Why Energy-Economy Models Produce Overly Optimistic Indications

I was asked to give a talk to a committee of actuaries who are concerned about modeling the financial future of programs, such as pension plans, given the energy problems that are often discussed. They (and the consultants that they hire) have been using an approach that puts problems far off into the future. I was trying to explain why the approach that they were using didn’t really make sense.

Below are the slides I used, and a little explanation. A PDF of my presentation can be downloaded at this link: The Mirror Image Problem.

Slide 1

FCAS stands for “Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society”; MAAA stands for “Member of the American Academy of Actuaries.” Actuaries tend not to be interested in academic degrees.

Slide 2

I try to explain how a more complex situation can be hidden in plain sight.

Slide 3

It is not obvious that both the needs of energy producers and energy consumers should be considered.

Slide 4

If we look back at what the discussions of the time were, we can see when remarks were that prices were too high for consumers, and when they were too low for producers. See for example my article, Oil Supply Limits and the Continuing Financial Crisis and my post, Beginning of the End? Oil Companies Cut Back on Spending. This latter article shows that companies were already cutting back on spending in 2013, when prices appeared to be high, because even at a $100+ per barrel level, they still were not high enough for producers.

Slide 5

Oil companies tend to extract the cheapest and easiest to extract oil first. Eventually, they find that they need to move on to more expensive to extract fields–even with technology enhancements, costs are rising. There seems to have been a step up in costs starting about the year 2000. The above chart is by Steve Kopits. This EIA data (in Figure 10) also shows a pattern of sharply rising costs about the same time.

The problem, of course, is that wages have not been spiking in the same pattern. As a result, we encounter the problem of prices being either too high for consumers, or too low for producers, as we saw on Slide 4.

Slide 6

The economy is “built up” from many different parts. It includes governments, businesses, and consumers. It also includes people with jobs in the economy, and individuals and businesses making investments in the economy. It gradually changes over time, as new businesses and new laws are added, and as other changes are made. The wages that workers earn influence how much they can spend. The economy keeps re-optimizing, based on the goods and services available at a given time. Thus, slide rules are no longer commonly sold; it is not easy to buy horse-drawn carriages. This is why I show the economy as hollow.

Slide 7

Let’s talk a little about how economic growth occurs in a networked economy.

Slide 8

Clearly, tools and technology can be very helpful in creating economic growth. I am using the term “tools” very broadly, to include any kind of structure or device we build to aid the economy. This would even include roads.

Slide 9

Making tools clearly requires energy. Operating these tools very often requires energy as well, such as energy provided by diesel or electricity. With the use of tools, humans can more efficiently make goods and services. For example, if small parts need to be transported to a business, it is nearly always more efficient to transport them by truck than to deliver the parts by walking and carrying these parts in our hands. Clearly, tools such as trucks also allow us to do things that we could never do otherwise, such as deliver large and heavy parts to users.

Economists often talk about “rising worker productivity,” as if this rising productivity came about because of actions undertaken by the worker–perhaps attempting to work faster. Another possibility would seem to be taking a course on how to work more efficiently. We would expect that most of the time this rising productivity would come about as a result of the use of additional tools, or better tools. Thus, it is really the tools, and the energy that they use, that are acting to leverage worker productivity.

Slide 10

It is not intuitive that adding tools requires debt, unless a person stops to realize that it generally takes quite a bit of resources to make a tool (human labor, plus metal ores and energy products). Using these tools will provide a benefit over quite a long period in the future. A business making these tools has a problem: it must buy the resources to make the tools and pay the workers, before the benefit of the tools actually comes into existence. It is necessary to have debt (or a debt-like financial instrument, such as shares of stock), to bridge this gap.

This same kind of mismatch occurs, even if goods being purchased with debt are not really tools. For example, a home purchased with debt and paid for with a mortgage is not really a tool. The buyer needs to pay interest to a bank or some other intermediary, in order to finance the home over a period of years. Thus, part of the worker’s wages is going to the financial system, rather than to obtain the goods and services he really wants. Financing the home with debt is generally more convenient than paying cash, however. Because of the convenience factor, debt is generally essential for most home purchases. If a new home is being purchased, the builder who builds the home will need to buy lumber and pay workers when the house is built, rather than over the lifetime of the house. Because of this, debt is necessary so that the builder will have the funds to buy lumber and pay the workers.

Analysts coming from engineering and other “hard sciences” often miss this need for debt. Since a person can’t see or touch it, it is easy to think it isn’t needed. Interest payments are important, because they transfer goods and services made by the economy away from workers to other sectors of the economy (such as the financial system, retirees, and pension programs). Thus, they represent a different use for energy products, other than making goods for the use of workers.

Slide 11

Slide 11 shows how an economy produces a growing quantity of goods and services. The three types of inputs I show are

  • Energy products and other resources
  • Workers
  • Tools

I perhaps should include government services, such a roads, as well. If I did, I would show a fourth box down the side. Such a box didn’t fit easily on the slide, so I left it off.

Slide 12

As I noted in Slide 10, it takes debt to be able to have enough funds to pay everyone who makes tools, and in fact, other goods (such as vehicles and homes) that we pay for over the life of the goods. In Figure 12, I show that at least some of those providing inputs to the process receive “Future goods and services, plus interest,” rather than goods that have already been made. In this way, the system distributes more goods and services than would be available through the barter system.

In my notes to Slide 11, I commented that I perhaps should have included a government sector, as a fourth box down the side. That comment is also true here. On Slide 12, we are distributing the benefit of goods and services created, so we probably need to add even more boxes down the side. One of them would be “Payments Under Funded Pension Programs.” Another box would represent payments to individuals who sell appreciated shares of stock and real estate, and hope to buy goods and services with the proceeds of these sales. In the government sector, we would need to be certain that the category is large enough to include goods and services distributed to retiring “Baby Boomers” under Social Security and similar unfunded retirement programs.

People who do modeling can easily lose sight of the fact that we really live in a “calendar year” world. Each year, we can extract only so much oil, coal, gas, and metal ores, and use those resources to make goods and services. These goods and services are generally available for sale the same year. It is easy to add layers and layers of promises of “future goods and services” to the system, without ever checking to see whether the resource base provides enough resources to make promised future distributions of goods and services possible.

Slide 13

Often, it is the owners of resources who are paid in stock or debt. Workers are paid in money (which is a form of debt), but they very often want to spend most of it on goods and services that they can use today.

We can think of debt (and balances in bank accounts) as promises for future energy, and the goods it makes possible. Of course, if that energy isn’t really available, the promise is an empty promise.

Slide 14

There are many kinds of debt, and reciprocal obligations. This is a chart I found recently, giving one person’s view of the amount outstanding today, including a very large amount of derivatives. All of these debts make the assumption that energy will be available in the future so that goods and services can be created to fulfill these various types of promises.

Exeter Pyramid of Debt, created by Dr. Iris Mack.

Slide 15

Debt becomes very important in the whole system, because the higher the debt level, the higher that wages can be. Also, with a higher debt level, commodity prices, such as oil prices, can also be higher. Because more debt seems to make almost everyone richer, governments go out of their way to encourage additional debt, and more debt-like instruments. Of course, if interest rates go up, rather than down, interest on this debt becomes a big burden for borrowers. On Slide 12, the higher interest rates transfer a larger share of goods and services away from workers to other sectors of the economy (such as pensions).

Slide 16

Shrinking debt levels are similar to governmental cutbacks for programs. (In fact, governmental cutbacks in programs often result from shrinking debt levels.) Then fewer workers can be hired, and fewer goods and services can be purchased. The economy tends to shrink–similar to what happened during the 2008-2009 recession.

Slide 17

We often hear about “Supply and Demand.” A better name for “demand” might be “amount affordable.”

I mentioned in previous slides that wages and the amount of debt increase are important in determining the amount affordable. Other items that have a bearing are Item (3) the level of the dollar relative to other currencies, and Item (4) the extent to which productivity is rising. If the dollar is high relative to other currencies, the price of oil tends to be low, because those buying goods made with oil in non-US dollar currencies find the goods expensive.

Slide 18

Slide 18 illustrates the very significant impact that changing interest/debt levels can have on oil prices. Although I don’t mark the point on the graph, the peak in oil prices in 2008 came when US debt levels on consumer loans and mortgages started to fall. (See Oil Supply Limits and the Continuing Financial Crisis for details.) The US began Quantitative Easing (QE) in late 2008, with the intent of lowering interest rates and making debt more available. It was not long after it began that oil prices began to rise. Once QE was discontinued in 2014, other currencies fell relative to the US dollar, and the price of oil again fell.

Slide 19

The situation we have now is very much like a Ponzi Scheme. We need to keep adding more debt to keep wages and commodity prices high enough. At the same time, interest rates need to stay very low, to keep payments manageable, and keep the whole system from collapsing.

The balance sheets of insurance companies, banks, and pension plans include much debt. If these institutions are to make good on their promises to those with bank accounts, insurance policies, and pension plans, it is necessary for this debt to be repaid with interest. Back many years ago, debt jubilees were often given to selected debtors. These are out of the question now, because banks, insurance companies, and pension plans depend upon the future payments that this debt represents.

Slide 20

We like to think that improved technology can add more and more benefit. In fact, technology seems to reach diminishing returns, just as almost any other type of investment does. We make the easy changes (smaller cars, for example) first. Later changes tend to be more incremental. Because of this pattern, we can’t count on huge future changes in technology saving us.

Slide 21

Most people do not realize that the laws of physics determine the way that markets work–for example, the prices at which sales take place, and whether or not there are enough suppliers of a given product in the market place. They assume that as we reach limits, markets will always work as they have in the past. This seems unlikely.

Slide 22

Physics is often taught in terms of what actions are expected in an “isolated” or a “closed” system. In fact, the earth receives energy from the sun. The economy also obtains energy from stored fossil fuels and from uranium. Because of these energy flows, the rules of an “open” system are more appropriate. These have only been studied in recent years. Ilya Prigogine received a Nobel Prize in 1977 for his work on dissipative structures.

What is surprising is that dissipative structures are always temporary. They grow for a time, but eventually collapse. We know that plants and animals have finite lifespans; generally new similar plants and animals replace them. It is less obvious that systems such as ecosystems and economies have finite lifetimes.

Slide 23

Figure 23 shows my idea of how the dissipative structure of an ecosystem might be represented. Its inputs include solar energy, water, air, minerals from the soil, and recycled waste products from plants and animals. There are no real waste products from the system, because waste products are recycled. Ecosystems tend to collapse, when very sharp fluctuations occur. For example, forest fires tend to occur when a large amount of waste wood has accumulated and weather conditions are dry. (Perhaps dry wood and leaves, if they do not degrade rapidly enough, might be considered a temporary waste output that can lead to the demise of the ecosystem through fire, when conditions are right.)

Slide 24

Figure 24 shows my idea of how the economy might be represented as a dissipative structure. One critical part is “other energy,” which makes the economy act much like a rocket. Another critical part of the economy is “tools and technology.” Tools and technology allow the various inputs to be used, and the economy to grow. In a way, they are parallel to the biological systems that allow plants and animals to grow in ecosystems.

With human economies, we have multiple problems that can occur:
[1] Quantity of resources needed for inputs falls short
[2] Population of humans rises disproportionately to inputs of energy and other resources
[3] Waste outputs of various types become a problem

Growing debt is one of the waste outputs. Since we voluntarily seek out debt, we think of debt as an input. But if we think about the situation, debt is really an adverse output. Required interest payments tend to pull funds out of the system that could otherwise be used to pay workers. Also, the rising use of debt tends to concentrate the ownership of “tools” among the already wealthy. Debt can grow for a while, but it has limits, because of the adverse impacts it creates for the economy.

Growing wage disparity occurs because of the increased specialization required by ever-rising use of tools and technology. Some people receive the benefit of advanced education and learning to use tools such as computers; others receive much less benefit. As a result, their wages lag behind. Wage disparity is another limit of the system. If a large share of the workers cannot afford to buy the output of the economy, “demand” falls too low, and commodity prices tend to fall.

Distorted prices (shown on Slide 24) have to do with the changes to prices that occur, both because of added debt, and because we are reaching limits. Prices are not the same as they would be in a pure barter economy. Added debt allows prices to be much higher. As we reach limits, prices can fall below the cost of production. Suppliers continue to produce energy products, at least for a time, until the low prices become a real problem.

Slide 25

There are many reasons why an economy, which acts like a rocket, cannot continue forever.

Many readers have heard of “Energy Returned on Energy Invested” (EROEI). This is a favorite metric of many energy researchers. It is calculated by dividing Energy Out of a system by required Energy Inputs. As I show on Slide 25, EROEI looks at one part of one problem that economies encounter. There are many other problems and parts of problems that EROEI doesn’t consider.

Slide 26

Many believe that renewables can replace “Other Energy.” One reason for this belief is the fanciful claims by some researchers. Another reason for this belief is the apparently fairly favorable EROEI calculations that seem to occur when these devices are examined. These calculations are very limited. They don’t examine the many adverse impacts of adding tools and technology, and the rapid rise in debt that would be required.

Slide 27

Trying to run the economy on solar electricity alone (or solar plus wind plus water) is a futile exercise. One reason is that it would require massive changes to allow long-haul trucks and airplanes to operate on electricity.

Also, electricity is a high-cost energy product. Today, our economy operates on a mix of high and low cost energy products, with low cost energy products keeping the average cost down. Trying to run the economy on electricity alone is a bit like trying to run the economy using only PhDs. In theory it could be done, but it would be expensive to have PhDs waiting on tables in restaurants and delivering mail.

Too often, researchers make models without determining the details of how the system would really need to operate and what the cost would be.

Slide 28

There are many different limits for any kind of system. For example, one limit for humans is having enough oxygen. Another limit for humans is having enough water. A third limit is having enough food. Any of these things are limits. The trick is trying to figure out which one is the first limit, in a particular situation.

EROEI based on fossil fuel inputs was developed when it looked like there would be a shortfall of fossil fuels. If, in fact, our problem is not being able to get the price of fossil fuels high enough, this is a different, more complex, problem.

I think of the ratio that is popularly computed as EROEI as “Fossil Fuel EROEI.” Fossil Fuel EROEI is popularly believed to be a limit, but it is not at all clear to me that it is the first limit. It is also not clear that the limit is any particular number (such as EROEI=1, or EROEI=10).

There is a different kind of EROEI that seems to me to be at least as likely, or more likely, to be the first limit that we will reach. That is the return that workers who are selling their labor simply as labor (without advanced education or supervisory responsibility) obtain. If these workers find that their wages drop too low, this will be a limit on the operation of the economy. Low wages will prevent these workers from buying houses and cars. If the wages of the large number of non-elite workers fall too low, commodity prices will tend to fall, and the system will tend to collapse because producers cannot make a profit at such a low price.

Biologists have been studying the return on the labor of animals for many years, because their populations tend to collapse, when animals are forced to expend too much labor in finding food. EROEI based on wages of non-elite workers would seem to be a closer parallel to the animal return on labor than fossil fuel EROEI.

Slide 29

I have laid out a few of the issues I see with EROEI of intermittent renewables on Slide 29. There are other issues as well. For example, because it is a prospective calculation, it is very easy for wishful thinking to lead to optimistic estimates of future energy production and expected lifetimes of the devices.

Slide 30

Energy researchers have defined “net energy” to be any energy in excess of EROEI = 1. There is a common misbelief that if the economy can continue to produce energy products with an EROEI above 1, everything should be fine. In fact, some studies commissioned by actuaries regarding whether the economy is reaching energy limits seem to be based on an assumption that producing energy products with an EROEI > 1 is sufficient to prevent energy problems in the future. This is not a high threshold. Given such an assumption, our problems with energy seem to be far, far in the future. Pensions can continue to be paid as planned.

On Slide 30, Ugo Bardi is saying that this assumption is not correct. It is not true that the system will crash when the net energy of a particular fuel (here oil) becomes negative. We cannot understand the behavior of a complex adaptive system such as the economy in terms of mere energy return considerations. Clearly, I am not the only one looking at the economy in broader terms than an EROEI ratio.

Slide 31

Where we are now.

Slide 32

It is hard to see any good fixes. Technology reaches diminishing returns. Neither renewables nor nuclear is really working well now.

Slide 33

The standard forecasts seem to be based on the assumption that the economy can grow forever.

Slide 34

We have many problems that have been missed by recent economic modeling, including models commissioned by actuaries.

Slide 35

Actuaries are involved primarily with insurance companies and pension plans. My concern is that the financial system will be the center of the storm, as we hit limits this time. This will affect actuaries and their work.

Whether or not a new economic system can arise to take the place of our existing system remains to be seen. It certainly is a concern.

Two Observations

  1. My write-up is probably more complete than the actual one-hour talk was.
  2. I don’t think that anyone can be “blamed” for the confusion about what EROEI means. Our understanding of how the economy works is gradually evolving. Written documentation about EROEI is found in a myriad of academic papers. The name “Net Energy” seems to give energy in excess of EROEI=1 more importance than it really has.

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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2,065 Responses to Why Energy-Economy Models Produce Overly Optimistic Indications

  1. Third World person says:

    i think saudi arabia at last legs so it remind of scene in syriana where matt demon say you people chopping heads off 100 years ago and you gonna do same after 100 years after

  2. Fast Eddy says:


    We constantly hear the old saw that stock prices reflect future earnings and/or cash flows, and that looking back ten years has no meaning for the future. Alas, after 10 years of producing losses, Tesla shows no signs of making money in the future. It might instead continue burning through investor cash by the billions. Based on the logic that stock prices reflect future earnings, its shares should be at about zero.

    Tesla shares rose to $313.38 this morning, giving the company a market capitalization of about $51 billion, surpassing GM for a moment as the most valuable American automaker. This left some industry insiders wondering about tulip bulbs.

    “It’s either one of the great Ponzi schemes of all time, or it’s all going to work out,” mused Mike Jackson, CEO of AutoNation, the largest dealer group in the US. He was speaking at a conference hosted by the National Automobile Dealers Association and J.D. Power. “It’s totally inexplicable, as far as its valuation,” he said.




    • Too bad it is not April 1.

      • Greg Machala says:

        Ha! Yeah seems like a joke. The more one learns about Tesla the worse it gets.

    • arbp says:

      Telsa Motors must be the most highly ranked place by Progressives to work–the worse the company performs financially the more praise and money is thrown at the company. Does anyone know if the workers or management get raises for every hundred million dollars they lose?

  3. Bergen Johnson says:


    Best article I’ve seen yet on mall closures and their impact on defaulting loans. The loans are packaged together and sold to investors who are suppose to get interest as well as their investment back some day when they sell it. But these packaged loans are being bet against on Wall Street. The malls are closing as the chain anchors at malls like Sears and JCPenny close several hundred locations. Amazon as we know is kicking their butts but what is the final outcome for us the consumer? Better or worse? Depends on the ramifications as that permeates the locations where these malls fold. Is there an indirect effect of desocialization with less mingling of people? Have big screen TV’s replaced the theatre and has the internet cocooned us, again with less socialization. We become isolated to some degree greater than it use to be generally across the population and what effect does that have? We don’t know all the ramifications yet, but we do know things are changing and fast.

    • dolph says:

      Right now you have these two forces which are battling each other.
      IT, computers, internet, entertainment etc. are massively deflationary, because it can be endlessly recycled, and people can be safely holed up at home with little consumption.

      On the other hand, the banks, allied with the governments, generate inflation through the creation of new fiat money. The idea is to keep the masses working and chasing more money.

      Inflation will win this battle. I’m telling anybody who is reading this post, the banks are going to destroy all of the currencies. All of the currencies of the world will hyperinflate, no exceptions.

      • The sequencing of these diverse scenarios (hyperinflation, deflationary bust, ..) is complex and hurting my brains. I’d agree with you and perhaps siding more towards the general inflation scenario as cleansing mechanism of historical record and preference. However, if we look at the demographic trend for the most productive ~25-65yrs old bracket, these guys are marginalized by 2020-25-35 all over the industrialized world. Plus there is the massive issue with unfunded pensions rising roughly at the same time.

        Hence I’m afraid we are going to get a sequence of hyperinflation and deflationary bust in unknown order and relative strength (intensities). Or we can get for example two massive waves of one and three big waves of the other in a decade. In any case this will be the ultimate “widow maker” and why any economic forecasting is a joke..

      • Dr. Dolph, do you think the landowners will have the last laugh? The banks are very well connected to the interests of the landowners.

  4. Duncan Idaho says:

    Seen one bear, you have seen them all:

    Trump Opens Door for Hunting of Bear Cubs on Wildlife Refuges in Alaska

  5. Fast Eddy says:

    For those of you out there clinging to your commercial REIT stocks for their ‘defensive’ dividend yields while praying that the whole ‘retail implosion’ thing will simply go away, you may want to avert your eyes now. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association 4Q 2016 commercial real estate loan originations survey, mortgage originations related to discretionary segments of the economy are in complete free fall with retail and hotel volumes down 19% and 39%, respectively.


    Another brick (pulled) from the wall…

    • We discussed it for weeks already. At the moment REITs shorting ETFs are moribund.
      Someone, down in the basement is pumping water, so valuations are not threatened yet.

    • The thing that I see is that loan originations for retail and hotels were incredibly high in 2015. They almost had to fall in 2016.

      • jerry says:

        Loan originations? Here are some interesting charts:

        • Fast Eddy says:

          Scary charts…. stomach churners… a twinge of anxiety….

          Bring Ben Back … Bring Ben Back… I am sure ‘they’ can keep this going longer — surely this is another false ending….

          ‘You need to protect yourself today. Here’s how to get started…

          Lighten up on bank stocks. You should especially avoid regional banks if you can. These lenders make most of their money issuing loans. So, they could have serious problems if consumers and businesses continue to borrow less money.

          Own physical gold. Gold is the ultimate safe-haven asset. It’s held its value through every sort of financial crisis. It’s also one of the only assets that can rise when stocks, bonds, and real estate prices fall.’

          Justin is underestimating the implications of this if it does not get turned around…

          • I don’t think I would try buying a loaf of bread or a pair of shoes with a piece of gold. Price mismatch for one thing. Also, why would those making needed goods part for them, for “mere gold”?

            • Fast Eddy says:

              There will be no rules – no police — and not much in the way of food — therefore gold will be useless.

              Imagine this:

              Hey buddy – I’ll give you this gold coin for your 10 cans of beans

              F789 off.

              Right – if you put it that way …

        • I think the other thing to remember is that 6% to 8% loan growth is completely unsustainable. It has to drop. Someone suggested that part of the reason for the high rate of growth was because energy companies could tap existing lines of credit, when they saw other sources or credit drying up in 2015 and early 2016. As oil and natural gas prices somewhat rebounded, bond markets again became more of a source of funding. It is hard to find sources that combine bank funding and bond funding. Also, shares of stock can be used for funding.

  6. Fast Eddy says:

    Toshiba Warns of Its Ability to Continue as Going Concern

    Toshiba Corp., the 142-year-old conglomerate, warned on Tuesday it may not be able to continue as a going concern as it grapples with billions of dollars in losses from its Westinghouse Electric nuclear business.


    • This is not good. I thought the reason for having Westinghouse as a separate unit was so that it could fail, without bringing down the rest of the company.

  7. Fast Eddy says:

    With Misleading Messages And Customer NDAs, Tesla Performs Stealth Recall

    In early 2014, a Tesla Motors Model S that was part of the Edmunds.com test fleet suddenly lost power while merging onto a freeway. The car flashed several warning messages — “12V Battery Power Low – Car May Shut Down Unexpectedly” and “Car Needs Service – Car May Shut Down Unexpectedly” — before coming to a stop on the freeway onramp.

    Eventually a tow truck came to haul the stricken vehicle to a Tesla service shop, where the company replaced its drive unit for the third time.

    More http://newcartographer.com/combustion/teslarecall.html

    Was someone saying something about finishing near last in reliability???

    I seem to recall comments about making it to where you want to go being a crap shoot… an adventure….

    Tesla = JOKE

    • Yep, although muskovites are draining brain power and talents from other big OEMs, the tradition and culture in automotive won’t be there for a long time, much better to wait for other real big car manufs, most of them either have a program already or each promised at least ~10 models across the spectrum in the near term.

      Today you can always go with mass produced, reliable small hybridized Toyota (Yaris, Auris/Corolla), later add ~3-6kWh pack, so you multiply the mpg, and in fuel rationing scenario you are at the minimum ~2-4x driving farther vs “your neighbor”.

      However if you need that clearance, awd, and towing, there is still not much on the market, perhaps the RAV4 hybrid, it’s relatively expensive, but in some locals you might perhaps juice out some subsidies on it.. But at these prices it would more useful going custom/diy and convert some entry level awd to full EV, albeit with ~short range. Or just weight the overall usefulness/needs of this transportation crap, get small EV/hybrid commuter and the gasguzzling tow capable car just as backup stored in the barn.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Or you can just be smart and buy a petrol car… and not have to guess how far you will be able to travel on a fill-up.

        And when you want to sell your petrol car you will actually get money for it … unlike an EV which has almost no resale value.

        Buying an EV is right up there with burning money in terms of foolish behaviour.

        But if you do convince yourself that you are saving the world by driving and EV then please do proceed and buy an expensive piece of crap with limited range that is less green than a petrol car (it’s those darned lithium batteries that are the problem….then there is the fact that the electricity to charge the battery originates at…. drum roll please….


        Let us now bow our heads for a few moments pray to the EV God…. (snicker snicker) who is that snickering in the back???? Fast Eddy is that you (snicker snicker…) You come to the confessional after this Fast Eddy I’ve got something for you (I’m sure you do you filthy bastard…) What’s that – what’s that (You heard me… you remember what happened last time you tried that…)

        Oh Fast Eddy you … YOU!!!! Ok just stop laughing this is serious stuff…. you will go to hell if you don’t worship The Elon…. (oh nooooo not hell — please suh not hell! snicker snicker)

        OH shut up – let us pray:


        • Fast Eddy says:

          Tesla Aside, Resale Values for Electric Cars Are Still Tanking

          Never mind those electric-car bargains we told you about mere months ago. Prices have been on such a steep downward trajectory that there’s already an entirely new, sweeter set of deals to be found. You might find a five-year-old vehicle with relatively low mileage, very low operating costs, and nothing wrong with it—for the price of a beater.

          The asterisk: That car would most likely be a Nissan Leaf, and you’ll only be able to go about 60 miles before needing many hours plugged in—unless you’re fortunate enough to have fast-charging hardware nearby.

          Apparently most people aren’t willing to live with that asterisk or the few others that accompany life with a used electric car. According to the pricing authority Black Book, retail values for the used 2013 Nissan Leaf are at an average 22 percent of the original MSRP—in the range of $8000 to $8500—while that five-year-old Leaf is selling at just 11 percent of its original sticker.

          A three-year-old Leaf—a $30,000 to $40,000 car new—returned from lease gets sold at wholesale auction at $6000 to $7000 or, on average, just 18 percent of its original price. For gasoline vehicles, a three-year residual is typically in the 45- to 65-percent range. “To be under 20 percent is fairly telling,” said Anil Goyal, Black Book’s senior vice-president of operations. “A lot of it has to do with demand.”



          • Fast Eddy says:

            Tesla ends ‘Resale Value Guarantee’ on new vehicle purchases

            The resale value was calculated as 50 percent of the base purchase price of an entry-level Model S plus 43 percent of the value of all options added to the vehicle, including larger batteries. An update to the program guaranteed that the value of a Model S would remain higher than that of competing BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Lexus, and Jaguar models.

            The program was initiated to reassure early buyers of the Model S that there would be a market for resale of the vehicles. In general, buyers of premium automobiles upgrade to newer models within a few years, making resale value an important consideration to purchasers. The program was “backed personally” by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, according to a Tesla blog post about the program, giving owners “complete peace of mind about the long term value of the product.”

            “We have discontinued the Resale Value Guarantee program as of July 1 so that we can keep interest rates as low as possible and offer a compelling Lease and Loan program to customers,” said a Tesla spokesperson in a statement. “We will continue to support customers currently financed through the RVG program.”


            Gotta like how Tesla used that little trick to keep resale values high…. fake resale anyone?

            Alas…. the suckers who bought Teslas will be left holding the bag (and it won’t be full of money) when they try to sell their toxic jalopies.

          • When I wrote about electric cars years ago, I forecast that their resale values would be terrible. Some of the other writers at The Oil Drum were very unhappy about that–they did not think low resale prices was a fair thing to think about, when it comes to electric car adoption.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              I bet they were even more unhappy when they tried to trade in their useless jalopies and found they were approaching priceless territory (in a bad way…)

        • Not doing much reading posts you try reply to, do you?

          I started sharing hard learned knowledge about EVs/hybrids here only as reaction to other post on the topic, which appeared first. I repeatedly said TESLA is sh*ite in comparison to other alternatives, especially during unstable stages prior collapse proper, ala fuel rationing etc., at the time almost complete ~moron can generate <5-10kWh daily from renewables for some near/midterm time of the longevity of the apparatus.

          You answer to this question is just don't worry, continue to use petrol car, which is the dumbest approaches of them all.. I do realize you are relatively young, have not much personal-family experience with shortages and/or command economy shenanigans, but that's not a good position from where to start lecturing. You contribution to this topic is not only zero, it's negative vortex.

          • Neither petrol or EVs work, for anything other than the very short term. The point is that all of the subsidies for the EVs are ridiculous.

            • Chris Harries says:

              One of my environmental colleagues goes the other way. He argues that some people are now reluctant to buy a new IC car because it may become a stranded asset as the oil depletion and climate crises hit.

            • Actually, pretty much everything is likely to become a stranded asset. Money in bank accounts especially. If you actually buy something, there is a little chance that some of it will be useful, for a while.

          • Also, “almost a complete moron can generate 5 – 10kWh daily from renewables” is not really true. Wind turbines frequently need repairs; solar panels are better in that regard, but do need maintenance, especially on their inverters. Smart inverters, which seem now to be required by utilities, require electricity 27/7/365, something that wind and solar are unlikely to provide. There are definitely problems with long-term outages, especially in the winter. It would take a huge quantity of batteries to bridge all of these gaps, especially the winter gaps, successfully.

            • In terms of the winter gaps and northern climates, the rule of thumb from practical standpoint (several yrs of user experience verified in many place) is that a properly matched backup system; meaning batteries, charger-inverter, combo of renewables e.g. wind turbine + PV array (or other combos of more exotic systems), would need to discharge “deeply” the batteries ~10x times in winter each month, less so in the rest of the year in more shiny season. Plus obviously much more shallow discharges throughout the whole year. So, in total, even if we consider ~6x winter month climate region, that’s nothing extraordinary, be it either for the latest gen lead acids or lithium based ones.

              As to the other points, yes the longevity of all the components, even from the top brands is basically a roulette, 7-15yrs of expected trouble free performance – not needed fundamental service is the upper boundary one can realistically hope for. Solar needs virtually no maintenance, sensible wind install (<<10kW) needs only some inspections for greasing, perhaps replacing some tiny consumables etc.

              Again, depends on timing, in hindsight it could complete waste of time and money, or not so much, we don't know yet. Given (many) people tend to plunk much more money on frivolous crap like pseudo luxury automobiles or long distance vacations, the costs are reasonable today.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              I am imaging those people in Ukraine http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1038774/Holocaust-hunger-The-truth-Stalins-Great-Famine.html

              What if some of them would have had a solar powered system in place….

              Would they not have had to eat their children?

            • For wind, commercial installations end up replacing quite a few parts. Offshore wind installations often build offshore dormitories for maintenance workers to live in.

              I would not count on the inverters being trouble free, either.

              Pedro Prieto says that the commercial solar installations in Spain have needed quite a bit of repairs. One item he mentioned is damage to wires by insects. Obviously they need to be cleaned from time to time.

            • You don’t have to be grid tied, that’s a myth, sorry. Actually, the whole industry started from off grid and partially off grid installation needs. Also, regarding the grid you can for example dump that extra power generated into heat tank, exporting zilch etc.

              EVs and PHEV capable hybrids work as long as you can charge (or service failure or as long as not be expropriated, .. ), hence the other response explaining it again about somewhat realistic 7-15yrs longevity span.

              Subsidies, I mentioned them, only in the obvious sense, should the local gov be so stupid still offering it to you, take it. Nothing more or less derived from it.

            • My big objection to wind and solar is the fact that they are dumped on the grid, greatly raising grid costs, if they plan to keep backup capacity. There is no way that wind and solar (even with hydro) can provide 365 day a year coverage, for at any level close to today, without grid tie. This is why I keep bringing up the issue.

              I also see no reason for the government to subsidize wind and solar. If people want to add wind or solar on an off grid basis, without subsidy, that is fine with me.

              Besides needing charging capability, these vehicles need roads, and drivers who have access to food and water. I think you aver being optimistic about the 7 – 15 year longevity span.

            • Preoccupied with Ukraine too much?
              FE, we are not talking mass adoption here, I guess it was self explanatory from the beginning. Just discussing the options, which are here for next 7-15yrs, namely does it make sense to improve one’s standing vs. the scenario of rationing and nascent command economic environment..

          • Fast Eddy says:

            But there won’t be any fuel rationing because there won’t be any BAU Lite.

            What are you trying to say? It all appears as gobbledeegook to me

  8. By pure accident, I just found very rudimentary confirmation and mental visualization to the claim how renewables tend to destabilize baseload grid operations. Basically, it was sort of how to install video, where the guy installed home sized hybrid grid tied/off grid system with batteries, PVarray and wind turbine, all matched together. However, since all these sub system usually have to be from different manufactures due to specialization, the overall system in all that complexity behaves a bit untidily due to large spikes in rushing power of all these renewables being harvested, the home loads, battery flows etc. So, to overcome this, the installer guy just increased and decreased top/bottom frequencies (Hz) on the charger-inverter needed to synchronization with the grid, by a lot. Actually, it was performed in direct breach to various standing codes and laws. In other words exporting his stability issues out on the grid.

    Now, without discussing the *merits of such system, the trend of people moving towards semi-autarky equals putting another strain on the legacy systems, which support all.

    * it’s about trading and moving complexity around, basically it’s more advisable to have such system than to get lured by posh car, larger sized house or extra long distance vacations, but the complexities of going off grid (still) remain hidden in the gadgets and appliances, so e.g. assuming ~15yrs longevity of the apparatys, chances are relatively high you will need a spare power module or circuit board (very special electronics) replacement in 7yrs, and almost 99% chance something even marginal will need trivial repair/replacement in those 15yrs; so what’s going to happen during next 7-15yrs ?

    • Off grid people will be dealt with.

      During the middle ages, the Catharis of southern France set up shop , doing away with the Church. The Pope Innocent III could not tolerate a competitor, and sent a Crusade to kill them all.

      Although Innocent does not appear to have anything to do with America, he is nevertheless honored in the Congress, meaning the winners of BAU do not forget his greatest achievement.


      • Lastcall says:

        Similar story with a community set up in early colonial NZ; it was thought that an example of a successful alternative community was too much of a threat to the new Govt of NZ and so it was eliminated. never heard about this during our education…


      • Well, in some regions, it seems as almost everybody has got few PVs, so unless commando storms inside your house/flat, battery backup is invisible. Obviously, wind tower is very much visible and geothermal had to be complied with the authorities, plus neighbors usually notice the drilling crew and mess. So it depends..

    • Rodster says:

      No surprise to read all of that as for years it was Wal-Mart who was the big bad bully taking over local communities and putting out of business small mom and pop shops. Little did they know that at least Wal-Mart created jobs which doesn’t mean I justify Big Box stores.

      Amazon OTOH, literally produces NO jobs and the few that they do are in sweat shop slave labor camps aka their distribution centers. Even those jobs will eventually be replaced with robots.

      So if the middle class has been destroyed and Amazon puts out of business bricks and mortar retailers both big and small alike. Who will have the money to buy from them?

      • Bergen Johnson says:

        “Amazon OTOH, literally produces NO jobs”

        I’ve got a nephew that got a job with Amazon just a couple years ago as an electrician. He works full time for them and the longer he’s been with them the higher the wage and more perks he’s getting including healthcare.

        • Joebanana says:

          “I’ve got a nephew that got a job with Amazon just a couple years ago as an electrician. He works full time for them and the longer he’s been with them the higher the wage and more perks he’s getting including healthcare.”

          So because your nephew got this job that means Amazon is a job producer?

          • dolph says:

            The issue is not jobs vs. no jobs, etc. Jobs are just ways for the masses to get fiat money and spend it on frivolous BS. If you haven’t figured out yet that work is one giant scam, you haven’t understood anything.

            The banks issue unlimited quantities of debt, and the first to get that debt are the multinational corporations, so they are able to create economies of scale. That’s how the whole global system works, not just America.

            • Jobs are incredibly important, especially for the non-elite. This is the money that gets spent. If the no-elite don’t have jobs, there is a need for all kinds of social programs and government checks. It is not really true that fiat debt can be raised endlessly. In the US, for example, there is a government debt limit. Even without debt limits, there are problems with currency floating too low.

              The quantity of debt issued by banks is limited both by demand, and by perceived creditworthy-ness of the borrower. The government can try to encourage banks to lend more money, but the effort is often like “pushing on a string.”

  9. jeremy890 says:

    Seems we are getting REAL near to having her sing


    “Everyone knows not having a budget has a huge impact on the Illinois economy,” Long said. “When you’ve got a $13 billion backlog of bills that could be circulating in the economy, all the uncertainly, I think companies are reluctant … I think they’re more reluctant to relocate here or expand here.”

    Long’s sentiment was echoed by Laurence Msall, president of Chicago-based nonpartisan watchdog group the Civic Federation, in his testimony to a Senate committee in Chicago on Wednesday. Msall went through the Civic Federation’s “budget blueprint” from last month, which included a recommendation to raise the state’s income tax again, this time from the current 3.75 percent to 5.25 percent for individuals and 7 percent for businesses, where it was during the temporary tax hike window from 2011 to 2015.

    State Sen. Dan McConchie, R-Hawthorne Woods, balked at that proposal.

    “I talked to an extremely wealthy businessman who lives in my district, works in downtown Chicago. [He] told me yesterday, ‘I’m looking at moving out of the state,'” McConchie told Msall. “Do you think that somehow $9 billion in tax increases will not further exacerbate this tendency of leaving the state?”

    Msall said that while he believes there must be reforms to state government, including shrinking its size as a whole and being less generous to state workers, a higher income tax is not going to be the factor that makes people leave Illinois. He said that he, too, had spoken with many wealthy business owners, including members of the Civic Federation, and that they would rather have stability in government than a lower income tax rate.

    “They’re not afraid of basically paying their fair share to the income tax,” Msall said. “What they’re afraid of is what the state of Illinois is going to do next … They’re going to other places where they can predict and have confidence in what their government is going to provide.”

    Msall and the Civic Federation also have long pushed for Illinois to join the 47 other states that tax retirement income, which he said would generate an additional $2 billion annually. But Gov. Bruce Rauner, a Republican, has long opposed that idea. Rauner does, however, support ideas to broaden the state’s sales tax to encompass more services, which Msall said could lower the overall tax rate from 6.25 percent to 5 percent, while still generating additional revenue.

    But Msall, and Chicago Federal Reserve Bank economist Thom Walstrum warned the senators that action must be taken soon, or the state will get into a hole so large it may be impossible to get to the other side of it without permanent damage.

    Walstrum, a business economist, also told the senators what they’ve known for years: Illinois’ massive unfunded pension liability is eating up state funds at an unmanageable rate. Illinois is now spending about a quarter of its revenues on retirement benefits for former state workers, which he said explains the difference between Illinois and most other states.

    “Surprise, surprise, it’s the pension systems,” Walstrum said. “These types of pension obligations are a great way to make a promise for the future but not necessarily have to pay for it today if you can find a way to get around it.”


    • I agree that pensions are going to be a big problem everywhere.

      Actuaries did not figure out that growth could not continue at the same rate, indefinitely, in a finite world, and way over-projected what would be available.

  10. Duncan Idaho says:

    Insider information?

    • Not United, anyway.

      When people get their seat assignments, Delta has people make bids with respect to how much it would take for them to offer to take a later flight. This seems to reduce the rate of people involuntarily being forced to leave a plane to a bare minimum.

  11. mike says:

    FE, Xabier and Worldof..,

    You guys are on a roll today ! Very enjoyable/interesting reading today!


  12. Fast Eddy says:

    A very good article re the stakes in Syria….


  13. Fast Eddy says:

    So Many Triggers

    It’s not a story that’s likely to appear on the evening news, but it certainly should.

    Deutsche Bank has announced that it will create more shares, selling them at a 35% discount. Existing shareholders have not been pleased and, in the first four days since the offer was announced, the value of existing shares dropped by 13% as shareholders began dumping them.

    So why on earth would Germany’s foremost bank do something so rash? Well, in recent years, the bank has been involved in many arbitrations, litigations, and regulatory proceedings as a result of fraudulent activities, including the manipulation of markets. Having been found guilty, they presently owe $7.2 billion to the US Department of Justice and are now facing an additional $10 billion litigation bill. Unfortunately, the bank is already broke and, should Deutsche actually be able to sell the new shares, the $8.6 billion they hope to receive will still not save them from bankruptcy.

    Business has also not been so good. They’ve lost nearly $2 billion in the last two years, instituted a hiring freeze, cut bonuses by 80%, and are facing a $2.5 million civil penalty to pay to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission for failure to report transactions and, not surprisingly, have been downgraded.

    The German government has stated that they will not bail out Deutsche and, indeed, under the EU agreement, they cannot do so. It’s safe to say that Germany’s largest bank will soon go the way of the dodo.

    For those who don’t live in Europe, this may not seem all that significant. However, Deutsche is the bank that funds the euro system, which they can now no longer do. Further, Deutsche is ten times larger than Lehman Brothers, an American bank that famously went down in 2008, heralding in that year’s economic crash. (Ninety percent of Deutsche’s revenue has been from derivative trading, which is what brought down Lehman.)

    Upon the collapse of Deutsche Bank, four major US banks would be expected to become insolvent in a matter of days. The ripples would then continue to spread outward into the economic system as a whole.

    Now for the Bad News http://www.internationalman.com//articles/so-many-triggers

    NOTE – matter of days…. KABOOM.

    • You are selectively choosing what to like and what to make fun off, that linked site and similar being the classic example of double standards in argumentation.

      Now, for the subject matter, define Kaboom please? That not gov apparatus affiliated/preferred people won’t get fuel and ATMs access for few months before some semi autarkic regime takes over and the rationing system stabilizes on some unknown lowish level? Yes, it will be crazy bad, many unfortunate people would be really disadvantaged, living expectancy greatly shortened in some groups. The end of the world as we know it as of lately for sure, but that’s not the end un/fortunately.

      • xabier says:


        The End of the World As We Know It = The Beginning Of A World We Were Too Terrified To Imagine.’

        I most fear going to sleep in an orderly place, and waking up to find myself in something like Pakistan.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        KABOOM = electricity goes off globally — followed by starvation – disease – violence – spent fuel ponds – and for dessert — spent fuel ponds.

        I can see that you are unable to grasp what the end of BAU means… you are having trouble envisioning what it looks like…

        Normalcy bias is very powerful.

        Try this — turn off your electricity for 24 hours…. I know it’s not quite the same as the end of BAU….

        But it may serve to clear the hopium out of your lungs… and give you a faint idea of what is headed your way

        These defense mechanisms that people deploy never cease to amaze me…. truly incredible…

        Here we are discussing how we 7.5 billion people on the planet — who eat only because we have oil — and how oil is about to disappear from the menu.

        And they are able to convince themselves that everything will be alright.

        We’ve got preppers – and BAU Liters – and those who are relying on god — we’ve got EV and renewable energy aficionados … you name it we got it here on FW.

        If it makes you feel better then that’s wonderful.

        But alright it ain’t gonna be…. you’ll see

    • Jeff Thomas, the author of this article, seems pretty believable.

      We have too many things going wrong at once–too much complexity–too many derivatives, and China has too much debt. Not to mention the US not having funding, if it doesn’t get some legislation passed quickly.

    • Jarvis says:

      They are also Trumps biggest lender!

    • Fast Eddy says:

      And when BAU goes down they will be protecting and serving … hahahahahaha….

      Rather they’ll be looking for signs of life…. a puff of smoke from a Doomsday Prepper’s chimney…. that will indicate warmth… and food… probably women… definitely slaves….

      And then there will be the really nasty bastards — ex-convicts … gangsters … and so on…. all looking for food….

      • Again, these types as any predator mostly operate on condition of relative advantage and convenience, at least for the first years they will have enough work with looting the scraps in urban/suburban areas, with very occasional and limited range raids into back country. Go figure.

        And there is a lot of stages before that, so instead be seriously worried about namely: limited nuclear war, food and energy rationing, decrepit healthcare/pensions/transport/energy infrastructure, mass movements of “domestic” and “foregoing” populations over your area, epidemics, no longer serviceable helpers like fridges, wash machines, computers, pumps electronics, ..

        • Fast Eddy says:

          So there are no cops in the small towns where the doomsday preppers have their oases?

          They are only in the cities?

          And why would city cops stay in the city? The people in the cities will eat all the food within days… there will be no point in staying in the cities.

          Food will be the magnet — they will jump into their cruisers with their families – and their guns and ammo — and they will drive to where they expect the food to be…

          The rural areas….

          And then of course there will be the rural hordes… with their guns and ammo — headed your way.

          It takes monumental delusion to think that you will be able to hold the fort against thousands of starving desperate people.

          Once people realize that this is indeed collapse — they’ll on top of you within a day.


          • Sorry, your generalized and simplified view on this specific question is only partly correct. Specifically, because of time, space, natural conditions, and skills, which are not uniform. Therefore by definition they can’t produce the same outcome at the same instant, everywhere, for everyone and so on..

            Granted the US situation is very specific (the process will be quicker), in many other parts of the world, it will take time before “means of protection” are more widely redistributed, although on the other hand some sub processes might get faster there like mass migration, elderly deaths etc. Hence the propensity for several precursor stages of attempted country/regional-clan-warlord-oligarch autarky appearing prior to that unhinged collapse proper scenario.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              You weren’t a politician at one point by any chance?

              You’ve got an incredible talent for saying a lot but saying nothing.

        • Artleads says:

          No survival strategy anywhere is viable short of small-community planning for resilience spread all across the world, cities included. Soil is not something out in the wild you have to scramble to go find. Soil is something you make with plant waste and human excrement, etc., and that is usable to grow food in cities as well as in towns and villages. And the rudiments of such arrangements must be established right now under BAU (or, oops, too late!!!!!)

          • People living in too dense an arrangement are a huge problem, both from a point of view of human waste disposal, and from a point of view of disease spreading. I am afraid that cities are not sustainable.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            And what do you eat while you wait for the soil to bake?

            Give it a try — take a shit in a bag for the next month — go into your driveway – rip some grass from the lawn — gather other organic matter – mix it up with the shit — and wait for it to turn to compost…

            Fast forward many many months – you have been eating bark and grass soup — your compost is ready (hopefully because if it isn’t you die) – you want to plant some vegetables — great!

            Now where do you get the seeds? Do you have a glass house to raise the seedlings?

            Let’s assume you worked all of that out — now you have your seedlings — you plant them in your new soil — then you wait…

            Oh you need water — no problem – just grab a bucket and walk to the nearest stream and carry the water to your garden…. and then you wait… meanwhile you continue to eat bark and grass soup…. and finally – the crop is ready — but it’s not a very big crop — so before you know it you are back on the bark and grass soup.

            Warning: Do NOT try this in any season except early summer — if you are too early you risk frost.. if you are too late you risk frost…

            Warning: did you know that if you try to make compost in the winter that nothing will happen — composting needs warmth … so you need a full season to make compost then another to start growing… two years on bark and grass soup.

            This is extreme Koombaya what you are suggesting.

            If it were so F789ing easy – why do you think North Koreans resort to eating back and grass during famines????

            Why don’t they just grow vegetables in back yard gardens????

            • Artleads says:

              “And what do you eat while you wait for the soil to bake?”

              Good question. Especially since I suggested waiting on the soil to bake (as in for climate change to bake it?) before trying my bright experiment. We should always do it the hardest way possible. That is good. We have all the time in the world. And I might have hinted that it’s better to wait till there is no water from the pipes before testing these things. My bad.

      • adonis says:

        those really nasty bastards are all addicted to drugs when BAU ends they will be the first to go they will lose their minds fast eddie when everything they take for granted is no longer there. THINK A MASS MENTAL BREAKDOWN resulting in MARTIAL LAW being enacted in the whole world democracy will be gone and replaced with a military backed dictator who wiill show no mercy to any criminal activity

        • Fast Eddy says:

          ‘all addicted to drugs’ — so all these cops are drug addicts? all the violent people in society are drug addicts? Reference please.

          I think you will be surprised at how previously law abiding people will turn vicious when things fall apart… there are plenty of ‘hard men’ in society who are more than capable of gutting another human – if necessary – if desperate

          Martial law?

          To what purpose — there is nothing to defend – nothing to save – nothing worth protecting.

          The authorities will know that the world has come to an end — so why bother implementing martial law — the military will no doubt initially protect leaders (at least at first) — but they won’t give a flying F789 about preppers in rural areas … nor will they be ordered to do so – again to what purpose? You’d be protecting people who are going to starve and die. Who are going to be ingesting radiation in due course

          The military men are quickly going to work out what is going on – and they will try to get back to their families. And then they will do what they know — what military men have always done — kill and pillage.

          There will be no centralized control – because there cannot be. There will be no communications – whatever fuel reserves there are will not be wasted on crowd control – again – to what point? To delay the inevitable a few days – a few weeks?

          If the powerful and wealthy have a plan it will not involve being anywhere near where the masses are rocking the fences….

          I would expect that as the end arrives they will board helicopters and head to places like this Cheyenne_Mountain_Complex where they will make the announcement that they can do no more – the world is over (or perhaps they just announce nothing – they just disappear…)

          Remember when Bernanke quit – he said – someday when you know why I did what I did – you will thank me?

          This will be that some day…. and people will indeed be thankful that he bought us all those extra years….

          They’d bring in just enough military men with their families to hold the fort — hunker down— and leave the outside world to rip itself to pieces.

          No doubt they could stay alive for years in the bunkers…. they would be stocked with massive amounts of food and water… they would filter out radiation …. but basically these will be no better than underground prisons…. they would be better off dead.

          In terms of what is likely to happen outside of these bunkers… if you look at what happened in Afghanistan post Soviet invasion — you had a failed state — brutal gangs (ex military mainly) controlled different parts of Kabul…there was no effective government — there was no central control…

          If you wanted to make trip outside of your home you had to payoff armed gangs on each of the streets you walked long….

          That is why the Taliban was welcomed — anything was better than what came before them…

          Of course Afghanistan as a failed state would be a utopia compared to the post BAU world— they still had electricity at times — petrol — food….. medicine…. they were not even close to being unplugged.

          ‘The Road’ is nowhere near what this is going to be like. The Road is pablum….

          • Harry Gibbs says:

            I agree and indeed this is why I have chosen to resettle on a reasonably inaccessible island where most people know each other or there are only two degrees of separation between them. Everyone here has something invested in the community and there are not huge amounts of males in that 16-35 danger-zone because they tend to leave the island looking for work.

            Of course the nuclear issue may render all of this moot. Or perhaps Dmitri Orlov will wash up with a flotilla of Russian pirates and plunder the island like the Vikings of yore. We shall have to wait and see…

            • Fast Eddy says:

              A remote island with few people all growing enough food to live – better still a large sail boat stocked with supplies — would the best of a bad lot of options…

              But have you tried the FEC yet?

              When you have to grow or kill everything you eat that changes things big time… when you have ot cut and split trees … and drag them back to the house…. wash clothes by hand…. etc etc etc…

              As the trees near your home are all felled — you have to go further and further — then you have to go to the mainland for wood….

              Those are game changers…

              There is some comfort in ‘the bug out’ concept…. but when put to the true test … I expect this would lead to deep dismay.

              We simply are not built to live like a 18th century settler…. we are weak – we don’t have the knowledge or experience… and might I suggest — such a life would involve such misery — that anyone who does last awhile under these conditions…

              Will welcome death.

            • ITEOTWAWKI says:

              If someone does not come from a tribe like the one described in the link below, I don’t see how they can make it once BAU fails….every other human being alive today (apart from these tribes) from the poorest of the poor in downtown Calcutta to the 0.0001% in their 60M$ pads in Manhattan is plugged into the Matrix…and no matter how much preppers have “prepared”, there is no way they have thought of everything…they will realize it once BAU has already failed which will be too late…this is probably an ELE that we are about to face.


            • Fast Eddy says:

              1 f789ing 1000000000 % right.

              The pampered preppers that visit FW won’t even try turning off the power for a week…. because they know how scary that would be. And that wouldn’t be even 10% of what the real deal will be like.

              Yet they think they are ready to roll without BAU.

              It’s kinda like a preppy white boy from Yale putting on gangster rap gear — standing at the edge of the most violent ghetto in Los Angeles during the 1992 riots… and insisting ‘I am ready for this — I can walk into that and I can survive – it won’t be easy but I can survive’

              Or better still…

              Like these guys believing they can show up on wall street


              And work for investment banks.

              It really is laughable. Truly delustional

            • Harry Gibbs says:

              FE, no – we haven’t tried the FEC yet. In fact we are laughably unprepared at this point as our home is still under construction and we have been living a somewhat austere existence in a caravan for over a year with our two boys. I fear my marriage might be in jeopardy if I unplugged the electricity for a week as well.

              Hopefully there is more time to get things organised than there currently appears to be – but I am sanguine. At least we are having an adventure and I felt I had to do *something* as we were formerly sitting ducks in SE England, halfway between the rapacious hordes of London and Dungeness nuclear power station.

            • DJ says:

              Isnt living in a caravan for a year worth at least one or two FEC-points?

            • Harry Gibbs says:

              Right, DJ – surely it is! Adding to the FEC quotient, we are not hooked up to the water-mains; we have only intermittent hot water and no flushing toilet, and have battled infestations of rats and mice. On one occasion I went for a bracing walk and it started to rain. I lifted the hood on my raincoat only to find my head wreathed in pungent fumes of rat urine – one of the little blighters had clearly been marking its territory. Not quite ‘The Road’ but…

          • Again, you are prolly a bit projecting things as Bernank was caring more about saving a particular form of global system and it’s main node the US, not saving the world as such. Well, it’s understandable that many fear to their bones suddenly to be exposed to predicament of living in 1/x of former material opulence or worse as we can see on the case of enlarging no go zones of France, Germany, Sweden, ..

            For example, the upcoming elections in France show some of the psycho-social factors driving the crowds, the public somehow feels they might be on wrong-dangerous path, the sitting incompetent-protectorate gov has got the lowest ratings in modern politics ever, yet the people fear the most of temporarily pain, should they go back to semi autark model, i.e. devaluation, leaving EU(ReichIV)-EUR/NATO etc. It’s beyond crazy, even ~quasi communists (and brain dead socialists) vote there in favor of EU-EUR/NATO, lolz. And the only true viable candidate with sound action plan (at lest for near/midterm) is bellow ~10%, hah.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              ‘Again, you are prolly a bit projecting things as Bernank was caring more about saving a particular form of global system and it’s main node the US, not saving the world as such’

              Saving BAU = saving the world. It is one and the same. I don’t think he thought he was saving anything rather he was delaying extinction.

          • in times of collapse, militias always go self employed

            • But eventually a king and an array of ministers are selected. Private militia leaders tend to sell themselves to the king for a price, and kill others who don’t agree with that idea.

          • adonis says:

            hunans are very secretive creatures so they will never admit their drug addictions so references are hard to find but anyhow fast eddie the point about bernanke you made is only your version i have my version too here it is bernanke knew that the economy was going down a deflationary death spiral and he took the measures that will save the world when the SHTF and usher in the new economic order. no one knows what the elites have got planned to keep the humans from going extinct they have been flying under the radar for a long time i suggest you dont put all your eggs in one basket when it comes to projecting how the future will play out

            • Fast Eddy says:

              So you have absolutely no evidence that the vast majority of cops are ‘drug addicts’ yet you are comfortable stating that they ‘are all drug addicts’

              I am wondering — were you using any mind altering drugs at the time of posting that?

    • xabier says:

      ‘Constable. Would you happen to have the time , please?’

      ‘Certainly, sir. Looks like it’s Doomsday, a few strokes to midnight.’

      ‘Thank you so much. Lovely weather we’re having!’

      ‘Indeed, sir. Couldn’t be better weather for the End of the World!’

      • Yep, few days ago I wrote lengthy detail answer to FE on this very topic. As shown he hopefully learned a thing or two about COG plans and facilities, but generally speaking, soldiers follow what they are pushed on.

        In summary, the scenario of public (incl. military) at large getting wind of the overall situation predicament, lets say ~90% of these inter-complexities Gail and others try to learn about is very unrealistic. Many of us here are learning about these processes for years/decades already, and consensus is not there on timelines and scenarios probabilities. And should the flow of information be slowed or damaged, it will get murkier place to navigate in short order.

        Granted, during long term-large cycle historic reshuffles people are for brief moments sensing big part of the deal, but still it’s usually quite narrow viewpoint, related to most visible issues such as energy/food situation, and income/redistribution of wealth stark disparities.

  14. jerry says:

    Here is an interesting and highly important essay about Syria and the why of it all.
    The maps are especially telling. The Middle East and gas pipelines, wow everyone has a stake? http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2016/10/24/oil-gas-war-over-syria-maps.html

    • Another part of the problem is that Syria’s oil exports are gone. That puts it in a terrible financial bind.

      Syria oil production and consumption

      • jerry says:

        Wow, Gail and look and consider this – Palestinean gas is being sold to Europe by none other than who? http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960115000735
        O what would the Jooz do if their access to oil disappeared? To have fought and struggled so long and so hard for a homeland which is or would be bereft of any oil is a nightmare few would dare want to think about. and I can’t believe how anyone would want to live/move there or anywhere in approximity to it. It is not for nothing that the biblical scriptures make it all to clear a day is coming when the smart move will be “to flee for your lives.” Can you see that coming?

        • How does Israel start selling Palestine’s gas to someone else? They have not been good neighbors to Palestine, for a long time.

        • Chris Harries says:

          Similarly, I maintain that it was Egypt’s switch from being an oil exporting nation to an importing nation that precipitated the political uprising that went nowhere…. except to switch one strong man for another.

  15. dolph says:

    I have an anecdote. I was waiting in the fast food drive through, and behind me was a woman in an suv scarfing down food. She was literally a few minutes away from getting even more food, but she was already eating with no abandon, right there in the lane!

    Now, depending on which way you look at this, it either represents collapse or not. It’s collapse if you consider the utter fall in decorum, standards, patience, etc. But, it is also represents abundance, if there is so much food that people can eat practically all the time, even while waiting for more.

    • Harry Gibbs says:

      Sounds like the sort of neurotic decadence one would expect to see in the latter stages of a civilisation’s life-cycle, ie pre-collapse.

  16. “The Thing” newly remastered HD release 2017, lolz

  17. A Real Black Person says:

    I’ve gotten the impression from a variety of people, from laymen to experts that humans do not have natural predators. I’m not sure if this is true. It’s true that most large predators don’t prefer humans over other prey animals but that only seems to be out of habit.

    One of the reasons why humans, if they originated out of Africa, may have migrated out of Africa, was to get away from large and intelligent predators.

    • bandits101 says:

      Then why did they continue “to get out” and spread all over the world.

      • A Real Black Person says:

        Not every single human chose to leave Africa.

        • ARBP says:

          Some humans choose to stay in a hostile environment because they have adapted to surviving in that specific hostile environment. A “hostile environment” is one where there is a lot of selective pressure in the form of competition with other lifeforms, such as the case in Africa, extreme weather, with Russia and arid areas of the Middle East being prime examples.

          Africa, until Modern times, is possibly, the only place in the world where humans were not an invasive species . The reason why Africans never domesticate most of the megafuana and did not “invent the wheel” was because they co-evolved with the animals around them and the animals are most likely wary of humans or any ‘strangers’ coming up to them.

          • Artleads says:

            “Africa, until Modern times, is possibly, the only place in the world where humans were not an invasive species . The reason why Africans never domesticate most of the megafuana and did not “invent the wheel” was because they co-evolved with the animals around them and the animals are most likely wary of humans or any ‘strangers’ coming up to them.”

            I really want to understand this…although I couldn’t connect the last line to what went before it.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Jared Diamond I think it was said the wheel was not invented in Africa because you could not domesticate the large animals and convince them to pull heavy loads (nor breed them)

              And in South America there were no large animals to pull loads? So the wheel did not happen

            • Chris Harries says:

              And here in Australia? I can tell you that fitting wheels to a kangaroo is not in the best interests of the cargo!

            • Fast Eddy says:

              In NZ there wasn’t even that option …

              New Zealand has almost no native mammals; its larger animal life is dominated by birds, lizards, frogs, wētā and land snails. http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/evolution-of-plants-and-animals/page-1

        • bandits101 says:

          From Wiki…”Earliest human migrations and expansions of archaic and modern humans across continents began 2 million years ago with the migration out of Africa of Homo erectus. This was followed by the migrations of other pre-modern humans including H. heidelbergensis, the likely ancestor of both modern humans and Neanderthals”.


          • Fast Eddy says:

            What about the DelusiSTANIS… where did they originally come from before they settled in DelusiSTAN?

            • psile says:

              Humans have always been delusional.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Then The Core must be from another planet…. perhaps our internals are AI … with fake skin covering up the secret…

              Could it be that the end of BAU is our way to exterminate these stoopid humans and have the planet all to ourselves?

            • Aubrey enoch says:

              Yep. That’s it. From Venus, no doubt. Bau as long as possible. Burn baby burn. All they need is to get earth temperature up to 600 degrees and the Venusian life form can move over here. Its a reproductive act by the Venusian planetary life form. Its plane as day.
              Wake up earthlings.

    • doomphd says:

      leopards used to claim a lot of early humans. they know this because of the pattern of teeth punctures in the skulls, and the fact that ancestral human bones could be found at the base of large trees, where they were dropped by the cats. humans have gotten bigger, so the smaller cats don’t have as much of a size advantage. cougars still hunt lone humans in the americas, and packs of wolves and even coyotes will hunt and kill humans on occasion, not to mention bears, especially brown bears. in africa, there are still lots of human predators, given the chance to prey.

      • ARBP says:

        You’re forgetting crocodiles. Crocodiles in Florida see humans as food.

      • Jonzo says:

        Extremely rare for wolves to attack people (coyotes and cougars even more rare). Read the Lewis and Clark journals. The only human predator they encountered were grizzle bears. Even their dog scared away wolves (who were trying to steal food).

        • ARBP says:

          I don’t know. Early European colonizers recalled coming across Native Americans who had been physically disfigured by bears.

          “Extremely rare for wolves to attack people” That is because people stay out of their territory. When human settlements and predator territory overlap, the attacks happen more frequently.

    • just my guess on it—nothing more than that

      but if humans evolved in east africa, and began to develop predatory habits with the use of fire, that would give them growth advantage.
      as groups grow and expand, they must constantly break off to find new ”resources” and so gradually, over 000s of years move where that takes them, provided the means of sustenance is there.

      they arrive at a water barrier, then eventually one figures out that several floating logs becomes a boat if they are lashed together

      and so on—that way the world was colonised eventually

    • We have guns and ammunition. That is why we don’t have natural predators. In fact, we have gotten rid of most habitat for animals.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Just thinking…

        When I was mountain biking in BC Canada … I was warned by the trail keepers to make sure I carried bear bangers or an air horn…. they thought I was nuts to be wheeling around the bush without these.

        So imagine what the situation would have been like in Africa thousands of years ago — when there were huge populations of dangerous animals….

        A walk to the river to fetch water would have been risky…

        If you watch wildlife shows in Africa even today the animals are always wary of a predator ambushing them out of nowhere….

        I suspect it would not have been much different for humans … constantly under threat of being eaten

  18. Fast Eddy says:

    Mother’s milk:

    So what did the ECB buy in the latest week? According to a Bloomberg the ECB purchased at least 11 corporate bonds under the CSPP program, which lifts the number of securities held to 894.

    As of Friday, the ECB now holds €77.87 Billion, or ~12.39% of the €628.34 billion in European corporate bonds outstanding.

    The ECB bought bonds issued by BMW Finance, Daimler, DIA, EDF, Engie, HeidelbergCement, Italgas, Kering, Suez and Telecom Italia;

    Of note: 148, or 16.6% of the 894 securities are negative yielding. Utilities remain the largest industry group with 237 securities.

    Finally, since the first week of the month may have some “noise” in the ECB’s purchases, we suggest waiting until next Monday for the definitive answer if the ECB has ignored tapering when it comes to corporate bonds, before rushing to buy even more Euopean corporates in hopes of frontrunning the ECB.


    • Duncan Idaho says:

      “Bitcoin and block chain technology eliminates the need of a third party (banks ) to verify authentication of something (money, contract, etc.) Our current system has been set up by a financial predatory class which operates through Central Banks around the world to steal wealth from every living person. ”

      • Kurt says:

        So painful. Everyday, post after recycled post. Got anything original to say FE? Anything at all???

    • Let’s hope the taper is kept away indefinitely.

  19. Fast Eddy says:

    Do we want to play America the Beautiful now…. or save it for later?

    What a wonderful country!

    A man was violently dragged off of a United Airlines flight Sunday evening after it was apparently overbooked, according to passengers who were on the plane.

    “Flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville was overbooked,” the spokesperson said. “After our team looked for volunteers, one customer refused to leave the aircraft voluntarily and law enforcement was asked to come to the gate.

    “We apologize for the overbook situation. Further details on the removed customer should be directed to authorities.”

    Passengers were told at the gate that the flight was overbooked and United, offering $400 and a hotel stay, was looking for one volunteer to take another flight to Louisville at 3 p.m. Monday.

    Passengers were allowed to board the flight, Bridges said, and once the flight was filled those on the plane were told that four people needed to give up their seats to stand-by United employees that needed to be in Louisville on Monday for a flight. Passengers were told that the flight would not take off until the United crew had seats, Bridges said, and the offer was increased to $800, but no one volunteered.

    Then, she said, a manager came aboard the plane and said a computer would select four people to be taken off the flight. One couple was selected first and left the airplane, she said, before the man in the video was confronted.

    Bridges said the man became “very upset” and said that he was a doctor who needed to see patients at a hospital in the morning. The manager told him that security would be called if he did not leave willingly, Bridges said, and the man said he was calling his lawyer. One security official came and spoke with him, and then another security officer came when he still refused. Then, she said, a third security official came on the plane and threw the passenger against the armrest before dragging him out of the plane.

    “Everyone was shocked and appalled,” Bridges said. “There were several children on the flight as well that were very upset.”

    See the video: http://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/2017/04/10/video-shows-man-forcibly-removed-united-flight-chicago-louisville/100274374/

    • Fast Eddy says:

      When Buffalo, New York couple Akram Shibly and Kelly McCormick returned to the U.S. from a trip to Toronto on Jan. 1, 2017, U.S. Customs & Border Protection officers held them for two hours, took their cellphones and demanded their passwords.

      “It just felt like a gross violation of our rights,” said Shibly, a 23-year-old filmmaker born and raised in New York. But he and McCormick complied, and their phones were searched.

      Three days later, they returned from another trip to Canada and were stopped again by CBP.

      “One of the officers calls out to me and says, ‘Hey, give me your phone,'” recalled Shibly. “And I said, ‘No, because I already went through this.'”

      The officer asked a second time..

      Within seconds, he was surrounded: one man held his legs, another squeezed his throat from behind. A third reached into his pocket, pulling out his phone. McCormick watched her boyfriend’s face turn red as the officer’s chokehold tightened.

      Then they asked McCormick for her phone.

      “I was not about to get tackled,” she said. She handed it over.

      Shibly and McCormick’s experience is not unique. In 25 cases examined by NBC News, American citizens said that CBP officers at airports and border crossings demanded that they hand over their phones and their passwords, or unlock them.


    • Kurt says:

      Yep. We all read it.

    • adonis says:

      fantastic story showing the mass selfishness of of humans when placed in a stressfull position and that is why when BAU ends most of the masses will meet their end while engaging in violent protests against the end of BAU think Tianamen Square if you maintain a low profile and have prepped for the long term post BAU you stand a good chance of surviving. The way i see it I have won the lottery having the knowledge of what’s really going on.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        What’s happening there is an eviction …

        Not much on the line – nobody is hungry — yet that’s what we are capable of. If that guy were to fight back it would have been a whole lot more ugly….

        Now imagine you are in your oasis of bliss — you time it right and the crops are ready just as BAU blows…

        And now everyone is hungry — and they are looking to evict you — I wonder what that looks like…

    • ITEOTWAWKI says:

      Are we approaching the Export Land Model for KSA?


      • Fast Eddy says:

        Let’s see — there are roughly 30M people there…. they are for mostly useless feeders — they don’t work — they stuff their faces with fast food – they are riddled with diabetes … they are even more inbred than the British royals…. they add nothing of any value to the planet.

        And they are burning OUR oil!

        Something needs to be done about this – we need a bloodbath — or better still how about we drop chemical weapons in the major urban centres and wipe out everything that moves?


        Blame it on Assad!

        Damn – I knew I had a calling in the diplomatic corps…. I can play this game of chess.

        • Duncan Idaho says:

          ‘Hello, you have reached the navy. To bomb Syria press 1. To bomb Iraq press 2. To invade the Middle East, press 3’

    • Natural gas is an important part of Saudi Arabia’s consumption as well. It consumes 100% of the natural gas it consumes. It looks like natural gas production is not going up very fast, so Saudi Arabia must consume more oil.

      Saudi Arabia consumption of oil and natural gas

      I didn’t make these charts. The to chart shows stacked consumption; the bottom one show each fuel on the same basis, all converted to the same units.

  20. ITEOTWAWKI says:

    InAlaska is this you lol?

    One family’s life in the wilderness:


  21. Yoshua says:

    New ET code:

    “day of dark energy until photon energy is mastered. enlarge photon. energy is mastered. squeeze shrink insert charge. creator will stand aside. 14 guardians remain on.”

    One tentative suggestion is that massive particles (such as the proton, neutron or electron) are just “squeezed-shrunk” forms of light photons, to which electric charge in the form of quarks has been placed inside. This would then be how massive particles (free or in atoms) can “emit light” when energy is in excess.The proton and electron might thus be “compressed light” with “charge” inserted as plus or minus hence E = MC^2 – Horace R. Drew –


    Sorry, I just had to post this. Crazy stuff… but hey… we are at the end of the world.

    • Greg Machala says:

      Elon Musk will mount a wind turbine to the roof of a Tesla. This merger of wind and battery technology will revolutionize transportation. When a Tesla so equipped reaches any speed over 25MPH, the battery power will be cut and the output from the roof mounted wind turbine (RMWT) will be enough to propel the car (essentially indefinitely). This technology is set to debut on the Tesla Model BS.

    • Bergen Johnson says:

      What will happen to people who ask for spare change if some day there is no spare change or bills? In fact, a good excuse not to give money is to say, “I only use cards.” What will people use to buy street drugs? Who’s going to let a drug dealer swipe their credit card for a transaction? It may be a way (other than stopping bank runs) of trying to make all transactions recordable so GDP can be reported as high as possible, in a time when reported GDP is not much above recession.

      • DJ says:

        Here the roma beggers accept phone to phone payment.

        Don’t know how the drug dealers do, but maybe they don’t mind transactions being trackable.

    • i1 says:

      I’m afraid the Bankers mean to starve you.

    • Thanks for your on-the-ground report. It is hard for me to believe that government officials would create such a problem; it would seem like they should know better. But I read that they thought that they could get more tax collections, if transactions would be forced to go through banks.

      I expect this problem will slow down India’s rate of economic growth. This seems to add to our many worldwide barriers to economic growth.

  22. Sven Røgeberg says:

    Hello Gail, a friend of mine offers me regulary green, optimistic news from this site. Would you mind assess it: https://thinkprogress.org/renewables-cheapest-new-power-globally-74910c78bbbe

    • MG says:

      If wind turbines and solar panels are renewable, than we can call such energy concentration as renewables. Obviously, wind turbines and solar panels are due to their complexity of lower value than glass lenses and simple windmills that thransform the energy of the sun and the wind directly into the mechanical energy.

    • Jarvis says:

      The good doctor and his readers are totally delusional. I could find no mention of how they overcome the intermittent nature of their power source. I do have some experience here as I have the solar panels on my roof (about 10 tons of Chinese lignite coal) the batteries in my basement the electric car in my garage and the permaculture garden out back. All for therapeutic purposes only of course! I was going to post something there but thought it better to let them keep their happy thoughts.

      • The Australians promise to drop (a bit?) the price of their ~10kWh flow batt storage during recently launched mass production scale up over the next decade, currently it’s almost 20k aud, but it supposedly includes the charger, so one needs only to add PV array or other input of choice. Their system is already proven (smaller version of industrial solution), so perhaps good alternative for some wealthier people, however temporarily – financially inconvenienced folks should look elsewhere. As mentioned previously, depending on needs, you can easily do it way cheaper from “quality” Chinese lithium prismatic cells, obviously with smaller energy storage capacity, realistically basic 3-6kWh setup can run you fridge (not the american sized), lights and efficient electronics for many days of no recharge (renewables down for the moment).

    • Dear Sven,

      Thanks for writing. I am sorry I didn’t have chance to get back to you yesterday. I was working on a magazine article.

      The problem with wind and solar is that the electricity they produce is nowhere near what the electric grid needs. The cost of cleaning up all of the problems that they create is so high, that the cost of the solar panels and wind turbines could be zero, and they would still not work.

      If you want to buy solar panels, and use them off the grid, with your own backup batteries, that is OK. But the whole idea of putting them on the grid is crazy. Don’t expect the batteries, with backup batteries, to be available in the winter. You will have to do some work to get they to be somewhat satisfactory for running electric motors. I would not count on being able to use them to operate steel mills, for example, without a huge amount of work.

      If you can keep their usage down to simple things–running LED light on summer evenings–they are great.


  23. MG says:

    The reason why the coal mining is declining is also that the it is hard to extract. It needs less workers and more machines to extract oil or natural gas.

    The coal is cheap, but its extraction and transportation becomes too costly.

    The wood is the same category: the low price of the wood can not match with the rising costs, subsidies are needed. The transportation of wood as energy source is more costly, requires human workforce, more complicated and costly machines.

    That is why the energy sources like electricity, natural gas and oil prevail over wood and coal. The fall of coal and wood use precedes (signals) the fall in use of oil and natural gas.

    • MG says:

      It is the cheap oil that allows for cheap wood and coal. In that way wood and coal are the factors that keep the price of oil down. Together with the energy of the human population.

      • xabier says:

        Exactly MG: I only get those nice big truckloads of wood for splitting thanks only to cheap-enough oil.

        This is why the principal activity of peasants in England in the summer and autumn used to be ‘sticking.’

        Not a term for boisterous rural sex, (perhaps disappointingly) but the collection of fallen wood from hedgerows and woods, which was allowed as a customary right by property owners. They also cut sedge on rough land, which burns well in bundles in home bread ovens.

        The labour was that of the bigger children and all the women of the household.

        I have been investigating the local woods, and the amount of fallen wood is phenomenal. In the deserted countryside of today, where all labour is contracted and most villagers work in town, it will be easy pickings.

        Next: How to hold your trousers up with string like a real peasant. 🙂

        • Artleads says:

          Then some people say we should leave fallen wood for other life forms to feed and shelter with.

  24. Fast Eddy says:

    Attention Would-Be Doomsday Preppers – Attention!

    The wall has been breached — as in my many thousands of dollars varmint proof fencing built to keep out rabbits has been violated….

    Not only that – they ignored the multiple signs that are posted all along the fence!


    I was down in the garden and noticed just about all 3 beds of winter crop seedlings were gone — then I saw the little bastard go running … not sure how he got out but there is a breach somewhere…

    There was not enough food there to keep the 4 of us for long so it is irrelevant …

    However if you are thinking you are going to be self sustainable from your garden (you better have a big garden) then if that happened you would be dead.

    Seemingly small things … become life threatening…. post BAU.

    Then there are those pesky hordes … how do you horde-proof a garden?

    • DJ says:

      If you can’t beat them – eat them!

    • doomphd says:

      time-tested solution: every fifty feet or so along your perimeter, you put a severed head on a pike, facing outward into the jungle. See: “Heart of Darkness” by J. Conrad.

    • Elmer says:

      Rabbits burrow so you have to have the netting buried a foot deep.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Thanks but they are not coming in under the ground below the fence — I suspect they are squeezing through a rough edge… will get that fixed tomorrow.

    • Joebanana says:

      I just shoot them when I see them in the yard. That has always worked for me as they don’t seem to roam very far.

    • xabier says:

      I have 20 vegetable beds.

      I have a gun and a dog.

      I am vigilant.

      The dog is even more vigilant than I.

      There is no rabbit problem. 🙂

      • Froggman says:

        Great Pyrenees are superb for this. A few years ago I was losing chickens to the foxes. I had 2 dogs, but they were inside/outside dogs that came in with us every night, and night is when the predators came by.

        I managed to shoot one of the foxes; then I got the Pyrenees. She’s built to live outside on a farm, 24/7. Even in the depths of winter, she just curls up in her hole under the back deck. We haven’t lost a single critter to predation since she’s been here.

        The downside is she’s a big dog and eats a lot: as much as my other 2 mid-sized dogs put together. But she’s also extremely sweet with people, like a big Teddy bear.

        • grayfox says:

          I trust they were red foxes you shot. Interlopers.

          • Froggman says:

            LOL, of course. No relation I’m sure. I tanned the hide and its a beautiful livingroom decoration now. But I hated killing it. I’m always thrilled to see one in the wild, just not eating my chickens. This is another reason I like having the dog: she keeps them away entirely do I don’t have to kill them. Let the foxes have another day, at someone else’s expense.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          And then there were a thousand other problems that cropped up post BAU…. that were insurmountable…

          And I starved to death….

    • grayfox says:

      1) Use rabbit-proof fencing.

      2) If you did not do (1) like me, the young rabbits can squeeze through a typical fence’s mesh in summer and eat tender young plants. So you can make a fenced in area inside the garden using tighter mesh like 1/2″ galv. hardware cloth for just those plants they like…which I am trying out.

      3) Find out what kind of natural rabbit predators exist locally like owls, hawks, etc. and encourage them.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        I have rabbit proof fencing …. hawks kill rabbits… but they also like to kill chickens…

        In any event I am not looking for a solution — I don’t really care — I will just buy kale and broccoli at the grocery store come spring (if spring comes…)

        My point is that doomsday prepping is futile… once BAU goes the solutions become very limited…

        • Tom says:

          You are so right FE. I have been intensive gardening and livestock farming for 15 years. I have recently suffered severe losses to deer, woodchucks, squirrels, chipmunks, weasels, squash bugs, aphids, and raccoons, to name a few. It’s not possible to fence them out or shoot them all. And if you have a dog for predator control what are going to feed the dog after BAU?

          • Fast Eddy says:

            Good points.

            Again – this is why the Fast Eddy Challenge is critical….

            Consider the watchdog issue…. there are so many things we take for granted — we buy mega size sacks of dog food from the shop — and it does occur to many that this won’t be possible post BAU…

            By taking the Challenge — you would recognize this issue and you might try to compensate… perhaps you shoot animals and feed the bits to the dog….

            But then you have no fridge — and I doubt a dog will be keen on eating salted meat — assuming you have salt to preserve it?

            But if you take the challenge for long enough you will realize that if you shoot animals there are soon no more animals — animals do not like BOOM BOOM BOOM — and they stay away from areas where there was BOOM BOOM BOOM….

            So that means you have to trek into the bush looking for animals — no ATVs… you walk…. and the more you BOOM BOOM BOOM the further the animals run from you….

            Meanwhile back at the ranch — the chores are piling up — the clothes need washing… the fences mending … the gardens tending…. and you are out there shooting dog food…

            Then there is the trees that need felling … and dragging … and splitting …

            Oh and about that pet food — you are using up your limited supply of ammo — ammo that will be needed to defend the farm from the hordes… and the bad guys with guns who want your food and wimmen….

            That is the reason the FEC is important … it will convince you — like it convinced me — that the obstacles to survival post BAU are insurmountable…. it would be a life of pure hell…

            Ending in starvation.

            Throw off the shackles…. accept that BAU = Death… and enjoy what little time remains

            • doomphd says:

              learn how to use a bow and arrow, actually, get a crossbow, more accurate. they are silent, for the deer, rabbits, etc. save the loud gunfire for the human pests. having enough ammo and staying up all night will present problems. best to stock up on ammo (it lasts a long time) and get someone trusty to do watches with, teamwork.

            • grayfox says:

              The FE challenge and the “obstacles to survival post BAU” seem insurmountable because they are. No individual or even a couple can make it on their own. A large enough group of fit, able-bodied people who have skills and can work together…now that could be a different story.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Spent fuel ponds aside… the issue would be food.

              If you have your village of 200 people together now — then you could start the FEC and work out the kinks…. get the gardens roaring … etc…

              Is anyone doing this?

              Quite difficult to get people to commit to this — perhaps a few stinky hippies might be on for it — but they would just sit around smoking dope and waiting for someone to bring the bread and peanut butter…

              Getting any proper people involved is virtually impossible – because most people do not believe the world is ending – and even if they did — they prefer to continue their love affair with BAU for as long as possible – not knowing when the end is to come.

              Even if you could get 200 people together — how do you defend farmland? It would be easy for a small group of armed men with military experience to put the whole lot down like dogs… even if they men they were attacking had experience… you need to tend the fields….

              So fast forward to collapse — it’s you alone on your farm with your family — with barely enough food to feed your crew —- how do you bring in and feed the extra bodies after the fact?

              There will be total chaos… the hordes will be coming at you like bees to a pretty flower… where there is food there will be hordes…

              The Game will be over – before it even gets started.

              This 200 person village idea is pie in the sky.

              The only place something like this would be feasible is where everyone already lives like this — places like the Amazon… Irian Jaya… remote African villages…

              Anyone living anywhere near a town or with neighbours — in a western country — is dead.

              You will be overwhelmed.

            • jeremy890 says:

              Not a concern, Eddy, if YOU starve, there will be others that will EAT.
              Eddy, look on the bright side, if you do starve to death through no fault of your own, it’s better than being awarded a Darwin Award!

              Around 2,500 lefties are killed every year all around the world from using right handed products. It seems that left handers might be a dying breed.

              This one might come as no surprise and is actually a pretty sad statistic that 70 children every year die from choking on hot dogs

              Making love can be a dangerous game especially when your thrills involve voluntarily strangling yourself. Around 600 people die every year from this sex act.

              We drive our cars everyday and that can make us complacent but around 572 teens die annually from texting and driving. Most of us aren’t good at multitasking in general let alone while operating heavy machinery. Your text can wait until you get to where you’re going

              Falling out of bed should actually terrify the crap out of everyone. Seriously, we should all just burn our bed frames and sleep on the floor. Falling from your favorite place on earth accounts for 1.8 million emergency room visits each year and around 450 deaths in the USA.

              Icicles are dangerous as hell. In places where it gets cold enough for these suckers to form, people know all too well the dangers they possess. The deaths usually occur when the icicles fall from the gutters of homes onto sidewalks killing around 100 people in Russia every year.

              Sometimes that perfect shot just isn’t worth it. Selfies have killed more people than sharks this year (12 vs 8). Four were the result of falling, two were from a grenade (pin out), two from posing with hand guns, two grabbed live electrical wires and two were hit by a train.

              The amount of people that die from falling off ladders is around the same as those that die from falling out of bed although slightly more at 477 fatalities every year in the USA. We have to sleep so that’s a risk we are willing to take but that ladder is evil, get rid of it!

              If you’re silly enough to grab one of these then you’re going to know all about it until you don’t. Around 105 people die getting shocks from electric transmission lines every year in the USA.

              Believe me , there are dumb ways to die, This is just a sample!

            • grayfox says:

              “This 200 person village idea is pie in the sky.”

              Yes, but you said village, not me. Why not be mobile? This is why fitness is important. Why be confined to a single habitation – a village, when you can freely move about a territory.

            • perhaps I’ve got the wrong idea here, but there seems to be an odd notion the villages/small scale communities did exist, and can exist in some form of isolated stability in our future.

              There might be some exceptions, but I don’t think this was generally so.

              Allegiance was owed to some feudal lord or other, to whom you paid taxes. If you didn’t, retribution would soon follow.
              That will be the case in the future,
              It is certain that a strong leader (s) will evolve, to grab what remains of power and control in order to secure their own personal survival. if others of like mind recognise that strength, then a feudal heirarchy will develop.
              If they do not submit, then conflict will result until a leader does emerge to whom everyone submits.

              So much for the ‘village in isolation’–it cannot happen.

              We are a territorial species, we defend territories to the limit of our means and within the law as we currently respect it.
              Remove that law, and things might get very unpleasant indeed.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Very good point Norman.

              And I do believe that there were castles involved in the mix… and armies… and those sorts of things… for the purpose of keeping the other king with his army from taking your resources…

              Can you imagine a community of 200 ‘permies’ post BAU…

              Up rides Sir Fast Eddy on his stallion with his band of brutes who are armed to the teeth (I am actively recruiting former NHL enforcers — apply at http://www.fasteddyrules.com)


              The leader of the permies comes to the gate and says hello kind Sir… how can we help.

              And SFE says ‘I’ll have those 5 women for meself — and me men will have the rest — the old ones we will use for target practice -except for two – the ones who are the best cooks live …

              And all the men are to live in the pig cages and work the fields .. anyone who refuses is target practice…

              But SFE you can’t do this — we are peace lovers — and the sword that SFC has wielded so effectively on FW pre BAU will be unsheathed .. ending the protest… hate to waste a bullet on such a feeble peanut-butter fed snowflake….

              And for those of you who think you can invite ex military men in to protect you — that they will treat you as equals – that they will not have you doing all the work — that they will not touch your women…

              I say —- Koombaya my lord… Koombaya….

              That is not the way it works.

            • all good points Eddy
              The castle was always the central point of any local community—in UK that means the ‘county’–the communities in that county paid taxes to finance the local lord

              just remember —-I’ve reserved droit de seigneur for myself

            • Fast Eddy says:

              I saw somewhere that the Bin Inn End of the World special offer on:


            • i wondered who’d got their hands on my viagra stash

              the missis has posted a reward for its return

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Perhaps the missus was peering over yer shoulder when you wrote that previous comment….

            • Nomads, or hunter gatherers. I am afraid this is what it has to be.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Exactly – I have on numerous occasions suggested that the Preppers stop barking up the wrong tree — and learn the skills of a hunter gatherer.

              Now is the time — because if you don’t have these skills before BAU goes — it’s going to be a rather difficult transition….

              I know of a really good guide in Borneo — if anyone is interested I can organize (for a small fee) an introduction …

              He will take you to a very remote village — one that is completely unplugged from BAU — they won’t even have a plastic bottle — nothing nodda …

              He will negotiate with the village to allow you to live with them — he will probably agree to give them some pigs…. now these are not true hunter gatherers… they do a bit of subsistence farming on the side… but it’s as close as you will get.

              Sign up Here: http://www.FEHGCourses.com

              Oh btw — I was just thinking about my Irian Jaya trek some years back — and I recall being told that there were almost no birds left in the forests — even in the most remote areas we visited we heard and saw almost none..

              Can anyone guess why?

              It’s because in many of the villages the men have rifles… and they have killed all of the birds….

              And people think that in North America – where they are hundreds of millions of guns — and lots of people… they will be enjoying venison and seal and rabbit dinners post BAU…

              Not for long!

  25. Fast Eddy says:

    Bank Of America: “Previously This Has Only Happened In 2000 And 2008”

    Although it will not come as a surprise to regular readers that, for various reasons, loan growth in the US has not only ground to a halt but, for the all important Commercial and Industrial Segment, has dropped at the fastest rate since the financial crisis, some (until recently) economic optimists, such as Bank of America’s Ethan Harris, are only now start to realize that the post-election “recovery” was a mirage.



  26. I missed the discussion on Gail’s grandfather’s tale in Norway. Norway prior to the North Sea Oil discovery was not a great place; Bjornesterne Bjornson, who won the Nobel Prize of Lit in 1903, one of the earlier Nobels no one remembers now, became famous writing tales about Norwegian peasants, although he preferred to live in sunnier climates with the money earned from his books.

    Anyways, one of the first Scandinavian movies ever made was Synnove Solbaken, based upon Bjornson’s 1860 book. Made in Sweden in 1919 (Norway being part of Sweden till 1900, Bjornson was also well known in Stockholm) it shows how pre-BAU life in Europe was, as best as it could.

    • Norway also had another great Nobel Lit laureate, Knut Hamsun (1920), whose book “Hunger” showed how an intelligent person with no opportunities was destroyed by deprivation, a timeless classic. His later association with Nazis and Quisling’s govt moved him to the memory hole.

      A lot of great literature and material were put into the great void during the Age of Abundance. I had read very old books which no one even knows it exists now, and like Jane Austen being dug up and rediscovered around 1960, a lot of dusty books will be rediscovered as mankind nears collapse.

  27. Duncan Idaho says:


    Les bring back the bison and their predators.
    Get rid of the grains, and put back the annual grasses.
    Get clean again.

    • Harry Gibbs says:

      I fear that ship has sailed. Gorgeous panorama though.

    • bandits101 says:

      Yes and before that, the giant ground sloth, mastodon, mammoth, sabre toothed tiger, wild horse, American cheetah, short faced bear, glyptodon, dire wolf, giant beaver, camel and many others, all driven and hunted to extinction by humans, just in North America. World wide the story is pretty much incomprehensible. Most humans are very proud of their achievements though.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        And as BAU ends… there are millions of high quality hunting rifles and automatic weapons and billions of rounds of ammunition scattered around the planet…

        And there will be nobody enforcing hunting limits….

        Oh – and did I leave out that there will be next to no food and 7.5 billion hungry people?

        The animals do not stand a chance.

  28. timl2k11 says:

    # Power grid Complexity

    Gail, regarding wind and solar, I just realized the other day that I *still* did not appreciate the complexity of the power grid, and why the north American grid is called “the most complicated machine ever built”. In short, steam turbines have tremendous /momentum/ which helps keep the grid frequency stable. The /entire/North American grid east of the Mississippi must be finely tuned to this frequency (60.00 +/- 0.01 Hz). Because wind and solar do not respond to demand, they decrease the stability of the grid. This is not a problem if the amount of wind and solar is small, but if he contribution is big, the grid requires expensive upgrades.
    I was wondering to myself, how many wind and solar energy junkies understand/appreciate the complexity of the grid and he manpower needed to maintain it? My guess is zero.

    How is electricity from different generators synchronized so that it can be combined to service the same grid? – Scientific American

    Also from: https://www.reddit.com/r/askscience/comments/3l1d1r/comment/cv2cb6f?st=J1BDFBJZ&sh=f6e3aa80

    “Generators at power plants are synchronous machines — this means that the output frequency of the generator is dependent upon its speed of rotation. This has a variety of ramifications.

    First, when any generator is connected to the grid, the phase synchronization — the angle between the line frequency and generator frequency — needs to be checked, and the generator typically needs to be slowed down slightly or sped up slightly to match before they are tied together. If they are not, huge currents will flow (due to those phase angle differences leading to a difference in instantaneous voltage) and typically damage something very badly.

    To maintain synchronization of frequency, time standards are used. Originally, for the US, WWV out in Colorado was used (NIST’s time standard broadcast) but now use of GPS time (and frequency from GPS-disciplined oscillators) is common. Large power grids typically tweak the frequency slightly to recorrect line-connected synchronous (line-voltage) clocks, although I will be curious to see how much longer that practice lasts.

    One of the greatest advantages of this setup is that most generators are power turbines of some sort — with enormous rotating masses. These masses form ‘line inertia’ that helps hold everything in sync — line sags (which will load down generators and try to slow them) will be resisted by that rotating mass. If a local slowdown is not resisted, resonant properties of the power grid will be experienced, with oscillations and ringing and instabilities as the issues with frequency, voltage, and current propagate out like riples in a pond. This is very bad, and one of the biggest issues with renewable sources is that they use grid-tie inverters — devices that convert DC to AC that attempts to stay in sync with the line. Unfortunately, these do not have any inertia. There are schemes to help create artificial inertia, but it is typically inefficient (electrically and economically). Fortunately (or unfortunately) such a pittance of the grid is renewable that it doesn’t much matter yet. Likewise in the case of your hydro plant, you have an enormous rotating mass to help maintain synchronous speed in the event of a fault.

    And for good measure a visualization of it all:

    • I am not sure that I still understand all of this well enough that I could explain it to someone else.

      South Australia is the place that has been having huge problems. The pricing system for electricity when intermittent is included is a huge problem as well; it produces too low wholesale prices for all producers. As a result, the last two coal fired power plants have left South Australia. They have some gas power plants, but the supply of natural gas is not very adequate. South Australia is having problems with outages, both because of storms and because of inadequate total capacity. Prices are also very high.
      This is the link to the final report on a particular outage in South Australia. http://pfbach.dk/firma_pfb/references/aemo_final_report_sa_black_system_28_sep_2016.pdf

      Paul-Frederik Back explains in a post why he thinks the proposed solutions is inadequate: http://pfbach.dk/firma_pfb/references/pfb_sa_blackout_2016_09_28_final.pdf He talks about some of the issues in this paper.

      SA is in the transition from a fossil-fuelled power system into a system based on renewable energy. This is a challenge to both operational security and security of supply. Recently the last coal-fired power plants, Playford B (240 MW) and Northern (520 MW), were closed down. Mothballing of the gas-fired Torrens A (480 MW) has been planned for 2017. The removal of traditional power plants also removes basic contributions to the operational secu- rity, such as the inertia of the turbo-generators and the reactive power control of the generators. Inverter-connected wind turbines and solar cells cannot fully replace these elements.

      It is a challenge to find affordable replacements with reasonable security of both operation and supply. SA is a forerunner, and its experiences can be useful to other countries with the same ambitions.

      You might find the report interesting. He has one section called, “Low system inertia prevented automatic load shedding.”

  29. jeremy890 says:

    But Kurt, you are talking to FAST..one track…Eddy….just do NOT mention Helen and Scott Nearing!
    Fast Eddy, this is what I got to say to YOU…


    More to come

  30. Fast Eddy says:

    If anyone is feeling guilty about not being able to support Tesla because the sticker prices are a little on the high side…

    Let me assuage your feelings of guilt:

    Elon Musk’s growing empire is fueled by $4.9 billion in government subsidies


    That works out to $15 for every man woman and child in America who has effectively reached into their pocket to support:


    Tesla CEO Takes Private Jet as Company Takes Public Loan

    THE CEO OF Tesla Motors, which has received a fat federal loan, flew to Washington, D.C., aboard a private jet at least 12 times in the past 14 months. Although it isn’t unusual for CEOs to jet around on corporate planes, Elon Musk did so not long after lawmakers berated the heads of the Big Three automakers for doing the same thing while seeking a government bailout.

    PeHub.com, citing FAA records, says Musk flew to Washington aboard his Dassault Falcon 900 on June 15, 2009 — one week before the Department of Energy agreed to lend the company $465 million to help build the Model S sedan, and two weeks after Tesla took over paying the plane’s operating costs.


    If you are still feeling like you need to do more…. you can pull out your card and make a donation to saving the world http://www.savetheworldsupporttesla.com

    I understand that Tesla will soon be applying for tax exempt status — as a religious institution.

    • Kurt says:

      Could we just please stop talking about tesla!!! It is so old and so boring at this point. It is irrelevant. Let’s move on to something else people.

    • A Real Black Person says:

      When asked about his private jet trips, Musk quickly snapped “It’s AI controlled self-flying electric plane made out of 3d-printed biodegradable material that’s undergoing alpha testing. “

  31. Bergen Johnson says:


    Ok folks, ready for this? The military strike with Tomahawk missiles in Syria was most likely just a wag the dog type occurrence with no follow up strikes to make it seem like there is animosity between Trump & Putin when in reality they probably orchestrated the whole thing over a dedicated hotline, with Putin being the brains behind it to cover both of their arses,

    However, the situation with North Korea may be much different. It appears from the above linked article that Trump got implicit acceptance from Xi of China in their Mar A Lago, Florida meeting to take action as deemed necessary, because negotiations will most likely no longer do anything to change the situation. According to that article Xi agreed on both counts. Whether that’s true or Trump’s presumption is another story. So don’t be surprised as the Carl Vinson strike group heads that way for what could be a pre-emptive strike. How that would be done and how they would somehow pull it off and avoid a counter strike by NPRK on Seoul is anyone’s guess, but they must have some kind of operation in mind. My guess is we are within a couple of weeks away from US military action against NPRK.

    The only way I can see of pulling this off without NPRK launching hundreds of missiles into Seoul is to use a strategic nuclear device of small magnitude to eliminate the missiles and most of the North’s soldiers posted there. Then a secondary strike with either another small nuke or a barrage of conventional weapons on Peunayong NK. Then follow up with radio communication demanding a change in leadership and get rid of their nuclear capability or face annihilation.

    • Well, the air-force base was clearly not severely damaged, that’s correct.

      But, there have been reported losses of ~10 people, civil and military personnel.
      And as we know all Syrian units are massively understaffed after those years of war, not mentioning the Russian air force role, moreover without their and Iranian commandos on the ground, the recent advances would not be possible, mostly intel-recon missions into the ISIS occupied territories of Syria. So, it that light I doubt it was only wag the dog. Obviously there is the crazy possibility it was very badly performed wag the dog operation..

      Anyway, the time lines are clear as this strike must have been in the making at least for weeks, also the Russian-US agreement of not aggression in air space and sharing data links has been taken advantage of or more precisely any sort of trust and partnership turned to sh@t by such silly backstabbing.

      In any case, given the very new change of course “Assad must go” rhetoric everywhere from western gov circles and on msm now, the preponderance of the evidence points more for purposeful escalation. It seems the plan is to parcel Syria into several zones. Notably cutting both the southern and north eastern parts, so Israel can enter their air space un-opposed as well as the optional Iranian natgas pipeline route through northern Iraq and Syria bound to Med/Turkey/Europe could be denied for ever, and replaced with the Saudi-Gulfies variant instead.

      Time is of the essence, China – Russia – Iran – and other allies are weak in conventional armament. There so much good hardware yet on order for the 2015-20-25 periods. So, is the west crazy enough to go ahead with some “local and limited” precursor to WW3 attempt? I’d not discount it.

      In any case, there are many stages to very hot scenarios, which give us a clue, the second last step from proper Armageddon would be likely subs cutting undersea data cables (crippled internet and money transfers), low kt nuclear strikes in Iran and NK and so on.. So we are still 2-3 escalation steps away.. Chill out..

    • adonis says:

      what does NPRK stand for?

    • Joebanana says:

      Hillary supporters have gone insane. The same people saying he was Hitler a few days ago think he is a great guy when he bombs and kills people in a country that has not attacked them.

    • Tim Groves says:

      I wonder what would happen if the USS Carl Vinson sank off the North Korean coast with 6,000 hands on board?

  32. Artleads says:

    Over the past two months in my neck of the woods, mailbox break-ins have sharply increased. It’s now close to epidemic proportions.

  33. Creedon says:

    I bought a battery powered lawn mower yesterday. It seems to work great. I already have a battery powered bicycle. I’m dreaming of a Nissan Leaf.

    • jeremy890 says:

      Maybe you can get a used Nissan Leaf

      A flood of Leafs will enter the pre-owned market in the next two years. In 2013, according to Kelley Blue Book, 22,610 Leafs were sold, and of those 86% were leased. In 2014, 30,200 units were sold, with an 83% leasing rate. The leasing rate slowed a bit in 2015, but so did sales, with 17,269 units sold and a 64% leasing rate.

      Range anxiety – including the fact an EV’s battery range decreases over its lifetime – and low gas prices have pulled down Leaf wholesale auction prices, says Anil Goyal, senior vice president-automotive valuation and analytics at Black Book.
      Leaf recharges on lot at Manheim Anaheim auction.

      A ’13 Leaf retains only 23% of its original value at auction, according to Black Book. The ’14 model retains 30% and a ’15 holds 37%.

      Those low values are likely to continue “as long as fuel prices are low and as long as there are range anxiety issues,” Goyal says.

      • That’s a good way of thinking about it, during next slump/s of forthcoming volatility, various interesting things might get affordable biggly, among them could be EVs. I’d aim at somewhat mid mileage specimen with “guaranteed” past incl. heated garage overwintering/nights. So, this could be relatively cheap, next be ready to perform unorthodox customization such as taking out the front seat, discarding the old batt tray underneath, and build a new pack, now from large sized cells of different chemistry instead (cheaper and replaceable/serviceable), adding some spoofing of the board computer will be necessary, but the community is huge, and it’s more or less solved already anyway. But, more interesting would be to have same situation with some of the more SUVish EVs, which there are not that many Toyota/Kia as of now ??

    • xabier says:

      I rather dream of a perfect robot wife, who will be very quiet indeed when on re-charge.

      A wife creates a vacancy for a mistress, as Goldsmith used to say, and she would be fully human, and more.

      Savings on the massed-produced wife – no Caribbean holidays, fashionable gifts or need to redecorate the house continually, to keep needed her away from the divorce lawyers – would free up funds to spoil the dangerous,exciting and expensive mistress around the corner.

      Doesn’t the future look bright?!! We are being far too pessimistic here: I suggest Elon the Saviour should add this to his Project for the Pacification of the Masses. 🙂

      • Tim Groves says:

        But needs multiply, so pretty soon we automaton husbands are going to have robot wives, cyborg maids and android mistress. And that will create lots of vacancies for full-time mechanics/software engineers.

    • You must have a very small sized court lawn and/or you like that tight lawn cut style..
      Nevertheless, I agree smaller applications like e-bicycles are great hedge for volatile future, affordable, especially at the times big EV/PHEVs (carz) are still not available in all size/form factor segments.

  34. ITEOTWAWKI says:

    And the delusions keep on coming fast and furious…

    The first investor in Snapchat thinks bitcoin could realistically be worth $500,000 by 2030:


    • Yorchichan says:

      Had 100 bitcoins stolen from my MtGox account in 2013. Grrrr…..

      • ITEOTWAWKI says:

        That’s too bad Yorchichan, with those bitcoins being worth 50M$ by 2030 you could have bought a few taxi companies in the UK, including the one you work for 😉

        • adonis says:

          silver coins are the way to go according to one ‘expert silver will hit $143 000 an ounce when the stockmarket crashes and manipulation of silver prices ends, all u need is a few ounces put away and you could pay off all your debts.

          • ITEOTWAWKI says:

            I have been debtless for years (effin’ hate debt) but hey I could use some more worthless fiat paper money to burn to warm myself post BAU…Sh.t, I forgot I can’t burn digital money 😉

  35. Artleads says:

    America is ‘over-stored’ and Payless ShoeSource is the latest victim

    “You have a lot of these suburban malls, but people are moving back to the cities,” Rieger-Paganis said. Without customers to shop in them, “those locations just aren’t performing well anymore.”

    Modify message

    • Bergen Johnson says:

      “Moving back to the cities.” But unless those suburban houses are empty there must be another explanation like online purchases.

      • meliorismnow says:

        The shopping is moving online but many suburban/exurban homes are now empty nest boomers who have much lighter shopping needs. So it’s both your named factors + demographics in the suburbs + the increasing price of space in cities (which means less junk to buy whether in malls or online) + declining standard of living (people will go online to save money even at the cost of time/convenience).

        • Slow Paul says:

          Seems like demographics is a force to be reckoned with in these times. Combined with increasing population vs decreasing resource base.

          I also have a theory that a critical mass of people have reached peak junk. They just don’t have any more room (be it physically or mentally) to buy more stuff they don’t need. More money goes into experiences which might be less commodity consuming (less growth)?

          • Chris Harries says:

            This sounds good in theory, but have you checked out the energy used in running the internet – which trades in invisible, non-physical bytes? If the internet was a nation it would be the world’s 5th biggest energy consumer.

            But I think you are right about looming consumer saturation. Most people can’t downsize their homes because they need all 300 square metres (and more) of space to contain all their stuff.

    • Yep, that’s part of the 4th turning story as well, millennials are escaping suburbia for the irresistible social vibes of their compatriots inside the mega cities. Over priced renting in shared studios and mini flats, doesn’t matter. Megacity sanctuaries, where they are expected to rally in huge crowds for the new real or fake messiahs of commune solutions, after the next crash. Good for them, lolz.

      • xabier says:

        I suspect you are spot-on with this: no dangerous, bitter and muscular factory workers as in the 1930’s, just trans-sexual urbanites ready to muster at any moment for the Great Elon, above all when he reveals his gender status. Why build concentration camps when you can brainwash and effeminize -it saves bullets?

  36. Fast Eddy says:

    Atlanta Fed GDPNow Forecast Spirals Toward Zero

    I hope the model is wrong.

    The Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow model, which forecasts GDP growth in the US, dropped to 0.6% seasonally adjusted annualized GDP growth for the first quarter. This means, if economic growth at this rate continues for an entire year, the US economy would edge up only 0.6% for the year.

    More http://wolfstreet.com/2017/04/07/atlanta-fed-q1-gdpnow-forecast-spirals-down-closer-to-zero/


    Hey didn’t I read something earlier about how corporate earnings were likely to surprise on the upside for Q1?


    • Bergen Johnson says:

      Or it could just as easily head up.

    • There is a new Alhambra/Snider article on this topic .. (via ZH)
      The real (yet over stimulated) growth is simply not there.

      But that obviously doesn’t mean the end of the synthetic BAU,
      so looking forward on the new methods deployed how to kick the can.

  37. Chris Harries says:

    So long as Gail identifies the Problem – and she does with consummate skill – a lot of people are not happy at all. This is because they want a Solution. This remains the case even as she describes all the manifold reasons why there isn’t a Solution. In short, we are finding it so hard to have a big Problem on our hands that we have no idea how to solve. That is resolvable.

    Gail has a Messenger problem – as do quite a few of us. Her failure to identify a Solution is seen as a shortcoming. One of my environmental colleagues described Gail as as being a ‘lackey of the oil industry’ (I think because her analysis debunks renewables as a Solution).

    The community here that identifies with Gail’s informative articles (and this is one of her best) would mostly be in the same boat in this regard. We have a Messenger problem. It’s so hard to deliver a Message about the predicament of complexity without being seen as having failed the social expectation of having to deliver a Solution.

    • Sceadu says:

      This is basically the core problem with politics in general. Politicians aren’t allowed to talk about problems that don’t have solutions — no one would elect them. That goes a long way toward silencing this kind of dialogue. Then again, would it change anything?

      • Bergen Johnson says:

        Gail provides her perspective. She’s not a shill for big oil or any other viewpoint. Either it’s of interest to you or it isn’t. She doesn’t have to meet a subjective criteria.

        What if someone was looking at a bridge and said they thought it didn’t look so strong anymore and probably poses a safety hazard, but had no solution because the person is not in authority to close the bridge and does not have an engineering degree to suggest a way to strengthen or replace it with a better design. Would that person be out of line to have voiced or written their concerns? Of course not. In this sense no one expects Gail to come up with a replacement energy source or mechanism that solves the energy problem. She worked as an insurance actuary, not as an energy systems research and development engineer.

      • Lastcall says:

        Thats where T Rump gamed the process; he fooled everyone, including himself, with talk about ‘draining the swamp’, ‘locking her up’, ‘talking to Putin’, ‘building the wall’, ‘bringing back jobs’ etc etc… he actually believed it was possible because he hadn’t been groomed by years inside the beltway.

        Now of course, the rules have been explained to him and his old constituency can go and get lost for the next four years. Like any game show host he has his eye on the ratings, and the Flyover country doesn’t count any more, its the owners that he answers to.

        We had the same process here in NZ; John Key talked about NZers’ being tenants in their own country while in opposition, but when in power turned his back on that concern and doubled down on the sales process. He, too, was retrained once inside the circled wagons.

    • ITEOTWAWKI says:

      I can’t STAND environmentalists who keep saying we have to wean ourselves off FFs….they miss a small tiny detail that they and every other 7.5B of us are here because of FFs.

      Like the great Michael Ruppert said in the 2009 documentary Collapse:

      “In 1900 (at the turn of the 20th century), what you see as oil became ubiquitous, population goes up in a vertical growth trajectory. We are at 6.5 billion people. We might be at 7 billion people by the time anyone sees this interview. All of these people exist on this planet only because of oil. That’s it. SO IT IS AXIOMATIC THAT IF YOU TAKE THE OIL AWAY, THE POPULATION MUST ALSO GO AWAY. In all of science, in all of biology, there is no case where any population (be it bacteria in a petri dish or caribou on an Arctic island) encounters favorable circumstances and goes on a vertical growth trajectory without an immediate crash down. It is a law. It is a law as fundamental as gravity. It is a law as fundamental as thermodynamics. And if one thinks of it, it might also be true of the stock exchange or financial markets which up like this (in a vertical line) and then go down like this. It is the history of every bubble”

      • Tim Groves says:

        MIke Ruppert was somebody whose research and writing I admire. I think he took himself too seriously for his own good, but perhaps that facet of his personality was what drove him to pursue “collapse studies”. He was certainly targeted by the company in an effort to tarnish his reputation and disrupt his “alt news” activities. This was probably because he was producing the kind of serious reportage that somebody in Spookland took serious offense to. Some say Mike was assassinated and indeed hi might have been, but it seems more likely he took his own life while the balance of his mind was impaired. He wasn’t well physically, he was far too sincere and straight to be playing games such as calling out the CIA as drug-runners—as they can hit back in all sorts of nasty ways that can damage a person’s nerves—and it seems he had run out of hope for a comfortable future.

    • xabier says:

      That Gail could be anybody’s lackey gives one quite a good laugh!

      One concludes that they haven’t read her at all carefully.

      She is possibly the most disinterested commentator out there.

      • xabier says:

        I tend to go right to the last lines of any article on our predicament: if they are anything like ‘But, if we do x,y,z, change course completely, develop a new consciousness….etc, we can have a brighter, better, future, in which people are saner, more fulfilled, a world of abundance, goodness and beauty’, and so on, then I tend not too bother much with whatever comes first.

        Gail has never fallen into this particular trap. As for Divine intervention: who knows?

      • xabier says:

        Correction: THE most disinterested commentator, as there is not even a book – or courses -to sell.

      • Richard Heinberg is one who has made this accusation. Of course, he is paid primarily from money that comes from businesses who want “green” solutions to work. There are also some contributions from Resilience and other readers, many of whom are also very interested in green solution.

      • Chris Harries says:

        Xavier, to avoid any doubt, I totally agree with you. I was commenting on a society-wide expectation that we have to provide Solutions. To explain a predicament that has no Solution doesn’t fit this social expectation. That’s why most environmentalists talk up Solutions. Manufacture Solutions even. Like the renewable energy Solution. It’s what people are begging for. Messages that say it’s all going to come out good.

        If you don’t provide solutions then people tend to read conspiratorial motives into why you are communicating at all. In their heads they are saying, if you don’t have a Solution then just keep quiet. If you insist of contributing anyway then you must have an ulterior motive for doing so.

        I have to agree with one point: that humans, being humans, don’t react well to a negative prognosis. So there’s an unstated agreement amongst activists that you need to remain positive no matter what, even if it means being somewhat dishonest. Give people Hope and they will respond better.

        There’s some merit to that argument but I think at least a few people need to keep saying it as it is or we end up deluding ourselves with manufactured denial.

        • xabier says:


          All very true, I concur completely.

        • Slow Paul says:

          Very good comment. It’s getting very tiresome indeed to be accused of working for big oil etc if one questions e.g. viability of renewables. Seems like this is part of this “save the world”-mentality, ignore counter arguments because these arguments don’t lead to saving the world so you probably have a ulterior motive for not wanting to save the world.

          I’m so sick of all the dishonesty in society. Everything from the media to education to politics to how people raise their kids. If something is uncomfortable to speak about we either lie or ignore the issue. I teach my kids that nothing lasts forever and that all plants, trees, animals, humans have a beginning and an end. I tell them they will also die some day. This fact may make them a bit sad from time to time but atleast they will have a more relaxed/natural perspective on life and death.

        • Tim Groves says:

          Before we can seek effective solutions, we need to identify, define and analyze the problems.

          If Gail has sketched out the problems accurately, then she has performed an immense service. Other people, who are more adept at coming up with solutions, will have a far better chance of succeeding if they design their solutions to match our actual problems.

          Solutions that address the wrong problems or no problems will be as bad or worse than doing nothing.

  38. Times are changing slowly, french presidential candidate Asselineau, this guy is openly get out of both EU/NATO, which Le Pen is not so keen on pressing in every speech. Asselineau has been on major channels for past ~two months, given the agenda, quite unprecedented with situation just few years ago.

  39. Fast Eddy says:

    Fast charging? hahahahaha

    If this is fast – then watch for me in the 100m at the next Olympic Games — I’ll be the one on the top pedestal with the gold around my neck…

    Tesla supercharging stations charge with up to 145 kW of power distributed between two adjacent cars, with a maximum of 120 kW per car. That is up to 16 times as fast as public charging stations; they take about 20 minutes to charge to 50%, 40 minutes to charge to 80%, and 75 minutes to 100%. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_station

    I can fill my car in oh…. two minutes… and unlike a Tesla — I know pretty much exactly how far I can travel on a tank of petrol.

    With the Tesla — well… it’s a guessing game http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/10/automobiles/stalled-on-the-ev-highway.html

    Maybe that is why Tesla only sold 4000 vehicles last month hahahahahaha

    More golf carts sold in a month — more purple and orange sofas sold in a month …

    Tesla = JOKE

    When are you going to answer my question about why I would buy a Tesla instead of a BMW or Mercedes?

    If you are too busy (and not avoiding me) — maybe you could just use bullet points?

    I hate to wate…..

    • Fast Eddy says:

      Shall we make a list of things a Tesla owner could do when on a trip while waiting 75 minutes for his battery to charge (as we know companies always give best case scenarios so let’s assume 100 minutes)

      – have a massage
      – read 7 chapter of a book
      – take a long nap
      – hope there is a cinema nearby and watch a movie
      – run a half marathon
      – eat a full course meal with dessert and coffee

      Tesla = JOKE


      I wouldn’t buy a Tesla even if it cost $10,000 —- in fact you could offer me one for free and I wouldn’t take it — compared to a petrol vehicle it is useless.

      The company ranked near the bottom in Consumer Reports’ new reliability survey.


      Tesla = JOKE

      Did I say that already? It’s worth repeating

      Elon the Clown can’t even make a reliable vehicle…. and he’s moving us to Mars….

      hahahahahahahaha hahahahahaah bwaaaaa bwaaahhh har har har har…..

      Clown … Fool…. Imbecile…. IDEOT>

    • meliorismnow says:

      The idea is normally charge at home or at work. When on a rare trip that exceeds your range, the idea is not to fully charge at a supercharger but to spend whatever time you need to get either to your destination, the next charger, or to your destination and (back) to the next charger (if your destination offers no charging). In many cases (assuming 85kwh or above), it saves time to skip every other charger on a hwy and charge 10->80% in 40-50m. If you have a real leadfoot or a smaller battery you may have to charge at each one after the first but for a shorter duration (~30m). Superchargers are often offered with shopping and dining establishments within a block or two so it’s not bad to have a few of these on a rare trip each way. If your trip is >700mi each way without overnight stops I’d suggest renting a gas car. If you do these long trips more than a couple times each year I’d suggest not getting the tesla (or rethink your locale/lifestyle). If you do have an overnight stop, there are usually plenty of locations to top off your battery while you sleep (even if you arrived at 5%) which takes most of the boredom out of it.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Or why not just buy a petrol vehicle and avoid all this nonsense.


        It’s not as if an EV is actually green — it’s not as if it costs less — it’s not as if the battery is not a toxic waste dump — it’s not as if it doesn’t have one of the worst resale values of any car on the market….

        So why buy one of these?

        The only reason I can see to have one is when I have a huge night at the Disco —- I can pull up in the drive silently ….. and M Fast won’t here me come in and raise hell.

        Other than that …. I am at a loss as to why anyone would buy one of these.

        Oh right — almost nobody is buying one of these…

        Maybe Einstein was wrong — stupidity is int infinite! It is in fact quite limited … to a few thousand MOREons per month

        • Tim Groves says:

          Don’t judge a book by its contents.

          Plastic was his mother’s son, but his eye was better than hers. Whilst she worshipped populism via its products, he saw that the real beauty lay in that which surrounds the products, the marketing. It was a lesson he learnt early on, as he often explained to the numerous documentary film-makers who were endlessly doing documentary films about his life.

          ‘I was at this kid’s party, you know? With the clown and cakes and the abuse therapist and stuff. Anyway, we all got a present of a toy gun. Brand new, still in the box, right? Well, let me tell you,those boxes were big! And the picture on them? Wow! A marine blasting away with an M16! We were in heaven. So we open the boxes, right? And of course there’s this tiny, shitty little toy inside and all the other kids think they’ve been ripped off. But not me, I didn’t think so. All I could think of was how beautiful that box was! It looked so big and exciting, it had fooled us all. I lost the toy that same day, but I kept the box a long time.’

          Plastic had realised the great truth. A truth he would later embody in his First Law of Attrition Marketing. That law said that almost everything anybody ever buys is crap: instant noodles, four wheel drive trucks with huge wheels, vaginal deodorants. Anyone can produce any amount of crap, Tolstoy would later explain, in his famous educational video entitled Selling: My Soul, the clever part is to get someone to buy it.

          ‘Listen,’ the video explained, ‘the world is one big marketplace full of people buying and selling useless, shitty stuff that nobody ever dreamt they wanted. So why do they buy it? Because, while the product may be ugly, the marketing is beautiful. You don’t believe me? Turn it round, consider trying to sell a truly great product but with useless, shitty marketing. You couldn’t do it, right? The message is the only thing that counts.’

          From Ben Elton’s This Other Eden


      • i1 says:

        Yeah, but if you’ve got 100k to buy a Tesla, why are you at work?

        • Fast Eddy says:

          As I have posted previously a Tesla has already burned up 80,000 miles of carbon in the manufacturing process (those batteries are a bitch) vs 15,000 for a petrol equivalent….

          So they are not green.

          But you need to add to the fact that you pretty much MUST own a second car if you buy a Tesla — because most people actually want to take their vehicle further than just the mall before needing to hand around for nearly two hours waiting for a recharge — that is if you can find a recharge station.

          Given that there are so few Tesla’s on the road I can imagine finding a recharge station would be like finding needles in hay stacks…. particularly if you deviate from big population centres…

          Imagine if you had to deal with this nightmare on a regular basis http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/10/automobiles/stalled-on-the-ev-highway.html

          • timl2k11 says:

            That ny times article reminds me that society has gone completely insane.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Another thing to consider… for every negative Tesla article there are 1000 with positive spin….

              Elon’s PR bill must be absolutely massive….

              Yet even with all that weight behind all Tesla sells is a few thousand vehicles per month.

              The fact that so few are buying into the spin is an indication of just how useless an EV is…

              Time for a remake of this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who_Killed_the_Electric_Car%3F In the new version the EV is killed because nobody wanted one …. which is why the EV was killed in the first place.

              There is no conspiracy — who needs a conspiracy when the supposedly best EV on the market ranks near the bottom in reliability.

    • Kurt says:

      It’s faster, it looks cooler, it’s more expensive so that makes your friends jealous. Kinda how car stuff for rich people works. FE, perspective is everything.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        There are plenty of faster cars than a Tesla…. there are plenty of cars that look ‘cooler’ than a Tesla — and there are loads of cars that are far more expensive than a Tesla but I guess if all your mates are driving Honda Civics …. you can be ‘the man’

        Hey I wonder how long the battery lasts on a Tesla if you ram the accelerator to the floor a few times?

        Consumer Reports ranks Tesla near bottom for reliability – CNBC.com

        So let me get this right — you buy a Tesla (lemon colour?) —