive mindless generic consumerist hordes. Death.

    It’s where it’ll be at as we close the books on BAU 3.0


    • You accused someone of not following your reasoning.

      Your reasoning is a little hard to follow to be sure. Can you be a little less vague?

      For example you claim that most humans will shortly be eradicated but you haven’t explained how. What is the miraculous mechanism that will kill off the non-software programmers among us yet leave the tech savvy alive?

      • The Knowledge says:

        You must have FAITH, otherwise you will be excommunicated.
        There are some sycophantic supporters but they are as chaff before the storm.

        • Once again you are being too vague.

          Are you suggesting that nuclear bombs are discriminatory? Or that there will be a robot-led inquisition of survivors which will quiz people on their coding skills?

          • pokemon says:

            Has it occurred to you that a data mined and computer generated list of competent and smart people can be used in a human orchestrated sieving operation to shake out the good seeds from a sack of mostly useless and dumb nutjobs?

            Then again, perhaps my using of “Death” is rhetoric?
            Or?.. Maybe not! 😉

      • pokemon says:

        Miracles? Since when would that be needed? The only requirement is a targeted assault on the nonproductive useless compulsive consumerist.

        First crunch the population records in the global datacenters, make a threshold, sieve the hordes, above the limit and you get to live, below and…… 😉

        I propose you a few, easily extendible, real-world mechanisms for death amongst the lesser of humans, battle proven in fairly recent history, make your pick:


        Concentration Camps:


        Military Industrial Complex:

    • Ed says:

      Yup. It is easy just stop sending money to the people you want gone. No money, no food, wait six month problem solved.

      • pokemon says:

        Exactly, and keep out MSM, it is all way too easy since it’s already paid and bought for.

  46. Rock Fan says:

  47. Fast Eddy says:

    Separately, data also showed China’s coal production fell by 15.5 percent, the most in data going back to April 2015, when the statistics bureau resumed releasing those figures.

    Coal demand in China has slid as its economy slows and shifts toward consumer-led growth, while the government seeks to cut industrial oversupply and curb pollution. Output declined to 263.75 million tons in May, according to the bureau.


    The thing is China is not transitioning to consumer led growth ….

    Maybe the drop in coal consumption is a product of a big drop in solar panel production as countries come to grips with the fact that rolling out ‘renewable’ energy means they need to operate two power generation systems — which means solar energy is one of the stupidest ideas of all time because it results in very expensive energy.

    One way or the other — Coal is King in China … if they have dropped 15% …. things are not looking good

    • Fast Eddy says:

      Just thinking …. now I know why people post comments without backing them with facts…. they are following the MSM model …

      As in the above article stating that China’s growth is now consumer led…. that is a bald faced lie.

      But hey – if Bloomberg says its so – then the sheeple will believe it. Notice how Bloomberg and Telegraph removed comments recently — can’t have people bust the matrix….

      Unfortunately this strategy does not work very well on FW…

    • Wow! China is having major problems. How can debt be repaid, if economic growth shrinks as coal production/consumption is cut back?

  48. pokemon says:

    Here it cometh, the end of human domination. The death of the mindless consumerist.

    Enter RealitySTAN 4.0:

    Let us together all rejoice as we enter into the age of the thinking machine!

    • LOT says:

    • What is your position on system collapse?

      1) It has to happen for your man/machine world to emerge or

      2) it won’t happen because of a new system which eliminates most of humanity? or

      3) a third position I haven’t gathered?

      If you are espousing the first view are you rejecting the possibility of a ‘Korowicz-style’ infrastructure failure? If so, what is your basis for thinking that? Are you also conjecturing a rather orderly collapse that destroys only what you consider wasteful yet retains what you consider fruitful?

      If you are espousing the second view, are you referencing human-intelligence-exceeding AI which any serious AI developers predicts will take fifteen to twenty years more BAU to produce? Or are you asking us to consider that the AI revolution is much closer? It might take more than a parlour trick within a very limited functionality such as answering game show questions to evidence that.

      If you are espousing a third view then it would be interesting to hear.

      • MM says:

        It is obvoius that a thinking machine will discover the next 20 laws of thermodynamics and save us all.

        • The Knowledge says:

          What does save mean? Has anybody asked?

          • Pintada says:

            Dear The Knowledge;

            1 the captain was saved by his crew: rescue, come to someone’s rescue, save someone’s life; set free, free, liberate, deliver, extricate; bail out; informal save someone’s bacon/neck/skin.
            2 the farmhouse has been saved from demolition: preserve, keep safe, keep, protect, safeguard; salvage, retrieve, reclaim, rescue.
            3 start saving money: put aside, set aside, put by, put to one side, save up, keep, retain, reserve, conserve, stockpile, store, hoard, save for a rainy day; informal salt away, squirrel away, stash away, hang on to.
            4 asking me first would have saved a lot of trouble: prevent, obviate, forestall, spare; stop; avoid, avert.

            You’re welcome,

        • Pintada says:

          Dear MM;

          Or better yet, simply get rid of the first 3.

          Yours in Limitless Existence,

      • pokemon says:

        1: It depends on what one mean with “system collapse”. As a disruptive economic/technology/energy/population paradigm shift, then quite possibly. As a return to a primitive state and then a resurrection, highly unlikely, since there still is ample of cheap energy going around to make BAU viable with a far lesser population.

        2: I assume you consider “humanity” as the human population now living on earth? Yes, we already have those “systems” in place, for example forced relocation, habitat abandonment, war, genocide, starvation, disease, pollution and climate change.

        3: If the current paradigm are forced to continue by massive stimulus injections, I consider it is highly probable that it will inevitably end in corruption, mindless waste, apathy and violence. When eventually the last viable hydrocarbon has been burned without any real economic growth, then, well. 😉

        An interesting outcome to ponder about, and its relevance for humans, if we prolong this FF enabled population overshoot is the “mouse utopia” experiment by John B. Calhoun:

        Mouse Utopia:

        Suffice to say, it does not end well if the energy source (food) is unlimited, predation is removed and habitat is constrained. It is what I believe, not the sufficient conditions for evolution to take place and will end as it completes its evolutionary course to its own irrelevance and then extinction.

        IBM’s Deep Blue and Watson are quite remarkable scientific and engineering achievements. Though as you state, it is a few parlor tricks going on under the hood. According to my knowledge the Google AlphaGo is a genuine “AI” achievement, since it is based only on learning from examples and playing itself and not using any “ad hoc” custom code.

        I’m more inclined on believing that the “AI revolution” will be a matter of a accelerating phase-out of nonproductive human mental activities replacing them with computers and machinery doing work. And just as mindless as evolution have been to the mammal brain, computational abstraction and algorithmic sophistication will arise out of the economic selection activities putting evolutionary pressures on technological advancements eventually leading to machines transcending humans. Or perhaps a better term than “machine” would be a novel “mankind” without the limitations of human biology.

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