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

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

  1. psile says:

    Big polluters: one massive container ship equals 50 million cars


    “15 of the world’s biggest ships may now emit as much pollution as all the world’s 760m cars” :O

    Shipping is by far the biggest transport polluter in the world. There are 760 million cars in the world today emitting approx 78,599 tons of Sulphur Oxides (SOx) annually. The world’s 90,000 vessels burn approx 370 million tons of fuel per year emitting 20 million tons of Sulphur Oxides. That equates to 260 times more Sulphur Oxides being emitted by ships than the worlds entire car fleet. One large ship alone can generate approx 5,200 tonnes of sulphur oxide pollution in a year, meaning that 15 of the largest ships now emit as much SOx as the worlds 760 million cars.

    • Tim Groves says:

      Shipping is one field in which wind power has proven itself very effective, and most ship owners prefer burning hundreds of millions of tons of fossil fuels per year and emitting 20 million tons of SOx to going clean, green and breezy. Funny that. Ships should be the first transport systems powered by renewables.

    • I think of Sulfur Oxides as producing local air borne pollution. The theory was that as long as ships operated at sea, there was no point in going to the expense of refining the oil to take out nearly all of the sulfur. As a result, ships have tended to use very low-quality fuel (bunker fuel), which is cheap but high sulfur. A recent study says that SO2 emissions from ships can exacerbate ocean acidification. https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/news/ocean-acidification-exacerbated-emissions-ships-major-shipping-routes

      If ships are forced to use fuel which is twice as expensive, (because extra refining is required, to get rid of the sulfur), this will raise the cost of transporting goods internationally. Ultimately, it will tend to push the world away from globalization, in the same way new tariffs for shipping goods across the ocean would. We can expect, as a result, oil prices to fall farther, and world economic growth to slow.

      • J. H. Wyoming says:

        Just another example of painting ourselves into a corner by taking short cuts, i.e. failing to take responsibility for the long term effects of unrefined fuel with high sulfur content. But I’m sure Trump will sign off on the idea ocean acidification is no problem.

        • Tim Groves says:

          I’m sure Trump will sign off on the idea ocean acidification is no problem.

          I’m pretty sure he’d be wise to do so. What makes you think that ocean acidification is a problem?

          • Fast Eddy says:

            For some reason I expect I am going to see one of these from you Tim…. as you patiently wait for the pitch…..

          • Let me guess… it’s not.

            Did I get it right?

            • Then again I could consult Mother Google…

              From the very lengthy and scary article on ocean acidification…

              “The best thing you can do is to try and lower how much carbon dioxide you use every day. Try to reduce your energy use at home by recycling, turning off unused lights, walking or biking short distances instead of driving, using public transportation, and supporting clean energy, such as solar, wind, and geothermal power. Even the simple act of checking your tire pressure (or asking your parents to check theirs) can lower gas consumption and reduce your carbon footprint.”

              http://ocean.si.edu/ocean-acidification

              Got to stop myself laughing like this… falling off my chair is getting beyond painful.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              The author has clearly not heard of William Stanley Jevons.

    • It is ironic that Monarch seems to have failed partly because oil prices were too high, because the value of the pound had fallen.

      The Russian airline VIM-Avia seems to have failed partly because oil prices were too low, and the value of the ruble was too low. Of course, Russia is an oil exporter, so low oil prices mean something quite different. Low oil prices affected the ability of citizens to use the airline, so reduced demand.

  2. Rob Bell says:

    Miami politician says aliens took her on a spaceship. Now she’s running for Congress.

    “Three blond, big-bodied beings — two females, one male — visited her when she was 7 years old and have communicated telepathically with her several times in her life, she says.”

    “She described “going up” inside the spaceship —“I went in. There were some round seats that were there, and some quartz rocks that controlled the ship — not like airplanes,” Rodriguez Aguilera said.”

    http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article178813586.html

    Holy shit! LOL

    • J. H. Wyoming says:

      Well if people are desperate enough to vote for insane Trump then why not this candidate?

      • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

        “… and some quartz rocks that controlled the ship…”

        but I want to know what energy source is used to power their spaceship!

        I mean, the Earth could be saved!

        please, Mr. Alien sir, please share.

        BAU forever!

    • Greg Machala says:

      Quartz rock / dilithium crystals – Star Trek!

      KIRK: Mr Spock, is there any evidence or history of quartz rock powering a starship?
      SPOCK: None that I am aware of captain.
      KIRK: What about round seats. Is there some meaning to round seats in a space craft?
      SPOCK: Computer – analyze – “round seats and quartz crystals” – question, can this power a space craft? Beep Beep Beep – negative.
      KIRK: I see. So, this Rodriguez Aguilera is being disingenuous. .
      SPOCK: It would seem so captain.

      Who is she trying to fool. Clearly some village is missing their idiot.

  3. psile says:

    Ophelia was an “off the charts” storm

    …we know that Ophelia was an extremely unusual storm is that is broke some of the graphical displays we use to view the forecast. The National Hurricane Center graphical forecasts of the storm’s track had to be truncated east of 0° longitude (the Greenwich Prime Meridian), since they never planned for the possibility that an Atlantic hurricane or its identifiable remnants could make it so far to the northeast.

    • Tim Groves says:

      Nice picture!

      It’s interesting that while the North Atlantic has been much more than usually active this year, on a global basis, accumulated cyclone (inc. hurricane and typhoon) activity is quite a bit below average. Not that you would have heard much about this from CNN.

      http://wx.graphics/tropical/

      2017 Accumulated Cyclone Energy

      • Fast Eddy says:

        What… no headline across the MSM:

        Fewest Hurricanes in a Year since ………

        Can’t have that… that would make people think…. and that’s not the agenda… they must think …. what Al Gore wants them to think

        • Sungr says:

          “they must think …. what Al Gore wants them to think”

          We have a lot of Foxnews zombies who go around saying stuff like this.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            Forgive me since I do not have a Tee Vee … I prefer to reach my own conclusions doing my own research…

            What is Fox News?

            Is it a reality show about the lives of Foxes? Do viewers get regular updates on what the foxes are up to each day?

            Or maybe it is News (Lies) with presenters who are all foxes?

            Hmmm… if the latter I may have to get a Tee Vee…. and a cable PREscription….

          • Tim Groves says:

            If you don’t have a Tee Vee, you probably won’t have seen Judge Jeanine, the foxiest judge on Fox News.

            She a class act. Here she is on the misogyny of Harvey Weinstein and Hillary Clinton.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          To some people that is not at all interesting…. it makes them more glum than ever….

          They want cherry picked data points that confirm that we are soon going to broil… only that makes them happy…

          Fortunately as we all know — we won’t broil because we don’t have half a trillion tonnes of carbon left to burn … and even then who knows given the models are all over the place.

          Burn More Coal — because it does not matter

          • How much climate change hits the front page of papers depends on the pre-existing views of those living in close proximity to the aberration on the high side. People are now convinced that we have the ability to fix more problems than is really the case.

        • Tim Groves says:

          My view, for what it’s worth, is that variations in cyclone activity (and lots of other weather phenomena) are probably determined more by ocean surface/near surface heat content than anything else, and that this varies considerably regionally from year to year.

          For instance, we know about the ENSO phenomenon moving heat across the Pacific every 5 to 7 years to form El Nino and La Nina events, and the AMO and PDO moving heat north and south quasi-periodically in the Atlantic (around 70 years) and the Pacific (around 20 or 30 years) respectively. And there are probably lots of other smaller ocean cycles that have yet to be spotted or analyzed.

          Most of the heat in the climate system resides in the oceans, so it make sense to assume that variations in weather and climate are mainly due to corresponding variations in ocean heat distribution. When meteorologists try to forecast the weather next week or next month, they don’t even glance at the CO2 level. But they look in detail at ocean heat distribution. They know a thing or two about cause and effect.

  4. psile says:

    Saudi Aramco Reportedly Shelves IPO In “Face-Saving” Move

    Hmm, looks like they’re going to sell it to some hedge funds instead…

    Now the sheiks won’t have to suffer the indignity of being called out on their magically refilling 265 billion barrels of oil reserves, once the thing had gone public. But why on earth would anyone still want to buy it? Unless it’s a hostile takeover?

    • If there is even 5% outside ownership in an IPO, they would have to have the 265 billion barrels of oil reserves audited. If it is a private placement, perhaps with the Chinese government or with hedge funds, they might be able to keep information like that private.

      • psile says:

        I think that’s the plan. Blows their reserves figure sky high though. But why would anyone still want to buy in, unless it’s a fire sale, or part of a hostile takeover?

        • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

          China loves fire sales.

          if SA is desperate enough, the Chinese might get themselves a good deal.

    • Rob Bell says:

      Saudi Arabian oil reserves are overstated by 40% – Wikileaks
      https://www.theguardian.com/business/2011/feb/08/saudi-oil-reserves-overstated-wikileaks

      BP 1.7 Trillion barrels proven oil reserves NOT so proven
      http://crudeoilpeak.info/oil-reserves-and-resources-as-function-of-oil-price

      • I agree that Saudi Arabia’s reserves are funny numbers.

        If we could get oil prices up to $300 per barrel, and keep them there, I imagine that quite a few of the questionable reserves could be produced. There is heavy oil in Saudi Arabia, for example, that could be steamed out, if the cost were high enough.

        • jupiviv says:

          @Gail, what is the reasoning behind the $300 figure? Do you just use it as an example of an unreasonably high oil price or is there more to it? If the latter then some I’d appreciate some more info.

          • $300 per barrel is the number the International Energy Association has been using to justify the high amount of oil that they are assuming is really available to people of the world. If we can only get the price up to $50 or $60 or $70 per barrel on a sustained basis, we will be able to extract very much less oil than they are assuming.

            IEA figure showing oil extractable at various prices

            This is IEA Figure 1.4 from its World Energy Outlook 2015, showing how much oil can be produced at various price levels.

            • jupiviv says:

              Ah I see. One would certainly expect the oil price to skyrocket if the economy really was doing well. Perhaps a gradual chanelling of resources away from the actual economy and towards resource extraction is how collapse will happen.

              The fake economy can keep growing with brilliant and innovative entrepreneurs like Musk rolling out fantastic ideas and products while losing money. All the while, the actual economy crumbles. This would be a hybrid fast/slow collapse scenario, and probably most likely to happen or indeed be happening right now. The only question is how and when the real economy stops crumbling and crashes down all at once.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              ‘Musk rolling out fantastic ideas and products’

              Can you name some of these fantastic products and ideas?

            • Rob Bell says:

              The market will not accept expensive oil because it collapses the economy.

              Causes and Consequences of the Oil Shock of 2007-08 (Hamilton, 2009)
              https://www.brookings.edu/bpea-articles/causes-and-consequences-of-the-oil-shock-of-2007-08/

  5. adonis says:

    ‘European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said Thursday that central banks might need to reuse some of the weapons employed to fight the last war, most notably negative interest rates’ http://www.foxbusiness.com/features/2017/10/12/central-bankers-use-moment-calm-to-debate-how-to-fight-next-crisis.html
    .

    • I can believe this. How well it will work is another question. As I understand the situation, if there are negative interest rates, people in Japan seem more rather than less inclined to hoard their savings (rather than spend them).

      • Fast Eddy says:

        ‘Central bankers, basking in a moment of synchronized growth and a global economy less dependent on easy-money policies’

        See how the MSM just makes shi t up.

        And because humans are quite stupid beasts… they will be calmed by that statement .. it’s all getting better …. the wolf has been sent on his way…. and they go back to munching grass..

        The only problem is that for a lot of the beasts … there’s not enough grass to go around… they still suspect the wolf is lurking

      • xabier says:

        Economists always seem to argue that it is ‘ irrational’ to save when money is losing value steadily,and the thing to do is seek yield from investments.

        But this goes against basic psychology – back to Neolithic people storing dried and frozen meat.

  6. Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:
    • Jesse James says:

      Seems to be a very flighty fellow. Just like the truth about what happened in Vegas. It seems to be escaping us.

  7. Fast Eddy says:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-16/ex-dea-agent-blasts-congress-and-drug-industry-creating-opioid-crisis

    Whistleblower Joe Rannazzisi is telling all when it comes to placing blame for the nation’s opioid crisis. He says drug distributors pumped opioids into communities in the United States knowing that people were dying and that the US government is helping.

    • Read for comprehension says:

      Drugs in the USA have been overseen by the DEA to extract wealth to counter “Independence Day”

    • I found an interesting article by a doctor named Edwin Leap. https://www.medpagetoday.com/Blogs/KevinMD/68504?xid=nl_mpt_DHE_2017-10-13&eun=g442133d0r&pos=1

      It says,

      Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re well aware that the U.S. is in the grip of a really big epidemic of opioid abuse. The epicenter of much of this has been my beloved Appalachia. My hometown of Huntington, West Virginia, might as well be re-named “Oxycontin,” or maybe “Heroinville.” It’s ugly.

      Enormous amounts of ink have been spilled on this topic, and I don’t intend to explain the genesis of it in detail. In short, however, about 20 years ago, some doctors thought we weren’t being kind enough in our treatment of pain. Some articles were published to draw attention to this theory. We started using the pain scale. 0 = no pain, 10 = the worst pain ever.

      Around the same time, administrators discovered the customer/patient satisfaction score. Taken together, physicians and nurses were pressured by academic peers and medical directors as well as administrators, to give more pain medication.

      So, to recap mathematically:
      Pain scale x Satisfaction score = Better reimbursement + Death

      Recently, smart people have discovered that a lot of what we were told to do in clinical practice was probably (to put it delicately) utterly stupid and ultimately deadly. Having said that, not all of the drug abuse in the country is because doctors gave out too many pills (although pill mills are obviously a problem).

      So whether or not the pharmaceutical companies had a plan to sell more pills, hospitals and emergency rooms compete on “patient satisfaction.” They can get more reimbursement from insurance companies this way, and perhaps get recommendation scores when hospital comparisons are made. Patients will be happier.

      IIRC, there was an academic study (or perhaps just a letter to the editor, claiming that this is what academic studies showed) that claimed the opioids were non-addicting, except in certain very limited situations. So all of this emphasis on more pain medication would bear little risk of addiction.

      • J. H. Wyoming says:

        https://www.healthline.com/health/addiction/addictive-prescription-drugs#overview1

        9 most addictive pharmaceutical drugs. Unfortunately there is a profit incentive to get patients addicted to Pharm drugs for the rest of their lives. It establishes a reliable income stream for the industry.

        • Greg Machala says:

          More evidence of destructive growth. Imagine if all the drugs that were sold today were only for real conditions and not redirected to addicts. The profits of the big pharma would plummet. Can’t have that. High fructose corn syrup isn’t good enough so gotta have people hooked on something even more profitable …. drugs. Preferable something that costs $100.00 per pill.

        • xabier says:

          I rather like the idea of ‘altered levels of consciousness’ from cough syrup! Is it really so easy to get a glimpse of Heaven, thanks to Big Pharma?

          It seems the Ancient Egyptians started the habit of excessive consumption of drugs – too much time on their hands in those temple complexes I suppose.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        And there is little interest in hoisting a pitch fork when smashed on heroin

        • Mark says:

          You’ve never jonesd’ for a fix. 😉

        • Greg Machala says:

          Yes, that is a good point. Dope the populace up and they becoming quite docile. High fructose corn syrup does this to some extent as well. But, opioids are even more effective. And the idiots pay money for the drugs – it is a win-win for the drug companies and MIC.

Comments are closed.