The Depression of the 1930s Was an Energy Crisis

Economists, including Ben Bernanke, give all kinds of reasons for the Great Depression of the 1930s. But what if the real reason for the Great Depression was an energy crisis?

When I put together a chart of per capita energy consumption since 1820 for a post back in 2012, there was a strange “flat spot” in the period between 1920 and 1940. When we look at the underlying data, we see that coal production was starting to decline in some of the major coal producing parts of the world at that time. From the point of view of people living at the time, the situation might have looked very much like peak energy consumption, at least on a per capita basis.

Figure 1. World Energy Consumption by Source, based on Vaclav Smil estimates from Energy Transitions: History, Requirements and Prospects (Appendix) together with BP Statistical Data for 1965 and subsequent, divided by population estimates by Angus Maddison.

Even back in the 1820 to 1900 period, world per capita energy had gradually risen as an increasing amount of coal was used. We know that going back a very long time, the use of water and wind had never amounted to very much (Figure 2) compared to burned biomass and coal, in terms of energy produced. Humans and draft animals were also relatively low in energy production. Because of its great heat-producing ability, coal quickly became the dominant fuel.

Figure 2. Annual energy consumption per head (megajoules) in England and Wales during the period 1561-70 to 1850-9 and in Italy from 1861-70. Figure by Wrigley

In general, we know that energy products, including coal, are necessary to enable processes that contribute to economic growth. Heat is needed for almost all industrial processes. Transportation needs energy products of one kind or another. Building roads and homes requires energy products. It is not surprising that the Industrial Revolution began in Britain, with its use of coal.

We also know that there is a long-term correlation between world GDP growth and energy consumption.

Figure 3. X-Y graph of world energy consumption (from BP Statistical Review of World Energy, 2017) versus world GDP in 2010 US$, from World Bank.

The “flat period” in 1920-1940 in Figure 1 was likely problematic. The economy is a self-organized networked system; what was wrong could be expected to appear in many parts of the economy. Economic growth was likely far too low. The chance for conflict among nations was much higher because of stresses in the system–there was not really enough coal to go around. These stresses could extend to the period immediately before 1920 and after 1940, as well.

A Peak in Coal Production Hit the UK, United States, and Germany at Close to the Same Time

This is a coal supply chart for the UK. Its peak coal production (which was an all time peak) was in 1913. The UK was the largest coal producer in Europe at the time.

Figure 4. United Kingdom coal production since 1855, in a href=”″>figure by David Strahan. First published in New Scientist, 17 January 2008.

The United States hit a peak in its production only five years later, in 1918. This peak was only a “local” peak. There were also later peaks, in 1947 and 2008, after coal production was developed in new areas of the country.

Figure 5. US coal production, in Wikipedia exhibit by contributor Plazak.

By type, US coal production is as shown on Figure 6.

Figure 6. US coal production by type, in Wikipedia exhibit by contributor Plazak.

Evidently, the highest quality coal, Anthracite, reached a peak and began to decline about 1918. Bituminous coal hit a peak about the same time, and dropped way back in production during the 1930s. The poorer quality coals were added later, as the better-quality coals became less abundant.

The pattern for Germany’s hard coal shows a pattern somewhat in between the UK and the US pattern.

Figure 7. Source GBR.

Germany too had a peak during World War I, then dropped back for several years. It then had three later peaks, the highest one during World War II.

What Affects Coal Production?

If there is a shortage of coal, fixing it is not as simple as “inadequate coal supply leads to higher price,” quickly followed by “higher price leads to more production.” Clearly the amount of coal resource in the ground affects the amount of coal extraction, but other things do as well.

[1] The amount of built infrastructure for taking the coal out and delivering the coal. Usually, a country only adds a little coal extraction capacity at a time and leaves the rest in the ground. (This is how the US and Germany could have temporary coal peaks, which were later surpassed by higher peaks.) To add more extraction capacity, it is necessary to add (a) investment needed for getting the coal out of the ground as well as (b) infrastructure for delivering coal to potential users. This includes things like trains and tracks, and export terminals for coal transported by boats.

[2] Prices available in the marketplace for coal. These fluctuate widely. We will discuss this more in a later section. Clearly, the higher the price, the greater the quantity of coal that can be extracted and delivered to users.

[3] The cost of extraction, both in existing locations and in new locations. These costs can perhaps be reduced if it is possible to add new technology. At the same time, there is a tendency for costs within a given mine to increase over time, as it becomes necessary to access deeper, thinner seams. Also, mines tend to be built in the most convenient locations first, with best access to transportation. New mines very often will be higher cost, when these factors are considered.

[4] The cost and availability of capital (shares of stock and sale of debt) needed for building new infrastructure, and for building new devices made possible by new technology. These are affected by interest rates and tax levels.

[5] Time lags needed to implement changes. New infrastructure and new technology are likely to take several years to implement.

[6] The extent to which wages can be recycled into demand for energy products. An economy needs to have buyers for the products it makes. If a large share of the workers in an economy is very low-paid, this creates a problem.

If there is an energy shortage, many people think of the shortage as causing high prices. In fact, the shortage is at least equally likely to cause greater wage disparity. This might also be considered a shortage of jobs that pay well. Without jobs that pay well, would-be workers find it hard to purchase the many goods and services created by the economy (such as homes, cars, food, clothing, and advanced education). For example, young adults may live with their parents longer, and elderly people may move in with their children.

The lack of jobs that pay well tends to hold down “demand” for goods made with commodities, and thus tends to bring down commodity prices. This problem happened in the 1930s and is happening again today. The problem is an affordability problem, but it is sometimes referred to as “low demand.” Workers with inadequate wages cannot afford to buy the goods made by the economy. There may be a glut of a commodity (food, or oil, or coal), and commodity prices that fall far below what producers need to make a profit.

Figure 8. U.S. Income Shares of Top 10% and Top 1%, Wikipedia exhibit by Piketty and Saez.

The Fluctuating Nature of Commodity Prices

I have noted in the past that fossil fuel prices tend to move together. This is what we would expect, if affordability is a major issue, and affordability changes over time.

Figure 9. 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.

We would expect metal prices to follow fossil fuel prices, because fossil fuels are used in the extraction of ores of all kinds. Investment strategist Jeremy Grantham (and his company GMO) noted this correlation among commodity prices, and put together an index of commodity prices back to 1900.

Figure 10. GMO Commodity Index 1900 to 2011, from GMO April 2011 Quarterly Letter. “The Great Paradigm Shift,” shown at the end is not really the correct explanation, something now admitted by Grantham. If the graph were extended beyond 2010, it would show high prices in 2010 to 2013. Prices would fall to a much lower level in 2014 to 2017.

Reason for the Spikes in Prices. As we will see in the next few paragraphs, the spikes in prices generally arise in situations in which everyday goods (food, homes, clothing, transportation) suddenly became more affordable to “non-elite” workers. These are workers who are not highly educated, and are not in supervisory positions. These spikes in prices don’t generally “come about” by themselves; instead, they are engineered by governments, trying to stimulate the economy.

In both the World War I and World War II price spikes, governments greatly raised their debt levels to fund the war efforts. Some of this debt likely went directly into demand for commodities, such as to make more bombs, and to operate tanks, and thus tended to raise commodity prices. In addition, quite a bit of the debt indirectly led to more employment during the period of the war. For example, women who were not in the workforce were hired to take jobs that had been previously handled by men who were now part of the war effort. (These women were new non-elite workers.) Their earnings helped raise demand for goods and services of all kinds, and thus commodity prices.

The 2008 price spike was caused (at least in part) by a US housing-related debt bubble. Interest rates were lowered in the early 2000s to stimulate the economy. Also, banks were encouraged to lend to people who did not seem to meet usual underwriting standards. The additional demand for houses raised prices. Homeowners, wishing to cash in on the new higher prices for their homes, could refinance their loans and withdraw the cash related to the new higher prices. They could use the funds withdrawn to buy goods such as a new car or a remodeled basement. These withdrawn funds indirectly supplemented the earnings of non-elite workers (as did the lower interest rate on new borrowing).

The 2011-2014 spike was caused by the extremely low interest rates made possible by Quantitative Easing. These low interest rates made the buying of homes and cars more affordable to all buyers, including non-elite workers. When the US discontinued its QE program in 2014, the US dollar rose relative to many other currencies, making oil and other fuels relatively more expensive to workers outside the US. These higher costs reduced the demand for fuels, and dropped fuel prices back down again.

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

The run-up in oil prices (and other commodity prices) in the 1970s is widely attributed to US oil production peaking, but I think that the rapid run-up in prices was enabled by the rapid wage run-up of the period (Figure 12 below).

Figure 12. Growth in US wages versus increase in CPI Urban. Wages are total “Wages and Salaries” from US Bureau of Economic Analysis. CPI-Urban is from US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Opposing Force: Energy prices need to fall, if the economy is to grow. All of these upward swings in prices can be at most temporary changes to the long-term downward trend in prices. Let’s think about why.

An economy needs to grow. To do so, it needs an increasing supply of commodities, particularly energy commodities. This can only happen if energy prices are trending lower. These lower prices enable the purchase of greater supply. We can see this in the results of some academic papers. For example, Roger Fouquet shows that it is not the cost of energy, per se, that drops over time. Rather, it is the cost of energy services that declines.

Figure 13. Total Cost of Energy and Energy Services, by Roger Fouquet, from Divergences in Long Run Trends in the Prices of Energy and Energy Services.

Energy services include changes in efficiency, besides energy costs themselves. Thus, Fouquet is looking at the cost of heating a home, or the cost of electrical services, or the cost of transportation services, in inflation-adjusted units.

Robert Ayres and Benjamin Warr show a similar result, related to electricity. They also show that usage tends to rise, as prices fall.

Figure 14. Ayres and Warr Electricity Prices and Electricity Demand, from “Accounting for growth: the role of physical work.”

Ultimately, we know that the growth in energy consumption tends to rise at close to the same rate as the growth in GDP. To keep energy consumption rising, it is helpful if the cost of energy services is falling.

Figure 15. 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.

How the Economic Growth Pump Works

There seems to be a widespread belief, “We pay each other’s wages.” If this is all that there is to economic growth, all that is needed to make the economy grow faster is for each of us to sell more services to each other (cut each other’s hair more often, or give each other back rubs, and charge for them). I think this story is very incomplete.

The real story is that energy products can be used to leverage human labor. For example, it is inefficient for a human to walk to deliver goods to customers. If a human can drive a truck instead, it leverages his ability to deliver goods. The more leveraging that is available for human labor, the more goods and services that can be produced in total, and the higher inflation-adjusted wages can be. This increased leveraging of human labor allows inflation-adjusted wages to rise. Some might call this result, “a higher return on human labor.”

These higher wages need to go back to the non-elite workers, in order to keep the growth-pump operating. With higher-wages, these workers can afford to buy goods and services made with commodities, such as homes, cars, and food. They can also heat their homes and operate their vehicles. These wages help maintain the demand needed to keep commodity prices high enough to encourage more commodity production.

Raising wages for elite workers (such as managers and those with advanced education), or paying more in dividends to shareholders, doesn’t have the same effect. These individuals likely already have enough money to buy the necessities of life. They may use the extra income to buy shares of stock or bonds to save for retirement, or they may buy services (such as investment advice) that require little use of energy.

The belief, “We pay each other’s wages,” becomes increasingly false, if wages and wealth are concentrated in the hands of relatively few. For example, poor people become unable to afford doctors’ visits, even with insurance, if wage disparity becomes too great. It is only when wages are fairly equal that all can afford a wide range of services provided by others in the economy.

What Went Wrong in 1920 to 1940?

Very clearly, the first thing that went wrong was the peaking of UK coal production in 1913. Even before 1913, there were pressures coming from the higher cost of coal production, as mines became more depleted. In 1912, there was a 37-day national coal strike protesting the low wages of workers. Evidently, as extraction was becoming more difficult, coal prices were not able to rise sufficiently to cover all costs, and miners’ wages were suffering. The debt for World War I seems to have helped raise commodity prices to allow wages to be somewhat higher, even if coal production did not return to its previous level.

Suicide rates seem to behave inversely compared to earning power of non-elite workers. A study of suicide rates in England and Wales shows that these were increasing prior to World War I. This is what we would expect, if coal was becoming increasingly difficult to extract, and because of this, the returns for everyone, from owners to workers, was low.

Figure 16. Suicide rates in England and Wales 1861-2007 by Kyla Thomas and David Gunnell from International Journal of Epidemiology, 2010.

World War I, with its increased debt (which was in part used for more wages), helped the situation temporarily. But after World War I, the Great Depression set in, and with it, much higher suicide rates.

The Great Depression is the kind of result we would expect if the UK no longer had enough coal to make the goods and services it had made previously. The lower production of goods and services would likely be paired with fewer jobs that paid well. In such a situation, it is not surprising that suicide rates rose. Suicide rates decreased greatly with World War II, and with all of the associated borrowing.

Looking more at what happened in the 1920 to 1940 period, Ugo Bardi tells us that prior to World War I, the UK exported coal to Italy. With falling coal production, the UK could no longer maintain those exports after World War I. This worsened relations with Italy, because Italy needed coal imported from the UK to rebuild after the war. Ultimately, Italy aligned with Germany because Germany still had coal available to export. This set up the alliance for World War II.

Looking at the US, we see that World War I caused favorable conditions for exports, because with all of the fighting, Europe needed to import more goods (including food) from the United States. After the war ended in 1918, European demand was suddenly lower, and US commodity prices fell. American farmers found their incomes squeezed. As a result, they cut back on buying goods of many kinds, hurting the US economy.

One analysis of the economy of the 1920s tells us that from 1920 to 1921, farm prices fell at a catastrophic rate. “The price of wheat, the staple crop of the Great Plains, fell by almost half. The price of cotton, still the lifeblood of the South, fell by three-quarters. Farmers, many of whom had taken out loans to increase acreage and buy efficient new agricultural machines like tractors, suddenly couldn’t make their payments.”

In 1943, M. King Hubbert offered the view that all-time employment had peaked in 1920, except to the extent that it was jacked up by unusual means, such as war. In fact, some historical data shows that for four major industries combined (foundries, meat packing, paper, and printing), the employment index rose from 100 in 1914, to 157 in 1920. By September 1921, the employment index had fallen back to 89. The peak coal problem of the UK had been exported to the US as low commodity prices and low employment.

It was not until the huge amount of debt related to World War II that the world economy could be stimulated enough so that total energy production per capita could continue to rise. The use of oil especially became much greater starting after World War II. It was the availability of cheap oil that allowed the world economy to grow again.

Figure 17. Per capita energy consumption by fuel, separately for several energy sources, using the same data as in Figure 1.

The stimulus of all the debt-enabled spending for World War II seems to have been what finally encouraged the production of the oil needed to pull the world economy out of the problems it was having. GDP and Disposable Personal Income could again rise (Figure 18.)

Figure 18. Comparison of 3-year average change in disposable personal income with 3-year change average in GDP, based on US BEA Tables 1.1.5 and 2.1.

Furthermore, total per capita energy consumption began to rise, with growing oil consumption (Figure 1). This growth in energy consumption per capita seems to be what allows the world economy to grow.

I might note that there is one other exceptional period: 1980 to 2000. Space does not allow for an explanation of the situation here, but falling per capita energy consumption seems to have led to the collapse of the former Soviet Union in 1991. This was a different situation, caused by lower oil consumption related to efficiency gains. This was a situation of an oil producer being “squeezed out” because additional oil was not needed at that time. This is an example of a different type of economic disruption caused by flat per capita energy consumption.

Figure 19. World per Capita Energy Consumption with two circles relating to flat consumption. World Energy Consumption by Source, based on Vaclav Smil estimates from Energy Transitions: History, Requirements and Prospects (Appendix) together with BP Statistical Data for 1965 and subsequent, divided by population estimates by Angus Maddison.


There have been many views put forth about what caused the Depression of the 1930s. To my knowledge, no one has put forth the explanation that the Depression was caused by Peak Coal in 1913 in the UK, and a lack of other energy supplies that were growing rapidly enough to make up for this loss. As the UK “exported” this problem around the world, it led to greater wage disparity. US farmers were especially affected; their incomes often dropped below the level needed for families to buy the necessities of life.

The issue, as I have discussed in previous posts, is a physics issue. Creating GDP requires energy; when not enough energy (often fossil fuels) is available, the economy tends to “freeze out” the most vulnerable. Often, it does this by increased wage disparity. The people at the top of the hierarchy still have plenty. It is the people at the bottom who find themselves purchasing less and less. Because there are so many people at the bottom of the hierarchy, their lower purchasing power tends to pull the system down.

In the past, the way to get around inadequate wages for those at the bottom of the hierarchy has been to issue more debt. Some of this debt helps add more wages for non-elite workers, so it helps fix the affordability problem.

Figure 20. Three-year average percent increase in debt compared to three year average percent increase in non-government wages, including proprietors’ income, which I call my wage base.

At this time, we seem to be reaching the point where, even with more debt, we are running out of cheap energy to add to the system. When this happens, the economic system seems more prone to  fracture. Ugo Bardi calls the situation “reaching the inflection point in a Seneca Cliff.”

Figure 21. Seneca Cliff by Ugo Bardi

We were very close to the inflection point in the 1930s. We were very close to that point in 2008. We seem to be getting close to that point again now. The model of the 1930s gives us an indication regarding what to expect: apparent surpluses of commodities of all types; commodity prices that are too low; a lack of jobs, especially ones that pay an adequate wage; collapsing financial institutions. This is close to the opposite of what many people assume that peak oil will look like. But it may be a better representation of what we really should expect.

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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2,841 Responses to The Depression of the 1930s Was an Energy Crisis

  1. Baby Doomer says:

    Watching Meet the Press this morning on NBC and they showed a chart that said “US Economy” and it showed the stock market and unemployment rates…LOL You don’t judge an economy on the stock market you judge it on “Economic Growth (GDP)”..Which they of course didn’t show..How Orwellian and total FAKE NEWS!

    • JesseJames says:

      You watch NBC?

      • JH Wyoming says:

        What happens to the economy when the stock market crashes?

        If people have faith in the future, they invest in stock and bonds. They also take out loans. Part of that faith is their perception of the economy via the stock market. Before the great depression in the 30’s even taxi cab drivers and waitresses were investing in stocks. Now that’s a lot of faith.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          What is NBC?

          • psile says:

            The “National B*llshit Company”.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Oh I see… it’s the same as CNN… and Bloomberg… and the NYT … and WAPO … and cnbs… and so on

              Do people watch NBC and believe that they are learning something? Wow…. I must get out more

        • Volvo740 says:

          That’s the $10M question. I think in theory they could print money and buy all stocks, so there would never be a collapse. But that also means no one has any stocks any more!

    • Volvo740 says:

      LOL. They could also have showed the shrinkage of the labor force and pointed to all early retirees!!! Too risky?

      • Fast Eddy says:

        I really don’t understand why anyone watches the ‘news’ ….

        Would one sit down every evening and turn on a broadcast discussing Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairies comings and goings that day?

        Surely there must be better things to do with one’s time — because watching the ‘news’ is pretty much a total waste of time…

        Now if one is watching it for the entertainment value — see Trump — or just to marvel at the scale of the lies on any given day —- yes…. I can see the appeal…

        But tuning in … expecting to be informed … to get help with understanding an issue…… all I can say is ….

  2. jerry says:

    For Trump to open all territories to drilling seems to me to be the crux of all matters.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      This issue demonstrates how utterly stuuuupid humans are.

      IF we have so much oil available…. then why in the f789 are we drilling kms beneath the ocean … at massive expense… at grave risk to the environment from blow outs.

      IF we have so much oil available …. why are exploring the Arctic….

      Try asking a human those questions …. I have once or twice… the response is the same as if you asked a donkey the questions …. a dummmmmm stare…. or a degree of irritation implying don’t ask such silly questions…. or why are you so negative….

      MORE ons MORE ons… everywhere….

      • A Real Black Person says:

        There is a denial that the situation is deteriorating more quickly then they’d like to believe. Look at how many people here who still believe
        “we can go on for quite some time, i.e. creeping collapse,” for decades.

        • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

          you might be right…

          but you might be misreading Reality and might be thinking you see more and quicker deterioration than is really there…

          and this BAU might go on for another decade…

          and I might be right…

          time will tell…

          and here’s my broken new year’s resolution:

          BAU tonight, baby!

        • Tim Groves says:

          Most of the people who hang out here are attempting to prepare themselves to psychologically to deal with a situation that is likely deteriorating more quickly then they’d prefer. For those of us in that group, having to read posts claiming things will deteriorate so slowly that they don’t have to be concerned, or worse, that things are going to get better and better thanks to “progress”, can be both irritating and distracting. Comments presenting optimistic or cornucopian scenarios ruin the sombre ambience of this blog.

        • Volvo740 says:

          I think there is/will be (near future) a 5% or more decline rate in all energy. That actually means close to 40% reduction in 10 years with a similar prospect for the following 10 years. I don’t know if you define that as instant, but fast enough that my daughter doesn’t have a chance of ever travelling like we do. (And if you’re reading this – you’re doing very well! Internet connection, and time to read this kind of stuff….)

          • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:


            I’m reading this!


            The Collapse hasn’t happened yet…

            bummer about the 2020s though.

    • doomphd says:

      this reminds me of about 1970, when the Texas Railroad Commission released all production to maximum levels, a sure sign the US had hit its conventional crude oil production peak in the lower 48, per Ken Deffeyes in his Beyond Oil book.

  3. Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

    the quality of being objective:
    “the piece lacked any objectivity”
    impartiality, absence/lack of bias, absence/lack of prejudice, fairness, fair-mindedness, …


    very hard for mere humans!

    or, impossible…

    take your pick.

    • Mark says:

      predicament pre·dic·a·ment
      a difficult or unpleasant situation.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Predicament is not harsh enough….

        I suggest Nightmarish… or perhaps Apocalyptic ….

        As in we are facing an Apocalyptic outcome….

        • Baby Doomer says:

          Scientific American: Apocalypse Soon: Has Civilization Passed the Environmental Point of No Return?

          • by definition, all civilisations must collapse

            ancient civilisations collapsed slowly, because their power sources (muscle basically) deteriorated slowly

            we on the other hand have used fossil fuels for a rapid buildup, so our collapse will be rapid and catastrophic as the oil-rug is pulled from under us.

            looked at in the spectrum of geological time, we’ve burned the earth’s fuel stores in an instant, single flash of light and heat.
            Call it the supernova of humankind

        • Mark says:

          Wanted: Female lead vocals for my new band. “TINA and the Deathblows”

        • Tim Groves says:

          Apocalypse: From Ancient Greek ἀποκάλυψις (apokálupsis, “revelation”), from ἀπό (apó, “after”) and καλύπτω (kalúptō, “I cover”).

          apocalypse (plural apocalypses)
          A revelation. [from 14th c.]
          The early development of Perl 6 was punctuated by a series of apocalypses by Larry Wall.
          (Christianity) The unveiling of events prophesied in the Revelation; the second coming and the end of life on Earth; global destruction. [from 19th c.]
          A disaster; a cataclysmic event. [from 19th c.]

          Ragnarok (Ragnarök)
          end times

          nuclear holocaust
          Final Judgment
          judgement day

          Derived terms

  4. Sungr says:

    Nationwide Blackout As Nigeria’s Power Grid Collapses

    The Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing has confirmed the collapse of Nigeria’s power transmission grid on Tuesday night.

    This development led to widespread blackout across the country.

    The ministry says the collapse was due to a fire incident on the Escravos Lagos Pipeline System of the Nigerian Gas Processing and Transportation Company Limited.

    The incident led to a shutdown of the pipeline that supplies gas to six thermal power plants.

    In 2017, power generation reached 7000 megawatts, while about 5155 megawatts was transmitted leaving 2000 megawatts stranded.

    The national transmission grid is owned and operated by the Transmission Company of Nigeria.

    Reminds me of something Duncan Richard wrote-

    “The Olduvai Theory is defined by the ratio of world energy production and population ( e).… It states that energy production per capita will fall to its 1930 value by 2030, thus giving industrial civilization a lifetime of less than or equal to 100 years. The theory projects that the collapse will be strongly correlated with an epidemic of blackouts worldwide.”

    • Sungr says:

      Oops. Correction- Richard C. Duncan. MS Electrical Engineering PhD Systems Engineering. Author of the Olduvai Theory

      • I hadn’t looked at this recently. Duncan gets the date wrong, because he misses the impact of the rapid rise of coal production/consumption in China, India, and other Asian countries in the 2001 – 2013 timeframe. But he definitely gets the importance of energy per capita, something that tends to get lost in all of the discussion of EROEI (which doesn’t really analyze the issue properly, IMO).

    • We lost electricity at the Atlanta airport lost for 11 hours on December 17, disrupting flights around the country. There are a lot of outages.

      The peak oil movement has tended to miss the fact that it is all energy combined that makes a difference. We can’t possibly substitute electricity for oil; they will go down at the same time.

  5. jupiviv says:

    I’m going to say it – the BAU-or-bust club is hampering rational discourse on OFW. They feel the need – for whatever reason/s – to interpret all information in a way that fits an apocalyptic scenario. Any piece of information, or any opinion, that portends an outcome which is less than sudden apocalyptic near-term human extinction is discarded as delusional. The result? Pages and pages of Virginia Woolf-esque screeds by FE or Davidwhatever, with the occasional panegyric on “objectivity”. Meanwhile, people who actually respect objectivity get bored/annoyed and leave.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think doomer-ism involves any special insight into humanity’s problems, or that it necessarily places upon its possessor the responsibility of trying to solve said problems, or even that said problems can all be solved to begin with. At bottom, it’s identical to any other process of reasoning/observation/collation of information, except that its conclusions are extremely disappointing to people (i.e. most people) who believe in a very recently originated, yet very popular, set of beliefs about the nature of the world and our place in it. But no matter how disappointing those conclusions may be, they are not – in my estimation – apocalyptic. To interpret them as such would require an ulterior motivation – like a desire to rationalise some form of nihilism, or the inability to reconcile them with previously held unrealistic expectations.

    • Kurt says:

      David believes we are a long way off from collapse. FE is always wrong with all his predictions. Once you under stand these facts you will find more humor in their posts. Otherwise, make your “rational” case and ignore them.

      • A Real Black Person says:

        Belief and facts are two different things. One of the many reasons why past civilizations collapsed is because people like you and jupiviv became very complacent. It’s very easy to be an optimist when you are very far removed from human hardship. You have an easy life, you see many other people leading easier lives, and assume there is so much wealth that a 90% reduction in economic output would not mean anything for most people.

      • jupiviv says:

        The concepts of instadoom, total extinction etc. aren’t deluded in themselves. If someone uses those possibilities to support a deluded worldview or philosophy, as the BAU-or-bust club seem to do, they cannot discuss it rationally with others.

        • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

          “The concepts of instadoom, total extinction etc. aren’t deluded in themselves.”

          most would agree that the idea of total extinction is objective…

          instadoom… not so much.

          • A Real Black Person says:

            If global trade ground to a halt. The likelihood of you dying would increase exponentially with each week. The people in power are instadoomers. They know if they did not bail out the banks in 2008 and if they allowed Greece to default, the global economy would stop and would not start again. But according to geniuses like you, they were totally wrong. BAU-lite is entirely possible. Starvation, disease and violence are things that will slowly happen over a very long time. That will give us PLENTY of time to adapt. It might be enough time for humans to come up with a tech-fix and repair the soil and perfect green energy and send some people to Mars and invent Artificial Intelligence and….and….

            I don’t know if you believe in all these things the people who deny instadoom is most likely tend to be optimistic people who believe human ingenuity will prevent a severe bottleneck from occurring. They label their opponents nihilists because they have an unfounded belief in human ingenuity.

        • Mark says:

          It’s not BAU or bust, it’s TINA and her laws of physics.

      • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

        Darth Eddy will not prevail…

        strong with BAU, the force is…

    • A Real Black Person says:

      I’d reckon that anyone who thinks humans in significant numbers can go back to a pastoral, postindustrial existence have an ulterior motivation– they don’t want to deal with reality. Fast Eddy’s positions are backed by evidence. Yours is backed by a need for optimism .You have a belief deeply ingrained in your mind.You believe that the current problems pointed out by doomers can be solved.
      Humans have not solved any problems.
      Our current problems are the result of past attempts at solving problems.
      Human problem solving is an oxymoron.
      What humans have do is come up with technologies and social organizations that work for a little while. What humans do is kick the can down the road with respects to problem solving.

      It is the end of the world that we are discussing. The world, is, for most people, human civilization. Some of us believe that God will save some of us. Some of us think several technological solutions will materialize at the second. Some of us believe that some humans can survive but I think it will be humans who are isolated from civilization. Some us are nihilists and accept human extinction as a probable outcome for chronic disruption and degradation of the natural world.

      • Slow Paul says:

        I don’t think there are many posters here that believe we can go back to a simpler life.

        But many believe that we can go on for quite some time, i.e. creeping collapse, that is decades of non-growth eating away at civilization from all sides. This will create a more hostile/unstable geopolitical claymate where anything may happen on any given day. But to claim to know how it all ends, well that is either ignorance or arrogance. We don’t know.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          It ends in the power going off permanently….. and it does not take a rocket science to work out the implications of that….

          Disease — starvation — violence — radiation. And almost certain extinction.

          Absolutely guaranteed.

        • A Real Black Person says:

          We have had “creeping collapse” A.K.A. decline for several decades now.
          Decline did not begin in 2008.

          • doomphd says:

            we need to define terms like human and humanity going extinct. i doubt that the highland tribes of Papus New Guinea and Irinan Java will know or care if what we define here as BAU collapses. The are very unplugged from us and live far away from radiation sources. They are humans, so strictly speaking, extinction of the species is probably not going to happen, UNLESS climato chango gets them via crop failure and ecosystem collapse.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              I doubt that any humans are exempt from the impact of the spend fuel ponds…. 4000 of them will spew for many years….. and ocean and air currents will deliver the radiation to every corner of the planet…

              But yes… if any humans are to survive it will be those who already live completely unplugged… the faux organic hobby farmers who think they are unplugged… will be targets for the hordes.

            • Volvo740 says:

              The oceans…. That source of almost free food (if you could get it). That’s the kicker even for the highland tribes. Reality is that the oceans are not doing as well as before, and it seems to get worse every decade.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              If any humans do survive… the good thing is that we have burned out all the low hanging resources… so they are guaranteed to not rekindle the BAU flame….

              Their lives will be nasty brutish and short.

              They will be nothing more than a bunch of grunting, stinking savages….

      • jupiviv says:

        “I’d reckon that anyone who thinks humans in significant numbers can go back to a pastoral, postindustrial existence have an ulterior motivation– they don’t want to deal with reality.”

        There claim that 100% of humans will die without industrial civilisation can only be backed up by fantastic beliefs like genocidal spent fuel pools or global synchronised instant collapse.

        “You have a belief deeply ingrained in your mind.You believe that the current problems pointed out by doomers can be solved.”

        This is quite clearly false.

        “Humans have not solved any problems.
        Our current problems are the result of past attempts at solving problems.”

        I would say that humans have never really attempted to solve problems that affect all humans, at least within the practical/material domain. Growth happened, and humans as a whole reacted to it.

        “Some us are nihilists and accept human extinction as a probable outcome for chronic disruption and degradation of the natural world.”

        All things go extinct sooner or later. That fact doesn’t support nihilism though. Indeed, *nothing* can support nihilism, by definition.

        • A Real Black Person says:

          “I would say that humans have never really attempted to solve problems that affect all humans,”

          Are you kidding me?
          This sounds like the” True ——-ism has never been attempted” arguments
          when someone is trying to explain the shortcomings of something.

          The statement that humans have never tried to solve problems that affect all humans is a laughable argument and one easily proven wrong.

          • humans cannot solve or attempt to solve the problems that affect us all because that would mean a universal world government, and everyone acceding the their decisions

            The UN is the closest we’ve got to that, and that body cannot influence anything that is critical to a specific nation—because the people who live there wouldn’t accept it if it adversely affected them.

            If the UN were to try to enforce universal food and fuel distribution for instance—how far would that get? Nowhere. Even though it would clearly be to universal benefit. Food and fuel have been commercialised….you cannot sell energy to people who do not have the means to pay for it.
            And until you can instigate control at that level, the rest cannot work, because that is the fundamental problem

            And even if you did manage food equality, the starving millions would immediately have more kids, and in 20 years you’d be back to square one.


        • A Real Black Person says:

          “There claim that 100% of humans will die without industrial civilisation can only be backed up by fantastic beliefs like genocidal spent fuel pools or global synchronised instant collapse”
          No, it is the spent fuel problem that backs up those beliefs.
          If most of the world’s spent fuel ponds were to lose power, from the grid or the power plant, it could contaminate large areas of the Earth. This scenario sounds far fetched if you believe the amount of spent fuel is too small to cause problems. You already scoffed at the threat of nuclear contamination so I’m going to assume you don’t believe in nuclear radiation contamination.

          “All things go extinct sooner or later. That fact doesn’t support nihilism though. Indeed, *nothing* can support nihilism, by definition.” Then why are you so threatened by it? Clearly it can support something if you are obsessed with it.

          • jupiviv says:

            “No, it is the spent fuel problem that backs up those beliefs.”

            I and Pintada have already debunked this idiotic myth adequately. Short of a breach in the reinforced concrete structures, spent fuel pools won’t contaminate anything. Even with a breach, their harmful effects will be far from global unless the earth’s climate system changes drastically.

            “Then why are you so threatened by it?”

            I’m annoyed by it. The reason being that the nihilists on this site seem to use a nihilistic standard of truth. Opinions about collapse are judged to be insightful or ignorant purely on the basis of how pessimistic or optimistic they are. This lowers the quality of the discussions and unnecessarily antagonises people like me, who don’t believe that pessimism/nihilism = rationality. In fact, it annoys everyone involved, since the premise is too ridiculous to actually resolve any issue to anyone’s satisfaction. The techno/green optimists have the inverted version of this mentality, and it is equally annoying.

        • Volvo740 says:

          I’m quite OK to define collapse as a 90% reduction in humans. Anyone disagree with that?

          • Fast Eddy says:

            My money is on extinction.

            Ah … another bullet point for pariah status:

            – support the extinction of all humans (for the good of the planet and all other species)

            And one more:

            – think young children are vermin…. worse than rodents…. monstrous vile beasts actually

          • JesseJames says:

            I think it is a good idea to have some well defined concepts of collapse. Imagine that we are in Rome and the barbarians are approaching. Constantinople has already been established but we who are still in Rome have naysayers who still claim they can resurrect the glory of Rome. There will always be the range of claims as to outcome. With numerous states currently in collapse, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Ukraine, Brazil, Mexico, Greece, The PIGS of the EU, we have other core areas that are susceptible to collapse….Australia, Egypt, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Japan. Parts of the US are in collapse, Baltimore, Detroit, Illinois, Connecticut.
            A range of measures could be deployed to categorize collapse:
            % of population in poverty – this measure is not so good as it is relative.
            birthrate – a low birthrate is a long term indicator of collapse, or future collapse
            Deathrate – when this rate increases it can indicate collapse
            % of population in famine – when there is not enough cheap FF we will be out of food…largescale famine will be a good indicator of collapse.
            % homeless – a good indicator of a society in the collapse process
            % Unemployed – another good indicator that the system is either not distributing wealth properly, or is in collapse.
            % of population with reliable energy and electrical power – by this measure Puerto Rico has collapsed.
            % home ownership – collapse will cause this factor to reduce therefore the trend is important. With highly leveraged societies this rate can change quickly.
            crime rate – I think that under collapse conditions, crime will increase markedly, accentuating the difficulties of society. The tame end of this is like Rio right now with crime gangs/state warfare going on. The extreme end of this is murderous mobs killing for food ( yes, it can happen).
            Real GDP….when this falters or goes negative, we are in the collapse process
            Infrastructure – if it is going to pot and not being maintained, then you know you are in the collapse process. Perhaps a percentage is a good measure here. Say, if 50% of the infrastructure is decrepit and not being repaired, the society is in collapse.
            90% population reduction – definitely collapsed

            • DJ says:

              Greece hasnt collapsed. You don’t go on vacations to collapsed countries. Not without guns and guides.

          • DJ says:

            Probably at least 90% would agree with you.

    • JH Wyoming says:

      “Any piece of information, or any opinion, that portends an outcome which is less than sudden apocalyptic near-term human extinction is discarded as delusional. The result? Pages and pages of Virginia Woolf-esque screeds by FE or Davidwhatever…”

      That’s because FE is a prolific poster on here but it does fit your description above. However, I’ve found that if I ignore, I.e. completely pass over FE posts the rest are a mix of positive and negative viewpoints. So I wouldn’t let his inability to see anything other than his pure dystopian viewpoint disproportionally color your view of the site.

      • A Real Black Person says:

        “The rest are a mix of positive and negative viewpoints. ”
        There is the truth and lies people tell themselves to protect themselves from feeling depressed by anything unpleasant.

        • Baby Doomer says:

          Humans can not live without illusions. For the men and woman of today, an irrational faith in progress may be the only antidote to nihilism. Without the hope that the future will be better than the past they could not go on.

          -John N Gray

      • Fast Eddy says:

        If you are skipping FE’s posts…. your life is not complete…. when you wake up in the morning and think … I don’t feel right in the head… you can attribute that to failure to read FE …. think Confucius… with a foul mouth…

        Anyway …. we have no idea when this will topple over …. it has bumped along for a decade now…. but at some point what cannot continue will stop …. suddenly. That is guaranteed.

        We are here to observe and discuss our progression towards total annihilation.

        • Baby Doomer says:

          When they hear a free Fast Eddy talk…It’s gonna scare em!

        • Mark says:

          Confucius… with a foul mouth…
          l really did lol at that. 🙂

        • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

          Darth Eddy writes:

          “Anyway …. we have no idea when this will topple over …. it has bumped along for a decade now…. but at some point what cannot continue will stop …. suddenly. That is guaranteed.
          We are here to observe and discuss our progression towards total annihilation.”

          these first three points are true…

          but then “suddenly” is a lot of the discussion here…

          it takes hubris to guarantee this future…

          I’m guessing it will be more Creeping Collapse, and all of us will be long gone before “total annihilation”…

          by the way, that’s an opinion… which is often discussed.

      • Ed says:


  6. adonis says:

    did you watch the video i posted then you may have seen that the fed is planning to collapse the bond bubble this year according to my calculations we only have 145 days till the collapse i have provided all evidence in past links so if you were listening then you might on the same page i am now.

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      excessive pride or self-confidence.
      arrogance, conceit, haughtiness, hauteur, pride, …

    • Panicky people have been predicting imminent full spectrum collapse for ages. At least from the time I’m watching the scene (“PO/depletion” aware since ~early 2000s) there actually instead appeared dozen, clearly pre-identified/”called” opportunities in various assets bubbles as well as shorts..

      He who is still poor on this forum can only blame himself and his attitudes, me included, lolz.

      • A Real Black Person says:

        Recessions and monetary policy can throw off the timing but the general premise that we will run out of the means to keep industrial civilization running is not wrong. People who get obsessed with timing, are looking for a reason to discredit the entire idea that industrial civilization is unsustainable.

        There’s more evidence to support a near-term collapse than near-term crimegate change but crimegate change is easier to accept because is postulates that there are solutions and that industrial civilization is sustainable.

    • JH Wyoming says:

      “did you watch the video i posted then you may have seen that the fed is planning to collapse the bond bubble this year according to my calculations we only have 145 days till the collapse i have provided all evidence in past links so if you were listening then you might on the same page i am now.”

      Didn’t watch video and not on same page. This behemoth of a civilization isn’t just going to roll over and expire – there is too much vested interest in pushing the limits much farther. Even if people are falling by the wayside, nothing much changes. It just keeps going, somehow morphing into whatever contorted condition it must take on to continue to march to the tune of BAU.

      Those looking out their windows expecting in the short term for all hell to break loose will be disappointed by the bills still arriving like clockwork.

      • Yep, when they allowed to take China on board among the big guys, meaning it could one day command similar powers to the FED structure, it was basically about let prolong our fading rule-power for at least next ~50yrs and then, who cares, my children at their prime will be still at the helm, and grand children at least inherit some money and influence, doing good. That was decided around mid/late 1970s..

        Now, we are entering 2020s, later in that decade it will easily seen in rear view mirror..

      • A Real Black Person says:

        The revolution will not only be televised…

        …it will be signed into law.

        • I don’t think so.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            The thing is…

            The people who have the power to make such a thing happen…. do not give a flying f789 about people headed down and out … their entire system is based on survival of the fittest… it is anathema to them to play robin hood.

            If you are drowning and you somehow get a grip on the gunwale….and cry out help me … please help me….. they will stomp on your fingers and kick you in the face…. particularly now …. when the end of more is nigh

        • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

          Abi is out of touch with Reality…

          wealthy persons have most of the power…

          they will never allow this…

          but good try.

          ps: doesn’t “freelance journalist” mean unemployed journalist?

        • Fast Eddy says:

          I’ve got another idea….

          (if the world were not about to end…) If you have kids… make sure they have enough for an education — and if you have the means… perhaps a downpayment on a home….

          Then piss the rest of it away….

          Increasing stipends to people who cannot or refuse to work — is not helpful. It is a breeding program that will produce more losers.

          • Ed says:

            I advise the owners to deploy the killer AI ASAP. They need a clean intact world or at least not too damaged.

      • JesseJames says:

        When food prices hike up in Mexico, or….there is not enough food anymore, millions will stream across the border into the US. I think we may all be surprised one day at how the system reaches its limits. Fools think the US can provide for anyone and any number of them. It cannot last forever.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          No Mexicans allowed.

          Shoot to kill.

          At some point … this will be part of the policy of ‘whatever it takes’

          We are not playing games here…. this is a very serious situation ….

          • Ed says:

            The sooner the better.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              I agree.

              I can’t wait for a few peripheral countries to totally collapse….. because I want to be entertained … I want to be a doom voyeur watching clips of chaos on a daily basis …..

              Because when collapse comes to The Core…. there will be no clips…. I will be sitting in the dark… polishing my 308…. and whistling yankee doodle…. hardly entertaining….

            • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

              ooh, Creeping Collapse…

              so Build That Wall.

  7. Fast Eddy says:

    Mexican Spring imminent?

    Contagion Effect

    Even as early as Jan 1 prices at the pump had begun creeping up, although there were sharp regional variations due to differences in logistical costs. In some states, including Oaxaca and Tijuana, the increases were as much as 66 cents (centavos) per liter for regular gas and 70 cents for Diesel.

    The knock on effects on basic food costs are already being felt. The average price of the country’s staple food, corn tortilla, consumed by 21 million of the country’s 26 million families, is estimated to have increased by 35% since Mexico’s last gasolinazo. According to the national tortilla-maker association, there could be a further 20% rise in prices in the coming weeks due to cost pressures.

    The last time the price of tortilla rose so fast, in 2006, it led to food riots. At its climax, prices reached as high as 10 pesos per kilogram, before temporary price controls kicked in. Since then average prices have more than doubled and are now as high as 18-19 pesos in some regions.

    It’s not just tortillas that are facing price pressures. According to Ruben Vasquéz de la Rosa, president of the national association of grain growers, the rise in the price of diesel, which is essential to run farm vehicles, could trigger price increases of between 15-20% for basic grains like corn, wheat, rice and beans. Eggs are also up between 10 and 15% over the last month, depending on the type.

    Funny … no mention of the cause of this i.e. that Mexico’s oil production has collapsed…

    I’d post this but WS does not all me to post because Wolf and his suckophants do not like the truth.

    Click 5 YR view:

    • Baby Doomer says:

      Meh, new technologies will be invented! Don’t be such a nervous Nellie! /s

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Since it appears the CBs can hold the financial system together doing whatever it takes… and a resource bottleneck looks the likely trigger….

        Mexico is a significant country in that it is on the border with a core country …. and it is running very low on oil…. and as we are seeing … the death throes involve price spikes in gasoline and diesel…. which will kill growth and drive the country into chaos….

        So what happens here? Is Mexico bailed out….. or is it left to implode …. with the US military lined up on the border shooting anyone attempting to cross into the US?

        The think tanks must be working over time trying to work out the best policies to ensure that Mexico does not become the straw that breaks BAU’s back….

      • i1 says:

        They could just change the name of Pemex to El Crypto Fracking Company.

  8. adonis says:

    now you finite worlders need to realise one thing there is a plan B out there that will keep the system going for a long time to come the plan B requires all bubbles to pop for the powers that be to have complete control the bubble will burst this year and as a result of this the powers that be will bring in the solution with all the governments blessing.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      The bubbles should have popped years ago — but the CBs keep them going — so me thinks you are wrong.

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      interesting, adonis, very interesting…

      again, how is it that TPTB have let you in on their secrets?

      I’m absolutely amazed…

      excessive pride or self-confidence.
      arrogance, conceit, haughtiness, hauteur, pride, …

      and you guarantee the Everything Bubble will burst this year?

      I’m absolutely amazed… you can see the future!

      I bow down to you, oh great adonis.

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      yes, each succeeding generation will only get poorer…

      the shrinking energy surplus will leave them farther and farther behind.

    • JH Wyoming says:

      I saw a YouTube vid in which many millennials now live in their vehicles. Still working but living in a van, keeping expenses really low to pay off student loans. But some have been doing it for years now and like it. I can see their view on it although it does seem like a much more difficult life than having a pad, especially in super hot or cold weather. I think when they are a bit older they will decide that experiment is over and hopefully will be able to secure a regular place to live that isn’t too expensive.

      A few years ago I saw this architectural design for future living on a much lower income. It was these concrete tubes all stacked on each other, set up with electrode plates so the occupant could later get a small frig and slip it into a slot that would hook up the power. Same for other appliances.

      The trouble with all these alternative ways to live is it still runs into the same needs, like sewage, water, garbage pick up, internet modem, satellite for TV for those that like it, electricity. Those needs don’t go away just because someone is living in a van.

      • DJ says:

        “The trouble with all these alternative ways to live is it still runs into the same needs, like sewage, water, garbage pick up”
        Another trouble is that in some/most developed countries it is illegal building houses of to low standard.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      This says it all…

      I continue to see this as a two horse race…. the CBs continue to do whatever it takes to keep the hamster running on the wheel…. for as long as there is enough energy available to feed him….

      There are many things that can be done to keep the BAU horse running…. just as there are many things that can be done to keep the energy horse running….

      Difficult to say which horse collapses first… but my money is on the energy horse going down…. (see Mexico… see Australia…) and the BAU horse gets tangled up in the crash…. and both horses are put out of their misery with bullets to the head.

  9. adonis says:

    check out this interesting video this guy is number one when it comes to discerning the future course of events

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      “An American baby born in 2016 can expect to live on average 78.6 years, down from 78.9 in 2014.”

      let’s get this straight… this is just a projection.

      nothing is certain, but who really thinks the average American baby will live to be 78?

      that would be about the year 2095…

      many years before that, with little or no FF, health conditions will most likely have become horrible.

      • Tim Groves says:

        Human life seldom lives up to human expectations. Also, I expect most of us, if we thought about it and if we were being selfish and greedy, would consider quality of life as far more important than quantity.

      • doomphd says:

        extremely long odds to make it to old age in 2095. there will be a population crash well before that date unless the “miracle” of fusion energy takes place.

        • ”energy” is not the problem

          it’s what you do with it that’s the problem

          our current existence is sustained by taking energy in various forms, and converting it into other forms—thereby creating employment.

          that employment is carried on through the interplay of wages—wages being tokens of energy conversion, not numbers on money-notes and coins.

          therefore no matter how much energy we have, if we do not have ”conversion factors” then we cannot have a commercial/industrial existence—or–as doomsters know it—BAU

          Not only are we burning through usable energy sources, we are burning through everything else by which energy can be utilised, and to complicate matters—fusion produces electricity.

          But electricity is of no use unless it has an end use.

          As Ive pointed out before, our civilisation is dependent on converting explosive force into rotary motion—there are no exceptions to that rule,

          • Mark says:

            “As Ive pointed out before, our civilisation is dependent on converting explosive force into rotary motion—there are no exceptions to that rule”
            Thanks Norman, that’s easy to understand and share

  10. Nope.avi says:

    Today, I had a sudden intense urge to donate some money to support Gail’s work, but I couldn’t find the Bitcoin icon on this site.

  11. Fast Eddy says:

    The high temperatures expected in parts of NSW, Victoria and South Australia could put power supplies under considerable pressure. As a result big energy users such as BlueScope Steel, Australian Paper and Visy could be hit with requests from authorities to power down over the weekend. The power off move is part of an Australian Energy Market Operator scheme aimed at shoring up energy reserves during peak summer periods.

    As part of the program large-scale companies that soak up considerable reserves of power can be asked to cut back energy use or even power off during summer heatwaves. The Australian Energy Market Operator said the program would be enough to ensure the lights and airconditioners stayed on across southeastern Australia during summer heatwaves.

    Or …. how about moving the business to a country that is not shooting itself in the head with ‘renewable’ energy policies… and not destroy one’s competitiveness?

  12. Fast Eddy says:

    The United States is poised to ramp up crude oil production by 10% in 2018 to about 11 million barrels per day, according to research firm Rystad Energy.

    Surging shale oil output should allow the United States to dethrone Russia and Saudi Arabia as the planet’s leading crude oil producer, Rystad predicted in a recent report. The prediction shows how the fracking revolution has turned America into an energy powerhouse — a transformation that President Trump has vowed to accelerate by cutting regulation. This long-term shift has allowed the U.S. to be less reliant on foreign oil, including from the turbulent Middle East. The U.S. hasn’t been the global leader, nor ahead of both Russia and Saudi Arabia, since 1975. “The market has completely changed due to the U.S. shale machine,” said Nadia Martin Wiggen, Rystad’s vice president of markets.

    Too bad they lose money on most of this oil….

  13. Fast Eddy says:

    In Tweetstorm, Trump Defends His Sanity: “I Am A Very Stable Genius”

    “…my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart… I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius….and a very stable genius at that!”

    I know how it feels Don….

    This is very entertaining stuff…. I wonder if he has a team of writers or if he comes up with this on his own.

  14. Niels Colding says:

    Dear Gail – you say – quote:

    “I think that Tim Morgan has listened a little too much to Charlie Hall and his views regarding EROEI and “net energy.” All energy is really energy used in one way or another; there is no meaningful “net energy,” as far as I can see. Charlie Hall’s method of measuring net energy does not work well. The important thing is that per capita energy keeps growing. This happens, only if energy production can be done cheaply. The temptation is to substitute more and more debt for cheap energy production. This debt can temporarily hide the problem, but it is not a permanent solution.”
    (So far it is impossible for me to see any discrepancies between your work and the work of Tim Morgan.)

    Quote Tim Morgan (Death of a high-fashion model – November 2017 a):

    “As we have seen, growth of $47tn in recorded GDP between 2001 and 2016 was accompanied – indeed, made possible – by a vast pillaging of the balance sheet, including $135tn in additional indebtedness, and an estimated $140tn in other liabilities.
    The only realistic conclusion is that the economy has been inflated by massive credit injections, and by a comparably enormous unwinding of provisions for the future. It follows that, absent these expedients, organic growth would have been nowhere near the 3.4% recorded over the period.
    SEEDS – the Surplus Energy Economics Data System – has an algorithm designed to ex-out the effect of debt-funded consumption (though it does not extend this to include pension gaps or interbank debt). According to this, adjusted growth between 2001 and 2016 was only 1.55%. As this is not all that much faster than the rate at which the population has been growing, the implication is that per capita growth has been truly pedestrian, once we see behind the smoke-and-mirrors effects of gargantuan credit creation.”

    Quote Tim Morgan (Death of a high-fashion model – November 2017 b):

    As mature resources are depleted, recourse is made to successively costlier (higher ECoE) alternative sources. This depletion effect is moderated by technological progress, which lowers the cost of accessing any given form of energy. But technology cannot breach the thermodynamic parameters of the resource. It cannot, as it were, ‘trump the laws of physics’. Technology has made shale oil cheaper to extract than shale oil would have been in times past. But what it has not done is transform shales into the economic equivalent of giant, technically-straightforward conventional fields like Al Ghawar in Saudi Arabia. Any such transformation is something that the laws of physics simply do not permit.
    According to estimates generated on a multi-fuel basis by SEEDS, world ECoE averaged 4.0% in 2001, but had risen to 7.5% by 2016. What that really means is that, out of any given $100 of economic output, we now have to invest $7.50, instead of $4, in accessing energy. The resources that we can use for all other purposes are correspondingly reduced.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      Tim needs to show Don and his ilk the door…. it is difficult to concentrate and write coherent posts on his site with the constant beat of Koombaya in the background

      • jupiviv says:

        If you’re that sensitive to dissent, it’s no wonder you’re a loony.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          I am sensitive to Delusion … Stewpidity… Illogical thought… Don is a purveyor of all of these… therefore Don needs to stay away from FW…. if he thinks he can take his SE act back to FW expecting a warm welcome…. all hell will break lose….

          • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

            Don, hello, Don?

            please post a lot here at OFW…

            we NEED you…

            we need YOU…


            • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

              I miss Keith.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Keith and Don … a match made in Hell.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Do knows better…. he lurks… in the shadows…. nothing more….

              Watching for weakness…

              His dream is for Fast Eddy to win an all expenses paid week tour of the Antarctic…. with no internet connection…. then he would pounce… like a drunken dirty old pervert on a defenseless child….

            • The Second Coming says:

              Come on now, Fast, your stick here is getting long in the tooth.
              At least Don provided some honest intellectual stimulation in the discussion format.
              Give people some slack, don’t take yourself so seriously, will ya?
              Like it really matters at this stage in collapse.

              Sometime the truth is so boring….


              You don’t wish to be one, now do you?

            • Fast Eddy says:

              The truth is not boring at all.

              Delusional comments are boring. And not to be tolerated.

              The last thing we need is for Don to clutter up FW with rubbish about organic gardening using human feces…. and Edo….

              Don and Keith are at the top of my DelusiSTANI hit list

              Stay away.

            • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:



              come out of the shadows!

              OFW needs balance…

              the chosen one, you are…

              post, you must…


          • jupiviv says:

            I looked up Don Stewart’s posts on Dr Tim’s blog. Here’s an excerpt:

            “My purpose is to demonstrate that the best current science and practice of food and fiber production is quite different from the dominant, industrial system of production. And that the evidence we have indicates that moving toward the best practices has some very good effects in terms of everything from topsoil creation to primary productivity to reduction or elimination of toxins in the food supply to reduced chronic disease and carbon sequestration.

            What I have had to say has nothing to do with problems of distribution or processing or storing food. Those will remain heavily dependent on fossil fuels, unless significant life style changes are made.”

            Looks pretty logical to me. He isn’t saying that these food production practices can be scaled up to current world population or that they are compatible with industrial civilisation, but pointing out that they can mitigate the transition away from heavily FF-based agriculture.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Yes… idiiiocy compouned by delusion.

              And meanwhile in F789edupISTAN… aka America…

              Former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke Jr. will face the long arm of the law stemming from a January 15, 2017 incident in which Clarke allegedly ordered six sheriff’s deputies to take airplane passenger Daniel Black aside for interrogation after Black reportedly shot Clarke a disapproving look on the flight.

              Black asked if Clarke was the notorious sheriff, which Clarke explained he was. Black moved towards the back of the plane shaking his head. Clarke asked Black if he had a problem and Black shook his head no. There was no further interaction on the plane. But after the two came off the plane, Black was taken into custody by six deputies waiting at the gate for him. -RawStory

              In a Facebook post after the incident, Clarke said “Next time he or anyone else pulls this stunt on a plane they may get knocked out. The Sheriff said he does not have to wait for some goof to assault him. He reserves the reasonable right to pre-empt a possible assault.”


              NEED MORE STEROIDS!!!

      • Well, at the Surplus site, Don made under the latest article more coherent posts than your spamming re-posted same paragraphs alter ego “T.M.” so why the rage..

        You simply, don’t get it.
        Nowadays, the info is out of the bag already and dispersed enough, how to grow topsoil by inch per decade or faster, so unless we get the total human species extinction scenario, this info and practice will be mass adopted sooner or later somewhere and gaining share towards mass adoption. Frankly, I don’t care much if that’s still achieved under some quasi industrial civ retreat or more basic tribal structure scenario..

        • Fast Eddy says:

          Here’s what Don does not ‘get’

          7.6 billion people

          Food supply nearly 100% reliant on fossil fuels and petro chemical fertilizers

          Dead soil that will grow nothing without years of intensive rejuvination

          Nothing to eat for those years

          And no manure or other green inputs to repair the soil with because 7.6 billion people will kill and eat everything – they will peel bark off trees (see North Korea) and eat that — they will kill and eat each other.

          Meanwhile they will be stewing in radiation.

          Don is F79ING MOREON — he is the King of DelusiSTAN. King Midas turned everything he touched to gold – Don turns every site he targets into a heap of steaming dung

          • That mysterious “intensive rejuvenation” which heals dead soil, is just an effort in simply allowing natural processes to run along, which developed over many hundreds millions yrs on this planet. Namely, recycling nitrogen and carbon from the atmosphere through living soil, fungi, plants, and animals.

            Actually, it takes less than two hours of single guy work daily to do that. And if we focus only on the major grazing animal (apart from hens and pigs, ..), the cow-mother calf pair needs only 2-8acres, depending on climate zone and moisture available. Plus other animals and perennial plants/trees, you can easily calculate this planet can take care of rest of the ecosystems, plus some human body on top of that, rough estimate in billion souls. Now the question is about sequencing, we can get full extinction or some compromise mix of much reduced technosphere and population. I don’t know the precise outcome, but the continuum of options is known and clearly opening before us.

            • A Real Black Person says:

              “Actually, it takes less than two hours of single guy work daily to do that.”

              You seem to be implying that it takes very little work to return nutrients to soil that is “dead”. If it were that easy, than why did the Green Revolution ever happen in the 1960s? Agriculture itself is unsustainable and was what led us to industrial civilization.

              “This planet can take care of rest of the ecosystems, plus some human body on top of that, rough estimate in billion souls. ” You have no clue of what local ecosystems could support without industrialization and international trade. I don’t either but I suspect that they would not allow 1 billion people to live. One of the reasons why technology ,and global trade have grown is because of the declining ability of local ecosystems to support local human populations. Even if population went down, sol fertility and fishing stocks would not immediately shoot back up to where they were in say…1200 AD

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Actually, it takes less than two hours of single guy work daily FOR YEARS.

              There I completed your sentence.

              What does that person eat for those years?

              And if we focus only on the major grazing animal (apart from hens and pigs, ..).

              What do you think will be one of the first things that 7.6 billion hungry people are going to kill and eat when BAU ends?

              My neigbhour has 6 large beef cows that are kept off of our property with an electric fence. I have a 20ft container … inside the container is a large locked box…. inside the box are two 308 rifles, two 12 gauge shot guns…. two 22 rifles…. inside another large box are dozens and dozens of boxes of ammunition for these weapons.

              Hello cow… say hello to my little friend….


        • CTG says:

          We don’t have decades

          • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

            says who? you?

            I think we have a decade, at least… perhaps two…

            opinions may vary…

            here’s what else we have…

            BAU tonight, baby!

        • doomphd says:

          Don does not know the power of the doom side…

    • The thing that Tim Morgan doesn’t get is that tight oil from shale has a fairly high EROEI. According to this study, the share of energy used for extraction of oil in the Bakken 3.4% on a median basis, and 3.9% on an average basis. Since Bakken costs seem to be higher than those of the Permian Basin, we would expect the energy utilized in the Permian to be even lower. Compared to Morgan’s average cost of 7.5% in 2016, this sounds pretty good. I don’t know what basis Morgan is using, but most people never stop to look at academic articles on this subject. They just “assume” the energy cost of tight oil is high. Or they look at the cost of treating kerogen with heat (called “shale oil,”) which has absolutely nothing to do with tight oil from shale. A study that is often mistaken for a study of tight oil is this article. It has an ERoEI of 2:1, or an energy share of 50%.

      • Niels Colding says:

        Dear Gail,

        Quote from link:

        “The largest energy uses are from drilling and processing of produced fluids (crude/water emulsions and gas). Fluid lifting and injection and embodied energy are also important energy needs.”
        No wonder that the net energy return is so advantageous when wages evidently are not included. In order to assess an honest value of the energy balance
        you have to include all costs: wages, interests, maintenance, operation … if so, the picture will be much more dark. In our industrialized world all money eventually will trigger a corresponding energy consumption. Tim Morgan very clearly underlines that money is a proxy of energy and could therefore not accept calculations which evidently do not take ALL money values into consideration.

        • EROI almost by definition doesn’t include wages or taxes or lease costs. It reproduces only a small share of total energy expended. It doesn’t distinguish among different kinds of energy either–natural gas, which might otherwise be flare, which is co-produced and used for extraction, or diesel from elsewhere, or coal used in China to make the pipes. Interest and long time lags have no cost either.

          EROI also doesn’t distinguish between intermittent electricity and good quality electricity. I find EROI frustrating to use. It tells a whole lot less than think it tells.

        • I don’t know what Tim really looks at. I do know that EROEI calculations exclude a huge number of important variables, including time. (Could you imagine looking at the return on your bank balance, without including the variable of time?)

          He seemed to be very taken in by EROI calculations. The problem only comes when a person sits down and looks at how the calculations work in practice. A person thinks that he knows far more than he really knows.

          Richard Duncan, M. King Hubbert, and others looked at Energy per capita. This is a far more important variable, in my opinion. EROI is simply a shorthand way of trying to estimate extraction costs, using the labor of graduate students. It sort of looks like it works, when a person is comparing two very similar things (the same well, two years apart, for example). But it is not helpful in comparing two dissimilar types of energy. Researchers have not understood how poorly it works as an estimator of the value of intermittent electricity generation, for example.

          • JT Roberts says:


            If what you are suggesting is true about the Bakken. Then the EROEI is 25:1. If this was true then the cost per barrel would be $2.00 on a $50.00 barrel. That would make the play wildly profitable. So why is the industry caught in a debt spiral?

            You have to include all energy inputs. Transportation infrastructure depreciation wages pensions royalties.

            Remember it’s a networked system.

            When you do the EROEI is more like 5:1

            • i always understood the bakkan to be about 5 to 1 too

            • EROEI doesn’t measure a very large share of costs, and it doesn’t measure costs in a way that reflects the value of the energy to the economy. It also does not include a time measure in the calculation. The intention was that the metric would be a way graduate students could estimate how costs of different types of energy differed, but it doesn’t work very well in practice.

              You cannot use price to back into EROEI, unfortunately.

  15. this is my blog about world’s news. I hope you like it and also mark me with your feedback

    • Thanks! I am having a little trouble figuring out how what you are writing about in the linked post is really a “Prediction for 2018,” however. It may indeed be an issue, however.

      • Any suggestion or any advice in this regard

        • After you write your post, go back and decide what might be a reasonable title for it. Change the title, before you post the article.

          I discovered that once the post goes up, this doesn’t really work.

          People do like posts labelled, “Predictions for 2018,” but they get disappointed when there aren’t any productions for 2018 in the post. Alternatively, if it made sense, you could make a prediction related only to what you are talking about–single employers dominating entire market segments.

  16. Fast Eddy says:

    Canada loves Israel

  17. Fast Eddy says:

    Re: this

    So recycling – as suspected — is a crock of SH IT.

    Yet you would be hard pressed to find someone who acknowledged that fact.

    From the education system to the MSM — we get a full court press — 99.999999% of all people have swallowed the hook (you know where I am going with this….)

    In fact if you were to raise your hand in class and state Blue Boxes represent indoctrination … and that recycling is bad — you’d likely be suspended if you did not recant. Or maybe taken out back of the school and hung by your classmates…. you certainly would NOT be popular.

    And imagine stating same at a dinnah pahtee….. you’d be mocked and ridiculed and given no more wine…

    Hmmm… where have we seen this picture before???????

    Ah HA! Of course…. Gorbilworming.

    Think ABOUT IT!!!

    • Kurt says:

      But I feel so good when I put the can in the blue bin. I like doing it and I look forward to it. I’m doing my part and helping the community. It’s a great feeling. Really great. If someone were to take my blue bin away, I just don’t know what I would do.

      • Jesse James says:

        Yea, you put your shit in the blue or green bin in such an environmentally continuous way, then you drive around in your car (FF or EV…doesn’t matter) and indirectly rape the earth of resources. Recycling is all BS.

      • grayfox says:

        My favorite form of recycling is saving kitchen scraps to throw on the compost pile. Free fertilizer for my garden. Been doing this for 48 years and counting.

        • DJ says:

          But that is done on your own initiative and is useful, that doesn’t count!

        • just think of yourself as the final contribution to the pile

        • Do it yourself recycling makes sense. Subsidizing someone to take a mixture of stuff to a recycling center to sort it and somehow recycle it generally does not. If recycling were focused on a limited number of things (perhaps batteries, glass, some metal goods), where there was a true economic benefit, it might make sense.

          • JH Wyoming says:

            Recycling makes money and sense. We can’t on the one hand decry the consumption of resources but with the other hand reject recycling. One major problem is waste materials ending up in the oceans where they maim and kill millions of sea creatures. Another is landfill sites quickly filling up and the need for more. Just ask Britain right now as China is no longer taking their waste products.

            We now have to take our own bags to the store or buy new one’s, so people keep using the same bags over again. That’s a good thing. That’s a form of recycling.

            Recycling is a big business. It makes money not just for aluminum, but also paper and plastic, batteries etc. In my opinion we live in a Universe that recycles the mass; as it’s referred to it in eastern religion, ‘The Breath of Brahma’. Even an ancestor of Charles Darwin wrote a poem about the cycling of the universe. Doing the same with our waste materials is the responsible thing to do whether that extends BAU or not.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              If it makes money then why does the US subsidize it to the tune of 8 billion dollars?

              And FYI – if you watch the video – the rubbish does not end up in the ocean — it ends up in landfills that are carefully managed.

              You know where the plastic that ends up in the ocean comes from? Not from countries like the US…

              It comes from places like Indonesia and other poor countries that cannot afford to collect and manage their waste. What happens is that people either burn the rubbish in situ… or they just toss it in the river….

              If there was money in rubbish — then you would think that in these poor places — where labour is dirt cheap… recycling would be a viable business.

              But it ain’t

              And you once again demonstrate that you are


            • Nope.avi says:

              To sum up JH Wyoming in a nutshell: “GL*BAL WA4MING! TRUMP! RUSSIAN HACKING!”

        • Mark says:

          What are you growing in that garden? 😉

        • Fast Eddy says:

          Everything here… will eventually recycle….

    • We have to have a “happily ever after” story to believe in. Recycling is part of our new religion.

      • DJ says:

        Recycling and speed limits are bullshit. They’re like someone who quits smoking on his deathbed.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        It’s all coming together so nicely …. what a wonderful little matrix!

        And the stuuuupid humans fall for it…. imagine … even the smartest stuuuupid humans… can be made to believe… that tonnes of metal and plastic and a massive battery …. powered by …. electricity ….generated from coal…

        Is GREEN!!!!

        And if challenged… they will become hostile.

    • Mark says:

      That video was hilarious. Ludes were around when I was going into HS.
      P+T are magicians and entertainers, so not the greatest source. I guess, aluminum aside, if you were to follow that recycle bin, there’s a racket between the bin and the landfill.

  18. Baby Doomer says:

    Collapsing ceilings and no working toilets: Sears workers describe decay in failing stores

    • Artleads says:

      Maybe most department and retail stores I scrutinze (and I do scrutinize them in fine detail) are just a hair’s breadth away from the same kind of breakdown. The mythology of capitalism says that corporate chain stores are supposed to be perfect or irreproachable, having superhuman qualities of order and reflected power. So while you could fix these deficiencies enough that the place is more functional, using junk at no cost for materials, the store management (and much of the public) would likely not accept such fixes as an improvement. They might conclude that it’s better to close the business than have such human fixes show.

      • A Real Black Person says:

        “while you could fix these deficiencies enough that the place is more functional, using junk at no cost for materials, the store management (and much of the public) would likely not accept such fixes as an improvement. ”

        I find it odd that you think that things can be fixed at “no cost”. materials can acquired at “no cost”. “Junk”, by which I think you mean used or low quality/inappropriate materials, has to be reprocessed to be reused.The preprocessing is not “no cost”, even if it’s done in by slaves, I mean, interns.

        • DJ says:

          Somehow it is often cheaper to not recycle but have child laborers on the other side of the planet dig up new and then transport it here.

          When it comes to stuff it is definitely cheaper to buy new than pay €100 per hour for repair. Really big stuff like a house and maybe a car is the exceptions.

  19. adonis says:

    If there was a plan B for peak oil what would it look like something like this perhaps

    • The catch is that absolutely none of the supposed solutions work. We don’t have a way of substantially reducing energy use, without reducing population. Probably the most effective would be putting everyone on a vegetarian (or vegan) diet. But that is not something from your article of wishful thinking solutions.

      • i1 says:

        Right. They mentioned “sustainable agricultural practices”. That sounds like a slogan found on a can of spam.

      • greg machala says:

        Ahh but if everyone is on a vegan diet the meat producers will have a fit. There will be job losses in the meat packing industry. LOL. I think we need to admit we are in a predicament. Not something with solutions.

        • DJ says:

          If everyone were vegan we would be even more dependent on artificial fertilizer.

          • dje says:

            Yes, the idea that the solution to making agriculture more efficient or sustainable is to remove even the limited amount of manure producing animals we have is bizarre.

            • xabier says:

              That’s the point that solar-windy- Green-vegans don’t get: cows s**t, and it’s good!

              Fish and blood are simply great fertilizers too.

              Of course, they are mostly urban snowflakes who have never done a stroke of real work or got a speck of mud or blood on them.

            • What we really need is the top level predators (wolves, bison, etc.) running around wild in large numbers, adding manure to fields everywhere. I am not sure that this combination would work very well, however. In fact, without growing food for animals to eat, we would not need nearly as many planted acres of crops.

              I have eaten a low meat diet for many years. But I do eat some fish, a fair amount of diary products, and even a little meat for flavoring in some soups. I definitely do not follow a vegan diet.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          Would a vegan eat meat — if it was road killed?

          • DJ says:

            I think it is approved.


            But roadkill doesn’t create organic sustainable fertilizer.

            • dje says:

              In addition to producing free fertilizer, ungulates are orders of magnitude better at extracting energy from plant matter and converting plant matter into animal biomass than humans are, and the animal biomass integrates at a high rate when you eat meat or dairy.

          • xabier says:

            No, because the car or truck responsible would have been a manifestation of the Capitalist-Imperialist, white racist, system of exploitation and human-centric egotism.

            The dead animal should be buried with full honours by a band of weeping Vegan lesbians, transexuals and feminazis, in a manner which recognised that it was the victim of murder and which honoured its full personality.

            (My little sister is a Vegan convert,and I have been very exposed to their way of thinking: read enough Vegan tweets and you will lose all hope for rationality in mankind, just like reading Trump tweets…… )

            • Fast Eddy says:


              I am joining a protest later today — it is a movement protesting to god for discriminating against sinners who are denied entry through the pearly gates….

              Oh … and that big container I set out over the holidays for guests to deposit used coffee capsules because ‘we will bring them to the special Nespresso recycling depot in town’ …. in a display of my Green Cred…..

              Into the fooking sack with the rest of the rubbish with yee!


      • Neil says:

        Here on our dear island home, Ireland, our climate doesn’t allow us to produce the crops required to feed ourselves with a healthy vegan diet, so Irish vegans rely on high “food mile” products from further south. Hardly sustainable in a post oil world. It’ll either be back to dairy and lamb or a life of near starvation and vitamin deficiency.

        • dont say that

          we love our irish hols

        • There are *ways how to increase both carbohydrates and proteins even on your week Irish pastures without hauling industrial made inputs. But almost nobody does that and why should they, stores are overflowing (w stuff incl. food) as well as highways, so far..

          *even at that during such transition period won’t be able to feed current overpop anyways, but decent fraction perhaps, lets say 1/10 – 1/5th of today’s pop..

        • DJ says:

          You should be able to grow beans and peas, combine with potatoes. If you are forced to be vegan.

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      the content in this article is laughable…

      the six authors are in the out-of-touch-with-reality “intellectual-yet-ideot” (per Taleb) class…

      that is no plan B for anything…

      it’s just a bunch of well written but bogus hocus pocus nonsense…

      I will assume it’s typical libtard Nature magazine newy agey garbage….

      you know, make your readers feel good about the future…

      just realize, Nature magazine is a business that is dependent on FF like most other businesses…

      can we all spell “irony”?

      • Unfortunately, the whole of “peer reviewed literature” is full of “how we can live happily ever after” articles. The idea of writing an article to set the record straight, and give the real answer, is ludicrous. Everyone involved understands the rules of the game. Write articles that journals would like to see published.

    • DJ says:

      Figureras is scary.

    • Pintada says:

      The article states, “The good news is that it is still possible to meet the Paris temperature goals … ”

      No, the “Paris temperature goals” – 2C of warming – is not possible to meet. 2C was already baked in when the useless rag/treaty was signed.

      And, as Gail says, “… none of the supposed solutions work.”

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Now isn’t this PRICELESS! Considering every warm weather event, hurricane, storm, flood, and late pizza delivery…. is blamed… by the MSM…. on…. yep… global-warming.

        Still, President Donald Trump ― who gutted environmental regulations and attacked efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions during his first year in office ― has seized on the cold snap in the northern Midwest and eastern United States in an attempt to refute the existence climate change.

        In a tweet on Thursday, the president conflated cold winter weather with climate, and suggested that the nonbinding Paris Agreement ― from which he announced plans to withdraw in June ― would cost the United States trillions of dollars. In reality, the U.S. contributed just $1 billion to the $100 billion Green Climate Fund set up under the Paris climate accord to help poorer countries invest in renewable energy and forgo coal-fired plants.

        Trump is dead right here — coal fired all the way baby.

  20. Baby Doomer says:

    Bill Gates: It may feel like the world is falling apart, but on the whole, it’s actually getting better
    -Time Magazine 1/5/18

      • Artleads says:


        • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

          he was allowed to be guest editor…

          the front cover: The Optimists…

          “Which day do you cover malaria deaths being cut in half?”

          sure, an optimist might think that is great…

          even a pessimist might think that is great…

          but a realist knows that it only leads to a bigger population overshoot…

          “Bill Gates: It may feel like the world is falling apart…”

          Bill, trust your feelings!

    • doomphd says:

      We need to get that quote carved in stone, so we can admire his wisdom and intelligence long after the cities are crumbled and mostly, it’s just a bunch of flowers.

    • greg machala says:

      Good one Bill! Better for you and your billionaire buddies I suppose.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        I must print that out and post in on the wall of the container… and when things are really grim… read that and brighten up because I know Bill will be getting a major reality check — hopefully he gets the chance to dine on boiled rat before he goes

    • xabier says:

      Reminds me of Stalin’s propaganda campaign: ‘Things Are Getting Better, Comrades!’

      Accompanied by images of a happy Soviet family with a gramaphone and radio: so, comrades, let’s not think about the death camps, population movements, alliance with the Nazis, mass starvation, torture, and psychopathic dictatorship, it’s all good! True Communism is just around the corner in 1980, believe the Party!

  21. Niko (This One Not The Other One) says:

    Friendly reminder: even if we solved all other problems, including the energy problem, the world will still exhaust supplies of phosphorus in less than 80 years, making agriculture impossible and leading to global famine and collapse.

    • grayfox says:

      First step, you have to be honest and admit the colossal failure of agriculture.

      • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

        do you mean how modern FF powered agriculture has enabled a world population of 7 billion?

        do you mean that failure?

        • grayfox says:

          In terms of leading us down a sound, repeatable path where we are maintaining a healthy population level and not clearing ancient forests, poisoning our soil, groundwater, lakes, streams, and oceans and in general destroying the biosphere – industrial agriculture has been a colossal failure.
          Ironically, I would probably not be here without industrial agriculture and FF. But the argument still stands. Also, the world would probably be OK without me, in truth, but maybe not as interesting.

          Does a world human population of 7 billion+ signify success to you?

          • Fast Eddy says:

            The step from hunting and gathering to farming — was the beginning of the end for humans… because that allowed us to overcome the natural die-back when population exceeded resources (food).

            The end was guaranteed when we began to run up against the Malthusian limits… and crossed the Rubicon using fossil fuels to farm industrially.

            That allowed the population to grow to 7.6 billion — ensuring total chaos at some point — but more importantly … we destroyed the soils … signing our death warrant as a species…

            Because nearly 100% of all soil has been ruined… and cannot be repaired without massive inputs and effort…. over multiple years…

            And that is just not going to happen — because we cannot eat dirt while we wait.

          • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

            okay, “industrial agriculture” clarifies things…

            though I would say:

            industrial agriculture soon will become a colossal failure…

            soon, to me, can mean a decade or two.

    • greg machala says:

      True. Perhaps the 80 years is with current population levels. If population is doubling every 30 years, I think we would be out of phosphorous much sooner. And short many other things too. Just no way around the finite world problem.

    • Or need quite a bit higher prices to make such investment worthwhile.

      • JH Wyoming says:

        I guess the legal battle will be between the states and the Federal govt. whether leases are auctioned for drilling to proceed, and that will take some time to sort out. Once that’s been decided, if the Federal Govt. wins the chances of oil being found using today’s tech is probably quite high. How big the pockets are is another question. My initial thought on this is it won’t ever get out of the courts before Trump is no longer president and whomever follows will reverse his decision, so probably not a drop of oil or a canister of gas will result from this.

      • greg machala says:

        I agree. The prices are not high enough and, the risk too great to dive in and drill offshore. Well, Trump could remove all environmental restrictions….that might help.

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      never too late!

      every little bit helps…

      to the last drop…

      Burn More Crude!

  22. Baby Doomer says:

    Police nationwide fatally shot nearly 1,000 people in 2017

    Nazi’s are back, police brutality is back! Welcome back to the 1930’s Great Depression era!

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      that’s tragic…

      of course, almost all of those victims were armed…

      right? (hint: true…)

      please reply with how many were unarmed…

      thanks in advance.

  23. Fast Eddy says:

    Comment held…

    Anyway… ‘incredible things’ – Twitter…. Facebook… Snapchat…. incredible?

    These guys really believe they are bigger than Edison…..

    I had a wide-ranging conversation with Twitter co-founder Evan Williams about the peculiar mixture of audacity, eccentricity, and wealth that swirls in Silicon Valley. Williams, who is married with two kids, became an Internet celebrity thanks to his first company, Blogger. He pointed out that he was never single, well known, and rich at the same time, and that he isn’t part of this scene, but recognizes the motivations of his peers. “This is a strange place that has created incredible things in the world and therefore attracts these types of people and enables these types of people. How could it be anything but weird and dramatic and people on the edge testing everything?” On the one hand, he said, “if you thought like everyone else, you can’t invent the future,” yet he also warned that, sometimes, this is a “recipe for disaster.”………giastic-inner-sanctum

    • Fast Eddy says:

      As I read through…. I cannot help but think…. the end of BAU and the extinction of humans… is actually a good thing.

  24. jupiviv says:

    So, which G20 country is most likely to be the canary in the mine of BAU? My guess is India – not many resources except coal, not much industry (compared to China at least), huge population and a government that seems to have extremely unrealistic ideas about growth/progress. Not a good combination to say the least.

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      I’m not at all certain, but I was thinking Japan…

      here’s one reason:

      their 10 year bond has an interest rate of 0.057 percent…

      to be clear, that’s not half of one percent…

      that’s half of a tenth of one percent…


      apparently that’s the new normal for Japan.

      • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

        although I will give this to India…

        when The Collapse happens, they most likely will have the highest population…

        the crash there will be beyond brutal.

        • JH Wyoming says:

          Yeah, can you imagine what the crash would be like in India. That non-violent, placid disposition most have would bolt into the high gear of ruthless survival at any cost type behavior with millions upon millions of people. No thanks.

    • Aravind says:

      Yes, very much possible. But then again, there are many levels of “BAU” as far as the people here in India are concerned. I would hazard a guess that more than half would not notice, nor care much about, a decline in fossil fuel availability. The real canary would be fertilizer based agriculture. India produces more food than it actually needs to feed everyone but is guilty of wasting close to half of it through lack of adequate storage and/or transportation infrastructure. Feudalism or its newer and nastier variants might take hold. The “deer in the headlights” would be the millions in urban agglomerations that make up a substantial part of the new middle class and whose mental make up is not much different from that of the average Joe and Jane half way round the globe.

      • Jesse James says:

        A friend of mine visited India/Nepal for a month, invited by a businessman there he net through Rotary. He came back a vegetarian LOL….but explained to me the average beggar fed himself quite well on $.50/day as he could buy beans and rice. Well the price may be off but illustrates what a beggar/homeless person really needs to survive. Just a bit of food per day will do it.

        • That is true in India, at least in the warm part. I am not so certain about Nepal, which is colder. Also, the person needs to be able to cook the beans and rice. I understand that gathered dung and pieces of wood are often used for this purpose. It has a cost as well, although perhaps it can be gathered for free in parts of India. A person cannot live on uncooked rice and beans. This is the “energy products” problem that we have.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        ‘fertilizer based agriculture’

        You do understand that fossil fuels are involved in making fertilizers?

      • jupiviv says:

        Would I be wrong in assuming you live in India? If not, how would you say the middle income lifestyle there compares to its western equivalent in energy terms?

  25. Artleads says:

    The city annexes a huge amount of county open space and develops it all the way to the county line. During this development process, a huge suburban style development was put in just on the county side of the border line from where the city was intently scraping away and paving over.

    Nobody raises an alarm. Even those who claim to be preserving rural heritage in the county say nothing. Is it that they don’t see a difference between suburban and rural? Nobody thinks about developers. Who developed the city down to the county line? What, if any, was the relationship between them and the the suburban developer(s) on the other side of the county line? Was the suburban development meant to patronize the city sprawl, single-use development in a kind of murky metropolitan-style smudging of boundaries? Which banks made development loans? Nobody (that I know of) asks these questions. The developers and their funders operate in secret, hiding in plain sight.

    Beyond this, there must be a whole array of enablers and enabling systems to smooth the development process while affixing the needed blinders on the public’s eye.

    Just as veiled and cloudy was the matter of the new freeway interchange. We drive into town one day, and huge construction has begun. A new diverging diamond interchange is being built. Everyone is alienated from the process. It’s something that the people in charge have decided to do. Never mind that we should have learned not to relinquish land use oversight to “people in charge”. Not at the county level anyway. This is the level at which the people should retain oversight.

    The divergent diamond takes two years to build while they detour us this way and that. Finally it’s done, and there are two fatal accidents there in the first week. There are two stop lights to maneuver where formerly there were none. We county residents can’t see the advantage of this thing. The scale of the operation was staggering. But for what? Maybe it was meant to accommodate the totally insane proposal for a truck stop right by the interchange on the county side where hundreds of trucks will park with motors running all night? The suburban development people are up in arms. The pollution! The noise! The lights! A mighty opposition movement is formed against the truck stop (as if the truck stop and not the developer community was the main problem).

    So here is a case of the system painting itself into a corner, which could have been avoided with commonsense planning.

    • JH Wyoming says:

      Pasted from your article, BD is the following, which in a nutshell explains the transition from walk in retail to online in the net drop in employment numbers. The net is negative and that’s the result of a more efficient process in part due to robots at Amazon fetching shelves with products on them for easy transition on to conveyor belts and lower cost of storage in warehouses along trucking routes. It’s easier for the customer and much less expensive for the online retailer. Not long from now those AI fetched products will be transported in AI self driving trucks and even more employment will bite the dust.

      “The obvious weakness was in retail, which shed 20,300 jobs. As a comparison, couriers & messengers added only 2,100 jobs, so in net terms the structural shift is hardly positive for employment.” (20,300 minus 2100 = 18200 net lost jobs)

      Those 18,200 people now have to find jobs in other sectors which puts downward pressure on incomes for all people looking for jobs.

  26. Baby Doomer says:

    Warren Buffett on the US economy: ‘The tsunami of wealth didn’t trickle down. It surged upward’

    • Sounds like a physics problem. High energy particles rise to the top, like steam.

      • Artleads says:


      • jupiviv says:

        “High energy particles rise to the top, like steam.”

        I’m a bit confused by this analogy. Do you mean that unevenly distributed ability/willingness to “expand” consumption (of IC products) leads (ceteris paribus) to even more of such expansion?

        • doomphd says:

          Heat, expressed as energetic particles (molecules with high kinetic energy) rises in a gravity field; colder, less energetic particles tend to sink.

          Think of the sip you can aways get of hot coffee or tea, after you blow away the more energetic molecules, cooling the top layer. Take a big gulp and you’ll burn your mouth.

          Hat tip to Richard Feynman, physicist extraordinaire.

      • HideAway says:

        This particular statement is just so relevant…..
        “Replicating those early days would require that 80% or so of today’s workers be employed on farms simply to provide the food and cotton we need. So why does it take only 2% of today’s workers to do this job? Give the credit to those who brought us tractors, planters, cotton gins, combines, fertilizer, irrigation and a host of other productivity improvements,” writes Buffett.

        He gives credit to everyone, except the cheap fossil fuels that made it possible. Could he actually be that naive??
        I doubt it, but telling the real truth would give too much away.

        I have a theory that the rich already know that there are not enough resources to go around, so keeping all the wealth generation in the top 1%, makes the GDP numbers all look good, but at the same time stops the 99% from consuming too many resources.

        • It seems like years ago, people were more willing to give credit to the fossil fuels. We all remember the Jon Stewart video from 2010, showing eight presidents all promising to move America to an energy independent future.

          Now the whole subject seems to have gotten lost, hidden behind “climate change” and “renewable energy.” We are being told a crazy story that energy is no longer needed or important. We will just manufacture our own “renewable energy,” and solve all of our problems.

          This is an article I saw today, talking about the lack of success of Germany’s renewable energy program. Way too much variability to work.

          • greg machala says:

            Humans do not yet have the capability of creating energy. We can capture it and burn things to release stored heat energy. But, we cannot create energy. Too bad for us we are stuck with what we have on this planet we can’t create more.

            • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

              the bottom line for humans:

              almost all of our energy comes from burning stuff…

              always has been and always will be.

              ps: until human extinction, of course.

        • greg machala says:

          Your theory is probably correct. However, the wealthy do know it is just buying time. The economy runs on growth and consumption. Take too much of the consumption away from the 99% and things start to fall apart. We are in a predicament with no solution. We can do things to push back the day of reckoning but, that will likely make the collapse even worse.

  27. Baby Doomer says:

    Another Retail Bankruptcy Wave Is on the Way, Credit Suisse Says

    A wave of store closings and retailer bankruptcies is coming in early 2018, as the industry deteriorates faster than analysts had expected a year ago, according to Credit Suisse Group AG.

  28. Fast Eddy says:

    Trump Announces Massive Expansion In Offshore Drilling; Environmentalists Outraged

    If the ‘environmentalists’ (I don’t know any environmentalists… I only know people who call themselves that — then they engage in endless activities that involve burning more coal)…… understood what is at stake ….

    Would they be outraged?

    Very obviously this announcement signals that we are edging closer to the cliff…. we need that deep sea oil …. and if it means we get a few more blow outs along the way…. so what.

    Die now – or die later. I vote for later.

    Good boy Don…. keep following orders.

    • Yorchichan says:

      “Good boy Don…. keep following orders.”

      Does Donald Trump have a nuclear button?

      The answer, according to the article, is “No”, but the president does always have at his side an aide carrying a briefcase containing “communication tools and books with prepared war plans”. The president also carries on his person a card containing codes. “If the president were to order a strike, he would use the codes to identify himself to the military.”

      If the president is nothing but a puppet, I am wondering why the codes and war plans are necessary. Or is it all Fake News with in reality an empty briefcase and blank codes?

      • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

        “The nuclear football (also known as the atomic football, the President’s emergency satchel, the Presidential Emergency Satchel, the button, the black box, or just the football) is a briefcase, the contents of which are to be used by the President of the United States to authorize a nuclear attack while away from fixed command centers, such as the White House Situation Room.”

        this is what an “aide” always carries near the POTUS…

        perhaps a perpetual message of power to be seen by other countries…

        so maybe it’s now a fake “nuclear football”, but only the highest level of national security would know that.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        He also carries a phone…. which is a direct line from the el ders…. that is used to take orders from the el ders…

        “I care not what puppet is placed on the throne of England to rule the Empire, … The man that controls Britain’s money supply controls the British Empire. And I control the money supply.” Nathan Rothschild

        “Once a nation parts with the control of its currency and credit, it matters not who makes the nation’s laws. … Until the control of the issue of currency and credit is restored to government and recognized as its most sacred responsibility, all talk of the sovereignty of parliament and of democracy is idle and futile.” — Mackenzie King, Canadian Prime Minister 1935-1948.

        “I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the civilized world no longer a Government by free opinion, no longer a Government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men.” – Woodrow Wilson, after signing the Federal Reserve into existence

        “Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of somebody, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.” ― Woodrow Wilson

          • Fast Eddy says:

            “I care not what puppet is placed on the throne of England to rule the Empire, … The man that controls Britain’s money supply controls the British Empire. And I control the money supply.” Nathan Rothschild

            “Once a nation parts with the control of its currency and credit, it matters not who makes the nation’s laws. … Until the control of the issue of currency and credit is restored to government and recognized as its most sacred responsibility, all talk of the sovereignty of parliament and of democracy is idle and futile.” — Mackenzie King, Canadian Prime Minister 1935-1948.

            “I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the civilized world no longer a Government by free opinion, no longer a Government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men.” – Woodrow Wilson, after signing the Federal Reserve into existence

            “Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of somebody, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.” ― Woodrow Wilson

          • Fast Eddy says:

            Who got us into the Iraq war?

            A List of prominent Joo-ish Neocons and their role in getting the U.S. into Iraq and Homeland Security


          • Fast Eddy says:



        • greg machala says:

          I agree … same shit different president. Although, I think had Clinton been elected, things would be shittier faster.

          • psile says:

            Think Canada’s foreign policy – on steroids.

          • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

            I’m thinking that I kind of like “same”…

            same = IC and BAU…

            if those con spire sea theoriez are true or not?

            if all the world’s leaders are puppets?

            it’s still BAU (tonight, baby!).

            ps: all of those top secret Elites who run the world from the shadows soon will enter the nothingness of eternal death…

            so there’s that.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Dance for us bi tch. Now jump…. now lick the boot… one last thing… sing you goy toss pot. Sing… yes sing… louder! We can’t hear you. LOUDER! That’s it. Good little boy.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            HRC definitely would have screwed things up —- she would have ignored the el ders… because she takes orders from Martians…

            Clearly the el ders would not stand for this — the only question I have… is … would the Martians win in a cage match if pitted against the El ders?

  29. JH Wyoming says:

    ‘Trump Moves to Open Nearly All Offshore Waters to Drilling’

    “WASHINGTON — The Trump administration said Thursday it would allow new offshore oil and gas drilling in nearly all United States coastal waters, giving energy companies access to leases off California for the first time in decades and opening more than a billion acres in the Arctic and along the Eastern Seaboard.”

    I knew we’d gone a long time without being shocked by Trump.

    • Of course, there is little evidence that there are oil deposits that one would want to drill in most places. It is like Mexico, asking for bids on drilling for their oil. Don’t count on a high level of interest.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      Don’t you see this as good news?

      It means that the Fed still has another tool in the kit…. conventional oil which peaked in 2005 continues to deplete… and as we know shale is a retirement party and expected to peak shortly….

      What comes after the retirement party? Of course — The Funeral!

      Deep Sea will hopefully delay the mass funeral a little longer.

      And if you were worried about oil blow outs…. don’t….. because after the funeral the spent fuel ponds dump their toxic loads into the oceans killing everything.

    • Given a choice between drilling oil wells and building solar panels to add to the electric grid, I would rather have companies drilling oil wells. At least there is a possibility of success. And there are not quite the distortions in the system. If it is obvious there is no oil available, oil companies won’t drill.

  30. Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

    I am happy to report that I burned a good amount of gasoline as I pushed my snowblower down my 150 foot long driveway…

    the Bomb Cyclone, aka Nor’easter, has been defeated because of my energy slaves… a foot of snow, ha!

    thank you, fossil fuel industry…

    it was a pleasure doing business with you…

    Burn More Gasoline!