Why the Standard Model of Future Energy Supply Doesn’t Work

The most prevalent view regarding future oil supply, as well as total energy supply, seems to be fairly closely related to that expressed by Peak Oilers. Future fossil fuel supply is assumed to be determined by the resources in the ground and the technology available for extraction. Prices are assumed to rise as fossil fuels are depleted, allowing more expensive technology for extraction. Substitutes are assumed to become possible, as costs rise.

Those with the most optimistic views about the amount of resources in the ground become especially concerned about climate change. The view seems to be that it is up to humans to decide how much energy resources we will use. We can easily cut back, if we want to.

The problem with this approach is the world economy is much more interconnected than most analysts have ever understood. It is also much more dependent on growing energy supply than most have understood. Surprisingly, we humans aren’t really in charge; the laws of physics ultimately determine what happens.

In my view, Peak Oilers were correct about energy supplies eventually becoming a problem. What they were wrong about is the way the problem can be expected to play out. Major differences between my view and the standard view are summarized on Figure 1.

Figure 1. Prepared by Author.


Let me explain some of the issues involved.

[1] Modeling is a lot more difficult than it looks.

Let’s take one common model of the part of the earth where we live, a street map:

Figure 2. Source: Edrawsoft.com

If we want to scale the model up to cover the whole world, we need to add a whole new dimension. In other words, we need to make a globe.

The same problem occurs with what seem to be simple economic models, like supply and demand:

Figure 3. From Wikipedia: The price P of a product is determined by a balance between production at each price (supply S) and the desires of those with purchasing power at each price (demand D). The diagram shows a positive shift in demand from D1 to D2, resulting in an increase in price (P) and quantity sold (Q) of the product.

If we are trying to model the situation a long way from limits (running out, or whatever the real limit is) then this model is perhaps “good enough.”

But if energy is the item that is in scarce supply as we approach limits, it can affect both quantity and price. Lack of energy supply at an inexpensive enough price can reduce both the quantity of the goods produced and the wages of workers. For example, distributors of goods in the United States may choose to buy imported goods from China or India to work around the problem of too high a cost of production (including energy costs).

The resulting competition with low-wage countries reduces the wages of many workers, especially those with low skill levels and those just finishing their educations. With such low wages, workers cannot afford to buy as many cars, motorcycles, and other goods that use energy products. The lack of demand from these workers indirectly brings down the prices of commodities of all kinds, including oil. In fact, prices can fall below the cost of production for extended periods. This has happened since 2014 for many energy products, including oil.

The model by the economists isn’t right. It doesn’t have enough dimensions to it. Peak Oil researchers did not understand that economists had put together a badly incomplete model. Their model only represents simple cases away from energy limits. Their model doesn’t explain what we should expect near energy limits.

[2] Simple two-dimensional models can work for some purposes, but not for others.

One thing that has been confusing to Peak Oil researchers is the base model in the 1972 book The Limits to Growth seems to present a fairly accurate timeline regarding when energy limits might hit. The indications are that the limits will happen about now.

The model reflects a simple, quantity-based approach that does not consider problems such as how debt might be repaid with interest if the economy is shrinking, or how pension payments would fare in a shrinking economy. The model is based on the assumption that our problem is only inadequate supply, not economic problems that indirectly result from short supply.

Figure 4. Base scenario from 1972 Limits to Growth, printed using today’s graphics by Charles Hall and John Day in “Revisiting Limits to Growth After Peak Oil” http://www.esf.edu/efb/hall/2009-05Hall0327.pdf

The thing that is easy to miss is the fact that this model is too simple to show how the limits will hit. For example, will the limits apply to oil or all fuels combined? What will be the impact on wage disparity? How will the impact on wage disparity affect demand for goods and services? Will the economy start growing too slowly and fail for that reason?

The authors of The Limits to Growth wisely pointed out that their models could not be relied on to show what would happen after collapse, but this warning seems to have been missed by many readers. I have suggested that it might have been better if the model had been truncated at an earlier date, to emphasize how limited the model’s predictive abilities really are because of its omission of a financial system that includes debt, wages, and prices.

Figure 5. Limits to Growth forecast, truncated shortly after production turns down, since modeled amounts are unreliable after that date.

[3] Energy is a critical need for the economy. Many prior economies collapsed when energy consumption stopped rising sufficiently rapidly.

Much research has been done on the huge number of historical economies that have collapsed. Peter Turchin and Sergey Nefedov examined eight agricultural economies that collapsed. This is a chart I prepared, explaining the approximate timing of the eight collapses, and the population growth pattern that seemed to occur.

Figure 6. Chart by author based on Turchin and Nefedov’s Secular Cycles.

According to Turchin and Nefedov, when a new resource became available (for example, land available after cutting down trees, or a new discovery of improved food yields because of irrigation), the population grew rapidly until the population reached the carrying capacity of the land with the new resource. The carrying capacity would reflect the energy resources that were easily available: land for farming and biomass that could be harvested and burned.

As limits were reached, population growth tended to plateau. The plateau would tend to come when the area could only support its existing population, without adding some sort of complexity to try to produce more goods and services using the existing energy resources. Joseph Tainter, in The Collapse of Complex Societies, tells us that by adding complexity (including improved technology, larger businesses and expanded government functions), it was possible to increase the output of the economy over what initially seemed to be available. There are at least two reasons why using technology to work around natural limits doesn’t work for very long, however:

[a] There are diminishing returns to adding new technology. Eventually, it costs more to add technology than its benefit is worth.

[b] Growing technology is associated with growing wage disparity. New technology replaces some jobs. Some new jobs may be high paying (managers, highly trained technical people), but if growth in economic output is not sufficient, a disproportionate share of the jobs may be very low-paying. In fact, some former workers may be left without jobs because technology replaces earlier jobs.

History shows that there are many things that contribute to the collapse of economies:

[a] Governments cannot collect sufficient taxes, because as wage disparity grows, many workers are increasingly impoverished and can barely support themselves.

[b] The slow economic growth rate makes it difficult to repay debt with interest.

[c] Investments in new businesses don’t pay enough to make them worthwhile.

[d] The health of the marginalized lower-paid workers deteriorates, at least partly because of poorer nutrition. They tend to catch diseases more easily, and epidemics spread farther.

[e] Prices of essential goods may fall below the cost of production because of wage disparity among workers. The lower-paid workers cannot afford to buy very many goods and services. Because these workers cannot afford many goods and services, the price of commodities used in creating these goods and services falls.

[f] The economy has less resilience against chance variations, such as temporary variability in climate, or a neighbor that suddenly has a stronger army, if the economy is operating near its carrying capacity. A problem that might not have brought the economy down may bring it down, because of a lack of reserves to handle chance fluctuations.

[4] We get evidence of a need for rising energy consumption per capita by analyzing the ratio of US wages to GDP, and how it has fallen over the years. 

Figure 7. US wages as a percentage of GDP (based on BEA data) compared to Brent oil price in $2016 dollars, based on BP Statistical Review of World Energy data.

If the only energy need of humans were food, we would expect human per capita energy consumption to be flat. The issue, however, is that humans are not living within normal food limits of the economy. Humans gained an initial advantage over other plants and animals over one million years ago, when they learned to burn biomass and use it for many purposes (cooking food to get more energy value, scaring away predators and catching prey, expanding the range of humans to colder climates).

Now, humans must maintain their earlier advantage over other species, or they will lose the contest to some predator, such as microbes. With today’s huge population, maintaining humans’ prior advantage requires a surprising amount of energy supplies, in addition to food energy.

Human labor represents only part of the economy. Figure 7 shows that wages as a percentage of GDP were fairly flat between 1940 and 1970, when oil prices were low, and oil was in abundant supply. The big drop in the ratio of wages to GDP started after 1970, when oil prices have been higher. To work around the problem of higher oil prices, the economy has become more complex: businesses and governments have grown; international trade has become more important; debt and the financial system have taken on a greater role.

If, over the long term, wages have been falling as a percentage of GDP, then the remainder of the economy is growing even faster. Government is growing. The size of businesses and the amount of technology used by those businesses, is increasing. All of these things need to be supported, indirectly, by energy products. For these reasons, energy consumption needs to grow faster than population, even if technology is making individual processes more efficient.

[5] Analysis of historical data since 1820 shows what happens when the world economy hits flat spots in per capita energy consumption.

Figure 8. 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 was definitely a period of “not enough energy to go around.” The Great Depression of the 1930s was a time of little GDP growth and great wage disparity. There is evidence that both World War I and World War II (coming immediately before and immediately after the 1920-1940 period) were, indirectly, energy wars.

The 1980-2000 Flat Period represents a time when the US and Europe both intentionally reduced their oil consumption because it was feared that oil would be in short supply in the future. This was a period that required huge debt growth to make the necessary changes (Figure 9).

Figure 9. Growth in US Wages vs. Growth in Non-Financial Debt. Wages from US Bureau of Economics “Wages and Salaries.” Non-Financial Debt is discontinued series from St. Louis Federal Reserve. (Note chart does not show a value for 2016.) Both sets of numbers have been adjusted for growth in US population and for growth in CPI Urban. As mentioned previously, it is also the period that a huge amount of complexity was added, and wages fell as a percentage of GDP. It is doubtful this pattern could be repeated again, without serious economic problems occurring

There were other problems in the 1980 to 2000 period. The collapse of the central government of the Soviet Union occurred in 1991. Low oil prices for several years prior to the collapse reduced the revenue of the Soviet Union. This seems to have been a major contributor to the collapse. Oil exporters are again encountering the issue of inadequate tax revenue, as a result of low oil prices since 2014.

[6] It is total energy growth (not simply oil consumption growth) that correlates well with GDP growth.

Figure 10. X-Y graph of world energy consumption (from BP Statistical Review of World Energy, 2017) versus world GDP in 2010 US$, from World Bank.

Peak Oil followers haven’t stopped to think through how the economy works. It is really the growth of total energy that we need to be concerned about, from the point of view of operating the economy.

[7] Indirectly, debt and asset prices are promises of future energy consumption.

We don’t think of debt as a promise of future energy consumption. The connection comes because debt can only be redeemed (through a financial transaction) for future goods and services. Making these future goods and services will require energy consumption.

The same principle applies to asset prices of all kinds: prices of shares of stock, home prices, land prices, and pension values. If an asset-owner wants to sell an asset and use the proceeds to buy other goods and services, the asset-owner encounters the same situation as the bond-owner: the goods and services that will be provided in exchange depend on the energy supplies available at the date of the exchange. Thus, indirectly, the prices represent promises of future energy consumption.

[8] One essential part of the economic growth system seems to be an ever-falling price of energy services, where energy services are defined as the cost of energy, plus whatever efficiency savings are available that make the cost of energy services less expensive.

For example, the cost of transporting a 100 kg. package 100 kilometers, or of heating a 100 square meter residence for a winter, must keep falling. If this happens, businesses can afford to buy ever more tools for their workers. With these tools, the workers can become ever more productive.

Furthermore, because of their growing productivity, workers find that their wages are rising, so that they can buy ever more goods and services. In this way, demand continues to rise. Changes such as these allow the economy to keep growing.

Figure 11. Energy services chart is by Roger Fouquet, from Divergences in Long Run Trends in the Prices of Energy and Energy Services. Second chart is figure from UNEP Global Material Flows and Resource Productivity.

In fact, the prices of energy services do seem to keep falling, even if the cost of providing these services is not falling. This is a major reason why energy prices seem to have fallen below the cost of production for practically every type of energy in recent years. This situation is not sustainable; it can be expected to lead to the collapse of the system.

[9] If the growth rate of the economy is not fast enough, the danger is that the economy will collapse.

We can think of the GDP situation as being similar to that of a bicycle. GDP needs to be rising rapidly enough, or the economy will collapse. A bicycle needs to be traveling fast enough, or it will fall over. Economists often talk about an economy slowing to stall speed.

Figure 12. Author’s view of analogies of speeding upright bicycle to speeding economy.

Reported world GDP growth rates in recent years are likely somewhat overstated for several reasons.

  • World GDP represents a weighting of country reported GDP. One approach to weighting gives disproportionate influence to China, India, and other developing countries.
  • The use of Quantitative Easing and of higher government debt temporarily inflates the quantity of goods and services an economy can make.
  • Artificially low energy prices give a boost to oil importing counties. They also keep the prices of goods and services artificially low, compared to wages. These artificially low energy prices cannot continue without the failure of governments of oil exporters, and without businesses producing energy products collapsing.

Whether or not the economy can continue operating is determined by the economy itself, because the economy is a self-organized system. Its continued operation doesn’t depend on published statistics of varying quality.

[10] Researchers studying oil limits thought that they had found a whole new phenomenon, “Peak Oil.”

In fact, they had found a special case of a phenomenon that tends to lead to collapse, namely, conditions that lead to energy consumption per capita that is not rising rapidly enough. Such conditions can occur in many different ways, such as these:

[a] Population rises sufficiently that it is hard to keep energy consumption per capita rising. This seems to be a major problem in many historical collapses.

[b] Collapse indirectly comes from diminishing returns in energy extraction. The standard workaround for diminishing returns is growing use of complexity (including technology). This tends to encourage the non-wage portions of the economy to grow, as in Figure 7. Adding complexity becomes increasingly expensive for the benefit obtained. Ultimately, wage disparity and falling commodity prices become a problem, and the system collapses.

[c] Random fluctuations in climate occur. An economy collapses because it doesn’t have the strength to respond to such random fluctuations.

[11] Peak oil researchers did the best they could, with the limited understanding of the day. The unfortunate problem was that the model they put together wasn’t really correct.

The fundamental problem of the Peak Oil researchers was that the economic researchers, upon whom they depended, did not really understand the interconnected nature of the economy. They continued to use two-dimensional economic models, when they needed multidimensional models. Economists predicted that prices would rise near limits, when it is increasingly clear that this cannot be true. The world has been struggling with low prices for many commodities since 2014. Prices now are temporarily less low, but they still are not high enough to allow adequate tax revenue for oil exporting countries.

The Energy Return on Energy Invested (EROEI) Model of Prof. Charles Hall depended on the thinking of the day: it was the energy consumption that was easy to count that mattered. If a person could discover which energy products had the smallest amount of easily counted energy products as inputs, this would provide an estimate of the efficiency of an energy type, in some sense. Perhaps a transition could be made to more efficient types of energy, so that fossil fuels, which seemed to be in short supply, could be conserved.

The catch is that it is total energy consumption that matters, not easily counted energy consumption. In a networked economy, there is a huge amount of energy consumption that cannot easily be counted: the energy consumption to build and operate schools, roads, health care systems, and governments; the energy consumption required to maintain a system that repays debt with interest; the energy consumption that allows governments to collect significant taxes on exported oil and other goods. The standard EROEI method assumes the energy cost of each of these is zero. Typically, wages of workers are not considered either.

There is also a problem in counting different types of energy inputs and outputs. Our economic system assigns different dollar values to different qualities of energy; the EROEI method basically assigns only ones and zeros. In the EROEI method, certain categories that are hard to count are zeroed out completely. The ones that can be counted are counted as equal, regardless of quality. For example, intermittent electricity is treated as equivalent to high quality, dispatchable electricity.

The EROEI model looked like it would be helpful at the time it was created. Clearly, if one oil well uses considerably more energy inputs than a nearby oil well, it would be a higher-cost well. So, the model seemed to distinguish energy types that were higher cost, because of resource usage, especially for very similar energy types.

Another benefit of the EROEI method was that if the problem were running out of fossil fuels, the model would allow the system to optimize the use of the limited fossil fuels that seemed to be available, based on the energy types with highest EROEIs. This would seem to make best use of the fossil fuel supply available.

[12] There are corrections to the EROEI method that might allow it to work in the manner that it should. The catch is that these corrections seem to show wind and solar not to be solutions to our problems. In fact, the system is so integrated, and our need for rising energy consumption per capita so great, that it is doubtful that any substitute for fossil fuels can really be a solution.

Professor Hall observed that if a fish had to swim too far to get food, it could not use very much of the food’s energy to catch the food, because most of its energy was needed for everyday metabolism and reproduction. A fish would typically need an EROEI of at least 10:1 for catching its prey, if it expected to have enough energy left to cover its full metabolic needs (including reproduction), plus the energy required to catch its prey.

If catching some prey only provided an energy return of 1:1, it would be pretty much worthless as a food source, since it would not cover any of the metabolic costs. Certainly, it would not make sense to call any energy in excess of an EROEI of 1:1 “net energy,” because it makes no contribution to covering a fish’s metabolic or reproduction activities. “Net energy” should only come from food sources with an EROEI very close to, or above, a ratio of 10:1.

A similar approach can be used to incorporate the large amount of energy that is lost by zeroing out the equivalent of the metabolism of the fish, for the economy. Based on Figure 11, the required average EROEI (to match what the economy can afford to pay for) needs to rise over time. Thus, if the required average EROEI is 10:1 now, it might be 11:1 later, simply because the increasingly complex world economy needs energy services that are becoming ever less expensive.

The story, “Higher energy prices will work in the future” is simply a myth, created by economists who do not understand how the economy really operates, considering all of the feedbacks involved. In inflation-adjusted terms, the price of energy services needs to keep falling as a percentage of GDP, to keep the system operating.

To fix the net energy calculation, some suitable minimum EROEI ratio for the economy needs to be determined–probably about 10:1–to incorporate the large share of energy consumption that is missing from the economy. Net energy would be then determined as the energy in excess of 10:1 EROEI, rather than in excess of 1:1 EROEI. This approach would make solar and wind look much less beneficial than most calculations to date.

In the case of intermittent renewables, a determination needs to be made whether the role of wind or solar in a particular situation is to replace electricity or fuel. If the role is to replace electricity (as is generally the case), then sufficient buffering must be provided in the model, so that the model can calculate the proper EROEI for dispatchable electricity (not intermittent electricity). Adding buffering will generally substantially reduce the EROEIs of intermittent electricity types. This adjustment makes it clear that there is much less benefit of wind and solar.

If the purpose of the intermittent electricity is only to replace fuel (such as a proposed new Saudi solar installation), then there is no need for buffering in the calculation. Of course, a cost comparison could also be used, and this might be the simpler approach. The cost comparison will generally be favorable if the fuel being replaced is oil, because oil is a high-priced fuel.

Too often, wind or solar is added to the system in a way that overlooks the real cost of buffering. Coal and nuclear electricity production find themselves with the unpaid job of providing buffering services for wind and solar. The net impact of adding intermittent renewables is that they push necessary backup power out of business. We end up with an electrical system that is worse off for adding intermittent renewables, even though this was not the intent of those requiring the use of such generation.


The number one need of the world economy is rising per capita energy consumption. In order to maintain economic growth, the price of energy services needs to fall as a percentage of GDP. The system will try to rebalance to the least expensive cost of energy production using globalization and other techniques. When this is no longer possible, the current world economic system is likely to fail.

Peak Oil modelers did not understand how complex our economy is. In their defense, no one else did either, especially back in the 1970 to 2005 era. They did the best they could, using the models that economists had put together. Because of the assumption of ever-rising energy prices, Peak Oil models assume that far more fossil fuels are extractable than is likely to really be the case. Optimists (oil companies, politicians, government agencies) assume even higher extraction of fossil fuels than is reasonable. The result is considerable concern about climate change.

When a person realizes how tightly integrated the world economy is, and its need to grow, it becomes clear that using less is not a solution. Prices of commodities would plunge even farther below the cost of production. The economic system would experience a far worse recession than the Great Recession of 2008-2009. Some governments would fail. The spiral might permanently be downward.

Standard solutions don’t work either. Substitutes don’t scale up quickly. Biomass cannot be used heavily because the world’s ecosystems depend on biomass; we are already using more than our share. Intermittent renewables such as wind and solar have their own high energy cost, but it is hard to count. They depend on international trade to make and repair the devices. They depend on debt for financing. They are really only part of the fossil fuel system, contrary to what the name “renewables” would suggest.

Energy modelers did their best. Unfortunately, with modeling it is hard to see what is going wrong. This is especially true when the academic world is divided into silos, each of which tends to look primarily at the writings of the people in its own field. It is easy for an incorrect model to get firmly embedded into people’s minds.

About Gail Tverberg

My name is Gail Tverberg. I am an actuary interested in finite world issues - oil depletion, natural gas depletion, water shortages, and climate change. Oil limits look very different from what most expect, with high prices leading to recession, and low prices leading to financial problems for oil producers and for oil exporting countries. We are really dealing with a physics problem that affects many parts of the economy at once, including wages and the financial system. I try to look at the overall problem.
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1,124 Responses to Why the Standard Model of Future Energy Supply Doesn’t Work

  1. Baby Doomer says:

    The US dollar just had its worst year in more than a decade, and 2018 will bring more of the same


  2. Baby Doomer says:

    Haley: U.S. Troops Not Leaving Syria Until Goals Accomplished


    Endless War…

  3. Baby Doomer says:

    Wage growth well short of what was promised from tax reform


    You can argue and tell people that cutting taxes is stupid because it decreases the purchasing power of the dollar and costs you more money in the long run, but people won’t care they want their money now!

  4. Fast Eddy says:


    Not a single invading aircraft shot down?

    Hey Vlad… perhaps you might want to use your Trump card… and turn that gas valve off now?

    No? Well … why not? That would be the logical/obvious thing to do.

    • Ed says:

      No Russia will do nothing and will like the Palestinians be worn down over time until extinct.

      • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

        so is or isn’t this the start of WW3?

        oh, it isn’t…

        okay, I hope that is crystal clear to all of those who thought WW3 would begin after the first US missiles hit Syria.

  5. Fast Eddy says:

    Notice how important it is that the MSM does not allow readers to comment


    • JH Wyoming says:

      Good job, Trump. That is a situation Obama would have not acted on after Russia’s threat. That doesn’t mean I like all of Trump’s moves, but this one is a good one. We can’t let Russia have power over our decisions. Assad needed to be put in his place. Still a terrible situation there in Syria – not sure what the final outcome will be and the loss of life is horrendous.

      • jupiviv says:

        Wait a sec…so the guy who you believe was elected because Russia ‘had power over our decisions’ is preventing that very thing by striking Syria? And more especially how does that even work? I now officially place you alongside Crazy Eddy as the most batsh*t insane commenter on OFW. Jesus fracking Christ!

        • NikoB says:

          totally agree. JH is intellectually in deficit. Russia seems to be the only actor that wants to play by international law.

      • Baby Doomer says:


        You have no proof Asaad did that…Do you believe in the Easter bunny? No? But why not? Because there is no proof…See that is called Logic..We don’t naturally believe in things without any proof.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Gotta be fake news… America would NEVER stoop so low…

        Salisbury attack: Russia claims Skripals were poisoned using toxin possessed by UK and US

        Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov says Swiss lab found substance that was not novichok nerve agent

        Russia’s foreign minister has claimed Sergei and Yulia Skripal were not poisoned by nerve agent novichok, but a separate chemical possessed by the UK and US.

        Sergei Lavrov said Moscow had received information from a laboratory in Spiez, Switzerland suggesting the Russian double agent and his daughter were exposed to a non-lethal substance known as BZ.

        He claimed the laboratory had passed Russia confidential information after analysing samples of the agent used in the attack on the Skripals in Salisbury last month.

        Mr Lavrov said the toxin was not produced in Russia, but was in service in Britain, the United States and other Nato nations, Russian state media reported.

        “Based on the results of the examination, traces of the toxic chemical BZ and its precursors, related to chemical weapons of the second category in accordance with the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, were found in the samples,” Mr Lavrov said, according to state-owned Sputnik News.

        “BZ is a nerve agent temporarily disabling a person. The effect is achieved within 30-50 minutes and lasts up to four days.”


        • Fast Eddy says:

          Operation Northwoods

          Operation Northwoods was a proposed false flag operation against the Cuban government that originated within the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) of the United States government in 1962. The proposals called for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) or other U.S. government operatives to commit acts of terrorism against American civilians and military targets, blaming it on the Cuban government, and using it to justify a war against Cuba. The plans detailed in the document included the possible assassination of Cuban émigrés, sinking boats of Cuban refugees on the high seas, hijacking planes, blowing up a U.S. ship, and orchestrating violent terrorism in U.S. cities.[2] The proposals were rejected by the Kennedy administration.[3]

          At the time of the proposal, communists led by Fidel Castro had recently taken power in Cuba. The operation proposed creating public support for a war against Cuba by blaming it for terrorist acts that would actually be perpetrated by the U.S. Government.[4] To this end, Operation Northwoods proposals recommended hijackings and bombings followed by the introduction of phony evidence that would implicate the Cuban government. It stated:

          The desired resultant from the execution of this plan would be to place the United States in the apparent position of suffering defensible grievances from a rash and irresponsible government of Cuba and to develop an international image of a Cuban threat to peace in the Western Hemisphere.

          Several other proposals were included within Operation Northwoods, including real or simulated actions against various U.S. military and civilian targets. The operation recommended developing a “Communist Cuban terror campaign in the Miami area, in other Florida cities and even in Washington”.

          The plan was drafted by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, signed by Chairman Lyman Lemnitzer and sent to the Secretary of Defense. Although part of the U.S. government’s anti-communist Cuban Project, Operation Northwoods was never officially accepted; it was authorized by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but then rejected by President John F. Kennedy. According to currently released documentation, none of the operations became active under the auspices of the Operation Northwoods proposals.


          • Fast Eddy says:

            NATO’s Secret Armies. Operation GLADIO and the Strategy of Tension

            Shortly after WWII a Europe-wide network of secret armies was organised under the aegis of NATO, tasked with providing military and intelligence resistance in the event of a feared Soviet invasion. Modelled on the resistance movements of the war years, many of these “stay behind” units remained faithful to their original mandate. But by the early 1960s – under the pressures of anti-communist politicking and flirtations with the Far Right – some of these groups began to morph into something more sinister, linking up with extreme right-wingers who carried out acts of false-flag terrorism, harassment of left-wing parties and coups d’état.


      • Fast Eddy says:

        JH… why don’t you save me some time and just change your username to The MORE On.

      • Cirus says:

        The loss of live will diminish now that Assad is back in charge of the whole country.

    • Cirus says:

      Yes had noticed that cant have people saying the wrong thing.

      Seems to me that America must have known of the chemical weapons factories for some time so why did they not have them dismantled (bombed) before Assad had a chance to use the chemicals. I think this make the Americans complicate in there use.

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      “In an interview with “CBS This Morning” earlier this week, Musk said he has been sleeping on the floor of a Tesla factory to save time commuting.”

      meanwhile, Amber Heard has been sleeping in a soft bed…

  6. Fast Eddy says:

    On one hand I agree with this woman…


    On the other… if blowing the living sh it out of Syria … allows me to live large….. rather than like a diseased dog in a Balinese village…. I am all for it…

    Whatever it takes….

    It would appear there are very few bones left…. and the big dogs are fighting for their lives now….

  7. Baby Doomer says:

    Partition of Syria: US and Israel eye Golan Heights oil


  8. Baby Doomer says:

    World is at risk of ‘full blown military escalation’ over Syria, says UN secretary general


    • JH Wyoming says:

      There isn’t going to be any world war. Russia will not begin a larger war because the US hit Syria for Chemical attacks on their people. A lot of what gets said is bluff.

  9. JH Wyoming says:


    Shale Gas: The Technological Gamble that should not have been taken.

    It’s a good video, in my opinion.

    • On the other hand, having less total energy per capita than we need also puts the world economy at grave risk. The number involved in the world economy is a whole lot more than those affected by fracking.

      The obvious danger is always more of concern than the less obvious one.

    • JH Wyoming says:

      There’s an opportunity there for a new business model. Wide open space in the middle for rave dancing and light show. Room around the perimeter for small businesses such as food and beverage concessions, marijuana sales if in a legalized state, cell phone sales, bars, etc. Let’s call it Raves R US, ‘Come One, Come All, Let’s Rave!’

  10. Fast Eddy says:

    I seem to recall a post some months ago demonstrating that ‘renewable energy’ as a percentage of the total energy mix has actually decreased….

    Anyone have that?

  11. Baby Doomer says:

    Tesla is heading for a cash crunch

    “WE ARE sad to report that Tesla has gone completely and totally bankrupt.” So tweeted Elon Musk, boss of the electric-car company, on April 1st. He even posted a picture of himself supposedly drunk and inconsolable as proof. It was meant as an April Fool’s Day joke, but the gag backfired. It is uncomfortably close to the truth. America’s leading manufacturer of electric vehicles is under pressure. Mr Musk is fighting battles on many fronts and they all exacerbate his main threat: a financial squeeze that could eventually push Tesla over the edge.

    Even Tesla’s shareholders, who are rarely put off by bad news, are jittery. Its shares have fallen by 16% since the end of February, most steeply after a Tesla using the firm’s Autopilot software crashed into a roadside barrier in California on March 23rd, killing the driver and raising questions about the safety of its system for semi-autonomous driving. The crash is being investigated by the authorities.

    The pile-up of woes continued on March 28th when a judge in Delaware decided to let a shareholder lawsuit proceed against Mr Musk and Tesla’s board over an alleged breach of duty involving the firm’s $2.6bn takeover in 2016 of SolarCity, a troubled solar-energy firm run by Mr Musk’s cousins. And on March 29th the firm announced a recall of around 123,000 older vehicles that may be susceptible to corrosion of a bolt that affects steering and parking. Such recalls are common among the world’s other carmakers. But in Tesla’s case it reinforces a view that the company is much better at developing the whizzy technology that underpins its cars than at mastering the humdrum business of making them in quantity.

    Until recently Tesla made only small numbers of expensive long-range battery-powered cars. Its Model S saloon starts at $74,500 and its Model X sport-utility vehicle is pricier still. But Mr Musk has bet the future of his firm on mass-producing cheaper cars. The new Model 3, a smaller saloon costing as little as $35,000 with a range still exceeding 220 miles, has attracted over 400,000 deposits of $1,000 each from eager customers. Much of his firm’s expected future revenue and its lofty valuation (it stands at roughly $49bn today, even after the share-price falls) depends on rapidly scaling up production.

    Alas, Tesla has repeatedly failed to meet its own targets (see chart). In July 2017 Mr Musk claimed that his firm would be cranking out 20,000 Model 3s per month by December of that year. In fact, it managed to produce fewer than 2,500 in the entire final quarter of 2017. He vowed to produce 2,500 Model 3s a week by the end of March, rising to 5,000 a week by the end of June. Despite superhuman efforts by workers and managers (Mr Musk is personally supervising production of the new model and claims to be sleeping at the factory), on April 3rd Tesla confirmed that it is producing only around 2,000 Model 3 saloons a week.

    Expectations were so low among analysts and investors that Tesla’s flagging share price rebounded after that announcement. Glossing over the fact that it has yet again failed to hit its promised target, the company boasted that the Model 3 assembly line is now providing “the fastest growth of any automotive company in the modern era.” If Tesla’s production growth rate continues, it claimed, “it will exceed even that of Ford and the Model T.”

    Such bluster does not withstand scrutiny. Tesla is struggling with bottlenecks in the production of battery packs at its “gigafactory” in Nevada as well as with assembly of the Model 3 at its car plant in Fremont, California. The central problem is that Mr Musk has overcomplicated the already difficult task of making a mass-market car. Rather than relying on the time-tested manufacturing methods used by established rivals, who still use people to do tasks that machines are as yet unsuited for, he wants his car factory to be a hyper-automated “machine that makes machines”, bristling with robots and keeping human involvement to a minimum.

    Employees at the Fremont plant describe a chaotic workplace in which Silicon Valley ideals of nimble innovation and robotic automation clash with the unglamorous realities of car-making, from the safe use of fork-lift trucks on the shop floor to the dexterous insertion of plastic parts in car interiors. Max Warburton at Bernstein, an equity-research firm, argues that the big global carmakers have realised—owing to bitter experience with overzealous previous attempts at automation—that a sensible mix of man and machine produces the most efficient car-assembly for the time being.

    Even if Mr Musk’s dream of turning his factory into an “alien dreadnought” of automated mass production really points to a better way of making cars, he could run out of money before proving his case. Tesla lost over $2bn in 2017. Well before it confirmed the latest missed production target, investors worried about the firm’s cash-burn rate in 2018. In addition to the $2bn or so of capital that may be required to expand production of the Model 3, Tesla has some $1.2bn in convertible debt maturing by early next year. On March 27th Moody’s, a credit-rating agency, downgraded Tesla’s debt, cautioning that the firm “will likely need to raise additional capital during the second half of 2019”. Jefferies, a bank, predicts that Tesla will need $2.5bn to $3bn this year.

    Tesla maintains that there is no imminent cash crunch. In a statement released on April 3rd, the firm insisted that it “does not require an equity or debt raise this year, apart from standard credit lines.” Others think the moment of truth could come much sooner, perhaps in the summer. Whenever it arrives, the question is in what kind of environment Tesla will raise money. Rising interest rates, a wobbly share price and a continued inability to meet its own production goals would all conspire to make it harder for the firm to find capital. It does not help that General Motors, Volkswagen and other big rivals are making massive investments in EVs.

    Many shareholders retain their belief in Mr Musk’s ability to overturn conventional wisdom. But many short-sellers are still betting on the firm’s demise and fixed-income investors, who tend to be more interested in getting their money back than changing the world, are becoming antsier. The price of Tesla’s junk bonds is well below the level at which they were issued last year. In another tweet this week, Mr Musk summed it up this way: “Car biz is hell.” This time he wasn’t joking.


    • JH Wyoming says:

      Ok, so let’s say it’s possible Tesla may not last as an auto manufacturer. Does that spell the end of EV’s? Not likely as there are numerous other more established auto companies with EV models ramping up production.

      • to keep IC vehicles running, we must continue to dig (finite) stuff out of the ground

        To keep EVs going, we must dig (finite) stuff out of the ground.

        I’ve tried to expand on that here:

        It would we better for everyone if there was a awareness that our wheels are not going to keep turning no matter what engine is between the wheels.

      • The future of EV depends more on subsidies, in my opinion. Also, the real cost and time commitment involved in filling up an EV.

        • Jarvis says:

          With the American government advising it’s auto producers that they no long need worry about Obama’s emissions and mileage requirements this could put pressure on all producers of electric vehicles. After all they don’t make any money on electric cars and they are for the most part compliance cars. I know that was a income source for Tesla.

  12. Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

    I predict WW3 will begin on Friday the 13th of April…

    because every day this week, we have drawn “one step closer”…

    then WW3 will bring us “one step closer” to global collapse…

    on June 1st…

    I am very certain about this (SARC!)…

  13. Baby Doomer says:

    IMF’s Lagarde warns over debt on China’s Belt and Road

    International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde told Chinese policy makers to beware of financing unneeded and unsustainable projects in countries with heavy debt burdens, as the Fund unveiled its first efforts to support Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative on Thursday.

    Speaking at a conference in Beijing, she announced the opening of a joint IMF–China Capacity Development Centre which will help train Chinese development specialists to work abroad.

    The project is aimed at providing IMF support for the BRI, Beijing’s key foreign development initiative aimed at providing development and infrastructure finance in over 70 countries to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars a year. IMF encouragement has met with scepticism in some western countries such as the US, which question whether the development effort masks a push by China to gain influence in Eurasia and Africa.

    In a nod to these criticisms, Ms Lagarde told Chinese policymakers Thursday that while Belt and Road finance can provide much needed infrastructure, “ventures can also lead to a problematic increase in debt, potentially limiting other spending as debt service rises, and creating balance of payments challenges.”

    “In countries where public debt is already high, careful management of financing terms is critical”

    Another challenge, she said, is “ensuring that Belt and Road only travels where it is needed” an oblique reference to problems of insider dealing.

    “With any large-scale spending there is sometimes the temptation to take advantage of the selection and bidding process” she said.

    Chinese officials have been keen to gain the imprimatur of the IMF and other established development agencies as a much needed good housekeeping seal of approvals for the BRI.

    China has agreed to contribute $50m over 5 years to IMF effort to train officials in China and other countries including several in Africa via the China-IMF Capacity Development Centre. In addition to announcing the Centre, Ms Lagarde lauded an effort to bring BRI decision making under the umbrella of a newly created International Development Cooperation Agency, which is to be in charge of China’s foreign aid.


  14. Lastcall says:

    Oh I don’t know, maybe the facts are getting in the way of a bad decision?

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      more likely… “one step closer” to a bad decision…

  15. Baby Doomer says:

    OPEC says lack of investment in E&P will lead to a global energy crisis soon


    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      yup… “one step closer” to a global energy crisis…

  16. Baby Doomer says:

    Iran’s currency crisis could bring it one step closer to economic collapse


    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      many many things in the news bring various countries “one step closer” to collapse…

  17. Pingback: Energy Return on Energy Invested – Prof. Charles Hall’s Comments | Our Finite World

  18. trouble is—korean kim will realise he’s chicken

    then what

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:


      then WW3…

      it seems that no matter what happens each day, somebody somewhere is saying we are “one step closer” to WW3…

  19. Baby Doomer says:

    Trump, Bolton and the looming threat of war with Russia


    Donald J. Trump could very well become the Gorbachev of the US empire: the one who blows it up. Perhaps even on purpose..

  20. Baby Doomer says:

    Jared Diamond describes 5 factors that lead to collapse, All five of them are already present

    • Five factors that lead to collapse, according to Jared Diamond:

      Examples: Mayans, Easter Island, Vikings in Greenland,

      1. Enemies
      2. Trade partners that collapse
      3. Climate change
      4. Environmental problems (cutting down trees in Easter Islands)
      5. Social and Economic Institutions that prevent adapting

      We know how to farm sustainability; we know how to fish sustainably. All we need to do put these in place.

      I am not impressed with this interview.

  21. JH Wyoming says:


    “Never said when an attack on Syria would take place. Could be very soon or not so soon at all!” the U.S. president said in his latest early morning tweet on Thursday.

    So how could that have happened? Whose really in charge? If Trump isn’t compromised by something with Russia, then how is this 180 degree change of mind spun?

    • Jason says:

      Its called negotiating.

      • JH Wyoming says:

        What is negotiated after chemical weapons are used? Keep in mind this is the 2nd time they’ve used them. After the 1st Trump ordered a few missiles to hit a military airfield in Syria and warned worse would happen if it occurred again.

        Personally I don’t see a big difference between people being killed by conventional or chemical? The casualties from conventional weapons is in the hundreds of thousands and numbers much lower from chemical. But apparently it’s an important distinction to Trump and since his first reaction was a rather bold threat, to then go to this tweet, seems to indicate nothing may happen. So we are left to wonder what caused that resolve to vaporize? If Trump has big loans via Russia Oligarchs and gets a call they will be due immediately if he strikes, then he’s compromised. His hands are tied. That’s what a lot of people think and it may be true.

        • Baby Doomer says:

          I thought you were a liberal? And now you sound like a raging globalist Neo Con hammering for regime change…Please stop…It doesn’t look good on you bro!

          • JH Wyoming says:

            I get your point, BD. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not for war on any kind, particularly not on a big scale, but my point was more along the lines that Trump truly seems beholden to Russia (because of loans or who knows what) and that’s why he seems to be backing down on a response to Syria. I figure it would have entailed a few missiles from a destroyer and then we would find out just how tough Putin really is. Does he fire back at the destroyer or just say something bellicose? My opinion is these big players like to skirmish along the edges of stuff but have no intentions of going big. They just have too much to lose personally.

        • Jason C says:

          Trump likes to start at extreme end and work his way down. Does he want to start war with Russia. Probably not, but by starting aggressive may get a good deal after coming down a bit. Such as allowing U.N. to look for and eliminate weapons in country. I’m no expert in Syria, just an example to explain his pattern.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            Does anyone really believe that Trump is doing anything but reading from the teleprompter — text passed down to him by the Ministry of Truth — when it comes to any significant decisions?

            If so …. that would make you a fool.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          Just like Saddam had WMD


          You are the definition of MORE on … when one opens a dictionary to the word MORE on — noun: JH Wyoming

          • 1000000++++++++++ JH Wyoming is swallowing MSM propaganda like mothermilk. Give me one proof of chemical attack by Syrian government, JH! What proof has Macron, May, Trump? Nothing. All we have are obviously staged videos from the White Helmets hoax Al Nusra brothers. Look at this photo where they put a baby later on the heap of bodies. Ask why only babies and children are dying. No fighters. The fighters probably killed the babies and children before, you MORE on. Just for having a good video. You spawn the propaganda of monsters. Get a life and stop putting you belligerent, partisan bs here.

            • Yorchichan says:

              Actually, Macron has proof that the Syrian government carried out the chemical attack:

              Syria chemical attack: France’s President Macron has proof,

              but it’s a secret so he’s not going to tell us what it is.

              All I’ve seen is lots of highly photogenic children being doused in water.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              JH – I am picturing you bawling your eyes out over this horrific atrocity…. boo hoo boo hoo…

              You exemplify the IDI OCRACY of 99.9999% of Americans and the rest of the world that is populated by easily manipulated stooges…. and you are a case study as to why humans can never be trusted with democracy … it would be a total disaster.

            • there were 3 stooges nobody could ever fool

    • Lastcall says:

      He’s waiting for Friday the 13th ….to complete the fraud.

    • doomphd says:

      why do you assume everything the MSM feeds you is true? do you know the meaning of “false flag”?

    • putin doesn’t want an islamic fundamentalist state on his doorstep.

      assad is trying to prevent it—if assad goes down and the islamic nutters take over, we all have a problem—not just russia

      just as well to bear that in mind

  22. Baby Doomer says:

    Hillary Clinton calls for U.S. to bomb Syrian air fields


    It’s almost like Hillary did win…..

  23. Harry Gibbs says:

    “The Congressional Budget Office confirmed on Monday what many Americans and all politicians already know: the United States is in a deeply precarious fiscal position.

    “In just one short year, our budget deficit has ballooned by over $1 trillion; by 2028 the accumulated debt is expected to roughly match the size of the economy. If our oversized public debt explodes into a full-blown crisis, no one can say we weren’t warned.

    “The debt overhang will have real impacts on Americans—imposing higher borrowing costs, changing retirement as we know it and slowing the rate of growth. The plausible options for fixing the situation are diminishing, but fixing it should be a first-order policy priority.

    “The CBO’s worrisome ten-year outlook underscores the severity of the situation and reveals three areas of major concern…”


  24. Lastcall says:

    The ‘war’ talk on the blogs I read has changed from ‘if’ to when, with no-one discussing how to avoid this; rather its how each side will play this.

    The US is a fading hegemon, with 20% of its GDP (higher % if you discount how much of the GDP is fake/zombie petro-dollars) . No one will again have the resources to have a 1000 military bases around the world to extend their version of ‘demon-ocracy’. Will the Rapture believers be getting excited?

    For Russia, this is too soon, but all too familiar. Unless they have some technological ‘rabbit out of the hat’, this will go atomic real quick. History rhyming again.

    ‘New clear winter’ beating global warm-ups maybe?

  25. Baby Doomer says:

    BD prediction

    Financial catastrophe resulting from resource depletion and a debasement of value of fiat currencies. Then a 3-month window of tyranny and government lockdown on citizens, followed by a 3-month window of absolute carnage and death. Then, a period of about 6 months of slow die-off and that’s pretty much that. Oh, and starting sometime within the next 5 years or so…

    • like i said

      mid 2020s again

    • theblondbeast says:

      “Debasement of fiat currencies” can also be called “misrepresentation of the economy” in my definition of the economy as

      “The set of human activities comprised of the production and exchange of goods and services enabled by the application of energy and labor to resources, as represented by money.” (C) theblondbeast 2018

  26. Baby Doomer says:

    If the US and Russia go to war….


  27. Ed says:

    So the axis of the righteous tomahawks Syria. The Russians sink a U.S. naval vessel. Then?

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      more entertainment…

    • JH Wyoming says:

      “The Russians sink a U.S. naval vessel.”

      I suppose it’s possible, but don’t you think these politicians have more fun doing things between the uprights, i.e. things they know they can get away with without much in the way of repercussions? They play to play another day. There’s so much fun for these power players making or stealing money and being all full of bluster, they can’t even imagine doing anything to end that fun. Putin has squirrelled away hundreds of billions for himself (as I’ve read anyway) and he’s a permanent (until the grim reaper gets him) owner of that country, so why should he risk sinking a US warship?

      Trump on the other hand might not see so much risk in dealing a blow to Assad. He’s being chased by Mueller which just gets more and more intense, which potentially could lead to impeachment (although the R’s would most likely vote it down). If a war broke out he can say it’s a time of war and we all need to come together now, which probably ends the Mueller investigation. Also for Trump it’s a pressure cooker and bombing Syria would probably release some of that tension. Something for him to watch on Fox while having chocolate cake and cheering every time a video from a jet shows a bomb striking a building.

  28. Baby Doomer says:

    Lack Of Investments To Hurt Global Oil Supply, IEA’s Fatih Birol Says

    Fatih Birol, head of International Energy Agency, said a dearth of investments can start hurting global oil supplies from the first part of the next decade as production at ageing fields falls amid robust energy consumption worldwide.

    “This growth in oil output is not enough to feel there will be enough production in the future because of two reasons,” Birol, IEA’s executive director, said at a press conference on the sidelines of the International Energy Forum conference in New Delhi today. “One, global oil demand is still growing very strongly. Second, some of the mature fields are in a decline.”


  29. Baby Doomer says:

    Elon Musk is stressed, says he’s sleeping on Tesla factory floor and has no time to go home and shower


  30. Baby Doomer says:

    Is It Today? US Doomsday Plane Takes Off Amid Tensions in Syria


  31. Baby Doomer says:



  32. Sven Røgeberg says:

    The visions of Bill Gates:
    «But ultimately, eliminating the most persistent diseases and causes of poverty will require scientific discovery and technological innovations.

    That includes CRISPR and other technologies for targeted gene editing. Over the next decade, gene editing could help humanity overcome some of the biggest and most persistent challenges in global health and development. The technology is making it much easier for scientists to discover better diagnostics, treatments, and other tools to fight diseases that still kill and disable millions of people every year, primarily the poor. It is also accelerating research that could help end extreme poverty by enabling millions of farmers in the developing world to grow crops and raise livestock that are more productive, more nutritious, and hardier. New technologies are often met with skepticism. But if the world is to continue the remarkable progress of the past few decades, it is vital that scientists, subject to safety and ethics guidelines, be encouraged to continue taking advantage of such promising tools as CRISPR.»

    • Thus, adding to our population problem. How is progress going in contraception?

      • Duncan Idaho says:

        Bill has several severe limitations.
        (I’ll let the proletariat figure them out–)

    • JesseJames says:

      My BS meter is pegging on these statements about the wondrous effects of CRISPR technology.

    • Ed says:

      CRISPR does make the cut desired but it also makes 15,000 other undesired cuts. Far more damage and harm than good. Pure BS. Maybe in 20 years.

  33. Baby Doomer says:

    More Mexicans are leaving the US than coming here–and it’s not because of deportation


    • theblondbeast says:

      I do not believe that the Pew numbers sited accurately account for illegal immigration because self-reported illegal activities are unlikely to be honestly self-disclosed.

      • Baby Doomer says:

        America has become less attractive to economic migrants. Illegal immigration has dropped 80 percent, since it’s record high in 2000. That’s more than fivefold decrease in less than 20 years. -Border Patrol



        Just admit it. The whole immigration issues is nothing more than scaremongering..And people on the right are the dumbest people on god’s green earth. How they remain alive a mystery only god knows.

        • Oil prices were very low in 2000. The average price of gasoline got down below $1.00 per gallon (prices of the day) in late 1998 and early 1999. By 2000, they were in the $1.30 to $1.50 per gallon range, which was still very reasonable. The US government was running a budget surplus about this point, thanks to the low price of gasoline and other oil products.

        • zenny says:

          CBP seized:
          1.59 million
          pounds of marijuana;
          pounds cocaine;
          pounds of methamphetamine;
          pounds of heroin; and
          pounds of fentanyl
          Not a problem you say
          Wonder how much gets by those Einsteins
          If you look at the death toll from fentanyl
          and the low amount it takes to kill it will make you sick.

    • Duncan Idaho says:

      After living in Mexico last year, most Mexicans are perfectly content on staying in Mexico.
      I know when coming back to the States, the boarder is a wake up call, and not for the better.

      • xabier says:

        Like the migrant barman I spoke to: he told me that England was utter crap (weather, women, etc) , but as he had learnt English at school it was pretty much his only viable option in Europe.

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