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

  1. Baby Doomer says:

    Elon Musk brings into question the qualifications of Thai rescue officials for turning down his submarine offer

    https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/jul/10/elon-musk-queries-expertise-of-thai-cave-rescue-officials

    What arrogance ! Rather than applaud a successful rescue—with NO loss of life amongst the stranded thirteen—he has to make it all about him.. SMH!

    • Tsubion says:

      Can you remind me what SMH! stands for?

      Send Me Help?
      Suck My Ham?
      Strike My Hemorrhoids?

      Is it like SJW?

      Salty Jam Wafer

    • Greg Machala says:

      His submarine (which he childishly said is made with rocked parts) is too long and rigid to snake through the narrow passages of the cave. In addition, some sections are flooded some are not, what then, carry the submarine? I can easily see this submarine getting stuck in the narrow passages and trapping them all in the cave. Just another dumb Elon idea tested in ideal conditions.

  2. Baby Doomer says:

    China’s Silk Road Isn’t So Smooth

    Skeptics’ warnings are beginning to come true.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-07-10/china-s-belt-and-road-initiative-has-stalled

  3. aaaa says:

    Hi all
    I think many solar proponents are shills, either as stockholders or as any of the number of LLCs that basically exploit pro solar legislation to get paid.
    I can only testify from my state of North Carolina, which has been solar’d hard. Farmland gets converted to solarfarm land, forests have been cleared for solar farms, and all of the solar farms are fenced off, creating additional peril for whatever surviving wildlife that cling on to their footholds in the region.
    Another observation, the cleaning and ground maintenance seems to be rather poor at some installations.

    • Tsubion says:

      Fair enough. That’s why you put solar in the stratosphere.

      What would you prefer in your backyard?

      A nuclear power plant, a coal fired plant, wind turbines or a solar farm?

      • Greg Machala says:

        Solar panels are a waste of money. I prefer a coal fired power plant in my backyard!
        Actually there is one very close by. Has been for 40 years. Keeps the power on 24/7. I like 24/7 electricity. I can see steam coming out of the stacks all the time. Don’t hate on fossil fuels, you need them to build toys like solar panels and batteries.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          Love coal. Great stuff. Burn more.

          BTW – did I mention that yesterday the hot water was not hot… checked the breaker… it was off… flipped it on .. the power in the entire house went off… and would not go back on … had a hockey game… came back … dark … flashlights/candles…. cold (heat from Rayburn does not circulate without pumps) … had to take an ice cold shower….

          Waiting for Mr Electric to come … batteries running low…. FE Challenge … sucks… I give up … hurry Mr Electric!!! Plug FE back into BAU!!!!!

      • aaaa says:

        I’d rather have natural areas instead of scam LLCs chasing hot government money, then providing minimal value in return.

  4. Baby Doomer says:

    Trump is going to hit China with another 200 Billion in tariffs..

    See ya’ll at the bread lines..

  5. Harry Gibbs says:

    “Recently, quite a bit of news has been originating from Malaysia, China and other areas of South East Asia. Much of it is concerns with multi-billion dollar projects and excessive corruption and graft…

    What is at risk is the exposure of “cooked books” across much of China, India and likely throughout the globe with infrastructure and real estate projects that were designed to boost numbers while hiding real economic concerns…

    “How has this Ponzi scheme been setup to play out for so long? Our assumption is that it goes something like this. In late 2009/early 2010, China was feeling the crunch of the global credit market crisis and made an attempt to push easy credit out to internal and external infrastructure projects in an attempt to keep the manufacturing and export sectors in China clicking right along. The objective was to keep building, while the capability was available and the supply was plentiful. The only thing China needed to do was to make it easy for capital (loans) to be acquired for builders and buyers.

    “Much like what happened throughout most of the world, China took advantage of an already steady economy to avoid any contraction in real economic output by creating capital out of thin air and allowing their banking institutions to loan capital for massive projects. This fueled a huge wave of investment and speculation throughout most of Asia – including external projects like those in Malaysia, Africa, India and many other countries. What we are learning, though, is that the projects may have been much more nefarious than we originally thought.

    “For example, the 1MDB investigation in Malaysia has shown that graft, corruption, nepotism and a host of other issues are raising many questions as to how and where multiple hundreds of billions of dollars vanished? It appears one component of the 1MDB and other project were a commitment for the infrastructure project materials to be purchased from Chinese manufacturers and the payment schedule for said materials were set to be transmitted well before these materials were actually delivered. In other words, China made a capital commitment to loan a portion of capital for an international project with the commitment being to purchase materials from Chinese manufacturers where the host country would also have a capital repayment agreement as their joint partnership in this project. The problem was that China never really delivered on the materials and the host country, in some cases, has already paid for 80%+ of the project costs. This is a classic “I’ll gladly pay you in advance for materials and work that I may never EVER see”.

    “In terms of how this type of deal cooks the books, think of it like this. China just “booked” a $400 billion project where China must contribute 10~15% of the capital costs and the host country contributes the rest. This results in a “sale” of $400 billion on the books with additional sales going out to manufacturers and suppliers. As the host country begins payments for this project, China can quickly recover actual costs because they have not delivered much in terms of raw materials or actual building materials for this project. Meanwhile they are bilking the host country out of hundreds of millions or billions on a “phantom project” that may never be completed.

    “It all seems to work well for the books because as long as no one actually finds out what is happening, China is selling “vapor projects” to other nations and booking profits for simply making a commitment – a shell game with billions, possibly trillions, at risk.

    “At the end of the day, China shows multiple massive infrastructure projects and this boosts their GDP, employment, and manufacturing data while covering the raw material and labor costs by sucking real revenues from host nations. As long as the host nation does not lose faith in the deal or ask too many questions, no one is the wiser and China can keep playing their shell game.

    “We believe all of this started to change in early 2018 when the Chinese consumer sentiment started to change and when President Trump began to disrupt the “global think” in terms of trade, multi-national deals, and future economic expectations. As soon as the curtain was pulled back and questions started being asked, China came under real pressure as consumers, nations, and corporations began to question the ongoing financial and economic capabilities of China suspecting that it had over-extended itself, it’s credit capacity and cooked the books with phantom projects, income, and economic output…”

    https://www.equities.com/news/china-asia-and-emerging-markets-could-result-in-chaos

  6. Harry Gibbs says:

    “A U.S.-China trade war and a further 10 percent drop in emerging-market stocks might not be the worst things to happen this year, according to Mark Mobius. The veteran investor in developing nations also sees a worldwide financial crisis on the horizon.”

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-07-11/mobius-sees-trade-war-as-just-a-warm-up-act-for-financial-crisis

  7. Harry Gibbs says:

    “Eurozone house prices rose at the fastest pace in 11 years during the first three months of 2018, a development that is likely to reinforce the European Central Bank’s determination to end a key stimulus program in December. House prices in the first quarter were 4.5% higher than in the same quarter a year earlier, the European Union’s statistics agency said Tuesday. That was the largest on-the-year increase since the first three months of 2007, well before the onset of the global financial crisis, when asset prices tumbled as the financial system seized up.”

    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/eurozone-house-prices-rise-at-fastest-in-11-years-2018-07-10

  8. Harry Gibbs says:

    “Up to 1 million Australian households could be in danger of missing mortgage repayments by September. That is the warning from one independent analyst if the big four banks do what many fear they will do and increase their standard variable rates rise by as little as 0.15 percentage points over the next few months.”

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-07-11/up-to-1-million-households-may-go-into-mortgage-default-by-sept/9976268

  9. Harry Gibbs says:

    “Donald Trump unleashed his fury on NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday for defending Germany’s energy partnership with Russia and threatened Berlin with U.S. action over the deal that he said is wholly inappropriate.

    “Trump fumed that ‘Germany is a captive of Russia’ and said the U.S. would ‘have to do something’ about a gas deal that’s funneling billions into Moscow’s economy.

    “‘Germany is totally controlled by Russia,’ he charged. ‘I think its a very bad thing for NATO.’

    “Stoltenberg reminded that the U.S. and Europe are ‘stronger together than apart.’ To which Trump replied, ‘No, you’re just making Russia richer.’

    “The confrontation left the leaders’ senior advisers, including Trump’s secretaries of defense and state, stunned. A press aide demanded the media leave the room as Trump pushed Stoltenberg to explain how the U.S. is supposed to protect Germany when its opening the front door to Vladimir Putin…”

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5941337/Germany-captive-Russia-Trump-dresses-NATOs-secretary-general-Brussels.html

    • Harry Gibbs says:

      “Trump’s criticism of the gas deal with Russia might also be an aggressive pitch for US business.

      “The US is fast becoming one of the world’s leading exporters of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) due to its bountiful supply of shale gas.

      “Hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking’, has transformed oil and gas production in the US, allowing the industry to tap previously inaccessible reserves in shale rock.

      “Barack Obama said in 2013: ‘The natural gas boom has led to cleaner power and greater energy independence. We need to encourage that.’

      “LNG would be an alternative to the Russian gas and would need to be shipped over.

      “But figures within Russia dismissed the threat of LNG production as ‘too expensive’ because of the transportation costs involved.” Yep.

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5942109/Donald-Trump-RIGHT-Germany-imports-70-cent-gas-Russia.html

      • the USA is sleepwalking into dictatorship—and the don sees world domination from his crazy vantage point—not with armies like the last fuhrer, but through economic forces

        which effectively becomes a resource grab—which IS what the last fuhrer tried to do

        This dictatorship will happen if the USA doesn’t wake up to it, and soon. not only that it will be a theocracy, run by people more evil than AH had under his command. He’s already suurrounded himself with jesusfreaks who are telling him he’s god’s messenger—soon he will believe it—probably does already.
        Read Pence’s views if you doubt that.

        It affects the rest of the world, and it is a very dangerous situation—not something we can laugh off anymore—Hitler told the people who elected him exactly what he intended to do—The don did the same thing—so let’s not be surprised

        the more this man gets away with–the more damage he will cause and the more dangerous he will become—again—just like his mentor did in 1938/9—

        A couple of years and congress will be too scared to stop him—then he will take over the military on a personal basis. after that you can kiss the next potus election goodbye—the godbotheres get what they want—a holy empire—trump gets what he wants—a n unlimite d piggy bank to loot—and no one will be able to stop him

        Ive written this piece on medium about it—ok–I know its behind a paywall- (5$ fer chriisakes)–but medium now lets me give a link to anyone who wants to read it as a freebie

        View story at Medium.com

        the time for laughing at trump is over i think–it’s time for serious warnings

        • and medium give you 3 free views anyway

        • Sungr says:

          Thanks for addressing this, Norman.

          My feelings exactly.

          +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

        • theblondbeast says:

          Seems to me an elected official is doing mostly what he said he was going to do by authority of his electorate. I think you’re missing the fact that fascism was a left-wing ideology. I believe you mean “natoinalist” which really has nothing to do with fascism.

          I’m with you on almost everything, but this is a stretch. I’m not a Christian but I think you’re letting the godbotherers…errr…bother you too much.

          You are right on the money that in the face of doom people will turn to a strong but deluded leader. What else could they do? Loot, rape and pillage? Not everyone is cut out for that.

          • Sungr says:

            Facism is typically rule by a strong man who is supported by the military, the church, and the wealthy.

            How is that leftwing?

            • perhaps i should have said ‘extremist’

              stalin/lenin supposedly ran a communist regime, but they were just as brutal as hitler

              doesnt matter what its called, if a regime is endowed with sufficient surplus energy, they will use it to grab more from someone else. Trump wants to divert global energy resources to boost American wealth–it really is that simple
              So he threatens colombia into buying American baby food—when its bad for the baby—he now threatens germany over buying Russian gas. He puts Canada of all places on his ‘security list”

              He threatens all nations who need reproductive healthcare if they offer abortion advice—what happens when the jesusfreaks tell him contraception is against the will of god? Or he decides UK is on his hitlist because Sadiq Khan has insulted him?

              British Empire—European Empires, Japanese empires, Romans/Italians Turks—you name it all follwed the same pattern one way or another—domination of weaker peoples
              WW1 started because one man got shot—the Austro-Hungarian empire was gravely insulted so 25 million got shot

              You see the pattern?

              the proof of it lies with the inuit….they never invaded south because they didnt have sufficient surplus energy to do so—

              Trump doesnt know it, but hes burning through the last of his energy resources. When thats gone, he or his successor–if there is one—will turn on the American people themselves.

            • theblondbeast says:

              Sungr, that’s not a very accurate definition. The term has been coopted into a growl word which simply is used to mean “bad!” I suggest you read the Fascist Party Manifesto and decide for yourself. http://www.wnd.com/2004/06/25291/

              You’re conflating a couple ideas from totalitarianism/dictators/etc.

            • theblondbeast says:

              @Norman. If our governments don’t negotiate on our behalf the default option is that international corporations will decide what happens.

              Your general conclusion I am fully behind. Strong nations will try to solve their problems through domination, given that the alternative is to surrender to weaker nations which will do the same given the opportunity.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          As we have seen… when things get tough … people have often embraced the strong man (see Hitler)

          Maybe the US people need a dictatorship.. a strong man … who can Make America Great Again….

          Maybe that is what the el ders are going to put forward next…. and I am banking on the American people lov’in it…. even Antfia will be wanting someone to fix things … when the economy tanks…

  10. Continuing the Jancovici thread here as it did not work posting there..

    T.Y. says: July 10, 2018 at 4:30 pm
    So , just to check that i understood this correctly;
    1. manual labor will need to increase again (since there isn’t enough fossil fuel or other energy)
    -> reduce taxes on labor.
    2. “Add-on” service sector jobs – say particularly ‘managers & information workers – will decrease (since running the machines freed them up for other tasks in the first placed causes EXTRA not less resource consumption) -> over-availability of higher educated people ?
    3. Increase tax on carbon / fossil fuels to ensure investments are made to wean critical infrastructure & machinery off the imported energy -> ? seems a bit contradictory with his first statements that green energy does not exist ? i
    Thanks for feedback

    T.Y.> Great digestion of the major points, I read it similarly.

    I was particularly perplexed by that graph (or essentially a physics function) around 26min (you summarized in points 1-2) because if there are indeed “the Elders” and or just govs attempting not to hard crash this thing, surely this must be one of THE graphs everything “future” would be just exactly based upon, rearranging the areas (filled) by these three curves. Nevertheless, It’s terrifying to think it through though.

    In terms of point (3) yes it’s a bit confusing to me as well. Because it’s obvious single country can’t initiate/front run such action (especially not openly autocratic one), it would be a suicide. So, perhaps it’s meant as suggested policy response for the next round of GFC and or coming large oil/energy shock.

    I guess he suggests juggling several balls in the air at the same time. Namely, keep peoplez preoccupied by some realistic daily task duties (e.g. tweaking infrastructure, and repopulating countryside), that’s as he stressed the area of visible political class to be active (like the national assembly hosting this talk event) only painting it in pseudo left and right discussion to placate the masses, not changing anything substantial to the plan.

    While implying the “deeper govs” are tasked with continuously pushing (and evaluating) the overall “hidden” fullspectrum agenda of decreasing these “energy slaves” per capita from today’s ~200/300/600x scale towards way much smaller number at the end of “40yrs transition period” he “thinks” it’s achievable given the coal, oil, natgas, .. reserves, which would be subjected to some sort of managed staircase plateau, otherwise it makes no sense, the latter my interpretation.

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