China: Is peak coal part of its problem?

The world’s coal resources are clearly huge. How could China, or the world in total, reach peak coal in a timeframe that makes a difference?

If we look at China’s coal production and consumption in BP’s 2016 Statistical Review of World Energy (SRWE), this is what we see:

Figure 1. China’s production and consumption of coal based on BP 2016 SRWE.

Figure 2 shows that the quantities of other fuels are increasing in a pattern similar to past patterns. None of them is large enough to make a real difference in offsetting the loss of coal consumption. Renewables (really “other renewables”) include wind, solar, geothermal, and wood burned to produce electricity. This category is still tiny in comparison to coal.

Figure 2. China’s energy consumption by fuel, based on BP 2016 SRWE.

Why would a country selectively decide to slow down the growth of the fuel that has made its current “boom” possible? Coal is generally cheaper than other fuels. The fact that China has a lot of low-cost coal, and can use it together with its cheap labor, has allowed China to manufacture goods very inexpensively, and thus be very competitive in world markets.

In my view, China really had no choice regarding the cutback in coal production–market forces were pushing for less production of goods, and this was playing out as lower commodity prices of many types, including coal, oil, and natural gas, plus many types of metals.

China is mostly self-sufficient in coal production, but it is a major importer of natural gas and oil. Lower oil and natural gas prices made imported fuels of these types more affordable, and thus encouraged more importing of these products. At the same time, lower coal prices made many of China’s mines unprofitable, leading to a need to cut back on production. Thus we see the rather bizarre result: consumption of the cheapest energy product (coal) is falling first. We will discuss this issue more later.

China’s Overall Historical Production of Energy Products

With the pattern of energy consumption shown in Figure 2, growth in China’s total fuel consumption has slowed, as shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3. China energy consumption by fuel, based on BP 2016 SRWE.

The indicated increases in total fuel consumption in Figure 3 are as follows: 8.1% in 2011; 4.0% in 2012; 3.9% in 2013; 2.3% in 2014; 1.5% in 2015.

Unless there is a huge shift to a service economy, we would expect the rate of growth of China’s GDP to decrease rather rapidly as well, perhaps staying 1% or 2% higher than the growth in fuel consumption. Such a relationship would suggest that China’s reported rate of GDP growth for 2014 and 2015 may be overstated.

The Problem of Low Coal Prices

Most of us don’t pay attention to coal prices around the world, but according to BP data, coal prices have been following a similar pattern to those of oil and natural gas.

Figure 4. Coal prices since 1999 based on BP 2016 SRWE data.

Oil prices tend to cluster more closely than those of coal and natural gas because there is more of a world market for oil than for the other fuels. Coal and natural gas have relatively high delivery costs, making it more expensive to trade these products internationally.

Figure 5. World oil prices since 1999 for various oil types, based on BP 2016 SRWE. (Prices not adjusted for inflation.)

Figure 6. Historical prices for several types of natural gas, from BP 2016 SRWE.

The one place where natural gas prices failed to follow the same pattern as oil and coal prices was in the United States. After 2008, shale producers extracted more natural gas for the US market than it could easily absorb. This overproduction, together with a lack of export capacity, led to falling US prices. By 2014 and 2015, prices were falling everywhere for oil, coal and natural gas.

Why Prices of Fossil Fuels Move Together

The reason why prices of fossil fuels tend to move together is because commodity prices reflect “demand” at a given time. This demand is determined by a combination of wage levels and debt levels. When wage levels are high and debt levels are increasing, consumers can afford more goods, such as new homes and new cars. Building these new homes and cars takes many different kinds of materials, so commodity prices of many kinds tend to rise together, to encourage production of these diverse materials.

Why Fossil Fuel Prices Don’t Necessarily Rise Indefinitely

Rising fossil fuel prices depend on rising demand. Wages are not really rising fast enough to increase fossil fuel prices to the levels shown in Figures 4, 5, and 6, so the world has had to depend on rising debt levels to fill the gap. Unfortunately, there are diminishing returns to adding debt. We can witness the poor impact that Japan’s rising debt level has had on raising its GDP.

Adding more debt is like using an elastic rubber band to increase the world output of goods and services. Adding debt works for a while, as the relatively elastic economy responds to growing debt. At some point, however, the amount of debt required becomes too high relative to the benefit obtained. The system tends to “snap back,” and prices fall for many commodities at the same time. This seems to be what happened recently in late 2008, and what has happened again recently. The challenge is to restore world economic growth, since it is really robust world economic growth that allows commodity prices to rise to high levels.

Some Historical Perspective on Rising Energy Prices and Rising Debt 

In “normal” times, a small increase in demand will increase production of fossil fuels by several percentage points–generally enough to handle the rising demand. Prices can then fall back again and there is no long-term rise in prices. This situation occurred for quite a long time prior to about 1970.

After about 1970, we found that it became more difficult to raise production levels of energy products, without permanently raising prices. US oil production began to decline in 1970. This started an energy crisis that has been simmering beneath the surface for 45 years. Various workarounds for our energy shortage problem were tried, such as adding nuclear, drilling for oil in new areas such as the North Sea, and building more energy efficient cars. Another approach used was reducing interest rates, to make high-priced homes, cars and factories more affordable.

By the late 1990s, even these workarounds were no longer providing the benefit needed. Another idea was tried: encourage more international trade. This would allow the world access to untapped energy sources, including coal, in the less developed parts of the world, such as China and India.

This, too, worked for a while, but resource depletion tended to continue to raise the cost of energy extraction. Also, the competition with low-cost labor in India, China, and other countries tended to hold down the wages of the less-educated workers in the developed countries. Higher prices at the same time that wages for some of the workers were depressed is, of course, a bad mismatch.

One way of “fixing” the problem was with cheaper debt, and more debt, so that consumers could buy homes and cars with lower incomes.  This fix of more debt stopped working in 2008, as repayment on “subprime” debt faltered, and all fossil fuel prices collapsed.

Figure 7. World Oil Supply (production including biofuels, natural gas liquids) and Brent monthly average spot prices, based on EIA data.

To “re-inflate” the world economy, world leaders began to try to add even more debt. They did this by fixing interest rates even lower, starting in late 2008, using a program called Quantitative Easing (QE). This program was successful in raising commodity prices again, although its effect seemed to diminish with time. China’s huge growth in debt during this period helped as well.

Energy prices turned downward again in mid-2014, when the United States discontinued its QE program, and China (under new leadership) decided not to continue increasing debt as quickly as before. The result was a second sharp drop in commodity prices, without a corresponding drop in the cost of producing these fossil fuels. This shift was devastating from the point of view of energy supply producers.

Impact of Lower Prices on China’s Coal Producers

China has a lot of coal resources, but not all of these resources can be produced cheaply. Generally, the least expensive resources tend to be produced first. When prices are high, it may look like deeper, thinner seams can be extracted, in addition to the easier and cheaper to extract seams, but this is never certain. At some point, prices may fall and thus issue a “stop mining” instruction.

When coal prices drop, producers are likely to encounter debt problems, as loans related to coal operations become due. The reason why this happens is because loans taken out when coal prices were high are likely to reflect an optimistic view of how much can be extracted. Once prices drop, operators discover that they have committed themselves to paying back more in loans than their coal mines can actually produce. This seems to be happening now.

What Are the Implications for Future World Coal Production?

If we look at a chart showing world consumption of energy products by fuel, we see that world coal production has turned down in a similar manner to the downturn in Chinese coal production.

Figure 8. World energy consumption by fuel, separately by major groupings.

There are many large areas of the world that seem to be beyond their peak in coal production, including the United States, the Eurozone, the Former Soviet Union, and Canada. Note that the United States’ coal production “peaked” in 1998. This added to pressures for globalization.

Figure 9. Areas where coal production has peaked, based on BP 2016 SRWE. FSU means “Former Soviet Union.”

If we consider the rest of the world excluding the areas shown separately in Figure 9 as the “Non-Peaking Portion of the World,” we find that China’s current coal production far exceeds that of the Non-Peaking portion of world production.

Figure 10. Coal production in China compared to world production minus production shown in Figure 8.

Figure 10 indicates that even the non-peaking portion of the world is showing a downturn in production in 2015, no doubt relating to current low prices.

Another issue is that India’s coal production now falls far short of its consumption. Thus, India is becoming a major coal importer. In 2015, India’s consumption of coal slightly exceeded that of the United States, making it the second largest consumer of coal after China, and the largest coal importer. If China should decide to increase its coal consumption by adding imports, it would need to compete with India for supplies.

Figure 11. India’s production and consumption of coal, based on BP 2016 SRWE.

India’s hope for continued economic growth is also tied to coal, even though it doesn’t produce enough itself. India’s use of natural gas is declining, because its own locally produced natural gas supplies are declining, and imports are expensive.

Figure 12. India’s energy consumption by fuel based on BP 2016 SRWE.

Imported coal is more expensive than locally produced coal, because of the transportation costs involved. Thus, adding an increasing portion of imported coal will eventually make India’s products less price competitive. India started from a lower wage level than China, so perhaps it can temporarily withstand a somewhat higher average coal price. At some point, however, it will reach limits on how much of its mix can be imported, before workers cannot afford its products made with this high-priced coal.

As noted above, India and China will be competing for the same exports, if they both expect to grow using imported coal. We can modify Figure 9 to show what the size pool producing imports might now look like, if the countries needing imports is “China + India,” and the part with perhaps extra coal to export is the Non-Peaking Areas from Figure 9, less India.

Figure 12. Coal production for China plus India, compared to production from non-peaking group used in Figure 9, minus India. Based on BP 2016 SRWE.

This comparison shows an even worse mismatch between the peaking areas, and the current production of areas that might raise their supply.

Is Future Coal Production a Function of Resources Available, or of Prices?

Future coal production is clearly a function of both the amount of resources available and future prices. If there are no resources available, it is pretty clear that no resources can be extracted.

What most researchers have not understood is that future prices are important as well. We can’t expect that prices will rise indefinitely, because low-paid workers, especially, find themselves in a squeeze. They find homes and cars increasingly unaffordable, unless the government can somehow manipulate interest rates down to never heard of levels. Because of this lack of understanding of the role of prices, most of today’s models don’t consider the possibility that price levels may cut back production, at what seems to be an early date relative to the amount of resources in the ground.

Part of the confusion comes from the view economists have regarding prices, innovation, and substitution. Economists seem to be firmly convinced that prices will always rise to fix the problem of future shortages, but their models do not seem to take into account the major role that energy plays in the economy, and the lack of available substitutes. Certainly, the history of energy prices does not support this claim.

If I am correct in saying that prices cannot rise indefinitely, then all three of the fossil fuels are likely to peak, more or less simultaneously, when prices can no longer stay high enough to enable extraction. The downslope after the peak will be based on financial outcomes, such as the bankruptcies of coal operators, not on the exhaustion of reserves or resources in the ground. This dynamic can be expected to produce a much sharper downturn than modeled by the Hubbert Curve.

If analysts consider the possibility that prices will never again rise very high for very long, they realize such a low-price scenario would be a catastrophe. That is why we hear very little about this possibility.

Conclusion

It appears likely that China’s coal production has “peaked” and has begun to decline. This is especially likely if energy prices stay low, or never rise very high for very long.

If I am correct about energy prices not rising high enough in the future, all fossil fuels may reach peak production more or less simultaneously in the not too distant future. Widespread debt defaults seem likely if this happens.

If we are, in fact, reaching peak coal, even before peak oil, this is disconcerting for those who believe that the Hubbert Model is the only way of viewing the world. Maybe we are expecting too much from the model; maybe we need a model that considers prices, and how prices depend on wages and rising debt. Falling energy prices are especially bad for the system; they seem to lead to debt defaults.

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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1,385 Responses to China: Is peak coal part of its problem?

  1. Pingback: Energy limits: Why we see rising wealth disparity and low prices - Deflation Market

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  5. “Chevron Bets $37 Billion on Expansion as Oil Rises, Costs Fall
    “Output will rise to 1 million barrels of oil equivalent
    “Production from expanded Tengiz project will start in 2022
    “Chevron Corp. will go ahead with a $36.8 billion expansion of the Tengiz oil project in Kazakhstan as crude’s recovery to near $50 a barrel and a steep drop in costs allows explorers to ramp up.
    “The company and its partners including Exxon Mobil Corp. will spend $27.1 billion on facilities, $3.5 billion on wells and $6.2 billion for contingency and escalation, Chevron said it a statement on Tuesday. First oil from the expanded project is planned for 2022.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-07-05/chevron-approves-37-billion-expansion-of-kazakh-oil-project?utm_source=MIT+TR+Newsletters&utm_campaign=be4f9afa01-The_Download_July_06_2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_997ed6f472-be4f9afa01-153961373&goal=0_997ed6f472-be4f9afa01-153961373&mc_cid=be4f9afa01&mc_eid=662b7fd83b
    Now, didn’t I tell y’all how rosy things actually are? (Just kidding.)

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      Right! This investment will not provide a large amount of oil in 2022, I expect.

  6. Pingback: Energy limits: Why we see rising wealth disparity and low prices | Our Finite World

  7. Tim Groves – Japan
    Tim Groves says:

    Speaking of “a rather sorry lot of renewables”, they’ve been having some teething trouble with their wind turbines in Tamil Nadu.

    https://youtu.be/Q5COAi6KM8o

    • Pffft. This is nothing but a ploy by Big Coal to discredit wind energy.

      Big Coal along with their corrupt friends in government fear the freedom that decentralized free energy will bring to the masses. They are not above making defective wind turbines or tinkering with wind turbines to make wind turbines appear unreliable. They are terrified of losing their power of us.

      /sarcasm.

  8. psile
    psile says:

    America now has more untapped oil than any other country

    U.S. has more untapped oil than Saudi Arabia or Russia
    Move over, Saudi Arabia and Russia. America now has more untapped oil than any other country on the planet.

    That’s according to a new report from Rystad Energy that estimates the U.S. is sitting on an incredible 264 billion barrels of oil reserves. It includes oil in existing fields, new projects, recent discoveries as well as projections in undiscovered fields.

    More than half of America’s untapped oil is unconventional shale oil, according to Rystad. Shale oil is the previously-unreachable crude that, thanks to fracking and new technology, has reshaped the global energy landscape and vaulted the U.S. into the upper echelon of global oil producers. ….

    ….But there are seas of oil just waiting to get tapped once oil prices rebound. Texas, home to the Eagle Ford, Permian and Barnett shale oil plays, holds more than 60 billion barrels of shale oil alone, Rystad estimates. That’s more than the untapped oil in all of China. There are also vast sums of oil beneath the ground in North Dakota, where the Bakken shale oil play sits.

    Who knew? :O

    • DJ says:

      From the report:
      “This data confirms that there is a relatively limited amount of recoverable oil left on the planet.”

      The swedish business press translation:
      Concludes there is enough oil for 70 years, and long before that oil will have gone out of style.

  9. psile
    psile says:

    Look, I told you after this happened it looked f#cking grim…like a Lehmans-style event.

    The Bank of England hits the panic button

    “The Bank of England hit the panic button overnight as evidence of the fallout from the Brexit vote within the UK economy begins to emerge. For those outside the UK and Europe, a major uncertainty is whether the developing financial stress will be confined to the region or if it has more global implications.

    If, as appears probable, the UK descends into recession and property prices fall and corporate failures rise, the capital bases of the banks and their capacity and appetite for new lending would also inevitably be eroded.

    As the BoE’s Financial Stability Report indicated, the perceived risks of the vote (which caused the bank and the UK Treasury to warn of the potential for a deep recession ahead of the referendum) are beginning to materialise.

    The pound has dropped to 31-year lows, UK share prices have fallen an average of about 20 per cent and foreign inflows of capital into an arguably overheated UK commercial real estate market have been falling away.”

  10. http://www.bloomberg.com/energy

    Hey, Yoshua, looks like my prediction of oil price in the $60-80 dollar range in this 2nd half of 2016 will have to wait till later this year – lol! WTI -2.43 just today down to $46.56 on news of increase in Cushing, Oklahoma storage. The good news is I still have until Dec. 31st.

    • Yoshua says:

      Stilgar it’s a strange world. To experience low oil prices and a glut because we are running out of oil is contra intuitive.

      I think that you are right about that Brexit is a symptom of a collapsing globalization though. There is probably no conspiracy behind Brexit. I like to indulge my self in conspiracy theories. They provide a way to lie to one self to avoid reality ?

      Well… you have until the of the year to lie to your self. 🙂

      • Come on, a lie is a bit melodramatic – it’s a prediction and we all know those are darts thrown in the dark that sometime hit the target. I’ve still got time on the clock.

        • Yeah, Yoshua, Brexit is just the tide going back out – transitioning from expansion to contraction, globalization to towards localization. But it’s ok to have conspiracy theories – it stirs the imagination.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      Do you have money on this outcome?

      • No money on outcome. I’ve got a Chinese solar stock I toss money in when it hits a certain low number, then sell when it rises above a certain number. Always worked so far. I just do small plays so not to get burned when I finally play that hand one too many times.

  11. Duncan Idaho says:

    Daily CO2

    July 4, 2016: 406.03 ppm

    July 4, 2015: 401.76 ppm

    • That’s a huge 4.27 ppm difference. Got to wonder if it’s starting to ‘runaway’.

      D.I., just a few years back I suggested the CO2 ppm increase YOY would soon approach 3. That was on Neven’s Arctic blog. I was sternly corrected and told not to exaggerate because 2 ppm increase per year was plenty. Well, here we are just a few years later and last year did go up over 3 ppm on a YOY basis. So as it turned out I was correct. Will be interesting to see if it continues to spike.

  12. Yoshua says:

    The United States has 240 Billion Barrels of Oil that we could recover through
    Tertiary Recovery Technologies according to the Department of Energy.

    http://www.Drill Baby Drill.com

    American jobs. American Energy Independence. And most importantly, to save the lives of America’s brave soldiers, sailors and airmen presently fighting & dying for muslim oil.

    • Nanotechonolgy will save the day….maybe two or three days!

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      All we need is a lot higher prices.

  13. Yoshua says:

    Kuwait Inc is a vertically structured Petroleum Company.

    Kuwait Inc owns Kuwait and the oil fields in Kuwait.
    Kuwait Inc explores, drills and extracts the oil.
    Kuwait inc has a fleet of tankers that transports the oil.
    Kuwait inc has refiners in Europe.
    Kuwait Inc has gas stations in Europe.

    So Kuwait Inc reaches the end consumer with its products and can move the cost of its operations to the end consumer.

    Kuwait Inc also has rainy day fond.

    The Company has today a problem with its operations in Kuwait. The Company’s exploration, drilling and extraction part of the business is today bleeding money due to high costs and low oil prices.

    When Kuwait Inc tried to cut its costs in Kuwait by cutting wages and subsidies, the staff in Kuwait went on strike and threatened to close the tap to the resource the Company lives on.

    Kuwait Inc is now forced to find another solution. They can tap the profits of its operations (if Kuwait Inc is making any profits today), tap the rainy day fund, or tap the Fed’s and the ECB’s printing press. Kuwait Inc choose to tap the printing presses and that should also have made IMF happy.

  14. Fast Eddy says:

    Something Huge Is Coming From Japan

    Pretend, for a minute, that your country responds to the bursting of a credit bubble by borrowing unprecedented amounts of money and using it to prop up banks and construction companies. This doesn’t work, so you create record amounts of new money and push interest rates into negative territory in an attempt to devalue your currency. But this – amazingly – doesn’t work either. Your currency soars and the inflation you’d hoped to generate never materializes.

    Now what? Is there even anything left to try, or is it simply time to stand back and let the current system melt down? Those are the questions facing Japan, and the answers are not obvious. Here, for instance, is its inflation rate two years into the largest major-country money creation binge since Wiemar Germany:

    More http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-04/something-huge-coming-japan-0

    • Fast Eddy says:

      Alas… Big had the opposite effect of what was expected…

      What if something Huge is just more of the same?’

      The bookies have now made Japan the favourite to be the trigger that collapses BAU….

    • CRASH says:

      http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0003056043

      Outsource the economy to Bangladesh:

      Economic relations between Bangladesh, whose capital Dhaka was the site of a recent terrorist attack, and Japan have been rapidly deepening. An increasing number of Japanese companies choose the country rather than China as a production base due to its low labor costs.

      • 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.
        Gail Tverberg says:

        It seems to be a contest for a reaching the bottom first. Nigeria next?

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      I don’t know how Japan has gotten along this far, much less how it will succeed in the future.

      • Ed – I am interested in energy issues.
        Ed says:

        I am amazed that a country with an educated population, capital and technology skills has done ZERO to develop a new energy source over the past 50 years.

        • Ed – I am interested in energy issues.
          Ed says:

          There was a book The Ka of Japanese Power. It’s idea was that there is no central power in Japan. Basically everyone points the finger at everyone else and says hey it is not my job.

        • 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.
          Gail Tverberg says:

          Actually, there have been a lot of people working on the problem, and the best they have come up with is the rather sorry lot of renewables that we are dealing with now, and a few others, like space solar.

          Part of their problem is that alternatives that they have come up with tend to be a whole lot more expensive. It is hard to get financing for something that looks like it will always be very expensive.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            There have been a lot of people over a lot longer period of time trying to turn lead into gold….

            Some things apparently …. are not possible

            • It is possible to turn lead into Gold. It just doesn’t make any economic sense to do so.

              Then again, the history of civilization is full of humans going through a lot of trouble to acquire gold, for dubious economic benefit. Why weren’t economies backed by valuable resources like the number of slaves or crop yields, I will never understand.

            • Stefeun says:

              ARBP,
              “Why weren’t economies backed by valuable resources”?

              Fiat money allows a tiny class of rulers to be as rich as they want, by simply printing money.
              The magic of compound interest makes it too, Albert in a lesser extent, for the owners belonging to the upper quintile.

              That would not be possible with money backed by reality.
              Another thing that makes it possible is the use of debt, which forwards the benefits into present time. But this supposes you can keep the debt level always increasing. Then comes a time where you have to face the future (ie pay back debt with interests)…

            • because gold was the one commodity you could bury and dig up after 1000 years and it would be unchanged. it took energy to obtain and thus had scarcity value
              hence it became the universal standard of value and currency.

              it will remain so only as long as our commercial environment exists.
              when that collapses, gold value will fade

        • CRASH says:

          http://techon.nikkeibp.co.jp/atclen/news_en/15mk/012700337/?ST=msbe&P=5

          Japanese Firm Struggles to Run Solar Project on Remote Island

          The wind power generation facility that the plant adopted was a state-of-the-art type equipped with a (step-up) gearless synchronous power generator. Its benefit was the use of no gears that could cause mechanical failures. However, the number of lightning strikes increased because of the larger coils featured in the synchronous power generator

          Accordingly, Nakahara had to replace the coils every time lightning struck the facility. The company had initially ordered original components from the wind turbine manufacturer, but their price was high and increased the repair cost.

          There are certain countermeasures against lightning such as setting up an arrester tower close by and attaching a conductor rod on its top, but they are not realistic considering the construction cost, according to Nakahara.

          ———————————–

          However, the plant has already experienced a management problem. After about 18 months of operation, “We replaced roughly 400 panels because of a sharp decline in output, which appeared to be down due to the potential-induced degradation (PID) phenomenon,” Marukome said.

          “We could not confirm whether the problem was the so-called PID phenomenon or not partly because such defects as insufficient soldering were also found, though we have not analyzed all the panels whose output had lowered

          • Fast Eddy says:

            Let’s have a Joke of the Day involving ‘renewable’ energy.

            I really like the joke you posted —- after reading it I had to reach for the duct tape — to seal my busted gut…

            The biggest joke of course is that Green Groopies will – no matter how many tonnes of evidence you shovel down their gaping maws —- reject any criticism of the ‘renewable energy’ scam… um… I meant … industry…

            Lemmings to the very last one of them …. all we need is a big enough cliff to rid the planet of such people

            • CRASH says:

              Japan calls them unadjustables. They admit they can’t get off the ff hamster wheel so it looks like the “plan” is controlled depopulation from 127 million to 97 million in 2050. It will probably be 9.7 million instead.

              http://web.mit.edu/mission/www/m2018/pdfs/japan/future.pdf

              Present Status and Points of Discussion for Future Energy
              Systems in Japan from the Aspects of Technology Options

              “Because the electricity output from wind
              and solar are unadjustable, the advanced energy management
              and measures for electricity storage have to be implemented
              on a large scale. The advanced energy management
              will need a transition of paradigm, i.e. from management
              by the centralized energy suppliers to that considering both
              supply and demand sides possibly by utilizing the advanced
              information technologies.

              As discussed in Section 2.1, Japan has to challenge maximizing
              renewable energies, as well as minimizing the conventional
              exhaustible resources in the ultra-long term perspective,
              considering that Japan is not rich in conventional
              primary energy resources: i.e. fossil and nuclear fuels. Because
              rapid transition is unrealistic considering the lifetime
              of the energy infrastructure, conventional resources will
              keep their major roles in Japan’s energy system, thereby
              making the energy savings at the demand sides more important.

              Japan is
              expecting a decline in population, with an estimate being
              from the present 127.8 million to 97 million by 2050 (Ministry
              of Internal Affairs and Communications, 2013).”

        • doomphd – Honolulu – I really hold a doctor of philosophy (phd) in geological sciences and study pretty doomy topics like giant landslides, volcanic eruptions and megatsunamis.
          doomphd says:

          Developing new energy sources is a tall order. The Japanese were on track to provide more than 50% of their energy from nuclear fission, then came along the double whammy of the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, and its effect on the reactors at Fukushima. They seem to be buying time with imported natural gas (and coal?) until they figure out an exit plan from all the fission nukes they’ve built. Meanwhile, more earthquakes and tsunamis can happen anytime there.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            ‘The Japanese were on track to provide more than 50% of their energy from nuclear fission’

            Source?

            Please don’t provide a link to The DelusiSTAN Post….

            • doomphd – Honolulu – I really hold a doctor of philosophy (phd) in geological sciences and study pretty doomy topics like giant landslides, volcanic eruptions and megatsunamis.
              doomphd says:

              They were at 25% of total energy production and had plans to ramp up more nuclear when disaster struck:

              “While Japan had previously relied on nuclear power to meet about one fourth of its electricity needs, after the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster all nuclear reactors have been progressively shut down for safety concerns.[4][5] Ōi Nuclear Power Plant’s reactor No. 3 was eventually restarted on 2 July 2012.[6] As of January 2013 most cities hosting nuclear plants state that they do not mind restarts if the government could guarantee their safety.[7]”

              from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_in_Japan

              This article contains a couple of interesting graphics:
              http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/current-and-future-generation/nuclear-power-in-the-world-today.aspx

              Note the drop in the “East Asia” nuclear energy production after 2010. That has to be from Japan, as all other asian countries have continued ramping up. Also note the 2014 ranking of Japan in nuclear energy production: almost or at zero, yet there is little evidence for energy conservation. I was just there for a week and all the trains were running, the escalators in the shopping malls were moving and the electric hand dryers in the banyos were almost all working. There were just a few hand dryers turned off with signs in english and japanese concerning power conservation. The effort looked half-hearted to me.

            • “They were at 25% of total energy production and had plans to ramp up more nuclear when disaster struck:

              “While Japan had previously relied on nuclear power to meet about one fourth of its electricity needs,”

              Notice there is a huge difference between 25 percent of total energy, and 25 percent of electricity.
              Looks like their primary energy use dropped from 6200 TWH to 5200 TWh over 10 years – that is quite a thing.

              So 1000 TWh of electricity and 5200 TWh of primary energy, and 25 percent of the electricity from nuclear is 250 TWh. So, maybe 4-5 percent of total energy from fission.

            • 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.
              Gail Tverberg says:

              I don’t think that Japan was at 25% of total energy production–maybe of total electricity production.

              Japan has been having a difficult time since the mid 1990s affording oil. The use of nuclear seems to have helped reduce the oil. (I don’t know if Japan was burning oil for electricity. Some island nations do. But if oil prices are much above $20 per barrel, this is expensive to do.)

            • Tim Groves – Japan
              Tim Groves says:

              That drop after 2010 must have been when I switched over to LED lighting.

        • psile
          psile says:

          To replace oil and other fossil fuels? Enough to power the modern lifestyles of 100 million Japanese? If it were that easy, it would have already have been done.

    • “retend, for a minute, that your country responds to the bursting of a credit bubble by borrowing unprecedented amounts of money and using it to prop up banks and construction companies. This doesn’t work, so you create record amounts of new money and push interest rates into negative territory in an attempt to devalue your currency. But this – amazingly – doesn’t work either.” One of the things that capitalists understand about the economic system is the damaging effect of high inflation that would be the result of them spending the majority of money the government created out of thin air , and in some cases, handed to them in the form of bailouts since 2008. They seem to have understand that the economy cannot handle that amount of inflation.
      However, they did spend some of the money and that money was spent in developing countries. The most high profile countries where that money was invested were the BRIC countries–Brazil, Russia, India and China. Investment there helped keep commodity prices up. Not much was reported about the ROI in BRIC countries–just as in the United States, and other developed countries, where a small portion of newly created money was spent on recovering more expensive fossil fuel reserves, “renewable energy”, make-work projects like “cash for clunkers”, and supposedly spending on dilapidated infrastructure.

      Everyone assumed that spending money would lead some lucky (“talented”, “competitive” ) entrepreneurs to stumble on to a new engine of growth, like another internet, a new source of energy, or a new manufacturing process that would make industrialization more accessible. What is being swept under the rug, what happened to the ROI of all the invested money, why debt is starting to become a problem for China if they had a trade surplus, and why a reduction in quantitative easing coinciding with low oil prices and the collapse of Syria,Egypt and the potential collapse of Venezuela.

      The mentality among most people is to not think about these things, or anything too much and hope for the best. This is what is being taught in school, church, and in informal social settings. The best is an expectation that everything should be getting better and better. Even the future isn’t bright anymore, the illusion of a better future, the illusion of returns on investment can be maintained with intervention by central bankers.

      “Now what? Is there even anything left to try, or is it simply time to stand back and let the current system melt down? Those are the questions facing Japan, and the answers are not obvious. ” If you remove the whole immigration factor, the United Kingdom is facing a similar situation because it is also a series of islands that are imported more and more of their food and energy.There’s a lot of talk about Brexit, but not a lot about the UK’s financial/economic situation or even the EU financial/economic situation. The Brexit is being portrayed, by the elites, and the elites include people who identify with the elites, as an irrational outcome fueled by bigotry. The elites are talking and those who are allowed to talk seem to be concerned with “diversity” in the most superficial way I’ve ever seen. I wonder if this another way they are attempting to keep things together or is it a manifestation of them being out of touch. No matter how much we can discuss about “limits to growth” and complexity, what the average person sees is mismanagement by the elite, and the focus on identity politics is a glaring example. It will take a lot of evidence for the average person to believe that economic problems cannot be solved political change.

      One major puzzle in the whole geopolitical scene is why Islamic fundamentalism is drawing people from different walks of life. More and more we are hearing about how supposedly assimilated Muslims with good employment prospects in respectable white collar professions are conducting terrorist attacks. I understand there is a religious element but I don’t feel that it is a sufficient explanation for its appeal to people with different life experiences.

  15. Fast Eddy says:

    BREAKING NEWS!!!!!

    (DelusiSTAN) —- Not only that, but radically new technologies are coming into existence – not gradually at an arithmetic rate, but at a geometric rate. So things are on the verge of becoming much, much better, and very, very quickly. Not only better than you imagine, but better than you can imagine.

    Energy—With the exception of nuclear, all power comes from the sun. In the past, solar, wind, and similar power sources existed mainly in the dreams of economically illiterate hippies. But now, combined with rapidly advancing battery technology, they finally make sense. Better yet, oncoming generations of modular nuclear reactors will be tiny, extremely safe, simple, and cheap. Maybe fusion power will finally become practical—although that would just be a bonus.

    Oil and gas? They’re important as feedstocks, but mainly because they provide very dense energy. They are, however, essentially compounds of hydrogen and carbon, two of the most common and simplest elements. With adequate (and sufficiently cheap—this is the key) power, they can be created in unlimited quantity; the chemistry is quite basic and well understood. Among other things, algae can be programmed to manufacture them in quantity.

    Space—One of the good things about most governments being bankrupt is that they’re being forced to cede the conquest of space to entrepreneurs, who will colonize the moon, the asteroids, and the planets. I love Elon Musk’s quip: “I hope to die on Mars. Just not on impact.” Of course, if he’s lucky, he may live to be several hundred years old because of other developments.

    You need “stuff” to make what you need. A lack of raw materials has always been a major reason for conflict. But digging things out of the Earth, using big yellow trucks, will no longer be humanity’s only option. The asteroids are full of dense elements. They’ll soon become available in massive quantity, cheaply.

    Life extension—It’s clear we’re on the edge of solving the problem of aging; it should be addressed as a degenerative disease. All other diseases are simply footnotes to aging. If you live long enough, you can be, do, and have everything that you can imagine. It’s likely to be possible soon.

    More http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-04/doug-casey-next-industrial-revolution

    I really like the part about how we will be able to create unlimited amounts of oil….

    I know serious financial world people who read Casey religiously….

    • CRASH says:

      Global Central Banks have already reduced interest rates 700 times in the past seven years

      When over $11.7 trillion in sovereign debt is negative yielding

      The U.S. ten year is at the lowest level ever

      Global debt has grown by $57 trillion since 2007 and “All major economies are now recording higher levels of borrowing relative to gross domestic product (GDP) than they did in 2007”

      The U.S. Fed Funds rate is already lower than it was in October 2008. There is nowhere to go.

      The Fed printed $3 trillion to levitate the Dow to a level its been stuck at since 2014

      Oil is already down 60% from its highs

      Commodities are at 1970s levels

      Profits have fallen five quarters straight, for the time since let’s see March 2009

      Global financials are already in free-fall, featuring Deutsche Bank BELOW the 2009 lows

      Global stocks ex-U.S. are down -20% from their 2014 highs and down -32% from their 2007 all time highs

      When adjusted for the deficit, the U.S. is already in recession

      Real household income is at a 20 year low

      Foodstamp use is at an all time high, not withstanding two cutbacks by Congress

      U.S. housing prices are in 2005

      New Homes sales are at 1960s levels

      The Global growth rate is at March 2009 levels

      The second largest economy is on verge of final meltdown

      The JPY carry trade is unwinding at a rate last seen during the Asian Financial Crisis

      • Bahamas Ed says:

        And the price of oil has just about doubled in the last 6 months from $33 to $52 (CLQ16)

        • psile
          psile says:

          I don’t understand what your point is?

          • Bahamas Ed says:

            Most recessions have started after a doubling, or more, of oil prices and while $50 may not sound like much it’s still more then most consumers can pay (worldwide).

            • psile
              psile says:

              Yes, I agree.

            • 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.
              Gail Tverberg says:

              Countries whose oil consumption declined in 2015 according to BP include Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela, Belarus, Finland, France, Germany, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Russia, Sweden, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Iran, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Japan. Several of these are oil exporting countries, but many are not.

            • DJ says:

              Swedens consumption for transport has been going down for about ten years. Include heating and industry and we’re at about a third of 1970.

        • 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.
          Gail Tverberg says:

          Brent is back to $48. Has a hard time staying very high.

      • Duncan Idaho says:

        But how is my sport franchise doing?
        Here, hold my beer, and watch this—

        • DJ says:

          As long as we get to know who wins the game of thrones everything can collapse afterwards.

          • I am really hoping Ol’ George R.R. finishes the next book before the SHTF. I settle for 2016 sometime. That would also give me one more NFL season and maybe a Super Bowl. Wishful thinking maybe but a lot of dominoes are likely to fall before the U.S. goes belly up. If Trump wins and shuts the borders we may get GOT’s next season and another Super Bowl. Came on 7! Roll them bones.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              If we could just get another season of American Idol and one of Dancing with Stars….

              I could die in peace!

            • FE, I somehow can’t picture you ballroom dancing. Got any photo or better still videos? As for american idol, I have never even seen a youtube segment. Maybe if you danced more your unending anxiety might diminish a couple of percent. Everybody needs a few hours out of the week to chill and not think about their problems. Nfl football and GOT does it for me. Maybe dancing with the stars does it for you. I do not spend 24/7 worrying about things I have no control over. I spent my time figuring out solutions or the lesser of two evils and proceed accordingly. Focus on the things you can fix locally and you may help slow down the collapse and get more of your friends and loved ones through the coming bottleneck. Focus and the incredible number of negatives and you will become clinically depressed and suicidal. How do I know this? It happened to me 10 years ago when I started adding up all the negative outcome we as humans have caused. I overdosed when the problems seemed to impossible to fix, especially with like 96% of the world’s population are completely ignorant of what going on. I expect under 4 minutes. I was revived with narcan and heart paddles. I truly wanted to be dead. I calculated the LD 50 for the drug I used and added 10% along with three very tall cuba libres with lime from my own tree. For some unknown reason I survived, maybe it was genetics. Who knows? Escape this mindset as quickly as possible or you ain’t gonna a make it to see the SHTF. If I wake up alive tomorrow, then I still have chance to survive another day. We are the most adaptive creatures on the planet other than maybe bacteria. We can understand the history that came before us and learn from its’ mistakes. Life has always knocked people on their butts. Those that get up and move forward, win. Those that stay down, lose. From what I have read of your posts you are an intelligent and creative human being. Get your head out of the Armageddon mindset and get to work fixing the things you know how to fix. You will feel better and probably will help things in a positive way. Being droll is funny but it does not solve a thing.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              ‘unending anxiety’

              Actually I have zero anxiety …. if there are things I do not like to with respect to work … I delegate …. beyond applying a bit of common sense to decision making …. I do very little ..

              In fact I should write a book ‘How to be somewhat successful and do next to nothing’

              With respect to home life my wife knows not to cross me ….. because I will tickle her … and she hates to be tickled…. just kidding … I really don’t give a f*&^k about much …. that’s the beauty of being a nihilist… you seldom feel pissed off about anything… my anthem is:

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azxoVRTwlNg

              As for the end of the world — that is the best thing that every happened to me.

              No need to plan for retirement…. no need to fret about growing old and decrepit… knowing death is not far off all I need to do is not get hit by a car … because I so much want to be part of the Big Show…. I want to be there to watch the riots and the chaos … then watch as the news goes off the air forever… the internet collapses… I want to look down the valley from my perch on the hill as the town goes dark …. I want to fire my 308 at random shadows… I want to feel what real panic feels like…. what it feels like to know there is no food in the shops…

              Anxiety? What anxiety?

              Off to the ski hills on Saturday … I’ll make sure I don’t do a Michael Schumacher… that would be most tragic…. yes… most tragic….

            • canuck1867 says:

              I totally agree with you FE. Knowing that IC is in the bottom of the 9th and that it will soon all be over does NOT give you anxiety but peace of mind. You do not stress out about anything and savour each day BAU is in place. Now for sure I will be scared and anxious when the shit show begins, but at least it won’t last for long before I check out. Until then I take advantage of every day!!!

            • Sorry Eddy…American Idol had its last season this year…but Simon replaced it with America Got Talent….

            • Fast Eddy says:

              I am so out of touch …. can someone get me up to speed on the latest utter useless rubbish that I am missing on the Tee Vee

              If anyone is looking for a silver lining in the collapse of BAU — surely the fact that there will no longer be Tee Vee has to be one

            • Ed – I am interested in energy issues.
              Ed says:

              Sorry Fast, I do not get commercial TV. But I do get corporate hype. They ignore the one fact lack of affordable primary energy. Once you do that it is all up ad to the right. AI for everyone and everything. Corporate profits just fall off the trees. The folks with no house, no cars, no future, will pay any amount for worthless tickets. VR glass all the rage. The machine watching grandpa and grandma will produce endless profits. elf driving cars willl produce endless profits. Dillusionastan is living large.

            • Ed – I am interested in energy issues.
              Ed says:

              trinkets

            • DJ says:

              For a while VR will have growth rate of 30%. Extrapolate that 20 years and assume a profit margin and you get …
              stock valuations.

      • 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.
        Gail Tverberg says:

        Lots of cheery news!

    • worldofhanumanotg
      worldofhanumanotg says:

      From short, perhaps shallow-quick review of him he is just an aggressive (as in biz) speculator in very high risky areas like mining and “tax avoidance” in South America. Sorry, this is NOT what serious financial world people read or trust. On the other hand I know some people of ~similar pedigree and true you need only one “big home-run” per decade, e.g. 7-15x return on your speculative maneuver multiplied by several decades “to aggregate” – retire in 50-60yrs as serious millionaire or billionaire. But again I repeat this is hardly normal activity this razor edge luck of luckiest gamblers way..

      So, from what we know now here on this forum, I mean generalities (trends) not specifics, should we be time – transferred back into cca year of 2000, it would be relatively easy to end up as very rich person. However, to assume this modus operandi is also going to work into the future of even much elevated gov craziness is very dubious proposition at best.

      • Stefeun says:

        Parasitic activity…

        • worldofhanumanotg
          worldofhanumanotg says:

          Spot on.
          However, that’s the bottom line of the whole rotten deal isn’t it.

          It must feel nice to be born as 5th generation billionaire as you personally did not kill and rob the people bellow you, now just living of the rent, office and social working at boards of various cultural foundations and what not. But there is always hidden this “original sin” of stealing or corralling resources from others in the first place.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        I know of one person at Goldman and the other who worked for years in investing banking who read this clown…. I know a private banker who is on the read list.

        He is part of the Porter Stansberry crowd…

        I am told that he is one of the best performing analysts on that pay to view newsletter

        • worldofhanumanotg
          worldofhanumanotg says:

          Fair enough, I’m just saying evidently as we observe that gambler’s performance strategy could have scored a wining lane for decades, but still it’s gambling, an outlier phenomenon in the first place. We don’t have much choice anyway, it’s either gambling, gov crooks, private biz crooks or their syndicate with the gov, cyclical shocks, unknown unknowns, ephemeral “luck factor” per given humans life, .. etc.

      • xabier says:

        Elevated craziness indeed.

        As far as planning goes, I suspect it’s going to be like a 13th c Iranian intellectual trying out his cleverest chess moves on a Mongol warrior just itching to take his head off in one swipe…..

        Events will move on a different plane, and more brutally, to anything we can either envisage, or, if we are imaginative and shrewd enough, make any conceivable and robust preparation for.

        I take my hint from one branch of my family: they were modestly successful for centuries (10th to 16thc) as soldiers and administrators until a cataclysmic event knocked them right off their feet and they ended up dead in battle, exiled, or expropriated. They could do nothing much to avoid that fate. They got a little back by begging humbly from those who robbed them……..

        Bending the knee might be the best posture of defence for the future!

        • worldofhanumanotg
          worldofhanumanotg says:

          Sounds as good advice, I see very elevated risk of similar event horizon as near term (less than 2decades threshold) where it looks like this ~230yrs cycle or perhaps even in sync with larger cycle abruptly shifting. It will be in terms of societal change on the order of Napoleonic Wars at the minimum. We might well get it all basically as one swoop in sync with larger-longer cycle before 2050-80, in that event we are ripe for beyond world war depopulation effects, full societal collapse – lost of knowledge etc. The “lesser evil” of sequential process scenario won’t be in fact that much better (bearable) anyway..
          As always your mileage may vary and opt for more sensible location.

  16. Yoshua says:

    Kuwait Economy

    GDP – $120 billion (2015 est.)
    State Budget – $60 billion

    Exports – $50 billion (2015)
    Imports – $25 billion (2015)

    Kuwait Investment Authority – $600 billion (international).
    Kuwait Petroleum Corporation – revenue $250 billion in 2015 (Kuwait & international).

  17. Yoshua says:

    Kuwait to tap foreign debt markets to finance deficit

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/kuwait-to-tap-foreign-debt-markets-to-finance-deficit/ar-AAi1xdr

    Parliament later on Sunday overwhelmingly passed the budget for 2016/2017 projecting a huge deficit due to the slump in oil prices.

    Revenues were projected at $33.9 billion, while spending was estimated at $62.8 billion, leaving a shortfall of $28.9 billion.

    During the surplus years, Kuwait piled up around $600 billion in its sovereign wealth fund managed by Kuwait Investment Authority in holdings mostly in the United States, Europe and Asia.

    • of course—-what brings on the insane headbanging laughter, is that the value of all those overseas investments is entirely dependent on the value of oil itself,

    • worldofhanumanotg
      worldofhanumanotg says:

      Lolz, last time the Kuwaitis were short on money, they decided to tap oil reserves under the border with Iraq, aka theft, hence the punishment of Saddam and again the reaction which toppled him not Kuwait during the first gulf war, just saying.. lolz..
      That’s the nature slick world of homoapes of ours..

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      The lucky exporters are the ones that can still tap foreign debt markets. After another year of low prices, it seems like this source of debt might dry up.

  18. Duncan Idaho says:

    Daily CO2

    July 3, 2016: 405.71 ppm

    July 3, 2015: 401.75 ppm

    • Usually I’m not in favor of technology that replaces jobs, but in the case of replacing some of the incredibly way overpriced lawyers, all I can say is, “Fantastic!!!”

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      I hadn’t thought about these possibilities.

  19. Fast Eddy says:

    This is one of the funniest things I have read in a very very long time!

    Who in their right mind would buy a Tesla after reading this:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/10/automobiles/stalled-on-the-ev-highway.html?_r=0

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      There seem to be some real-world problems.

  20. Yoshua says:

    UAE says days of easy oil nearly over

    “It is no secret that the days of easy oil are coming to an end. Increasingly we are being forced to go down the route of enhanced oil recovery and developing ultra sour oil and gas from complex reservoirs.”

    Kuwait Oil Company looks to solar oil extraction

    As the days of easy oil are over… The country began importing liquefied natural gas more than six years ago and Glasspoint estimates that using LNG to fuel these EOR projects could cost up to $13 per million British thermal unit.

    EOR costly for Oman oil production

    The most common EOR method deployed in Oman is thermal EOR which requires the burning of high quantities of natural gas for the production of steam. That adds an extra and rising cost to the production of oil.

    • Kanghi says:

      Yoshua, do you happen to work for “Our” start oil company?

    • Yoshua says:

      The days of easy oil are over with about 70% of the world’s remaining reserves classified as heavy.

    • Yoshua says:

      Foreign Exchange Reserves

      Saudi Arabia – 2014: $740 billion – 2016: $620 billion.
      Kuwait – 2014: $34 billion – 2016 $28 billion
      UAE – 2014: $77 billion – 2016: $84 billion
      Oman – 2014: $19 billion – 2016 $17 billion

    • Yoshua says:

      External Debt

      Saudi Arabia – 2000: $20 billion – 2016: $166 billion
      Kuwait – 2000: $10 billion – 2013: $35 billion
      UAE – 2000: $20 billion – 2013: $170 billion
      Oman – 2000: $5 billion – 2013: $10 billion

    • Yoshua says:

      Exports

      Saudi Arabia – 2014: $340 billion – 2015: $220 billion
      Kuwait – 2014: $100 billion – 2015: $50 billion
      UAE – 2014: $370 billion – 2015: $320 billion
      Oman – 2014: $50 billion – 2015: $40 billion

      • 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.
        Gail Tverberg says:

        UAE is doing well!

    • Yoshua says:

      Exports – Commodities

      Saudi Arabia – petroleum and petroleum products
      Kuwait – petroleum and petroleum products
      UAE – petroleum, natural gas, re-exports, fish, dates
      Oman – petroleum, re-exports, fish, metals, textiles

  21. MG says:

    I think that a very important factor regarding the energy is the flexibility that the energy provides. When the coal reached its limits, we needed some kind of energy that provided more flexibility. What we need now is not just the cheap energy, but this energy must allow for flexibility. The same way as the oil allowed for the surge of personal mobility with oil powered cars etc.

    The nuclear, solar, wind etc. are of the same quality as coal – they need power lines that lack flexibility.

    Our system evolves towards greater flexibility: first wood, then steel, plastic, now nanomaterials… allowing for easier energy and information transfer. This rising flexibility saves the day in the presence of more costly oil.

    Energy limits are the limits of flexibility. When there is not enough flexibility, the system collapses. The shrinking system cancells its substructures like marriage, family hierarchy, social stratification and the flexibility becomes the most important factor of survival of the species.

    The ideal energy source must increase the adaptability of the human species facing pollution and depletion of resources, e.g. as the oil allowed for increased production of food in the depleting agricultural regions and its transportation into places that are unfavourable for food production.

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      The most important thing about energy types is that they must work with current infrastructure. Adding new infrastructure–even long distance electricity transmission lines–is very slow and expensive.

      • Stefeun says:

        Type of fuel and type of infrastructure go hand in hand, in a sort of co-development.

        If we were using only coal and no oil, our landscapes would likely be covered with railway tracks (there were actually quite a lot of local railways, until mid-20th century). Now we’re using oil, so we have roads instead.

    • Duncan Idaho says:

      The estimated population of England between the years 1800 BC and 1700 CE, averaged 3 million people, but was less than 2 million for 3000 years. At the time of William the Conqueror’s Census, this population was 1.7 million people. Add 1 million people for Ireland and Scotland, each, and one may obtain an estimate of about 5-6 million people, who could be sustained by the U.K. If people in the near future will want to live on more resources than a 1000 years ago, the number of supported individuals will drop proportionally.

      The UK’s population is currently 70 million.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Of course back in those days all farming was organic. The soil had not been destroyed by sprinkling pellets of urea …

        When the pellets of urea are no longer available the farm lands of the UK will grow nothing… nadda… zilch… zero….

        http://www.advantageplastics.co.nz/ic/384356975/Don%20Harcourt%20(13).jpg

        • Aw come on FE, don’t be such a doomer. I recycle my urea into my compost pile usually by pissing on it when no one is looking. Of course, I have taken soil courses as a grad student.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            Industrial farms do not have compost piles….

            The few organic farms that dot the planet will be overwhelmed by 7.3 billion starving people.

            The animals that provide manure — will be killed and consumed. Just like people are killing and eating dogs and cats in Venezuela ….

            To put this into perspective — imagine putting 1000 rats inside a large cage … do not feed them for two days…. open a can of organic dog food … then carefully (watch your fingers) … plop the contents into the cage…

            Observe.

            • Christian says:

              FE, it’s true you misunderstand some things. Fertilizing does not destroys the soil, it’s pesticides who do it

              And rats don’t give up as humans, it’s a very survivalist animal. Besides, we humans we know we are f—-d up, which makes a big difference also. At most, geneally speaking zombies will just fight each other, and organic rats can team up

              This is not koombaya, but not impossible at all

            • FE you must need some anti-anxiety meds. I would buy them up fast before the Zombie Apocalypse occurs. I officially nominate you for Doomer King. I do not live within 150 kms, of a nuclear plant, chemical plant, or other toxic zone. As near as I have been able to determine from climate models my region will actually get about 5% more water. Fuel is not a problem because I make biodiesel from waste vegetable oil that people here routinely throw away. If there is no waste oil I have grown oilseed crops in the past and can do it in the future. I have the seeds readily available. I have my hideout area planned for the first bad year whenever it comes. Bicycle is ready though I may add and electric motor. I can use ethyl alcohol as a fuel, antiseptic, cleaning agent, and very drinkable types of wine and higher octane stuff to trade. I can put one between your eyes at 200 meters without a sight, 400 with. I am stocked with 1000 rounds of 22 long rifle, 9mm, and 12 gage each.

              One worry is my draft horses are on order any will not arrive for another 6 months. I live in an area with under 3.5 million people. My land is reasonably fertile, I can make it much better. The zombies are going to have a real hard time finding me. If a large herd shows, up I drop back with my animals to my hidden spot and wait them out. They will have to eat through a 2 meter thick thorny hedgerow perimeter before coming into my 400 meter pick off zone. Medical care is a problem but then who doesn’t have that problem. I know first aid. I don’t think there will be time to get a medical degree and know all of the other stuff. Let me know if I missed something.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Oooh… you are a Prepper!

              I used to believe in that god at one point…. I used to have a toe in the DelusiSTAN camp…

              Now all I do is lock a barrel of booze and some food in a 20 foot container along with my guns and ammo because I want to be around to watch how this plays out…. then I will drive my vehicle at 250km per hour into a rock cut…

              You don’t live within 150km of a nuclear plant…. sorry to inform you but that is not going to save you ….

              Tokyo is 240km from Fukushima and the Japanese would have evacuated the city if the fuel ponds had collapsed … or if they were unable to cool the reactor cores…

              That’s ONE facility. There are 4000+ spent fuel ponds around the world.

              I can get you a really good price on Family Sized bottles of Ability and Xanax…. you might find them useful if you find that after reading these research papers… your Cognitive Dissonance fails you….

              Scientists say nuclear fuel pools around the country pose safety and health risks: The Fukushima nuclear catastrophe could have been far worse, it turns out, and experts say neither the nuclear industry nor its regulators are doing enough to prevent a calamitous nuclear fuel fire in America https://www.publicintegrity.org/2016/05/20/19712/scientists-say-nuclear-fuel-pools-around-country-pose-safety-and-health-risks

              Japan’s chief cabinet secretary called it “the devil’s scenario.” Two weeks after the 11 March 2011 earthquake and tsunami devastated the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, causing three nuclear reactors to melt down and release radioactive plumes, officials were bracing for even worse. They feared that spent fuel stored in the reactor halls would catch fire and send radioactive smoke across a much wider swath of eastern Japan, including Tokyo. http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/05/burning-reactor-fuel-could-have-worsened-fukushima-disaster

              Assuming a 50-100% Cs137 release during a spent fuel fire, [8] the consequence of the Cs-137 exceed those of the Chernobyl accident 8-17 times (2MCi release from Chernobyl). Based on the wedge model, the contaminated land areas can be estimated. [9] For example, for a scenario of a 50% Cs-137 release from a 400 t SNF pool, about 95,000 km² (as far as 1,350 km) would be contaminated above 15 Ci/km² (as compared to 10,000 km² contaminated area above 15 Ci/km² at Chernobyl). http://belfercenter.hks.harvard.edu/publication/364/radiological_terrorism.html

            • John Doyle – Seeker of truth in a world of falsehoods
              ejhr2015 says:

              It may be illegal, but who’s going to worry if the emergency arrives? All the rods should be either dumped in the deep trenches or into the zillions of old water filled deep mines. There they will stay cooled for eons, and subduction will draw the rods into the mantle over time.
              It should be a crime to be doing so little at this time. We need to get moving while we have the wherewithall.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Slight problem with that — everything that lives in the sea would be poisoned…. anything that anything from the sea would be poisoned…

              The oceans of the world would be dead.

              Any thoughts on the unintended consequences of destroying the oceans?

              Now that this problem is ‘solved’ —- let’s move on to the next big one …. how do we grow food in soil that has been killed by urea?

            • John Doyle – Seeker of truth in a world of falsehoods
              ejhr2015 says:

              Really! What do we do with the water we use now?
              Anyway there are still millions of water filled mines.

            • Christian says:

              Agree on anti anx meds

              Forgot something? Team up

            • Christian says:

              Or get some serfs at least

      • 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.
        Gail Tverberg says:

        Oops!

  22. dolph911 says:

    I agree with “world” poster, it’s all about levels, steps, phases.
    In a way the first phase has already been done with, which was to throw the workers of the world under a bus and force them to be content with stagnant wages and trivial entertainments.
    The next phase began in 2008, which we are still going through, which is the takeover of industrial machinery by high finance, which can simply conjure credit out of nothing.
    We very well might be on the way to the next phase. Whether it begins now or 2020, who knows, but we are very, very close. And that’s the breakdown of international pacts, organizations, etc. (UN, EU) etc. as each participant has their own agenda which comes first. Perhaps Brexit was the beginning of this phase.

    This phase, the breakdown of international trust, will likely take a few decades to work out until the late 2030s. By that point I agree, the world may begin to look at least somewhat more like a doomed world, albeit I think that actually it will actually feel like a slow world, rather than a fast world.

    Our world today is fast, which means our fantasies about doom are fast. Mad Max. Doom actually looks more like abandonment and decay more than anything else.

    • worldofhanumanotg
      worldofhanumanotg says:

      You nailed important factor here, the slow world of tomorrow. From transport to “healthcare/medicine” not mentioning negotiation-trade etc. slowed down almost to a frozen lake. The instantaneous culture of today would be redefined.

      • Everything is happening slowly?

        It looks to me like China has annexed most of Russia in the past 3 years.

        • worldofhanumanotg
          worldofhanumanotg says:

          No. We talked about “slow world” after the collapse, read it again pls.

        • 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.
          Gail Tverberg says:

          Annexed? No. China has agreed to buy some energy resources from Russia, financing the necessary infrastructure with debt.

          • worldofhanumanotg
            worldofhanumanotg says:

            He probably meant the real situation how Chinese biz and people sort of colonize certain parts of South Eastern Siberia, which is true! I guess we can made 99% probability case the sino-russian strategic partnership has been cemented hard for several next decades, but both countries certainly have some plan-Bs as well, and history shows it could snap sometime in the future in very different direction.

    • Good post, dolph, but late 2030’s? Really hard to know the timing, but seems like that may be stretching the timeline, keeping in mind all the CB fiscal follies just to have gotten the world economy from 08 to 16. My guesstimate on timing is things will begin to crumble in early to mid twenties.

    • futuresystemsanalyst
      futuresystemsanalyst says:

      Your model is flawed.

      Credit expansion and financialisation began dominating ‘industrial machinery’ in the 1980s. it was not a distinct phase that started in 2008. Not at all.

      If there was a phase that began in 2008 it was perhaps the use of debt to mask insolvency and to enable energy resource extraction that was otherwise uneconomic for producers.

      We have already entered another phase since 2014, where debt instruments have started to lose their ability to 1) inflate asset bubbles (and thereby magnifying earnings underperformance) and 2) maintain economic viability for oil and coal extraction.

      Your assumed ‘coming breakdown’ of international pacts, organisations is a chimera. The U.N. and E.U. lost control some time ago judging by the various conflicts and fiscal disasters that have emerged already. Other institutions such as the IMF have already lost out to Chinese infrastructure investment strategies and have admitted (after the fact) that their neoliberal policies are failing.

  23. Stefeun says:

    ** Idiocracy **
    (based on F.Roddier’s considerations about neural networks)

    20 years ago D.Stassinopoulos and Per Bak have demonstrated that a network of neurons, with only very basic possibilities for each neuron, is able to self-organize and self-adapt to environmental modifications, iow: learn, based on a reward feedback-loop from the environment.

    Democratic reinforcement: A principle for brain function

    Dimitris Stassinopoulos and Per Bak
    Brookhaven Xationa/ Laboratory, Upton, 1Vew York 11973 (Received 27 April 1994; revised manuscript received 10 November 1994)

    We introduce a simple “toy” brain model. The model consists of a set of randomly connected, or lay- ered integrate-and-fire neurons. Inputs to and outputs from the environment are connected randomly to subsets of neurons. The connections between firing neurons are strengthened or weakened according to whether the action was successful or not. Unlike previous reinforcement learning algorithms, the feed- back from the environment is democratic: it affects all neurons in the same way, irrespective of their po- sition in the network and independent of the output signal. Thus no unrealistic back propagation or oth- er external computation is needed. This is accomplished by a global threshold regulation which allows the system to self-organize into a highly susceptible, possibly “critical” state with low activity and sparse connections between firing neurons. The low activity permits memory in quiescent areas to be conserved since only firing neurons are modified when new information is being taught.

    See also: http://arxiv.org/pdf/cond-mat/9601113v1.pdf

    And general info about neural networks:
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_neural_network

    The study was made on very simple networks, and simply aimed to demonstrate the basic principles. Nothing goes against the possibility to scale up this architecture and principle, which means it could very well describe the way our real brains are functioning.

    We can even imagine the same principles applied to our whole species, thus forming a self-organizing global brain (whose goal is, as always, to maximize the energy consumption, or rather the entropy production).
    In this case, the reward from the environment is under the form of increased amount of energy spreaded over the whole network. As long as the amount of energy keeps on increasing, the network is able to strengthen its internal organization, and even to grow.

    But as soon as the level of energy per capita starts to decrease, the feedback received by the network from the environment becomes unclear and uncomplete, which causes disorganization within the network. It’s then very possible that each individual (node of the network) starts running on its own memory instead of taking into account the now-incoherent information it receives from either the environment or its fellow nodes.
    Then why not imagine an erratic behaviour that eventually leads to complete dismantling of the network.

    Unfortunately, it seems very unlikely that the network could keep its cohesion intact in a context of decreasing energy input. Rather, it would speed up the disintegration process and quickly reach the collapse phase. Only then, a new cycle could start over again, with smaller network(s) self-adapted to new environmental conditions, and provided that said conditions allow it to happen.

    NB: the first part of this comment is based on scientific work, but most of the end is my own speculation.

    • Christian says:

      I am affraid Roddier dit des bétises des fois… We were discussing the nuke issue and he told ” a future (solar) mankind would have learned that nuclear is not the way” (as if they would be able to use it…)

      • Stefeun says:

        Christian,
        Yes, Roddier thinks/hopes that some knowledge Will make it through the collapse.
        I don’t think so (not even talking of the spent nuke fuel issue).

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      It seems like any system that has depended on growth in the past (such as the financial system) will run into problems if energy per capita starts falling.

      • Stefeun says:

        Yes Gail,
        This doesn’t surprise us.
        However, they seem to have evidenced that there are tresholds so that the system adapts itself not continuously, but by shifts that can be quite sudden, once the “right path” is “identified”.
        I put quotes because all that is self-organization, without any will nor guide whatsoever.

        Another important finding is that the more the situation deteriorates, the more difficult it becomes to “correct the trajectory”. Looks like it has to go through the whole destruction process, before new structures can really start to develop.

        For us, it means that a global cooperation to save BAU is increasingly hopeless. Instead, we will probably fight each other until total destruction.

        • 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.
          Gail Tverberg says:

          For example, it is going to become increasingly difficult to keep other countries in the EU, once the UK has shown the way out. Keeping the system together takes energy to provide jobs that pay well, but that energy is increasingly not available.

          • John Doyle – Seeker of truth in a world of falsehoods
            ejhr2015 says:

            I guess you are not surprised to see that few, if any, other commentators understand that?
            While neo-liberal policies have skewed the western economies toward rewarding the top table and neglecting the welfare of the precariat, those missing out, the energy scarcity problem is a contributory factor as well.
            Revolts will be more and more frequent and troublesome. Now it’s also a structural problem, it can only get worse.

            • Ed – I am interested in energy issues.
              Ed says:

              Rather than viewing revolts as more troublesome, some will view them as opportunities. Opportunities to remove unneeded sectors of humans.

  24. psile
    psile says:

    In reply to Mansoor H. Khan, July 2, 2016 at 11:48 pm.

    Helicopter drops have been happening ever since the 1990’s, with the authorities trying to achieve “sustainable inflation”. We’ve had three spectacular bubbles, (dot.com, housing, GFC bailout) two of which have burst. The third, and most significant, has an increasing number of potential needles pointing its way. The powers that be are doing whatever they can to divert this super bubble from them. But inflation on its own (high asset, material and food prices) will cause said super-bubble to run right into one, sooner or later. When it happens, you’ll be able to see the destruction from space.

    • Mansoor H. Khan – http://aquinums-razor.blogspot.com/
      Mansoor H. Khan says:

      Many people who understand energy economics (like James Howard Kunstler) believe that we need to go “medieval” fast in order to save ourselves. I don’t think that is possible even if after the mass die-off and much, much smaller remaining population. As “FE” would say the “spent fuel rods” will destroy whatever life remains after the die-off.

      For example John Michael Greer believes in a slow collapse (catabolic collapse). I just don’t how see how that would be possible.

      • Rodster says:

        “For example John Michael Greer believes in a slow collapse (catabolic collapse). I just don’t how see how that would be possible.”

        Not when you see how countries can go from civil order to outright chaos at the flip of a switch. Just look at Venezuela and how an orderly society turned into food zombies who kill for food.

        TPTB have globally domesticated the human population which leaves them without the ability to grow food or take care of themselves and their families during critical times. Rewind back to Hurricance Sandy which people dumpster diving within hours after the storm passed and a Government nowhere to be found to help those in need.

        The reason for domesticating the population is for power and control. When industrial civilization finally cracks up, I seriously doubt it will turn out like JMG thinks it will in his Retrotopia books.

        • DJ says:

          How many have died in Venezuela this far?

          Any evidence upper-middle class has been robbed for food?

          As long as the poor just fight each other and starve and die it goes according to slow contraction plan.

          • “As long as the poor just fight each other and starve and die it goes according to slow contraction plan.”

            True enough, DJ, initially it falls apart from the bottom up, which is what we are seeing even in first world countries as the wealth divide intensifies. As that process continues the number of disenfranchised increases making it a scarier more dangerous world for everybody including the wealthy.

            After that initial process of slow decline collapse speeds up and probably the two splinter groups making it through the bottleneck will be (1) the organised psychopaths that can kill without blinking, operating in the heart of the masses as shtf, and (2) the secluded wealthy far seperated the fray. The short term best survival will be the latter group, but the long term best survival will be the former, because once the #2’s have run out of their survival supplies, they will have to begin working the land. Once the #1’s find the #2’s there will be no contest as the #2’s due to their much lower aggression level will immediately become the psychopaths slaves.

            • doomphd – Honolulu – I really hold a doctor of philosophy (phd) in geological sciences and study pretty doomy topics like giant landslides, volcanic eruptions and megatsunamis.
              doomphd says:

              A movie that pretty much has a correct view of your scenario is Kevin Costner’s “The Postman”, starring the #1’s and #2’s. Also entertaining to watch, less so to reenact.

            • Christian says:

              That’s what I’d call best case scenario. As far as I know, only Syria has lost population but mostly because of migration, not die off. Not even Egypt, which was my big bet a couple of years ago. But of course population data will become less and less trustworthy

              It’s also remarkable how much socialist positions have lost any credibility, despite widening income gap. It’s as if people somehow understand historical trend is the oposite, the law of the jungle, and resign. Or perhaps they bet on more capitalistic approaches supposing they are better suited to generate growth

              In Argentina the agroecological approach in farming has got a departement in the Ag Ministry (where is Don Stewart? it’s their friends who are coming to teach all those bio tricks), but it’s curious to see the leftists that used to prone bio ag not saying hurra. They are so surprised it is the right wing who is doing it that they feel completely disoriented

          • Fast Eddy says:

            Venezuela has not collapsed – yet

            • psile
              psile says:

              This is self-evident. Venezuela continues to receive inputs from the outside system which prevents collapse, for now…

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Collapse is when the shops and petrol stations are completely empty and the electricity goes off permanently — and Food Aid stops delivering.

            • DJ says:

              I agree, but sometimes it sounds like Venezuela or Greece is the destination.

              I’m not sure Venezuela or even Syria has begun a population decline.

            • 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.
              Gail Tverberg says:

              I was surprised to discover that the population of North Korea continued to increase–slowly–with all of its problems. If there is not much birth control or emigration, population tends to rise.

            • modern birth control systems/methods are a product of industry

              if you can’t access that industry and its products, and few other recreations of what we call modern civilisiation, then in a blighted country like North Korea, sex would be just about the only pleasure left to most of the population.

              This bears out my point about population decrease as societies become more educated and aware.
              As industry and its products go into decline everywhere, then population will mrise for a while because modern birth control will not be available.
              When that rise reaches unsustainability, the crash will come through starvation.

            • DJ says:

              I think they havent even begun with food aid.

              According to Government everything is great. Cacao production up 12 % and ..:

            • Mansoor H. Khan – http://aquinums-razor.blogspot.com/
              Mansoor H. Khan says:

              FE said:

              “and Food Aid stops delivering”

              Populations in very poor countries like Afghanistan will die-off too (mostly) because Food Aid will stop when the supply chains break down.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Populations in formerly wealthy countries will be in exactly the same boat as everyone else.

              When BAU ends — oil ends — and everyone starves.

              Everyone.

              Virtually all food is produced using petro chemical inputs. These destroy soil. When the chemicals are no longer available the soil will grow nothing.

              This will be the Mother of All Famines.

              We will be asking ‘where’s Chemical Ali when we need him?’

        • worldofhanumanotg
          worldofhanumanotg says:

          Repeat after me:
          abandonment of public infrastructure, ghettos, shorter lifespan, climate instability, waves of mass immigration, wars, gov instability, ..

          Run the above few decades and suddenly you look around there is not that much people as before, the smarter – more ruthless live in citadels – city state enclaves with some sort of patch up civilization, while large parts of former metro areas are abandoned, decrepit or burned. Fly over country is resettled but in protected way under semi neo-feudal practice and linked with those city states of economic and military power. Lets say 30-80M people for FUSA before 2080..

      • canuck1867 says:

        I agree Mansoor, I do not understand the Greers, JHKs and Heinbergs of this world. They are aware of the problem, how can they not see that when the Financial System collapses, JIT goes with it, and there goes the food supply of 99% of humans…Like psile said: “When it happens, you’ll be able to see the destruction from space.”

        • worldofhanumanotg
          worldofhanumanotg says:

          Because the JIT won’t go away as you imagine.
          The consumerism will be triaged by force to keep at least something running..

          Look at this as following, from the ~50brands of yogurts in your shiny supermarket you will get only one brand and not available 24/365 and the shop won’t be as clean as you might have been used to, there won’t be any elections, personal passenger carz or more precisely fuel for it only for new regime nomenclature and core infrastructure people. And so on, simply a bit of rehashed situation as in Cuba under embargo..

          This is overall positive though, the real doom comes only after this “stabilization phase” gives away to complete irreversible brake down..

          • bandits101
            bandits101 says:

            That’s BAU lite by any other name. You are expecting order out of chaos…..IMO it won’t happen that way. Try, try to think interconnectedness………..
            Something of great importance may depend on an apparently trivial detail. The saying comes from a longer proverb about a battle during which the loss of a nail in a horseshoe leads to the loss of a horse, which leads to the loss of the rider, which leads to the loss of the battle, which in turn leads to the loss of a whole kingdom. That scenario times ten. It’s gonna get ugly, like the proverbial rolling snowball.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            You are wrong. Completely wrong

          • psile
            psile says:

            JIT is the worst system imaginable, and is only hastening the using up of precious, finite resources. Anyone who thinks otherwise has rocks in their head. Imagine a process where trucks run around half-full to their destination and return to their depots completely empty. That’s JIT…

          • futuresystemsanalyst
            futuresystemsanalyst says:

            Cuba is not an appropriate example to defend your position. Cuba, in large part, kept a semblance of order because of subsidies from the Soviets, or after Soviet collapse, by increases in tourism and remittance income (remittance income said to be about 25% of national GDP in 2012). According to your elite/prole vision of a post BAU state there will be no middle class tourism or money spare for remittances for any failing states. Cuba was lucky to be collapsing in a time of plenty. You never seem to grasp the global reach of collapse and the demands of ‘complexity’. You need to bone up on the extractive demands of urban centres upon hinterlands, of centres upon peripheries and related tenets of civilisation sustainability.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          What these people have in common is that they are distributors for hopium. They make a living off of the sale of this vapour which is essentially vapourized kool-aid…. addicts gleefully inhale it on a daily basis and they feel an intense rush of hope….

          • Tim Groves – Japan
            Tim Groves says:

            I can’t resist paraphrasing what Marx wrote about religion a century and a half ago:

            Belief in BAU lite is at the same time the expression of real distress and the protest against real distress. BAU-liteism is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the hopium of the people.

            • Mansoor H. Khan – http://aquinums-razor.blogspot.com/
              Mansoor H. Khan says:

              or the coming collapse could be the god of old testament taking revenge!

            • Stefeun says:

              After all, giving intentions and consciousness to existing or invented entities is not more absurd than taking it as granted for ourselves.

              It’s even healthier than to think humans are an exception. If we have a soul, then any entity, living or not, should have one too.
              And eat it.

      • 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.
        Gail Tverberg says:

        JMG looks at what happened hundreds of years ago, without thinking about the differences now. Back then, most people were farmers, They could pick up their farming operations, pretty much anywhere, even if the government collapsed. These farmers didn’t depend on international trade, electricity, or much of anything else we depends on today. Collapse could be slower.

        • worldofhanumanotg
          worldofhanumanotg says:

          Sorry, that’s not much of a valid point, JMG is pretty familiar with the country side and low/no fossil energy agriculture real potential.

          Besides if you look at the history of agriculture, often times the elites dictated the most preferred plan what and where to plant, graze etc. according to theirs systemic needs as in feeding the slaves, armies, cities etc. Also recall the situation as the “new world veggies” came to Europe in early 16th century the potential for higher yields was recognized and mandated by the land owners over the early opposition of their subjects.

          Another factor, people go after examples, you need only few “successful” farmers per county performing in those new conditions to sway the rest. Also given the demographic cliff, sporadic or little availability of healthcare, abandonment of cities, fewer people to feed per available acreage, while on the other hand indeed some areas will become toxic hazards for dozens of years, but the former ones would be way stronger factors.

          Do I call for smooth transition, no!
          But for people, agriculture, and crafts still around after the end of this complexity era, yes!

    • Fast Eddy says:

      Agreed – helicopter money is ongoing….

      People don’t recognize it because they actually believe that helicopters are going to fly over their homes and shove pallets of cash out the back door…

      http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/chopper%20money_0.jpg

      • doomphd – Honolulu – I really hold a doctor of philosophy (phd) in geological sciences and study pretty doomy topics like giant landslides, volcanic eruptions and megatsunamis.
        doomphd says:

        That’s a great image FE. You should forward it to Ben B.

      • Duncan Idaho says:

        “Economics is a pseudo-science of intermediate asymptotics, which describes the human systems that are much bigger than their smallest elements, but much, much smaller than the environment that contains them. It is a pseudo-science because the key phrase, “intermediate asymptotics,” has been forgotten.”

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      You are right. I hadn’t thought about it that way.

  25. Yoshua says:

    Iran’s Hope to Double Oil Recovery Rate

    By Dalga Khatinoglu

    During the last decade one of Iran’s priorities was enhancing the recovery rate of oil fields, which has stood at about 20 percent. Iran’s proved crude oil reserves stands at about 800 billion barrels, while based on the current recovery rate, Iran can only extract 157.8 billion of that.

    According to the last two National Development Plans (2005 to 2015) Iran should have increased the oil recovery rate by 2 percent, but the plan remained on paper only. Recently, the Managing Director of The Iranian Offshore Oil Company Saeed Hafezi said that the oil recovery rate on fields under the control of this company varies from 0.3 percent in Resalat field to 20 percent in Hengam field. He said that the fields operated by this company also lose 10 percent to 12 percent of their productivity annually.

    Iran has not been able to commence any new major oil field since 2007, while about 80 percent of the country’s oil fields are in their second half-life, losing 8 to 14 percent of their production level naturally each year.

    Iran’s reliance on its natural gas to augment oil recovery by re-injecting 34 billion cubic meters per annum of it into oil wells because international sanctions that have hindered Iran’s access to technology and foreign investment. Iran should double gas re-injection to slow the oil production decline pace, but regarding the gas shortage in the country, it seems impossible.

    Iran has announced repeatedly that it is preparing to resume oil production from the current 2.8 million barrels per day (mb/d) to the pre-sanctions level, which was 3.6 mb/d, probably in the second half of 2016. However, the lack of infrastructure, re-opening the wells that shut downed in 2012 due to declining Iranian oil exports under sanctions, as well as the natural decline in Iran’s sold oil fields put the production resumption under question.

    Coming to oil recovery after the nuclear deal achieved on July 14, Iran hopes to attract foreign companies including Total, Shell and specially OMV to boost the fields; recovery rate. Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh and OMV’s Chief Executive Officer Rainer Seele met in Tehran on Sept.7 to explore ways for expansion of bilateral ties. After their meeting, the Deputy Petroleum Minister for International Affairs and Commerce Amir-Hossein Zamani-Nia announced that “using new technologies, OMV is ready to double production of Iran’s oil and gas fields through Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) and Improved Oil Recovery (IOR) methods”.

    However, Corporate spokesperson for OMV Robert Lechner told Trend on Sep.19 that it is too early to draw final conclusions concerning specific investments. “As our CEO, Rainer Seele, said: the country could provide interesting opportunities for OMV. And he has underlined this by attending an Austrian business delegation (of 240 managers) to Iran,” said Lechner.

    On the other hand, Iran needs tens of billion USD in investment in its oil fields to increase the oil recovery rate, while OMV said earlier it would cut average annual capital expenditure from 2015 to 2017 to between 2.5 billion euros and 3.0 billion, of which the lower end was based on an oil price assumption of approximately $50 per barrel for the next three years. Before the drop in oil prices, the company had planned to spend €3.9 billion each year during 2014-16.

    BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy 2013 revealed that the world’s proved oil reserves at the end of 2012 reached 1,668.9 billion barrels, sufficient to meet 52.9 years of global production. But this is based on current recovery rates – even a small improvement in these rates would make a dramatic difference to the size of overall reserves.

    In 2011, then-president of the Society of Petroleum Engineers Alain Labastie wrote: “The current ultimate average recovery factor for oilfields, on a worldwide basis, is about 35 percent. This means that about two-thirds of the oil that has been discovered is left within the reservoir. We have under our feet, in well-known locations, enormous prospects for booking new reserves. Increasing the average ultimate recovery factor from 35 percent to 45percent would bring about 1 trillion barrels of oil.”

    If you drill a well into a reservoir and rely on natural pressure to force the oil to the surface, you will typically recover around 10 percent of the available volume in place. Unless other forces act on the oil, pressure in the reservoir will naturally fall as it empties, until, eventually, there isn’t enough to force up oil, BP estimated.

    Iran shares about 9.3 percent of total proved conventional crude oil reserves and each 1 percent oil recovery rate can bring about $80 billion more revenues for Iran based on the current prices.

    https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-4BUK5Jl9_Gs/VxLIDcX-zHI/AAAAAAAAJp4/faVchvQFhV0K_dv3_kOaPtHcb7fhHxJNACLcB/s640/iran-crude-oil-production.png

    • Need to ask the brain trust of BW Hill group what they guess is the theoretical maximinun extraction percentage of an oil field. 45% sounds good..but if they can suck out say @ 75%..that may delay SHTh….
      I imagine that is the main research focus of the Oil majors, because certainly large oil discoveries just ain’t going to happen from here on out.

      • 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.
        Gail Tverberg says:

        As far as I am concerned, the maximum extraction rate is irrelevant. What is relevant is how high the price of oil can be, and that depends on how high wages are and how high debt can be. A large share of the oil will be left in the ground (also, coal and natural gas).

        • Well, new nanotechnology has had surprising discoveries with amazing results….if it can extend the life of flow maybe Fast Eddy will be able to take another bucket list vacation.
          He’s certainly not growing any food crops and is finished with his prepping

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      Price is really what determines what percentage of reserves are recoverable. If the price is very high–say $300 per barrel–very advanced techniques can be used, and a lot more oil can be extracted. If the price is $30 per barrel, only the simplest techniques can be used. It is an illusion that technology determines what oil can be extracted. High price enables advanced technology.

      • Gail, this article caught my eye

        http://www.aogr.com/magazine/cover-story/advances-in-nanotechnology-hold-huge-potential-promise-in-upstream-applicat

        Advances In Nanotechnology Hold Huge Potential Promise In Upstream Applications

        By Kari Johnson, Special Correspondent

        Incredibly small by definition, nanotechnology is making big leaps in potential applications in the oil and gas industry.

        “Nanoscale technology has moved from science fiction into really hard engineering,” says Wade Adams, director of the Richard E. Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology at Rice University.

        Adams notes that companies are bringing to market commercial nanoscale products such as anti-corrosives and smart proppants, and nano­tubes–once the province of research labs–now are manufactured on the tonnage scale in Belgium, Germany and Asia.

        The evidence, according to Adams, is in the inclusion of nanoscience in a wide cross section of disciplines, including physics, chemistry and material science. Nanotechnology is also the focus of research projects at universities across the country. Oil and gas service companies also are getting involved, hiring nanotechnology specialists and supporting basic research. Moreover, Adams notes that new companies are bringing commercial nanoscale products to market

        “Imagine, for instance, designing a sport utility vehicle that weighs one-third as much as an SUV today, but is much stronger and safer. That would cut fuel consumption as much as 80 percent and extend the lifetime of a precious petroleum resource base quite a bit,” Adams says. “To me, petroleum is too precious to be burning at such a high rate in cars and trucks.”

        Industry-Specific Research

        A key development in nanoscale technology specifically for the oil and gas industry was the formation of the Advanced Energy Consortium, says Scott Tinker, who originated the concept of the AEC and serves as its director. The AEC, which took Tinker and his colleagues more than three years to develop before the doors opened officially in January 2008, is managed by the Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas at Austin.

        “The Bureau has a long history of bridging between academia and industry,” Tinker says. “That is the primary reason the industrial members of the AEC felt comfortable placing management with us rather than a specific company, as is common in more traditional joint industry partnerships.”

        The AEC funds research projects of particular value to the industry at universities, labs and companies around the world. Projects can involve university research staff and industry representatives, explains Tinker, noting that the AEC will provide some 25 different research entities with funding this year.

        “Nanotechnology projects often bring together researchers in physics, chemistry, chemical engineering, electrical engineering, material science and nanotechnology,” Tinker observes. “The best discoveries are often made at the margins of disciplines. An example is geomicrobiology, where research combines geology, chemistry and biology to study the ‘DNA’ of rocks. That will happen in nanotechnology as well. The importance of nanotechnology as an agent for revolutionary change was so compelling that it made sense for industry to collaborate and support basic research. The industry is to be recognized for its foresight and willingness to come together to tackle this challenging new field. The opportunities are limited only by our imagination, and a few laws of physics,” he quips.

        “Typically, proppants can only travel 100-130 feet in shale and tight sands reservoirs,” explains Barron. “What is needed is a more buoyant proppant that is light enough to go 180 feet or more into the reservoir, but strong enough to withstand high closure stresses.”

        Designing a better frac job could double recovery, according to Barron, and a more buoyant proppant system would require much less pressure and fluid, both reducing cost and easing the need for large volumes of water. A case in point is the ceramic proppant technology originally developed in his laboratory. Unlike conventional sand proppants, the manufacturing process of ceramics can be controlled at the molecular level to create perfectly spherical proppants hundreds of microns in size that are hollow to add buoyancy, Barron points out

        Within the next couple years, Barron reports that it will be possible to see in three-dimensional space where proppants are going. Initially, the sensors will need to be in close proximity, providing an indication of porosity and permeability based on the flow rate of the proppants. “If the flow is fast, then there is good porosity and permeability, because the proppants have some place to go and a pathway to get there,” he explains. “Using this information, a 3-D image can be constructed, showing how porous and permeable the structure of the rock is and how well a treatment is working in real time.”

        The next goals would be to achieve understandings of porosity, permeability and chemistry as well. “We already have a material that changes on contact with sulfur, for example,” Barron observes. “Potentially, the proppant would be detected using chemical composition and physical properties.”

        Some excerpts I posted…recommend reading the whole article….
        Could the industry have one more blast?
        I hope so!

        • worldofhanumanotg
          worldofhanumanotg says:

          This is very interesting and likely practical to apply in the near future.
          However, I’d be skeptical about the real recovery improvements in the end.
          Something like ~15-30% jump in increased recovery at selected sites only, sounds doable.

          So, in total not much can kicking potential, plus if Gail’s top-bottom snake like ever shrinking corridor of fossil energy prices vs. consumer affordability is correct, then such technologies have to phase in quickly and on the cheap to make a difference before the current system unravels for good. And so far this seems a lab toy for the moment.

        • 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.
          Gail Tverberg says:

          All we need is more “complexity.” Complexity saves us for a while. Then it causes too wide differences in income. It is these income differences that bring the system down.

          • Well, humans have the gift of being very clever in ways that few can imagine. I am not stating this will be a solution, just one more layer of complexity that may extend the BAU just longer than expected. Does not mean we do not have a financial crisis or other pitfalls.
            The recovery rate of fields is rather low….that is one area the majors will concentrate to keep alive.

  26. http://kunstler.com/podcast/kunstlercast-278-alice-friedemann-trucks-stop-running/
    There’s a podcast there to click on – quite good. If this has already been posted, just ignore.

  27. Fast Eddy says:

    Everyone’s a Winner in Brexit Aftermath as Doves Rescue Market

    One week after Brexit, the lesson investors are taking away is that there’s no problem central banks can’t fix.

    Just days after the U.K.’s vote to leave the European Union roiled financial markets around the world, stocks and bonds surged in tandem this week as policy makers once again rode to the rescue, dropping hints of further stimulus and suggesting they’ll keep interest rates lower for longer.

    https://assets.bwbx.io/images/users/iqjWHBFdfxIU/ilztYJH3OLow/v2/-1x-1.png

    Traditionally, what’s good for one asset class has not been good for the other, and stocks and bonds more often move in opposite directions on the same information. Yet with unprecedented monetary easing showing no signs of slowing, that relationship continues to break down. With almost $12 trillion of government bonds globally paying less than zero, a rush into Treasuries Friday pushed yields to record lows, even as encouraging economic data helped propel U.S. stocks toward all-time highs.

    “This may be the new normal,” said Aaron Kohli, a fixed-income strategist in New York at BMO Capital Markets, one of 23 primary dealers that trade with Fed. “If you flood the markets with liquidity, and you have the anticipation that the central banks are going to be dovish — either adding to quantitative easing or becoming less hawkish, as the case may be for the U.S. Fed — any assets that aren’t impaired or encumbered are going to do very well.”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-07-01/everyone-s-a-winner-in-brexit-aftermath-as-doves-rescue-market

    Fantastic!

    What we need next is for a core EU country to pull out —- say Spain or France…

    That will drive markets through the roof! It will fix EVERYTHING.

    Perpetual motion has arrived!

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      That would be interesting!

  28. Stefeun says:

    A (big) 2013 report about digital economy and energy:

    “The cloud begins with coal”
    http://www.tech-pundit.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Cloud_Begins_With_Coal.pdf?c761ac

    Will peak-coal imply peak-digibits? 😉

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      That is an interesting article. According to it, “Using a tablet or smartphone to watch an hour of video weekly consumes annually more electricity in the remote networks than two new refrigerators use in a year.”

      We certainly need our electric grid operating in order to keep the digital economy operating. I’m not sure whether peak coal will bring it down.

      BP data indicates that in 2015, the increase in world electricity supply was much smaller than previously, only 0.9%, which is less than world population growth of 1.2%. The result is similar for China: China’s electricity growth in 2015 was only 0.3%, which was lower than their population growth of 0.5%. The United States showed a small decrease in energy consumption (-0.1%), while population grew by 0.7%. The European Union showed a 1.3% growth in energy consumption, but several previous years had shown shrinking consumption. So the general pattern seems to be toward slowing use of electricity use.

      I would conclude that even if electricity to support the digital economy is growing, all of the savings in other ways (particularly switching kinds of light bulbs, getting rid of the big monitors on TVs and computers) is doing a lot more. Recession is likely playing a role as well.

  29. psile
    psile says:

    Binladins’ been busy…

    50,000 Laid Off In Saudi Arabia As Oil Crisis Bites Deeper

    Saudi construction giant Binladin group has laid off tens of thousands of workers, leading to rare protests, as workers torch seven buses demanding compensation as low oil prices begin to bite in earnest.

    The numbers of layoffs range from 50,000 to 77,000, many of who say they were not paid for several months.

    http://cdn.oilprice.com/a/img/content/article/718×300/f4e09657fd09cab7f7bf56bd054b76e3.jpg

    • Stefeun says:

      Psile,
      “The workers laid off by Binladin group are foreigners, mostly Egyptians, according to the media reports. This doesn’t mean they will go gently into the good night with their newly issued exit visas.”

      So they just say “Go back home”, not a big issue for KSA. The problem is exported.
      OTOH, if they really get rid of 12.000 Saudis working for Binladin group (out of 17.000), as the article says right after, that would be concerning, as a potential trigger for unrest within KSA.

      • xabier says:

        Curious things happening at the moment: a friend works for one of the Gulf sheikhs in the UK. Nearly all the staff were Pakistani until recently (one the son of the Pakistani Foreign Minister) : quite suddenly, they have all been dismissed and replaced by Europeans. This came out of the blue, with no explanation.

    • doomphd – Honolulu – I really hold a doctor of philosophy (phd) in geological sciences and study pretty doomy topics like giant landslides, volcanic eruptions and megatsunamis.
      doomphd says:

      Looks like the world’s largest bottle opener. Probably good for beer sales.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      Thanks for this.

      Supports the theory that mass layoffs and The Deflation will be the trigger.

      Gotta be – that’s what The Bernank said he feared most

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      This is a story from two months ago. I can’t imagine things are getting a whole lot better in Saudi Arabia, though.

  30. Pintada says:

    So …

    Apparently, Charles Hugh Smith reads Gail. Who’d a thunk it.

    http://charleshughsmith.blogspot.com/2016/07/brexit-and-crisis-of-capitalism.html

    • Stefeun says:

      Thanks Pintada,
      Good analysis by CHS.

      I note this point, that completes the discussion with MG about marketing. Once households were equipped we should have reoriented the production, but instead we have preferred to believe that consumer’s capacities of consumption were infinite (for both “useful” devices and crap):

      “2. Consumer demand is not infinite, and modern production can over-supply the demand of an aging populace. The supply-demand curve has shifted for demographic and structural reasons. The idea that consumer demand can be endlessly goosed higher is false. As demand stagnates and the tools of production are commoditized, production increases (because the money needed to expand production is essentially free) and profits and wages both decline.”

    • Tim Groves – Japan
      Tim Groves says:

      Yes, it’s a finite world after all.

    • worldofhanumanotg
      worldofhanumanotg says:

      I think their post analysis approaches are quite different, CHS is optimistic about the future, i.e. there comes renewal (distributed – localized commerce) after the current system collapses and he doesn’t do timing (allows for some further can kicking potential), while for Gail this is sort of 100% near/mid term end game for everything..

      This CHS’s latest article is great in the sense it illustrates why and how the system must and will be can kicked as long as possible. And we can here continue debate about inner workings of the “long” part of the equation for next several decades, while it will be duct taped, chained and supported by whatever hair brain schemes imaginable. Simply, the stagnation and demographic headwinds curb the appetite for old consumption patterns, so when the boomers start to left the scene in high numbers by mid ~2025, the millennials could be trimmed heavily in terms of smaller consumption pattern anyway, hence even more space for additional can kicking rather in the span of decades. Yes it will dreadful, accelerated infrastructure decay and partial/selective abandonment, but people tend to adjust to these processes very well, the western roman empire was falling apart for centuries, so speaking about decades for us is appropriate.

      I understand the frustration of the regulars here to be over with this old crap asap, but lets face the reality, this will be very prolonged affair, it will drive people crazy, drop by drop, years and decades. I very much doubt that even the likely very big crash from conclusion of this late and gigantically overblown business cycle before say 2023 would also simultaneously kill the beast. No, it will just dust off, re-arrange some chairs and soldier on..

      • DJ says:

        In my own personal observation the old doesn’t cut consumption. Being 65-70 and out of the workforce is no obstacle for mortgaging their home and buy a new car, travel or buy new tools (toys).

        If anything the young live cheaper, at least resourcewise. Having smartphone+Spotify and ridiculous large tv+Netflix is enough for them to believe their much better of than the poor older generation. No car, no house, one or none kid, certainly not boat or MC.

        • worldofhanumanotg
          worldofhanumanotg says:

          Thanks for the follow up, your second paragraph is exactly what I had in mind.
          In terms of the “boomers” the conclusion phase of the current ending business cycle would chop serious %% of their portfolios, healthcare and social services would be further stripped away, so I doubt their consumption won’t be affected profoundly as well, and when it starts to seemingly stabilize mid/late 2020s they would be too old for new carz and flipping houses.. So in short we are into decades of stagnation, patching what is serviceable and jettisoning frivolous what is over the top, any upticks would in comparison to the old times be very shallow. So by very late 2020s – early 2030s the trends of less demand and serious depletion/non investment start to cripple the infrastructure in more profound ways, while there would be at least two generations of young to mid ages zombified people unable to fix such complex tech systems.. And likely before 2100 the techno civilization would be abandoned in many former core areas, periphery sooner than that.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          ‘No car, no house, one or none kid, certainly not boat or MC.’

          No factories – no no jobs – no income – no government tax revenues – no economy.

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      I correspond with Charles Hugh Smith from time to time also.

  31. John Doyle – Seeker of truth in a world of falsehoods
    ejhr2015 says:

    This Kunstler pod cast with Alice Friedemann lasts an hour, but I can’t recommend it highly enough;
    http://traffic.libsyn.com/kunstlercast/KunstlerCast_278.mp3

    At the end I am left with the realisation that Brexit [and Trump] are events that are harbingers of our future. The population missing out today will be joined by all the rest of us missing out tomorrow.
    The revolt may have been initiated by austerity , but it is also a shortage of resources that can be seen also evident.
    So the REAL lesson of Brexit is that it’s a start to a new reality, going downhill.

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      I agree that Brexit is the start of a new reality, going downhill. Comparing energy consumption per capita, and how it has been trending with some other countries in trouble gives an idea of what the problem is.

    • “So the REAL lesson of Brexit is that it’s a start to a new reality, going downhill.”

      and deglobalizing towards localization, which was Kunstler’s main point about what happens when net energy declines, written about in many of his books.

  32. Yoshua says:

    http://gailtheactuary.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/saudi-arabia-production-and-exports.png

    Saudi Arabia has 530 billion barrels of Original Oil In Place.
    They have produced 140 billion barrels or 25 percent of the OOIP.

    According to the US Department of Energy, oil extraction using only primary and secondary methods may leave up to 75% of the oil still in the reservoir. This means that pump jacks, natural oil escape and water and gas injection will only extract at best 50% of the oil and at worst a mere 25% of its capacity. In order to address this wastefulness, new tertiary methods, often known as enhanced oil recovery (EOR), have been developed.

    • Yoshua says:

      According to the US Department of Energy, there are three primary techniques for EOR: thermal recovery, gas injection, and chemical injection. Sometimes the term quaternary recovery is used to refer to more advanced, speculative, EOR techniques. Using EOR, 30 to 60 percent, or more, of the reservoir’s original oil can be extracted, compared with 20 to 40 percent using primary and secondary recovery.

      There are three primary techniques of EOR: gas injection, thermal injection, and chemical injection. Gas injection, which uses gases such as natural gas, nitrogen, or carbon dioxide (CO2), accounts for nearly 60 percent of EOR production in the United States. Thermal injection, which involves the introduction of heat, accounts for 40 percent of EOR production in the United States, with most of it occurring in California. Chemical injection, which can involve the use of long-chained molecules called polymers to increase the effectiveness of waterfloods, accounts for about one percent of EOR production in the United States. In 2013, a technique called Plasma-Pulse technology was introduced into the United States from Russia. This technique can result in another 50 percent of improvement in existing well production.

    • Yoshua says:

      Thermal injection

      In this approach, various methods are used to heat the crude oil in the formation to reduce its viscosity and/or vaporize part of the oil and thus decrease the mobility ratio. The increased heat reduces the surface tension and increases the permeability of the oil. The heated oil may also vaporize and then condense forming improved oil. Methods include cyclic steam injection, steam flooding and combustion. These methods improve the sweep efficiency and the displacement efficiency. Steam injection has been used commercially since the 1960s in California fields.

      In 2011 solar thermal enhanced oil recovery projects were started in California and Oman, this method is similar to thermal EOR but uses a solar array to produce the steam.

      In July 2015, Petroleum Development Oman and GlassPoint Solar announced that they signed a $600 million agreement to build a 1 GWth solar field on the Amal oilfield. The project, named Miraah, will be the world’s largest solar field measured by peak thermal capacity.

      • MG says:

        Interesting technology: using the sun for the recovery of oil. It means that the countries located in the warm parts of the world, near the equator (i.e. in the lifeless deserts of the Middle East) will dictate the future prices. Could Venezuela use such technology?

        • MG says:

          Under “dictate the future prices” I meant, obviously, “tolerate the future low prices” of oil.

    • Yoshua says:

      EOR started in the giant Ghawar Field in 2015 according to ARAMCO.

      http://www.saudiaramco.com/en/home/news-media/news/capturing-carbon.html

      • I like how the Saudi’s try to spin this like they are capturing CO2 and injecting it to enhance oil recovery as an environmentally conscious technique, when in reality they are only doing this because it will enhance recovery. After all this process will insure overall more CO2 enters the atmosphere.

    • Yoshua says:

      All companies in the world, including state oil companies like Saudi Aramco and National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), will have to resort to EOR; it is just a matter of time. Saudi Arabia has a wealth of fields, so they may not have to resort to it for the next five or ten years. Oman has to do it now, but in twenty years from now, all countries will have to resort to EOR if they want to recover oil. (2005)

      http://www.arabianbusiness.com/enhanced-oil-recovery-205045.html#.V3fJ7Y9OLIU

      • 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.
        Gail Tverberg says:

        I would agree that EOR is needed a lot of places now (more than 10 years after the 2005 quote). In fact, some of the techniques the Saudis are using are pretty advanced right now. This link has a video describing some of the technology underlying the extraction of Manifa oil. https://gefira.org/en/2016/01/07/meet-manifa-and-other-giant-oil-projects-that-will-add-to-the-global-oil-glut/

        • Yoshua says:

          Technological euphoria is contagious. They should start a Petroleum Channel and follow projects, the technology, the drama, the successes and the price of oil tanking all their hopes.

          The good news seems to be that they know where the oil is (in the old reservoirs) and they have the technology to bring it to the surface.

          The not so good news are that the oil is more expensive to produce and the quality is lower. The EOR process will not able much if any production growth but the production still stays on a plateau.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            Excellent idea!

            There also needs an ‘Everything About Renewable Energy’ Channel too! It could be based on the CNBC formula… everything is rosy all the time no matter what.

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      The IEA thinks that oil prices can go to $300 per barrel and perhaps beyond. At those prices, incredibly expensive techniques can be used.

      • Rodster says:

        $300 a barrel of oil would drive a stake through the heart of BAU and collapse the entire system.

        • Probably any oil price north of $90 is a non-starter because consumer affordability could not sustain it for very long, which means the world needs to think of 90 and less determining what oil is available for production. Even consumer affordability of 90 a barrel will continue to decline even as the cost of production continues to rise, so the predicament is between a rock and a hard place, which means there won’t be any soft landing.

          • Mansoor H. Khan – http://aquinums-razor.blogspot.com/
            Mansoor H. Khan says:

            Can helicopter cash bring up the sweet spot of price of oil to a level where production would be profitable and it still be affordable?

            • psile
              psile says:

              The economy is but a subset of the physical world, which is finite in the sources and sinks available and which are being degraded and dissipated far faster than they can be replenished or drained. All consumption from here on out only hastens the eventual day of reckoning, where the human construct will have to answer to the natural world. Artificially juicing up consumption with “helicopter cash” will just speed things up considerably.

            • Mansoor H. Khan – http://aquinums-razor.blogspot.com/
              Mansoor H. Khan says:

              reply to psile,

              But does helicopter cash drop avoid a sudden disorderly debt deleveraging? Does it buy more BAU time? As FE would say if this is true then the Elders know it and we will witness it before the final collapse. In fact if does happen it means that the final collapse is very close.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              If one hears The Helicopters warming up that indeed could be the alert that we are in the acute stage…

              Just before that happens listen closely for someone rummaging around in a tool box and screaming ‘fakking hell…. rusty wrenches and bent nails!!! — launch the goddamn choppers’

              Aprez moi… le deluge….l’apocalypse maintenant…

            • John Doyle – Seeker of truth in a world of falsehoods
              ejhr2015 says:

              Helicopter drops are a future option, after the SHTF event. The government will have to pay everyone a pension as all jobs not needed to manage the events will go and people will be penniless. The gov can put money into everyones account and allow them the ability to purchase rations. That assumes the Gov has a plan [not a given].
              It will just allow the SHTF event to crash slowly, until the grid fails, when it will be rapid.

            • 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.
              Gail Tverberg says:

              A lot of things could go wrong besides the grid failing–banks failing or international trade failing would also work. So would taking money out of people’s bank accounts to save the banks. And I agree with you–any of your theories depend on the government having a plan. This would seem to be very unlikely to me.

            • 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.
              Gail Tverberg says:

              Perhaps helicopter cash would sort of work for a little while, but not long enough or high enough to really fix the price problem, say to $120 to $150 per barrel, for the long term.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              QE is helicopter cash …. subprime home and auto loans are helicopter money …

              They worked while they worked…. to keep demand up ….

          • 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.
            Gail Tverberg says:

            I agree. The maximum sustainable price could be quite a bit less than $90 per barrel.

        • 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.
          Gail Tverberg says:

          I agree!

          • Name says:

            If helikopter money (currency) would increase price of oil, extraction costs would also increase.

            • 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.
              Gail Tverberg says:

              Back when I wrote for The Oil Drum, we used to have a name for the phenomenon of rising oil prices increasing costs of extraction. We called it “receding horizons” is believe. I know that some of the service companies are offering special low prices now, so that they can retain at least some business. If oil prices rise again, they expect to raise their prices again. Steel prices are also down now. If debt levels rise enough for oil prices to rise, steel prices will rise again.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          According to the OECD Economics Department and the International Monetary Fund Research Department, a sustained $10 per barrel increase in oil prices from $25 to $35 would result in the OECD as a whole losing 0.4% of GDP in the first and second years of higher prices. http://www.iea.org/textbase/npsum/high_oil04sum.pdf

  33. MG says:

    The dilapidated industrial farm buildings in the village, where the father of genetics Gregor Mendel (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregor_Mendel) was born, recalling the collapse of the Soviet bloc:

    http://img.sreality.cz/big/dyn/201604/1308/74/570e048774681dfae3b10200

  34. Yoshua says:

    The Russian dictator honored Finland with a visit yesterday. Finland announced also yesterday that Finland has made a secret defence agreement with Great Britain and that we are working on a secret defence agreement with the U.S as well.

    Now… I don’t believe that Britons would come to Finland to die for our defence… and not Americans either… but a secret bluff is perhaps better than nothing ?

    On the other hand… I just can’t see why Russia would want to conquer Finland… not even if we begged them to come and take us.

  35. Exxon Might Have Just Made The Largest Oil Find In Two Years

    By Charles Kennedy – Jul 01, 2016, 1:43 PM CDT
    The Liza 2 well is located 120 miles off the coast of Guyana, and comes after Exxon made an initial discovery last year from its first well drilled in the Liza field. “It is getting harder and harder to make large oil finds,” Leta Smith, a director at consultancy IHS, told the Houston Chronicle. “One of the things that has been troublesome over the past several years is each year we see fewer discovered volumes, since 2012. A lot of the big finds have been gas, rather than oil.” The Houston Chronicle notes that there have only been five discoveries of over 500 million barrels or larger in the past four years

    http://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/Exxon-Might-Have-Just-Made-The-Largest-Oil-Find-In-Two-Years.html

    • Fast Eddy says:

      ExxonMobil and its partner Hess Corp. have announced that the major discovery off the coast of Guyana, is a discovery that is much larger than previously expected.

      The Liza field could turn out to be the largest oil discovery reported in two years and the companies say that it could cost $18 billion to develop. Exxon describes it as a “world-class discovery with a recoverable resource of between 800 million and 1.4 billion oil-equivalent barrels.” That could amount to as much as half of the entire volume of oil discovered across the entire industry in 2015.

      “We are excited by the results of a production test of the Liza-2 well, which confirms the presence of high-quality oil from the same high-porosity sandstone reservoirs that we saw in the Liza-1 well completed in 2015,” Steve Greenlee, president of Exxon Mobil Exploration Company, said in a statement. “We, along with our co-venturers, look forward to continuing a strong partnership with the government of Guyana to further evaluate the commercial potential for this exciting prospect.”

      Let’s put this in perspective:

      How many barrels of oil are produced and consumed a day?

      For 2016, the IEA Oil Market Report forecasts worldwide average demand of nearly 96 million barrels of oil and liquid fuels per day – that works out to more than 35 billion barrels a year. Production breached 97 million barrels per day (mb/d) in late 2015, and Medium-Term Oil Market Report 2016 foresees demand crossing the 100 mb/d threshold towards the end of its five-year outlook period. https://www.iea.org/aboutus/faqs/oil/

      • 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.
        Gail Tverberg says:

        The main issue is getting more out of existing fields, especially the oil sands in Canada and Venezuela’s heavy oil. This can only happen with higher oil prices.

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      Everything depends on the price of oil and the cost of extraction. If the price of oil is high enough, we can extract a lot of oil from existing field. If it is too low, many fields are cut off from production. In fact, even this new field may not prove to be economically recoverable if the price is too low–say $20 or $30 per barrel.

      • Artleads says:

        Can the price be “artificially” raised/set by government?

        • Stefeun says:

          Yes, but then they’re no longer competitive on the global market. No sales, no taxes.

          • Artleads says:

            But with travel restricted, won’t local people have to buy gas at the set government price? Where else would they get gas? Localization seems to be the up and coming phase?

            • Stefeun says:

              Artleads,
              That’s why I talked of global market.
              Locally it can be managed in different ways, I assume. Different governments have different tax policies, already, and I seem to remember that some of them have recently cut the helps, thus transferring the burden onto their population.

              As for travel restrictions, I don’t think it will happen before BAU is over. Except for a temporary command and control phase, during which anything can happen. It would (will) be war-economy, and cannot last for very long time. At the end of that phase, governments will be first to collapse.

            • the entire gasoline supply system on which our society depends functions by running full on at or near capacity.

              it will not function on a smallscale piecemeal basis except for a very short time, days or maybe weeks

            • Artleads says:

              Norm,

              “the entire gasoline supply system on which our society depends functions by running full on at or near capacity.

              it will not function on a smallscale piecemeal basis except for a very short time, days or maybe weeks.”

              I do not mean to be an irritant on the blog, but the blog seems too important just for a few well informed to gather and talk to the choir.

              So the statement above is far too sweeping for an average Joe/Jane to understand. A friend has recently been emphasizing the need to calibrate such statements. It has to be explained why the USSR was able to produce a significant amount of energy without it lasting just days or weeks. The same could be wondered about China up until recently.

              I don’t believe I said anything about small scale. But what is big-enough scale anyhow? Undoubtedly, it could include a colony on the moon or Mars. But is their absence a sign that our scale is too small? If a Middle East country gets demolished (as they increasingly do), how does that affect large scale? Or can large-enough scale be explained with more detail?

              Sorry, I see I said “local.” I didn’t know how to define it. I suppose I was groping for an entity that could possibly control (albeit temporarily) or raise energy prices high enough to pay for its production. Then I wasn’t sure why a rich socialist government (as Jeremy Corbyn describes his envisaged UK) couldn’t pay workers well enough to afford that energy. I have no doubt that what I (and Corbyn) propose are entirely impossible to realize, but if I’m to share that with ordinary folks, I need a better explanation for the impossibility than I have.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Gail has explained dozens of times that to extract oil you need BAU functioning — you need the financial system to work — you need all the machinery involved in extracting and refining oil — that means you need mines and smelters etc etc etc..

              Oil has not bubbled to the surface in a very long time… extraction is a high tech process.

              Only in DelusiSTAN where these facts do not matter will there be plenty of oil.

            • Artleads says:

              The USSR? Mid century China? It seems that capitalist economics isn’t he only way to drill for oil.

        • 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.
          Gail Tverberg says:

          To be popular with citizens, governments need to lower oil prices to the consumer, not raise them.

          Governments very often manipulate prices to the consumer, by raising or lowering tax rates. Governments don’t really affect world oil prices, except to the extent that their tax policies affect demand.

          China manipulates prices somewhat more than some other countries. When oil prices earlier this year dropped below $40 per barrel, China decided not to pass any of that benefit on to consumers. Presumably, it collected the difference in taxes.

          Oil exporters often set the price for oil for consumers in their country far below the world oil prices for their own people. Oil importers typically tax oil production, both as a way of collecting taxes and to encourage people to buy more fuel-efficient cars.

          I am not sure how the US could raise the price to US oil producers. Oil prices are the prices that refineries are willing to pay for crude oil. The government would need to somehow raise these prices. The government would also have to tax imported oil, so that imported oil would not be lower-priced than the new high-priced oil that it had now created for internal markets. Taxing imported oil but not local oil would be a problem under our free trade treaties.

          • Artleads says:

            “The government would also have to tax imported oil, so that imported oil would not be lower-priced than the new high-priced oil that it had now created for internal markets. Taxing imported oil but not local oil would be a problem under our free trade treaties.”

            So this looks like where Mr. Trump steps in and tears up those trade treaties. 🙂

            • 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.
              Gail Tverberg says:

              Right. We stand on our own, and pay the drillers what they need to get oil out of the ground. We then produce high cost goods and services, which we can’t sell on the world market. We also have difficulty selling them to our own people, because their wages don’t rise. Our problem still isn’t fixed.

            • as i recall—a two tier oil pricing system was tried in the early 80s

              that all ended in tears too

            • John Doyle – Seeker of truth in a world of falsehoods
              ejhr2015 says:

              It’s why so much production is subsidised. Like Venezeula, unable to have a viable agricultural sector as US subsidised goods undercut local growth. Very pernicious! It’s why shops are empty. They have to buy in the produce they used to grow at home!

            • Artleads says:

              Trump on one hand to tear up the deals, and socialism on the other to raise people’s wages?

  36. Duncan Idaho says:

    Another Amazon oil spill puts Peruvian communities at risk – ‘We don’t drink river water any more. It gives us diarrhea and stomachaches’

    http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2016/06/another-amazon-oil-spill-puts-peruvian.html

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      I see that it is the state oil company, Petroperú, that is at fault. The state needs the revenue, so sells the oil.

  37. Downunder says:

    Trumps slogan “We will make America great again” (There is a problem and we will try to fix it)
    Clinton’s response “We will keep America great” (We in charge will keep things good for us)
    Could be another Brexit

  38. Fast Eddy says:

    Brexit…

    If your wife is asking you why you didn’t move the lawn…. you can tell her that Brexit is to blame.

    If you had a bit too much to drink over dinner — blame it on Brexit.

    If you are in a bad mood at the office and you snap at someone — just blame it on Brexit.

    If you gained a few kg last month – blame it on Brexit

    If you have skipped the gym every day this week — Brexit is to blame…

    If you have a headache – Brexit is the cause

    If you have smelly farts on the plane — just say to the person ‘sorry mate — it’s this Brexit thing’

    If you feel depressed – you know Brexit is the cause

    Brexit – the one stop scape goat for everything.

  39. dolph911 says:

    With regard to the U.S. and guns and the paramilitaries, you have to remember that the U.S. exports violence. As the exportation of violence becomes unprofitable, it will only make sense to internalize violence.
    As in, people vs. institutions, people vs. people, civil war. Races vs. each other.
    Americans will kill each other, guaranteed. America is an “all or nothing” full speed ahead country. It can’t exist in stasis or decline.

    • worldofhanumanotg
      worldofhanumanotg says:

      I tend to agree, the final results of “releasing this energy potential” of gun ownership and death cult culture would be unimaginable horror, I’m just wondering what kind of scenarios of civil war or series of there of is it going to evolve into, JMGreer suggested some, but it could turn out in many ways. Although we can be almost sure of two parameters, namely number of survivors dropping to 1/10x – 1/100x in very short order and unlikely continuation of coast to coast regional cohesion. But as always in history it would be most likely punctuated by various renewal attempts and further collapses, there is a lot of military, policeman, fireman, guardsman to fight over the scraps and form various proto kingdoms around local/regional pockets of resources.

  40. MM says:

    I tend to agree to that fact that thought is an emerging thing and it appears on every inhabitable planet sooner or later. There exists the saying that “industrial civilisation is a one shot experience for every planet, if the species fails at it’s first attempt, that wil be it.”.
    If we evolved to a higher beeing, why do we not know about it, or have we lost the knowledge as it was destroyed by the elders to keep us in that prison? Why do we not remember where we caame from when we were born?
    It makes no sense to me in the sense of an evolution. If I get lost in a paramilitary gang in my neighbourhood, what is the sense of it, if we do not have a rememberance of the past? it will just reiterate the suffering over and over!

  41. MM says:

    Why this fight against entropy?

    Every organism tries to fight against entropy. And this fight needs external energy.
    Why is it that they simply can not accept that an Ursuppe is the most energetic efficient system?
    Something like grey goo.
    Everey living being defends itself against decayal.
    I think it must have something todo with the information the being consists of and the information the being transfers through time.
    The question is: Why does the information “want” to be contained?
    It makes “no sense” at all.
    Information is not considered to have a “want”. We see it as bits and bytes and still all organisms stem against entropy.
    The information somehow “needs” a living entity to transmit itself.
    Everything that does not live decays and looses it’s prior information.
    We live in the beginning of the information age but we have no clue what information in the natural world means.
    Do the preppers simply want to transmit their information through time?
    So they have the same urge.
    What is this urge and does it relate to the creation of the universe ?

    I Would like to engage in a philosophical discussion about that.
    Information and entropy are some quite new phenomena we recently discovered, what is from your knowledge, the cutting edge in it?

    Mr DNA will not be accepted as an answer as DNA is no person, has no Sex and can therefore not be a Mr.

    • worldofhanumanotg
      worldofhanumanotg says:

      My personal “philosophic” take given the horrible and quick destruction to such a blossoming earth ecosystem from the point of the advanced agricultural and later industrial homo ape is that the “Gaia” went sort of bored from all such complex beauty, which was in the last iteration buzzing around for millions of years, so she unleashed the human virus as an agent to terraform – reset the system as quickly as possible for future new renewal and new version of beauty..

      There are other philosophical schools, such as the observable universe and humans in it basically serve as penal colony for sinners from higher systems (universes) in which humans suffer throughout “lifespan here” great deal of psycho-emotional pain, only briefly and partially alleviated with arts, culture etc. Although that’s also a very passive thought system, you are as “human” basically prisoner again with no or very little free action.

      • MM says:

        I would say, what you claim beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Why is it that birds do not sing like jack-hammers? I bet everything was well prepared for humas to evolve and get to the next step. (what step exactly?)
        There exist the “snowball earth theory” where the earth has benn covered with ice for 60 Mio years or so and later vulcanic activity melted the ice and live went on.
        If “gaia” wanted all nature to disappear, it could just swallow up the continents in a rush.
        I bet that “gaia” also wantso to increase information but maybe “she” was not sure how to do it so “she” let the apes give it a try…

      • MM says:

        On your second argument that earth is a prison for human souls, it would not make sense to leave all that up to random activity. For example if the earth did not have a moon, the axis would not be stable. But from archeological research we know that the collision of a very large object formed the moon and that was cataclysmical by all means.. Why run 4 Bio years of earth simulation when you can create any prison you can imagine in an instant. No need for a universe of 13.5. Bio yeaers and all that tremendous amount of incidents that made humans evolve.Just name it “earth corerction facility” and create it. Why engaging in that tremendous rat experiment called the universe when the rats can be kept in an instantly created facility? Makes no sense to me. I am on the position that we have a free will.

        • Stefeun says:

          “Further conceive, I beg, that a stone, while continuing in motion, should be capable of thinking and knowing, that it is endeavoring, as far as it can, to continue to move. Such a stone, being conscious merely of its own endeavor and not at all indifferent, would believe itself to be completely free, and would think that it continued in motion solely because of its own wish. This is that human freedom, which all boast that they possess, and which consists solely in the fact, that men are conscious of their own desire, but are ignorant of the causes whereby that desire has been determined.”
          Baruch Spinoza

          That was for free-will.
          As for the other part of your question, why do you want or think there’s any meaning, finality, volition or sense in or behind all that?
          I think it isn’t necessary, things can only “be” and not “go somewhere” (where??) ; we don’t exist because we have a goal.

          And even if it was the case, since we aren’t able to find out about it, I consider we shouldn’t bother trying to answer unanswerable questions, but live instead, focus on present time, our only tangible reality.
          We feel ourselves as eternal, but we’re not.
          We’re mere dissipative structures, that’s for our status, now make the best out of it!

          • Stefeun says:

            Another way to put it, still by Spinoza:
            “men are
            mistaken in thinking themselves free; their opinion is made up
            of consciousness of their own actions, and ignorance of the
            causes by which they are conditioned. Their idea of freedom,
            therefore, is simply their ignorance of any cause for their
            actions. As for their saying that human actions depend on the
            will, this is a mere phrase without any idea to correspond
            thereto. What the will is, and how it moves the body, they none
            of them know; those who boast of such knowledge, and feign
            dwellings and habitations for the soul, are wont to provoke
            either laughter or disgust.”

            • Artleads says:

              It does sound hopelessly cold and uninspiring to me. But I bet Spinoza had a fire in his belly for the “myths” he the wonderfully gifted Spinoza could dispel. If so, he was fired up by an unreasonable passion, inspired by Enlightenment hubris. Descartes is said to have been convinced that you could slice up animals with impunity, for they couldn’t feel pain. (Not to impugn the image of the consciously rolling stone… )

            • Stefeun says:

              Artleads,
              I prefer a cold reality, in which I can find harmonies and “pockets of warmth”, and upon which I can build-up solid things,
              over a rosy narrative that I know is flawed.

              Things not being black or white, at least I try to get closer to the former, and avoid to consciously cheat myself. I have difficulties with the “feel good therapy”, but that’s me ; I understand it might work, for some.

            • Artleads says:

              Recently watched a Bioneers lecture by a scientist. She studies tree canopies in forests, climbing (precariously) by a rope. But she tries hard to integrate affective (word) disciplines with the cold science. One comparative way of seeing a tree (and I paraphrase like mad):

              A tree is a perennial woody plant with a central trunk giving way to a leafy crown (or something like that)

              AND

              A tree is earth’s way to communicate with the cosmos (or something like that)

              I would suggest that both definitions are useful. I say useful, for I hesitate to get into the subject of what is true. That is a lofty subject that seems to have confounded much smarter and wiser people than I. BTW, she explained that the root of the word tree is truth (or true)–using the root Gaelic (which I certainly can’t spell.)

              Her mother was an orthodox Jew and her father was Hindu. So she might have had an advantage over the strictly European scientistic view. 🙂

              I know the meme goes that science is merely an impersonal way of finding truth. I strongly disagree. Science (with all its admirable controls) is not impersonal. It derives from a worldview probably dating back to Athens. Since I’m no scholar, I can’t make strong points with footnotes and references about such things. But my POV is not based on feel-good, rosy notions only. It is largely based on common sense.

              Linguistics? It is commonly understood that when you get a message (as, say, science provides the measure of truth), you must assess where the messenger is coming from. The messenger is never neutral. The messenger has a linguistic system that can’t be separated from his message. We must be concerned about the worldview of the mind BEFORE it comes up with science. There must be a hundred great 20th century philosophers who talk about such things. But hopeless scholar me can’t name them. Maybe Claude Levi-Strauss would point to others. Adorno? Horkheimer? Ellul? Not sure about any of the specifics.

              Empirical Evidence? I look at the plain facts and note that the scientific view and the industrial emerge at the same time, following a similar and mutually supportive trajectory. Think of the most godawful dangers hanging over us. Nuclesasr technology, say. No, it isn’t science per se, but it couldn’t have materialized without science as well as the worldview of colonialism, and dead-earth-to-be-controlled that puts us in mind of Descartes’ pain-free animals.

              Meanwhile, back on the reservation, the claim of science to make the world a healthier and better place falls flat on its face. Where are the scientists bemoaning the daily loss of indigenous cultures and the healing knowledge the embody? Why have they been roughly 100 years too late with all their environmental predictions. Do they chain themselves to forests being clear cut? And if not, why not?

            • Artleads says:

              Test. Post not coming through.

            • 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.
              Gail Tverberg says:

              Sorry. Got caught in spam filter.

            • Artleads says:

              If my recent messages ever post here, this might be relevant to what I was trying to say:

              Chomsky
              Language and the Mind
              https://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/works/us/chomsky.htm

            • Artleads says:

              “I prefer a cold reality, in which I can find harmonies and “pockets of warmth”, and upon which I can build-up solid things, over a rosy narrative that I know is flawed.”

              Stefeun, one could have a lot of fun with this. Unfortunately, my response (which says what I wanted to say fairly well I thought) won’t post. 🙂

      • worldofhuman, my theory is there is a 5th dimensional form of matter, consciousness (souls). It operates at the same thought level as the species it fuses with and ascends to higher, more energetic thought levels during each incarnation, and advances to fuse in ever more evolved species and or individuals within a species. Once a consciousness is at the human level it would just move up to better DNA in subsequent incarnations. The trouble for Earth’s other species was consciousness hit a level in which the apex species passed a consciousness threshold in which it could manipulate mass, gaining advantage to dominate the planet. Instead of being thought of as an accident, it was inevitable to occur sooner or later on this and every other evolving planet. If we don’t become extinct we just keep heading upwards, and even if we do become extinct, then another species evolves over millions of years, our souls incarnate it to eventually pass where humans left off.

        Sounds far fetched? Well, something transferred a whole lot of thermal energy to initiate the Big Bang. What else could do that if it wasn’t consciousness having reached a peak thought level, then after sacrificing its energy to the Black Hole to start the cycle all over again, begins the upward ascent anew fusing with microbes. It’s referred to as the differential energy expression of mass & consciousness. No energy is created, so it is not in conflict with the laws of thermodynamics.

        • Froggman says:

          These conversations interest me. I used to be a student of Buddhism, but set those pursuits on the shelf as I dedicated my time and effort to other endeavors. My politics radicalized and I spent a good bit of time studying Marxism and Anarchism, and as a result assumed a very naturalistic philosophy. There’s no room for God and other “woo” when you’re trying to be a serious revolutionary.

          During that time I really looked down on the presumption that anything existed outside of the mechanistic, physical universe. I don’t regret this period in my life because I learned a lot about many things, including peak everything and the impending end of civilization. And the possibility of NTHE.

          But then recently, the weight of this knowlege got to be too much. After struggling with much anxiety I realized that I could just no longer deal with all of this in a universe where “this is it”- just atoms meaninglessly bouncing into one another. I took my meditation practice back up and have gotten pretty deep into Advaita Vedanta. It’s helped. When there is no solution, the solution may just be to reject the entire premise of the problem.

          “There is no spoon- only mind.”

          • Thanks for sharing, Froggman. Fascinating progression you went through, which many of us have to try and find answers to hard questions, and now I’m going to have to do a search on Advaita Vedanta. Also going to look up Artleads, scientist Tom Campbell.

            I’d love to put my ‘General theory of opposite sub-verses’ to the test in a computer simulation, so that’s one thing I’m looking to find someone or a group that does such work. I’ll ask Campbell if he knows a source.

            • Froggman says:

              If you do research further, I highly recommend the teachings of Nisargadatta Maharaj. He was a simple shopkeeper and his words are plain and easy to understand- but full of profundity.

          • Artleads says:

            “When there is no solution, the solution may just be to reject the entire premise of the problem.”

            Very nicely put. Since it’s so concise, I’ll just copy it by hand and post it by my desk.

            • 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.
              Gail Tverberg says:

              I like that quote.

              Also, in my talk last week, I talked about complexity being a source of problems. Complexity seems to be the precursor of technology. Thus, I come very close to saying, “The chief source of problems is solutions.”

              I need to figure out a way to write up some portions of the talk. In the meantime, this is a link: https://gailtheactuary.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/tverberg_complexity-2016-final-ppt.pdf

            • Stefeun says:

              Thanks Gail,
              Your presentation is clear.
              You could even put it online (new post) as it is, with almost no additional text.

            • 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.
              Gail Tverberg says:

              Thanks for the vote of confidence.

            • “If you do research further, I highly recommend the teachings of Nisargadatta Maharaj.”

              Thanks Froggman, I shall Google that name as well.

            • Artleads says:

              Gail,

              Your presentations seem to be revolutionizing how we look at energy. But I didn’t notice an emphasis on how capitalism, science and technology impact (or are impacted by) energy. Is that something I missed?

            • Stefeun says:

              Artleads,
              To put it very shortly, I’d say that capitalism (+finance), science and technology, are tools that help dissipate the energy faster, and co-evolve with this increase in energy consumption (through à positive feedback loop).

            • 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.
              Gail Tverberg says:

              Good way of putting it!

            • 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.
              Gail Tverberg says:

              A little more of those topics are in my latest presentation.

            • Artleads says:

              Energy, aesthetics and knowledge in complex economic systems ☆

              http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167268111000850

              Abstract
              It is argued that the fact that economic systems are dissipative structures must be taken fully into account in economics if we are to understand the nature of the economic–ecological interface and how to deal with emergent environmental problems, such as global warming. Such problems are a product of economic growth, which is widely accepted to be the outcome of the acquisition and application of knowledge. Drawing upon disparate literatures within and outside economics, it is argued that economic growth should be more properly viewed as the outcome of a co-evolutionary process that involves the autocatalytic interaction of new knowledge and access of increasing amounts of free energy to do increasingly specialized forms of work. Specifically, the relevance of the ‘energy hypothesis,’ associated with Erwin Schrödinger and, more recently, revived by Eric Schneider and his collaborators, is assessed. This hypothesis states that all dissipative structures have, as their primary objective, the reduction of accessible free energy gradients. It is concluded that such a hypothesis cannot be rejected in the context of economic behaviour and that this opens up an important research agenda for economists.

            • Artleads says:

              Energy, aesthetics and knowledge in complex economic systems

              http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167268111000850

            • Stefeun says:

              Artleads,
              From the abstract:
              “This hypothesis states that all dissipative structures have, as their primary objective, the reduction of accessible free energy gradients. It is concluded that such a hypothesis cannot be rejected in the context of economic behaviour and that this opens up an important research agenda for economists.”

              Yes, very true, but sorry fellow economists, you got plenty of time, decades if not a whole century, to work on it, and you didn’t. Now it’s too late, by far!

            • 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.
              Gail Tverberg says:

              Right!

            • Artleads says:

              Stefeun,

              “To put it very shortly, I’d say that capitalism (+finance), science and technology, are tools that help dissipate the energy faster, and co-evolve with this increase in energy consumption (through à positive feedback loop).”

              Thanks. This brevity and simplicity is the level I can understand. But while I thought the abstract used terms often seen here (and would make sense to FW readers), it made absolutely no sense to me. I have a little more internalized appreciation of low vs high entropy than I have of dissipative systems. I can’t begin to explain how alien (or alienating) such terms are to average people, and most artists. I found the quote because it mentioned aesthetic in the title. You’d think there’s be some small mention of it in the abstract, but no.

          • MM says:

            From many of the arguments I see that most people tend to focus on the human being.
            I do not bet on the thesis that the human being is more different than all the other beings.
            If beings evolve to a higher self, why do you not say that for butterflies. Do you have any idea about a butterflies thoughts? or a dolphin.
            If the universe is only bouncing atoms at random, why should it not be grey goo all over. That is the lowest possible and stable state for all times.
            Matter somehow starts to form living entities after a while and humans are lucky that they can think about it. If this tendency is engraved in matter, no one thought about all the bugs in societal structures that come up when thinking beings come together in a civilisation.
            I already claimed here that the cyano catastrophe was maybe even worse for earth than humans. Maybe it is just that the sun continously pumped energy at the planet and finally things happened that would not happen otherwise.

            What hurts me about it is that if humans were to quit, any other intelligent species will make the same mistakes we made all over again. rinse and repeat. what a boring mechanism. Ok, if I think about it, in a later state, the archeologists might find a previous civilisation that went extinct because of too high co2 and too high ambient radiation levels. That could be enough evidence for the next civ to change its path…..

        • Artleads says:

          “If we don’t become extinct we just keep heading upwards, and even if we do become extinct, then another species evolves over millions of years, our souls incarnate it to eventually pass where humans left off.”

          This seems unlikely. First of all, we have an extremely depleted biosphere now. Second, we have a rapidly warming planet and it’s not inconceivable that it could “go Venus” based on all the irreversible positive feedback loops that would heat it up exponentially. Third, other species are going extinct much faster than we are. It is unlikely that we would leave behind species to evolve sufficiently fast to produce complex life again. Fourth, the earth does not have forever to exist. Some assess that in half a billion years the sun’s nearness will already preclude living beings. Five, the time it would take to evolve complex life remotely similar to our will not be forthcoming.

        • 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.
          Gail Tverberg says:

          There are some who believe that the universe has no beginning and no end. http://phys.org/news/2015-02-big-quantum-equation-universe.html

          • Stefeun says:

            What if both time and space were created by the Big Bang?

            If so, then both “before the Big Bang” and “outside the Universe” would be nonsenses, since none of them would exist. It can sound stupid, but no more nor less than other hypothesis, in my -uneducated- view. We know that both time and space are distorted as we get closer to the Big Bang, so it seems reasonable to me.

            For the rest, I think it comes from our inability to conceive the nothingness. Only to name it is giving it an existence, which is nonsensical…
            However, one can bring back this concept to an individual level, by thinking of “before own birth”. Same for after-death, imo, but not everyone agrees, on that side…
            Our arrogance refuses the possibility of non-existence of the self (and of our civilization, etc…), even if it’s a matter of fact (or should be considered as so).

            • 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.
              Gail Tverberg says:

              I suppose both time and space could have been created by the Big Bang. It is hard to imagine a universe without time.

            • Christian says:

              My kid asks the same question, what happened before the big egg exploded? Knowing entropy and time are synonyms doesn’t help even us to address this issue

            • Stefeun says:

              Christian,
              I’m afraid none of us is able to explain what time is.
              I also fear that introducing entropy, aka the arrow of time, makes the explanation even more tricky, because of the background that goes with it.

              No “before” because time didn’t exist… Unconceivable. Each of us has to find some mental workaround so that such cul-de-sac doesn’t block the rest of the reasonings.

              And: no “beyond” because Space doesn’t exist… Buzz lightyear will be sooo disappointed!

    • Artleads says:

      It sounds as though you’ve read or listened to scientist Tom Campbell. If not, and you Google his name, he has loads of video presentations that touch on information in bits and bytes… 🙂

      • MM says:

        I know Tom Campbell and what he claims seems to make sense from the information point of view that the universe simply creates some sort of a huge database of information (to make sense of itself?).
        What I miss a bit about his presentations is a language book of SQL for that database, how you can access it. He talks about meditation and stuff, but nothing real and nothing reproducible…

        • Artleads says:

          I looked up SQL. Seems oh so complex. What I find disquieting about him (and it may be related to SQL) is when he talks about a multi-universe of 9 or so in number and that he has and can visit. The idea of a multi-universe is as bewildering to me as the idea of a single one!

  42. adonis says:

    yoshua according to one conspiracy theory i read years ago ksa are running on empty i wouldnt be surprised if they were down to 40 to 50 billion barrels of proven reserves and the article i read claimed that barrels produced from iraq were being classified as coming from ksa so as to make ksa look good imagine if iraq were chock-full of barrels it would make sense why iraq was invaded.

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      The amount of oil that Iraq and KSA can produce depends on the price of oil. If it is high enough, they can produce a lot more than if it is much lower.

    • Yoshua says:

      I have read that Iraq has 300 billion barrels of oil and another 100 billion undiscovered. But those numbers might have more to do with new recovery technology and a high oil price ?

      The rising rig count in Saudi Arabia seems to suggest that they have to work harder to maintain the production on a production plateau.

      Iran is in control of Iraq today, or at least the Shia territory in Iraq, and that is where the most of the oil fields are located. The Kurds in the north also control oil fields. The Sunni territory in Iraq controlled by ISIS doesn’t have any oil fields.

      So if Saudi Arabia is running out of oil and need the oil fields in Iraq for their future survival… then I guess it would make perfect sense for Saudi Arabia to finance and arm ISIS against the Shia led government in Iraq.

      On the other hand… Iran might also need the oil in Iraq for their future survival as oil producers. So the conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran has perhaps more to do with oil than about a religious schism ?

  43. Yoshua says:

    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-9KxoiUPo3s0/VUeHvGm6VWI/AAAAAAAAAq4/nZ-PJLtF8LY/s640/saudi-arabia-rig-count-5-4.jpg

    https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-N2lIAsdShz8/VxLH93SCJbI/AAAAAAAAJp0/v9J563h5pqMNjc6Y-eHzhjq4nYHr54XygCLcB/s1600/saudi-arabia-crude-oil-production.png

    Saudi Arabia’s proven reserves were 100 billion barrels before the Saudis took over ARAMCO in 1980. After this they raised the proven reserves to 260 billion barrels and have since then kept them at 260 billion barrels.

    Saudi Arabia has produced 140 billion barrels.

    • Yoshua says:

      I just read that the Original Oil In Place in Saudi Arabia is 530 billion barrels. So if they can recover 50 percent of the OOIP then their “proven” reserves would be 265 billion barrels. But if they only can recover 30 percent then the reserves would be 160 billion barrels.

      Since Saudi Arabia already has produced 140 billion barrels they could have some 20 billion to 120 billion barrels left to produce.

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      So, if we believe the numbers Saudi Arabia is telling us, they will produce a total of 400 billion barrels (= 140 + 260)

      • Yoshua says:

        That would be close to a 80 percent recovery of the OOIP.

      • Yoshua says:

        According to the US Department of Energy, oil extraction using only primary and secondary methods may leave up to 75% of the oil still in the reservoir. This means that pump jacks, natural oil escape and water and gas injection will only extract at best 50% of the oil and at worst a mere 25% of its capacity. In order to address this wastefulness, new tertiary methods, often known as enhanced oil recovery (EOR), have been developed.

  44. worldofhanumanotg
    worldofhanumanotg says:

    The plot thickens as Austrian constitutional court just nullified very recent presidential elections and calls for new plebiscite, mind you last time eurosceptic candidate Mr. Hofer was only 31.000 votes behind the establishment media darling. Also Austrian system allowing in almost million of expat correspondence votes from abroad (mostly pro EU) played significant role. In any case this is example of continental presidential office, i.e. mostly ceremonial role as opposed to executive prime ministers, however it would be another little nail into the old structures should the vote turn upside down next time, because of the elevated platform to voice criticism on immigration, EUR, and other issues.

  45. Fast Eddy says:

    A new report by a taxpayer watchdog group reveals that the growing militarization in the United States goes beyond police departments by showing how nonmilitary federal agencies are arming themselves like military units.

    The report “The Militarization of America” examines government expenditures by 67 federal agencies between 2006 and 2014 and found that they spent US$1.48 billion stockpiling guns, ammunition and other military-style equipment.

    “The recent growth of the federal arsenal begs the questions: Just who are the feds planning to battle?” American Tranparency’s Adam Andrzejewski, the author of the report, recently wrote in Forbes.

    The report states that “administrative agencies including the Food and Drug Administration, Small Business Administration, Smithsonian Institution, Social Security Administration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, United States Mint, Department of Education, Bureau of Engraving and Printing, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and many other agencies purchased guns, ammo, and military-style equipment.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-06-30/militarization-us-goes-beyond-police-departments

  46. Yoshua says:

    Government of the Czech Republic published this content on 28 June 2016 and is solely responsible for the information contained herein.

    Distributed by Public, unedited and unaltered, on 28 June 2016 15:10:04 UTC.

    Joint statement of the heads of governments of the Visegrad group countries: Towards Union of trust and action.

    http://www.4-traders.com/news/Joint-statement-of-the-heads-of-governments-of-the-Visegrad-group-countries-Towards-Union-of-trust–22589878/

    The countries of the Visegrad Group deeply regret that the United Kingdom has chosen not to remain a member of the European Union. We respect this sovereign decision. The European Union of 27 Member States will continue.

    The United Kingdom chose a different path. Article 50 of the Treaty is the basis on which further relations with the UK should be agreed. We need clarity.

    • Yoshua says:

      Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico met to harmonise their positions before a meeting of the European Council in Brussels in the afternoon.

      They agreed on the need to renew the EU and to revive the trust in European integration and institutions.

    • Yoshua says:

      They seem to give some alarmist and contradictory statements, leaking documents, and playing games with the media. It looks like political theater.

      • worldofhanumanotg
        worldofhanumanotg says:

        Refer to my prior post above. The CEE countries were on many EU integration issues hiding behind the UK shield as an antidote to franco-German axis, after the brexit vote they simply panicked and drummed up the loose V4 – joint alliance. Now, when the water calmed and it seems there is going to be no real brexit, but rather some long term renegotiation process of of UK’s continued link to EU, the CEEs have to back track as well..

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