Why political correctness fails – Why what we know ‘for sure’ is wrong (Ex Religion)

Most of us are familiar with the Politically Correct (PC) World View. William Deresiewicz describes the view, which he calls the “religion of success,” as follows:

There is a right way to think and a right way to talk, and also a right set of things to think and talk about. Secularism is taken for granted. Environmentalism is a sacred cause. Issues of identity—principally the holy trinity of race, gender, and sexuality—occupy the center of concern.

There are other beliefs that go with this religion of success:

  • Wind and solar will save us.
  • Electric cars will make transportation possible indefinitely.
  • Our world leaders are all powerful.
  • Science has all of the answers.

To me, this story is pretty much equivalent to the article, “Earth Is Flat and Infinite, According to Paid Experts,” by Chris Hume in Funny Times. While the story is popular, it is just plain silly.

In this post, I explain why many popular understandings are just plain wrong. I cover several controversial topics, including environmentalism, peer-reviewed literature, and climate change models. This post pretty much excludes religion. It was added for people who find it hard to believe that a scientific article could also touch upon religion. If you want the complete discussion, as the post was originally written, please see this post

Myth 1: If there is a problem with the lack of any resource, including oil, it will manifest itself with high prices.

As we reach limits of oil or any finite resource, the problem we encounter is an allocation problem. 

What happens if economy stops growing

Figure 1. Two views of future economic growth. Created by author.

As long as the quantity of resources we can extract from the ground keeps rising faster than population, there is no problem with limits. The tiny wedge that each person might get from these growing resources represents more of that resource, on average. Citizens can reasonably expect that future pension promises will be paid from the growing resources. They can also expect that, in the future, the shares of stock and the bonds that they own can be redeemed for actual goods and services.

If the quantity of resources starts to shrink, the problem we have is almost a “musical chairs” type of problem.

Figure 2. Circle of chairs arranged for game of musical chairs. Source

In each round of a musical chairs game, one chair is removed from the circle. The players in the game must walk around the outside of the circle. When the music stops, all of the players scramble for the remaining chairs. Someone gets left out.

The players in today’s economic system include

  • High paid (or elite) workers
  • Low paid (or non-elite) workers
  • Businesses
  • Governments
  • Owners of assets (such as stocks, bonds, land, buildings) who want to sell them and exchange them for today’s goods and services

If there is a shortage of a resource, the standard belief is that prices will rise and either more of the resource will be found, or substitution will take place. Substitution only works in some cases: it is hard to think of a substitute for fresh water. It is often possible to substitute one energy product for another. Overall, however, there is no substitute for energy. If we want to heat a substance to produce a chemical reaction, we need energy. If we want to move an object from place to place, we need energy. If we want to desalinate water to produce more fresh water, this also takes energy.

The world economy is a self-organized networked system. The networked system includes businesses, governments, and workers, plus many types of energy, including human energy. Workers play a double role because they are also consumers. The way goods and services are allocated is determined by “market forces.” In fact, the way these market forces act is determined by the laws of physics. These market forces determine which of the players will get squeezed out if there is not enough to go around.

Non-elite workers play a pivotal role in this system because their number is so large. These people are the chief customers for goods, such as homes, food, clothing, and transportation services. They also play a major role in paying taxes, and in receiving government services.

History says that if there are not enough resources to go around, we can expect increasing wage and wealth disparity. This happens because increased use of technology and more specialization are workarounds for many kinds of problems. As an economy increasingly relies on technology, the owners and managers of the technology start receiving higher wages, leaving less for the workers without special skills. The owners and managers also tend to receive income from other sources, such as interest, dividends, capital gains, and rents.

When there are not enough resources to go around, the temptation is to use technology to replace workers, because this reduces costs. Of course, a robot does not need to buy food or a car. Such an approach tends to push commodity prices down, rather than up. This happens because fewer workers are employed; in total they can afford fewer goods. A similar downward push on commodity prices occurs if wages of non-elite workers stagnate or fall.

If wages of non-elite workers are lower, governments find themselves in increasing difficulty because they cannot collect enough taxes for all of the services that they are asked to provide. History shows that governments often collapse in such situations. Major defaults on debt are another likely outcome (Figure 3). Pension holders are another category of recipients who are likely to be “left out” when the game of musical chairs stops.

Figure 3 – Created by Author.

The laws of physics strongly suggest that if we are reaching limits of this type, the economy will collapse. We know that this happened to many early economies. More recently, we have witnessed partial collapses, such as the Depression of the 1930s. The Depression occurred when the price of food dropped because mechanization eliminated a significant share of human hand-labor. While this change reduced the price of food, it also had an adverse impact on the buying-power of those whose jobs were eliminated.

The collapse of the Soviet Union is another example of a partial collapse. This collapse occurred as a follow-on to the low oil prices of the 1980s. The Soviet Union was an oil exporter that was affected by low oil prices. It could continue to produce for a while, but eventually (1991) financial problems caught up with it, and the central government collapsed.

Figure 4. Oil consumption, production, and inflation-adjusted price, all from BP Statistical Review of World Energy, 2015.

Low prices are often a sign of lack of affordability. Today’s oil, coal, and natural gas prices tend to be too low for today’s producers. Low energy prices are deceptive because their initial impact on the economy seems to be favorable. The catch is that after a time, the shortfall in funds for reinvestment catches up, and production collapses. The resulting collapse of the economy may look like a financial collapse or a governmental collapse.

Oil prices have been low since late 2014. We do not know how long low prices can continue before collapse. The length of time since oil prices have collapsed is now three years; we should be concerned.

Myth 2. (Related to Myth 1) If we wait long enough, renewables will become affordable.

The fact that wage disparity grows as we approach limits means that prices can’t be expected to rise as we approach limits. Instead, prices tend to fall as an increasing number of would-be buyers are frozen out of the market. If in fact energy prices could rise much higher, there would be huge amounts of oil, coal and gas that could be extracted.

Figure 5. IEA Figure 1.4 from its World Energy Outlook 2015, showing how much oil can be produced at various price levels, according to IEA models.

There seems to be a maximum affordable price for any commodity. This maximum affordable price depends to a significant extent on the wages of non-elite workers. If the wages of non-elite workers fall (for example, because of mechanization or globalization), the maximum affordable price may even fall.

Myth 3. (Related to Myths 1 and 2) A glut of oil indicates that oil limits are far away. 

A glut of oil means that too many people around the world are being “frozen out” of buying goods and services that depend on oil, because of low wages or a lack of job. It is a physics problem, related to ice being formed when the temperature is too cold. We know that this kind of thing regularly happens in collapses and partial collapses. During the Depression of the 1930s, food was being destroyed for lack of buyers. It is not an indication that limits are far away; it is an indication that limits are close at hand. The system can no longer balance itself correctly.

Myth 4: Wind and solar can save us.

The amount of energy (other than direct food intake) that humans require is vastly higher than most people suppose. Other animals and plants can live on the food that they eat or the energy that they produce using sunlight and water. Humans deviated from this simple pattern long ago–over 1 million years ago.

Unfortunately, our bodies are now adapted to the use of supplemental energy in addition to food. The use of fire allowed humans to develop differently than other primates. Using fire to cook some of our food helped in many ways. It freed up time that would otherwise be spent chewing, providing time that could be used for tool making and other crafts. It allowed teeth, jaws and digestive systems to be smaller. The reduced energy needed for maintaining the digestive system allowed the brain to become bigger. It allowed humans to live in parts of the world where they are not physically adapted to living.

In fact, back at the time of hunter-gatherers, humans already seemed to need three times as much energy total as a correspondingly sized primate, if we count burned biomass in addition to direct food energy.

Figure 6 – Created by author.

“Watts per Capita” is a measure of the rate at which energy is consumed. Even back in hunter-gatherer days, humans behaved differently than similar-sized primates would be expected to behave. Without considering supplemental energy, an animal-like human is like an always-on 100-watt bulb. With the use of supplemental energy from burned biomass and other sources, even in hunter-gatherer times, the energy used was equivalent to that of an always-on 300-watt bulb.

How does the amount of energy produced by today’s wind turbines and solar panels compare to the energy used by hunter-gatherers? Let’s compare today’s wind and solar output to the 200 watts of supplemental energy needed to maintain our human existence back in hunter-gatherer times (difference between 300 watts per capita and 100 watts per capita). This assumes that if we were to go back to hunting and gathering, we could somehow collect food for everyone, to cover the first 100 watts per capita. All we would need to do is provide enough supplemental energy for cooking, heating, and other very basic needs, so we would not have to deforest the land.

Conveniently, BP gives the production of wind and solar in “terawatt hours.” If we take today’s world population of 7.5 billion, and multiply it by 24 hours a day, 365.25 days per year, and 200 watts, we come to needed energy of 13,149 terawatt hours per year. In 2016, the output of wind was 959.5 terawatt hours; the output of solar was 333.1 terawatt hours, or a total of 1,293 terawatt hours. Comparing the actual provided energy (1,293 tWh) to the required energy of 13,149 tWh, today’s wind and solar would provide only 9.8% of the supplemental energy needed to maintain a hunter-gatherer level of existence for today’s population. 

Of course, this is without considering how we would continue to create wind and solar electricity as hunter-gatherers, and how we would distribute such electricity. Needless to say, we would be nowhere near reproducing an agricultural level of existence for any large number of people, using only wind and solar. Even adding water power, the amount comes to only 40.4% of the added energy required for existence as hunter gatherers for today’s population.

Many people believe that wind and solar are ramping up rapidly. Starting from a base of zero, the annual percentage increases do appear to be large. But relative to the end point required to maintain any reasonable level of population, we are very far away. A recent lecture by Energy Professor Vaclav Smil is titled, “The Energy Revolution? More Like a Crawl.”

Myth 5. Evaluation methods such as “Energy Returned on Energy Invested” (EROI) and “Life Cycle Analyses (LCA)” indicate that wind and solar should be acceptable solutions. 

These approaches are concerned about how the energy used in creating a given device compares to the output of the device. The problem with these analyses is that, while we can measure “energy out” fairly well, we have a hard time determining total “energy in.” A large share of energy use comes from indirect sources, such as roads that are shared by many different users.

A particular problem occurs with intermittent resources, such as wind and solar. The EROI analyses available for wind and solar are based on analyses of these devices as stand-alone units (perhaps powering a desalination plant, on an intermittent basis). On this basis, they appear to be reasonably good choices as transition devices away from fossil fuels.

EROI analyses don’t handle the situation well when there is a need to add expensive infrastructure to compensate for the intermittency of wind and solar. This situation tends to happen when electricity is added to the grid in more than small quantities. One workaround for intermittency is adding batteries; another is overbuilding the intermittent devices, and using only the portion of intermittent electricity that comes at the time of day and time of year when it is needed. Another approach involves paying fossil fuel providers for maintaining extra capacity (needed both for rapid ramping and for the times of year when intermittent resources are inadequate).

Any of these workarounds is expensive and becomes more expensive, the larger the percentage of intermittent electricity that is added. Euan Mearns recently estimated that for a particular offshore wind farm, the cost would be six times as high, if battery backup sufficient to even out wind fluctuations in a single month were added. If the goal were to even out longer term fluctuations, the cost would no doubt be higher. It is difficult to model what workarounds would be needed for a truly 100% renewable system. The cost would no doubt be astronomical.

When an analysis such as EROI is prepared, there is a tendency to leave out any cost that varies with the application, because such a cost is difficult to estimate. My background is in actuarial work. In such a setting, the emphasis is always on completeness because after the fact, it will become very clear if the analyst left out any important insurance-related cost. In EROI and similar analyses, there is much less of a tieback to the real world, so an omission may never be noticed. In theory, EROIs are for multiple purposes, including ones where intermittency is not a problem. The EROI modeler is not expected to consider all cases.

Another way of viewing the issue is as a “quality” issue. EROI theory generally treats all types of energy as equivalent (including coal, oil, natural gas, intermittent electricity, and grid-quality electricity). From this perspective, there is no need to correct for differences in types of energy output. Thus, it makes perfect sense to publish EROI and LCA analyses that seem to indicate that wind and solar are great solutions, without any explanation regarding the likely high real-world cost associated with using them on the electric grid.

Myth 6. Peer reviewed articles give correct findings.

The real story is that peer reviewed articles need to be reviewed carefully by those who use them. There is a very significant chance that errors may have crept in. This can happen because of misinterpretation of prior peer reviewed articles, or because prior peer reviewed articles were based on “thinking of the day,” which was not quite correct, given what has been learned since the article was written. Or, as indicated by the example in Myth 5, the results of peer reviewed articles may be confusing to those who read them, in part because they are not written for any particular audience.

The way university research is divided up, researchers usually have a high level of specialized knowledge about one particular subject area. The real world situation with the world economy, as I mentioned in my discussion of Myth 1, is that the economy is a self-organized networked system. Everything affects everything else. The researcher, with his narrow background, doesn’t understand these interconnections. For example, energy researchers don’t generally understand economic feedback loops, so they tend to leave them out. Peer reviewers, who are looking for errors within the paper itself, are likely to miss important feedback loops as well.

To make matters worse, the publication process tends to favor results that suggest that there is no energy problem ahead. This bias can come through the peer review process. One author explained to me that he left out a certain point from a paper because he expected that some of his peer reviewers would come from the Green Community; he didn’t want to say anything that might offend such a reviewer.

This bias can also come directly from the publisher of academic books and articles. The publisher is in the business of selling books and journal articles; it does not want to upset potential buyers of its products. One publisher made it clear to me that its organization did not want any mention of problems that seem to be without a solution. The reader should be left with the impression that while there may be issues ahead, solutions are likely to be found.

In my opinion, any published research needs to be looked at very carefully. It is very difficult for an author to move much beyond the general level of understanding of his audience and of likely reviewers. There are financial incentives for authors to produce PC reports, and for publishers to publish them. In many cases, articles from blogs may be better resources than academic articles because blog authors are under less pressure to write PC reports.

Myth 7. Climate models give a good estimate of what we can expect in the future.

There is no doubt that climate is changing. But is all of the hysteria about climate change really the correct story?

Our economy, and in fact the Earth and all of its ecosystems, are self-organized networked systems. We are reaching limits in many areas at once, including energy, fresh water, the number of fish that can be extracted each year from oceans, and metal ore extraction. Physical limits are likely to lead to financial problems, as indicated in Figure 3. The climate change modelers have chosen to leave all of these issues out of their models, instead assuming that the economy can continue to grow as usual until 2100. Leaving out these other issues clearly can be expected to overstate the impact of climate change.

The International Energy Agency is very influential with respect to which energy issues are considered. Between 1998 and 2000, it did a major flip-flop in the importance of energy limits. The IEA’s 1998 World Energy Outlook devotes many pages to discussing the possibility of inadequate oil supplies in the future. In fact, near the beginning, the report says,

Our analysis of the current evidence suggests that world oil production from conventional sources could peak during the period 2010 to 2020.

The same report also mentions Climate Change considerations, but devotes many fewer pages to these concerns. The Kyoto Conference had taken place in 1997, and the topic was becoming more widely discussed.

In 1999, the IEA did not publish World Energy Outlook. When the IEA published the World Energy Outlook for 2000, the report suddenly focused only on Climate Change, with no mention of Peak Oil. The USGS World Petroleum Assessment 2000 had recently been published. It could be used to justify at least somewhat higher future oil production.

I will be the first to admit that the “Peak Oil” story is not really right. It is a halfway story, based on a partial understanding of the role physics plays in energy limits. Oil supply does not “run out.” Peak Oilers also did not understand that physics governs how markets work–whether prices rise or fall, or oscillate. If there is not enough to go around, some of the would-be buyers will be frozen out. But Climate Change, as our sole problem, or even as our major problem, is not the right story, either. It is another halfway story.

One point that both Peak Oilers and the IEA missed is that the world economy doesn’t really have the ability to cut back on the use of fossil fuels significantly, without the world economy collapsing. Thus, the IEA’s recommendations regarding moving away from fossil fuels cannot work. (Shifting energy use among countries is fairly easy, however, making individual country CO2 reductions appear more beneficial than they really are.) The IEA would be better off talking about non-fuel changes that might reduce CO2, such as eating vegetarian food, eliminating flooded rice paddies, and having smaller families. Of course, these are not really issues that the International Energy Association is concerned about.

The unfortunate truth is that on any difficult, interdisciplinary subject, we really don’t have a way of making a leap from lack of knowledge of a subject, to full knowledge of a subject, without a number of separate, partially wrong, steps. The IPCC climate studies and EROI analyses both fall in this category, as do Peak Oil reports.

The progress I have made on figuring out the energy limits story would not have been possible without the work of many other people, including those doing work on studying Peak Oil and those studying EROI. I have also received a lot of “tips” from readers of OurFiniteWorld.com regarding additional topics I should investigate. Even with all of this help, I am sure that my version of the truth is not quite right. We all keep learning as we go along.

There may indeed be details of this particular climate model that are not correct, although this is out of my area of expertise. For example, the historical temperatures used by researchers seem to need a lot of adjustment to be usable. Some people argue that the historical record has been adjusted to make the historical record fit the particular model used.

There is also the issue of truing up the indications to where we are now. I mentioned the problem earlier of EROI indications not having any real world tie; climate model indications are not quite as bad, but they also seem not to be well tied to what is actually happening.

Myth 8. Our leaders are all knowing and all powerful.

We are fighting a battle against the laws of physics. Expecting our leaders to win in the battle against the laws of physics is expecting a huge amount. Some of the actions of our leaders seem extraordinarily stupid. For example, if falling interest rates have postponed peak oil, then proposing to raise interest rates, when we have not fixed the underlying oil depletion problem, seems very ill-advised.

It is the Laws of Physics that govern the world economy. The Laws of Physics affect the world economy in many ways. The economy is a dissipative structure. Energy inputs allow the economy to remain in an “out of equilibrium state” (that is, in a growing state), for a very long period.

Eventually the ability of any economy to grow must come to an end. The problem is that it requires increasing amounts of energy to fight the growing “entropy” (higher energy cost of extraction, need for growing debt, and rising pollution levels) of the system. The economy must come to an end, just as the lives of individual plants and animals (which are also dissipative structures) must come to an end.

Conclusion

We are facing a battle against the laws of physics which we are unlikely to win. Our leaders would like us to think that it can be won quite easily, but it cannot be.  Climate change is presented as our only and most important problem, but this is not really the case. Our problem is that the financial system and energy systems are tightly connected. We are likely to have serious financial problems as we hit limits of many kinds, at more or less the same time.

Our leaders are not really as powerful as we would like. Even our scientific findings practically never come in perfect form. Our knowledge generally comes in a series of steps, which includes revisions to early ideas. At this time, it doesn’t look as though we have figured out a way to work around our rising need for energy and the problem with rising entropy.

 

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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1,605 Responses to Why political correctness fails – Why what we know ‘for sure’ is wrong (Ex Religion)

  1. Yorchichan says:

    Worried about personal hygiene when the collapse comes? Don’t be! I’m having a rare night off from driving drunken girls home and have decided to pass on some tips about looking one’s best once BAU is no more (and saving some money now):

    1) Shaving

    I remember Gail once commenting that the poor would no longer be able to remain clean shaven once they can’t afford shaving products or these are no longer available. This need not be the case. Shaving foam is totally unnecessary. Water is a sufficient lubricant all by itself. Einstein knew this and didn’t use shaving foam. Me and Albert have a lot in common.

    Running the cheapest supermarket disposable razor over a leather strop a few times before using it will make it last half of forever. I’ve been using the same one for months and it shaves better than the first time I used it. One cheap razor can easily last longer than your food supply.

    2) Hair care

    Normally I only leave the house at night, so I was shocked to discover under the bright sunshine of Ibiza last April that my hair had become really thin. In desperation I went cold turkey and cut down shampooing from every day to never. My hair looked pretty cr*p for a few weeks (months?) it’s true, but now, half a year later, it looks better than it has for years. I have new hair sprouting all over my scalp. Shampoo is a major contributor to hair loss. No doubt about it. And hair is able to keep clean all by itself. If you must wash it, use water only.

    Not sure if not using shampoo will protect against hair loss from radiation, but it can’t hurt.

    3) Soap

    Yet another unnecessary invention of the pharmaceutical industry. Unless covered in oil, showering using water only is good enough to get clean and remove any unwanted smell. My wife disagrees, but she has a nose like a bloodhound.

    In summary, stop putting lots of chemicals on your body. Your, hair, skin and pocket will thank you for it. Or, as JMG says, collapse now and avoid the rush.

    You may be relieved to hear I’ll be back at work tomorrow…

    • I don’t know about your solutions, but I do know that the many products we use every day often are not good for us. It is impractical to test products for a long time, to see whether a given product is harmful.

      It seems likely that some types of women’s makeup contains carcinogens.
      https://eluxemagazine.com/beauty/can-makeup-give-you-cancer/

      https://thetruthaboutcancer.com/cosmetics-cancer-causing-ingredients/

      Cleaning products can trigger asthma symptoms as well.

      http://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-asthma-cleaning-products/common-cleaning-products-can-trigger-asthma-symptoms-idUSKBN0O71QM20150522

      • Fast Eddy says:

        I was considering converting to transgender… but it wouldn’t work without make-up…. but I don’t want cancer… and I would get bathroom-confusion …

        So I will stay the current course

        • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

          I was considering converting my gender and making it = Jupiter…

          that one or Saturn, I don’t know.

          I think I will when I next have to fill out an official form.

          how can “they” stop me?

          I think this is covered by Freedom of Speech.

        • houtskool says:

          Don’t do it FE. A beautiful woman with a large container stocked with prep stuff is a prime target.

      • Greg Machala says:

        I;ll second the shampoo thing. I have not used shampoo in 30+ years. I just have short hair and just spray my head with water once a week and wipe with a towel. I have really thick hair. Never have had any scalp or hair problems at all.

    • Hey stinky!

      I tried the hair thing once and yer right… it takes months for that to settle down into some new kind of equilibrium. Just use gentler, natural products. Plenty of those around these days.

      Deoderant’s a funny one. You can now buy aluminum free! versions which means that these companies have been selling the accumulative toxin filled versions for decades. Hmmm. Same goes for suncreens which people love to rub all over their number one organ… their skin. Which absorbs toxins fairly quickly especially when it’s all warmed up and the pores opened like say when you’re sunbathing or in a hot shower.

      Actually, I knew some vegetarian meditating natural health dudes once that swore that they didn’t need deoderant after removing all toxin creating ingredients from their diet. For most people, that would mean meat products which start to rot inside your intestines and things like alchohol, tabacco etc. Or you could just use some non toxic deoderant?

      Oh and big pharma

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_largest_pharmaceutical_companies_by_revenue

      didn’t invent soap. It’s been around for quite a while…

      The earliest recorded evidence of the production of soap-like materials dates back to around 2800 BC in ancient Babylon. … The Ebers papyrus (Egypt, 1550 BC) indicates the ancient Egyptians bathed regularly and combined animal and vegetable oils with alkaline salts to create a soap-like substance.
      Soap – Wikipedia
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soap

      Also a lot of natural oils are antibacterial so there is that too.

      And the beard thing or “the need to shave post-collapse” I think can be summed up thusly…

  2. psile says:

    Hey, but virtue signalling is doing just dandy in Cucknada..

    ‘Anger, betrayal’: Sears staff speak out about demise of the company and their jobs

    Sears Canada workers are feeling confused and angry after learning on Tuesday that the retailer plans to close its remaining 130 stores.

    If Sears gets court approval, it would start liquidating the stores as early as Oct. 19, putting the retailer out of business and about 12,000 employees out of work.

    “Many of us feel frustrated, anger, betrayal,” a Sears manager told CBC News in an email on Tuesday. He and another employee interviewed asked that we not publish their names because they still work for the retailer and fear retribution.

    “People don’t know what to do,” said the manager about staff at his location. “Many people went home already as they were physically upset and needed some personal space.”

    A Sears memo sent to staff Wednesday said workers will lose their jobs as early as within the next few days, but that some will stay on for a few months. It also explained that employees will lose their benefits as soon as they’re terminated.

    It did not address severance pay, but the manager says he has been told it won’t be offered because Sears is insolvent.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      On the bright side…. there are going to be some outstanding clearance sales … good time to be picking up early Christmas gifts for the family

    • “No severance pay because Sears is insolvent.” Not a great outcome! I can’t imagine that there is much of a pension plan, either. I am sure this is difficult for workers.

      • psile says:

        Or their consumer selves…

        As a side note: What get’s me about this self-driving AI job replacing paradise malarkey we’re being blown 24/7, powered no doubt by “clean green renewable energy”, is who’se going to buy all the stuff of the future, if most non-elite workers have been automated out of a job? As you pointed out, robots don’t need to eat, or have a social life.

        No knuckleheads in the AI industry or financial markets have yet to answer this question, Mainly because the wingnuts in the media haven’t or won’t ask it, and most people are either too busy, stupid, lazy, or fawning to ask either.

        https://garrisonleykamphddotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/cargo-cult-4.jpg?w=300&h=213

        • I was a card carrying member of the techno utopia future cult.

          I have asked the question repeatedly for the past ten years…

          “…who’se going to buy all the stuff of the future, if most non-elite workers have been automated out of a job?”

          The unanimous reply from the high priests of the techno utopia future cult is…

          Basic Income Guarantee or Universal Basic Income or whateveryouwantocallit

          While snickering out the other side of their mouths.

          Want to know what I really think? And this is just a theory (but based on some evidence). These guys have been told that they are the masters of the universe and have made it into the upper echelons of the species i.e. that which needs to be protected and conserved.

          The non elite workers and general hangers on are expendable and will be allowed to perish when the time comes. They on the other hand will survive with sufficient tech and systems intact for continuation of the chosen ones.

          The greatly reduced numbers and radical restructuring of the economy would mean the old rules don’t apply anymore (economies of scale) and a few setbacks would be acceptable to achieve the ultimate prize.

          The first problem I can see with this dasterdly plan is that it is only because of economies of scale that we can have things like microchips at such low price. We are not living in the middle ages where the wealthy could custom make all kinds of goods for their pleasure from relatively basic materials and cheap labor.

          Lets say that 500 million make it to the lucky winners group and they all want an iphone. Would that be possible with those kinds of numbers? Would the mining required for such a population be viable? Certainly organic farming seems possible but not global transportation of goods.

          What if you rounded up the remainers in one area – a network of neighbouring cities so that all requirements are concentrated?

          As I try to picture it… it just doesn’t seem plausible whichever way I try to spin it.

          So these elite characters who think they’re on the winning team may just turn out to be the most deluded individuals to have ever existed.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            The thing is…

            We are almost out of cheap to extract oil… I am unaware of any ‘system’ or ‘model’ that fixes that

            • But the internet tells me that we have plenty of time to make the jump to light speed…

              The Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries reports that there are 1.5 trillion barrels of crude oil reserves left in the world. 4 days ago

              How Much Oil Is Left On Earth? – Seeker
              https://www.seeker.com/how-much-oil-is-left-on-earth-1792718444.html

              The world has 53.3 years of oil left

              Theoretically speaking

            • All we have to do is get the price up to where it can be extracted. That is the issue, not the amount in the ground. Wages need to be higher, to complete the “loop.”–in other words, to make the goods oil can be used for (such as homes and cars) affordable to the masses.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              We’ll have phased out all IC vehicles long before then … and surely by then solar and wind will have been sorted …

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Unless one is already collecting a pension … or is about to…. they are not going to see a dime of that cash….

        The Sears people have a lot of company in their misery….

      • xabier says:

        Terrible time for not very well-paid people.

      • Greg Machala says:

        I feel like this is just the beginning. May other retailers will follow. The statement about no severance or benefits because Sears is insolvent speaks volumes about the cold hard reality of our predicament.

  3. Volvo740 says:

    “At the same time, however, Japanese utilities are insisting, and the government has granted and reinforced, the right to refuse cheaper renewable power, supposedly due to concerns about grid stability—hardly plausible in view of their far smaller renewable fractions than in several European countries—but apparently to suppress competition.”

    https://www.worldnuclearreport.org/The-World-Nuclear-Industry-Status-Report-2017-HTML.html

    • I found the quote in the report. This is a nuclear report. They can’t be expected to understand intermittent renewables; very few do. Europe is in the process of trying to get its intermittent renewables under control. It can’t really live with the high percentage it has. Also, solar has a particular problem, with all of it going offline at the close to the same time, needing a lot of backup to ramp up quickly at sunset. This by itself can be destabilizing. variable types of electricity, especially natural gas or hydroelectric, are needed to balance out the big shifts.

      • Volvo740 says:

        Indeed. But these guys are “very good” in observing what’s happening in a dying industry. And I think they also have a “need for a solution”. And that happens to be renewables for them. It think it’s very hard for a lot of people to say – there is no solution……… Because the implications are unthinkable.

      • I was a little shocked this morning to realise that the sun still hadn’t risen from behind the hills at 10 am. That time of year again I guess. And for the next five months or so the sun stays very low in its trajectory across the sky when it’s not overcast which happens to be quite a lot where I live.

        I would say there are a few prime spots on the planet that would be suitable for large scale solar development projects. We all know this. The problem is tranferring that energy to where it’s needed and at the times it’s needed. Hmmm. But my backyard is certainly not one of those spots.

        We do have a fair amount of wind and that’s why some EU companies have collected gov subsidies (taxpayer revenue) to litter my local coastline with wind turbines that for weeks at a time remain as still as statues when the wind chooses not to behave. Hows that intermittency working out for ya?

        Surely, surely surely it would be wiser to build mass produced modular small scale power plants – you choose the fuel – closer to where the energy is needed thereby reducing environmental impact and the need to create unwieldy national or international grid networks with an increasing number of failure points.

        Natural gas and some new types of nukes would be the way to go in my opinion reducing the dependency on coal plants but I know that’s a non topic here so I’ll shut up.

        • You have to get the fuel to the small generating plant, so there is no savings in building the plants closer to the people. The electric transmission lines from the small plants becomes a nightmare, in addition to the existing transmission lines. The small plants will never service the steel mills and other heavy industry.

          • I guess that’s why we have the system we have. There are too many overall considerations to take into account. You have mentioned repeatedly that one of the main failure points of the system is the maintenance of the grid. And yet we have engineers chattering about a complete overhaul to cope with further roll out of renewables and the smartgrid which supposedly evens things out.

            Either these modifications and further upkeep of the grid are possible or they are not. Are you saying that at some point these planners and managers will be left no other option but to abandon parts of the grid until only the major cities are left and rural populations have completed their migration to them?

            I see a lot of abandoned infrastructure in our future.

            • I expect that what part of the grid fails will depend on circumstances.

              One of the issues is storms, and its impact on transmission. It may not make sense to rebuild after storms. Puerto Rico is having problems because it has a lot of transmission lines down. Also, even before the storm, the cost of its electricity was unreasonably high. This is why the electric company, and the Puerto Rico itself, had gone bankrupt. Like most islands, a lot of the electricity comes from burning oil; this is a very expensive way of generating electricity, even at $50 per barrel. The EIA shows Puerto Rico’s charge for industrial electricity to be 18.15 cents per kWh. https://www.eia.gov/state/print.php?sid=RQ This compares to 7.22 cents per kWh for the US as a whole. It is impossible for businesses to make money with such a high price for electricity. (Electricity from renewables would be even more expensive.)

              Parts of Alaska have very high costs as well. It may not make sense trying to keep small communities that are distant from the rest of the population of Alaska supplied with electricity.

              If the thing that brings the system down is banking problems, this could affect the whole system at once. It is hard to keep a business open, if a company cannot pay employees, and cannot pay suppliers for needed inputs. This kind of problem could bring down the whole grid at once.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Half of what Germans and Danes pay….

            • Fast Eddy says:

              I don’t see that happening

              The system must grow or collapse.

              We can shed peripherals like Venezuela… but if any OECD country contracts — and falling back into cities abandoning all else is without question a mega contraction … BAU will collapse soon after.

          • Greg Machala says:

            That is why we have economies of scale. Some folks think we can continue with all the high tech devices (batteries, solar panels, etc) and downsize at the same time. What they miss is that without economies of scale we cannot have batteries, solar panels and wind turbines. It is a catch-22.

        • Artleads says:

          In a somewhat isolated village like mine, small, village-scale power supply would seem to make sense. But managing it would be difficult. I sort of see Gail’s point–a lot more local complexity to worry about. But having a robust backup “system” (social or technical) might not be bad. Maybe some energy source to run the single-well pump. Maybe some way to produce ice for enough people to coll food in the fridge…

          • We used wind mills (not electric) to pump water, 100 years ago. This works well, and is a whole lot cheaper than trying to electrify the system.

            People in countries where electricity is intermittent do not have refrigerators. They have televisions and telephones–things that can be operated regardless of how intermittent the electricity is. Without refrigerators, people need to buy food almost daily, and eat up leftovers no later than the next meal.

            • Artleads says:

              Never having looked into it, I had no idea there was a way for televisions and telephones to work well without grid energy. But I did believe the fridge required the lion’s share of that energy. On that score, I wondered if putting all the generator resources to work making ice for the locals could help stock fridges with ice to hold out for periods without the grid.

            • Telephones have batteries in them. If the receiving towers have a supply of electricity, then they work.

              Televisions generally don’t work when there is no electricity. People in under-developed countries have them (but no refrigerators) because there is no need for continuity. If electricity is on, and also if the station televising the show has electricity, then it is possible to watch the show.

              I wouldn’t count on blocks of ice to help refrigerators work when electricity is off. Refrigerators are “energy hogs” to begin with. They are not really essential. When there is a lot of oil for delivering blocks of ice, people might think about such an arrangement. But it would be a horribly expensive way of getting refrigeration. We would need new refrigerators, for one thing. No freezing compartment, for example.

            • Artleads says:

              Our power went off for 8 hrs a few days ago. Child’s play compared to Puerto Rico! We piled all the frozen stuff into one freezer compartment and stuffed around the edges with towels. Worked well. But we’re near fully functioning IC here, and hope that will last for quite some time. The fridge is old. A new, better one costs too much. If we could get ice to help with not-too-long regular shut downs (the FE challenge lite), it might serve us “long enough.”

            • Fast Eddy says:

              The thought of having to live outside the bubble — is frightening. I mean completely outside the bubble… completely unplugged…. even for a week….

              That’s why none of the doomy permies try the Challenge…. they like their washing machines… they like coffee in the morning….

  4. Fast Eddy says:

    Fast Eddy Challenge ultra lite…

    So I’m out on the west coast … and this morning around 8am …I’m clacking away on my laptop … and just like that … the power goes off…. I check the breakers… nothing there…

    So I wait…. and nothing happens…. and I wait… nothing … there is no phone coverage and we don’t have a landline so I cannot call to find out what is going on….

    I run some hot water out of the cylinder into a bucket and have a shower… still no power…

    Then I start to think… what if this is it… the end has arrived…. hmmm… not the way I expected… no ranting and raving on the financial channels… and then I am thinking … why would there be … maybe this is the way it was meant to be … everything is roaring along … and like a blown gasket in an engine

    I was meant to make my way back to civilization at 11am … but I decide no sense in hanging about … so I jump in the truck … and me and the dog get on our way…. I flip on an audio book and it – along with the hum of the engine brings me back into my BAU cocoon… the boy is back in the bubble.

    Initially there are no cars on the road… I start to thinking … what if this is it?

    Then I flick on the radio — there’s not a lot of signal out there at the best of times … but some presenter is blurting on about something or other ….

    And I relax… BAU lives on…. I live to live large another day….

    I highly recommend this type of experience to everyone — get yourself on your own … in a remote area — and turn off the power for a few hours…. while it is off think about what you will do if it stays off…

    I am not talking about going camping … where you expect to have no power … and you have absolutely prepared for it….

    One of the first things I started to think of was food — being the last day in the bush I did not have a lot of food on hand…. mainly some canned food… I was thinking — what do I do when this runs out?

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      my storage of dark chocolate is vast.

      if JIT ends suddenly, I won’t have to depend on “stores” for a while.

      though my thoughts would turn to the biggest necessity…

      toilet paper!

      the beginning of the end for IC and BAU will be the supply of TP in stores.

      be warned!

      2030 is coming soon.

    • Artleads says:

      Yes. Making the FE lite challenge part of the (daily and routine) system had seemed like a plan, although I don’t know how it would/could work with keeping IC going.

  5. Fast Eddy says:

    I am entertained!!!

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-12/youll-love-my-dick-amazon-suspends-video-chief-after-sexual-harrassment-allegations

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-11/virtue-signaling-ben-affleck-%E2%80%98saddened-and-angry%E2%80%99-about-weinstein-immediately-called

    This stuff takes my mind off the fact that I am about to starve to death .. or have my head caved in by a gang of crack heads intent on getting into the container….

    More More More!!!

  6. psile says:

    One point that both Peak Oilers and the IEA missed is that the world economy doesn’t really have the ability to cut back on the use of fossil fuels significantly, without the world economy collapsing.

    Gail, Colin Campbell spoke about a credit crunch and economic collapse as a result of peak oil at least as far back in 2005.

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      so… as the decline begins within a year or two…

      the cutbacks will have to be in items that are less essential than FF.

      FF is perhaps 10% of the world economy. (anyone with the data?)

      of course, any cutbacks will then throw many workers into unemployment.

      the 2020’s are going to be unsettling years.

      • If only that was a solution. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone suddenly developed group awareness and self sacrifice for the greater good. Hmm, we could trim away all the excess fat (literally in some cases) and design a system that could scale down as well as up according to whatever population numbers the higher ups decide are optimal.

        Every member of this lucky club gets the basics for comfortable living but no more than that. The only thing they would lack is purpose. Oh, that magical word. You mean the purpose that people find in all the millions of state run paper pushing fake jobs or maybe the millions of minimum wage earners serving coffee and food to everyone else.

        Let’s face it, if any one of us could run this place like one of those donkey sanctuaries or one of the better retirement home options most of the pets… I mean inhabitants would be reasonably satisfied. Food, entertainment, and a drop of your favourite behaviour enhancement molecule in the water supply and bob’s yer uncle.

        In fact, we’re not far off this reality now. Look around. All that’s left is to round people up in sanctuary cities or entice them with all the wonderful benefits. Any stragglers can fend for themselves and are cut off from any assistance. There, that’s the choice. Favela chic is coming to a city near you. Legalise drugs and sanitise prostitution. Pay the guards on every corner a nice bonus. Clean the streets of any unwanted eyesores. Transfer to unused aircraft hangers (as nobody will be flying) and provide bedding and treatment for whatever ailments they may have. Or if you’re one of those hyper efficient types then bung them in and throw away the key. Let nature do what it was going to do anyway had we not kept millions of useless eaters alive. I don’t see anyone taking pity on them anyway even in uber wealthy california where the streets are piling up and the diseases are starting to spread so much they have to regularly spray them with bleach.

        If only, if only we could cut back to the essentials while maintaining all those complex little supply chains intact. Alas, it’s as complex as it can get and reducing complexity once it has been established would be as tricky as reducing the complexity of a human to that of an algorithm. Trying to capture the essence of what makes the machine tick is not the same as the machine itself. Much is lost in the summary.

        Riddle me this. Something that has puzzled me for some time is the apparent population burden weighing on certain nation states – you know who they are – when other nations of comparable landmass have managed to contain further population growth and would actually be shrinking in size were it not for substitution immigration policies.

        As far as I know, the whole world was aware of modern contraceptive techniques more than fifty years ago. So the irresponsible pop growth of mostly China and India boils down to poverty, lack of education, resources, and cultural values. As far I’m concerned, they add up to poor excuses. Population should never have been allowed to reach those levels in those countries. Russia has the largest landmass for a nation state and relatively small population. The US is similar to China in land area and 320 mill while sizeable is far off the 1.3 bill of China, closely followed by India.

        It’s not the ability to feed and clothe and provide energy for so many people as if that was the goal anyway. In the end, you only need so many people to get a job done. You see, back to that “purpose” thing again. Do we even have a goal? Simply existing is all well and good if you’re a hunter gatherer but not acceptable if you’re dependent on someone elses charity. At some point the load becomes too much to bear and the system breaks.

        Which is where we are now.

      • Greg Machala says:

        At some future time we will reach the point where the straw breaks the camels back. We don’t know what pile of straw it is. But, I feel we are getting mighty might close.

    • You are right. Colin Campbell understood the financial problem as early as 2005. The response I have gotten from at least some peak oilers on this is something like, “Oh well, the financial system doesn’t really matter. We will build a new one, and go on as before. It is the “real economy” and the amount of oil in the ground that matters.” The problem is that the real economy depends on banks being open, to make loans. When the returns become very low, the whole system tends to collapse.

      • You’re referring to previous micro or macro collapses and possibly theoretical mega collapse of present day industrial civilisation.

        None of the collapses to the present day stopped human life from getting to where we are now.

        We now live in a global scale economic system that appears to be hyper dependent on all of the interlinked components but in reality parts of the global superorganism could wither or be hacked off and the rest of it survive and restructure as long as no major organs suffer terminal damage.

        I think people are rushing to the conclusion – that is understandable given the situation – that if parts of the system fail then the whole system will fail with absolutely no recourse to solutions.

        At this stage in our development retreating and regrouping as a strategy is not an option. We’re at the level of applying system update patches to the global machine and praying it does the job.

        I’m just wondering how much time these patches can buy the system so that true reform can take place… if it’s possible. If the system is holding together because enough people still have confidence in it then confidence is the number one commodity we have and tales of future progress should not be mocked but encouraged. Hopium is probably the most important currency right now and everyone that wants the system to continue for as long as possible should be smoking copious amounts of it.

        • Prior collapses were very different. They affected only one small part of the world at a time. There was generally a die-off of people, but this allowed resources like forests and soil fertility to build up again.

          Now the situation is different. We are dependent on international trade, electricity, and the world banking system, among other things. If any of these fail, we are in deep trouble. Already, world trade seems to be headed downward, because countries are starting to realize that there are not enough jobs that pay well to go around. Each country would like to have a bigger share.

          One of the big thing that brought prior civilization down was the inability of governments to collect sufficient taxes for all of their planned programs. Part of the problem was increasing wage disparity. We seem to be in a similar situation today. The next collapse may start out local (Venezuela, Greece, etc.), but in not long, it is likely to affect the whole world.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          Hopium is critical….

          • Fast Eddy says:

            That is why we are seeing immense dosages of it being released …

            Mars colonies.. banning EC vehicles…. Tesla fixing Australia and Puerto Rico…

          • Tim Groves says:

            The hopium (not to mention the hypium) is strong in this one.

            Sir Richard Branson has invested in a Hyperloop firm which he claims will transport passengers between London and Scotland in 45 minutes. The billionaire’s Virgin Group has formed a partnership with Los Angeles-based Hyperloop One, which is developing a method of propelling passengers and freight in pods through low pressure tubes at high speed.

            Read more at: http://www.scotsman.com/news/transport/edinburgh-to-london-in-45-minutes-branson-reveals-hyperloop-plans-1-4585466

            • Fast Eddy says:

              I’m still waiting on Richard’s first commercial space flight to happen… and waiting… and waiting…

              This hopium is right up there with Elon’s latest — the rocket that will fly you to anywhere on earth within 60 minutes…

              Very powerful hopium indeed. It keeps the masses believing that we can do anything…. we can fix even the most difficult problem….

              The minute the masses stop believing that…. the chaos starts.

              Go MSM Go! Lie Lie Lie Lie….

            • as i keep banging on—travel isn’t the point

              the purpose of travel is the point.

              if your journey has no purpose, then the journey isn,t made

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Singapore Airlines would disagree….

              Recall the campaign ‘The journey IS the destination’

              The purpose of the journey is to ogle the hotties… and try to get phone numbers….

            • Normsky,

              Millions of farty meatbags work hard all year long so they can pay thousands of dollars to get in metal tubes with wings to see a place they haven’t been to on the map… take a selfie… and then go back home.

              Are you saying that they have no purpose in their lives? I mean… in the grand scheme of things.

              Or is the purpose to line the pockets of all the corporations involved? Is that it?

            • fraid so Zombie

              When we think of ourselves as creating employment, for airline staff, bus drivers—whatever, we are in fact assisting with the great fuelburning—or taking that well deserved holiday for whatever reason—that’s doing the same thing.

              Prior to the industrial revolution, the only people who went anywhere in a significant sense, were invading armies and kings/nobility.

              Why?

              Because they possessed the means to do so (horses mainly) Walking long distances was counterproductive in energy terms. If you were a soldier, you might die or get rich—a good gamble.

              the purpose of an invading army was to grab some else’s resources. If that army was defeated, then chances are the opposing side would come over and grab your resources. (Think Germany/Russia 1941/45)

              Fast forward to now.
              An army invades the city every morning.

              Why?

              to grab (mythical) resources and get paid for doing so. Without (fossil fuel burning) transport that invasion couldn’t take place. Which is why it has only happened over the past 150 years or so.
              The motivation is exactly the same.
              Our fuelburning activities are the sole generator of mass employment.

              When there’s no fuel left to burn, we will have mass UNemployment.
              Solar panels and windfarms cannot create employment on a large scale.

              So the only purpose we have is to a turn one form of energy into another—and that’s it. If that progress includes reproducing ourselves, then that’s our function completed. It is the purpose of all of us.
              Taking selfies along the way is a pleasant side issue

            • Fast Eddy says:

              When the W Hotel in Bali opened a few years back I was told they proudly proclaimed on their web site ‘You won’t even feel like you are in Bali’ — I checked and yes – that was their tag line.

              Nusa Dua in Bali has an area with 4 or 5 major hotels — the area is gated… the streets are spotless… no food carts or motorcycles… you feel like you are in a gentile suburb of Florida… a friend was a GM of one of these hotels — we were invited for drinks … and while there there was a gamelan performance…. to add a whiff of Bali — but not too much… can’t have that…

              Mad Men … Don gets the Hilton contract … the pitch is … when you are traveling … every day you return to America … where everything is just like back home … including the cheeseburgers…

              I would argue that the vast majority of people travel just so they can appear worldly at dinner parties… they really have zero interest in other cultures… they have zero sense of adventure…

              We have friends like that … they only go to ‘civilized places’… (places that resemble home to a great extent)… I suggest that they check out middle ground places like Morocco …. zero interest … dirty … unsafe….

              And you can forget out places that are well off the beaten path like India… central Asia … or much of Asia for that matter … most of Africa is off limits unless it involves a luxury safari….

              They all seem to like western Europe… not too much different from home… you can get a burger…

              I actually think that most people do not enjoy traveling at all — if it weren’t for the cachet it lends… they’d much rather just hire a suite in a nice hotel in a city near them … and spend their time eating cheeseburgers around the pool …

            • And here we have two excellent expositions from Norman and FE. It’s why OFW is above the rest.

      • Greg Machala says:

        I agree Gail. There has to be some medium to convert between energy, resources and human labor to make our system work. That medium is what we call money. And money gets is value from resources and energy. It is a synergy. And that synergy is breaking down.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          My impression of these peak oilers is that they are very simple DelusiSTANIS…. and that they also believe in renewable energy and EVs…..

          So for them not to comprehend the financial implications of all this … is not at all surprising

      • psile says:

        Ken Deffeyes had some interesting points to make too about oil price fluctuations, economic activity and queuing theory.

        Quote from an article by Kurt Cobb in 2008DOES QUEUEING THEORY EXPLAIN OIL’S WILD PRICE SWINGS?

        “For those who are inclined to the view that the world is approaching peak oil production and therefore restricted supply is the key factor in soaring oil prices, Princeton geologist Kenneth Deffeyes offers a compelling explanation for wild price swings.”

        “An acquaintance from years ago, Suzy Sachs, pointed out an additional consequence. As a systems engineer, she knew that queueing theory predicts that queues behave in a noisy and chaotic manner when demands approach the system capacity. In the grocery store, in the bank, or at the airport, queues tend to be unpredictably very long or very short. Instead of energy prices rising to a new stable level, wild price oscillations will result from short-term changes in demand. There will be a tendency, the first time that prices go down, to announce that the crisis is over and oil and gas are now cheap and abundant again.”

        Colin Campbell had more to say about oil and recessions, and produced some great graphs showing the interplay between the two, but I can’t seem to uncover them through online search.

        However, I did discover this gem, also from c.2008,

  7. Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

    #7…

    he wants to send people to Mars on a one way trip…

    though I’ve Heard there’s a long list of volunteers for this sue-icide opportunity.

    (Heard – see what I did there?)

    AND…

    of course…

    BAU tonight, baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

    #7…

    he wants to send people to Mars on a one way trip…

    though I’ve Heard there’s a long list of volunteers for this sue-icide opportunity.

    (Heard – see what I did there?)

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      computer glitch…………………

      is this The Collapse?

      can’t be…

      it’s not 2030 yet.

  9. Fast Eddy says:

    Ah ha… this is beginning to make sense now ….

    We all know that Hollywood is a cesspool of sleaze… so why Harvey?

    And who’s next?

    The story is perverted by the desperate need of the powerful to maintain their power at all costs. Weinstein’s film companies acted like money laundering operations for the DNC. How many millions did he raise for people like Obama, Hillary, Pelosi, Feinstein?

    How many millions were added to the budgets of performer’s salaries to be funneled from Wall St. financiers to those same people?

    The whole thing is an internecine nightmare of quid pro quo and the shadiest of finances.

    And Steve Bannon just attacked all of it. In real time.

    The Bannonator
    Yes, you heard me. Steve Bannon is the Dr. Evil in this movie. He’s the mastermind behind this. Except that Bannon isn’t the villain (well, to Harvey Weinstein he is) but the protagonist. Think about it for two seconds.

    Who else has motive, means, opportunity and, most importantly, the will to take on the biggest, most powerful (and pathetic) people in the world.

    And he doesn’t want money. Bannon’s already rich. Remember, as Bannon left the White House he said that there he had influence, but at Breitbart he has power.

    We’re seeing the first effects of his deploying that power.

    Go through it like Jake Gittes or Sam Spade

    Motive? Bannon, for whatever faults he has, is a patriot. He’s a disciple of Andrew Breitbart who routinely castigated Hollywood to ‘stop raping the children.’ Bannon joined Trump’s campaign and turned the messaging into a pale reflection of his film, “Generation Zero.”

    Bannon understands the cultural and generational imperatives of this moment in time. If you haven’t watched that film then you don’t know who Steve Bannon is.

    Means? The man runs Breitbart.

    Opportunity? Bannon made millions as a producer on Seinfeld. He worked in Hollywood for years. Bannon also saw all sorts of stuff while working for Trump.

    Remember, I told you on the outside he would be Trump’s Secret Agent, using his newly-found knowledge (cue the Hero Cycle!) from the Underworld of Washington to deploy sump pumps in the swamp.

    Will? That’s my guess. Spending time in Washington changes everyone. It corrupts the venal and galvanizes the principled. Bannon didn’t want to cut deals to govern. He wasn’t interested in governing the U.S. with Trump, he was interested in blowing up the vile status quo. He runs Breitbart.

    How do I know Bannon was behind this? The headlines today are all about how Bannon did some business with Weinstein over a decade ago. A minor company that Bannon ran into the ground. It went bankrupt. Simple guilt by ironic association.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-12/did-bannon-just-take-down-harvey-weinstein

    • Mr Munchkin was big deal in Hollyweird too. What is it with these dudes and the revolving door with Hollywood and the endless supply of trophy wives?

      If any of these “dudes” are for real – which unfortunately I don’t believe for a second – then what realistically could they achieve in terms of destabilising the establishment and how long would such an endeavour take?

      The reason I don’t believe any of these “characters” is because there is deeper layer to the narrative – invisible to most – that dictates the roles that these players accept on the global stage. All of them – Trump, Bannon, Munchkin, Putin, etc etc are following orders.

      Raise your perspective just one more level and a beautiful tapestry of lies comes into view.

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