Researchers have been underestimating the cost of wind and solar

How should electricity from wind turbines and solar panels be evaluated? Should it be evaluated as if these devices are stand-alone devices? Or do these devices provide electricity that is of such low quality, because of its intermittency and other factors, that we should recognize the need for supporting services associated with actually putting the electricity on the grid? This question comes up in many types of evaluations, including Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE), Energy Return on Energy Invested (EROI), Life Cycle Analysis (LCA), and Energy Payback Period (EPP).

I recently gave a talk called The Problem of Properly Evaluating Intermittent Renewable Resources (PDF) at a BioPhysical Economics Conference in Montana. As many of you know, this is the group that is concerned about Energy Returned on Energy Invested (EROI). As you might guess, my conclusion is that the current methodology is quite misleading. Wind and solar are not really stand-alone devices when it comes to providing the kind of electricity that is needed by the grid. Grid operators, utilities, and backup electricity providers must provide hidden subsidies to make the system really work.

This problem is currently not being recognized by any of the groups evaluating wind and solar, using techniques such as LCOE, EROI, LCA, and EPP. As a result, published results suggest that wind and solar are much more beneficial than they really are. The distortion affects both pricing and the amount of supposed CO2 savings.

One of the questions that came up at the conference was, “Is this distortion actually important when only a small amount of intermittent electricity is added to the grid?” For that reason, I have included discussion of this issue as well. My conclusion is that the problem of intermittency and the pricing distortions it causes is important, even at low grid penetrations. There may be some cases where intermittent renewables are helpful additions without buffering (especially when the current fuel is oil, and wind or solar can help reduce fuel usage), but there are likely to be many other instances where the costs involved greatly exceed the benefits gained. We need to be doing much more thoughtful analyses of costs and benefits in particular situations to understand exactly where intermittent resources might be helpful.

A big part of our problem is that we are dealing with variables that are “not independent.” If we add subsidized wind and solar, that act, by itself, changes the needed pricing for all of the other types of electricity. The price per kWh of supporting types of electricity needs to rise, because their EROIs fall as they are used in a less efficient manner. This same problem affects all of the other pricing approaches as well, including LCOE. Thus, our current pricing approaches make intermittent wind and solar look much more beneficial than they really are.

A clear workaround for this non-independence problem is to look primarily at the cost (in terms of EROI or LCOE) in which wind and solar are part of overall “packages” that produce grid-quality electricity, at the locations where they are needed. If we can find solutions on this basis, there would seem to be much more of a chance that wind and solar could be ramped up to a significant share of total electricity. The “problem” is that there is a lower bound on an acceptable EROI (probably 10:1, but possibly as low as 3:1 based on the work of Charles Hall). This is somewhat equivalent to an upper bound on the affordable cost of electricity using LCOE.

This means that if we really expect to scale wind and solar, we probably need to be creating packages of grid-quality electricity (wind or solar, supplemented by various devices to create grid quality electricity) at an acceptably high EROI. This is very similar to a requirement that wind or solar energy, including all of the necessary adjustments to bring them to grid quality, be available at a suitably low dollar cost–probably not too different from today’s wholesale cost of electricity. EROI theory would strongly suggest that energy costs for an economy cannot rise dramatically, without a huge problem for the economy. Hiding rising energy costs with government subsidies cannot fix this problem.

Distortions Become Material Very Early

If we look at recently published information about how much intermittent electricity is being added to the electric grid, the amounts are surprisingly small. Overall, worldwide, the amount of electricity generated by a combination of wind and solar (nearly all of it intermittent) was 5.2% in 2016. On an area by area basis, the percentages of wind and solar are as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Wind and solar as a share of 2016 electricity generation, based on BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2017. World total is not shown, but is very close to the percentage shown for China.

There are two reasons why these percentages are lower than a person might expect. One reason is that the figures usually quoted are the amounts of “generating capacity” added by wind and solar, and these are nearly always higher than the amount of actual electricity supply added, because wind and solar “capacity” tend to be lightly used.

The other reason that the percentages on Figure 1 are lower than we might expect is because the places that have unusually high concentrations of wind and solar generation (examples: Germany, Denmark, and California) tend to depend on a combination of (a) generous subsidy programs, (b) the availability of inexpensive balancing power from elsewhere and (c) the generosity of neighbors in taking unwanted electricity and adding it to their electric grids at low prices.

As greater amounts of intermittent electricity are added, the availability of inexpensive balancing capacity (for example, from hydroelectric from Norway and Sweden) quickly gets exhausted, and neighbors become more and more unhappy with the amounts of unwanted excess generation being dumped on their grids. Denmark has found that the dollar amount of subsidies needs to rise, year after year, if it is to continue its intermittent renewables program.

One of the major issues with adding intermittent renewables to the electric grid is that doing so distorts wholesale electricity pricing. Solar energy tends to cut mid-day peaks in electricity price, making it less economic for “peaking plants” (natural gas electricity plants that provide electricity only when prices are very high) to stay open. At times, prices may turn negative, if the total amount of wind and solar produced at a given time is greater than the overall amount of electricity required by customers. This happens because intermittent electricity is generally given priority on the grid, whether price signals indicate that it is needed or not. A combination of these problems tends to make backup generation unprofitable unless subsidies are provided. If peaking plants and other backup are still required, but need to operate fewer hours, subsidies must be provided so that the plants can afford to hire year-around staff, and pay their ongoing fixed expenses.

If we think of the new electricity demand as being “normal” demand, adjusted by the actual, fairly random, wind and solar generation, the new demand pattern ends up having many anomalies. One of the anomalies is that required prices become negative at times when wind and solar generation are high, but the grid has no need for them. This tends to happen first on weekends in the spring and fall, when electricity demand is low. As the share of intermittent electricity grows, the problem with negative prices becomes greater and greater.

The other major anomaly is the need for a lot of quick “ramp up” and “ramp down” capacity. One time this typically happens is at sunset, when demand is high (people cooking their dinners) but a large amount of solar electricity disappears because of the setting of the sun. For wind, rapid ramp ups and downs seem to be related to thunderstorms and other storm conditions. California and Australia are both adding big battery systems, built by Tesla, to help deal with rapid ramp-up and ramp-down problems.

There is a lot of work on “smart grids” being done, but this work does not address the particular problems brought on by adding wind and solar. In particular, smart grids do not move demand from summer and winter (when demand is normally high) to spring and fall (when demand is normally low). Smart grids and time of day pricing aren’t very good at fixing the rapid ramping problem, either, especially when these problems are weather related.

The one place where time of day pricing can perhaps be somewhat helpful is in lessening the rapid ramping problem of solar at sunset. One fix that is currently being tried is offering the highest wholesale electricity prices in the evening (6:00 pm to 9:00 pm), rather than earlier in the day. This approach encourages those adding new solar energy generation to add their panels facing west, rather than south, so as to better match demand. Doing this is less efficient from the point of view of the total electricity generated by the panels (and thus lowers EROIs of the solar panels), but helps prevent some of the rapid ramping problem at sunset. It also gets some of the generation moved from the middle of day to the evening, when it better matches “demand.”

In theory, the high prices from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm might encourage consumers to move some of their electricity usage (cooking dinner, watching television, running air conditioning) until after 9:00 pm. But, as a practical matter, it is difficult to move very much of residential demand to the desired time slots based on price. In theory, demand could also be moved from summer and winter to spring and fall based on electricity price, but it is hard to think of changes that families could easily make that would allow this change to happen.

With the strange demand pattern that occurs when intermittent renewables are added, standard pricing approaches (based on marginal costs) tend to produce wholesale electricity prices that are too low for electricity produced by natural gas, coal, and nuclear providers. In fact, wholesale electricity rates for supporting providers tend to diverge further and further from what is needed, as more and more intermittent electricity is added. The dotted line on Figure 2 illustrates the falling wholesale electricity prices that have been occurring in Europe, even as retail residential electricity prices are rising.

Figure 2. European residential electricity prices have risen, even as wholesale electricity prices (dotted line) have fallen. Chart by Paul-Frederik Bach.

The marginal pricing scheme gives little guidance as to how much backup generation is really needed. It is therefore left up to governments and local electricity oversight groups to figure out how to compensate for the known pricing problem. Some provide subsidies to non-intermittent producers; others do not.

To complicate matters further, electricity consumption has been falling rapidly in countries whose economies are depressed. Adding wind and solar further reduces needed natural gas, coal, and nuclear generation. Some countries may let these producers collapse; others may subsidize them, as a jobs-creation program, whether this backup generation is needed or not.

Of course, if a single payer is responsible for both intermittent and other electricity programs, a combined rate can be set that is high enough for the costs of both intermittent electricity and backup generation, eliminating the pricing problem, from the point of view of electricity providers. The question then becomes, “Will the new higher electricity prices be affordable by consumers?”

The recently published IEA World Energy Investment Report 2017 provides information on a number of developing problems:

“Network investment remains robust for now, but worries have emerged in several regions about the prospect of a ‘utility death spiral’ as the long-term economic viability of grid investments diminishes. The still widespread regulatory practice of remunerating fixed network assets on the basis of a variable per kWh charge is poorly suited for a power system with a large amount of decentralised solar PV and storage capacity.”

The IEA investment report notes that in China, 10% of solar PV and 17% of wind generation were curtailed in 2016, even though previous problems with lack of transmission had been fixed. Figure 1 shows China’s electricity from wind and solar amounts to only 5.0% of its total electricity consumption in 2016.

Regarding India, the IEA report says, “More flexible conventional capacity, including gas-fired plants, better connections with hydro resources and investment in battery storage will be needed to support continued growth in solar power.” India’s intermittent electricity amounted to only 4.1% of total electricity supply in 2016.

In Europe, a spike in electricity prices to a 10-year high took place in January 2017, when both wind and solar output were low, and the temperature was unusually cold. And as previously mentioned, California and South Australia have found it necessary to add Tesla batteries to handle rapid ramp-ups and ramp-downs. Australia is also adding large amounts of transmission that would not have been needed, if coal generating plants had continued to provide services in South Australia.

None of the costs related to intermittency workarounds are currently being included in EROI analyses. They are generally not being included in analyses of other kinds, either, such as LCOE. In my opinion, the time has already arrived when analyses need to be performed on a much broader basis than in the past, so as to better capture the true cost of adding intermittent electricity.

Slide 1

Slide 2

Slide 3

Slide 4

Of course, as we saw in the introduction, worldwide electricity supply is only about 5% wind and solar. The only parts of the world that were much above 5% in 2016 were Europe, which was at 11.3% in 2016 and the United States, which was at 6.6%.

There has been a lot of talk about electrical systems being operated entirely by renewables (such as hydroelectric, wind, solar, and burned biomass), but these do not exist in practice, as far as I know. Trying to replace total energy consumption, including oil and natural gas usage, would be an even bigger problem.

Slide 5

The amount of electricity required by consumers varies considerably over the course of a year. Electricity demand tends to be higher on weekdays than on weekends, when factories and schools are often closed. There is usually a “peak” in demand in winter, when it is unusually cold, and second peak in summer, when it is unusually hot. During the 24-hour day, demand tends to be lowest at night. During the year, the lowest demand typically comes on weekends in the spring and fall.

If intermittent electricity from W&S is given first priority on the electric grid, the resulting “net” demand is far more variable than the original demand pattern based on customer usage. This increasingly variable demand tends to become more and more difficult to handle, as the percentage of intermittent electricity added to the grid rises.

Slide 6

EROI is nearly always calculated at the level of the solar panel or wind turbine, together with a regular inverter and whatever equipment is used to hold the device in place. This calculation does not consider all of the costs in getting electricity to the right location, and up to grid quality. If we move clockwise around the diagram, we see some of the problems as the percentage of W&S increases.

One invention is smart inverters, which are used to bring the quality of the electrical output up closer to grid quality, apart from the intermittency problems. Germany has retrofitted solar PV with these, because of problems it encountered using only “regular” inverters. Upgrading to smart inverters would be a cost not generally included in EROI or LCOE calculations.

The next problem illustrated in Slide 6 is the fact that the pricing system does not work for any fuel, if wind and solar are given priority on the electric grid. The marginal cost approach that is usually used gives too low a wholesale price for every producer subject to this pricing scheme. The result is a pricing system that gives misleadingly low price signals. Regulators are generally aware of this issue, but don’t have a good way of fixing it. Capacity payments are used in some places as an attempted workaround, but it is not clear that such payments really solve the problem.

It is less obvious that in addition to giving too low pricing indications for electricity, the current marginal cost pricing approach indirectly gives artificially low price indications regarding the required prices for natural gas and coal as fuels. As a result of this and other forces acting in the same directions, we end up with a rather bizarre situation:  (a) Natural gas and and coal prices tend to fall below their cost of production. (b) At the same time, nuclear electricity generating plants are being forced to close, because they cannot afford to compete with the artificially low price of electricity produced by the very low-priced natural gas and coal. The whole system tends to be pushed toward collapse by misleadingly low wholesale electricity prices.

Slide 6 also shows some of the problems that seem to start arising as more intermittent electricity is added. Once new long distance transmission lines are added, it changes the nature of the whole “game.” It becomes easier to rely on generation added by a neighbor; any generation that a country might add becomes more attractive to a neighbor. As long as there is plenty of electricity to go around, everything goes well. When there are shortages, then arguments begin to arise. Arguments such as these may destabilize the Eurozone.

One thing I did not mention in this chart is the increasing need to pay intermittent grid providers not to produce electricity when there is an oversupply of electricity. In the UK, the amount of these payments was over 1 million pounds a week in 2015.  I mentioned previously that in China, 17% of wind generation and 10% of solar PV generation were being curtailed in 2016. EROI calculations do not consider this possibility; they assume that 100% of the electricity that is generated can, in fact, be used by the system.

Slide 7

The pricing system no longer works because W&S are added whenever they become available, in preference to other generation. In many ways, the pricing system is like our appetite for food. Usually, we eat when we are hungry, and the food we eat reduces our appetite. W&S are added to the system with total disregard for whether the system needs it or not, leaving the other electricity producers to try to fix up the mess, using the false pricing signals they get. The IEA’s 2017 Investment Report recommends that countries develop new pricing schemes that correct the problems, but it is not clear that this is actually possible without correcting the hidden subsidies.

Slide 8

Why add more electricity supply, if there is a chance that you can use the new supply added by your neighbor?

Slide 9

South Australia had two recent major outages–both partly related to adding large amounts of wind and solar to the electric grid, and the loss of its last two coal-fired electricity generation plants. The first big outage came during a weather event. The second big outage occurred when temperatures were very high during summer, and because of this, electricity demand was very high.

One planned workaround for supply shortages was natural gas. Unfortunately, South Australia doesn’t actually have a very good natural gas supply to operate its units generating electricity from natural gas. Thus, the available natural gas generators could not really respond as hoped, except at very high prices. Some changes are now being made, including a planned Tesla battery system. With the changes being made, there are reports of electricity rate increases of up to 120% for businesses in South Australia.

The irony of the situation is that Australia is a major natural gas exporter. Businesses expected that they could make more money selling the natural gas abroad as LNG than they could by providing natural gas to the citizens of South Australia. These exports are now being curbed, to try to help fix the South Australia natural gas problem.

These issues point out how interconnected all of the different types of electricity generation are, and how quickly a situation can become a local crisis, if regulators simply assume “market forces will provide a solution.”

Slide 10

An expert panel in Australia has recommended an approach similar to this. It simply becomes too difficult to operate a system with built-in subsidies.

Slide 11

Slide 12

Timing makes a difference. The payments that are made for interest need to be made, directly or indirectly, with future goods and services that can only be made using energy products. Thus, they also require the use of energy products.

Slide 13

Slide 14

There is a real difference between (a) looking at the actual operating experiences of an existing oil and gas or coal company, and (b) guessing what the future operating experience of a system operated by wind panels and solar panels might be. The tendency is to guess low, when it comes to envisioning what future problems may arise.

It is not just the wind turbines and solar panels that will need to be replaced over time; it is all of the supporting devices that need to be kept in good repair and replaced over time. Furthermore, the electric grid is dependent on oil for its upkeep. If oil becomes a problem, there is a real danger that the electric grid will become unusable, and with it, electricity that is generally distributed by the grid, including wind and solar.

Slide 15

Slide 16

Economies and humans are both self-organized systems that depend on energy consumption for their existence. They have many other characteristics in common as well.

Slide 17

We know that with humans, we really need to examine how a new medicine or a change in diet works in practice. For one thing, medicines and diets aren’t necessarily used as planned. Unexpected long-term changes occur that we could not anticipate.

Slide 18

The same kinds of problems occur when wind and solar are added to a grid system. We really have to look at what is happening to see the full picture.

Slide 19

Anyone who has followed the news knows about medicine’s long history of announcements followed by retractions.

Slide 20

A fairly similar situation can be expected to happen with proposed energy solutions.

Slide 21

There is a whole package of costs and a whole range of direct and indirect outcomes to consider.

Slide 22

As far as I know, none of the attempts at producing a system that operates on 100% renewable energy have been a success. There has been some reductions in fossil fuel usage, but at a high cost.

Slide 23

2013 Weissabach et al. EROI analysis examines a situation with partial buffering of wind and solar (approximately 10 days worth of buffering). It leaves out several other costs of bringing wind and solar up to grid quality electricity, such as extra long distance transmission costs, and more significant buffering to allow transferring electricity produced in spring and fall to be saved for summer or winter. These authors calculated a partially buffered EROI of 4:1 for wind, and a partially buffered EROI range of 1.5:1 to 2.3:1 for solar PV.

Of course, more investigation, including looking at the full package of needed devices to provide non-intermittent electricity of grid quality, is really needed for particular situations. Improvements in technology would tend to raise EROI indications; adding more supplemental devices to bring electricity to grid quality would tend to reduce EROI indications.

If the cutoff for being able to maintain a modern society is 10:1, as mentioned earlier, then wind and solar PV would both seem to fall far below the required EROI cutoff, if they are to be used in quantity.

If, as Hall believes, an EROI as low as 3:1 might be useful, then there is a possibility that some wind energy would be helpful, especially if a particular wind location has a very high capacity factor (can generate electricity a large share of the time), and if pricing problems can be handled adequately. The EROI of solar PV would probably still be too low in most applications. In any event, we need to be examining situations more closely, instead of simply assuming that hidden subsidies can be counted on indefinitely.

About Gail Tverberg

My name is Gail Tverberg. I am an actuary interested in finite world issues - oil depletion, natural gas depletion, water shortages, and climate change. Oil limits look very different from what most expect, with high prices leading to recession, and low prices leading to financial problems for oil producers and for oil exporting countries. We are really dealing with a physics problem that affects many parts of the economy at once, including wages and the financial system. I try to look at the overall problem.
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3,302 Responses to Researchers have been underestimating the cost of wind and solar

  1. richarda says:

    I told you so ……..
    “Average whole life project costs for large wind and solar generation in the United States are now less than for coal or nuclear and about the same as natural gas, according to a study of tax subsidy-neutral prices from investment bank Lazard. “Numerous key markets recently reached an inflection point where renewables have become the cheapest form of new power generation, a dynamic we see spreading to nearly every country we cover by 2020,” Morgan Stanley analysts said in a report released in July. “We project large reductions in carbon intensity in the global power sector, driven by the seismic shift in renewables.””
    “While governments may fear instability in power generation and seek to shield incumbents, industry and jobs will generally follow cheap power, a point forcefully illustrated by the history of the Tennessee Valley Authority. At some point, if the economics of solar and wind continue to improve, the politics of suppressing that will become untenable.”

    • Fast Eddy says:

      Troll… let me fee you

      Germany’s Expensive Gamble on Renewable Energy : Germany’s electricity prices soar to more than double that of the USA because when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind does not blow they have to operate and pay for a completely separate back up system that is fueled by lignite coal

      Why Germany’s nuclear phaseout is leading to more coal burning
      Between 2011 and 2015 Germany will open 10.7 GW of new coal fired power stations. This is more new coal coal capacity than was constructed in the entire two decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The expected annual electricity production of these power stations will far exceed that of existing solar panels and will be approximately the same as that of Germany’s existing solar panels and wind turbines combined. Solar panels and wind turbines however have expected life spans of no more than 25 years. Coal power plants typically last 50 years or longer. At best you could call the recent developments in Germany’s electricity sector contradictory.

      Germany Runs Up Against the Limits of Renewables
      Even as Germany adds lots of wind and solar power to the electric grid, the country’s carbon emissions are rising. Will the rest of the world learn from its lesson? After years of declines, Germany’s carbon emissions rose slightly in 2015, largely because the country produces much more electricity than it needs. That’s happening because even if there are times when renewables can supply nearly all of the electricity on the grid, the variability of those sources forces Germany to keep other power plants running. And in Germany, which is phasing out its nuclear plants, those other plants primarily burn dirty coal.

      • xabier says:

        Calling all Germans on OFW!

        It’s easy enough to get details on Spain, Italy,Greece, etc.

        But what has happened to your standard of living since 2008 (or earlier)? More or less discretionary income? Employment stability? What is the real rate of inflation, in non-discretionary items, in Germany? This is never reported on anywhere.

        • Lyn says:

          For most people in Germany the standard of living has not deteriorated yet; main reason for that is the rising number of female workers contributing to the family income and the abundance of highly paid jobs in the manufacturing industry. Electricity costs are skyrocketing tho. Biggest issue for a lot of people are non-affordable rents in the bigger cities on top of rising energy costs. In some cities real estate prices have been rising exponentially. Until the bubble bursts 🙂 At first glance, the German economy seems really stable and in good shape. But that is mainly due to the weak Euro (strong exports) and a high investment volume because of low interest rates (contruction/refugees). However, as you could see in 2008/2009 Germany would suffer a lot from a slowing world economy.

          • Don’t forget the Reich v4+ factor, when significant part of Europe is working for 1/x salaries on projects finalized under DE export trademark and the value stays in Germany, or funnily enough then is often times lost in global casino vs Wall St. sharks (e.g. DB), but that’s another story.. lolz

          • xabier says:

            Thank you, Lyn.

            When a Russian friend was looking to study in Germany two years ago, he was very favourably impressed by the rents for good apartments – much better than Britain, which is becoming unbearable not just the cost, but the space. Friends already there were very happy with their standard of living.

      • Lensman says:

        Logic of which FE claims to be truly possessed:

        1.BAU at all costs – many times.

        2. Obsessive need to tell people they are about to die when BAU collapses.

        3. BAU collapse is inevitable and soon!

        Forensic Analysis: Convincing a critical mass of people that THE END IS NIGH will cause confidence to smoke – thus ensuring collapse much earlier than otherwise would have occurred.

        Thus doomers are merely another manifestation of unrequited Freudian desires.

        – years of therapy.

        • Tim Groves says:

          Thus doomers are merely another manifestation of unrequited Freudian desires.

          Isn’t everyone? According to the Master himself, deep down in the id, we want it and we want it right now.

          On the other hand, FE fits Freud’s definition of the voice of reason:

          • Lensman says:

            I confess I was being facetious. Siggy made some valid observations about the Morlocks, but being of a higher order I am sublimating all earthly desires to higher pursuits.

        • Marcus T. Monihan says:

          “3. BAU collapse is inevitable and soon!”

          I yawn from the boredom of rapping on the counter waiting endlessly with baited breath for something that never happens. Piqued with curiosity, attentive to the next doomer article, listening intently, yet nothing much changes. In fact, my boredom waiting for collapse has been replaced by working, living, socializing, being creative, and all the other endeavors of an enjoyable, productive life, and while this life goes on…so does BAU…The only question for people preoccupied with the idea of collapse is; if the clock of BAU is still ticking, then why jump the gun and presume imminent collapse? It’s like waiting for a nuclear attack that never happens. All a person ends up doing is waiting in expectation for an event they have no control over whether it happens or not. It’s a waste of time, of life.

          • timl2k11 says:

            Think we’ll make it to 2045? There’s an massive solar eclipse that year. Goes right over my house.

      • My previous post got sensor ed or lost, whatever..
        Merely pointed out, that few years ago at the renewables mania height and coal bottoms, some people bought that nofuture uninteresting German coal, granted some were even self-identified as cyclical guys, but some must have been uber smart and now renewables won’t never scale up only work as extension hence the continued need for baseload grid backup in coal/natgas..

      • zenny says:

        Coal is a beautiful thing.
        I was talking to a friend about it and other than a picture she saw…Had no Idea other than it was bad

    • louiswu says:

      All subsidies should be removed for all industries in the energy business and then lets see what happens. It should be fun.

      • Greg Machala says:

        “All subsidies should be removed for all industries in the energy business and then lets see what happens.” – And all electricity from solar PV and wind turbines and all the electricity used at EV charging stations needs to be taxed at energy equivalent rate as petrol fuels.

    • Greg Machala says:

      “Average whole life project costs for large wind and solar generation in the United States are now less than for coal or nuclear and about the same as natural gas” – That should scare the living daylights out of anyone who reads that. Why? Because it takes coal and natural gas to make solar panels. Think man think. If you still don’t get it. That means coal and natural gas extraction is no longer profitable. What does that mean? Well, it means that coal and natural gas producers will go bankrupt and there will be zero, zip nada mas solar panels.

      • Marcus T. Monihan says:

        Yeah, but if enough PV panels are erected and connected to the grid, then at some point renewables will power the production of renewables.

        What are the choices? Try to make the transition to renewables or throw up our hands in defeat, because as of now there are no other viable solutions. Fusion is still years away – FF burning is causing GW – nuclear is unsafe (see Fukushima & Chernobyl), so the only option is to get busy deploying as much of this stuff as we can and figure out the problems associated with it as we go along.

        • zenny says:

          NO Just NO FF are not causing GW…This stuff you talk about is not the answer

        • Tim Groves says:

          Yeah, but if enough PV panels are erected and connected to the grid, then at some point renewables will power the production of renewables.

          You were doing very well up to “Yeah”. As for the rest, it remains fantasy if we are simply envisioning it, but it becomes delusion if we assume it to be a practical possibility in the real world.

          Adding a little bit of solar power generation infrastructure made possible by fossil fuels to an existing energy supply system made possible by and operated mainly using fossil fuels is one thing.

          Building and deploying solar power generation infrastructure by using only electric power produced by solar power or other “renewable” electricity is quite another.

          And operating an industrial system that produces and operates electrical and electronic equipment without using fossil fuels has never been attempted even on a small scale as a research project, because the researchers would quickly grasp at the planning stage that it would be totally impractical.

        • Artleads says:

          I have no reason to believe that FFs are not causing GW. How could it not if such a massive amount of FFs has been emitted in the past 100 years? But I also don’t see how so called renewables can change that. Renewables that are wildly successful would only ensure that mining continues (for materials, etc.), roads get built, land is disturbed…just to produce and distribute these renewable. . It’s been said here, and I absolutely believe it, that renewables ensure greater use of FFs, not less.

          Then we learn on FW how you lose computers, food, antibiotics, public order if trucking stops–trucking is what keeps food in the stores, and the production of just about everything in your house. (Someone posted a great video by Alice Friedman explaining how that works.) Trucking simply doesn’t work on renewables.

          My understanding of it is we need to maintain the oil and FF economy for as long as possible. The alternative is worse. It’s too late for any reasonable fix to be made to our system. That said, I doubt very much that the destruction to life support systems everywhere is strictly necessary for keeping industrial civilization going for some time. But then you’re looking at social, cultural, and psychological change that is even harder than finding technology to slow or stop GW.

    • Davidin100trillionyears says:

      thanks. Here are a couple of details:
      “Crude oil imports in the first seven months of this year increased by 13.6 percent at 247 million tons.
      In the first half of the year, Chinese crude oil imports averaged 8.55 million bpd, or 212 million tons in total – a 13.8-percent annual increase.”

      so after 6 months of insane increases, they backed off their imports to their January level.

      2017 imports should finish way ahead of 2016.

      I just don’t see the red flag.

    • Cliffhanger says:

      By Kurt Andersen: How America Lost Its Mind (On the History of Denial)

      • Davidin100trillionyears says:

        the conclusion:
        “And fight the good fight in the public sphere. One main task, of course, is to contain the worst tendencies of Trumpism, and cut off its political-economic fuel supply, so that fantasy and lies don’t turn it into something much worse than just nasty, oafish, reality-show pseudo-conservatism. Progress is not inevitable, but it’s not impossible, either.”

        I didn’t read every word, but it seems to be a social commentary about how so many Americans are unable or unwilling to try to improve their grasp of Reality.

        he is “fighting” for an American future where most people are well educated and consider the nuances of Reality, but…

        epic irony:

        I bet he’s clueless about the economic decline that’s coming in the next couple of decades, AND the certainty that this decline will result in less education and less clear thinking by the American people.

        and there’s additional irony when he dares to use the word “progress”.

        • theblondbeast says:

          It’s hard to say what a “rational” response to reality would even be. Seems to me it would flow from your premises about what’s important. i.e. the reality is that the most important things in life are emotional – and revolve around what we care about. Denying some parts of reality have been a part of every culture. “Given BAU is over, what’s the rational response?” doesn’t make any more sense than “Given the sun will consume the earth, what’s the rational response?”

          Avoiding despair is perfectly rational, given one way of understanding rationality – i.e. avoiding risks.

      • Tim Groves says:

        I read this before Cliff posted it. Kurt Andersen takes us on a tour down memory lane. For instance, I too lapped up Erich Von Daniken’s books as a teenager, although I never for a minute “believed” any of his contentions or theories, and I had a lot more respect for Immanuel Velikovsky’s ability to fuse history with fantasy. Happy days!

        Kurt points out quite a lot of irrational tendencies that have gripped a lot of American minds down the years, but at the same time he seems blind to a few that are gripping his own mind. Since Kurt is unable to distinguish his own false beliefs from reality, and acts as an arbiter (or gatekeeper) of what kinds of beliefs are and are not rational or acceptable, the article becomes a disappointingly superficial look at the issues of “thruthiness”, alternate realities, and why America has mutated into fantasyland.

  2. Cliffhanger says:

    A Saudi singer was arrested after dabbing during a concert

  3. jerry says:


    Britain and its famous no more gasoline cars by 2040 and the new reality for Africa cobalt mining where the Congo has 60 per cent of the planet’s reserves and Goldman Sachs, the merchant bank, calls cobalt ‘the new gasoline’ but there are no signs of new wealth in the DRC, where the children haul the rocks brought up from tunnels dug by hand.

    Read more:

  4. Cliffhanger says:

    As many as 160 Applebee’s and IHOP locations to close

    • Fast Eddy says:

      Shale vs Retail…. which will deplete faster….

    • Kurt says:

      Ahhh, not the IHOP!!! The only place to go at 3am after a gig at a bar.

    • Marcus T. Monihan says:

      It may be in part due to those two restaurants selling junk food only. My wife and I went to an Applebees and it was all junk food and we never went there again. IHOP is pancakes and more pancakes with heaps of butter and syrup, so don’t even get started on that crap. This is probably a good sign people are trying to avoid food devoid of nutrition.

      Junk food at every turn in the US has been up until now part of America’s obsession with upping entertainment levels and fooling themselves into thinking food is food no matter how much fat & sugar (in different forms) or how much it lacks any value to the body, but who knows, maybe they are finally wising up?

    • They have been around for years. Their “model” isn’t working any more.

      • Greg Machala says:

        The artificially created ecosystem that supports these businesses is breaking down.

    • interguru says:

      You can’t blame this on Amazon.

      Note they are opening 125 new locations for a net loss of 25. They may be bailing out of declining communities.

  5. yt75 says:


  6. Cliffhanger says:

    Oil getting crushed today

  7. Cliffhanger says:

    (perfect storm) energy, finance and the end of growth -Dr Tim Morgan Global Head of Research

    • Greg Machala says:

      I think that report was written in 2013. It seems to hint that we won’t make it much beyond 2020.

  8. Cliffhanger says:

  9. Cliffhanger says:

    4 depressing charts show why many Americans are still haunted by the Great Recession

  10. grayfox says:

    Interesting article. What will Trump defend? Salmon fishery or big agriculture?

    • Not enough to go around, so there are more conflicts of this type.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Meanwhile nearly 100,000,000 new mouths arrived on the planet in the past 365 days…

        The fish are going to lose this battle.

        • grayfox says:

          The salmon fishery is a super-nutritious perennial food source that requires us to essentially do nothing but get out of the way and not upset things. We should sacrifice this for modern agriculture with its need for a range of inputs: fossil water, fossil fuels, chemical fertilizers and pesticides?

          • Fast Eddy says:

            And you should stop buying stuff in shops and living in a house and driving a car… and if you have children or grandchildren — you need to smother them…

            If you are serious about saving species.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Right about now you are sitting there completely befuddled by my comments —- thinking Wot????

              This really is a simple concept to understand — but many are unable…

              I am serious – smother your grandchildren now if you want to remain consistent

            • grayfox says:

              Not sure if you are asking me or Marcus T. your question. As for me I have no children or grandchildren – which sometimes I am relieved about, I will admit.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              That is for anyone who is moaning about the salmon fishery….

              Don’t blame Trump or anyone else —- we are all responsible whenever a species gets wiped out…

            • grayfox says:

              We don’t want the salmon to be wiped out. They don’t have to be wiped out. If the salmon are valued highly enough they will not be wiped out.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              If you dont want them to be wiped out then you need to take an AK47 and started wiping out some humans…. because humans are the problem

    • Marcus T. Monihan says:

      I’m sure Trump based on his own ignorance, intentions to eliminate regulations, and this request will without another thought instantaneously toss out all protection for salmon. It will then become a free for all until they are near extinction. Then Trump will laugh and say, “Salmon are losers!” to which his base will become overjoyed, revel in excitement and heap praise upon Trump.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Marcus — do you have children?

        If you do then you should immediately take a pillow and smother them

        Then smother yourself — and do your part in saving the planet.

        How humans are driving the sixth mass extinction

        Scientists have been warning for decades that human actions are pushing life on our shared planet toward mass extinction. Such extinction events have occurred five times in the past, but a bold new paper finds that this time would be fundamentally different. Fortunately, there’s still time to stop it.

        • louiswu says:

          I am interested in the species that aren’t going extinct. There are species that are managing to thrive despite whatever humans are doing and not just whatever we have domesticated.

  11. Fast Eddy says:

    Oh … and I remember when I used to think the New York Times was the cats a$$$.

    And now … if I had a cat … I would use the NYT to wipe its a$$$$

    Amazing how the facts and one’s interpretation of them change over time….

    If someone had told me the NYT was only good for wiping a cats a$$$ 10 years ago — I would have thought they were a F.oxian Na…zi….

    And now I despise Libtards even more than Fo.xian Na….zis… there is something about their self righteousness … whereas Fox.ian Na…zis are just plain ste…wpid….

    Funny that….

    • smite says:

      Self righteousness and pretentiousness will ultimately lose against the vitality of blind hatred and aggression.

      All it takes is a few tough years of austerity and a few bitter drops of reality sprinkled over the, with fossil fuel, sugar coated dreams and illusions of a better tomorrow for most of the people in the western IC.

      Ah, the drama, it will be “interesting” to watch it unfold as the output from Ghawar spits, sputters and then squirts it’s final “gift” onto the body mankind, then nose dives into a thermodynamic dead state.

      Today ask yourself; are you useful or not? The beasts of capitalism can feel the whiff of complacency.

    • JMS says:

      For me there’s nothing more disconcerting (and embarrassing) than to realize how foolish and uninformed I was when I worshiped Chomsky and other idealist utopians, those days when I was able to think only in political terms, believing that the sole problem in the world was political corruption and the unequal distribution of wealth. How happy I was with my indignation and my certainties! And how the brilliance of my heroes of that time paled. All this still makes me shake my head with disbelief.

      • xabier says:


        At least you woke up. Or maybe it is better to retain belief in these phoneys – it feels better, as you say?

        I tried watching Chomsky, as my brother reveres him, but the condescending self-righteousness of the man was impossible to take for very long.

        And the gross misrepresentation of historical facts that even a student should be able to point out to him – but his audiences just lap it up.

  12. Fast Eddy says:

    Just thinking… about how when I was experiencing a very hot day and I would say ‘and they say there’s no G w’

    Now when it’s a really cold day — or there is a big snowfall I say ‘and they say we are going to roast any day now due to G w’

    Learn something new every so often….

  13. Fast Eddy says:

    new Blue Steel 309 Aug 9, 2017 7:26 PM
    TV is literally bad for your mind, regardless of the content. The content just makes it even more damaging. It is called TV “programming”, because that is what it is doing to your mind.

    new LindseyNarrates… Blue Steel 309 Aug 9, 2017 7:35 PM

    You are, for the most part, correct, Mr. Steel, and I will raise-you-the-following:

    “Hollywood” actually denotes a magical-wand, which was, generally, made from the branch of a holly tree, because it was thought to possess the most power, of all wood. When people, back-in-the-day, would talk about “the magic of Hollywood”, they were talking about its literal power over-the-minds and -of-the-character, of people viewing the propaganda produced, and that situation has not only not improved, since, then, but is far, far worse, than at any other point-in-time.

    NB: Once one is intellectually-honest-enough to admit (((who))) controls Hollyweird, and how (((their))) ABSOLUTE control over one of the most powerful organs-of-propaganda ever devised is used to control and manipulate a very large number of people, then the answer as to how we all got-to-this-point becomes so much easier to understand.

    Hmmmm…. anyone have any idea who runs Holly Wood?????? Tip; Ask Mel Gibson……

    • ftp says:

      What’s with the conspiracy theories and the antisemitic rambling?

      • I don’t really like conspiracy theories and antisemitic comments. I don’t think that they get us anywhere.

        I am sorry I haven’t had time to comment much in the last few days. I have been trying to work on a post (plus all of the usual extra things going on).

        • Marcus T. Monihan says:

          Shouldn’t FE’s post be nixed?

          • Jesse James says:

            See how quickly Marcus comes out to suggest censoring free speech.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            Shouldn’t you have to pay a fee to be able to view Fast Eddy’s posts?

            Kinda like you have to pay to watch a boxing match — surely it is worth something to watch Fast Eddy beat the daylights out of DelusiSTANIS.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        A small group of British men with bad teeth ran the world for over a century.

        Do you have a problem with that comment?

        Well then…. you should not have a problem with my earlier post.

        Oh – and remember — the MSM exists to tell you what to think — apparently they have not told you that it is unacceptable to state that the British ran the world and that it is racist to even suggest such a thing.

        Now if the Brits still ran the world and controlled the MSM that might be different.

        You may recall that when the Brits did run the world that J ews were fair game — you would say you wanted about them — and you could treat them little better than cockroaches…. they were the butt of racist jokes and treated like pariahs.

        But now they control things…. and they are off limits….

        And it is ok to mock the Brits and their bad teeth.

        Funny that isn’t it?

        That’s what happens when you are a MOREon …. you are unable to Think Straight. You do exactly what you are told to do – you think EXACTLY what you are told to think.

        How do you feel about transgender washrooms — it is after all one of the most important issues of the day — fill me in on what I am supposed to think about this

        • Fast Eddy says:

          And btw — if someone wants to hand me ownership of the Fed and the MSM — I would be most happy to accept….

          And I will have no problem if people point out that I control the world….

          In fact I will call myself Master of the Universe….

          The current Masters would advise that I not do that — because doing that would make me a target…. better to remain behind the curtain … and punch anyone who tries to pull back the curtain in the face…

          But not me — i don’t care about that …. I will sit on my throne and bask in the glory of it all…. as Master of the Universe.

        • JMS says:

          People with sheep’s brains can only have flock opinions, it was for them that newspapers were invented.Sheep are skittish by nature, and there is nothing more terrifying than the naked truth. They can’t stand to be alone, dissent makes them feel uncomfortable, and therefore they must follow the herd, and bleat the memes that their shepherds implanted in their brains. They can’t help it, it’s their nature. As it is said in my country: who was born to be a gecko will never become an alligator.

        • doomphd says:

          i think the North Koreans shoud target transgender washrooms with their mini-nuke tipped ICBMs.

        • xabier says:

          The MSM is certainly rather surreal these days: an article with Trump’s latest blustering and threats of unprecedented big bangs, and next to it and just as big, the story of a transgender person’s ‘Journey’. And somewhere way down on the home page, a little piece on some further catastrophic extinction…..

          A species far too dumb to merit survival, it’s ever more obvious.

          • Artleads says:

            So what about the ideas that form systems and warp minds? 🙂 It’s mistaken, I think, to impute human behavior primarily to individual choice.

  14. Cliffhanger says:

    U.S FRACKING OIL INDUSTRY IN TROUBLE: Investors Losing Faith??

    • Fast Eddy says:

      One of the biggest losers this week has been Pioneer Natural Resources Co., down 16.5 percent since reporting results on Tuesday evening. Part of the reason it was clobbered so badly is that while it merely trimmed its overall growth rate, it sharply cut its guidance for how many more barrels of higher-value oil it will produce this year. Pioneer blamed this on problems it had with what it called “train-wreck” wells suffering from changes in pressure and the amount of water coming up, forcing the company both to delay its drilling schedule and spend more to strengthen wells.

      No doubt a fair bit of vomit and acid mixed in with the oil and water….

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Pioneer Resources is one of the larger players in the Permian oil basin in Texas. According to the data put out by, Pioneer suffered a negative Free Cash Flow of $155 million Q1 and $252 million in Q2. Actually, Pioneer spent a great deal more on capital expenditures (CAPEX) in the second quarter of 2017, by investing $731 million versus $519 million in the first quarter.

        Which means, Pioneer spent $212 million more on CAPEX in the second quarter, only to suffer a larger negative free cash flow of nearly $100 million more versus the previous quarter. Of course, this makes perfect sense in our TOTALLY INSANE business world today to spend $212 million on CAPEX only to lose an additional $100 million in free cash flow.

        The just about sums up the entire oil industry ….. but then we have known this for some time:

        Steven Kopits from Douglas-Westwood said the productivity of new capital spending has fallen by a factor of five since 2000. “The vast majority of public oil and gas companies require oil prices of over $100 to achieve positive free cash flow under current capex and dividend programmes. Nearly half of the industry needs more than $120,” he said

        • Cliffhanger says:

          Yes and the Economist had an article last year claiming that the global oil and gas industry had around 2.5 in debt now. And it was the biggest risk to the worlds financial system. And just to give you an idea of how much debt that is the bank bailouts in 08 were around 600 billion. Enron was around 300 billion .

          • Davidin100trillionyears says:

            the Elites/banksters/billionaires are not going to let BAU collapse over that tiny $2.5 trillion debt that is just digits on computers in their shadow economy of finance.
            “they” will do whatever is necessary to paper over that debt so that the industry can keep producing in the real economy of work and production.

            “they” know.

            • Marcus T. Monihan says:

              “the Elites/banksters/billionaires are not going to let BAU collapse over that tiny $2.5 trillion debt that is just digits on computers in their shadow economy of finance.”

              Absolutely correct, David. The banksters have discovered that people really don’t have a clue about what can be done with money these days – essentially it’s become an anything goes type of situation with computers, simply moving digits around. It’s like magic – they can make the stuff appear in form of conjuring up money for loans and they can simply write off bad loans with the flick of a switch. Anything goes and nobody cares. 2.5 trillion debt is just as easy to eliminate as $2.50 and then they can turn around and lend 2.5 trillion out of thin air.

            • smite says:

              The physical reality will not care about any CB money printing schemes.

              Once the cheap an’ easy oil becomes hard and expensive.
              Things get worse. Just like what happens now.

              Once hard and expensive oil becomes intractable and thus worthless.
              The fun starts.


    • Cliffhanger says:

      Steve said his last article about how crappy ethanol was and caught the eye of some VP in the ethanol industry. And the VP left all these nasty comments on his articles all over the web. then emailed steve and told him how important he was etc.etc. LOL I made a small donation on his site for the great articles!

    • Davidin100trillionyearsnotGlenn says:

      first line of the article:
      “Even though U.S. shale oil production continues to reach new record highs, investors might be finally losing faith in the industry that just isn’t profitable.”

      so it’s not like the fracking industry is in its endgame.
      but more like the beginning of the end.

      and of course, IF prices move higher, this industry will have a temporary rebound.
      I think this industry will have a few more good years in the 2020’s.

      those years depend entirely on much higher prices.
      prices in the $40’s have existed since late 2014 so this low price level hasn’t been here very long.

      time will tell.

      • We have had prices below the cost needed by developers for a wide range of commodities since mid to late 2014; in other words, about three years. This includes oil, coal, natural gas, uranium, and quite a few metals. This is a big deal.

        • Greg Machala says:

          Who is investing money into these money loosing ventures?

          • smite says:

            It’s a zero sum game, everyone is “losing”.

            The real question is: Who will come out on top when this little FF:ed bonanza inevitably ends.

          • Tim Groves says:

            Presumably the Eld-ers are organizing the investment through a mix of loans and stock purchasing that spreads the loses among those entities that will benefit from the continuing availability of said commodities. I expect a fair bit of what we are paying into our pension funds ends up underwriting unprofitable mining, drilling and fracking operations.

          • i1 says:

            Well, if you can buy metal below the cost of production, it might turn out to be a sound investment.

            • All you need to do is get the wages of workers up, so that they can afford to buy goods with metal (such as cars).

            • smite says:

              Yep, and for the wages to go up (increased productivity) we need cheap energy. Now we don’t have that anymore, thus for all intents and purposes: The middle class FF:ed bonanza is over.

            • i1 says:

              I should have specified, um, non-ferrous? 🙂

    • Davidin100trillionyears says:

      first line of the article:
      “Even though U.S. shale oil production continues to reach new record highs, investors might be finally losing faith in the industry that just isn’t profitable.”

      so it’s not like the fracking industry is in its endgame.
      but more like the beginning of the end.

      and of course, IF prices move higher, this industry will have a temporary rebound.
      I think this industry will have a few more good years in the 2020’s.

      those years depend entirely on much higher prices.
      prices in the $40’s have existed since late 2014 so this low price level hasn’t been here very long.

      time will tell.

      • Marcus T. Monihan says:

        There have been articles and conjecture on the demise of fracking for oil for years now but they just keep fracking, so I wouldn’t bet on it.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          There have been articles for about ten years now discussing the rapid decline rates of this type of extraction that predicting that this would be a short lived industry …. many analysts predicting that right about now the industry would be running into massive problems

          And here we are….

  15. Fast Eddy says:

    B.C. wildfires status Wednesday: More than 360 wildfires this season are human-caused

    Interesting ….

    • xabier says:

      Happens in Spain: human stupidity, and also wanting to clear the land for building and redevelopment.

  16. Cliffhanger says:

    • Cliffhanger says:

      Only Morons Believe What The US Government Says About North Korea

      • Lastcall says:

        Great link with further links to some sobering info. Good to remind ourselves sometimes as so much is happening so quickly it can take your breath and memory away!

        • Cliffhanger says:

          The drums of war and collapse are beating louder and faster every day.

          • Kurt says:

            Eh, I’m just not feeling it. Lots of posturing, that’s all. Also, the comments do lean towards a doomerish tone but guess what, that’s what economic collapse can lead to. However, it is difficult to predict what happens after economic collapse. That’s where things get interesting and that’s where this site does get a bit too close minded.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Ya collapse i.e. when the power goes off for good — will surely result in good things happening…

              Try turning your power off for 24 hours —- and think about that…. while you huddle in the dark….

        • Cliffhanger says:

          The plan could be to provoke North Korea to cover for the economic collapse. They could get them to drop a nuclear bomb on a major us city to cause chaos. The elites would hide in their silo’s while the public suffers. Economic problems solved, angry US population neutralized.

          • Lastcall says:

            I still think delivery via a container (already in place(s)?) is most likely scenario. Thats one idea from Druid that I agree on.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Political IQ test: What does it mean when CNN, MSNBC, Fox News and the President’s Twitter account all agree that a foreign state poses a suddenly increased threat to America?

        A) If they all agree it must be true!
        B) Well I dislike some of those outlets, but I trust one of them.
        C) The US intelligence community would never lie to us.
        D) Hmm… this sounds an awful lot like the leadup to Iraq?

        The same lies repeated by the various MSM outlets…

        Ding dong ding dong…. it’s a lie… ding dong….

        • Fast Eddy says:

          That said — bombing North Korea regardless of the reason….. would be entertaining….

          Hang you some of you will be saying — what about the innocent people who will die?

          And to that I say — they won’t know it but they would be the lucky ones…. they escape from the starvation rape murder and radiation ….

          i.e. we would be doing them a favour

        • Froggman says:

          My father in law is totally sold on the NK threat narrative. He called to make sure we have food and water in our bunker (we do, of course).

          That part makes sense- yes, keep the bunker stocked. What makes no sense is that he’s worried about NK. Where we live, there are at least a thousand other places that would make more sense and be easier for them to lob a nuke at. From a country that probably has AT MOST 30 warheads, not the big ones like Russia and the US have, but little ones like Hiroshima.

          So assume 1) they have a rocket that could make it this far, 2) they have warheads small enough to fit on the rocket, 3) they can actually steer the warhead towards its target on descent. Those are all huge what-if’s. Then, maybe, they might take out a few neighborhoods in LA, a suburb in Phoenix, or god forbid the Las Vegas strip. More likely, whatever they fire just splashes harmlessly into the Pacific, or kills a bunch of scorpions and lizards in the Mojave desert.

          That’d be awful- desert lizards are beautiful creatures- but we’ve been living the past 50+ years one button push away from nuclear annihilation. There’s only 2 countries capable of wiping out the entire planet with “fire and fury the world has never seen.” One of them is us. The other is definitely NOT NK.

          Of all the problems, like world-ending, human extinction problems facing humanity right now- for this to be the thing people are worked up about is infuriating. Absolute mor.ons.

        • Greg Machala says:

          Certainly “D” is the correct answer. The plebs are being prepared for war. Certainly they are being trained to regard NK as a disposable state.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            Re MSM….

            Remember way back when if you read a propaganda pieces in the MSM … well actually it is redundant to use the term propaganda piece… but anyways….

            When you read one of the endless lies that pervades the MSM…

            And you used to be able to comment on the slop?

            And then in a very short period of time that option was removed from nearly every MSM channel…. the pretext was — as Bloomberg indicated at the time — there were too many comments that were not constructive — laced with racism etc….

            Hmmm… Bloomberg employs 19,000 people It is a multi billion dollar business….

            Would it be a stretch to suggest they could afford to employ a couple of censors to review and remove inappropriate posts? For less than a thousand dollars per month they could hire some very competent people in the Philippines to handle this for them…

            Of course that is not the issue — the issue is that the MSM exists to control what we think — and because the comments section were very popular — and because there were often valid dissenting views being presented…. they had to go.

            So the MSM lies about everything …. EXCEPT G w…… which is something – even if it exists — we can do nothing about it without crashing BAU.

            Funny that…..

  17. Cliffhanger says:

    Here is how I think the collapse will happen
    1. Oil shortages
    2.Massive Price Spike
    3.No quick/easy/solutions from leaders
    4.mass hysteria + loss of confidence
    5.Economic Collapse

    • Lastcall says:

      For me;
      1) Increasing political gridlock (ungovernable globally important countries)
      2) Resulting in extraordinary capital flight; into brat coin, gold, dollars, realestate
      3) Stock market free-fall
      4) Currency crises/loss of trust leading to bank runs
      5) Freeze up of lines of credit/trade and therefore energy flows
      6) Shortages of essentials incl. wages, food, energy,
      7) Chaos…collapse, turning on minorities, elites, charlatans and the ‘I told you so messengers’ and the blame game turns to hunger games.

      • Lastcall says:

        I think these two links demonstrate how loss of trust will make US ungovernable.

        The first is a scramble to get it before its gone; pension meltdown is on its way!

        The second shows how dis-United the US has become, as have many other countries. The political debate all over the western world is going ‘gloves-off’ as people start to realise how they have been played.
        In NZ we have just seen ‘Jacinderella’ elected as Labour leader in a desperate move to gain votes from the working classes, especially females. But this is the same party that had the first in the world free trade agreement with China, thereby destroying blue-collar jobs. Now they offer new taxes and welfare guarantees, not job opportunities in order to get votes.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          In light of that I will carry on with my tradition of not voting because it doesn’t matter.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        That sounds about right.

        I am actually quite pleased to know that the radiation will arrive soon after this…. we will be begging to be put out of our misery

      • we have been living on the products of cheap surplus oil.

        oil now costs 5 times what it used to when it powered the American Dream
        (oil gave an EROEI of 100:1, now the best returns are 20:1–hence the x5 –at best)

        right now we are trying to maintain that living on expensive oil, while denying the problem exists at all, and maintaining the certainty that if we print enough money, we will always have enough energy.—– Despite only finding 10% of the oil necessary to replace what we use.

        This denial must lead to civil disorder and open conflict, long before energy resources fail, because the demand is there that our lifestyle must go on as it always has.

        Various factions offer various promises, so support gravitates to one or the other. They then fight to prove whichever is right, thus destroying whatever might be used to sustain some kind of viable society.

        So all of the above chaos factors will manifest themselves, It’s just impossible to say by how much and when and how.

        • Artleads says:

          Such disorder and non-cohesion would be like when a crowded theatre has fire and there is no queue to the exit door. But that isn’t just a problem for the elite. We’ve seen how Walmart Black Friday crowds can behave. There’s a great deal to be said for order over PC niceties of all sorts.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          ‘This denial must lead to civil disorder and open conflict, long before energy resources fail, because the demand is there that our lifestyle must go on as it always has.’

          Reading about depletion rates hitting the shale patch and observing the situation in KSA which is giving out signals that they are past peak….

          I am beginning to wonder if the oil issue is not the trigger rather than the financial situation

          Recall conventional peaked in 2005 — oil went to $147 — and soon after calamity struck.

          Around the time I read this Rubin of course has the big picture completely wrong but he did suggest that the price of oil was the culprit…..

          Can the CBs hold the economy together until such point as the total supply of oil starts to fall off significantly — causing the price of oil to shoot up as it did in 2007…

          But this time Drill Baby Drill and trillions of dollars cannot happen — because the shale patch is past peak….

          And the high priced oil within a few months leads to a deflationary death spiral.

          Or maybe the CBs just lose control of the global economy overnight and we enter the death spiral.

          We shall see

          • Lastcall says:

            Maybe, but I assume the powers that be will ‘print n drill’ as a new form of QE thereby controlling the oil price. This will increase the volume of financially viable oil.

            This expands the zombie economy away from just the FIRE sectors and in fact bypasses them in order to ensure the energy flow continues. The government could claim it as a direct investment in infrastructure to jump-start the economy. More like defribillation.

    • timl2k11 says:

      I really can’t imagine mass hysteria with a population of 7.5+ billion would be like. It will make a zombie apocalypse look like child’s play. I wonder if there will be a faux show of confidence in the interim. Posturing. I suppose that could be what we did an Iraq, the last gasp of empire has already taken place.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        This is Riot Lite…. only because the police are present….

        Now imagine that with no police — and heavily armed citizens as we have in many countries including the USA…

        When the lights go out and the police leave their posts —- this is gonna go f789ing NUTS!

        All of that scum that lurks below the surface of the civilized world that all of us live in — will be on the lose…. and don’t expect any help from the government — the top guys will be in the bunkers… and when the power goes off there will be chaos — everyone else will be headed home to fend for their families….

        • Fast Eddy says:


        • JMS says:

          My only doubt has to do with precisely this, what will be a social collapse in an ethnically cohesive country and where firearms are illegal, as is mine? What difference can it make to face a band of starving men armed with knives and machetes, or the same pack armed with shotguns? I don’t really know. In any case it seems to me the situation will be more dramatic in a country where there are 300 million weapons, than in a country where access to weapons and ammunition is very restricted, as is the case in mine, where only the military have free acess to both.
          Of course in the end we will all be dead, but the way and probably the timing of this event will be different according to the country, the region, we live.
          Personally I have any hope of survival, for I do not live in a community sufficiently cohesive and isolated to be able to withstand, even for a couple of months, waves of aggressive invaders. No way. But I’m inclined to believe that the situatiin will be slightly different depending on the place you live.
          If I could (ie. if i was young and rich), I would move to the interior of Brazil, to almost deserted states like Pará or Mato Grosso, where the population density is 4 inhabitants per km2. Even there, I personally wouldn’t survive, but I’m sure the probabilties would be much bigger there than, say, in Los Angeles or in Chicago.
          Anyway, we can’t say we dont live in exciting times. Oh the suspense of it al!!

          • Artleads says:

            If you live in a cluster of small, dense and orderly communities (where everybody can see who’s coming) you might do better still. With no self-sufficiently skills, trying to hang on in the boonies would be more than daunting.

  18. Cliffhanger says:

    10yrs after financial crisis, another crash is ‘almost inevitable,’ economist Steve Keen

  19. Fast Eddy says:

    Fake Stock Market……

    In the second quarter of the year, one in which unlike in Q1 fund flows showed a persistent and perplexing outflow from US stocks and into European and Emerging Markets, a trading desk rumor emerged that even as institutional traders dumped stocks and retail investors piled into ETFs, a “mystery” central bank was quietly bidding up risk assets by aggressively buying stocks.

    And no, it was not the BOJ: the Japanese Central Bank’s interventions in the stock market are familiar to all by now, and for the most part the BOJ keeps its interventions local, mostly propping up Japanese stocks, whether the Nikkei 225 or the Topix.

    The answer was revealed this morning when the hedge fund known as the “Swiss National Bank” posted its latest 13-F holdings.

    What it showed is that, as rumored, the Swiss National Bank had gone on another aggressive buying spree in the second quarter, and following its record purchases in the first quarter, the central bank boosted its total equity holdings to an all time high $84.3 billion, up 5% or $4.1 billion from the $80.4 billion at the end of the first quarter.

  20. Cliffhanger says:

    Fannie-Freddie Might Need $100 Billion bailout (Again) If It Faces Another Crisis, FHFA Says

  21. Yoshua says:

    The crack spread at US refineries are getting better, probably because the quality of the crude is getting worse. The only way for the refineries to stay alive when the quality of the crude is going down.

  22. Aral says:

    In fact are cars more parasit than eolics because at minimum they recover part of the energy to produce t’hem.

    • timl2k11 says:

      Even if wind turbines recover part of what it cost to build them, they still repesent a vast expense. In the end you will have not recovered your investment, so why not get some transportation out of it to boot? That is, say a car is $20000 in your example, a wind turbine is $100000 and you recover $60000. Your still out $40000. More so than if you had merely invested in a car. The thing about petrol cars, they are cheap, and that alone is good for the environment, compared to say an expensive hybrid or, god forbid, a TΞSLΛ.

  23. Aral says:

    The eolic energy are not parasit because more or less uses the same materials than to produce cars. As we have enough cars to end the petrol it should be better to spend it producing eolic generadors than cars. We shall discuss how we use the remaining petrol and still it would be better spend it on eolic devices than cars. Assuming of course that a growing econòmica is impossible and degrowth inevitable.

  24. xabier says:

    Here’s an Elder name for you, FE: Baron von Pfetten.

    Interesting career so far. Clearly on an inner circuit of some kind. He’s just bought one of the grandest old houses in England for restoration.

    • Thanks.

      There have been some speculative rumors about the old guard finally giving the definitive orders elevating China for the top dog as soon as US becomes ungovernable host entity for the global order. Very tall order giving the cultural barriers, but not impossible either in some form of cohabitation with the old money.

      That’s a speculation for the future and scenario for long term cycles. But obviously we know for certain China has been at least made definitely on purpose (elevated) into the contending super power since 1970s.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      Any relation to the Red Baron?

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Well well… just popping over to wiki .. and :

        Jean Christophe Iseux, Baron von Pfetten (born November 11,1967) is a diplomat, academic,[1] and senior advisor to the Chinese government.[2] Referred by the press as the “Red Baron” [3][4]

        Pfetten served as a specially invited member of the upper house of the Chinese parliament from 2001 to 2005, the first European ever to hold senior public office in the People’s Republic of China. In 2013 Pfetten hosted a series of private back-channel meetings on Iran’s nuclear program in Oxford and at his home in Burgundy attended by top military commanders from Iran and Israel as well as senior officials from the P5 nations which strongly contributed to the success of the Nuclear Interim Deal achieved in Geneva on November 11, 2013.[5][6]

        • xabier says:

          There are some videos on Youtube of the Baron lecturing on China. To paraphrase:

          ‘The West is very binary: good and bad, black and white. But in China it’s different: it’s not binary, it’s all about developing,evolving. So for China, every situation is win-win. This leads to a lot of misunderstanding between China and the West.’

          So, one imagines he’s completely at ease with the murder of political prisoners in China. It’s just part of evolution, neither good nor evil.

          His new house – re-christened ‘Palace’ – had £11.5 m spent on it by the British government and an historic buildings body (to save it from collapsing ) and the good baron picked it up for a mere £2.5m.

          He has to put some plumbing in though, and find some furniture. The public will be admitted for 50 days per annum.

          The view is lovely from the mountain top…..

          • If you look at his older primary estate in France, he is evidently of very modest means, relatively smallish country side estate. He seems to be a well chosen conduit for much higher structures based on meritocracy (able to perform in future tasks), yet at the same time as capable acknowledge the path dependencies (how we got there), which can’t fully be disclosed-explained to average gov dimwits. As we know the process of decay inside elite circles across generations is basically natural law, that’s why they are still sending 90+ old Henry (Heinz) Kissinger as envoy, out of necessity.

            • xabier says:

              He was chosen, just as the Church used to select bright goatherds for eventual promotion to the Cardinalate – few realise what a meritocracy the Church was when it truly governed.

              The Baron: bright, plausible, nice manners, but just humble enough to be very grateful for his advancement within the game.

              The course which he attended at Cambridge was run by a certain Richard Langhorne, who later went on to run a British govt. think-tank/conference centre in another grand country house. He had strong contacts with China.

          • This side stepping into UK could mean just nothing of substance, just repayment for his past services.

            However, from the history of nobles we can learn such moves were usually thoroughly calculated ahead of time. So from our distant observing point it could be seen as confirming sign of larger hedge, diversification effort at play, there will be a continued Battle for Britain ver.xy to keep it as separate viable financial hub from continental Europe. Especially in case the unthinkable happens in the near-mid term, Germany going solo with its new minireich and or joining the wider Asian alliance.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            Perhaps there will be a Downton Abbey sequel and he can rent it out as their new residence?


  25. Victor says:

    The comments on this website are really going downhill. I post very rarely, but I used to be very interested in the thoughtful and intelligent points raised here. Now it’s decending into some sort of alt-right boys club where anyone who doesn’t fit within the accepted narrative of a select few had best remain silent, otherwise they’ll be put back in their place with personal attacks. I’m finding myself visiting far less frequently as a result as many people who used to post here, who I found interesting, no longer do so. It’s become a bizarre little echo chamber. I wonder what others visiting here for the first time might think when they read the comments section. Probably that anyone believing what Gail has to say is a bit bonkers.

    • Greg Machala says:

      I do believe that researchers have been underestimating the costs of solar. I don’t think it is bonkers at all. I’ll go even farther and state that solar PV and wind turbines are parasitic (when all the costs in energy and pollution are considered).

      • zenny says:

        Greg… As Gail said it is almost useless if not a negative return.
        That being said a few good things have come out of the craze.
        Battery tech for RVs. Boats.For off grid locations Solar has come down in price.
        E bikes are cool I guess. Scooters for the disabled and BMI challenged stuff like that.
        But at what price

    • you have to keep your rapier sharp in here

    • Harry Gibbs says:

      I fear that most people will hold that view irrespective of the comments-section. We tend not to be very rational when confronted with evidence that challenges our most ingrained and cherished narratives. I went through a brief phase of directing apparently clear-thinking friends to Gail’s website. Most disregarded her analysis on the flimsiest and most absurd grounds. It was quite startling to behold.

      • Greg Machala says:

        To appreciate Gail’s analysis takes a person who wants to know and is capable of accepting the truth of our predicament . It takes a lot of time, research and soul searching to reach the point that Gail speaks from, to understand it and intelligently comment on it. So, I understand FE’s frustration when folks come in here and comment without doing their due diligence of research. Or, are incapable of accepting our predicament. But, I do wish things would stay more on topic.

        • Mark says:

          Great post(s). It’s not a narrative, it’s a predicament.

        • Harry Gibbs says:

          I personally find the manic energy FE brings to the comments section entertaining even if I don’t always agree with him (it seems pretty clear to me that the climate is rapidly changing and that the primary causes of that are anthropogenic). Actually there are a lot of great commenters. I’ve been reading Gail’s site religiously since 2012 and am still enjoying it and learning new things.

        • Tim Groves says:

          To anyone who isn’t happy with the content of the comments here:

          ”You’re free to get as offended as you like.”
          —Mark Passio

          “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”
          —George Orwell

        • Tim Groves says:

          Oh, and Greg, I agree with you wholeheartedly and share your wish.

    • Jesse James says:

      Victor, perhaps you might want to retreat to your safe space. You mentioned personal attacks…if your outlook on things is not justifiable, well, you should be put In your place. I for one relish the clarity here. If you need to, comment and comment well, but make it intelligent and not just some recycled rubbish from MSM. For example if you feel no collapse is coming, say so, but justify it.

      • xabier says:

        Everyone is free to speak.

        Only Gail can ban people, and she is in fact very tolerant.

        There is nothing at all ‘Alt-Right’ about this site -if there were, I for one wouldn’t be here.

        • zenny says:

          xabier I think most of us were talking about this long before the alt right was born.
          Hey wait…We are right

    • Fast Eddy says:

      An echo chamber with facts and logic reverberating off the walls…. is exactly what we want here….

      Everything else will be forcefully driven over a cliff.

  26. Third World person says:

    recent i was talking with a polish guy on the internet
    he was say once western countries collapse because of migrant crisis and
    not pray to Jesus then Poland will be next super power because we pray to Jesus
    and we do not have so many Muslims
    by listen to that guy i laugh so much that think this guy has disillusion levels of like Jesus

    • Well, there are several levels to it.

      Firstly, the increasing decadency and relative fall in the West (incl. large part of Scandinavia), obviously elevates up Poland in whatever means be it economic, military. However, they are notorious historical hot heads, which factor usually loose everything in the end. I’m not picking up on them, that’s just general consensus, and saying it like it is. Yep, we should be proud of them at some instances, like few centuries ago providing the decisive command and force to repel the last large Islamic attack on Europe, but that’s been long ago..

      In terms of contemporary-future warfare, they have nothing substantial and will never close the gap, Russian or Chinese army would drive through them in ~2-3days. But that’s not the order of the near-mid term anyway..

      There is very small probability scenario, where the remnants of previously dominant cultures of the West decide at one point it’s not worth repeating reconquista at home, and would rather abandon the W. Europe to rot in its neo-caliphate destiny, and instead seek to resettle more to the East, e.g. in Poland. But that would take combined UK-French-German-Swedish-N Italian forces at that time, very odd scenario.

  27. psile says:

    Another hyperbolic trend that won’t last that much longer. And the US establishment and SJW types wonder why someone like Trump is in the White House? Beats another 4 more years of being thrown under the bus, in the minds of those who voted for him.

    • i1 says:

      Bezos should donate his fortune to ring fencing large sections of Amazonia.
      Instead, he destroys all competition and buys media companies to sway public opinion among the chattering classes. These people are clearly psychopaths.

    • Cliffhanger says:

      More Americans need a 2nd job to make ends meet — and it’s sending a troubling message about the economy

    • louiswu says:

      They are still going to be thrown under the bus.

      • psile says:

        True, but in their minds, that’s not the case. They really believe Trump will MAGA. In any case, Clinton was a vile piece of excrement, who despised her constituency People from all backgrounds and walks of life recognised this, and didn’t vote for her.

    • xabier says:

      Exactly, that’s why dismissing them in a patronising manner as ‘deplorables’ is completely missing the point. A very marked erosion of personal purchasing power. They voted on legitimate grievances and a clear perception of decline.

      It’s the same in England: a retail worker, say, in this town would have been quite comfortable and able to rent a little apartment or even a whole house in a village, 15 years ago.

      Now, with wage stagnation and the rise of every living cost – but above all housing – it is either a room in a seedy shared house, or a move way out of town to an undesirable location,and that would still only deliver a marginal benefit (plus decline in quality of life due tot he commute).

      This is now clearly reflected in the UK’s growing retail problems.

  28. my english is bad says:

    Do not worry guys, Elon Musk is already working on a new electric nuke missile with 0 emissions. Planet Earth is safe once again.

  29. dolph says:

    The comments here are highly misleading. Fully half of them now are by cliffhanger and fast eddy.

    There just isn’t broad based discussion here anymore.

  30. Pingback: The Sum of All Costs: Counting the True Costs of Intermittent Wind & Solar Power – STOP THESE THINGS

  31. Fast Eddy says:

    More awesomeness — the action kicks off as the hordes of rats crash out of the sewer and race to freedom… seriously — they do look like a pack of rats….

    And make sure to check out the video further down the page

    In January 1,100 people stormed the border, injuring at least 50 Moroccan and Spanish border guards. The government described that incident as “organized and violent.”

    When BAU goes — the nightmare begins….

    • Lastcall says:

      Hmm the western male has been so femi.nised by the femi-nasties that this will continue as long as BAU does. There will be all sorts of ebbs and flows driven by finance/energy initially, and then driven by the good old ‘four horsemen’. Them horsemen don’t need no Tesla to get their job done!

      • xabier says:

        What the crazy Ultra Feminists (as opposed to sensible feminists) are doing is akin to this tale from Persia:

        Mulla Nasrudin saw a hawk sitting on his garden wall.

        Seizing it, he proceeded to cut off its talons and sharp beak. When he’d finished with the poor animal, he was delighted:

        ‘There now, isn’t that better?! Now you really look like a proper pigeon!’

        • Lastcall says:

          i heard of a cafe in Melbourne today; vegan and feminist where males are charged 18% more because of the wage gap. So protesting gender bias using gender bias – that will work.

          NZ is being overrun with femi-nasties at the moment. Homegrown ones are being joined by escapees from Trumps’ world and Brexit UK. Nightmare on public radio with millennial soft-cu.ucks pretending to be a male perspective.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            Moreonism is a disease … and it is spreading.

            And for a relevant quote we go to the brilliant Colonel Walter E Kurtz:

            We train young men to drop fire on people, but their commanders won’t allow them to write “fu – ck” on their airplanes because it’s obscene!


            • Third World person says:

              migrant crisis is karma of western civilization
              invading and destroyed Iraq -Libya -Afghanistan-Syria-Mali will have some consequences

          • Froggman says:

            Speaking of vegans: yesterday my wife posted on Facebook that we’re sending some of our breeding pigs to butcher, and the meat is for sale.

            A vegan (male) who she doesn’t know replied to her post, begging her to consider “sending the pigs to a sanctuary” rather than butchering them. Seriously. These are 350 pound domesticated hogs.

            Of course he’s welcome to try to find an “old farm animal sanctuary” for them, if he pays us $1500 he can do whatever he wants… but I bet after 6 months of buying feed ($$$) for his saved hog, he’d be ready to send her to butcher too!

          • xabier says:

            All is not lost! I saw some un-feminised men today. Scaffolders, and emblazoned on the side of their truck ‘Specialists In Erections.’

            I wonder, might that be illegal in some places now?

          • xabier says:

            I’ll try that with my customers: ‘You have to pay me more, as I’m a man who needs to buy beer!’

            I shall certainly be able to put my prices up 20%.

  32. Fast Eddy says:

    Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has slammed Kim Jong-un as a “fool” and a “son of a b**ch” who is “playing with dangerous toys.”

    One word comes to mind …. AWESOME!

  33. Fast Eddy says:

    America’s opioid epidemic is now killing more than 100 people every day, fueling a public-health crisis that’s straining state and local resources – even forcing at least one Pennsylvania coroner to increase his freezer capacity to make room for all of the bodies.

    And according to one recently published study, the epidemic may be killing more Americans than previously believed. The study, published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, suggests that certain states may have underestimated the rate of opioid- and heroin-related deaths, skewing national death totals by more than 20%. In 2014, the most recent year covered by the study, the rate of opioid-related deaths was, in reality, 24% higher than the official count.

    Meanwhile, data from the CDC released Tuesday show that drug overdose deaths peaked in the third quarter of last year, with 19.7 for every 100,000 people, compared with 16.7 in the same period the year before.

    If you were wondering what happens to all those millions who are not counted in the unemployment numbers….

    You can stop wondering …. they are being fed hard core opiates as the commanders try to kill them off — or at least leave them flayed out on their parent’s sofa in a zombie like state.

    This is brilliant stuff — I wonder who came up with this idea…..

    • Cliffhanger says:

      Keep those Afgan poppy fields popping! And the juices flowing to America!

    • xabier says:

      But who really misses those people?

      Sad for any children born into that kind of environment: which is why we need mandatory sterilization for all drug-users.

    • theblondbeast says:

      Drug addiction, alcoholism and an increased mortality have always hurt the downwardly mobile in the collapse of empire. See Russia, where alcoholism deaths went from like 2% to 50%.

    • Froggman says:

      In “Fear the Walking Dead”, one of the main characters is a hopeless opiate addict. Interestingly, once he’s done with withdrawals, he’s one of the characters best adapted to post-apocalyptic life. He’s already been living in hell, doing whatever horrible things he had to do to stay high. Now, he does those horrible things to survive.

      One of my favorite lines from him, speaking to his mother: “It’s like I’ve been living this for a long time. And now everyone is catching up with me. Strange.”

  34. Marcus T. Monihan says:

    The comments and photos show that people on here don’t have much going on. You people need to get a life.

    • psile says:

      Most of us here are probably comfortably well-off. So what’s to do, or prove? Perhaps you’d be happier elsewhere?

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Cliff – what happened there — did you insult her solar panels? Green Groupie Libtards usually react by shaking with anger when you do that — make sure there are no knives around

    • Fast Eddy says:

      Did I mention I am on a month long skiing and ice hockey trip? Gotta cut it short and head to Bali in 9 days though…. then back to the slopes on September 10 for a week… some friends are inbound for that one — we head to the west coast for a few days on the ocean with them after skiing – then we are thinking Marlborough for a wine tour…. I know it’s a rather dull life…. if only I had a private jet…


      • Mark says:

        Can you spare 10 large for a fellow OFW’er down on his luck?

      • Corrupt to the Core says:

        Rich tourist? Let’s hope you get totaled in a terr ~ orist incident.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          Nah … I am just burning through my future — because there is no future to save for…

          And as for the terrorist comment — I sincerely hope that I do get taken out by an act like that — on one hand I want to see the end of BAU — but on the other I do not want to experience the end of BAU…

          I am not so keen on starving to death — being murdered is no doubt painful and I hate pain — disease also puts me off — and radiation sickness.. ooh … that would be a nasty way to go…

          Something quick and simple… if anyone has contacts I will drop my flight number here….

  35. Cliffhanger says:

    Is America on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown or Civil War?

    • Davidin100trillionyears says:


      • Fast Eddy says:

        I very much doubt there will be a civil war….

        Remember Occupy Wall St…. whatever happened to them…

        If any groups got serious about protests the authorities would come down on them with a hail of automatic weapons fire — and they’d go meekly back to their basements to stroke their guns and ammo and dream on…

        Of course another strategy to keep the masses down is to ensure a steady supply of opiates to them…. give them the really strong stuff … OD-strength….

        Opiate addicts don’t lead revolutions….

        I don’t see the trigger being a revolution — the commanders will be able to keep the people fed and subdued…. right up until the point where their policies push on a string — the financial system blows out …

        And they there will not be so much a revolution — rather there will be an endless violent free for all….

        And the commanders will be safely inside one of these…. watching drone footage of the mayhem outside…

        • xabier says:

          Just love the Presidential desk with the flags!

          Post-Collapse: ‘In command of what, exactly, Mr President?’

    • Marcus T. Monihan says:

      The Deplorables finally have their president and he’s an idiot, so if they get out of hand because they don’t like him being ousted via an impeachment then let them run amok. Let it play out. They’re idiots too, so it’s important for them to act out as they need, to get it out of their system, because it’s gonna be a real long time before they have another one like this. I’ll laugh at cities in chaos because deplorables go batty. It will be something for the rest of us to celebrate, knowing their going ape because it will mean thank goodness, Trump is gone. I’m sure 10’s of millions of Americans would gladly go through some tough period if it means Trump is out of here. It will be a lesson learned for the rest of the people not to vote for anyone running for president that the deplorables are giddy over. That will be the signal something’s wrong with that person.

      • There are many different ways that presidents can be “idiots.” Some are more obvious than others.

        Trump has his ways, but Obama had different ways. If there were true solutions that could be reached, that would be one thing. The situation now is that nothing will work. The election of Trump was a “let’s shake things up” decision. There are an awfully lot of things that could go wrong. The budget really cannot be balanced; there is really no affordable healthcare plan, without making drastic changes to healthcare in general. Yellen seems to be going the wrong way on interest rates and selling QE securities. All of this, plus problems around the world, leads to a very worrisome next few months.

        • Artleads says:


          One thought is to try and keep whatever is going going. Same machines, same spare parts, same oil wells, same roads,same political system, same interest rates, making whatever exists already work for us as long as possible?

          Health care would be the exception. Single payer seems like the way to bring costs down.

          • zenny says:

            The US is close to single payer now they just do not know it.
            Canada does not have single payer it is province by province if we had the money the US spends on healthcare we would be the envy of the world.

            • Artleads says:

              Gail knows tons more about health care costs than I. I’m just reacting to her insistence that US health care costs are much greater than in other developed countries (something I hear on the news all the time), posing a major problem for the US economy. But didn’t know that Canada’s system was province by province. Do you have any links to that?

      • xabier says:

        Hmm. The ‘deplorables’ are your fellow citizens. I suggest it’s a great mistake to think that way if you wish to enjoy a healthy democracy: the Clintons and Obama led the US a long way down the banana republic route.

      • Jesse James says:

        Honestly Mr Moynihan, I don’t know whether to be saddened by your post or repulsed. True, there are many idiots, as there is a range of idiots, to fools, to psychopaths. In particular, those who still divide American into “us” versus “them” are fools going along with the system that has brainwashed us into believing we are separate people that should despise the other side. In reality, we all should be together, and not fooled by the system into thinking we the people are enemies of each other. You apparently have a callous disregard of the “deplorables”. Looks like you are right there with Hillary.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Let’s hope that Trump can do the country proud and pick up where Obama left off!

        Actually Potus is an actor — a front man — he does not decide who gets bombed…. much higher powers do that….

        But since you seem to believe the hype…. we can have this silly conversation and I can pretend Trump matters.

    • Lastcall says:

      More likely fireworks show with North k first.

  36. Cliffhanger says:

    ‘Self-driving car’ actually controlled by man dressed up as a car seat

    Virginia residents and tech blogs alike fooled by university ‘research project’ featuring a driver pretending to be part of autonomous vehicle

    • Fast Eddy says:

      Murder charges when that kills someone?

      I guarantee someone would have had remote access to override….

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Self driving cars are a crock of sh it ….

        Yet day after day after day we are subjected to more of this rubbish….

        What’s the golden rule about repeating a lie? The more you repeat it — the more it is considered truth.

        So what is the MSM up to with this latest lie that they are propagating?

        Technological bread and circuses? Distract us from the disease riddled economy? Demonstrate that we are awesome and no matter what problems we face — we shall overcome?

        Mars colonies are part of the formula…

        • Cliffhanger says:

          And if you gaze far enough into an abyss the abyss gazes back into you. – Nietzsche

        • Kurt says:

          I am just sooo disappointed with the constant anti tech meme on this site. Take Elon for example. People on ofw just don’t get it. He is a visionary. I think a lot of it is just jealousy. Let’s look at his strengths point by point.

          1. He is a visionary.
          2. He is dating Amber Heard.
          3. He makes cool cars.
          4. He makes cool spaceships.
          5. He mixes drugs and alcohol,
          6. He is dating Amber Heard.
          7. He wants to send people to mars.
          8. He’s got a hyper loop!!!
          9. He has an insane work ethic.
          10. He’s able to get people to loan him insane amounts of money.
          11. Did I mention he’s dating Amber Heard?
          12. He’s got a cool name.

          I rest my case.

  37. xabier says:

    A friend who was a partner in a successful hedge fund (until 2008! ) told me that he found US financiers to be the ‘most amoral people in the world’. Maybe that translates as ‘scum’? 🙂

    The senior partner in the fund was certainly a psychopath, very clever, with no loyalties and very talented at manipulating others – his naked ruthlessness (and wealth) fascinated weaker people.

    The lower level people were all quite nice, just wanting to pay the mortgage, school fees, etc.

    They all worked at Deutsche Bank at one stage.

    • Greg Machala says:

      More proof that we are not a superior race. We are animals. And quite probably not a superior animal either.

      • Mark says:

        I respectfully disagree (although I wouldn’t call it “superior”).
        Xabier’s and you comment reminded me of this quirky documentary. I liked the part Zimbardo had in it. (at 44 min) and about the Milgram experiment.

        • Greg Machala says:

          I would think that superior beings would be able to tap the collective intelligence. Humans are just the opposite in that they are collectively are very dumb.

          • Mark says:

            Agreed, (shame though)
            wisdom=application of knowledge.
            Perhaps more people need to ‘eat mushrooms and squeegee their third eye’ (Bill Hicks) 😉

    • Third World person says:

      the top level at any company and organization always been wolf in sheep clothing
      and lower level people are slaves that follow rules of master

    • Fast Eddy says:

      You can attribute that to Gord Gecko — I read somewhere that Michael Douglas thought that this character would put people off — but in fact people idolized Gecko and wanted to be like him…

      On a somewhat amusing note — these guys are not really so tough when they are outside of their cushy offices — I kicked the living shit out of the head of a division of a US bank after he elbowed me in the head and then made a snarky comment about it during a hockey tournament 20+ years ago …. sadly one of the guys on our team tried to save Gordon’s life and the pile fell over onto him causing a compound fracture…. otherwise I thought this was a most delightful outcome.

      These jokers with their ‘kill what I eat’ mentality will not fare well when they find themselves lined up against truly nasty characters — and there are no police to cover their pampered asses.×365.jpg

    • Fast Eddy says:

      You can attribute that to Gord Gecko — I read somewhere that Michael Douglas thought that this character would put people off — but in fact people idolized Gecko and wanted to be like him…

      On a somewhat amusing note — these guys are not really so tough when they are outside of their cushy offices — I kicked the living sh it out of the head of a division of a US bank after he elbowed me in the head and then made a snarky comment about it during a hockey tournament 20+ years ago …. sadly one of the guys on our team tried to save Gordon’s life and the pile fell over onto him causing a compound fracture…. otherwise I thought this was a most delightful outcome.

      These jokers with their ‘k ill what I eat’ mentality will not fare well when they find themselves lined up against truly nasty characters — and there are no police to cover their pampered as ses.×315-1421254220.jpg

      • Cliffhanger says:

        That dude ate a bible as his last meal.

      • xabier says:

        The funniest, and most pathetic, bankers are the ones who go to boxing classes to gain some masculine credibility. Ludicrous.

  38. Greg Machala says:

    Just read the earlier comment on the Kilowatt Labs super capacitor battery. Supposedly it can charge in 30 seconds. What does that actually mean? Well, if we are talking about Tesla type battery capacities of 85KWh then to charge a battery to that level at 100% efficiency in 30 seconds would require a supply of about 10MWh. Yes ten million watts. If that is a 240V line it would be 42,500 amps! Would you want to be anywhere near that supply line? Absolutely insane. Is my math wrong?

    • Ed says:

      I get 650MW for 0.5sec He is just saying that the capacitor is not the limiting factor. The inductance, current limits, and power are the limiting factors. At 3 minutes the multiplier is 60/3=20 so still 1.6MW for 3 minutes at a current at 400V would be 4000 amps still alarming. But I guess we have similar alarming number when we consider the energy stored in the gasoline you transfer to your car in 3 minutes.

    • JT Roberts says:

      Good catch.

      It is insane.

      • Greg Machala says:

        There is no way the current electric grid could handle these kinds of faster charging loads. The rate of flow of electricity seems to be much too dangerous too. What of the insulation on the charge supply wires? If there is any arcing that could be fatal. If gas drips it is not really a huge issue but if electricity leaks at those charge rates it would be fatal.

  39. Third World person says:

    my country has serious Housing Bubble for ex Mumbai average houses are more costly then Sydney even after note ban still housing prices has not came down
    btw this time when next economical crisis will hits every housing bubble will pops in every country

    • Third World person says:

      btw are employees in financial world are scum like that in the movie

      • I used to be an employee in the financial world, although not selling products like these folks.

        I expect that people get into it without thinking about the situation. The need to earn a reasonable wage, and are doing what their employer tells them to do. Some of the things they are told sound sort of beneficial. You can help people own homes that they could not otherwise own, for example. There are a few who are consciously aware of a problem with what they are doing, but I expect that they represent a small share of the total.

        Actuaries indirectly assume that the world can grow forever at the same rate. If they stopped to think about it, they would realize that at some point this couldn’t be true. But it isn’t anyone’s job to think about when this statement is no longer true.

        • Froggman says:

          Same with many of us in government.

          A lot of us sign up because it’s good steady work, and many of us do it because we really think we can help people. Then 15 years later we look around and realize we’re the problem we were trying to solve…

        • Fast Eddy says:

          My experience with people in banking has been that the vast majority are not like Gordon Gecko — actually most are rather mellow

          You get the Gord Gecko types — and even then you cannot generalize — deal makers in investment banking and high level sales side of things….

          Another anecdote — out with some people and a young guy maybe mid twenties — pulls up on a group of people mentions he works for some US bank then just takes food off of the plate of one of the girls in our group — doesn’t ask — just takes…. she gave him a dressing down and he wandered off tail between the legs.

          The Gordon Gecko thing does not go over well outside the office….

    • I am afraid that you are right–the housing bubble will pop in every country, if interest rates go up at all.

      As I understand it, interest rates on home mortgages (and other loans) are already quite high in India because interest rates, in general, are higher in developing countries. So it is really two things that makes housing expensive in India:
      (1) High prices and
      (2) High interest rates on loans

      But if interest rates go up, they may very possibly rise almost everywhere, causing the problem you mention.

      • Third World person says:

        so my prediction gonna be correct about housing bubble
        so should i short housing market in my country
        just kidding i do not have the money invest in stock market
        plus what i will do with money that will worthless after bau collapse

        • Fast Eddy says:

          Yep — I am sure there are plenty of masters of the universe out there looking for the next Big Short…

          They are going to be in for a huge surprise — because these markets will keep going up and up — and then they will collapse — forever…

          And these people are going to be initially very happy to see the crash come — because they are going to get RICH!

          But in reality — they are going to be eating rats boiled in a pot over a fire fueled by their living room furniture.

  40. Cliffhanger says:

    Current U.S. gasoline prices are a going-out-of-business clearance sale at prices that don’t reflect the cost of extraction and refining.

  41. Cliffhanger says:

    ‘Nothing To See Here’ – Frackers Ignore Rising Well Decline Rates

    • Faster production early could indeed mean steeper drop-offs later. This would be a big whoops, and make it hard to find new investors.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      This reeks of desperation ….

      But a new report from Horseman Capital Management Ltd., and cited by Bloomberg, says the decline rates are deeper than usual because drillers are placing too many wells in close proximity to one another.

      The wells then kill pressure in each other, lowering the amount of oil that can be recovered from them. “New well production is increasingly cannibalizing legacy production,” Russell Clark, investment manager at Horseman Capital Management, wrote in a new report, cited by Bloomberg. “The decline rate looks to be accelerating.”

      Shale companies often trumpet their ability to tweak their drilling practices in order to cut costs, boasting about “drilling efficiencies” that have allowed them to lower their breakeven prices over the last three years. But one of those practices is putting so many wells close together, a practice that was thought to squeeze more oil out of the ground at lower cost.

      However, while the costs might indeed remain low, this new evidence suggests that cramming wells close too close together could be eating into their own potential production levels.

      But the legacy decline rates are accelerating at a dizzying pace. Across the top shale basins in the country, including the Permian, Eagle Ford, Bakken, Haynesville, Marcelles, Niobrara and Utica shales, the oil legacy decline rate has hit 350,000 bpd.

      Again, that means, from July to August, those basins lost 350,000 bpd of production. Of course, the rate of drilling is so aggressive that the industry still added 113,000 bpd of production on net, but it took a lot of new wells to more than offset the decline.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Jeffrey J. Brown on August 07 2017 said:

        In regard to US Crude + Condensate (C+C) production, I think that the principal point that most analysts are missing is the huge increase in the volumetric rate of decline in total existing US C+C production.

        In 2008, when US C+C production averaged 5 million bpd, the decline rate from existing production was probably about 5%/year, which would be a volumetric rate of decline of 0.25 million bpd per year in existing production.

        Currently, I think that a plausible estimate is that the rate of decline in existing US C+C production is at least 15%/year, which implies that we need about 1.4 million bpd of new C+C production every year, just to offset declines from existing wells.

        Or, based on the foregoing, over the next seven years the US has to put on line roughly the equivalent of all of Saudi Arabia’s current C+C production, just to maintain current US production.

      • It’s like when Adolf and da boyz were loosing ~1 000 panzers per month or more given the fast paced seasonal campaigns each year, not fatal issue for few early years, but after reaching a threshold then it all collapsed in few months.
        Another Seneca Cliff example..

  42. Cliffhanger says:

    Pacific Drilling considers bankruptcy after CEO departure

  43. MG says:

    We still live in the era of the nuclear energy, although many want to persuade us that the era of renewables is here.