World GDP in current US dollars seems to have peaked; this is a problem

World GDP in current US dollars is in some sense the simplest world GDP calculation that a person might make. It is calculated by taking the GDP for each year for each country in the local currency (for example, yen) and converting these GDP amounts to US dollars using the then-current relativity between the local currency and the US dollar.

To get a world total, all a person needs to do is add together the GDP amounts for all of the individual countries. There is no inflation adjustment, so comparing GDP growth amounts calculated on this basis gives an indication regarding how the world economy is growing, inclusive of inflation. Calculation of GDP on this basis is also inclusive of changes in relativities to the US dollar.

What has been concerning for the last couple of years is that World GDP on this basis is no longer growing robustly. In fact, it may even have started shrinking, with 2014 being the peak year. Figure 1 shows world GDP on a current US dollar basis, in a chart produced by the World Bank.

Figure 1. World GDP in “Current US Dollars,” in chart from World Bank website.

Since the concept of GDP in current US dollars is not a topic that most of us are very familiar with, this post, in part, is an exploration of how GDP and inflation calculations on this basis fit in with other concepts we are more familiar with.

As I look at the data, it becomes clear that the reason for the downturn in Current US$ GDP is very much related to topics that I have been writing about. In particular, it is related to the fall in oil prices since mid-2014 and to the problems that oil producers have been having since that time, earning too little profit on the oil they sell. A similar problem is affecting natural gas and coal, as well as some other commodities. These low prices, and the deflation that they are causing, seem to be flowing through to cause low world GDP in current US dollars.

Figure 2. Average per capita wages computed by dividing total “Wages and Salaries” as reported by US BEA by total US population, and adjusting to 2016 price level using CPI-Urban. Average inflation adjusted oil price is based primarily on Brent oil historical oil price as reported by BP, also adjusted by CPI-urban to 2016 price level.

While energy products seem to be relatively small compared to world GDP, in fact, they play an outsized role. This is the case partly because the use of energy products makes GDP growth possible (energy provides heat and movement needed for industrial processes), and partly because an increase in the price of energy products indirectly causes an increase in the price of other goods and services. This growth in prices makes it possible to use debt to finance goods and services of all types.

A decrease in the price of energy products has both positive and negative impacts. The major favorable effect is that the lower prices allow the GDPs of oil importers, such as the United States, European Union, Japan, and China, to grow more rapidly. This is the effect that has predominated so far.

The negative impacts appear more slowly, so we have seen less of them so far. One such negative impact is the fact that these lower prices tend to produce deflation rather than inflation, making debt harder to repay. Another negative impact is that lower prices (slowly) push companies producing energy products toward bankruptcy, disrupting debt in a different way. A third negative impact is layoffs in affected industries. A fourth negative impact is lower tax revenue, particularly for oil exporting countries. This lower revenue tends to lead to cutbacks in governmental programs and to disruptions similar to those seen in Venezuela.

In this post, I try to connect what I am seeing in the new data (GDP in current US$) with issues I have been writing about in previous posts. It seems to me that there is no way that oil and other energy prices can be brought to an adequate price level because we are reaching an affordability limit with respect to energy products. Thus, world GDP in current dollars can be expected to stay low, and eventually decline to a lower level. Thus, we seem to be encountering peak GDP in current dollars.

Furthermore, in the years ahead the negative impacts of lower oil and other energy prices can be expected to start predominating over the positive impacts. This change can be expected to lead to debt-related financial problems, instability of governments of oil exporters, and falling energy consumption of all kinds.

Peak Per Capita Energy Consumption Is Part of the Problem, Too

One problem that makes our current situation much worse than it might otherwise be is the fact that world per capita energy consumption seems to have hit a maximum in 2013 (Figure 3).

World daily per capita energy consumption

Figure 3. World Daily Per Capita Energy Consumption, based on primary energy consumption from BP Statistical Review of World Energy and 2017 United Nations population estimates.

Surprisingly, this peak in consumption occurred before oil and other energy prices collapsed, starting in mid-2014. At these lower prices, a person would think that consumers could afford to buy more energy goods per person, not fewer.

Per capita energy consumption should be rising with lower prices, unless the reason for the fall in prices is an affordability problem. If the drop in prices reflects an affordability problem (wages of most workers are not high enough to buy the goods and services made with energy products, such as homes and cars), then we would expect the pattern we are seeing today–low oil and other energy prices, together with falling per capita consumption. If the reason for falling per capita energy consumption is an affordability problem, then there is little hope that prices will rise sufficiently to fix our current problem.

One consideration supporting the hypothesis that we are really facing an affordability problem is the fact that in recent years, energy prices have been too low for companies producing oil and other energy products. Since 2015, hundreds of oil, natural gas, and coal companies have gone bankrupt. Saudi Arabia has had to borrow large amounts of money to fund its budget, because at current prices, tax revenues are too low to fund it. In the United States, investors are cutting back on their support for oil investment, because of the continued financial losses of the companies and evidence that approaches for mitigating these losses are not really working.

Which Countries Are Suffering Falling GDP in Current US Dollars?

With lower oil prices, Saudi Arabia is one of the countries with falling GDP in Current US$.

Figure 4. Increase in GDP since 1990 for Saudi Arabia in current US dollars, based on World Bank Data.

Saudi Arabia pegs its currency to the dollar, so its lower GDP is not because its currency has fallen relative to the US dollar; instead, it reflects a situation in which fewer goods and services of all kinds are being produced, as measured in US dollars. GDP calculations do not consider debt, so Figure 4 indicates that even with all of Saudi Arabia’s borrowing to offset falling oil revenue, the quantity of goods and services it was able to produce fell in both 2015 and 2016.

Other oil-producing countries are clearly having problems as well, but data is often missing from the World Bank database for these countries. For example, Venezuela is clearly having problems with low oil prices, but GDP amounts for the country are missing for 2014, 2015, and 2016. (Somehow, world totals seem to include estimates of the total omitted amounts, however.)

Figure 5 shows similar ratios to Figure 4 for a number of other commodity producing countries.

Figure 5. GDP patterns, in US current dollars, for selected resource exporting countries, based on World Bank data.

A comparison of Figures 4 and 5 shows that the GDP patterns for these countries are similar to that of Saudi Arabia. Because resources (including oil) do not account for as large a share of GDP for these countries as for Saudi Arabia, the peak as a percentage of 1990 GDP isn’t quite as high as for Saudi Arabia. But the trend is still downward, with 2014 typically the peak year.

We can also look at similar information for the historically big consumers of oil, coal and natural gas, namely the United States, the European Union, and Japan.

Figure 6. Increase in GDP since 1990 for the United States, the European Union, and Japan, in current US dollars, based on World Bank data.

Here, we find the growth trend is much more subdued than for the countries shown in the previous two charts. I have purposely put the upper limit of the scale of this chart at 6 times the 1990 GDP level. This limit is similar to the upper limit on earlier charts, to emphasize how much more slowly these countries have been growing, compared to the countries shown in Figures 4 and 5.

In fact, for the European Union and Japan, GDP in current US$ is now lower than it has been in recent years. Figure 6 is telling us that the goods and services produced in these countries are now lower in US dollar value than they were a few years ago. Since part of the cost of goods and services is used to pay wages, this lower relativity indirectly implies that the wages of workers in the EU and Japan are falling, relative to the cost of buying goods and services priced in US dollars. Thus, even apart from taxes added by these countries, consumers in the EU and Japan have been falling behind in their ability to buy energy products priced in US dollars.

Figure 6 indicates that the United States has been doing relatively better than the European Union and Japan, in terms of the value of goods and services produced each year continuing to grow. If we look back at Figure 2, however, we see that even in the US, wage growth has lagged far behind oil price increases. Thus, the US was also likely headed toward an affordability problem relating to goods and services made with oil.

The Asian exporting nations have been doing relatively better in keeping their economies growing, despite the downward pressure on energy prices.

Figure 7. Increase in GDP since 1990 for selected rapidly growing Asian exporting countries in current US dollars, based on World Bank data.

The two most rapidly growing countries are China and Vietnam. There seems to be a recent slowing of their growth rates, but no actual downturn.

India, Pakistan, and the Philippines are growing less rapidly. They do not seem to be experiencing any downturn at all.

Considering the indications of Figure 4 through 7, it appears that only a relatively small share of countries have experienced rising GDP in current US dollars. Although we have not looked at all possible groupings, the countries that seem to be doing best in terms of rising current US$ GDP are countries that are exporters of manufactured goods, including the Asian countries shown. Countries that derive significant GDP from producing energy products and other commodities seem to be experiencing falling GDP in current US dollars.

To fix the problems shown here, we would need to get prices of oil and other energy products back up again. This would indirectly raise prices of many other products as well, including food, new vehicles, and new homes. With lagging wages in many countries, this would seem to be virtually impossible to accomplish.

The Wide Range of GDP Indications We See 

In this post, I am talking about GDP of various countries, converted to a US$ basis. This is not quite the same as the GDP that we normally read about. It is not until a person starts working with world data that a person appreciates how different the various GDP and inflation calculations are.

GDP in US dollars is very important because energy products, including oil, are generally priced in US$. This seems to be true, whether or not the currency used in the actual transaction is US$. See Appendix A for charts showing the close connection between these two items.

The type of GDP is generally reported is inflation-adjusted (also called “real”) GDP. The assumption is made that no one will care (very much) about inflation rates. In general, inflation-adjusted GDP figures are much more stable than those in Current US$. This can be seen by comparing world GDP in Figure 8 with that shown in Figure 1.

Figure 8. GDP in 2010 US dollars, for the world and for the United States, based on World Bank data.

Using inflation-adjusted world GDP data, there doesn’t seem to be any kind of crisis ahead. The last major problem was in the 2008-2009 period. Even the impact of this crisis appears to be fairly small. The 2008-2009 crisis shows up more distinctly in the Current US$ amounts plotted in Figure 1.

World GDP growth figures that are published by the World Bank and others combine country by country data using some type of weighting approach. Economists tend to use an approach called Purchasing Power Parity (PPP). This approach gives a great deal more weight to developing nations than the US dollar weighted approach used elsewhere in this post. For example, under the PPP approach, China seems to get a weighting of about 1.9 times its GDP in US$; India seems to get a weighting of about 3.8 times its GDP in US$. The United States gets a weight of 1.0 times its GDP in US$, and the weights for developed nations tend to be fairly close to 1.0 times their GDP in US$. The world GDP we see published regularly should be called “inflation-adjusted world GDP, calculated with PPP weights.”

The relationship among the three types of GDP can be seen in Figure 9. It is clear that GDP growth in Current US$ is far more variable than the inflation-adjusted growth rate (in 2010 US$). PPP inflation-adjusted GDP growth is consistently higher than GDP growth with US dollar weighting.

Figure 9. World GDP Growth in three alternative measures: Current dollars, Inflation-adjusted GDP is in 2010 US$ and adjusted to purchasing power parity (PPP).

It is also clear from Figure 9 that there is also a big “Whoops” in the most recent years. Economic growth is at a record low level, as calculated in Current US$.

World “Inflation” Indications

The typical way of calculating inflation is by looking at prices of a basket of goods in a particular currency, such as the yen, and seeing how the prices change over a period of time. To get an inflation rate for a group of countries (such as the G-20), inflation rates of various countries are weighted together using some set of weights. My guess is that these weights might be the PPP weights used in calculating world GDP.

In Figure 10, I calculate implied world inflation using a different approach. Since the World Bank publishes World GDP both in 2010 US$ and in Current US$, I calculate the implied world inflation rate by comparing these two sets of values. (Some people might call what I am calculating the implicit price deflator for GDP, rather than an inflation rate.) I use three-year averages to smooth out year-to-year variability in these amounts.

Figure 10. World inflation rate calculated by comparing reported World GDP in Current US$ to reported World GDP in 2010 US$. Both of these amounts are available at the World Bank website.

The implied world inflation rates using this approach are fairly different from published inflation rates. In part, this is because the calculations take into account changing relativities of currencies. There may be other factors as well, such as the inclusion of countries that would not normally be included in aggregations. Inflation rates tend to be high when demand for energy products is high, and low when demand for energy products is low.

Figure 10 shows that, on a world basis, there have been negative inflation rates three times since 1963–in approximately 1983-1984; in the late 1990s to early 2000s; and since about 2014. If we compare these dates to the oil price and energy consumption data on Figures 2 and 3, we see that these time periods are ones that are marked by falling per capita energy consumption and by low oil prices. In some sense, these are the time periods when the economy is/was trying to stall, for lack of adequate demand for oil.

The workaround used to “fix” the lack of demand in the late 1990s to early 2000s seems to have been an increased focus on globalization. China’s growth in particular was very important, because it added both a rapidly growing supply of cheap energy from coal and a great deal of demand for energy products. The addition of coal effectively lowered the average price of energy products so that they were again affordable by a large share of the world population. The availability of debt to pull the Chinese and other Asian economies forward was no doubt of importance as well.

The United States has been fairly protected from much of what has happened because its currency, the US Dollar, is the world’s reserve currency. If we look at the inflation rate of the United States using data of the US Bureau of Economic Analysis, the last time the United States had a substantial period of contracting prices was in the US Depression of the 1930s. It is quite possible that such a situation existed worldwide, but I do not have world data for that period.

Figure 11. US inflation rate (really “GDP Deflator”) obtained by comparing US GDP in 2009 US$ to GDP in Current US $, based on US Bureau of Economic Analysis data.

It was during the Depression of the 1930s that debt defaults became widespread. It was only through deficit spending, including the significant debt-based funding for World War II, that the problem of inadequate demand for goods and services was completely eliminated.

How Do We Solve Our World Deflation Crisis This Time 

There seem to be three ways of creating demand for goods and services.

[1] A growing supply of cheap-to-produce energy products is really the basic way of increasing demand through economic growth.

If there are cheap-to-produce energy products available, a growing supply of these energy products can be used to increasingly leverage human labor, through the use of more and better “tools” for the workers. When workers become increasingly more productive, their wages naturally rise. It is this growing productivity of human labor that generally produces the rising demand needed to maintain the economic growth cycle.

As growth in energy consumption slows and then declines (Figure 3), this productivity growth tends to disappear. This seems to be part of today’s problem.

[2] Increasing the amount of debt outstanding can work to make the energy extraction system work more effectively, by raising the price that consumers can afford to pay for high-priced goods.

This increasing ability to pay for high-priced goods seems to come in two ways:

(a) The debt itself can be used to pay for goods, making these goods more affordable on a month-to-month or year-to-year basis.

(b) Increased debt can lead to increased wages for wage earners, because some of the increased debt ultimately goes to create new jobs and to pay workers. Figure 12 shows the positive association that increasing debt seems to have with inflation-adjusted wages in the United States.

Figure 12. Growth in US Wages vs. Growth in Non-Financial Debt. Wages from US Bureau of Economics “Wages and Salaries.” Non-Financial Debt is discontinued series from St. Louis Federal Reserve. (Note chart does not show a value for 2016.) Both sets of numbers have been adjusted for growth in US population and for growth in CPI Urban.

Debt is, in effect, the promise of future goods and services made with energy products. These promises are often helpful in allowing an economy to expand. For example, businesses can issue bonds to provide funds to expand their operations. Selling shares of stock acts in a manner similar to adding debt, with repayment coming from future operations. In both cases, the payback can occur, if energy consumption is in fact growing, allowing the output of the business to expand as planned.

Once world leaders decide that debt levels are too high, or need to be controlled better, we are likely headed for trouble, because debt can be very helpful in “pulling the economy forward.” This is especially the case if productivity growth is low because per capita energy consumption is falling.

[3] Rebalancing of currency relativities to the US dollar.

Rebalancing currencies to different levels relative to the dollar seems to play a major role in determining the “inflation rate” calculated in Figure 10. Currency rebalancing also plays a major role in determining the shape of the GDP graph in current US$, as shown in Figure 1. In general, the higher the average relativity of other currencies to the US$, the higher the demand for goods and services of all kinds, and thus the higher the demand for energy products.

One problem in recent years is that, in some sense, the average relativity of other currencies to the US dollar has fallen too low. The fall in relativities took place when the US discontinued its use of Quantitative Easing in late 2014.

Figure 13. Monthly Brent oil prices with dates of US beginning and ending QE.

The price of oil and of other energy products dropped steeply at that time. In fact, in inflation-adjusted terms, oil prices had been falling even prior to the end of QE. (See Figure 2, above.) The shift in the currency relativities made oil and other energy products more expensive for citizens of the European Union, Japan, and most of the commodity producing countries shown in Figures 4 and 5.

The ultimate problem underlying this fall in average relativities to the US dollar is that there is now a disparity between the prices that consumers around the world can afford to pay for energy products, and the prices that businesses producing energy products really need. I have written about this problem in the past, for example in Why Energy-Economy Models Produce Overly Optimistic Indications.

At this point, none of the three approaches for solving the world’s deflation problem seem to be working:

[1] Increasing the supply of oil and other energy products is not working well, because diminishing returns has led to a situation where if prices are high enough for producers, they are too high for consumers to afford the finished goods made with the energy products.

[2] World leaders have decided that we have too much debt and, indeed, debt levels are very high. In fact, if energy prices continue to be low, a significant amount of debt currently outstanding will probably be defaulted on.

[3] Countries generally don’t want to raise the exchange rates of their currencies to the dollar, because lower exchange rates tend to encourage exports. If the United States raises its interest rates, either directly or by selling its QE bonds, the level of the US dollar can be expected to rise relative to other currencies. Thus, other currencies are likely to fall even lower than they are today, relative to the US dollar. This will tend to make the problem with low oil prices (and other energy prices) even worse than today.

Thus, there seems to be no way out of our current predicament.

Conclusion

The world economy is in a very precarious situation. Many of the world’s economies have found that, measured in current US$, the goods and services they are producing are less valuable than they were in 2013 and 2014. In particular, all of the oil exporting nations have this problem. Many other countries that are producing commodities have the same problem.

Governments around the world do not seem to understand the situation we are facing. In large part, this is happening because economists have built models based on their view of how the world works. Their models tend to leave out the important role energy plays. GDP growth and inflation estimates based on PPP calculations give a misleading view of how the economy is actually operating.

We seem to be sleepwalking into an even worse version of the Depression of the 1930s. Even if economists were able to figure out what is happening, it is not clear that there would be a good way out. Higher energy prices would aid energy producers, but would push energy importing nations into recession. We seem to be facing a predicament with no solution.

Appendix 

Growing Inflation-Adjusted GDP Comes From Growing Energy Consumption

We often hear that GDP no longer depends on energy consumption, but this simply is not true. Energy consumption is needed for practically every industrial process, because energy causes the physical transformations that are need (including heat, light, and movement). Even services that only require a lighted, air-conditioned office and the use of computers require energy consumption of some type.

An industrialized country can outsource manufacturing of many of its goods to other countries, but the need for energy products goes with this outsourcing. The transfer of manufacturing to lesser developed countries tends to stimulate building in these countries. As a result, on a world basis, the amount of energy consumed tends to remain close to unchanged.

Using data for 1965 through 2016, we find the following relationship between inflation-adjusted world GDP and world energy consumption:

Figure A1. World growth in energy consumption vs. world GDP growth. Energy consumption from BP Statistical Review of World Energy, 2017. World GDP is GDP in US 2010$, as compiled by World Bank.

Another way of displaying the same data is as an X, Y graph. A very high long-term correlation can be observed on this basis.

Figure A2. X-Y graph of world energy consumption (from BP Statistical Review of World Energy, 2017) versus world GDP in 2010 US$, from World Bank.

This high level of correlation can be seen for other groupings as well. For example, for the grouping Middle East and North Africa, there is a high level of correlation between energy consumption and GDP.

Figure A3. X-Y graph showing correlation between energy consumption and GDP in the Middle East and North Africa.

If a person calculates the implications of this fitted line, energy consumption for these oil-producing countries is actually growing faster than inflation-adjusted GDP for these countries. This type of trend is to be expected if oil-producing countries are in some sense becoming less efficient in producing oil. This could happen for a number of reasons. One is that the easiest to extract oil is extracted first, leaving the more expensive to extract oil to be extracted later. Another possible reason for this trend is rising human populations in oil producing countries. These people drive cars and live in air conditioned buildings, driving up energy consumption for these countries. Whatever the cause, this loss of efficiency in oil production can be expected to at least partially offset growing efficiencies elsewhere in the system.

 

 

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 inadequate supply.
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2,988 Responses to World GDP in current US dollars seems to have peaked; this is a problem

    • Ed says:

      Elon has enough money to keep his children out of a draft, I do not. I prefer robots go to kill and die rather than my children.

      • Davidin100trillionyears says:

        “116 experts”

        hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

        hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

        so-called “experts”

    • JT Bilkshire says:

      Don’t worry about robots being banned because when it comes to defense, nothing is out of the realm of accpetability. Anything and everything goes. What I don’t understand is why not develop swarms of drone insects that simply land on a person’s back and inject toxin, either to stun out of action or worse. There’s an old saying, “It’s what you don’t see coming that gets you.” And whose going to see something the size of an insect landing on their back in the panic of a battle? What if the toxin simply put the enemy to sleep. From deafening sound to snores.

  1. Cliffhanger says:
    • a home. in the sense that we know it, is a block of embodied energy

      with every passing year, energy is becoming harder to get hold of because it costs more in relative terms.

      it follws then that more and more people will become home less

      • Cliffhanger says:

        Don’t worry we have a president now who believes the US is a net oil exporter.

      • Artleads says:

        But that block of embedded energy doesn’t go away all that quickly, does it? Buildings last longer than people, and depending on the method of maintenance, can last for hundreds of years.

        • that wasnt my point

          if one is wealthy, then one looks for ”investments” to increase wealth.

          right now most investments show little return, except property. So the tendency of the wealthy is to buy property to deliver a income stream in the form of rents.
          The incentive is to push rents as high as possible to what the market will stand, and keep on pushing for more and more. They have to, because in many cases rental properties are financed on mortgages based on rental income.

          It is a balloon that must burst, obviously.

          Also the energy input costs rise year on year. A house built 50 years ago doesnt stay at 1970s prices, it’s pulled up as house/energy prices rise—but of course data clearly show that incomes have been flat since the 70s

          This squeezes out those of lower income so that they cant afford a home at all, because their income hasn’t risen pro rata with energy prices (or they dont have an income at all)

          Yes the block of embodied energy stays where it is, but that doesnt make it any more accessible to those who need it.

          • Artleads says:

            After a couple of readings, this seemed to clarify the situation best. Great explanation.

            “Also the energy input costs rise year on year. A house built 50 years ago doesnt stay at 1970s prices, it’s pulled up as house/energy prices rise—but of course data clearly show that incomes have been flat since the 70s

            This squeezes out those of lower income so that they cant afford a home at all, because their income hasn’t risen pro rata with energy prices (or they dont have an income at all)”

    • We have a problem with homeless college students in Georgia. The universities try to clear out lounge areas of people who might want to stay overnight. Some camp in nearby wooded areas. Churches have food collections for students who can’t afford both tuition and dorms.

      • Artleads says:

        Meanwhile, there are planning, art and urban studies departments that could make projects out of movable homeless shelter built from waste material. Rare is the university that couldn’t find a corner to locate a hundred or so of these spaces. Stanford urban studies studies department did a project like this once and donated a 7×7 structure with inbuilt bed and closet to my organization. I gave it to a church.

  2. Cliffhanger says:

    America is now a dangerous nation – -Financial Times

    https://www.ft.com/content/308e0f90-80ce-11e7-94e2-c5b903247afd

    • Yoshua says:

      Is the American political life radicalized today as it appears to be in the social media? GOP is almost synonymous with the Nazi party today and the Dem is the Communist party. Maybe that claim is a bit too much, but it is heading in that direction.

      The Antifa march in Boston gathered thousands of people. The street was packed by people. The moment they lose crowd control things can easily go bad.

      Europe experienced Antifa riots in Hamburg during G20. Can we blame that on Trump. 🙂

      • Davidin100trillionyears says:

        dangerous compared to where?

        Yemen?

        Somalia?

        Sudan?

        Syria?

        Afghanistan?

        perhaps mostly American inner cities?

    • There are families that are being torn apart, because one or more members feels strongly one way and others feel differently, and are unable to keep their thoughts out of family discussions.

      I know one family who has a son who is gay. The parents are strong Trump supporters. The son is, needless to say, on the other side. The mother was complaining to me that their son was no longer speaking to them, and refused to see them. I asked her why they couldn’t simply find different topics to talk about, and she said, “Oh, you know my husband. He is always very vocal in his beliefs. He can’t possibly stop talking about issues that he considers to be of concern.”

  3. Cliffhanger says:

    INSANE: Trump is going to hold a press conference tomw night. Where he is going to announce sending more troops back into Afghanistan. There is no ‘winning” in Afghanistan.

    • The Second Coming says:

      http://icasualties.org/oef/
      .S. Fatalities in and around Afghanistan

      Country of Death Fatalities
      Afghanistan 2192
      At Sea 1
      Bahrain 3
      Djibouti 1
      Germany (from wounds in theatre) 35
      Indonesia 1
      Jordan 1
      Kuwait 5
      Not reported yet 1
      Pakistan 15
      Qatar 4
      Southwest Asia 2
      USA (from wounds in theatre) 42
      Uzbekistan 1
      Total 2304
      View Details: U.S. Fatalities In and Around Afghanistan
      Keeping 5,500 troops at multiple locations will cost the U.S. about $14.6 billion a year, up from the estimated cost of $10 billion to retain a force at the Kabul embassy, according to administration officials.

      Doug Ollivant, a senior fellow at the New America Foundation, said that estimate could rise to $20 billion per year since the current projection includes only money for ground troops, assistance to the Afghan government and payments to government contractors.

      “It could easily end up being $3 billion higher and nobody’s going to blink an eye,” he said, especially if military leaders determine they need more forces.
      http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2015/10/15/Here-s-How-Much-It-Will-Cost-Keep-US-Troops-Afghanistan

      Still read actual newspapers, Miami Herald, and notice reports of GI deaths in small captions.
      Wonder the cost of Iraq? No matter, a double click on a computer mouse covers the bill,
      for now.
      Trump is ready to be a great military Generalissimo.

    • JT Bilkshire says:

      “There is no ‘winning” in Afghanistan.”

      Yeah, but Trump loves war and wants it anyway he can get it. The situation with NK hasn’t materialized into a physical conflict yet, so he has to look other places like Afghanistan. He’s also chomping at the bit for a war with Iran, and the recent added sanctions against them (even though they were following along with the nuclear peace accord) is just the first step in that direction. Trump has said he wants to be carved into Mt. Rushmore and if he can’t get major policies signed then he has to do it with wars. Of this I’m certain. Wars also help to deflect away from his malignant narcissism and along with it the need to be at war with people. Not once since he started campaigning to now that he’s been in office for a couple hundred days has he not been in a battle with someone. So what does that tell us about his need for war – it’s paramount. He needs it like a thirsty horse needs water.

      • Cliffhanger says:

        Wow JT . Well put..You nailed it

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Trump loves war.

        And how did you come to that conclusion

        What about Obama – did he love war?

      • xabier says:

        The actual holder of office is by now largely irrelevant.

        The perceived interests – economic and geo-strategic – of the US as an imperial power over-ride any personal predelictions of transitory politicians.

        You will see nothing from Trump which would not have been done by Clinton, or even Bernie, whatever the personality deformation of each might be.

        It’s natural to think in terms of personalities: but these interventions are decided upon by those whom you will never have to chance to vote on, weighing up factors which are never openly avowed to the general public.

        Just as true in Britain, France, and the other interventionist states.

      • totalitarian regimes need ‘conflict’ somewhere to justify privations at home

        the conflict doesn’t have to a a real one–just active in everyone\’s mind, all the time

    • Tim Groves says:

      It was Mr. Bannon—the guy whose demise Duncan has been high-fiving—who was against more overseas US entanglements. Like Neville Chamberlain and John Lennon, he was an advocate for peace.

      But President Trump, not wishing to end up like JFK, appointed a war-mongering psycho-path named McMaster to be his National Security Advisor and another one named Tillerson to be his Secretary of State and a third one nicknamed “Mad Dog” Mattis as his Secretary of Defense.

      So the War Party is firmly back in the driving seat, its opponents have been expelled, the President has been neutered, and the Empire with its industrialized death dealing will go on and on and on. Meanwhile, the left is obsessed with opposing Trump, toppling statues and installing trans-gender toilets and solar panels.

  4. Cliffhanger says:

    People mock North Korean people for worshiping their leader as a god. But at least their god actually exist.

  5. Fast Eddy says:

    And here we go again …

    More fake data from gl war scientists… or should I call them cl change scientists since the cl has not warmed in 20 years?

    Euan Mearns guts these corrupt bastards in this most excellent analysis of their rubbish analysis:

    http://euanmearns.com/european-floods-and-fake-science/

    Attention g w groopies — feel free not to read — or if you do ignore the facts… and refer to the MSM for your daily thought control otherwise known as ‘the news’

    For those who do read it — perhaps a ray of light is now shining into the dark place that you inhabit on this issue?

    • trebor says:

      So who is pushing the GW thing and why? Who gains? Are the Ell-durs behind it? And if not, what are they doing to undermine it?

      20 year spans, that makes sense. The 1990’s grew warmer than the 1980’s. A peak was reached in mid-August 2003, with a scorcher here in Brit-land. Between 2006 and 2010 it seemed to cool somewhat. From 2012 it was warmer again, and the mozzies have come for me every summer since then – that usually happens when temps get to 24°C or higher, which never used to be such a regular occurrence here. Up a bit, down a bit, trending slowly higher, though.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        G.ail has explained this….

        The reason this is promu.lgated is because it deflects the public from the re.ality that pea.k conv.enti.onal oil arrived in 200.6…

        We cannot have the ma.sses panicking over that Inconv..enient T…ruth…. that has no . …

        So they manufacture g w….. and they manufactured ren.ewable ene.rgy st.ories … and E..V stories… so that the ma.sses believe that there is a sol.ution….

  6. Cliffhanger says:

    North Korea is ruled by a tiny wealthy elite and spend almost all their money on their military. And everybody has to stand for their national anthem always. Doesn’t that sound like a conservative’s heaven on earth?

    • xabier says:

      There is a point at which ‘Left’ and ‘Right’ have no meaning: it’s called Totalitarianism.

  7. Cliffhanger says:

    • JMS says:

      Should I presume you think the Twat Liberal Oliver is better than the Unbalanced Republican Jones? To me both seem equally obnoxious. And although I recognize that Oliver’s sense of humor is a bit more sophisticated, I think he is much more ignorant and coward and sold out than poor stupi-d Alex, and therefore much more disgusting. But that’s just my opinion, of course.

      • Cliffhanger says:

        To me both seem equally obnoxious.

        Are you insane? One is an comedian and intellectual. And the other is a paranoid schizophrenic.

        • JMS says:

          To be an intellectual, you know, you need something more than to wear glasses, you have to, say, seek the truth, have original ideas, publish books, not work for MSM … But I agree the guy is a comedian.

          About Jones, If a paranoid is someone who believes that it is physically impossible to knock down three skyscrapers with two planes, then I am also a paranoid. Unfortunately, Jones is generally more loud than sane, and a person who also believes in a lot of silly things.

      • Jesse James says:

        Jones is not a Republican. You are trying to smear him troll.

        • JMS says:

          American politics is not my forte (there are many better shows out there) so maybe it was a mistake to say that Jones is a Republican. My apologies. Let me then correct the statement: Jones is a non-republican ignorant idi-ot and a professional buffoon. Much better now, isn’t it?

      • Tim Groves says:

        Both are comedians of a sort, and some people believe Alex is really the late great Bill Hicks. I can see a facial resemblance, Alex came into the public eye a couple of year’s after Bill’s death, and they’ve both been known to rant and rave about the Wako Massacre.

        Alex denies it, but he would do that, wouldn’t he? And if he was a paranoid schizophrenic, that would explain a lot.

    • zenny says:

      I would be surprised if Oliver has any say over his material.
      I think Jones is the final say on what is said on his productions that reach 10x the people that Oliver does.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        I saw a clip of Jon Stewart bawling over the 911 false flag event ….. he was wailing ‘why would they do this to us!’

        Now that made me laugh!!!

        As I thought oh well maybe they did that because we have blown them to pieces for the better part of a century…

        And … they did it because the CIA allowed them to do it — and even assisted them by planting explosives in the buildings to make sure the job was done right.

  8. Fast Eddy says:

    European Floods and Fake Science
    http://euanmearns.com/european-floods-and-fake-science/

    Just rereading this …

    The FT also picked up this story citing implications for hydroelectric power and insurers which may well be used as an excuse to raise premiums, yet again. The scientific article in question was published in Science and I decided to have a closer look.

    The BBC headline:

    In different parts of Europe, rivers are flooding earlier or later because of risi ng temp eratures, say scientists.

    And Blöschl et al say in the abstract:

    War mer temperatures have led to earlier spring snowmelt floods throughout northeastern Europe; delayed winter storms associated with polar war ming have led to later winter floods around the North Sea and some sectors of the Mediterranean coast

    Note how the MSM simply regurgitates what the ‘clim ate scien ce frate rnity’ feeds it?

    These are two of the most respect MSM outlets — and therefore are powerful purveyors of propaganda…

    No doubt — no questions asked — not attempt at challenging the assertions — they just print what is handed to them.

    And they call this journalism.

    Why does Euan Mearns have to do their job for them? He exposes in great detail how the articles are completely wrong — he exposes them for the propaganda scare pieces that they are meant to be.

    He has taken on 35 cl scie ntists — and shredded them — yet next to nobody will see this side of the story. The correct side.

    If people reading this do not have an ‘aha’ moment — as in now I see the incredible collusion that is going on with regards to this issue …. then all is lost…

    Again — if Al Gore were to do as James Lovelock and Patrick Moore have done — change their minds on this issue — you guys would revile him — you would claim he was paid by big oil to renounce his earlier position….

    I absolutely guarantee that.

    • Davidin100trillionyears says:

      perhaps.

      but remember, OPEC is not producing at full capacity.

      IF that statement is true, then oil production could go higher.

      Dennis Coyne thinks yes: not peaking until 2025 plus or minus a few years.

      and that is VERY SOON.

      • Cliffhanger says:

        Dennis Coyne thinks yes

        If Dennis thinks it then it must be true. That is good enough for me. No reason needed to believe. LOL

      • Also, remember keeping the system going to 2025 requires prices higher than today’s prices. Peak oilers’ don’t care about/understand prices. I don’t see how the system will allow high enough prices.

    • Cliffhanger says:

      Yes it most likely has but it won’t be acknowledged for a few more years.

    • JT Roberts says:

      I’m highly skeptical of that EIA graph. They make it seem that Russia has had a ten fold increase since 2001. This doesn’t correlate with BP stats. On top of that gross production is irrelevant. Only refiners buy oil not consumers. Consumers buy energy products. What matters is not peak crude production, what matters is peak energy production. The low quality franc and sand is killing refinery yields. So the net energy has past peak and is shrinking. Particularly from a per capata basis.

      • This graph is of what Matt Mushalik calls “Incremental Increases in Production” after the first date shown in the graph, which is January 2000. Thus, a person looks at amounts extracted in 1999, and only graphs the amounts in excess of those amounts. Looking at the graph, there must be a somewhat different procedure for countries with declining production, so a person can visually see how much production has declined for this countries.

        Matt usually gets his numbers right, so I wouldn’t worry about that. The charts always seem to look like this, regardless of the start date. The production of some countries is growing, and of some is shrinking. I am not sure it says anything different from what other charts are showing.

        I would call the amount at the top “tight oil,” not “shale oil” because shale oil is used for another very different product, ant the two products get confused.

        I agree with you that the real issue is peak energy of all types. This graph would likely not include Natural Gas Liquids, for example, even though it is included in some definitions of “oil”.

    • It may be that 2016 is the peak for production, and 2017 is the peak for consumption. We will see.

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