The “Wind and Solar Will Save Us” Delusion

The “Wind and Solar Will Save Us” story is based on a long list of misunderstandings and apples to oranges comparisons. Somehow, people seem to believe that our economy of 7.5 billion people can get along with a very short list of energy supplies. This short list will not include fossil fuels. Some would exclude nuclear, as well. Without these energy types, we find ourselves with a short list of types of energy — what BP calls Hydroelectric, Geobiomass (geothermal, wood, wood waste, and other miscellaneous types; also liquid fuels from plants), Wind, and Solar.

Unfortunately, a transition to such a short list of fuels can’t really work. These are a few of the problems we encounter:

[1] Wind and solar are making extremely slow progress in helping the world move away from fossil fuel dependence.

In 2015, fossil fuels accounted for 86% of the world’s energy consumption, and nuclear added another 4%, based on data from BP Statistical Review of World Energy. Thus, the world’s “preferred fuels” made up only 10% of the total. Wind and solar together accounted for a little less than 2% of world energy consumption.

Figure 1. World energy consumption based on data from BP 2016 Statistical Review of World Energy.

Our progress in getting away from fossil fuels has not been very fast, either. Going back to 1985, fossil fuels made up 89% of the total, and wind and solar were both insignificant. As indicated above, fossil fuels today comprise 86% of total energy consumption. Thus, in 30 years, we have managed to reduce fossil fuel consumption by 3% (=89% – 86%). Growth in wind and solar contributed 2% of this 3% reduction. At the rate of a 3% reduction every 30 years (or 1% reduction every ten years), it will take 860 years, or until the year 2877 to completely eliminate the use of fossil fuels. And the “improvement” made to date was made with huge subsidies for wind and solar.

Figure 2. World electricity generation by source based on BP 2016 Statistical Review of World Energy.

The situation is a little less bad when looking at the electricity portion alone (Figure 2). In this case, wind amounts to 3.5% of electricity generated in 2015, and solar amounts to 1.1%, making a total of 4.6%. Fossil fuels account for “only” 66% of the total, so this portion seems to be the place where changes can be made. But replacing all fossil fuels, or all fossil fuels plus nuclear, with preferred fuels seems impossible.

[2] Grid electricity is probably the least sustainable form of energy we have.

If we are to transition to a renewables-based economy, we will need to transition to an electricity-based economy, since most of today’s renewables use electricity. Such an economy will need to depend on the electric grid.

The US electric grid is often called the “World’s Largest Machine.” The American Society of Civil Engineers gives a grade of D+ to America’s energy system. It says,

America relies on an aging electrical grid and pipeline distribution systems, some of which originated in the 1880s. Investment in power transmission has increased since 2005, but ongoing permitting issues, weather events, and limited maintenance have contributed to an increasing number of failures and power interruptions.

Simply maintaining the electric grid is difficult. One author writes about the challenges of replacing aging steel structures holding up power lines. Another writes about the need to replace transformers, before they fail catastrophically and interrupt services. The technology to maintain and repair the transmission lines demands that fossil fuels remain available. For one thing, helicopters are sometimes needed to install or repair transmission lines. Even if repairs are done by truck, oil products are needed to operate the trucks, and to keep the roads in good repair.

Electricity and, in fact, electricity dispensed by an electric grid, is in some sense the high point in our ability to create an energy product that “does more” than fossil fuels. Grid electricity allows electric machines of all types to work. It allows industrial users to create very high temperatures, and to hold them as needed. It allows computerization of processes. It is not surprising that people who are concerned about energy consumption in the future would want to keep heading in the same direction as we have been heading in the past. Unfortunately, this is the expensive, hard-to-maintain direction. Storms often cause electrical outages. We have a never-ending battle trying to keep the system operating.

[3] Our big need for energy is in the winter, when the sun doesn’t shine as much, and we can’t count on the wind blowing.

Clearly, we use a lot of electricity for air conditioning. It is difficult to imagine that air conditioning will be a major energy use for the long-term, however, if we are headed for an energy bottleneck. There is always the possibility of using fans instead, and living with higher indoor temperatures.

In parts of the world where it gets cold, it seems likely that a large share of future energy use will be to heat homes and businesses in winter. To illustrate the kind of seasonality that can result from the use of fuels for heating, Figure 3 shows a chart of US natural gas consumption by month. US natural gas is used for some (but not all) home heating. Natural gas is also used for electricity and industrial uses.

Figure 3. US natural gas consumption by month, based on US Energy Information Administration.

Clearly, natural gas consumption shows great variability, with peaks in usage during the winter. The challenge is to provide electrical supply that varies in a similar fashion, without using a lot of fossil fuels.

[4] If a family burns coal or natural gas directly for winter heat, but then switches to electric heat that is produced using the same fuel, the cost is likely to be higher. If there is a second change to a higher-cost type of electricity, the cost of heat will be even greater.  

There is a loss of energy when fossil fuels or biomass are burned and transformed into electricity. BP tries to correct for this in its data, by showing the amount of fuel that would need to be burned to produce this amount of electricity, assuming a conversion efficiency of 38%. Thus, the energy amounts shown by BP for nuclear, hydro, wind and solar don’t represent the amount of heat that they could make, if used to heat apartments or to cook food. Instead, they reflect an amount 2.6 times as much (=1/38%), which is the amount of fossil fuels that would need to be burned in order to produce this electricity.

As a result, if a household changes from heat based on burning coal directly, to heat from coal-based electricity, the change tends to be very expensive. The Wall Street Journal reports, Beijing’s Plan for Cleaner Heat Leaves Villagers Cold:

Despite electricity subsidies for residential consumers, villagers interviewed about their state-supplied heaters said their overall costs had risen substantially. Several said it costs around $300 to heat their homes for the winter, compared with about $200 with coal.

The underlying problem is that burning coal in a power plant produces a better, but more expensive, product. If this electricity is used for a process that coal cannot perform directly, such as allowing a new automobile production plant, then this higher cost is easily  absorbed by the economy. But if this higher-cost product simply provides a previously available service (heating) in a more expensive manner, it becomes a difficult cost for the economy to “digest.” It becomes a very expensive fix for China’s smog problem. It should be noted that this change works in the wrong direction from a CO2 perspective, because ultimately, more coal must be burned for heating because of the inefficiency of converting coal to electricity, and then using that electricity for heating.

How about later substituting wind electricity for coal-based electricity? China has a large number of wind turbines in the north of China standing idle.  One problem is the high cost of erecting transmission lines that would transport this electricity to urban centers such as Beijing. Also, if these wind turbines were put in place, existing coal plants would operate fewer hours, causing financial difficulties for these coal generating units. If these companies need subsidies in order to continue paying their ongoing expenses (including payroll and debt repayment), this would create a second additional cost. Electricity prices would need to be higher, to cover these costs as well. A family who had difficulty affording heat with coal-based electricity would have an even greater problem affording wind-based electricity.

Heat for cooking and heat for creating hot water are similar to heat for keeping an apartment warm. It is less expensive (both in energy terms and in cost to the consumer) if coal or natural gas is burned directly to produce the heat, than if electricity is used instead. This again, has to do with the conversion efficiency of turning fossil fuels to electricity.

[5] Low energy prices for the consumer are very important. Unfortunately, many analyses of the benefit of wind or of solar give a misleading impression of their true cost, when added to the electric grid. 

How should the cost of wind and solar be valued? Is it simply the cost of installing the wind turbines or solar panels? Or does it include all of the additional costs that an electricity delivery system must incur, if it is actually to incorporate this intermittent electricity into the electric grid system, and deliver it to customers where it is needed?

The standard answer, probably because it is easiest to compute, is that the cost is simply the cost (or energy cost) of the wind turbines or the solar panels themselves, plus perhaps an inverter. On this basis, wind and solar appear to be quite inexpensive. Many people have come to the conclusion that a transition to wind and solar might be helpful, based on this type of limited analysis.

Unfortunately, the situation is more complicated. Perhaps, the first few wind turbines and solar panels will not disturb the existing electrical grid system very much. But as more and more wind turbines or solar panels are added, there get to be additional costs. These include long distance transmission, electricity storage, and subsidies needed to keep backup electricity-generation in operation. When these costs are included, the actual total installed cost of delivering electricity gets to be far higher than the cost of the solar panels or wind turbines alone would suggest.

Energy researchers talk about the evaluation problem as being a “boundary issue.” What costs really need to be considered, when a decision is made as to whether it makes sense to add wind turbines or solar panels? Several other researchers and I feel that much broader boundaries are needed than are currently being used in most published analyses. We are making plans to write an academic article, explaining that current Energy Return on Energy Invested (EROEI) calculations cannot really be compared to fossil fuel EROEIs, because of boundary issues. Instead, “Point of Use” EROEIs are needed. For wind and solar, Point of Use EROEIs will vary with the particular application, depending on the extent of the changes required to accommodate wind or solar electricity. In general, they are likely to be far lower than currently published wind and solar EROEIs. In fact, for some applications, they may be less than 1:1.

A related topic is return on human labor. Return on human labor is equivalent to how much a typical worker can afford to buy with his wages. In [4], we saw a situation where the cost of heating a home seems to increase, as a transition is made from (a) burning coal for direct use in heating, to (b) using electricity created by burning coal, to (c) using electricity created by wind turbines. This pattern is eroding the buying power of workers. This direction ultimately leads to collapse; it is not the direction that an economy would generally intentionally follow. If wind and solar are truly to be helpful, they need to be inexpensive enough that they allow workers to buy more, rather than less, with their wages.

[6] If we want heat in the winter, and we are trying to use solar and wind, we need to somehow figure out a way to store electricity from summer to winter. Otherwise, we need to operate a double system at high cost.

Energy storage for electricity is often discussed, but this is generally with the idea of storing relatively small amounts of electricity, for relatively short periods, such as a few hours or few days. If our real need is to store electricity from summer to winter, this will not be nearly long enough.

In theory, it would be possible to greatly overbuild the wind and solar system relative to summer electricity needs, and then build a huge amount of batteries in order to store electricity created during the summer for use in the winter. This approach would no doubt be very expensive. There would likely be considerable energy loss in the stored batteries, besides the cost of the batteries themselves. We would also run the risk of exhausting resources needed for solar panels, wind turbines, and/or batteries.

A much more workable approach would be to burn fossil fuels for heat during the winter, because they can easily be stored. Biomass, such as wood, can also be stored until needed. But it is hard to find enough biomass for the whole world to burn for heating homes and for cooking, without cutting down an excessively large share of the world’s trees. This is a major reason why moving away from fossil fuels is likely to be very difficult.

[7] There are a few countries that use an unusually large share of electricity in their energy mixes today. These countries seem to be special cases that would be hard for other countries to emulate.

Data from BP Statistical Review of World Energy indicates that the following countries have the highest proportion of electricity in their energy mixes.

  • Sweden – 72.7%
  • Norway – 69.5%
  • Finland – 59.9%
  • Switzerland – 57.5%

These are all countries that have low population and a significant hydroelectric supply. I would expect that the hydroelectric power is very inexpensive to produce, especially if the dams were built years ago, and are now fully paid for. Sweden, Finland, and Switzerland also have electricity from nuclear providing about a third of each of their electricity supplies. This nuclear electricity was built long ago, and thus is now paid for as well. The geography of countries may also reduce the use of traffic by cars, thus reducing the portion of gasoline in their energy mixes. It would be difficult for other countries to create equivalently inexpensive large supplies of electricity.

In general, rich countries have higher electricity shares than poorer countries:

  • OECD Total – (Rich countries) – 2015 – 44.5%
  • Non- OECD (Less rich countries) – 2015 – 39.3%

China is an interesting example. Its share of energy use from electricity changed as follows from 1985 to 2015:

  • China – 1985 – 17.5%
  • China – 2015 – 43.6%

In 1985, China seems to have used most of its coal directly, rather than converting it for use as electricity. This was likely not difficult to do, because coal is easy to transport, and it can be used for many heating needs simply by burning it. Later, industrialization allowed for much more use of electricity. This explains the rise in its electricity ratio to 43.6% in 2015, which is almost as high as the rich country ratio of 44.5%. If the electricity ratio rises further, it will likely be because electricity is being put to use in ways where it has less of a cost advantage, or even has a cost disadvantage, such as for heating and cooking.

[8] Hydroelectric power is great for balancing wind and solar, but it is available in limited quantities. It too has intermittency problems, limiting how much it can be counted on. 

If we look at month-to-month hydroelectric generation in the US, we see that it too has intermittency problems. Its high month is May or June, when snow melts and sends hydroelectric output higher. It tends to be low in the fall and winter, so is not very helpful for filling the large gap in needed electricity in the winter.

Figure 4. US hydroelectric power by month, based on data of the US Energy Information Administration.

It also has a problem with not being very large relative to our energy needs. Figure 5 shows how US hydro, or the combination of hydro plus solar plus wind (hydro+S+W), matches up with current natural gas consumption.

Figure 5. US consumption of natural gas compared to hydroelectric power and compared to hydro plus wind plus solar (hydro+W+S), based on US Energy Information Administration data.

Of course, the electricity amounts (hydro and hydro+S+W) are “grossed up” amounts, showing how much fossil fuel energy would be required to make those quantities of electricity. If we want to use the electricity for heating homes and offices, or for cooking, then we should compare the heat energy of natural gas with that of hydro and hydro+S+W. In that case, the hydro and hydro+S+W amounts would be lower, amounting to only 38% of the amounts shown.

This example shows how limited our consumption of hydro, solar, and wind is compared to our current consumption of natural gas. If we also want to replace oil and coal, we have an even bigger problem.

[9] If we need to get along without fossil fuels for electricity generation, we would have to depend greatly on hydroelectric power. Hydro tends to have considerable variability from year to year, making it hard to depend on.

Nature varies not just a little, but a lot, from year to year. Hydro looks like a big stable piece of the total in Figures 1 and 2 that might be used for balancing wind and solar’s intermittency, but when a person looks at the year by year data, it is clear that the hydro amounts are quite variable at the country level.

Figure 6. Electricity generated by hydroelectric for six large European countries based on BP 2016 Statistical Review of World Energy.

In fact, hydroelectric power is even variable for larger groupings, such as the six countries in Figure 6 combined, and some larger countries with higher total hydroelectric generation.

Figure 7. Hydroelectricity generated by some larger countries, and by the six European countries in Figure 6 combined, based on BP 2016 Statistical Review of World Energy.

What we learn from Figures 6 and 7 is that even if a great deal of long distance transmission is used, hydro will be variable from year to year. In fact, the variability will be greater than shown on these charts, because the quantity of hydro available tends to be highest in the spring, and is often much lower during the rest of the year. (See Figure 4 for US hydro.) So, if a country wants to depend on hydro as its primary source of electricity, that country must set its expectations quite low in terms of what it can really count on.

And, of course, Saudi Arabia and several other Middle Eastern countries don’t have any hydroelectric power at all. Middle Eastern countries tend not to have biomass, either. So if these countries choose to use wind and solar to assist in electrical generation, and want to balance their intermittency with something else, they pretty much need to use something that is locally available, such as natural gas. Other countries with very low amounts of hydro (or none at all) include Algeria, Australia, Bangladesh, Denmark, Netherlands, and South Africa.

These issues provide further reasons why countries will want to continue using fossil fuels, and perhaps nuclear, if they can.

[10] There has been a misunderstanding regarding the nature of our energy problem. Many people believe that we will “run out” of fossil fuels, or that the price of oil and other fuels will rise very high. In fact, our problem seems to be one of affordability: energy prices don’t rise high enough to cover the rising cost of producing electricity and other energy products. Adding wind and solar tends to make the problem of low commodity prices worse.   

Ultimately, consumers can purchase only what their wages will allow them to purchase. Rising debt can help as well, for a while, but this has limits. As a result, lack of wage growth translates to a lack of growth in commodity prices, even if the cost of producing these commodities is rising. This is the opposite of what most people expect; most people have never considered the possibility that peak energy will come from low prices for all types of energy products, including uranium. Thus, we seem to be facing peak energy demand (represented as low prices), arising from a lack of affordability.

We can see the problem in the example of the Beijing family with a rising cost of heating its apartment. Economists would like to think that rising costs translate to rising wages, but this is not the case. If rising costs are the result of diminishing returns (for example, coal is from deeper, thinner coal seams), the impact is similar to growing inefficiency. The inefficient sector needs more workers and more resources, leaving fewer resources and workers for other more efficient sectors. The result is an economy that tends to contract because of growing inefficiency.

If we want to operate a double system, using wind and solar when it is available, and using fossil fuels at other times, the cost will be very high. The problem arises because the fossil fuel system has many fixed costs. For example, coal mines and natural gas companies need to continue to pay interest on their loans, or they will default. Pipelines need to operate 365 days per year, regardless of whether they are actually full. The question is how to get enough funding for this double system.

One pricing system for electricity that doesn’t work well is the “market pricing system” based on each producer’s marginal costs of production. Wind and solar are subsidized, so they tend to have negative marginal costs of production. It is impossible for any other type of electricity producer to compete in this system. It is well known that this system does not produce enough revenue to maintain the whole system.

Sometimes, additional “capacity payments” are auctioned off, to try to fix the problem of inadequate total wholesale electricity prices. If we believe the World Nuclear Organization, even these charges are not enough. Several US nuclear power plants are scheduled for closing, indirectly because this pricing methodology is making older nuclear power plants unprofitable. Natural gas prices have also been too low for producers in recent years. This electricity pricing methodology is one of the reasons for this problem as well, in my opinion.

A different pricing system that works much better in our current situation is the utility pricing system, or “cost plus” pricing. In this system, prices are determined by regulators, based on a review of all necessary costs, including appropriate profit margins for producers. In the case of a double system, it allows prices to be high enough to cover all the needed costs, including the extra long distance transmission lines, plus all of the high fixed costs of fossil fuel and nuclear power plants, operating for fewer hours per year.

Of course, these much higher electricity rates eventually will become unaffordable for the consumer, leading to a cutback in purchases. If enough of these cutbacks in purchases occur, the result will be recession. But at least the electricity system doesn’t fail at an early date because of inadequate profits for its producers.

Conclusion

The possibility of making a transition to an all-renewables system seems virtually impossible, for the reasons I have outlined above. I have outlined many other issues in previous posts:

The topic doesn’t seem to go away, because it is appealing to have a “solution” to what seems to be a predicament with no solution. In a way, wind and solar are like a high-cost placebo. If we give these to the economy, at least people will think we are treating the problem, and maybe our climate problem will get a little better.

Meanwhile, we find more and more real life problems with intermittent renewables. Australia has had a series of blackouts. A several-hour blackout in South Australia was tied partly to the high level of intermittent energy on the grid. The ways of reducing future recurrences appear to be very expensive.

Antonio Turiel has written about the problems that Spain is encountering. Spain added large amounts of wind and solar, but these have not been available during a recent cold spell. It added gas by pipeline from Algeria, but now Algeria has cut back on the amount it is supplying. It has added transmission lines north to France. Now, Turiel is concerned that Spain’s electricity prices will be persistently higher, because he believes that France has not taken sufficient preparations to meet its own electricity needs. If there were little interconnectivity between countries, France’s electricity problems would stay in France, rather than adversely affecting its neighbors. A person begins to wonder: Can transmission lines have an adverse impact on new electricity supply? If a country can hope that “the market” will supply electricity from elsewhere, does that country take adequate steps to provide its own electricity?

In my opinion, the time has come to move away from believing that everything that is called “renewable” is helpful to the system. We now have real information on how expensive wind and solar are, when indirect costs are included. Unfortunately, in the real world, high-cost is ultimately a deal killer, because wages don’t rise at the same time. We need to understand where we really are, not live in a fairy tale world produced by politicians who would like us to believe that the situation is under control.

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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2,531 Responses to The “Wind and Solar Will Save Us” Delusion

  1. Glenn Stehle says:

    It looks like the climate change industry just got banished to Siberia for the next four years, and if Trump can make good on his promise of “jobs, jobs, jobs,” for at least the next eight years.

    • unfortunately, usa jobs will require (one assumes) minimum wages levels

      but everyone has got used to buying goods made with low wages, imported into a high wage economy

      thus when the goods stop being made cheaply elsewhere, no one will be able to afford them when they are made by high wages earners

      thus the jobs will evaporate

      • Glenn Stehle says:

        With Trump three of the pillars of neoliberalism — free flow of goods and services, free flow of capital, and free flow of labor — are under attack.

        It’s a real eye-opener to see how much of the left has joined hands with neoliberal-neocon gurus like John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio — in one grand Democratic-Republican Uniparty — to not only throw labor under the bus, but to defend the criminal activities of the deep state to make sure that labor never regains its political voice.

        Elites and their water boys like John McCain and Churck Shumer like illegal immigration because it not only degrades the workplace, but keeps wages low too.

        The Deadly Reality of Construction Work
        http://inthesetimes.com/working/entry/19911/the_deadly_reality_of_construction_work/

      • worldofhanumanotg
        worldofhanumanotg says:

        Not necessarily, if the “shtf” plan of this faction is to enact trade barriers, border barriers of low wage migrants, mandate return of some specific industrial production, selective enforcement of power (instead of full spectrum global dominance) – the world simply brakes down into several semi enclosed entities or zones again. So, in that model the US worker is not directly competing with Chinese or wider Asian worker anymore, at least in selected/preferred industries.

        I’ll be crucified here for saying that, but this is very much on the table with several other of the top probability scenarios for the near/midterm future. Reality is about what is likely going to be attempted for the next few decades, not about what must some day/decade/century occur. Simply, if the unilateral global order steered from the US node citadel is no longer practical and or feasible to maintain, the next best option is let it fracture into multi zone order in which the US node masters can keep some portion of the global resources for themselves, i.e. securing at least some fiefdoms and its particular sphere of influence, instead of running the risk of disorderly collapsing it all. Obviously it means also jettison some of the beggars, which will be no longer supported.

        This is classic case of imperial over reach, followed by rising up “underdog faction demanding order” performing attempted glide path instead of overnight full scale implosion.

        I’m not positive on the long term viability or claiming it is solving all the myriad of problems we discuss here, no it’s just a can kicking effort via changing the playground.

        • Glenn Stehle says:

          Here’s a portrait of Trump by a left-winger, but a left-winger that hails from the old left, not the new neoliberal left that threw labor under the bus.

          President Trump: Nationalist Capitalism, An Alternative to Globalization
          http://petras.lahaine.org/?p=2126

          Trump’s opposition to ‘globalization’ has been conflated by the garbage journalists of the Washington Post as a dire threat to the ‘the post-Second World War economic order’. In fact, vast changes have already rendered the old order obsolete and attempts to retain it have led to crises, wars and more decay. Trump has recognized the obsolete nature of the old economic order and stated that change is necessary…..

          In recent decades, Russia was drastically transformed from a powerful collectivist economy to a capitalist vassal-gangster oligarchy and more recently to a reconstituted mixed economy and strong central state. China has been transformed from a collectivist economy, isolated from world trade, into the world’s second most powerful economy, displacing the US as Asia and Latin America’s largest trading partner….

          Despite the transformation of the world order, recent US presidents have failed to recognize the need to re-organize the American political economy. Instead of recognizing, adapting and accepting shifts in power and market relations, they sought to intensify previous patterns of dominance through war, military intervention and bloody destructive ‘regime changes’ – thus devastating, rather than creating markets for US goods…

          Under the previous administrations, Washington ignored Russia’s resurrection, recovery and growth as a regional and world power. When reality finally took root, previous US administrations increased their meddling among the Soviet Union’s former allies and set up military bases and war exercises on Russia’s borders. Instead of deepening trade and investment with Russia, Washington spent billions on sanctions and military spending – especially fomenting the violent putchist regime in Ukraine. Obama’s policies promoting the violent seizure of power in Ukraine, Syria and Libya were motivated by his desire to overthrow governments friendly to Russia – devastating those countries and ultimately strengthening Russia’s will to consolidate and defend its borders and to form new strategic alliances.

          Early in his campaign, Trump recognized the new world realities and proposed to change the substance, symbols, rhetoric and relations with adversaries and allies – adding up to a New Economy.

          First and foremost, Trump looked at the disastrous wars in the Middle East and recognized the limits of US military power: The US could not engage in multiple, open-ended wars of conquest and occupation in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia without paying major domestic costs.

          Secondly, Trump recognized that Russia was not a strategic military threat to the United States. Furthermore, the Russian government under Vladimir Putin was willing to cooperate with the US to defeat a mutual enemy – ISIS and its terrorist networks. Russia was also keen to re-open its markets to the US investors, who were also anxious to return after years of the Obama-Clinton-Kerry imposed sanctions. Trump, the realist, proposes to end sanctions and restore favorable market relations.

          Thirdly, it is clear to Trump that the US wars in the Middle East imposed enormous costs with minimal benefits for the US economy….

          The Garbage Journalists claim that Trump has adopted a new bellicose stance toward China and threatens to launch a ‘protectionist agenda’, which will ultimately push the trans-Pacific countries closer to Beijing. On the contrary, Trump appears intent on renegotiating and increasing trade via bilateral agreements….

          Trump’s realism reflect the new economic order: China is a mature, highly competitive, world economic power, which has been out-competing the US, in part by retaining its own state subsidies and incentives from its earlier economic phase. This has led to significant imbalances. Trump, the realist, recognizes that China offers great opportunities for trade and investment if the US can secure reciprocal agreements, which lead to a more favorable balance of trade.

          Trump does not want to launch a ‘trade war’ with China, but he needs to restore the US as a major ‘exporter’ nation in order to implement his domestic economic agenda. The negotiations with the Chinese will be very difficult because the US importer-elite are against the Trump agenda and side with the Beijing’s formidable export-oriented ruling class.

          Trump is a market realist who recognizes that military conquest is costly and, in the contemporary world context, a losing economic proposition for the US. He recognizes that the US must turn from a predominant finance and import economy to a manufacturing and export economy….

          Trump views Russia as a potential economic partner and military ally in ending the wars in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Ukraine, and especially in defeating the terrorist threat of ISIS. He sees China as a powerful economic competitor, which has been taking advantage of outmoded trade privileges and wants to re-negotiate trade pacts in line with the current balance of economic power.

          Trump is a capitalist-nationalist, a market-imperialist and political realist, who is willing to trample on women’s rights, climate change legislation, indigenous treaties and immigrant rights. His cabinet appointments and his Republican colleagues in Congress are motivated by a militarist ideology closer to the Obama-Clinton doctrine than to Trumps new ‘America First’ agenda. He has surrounded his Cabinet with military imperialists, territorial expansionists and delusional fanatics.

          Who will win out in the short or long term remains to be seen. What is clear is that the liberals, Democratic Party hacks and advocates of Little Mussolini black shirted street thugs will be on the side of the imperialists and will find plenty of allies among and around the Trump regime.

        • i can agree with the main theme of what you’re saying

          but

          there are a few problems

          1:—everyone has to eat, 2/3000 cal per day, that is the bottom energy line below which we cannot go——-if a nation does go below it, mass starvation kicks in and you have violent revolution.

          2: ……If the main employment is expected to be in factories and non food producing jobs of whatever type, it must follow that food for everyone is being produced by non-human means—ie mechanical.

          3:…. the energy for those factories etc has to come from somewhere, or they cease to function.

          4:…cheap toasters and TVs from China are really imports of cheap energy, both fossil fuel and muscle

          5:…..Confining the entire production-consmption circle within ones’s own borders assumes infinite ‘cheap energy’ (as existed up to 1970 in USA), linked to infinite buying power of the people within the USA borders. (both these factors existed up to 1970)

          seen in that ‘infinity market’ context, it becomes obvious that the entire edifice must collapse in on itself, because the nation consumes its only source of feedstock (minerals and fuel)
          Nothing can be be exported because high cost labour/material cannot sell into a low wage economy elsewhere.

          the end result is obvious….after the implosion, everyone still has to eat, so the majority become field-hands—which is the situation that existed prior to the industrial revolution.
          the ‘industrial infrastructure’ of the last 200 years has existent not because of our inherent intellect, but because we developed the capacity to trade surplus energy in different forms

          with that capacity gone, we return to basic level food production

  2. Glenn Stehle says:

    A great example of how inextricably intertwined geopolitics are with energy politics.

    China Message to Trump With North Korea Coal Ban: Let’s Deal
    https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-02-19/china-s-message-to-trump-with-north-korea-coal-ban-let-s-deal

    China won two of the lease blocks auctioned by Mexico in the Gulf of Mexico in December. This is a HUGE blow to U.S. hegemony, and this in its own patio atras, or “back yard,” as US politicans have come to call the usually obsequious and obedient Mexico.

    Mexico’s defiance represents a blow to U.S. hegemony, the likes of which we haven’t seen since the days when Lazaro Cardenas was president of Mexico.

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

      Thanks! I hadn’t seen this.

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

      It is almost necessary to combine January-February data for China, with the changing lunar new year.

  3. Glenn Stehle says:

    On the pessimissmoptimism spectrum, here’s a prediction that falls much farther along the optimism scale than what most peakists predict. MAGA.

    How to Make America Great Again with Domestic Energy Resources
    http://www.texasmonthly.com/energy/make-america-great-domestic-energy-resources/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Week%20in%20Texas%2002-18-17&utm_content=Week%20in%20Texas%2002-18-17+CID_e33a9de7fab7d9056ff54c58348cca07&utm_source=Campaign%20Monitor&utm_term=How%20to%20Make%20America%20Great%20Again%20with%20Domestic%20Energy%20Resources

    • I want to make it my mission to help break our nation’s historic and dangerous dependence on OPEC oil that threatens our economy, our environment and our national security.

    • Since the plan was launched in July of 2008, we’ve seen an incredible increase in domestic oil and natural gas production. The incredible ingenuity and innovation of private industry has led to a continued decline not just in the price of natural gas, and American crude oil, but of wind and solar electricity as well.

    • America is in the midst of an energy renaissance, and President Donald Trump will have the opportunity to set the nation on a course toward self-sufficiency.

    • Promote hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. There are about thirty oil- and natural-gas-producing states in America. In each of them, fracking has led to an increase in American production to nearly 9.5 million barrels of oil a day, and has increased known recoverable natural gas reserves enough to make the U.S. the world’s leader—more than Qatar, more than Russia, more than Saudi Arabia.

    • Work with industry, not against it. Federal and state agencies should have a policy of working with the oil and gas industry to improve any safety or environmental issues rather than unilaterally imposing new regulations without understanding the full effects, or punishing the industry with new taxes to pay for programs that have nothing to do with energy production.

    • Work with our allies. We ought to work with Mexico and Canada to establish a North American Energy Alliance to create an energy powerhouse that will never have to bow to the demands of OPEC again.

    • Build the electrical grid of the future. Electric vehicles aren’t going to replace oil and the internal combustion engine overnight. But renewable energy sources have a lot of potential, and we need a power grid capable of connecting those vehicles and everything else to the next generation of electricity generation.

    • Continue to research and develop new sources of energy. Wind and solar prices are going to continue to drop, and the middle of America is the “Saudi Arabia of Wind.” Texas has been a proven leader in this regard, topping the nation in wind power and renewable energy commercialization.

    • Remember: Energy is not a free market. Market forces are constantly being manipulated by central governments around the world that control about seventy percent of all oil production. America’s military protects Middle Eastern oil, costing American taxpayers tens of billions of dollars a year to ensure Europe, India, and China have secure access to oil supplies. The true cost of imported oil is not reflected at the pump.

    • Governments pick energy winners and losers all the time, whether it’s serving as the world’s oil police or providing natural gas to Central and Eastern Europe or subsidizing ethanol in the United States. It is time that we pick a winner, too: the United States of America.

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

      The problem is that we need more demand, not more supply.

  4. Duncan Idaho says:

    I take it the Great Lakes have been a bit warmer than usual?
    (probably Photoshop by Fat Al and Soros)
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C5Bx6yQWcAAMOdR.jpg

  5. adonis says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8ZJCtL6bPs this interview with Al bartlett is worth a look it is done 2009 i think he talks about renewable energy not being the solution, all the things that Gail has pointed out along with his opinions on many common topics discussed on OFW. He even admits near the end of the interview at the 51minutes and 35 seconds mark the reluctant truth through the statement ” is it possible to have a better life without growth i think so yes it has to be possible if it isn’t we’re all doomed it has to be possible” When he said that it blew me away.

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

      Thanks! You notice I named my site “OurFiniteWorld.com”. I was looking at pretty much the same problems as Al Bartlett.

      It is amazing how many actuaries did not figure out that pensions cannot really be funded assuming annual growth of some high percentage. At one point, percentages over 10% were used. I didn’t work in the pension area, but the whole idea seemed absurd to me.

  6. MG says:

    The US household debt rising again:

    Household Debt Edges Up as Auto, Credit Card, and Student Debt Climb

    https://www.newyorkfed.org/microeconomics/hhdc

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

      If the debt starts heading down, we are in big trouble.

  7. MG says:

    The mountaineous, cold and isolated regions are costly to live in…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPSArbWmI5c

    …or they are depopulating:

  8. worldofhanumanotg
    worldofhanumanotg says:

    Occasionally ZH commentariat offers good stuff:
    from recent article ~Merkel blaims Draghi


    MaxDemon Feb 18, 2017 12:20 PM
    The Euro is far “too low” for Germany, but it isn’t Draghi’s fault, it is that way by design. The reason is that as a single currency the value is set by the GDP weighted average productivity. Germany as highest must be averaged DOWN. Note that this means the Euro is far too HIGH for the small and lower productivity countries like Greece as they will be averaged UP. The Euro is thus a big part of the reason Germany has been doing well, and the lower productivity countries have been falling further behind.

    The UK saw that flaw and refused to join the Euro, and now is getting out of the rest of the mess.

    France, although a large economy with relatively high productivity, is still behind Germany, and has been suffering from that. Many of them now want out.

    Greece wanted in partly so they could borrow money under terms close to those given to Germany, which they did for years. But they never stood a chance in the long term, and now they are broke (again), with the only long term cures being to get out or to become permanent wards of Germany.

    The Germans have a huge problem: they can pay now to support the mess, or they can pay when they are forced to go back to the DM and their currency advantage ends.

    None of this should surprise the “experts”.


    androkles MaxDemon Feb 18, 2017 12:30 PM
    agree, it was a plan

    Gilford MaxDemon Feb 18, 2017 3:21 PM
    I remember having drinks with a Bundesbank economist back in 2002-03. They absolutely knew they’d have an advantage. I just don’t think they knew it would end up this extreme. They just figured they could fly under the radar for decades.

  9. milan
    jerrylesac says:

    Learning about all of this peak oil stuff turns ones attention to the word rationing and why? Well, because with a cashless society what better way to ration out to everyone their allotment of bread for the day so to speak. It’s called livestock management and interestingly enough Catherine Austin Fitts over at the Solari blog says that this ultimately is what the US Government is doing. Her video is a must see 35 minute mark on especially: https://youtu.be/HCeEzmmCd5c

    Aaron Russo also mentioned this desire too, by way of implanting everyone with a chip for control https://youtu.be/7gwcQjDhZtI

    Is this then their answer to a finite world my dear Gail? They will simply RATION out to everyone their allotment of bread so to speak. The late Willard Cantelon summed it all up in his book The New Money System with his use of the word RATIONING!!!???

    Beginning then with this brings us to what is occurring in India and the demonetization that is currently under way. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/46274.htm#IDComment1037571445
    Reading the article brings up the word guinea pigs? The test case I presume for the rest of the world?

    and WOW that raises some serious questions and thoughts and O how the words of Dostoevsky rings through the ears:

    “Why hast Thou come now to hinder us? For Thou hast come to hinder us, and Thou knowest that… We are working not with Thee but with him [Satan]… We took from him what Thou didst reject with scorn, that last gift he offered Thee, showing Thee all the kingdoms of the earth. We took from him Rome and the sword of Caesar, and proclaimed ourselves sole rulers of the earth… We shall triumph and shall be Caesars, and then we shall plan the universal happiness of man.”

    and if that ultimately doesn’t lend a great deal of strength and credibility to the words:

    “And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
    and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” Rev. 13:16-17

    So this is where we are surely headed and as a lesson for us all Richards comment about the Spanish revolution should be taken seriously to heart:

    “I heard somewhere that during the Spanish revolution the rebels rid themselves of cash and the whole country was turned in a giant hippy camp where everyone simply survived by helping each other by trading their everyday needs like homegrown foods etc for whatever household goods they possessed and their physical abilities to contribute to whatever was needed! This apparently went on for three whole years and nobody ever died from starvation!”
    https://www.addtoany.com/share#url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.informationclearinghouse.info%2F46274.htm%23IDComment1037571445&title=%C2%A0%20India%20%E2%80%93%20Crime%20of%20the%20Century%20%E2%80%93%20Financial%20Genocide%C2%A0%20%3A%20Information%20Clearing%20House%20-%20ICH

    • worldofhanumanotg
      worldofhanumanotg says:

      rebels of that particular setup = common cause => temporary “groupier” and sharing in
      different era of stubborn people used to elevated daily physical output, limited food/water, higher share of local resource base, sporadic hygiene, ..

      vs.

      today’s absolutely atomized, fractured and hated factions across most of the societal layers, that means chaos of the very bad kind with not just two opposing parts, but several ones, loosely defined, most of them totally spoiled (not only in JIT food) and techno dependent, ..

  10. milan
    jerry says:

    Learning about all of this peak oil stuff turns ones attention to the word rationing and why? Well, because with a cashless society what better way to ration out to everyone their allotment of bread for the day so to speak. It’s called livestock management and interestingly enough Catherine Austin Fitts over at the Solari blog says that this ultimately is what the US Government is doing. Her video is a must see 35 minute mark on especially: https://youtu.be/HCeEzmmCd5c

    Aaron Russo also mentioned this desire too, by way of implanting everyone with a chip for control https://youtu.be/7gwcQjDhZtI

    Beginning then with this brings us to what is occurring in India and the demonetization that is currently under way. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/46274.htm#IDComment1037571445
    Reading the article brings up the word guinea pigs? The test case I presume for the rest of the world?

    Is this then their answer to a finite world my dear Gail? They will simply RATION out to everyone their allotment of bread so to speak. The late Willard Cantelon summed it all up in his book The New Money System with his use of the word RATIONING!!!???

    and WOW that raises some serious questions and thoughts and O how the words of Dostoevsky rings through the ears:

    “Why hast Thou come now to hinder us? For Thou hast come to hinder us, and Thou knowest that… We are working not with Thee but with him [Satan]… We took from him what Thou didst reject with scorn, that last gift he offered Thee, showing Thee all the kingdoms of the earth. We took from him Rome and the sword of Caesar, and proclaimed ourselves sole rulers of the earth… We shall triumph and shall be Caesars, and then we shall plan the universal happiness of man.”

    and if that ultimately doesn’t lend a great deal of strength and credibility to the words:

    “And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
    and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” Rev. 13:16-17

    So this is where we are surely headed and as a lesson for us all Richards comment about the Spanish revolution should be taken seriously to heart:

    “I heard somewhere that during the Spanish revolution the rebels rid themselves of cash and the whole country was turned in a giant hippy camp where everyone simply survived by helping each other by trading their everyday needs like homegrown foods etc for whatever household goods they possessed and their physical abilities to contribute to whatever was needed! This apparently went on for three whole years and nobody ever died from starvation!”
    https://www.addtoany.com/share#url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.informationclearinghouse.info%2F46274.htm%23IDComment1037571445&title=%C2%A0%20India%20%E2%80%93%20Crime%20of%20the%20Century%20%E2%80%93%20Financial%20Genocide%C2%A0%20%3A%20Information%20Clearing%20House%20-%20ICH

    • adonis says:

      jerry i dont want to burst your bubble by all means believe in the history books they must be 100% correct i beleive that humans are just too divided when things are not going their way i expect uncontrolled chaos when the financial system finally collapses if anyone does survive it will be a miracle.

      • milan
        jerry says:

        Yes Adonis, of course it will be chaos but governments will and are trying to deal with it in the best way they know how. Bankers have only one solution to it all and that is to control it all by any means necessary otherwise like the rest of us they to will be in the streets. It’s about control, it’s always about control isn’t it? I think nuclear weapons is what changed everything because not even bankers are safe anymore. So consider these people are not going to be immune to what’s coming and as the most {sic?} educated and privliiged of classes they will try and do something about it. Accordingly lets treat the masses as sheep.

        “We are grateful to the Washington Post, the New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost 40 years……It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supernational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national autodetermination practiced in past centuries.”
        ― David Rockefeller

        “For more than a century ideological extremists at either end of the political spectrum have seized upon well-publicized incidents such as my encounter with Castro to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and economic institutions. Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as ‘internationalists’ and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure–one world, if you will. If that’s the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.”

    • DJ says:

      They will ration e-money, not tangible stuff.

      People who work must get a larger ration.

      About 1:2:3 minimum cost of living : not very qualified full time worker : qualified college educated worker I think is minimum for keeping people from just standing in line for the handout.

      Potentially this could hold until the 1-level doesn’t cover necessities. We are already there in some new-poor countries. (in countries that has never been anything other than poor you can still cover necessities on almost no money, this is no longest true after starting to depend on running water, food imports, electric grid)

      • Justin Time says:

        So true. It’s not easy to rewind industrial civilisation and population growth. Imagine the US without food stamp program and other welfare. Where I am (spain) many survive and maintain appearance of wellbeing because of parents and grandpartents pensions. Without these buffers you would already be seeing a very different picture. The minute that there is even the faintest whiff of panic in the air people will be rushing to empty banks and horde whatever they have. The signal is out there. It is being emmitted. It just hasn’t been picked up yet by the majority. When it is… that’s when the dam breaks.

  11. dolph says:

    Furthering this line of thought just a little, wouldn’t collapse be worth it to see wall street and hollywood go bankrupt? The answer is yes.
    I’m not necessarily saying they will. If anything, the dynamics so far suggest that American empire and its trivialities are proving to be durable.
    I’m just saying that I myself have my resentments, and part of me wishes for collapse to get on with it, to see these people go out of their minds and lose it all.
    Trump was part of that, by the way. Remember that though he is rich, he wasn’t well liked by either the democrats or republicans. And that was the signal to the white proletariat to support him.

    • TimePeace says:

      Not worth thinking about. When it happens it will happen. My opinion is of no consequence. But if you want your time thinking about possibilities be my guest.
      Its your time.
      Humans have problem with doom period. They cant even accept their own mortality.
      Use your time as you best see fit.

    • Rainydays says:

      Don’t hold your breath waiting for collapse. People are resilient, even in Hollywood and Wall Street. You are the one wasting your time, not them, if you sit idle waiting for the end.

      Make the most of your days, try to create/cultivate relationships, search for deeper truths, read books, learn skills… try to not read doomer-blogs for a week!

    • worldofhanumanotg
      worldofhanumanotg says:

      Dolph, lets recall that important “inverse” graph going back to 14th century, the ~40yrs plus period correlating with stagnation and slowly falling share of labor on the overall wealth generated from 1970s till today vs the longish boom period since 19th century, then the present slowdown looks in the zoom out long term picture as nothing, such a small part of it. But we have to un/fortunately act according to our human scale, slow version of reality, where years and decades flow in drops, which are very dear to us. I doubt, there is anything like historical justice for individual sins, although there might be some notable exceptions. Instead what we usually got are consequences (blowbacks) pummeled and distributed in its effect on the entire society, which absorbs lessons in strange, often non permanent ways..

      Well, large part of the Wall St. is about corralling multi generational global wealth (not only the US node oriented), and they are diversified, so only the very unlikely events (big natural catastrophes) and supercycles, meaning here events occurring in span of several centuries, might affect them somehow profoundly. We are probably getting closer to paradigm shift, but there are lot of chairs and misery to be rearranged on the global deck still, before the dominant system is finished.

      Look how the Chinese were genuinely freaking out from the first days of Trump, they downplayed in their analysis the possibility this current form of globalism could be altered in their disadvantage on such a short notice and or before some of their strategic goals satisfied first. I’m not saying or hoping he will deliver, but the first effective scare was clearly there.

      This in my book showed, who has got the weaker hand, yes we can debate and speculate here for years how the faction in US gov/global deep state are infighting like cats while the US infrastructure becomes the most decrepit in industrialized world (in many measures worse than in UK, Russia, ..), how the Europe implodes along, how the “last shale” aka Permian gonna keep the plateau only next ~4yrs, how the top CBs nowadays openly buy and sanitize all the bonds and stocks in some sort of circle dance fashion; but that all still doesn’t change the fact the global money and power are favoring the US entity as the host organism, the node of preference. And the attempts to alternative route even at least since 1970s have been weak, stupid, wrongly timed or all of the above. From certain above perspective there is no rush.

      • xabier says:

        Scale is indeed everything:

        If you are wondering how to eat tomorrow, or whether you will lose the roof over your head, then 24 hours is an eternity.

        On the other hand, I have seen very rich people who have never suffered hunger or cold for a moment in their lives screwing themselves into anguished knots worrying about the value of their assets in 20 years time. So funny, I find it hard to keep a straight face.

        • xabier says:

          I always try to bear in mind that I was born naked, poor and protesting, and that if the end turns out to be similar, then it almost represents a perfect and just completion of the circle.

  12. kewaneeboiler
    kewaneeboiler says:

    Also, a “Gail approved” scientific article on the travails of biofuels. I came across it in the comments section at Question Everything (December 21, 2016 entry).
    http://www.readcube.com/articles/10.1140/epjp/i2017-11333-0?author_access_token=b4KIX2x7-wB9sc-L1Lod3IsPkCdkOxEKPl2JoxdvwqEoMphhzJYcWk1tYwgfUEnvsqzOAS8Gmvfevc_5iWaMOQKqxuaG0Z1NDvbtsXTf95Fxsw1XHkjWejlbCKy_8jdbUQaQfS4onT5LecWd8-USjw%3D%3D

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

      That is a great article! I highly recommend it.

  13. kewaneeboiler
    kewaneeboiler says:

    Here is a February 15 article on using solar arrays along railroad routes that currently are electrified. On the surface, it seems a good idea, as they explain. I wonder what the actual numbers would tell us: how many solar panels, maintenance costs, etc. Thoughts?
    https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2017/feb/15/solar-powered-trains-uk-india-renewables-tracks-electric

  14. Glenn Stehle says:

    Baker Hughes: US Drillers Add Oil Rigs For Fifth Straight Week
    http://www.rigzone.com/news/oil_gas/a/148556/Baker_Hughes_US_Drillers_Add_Oil_Rigs_For_Fifth_Straight_Week?utm_source=DailyNewsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=2017-02-17&utm_content=&utm_campaign=industry_headlines_3

    U.S. energy companies added oil rigs for a fifth straight week, extending a nine-month recovery as drillers take advantage of crude prices that have held mostly over $50 a barrel since OPEC agreed to cut supplies in late November….

    Since crude prices first topped $50 a barrel in May after recovering from 13-year lows last February, drillers have added a total of 281 oil rigs in 34 of the past 38 weeks, the biggest recovery in rigs since a global oil glut crushed the market over two years starting in mid 2014.

    .Shale oil production for March is expected to rise by nearly 79,000 barrels per day – the most in five months – to 4.87 million bpd, its highest rate since May last year, government data showed on Monday.

    Analysts said they expect U.S. energy firms to boost spending on drilling and pump more oil and natural gas from shale fields in coming years now that energy prices are projected to keep climbing.

    Futures for the balance of 2017 were trading around $54 a barrel, while calendar 2018 was fetching less than $54.50.

    BofA Merrill said this week U.S. shale oil production could grow by 3.5 million bpd to 2022, delivering more than 80 percent of incremental non-OPEC barrels.

    Shale producers, however, are facing their first production cost hike in five years as industry activity picks up and energy service providers hike fees to take a bigger share of the profits generated by higher oil prices. The break-even production costs will rise an average of $1.60 to $36.50 per barrel this year, according to data from Rystad Energy, which surveys producers.

    Analysts at U.S. financial services firm Cowen & Co said in a note this week that its capital expenditure tracking showed 37 exploration and production (E&P) companies planned to increase spending by an average of 45 percent in 2017 over 2016.

  15. Chris Dodgy says:

    I have encountered many who believe in “suppressed” technology that will yield free energy for all, A golden age once the greedy oligarch oil barons are disposed of, When I ask them to refute entropy a puzzled look comes to their face. Then they start eyeing me as a candidate for the guillotine. Viva la revolucion! Well I was wrong. I am big enough to admit when I am wrong . Here it is a clear refutation of entropy.
    https://www.liveleak.com/view?i=48f_1487375851

    • Tim Groves – Japan
      Tim Groves says:

      One variation on the belief is that “free energy” will be made available to everybody just as soon as the Elders work out how to tax it.

      • xray6 says:

        Not buying it. They can tax whatever they want. Taxation is a function of force, No one pays voluntarily. The threat of force is enough motive that all pay. If you got it you pay it. Even if the chance of discovery is small you still comply and pay. Who wants to share a cell with Bubba? No one so you pay.
        If a “free energy” source existed the “Elders” would have rolled it out long ago. The black goo was our free energy, We are ants in a sugar jar that is running on empty. Ants that have gone insane and think they are gods.

        • Justin Time says:

          “We are ants in a sugar jar that is running on empty. Ants that have gone insane and think they are gods.”

          There’s a lot of that goin’ around, that’s for sure.
          I often think that human beings on the whole are mentally ill. Most of the planet believes in one delusion or another. Most wars in history were avoidable. It takes a lot of effort, resources, organisation and belief in sky gods to go to war. More now than ever.

          Most human activity has become frivolous, superfluous, overly complex and wasteful. There is so much fat that we could trim but no one appears to want to do it. Our economies are made up of people serving coffee to each other… making weapons to kill each other too. When you stop to think about it, much of what we do is sheer insanity. Our children now spend much of their time glued to screens. The next step is subdermal biochips so that they’ll always be plugged in. In other words… no escape from the system.

          For a time, I wanted to believe in humanity. I really did. I gave it my best shot. But then I came to the realisation that if anything was to emerge from our human experiment it would not necessarily represent our better values – if we have any. Natural selection would choose the traits most appropriate for continuation of life. And that life could take any form – possibly with intelligence and cooperation as key aspects. Humanity could simply be a conduit for something that comes next. A vastly more efficient organism that ditches the superfluous and costly behaviour of our species. How much do we waste on makeup and tobacco with its related health costs? Most of our food goes to feeding animals. A tremendous waste. The same goes for all other industries. We are gluttonous wasteful creatures.

          If there was a remote possibility that some form of intelligence could carry the flame for life on this planet, I would bet that it would not be us. At least, not in this form with all our biological and mental and sociological baggage. We can’t even rise above skin colour for god’s sake! Or left and right, or red and blue, or whatever artificial divisions we create in our defective minds.

          There is no good or bad outcome. Only perspective. I truly believed our problems were solvable if only we could’ve all pulled in the same direction. Population could have been curbed, the growth economy revamped, energy issues solved had we not been suffering from a collective form of mental illness. Alas, it appears to be too late to cure this particular patient. Maybe, we’ll have better luck next time.

          • Artleads says:

            Do you ever read John Michael Greer’s blog? He (for one among quite a few) sees the dysfunctions you do, but brings different ways of thinking (and an incredible store of knowledge) to it.

            http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/

            If you don’t have time to check out the archived, rather long articles, just glancing through the blurbs on his books (listed on the right of the screen) you’d see whether his basic philosophic endeavors grip you or not.

            • Justin Time says:

              Thanks Artleads. Having a look at it now. Looks like interesting material.

              I’ve reached a point where a lot of the stuff that goes on in the world doesn’t make any sense to me at all. Maybe I’m an idealist, but in all seriousness… is this the best we can do?

    • Ert says:

      @Chris

      Yes its funny. I see a lot of people calming ‘alternative energy’ sources as ‘Tesla’ machines, ‘Space/Field-Energy’ and the like…. and a lot of people wanting to believe that.

      When I then ask those believing people: Please tell me: How expensive is a 1MW generating machine, how much Power-Input does it require and how much constant power-output do I get to how many years? And: How much maintenance / material-Input (and its cost) do I need in the first 10 years to keep that thing running.

      … I get no answer….. never. But those are the basic question of the machines energetic viability…. and most people without any clue are likely to believe anything which suites them to overcome their fears….

    • Well, just look at the electron, whizzing round all day and never running out of energy. How do you explain that? Just imagine if we could tap into that energy source. I expect Nikola Tesla had a good go. Maybe if he’d lived longer.

      Then there’s John Hutchison (not “Hutchinson”) and his Hutchison effect. Trouble is, we never get to see his contraptions from a distance when they’re supposedly working, just the “effects”. Though the twisted metal, also as seen after 9/11, is impressive. Apparently the Americans confiscated his home laboratory in Canada (he is Canadian) with the connivance of the Canadian authorities. Allegedly he later worked for the US military-industrial complex. Who really knows? Anyway:

      • xray-6 says:

        ” Who really knows? Anyway:”
        True dat.
        However this is what I have observed.
        These are the most common

        1;Energy inputs to extract and use product-which are larger than the energy contained in the product- are ignored.- example Hydrogen from water

        2;Blind faith in technology- the world is like star trek-technology is akin to magic.

        3;My friend had a free energy device(he had to destroy it so THEY did not get him).

        The commonality of all that hold these beliefs is a entitlement belief system. A belief in a religious entity or spirit is usually but not always involved.

        Another commonality is extreme anger and spite is usually but not always encountered when exploring beliefs. Avocation of free stuff = good person. Limits to free stuff= bad person.

        Lisa Simpson, we all know she is cool. Lisa has a perpetual motion machine. Homer, we all know he is a dolt. Homer believes in entropy.

        Be a Lisa don’t be a Homer! Reality be damned.

        Chicks dig free energy.

        In my opinion the core of the free energy crowds beliefs are adopted in order to deny the realities of a finite world. This allows entitlement and some use this strong desire for entitlement to scam. I have learned to stay far away from this topic. Other peoples lives are none of my business. Sometimes when all they do is advocate free energy I stay far away from them. Fanatics are dangerous.

        The flip side is the drill baby drill crowd. The party is eternal.

        99% of people fall in one tub or the other.

  16. dolph says:

    One thing we must caution ourselves against is whether we are psychologically hoping for collapse. I know many here may disagree, but doing so allows us to think that somebody else is going to get theirs any day now, while we in the know are all of a sudden going to become important, prosperous, etc.

    The only thing one can do is get up each and day and ask, what are the conditions of my life today. That’s it. Here in America, I would describe things as in a sort of permanent holding pattern, stabilized but in intensive care condition. Personally, speaking, though, I have collapsed. I have no friends or connections or means to obtain a higher income.

    • jarvis9077
      Jarvis says:

      Dolph, I just got back from a bike ride where I was reflecting on that very issue. I think with practice and sufficient wealth you can live in both worlds. I have a nice house in the city where I carry on business like it’s going to be going forever and the mr Hyde plans and builds up his doomstead. It’s a cool doomstead in the mountains with an amazing garden on a beautiful lake with lots of fish and elk and deer in the woods. My neighbours think I’m slightly odd but enjoy the vegetables and got a great laugh when my $40,000 electric car got towed to the scrap yard but I’m ok with that. It’s all therapy!!
      Now if I could just solve my problem of nightmares……..

    • Chris Harries – Tasmania
      Chris Harries says:

      A very prescient thought, Dolph. Thank you.

      Some of the eagerness for collapse to happen as soon as possible stems from a ‘Waiting For Godot’ (title of famous book) experience. I’ve been sitting on this collapse idea for some 40 years, knowing that at some time our rampant civilisation must hit hard limits, but not knowing when. I may even get to my grave without witnessing it. Someone else said that they look forward to it just out of intellectual curiosity, to witness how it’s going to play out. We, here on this blog, are probably all in that boat.

      A pathological desire to bring on collapse in part comes from this, but I think you may be suggesting that this idea is also mixed with the typical male sense of personal invincibility. For instance, when people advocate for a desirable crashing of world population to 2 billion or so, they subconsciously think of themselves as being alive at the end, not amongst those billions who are expended. (Those who are expended are those nuisance extras that are preventing us enjoy our nice lifestyle that is threatened by human numbers.)

      The aftermath of a major disruption is unpredictable, but will be no bed of roes. In a worst case disruption scenario the survivors may well be the unlucky ones.

    • sheilach2 – Retired, live in Oregon, enjoy nature photography, reading, the internet, paleontology, evolution & science in general. I am a "born again" ATHEIST! Ancient mythologies belong in the history books not still being practiced today by people who should know better.
      sheilach2 says:

      Actually the thought of collapse has me filling my pants almost every day!
      Like most here, I have seen what happens when a society collapses, I have read of past collapses & seen the piles of bodies strewn about those long dead streets, I’ve seen children, mothers & fathers slowly starving to death, out of reach of any help because of a siege. Anyone here remember Biafra? It tried to become separate from Nigeria, they were starved into submission, millions died, mostly of starvation.
      We got to watch it on TV, I don’t expect the next collapse to be televised.
      I don’t expect any supernatural help to show up at the last minute either.

    • worldofhanumanotg
      worldofhanumanotg says:

      Dolph, that’s sober line of thought.
      As we know from history, usually after severe dislocation and its chaos, the next temporary plateau is organized and ruled by just another faction gang of psychos. We can think of it as there is always some B, C, D, .. team waiting in the shadows to grab the proverbial one of the lifetime opportunity, disregarding or sometimes even enjoy whatever the human and or moral cost be paid. That’s frightening, but that’s life, unfortunately..

      I guess, we have here several types of instadoomers, one category wishing for a sudden sort of merciless end of it, and the other one even perhaps looking for quick profit as -soon as possible, not much fun (re-)gaining new prestige at age 70-80yrs, right..

      There are so many unknowns out there, will be some limited scale and number of nodes/hubs of civilization able to soldier on improvised lower level? Where exactly are we on the time line – progression path of collapse as of today? Was ~2008 really such serious threshold, or should we expect few more steps like that ongoing for decades, and live through “slow” grinding descent into inferno.

      I feel we are not there yet, I guess the real last shoe drops only when the current under ~20/30yrs youth category (mostly with zero hands on reference to material world) infiltrates in higher % into upper managerial positions in gov/mil and business. That seems as the last threshold when all the legacy tricks how to keep vertically integrated complex societies, can kicking, papering over problems, draining the existing infrastructure, hi-tech militarism, all finally droping dead under its weight.

      • dolph says:

        Interesting thought, and, as I’ve said before that gives us another few decades, maybe. But almost certainly not much longer than that.

    • aubreyenoch – Mr. Fixit Can Fixit. He just can't fix it all at one time. Retired maintenance manager, truck driver, carpenter, plumber, electrician, roofer, welder, you get the idea. Trying to help those that don't see that there a difference between the thing and the symbol for the thing.
      aubreyenoch says:

      One consideration for collapse sooner rather than later is the importance of maintaining liquid water on the planet. The longer we continue BAU the higher the temperature we are going to generate on Earth. We don’t know all the feed backs that come in as the temperature rises, but everything is pointing to hotter. If we boil all the water off the surface and put it into the atmosphere as water vapor then it is curtains for this fusion powered, water soluble, self replicating chemical reaction that we call life. Humans and probably all mammals (but rats) are probably already done for. But it would be great if bacteria and maybe arthropods could get through the correction. I just wish there was some less painful way to get there.

    • ITEOTWAWKI says:

      I think many of us on this blog are VERY curious how this collapse will pan out, but to hope for it…I think most of us want to see BAU go on for as long as possible…however I don’t think any of us have any ideas of becoming important or prosperous..we will suffer the same fate as the 99.9% that have no idea what is about to happen…there is no escaping this…

    • xray6 says:

      “Personally, speaking, though, I have collapsed. I have no friends or connections or means to obtain a higher income.”
      Well I promise you tour income level is better than mine, Know any good bridges to live under? 🙂
      It is a difficult thing to accept our situation. It tales a strong individual to accept it. At least you can come here and hang out with the rest of us at the isle of misfit toys. Its not a lot but it is something. I feel very privileged to have been exposed to Gail’s work and to hang here. I wouldn’t return to ignorance for anything. Every individual has their own destiny. All you can do is accept.

    • Pintada says:

      Dear dolph;

      The silly postings by Glenn got me thinking along the same lines. His argument was that OFW doomerism is a religion.

      A religion is based on faith. Doomerism as practiced here is not based on faith, but on simple (to Gail) accounting, an observation of the fact that the earth is an isolated, finite sphere in space, and the laws of thermodynamics.

      What does require faith?

      Glenn is a charter member of the Church of Perpetual Growth. They have faith that the world, and the resources that come from it really are not finite. There is no proof that the world is infinite, they have faith that it is so.

      And of course Mark, because of his use of the ephemeralization myth, has identified himself as a died-in-the-wool singularitarian. Their faith is in Ray Kurzweil, and in the infinite world myth, and have confused pretty phones with actual progress. The delusion of the singularitarian is even more profound than Glenns group.

      I have no faith,
      Pintada

  17. Glenn Stehle says:

    Can Other Oil Basins Ever Catch Up To The Permian’s Prosperity?
    http://www.rigzone.com/news/article.asp?hpf=1&a_id=148529&utm_source=DailyNewsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=2017-02-16&utm_content=&utm_campaign=feature_1

    While many exploration and production (E&P) companies hustle to buy diminishing available acreage in the Permian Basin, other basins are lining up to the be next play that cashes in on $50-plus oil.

    Increasingly, the rig count bears out the possibilities. Although the Permian remains the leader in rig addition, others are showing signs of life. For the week ending Feb. 3, RigData reported another 33 rigs bringing the total to 707 rigs in U.S. service. Of those 33 new rigs, two were activated in the Midland and eight were added in the Delaware areas of the Permian. But outside of the Permian Basin, Eagle Ford added seven rigs and Haynesville added four…..

    A key reason the Permian remains a hot buy at $40,000-plus per acre is that profit can be made even when oil is $30 per barrel, according to both analysts and E&Ps. But the West Texas play might not be the only basin with a low breakeven cost. In fact, the powerhouse Permian production might be no more economic than Oklahoma’s SCOOP and STACK plays.

    “We think the SCOOP/STACK today is [profitable at] low $30 economics as well,” Turner said….

    Commercial potential of the SCOOP was found in 2011, and in the STACK, just two years later – indicating there’s a significantly longer learning curve.

    “There’s just been a lot more trial and error in the Permian, and we would say the SCOOP/STACK is much earlier on in its life,” Turner said. “And what you generally see is that as more drilling occurs, the operators start to understand the most efficient way to proceed with their drilling, so you can generally see costs coming down just because of expertise getting better.”….

    “When we think of the Permian versus the Eagle Ford or versus places like the Bakken, we still believe the Permian is in such a better place than those basins,” Turner said. “Our view would be you need to see oil move significantly higher … mid-$60s … before you would start to see capital truly move away from the Permian to the Eagle Ford or to the Bakken.”

    http://images.rigzone.com/images/news/misc/PB—OTR-Basins.png

    • jarvis9077
      Jarvis says:

      Glenn, Exxon published a third quarter report some months ago and if my feeble memory serves they were producing 2 millions barrels per day with a cost of $33 billion per year and if I’ve done my math right that’s around $44 per barrel. Keep in mind that’s drawing down legacy fields for the most part. Do you really believe oil can be fracked for $33? Or even $50??? I doubt you’ll win over any converts on this site.

    • Yes thats certainly a STACK and it certainly deserves to be SCOOPED. Corporate use of acronyms is probably the most prevalent examples of how there is most always a agenda and usually deception when acronyms are used. Its a example of the STOOP concept developed by the great sociopsychologist Frederick Larostic. 🙂 Name dropping in conjunction with acronyms. Is it in itself proof of intent to deceive? Modus operandi is modus operandi

  18. Artleads says:

    Gail stated the opinion not long ago that the world (global civilization?) was a self-organizing system. I hope a future article will go further into it. A few immediate areas for consideration came to mind:

    – Means aspirationally inclusive philosophy–everything has to be included, with selected parts at any time given focused attention.
    – Intuition is the only capacity that can process such complexity (see link).
    – Necessary acceptance of incompleteness and imperfection.
    – The group is more important than the individual, although the individual should ideally come to this conclusion themself. Not to do so is problematic, and could require firm coercion to comply.
    – But no individual action or choice is exclusive of the operation of the self-organizing whole.
    – It is likely that homeostasis, balance, harmony are aims of a self-organizing process.

    Intuition:

  19. Dr Fast Eddy says:

    http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/a-civil-war-for-control-of-the-u-s-government-has-erupted-between-the-deep-state-and-donald-trump

    If this is true then Trump needs to launch a Cultural Revolution… invite the ‘flowers out to bloom’ then chop them off….

    All dissent must be purged in a Holocaust.

    • Artleads says:

      “All dissent must be purged in a Holocaust.”

      Not sure this can happen in America right now, but it’s a worthwhile consideration.

    • Tim Groves – Japan
      Tim Groves says:

      A drone strike on Michael Moore is now fully in order, perhaps while he’s attending the Oscars. And I think it would be hard to miss him. Bush and Obama have set precedents. You’re either with the President or you’re with the terrorists and on the designated enemies list.

      • jeremy890
        jeremy890 says:

        Hopefully Dubya is within striking range too. After all we don’t want to miss anyonr, now do we? Is Dick Cheney still alive or have they managed another transplant?

        • Duncan Idaho says:

          I’m pretty sure what I most recently saw is Donald Trump putting (so far) five Vampire Squids in senior administration positions.

          • Joebanana says:

            Duncan-
            A terrible sign of things to come.

            • psile
              psile says:

              The looting operation (final drawdown of irreplaceable resources using fiat) is still incomplete. I guess they believe money and power will save them from the consequences of overshoot.

          • Dr Fast Eddy says:

            I am sure that is what you saw….

            Doesn’t sound as if he intends to drain any swamps….

            Impossible to figure out what is going on with the Elders and Trump — is this all an act aimed at creating the appearance of ‘the rebel’ — if so it’s very impressive!

            • adonis says:

              the other possibility the elders do not exist they are a collective delusionarey manifestation of conspiracy theorists which would mean that trump is the result of disgruntled voters electing trump because he simply was one of the good guys an honest president like john f kennedy.

            • aubreyenoch – Mr. Fixit Can Fixit. He just can't fix it all at one time. Retired maintenance manager, truck driver, carpenter, plumber, electrician, roofer, welder, you get the idea. Trying to help those that don't see that there a difference between the thing and the symbol for the thing.
              aubreyenoch says:

              They showed James Baker and Mike Pense sitting together in a booth at the Super Bowl?

            • InAlaska says:

              adonis, “the elders do not exist they are a collective delusionarey manifestation of conspiracy theorists .”

              Thank you for speaking rationally. The existence of Trump is proof positive that this “Elders” nonsense is just that… There would be nothing more destablizing to a hidden world order or more threatening to such a hidden deep-state cabal than a president such as the one we currently have. People on OFW like Fast Eddy have been spinning conspiratorial delusions for far too long and really do a disservice to those of us wishing to have a thoughtful discussion on the many folds and phases of on-going collapse. Cheers!

            • Dr Fast Eddy says:

              Might you consider that anti Zionist (Elders) has put forward Trump as their front man because they need someone who would appeal to the masses on election day — that Putin (and perhaps China) — has allied with Team Trump to attempt to destroy the Elders?

            • Justin Time says:

              I think you’re on the right track…
              Remember… all roads lead to Rome.
              The Elders are nothing more than expendable subordinates.
              Much of what is going on is theatre. Nothing new there. But we’re getting closer to the endgame. We’ve had our extra time since 2008. Now come the penalty shootouts…
              And we all know how those go. There will be no fair resolution.

            • ITEOTWAWKI says:

              Yep FE, Calhoun’s experiment is a classic…and we are no different then those rats….

            • DJ says:

              The El-ders seems slightly more plausible than energy-to-cheap-to-meter-devices suppressed since the 60s. Slightly.

          • sheilach2 – Retired, live in Oregon, enjoy nature photography, reading, the internet, paleontology, evolution & science in general. I am a "born again" ATHEIST! Ancient mythologies belong in the history books not still being practiced today by people who should know better.
            sheilach2 says:

            I’m guessing you know what a Vampire squid eats? they eat SHIT!
            I guess that also explains Trumps disgusting cabinet.
            Real Vampire squids however, are cute, you can’t say that about Trumps cabinet, their just VILE!

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

              not to worry, they can always be fired. Donald’s good at that.

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

              regarding the Calhoun crowding experiments on mice and rats, if you read the article’s comments they suggest those experiments and their conclusions, especially toward humans, were extremely flawed. also, humans face a far worse dilemma of lack of food.

          • Jinx#3 says:

            Whats wrong with vampires? That gal in underworld definitely had talent. Whats wrong with squids? Peacefully undulating through the ocean.

            Oh I forgot those two words placed next together are a sign that we all need to engage in a two minute hate. Because we are so good and they are so bad. My bad.

      • Jinx#3 says:

        “A drone strike on Michael Moore is now fully in order, perhaps while he’s attending the Oscars. And I think it would be hard to miss him.”
        No a precision munition would not be be needed, But why stop there? Why not declare all the press trrists? They obviously wouldn’t report a aardvark running down mainstreet if they didn’t get the ok. After all Obama pushed through the NDAA, the clear legalization of termination of any body or thing the prez perceives as a trrist . We all know Obama was a saint so if Trump was to declare all members of the press trrists it would be a affirmation of Obamas kindliness.

        • Joebanana says:

          Jinx#3-
          Obunghole passed all the laws needed for anyone in the future to do just as you say. Michael Moore could be “disappeared” legally, right now, if Trump gave the word.

  20. kurt says:

    Where’s that Glenn guy? He was kind of fun for awhile. He’s probably on a slow boat back to Delusistan. Or maybe a renewable boat?

  21. hkeithhenson
    hkeithhenson says:

    From

    http://spectrum.ieee.org/energywise/green-tech/clean-coal/carbon-capture-is-not-dead-but-will-it-blossom

    “Nearly two dozen large-scale CCS facilities are now operating globally or under construction, according to the GCCSI. Together they will be able to capture about 40 million metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. (U.S. emissions in 2014 were 5.3 billion metric tons in 2014.)”

    That’s getting up toward 1%. Few doublings and that would be an interesting effect. At least a CCS plant makes steady power.

    • Tim Groves – Japan
      Tim Groves says:

      Keith, my petty irritation with this article and with the term “carbon capture” is, as I have said previously, that “carbon” and “CO2” are used interchangeably when they are two different things. It is CO2 that is sequestered—not elemental carbon but molecules containing carbon and oxygen. So the term should be “CO2 capture”. Calling it “carbon capture” is even more of a misnomer than calling it “oxygen capture” would be, as two atoms of oxygen, derived directly from our precious life-sustaining biosphere, are locked away deep in the bowels of the earth—no sun to light their morning!—where they can no longer play any further part in life’s rich pageant for thousands of years to come.

      Apart from that, I’ve nothing against CCS facilities if the captured CO2 is going to be used for something useful that makes it economically worth capturing. But I see no point in constructing a huge boondoggle industry just to prevent CO2 emissions that probably don’t amount to a hill of beans in this cray world. (I watched Casablanca last night. 🙂 ) Along with ground-based solar and wind power, CCS is going to divert precious resources and investment that could otherwise be going into ET (emergent technology) solutions such as your own personal favorite, space-based solar.

  22. Duncan Idaho says:

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C4zEAFGUYAAvtVB.jpg

    The latest ECMWF forecast is quite aggressive at calling for the return of ElNino conditions over the next few months.

    And I wouldn’t bet to often against the ECMWF

    • Pintada says:

      Dear Duncan;

      I wondered when I first saw that chart how it could be any different. The oceans are tremendously hotter than they were, the average temp then must be higher, thus, the permanent El Nino is right around the corner (in geologic time of course).

      Thanks for posting,
      Pintada

      PS I always liked the Duncan Idaho character, especially after he was cloned, but never identified with him as you must.

  23. Duncan Idaho says:

    “It’s funny that we can look at this and have absolutely no idea “which side” we’re going to be on. I mean, the moderate side, of course, but?”

    https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-BQHeCTVuuL8/WKTDygpGSnI/AAAAAAAAOHI/jNkWHsOzUXI2uZUb6AMRzdywKabLWW5owCLcB/s1600/C4vA_AmWEAA6mhL.jpg

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

      Thanks! The only area that has really been doing well is the Permian Basin.

      I wouldn’t get terribly excited about December North Dakota numbers. Production is a problem when it is cold out. I know it was very cold in December.

  24. Christian says:

    Where can I find actual US ntagas end user prices?

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

      This link is where you can find numbers. Monthly http://www.eia.gov/dnav/ng/ng_pri_sum_dcu_nus_m.htm
      Annual: http://www.eia.gov/dnav/ng/ng_pri_sum_dcu_nus_m.htm

      The natural gas producers are really unhappy about how low oil prices are. This is a major reason for their LNG export plans.

      • Christian says:

        Thanks. It’s bizarre prices go down in winter, when it’s colder

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

          With respect to gasoline, prices go down in winter because in winter we can utilize short-chain hydrocarbons in the gasoline mix. These short chain hydrocarbons would simply evaporate in warm weather. They are therefore stripped out of the supply, and stored for winter use.

          These short chain hydrocarbons (more like NGLs) are much cheaper than the longer chains that have to be used in the summer. So we end up with a short supply in summer, consisting of a higher-priced product. In winter, we end up with a larger supply, including a share of a lower-priced product that cannot be used in summer.

          • hkeithhenson
            hkeithhenson says:

            Gail is right. Specifically, it’s butane, C4H10. Winter gasoline can be up to 40% butane. Or at least that was the situation when I was spending a lot of time in a refinery in the late 70s. If you drive by a refinery, the spherical tanks are used to store butane under pressure.

  25. milan
    jerry says:

    When a bank such as HSBC starts talking peak oil you know the writing is on the wall. This is an important piece of journalism and the report by HSBC WOW. Imagine we need 4 Saudi Arabia’s just to stay flat!!!!! This is what they are saying now – a major international bank!!!! Must read!!!!!!
    https://medium.com/insurge-intelligence/brace-for-the-financial-crash-of-2018-b2f81f85686b#.4u56qokgb

    • Greg Machala says:

      WOW! This may really be it. I just don’t see how we make it to 2020 without this party coming to a grinding halt. I have been fearful of not making it to 2020 for a while now. I am with Fast Eddy I just don’t want dear BAU to end but in my mind I know it must end.

      • Greg Machala says:

        I really liked this quote:
        “That means a global oil squeeze could end up having a dramatic impact on continued demand for oil, as twin crises of ‘peak oil’ and ‘peak demand’ end up intensifying and interacting in unfamiliar ways.” – We are in uncharted territory.

      • ITEOTWAWKI says:

        Same here Greg, I can’t see how we get past 2020…the small consolation is we won’t have to suffer the end of BAU too long as we will drop like flies when it happens…

        • kurt says:

          Summer of 2020 has been my prediction for quite some time.

          • ITEOTWAWKI says:

            I’m pretty much in the same range as you. Since around 2012, I have been thinking to myself that I probably won’t see my 50th birthday because of the collapse of BAU…I was born in 1971…

            • Greg Machala says:

              If you would have told me 15 years ago I would be talking like this I would have thought you were crazy. It is amazing how ignorant I was and how long it has taken me to fully understand how the system works.

            • Dr Fast Eddy says:

              I remember — must be well over 10 years ago now — I kept seeing ‘the most important presentation you will ever see’ from what I thought must be some crazy old guy:

              https://i.ytimg.com/vi/LqcHG7QUK9k/hqdefault.jpg

              I ignored it…. then one day I clicked it…. and I watched this

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_VpyoAXpA8

              And so it began….

            • Greg Machala says:

              Every now and then there is a person (usual very old) that is not just intelligent but, can explain complex things in very simple terms. That is an incredibly under-appreciated talent a person can have. Albert Bartlett was such a person. I admire the man for having the tenacity to tell the truth about our predicament and do it in mathematical terms. Gail also has that same unique gift. I too watched Albert’s video many years ago. I was already deep into the 911 conspiracy (given my engineering background, I never believed those building collapsed into their own footprints naturally). So, I just kept following the rabbit hole deeper and deeper and learned why 911 had to happen sooner or later to keep America in the thick of the cheap energy game. I graduated now to accepting that my life and all the luxuries I grew up with are really ill-gotten and artificial gains from a finite source of fuel. I realize how truly brief a period of time the industrial revolution will encompass in the 200,000 year existence of humans on this planet. I am thankful to have lived at the height of human existence on this finite planet. I don’t regret learning the hard facts of the real world of life on Earth. I am a scientist by nature and I want to know the truth and understand how things work without any assumptions or delusion.

            • Joebanana says:

              It is interesting to read how people here became aware of the big picture. It was the 2008 financial crisis for me, and trying to understand the economic system better. I expect there are a few here that thought after some research to buy gold, silver, and junior mining stocks, wait for economic collapse and reset to become a rich guy.

              After that it was prepping and supplies but learning more and more about energy issues. It was not until getting my head around energy that things started to make more sense.

              *Big* downer.

            • Dr Fast Eddy says:

              Joe – the journey is not complete until you realize that prepping is futile….

            • Ert says:

              @joebanana

              Did you also pick up gardening at some point?

              I wonder about the Martenson folks (over at Peak-Prosperity)… still sells that there is a easy way out and that you can be financially prepared…. have gold, silver, your own little homestead or house with a garden – and survive well when everything falls to pieces.

              May happen if we have a slow grinding. Have still to get the water well – but thats it. Water, some food, some wood, some skills. Hope for the system to go as long as possible and try to invest less hope and fear into preparedness stuff. It was quite a heavy burden on my mood / soul.

              At some point I wonder if Martenson has really understood what he preaches – or If he is now financially depended on his PP business?! Still… doing something and connecting to people is a cure in itself… so it is good what he does for the people who believe that there may be a way…

              Best
              Ert

            • Joebanana says:

              @Ert-

              I started gardening in 2000 for tomatoes but yes, 2008 got me into it big time for security reasons. There is plenty of water here but a dug well is something I plan on doing this spring and it is pretty much the last thing I need for convenience.

              I think Martinson is on the right rack with connecting people together and good luck to him in his endeavours. It might be pointless in the long run but building community is good. I don’t know if he gets the big picture but I suspect he does and sees no point in changing at this point.

              I’ve been investing in very high end tools, nothing electric or requiring fuel, in the chance that my boys will have them as well as getting them into blacksmithing, masonry and carpentry. Guns too of course. One of them is a great musician and plays pipes, fiddle and piano. If it were ever possible to survive what is coming people will long for music. He played for a dance this past Saturday and it was such a great time. But knowing what we know you look at everyone so happy and think about what is coming. I know what you mean about the burden on your soul.

              We are having a big party here tomorrow with plenty of Cape Breton fiddlers, piano players and liquor! Fast E might have heard of our music here. Don’t I wish the people on this site could be here.

              God Bless you Ert.

            • ITEOTWAWKI says:

              I think many of us here who get that we are nearing the end of BAU, the realization has come through a process of discovery and deep curiosity. Like many, my starting point was the GFC in 2008. During 2009 as I was reading about what happened, I found out, like someone mentioned in an earlier post, that we came very close to Armageddon: there was a credit freeze, cargo ships were at a standstill because they were worried that the credit notes would not be honored once the goods were delivered. And this is also where I learned what JIT was, and that EVERYTHING uses JIT logistics, including food delivery. Then in the fall of 2009 I saw Bartlett’s video and also the documentary Collapse with Michael Ruppert. That documentary opened my horizons, and I proceeded to watch all the Peak Oil documentaries from circa 2005…and that made me understand that our whole Industrial Civ is underpinned by one master resource: COVENTIONAL oil….NOT that gook from Alberta or Shale from the States. As I went deeper into the rabbit hole, I found this blog around 2011…Economic Undertow is another excellent one. In 2013, I read Tim Morgan’s excellent Perfect Storm report when he was still with Tullett Prebon, and also Norman Pagett’s End of More…and as you read all this you slowly come to the realization that this is unsustainable, but at the same time without BAU, we cease to exist. Anyway, like Greg said I am happy that I found out about all this…now I live my life taking advantage of every moment..and I am also aware that my short life here will have been better than 99.9% of all humans that have come before me in the last 200k years or so that we have been around and for that I consider myself very lucky!!

            • Froggman says:

              This whole comment chain is just filled with some great comments, thank you all for sharing.

              I was blindsided in 2008, working as a city planner in Florida in the heart of the housing boom. It was crazy, subdivisions going up everywhere, house values going up double digit percentages in a year. Stupid me bought the hype and figured this was the new normal.

              After that delusion was shattered I started thinking for myself: read zerohedge, found Bartlett, McPherson, oil drum, peak oil. Left Florida for a climate with better odds, started prepping, farming, etc. And now here I am.

            • InAlaska says:

              Been doing this since 2006. Even though it probably won’t make a difference in the long run, it still feels good to be prepped.

            • el mar says:

              40 years ago, when I was 18, at school, I draw a picture of a fish called “capitalism” who ate a smaller fish called “socialism”. Behind the “capitalism fish” I draw a bigger fish called “finite world” who ate both of the other two fish.
              Since that time I am an outsider.

            • el mar says:

              I wrote this in 2002 in german language:

              Bedingt durch den Globalisierungsdruck, Überkapazitäten, Sparzwang und Käuferstreik wird die Deflation in den nächsten Jahren unser Wirtschaftssystem bedrohen. Die Preise Fallen und Arbeit wird immer billiger und knapper mit den entsprechenden Folgen für die Sozialsysteme. Später, wenn die die Staatspleite akut wird und der Preisdruck von der Rohstoffseite zunimmt (vor allem durch knappes Öl), geht die Deflation wahrscheinlich in Inflation über.

              Wer z.B. ein Haus kaufen will, sollte (wenn ich recht hätte) jetzt sein Pulver trocken halten. (Wer zu früh kauft, den bestraft das Sonderangebot). In wenigen Jahren würde der Markt dann mit Immobilien überschwemmt, weil überschuldete Häuslebauer zu jedem Preis verkaufen müssten. Wenn dann die Inflation kommt, können Immobilien Werte konservieren. Gold wäre auch eine Alternative (wenn es noch was nutzt)!

              Das aufeinander folgen von Deflation und Inflation ist vor dem zweiten Weltkrieg schon einmal ähnlich abgelaufen. Es muss keinen neuen Weltkrieg geben aber wir werden wahrscheinlich Bundeswehreinsätze im Inneren sehen, wenn” die Systeme” nicht mehr tragen und der bürgerliche Mittelstand in Existenzpanik gerät. Die Bürgerüberwachung wird ja schon aufgerüstet. Ebenso die Einlullung der Menschen durch” Tittiytainment”, Medientrash, Schönfärberei und Massenverfettungswaffen”.

              Was sich nicht bestimmen lässt ist das Timing der Entwicklung. Der Deflations-Tanker ist noch träge und die Schuldeneinheizer kommen mit dem feuern noch nach, aber von einem bestimmten Punkt an, könnten sich die Ereignisse überschlagen.

              Die Chinesen arbeiten für ca. 70 Cent die Stunde, sie kennen kaum soziale Absicherung und Umweltstandards. Diese Kosten-Schere können wir durch Reformen nicht (auch nicht annähernd) schließen. Die Reförmchen wirkten wie eine Fahrradbremse am ICE.

              Wir befinden uns in einer Zwickmühle, in die wohl jede sich entwickelnde Gesellschaft auf Dauer gerät (wie schon die alten Römer). Marktwirtschaftliche Systeme benötigen durch den Zinsdruck (man muss immer mehr zurückzahlen als man sich geliehen hat) ständiges Wachstum. Ständiges Wachstum frisst sich jedoch am Ende selbst, oder stößt an Grenzen. Es gilt das universelle Gesetz des abnehmenden Grenznutzens. Ob beim Bierkonsum oder beim Wirtschaftswachstum, irgendwann kommt der Kater. Auch Kebszellen, die sich in ihrem Wirt exponentiell wachsen, werden am Ende Oper ihres Wuchers. Es gibt Grenzen für alles. So ist es logisch, dass die Schwellenländer mehr Wachstumspotential haben als das ausgewachsene Deutschland. Mein 8-jähriger Sohn hat auch mehr Wachstumspotential als ich. Weil wir jetzt offensichtlich Grenzen erreicht haben, was die Verschuldung und den Umfang der Sozialsysteme angeht, werden Reformen angemahnt. Ohne drastische Reformen crashen die Systeme wird zu Recht festgestellt. Doch durch drastische Reformen wird der Kreislauf ebenfalls abgewürgt. Denn wenn in Deutschland alles” halbiert” wird, können die Systeme (Renten, Gesundheit, Arbeitslosen- und Sozialhilfe) nicht überleben. Die Haushalte von Bund, Ländern, Gemeinden, Unternehmen und Privatpersonen würden ebenfalls zusammenbrechen. So haben alle irgendwie Recht. Es stimmt, dass wir sparen müssen und Kosten senken sollten, es stimmt allerdings auch, dass Autos keine Autos kaufen. Es stimmt nach Keynes, dass der Staat in Schwächphasen als Ersatznachfrager Schulden aufnehmen und investieren sollte um Deflation zu verhindern. Es stimmt aber auch, dass uns die Schulden und die Zinsen längst erdrücken. Ich befürchte, es gibt keine Lösungen außer drastischer Kontraktion und Systemzusammenbrüchen bedingt durch die” normative Kraft des Faktischen”. Der Prozess läuft bereits und hat den” point of no return” wohl schon überschritten.

              Die Demografie (Kindermangel) wirkt als Multiplikator ebenso wie unserer Rohstoffabhängigkeit und der Verfall unseres Innovations-Vorsprungs. Umweltverramschung und Plünderungskosten kommen hinzu. Aber auch dies sind Kosten, die noch auf die Zukunft abgewälzt werden können und bisher schwerpunktmäßig in anderen Kontinenten entstehen.

              Viele Arbeitsplätze in Deutschland stehen an der Klippe. Da reichen 4-5 Jahre Deflation um die Lichter auszublasen. Bei vielen geht es auch noch schneller. Die industrielle Basis und somit das Rückgrat unserer Wertschöpfungskette wird mit der Abrissbirne behandelt. Besuchen Sie z.B. in einen Baumarkt und schauen sie was da noch” made in Germany” ist. Beinahe jeden Tag hört man von Firmenverlagerungen und Stellenkürzungen.

              Ich berate z.B. Bäckereifilialisten. Selbst Teiglinge für Brötchen werden inzwischen aus Polen importiert und hier verramscht. Auch wenn der Geiz ist geil – Wahnsinn nachlässt, der Sparzwang wird bleiben. Wir werden am Standort Deutschland nicht billig produzieren können. Die vorhandenen, für unser Wirtschaft notwendigen Strukturen und Lebenshaltungskosten lassen das nicht zu, auch wenn wir den Gürtel enger schnallen. Wenn sich gleichzeitig die Innovationsfähigkeit weltweit nivelliert, werden die Wohltandniveaus anpassen. Wer dabei von unten kommt hat damit kaum Probleme. Eine drastische Anpassung nach unten, wie sie für Deutschland und andere westliche Länder ansteht, beinhaltet das Rsiko von Verwerfungen.

              Wenn der Staat sich nicht seit vielen Jahren exponentiell verschulden würde (es handelt sich dabei um ein Kettenbriefsystem), um das wachsende Wertschöpfungsdefizit auszugleichen, wäre längst Schluss mit lustig. So konnte das böse Erwachen seit vielen Jahren in die Zukunft verlagert werden wobei sich die Fallhöhe ständig vergrößert, bis der Zinseszinseffekt am Ende seine Sprengkraft entfaltet. Die angehäuften Schulden werden wohl niemals zurückgezahlt und deshalb wird es einer meiner Meinung nach mit einer Inflation enden. Wir haben einen langen Boom hinter uns, der mit der New-Economie-Manie endetet. Die Folgen sind noch nicht annähernd verarbeitet. Die Wirtschaft wird weiterhin, auch in den USA, künstlich am Leben erhalten. Dort wurde die Geldpresse bereits angeworfen. Die Amerikaner kaufen vor allen in Japan und China dinge die sich nicht brauen, mit Geld das sie nicht haben. Die Folge ist ein gigantisches Außenhandelsdefizit der Amerikaner. Zum Ausgleich und um den Kreislauf aufrecht zu halten kaufen China und Japan amerikanische Staatsanleihen. Aber die Käufe reichen längst nicht mehr, was den Dollar unter Druck setzt. Auch hier handelt es sich um ein Kettenbriefsystem mit Verfallsdatum. Kommt diese Pumpe zum Stillstand, könnte dies auch der noch fehlende Trigge für den Knock-out in Europa bedeuten.
              Was wir jetzt z.B. an den Börsen sehen ist eine Echo-Rallye, getrieben durch die” Schön-Wetter-Generationen”, die sich außer ständigen Wohlstandsvermehrungen und Depotzuwächsen, unterbrochen von kleine” Konsolidierungen” nichts anderes (schon gar keinen Kondratieff Winter) vorstellen können.

              Ausgang ungewiss aber wenig wird bleiben wie es ist!

              Vielleicht ist Abschottung auf niedrigerem Niveau eine Lösung – aber auch dieser Gedanke gefällt mir nicht. Besser wären Lösungen im Weltmaßstab – aber wir bekommen ja nicht mal unsere Bundesländer unter eine Decke.
              Die USA suchen die Lösung aus Notwehr inzwischen in geopolitischen Kriegen. Es geht also schon ums” Eingemachte”. Das werden wir auch bald noch viel stärker spüren.

              Dies ist nur meine persönliche Einschätzung. Manchmal passieren zum Glück Dinge, auch positive, mit denen man nicht rechnet.

              So hoffe ich auf das Gute und befürchte das Schlimmste

            • Ert says:

              @joebanana

              Thanks for your personal reply. As there are so many things to pick up from your answer I will limit me this this one – that directly emotionally connected with me:

              But knowing what we know you look at everyone so happy and think about what is coming. I know what you mean about the burden on your soul.

              I have thoughts/feelings this sometimes, too. Especially if I see happy kids – or even babies. Thats probably also some of the reason I stopped any meaningful kind of ‘prepping’, which I did a lot from 2009-2013. ‘Prepping’ in that sense constantly reminds me on the predicament I imagine ‘us’ taking…. and this constant, every day reminder – is very hard to live with for me.

              And for me all the thoughts which are behind my prepping motivation even disconnect me from the people around… as these fearful? thoughts are nothing most people want to hear or discuss or even let in their conscious mind. Being an INTJ (Meyers Briggs) / Enneagramm Type 1 doesn’t make the whole story simpler…

              All my best wishes to you, joe!

            • Rainydays says:

              I started to work in the oil industry around 2007 and the price of oil was skyrocketing. I started to investigate why this was the case and quickly found my way in to peak oil, LTG, Maltheus, TOD, JHK, Tainter and all that. I understood how the society revolved around petroleum and the finiteness of it all.

              It was a big downer at first, but it has taught me to live fully and be thankful for each day. Some would say ignorance is bliss, but I say nay, if I did not know of our predicament I would still be grinding it out, accumulating “wealth” and planning 40 years ahead. Those people are really wasting their lives.

            • Ert says:

              @el mar

              Good text, especially as it was written 15 years ago. At that time I was in my happy bubble of no economic knowledge…

              In regard to that text: Currently it seems that inflation picks up. All producer price indexes jump up. The central banks have made clear that they will prep everything, buy everything up, etc. pp. If no one collapses its hard to kick the next crisis which pushes a lot of people over the corner…. hence deflation…

              Do you see for your part (sustained) inflation coming? Or is that what we see only a straw fire – since the next (deflationary) crisis cycle is long overdue – and will hit us in the next 1-3 years? I mean we are in kind of a twilight zone… some assets in some locations are in a inflationary bubble – other and the price of paid work is in kind of a stagflation or under deflationary pressure.

            • Ert says:

              @rainydays
              if I did not know of our predicament I would still be grinding it out, accumulating “wealth” and planning 40 years ahead. Those people are really wasting their lives.

              I can’t (and won’t) judge the ‘wasting part’, as this give people meaning or sense – but I agree with your sentence to the fullest – and in a sense that I am ‘still’ glad that I figured out the things we discuss here at OFW.

              It certainly is and was a life changer… not an simple or easy one for sure. Often still a heavy burden for me – at least it feels that way. But it also brought me to a different understanding, feed much time for other (personal) development.

            • el mar says:

              @Ert
              I see no sustained inflation coming. We are in a Deflation-Spiral and finally just a short crack up boom as soon as confidence in fiat money disappears and everybody rushes to the excits.

            • DJ says:

              Ert,
              Is it possible to be a collapsniak and anything else than INTJ?

            • Ert says:

              @DJ

              Yes, the other IN-Types regarding to this little survey: http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/tag/personality/. But an INTJ is surly a high ‘burden’ in the aspect of being a ‘collapsniak’… and it doesn’t make it simpler to deeply connect with others or oneself.

              On a positive side: There are not much doubts, once a INTJ sums up the (available) data and comes to a conclusion….. 😉

            • Ert says:

              @elmar

              Thanks for the reply. I hope the crack-up boom is still some years away….. there is surly enough money around that looks for things to buy. But I see a lot of classical investments as even more problematic in the time after the crack-up boom… they may become a more of a burden… because all investments which require a constant input of money (taxes, regulations, up-keeping) can put financial stress on oneself if there is no or not enough revenue from those assets in the depression phase after the crack-up boom.

              And If I take that what we discuss here for granted… then the chance of another boom-and-expansion phase that may last another 5-10 years is very low….

            • DJ says:

              “all investments which require a constant input of money (taxes, regulations, up-keeping)”

              How convenient it must be to be an instadoomer who can disregard things like that. We declineists are prepared for years when things become less and less affordable. And worst are sunk costs that demands maintainance and taxes.

            • Chris Harries – Tasmania
              Chris Harries says:

              I’ve never met any economist – not even a radical, alternative one – who can nut out a future world economy that stays afloat without sustained growth. Is the only alternative to growth collapse? In the short term it seems so because the financial bubble that’s built on returns to investors would burst with a very loud BANG! – resulting in quite dramatic repercussions all around the world

              Here is a current article that talks about a ‘circular economy’. Worth a read even if it may be clutching at straws. http://www.resilience.org/stories/2017-02-16/the-circular-economy-is-it-the-solution-to-resource-depletion-and-pollution/

        • Chris Harries – Tasmania
          Chris Harries says:

          It’s so risky picking a date, all the same. In the past I nominated around 2014 when things would most likely go belly up, especially on the oil front and the EU falling apart financially. Big systems have unexpected resilience… until, of course, they get to a critical breaking point. In the staircase crash model we will just see a major symptom here and another symptom there, like the sudden movement of millions of people fleeing their home states in order to find refuge elsewhere. Like world extreme temperature records being repeatedly broken. Like Brexit and Trump. A hurtling train coming off the rails in slow motion, albeit we onlookers knowing that there’s no chance that it can get back on once the wheels have left the tracks.

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

            prepping is like that ship’s hand in The Perfect Storm that swims like mad in the upside down, sinking boat to reach an internal hold with a big air bubble. he looks around, safe for now, while the boat continues to dive and the water gushes in.

            the best that can be said for prepping is it buys you some time to figure your next gambit. who knows, how lucky can you get?

            • Ert says:

              the best that can be said for prepping is it buys you some time to figure your next gambit. who knows, how lucky can you get?

              Isn’t it always that way? The doings of every day, week, month and year buy us some time to figure out the next round? In that understanding prepping would be a bit like planting seeds. You don’t know how the weather will develop, how the harvest will be…. but if you hadn’t planted the seeds one thing will be for sure: There will be no harvest…

    • Dr Fast Eddy says:

      HSBC doesn’t know that Shale will provide unlimited cheap oil …. it’s a closely guarded secret….

      If the analysts would join the 50 Buck Club…. they’d get access to information that proves this.

      • Duncan Idaho says:

        The Bakken and the Eagle Ford are in the rear view mirror.
        The Permian is still marginally profitable (most are conventional plays) in a few sweet spots.
        Things will be getting even more interesting soon.

        • worldofhanumanotg
          worldofhanumanotg says:

          As we posted the data few days ago of the basic run scenario, Permian is supposedly able to keep the gently sloping plateau for next ~4-5yrs or ~7yrs in outlier case of both elevated price and growing economy. After that the US should be revealed as no more domestic energy independent entity by any stretch of imagination or propaganda.

          However, that’s lot of time as even before that theoretical threshold, say in next 3-4yrs we can get some serious war (Asia, ME, Europe) or wave of revolutions or market crash or some combination, and who is going to be thinking about some Permian again as providing signal for the final hours of BAU then..

  26. adonis says:

    if the elites did have a masterplan to survive the end of BAU then this is what it would look like read about ‘alternative 2′ at the following link remember an open mind is required for this type of knowledge some of the opinions on aliens can be treated as’hogwash’ but the information on ‘alternative 2’ seems plausible and would validate the reasons why 911,invasion of iraq,libya etc and all the ‘ can kicking’ of our financial system had to occur to give the elites more time to prepare for the ‘inevitable its all about survival of the human race and the survivors would only amount to a low number. http://www.theforbiddenknowledge.com/hardtruth/alternatatives123.htm

  27. interguru
    Interguru says:

    Peak affordable oil
    Peak water
    Peak fertilizer
    Peak topsoil
    But not peak comments

  28. Dr Fast Eddy says:

    Singapore banks’ problem with oil and gas services firms has just stepped up a notch.Pain from distressed loans to offshore energy companies dominated Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp.’s earnings call Tuesday and will probably be a hot topic when DBS Group Holdings Ltd. reports its own numbers Thursday. OCBC Chief Executive Officer Samuel Tsien repeated several times that he can’t guarantee the worst is over.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/gadfly/articles/2017-02-15/collateral-damage-in-singapore

    IDIOTS! Didn’t they know that making loans to shale companies is the only safe bet in this turbulent market???????

    Glenn — you should package yourself as a consultant – these banks NEED you

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

      These things tend to start out slowly, and get worse. At this point, things are not a big enough problem that they become front page news stories.

      • Greg Machala says:

        Kind of like magma under a volcano. It is a bit buried under the surface. The scientist know it is there but the people are delusional and build homes right by the darn thing. The same story with oceans and areas of wildfire danger. Collectively we really do have only two modes: complacency (brought about by delusion) and then panic (when things blow up).

  29. Dr Fast Eddy says:

    This is a really interesting visual posted by psile…. for those who are complacent…

    https://assets.bwbx.io/images/users/iqjWHBFdfxIU/icbkDFACM4iA/v2/800x-1.png

    • psile
      psile says:

      The current excuse of “low prices slashing exploration” is nonsense when you realise that discoveries peaked over 50 years ago and have been declining remorselessly ever since. The drawbacks of living on a finite planet…

      Even when the price of oil spiked to $147 way back in 2008, and then, despite all the free money thrown at the industry from 2009 until now, blowing one of the biggest bubbles ever, and saw oil back above $100 for a protracted period of time, the “journey of discovery” has continued to grow grimmer.

      • Greg Machala says:

        Exactly! Folks just ignore this convenient truth that the discoveries that matter are the ones made 40 to 70 years ago. All the hype about massive shale discoveries are just a blip. I would be more hopeful if in 2008 (when oil prices reached record highs) the bars on this graph equalled the discoveries of the 1970’s. But, that did not happen and the economy global economy collapsed in 2008 overnight. There would have been tanks in the streets in 2008 if it were not for the unprecedented global money creation. How little most people read about the 2008 collapse and realize just how close we came to all out Armageddon. And that happened nearly overnight. We are floating on the most massive debt bubble in history that is backed by energy and this graph shows you we have no oil in the bank now or anytime in the near future.

        • Rodster says:

          “There would have been tanks in the streets in 2008 if it were not for the unprecedented global money creation.” How little most people read about the 2008 collapse and realize just how close we came to all out Armageddon.

          Indeed, those were the words of Hank Paulson to then President George Bush if they had not bailed out the banks. And let’s not forget when the biggest player collapses, so will everyone else. There will be no winners. We are getting closer to the Eastern Island scenario.

        • Dr Fast Eddy says:

          ++++++

          Recall The Big Short – Steve Eisman character — upon realizing the scale of the problem — and even though it means he will make a fortune — turns very sombre… and says something to the effect that this is the end of the world…

          The central banks of course stepped to hold the wall a little longer… but Eisman was right — that was the beginning of the end

          It would be interesting to speak to him and Burry and Bass…. completely off the record … and see what they think now

  30. the eu was created on the back of trade and growing prosperity in the 50s and 60s.
    that is the critical factor that everyone chooses to ignore—it was the upslope of collective wealth

    if that slope could have go up forever, the eu would not be in trouble

    as it is, the slope is now downwards, but everyone is convinced the all we have to do is vote for it to tick upwards again

    it’s nothing to do within politics, it has everything to do with increasing poverty, because of the end of cheap surplus energy

    • worldofhanumanotg
      worldofhanumanotg says:

      True, but the evidently increasing poverty made the dominant political class sort of more naked, they are easier to be hated, later ignored and rolled over..

      That being said, and piggybacking on the what I posted above, what are these children going to do when finally entering the halls of power, the globalist interests sit them down, “ehm, congrats to your elections results, but we have a little problem here, if you don’t continue to sign on these debts here and here, the next day everything stops, food, oil, .., and pitchforks in streets but now against you fools! “

      • the denial factor that drives the majority convinces them that prosperity is just a matter of putting the cross against the right name on the ballot paper.

        Why?

        Because this is what has worked in the past—so must work in the future,
        So the political promises get more bizarre and improbable as poverty intensifies, and thus you get fas-cists of every stripe getting elected.

        Eventually that system breaks down but not before a lot of misery and mayhem kicks off

        • worldofhanumanotg
          worldofhanumanotg says:

          Agree, but look, we are getting into some staircase style collapse discussion here!
          Hah.

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

            time was, assuming you were a carnivore or omnivore, you enjoyed the occasional pheasant or quail dinner, and perhaps some wild rabbit or venison. nowadays, you usually have to enjoy factory-farmed chicken, pork or beef, sheep.

            so, I figure we’ll have no problem adjusting to boiled or slow-roasted rat, with some nice insect recipes being passed around.

            lots of available protein, assuming you can stomach it. after all, humans are so adaptable!

            • “lots of available protein, assuming you can stomach it. after all, humans are so adaptable!”

              Fixed it for you. Wrong “able”.

              lots of available protein, assuming you can stomach it. after all, humans are so palatable!

            • DJ says:

              Google says 19 billion rats. We will quickly run out of rats.

              Best chance is long pork until population can be sustained on organic potato and legume farming.

            • hkeithhenson
              hkeithhenson says:

              ” long pork”

              Easter Island really did have a collapse, possibly from 20,000 down to one or two thousand. The time line is really hard to read, but the collapse might have taken a generation or two. Not much has come down from those days, but one story is that a taunt was to yell at the opposing warrior “The flesh of your mother sticks between my teeth.”

              A collapse of that intensity would take the world population from ~10 B down to one B.

              Is the world so closely coupled that it could all go down at once? I don’t know. We have been working to make it that way, but the world is far from a mono culture. The wild card is high technology. Nanotechnology, for example, would result in very cheap solar and storage as well. Advanced AI would allow much faster investigation of technologies and charting what side effects they are expected to have. We are not that far away from being able to build stuff out of diamond. When that happens, there may be another climate crisis as too much CO2 gets sucked out of the air.

              It could go either way.

              But there is no point in being pessimistic when you can work on solving the problems.

            • Babakaput says:

              “But there is no point in being pessimistic when you can work on solving the problems”
              Yes like how to make dental floss post collapse.

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

      Agreed. We have cheap oil back then. We could add a whole lot of infrastructure. Now we have trouble even keeping the infrastructure repaired.

  31. worldofhanumanotg
    worldofhanumanotg says:

    There is new BBC documentary about the post Brexit European situation, they visited several member states as example of the fracturing lines be it the question on economy, national sovereignty and borders etc: Italy, France, Hungary, ..

    What is kind of shocking, they openly conclude in their narration with possibility just in two years it could be all over, both the EU and EUR, that would be impossible message few years ago in the mainstream media.. Although one can expect it has now became sort of British state interest (BBC) to see it fall apart further on the continent, i.e. German’s Reich IV derailment, but I guess that’s not the major point of the docu.

    Another take away home message could be all those strange characters there, both on the political establishment as well as the surging populists, all delusional, incompetent, childish,..
    Compare and contrast with the real battle hardened political actors of previous times, for the good and bad, obviously.

    Well, I’m afraid now this “could be it” for real soon, how you can further paper over such situation, the buttons on the control panel simple are not working anymore in such surreal circus.

    • Greg Machala says:

      Wow! I can’t say I am surprised by the outlook. But, I am surprised it was a BBC documentary. Two years seems all too brief a time for each country of the EU to transition to a local economy. How is trade going to work between the wealthier and poorer EU countries? Seems like a lot of things are beginning to unwind.

      • worldofhanumanotg
        worldofhanumanotg says:

        Well, if the unwind comes to fruition, it basically means reenactment of tariff barriers to some degree, selective taxation schemes of multinationals vs. domestic oligarchies etc. Eventually also tighter passenger and cargo border controls again, ..

        In short, the countries with highest export surplus and defunct agriculture self-sufficiency would be hit the hardest in the short term, sort of reply of the Great Depression when the biggest companies went down not by 20% but to 20% (1/5 or lower) of former production output. This is bankruptcy, national interest and expropriation taking over and so on. This assumes some form of depression only, should it immediately trigger ~FW realization crisis, it would be much worse still.

        In practice, speaking about the EUR dissolution, it means huge volatility, the Germans were bamboozled by the global playerz to put large part of the national savings into various speculative gambles. This will be wiped out, what is worse though, large part of the subsidized export markets would be dead, and that means high unemployment and related political aftershocks. If I’m not mistaken the old DM currency has not been disposed off, but they have probably some newer version printed already as backup anyway. Also, in terms of timing, should Italy proceed to leave and France stay for the moment, there is some slight chance of EUR severely crippled yet soldiering on for some limited time..

        All this would obviously take many stages and take time to unravel.

        • Dr Fast Eddy says:

          Enjoy… there is a good example around page 56 of what collapse looks like… once it starts — it is fast — and unstoppable

          http://www.feasta.org/2012/06/17/trade-off-financial-system-supply-chain-cross-contagion-a-study-in-global-systemic-collapse/

          • worldofhanumanotg
            worldofhanumanotg says:

            Read it again.
            We don’t know if EU/EUR collapse happens soon, we don’t know what exactly will be the effect on the overall global finance structure consisting of several nodes, contagion is more or less certain, but it doesn’t automatically imply the end of “petro-dollar” nor fast collapse overnight in one swing. Other areas and hubs emerged, increase their global share in recent decades, namely China now prints staggering ~ .5T per month! if I recall it correctly..

            So, we could be close to the big one and in effect the last one, I admitted it, the probabilities seem increasing d/d, m/m, y/y. But it’s not 99% probability. We can get chaos in European area and in reaction some ad hoc patching up on the US-China-ME-Russian front for a temporary fix..

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

      It takes cheap energy to keep the system together–in fact a growing supply of cheap energy, to provide growing economies. Once this is not available, it is the highest level of organization that seems to disappear first, like the EU.

      • xabier says:

        ‘When the Emperor fails, the kings rule; when they can’t enforce obedience, the tribes run things; then the clans and finally, family against family.’

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

          I don’t know where that is from, but it sounds about right.

  32. Greg Machala says:

    “If you can thrive on 90% less energy and still get some critical industrial needs met” – This is a common delusion as well. Here are four pitfalls with this statement: 1) Critical industry may need parts from industries you assumed were not critical. 2) You assume that if one person can thrive on 90% less energy that everyone can. 3) Can this be done voluntarily? 4) Can this be done peacefully? 5) This statement has no historical precedent. Since the dawn of the industrial revolution there has never been a 90% reduction in energy consumption and a thriving economy.

  33. Dr Fast Eddy says:

    PENTAGON VIDEO WARNS OF “UNAVOIDABLE” DYSTOPIAN FUTURE FOR WORLD’S BIGGEST CITIES

    THE YEAR IS 2030. Forget about the flying cars, robot maids, and moving sidewalks we were promised. They’re not happening. But that doesn’t mean the future is a total unknown.

    According to a startling Pentagon video obtained by The Intercept, the future of global cities will be an amalgam of the settings of “Escape from New York” and “Robocop” — with dashes of the “Warriors” and “Divergent” thrown in. It will be a world of Robert Kaplan-esque urban hellscapes — brutal and anarchic supercities filled with gangs of youth-gone-wild, a restive underclass, criminal syndicates, and bands of malicious hackers.

    At least that’s the scenario outlined in “Megacities: Urban Future, the Emerging Complexity,” a five-minute video that has been used at the Pentagon’s Joint Special Operations University. All that stands between the coming chaos and the good people of Lagos and Dhaka (or maybe even New York City) is the U.S. Army, according to the video, which The Intercept obtained via the Freedom of Information Act.

    The video is nothing if not an instant dystopian classic: melancholy music, an ominous voiceover, and cascading images of sprawling slums and urban conflict. “Megacities are complex systems where people and structures are compressed together in ways that defy both our understanding of city planning and military doctrine,” says a disembodied voice. “These are the future breeding grounds, incubators, and launching pads for adversaries and hybrid threats.”

    The video was used as part of an “Advanced Special Operations Combating Terrorism” course offered at JSOU earlier this year, for a lesson on “The Emerging Terrorism Threat.” JSOU is operated by U.S. Special Operations Command, the umbrella organization for America’s most elite troops. JSOU describes itself as geared toward preparing special operations forces “to shape the future strategic environment by providing specialized joint professional military education, developing SOF specific undergraduate and graduate level academic programs and by fostering special operations research.”

    More including the video:

    https://theintercept.com/2016/10/13/pentagon-video-warns-of-unavoidable-dystopian-future-for-worlds-biggest-cities/

    • DJ says:

      There will still be cafes with biijii robots?

    • Greg Machala says:

      All that takes energy. In such a chaotic mess where will the energy and resources come to maintain the city? Food? Clothing? Heat? The big cities will collapse very quickly. Once the thugs kill off (or run off) the people that bring in the food and keep the utilities going the thugs will die of starvation. Thug life thrives off stealing and looting. When there is nothing to steal or loot they will croak. Robots, computers and electricity will be some of the first modern conveniences to go kaputskie.

    • Greg Machala says:

      I used to think that we were heading for a totalitarian, dystopian future with millions in prisons and high-tech means of controlling the remaining slave population with implants, robocops and such. But, I realized that all that takes a functioning financial system, global trade,modern technology, energy and resources. We are actually living the dystopian future right now with drones killing people and the surveillance apparatus we have in place. All the plebs mindlessly tooling away their lives on iDevices voluntarily relinquishing their private lives. I no longer believe there is a dystopian future. Rather I think that populations will collapse back to pre-industrial levels and there will be a return to abject simplicity.

      • dolph says:

        This is a good point.
        I think of the world today as high tech but decreasing energy per capita.
        Inevitably, we will reach low tech and low energy per capita.

        • the bottom-line concept is:
          that we will find ourselves in an environment that can support 1 billion people, but with 8 or 9 bn
          people demanding a share of it.

          there’s a thousand ifs and maybes and dates to dress that up, but those 9bn are set to arrive by 2050 and no argument is going to alter that.

          if you believe they can be supported adequately–then fair enough.

          if they can’t be supported, then several of those maybes are going to kick humanity in the collective teeth, and soon.

          you cannot feed people on the output of solar panels and windmills—and as those 9bn grow to adulthood they are going to fight for survival

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

            i seriously doubt a human population of 9 billion by 2050, as we’ll probably peak at 8 to 8.5 billion by 2025-2030. the backside will be doubly exponential downward, a real cliff. of course, few will be around to witness and record these events. no apps, no internet, no working iPhones, PCs, TVs.

            • no one can put an accurate figure on the 2050 population—I was following the current projections.

              Personally I think there must be some kind of catastrophe to prevent us reaching that level—but any statement about that has to be a wild guess—no one, including me, can imagine that our current comfortable lifestyle could be anything other than it is now.

              Yet I cannot ignore the fact that 2 world wars killed 100m, and barely dented population growth, so whatever it is has to be infinetly greater than that.

      • Dr Fast Eddy says:

        I reckon that the scenario anticipated in ‘the plan’ describes what happens for a short period as BAU hits the wall…. it is the total chaos that comes as the riots start…. an attempt to hold the wall…

        It will without a doubt fail — probably as strategic reserves of petrol run out … and the military goes to pieces.

        That’s when the really grim scenario starts — mass starvation — extreme violence — with no police or military to stop it —- then the spent fuel ponds blow…. and soon afterwards it’s all over….

        • and in the absence of wages, police and military always resort to self employment

          • bandits101
            bandits101 says:

            Starvation and disease have in the past been the main drivers of any population decrease. In the absence of a devastating nuclear exchange they again are likely to be the main contributors of a population decrease………in the short term that is, for in the long term global warming will put paid to anything larger than a rabbit.

            The world wars didn’t reduce populations because they were over a period of a combined ten years. They also predominately killed males, leaving females to continue breeding. If you want wars to reduce populations then send the females off to fight and die.

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

              Agreed! This is also the reason that China and India have long had a preference for male babies. Killing off unwanted females, or aborting female fetuses, acts as a way of holding population growth down. If the sex imbalance becomes a problem, it is possible to change the laws so that two bothers can share the same wife. The wife tends not to have more babies, however.

  34. Lastcall says:

    Hey there, this dude says in 5 years the great transformation to Solar will be ON!!

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/201833268/the-power-giving-potential-of-perovskite

    So drill baby drill until then huh…?

    Meanwhile from a commentator on Wolf Street we have…

    ‘So the real question is in light of all the things going on in the financial world as well as the overall world’s economic situation is ;
    When does the House of Cards finally come falling to the ground . And what might finally cause it ? A quote from the now deceased Wall Street Baron , creator of over the counter trading , staunch Conservative , hard core capitalist as well as one of the wealthiest men in the US in his day : Morris Cohon to his son* back in in the early 70’s that might provide a clue ; [ edited for excess profanity only ]

    “ Capitalism is dying boy . Its dying of its own internal contradictions . You think the revolution is gonna take five years . Its gonna take fifty . So keep your head down . And hang in there for the long haul because I’ll tell you something , The sons of [ censored ] running things don’t give a damn about their children or their grandchildren and they certainly don’t give a [ censored ] about you . They’ve paid their dues and they want to get out with theirs . They’re gonna sell off everything thats not nailed down to the highest bidder . Don’t get crushed when it topples down . Take care of yourself and your family . If you can make a difference do it but there are huge forces at work here and the have to play themselves out according to their own designs not yours . Watch yourself . “

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

      The problem with the perovskite is that the output is still intermittent. That has a huge cost associated with it.

    • Pintada says:

      Dear Lastcall;

      So, this guy thinks the research points to a practical application of a scientific principle, and he may be correct. What society needs is a cheap available technology to power everything now. There is a 20 year difference in the two ideas.

      Bench scale scientific work precedes practical employment by years,
      Pintada

  35. Dr Fast Eddy says:

    Alert – Alert – Alert —– deflationary death spiral picking up steam….. step to the side please….

    And consumers have reached a breaking point. The government’s statistics agency IBGE reported today that its narrower measure of retail sales, which excludes cars and building materials, dropped 4.9% year-over year in December, “frustrating hopes that end-year markdowns would boost demand for electronics and home appliances,” as Reuters put it.

    In all of 2016, this narrow measure of retail sales dropped 6.2%, the worst decline in the IBGE’s data series going back to 2001.

    http://wolfstreet.com/2017/02/14/brazil-retail-sales-auto-sales-fall-as-unemployment-inflation-hit-consumers/

  36. psile
    psile says:

    Oil and gas discoveries dry up to lowest total for 60 years

    Discoveries of new oil and gasfields have dropped to a fresh 60-year low, as companies put a brake on exploration and large fields have become harder to find. There were only 174 oil and gas discoveries worldwide last year, compared to an average of 400-500 per year up until 2013, according to IHS Markit, the research group. The slowdown in exploration success shows that the world is likely to become increasingly reliant on “unconventional” resources such as US shale oil and gas to meet demand for energy in future decades. The typical time from discovery to production is five to seven years, so a shortfall in oil and gas discoveries now implies tighter supplies in the next decade. However, there are signs of a tentative upturn in conventional exploration this year, with some companies including Statoil of Norway planning to step up drilling activity. Discoveries hit a six-decade low in 2015, and then dropped again last year to about 8.2bn barrels equivalent of oil and gas. The slowdown reflects both the cyclical cuts in exploration made by companies struggling to stay afloat after the drop in oil and gas prices since 2014, and the structural shift in the industry towards onshore shale and similar reserves, especially in North America.

    https://assets.bwbx.io/images/users/iqjWHBFdfxIU/icbkDFACM4iA/v2/800x-1.png

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

      This has to do with low prices, and thus lack of money for drilling exploratory wells. Also, there is no point in extracting oil, if the market price is too low.

      • Greg Machala says:

        We can thank those big discoveries in the 50s, 60s and early 70s for most of the infrastructure we have today. Looking at the discoveries in the 90s’, 00s’ and 10s’ one can infer that the future infrastructure build-out will be much less.

      • psile
        psile says:

        Most conventional oil has already been found. ~90%. The planet is like swiss cheese from all the exploration for new provinces during the past century. There might be one more giant (0.5B-5B barrels) discovery during the drawdown of the last ~10%, but it will be too little too late.

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

          If the price were high enough, there is a lot of very heavy oil and oil from shale that could be tapped. We have known about a lot of this for a long time. It simply hasn’t been worth pursuing extracting. It most likely never will be.

          • Chris Harries – Tasmania
            Chris Harries says:

            I’ve been surprised by the estimates of remaining oil. Approx 21 trillion barrels, having extracted just over 1 trillion barrels. Sounds stupendously huge, but this is very misleading if not understood. Most oil (hydrocarbon liquids) isn’t sitting in huge underground ponds waiting to burst forth. It’s locked in geological matrices. At an immense cost about 6 trillion are conserved technically recoverable. This doesn’t take into accounts the economics of trying to do so. The constraints are inability to keep delivering to meet world demand plus cost of recovering increasing dirty and hard-to-get product.

            • psile
              psile says:

              Where talking about conventional oil. Crude + condensate. The stuff that built the modern world, and is currently backstopping unconventional production.

          • psile
            psile says:

            We’re talking about conventional oil. Crude + condensate. The stuff that built the modern world, and is currently backstopping unconventional production.

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

              We would be doing all right with unconventional oil, if it weren’t for the price. We can “crack” long molecules to become short molecules, if we need oil with shorter molecules. We know how to make small engines that use gasoline, and we have lots of uses for natural gas. We can gradually adapt to a somewhat different energy source fairly well, if that energy source is cheap enough.

            • Tim Groves – Japan
              Tim Groves says:

              So all we need is enough ingenuity and innovation to lower the cost of turning difficult-to-recover and difficult-to-process unconventional oil to somewhere around 20 bucks a barrel and we’re sorted for a few more years and then Eddy can get on with his bucket list.

  37. adonis says:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-13/great-unraveling interesting article of the past during the great depression will we have the chance to follow in their footsteps.

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

      I think that there may already be some of this issue–inability of the rich to spend money, because it would make them stand out too much from the less wealthy. Most of our children are doing noticeably less well than we as their parents are doing. Do we want to show off our wealth, if this would make our children feel poorer by comparison? This is also true with friends a person meets on a regular basis. If the friends are not rich, showing off wealth is not of a lot of benefit.

      • sheilach2 – Retired, live in Oregon, enjoy nature photography, reading, the internet, paleontology, evolution & science in general. I am a "born again" ATHEIST! Ancient mythologies belong in the history books not still being practiced today by people who should know better.
        sheilach2 says:

        There is another reason to hide your wealth, it makes you a TARGET for those without!
        I have a little money but I’m not about to try & look “rich”, I dress in old cloths, wear flip flops, zories, beach sandals, drive a old fuel efficient car, my home is small & plain, my jewlery is costume & I let people know those “diamonds” are fake.
        When TSHTF, wealthy people may regret having that BIG mansion.

      • kulmthestatusquo
        kulmthestatusquo says:

        In Georgia, maybe. In NYC, SF, Silicon Valley and West LA, they are not shy spending money and showing off to the people who have to sleep at street how wealthy they are, and how miserable the street people are, without impunity since they know police will side with them.

  38. Tim Groves – Japan
    Tim Groves says:

    It is no surprise that this post attracted the ire of renewables enthusiasts, particularly as Gail employed one of the more emotive “D” words — “delusion” in the title. That was like a red rag to a bull. There are many people who for various reasons have absorbed the idea that so-called “renewable energy” collection-based electrical generating technology such as photovoltaics and wind turbines is either the solution to or else a major part of the solution to the world’s energy supply problems. They certainly don’t believe they are deluded and they probably resent being labeled as such. Hence the appearance of some rather snappy and even hostile commenters earlier in this thread.

    Some people are convinced renewables ARE the solution and they can give detailed reasons why. Among this group we find industry insiders and evangelists for the technology as well as academics and journalists who have made an ethical commitment to promote the adoption of the technology. Others who are pro-renewables merely assume it is a solution because they can see more and more solar and wind units being deployed all over the place. What none of these enthusiasts have done, apparently, is to look at the bigger picture of the impacts on the overall economic system of how renewables are produced, how they are deployed, how they interact with the existing electrical production and distribution system, their total cumulative environmental impact from initial materials mining through to scrapping and recycling or abandonment, and how cost effective, practical, disruptive and, ultimately useful they are.

    Gail has spent a lot of time and done a lot of good work over the years collecting and analyzing relevant data and using it to try to create a reasonably clear view of the situation pertaining to real world energy issues and trends. This endeavor is a very welcome one to those of us with an interest in how the economic system works, because our usual view of the thing is through a glass darkly at best and more probably through a thick fog. In looking at the position of renewables within the whole, I think it’s fair to say that her views have become more critical over time as more data and evidence have come in. She has now reached the point where she feels she is on firm enough ground to declare that the idea that “Wind and Solar Will Save Us” is a delusion.

    As I said above, “delusion” is an emotive word. It’s probably as strong a rebuke as Gail’s unfailingly polite vocabulary will allow her to use. Is she correct? I think so — for all the reasons she’s given above. Moreover, I think it’s telling that nobody among the many pro-renewables advocates who have commented here have been able to debunk any of the things Gail said in the post. I had been hoping for at least one or two pieces of new information to be presented that would cast doubt on some of her assertions, because that’s the way we learn more. But there was nothing, not a sausage…..

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

      Thanks for your vote supporting my use of the word, “Delusion.” You are right, this is as strong a rebuke as my vocabulary allows. It is hard to get people’s attention. They seem to believe that somehow wind and solar are step in the right direction, even if they don’t go far enough. I think the situation is far worse. They are generally a step in the wrong direction. You can sometimes use a little bit, with subsidies. But there is no way you can scale them up, and any reasonable amount tends to drive prices too low for the backup generation that is needed.

    • sheilach2 – Retired, live in Oregon, enjoy nature photography, reading, the internet, paleontology, evolution & science in general. I am a "born again" ATHEIST! Ancient mythologies belong in the history books not still being practiced today by people who should know better.
      sheilach2 says:

      Oh my goodness, I have been reamed up one side & down the other for my refusal to believe that solar panels & wind turbines & their “renewable” bretherin are OUR SAVIORS!
      Their just a way of making PROFITS & JOBS at the end of the oil age & that they are as tied to OIL as our computers, cars & US.
      I’m so tired of hearing over & over how cheap their getting, how EVERYONE is buying them, how they can “replace” oil, how they can produce enough energy to replace themselves, how “clean & green” they are etc etc etc. These good people are just CLUELESS & their being LIED TO.
      As I have said many times, I’m not nearly as smart as Gail but even I could see that those “renewables” were a SCAM, since they are made with NONrenewable materials & required so much ENERGY to produce, they cannot save BAU.
      Nobody is addressing the fact that they produce NONE of the essential raw materials we now get from FF.
      I think too many people will only see what they WANT to see.
      Thank you Gail for giving us so many valid, logical reasons why “renewables” are a dead end, we are far beyond the edge of the cliff, we are already falling, we just haven’t gone “splat” yet.

      • Babakaput says:

        “I think too many people will only see what they WANT to see.”
        How true. Usually combined with a very strong entitlement belief tied in with humanism.
        I find the snarl that comes to their lips as they are confronted with their nonsense that is based on the supposed loveliness of the human species ironic.

  39. Glenn, your frantic posting, this mixture of incoherent facts, political, philosophical and religious ideas only serve as a method to avoid the real questions and that is not at all a sign of optimism. Quite contrary it is a sign of utter, utter desperation. You are the most desperate person here, Glenn. And with this Armageddon meme you got something wrong. Armageddon is not just about destruction, Armageddon comes with a winner. The faithful remnant, you know. The people that go around with “The End Is Near” signposts, expect to be saved. This seems not to be the attitude of the people here. When BAU stops, there will be no winner.

    • ITEOTWAWKI says:

      Excellent comment Wolfgang!!! For the many of us on this blog that see that BAU is nearing the end of it’s post WW2 run, and that with it, it will bring the end of JIT and by extension pretty much the end of all of us, it is not because we wish Armageddon or that we are doomsters. We are realists and we have realized that IC is totally unsustainable. And what is not sustainable….will not be sustained. We come to this site because Gail backs it up with hard numbers + it is nice to exchange with other people that have come to the same conclusion. I can tell you we are very few to have understood this predicament that we are in (predicament = no solution), and you can’t talk about this with anyone because they just think that you are crazy…

      • Tim Groves – Japan
        Tim Groves says:

        Agreed!! Most atheists have given up on individual salvation and they realize we are mortal and therefore doomed, regardless of how many vitamins we take. But very few of us have come to the realization that we are collectively doomed any time now in what the military call “strategic terms”. For the vast majority, this realization is a delusion. I have to be careful when chatting to the neighbors to keep to the weather and “how’s your farther?” so as not to reveal the full extent of my eccentricities.

    • Mark Bahner
      Mark Bahner says:

      “This seems not to be the attitude of the people here. When BAU stops, there will be no winner.”

      Is there some amount of time beyond which you will reach the conclusion that you were wrong? For example, if there’s no collapse in 10 years? Or 20? Or 30? Or 40?

      • dolph says:

        I cannot speak for everyone, but I’ve long believed our system will end by late 2030s at most. I think we have another 20 years give or take. And no, I will not just keep updating my prediction, to adjust as I see fit.

        • Mark Bahner
          Mark Bahner says:

          “I cannot speak for everyone, but I’ve long believed our system will end by late 2030s at most. I think we have another 20 years give or take.”

          And what signs do you think would indicate that the end is only a 1-3 years away? Or do you think that signs won’t be present until less than a year before the end?

          • DJ says:

            The income difference between UBI and a construction worker is minimal and the living standard of UBI is approaching riot level.

          • Greg Machala says:

            “do you think that signs won’t be present until less than a year before the end” – There will be no official warning or notice of collapse. I think what will happen is credit will freeze and no one will have access to money and commerce will stop on a dime. I think this will happen very suddenly. There will be no time for I told you so proclamations. There will be no collecting on gambles from bets of when the system collapses.

            I have thought 2015-2016 would be an inflection point where we pass a point of global indebtedness where the growth in debt goes exponentially through the roof. We are there now. at $20T in debt in the USA. I also felt the net energy per capita would begin to fall around the 2015-2016 time frame as well. And that seems to be the case as well. The waiting game begins no in earnest as the poor will have less and less. At what point do they riot. Considering the poor are making up ever increasing numbers of persons in the US, that will be quite uncontrollable.

            We can see other countries around the world falling apart: Venezuela, Greece, Syria, Yemen, Egypt, Spain and Italy on the verge too. If oil prices don’t or can’t go up to $80+ we are doomed in my opinion. Getting this industrial train to go past 2020 is going to be a mighty rough ride with lots of passengers falling off. How many people fall off the train before riots start. Look at the presidential election – there are people rioting over that. How much longer are the tensions going to stay in check?

          • Tim Groves – Japan
            Tim Groves says:

            I share your view, Greg. In fact, I think the end of BAU will come like the proverbial thief in the night. You and I won’t get to vote on it.

            On the other hand, I don’t think a date has been set yet by the Elders. Everyone wants to keep kicking that can down the road for as long as they can.

            By the way, I read some rumors in the Japanese press that there is a lot of project planning going on here for the period up to the 2020 Olympics, but not very much after that, with a faint suggestion that this could be ominous. Are they planning a reset? Or is this just idle gossip? If I hear anything more concrete, I’ll post on it.

            • InAlaska says:

              In Japan’s case, a lack of forward planning is probably rightly, so. Is there any industrialized economy more screwed then Japan? A small, but densely packed, urbanized country with almost zero natural resources, completely reliant on oil and gas imports, surrounded by potential and real Fukushima events and encompassed by a very large and powerful, aggressive China. Not a good bet for post collapse survival.

        • Ert says:

          @Dolph

          I hope you are right! – since me gut feeling points to an earlier demise. Can’t imagine for example cheap Air-Travel for the masses by 2027. And if that goes.. a lot of dependent and equally complex / energy consuming things will parish.

      • Given that our lives literally hang by the dripping thread of oil, we (humankind that is) will not reach the end of our collective oil production/ use, look down the pipe, then look around and say “now what?”

        You can take that as a certainty.

        So by definition something must happen before we get there.

        We are offered platitudes that we have oil to last 40 years—but that is based on my ”last drop” scenario above.
        So we can say: before we get there we will start to fight over diminishing reserves, because electricity is useless without an oil based infrastructure.
        And as fighting intensifies, access to what little oil is available will become almost impossible.

        Imagine Syria magnified across Saudi, Iran an Iraq. (with Russia sitting just to the north) Already we have a loony president saying—why can’t we just take their oil?–As if it is a trophy that can be shipped out en masse under armed guard.
        Crazy?—Obviously, but it reflects the thinking about the “oil prize” that somehow the nation that holds all the oil cards wins the global pot.

        The “end” will not arrive on the instant, unless Korean Kim starts throwing nukes out of his pram–instead fighting will gradually intensify as it becomes obvious that oil has no substitute.
        Shortage will drive conflict and thus compound shortage incrementally with more conflict.

        When?—If we have 40 years of oil left (being ultra generous there) then we cannot go on pumping it out to provide “infinite growth” until 2060 and then just stop.
        So as the flow slows, conflict will begin. Saudi has to buy off its unemployable young men–they cannot return to their desert to herd goats. So they are going to fight for survival.
        Collapse will accelerate until an oil-less balance is achieved, probably over a 10 maybe 20 year period (denial is a powerful human trait— terminal decline is still being seen as sporadic warfare, but we are in terminal decline now).
        The USA will decline further–that will be blamed on “outside forces”

        You don’t need me to elaborate on the next move of an unstable president.

      • I just stated a fact, Mark. When BAU stops there will be no winner. That´s a fact. Like it´s a fact that infinite growth is not possible in a finite world. Or that there are no real substitutes for fossil fuels. And that you cannot feed 7,5 billion people without fertilizer. And that you need oil for the fertilizer. And that oil production makes no sense when the netenergie factor is to low. And so on and so on.
        It will not happen as long as the Ponzi works. As long as you can make people believe that throwing good money after bad money makes actually sense. But when you are really looking, you can see the cracks in the story. You know, 2008 I was not yet into the energy thing. I was just wondering about the sudden intense panic on the highest level of finance and government worldwide. And then a situation caused by depth was covered by more depth. And then this panic was replaced by overconfidence. And with low oil prices and zero interest rates. But no investions, no demand came out of it. Strange. And purchase power dropped. Then I came into the energy thing and I understood. And many people understand already that the party is over. But mostly on the level of unconscious fear sometimes disguised as overconfident hopium. Like you. Otherwise you would not bring again and again this stupid bet business into this thread.

        • Mark Bahner
          Mark Bahner says:

          “When BAU stops there will be no winner. That´s a fact.” –>That’s a prediction, not a fact.

          “Like it´s a fact that infinite growth is not possible in a finite world.”–>Assuming you’re claiming that the economy can’t be infinitely large in a finite world, that’s a prediction, not a fact.

          “Or that there are no real substitutes for fossil fuels.”–>A prediction and an opinion.

          “And that you cannot feed 7,5 billion people without fertilizer.”–>Another prediction.

          “And that you need oil for the fertilizer.”–>Nitrogenous fertilizers are made from natural gas, not petroleum.

          “And many people understand already that the party is over.”–>Here is a fact. The average per-capita gross world product in the past decade has been higher than in any decade in 10,000 years of human civilization.

          • Glenn Stehle says:

            Mark,

            You are absolutely right.

            A great many people who comment on this blog don’t know the difference between a prediction and a fact.

            I mark this up to another telltale sign that peakism is a religion, because this is one of the hallmarks of religion.

            But it might also be indicative of a much more profound problem, and that is how science and epistemology have gone off the rails. Nietzsche was perhaps the first to render such a harsh judment on science, noting that the differences between religion, philosophy and science are not thaqt great. As he notes in The Birth of Trajedy:

            Thus, though metaphysics is an illusion from the point of view of science, science in turn becaomes but another stage of illusion as far as absolute truth is concerned… But faith in the omnipotence of reason shatters, for the courageouly persistent thinker, not only on the fact that science can never complete its work but chiefly on the positive apprehnsion that reality is irrational.

            — FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE, The Birth of Trajedy

            The absolutism that we see manifested from many commenters on this blog is a characteristic of relgion, not science, because as Carroll Quigley notes in The Evolution of Civilizations:

            Eventually, to be sure, erroneous theories will fail to work and their falseness will be revealed, but it may take a very long time for this to happen, especially if men continue to operate in the limited areas in which the erroneous theories were formulated.

            Thus scientific theories must be recognized as hypotheses and as subjective human creations no matter how long they remain unrefuted.

            — CARROLL QUIGLEY, The Evolution of Civilizations

            • Joebanana says:

              “I mark this up to another telltale sign that peakism is a religion, because this is one of the hallmarks of religion”

              Glen-
              It is not religion to do math and really, this is math. There is only so much “stuff” to be used up. I certainly hope you are right and it is a problem far into the future but how hard is it to understand that if we kill every codfish in the ocean there will be no more codfish?

            • You two really deserve each other. Although I sense a certain reservation from Mark getting into your realm, Glenn. He seems not to be a religious person. Give it a try Mark, Glenn really needs you. I by the way am not at all an anti-religious person. But for the time being I do not want to discuss this here. Gail had in the post before this one some very interesting remarks that touched on a transcendental, even religious perspective. It made definitely sense to me. Anyhow, this discussion here is not about science versus religion or science as religion or whatever, it is just about common sense. I am through the dot.com bubble, the house bubble and some other bubbles. And I met some very intelligent people in all this bubbles that went completely astray. And also you and Mark are intelligent people but seemingly without common sense and thus believing absurd things. Like for instance, that software is something immaterial and therefore our economy is driven by immaterial things and therefore when the SHTF we come simply up with another immaterial thing that will save us. Without realizing that immaterial software is completely useless without material hardware. A hardware that depends on a high energy input on an industrial scale for its production and maintenance. An energy input that depends on and is not possible without fossil fuels. Or believing that shale production is workable without subsidies and ponzi financing. However, I leave you with your hallucinations.

            • Glenn Stehle says:

              Joebanana,

              It is true that in Modernist ideology math is believed to be the one true way to reveal absolute truth, and without the imprimatur of and some elaborate display of mathematical virtuosity, a theory is dismissed out of hand.

              But as Robert H. Nelson notes in Economics as Religion,, economists mathed up their science too — because according to Modernist ideology if your science isn’t mathed up,it isn’t science at all — and how has that worked out?

              Friedman made heavy use of the same mathematical and statistical methods that Samuelson and his Cambridge colleagues were making standard operating procedure throughout the economics profession.

              — ROBERT H. NELSON, Economics as Relgiion

              In The Human Condition Hannah Arendt goes on to explain why math offers no path to revealing absolute truth, and that it often does more to obscure reality than to reveal it: The “mathematization of physics,” she observes,

              by which the absolute renunciation of the senses for the purpose of knowing was carried through, had in its last stages the unexpected and yet plausible consequence that every quesiton man puts to nature is answered in terms of mathematical patterns….

              Its highest ideal must therefore be mathematical knowledge as the modern age understands it, that is, not the knowledge of ideal forms given outside the mind but of forms produced by a mind which in this particular instance does not even need the stimulation — or, rather, the irritation — of the senses by objects other than itself. This theory is certainly what Whitehead calls it, “the outcome of common-sense in retreat.”….

              When Descartes’ analytical geometry treated…nature and the world, so “that its relations, however complicated, must always be expressible in algebraic formulae,” mathematics succeded in reducing and translating all that man is not into patterns which are identical with human mental structures…

              Now the phenomena could be saved only in so far as they could be reduced to a mathematical order, and this mathematical operation [serves] to reduce these data to the measure of the human mind, which, given enough distance, being sufficiently remote and uninvolved, can look upon and handle the multitude and variety of the concrete in accordance with its own patterns and symbols….

              Under this condition of remoteness, every assemblage of things is transofmred into a mere multitude and every multitude, no matter how disordered, incoherent, and confused, will fall into certain patterns and configurations possessing the same validity and no more significance than the mathematical curve, which, as Leibniz once remarked, can always be found between points thrown at random on a piece of paper….

              The modern reduction scientiae ad mathematicam has overruled the testimony of nature as witnessed at close range by human senses in the same way that Leibnitz overrruled the knowledge of the haphazard origin and the chaotic nature of the dot-covered piece of paper.

              — HANNAH ARENDT, The Human Condition

            • Dr Fast Eddy says:

              You are both trying to so hard to outdo each other with ridiculous comments… I can see you are both very keen on wearing the crown.

              How about a compromise – Glenn you can be the Village Idiot of FW …. and Mark … you are hereby appointed The Jester (aka The Fool) of FW.

              Agreed?

          • Glenn Stehle says:

            Hannah Arendt, in The Life of the Mind, gives this explanation of how science and epistemology went off the rails::

            [I]t is true that without Kant’s unshackling of speculative thought the rise of German idealism and its metaphysical systems would hardly have been possible. But the new brand of philosophers — Fichte, Schelling, Hegel — would scarcely have pleased Kant.

            Liberated by Kant from the old school dogmatism and its sterile exercises, encouraged by him to indulge in speculative thinking, they actually took their cue from Descartes, went hunting for certainty, blurred once again the distinguishing line between thought and knowledge, and believed in all earnest that the results of their speculations possessed the same kind of validity as the results of cognitive processes.

            — HANNAH ARENDT, The Life of the Mind.

      • Pintada says:

        Dear Mark Bahner;

        “Is there some amount of time beyond which you will reach the conclusion that you were wrong? For example, if there’s no collapse in 10 years? Or 20? Or 30? Or 40?”

        There is a chance that collapse will be so slow that it will be very hard to identify the start of the collapse, much less forecast its inception.

        Did the collapse begin in 2001? On 9/11 the US was attacked, but the countries that the US punished had nothing to do with it. It wasn’t just the US that bombed the wrong country BTW.

        Did the collapse happen in 2008? Anyone that can read and understand economics knows that 90% of the population is worse off now than in 2007.

        Pick another date … 1972 for example.

        The thing is, that we can’t be wrong in the long run. Infinite growth using the finite resources available from a finite planet is impossible, and what cannot continue will stop. Therefore, a collapse is inevitable and unstoppable.

        Kieth the local space nut will insist that we must (and can – thus the nut part) leave the planet to save the species. If we had not squandered so much oil and other FF to buy cheap crap, pointless wars, etc. and instead had invested in what was called “Pie in the Sky” starting in the ’70s then he might be correct. Now, he is a nut.

        So Mark, I’ll ask the reverse question: What makes you think that infinite growth on a finite planet can occur?

        Think about it,
        Pintada

        • Mark Bahner
          Mark Bahner says:

          “So Mark, I’ll ask the reverse question: What makes you think that infinite growth on a finite planet can occur?”

          It depends what the growth is. If it’s something that’s physical, it can’t grow infinitely. For example, if it’s the number of people on earth, that can’t grow infinitely.

          But if it’s something that’s *not* physical, then there’s the possibility that it can grow infinitely. For example, gross world product per capita is the total annual *value* of goods and services per person. *Value* is not physical. Let me some examples:

          1) Suppose Bill Gates could buy a pill for himself and his family and friends. Suppose one pill cost $5 million, but would guarantee that anyone who took it would live to age 100, with the healthiness of a 25-year-old. Well, Bill Gates would probably spend billions of dollars on that pill, but the pill would be miniscule.

          2) There was an author I admired as a young person, by the name of William (Bill) Nolen. He died in 1986 at age 58 from heart disease. I had surgery a few years ago, in which tiny drug-elutriating stents were put in my left anterior descending (LAD) coronary artery…aka, “the widow maker.” If I hadn’t had that surgery, I probably would have died near the same age as Bill Nolen. Because of those stents, hopefully I won’t. Those stents are tiny, tiny things, but they’re very valuable.

          3) Many of the richest people in the world today made their billions from software. Software isn’t physical. It’s valuable, but it’s not physical.

          4) I think perovskite solar cells are the “next big thing” in photovoltaics. But they’re incredibly thin, and take extremely little energy to fabricate. Compared to, for example, a lignite-fired power plant, 1 megawatt-hour of electricity generated by perovskite solar cells will take far less energy, and far fewer materials. So it’s possible to create things that generate equal or greater value than things we currently have, while actually taking *less* energy and *less* physical resources than we use today.

          Gross world product per person is a measure of value. That’s why it can be infinitely large.

          • ITEOTWAWKI says:

            Okay now you’re just trolling us…you have to be…that answer is surreal…

            • Mark Bahner
              Mark Bahner says:

              “Okay now you’re just trolling us…you have to be…that answer is surreal.”

              No offense…this is my “Asperger’s” talking ;-)…but I’m not the one here with the wacky idea that energy/resources are going to cause the world economy to crash sometime within the next few decades. Y’all won’t see that in models by people who make their living modeling the world economy and energy…people like the World Bank, the US. Energy Information Administration, the IPCC, BP, etc.

              As Carl Sagan used to say, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” The claim that the world economy is even going to stop growing…let alone crash…in the next few decades is an extraordinary claim. And the claim that energy/resources will be the reason for the crash is extraordinary squared.

            • ITEOTWAWKI says:

              Mark said:

              As Carl Sagan used to say, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”

              What do you think this blog has been doing for the past few years. How long have you been here? Have you been reading Gail’s articles?

              Mark said:

              but I’m not the one here with the wacky idea that energy/resources are going to cause the world economy to crash sometime within the next few decades.

              Loll next few decades? Try next 5 years…

            • Mark Bahner
              Mark Bahner says:

              “Loll next few decades? Try next 5 years…”

              So the world economy is going to crash within 5 years? Crash to what level, as a percentage of the current level?

            • Joebanana says:

              Mark-
              Nobody really knows. I’d suggest doing some research on 2008 and how fast things went south. I’m still buying green bananas but I don’t worry about pension plans.

            • Mark Bahner
              Mark Bahner says:

              “Nobody really knows. I’d suggest doing some research on 2008 and how fast things went south.”

              Per this website, the world GDP growth rate was:
              4.32% in 2007
              1.82% in 2008
              -1.7% in 2009
              4.37% in 2010
              3.10% in 2011

              http://www.multpl.com/world-gdp-growth-rate/table/by-year

              This is the sort global economic crash y’all are worrying about?

            • Dr Fast Eddy says:

              Look – they just dreamed up another stupid comment to post.

              It is incredible what two profoundly stupid morons when they put their two quarters of a brain together.

              Nice one Mark — brilliant — considering the combined IQ of you and Glenn is 47.

            • what those figures show is freewheeling
              as long as sufficient debt is taken on, then growth rate can continue forever

              but debt is a call on future growth, and future growth can only happen if there is sufficient energy in the system to support it.–If you think energy availability is infinite then you have no problems at all.

              example—i buy a house now—that shows up on the gdp figures as growth.–the house itself is a block of embodied energy. that enegy cannot be used again.(unless i burn it down to keep warm)
              if i pay cash for it–i’m using previously earned energy tokens—maybe an inheritance

              on the other hand, if i take out a mortgage—i am mortgaging a future in which i must earn sufficient new ‘energy tokens’ whose value exceeds that of the house itself–over the next 25 years.

              as our ‘economy’ is entirely oil/gas/coal-funded, you must ask yourself honestly if there will be sufficient fuel in the system to sustain it for 25 years–ie to pay your wages.
              Bear in mind that 80m people show up every year wanting a share of available fuel supplies.
              So there is less and less to go round, thus diminishing the real value of wages.

              The inevitable result of that will be that while the ‘debt’ of the mortgage will remain constant, the availability of money to pay it off will not.

              Then you fall off the debt cliff.

            • Joebanana says:

              Mark-
              Do some research as to how much of a problem the negative GDP had on the the financial system. The system we have is not made to deal with negative growth. Once you understand that and move on to understanding what causes it to grow, cheap energy, it will start to dawn on you how big the problem is. You are getting their.

          • Joebanana says:

            Mark-
            A stent, in itself, is inexpensive, but the energy it took to develop the knowledge and technology to create and install it is enormous. You just can’t seem to make that connection. The same with the pill.

            • Mark Bahner
              Mark Bahner says:

              “A stent, in itself, is inexpensive, but the energy it took to develop the knowledge and technology to create and install it is enormous.”

              1) A stent, by itself, isn’t inexpensive. Despite being smaller than and having less mass than a paperclip, a drug-elutriating stent costs over $1000.

              2) The energy it took to develop the knowledge. I don’t even know what that means.

              3) Even if I accepted your claim that, “…the energy it took to develop the knowledge and technology to create and install it is enormous…”–which I don’t–how does that have any effect on the world going forward? Those tiny amounts of energy have already been expended. Going forward, stents add a tremendous amount to world gross domestic product for an incredibly small amount of energy expended to manufacture them.

            • Froggman says:

              Mark, it’s one of the basic premises of the work that Gail and many others operating in this space build from: people don’t generally understand how interconnected industrial civilization is and that you can’t just take the pieces you like and leave out the others.

              The stent is actually a great example. Expensive, inexpensive, valuable, not valuable- these are just human constructs. The point is, we have stents here in the first world because of 200 years or so of explosive fossil fuel growth and expansion. There’s a reason they don’t have stents in little villages in sub-Saharan Africa or the jungles of southeast Asia. The stent is a pinnacle of technology, that depends on there being a massive scientific and medical industry, supported by huge flows of resources and energy. Thomas Edison couldn’t have just invented a stent: you still need another hundred+ years of added complexity, energy, growth, pollution, etc, before you can arrive at a stent.

              Every little piece of crap we have today, no matter how valuable, is there because of the massive infrastructure of oil wells, gas pipelines, cars and trucks rushing around, coal plants pumping out electricity.

              When Gail spends thousands of hours laying out the case why this cheap abundent energy is coming to an end, those of us who understand the fundamental interdependency of civilization realize that this mean an end to the viability of the system.

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

              LEDs are not in biotechnology, but they could not be built either without the whole system. Same with computers and cell phones. The Internet depends on consumers being willing to spend money on accounts to download movies and other stuff. It probably could not run on a handful of applications.

            • Mark Bahner
              Mark Bahner says:

              “When Gail spends thousands of hours laying out the case why this cheap abundant energy is coming to an end,…”

              She posted this curve in her comments on this post:

              https://ourfiniteworld.com/2017/01/30/the-wind-and-solar-will-save-us-delusion/comment-page-24/#comment-115484

              …how does that curve “…lay out the case why this cheap abundant energy is coming to an end…”?

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

              Our basic problem is that we cannot get the price up high enough. If we could get the price up high enough, there would not be a problem. This issue is an affordability problem. People’s wages do not go up. That is why crude oil is stuck in a price range ($52 to $54 for WTI) that is way below the cost of production for most providers. Certainly on a worldwide basis it is way too low. Even Saudi Arabia, with its Manifa project, is likely not doing well, especially when needed tax revenue is factored in.

              http://www.saudiaramco.com/content/dam/pageassets/royal%20inugurations/Manifa/manifa07.jpg/_jcr_content/renditions/cq5dam.web.960.540.jpeg

            • Mark Bahner
              Mark Bahner says:

              Gail writes, “Our basic problem is that we cannot get the price up high enough.”

              So cheap and abundant energy is going to come to an end because we cannot get the price up high enough…?

            • Froggman says:

              If a meal costs $10 and I only have $8 to pay, I go hungry.

              If producing a barrel of oil costs $60, $70, or $80 and the world can barely afford $50, we all go hungry.

            • stents consume a vast amount of energy in keeping people alive who would otherwise be dead

              thus they stay around to consume more of a finite fuel supply.

              The global economy/energy system cannot afford to sustain every breath of life—thi is why we have 7.5 bn instead of 1 bn.

          • Pintada says:

            Dear Mark Bahner;

            “But if it’s something that’s *not* physical, then there’s the possibility that it can grow infinitely.”

            Too true! You certainly got me.

            I can readily imagine the growth of the number of angels on the head of a pin, or the number of unicorns in the local forest to grow indefinitely. I was talking about little details, like food, water, infrastructure … you know the things stupid people like me want in their lives.

            Thanks for the insight,
            Pintada

            • Pintada says:

              My god where do these m-o-r-o-n-s come from?

            • Mark Bahner
              Mark Bahner says:

              Obviously, Pintada, you consider yourself quite the clever fellow. The current per-capita gross world product (purchasing power parity basis) is over $15,000. What is the limit to the per-capita gross world product?

            • Dr Fast Eddy says:

              Mark – this is the sign of anti-genius…. how did you come up with such anti-brilliance?

              Do you have a wall? Do you drink drano/roundup? Were you dropped head first on the ground repeatedly as a child?

              Truly anti-magnificent! Anti-Bravo! Anti-Applause!

              “But if it’s something that’s *not* physical, then there’s the possibility that it can grow infinitely.”

          • Pintada says:

            Hawking is partly correct. He should have said, “I think the human race has no future.” Since obviously we will not go further into space than we have already gone.

      • Glenn Stehle says:

        Mark Bahner,

        You’ve hit upon the dilemma which all end-times theologies face.

        As Matthew Schneider-Mayerson observes in Peak Oil: Apocalyptic Environmentalism and LIbertarian Political Culture, peakists have been predicting that peak oil and social collapse are imminent for nye on forty years now. And yet, none of the doomsday predictions have come true.

        You have to give the more thoughtful Christian end-timers one thing, and that is that they, quite unlike the peakists, at least acknowledge that this repeated failure of the prophecy to come true creates a credibility problem for their gospel. Here’s how Glenn L. Hill and Don Preston describe the problem in Christianity’s Great Dilemma: Is Jesus Coming Again or Is He Not?:

        Do you ever ponder about how very long you have been promised that “Jesus is coming soon,” but He has not? ….

        For most of my fifty of years preaching I taught that Jesus’ Second Coming was near, so near that I expected to live to see the Advent. The ministers I listened to as a boy had the same message and expectation, but they died without seeing Jesus.

        Most ministers of the past hundred years have proclaimed that “Jesus is coming soon,” but He has not returned. Do you ever wonder why? Modern-day prophets have kept us in great anticipation as they predicted the imminent coming of the antichrist, along with the great tribulation, rapture, end of the world, end of time, and Armageddon. Do you ever consider that decades pass, and one century ends and another begins, yet NONE of these prophecies come to pass?

        https://www.amazon.com/Christianitys-Great-Dilemma-Jesus-Coming/dp/1453873740

        • Peter Molon says:

          Name dropping, “following”, quotes, and links but no honest discussion. All marks of avoidance to avoid the a honest discussion.

          Address infinite growth, finite planet. You dare not. All you do is slander and avoid. Boring.

        • sheilach2 – Retired, live in Oregon, enjoy nature photography, reading, the internet, paleontology, evolution & science in general. I am a "born again" ATHEIST! Ancient mythologies belong in the history books not still being practiced today by people who should know better.
          sheilach2 says:

          All these men of “god” had to do was to just READ THEIR BIBLES!!
          It’s written right in there when Jesus was suppose to have returned, he said “Those STANDING HERE WOULD LIVE to SEE him return with the father, to judge~” .
          Now unless your a hopeless IDIOT or a “true believer”, you would know that humans don’t live for thousands of years & therefore, Jesus will never return!
          He was just a deluded “god” man who’s message competed with that of the Jewish priests & they had to get rid of him, he could cut into their PROFITS!
          Remember the thing with the money changers at the Temple? That’s why they had to get rid of him! He cut into their PROFITS!
          If he even existed, he died on a Roman cross like any other ordinary human would have & was stashed away someplace so it could be claimed that he had “risen”.
          NO he didn’t, he just died – period.
          I hope I’m not still around when those billions of believers finally realize that they have been duped for thousands of years by those self made “god” men & their LIES.
          I would also hate to be a “god” man when & if they did finally wake up!

        • “Apocalyptic Environmentalism and LIbertarian Political Culture,”
          Those like yourself Glenn who are unable to have honest conversations like to characterize. Created dualism is convenient to retain ignorance.

          I would characterize the left as have a overwhelming belief in humanism. That everyone can have everything. This is obviously contrary to the truth of finite resources.

          Your characterization of the left in association with those exploring ideas on this blog holds no merit. Your writing works against the truth.

          The word conservatism however implies finite resources, If there are infinite resources why need to conserve. In practice those calling themselves conservatives are not while conservationists are. Generally those calling themselves conservatives acknowledge finite resources with the caveat that only those deserving should have access which is of course them.

          Your next characterization of the “Christian end-timers” with those exploring ideas on this blog also has no merit, Belief in a finite world not religious beliefs is the true characterization of those exploring ideas on this blog, Your writing works against the truth.

          You can not just come out and say “you guys are crazy because you believe in a finite world” because it obviously the truth that we live in a finite world. You instead create these elaborate fantasy associations rather than address the fundamental exploration of this blog; the implications of exponential growth in a finite world. You run and hide from any exploration of the implications of exponential growth in a finite world and spin elaborate distractions. Your writing works against the truth.

        • bandits101
          bandits101 says:

          “Peakists”….”predicting”…..”social collapse”…..”imminent”…….”nye on forty years”….”doomsday predictions”.
          I say strawman creations. Do you have some proof or examples, just to ease my skeptical intuition.

        • Lastcall says:

          But but… its not the Stent that is important in-of-itself; its the structure surrounding that surgery that is incredibly resource hungry. Trained Doctors, nurses, the infrastructure for training, the hospitalisation and surgery, the manufacturing of all the equipment needed etc etc …etc.

          These are complex assemblies of people, services and equipment. Perhaps you would be prepared to undergo surgery using the products of your perovskite world and hope for a sunny day ;or be connected to the windmill after you consult the weather forecast..from satellites put into orbit with ..oh you know, fossil fuels! Be pretty sparse operation in Germany over winter.

          The thing about complexity is that it is complex, and with diminishing returns.

          But hey keep up the commentary, its hilarious.

          • Jesse James says:

            I just came out of biotech after 15 yrs. I can assure you that the entire biotech industry, including stents is in a fed funded bubble. Everything is based on fed payments, fed reimbursements, etc. and all that is based on printing $1T /yr of fake money. When the fed debt based budget is forced to be scaled by the energy scarcity, biotech will nosedive. Stents may still be around but only for the wealthy…for a while. I know a guy with a medical related business…he got taken off the reimbursement list…and his business is hurting big time.

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

              Thanks! I hadn’t thought about biotech being a bubble.

              I think the Fed budget will need to be scaled back because of recession cause by low demand (low wages, etc.) This may or may not look like scarce energy. It may look like energy glut and low prices.

  40. Duncan Idaho says:

    Dam hippies right again——–

    Oroville Dam: Feds and state officials ignored warnings 12 years ago

    Three environmental groups — the Friends of the River, the Sierra Club and the South Yuba Citizens League — filed a motion with the federal government on Oct. 17, 2005, as part of Oroville Dam’s relicensing process, urging federal officials to require that the dam’s emergency spillway be armored with concrete, rather than remain as an earthen hillside

    The groups filed the motion with FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. They said that the dam, built and owned by the state of California, and finished in 1968, did not meet modern safety standards because in the event of extreme rain and flooding, fast-rising water would overwhelm the main concrete spillway, then flow down the emergency spillway, and that could cause heavy erosion that would create flooding for communities downstream, but also could cause a failure, known as “loss of crest control.”

    FERC rejected that request, however, after the state Department of Water Resources, and the water agencies that would likely have had to pay the bill for the upgrades, said they were unnecessary.

    Federal officials at the time said that the emergency spillway was designed to handle 350,000 cubic feet per second and the concerns were overblown.

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