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.
This entry was posted in Financial Implications and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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

  1. CTG says:

    This is just my personal opinion. I apologize if it off topic but I felt that this is the only place on earth where I can find a group of people with similar thoughts and worldview. There are no other places on earth where can share my viewpoint. I don’t care if the points are repeated often but I come here once every few days to be with people who shares the same point of view. It is very lonely outside where one is “gifted” with this ability to see things in a big picture and to understand many steps ahead. Please disregard this post if it is not relevant.

    I do have the feeling sometimes, being lonely, that I am being send by, a cruel joke, higher power to write why the entire human experiment failed. You know, to present to some one, some entity why humans failed. It is kind of of like being an observer on what has happened.

    I term destiny as “something that is statistically impossible to happen” but happened again and again. It is as though as it is happening “because it has to happen”. Why Trump changed? Don’t tell me the leaders of Europe does not realize that bringing in refugees do not help in social cohesion? Don’t the Japanese/Chinese/USA./I(insert your country) know that debt does not help but still press forward? Does it mean a lot of that you child just had a scary near-death moments many times in his life that is not statistically possible?

    Does all the news that comes in so thick and fast that people just don’t understand what is happening? Does it make sense that many statistics are even worse off now than in 2007 but nothing happened? Does it really matter that trolls are now of lower quality (see zerohedge.com or other websites)?

    It is really surreal and I do have great difficult in comprehending. I have no problems at all in understanding what is happening and what will happen although those beside you are totally ignorant of of what is happening. That is not a hallmark of an advanced civilization or lifeform.

    Life is indeed cruel to live a double life but I do accept it as fate that one has to pass through.

    Sorry for the rant. I have not been posting but I do treat all of you here as my friends of the same wavelength although I have never met up (as though it is by destiny that I meet all of you here).

    If Gail wishes to delete this post, I don’t mind at all because it feels so lonely in a sea awashed with 7 billion people.

    • Third World person says:

      my personal opinion
      we should lucky that we are see decline and collapse of civilization
      just like the people who saw decline and collapse of roman empire

    • Ed says:

      CTG, thank you for your post. I agree it is nice to have a place to get a dose of sanity and fellowship.

    • jerry says:

      hey CTG finally a post I’ve been looking for you and been depressed so little of your knowledge to read and share. As for gifted loneliness you can’t begin to imagine my predicament.
      Anyway Why Trump changed?
      https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C9Y5jxPXYAARKb8.jpg
      https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C9dakxlUMAEGC-4.jpg

      • CTG says:

        I am not depressed at all. I live everyday to the fullest… I am perfectly happy and contented with who I am and what I know.

        It is just that sometimes, you need to find somebody who knows what is happening. Internet allows me to do that. I am, by the way in South East Asia.

    • ITEOTWAWKI says:

      Hi CTG, you’re right it’s really not easy to be a Cassandra in these End Times (I say End Times in an economic and environmental way, not at all religious)

      However best that Joe Sixpack has no clue about what is happening, because if he did, all it would do is precipitate collapse.

      I will leave you with these 2 quotes that I find are very fitting for what we are going through:

      “It’s no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”

      -Jiddu Krishnamurti

      “The further a society drifts from the Truth, the more it will hate those that speak it”

      -George Orwell

    • Fast Eddy says:

      If you research Edward Bernays… you realize that humans are not much different than say… rats…

      They are easily controlled… that has always been so … but it was Bernays who took this to new heights… he invented the modern PR machine…

      The men who currently run the world have been using his techniques for a very long time.

      The key is control of the MSM.

      http://www.rense.com/general44/sevenjew……..ishame……ricans.htm

      For some reason there are a very few rats that realize what is happening — and are able to escape the matrix that the MSM creates….

      Escaping the matrix — and I mean totally escaping it (most on FW have not totally escaped — most here recognize that BAU is ending – but they remain mired in the matrix in many ways – they are unable to accept the implications) — means living in a completely separate reality … a parallel universe – and never the twain shall meet.

      There is absolutely no way one can explain this to a person who is in the matrix – certainly never by having a conversation with them ….

      Try explaining to someone that a solar panel generated virtually no nett energy — that if you add batteries you have yourself a massive energy sink. Something as simple as that…. not possible.

      They will not believe it. Even if you were to engage someone on a web site forum where you could post hard data explaining this — they would not believe you.

      They are rats… running the maze looking for the food….

      I do not so much feel lonely because I have this great power…. and it is a great power…. because so few have it…

      What I feel is disappointment — that I have not worked how to benefit from it…. why do some of the rats have this … and I do not!!!!

      http://www.orientskys.com/images/private-jet-Asia.jpg

    • Fast Eddy says:

      If you research Edward Bernays… you realize that humans are not much different than say… rats…

      They are easily controlled… that has always been so … but it was Bernays who took this to new heights… he invented the modern PR machine…

      The men who currently run the world have been using his techniques for a very long time.

      The key is control of the MSM.

      http://www.rense.com/general44/sevenj……ew……..ishame……ricans.htm

      For some reason there are a very few rats that realize what is happening — and are able to escape the matrix that the MSM creates….

      Escaping the matrix — and I mean totally escaping it (most on FW have not totally escaped — most here recognize that BAU is ending – but they remain mired in the matrix in many ways – they are unable to accept the implications) — means living in a completely separate reality … a parallel universe – and never the twain shall meet.

      There is absolutely no way one can explain this to a person who is in the matrix – certainly never by having a conversation with them ….

      Try explaining to someone that a solar panel generated virtually no nett energy — that if you add batteries you have yourself a massive energy sink. Something as simple as that…. not possible.

      They will not believe it. Even if you were to engage someone on a web site forum where you could post hard data explaining this — they would not believe you.

      They are rats… running the maze looking for the food….

      I do not so much feel lonely because I have this great power…. and it is a great power…. because so few have it…

      What I feel is disappointment — that I have not worked how to benefit from it…. why do some of the rats have this … and I do not!!!!

      http://www.orientskys.com/images/private-jet-Asia.jpg

    • Bergen Johnson says:

      CTG, social interaction is critically important for people. Try to find someone to interact with in person. The web is fine but will never replace real people.

      • Bergen Johnson says:

        My wife was just saying volunteer for some cause that will put you in contact with other people.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          I suspect CTG is a bit too busy to do volunteer work…

          • CTG says:

            My response was in moderation because of the word g-ay. See how stupid it is the present situation it is where WordPress thinks that that word is sensitive or bad. We just have too much idle time (and waste FF) to have all these trivial issues coming to forefront. G-ay, to me as it happy and lively. That is the original meaning of that English word.

            It is only when you have so much time and so much wasted energy that people are placing so much concern on transgender toilets.

      • CTG says:

        I have a great family, a great group of friends. We are merry and gay (old English meaning, mind you). I have two teenagers which I don’t even bother to think more about it. They were born before I took the red pill.

        It just is so stupid to be with people who talks about retirement in 10 years and how things will be great in 10 years.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          It does take some effort to carry on a banal conversation when one feels like saying ‘ya but did you know that we are all about to starve and die — that in the near future we will probably be selling human meat on the street corners — that your children will be hunted – that there will be no electricity – no grocery stores – no petrol – no government — that there will be extreme violence — and disease’

          That is often what I am thinking when I engage in conversations … particularly those involving any reference to the future …. I find it difficult to concentrate…. mainly because I have no interest in talking about something that is never going to happen.

          It would be akin to having just experienced a mega earthquake — everything has collapsed — and a neighbour knocked on the door and wanted to have a chat about the latest sports scores…

          Amusingly … some of my neighbours have let slip that they are doomsday preppers…. they store water and food — not for the end of days — rather because they expect a large earthquake at some point — which is likely given this is NZ.

          I suspect they are hinting that I should be doing the same —– wouldn’t it be great fun to swing open the door on the container and ask them ‘do you think I’ve done enough’

          http://picpulp.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/smileys_Laugh.jpg

      • xabier says:

        Perhaps this misses the point a little: it’s being unable to discuss the dire reality which is the problem for CTG, and others who see things clearly.

        People are just not interested in the truth of our situation. Of any situation I am sometimes inclined to think.

        There is no solution to this apart from letting off steam here – thanks to Gail’s generosity – and a few other places.

    • DJ says:

      Now you have ruined Eddys day.

    • CTG says:

      Leading a double life. It can be fun. It can be tiring. It can be ardous. It can be stupid. Bottom line, I am not depressed. Loners or in a groups, we will know soon.

      As stated earlier, the number of news items is coming every day and at times every few hours. This is only true for those who seek to know. For those who does not seek to know, everything is calm and peaceful, as always, just before the hurricane or before the tsunami comes.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        For most… no matter how bad the news…the sentiment is — we’ve seen all this before … this is no different … we will get through it…. nothing to get too concerned about

    • xabier says:

      CTG

      Interesting idea.

      I came across this story on that theme in a fascinating book on the Inuit:

      A group of Inuit once set out on a very hard journey, inspired to do it by their shaman leader. They successfully made contact with another very distant group, after great deal of hardship. The return journey was horrendous, and they ended up having to eat one another (cue FE!) , a great many died, but the majority made it back.

      In the estimation of the group, the Great Journey was worth it as they had learnt some useful new things, and proved to themselves how tough and brave they were – they had achieved useful knowledge, group consolidation and were better able mentally to face future dangers.

      Equally, one finds stories of shamans who simply act as parasites on their tribes, and murder and rape (see Jared Diamond) like any other spoiled elite group.

      • xabier says:

        I meant ‘Kent’, not CTG.

      • Van Kent says:

        Xabier,

        Well.. my point about the useful loner is an amalgamation of several papers and tidbits of information I’ve gathered. There are the people who are socially inept, and inept at everything else also. And loners by default. But the we have the other kind of loners..

        Commonly the ‘best’ social IQ would be around 110 – 120. Not too smart. But just above average. Then the constant social smalltalk about things of no significant matter, doesnt bother one that much. And the constant struggle to prove oneself just slightly better than everybody else, is possible. You know, going to church to show off your car and your clothes, to hear a sermon for the nn:th time. But these generally are the best providers, with the best resources for the women. But then we have the IQ 135 – 150 bunch. Mostly they keep very few friends. They may excell in social interaction, but generally have more dopamine and seratonin in their brain chemistry when doing things alone. Maybe because then they can get enough of difficult problems to solve. Who knows? They have fast sharp minds, slightly faster reflexes, capable of discerning strategies from new data fast. Nicola Tesla was a loner. So was Bruce Lee when practicing. After one fight, when a chinese kung fu master challanged him for teaching westerners in secret arts, that lasted not quite one minute, and immediately after the fight he sat in contemplation, why he didnt win it even faster.. Napoleon didnt have any friends in the military academy. If you read about Leonardo da Vinci cant say he had lots of friends. Michelangelo.. Darwin.. Newton.. well you start to get the idea. To be a loner means that innovation is a possibility. Innovation in brainstorming social workshops is mostly impossible. Truly excellent skill sets, truly superb levels of professionalism are mostly done alone. New strategies can be developed. Etc. Completely novel approaches tried out. If the 135 – 150 types are successful, then they have huge amounts of resources for the women. Like keeping a harem is no problem at all. Think magnitude Genghis Khan. But if no new strategies etc. are needed, or they fail. Well then that just one loner who failed. No biggie. And then we have the info about true medeval swordfights, true ancient life or death situations. They were really really really quick. Like.. opponent closing, weapon shown, faint, fleshwound, knee to groin, elbow to temple, weapon inserted inside the opponent. The End. People with even slightly faster reflexes, with even slightly better strategic thinking skills, would have become immensly better at defending themselves or disposing the opponents.

        I think the IQ 135 – 150 types, mostly loners, are in the tribe for a reason. Genetically they make sense.. to me at least.. but when reading the life stories of these people. Cant really say they had happy, easy, relaxed lives.. more like a life on constantly challanging oneself one step more.. jumping in to the deep end of the pool.. again.. and again.. to grow even more.. something like.. never quit.. endure the pain.. how can we do this even better..

        • DJ says:

          I read you can communicate with and relate to people with an IQ 2 SD from yours.

          Average people will think a genius is weird, but someone with an IQ of 130 is really smart.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            There a quite a few sub 100 IQ people on this site – who are convinced that they are geniuses

    • Artleads says:

      ” The tribe needs the loner. The guy who scrapps every possible model of doing things, at the time. And goes over the wrong hill, goes the wrong way, tries the wrong plants, hunts the wrong animals, doing things completely wrong. At least in the minds of the others. Then comes catastrophe. Who is the one guy the tribe can rely on? Who has novel approaches? Who has new and different strategies to offer. Well, guess the loner was needed after all.. I somehow feel its an genetic imperative to search for the truth. See how deep the rabbit hole goes. Taking the red pill again and again. The more dire the circumstances, the more the people succumb to group think, and.. the stronger the feeling for the loner of having to see how deep the rabbit hole actually goes..”

      LOL

      Sounds familiar.

    • Artleads says:

      “The funny thing is.. with the millions in the group think.. train load after train load after train load to the camps.. it was the ones who resisted that had much better odds of survival. In the ghettos, those who resisted with mallets and shovels, had a much higher odds of survival. Those in the camps that made some incredible Harry Houdini plan for escape. Had much higher odds of survival..”

      For some reason this made me think of women who protest not being paid the same as men for the same work. Why argue and complain? Why not just steal the man’s keys, open the safe and distribute the money fairly? Or we could take all the city council leaders in the world who are leading us to that hole…just take them out to sea to walk the plank. I’m not exactly joking.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Does anyone have some references supporting this?

        “The funny thing is.. with the millions in the group think.. train load after train load after train load to the camps.. it was the ones who resisted that had much better odds of survival. In the ghettos, those who resisted with mallets and shovels, had a much higher odds of survival. Those in the camps that made some incredible Harry Houdini plan for escape. Had much higher odds of survival..”

    • Thanks for your post. Debt is both helpful and unhelpful. Leaders everywhere have figured this out. The only way the system can go on is by adding ever-more debt, even when they can see that there is no way of making promised payments on it.

      We have been given the “gift” of seeing what seems to be ahead. The next better thing would seem to be stopping it. But even before we knew about this situation, we all knew that we would be on this world for a finite amount of time. The thing that changes is that this time may be less than we had hoped/expected.

      • only what “seems” to lie ahead.

        Immediately after Trump was elected, I posted on here, that for all the guesswork and doomerama in here in a variety of contexts, that Trump might just be the sideswipe that nobody saw coming.
        (I’ve said for years that there would be one, and in 2011 that someone like Trump was inevitable.)

        Now, after only a couple of months, we see the traditional way of the dictator playing out, starting to attack outside your borders to deflect attention from incompetence at home and rally cheering crowds.

        2 mentally unstable individuals, both nuclear armed, effectively doing the same thing.

        We don’t know at Kim’s reaction will be, but right now we have what could turn into a serious war footing, with a collapsed economy to go with it.
        Neither side has sufficient indigenous energy to sustain prolonged warfare.

  2. CTG says:

    Many people have the delusions that the 1% can live in their own world while the 99% does not exist or living poorly. Some of them will say that 1b people will live on earth nicely while the “useless eaters” will just perish.

    Civilization is in distress because of this group of people who has no critical thinking. The movie Elysium is just a movie. Due to globalization and specialization of skills, you need everyone around to ensure that the cogs of civilization moves.

    Who is going to clean out the sewage when it gets blocked? If the sewage gets blocked, it will cause diseases. Will the factory has enough economies of scale to even produce tooth brush, toilet paper, nail clippers or anything that is required in our normal day to day living? Where are the workers who will assemble the iPhones, the routers, computers? Where are the workers who will be mining the copper, the rare earth?

    It is sad to see that when government can hire people to be trolls and the trolls cannot be “made aware” after reading what is written on blogs, it is time for civilization to end. “The meek shall inherit the earth”. No, it is not the meek but “no one” will inherit the earth. There is no one left that has critical thinking. There is no one left who has the guts to criticize oneself and learn from own mistakes. It takes a lot of courage to say one is wrong and accept other people’s view.

    In my own personal life, I have many 180 deg turns in my beliefs. I am proud to say that I was wrong in so many things and I accept new beliefs after a period of critical self-assessment.

    • CTG. If Chuck Fitzclarence did not order that stupid charge at Gheluvalt back in Oct 1914, you would still be a coolie in Malaysia.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        And if my grandparents did not escape the Ukraine in the 1920’s…. my father would have been hunted down during the famine — and eaten….

        Or … if he had survived I would be a farmer…. or … hang on …. I might be the puppet leader supported by the CIA…

    • xabier says:

      Society is a great conspiracy against critical thinking and self-knowledge.

      After all, whom does it really benefit in $ here and now?

      The bankers, industrialists, marketeers, shrinks, politicians and revolutionaries, drugs companies and industrial food producers, Greens, false gurus, school teachers and academics, the media?

      Not one of them would thank you for an instance of real critical thinking.

      We are too removed from reality, embedded in too complex a social and economic construction, and hence too corrupt in our thought processes.

      • 1% used to live in isolated splendour while 99% lived in squalor—it was called a feudal society, but it was a very simple society

        If you owned 20k acres and the people who worked it, that supported a castle and your family quite nicely.
        But only so long as those serfs functioned as energy converters for you, and knew their place.

        That accounted for the brutal legal system that kept them there.

        But it was a system that couldnt grow out of control, because the energy that supported it was based on natural sources–grain, meat timber and muscle power—there was nothing else.

  3. DJ says:

    “[japanese] Households used 26 percent of their income to buy food last year, the highest level in almost three decades,”
    Maybe less than 1 in 100 is working on the farm, but still 1/4 are involved with getting food on the table.

    • Ed says:

      The rule of thumb is 1/3 for food, 1/3 for rent, 1/3 for everything else. I see we still have 7% to squeeze out of the fat workers.

    • Rising share of income spent on food is a very bad sign for the economy. Implies less is available for everything else.

  4. ITEOTWAWKI says:

    This is a good article (that most regular readers here on OFW know all about already) that sums up well the quagmire we’re in. I completely disagree with his Collapse Now to save the earth BS, too late for that, might as well keep the party going till the end! But the rest is pretty much on point.

    “Humans in ecological overshoot: Collapse now to avoid a larger catastrophe”:

    https://thesenecaeffect.wordpress.com/2014/12/01/humans-in-ecological-overshoot-collapse-now-to-avoid-a-larger-catastrophe/

  5. Creedon says:

    Their investment scheme is going to start running lower on returns and I can’t see where else they are going to invest. Maybe war. They can’t really invade Russia or China.

  6. Fast Eddy says:

    Atlanta Fed GDPNow Forecast Spirals Closer to Zero

    The Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow model, which forecasts GDP growth in the US, dropped to 0.5% seasonally adjusted annualized GDP growth for the first quarter. This “annualized rate” means if the economy grows like at this pace for four quarters in a row, it would edge up only 0.5% for the year, which would make it by far the worst year since the Great Recession.

    By comparison, in 2016, which matched 2011 as the worst year since the Great Recession, GDP growth was 1.6%.

    http://wolfstreet.com/2017/04/14/atlanta-fed-gdpnow-forecast-q1-falls-closer-to-zero/

    http://wolfstreet.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/US-GDPNow-q1-2017-04-14.png

    A google search for Atlanta Fed GDP Now … brings up almost no mention of this … none of the major fake news sites ….

    Which may indicate that the CBs are out of bullets… because they are not even bothering to lie anymore… they just don’t publish the bad news…

    Damn – I just put new tires on the 4 ba 4…. should have bought more single malt….

    • Bergen Johnson says:

      Hasn’t this already been on here numerous times?

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Ya – the last time I think the number was 0.9% … and the time before it was I think 1.6%…

        Not that any of this matters….

    • Ed says:

      If we use an honest account of inflation that translates to -1.5% growth. In the spin/spin world that is still growth.

    • Wow! This is a problem.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        If the the Fed is unable to reverse that trend…. it is more than a problem …. it is the end of days…

        Retail and Auto Sales are the main causes of this ….. how do you turn those around?

        Wages are stagnant at best — inflation is sapping their spending power — people are heavily indebted — they want to shop but they do not have the means …. the auto industry numbers have been buoyed by subprime lending for years — and now they are out of people to sell cars to because they are having trouble finding new meat to sell to….

        http://wolfstreet.com/2017/04/14/atlanta-fed-gdpnow-forecast-q1-falls-closer-to-zero/

        Today’s stumble of the GDPNow forecast was largely driven by an ugly retail sales report that emanated this morning from the Commerce Department. This “advance” estimate (the full report will be released on April 26) indicated that retail sales in March fell 0.2% from February. In addition, February’s decline was revised from -0.1% as originally reported, to -0.3%. This made for the worst two-month stretch since January-February 2015 when polar vortices were sweeping over much of the country.

        These retail sales estimates are adjusted for seasonal, holiday, and trading-day variations, but not for price changes. More on those price changes in a moment.

        The largest contributors to the decline were motor vehicle and parts sales, which accounted for about 21% of total retail sales in March. The auto industry is coming off its peak and is struggling mightily to prevent worse. Auto sales have been pulling down overall retail sales all year.

        In March, sales at new and used auto dealers fell 1.5% from February. The broader category of sales at motor vehicle & parts dealers fell 1.2%, represented by the long grey bars heading south in the chart

        Where is John Key? What is he thinking?

  7. dolph says:

    You know, I was thinking about it today. The essential core of our personalities actually forms very early in the home and early social/school environment in which we are learning patterns of behavior, language, culture. etc. It’s basically osmosis. There is a second period of refinement that takes place in puberty and up until late teens/early 20s, but the core is already in place.

    After that, there really is no more advancement. We can deny it all we want, but more or less we are physically and mentally who we are. It also explains why people are so sensitive to tribe and tribal instincts. The in/out groups are already formed, and cannot be breached.

    Learn a second language all you want, you will never become a native speaker. Earn all the money you want, if you weren’t born into wealth you aren’t part of the club. Study all you want, you won’t become smarter, run all you want, you won’t become athletic, etc.

    • xabier says:

      Largely true of course, but the Stoics, for instance, – to avoid any of the major religions -made a plausible case for spiritual self-improvement through effort and self-awareness. As did the Sufis (who are not muslims).

      In his reflections, Marcus Aurelius the Emperor specifically lists those people who set him a good example in pursuing such philosophical self-improvement and growth.

      This requires a capacity for self-observation and reflection that is, I agree, generally lacking in the mass of people, rich or poor.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        If they’d do a bit more of this and a lot less of religion … the world would be a better place?

        Still watching for the churches to organize marches against what is happening in Syria….

        • xabier says:

          Atrocities occur and then just disappear in the glut of ‘news’, sports, and self-worship in the glowing screen devices.

    • That’s how Japanese society has kept it stable. The people know it is futile to try so they have stopped doing so.

      It is only for the elites, who inherit plum jobs. The rest have learned to accept their lot in life and only care about not making noises.

      A situation which was reached after hundreds of years where the samurai class could behead uppity commoners at will.

  8. Third World person says:

    how many people think Ben Bernanke is hero on ofw
    for me he is legend because if he would not save the financial system today all 7.3 billion [at that time 6.7] people we would not be here discussed this thing on internet

    • Fast Eddy says:

      +++++

      His bosses need to take some of the credit as well though

      • jeremy890 says:

        Some are NOT with us because of BAU and it’s wrath of destruction
        A prominent Mexican environmentalist has been shot dead in his home state of Chihuahua after receiving death threats.
        Isidro Baldenegro had spent many years organising peaceful protests against illegal logging in the Sierra Madre mountains.
        In 2005 he won the prestigious Goldman environmental prize.
        A UK-based watchdog, Global Witness, says 33 activists were killed in Mexico in the five years up to 2015.
        Isidro Baldenegro was a community leader for Mexico’s indigenous Tarahumara people and was one of the country’s most prominent environmental activists.
        He had recently returned to his home village after receiving death threats against himself and his family.
        Mr Baldenegro was the second recipient of the Goldman Prize, given to grassroots activists, to be murdered in less than a year.
        Honduran campaigner Berta Caceres, who won the prize in 2015 for her battle against the construction of a dam that threatened to displace indigenous communities. was killed in March 2016.
        http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-38673017

        Depends which side of the fence you live on….

        • Duncan Idaho says:

          Caceres assignation was especially tragic.

          Than you HRC for the coup, as Honduras now has the highest murder rate on Earth!

          • jeremy890 says:

            Uncle Sam strikes again!

            Leaked court documents raise concerns that the murder of the Honduran environmentalist Berta Cáceres was an extrajudicial killing planned by military intelligence specialists linked to the country’s US–trained special forces, a Guardian investigation can reveal.

            Cáceres was shot dead a year ago while supposedly under state protection after receiving death threats over her opposition to a hydroelectric dam.

            ‘Time was running out’: Honduran activist’s last days marked by threats
            Read more
            The murder of Cáceres, winner of the prestigious Goldman environmental prize in 2015, prompted international outcry and calls for the US to revoke military aid to Honduras, a key ally in its war on drugs.

            Eight men have been arrested in connection with the murder, including one serving and two retired military officers

            https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/feb/28/berta-caceres-honduras-military-intelligence-us-trained-special-forces

            • xabier says:

              Such brave ‘soldiers’, killing an unarmed woman, and it took a team, too! Pretty typical of Latin culture I’m afraid – the Spanish army specialises in it: over 100,00 civilian Spaniards on the losing side killed during and after the Civil War.

            • Crates says:

              A Honduran and a Spaniard are not comparable. In fact, a Spaniard and a Californian, for example, are culturally more similar, even though they speak different languages.

              To say that the Spanish army is specialized in crimes by what happened in the civil war 80 years ago, it is an epic idiocy besides an insult.

              Xabier, you say nothing but nonsense every time you talk about my country.

            • jeremy890 says:

              Many of the victims of environmentally motivated violence are not your typical placard-waving rabble-rousers, but rather are grass-roots leaders who stand up for their communities when threatened by environmental calamity. “Often these people become involved because they’re fighting for what’s being taken away from them and their communities,” says Jane Cohen, an expert in environmental health at Human Rights Watch in New York City. “They’re especially vulnerable because they usually don’t have a support network, and things can really escalate before their stories get on the national or international radar.”

              Worldwide, the most violent years were 2010, when 96 activists were killed, and 2011, the most recent year assessed, when 106 were slain. At that rate, chances are that someone will be killed somewhere on the planet this week for investigating toxic runoff from a gold mine, protesting a mega-dam that will flood communal farmland or trying to shield endangered wildlife from well-armed poachers. Rights advocates warn the upward trend is likely to continue. And because of the spotty quality of reporting, the overall number of killings is likely to be a good bit higher.

              “We may be seeing just the tip of a much larger iceberg,” says Bill Kovarik, a communications professor at Radford University in Virginia who tracks cases of abuse perpetrated on green activists. “The world needs to be aware of the people who are dying to save what’s left of the natural environment.”

              http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/why-do-environmentalists-keep-getting-killed-around-world-180949446/

              Many slain activists are probably unaccounted or unreported.
              Here is one that got noticed

              First published on Monday 14 February 2005 06.44 EST

              Cabinet ministers and police officers arrived in the eastern Amazon region of Brazil yesterday to investigate the fatal shooting of a missionary nun compared to the 1988 murder of the rainforest activist Chico Mendes.
              Dorothy Stang, 74, a sister in the Order of Notre Dame de Namur and defender of the rainforest and local people persecuted by illegal loggers and landowners, was shot three times on Saturday near Anapu, a rural town about 1,300 miles north of Sao Paulo.

              She had defied frequent threats to her life, and recently met the minister for human rights, Nilmario Miranda, to report that four peasants had received death threats from loggers and ranchers.

              https://www.theguardian.com/world/2005/feb/14/brazil

              The destruction of the world’s Tropical Rainforests is in full gear.
              Joined an organization back in the early 1990s, Rainforest Action Network,
              Sad to report nothing has stopped the destruction.
              Only collapse of BAU will be the solution it seems.
              But to me, praising BAU as a gift is rather misguided, even in jest.
              Back in 1970s at the latest, we humans, saw our fate of extinction if we continued down the “development” path of growth and advancement. So, the creating entity that gave use the ability to invent this system, also gave us the consciousness to recognize our own demise. Perhaps this is a purpose to our being after all? Collectively, we hold our own fate in our hands. Will the outcome be “the road”? Or something other?

        • Artleads says:

          If you can’t get the masses on your side, and you take on too much of an individual role, and if you think you can actually CHANGE something, I’m unsure how that will turn out. (True, none of us can help making change, but maybe most of it is undirected and indirect.) I try to combine such thoughts with the concept of a self organizing system, which tends to give me leave to be nebulous about it all…and somewhat nihilistic.

          • xabier says:

            Not so much the masses, but if you can’t get The Money on your side, you are more or less toast in these places. Such a brave woman Berta Caceres, I read about it in the Spanish press when they murdered her.

        • In a utilitarian way, continuing BAU is more beneficial to the whole of the humanity than otherwise, so people like Senor Baldenegro have to go.

          • jeremy890 says:

            Beneficial? I question that reasoning. Seems to me the longer BAU continues the less likelihood of continuing life on the planet Earth, especially complex forms.
            The whole of humanity? You mean the Human Hoard existing here and now?
            Well, perhaps if you imply the majority rules, would it not be interesting to have a vote cast including those yet unborn? If they could voice their position about our predicament, wonder what judgement they would have on us, here and now.
            Believe Fast Eddy answered that one already in a recent post.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              I vote to throw the unborn in a fire — if it gets us another month of BAU

            • jeremy890 says:

              That a boy Eddy, you did not disappoint me, “What has posterity ever done for me!?”
              Eddy, that wasn’t my point at all, obviously we all are centered on “meism” in our outlook.
              Who is that claims we are all important? If one wants to be objective, perhaps that month you speak of you will live to regret

              https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zkzxdDy95rA

              The point is we are already cooked, as our Gail has repeatedly alluded to and few have accepted. As Saint Augustine lamented, “Yes, yes, I’ll change…..tomorrow!”

              There are always other facets to consider in our judgements

            • Artleads says:

              “…or trying to shield endangered wildlife from well-armed poachers.”

              The way to deal with this isn’t safe (but everybody dies); it is to try and shoot the poachers first. That is at least an honorable way to exit. Anything else is just like sopping up the gravy after finishing the meal (and it better be your meal and not the poachers’). And it would also be salutary, after you finish off the poachers, to leave their bodies out there for the animals to feast on. It’s a small, symbolic gesture, given the scope of the challenge, but every little bit helps.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              There will always be more poachers…. always…

              And then when BAU ends — everyone will become a poacher

            • Artleads says:

              “There will always be more poachers…. always”

              Maybe, and maybe not. That isn’t the issue.

              “And then when BAU ends — everyone will become a poacher”

              Be that as it may, I’m not waiting on BAU to end to do anything. I’m saying kill poachers now. Today. While the killing is good. Kill them and leave them out there for the animals to eat. What BAU does or when it ends is it’s own damn business.

            • Chris Harries says:

              Has everybody read ‘Lord of the Flies’?
              Was it an allegory for the end of BAU?

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Well then — you need to start with shooting yourself in the head… because you are responsible for this as much as the poacher is for killing a rhino:

              Current Extinction Rate 10 Times Worse Than Previously Thought

              Life on earth is remarkably diverse. Globally, it is estimated that there are 8.7 million species living on our planet, excluding bacteria. Unfortunately, human activities are wiping out many species and it’s been known for some time that we are increasing the rate of species extinction. But just how dire is the situation? According to a new study, it’s 10 times worse than scientists previously thought with current extinction rates 1,000 times higher than natural background rates.

              It is generally agreed that human activities, such as the destruction of habitats in order to accommodate our ever growing population, are largely responsible for this increase in species extinction rate.

              More http://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/current-extinction-rate-10-times-worse-previously-thought/

              Funny how someone else is always the bad guy…. never you … never me…. always ‘them’

            • Artleads says:

              “Well then — you need to start with shooting yourself in the head… because you are responsible for this as much as the poacher is for killing a rhino:”

              This makes no sense. Let’s say I’m an elephant, and you are trying to kill me to cut off my tusks. And someone else shoot YOU in the head. How is the person that shoots you in the head on par with the one set to kill me? Excellent summary of the wildlife situation, btw.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Let’s try this at the level of a 5 year old…

              As the research states — human activities are causing the extinction of huge numbers of species.

              Johnny is a human.

              Johnny is responsible for the extinction of huge numbers of species.

              Shoot Johnny – and every other human in the head – and that resolves the extinction problem.

              If you care about stopping the extinction of animals — you need to immediately shoot yourself in the head — or better still – go on a shooting rampage and kill as many other ‘poachers’ as possible before the cops shoot you in the head.

              I can imagine you are thinking I am insane by suggesting this …. I am dead serious…. if you care about animals that are in danger of extinction — the best thing you can do is kill yourself along with as many other humans as possible – start with your immediate family then head to the Mall… I recommend the A.K 47

              I suspect you will ignore my advice and instead drop a few coins here so that we can get those villains who are killing off the rhinos https://www.savetherhino.org/get_involved/donate

            • Artleads says:

              “I suspect you will ignore my advice and instead drop a few coins here so that we can get those villains who are killing off the rhinos https://www.savetherhino.org/get_involved/donate

              Donating money to limpdick environmental organizations (a nice phrase I just learned), should be seen as ridiculous even to a child. Why the blank don’t you tell THEM to shoot themselves???? That’s why I’m suggesting we forget that approach and support, either by word or by deed, the execution of poachers. There is a time to kill. Things got this wacky because we were weaned away from that realization. BAU duped us. Killing the poachers and the politicians who enable them–a solution that was never tried–should and will be tried. You heard it here first. Make sure you don’t get in the way. Stop with the nonsense (and illogical) theories about who or what started it; try to understand what will finish it. WAR.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          ‘Environmentalist?’

          I’ve actually never met one – never seen one — don’t know of any.

          Well maybe this guy:

          https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/624/media/images/75009000/jpg/_75009404_dsc_0223.jpg

          All the fake ones deserve to be shot dead. They should be used for target practice.

    • grayfox says:

      Postponing the inevitable a for a few years was great, heroic, legendary and all that but here we are again our dilemma like nothing ever happened.

      • Greg Machala says:

        Complacency and panic – the two modes of modern society.

      • edwinlloyd says:

        This seems to be mankind’s story–buying time any way possible–keeping alive another day. It’s how we got to where we are today. Seeing the connection between being at the end of our rope and doing things in a radically different way may not happen. Extinction at some level seems more likely based on past history.

      • The whole key of postponing the inevitable is to bring Civilization to the ‘field goal range’. Whether Singularity/Artificial General Intelligence, Transhumanism, space conquest/space mining , or whatever, something which could change the game might be feasible in maybe 20 years and BAU is trying to buy the time.

        • Van Kent says:

          Change the game..

          What would we actually need to change the game?

          Energy, lots of it. Sure. Fusion is probably the only thing capable of providing the amount of energy we need.

          Nano tech. Our infrastructure is crumbling all around us. We need stronger, cheaper and more durable materials than we have right now.

          Draconian environmental protection. Scrapping free markets and democracy to have a 7 generation sustainability.

          AI.. what can it do? It can boost productivity to unbelievable hights. But it can also provide endless entertainment.

          Carbon capture and storage everywhere in the world. Like every single farmer in the world having some carbon capture and storage..

          But even those are not enough.. if we have free market capitalism and democracy, nothing will be enough. Its always going to end in overshoot and collapse with those ideologies. So.. as long as we pamper ourselves with fantasies of never ending growth, without consecuences. As long as we want everything now, to ourselves, screw the children and the grandchildren. Then nothing will be enough.. Values, virtues, morals, ethics.. those are the kind of things that can change things. For real. Technology really cant change anything.

          • xabier says:

            Every and any structure will collapse eventually, although democracy and capitalism plus high consumption is of course doomed to fail sooner than some other conceivable approaches.

            I’m not greatly taken with morality and ideals: the Soviet Union was based on an unimpeachable high-minded ethics – brotherhood of man, equality, feminism, etc, but produced a nightmarish, degraded and very violent society.

          • Artleads says:

            Van Kent,

            Can you post the url for the video?

          • meliorismnow says:

            We don’t need fusion; we can do it with today’s technology. All we need to do is impoverish the bottom 99% of the first world and keep the third world where it is. We don’t *need* a reliable power grid for all first world markets, the top 1% can have reliable power (either provided by the grid or their own batteries) anywhere if they choose.

            It’s the transition to that world that’s challenging; the people already feel conspired against and robbed by the 1%. The truth is if the wealth were redistributed to them, demand for resources would exceed supply and society would collapse; it’s only the shrinking of demand (based in shrinking of incomes) and rising efficiencies that’s keeping the game going for first world economies. If we transition to a world where the 99% can’t afford to use cars, supply would greatly exceed demand and efficiences would constantly improve (we could even give away subsistence food, housing, medicine, cell phone, laptop, internet, and netflix and have plenty left over for research and the limited infrastructure needs).

            • What happened is that only the 1%, and a few people essential to them, are designed to survive modern civilization. Whether it is right or just is not relevant since it is the way it is.

              The elites and their smart employees have no sympathy over the 99% who won’t be able to use modern gadgets, and will let them perish.

              However, in my opinion, the damage has already been done. Nothing will make the resources the 7.5 billion people consumed return.

            • CTG says:

              talked about delusions. Meliorismnow did not even reply to my engineering questions many months ago. The 1% needs the 99% to clean the toilets, produce food, ship them to their penthouses, produce toilet paper, etc. Will the toilet paper factory even exist if only the 1% are wiping their butts?

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Meli = MOREon…

              I am considering making Meli my next target … to drive her/him into the asylum with G.len.n and Pete E.V and Mr space solar.

            • Greg Machala says:

              The problem with this approach is that there is no incentive for people to work to produce all this stuff if they cannot afford to use or have it. People will simply give up and become lazy. To force people to work and maintain the technology we have today would be intractable. The economies we have to day are massive in scale and each device takes a very large range of skill sets to produce it. Trying to force hundreds of millions to work would be impractical. Technology requires a lot of very talented people with incredible skills all focus on each part of the greater whole. If there is no reward for these folks why would they do the work to educate themselves and work their butts off for nothing? It would be constant struggle trying to get people to keep up the technology that benefits a few.

            • DJ says:

              I expect someone will write something about AI BJobots very soon.

            • meliorismnow says:

              CTG, Greg: The 99% will not sit on their butts (regardless of whether those will be wiped with TP). Imagine if a federally supported soup kitchen opened in your neighborhood that provided you free rice and bean, potato, or bread based meal for free. Would you be content to sit back and enjoy this spartan meal every day? Likely not if you’re healthy, you would be looking for work, any work to supplement your meager life (or you’ll be looking to steal or subvert/change the system which would have to be heavily suppressed). This is essentially how it was for the bottom 30% in the US great depression (if no opportunities in your town, you would walk to another, asking farms for work along the way). The 1% doesn’t currently need 99 peasants working for them, they need a tiny sliver of output from a thousand machines using resources and a tiny sliver of thousands of workers. Something like 100,000th of the production of 100,000 global workers assisted by BAU and the volumes & efficiencies afforded by providing for the 100%. The ratio will change to more (cheap) workers and less machines & resources but doesn’t need to change drastically.

              TP factories will certainly slow down as some % of the poor convert to using tools, water, cloth, or their hands to save money. But if the 1% have a desire for a product it will still be produced. Maybe some underemployed, local poor will cut down the (soft) wood by hand and use rickshaws to transport it to the factory for storage. Then on a windy/sunny day the factory will be turned on and produce a month’s worth of TP. TP will be affordable near the factory so maybe most of the poor in this area will still use it.

              Technology greatly reduces the amount of talented people needed. The increase in human productivity this technology grants theoretically rewards everyone but especially those providing specialized skills need to develop, operate, and maintain technology. The same would be true in an impoverished world. The technicians who can fix the pulp machine will still fix pulp machines at the TP factory because it will pay better than manual labor it’ll just be a lot less work than before. And if they try to charge too much they may find themselves forced to train others or (mostly idle) pulp machine technicians from other areas traveling to compete. Competition will drive almost all wages down just as it’s doing now globally.

            • DJ says:

              Close enough to a transitory BAU lite.

              The 1% (or .1%) are untouchable by taxes.

              Democracy will make sure resources are redistributed to the bottom 51+%, mostly from the top 10%.

              Market forces will compensate those necessary to keep things running enough for keeping things running.

              Resources will dwindle until what can be redistributed to the bottom 51+% reaches riot level.

              Then it is long pork or skynet depending on how far AI bjobots has evolved.

            • Artleads says:

              meliorismnow,

              Thanks for this very interesting post. For over 50 years, I’ve felt that there was so much “excess” in our IC system that we could jettison most of it and still be living in a kind of “luxury.” I’ve never even felt that the military budget was taking away from the rest of society.

              TP production would be very key to that “luxurious” life. Cardboard and knife production too. All store-bought goods could have only raw cardboard-box packaging shared by a variety of purchased goods.

              Your economic assessment may or may not be 100% correct, but it seems to be more accurate than not.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Here was have two DelusiSTANIS communicating … how fascinating… let’s continue watching them to see what they eat.

            • Ed says:

              M…now, I basically agree with you. I know Gail strongly makes the point about economies of scale it is just a question of degrees how import and what can be “sustained”. To protect the planet, non-human life and human life 99% of humans need to go. Can there be a transition that leaves the owners alive and in ownership most likely not. But I do not care if most of the owners die in the process. In fact I prefer it. The problem is people talk about getting rid of 99% but no one does any thing.

            • Greg Machala says:

              ” Imagine if a federally supported soup kitchen opened in your neighborhood that provided you free rice and bean, potato, or bread based meal for free. Would you be content to sit back and enjoy this spartan meal every day” – That is still gonna take a lot of food. Where is it going to come from? Who will transport it? If by road, who maintains the road? You cannot get away from massive energy consumption without a massive die-off. And with a massive die-off a critical mass of people will be gone that is required to maintain all this crap.

            • meliorismnow says:

              “That is still gonna take a lot of food. Where is it going to come from? Who will transport it? If by road, who maintains the road?” Imagine first no changes to grain agriculture. They still buy equipment from dealers who buy from manufacturers and fuel with gasoline/diesel. They buy seeds from monsanto and use complimentary pesticides and fertilizer. All that requires oil and natural gas, roads, railroads, pipelines, derricks etc. The total cost to maintain all that decreases greatly (linearly) along with use but increases exponentially on a per use basis (because it was all designed and built for dramatically larger volumes). So the cost to operate the farm the current way increases every year and the cost to distribute the corn/wheat/potato/rice/beans increases as well until it achieves a steady state.

              Average food prices realized by the farmer increase along with cost (because there’s essentially infinite demand for survival and the farmer needs incentive to provide). Areas many miles from farms, railroads, and highways would pay the highest prices (so many of the 99% would migrate to these areas, particularly if the gov’t only gave out free food in these areas). The amount of FF used to grow and transport these staples in the US is minuscule and would shrink further despite picking up slack for the rest of the consumer economy. Oil, NG, equipment manufacturers, machinists, and so on will all work in order to have a less deprived lifestyle (access to some combination of present luxuries). They may be the second 0.9% or they may be 2% I don’t really care.

              But given high costs there would be plenty of incentives to use human labor over machines. Many farms would experiment replacing machines with cheap human laborers, perhaps with enough success to remove some equipment permanently from market. Manufacturers have already learned this lesson operating in third world countries (even highly sophisticated ones like Intel). Farm, transport, and retail waste go down as everyone values food more and labor to minimize waste becomes cheaper. High fuel prices and high consumer prices in inaccessible areas would incentivize traders to use non traditional means of transport (oxen, horses) to move goods over once paved roads.

            • Artleads says:

              Your POV is unusual for FW. While I don’t understand how the same financial system we have now could be modified re your suggestion–I have never understood money–people’s extreme elasticity (and love of challenge) suggests to me that the “Leonardo Dome” might hold up by more intense economic activity, of a different sort. From my own experience, it seems that anyone can find the impulse to work hard, provided they have basic energy needs supplied and get positive feedback from what they do. Just about everything in our system is more wasteful than “necessary.” Moving the Titanic’s deck chairs about could yield better results than we are led to believe.

            • CTG says:

              @meliorismnow

              English proverb – Still water runs deep
              Asia proverb – half empty drum generates the most noise.

              If you are a paid troll, I wish you all the best as you have a family to feed and hope that if wake up, join us here under a different name

              If you are not paid to post rebuttals here, then I am disappointed that you do not have critical thinking skills or your normalcy bias is very strong.

              Asia proverb – half empty drum generates the most noise.
              You certainly have plenty of “noise” even since 2016 when I asked you to reply to my questions. Of course you did not answer.

              Do some reading on supply chain, finance, economies of scale, how factories run before you come here and post. It helps a lot to understand why earth and our civilization is ruined by experts.

              Toilet paper factory
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOviKQwpE6w
              Do you seriously think a toilet paper factory will function when there is social unrest or chaos?
              Think the inputs (paper, bleach, pulp), consumables (cutting knives to cut into rolls needs to be regularly changed), machine spares parts, electric grid, transport, etc will be available when half the world’s population is gone?

              Photo of toilet paper factory :

              https://www.rossieng.co.za/images/stories/picture3.jpg

              Toilet paper, tooth brush, oil refinery cannot run at half capacity. It is not like your oven where you can bake half a cake. I have countless post that no one can run a refinery at half capacity because of pipe diameter and the process optimization for high throughput and low cost does not allow small batches.

              Same goes for semiconductor, plastic and all other types of factories. We painted ourselves into the corner when factories opts for high throughput and sacrifices on the ability to make small batches.

              Sorry, the 1% cannot enjoy the way of their current life when the other 99% are too poor to buy (you think Apple will produce iPads or iPhones in quantities of 10,000 per month?) You think the transmission tower for cell phone will function if only 10,000 users per county? You think Intel will make chips if they can only sell 1million units per year?

              Be realistic…

            • Artleads says:

              Still trying to get my mind around this>

              – Since I routinely work MAO over causes that intrigue me but don’t pay, I can see most working for little or no money.

              – But I (and they) can do that only insofar as it does not disrupt BAU, where there is law and health insurance and computers.

              – You seem to be saying there is some way to switch around the economic chairs on the BAU deck. Here you’ve lost me. I could do with a far more calibrated explanation.

              – I assume that the economic system crashes MOL totally when you remove sticks from Gail’s “Leonardo Dome”–like how people have to be able to purchase in order for a whole domino effect of collapse (in a JIT economy) not to ensue.

              – I had wondered if a lot more people making tiny purchases could replace fewer making big purchases while maintaining the JIT economy. But if the many have no purchasing power…

              – Whether it is current BAU or some sort of modified BAU, I see no workable way for a globalized economic system to work. It is small communities able to make or trade for what they most need that seem more reasonable. A networked, global system is too complex and uses too many resources given a finite world.

              – But you can’t arrive at small-group community except through some synthesis with the system of BAU. A transition needs to be happening ASAP, and supported by BAU.

              – Again, it seems like the challenge is to see which Leonardo sticks are likely first to fail, and work like the dickens to replace them with sticks that are more durable. It’s like a great big tower falling down, while “we” scramble to hold it up with strategically located posts.

              Would be nice to see where or how you disagree withthe above.

    • Right! So far Yellen is not doing so well.

      • Creedon says:

        The investment banks are lending to the drillers. The refineries are producing more and more gasoline at less and less profit. We are at peak oil, peak traffic, peak hubris, peak stress, peak military posturing. What could be better. Life is grand.

  9. Peak Oil Pete says:

    Religious dribble from a 3000 year old symbolic story has little relevance to today’s issues of resource depletion, overpopulation, and financial excess.
    However yes, water shortages in major cities are a good sign of and disintegrating infrastructure.

    • Duncan Idaho says:

      Embarrassing creation myths are beyond childish.
      I prefer to discard Bronze and Iron Age Fiction as as source of wisdom.
      A bad genera, and if you going o read it may I recommend Homer and Beowulf ?

  10. jerry says:

    this however, is not funny, actually quite distressing?

    http://www.yesmagazine.org/people-power/what-is-it-like-to-live-without-running-water-detroit-families-know-20170411

    reminds one or should remind one well of the words:

    29 For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the childless women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ 30 Then “‘they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!”’
    31 For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?” Luke 23

    that one sentence WOW!!!!!! speaks volumes doesn’t it? Sums up actually ever single word on this website!

    “For if the people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry.”

  11. jerry says:

    lol this is too funny….. Obama flees?
    https://youtu.be/xWCEFMDEWvI

    • Bergen Johnson says:

      Wherever he is and whatever he is doing, good for Obama to be out of the White House, because all the R’s did was hate him. Really like it when I see pictures of him smiling like he did before he was elected.

  12. You guys are a bunch of energy bigots.

  13. jerry says:

    Gail, here is something new to consider that I believe has never been discussed at lenght on OFW the demise of gas stations due to soaring real estate prices. This is interesting.
    Consider this:

    Finding a pump in Toronto’s Bloor Street-Queen’s Quay corridor is getting ever more problematic. Chevron recently announced the pending sales of five of its Shell stations in Vancouver, and it’s not hard to see why. Thanks to Vancouver’s insatiable appetite for condos, one of Chevron’s locations had its value reassessed at $32.8 million, making a worthwhile return on capital from the pennies-a-litre profits of pumping gasoline all but impossible. Only Montreal clings to a convenient number of downtown gas stations, and one wonders how long that can last given Quebec’s (relatively) booming economy.

    This next piece however is quite telling yes? To fund operations in Alberta they have to sell gas stations? Wow talk about eating ones tail?

    Nor is it only mom and pop gas stations getting squeezed out of the retail business. Last March, Imperial sold off 497 of its Canadian Esso-branded gas stations, ostensibly, it was reported, to fund its expansion in the Kearl oil sands in northern Alberta. Nonetheless, one can’t help but think this profit-versus-real-estate-value conundrum played a large part in its decision. The sale brought in, said the Globe and Mail, some $2.8 billion, which works out, for those slow on their calculator, to $5.6 million an outlet, a number extremely tough to ignore when you’re making but pennies on the litre.

    http://driving.ca/auto-news/news/motor-mouth-hot-real-estate-market-drying-up-gas-stations

    What now? How far is one supposed to drive to fill the tank?

    • Another problem!

      • jerry says:

        Gail, I work for a gas company in a none elite position and I can concur whole heartily with everything you write about especially the affordability part of matters. When you talk about wages not increasing etc etc I along with so many others live the reality of it on a daily basis. But it is not just non elite workers that are paying the price but many engineers to are living with wages stagnant. However, there are other challenges at work not just the oil and gas conundrum we are facing. In any case wanted you to know and thanks for your work Gail you can’t imagine how important this has all been. Amazing material and knowledge
        “look up for your redemption draws near.” Luke 21:28

        • Fast Eddy says:

          “look up for your redemption draws near.” Luke 21:28

          I am looking up — I don’t see a man in the sky…. am I looking in the wrong place?

          • jerry says:

            Fast Eddy is this an honest question or are you just waiting to further humiliate me?
            Okay, if you truly wish an answer when Christ ascended into the sky he simply passed through one dimension into another similar in fact to a traveller breaking the surface of the ocean or lake it is really as simple as that. There is far more to our universe than what you just see with the naked eye? Beyond that isn’t it interesting that the crop circles that have been forming one message that was decoded was the “conduit is closing.”
            As for the rest of the message anyone with a mere grade level understanding of the bible can see the biblical connotations of what was decoded.
            “Beware the bearers of false gifts and their broken promises. Much pain but still time. There is good out there. We oppose deception. Conduit closing.”
            Beware the bearers of false gifts and their broken promises? Matthew 5 the entire chapter but with special emphasis on verse 23 GIFTS!!!
            Much pain but still time? Repentance and judgment now stand at the door!!!
            There is good out there? The character of God and His Son Christ Jesus!!!
            We oppose deception? Well, of course the Godhead of the Trinity and how they have always opposed liars, thieves, adulters, idolaters, murderers comparable to Mathew 7:15
            Conduit closing? Self -evident or perhaps one needs to open a bible and read Luke 24:50.
            What has to be the most fascinating thing about crop circles however is the humor that the Creator decided to interject into the world: Consider:
            “Glickman’s “hard information” refers to a moment at the end of last summer’s growing season when the crop circles turned away from the abstract. On August 14, an enigmatic human face, expertly executed in halftones, turned up next to a huge radio transmitter in Chilbotin, England. A few days later, a glyph appeared that many croppies believe to be an alien response to a SETI radio transmission sent into space almost 30 years ago. Formed out of expertly twisted wheat, the pattern shows a strand of DNA made with silicon instead of phosphorous, a transmission device of unknown design, an alternate solar system, and an extraterrestrial with a wide head.”
            “One thing is for sure: The formation proves beyond a doubt that the life form responsible for it has a super-evolved sense of humor. In the words of Seth Shostak, senior astronomer of the SETI Institute, it’s good fun and a nice example of grain graffiti -but not worth taking seriously. “If aliens wanted to communicate with us, why would they use such a low bandwidth method?” he asks. Why not just leave an Encyclopedia Galactica on our doorstep? He also noted that SETI’s original signal was aimed at the star cluster M13, which means it, will not reach its target for 24,972 more years. The Institute he says “has no interest in investigating the phenomenon further.”
            GOT THE MESSAGE?
            In 1974, an encoded radio transmission was fired into deep space — the so-called Arecibo message. Its contents included the numerals 1 through 10, the atomic numbers of elements important to human life, a depiction of the physical structure of DNA, our solar system, a human figure, and the radio dish used to send the message. Three decades later, a crop circle in an English field appeared to reply — with some interesting amendments (see below).
            Silicon (atomic number 14) added to list of life giving elements
            An altered strand of DNA
            A new population value: 21.3 billion
            An altered solar system
            A picture of a big-headed humanoid, who stands 3 feet, 4 inches tall
            A completely different transmitter
            Daniel Pinchbeck http://archive.wired.com/wired/archive/10.08/crop.html
            Go here for the picture http://www.mightycompanions.org/cropcircles/wired/page4.html
            Faith is not blind FE nor is God an absentee landlord. Sadly however, there is no greater truth that religion is a mess. A good example of that can be found here
            https://t.co/yUlgx9DLm2
            The church is in a crisis of leadership and full of deception but lets not throw the baby out with the bath water shall we.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Meanwhile….

              I met a climate change scientist this afternoon — without getting into the details he has a private company that mainly does work funded by large international institutions advising high carbon burning nations including China on what the economic impacts are of coal …

              I asked him what the solution was and of course a shift to renewable energy was the answer…

              I suggested that China was unlikely to do this because the costs involved would make manufacturing more expensive and drive business to places willing to burn coal…

              Yes that does seem to be a concern said he.

              He mentioned that they have presented findings to China Vietnam and a few other countries… they graciously listen …

              Then they do nothing.

              ‘It is very frustrating’

              Oh yes I can imagine it must be said I.

    • ITEOTWAWKI says:

      As a Montrealer I can tell you there are not that many gas stations in the Downtown core…off the top of my head I can only think of one, the one across the Bell Centre (where I am going tonight to cheer on our Habs vs Rangers…courtesy of BAU) 🙂

    • Most likely, until they invent robot gas carriers, the unemployed will be asked to fetch the gas in some faraway place, like how uber drivers work now, for those who can afford to hire them. Like the old water carriers described in Samuel Pepys’ diary.

  14. ITEOTWAWKI says:

    I guess the author of this article did not get the memo that we are very probably on the edge of total collapse….that will be our ultimate F U to robots taking our jobs 🙂

    https://psmag.com/yes-the-robots-are-coming-for-our-jobs-912f57eb2666

    • Bergen Johnson says:

      What percentage of jobs will they take when they can stand, walk, talk independently, have a memory preciseness we can’t even imagine, learn much faster and be lingual in any language. The potential is there in my opinion for a very small percentage of super wealthy people to have a 95% non-human workforce. That’s when most people become obsolete. There was a sci-fi movie done about it – can’t remember the name – but this woman who is very capable is trying desperately to keep her job but she gets replaced by one of those things. You have to think in terms of a progression of improvements. At first it seems outrageous to even ponder, but over time and many years of R&D, fine tuning, large and incremental improvements, suddenly there it is and we can’t believe it until we lose our job. Thank goodness I got to enjoy the meaty curve of the oil age and won’t have to worry about such things, but some day a whole generation will suddenly find themselves scrambling to get a job those things can’t do, but the list will winnow down over time.

      • ITEOTWAWKI says:

        So basically you are saying that 95% of us are out of a job, but somehow the Financial System is still working…got it!….are you sure you are on the right blog?

        • Duncan Idaho says:

          I think we are like the Austrians in 1913 arguing about who our next Hapsburg Ruler is going to be.

          • Actually it was clear that the descendants of Franz Ferdinand would NOT be eligible for the throne and Archduke Karl was supposed to become the next Emperor (and he did in 1916). So they didn’t have to discuss that.

        • DJ says:

          Assuming collapse didn’t happen – I wonder at what % bot in the workforce the workers and owners would decide f737 UBI!

      • There are no large and incremental improvements being made on AI. There are just incremental improvements. Robotics do not have many years to fine tune themselves until they can do everything a human can.

        Robots would run into resource problems just like we have–and they’d run into them much sooner. If we can’t maintain industrial civilization we sure aren’t going to maintain a large army of robots. What are they going to run on? Wind energy? Get real.

        Bergan, let’s make a deal. How about you stfu and never mention robotics again until you show that you’ve done any research into the field beyond articles in Popular Science magazine.

        • ITEOTWAWKI says:

          Exactly we barely have enough resources to keep IC running NOW…and all of a sudden Robots are going to overtake us??? Will they be made of mud and run on salt water?? WTF??

          • ITEOTWAWKI says:

            Like someone posted a couple of articles ago on Gail’s blog (just forget the part about recommending drastic energy conservation which would kill BAU instantly, but the rest holds true)

            http://www.resilience.org/stories/2015-08-11/the-earth-s-battery-is-running-low/

            • Fast Eddy says:

              t took hundreds of millions of years for photosynthetic plants to trickle charge that battery. Those plants converted low quality sunlight into high-quality chemical energy stored either in living biomass (forests and plankton) or more lastingly in the dead plants and animals that became oil, gas and coal.

              But in just a few centuries humans and “the modern industrial-technological informational society” have spent that stored chemical energy and depleted the Earth-space battery.

            • i1 says:

              Alternatively, industrial man aka the technospere, or the megamachine as Mumford called it, has liberated all that sequestered carbon which would have remained so otherwise.

        • Aubrey Enoch says:

          Have they figured out how to write code that has an imagination?

      • You seem to be imposing human characteristics on robots—walking talking thinking and so on, in the sense that they could serve some kind of super wealthy set of individuals who could then dispense with the rest of us altogether

        You might have missed a trick there.

        all mechanisms require energy input at base level in order to be able to support simple or complex functions

        In any biological species, this means extracting food/energy from the earth and consuming it. In this respect, biological species are a primary force…ie there is no other intermediate at work between us and the food we consume. (this is true of bacteria or elephants)
        No matter how many stages removed—without that process no species can exist. (or do anything)

        In the case of the robot, energy is still required to perform actions, whether simple or complex–just like people. So that energy force has to be obtained from somewhere,
        The robot cannot plough a field a derive its life force (ie directly reproduce itself) from corn or potatoes as a human can, therefore there must be an intermediate ”system” to allow this to happen.
        That ”intermediate” is the human creator (s) of the robot itself.

        Without that intermediate, the robot environment cannot exist, and by definition the fantasy environment of a ”super wealthy” cannot exist.

        The bottom line is of course, that energy (oil coal and gas) underpins the existence of money, and sustains its perceived value.
        No matter how many billions you have in the bank, you cannot reflll an oilwell, or create the energy contained in a single gallon of petrol.
        Neither can you create the energy necessary to make a robot function or perform humanoid tasks on your behalf

  15. DJ says:

    Exercise:
    Find out your countrys per capita energy usage.
    http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/EG.USE.PCAP.KG.OE

    Deduct what you could save by driving 0 miles per year
    Deduct savings for 0 miles flying.
    Deduct savings by halving warming costs (AC of course 0)

    Notice how your per capita energy use have barely budged.

    This can’t be done on an individual level.

  16. Fast Eddy says:

    Have we heard back yet on those questions?

    http://www.miis.edu/academics/faculty/FDalnokiVeress/node/23025

  17. alfredmelbourne says:

    Repeated reference to “Climate Change” suggest that you believe that humans are causing warming of the entire planet. Well, the latest data shows that the average temperature over the world’s oceans is already – after the recent el Niño – back where it was 40 years ago.

    • jeremy890 says:

      So that “settles” it all Alfred…your reference to “recent data” encompasses EVERYTHING
      Please stop…Global Warming is happening, it’s because we humans are changing the composition of the atmosphere.
      No denies that natural cycles played a role in climate change. Dumping 1.5 trillion tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere over the past 250 years messed up those natural cycles.

    • DJ says:

      Who are you refering to?

      I am not convinced about connection humans – co2 – global warming – sea level rise.

      But we have enough human caused environmental misery with overfishing, pollution, depleting water reservoirs and lakes, deforestation, species extinction. To name a few.

      • Bergen Johnson says:

        “I am not convinced about connection humans – co2 – global warming – sea level rise.”

        It makes no difference whether you are or are not convinced. Your opinion on the matter is worthless noise. It is not necessary to convince all people.

        • DJ says:

          How many should you convince? And what actions should they take? And how will it matter?

    • xabier says:

      Still, that is neither here nor there: what matters to agricultural societies – and the foundation of our existence is industrialized agriculture – is weather patterns.

      These are -for whatever reason – being severely disrupted, even dislocated, and diseases and pests with the capacity to wipe out whole categories of crop on a regional and even global basis, are spreading.

      This is indisputable climate change, and it isn’t going to look pretty for anyone.

      • DJ says:

        Are weather patterns really disrupted?

        I don’t know on what time scale your talking but I seem to remember once in the 80s dec 24 being warmer than jun 24. Winters with extreme snow, watering the lawn prohibited.

        Is this not just “weather”?

        Pests and diseases wiping out crops is maybe not surprising given a handful crops and a few species live stocks covering almost all land.

        • There are several issues at play.
          Yes, you nailed another important point, while the word is hated over here very much, but with increased resiliency in agriculture, such swings like drought, pests, cold, fire, and other cycles, .. could be smoothed out quite a lot. But, that’s not exactly the dominant variety, how intensified – industrialized agriculture evolved recently. However, it could be turned around, one place by another, and please no silly responses again in the spirit of , “hey but the yields of !monocrops! will be lower, we would starve” .. lolz..

        • xabier says:

          I meant a profound and prolonged shift to a new pattern, which is clearly discernible in Britain. Quite right of course about the narrow range of crops and livestock: such a vast inverted pyramid on so narrow a base!

  18. Fast Eddy says:

    There was no longer any hope that the Nile would rise; and as a result the cost of provisions had already gone up. The provinces were ravaged by drought. The inhabitants foresaw a state of dearth as inevitable, and fear of famine led to disturbances. Those who lived in villages and in the countryside left for the main provincial towns. A great number emigrated to Syria, the Maghreb, Hejaz and the Yemen….

    A vast multitude sought refuge in Misr and Cairo, where they were to meet with frightful famine and appalling mortality; for, when the sun entered the sign of Aries, the air became corrupt, and pestilence and a deadly contagion began to take their toll, and the poor, under the pressure of ever-growing want, ate carrion, corpses, dogs, excrement, and animal dung. They went further, and reached the stage of eating little children.

    It was not unusual to find people [selling] little children, roasted or boiled.

    I myself saw a little roast child in a basket. It was brought to the commandant, and led in at the same time were a man and woman who were the child’s father and mother. The commandant condemned them to be burned alive.

    In the month of Ramadan a corpse was found at Misr with all the flesh stripped off for food, and its legs tied like a sheep trussed for cooking….

    When the poor first began to eat human flesh, the horror and astonishment that such extraordinary meals aroused were such that these crimes formed the topic of every conversation. No one could stop talking about them. But eventually people grew accustomed, and some conceived such a taste for these detestable meats that they made them their ordinary provender, eating them for enjoyment and even laying in supplies. They thought up a variety of preparation methods. And the custom being once introduced, it spread in the provinces so that there was no part of Egypt where one did not see examples of it. Then it no longer caused surprise. The horror people had felt at first vanished entirely; one spoke of it, and heard it spoken of, as a matter of everyday indifference.

    I saw one day a woman with a head wound being dragged, by some labourers, through the market. They had seized her while she was eating a small roast child, which they also carried with them.

    Two days before, I had seen a child nearing the age of puberty, who had been found roasted. The two young people who had been found with it confessed that it was they who had killed the child, cooked it, and eaten part of it.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      It happened one night that a young slave girl was playing with a newly weaned infant, the child of a rich private citizen. While the child was by her side, a beggar-woman seized the very moment when the slave’s eyes were turned away, tore open the child’s stomach, and began to eat the flesh, quite raw. Many women have told me of people flinging themselves at them in order to snatch their children, and that they have had to use all their strength to save them.

      Talking one day to a woman who carried a newly-weaned and very chubby child, I admired it and recommended her to take good care of it. She then told me that, when she had walking on the canal bank, a sturdy ruffian had attacked her and tried to snatch the child from her; that she had found no other way of sheltering it than to throw herself to the ground, holding the child beneath her, until a horseman happened to pass by, which forced the man to retreat. \

      She added that the rascal had watched avidly of the chance of getting a grip on any of the child’s limbs that might stray out from their shelter, so that he might eat it. The child was ill for some time afterwards as a result of the mauling he had suffered in the tug-of-war between the robber and herself, one trying to snatch him and the other to hold on to him.

      The children of the poor, those who were young or already grown and had no one at all to care for them or look after them, were scattered though all parts of the town, even in the narrowest side streets, like locusts in the countryside. The poor, men and women alike, lay in wait for these unhappy children, carried them off and ate them. The guilty were rarely caught in the act, and only when they were careless. It was usually the women who were caught with the proof of their crime, a circumstance which in my opinion arose from the fact that women are less crafty than men and cannot so readily flee to escape pursuit.

      In only a few days, at Misr, thirty women were burned, among whom there was none who did not admit to having eaten several children. I saw one of them taken to the commandant with a roast child hung round her neck. She was given more than two hundred lashes to make her confess her crime, but they elicited no response from her. You would have said that she had lost all human faculties. Then someone pulled her roughly, to lead her away, and she expired on the spot.

      When some unfortunate who had been convicted of eating human flesh was burned alive, the corpse was always found to have been devoured by the following morning. People ate it the more willingly, for the flesh, being fully roasted, did not need to be cooked.

      More? Would you like some moar? Please suh…

      Plenty moar… http://www.heretical.com/cannibal/egypt.html

      7.5 billion people…. virtually no food…..

      • Egypt, has been discussed here numerous times.

        Recapitulation: apart from varied climate in the wider ME during past x,xxx years, they ruined it, now I mean the core of the Nile delta, by those upstream large dams, both in Egypt, and recently even higher up, is it Ethiopia there? Anyways, the natural cycling of Nile delta floods and swarms of animals dung was first over exploited by early civilizations (pop rocketed up) and then destroyed by the dams completely in the industrial age.

  19. Fast Eddy says:

    The market for office buildings in one of the hottest and most overheated real-estate markets in the world, New York City, just went into the deep-freeze. If you see the word “plunge” a lot below, it’s because that’s what happened in the first quarter of 2017.

    It was exactly what no one in the industry needed. Sales of large office properties (those with over 50,000 square feet) that closed in Q1 2017 plunged 63% year-over-year, from $5.54 billion in Q1 2016 to $2.1 billion. It was the lowest transaction amount in any quarter since Q1 2013.

    According to Commercial Café, which analyzed data from Yardi Matrix and PropertyShark, that $2.1 billion in Q1 office sales, in total 10 deals, was down an ear-ringing 80% from the $10.3 billion, and 26 deals in Q1 2015.

    This chart shows the plunge in billion dollars:

    http://wolfstreet.com/2017/04/12/new-york-city-office-market-plunges-in-q1/

    http://wolfstreet.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/US-New-York-City-office-sales-q1-2017.png

  20. Fast Eddy says:

    Desperation meets Insanity

    So…. you take tens of billions of ‘non performing loans’ or in layman’s terms — loans that are never going to get paid back — you slap a bit of lipstick on them including a nice return rate…

    And flog them to funds that need to outperform the index otherwise their clients pull their cash…

    Now these funds know these are pigs – that they will eventually default — but because they generate a good return — they dive in an buy these NPLs…

    Because they know that if the loans are defaulted on — it does not matter – because it also means the financial system collapses…

    So might as well pile in…

    http://wolfstreet.com/2017/04/13/heres-italys-latest-plan-b-where-desperation-meets-insanity/

  21. Fast Eddy says:

    Restaurants in Worst Tailspin since 2009/2010

    This thermometer for discretionary spending is the first to react when consumers hit their limits.

    Foot traffic at chain restaurants in March dropped 3.4% from a year ago. Menu prices couldn’t be increased enough to make up for it, and same-store sales fell 1.1%. The least bad region was the Western US, where sales inched up 1.2% year-over-year and traffic fell only 1.7%, according to TDn2K’s Restaurant Industry Snapshot. The worst was the NY-NJ Region, where sales plunged 4.6% and foot traffic 6.3%.

    http://wolfstreet.com/2017/04/13/chain-restaurant-sales-traffic-in-worst-tailspin-since-2009-2010/

    It’s not retail that is destroying bricks and mortar — the major factor is that people have no money to spend…. Amazon cannot explain the collapsing restaurant industry…

    • Fast Eddy says:

      Reading the comments on that article…. restaurants slashing food quality … substituting with cheaper alternatives… increasing prices… laying off staff…

      The pie is indeed shrinking…. and the slices are getting more expensive.

      This all feels very … terminal….

      • Yep, however, don’t understand the need going out regularly to “restaurants” in the first place. I gather for most, especially urbanites, it’s the perceived convenience (and lack of skills to cook), also the social interaction function, despite that being mostly an illusive play. Moreover, I see it as just frivolous way of spending, and very nasty way of introducing various microbes, actually doesn’t matter how the operators/owners try to keep such place clean, in reality the kitchen, storage, restrooms, it’s all a filthy den to a degree, irrespective of the ***** status.

        • DJ says:

          If it were not for the taxes fast food restaurants could be a good optimization of the urban life. Especially if taken to the degree of not having a kitchen at home.

          • Artleads says:

            Weird. I was just thinking something like that. Another version–but one that might be best blended with the above–is “food stalls”? I don’t remember the exact term, but Don Stewart who used to post here would mention the public eating places in Edo Japan, and how they saved energy over all, etc. I imagine that the sanitation aspect would improve if the food is prepared by a “caring” community of sorts, rather than an uncaring multinational…

            • DJ says:

              If we not get Insta-Doom(TM) homes without a kitchen (microwave & small fridge) should be part of the progression.

              A kitchen costs 4-5 average post-tax annual salaries, that is a lot of take away.

            • Ah, the “Edo was a paradise” Don, quoting from a Western architecture prof who did not read Japanese at all? Such food stalls were operated by people in the lowest rank of life (Japan still has pariahs now), and were not frequented by those who had money.

              Japan also sold leftover rice from institutions, schools, etc to the poor during the 1890s and 1900s, until rice from Korea became available following its annexation in 1910. (the Koreans had to do with cheap millet imported from Manchuria) Not too healthy.

              After WW2, Japan also sold left over food from the US barracks in such stalls you described. They are all technically energy efficient, although I don’t think you want to dine from such stands.

            • Artleads says:

              kulmthestatusquo,

              I’m familiar with third world roadside stands that are most primitive…and I don’t recall seeing a source of water for washing hands. But the roasted food is most delicious, and many local travelers (or perhaps some foreign ones too) partake of this food. Dumb luck maybe. If every small-group community had it’s own specialty “food stall” the unsavory ones would be outcompeted. 🙂

            • Fast Eddy says:

              I am sure different communities will have their own way of cooking __________.

              Tastes like chicken….

          • Fast Eddy says:

            Brilliant insight! (sarc x 100000)

        • doomphd says:

          Careful, that’s a double-edged sword. The more you make things super hygienic, and the longer you stay within that clean cocoon, the less your body’s natural immune system abilities to fight off infections. The technology is now moving toward hands-free everything in public restrooms, for example. Looks clean and all’s well for awhile and then one day a careless handshake, sneeze, or a paper is passed to you from an infected colleague. Why do you think superbugs inhabit hospitals? Their efforts to clean those places end up selecting for the most immune bacteria and viruses. Better to let your dog or cat rub up against you often, take an occasional sloppy lick kiss on the mouth, literally eat some dirt. Your immune system will be up to task once the inevitable infection occurs.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          Taking that a step further — most restaurants reheat frozen sacks of slop from a food distribution company and dump it on a plate…. why would anyone pay for that?

  22. Duncan Idaho says:

    https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/apr/12/confessions-of-a-recovering-environmentalist-by-paul-kingsnorth-review
    The future for humanity and many other life forms is grim. The crisis gathers force. Melting ice caps, rising seas, vanishing topsoil, felled rainforests, dwindling animal and plant species, a human population forever growing and gobbling and using everything up. What’s to be done? Paul Kingsnorth thinks nothing very much. We have to suck it up. He writes in a typical sentence: “This is bigger than anything there has ever been for as long as humans have existed, and we have done it, and now we are going to have to live through it, if we can.”
    The lie of the land: does environmentalism have a future in the age of Trump?

    Hope finds very little room in this enjoyable, sometimes annoying and mystical collection of essays. Kingsnorth despises the word’s false promise; it comforts us with a lie, when the truth is that we have created an “all-consuming global industrial system” which is “effectively unstoppable; it will run on until it runs out”. To imagine otherwise – to believe that our actions can make the future less dire, even ever so slightly – means that we probably belong to the group of “highly politicised people, whose values and self-image are predicated on being activists”.

    • xabier says:

      Paul Kingsnorth is -rightly – very scathing about the whole Solar Jesus Cult: nothing more than destruction of the environment on a massive scale to manufacture, install, service and dispose of them (as well as those ghastly turbines). In fact, just another aspect of the global industrialized fossil-fuel economy.

      There are some videos of him- and the Dark Mountain people he is associated with on Youtube for those interested. He’s absolutely right about the emptiness of the ‘sustainability’ agenda and the way it has been co-opted by big industry.

      • You realize the western public decay has reached over a significant threshold, when even several candidates on the FR presidency (plus the sitting admin) are drum beating for the demise of their mostly nuclear grid, and replace it with well, nothing, ehm hopium. It’s basically the rising revolt of spoiled know nothings, feelings and delusions above merits and substance, who dream about both having and eating the proverbial cake.
        This 4th turning made dominant of this nascent generation of crazy values will start taking demographically over in ~10yrs, then expect hard core socialist-communist govs in power, which will turn most of the industrial world into 2.5-3rd world disarray in short order, and then perhaps the collapse proper. Hence, why I’m stressing the stages, staircase, gradual process.

        PS lot of Euro radical-greenies completely self destructed by jumping on the bandwagon of large $cale stupidities, like giant wind parks, large biomass plants etc.

      • Duncan Idaho says:

        Dark Mountain has published some of my photographs, so I am a bit biased.

        • Dark Mountain has published some of my photographs, so I am a bit biased.

          I’ll have to look out for them Duncan. I remember when Dark Mountain first came out & I read their manifesto. That reinforced my belief that this culture will continue to the bitter end & nothing we can do will make any difference.
          Far better to spend these end days enjoying wild nature (whats left of it)

    • xabier says:

      I have rather given up following the daily news, the decline into illogicality and propaganda – Left or Right, it doesn’t make much odds – is now too extreme. Almost cartoonish.

      Instead I only read Donald Trump’s tweets – they get to the heart of the matter in a moment, in the simplest language. 🙂

    • aubreyenoch says:

      The real question about Putin and Trump is who has the biggest….. hands?

  23. JT Roberts says:

    Just finished reading Scarcity Humanity’s Final Chapter. It’s a slog but thoroughly proves the 2008 crash was related to resource peaking. Catton’s foreword was a great piece.

    A few weeks back someone suggested that the issue with renewables and intermittents on the grid is their lack of inertia that exists with steam and hydro turbines. He was quite right. There is a strong chance that the only reason we have a functioning electric grid is because it was designed around massive rotors.

    The reason is the turbines can take variable demand. The problem being encountered by adding intermittent solar and wind is similar to PID control systems. (Proportional integral Derivative). PID was originally designed for automatic ship steerage. Basically it functions like a fractal equation by feeding back through iterations to correct overshoot (errors).

    It was later applied to HVAC but it tends to wander and fail in that application. The reason is it can only control one variable.

    Like controlling an electrical grid the generation is predictable. I can add and subtract supply to match variable demand. But my constant is control of the generation. If my generation becomes variable as with solar or wind I lose control. I can’t guarantee that my supply will match my demand.

    The grid tie of an inverter doesn’t have the capacity to adjust to variable demand because if a cloud passes by it can’t maintain production. The only way to overcome this situation is to create controllable demand. Meaning a battery or an artificial demand like Bitcoin or other crypto currency to flatten the demand side.

    This could make the grid stable but would be highly unproductive and the supply would remain unpredictable.

    If HECOs failures in Hawaii are any indication of what isn’t possible we maybe much farther from a green future than people realize.

    If you add the fact that PV is already a net energy sink to the fact it’s presently uncontrollable. It’s clear to see once our large rotary generators stop spinning it’s good by grid.

    We have likely peaked in wind and solar already.

    • Thanks for your explanation of the situation. In other words, we don’t have a way of making both supply and demand variable. If supply is normally constant, we can ramp it up and down a bit to meet variable demand. But if both supply and demand are variable, we don’t have a way of doing this.

      In particular, our pricing system has helped made the one-variable system work. But the pricing system can’t make the two variable system work.

    • DJ says:

      What does “peaked in wind and solar mean”?

      That 2016 was the year with most new installations?
      Of course we will producing more solar kwh in 2017 than 2016.

    • MM says:

      http://www.eco-smartappliances.eu/Pages/welcome.aspx
      The Eu is investigating this since a long time. Demand management is not yet very popular. Washing machine now, 5 Euro (yes/no) is not a selling argument…

  24. Duncan Idaho says:

    Beamreach Solar’s pilot line up for sale after bankruptcy

    Bankrupt US solar module start-up Beamreach Solar’s pilot production line in Milpitas, California is being offered for sale by Silicon Valley Disposition Inc. (SVD).

    The 72,000 square foot facility is equipped with a turnkey line, said to have cost over US$22 million in the 2014/15 period.

    According to a previous Greentech Media report, Beamreach Solar accumulated around US$250 million in costs over the lifetime of the company, which was formerly known as Solexel for the majority of its life.

  25. jerry says:

    Is it true that the vast majority of attendees to the Versailles Paris Peace Conference were Jooz?
    http://realjewnews.com/

  26. dolph says:

    I am begging anybody who reads this post to understand that China and Russia will never collapse. They cannot be conquered or bargained with.

    Russia has emerged significantly stronger since the end of the Soviet Union.

    If you take on Russia and China, you will die. You will destroy your country. Do what you will with that information, Jewish led Americans.

    • Any country can collapse. Collapse has to do with supply and demand, really “affordability of goods and services” rather than demand.

      Conquering other countries is a whole different issue. Its result is not collapse, it is something else. Damage to infrastructure and various other things.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      There have been many delusional people on this site — most of them eventually fade away….

      But you persist….

  27. jerry says:

    “The Russian famine of 1921–22, also known as Povolzhye famine, occurred in Bolshevik Russia”
    The 20th Century? war after bloody war ad infinitum. We have killed more people in just the last one hundred years than in the last 10,000 combined hell the last 50,000. Oil and the industrial age?
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C9D7cQhXcAEYdBn.jpg

    • jeremy890 says:

      The plutocrats won immunity, power and wealth, measured in seven figures. They won more. First, they secured the big navy and army for which they had worked so faithfully, – an army to menace neighbors and to preserve peace at home during the deluge of misery that will follow the bursting cloud of war-values and war-prices; a navy to guard the hundreds of millions that they have invested in “undeveloped” countries; and seven billions of dollars to be spent at once – much of it on war contracts, which afford proverbially fat pickings.
      Again they had won conscription – the right to send a million Americans into the trenches of France to fight for the poor Belgians, for Lombard Street, Wall Street and King George of England.
      They had established a spirit that permitted children to go back into factories from which [they had just been rescued]; women to take men’s jobs at a fraction of the wage, and the standards surrounding the labor of men to be lowered.
      The plutocrats won another point – a point desired by every despot. They won the right to impose restrictions upon the freedom of speech, of press and assemblage, which are the foundation of democracy. The plutocracy bought the press, subsidized the pulpit, placed their representatives in control of the schools, and by the use of the police and postal censorship they restricted individual liberty.
      Beside and beyond this economic, political and social power the Plutocracy had millions of deluded people in its grip incapable of thinking because of the fearful war madness that possessed their souls.
      They aroused the people, agitating and irritating them, until they were frantically repeating the blatant lie that the real enemy of American liberty lived in Berlin. Then they stung them with high prices, filched their liberty, plunged them into war, took a million of their brothers and husbands and sons to wage a war of aggression on the battlefields of king-ridden Europe, and because nothing happened at once, they believe that they had won. They had won victory and death.
      The plutocracy and the democracy cannot exist side by side. If the plutocracy wins, dollars rule; if the democracy wins, people rule. There can be no alternative and no compromise. During the past three years of struggle, the democracy has lost every move. The power of the plutocracy has been strengthened immeasurably.

      http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article5153.htm

      Nearing was very familiar with that Espionage law. At the time of his nomination acceptance speech, Nearing was under federal indictment, charged with violating it. The Great Madness was the government’s sole piece of evidence. The Rand School, which had published the pamphlet, was also named in the indictment.

      Nearing and his publisher were not alone. The American Labor Yearbook 1919-1920 estimated 4,500 prosecutions involving freedom of speech, press and assemblage while the U.S. was in the war (April 1917 to November 1918). Of those, nearly a thousand (998) were under the Espionage Act. An estimated 1,500 were convicted and sent to prison.26

      “Curiously, not one enemy agent was convicted under the Espionage Act,” wrote Steve Sherman in A Scott Nearing Reader. “ U.S. government prosecution, however, sent many American radicals and pacifists to prison.”27

      Among them were Max Eastman, Rose Pastor Stokes, and 1912 Socialist Party presidential candidate Eugene Debs, who had earned a million votes in the 1912 election only to be sentenced to 10 years in prison in 1918.
      http://www.brightberrypress.com/OTHER/SCOTT.HTM

      Profits and power in War and Destruction

      • Nicely researched, thanks.
        The plutocrats have had indeed very nice time around their gargantuan fire places in Mansions around London and Brussels for past several hundred years. It takes various abnormal skillz, determination, high level of psychopathic capabilities to usurp such a position for so long, basically sucking the entire Globe dry for a passion – lust for total control and unlimited wealth.

    • daddio7 says:

      $135 billion to eliminate poverty? That wont even pay for one year of healthcare insurance for the people the ACA covers in the US.

      • DJ says:

        Probably a simplified calculation of missing calories times cost for cheap food, ignoring distribution and everything else.

      • jeremy890 says:

        Question?. If we could put a dollar amount to the dead weight of useless bureaucratic layers of institutional maze, both private (Insurance Companies) and Government, never mind the price gouging of the Health “Care” Industry (Pharmaceuticals and Hospitals),
        What is the real cost to deliver adequate coverage to a person.
        Gail also has mentioned that end of life extension for a few weeks can cause exorbitant bills.
        I can attest that we have a Byzantine system of health care that makes no sense.
        Having a parent in her 90’s and going to Doctors is a real eye opener.
        The system is broken in the US, Obama care did not fix anything at all, just spread it.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Why would we want to eliminate poverty?

        Imagine what 7.5 billion people living like a lower middle class American would do to the planet’s resources…. and environment.

  28. Fast Eddy says:

    Re Tesla’s massive losses…. I wonder how much of that is PR … it must be massive

    • Kurt says:

      I thought this was finite world. If you want to start a down with tesla blog, go somewhere else. For the 200th time, WE GET IT!!!!

      • Fast Eddy says:

        I wonder how much of Tesla’s losses are related to their PR spending? It must cost a fortune to create a new religion like this

        • PR spending? Again, you are just placating not reading the posts here at all, we established long ago, that Tesla, and few others of the “new economy techno miracle” companies are just a front vehicle to pump up the optimism and markets reflation cycle/s. What’s so hard to understand about it..

          Are you jealous or what, “everybody” could have jumped on this TSLA (and few similar) get quick rich sure bandwagon, as I said earlier, I had the timely advice, and did not participate, also due to premature doomer leanings at the time, which were apparently under estimating the eventual bubble pumping heights and gradual nature of longer term processes of collapse.

          Deal with it, in your language and interest leanings, there is a reason only few hundreds, perhaps low thousands souls out of the entire pop could truly own and operate a jet, we are apparently not that lucky afterall. So what, find yourself another hobby..

          • Fast Eddy says:

            ‘Jealous’

            In case you missed it – I do not invest – in anything.

            Get rich? For what purpose? Retirement?

            I won’t be retiring…. and I think I’m hedged in enough ways to be comfortable up to the starvation….

            Elon Musk is a piece of shit

  29. Fast Eddy says:

    And without subsidies — guess how much Tesla would lose per car sold?

    If Tesla Would Stop Selling Cars, We’d All Save Some Money

    The public is still on the hook for Tesla, and will be for the foreseeable future.

    First, there’s the $7500 taxback bonus that every buyer gets and every taxpayer pays. Then there are generous state subsidies ($2500 in California, $4000 in Illinois—the bluer the state, the more the taxpayers get gouged), all paid to people forking out $63K (plus taxes) for the base version, to roughly $100K for the really quick one.

    Absent this shakedown of potential car buyers, Tesla would have lost $57 million, or $11,400 per car. As the company sold 5,000 cars in the quarter, though, $13,600 per car was paid by other manufacturers, who are going to pass at least some of that cost on to buyers of their products. Folks in the new car market are likely paying a bit more than simply the direct tax subsidy.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/patrickmichaels/2013/05/27/if-tesla-would-stop-selling-cars-wed-all-save-some-money/#5963e2f06f0a

    This piece of sh.it can’t go bankrupt soon enough —- Elon Musk is the ultimate Welfare Queen — as are the clowns who drive these hipster rolling toxic waste dumps

  30. Fast Eddy says:

    Hmmm.. we can’t have that comment held by the censors…

    She said by the beginning of that year, famine was so widespread people had been reduced to eating grass, tree bark, roots, berries, frogs, birds, and even earthworms.

    The hunger drove many people to desperation and madness. Many instances of canni—balism were recorded, with people living off the remains of other starvation victims or in some instances resorting to murder. Most peasant families had five or six children, and some mothers killed their weakest children in order to feed the others.

    Burtianski said at one point, he avoided buying meat from a vendor because he suspected it was human flesh.

    Naumenko also witnessed instances of cann….ibalism. He said he first discovered that his neighbors were eating human fle.sh after one of them, called Tetyana, refused to share her meat with him despite the fact he had just helped bury her father.

    “I saw Tetyana eating chicken meat and saw there was a lot of it. I approached her and asked her for some, but she refused to give me any. Because it was human fle…sh.”

    Hundreds were executed or killed by other villagers for canni….balism. Soviet records show that around 1,000 people were still serving sentences for cannib…..alism in prison camps on the White Sea at the end of the 1930s.

    http://www.rferl.org/a/1103170.html

    • Fast Eddy says:

      Desperate hunger drove people to sell off all of their possessions for any food they could find. At night, an eerie silence fell over the village, where all the livestock and chickens had long since been killed for food and exhausted villagers went to bed early.

      >>> Attention Doomsday Preppers….. there go your chickens… and your cow that you rely on for manure for your organic garden…. there go your pigs….

      Keep a close eye on your children…. they will be next on the menu….

      During the Ukraine famine there were still police on the job — yet people were snatching children and eating them…. people were jailed for this crime of snatching and eating people…

      When BAU goes there will be no police on the job to stop anything — in fact the police will be hungry — they will no doubt be involved in snatching children and eating them.

      The Ukraine story is Horror Lite…. what awaits all of us is indescribable …. it will be beyond the worst things that even I can imagine…. the brutality … the actions that desperate people will take… the cruelty…

      Koombaya.

      • adonis says:

        fantastic real life story fast eddie probably a sneak peak into whats coming for us down the track

    • jeremy890 says:

      Now, now, In order for some to live, others need to be eaten; what is so odd about that?

      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=SxI7B758XBQ

      • Fast Eddy says:

        The logical conclusion to that story is that you end up eating your foot… then your leg… then your left hand…. then you are gnawing on the right hand…

        Because there will be nothing left to eat but yourself …. because to that point people will have eaten all the crops… and all the animals… they will have eaten all the bark and grass…. and each other….

        If they are resorting to these measures — many of them will of course have worked out that the best place to find food is in the rural areas — and they will have enough petrol in the car to get there…

        But even in the rural areas most will have no food — so even if the urban dwellers did not pour in … there are plenty of rural dwellers who will overrun the permies….

    • Fast Eddy says:

      The communist cannibals: Shocking images reveal the depravation suffered by peasants forced to eat HUMANS during the 1920s Russian famine

      The Russian famine of 1921–22, also known as Povolzhye famine, occurred in Bolshevik Russia

      It began in early spring of 1921 and lasted through 1922

      Around 30 million people were affected and around five million died

      WARNING: Distressing images

      A Russian couple sell human body parts on a market. People of Russia began to eat and sell human limbs due to the food struggle during the Russian famine of 1921

      http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2016/12/30/12/3BB6B4F200000578-0-image-a-22_1483101155805.jpg

      http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2016/12/30/12/3BB6B50300000578-0-image-a-31_1483101337768.jpg

      More http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4076244/Distressing-photos-1920s-Russian-famine-turned-hopeless-peasants-cannibals-five-million-people-starved-death.html

      • And, Herbie Hoover gave food to the Bolsheviks, which gave them the legitimacy.

        USA should have sat out and let the starvation complete its course. Then we would have much less problems to worry about.

        • Van Kent says:

          What bothers me about famines, or carrying capacity of the land. Is that its NOT static. It depends on the knowhow, plants, seeds, tools and techniques used.

          If you dont know what to eat, how to prepare it, how to storage it. Then sure.. you will starve. But.. it doesnt have to be like that.

          Agriculture yields is not a given fixed number. Every year exactly 102 tonnes of produce.. bad year.. exactly 61 tonnes of harvest. It doesnt work like that.. It doesnt work like that at all. There are a lot of things to do. To learn. To have as backup plans.

          When the famine is very severe, then its important to know your wild vegetables, herbes and substitutes in the nature available to you. And fermenting techniques to make the food last for a bit longer.

          Sure there are years that are simply horrible. But if everything else fails. One type of potato might like it a lot. Apple trees might have huge harvests.. cherries might blossom.. If building upon backup plan upon backup plan, then always something succeeds. Always something..

          The amount of knowledge about farming, agriculture, gardening and all fields related to them, have exploaded in the last century, and also the last decade alone. If somebody would use every seed, every technique, all knowhow, best variety of tree, bushes, compost, biochar, drip irrigation, well, water canal available.. then I would easily bet, that the annual harvests would be easily +50% – +100% compared to the 1800s.. every year. Year after year. And every year the land quality increases. Better land constantly.

          The problem as I see it. Is that I dont see people using every seed, technique etc. etc. etc. known to man.. anywhere.. everybody is just using a small portion of the possibilities..

          Its like you wanted to build a house in an earhquake prone environment. You finally just erect a house you know, and have seen yourself. Never knowing the Japanese have had nailless houses for centuries, that are earthquake proof. Its a beautiful technique. But it requires skills and knowhow. Now farming, agriculture and gardening have a lot of these all over the world.. and nobody is using all of the innovations and options available..

          Sure there are places of millions of people crowded in on themselves. Its pointless to try to make the UK sustainable for 65 million people. It can not be done. But there still remains lots of other places, where the population density is so small, with the proper knowhow lots of the coming famines could be avoided..

          • DJ says:

            “The problem as I see it. Is that I dont see people using every seed, technique etc. etc. etc. known to man.. anywhere.. ”
            Because it is more economic to automate and add fossil fuel. Taxes.

            But wild plants … how many people do you think that could support per km2? Swedish military taught 12/14 biggest bang for the buck plants. If their research is not way off I can’t imagine the land supporting more than a few persons per km2.

            • Van Kent says:

              Dj,

              From the middle of April until about October different varieties are at their best.

              If we just take two. Just two. Nothing else.

              Blueberry. Time; July – August
              Lingonberry. Time; September – October.

              Average forest hectare contains 40kg of berries. At those times. Some more. Some less. But on average.

              Forest hectares in Sweden. 23 million hectares.
              Population in Sweden, 9.5 million
              1kg of berries = 570 calories
              Heavy working. 3500 calories a day. Average on all population 2500 calories a day.
              30 days of calories for 9.5 million people.. 712 trillion.. and the berries, these alone. Nothing else. Nothing. Constitute 524 trillion calories in July – August. And 524 trillion again in September – October

              And that is just two. Just berries. Nothing else. Not agriculture. Not dairy farms. Not greenhouses. Nothing else. Just these two.

              Heres is a better list of all that is available.. http://www.skogsskafferiet.se/skordetider/

            • Fast Eddy says:

              It would appear that my posting of the couple selling human body parts for food during the famine in Ukraine has created a great deal of anxiety…

              100+ posts this morning — and 75% of them are about how to suck sap from trees.. make bread from bark and other ways to eat post BAU…

              Funny the Ukrainians didn’t think of all these things… trapping rabbits .. eating berries…. making bread from bark…

              Nope – they just preferred to eat their children. No doubt after they had eaten the wild and domesticated animals… and the berries … and the grass.. and whatever else they could find to eat….

              When there is nothing left to eat — and there will be nothing left to eat very quickly post BAU — people start eyeing each other ….

              Young children are the obvious choices – tender… defenseless…. you can fit them on the grill whole… like a big turkey… or a roast pig….

            • DJ says:

              I was thinking more about the non-berries, stomach can’t take much of those.

              Like birch sap. Probably as abundant as berries in parts of country. But needing to drink ~30L/day for 2500 kcal …

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Koombaya… dance around the campfire and drink organic tree sap…. sounds like fun!

            • DJ says:

              To large numbers for me.

              So 40kg/ha/year * 100 ha/km2 * 570 kcal / 2500 / 365 = 2.5 persons per km2?
              Living only off berries.

              I know we waste an enormous amount of apples every year (and then import about as much).

            • DJ says:

              Current population density 23.1/km2.

              Living off the land only seems easy as long as no one else is doing it.

              I did calculations of wild game and estimated we would quickly extinct elk, boar, deer and only have fed the population for a week or two.

            • DJ says:

              Too bad the sap is rising when it is getting warm. Otherwise you could boil syrup when warming the house, and using the bark for bread.

            • Van Kent says:

              DJ,

              Birch sap is now at its best. Buts its very ‘thin’ now, in the springtime. Its almost like water. Soon brännässla will be good.Then vass from the lakes..

              The point is not eating one thing. The point is to gather everything. Prepare everything. Storage everything. And eat small amounts of each, every day. Trade what you are not using etc.

              But its not a grocery store.. planning ahead is needed. What will you do in April ? How will you storage it? What will you do in May? How will you storage it? It all requires lots of planning ahead.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              And of course the hungry people will not shoot you and take your stored food…. and of course the radiation is a good thing – it can be used to kill bacteria and allow food to be stored for many years

            • ITEOTWAWKI says:

              DJ said: “I did calculations of wild game and estimated we would quickly extinct elk, boar, deer and only have fed the population for a week or two.”

              And after 2 weeks this starts:

            • DJ says:

              VK,
              And what do you do jan-mar? Other then meat or lichens(?) or preciously stored food?

              A month on next to no food a strong healthy person can do, not three sandwiched between three not so great.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Sorry to interrupt the love-in of snared rabbits and blooberrie plucking…

              But remember how Japan had a contingency plan to evacuate Tokyo if the spent fuel ponds at Fukushima would have boiled dry?

              Can you count the red dots that are not very far from where you are holding the love-in? I can’t … because there are so many they are overlapping…

              FYI: each one = a Fukushima — each one is a nuclear power installation complete with numerous spent fuel storage ponds.

              i.e. You will be some of the first to die when BAU goes down

              http://www.mapcruzin.com/images/world_map.png

            • Van Kent says:

              There are a lot of forest hares/ rabbits in the forest too. But they are scared as hell right now. Their fur turns white. But.. small problem.. no snow in the winters anymore..

              They are so scared the just stay in place and dont move. Not even mating..

              The deer, elk, boar etc. will be so scared of humans that even a small scent and they will run away fast. Almost impossible to get any.. not much use to trust in hunting anything..

            • DJ says:

              ITEO,
              and 6 months later we’re few enough to live on blueberries and reed 🙂

            • DJ says:

              Swedish hares (in south/middle) aren’t white anymore, outbred by german ones.

              Hadn’t understood how numerous they were.

              But must be trapped to have a reasonable EROEI?

            • Van Kent says:

              The last potatoes come up in October – November..

              A cold cellar is needed. But potatoes, carrots, onions and surkål are for the winter months.

              In the winter you repair things. Make firewood. Build new infastructure etc.

            • DJ says:

              VK,
              When would birch sap be less thin? I thought it was only possible to collect for a month before first leaves.

            • Van Kent says:

              There are simple hare/ rabbit traps.. very simple. Also deer traps are very simple.. the simpler the better..

              But rabbits are much better EROEI than chickens or anything else. Best to have them breeding in small coops..

            • Fast Eddy says:

              It all sounds so wonderful – in theory.

              Anyone care to try putting this into practice now?

              Ready set go: eat only what you kill. No touching the food in the pantry. Turn off the power as well.

            • DJ says:

              I suppose you could grow jordärtskocka and harvest very early, if really motivated even when the ground is frozen.

            • Van Kent says:

              Birch sap is coming out now easily. It starts in April with us. A little earlier with you I think. A month from now it will be much more dense. My granfather took birch sap in the middle of the summer. Dont remember how he did it though. Then it was much thicker..

            • DJ says:

              I was thinking about wild animals, not farming (to not be tied up).

              Hare hunt with rifle seems more like “sport” or hobby than a practical way of gathering food.

              Chickens are good, you can eat the egg and still have the chicken.

              Rabbits only lay eggs once a year. Tomorrow.

            • DJ says:

              Deers (bambi) seems more reasonable to economically hunt with rifle (bullet). Go pick your lingon or whatever and if you happen to see a deer …

            • Van Kent says:

              Deer hunting is a lot easier when you have a scope. Wait by their usual route on a hunting platform. Just when the sun comes up..

            • Van Kent says:

              It takes a while. But eventually you will start to ‘read’ the nature like a book. A deer went here. Lots of ducks there. Hares this way. Fresh berries good there.. eventually eveything will become a sign of something living in and around you. At first it will be hard. But eventually more and more easier. Best to just spend lots of time in the nature..

            • DJ says:

              Does surkål last when not refrigerated? Maybe pasteurized?

              280 kcal/kg … may as well eat dandelion leaves 🙂

            • Van Kent says:

              Fermenting is when you use lactic acid bacteria commonly found everywhere around us to ‘ferment’ foods. If airtight and in a shady place it lasts very long..

            • DJ says:

              RE fermenting. Ok, I shouldn’t believe everything I read on the internet.

            • DJ says:

              Anyhow … I now believe 10% of current population could live as HG, more with simple farming and herding.

              Sustainable.

              I will write to the Environmental Party.

              I leave it to them to figure out how to eliminate 80-90% of the population.

            • Van Kent says:

              Apothecaries sell lactic acid bacteria pills.. to heal the gut bacteria..

              Fermenting is like eating these gut bacteria superfoods all the time, every day..

              I think Europeans stayed alive because of these fermenting things. Lots of healthy gut bacteria to fight other bacteria and diseases..

            • DJ says:

              Thanks,
              Not sure if you read swedish, but is it anything more to it than this?
              http://www.ica.se/buffe/artikel/surkal/

            • Van Kent says:

              DJ,

              Without the grid..

              I think 80 – 90 % of the people will panic themselves to death.. lots of people only dream about retirement in Spain. Or a big house that is useless outside BAU. Their bank accounts.. when the grid goes down.. people will panic like hell..

            • Van Kent says:

              Yes, thats fermenting.

              Just be carefull of other bacteria there.. you dont want the wrong kind of bacteria spreading like wildfire..

              And yes I speak and read swedish. Most finns do..

            • DJ says:

              Other bacteria as in whats on your hands, knife, can, cutting board?

              I wouldn’t have guessed even half spoke swedish. Finnish-swedes are a small minority? The rest forced to read swedish in school?

              I thought only norwegians learnt swedish for the great tv programs.

            • Van Kent says:

              About the panic, some more..

              I actually tried to find a house for sale, that wasnt useless outside of BAU.. well, didnt actually find one. All apartments and houses were built for BAU. The only ones with some hope and possibility were from 1940 or earlier..

              So just saying lots of people are going to be up to their necks in s-it, and starving, without fresh water, and cold as h-ll. Panicking like crazy.. even in Finland and Sweden and Norway..

            • DJ says:

              My house is totally useless outside BAU.

              What is worse: building rules are so extreme that it is impossible to build cheap.

              You could probably build a house connected to the grid and water waste system and have backup for post BAU.

              You still have to have the BAU connection and you have to pay for it, which is mostly a hidden tax.

            • DJ says:

              I like to believe that finns has not become as weak as swedes, and I like to believe, if forced, we could snap out of it.

            • Van Kent says:

              Yes. If the knife is dirty.. jar not cleaned properly.. well thats not fermenting.. thats just growing mold in a jar..

              The 5% that speak swedish as their first language.. well some of them have such heavy accents around Vaasa, that nobody understands a word they are saying.. I dont understand how they even understand each other

              Since most government offices are using two languages by law. Most finnd learn swedish in school or the university..

            • DJ says:

              I seem to have survived my first attempt. Will boil the jar and knife next time, not only using the dishwasher.

            • Van Kent says:

              Yes Eddy,
              radiation poisoning, zombie hordes, virulent strains, grain diseases, dying oceans, chaotic jet streams.. the final outcome is the same for everybody..

              But personally.. if we know the final outcome already.. either end it all now.. or.. dont give a flying f-ck about the final outcome, but just maximize the odds at each crossroads.. go day by day forwards.. maximizing the odds..

              And thought we were all here to learn.. some of this stuff might actually be usefull to somebody.. one of these days

            • Fast Eddy says:

              I know how this ends. It is pretty damn obvious.

              But why end it now?

              That is the very last thing on my mind.

              I am having a great time — I have two big trips lined up over the next 2.5 months — it’s a bright sunny day so will head off to a birthday gathering for a good mate in a bit — then off to the coast for a week — got both my mountain and road bikes packed ….

              The time to end it is when the power goes off — the food runs out — and the grim reality sets in.

              I really do get tired of all this talk of prepping —- by people who’s only experience with living without BAU comes from reading a book

              I know why none of you trues to unplug — not even for a few days….

              Because that would expose how impossible it will be to stay alive when the power goes off…

              And that realization would no doubt drive you to end it — right now.

              I am not interested in hearing about plans for sucking sap and snaring rabbits — I am definitely interesting in hearing from someone who is living without BAU right now – who is sucking sap and snaring rabbits.

              Let’s make a Deal — who wants to volunteer to unplug completely — except they get one hour per day only to plug into the internet — and tell us all about their day.

              Otherwise they use no power — eat nothing but what they kill or gather.

              Now that is something I would tune in for

          • Artleads says:

            Lovely post. I agree entirely that the “tools” available (or that could be) and those thought to be “all there is” bear little relationship to each other. I’m not convinced about population density, however. Compared to the resources that could be used–humanure, urine, paper, discarded cardboard, discarded packaging for storing water, surfaces for rain catchment, not to mention the vast amount of unused space–every available square inch of built or natural space that could be used for growing–nearly nothing is being used optimally.

          • Artleads says:

            Read most of the VK/DJ back and forth. It’s a joy to see how much you guys have in common.

            We have jackrabbits here aplenty, but I’m not thinking of hunting them myself. I’d hope to trade my abundant Jerusalem Artichoke (JA) for a slice of rabbit here and there.

            JA is amazing here. It comes back by itself. Irrepressible. You can leave it (the tubers) in the ground all winter, and have a bounty of it in the spring. Storing it caked in dirt in a dark place is best. I may be being somewhat optimistic, however, since half of what I harvested a month ago is softer than I’d like. JA eaten raw is like jicama. Cooked, I can’t tell the difference between JA and potato.

            • DJ says:

              I will try growing JA for the first time this year. Attracted by it being marketed as almost a pest/weed and hard to stop from reseeding. Big bonus is could/should be left in the ground over the winter.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            Yes – remote locations in the Amazon — Irian Jaya…. those sorts of places…. where the population is not in overshoot because oil is being used to produce the food that they eat.

            Everywhere else – forget it.

            Once again – if you think otherwise — walk the walk — try unplugging for a week.

            Talk is cheap — theorizing is easy. Try eating nothing but what you can take from the bush

  31. Bergen Johnson says:

    That link is just Autoearth, but on that site is a video; What to make of the age of Trump by Thomas Frank and is available on YouTube.

  32. Bergen Johnson says:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-event-idUSKBN17E2CT

    Anyone else watching how this situation is ratcheting up, but not into vaporous air, but towards a date, April 15th as the USS Carl Vinson armada motor into Korean waters coincidentally (or not) on the beginning day of the Korean Holiday to mark the 5th year anniversary of Kim Jong On in power and to celebrate previous rulers. So they are going to be super sensitive to the Naval war games the US will be putting on with Japan at the same time. Then on top of that there’s Trump who never backs down and Kim who’s a dictator in what columnist referred to North Korea as a modern day Sparta, with tunnels dug into the mountains housing planes that can take off from there. I mean that place is chock full of missiles and armed soldiers, tanks the whole bit.

    If this starts to go bad it will most likely occur on the 15th Korean time which puts it 16 hours ahead of us, so start looking at news this Friday, the day after tomorrow. I have a feeling something’s going to go haywire. Trump and the US military have cleared it with Xi of China in their latest meeting. At least that’s how Trump and the White House are playing it and Xi has not disagreed. But Xi called Trump yesterday to try and urge diplomacy, to avoid confrontation, but you know Trump. That guy knows no bounds but neither does Kim, so what the heck is going to happen?

    • Coffee says:

      The Chinese who count, know their history.

      They will act with the resources they have, accordingly.

    • Greg Machala says:

      I knew Hillary would mean instant war. Trump seemed less enthusiastic about war so I voted for him. But, Trump is just as nuts as Hillary is. 100 days and we are right up against WWIII or nuclear war or both.

      • Bergen Johnson says:

        You’ve been watching too much Faux news Greg.

        • Greg Machala says:

          I haven’t watched the news in years. My vote didn’t matter. It really doesn’t matter who is voted POTUS. Bernie, Hillary, Trump we would be exactly in the same place we are today. Maybe faster, maybe slower but, we would be at war again soon enough.

          • Greg Machala says:

            I am actually a Ron Paul fan. But, he would not ever be elected president.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            ++++++++++++++++

          • Chris Harries says:

            I think to some extent you are right, Greg. It would take a tough president not to allow the Pentagon military folk to have their way. What I didn’t like was the pro Trump / anti-Hillary crowd calling Obama as a fraud as it Trump was going to be a peace maker. Some intelligent people even got sucked into that rhetoric.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              And before that you had Obama criticizing Bush for his wars — then Obama started Libya, Syria, Yemen and Ukraine…

              Despite WMD being a war crime Obama did not push for a criminal trial for Bush — why would he or any president – because he knows full well that he is going to be required to do more of the same.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        I want to be entertained!

        This is like a comic book – we’ve got KJND as the uber villain …. (product placement opp for Ubar?) …. we’ve got the Joker on the other side….

        This is made for tee vee…..

        Let the games begin! Round the clock coverage…. captivating …. enthralling ….

        Let’s go to war! I’m Lov’in it!

      • Chris Harries says:

        The Pentagon proudly announced this morning that it has just dropped the biggest bomb ever since the one that destroyed Hiroshima.

        I’ve also been looking at the stats for overt and covert American missile and drone strikes in Yemen, Afghanistan and Sudan. Many more innocent citizens blown to bits than were killed by that terrible Syrian event last week. There is more than one way to die a horrible death… but those other ones don’t get onto global media.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-13/trump-may-send-50000-troops-syria

      I would imagine that Putin would react to that…. the Cuban Missile crisis seems to petty compared to what is happening in Syria

  33. Coffee says:

    http://preview.tinyurl.com/m32hdyl

    So, here is the situation. Two countries with nuclear forces expect that the insane fools who rule the West are going to attack them with nuclear weapons. What are Russia and China doing? Are they begging for mercy?

    No. They are preparing to destroy the evil West, a collection of liars and war criminals, the like of which the world has never previously experienced.

    • Kurt says:

      Uhhhhh, the West has nukes. You cannot destroy them without getting destroyed yourself.

      • Greg Machala says:

        That is why it (the cold war) has gone on so long. Mutually assured destruction. The US is desperate to maintain its global hegemony. China is desperate to maintain its new-found prosperity. Russia is desperate to sell its oil and natural gas to regain prosperity. Syria and North Korea are desperate to maintain their sovereignty (where others like Libya and Iraq have failed). Desperate times call for desperate measure. Trump is desperate to maintain his ego. I don’t think we are far off from a nuclear exchange.

        • Kurt says:

          I think you need to be more specific as to who would launch. Lots of posturing, but no one is crazy enough to launch first.

          • DJ says:

            Kim No Dong?

            • Kurt says:

              Maybe. But he has a limited arsenal and the Chinese or U.S. would destroy him immediately. South Korea would probably be in bad shape afterwards as well, but that would be the extent of the exchange. U.S. And China won’t go to war over North Korea. So, no wwiii there.

          • Greg Machala says:

            IMO the US will most likely launch first

            • Kurt says:

              We’re crazy, but not that crazy. South Korea would get hammered with conventional artillery. U.S. has too many ties to South Korea. The entire Asia world would flip out. Nothing to gain for us and much to lose.

            • @Kurt

              South Korea will be a collateral damage, and it will send a message that even an apparent US ally can be abandoned if the reality necessitates it.

      • Exactly. Plus the West has more, more nukes than the Rus-Chi-NK alliance. The RCN alliance has no chance.

        • Kurt says:

          Reality check! This isn’t some board game. These are people. It doesn’t work that way. Join FE in the storage container.

  34. Coffee says:

    http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2017/04/12/is-that-armageddon-over-the-horizon/

    Stephen Cohen, one of the few remaining Americans knowledgeable about Russia, told the two CNN presstitutes and the warmonger Col. Leighton, one of the “experts” that the presstitutes roll out to pronounce the propaganda against Russia, that Russia was preparing for hot war. It seems to have gone over the heads of the CNN presstitutes and colonel. Whose payroll are they on? http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/46838.htm

    The Russian leaders, who, unlike the Western liars, speak the truth, have said clearly that Russia will never again fight a war on her own territory. The Russians couldn’t put it more clearly. Provoke a war, and we will destroy you on your own territory.

    When you watch the president and government in Washington, the European governments, especially the idiots in London, the Canadian and Australian governments, you can only marvel at the total stupidity of “Western leadership.” They are begging for the end of the world.

    And the presstitutes are at work driving toward the end of life. Huge numbers of Western peoples are being prepared for their demise, and they are protected from the realization by their insouciance.

    Washington is so arrogant and lost in its own hubris, that Washington does not understand that the years of clear as crystal lies about Russia and Russian intentions and deeds have convinced Russia that Washington is preparing the populations of the United States and Washington’s captive peoples in West and East Europe, Canada, Australia, and Japan for a US pre-emptive nuclear strike against Russia. Published US war plans against China have convinced China of the same.

    If not for war, what else is the change in US war doctrine for? George W. Bush abandoned the stabilizing role of nuclear weapons by moving them from a retaliatory function to a nuclear first strike. Then he pulled out of the anti-ballistic missile treaty concluded by President Richard Nixon. Now we have US missile sites positioned on Russia’s borders. We tell the Russians the lie that the missiles are to prevent an Iranian nuclear ICBM strike against Europe. This lie is told, and accepted by the puppets in Europe, despite the known, incontestable fact that Iran has neither nukes nor ICBMs. But the Russians do not accept it. They know it is another Washington lie.

    When Russia hears these flagrant, blatant, obvious lies, Russia understands that Washington intends a preemptive nuclear attack on Russia.

    China has reached the same conclusion.

    So, here is the situation. Two countries with nuclear forces expect that the insane fools who rule the West are going to attack them with nuclear weapons. What are Russia and China doing? Are they begging for mercy?

    No. They are preparing to destroy the evil West, a collection of liars and war criminals, the like of which the world has never previously experienced.

    It is the US, the washed-up joke of a “uni-power” that after 16 years is still unable to defeat a few thousand lightly armed Taliban in Afghanistan, that needs to ask for mercy.

    The reckless and irresponsible war talk in the US government and presstitute media and among NATO and Washington’s vassals must stop immediately. Life is in the balance.

    Putin has shown amazing patience with Washington’s lies and provocations, but he cannot risk Russia by trusting Washington, whom no one can trust. Not the American people, not the Russian people, not any people.

    By jumping on the Deep State’s propaganda wagon the liberal/progressive/left is complicit in the march toward Armageddon.

    • There was no “Western Front” in Russia as late as 2010 because Russia could not afford to raise one.

      If the Nato felt like it, they could have driven to the Red Square without firing a shot.

      Sergey Brin, one of the founders of Google, said Russia is Nigeria with snow.

      • dolph says:

        Like Hitler tried?

        • xabier says:

          The Mongols of the Golden Horde had no trouble at all dominating Russia – Muscovy and the Ukraine as it then was.

          They rode in, took what they wanted, and called it ‘Harvesting the Steppes’. Did the same as far as Finland I believe -little pale girls and boys were high-value commodities for them to sell on in the slave markets of Islam. Those Slavs just kept on breeding, a new crop every year, although they had a lower value than Circassians, who were reckoned to be both more attractive to look at and more intelligent than Slavs, whose main quality was said to be physical strength alone.

          This only ended when the Russians become sophisticated enough to found a state structure of some kind, build a wall to contain and channel the Horde, and fight back taking territory from them -including the Crimea.

          An excellent illustration, by the way, of how increasing centralisation, complexity and resource-usage was vital to the existence of the Slavs when faced by the nomad threat.

          Primitive tribal peoples in exposed territories just get trampled on, regardless of colour of skin, etc. The state of 24hrs semi-intoxication in which most Russians like to live probably didn’t help them much to co-ordinate their efforts…

          Similarly, ‘unconquerable’ Afghanistan, such a nightmare to us today, was many times successfully conquered in the past, whatever the Afghans might like to boast: Alexander, the Arabs, the Mongols, the Timurids, etc.

          The German attempts in the 20th century to subdue Russia and take her resources, and Napoleon’s (although I suspect he had idea of actually ruling Russia,merely knocking her out of the game) was in many ways hampered by the sheer complexity of the effort of war in the modern age.

          The Golden Horde carried their supplies with them and were very hardy, not like modern armies who will collapse very quickly if there are prolonged logistical problems.

          Tough people used to living in hard lands can do extraordinary things. People tied to complex weaponry and supply chains who are merely physically very fit in the army sense of the word – a very different thing, I suggest, to real all-round toughness – not so much.

          • Van Kent says:

            General Subutai was very succesful in invading the Rus and Hungary. Something like 15 – 25% of the Rus were killed. In 1241 something like 50% of the Hungarian populations was decimated, if I remember correctly.

            But in the spring of 1242 the old Khan in Mongolia died. And the mongol horde slaughtered all the prisoners and retreated to Mongolia to choose the new Khan. They never had the opportunity to come back.

            Central Europe was spared.

            It took the Rus centuries to recuperate after the Golden Horde. And I dont think the populations psyche of the Rus, never was the same again. Compared to when the swedes ruled the Rus. The swedes had a very democratic and ‘brotherly’ attitude about rulership. Later the ordinary people became slaves of the land, worshiping strong autocratic rulers. A very different culture from the original swedish culture..

            • DJ says:

              From one estonian source swedish rule was prefered (Estonia almost never been independent).

      • JMS says:

        “If the Nato felt like it, they could have driven to the Red Square without firing a shot.”

        You surely live in Twilight Zone. “Nigeria with snow”, gosh, this is one of the stupidiest things i ever heard. Really, I hope you’re joking.

  35. Fast Eddy says:

    Former GM vice chair: I think Tesla is doomed

    For those who may have missed it, GM’s former Vice Chairman Bob Lutz dropped a whole lot of reality on some unsuspecting Tesla cheerleaders on CNBC this morning. A rather blunt Lutz shared his views, as have we on several occasions, that Tesla’s constant cash burn combined with a barrage of competitive models that are about to hit the market likely indicate that the company is “doomed.”

    As for Tesla’s gravity-defying stock price, Lutz attributed the company’s soaring market cap solely to Musk being the “greatest salesman in the world” along with his being “aided and abetted by some analysts.”

    “I am a well known Tesla skeptic. Somehow it’s levitating and I think it’s Elon Musk is the greatest salesman in the world. He paints this vision of an unlimited future, aided and abetted by some analysts. It’s like Elon Musk has been beamed down from another planet to show us mortals how to run a company.”

    “The fact is it’s a constant cash drain. They’re highly dependent on federal government and state incentives for money which constantly flows in. They have capital raises all the time.”

    “Even the high-end cars that they build now cost more to build than they’re able to sell them for.”

    “Mercedes, BWM, Volkswagen, GM, Audi and Porsche are all coming out with 300-mile [range] electric luxury sedans…I think they’re doomed.”
    At that point, an incredulous CNBC host was forced to step in asking “what does doomed mean?”

    “What does doomed mean? Their stock price comes in? They go out of business? They have regular competition like other companies? What do you mean by doomed?”
    Fortunately, Lutz was happy to entertain the question and explained to the shocked CNBC hosts that when your variable production costs exceed your products sales price…well, that’s a problem.

    “Their upside on pricing is limited because everybody else sells electric vehicles at a loss to get the credits to be able to sell the sport utility vehicles and the pickup trucks. So that puts a ceiling on your possible pricing.”

    “And if he can’t make money on the high-end Model S and Model X’s which sell up to $100,000, how in the world is he going to make money on a $35,000 small car? Because I have news for you, 42 years of experience, the cost of a car doesn’t come down proportional to it’s price.”

    “If you have a situation where the cost of producing a car, labor and materials, is higher than your sell price, your business model is flawed. And it’s doomed and it’s going to fail.”
    Finally, the stunned CNBC anchors offered up one more defense by highlighting the massive value of Tesla’s battery and solar operations, but were once again shut down in epic fashion…

    “The battery plant, in my estimation, is a joke. There are no cost savings from making a lithium ion plant bigger than other people lithium ion plants, because making lithium ion cells is a fully automated process anyway. So, whether you got full automative in a small building or 10x full automation in a big building, you’re not saving any money.”

    Watch Interview: http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000609665

    Hahahhahaha — that is incredibly funny!

    • meliorismnow says:

      It’s amusing but not informative. Tesla does make money on every Model S and X sold. They used to make even more money on ZEV credits sold but that mostly went away last year as Lutz implied (because everyone is making their own in CA at a loss). Tesla is losing massive amounts of money because they’re spending massive amounts of money on R&D and operations which can’t be afforded by a 10-30k profit/vehicle on 75k/vehicles. But, if they ramp up their sales 10x those expenses are spread among 750k vehicles/yr which is totally sustainable, even if their average margin is halved.

      Tesla’s main danger is the model 3 is a brand new product on several brand new processes (steel instead of aluminum&titanium, more robots, new batteries based on new, unproven 2170 cell tech from its own new process/factory with no easy way to switch providers). If they have any large mistakes on the model 3 and have to recall more than 100k they’ll go bankrupt. If they can’t ramp up because of process problems (like with model X doors) they’ll be in trouble and have to raise more money until it gets fixed. If demand does not support 500k vehicles/yr long term they’ll also be in trouble (and have to cut back in auto R&D and scale back expansion plans while pivoting to more powerwalls etc). If they have any battery production problems at the gigafactory they have to delay the model 3 (either to allow it to work with different batteries or wait for gigafactory problems to be resolved) which means they’ll need to raise more money. There’s huge risks here and I wouldn’t invest in Tesla at this point.

      But Lutz is wrong on the gigafactory, it’s producing higher density cells than available on the market and the resource contracts have been signed at much lower prices than currently available. It also doubled the global manufacturing capacity for cells so any competitors will have to wait for industry to ramp up (which aligns with their ~2020 plans for mainstream EV rollouts). Lutz is correct that Tesla will have major competition by 2020. They have to be a dominant market leader by then, which they plan to be. Whether they can execute without mishap is up in the air.

      • DJ says:

        What is it that makes a Tesla so unique? It seems to me a BMW should have similar bragging rights once novelty veans, and a Porsche more.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          We were involved in a gathering last night … the conversations I listened in on involved various topics including – how Tesla and EVs in general were going to save the environment and world (one person was considering buying a Tesla)… and how solar panels and windmills were going to wean us off of filthy fossil fuels…

          I barely flinched other than mentioning that there are huge amounts of energy involved in making batteries for EVs and solar panels… to which the responses were – how much electricity can be involved in those processes…can’t be that much — to which I mentioned that it’s not just the factory – it’s the smelters than make the metals — they use enormous amounts of energy …. oh right ya – well the solar panels can power the smelters… and with the EVs we can just recycle the batteries….

          Then of course there was the inevitable evil dictator of the day to be stomped on … did you see Assad is gassing women and children again …. he’s going to set off a WW…

          These are mostly very highly educated people…. who have been told what to think… it’s working extremely well….

          • Fast Eddy says:

            I wonder what the reaction would be if I were to change the subject to how Santa Claus visits me once a month – not just at Christmas — and brings me gifts.

            Ha ha ha….

            No really – that is true…

            Ha ha ha Fast you are a funny guy.

            Really – 100% – that’s what happens…

            ha….. uncomfortable … ha… ha… (whispers – is he on meds? has he not taken his meds…)

          • xabier says:

            This is how the general public thinks: as they have been taught to react to key words like ‘dictator’, ‘troublemaker’, ‘opportunist’, all used about Putin and also applicable to the target of the moment.

            The armed forces are also being indoctrinated very directly in their ‘education’ on current affairs, as well as being just quite ordinary people carried along by the unthinking public mood: I had a very amusing conversation at a dinner party with the commander of one of the UK’s bomber wings, about Putin and NATO activities in general.

            Totally indoctrinated, he was only able to think in the ‘Democracy Good, Dictatorship Bad’ categories. NATO, of course, will bomb the world into happiness…..

            • Thanks for proving my previous point made to naive FE, that these sort of pre-selected brainwashed obedient guys will remain manning the doomsday machine till the bitter end.. No they won’t go home protecting their mamas in the later stages of collapse, instead they will furiously take orders from TPTB remnants how to fight the global “enemies of democracy”, lolz.