Eight insights based on December 2017 energy data

BP recently published energy data through December 31, 2017, in its Statistical Review of World Energy 2018. The following are a few points we observe, looking at the data:

[1] The world is making limited progress toward moving away from fossil fuels.

The two bands that top fossil fuels that are relatively easy to see are nuclear electric power and hydroelectricity. Solar, wind, and “geothermal, biomass, and other” are small quantities at the top that are hard to distinguish.

Figure 1. World energy consumption divided between fossil fuels and non-fossil fuel energy sources, based on data from BP 2018 Statistical Review of World Energy 2018.

Wind provided 1.9% of total energy supplies in 2017; solar provided 0.7% of total energy supplies. Fossil fuels provided 85% of energy supplies in 2017. We are moving away from fossil fuels, but not quickly.

Of the 252 million tons of oil equivalent (MTOE) energy consumption added in 2017, wind added 37 MTOE and solar added 26 MTOE. Thus, wind and solar amounted to about 25% of total energy consumption added in 2017. Fossil fuels added 67% of total energy consumption added in 2017, and other categories added the remaining 8%.

[2] World per capita energy consumption is still on a plateau.

In recent posts, we have remarked that per capita energy consumption seems to be on a plateau. With the addition of data through 2017, this still seems to be the case. The reason why flat energy consumption per capita is concerning is because energy consumption per capita normally rises, based on data since 1820.1 This is explained further in Note 1 at the end of this article. Another reference is my article, The Depression of the 1930s Was an Energy Crisis.

Figure 2. World energy consumption per capita, based on BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2018 data.

While total energy consumption is up by 2.2%, world population is up by about 1.1%, leading to a situation where energy consumption per capita is rising by about 1.1% per year. This is within the range of normal variation.

One thing that helped energy consumption per capita to rise a bit in 2017 relates to the fact that oil prices were down below the $100+ per barrel range seen in the 2011-2014 period. In addition, the US dollar was relatively low compared to other currencies, making prices more attractive to non-US buyers. Thus, 2017 represented a period of relative affordability of oil to buyers, especially outside the US.

[3] If we view the path of consumption of major fuels, we see that coal follows a much more variable path than oil and natural gas. One reason for the slight upturn in per capita energy consumption noted in [2] is a slight upturn in coal consumption in 2017.

Figure 3. World oil, coal, and natural gas consumption through 2017, based on BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2018.

Coal is different from oil and gas, in that it is more of a “dig it as you need it” fuel. In many parts of the world, coal mines have a high ratio of human labor to capital investment. If prices are high enough, coal will be extracted and consumed. If prices are not sufficiently high, coal will be left in the ground and the workers laid off. According to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2018, coal prices in 2017 were higher than prices in both 2015 and 2016 in all seven markets for which they provide indications. Typically, prices in 2017 were more than 25% higher than those for 2015 and 2016.

The production of oil and natural gas seems to be less responsive to price fluctuations than coal.2 In part, this has to do with the very substantial upfront investment that needs to be made. It also has to do with the dependence of governments on the high level of tax revenue that they can obtain if oil and gas prices are high. Oil exporters are especially concerned about this issue. All players want to maintain their “share” of the world market. They are reluctant to reduce production, regardless of what prices do in the short term.

[4] China is one country whose coal production has recently ticked upward in response to higher coal prices. 

Figure 4. China’s energy production by fuel, based on BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2018 data.

China has been able to bridge the gap by using an increasing amount of imported fuels. In fact, according to BP, China was the world’s largest importer of oil and coal in 2017. It was second only to Japan in the quantity of imported natural gas.

[5] China’s overall energy pattern appears worrying, despite the uptick in coal production.

Figure 5. China’s energy production by fuel plus its total energy consumption, based on BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2018 data.

If China expects to maintain its high GDP growth ratio as a manufacturing country, it will need to keep its energy consumption growth up. Doing this will require an increasing share of world exports of fossil fuels of all kinds. It is not clear that this is even possible unless other areas can ramp up their production and also add necessary transportation infrastructure.

Oil consumption, in particular, is rising quickly, thanks to rising imports. (Compare Figure 6, below, with Figure 4.)

Figure 6. China’s energy consumption by fuel, based on BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2018.

[6] India, like China, seems to be a country whose energy production is falling far behind what is needed to support planned economic growth. In fact, as a percentage, its energy imports are greater than China’s, and the gap is widening each year.

The big gap between energy production and consumption would not be a problem if India could afford to buy these imported fuels, and if it could use these imported fuels to make exports that it could profitably sell to the export market. Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be the case.

Figure 7. India’s energy production by fuel, together with its total energy consumption, based upon BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2018 data.

India’s electricity sector seems to be having major problems recently. The Financial Times reports, “The power sector is at the heart of a wave of corporate defaults that threatens to cripple the financial sector.” While higher coal prices were good for coal producers and helped enable coal imports, the resulting electricity is more expensive than many customers can afford.

[7] It is becoming increasingly clear that proved reserves reported by BP and others provide little useful information. 

BP provides reserve data for oil, natural gas, and coal. It also calculates R/P ratios (Reserves/Production ratios), using reported “proved reserves” and production in the latest year. The purpose of these ratios seems to be to assure readers that there are plenty of years of future production available. Current worldwide average R/P ratios are

  • Oil: 50 years
  • Natural Gas: 53 years
  • Coal: 134 years

The reason for using the R/P ratios is the fact that geologists, including the famous M. King Hubbert, have looked at future energy production based on reserves in a particular area. Thus, geologists seem to depend upon reserve data for their calculations. Why shouldn’t a similar technique work in the aggregate?

For one thing, geologists are looking at particular fields where conditions seem to be favorable for extraction. They can safely assume that (a) prices will be high enough, (b) there will be adequate investment capital available and (c) other conditions will be right, including political stability and pollution issues. If we are looking at the situation more generally, the reasons why fossil fuels are not extracted from the ground seem to revolve around (a), (b) and (c), rather than not having enough fossil fuels in the ground.

Let’s look at a couple of examples. China’s coal production dropped in Figure 4 because low prices made coal extraction unprofitable in some fields. There is no hint of that issue in China’s reported R/P ratio for coal of 39.

Although not as dramatic, Figure 4 also shows that China’s oil production has dropped in recent years, during a period when prices have been relatively low. China’s R/P ratio for oil is 18, so theoretically it should have plenty of oil available. The Chinese figured out that in some cases, it could import oil more cheaply than it could produce it themselves. As a result, China’s production has dropped.

In Figure 7, India’s coal production is not rising as rapidly as needed to keep production up. Its R/P ratio for coal is 137. Its oil production has been declining since 2012. Its R/P for oil is shown to be 14.4 years.

Another example is Venezuela. As many people are aware, Venezuela has been having severe economic problems recently. We can see this in its falling oil production and its related falling oil exports and consumption.

Figure 8. Venezuela’s oil production, consumption and exports, based on data of BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2018.

Yet Venezuela reports the highest “Proved oil reserves” in the world. Its reported R/P ratio is 394. In fact, its proved reserves increased during 2017, despite its very poor production results. Part of the problem is that proved oil reserves are often not audited amounts, so proved reserves can be as high as an exporting country wants to make them. Another part of the problem is that price is extremely important in determining which reserves can be extracted and which cannot. Clearly, Venezuela needs much higher prices than have been available recently to make it possible to extract its reserves. Venezuela also seems to have had low production in the 1980s when oil prices were low.

I was one of the co-authors of an academic paper pointing out that oil prices may not rise high enough to extract the resources that seem to be available. It can be found at this link: An Oil Production Forecast for China Considering Economic Limits. The problem is an affordability problem. The wages of manual laborers and other non-elite workers need to be high enough that they can afford to buy the goods and services made by the economy. If there is too much wage disparity, demand tends to fall too low. As a result, prices do not rise to the level that fossil fuel producers need. The limit on fossil fuel extraction may very well be how high prices can rise, rather than the amount of fossil fuels in the ground.

[8] Nuclear power seems to be gradually headed for closure without replacement in many parts of the world. This makes it more difficult to create a low carbon electricity supply.

A chart of nuclear electricity production by part of the world shows the following information:

Figure 9. Nuclear electric power production by part of the world, based on BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2018. FSU is “Former Soviet Union” countries.

The peak in nuclear power production took place in 2006. A big step-down in nuclear power generation took place after the Fukushima nuclear power accident in Japan in 2011. Europe now seems to be taking steps toward phasing out its nuclear power plants. If nothing else, new safety standards tend to make nuclear power plants very expensive. The high price makes it too expensive to replace aging nuclear power plants with new plants, at least in the parts of the world where safety standards are considered very important.

In 2017, wind and solar together produced about 59% as much electricity as nuclear power, on a worldwide basis. It would take a major effort simply to replace nuclear with wind and solar, and the results would not provide as stable an output level as is currently available.

Of course, some countries will go forward with nuclear, in spite of safety concerns. Much of the recent growth in nuclear power has been in China. Countries belonging to the former Soviet Union (FSU) have been adding new nuclear production. Also, Iran is known for its nuclear power program.

Conclusion

We live in challenging times!

 

Notes:

(1) There is more than one way of seeing that energy consumption per capita needs to rise, despite rising efficiency.

One basic issue is that enough energy consumption needs to get back to individual citizens, particularly citizens with few skills, so that they can continue to have the basic level of goods and services that they need. This includes food, clothing, housing, transportation, education and other services, such as medical services. Unfortunately, history shows that efficiency gains don’t do enough to offset several other countervailing forces that tend to offset the benefits of efficiency gains. The forces working against unskilled workers getting enough goods and services include the following:

(a) Diminishing returns ensures that an increasing share of energy supplies must be used to dig deeper wells or provide water desalination, to operate mines for all kinds of minerals, and to extract fossil fuels. This means that less of the energy that is available can get back to workers.

(b) Governments need to grow because of promises that they have made to citizens. Retirement benefits in particular are an issue, as populations age. This takes another “cut” out of what is available.

(c) Increased use of technology tends to produce a much more hierarchical workforce structure. People at the top of the organization are paid significantly more than those near the bottom. Globalization tends to add to this effect. It is the low wages of those at the bottom of the hierarchy that becomes a problem because those workers cannot afford to buy the goods and services that they need to provide for themselves and their families.

(d) Increasing use of technology can often produce replacements for manual labor. For example, robots and computers can replace some jobs, leaving many would-be workers unemployed. The companies that produce the replacements for manual labor are often international companies that are difficult to tax. Governments can try to raise taxes to provide benefits to those excluded from the economy as a consequence of the growing use of technology, but this simply exacerbates the problem described as (b) above.

(e) The world economy always has some countries that are doing better than others in terms of GDP growth. These countries are nearly always countries whose energy use per capita is growing. Current examples include China and India. If world resources per capita are flat, there must be others whose energy consumption per capita is falling. Examples today would include Venezuela, Greece and the UK. It is the countries with falling energy consumption per capita that have the more severe difficulties. Our networked world economy cannot get along without these failing economies.

Besides the issue of enough goods and services getting back to those with limited skills, a second basic issue is having enough energy-based goods and services to actually fulfill promises that have been made. One type of promise is debt and related interest payments. Another type of promise is that made by pension plans, whether government sponsored or available from private industry. A third type of promise is represented by asset prices available in the marketplace, such as prices of shares of stock and real estate prices.

The problem is that promises of all types can, in theory, be exchanged for goods and services. The stock of goods and services cannot rise very quickly, if energy consumption is only rising at the per-capita rate. Even if more money is issued, the problem becomes dividing up a not-very-rapidly growing pie into ever-smaller pieces, to try to fulfill all of the promises.

(2) With respect to oil, the one major deviation from its flat pattern occurred in the early 1980s, when world oil consumption fell by 11% between 1979 and 1983. This happened as the result of a concerted effort to change home heating and electricity production to other fuels. It also involved a change from large inefficient cars to smaller, more fuel efficient cars. After the 2007-2009 recession, there was another small step downward. This downward step may reflect less building of new homes and commercial spaces in some parts of the world, including the US.

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.
This entry was posted in Financial Implications and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2,505 Responses to Eight insights based on December 2017 energy data

  1. Adam says:

    Gail, your “About” states:
    “I am an actuary interested in finite world issues – oil depletion, natural gas depletion, water shortages, and climate change.”

    I thought that you specifically weren’t interested in climate change? Even the phrase “climate change” sometimes prompts a comment to be withheld. Could you give us, in three or five sentences, your views on the issue and why you think the idea that significant anthropogenic global warming is taking place is wrong? I’ve slowly come to that view too. I’m just curious about your statement quoted above.

    • Maybe I should take climate change off the list.

      I think that calling global warming “anthropogenic” is a misnomer. The same forces that cause human population to grow also cause other changes to happen, including perhaps climate change. (Climate can’t stay the same in a self-organized system; hurricanes can’t stay the same either. We are dealing with very changeable systems.) Unfortunately, there is absolutely nothing that humans can do about global warming, especially considering the short timeframe we have to work on the issue. Otherwise, I suppose that we could go around campaigning for people to eat much less meat, stop having more than two or three children (especially in Africa and Asia), and start replanting forests as much as possible. I don’t think that even that would do much good. Global warming is simply the result of the way the system is, not something humans can do anything about. Wind and solar are pretty much worthless for fixing the problem; adding them is likely to bring the system down sooner.

      • Volvo740... says:

        If all humans committed suicide tomorrow I think there would be a reduction in CO2 emissions next year. Perhaps it would even be flat?

        But with methane I think we’ve set off some kind if non stoppable train wreck. What’s called CO2e, would still keep climbing. It’s also clear that the ice would still melt in the Arctic, kicking off another feedback loop leading to more heating. That’s just 10 years off or so to a blue sea event. So it’s no longer possible to stop the heating by not emitting CO2. Also stopping coal burning will lead to an immediate temperature increase from the reduction of “global dimming”.

        There is still one problem. The fuel ponds would catch fire.

        My personal opinion is that warming is a real threat to our civilization in the longer run. We can not in the long term survive without the insects trees etc. I.e. the biosphere matters, and we’re not putting a price on the destruction of it.

        The kicker is that it may not matter, since we’re even more dependent on a revenue stream and your local grocery store.

        This site is raising awareness of a predicament. Not peak oil per se, but limits to growth and its implications. It offers no solutions. How could it? It’s a predicament!

        What will we gain by raising awareness? Or do we write here because it helps us deal at a personal level with the implications of the predicament?

        The way I interpret it, the predicament is that, in X years, (X could be negative) the human civilization will start collapsing down to a much smaller population (possibly 0), and the process might be grim.

        • The process could be grim, or we may not fully understand the situation. The whole self-organized system is so miraculous in its operation that there are no doubt pieces we don’t understand. How did we get to where we are now? There were prior collapse situations, but they basically led to illnesses and death by illness. Some died in battle, but that happens today as well. Quite a few survived the immediate collapse situation. We know that in general, 100% of us will die, and many of us will die from illnesses. If the date of death is moved up a bit, and the type of illness is changed, how does that change the ultimate outcome?

      • jupiviv says:

        “I think that calling global warming “anthropogenic” is a misnomer. The same forces that cause human population to grow also cause other changes to happen, including perhaps climate change.”

        It’s not a misnomer if it just means that human activity is causing cli-mate change. I don’t know anyone who believes humans are simply willing cli-mate change into existence.

        There is nothing we can do about declining cheaply extractable resources for pretty much the same reasons you cite for not being interested in GW. Nevertheless, all of us here are interested in that and trying to understand it.

        • The problem is that the economy is a dissipative structure. In fact, the whole universe seems to operate on energy flows. The universe has a tendency to concentrate energy consumption to the extent possible. We humans can feel bad about the situation, but we cannot change the physics of the situation.

          The story that humans can fix the situation is the story that is wrong. It is based on our belief that we can control nature in all respects, even though we cannot.

          • Artleads says:

            Society as a whole takes energy for granted. It has always done so. Readers on FW are VERY unusual in that they see energy as central. Entirely differently from average people, including many of the PTB. OTOH, I don’t don’t know how much FW-ers consider culture. If energy is as central as FW-ers see it, then we should consider what a change of culture to consider energy as central would do. That could lead to different mass behavior.

            • JesseJames says:

              Interesting concept. Imagine a culture that cherished and conserved energy, prioritized it over all else, including convenience and comfort. I believe that, before energy was so abundant, people automatically did this kind of thing. If you had to cut wood to stay warm, you probably tended not to waste it.

      • Adam says:

        “Gl*** w*m**g is simply the result of the way the system is, not something humans can do anything about.”

        The system – presumably you mean the natural system, which is however impacted by humans. We humans breathe in oxygen but breathe out CO2 – not very helpful. And there are 80 million extra of us every year. How long till we deplete the oxygen we all need?

        • Adam says:

          “Forgotten Civilization: The Role of Solar Outbursts in Our Past and Future”
          by Robert M Schoch Ph.D.

          “Building upon his revolutionary theory that the Sphinx dates back much further than 2500 BCE, geologist Robert Schoch reveals scientific evidence of advanced civilization predating ancient Egypt, Sumeria, and Greece, as well as the catastrophe that destroyed it nearly 12,000 years ago and what its legacy can teach us about our own future. Combining evidence from multiple scientific disciplines, Schoch shows how the last ice age ended abruptly in 9700 BCE due to coronal mass ejections from the Sun. These solar outbursts unleashed electrical/plasma discharges upon Earth and triggered volcanic activity, earthquakes, fires, and massive floods as glaciers melted and lightning strikes released torrential rains from the oceans. He explains how these events eradicated the civilization of the time and set humanity back thousands of years, only to reemerge around 3500 BCE with scattered memories and nascent abilities.

          “Schoch reveals scientific evidence that shows how history could repeat itself with a coronal mass ejection powerful enough to devastate modern society. Weaving together a new view of the origins of civilization, the truths behind ancient wisdom, and the dynamics of the planet we live on, Schoch maintains we must heed the megalithic warning of the past and collectively prepare for future events.”

          • Tim Groves says:

            If you enjoyed the works of Immanuel Velikovsky, you’ll love this.

            • Adam says:

              And then there’s the military:

              “Planet Earth: The Latest Weapon of War” by Dr Rosalie Bertell.

              “One startling project is HAARP (High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program), an installation in Alaska that, in Dr Bertell’s words, “Is related to 50 years of intensive and increasingly destructive programs to understand and control the upper atmosphere.” This grid of powerful antennae and transmission towers is capable of bombarding the atmosphere with high-frequency rays, creating “controlled local modifications of the ionosphere” (outer layer of the atmosphere). A US Air Force study points to the use of such modifications as a means of altering we ather patterns and disrupting enemy communications and radar.

              “The main military purpose of HAARP is to heat sections of the ionosphere until they bulge to form a curved “lens.” This will reflect HAARP’s massive energy beams back to earth, destroying selected targets–presumably without leaving a trace of what caused the devastation. Now operational, HAARP has the ability to potentially trigger floods, droughts, hurricanes, and earthquakes. Scientists have warned that no one can fully predict the impact of such operations, which could affect both brain and behavior.

              ” ‘Planet Earth’ describes how HAARP and installations in Russia, on which the United States has collaborated, can also create pulsed, extremely low-frequency (ELF) waves. These have been directed deep into the earth itself potentially disrupting delicately posed tectonic plates of the earth’s crust, such as the San Andreas Fault. There is moreover, a growing chain of extremely powerful, potentially interactive military installations, using varied types of electromagnetic fields of wavelengths, each with a different ability to affect the earth or its atmosphere. Their effects on the earth’s core or the atmosphere are impossible to predict, but many have speculated that testing of this new technology is related to recent earthquakes and freak weather patterns.

              ” “Former US Secretary of Defense William Cohen has discussed the possible threats of military experiments that affect the earth and its atmosphere, claiming that ‘others’ are engaging in an eco-type terrorism whereby they can alter the , and set off earthquakes and volcanoes remotely, through the use of electromagnetic waves. As Bertell observes, “The military has a habit of accusing others of having the same capabilities they already hold’.

              “Dr Bertell’s prophetic book was published, in 2001, before the increase of earthquakes, drought, and volcanic activity we now observe as fairly common. There has been alarming indication by increasing whale beachings and deaths of increasing ELF wave-activity in the seas.”

              And doesn’t Dr Judy Wood think that the T-win Tow-ers of Nine-Eleven were downed by an energy weapon?

          • ”previous civilisations” were constrained by the laws of physics, just as we are.

            therefore any ”civilisation” that existed pre ice age would have used the same tools we use—ie, the fundamental requirement of wheels and hard edged tools with which to sustain an ”advanced civilisation”

            it isnt possible to produce wheels and tools without application of heat, and heat must come from burning things.

            tree and biomass cannot produce sufficient heat to sustain a sophisticated civilisation

            so that leaves fossiled biomass

            if prehistoric peoples had discovered oil based technology to power their existence, they would have burned it as fast as we have done—ie in about 300 years

            they didnt, because the oil is still there

            therefore it is safe to assume there were no ”advanced civilisations” in prehistory.

            • Adam says:

              “if prehistoric peoples had discovered oil based technology to power their existence, they would have burned it as fast as we have done—ie in about 300 years”

              That depends on a lot of things, e.g. history turning out the same every time. Perhaps their population wasn’t as large as ours? Perhaps they started with oil but stumbled onto more advanced methods. The ancient Sanskrit texts, written around 8000 BC and referring to around 18000 BC, speak of the vimana, a flying craft powered by mercury. Where did they get the concept of fuel and powered vehicles, all those years ago? Try looking at all the online documentaries about the megaliths and pyramids with massive stones, which modern machinery is hard pushed to move. These things could only have been precision-tooled and machine-tooled – we just don’t know how. Or perhaps you believe the official theory of Nine-Eleven too? Christopher Dunne and his theory of the Giza power plant are worth investigating.

              I well remember a BBC news item of 1979 or 1980 showing a man driving a car around Australia on water. But if the “Elders” do have access to free infinite energy, would they entrust it to the masses? Maybe not:

              And the military (which I have already mentioned above) has gadgets that are usually two decades ahead of what we see in public.

              Technology in our civilisation is young. It’s too early to believe it has stopped:

              https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/tractor-beam-star-wars-humans-levitation-jedi-trick-video-bristol-acoustic-a8172221.html

              The tractor beam is powered by sound waves, would you believe? Some ancient diagrams show people raising the stone blocks of megaliths by blowing trumpets – perhaps a metaphor for a similar technique used by the ancients.

              Did Nikola Tesla exhaust the possibilities he was investigating? Maybe not. John Hutchison is also worth investigating. Even though he is Canadian, the CIA confiscated his lab and co-opted him and his work. I’m sure there is a lot that goes on that we don’t know about.

            • Adam
              We have the awareness to know that the laws of physics hold good everywhere

              we also know that the periodic table of elements is universal—there are no new ones undiscovered

              it would seem then we are constrained by existing laws and elements, despite legends of moving stones by soundwaves. or flying using mercury—which is an easy legend to debunk—mercury was the ”rapid planet” because it went around the sun the fastest.—the god mercury is always shown with winged heels.

              a viable civilisation requires heat based productivity—even if it is via slave labour—food has to be grown, transported—eaten.

              the sophistication/infrastructure of any existence is therefore constrained by that simple requirement.—all else is dependent on getting enough to eat. Only when there is surplus food can civilisations expand

              prior to the industrial revolution, our existence was limited to a farmcart/low surplus economy and a very low EROEI

            • Tim Groves says:

              Norman, I wouldn’t necessarily equate and “advanced civilization” with a civilization that burns oil as fast as ours does. They might have been sensible enough to stick to more civilized ways of being civilized.

              I checked an online dictionary that gave the definition of civilization as “the stage of human social development and organization which is considered most advanced.” By this definition, the term “advanced civilization” is a redundancy on a par with “LCD display”.

              Also, according to Google Books, we are well past peak civilization. Apparently, use of the word peaked just before the Second World War and has been in decline ever since.

              https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?year_start=1800&year_end=2008&corpus=15&smoothing=7&case_insensitive=on&content=civilization&direct_url=t4%3B%2Ccivilization%3B%2Cc0%3B%2Cs0%3B%3Bcivilization%3B%2Cc0%3B%3BCivilization%3B%2Cc0

            • it may be a mistake to give ”civilistion” a form of collective will that goes against genetic forces that demand procreation and advancement

              my contention is that humankind is an animal like any other, with no means of prevention of expanding numbers only to the limit of resources

              we eat and procreate—everything else is window dressing—we fight wars to grab resources of others—or die in the attempt.
              the ultimate resouce is the breeding female by which we further our genetic footprint

              all previous civilisations were based on the energy availability of slaves—and slave stock bred more slaves

              slavery in the usa was overwhelmed by industrial output

              had it not been, slavery would have continued

            • JesseJames says:

              Adam, you have to realize that Norman think he knows it all.
              Ignore him. You are correct. There is abundant evidence of past civilizations.And even with some sort of technology.
              How they came to be, and end, is shrouded in mystery.
              We are not the first.
              Saying we are the first is a statement partly of arrogance.

            • lol—i try to present certain ideas from the point of view of logic and elementary physical laws
              by which every animal species is constrained—one way or another.

              when I don’t know something, or am uncertain, i tend to say so…though i might miss out on odd details here and there, I tried to keep comments brief and to the point, and welcome correction—but any ”correction” has to consist of something more than “”stuff we don’t know about”

              My contention is that we are the first ”industrial civilisation”

              I define that as using explosive force to produce rotary motion.—-I would welcome another definition.

              All civilisations depend on the availability of surplus energy—this is primarily surplus of food. The more food available, the bigger the population can grow/expand—If there is another way of defining it—feel free to comment

              But bear in mind that civilisations expanded from the equator north/south (mainly north).

              They did not grow south/north from the poles

              Why?—food availability.

              If you want to create any form of ”civilised” living, you have to build. It isnt possibe to live in the open air, other than as a hunter/gatherer. This means putting one stone on top of another.
              there are 2 ways to do that, muscle or machine, If there’s another way, feel free to correct me. (but please—not trumpets)

              Also bear in mind that we use technology as an extension of energy availability. It isn’t possible to create any form of technology that delivers a net energy gain

              None of this is ”guesswork”—whereas notions of civilisations at any sophisticated level from 100/200k years ago is fantasy

            • Adam says:

              “We have the awareness to know that the laws of physics hold good everywhere”

              True. But we do not know all the future and possibly past ways of manipulating physics via science and technology. Would an pre-ancient civilisation necessarily have made the same discoveries in the same order as us? No, of course not. And at one time, long after these assumed pre-ancient civilisations, the Chinese were ahead of us Europeans for long enough. Nor can we presume that the assumed pre-ancient civilisations developed consumerism and the same financial systems as us – they morality might have militated against that.

              “Trumpets” – well, I presented them as a metaphor, used by the pre-ancients to explain the possible use of sound waves in moving large objects. Did you even read that article about “tractor beams” and sound waves that I linked to? And check out vimanas. How did the ancients manage to imagine a powered and fuelled craft, if such a thing was unknown to them?

            • first off—comments i make are almost always verifiable from other sources—written by people who know more than me (yes–people like that do exist)

              Manipulating physics by science and technology is a contradiction in terms.

              Technolgy cannot alter the laws of physics, we can build aircraft lighter and with more efficient engines—but only up to a point.

              After that the laws of physics take over and the plane breaks apart or falls out of the sky

              But on a more fundamental level, no technological advancement can be made without control of fire
              (it isnt possible to extract usable elements from rock without it)

              therefore any early technology would have to overcome that problem

              bear in mind that man had fire for maybe 1m years, but had no idea what it was until the 1700s.—that is critical
              hearths can be carbon dated over that entire time period. there are no anomalies that show up any unusual mineral combinations–as to the future, the same rule will apply—without surplus of heat-energy our current level of civilised existence will collapse

              The archaelogy of The Americas clearly shows that the influx of humans maybe 15k years ago killed off all the megafauna at that time.
              Until then they had been abundant.

            • Adam says:

              “Manipulating physics by science and technology is a contradiction in terms.”

              You’re splitting hairs and playing with semantics. Manipulate/use. You can’t fly, but you use physics via sophisticated science and technology and – hey presto! – you can fly.

            • JesseJames says:

              There are ancient stones in South America so precisely machined that it would have require numerically controlled tools to machine them. There are ancient stones so precisely flat that it would have required what we now call optical measurement techniques to both measure and to control the machining. Quit being so arrogant. There is much we do not know about ancient earth.

            • so an ancient people/visiting aliens set up cnc machine shops to mill out and process large flat stones.

              then left leaving just the stones? As I so arrogantly pointed out, the laws of physics apply everywhere…….If you cut stone you have to use something harder than the stone you are cutting. Every process leaves the mark of its manufacture.

              i looked up the puma punktu stones thing, and similar links to ancient Egypt—interesting and impressive. .

              but if this has any scientific basis, (machine wise that is) dont you think someone would have examined the surfaces under a microscope by now to look for machine marks?

              as i said—all technology requires the use of fire, there is no evidence in ancient dateable hearths to show any sophisticated technology until the advent of basic metallurgy.

              so we are left with aliens showing up on a demo visit and then leaving

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Can we get some sources for this

            • Adam says:

              Why must it have been “aliens” ? As for machines, you ask reasonable questions. There is evidence of machines but what they were and where they now are remains a mystery. Not all mysteries can be solved, unfortunately. However, you might read these pages by Christopher P. Dunn and be astounded:

              http://www.theglobaleducationproject.org/egypt/articles/cdunn-1.php

            • Tim Groves says:

              Norman, one thing you are not taking into account is that information that has been learned about the past may be being systematically suppressed.

              When you say, “we know this” and “we know that”, are you referring to the royal “we” or the general “we” or to some elite “nudge nudge, say no more squire” “we”? As for the general “we”, my experience is that most of them don’t know jack s***, don’t care a monkey’s uncle, and simply defer to authority figures on matters scientific and historical.

              Not that I would put your good self into that category, by any means. You’re one of my most esteemed intellectual heros in the doomosphere!

              Jesse has a point that you do very occasionally come across as a no-it-all. However, he forgets to add the qualification that you do indeed know a remarkable amount by any standards, and that you are uncommonly logical in your reasoning about the issues you talk about. But perhaps the two things go together.

              Bertrand Russell wasn’t always right, neither is Noam Chomsky. But they both had/have this irritating habit (from the standpoint of lower mortals) of sounding just as superciliously overconfident of everything they said, regardless of whether it demonstrably correct, patently erroneous, or purely speculative.

              Anyway, we the general public don’t necessarily know as much as we the controllers know or as we the public think we know, individually and collectively. Control necessitates deception. That’s something that we as individual humans would do well to factor in to all our ideas of what we think we know about the Universe, Life, and Everything.

            • lots to reply to there Tim

              first off—apologies for coming across as a know it all—-with internet ‘remote’ conversations, it’s impossible to put over precise moods and meanings every time. These are just words on a screen—every reader makes a different interpretation, particularly so in different countries where perhaps humour and irony get lost or misplaced or take different forms.
              I take on board your know-it-all comment—-thanks. I will try to rein that in in future

              I have no scientific qualifications whatsoever—so all my observations are based on logic. Sometimes rambling overshoot will be inevitable, together with writing utter crap , so apologies in advance. If Chomsky makes the same mistakes, maybe I’m in good company.

              The English language is international only up to a point.

              My “we” is almost always a collective term, meant to cover basic human/genetic/survival instinct in doing this or that. I see individual inclinations as irrelevant in the broad discussions here. On that basis I draw on observations of what humanity has done in the past, to forecast the likely/logical future.

              i try to comment using material that’s generally proven elsewhere, or at least carries a majority approval by people in the particular field I’m commenting on, who know more than i do..

              the few odd observations that are my own are generalisations, backed up by common sense and logic—i welcome being shot down where i can be shown to be wrong,

              i tend to reject the ”conspiratorial suppression” thing. (we could have cars running on water if only—etc etc)
              ******************
              Adam…….thanks for the Dunn link, been reading that off and on all day. A lot there I didn’t know, and have taken on board, and watching a couple of his talks

              If they used saws, then saws need motive power, which one would assume to be flywheels and horsepower arranged in some way

              The precise techniques of Egyptian stone cutting is something i hadnt studied in detail, but whether the great pyramid was anything aother than a tomb—i have my doubts about that

            • Fast Eddy says:

              For those suffering from Dunning Kruger disease …. I have a two step process that will cure you:

              1. If the MSM is bleating on about an issue — assume you are being lied to — assume that your take on the issue is probably wrong … that the issue is far more complex than you ever expected

              2. Go to http://www.google.com and start asking questions….

            • JesseJames says:

              What we have to do is be open to where the evidence leads us, without prejudicing our conclusions.
              We also must keep in mind that any conclusions are weighted by the statistical evidence. Therefore, I can state absolutely that the apple will falll from the tree due to gravity, since this experiment has been statistically reproduced with zero deviation trrillions of time.

              When it comes to ancient civilizations, I have only limited evidence, and a small statistical sample. Therefore any conclusions must be weighted. It is ok to say “I believe this or that” as long as one recognizes that there are other statistical possibilities, that depend on the amount of reproducible data samples.

              Are other advanced civilizations possible? Well….maybe. I am open on this one. Did they “possibly” help a past civilization? Again, I am open to the possibility.

              Did a past civilization have “different” technologies”? Again, I will consider the possibility. If so, what could be the explanation? Here I am open to challenge all prejudices, as long as I clearly state such. For example, could different laws of physics have been utilized…possible, perhaps low probability but I am open to the possibility. We’re the laws of physics different. Perhaps lower probability of being true, but again, I throw it into the mix.

              Did the past civilization utilize the same technologies and energy source that we had? Perhaps a high probability. This option presents a good single data sample for concluding the perhaps inevitable fate of our own civilization.

              So we make rational inquiry without making dogmatic statements, and we scientifically explore options. That is what we are here to do. I value all inputs from everyone on this board.

          • Adam says:

            “You are correct. There is abundant evidence of past civilizations.And even with some sort of technology.
            How they came to be, and end, is shrouded in mystery.
            We are not the first.
            Saying we are the first is a statement partly of arrogance.”

            Well said, Jesse. 😉

            • NikoB says:

              So where is this going? A hope that an advanced civilisation will save us from our predicament? It would appear that all they can offer is a long lasting durable tomb and monument service to honour our stupidity and befuddle future generations.

        • JesseJames says:

          Plants and trees love CO2. I think we humans have simple displaced a more or less equivalent number of animals that likewise, are breathing out CO2. No telling how many we have killed that formerly lived on this planet.
          Sorry, no CO2 impact due to humans breathing.

            • JesseJames says:

              I really have to wonder “who” was around to count the animals back then. Sorry, don’t believe it your numbers.
              American Bison prior to 1800… 60,000,000 at 1200 lbs average is over 32 million tons alone. Sorry, your chart doesn’t even come close to reality. Animal life flourished and was much more than 200 million tons.

            • Tim Groves says:

              I haven’t studied the figures, but under glacial conditions, with much of North America and Europe buried kilometers deep under ice and low C oh 2 levels, there was a lot less terrestrial plant biomass and growth than is the case today. This would have supported a lot less animal life than is the case today.

              “Global Carrying Capacity” is influenced by a number of factors, of which anthropogenic environmental degradation is doubtless one. Three other major ones are atmosher-ic C oh 2 level, water vapor/precipitation level, and temper-ature. A warmer, wetter and more C oh 2 rich world would be a much more fecund world on the whole. Although if we wanted to live there in comfort, the air conditioning bills would be phenomenal. The big beasts of the Cretaceous were a product of such a world. Doubtless they were essential order to keep the lawns mowed.

              Also, agriculture, had it been invented down on the once fertile plains that are now buried beneath the Persian Gulf or the seas surrounding Southeast Asia perhaps, probably wouldn’t have fared very well as the lack of C oh 2 would have constrained the rate of plant growth to the point that it would hardly have been worth bothering. It was only with the return of more benign conditions around 10 to 12 thousand years ago that farming became a going concern.

            • DJ says:

              It is obviously not my chart, but a couple of Sahara deserts later carrying capacity will diminish no matter where it was from the start.

              Bison would have less to do with mowing lawns and more to do with pyromaniac indians.

              Plant growth boost from CO2 will be temporary, and anyway just boosts calories/carbohydrates, not nutrition.

            • Tim Groves says:

              Carrying capacity of deserts is going to be pretty low unless we’re on Arrakis (that’s the desert planet from Dune where the giant worms lived under the ground, for those who haven’t heard of it). But how much desert can planet Earth sustain? Under the slightly warmer interglacial conditions we enjoy now we have wetter conditions and less deserts than we did in the glacials. For much of the past 100,000 years the desert stretched from Morocco to China. During the Holocene optimum around 5,000 to 9,000 years we had less desert still, and the Sahara was comparable to today’s Serengeti.

              A warmer earth will be a wetter earth, with more evaporation, more precipitation, more wetlands, bigger lakes and less drylands and desert. That’s a consequence of basic physics. And a wetter earth will have more terrestrial plants and therefore more terrestrial animals. That’s a consequence of basic biology. Human activity can make a big difference by cutting down vegetation or killing off wild animals, but as Tom Waits sings, you can drive out nature with a pitchfork but it always comes roaring back.

              The rising CO2 level I was talking about is a simple consequence of temperature. Warmer oceans outgas the stuff and cooler oceans absorb more of it. Over the longer term, the atmospheric CO2 fraction is dependent on the temperature of the oceans. Again, its basic physics.

              Whatever extra CO2 humans add to the air by burning things is not going to hang around permanently so the plant growth boost from anthropogenic CO2 will be temporary, it’s true. But I not was referring that but to the CO2 outgassed from the oceans as the earth warmed following the last glacial, which is a different kettle of fish altogether and an entirely natural phenomenon that will hang around boosting plant growth for as long as the earth stays warm. Wakatte kudasai yo!

            • Fast Eddy says:

              What gigantic hubris … to believe that humans have a significant impact on kkklimate … the forces of nature are overwhelming

            • Tim Groves says:

              Plant growth boost from CO2 will be temporary, and anyway just boosts calories/carbohydrates, not nutrition.

              What gives you the idea that carbohydrates are not nutrition?

              According to the US Government website Mediline Plus, carbohydrates are one of the main nutrients in our diet. They help provide energy for our body. There are three main types of carbohydrates found in foods: sugars, starches, and fiber.

              https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002469.htm

            • Ed says:

              Restoration of lake Chad is in the plans by diverting some rivers that now flow into the Congo river.

            • Tim Groves says:

              This link goes to a map showing the envisaged plan to dam the Congo River, refill Lake Chad and create an outlet river to the Mediterranean Sea via Algeria.

              https://qph.ec.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-6f3705a272bc8b9f7e8aec55d1c5b59f.webp

            • Wow! I can imagine how much wildlife will be displaced by such a move. Also, cannot move from one part of their habitat to another. There is always a lot of dead vegetation that tends to create a lot of CO2, especially at first. Of course, the dam will continue to need spare parts and long distance transmission in good repair. When these fail, the whole system fails. But the animals remain displaced for quite a while.

            • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

              let’s do this!

              for we are humans!

              we know how to solve every problem…

          • JesseJames says:

            I accept the cases that ice age conditions would have limited biomass. However, given the biomass of the American bison, consider the great herds throughout Asia, Africa and South America. This is an interesting computation.
            I also agree that desertification also limits biomass.
            So we conclude that biomass varies.
            Also consider that with enhanced CO2 production (maximum biomass) plant growth, and thus consumption of CO2 increases.

        • Humans are part of the natural system. We are animals that learned to control the use of fire over one million years ago. Our bodies now are adapted to need fire-based energy to cook part of our food. I don’t think I would worry about depleting the oxygen levels.

      • Adam says:

        The other point I wanted to ask, Gail, is what is your view about the agenda of the people pushing the “climb-it” concerns? Do they have hidden aims? Maybe you could write a short post about the subject and your attitude to it and why you dismiss it. Then you could point people to it whenever they ask about the subject.

        • I expect that most of the people today concerned about the climate situation simply believe the nonsense about how much reserves we have for coal, oil and natural gas. In fact, they expect that even more will be available, as our technology improves. It has never occurred to them that these might be badly wrong, and might be influencing the selected scenarios that the climate scientists are using.

          The fact that the economists involved in this effort do no not understand the connection between energy consumption and GDP growth adds to the confusion.

          The OECD and the IEA (which are close to the same organization–housed in the same building in Paris) are involved in this as well. The goal of these organizations is to assure the world that plenty of energy is available. They cannot suggest that there might be a problem within the lives of anyone. As I understand the situation, the IEA creates the future energy resource amounts used by the climate scientists in their models. Their motivation is not to estimate realistically; it is to make our current energy situation look as favorable as possible. In doing this, they create a climate situation that looks as dire as possible. This is, in a sense, helpful to the OECD/IEA because then they perhaps can convince people to scale back energy use to what is closer to feasible. They certainly cannot suggest that there will be any future energy problem.

          The climate scientists in turn live in their own ivory towers. The faithfully build their models, and put in whatever future energy consumption amounts that they are given. And 97% of them (according to one account) think that what they have done is correct. Perhaps what the climate scientists have done is correct; where they made their mistake was in accepting energy estimates of others.

          There is also the detail that there is not much that we can do about the climate problem. The IEA/OECD would like the world to switch to wind/solar, but this is not really a solution. Unfortunately, the IEA does not understand this.

  2. Third World person says:

    good article gail but one mistake
    you are say India oil production is decline since 2012 which is wrong
    its decline since 2010
    https://tradingeconomics.com/india/crude-oil-production

    • Looking at that chart, I think we are pretty much seeing and saying the same thing. The chart shows monthly data, and isn’t very well labeled, so it is hard to tell exactly what is happening. Also, there can be a bit of differences in data sources.

      I think that chart, and the situation I am talking about, both show the highest year to be 2011. The decline started in 2012. It is hard to tell 2010 from 2011 on the chart because of the way it is labeled. Perhaps I should have said the peak year was 2011.

  3. Timco says:

    Perhaps I’m a bit too pessimistic, but, I feel like we’re in the last dying days of a failed capitalistic system. The wealthy and power people see the obvious, and are pillaging every last asset before the final curtain call. That’s just how I feel.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      Not pessimistic enough…

      We are entering the Apocalypscene Period… followed by extinction.

  4. Fast Eddy says:

    .

  5. Shawn says:

    Gail, perhaps for another post by you, but any perspective from the BP or other data, regarding the impact of the “electrification-automation” of the economy for software, automation, AI, robotics, internet, wireless, electric cars, autonomous self-driving cars, crypto-currencies, block chain, etc. Technology stocks are hitting all-time share price highs on the dream of a future with flying cars etc. These new technologies will supposedly be responsible vast improvement in the costs of production and/or service delivery, but also therefore for the loss of many jobs.

    Those technologies rely on electrical power for the most part, generated primarily in the U.S. by natural gas, coal, nuclear, hydro, but now increasingly by Wind and Solar, if memory serves. As you have noted from the BP report Wind and Solar are large portions of new power installation.

    I have wondered if we might continue to see these “gains” in the “electrification – automation” of the economy for another 5-10 years, before the increasing costs of coal and gas extraction really spike electricity costs, and declines in cheap oil production begin to deliver very serious damage overall. The general point then is that technologies might help extend BAU a few more years as “efficiencies” in the economy are gained. (I don’t believe anything is for free, those efficiencies have to come from somewhere, such as from future consumption pulled forward….)

    Of course, it seems that we could experience a violent reversal of these electrification-automation trends if the debt bubble bursts, or oil production declines precipitously. Much of the current Oil, coal, and gas production is being done at below cost or without profit, indirectly subsidized by central bank monetary intervention and government fiscal policy. Who knows what the real price of anything is right now, including the real costs of electricity.

    • Thanks for the idea. I am not really optimistic the electric car fad will go very far. The cars are too expensive; the cars seem to lose value quickly; they need charging, or they don’t work. In my opinion, the future supply of electricity is at least as uncertain as that of oil or coal or natural gas.

      Also, governments are discovering that subsidies are very expensive and discontinuing them. This article is about China’s recent cutback in solar subsidies. https://mercomindia.com/major-policy-change-china-affect-global-solar/

    • JesseJames says:

      The Germans just can’t give it up on renewable stuff.
      “Are Hydrogen Powered Trains the Future of Rail?”
      https://www.azom.com/news.aspx?newsID=48948

      Here we get the usual stupidity.
      “the ‘train of the future’. It certainly could be, given that it’s the world’s first passenger train powered by a hydrogen fuel cell, capable of almost noiseless traction with no emissions apart from water as steam.”
      “The hydrogen is currently sourced from industry as a by-product, but Alstom hopes to produce hydrogen, via electrolysis, from wind power in the near future.”

      Of course there is no mention that both the industrial processes yielding hydrogen as a by-product, as well as wind power are powered by FOSSIL FUELS.

      “Safe, silent, and sustainably powered; the future of rail travel has arrived.”

      Now we have the GREEN TRAIN.

    • JesseJames says:

      OK everyone, sing along while playing the O-Jays tune, Love Train.
      People all over the world (earth savers)
      Join hands
      Start a green train, green train

      People all over the world (PC folks)
      Plug in
      Start a green train, green train

      [Verse 1]
      The next recharge that we get will be from windmills
      Tell all the folks in California too
      Don’t you know that it’s time to get a renewable charge
      And let this train keep on riding, riding on through

      Well, well

      [Hook]
      People all over the world (need lots of dough)
      Join hands
      Start a green train, green train (virtue signaling)

      People all over the world (Social Warriors)
      Plug in (ride this train)
      Start a green train (ride this free energy, yall), green train

      [Verse 2]
      All of your upper class neighbors with solar panels
      Tell all the rich Tesla drivers too
      Please don’t miss out on government credits
      Cause if you miss it, I feel so superior to you

      [Hook]
      People all over the world (earth savers)
      Join hands
      Start a green train, green train (charge up)

      People all over the world (don’t need any sense)
      Plug in (come on, charge up)
      Start a green train, green train

      Charge, let it charge
      Let it charge
      Let it charge
      (People, want no Fossil fuel)

      People all over the world
      Plug in (ride the train)
      Start a green train, green train (ride the Tesla yall)

      People all over the world (plug in)
      Join hands (you can go vegan)
      Start a green train, green train (makin luuuvvv)
      People all over the world (despite the blackouts)
      Join hands (don’t get lost in the dark)
      Start a green train, green train

    • Tim Groves says:

      Now I’ve been happy lately / Thinking about the good things to come
      And I believe it could be / Something good has begun
      Oh, I’ve been smiling lately / Dreaming about the world as one
      And I believe it could be / Sustainability’s going to come

      ‘Cause out on the edge of darkness / There ride the Green Train
      Oh, Green Train make this country / An eco-friendly land again
      Now I’ve been smiling lately / Thinkin’ about the good things to come
      And I believe it could be / Sustainability has begun

      Oh Green Train sounding louder / Glide on the Green Train
      Green’s my favorite color / Come on now Green Train
      Every other color’s duller / Everyone jump upon the Green Train
      Subsidize it daily / It’s all you have to do
      Evangelicize it gaily / Come on now, Green Train

      Get your bags together / Go bring your LEDs, too
      Cut your carbon footprint / Say “no!” to see oh two
      Now come and join the Greenies / Become a vegan too
      Keep on virtue signaling / Soon it will all be true!

      Oh Green Train solar roller / Running on sun and wind
      Elon will drive the engine / Al will absolve our sins!
      Come on now Green Train / Yes it’s the Green Train

      Now I’ve been crying lately / Thinkin’ about the world of Trump
      Why must we go on fracking / Burning coal and using petrol pumps
      ‘Cause out on the edge of darkness / There rides a Green Train
      Oh Green Train make this country / A Green and peasant land again

      Oh Green Train sounding louder / Pile on the Green Train
      Come on now, Peace Train / Yes, Peace Train holy gravy
      Everyone jump upon the Green Train
      Come on, come on, come on
      Yes, come on, Geen train
      Yes, it’s the Green train!

  6. Baby Doomer says:

    Rule of law ‘virtually absent’ in Venezuela, UN report says

    Government forces carry out killings with impunity. ‘Credible, shocking’ reports of unlawful killings of young men.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jun/22/venezuela-rule-of-law-virtually-absent-un-report?CMP=twt_gu

    Coming to a world near you!

  7. Baby Doomer says:

    U.N. report: With 40M in poverty, U.S. most unequal developed nation

    https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2018/06/22/UN-report-With-40M-in-poverty-US-most-unequal-developed-nation/8671529664548/

    When the rich can’t get more by producing real wealth they start to use their power to take from lower segments.

    -Dennis Meadows

  8. voza0db says:

    ” Venezuela reports the highest “Proved oil reserves” in the world. ” and “people” still wonder why the USofT want to grab it by force (using the good old opposition political terrorists!)!

  9. Hubbs says:

    Hi Gail,

    Wandered over to your site via link from poster on Steven St. Angelo’s site http://www.srsroccoreport.com. I was always puzzled why economics is always taught in a vacuum without any consideration of natural resources. Indeed, I took a course in college in 1975-6 and our professor Roger Bolton had us read “Limits to Growth”. I remember him describing the book as “the one with the cover showing too many electric plugs in the outlet.” It was, and still is, as far as I can tell, about energy.

    The more I read, the more I realize I am hopelessly caught in a maze of geopolitical and financial crosscurrents.

    My concerns, and not trying to be hysterical here, just analytic, are that the US “Deep State” is deliberately letting Venezuela die, to thereby entomb their oil reserves for later US plunder when energy gets tight. The proximity to US makes it such a succulent target. Also a perfect complement to the WTI light crude. Nor is there any need for active military intervention like the Middle East.

    If the Permian fracking is so “productive” (despite the frackers being non profitable and collectively $250 billion in the hole over the past 10 years) why is Trump tweeting for 100MBPD OPEC production increase? And why are some members claiming they can’t increase production?

    Is Trump concerned that the The Permian might get depleted sooner than anticipated and is trying to delay this eventuality? Of course, he says that we need more oil to get the price down, but this also works against the frackers.

    • I suppose that some people may feel that there is a possibility of extracting Venezuela’s oil at some point, but I don’t think this is really possible. We need the “whole system” to work, not just the oil company extracting the oil. Banks need to be working. Enough oil, coal and gas need to be extracted so that the entire system can work. We need international imports to be working.

      You may be right, however, that this is what people have in mind. If there is any combination that might work (fracked oil plus very heavy oil), someone will be willing to try it. The problem is that we can’t get the price up high enough now. I don’t think that we will be able to get the price up high enough later. For this to happen, the economy really has to be to support a whole system of jobs that pay well. If we can’t do it now, I don’t see how the situation will be better later.

      • Artleads says:

        Your posts on this page make the situation clearer (and more daunting) to me than anything I’ve seen before.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      Does Steve still believe that when the world collapses.. if one is holding PM… one is hedged?

  10. Kurt says:

    A great conclusion. Impressive.

Comments are closed.