Our Energy Problem Is a Quantity Problem

(This post consists of a short overview article I recently wrote for Transform, a magazine for Environment and Sustainability Professionals, plus six related Questions and Answers.)

Reading many of today’s energy articles, it is easy to get the impression that our energy problem is a quality problem—some energy is polluting; other energy is hoped to be less polluting.

There is a different issue that we are not being told about. It is the fact that having enough energy is terribly important, as well. Total world energy consumption has risen quickly over time.

Figure 1. World Energy Consumption by Source, based on Vaclav Smil estimates from Energy Transitions: History, Requirements and Prospects and together with BP Statistical Data for years 1965 and subsequent.

In fact, the amount of energy consumed, on average, by each person (also called “per capita”) has continued to rise, except for two flat periods.

Figure 2. World per Capita Energy Consumption with two circles relating to flat consumption. World Energy Consumption by Source, based on Vaclav Smil estimates from Energy Transitions: History, Requirements and Prospects (Appendix) together with BP Statistical Data for 1965 and subsequent, divided by population estimates by Angus Maddison.

There is a good reason why energy consumed has risen over time on a per capita basis. Every human being needs energy products, as does every business. Energy is what allows food to be cooked and homes to be heated. Energy products allow businesses to manufacture and transport goods. Without energy products of all kinds, workers would be less productive in their jobs. Thus, it would be hard for the world economy to grow.

When energy consumption per capita is rising, it is easy for workers to become more productive because the economy is building more tools (broadly defined) for them to use, making their work easier. Manufacturing cell phones and computers requires energy. Even things like roads, pipelines, and electricity transmission lines are built using energy.

Once energy consumption growth flattens, as it did in the 1920-1940 period, the world economy is negatively affected. The Great Depression of the 1930s occurred during the 1920-1940 period. Problems, in fact, started even earlier. Coal production in the United Kingdom started to drop in 1914, the same year that World War I began. The Great Depression didn’t end until World War II, which was immediately after the 1920-1940 period.

In the 1920-1940 period, many people, especially farmers, were not able to earn an adequate living. This is a situation not too different from the one today, in which many young people are not able to earn an adequate living. Strange as it may seem, this type of wage disparity is a sign of inadequate energy per capita, because jobs that pay well require energy consumption.

The 1980-2000 flat period was in many ways not as bad as the earlier one, because the lack of growth in energy consumption was planned. The United States changed to smaller, more energy-efficient cars in order to reduce the amount of gasoline consumed. Oil-powered electricity generation was taken out of service and replaced with other types of generation, such as nuclear. Heating of homes and businesses was changed to more efficient systems that did not burn oil.

The indirect effect of the planned reduction in oil consumption was a drop in oil prices. Low oil prices adversely affected all oil exporters, but the Soviet Union was especially affected. Its central government collapsed, at least partly because of its reduced revenue stream. Member republics continued to operate, somewhat as in the past. Russia and Ukraine cut back greatly on their industrialization, leading to less use of energy products. Population tended to drop, as citizens found better work prospects elsewhere.

Eventually, in the early 2000s, oil prices rose again. Russia was able to become a major oil exporter again, but Ukraine and other industrialized areas were permanently handicapped by the collapse. Countries affiliated with the Soviet Union (including Eastern European countries, North Korea, and Cuba) found themselves permanently lagging behind the US and Western Europe.

Recently (2013-2017), the world economy seems to have again reached a period of flat energy consumption, on a per capita basis.

Figure 3. Based on data of BP Statistical Review of World Energy, 2017, and 2017 UN Population Estimates.

In fact, in many ways the flattening looks like that of the 1920 to 1940 period. Increased wage disparity is again becoming a problem. Oil gluts are again becoming a problem, because those at the bottom of the wage hierarchy cannot afford goods using oil, such as motorcycles. Young people are finding their standards of living falling relative to the living standards of their parents. They cannot afford to buy a home and have a family. Governments are becoming less interested in cooperating with other governments.

Why is world energy consumption per capita flat, or actually falling slightly, after 2013? The answer seems to be diminishing returns with respect to coal production. Diminishing returns refers to the fact that while at first coal is inexpensive to extract, the cost of extraction rises after the thickest seams and those closest to the surface have been extracted.

A chart of China’s energy production shows how China’s coal production first rose as low cost made its usage advantageous, and then fell due to diminishing returns. China experienced a major ramp-up in coal production after it was added to the World Trade Organization in 2001.

Figure 4. China’s energy production, based on data from BP Statistical Review of World Energy, 2017.

As the extraction of coal progressed, China found itself with many mines with rising production costs. Coal prices did not rise to match the higher cost of production, so a large number of unprofitable mines were closed, starting in about 2012.

A major reason for the flat world per capita energy consumption starting in 2013 is the fall in China’s coal production after 2013. Coal production is falling in quite a number of other countries as well, as the cost of production rises, and as users become aware of coal’s environmental issues. Other sources of energy have not been rising sufficiently to keep total per capita energy consumption rising. A person can see in the China chart that wind and solar production are not rising sufficiently to offset its loss of coal production. (Wind and solar are part of Other Renewables.) This situation occurs elsewhere, as well.

What role do wind and solar play in maintaining world energy supply? The truth is, very little. While a great deal of money has been spent building them, wind and solar together amounted to only about 1% of total world primary energy supply in 2015, according to the International Energy Association.

A major problem is that wind and solar do not scale well. As larger quantities are added to electricity networks, more workarounds for their intermittency (such as batteries and long distance transmission) are needed. Bid prices for wind and solar give a misleadingly low impression of their real cost, unless the projects include many hours’ worth of storage to offset the impact of intermittency.

The key to rising energy consumption seems to be the falling cost of energy services, when efficiency is included. For example, the cost of delivering a package of a given size a given distance must be falling, relative to inflation. Similarly, the cost of heating a home of a given size must be falling. Governments must be able to tax producers of energy products, rather than providing subsidies.

Globalization requires ever-expanding energy supplies to meet the needs of a rising world population. To maintain globalization, we need a growing supply of energy products that are very cheap and scalable. Unfortunately, wind and solar don’t seem to meet our needs. Fossil fuels are no longer cheap to extract, because we extracted the resources that were least expensive to extract first. Our problem today is that we have not been able to find substitutes that are sufficiently cheap, non-polluting, and scalable.

A Few Related Questions and Answers:

(1) What is the biggest impediment to raising total energy consumption?

We cannot get the price of oil and of other fuels to rise high enough, for long enough, to encourage the production of the fossil fuel supplies that seem to be in the ground. What happens, instead, is that energy prices hit an affordability limit and fall back.

Figure 5. NASDAQ three month price chart for Brent Crude oil. Source: NASDAQ

The recent strike in Brazil over high diesel prices shows the kind of issues that occur. Oil prices are still far below what many oil exporters (such as Norway, Venezuela, and Iraq) really need, when needed taxes are included.

Of course, the problem with not being able to get prices high enough also discourages the use of alternatives to fossil fuels, such as wind and solar.

(2) Aren’t wind and solar low-cost approaches?

It is easy to think that wind and solar will be huge improvements over burning fossil fuels directly for fuel, but nearly all of these analyses overlook the problems that are added by introducing intermittency to the electric grid. The assumption was made in early analyses that with enough scale, intermittency in one location would tend to offset intermittency in another location. Also, it was hoped that electricity consumption could be shifted to different times of day.

There have been several recent analyses that look more closely at these assumptions. Jean-Marc Jancovici has shown that if sufficient storage is added for wind and solar to make it “dispatchable,” it takes an order of magnitude more physical resources to produce wind and solar compared to what it takes to produce the dispatchable nuclear electricity used in France. Both have low long-term operating costs. Thus, we would expect the true cost of wind and solar to be far higher than France’s nuclear electricity.

Roger Andrews, writing on Euan Mearns site Energy Matters, shows that some recent solar and wind auction prices appear to be far below actual costs, when reasonable minimum cost assumptions are used.

Regarding “Demand Response” as a solution to intermittency, Roger Andrews shows how little time of day pricing for consumers affects consumption curves. It appears that people don’t stop eating dinner after they get home in the evening, no matter how high the cost of electricity is at that time.

Interruptible supply is another way of reducing demand. This link describes some of the issues encountered when interruptible supply was tried on a large scale in California.

(3) Can’t we simply get along using less energy? That is what everyone tells us is possible.

The historical record in Figure 2 doesn’t give much indication that this is possible. Whenever there is even a small drop in energy consumption per capita, it seems to have an adverse effect. On Figure 3, even the small dip in energy consumption per capita in 2008 and 2009 led to a serious recession in many countries of the world.

The people who talk about getting along with less energy haven’t thought through the likely ramifications of this. There would be fewer jobs that pay well, because jobs such as those for construction workers would disappear. The economy would shrink, because of the fewer jobs, in a much worse recession than the Great Recession of 2008-2009.

We know that in past collapses, one of the big problems was inability of governments to collect enough taxes. We would likely encounter the same problem again, if there are fewer people making high wages. Most of the tax dollars for the US Federal Government are paid by private citizens (as income taxes or as Social Security funding), rather than by corporations.

Figure 7. Sources of US Federal Governments Revenue, based on US Bureau of Economic Analysis data.

The last year shown on Figure 7 is 2017, which is before the recent corporate tax reduction. This change will tend to shift the burden on Federal Taxes even further in the direction of payroll related taxes.

(4) How about efficiency savings? Can’t efficiency savings fix our problem?

There are two issues involved. If we were really efficient at fuel savings, as we were in the early 1980s, oil and other energy prices would drop dramatically. This would push oil, coal, and gas producers worldwide toward bankruptcy. Governments of oil exporting countries, such as Venezuela and Saudi Arabia, would have difficulty collecting enough tax revenue. They would likely collapse from lack of tax revenue, substantially reducing supply.

A second issue is that historically we have been adding efficiency. In fact, efficiency is what has tended to make fuel more affordable. As noted in the article, energy use could grow, as the cost of energy services fell.

Figure 8. Total Cost of Energy and Energy Services, by Roger Fouquet, from Divergences in Long Run Trends in the Prices of Energy and Energy Services. The cost of energy services combines (a) the cost of energy with (b) the impact of efficiency savings.

Some of the changes we have been making recently go in the opposite direction of efficiency. For example, the recent article, Biggest Ever Change in Oil Markets Could Send Prices Higher, discusses a new regulation requiring the use of low-sulfur fuel oil for ships. Doing this would greatly reduce the quantity of sulfur being released to the atmosphere as emissions. This is not a change toward efficiency; it is a change toward higher cost of production, which is the opposite of efficiency. Regulators plan to use part of our energy supply to eliminate the excess sulfur before the oil is sold.

As undesirable as sulfur pollution is, the problem is affordability and higher cost. Wages are not high enough for workers around the world to afford the required higher cost of food (because food production and transport use oil) to support the new regulation. So, the likely result of the regulation is to push the world toward recession. Beyond a certain affordability point, it is hard to push oil prices higher, because wages don’t rise at the same time.

(5) Could you explain further why flat energy consumption per capita is not sufficient for the world economy–this amount really has to grow?

Perhaps looking at charts of recent trends in energy consumption of a few countries can help explain what happens when overall per capita energy consumption is flat.

Joseph Tainter in The Collapse of Complex Societies explains that economies often use “complexity” to work around problems as they approach resource limits. In the particular version of complexity tried in this case, manufacturing was increasingly globalized. Workers suddenly found themselves competing for wages with workers from much lower wage countries. Wage disparity became more of a problem.

When workers are increasingly poor, they can afford to purchase fewer goods and services. This can be seen in energy consumption per capita data. Figure 9 shows energy consumption per capita for three European countries experiencing difficulties. In all three, energy consumption per capita has been falling for several years. When manufacturing was sent to Asia, workers found themselves earning less, so they were able to purchase fewer goods made with energy products. Also, European products were less competitive on the world market, with the new competition from low-cost markets.

Figure 9. Energy Consumption per Capita for three European Countries, based on BP Statistical Review of World Energy data and UN 2017 population estimates.

The countries that have been able to grow more rapidly in response to globalization (such as those in Figure 10) need to keep up their patterns of growth, or they start encountering financial problems because their prior growth was generally financed with debt. Without sufficiently rapid growth, they have difficulty repaying debt with interest.

Figure 10. Energy Consumption per Capita for five countries that recently have been growing rapidly. Based on BP Statistical Review of World Energy data and UN 2017 population estimates.

Brazil’s energy consumption per capita has recently fallen, and it is encountering severe problems. Argentina is a country with flattening energy consumption growth. China’s growth in energy consumption has slowed as well; we often read statements about its debt problems.

One of the problems that these rapidly growing countries encounter is currency fluctuations. As long as their particular country seems to be growing rapidly, the currency level of their country can remain high, relative to the US dollar or the Euro. But if obstacles are encountered, such as the low price of their major export, or slower economic growth, the currency of the country may fall relative to major currencies.

A falling currency relative to major currencies is a problem for these rapidly growing countries for three reasons. For one, imports become expensive. For another, any debt denominated in a foreign currency (such as the US dollar) becomes more difficult to repay. The reason why this is an issue is because rapidly growing countries often do not find enough credit available locally, so are forced to borrow internationally. A third problem with slowing growth and a falling currency relativity is that it becomes more difficult to attract new investment to the country. Instead, outside investors may decide to leave; they want to seek the next growth opportunity, in different, more rapidly growing country.

Turkey and Argentina both seem to be having problems with their currencies falling relative to the US dollar.

Another issue that makes flat worldwide per capita energy consumption unworkable is “diminishing returns” as resources become depleted. For example, wells for fresh water must be dug deeper, ores of metals include higher percentages of waste materials, and oil wells must be sunk in less convenient locations. These problems can be worked around, but they require increased energy consumption. All of these uses for energy products leave less for the rest of the economy. Thus, if we deduct the extra energy needed to compensate for diminishing returns, what at first looks like flat per capita energy consumption worldwide really equates to declining per capita energy consumption.

(6) Isn’t there anything that we can do to reduce carbon dioxide emissions?

The task of reducing carbon dioxide emissions is much more difficult than it appears to be, because the world economy requires energy consumption in order to operate.

The best thing I can see that an individual can do is reduce his or her consumption of meat and other animal products (fish, cheese, milk, leather). To offset, a major increase should be made in the consumption of vegetables that are filling to eat (such as potatoes, beets, carrots, beans, sweet potatoes, taro root, turnips, and corn). Some of these perhaps can be grown locally. Humans’ use of animal products adds to carbon dioxide levels, partly because of the quantity of food that needs to be grown and transported to feed the animals, and partly because of the direct emissions of some animals (including cattle, pigs, buffalo, chicken, sheep and goats).

In fact, cutting back on highly processed food of all sorts (particularly sugars, high fructose corn syrup, and oils) would seem to be worthwhile, as well. Growing, processing, and transporting the crops used in these highly processed foods all add to CO2 emissions.

Our problem is that we have grown attached to the flavors of these foods, and we have become convinced that they help us grow big and strong. While they may do this, they also set us up for problems in old age. Starchy vegetables have played a major role in the diets of long lived people. We may need to start giving them, and other less processed foods, a more prominent role again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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1,749 Responses to Our Energy Problem Is a Quantity Problem

    • I would like to see which countries the study is talking about and what changes they are seeing. Is the situation that outside investors are more comfortable with democratic governments, for example.

        • Baby Doomer says:

          Thank You Sven..Here is a link to download the book for free via pdf..

          https://libgen.pw/item/adv/5a1f04ea3a044650f5081d71

        • Artleads says:

          Aren’t nation states anomalies, highly usual products of vast influxes of external energy? Aren’t they at odds with human psychological wiring to live in small groups? And what if they have evolved our taste for unprecedented individuality, ease and rights? We still will need to figure out how have the latter while going back to small groups. If so, what’s the point of talking about failed nations, as if they weren’t to be expected and logical outcomes of decreased external energy resources?

          • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

            “We still will need to figure out how have the latter while going back to small groups.”

            or not…

            overshoot and massive die-off don’t care about our feelings for living in small communities…

            after the die-off, the survivors will go ahead and figure out what they can or can’t do…

            the situation will vary worldwide…

            there might be thousands of unique small communities (if 99+% die-off)…

            from this side of The Collapse, I don’t see how “we” can “figure out” anything for them…

          • Artleads says:

            If industrial civilization ceases, I don’t know how even small groups anywhere could survive. Disease, war, radiation would take care of everybody. So top down centralized nation states can’t work without a FF economy, and neither can small groups. Leaving only the prospect of keeping civilization (and FFs) going with smaller-group social organizing. I know no realistic person would take this seriously, which is where the figuring out would come in, or not.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              If not for the massive doses of radiation that will roil the planet… I could see remote primitive tribes surviving

              Permie Doomer — not a chance… first off — there is no such thing as a remote Permie Doomer… they are generally within walking/driving distance of many thousands… families know where they are… friends….

              Then of course the Permie Doomers are playing hobby farm… they would be lost without their electric pumps and washing machines and chain saws and Walmarts…. of course they refuse to acknowledge this — as they jump into the ute to head into town to pick up……

              Doomie Preps are probably some of the first to die — because when the neighbour’s pantry thins out… the first thought he’ll have is — Billy Bob up the road has that big garden … and chickens… and cows… let me get my gun … just in case he won’t share

              Flies to sh it … flies to sh it….

            • Grant says:

              Mad Max world but just for a short while.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Yep — it will be a stressful few weeks — before we bite the dust.

            • Mike Roberts says:

              This is a broad brush opinion, lumping all permaculture and self-sufficient practitioners together. It may be true for some but not for all. Not by a long way.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Really?

              How does one avoid being overrun by the hungry hordes?

              Forget about hordes. What about your family — you know — the nieces and nephews and cousins and uncles and aunts and brothers and sisters — who think you are a whack job out there on the farm preparing for The End of Days…

              What do you think THEY are going to do come the starvation? Where do you think THEY are going to head?

              And then there are the ponds…. of death….. do you think a tin foil hat will stop the radiation from entering your body?

              And I have yet to have a DP unlug himself from BAU — just to test his readiness…

              That is of course because when he unplugs and has to wash clothes by hand… cut and haul wood by hand…. no medicine … no trips to Walmart… no doctors… etc etc etc… the DPs know — they would then understand the monumental futility of their project…

              They would lose all hope… and turn to Oxycontin for relief.

          • JesseJames says:

            Look at the bright side. There will be no more SJW after collapse.

  1. Baby Doomer says:

    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world

    W. B. Yeats
    The Second Coming

    • Ed says:

      And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
      Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

      • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

        violets are blue
        roses are red
        FF declining
        everyone dead

  2. Third World person says:

    Man killed over water dispute in Delhi

    NEW DELHI: A 45-year-old man was killed and his family members were injured in a clash between two groups over a water dispute in south Delhi’s Sangam Vihar, the police said on Friday.
    The incident occurred on Thursday.
    Babli, his family and their associates attacked Krishan and his family members with bricks. They also fired gunshots

    Krishan and Manish sustained gunshot injuries. Their other family members were also wounded. Krishan was declared dead this afternoon, the police said.
    Babli and his brother were also injured in the clash

    as bau is collapse in India people are now killed each other for important resources
    https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/man-killed-over-water-dispute-in-delhi/articleshow/64605356.cms

    • Duncan Idaho says:

      India cold be the first major to go over the falls– I think it will be Pakistan though.
      Could be Indonesia, but don’t rule out China– the propaganda does not decreases its danger and degeneracy.

    • Rodster says:

      As scientists have stated, water resources/insecurity in the coming decades will be a serious issue. It’s also been noted that water in the coming decades will be more valuable than oil.

    • Slow Paul says:

      Kind of sad that we run out of water before we run out of guns…

    • Water is incredibly important. We sometimes forget this.

  3. Third World person says:

    the next revolution is coming in Egypt

    Egypt on Saturday increased fuel prices by up to 66.6 percent to meet an International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan deal and push the implementation of economic reform plans, the Oil Ministry said in a statement.
    Oil Minister Tarek al-Molla said prices for cooking gas increased from 60 Egyptian pounds (3.4 U.S. dollars) to 100 pounds per cylinder for commercial use.

    The 92 octane gasoline increased from 5 pounds to 6.75 pounds per liter. The 80 octane gasoline increased from 3.65 to 5.5 pounds,

    The new prices went into effect since Saturday morning, said the statement.

    This is the third time the government has increased fuel prices since austerity measures were announced late 2015.

    Egypt has been suffering economic slowdown over the past few years of political instability and relevant security challenges.

    The country hopes to increase production and exportation and to revive tourism as ways to boost its economy, with a strict three-year economic reform plan, which started in late 2016, based on austerity measures, fuel and energy subsidy cuts and tax hikes.

    https://www.thequint.com/hotwire-text/egypt-raises-fuel-prices-by-up-to-66-6-to-push-reforms?utm_source=quora&utm_medium=referral

    • Sungr says:

      Thanks for the update.

      My son-in-law is an Eqyptian immigrant. He is one of the most decent and hardworking people I have ever known.

      He actually has schooled my once-mouthy daughter in how to show proper respect to her parents……..

    • Fast Eddy says:

      The only concern appears to be that they were unable to watch the world cup match

      https://www.thesun.co.uk/world-cup-2018/6551013/nigerias-power-grid-meltdown-world-cup/

    • We had Puetro Rico and then Nigeria. If the Nigeria problem cannot be resolved quickly, they are on the edge of collapse.

      The people who think we can save ourselves with electric cars are kidding themselves. Electricity has as many problems as oil.

      • Rodster says:

        Permaculture farmers believe they will be saved. I posted a comment on Chris Martenson’s site regarding that some experts say we only have about 60 years left of industrial farming https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/only-60-years-of-farming-left-if-soil-degradation-continues/

        Well the permaculture farmers took issue with that, saying that doesn’t apply to them. They obviously ignore that when people are starving they will do just about anything to eat and stay alive. Their permaculture farms will be like a 7-11 to the food zombies. Maybe they need to read up on what the food zombies are doing in Venezuela.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          More ons

        • Mike Roberts says:

          Permaculture is the way to go. Whether it will save anybody as our converging problems bear down on us is another matter.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            It is kinda like knowing a massive hurricane is minutes away … and standing on the street and opening an umbrella … believing it will save you.

        • Kanghi says:

          Roadster, I have heard, that some permaculture farms have been actually destroyed and pillaged in Ghana by other people, but I am not sure if it was cos the owners where white and seen interlopers by the local tribal minded people. It is bad to be a minority, when things get ugly.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            A white man … in Africa … when BAU busts…. would be a horrific situation …

            Don’t we haver lurker setting up a doomie camp in South Africa on FW?

            Now that is the definition of insanity.

      • Sungr says:

        I wasn’t aware that the Nigerians were driving electric cars these days.

      • Greg Machala says:

        In general I think electricity has more problems than fossil fuels. Since electricity is dependent on fossil fuels it makes sense that it has at least as many problems as fossil fuels. In addition, electricity depends on millions of miles of wire. So, certainly it has more problems than fossil fuels.

  4. Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

    if Merkel goes, the EU is toast:

    http://www.breitbart.com/london/2018/06/16/longstanding-disagreements-on-migrant-policy-threaten-to-end-merkel-era/

    she is the strongman holding the EU together…

    • jupiviv says:

      Not really. Germany’s economic interests depend upon an intact Eurozone. Merkel is the U-boot version of Thatcher, screwing over everyone else for the benefit of the centre.

      • SomeoneInAsia says:

        I’d really hate to see Playmobil go bankrupt.

        I love Playmobil.

        QUOTE: ***she is the strongman holding the EU together…***

        Not strongman. Strongwoman.

    • xabier says:

      I heard someone talking about the moral foreign policy of the UK – very hard indeed not to laugh out loud in their face.

      The Romans thought they were moral,too, and never fought an ‘unjust’ war……

    • Sungr says:

      “America’s moral authority”

      Oh ha ha. That was a good one. We have lots of churchs but churchgoers tend to be the meanest bunch of all…

    • doomphd says:

      now you know why airlines don’t like lithium batteries in their baggage holds.

      • Grant says:

        Quite. Presumably they are well aware of how the baggage handlers treat the stuff going into the holds.

    • Grant says:

      Such things were quite popular, or so I was told, in South Africa some years ago when car-jacking and similar violent acts were quite popular in some cities.

      I wonder if the recent flamethrower promotion came with a fitting kit for Teslas?

      • xabier says:

        Yep, I once met a South Africa in London who had owned -and needed -one of those cars: flamethrowers, automatic, and shotgun, just for the drive to work. He’d actually had to shoot a couple of black criminals in the basement car park of his office building. House had high walls, razor-wire, and a ‘rape cage’ – steel inner doors across corridors to isolate bedrooms from black intruders. He left when he realised that his life ‘had become insane’.

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      Musk to build transportation between downtown Chicago and O’Hare airport:

      https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/13/elon-musk-boring-company-wins-bid-for-express-train-to-chicago-airport.html

      “Mayor Emanuel and Boring Company officials said it is too early to provide a timeline for the project’s completion or its estimated cost, the Chicago Tribune reported, adding the cost would be born by Musk’s company.”

      that is quite funny…

      it’s always too early to provide a timeline for any of his projects…

  5. name says:

    Poland’s oil consumption jump by 20% in last two years is caused by legilslation which curbed illeglal fuel imports.
    https://i.wpimg.pl/O/644×346/i.wp.pl/a/f/jpeg/34599/pap_most_warszawa_korek_656.jpeg

  6. Baby Doomer says:

    MLB Attendance Drops to Lowest Average in 15 Years

    http://fortune.com/2018/06/15/mlb-attendance-rate-declining/

    • Rodster says:

      As Bill Clinton once said, “it’s the economy stupid”. Average ticket price is $76, not counting consession prices. Add a crappy economy where the consumer doesn’t have expendable cash to buy tickets, they decide to stay homeand watch the game for free. NFL prices are 4-5 times higher.

      When I was growing up my dad took me to Yankee Stadium in the mid 60’s and bleacher seats costs 75 cents each, hotdogs were 25 cents.

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      “… an average price of $76 per ticket…”

  7. Rufus says:

    Oil Industry Copes With Climate Impacts As Permafrost Thaws

    http://aspenpublicradio.org/post/oil-industry-copes-climate-impacts-permafrost-thaws

    Complexity increases, feedback loops, diminishing returns : oil industry needs to cool permafrost to operate in Alaska !
    “De profundis clamavi” !. Help us God. What can we do but extract more oil until the end ? Whatever it takes !

    Excerpts :
    “Imagine for a moment you’ve just landed in a helicopter out on the tundra, you’re about a hundred miles from anywhere, and it’s costing you a dollar a second to be here.”
    “Companies must build hundreds of miles of ice roads to move the massive equipment used for oil exploration. But state regulators don’t allow that construction to start until the fragile tundra is sufficiently frozen. And scientists report that freeze-up is happening up to two months later than it did in the 1980s.”

    “Alaska’s economy leans heavily on oil money … the idea of stopping the state’s oil production to address climate change is unthinkable.”

    “The oil industry has built a vast network of pipelines and buildings on top of permafrost, and has always had to use special engineering to adjust for it. Oil operators have used Yarmak’s product since the 1970’s, but he says rising temperatures mean it’s needed even more.”
    “As permafrost thaws, he says, “the doors start to stick, the sheet rock cracks, the floor isn’t level any more. Things aren’t the way that they planned them.”
    “To help, Yarmak manufactures long metal tubes filled with a refrigerant, called thermosyphons. … These giant tubes are partially buried in the permafrost. The gas inside pulls heat out of the ground and in the process, keeps it frozen.
    Each tube is custom-made and can cost up to $10,000. Yarmak says oil companies have installed thousands of them across Alaska’s Arctic. If the state continues to warm as projected, he expects to be in business a long time to come.”

    • Sungr says:

      Thanks for the good article. I spent a few months during the winter at Prudhoe in the 80s. Lots of challenges even then.

      I remember landing on an ice runway at Deadhorse airfield in February 1981. It was near midnight with crosswinds blowing at 70mph. Pilot wanted to return to Anchorage but ultimately landed the 737 without a problem.

  8. Yoshua says:

    Energy prices increased by 16% in 2017. The global economy consumed 9.3% of GDP on energy. In 2008 when we had the global financial crisis, the global economy consumed 10% of GDP on energy.

    https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=34352

  9. Baby Doomer says:

    If the economy is so great, where are the fatter paychecks?

    Economists are stumped: When the economy is this good, wages should be rising much more.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-06-11/a-tight-u-s-job-market-should-deliver-bigger-raises

    Economist are easily duped..
    https://imgur.com/a/FOQ2BiY

  10. psile says:

    Areas Of The World More Vulnerable To Collapse
    https://d3hxt1wz4sk0za.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Global-Regions-Continents-Net-Oil-Exports-vs-Imports.png?x65756

    “Certain areas of the world are more vulnerable to economic and societal collapse. While most analysts gauge the strength or weakness of an economy based on its outstanding debt or debt to GDP ratio, there is another factor that is a much better indicator. To understand which areas and regions in the world that will suffer a larger degree of collapse than others, we need to look at their energy dynamics…the end game suggests that the majority of countries will experience an economic collapse due to the upcoming rapid decline in global oil production.”

    • Low oil prices are clearly another cause of collapse. They will affect oil producers and countries dependent on oil tax revenue.

      There are way too many countries which are vulnerable to collapse.

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      the countries in the first place (in the graph) category grow very little food…

      Russia is in the second place category…

      they produce much more oil than they use internally…

      I’m guessing that they also produce more food than they eat…

      that’s the best combination in the world…

      • psile says:

        In an interdependent world, when the head goes (the financial system) everyone will go down the chute. Doesn’t matter how good they might look beforehand.

        • DJ says:

          Russia is probably one of the less interdependent countries. First voluntarily isolated then involuntarily.

          • psile says:

            Russia is fully integrated into the world system. There’s no escape, for anyone.

            • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

              yes… fully integrated for their own benefit… for now…

              but if all international trade ended abruptly right now…

              what country would do best?

              a country with a large military to defend itself… check…

              a country with its own ample supply of FF… check…

              a country which grows its own food… check…

              also very helpful would be a relatively low population for its land size… and a large majority with a common culture… check…

            • Fast Eddy says:

              There will be no fossil fuels available in Russia when BAU goes down. They will have whatever they have stockpiled.. and that’s it.

              The military will bust into factions and the place will descend into total chaos….

              Chaos, no oil, and no spare parts … is not good for spent fuel pond maintenance… and of course there are loads of spend fuel ponds in countries bordering with Russia…

              So the chaos will not last very long.

              The Russians are just as f789ed as everyone else.

            • psile says:

              There is no “integrated for ones own benefit”. Everyone is interdependent. It’s a GLOBAL complex, which means when something big eventually breaks, like the financial system, then everything and everyone will go down.

      • JesseJames says:

        They are now the largest food producer in the world.

        • DJ says:

          Source? And measured how?

          • JesseJames says:

            Sorry about that old chap. I mis-spoke. Russia has become the largest exporter of wheat. However, food exports cannot be measured in dollar valuations. They must be measured by volume. Also, i don’t consider GMO to be food, therefore an extremely large percentage of the US exports can then be disqualified.

    • Baby Doomer says:

      A former icon of wealth and consumerism transformed into a homeless shelter.

      If this doesn’t tell you everything you need to know about the current state of America, I don’t know what does.

    • Artleads says:

      I see this as positive, nothing more.

  11. Baby Doomer says:

    Stephen Hawking’s ashes buried between graves of Darwin and Newton

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/stephen-hawking-ashes-buried-westminster-abbey-today-2018-06-15/

  12. Baby Doomer says:

    My Prediction

    Financial catastrophe resulting from resource depletion and a debasement of value of fiat currencies. Then a 12-month window of tyranny and government lockdown on citizens, followed by a 6-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…

    https://imgur.com/a/rBtIrfg

    • I salute you with coming out in such way..
      The suggested sequencing makes sense, although I’m personally partial to longer periods for each stage, especially in countries with already preexisting structures for authoritarian rule..

    • According to the article, lack of affordable housing is the problem.

      I think part of the problem is that the desirable land area for new housing is relatively small–it is squeezed between the ocean and mountains. New homes aren’t being built, partly because there is not cheap land available to build upon. There are no doubt other issues as well, such as zoning laws.

      • Artleads says:

        Zoning laws, I’m sure. And the whole idea that housing has to pay. There must be a million cars, vans, ditched school buses, train cars that could be assembled for housing. And it would only be due to lack of training why they wouldn’t be amazingly wholesome and beautiful.

  13. Sven Røgeberg says:

    This report came last year
    https://www.dnvgl.com/news/world-energy-demand-to-plateau-from-2030-says-dnv-gl-s-inaugural-energy-transition-outlook–99848
    In Norway, and in countries like Germany, the report is often used to underpin the optimistic claims from different environmental groups of a growth saving energy transition.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/DNV_GL

  14. Harry Gibbs says:

    “The U.S. Federal Reserve’s latest interest hike this week is an uncomfortable reminder to Asian borrowers about the risks of financial complacency… Corporate and personal debt has reached record levels around the world, including in Asia, in terms of absolute amounts of money involved. Moreover, in a number of Asian economies (China, South Korea and Japan stand out) the ratio of debt to gross domestic product is well in excess of that in most economies elsewhere.”

    https://asia.nikkei.com/Opinion/Beware-the-next-Asian-debt-crisis

  15. Harry Gibbs says:

    “The opioid crisis that continues to ravage the United States affects every state in the country and has left almost no community untouched. In 2016 alone, the United States witnessed an average of 115 deaths per day due to opioid overdoses — a number that surpasses the number of road traffic deaths and is contributing to the stalling gains in life expectancy in the United States.”

    http://thehill.com/opinion/finance/392294-the-severe-economic-costs-of-the-us-opioid-crisis

  16. Harry Gibbs says:

    “Guess what? Your bank loan is going to cost money from here on in. So is your margin account and a new mortgage. It’s not the early 2000s or the 1990s, but one thing is becoming clear: the central banks that have propped up securities markets since the Great Recession are now in retreat. The Fed is basically in full retreat, with the European Central Bank announcing its about-face on Thursday… Some emerging market countries are not too happy about it.”

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2018/06/14/central-banks-in-retreat-as-post-great-recession-normalcy-returns/#5d8ede6ef019

  17. Harry Gibbs says:

    This is bad timing for China, which is attempting the impossible by trying to simultaneously deleverage and maintain robust growth:

    “US President Donald Trump has approved a plan to impose punishing tariffs on tens of billions of dollars of Chinese goods as early as Friday, a move that could trigger a trade war with China.

    “On Thursday, Trump met several Cabinet members and trade advisers and was expected to impose tariffs on at least $35bn to $40bn of Chinese imports, according to an industry official and an administration official familiar with the plans.

    “The amount of goods could reach $55bn, said the industry official. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss the matter in the face of a formal announcement.

    “Trump has long vowed to fulfill his campaign pledge to clamp down on what he considers unfair Chinese trading practices.

    “If the president presses forward as expected, it could set the stage for a series of trade actions against China and lead to retaliation from Beijing.

    “Trump has already slapped tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico and European allies, and his proposed tariffs against China risk starting a trade war involving the world’s two biggest economies.”

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/06/trade-war-looms-trump-eyes-tariffs-billions-china-goods-180615050628793.html

    • Harry Gibbs says:

      “China’s government has been trying to break the country’s addiction to ever-rising debt, but its effort to crack down on easy money is starting to hit growth in the world’s second-biggest economy…

      “Over all, there is growing evidence that a credit crunch is taking a toll on the Chinese economy.

      “The National Bureau of Statistics released data in Beijing on Thursday showing that investment, retail sales and industrial production all slowed in May. The slowdowns in investment and retail sales were particularly sharp and unexpected.

      “With that backdrop of eroding economic growth, the People’s Bank of China, the country’s central bank, conspicuously did not match on Thursday the Federal Reserve’s increase to interest rates on Wednesday…”

      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/14/business/economy/china-economy-debt-interest-rates.html

      • Harry Gibbs says:

        “Cracks are appearing in the economy of the northern Chinese port city of Tianjin as the local government struggles with a crackdown on the credit-fueled investment that has transformed its skyline in recent years. Some state firms are defaulting or scrambling for funds to meet obligations and some lenders are refusing to lend to Tianjin companies, according to creditors, government sources and documents viewed by Reuters.”

        https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-debt-tianjin-insight/a-northern-chinese-powerhouse-grapples-with-a-slowdown-as-credit-curbs-hit-idUSKBN1JA3B8

      • Actually, the world needs China’s debt bubble. When it crashes, the whole world will have a problem.

        • Harry Gibbs says:

          “The Irish economy, the German economy and the UK, US and Chinese economies do not exist, except by virtue of their integration in the globalised economy. Conversely, each is a localised expression of a global system. At any moment a myriad of final and intermediate goods, commodities, information and people is moving back and forth across borders. Without those flows, which maintain socio-economic function and complexity, economies would quickly collapse.

          “Here we make a distinction between our imagined communities, in particular the nation state and the psycho-drama within and across nations, and our real dependencies, which are globalised. National economies can have local character and limited degrees of freedom, but they exist inter-dependently, just as a heart or lung cannot exist apart from the body and still retain its original identity.” [Trade Off]

          When every national economy is, as David Korowicz so eloquently points out, just a localised expression of a networked, globalised whole, leaders should beware the ‘boomerang effect’ and the law of unintended consequences. The IMF are correct when they say that Trump’s trade war will ultimately harm the US as well:

          “The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned that Donald Trump’s controversial new import tariffs pose a stark threat to the global trading system and will ultimately damage the US economy.”

          https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/trump-tariff-steel-aluminium-trade-war-canada-eu-imf-christine-lagarde-a8399636.html

  18. MG says:

    Japan’s Rent-a-Family Industry
    People who are short on relatives can hire a husband, a mother, a grandson. The resulting relationships can be more real than you’d expect.

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/04/30/japans-rent-a-family-industry

  19. Fast Eddy says:

    What’s even more surprising, of the 1,500 millennials surveyed for the study, 53% expect to become millionaires at some point in their lives. However, that percentage is unevenly divided between men and women:

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-06-14/millennials-expect-retire-56-despite-14tn-student-loans

    https://nataliaantonova.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/cannot-handle-the-hysterical-laughter.gif

    • Christiana says:

      Inflation? All Germans were Millionaires in the end of the 20ies.
      And if it is not that, you know, they are all so special, world was just waiting for them.

  20. Fast Eddy says:

    Meanwhile the human race sinks deeper into the primordial reality tee vee oooze…. WTF….

    https://sexfactor.com/

  21. Fast Eddy says:

    If the MSM doesn’t cover it …. did it happen?

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-06-14/no-escape-dont-expect-yemeni-version-white-helmets

    Well… for the kids and moms and dads who are getting bombed and starved and diseased… it sure does. What a great experience for the Yemeni people — a wonderful adventure — possibly better than a trip to Disneyland….. oh definitely better — what could be worse than a day at Disneyland….

    https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/yemen%202.jpg

    • Fast Eddy says:

      What I am trying to work out is why this Hugo Clement guy —28 years old…. would be with this … this…. maybe she was paying him????

      http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_nIXa59og1cg/TH0OMiWg3gI/AAAAAAAAALQ/jiqS8c-Gzc8/s1600/0903_asia_argento_bikini_07-480×720.jpg

      https://purecelebs.net/wp-content/uploads/2017-09-27-914081/4.jpg

    • SomeoneInAsia says:

      What delights me so much is that we’re all going to have the same great experience as those Yemenis (though for slightly different reasons), and possibly sooner than we think!

      I wonder if Churchill, Hitler, Genghis Cunt etc could have reincarnated as some of these children, as a reward for the wonderful deeds they’ve committed in their previous lives.

      • Lastcall says:

        In biological terms, our man Genghis has been extremely successful; apparently his DNA is everywhere!

    • Grant says:

      It has long amazed me that people living in a catastrophic state in a war zone, whatever the cause, still seem to be insistent about breeding.

      Why is that? Some innate human response to murderous mayhem?

      • your genes don’t know or care about wars

        • Grant says:

          Brain unaware of the consequences is simply the result of long term ingrained risk acceptance?

          Or is there an unofficial market for image rights paid by the MSM for pictures of potentially photogenic children in life threatened situations?

          • all that is irrelevant

            your genes are required to reproduce themselves, and they use your body to do it

            if your body fails, then you will be consigned to oblivion and another’s genetic pattern will replace yours—the genetic requirement is success and nothing else.

            if you copulate in a warzone, you might succeed—or not….if you both get killed then it’s the end of the reproductive line for both of you.
            if one of you gets killed, then another opportunity might present itself when the shooting stops.

            either way your genetic pattern moves on, or it doesn’t.

            crude and brutal i agree, but genetic forces have no caring function

            • Grant says:

              So such a basic unstoppable driving force that even the additional risks related to an added load of personal and family safety responsibility is ignored?

              Life after BAU will, presumably, be a somewhat similar response. Real life replacing Hollywood.

            • Ann says:

              …Grant and Norman discussing the drive to procreate…..

              When the man who sometimes brings home food tells you to lie still and shut up, you spread your legs and shut your mouth. No choice.

            • well that’s one way of putting it

              more fun when you shop together though

    • Yemen is a country that used to be an oil exporter, but is now past peak oil. It’s population greatly when it was exporting reasonably large quantities of oil. Now oil prices are low, water resources are depleted, and it doesn’t have enough to export. They are in terrible shape. Worse off than Venezuela in many ways.

  22. Baby Doomer says:

    AAA Report: Americans Spend 7% Of Income On Gasoline

    If you make $45,000 per year, you’re shelling out over $3,000 just to put gas in your vehicle.

    http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2018/06/13/aaa-report-americans-spend-7-of-income-on-gasoline/

  23. Fast Eddy says:

    Part of Argentina’s problem is that the BCRA isn’t a central bank in the modern sense. It was nationalized in 1946 and has become a de-facto department of the Ministry of Finance. Successive administrations used its peso-printing press (more recently the digital version) to fund government spending and political goals. It’s very convenient. You can buy a lot of votes that way.

    If the BCRA had been an independent central bank, and had acted with a modicum of tough love, the peso wouldn’t have lost 96.5% of its value against the dollar in 16 years and inflation wouldn’t have ranged between 20% and 40% over the years.

    But it will be tough to turn off the spigot of increasingly worthless pesos that vote-buying politicians have come to depend on.

    https://wolfstreet.com/2018/06/14/seems-impossible-but-argentinas-peso-was-able-to-collapse-further-despite-50-bn-imf-bailout/

    Because Wolf lives in his fairyland world it does not occur to him that so-called independent central banks including the Fed ECB and BOJ are doing the exact same thing — only on a much larger scale.

    And if anyone posts that in the comments – he’ll ban them

    • Not exactly to your point but more about Argentina and EMs/human nature in general, I recall encounters with at least two waves of emigrants from that country per different decades. And it was always about the same, preserving at least some retaining fraction of the family wealth, the people were manic, angry, some disillusioned. But the primary motive was to move resources as soon and as much possible out of there..

      Now imagine the other side of the same equation, as the funds/money/people moved out, the Argentina visibly slowed down, backwardation on all fronts, the entropy acted in more pronounced ways of deterioration of infrastructure and so on.

    • Good point!

  24. Baby Doomer says:

    Capitalism is killing the planet and needs to change, says investor Jeremy Grantham

    https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/13/gmos-grantham-capitalists-need-to-wake-up-to-climate-change-reality.html?__source=sharebar|facebook&par=sharebar

    • SomeoneInAsia says:

      Well said, but how new is this?

      And can anything be done anymore at this point in time?

  25. Baby Doomer says:

    Ukrainian neo-nazi mob mocks Roma women as they tear down Kiev camp with axes (VIDEO)

    https://www.rt.com/news/429202-kiev-roma-camp-nationalists/

  26. Delays and funding problems with several of the key Russian Arctic projects be it railway/cargo hubs, natgas drilling LNG etc. So now they take on board not only Chinese but also French, “Swiss” and other int investors..

    https://thebarentsobserver.com/en
    (Thanks to discussion at Steve’s Undertow)

    Interesting, so apart from inflation and cost over runs for such difficult projects one has to wonder where the money went instead, in terms of higher priority? The army (most likely), civilian infrastructure (partly), stolen by oligarchs (not likely)?

  27. Harry Gibbs says:

    ECB to wind up QE, ignoring evidence of a slowdown. Should make life interesting.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/business/2018/jun/14/ecb-calls-halt-to-quantitative-easing-despite-soft-euro

    • I wonder what they are thinking. We will find out how soon feedbacks set in.

      • Harry Gibbs says:

        At least they are holding interest rates down for the time being. It is hard to be optimistic about 2019 with both the Fed and ECB in hawkish mode though.

        I actually emailed a cabinet minister last week; got a polite but fairly dismissive response. I don’t know what I was hoping to achieve really – it’s just frustrating standing on the sidelines, watching vital policy-decisions being made on the basis of an incomplete understanding of the situation.

        We need to be buying time not normalising.

        • the mistake is to think that politicos actually know what they are doing

          they don’t—-and i’m not being facetious.

          this is a situation that no one has experience of, so we cannot expect administrative miracles, or even common sense

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Hey Kurt – can you ask your Deep Throat contact what they are thinking?

        Why are they raising interest rates when debt loads are through the roof and higher interest rates guarantee GFC2

        • Kurt says:

          He says it is because some people make a lot of money when rates go up.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            What does he say about the hundreds of millions of people who can barely make their mortgage, student loans, credit card and auto payments even with rates at record lows.

            What about corporations and governments who will need to direct even bigger hunks of their revenues to service their record debt loads?

    • Lastcall says:

      We see now how much of a union (shotgun marriage) Europe ever was. Tide of postwar prosperity is going out and it appears the island states are re-emerging. Tribal politics will leave the Brussells an isolated disneyland.
      This will repeat as politics rebounds from global consensus to local strong-arm.

    • Rufus says:

      Only in december … we will see what happens till then. For now it gave a kick to the stock markets here in France the last 24 hours. Damn … I should have knowned. I should have knowned the CBs drive the markets like puppet masters. FE told us. Tool late. I was already out. I was fool enough to believe financial markets were a measure of reality …

    • Well, it depends as the know-how, development-prototyping, design, evidently stays in the UK. The already highly automatized assembly plants are offloaded to slave labor in CEE&Asia, that’s sort of double efficiency achieved by one stroke there for a while as it means both fewer people and on lower pay per plant/car produced. And the new plant is bought with freshly printed money loaned to the car company..

    • Grant says:

      Since the entire car industry manufacturing in the UK is owned by the Japanese (Toyota, Honda and a bit of Nissan), the French (the other bit of Nissan and the remains of what GM used to mis-manage), the Germans (Rolls Royce and MINI by BMW and Bentley by VW), India (Jaguar, Land Rover) and China (MG, such as it is, and the company that makes the London Black Cabs and, iirc, Lotus) there’s not much left that is truly indigenous.

      At the exotic end McLaren is mainly owned by Middle East investors and Aston Martin seems to have a variety if nations involved in funding about 1/3 of which is Italian. Much of its technology is from Mercedes. It makes notable losses.

      That leave the tiny Morgan outfit and the “nearly back from the. Dead” TVR brand plus Caterham, though I’m not sure who owns Caterham these days.

      I think the short term risks posed by Brexit are nothing compared to the over all ownership issues. And probably completely irrelevant once the rush towards electric powering of everything alongside bans on FF powered vehicles stumbles into play.

      • the problem isnt who makes the cars

        the problem is what will make the wheels go round.

        if transport has no purpose, then transport as we know it will cease, and we will revert to the economics of the farmcart—except that the horse will have been eaten.

        why should transport have no purpose?

        because only employment can bring purpose to transport, and without fuel to sustain employment, our wheels will have nowhere to go.—-and no, solar farms and wind turbines will not provide the fuel to provide everyone with a job

        a thirty mile commute will be pointless without a job to drive to, and without jobs, holidays will be a thing of the past….so our wheels will cease to turn

        • Well, that’s the same question all over again we are bumping into at every corner over here, namely the issue of timing and sequencing.

          Sudden stop/doom/war, or few years of attempted muddling through restarts via naked monetization and other tricks, triage of periphery countries first (already in the making?), something in between?

          Frankly, if someone has got the funds and means, it’s not a bad idea at all to have both diesel family car and electric econobox, let’s say bought in early 2020’s so it might last at least a decade, hence covering the likely ~2025-35 shock window of depletion vs the end of credit money.. A rich person can have even few more fuel options there..
          Nevertheless it could be futile anyway in rapidly evolving scenarios, roadblocks, insecurity, etc..

          You are quite likely on the long term conceptual front, that’s not disputed.

        • Grant says:

          Quite.

          It will be interesting to see whether progression towards regression continues to be accelerated by political policies or some realisation of likely outcomes leads to a lot of backpedaling in an attempt to extend the grace period (or the period of increasing discomfort depending on one’s point of view) and whether such a change if direction could be positively effective.

        • xabier says:

          On Trajan’s Column in Rome there is at least one scene showing a Dacian warrior fighting off legionaries from inside his family cart, with his wife and children alongside.

          One could, then, literally ‘circle the wagons’ and have a ready-made fortress.

          Home, transport, mini-fort, status-indicator. When the horses or oxen used to pull it got too old, you could eat them.

  28. Baby Doomer says:

    Without immigrants to replenish it’s ranks, Europe runs the risk of dying off.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-06-13/europe-s-unresolved-migration-crisis-triggers-political-turmoil

    It’s either open borders, or economic collapse? You choose!

    • Grant says:

      Open borders does not imply economic survival. For a number of reasons.

      It also begs the question about what might be meant by the term “survival”.

    • DJ says:

      Never been to europe I suppose?

    • Several of the eurocrats, affiliated ngo’s already acknowledged the migration crisis has been partly (largely) an effect of understanding the demographic slump for the core consumer age group of Europe, and with the proviso many (most) of the incoming would never ever work, only serve as sort of substrate onto which push nominal growth/consumption.

      And this is not the only craziness which extends BAU.., there are at least another 4-5big tools how to prop the overall madness few decades more..

      • xabier says:

        It is truly crazy: certainly in Britain well-qualified immigrants ready and able to work are denied residence and work permits (for example in medicine) while tribal-scarred and war-traumatised kids are welcomed. Bulk settlement of useless GDP and consumption -padders. I have seen the same sort of thing referred to in Spain.

    • JesseJames says:

      This BS …only applicable with the continuation of BAU. When BAU ends…the remaining Europeans will pick up with the lifestyle of their forefathers 150yrs ago. The large population is no longer needed or desired, or supportable.

  29. Harry Gibbs says:

    “The European Central Bank will debate on Thursday whether to end its huge asset purchases by year-end, in what would be its biggest step towards dismantling crisis-era stimulus credited with pulling the euro zone economy out of recession.”

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ecb-policy/ecb-gets-ready-to-pull-the-plug-on-stimulus-scheme-idUSKBN1J937D

  30. Harry Gibbs says:

    “Global trade is showing signs of slowing… The U.S. dollar has strengthened considerably, turning in a headwind for emerging market economies… Sales growth has been slowing… Geopolitical tensions and policy concerns, particularly around tariffs, have sent shockwaves of volatility back into the markets…”

    https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/13/emerging-markets-sinking-into-a-correction-this-year-may-fall.html

  31. Harry Gibbs says:

    “The Federal Reserve raised interest rates on Wednesday, a move that was widely expected but still marked a milestone in the U.S. central bank’s shift from policies used to battle the 2007-2009 financial crisis and recession.

    “In raising its benchmark overnight lending rate a quarter of a percentage point to a range of 1.75 per cent to 2 per cent, the Fed dropped its pledge to keep rates low enough to stimulate the economy “for some time” and signalled it would tolerate inflation above its 2 per cent target at least through 2020.

    ““The economy is doing very well,” Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said in a news conference after the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee released its unanimous policy statement after the end of a two-day meeting…”

    https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/article-us-federal-reserve-raises-rates-amid-stronger-inflation-drops/?cmpid=rss

  32. Harry Gibbs says:

    OPEC very unsure about how demand is going to look moving forwards:

    “Recent developments in the oil market have led to pronounced uncertainty about the second half of the year,” OPEC said in the report.

    ““While oil demand in the U.S., China and India shows some upside potential, downside risks might limit this potential going forward.”

    “OPEC said there is a “wide forecast range” of 1.7 million bpd in estimates of the amount of crude the group needs to pump in the second half, meaning demand could be significantly more or less than members’ current output…”

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-oil-opec/opec-cautious-on-oil-outlook-despite-end-of-global-glut-idUSKBN1J81AZ

    • Harry Gibbs says:

      Demand for tankers is weak:

      “The market for oil product transport remains sluggish. Daily rates for MR tankers this week dropped to the lowest level since 2009, notes Deutsche Bank.”

      https://shippingwatch.com/secure/carriers/Tanker/article10682152.ece

      • Harry Gibbs says:

        My additional comment is for reasons unknown being held in moderation but it points out that the market for oil product transport is weak. Daily rates for liquid fuel tankers this week dropped to the lowest level since 2009, according to Deutsche Bank.

  33. Fast Eddy says:

    Baltimore County Teachers: Culture of Leniency Leading to Violence. (Source: Fox Baltimore)

    “I have been kicked. I have been punched. I have been thrown up against lockers,” stated one of the teachers.

    “I’ve been spit on. A lot of chair throwing, turning over desks, screaming, running around the classroom,” added the other.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-06-12/its-wrong-and-its-scary-baltimore-county-teachers-frightened-spike-violence

    I am thinking the solution to this problem is to give out more gold stars…. a little more kindness and encouragement would go a long way

    If that doesn’t work have all the students check their guns… hold hands…. and sing koombaya… followed by Imagine….

    And finally — if that fails… purple kool aid laced with copious amounts of Fentanyl…. that will definitely calm the beasts within

    • Third World person says:

      my friend who is a teacher in usa
      was talking about interest things happened in school nowadays
      when he use to teach in black majority school most of the students
      were extreme violent to each other

      now he teach at white majority school
      he say most of the students in are depression and obese
      and take drugs

      • doomphd says:

        maybe they’re concerned about the all-too-obvious fact that they have no future in this society, or facing a world where a graduate college degree financed by deep student loan debt is necessary to get a low-paying job standing around all day selling garments to the public, or flipping burgers at the local Macdonalds.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          This is what happens when hope is lost….

          One could have predicted this behaviour – just spent a little time in a 3rd world sh it hole…. people turn to drugs… crime … prostitution …

          What we are seeing in the west is different in that we are conditioned to believe that things are always getting better… that there will be opportunities — whereas in the 3rd world you are born f789ed and you will remain f789ed….

          It must be very tough mentally to be a Millennial

          • Third World person says:

            i do not see any difference between the west and those 3rd world country

            you know why because majority of people do not give a shit in west
            that they infrastructure/education/ is decay
            corruption is getting normalize

      • h.c. says:

        Sure.

        Why?

        Read: Microwave frequency electromagnetic fields (EMFs) produce widespread neuropsychiatric effects including depression, Martin L.Pall, Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy, Volume 75, Part B, September 2016, Pages 43-51, doi: 10.1016/j.jchemneu.2015.08.001 – https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0891061815000599

        I could go on with 2000 other studies. Alo the US NTP and the IT Ramazzini-Study basically proved basically what was already known: Mobile telephony (Modulated microwaves) cause cancer – but that only part of it. The immediate effects are basically worse. And thats what has dramatically changed in our environment in the last 5-10 years. LTE Modulation is even worse then the tested GSM/CDMA modulation.

      • xabier says:

        But this can’t be true: the kids are Our Future! And so, so Special! We need to hear and share their Journeys….. 🙂

    • xabier says:

      This is why new teachers in state schools in Britain leave, on average, after a year or two: Violence and insults, often from parents. Bullying by headteachers also seems to be a factor.

      Although when my step-mother was a teacher in Spain, she was visited by gypsy parents who complained that she never hit their children: ‘ You’re not a good teacher! How are they going to learn if you don’t hit them?!’

      • Third World person says:

        she was visited by gypsy parents who complained that she never hit their children: ‘ You’re not a good teacher! How are they going to learn if you don’t hit them?!’

        maybe gyspy parents know they kids needed those hits
        to become good at study

        • xabier says:

          Yes, TWP, it’s probably true….

          • SomeoneInAsia says:

            As the saying goes, “Spare the rod and spoil the child.”

            Or as the ancient Egyptians said, “The ear of a child is on his back; he listens only after being caned.”

            Not that we have much of real value anymore to pass down to our children, of course…

            • Nope.avi says:

              That is a large motive behind the lack of respect from students. They know that most of them will never never become doctors,engineers, and CPAs, and therefore won’t benefit from most of the education they offered.

  34. Baby Doomer says:

    Check out the new Model 3’s

    https://imgur.com/a/nZhToX0

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