Will the World Economy Continue to “Roll Along” in 2018?

Once upon a time, we worried about oil and other energy. Now, a song from 1930 seems to be appropriate:

Today, we have a surplus of oil, which we are trying to use up. That never happened before, or did it? Well, actually, it did, back around 1930. As most of us remember, that was not a pleasant time. It was during the Great Depression.

Figure 1. US ending stocks of crude oil, excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Amounts will include crude oil in pipelines and in “tank farms,” awaiting processing. Businesses normally do not hold more crude oil than they need in the immediate future, because holding this excess inventory has a cost involved. Figure produced by EIA. Amounts through early 2016.

A surplus of a major energy commodity is a sign of economic illness; the economy is not balancing itself correctly. Energy supplies are available for use, but the economy is not adequately utilizing them. It is a sign that something is seriously wrong in the economy–perhaps too much income disparity.

Figure 2. U. S. Income Shares of Top 1% and Top 0.1%, Wikipedia exhibit by Piketty and Saez.

If incomes are relatively equal, it is possible for even the poorest citizens of the economy to be able to buy necessary goods and services. Things like food, homes, and transportation become affordable by all. It is easy for “Demand” and “Supply” to balance out, because a very large share of the population has incomes that are adequate to buy the goods and services created by the economy.

It is when we have too much income and wage disparity that we have gluts of oil and food supplies. Food gluts happened in the 1930s and are happening again now. We lose sight of the extent to which the economy can actually absorb rising quantities of commodities of many types, if they are inexpensive, compared to wages. The word “Demand” might better be replaced by the term “Quantity Affordable.” Top wage earners can always afford goods and services for their families; the question is whether earners lower in the wage hierarchy can. In today’s world, some of these low-wage earners are in India and Africa, or have no employment at all.

What is Going Right, As We Enter 2018?

[1] The stock market keeps rising.

The stock market keeps rising, month after month. Volatility is very low. In fact, the growth in the stock market looks rigged. A recent Seeking Alpha article notes that in 2017, the S&P 500 showed positive returns for all 12 months of the year, something that has never happened before in the last 90 years.

Very long runs of rising stock prices are not necessarily a good sign. According to the same article, the S&P 500 rose in 22 of 23 months between April 1935 and February 1937, in response to government spending aimed at jumpstarting the economy. By late 1937, the economy was again back in recession. The market experienced a severe correction that it would not fully recover from until after World War II.

The year 2006 was another notable year for stock market rise, with increases in 11 out of 12 months. According to the article,

Equity markets rallied amidst a volatility void in the lead-up to the Great Recession. Markets would make new all-time highs in late 2007 before collapsing in 2008, marking the worst annual returns (-37%) since the aforementioned infamous 1937 correction.

So while the stock market consistently rising looks like a good sign, it is not necessarily a good sign for market performance 6 to 24 months later. It could simply represent a bubble forming, which will later pop.

[2] Oil and other commodity prices are recently somewhat higher.

Recently, oil prices have been too low for most producers. Now, things are looking up. While prices still aren’t at an adequate level, they are somewhat higher. This gives producers (and lenders) hope that prices will eventually rise sufficiently that oil companies can make an adequate profit, and governments of oil exporters can collect adequate taxes to keep their economies operating.

Figure 3. Monthly average spot Brent oil prices, through December 2017, based on EIA data.

A major reason for the recent upward trend in commodity prices seems to be a shift in currency relativities for Emerging Markets.

Figure 4. Figure from Financial Times showing currency relativities based on the MSCI Emerging Market currency index.

While the currency relativities for emerging markets had fallen quite low when commodity prices first dropped, they have now made up most of their lost ground. This makes commodities more affordable in Emerging Market countries, and allows them to do more manufacturing, thus stimulating the world economy.

Of course, if China runs into debt problems, or if India runs into problems of some sort, or if oil prices rise further than they have to date, the run-up in currency relativities might run right back down again.

[3] US tax cuts create a bubble of wealth for corporations and the 1%.

With low commodity prices, returns have been far too low for many corporations involved with commodity production. “Fixing” the tax law will help these corporations continue to operate, even if commodity prices remain low, because taxes will be lower. These lower tax rates are important in helping commodity producers to avoid collapsing as a result of low commodity prices.

The problem that occurs is that the change in tax law opens up all kinds of opportunities for companies to improve their tax situation, either by changing the form of the corporation, or by merging with another company with a suitable tax situation, allowing the combined taxes to be minimized. See this recent Michael Hudson video for a discussion of some of the issues involved. This link is to a related Hudson video.

Groups evaluating the expected impact of the proposed tax law did their evaluations as if corporate structure would remain unchanged. We know that tax accountants will help companies quickly make changes to maximize the benefit of the new tax law. This is likely to mean that US governmental debt will need to rise much more than most forecasts have predicted.

In a way, this is a “good” impact, because more debt helps keep commodity prices and production to rise, and thus helps keep the economy from collapsing. But it does raise the question of how long, and by how much, governmental debt can rise. Will the addition of all of this new debt raise interest rates even above other planned interest rate increases?

[4] We have been experiencing artificially low oil prices since 2013. This helps the economic growth to be higher than it otherwise would be. 

In February 2014, I published an article documenting that back in 2013, oil prices were too low for oil producers. If a person looks at Figure 3, oil prices were over $100 per barrel that year. Clearly, oil prices have been much too low for producers since that time.

Unfortunately, it looks like these artificially low oil prices may be coming to an end, simply because the “glut” of oil that developed is gradually being reduced. Figure 5 shows the timing of the recent glut of oil. It seems to have started early in 2014.

Figure 5. US Stocks of crude oil and petroleum products (including Strategic Petroleum Reserve), based on EIA data.

If we look at the combination of oil prices and amount of oil in storage, a person can make a rough estimate of how this glut of oil might disappear. Quite a bit of it may be gone by the end of 2018 (Figure 6).

Figure 6. Figure showing US oil stocks (crude plus oil products) together with the corresponding oil prices. Rough guess of how balance might disappear and future prices by author.

Of course, one of the big issues is that consumers cannot really afford high-priced oil products. If consumers could not afford $100+ prices back in 2013, how would it be possible for oil prices to rise to something like $97 per barrel by the end of 2018?

I am not certain that oil prices can really rise this high, or that they can stay at this level very long. Certainly, we cannot expect oil prices to rise to the level they did in July 2008, without recession causing oil prices to crash back down.

What the Economy Needs Is Rising Energy Per Capita

I have published energy per capita graphs in the past. Flat spots tend to represent problem periods.

Figure 7. 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.

The 1920-1940 flat period came shortly after the United Kingdom reached Peak Coal in 1913.

Figure 8. United Kingdom coal production since 1855, in figure by David Strahan. First published in New Scientist, 17 January 2008.

In fact, the UK invaded Mesopotamia (Iraq) in 1914, to protect its oil interests. The UK wasn’t stupid; it knew that if it didn’t have sufficient coal, it would need oil, instead.

There were many other disturbing events during this period, including World War I, the 1918 flu pandemic, the Great Depression, and World War II. If there are not enough energy resources to go around, many things tend to go wrong: countries tend to fight for available resources; jobs that pay well become less available; deflation becomes more likely; population becomes weakened, and epidemics become more likely. I wrote about the 1920 to 1940 period in a recent post, The Depression of the 1930s Was an Energy Crisis.

The 1980-2000 flat period included the collapse of the Soviet Union, in 1991. The Soviet Union was an oil producer. The Soviet Union collapsed after prices had been low for a long time.

Figure 9. Former Soviet Union oil consumption, production, and inflation-adjusted price, all from BP Statistical Review of World Energy, 2015.

Even many years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, population growth in former Soviet Union countries and its affiliates was much lower than in the rest of the world.

Figure 10. World population growth rates between 2005 and 2010. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_population_growth_rate

Lower population (through falling birth rates, rising death rates, or rising emigration) are a major way that economies self-adjust because of falling energy per capita. Economies tend to fix the low-energy per capita problem by adjusting the population downward.

Recently, we have again been hitting flat periods in energy consumption per capita.

Figure 11. World per capita consumption of oil and of total energy, based on BP Statistical Review of World Energy data and UN 2017 population data.

The slowdown in world energy consumption per capita in 2008-2009 was clearly a major problem. Oil, coal and natural gas consumption fell simultaneously. Oil consumption per capita fell more than the overall mix, especially affecting countries heavily dependent on oil (Greece with its tourism, but also the US, Japan, and Europe).

The recent shift in political strategy to more isolationist stances also seems to be the result of flat energy consumption per capita. It is doubtful that Donald Trump would have been elected in the US, if world energy consumption per capita had been growing robustly, and if wage disparity had been less of a problem.

The primary cause of the 2013 to 2016 flat trend in world energy consumption per capita (Figure 11) is falling coal consumption (Figure 12). Many people think coal is unimportant, but it is the world’s second largest source of energy, after oil. We don’t have a good way of getting natural gas production to rise enough, to make up for loss of coal production.

Figure 12

Wind and solar simply do not work for solving our problem of flat or shrinking energy consumption per capita. After spending trillions of dollars on them, they make up only a tiny (1%) share of world energy supply, according to the International Energy Agency. They are part of the little gray “Other” sliver on Figure 13.

Figure 13. Figure prepared by IEA showing Total Primary Energy Supply by type from this IEA document.

Something Has to “Give” When There Is Not Enough Energy Consumption per Capita

The predicament we are facing is that energy consumption per capita seems to be reaching a maximum. This happens because of affordability issues. Over time, the price of energy products needs to rise to keep up with the rising cost of creating these energy products. But if energy prices do rise, workers earning low wages cannot afford to buy goods and services made with high-priced energy products, plus honor all of their other commitments (such as mortgages, auto loans, and student loans). This leads to debt defaults, as it did in the 2008-2009 recession.

At some point, the affordability problem can be expected to hold down energy consumption. This could happen in many ways. Spiking prices and affordability issues could lead to a worse rerun of the 2008-2009 recession. Or if oil prices stay fairly low, oil-exporting countries (such as Venezuela) may collapse because of low prices. Even if oil prices do rise, we may find that higher prices do not lead to sufficient additional supply because investment in new oil fields has been low for many years, because of past low prices.

As long as the world economy is expanding (Figure 14), individual citizens can expect to benefit. Jobs that pay well are likely to be available, and citizens can afford to buy goods with their growing wages. People who sell shares of stock and people who get pension benefits can all receive part of this growing economic output.

Figure 14. Author’s image of an expanding economy.

Once the economy starts to shrink (Figure 15), we start having problems with dividing up the goods and services that are available. How much should retirees get? Governments? Today’s workers? Holders of shares of stocks and bonds? Not all commitments can be honored, simultaneously.

Figure 15. Author’s image of declining economy.


One obvious problem in a shrinking economy is that loans become harder to repay. The problem is that there is less left over for other goods and services, after debt plus interest is subtracted, in a shrinking economy.

Figure 16. Figure by author.

Changing interest rates can to some extent help offset problems related to higher energy prices and shrinking supply. The danger is that interest rates can move in the wrong direction and make our problems worse. In the lead-up to the Great Recession of 2008-2009, the US raised short-term interest rates, helping to puncture the sub-prime mortgage debt bubble.

Figure 17. Figure comparing Case-Shiller Seasonally Adjusted Home Price Index and Federal Reserve End of Quarter Target Interest Rates. See Oil Supply Limits and the Continuing Financial Crisis for details.

We now hear a lot of talk about raising interest rates and selling QE securities (which would also tend to raise interest rates). If growth in energy consumption per capita is already flat, these changes could make the problems that the economy is facing even worse.

Our Economy Works Like a Bicycle

Have you ever wondered why a two-wheeled bicycle is able to stay upright? Research shows that a bicycle will stay upright, as long as its speed is greater than 2.3 meters (7.5 feet) per second. This is the result of the physics of the situation. A related academic article states, “This stability typically can occur at forward speeds v near to the square root of (gL), where g is gravity and L is a characteristic length (about 1 m for a modern bicycle).”

Thus, a bicycle will be able to continue in an upright manner, as long as it goes fast enough. If it slows down too much, it will fall down. Our economy is similar.

Gravity plays an important role in determining the speed of a bicycle. If the bicycle is going downhill, gravity gives an important boost to the speed of the bicycle. If the bicycle is going uphill, gravity very much pulls back on the bicycle.

I think of the situation of an economy having rising energy consumption per capita as being very much like riding on a bicycle, speeding down a hill. The person operating the bicycle would not need to provide much extra energy to keep the bicycle going.

If energy consumption per capita is flat, the person riding the bicycle must provide the energy to make it go fast enough, so it doesn’t fall over. This is somewhat of a problem. If energy consumption per capita actually falls, it is a true disaster. The bicyclist himself must provide the energy necessary to push the bicycle and rider uphill.

In fact, there are other ways that a speeding bicycle is analogous to the world economy.

Figure 18. Author’s view of analogies of speeding upright bicycle to speeding economy.

The economy needs a constant flow of outside energy. In the case of the bicycle, the human rider can provide the energy flow. In the case of the economy, the energy flow comes from a mixture of various fuel types, typically dominated by fossil fuels.

Growing debt (front wheel) is important as well. It tends to pull the economy along, because this debt can be used to pay wages and to buy materials to make additional goods and services. Thus, the effect of this increase in debt is indirect; it ultimately works through the bicyclist, the gears, and the back wheel.

In fact, the financial system as a whole is important for the “steering” of the economy. It tells investors which investments are likely to be profitable.

The gearing system of the bicycle plays a modest role in the system. Changing gears allows greater efficiency in the use of the energy that is available, under certain circumstances. But energy efficiency, by itself, cannot operate the system.

If the human rider does not provide sufficient energy for the bicycle to go rapidly enough, the bicycle glides for a while, and then falls over. The world economy seems to be similar. If the world economy does not obtain enough energy per capita, economic growth tends to slow and eventually collapses. The collapse can relate to the whole world economy, or to parts of the economy.

The Problem of Parts of the Economy Not Getting Enough Energy

We can think of the economy as being made up of many bicycles, operated by bicycle riders. At the beginning of the post, I talked about the problem of wage disparity. This issue occurred at the time of the 1930’s Great Depression and is occurring again now.

We might call wage disparity “too low a return on the labor of some workers.” In groups of animals in ecosystems, too low a return on the effort of these animals is what causes ecosystems to collapse. For example, if fish have to swim too far to obtain additional food, their population will collapse. It should not be surprising that economies tend to collapse, when the return on the efforts of part of their workers falls too low.

Wage disparity has to do with how well the operators of bicycles are doing. Are the operators of these bicycles receiving enough calories, so that they can keep pumping their bicycles fast enough so that the speed is high enough to remain upright?

If energy consumption per capita is growing, this greatly helps the operation of the economic system. If there is growing availability of inexpensive energy, machines of various types, including trucks, can be used to increasingly leverage the labor of workers. This increased leveraging helps each worker to become more “productive.” This growing productivity, thanks to growing energy consumption, allows more goods and services to be produced in total. It also allows the wages of the workers to stay high enough that they can afford to buy a reasonable share of the output of the economy. When this happens, “gluts” of unaffordable goods are less of a problem.

If energy consumption per capita is flat (or worse yet, falling), greater “complexity” is needed, to keep output of goods and services rising. Greater complexity involves more specialization and more training of individual members of the economy. Greater complexity leads to larger companies, more government services, and more wage disparity. Unfortunately, there are diminishing returns to complexity, according to Joseph Tainter in “The Collapse of Complex Societies.” Ultimately, increased complexity fails to provide an adequate number of high-paying jobs. Wage disparity becomes a problem that can cause an economy to collapse.

If there is not enough economic output, the physics of the economy tries to “freeze out” workers at the bottom of the hierarchy. Workers with low wages cannot afford homes and families. The incidence of depression rises. Debt levels of disadvantaged groups (such as young people in the US) may rise.

So the situation may not be that the whole world economy fails; it may be that parts of the economy collapse. In fact, we are already seeing evidence that this is taking place. For example, life expectancies for US men have been falling for two years, because of growing problems with drug overdoses.


In 2017, the world economy seemed to be gliding smoothly along because the economy has been able to get the benefit of artificially low energy prices and artificially low interest rates. These artificially low prices and interest rates have given a temporary boost to the world economy. Countries using large amounts of energy products, including the US, especially benefitted.

We cannot expect this temporary condition to continue, however. Low oil prices have already started to disappear, with Brent oil prices at nearly $69 per barrel at this writing. The trends in oil prices and oil stocks in Figure 6 are disturbing. If oil prices begin to rise toward the price needed by oil producers, they are likely to trigger a recession and a drop in world energy consumption, just as spiking prices did in 2008-2009. There is a significant chance of collapse in the next 12 to 24 months. It is hard to know how widespread such a collapse may be; it may primarily affect particular countries and population groups.

To make matters worse, our leaders do not seem to understand the situation. The world economy badly needs rising energy consumption per capita. Plans to raise interest rates and sell QE securities, when the economy is already “at the edge,” are playing with fire. If we are to keep the world economy operating, large quantities of additional energy supplies need to be found at very low cost. It is hard to be optimistic about this happening. High-cost energy supplies are worthless when it comes to operating the economy because they are unaffordable.

Many followers of the oil situation have had great faith in Energy Returned on Energy Invested (EROI) analysis telling us which kinds of energy supplies we should increase. Unfortunately, EROI doesn’t tell us enough. It doesn’t tell us if a particular product is scalable at reasonable cost. Wind and solar are great disappointments, when total costs, including the cost of mitigating intermittency on the grid, are considered. They do not appear to be solutions on any major scale.

Other researchers looking at the energy situation have not understood how “baked into the cake” the need for economic growth, rising per capita energy consumption, and rising debt levels really are. Rising debt is not an error in how the financial system is put together; a bicycle needs a front wheel, or it cannot operate at all (Figure 18). I have written other articles regarding why debt is needed to pull the economic system forward.

This economic growth cannot be “fake growth” either, where a debt Ponzi Scheme seems to allow purchases that real-life consumers cannot afford. Quite a bit of what is reported as world GDP today is of a very “iffy” nature. If China builds a huge number of apartments that citizens cannot afford without subsidies, should these be counted as true GDP growth? How about unneeded roads, built using the rising debt of the Japanese government? Or recycling performed around the world, because it makes people “feel good,” but really requires substantial subsidies?

At this point, it is hard for us to know where we really are, because every government wants to make GDP results look as favorable as possible. It is clear, however, that 2018 and 2019 can be expected to have more challenges than 2017. We have interesting times ahead!

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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2,782 Responses to Will the World Economy Continue to “Roll Along” in 2018?

  1. MG says:

    Green energy on decline? While the share of so called renewable energy is peaking in Germany, in Slovakia, this share went down: from 12.9 in 2015 to 12.00 in 2016. The share of renewable energy in Czech Republic stagnated, too.

    Article, unfortunately, in Slovak:


    • Eventually, people figure out how high the cost of integrating intermittency into the grid are. It no longer makes sense, regardless of what theoretical models that omitted too many details said.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        When stuuuupidity runs into survival… Mr DNA will take over… and kick Mr Stuuuupidity out on his a ss.

        Too much fake energy will tear down BAU and kill Mr DNA… he won’t stand for that

  2. MG says:

    The population decline in the Carpathian Mountains of Europe:

    Romania: 25 years of natural population decline
    And counting…


    • DJ says:

      EUs refugee redistribution program should solve this.

      Really beautiful landscape. Suppose it is not so nice in the winters. ‘
      And then there is Vlad …

      • hardly any impaling at all since they got high speed internet

        • MG says:

          The changes, we experience, are that the people in the area of the Carpathian Mountains concentrate where the robots are: there is a rising numbers of workers from Romania in Slovakia.


          Romanians are the most numerous group of foreign workers in Slovakia, followed by the workers from another mountaineous country of Europe, namely Serbia.

          • DJ says:

            Also the romas are gone, they are in Sweden.

            I think the carpathian mountains are a candidate for a successful doomstead, out of reach for the hordes.

            • MG says:

              Well, there were some Romas in my village before, then they mixed with the Slovaks and now the place they inhabited, situated on the north facing hillside, is inhabited only by 2 original Romans and 1 semi-Roma. Plus one divorced man living alone.

            • nope—theyre here

              best carwashers in the world

            • MG says:

              The 2 mentioned Romas comprise one brother with his mentally handicapped sister and the mentioned semi-Roma is an old man.

            • DJ says:

              They wash the car so clean it can’t be seen?

            • MG says:

              The mentioned mentally handicapped Roma woman was once seen by my brother stealing pumpkins in our garden. Later she (was) learned that she can ask for them. She came also last year and I gave her some.

            • Tim Groves says:

              Life in the mountains of Europe and many places elsewhere has always been tough, and mountain folk have always provided a reservoir of itinerant and migrant labor and replacement population for the more civilized societies of the lower slopes and the plains.

              What has happened post WW2 is that life has become so much more comfortable and convenient for most people in the mainstream economies that mountain folk have upped stakes wholesale, deserted their old villages and headed for richer pickings elsewhere.

          • MG says:

            The revolution in Romania in 1989 was the only bloody revolution in the East bloc:


            I would say it is worth studying the era of Ceaucescu before the collapse of his regime and ensuing population decline, Romania being the country that produced oil in higher quantities:


            • MG says:


              “Early in the 1970s, the Western countries were willing to fund Romania’s acquisition of technology through loans given on political considerations.[2] The debts of Romania to Western creditors rose from just $1.2 billion in 1971 to a peak of $13 billion in 1982.[6] The 1970s energy crisis combined with the increase in interest rates made Romania incapable of repaying its debts.[2]”

    • Nearly all of the areas influenced by the Soviet Union prior to 1991 seem to be in decline, in population and otherwise. This is really part of the “collapse” phenomenon that took place.

  3. Energy^2 says:

    Locals in Iraq see the departure of big oil companies a prelude to a full handover of Iraq’s oil and gas wells & infrastructure to armed militias, superseding the government, in the process of the transformation from OPEC to OPEM.

    In the northern part of the country, oil produced (600k plus b/d) has already become unknown where it’s going and where the revenues from it are ending up?

    When militias takeover, population gets nothing back from oil sales, if they are getting anything today, at all! 🙂

    There are speculations that Aramco’s intended IPO/sell-off is no less than an operation to isolate its overseas assets (extremely massive and valuable in value) from local assets – which would likely go the same fate Iraq’s oil is going, sooner or later – according to few comments from insider-locals on the internet.

    repudiating claims that the invasion of Iraq was only initiated to seize Iraqi resources” needed to be rephrased to suggest that: “the invasion of Iraq was only initiated to shape the future of Iraqi resources and the share of Iraqi people of it, and likely the resources of the region, too“.

    Below video shows the 2nd largest city in Iraq battling for months now the excavation of tens and tens of thousands of civilian dead bodies – with little success (sorry, narration is in Arabic but views will provide an idea).

  4. psile says:

    15 years after the invasion of Iraq, and now largely out of the glare of the media, US and UK oil corporations start to flaunt the spoils of imperial conquest.


    After 15 years of repudiating claims that the invasion of Iraq was only initiated to seize Iraqi resources, large oil corporations fronted by former architects of the war who vacated to the private sector are flagrantly advertising their contracts for exploration and production of Iraqi oil fields to potential investors.

    The British oil and gas company BP won the contract to operate the Rumaila Oil Field back in 2009, and now proudly boast of its new drilling capabilities on Twitter. Rumaila is simply huge; by some measures it is the third largest reserve of crude oil on the planet, and is currently extracting 100 million dollars worth of oil every day – enough to cover the annual health budget of Iraq under the wartime rule of the US coalition every five days…

    • Of course, the oil in Iraq doesn’t show up as a new discovery on oil discovery maps, because we have known about this oil for a very long time. If it does appear, it appears in a very old year. At least some discovery charts are “backdated,” so that if we decide Rumaila Field has more oil than someone thought could be obtained years ago, the original discovery will be made larger.

      My understanding back when the contracts were being let on these fields that most of the benefit of the oil would go to Iraq, rather than to the oil companies developing it. The oil companies of course do not mention this in their advertising. Part of the question regarding development is whether with today’s (still) relatively low prices, the Iraq government can collect enough taxes (based on the price of oil) to provide adequate government services to support all of this development.

    • Neil says:

      How did France’s mighty Total get in there?

      • psile says:

        France was part of the “coalition of the willing” that supported the invasion of Iraq back in 2003. So it was payoff for that support.

  5. JH Wyoming says:


    “What goes up, eventually comes down. That is just reality. The bull market that began in 2009, has now entered the final stage of “capitulation” as investors throw caution to the wind and charge headlong into the markets with reckless regard for the consequences.

    Of course, it isn’t surprising given the massive amounts of liquidity continually injected into the financial markets and global Central Banks have now figured out that continually rising financial markets solve much of the world’s ills. Simply, with enough liquidity, you can cover up bad (credit risks) by guaranteeing holders they will never default.

    It’s genius. It’s a “no lose” investment scheme. Unfortunately, we have seen this repeatedly in the past. In the 1980’s it was “Portfolio Insurance” – a “no lose” investment program that eventually erupted into the crash of 1987. But not before the market went into a parabolic advance first.

    In the 1990’s – it was the dot.com phenomenon which was “obviously” a “no lose” proposition. Even after Alan Greenspan spoke of “irrational exuberance,” two years later the market went parabolic once again.

    Then in 2006-2007, banks invented the CDO-squared, a collateralized derivative obligation based on other collateralized derivative obligations. It was a genius way to invest with “no risk” because the real estate market had never crashed in history.

    Today, it is once again an absolute “certainty” that markets will rise from here as global Central Banks have it all under control. What possibly could go wrong?

    • JH Wyoming says:

      Ok, no response to this link and information, so I’ll paraphrase; the recent big increases in the stock market historically is what happens just prior to a major correction.

  6. Fast Eddy says:

    I was trout fishing earlier …. and thinking… why is it ok to torture a fish on a hook… then bash it on the head with a rock and eat it…

    But if one were to put a small fish on a hook and fling it towards wild ducks …. and do the same thing to the duck…. one would be considered a barbarian …

    Yet is is just fine to open fire with a 12 gauge shot gun on the ducks…

    • doomphd says:

      fish = cold-blooded, reptilian type creatures. OK to torture, kill and eat (if not too gross or poisonous).
      ducks = warm-blooded, cute feathery type creatures. no torture, only swift, humanitarian killing allowed, like with guns. not cool to kill for sport. bodies must be eaten, preferably using time-tested French or Chinese cooking recipes.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        It would be good fun to fish for ducks… I wonder how hard they would fight once they swallowed the bait and flew off — and you gave a big tug on the line….

        • doomphd says:

          i caught a turtle once fishing for bass. it was like pulling up a tire. the tricky part was taking the hook out of its mouth without getting nailed by angry snapping turtle.

    • Tim Groves says:

      A lot of the time we (the general “we”) make our morality up on the fly, so to speak, and then we try to universalize it by forcing or browbeating everyone else to go along with our ideas or else be labelled a “barbarian” or something equally derogatory.

      And if we are really successful at this we get to found our own religion.

  7. JH Wyoming says:


    Global debt balloons to all-time high of $152 trillion, IMF warns

    “This debt mountain, as of 2015, represents 225 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), up from 200 percent in 2002 and signifies the extent to which increases in borrowing have outpaced economic growth during the period.

    At this week’s meeting with the World Bank in Washington,the IMF is expected to repeat its call for states to step up and play a more supportive role as global consensus continues to grow that MONETARY POLICY IS REACHING ITS LIMITS OF EFFECTIVENESS.”

  8. Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

    knowing in advance that The Collapse will be on June 1st is really great for planning ahead…

    man, I am going to party for all 31 days of May!

    but then, the neighbors might get suspicious… okay, cancel that…

    and tomorrow… time to stock up on dark chocolate!

    how could I forget those sweet delights sent down from the gods on Olympus?

    and before tomorrow:

    BAU tonight, baby!

  9. adonis says:

    is there a conspiracy involving peak oil ? check out this statement made by christiana figueres in 2013 From a global perspective, we need to understand that we are today already beyond the carrying capacity of the planet. We’re already beyond what we can produce with food. We’re already beyond the water that keeps people healthy. So you have to balance out on the one hand, the natural resources, and on the other hand, population.”

  10. Baby Doomer says:

    Barclay’s Oil Industry Spending Cuts!

    We’re now past the point of no return, that finite period in time when the world could have, but failed to, reinvest in energy development to arrest declines. This survey of 200 major oil producers indicates that in 2015/2016 oil companies globally halved their spending. If you think that’s bad, wait there’s more. Remember outside of shale, oil projects take years to develop and bring online.


  11. adonis says:

    125 days left until the planned collapse of the system

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      I am ready! well, almost…

      I have been stocking my house with canned foods and bottled water…

      and toilet paper!

      especially TP…

      bring on The Collapse!

      • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

        if I’m thinking clearly…

        essential products will be worth their weight in gold…

        and money will be nearly worthless…


        adonis, what else should I do to prepare for The Collapse?

        buy seeds?

        buy gunz and lots of bulletz?

      • JH Wyoming says:

        I highly recommend freeze dried food, because food in cans can go bad. I know from experience as we stored canned food, then opened them and were very disappointed due to reduced quality caused by settling and a break down of the food even over just a one year period, but also because some cans have a gray plastic lining that over time dissolves into the food. Not sure what the lining is called but its too gross to consider eating the food once it’s part of it. Freeze dried food stays good for years and you can get a lot of it in a small space. You just need to make sure you have water and a way to heat the product up. We have 3 barbecue sized propane tanks to heat stuff up on the barbecue, then also a couple of lanterns and a bunch of oil & wicks. The lantern has a plate on top so food can be heated up. Remember to get a lot of lighters for lighting lanterns. We are good for 6 months. If there isn’t something to do after that to get food then we’re out of luck.

        We have six months of food and water stored away. Good too to have an emergency radio with a crank on it to charge the batteries, and some come with a small solar panel to charge the batteries. Also all those other products used daily.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          So you live an extra 6 months… (if the spend fuel ponds, hordes, or disease don’t get you)…

          I say F789 it.

          We are hoping to shift off the pointless doomstead by mid April — I am debating leaving the container behind — depends on the cost to ship it.

          • Ed says:

            What price are you asking for the doomstead? I am interested in buying a doomstead.

          • Dennis L. says:

            I have come to the same conclusion except I am not as pessimistic as you; someone will make it through, but it will be as a group not an individual.

          • JH Wyoming says:

            6 more months of life it just that – It might not be BAU but what an interesting time to have some sustenance while the rest of the peeps runs around in a panic. I want to hear over the emergency radio how things are going and where. Imagine in the creaky, eery, bit of light from a burning lantern in an otherwise lightless night, hearing the crackling of a barely audible radio station on short wave from some other part of the world transmitting their dire circumstances, while sopping up some cooked noodles w/vegetable medley from freeze dried and sipping water knowing how precious both have become. “Hey, honey what did he say?” “He said, a truck carrying govt. issued food was rolled over by a raging mob of hungry people this morning. The food spilled out and was taken in 12 seconds.”

            • Fast Eddy says:

              But there won’t be any electricity when BAU ends…. when the power goes off — that will indicate the BAU has flatlined.

          • Kurt says:

            Oh no! Not the container!

          • DJ says:

            Don’t forget to recon a new rock cut!

          • Karl says:

            Come on Fast, wheres the fighting spirit? Mr. DNA and all that……..

  12. much discussion about Tesla lately

    this UK radio programme about him is interesting


  13. jupiviv says:

    The following is copied from a comment by Steve Ludlum on the latest article in his own blog:

    Banks — including central banks — do four things and four things only, (besides rent office furniture):


    That’s it.

    Commercial banks make loans (lend) but inevitably do so without collateral (credit cards, personal loans, loans against re-pledged collateral or against over-priced/misrepresented collateral). Unsecured lending is where ALL our ‘new money’ comes from. Consider the trillion+ spent every year on gasoline: the funds are borrowed but the gasoline cannot possibly be collateral for anything, it gets burned up. Loans for fuel are by their nature unsecured. So are loans for services, also lending within finance because the ‘collateral’ often winds up being sleight of hand.

    Much of the commercial lending in places like China are also unsecured to the degree that collateral represents 5% or less of the aggregate worth of the loans. Eventually, all commercial banks make unsecured loans, by doing so they become insolvent. This is simply how our precious debt-money system works: most commercial activities are unproductive and offer no returns. Particularly during boom times like we are enjoying now, there is massive lending for absolutely nothing useful. Insolvency is a component of capitalism, its end-game. There is no way around it.

    Unsecured lending is the lead-in to your Minsky Moment(s). Why? Servicing loans and rolling over maturing debts is done by borrowing more.

    Commercial banks have a capital structure: a percentage ownership ‘stake’ in the bank that acts as a forward reserve. In the BIS ambit the capital requirement is an ownership stake equal to 10% of assets. That means if net asset losses amounting to less than 10% would fall to the owners of the bank. However, if the loans in question are secured the bank can move to seize collateral in lieu of the payments and not take a charge against capital. However … when there is inadequate collateral the pressure on capital becomes fierce and the bank capital falls to zero, which is what was happening w/ Deutsche Bank a couple of years ago. Bad loans matter, bad unsecured loans are fatal.

    Central banks are reserve banks, they have no capital structure, only a ledger or balance sheet. The Fed w/ its multi-trillion assets on its books has about $60 billion in capital. This does not matter, whether the bank is profitable also doesn’t matter. The central banks’ job is to be the lender of last resort, to offer loans in lieu of the money markets, when commercial banks are not worthy of credit and cannot gain liquidity. Under this circumstance (a money panic), the collateral and/or assets are deemed by the market to be worthless. In this case, the central bank offers loans against the collateral at the originating price of the asset, ignoring the misjudgement of a panicked market.

    In a crisis, the commercial banks offers collateral and the central bank lends against that collateral until the panic subsides. Afterward the loan is reversed and the asset returned to the commercial bank.

    In all instances, the central bank lends against collateral, it does not make unsecured loans. In fact, it cannot. The reason commercial banks fail is because they make unsecured loans. In order for them to be ‘bailed out’ it is necessary the reserve bank be foundationally different than the ordinary commercial banks. Insolvent commercial banks cannot bail out other failing banks. Because the central bank does not make unsecured loans it is presumed to be solvent at all times, it can rescue troubled commercial bank or banks and by doing so quell the panic.

    If the central bank was to offer unsecured loans, it would be the same, perhaps larger than the other commercial bank … it would fail and for the same reason. Not only would the commercial banks fail; the entire system would become insolvent. The outcome would e a banking collapse then a run as there would be no institution able to act as lender of last resort.

    That the Fed and other central banks ‘print money’ is one of these durable myths that never seem to go out of fashion. But, that’s what it is, a myth. It’s an attempt to fix blame away from finance itself which lacks the means to control its own excesses or absorb any pain.

    • HideAway says:

      I have to disagree with Steve Ludlum on his concept of the CBs not lending on anything but secured loans.
      For example the Illinois Bond issue. A commercial bank lends the Illinois pension scheme the $107B, with the print on the paper (Bonds) as collateral. The commercial bank borrows from the CB using the ‘collateral’ of the bond as security.
      The piece of paper with a promise of 6% interest for 15 years, has made the CB create $107B out of thin air. The ‘collateral’ is virtually only worth the paper it is written on.

      The Illinois Pension Fund ‘owes’ the money to the commercial bank, that in turn ‘owes’ it back to the CB, yet the CB does not owe it to anyone. It is money created out of thin air. It now exists, where it did not before the ‘Bond’ was written.

      While the problem is often passed off as too much debt, the reality is the debt is finally owed to no-one, but there steps in between the initial borrower and the money creator, that are owed and have debts.

      To me it is obvious that at some point we get ‘many’ too big to fail institutions/businesses/ banks, and the CB has to offer a solution. That solution is very likely to be some type of debt jubilee, or perhaps a partial jubilee. This obviously leads to massive inflation, probably hyper inflation in many countries.
      You then have a large step down the Seneca cliff disguised by the inflation, with the owners of ‘hard assets’, being much better off than wage earners/renters etc.
      Guess which 1% owns most ‘hard assets’ like land, means of production etc??

      • djerek says:

        The other option is intentionally inflating via UBI, I think, which would also “prime the economic pump” by injections cash into consumer hands to support higher commodity prices for at least a few years until shit really hits the fan again.

        • HideAway says:

          I think that there is a very deliberate arrangement going on where the bailouts, lending to essentially bankrupt institutions, tax cuts for the rich etc is about keeping the general numbers (GDP etc) looking good, while keeping money out of the hands of the general consumer.
          We already have constraints on resources, so having more cash in consumers hands would lead to immediate demand for limited resources, and then inflation.
          A balance is being kept where there is some demand, but not too much from the general consumer, while the costs of production of oil continue to rise.

          I’m fairly certain that the smartest brains in the CBs, govts etc know about our resource limitations and are using every trick they can think of to keep BAU going. It has been happening since 2007 when oil first spiked and real problems became obvious to the public.

          Of course what has been happening can only continue for so long until it no longer works. Putting a lot of extra cash in the average consumers hands, where it would be spent on limited resources, would very quickly highlight the resource constraints we face. Hence why we have had the policies we have, to keep the numbers looking good through creation of money, but the money not being spent on actual goods.

  14. Sungr says:

    Illinois to Sell A Record $107 Billion In Debt To Fund Insolvent Pensions

    For those unfamiliar, here’s a quick recap: Illinois (rate just one notch above junk) is drowning under a mountain of debt, unpaid bills and underfunded pension liabilities and it’s largest city, Chicago, is suffering from a staggering outbreak of violent crime not seen since gang wars engulfed major cities from LA to New York in the mid-90’s, while rising taxes have prompted a mass exodus with the state lost 1 resident every 4.3 minutes in 2017.

    According to Bloomberg, Illinois lawmakers are so desperate to shore up the state’s massively underfunded retirement system that “they’re willing to entertain an eye-popping wager: Borrowing $107 billion and letting it ride in the financial markets.”

    If that number sounds oddly large, is because it is: an offering of this size would be by far the biggest debt sale in the history of the municipal market, and amount to roughly 50% more debt than bankrupt Puerto Rico accumulated in the run up to its record-setting insolvency.

    What is just as shocking is that not even $107 billion would be enough to fully fund the Illinois pension system, which owes $129 billion after years of failing to make adequate annual contributions.

    Ah yes, ye olde IRR: will it be positive or negative?

    According to the abovementioned democrat Robert Martwick, “if it makes sense, we’ll do it, and if it doesn’t we won’t.” Of course, he also said that Illinois has to be “thinking big” and there literally hasn’t been a bigger municipal bond sale ever.

    As for the rating agencies, they will be thinking just how deep into junk territory to downgrade Illinois. Indeed, as Bloomberg notes, municipal-bond investors would likely frown upon such a massive sale, to say the least.

    “Those types of deals are not typically positively received by the rating agencies or investors,” said Eric Friedland, director of municipal research in Jersey City, New Jersey, for Lord Abbett, which holds about $20 billion of municipal debt, including Illinois’s. “That type of issuance could definitely be a credit negative.”


    • Fast Eddy says:

      Meredith Whitney must be looking at this …. and thinking how massively she underestimated the Fed’s willingness to do whatever it takes… to keep BAU alive….

      Recall that she made the call that muni bonds would default….. I think she’s teaching grade 3 in buttf789 nowhere these days….

    • Fast Eddy says:

      World Champion of Everything… the right honourable Fast Eddy holder of a history degree from Buttf-uck U… disagrees with Shiller….

      This time is different than 1929…. 2008 was like revisiting 1929…. and the CBs saying – we won’t have that because we have read Korowicz… and we won’t be able to put Humpty back together again … so let’s just keep shoving the fat egg further and further and further up the cliff…. because it does not matter if he falls from 100 feet — or 100,000 feet…. the end result is the same…. and better to die later than now

      Can someone please nominate Fast Eddy https://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/economic-sciences/nomination/

    • Third World person says:

      this is prime minister of most youngest youth population of the world
      which i live in

      • Third World person says:


      • DJ says:

        Are we hating on old men again?

      • Sungr says:

        The current senior generation may be the last human generation to live out a natural life span.

        • MG says:

          Natural life span? We live a technology supported life span.

          • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

            natural life span: reproduce as a young adult and then “move on” when those children are young adults…

            therefore, what, live to about age 30?

            • JH Wyoming says:

              30? That was the max. age limit in the movie, ‘Logan’s Run’, when people could go to carousel to try for ‘Renewal’. Michael York and some fox escape to ‘Sanctuary’.

          • MG says:

            With accumulating genetic mutations, the chance to live until 30 is going down.

          • DJ says:

            Before degeneration a normal life span was 70 if nothing unpleasant happened.

            What we seem to have accomplished is removing the unpleasantness and adding 10 crappy years.

          • Sungr says:

            Peter Goodchild gave a good illustration of this. He recalled speaking to a 60is couple about locating for survival purposes to SE Asia and living a rural life with all the gardening, chickens ,etc.

            He told the couple that if they wanted to fit in, they would have to be currently dead because the life span of native folks in that area was only about 40y.

            • fantasy and reality do not mix

            • Fast Eddy says:

              When BAU goes — the villages (which are completely reliant on urea for growing) will go hungry…

              And the first animal into the post will be the Fat Western Pig. These are a special breed of Pigs… they have been fattened on More since birth

            • Good point!

            • Fast Eddy says:

              I lived in a village in Bali — mostly rice farmers…. there were plenty of people over 65 in the village.

              I reckon that they were healthier than most westerners probably because they were more active — and they didn’t eat a great deal of processed rubbish.

              As a westerner no matter what you do you will never fit in. In many instances we can’t even fit in if we move from one western country to another, particularly one that has a different culture and language….

              Xabier has mentioned the issues with trying to live in a Spanish village….

            • Kim says:

              Not remotely accurate. I live in an Indonesia village. Heaps of old people here. In their 80s and 90s even. People sometimes aren’t accurate about numbers but the odd one is claimed to be over 100. They certainly are old enough to remember the Dutch.

              Some of them just sit around like an old bag of soft bones, but they are old and respected and looked after by their families. Some work on. Some look after young ones. And after they die, the day of their death is “celebrated” every year by their children for decades by feeding everybody in the village on that day.

              The garbage that people retail about things they know nothing about…

              And why are Western families in disarray? Bcs they have been deliberately undermined for the last 100 years. Surely that is part of it. That is perfectly clear to anyone who has ever watched tv, been to the movies, seen an advertisement, or read a magazine, newspaper or book.

  15. Baby Doomer says:

    Our collapse is like snow accumulating on a mountain side. Nobody knows what will be the snowflake that starts the avalanche nor when it will start. We just know it will happen.

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      “Definition of tipping point: the critical point in a situation, process, or system beyond which a significant and often unstoppable effect or change takes place.”

      yes, we had a minor avalanche in 2008…

      the next one could be bigger or smaller…

      as years go by, “bigger” is increasingly more likely…

      and could be 2018 or 2028 or 2038… “Nobody knows… when it will start.”

      • Denial says:

        Yes I agree, Gail and others have been saying “ok this is the year we see the collapse” since 2016!! And still it does not come…come it will but trying to pick the year…? come on!

      • Sungr says:

        No. You can’t discredit Gail on some issue of missed predictions. I don’t remember any exact dates issued by Gail.

        This is a tactic of the rightwing- to discredit scientists on the basis of “missed prediction”. Established scientific research is not damned by some offhand guess by a scientist about dates of future events.

        • xabier says:

          Our host has generally said something on the lines of: ‘I just can’t see how this can go on for much longer.’ And she’s right about that. The CB’s just keep on pulling out those fluffy bunnies to the delight of all……

          • Fast Eddy says:

            If we played by the rules this collapse should have happened years ago…. but since 2008 the rule book was burned ….

            There is a completely new rule book now …. it is called ‘whatever it takes’ … expect the ‘absurd’

            Here’s is another example…. auto market in trouble? – NO problem…. we have a FIX!

            This week we find that according to the latest Edmunds’ data, many of the same problems also afflict the used auto market.

            The most startling takeaway from the report is that the percentage of used cars being traded in with negative equity values – which means that dealers lenders are willing to accept an immediate loss for new transactions – continues to rise and currently stands at an all-time high 32.4%, up from under 20% in 2009.

            Moreover, the average balance of the negative equity also continues to rise and stood at a record $5,130 last year, up over a quarter from $4,075 a decade earlier.

            As Bloomberg explains, for borrowers who do trade in their underwater cars, lenders are essentially giving them the money to pay down their loan. The dealer sells the used car, and whatever balance remains on the old loan is folded into the new loan. The borrower might get a longer-term loan than he or she had before to help keep monthly payments manageable. That means that loan balances are getting bigger relative to the value of the new car, and the debt will be paid off slower.

            Confirming this, Moody’s analyst Jason Grohotolski notes that the growing proportion of underwater trade-ins means that at least some borrowers are getting deeper and deeper in debt with every car they buy. This will – eventually – translate to bigger and bigger losses on loans for finance companies whenever the economy heads south, the same way lower down payments slammed mortgage lenders after the credit and housing bubbles burst.

            “It’s this cycle that just continually gets worse and worse,” Grohotolski said. “It has to stop, and it doesn’t have a favorable outcome.”


            • Fast Eddy says:

              Of course there is no favourable outcome….. but this is a fantastic short term band-aid….

        • Fast Eddy says:

          Who could have predicted what the CBs have done so far …. they have gone way off the charts with these desperate policies

  16. Pintada says:

    As the corals die, the availability of seafood inevitably drops and the price of it goes up. Continued heating of the oceans is a major force toward global instability.


    • grayfox says:

      Jellyfish sandwiches. We’ll have to give them a try.

    • A Real Black Person says:

      There wasn’t much about dying coral or acidification in that article.

      I’m starting to think the evidence for gerbil licking is weak.
      I’m not saying it isn’t happening but it doesn’t seem to be happening very quickly.
      There are other possible explanations for vanishing freshwater from mountain tops that have a lot to do with hydroelectricity.
      The case for gerbil licking is further harmed by people politicizing it in the comments section by mentioning the Koch brothers, as if they control the entire fossil fuel industry and force people to use fossil fuels. i wonder if this is just a ploy to get more money into the green energy industry.

      • Tango Oscar says:

        That’s because the oceans have been absorbing the excess heat, slowing it’s release into the atmosphere where we live. And even so, the global average is only like 1.25C above a baseline average of the last 200 years or so. It’s not a number that WE are likely to notice, however the wildlife is. Notice the massive coral bleaching event underway and turtles all being born female. These are just samples of the effects of a 1C change, 2C and we go extinct. We are likely to start dipping into the 1.75C to 2C mark in the next couple of years. The coming heat waves are going to decimate food supplies and elderly alike.

        • A Real Black Person says:

          If organism once found in the tropics are migrating to areas that have been traditionally colder because of gerbil licking, then why are winters not getting more mild?

          . “The coming heat waves are going to decimate food supplies and elderly alike.”
          Heat waves are an example of gerbil variation, not gerbil licking because things eventually go back to normal.

          I’m so happy that gerbil modeling is an exact science because it offers more damming proof of gerbil licking as if the uniformally disappearing icecaps weren’t enough.

          We’re gonna boil.

      • Niko B says:

        the great barrier reef is experiencing rapid decline due to repetitive bleaching events. There is real concern that it will be dead within 20 years.

        • A Real Black Person says:

          Acidification is one of many possible causes of the bleaching.

          “. Major anthropogenic risk factors include mortality and reduced growth of the reef-building corals due to their high sensitivity to rising seawater temperatures, ocean acidification, water pollution from terrestrial runoff and dredging, destructive fishing, overfishing, and coastal development (4). These anthropogenic risks interact with other large-scale acute disturbances, especially tropical storms and population outbreaks of the coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish (COTS) Acanthaster planci, which may also increase in frequency and intensity in response to human activities (5, 6).”
          (Glenn De’ath, Katharina E. Fabricius, Hugh Sweatman and Marji Puotinen)

        • djerek says:

          Why exactly is the null hypothesis that the reef would or should develop indefinitely and be immortal? Is a reef not, in itself, a complex system that will hit limits of growth and then decline and collapse? Now the chemical and thermal condition of the sea likely has an effect on exactly when that cap hits, but the idea that the reef would be eternal without those dastardly humans ruining it is simplistic at best.

        • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

          “the great barrier reef is experiencing rapid decline due to repetitive bleaching events. There is real concern that it will be dead within 20 years.”

          by then, the average person will have no available FF to go to see it…

          so what’s that called?

          a win-win?

        • James says:

          The Aussies have decimated once abundant fisheries and other sea resources. I wonder how much this and pollution play a role?
          Also, we are near the end of a “brief” global “warming” period ( all natural by the way to the GW fanatics) the earth is normally in Ice Age. If we are nearing the end of our interglacial warming period it might make sense that the oceans would have gradually warmed during this period. In the normal ice age, they would be COLD.
          Perhaps this plays a role?

          • Fast Eddy says:

            Thank you for that standing ovation … oh no … please stop … please stop … thank you … thank you …. oh come now … I am a humble person… I am only here to help… (more thunderous applause)…

            Just one question for your World Champion Fast Eddy. How do you find these incredible facts?

            It all comes down to two things… you must combine logical thought processes with google searches… for instance in this case I started from the premise that some reefs are being damaged by something … many will say it is ggg http://www... but I have already demonstrated that this is a ho ax….

            So if I assume the reefs are dying — I do not necessarily know that — because the MSM is a lying machine… (and that would be another entirely different line of investigation – are the reefs really dying – would reefs die even if there were no humans on the planet … etc etc…)

            But anyways….

            I came up with this search ‘ocean pollution killing reefs’ — on the surface it would seem obvious…. just like velcro or the zipper or sliced bread….. but only after the fact…

            And as the results show … plastic is killing the reefs… now that makes sense to me — because I have been diving in various places in Indonesia — and have seen the water clouded by billions of small particles of plastic….


      • Fast Eddy says:

        A great deal of fossil fuels are used to create solar panels, batteries and windmills….

  17. Third World person says:

    The war you’ve never heard of

    The U.S. is waging a massive shadow war in Africa, exclusive
    documents reveal
    Six years ago, a deputy commanding general for U.S. Army Special Operations Command gave a conservative estimate of 116 missions being carried out at any one time by Navy SEALs, Army Green Berets, and other special operations forces across the globe.

    Today, according to U.S. military documents obtained by VICE News, special operators are carrying out nearly 100 missions at any given time — in Africa alone. It’s the latest sign of the military’s quiet but ever-expanding presence on the continent, one that represents the most dramatic growth in the deployment of America’s elite troops to any region of the globe.

    obviously this invasion by us army is done for resources then trump called these shithole countries
    seriously sick

  18. Thomas Fink says:

    Madness: on Christmas 85% of electricity in Germany was produced by wind-energy. Because of the energy politics in Germany this had as consequence that prices went negative and electricity producers paid around 67 euros per megawatt hour for someone to take their electricity from them – Source: https://www.berliner-zeitung.de/25379292 © 2018

    • I expect that they should have paid even more than that. Intermittent electricity is harmful to the overall grid. It gets worse, as the proportion of intermittent electricity on the grid increases. Some areas are starting to see the problem. I was reading in a Japanese energy newsletter that Japan limits the amount of intermittent electricity that can be added to the grid. Australia has been in the news for requiring new intermittent providers to include some sort of backup for the intermittency. (I am not sure how far along this is.)

    • DJ says:

      Double wind and solar twice and we can shut down nuclear.

      • JT Roberts says:

        Wind and Solar are only 10% of installed capacity (US) and provide only 7% of consumption. It took 14 years to get here. At our present rate of growth it will take 300 years to replace the grid which represents only 33% of the power we consume. So we need to multiply the figure by 3. Add the fact that Solar and Wind only produce 33% of the their rating because of intermittency we have to multiply the installed capacity by 3 again. Add the fact that the lifespan of wind and solar is only 30 years then we have to ramp up production by a factor of 10 to overcome entropy.

        So that means that to actually achieve renewable power without increased growth in consumption (which would flatten the economy) the rate of installation would have to be 100times higher than present.

        Never going to happen in anyone’s wildest dreams.

        Would we like to add storage to the mix? Because they don’t work without storage. How about frequency control we need that to.

        • DJ says:

          Global I believe wind+solar is about same capacity as nuclear, maybe 25-40% production.

          I am happy replacing nuclear, replacing grid is impossible.

          No storage needed, hydro and gas (and coal) is fine.

          • Nuclear normally operates at a very high capacity factor. It used to be around 90%, but is probably lower now, with the problems caused by wind and solar.

            Wind and solar should really be looked at in terms of the amount of fuel they replace, rather than the share of electricity they “create,” because all they really replace is fuel. Someone must pay backup generation to sit around idle. When this adjustment is made, wind and solar provide (supposedly) about 10% of capacity, and amount to 3% of production.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Solar and wind are great! Because they create double the demand for fossil fuels.

              In fact they might be the only things between us and an energy deflationary death spiral

        • A Real Black Person says:

          “At our present rate of growth it will take 300 years to replace the grid “i got 200 years at present rate of growth in renewable energy capacity. Am I doing something wrong?

          • Remember that wind has to be replaced very often and batteries have to be replaced very often. It is hard to get very far, very fast, when the devices you make fail very quickly. One person I talked to (I think in the warranty business) told me, “Wind turbines don’t run on fossil fuels; the run on a steady supply of replacement parts.” You also need roads and vehicles to get the spare parts there. In some cases, helicopters are even needed. Even if they are called “renewable,” it doesn’t mean that the system they are part of can operate without fossil fuels.

  19. Fast Eddy says:

    Jordan Peterson is GOD

    • djerek says:

      He’s no Carl Jung, honestly.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Jordan Peteron is the antidote to the new york times snorting elitist left wing liberal illogical PC sh it bags that are spreading their sickness and disease across the planet.

        He makes Carl Jung obsolete

        • Dennis L. says:

          He thinks very clearly and makes strong, well reasoned arguments. Now, if you could perhaps leave out the profanity it would be a positive.

        • jupiviv says:

          Jordan Peterson is a massive mangina who wants men to be traditional provider-protectors of women without the authority that has traditionally accompanied that role.

          He is basically a self-esteem therapist for white collar women in their 30s employed in parasitic jobs with ‘manager’ in the title. All men with more than one testicle still intact already knows all the ‘controversial’ insights he has to offer, and discounts the rest as conservative-feminist bs of the highest order.

          • djerek says:

            Honestly I made the Jung comparison because he practices Jungian psychology but compared to Jung he lacks the ability to remove himself from being rooted in the present and completely colored by modern notions and liberalism.

            As a political pundit, he’s basically just a reactionary trying to push things back to the 1990s since he completely lacks the understanding that the end of growth has driven wedges into a multicultural and multinational society.

            • jupiviv says:

              My response wasn’t specifically to your comment, but I agree that Peterson and others on the ‘alt-right’ (and the left, alt-left etc) are completely mired within the modern growth mentality.

              In fact, all of the alt-whatever ideologies are merely the representation of human beings’ inability to conceptualise, let alone prepare for or cope with, massive change. Ideas which are premised upon the current, failing system are reintroduced over and over again (with variations) in the hope that they’ll work.

            • Christopher says:

              “As a political pundit, he’s basically just a reactionary trying to push things back to the 1990s since he completely lacks the understanding that the end of growth has driven wedges into a multicultural and multinational society.”

              Peterson certainly has some blind spots. Jung would probable regard these “axioms” of modern society as more problematic if he were alive today.

    • Christopher says:

      He is great! I started to look at his biblical series a while ago, really interesting, even for an atheist:

      • Fast Eddy says:

        I understand he was born into a hard core religious family ….. it can be difficult to ‘see the light’ when one has worn god-coloured glasses since birth….

        • So was I.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            I am from a long line of heathens….

          • Christopher says:

            Some of his religious ideas seems to be related to some of the ideas you have aired in comments here.

            Peterson is like you of norwegian origin.

            • A lot of people don’t understand that there are quite a lot of different religions, even when they are (loosely) based on the same religious writings. This is part of the self-organized nature of religion. The fact that people find some particular religious groups offensive should not generalize to “All religions are offensive.” Norwegians tended not to take the Bible very literally. They were far enough from the Pope that his thoughts didn’t have much influence.

        • Christopher says:

          As I understand it his mother was religious and his father wasn’t.

          I am myself from a long line of heathens without any religious track-record and still find these lectures fascinating.

          • Tim Groves says:

            Heathens don’t usually name their offspring “Christopher”, Christopher. How did you come to get given that particular given name?

            I’m named Timothy because it was my maternal grandfather’s turn to name the next kid, and he was a great admirer of the Canon Timothy Ring, priest of the Roman Catholic parish of St Mary and St Michael centered on Commercial Road, East London. Canon Ring, who led the parish from 1904 until 1941, became a legend in the East End. A true champion of the underdog he fought both communism and fascism in the 1930s. His funeral in August 1941 brought the East End to a standstill and was attended by Clement Attlee. He was one of Grandad’s great heroes.

            • DJ says:

              Don’t overestimate the amount of thought swedes put into naming their kids.

              Loke is now a very popular name. Loke is evil incarnate, currently locked away, but when ragnarök arrives he will lead the army of evil.

              Or maybe swedes put a lot of thought into naming their kids.

            • Christopher says:

              @ Tim
              As I recall it from the account of my parents it seems like Christopher was a popular name at the time. My mother also mentioned something about the Superman actor Christopher Reeve being a source of inspiration. So in my case Christopher seems to be more associated to Superman than to Jesus…

              @ DJ
              Isn’t Loki somewhere in between good and evil rather than evil incarnate. He’s often named as the quintessential trickster figure. He loves to create a mess, if the mess becomes a problem to evil or good guys seems to be less important.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Maybe your father is super man?

            • DJ says:

              Both could fly.

            • djerek says:

              “Isn’t Loki somewhere in between good and evil rather than evil incarnate. He’s often named as the quintessential trickster figure. He loves to create a mess, if the mess becomes a problem to evil or good guys seems to be less important.”

              Loki is more akin to a force of chaos than either good or evil in any Christian sense of the words.

    • Mark says:

      Thanks, never heard of him, wow, he’s killing it.

  20. Yoshua says:

    The Brent was 40 Euro at it lowest point in 2017 on Midsummer and is now 56 Euro.

    The Brent is up 40% in Euros while the WTI is up 50% in dollars since Midsummer.

    What if it’s the other way around: The Brent goes up –> The WTI follows the Brent –> The Dollar goes down.

    The Fed has no control over the Dollar. Opec and Russia controls the Dollar.

  21. Fast Eddy says:

    “Blockchain” Stocks Collapse by 40% to 90%

    It’s not a pretty sight.
    Short sellers are in Nirvana with these creatures that had surged by hundreds or even thousands of percent in days after they announced a switch to “blockchain” in their business model or added “Blockchain” to their name. Their shares are now crashing.

    I have written about a number of these outfits and their crazy share-price moves and their silly stock manipulation schemes on the way up. Now, not much later, here’s an update on how they’re doing on the way down.

    UBI Blockchain International down 93% from the peak. UBIA had skyrocketed about 1,500% to $115 a share intraday by December 18, but has now – at $8.25 this morning – given up most of it.


  22. MG says:

    The lack of workforce and the need for higher wages force Samsung to close one of its plants in Slovakia:


    Several years ago, my family relative worked there. The pressure of the costs and now the declining availability of the workers has been surely accumulating for a longer time.

    • Third World person says:

      what is opinion against refugee in Slovakia

      do politician want take them and what is general public opinion about them

      • MG says:

        The employers call for more immigrant workforce, the government is rather reserved. The people are anti-immigrant. As regards the refugees, Slovakia is not their final destination, they want to get to the more rich countries like Germany etc.

        • DJ says:

          Employers love immigrants, just by claiming they could perform the work they lower the wages.

          The 50% unemployment rate is not THEIR problem.

  23. Fast Eddy says:

    Walking back from the park early on Monday morning I counted three people sleeping in a hedge along the railway tracks that lead from Euston station, and quickly forgot about it. Five years ago the sight would have been very unusual. Now, every morning on the way to work I walk past several people asleep beneath railway bridges, zipped up in tents along the canal, packed inside cardboard boxes in shop doorways or hidden beneath damp, muddy duvets on park benches. It is so routine that I forget to be shocked.


    Don Draper: Let’s put some positive spin on this …. let’s refer to these people as Urban Campers…. they are living an adventure.

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      okay, so that is London…

      Norman: is the UK collapsing?

      I would think the minimal FF resources in Western Europe would be very worrying to those who live there AND know about it…

      to those who don’t know, it seems like it would be a shocker if Western Europe leads the way in the decline of IC…

      but since energy resources are the foundation of IC, perhaps Europe will surprise in the speed and scope of its decline.

      • djerek says:

        The UK’s energy usage peaked around 2006, so yes it is already well into decline. Only the brisk financial activity in the City of London has hidden the shrinking economy. The UK has neither its own energy supplies nor any industry to speak of at this point. At least countries like Germany can rely on an industrial base to keep funding fuel imports for awhile longer.

        • I always think of Germany as a big store selling quality goods

          they can exist only so long as there are customers outside waiting to buy their stuff

          • xabier says:

            Like all parasite economies, Germany needs to keep its hosts alive.

            • would you prefer to buy a car built in Germany, or one built in Yugoslavia or wherever?

              we are all guilty of involvements in commerce, ostensibly for our own advantages

              i’d like to be philanthropic but i can’t afford it

      • i dont think any nation knows it’s collapsing until after it’s happened because before collapse nobody believes it, and during collapse, everyone thinks of it as ”temporary”

        only when it’s actually happened can people look back and say so, and even then not for 100 or more years

        our coal has gone and our oil is in terminal decline—so things look inevitable.

        but this is the beautiful land of Micawber—something might turn up

        • Energy^2 says:

          Iraq has been cornered to collapse no less than 10 times since 1958.

          After each collapse, it’s been transferred from a nightmare to another inside it. The country and its people are now in their 10th-level of a nested nightmare-collapse unable to know from which one they need to wake up first?

          Therefore, collapse should be considered present when the majority persistently sense that ‘their condition today is much better then tomorrow‘.

          • it may be that the only way to avoid collapse is

            a—-live so far from anywhere that no one can be bothered to come looking for you

            or b—have so few resources that nobody’s interested anyway

            fit the above to say–the Inuit, or people living in northern Siberia, who went through WW2 without being affected by it, or even knowing it had happened

            All conflict is about resources, so if you have something a stronger nation wants, they will invade you and take it, thus collapsing your society.

            this state of affairs won’t stop until resources have been exhausted and there’s nothing left to take from anywhere else.

            • Energy^2 says:

              This time, collapse is, primarily, ‘designed’ to affect dense populations, though.

              I don’t feel resources are the reason behind a coming collapse, as the predicament of depleting FF reserves, no matter how colossal, is still manageable when an action is taken today – if the will to voluntarily adapt to new less-FF reality – is around!

              Stop war and weapons manufacturing, unnecessary shipping and transportation, hoax energy projects, for example, can make a difference. Why taking this small is considered impossible, but a full-blown collapse is as easy as 123?

              If this is the situation, then this is a ‘designer’ collapse rather than any natural, Joseph Tainter’s or Roman Empire type of collapse! 🙂

            • collapses aren’t designed

              we have evolved to do 2 things, eat and reproduce ourselves.–the rest is window dressing

              in order to maximise that, we have to consume as much as possible—childbearing/rearing requires energy input, we spend our lives in acquisition of that energy.—some are better at that than others

              when that energy is no longer available, then collapse becomes certain—the only uncertain part is when, and in what form collapse will take.

              there is certainly no collective decision about it

            • Energy^2 says:

              Norman Pagett- There is plenty of energy still around. Why starting an immediate long-term programme rationalising energy usage is impossible, but we MUST go to collapse, anyway?

              Plant a trillion tree a year starting now and that will make a difference avoiding collapse.

              Downsize economy activities and that will make a difference avoiding collapse.

              Stop wars and that will make a difference avoiding collapse.

              If nothing of this is done, it is an ‘Iraq’ style migration of the population from one nightmare to another inside it – and this is a ‘designer’ collapse, much worse than any real collapse! 🙂

            • Don’t shoot the messenger—–i agree 100%—

              However—I have coined the terms for your suggestion—

              Wish Science

              Wish economics

              wish politics

              those three cover each of your ideas.
              A trillion trees?—wish non-science
              downsize the economy?—wish economics that will collapse our economic infrastructure within weeks
              Stop war? We have evolved to grab resources to further our own situation—that’s what war is—resource grab– stopping it is wish politics

              In reality, energy use per capita has been falling since the 1980s or thereabouts.

              That’s why the average standard of living has remained static for the last 40 years—no cheap surplus fuel to burn. Without fuelburning you cannot have gainful employment on any scale.

              A final note—grandiose schemes involving mass control of people require controllers.

              In all of history, there has never been a man who attempted mass control who wasn’t himself a singularly unpleasant self aggrandising individual. (check it out)

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Reminds me of the Jordan Peterson debate the other day …. the presenter suggests that perhaps female traits should be allowed a chance in the business world – by that I assume she means things such as nurturing and motherly love….

              Want to see an enterprise go bankrupt in a very short time? Run it on those principles…. or run it on socialist principles… or try religious principles….

              Business… like high level sport…. and war….. is pure Darwinism… kindness is weakness…. kindness will definitely get you run over.

              Mr Energy…. a song for you

              Imagine there’s no heaven
              It’s easy if you try
              No hell below us
              Above us only KOOMBAYA

              Imagine all the people living for today
              Imagine there’s no countries
              It isn’t hard to do
              Nothing to kill or die for
              And no religion too

              Imagine all the people living life in peace, you…
              FAST EDDY may say I’m a F89ING ID IO T
              But I’m not the only DelusiSTANI
              I hope some day you’ll join us
              And the world will be as one

              Imagine no possessions
              I wonder if you can
              No need for greed or hunger
              A brotherhood of man
              Imagine all the people
              Sharing all the world… You…

              You may say I’m a dreamer
              But I’m not the only one
              I hope someday you’ll join us
              And the world will live as one

              No single song has done as created as many snowflakes as this pile of dung… it’s like ‘renewable’ energy – if too many people buy into the lie in a country…

              This is a fast track to joining Somalia … at the bottom of the hill.

              Im be iles high on the New York Times and Huffington

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Wow! Once you read my essay if you are thinking I am a psychopath…. then you are lost forever in Koombaya…..

              Wisdom – The Way The World Works

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

            • Remember that religious stories are aimed at how you treat insiders in your own group. “Thou shalt not kill,” has nothing to do with going to war against a neighboring tribe. When you understand that, religious groups have been much more successful. In order to work, the world economy must have different groups of people who get along within their own groups. There is no point in the whole world getting along. The whole world united would use way too much resources, and bring the whole system down.

            • Energy^2 says:

              Norman Pagett – Do you think that ending up consuming more than 100 million barrel of crude oil a day, despite oil being well known a finite resource since 1914 and earlier, was NOT a grandiose scheme, by somebody all along?! 🙂

              If collapse is coming under a banner of ‘FF resources’, it would be a product of that same century-long scheme!

              Why collapse is so horrible for 2nd-Tier World communities? People in developed countries speak of it as a sort of entertainment, but powerless nations are who actually end up paying for it with their lives lost and their finite resources looted, all the last 120 years.

            • it was—but no one person controlled it

            • Energy^2 says:

              Norman Pagett – one grandiose scheme – did.

            • Energy^2 says:

              FE – I really disliked this song since release.

              Sure, Business is nothing more than social Darwinism in action.

              However, truth is an attribute of physics. Run the business of the World on a lie and the device will start going backward instead of forward. Then, you spend energy to make people think ‘on’ is ‘off’ and ‘off’ is ‘on’, and there will be no enough energy to keep that going forever.

              The fresh video below shows how crude oil extraction makes cancer as common as flue, and population living around, very poor (very).


        • doomphd says:

          Norman, can you plese provide some reasons for your prediction of a global collapse by 2025? Is it just a hunch, or do you see some trends?

          • doomphd says:

            the “grandiose scheme” was principally orchastrated by John D. Rockefeller (gasoline, other oil products), Henry Ford (mass-produced automobiles) and Harvey Firestone (rubber tires for the cars). they even schemed to have existing mass transit by street cars removed, by pulling up track, etc. the reversal back to rail has been long, and expensive to taxpayers everywhere.

            • Energy^2 says:

              Fossil Fuels are so dense in energy and too strategic to be left in the ground for the masses. Burn it as quick as possible – might be the “grandiose scheme” ! hehehe 🙂

            • doomphd/energy 2
              that ”scheme” was perpetrated for the sole financial benefit of a cartel of businessmen for personal gain. The opposite of community benefit and confirms my point that controllers are unpleasant self centred people. It also explains why you will not get world control for world benefit

              As to ”oil consumption” being a grandiose scheme, hundreds/thousands of drillers sank wells all over the world, billions of people gladly made use of the oil.
              Rockefeller was merely the best known name.
              Fossil fuel producers were motivated by those with the insatiable desire to burn it as fast as possible. (you and me basically)

              fuels could be turned into ”stuff” that made life easier for us.—-that’s why we used so much of it, and why we now can’t do without it

              We looted oil from wherever it could be found.
              Unfortunate—but humankind is made that way.
              Just as the Americas were looted by earlier settlers, (1600s onwards)
              and Africa was looted of its (energy resource) slaves. (1700s onwards) The middle east oil is being looted by western industrial society, and by its own aristocracy. (during this last century)
              hence the current mayhem as a result of it—you can perhaps recognise the consistent thread of looting that’s gone on, driven by resource demand.

          • well—first off far better brains than mine, in widely differing fields, are coming up with the same forecast—give or take a few years (starting with Hubbert onwards)

            So if you take the prime certainty—that we’ve built our current infrastructure on oil, and that so far we have found no alternatives (only wishes and promises) It follows that without oil, we must revert to what we had before.

            The Saudis produce a third of it, and are having the hold back more and more to sustain their fantasy lifestyle. They insist they have xx years worth left, then say “if” there’s no oil left by 2020—–
            which proves that the Saudis have less grasp on reality than I do—-imagining that there can be “oil free” revenues—(from somewhere) by 2020. 2 years from now!

            Saudis are busy building ”economic cities” in the desert—brilliant way of burning through even more oil.

            then the crackpot idea that Saudi will become an oil importer by 2030 :-

            equally idiotic—there will be no oil to import, and Saudi cannot generate revenue without oil underpinning it.
            The underlying fact hidden within those 2 bits of nonsense above, is that saudi oil can’t last much longer—so the 2025 date is halfway between the two.
            Saudi oil won’t “run out”, but their economic system will implode as conditions worsen—already they are selling shares in Aramco—they wouldn’t be doing that if their economic position re oil was sound

            As Saudi falls apart (remember it’s only 100 years old, and fundamentally a warlord society)—-surrounding nations will try to grab what they can, and fight over the dregs.

            With Saudi out of the oil game, the remaining big producers will fantasise about their oil price trebling etc—but of course oil will be too expensive for anyone to use. So the price will collapse. Venezuala has gone already, Nigeria is close to anarchy, North Sea is in decline.
            Even sane Norway wants to divest from oil.
            Canda is a cold country–with Saudi gone, they wont go on selling what they have left to the USA—and neither will Mexico. (they seem to be running on empty anyway)

            That brings us back to the USA—trying to sustain itself on 10mb production, but with a demand of 18Mbd. That equals certain collapse because the deniers will insist it’s a political problem, not an oil problem.
            Collapse in USA terms means regional secession—that won’t be pretty.
            Very few people understand that oil is almost useless without the means to burn it. (industry) And that wind and solar do not deliver funigible energy.

    • DJ says:

      You should really use quotation marks. For a moment I believed you had a job and was WALKING there.

      • JH Wyoming says:

        “Stop war and weapons manufacturing, unnecessary shipping and transportation, hoax energy projects, for example, can make a difference.”

        How? Where would you even begin to stop all of that?

        • Energy^2 says:

          Pick up the phone.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            While you are at it…. why don’t you go to the Serengeti and scream at the lions and tell them to stop killing baby antelope?

          • Energy^2 says:

            FE – 2nd Tier World people thought the UN is a civilized community.

            If lions, killing, eating people alive are BAU, how that is different from a jungle?

            Is this what they call ‘double standards’?

        • djerek says:

          Energy^2: Captain we can avoid that iceberg even though it’s only moments from impact! Just bring the ship’s momentum to a complete halt and do a 90 turn on a dime! What do you mean ships can’t just stop and turn immediately??.?

          • Energy^2 says:

            It can stop and turn immediately if there is will.

            • jupiviv says:

              It’s easy to adopt such an idealistic stance on behalf of the human race, but extremely hard (physically and psychologically) to adopt it only for yourself, and in stark contrast to the society you live in. Only the latter action has any value.

              Are you living in a way that, were everyone to imitate you, would make wars, inequality, resource waste, oppression etc unnecessary?

            • Energy^2 says:

              jupiviv – Explain the good cause and the masses will implement, enthusiastically.

              When Pearl Harbor has mobilised a nation in an instant, a dire condition such as resource depletion can mobilise all humans to adapt to live without FF, except for medicine and other life critical product. No silly collapse will be necessary, no silly wars and no silly bombardment to the ground of powerless nations’ cities 🙂

            • nope

              the japanese were hacking their way through korea and china from 1910 onwards

              they had no significant resources of their own, so how did they do it?

              By importing fuels and metals, mainly from the USA

              Roosevelt told them to knock it off—or their supplies would be cut off—-japanese cannot lose face, so they threw their last remaining energy down in one last throw—Pearl Harbour and Singapore in 1941.

              What was the effect of that?

              That America mobilised even bigger energy resources to beat them—which they duly did.
              There was no ”magic ingredient”—just fuelburning.
              The Japanese (and the Germans) simply ran out of gas first—-they were nations run by idiots who couldn’t comprehend that without fossil fuels, modern warfare just doesn’t work. They started wars as Ponzi schemes, where the only alternative to expansion is collapse.

              America in 1941 was in a state of resource abundance
              Now the opposite is true–it is not possible to overlay the driving force of one onto the other—any more than you can compare, say, the Manhattan project, or the Appollo moon landings—all occured during a period of resource abundance.

              That is the only comparison you can make between then and now

            • jupiviv says:

              “Explain the good cause and the masses will implement, enthusiastically. ”

              Not if you explain that they have to lose the benefits that doing otherwise provides. War in the middle east quite clearly allowed BAU in the west to roll along for a while longer. If you want to call that immoral, then you must also call the benefits gained from it immoral. The idea that war is bad but also completely irrational/unnecessary is duplicitous in this sense, just like the idea of sustainable growth.

            • James says:

              Waiting at the airport days ago for my ride, I observed a woman parked in the pickup lane with engine running for twenty minutes, then she got out and , leaving her car on went to find her pickup in the airport. Not only did she break the rule of no waiting, she sat there and burned through a half gallon of gas.
              There will be NO cooperation or “common will”to reduce FF use.
              People are too selfish. Get out of your hopium ivory tower

            • Energy^2 says:

              Norman Pagett, jupiviv – Humanity realises now very well that crude Oil reserves cannot be simply looted in wars;

              When looted out of its wells, oil must be burned soon after that.

              From now on, wars for oil are so different from all wars in the past. Looting oil means denying humanity the opportunity to have this precious resource available for medicine and life critical applications.

              War to loot crude oil is no gain for anybody. It is a lose-lose act.

              Oil is finite and looting it to live for just ‘another day’ is something that conceals a “grandiose scheme”, indeed – or the level of stupidity in that looting through wars – doesn’t match the far-sighted intelligence which takes space devices to outer space and keeps them ruining there for decades!

              Cannot be both way.

              Nope, History is history but war for oil from now on is a new class of Social Darwinism, never seen before!

            • all wars are about looting someone else’s resources

              the fact that it’s ultimately pointless is irrelevant, because the looter/fighters are driven by the needs of the moment

              ie—our country runs on oil—our country is running short of oil—we must go grab more oil.

              as i’ve pointed out elsewhere, our ultimate oil depletion will be caused not by running out of it, but by fighting over it

              i would have thought that was obvious

            • Energy^2 says:

              James – If she has viewed an educational clip on what she was burning, she would NOT do that. We all selfish, but when we’re told not burning FF serves the endurance of the industrial age, we would listen. Nobody likes to go back and live in the pre-industrial age, like most of Iraqis, Syrians, Yemenies and few others do! 🙂

              I have few youtube links for her to watch on how FF depletion can reduce cities to rebels, leaving hundred of thousands of families beneath, to death. She will watch them and never driving a car again!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

            • DJ says:

              Maybe send those youtube links to Leo?

    • xabier says:

      Well, I used to deal with advertising agencies in that area of London: it was notorious then for vagabonds,cheap prostitutes and street crime. I can’t say that this looks like anything new, but maybe it is. These things always ebb and flow.

      Now, I did see lots of street people in the centre of the eastern city of Norwich two years ago, but I have no idea at all how that would compare to earlier periods.

    • Sungr says:

      “Hey fellows! Hop in my Tesla and I will show you how this buggy accelerates!

    • Ed says:

      FE, hey the charging is free, can’t beat that. No oil changes, no fuel cost what’s not to like.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        … the fact that if you try to re-sell the EV and find out it has collapsed in value because nobody wants a new let alone used EV … is not to like

        I suspect if these MORE ons understood the the ‘free’ electricity was produced using cool — would wipe that stuuuupid smile off their faces

  24. JH Wyoming says:


    This is an interesting article about the rise of ‘rough sleeping’ in the UK. That’s apparently what they call the homeless.

  25. Baby Doomer says:

    The stock market is off to its best start in 31 years and that bodes well for the rest of 2018 -CNBC

    “Some haunting third grade math”

    2018 – 31 = 1987

    What happened back in 1987?

    • futhark says:

      “What happened back in 1987?”

      In October there was a hurricane in London, followed by a stock market crash the next day.

  26. Jtroberts says:

    Wow how foolish? So much regurgitate? Multiple stomachs I’m sure.

  27. Baby Doomer says:

    Cramer: Trump wants the rich to get richer in hopes of a ‘worldwide trickle down’


    • HideAway says:

      I read somewhere recently that Trump had an IQ of 156.
      All that TV experience has done him a lot of good, he is able to act like his IQ is much lower….. /S.

      • JH Wyoming says:

        156? Don’t believe everything you read. He’s a master manipulator – that’s different than high IQ. It just means his lizard brain is well adapted to conniving, deceit, lying and retribution.

  28. JH Wyoming says:


    Cape Town urged to turn off taps to toilets when not in use. Not sure what that does, because toilets don’t use water unless flushed. However it brought up a question; What happens to sewage when the water is turned off completely? Where do people go? Do they bring in thousands of those portable stand alone units? But then how do they clean those out if there is no water? I mean we’re talking about 3.5 million people.

    • MG says:

      That is the main problem: hygiene. Maybe they will start to pump the sea water into the pipes for flushing the toilets. What else remains them?

      • JH Wyoming says:

        There are several problems with sea water. Namely, salt is very corrosive depending on what the pipes are made of. Also, sea water has microbes and other organisms that would begin to build up on the pipe walls. Algae, fungi, all sorts of stuff would start growing in toilets. Might even get a build up of barnacles which are very hard to remove.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          Hong Kong’s three main sources of water are supplied from Guangdong Province; internal freshwater sources stored in reservoirs; and seawater used for flushing toilets. …

          Seawater is used to flush toilets and accounts for about 22 percent of total water use in 2008–09.


          • JH Wyoming says:

            “Seawater is used to flush toilets and accounts for about 22 percent of total water use in 2008–09.”

            What that link states is a separate system is required, but apparently it is possible to use seawater. That may take some time and money but could help them after it’s installed.

          • futhark says:

            I recall reading in “Life after the oil crash” (a defunct web site) that 20,000 gallons of pure water are required for the manufacture of a ton of steel. How much industry is situated in Cape Town? Industry uses far more water than the mere flushing of toilets.

    • JH Wyoming says:

      Keep in mind they figure to have to turn off all water by April 12th, but the rainy season doesn’t begin there until May. Even if it does rain how long before the taps can be turned back on again? This is going to be a different version from what is happening in Venezuela. Instead of economic collapse, they will be a case study for the first developed major city without water service. Will be interesting to see how the wealth divide plays out.

      • Tango Oscar says:

        Water riots and depopulation until the remaining 200 water holes collapse. This same situation is about to occur over other large patches of Africa and eventually places like Mexico & California as well.

  29. JH Wyoming says:


    Wow, this is weird! Speaking of AI and driverless vehicles, here’s a robot that races motorcycles!

  30. JH Wyoming says:


    ‘US economy loses steam as imports surge’

    “US economic growth slowed unexpectedly to an annualised rate of 2.6% in the last three months of 2017, the Commerce Department said on Friday. That was better than the 1.5% posted in 2016, but well short of President Donald Trump’s 3% target. Imports surged by 13.9% in the quarter – the fastest pace since the third quarter of 2010 – offsetting a rise in exports. As a result, trade sliced off 1.1 percentage points from GDP growth in the three months.”

    Already the target GDP suggested by the Trump Admin. is lower than projected, which will result in the new tax cuts causing an even bigger deficit than originally projected. Maybe what we need is even greater tax cuts to generate even more growth – sarc. Just imagine how much tax revenue would be added by way of incredibly amazing growth if there were no taxes – super sarc.

  31. MG says:

    What is the difference between cheap and junky? The same as the difference between quality energy and the intermittent energy. The costly coal and the costly nuclear still has got some value, but the intermittent wind and solar has got no value.

    We live in the world where they sell junky energy for low or negative prices, i.e. the humans become the slaves of the energy, which is a complete nonsense that can not continue forever, because humans are dependent on the energy. Thus the main quality of energy is reliability. The fact that the energy must be cheap, is on the second place.

    With costly reliable energy, the human populations still can exist, but the human populations can not exist with the cheap junky energy.

    Firstly RELIABLE, secondly CHEAP.

    • since humankind worked out how to control fire, we have used it to convert naturally occurring materials into useful objects

      that is the fundamental use of energy, irrespective of the names you put on it

      we are evolved to use as much as possible, as fast as possible

      only when we’ve used all there is, will we cease to use it.

      such is the destiny of humanity

      • MG says:

        We do not need objects, when there is no one to use them. We live in the era of rising amounts of objects, but the declining energy. That way e.g. the housing bubble bursts.

        • without ”objects” you will find yourself as a meal for another species that has never had a use for them

          • MG says:

            Rising the price for waste processing is the cost that brings the need for new objects down and it rises the need for energy that is used for the purposes of deleting or remaking the produced stuff.

    • HideAway says:

      “Firstly RELIABLE, secondly CHEAP”

      Funnily enough, I have a solar powered, lithium battery setup on an isolated part of the property.
      It is far more reliable than grid power here, and was cheaper to install, with no ongoing electricity bills (which are high in this part of the world, over 35c/kwh during peak times).
      Southern Australia went from one of the cheapest most reliable electricity supplies, based on coal power, to one of the most expensive in the world, based on old coal generators, gas peaking plants, some hydro and a lot of new ‘renewables’.
      Most importantly the biggest single change is from government monopolies, to a segregated multi layered private system. The govt monopoly had one set of administration/management, the private companies have many separate ones.

      While it is true that industry could not be supplied the power needed in the same manner as an individual property, in this country the question can be asked, What industry? We have outsourced most manufacturing/heavy industry to China.

      • MG says:

        But scaling up the production of batteries is a problem: that is why Tesla will NEVER meet its promises based on the need for lithium, cobalt etc. for affordable price.

        If the solar panels are made thanks to fossil fulels, then the costly coal, oil or natural gas will start to rise the price of them, too. Not speaking about the declining specialist workforce due to the ageing populations.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          There is not way to explain this to a green groopie…. they believe in the god of progress.. that technological advances shall overcome …

          It has happened before … but of course even if this could happen… it would hasten the end of BAU… because if all cars were EV … oil production would collapse

  32. Baby Doomer says:

    DC lobbying during Trump administration surges to highest level in 7 years

    Hard to drain the swamp when you are knee deep in Alligators!

  33. adonis says:

    this story is worth a look it just shows the belief that renewables and ev’s will be our future, pure delusistani https://www.unlimited.world/ubs/rip-the-petrol-engine-1884-2028

    • Baby Doomer says:

      Based on the fact it takes around two hours to charge an EV and you can’t drive it out of the city..They are pretty much worthless to most Americans..

    • Fast Eddy says:

      I was having this discussion with a friend who just bought a hybrid EV…(it has a 9 litre petrol reserve) he feels he is cheating and that ultimately 100% EV is what must happen.

      I asked how long it took to charge and he said on a fast station 20 minutes to get to 80%

      I mentioned the Mearns research indicating the absurd number of charging stations that would be required for a stretch of highway in Scotland.

      The response was — the battery technology will improve

      Yes … of course…

      Meanwhile what is whirring around in the back of my mind is that in most countries EVs are coal powered….

      And let’s say we went completely EV with passenger cars… that would crater the price of oil …. wiping out producers — and we’d have no oil for other uses including the many thousands of key products that we use in everyday living…

      Nah…. instead I regaled with a story of how our neighbour in Bali chopped our cat’s head off because we told him that it was not ok to bust a hole in our fence and tap into our bore water without asking.

      • djerek says:

        “The response was — the battery technology will improve”

        There are literally articles from the NY Times from the 1910’s that talk about how any time now battery technology will improve to the point of making the electric car outcompete gasoline.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            I suspect that nearly all of these owners have more than one car — the EV or ‘toy’ car is for driving to the organic coffee shop, parking out front .. and looking cool… and for everything else… they have a real car.

            4 year graduate degree = wealthy…. they can afford to own the toy…

            For most other people — that is not an option – they have one car — and it ain’t electric… unless they stoned on Koombaya Flavoured Kool Aid

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Imagine how good DelusisTANIS feel… when they try to drive further than the range of their EV ….. and they stop at a charging station… and sit there waiting for their toy to charge….

              I would recommend the charging stations be built close to the highways so that the DelusisTANIS can be seen by other motorists…. they could prance around like proud peacocks… actually PLEASED to be delayed (drinking fair trade organic coffee)… because their sacrifice demonstrates that they are saving the world…

              And they won’t mind if they have to queue for a couple of hours … in fact that they like it … because it demonstrates their commitment to saving the planet….

              Look at Me – I am awesome! I don’t mind the wait …. (while they read the New York Times….)

              Reminds me of the Penn Teller recycling video — where the guy keeps adding wheely bins for different kinds of rubbish — asking the Green Groopies if they mind — even when he gets to around 10 different ones they continue to say – not a problem.

              Truly epic f789ing re ta r dation on display here….. and the smarter, more wealthy the person …. the greater the re ta r dation

      • adonis says:

        what a crazy world we live in for someone to exact revenge on your cat

      • doomphd says:

        at least it was your cat’s head, and not you or the wife’s. some (former) neighbor.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          If there is a god… when BAU goes down … heaven will be me – and that neighbour …. locked in a room…. my heaven… his hell….

    • DJ says:

      Figueres… Thank you very much for ruining my evening.

      I think there has existed museums dedicated to ICEs for over 50 years already.

    • Be warned: complete MSM nonsense

  34. Baby Doomer says:

    US Savings Rate Near 70-Year Lows, Matches 2007 Levels

    Why the Savings Rate Is a Reason to Worry About 2018 U.S. Growth. It’s back down at 2007 levels, fourth-quarter GDP data showed. It can’t fall forever, and ‘as the consumer goes, so goes GDP’


  35. Jtroberts says:

    To add context to the net energy decline in global oil.


  36. Baby Doomer says:

    US Middle class no longer dominates and is now the minority (2015)


  37. Dorvek says:

    A (nutty) taste of what’s to come: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-42826028

  38. Baby Doomer says:

    US economic growth slows in fourth-quarter on surging imports – 2017 US Economic Growth (2.3%)


  39. psile says:

    Perfect storm’: Global financial system showing danger signs, says senior OECD economist


    The world financial system is as dangerously stretched today as it was at the peak of the last bubble but this time the authorities are caught in a “policy trap” with few defences left, a veteran central banker has warned.

    Nine years of emergency money has had a string of perverse effects and lured emerging markets into debt dependency, without addressing the structural causes of the global disorder…

  40. Curt Kurschus says:

    How helpful would Trump’s tax cuts be in offsetting the effects of rising interest rates where oil companies are concerned? Given the financial difficulties that they have been having with high debt levels even with super low interest rates, will the tax cuts be enough to offset further trauma inflicted by rising interest rates? Might we see further bankruptcies and defaults among the oil sector in 2018, perhaps sufficient to have a noticeable impact upon the economy?

    • I am not sure. The tax cuts seem to limit loss carry forwards (or perhaps it is only something similar to this). I believe this makes the tax situation on developing offshore plays and other plays requiring a long time frame less advantageous. But at the same time, there is an overall percentage cut. I think on some of these things the tax cut has a company by company different impact.

      At the same time, if interest rates are rising, this will make borrowing more expensive, and perhaps more difficult. I would expect the prices of shares of stock to drop as well, making funding through sale of shares of stock less feasible.

      I expect most companies will still be left in very poor condition, with the combination of the tax change and rising interest rates, primarily because they are not really making enough money.

      • Curt Kurschus says:

        Thank you. ☺

        Shell relied upon asset sales, exploration cutbacks and staff cuts to make a bumper profit and expressed their regret at getting involved in tight oil operations. Other large resource companies are selling tight oil interests.
        One has to wonder who is buying the unwanted shale assets, and how long the new owners will keep extracting tight oil if even the big players cannot turn a profit.

        Perhaps the combination of impacts of debt defaults (or even a stop to borrowing? ) and declining share prices upon lenders and markets in an already fragile economic environment relying upon more cheap credit to keep afloat will be what breaks the proverbial camel’s back?

  41. JH Wyoming says:

    This was a post I found at peak oil dot com by a someone named Mastermind:

    The End of the Oil Age is Imminent:

    Recently, the HSBC oil report stated that 80% of conventional oil fields were declining at a rate of 5-7% per year. This means that there will be an oil shortage of ~30 million barrels per day by 2030 and ~40 million barrels per day by 2040.

    What is mentioned far less often is that annual oil discoveries have lagged annual production since the 1980s.

    Now, this problem has nothing to do with the recent decline in the oil price, which started in 2014. This has been an on-going problem for the past 30 years. Now, the IEA is predicting oil shortages by ~2020 due to declining exploration.

    Here, the IEA blames this problem on the low oil price. But, this problem started in the 1980s. The problem is geological: we are running out of conventional cheap oil. Shale and tar sands are not the answer, either. Those resources are far too expensive, compared to conventional oil, because the global economy is based on cheap conventional oil. Expensive oil is not a replacement for cheap oil.

    Based upon the HSBC report and the IEA, the End of Oil Age will start around ~2020: there will be a dramatic economic depression due to exhaustion of cheap oil. This will cause a global economic collapse.

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