Why energy prices are ultimately headed lower; what the IMF missed

We have been hearing a great deal about IMF concerns recently, after the release of its October 2016 World Economic Outlook and its Annual Meeting October 7-9. The concerns mentioned include the following:

  • Too much growth in debt, with China particularly mentioned as a problem
  • World economic growth seems to have slowed on a long-term basis
  • Central bank intervention required to produce artificially low interest rates, to produce even this low growth
  • Global international trade is no longer growing rapidly
  • Economic stagnation could lead to protectionist calls

These issues are very much related to issues that I have been writing about:

  • It takes energy to make goods and services.
  • It takes an increasing amount of energy consumption to create a growing amount of goods and services–in other words, growing GDP.
  • This energy must be inexpensive, if it is to operate in the historical way: the economy produces good productivity growth; this productivity growth translates to wage growth; and debt levels can stay within reasonable bounds as growth occurs.
  • We can’t keep producing cheap energy because what “runs out” is cheap-to-extract energy. We extract this cheap-to-extract energy first, forcing us to move on to expensive-to-extract energy.
  • Eventually, we run into the problem of energy prices falling below the cost of production because of affordability issues. The wages of non-elite workers don’t keep up with the rising cost of extraction.
  • Governments can try to cover up the problem with more debt at ever-lower interest rates, but eventually this doesn’t work either.
  • Instead of producing higher commodity prices, the system tends to produce asset bubbles.
  • Eventually, the system must collapse due to growing inefficiencies of the system. The result is likely to look much like a “Minsky Moment,” with a collapse in asset prices.
  • The collapse in assets prices will lead to debt defaults, bank failures, and a lack of new loans. With fewer new loans, there will be a further decrease in demand. As a result, energy and other commodity prices can be expected to fall to new lows.

Let me explain a few of these issues.

The Need For Energy to Operate the Economy

On a worldwide basis, it takes energy to make the economy grow. This is evident, regardless of what time period we look at.

Figure 1. World GDP in 2010$ compared (from USDA) compared to World Consumption of Energy (from BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2014).

Figure 1. World GDP in 2010$ (from USDA) compared to World Consumption of Energy (from BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2014).

Figure 2. Three year average growth rate in world energy consumption and in GDP. World energy consumption based on BP Review of World Energy, 2015 data; real GDP from USDA in 2010$.

Figure 2. Three year average growth rate in world energy consumption and in GDP. World energy consumption based on BP Review of World Energy, 2015 data; real GDP from USDA in 2010$.

Figure 3. World GDP growth compared to world energy consumption growth for selected time periods since 1820. World real GDP trends for 1975 to present are based on USDA real GDP data in 2010$ for 1975 and subsequent. (Estimated by author for 2015.) GDP estimates for prior to 1975 are based on Maddison project updates as of 2013. Growth in the use of energy products is based on a combination of data from Appendix A data from Vaclav Smil's Energy Transitions: History, Requirements and Prospects together with BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2015 for 1965 and subsequent.

Figure 3. World GDP growth compared to world energy consumption growth for selected time periods since 1820. World real GDP trends for 1975 to present are based on USDA real GDP data in 2010$ for 1975 and subsequent. (Estimated by author for 2015.) GDP estimates for prior to 1975 are based on Maddison project updates as of 2013. Growth in the use of energy products is based on a combination of data from Appendix A, data from Vaclav Smil’s Energy Transitions: History, Requirements and Prospects, together with BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2015 for 1965 and subsequent.

There is a small gain, over and above that added by energy growth. This gain reflects the impact of efficiency gains and technology changes. Generally, this additional gain is less than 1% per year.

In recent years, a large share of the world’s manufacturing has been moved to developing countries. This shift gives the illusion that the developed countries can get along with less energy to produce their GDP. This is not really the case. The developed countries find themselves with a need for a large amount of imported goods. Their heavily services-oriented economies tend to grow slowly. This is because, with little energy use, it is difficult for these economies to make productivity gains. I have written about this issue in What really causes falling productivity growth — an energy-based explanation.

Figure 4. Total amount of energy used by Commercial and Industrial Sector (excluding transportation) based on EIA Energy Consumption by Sector, divided by Bureau of Labor Statistics Total Non-Farm Employees by Year.

Figure 4. Total amount of energy used by Commercial and Industrial Sector (excluding transportation) based on EIA Energy Consumption by Sector, divided by Bureau of Labor Statistics Total Non-Farm Employees by Year.

We Run Out of Cheap-to-Extract Energy Products 

The amount of a given energy product (whether oil, coal, natural gas, or uranium) depends to a significant extent on the price available. The wide base on the triangle in Figure 5 indicates that if the price is high enough, we can extract a very large amount of any given energy resource. For example, if oil is $300 per barrel, we can extract the huge amounts of oil that would seem to make it possible for the economy to grow for the next 25 years.

Figure 5. We extract the easiest to extract energy first.

Figure 5. We extract the easiest to extract energy first.

In fact, the IEA has even made projections assuming $300 per barrel oil.

Figure 6. IEA Figure 1.4 from its World Energy Outlook 2015, showing how much oil can be produced at various price levels.

Figure 6. IEA Figure 1.4 from its World Energy Outlook 2015, showing how much oil can be produced at various price levels.

The reason why there is a problem if oil prices rise to very high levels is because wages don’t rise at the same time.

Figure 7. Reason why wages don't grow.

Figure 7. Reason why wages don’t grow.

This situation of lower and lower efficiency at extracting energy, as described above, is sometimes referred to as diminishing returns.

We can look at the problem from the point of view of the worker. He must make choices regarding which things to cut back on if energy prices rise, but his wages don’t rise. The result tends to be recession.

Figure 8. A worker must make choices, if prices of goods made using energy products rise, but his wages don't.

Figure 8. A worker must make choices, if prices of goods made using energy products rise, but his wages don’t. These choices lead to recession.

Figure 9. Examples of discretionary goods include vacations using airline travel, new homes, and new cars.

Figure 9. Examples of discretionary goods include vacations using airline travel, new homes, and new cars. Other examples might include restaurant meals and charitable contributions.

Central Banks Can Fix the Problem Temporarily

If wages are too low to buy “big-ticket” items, lower interest rates and more debt can “sort of” solve the problem. The combination makes expensive goods more affordable on a monthly payment basis.

Figure 10. Comparison of world oil supply and price, as changes are made to interest rates using QE and other changes.

Figure 10. Comparison of world oil supply and price, as changes are made to interest rates using QE and other changes.

Quantitative Easing (QE) allows interest rates to be very much lower than normal. The United States first started using QE in 2008 when commodity prices dropped very low. The combination of the US’s use of QE, and significantly greater borrowing by China to stimulate its economy, helped bring Brent oil prices back over $120 per barrel by 2011 (Figure 10).

Figure 10 shows that, over time, QE has become less and less able to hold up oil prices. The price suddenly started to fall in 2014 when the US discontinued its QE program and China cut back on its growth in debt. Oil is priced in US dollars; the US dollar rose relative to other currencies when the US eliminated its QE program, making oil relatively more expensive for these countries. As a result, citizens of these countries were forced to cut back on discretionary purchases. This is what led to falling commodity prices of many kinds (not just oil) in mid-2014.

Since 2014, other countries besides the US have maintained their QE programs. In fact, Japan and the EU have expanded their programs. Even with very low interest rates, commodity prices remain far too low for most commodity producers to be profitable. This situation could lead to catastrophe because metals, agriculture, and energy are all essential to the economy.

Figure 11. IMF Commodity Price Indices, from September Commodity Market Monthly.

Figure 11. IMF Commodity Price Indices, from September Commodity Market Monthly.

Throughout the ages, there has been a problem with diminishing returns in producing food and other energy products. The standard workaround seems to be greater “complexity.” When complexity is used, specialization and more concentrations of energy are used to try to work around problems. For example, one solution is to make more tools and other capital goods that can be used to leverage the labor of workers. Another approach is to use larger companies with more hierarchical organizations to bring together more resources. For example, if the problem is inadequate food production, perhaps an organized group can build a dam, so that irrigation can be used to produce a greater amount of food on the same quantity of arable land. A third approach is more specialized training for some of the workers.

An unfortunate impact of greater complexity is an increasingly hierarchical society. While some workers benefit, a large number of non-elite workers accrue little benefit. Instead, lagging wages increasingly make the new, better products made possible by a complex economy less affordable.

What Goes Wrong?

There are several things that go wrong:

1. Non-elite workers find it increasingly difficult to buy the output of the economy. Their wages lag behind as more of the wages go to the workers with more advanced training and management responsibility. Because there are so many of these non-elite workers, their “demand” is needed if the prices of commodities are to stay high enough to ensure greater production of these commodities. With only low pay, non-elite workers find it difficult to afford houses, cars, and vacations. All of these use commodities, both when capital goods such as houses, cars, and airplanes are made, and later when these capital goods are operated. Low interest rates may not help these non-elite workers very much, because they lack money for down payments. Without as much demand, prices for commodities tend to fall.

2. Central banks lower interest rates, but not much of the benefit of these lower interest rates actually gets back to the buying power of non-elite workers. Instead, low interest rates tend to lead to higher prices of assets, such as land, existing houses, and shares of stock in companies. Unfortunately, these higher prices of assets do nothing for commodity prices. In order to raise demand for commodities, the buying power of non-elite workers needs to rise, so that they can buy the expensive goods that are no longer affordable.

3. The rate of return on investments tends to fall too low, because diminishing returns lead to ever more energy use (including human labor use) to produce energy products. Since capital goods are made and operated using energy products, the cost of their creation and operation is also raised. Each unit of debt required to finance new capital goods and new energy extraction tends to get lower returns over time. This results in the economy becoming increasingly less efficient, and productivity growth tending to fall.

4. Debt levels tend to rise for multiple reasons. One reason debt levels rise relates to diminishing returns with respect to energy extraction. What is needed when it comes to producing the kind of changes that underlie economic growth (for example, extraction of ores, heating of ores, and transportation of finished products to their destinations) is a particular quantity of energy, as measured in some unit of energy, such as British Thermal Units. If the cost of energy extraction is now five times as high as it was fifteen years ago, the quantity of debt needed to extract that energy may need to be five times as high. If the development process takes 10 years instead of 5, that may further increase the amount of debt required.

It is not only energy products that are affected by the need for a greater amount of debt. Products made using energy products, such as cars and homes, tend to become more expensive as well. If the prices of these products rise, more debt is needed to buy them, as well.

5. Another reason debt levels tend to rise relates to falling interest rates, and the impact that these lower interest rates have on asset prices. With lower interest rates, the purchase of existing buildings becomes more affordable, as does the purchase of shares of stock, so prices tend to rise. Customers buy these items, in the hope that capital gains will give them greater returns than the measly returns available from fixed income investments, and likewise, from new investment in new “productive” assets such as oil wells and factories. Most of this asset-based debt is not productive debt; it is simply obtained in the hope of obtaining capital gains on existing assets as a result of ever-lower interest rates.

6. Relativities among currencies become more important. If the US dollar rises, either because the United States is charging higher interest rates, or because it is not using QE while other countries are, then goods become relatively more expensive outside the US. In this situation, investment tends to fall in countries with perceived lower future prospects–in other words, in countries outside of the US. It becomes harder to keep debt levels up, and thus the buying power of the world economy. Downward pressure on the price of commodities becomes greater because of the loss of debt-fueled buying power.

7. Growth in energy supplies can be expected to slow and eventually begin to shrink, as low energy prices lead to lower new investments. Needless to say, these lower energy supplies adversely impact GDP growth, because of the connection between energy consumption and GDP growth. The countries likely to be affected first by low oil prices are oil exporters such as Venezuela and Nigeria. Many people will not make this connection, because they consider only the apparently beneficial impact of low fuel prices for oil importing countries.

Essentially, the problem being encountered is a physics problem. The economy is a dissipative structure. As it grows, it needs an increasing amount of energy to operate. If the energy is not available, it becomes increasingly subject to collapse. See my post, The Physics of Energy and the Economy.

At some point, we can expect to reach a Minsky Moment. Such a moment involves a major drop in asset prices. We have already reached the corresponding drop in commodity prices that comes with diminishing returns, because fewer non-elite workers are able to buy goods made with commodities, and because of the higher US dollar.

Figure 12. Stylized Minisky Cycle from Wikipedia.

Figure 12. Stylized Minsky Cycle from Wikipedia.

We are waiting now for asset prices to fall to a level corresponding to what these assets can really produce. When this happens, the big drop in commodity prices will transfer back to the corresponding asset prices. For example, the price of land used to extract oil and gas should at some point drop to reflect the lower prices available for these commodities in the marketplace. The price of agricultural land should drop to reflect the lower prices of commodities that can be grown on them, such as wheat, cattle, and hogs. The price of land used to extract metals should drop to reflect the low value of metals. This drop in asset prices doesn’t happen immediately, because everyone assumes that prices are going to bounce back up, and that the system will perform as it always has.

When prices of commodity-related assets drop to a level that reflects their true economic value, we can expect a huge number of debt defaults. This, of course, happens because these assets have been used as the basis for a large amount of debt. It will be difficult to save the financial system, because there will be huge defaults both on bank loans and on outstanding bonds. Banks, insurance companies, and pension plans will all be affected.

Can the Price of Oil Rise above $50 per Barrel?

I am doubtful that the price of oil can rise very high, for very long. Our oil price problem is part of a much larger problem–a slowing economy with low prices for a large number of commodities, including oil. The price of oil can perhaps briefly rise as high as $75 per barrel, but such a high price cannot hold for very long. Rising oil prices tend to lead to recession for oil importing countries, and recessions tend to bring commodity prices back down. The world clearly could not support a price of $100 per barrel before the crash in prices in mid-2014. Once we understand the reason for our low-price problem–diminishing returns and the economy’s tie to the use of energy–it is clear that there is no way out of the problem over the longer term.

In the not-too-distant future, our low commodity price problem is likely to become a low asset price problem. Once this happens, we will have a huge debt default problem. It will also become harder to obtain new loans, because defaults on existing loans will have an adverse impact on the ability of banks to make new loans. Interest rates required by bond markets are likely to spike as well.

The lack of new loans will tend to depress demand further, because without new loans it is difficult to buy high-priced goods such as cars, homes, and factories. As a result, in the long run, we can expect lower commodity prices, not higher commodity prices. Oil prices may ultimately fall below $20 per barrel.

 

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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1,582 Responses to Why energy prices are ultimately headed lower; what the IMF missed

    • Yoshua says:

      The Ponzi finance created the massive commodity price bubble ? Now that the commodity price bubble has imploded and the debt held by commodity producers must be repaid with collapsed revenues from commodity production, the commodity producers will start to default on their debt and we will have a financial meltdown like never seen before ?

    • Interesting. Thanks!
      It took me a while to figure out what the tiny print meant. SPX is Standard and Poor’s 500 Index (black). Federal funds is the federal funds interest rate, and FED balance shed it of course the amount held, including all of the QE funds. The other charts are also interesting.

      I think the last chart just represents the change that took place on October 16 with respect to money market funds. There was a change in federal laws, so that money market funds that invested in non-government bonds disappeared at that date. (I may have the details wrong, however. After that date, the price could “break $1.00” so it made no sense to have such a fund.)

  1. Yoshua says:

    Commodity price index in USD and SDR.

    http://www.imf.org/external/np/res/commod/Charts.pdf

  2. Fast Eddy says:

    So….

    I dropped by the shop the other day to look at gear for ocean fishing for the west coast shack….

    They guys says hey Fast where you from in America? …….

    Anyway… he says … since you will be fishing from the shore…. why not just buy one of these …

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5qY44UHmDs

    How’s it work I say?

    You just hook a bunch of lures onto it…. chuck into the surf … hook multiple fish… then pull it to shore using the winch… works like a dream….

    Price tag – USD3000+….

    I am thinking…. I can buy a LOT of fresh fish at the shop for 3k…. I get to choose … and I don’t have to gut it…

    I am also thinking … how totally &&^%$ed up is this?

    Needless to say… I went for the rod and reel…

    Tip of the Day for ISIS: use some oil dosh… buy some of these kontiki thingies… strap bombs on them…. and you’ve got yourself a torpedo…..

    Also… if you happen to accidentally ingest poison and want to vomit it… click here

  3. Kurt says:

    This should drive folks here completely up the wall. Clean energy is disruptive. Who’d a thunk it? Enjoy!

    ​https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kxryv2XrnqM

    • Ed says:

      Well in eight years we will know.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      They’ve go this right at least… Why Energy & Transportation will be Obsolete by 2030 — a little optimistic on the time frame though…. can’t imagine this goes on till 2030…

      I couldn’t bring myself to watch the video….

      • Kurt says:

        The basic premise is that lithium ion batteries and solar panels will be so cheap that prestico, majico — we all switch over and life is amazing for all.

      • If I remember correctly, there was also an illness that killed off a lot of horses about this time that pushed things along faster than otherwise. I am sure, also, that New York City was quicker than, say, Oklahoma, in adopting the new technology. There was a huge manure problem, and the narrow streets and high population made it worse, I am sure.

        • Kurt says:

          I think if it does happen, it will be a similar situation. Adoption in the large cities, but folks will still be driving their pickups everywhere else.

  4. Ed says:

    Can we predict which countries will cross the net producer to net importer line next?

    • I am guessing that exporters who find their volumes are down below their level of consumption will have to cut their own consumption so that they are not net importers. Saudi Arabia can never import oil from anyone else.

      Egypt is a country that has been a net importer of oil for several years, and only in 2015 became a net importer of natural gas. Its energy consumption has been close to flat, thanks to more loans. Of course, energy per capita is falling, and that is a problem. It somehow has been able to import, but I wouldn’t count on it lasting for long.

      Syria is in somewhat worse shape. Oil production is down practically to zero, and natural gas production is not very high. We don’t have good consumption numbers, but looking at all of the fighting, it is not very much.

      Yemen is another country that is moving from oil exporter to “can’t afford to import” status.

      We can understand what these three countries have in common.

      • Tim Groves says:

        If you had said Egypt, Syria and Iraq and asked what all three have in common, I would have said that Hercule Poirot solved murder cases on archeological digs in all of them. But bringing in Yemen I’d say all have growing populations, little industrialization, lots of sand, and agricultural production severely curtailed by limited water resources.

      • unfortunatley “Mr Average” in whichever nation he lives in has expectations.

        If he’s a 10th generation goat herder, that that will be his expectation.
        But if he’s a 2nd generation Mercedes driver, then that will be HIS expectation.

        If for some reason fuel is no longer available to put in his Merc, he is not going to admit to burning/selling all the oil, he is going the blame “they” and start to riot.

        This is happening across the middle east, and will happen in Saudi too

        • Fast Eddy says:

          Having lived in a dictatorship under the British and then the Chinese in Hong Kong —- I can attest to the fact that so long as one has a late model Mercedes or BMW or Rolls Royce in the garage… people do not give a flying fook about what kind of government runs the show…. they only get unruly if the government fails to deliver on prosperity…

          Democracy tends to be a steam valve though —- if they people are unhappy with government (minions of the ell-ders) just replace them with more of the same and call it hope and change and start the process over again.,…

  5. name says:

    China coal extraction rate down 12.3% yoy in September: http://www.reuters.com/article/china-economy-output-coal-idUSENNGAC0TD

  6. Fast Eddy says:

    That was directed at Lars….

  7. Fast Eddy says:

    I wonder who gets to keep the kids?

    “In this venue, your honours, in this venue, I announce my separation from the United States,” Duterte said to applause at a Chinese forum in the Great Hall of the People attended by Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli. “Both in military, not maybe social, but economics also. America has lost.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-10-20/america-has-lost-duterte-announces-separation-united-states-alligns-china

    • nequin says:

      That dude just dosent like drug dealers.
      The upside is the place is safer now.

    • Yoshua says:

      The “you are either with us or against us” seems to go deeper than I thought. Although Philippine has been an American colony for a very long time, the break up seems to be very dramatic. It is as if there is a invisible shadow dividing the world where American hegemony rules the sunny side and then there are powers in shadows.

      Do I sound stupid ? I didn’t know ?

      • Fast Eddy says:

        One has to wonder if any core countries will join … for example … Germany…. what do they care if their gas vendor is Russia or Qatar?

        • Yoshua says:

          That would be a declaration of war !

          Europe aligned with Russia and China in an union that would dominate the Eurasian continent and all its resources and isolate America behind the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean would be a death kiss to America.

          Russia offered Europe an Eurasian Union from Lisbon to Vladivostok a few years before Ukraine blew up. To be honest, Gorby was the fist one to talk about it.

        • German industrialist are predominantly and consistently very much in favor of doing business and various long term large scale project with Russia, otherwise the giant westbound natgas pipelines would not have been built and up-scaled, the same for many manufacturing and other projects.

          However, on the other hand, especially on the political level Germany is still an occupied country under several intergov treaties imposed by the US/UK, which limits their free action. The situation and emancipation trend from 2000s worsened after the former chancellor’s legacy has been replaced by this compromised former DDR cow-ard “piece of work” .. Now we only have to wait for the EU unraveling or severe restructuring, only then most of the shackles will be hopefully off..

          • Yoshua says:

            Who knows what goes on behind the scenes ? The German industrialist might be pushing for a political normalization with Russia ? Deutsche Bank is perhaps a warning signal to Germany of what might happen if they stop abiding by the US rule ?

            • Yes, I didn’t provide nuanced detail on the situation. The AfD and the “Bavarian factions” of ruling political parties and their corporate backers definitely show leanings of such emancipation efforts, I guess it’s just question of time and opportunity before they take full control.

              I’m afraid the game is already in such advanced stage, that the DB and several smaller German and Austrian banking houses are in effectively suspended zombie state, similar for the North Italians, French and Dutch. From their carnage something renewed yet smaller will emerge, backed up by the legacy manufacturing capacity, but that will be quite different world’s history chapter both in terms of politics and economics.

            • Yoshua says:

              Hanuman, I’m not so sure there would be any legacy industry left. They could turn into hot ash if Germany leaves. The Brexit vote might be another warning signal.

              NATO is still intact though…

          • There are a lot of pipelines and storage sites in Germany. It doesn’t matter who is in charge; if there is going to be natural gas in Europe, those who are making arrangements will have to use the infrastructure available.

    • What a badly timed pivot there, Duterte (self proclaimed deglobalization/nationalist dreaming buffoon) apparently doesn’t know that joining China alliance today would not help him a one bit, since we are all to die overnight in grandiose instadoom moment. And all the infrastructure and other stuff he wants from China like bridges, rail and armaments would be dead on arrival useless assets anyway..

      /sarc off

      • Fast Eddy says:

        But you have to dance while the music plays…. and if your regular partner is looking old and broken down… you might want to give another gal a whirl…. she may be broken down as well… but maybe she is offering to take a twirl in the back seat of your car…

        • Surprised to here the acknowledgment on it from you.
          Wondering, if you are still going to call it “dance while the music plays” even after the reset though, lolz.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            Why are you surprised?

            I continue to dance as well…. I am not exactly retiring…. timing this is not possible….

            But when the music stops…. we die. Rather quickly.

          • “the reset”

            No this isn’t going to be a slightly messy ‘reset’. Maybe you are likening it to apparently revolutionary ‘resets’ like the switch from monarchy to democracy when an over-populated, under-resourced old world found used an under-populated over-resourced new world as a release valve. Or any one of the other other the other historical examples you claim to understand in order to offer up proof of your predictive capability.

            The very word itself – reset – implies a rearrangement of things. It’s hard to ‘rearrange’ things when one removes finance, banking, trade, food supply. water supply, electricity supply, transport and civil order for almost each and every urban dweller on the globe. This isn’t just another great depression where people will simply go and stay with their cousin on the farm.

            You cling to the idea that somehow China or Russia can muddle through amidst the carnage. Given that China’s industrial, social and economic infrastructure revolves the party’s control of an export-led, and debt fueled money-go-round while the switch to domestic consumption is just a chimera you’d better re-evaluate. Given that Russia’s most populous and food producing regions aren’t so far away from a disintegrating Europe and it’s revenue base (Russia’s tax base is almost entirely dependent on primary export revenues) will quickly disappear, its self-sufficiency is far from guaranteed too.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              even after the reset though, lolz.

              I don’t recall mentioned a reset — there will be no reset — there will be extinction…

              What I did say is one must dance while the music plays…. and the music is still playing … it is a loop of Air Supply’s Greatest Hits…. and very difficult to dance to (unless you are in a drunken stupor) and it barely qualifies as music…. but dance we must.

          • DJ says:

            In short – how do you suggest managing the reset and securing a good position afterwards?

            • I wrote about it in length several times already..

              The weight of the argument was on several factors, one of them being relative performance. In practical example, some state entities (of the west) evidently now display very shallow propensity to care about domestic population (rapefugee influx, ghettos, public transportation and other infrastructure decay, natural disaster non-relieve,..), they allowed for hollowing out the very structure of societies by negligence, stupidity and also in part by greed and planned malice.

              Many of the fatalists here believe, most likely due to having insular experience and or outlook based on judging reality through these conditions, that it just doesn’t matter, the world is the same now and over-interconnected already, that regional/national differentiation of means, governance and resources, can’t have an impact during and after large global systemic resets.

              By reset I mean fracturing spheres of existing economic and political influence/co dependencies, due to the closing of several longer term cycles, specifically the end of the post WWII arrangement cycle and moreover the exhaustion of even longer global capital market system of peculiar attributes, originating roughly ~1700-1815. Now enter into the mix other peaking-reset cycles, like the demographic cliff (no growth – actually onset of degrowth of core group consumers in OECD+EM), depletion/ELM situation and other important FW issues, ..

              Indeed it does shape up as the conclusion of one particular system railed on certain path dependency, most of the billions currently alive will be severely affected, many-most in very tragic and abrupt ways, that has not been disputed. But is it really the final end of the humanoids and civilization permutations (it certainly would not be the first wipe out/bottleneck and/or degrowth combo period event, yet likely the largest). I’m saying it’s likely not the final end, because of the relative regional/local impacts and vast legacy infrastructure/knowledge assembled. Again repeating this is a probability scenario out of many, similarly a full scale nuclear war or x-years of no sunshine due to mega volcano/asteroid any minute have their natural non zero probabilities as well.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Using big words and catch phrases… might make you feel you are more convincing …. but you are not.

              This is an extinction event.

            • DJ says:

              Thanks for a long answer.
              I had expected you had somehow positioned yourself better than Fast Eddy for the post-reset-world.

      • Tim Groves says:

        My reaction to the Duterte phenomenon is that it could be a black swan event—unplanned and unexpected and with major geopolitical consequences that are not yet fully appreciated. It’s as if a white pawn or stone in a chess or go game has suddenly defected to the black side. If the Chinese and Russians can cement this relationship and the Americans are forced to leave (they still have military “advisors” on the ground in Mindanao doing their bit to keep the War on Terror going strong), that part of the world may become considerably more stable. On the other hand, if past history is anything to go by, Dutarte had better prepare for coup or assassination attempts. He has effectively joined the rebellion and become a serious irritation to the Empire.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          (they still have military “advisors” on the ground in Mindanao doing their bit to keep the War on Terror going strong),

          I would not be surprised if the advisers are now providing advice, bombs and weapons to the Abu Sayyaf — just as they are with ISIS in Syria (and likewise did in Libya).

  8. smite says:

    Sam Harris; a true FW:er from his AI philosophy stance.
    If FW issues wont break us first, AI surely eventually will.

    • doomphd says:

      Rhetorical question: don’t you first have to have intelligence in order to make artificial versions?

      • smite says:

        Evolution is pretty ‘dumb’, it is basically trial and error, mostly error. Thus even a dumb process can eventually lead to large and complex brains.

        • common phenomenon says:

          First off, some of the technology we already have can be pretty dangerous, such as nuclear power. It depends on how we – that’s we humans – use it. This comes down to the fact that we have intelligence, but we also have free will (or intentionality, as the philosophers put it). This free will derives from that fact that we are conscious beings. We still don’t know at what point consciousness arises, and how. There is no guarantee that AI will ever become conscious. There is therefore no guarantee that AI will ever make its own decisions, unless we humans allow it to make its own decisions.

          Look at the termites building a termite mound. They are all blind. Each termite does its own work, yet the mound comes together according to a single overall plan. Kill the queen, and all the termites stop working instantly. Fact. So there is a life force and a networked, connected intelligence that I doubt AI networks will ever fully be able to reproduce or emulate. And we human beings must all be interconnected at some invisible level, for evolution to work at the larger level – not just at the local level, such as Darwin describes with reference to birds developing longer beaks or whatever. That gets us into the area of the collective unconscious, which some think manifests partly via our dreams. The more materialist of OFWers will ridicule such an idea, of course. But without access to ALL the parts of a system (i.e. all us human beings), how do you co-ordinate that system and advance evolution coherently?

          The work that biology does in our bodies and in our brains, with DNA and proteins and all the rest, every moment of the day, is stunningly complex. How could mere machines ever do all that? Well, apart from turning AI loose on genetic engineering, I suppose…

          • smite says:

            “Life force” and other drivel, I mean this is FW after all and not a kumbaya ‘spiritual’ hipster forum? What is next? Astral projections and palm reading? Get outta’ here!

            http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/imagenes_aliens/archons18_09.jpg

            Do us a favor and read up some facts on human and machine intelligence, learning, cognition and computation before posting anything regarding AI.

            For example check out renowned philosophers and authors such as Dennett, Searle, Harris, and as a personal recommendation, especially for you my friend. Start your journey with Douglas Hofstadter’s GEB.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6del,_Escher,_Bach

            • common phenomenon says:

              “Life force” and other drivel

              Prove that this is drivel. You can’t, because there is no agreement on what consciousness is. Or on what preceded the big bang. Scientists never got anywhere by being close-minded. There are unsolved mysteries galore.

              I do hold open the possibilities. But things have happened in my own life that I don’t understand: minor episodes of precognition, clairvoyance. Now, if only I could control that. Teenagers are especially prone to dream of specific future events. Few talk about it, because of the typical response of the close-minded.

              Anyway, the Hofstadter thing for one looks interesting, so it’ll go on my list. Dennett I find to be a tedious writer, though he makes some interesting points. But we humans don’t even understand the half of it, so you do not impress by making insults such as “drivel”.

            • common phenomenon says:

              “Life force” and other drivel, I mean this is FW after all and not a kumbaya ‘spiritual’ hipster forum? What is next? Astral projections and palm reading? Get outta’ here!

              This doesn’t in any case preclude being an OFWer. Remember Fast Eddy’s comments a while back about what he saw when he experienced a “certain substance”? Even FE has thoughts about life, the universe and everything. Sadly, the whole of it is such a complex and varied subject that we don’t yet have anybody dealing with it who has reached Gail’s level of competence on peak finance, peak oil and all the rest.

              As a 6-year-old, I was very sad one day, wishing my deceased granddad could come back. Before I woke up the next morning, I had a very graphic dream that explained the concept of decay to me, so I stopped wasting my time wishing him back. I always wonder about the mechanisms behind a dream that could teach this to a mere child. It’s what Carl Jung called the collective unconscious, so you, my friend, need to widen your mind and understand that we do not understand everything.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              The only way to settle the argument would be for someone to die can come back to life and tell us about it…. I’ll not be volunteering….

              The thing is…. it all started somehow…

            • smite says:

              “You can’t, because there is no agreement on what consciousness is.”

              Just because there isn’t an agreement does it have to mean that what you propose is real.

              For example, this ‘reality’ thing that you strongly believe in, it’s all made up in your brain. You are aware of that are you?

              Let me ask you, do you believe that a mundane experience such as the subjective experience of colors is something that exist outside your brain?

              “Proof that this is drivel”

              The burden of proof is yours. Though, I’d like to know if that particular (life) “force” is measured in Kilonewtons or Megakumbayas?

              Ah, let us now relax ourselves with some Alan Watts. 🙂

            • common phenomenon says:

              ‘ “You can’t, because there is no agreement on what consciousness is.” ‘

              “Just because there isn’t an agreement does it have to mean that what you propose is real.”

              What did I propose, other than keeping a open mind? You are the one who is being dogmatic – like the narrow-minded folk who come to OFW and rage at Gail. Most ironic. Try expanding your horizons a little.

              “For example, this ‘reality’ thing that you strongly believe in, it’s all made up in your brain. You are aware of that are you?”

              So you are just a figment of my imagination? There is objective reality and there is subjective reality. And some reality that straddles the two.

              “Let me ask you, do you believe that a mundane experience such as the subjective experience of colors is something that exist outside your brain?”

              I am well aware of that. My senses translate the light’s wavelengths into colours. And my senses will be tuned slightly differently from yours, but they are translating objective reality into something that aids human evolution and life.

              “The burden of proof is yours.”

              It’s everybody’s, until there is agreement on theories that approximate an adequate model of consciousness, etc.

              “Though, I’d like to know if that particular (life) “force” is measured in Kilonewtons or Megakumbayas?”

              “Life force” is a metaphor. What do you suppose underlies life: nothing?! It may be that quantum physics will be found to account for consciousness, brain activity, life and everything else – or maybe not. But something must underlie them, Mr Nihilist.

              Anyway, there isn’t room in these little boxes to go into all these intricate philosophical and scientific questions.

            • smite says:

              “Anyway, there isn’t room in these little boxes to go into all these intricate philosophical and scientific questions.”

              Right, and there is no need either. Most of our thoughts regarding these matters have already been had by much smarter people than both of us.

              “What do you suppose underlies life: nothing?!”

              Do you think “life” and your mind is somewhat exempt from physical reality? Like it’s something “magic” with a secret sauce? Some sweet little “hope” for your mortal soul? Ahaha, it is so cute isn’t it? Little bunny rabbits and an eternal soul. Clairvoyances, palm reading and astral projections. Ahahahahaha……

              Let me explain it to you as simply as I can. Your subjective experiences is nothing more than advanced information processing in your brain. For example, it is nothing unique about your perception of colors. Those of us with working eyes and visual cortexes all share the same subjective experience of colors.

              And the harder you think about it, the more you come to realize that all of your experiences is just your neurons ticking away and firing at the inputs that they receive. Thus the exact same neural “firing pattern” can be recreated, again, and again, and again, and again, and again. Forever and ever, and ever, and ever, and ever.

              http://images.cryhavok.org/d/405-1/Motivator+-+Infinity.jpg

            • smite says:

              “The only way to settle the argument would be for someone to die can come back to life and tell us about it…. I’ll not be volunteering….”

              Did you know what’s so interesting about death? Let me explain; the twist is that you’ll not aware of it taking place, the information processor, your brain, stops working. Thus It is a non event.

              All this nonsense of coming back to life “from the other side”. Ahahaha.. Hahaha.. ha, ho, ha, ha, ha…

              http://vignette4.wikia.nocookie.net/game-creators-universe/images/8/83/Joker.gif

              The thing is…. it all started somehow…”

              Oh it did start, did it? Who told you so? Stephen Hawking? Ask this smartass, if he is so clever, why doesn’t he find a cure for his crippling illness instead of harping on about big bangs and black holes.

              I’ve got this crippling picture of the status of cosmology today.

              http://i1.mirror.co.uk/incoming/article4270038.ece/ALTERNATES/s615/Professor-Stephen-Hawking.jpg

            • common phenomenon says:

              “Do you think “life” and your mind is somewhat exempt from physical reality?”

              Of course not. When did I ever say that?

              “Like it’s something “magic” with a secret sauce? Some sweet little “hope” for your mortal soul? Ahaha, it is so cute isn’t it? Little bunny rabbits and an eternal soul”.

              No, never said that. Silly sneering boy. I’m open on the possibility of reincarnation until we have hard proof one way or the other. But in principle it strikes me as illogical – and certainly not desirable. How many end-of-BAUs would you want to experience? One would be enough for me.

              “Clairvoyances”

              (Clairvoyance has no plural). I have on isolated occasions experienced clairvoyance. Once I dreamt of my sister’s dog dying. A few hours later she rang to tell me she’d had him put down early that morning (when I was still sleeping, incidentally). I no longer live in my birth city so didn’t know of the dog’s condition and had last seen him a few months earlier. But precisely because it was a subjective experience, it is impossible to prove. Yet plenty of people risk ridicule by speaking of their own similar experiences, simply because they are so astonished that such things should happen at all. And with precise details – not just, “Oh, I thought Uncle Joe would phone me and he did!”

              , palm reading and astral projections. Ahahahahaha……”

              “Let me explain it to you as simply as I can. Your subjective experiences is nothing more than advanced information processing in your brain.”

              Based on data from reality, which our sense translate. And I know my Kant, etc., so no need for lectures (that get parts wrong) from youngsters like you.

              “For example, it is nothing unique about your perception of colors. Those of us with working eyes and visual cortexes all share the same subjective experience of colors.”

              Rubbish. Never heard of colour blindness? And in this post’s comments, Gail called a colour brown that looked like orange to me. Once I asked my sister to “hand me that yellow cup”. “Yellow?! You mean green!” she replied. So get wise, youngster.

              The truth is that there is, despite everything, still so much that we don’t know. So I will leave you to your silly sneering about the unknowns, young man.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Take a dead body — bury it at the base of a sapling…. as the sapling grows it absorbs the nutrients from the composted body…. a bird eats the fruit of the tree …. a hunter kills and eats the bird….

              Reincarnation.

            • wratfink says:

              The color blindness thing confuses me. How does anyone know how color is processed in another’s mind?

              How do you know that the picture of the color “red” in my mind looks the same as the color “red” in your mind? Just because we’ve been trained from birth to call a certain pigmentation “red” doesn’t mean it registers the same way in everybody’s mind.

              Suppose red in my mind looks like green in yours. It doesn’t matter since we’ve both been taught to call that certain color “red”. Does this make any sense? Why am I rambling on about this off topic subject?

              I need a drink…

            • smite says:

              Oldsters indeed need to be schooled.

              “Rubbish. Never heard of color blindness? And in this post’s comments, Gail called a colour brown that looked like orange to me. Once I asked my sister to “hand me that yellow cup”. “Yellow?! You mean”

              If you have a color impairment, or blindness, then that’s your problem. Not in my rationale.

              All color perception is fundamentally the same brain process. It is nothing unique about your perception of “orange” as it is for others. If you lack the ability to distinguish orange from yellow, well then there is a problem either in your brain or eyes.

              “Suppose red in my mind looks like green in yours. It doesn’t matter since we’ve both been taught to call that certain color “red”. Does this make any sense? Why am I rambling on about this off topic subject?”

              Because you think that there is something unique about how you perceive color when it isn’t. Your color perception is emergent as your brain processes information from your eyes. There is nothing unique about that. Most humans have this sensory and processing capability.

            • My excuse for the orange/brown confusion is that I use two different monitors. At some times of day, they have different lighting, because the sun shines in and hits one monitor. I also was just glancing at the image. I don’t really have a problem with colors.

              I am, however, a “carrier” for color blindness. One of my sons in quite color blind, and my maternal grandfather was also colorblind. My only brother is also colorblind, and I have a nephew who is color blind. They know what particular variety of color blindness they have–of course, all the same. They have a real problem with traffic lights–can tell red/green lights mostly by position. Yellow and blue are about the only colors they can tell well. Purple is also considered “blue.” Grey and tan seem to be the same color.

            • lol

              not as bad as my family history—my maternal grandmother was a colourblind carrier, her husband, my grandfather, was colour blind, which made my mother a carrier too

              imagine what that does to our colourblind gene pool

            • Duncan Idaho says:

              All good suggestions—
              I would start with Dennett.
              Humans seem to base reality on myth and stories, think heuristically rather than critically, and severely discount the future.

              Brought genetic fitness in the past, but may now be a liability.

            • smite says:

              “Brought genetic fitness in the past, but may now be a liability.”

              Indeed, such as the capability of correlating causes with effects. A pretty good skill to have in evolutionary terms. I think we can all agree on that?

              Now, take for example having a nightmare of death and suffering, and then a few days later your dog dies.

              So then you might ask, am I a fortune teller having visions of the future in my dreams? Yeah, why not. It certainly seems this way.. Or… Perhaps……

              Another explanation could be that it was just a random fluke? Lots of terrible stuff constantly goes on around us, sooner or later we’re bound to have a bad dream or a bad acid trip. And then someone close to us throws in the towel, right?

              Or maybe could it be that you subconsciously noticed that something was wrong with your dog and therefore you dreamt about it.

              Which one are most plausible?

              http://i0.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/254/019/c6f.jpg

            • common phenomenon says:

              “Now, take for example having a nightmare of death and suffering, and then a few days later your dog dies…Or maybe could it be that you subconsciously noticed that something was wrong with your dog and therefore you dreamt about it.”

              I had my dream on December 2, 2010. I had last seen my sister’s dog in June, 2010, since I live in London, and my sister lives some 300 miles away, in my birth city. I woke up in panic after my dream about my sister’s dog dying in my birth city (a place – having long left it – that I last remembered dreaming about in the early 1990s), shortly before 7:40am, having planned to have a long lie-in. After resting for about 20 minutes, I went back to sleep, to be awoken by the phone at around 10a.m. My sister told me her dog Jake had died – she’d had to have him put down after suffering a bad fit (possible brain tumour). Two days later, I phoned her and went into more detail and told her for the first time about my dream, hoping it wouldn’t upset her. She asked me what time I’d woken up, and only then told me that Jake had been euthanised around 7:30a.m. in the morning. So we were both quite stunned, and I wrote the details in a Word doc for later reference.

              I have since read that, for instance, during World War I, it was a common occurrence for various British women to wake up screaming in the night, just knowing that their son / brother / husband / boyfriend had been killed or injured – and it often turned out to be true. Military men will tell you that they get instances of clairvoyance under extreme duress. Scientists who are open to the idea try to bring in quantum physics – instant “spooky action at a distance” – to explain it. And usually between two people who are “entangled” – emotionally close to one another. OK, my sister’s dog was not a human, and a cynical youngster like smite will probably laugh, but I was very fond of that hound and he of me, as my sister was well aware. But modern science dismisses subjective experiences, because you can’t isolate and examine them. But when a significant number of staid and sane people, often military men, admit to similar stories, and often with embarrassment for fear of being disbelieved, then you have to wonder. And no, these are not just vague feelings of unease, days later, but simultaneously with tragic events occurring to their loved ones. And let’s be honest, I would have sneered at such things as a younger man, but I have grown older and experienced more than a few things, that at first I filed away in the “shouldn’t have happened” category. So unless you have experienced a few similar things, you won’t understand what I am talking about. And dogs are known to sense when something is happening to their owners, which people around them note by their unusual depressed or changed behaviour. But, unless you’ve “been there”…

            • smite says:

              “World War I, it was a common occurrence for various British women to wake up screaming in the night, just knowing that their son / brother / husband / boyfriend had been killed or injured – and it often turned out to be true.”

              Oh come on.

              Soldiers died in droves, squashed like flies, fried like rats and poisoned as cockroaches during WWI and WWII. People talked about life in the front all the time. Of course people are going to talk and dream about death and suffering pretty much every day and night. You make it sound like it was a rare occurrence.

              https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2759/5831445014_2f7abbf915.jpg

            • common phenomenon says:

              smite wrote:

              “My take of it all follows the ideas of Sam Harris and others; the laws of universe seem rigged in such a way that (super)intelligence could be its desired outcome.”

              So who or what rigged it? Who – or what – would be doing the desiring? This contradicts everything you have been saying, but you are probably not bright enough to see that. And you who ridiculed the idea of a life force.

            • smite says:

              “So who or what rigged it?”
              Does it even matter?

              You might as well ask yourself who rigged the rigger? It quite fast becomes a pointless exercise in eternal recursion of who created the creator.

              Technology moves forward at an accelerating pace. It is an exponential process driven by cheap energy and sped up by the positive feedback loop of technology itself.

              So it seems that sooner or later evolution will produce a complex brain, and from there on technology grabs hold. With the right circumstances (cheap energy makes it faster, stable planetary properties and no comet strikes too, etc..) eventually technology will lead to super intelligence, unless of course FW problems causes extinction and there is a reset. But on goes the process, and even if all that is left of mankind is mere radiation tolerant bacteria. On goes the process towards intelligence and complexity. It is relentless.

              It is not a stretch of the imagination to conclude that’s quite a peculiar coincidence.

              So CP as a sign of my respect, I’ll give you my personal advice: It is time to let go of the superstition and embrace the Tao and Übermensch.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%9Cbermensch
              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tao

              And off it floats into the void. Won’t be missed.

            • smite says:

              The Tao causes the people to be fully in accord with the ruler.
              — Sun Tzu, Art of War

            • DJ says:

              Is technology really moving forward at an accelerating pace?

              Is it not more like technologic progress accelerated while energy consumption accelerated, since long ago it is more diminishing returns.

            • smite says:

              “Is technology really moving forward at an accelerating pace?”

              Technology is continuously becoming exponentially more capital and energy intensive. However, here’s the twist, it’s drastically less people intensive. Semiconductors, software and machines are replacing brains and human bodies.

            • It is the total cost of production that is important. People’s wages tend to be a big part of the total. If these can be reduced by adding a little capital investment and energy consumption, employers feel like they are ahead.

          • common phenomenon says:

            wratfink, re. colour blindness:

            http://www.colourblindawareness.org/colour-blindness/

            I remember that my father would describe blue and green as two different shades of blue.

            • smite says:

              It seems like color blindness is a family tradition of yours.

              Imagine having the vision of a falcon, the olfaction of a dog and the hearing of a bat.
              The world would be perceived as completely different place compared to the experience from the relatively dim sensory capability of a human.

          • Very interesting!

            I was just recently thinking back about how I have been able to bring together pretty much the whole story of how energy and the economy work, and what diminishing returns does, with only the help of common sense, people who comment on my blog, and the many people whom I have met over the years, some of whom I interact with in other ways than the comments (e-mail, Facebook, phone calls, invitations to speak, etc.).

            Most people assume that the only researchers who make a difference are those with Ph.D.s at universities. In fact, I don’t have a Ph.D. I don’t look like I am in charge of a large research institute. I don’t look like I should know a whole lot more than those termites. To many people (including Richard Heinberg), I look like a “regular blogger,” who couldn’t possibly know very much. Yet, with the help of many, many others, everything has come together.

            This is one reason I believe that there is likely a creative force behind the universe that acts in ways we don’t understand.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              I don’t rule out the creative force…… but even if there is … I do not have a great deal of confidence that the force sees me as any more important than I see a spec of dust….

              We’ll all soon be finding out if there is anything behind the curtain!

            • There are a lot of things we don’t know.

            • smite says:

              “To many people (including Richard Heinberg), I look like a “regular blogger,” who couldn’t possibly know very much. Yet, with the help of many, many others, everything has come together.”

              Richard who? Other people? Why bother?
              Isn’t OFW the only relevant place regarding our predicament?
              It is the power of information technology and collaboration.

              http://www.carvillcreative.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/RMRPRT.jpg

            • smite says:

              “There are a lot of things we don’t know.”

              Actually, what we know is pretty close to zero.

              But let us not delude ourselves and get lost as we search for the truth and essence of reality.

            • common phenomenon says:

              It is a marvellous feeling when everything seems to come together. It requires you to be both diligent and open-minded, then you find the connections. (We know people here who are NOT open-minded). In that way, you make your luck and make your mark. Many more people are now sitting up and taking notice of the “Tverbergian” insights. And rightly so.

            • I did an interview with Chris Martenson early this week that I suppose will be up next week. He clearly has been reading what I have been saying quite closely, and had some good questions to ask. I am not sure I necessarily did the best job on the spur of the moment trying to explain difficult concepts (such as dissipative structures) to a lay audience, but I was convinced that Chris was trying to figure out what I am saying, and how that differs from his past thoughts. Charlie Hall also had nice things to say about me in his email that came out today.

              I tentatively will be speaking in Brussels on April 20 at a meeting associated with the European Commission, too. The talk won’t just be rehashing standard past EU views, either.

            • Joebanana says:

              I believe in life after death and believe in all the doom talked about here. I still think the “creative force” cares very much for us.

            • The situation is very strange. I think that many of us have seen things that seem to be miracles in our own lives. It is hard for me to believe that any one religion has an “inside track,” which gives them all of the answers. We humans have somehow been able to make supplemental energy “work” for us for over 1,000,000 years, giving our species an advantage over all other species. This, by itself, is a miracle of sorts. With this advantage, we have been able to dissipate energy on a scale that has never been possible in the past. Clearly, this situation cannot continue forever in a finite world. Whether there is a special end to this story is beyond our knowing, but we certainly can hope for the best.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Perhaps heaven is an Infinite World…. we all get to live the lifestyle of Paris Hilton just infinitely more awesome….

              The purpose of our time on earth is to give us a benchmark so that we realize how fabulous things are when we get to heaven….. so that we don’t take everything for granted…

            • DJ says:

              JB,
              Is that not the same as when technoreligious people say all our energy, finance, food, water etc problems will be solved “when they become a problem”?

              For WHO does it have to become a problem? A lot of people are already suffering.

            • Tim Groves says:

              This is a very interesting sub-thread. It’s nice to see the Finite Worlders dipping their toes into metaphysical speculation.

              Gail, I didn’t know you don’t have any letters after your name, but that now I do, it makes a lot sense to me. You are largely free from the ideological blinkers and the consensus trance that restrain and constrain the average academic from straying off the reservation or joining too many dots.

              I am very tired of people who use the argument from authority fallacy and its cousin the ad hominem fallacy in an attempt to stifle debate and invalidate views they disagree with. “He must be right; he’s an expert, an eminent and respect man with a list of qualifications as long as your arm.” “She’s just a blogger with no authority and not a single peer-reviewed study to her name. How dare she speak on the subject!” Whenever I hear or read people arguing in that fashion, my respect for their intelligence and/or their integrity plummets. As we say on the soccer field, “play the ball, not the man.”

              Consciousness is something I assume all people experience while awake. We are aware and we are aware of being aware. And if you’re reading this, you may even be aware of being aware of being aware. Dennet claimed to have explained it, but I went through his book of that name about 15 years ago and the subject remained as dark and mysterious to me as ever. In my Zen studies, I learned that there is a part of the mind that is referred to as the observer, as opposed to the doer and the thinker. The observer’s function is to observe or in other words to be aware.. That’s all it does. Zen also teaches that the observer is “empty”.

              In Everyday Zen, Charlotte Joko Beck says:

              I have been asked, “Isn’t observing a dualistic practice? Because when we are observing, something is observing something else.” But in fact it’s not dualistic. The observer is empty. Instead of a separate observer, we should say there is just observing. There is no one that hears, there is just hearing. There is no one that sees, there is just seeing. But we don’t quite grasp that. If we practice hard enough, however, we learn that not only is the observer empty, but that which is observed is also empty. At this point the observer (or witness) collapses. This is the final stage of practice, we don’t need to worry about it. Why does the observer finally collapse? When nothing sees nothing, what do we have? Just the wonder of life. There is no one who is separated from anything. There is just life living itself: hearing, touching, seeing, smelling, thinking. That is the state of love or compassion: not “It is I,” but “It is Thou.”

              “Thou in the above refers to God. Not an anthropomorphic God, but “the creative force behind the Universe” as you put it. Which brings me neatly onto a quotation from one of my favorite writers, Kurt Vonnegut, who slipped the following into Breakfast of Champions:

              “What is the purpose of life?…To be the eyes and ears and conscience of the Creator of the Universe, you fool!”

            • Fast Eddy says:

              I often wonder what goes through the mind of my dogs…. and if they have reached higher plane than me…

              I have read about half of Vonnegut’s books – I was saving some because I at one point there would be a post BAU world and I’d need some good books to pass the time…

              I really should read the rest asap

            • I actually do have qualifications–just not the ones other people are generally looking for. I am a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society. This requires passing a series of approximately 10 examinations on a list of different subjects. The syllabus for each test changes each year. The tests are made up and graded by other actuaries, nearly all of whom work at jobs in the field. While there are some peer-reviewed articles, a lot of what is published is not formally peer reviewed. The emphasis among those working is to find the right answer for the particular problem at hand (or model the particular situation), not to do something that matches some published view of what is right, or follow some preconceived model. Most people who start the exams, never finish them. Typical “travel time” through the exams is something like 10 years. They cover a lot of material, and the pass rate is very low–about 35% on individual exams. Many people who take the actuarial exams already have an MS or PhD, before they start. I started with an MS in Math.

              Actuarial jobs tend to rate very high on “jobs rated” sites, because the pay tends to be very high, and “no one dies if you make a mistake.

              I also have a few peer reviewed articles, in very good journals. (There is a list at the side of the front page. My most frequently cites article is “Oil Supply Limits and the Continuing Financial Crisis,” also listed at the top of the front page.) I am asked fairly frequently to peer review other people’s articles, because many articles cite my articles.

              By the way, I discovered that women can be more or less “invisible” to other people, because everyone assumes that they must be of very low rank. I discovered way back when I first started working that if I wanted to find out how things really worked (say, in the claim department, or with respect to government reporting of data), I could find someone directly involved with the process, and ask some innocent questions. Since I was “just a woman,” no one would think much about my asking.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              If there were such a thing as a PHD in the field of understanding a system that requires infinite growth in a finite world – and the implications of running out of the system’s cheap fuel…. you would have the 3 letters after your name.

              FW is better than any university I ever attended…. so I reckon you should just add the PHD — and if anyone objects — invite them to debate the articles…. we know how that will end….

            • smite says:

              We are a part of the universe, we can think, therefore the universe can think. Not with a single brain, but billions of brains here on earth. Perhaps on an uncountable number of other planets too.

              My take of it all follows the ideas of Sam Harris and others; the laws of universe seem rigged in such a way that (super)intelligence could be its desired outcome.

              In the mean time let’s keep on being curious, critical and always open minded. It does not mean, however, that we should choose a dogmatic view of the world and close the door to further inquiry. Religions are notorious for this. Overcomplicated unprovable scientism too. New age ‘Woo’ is another train wreck on the way to our enlightenment.

              I strongly believe that the mere notion of being aware is delirious enough. Just the experience of perceiving the world and thinking about it all, is all but a miracle still quite short of an explanation. There is absolutely no need for any supernaturalism or religious/spiritual hopium-ism.

            • smite says:

              “I often wonder what goes through the mind of my dogs…. and if they have reached higher plane than me…”

              When they think about you and if it would be possible to ask them what characterizes FE, its probably the nuances of your scent and the sound of your heart pumping and intestine movements.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canine_cancer_detection

              Yes, they are indeed in a completely different sensory and data processing plane than you.

            • Tim Groves says:

              My dog’s thinking is easy to sus. He thinks I’m God and he prays to me daily—mostly for treats, stokes and general approval. He has total faith in me and wishes more than anything to sit at my right hand and be to continue forever and ever in his role as my loyal, devoted and faithful servants.

              On the other hand, my cats’ thinking is a total mystery to me. To get an inkling of what they’re getting up to I rely on the wisdom of Desmond Morris.

            • smite says:

              “He has total faith in me and wishes more than anything to sit at my right hand and be to continue forever and ever in his role as my loyal, devoted and faithful servants.”

              Ah, the life as a ruler with your servants.

              The Tao causes the people to be fully in accord with the ruler.
              — Sun Tzu, Art of War

            • Stefeun says:

              Gail,
              I won’t argue against your belief in a “creative force behind the universe” (would be pointless), but let me show we have some bits of knowledge about how an aggregation (cooperation, sort of) of many “entities” can lead to new and unexpected properties.

              This is related to the “levels of organization” quite well known in biology, that can be extended to other fields ranging from astronomy to philosophy (with everything one can imagine in-between), through concepts such as emergence, self-organization, complex systems, etc…

              Biological organization is the hierarchy of complex biological structures and systems that define life using a reductionistic approach.[1] The traditional hierarchy, as detailed below, extends from atoms to biospheres. The higher levels of this scheme are often referred to as a ecological organization concept, or as the field, hierarchical ecology.
              Each level in the hierarchy represents an increase in organizational complexity, with each “object” being primarily composed of the previous level’s basic unit. The basic principle behind the organization is the concept of emergence—the properties and functions found at a hierarchical level are not present and irrelevant at the lower levels.

              https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biological_organisation

              In philosophy, systems theory, science, and art, emergence is a process whereby larger entities arise through interactions among smaller or simpler entities such that the larger entities exhibit properties the smaller/simpler entities do not exhibit.
              Emergence is central in theories of integrative levels and of complex systems. For instance, the phenomenon of life as studied in biology is an emergent property of chemistry and psychological phenomena emerge from the neurobiological phenomena of living things. Likewise, economic and legal phenomena emerge from psychology.

              https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergence

              An integrative level, or level of organization, is a set of phenomena emerging on pre-existing phenomena of lower level. Typical examples include life emerging on non-living substances, and consciousness emerging on nervous systems.
              The main levels usually acknowledged are those of matter, life, mind, and society.

              https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integrative_level

              This may look a little bit like going in every direction (and some of the hypothesis may be rash), but I believe there’s a strong underlying principle, which is of course connected to the Maximum Entropy Production principle.

            • RIght–I am aware of emergence. How this all happens to work together is a little hard to understand. The whole is more than the parts. New dissipative structures arise to replace previous ones. It is a strange system. It is easy to think that some type of intelligence arranged for things to happen in this way.

            • doomphd says:

              Ha! With apologies to Richard, a smart guy, you Gail, run circles around him intellectually. You have much larger command of the diverse facts necessary for understanding these complex issues and can evaluate the underlying math of the physical sciences. If you would like, some of us can nominate you for an honarary Ph.D., not that you need one.

    • smite says:

      The video got taken down, here’s it directly from TED’s Youtube channel.

  9. Yoshua says:

    China, Philippines Reportedly Set To Agree To Joint Oil Exploration In South China Sea

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/timdaiss/2016/10/18/china-philippines-oil-deal-underway-in-south-china-sea-says-report/#1ce8601266cf

    The report comes as recently elected Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte cools relations with long-time ally the U.S., and moves closer to Beijing – a controversial move that critics both within and outside the country question.

  10. MG says:

    One idea:

    When the workers ruled, the society was ruled by the decisions of the people. Now, when the automation, robots and computers secure survival of the mankind, the decisions made by people are not important anymore: the machines already calculate, what is important for the survival of our species. We have more and more often only two choices: accept their decisions or die.

  11. Fast Eddy says:

    Now here is an interesting way to run a web site —- if you as the owner post Koombaya articles and someone calls you out – using facts, analysis and research —- proving that you are completely wrong….

    You do not argue your position – you do not defend your castle — you just stop publishing the facts analysis and research… you gag the dissenter.

    Nothing feels better than when the other side says ‘I am too stupid to deal with you — I quit!’

    It smells like… victory

    http://wemeantwell.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/victory.jpg

  12. MG says:

    The mental anorexia among the young people in Slovakia is on the rise, already 12-year-olds suffer from it, the pediatricians warn. Before 1989 (the fall of the Soviet bloc), the prevalence was significantly lower.

    http://zdravie.aktuality.sk/clanok/1510/anorexia-strasi-mladych-trpia-nou-uz-12-rocne-deti/

    • DJ says:

      Translator doesn’t want to work in phone.

      In Sweden we have a problem with plummeting PISA results (soon new report out). And this probably underestimates the problem because results could be falling all over the board.

      • MG says:

        I try at least to summarize the content of the article in the given way.

        Well, when the younger populations are smaller, suffer from various illnesses and deteriorating physical an intelectual abilities, the future is really not bright…

      • Ert says:

        @DJ

        Is this eventually related to the higher part of immigrants in the schools that don’t speak the Swedish language (good enough)?

        It seems to the that the more homogeneous societies (China, Korea, Japan, Finland, etc.) score much better in PISA – not that I’m fond of that study, as I subscribe more to J. T. Gatto’s ideas about the purpose of schooling (Book: Dumbing us down).

        • DJ says:

          Since it cannot be talked about it is unknown to what degree immigrants average down and to what extent ethnic swedes results are worsening.

          But there is a high priority on identity, values, gender etc now. 2-3 weeks after summer before they even open a book.

          School adjusted for a future when primary occupation for most will be “voter”.

        • Ert says:

          @DJ

          “Since it cannot be talked about it is unknown to what degree immigrants average down and to what extent ethnic swedes results are worsening.”

          Sounds like Germany… where it is the Germany that should adapt to the customs and behaviors of the immigrants and have the obligation to integrate / not doing not enough – and not the immigrants which have to adapt to German customs and have an obligation to integrate on their part (e.g. learning the language on their own motivation and pro-actively taking on offers).

          Twisted world. Thats what I liked about NZ and the like… totally different attitude…. those who actively come there have the obligation – not the NZ’lers to the immigrants!

          • DJ says:

            Sweden officially rejected assimilation long ago.

            Thing is, it is assimilation or segregation, there is no such thing as integration where they live like they where still at home but have a job and pay taxes.

            Those who become “integrated” have chosen to assimilate.

            • Ed says:

              My great grand mother lived from age 18 to age 87 in the US but never learn to speak English. Just give it one or two generations.

            • DJ says:

              I find it hard to believe it historically was possible for a MALE to live from 18 to 87 without a job.

  13. offcut2 says:

    I have long ago given up fighting the good fight Ed. No one wants to have their matrix shaken, so best to leave the red pills at home in the cupboard. Good luck to you.
    When you try to use logic up against their faith, usually it ends in tantrums. Best to treat it as a carnival of the absurd; its just too bizairre for words how much faith the teat sucking government saps have in the continuation of BAU.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      Inciting tantrums and insults through the use of facts can be an entertaining way to fill the dead gaps in a day….

      It’s like taking pot shots with a high powered rifle at DelusiSTANIS for sport….

  14. adonis says:

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2ehnh5_elisabeth-shue-the-trigger-effect-1996-rated-1_fun recommend the above movie for realistic view of longterm blackout

  15. Fast Eddy says:

    Anyone care to join an assault on DelusiSTAN?

    Never in the history of the world has their wall been breached… never has a single province been overrun …..

    Is this history in the making? The DelusiSTANIS are even more bewildered than usually as they are bombarded with facts and logic….

    Do your part – KILL KILL KILL!!!!

    http://wolfstreet.com/2016/10/18/electric-vehicles-threaten-big-oil-with-investor-death-spiral-fitch/#comment-58913

  16. Fast Eddy says:

    When the power goes off (but you know it will come back on in due course) – it will be a much different story when it goes off for good… and the masses panic….

    http://charleshughsmith.blogspot.co.nz/2016/10/what-happens-when-electricity-is-off.html

    t was a fascinating opportunity to observe firsthand what happens when an electricity dependent society and economy has an extended and complete loss of electrical grid and communications.
    Key observations for my local area are:

    1. Many people have small petrol generators thanks to our lovely coastal wilderness and a preoccupation with Glamping (Glam Camping)

    2. Very few people had a store of petrol at home more than 5 to 10 litres. (usually kept for use in lawn mowers, brush cutters, chainsaws). Some owners of small boats had up to 20 litres on hand.

    3. When the electricity goes out … the pumps at fuel stations don’t work. To my great surprise, only 1 fuel station in my nearest city of about 14 000 population had (or quickly acquired) a back-up generator to work their fuel pumps. There was a 3 hour wait for customers to get from back of queue to the pumps … and a ridiculous show of ‘bulk buying’ where people didn’t just take fuel that they personally needed; they showed up with between 3 and 8 X 20 litre (5 gallon) fuel cans as well as filling their cars. Hopefully the canned fuel was distributed among family and friends. (My assertion is that the owners of the station should have rationed fuel to 40 litres per customer to keep the que moving faster and to make sure everyone had some, rather than creating an ‘all or nothing’ situation)

    4. Due to the difficulty with getting hold of petrol after the blackout started … almost everyone with generators at home could only run them for a few hours over the course of the entire blackout. Even then, the small camping gensets usually lacked the capacity to run large modern refrigerator/freezers. So … most people lost the contents of their fridges by the end. Due to cold weather, at least freezers stayed cold for the most part.

    5. Big shops had their own gensets … but they can’t power the banks of chillers for meat and dairy … so these items became unavailable by the evening of the blackout starting.

    6. The full loss of grid, grid back-up and other smaller backups caused telecommunications and data transmission to practically cease. This meant limitations of EFTPOS in stores. Banks were shut, ATM’s didn’t work and some shops that were open could only take cash. Generally though, everyone muddled through the sketchy electronic payment systems one way or another. Internet access failed for the most part. Social media pretty much collapsed … my two daughters though their social lives were over. I didn’t miss it. My wife found more time to do other things too.

    7. The items that disappeared from the shelves fast, and were tricky to find after 24 hours without power were : Bread, D cell batteries, 6 volt square batteries, matches, heat beads, butane gas cans, fresh meat, sandwich meats, cheeses. (not sure about bottled water – most here have rain tanks anyway). Everything else seemed fine, although fresh fruit and veg got limited after 48 hours.

    8. In hardware/camping stores that managed to open: bottled LPG quickly sold out as did BBQ’s, camp stoves, camp lights and batteries to run them. Most here have a gas BBQ at home, but if you didn’t already have a full bottle of gas … it was very hard to get a replacement after 48 hours.
    9. No one here knows how to use a road intersection properly when the traffic lights are out! I think this helped create major gridlock in the states capital but was even noticeable here at my much smaller regional city with just one such intersection containing lights. (public education urgently required on this)

    10. The number of back-up gensets at critical locations (including hospitals and communications systems) that failed was disturbing. There needs to be a major inquiry into why the back-ups on critical services failed. This nearly caused a shutdown of mains water supply as our water is pumped out of aquifers and has to be lifted to storage tanks high up in the hills. More of a problem for sanitation than drinking, as rain tanks are common here.

    11. Then there were a few people like me … I ran my big ‘workshop’ genset 7 hours a day (hour in the morning, hour at lunch time, 4-5 hours in the evening) and was burning about 7 litres of fuel a day in doing so. My home fuel reserve meant I could run at that extravagant level for a month if need be, or supply others who fell short. We ran refrigerators, lights and TV almost ‘as usual’ and offered to charge anyone’s batteries who needed it and supplied a small camping gas burner, full cylinder of gas and a good battery powered camping light to my parents-in-law who were seriously underprepared. The rest of my small home town (located 20km from a regional city) was rather dark and quiet for the three nights (in part due to the lack of pre-stored fuel to run camping gensets).

    12. We have a gas stove in our kitchen, with bottled LNG that lasts 3 -5 months in normal use, so cooking was as normal for us. Since we didn’t try to use the gas to also heat washing/bathing water it would have lasted for the usual amount of time.

    13. When most were having cold showers, no showers, wasting their BBQ gas to heat pots of water or crowding into friends and relations who had LNG hot water systems in their houses … our family had hot baths by candle light in huge volumes of wood heated water. (Picture of my old wood heater below.) It is very efficient, made in the 1940’s I think, but possibly much older. The inner bowl is copper and absorbs heat from a small fire lit behind the square opening in front. It can boil 70 litres in 20 minutes from a cold start, or 15 minutes for a refill of water once it’s already been going a while.

    14. Apart from the fuel distribution fiasco everything remained orderly, people remained calm and helpful and life went on. Strangers were a lot chattier with other strangers than usual … which is good to see. I saw examples of shops extending ‘unsecured credit’ for small amounts of basic food items to people who had no cash on them and whose cards didn’t work. No looting, no “Law Enforcement” out making trouble and plenty of sharing and cooperation.

    15. Although about a quarter of houses have solar panels or solar thermal hot water where I live … none of it worked as it’s all grid connect AND doesn’t work under the heavy cloud/rain/cold of a 3 day storm.

    • The quote is from Charles Hugh Smith’s article. I find the last comment interesting, ” Although about a quarter of houses have solar panels or solar thermal hot water where I live … none of it worked as it’s all grid connect AND doesn’t work under the heavy cloud/rain/cold of a 3 day storm.”

      If it is grid connected, and the grid is down, I am not sure that it would have worked, even if the sun were connected.

      • Jarvis says:

        Just had a 3 day storm here and my solar system is battery connected and it didn’t work. Very simple no sun no power, can’t do much on 300 watts per day when the inverter takes more power than that. Time to rethink the doomstead.

        • Duncan Idaho says:

          DC is the way to go—-
          No grid involved, or inverters.
          Converting PV to AC on a grid makes no sense.

          .

          • meliorismnow says:

            Would be nice if manufacturers started targeting this niche. The devices made for boats are very efficient but very expensive. PV and batteries are cheap enough to go offgrid if you do it yourself but the lack of affordable/comparable DC devices raise the investment requirements significantly either way (going the inverter-AC route with extra capacity of everything and having to replace the inverter every decade or going the marine device route).

    • DJ says:

      Riots? Looting?
      Hordes?

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Picture this — but with guns — and no cops or security… coming through your front door….

      • Curt Kurschus says:

        Humans can withstand a great deal of hardship – provided that the bare essentials are able to be adequately met. My greatest concern is the food supply. When people can no longer get the food they need in the retail stores due to trucks stopping, or because the eftpos stops and nobody has the cash, the riots start. Such is the lesson of history.

        • Dj says:

          But on a few occasions looting starts within the hour if grid goes down, sometimes, like in Australia, a few days are not a problem.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_City_blackout_of_1977

            The New York City blackout of 1977 was an electricity blackout that affected most of New York City on July 13–14, 1977. The only neighborhoods in the city that were not affected were in southern Queens, neighborhoods of the Rockaways, which were part of the Long Island Lighting Company system and the Pratt Institute campus in Brooklyn which operated its own historic power generator.

            Unlike other blackouts that affected the region, namely the Northeast blackouts of 1965 and 2003, the 1977 blackout was localized to New York City and the immediate surroundings.

            Also in contrast to the 1965 and 2003 blackouts, the 1977 blackout resulted in city-wide looting and other disorders, including arson.[1]

  17. CTG says:

    Gail has been talking a lot about the grid – http://charleshughsmith.blogspot.my/2016/10/what-happens-when-electricity-is-off.html

    Item #15 seems to be interesting especially for solar panels connected to the grid. Standalone solar panel is different though

  18. calista says:

    A tangential question. Greece and venezuela are farther along the curve than the united states or many northern european countries.

    I have not found much in the way of actual reporting or solid data on the question of who is still employed and in what jobs? What type of businesses are still operating. I am not curious as to the black or gray market. We know what that looks like from car repair up if you look at any seriously impovershed part of the us. There are some sociological and anthrological studies of such in the us. I am curious about the halfway step down the ladder of demand destruction. Or the 25% down etc.

    We did get some reports out of greece that teachers and a number of government employees worked without money in hopes of a turn and some payment. But what has happened in the longer term in greece? Where on that continuum is argentina? What jobs go first, second, etc. Which ones make a straight jump to the black market?

    If anyone has info or access it would be an interesting insight.

  19. Yoshua says:

    IMF Sees Saudi Break-Even Oil Price Drop Less Than Forecast

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-10-19/imf-sees-saudi-break-even-oil-price-falling-less-than-expected

    The country’s fiscal break-even price will drop to $79.70 a barrel this year from $92.90 in 2015, the IMF said in a report released on Wednesday, a fall of 14 percent.

  20. Yoshua says:

    Shale Gas vs. Shale Oil

    6 Mcf = 1 Boe

    Shale Gas break even $2.5 / Mcf = Shale Oil break even $15 / bbl

    The Shale Oil break even price would have to $15 / bbl to be as economic to produce as Shale Gas.

  21. Fast Eddy says:

    Cost cuts helped offset the fall in revenue. Halliburton plans to cut “structural costs” by about 25 percent, or $1 billion, on an annual run-rate basis by the end of 2016.

    “We saw a trend of less service-intensive wells”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-halliburton-results-idUSKCN12J15N?il=0

    The industry is bleeding out …. shares up 6% 🙂

  22. Interguru says:

    The oil curse in the US.

    The term “oil curse” — coined to describe petro-rich developing countries where the “black gold” came with the heavy price of economic and political instability — is now being adapted for use in the U.S., where “petrostates” and cities are seeing shrinking tax revenues, budget deficits, negative credit ratings, rising unemployment and even outright recession as oil prices have fallen.

    Alaska, North Dakota, Wyoming, New Mexico, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas, which enjoyed the feast of the shale revolution, are now threatened with famine. How they weather the storm, analysts now say, could largely determine their fiscal and economic fortunes for the next decade.

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/here-in-the-us-weve-got-our-own-oil-curse-2016-10-18?mod=MW_story_top_stories

    • The current fashion is to add carbon taxes. If areas adopting carbon taxes are successful in reducing carbon, doesn’t this also reduce the tax revenue of these areas?

  23. Crates says:

    MIT fusion reactor closed for lack of funds.
    “However, the world record was achieved on the last day of the MIT tokamak’s operation, because funding from the US Department of Energy has now ended. The US, along with the EU, China, India, South Korea, Russia and Japan, are now ploughing their fusion funding into a huge fusion reactor called ITER. ”
    See how long it takes to reach those who blame the “oil lobby” of this fact.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/oct/17/mit-nuclear-fusion-record-marks-latest-step-towards-unlimited-clean-energy

    Now all hopes are deposited is the ITER.
    What was that song that sings FE?
    “In thirty years … we will be saved … in thirty years”

  24. Lyn says:

    Fitch has some advice for the oil companies that wish to survive this coming disruption in some form:

    We believe it will be important for oil companies to react early, and we will continue to evaluate their strategies for doing so, even though the changes discussed here would occur well beyond our rating horizon.

    Many are already taking initial steps such as diversifying into batteries or renewables or focusing more on natural gas, and many are actively participating in the debate around future energy sources.

    ———————————————————————————————————————–

    Really good advice by Fitch…

    I suggest Big Oil should team up with Elon to explore future energy sources on Mars.

    I really cannot wait for the arrival of the postfossil age. Everything will be green and awesome. We will all drive around in Teslas, enjoying the lack of traffic jams on roads that are in perfect condition. The day we all fully go GREEN there will be a lot less distraction at night and we will finally get some quality sleep. The sooner we turn green the sooner Martians will offer us the precious partnership to harvest the energy sources we need to feed the 15 billion people who will drive around in Teslas by the year 2100. Furthermore, Elon Musk, the High Priest of the Green Age -our leader, is said to aim for nuclear waste disposal in space by 2035 at the latest to ensure a green future for the thriving human civilisation of ours.

    • sounds good to me

    • Sungr says:

      “I suggest Big Oil should team up with Elon to explore future energy sources on Mars.”

      I am NOT a fan of the Mars migration scheme. But I have interesting story about this-

      I am personally acquainted with a young woman of early 30s age who has just earned her PhD in Astrophysics at UC Davis. I have known her since birth and she is a genius- the real deal and no exaggeration. Anyway, she is now a co-founder of a cutting edge tech company whose goal is support of the evolving Mars migration program. Her feeling is that Earth’s climate destruction has now gone critical and will become un-survivable in the near future. So Mars is the only answer left- in her opinion.

      Just an interesting story.

      • while I don’t doubt or decry your friend’s intellect—intelligence does not preclude the wearing of blinkers, particularly when the focus is on continued employment.
        NASA has effectively been a job creation scheme for PhDs of various disciplines.

        Astro-physicist or garbage collector, the most important aspect of any job is holding onto it and getting wages. (trust me on that one) On that basis, collective agreement on purpose of employment is a given. So round the table, everybody agrees that Mars must be colonised—intellect has nothing to do with it, Wages however are critical.

        When the first european settlers reached the Americas in viable numbers, they could be self supporting, and earn a living. When they walked out of their first log cabins, they could actually breathe. Imagine if they had had to remain sealed inside—permanently.

        By ”earn” i mean extract sufficient energy from the ground they occupied to enable unaided survival, and create a surplus, on which to grow more people and ship stuff back to Europe.
        It is very easy for interplanetary fantasists to compare that with Martian exploration (or wherever)
        No life form can exist without extracting its sustenance from the ground it occupies.

        If there was anything profitable on the Moon (in terms of EROEI) commercial enterprise would have been there decades ago
        There isn’t, and Mars looks to be the same.

        A martian colony cannot be ‘profitable’ in the context of self support. You cannot leave the environmental bubble you arrive with, and there must be continual supplies from planet Earth.
        Imagine the south pole without air.

        But let’s take this nonsense a stage further, and suppose we find a benign planet light years away—able to support life.
        If there is one, then living organisms will be well established, and might not be such a pushover as were the people of the first nations in the 16/1700s.
        When the Earth-Ark shows up they might recognise an alien species in search of conquest (make no mistake–that would be the purpose–) and swiftly dispatch them.

        • DJ says:

          Maybe we should get it working on earth first?
          https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biosphere_2

        • Tim Groves says:

          Very good points, Norman. Getting to Mars and surviving there isn’t going to be easy. If I was running the show, I would propose starting by sending out robotic probes to capture and redirect several comets to Mars in order to endow the surface with a thicker atmosphere and liquid water. Then I’d task Keith with the job of rigging up a couple of orbital solar plants, which he would manage from a control station on Phobos. The initial Martian colony would be located on this moon until the planet is properly terraformed and people can walk around and play golf on the surface without getting frozen, irradiated or attacked by the Martian version of the dreaded bends.As a resort, we would aim to be competitive with the more exclusive Indonesian resorts. Our planetary anthem would be Elton John’s Rocket man.

        • Sungr says:

          Norman, I know all of this. And I’m not pushing any of the Mars stuff. You did read my disclaimer there, right? Or did you miss my disclaimer in your haste to reply? Read for comprehension as Reverse Engineer is fond of saying.

          Actually, the most interesting part of speaking with her was that she had already concluded that the Earth was past the critical point in terms of environmental destruction. When she was asked her opinion about reversing climate change, her reply was “too late”.

          • my comment was about your friend’s thinking about mars—or thats what it was meant to be

            i don’t think i made any criticism of you, reading back–i really can’t see any at all
            My comment started with reference to what your friend had said about Mars colonisation, and went on from there.
            my point was that super intellect doesn’t come with common sense, and ultimately we all need to earn wages—we all do that by marketing the skills we have.
            If somebody was willing to pay me for Mars colonisation advice—I would happily sell and tell them what they wanted to hear, simply because it’s so crazy i’d figure that i could make better use of their money.
            That thinking isn’t avaricious, just that when someone is so fixated by something that crazy, they will go on seeking “advice” till they get what they want. It might as well be mine.

            writing off humankind is another intellectual exercise entirely—one we all indulge in, and none of us has any idea when or how that will pan out.
            In that context she is intelligent enough to read and interpret all the signs, and reach the same conclusions that we all do

          • Froggman says:

            What a strange perspective: that it would be “easier” to terraform an entire planet 30 million miles away and lacking an atmosphere capable of supporting life, than to salvage a planet already rich in biotic materials right where we already are.

            I’m not saying we have the technological capability to save Earth either- it just seems like an intelligent and analytical person would be able to compare the relative difficulty of these 2 tasks and determine that one is ridiculously more challenging than the other…

        • Sungr says:

          Disclaimer #2. I have long ago figured that the environmental collapse is a done deal. There will be no reversing climate change IMHO.

          It is interesting that a person from her background would openly write off any chances of human survival on the global warming issue. This may be a personal opinion or it may reflect the opinions of many others in academia, space programs, etc.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          There are plenty of intelligent idiots walking the earth

      • psile says:

        Just goes to show that even the smartest people are complete morons where it comes to dealing with reality.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Desperation can lead to crazy…. crazy is not limited to the stupid….

    • Fast Eddy says:

      Institutionalized madness.

  25. MG says:

    Oil groups ‘threatened’ by electric cars
    Fitch says investors could sell out of energy companies

    https://www.ft.com/content/b42a72c6-94ac-11e6-a80e-bcd69f323a8b

    “The agency says that the threat of electric cars could create an “investor death spiral” as nervous asset holders sell out of oil companies, making debt and equity more expensive.”

    “The oil sector would not be the only industry affected. Big electricity utilities burning fossil fuels such as gas or coal face the risk of batteries solving the intermittency problem of wind or solar plants that cannot generate on windless days or at night.”

    “One director at a state-controlled oil company who declined to be identified said unless there was a breakthrough in the pricing of electric cars that made them affordable in developing countries, such vehicles were not likely to have a big impact on demand for crude. He added a bigger threat to demand was the improving fuel efficiency of conventional cars.”

  26. Fast Eddy says:

    Pure Math … Pure Science….. Pure Stupidity…

    http://wolfstreet.com/2016/10/18/electric-vehicles-threaten-big-oil-with-investor-death-spiral-fitch/

    EVs are not energy saving….

    A 2012 comprehensive life-cycle analysis in Journal of Industrial Ecology shows that almost half the lifetime carbon-dioxide emissions from an electric car come from the energy used to produce the car, especially the battery. The mining of lithium, for instance, is a less than green activity.

    By contrast, the manufacture of a gas-powered car accounts for 17% of its lifetime carbon-dioxide emissions. When an electric car rolls off the production line, it has already been responsible for 30,000 pounds of carbon-dioxide emission. The amount for making a conventional car: 14,000 pounds. http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887324128504578346913994914472

    And it appears to not have dawned on the author that a drop in demand for petrol would crash the price of oil and bankrupt the industry…

    • Tim Groves says:

      I’ve witnessed considerable schadenfreude among some of my self-identifying Green friends at the current plight of the oil, coal and electric utility industries.”Let ’em go bankrupt. Serve’s ’em right for despoiling the earth!” is the gist of what passes for the thinking that goes on when the subject comes up. Then they drift away into ecotopian reveries of solar panels and wind turbines surrounded by green fields, happy little birds, bees, and barnyard creatures, and little girls picking daisies. Boy are they going to be in for a shock when their wishes are granted.

      • psile says:

        All we are going to get is a wrecked planet in our attempt to circumvent the laws of physics. Your greenie friends particular road to perdition uses renewables, instead of ff’s, which also use and rely on ff’s for their existence and operation anyway. Lol…

        No free lunch…

      • Tango Oscar says:

        Tim, I self-identify as gender neutral and it deeply, deeply offends me when you use loaded phrases like “little girls picking daisies.” Why can’t little boys pick the daisies Tim, why? Why is there a need to identify their gender at all? Furthermore why are you describing these persons as little? Are you also prejudice against people who are different sizes than you are? Honestly, this is very ethnocentric and sexist Tim. You should be ashamed of yourself!

        • Tim Groves says:

          No offense to the gender neutral was intended, Tango Oscar, but when I was a youngster we were taught that gender identification was sacred and that ethnocentrism and sexism were natural, normal and proper. Anyone who didn’t fit into the two-gender arrangement was considered abnormal and had to endure a variety of slings and arrows ranging from pity to contempt. So you can consider yourself fortunate that you can now self-identify to your heart’s content, be as offended as you like, and nobody cares.

          Also, we were taught that little girls should dress in pink and pick daisies and little boys should dress in blue and be seen and not heard, and, most importantly, that we should respect our elders. Now, I’m a lot older than you, and I find your lack of respect for me to be totally beyond the pale, marking you out as somebody who should never be invited to dinner parties. Again, no offense intended.

          It is only very recently, literally over the past five years, that I’ve encountered people programmed with the kind of ideas you are coming out with. You and I don’t share the same cultural or ideological framework and we differ significantly in our moral and ethical outlooks. For example, in my conceptual universe, it is the height of bad manners to declare oneself deeply deeply offended at what one perceives as other people’s loaded phrases. I haven’t decided how I am going to deal with it.

          Fortunately for me, living in Japan, I don’t have to deal with it on a daily basis. The local language has a range of first, second and third-person pronouns so that when a person refers to “I”, they are also implicitly stating their gender, age group, degree of familiarity with and social status relative to the listener(s). I have to select from four ways of describing myself and a dozen of way of describing others. It’s one of the things that helps lubricate human interaction and maintains social cohesion in this overcrowded country.

          • Tango Oscar says:

            No, I get it. I grew up with an entirely different set of rules than are applicable now. But yeah, Japan’s culture isn’t Americas. The only thing I know about your culture that’s spread over here is anime. I enjoy a few of those. And the video games.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          ‘I self-identify as gender neutral’

          I am not clear on the meaning of this phrase. Can you explain

          • Tango Oscar says:

            It was a joke.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Ah…. I see that now….

            • Tango Oscar says:

              It was actually a joke with a deeper meaning however. Only in this recent last couple of decades where we’ve gotten to this point of relative comfort and decadence have we decided we get the right o be offended about everything. We have so much free time on our hands and we use a lot of it bickering with one another about social injustices. Literally, our congressmen in American spend time arguing about who gets to go potty in which bathroom as we get ready to elect a President who has had her aides smash several of her Blackberry devices with a hammer. It’s become painfully clear to me that we are now past the point of peak stupidity and the movie Idiocracy was actually meant as a documentary.

            • DJ says:

              🙂

            • Tim Groves says:

              That was beautifully executed! You certainly had me going there. I’m too trusting by half.

              There is another joke on the human race in that as we get deeper into our golden years, a lot of the things we like to treasure as marks of our gender drop away including our good looks and physical and mental prowess, until eventually, who we share access to a bathroom with becomes a far less pressing concern than that we are able to use one at all.

            • Tango Oscar says:

              I get that. I do actually believe that we are gender neutral upon physically leaving this body but that’s an entirely separate conversation that could fill a novel. Everybody believes something different. I just thought it would make for a fun joke because somebody would take the bait.

            • Froggman says:

              It’s a beautifully constructed piece of satire when the audience can hardly tell whether it’s a joke or not. Like an Onion article that is taken seriously. Kudos.

            • Tango Oscar says:

              Thanks. My sense of humor is often like that too. Most people who know me, including my wife, cannot tell when I’m joking or being serious.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Look Bob … it’s an organic egg…. free range…. ooh …. I love it…. touch it…. it feels so wonderful…. it would be a shame to break it…. yes it would Sue…. let’s just keep it and worship it… yes Bob… let’s…

        http://jungcurrents.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/carl-jung-god-is-in-the-egg-quotation-red-book.jpg

    • musk isnt that stupid

      he knows perfectly well that no electric car can function outside a hydrocarbon based infrastructure

      • Tim Groves says:

        The way forward, obviously, is for every middle-class home to be equipped with Mr. Tesla — a futuristic photovoltaic-powered bio-gasoline converter that turns kitchen and garden waste into car fuel. The unit will sit quietly at the back of the garage and the panels will go on the roof. Meanwhile, advances in engine development will double mileage and combining this with hybrid technology,a little gas will go a long way. In this way, at a stroke, we will solve our oil supply, carbon pollution and balance of payments problems and every home will become its own gas station.

        • Pintada says:

          Dear Tim Groves;

          See – Drexler, K. Eric (2013-05-07). Radical Abundance: How a Revolution in Nanotechnology Will Change Civilization PublicAffairs.

          Where you will find little gems such as this:
          “THE IDEA OF BUILDING THINGS with atomic precision often strikes people as futuristic, yet atomically precise fabrication has a longer history than spaceflight, or even wooden biplanes. The story of atomically precise fabrication begins more than a century ago, at the start of an arc of accelerating progress.”

          Apparently, the only reason that what you describe has not happened yet, is that there was a conspiracy among the wet chemists to take nanotechnology away from Drexler back in the ’90s.

          Oh, wait. You were kidding
          Pintada

        • sounds good to me—i’ll put it to the doomstervote

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Musk is the board of maintaining hope. He is in charge of the renewable energy piece of the puzzle…. as well as the find a new earth initiative

        He most obviously knows this is all b.ullsh.it…. when asked about how humans could survive the radiation that bombards mars he just ignored the question …

        He is tasked with keeping the sheeple calm … as we are herded towards extinction.

        Not a bad gig…. he gets to live large… he gets fame…. he is treated by many as a god…. I bet he even gets groupies looking for some action ….

        https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/04/c1/0c/04c10c36310fe5f7775772792bf0f28e.jpg

      • MG says:

        If the EVs are so clean, why they are so costly?

        I still can not imagine the world functioning on EVs: they are too inefficient. You can not produce and operate the EVs without the fossil fuel based infrastructure and inputs. An EV is rather a small private electrict train: the functioning electric grid with the cheap electricity or the system that will provide you cheap electricity producing devices and the storage from the sun or the wind is needed.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          Green Cars Have a Dirty Little Secret

          Producing and charging electric cars means heavy carbon-dioxide emissions.

          Electric cars are promoted as the chic harbinger of an environmentally benign future. Ads assure us of “zero emissions,” and President Obama has promised a million on the road by 2015. With sales for 2012 coming in at about 50,000, that million-car figure is a pipe dream. Consumers remain wary of the cars’ limited range, higher price and the logistics of battery-charging.

          But for those who do own an electric car, at least there is the consolation that it’s truly green, right?

          Not really.

          A 2012 comprehensive life-cycle analysis in Journal of Industrial Ecology shows that almost half the lifetime carbon-dioxide emissions from an electric car come from the energy used to produce the car, especially the battery. The mining of lithium, for instance, is a less than green activity.

          By contrast, the manufacture of a gas-powered car accounts for 17% of its lifetime carbon-dioxide emissions. When an electric car rolls off the production line, it has already been responsible for 30,000 pounds of carbon-dioxide emission. The amount for making a conventional car: 14,000 pounds.

          While electric-car owners may cruise around feeling virtuous, they still recharge using electricity overwhelmingly produced with fossil fuels. Thus, the life-cycle analysis shows that for every mile driven, the average electric car indirectly emits about six ounces of carbon-dioxide. This is still a lot better than a similar-size conventional car, which emits about 12 ounces per mile.

          But remember, the production of the electric car has already resulted in sizeable emissions—the equivalent of 80,000 miles of travel in the vehicle.

          So unless the electric car is driven a lot, it will never get ahead environmentally. And that turns out to be a challenge. Consider the Nissan Leaf. It has only a 73-mile range per charge. Drivers attempting long road trips, as in one BBC test drive, have reported that recharging takes so long that the average speed is close to six miles per hour—a bit faster than your average jogger.

          To make matters worse, the batteries in electric cars fade with time, just as they do in a cellphone. Nissan estimates that after five years, the less effective batteries in a typical Leaf bring the range down to 55 miles.

          As the MIT Technology Review cautioned last year: “Don’t Drive Your Nissan Leaf Too Much.”

          If a typical electric car is driven 50,000 miles over its lifetime, the huge initial emissions from its manufacture means the car will actually have put more carbon-dioxide in the atmosphere than a similar-size gasoline-powered car driven the same number of miles.

          Similarly, if the energy used to recharge the electric car comes mostly from coal-fired power plants, it will be responsible for the emission of almost 15 ounces of carbon-dioxide for every one of the 50,000 miles it is driven—three ounces more than a similar gas-powered car.

          Yet the U.S. federal government essentially subsidizes electric-car buyers with up to $7,500. In addition, more than $5.5 billion in federal grants and loans go directly to battery and electric-car manufacturers like California-based Fisker Automotive and Tesla Motors.

          This is a very poor deal for taxpayers.

          More http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887324128504578346913994914472

        • This is a very good question. If something is high priced (and subsidized as well), a person asks what all those dollars were spent on. Energy products seem to come into play, directly or indirectly.

          We also have a problem with debt. How much more debt does it take to create a system that can operate with these vehicles? How do we get the price down far enough that people with modest incomes can afford them?

          Does building these cars add any reasonable number of jobs in the US (or Norway) so that people in those countries can buy the cars?

      • How many miles do EVs actually get driven? Don’t people leave them in the garage, for long trips? All of these estimates depend on annual milage.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          The EV is the toy car…. that you use to drive to the organic coffee shop … park out front … sip your low fat organic fair trade latte…. and pick up stinky hippie chicks who EV car groupies…

          The Petrol car is the real car … you use that for everything else…

          Usually the petrol car would be an 4 wheel drive SUV….

      • smite says:

        So what, does it even matter?
        Building and operating an EV still pollutes and uses up resources, just somewhat less.

        http://www.azquotes.com/picture-quotes/quote-sometimes-this-high-tech-world-calls-for-low-tech-solutions-christopher-moore-43-52-57.jpg

        http://www.bikebamboo.com/images/crossbamboo2.gif

        • Fast Eddy says:

          Um… I see no report …. I see no detail… I see a claim….. whereas with the WSJ article I get this:

          A 2012 comprehensive life-cycle analysis in Journal of Industrial Ecology shows that almost half the lifetime carbon-dioxide emissions from an electric car come from the energy used to produce the car, especially the battery. The mining of lithium, for instance, is a less than green activity.

          By contrast, the manufacture of a gas-powered car accounts for 17% of its lifetime carbon-dioxide emissions. When an electric car rolls off the production line, it has already been responsible for 30,000 pounds of carbon-dioxide emission. The amount for making a conventional car: 14,000 pounds.

          While electric-car owners may cruise around feeling virtuous, they still recharge using electricity overwhelmingly produced with fossil fuels. Thus, the life-cycle analysis shows that for every mile driven, the average electric car indirectly emits about six ounces of carbon-dioxide. This is still a lot better than a similar-size conventional car, which emits about 12 ounces per mile.

          But remember, the production of the electric car has already resulted in sizeable emissions—the equivalent of 80,000 miles of travel in the vehicle.

          If I am to change my mind this needs to be refuted…. given the power of the Tesla PR machine I am sure there are literally thousands of ‘expert sources’ willing to state that the above it not true….

          Let’s apply a little common sense….

          A phone battery battery will not last many years… it will hold less charge over time… fortunately replacing a phone battery is not so expensive… no doubt most people trash their phone and buy a new one before the battery completely degrade…

          LIkewise with an EV battery — you can drive the car to the junk yard … or you can replace the battery …. for ONLY $29,000 http://www.autoblog.com/2015/09/01/tesla-roadster-battery-pack-replacement/

          And surprise surprise .. Tesla has cancelled its buy back guarantee…..

          No doubt because they are aware that there will be tens of thousands of owners trying to desperately unload these rolling boondoggles when faced with collapsing battery capacity …. and a mega replacement bill

          http://www.reuters.com/article/us-tesla-prices-idUSKCN0ZT1HH

          End of the day (as has just been pointed out) — dragging two tonnes around to pick up a carton of milk — no matter what you power the vehicle with …. is not green. Anyone who believes otherwise gets a gold medal for idiocy, ignorance and stupidity.

          • smite says:

            I was merely pointing out that the delusion of buying a new car somewhat would be ‘good’ for the environment and resource usage.

            The only sane thing to do is to recycle the car, then go ahead and oil up the chain of their mothballed bicycle if ‘green’ is truly a thing when it comes to personal transportation. And forget about buses, trains and aircraft.

            Although, I’d like to see the (Elon) musketeers EV ‘hipster’ sect even consider that.

            http://i.imgur.com/DeRcvDr.jpg

          • Fast Eddy says:

            Journal of Industrial Ecology

            The Journal of Industrial Ecology is a bimonthly peer-reviewed academic journal covering industrial ecology. It is published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies[1] and is an official journal of the International Society for Industrial Ecology.[2] The editor-in-chief is Reid Lifset (Yale University). According to the Journal Citation Reports, the journal has a 2012 impact factor of 2.276.[3]

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Journal_of_Industrial_Ecology

            The International Society for Industrial Ecology (ISIE) is an international society with the aim of promoting the development and application of industrial ecology.[1][2]

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Society_for_Industrial_Ecology

            Oh look….. http://is4ie.org/ This is an organization that is dedicated to saving the planet .

            http://is4ie.org/resources/Pictures/Save_the_Date.jpg

            You would think they’d be loving Elon Musk and the EV…. but it seems they are more concerned with the facts …. unusually for a Koombaya.org….

            So there you go Lars from Sweden…. meet the Fast Eddy Express….

            • smite says:

              It isn’t a Swedish name you imbecile you. 🙂

            • Fast Eddy says:

              I couldn’t find a clip of a DelusiSTAN hockey player getting hammered… that said … Sweden is filled with DelusiSTANIS… so it works for me….

            • smite says:

              “Sweden is filled with DelusiSTANIS… so it works for me….”

              You should make it a more slow and grueling process of inevitable death.
              Just like the end of BAU as you preach it.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        For emphasis — I will re-post this — if only I could load this into a sledge hammer format and beat DelusiSTANIS about the head with it.

        I suspect I will not hear from you again so let me take this opportunity to say good bye — good luck — and have a wonderful life.

        Now run back to D-STAN and hook up the Hopium IV…. and wash away all the facts that you are about to encounter….

        Green Cars Have a Dirty Little Secret

        Producing and charging electric cars means heavy carbon-dioxide emissions.

        Electric cars are promoted as the chic harbinger of an environmentally benign future. Ads assure us of “zero emissions,” and President Obama has promised a million on the road by 2015. With sales for 2012 coming in at about 50,000, that million-car figure is a pipe dream. Consumers remain wary of the cars’ limited range, higher price and the logistics of battery-charging.

        But for those who do own an electric car, at least there is the consolation that it’s truly green, right?

        Not really.

        A 2012 comprehensive life-cycle analysis in Journal of Industrial Ecology shows that almost half the lifetime carbon-dioxide emissions from an electric car come from the energy used to produce the car, especially the battery. The mining of lithium, for instance, is a less than green activity.

        By contrast, the manufacture of a gas-powered car accounts for 17% of its lifetime carbon-dioxide emissions. When an electric car rolls off the production line, it has already been responsible for 30,000 pounds of carbon-dioxide emission. The amount for making a conventional car: 14,000 pounds.

        While electric-car owners may cruise around feeling virtuous, they still recharge using electricity overwhelmingly produced with fossil fuels. Thus, the life-cycle analysis shows that for every mile driven, the average electric car indirectly emits about six ounces of carbon-dioxide. This is still a lot better than a similar-size conventional car, which emits about 12 ounces per mile.

        But remember, the production of the electric car has already resulted in sizeable emissions—the equivalent of 80,000 miles of travel in the vehicle.

        So unless the electric car is driven a lot, it will never get ahead environmentally. And that turns out to be a challenge. Consider the Nissan Leaf. It has only a 73-mile range per charge. Drivers attempting long road trips, as in one BBC test drive, have reported that recharging takes so long that the average speed is close to six miles per hour—a bit faster than your average jogger.

        To make matters worse, the batteries in electric cars fade with time, just as they do in a cellphone. Nissan estimates that after five years, the less effective batteries in a typical Leaf bring the range down to 55 miles.

        As the MIT Technology Review cautioned last year: “Don’t Drive Your Nissan Leaf Too Much.”

        If a typical electric car is driven 50,000 miles over its lifetime, the huge initial emissions from its manufacture means the car will actually have put more carbon-dioxide in the atmosphere than a similar-size gasoline-powered car driven the same number of miles.

        Similarly, if the energy used to recharge the electric car comes mostly from coal-fired power plants, it will be responsible for the emission of almost 15 ounces of carbon-dioxide for every one of the 50,000 miles it is driven—three ounces more than a similar gas-powered car.

        Yet the U.S. federal government essentially subsidizes electric-car buyers with up to $7,500. In addition, more than $5.5 billion in federal grants and loans go directly to battery and electric-car manufacturers like California-based Fisker Automotive and Tesla Motors.

        This is a very poor deal for taxpayers.

        More http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887324128504578346913994914472

  27. MG says:

    How could you define the human being?

    The human being is a hairless ape constantly facing energy collapse.

    https://www.sott.net/article/312904-A-new-naked-ape-hypothesis-Did-hairlessness-evolve-to-allow-humans-to-supplement-their-energy-needs-with-sunlight

    Did human hairlessness allow natural photobiomodulation 2 million years ago and enable photobiomodulation therapy today? This can explain the rapid expansion of our genus’s brain.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25703782

    “Present hypotheses to explain human hairlessness appear to be inadequate because hairlessness is not accompanied by any immediate benefit. A new, testable, hypothesis is advanced to explain our hairlessness based on photobiomodulation research, also known as low-level light therapy. This shows that red and near infrared radiation has a very beneficial effect on superficial tissues, including the brain. Random mutation/s resulting in complete hairlessness allowed early humans to receive daily doses of red and near infrared radiation at sunset. Photobiomodulation research shows this has a twofold effect: it results in increased mitochondrial respiratory chain activity with consequent ATP ‘extrasynthesis’ in all superficial tissues, including the brain. It also advantageously affects the expression of over 100 genes through the activation of transcription factor NFkB which results in cerebral metabolic and haemodynamic enhancement. It is also possible that melanin can supply electrons to the respiratory chain resulting in ATP extrasynthesis. These effects would start automatically as soon as hairlessness occurred resulting in a selective sweep of the mutation/s involved. This was followed by the very rapid brain evolution of the last 2 my which, it is suggested, was due to intelligence-led evolution based initially on the increased energy and adeptness of the newly hairless individuals.”

    • MG says:

      “But recently as it became colder and with the redevelopment of scalp hair and the necessity to wear clothes, advantage turned to liability in Europe and northern Asia.”

  28. Fast Eddy says:

    Attention Koombaya Krowd. Tread lightly … I am turning up the volume on my flame thrower.

    The thing is….

    I posted comments on Wolf Street indicating that population growth was necessary for economic growth (Japan as the prime example)…. and a deluge of insults was hurled my way — ‘ thick’ …’idiot’ and so on …

    The site host Wolf disagreed with me as well – although he did not refer to me as an idiot.

    So I posted the info below …. and Wolf removed it… and when I complained he stated the entire conversation was nonsense….

    Funny how it all become nonsense when I demonstrated that he and his bad of flunkies were wrong….
    .
    The reason I bring this up is that this is par for the course when I post facts on other sites — I post on these sites on order to try to generate some intellectual stimulation through a sensible debate. This is the behaviour that I encounter – I am sure many others have run into the same thing.

    And then the same fools land on FW and spread their idiotic ideas – factless drivel — and they expect to be treated with respect for their intellect (when they have the intellect of a stupid 10 year old)

    They are unable to debate – in fact when the likes of CTG bombards them with common sense and detailed facts they do not respond ….

    Yet they are soon back plastering FW with the same idiocy. And they are offended when we turn on them. I suspect Gail gets emails from these clowns moaning and bitching about how cruel Fast Eddy is.

    If anyone was wondering if WW3 was imminent — no need to wonder. This is a declaration to total war on DelusiSTAN. I p.iss and sh.it on your flag…. I mock your Koombaya anthem….

    The financial crisis that followed the collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers in 2008 did more than wipe out billions in wealth and millions of jobs. It also sent birth rates tumbling around the world as couples found themselves too short of money or too fearful about their finances to have children. Six years later, birth rates haven’t bounced back.

    For an overcrowded planet, this is good news. For the economy, not so good.

    We tend to think economic growth comes from working harder and smarter. But economists attribute up to a third of it to more people joining the workforce each year than leaving it. The result is more producing, earning and spending.

    Now this secret fuel of the economy, rarely missing and little noticed, is running out.

    “For the first time since World War II, we’re no longer getting a tailwind,” says Russ Koesterich, chief investment strategist at Blackrock, the world’s largest money manager. “You’re going to create fewer jobs. … All else equal, wage growth will be slower.”

    Births are falling in China, Japan, the United States, Germany, Italy and nearly all other European countries. Studies have shown that births drop when unemployment rises, such as during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Birth rates have fallen the most in some regions that were hardest hit by the financial crisis.

    In the United States, three-quarters of people surveyed by Gallup last year said the main reason couples weren’t having more children was a lack of money or fear of the economy.

    The trend emerges as a key gauge of future economic health – the growth in the pool of potential workers, ages 20-64 – is signaling trouble ahead. This labor pool had expanded for decades, thanks to the vast generation of baby boomers. Now the boomers are retiring, and there are barely enough new workers to replace them, let alone add to their numbers.

    Growth in the working-age population has halted in developed countries overall. Even in France and the United Kingdom, with relatively healthy birth rates, growth in the labor pool has slowed dramatically. In Japan, Germany and Italy, the labor pool is shrinking.

    “It’s like health – you only realize it exists until you don’t have it,” says Alejandro Macarron Larumbe, managing director of Demographic Renaissance, a think tank in Madrid.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/dropping-birth-rates-threaten-global-economic-growth/

    • Tango Oscar says:

      It really shouldn’t come as a surprise to you that someone with the alias “Testosterone Pit” still believes in the infinite growth paradigm complete with a really, really ridiculously high human population. Many other bloggers and sites will block or remove you if you attempt to change their worldviews through information that contradicts their personal world view or their version of the facts, so to speak. They especially hate facts.

      Another serial believer in BAU is Robert Scribbler and if you attempt to show him the truth about how desolately hopeless replacing our current energy infrastructure is with “renewables” he will simply not publish your posts. No intelligent debates allowed or anything that challenges his nonstop catch phrase of “human forced warming.”

    • Tim Groves says:

      I get this kind of reaction all the time when I attempt to bring up facts that burst other people’s bubbles online or even via email. It is a lot easier to “talk” to people if they are in the same room, as one can employ tone and volume of voice, gesture, facial expression, and instant interruptions and even e-jac-ula-tions to guide the conversation in the desired direction. But in the end, if one’s correspondent is not open to persuasion and insists on not drinking the water one has led them too, even an advocate displaying the finesse of a Socrates and the patience of a Job will have little effect. The best that can be hoped for is that after one’s opponent has thoroughly rejected everything you’ve told them and called you an idiot into the bargain, a few months or years down the road you may find that they are plagiarizing you word for word while spouting to some third party the very views you had espoused and denying you ever said any such thing.

      • psile says:

        The best that can be hoped for is that after one’s opponent has thoroughly rejected everything you’ve told them and called you an idiot into the bargain, a few months or years down the road you may find that they are plagiarizing you word for word while spouting to some third party the very views you had espoused and denying you ever said any such thing.

        This indeed once happened to me! Lol…

    • MG says:

      The implosive development of the human populations (and of the human world) with the diminishing returns on invested labor and energy is hard to grasp for many.

      This is a very good way of describing its final result: “It’s like health – you only realize it exists until you don’t have it,” says Alejandro Macarron Larumbe, managing director of Demographic Renaissance, a think tank in Madrid.” Because you constantly think that you are ill, but in fact, being ill is something that will only come. You are part of the decline, the new normal, you can not escape it and become healthier, i.e. be and live the way you are told that the normal is based on the past upward curve of growth. You simply do not have the corresponding energy to be and live the way as it was before.

      I have a more precise comparison regarding the development towards diminishing returns: It is like reality turning firstly into drama and later into absurd drama. The energy producing and harvesting humans turn into energy consuming puppets. And when the energy securing human life is gone, these puppets are flushed away by the forces of nature retaking their lead in shaping the world.

    • Yorchichan says:

      If you understand that growth is nothing but a euphemism for “increased destruction of the environment”, then clearly it is possible to have growth without an increase in population. All it takes is for each individual to increase his or her destructiveness. I suppose there is an (unreachable) upper limit to the destructiveness of each individual.

      Increasing population obviously makes growth easier if sufficient environment still exists. Whatever the population is doing, once the environment is all gone there will be no more growth.

      • MG says:

        I would say that the term destruction denotes the dispersal of accumulated resources suitable for the exploitation by the humans. The destructed environment means that it does not contain accumulations suitable for the humans.

        In reality, there is nothing like the destructed environment. The new accumulations of resources (e.g. waste, pollution) constitute the environment more suitable for other species (bacteria, plants, animals).

        The humans view the word environment as the accumulation of the resources suitable for the humans. Based on that, we should be more specific and talk about the destruction of the environments suitable for the humans or the destruction of the environments suitable for other species.

        The human enviroments are created by the humans and with the help of the external energy.

        • Crates says:

          I very much agree with your point of view.

          Those who think that human beings are no more than a few destroyers, do not realize that this view is a kind of anthropocentrism.
          Everything grows in biology and dispels all energía.Y everything collapses when no longer able to dissipate more. It is a law of thermodynamics which you can not escape.
          In fact, one could say that this is the only real sense that life has.
          Bacteria dissipates faster and more energy than the sun (in proportion).
          The transformation of the ecosystem is part of this process of dissipation of energy, which is an imperative as I said before.

          In my opinion it is preferable to observe this natural phenomenon which we are protagonists in this age of the planet with dispassion, although this is sometimes very difficult to do.
          We are human … not gods.

      • Interesting way of putting the problem!

  29. dolph says:

    Fast Eddy, if Gail was trying to protect the integrity of the comments section, you would have been out a long time ago.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      Now imagine what would happen to FW if the John Galts that frequent this site decided to retire to the mountain hideaway….

      And left the commentary to you and the other Koombaya artists….

      Gail would end up on the looney bin within a week.

    • Jeremy says:

      Dolph as Fast Eddy would post+++++++++++++++
      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=UiQpOv3ks2Y

    • greg machala says:

      How would eliminating Fast Eddy’s comments protect the Integrity of the comments section? In what way? What if he is right?

      I like reading different styles and viewpoints on this board. I feel there are very few comments on here that degrade the integrity of the comments section of this board. This is a very good blog with well reasoned comments for the most part. Some are very blunt (Fast Eddy) but that is just his style.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        DelusiSTANI skulls can only be split with blows from heavy blunt weapons.

        CTG – would you like to borrow something from the armory?

        Your sharp knifes are meeting resistance

        • CTG says:

          I have resigned to the fact (years ago) that not many people can think at the macro level. Very very few. It is very frustrating indeed but then over time, I got used to it and I did not say much. A lot of what I have said panned out over the years. Before I came to this blog, I have been lurking around and see what others say. In all other sites, I don’t really read the news as those are old stories to me. Election rigging, market manipulation, financial crisis, collapse, etc. Those are nothing new to me but I am interested in what other people say in their comments. I want to see different points of view. I want to see how humanity has degenerated to the fact that internet trolls have to come in and say the opposite of what is happening, sometimes, so obscenely false.

          Fast Eddy (or Paul should I say so), in 2008, in very easy terms I told my friends and relatives that we are not solving any issues. We just keep on borrowing money to built the infrastructure and factories to manufacture widgets to the people of the world and they use debts to buy them. These factories are supplying “fake demand” as it is a demand that is made possible by debts. When people have no appetite for debts, these factories will be empty (demand is not real anyway) and the crash will be spectacular.

          Did anyone listen? No. In fact, I was shrugged. This is the “big picture” that I can see. When I had my evening stroll, I looked at the street lamps and said to myself : we humans lived for hundreds of thousands of years without street lamps. It is only less than 200 years ago where we have consistent electric street lamps. Our bodies are not “designed” for continuous lighting but will flow according to the circadian rhythm. That is why we have so much health problem. Then it dawned upon me that there are millions of street lamps across the world and the lights (energy) are just wasted. It lighted the street and no one is there. It is to prevent “thieves” from doing their work but do the thieves care? No, they will still go about their business with or without street lamps. Suddenly, my head aches a lot, thinking of all the energy wasted all over the world, lighting a road that no one use at 3am in the morning. The amount of energy wasted is so staggering and it is for no beneficial use at all. What more, the cost of laying the electric cable, the manufacture of the bulbs, the steel/concrete pole, the cost of transporting it and maintaining it? The amount of waste is so staggering just for street lamps.

          How many people will think about this when they see street lamps? Very very very few. I am totally not surprised at all if I am the only one. Nobody thinks of street lamps in the way that I do. They think it is a necessity.

          Same goes for political correctness and not being racist. Since time immemorial, humans are always a racist. We have barbarians and coloured people and all other type of people killing each other for aeons. It is just the last 20-30 years when we achieve :maximum comfort” with the use of fossil fuels that we have time to “think of stupid things like political correctness”. We have millions of energy slaves doing this work for us and that is why we have the idle time to think about all this nonsense that never existed at all 50 years ago. If we don’t have the luxury of fossil fuel, we would still be thinking where we should get the next meal and make sure that the “shorty tribe people in the next village” do not kill our goats. In Chinese, we have a saying – “eat full nothing to do”. Literal translations means that when you are full and nothing to do, you will come out with a weird and possibly stupid ideas. In the Anglo Saxon way – “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop”.

          • Tango Oscar says:

            Nicely written and I concur with all of your points. I’ve noticed for quite some time now that the only reason people feel that we’ve evolved on some perverted sense of morality scale is because we have the JIT fossil fuel-driven system that keeps us comfortable. Not many people will riot if there is beer in stores, food on shelves, and some wi-fi or Netflix to comfort them. Look at how placated, lethargic, and uninterested most Americans are now in anything outside of mindless entertainment.

            All of our gains in “ethics” and social justice for the masses are purely a result of abundance and exist only on paper. The moment things start to deteriorate, and we’re past that point now, you see political candidates like Trump incite homophobic, racial, and misogynistic attitudes from large heaps of more traditional white men. None of that stuff ever really went away and mow that the pie is shrinking all of that stuff is sure to raise its ugly head again. Basic psychological needs in humans demonstrates that when there is something to fight over we will divide ourselves up into any category that behooves us and attempt to fight from that vantage point. I’ve even seen people fighting one another vehemently over astrological signs before, lol.

          • greg machala says:

            I think the same way. I look at all the stuff we build (none of which could ever exist naturally) and am amazed by how far reaching fossil fuels really are. They touch almost every square mile of the USA. It drives my friends crazy when I point out reality to them. Some of my friends are home builders that think they are so talented. I asked them if they could build the same house without electricity or gas and they just laugh as if it is some sort of joke. People are so buried in the virtual reality of the world they were born into they think it is permanent. I always look at things from a very different perspective than anyone I know or have ever personally met.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            I am very much with you on all of this.

            I have often thought of moving to the most remote of remote places so that I could avoid the idiocy and pursue clarity of thought.. I am forced to compromise with Mrs Fast…. the beach shack will be as close as I will get to that….

        • doomphd says:

          Fast, could you please re-post your main references:

          Google engineers report in alt energy;
          Cubic mile of oil replacement;
          David Korowicz article on fast collapse.

          I need to review them for an upcoming seminar. Thanks.

          Doom

          • Fast Eddy says:

            Replacement of oil by alternative sources

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

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

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

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cubic_mile_of_oil

            Renewable energy ‘simply won’t work’: Top Google engineers
            Two highly qualified Google engineers who have spent years studying and trying to improve renewable energy technology have stated quite bluntly that whatever the future holds, it is not a renewables-powered civilisation: such a thing is impossible.
            Both men are Stanford PhDs, Ross Koningstein having trained in aerospace engineering and David Fork in applied physics. These aren’t guys who fiddle about with websites or data analytics or “technology” of that sort: they are real engineers who understand difficult maths and physics, and top-bracket even among that distinguished company.
            Even if one were to electrify all of transport, industry, heating and so on, so much renewable generation and balancing/storage equipment would be needed to power it that astronomical new requirements for steel, concrete, copper, glass, carbon fibre, neodymium, shipping and haulage etc etc would appear.
            All these things are made using mammoth amounts of energy: far from achieving massive energy savings, which most plans for a renewables future rely on implicitly, we would wind up needing far more energy, which would mean even more vast renewables farms – and even more materials and energy to make and maintain them and so on. The scale of the building would be like nothing ever attempted by the human race.
            In reality, well before any such stage was reached, energy would become horrifyingly expensive – which means that everything would become horrifyingly expensive (even the present well-under-one-per-cent renewables level in the UK has pushed up utility bills very considerably).
            http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/11/21/renewable_energy_simply_wont_work_google_renewables_engineers/
            http://techcrunch.com/2011/11/23/google-gives-up-on-green-tech-investment-initiative-rec/

            http://www.feasta.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Trade_Off_Korowicz.pdf

    • Tim Groves says:

      Dolph and Eddy. There’s plenty of room here for both of you. And since you both thrive on sparks, you are doubtless benefitting from the friction your exchanges generate. Good jousting partners you make and the rest of us can learn a lot from you as spectators.

  30. Yoshua says:

    LNG for transport

    http://www.shell.com/energy-and-innovation/natural-gas/lng-for-transport.html

    LNG for trucks

    Used in trucks delivering goods, LNG has the potential to offer fuel cost savings when compared to conventional diesel.

    • Don says:

      Diesel fuel efficiency is twice that of LNG. Trucks will need to refuel twice as often and take more time refueling, this according to Alice J Friedemann in her book ‘When Trucks Stop Running’. Costs for LNG trucks can run up to $100,000 more than their diesel equivalents. And there’s the question as to whether enough natural gas can be made available for transport when considering how much of current supply is already spoken for, so to speak.

      • greg machala says:

        It does seem that our industrial model is maxed-out.

      • Yoshua says:

        The end of the oil age will take away one third of the energy available for the global economy, which will take away one third of the global economy. This wont of course happen over night but gradually.

        But the question is: will two thirds of the global economy survive this change if the change is gradual ? Or will half of the global economy survive if there are efficiency problems and high costs associated to the LNG switch ?

        Or will the global economy implode all together ?

        • as i see it, the global economy as it is now is a fixed entity

          it cannot be divided into fractions.

          in the crash of 08/9, just a small percentage was removed, this caused an almost terminal wobble—ie the wheels almost came off.
          as out future rolls on, these wobbles will increase because the ”forward motion” of the ”economy”cannot be sustained, because necessary hydrocarbon energy input cannot be sustained.

          take away hydrocarbon input and we go back to a farmcart economy

          that farmcart economy supported a billion people, not 7 billion.
          the arithmetic is very stark.

          the end of the oil age will take away the living of almost everyone. I wish the electricity fantasy could be dispensed with—it aint going to happen.
          the only people not affected will those still living an aboriginal lifestyle—who will heave a collective sigh of relief and say ”i toldya so”

          • Yoshua says:

            The transformation from oil to gas will of course cause enormous stress to the financial system. The financial system today is not the same as it was in 2008. Today the Fed is buying T-bills and in a way they are now financing the US government who in reality can now borrow at no cost.

            There will of course be a lot of economic damage to the economy. Parts of the economy will burn down. But if there is gas and coal equal to half of todays economy, then I just can’t see that the economy would collapse to zero.

            At some point in the future when the economy finds this new lower equilibrium there could perhaps be some kind of monetary reset where the Fed who now holds the entire government debt just presses the delete button.

            The tricky part would perhaps to keep the Wall Street banks alive. The government would be forced to keep them alive with bail outs and the Fed provide them with liquidity as the banks balance sheets burn down to half of today.

            Well… I don’t know… maybe there are a group of men and women somewhere in a ivory tower with perfect knowledge of everything who knows exactly how to do this ?

            • our ”economy” pays wages at a given rate—you get paid enough to buy food/house/car/ whatever at todays prices.

              That is the level we are at—you cannot revert to the 1930s.

              Cut that in half and you have a choice:
              1..your employment continues as it is, and 50% of the world population becomes unemployed
              2—you agree to cut your living standard in half, so everybody has a job.

              but if you cut your living standard in half, your future debts (mortgage/pension or whatever) cannot be met.—so the social system where you are collapses.
              if everyone earns half todays living wage, that does not reduce the cost of the ”stuff” we live on, particularly food, because food is a derivative of oil, and oil is in depletion and will cost more as it gets harder to extract.
              Neither will the global trading enterprise cut itself in half—particularly arab oil

              The Fed and banks ultimately have nothing to do with it., and neither is there anything we can do about it—we will bumble on till the crash, then the survivors will blame everyone but themselves.

              We have locked ourselves into a system from which there is no escape, anymore than a culture in a petri dish can plan an escape to an uninhabited petri dish.
              We will consume all that is available—-then, that’s all folks!!!!
              Makes your brain hurt doesn’t it?

          • Fast Eddy says:

            who will heave a collective sigh of relief and say ”i toldya so”

            Funny how societies denigrate such people…..

        • Coal production has already peaked. Getting along without coal and oil is a lot worse than getting along without oil alone.

    • Don says:

      Gas turbine locomotive engines alone cost $2 million, the price of an entire diesel locomotive and the fuel tender car cost an additional million. The same fuel density ineffiencies exist, half the punch of diesel fuel. There is a 12% fuel loss during the refueling process and you can imagine the hazards of a derailed fuel tender.

      • doomphd says:

        I think the natural gas build-out has been put on indefinate hold after realization that the extra decade gained is not worth the retrofitting of the fleet, which would probably take that long or longer.

        • Yoshua says:

          The natural gas reserves will deplete a decade after the oil reserves depletes ?

          • In the gas retrofit sector there are several options, LNG, CNG and few others. Some are more conforming in terms of overhauling the non electrified rail networks in places where it doesn’t exist or doesn’t cover the key routes, btw don’t forget some countries push for near ~100% electrification instead (for a host of FW/autarky reasons). However, there is a different situation for heavy and light trucks as well, since the weight/size/price of the gas kit is a bigger issue than on train or gas converted canal river boat etc. And yet further differentiated preferences exist at the smallest passenger carz or local delivery van segment. Obviously, in countries with little to no compressed gas legacy infrastructure (and no domestic gas source), such migration is very cost prohibitive at today’s fuel prices, but other places with different path dependencies and tax structure not so much..

            Funnily enough, there are at least three companies now producing diesel engine retrofits for single and twin piston private aircraft. So when the large part of the lesser nobility would have to abandon their private high flying altitude jets eating tons of fuel – crossing hemispheres in half a day lifestyle, they will have nice backup to fall on, no shower and full sized bed on the board though, but comfy enough, and still relatively good range radius, for deglobalized world’s needs anyway.

            • Yoshua says:

              I don’t know what the future will look like, but it’s a bit hard to imagine that a natural gas rich nations like Russia will simply just lay down and die when they run out of oil.

            • They don’t run out of oil. The price drops too low. Or the banks fail, and no one can be paid.

              This slide shows oil production, consumption and prices for the Former Soviet Union.
              Former Soviet Union oil production, consumption and price

              This slide shows consumption of fuels other than oil. Coal and gas dropped at the same time as oil did. The problem is that we are dealing with a networked system. It is a Liebig’s Law of the Minimum problem. If a country is short of one fuel, it becomes difficult to use the others add well.

              Former Soviet Union consumption of fuels other than oil

          • doomphd says:

            Per ASPO, the global natural gas production peak is about a decade further off than the oil peak (ca. 2010 +/- 5). I think that’s why talk of the LNG economy never got past the planning stages.

            • Yoshua says:

              For a moment I thought there was a glimmer of hope. Back to gloom. The global economy goes down the hole. Perhaps some regions with gas reserves that will survive ? Russia and Iran ?

    • DJ says:

      Is this the same Shell that is bleeding money, or the other one?

      http://crudeoilpeak.info/royal-dutch-shells-upstream-earnings-peaked-2008-now-in-the-red

    • Fast Eddy says:

      Stop paying off the people so they do not murder you …. then use the money to buy a super yacht.

      One would assume this fellow is going to sail off into the sunset on the yacht – because life is about to become very perilous for him if he sticks around…

      G-Had.com has him on their top 10 list