Our Latest Oil Predicament

It is impossible to tell the whole oil story, but perhaps I can offer a few insights regarding where we are today.

[1] We already seem to be back to the falling oil prices and refilling storage tanks scenario.

US crude oil stocks hit their low point on January 19, 2018 and have started to rise again. The amount of crude oil fill has averaged about 365,000 barrels per day since then. At the same time, prices of both Brent and WTI oil have fallen from their high points.

Figure 1. Average weekly spot Brent oil prices from EIA website, with circle pointing to recent downtick in prices.

Many people believe that the oil problem, when it hits, will be running out of oil. People with such a belief interpret a glut of oil to mean that we are still very far from any limit.

[2] An alternative story to running out of oil is that the economy is a self-organized system, operating under the laws of physics. With this story, too little demand for oil is as likely an outcome as a shortage of oil.

Oil and energy products are used to create everything, even jobs. If all humans have is energy from the sun, plus the energy that all animals have, then humans would be much more like chimpanzees. All humans would be able to do is gather plant food and catch a few easy-to-catch animals (earthworms and crickets, for example). They certainly could not extract oil or find uses for it.

It takes a self-organized economy to support the extraction and sale of energy products. We need a complex web that includes:

  • Equipment to extract the oil
  • Training for engineers and other workers
  • Devices that use oil, such as vehicles, farm equipment, road paving equipment
  • A financial system to enable transactions to purchase oil
  • Buyers with jobs that pay well enough that they can afford to buy goods made with oil

The things that go wrong with this economy can be on the buyers’ end of the economy. Buyers can have jobs, but these jobs may not pay well enough for the buyers to afford the output of the economy. A falling share of the population may be able to afford cars, for example.

[3] It is possible that a recent rapid increase in oil supply is contributing to the current mismatch between supply and demand. 

Data of the US Energy Information Administration indicates that US oil supply has recently begun to surge. It is not just crude oil production that is higher. Natural gas liquid production is higher as well. As a result, Total Liquids production is reported to have been more than 16 million barrels per day in November 2017.

Figure 2. US Liquids Production, based on International Energy Data provided by the US EIA.

Oil production of the rest of the world has been relatively flat, as planned.

Figure 3. World excluding the US oil production by type, based on EIA International Energy data through November 2017.

Total world production, combining the amounts on Figures 2 and 3, set a new record of 99.1 million barrels of oil per day for November 2017, based on EIA data. This level is above the November 2016 level, which was the previous record at 98.9 million barrels per day.

At this high level of production, it is not surprising that the economy cannot absorb the full amount of extra supply.

There are also a number of issues that affect buyers’ demand for oil.

[4] The percentage of US residents who can afford to buy a new automobile or light truck seems to be falling over time. 

If we look at the number of autos and trucks sold in the US, per 1000 population, we see a pattern of falling humps, as a smaller and smaller share of the population can afford a new car or light truck, each year. The big drops occur during the gray recessionary periods marked on the chart.

Figure 4. Figure showing US Passenger Cars and Light Trucks Purchased per Year per 1000 Population. Original graph by FRED (Federal Reserve of St. Louis). Retitled by author, because units were confusing on original chart.

The first peak came in 1978, at 67.3 units. The second, slightly lower peak came in 1986, at 66.7. The third peak came in 2000 at 61.5 units. The fourth peak came in 2015, at 51.6 units. Early 2018 amounts suggest that the trend in units sold per 1000 population will continue its downward trend.

Part of what is happening is that vehicles are becoming longer-lasting, so that there is not as much need to buy new cars frequently. But having a short-lived, cheap car has an advantage, if it makes cars available to a larger percentage of the total population. With a vehicle, a person has a much better ability to participate in the US workforce. US Labor Force Participation Rates peaked in about the year 2000, which is about the time of the third peak in affordability.

Figure 5. US Labor Force Participation Rate. Chart by FRED (Federal Reserve of St. Louis).

[5] There was a steep rise in the cost of auto ownership in the 1995- 2008 period. This has since fallen back, but the cost is still high relative to the wages of many workers.

One estimate of the cost of auto ownership is the reimbursement rate that the US government allows businesses to pay workers who use their own cars for company business.

Figure 6. Auto reimbursement rates as compiled on this list. Amounts shown on “As Stated” basis, and also at the 2017 cost level, based on CPI Urban.

These costs peaked about 2008 and were reflected in high reimbursement rates for 2009 as well. More recently, buyers of cars have been helped by longer term loans and ultra-low interest rates. If interest rates rise at all, the share of people buying or leasing new vehicles can be expected to fall further from the level shown on Figure 4.

[6] Building homes also requires oil. There has been a sharp drop in US home building, both on an absolute basis, and on a per capita basis, since 2008.

Figure 7. US Housing Units Completed, related to US population. Population from Census Bureau; population from UN 2017 population summary.

Building homes is part of oil demand. It takes oil to transport all of the materials used (lumber, siding, wiring, pipes, appliances) to the place where the house will be built. Furthermore, many of the materials used in building a home are produced using petroleum products.

The number of homes built depends on the number of new households that can afford a separate place to live. The low level of building makes it look as if the economy is still seeing a pattern of young adults living with their parents much longer than in the past. If buildings are to be replaced every 75 years, my calculation suggests that about 6 housing units per 1000 residents need to be built each year. About 2.5 units per thousand are needed, just to keep up with rising population, if upgrading and remodeling can be done almost indefinitely.

The fact that there is little home building reduces the number of jobs available in the building industry. The lack of jobs in this industry helps hold down the demand for oil, because these workers would use their wages to buy goods for themselves, such as food and vehicles. Food is grown and transported using vehicles powered by oil.

The lack of home building also contributes to the nation’s homelessness problem. If there were plenty of inexpensive apartments, there would be fewer homeless people.

[7] There is no longer an oil price at which both oil exporters and oil importers are satisfied. Oil prices today are too low for oil exporters.

I started writing about oil producers complaining that oil prices were too low in early 2014. At that time, oil companies were looking back at prices of over $100 per barrel in 2013. They were saying that $100+ prices were too low to provide adequate funds for reinvestment in new fields. Now prices are in the $65 range, which is even farther below the desired level.

Oil exporters are especially unhappy about today’s low prices, because they need high prices in order to collect needed tax revenue. This is why OPEC members and Russia have been holding back production. The plan is to deplete the glut of oil in storage, and thus get prices up.

It is not at all clear, however, that consumers in oil importing countries can really withstand higher prices. The fact that Brent oil prices could only stay above $70 per barrel for one week on Figure 2 (in the red circle), suggests that consumers in major oil importing countries cannot really withstand oil prices at this high level. I have observed previously that a sustainable price, without adding a huge amount of debt each year, is only about $20 per barrel.

[8] If we analyze vehicle purchases by country, we can see that low oil prices since 2014 seem to be helping major oil importers but are hurting Tier 2 countries that are commodity-dependent.

Figure 8. New vehicles (private passenger and commercial combined) purchased per capita for selected groupings of countries. Amounts shown are from OICA estimates by country.

In this chart, the grouping of Advanced Economies includes:

  • USA
  • Europe
  • Japan
  • Canada
  • Australia

For this grouping, growth in auto sales is again rising, but has not regained its prior level. This is somewhat similar to the indications in Figure 4, for the US only, looking at cars and light trucks. The main difference is in the last two years. Changes in currency relativities may be helping recent vehicle sales for the other countries in the grouping.

On this chart, the Tier 2 grouping includes:

  • Brazil
  • Russia
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Malaysia
  • Mexico

This group includes several oil and other resource dependent countries. South Korea is perhaps more like the industrial countries in the first grouping. This grouping shows a downturn in the purchasing of vehicles in the last three years, when commodity prices have been depressed. If oil prices were higher, this group would probably be buying more vehicles.

Figure 8 shows that China’s auto sales have been growing rapidly. In fact, China has surpassed the Tier 2 average in per capita sales. In the past year, China’s growth in auto sales has flattened. But with China’s huge population, the absolute number of vehicles sold is still very high: 29.1 million vehicles, compared to 17.6 million for the United States, and compared to 20.9 million for Europe.

India and the Rest of the World account for surprisingly few vehicles sold. On Figure 8, their lines overlap at the bottom of the chart.

[9] The push toward raising interest rates and selling QE securities will tend to reduce oil prices and add to the oil glut.

I wrote about some of the issues involved in Raising Interest Rates Is Like Starting a Fission Chain Reaction. When interest rates are higher, economies are pushed in the direction of recession. All kinds of discretionary spending are reduced. Use of oil will almost certainly be reduced. This could lower oil prices significantly, as it did in 2008 (Figure 1).

[10] To a significant extent, China has been helping hold up world oil consumption, with its rapidly growing economy. It is hitting headwinds now, however.

The International Monetary Fund recently showed an exhibit indicating how China’s debt is growing very rapidly, but its growth in output is slowing. The combination could very easily lead to a credit crisis.

Figure 9. Exhibit from IMF Working Paper called Credit Booms: Is China Different?

Now, the rest of the world depends on China for many imported goods. If China should have problems, it would indirectly affect oil demand elsewhere as well.

Even China’s recent ban on importing certain types of materials for recycling can be expected to have an adverse impact on oil demand. Very often, if a container is sent from China to the US or to Europe, there will be no exported goods to send back to China, except for material for recycling. If China refuses to take recycling, containers will need to be returned empty.

Recycling generally needs to be subsidized. Part of what this subsidy is used for is to pay the cost of shipping material to be recycled to China. If China does not take the recycling, this payment for shipping materials in the otherwise-empty containers will not be made. The shipping company will need to charge exporters more for the one-way trip, if the shipping company is to be profitable. This higher cost, by itself, is a deterrent to trade. In many ways, the higher shipping cost is like a tariff.

[11] Conclusion.

My expectation is that the general direction of oil prices is likely downward, especially if interest rates rise. A major financial disruption of any kind would have a similar effect. Gluts of oil can be expected with lower prices.

Many groups, including the IEA, have been warning about oil shortages because of inadequate investment in new production. Oil shortages, and energy shortages in general, have a multitude of adverse impacts on economies. One of them is loss of jobs, because jobs require the use of energy, for example, to deliver goods in a truck. If many more people are unemployed, there is less demand for oil.

Thus, it is not at all clear that a shortage of oil leads to high prices; it may very well lead to lower prices. Many people are confused about this issue, because the word demand gives a misleading impression of the mechanism involved. Lack of demand comes from part of the population not being able to afford cars and homes. It also comes from cutbacks in government spending and from failing businesses. In an interconnected system, even failing banks tend to reduce oil demand.

Another adverse impact of oil and energy shortages tends to be fighting and wars. The fact that the US seems to be raising its energy production, in apparent disregard for countries that have been trying to cut back, is likely to make some oil exporting countries quite angry. It could sow the seeds for another war.

Economists do not seem to understand that GDP growth rates don’t tell very much about the well-being of individual citizens in an economy. A major issue is wage disparity. If there are many very low wage people, there is likely to be downward pressure on the sale of automobiles, and on the purchase of petroleum products. Economists are likely to think everything is fine, up until a major crisis occurs.

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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2,023 Responses to Our Latest Oil Predicament

  1. MG says:

    The Chinese investments in the Czech Republic go do down to half between 2016 and 2017:

    https://finweb.hnonline.sk/zahranicna-ekonomika/1720427-zemanove-vizie-sa-neplnia-cinske-investicie-v-cesku-sa-dramaticky-prepadli

    Moreover, there is a scandal with Chinese investment group CEFC in Czech Republic and Slovakia:

    https://praguebusinessjournal.com/jt-finance-group-to-cefc-no-deal-zemans-chinese-advisor-tainted-by-scandal/

    “CEFC China Energy has recently been willing to take out short-term loans with extraordinarily high interest rates, up to 36 percent a year, which reflects the company’s problems with liquidity, Reuters agency said today.

    CEFC Group (Europe) Company originally had 10 percent in J&T Finance Group.

    In March 2016, companies agreed that CEFC would acquire 50 percent. The company was supposed pay EUR980m (Kc25bn) for the stake.

    At the end of last year, the Czech National Bank (CNB) refused to approve the transaction, according to the Echo24.cz server. The CNB said that CEFC had not documented source of the money sufficiently.”

    • I found this article about CEFC China Energy:
      https://www.reuters.com/article/us-cefc-china/chinas-cefc-has-big-ambitions-but-little-known-about-ownership-funding-idUSKBN14X0B5

      China’s CEFC has big ambitions, but little known about ownership, funding

      Inside four years, CEFC China Energy has emerged from relative obscurity as a niche fuel trader to become a rapidly growing oil and finance conglomerate with assets across the world and an ambition to become one of China’s energy giants.

      It has a rare contract to store part of the nation’s strategic oil reserve, gained financing from the state-owned China Development Bank (CDB) and has hired a number of former top officials from state-owned energy companies, CEFC officials said. It also has layers of Communist Party committees across its subsidiaries – more than at many private Chinese companies.

      Its influence goes well beyond Beijing. Czech President Milos Zeman has appointed CEFC’s founder and Chairman Ye Jianming as an advisor on economic policies, and the company has become one of China’s biggest investors in central Europe.

      I can see why this situation might be unstable.

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      no…

      they can patent it, even without being able to build one that works…

      so…

      is this an April Fool’s joke or what?

      • Dennis L. says:

        There are some funny ufos flying around, Navy pilots seeing them, etc. Skunk works has done interesting things in the past.

    • JH Wyoming says:

      What that means is Lockheed Martin holds the patent for 18 years on such a powered device. Not that they have succeeded in making one, but rather if one is made they will be in line to receive royalties. There use to be a Japanese man that had over 1,000 patents but they were ideas of stuff to come, i.e. not produced yet, that sometimes he would benefit from later when they actually came to fruition. So nothing to see here because it still hasn’t actually been made or proven to work yet.

      • doomphd says:

        and there is still the nontrivial problem of what to do with the neutrons emmanating from such reactors, either fission or fusion based. sheilding needed is OK for ships and subs, but what to do on airplanes or in cars/trucks? you need an aneutronic reaction. any hyrogen fuel must be cleaned to very high levels to avoid HD contamination, which will produce neutrons.

  2. Sungr says:

    Anybody want to escape the USD by transferring pension assets to Chinese management?

    China’s Social Credit System Seeks to Assign Citizens Scores, Engineer Social Behaviour
    3-31-2018

    “Chinese authorities claim they have banned more than 7 million people deemed “untrustworthy” from boarding flights, and nearly 3 million others from riding on high-speed trains, according to a report by the country’s National Development and Reform Commission.”

    “The announcements offer a glimpse into Beijing’s ambitious attempt to create a Social Credit System (SCS) by 2020 — that is, a proposed national system designed to value and engineer better individual behaviour by establishing the scores of 1.4 billion citizens and “awarding the trustworthy” and “punishing the disobedient”.

    Liu Hu, a 43-year-old journalist who lives in China’s Chongqing municipality, told the ABC he was “dumbstruck” to find himself caught up in the system and banned by airlines when he tried to book a flight last year.”

    “Mr Liu is on a “dishonest personnel” list — a pilot scheme of the SCS — because he lost a defamation lawsuit in 2015 and was asked by the court to pay a fine that is still outstanding according to the court record.

    “No one ever notified me,” Mr Liu, who claims he paid the fine, said.”

    “Like the other 7 million citizens deemed to be “dishonest” and mired in the blacklist, Mr Liu has also been banned from staying in a star-rated hotel, buying a house, taking a holiday, and even sending his nine-year-old daughter to a private school.

    And just last Monday, Chinese authorities announced they would also seek to freeze the assets of those deemed “dishonest people”.

    One can earn bonus points for benevolent acts and lose points for disobeying laws, regulations, and social norms.”

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-31/chinas-social-credit-system-punishes-untrustworthy-citizens/9596204

    • Sungr says:

      This type of heavy-handed authoritarian meddling is what makes people skeptical of an internationalized Yuan. Financial operators like deep markets, just-right financial regulation, a mature insurance system, and lots of respect for private wealth.

      • Artleads says:

        ++++++++

        That should advantage the US and the West…if they can figure it out.

        • Ert says:

          They plan the same.. but different. The Data will stay at the big companies but you have “ipt in” by your choice that the governments and the like can access them to profile you: http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_The_Known_Traveller_Digital_Identity_Concept.pdf – thats no joke, but presented at the last WEF!

          If you don’t to that voluntarily… then you have (will become) problems, worse service, have to wait in line, get extraordinary security check or will be banned from certain activities…

          • Artleads says:

            I believe you. I have zero interest in flying anywhere, but my spouse feels she’s missing out on the travel she’s always longed for.

    • xabier says:

      Hmm. ‘Benevolent acts’.

      Bonus points for patting a dog and giving to a dogs home ? Or for buying a dog and giving to a peasant to eat?

      I imagine that suggesting that free elections and the end of the Party dictatorship might be a good idea would be rather negative in its effects…..

    • Everything seems to need to be approved by the government. Those who run afoul of the system face consequences. With the limited number of last names, I expect it is hard to keep track of exactly who is who. Our equivalent of way too many John Smith’s.

      I understand that India is now using facial recognition https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/now-face-recognition-to-authenticate-aadhaar-but-with-biometrics-or-otp/articleshow/62515557.cms
      in addition to finger prints and iris recognition to try to identify its many residents. Too much complexity!

      • xabier says:

        Consolidation of power by The Party. All one can say is that it is not the worst thing ever to have happened to the Chinese……

      • zenny says:

        The Cdn gov and I assume the US is using facial recognition from snowflake protests and using for hiring…I know HR is using it at my job.

    • JH Wyoming says:

      George Orwell’s (‘1984’) worst nightmare, brought to their people by China.

  3. Baby Doomer says:

    Massive debt. Damaged credit. Nothing to save. How student loans make home ownership a pipe

    https://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/massive-debt-damaged-credit-nothing-130000815.html

  4. Artleads says:

    “The fact that there is little home building reduces the number of jobs available in the building industry. The lack of jobs in this industry helps hold down the demand for oil, because these workers would use their wages to buy goods for themselves, such as food and vehicles. Food is grown and transported using vehicles powered by oil.”

    As you have recommended before, there could be a lot of jobs remodeling existing houses–many could go from single family to multiple family easily enough–especially remaining two-story Victorians. (Places like Detroit had a monstrous number of these demolished.) That would also have the effect of increasing tourism to such sites–more coming and going, more ancillary businesses, more publicity, etc. So I don’t see where not building new houses has to reduce jobs. Also, the current norm of tearing down old buildings to make more modern ones–the religion of progress–decreases the tourist attraction of the historic fabric. So that creates one kind of job at the expense of another. It also implies the loss of embedded energy lodged in the old, to say nothing about the environmental cost and aesthetic loss of new construction..

    • Just thinking about costs involved, I think that demolition and rebuilding add more energy use and human jobs than simple remodeling. Also, it is easier to make the new structure energy efficient with the rebuilding. Needless to say, many people place a high priority on up to date styling of kitchens and bathrooms. Also, today’s fashion is more square feet of better insulated housing, and the demolition provides this.

      So as long as debt can be obtained cheaply by the well-to-do, I suppose they will be buying new homes. The not so well to do, not so much.

      • Artleads says:

        Yes. Such a pity. Humans can’t abide working a little harder for style and class, or to be vaguely civilized. Same problem everywhere with our contemptible species.

        Here’s another idea they won’t go for:: Give preference to and subsidize shelter for the working homeless. You wouldn’t need to build much more than a shed roof to keep water off school bus or a retired-RV homes. Artists and landscape architects would get work making them beautiful tourist drive-bys. But I can hear the cries of disaster tourism….

  5. Baby Doomer says:

    Charging an electric car in 1905.

    https://i.redd.it/o9j1ds5muzo01.jpg

  6. Baby Doomer says:

    Guillotine watch: The executives who bankrupted Toys R Us this year want $16M-$32M in bonuses for their performance

    https://boingboing.net/2017/11/30/merry-christmas-2.html

    https://imgur.com/a/a3LUR

  7. Baby Doomer says:

    When peak oil happens and we run out of oil, then the whole anthropogenic climate change thing goes away as well. Unless you’re Naomi Klein and you’d still be hysterical about cows farting…

    • JH Wyoming says:

      “then the whole anthropogenic climate change thing goes away as well.”

      That kind of momentum has been proven to have a 30 year lag time, so even if we stopped burning FF for whatever reason overnight, CC will continue to heat up for at least 30 more years as that momentum plays out.

    • Volvo740 says:

      Not so sure about that. More likely we’ve set in motion something that’s pretty hard to stop.

      • JH Wyoming says:

        It’s true, because the initial excess thermal energy gets passed into the oceans then effects weather up through 30 years later. So all we’re experiencing now is what built up to the year 1988. We have to wait until 2048 just to know what we’ve sowed so far up to 2018. That’s a difficult concept for most people to comprehend, but it’s easy to understand by realizing the oceans can hold thousands of times as much thermal energy as the atmosphere, but at some point that energy must release into the atmosphere. Eastern religion would refer to it as ’cause & effect’. In this case delayed.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        If you read this book … you will change your mind on this issue

        https://www.audible.com/pd/History/The-Fate-of-Rome-Audiobook/B076TCCB4T

    • JH Wyoming says:

      Except for the fact China’s oil exchange just opened a few days ago. The effect on USD won’t be immediate but if China’s Yuan currency gains tiny increments of higher value over time, and it will by virtue of greater international turnover of it’s currency, then the USD’s value will gradually degrade. I’d ck. that chart again in 1 year.

    • China looked like it was doing well for a while, but the big drop in coal production takes it out of the running, I think.

      I think the world’s reserve currency goes to the county with best, cheapest energy supply. The UK lost that role was back in 1913, but it took until 1944 for that change to take place.

      In theory, China could take over this role, based on their coal supply, except that it is not longer growing. (It is up a little in 2017. but the immediate earlier years are down.) We no longer have a candidate for an energy leader.

      • Interesting, giving the early signs of protectionism and insular politics, how would the disintegration/reshaping of international money/credit/debt markets look like? There are so many possibilities, e.g. incl. even the likely scenario in my mind by which USD comes under heavy devaluation, for several reasons one being shaking out foreign debt, yet it still continues as the global financial backbone tool, because there is no other viable alternative. There are simply too many (early) arrogant analyst who believe 100% this or that will immediately step in overnight fashion.. be it petro-currencies, fragmentation into local money, quasi barter in hard commodities etc.

  8. Baby Doomer says:

    Since the 2008 financial crash, the world has witnessed an unprecedented outbreak of social protest in every major continent. Beginning with the birth of the Occupy movement in the US and Western Europe, and the Arab Spring, the eruption of civil unrest has continued to wreak havoc unpredictably from Greece to Ukraine, from China to Thailand, from Brazil to Turkey, and beyond. In some regions, civil unrest has coalesced into the collapse of incumbent governments or even the eruption of a prolonged state of internecine warfare, as is happening in Iraq-Syria and Ukraine- Crimea.

    Increasing public dissatisfaction with government is correlated with continued government difficulties in meeting public expectations. Yet while policymakers and media observers have raced to keep up with events, they have largely missed the deeper causes of this new age of unrest—the end of the age of cheap fossil fuels, and its multiplying consequences for economic growth, industrial food production, and the Earth’s climate stability.

    N.M. Ahmed,
    Failing States, Collapsing Systems
    SpringerBriefs in Energy,

    http://www.academia.edu/34816514/Failing_States_Collapsing_Systems_BioPhysical_Triggers_of_Political_Violence_SPRINGER_BRIEFS_IN_ENERGY_?utm_campaign=buffer&utm_content=bufferf1d95&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com

  9. Dr. D. makes a lot of good points, about wealth being more concentrated in the cities, and fights between the cities and rural areas. But I wish he had mentioned energy somewhere in the article. We know that energy per capita consumption (as usually measured) is higher in rural states [oops, fixed this] than in urban states. https://www.eia.gov/state/rankings/ For example, energy consumption per capita is 479 million Btu in Iowa, but only 189 million Btu in New York State.

    If there is not enough energy to go around, it looks like a good solution to jettison the rural states, and let the urban states continue. Except this doesn’t really work (any more than stopping paying the non-elite workers so that the elite workers can have more, and we can spend more on robots). But this does not work. Cities produce far more GDP per unit of energy consumed (as usually measured), compared to rural states. But we can’t really live on this system. We need someone to product our oil, gas, and coal, and someone to produce our food. The people in offices seem to be doing a lot more using less, but the system cannot operate solely on the labor of these people.

    • DJ says:

      ”The people in offices seem to be doing a lot more using less,”

      A lot of (paid) flea picking and lawn mowing.

      • doomphd says:

        lawns can have a purpose. they can provide a buffer and kill zone to those approaching your position/home. of course, most would not admit this use of a beautiful perimeter lawn. it’s defense in disguise.

        • Pintada says:

          yup

          • Fast Eddy says:

            While you are in your house waiting for me to cross your lawn … I will be in your garden pillaging…

            Alternatively I will be waiting 200m away …. watching for you to go to work in your garden… and I will put a bullet in your heart

            I love all this tough talk from people who not a f789ing clue

            Have either of you even bit in a fist fight in your life?

    • Sven Røgeberg says:

      «We know that energy per capita consumption (as usually measured) is lower in rural states than in urban states.»
      You mean higher in rural states!

      • Dennis L. says:

        An urban dweller does not mow his/her lawn with a 400hp garden tractor. Is farm energy usage separated from rural usage?

      • Right! Higher in rural areas. They are the ones that raise our food and drive long distances to get to stores. Oops!

    • Lastcall says:

      He sort of did…..’As our American society has measurably less energy since 1974, we have seen the re-allocation and distribution of that energy ring-fenced into an ever-dwindling core of fewer counties, and fewer participants in those counties, and like other complex societies, we have been socially fracturing since that time as well, as fewer and fewer within the system benefit from it.’

    • Shawn says:

      Reading the article now and I see the word ‘energy’ appears quite a few times.

  10. adonis says:

    more evidence of TPTB being aware of our collective predicament and planning for it many years past two months to go believers before the fiat system is toast and panic sets in https://environment.yale.edu/publication-series/documents/downloads/a-g/figueres-ivanova.pdf

    • Of course, the people who put this together did not understand the interconnected nature of the system and its dependence on energy products. From an energy perspective, there is essentially nothing anyone can do without crashing the system.

      • It seems the dance about “the core and periphery shake out” is playing out there in the open. For example, the UK establishment is hell bent on reviving its very old (even pre industrial) modus operandi of meddling on the continent while staying “safely” aside.
        Now they pretend to the US they are valuable junior partner in such schemes not defacto a failed state..

        Similarly, Russia and Asians, Gulfies, all are jokeying for relative positions not to be the next one the fall out of the table of plenty like Venezuela. In Central Europe/~Balkans, Austria and Hungary are again showing some long term strategic thinking, i.e. likely ruling the area again in the future if there is any .. as Poles, Czechs and Slovaks behave like idiots as usual..

        • xabier says:

          Internal ‘triage’ is proceeding apace here in the UK: if you read the news stories carefully, it is clear that life is ever worse outside the core hi-tech ‘growth hub’ areas, such as that in which I live, and outside the prosperous professional and skilled classes, to which all investment and public spending is being directed.

          This is very evident in ‘social care’ – very drastic cuts indeed. And I just saw a mention of more closures of police stations, courts and tribunals outside cities.

          Same for health care in general: major hospital centres getting nearly everything, longer and slower journeys to get treatment for the rest -pretty bad if you have a heart attack, etc.

          And even in cities: there is apparently now a war among the Somali and Congolese gangs for the control of the streets in a part of London where the police station has just been closed and they can do what they like at night. Before that police patrols kept the lid on things. The Somalis say they are the ‘victims’ of the nasty Congo boys……. 🙂

          Knife and gun crime statistics are very bad indeed, and a wave of moped robberies. There is simply such a low chance of being arrested and imprisoned for these crimes.

          A slide into an ineffectual, if not failed, state.

          • Yep, you coined it well as “internal triage” – that’s why I’m afraid this trend could give us another yet more hellish ~two decades of quasi/oppressive BAU or more..

        • MG says:

          “as Poles, Czechs and Slovaks behave like idiots as usual” – idiots are the winners, as they understand that there is really nothing to fight or fuss about… we all here on earth are doomed anyway…

  11. xabier says:

    Good little essay by ‘Dr.D’ on Automatic Earth entitled ‘The Core’.

    • From that article

      An organism contracts from the periphery to the core.

      There’s a lot in that statement. As it took decades, even a century to happen, you can see which peripheries were sacrificed first and next, who had power, who didn’t, and how long they could maintain it; and that’s interesting, because it was not East or West, white or black, rural or urban as they might have you believe. There are as many hopeless, abandoned people in Baltimore as there are in Billings, Montana, possibly more, and possibly started far sooner. But if it’s not ethnic or geographical, then what is it?

      In my view, if energy per capita for the organization is not growing enough, what energy is available tends to concentrate in the cities. Rural areas get left out. Jobs that pay well become unavailable. That seems to be what is happening.

      • MG says:

        The question is what is rural and what is city when the process takes place on a large scale, i.e. the whole countries are depopulating. That way Great Britain is on the perifery the same way as Japan is: both of them are island countries, separated from the mainland.

        Moreover, I would say that the deforested areas are depopulated before forested areas, i.e. centers situated in the agricultural areas without forests disappear first, as the human civilization si dependent on the stored energy (the simplest form is the biomass, wood being longer lasting than grass).

  12. Baby Doomer says:

    They know the oil is going to be running out in a few years worldwide. I hate to be the one to say it but a major nuclear war to depopulate would make a lot of sense..

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/rrapier/2018/03/23/is-the-world-sleepwalking-into-an-oil-crisis/#3dd6e74344cf

  13. Baby Doomer says:

    What would ‘nuclear Armageddon’ look like in your city? This terrifying simulator shows you

    https://outrider.org/nuclear-weapons/interactive/bomb-blast

    This is wild! A must try for everyone!

    • Baby Doomer says:

      And make sure to switch what types of bombs used! They start you out on the weak shit!

    • Baby Doomer says:

      This is great unless it’s a Russian salted nuke then you will have to stay indoors for 60 years for the cobalt to decay. What a wonderful world…

      • Fast Eddy says:

        That’s nothing compared to the effects of a spent fuel pond burning up….

        • Fast Eddy says:

          Containing radiation equivalent to 14,000 times the amount released in the atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima 68 years ago, more than 1,300 used fuel rod assemblies packed tightly together need to be removed from a building that is vulnerable to collapse, should another large earthquake hit the area.

          http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/14/us-japan-fukushima-insight-idUSBRE97D00M20130814

          • Baby Doomer says:

            Funny thing is that these nukes aren’t as devastating as newer stuff that Russia has – Putin says he’s got a single nuke that would turn all of Texas to glass. That’s a whole another level of alarming.

            • JH Wyoming says:

              “Funny thing is that these nukes aren’t as devastating as newer stuff that Russia has – Putin says he’s got a single nuke that would turn all of Texas to glass.”

              Even a tsar bomba doesn’t cover much area when compared to the whole state of texas, so what is this new bomb?

          • JeremyT says:

            Unit 4 spent fuel removal
            On December 22, 2014, TEPCO crews completed the removal of all fuel assemblies from the spent fuel pool of reactor 4. 1331 spent fuel assemblies were moved to the ground-level common spent fuel pool, and 204 unused fuel assemblies were moved to the spent fuel pool of reactor 6 (Unit 4 was out of service for refueling at the time of the 2011 accident, so the spent fuel pool contained a number of unused new fuel assemblies).(Wikipedia)

            • Fast Eddy says:

              That would be a good thing…. but what is your point?

              When BAU goes down — the spent fuels will lose power — and they will boil … and release massive amounts of radiation ….

    • Baby Doomer says:

      So far the Tsar in an air burst over Mexico City seems to have the maximum depopulating effect.

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      yawn…

      let’s see…

      I could die in a nuclear blast…

      I could die from radiation poisoning…

      I could get hit by an autonomous car…

      the Chinese space station could fall on me tomorrow…

      I could die in my sleep tonight from cardiac arrest or stroke…

      I could be shot by one of the tens of millions of American gun owners…

      I could be poisoned by The Russians…

      I could be assassassinated by The Ellders because they don’t like what I post on OFW…

      I could have cancer right now and not even know it and be dead in a few weeks or months…

      I could choke on some very tasty and highly satisfying food and be dead in 10 minutes…

      I could fall and hit my head hard enough to get bleeding on the brain…

      I could be confronted by a crazed opioid addict who stuffs a lethal amount into my mouth…

      huh…

      in the good ole days, didn’t people just die of “natural causes”?

    • JH Wyoming says:

      That’s pretty cool! You can opt for a variety of different sized nuclear blasts including Tsar Bomba. Also choose between air or surface explosion to compare different effects. Putting in a location really helps to understand the effects in your local area.

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      when they die young…

      they are really going to be sorry!

  14. Baby Doomer says:

    Pope Francis reportedly denies the existence of hell. Vatican panics.

    https://www.vox.com/2018/3/30/17179952/pope-francis-hell-vatican-interview-scalfari-italian

    You can’t change the rules Mr Francis..People might start asking questions..And we all know where that road will lead..

    • Pope Francis has a lot of folks who would agree with him, I am sure.

      • Duncan Idaho says:

        That we even consider Catholicism as a world view is culture dependent.
        Without it, they would be committing Catholics to mental institutions, a policy that would be very appropriate even under mass mental illness.
        (our current Catholic and Christian mode)

    • JesseJames says:

      If there is no hell, then it follows that there is no heaven….and likewise no God.
      In that case, why would anyone address the pope as His Holiness?

      • Duncan Idaho says:

        It is for people living in the 8th Century.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        I’d like to see the pope… on the end of a rope…I think he’s a fool….

      • Not really. All religions were self-organized by the same system. There seems to be a literal higher power, which underlies all of the self-organization of all of the religions. The higher power seems to work through people.

        How this literal higher power acts after our death is something that we do not understand.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      Hell?

      Hell = End of BAU and the aftermath.

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      of course, there is no good solid evidence for the existence of Heaven and Hell…

      the actual evidence points directly to human beings creating those myths…

      here’s a more modern version:

      what if the only people who go to Hell are those people who believe in Hell?

      the “many gods” problem has no answer…

  15. Kurt says:

    The Tony Seba phenomenon. Every rich person I talk to immediately starts ranting about tony. When I say he is an idiot they get furious. What’s up with that?

    • dolph says:

      Every age has its people who are most disconnected with the way things actually are developing on the ground.
      During the waning of their empire, it was the Romans. During the beginning of the modern era, it was the monks hiding in their monasteries. At the beginning of the 20th century, it was the European colonialists, and later in the 20th century it was the Soviets.

      Now, it’s the turn of the global rich but in particular the rich in America. They simply don’t know anymore what it’s like to actually work for money, to not be able to get billions and billions in funding just by pitching another useless idea. They are completely divorced from actual work and production, they live in a world of fake digits, screens, hollywood and corporate propaganda. In this world, “anything” is possible including a utopia of clean energy and space travel. The idea that things are rapidly decaying for 99% of people in the world completely escapes their notice.

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      Tony Seba is a visionary…

      I think the US government should give him many billions of dollars just like they’ve given to Elon Musk…

      then see what comes from their competition…

      and this is how we will know that Tony Seba is a real visionary:

      when he starts dating Amber Heard…

      when this happens in 2019…

      remember who you heard it from first…

  16. Baby Doomer says:

    CDC: Synthetic Opioid Deaths Doubled from 2015 to 2016

    More than twice as many people died from synthetic opioid overdoses in 2016 as the previous year.

    https://www.usnews.com/news/data-mine/articles/2018-03-30/cdc-synthetic-opioid-deaths-doubled-from-2015-to-2016?src=usn_tw

  17. Baby Doomer says:

    How to defeat the US in any war “Starter Pack”

    https://i.imgur.com/Qo6q6P9.png

    • JH Wyoming says:

      Ah, the AK47 designed by Kaleshnikov provided to the Viet Cong by Russia and the AR 15 provided by the US defense to US soldiers during the Vietnam War. The AK47 has the advantage of durability an ruggedness – it can fall into a pile of dust and junk and still work, whereas the AR15 can jam with such mistreatment, but is lighter. In slow motion an AK47 is seen to flex as it recoils, but the AR15 does not. Advantages and disadvantages. .

      • xabier says:

        Western troops like lighter weapons because they have so much other junk to carry, including body armour.

    • xabier says:

      The British SAS had the sayings of Mao up on the walls (a friend of mine used to train them): they knew that he was the expert in the theory of guerilla war.

      I believe their favourite was along the lines of ‘One man, one gun, and the war can still be won!’, something like that.

  18. http://www.rechargenews.com/transition/1450958/wind-and-solar-can-become-dispatchable-within-three-years
    Linked at Euan’s

    Similar concepts have been known and available at least from 1970s, albeit in de-tuned version for hot water/space heating only. For electricity storage it’s a bit more complex upgrade of the simple concept of heat retaining rocks gradient.

    • DJ says:

      ”when energy is required, the heat is converted back into electricity and delivered to the grid for as little as €70 ($86.25) per MWh — far cheaper than any gas peaker plant or battery system.”

      Isn’t this confusing storage with generation? Again.

    • DJ says:

      So … we’re gonna convert sun into electricity, electricity into heat, send this deep into the ground for storage, then convert the heat to electricity, possibly immideately convert it back to heat (housing), but also possibly charging a car battery for the next day creating rotary motion.

      Diminishing returns on increasing complexity.

      • doomphd says:

        how is ammonia a “safe nitrogen-based fuel alternative”? if concentrated, it is a highly toxic liquid and gas. i guess it doesn’t catch fire and explode, like hydrogen or petrochemicals.

    • jupiviv says:

      “Stiesdal uses basalt, the most common rock type on Earth, as the storage medium; SGRE uses a different “common rock”, declining to specify the particular type. Stiesdal says his rocks will reach 550°C, SGRE says its will hit 600°C.”

      Perhaps I’m being stupid, but in order to mitigate intermittence for entire grids one needs a very big pile of rocks staying hot for hours each day, which in turn would require more capacity.

      • DJ says:

        And if day to night was the problem we could almost manage on powerwalls.

        We’re talking about storing months of electricity FOR months.

    • SolarReserve is bidding low prices for solar backed up with thermal storage using salt. SolarReserve Bids 24-Hour Solar At 6.3 Cents In Chile https://cleantechnica.com/2017/03/13/solarreserve-bids-24-hour-solar-6-3-cents-chile/

      In Chile’s last auction for power, SolarReserve bid a world-record-breaking low price at just 6.3 cents per kWh ($63/MWh) for dispatchable 24-hour solar.

      According to an interview:

      We’re designing the projects in Chile for full capacity 24 hours a day. To do that we put in about 14 hours of storage. That will give us the full capacity of the project essentially 24 hours a day.

      We could design it for three times the power for 8 hours a day or twice the output for 12 hours a day, but since Chile’s load is really a 24-hour load we design the storage to handle that.

      It really comes down to the design of the steam cycle and turbine capacity, the storage tank capacity, and the size of the heliostat field, which dictates how much additional power you can store when its sunny.

  19. Baby Doomer says:

    Tesla Pushes Workers to ‘Prove the Haters’ Wrong

    http://fortune.com/2018/03/29/tesla-pushes-workers-to-prove-the-haters-wrong/

    Yeah! Prove all those haters wrong by working extra hours / taking implicit pay cuts for nothing in return! That certainly sounds like the kind of internal persecution complex that Musk builds inside his businesses…

    • JH Wyoming says:

      Nothing new under the Sun as they say. Football coaches do the same thing. “Did you see what they wrote in the sports section about our team? That we’ll be lucky to get one first down against the Panthers vaunted defense.” Management realizes they need to continue to raise production and the best way is to light a fire under the workers.

    • JesseJames says:

      Perhaps a more effective strategy would be to promise them a portion of Musk’s bonus payments.

  20. Baby Doomer says:

    Our entire civilization is made up of an interconnected network of interdependencies that create feedback loops that are nearly impossible for the average person to understand…

    http://www.feasta.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Trade-Off1.pdf

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      and nearly impossible for the average economist to understand…

  21. Baby Doomer says:

    Savage AF!

    • Dennis L. says:

      Ad hominem attacks are a poor substitute for reasoned replies. We are humans and with that comes various issues that can be at odds with each other. No easy answers, and many of the answers are not what one wants to hear.

  22. Baby Doomer says:

    Russia’s ambassador was interviewed on the Today show this morning. And he said “Russia is being blamed for everything including bad weather”….LOL

  23. DJ says:

    Centuries ago, sailors on long voyages used to leave a pair of pigs on every deserted island. Or they’d leave a pair of goats. Either way, on any future visit, the island would be a source of meat. These islands, they were pristine. These were home to breeds of birds with no natural predators. Breeds of birds that lived nowhere else on earth. The plants there, without enemies they evolved without thorns or poisons. Without predators and enemies, these islands, they were paradise.
    The sailors, the next time they visited these islands, the only things still there would be herds of goats or pigs.
    Oyster is telling this story.
    The sailors called this “seeding meat.”
    Oyster says, “Does this remind you of anything? Maybe the ol’ Adam and Eve story?”
    Looking out the car window, he says, “You ever wonder when God’s coming back with a lot of barbecue sauce?

    • Yep, human are clearly a terraforming agent tasked with the goal to reset existing dominant web of ecosystems. It doesn’t matter as to whether “the nature” got bored over previous abundance or there is something other (perhaps more nefarious at play), either way humans came and destruction in their wake. We are a disease..

      • JH Wyoming says:

        Yes, people are predators with little or no conscience. They wipe out entire species and laugh about it. At the same time people are capable of great things too, like science, art and music. It’s just too bad the majority of the effect of our species is sterilization, as the oceans are acidified, as the fauna go extinct. Look at the loss of flying insects and the knock on effect it is having on loss of birds. Eventually, which may be within this century, there may not be much of anything alive except a few of the toughest species, farm animals and people. But you have to wonder if flying insects are being wiped off the face of the Earth so easily then what happens when they turn their attention to vermin. Rodents feed larger birds, snakes, etc. At some point in say the year 2087 a person will walk in a forest at dusk and there will no wildlife, insects anything other than plant life. And who knows maybe it will be decided to get of that too. “Too many trees”, they’ll say, and then they’ll be gone too. We’ll use some kind of complex device to produce oxygen for ourselves.

        • JesseJames says:

          I have spent some time in rural Germany recently. I noticed the remarkable almost total absence of small wildlife and birds in the forest….which one would expect to be teeming. The Germans gave me a lame explanation that the animals were there, just not coming out to be seen. In my part of the world, I live in a semi rural area and I see dead varmits on the road all the time. I also see a healthy number of birds here in Texas. The forests in Germany were absolutely STERILE.

    • Hawaii seems to have a lot of wild chickens and wild boar. Even when they accidentally get away, they seem to multiply in mild climates.

  24. JH Wyoming says:

    http://www.bbc.com/news/av/business-41242476/diesel-emissions-scandal-still-dogs-vw

    That link starts with a Porsche ad, then they show and tell how many VW’s the automaker had to buy with aerial clips of the massive car lots they sit in to some blade runner type music. A scandal leads to disastrous losses.

  25. Baby Doomer says:

    Why Drug Overdoses Are on the Rise and Getting Worse in America

    http://fortune.com/2018/03/29/drug-overdoses-opioids-cdc/

    • Comments say that they do the layoffs every year, so that they can make new hires. Think it is getting worse, however. Investigation if being made whether they lay off older workers disproportionately.

  26. dolph says:

    On the issue of whether men or women are violent. Men are violent, but women are attracted to them and breed the next generation of violent men.
    It goes deep into our evolutionary history. The woman wants a protector, a strong alpha male ready to hunt everything in sight to feed the family, and slaughter his enemies to protect the tribe.

    Women despise peaceful, weak, sissy men. This has long been known.

    • Baby Doomer says:

      Fertile women evaluate male bodies as more attractive, regardless of masculinity (Jünger 2018)

      https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1090513818300072

      This why everyone laughs at you on reddit Dolph!

    • Kim says:

      “Men are violent.”
      Rates of violence among white men – murder, assault, rape – is in fact very low as a percentage of the entire population of men. How many men do you know and how many of them have been convicted of a crime of violence?

      The percentage is so low that it provides no basis at all for attributing the epithet “violent” to men.

      Of course, men may from time to time need to use violence to defend themselves and their resources from the violence or depredations of other tribes, but there is hardly any other way, is there?

      This is the silly talk of silly people.

      • jupiviv says:

        “Of course, men may from time to time need to use violence to defend themselves and their resources from the violence or depredations of other tribes, but there is hardly any other way, is there?”

        They also “need” violence to take the land and resources of other tribes, even when there is another way, i.e being happy with what they have. And needless to say, the women approve of that.

        Calling women the nurturing gender because they generally nurture their *own* children and don’t commit violence directly is an obvious fallacy. It comes from men’s visceral desire for a mother figure, or a return to the womb.

        • xabier says:

          In tribal cultures, women are often inciters of violence by the warriors: it makes them feel all nice and cosy when they bring the extra pigs, trophy heads, etc, home.

          They have also played major roles in blood feuds:’Go out and avenge daddy now you’ve grown up!’ See the Norse sagas…..

          The German tribes encountered by the Romans used to fight with their women and children watching and shouting encouragement: ‘Nice one Hermann, now take his head off!’ etc.

          Gosh, imagine the pressure to perform being a tribal warrior: no wonder they drank a lot……

          • xabier says:

            Women also featured heavily in the terrorist gangs of the 1970’s, ETA, Red Brigades, and in most revolutionary Left movements.

            They made nice homemakers for the Nazis, too. etc: ‘Kurt was so nice to the kids and loved dogs.’

            One of the worst in Spain, ‘Yoyes’ was herself murdered by ETA when she left the gang because she ‘wanted to live a normal life and have a family ‘.

            Which, of course, she denied to her own victims. She never expressed regret for her murders.

          • Artleads says:

            I’m sure that making sense of gender is about as difficult as anything else could be. But mass shootings that are endemic in the USA are generally performed by men, whatever the reason. Another evident truth is that the incredible mess the world is in happened with males holding on to the levers of direct power. I think men are pretty good at abstract thinking…they don’t make actual people and so have to make something else. The sexes self select for dominance in certain roles, but women don’t seem to mind having more say in the work place or in government. Those are positions of direct power that I see no reason to deprive women of. And why men deserve a role in determining whether or not women should bear children is a mystery.

      • DJ says:

        Violence has a high risk to benefit ratio for white males these days.

  27. Baby Doomer says:

    Family of Apple engineer who died Friday in Tesla crash tells me he had complained to dealer that auto-pilot veered toward that same barrier on multiple occasions.

    http://abc7news.com/automotive/i-team-exclusive-victim-who-died-in-tesla-crash-had-complained-about-auto-pilot/3275600/

  28. Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

    Bitcoin now $6,900…

    down almost 2/3 from $19,000…

  29. Baby Doomer says:

    I might get crushed tonight by that Chinese Space Station!…

    Gov. Snyder activates state emergency operations center to monitor Chinese space station
    https://www.wxyz.com/news/gov-snyder-activates-state-emergency-operations-center-to-monitor-chinese-space-station

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      but then you would avoid The Collapse!

      • Baby Doomer says:

        Now they are saying it might hit well populated areas in New York or California? These bozo’s have no freaking clue where its going to land….I bet it lands in the oceans since 75 percent of the earth is covered in water…

  30. Baby Doomer says:

    Description: Projection of World Fossil Fuels by Country (Mohr 2015)

    Over 900 different regions and subfuel situations were modeled using three URR scenarios of Low, High, and Best Guess. All three scenarios indicate that the consistent strong growth in world fossil fuel production is likely to cease after 2025. The Low and Best Guess scenarios are projected to peak before 2025 and decline thereafter. The High scenario is anticipated to have a strong growth to 2025 before stagnating in production for 50 years and thereafter declining.

    https://www.scribd.com/document/375110317/Projection-of-World-Fossil-Fuels-by-Co

    • Baby Doomer says:

      Coal cannot work without crude, crude cannot work without coal, natural gas cannot work without both oil and coal, Shale oil cannot work without any of those, and so on…

      • Well, perhaps we might get surprised in the end by the example of few countries extended can kicking effort with *workable mix of baseload grid from nuclear, natgas and coal..

        *more on the scale towards insular command style economies

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      thanks, BD!

      even in the “low” scenario, there is a plateau until about 2050!

      other scenarios show a plateau until 2100!

      wow!

      whatever happened to The Collapse?

      • Baby Doomer says:

        All three scenarios indicate that the consistent strong growth in world fossil fuel production is likely to cease after 2025. The Low and Best Guess scenarios are projected to peak before 2025 and decline thereafter.

    • jupiviv says:

      The estimates are based on URR = Ultimate Recoverable Resources of various “idealised fields”, so doesn’t take into account factors like limits to efficiency/innovation, cost of extraction and EROEI. And before Gail objects, I don’t mean EROEI in the narrow sense of the resource in itself, but in the broader sense of the ability of the entire economy to use the resource in a way that justifies extraction. From pages 3 & 4:

      “The production for a region is calculated as the sum of the production from all idealised fields. The productionof individual idealised fields has a one year ramp up to a plateau period, followed by an exponential decline in production, as shown in Fig. 2. There remain two things to calculate, the number of fields online overtime, and the URR of the individual fields. The number of fields online is determined by Eq.
      […]
      “The Ultimately Recoverable Resources (URR) is defined as the total amount of the fossil fuels that can be recovered from the resource in the ground before production starts. Specifically,to be counted as part of the URR the fossil fuel needs only to be (or assumed to be) economically and technologically recoverable at some point in time. It is possible that some of the URR is left unexploited, if for instance, climate change policies result in limitations to fossil fuel extraction. Furthermore, the fossil fuels does not need to be economically or technically recoverable currently (e.g. natural gas hydrates are not exploited due to a lack of a technological breakthrough).”

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      no, it’s not…

      but things aren’t going well in the USA and Europe…

      so where can they find a common enemy to blame?

  31. Third World person says:

    More than 25 million people apply for Indian railway vacancies

    More than 25 million people, a number greater than Australia’s population, have applied for about 90,000 positions on India’s state-run railways, underlining the challenge Prime Minister Narendra Modi faces in providing millions of jobs ahead of an election in 2019.
    Modi was voted into power in 2014 on promises to reignite growth in Asia’s third-largest economy and provide jobs. But his flagship “Make in India” initiative to lift the share of manufacturing in India’s $2 trillion economy to 25 percent from about 17 percent and create 100 million jobs by 2022 has so far failed to deliver on its promise.

    The railway, which currently employs 1.3 million people, said it was filling up tens of thousands of vacant positions for engine drivers, technicians, carpenters, track inspection crews and other roles related to improving safety in the world’s fourth-largest network.
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-india-unemployment-railways/more-than-25-million-people-apply-for-indian-railway-vacancies-idUSKBN1H524C

    not surprising seeing the unemployment in India
    btw funny thing is our gov put unemployment rate at 6.1 which is bullshit

    • Wow! And I like the 6.1% unemployment rate. They must count the way the US counts. Of course, some of the people in the US have three part time jobs that pay almost nothing, so it looks like there are lots of jobs. Also, some are contract jobs, which a person cannot count on to support a family or to pay for a home.

    • JH Wyoming says:

      25 million divided by 90,000 = 277.77 rounded off is 278. So based on pure odds and ignoring resume’ qualifications, each applicant has a 1 in 278 chance of getting a job.

      https://www.ebiinc.com/resources/blog/hiring-statistics

      According to that link the average job opening attracts 250 applicants, so the above 278 is only 28 above the average.

      • This is very frustrating for job applicants.

        Back when I started working, I remember being offered a job almost everywhere I applied.

      • JesseJames says:

        The average number of applications for jobs in Austin is 500.

      • John Doyle says:

        For India, 25 million jobs is just a fraction of jobs wanted. The Indian Government can create plenty of jobs for everybody who wants one. All governments with their own currency can do it. Paying for the cost is just a question of marking up reserve accounts with the new numbers. The money will go straight back into the local economy and everyone will be better off. It may be hard to believe but we used to have jobs for all before everything went neo-liberal. We can do it again.

        • Japan has been using growing governmental debt to create a huge number of jobs of doubtful productivity. This is the way it has gotten its governmental debt ratio so high.

          When I briefly visited India, I thought it was probably doing at least some of the same thing. The amount of security screening at the airport was absolutely absurd. (I think there were four different “stations” to go though.) I could only think that it was being used to create jobs. India already has a debt problem. It has to import an increasing share of its energy. Its debt problem can only get worse, no matter what it does.

        • it isnt possible to have productive employment unless energy is being produced in real terms to support it

          most of us have jobs that might appear unrelated to that fact, but the reality is that all our jobs depend on food producers delivering ”surplus” so that the rest of us can have pretend jobs and pay each other to do them with bits of coloured paper and plastic

          remove that surplus, and all employment would cease

          you cannot have an ”economy” that exists by printing money to pay people, and then expecting that printed money to somehow make everyone rich

          why? because money is a token of energy, nothing more. You use money to buy energy in one form or another.

          If you doubt that, trying shoving money into a car fuel tank, or eating a money pie.

          • John Doyle says:

            It goes without saying. But the workers will produce energy as well as spend it.The energy footprint [2011]of India [614 Kg oil equivalent/a] is a lot smaller than the USA, [7032Kgoe/a] so there is plenty of space at the moment.

            • India has a big import bill for energy products. This is a view for all products.
              https://gailtheactuary.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/india-energy-consumption-compared-to-energy-production.png

              This is a view for oil.
              https://gailtheactuary.files.wordpress.com/2017/05/india-oil-production-imports-mazamascience.png

              I have no idea where you think that the workers from India will be able to produce the energy products they use. Oil, natural gas, and coal are all in big deficit positions, and getting bigger every year.
              http://mazamascience.com/OilExport/

              Indian Government Debt ‘Significantly High,’ Moody’s Says.

              India’s general government debt level is “significantly” higher compared with similarly rated countries, Moody’s Investor Service said, firing a fresh salvo at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government which has been trying hard to earn a sovereign upgrade.

              Rating agencies have India just above “junk” status [in mid-2017] and while Modi’s government has consistently pushed for a sovereign upgrade in the past few years, Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings have all pushed back, citing high debt levels. On Thursday, Moody’s said that while the general government debt level declined to 67.5 percent of gross domestic product in 2016 from 84.7 percent in 2003, it remains a “key credit constraint.”

              More recently (November, 2017), we read Moody’s upgrades India rating, backs Modi govt reform.

              Moody’s has raised India’s credit rating from the lowest investment grade of Baa3 to Baa2, and changed the outlook from stable to positive.

              So this is what all of the calling back in large denomination bills has been about. Also, all of the personal identification for any government benefits. Whether or not this is better for the people of India, it seems to have been what the rating agency wanted.

              I suppose you think that India should go out and borrow a whole lot more money to buy expensive fossil fuels, and lower their credit rating.

              . . .the high levels of bad loans in the banking system were a key risk to growth, Moody’s said, adding India would need to resolve it to kickstart the investment cycle.

              I suppose that India should go out and borrow some more, and get their bonds downgraded further.

            • John Doyle says:

              well, Gail, if what you show here is correct then India is a failed state in waiting! My idea was that they don’t limit their energy supplies to mostly fossil fuels. As the graph shows renewables are a coat of paint on the oil barrels or the coal wagons. When I say the workers produce energy too, I mean not just those in the coal mines, but farmers and peasants who produce energy in food form.
              Compared to energy thirsty nations like the US India is a minnow.
              I wouldn’t take any notice of ratings agencies. They cannot rate nations with their own currency and they sold out in 2008 as well. Completely irrelevant. They should be outlawed;
              http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=6857
              As you should know by now “Government debt” is investor savings, i.e. wealth! Government debt CANNOT logically be a credit constraint.
              The cancelling of large bills is for the non government sector, what with no doubt a large black market etc needing a cap.

              Here’s a better summary of India’s position[in 2016]
              http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=33238

            • people do not produce energy without input

              you need about 2000 cal a day to support your normal bodily functions and do an average day’s work.
              if you have a job that demands extreme effort, you might double or treble that.

              you cannot ‘produce’ energy unless you take in a corresponding amount from external sources–ie food.
              if you use an engine to produce energy, then you must feed the engine.

              the energy footprint of india is naturally smaller than the usa—thats because india doesnt have the vast array of energy consuming engines available to consume it, even with 3x the population.

              the majority of indians can’t afford things that consume fuel at the usa rate—they just have their own bodies.—and the more their population grows, the thinner the spread of energy between them

              not quite the same thing

            • If you visit India, you will discover the air of India (at least in major cities) is incredibly polluted. As bad as China, probably. I know I could not breathe the air in Mumbai when I visited, and the things I have read since often mention the terrible pollution problems of Indian cities.

              One of the sources of fuel for making clay pots, and probably other industries, is burning old clothing imported from the United States. This is “renewable energy” imported from the US, in some sense. Burning old clothes produces an incredibly amount of soot and smoke. I suspect it doesn’t get into its energy supplies, since there is not a nice check box for it. People also burn dung and locally gathered biomass for cooking. This also tends to be very sooty. It often does not get into statistics.

    • psile says:

      Same in Australia, and I’d guess everywhere generally. Here, the unemployment rate is officially less 6 per cent. But the government considers you “employed” even if you work just 1 hour a week.

  32. Artleads says:

    March For Our Lives

    Strikes me as a monumental misappropriation of energy. Guns do not seem to be the problem so much as men. Women don’t go about killing kids in school. While they might, arguably,have been once, men are no longer normal or particularly needed. And if all they are socialized to do is compete amongst themselves…and if there is less to go around…that might be part of the issue.

    The marchers might do better to pack up the legislature with women, who COULD make a difference to addressing male violence in some systematic sort of way. Or give it a decent try.

      • Artleads says:

        I certainly agree with Marx. But carrying around loaded weapons constantly isn’t the same thing, AFAICS.

        • Artleads says:

          And having collective ownership of moderate-scale weapons can’t be equated with giving individuals access to weapons that can destroy the collective. It’s a matter scale and purpose.

        • Duncan Idaho says:

          You will generally lose to Marx.
          Weapons are about asymmetric relationships when it comes to the stormtroopers.
          Direct confrontation is a losing battle-where they are hopeless is when asymmetric’s are involved.

        • Artleads says:

          of scale

          Also a matter of talking softly and carrying a big…gun.

          And of not unnecessarily or futilely confronting those on whom society bequeaths a monopoly on major force.

    • JH Wyoming says:

      “Guns do not seem to be the problem so much as men.”

      Ok, let’s put that into context. What if people could buy stinger missiles? Adult men & women do not seem to be the problem so much as male teenagers who seem to enjoy blowing up buildings. So it’s not teenagers that seem to be the problem, it’s stinger missiles. But the NSMA (National Stinger Missile Assoc.) is against any regulation that would restrict access to stinger missiles. With a lobbying group in DC and people simply out on the street protesting, who do you think will have the power to make this decision?

        • JH Wyoming says:

          Thanks for the well needed stats on this topic, BD. That says it all.

        • JesseJames says:

          Your thinking is simplistic. I am not even sure I trust your pretty poster created by a liberal fake news organization.
          But….in a scientific effort, let’s look at other factors also. Violent video game releases, sales and use have also increased over this period. The kind of games where you kill people…the kind that make you to place less value on human life and disassociate the act of shooting people as something you should never do.
          Then there are the psychotropic drugs that permeate our society. A huge increase in that time period.
          I could list more factors.
          Quit being so simplistic.

      • Kim says:

        Most shootings and crimes of violence are done by blacks and browns. Maybe we should ban them.
        Idiot.

        • Baby Doomer says:

          Number of mass shootings in the United States between 1982 and February 2018, by mass shooter’s race and ethnicity

          https://www.statista.com/statistics/476456/mass-shootings-in-the-us-by-shooter-s-race/

          Wrong again Kim….Time to go back to watching Rosanne…..

          • JesseJames says:

            The percentage increase of Hollywood produced violent movies and television shows has gone up remarkably.
            The percentage of Muslims in our country has gone up. Indeed, a number of shootings have been terror attacks by Muslims. The most notable is the Florida nightclub shooting. BTW, for those conspiracy theorists, the shooters father was a closet CIA agent. Another shot up a church in Tennessee by one. Also one in California. I am sure there are others.
            The percentage of teenagers living in single parent homes, most without fathers.
            The introduction of the US Army’s marketing slogan “ An army of one”. Glorifying that one person can be an effective soldier.
            The consumption of crap factory food that poisons people.
            The increasing polarization and amoral diet of propaganda force fed to students in public schools.
            The increasing marginalization politically of whites in a defined effort by the radical,left.
            The increasing violent statements by the radical left.
            How about purely stupid acts. For example a black teenager took a handgun to school an Alabama “to show it off to his girlfriend” Who knows where he got it. While showing it off, he accidentally shoots two and kills his girlfriend.
            Look, we have a crisis of stupid, foolish, seriously confused children.
            There has got to be parental responsibility and efforts made to address the violence that pervades our country, movies, television and our approach to other countries.

            • Karl says:

              All of this is correct. These mass shootings are part of our culture now. The counter cultural revolution, disintegration of traditional values, drug epidemic, and increasing heterogeneity combined with endless wars, social media, and increasing competition lead to a seriously disturbed population. It appears to me to be the cultural ramification of systemic instability / decline. This is what end of empire looks like.

    • Aubrey Enoch says:

      Keep the focus on guns. Don’t think about what has happened to people’s brains.
      Create chaos. Maximize stress. Emphasize otherness.
      The only good prole is a dead prole.

  33. Baby Doomer says:

    Over time I’ve grown to just straight up hate Tesla, Musk and his cult. I knew this company was an absolute fraud from that data. It was only a matter of time. The price of the stock was totally disconnected from the actual financial health or well being of the company itself.. It was only a matter of time for the two to catch up to each other.

    https://i.imgur.com/mZfKHf5.jpg

    • Kurt says:

      Here we go again! He’s a visionary. He just needs a little more money. The future is more technology from brilliant people like Elon. Sheesh, I have to keep explaining this over and over. He makes rockets and cool cars. Nuff said.

      • DJ says:

        I heard he dated Amber Heard inte.

        • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

          yes!

          because Amber Heard is also a visionary…

      • JH Wyoming says:

        Elon’s having fun with other people’s money. You know its fun to bore tunnels, to fly a car into space, to build a giga factory, to make an EV w/an electronic screen so people have the illusion of programming their car. So it costs more than anyone expected, he’s a genius and the genius needs more cash, payola, the green, because life for him is a proliferation of completely different pursuits and all we can do from our end is feed him the funds needed to just keep on going…

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      “Over time I’ve grown to just straight up hate Tesla, Musk and his cult.”

      to the dark side, you must not go…

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      Tesla recalls every car it has ever made:

      https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/29/tesla-recalls-123000-model-s-cars-over-potential-power-steering-failure-reports.html

      even the one sent into outer space…

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