Will China Bring an Energy-Debt Crisis?

It is easy for those of us in the West to overlook how important China has become to the world economy, and also the limits it is reaching. The two big areas in which China seems to be reaching limits are energy production and debt. Reaching either of these limits could eventually cause a collapse.

China is reaching energy production limits in a way few would have imagined. As long as coal and oil prices were rising, it made sense to keep drilling. Once fuel prices started dropping in 2014, it made sense to close unprofitable coal mines and oil wells. The thing that is striking is that the drop in prices corresponds to a slowdown in the wage growth of Chinese urban workers. Perhaps rapidly rising Chinese wages have been playing a significant role in maintaining high world “demand” (and thus prices) for energy products. Low Chinese wage growth thus seems to depress energy prices.

(Shown as Figure 5, below). China’s percentage growth in average urban wages. Values for 1999 based on China Statistical Yearbook data regarding the number of urban workers and their total wages. The percentage increase for 2016 was based on a Bloomberg Survey.

The debt situation has arisen because feedback loops in China are quite different from in the US. The economic system is set up in a way that tends to push the economy toward ever more growth in apartment buildings, energy installations, and factories. Feedbacks do indeed come from the centrally planned government, but they are not as immediate as feedbacks in the Western economic system. Thus, there is a tendency for a bubble of over-investment to grow. This bubble could collapse if interest rates rise, or if China reins in growing debt.

China’s Oversized Influence in the World

China plays an oversized role in the world’s economy. It is the world’s largest energy consumer, and the world’s largest energy producer. Recently, it has become the world’s largest importer of both oil and of coal.

In some sense, China is the world’s largest economy. Usually we see China referred to as the world’s second largest economy, based on GDP converted to US dollars. Economists use an approach called GDP (PPP) (where PPP is Purchasing Power Parity) when computing world GDP growth. When this approach is used, China is the world’s largest economy. The United States is second largest, and India is third.

Figure 1. World’s largest economies, based on energy consumption and GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity. Energy Consumption is from BP Statistical Review of World Energy, 2017; GDP on PPP Basis is from the World Bank.

Besides being (in some sense) the world’s largest economy, China is also a country with a very significant amount of debt. The government of China has traditionally somewhat guaranteed the debt of Chinese debtors. There is even a practice of businesses guaranteeing each other’s debt. Thus, it is hard to compare China’s debt to the debt level elsewhere. Some analyses suggest that its debt level is extraordinarily high.

How China’s Growth Spurt Started

Figure 2. China’s energy consumption, based on data from BP Statistical Review of World Energy, 2017.

From Figure 2, it is clear that something very dramatic happened to China’s coal consumption about 2002. China joined the World Trade Organization in December 2001, and immediately afterward, its coal consumption soared.

Countries in the OECD, whether they had signed the 1997 Kyoto Protocol or not, suddenly became interested in reducing their own greenhouse gas emissions. If they could outsource manufacturing to China, they would be able to reduce their reported CO2 emissions.

Besides reducing reported CO2 emissions, outsourcing manufacturing to China had two other benefits:

  • The goods being manufactured in China would be cheaper, allowing Americans, Europeans, and Japanese to buy more goods. If more “stuff” makes people happy, citizens should be happier.
  • Businesses would suddenly have a new market in China. Perhaps the people of China would start buying goods made elsewhere.

Of course, a major downside of moving jobs to China and other Asian nations was the likelihood of fewer jobs elsewhere.

Figure 3. US Labor Force Participation Rate, as prepared by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

In the early 2000s, when China started competing actively for jobs, the share of people in the US workforce started shrinking. The drop-off in labor force participation did not level out until mid-2014. This is about when world oil prices began to fall, and, as we will see in the next section, when China’s growth in average wages began to fall.

Another downside to moving jobs to China was more CO2 emissions on a worldwide basis, even if emissions remained somewhat lower locally. CO2 emissions on imported goods were not “counted against” a country in its CO2 calculations.

Figure 4. World carbon dioxide emissions, split between China and Rest of the World, based on BP Statistical Review of World Energy, 2017.

At some point, we should not be surprised if countries elsewhere start pushing back against the globalization that allowed China’s rapid growth. In some sense, China has lived in an artificial growth bubble for many years. When this artificial growth bubble ends, it will be much harder for China’s debtors to repay debt with interest.

China’s Rapid Wage Growth Stopped in 2014

Rising wages are important for making China’s growth possible. With rising wages, workers can increasingly afford the apartments that are being built for them. They can also increasingly afford consumer goods of many kinds, and they can easily repay debts taken out earlier. The catch, however, is that wage growth cannot get ahead of productivity growth, or the price of goods will become too expensive on the world market. If this happens, China will have difficulty selling its goods to others.

China’s wage growth seems to have slowed remarkably, starting in 2014.

Figure 5. China’s percent growth in average urban wages. Values for 1999 based on China Statistical Yearbook data regarding the number of urban workers and their total wages. The percentage increase for 2016 was estimated based on a Bloomberg Survey.

This is when China discovered that its high wage increases were making it uncompetitive with the outside world. Wage growth needed to be reined in. Its growth in productivity was no longer sufficient to support such large wage increases.

China’s Growth in Energy Consumption Also Slowed About 2014 

If we look at the annual growth in total energy consumption and electricity consumption, we see that by 2014 to 2016, their growth had slowed remarkably (Figure 6). Their growth pattern was starting to resemble the slow growth pattern of much of the rest of the world. Energy growth allows an economy to increasingly leverage the labor of its workforce with more energy-powered “tools.” With low energy growth, it should not be surprising if productivity growth lags. With low productivity growth, we can expect low wage growth.

Figure 6. China’s growth in consumption of total energy and of electricity based on data from BP Statistical Review of World Energy, 2017.

It is possible that the increased rate of electricity consumption in 2016 is related to China’s program of housing migrant workers in unsalable apartments that took place at that time. The fact that these apartments were otherwise unsalable was no doubt influenced by the slowing growth in wages.

This decrease in energy consumption most likely occurred because the price of China’s energy mix was becoming increasingly expensive. For one thing, the mix included a growing share of oil, and oil was expensive. The proportion of coal in the mix was falling, and the replacements were more expensive than coal. There was also the issue of the general increase in fossil fuel prices.

Lower Wage Growth in China Likely Affected Fossil Fuel Prices

Affordability is the big issue with respect to how high fossil fuel prices can rise. The issue is not just buying the oil or coal or natural gas itself; it is also being able to afford the goods made with these fuels, such as food, clothing, appliances, and apartments. If wages were depressed in the developed countries because of moving production to China, then rising wages in China (and other similar countries, such as India and the Philippines) must somehow offset this problem, if fossil fuel prices are to remain high enough for extraction to continue.

Figures 7 and 8 (below) show that oil, natural gas, and coal prices all started to slide, right about the time China’s urban wages growth began shrinking (shown in Figure 5).

Figure 7. Oil and natural gas prices, based on BP Statistical Review of World Energy data.

Figure 8. Coal prices between 2000 and 2016 from BP Statistical Review of World Energy. Chinese coal is China Qinhuangdao spot price and Japanese coal is Japan Steam import cif price, both per ton.

The lower recent increases made China’s urban wage growth look more like that of the US and Europe. Thus, in 2014 and later, Chinese urban wages present much less of a “push” on the growth of the world economy than they had previously. Without this push of rising wages, it becomes much harder for the world economy to grow very rapidly, and for it to have a very high inflation rate. There is simply not enough buying power to push prices very high.

It might be noted that the average Chinese urban wage increases shown previously in Figure 5 are not inflation adjusted. Thus, in some sense, they include whatever margin is available for inflation in prices as well as the margin that is available for a greater quantity of purchased goods. Because of this, these low wage increases may help explain the recent lack of inflation in much of the world.

Quite likely, there are other issues besides China’s urban wage growth affecting world (and local) energy prices, but this factor is probably more important than most people would expect.

Can low prices bring about “Peak Coal” and “Peak Oil”?

What does a producer do in response to suddenly lower market prices–prices that are too low to encourage more production?

This seems to vary, depending on the situation. In the case of coal production in China, a decision was made to close many of the coal plants that had suddenly become unprofitable, thanks to lower coal prices. No doubt pollution being caused by these plants entered into this decision, as well. So did the availability of other coal elsewhere (but probably at higher prices), if it is ever needed. The result of this voluntary closure of coal plants in response to low prices caused the drop in coal production shown in Figure 8, below.

Figure 8. China’s energy production, based on data from BP Statistical Review of World Energy, 2017.

It is my belief that this is precisely the way we should expect peak coal (or peak oil or peak natural gas) to take place. The issue is not that we “run out” of any of these fuels. It is that the coal mines and oil and gas wells become unprofitable because wages do not rise sufficiently to cover the fossil fuels’ higher cost of extraction.

We should note that China has also cut back on its oil production, in response to low prices. EIA data shows that China’s 2016 oil production dropped about 6.9% compared to 2015. The first seven months of 2017 seems to have dropped by another 4.2%. So China’s oil is also showing what we would consider to be a “peak oil” response. The price is too low to make production profitable, so it has decided that it is more cost-effective to import oil from elsewhere.

In the real world, this is the way energy limits are reached, as far as we can see. Economists have not figured out how the system works. They somehow believe that energy prices can rise ever higher, even if wages do not. The mismatch between prices and wages can be covered for a while by more government spending and by more debt, but eventually, energy prices must fall below the cost of production, at least for some producers. These producers voluntarily give up production; this is what causes “Peak Oil” or “Peak Coal” or “Peak Natural Gas.”

Why China’s Debt System Reaches Limits Differently Than Those in the West

Let me give you my understanding regarding how the Chinese system works. Basically, the system is gradually moving from (1) a system in which the government owns all land and most businesses to (2) a system with considerable individual ownership.

Back in the days when the government owned most businesses and all land, farmers farmed the land to which they were assigned. Businesses often provided housing as part of an individual’s “pay package.” These homes typically had a shared outhouse for a bathroom facility. They may or may not have had electricity. There was relatively little debt to the system, because there was little individual ownership.

In recent years, especially after joining the World Trade Organization in 2001, there has been a shift to more businesses of the types operated in the West, and to more individual home ownership, with mortgages.

The economy acts rather differently than in the West. While the economy is centrally planned in Beijing, quite a bit of the details are left to individual local governments. Local heads of state make decisions that seem to be best based on the issues they are facing. These may or may not match up with what Beijing central planning intended.

Historically, Five-Year Plans have provided GDP growth targets to the various lower-level heads of state. The pay and promotions of these local leaders have depended on their ability to meet (or exceed) their GDP goals. These goals did not have any debt limits attached, so local leaders could choose to use as much debt as they wanted.

A major consideration of these local leaders was that they also had responsibility for jobs for people in their area. This responsibility further pushed them to aim high in the amount of development they sought.

Another related issue is that sales of formerly agricultural land for apartments and other development are a major source of revenue for local governments. Local leaders did not generally have enough tax revenue for programs, without supplementing their tax revenue with funds obtained from selling land for development. This further pushed local leaders to add development, whether it was really needed or not.

The very great power of local heads of state and their administrators made these leaders tempting targets for bribery. Entrepreneur had a chance of getting projects approved for development, with a bribe to the right person. There has been a recent drive to eliminate this practice.

We have often heard the comment, “A rising tide raises all boats.” When the West decided to discourage local industrialization because of CO2 concerns, it gave a huge push to China’s economy. Almost any project could be successful. In such an environment, local rating agencies could be very generous in their ratings of proposed new bond offerings, because practically any project would be likely to succeed.

Furthermore, without many private businesses, there was little history of past defaults. What little experience was available suggested the possibility of few future defaults. Wages had been rising very rapidly, making individual loans easy to repay. What could go wrong?

With the central government perceived to be in control, it seemed to make sense for one governmental organization to guarantee the loans of other governmental organizations. Businesses often guaranteed the loans of other businesses as well.

Why the Chinese System Errs in the Direction of Overdevelopment

In the model of development we are used to in the West, there are feedback loops if too much of anything is built–apartment buildings (sold as condominiums), coal mines, electricity generating capacity, solar panels, steel mills, or whatever else.

In China, these feedback loops don’t work nearly as well. Instead of the financial system automatically “damping out” the overcapacity, the state (or perhaps a corrupt public official) figures out some way around what seems to be a temporary problem. To understand how the situation is different, let’s look at three examples:

Apartments. China has had a well-publicized problem of  building way too many apartments. In about 2016, this problem seems to have been mostly fixed by local governments providing subsidies to migrant workers so that they can afford to buy homes. Of course, where the local governments get this money, and for how long they can afford to pay these stipends, are open questions. It is also not clear that this arrangement is leading to a much-reduced supply of new homes, because cities need both the revenue from land sales and the jobs resulting from building more units.

Figure 9 shows one view of the annual increase in Chinese house prices, despite the oversupply problem. If this graph is correct, prices have increased remarkably in 2017, suggesting some type of stimulus has been involved this year to keep the property bubble growing. The size of an apartment a typical worker can now afford is very small, so this endless price run-up must end somewhere.

Figure 9. Chinese house price graph from GlobalPropertyGuide.com.

Coal-Fired Power Plants. With all of the problems that China has with pollution, a person might expect that China would stop building coal-fired power plants. Instead, the solution of local governments has been to build additional power plants that are more efficient and less polluting. The result is significant overcapacity, in total.

May 2017 article says that because of this overcapacity problem, Beijing is forcing every coal-fired power plant to run at the same utilization rate, which is approximately 47.7 % of total capacity. A Bloomberg New Energy Finance article estimates that at year-end 2016, the “national power oversupply” was 35%, considering all types of generation together. (This is likely an overestimate; the authors did not consider the flexibility of generation.)

Beijing is aware of the overcapacity problem, and is cancelling or delaying a considerable share of coal-fired capacity that is in the pipeline. The plan is to limit total coal-fired capacity to 1,100 gigawatts in 2020. China’s current coal-fired generating capacity seems to be 943 gigawatts, suggesting that as much as a 16% increase could still be added by 2020, even with planned cutbacks.

It is not clear what happens to the loans associated with all of the capacity that has been cancelled or delayed. Do these loans default? If “normal” feedbacks of lower prices had been allowed to play out, it is doubtful that such a large amount of overcapacity would have been added.

If China’s overall growth rate slows to a level more similar to that of other economies, it will have a huge amount of generation that it doesn’t need. This adds a very large debt risk, it would seem.

Wind and Solar. If we believe Darien Ma, author of “The Answer, Comrade, Is Not Blowing in the Wind,” there is less to Beijing’s seeming enthusiasm for renewables than meets the eye.

According to Ma, China’s solar industry was built with the idea of having a product that could be exported. It was only in 2013 when Western countries launched trade suits and levied tariffs that China decided to use a substantial number of these devices itself, saving the country from the embarrassment of having many of these producers go bankrupt. How this came about is not entirely certain, but the administrator in charge of wind and solar additions was later fired for accepting bribes, and responsibility for such decisions moved higher up the chain of authority.

Figure 10. China current view of solar investment risk in China. Chart by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Ma also reports, “Officials say that they want ‘healthy, orderly development,’ which is basically code for reining in the excesses in a renewable sector that has become yet another emblem of irrational exuberance.”

According to Ma, the Chinese National Energy Administration has figured out that wind and solar are still about 1.5 and 2.5 times more expensive, respectively, than coal-fired power. This fact dampens their enthusiasm for the use of these types of generation. China plans to phase out subsidies for them by 2020, in light of this issue. Ma expects that there will still be some wind and solar in China’s energy mix, but that natural gas will be the real winner in the search for cleaner electricity production.

Viewed one way, we are looking at yet another way Chinese officials have avoided closing Chinese businesses because the marketplace did not seek their products. Thus, the usual cycle of bankruptcies, with loan defaults, has not taken place. This issue makes China’s total electricity generating capacity even more excessive, and reduces the profitability of the overall system.

Conclusion

We have shown how low wages and low energy prices seem to be connected. When prices are too low, some producers, including China, make a rational decision to cut back on production. This seems to be the true nature of the “Peak Coal” and “Peak Oil” problem. Because China is reacting in a rational way to lower prices, its production is falling. China is already the largest importer of oil and coal. If there is a shortfall elsewhere, China will be affected.

We have also given several examples of how the current system has been able to avoid defaults on loans. The issue is that these problems don’t really go away; they get hidden, and get bigger and bigger. At some point, all of the manipulations by government officials cannot hide the problem of way too many apartments, or of way too much electricity generating capacity, or of way too many factories of all kinds. The postponed debt collapse is likely to be much bigger than if market forces had been allowed to bring about earlier bankruptcies and facility closures.

Chinese officials are now talking about reining in the growth of debt. There is also discussion by heads of Central Banks about raising interest rates and selling QE securities (something which would also tend to raise interest rates). China will be very vulnerable to rising interest rates, because of stresses that have been allowed to build up in the system. For example, many mortgage holders will not be able to afford the new higher monthly payments if rates rise. If interest rates rise, factories will find it even harder to be profitable. Some may reduce staff levels, to try to reach profitability. If this is done, it will tend to push the system toward recession.

We likely now are in the lull before the storm. There are many things that could push China toward an energy or debt crisis. China is so big that the rest of the world is likely to also be affected.

 

 

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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1,825 Responses to Will China Bring an Energy-Debt Crisis?

  1. psile
    psile says:

    This is a fabulous article. I came across it as a link to a comment made on Rob Mielcarski’s excellent blog-site, Undenial .

    Really puts the boot into the wind industry, which as most of us here already know, is a gargantuan misallocation of finite resources and a blight upon the landscape.

    Blight for Naught: Wind Turbines and the Rationalized Desecration of Nature

    https://evilnoisypeople.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/wild-horse-wind-and-solar-facility-gauntlet.jpg?w=960&h=150

    “Pursuing a nature-wrecking technology in the name of environmentalism is dystopian irony at its worst.”

    • xabier says:

      No different really to using world-poisoning industrialisation to create ‘wealth.’

      Just another aspect of industrialisation,and a giant totem to be worshipped and sacrificed to.

      When will the Greens wake up and see it?

      • psile
        psile says:

        They won’t, as most of them are just urban technophiles who are more interested in preserving and extending industrial civilisation, cloaking it in a light-green wrapper to assuage their consciences. It’s just another form of virtue signalling, but on a gargantuan scale.

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      Thanks! I visited India for an energy conference back in 2013. Quite a few people from India gave talks. The theme of their talks, instead of being about “sustainability,” was about how they could get away from burning animal dung and fallen branches. Instead, they wanted to burn natural gas. They definitely did not want to go in the direction of renewables.

  2. worth catching up on for everyone who can get bbc radio 4
    on thursday 28 nov at 11 am

    about the imminent catastrophe of sand mining

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08xbk8t

  3. JH Wyoming says:

    I’m bored with this slow collapse bit. Why must we be slowly rotiscerated on a spit over the hot fire of increasing fixed expenses against non-increasing income? I feel that I am somehow being waterboarded without water or a rag in my mouth, if you know what I mean. Be merciful and just get the collapse going full tilt over a short period of time, then we can march single file into the bottle neck and see who emerges to fight for their existence in a hostile environment. But at least then the slow torture will have ceased and the clarity of the challenge ahead with be completely clear. A kind of honesty that is missing in the twisted capitalistic game in which those in power bend to the will of their campaign donors to offer up a bounty of tax cuts and benefit package.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      Yep … the bigger bills keep coming … but the income shrinks every year….

    • Lastcall says:

      Plenty of places out there in full collapse, so maybe go travelling to find ‘full tilt”. Me? I would like a few more summers yet.
      I have stopped watching too closely; that is where your boredom problem lies. Get out and enjoy yourself. I have just about readied the good ship ‘Sail-about’ and will get some time up on her this summer.

    • DJ says:

      We can be slow collapsing for quite a while.

      More dying for lack of nutritious food, adequate healthcare or too much drugs, not violence and starvation.

      No drama. Just sad and boring.

    • xabier says:

      I prefer mild anxiety -which is all I feel personally – to being marched into the rubber room and getting a shot in the back of the neck.

      Continuous mild anxiety is fine by me!

    • jupiviv
      jupiviv says:

      Be careful what you wish for. My guess is we will be neck deep in the shit before we can smell it.

  4. “Fault Line Wakes Up: New Zealand Could Be DESTROYED By Massive 9.0 Earthquake’
    http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/fault-line-wakes-up-new-zealand-could-be-destroyed-by-massive-9-0-earthquake_11272017
    You can run, but you cannot hide from Mother Nature. Not even if you are rich

  5. jupiviv
    jupiviv says:

    https://the-fifth-law.com/pages/press-release

    “No device can generate energy in excess of the total energy put into constructing it”.

    “Farkad Al Wattar, a researcher at New Middle East Pty Ltd, who outlined his ‘One-way entanglement between isolated energies’ thesis in a newly published book titled, The Fifth Law, believes ‘the law should have come soon after Sadi Carnot coined the 2nd law of Thermodynamics back in 1824. That would have changed History’.”

  6. Baby Doomer says:

    All I can think when I read the GOP tax plan will raise taxes on everyone making less than $75k to pay for 1% tax breaks..

    https://imgflip.com/i/2036vk

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      I am afraid you are right.

  7. Bitcoin nears $10K…

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/bitcoin-mining-energy-consumption/

    this is horrible news…

    almost daily confirmation that the world’s economy is going off the rails…

    and that electricity usage is insane…

    burning good coal just to “mine” digital nothings…

    at this rate, the economy could crash as early as 2020.

  8. Baby Doomer says:

    Recovery? Not even close. A 34% decline for the working class since 1998! ! I would never have thought the Federal Reserve would admit it.
    http://www.businessinsider.com/the-grim-state-of-american-wealth-according-to-the-federal-reserve-2017-11

    • Rendar says:

      Americans own less and owe more

      “Median debt for all families increased by 25% since 1998 but rose much more sharply for the lower and working classes. Debt was up 57% for those with incomes below $25,300 and up 58% for those with incomes between $25,301 and $43,500. By contrast, debt for the middle class — households with incomes from $43,501 to $69,500 — rose 12.5%.

      Less income means less money to invest in homes, educations and retirement. Less investment leads to less wealth. Less wealth means being less able to help the next generation get started with educations and down payments. And so the gap widens.

      If all boats were rising, tax cuts that benefit mostly the affluent wouldn’t be a crisis. Under current circumstances, though, too many people are sinking or barely staying afloat. Lawmakers should focus their concern on those folks, not the ones in the yachts.”

      I don’t know, Baby Doomer, perhaps the Federal Reserve interprets the data as a good sign. Debt serfs increasingly owned by their wealthy creditors.

  9. Fast Eddy says:

    Over my 30-odd years of working with money in various capacities, I learned to “shut-up and listen.” This is particularly the case when you are in an airport lounge or packed like sardines in a missile-shaped tube hurling through the air at 35,000 feet.

    People love to talk…if you let them.

    I had a dozen “listening sessions” with a wide variety of people who each told me roughly the same thing summarized as follows:

    The market is only going higher from here because the Fed won’t let it go down.’

    https://realinvestmentadvice.com/the-perfect-storm-of-the-coming-market-crisis/

    I suspect that the punters are correct – the Fed cannot allow the market to crash — because that would result in the end of BAU. So they will keep inching it up right until they lose control… and it collapses…

    The thing is… people sit smugly looking at their gains from stocks to property to bitcoin… very much pleased… but few would be cashing in and spending the winnings… they must believe this is a perpetual wealth machine… that this will go on forever … that they will retire as mega millionaires…

    The other thing is…. none of these people would understand why the CBs are pushing the markets higher … they are not aware that these are desperate acts brought on by the peak cheap oil situation….

    If they grasped the true nature of the beast… they would be taking cash off the table … and bucket listing….

    • Lastcall says:

      People fail to understand how quickly value can change.
      A car with an empty tank is about worthless unless you want some exercise pushing it.
      A gated community is worthless when laws are no longer enforced.
      An EFTPOS card is hopeless when the system locks down.
      Your sense of entitlement is not worth Jacksh*te when your world view is not shared by anyone else around you.

      What you can’t hold carry and protect will quickly become a burden, including most dangerously, your outdated and unwanted opinions. ‘The Government should blah blah blah…’ being one of many.

      • Volvo740...
        Volvo740 says:

        That’s the thing with oil. If you don’t have transport – all kinds of things lose value dramatically. Cars & trucks, but also real estate of all kinds. If you also can’t heat houses, then those large mansions looks to be worth less than the 200 sq ft cabin with a wood stove!

  10. Mark says:

    This is another documentary that’s off topic, and let the viewer use discernment. How little we really know, eh?

  11. Baby Doomer says:

    Tesla Truck Reservations Are Falling Short

    We expect the truck to be canned or discontinued because of poor economics.
    We believe the main reason is that the market is not finding Tesla’s claims credible.

    https://seekingalpha.com/article/4127559-tesla-truck-reservations-falling-short-spite-super-aggressive-pricing

  12. seeing industrial civilization in full flow

    it remind me of one song What A Wonderful World
    https://youtu.be/A3yCcXgbKrE

  13. Harry Gibbs says:

    Nice little overview of US household debt in the NY Post of all places:

    “From extended lines of cash-strapped consumers at New York food pantries to a rise in mental-health problems, the latest New York quarterly Fed data paints a dire picture: US household debt has grown by $605 billion in the past 12 months, with $116 billion, or nearly 1 percent, hitting in the latest quarter. Debt is mushrooming everywhere — on mortgages, student loans, auto loans. Credit card debt, meanwhile, has jumped by 3.1 percent in the latest quarter.”

    https://nypost.com/2017/11/26/new-yorkers-household-debt-has-surged-by-605b-this-year/

    • debt is borrowing against the future—whether that’s next payday or for a 25 year mortgage—same thing

      only this time that future isn’t going to be there, because the future presumes energy availability—of which there will be none—or so little as to be non functioning in our recognised industrial sense.

      it is a horror story compounded by the fact that virtually everyone expects that future to be there—ie BAU

      • 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.
        Gail Tverberg says:

        I see debt as promises of goods and services (made with energy), to be available in the future. These promises can be, and often are, empty promises.

        We get an increasing quantity of energy products now by promising an even larger amount of energy products in the future. At some point, it becomes clear that this is nothing but a Ponzi Scheme.

        In some sense, the future we are borrowing against may never really happen. It is a mirage, off in the distance.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      You gotta wonder when we reach a tipping point…. wages are not increasing … interest rates are at record lows… loans are being offered on a pay the interest only basis….

      1+1=2… at some point too many consumers must run into a math problem… their monthly payments exceed their available income… and they stop buying … or declare bankruptcy…

      I continue to be surprised by the resiliency of the system….

  14. MG says:

    The chief of the Czech energy group ČEZ (ČEZ is the largest utility and biggest public company in Central and Eastern Europe):

    https://spravy.pravda.sk/ekonomika/clanok/449300-sef-ceskej-skupiny-cez-nekupit-slovenske-elektrarne-bola-chyba/

    Summary in English:

    The price of electricity will stagnate in the following 3 years.
    The prices of the conventional electricity production are disturbed by the subsidies to renewables, i.e. they are too low. Our profits are falling.
    Czech republic wants to raise the share of the nuclear to 50 % of its electricity production despite the fact, that France wants to go down from 75 to 50 %.
    He believes that renewables can form 27 % share of the electricity production by 2030. (When he considers decentralized solutions based on the renewables as the way out of the low profits of a conventional electricity production, why not?…)

  15. Baby Doomer says:

    Derek Jensen Resistance Radio – Guest: David Casey “Moderator of the Peak Oil FB group”
    http://prn.fm/resistance-radio-guest-david-casey-11-26-17/

  16. michael s
    Nehemiah says:

    Wind and Solar. If we believe Darien Ma, author of “The Answer, Comrade, Is Not Blowing in the Wind,” there is less to Beijing’s seeming enthusiasm for renewables than meets the eye.–end quote

    Bjorn Lomborg is calling for more research to improve renewable energy. He says that use of renewable energy as a share of the total has declined in the last 50 years, although I suspect that decline is due to a slower growth in the use of firewood relative to other energy sources.

    But even accounting for this probability, it still startles to behold just how little of the world’s energy is generated from renewable sources, especially sources other than firewood.

    “Half a century ago, in 1966, the world got 15.6% of its energy from renewables. Today (2016) we still get less of our energy at 13.8%.”
    -snip-
    “Most of the renewables are not solar PV and wind. Today, almost 10 percentage points come from the world’s oldest fuel: wood. Hydropower provides another 2.5 percentage points and all other renewables provide just 1.6 percentage points, of which solar PV and wind provide 0.8 percentage points.”
    -snip-
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/11/26/the-big-slide-in-renewable-energy-tells-the-real-story/comment-page-1/#comment-2677597

    I would only add that hydropower is not really renewable, and should not be classified as renewable.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      And solar panels and windmills do not grow on trees… thus cannot be considered renewable… well renewable in that when they break you can renew them in a factory in China by burning more coal

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      Every organization seems to count renewable energy differently–what is included as well has how much “credit” they get, if they do make the cut.

      The IEA has the most complete counting of renewables (but this is not available, consistently, by country). It includes burned animal dung, and waste burned for electricity.

      This is the IEA’s chart of “Total Primary Energy Supply by Source.” Wind and solar are included in the barely visible gray line at the edge. The big biofuels and waste line includes all kinds of things, from dung and biomass burned as fuel, to ethanol for powering cars, to methane gathered from waste dumps, to waste (including plastics) burned to produce fuel.

      One of the big issues in the “counting process” is whether renewables used as electricity should be counted as (1) Substitutes for fuel, such as coal or natural gas or (2) Substitutes for the final end product (dispatchable wholesale electricity). The IEA treats renewables used to generate electricity, including hydroelectric, as only equivalent to fuel. The problem is that they cannot be counted on. This is even true for hydroelectric, in many parts of the world. Thus, they only replace fuel.

      The EIA treats wind, solar, and hydroelectric as if they produce the final end product. The EIA gives 2.63 times as much credit for wind, solar, and hydroelectric as does the IEA’s counting, on the basis that heat value of electricity is only about 38% of the fuel being burned. (2.63 = 1/.38). Thus, if this graph were made by the EIA, rather than the IEA, the “other” band would be a bit thicker. If made by the EIA, the hydroelectric band would be 2.63 times thicker.

      I agree with the IEA. Intermittent renewables only replace fuel (unless something is done to make their electricity fully dispatchable, such as lots and lots and lots of storage). Without all of the extra storage, all wind and solar do is reduce the amount of fuel burned. (There is still the need for a huge amount of backup capacity. The workers at the backup facilities need to be paid, whether or not the facilities are used to full capacity.) Talking about “grid parity” makes no sense. The issue is “fuel cost parity”–which is in the 3 cents per kWh range. Hydroelectric is sort of borderline. In some parts of the world (Norway), it can be counted on. But other places, it is available some times, but not others.

      • Hydroelectric dams have been reliable as baseload generation for decades in New Zealand. How well that holds up with climate change remains to be seen, but the need for maintenance and parts will be likely to put an end to our complacency in that regard anyway.

        We like to believe that sixty to seventy percent of our electricity comes from renewable sources. Trying to point out to people here that hydro, wind, geothermal, and a little bit of solar are non-renewable is an exercise in futility.

        Let alone trying to point out that they are not sustainable, not environmentally friendly, and are not going to be around to provide the energy for electric cars.

        If one suggests that there shall be growth, progress, improvement in living standards, more cars on the roads, and that the All Blacks shall keep winning Rugby World Cups and Bledisloe Cups, then that is of course a given. If one suggests the opposite, then one cannot tell the future and is spouting utter nonsense.

        • 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.
          Gail Tverberg says:

          If the climate is cool enough, and the supply is available pretty much year around, hydroelectric works well. Norway, Sweden, and New Zealand are similar in this situation. Also Canada, and perhaps the US Northwest.

          The problem that occurs takes place in the parts of the world where hydroelectric depends on temporary snow melt in the spring, or on year-to-year rainfall. Also, if the rivers that are dammed are shared with neighbors, the upstream neighbors can decide to dam the rivers. In these cases, the availability of electricity from hydroelectric can disappear for months at a time. Spain has had problems, as have Venezuela and Brazil.

          Electricity supply from hydroelectric is surprisingly variable. This is a chart I made earlier showing hydroelectric by year for six countries in Europe.

    • Tim Groves – Japan
      Tim Groves says:

      Once we speak in terms of “renewables”, we enter the conceptual ballpark pre-fashioned by the masters of the discourse in question—in this case the Green movement, which in this case was either clandestinely created or else deftly hijacked and co-opted by the Globalist cartel. All major religions (including sports) and political and social movements require their own nomenclature. It’s no good singing from a Buddhist hymnbook at a Catholic mass or shouting cricketing terms at a baseball game.

      All energy sources can be either renewable or non-renewable depending on the situation. Take coal and oil. If you have a few hundred million years to spare before you next want to mine the former or drill for the latter, then it’s renewable. At current rates of extraction, it isn’t. But if we could scale down humanity’s use to a single wheelbarrow load of coal and a single barrel of oil per year, both would be renewable to the extent that they would be replenished by natural processes much faster than we were extracting them.

      Sun and wind are renewable in the sense that, just like rain, snow and lightning, they are natural phenomena primarily of a physical rather than a chemical or biological nature and they will be intermittently available to us on the earth’s surface for as long as the sun shines, the earth turns and the atmosphere remains within the asme ballpark conditions that it is in at present. But the infrastructure we need to build in order to harness sun and wind energy are very far from being renewable since they are dependent on consuming non-renewable fossil fuels as Fast Eddy points out.

      Also, if we were somehow able to harness these energy sources in cubic-mile-of-oil equivalent amounts, we might well discover that they brought us bigger drawbacks in terms of negative environmental impact than either coal or oil have. for instance, just think of the recycling challenges millions of wind turbines and billions of solar panels would present.

      Hydroelectric generation, like wind and solar, doesn’t pass the test of renewability as the dams, the turbines and many of the other components are fossil fuel economy dependent. But wInd sun and water are renewable and reasonably reliable when the energy is used directly for drying clothes and crops, powering water mills and pumping water.

  17. Baby Doomer says:

    Why do they still call it “Black Friday” when retail stores are no longer in the black anymore?

    • Sounds better than Forever-in-the-red Friday.

    • ronan pellen
      Dorvek says:

      The true story behind Black Friday, however, is not as sunny as retailers might have you believe. Back in the 1950s, police in the city of Philadelphia used the term to describe the chaos that ensued on the day after Thanksgiving, when hordes of suburban shoppers and tourists flooded into the city in advance of the big Army-Navy football game held on that Saturday every year. Not only would Philly cops not be able to take the day off, but they would have to work extra-long shifts dealing with the additional crowds and traffic. Shoplifters would also take advantage of the bedlam in stores to make off with merchandise, adding to the law enforcement headache. http://www.history.com/news/whats-the-real-history-of-black-friday

      • Sungr says:

        As the Great Depression melted away in the war fires of WW2, military spending provided a huge source of demand for US economy. After the war, economists wondered what would happen to aggregate demand as huge military orders were canceled. And they worried that the public would return to pre-war depression spending patterns. This would result in a huge depressionary drop in demand.

        The answer was to manipulate the public into becoming a constant source of demand that would keep US factories humming throughout the year. This meant inculcating a spending mentality that would be self-propelled- a buying public that could be manipulated by advertising media to purchase goods year round. Christmas became a massive industrial production showcase mixed in with all kinds of civilian products, new cultural icon & traditions. Easter became a grab-fest of easter baskets, confections, easter clothes, etc. And we got lots of other goodies like the GI Bill, VA mortgages, GI education and housing benefits etc

        Also, as the US remained the only major industrial power standing, the nation’s factories surged ahead to supply the globe with US industrial products- cars, trucks, trains, radios, construction equipment, electrical supplies, ships, planes, etc.

        Of course, the economists were wrong in that military spending never stopped. We moved on to new enemies who we needed to maintain military preparations- the entire “communist” world for one. And the public went big-time for endless the industrial product cravings.

        So the huge demand never really dropped after the war.

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      At least that is what China is telling us. What is the value of an apartment for which there is no buyer? Or a solar panel than cannot be sold?

      • that’s been my point for a long time– a building is a block of embodied energy—just like a car or whatever.

        but without ongoing use and additional input of energy from people, that whatever it is begins the inevitable process of decay to the point of zero value

      • Lastcall says:

        We are likely near to seeing the time when a late model Euro car /SUV, with all the bells and whistles, has about the same value as a 20 yr old clunker when both have an empty fuel tank.
        I see vehicles immediate post FF best-use as micro greenhouses once they are stripped out and back filled with compost. The ones with a sun roof will be highly sought after. Be sure to last-park your car/SUV facing to the sunny aspect in your hemisphere.

        • 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.
          Gail Tverberg says:

          You are right, they would work for that. Right now, I understand quite a few people who would otherwise be homeless live in cars.

          • Artleads says:

            People deal with cars in different ways too.

            “I think that cars today are almost the exact equivalent of the great Gothic cathedrals: I mean the supreme creation of an era, conceived with passion by unknown artists, and consumed in image if not in usage by a whole population which appropriates them as a purely magical object.” Roland Barthes

            To the extent that one sees this, the car is not only viewed as a utilitarian object. But it’s also more utilitarian than is normally thought.

            • humankind gave up hunter gathering about 10k years ago

              that move gave us surplus energy because instead of burning energy chasing food, we grew it close at hand.

              that surplus energy had to be channeled somewhere, so it went into other forms of energy use and consumption which were proven ultimately futile—though at the time they were seen as essential to man’s existence.

              this is where Stonehenge came from—all that effort over many years—and for what?—yet to the builders it was critical, as were all the other stone circles.

              then you had the pyramids.
              as soon as a king was crowned, he began building his tomb. he could pay 000s of workers over 20 years to do it, and everyone with the means did the same thing on lesser scales.
              tomb building was a form of national business—but pointless except to those involved.

              then cathedrals—and so on

              in our own day we have transport systems and all the other stuff over and beyond the business of eating and procreation.

              to us it is essential because it keeps us employed—but we have a difference, because our ”employment” has whacked the population up beyond support levels.

              the previous systems didn’t do that

            • MG says:

              The big buildings in the past were the demonstration of the power. So it is today. But the cars are also energy consuming devices that provide transport.

              With the lower availability of the cheap fuels, it is possible, that many energy consuming products become more like demonstration of the power – is that one of the reasons why SUVs will be more popular, besides theri suitability for deteriorating infrastructure?

            • Artleads says:

              Architecture is full of itself. That adds to the futility of it. A better way to build is to solve immediate problems in a way that doesn’t call attention to itself.

  18. xabier says:

    I trust everyone noted and relished the recent story about the large storage battery linked to wind turbines on trial in Brussels, which went up in flames and sent a toxic cloud over the city.

    Curiously under-reported in the MSM (just caught sight of it in a comment on the Euan Mearns site) for some reason….

    Wind renewables; so Clean, so Good!

      • Lastcall says:

        Not a single article in the local media mentioned the link between the battery that has polluted the city of Brussels and wind power backup and storage requirements. For the uninformed reader, the message was that “the villain Electrabel that operates nuclear power plants has once again polluted the environment”. But this accident was really due, although indirectly, to the presence of wind turbines in the production system.
        We should see it as a chemical pollution directly related to the supposedly clean wind power.

      • 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.
        Gail Tverberg says:

        Excerpt from earlier article:

        This will the first time that large batteries have been tested in Belgium. ENGIE’s Energy Storage Park will simultaneously serve as both a test bed and a laboratory. ENGIE will start by testing lithium batteries with a maximum capacity of 6 MW, produced by four different manufacturers, exposing them all to the same conditions …

        Starting in October 2017, the facilities at ENGIE’s Energy Storage Park should be able to draw electricity from the grid when too much power is being generated, store it in the batteries and then reinject it into the system when needed.

        Current article continues:

        So apparently they indeed started-up the real size testing of their carefully selected batteries.

        But it took less than one month for the first of them to blow up into flames and forces tens of thousands of inhabitants to stay hidden in their home to avoid the toxic cloud that resulted from this experiment.

        One of the mainstream newspaper has reported a press release of the Electrabel-Engie group saying that the “battery that has burned was not in operation at the time the fire broke out”. Let’s hope that at least this one is fake news, otherwise it would mean that these batteries are just chemical bombs ready to explode at any time.

        I certainly hope this news gets around to those groups who are planning on buying batteries.

  19. Theophilus says:

    Energy Depletion, not as simple as we thought.

    The downside of the traditional Peak Oil extraction bell curve is too simplistic. Gail has done a great job of revealing its inadequate consideration of affordability. While most classic Peak Oilers assumed prices for oil would only escalate as we approach extraction constraints, Gail points out that the ability of the average energy consumer to afford the energy resource represents an economic extraction constraint. In other words, energy prices could be caught in a deflationary spiral. Also, it’s possible the price of energy could rollercoaster up and down as the overall energy available to the economy inevitably decreases over time What we are likely to see is a Peak of fossil fuel energy available for world consumption, due to the inability of consumers to afford it. When this occurs the average person will see this as the collapse of the economy. They will be unaware of the primary role energy played in the collapse.

    To complicate matters further overall energy depletion will result from several converging factors.

    1. New energy discoveries can not keep up with depletion of existing resources.
    2. Energy required to extract and produce energy products continues to escalate leaving less surplus energy available to consumers.
    3. Energy producing nations consume more energy domestically leaving less available for export.
    4. Existing infrastructure requires increasing amounts of energy just for maintenance, leaving less available for additional growth.
    5. Growing world population creates declining energy availability per capita. The world energy pie has to be cut in 7.5 billion pieces and demand is growing every day.
    6. Debt burdened Governments, corporations and individuals have fewer and fewer financial means to purchase energy products, and the goods and services they produce, as debt grows faster than revenues and wages.

    These factors all amplify the negative effect of each other. This is complicated. The timing of the destructive consequences to our civilization seems impossible to predict. But one thing seems certain, because of the negative feedback created by these factors, a slow declining standard of living of many years is impossible. Sudden collapse is inevitable.

    1

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      A few comments:

      1. New energy discoveries can not keep up with depletion of existing resources.

      We already know about enough oil, natural gas, and coal to last us practically indefinitely, if prices could rise high enough. There are a lot of resources that are “shut in,” because the cost of extracting the resources and transporting them to the desired users would be too high. The “New energy discovery” story is strictly a “there is not enough cheap-to-extract conventional oil being discovered” story.

      2. Energy required to extract and produce energy products continues to escalate leaving less surplus energy available to consumers.

      Peak oilers like to describe the story this way, but it is a very incomplete story, because the measurement is very inadequate. The cost of extraction includes human labor, interest expense, and taxes, in addition to the cost of energy. Also, different types of energy have very different values to the economic system. Thus, it makes a very major difference what kind of energy is being used to produce what other kind of energy. Is it oil being used to produce intermittent electricity? This is likely a major problem. The calculation gives reasonable results when two almost identical things are being compared (one oil well, two years apart, for example), but doesn’t work at all well when comparing unlike types of energy. But it does produce lots of academic papers.

      An additional detail is the fact that we have no good way of determining the surplus energy that is theoretically available. The “standard calculation” is like cutting off tops of icebergs that float at different levels. It gives an answer, but it is not the right answer.

      3. Energy producing nations consume more energy domestically leaving less available for export.

      This statement was a favorite of peak oilers. It is part of the Exportland model of Jeffrey Brown on TheOilDrum.com. It used to be true, when oil prices were high enough to allow oil exporters to sell oil to their own people at close to their own extraction price, without collecting the high taxes that were normally available on exported oil. I am not sure to what it is true today. Venezuela is exporting less oil, not because its people is using more, but because the country is falling apart. China tries to export wind turbines and solar panel. If it cannot find a market for them elsewhere, it uses them itself. But that is not what “Exportland” meant. It is clearly true when standards of living are rising in exporting nations. It is less true when standards of living are falling there.

      4. Existing infrastructure requires increasing amounts of energy just for maintenance, leaving less available for additional growth.

      I agree. This is true of electrical transmission as well as pipelines and refineries.

      5. Growing world population creates declining energy availability per capita. The world energy pie has to be cut in 7.5 billion pieces and demand is growing every day.

      I agree. This is a major issue.

      6. Debt burdened Governments, corporations and individuals have fewer and fewer financial means to purchase energy products, and the goods and services they produce, as debt grows faster than revenues and wages.

      I agree. The issue is partly the interest payments required, and partly the funds that are “tied up,” and cannot be used for other purchases. There is particularly a problem if a person is laid off from work.

      Adding to the problem: If interest rates are reduced, “asset” prices tend to escalate, putting (for example) new homes farther and farther out of financial reach.

      • Artleads says:

        The eloquence is inescapable. So is the depth of understanding. Not necessarily yet comprehensible to the lay person. Somehow, it seems to be getting closer.

      • Greg Machala says:

        This is a very good summary of our predicament Gail and Theophilus . Should make this list a prominent link on the front page for newcomers. If that is possible.

  20. Baby Doomer says:

    The Model 3 is putting Tesla in dangerous territory

    The numbers are daunting. Tesla is spending more than $1 billion per quarter to sustain its existing business and ramp up production of its troubled Model 3. For a company building just three cars, that’s worrisome. General Motors is also spending a billion every quarter – the biggest US automaker manufactures dozen of different vehicles worldwide and is on track sell almost 10 million cars and trucks.

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/companies/the-model-3-is-putting-tesla-in-dangerous-territory/ar-BBFFIAa?ocid=ob-tw-enus-677

    • Greg Machala says:

      This is why I think we are approaching collapse. Nothing in the “markets” (or our economy in general) is consistent with past trends. By all past standards:
      1. Tesla should be bankrupt.
      2. Many financial institutions should be bankrupt.
      3. Energy companies should be bankrupt,
      4. Amazon should be bankrupt.
      So on and so forth. Feels like a big dam has broke. It is just taking a while for the water to reach us.

  21. Fast Eddy says:

    A MILLENNIAL JOB INTERVIEW

    • she’s destined for a “career” in retail.

      • doomphd – Honolulu – I really hold a doctor of philosophy (phd) in geological sciences and study pretty doomy topics like giant landslides, volcanic eruptions and megatsunamis.
        doomphd says:

        she’ll do well among “her people”.

      • Nope.avi says:

        No, no, no. Snowflakes come from very well-to-do families. She probably has a trust fund and can fudge her way into a professional job that requires no real skills.

        Several years ago people like her were in college. The general consensus was that snowflakes would grow up quickly once they left college and “entered the real world”.
        That never happened. What has happened is the real world is changing to accommodate them.

        • doomphd – Honolulu – I really hold a doctor of philosophy (phd) in geological sciences and study pretty doomy topics like giant landslides, volcanic eruptions and megatsunamis.
          doomphd says:

          the horror…

    • Fast Eddy says:

      “I talk to kids in my practice and they see it as a good thing. They say, ‘life would be so simple—I’d shoot some zombies and wouldn’t have to go to school,’” Schlozman says. In both literature and in speaking with patients, Schlozman has noticed that people frequently romanticize the end times. They imagine surviving, thriving and going back to nature.

      I do think that a great many people find the pressures of everyday life difficult to deal with …and they yearn for a simpler way of life…

      And the MSM has presented the past as simpler — even though it was not…. if anything we in the first world life in the cushiest of cocoons…

      I was driving with Madame Fast the other day and we past a few people driving vintage cars… and I asked Madame Fast why so many people aspire to drive one of these shiiit boxes… they were unreliable shiiit boxes back then and they most definitely would be more so now that they are 50+ years old….

      And for the same money one could have a high end modern machine that would be a dream to drive…. and it would start every time you pushed the button

      She suggested that they thought it was cool… yes but what makes it cool?

      I think we touch on it here — the owners feel it brings them closer to a simpler period in time… and those who admire these cars also have that affinity…

      It is of course a delusion

      I used to have a 1953 Land Rover —- my affinity for simpler times ended after the 3rd break down on the side of the road in the first month of ownership….

      • I hear that hunter/gatherer was simpler times.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          Perhaps… although I reference my visit to some tribes in deepest darkest Irian Jaya…. they did some hunting and gathering … they also farmed a few pigs… and grew some potatoes …

          It was a very grim existence…. they did not appear to be at all happy…

          There may be a degree of fake romance associated with these societies….

          Humans these days are living much like well-treated pets… we always get enough to eat… we get to fiddle with social media – watch tee vee…. act like f789ing buffoons… overall it is not anywhere near as stressful as having to endure regular periods with not enough food — sleeping in a cave … and picking lice from each others’ hair….

      • jupiviv
        jupiviv says:

        I think people subconsciously understand that BAU is a lie, or that their perception of BAU qua BAU is a lie. Humans aren’t built for this way of life. Very possibly they aren’t meant to live past 40 or so. Consider for example the fatalistic-nihilistic worldviews of some of the commenters on this blog. One simply loses the ability to truly enjoy life after a certain age, and simply ends up perpetually seeking such enjoyment to no avail. At the same time, the fear of death increases the more one ages.

        For people below the age of 40, the post-collapse chaos will indeed be exciting, as long as they can survive. And some of them probably will survive it all, only to become old men mourning the loss of BAU.

        • Yorchichan says:

          One simply loses the ability to truly enjoy life after a certain age, and simply ends up perpetually seeking such enjoyment to no avail.

          Mostly if ill health sets in, or if one allows one’s happiness to be determined by how one is treated by other people (particularly attractive people of the opposite sex).

          At the same time, the fear of death increases the more one ages.

          That is certainly true.

          • just think of yourself as an attractive person of the opposite sex

          • Fast Eddy says:

            I fear death less the more I age… that might be because I have been bucket listing for so long that I don’t feel that there a lot of things left that I wished I could do…

            And… because I am unlikely to die before BAU ends… I am actually quite pleased that I along with everyone else will die from the same cause and at pretty much the same time…. that way I don’t feel like I will be missing out on anything… it’s kinda like getting a death sentence from the doctor… loading up a 747 with all your friends and family — and slamming it into a mountain.

            As for ill health… that can to some extent be addressed with keeping active and eating properly… there is no excuse for packing on 20kg just because one hits 40 or 50 or whatever the number is …

            • Yorchichan says:

              As for ill health… that can to some extent be addressed with keeping active and eating properly… there is no excuse for packing on 20kg just because one hits 40 or 50 or whatever the number is …

              100% correct. I’m 52, train one to two hours every day and don’t eat any processed cr*p. I weigh and feel exactly the same as when I was 18, despite an occupation not conducive to staying fit. Every day I meet people considerably younger than me who look like old people. These days, ignorance of how to stay fit and healthy is no excuse because all the information is out there for those willing to take the trouble to look. All it takes is a little self control.

            • yup—stay away from doctors

              let them ”practice” on somebody else.

              old is always 10 years older than you are right now

            • Fast Eddy says:

              ++++++++++

              My situation is very much similar.

              If only there was a pro hockey league for the 50+ I am sure I could make the grade…. through attrition… 🙂

        • JMS
          JMS says:

          “Consider for example the fatalistic-nihilistic worldviews of some of the commenters on this blog. One simply loses the ability to truly enjoy life after a certain age.”

          I think there are two abusive generalizations in this statement. Because:
          1) A person can be deeply pessimistic without ceasing to appreciate the pleasures of life, and
          2) there is no necessary relationship between pessimism and physical decay.
          I for exemple was a pessimist and a skeptical person at 18yo. Only after 40 I became truly a nihilist, but this is tempered by a bit of epicureanism and a big lorry of stoicism.

          In a nutshell, industrial civilization is now in disintegration mode, humans are finished, and we can´t even say it’s “unfair”, we can’t even complain. The only thing we can say is “auch!”. Meanwhile, let’s open this fine bottle of gin and put something great on the cd player.

          • jupiviv
            jupiviv says:

            Epicureanism and stoicism are actually diametrically opposed philosophical positions. Anyway, Epicureanism is just another way for the unhappy to seek happiness. The more someone thinks about pleasure, the less pleased they are. Hedonism and puritanism are two sides of the same coin.

            As for no connection between pessimism and age, I never said there was. Pessimism and optimism are very relative terms, so even a nihilist can be an optimist with regard to human progress, or Bach cantatas

            • JMS
              JMS says:

              “Epicureanism and stoicism are actually diametrically opposed philosophical positions.”

              Not really, unless epicurism is confused with shallow hedonism. I would say stoicism and epicureanism are different tools to achieve basically the same goal.The stoics called that goal apatheia, and the epicureans called it ataraxia.

              From Wikipedia:
              “Epicurus was an atomic materialist, following in the steps of Democritus. His materialism led him to a general attack on superstition and divine intervention. Following Aristippus, Epicurus believed that what he called “pleasure” was the greatest good, but that the way to attain such pleasure was to live modestly, to gain knowledge of the workings of the world, and to limit one’s desires. This would lead one to attain a state of tranquility (ataraxia) and freedom from fear as well as an absence of bodily pain (aponia).
              […]
              According to stoicism teachings… the path to happiness for humans is found in accepting this moment as it presents itself, by not allowing ourselves to be controlled by our desire for pleasure or our fear of pain, by using our minds to understand the world around us and to do our part in nature’s plan, and by working together and treating others in a fair and just manner.

          • jupiviv
            jupiviv says:

            Apathy and ataraxy are not the same thing. Epicureanism posits “modest”(=regulated, sophisticated and often expensive) pleasure as the highest reality, whereas stoicism holds the *ideals* of virtue, truth and justice as good in themselves and incompatible with any kind of pleasure seeking. For that reason alone they are mutually exclusive.

            But if combining them works for you, that’s great too. My point however was that hedonism (in any form) is itself proof of unhappiness, because only unhappy people would want to build a philosophy around achieving happiness or pleasure. Those who are happy have no reason to find reasons to be happy.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              One might argue our default state is the pursuit of hedonism…

              I just look at my dog — she gravitates towards warmth, comfort, good food, plenty of naps … I sometimes think it would be nice to swap places with her… she has no responsibilities whatsoever… her life is 99% pure pleasure

            • JMS
              JMS says:

              I think you are confused about epicurism. The aim of the epicureans is not happiness, let alone pleasure. Their purpose is the same as that of most of the great old philosophies: a quiet mind, equanimity, a state beyond fear and hope. Some call it nirvana, some satori, some ataraxia, some apatheia, some etc. The label, in my opinion, doesn’t really matter.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          If anyone is alive a month after BAU ends… I don’t think the term exciting would describe their lives…

          The words nasty brutish violent disease hungry and short come to mind….

          Keep in mind when reading this — farming was to a great extent organic at this time ….people knew how to grow food and live pretty much unplugged…. there were not 7.5 billion people…. and civilization had not collapsed…

          Harrowing pics show starving Russians selling human body parts as MEAT during 1920s famine as desperate families become cannibals to survive

          https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/2501517/pictures-human-body-parts-cannibals-russian-famine-1921-1922/

          https://www.thesun.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/nintchdbpict000291453186.jpg?strip=all&w=706

        • Tim Groves – Japan
          Tim Groves says:

          jupiviv, from your comment, you seem to be rather young person who imagines everyone over 60 suffers from pain and infirmity. All I can say is, some of us oldsters have our moments of pleasure too.

          Americans in general seem to have a cultural phobia about aging, and with the price of healthcare can you blame ’em. But this is by no means a universal fear. Many cultures look forward to senior citizenship with its attendant leisure, freedom, pension, and general lack of responsibility for the future. And with a bit of good luck, planning and the right attitude, life is good at any age.

    • Sungr says:

      Wow. Thanks for that!

      I thought we had some real issues going- peak oil, peak phosporous, climate change, overpopulation, agricultural chemicals in the subsurface water, Fukushima, massive ocean trash, annihiliation of large ocean fish, insect biomass down by 70%, nuclear weapons in the hands of idiots, etc etc.

      It all seemed utterly real to me until I read your article. Now I know that it’s just our religious brains that are inventing all these doomsday scenarios.

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      He says:

      “Preparedness can in some ways be a lot of fun, because you’re learning some really interesting skills,” Rawles said. “And the sense of accomplishment where you can walk down to your basement and look at your pantry shelves and say, ‘Yep, I did that,’ you can feel good about that.”

      This goes with the “Happily ever after” version of limits.

      • Jesse James says:

        Gail, I personally feel that learning how to prep, ie understanding energy, water and food systems, is a very interesting challenge. In some sense it it relearning what our forefathers knew. Real skills that cover natural systems. I enjoyed figuring out my solar system, understanding the nooks and crannys of the whole deal. I like to know how to raise my livestock organically. Yea, that is prepping and I enjoy it. I feel good about mastering it. I enjoy my organic food. I am healthier because of it. Happily ever after is right now…with a healthier body because I eat healthy food that I labored for. Not diseased at all. Not to mention the benefits of physical labor. We belittle that around here, but it keeps you young, vigorous…to enjoy another sunrise. I think most of us count every day a victory when you pass 60. I just wish I could get the dam millennials off their smart phones and teach them this stuff. Interesting enough, the one millennial I know that would love to farm is my son in law and he is in the UK.

        • 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.
          Gail Tverberg says:

          Learning to “prep” is a nice hobby. But counting on it is pretty iffy. Don’t count on batteries or inverters continuing to work very long. You pretty much need a Plan B, without electricity and water pumps, and all of today’s other paraphernalia (hoses, plastic sheeting, etc). Don’t count on buying much of anything from stores.

        • Tim Groves – Japan
          Tim Groves says:

          What the OF Worlders refer to as “prepping” sounds a lot like how the mass of people were living in rural areas the world over before the goodies of industrialization arrived and turned so many of us into couch potato, tub of lard, cargo cult members who pop a dozen doctor’s pills a day, hunt and gather all their stuff at the hypermarket or over the internet and expect, nay, demand next day delivery.

          But a lot of other people never stopped living like peasants, working the land, growing the bulk of their own food, perhaps keeping some chickens or a couple of cows. My senior citizen neighbors who remain active farmers, foresters or handymen often do so because of the health benefits they feel they are getting by moving their muscles and getting out in the fresh air for a few hours every day, not to mention having a list of goals and reaching them one by one. And the older I get, the more I see the point.

          We won’t survive the coming of the hordes, but that’s not the point. Seeing how much we can do for ourselves while continuing to rely on “the system” (while it’s there) for what we can’t do or what we don’t want to do or what is too inconvenient for us to do has a lot going for it.

    • Pintada says:

      Dear David;

      Your author says, “”The first is that there is something dreadfully wrong with the world of human existence today,” he said. “On the other hand, there is a sense that there is a higher good or some purpose for existence, a hope for a better future.””

      Half of it applies to me, the other half does not. Im sure everyone can guess which is which. 🙂

      Enjoying my “special purpose”
      Pintada

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      Excerpt from this article:

      The real reason so many companies are sick, as Bloomberg explained in a recent feature, has to do with debt. Private equity firms purchased numerous chain retailers over the past decade, loading them up with unsustainable debt payments as part of a disastrous business strategy.

      Billions of dollars of this debt comes due in the next few years. “If today is considered a retail apocalypse,” Bloomberg reported, “then what’s coming next could truly be scary.” Eight million American retail workers could see their careers evaporate, not due to technological disruption but a predatory financial scheme. The masters of the universe who devised it, meanwhile, will likely walk away enriched, and policymakers must reckon with how they enabled the carnage.

      It is sad and scary. In many rural areas, retail jobs represent a significant share of available jobs. According to the earlier Bloomberg article, this is where the default seem to be talking place.

  22. Baby Doomer says:

    Saudi Arabia Vision 2030 is telling. Why bother to get away from oil if there are 260 Gb?
    http://vision2030.gov.sa/en

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      I am sure that Saudi leaders really know better. The amount available really varies greatly with the price of oil. If the price of oil is sky high, they can indeed extract at very large amount. If they cannot get the price to stay above $50 per barrel, it is not very high at all.

    • MG says:

      “Error 1009 Ray ID: 3c375354a4da8c9a • 2017-11-25 20:23:23 UTC
      Access denied
      What happened?
      The owner of this website (vision2030.gov.sa) has banned the country or region your IP address is in (SK) from accessing this website.”

    • adonis says:

      what if there were only 30 billion barrels of oil left in KSA and not 260 billion barrels I have based this number on my ‘gut instinct’ so do not ask for links then KSA would a lot of good reasons for leaving oil.

      • KSA isn’t the worst of oil delusion

        The Norwegians are divesting their $1trn soveriegn wealth fund out of oil related assets—(and they have family access to one of the best situation analysts in the business)—-and yet, even so, they still believe that their assets can be removed from the basic oil base and invested elsewhere

        Gail—it’s time to call home!!!

        • 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.
          Gail Tverberg says:

          I am afraid I don’t have close relatives in Norway since my grandparents were the last ones who lived there, and left there at a young age.

          I understand that there are more Norwegian Americans in the US than in Norway. And some of us are more “pure Norwegian” than the people who now live in Norway.

      • 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.
        Gail Tverberg says:

        The question is how much can be pulled out, without the economy collapsing, at whatever today’s prices turn out to be ($50, $60, or $70). They have had to borrow a lot of money so far. The situation is not sustainable without much higher oil prices.

  23. Tim Groves – Japan
    Tim Groves says:

    Christiana Figueres spells out the globalist agenda—a starkly utopian or dystopian vision, depending on your point of view, of megacities filled with tall buildings that generate all the electric power their inhabitants need to use and all the food they need to eat, and self-driving vehicles to transport people from one Star Trek-like environment to another while they spend the journey playing with their smartphones and internet shopping.

    You WILL comply and you WILL enjoy!!

    https://youtu.be/seDpS2QEoNw

    • I thought my head was going to explode!
      low-carbon growth!
      Utopian urban environments by 2050!
      food growing on the sides of buildings!
      but, somehow, solar panels too!

      though, you know, rural areas will be left behind!

      oh, no!

    • adonis says:

      the elites have been fooled into believing the infinite growth story utilizing solar and wind as postulated by the father of peak oil M.King. Hubbert and devised a ‘plan b’ many years ago based on an infinite amount of renewable energy to power the dystopian future they imagined will be around by the year 2050 the plan b is known as ‘agenda 2030’

      • Agenda 2030:
        http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-09-03/2030-agenda-month-un-launches-blueprint-new-world-order-help-pope

        The heart of the 2030 Agenda is a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals…

        Goal 1 End poverty in all its forms everywhere

        Goal 2 End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

        Goal 3 Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

        Goal 4 Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

        Goal 5 Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

        Goal 6 Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

        Goal 7 Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

        Goal 8 Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

        Goal 9 Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

        Goal 10 Reduce inequality within and among countries

        Goal 11 Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

        Goal 12 Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

        Goal 13 Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts*

        Goal 14 Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

        Goal 15 Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

        Goal 16 Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

        Goal 17 Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

        • 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.
          Gail Tverberg says:

          Most of these goals would seem to require the use of a great deal of energy to accomplish.

        • “Goal 8 Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all”

          There’s that term “sustainable growth” again. A basic understanding of the laws of thermodynamics should be a requirement for anybody seeking to serve in a leadership role.

          • DJ says:

            I am not sure they are serving.

          • xabier says:

            A new term is being propagated by those who realise that ‘sustainable growth’ is nonsense: ‘Sustainable Retreat’.

            • 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.
              Gail Tverberg says:

              Good description!

            • MG says:

              “Sustainable Retreat” – that is really a good term.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              That will sound reasonable to those who are clueless…. and that includes all Green Groopies

          • The boundaries of our planet
            In 2017, Earth Overshoot Day — the date when humanity spent Earth’s resource budget to live sustainably for the year — fell on August 2. In 1987, it landed on December 9. Today, we need 1.7 planets to meet our consumption demands — and that number could rise to two planets by 2030.
            Unless we get that growth under control, not only will we be facing an “ecosystem collapse” due to the loss of species and conversion of land for industry and agriculture, we won’t be able to stop global warming, according to some economists.
            Read more: Are international pledges bold enough to stop global warming?
            “The Paris commitments are unlikely to be met if we continue with growth of the economy,” said Philip Lawn, a senior lecturer in environmental economics at Flinders University in Australia. Solving the climate crisis and continuing with economic business as usual are “incompatible” and “delusional,” he added

            • 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.
              Gail Tverberg says:

              The way Earth Overshoot Day is calculated is a farce. We are in overshoot pretty much from day one. Our population is way too high; we are dependent on non-renewable resources. Solving the climate crisis is delusional, in this context. We require business as usual to live.

            • greg machala says:

              I agree we are in a perpetual (and increasingly precarious) state of overshoot. There is no reset at the beginning of each year.

            • doomphd – Honolulu – I really hold a doctor of philosophy (phd) in geological sciences and study pretty doomy topics like giant landslides, volcanic eruptions and megatsunamis.
              doomphd says:

              when i hear or read the word “sustainable”, i know immediately that we are dealing with delusional hogwash.

        • xabier says:

          All the above being entirely contrary to human nature, and the physics of life on this depleted planet.

        • Artleads says:

          The devil is in the details. While this is very broad and hopeful, the issue is one of nuance and particularity.

        • I call this the “FLAT,HOT, AND CROWDED” view of the future.
          https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2358737.Hot_Flat_and_Crowded
          A view promulgated by bureaucrats and economists who operate in theories as appose to reality. They often take a few short-term trends and assume that these trends will continue indefinitely because they believe they will continue.

          .

      • Agenda 2030, some goals:

        end poverty and hunger…

        make cities sustainable…

        ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns…

        promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels…

        wow…

        world peace and a sustainable end of poverty…

        who could be against that?

        let’s do this!

        • DJ says:

          Make the World great again!

        • Jesse James says:

          Of course an unelected, unaccountable set of elites will run the show. What could go wrong?

          • DJ says:

            It is really very easy to exterminate poverty and sickness.

            • 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.
              Gail Tverberg says:

              Just as it is very easy to go to 80% or 90% renewables. Just get rid of the problem people or production.

            • DJ says:

              Cutting down the denominator is easiest.

          • Nope.avi says:

            The same thing that went wrong with other attempts at central planning on a large scale.
            There are instances of central planning being successful but they are overshadowed by the many more instances of central planners doubling down on ideology instead of recognizing when they fail. A centrally planned society is only good as the merit of its central planners.

            • xabier says:

              One of the main flaws is that if you stand to lose privileges – or even be shot – if things fail, you will quite naturally tend to tell the central planners that everything is going swimmingly.

              No accurate feedback at all, until the famines and mass shortages start.

      • Tim Groves – Japan
        Tim Groves says:

        The end of BAU is going to come as a real agenda bender for the elites—unless of course, Christiana Figueres’s performance is merely a sheep calming exercise and they have already decided to accept the John Cleese “residential block” design proposal.

        https://youtu.be/DyL5mAqFJds

    • Ed – I am interested in energy issues.
      Ed says:

      She does have the hook nose.

  24. adonis says:

    ‘In terms of lending volumes, while it is too early to draw definitive conclusions, credit growth in the euro area for example, has picked up since the introduction of negative rates’ hie finite worlders this is a conclusion reached by a report provided to the International monetary fund in my opinion it is a positive .result that will be used in monetary policy by central banks worldwide shortly this should ‘kick the can down the road’ for some more time no one knows when the day of reckoning will come we may still have another ten years before BAU is finished.
    https://blogs.imf.org/2016/04/10/the-broader-view-the-positive-effects-of-negative-nominal-interest-rates/#more-12152

    • the article asks “Are there unintended consequences?”

      but how could there possibly be any? (sarc sarc sarc)

      “… this should ‘kick the can down the road’ for some more time no one knows when the day of reckoning will come we may still have another ten years before BAU is finished.”

      this sounds like a very reasonable scenario! very well stated! quite excellent!!!

      anything… whatever it takes… to kick the can for ten more years.

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      I suppose negative rates can lead to the justification of debt, even if a company cannot expect to make a positive profit using those funds. But it is certainly hard to run a pension plan with negative or zero interest rates.

      • adonis says:

        we have entered uncharted waters were jacob rothschilds words in a recent note to investors how this will play out on pension plans is unknowable Gail

  25. the 100 billion dollar man…

    https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/jeff-bezos-closing-100-billion-163041425.html

    just another sign of big troubles ahead…

    and that’s not sarcasm…

    ie wage inequality.

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      There is not a whole lot a person can spend $100 billion on, other than buying other companies. A person runs out of vacation spots to visit, and homes that the person can reasonably live at, and cars to drive. How many clothes can a single (or married) person purchase for their own use? Or maybe I don’t think like a billionaire.

      • Álvaro says:

        With $100 billion, you don’t buy things. You buy people, even whole countries.

        • 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.
          Gail Tverberg says:

          You are probably correct.

        • greg machala says:

          The Monopoly game is getting interesting.

  26. Jim Kunstler’s Friday blog ends with:

    “The tax reform bill, whether it lives or dies, may only become a laughable footnote to the greater quandary of national insolvency. And, anyway, the proposals so far amount to a hall of mirrors inside a three-card-monte house of horrors that almost nobody really understands. As yet another old song says, this ain’t no Mud Club… this ain’t no foolin’ around. Meanwhile, down in the rococo dining room of Mar a Lago, the Golden Golem of Greatness tweeted yesterday that he was presiding over the greatest stock market ever! Kind of reminds me of the moment that old Joe Kennedy got a stock tip from his shoeshine boy.”

    Meanwhile, http://oil-price.net/ shows oil prices plateaued much higher than they were last winter — does this indicate a bidding war for the remaining oil, until such prices bust the world economy?

    • Fast Eddy says:

      ‘does this indicate a bidding war for the remaining oil, until such prices bust the world economy?’

      I hope not….

      • also, JHK suggests December 8th as a danger day…
        when the latest temporary debt ceiling fix expires.

        meanwhile, WTI oil hit $59.05 today…
        not exactly a bidding war yet…
        and a long way from an oil spike…
        though these things can happen fairly quickly…
        perhaps by 2019.

        • 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.
          Gail Tverberg says:

          I thought that whenever there has been a debt ceiling, there always has been a couple month period where paying some bills could be delayed. So it would be surprising to me if he problem hit right on December 8–perhaps in February 2018.

    • Artleads says:

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

    • Fast Eddy says:

      I didn’t notice that research on the latest Bloomberg article on Tesla trucks… strange…

      So now I will have to zip my mouth when Green Groopies that I know … start bleating on about how Tesla is going to revolutionize the trucking business….

      The announcement of the tie up with Airbus to electrify an A380 cannot be far off…. it’s not a whole lot more absurd than trying to electrify trucks…. or colonizing Mars…

      Let’s see how far we can go with this … let’s just have the MoT make up the most ludicrous claims… ram them into the MSM … and watch the stuuuupid humans be lead around by their noses.

      We really truly are such stuuuupid gullible beasts… the PR men must laugh when they see how we lap up just about anything…..they must try to outdo themselves to see what we will believe… they probably take bets on how stupppid they can make us behave…

      • Dennis L. says:

        FE,
        It seems we need to believe in order to stay sane; is there difference between this and turning water into wine? Sometimes hope will get a person through until the next thing comes along. There seems to be a great deal about physics that is not entirely understood and historically faulty reasoning has not always resulted in faulty conclusions.
        Dennis L.

  27. Baby Doomer says:

    Excellent video from scientist Thunderfoot about energy density and batteries vs Fossil Fuels.

  28. Baby Doomer says:

    Elon Musk’s latest “promises” include breaking the laws of physics with magic batteries
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-24/tesla-s-newest-promises-break-the-laws-of-batteries

Comments are closed.