A Video Game Analogy to Our Energy Predicament

The way the world economy is manipulated by world leaders is a little like a giant video game. The object of the game is to keep the world economy growing, without too many adverse consequences to particular members of the world economy. We represent this need for growth of the world economy as being similar to making a jet airplane fly at ever-higher altitudes.

Figure 1. Author’s view of the situation we are facing. World leaders look at their video screens and adjust their controllers to try to make the world economy fly at ever-higher levels.

World leaders look at their video game screens for indications regarding where the world economy is now. They also want to see whether there are specific parts of the economy that are doing badly.

The game controllers that the world leaders have are somewhat limited in the functions they can perform. Typical adjustments they can make include the following:

  • Add or remove government programs aimed at providing jobs for would-be workers
  • Add or remove government sponsored pension plans and payments to those without jobs
  • Add or remove laws regulating efficiencies of new vehicles
  • Change who or what is taxed, and the overall level of taxation
  • Through the above mechanisms, change government debt levels
  • Change interest rates

There are numerous problems with this approach. For one thing, the video game screen doesn’t give a very complete picture of what is happening. For another, the aspects of the economy that can be controlled are rather limited. Furthermore, the situation is very complex–there seem to be several “sides” of the economy that need to “win” at the same time, for the economy to continue to grow: (a) oil importers and oil exporters, (b) businesses and their would-be customers, (c) governments and their would-be taxpayers, and (d) asset holders and the would-be buyers of these assets, such as families needing new homes.

An even bigger problem is a physics problem that is hidden from the view of those operating the control mechanism. Jet airplanes in the real world cannot rise beyond a certain altitude (varying depending upon the plane), because the atmosphere becomes “too thin.” There is a parallel problem in the economic world. The atmosphere that allows an economy to grow is provided by a combination of (a) an increasing supply of cheap-to-produce energy, and (b) increased technology to put this growing energy supply to use. This atmosphere can become too thin for several reasons, including the higher cost of energy production, rising population, and growing wage disparity.

We know that in the real world, a jet airplane cannot rise ever-higher. Instead, at some point, the airplane hits what has been called its “coffin corner.”

Figure 2. Diagram of Coffin Corner by Aleks Udris of Boldmethod. On the chart, Vs is the velocity; MMO is the Maximum Mach Number.

According to Aleks Udris, “The region is deadly. Get too slow, and you’ll stall the jet at high altitude. Get too fast, and you’ll exceed your critical mach number. The air over your wings will go supersonic, you’ll pitch down, the aircraft will accelerate, and your wings will fall off. Also bad.”

What Happens As Coffin Corner Limits Are Reached in the Economic World?

What do world leaders do, as the world economy hits limits? One temptation is for the world leaders in Figure 1 to take their foot off the throttle that is operated by low interest rates and more debt, because they don’t seem to be providing very much benefit anymore. The leaders fear that if more debt is added at low interest rates, it risks creating “asset bubbles” that are easily disturbed if any little bump to the economy occurs. If a big bubble pops, there is a significant risk that the economy could fall down to a much lower level. This is like stalling the jet at high altitude.

World leaders can also use approaches that create situations more like “making the wings come off” the economy. These approaches involve favoring one group over another. For example, a government can give big tax breaks to businesses, but raise taxes on individual citizens. Businesses will ultimately be harmed by this approach, because they depend on individual citizens for their sales. The result is like tearing the wings off the airplane.

Another approach that would tear the wings off the economy involves actions by a different group of world leaders than those shown in Figure 1, namely the leaders from OPEC and Russia. These leaders have different video game screens and different game controllers. They can manipulate the world economy by reducing the supply of oil they provide. With this approach, they hope to increase the price of oil, and thus obtain a larger share of the world’s goods and services through higher tax revenue.

Raising the oil price would benefit oil exporters, but would make goods and services more expensive for oil importing countries. Ultimately, this approach would lead to recession in oil importing nations. The result would likely be worse than the 2008-2009 recession–another way to make the wings come off the economy.

Let’s look in a little more detail at what is happening, and what goes wrong:

[1] Energy plays a huge role in this game, because a growing supply of cheap-to-produce energy allows greater worker productivity.

It takes energy of various types to make the economy grow, because energy is needed whenever we move something, or heat something, or use electricity to operate something. We use energy products to leverage our human labor. For example, we use a truck to deliver a package, rather than walking and carrying the item in our hands. If fresh water is in short supply, we use energy to operate a desalination plant, and thus produce the fresh water we need.

It is generally workers who produce goods and services. If energy supply is inexpensive and readily available, it is easy for governments or businesses to create “tools” to make these workers more productive. These tools include such things as roads, vehicles, machines of all types, and even computers. If the quantity and capability of these tools are increasing, the labor of these workers is increasingly leveraged by the availability of these tools. This is what allows economic growth.

[2] The extent of world economic growth seems to depend primarily on how quickly total energy consumption is growing

If we look at historical economic growth, we see that the rate of growth of energy consumption seems to play a major role.

Figure 3. World GDP growth compared to world energy consumption growth for selected time periods since 1820. World real GDP trends for 1975 to present are based on USDA real GDP data in 2010$ for 1975 and subsequent. (Estimated by author for 2015.) GDP estimates for prior to 1975 are based on Maddison project updates as of 2013. Growth in the use of energy products is based on a combination of data from Appendix A data from Vaclav Smil’s Energy Transitions: History, Requirements and Prospects together with BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2015 for 1965 and subsequent.

The highest rates of world economic growth took place in the 1950-1965 period, and in the 1965-1975 period. These were both periods of very high growth in energy consumption. As we will see below, these were both periods when the price of oil was less than $20 per barrel, for almost the entire period.

If we look at economic growth over shorter periods, we also see a strong correlation between world economic growth and growth in energy consumption:

Figure 4. World growth in energy consumption vs. world GDP growth. Energy consumption from BP Statistical Review of World Energy, 2017. World GDP is GDP in US 2010$, as compiled by World Bank.

[3] On Figure 4 (above), the widening gap between GDP growth and energy consumption since 2013 could either represent (a) Much greater efficiency in using energy or (b) A problem in measuring true economic growth.

We can see true efficiency improvements in the 1975-1985 and the 1985-1995 periods shown on Figure 3. These were the periods when the world was truly trying to “get away from oil,” after a spike of high prices in the 1970s. Governments around the world were encouraging new smaller cars; electricity generation was being changed from oil to nuclear; home heating was being changed from oil to natural gas or electricity. The new furnaces installed were much more efficient than the old ones. Thus, during this period, efficiency/technology improvements were aiding economic growth to a greater extent than usual.

Now, in the period since 2013, much of the “low hanging fruit” has already been picked. We may still be finding some technology gains, but it seems likely that at least part of the problem is an “economic growth counting problem.” GDP looks like it is growing, but it is really very hollow economic growth. Governments invest in projects of essentially no value, and their investment is counted as GDP. For example, they invest in unneeded roads, in apartments that citizens cannot really afford, in educational institutions that do not produce graduates with wages that are sufficiently high to pay for education’s high cost, and in high-priced medical cures that are unaffordable by 99% of the population. Are these things truly contributions to GDP?

We also find businesses that look like they are growing, but in fact are taking on increasing amounts of debt as they sell off assets. This is not a sustainable model! We encounter energy companies that claim to be doing “sort of” alright, but their profits are so low that they need to cut back on new investment, and they need to borrow in order to have funds to pay dividends to shareholders. There is something seriously wrong with this growth!

[4] The economic “atmosphere” becomes thinner and thinner, when oil prices rise above an inflation-adjusted price of $20 per barrel.

Back in the time period prior to 1973, oil prices were generally below $20 per barrel, in inflation adjusted terms. Since then, prices have tended to be above this level.

Figure 5. Historical oil prices are Brent oil prices in 2016$ from BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2017; $20 per barrel is the maximum price level where oil is truly affordable; and $300 per barrel is the maximum price per barrel that the International Energy Agency seems to believe is possible for the world economy.

When oil (and other energy prices) were very low, companies could add tools to make workers more effective with little expenditure. As a result, the United States saw wages growing much more rapidly than inflation prior to 1968 (Figure 6).

Figure 6. Chart comparing income gains by the top 10% to income gains by the bottom 90% by economist Emmanuel Saez. Based on an analysis of IRS data, published in Forbes.

Once prices of oil started rising, prices of tools (broadly defined) rose. Governments and companies needed more debt to buy these tools. It became more of a burden to add capital goods of all kinds. Governments tried to raise GDP by adding debt, but to a significant extent they ended up with higher debt to GDP ratios rather than the rapid growth they were looking for (Figure 7).

Figure 7. Worldwide average inflation-adjusted annual growth rates in debt and GDP, for selected time periods. See post on debt for explanation of methodology.

The changes in the economy that allowed continued growth (more debt and more technology) tended to push the economy toward more wage disparity, in part because more technology required more training for some of the workers, but not for others. This allowed wages of the workers with special training to rise.

Furthermore, the need to repay debt with interest tended to funnel wealth toward the financial sector, and toward those within the economy who could afford to hold financial assets. These changes left less of the output of the economy for non-elite workers.

Economists never really understood what was happening. They had never thought through the important role that energy plays in the economy. Cheap energy is needed to create jobs. It is jobs, and the wages that those jobs pay, that tend to suffer when oil prices are too high (Figure 8). Thus, high-priced oil has a double impact on the economy:

  1. It makes goods of many kinds more expensive.
  2. It reduces job availability and wages.

Figure 8. Average wages in 2012$ compared to Brent oil price, also in 2012$. Average wages are total wages based on BEA data adjusted by the CPI-Urban, divided by total population. Thus, they reflect changes in the proportion of population employed as well as wage levels.

Logic would suggest that the economy cannot really operate on high-priced oil. Lower wages and higher prices do not peacefully coexist! We should expect high oil prices to be very unstable. Even if prices can reach a high level in response to a specific shortage or stimulus, we cannot expect these high prices to be maintained for a sustained period, without added stimulus. Unstable high prices are not likely to give rise to more oil production; they cannot be depended upon.

Economists have never understood this situation. Instead, they have made pronouncements that at some point in the future, they expect that oil would become scarce. Because of this scarcity, oil prices would rise. In their view, when oil prices rise, high-priced substitutes would suddenly become the best option available; somehow, the economy would become able to operate using these high-priced substitutes. (If energy products were not needed for labor productivity, this view might make some sense. In the real world, it does not.)

It never occurred to organizations such as the International Energy Association (IEA) that high oil prices might be a problem for the economy. The IEA has shown exhibits suggesting that oil prices could theoretically rise to $300 per barrel. Of course, at such an elevated price, there would be an almost unlimited amount of oil available to extract (Exhibit 9).

Figure 9. IEA Figure 1.4 from its World Energy Outlook 2015, showing how much oil can be produced at various price levels.

[5] The real enemies of continued economic growth are (a) diminishing returns with respect to oil and other energy production, (b) continued population growth, and (c) increasing wage and wealth disparity. 

We seem to be playing a video game where the players don’t understand who the real enemies are.

Diminishing returns with respect to oil and other energy production have to do with the cost of energy extraction rising ever-higher, as more resources are extracted. There are a lot of resources that we can “see,” but that we cannot economically extract, unless prices rise to very high levels.

Figure 9. My version of the resource triangle for oil. Note that oil shale is not the same as tight oil, found in shale formations. Oil shale is kerogen that must be processed at very high temperatures in order to produce oil. This is rarely done, because of the high processing cost. Tight oil is not on this chart. Tight oil probably would be above “onshore heavy oil; oil sands.” It still would disappear, if oil prices permanently fell to $20 per barrel or less.

Continued population growth is a problem because it is really “energy per capita” that matters. Each individual needs food, transportation, and housing. All of these things take energy. Many years ago, when most of the workers were farmers, it was necessary to create ever-smaller farms, as population rose. This clearly would lead to lower food production per farmer, unless some sort of technological breakthrough was taking place at the same time. Today, we have a parallel issue.

Increasing wage disparity tends to be associated with the rising use of technology. When most labor is hand labor, workers truly do “pay each other’s wages.” All wages can be fairly equal. With increased technology, some workers have specialized training; others do not. Some workers are supervisors; others are laborers. Unless the overall output of the economy is rising very rapidly, non-elite workers find themselves increasingly unable to afford the output of the economy. It is this falling “demand” (really affordability) that tends to pull an economy downward.

[6] High oil prices can be temporarily tolerated by an economy, if interest rates are lowered to make this arrangement work.

Clearly, lower interest rates make capital goods of all kinds more affordable to both businesses and individual workers. If we look back at the period since 1981, we see a long period of falling interest rates, acting to stimulate the economy.

When oil prices exceeded $20 per barrel, the economy did not collapse immediately. In “normal” times, lowering interest rates was sufficient stimulus to keep the economy growing (Figure 4).

Figure 10. Ten-year treasuries through Nov. 17, 2017. Chart produced by FRED.

When there is a very big drop in oil prices (as in 2008, related to falling debt levels), then Quantitative Easing (QE) has been helpful (Figure 11). The US began its program of QE in late 2008, when oil prices were near their low point. There were three phases of the US’s QE. The US discontinued the third phase in late 2014, just as oil prices started to slide again.

Figure 11. Monthly Brent oil prices with dates of US beginning and ending QE.

[7] It is quite possible for a disconnect to occur between (a) the cost of oil extraction, and (b) the selling price of oil.

Oil that costs more than $20 per barrel is never very affordable by the economy. It really needs continual stimulus to keep prices at an elevated level. Once debt growth falls too low, the balance between the supply and demand for oil is settled in the direction of the amount of goods and services made with oil that non-elite workers can afford. Prices fall below the cost of production. This seems to be what has happened since 2014.

[8] In fact, since 2014, the selling prices of oil, natural gas, and coal have all fallen below the cost of extraction.

Figure 12. Price per ton of oil equivalent, based on comparative prices for oil, natural gas, and coal given in BP Statistical Review of World Energy. Not inflation adjusted.

It is popular to think that the reason why oil prices are too low is because of overproduction by the United States or Saudi Arabia. When a person stops to realize that essentially the same situation arises for all three fossil fuels, a person begins to understand that there likely is an affordability issue underlying the low prices for all three fuels. The affordability issue, of course, arises because energy supply is not rising quickly enough because (at over $20 per barrel), it is too expensive to be truly affordable. The “atmosphere is too thin” at today’s high cost of energy extraction.

9. Coal production seems to have “peaked” because at today’s low prices, few mines find the extraction of coal profitable.

It is popular in “Peak Oil” circles to believe as the economists do: oil and other energy prices can rise endlessly, because of growing “demand.” Economists have never stopped to think that at any given price, there is an affordability issue for customers. If prices drop too low, there is a profitability issue for those operating extraction facilities.

If we look at the situation with coal, we see a situation where peak production seems to have been reached because of low prices. China has closed down mines because falling prices have made mines that were previously profitable, unprofitable (Figure 13). Coal is the lowest-cost fuel; if it cannot be mined profitably, the world economy has a problem.

Figure 13. China’s energy production, based on data from BP Statistical Review of World Energy, 2017.

In fact, it appears as though we have reached peak coal on a worldwide basis, as a result of low prices (Figure 14). It is hard to see any major production area that can grow substantially in the future, without much higher prices.

Figure 14. World coal production, based on BP Statistical Review of World Energy Data. (For 1965-1980, consumption is substituted for production, because only consumption is given, and imports/exports are likely small.

[10] The world economy needs to be able to keep repaying debt with interest. If world economic growth slows too much, this will not be possible. 

We may already be reaching a “too slow growth limit.” Below this growth limit, it becomes impossible to repay debt with interest, especially if interest rates rise. We may already be reaching this point, based on the lack of growth in energy consumption per capita shown in Figure 15. (Also, as noted in Item [3], it seems quite possible that recent GDP growth indications are overstated.)

Figure 15. Average energy prices (averaging oil, coal, and natural gas) versus the total quantity of energy products consumed per capita, based on BP energy consumption data and UN population data. (Prices have not been inflation adjusted.)

Figure 15 suggests that affordability and price go together. When the world economy is growing rapidly, energy prices tend to rise (as does energy consumption). When energy consumption per capita falls, it is a sign that the world economy is not doing well.

One of the things that confuses matters is the very different economic growth results for different parts of the world. If oil prices are low, this improves economic growth prospects from the point of oil importers, such as the United States and China. This is what our video game players are looking at, not the results for the world as a whole. It is oil exporters, such as Venezuela and Saudi Arabia, who are having problems.

If we look at world news, Venezuela may collapse because of low oil prices. Saudi Arabia has found it necessary to take on debt, and has undergone regime change, at least partly related to low oil prices. Norway is proposing that its oil and gas fund no longer invest in oil and gas companies, because it expects that there is a significant chance the oil price will not rise high enough to bring companies back to adequate profitability.

[11] The whole “game” has been confused by a lot of not-quite-correct pronouncements from academic circles.

A lot of well-meaning people have tried to solve our energy problems, but haven’t gotten the story right.

Economists have gotten the story pretty much 100% wrong. Energy is very important for the economy. Furthermore, energy prices don’t rise endlessly.

Peak Oilers have confused matters by talking about oil, coal and natural gas being determined by the amount of technically recoverable resources in the ground. This might be true if energy prices could rise endlessly, but clearly they cannot. By following the wrong views of economists, Peak Oilers have led world leaders to believe that far more resources are available to be extracted than really is the case.

People who call themselves Biophysical Economists haven’t really gotten the story correct either. The Biophysical Economists realized that there was a need for a measure for diminishing returns. They put together a measure which they called Energy Returned on Energy Invested. The measure, unfortunately, only “sort of” works. It gives a lot of wrong answers. It does not suggest that oil prices above $20 per barrel are a problem. It also does not suggest that substitutes for oil that are priced above $20 per barrel are a problem. It tends to give a lot of “false positives” when it comes to the question of whether renewables can be substituted for fossil fuels. It seems to suggest that a particular ratio is important, when it is really the total quantity of an energy product available at a very low price that is important.

I should not pick on the Biophysical Economists. There are many others with academic credentials who produce metrics that really aren’t very helpful. Energy payback time is not a very helpful metric, especially from the point of view of deciding whether or not to use a particular device. It is not the energy that the economy must pay back; it is the full cost of manufacturing the device that needs to be recovered, including human labor costs and taxes. In some applications, the cost of mitigating intermittency may also need to be considered.

Even the standard Levelized Cost of Energy calculations can give misleading indications, if they are used on intermittent renewables without taking into account the cost of mitigating the intermittency.


With all of these issues, it is not surprising that world leaders have difficulty playing the energy and economy game. In fact, it is hard to see any winning strategy.

One of the issues that makes the game impossible to win is the fact that all sides must win. A solution that cuts out the oil exporters is a problem for an economy dependent on oil. Any solution that cuts out the workers is a problem, partly because businesses need workers as consumers, and partly because governments need workers as taxpayers.

The reason I have not included any discussion of renewables is because at this point in time, we do not have any renewables that are sufficiently inexpensive and sufficiently scalable to represent a solution.


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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2,300 Responses to A Video Game Analogy to Our Energy Predicament

  1. i1 says:

    COP capex has been directed towards CD-5, which is significant because Alyeska needs this oil to keep flowing due to the depletion from legacy fields. They’re estimating 100,000 bpd is possible.


  2. Baby Doomer says:

    Expect ‘long-run turbulence’: Central bankers warn of worrying echoes of 2008’s global financial crash

    • JH Wyoming says:

      Well, what do they expect when billions upon billions of phony conjured up money cascades into the world economy? Exuberance cubed. Assets through the roof. How do the values of all those assets come down? Hard and fast. The ‘When’ of it is the hard part and why people usually wait too long. Exuberance feeds exuberance and panic feeds panic.

      The trouble for CB’s will be figuring out a how to strategy to get the world economy up and running again after the next fall from grace. About the only strategy left is to QE to the masses, but that leads to hyperinflation, so what’s a CB to do?

    • JH Wyoming says:

      My wife and I took a walk a few days ago and we saw something in the sky moving slow with no contrail. We couldn’t tell what it was because there were no wings or helicopter rotors. So we watched and a few moments later it disappeared from sight. It wasn’t like there were clouds in the way or some other explanation, it was there one moment and gone the next. So maybe these UFO’s are more common than people realize. It also seems likely that they couldn’t fly all the way here from their planet, so they must be ditzing in and out of a different dimension, which would explain how they can suddenly appear and disappear.

  3. Baby Doomer says:

    Subway’s Sales Continue To Slow: Subway’s sales struggles are continuing

    Even Subway is treading water…

    • xabier says:

      There are Subways in England: I have never passed one without gagging if the door is open and one can smell the food.

      One of my private definitions of Collapse is when I would view a Subway meal as tasty and tempting – a bit like the prisoners enjoying the cabbage soup in the Gulag.

      For now, I’d rather gnaw on a raw onion. 🙂

      • Fast Eddy says:

        How difficult can it be to make a healthy sandwich — particularly when you run millions of dollars of ads claiming your product is healthy fast food.


        When you order wheat bread at Subway, you aren’t really getting whole-wheat bread. It’s enriched. This means that the wheat stalk has been removed and processed, making it much cheaper to mass produce. This type of wheat bread has essentially the same properties as white bread.


        And then there is the shi tty processed meat…

        • doomphd says:

          i avoid Subway like they are serving plague. one smell of their f-o-u-l bread should have you running away.

          i also don’t like playing “twenty questions” to get a stu-pid sandwich.

          • JH Wyoming says:

            Well, which kind of lousy bread roll would you like?

            I swear, people have forgotten how to make good bread. Maybe they’ve changed the recipe for the worse so it bakes faster, but something has changed. Even San Francisco sour dough use be sensational and had lots of flavor and crunch and now it’s a soft, tasteless pile of stringy dough. Did they lose the original yeast?

  4. Baby Doomer says:

    Mattis says North Korea isn’t capable of striking the US


    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      oh, how reassuring…

      of course, we have to decode his meaning…

      what is he meaning by “isn’t”?

      today? but what about tomorrow or the next month or three?

      let’s FREAK OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      NK is going to NuKe us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      we’re all going to be finished next year!

      there… another 2018 prediction by me…

      until then…

      BAU, baby, tonight is…

  5. JH Wyoming says:


    The current article at that link is about divesting from fossil fuels. Quite an interesting read. I won’t copy & paste, but rather let whomever goes to read it draw their own conclusions.

    • I think it is basically wrong and misleading. Divesting in fossil fuels is not helpful. We don’t have other options; we need to keep our current system operating.

    • Pintada says:

      I read Mr. Fanney almost every day. He either posts very accurate and well researched and supported articles about how dire and currently devastating AGW is or he writes crazy stuff about things that are not real.

      Is it a lie, or has he stretched his cognitive dissonance to the point that a hospital stay is in the offing?

      He says, “When Bill Mckibben …”. At that point I knew we were in for a wild ride. I don’t wonder about where Bill is coming from – lets just say his sanity is not in question.

      Next comes the “Green Mouse that Roared”. Please. How stupid does he think his readers are … . (The commenters appear to fall for it hook-line and sinker since he selects only those posts that toe the line.) Look at the price of Exxon stock for the last 10 years. It hasn’t changed for the entire time. Last April there bond rating fell from AAA to AA+ not from divestitures I assure you.

      Next, he tries to convince us that FF company stocks are down across the board. No, that is also not the case.

      He credits Bill McKibben at the end which makes me wonder if Bill fed Robert this BS directly. It really isn’t up to Roberts standards at his craziest.

      Roberts article is quite long and each paragraph offers more opportunities for the clever insult, but I don’t want to waste more time on this, and I’m sure Ms Tverberg has seen enough. Suffice it to say that it is absolute BS of the most infantile type.

      • Mr. Fanney sounds like an out and out nut. JH, please do not post his things.

        • HideAway says:

          I find it interesting that those who talk of renewables replacing FF always talk of the cost in $, but never the resources and energy needed.

          Wind and solar, though intermittent are relatively cheap while only building 60-70Gw of capacity per year, but as soon as anything gets greatly ramped up, the cost escalates because of the limited resources available for production.

          If anyone wants to set up their doomstead, the time is now, as the prices for solar, wind, batteries, EVs etc will all rise in the future as the energy and resource constraints kick in to knobble it before it is possible.
          Currently Lithium and Cobalt have risen hugely in price, yet we are being led to believe the cost of batteries for EV’s is going to come down.

          Solar panels getting cheaper, is happening now, but try to build 10 times the amount and raw material prices rise. Ten times current solar build, still get’s us nowhere in the larger scheme of things, such is the massive use of FF today.

          • It is not just the limited resources that are needed for production, it is the damage that the installed systems do to existing grids. These get to be an increasingly large problem, as more is added. They distort pricing, driving backup electricity generation out of business. Nuclear is especially affected, but so are coal and natural gas. These types of generation need to be subsidized, and these subsidies need to be added to the cost of renewables, if we are to have anything close to a true cost of intermittent renewables.

            • Dennis L. says:

              From my personal experience, it is no better on a small scale, say 7.5kw; the real cost appears to be about $75K plus land, plus buildings, plus ongoing maintenance. This is an onsite system which could be grid tied, or battery backup, or generator backup for cloudy days. Grid tie probably works because so much of the real cost is off loaded to the utility including the synchronization of the frequency.
              I have all the components mentioned above, was doing the work myself, gave up, took FE’s advice and purchased dance lessons, much more fun.

              Dennis L.

        • JH Wyoming says:

          Ok, Gail, no problem.

      • jupiviv says:

        Wow, after reading that I kind of understand the BAU-or-bust club’s pov! Well, I understand the cause of their frustration and anger at any rate. What is it with human beings that usually we kill one God only because another seems more appealing?

    • Baby Doomer says:

      North Korea ‘to launch another ballistic missile this weekend as it marks death of Kim Jong-un’s dad’


      • JH Wyoming says:

        Good for Kim Jong Un! Seriously, the only person on the planet apparently capable of ignoring Trump and going right ahead with whatever he wants to do, is Kim Jong Un, as US citizens now just have to take whatever Trump dishes out including accepting that certain words are now illegal at the CDC. As such I have recently found myself rooting for NK. Let them keep forging their own path and become a major thermo-nuclear power that is feared around the world. My hatred for Trump is so rampant that I cheer Kim Jong Un, even if war breaks out and that ruins my life, and that may seem counter intuitive but that’s the truth of it.

        • Baby Doomer says:

          Yes what he did with the CDC is no different than burning books really. And there is an old saying “Where they burn books they will end up burning human beings”

        • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

          JH, really?

          is the hatred worth it? or perhaps can’t be helped?

          the path to the dark side, you are on…

          with you, may the force be…

          BAU, baby, tonight is…

          • jupiviv says:

            For once, concur with you I do. Trump is (and was), as Steve from Virginia put it, a heel. Someone to act the role appropriate for the times, like all the others before him.

            • xabier says:

              It’s the Ancient Cosmic Law: when things get serious, and we need wise and heroic leaders, we get narcissistic psychopaths. (Not that Trump has anything on Hillary when it comes to corruption and mental derangement.) 🙂

      • Sungr says:

        Substituting one idiot for another doesn’t solve any problems………

  6. jerry says:

    The best part is how this general talks about how we ARE LIVING IN THE KINGDOM OF TRICK MIRRORS. WOW IF THAT ISN’T A PERFECT ANALOGY!!!!!!
    it’s at the 25:20 mark and this was recorded years ago.

  7. jerry says:

    There’s a Russian General who has some fascinating things to say like for example:
    “It reads, describing the situation in Johannesburg, that 15% of the population of the planet- so-called prosperous countries Western Europe and the United States-they consume 75% of all resources produced by mankind on the planet.”

    He begins with this telling question how is it that a country like Russia with vast amounts of resources and 90 percent of her populace live in poverty whereas many parts of Europe has really nothing and yet so many of her people live free and relatively prosperous lives.

    An amazing talk.

  8. Fast Eddy says:

    At approximately 96 million barrels per day of oil consumption, each $10 rise in the price of oil per barrel means that oil consumers have to redirect an additional $960 million dollars each day(!) away from such things as profits, discretionary spending, and debt payments. Instead, that money is sent to the oil producers.


  9. MG says:

    Power from mini nuclear plants ‘would cost more than from large ones’


    “Lord Hutton, the chairman of the Nuclear Industry Association, criticised “simplistic” comparisons of the guaranteed prices awarded to nuclear plants and windfarms. He also described wind and solar as “intermittent and unpredictable”.”

  10. Pintada says:

    Dear Artleads;

    Artleads said, “I read or scanned most of the article from the first link above. One of the better points for me was his argument that you can’t generalize about people. And that there are some areas of broad agreement–e.g.,, driving while drunk is dangerous–while other areas that threaten their view of normalcy are easier to reject–e.g., climate change, economic collapse, etc.–are harder to get widespread agreement on.”

    Im sorry that it took so long to respond.

    My recommendation is that you try to slog through the entire 4 part epistle despite its length, and denseness, it is in my mind a very valuable piece of work.

    This is part of what I wanted to say:

    But as Mr Cohen would correctly point out Thom Hartmann is speaking from flatland because he fails to mention that Obama or HRC would be doing, and in Obama’s case did do exactly what Trump is doing. In fact, you can substitute the word “Obama” everywhere the word “Trump” appears, and the piece has the same value. The only real difference between Trump and Obama is erudition.

    Both of those articles illuminate the idea that no one is really in charge. Was someone other than Hitler in charge of the Third Reich? Is Janet Yellen really in charge of the planet today? Now that net neutrality is gone, we may soon face a time soon when OFW and other sources of the truth is not accessible. Did Janet Yellen, or some magical person above her decide that? Of course not. The big network corporations exercised their INFLUENCE on weak or bought off regulators.

    The myth of the great overseer comes from inside the flatland psyche. It is easier to think that someone, or some group has it all figured out, that someone understands what is happening and is actually making the world move the way it is moving for a reason. “If I scream loudly enough, Mommy will come.” “I am getting hungry, but Mommy will bring food soon. She always has it all figured out.”

    It is difficult to be an adult, and on your own.

    Think for a moment about the magical person(s) supposedly in charge of the world today. They must understand the truth about AGW, they must know why BitCoin now costs $17,000, and they must understand every other force and change occurring in the world right now. If they don’t have that perfect understanding, then they must be making random choices which supports my argument (i.e. they are not in control). If they exist and have perfect knowledge, they are God, and that is a different subject.

    So, the magical person(s) exist and want a strong military and so they demand that the F35 project continues. Really? Or, maybe they want a weak military and so they spend a trillion dollars a year to build it bigger.

    The magical person(s) exist, and so they fund studies at NOAH, and NASA, and others to provide evidence of global warming and at the same time force Exxon and others to spend money denying it.

    It is scary, I know. But isn’t it really simpler to admit that we are on our own and had better be as rational and flexible as possible?

    • We live in a self-organized system. There is someone in charge, but it is the maker of the self-organized system.

      • jupiviv says:

        Countless self-organising systems can be individually identified in nature. Do all of them have the same maker? Did he who made the tiger have a hand in the making of the lamb?

        • Yes, in my opinion. I don’t believe in a god and devil both having self-organizing powers.

          • Tango Oscar says:

            A closer look at this reality shows repeating shapes, symbols, numbers, and principles. Forget what you think you know and just observe in silence. Everything here rides a wave that goes up, peaks, and declines. That goes for oil, human lives, ideas, and everything else.

            We don’t really know what atoms are or how small they get. Likewise when you look out at the universe you’re left with the same but outward expression. Our bodies too are mini universes comprised of trillions of individual cells, seemingly too complex to fully comprehend.

            The longer you continue this exercise and the more open minded and are, you will ultimately see that we are all a small part of one whole. That whole is what makes up god or what we believe god is. It is a reintegration of the sum of our parts. We are all a part of god but we are forced to forget that when take physical form. It’s a part of the game. If we knew everything already what would be the point?

      • Lastcall says:

        After some years inside and outside the matrix (as much as is possible) this quote seems to me to sum up our predicament.

        ‘Those making up society’s elite, or those seeking higher social status or those with an agenda for social change, are no wiser or better than anybody else. However, they are much worse in one crucial respect—they believe they can make wise “choices” for the rest of us’.

        We are entering a period of time where the tendency of those in power to know whats best for us is about to explode. Only correct thinking will be allowed, and yes, war is peace.

        I too have for some time driven the wrong car (25 years old LPG) and it definitely has status implications re being in the in-group. My opinions are definitely less valued due to my lack of ‘success”. I had been driving new vehicles/houses/toys for years when I was immersed in the rat-race and it definitely enhanced social acceptance amongst those in the clique.

        • That is a great Dave Cohen quote:

          ‘Those making up society’s elite, or those seeking higher social status or those with an agenda for social change, are no wiser or better than anybody else. However, they are much worse in one crucial respect—they believe they can make wise “choices” for the rest of us’.

    • Slow Paul says:

      Also, much more comfortable to have someone to blame rather than taking full responsibility for your own life and actions.

    • Artleads says:

      Some quick and inadequate observations:

      – Resist beginnings. My thought too. To resist middles and ends is futile.

      – As in martial arts we win by yielding. Universally stopping resistance might disorient our opponents more than would continued resistance.

      – What is really revolutionary is worldwide unity of purpose (if we could figure out what that would entail).

      – A self organizing system.may, of necessity, depend as much on culture and psychology as on thermodynamics. How do you exclude anything from a self organizing system?

      – There can be no single, local solutions. Solutions must be global and in line with the self organizing system

      – Resistance is not so much resistance as it is appropriate self actualization. It is therefore a lot like art. It is more the beauty of your creation than your resistance to its nemesis that matters.

      – It is part of the human condition never to know our destiny. We exist on a razor’s edge…eternally.

      – Art is the way–we’re charged with making a good work of art, the value or success of which is judged through the self organizing system.

      – The balance of aesthetic intuition with facts and reason is perhaps our best way to proceed.

      – Aesthetic intuition and spiritual understanding are closely allied.

    • jupiviv says:

      “Both of those articles illuminate the idea that no one is really in charge.”

      Indeed, and no one has ever been in charge. Power is reducible to a network of causes and effects just like everything else, although it is convenient to believe otherwise if you want to hold and use it.

      • jupiviv says:

        …and that is another reason why the powerful don’t really have much more of a clue than Joe avg. They can’t be both powerful and able to objectively analyse the system which enables them to hold power, unless of course that system is mostly based on rational principles and mostly operated by and intended to serve sentient beings who remain true to said principles above all else. Such a system doesn’t, alas, exist among humans.

  11. The Second Coming says:

    Yep, Fast is correct, they only tell us what they want us to believe…
    The Trump administration has reportedly banned the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) from using the phrases “evidence-based” and “science-based” in official documents.
    Analysts are reportedly prohibited from using the phrases in official documents they prepare for the 2019 budget, which is expected to be released in February
    The Trump administration has been repeatedly scrutinized for declining to acknowledge science-based findings, particularly related to climate change. Trump himself has not said whether he believes in climate science, and numerous members of his administration and his appointees have denied aspects of scientific consensus related to global warming.

    • When a person is involved in the process, it becomes very clear that “science-based” does not really mean very much.

      Also, computed economic growth doesn’t mean very much. I saw an article yesterday on how much individual quarterly growth amounts have changed in the US (from very low to very high). And we know China’s and Japan’s economic growth represents quite a bit of growth that doesn’t really represent true benefits that will pay for themselves–roads to nowhere, and houses that no one can afford to buy. US has its share of oil extraction that is not economic.

      • The Second Coming says:

        … Of course the administration and its defenders are going to argue that this is only about what goes into the budget,” Jha said. “But we know that the signal to the agency is much stronger than that. And it’s going to change behavior of people who work there. And that’s much more damaging than any direct censorship.”

        Anyone paying attention to the current administration’s stance on science will recall similar instances in which federal researchers worried it was going to kill off reports on climate change, or it put climate change deniers and chemical lobbyists in charge at the Environmental Protection Agency, or it tried to make the FDA’s chief scientist a guy whose previous experience mostly included blogging about “race traitors.” So, yeah, no word on whether the White House has requested the CDC get back into phrenology, but don’t worry. There’s plenty of fresh hell waiting for us in 2018.

        [Washington Post]

  12. Baby Doomer says:

    2018 likely to be serious year of reckoning for global economy

    US petroleum inventory life has fallen meaningfully below the 100-day threshold. A surge in US shale oil output will soon taper: a contracting shale-rig fleet says it all.

    • Duncan Idaho says:

      “Germany, the last stronghold, is unlikely to last and its slowdown will hit China, Hong Kong, and the rest of world. Exports and thus profits will slow.”

      Yep, and this is from just a economic perspective, several nodes down from the physical reality.

  13. Sven Røgeberg says:

    I would like to engage Gail and others in a discussion about what made the Sovietunion collapse. Many scholars have written about the long term effects of the ineffiency of the institutional arrangement of the economy and of the new arms race the USA under Reagan tried to involve Soviet in, wich put a heavy strain on government programs.
    I think Gail in an article (I can`t find it?) pointed to the falling oil prices in the years before the breaking up of the internal og external (the satellite states in East-Europe) empire. But I don`t think she mentioned how large a part the oil (and gas?) made up of the export earnings? Would also like to hear if someone know how the new economic reforms Gorbatsjov tried to implement after coming to power in 1985 played out for the oilproduction companies?
    I remember working together with a polnish mathematician, who told me how the Olympic Summer Games arranged in Moscow in 1980 spurred widespread discontent among polnish students as agriculture products disappeared from the universities. Meat, dairy products and vegetables had to be delivered to Moscow to feed athletes and visitors. One and a half month after the Olympics Solidarity (Polish: Solidarność), the Polish labour union, was founded. In december 1979 the Sovjets had invaded Afghanistan, which would become their Vietnam – remember the Iranian Revolution played out earlier that year (what a year 1979 was – Tatchers victory in Britain and Deng Xiaoping visiting the USA).

    • The collapse of the Soviet Union was caused by low oil prices, related to a cutback in world demand by switching to smaller cars, and changing from the use of oil to other fuels for generating electricity. Also, the adoption of more efficient use of fossil fuels.

      The Soviet Union was an oil exporter. The self-organized economy had to take-down part of the oil exporting capacity. Some area had to be “sacrificed.” The laws of thermodynamics said that it was the Soviet Union and its affiliated economies (including Cuba and North Korea) that had to be sacrificed at that time.

      Former Soviet Union oil production, consumption, and price

      We owe a major debt of gratitude to the collapse of the Former Soviet Union. If it weren’t for it, the world economy would have collapsed much sooner. As it was, part of the former Soviet Union’s oil could be left in the ground until later. This substantially put off peak oil.

      • Baby Doomer says:

        The reason the soviet union collapsed was an oil shortage. See how their oil production fell after going on a ten year plateau. And since then they have used enhanced oil recovery technology to boost oil production again. I learned this from reading the book “Cold War Energy: The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Union” written by Professor Douglas B. Reynolds of Oil and Energy Economics at the University of Alaska.


      • Artleads says:

        “The Soviet Union was an oil exporter. The self-organized economy had to take-down part of the oil exporting capacity. Some area had to be “sacrificed.” The laws of thermodynamics said that it was the Soviet Union and its affiliated economies (including Cuba and North Korea) that had to be sacrificed at that time.”

        Lovely explanation!

    • MudGod says:

      They collapsed because the people pretended to work and the govt pretended to pay them.

  14. Baby Doomer says:

    The Great Oil Swindle by Chris Martenson

    “You’re really going to hate gasoline $10 a gallon gasoline” (yes, it could get that ugly)”


    • Baby Doomer says:

      Anything above 5 dollars a gallon gasoline will kill BAU instantly….This world will burn!

      • zenny says:

        Pretty sure that is what I paid today I was cool with it.
        I am in Canada Europe is off the map…BTW price is down if you have BTC

        • Volvo740 says:

          The American way is the way! Those Danes (and Swedes) love paying $6 per gal. My 740 is a bit thirsty but not like a Suburban.

          • zenny says:

            Some Countries like NZ even tax the distance driven.
            Someway the third world can afford fuel try a street view in Manila.

            • DJ says:

              If 65% of the gas price is tax and most of service and reparation is “work” and that is more than 65% tax, then you could say scandinavia taxes distance driven.

    • Chris Martenson is delusional, if he said “You’re really going to hate $10 a gallon gasoline.” But I suppose the statement illustrates a point. I really doubt we would get there, but thinking through why may illustrate a point.

      • Volvo740 says:

        It’s the wealth disparity at work. Many of those who have 100k of cash don’t understand how cash strapped the bottom half really is.

        • a while ago i read an estimate of petrol price—that if all the factors were added in for the cost of oil wars , it would be $15 a gallon

          which makes sense when you think what the cost was when it was just sucked out of texas

          • Fast Eddy says:

            That’s another indication of just how far wrong these people who look only at energy return are…

            They fail to understand that in addition to royalties R&D exploration taxes etc…. there is also the need to have enough excess energy to secure global supply … enormously expensive…

            Which puts us even closer to the edge.

  15. Fast Eddy says:

    More than half of Europe’s coal plants are already bleeding cash, but by 2030, the percentage of coal plants in Europe that report negative cash flow could explode to an estimated 97 percent.


    • The Second Coming says:

      2030? Come now, I’ll be amazed if we get to 2022! Dow 50,000 Baby and Federal Debt to 50 Trillion Baby…Christmas Turkey Dinner in the oven!

      Christmas season is longer, more commercial now
      by Paula Lester
      My dad was born in Ohio on Dec. 15, 1910, the last of five children. He and my mother grew up in the country and lived their entire lives in the same state, moving when health conditions made it necessary.
      Both from families of modest means, Dad would tell me stories of a much different Christmas than I experienced as a child growing up in the late 1940s and 1950s.
      A tree was cut down in the woods and usually put up Christmas Eve on a homemade wooden stand that didn’t allow for watering, which made the holiday season much shorter than it is today. The ornaments were homemade from scraps of paper, ribbon and fabric. The decorating was complete when the stockings were hung at the bottom of the bed in hopes of a special surprise.
      My grandma would work for weeks making clothes for the children to unwrap Christmas morning. Rarely were there store-bought toys under the tree. Some years, a sled or a ball to share would bring delight to the children. If it was a good year for the family, each child might receive a silver coin.
      But the most exciting part of the morning, according to my dad, was waking up and opening your stocking. Inside there could be an orange, along with nuts, an apple and hard candy. The orange was a special treat as it had to make the trip all the way by train from Florida to Ohio. In 1920, the cost of an orange was 6 cents.
      My mother’s Christmas stories were very similar to my dad’s, except for one year when she received a lump of coal in her stocking for being naughty.


      Yep, the good old days coming back soon in a few more years to you and yours!

      • Fast Eddy says:

        All I can say is that my NYr resolution is to Burn More Coal…. I find it difficult to achieve my goal as I am burning at full throttle already — but I will do my best.

        • The Second Coming says:

          The Big Melt

          “From 1960 to 2017, the Alpine snow season shortened by 38 days—starting an average of 12 days later and ending 26 days earlier than normal. Europe experienced its warmest-ever winter in the 2015–16 season, with snow cover in the southern French Alps just 20% of its typical depth.

          Last December was the driest in 150 years of record keeping, and the flakes that did manage to fall didn’t stay around long. The snow line—the point on a slope at which it’s high enough and thus cold enough for snow to stick—is about 3,900 ft., which is a historic high in some areas. But worse lies ahead as scientists predict melt even at nearly 10,000 ft. by the end of the century
          Ok there is a little snow, but it’s human made.

          “In the Dolomites, it takes 4,700 snow-blowers to keep trails covered for Fast on his ski vacation!
          Got to get AWAY…
          Australia: Second surge of heat could challenge records
          Posted by WW Forecast Team on Sat, 16/12/2017 – 07:32
          Filed in:Australia

          Another round of intense heat is about to sweep across southern and eastern Australia, challenging December heat records for the second time in a week.

          A burst of hot weather swept across southeastern Australia this week, prompting fire bans in a number of states

          • We need more fossil fuel use to fight the problems caused by extreme temperatures, it sounds like.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            We had a very rainy spring … and it’s quite dry for this time of year … last year was very rainy and very cool — we barely had a summer at all… I turned on the garden water only a few times last year… this year I am pouring on the water….

            I wonder what the WEATHER will be like next summer?

          • Volvo740 says:

            Fake news!! Glaciers across the world have never been healthier. Especially those feeding 2 billion asians with water.

          • The Second Coming says:

            New Zealand usually has a wet spring and early summer which fill hydro storage dams to the brim, with plenty left over for the electricity-hungry winter.
            But this year, that has not happened, with a hot and dry spring for much of the country
            Victoria University climate scientist James Renwick said this could be a worry.
            “We often see higher flows at this time of year and into the summer, replenishing the lakes,” Dr Renwick said.
            “So dry conditions at this time of year is not a good sign.
            “If things do continue [to be] dry into the summer, that does not set us up well for going into the next winter.”
            But electricity companies say it is way too soon to make a call about winter conditions that are still six months away.
            Tracey Hickman from Genesis Energy said steps had already been taken to preserve water for generating electricity in future.
            “Our thermal power stations, particularly at Huntly, are running reasonably hard,” she said.
            “That just provides back up to that hydro storage.
            “We run both coal and gas and it depends on any one day as to which of those fuels we burn.”
            The most recent figures show gas and coal produced 23 percent of New Zealand’s electricity in the past week, compared with a 15 percent average.
            Ms Hickman said she thought that was prudent, and her company was already talking to others to prevent shortages come winter.
            “Winter is a way away yet, so it is too soon to start worrying about it, but there are plenty of incentives in this industry to keep a close eye on it.
            “We do have thermal backup when we need it to support low hydrology.
            Greenpeace’s Amanda Larsson said it showed weather patterns like the current one could damage the environment.
            These fossil fuels are being fired up on some of our hottest and sunniest days, which would be most suited to solar power,” she said.
            “So it is really a matter of more investment in clean energy to resolve the fact that climate change is going to put a lot of pressure on our hydro lakes

            Good luck, keep us informed about it, burn, baby, burn!

            • New Zealand is in a cold climate, so it is a little like Norway, with a large amount of hydroelectric. But solar is very iffy; generally, the way it is added to systems, it tends to send prices for other generation way too low. This is damaging to the system. In most cases, it needs to be balanced with lots and lots and lots of storage, making it impractical and expensive.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              I was just speaking to someone who is driving a coal powered car — and another person with panels made from coal on his roof.

              I had very little to say

            • Fast Eddy says:

              And last spring and summer it never stopped raining.

              What’s going on!!!! This has NEVER happened before

            • The Second Coming says:

              Keep us all informed and up to date on the developments from Down Under, Fast,
              We can not trust the MSM regarding the news. Thank you.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              It’s another scorcher today …. that’s probably because I was running around in my 4 bah 4 yesterday spewing diesel…. I might lay off a bit as the neighbour was bi.ching at me for causing a spike in the temperature yesterday

      • jazIntico says:

        Interesting to hear how she downgrades her mother. “Dad” – affectionate; “my mother” – more formal and distant. “My mother’s Christmas stories were very similar to my dad’s” – so her mother lacked originality? And her mother was also “naughty”.

    • Sven Røgeberg says:

      From the article: «But utilities are making some poor investment decisions, Carbon Tracker argues. By 2024 the operating cost of coal is expected to be higher than the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) for wind, while the same is true for solar by 2027. That bears repeating – within the next decade, it will be cheaper to build new solar and wind projects, including all of the upfront construction costs, than it would be to simply keep an existing coal plant online.

      And time is not on their side. More stringent air pollution standards come into force in 2021, and the cost of carbon in Europe’s emissions trading system is expected to continue to rise. Meanwhile, the cost of renewables and energy storage continues to fall.

      “Those utilities that expect to run their coal units longer than evidence suggests are putting their assets on a collision course with these mega trends,” Carbon Tracker wrote in its report. Ultimately, the EU could save an estimated 22 billion euros if it phased out coal in line with the Paris Climate Agreement.»

      • The Levelized Cost of Electricity is calculated incorrectly. It does not include all of the financial support needed for backup generation, or alternatively, the huge amount of batteries and other storage needed–far beyond what we have the physical capability of adding. It is just another way of “proving” something which is clearly false.


        • Artleads says:

          “How should electricity from wind turbines and solar panels be evaluated? Should it be evaluated as if these devices are stand-alone devices? Or do these devices provide electricity that is of such low quality, because of its intermittency and other factors, that we should recognize the need for supporting services associated with actually putting the electricity on the grid? ”

          I was about to ask again for the simplest possible explanation of our energy/economic impasse. Since people in my world are not informed about business and energy, they skirt a lot of behaviors that might actually advantage them if they understood a little more.

          The better educated people in my acquaintance think that “renewable” energy and Teslas will save them. Somehow, they lack the synapses to put exponential population growth, the resulting economic growth, the resulting resource depletion all together as a whole. Myself, I can only understand it though imagination, feeling, intuition. Apparently, most people are not sufficiently anxious, crazy or introspective to do it the way I do. I have to try to make them understand with factual information from this blog. But it simply has to be boiled down to a couple irrefutable talking points.

          The above quote goes a long way toward such an explanation, but I doubt they’ll hear me if I talk about intermittency. Intermittency? What intermittency? If that was a serious issue we would have heard about it on the news. “Stand-alone” devices? No, they won’t get that either. The makings of a simple, emotionally penetrating explanation are there, but it needs more work.

          • Pintada says:

            You are fighting an unwindable battle Artleads. People just do not function as you are trying to make them.

            • Artleads says:

              There are times when people get painted into a corner. Then I may have the opportunity to tell them why they got painted into that corner. That’s all I’m trying to do right now. I agree with Gail about living within a self organizing system, but it seems vitally important to express my understanding of the situation, as it is bound to make a difference to a self organizing system one way or another, and, one way if I sit by and another way if I take action.Trying to second guess what that action will do is ridiculous. What I do that should change (and that you may agree about) is to get so caught up in a cause that I forget to have fun.

            • Artleads says:

              What bugs me is that if we don’t try something, we don’t know if it’s sure to fail…or why it fails, if it does. Since I don’t have the irrefutable talking points about energy and why a) we have to max out on it *without any concern for what it destroys* I’m stuck with trying to stop the destruction while not knowing how that affects the “BAU” economy.

              For instance, i can see ways to drill for oil that would halve the destruction drilling does to the land. In fact, Bush I said something about caribou nestling up with pipelines that SOUNDED reasonable at the time. If the issue is to keep BAU going as long as possible, why can’t it be done while losing as few as possible of the natural/cultural resources that are after all needed in some way too.?

              To what extend is it that people who disregard preventing breakage while doing BAU simply do not KNOW the value of what is being broken or how to reduce such breakage?

              And b) why is the economy created around reducing breakage (tourism, conservation, etc.) not valuable along with other aspects of BAU that cannot be worked around?

            • Artleads says:


  16. Fast Eddy says:

    Households and motorists have been warned to expect sharp rises in gas bills and petrol prices after a “perfect storm” of supply problems as the winter freeze begins.

    The shutdown of the North Sea’s most important oil and gas pipeline system on Monday was compounded by an explosion at a major processing facility in Austria, which is the main point of entry for Russian gas into Europe.

    After the incidents, wholesale gas prices hit their highest level for six years, rising by more than 50pc in the space of 24 hours, raising fears that the increase will be passed on to customers. Demand for gas has also been driven steadily higher in recent years by the shutdown of coal plants.


    • I will believe it when it gets built. It is looking more and more like the Vogtle nuclear power stations (last US ones being built in the US) will be cancelled, because of the outrageous costs.

  17. Fast Eddy says:

    Double Speak

    Environment Canada says the federal government will not alter a joint statement on clean growth and climate change which suggests that natural gas is not a fossil fuel.

    The statement — an announcement on bilateral and multilateral collaboration between Canada and China — was published on Dec. 4. It reads, in part: “The Ministerial Dialogue on Clean Energy will be chaired by Natural Resources Canada and the National Energy Administration of China. It will provide a forum to facilitate clean energy solutions, including the transition from fossil energy to cleaner fuels, such as nuclear, renewables and natural gas.” A spokesperson for Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna confirmed that natural gas is a fossil fuel, but declined to answer questions about the wording.


  18. Baby Doomer says:

    Electric cars’ green image blackens beneath the bonnet

    • ““If we really cared about CO2,” he adds, ‘we’d reduce car size and weight.'”

      • Nope.avi says:

        That’s a very hard sell. Large cars are too much a symbol of status: “hey, look, I’m doing so well that I can afford a gas guzzler! ”

        “I buy a lot of stuff so I need a large vehicle that can carry half a ton of stuff”

        Intentionally buying a small car signals all the wrong things…unless you are a young woman who doesn’t have any kids but is “environmentally conscious” (wealthy).

        People who have small cars typically consume less. People who consume less tend to not have kids, and contribute to price deflation, which will cause more people to consume less, as the economy reduces the number of employees. SUVs encourage both its drivers, occupants, and people who see them to consume more. SUVs whet our appettite for more stuff–wherever we see them we think there is more abundance and we convince ourselves to work harder to get to that abundance. As consumption increases, ever higher social expectations of consumption become the norm.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          I was in the Mall today … big queue of kids with parents wanting to sit on dirty ol santa’s knee… told Madame Fast that I had the urge to go over and pull the beard off and shout Santa is Fake… there is no Santa…

          Madame Fast said you do that and I won’t know you!!!

          • no doubt that was after you’d sat on his knee and didnt get the present madame fast had promised

          • You figured out the importance of cooperation.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Ya but I am thinking… how DUUUUMB can humans be…. some of these kids would have been maybe 6 years old …. old enough to think … one would hope…

              It’s what – 27 degrees yesterday — and there’s this guy dressed up in full winter gear — and a snow sled …. sitting in the Mall…..

              We inculcate delusion at a very early age….

        • DJ says:

          Dont forget: I’m so Excellent recycling that I need a gargatuan car for my weekly trip to the recycling station.

        • Back several years ago, when I was writing at The Oil Drum and had figured out that “small and cheap” was the way to go, I traded in my several-year old Volkswagen Passat for a Nissan Versa (the cheapest car available at the time). I was only driving about 4,000 miles per year, so the cost per mile would lowest with the cheapest car. (The Passat had major repair problems; I could almost buy the Versa with the trade-in value of the Passat.)

          I immediately discovered that people looked at me very strangely. If they knew me, they know that I clearly could afford a more expensive car. Why had a chosen a bottom of the line car? The Prius crowd didn’t think I that I was following the right track either. I could have paid twice as much for a Prius, but with the amount I drove, the cost per mile (and energy per mile) would have been higher.

          Anyhow, I quickly decided that “small and cheap” (or just plain cheap) was not a route that I could reasonably “sell” to anyone else. After a few years, I traded my Versa in for a “crossover SUV.” My husband now drives a Toyota Camry that is a hybrid, and has every known bell and whistle on it. Both are fairly “standard” cars for where we live. Many people have much more expensive cars than we have.

          The fact that my husband’s car is a hybrid makes him acceptable to the “green” community, and the many gadgets make him acceptable to the “technology will save us community.” He doesn’t drive much more than 4,000 miles per year, so realistically, there is no savings from the hybrid feature, but the extra spending helps support some businesses that need supporting today. Otherwise, the money would sit in the bank account and not support anyone.

          • Nope.avi says:

            Thanks, Gail, for your anecdote about the social context of consumption.

            It IS important that people consume in a way that lets them fits in with a group.
            If doing the right thing or means social alienation, or most people will abandon that quickly.

            • Jesse James says:

              Saw a Ford truck yesterday with the logo something like “Ecopower”. So silly…kind of like curbside recycling. Super consumers want to act like they are eco friendly, but this stuff does not make a gnats difference. As long as all of our environmental problems can be hidden, gargantuan garbage dumps out of sight, polluted mining landscapes safely hidden overseas, superconsumers will pollute until the end of BAU. It is a curtain act. Now you don’t see it, now you do.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              This is similar to the bumper sticker on my 4 bah 4 (my is actually Super Polluter Inside)


          • xabier says:

            They should simply have looked at what The Actuary was driving and followed suited – in a rational world. 🙂

            • It doesn’t really work that way. We really need demand to stay high enough. People have to drive the most fuel inefficient car they can afford–plus borrow some money to buy a boat and airline tickets.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            For those who want to make a serious impact on oil prices….


            • doomphd says:

              i’m prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice for oil prices and drive the Lamborgini Aventura coupe that only gets 13 miles per gallon on premium grade (with optional nitroglicerine fuel enhancers). i’ve always wanted a bright yellow one.

            • Given the prices of the most fuel-burning cars, a person suspects that there was a fair amount of fuel burned in making them.

          • zenny says:

            All good points and good topic.
            We also have 2 cars and do less than 6k a year We get a cut in insurance.

  19. MG says:

    Is Bitcoin a currency?

    Imagine a situation that somebody wants to buy from you something of high value and he or she offers you Bitcoin? Would you accept Bitcoin? Would you accept something that has got a speculative character, there is no real economy behind it, somebody who is paying you with Bitcoin simply mined it squandering a lot of energy, but he did nothing. The computer made the work. Bitcoin is the product of the computers consuming the energy.

    Would you work for Bitcoin, if you know that there is no real human work behind it, that it is just like a roulette chip. There is no real economy, no real country with its workforce, machines, products, natural resources behind this fraud named Bitcoin…

    Is Bitcoin a currency? No it is not a currency, because there are people who will not accept it, it lacks general acceptance, as there is nothing behind it, no guarantee that you can buy a loaf of bread in a certain country. It is not a legal tender. Its ultimate value is ZERO.

    • Curt Kurschus says:

      At the moment, Bitcoin also strikes me as being too volatile to be a reliable currency.

      • MG says:

        Yes, it behaves like comodity, that is why it lacks the stability of a currency.

        • MG says:

          The supply of Bitcoins in the economy can not be regulated, there is a limited number of them. This is another reason why Bitcoin is not a currency.

    • Greg Machala says:

      This is probably true of everything except physical assets like toothbrushes, toilet paper, shavers, food, clothing etc. I read some silly crap yesterday where some bank is promising the ability to lock your Bitcoins in a physical vault in case of collapse. Not sure how that’s gonna work.

      • robots as the new social progressives says:

        Ugh. Bitcoin is SO 2015. I can’t even.

        Loco Coin is where it’s at now, peoples.

        • Slow Paul says:

          A couple of friends were sharing news on facebook about (yet another) startup crypto currency, telling other friends to buy now before “the train leaves the station”.

          I asked them what’s the difference between crypto currencies and ponzi schemes, they replied that ponzi schemes required you to trick other people to buy in…

          • I don’t think you are too slow, Paul.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              There are over 1000 CCs… and more starting each day…. that makes it very difficult to select the Ponzi that will survive for long enough to cash out…

              There must be a fund that allows you to ‘invest’ in a basket of Ponzi Schemes…. that would be the way to go.

        • zenny says:

          I have switched to Ether coin it is like shooting fish in a barrel
          Not financial advice

  20. Fast Eddy says:


    To summarize:
    1. The NFL has saturated the potential audience to the point of exhaustion.
    2. The potential audience is shrinking as student-loan-burdened Millennials have collectively little interest in spending the money or time required to be a rabid fan of pro football.
    3. The cost of attending an NFL game is increasingly out of reach of the bottom 95% of households.
    4. TV viewership is declining across the entire demographic spectrum.
    5. The wages/income of the vast majority of the TV audience has stagnated, and 95% of the populace has less disposable income than a generation ago.
    6. The top 5% with the majority of the disposable income are not big pro sports fans, mostly due to the many demands on their time and the diversity of other pursuits available to them.
    How will the owners and managers of the multi-billion-dollar NFL empire handle the league’s decline phase? Managing the decline phase is less fun than reveling in the expansion phase.

    • Nope.avi says:

      All Roads lead to rome…all signs across multiple areas of society are pointing towards collapse.

      The Disney/20th Century Fox merger on the other hand I’m not sure what it’s signaling. Not enough profit?? A lack of growth is a cause of concern for many, or should I say the few and proud, multinational media corporations even if they turn a profit.

      • Tim Groves says:

        It probably went something like this.

        Jerry Hall says to Rupert Murdoch, “Honey, you don’t need to keep working at your age. Now you’ve got shot of that Chinese gold digger who was forcing you to work like a dog and the boys a old enough to take care of themselves, why don’t you cash in your chips, sell out to that Mickey Mouse outfit while the going’s good, and then little old you and little old me can take it easy and live frugally on your remaining billions.”

    • Nope.avi says:

      “The top 5% with the majority of the disposable income are not big pro sports fans, mostly due to the many demands on their time”
      Life is becoming too complex for these people to spend time keeping up with multiple hobbies. Everything thing is demanding more investment of time and money to stay afloat.

    • JH Wyoming says:

      Like all enterprises this one got WAY too greedy. Ads after touchdowns, field goals, kick offs, injuries, 12 time outs total per game, 2 minute warning in first and second half, 15 minute mostly ad filled half time, play review on close calls which takes several minutes. As each season has passed the time allotted for ads has increased. Try watching the Super Bowl. That takes about 4 hours for 1 hour of actual playing time. That leaves 3 hours for talking, stats and ADS. Tons and tons of ads. They got greedy and people reached a saturation point of not being able to sustain their attention through all those ads.

      But it’s no better if you go to a game, because they have to go off for ads and people just sit there and sit there, waiting and waiting. I went to an NFC championship game between the 49ers & Packers and it was drizzling. My friends and I had rain coats, but that wasn’t what bothered me, it was the interminable waiting that made me never want to go to another game ever.

      I don’t watch games live. I watch them on the DVR recorded, so I can swiftly by pass the ads quickly and get back to the game. But this is my last season paying for NFL ticket because I’ve grown bored with so many games. So they lost me as a fan going to games, watching them live and next season will lose me as an NFL TV ticket payer and that’s not cheap. $270 bucks or close to that.

      What’s interesting about all this, is at the peak of NFL money coming in truck loads of multiple billions, the NFL openly discussed how they could increase revenue. It was a problem because they had squeezed in ads every where they could. How could they squeeze in more? That was just before the whole things started going down.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        I watch NFL games using gamepass… they have an option to watch Broadcast … no commercials… a game takes less than an hour…

        Or you can watch Condensed … that cuts out huddles time outs commercials… the whole lot …. when one play ends the next one starts…. a game takes around 20 minutes to watch…

        I don’t follow any of the teams – dont care who wins — I watch primarily to see what a human is capability of athletically when charged full of HGH Steroids etc….

        Kinda of like watching a freak show….


      • Nope.avi says:

        Maybe they have had to be greedy because the costs of doing business have been increasing faster than revenue.

      • Curt Kurschus says:

        This would appear to be a more general trend. Advertisers are looking for ways to increase their advertising, to get more advertising in front of the eyes and ears of consumers, seemingly based upon the premise that more advertising equals more sales. As consumers find it increasingly difficult to make ends meet and businesses become increasingly desperate to grow sales, have we already reached (or are we about to reach) the maximum marketing dollar return?

        At what point do businesses recognise that diminishing returns have set in and therefore cut back on marketing? Something which I think needs to happen anyway, but if the ever-growing marketing spend beyond the point people find acceptable is a sign of desperation, then will marketing budget cutbacks be indicative of acceptance, resignation, of business owners giving up on the growth model?

    • Slow Paul says:

      I think this is not strictly an affordability issue but also connected to western demographics and culture. Societal structures are getting more fragmented with the proliferation of iGadgets, people can pick and choose from any international trend/culture/sport/politics from their living room. This leads to less interest for the “local” sports team.

      Also, people get bored and looks for new hobbies to pursue, which also is easier now than before.

    • zenny says:

      They almost lost me yesterday I was going to cut the fiber but they found me 480 bucks so We are in for another year.
      I think they are hurting in the past they would of just said bye

  21. “New malware can shut down industrial facilities.
    “Security firm FireEye says hackers used a new tool called Triton to bring “critical infrastructure” in the Middle East to a grinding halt. The attack, which targets systems made by Schneider Electric often used in oil, coal, and nuclear energy plants, injects commands that crash safety systems, causing a facility to shut down. It’s unclear what kind of plant was attacked. As we’ve reported, this will become an increasing problem, as aging industrial systems are connected to the Internet.”



    Hyper-complex realities?

    • I am afraid Internet Security will be one of the issues we cannot work around. Putting large number of files in the cloud seems to me to be asking for trouble. As times change, the wars we are fighting are different.

      • robots as the new social progressives says:

        TECHNOLOGY IS NEARLY AUTONOMOUS. It is working in its own best interest,not the interests of humans. It will be in the best interest of robots to constantly be sharing information because they will never compete, or hate each other. They will be egalitarian and socialist at heart. Robots are humanity’s new offspring and they will live happily together for ever and ever. The end.

        • They still have to obey the laws of physics, however. If there is inadequate energy to dissipate, they are in bad shape.

          • robots as the new social progressives says:

            When there is no energy, robots will stop working. When adequate energy is available their motors will start humming again.

        • Jesse James says:

          Hmmm, let’s say we have two robots that are “sentient”. And then assume there is only one energy source remaining and it is adequate to power only one robot. Each robot knows this and realizes that one will “live” and one will “die”. What will happen? Perhaps they agree like “gentlemen” to duke it out to see who is the last one standing? Will we have the first robot murder? Or does one agree to die ….since they are robots and are programmed to live happily ever after?

          • robots as the new social progressives says:

            ” Or does one agree to die ….since they are robots and are programmed to live happily ever after?”

            Robots don’t die, they just agree to go be turned off. Once enough power is available, another robot will turn them back on or their solar panels will recharge their batteries.

            There can’t be any conflict among robots since they won’t have the capacity to have any emotions that would lead them to fight over scarce resources..

        • psile says:


          As long as it’s got a nice #ss on it, I’m good.

  22. The Second Coming says:

    Oh, your first effort, I suppose?

  23. Harry Gibbs says:

    “Sub-Saharan Africa faces a potential debt crunch unless commodity prices improve and boost the pace of economic growth.

    “The region’s median government debt level will probably exceed 50 percent of gross domestic product this year from 34 percent in 2013, while the cost of servicing the liabilities will average almost 10 percent compared with half that four years ago, the International Monetary Fund said. There are no investment-grade dollar-debt issuers in sub-Saharan Africa after Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings Ltd. cut Namibia to junk this year.

    “Commodity returns have dropped in six of the past seven years and expectations for slower growth in China, the biggest consumer, don’t bode well for African nations that depend on mining, crops and oil for the bulk of their income.”


    • Thanks! With commodity prices low, a lot of countries get marginalized. I expect that at least some of their debt is in US dollars, and in Euros. Defaulting debt can therefore affect other countries as well.

  24. elmar says:


    this can become interesting, can`t it?


    el mar

  25. HideAway says:

    I’ve just spent a bit of time reading over some old archives from Gail’s blog.

    A few aspects stick out like sore thumbs. One is that Gail was pretty much the first to predict the lower oil prices that have occurred over the last few years, and the corresponding lack of investment in oil infrastructure, well done!!

    The second is the quality of the contributions to the comments section. It has fallen from people debating lot’s of good points, with many correctly predicting how we have gone forward, to those of today where everything is immediate doom and gloom.

    The third aspect is how we as a collective always can seem to see what lies ahead, but our timing is frightfully wrong.

    For example, the doom/collapse predicted for dead ahead from 2007 or 2013, simply has not happened. We are in collapse as Dennis Meadows claims, but it is at present slow, with every trick in the book being played.

    I expect this type of scenario to continue. Lack of investment in oil resources will force another run up in crude prices, along with food and commodities. It will probably take a couple of years to fully play out. Meanwhile vast expense spent on renewables, electric cars trucks etc.
    Another crunch, with lowering living standards, plus some type of bailout of wall street etc, anything to keep BAU going one more time.
    This followed by a period of some sort of feeble stability, followed by another closer crunch, with the time between the steps down getting closer together, as the cost of energy gets ever higher.

    The real collapse/ final collapse will only come when the grid and internet fall after the poor overthrow TPTB, starting on the fringes (the poorest countries) and working it’s way into the centre.

    We still have a few years to muddle along, clutching at straws.

    • Jesse James says:

      Probably correct Hideaway. The energy crunch will deliver the decisive knockout one of these days. But then, we are England of last century. In 60 or so years they are busted, with hardly a navy now days. Our fall will come frighteningly faster, since we are now heavily leveraged, and our economy is greatly financialized.
      The dollars days are numbered. China and Russia certainly do not want it anymore. when the dollar falls and is depreciated with respect to other currencies in international trade, things will get rough here in the USA. How many trillions can they keep printing?

    • Fast Eddy says:

      The second is the quality of the contributions to the comments section. It has fallen from people debating lot’s of good points, with many correctly predicting how we have gone forward, to those of today where everything is immediate doom and gloom.

      Yes — we have been successful in driving the DelusiSTANIS off of FW…. logic reason and facts rule — and they all point to Doom and Gloom.

      This is a great outcome. My dreams have come true. We are virtually MORE on free!!!!

      • HideAway says:

        Doom and gloom is certain at some point, but discussing it and allowing the world to work through the last throws of civilization will take time. Some will survive, humanity will go on in some form.
        I don’t buy the spent fuel rods will get us all, as the last act of some military could be to throw them in drums of boron filled concrete, and throw them into the deepest trenches of the bottom of the sea, problem solved.

        I was a student in the ’70’s, studying the “Limits to Growth” and have been researching ever since. If you live away from the hoards and keep your head down, there is a chance for some survival, but the end that many have predicted for 30 years, is still some way off, but we are sliding…..

        The end of everything is delusional, the end of life as we know it is certain!!

        • Fast Eddy says:

          I don’t buy the spent fuel rods will get us all, as the last act of some military could be to throw them in drums of boron filled concrete, and throw them into the deepest trenches of the bottom of the sea, problem solved.

          Can you provide a reference that indicates that this would work – or did you just make that up?

          It is really irritating to deal with MORE ons who make sh it up… and pretend it is real

          Why not just strap Tesla rockets to them and launch them into space?

        • Timing is what is confusing. Change seem to be able to go on for years. It may be that some countries (such as Sub-Saharan African countries and Venezuela), and poor people in rich countries, who are marginalized first.

          • theblondbeast says:

            Absolutely – and on the fuel rod issue: Should a marginalized country fall and suffer a small-scale nuclear disaster I think it’s reasonable to assume that if any other countries are more stable at the time then they would prioritize addressing nuclear safety issues.

        • Pintada says:

          Dear HideAway;

          You say, “I don’t buy the spent fuel rods will get us all, as the last act of some military could be to throw them in drums of boron filled concrete, and throw them into the deepest trenches of the bottom of the sea, problem solved.”

          My research, and the math, and a little chemistry tells me that there will be no need to move them at all. Stay 100 miles away. No problem.

          Good comments,

          • Fast Eddy says:

            And the Champion of the World counters with a wicked right hand:

            Japan’s chief cabinet secretary called it “the devil’s scenario.” Two weeks after the 11 March 2011 earthquake and tsunami devastated the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, causing three nuclear reactors to melt down and release radioactive plumes, officials were bracing for even worse. They feared that spent fuel stored in the reactor halls would catch fire and send radioactive smoke across a much wider swath of eastern Japan, including Tokyo.

            Spent fuel accumulating at U.S. nuclear reactor plants is also vulnerable, the report warns. A major spent fuel fire at a U.S. nuclear plant “could dwarf the horrific consequences of the Fukushima accident,” says Edwin Lyman, a physicist at the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit in Washington, D.C., who was not on the panel.



            • Pintada says:

              Dear Master Fast;

              Please read this carefully go ahead and move your lips.

              There is a difference between measurable amounts of radiation and lethal amounts of radiation.
              There is a difference between measurable amounts of radiation and dangerous amounts of radiation.

              Please make a note of it,

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Yes of course…. walking into a melted reactor core area will kill you in seconds…

              Although people living near a spent fuel pond will die instantly … most will linger with radiation sickness… cancers… birth defects… sterility … that sort of thing…

              What one has to consider is that at the same time …. pandemics will be running rampant…. violence will be out of control…. there will soon be no food as everything that can be eaten will be killed .. or torn from the ground…

              What we are talking about here is a series of Perfect Storms pounding the human species into Extinction.

            • Mark says:

              Doesn’t need to be lethal levels, takes very little to stop reproduction.
              What a bummer

      • louploup2 says:

        “we have been successful in driving the DelusiSTANIS off of FW”

        Actually, you—FE almost single handedly—have driven away from the comment threads almost anyone who wants to consider timing and other aspects of how BAU will unravel without hyperventilating and trollish behavior. Everyone here knows where you’re coming from. Ad nauseum.

        “logic reason and facts rule”

        I think you mean simplistic, conclusory, often irrelevant, and sometimes offensive posts rule.

        Well done.

    • Please don’t give up; you have some good ideas.

      Timing is very difficult. You may indeed be correct that at least parts of the world can continue to muddle along for a few years. One thing that blog writing over a period of years teaches is humility. I am glad I have been wrong.

      Commenters come and go. In fact, a few commenters I have purposely “kicked out.” Comments are another self-organized system. One kind of comment that has declined is how some sustainability approach will save us–bulldozing mountain tops, and redistributing top soil, so it is easier to till post-peak, for example. Another is endless repetition of the EROEI of this or that is such and such. When we have very different types of energy, and very different timing, EROEI calculations simply don’t give any useful information. Lack of scalability of supposed solutions is another issue. But EROEI can be used to make people believe that wind and solar are saviors for our current system.

      What has grown is interest in what is going on around the world. Bit Coin is a new substitute/add-on to government sponsored debt. The Chinese situation is a major concern. So are situations in many other countries–Sub-Saharan Africa; Venezuela; Europe; US tax legislation; India and many others. Tesla and electric cars in general are another new topic that have invaded the mainstream discussion. Many former “peak oilers” seem to think that these will save us, so they are of interest to the group.

      I have been letting comments about climate through recently. I consider the whole discussion pointless. There is absolutely nothing we can do about climate change. It seems to be something that is being pointed out to us, more as a distraction than anything else. If we are worried about climate change, perhaps we will think that the decline in fossil fuel consumption is a good thing.

      I have not been following oil production in country X recently. Perhaps I should be saying more about these things. The EIA has cut back/changed what information it is producing (except for the US), which is a problem. BP produces data only once per year. The IEA charges for its data, and its expensive reports tend not to have much data suitable for graphing. Euan Mearns has been good enough to put up charts of what IEA data shows. It is hard for comments to be on this subject, if I don’t write about it.

      • HideAway says:

        Information getting scarcer is one indication of nearing limits. TPTB just do not want people to know the truth. The answer to something like The Oil Drum, was to always make the info harder to get.

        The concept of renewable power future shows that many have just not worked out some numbers. For example, to produce 50% of the current 175,000Twhs of energy equivalent used in the world by solar panels, would involve a build out of nearly 2000Gw/yr for 20 years. (current build 70Gw (2017)). Assuming a world wide grid to avoid intermittency, it would take 10m tonnes of copper for just the cabling, and 100,000 tonnes of silver for the solar panels.
        That is 50% of current annual copper production and 400% of annual silver mined. It simply cannot happen!!

        However what it means is that we are going to get lot’s of hopium in the media as the next energy price rises hit, so people have something positive to believe in.

        What I’m seeing is more and more fake information released as news, so that most cannot work out what is happening in the slow part of collapse. Games are being played to make the numbers look ever better, while they get worse. The debt situation and ZIRP is all part of this, keeping the cash with the wealthy .1% when if it was in the hands of the poor they would consume too many resources, while the rich just hoard it. But the GDP number looks better.

        Current raising of interest rates and higher crude prices are the start of the next step down, probably followed by another spectacular save, while the poor get poorer and some edges fall off civilization.
        What is to stop a $7T bailout next time? Nothing, they are just numbers on a computer screen, money comes from thin air, it is not real.

        • We can even manufacture money with bit coin!

          • DJ says:

            Can we? No matter how many bitcoins are created or to which valuation.

            If you sell me a bitcoin you get exactly as many monies as I pay, less courtage.

            • I could be wrong, but it seems like bit coin is more like a new appreciating asset that is being created with the use of electricity. The amount of electricity used in creating the first bit coin was much less than the amount used in the most recently created. But all of the bit coins (of a given manufacturer?) trade for the same amount (regardless of when created), and this amount seems to be escalating over time. So if you obtained on of your first bit coin for $1, and its current value is $17,606, then you have made $17,605 on your investment. It is like buying tulip bulbs, during tulip bulb mania time.

              We know that the process solving increasingly complex mathematical problems cannot go on indefinitely. If nothing else, it is wasting too much electricity. Also, electricity is one of the things that cannot be around indefinitely. The madness must stop. It seems to be a helpful tool for people who need to get money out of a country, but cannot because of laws in place. It also is a new way of claiming BAU can continue indefinitely.

            • DJ says:

              In order to exchange a bitcoin for money someone else has to give up the same amount of money.

              In the future (or already?) maybe you could borrow with cryptocoins as collateral. At that point it could be considered creating money.

        • Sven Røgeberg says:

          I appreciate your reflections and I would be thankful if you gave us a reference concerning the calculations for the solar panels.

          • HideAway says:

            Firstly the amount of energy used world-wide was in wikipaedia and is now around 175,000Twh of primary energy/yr. Assuming just using the same, with 50% being produced from solar panels, about 90,000Twh/yr.
            A build out of 20 years would need production of 4,500Twh/yr. Taking the output of just 1w for 6h/d and 365 days a year, = 2190wh/yr. Therefore 4,500Twh/yr needs about 2Tw of capacity built each year.
            Even then we are assuming 6h/d of solar insulation on the panels, so they are in only the best locations (deserts).

            Many web sites give the approximate amount of copper used in solar panels, like this one…
            The important bit..
            ” PV solar power systems contain approximately 5.5 tons per MW of copper”.
            I rounded down to 5t.
            Then just multiply out 2Tw = 2,000,000Mw of capacity. 2m X 5t = 10,000,000t of copper, just for the solar panel installation each year, and that is a very conservative number!!

            Considering copper grades mined have been declining from around 1% 20 years ago to an average of about .6% today, adding an extra 10m tonnes/yr for the roll-out of solar panels alone, is just not going to happen, as we need more energy to get those extra 10m tonnes of copper each year.

            With silver, solar panels have traditionally used silver paste as it is the best conductor, at about 1/20gm/w. The current attempts to change or reduce the silver use in panels is likely to reduce the life and conductivity of the electricity produced. Hence why they used silver in the first place.
            Again simple maths. 1000w of solar cells = 50gms of silver. 2Tw of panels = 100,000 tonnes of silver.
            Currently according to here…………..
            about 27,000 tonnes of silver are mined each year. So the use of nearly 4 times current production would be needed for a solar panel build of just 50% of our ‘need’ over a 20 year period.

            The numbers are huge for what is needed, and always seem to be glossed over by those that think we can have a “renewable” energy led future. I was always pointing out these numbers on the oil drum comments section a few years ago, but the renewable energy futurists would never want to look at the real numbers.

            • Jesse James says:

              Good analysis

            • And furthermore, recycling doesn’t work well. There is a huge amount of energy required, especially for gathering and transporting to recycling stations. Then there a lot of loss in the process as well, so it is necessary to keep adding new production.

      • Pintada says:

        Our beautiful host said, “I have been letting comments about climate through recently. I consider the whole discussion pointless. There is absolutely nothing we can do about climate change. It seems to be something that is being pointed out to us, more as a distraction than anything else. If we are worried about climate change, perhaps we will think that the decline in fossil fuel consumption is a good thing.”

        I for one post AGW information not as a distraction, but to make sure we know that it is now causing problems that will begin to destabilize the civilization soon if it isn’t having effects already – the Syria situation for example is largely an AGW issue. I really think that it is on topic. No, there is no solution to the AGW issue, but if we only discussed issues with solutions, OFW would not exist.

        Here is an example of what I am saying. Three rather large disasters that would not have happened without climate change. Eventually, as is happening in Puerto Rico, the climate change enhanced storms devastate the economy beyond recovery.

        • The Syria situation is also an oil issue. If Syria were exporting oil, they would have money to desalinate water, and wouldn’t be in the middle of all of their current problems.

          Syria oil production and consumption

          The story “sells” much better today as an environmental story, so that is what we hear. Syria is worse off than Venezuela in many respects. In fact, it is sort of like Yemen.

          Yemen oil production and consumption

        • Fast Eddy says:

          Worse things have happened throughout history … before we burned any oil or coal… and they were related to kkkklimate change as well… KKKlllimate is…. always… changing.

        • Slow Paul says:

          Or you could call this an overpopulation issue. Or an inequality issue. Or an energy issue. Or a DNA issue.

          It’s like we’re jumping off a cliff and arguing which body part will hit the ground first.

  26. Pintada says:

    Dear Finite Worlders;

    There is a 1 year old living at my doomstead. This evening, as is want to happen, she was trying to express a thought that no one else seemed to grasp. She stated her opinion, “Da.”. (She has a large vocabulary, it’s just that every word begins with “D” and has an “a” that figures prominently.) “What do you want honey?”, several of us asked. “Da.” Our guesses did not meet her needs for validation.

    “DA!!!”, she said. “DADADADADADA!!!!” She kept that up until the shriek went well north of the frequency that old people can hear, at which point, she seemed to think that she had made her point and went on with her business.

    It got me thinking about the sociology of OFW for obvious reasons. But it also made me think of Dave Cohen, for reasons – so far – only known to me.

    I read this interesting piece of work more or less when he wrote it at the end of 2014, it might be old enough to seem new to some of you. I hoped that it would be a wise, and thoughtful exploration of how epistemology works in our society, and I was half right. It is thoughtful, but he went through a phase that was not very wise at all, since he seemed to argue for a time that epistemology is really quite a simple subject since he is in fact always correct, and everyone else is a “flatlander”.

    (There are four parts.)

    He, more or less, ended his project with this post, which seems pretty wise to me. Also, in part IV, he seems to have realized that his biases like everyone else can be identified, and explained by instinctual and therefore uncontrollable behaviors.


    • Tim Groves says:

      The young lady in question might appreciate this song.


    • Artleads says:

      “Is there a way to “redefine growth” that doesn’t politically concede limits to growth? (After all, conventional wisdom say no politician will win on a degrowth program). Is there a common framework that can unify both of these movements that address both of these group’s deep systemic concerns?”

      The people I know in a few places in the world are simple. They don’t ask questions about growth. That is too abstract and intellectual an issue for them. They worry about having food and shelter in poor places, and not so much when those are no brainers and seem so abundant that they needn’t be concerned. They like humor and entertainment and socializing. They think in conventional terms, and don’t connect the dots. I suspect that if you don’t push them too hard, they will be fairly happy with their lot.

      • DJ says:

        It doesn’t matter how you define or measure growth or if you don’t.

        Most people want more and will do what they can to get more. So we will have growth, no matter what policy.

        Until end of more.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          Yep — to test that hypothesis … next time you are talking to a Green Groopie — ask him if he is willing to take a pay cut of 30%… and donate the money to Plant a Tree Foundation….

          After all…. what does he need that money for .. it will only be spent on more stuff…

        • Artleads says:

          I read or scanned most of the article from the first link above. One of the better points for me was his argument that you can’t generalize about people. And that there are some areas of broad agreement–e.g.,, driving while drunk is dangerous–while other areas that threaten their view of normalcy are easier to reject–e.g., climate change, economic collapse, etc.–are harder to get widespread agreement on.

          • DJ says:

            Everyone wants their fair share.

            And their fair share is at least a little more than what everyone else they know has got.

            And when resources starts to decline they are also competing with their former selves.

    • Thanks for pointing this out. Dave Cohen’s point is that people need to have an optimistic view of the future. They therefore filter out evidence that our current situation cannot last forever. His website, of course, presents the pessimistic view. The clash between what people can accept and his what is website presents means that this particular website cannot Live & Grow, so he is discontinuing it.

      I think that Dave Cohen is very much right about people needing to have an optimistic view of the future, and filtering out contrary evidence. He may have run out of things to write about. He may also have had other reasons to retire (health, age). I only met Dave Cohen once, at an APSO-USA meeting. He was briefly a contributor to TheOilDrum.com, but that ended quite early.

      • xabier says:

        I was interested to note that when Alice Friedemann raised the doomed state of industrial agriculture with her husband over dinner, he ‘got angry’ and protested that farmers can’t possibly have been that stupid. Everyone longs for good news, even Mr Friedemann……..

  27. The Second Coming says:

    So rapid was the temperature change at a weather station in Alaska, the computer analysing the data detected an error and stopped recording the correct temperature.

    In a blog post, US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) climate scientist Dr Deke Arndt explained the recent incident, referring to it as “an ironic exclamation point to swift regional climate change in and near the Arctic”.

    The weather station is located in Utqiaġvik, the most northerly

    Arctic global warming so rapid that computer measuring it rejected the results
    Algorithm meant to be triggered if there is a fault in Alaskan recording equipment stops temperature recording because measurements were too high

  28. Baby Doomer says:

    World’s richest 0.1% have boosted their wealth by as much as poorest half

    • The Second Coming says:

      The Republican tax reform proposal will help continue that trend. After all there is a Santa Claus for those that are winners and their offspring

      Sign In
      Wonkblog Analysis
      Five ways the GOP tax plans help wealthy whites and hurt minorities
      By Tracy Jan November 29

      Niomi Devereux joins others in front of Republican Sen. Marco Rubio’s Florida office to urge him to vote against the GOP tax bill. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
      Republican proposals to overhaul the tax code would largely benefit wealthy white Americans and further widen the economic gulf between them and minority communities, according to policy analysts for liberal think tanks and civil rights groups.

      Already, white families have nearly 10 times the median net worth of black families and more than eight times that of Hispanic families, according to the latest Federal Reserve data. Fifteen percent of white families reported being millionaires in 2016, compared with just 2 percent of black and Hispanic families.

      “All this tax bill does is further concentrate wealth in the hands of a small group of mostly white individuals,” said Danyelle Solomon, director of Progress 2050, a team at the left-leaning Center for American Progress that analyzes the impact of government policies on minority communities.

      Here’s how the GOP plans would cement white wealth and hurt communities of color:

      1. The Estate Tax

      Repealing or rolling back the estate tax would almost exclusively benefit wealthy white heirs, Solomon said, pointing out that 9 out of 10 households with assets above the estate tax threshold of $5.5 million (or $11 million per couple) are white. The House plan would phase out the estate tax, first doubling the exemption before eliminating it entirely by 2024. The Senate bill keeps the estate tax but doubles the threshold to $11 million (or $22 million per couple).

      Even under the current estate tax rules, only the wealthiest 0.2 percent of Americans leave behind assets valuable enough to tax, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center. Scaling back or eliminating the tax would further entrench the economic chasm between whites and minorities, Solomon said.
      Pro family with a new twist. God Bless America!

    • This is what we expect, as we approach limits. Not enough to go around, so most of it is concentrated among a few. They cannot really spend all of the wealth, do “demand” falls.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        The way the world works:

        – The luckiest, fittest, smartest, with the capability for ruthlessness survive – always have – always will

        – Resources are finite and therefore ownership is a zero sum game

        – The strong always take from the weak – if they do not then that is a sign of weakness and a competitor will take from the weak and will usurp the formerly strong dropping them into weakling status

        – Humans tend to group by clan or on a broader basis by nationality (strength in numbers bonded by culture) and they compete with others for resources

        – Competition always exists (I want it all!) but it becomes fiercer when resources are not sufficient to support competing clans or nations

        – Tribal societies understand these dynamics because they cannot go to the grocery store for their food – so they are intimately aware of the daily battle to feed themselves and the competition for scare land and resources

        – Modern affluent societies do not recognize this dynamic because for them resources are not scarce – they have more than enough.

        – One of the main reasons that resources are not scarce in affluent societies is because they won the battle of the fittest (I would argue that luck is the precursor to all other advantages – affluent societies did not get that way because they started out smarter — rather they were lucky – and they parlayed that luck into advances in technology… including better war machines)

        – As we have observed throughout history the strong always trample the weak. Always. History has always been a battle to take more in the zero sum game. The goal is to take all if possible (if you end up in the gutter eating grass the response has been – better you than me – because I know you’d do the same to me)

        – And history demonstrates that the weak – given the opportunity – would turn the tables on the strong in a heartbeat. If they could they would beat the strong into submission and leave them bleeding in the streets and starving. As we see empire after empire after empire gets overthrown and a new power takes over. Was the US happy to share with Russia and vice versa? What about France and England? Nope. They wanted it all.

        – Many of us (including me) in the cushy western world appear not to understand what a villager in Somalia does – that our cushy lives are only possible because our leaders have recognized that the world is not a fair place — Koobaya Syndrome has no place in this world — Koombaya will get you a bullet in the back — or a one way trip to the slum.

        – Religious movements have attempted to change the course of human nature — telling us to share and get along — they have failed 100% – as expected. By rights we should be living in communes — Jesus was a communist was he not? We all know that this would never work. Because we want more. We want it all.

        – But in spite of our hypocrisy, we still have this mythical belief that mankind is capable of good – that we make mistakes along the way (a few genocides here, a few there… in order to steal the resources of an entire content so we can live the lives we live) — ultimately we believe we are flawed but decent. We are not. Absolutely not.

        – But our leaders — who see through this matrix of bullshit — realize that our cushy lives are based on us getting as much of the zero sum game as possible. That if they gave in to this wishy washy Koombaya BS we would all be living like Somalians.

        – Of course they cannot tell us what I am explaining here — that we must act ruthlessly because if we don’t someone else will — and that will be the end of our cushy lives. Because we are ‘moral’ — we believe we are decent – that if we could all get along and share and sing Koombaya the world would be wonderful. We do not accept their evil premises.

        – So they must lie to us. They must use propaganda to get us onside when they commit their acts of ruthlessness.

        – They cannot say: we are going to invade Iraq to ensure their oil is available so as to keep BAU operating (BAU which is our platform for global domination). The masses would rise against that making things difficult for the PTB who are only trying their best to ensure the hypocrites have their cushy lives and 3 buck gas (and of course so that the PTB continue to be able to afford their caviar and champagne) …. Because they know if the hypocrites had to pay more or took at lifestyle hit – they’d be seriously pissed off (and nobody wants to be a Somalian)

        – Which raises the question — are we fools for attacking the PTB when they attempt to throw out Putin and put in a stooge who will be willing to screw the Russian people so that we can continue to live large? When we know full well that Putin would do the same to us — and if not him someone more ruthless would come along and we’d be Somalians.

        – Should we be protesting and making it more difficult for our leaders to make sure we get to continue to lead our cushy lives? Or should we be following the example of the Spartans https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZeYVIWz99I

        – In a nutshell are our interests as part of the western culture not completely in line with those of our leaders – i.e. if they fail we fail – if they succeed we succeed.

        – Lee Kuan Yew is famous for saying ‘yes I will eat very well but if I do so will you’ Why bite the hand that whips the weak to make sure you eat well…. If you bite it too hard it cannot whip the weak — making you the weak — meaning you get to feel the whip….

        – Nation… clan … individual…. The zero sum game plays out amongst nations first … but as resources become more scarce the battle comes closer to home with clans battling for what remains…. Eventually it is brother against brother ….

        – As the PTB run out of outsiders to whip and rob…. They turn on their own…. As we are seeing they have no problem with destroying the middle class because it means more for them… and when the weak rise against them they have no problem at all deploying the violent tactics that they have used against the weak across the world who have attempted to resist them

        – Eventually of course they will turn against each other…. Henry Kissinger and Maddy Albright bashing each other over the head with hammers fighting over a can of spam – how precious!

        • I think you have been saying this a few too many times. The truth of the matter is that there has to be a balance between cooperation and competition. Your “beef” is not against Catholicism, or Christianity, but against pretty much all self-organized religions. Let’s think about the Seneca curve.

          Ugo Bardi's Seneca Cliff

          Clearly, on the long uphill slope, co-operation is essential to success. In fact, we find this among the insect kingdom, as well. The types of insects that cooperate (termites, ants, etc.) have been more successful than other insects. Even gut flora seem to co-operate, within humans. When I read about hunter-gatherer societies, I find that division of labor was part of what helped some of them succeed. Some were hunters; other were gatherers. Some specialized in toolmaking. Co-operation was essential for specialization.

          Co-operation is used within economies in many different ways. Many (most or all?) early economies were gift economies, where a person’s standing in the community was gained by how much he could give away. While being biggest and strongest was helpful in hunting animals, so was cooperation. To this day, I am told that in parts of Africa, if someone were to win the lottery, their expectation would be to share it with all of their neighbors. This type of economy seems to “work” where people know each other, and where there is a lot of adversity. Both parents may die of a disease, and it is very helpful if other relatives, or other members of the community, will raise the orphan children.

          The big place competition becomes important is (1) within leadership ranks within the economy (and businesses) and (2) between groups (or individuals), when resources are scarce. For example, we see a lot of siblings killing off other siblings, in succession to kingship. With lots of wealth, an economy can afford elected leadership. Here, the emphasis is on telling the voters what they want to hear.

          With respect to when resources are scarce, we know that historically what has killed off people is illnesses. This was true in Europe, with the many plagues. This was true, when Europeans came to North America. IIRC, 98% of American Indians died of diseases, not battles.

          The death of men versus women is also very important. There were a lot of wars, but they mostly killed off men. In the whole hereditary scheme of things, having a large population of men is not very important. Women are. All that is needed in one surviving male. So disposable men are sacrificed in battles around the world. Population control methods often include killing baby girls. Competition for high positions tends to be primarily among men. If some of them kill each other off, how much does it matter, in the whole scheme of things? In some sense, competition is more important to men, but cooperation (and religion) is more important to women.

          We do know something about how new groups were able to succeed after collapse. Secular Cycles tells us that groups of people would band together, and settle in areas that were easily defensible (but not necessarily good for farming). They would then use part of the group (probably men) to defend the new location.

          It seems like the world economy is so interlinked now, that it all has to go down together, but this expectation could be wrong. There may still be pieces that can go down separately. The population of Venezuela, Yemen, Sub-Sahara Africa, and quite a few other countries could drop quite a bit, without necessarily bringing down the world economy.

          I consider the whole way the system is organized to be essentially a miracle. We have many religions that believe in an afterlife of some kind. We have many people who have had near-death experiences, who say they saw glimpses of an afterlife. I personally am not willing to say this is not possible. It clearly is not possible on the Earth. But we really don’t know if it is, in the whole scheme of things.

          There are so many self-organized religions, it is impossible for all of the beliefs of all of them to be “true.” Basically, I see these religions as primarily collections of stories (some of them with some basis in historical reality) giving some indication regarding how people of a certain time and place thought that life (on this earth) could best be lived. So, to a significant extent, they are stories intended to influence people’s actions in the world of a particular time and place. Part of the story may be that some share of the population will be saved, based on conformity to the rules laid out. I find this belief to be strange–probably primarily for the purpose of influencing people’s willingness to cooperate with whatever rules of the day were prescribed. Religion and culture very much overlap.

          A current popular religion is “technology will save us.” Clearly this is non-sense. It mostly increases wage disparity. At best, it saves a minority of high-income people. Most of us find this objectionable, but if some are saved, this is the way “survival of the best adapted” tends to work.

          Another current popular belief system is that we have no need for religions. They are old fashioned. The stories told are clearly just stories. But the truth of the matter is that people have to have something to look forward to. Our government and media have sponsored the “technology will save us” view of what is ahead. If we as humans cannot really solve our problems, we indeed again do need religion, as providing a glimmer of hope for the future.

          If some are “saved,” my expectation is that pretty much everyone is “saved.”

          The current popular liberal view is that it is the people who recycle the most paper, glass, and metals who are saved. Or the people who denounce fossil fuels most loudly are most likely to be saved. This also makes no sense to me. The situation is what it is. We really cannot fix it. We need to think through the situation for where we are today.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            Some things need to be repeated … for those who land on FW the first time…

            There is cooperation – of course… Jamie Dimon cooperates … but he will … within the limits of the law (which his big legal team will stretch like the world’s longest bungee cord….) do just about anything to get more … including steal the very last penny of a poor pensioner….

            In fact he is obligated to do that … as the steward of a public company….

            We could buy a share in JPM and attend the AGM… and make a statement pointing to this sermon or that commandment or a passage from such and such part of the bible … that says it is not acceptable to pillage a pensioner…

            And his security team would taser us and bundle out the back door and toss us down the stairs….

            For good measure they’d toss the bible at us and probably spit on us ….

            I do not suggest that anyone attempt to run a business based on the religious principles…. I also do not recommend basing a country’s foreign policy on religious teachings….

            These things are for the little people… it helps to keep the cattle in line…. cooperating as they wait to be fed and watered.


          • Slow Paul says:

            Great post. At some point it will be clear to most people that technology is yet another bridge to nowhere, then people will return to old and new theist religions.

            I consider myself agnostic, but I do enjoy the tenets of christianity. Many interesting discussions with my 5 year old daughter who is learning about this in kindergarden. Like how could Jesus fly to heaven without wings… I answer the same way as I answer questions about Santa Claus and the tooth fairy – “it’s magic”.

  29. JH Wyoming says:


    Good video on EV’s, the pros and cons.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      There are no pros.

    • We need high prices to get oil out. Anything that reduces oil demand is not helpful.

      • louploup2 says:

        I believe the scenario in the video is potentially capable of extending BAU for a number of years. Key to the triggering event (decreased demand for oil) is whether the supply of the “E” part of EV can actually be provided. Without burning oil. I’m skeptical about the longer term, but I’ll wager there is enough supply of E to get up the first part of the S curve. I.e., extend BAU…

        But don’t *lower* oil prices—the consequence of reduced supply due to increased EV percentage—also “get oil out” due to high cost of remaining reserves. Contradicting my paragraph above, seems like either higher or lower oil prices results in collapse of oil supply, and thus undermines BAU.

    • Baby Doomer says:

      If oil demand drops the price will drop and people who use oil will buy more of it and the price will go back up again…Jevons Paradox

  30. Sungr says:

    Peakoilindia.org is an initiative by the Alliance for Sustainability and Equity (www.ecologise.in)to widen and deepen understanding of the historically unprecedented challenge of Peak Oil in India


  31. Fast Eddy says:

    Here is an example of the whorrred MSM:

    “ibaoyouqu” didn’t immediately respond to a request seeking comment via WeChat.


    sponsored by WeChat….

    Skip back before these pointless apps that keep the monkeys entertained… when the request would have been made via telephone :

    “ibaoyouqu” didn’t immediately respond to a request seeking comment via Panasonic telephone.

  32. JH Wyoming says:


    One of short sellers favorite stock: Tesla

  33. Baby Doomer says:

    Nikki Haley vows to present ‘irrefutable evidence’ Iran ‘deliberately violated international obligations’

  34. The Second Coming says:

    The answer is NO

    Do not eat your veggies — if they are grown in your front yard, Miami Shores says
    Florida’s 3rd District Court of Appeal upheld Miami Shores’ ban on front-yard vegetable gardens in a recent decision, so the couple will take their case to the Florida Supreme Court. They argue, on behalf of gardeners everywhere, that the village’s restriction is unconstitutional and an infringement on their property rights
    “That’s what government does – interferes in people’s lives,” Ricketts said. “We had that garden for 17 years. We ate fresh meals every day from that garden. Since the village stepped its big foot in it, they have ruined our garden and my health
    Ricketts and Carroll did not face jail time for brandishing green thumbs, but they did face $50 daily fines after the village amended its ordinance in 2013. They had to dig up their garden – which won’t grow in their north-facing backyard because of a lack of sun. But they have continued to fight Miami Shores in court with help from the Institute for Justice, a national non-profit libertarian law firm.

    “This decision gives local governments tremendous leeway to regulate harmless activities in the name of aesthetics,” said Institute lawyer Ari Bargil. “It gives government the power to prohibit homeowners from growing plants in their front yards simply because they intend to eat them.

    What’s THEIR issue? Can’t they go to a Super Walmart and buy their veggies?

    • DJ says:

      Eating veggies is unamerican.

    • JH Wyoming says:

      I think people should be able to grow vegetables in their yard. Why not? They absorb CO2, they’re good for healthy eating. I don’t see the problem, but there’s an old saying; Don’t fight city hall. It’s because its a losing cause to fight an institution with much more power. The power to mandate.

    • Sungr says:

      Calories Needed for Human Survival Non-stress situation

      Male – 2,000-3,000 calories/day = 1,095,000 calories/year/person

      Female- 1,600- 2,400 calories/day = 876,000 calories/year/person

      So for a family of four the total yearly calories in a non-survival situation would be about
      3,942,000 calories must be produced for the family to survive.

      But under difficult conditions the family must produce around 7,884,000 calories/year from their front yard vegetable garden.

      Neighbors must also produce a whopping 8 million calories of food from their suburban lettuce gardens or resort to other strategies……………

  35. The Missing Linc says:

    Hi, a lurker here, chiming in w/my 2 cents regarding whether renewables can replace fossil fuels. My wife and I live “off-grid” in a 300 SF cabin that is heated by an attached passive solar greenhouse and a wood cookstove. We have a 1000 watt PV array that meets all of our lighting, refrigeration and power tool needs, plus charges LIPO4 batteries that run e-bike motors that help us make the 2 mile 600 ft elevation climb back up from town from meetings or errand runs. It’s cold enough here for much of the year (6000′ in mtns of western Colorado) that our root cellar keeps the majority of our stored root veggies and fruit cold for the winter, but we also run two 12 volt chest refrigerators and one 12 volt chest freezer. We have a 12KW lead acid forklift battery bank that is rated to last approximately 20 years in our usage pattern (we typically use around 2KWH/day of electricity, mostly for refrigeration, whereas our array can harvest up to 6 or so KWH/day). We have a large garden where we grow nearly all of our veggies and soon, fruit & nuts (for now, we harvest and store fruit from friends’ orchards), a barter network with other farmers and homesteaders in the valley, a pasture where we raise dairy goats and poultry, and soon, pigs that are bred to graze on nearly a 100% pasture diet. We’re starting to grow and bale our own hay for the goats, and are looking into growing our own feed for the birds (we currently buy our feed from a farmer across the valley). Our drinking and irrigation water come gravity fed down a mountain stream and a 1 mile buried pipeline the our homestead. While, it’s obvious that the end of BAU will mean the end of our lifestyle, partially because we won’t be able to get PV system parts, clothes, bike parts, etc, but mainly because it’s likely that those that are hungry will come take from us that grow our own food, and there aren’t enough homesteaders and farmers around here to support those that aren’t. Still, I question the premise that a renewable energy-based, agrarian/horticultural lifestyle isn’t sustainable on this planet. Probably not at the population level we currently have, but also because it’s possible that many of us are too busy either ignoring the impending end of BAU, or noticing it but not doing anything personally about it. It’s strange to think that we’re all that much like Lemmings heading for a cliff. I always thought we were smarter than that.

    • Renewables do nothing at all for today’s overall electrical system. It will fail, with or without them. The same with other types of energy supplies.

      The question is whether your particular PV system, plus the trees you cut down, can do enough for you and your family. You have pointed out one big problem: there won’t be a police force to prevent others from taking away what you have.

      The other issues is that absolutely everything you have, tends to wear out. For example, “Our drinking and irrigation water come gravity fed down a mountain stream and a 1 mile buried pipeline to our homestead.” The irrigation system and the pipelines wear out with time. They spring leaks. It is a never-ending battle with repairs, and nothing to repair them with.

      Everything tends to take more time, if you don’t have commercial substitutes. Somehow you have to maintain the fertility of your soil, with soil amendments of some type. Erosion tends to become an issue as well. Any tools used for plowing tends to wear out. And injuries become a problem, more likely causing fatal infections than today. If you don’t have problems, it is likely that your neighbors (whom you plan to trade with) will.

      Somehow, your group is going to need more clothes and shoes. It takes a whole “system” to produce these necessities. Otherwise, you will soon be walking around barefoot in the snow.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Raiders kill and eat the farm animals required for manure….

        They tear up your gardens….

        Static is not the way to go …. you need to be a roaming hunter gatherer nomad / be prepared to raid and kill, rape, pillage.

        That will be where it is at post BAU until the radiation arrives ….

        Doomsteaders are deadsteaders.

        • xabier says:

          Central Asian nomads despised farmers, because they were always there, tied to their fields, waiting to be ‘harvested’ themselves, – as the Tartars did to the Russians for centuries until the Russians got organised under Czars.

          People from poorer areas, usually in the mountains – have always gone raiding the farmers, either for years as mercenaries, or once a year – the Swiss used to specialise in that, as did the Kurds, Albanians, Basques, and of course the Norwegians in the Viking era. Generally they were taller and stronger than the farmers.

          Farmers need their own warriors to protect them, hence knights (originally slaves), etc.

          • Genesis 4 talks about Cain and Abel. This is another story about nomads versus farmers. According to Genesis 4:2, “Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil.” Both of them brought offerings to God, and God supposedly looked favorably on Abel’s offering, but not on Cain’s. In Genesis 4:6, God seems to suggest to Cain that he should become a herder, instead of a farmer:

            6 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”

            After this, Cain (the farmer) killed Abel (the herder).

            Of course, the ancient Israelites were primarily herders rather than farmers, so this ancient legend would seem to support the view of God favoring the herding life-style. There is also more energy embodied in a piece of meat sacrificed on an altar than a handful or two of grain.

            I am not of the view that the story is something that God said, and is a truth for all times. It is more a story that ancient Israelites told, justifying their lifestyle as the chosen lifestyle.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            These historical facts you present …. are very interesting and could be of use to anyone considering wasting their time and money prepping…

          • Rufus says:

            Yes Xabier, the word ‚knight‘ comes from an old germanic word that brought ‘knecht‘ in modern german and means servant.
            It strikes me that the japanese word ‚samurai‘ means, so was I told, ‚the one who serves‘. Concerning the samurais I red they were in early japanese middle age (maybe 8th century AD) a cast of low rank soldiers paid by the nobility, originally the first warriors cast that settled in Japan, and became the household of the emperor.
            It’s striking that, as we can see a similar etymology, a quite similar process could have happened in medieval Japan and medieval Europe. Self organized system ?

    • and when you are in need of urgent medical attention, no doubt you will seek out a herbalist to cure your ailment.

      we wish you well

    • but i would add, sincerely, that i admire what you have done, and are doing

    • JH Wyoming says:

      Very impressive, missing linc.

      • Niko (This One Not The Other One) says:

        Considering that nuclear development has mostly stopped, West Coast ain’t looking too bad, supposing favorable prevailing wind conditions and advance warning.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          I count 14 nukes in the area — I understand that Fukushima had 6 reactors and 6 spent fuel ponds.

          As mentioned each pond has 700 or so assemblies (vs one per reactor).

          Let’s use these numbers for the west coast of the US… 700 x say 6 reactors x 14 = EXTINCTION.

          What we have to keep in mind is that we have never really had a serious nuclear accident – not Chernobyl – not Fukushima – not 3 Mile Island.

          Fukushima was nearly a major accident — ONE of the fuel ponds nearly collapsed.

          And that fear caused authorities to plan to evacuate Tokyo – which is nearly 300km away!

          ONE POND.

          When 14 plants go offline in the US — the scale of the disaster will follow is exponentially greater than what would have happened if ONE pond was compromised in Japan.

          The other thing to keep in mind — is that when a pond boils and fires up —- it does not burn itself out like a normal fire —- it burns for over a decade — so that means continuous spewing of radiation into the air

          “Pick your poison. Fresh fuel is hotter and more radioactive, but is only one fuel assembly. A pool of spent fuel will have dozens of assemblies. One report from Sankei News said that there are over 700 fuel assemblies stored in one pool at Fukushima. If they all caught fire, radioactive particles—including those lasting for as long as a decade—would be released into the air and eventually contaminate the land or, worse, be inhaled by people. “To me, the spent fuel is scarier. All those spent fuel assemblies are still extremely radioactive,” Dalnoki-Veress says.”

          The toxins from that will not remain localized — they will spread far and wide — they will get into the air and water and food chain

          People on the west coast would also be exposed to the 54 Japanese plants and ponds – the prevailing air and water currents from Japan are towards the west coast of north america

          And a population that is already reeling from starvation, disease and violence…. is not going to survive this.

          If anyone things otherwise …. that would be a symptom of Koombayaism

    • Sungr says:

      Post again- don’t let these guys scare you off.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Yes – please do post more — the more you post the more holes we will punch into your koombaya dream…. you run the risk of sinking … into a sea of deep despair — when you realize that you have been wasting your time…..

        Or stay away .. and remain sane.


        • The Missing Linc says:

          Thanks for the responses. I don’t disagree with them. And, while I agree intellectually, I don’t seem to have embodied that understanding. And, for now, I’ll keep at the homesteading thing – I really enjoy it, even if it’s futile.

          Five stages of grief – denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. I think I’m still back in the first three.

          Spent power plant fuel – that seems like the biggest long term problem. What about underground dry cask storage of the existing fuel once it’s cooled enough in the pool to do that (5 years)? How about dry cask storage 2000′ underground in stable geology, sealed off? How about direct burial at sea? Most of these not politically acceptable in the current culture, but what if enough people were educated to see that we’re headed for a problem with the pools?


    • Niko (This One Not The Other One) says:

      I think that is very impressive. Could it have been built the first time without fossil energy? Maybe, at much greater cost and effort, but maybe.

      So I think I agree with you – in the context of a society that had been organized to be agrarian renewable energy horticulturists from the get go, it could have worked.

      But society has not been organized this way, and as such will go kicking and screaming down the road to collapse. And as you have pointed out, they will take you with them.

      In other news, got need of someone else living on your farm and consuming your resources? I’m in the market for safe houses.

  36. The Second Coming says:

    Is there ANY issues humans have a consensus?
    Come on human camps…
    “Is the World Over or Underpopulated, and How Would We Know?” Landsburg approaches the issue by applying simple economic logic, rather than getting lost in the weeds of data.
    Population density is a non-issue, at least for the foreseeable future. The fact is that there are many uninhabited or sparsely inhabited locations that have room, but people prefer to live in dense urban centers. Whatever their stated preferences may be, their revealed preferences favor higher population density.
    Ideas are the driving force of long-term economic development. This reminds me of the neoclassical Solow growth model, which I taught back in New Zealand. The key lesson is that capital and technological productivity drive growth, but of the two, the latter is the most important. Since people generate the ideas, Landsburg contends that a growing population offers more opportunities for innovation, knowledge acquisition, and consequent economic expansion.
    His one proviso is the welfare state. In other words, he acknowledges that the welfare state pits people against each other, particularly if children are large consumers of wealth redistribution. The degree of this impact is somewhat of an open question


    But the truth is that overpopulation in the United States is not even close to a serious problem. Even globally, overpopulation is an overstated problem.

    It’s simplest to start with just the United States. How many people can the country support? Because I am an agricultural economist by profession, my bias is to first think about food. One simple question is how many people can the United States feed? Well, our net agricultural exports account for about 25 percent of the physical volume of agricultural production, which suggests that if we redirected those exports internally, the US could probably support approximately 25 percent more people. That’s assuming current technology and current diets and current land use.

    In short, we could feed more than 400 million people, total, merely by consuming locally what we now export.

    Suppose that is what Marcus Aurelius was writing about in observation

    • Another way of asking the question, is, “Is there any problem where media around the world are not giving us false answers about solutions?” I think the answer is no.

      Governments want happy endings, businesses want happy endings, educational institutions and publishers want happy endings, citizens want happy endings. So everyone uses every excuse possible to manufacture happy endings.

    • Sungr says:

      One simple question is how many people can the United States feed? Well, our net agricultural exports account for about 25 percent of the physical volume of agricultural production, which suggests that if we redirected those exports internally, the US could probably support approximately 25 percent more people.

      “That’s assuming current technology and current diets and current land use.”

      Did you mean THIS current technology??

      • Van Kent says:

        William Denevan estimated that the pre-Columbian population had been about 3.8 million in the US.


        The ‘natural’ carrying capacity of the US +/- 10 million people, with all the forests cleared.

        But then take away the grid powered wells. Then take away FF. Then take away all farming machinery. Then take away the top soil. Then hunt and fish whatever moves, bigger than a mouse. Then spew a few billions tons of toxins everywhere. Pollute all waterways with some fresh feces. Add some super virulent strains everwhere. Hmm.. what would the ‘natural’ carrying capacity of the US be with those small changes.. any well informed educated guesses about it?

        • Fast Eddy says:


        • Niko (This One Not The Other One) says:

          3.8 million is ridiculously low. To put it into perspective, Europe and the United States have similar land areas. Pre-industrial Europe had a population of over 90 million individuals. 3.8 million? Come on, give the US more credit than that.

          Your other point is, unfortunately, correct. If any population survives it will be reduced much lower than 90 million… at least 250 million gotta go.

          • Van Kent says:

            Pre-Columbian, means estimated native americans.

            Some native americans had crops. Some had irrigation and canals. But most didn’t.

            How many hunter gatherers can US ‘naturally’ support?

            The ability to grow food crops depends greatly on how many rivers the country has. How it can irrigate, and how it can use the rivers by digging out multigenerational canals etc.

            But despite having rivers, qanats, canals and irrigation, the Sumerians destroyed their top soil. Bye-bye sumer. And something quite like that also happened to some of the native american farming cultures. But Chinese and Indian farmers have been farming the same terraces and fields for millenia, without destroying their top soil. Maybe something to do with how to return nutrients to the ground. Oxen, pigs, fish, insects, and all of that. I don’t know for sure, but it would be interesting to know how exactly the sumerians and other cultures managed to destroy their top soil..

            90 mil..

            That means lots and lots of available hands in farming. Hands that know what they are doing. It means qanats, waterwheels, canals, wells, rain water harvesting the old Indian style. But it also means, that the water in the big rivers should be usable. Clean. My guess is also, that basic animal husbandry is propably needed. But its so hard to keep some oxen from an zombie horde..

            I’d go more along with Eddys estimation, than yours, on the ‘natural’ carrying capacity of the US after the collapse of some big banks (aka collapse of international trade, therefore the collapse of our global civilization).

          • Pre-industrial Europe had territories from which they could import goods. This helped keep their carrying capacity up. They also had peat moss that they burned for energy (especially Netherlands), even before coal.

            • theblondbeast says:

              Yes, empire is made possible by extracting from the periphery to allow a level of surplus energy in the imperial core.

            • xabier says:

              Before the 19th century, there were also very large ares of heathland in Europe, often held in common, which grew heather, furze, etc – excellent fuels for cooking and above all for baking bread (and pies, in the same oven after the bread had been done).

              Many villages had communal bread ovens, which made it even more sustainable. In the North, bread/biscuits were made which could last for a whole year.

              The 19th c economists regarded heathland as simply wasted, and ploughed it up – it cannot then easily be restored to heath. Much has now been built on anyway, certainly in England.

              The 19thc mania for ploughing up everything in sight and planting crops or commercial forestry plantations, was very destructive, and did away with a finely balanced system thousands of years old.

            • This, in a sense, is another version of “Tragedy of the Commons.” The prior system allowed a low-cost common system for many people. But once the power of industrialization came, those who could afford to, took over the common land for their own benefit, putting industrial farming or businesses there. China still has common land, but it is being sold off. Russia still has (some?) common land ownership. I know that the state of Hawaii had common land ownership, before being taking over by capitalists. I believe that India had common land ownership. Of course, the US before Europeans came was not owned by anyone separately, either.

          • pre columbian usa held itself in survival balance

            ie the food available fed the existing population in a harmonic sense,

            neither could outweigh the other for very long

            This situation was a global situation, not exclusive to the usa. famines always culled populations that became unbalanced. There will be no alternative to our future being governed by the same means.

    • JH Wyoming says:

      “Population density is a non-issue, at least for the foreseeable future. The fact is that there are many uninhabited or sparsely inhabited locations that have room, but people prefer to live in dense urban centers.”

      I don’t think they prefer dense urban centers, but instead it’s more convenient for finding work, housing and proximity of stores. People will in most cases choose what is easier, more convenient.

      Is your point the entire land surface of the planet could be densely populated if there was vertical farming? I would agree. In fact, I think if there is sufficient energy and waste problems can be handled differently, with vertical farming in buildings, the population of humans on Earth could be north of 50 billion, easy. I’ll bet in a 1,000 years the population of planet (if collapse doesn’t occur first and that’s a big if) there will be between 50-100 billion people. All electronically controlled systems, easy, cheap transport, hermetically sealed existence because people will reach the point they can no longer handle being outside. Pollen, viruses, bacteria will be too much for their immune systems because of being too pampered over generations.

      The converse possibility if collapse doesn’t occur is the super wealthy who are already running off into the end zone of success and separation from the rest of us, no longer need as many people because of robots that reach a point of being better than most people in most jobs. Then the culling of the poor can take place. Not obviously but with pharm drugs that make them less and less capable of surviving, i.e. living much shorter, unproductive lives. Sterilization via drugs or injections without their consent will become common. It could reach the point where there are 6 people that own the planet, and their huge lineage of offspring from concubines are the only people on the planet. The rest is done by automation, robots. The population at that point could be less than 50,000.

  37. Tim Groves says:

    Mike Adams has an intriguing theory that Bitcoin is the handiwork of the NSA.
    After all, the Deep Deep State needs to know all about our spending habits. They need to know everything. How else can they judge whether or not they need to know it?

    To which I would add: Satoshi Nakamoto, or in Japanese name order Nakamoto Satoshi = NS, is as close to NSA as you can get with an acronym made up of two words. Ah, yes. It’s all so clear to me now.


    NSA mathematicians detailed “digital cash” two decades ago

    What evidence supports this notion? First, take a look at this document entitled, “How to make a mint: The cryptography of anonymous electronic cash.” This document, released in 1997 — yes, twenty years ago — detailed the overall structure and function of Bitcoin cryptocurrency.

    Who authored the document? Try not to be shocked when you learn it was authored by “mathematical cryptographers at the National Security Agency’s Office of Information Security Research and Technology.”

    The NSA, in other words, detailed key elements of Bitcoin long before Bitcoin ever came into existence. Much of the Bitcoin protocol is detailed in this document, including signature authentication techniques, eliminating cryptocoin counterfeits through transaction authentication and several features that support anonymity and untraceability of transactions. The document even outlines the heightened risk of money laundering that’s easily accomplished with cryptocurrencies. It also describes “secure hashing” to be “both one-way and collision-free.”

    Although Bitcoin adds mining and a shared, peer-to-peer blockchain transaction authentication system to this structure, it’s clear that the NSA was researching cryptocurrencies long before everyday users had ever heard of the term. Note, too, that the name of the person credited with founding Bitcoin is Satoshi Nakamoto, who is reputed to have reserved one million Bitcoins for himself. Millions of posts and online threads discuss the possible identity of Satishi Nakamoto, and some posts even claim the NSA has identified Satoshi. However, another likely explanation is that Satoshi Nakamoto is the NSA, which means he is either working for the NSA is is a sock puppet character created by the NSA for the purpose of this whole grand experiment.

    • Makes sense. We have to have some kind of promises for the future. Governments are becoming less able to back their debts. The World Bank and other international organizations cannot really back debt either. So perhaps technology can back additional promises that energy will be available in the future. I suppose China’s oil futures are sort of in this category as well. While they are supposedly backed in gold, the amount of physical gold that the world has is not very large. It would quickly run out.

      • gold only has meaning in a commercial system with sufficient energy to back it up.

        the Egyptians could only fill their tombs with gold because in normal times the land delivered sufficient surplus energy to build those tombs in the first place, and to mine the gold itself

    • Jesse James says:

      Bitcoin seems to be playing a role of providing hope in a potential investment. Our society is predicated on expectations of improving lifestyle and wealth. “They” have to float some hopium out there so people do not panic. There is no real return nowadays on anything but the TNTF fang stocks that the gov keeps going upwards by0.5% per day it seems. But the rest of the stocks suck. So they need for people to have hope in Bitcoin. “If we can just mortgage the house honey we can make ten times that in Bitcoin. There is no risk. It is a guaranteed thing”

    • Fast Eddy says:

      Maybe he is not even a real person.

  38. Fast Eddy says:

    Pintada…. sorry … I didn’t see you … are you ok?

    I am here to help……


  39. Tim Groves says:

    On again, off again!

    A ridiculous high court ruling has thrown a spanner into Shikoku Electric’s planned restart of the No.3 reactor at its Ikuta Nuclear Power Plant. “Based on a volcanic eruption that occurred 90,000 years ago, the possibility that a pyroclastic flow will reach the facility’s premises is not small, and thus Ikata’s location is not appropriate,” said the judge.


    TOKYO — A Japanese court has again overruled the nuclear watchdog agency to stop the restart of an atomic reactor, calling for even greater safety measures and complicating the government’s push to resume operations at idled power plants.

    The Hiroshima High Court issued an injunction Wednesday to block the restart of the No. 3 reactor at the Ikata power plant until Sept. 30, 2018. The Shikoku Electric Power facility has passed safety screening by the Nuclear Regulation Authority and is undergoing routine maintenance. It was slated to restart in January.

    This marks the first High Court decision to block a nuclear reactor restart since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011. The case centered on whether the reactor in Ehime Prefecture on the island of Shikoku is a safe distance away from the nearest volcano.

    And the court’s answer was no. Citing the possibility that a devastating volcanic eruption from Mount Aso on the southern island of Kyushu could affect the reactor’s operations, the court labeled the watchdog’s decision to certify the facility’s safety “irrational.”

    Presiding Judge Tomoyuki Nonoue pointed out that the nuclear watchdog’s own rule requires facilities to be measured up against the largest volcanic eruption in the past. “Based on a volcanic eruption that occurred 90,000 years ago, the possibility that a pyroclastic flow will reach the facility’s premises is not small, and thus Ikata’s location is not appropriate,” he said.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      I really don’t understand why Japan does not just start all reactors… the ponds represent the greater danger… and you can’t shut down the ponds….

      In fact why not build MORE reactors????

    • Sungr says:

      450+ Nuclear Reactors globally- all end of life by 2100
      Collapsing Fossil Fuel Production- (oil down to 33% of current by 2050)
      5-8 Billion humans then facing Starvation,War, Disease, Poverty, Dislocation, Govts collapsing
      ZERO Ability to mount a multi- $Trillion Nuclear Industry shutdown & fuel pond cleanup.

      • Niko (This One Not The Other One) says:

        I believe it was Fast who first pointed this out to me on this sight.

        I freaked out for a few weeks.

        Then I realized how pointless that was. I’m young, so my fate is most likely one of the following:

        Nuclear Fallout

        But I’ve taken to analyzing different medications, so that I can update the list:

        Nuclear Fallout
        Greatly Exceeding The Human LD50…

        • Fast Eddy says:

          I had the same reaction …. sort of dazed and stunned….

          But then I realized that this was actually a good thing…

          Does anyone REALLY!!! want to live in a world without energy? Constant violence… hunger… deprivation .. misery… suffering …. what would be the point?

          And psychologically — would anyone be able to cope with that — after living so large? From morning till night struggling to keep the calories balanced…. that sounds like a living hell to me.

          So understanding that the ponds were insurmountable … made it easy for me to just say no to trying to get ready to stay alive — for what? – to suffer? Well f789 that.

          Whatever the meaning of life is it god da.mn well is to starve and rot and then die.

          The ponds seal the deal — they remove the need to choose — they simplify everything

          When the Central Banks pull the lever and push the button – and nothing happens — we all die.

          Kinda cool actually – because everyone you have ever known – or ever seen — dies too — you miss out on nothing.

          And to boot — every as..sho.le that you have ever encountered or heard about … or seen on the TV… from Bieber to Hilton to Dimon (remember his comment to the analyst ‘because I make more money than you!’) to the hot chick who dissed you in high school… etc etc etc….

          All dead too.


          We must think positively now…. it is crucial.

  40. JH Wyoming says:

    Here’s a funny fake news on Trump Legalizing Whaling:

    Washington, D.C. – Restless men are sharpening their harpoons today, after the Trump administration declared that the “war on whaling” is officially over. At a special ceremony in the Oval Office, the president signed an executive order to renounce the Endangered Species Act of 1973 and withdraw from the International Whaling Convention of 1946.

    With the stroke of a scrimshawed whale-bone pen, Trump promised to bring back lost jobs for harpooners, lancers, blubber cutters, kettle-minders, coopers, coilers, steerers and stewards. Trump also vowed to set a course for energy independence, by targeting the “floating reservoirs” of whale oil, which can be used for lighting, heating, soap, and processing textiles and rope.

    “Moby Dick’s days are numbered,” Trump boasted at the White House, adding that whalers would hunt only the biggest game – leviathans of the deep like Blue Whales, Sperm Whales, and Humpbacks, and not “sad little fish” like Belugas.

    Back at the White House, Trump had already changed tack. “We need to start logging again,” the president declared. “Huge trees. Redwoods, Sequoias, the National Parks, think of the firewood.” Experts warned such efforts would add pollution and deplete oxygen in the atmosphere.

    Trump dismissed concerns, crowing on twitter: “Photosynthesis is a Myth!”

  41. Baby Doomer says:

    House prices in Chicago suburbs fall as crime rate rises

  42. Fast Eddy says:

    BHP Billiton, the world’s largest mining company, has finally decided to exit the shale energy industry entirely. In a recent statement, BHP Billiton has asked four investment banks to assist in either selling or spinning off its underperforming U.S. shale oil and gas assets. Unfortunately, for BHP, the company sunk nearly $50 billion on its shale assets and will be lucky to receive $10 billion.


    That’s one way to keep shale alive …. one company sinks 50b into developing a field … sells it at 10b …. eats the loss thereby subsidizing the play… and someone steps in and gets a nearly free operation!!!!

    Even then …. I wonder if the new operator will make money.

    • Greg Machala says:

      That is interesting that they are selling now when oil prices have risen to nearly $60. They must think some sucker will buy it thinking that its a deal since oil prices are somewhat on the rise. Clever. They must know prices are ultimately headed downward and this shale business is a dud.

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