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. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Baby Doomer says:

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

    See ya’ll at the bread lines..

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. milan says:

    Big news this morning about greyhound bus leaving the western provinces of Canada leaving only one route functioning between Seattle and Vancouver. They were losing some 34,000 dollars a day? Wow, and the job losses are going to be huge? Sad day for many in many communities and small towns from BC to Manitoba.

  10. Baby Doomer says:

    As Global Debt Hits A Record $247 Trillion, (318% of GDP) – The IIF Issues A Warning

    https://www.iif.com/publication/global-debt-monitor/global-debt-monitor-july-2018

    https://imgur.com/a/5L2anH4

  11. Fast Eddy says:

    I was just reading this and Rupert Murdoch was mentioned…

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-07-08/netflixonomics-cash-burning-machine-blows-billions-content-winner-takes-most-race

    And I am thinking … why has he not died yet. Why has Soros or Adelson and many of these mega wealthy old f789s not died? Then there are all those old ba tards I see on financial interviews…. I can’t remember the last time one of these big name geriatrics died.

  12. Yoshua says:

    Trump will announce at the Nato meeting that America will leave Nato?

    Trump has more or less already left the G7 and the Transatlantic alliance.

    Trump’s targeted tariffs on China are targeting multinationals of “allied” nations to America, operating in China.

    Europe is an economic enemy to America. So why should America defend Europe?

    • Baby Doomer says:

      Politically speaking, tribal nationalism always insists that its own people is surrounded by “a world of enemies”, “one against all”, that a fundamental difference exists between this people and all others. It claims its people to be unique, individual, incompatible with all others, and denies theoretically the very possibility of a common mankind long before it is used to destroy the humanity of man.

      Hannah Arendt
      The Origins Of Totalitarianism

    • jupiviv says:

      “Europe is an economic enemy to America. So why should America defend Europe?”

      These sorts of ideas sound great so long as actual effects don’t materialise.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      I have read suggestions that Trump is attempting to take on the El ders…..

      • Ed says:

        I think Trump is more like a punch drunk fighter just throwing punches everywhere.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          I do sometimes wonder… if the buffoonery … is all an act….

          • Duncan Idaho says:

            Late stage capitalism— classic involvement:
            kakistocracy (plural kakistocracies)

            Government under the control of a nation’s worst or least-qualified citizens.

  13. Artleads says:

    I was looking in the archive list top right for articles on why solar can’t work. But didn’t see any at a quick scan. The belief in solar as the solution is so widespread and so entrenched that we who wish to counter it could do with having the subject always visible on OFW archive list.

    • Greg Machala says:

      I say let the people believe that solar can work. Or, wind power and electric cars will drive the industrial revolution perpetually forever. Don’t want to induce a panic. Being educated takes work. Most people want to be spoon-fed lies rather than seek out disappointing truths.

      • Chris Harries says:

        Denial is fed by optimism, ironically. The most optimistic people are those who say to themselves that it’s not happening. We can get frustrated and annoyed by this kind of response, but it’s just a psychological defence mechanism. Most usually this auto-defence withers way over time as the person eventually confronts what they can’t face.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          There is no upside in convincing someone that solar is a joke.

          The last time I did that – explaining how many panels it would take to power a refinery and factory so that solar panels could beget more solar panels … was about 5 years ago…

          The person got very angry and walked out of the room….

          • Artleads says:

            Agreed, but in relation to the trustafarian class. “Educated,” “liberal” first world people. I now see that they are dangerous and to be avoided. “Ordinary,” less deluded people are easier to talk to.

      • Artleads says:

        I just fake it. I don’t know much. They don’t know anything. All I can say–and it’s true–is that the issue is controversial (even if not to me) for such and such reasons. I don’t claim to know enough to provide proof. Just knowing what issues are questionable is a big step: “This is critics say are issues in contention.” They will never have heard that the issue might be controversial. It’s just bad FFs vs good renewables fror them. Pure ignorance. So they can’t counter my small commonsense points. It actually helps that I know so little. I can talk on their level.

      • Artleads says:

        Thanks!

        • Chris Harries says:

          If you are talking to the uninitiated, there’s no point saying ‘solar doesn’t work’. Many people have solar panels on their roofs and electricity comes out of them. That’s all the proof they need to say that it does work. From personal experience, getting into net energy return (or loss) is a waste on time for the majority the population They don’t have a an educational background that allows them to understand. Since such concepts go over their heads they think that they are just being dealt a crazy conspiracy theory.

          • Net energy has to be translated to “pay high taxes” to have any real meaning. Solar doesn’t pay high taxes. Any replacement for fossil fuels has to be able to pay high taxes.

          • artleads says:

            I never tell them that solar doesn’t work. I’m not qualified to say that. I just try to get solar not to block the way in discussions where I do have something to say. Because the utility company stupidly cuts down mature trees touching a power line, it doesn’t mean that the utility company should switch to solar. It means that better community planning (that is able to reconcile conflicting needs) is needed. Because I spend time on FW and they don’t, because I can modestly mention (without having to explain) issues like intermittency, subsidies, dependence on FFs, etc., I merely come off as a reasonable guy who knows more than they do, and who it’s not worth their while to argue with.

          • Greg Machala says:

            I agree Chris. They see the panel on the roof making electricity. Sure, it does do that. But, they don’t work at night or on cloudy days. They are not cheap. They cannot work off grid without large batteries. They work; that doesn’t mean they can scale up to power all homes, businesses and industry. Nor does it mean it can replace what fossil fuels do. They are not a source of energy like fossil fuels are. The capture energy and convert it to electricity. Fossil fuels literally burn to produce heat. Two totally different things. Oil is also a very dynamic hydro-carbon. You can make plastics with it and pave roads with ist derivatives. Fossil fuels are also incredibly energy dense.

            • Chris Harries says:

              Even suggesting that manufacturing renewable technologies can’t be done in the absence of fossil fuels does not rub. Advocates immediately argue up breeder solar, even though with the best will in the world delivering the product from cradle to grave – mining, mineral processing, manufacturing, transport and maintenance – would require significant use of fossil fuels for components and energy supply.

              Where I differ from most on this thread is a priority need to dramatically reduce our demands. Not saying that energy & resource conservation can bring about sustainability or stave off a crunch, but nor does focussing on increasing supply. We are cornered and nobody has an out.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              If we use less energy we fall into recession … if we continue to use less energy then spending continues to fall… we get massive layoffs … further drops in consumption … more layoffs… companies big and small are unable to service debt so they collapse… leading the a financial calamity… causing the global economy to collapse….

              What you are suggesting is suicide.

            • Artleads says:

              “…Not saying that energy & resource conservation can bring about sustainability or stave off a crunch, but nor does focussing on increasing supply.”

              I have a very deep third world roots, where the peasantry never completely died out despite intense urbanization. It isn’t a matter of choice. Sheer poverty has reduces a huge swathe of new urban poor to shanty town status. If there is any electricity use, it is stolen from the system. Water is usually one stand pipe to a tenement. By western standards, this obligatory conservation doesn’t even get on the scale. With such a vast proportion of the population already in the “conservation” camp, I can as yet see no reason why unthinkable energy and resource conservation couldn’t work.

            • Chris Harries says:

              And by the time you get to explain all that you’ve lost them, Greg. That’s the very point I was making.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              It is difficult to get a man to understand something when he allows the MSM to tell him what to think.

          • Jan Steinman says:

            If you are talking to the uninitiated, there’s no point saying ‘solar doesn’t work’. Many people have solar panels on their roofs and electricity comes out of them.

            “Solar doesn’t work for civilization,” is very different from “Solar doesn’t work for me.

            Having your own source of solar electricity may be a key factor in making it through the bottleneck event. In that sense, solar may “work” for individuals and small groups, even while we all know the numbers aren’t sustainable for civilization as a whole.

            • If, in fact, a small group of individuals can make it through the bottleneck, I would agree that those with solar panels, batteries, and other preparations may stand a better chance than others.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              As has been pointed out … solar panels will only attract flies…

              But then no doubt most people who live near DPs know that DPs grow food…. you never knew you had so many friends… until the grocery store shelves went empty…

              Everyone will be headed your way….

              How much is a solar set up? 25k? More? May as well burn that cash in a pyre… total waste… an expensive Delusion.

            • Jan, that’s exactly the point the other side simply refuses to acknowledge.

              Although historical “parallels” are always limping, it’s like arguing early dark age monk sanctuaries did not work and could not have worked, because 99.9% of pop was completely uneducated, including the savage rulers of the time period, so why bother at all !?!.. And mind you the limited resources the monks had to preserve and redeploy were not only about the writing and religion, but quite importantly about preserving some core “know how” like related to agricultural calendar, farming/harvesting/crafts technologies etc., (post WRoman Empire fall out situation)..

              Again, I don’t have the same commitment and goals on my list, but it’s trivial to envision the multitude of near-mid term civ scenarios where ~20yrs lasting gear is of crucial or at least comforting importance, what to do next..

            • large buildings, aqueduct knowledge etc was lost after the roman empire, but agriculture wasnt, because the majority of the people lived close to the food production systems

              city dwelling elites probably suffered a bit—but they were in the minority

              our situation now is that the majority live in cities

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Even those living rural have no idea how to produce food… and most DPs would produce next to nothing without BAU help… theyll thrown their arms up in dismay when the drudgery starts… (and the neighbours raid their gardens)

              And then there is the issue of dead soil

            • Uhm sorry, not quite, my point is as follows:

              the last decades before and after the official date of downfall where utmost chaos not in the sense of civil war and insurrection only, but the several ongoing waves of “refugees” and migrant bands moving through the space like locust, most of the countryside was completely wasted, meaning NO permanent settling of folk on the specific acreage ANYMORE. Which is kind of a big problem, because any “new” resettling of such “wasteland” means much bigger risk ratio to crops failure etc..

              The situation was a bit easier going in the faraway provinces though.

            • Jan Steinman says:

              migrant bands moving through the space like locust, most of the countryside was completely wasted, meaning NO permanent settling of folk on the specific acreage ANYMORE.

              Thank goodness none of us have perfect crystal balls!

              Yea, if you’re within a hundred kilometres of a major metropolitan area, you may be right.

              But starving people don’t get very far. When was the last time you fasted for a day? For three days? For a week? How did you feel? Did you have enough energy to jump in a car ox-cart, travel a hundred kilometres, and take over a well-fed, and conceivably well-armed, farmer?

              What would you do when you got there? “Gimme all your kale?” Would you (or most city-folk you know) even know what to do with a live chicken? Start gnawing on a leg?

              I don’t see a lot of people who even realize where food comes from. They are going to be busy raiding grocery stores within walking distance.

              An army “travels on its stomach.” Likewise, refugees.

              The situation was a bit easier going in the faraway provinces though.

              Now you’re talking. And “faraway” only means as far as humans can travel on foot in a few days. Otherwise, they’ll be too weak to do anything.

              Just remember, refugees travel linear distances; square that to see the amount of area a subsistence farm has to hide in. Contemporary refugees travel long distances, but they have the support of government and non-govenment agencies. Those will not exist in a general collapse.

              Will some subsistence farms be overrun? Of course. But the odds are better than fighting with other urban refugees over the last loaf of white bread in the supermarket.

              When the Syrian refugees began to hit, we offered housing and food to any family who wanted to take up farming. We offered this through several refugee support organizations. Not a single taker!

              No, I don’t feel threatened by starving city folk at all. But yea, none of us have a perfect crystal ball.

              The biggest problem I have with your argument is that it gives people an excuse not to act. Just sit at your keyboard and whine — that’s much easier than actually doing something!

            • having 12v of electricity coming out of 2 wires , even if you can switch to 110 or 240 or whatever, does NOT allow your environment to function

              having electric light off batteries does not allow you to function properly—in fact showing electric light in a collapsed countryside is one of the worst things you can do

              and if you dont use it for light—then what?
              power tools? what exactly are you going to do with them

              pumping water is about the only useful thing i can think of–there might be others?

            • Fast Eddy says:

              +++++++++++++++ x 5,000,000,000,000,000.98765554431

              Think of The Road…. oh look … a light! I wonder what is over there. I wonder if they have food? I wonder if it is warm? What should we do? Yes, let’s lock and load and go take a look.

              FW MUST be protected from these f789ing more ons. We must poison them with logic…. otherwise they will pour in like the filthy vermin they are … and we will be overrun.

              Surplus energy economics featuring Don (from DelusiSTAN) is welcoming … please exit.

            • Jan, sorry that’s some kind of misunderstanding, the above post of mine was response to Norman about the period of the fall of western Roman empire, where I argue the agriculture at that time was pretty much very efficient and large expertise dependent enterprise already, especially the specialized one be it vineyards, orchards or other produce with trade links, it was NOT some sort of fly by night pastoral anywhere primitive type of operation. So at the time of the final fall-rupture, there were several “armies” of older romanized as well as “new” less romanized barbarians roaming around like locust (incl. their families not only strictly armies), not mentioning the disposed former population. It was a giant mess where at some point even the “older” wave of barbarians tried from desperation some ad hoc coalitions with remnants of the former proper Roman force to repel the new incoming waves of even crazier peoplez..

              And inside this mess the whirlwind destroying regional craft/agriculture knowledge only the monk sanctuaries kept some sort of record of previous know-how and procedures.. -Hence their agri output and technological sophistication leapfrogging in say 8-9th century AD them all as was on far higher level then in comparison to sort of fall back option of dominant primitive style of pastoralism in which the unwashed majority around them was preoccupied daily.. Slowly, this know how was released and reacquired broadly to wider acceptance again..

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Reading the book Against the Grain… endless stories of how crops failed… massive starvation ..

              Also … constant invasions from bad guys… stole all the stored grains…..

              Of course post BAU that won’t happen. That only happened in the olden days

              F789ing i di ots

            • Jan Steinman says:

              Hence their agri output and technological sophistication leapfrogging in say 8-9th century AD them all as was on far higher level then in comparison to sort of fall back option of dominant primitive style of pastoralism

              I don’t necessarily agree that organized horticulture is at a “far higher level” than pastoralism, but time will tell.

              Many think pastoralism was the sustainable “sweet spot” between hunter-gatherer and agriculture. Very few civilizations have been able to sustain agriculture, albeit with significant exceptions, such as King’s “Forty Centuries” of Chinese agriculture.

            • Norman> I hope you understand these systems scale up, lets say from very simple and affordable system allowing just light for reading and data/info/book preservation (time to decide-plan whats next) to even much larger system running e.g. three phase pumps and other equipment, hot water/fridge, charging up communication-recon gear and or small mobility or what have you.. costing xyz_k

              I’m not advocating 1:1 system backup of today’s functionality that’s obviously nuts, even 3ph pumping with batt storage on wind and solar is millionaire’s toy territory, although dropping in price constantly so far, but more importantly it’s over-complex hence failure prone.

              You see there might be a smelly guy with shitty Chinese led lamp system savvy enough to build himself proper cold storage, while on the other hand some rich kid would be out of the game the second their expensive system compound malfunctions on some exclusive part failure..

            • Fast Eddy says:

              I really cannot understand why people are wasting their time and money on this madness….

              It is not different than the person who was discussing a long commute the other day…. at least the person commuting gets paid to work and can support himself…

              Buying solar panels and growing a farm – in the belief that this is a hedge against the end of days — that is just pure f789ing stuuuuuupidity… it is so stuuuupid that we should make up another word for it… stuuuupid does not do it justice.

            • Chris Harries says:

              Yes, Jan, this points to the issue of providing small-scale renewables for villages – a quantum leap from the concept of large industrial-scale solar solar and wind farms. I think in addressing poverty a few solar panels can provide quite a lot of very basic utility. This relies on there being a viable solar manufacturing business, of course, but it can be argued that a solar panel that provides radio communication where there is currently none has far more utility than one sitting on top of a western home that’s filled with appliances.

              But there is the problem of introducing ‘rising expectations’.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Unfortunately the parts wear out/break… the batteries won’t hold a charge… did I mention my solar pump blew a mother board a month after installation?

              Did I mention that rule one in my manual How to Take a Doom Hobby Farm and Enslave the Farmer:

              Look for lights at night when deciding which DHF you want to take. That is an indication that there is a Delusional OLD Goat inside who has wasted years getting the farm ready for you.

              Then position you and your gang of really nasty cruel bas tards so that you can carry out an ambush on the OLD Goat when he wanders down to the garden whistling koombaya the next morning.

              When the OLD Goat does arrive… you have two options…. jump him and yoke him… and put him to work…. or … if he gets ornery …. plug him with a few rounds…. pull up all the food in the garden and kill all the animals and have a feast…. if there are wimmin … have your way with them….

              Rule Two: move on to the next DHF. Repeat the above … while you wait for the radiation to end the party

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Unfortunately the parts wear out/break… the batteries won’t hold a charge… did I mention my solar pump blew a mother board a month after installation?

              Did I mention that rule one in my manual How to Take a Doom Hobby Farm and En..slave the Farmer:

              Look for lights at night when deciding which DHF you want to take. That is an indication that there is a De.lusio..nal OLD Go.at inside who has wasted years getting the farm ready for you.

              Then position you and your gang of really nasty cruel bas tar…..ds so that you can carry out an am.bush on the OLD Goa.t when he wanders down to the garden whistling koo……mbaya the next morning.

              When the OLD Goat does arrive… you have two options…. jump him and yoke him… and put him to work…. or … if he gets ornery …. p.lug him with a few rounds…. pull up all the food in the garden and ki…ll all the animals and have a feast…. if there are wi….mmin … have your way with them….

              Rule Two: move on to the next DHF. Repeat the above … while you wait for the radi….ation to end the party

            • Jan Steinman says:

              This relies on there being a viable solar manufacturing business, of course

              I don’t have any illusions of “solar manufacturing” being around after the bottleneck.

              But those who have them could use them as a bridge to stair-step down their energy usage. They might start out being heavily reliant, then reducing (perhaps involuntarily) as thing degrade.

              In a low-energy future, the best, most reliable solar panels will be green, and will grow on trees. 🙂

            • Artleads says:

              The industrial system can’t even manage one Fukushima. And given the insane incentives to mismanage that Fukushima demonstrates, an unprecedented crisis of any sort would surely lead to quite a few more Fukushimas. I know it could be something other than radiation. Every subordinate part of the bigger system is linked to all the others. I’ve called it a system of systems. So no, starving hordes won’t be the problem; just total cluster…k breakdown of everything. Survival would be very hard to imagine with so many things systematically going so wrong.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              You don’t need hordes to have a problem …

              All you need is a couple dozen neighbours friends and family… showing up that farm gate… and begging to be fed….. that would be enough to overwhelm any DP.

              DPs believe they have magic koombaya bubbles that protect them from radiation …

              Silly DPs…. even if they lived 2km from the nearest fuel pond they’d whistle past on their way to Walmart to buy more BAU.

            • Artleads says:

              “In a low-energy future, the best, most reliable solar panels will be green, and will grow on trees. ”

              Great point. Although anything that relies on individualism (which helped get us into this pickle) is unlikely to help, no matter its degree of green.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              ‘making it through the bottleneck event’

              Yes… and if anyone (other than hunter gatherer tribes) could survive this … (they won’t) what then?

              Ah right … it will be a life of Little House on the Prairie…

              Norman and Xabier have laid out what peasant life was like pre BAU….

              And then there is the FE Challenge — which not a single DP will take…

              It really does get old listening to the DP Crowd of Clowns tell us how wonderful things will be post BAU …. and yet they will NOT even try a week unplugged from BAU

              Isn’t that kinda like saying that one is going to go on a strict diet and lifestyle change…. to improve one’s health… yet one is not even willing to try first not eating a large size sack of potato chips and a litre of soda…. just to see if it is possible?

              DPs are a f789ing joke!!!!

              Shall we discuss scott nearing …. and he also pretended to live without BAU?

              He was f789ing joke too.

              Any of you DPs up for trying to transition to Hunter Gatherers? If you did … I would not mock you.

  14. Baby Doomer says:

    Oil shocks will hit region hard

    This year Exxon Mobil has warned us to prepare for demand-driven oil shocks. Last year, Saudi Arabia’s energy minister Khalid A. Al-Falih warned us to expect an oil supply shortage by 2020.

    http://gisborneherald.co.nz/opinion/3454048-135/oil-shocks-will-hit-region-hard

  15. wratfink says:

    Pretty good wrap-up of per capita energy and the physics of energy conversion by this French engineer. He was giving a presentation to some French officials. The presentation is several years old, so the government has been warned of the no growth future ahead. Seems to be a few hecklers that still believe in skittle sh–ing unicorns.:

    https://damnthematrix.com/2018/07/10/the-physics-of-energy-and-resulting-incidences-on-economics/

    click the “tools” icon in the video for subtitles.

    • wratfink says:

      sorry…link seems dead

    • Retrieved from the failed page, it’s that Jancovici vid on YT shown before..


      The physics of energy and resulting incidences on economics
      10 07 2018
      Hat tip to one of the many commenters on DTM for pointing me to this excellent video…. I have featured Jean-Marc Jancovici’s work here before, but this one’s shorter, and even though it’s in French, English subtitles are available from the settings section on the toutube screen. Speaking of screens, one of the outstanding statements made in this video is that all electronics in the world that use screens in one way or another consume one third of the world’s electricity…….. Remember how the growth in renewables could not even keep up with the Internet’s growth?

      If this doesn’t convince viewers that we have to change the way we do EVERYTHING, then nothing will….. and seeing as he’s presenting to politicians, let’s hope at least some of them will come out of this better informed……

      Jean-Marc Jancovici, a French engineer schools politicians with a sobering lecture on the physics of energy and the effects on economics and climate change

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Change everything?

        Why would we change? What we are doing is what needs to be done – we need to keep burning more fossil fuels every year

    • It’s the ~2013 Jancovici presentation/briefing..

      • Greg Machala says:

        Is there a transcript of this? The video is tiresome.

        • ?

          Have not seen it in a while myself, worth repeating though.
          It’s action packed, perhaps frequently pause/stopping it and reading, let the translation sink in, procedure might help. It’s one of the best *future policy revealing videos out there, so worth the extra time, and I don’t mean the heavily **edited Q&A part, the core message is rather confined/hidden in the prior presentation.

          *presentation deliberately structured to underline several major “shocking” priority areas which need to be communicated out, as well as spilling the beans of what and in which sectors to push, at least attempting to counter this zero-negative growth predicament..

          **one gem to be found there though, acknowledging the necessity how to sell the transformation mandate to the public, basically not revealing to them push for desired gargantuan endpoint, i.e. dispersing (sub)urbanites to largely manual work in rural areas again with token modern world amenities

          note: and yes somewhat instant doom scenario is also acknowledged, not discussed further

          • T.Y. says:

            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

            • Artleads says:

              Green energy does not exist. There is no green energy other than leaving things as they are. Manual work (including fairly simple hand-made machinery) and no green energy doesn’t seem contradictory. The planet can probably put up with the implied reduced use of “dirty” energy.

          • Slow Paul says:

            Very interesting video, thanks for this.

            The “solution” is what we see today. Don’t tell the truth to the public, promote technology X and call it progress to give people hope. When things get bad you get Trump, Brexit etc, when things get worse you get riots and martial law.

      • Artleads says:

        Right on! Nice to have some expert confirmation!

  16. Baby Doomer says:

    U.S. Customs’ ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ Moment: Mother Says She Was Hounded About Why She Didn’t Take Her Husband’s Last Name

    https://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/us-customs-handmaids-tale-moment-mother-says-she-was-hounded-about-why-she-didnt?src=newsletter1094159

  17. Artleads says:

    https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/05/addis-ababa-reppie-trash-into-energy?utm_source=Facebook%20Videos&utm_medium=Facebook%20Videos&utm_campaign=Facebook%20Video%20Blogs

    As with large wind and solar, it will take lots of dirty energy, plus unpayable debt, to set up such systems over broad areas. This is also a model for continuing top down centralized industrial economies that are deforesting the planet, poisoning the sea and removing top soil. Decentralized economic systems run at human scale, using waste for construction, strikes me as somewhat more sustainable. IF it were even possible to do within our inscrutable global economic system.

    • We used to have decentralized economic systems at human scale. The family and village drawing from perennial agriculture per given local was basic layer of subsistence. On top they (optionally) stacked smaller various “cottage industries” usually performed at home be it textiles or special crafts, products sold at regional markets.

      The issue being such *idyllic times lasted only very briefly just between wars, tax hikes, natural or man made disasters, especially when the “perennial agri” component was not that evolved causing widespread damage at some aggregate threshold, ..

      *meaning periods when everything clocked in sync:
      good enough harvest, predictable security/taxes, healthy people and animals, no natural disasters, ecosystem stabilized at some level (not drained excessively)..

      • Artleads says:

        worldofhanumanotg, this is a helpful primer to get me started. These special in-between periods you mention might refer to the industrial ((“developed”) world)? But there are all sorts of “in-between” places–have been more or less been connected to the industrial system but left behind as old empires shrank. Lots of third world places qualify. They have huge un- and under-employment. But higglering never went away and struggles to deal with the increased population and the cars. Inequality is massive, with an unhealthy disconnect between high and low. Central government is corrupt and hobbled. Debt and skimming keeps it going somehow. Such communities are already set up for SOME decentralization it seems. It might not work where there are jobs, and industrial systems that work acceptably.

      • other than when the plague knocked off a third of europe’s population

    • Tsubion says:

      Don’t worry about the energy issue.

      It’s a red herring.

  18. Harry Gibbs says:

    “Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman… is struggling to turn the country’s financial fortunes around, with the economy suffering a crisis of confidence. Hit hard by the oil-price collapse, the kingdom is now experiencing a plunge in foreign investment and high levels of capital outflow… As of April, more than 800,000 [foreign workers] had left the country since late 2016, alarming domestic companies concerned that the foreigners cannot be easily replaced.”

    http://uk.businessinsider.com/saudi-arabia-foreign-capital-flight-expat-exodus-and-business-unrest-2018-7?r=US&IR=T

  19. Harry Gibbs says:

    “Since 2014, hundreds of thousands of Central American men, women, and children, mostly from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, have fled their homes. Driven by violence, extortion, poverty, and a drought that has decimated subsistence farming, and pulled by family connections and the hope of safe haven, they mostly head north…

    “On the campaign trail, Lopez Obrador promised to loosen Peña Nieto’s southern border defense, refusing to “continue the dirty work” of the United States by detaining Central American migrants who are fleeing violence…”

    “Mexican society isn’t ready for the influx. Not unlike the United States, some Mexicans worry immigrants will take their jobs, depress wages, or commit crimes. Violence against these newcomers has been on the rise: In 2016 alone, the Mexican government found more than 5,000 cases of crimes against migrants, nearly 20 percent at the hands of government officials.

    “In short, Lopez Obrador may well be caught between his promises to be more open and humane to those fleeing and the desire to no longer do president Trump’s bidding, and the huge potential costs this shift could entail for his larger domestic agenda.”

    https://www.cfr.org/blog/mexicos-next-crisis-will-arrive-south

  20. Harry Gibbs says:

    “Eurodollars, which are hyper-sensitive to the expected path of Federal Reserve rate increases, now signal that central bankers will have to stop raising interest rates in late 2019 or early 2020, with the benchmark well short of 3.375 percent, which officials have projected by the end of 2020.

    “That’s in stark contrast to what eurodollars indicated in mid-May, at the peak of the bond market sell-off. At that point, the slope of the curve was firmly positive through 2021, and even then, further gradual Fed tightening was priced in for the years to come. Fed funds futures contracts themselves tell a similar story.

    “All this confirms the sobering reality that the U.S. is fast approaching the end of its drawn-out economic expansion. Intuitively, investors know this.”

    https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-07-09/bond-market-signals-the-end-of-boom-times

  21. Harry Gibbs says:

    OECD noticing the wage-stagnation/disparity issue Gail writes about but not connecting the dots:

    “”This trend of wageless growth in the face of a rise in employment highlights the structural changes in our economies that the global crisis has deepened, and it underlines the urgent need for countries to help workers, especially the low-skilled,” OECD Secretary-General Ángel Gurría said in a statement accompanying the wage report…

    “”Inclusive growth” seems to be one thing the global economy isn’t seeing these days. An analysis of the OECD’s data, carried out by The Guardian, found income among the top one per cent of earners grew about four times as fast as the median income. The OECD calls this a “long-standing trend.””

    https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2018/07/09/oecd-report-unprecedented-wage-stagnation-canada-jobs-developed-countries_a_23477970/

  22. Baby Doomer says:

    Elon Musk’s offer ‘not practical’ for cave mission, Thai rescue chief says

    https://www.bbc.com/news/live/44755093

    • Baby Doomer says:

      It was never about saving those boys.

      It was only ever about inserting himself into the situation, completely unnecessarily, so that his name was captured alongside the rescue in the news cycle..

      • Well, that’s partly true, another fact is that his spacex staffers worked on the robot, tested inside that large aerospace pool etc.

        • Greg Machala says:

          From what I could see on his FB site, Elon tested some kind of sub in a clear water pool. A flat bottom pool with no rocks or hilly terrain. The cave has narrowing passages, rocks, muddy water and up and down terrain. There are sections that are flooded and sections that are not. It seems to me Elon test things under ideal conditions. Perhaps that is why he is now working out of a tent because his assembly line didn’t work in the real world. Perhaps that is why so many of his cars have multiple quality issues because they are not tested in real world conditions. Perhaps that is why the autopilot feature doesn’t work so well because it wasn’t tested in real world conditions. I agree with Doomer, this is just a publicity stunt by Elon trying to attach himself to a headline news story.

      • Chris Harries says:

        This PR strategy has worked for Musk, every time. He’s a maestro at it. I think it’s only financial ruin that may spoil his guru image.

    • The best part is that the cave is infected by the bat-mouse hosted (mammal) pneumonia and eyesight infectious disease (supposedly treatable yet nasty). So, if he took his private jet, burned few tons of jet fuels, visited the cave for few hours, tried to offer the subrobot, which was not received-deployed into the mission, turned around and went home sick from this escapade..

      That I’d call a bad day.

  23. Fast Eddy says:

    That said… I remain hopeful that NZ will be taken off the list at some point and a mega nuke be delivered to the Queenstown area….

    Just in Time for the end of BAU

  24. Baby Doomer says:

    World Bank CEO Adds to Voices of Worry Over Global Debt Pileup

    Central banks across the world are under pressure to follow a Federal Reserve that’s raising interest rates faster than initially anticipated, putting particular stress on emerging markets and developing economies. The need for structural policy changes, including responses to waves of anti-globalization, remains great as policy makers in most economies haven’t taken sufficient action during the extended period of low borrowing costs, Georgieva said.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-07-09/world-bank-ceo-adds-to-voices-of-worry-over-global-debt-pileup

  25. Fast Eddy says:

    And we have a caller from DelusiSTAN… go ahead Jan from DelusiSTAN:

    ‘Of course, the longer it goes on, the worse it would get, but I agree it won’t all just suddenly fall apart; at least if history is any guide.’

    But history is not a guide Jan… this is not Rome… or any other civilization that collapses… yet was able to continue at a much lower level of functionality.

    There was no JIT supply chain nor complex financial system holding their world together – at the end of the day these were NOT complex societies — as Tainter and Korowicz point out — we are.

    You have to be seriously delusional (or perhaps stewpid) to believe that the curve is going to a gentle slope downwards…. until it hits zero (or near zero as your BAU Lite model anticipates)

    Global GDP is relatively stable – and growing…. CB policies are working….

    https://cdn.static-economist.com/sites/default/files/images/2016/06/articles/body/20160618_inc696.png

    Now if you believe that the CBs can keep this going indefinitely …. then you really do need your head examined…. because that would mean that we have invented a perpetual prosperity machine…. (hint: that is impossible)

    And if you believe that GDP can go negative and the economy can contract … without soon imploding into one of these

    http://snbchf.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/DeflationarySpiral.png

    Resulting in the power going off — disease violence and spent fuel ponds being unleashed….

    Then I am very sorry to inform you but your intellectual capacity never was…. or perhaps one of your barnyard animals has kicked you in the head and your brain function is significantly impaired.

    You are listening to the Fast Eddy Show and you are listening to the one the only — Fast Eddy….

    Next caller please….

    Hello Mr Fast …. I am a Penthouse model…. and I was wondering how I could get a spot in the harem……

    • Again, the frivolous opulence of our days is over at some point, that’s not disputed, however the idea that security apparatus (remnants) won’t be able to carve for themselves a little bit of (temporary) advantage at the expense of 95-99% of society is preposterous. Therefore, I’m interested out of curiosity (not for profit or gene pool selection purposes) as others should be perhaps too, what is the very next step after that. It could be either total oblivion and or attempts to patch up something workable, most likely around coasts as train and highway routes are likely going to be barricaded, major valley passing bridges detonated, in the last days of revolting masses, civil wars etc. So as an example, one could argue the coastal Baltica region would likely constitute again viable candidate and might come up with some nucleus of cozy feudal situation and trade and so on.. Similarly for the Great lakes area of the US..

      Obviously the numbers are brutal if you would like to participate in the bottle neck event, you chances are very small (~1:100), so I understand the attitude you scream here several times per day “why bother!”, however that’s not proper logic inquiry into discussing any theoretical matters.

    • Tsubion says:

      All it takes is truck drivers saying screw this and yes everything falls apart very suddenly.

      It would good to make a list of all the vital arteries, organs etc that keep BAU intact on a day to day basis. So many parts, so many materials that need to be continously produced at so many levels all throughout the chain.

      It’s a miracle that any of it has held together for so long.

      The weakest link appears to be people not having enough money to spend on new things.

      • We are not there yet, what to expect in next stages of the story? Selective debt jubilees, probably at some point even incl. the frivolous consumers at large, so the factories might have extended demand for a while ..

      • Greg Machala says:

        The weak links: financial system, electric grid, global trade, lack of cheap resources (including food, oil, gas, minerals water etc),

  26. Fast Eddy says:

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-07-09/mish-rages-more-give-everybody-free-money-idiocy

    Let’s just cut taxes — and for those who don’t pay taxes… Fentanyl. That would also eliminate criticism of the job numbers … punish joblessness with death… and that eliminates the problem

  27. Fast Eddy says:

    Please listen to the first 24 seconds of this

    https://youtu.be/jhUkGIsKvn0

    Then read this…..

    So I am driving up the mountain to the ski hill this morning …. and I listening to this excellent book:

    An account of all the new and surprising evidence now available that contradicts the standard narrative for the beginnings of the earliest civilizations

    https://yalebooks.yale.edu/book/9780300182910/against-grain

    The author is discussing why he chose to focus on the Mesopotamia area…. how hunter gatherers fought hard (and successfully) against sedentary settlements — frequently raiding them and stealing crops and livestock (I am thinking about Jan when I hear that…. poor Jan … diligently prepping away …. getting everything ready … for the pillagers…)

    And then the author made a statement …. and it was like a diamond bullet struck me…. he was discussing the problems of these early settlements disease, raiders …… and kkkklllllimmmmdate ccchange….

    ‘the kkk chhhhange dramatically during this period causing droughts and famine that wiped out early settlements ….. at one point the evidence indicates that the kkkklimate wormed at much as 7 degrees….. over a SINGLE DECADE.

    Wo wo wo wooooooahhhhh.. wo wo wo woaaaahhhhhh…..

    You know what I’m sayin,,, sayinn,,, sayin….

    • Tsubion says:

      And the smelly apes went on to invent microchips…. just sayin

      If you looked at an ape today you would say that is impossible. There’s absolutely no way that thing is going to invent rockets and nanotech and yet here we are.

      Maybe things didn’t go down the way we have been told. Maybe the little green men did something to our ancestors and we’ve been a test subject ever since… hmmm?

      • Good point, possible. However, I’d offer perhaps related train of though, a bit more plausible explanation, as humans jumped into the fore front solely as nature’s vehicle to launch planetary wide act of terra- forming, basically reseting the overall ecologic/geologic epoch into something else where very different species and overall conditions on the planet apply. It would not be for the first time..

        In grander scheme of things it might also be linked to aging of the Sun star (system). In a way nature have already blossomed and showed up mightily through out past millions and billions of years, now it somehow contracts back into cold night so to speak or at least forces epoch of dormancy followed by another harvest.

      • Greg Machala says:

        Given enough energy almost anything is possible. Unfortunately, the future looks energy scarce.

  28. Baby Doomer says:

    During the mid/late 20th century (1960-1999), a barrel of oil cost $19 on average; during the years immediately prior to the Great Recession (2000-2008), the average price of a barrel of oil had increased to $47; and during the years immediately following the Great Recession (2010-2012), the average price of a barrel of oil had further increased to $81. During the same three time periods, the average price of a metric ton of copper increased from $3,085, to $3,713, to $6,817; the average price of a metric ton of iron ore increased from $36, to $57, to $124; and the average price of a metric ton of potash increased from $114, to $185, to $343. (Prices are inflation adjusted.)

    The simple fact is that we cannot grow our global economy and improve our global material living standards on $55 oil, $6,817 copper, $124 iron ore, and $343 potash like we did on $19 oil, $3,085 copper, $36 iron ore, and $114 potash. It should come as no surprise that our Non Renewable Resource-dependent global economy experienced the Great Recession during 2009. Nor should it come as a surprise that we have yet to recover from the Great Recession. Nor will our industrialized and industrializing economies ever recover, so long as price levels associated with the vast majority of Non Renewable Resources remain at their inordinately high levels..

    Source: Hamilton (2009)
    https://www.brookings.edu/bpea-articles/causes-and-consequences-of-the-oil-shock-of-2007-08/
    Source: IEA
    http://www.iea.org/textbase/npsum/high_oil04sum.pdf
    Source: IMF
    https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/oil/2000/

    https://imgur.com/a/CRQ66aA

  29. Ed says:

    Or, we can just install massive solar panels arrays at the north and south poles along with massive bipolar DC electric transmission lines running pole to pole over the Americas, over Europe/Africa, over Russia/India. Just need to know the cost per watt and the required material and energy inputs.

    • Ed says:

      Keith has inspired me.

      • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

        required energy inputs:

        every last drop of the remaining crude oil reserves…

        let’s do this!

    • Sungr says:

      I’m sure you realize that all the solar panels and accompanying electronics will need to be replaced in totality every 15 to 25 years?

      So, in 100 years, we would need to replace the entire system about 5 to 8 times.

    • Sungr says:

      Ok this is obviously a fun post….

      But I just started figuring….with a 15 year solar system life……

      Global solar system newly built in year 2025
      Replace entire global system in 2040
      Replace entire global system in 2055
      Replace entire global system in 2070
      Replace entire global system in 2085
      Replace entire global system in 2100
      Replace entire global system in 2115
      Replace entire global system in 2030

      8X

    • Fast Eddy says:

      Wow – Keith finally did it!!! There he is on the home page of bloomberg!!!!

      https://www.bloomberg.com

  30. Ed says:

    It is like pouring holy water on vampires. FE, nuclear turbo rockets to make solar power satellites electric 2 cents per kilowatt-hour!!!!! 🙂
    https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2018/07/146443.html#more-146443

    • Ed says:

      Synthetic Oil from electricity at $40 per barrel. Silver bullet.

      • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

        this story is one of the biggest piles of rotten smelling nonsense that has ever been written…

        it’s an insane fairy tale…

        the whole out of touch with reality scheme is dependent on FF for its construction and maintenance…

        that $40 per barrel idiocy is idiotic…

        but we can believe!

        right?

        right!

        • Tsubion says:

          Can you explain in detail – nuts and bolts – why cheap synthetic liquid fuel manufactured on dry land and ready to use is crazy…

          when compared to billion dollar oil platforms in the North Sea that use levels of engineering that we haven’t even used in space travel and then require billion dollar oil refineries to sort out the mess?

          The only issue I can find is keeping up with demand at the pace that we consume.

          • there are two main reasons
            1—the process requires more energy to put into the system than is got out, so it is effectively a battery

            2—maybe more important, all fuel is use–less, until it is used.
            Simple and obvious I know….but bear with me—– it is in the use of fuel that we run into problems. Fuel must be burned to extract work from it

            the use of energy in the form of liquid fuels, (as opposed to sails, carthorses and slaves) requires complex machinery.

            If you do not have such machinery, then oil is as well left in the ground, or in the wind in this case

            Such machinery requires an environment which is itself sustained by fossil fuels—you cannot mine minerals and build factories with which to manufacture ‘stuff’ from the output of windfarms, and devices not yet devised to produce oil out of the air

            If this was feasible, then all car exhausts would vent into a small trailer towed behind, (or maybe even a small box in the boot) to convert exhaust gases back into petrol, (less the heat lost via the engine itself.)

            Why let the exhaust gas escape to air at all? Or is that too obvious?

            just tossing in a bit of logic there

    • Ed says:

      Designer Keith Henson. Silver bullet two.

    • Ed says:

      and synthetic oil from MSRs
      https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2018/07/turbo-inductor-cogeneration-with-msr-nuclear-can-economically-replace-oil.html#more-146432
      we’ll be powering those chair lifts for Fast forever, no rock cuts need be harmed

    • JesseJames says:

      This silly,article spends more content talking up the solar power satellite than it does the viability, feasibility, and technical merit of the supposedly nuclear rocket. What a joke to take seriously.
      Grasping at straws comes to mind.

    • According to the article:

      This pursuit of the driverless car dream is therefore not only crowding out better ways of improving transport, but also stymying scientific development. Of the 20 or so exhibitors I spoke to, not a single one believed autonomous cars would be on our roads within a decade. There are a myriad problems, ranging from insurance issues to the limitations of the technology and the resistance of the public to travelling in them. Rather than swallowing the fatuous statements from politicians about how driverless cars are going to change our lives, we need a sober assessment of their potential benefits, if any, and, crucially, of their downsides.

      One of the downsides is loss of jobs!

      • Chris Harries says:

        Indeed, the main purpose is deliberate loss of jobs, to increase profitability. Though safety is the benefit that is most often touted, because who doesn’t believe in safety?

      • Fast Eddy says:

        I never understood why this was desirable…. all downside

        • Adds jobs for programmers. Looks like progress.

          • Ed says:

            +++++++++++++++++ I see no downside.

            I have a one hour commute each way I will pay dearly for a self driving car. The drive is a straight shot on a parkway (like a highway with curves and level crossings, but no stop lights).

            • you are caught in the eternal triangle—home—work—foodstore

              there was a universal tram system in the usa—pretty good i understand

              it was bought up and closed by automaker–to force everyone into cars

            • Jan Steinman says:

              I have a one hour commute each way

              WTF? Are you doing anything to prepare, or are you planning to continue such an insane commute until the day you cannot?

              I doubt I drive two hours per week! I typically drive three days a week to deliver food, under twenty minutes each time.

              Yesterday, I had to drive about 100 minutes (delivering goats and dealing with bureaucracy), through the heart of a medium-sized (~200,000) city. Nearly drove me nuts. I can’t imagine having to do that daily, but perhaps I simply lack imagination.

              If there’s one key bit of advice I’d give anyone these days, it’s “reduce or eliminate your dependence on fossil sunlight.” Is that even an option for you, Ed?

            • Tsubion says:

              A one hour commute is nothing.

              Mine used to be just under three hours. Each way!

              I had bosses that would do two hour highway commutes so as not to move house.

      • Tsubion says:

        It’s not the politicians. They don’t know anything about anything. They just parrot what they’re told to say.

        I remember when the think tanks were coming up with ways to introduce the idea that all driving would be centrally controlled one day. I would immediately point out to them that this was simply the next step in tightening the screws on society. That no one would ever see the benefit.

        They went with the excuse that it was to prevent all driver caused deaths since that was the main reason for accidents. This would be a good emotional sell. I said that to even make a dent in the overall number of deaths you would have to reach saturation of driverless vehicles of all types. At least 30 years.

        I also said that the improvement in road safety would already be achieved as more and more cars add assisted driving technology to cheaper models and black spots on the roads are identified and cleared up. No need for self driving tech which requires a vast amount of infrastructure mapping and computing coordination.

        What still made sense was the linking of trucks with follow my leader tech so that one driver could lead a “train” from A to B. But I never understood why this was a thing either. Less drivers… sure. But most trucking doesn’t work like this. Multiple trucks all going to the same depot. A to B trip can vary for every single truck. Same goes for all other transport. So even on paper this is a ludicrous idea.

        We mapped out the same ideas for small parcel delivery drivers and the amount of extra tech solutions you have to come up with to do away with the driver is simply not worth it in most situations. A human driver manages so many other tasks and unpredictable one off situations that cannot be programmed for.

        When I started looking at tech 15 years ago I assumed that relatively simpler processes would be automated by now… and they are not. Even supermarkets have struggled to get there. Restaurants are attempting to cut some corners. Public toilet cleaning is still mostly done by women. Drone delivery just seems silly.

        Where there have been advances is in white collar work. Automating repetitive office work. Law, medicine, accounting, engineering, etc etc. And sometimes it leads to increased hires of better quality.

        There’s a place for automation but trying to shoehorn it into every area of life is not working out. Sometimes it creates more problems and complexity around something that was very simple.

        Compare a farmers market in a town square with an automated superstore loaded with the latest tech and data centres and megabanks.

        Control of all human activity is the goal. For some. And they will stop at nothing. They will say driving is evil if they have to.

  31. Baby Doomer says:

    Humans can not live without illusions. For the men and woman of today, an irrational faith in progress may be the only antidote to nihilism. Without the hope that the future will be better than the past they could not go on..

    -John N Gray

    • Chris Harries says:

      This does seem to be true. Find a human culture that is not imbued with mythological belief of one kind or another and you will be searching. Not always religious myths either. Secular beliefs in unreal futures are just as much part of that human experience. Some say that we are programmed this way by our evolution and neurologists have even identified the part of the brain where this cultural function lies.

      • DJ says:

        ”neurologists have even identified the part of the brain where this cultural function lies.”

        Now we just need to do biopsy of a few OFW brains and compare.

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      “Without the hope that the future will be better than the past they could not go on.”

      I may say this every time I see this lame quote by Gray:

      I think that the future will NOT be better than the past…

      but I can go on…

      and, right now, I am…

      so…

      BAU tonight, baby!

    • Fast Eddy says:

      I am pretty deep into the nihilism/futureless trip…. and I must admit that it does sap the spirit a little…. but one adapts… one lives for the moment… even if they are meaningless.

      • Baby Doomer says:

        I just let go. Lost in oblivion. Dark and silent and complete. I found freedom. Losing all hope was freedom..

        Chuck Palahniak
        Fight Club

        • DJ says:

          Too much hopium for FE

          ”In the world I see you are stalking elk through the damp canyon forests around the ruins of Rock feller Center. You’ll wear leather clothes that will last you the rest of your life. You’ll climb the wrist-thick kudzu vines that wrap the Sears Towers. And when you look down, you’ll see tiny figures pounding corn, laying stripes of venison on the empty car pool lane of some abandoned superhighways.”

        • Fast Eddy says:

          Yes – there is definitely some upside to knowing

      • Harry Gibbs says:

        “I am pretty deep into the nihilism/futureless trip”. I’m definitely feeling that, Fast Eddy.

        Couldn’t you drop an E and enjoy a Disney movie-marathon with Mrs Fast or something?

        • We all need to have multiple things to think about and do.

          Sitting around worrying about the worse possible outcomes is not a productive use of time. I understand it is tempting, however, because we are showered with fantasy views of impossibly unrealistic futures, if we follow our current paths.

          Listen to music you enjoy. Make new friends and get together with old friends. Look at the beauty of nature. Join a club or church, if for no other reason than the ability to socialize with others.

          • Tsubion says:

            But you’re the one encouraging the nihilism.

            Not a single ray of hope to be found here.

            FE was probably a rational human being before he came across doomer blogs.

            • Except that the whole system is made by a set-organizing system that is beyond what we can even figure out. We certainly can’t replicate this level of complexity. Something is going on that we don’t understand.

              Perhaps this is the end, or perhaps it is not. I can’t imagine that humans can continue on this earth. But there may be other outcomes we don’t understand. There may (or may not) be a heaven. We are not any worse off than the many hunter-gatherers who lost their lives to wild animals. We can only take each day for what it brings. Worrying doesn’t help.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Blog … not blogs… there is only one.

              As for rationale… I am at the pinnacle….I don’t see how I can get much more rationale than I am now…otherwise my head will explode….

              Perhaps I am being groomed for the top position in whatever comes next. Now is the time to join my sycophant club

          • Fast Eddy says:

            I am considering taking a disco dancing course….

        • Fast Eddy says:

          MF is anti-drug…

          I am getting my meaningful short term moments on the ice and snow these days… I don’t think much about the fact that the future could end any day now.

  32. Baby Doomer says:

    World population growth and projections

    https://i.imgur.com/6gwva13.gif

  33. psile says:

    Japan floods: ‘Extreme danger’ amid record rainfall

    https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/1287F/production/_102430957_mediaitem102430954.jpg

    Parts of western Japan hit by deadly floods and landslides are facing unprecedented danger as more downpours are expected, officials warn.

    “We’ve never experienced this kind of rain before,” a weather official said.

    More than 60 people are dead and dozens missing after record rainfall caused rivers to burst their banks in Hiroshima and other areas.

    Two million people have been ordered to evacuate. PM Shinzo Abe said rescuers were “working against time”.

    “There are still many people missing and others in need of help,” the prime minister told reporters on Sunday.

    Since Thursday parts of western Japan have received three times the usual rainfall for the whole of July, setting off floods and landslides.

    Most of the deaths have occurred in Hiroshima prefecture.

    In the town of Motoyama, on Shikoku island, 583mm (23in) of rain fell between Friday morning and Saturday morning.

    Further rain warnings are in effect, with more than 250mm (10 in) predicted to fall in some areas by Monday.

    An official at the Japanese Meteorological Agency told a news conference: “This is a situation of extreme danger.”

    https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/841E/production/_102422833_japanhiroshima9760718.png

    One day, the rescue teams won’t come…that is the important takeaway. And millions will be exposed…

    • Harry Gibbs says:

      Also of note meteorologically of late has been a huge swathe of Europe/Eurasia from Ireland down across the low countries and Germany, the Baltic nations and Scandinavia to Crimea and southern Russia being affected by heat and severe drought with potentially grave consequences for harvests.

      We could find ourselves with a food-price spike on our hands – although let me qualify that suggestion by confessing that I do not have any great insight into global grain production as a totality or what our stores look like.

      https://www.irishtimes.com/news/environment/ireland-in-state-of-absolute-drought-as-heatwave-continues-1.3554298

      http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-07/05/c_137301777.htm

      http://kticradio.com/agricultural/german-farmers-expect-poor-harvest-amid-drought-record-heat/

      https://www.thelocal.dk/20180705/denmark-considers-political-relief-for-drought-hit-farmers

      https://themoscowtimes.com/news/crimea-asks-moscow-financial-aid-hail-drought-costs-62100

      http://www.intellinews.com/bad-weather-threaten-10-15-of-russian-grain-harvest-in-2018-144511/

      etc. etc.

    • Where do two million people evacuate to, in Japan? I know that Atlanta had an awfully lot of hurricane refugees, when a recent hurricane was forecast to hit Florida. A country that has paved over a lot of its land with urbanization and packed population in tightly seems to be at risk of problems.

      • psile says:

        It seems as if Japan is destined to be an early victim of collapse amongst the industrialised nations. How narrowly did it miss a bullet with the tsunami and resulting Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011? Only providence saved 35 million plus people, the entire Kanto Plain including Tokyo, from radioactive fallout. It certainly would have been “lights out” for Japan if it hadn’t.

        • I know that several years ago James Howard Kunstler identified Japan as the likely first victim of oil limits. I heard him say this at an energy conference, perhaps in 2011. I have a photo of several of us from that date.
          https://gailtheactuary.files.wordpress.com/2018/07/after-bpe-conference-at-pub.jpg

          The people I can identify (from left to right) are myself, David Packer (editor from Springer), Charlie Hall, Joseph Tainter, and James Howard Kunstler. I don’t know the last person on the right. The other two who are mostly cut off are George Mobus and David Murphy.

          • Ed says:

            That is an amazing gathering. Masters of sustainable society.

          • Rodster says:

            What’s Joseph Tainter’s view of our current predicament? Does he see a way out or does he think human civilization are all headed for the dustbin of history? I read his bio on wikipedia it gave the impression that we could find a way out of our problems.

            • He doesn’t seem to be saying that anything dreadful will happen in the near future. The academic papers he and his students write seem to be about how many authors are on scientific papers, and how this has been changing over time (diminishing returns). This is a topic that is far away from anything useful that it doesn’t have a chance of offending anyone. I heard one of his students speak at Wells College at the Biophysical Economics Conference in June. Her paper was also on the number of authors per academic paper subject.

              He is 68 years old and overweight. I expect that he is near retirement.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Looks like a candidate for diabetes + stroke….. he may not make it to the Big Show… not such a bad thing … all things considered….

              If I was a doctor and I had to break the news to a patient that they were into their Final Count Down….. I’d let them know that this is actually a good thing…. because if they wait too long they will be murdered/tortured/enslaved/diseased/irradiated…..

              Much better to turn out the lights a little early on this one

            • Sungr says:

              Kunstler has been a bit way-y-y out there in some of his recent statements.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            Is that where Howard invited everyone up to his room to do shooters and blow under the disco ball?

            I hear he likes to party

            • Jim Kunstler’s party wasn’t that wild a party. That was earlier, at a different kind of conference (Association for the Study of Peak Oil). The ASPO conference used to attract all kinds of folks who were concerned with oil depletion. Quite a few of the people at the conference were oil speculators, who hoped to make money off rising oil prices. (I don’t think Jim invited many of them to his party though.) A typical major speaker would be T. Boone Pickens.

              What I show is a photo following a meeting that was pretty much related to Energy Returned on Energy Invested, its calculation, and what might happen if the cost of oil rose because of falling EROEI. Many of the attendees (and some of the speakers) were graduate students, looking at very limited problems (fish in a particular water shed, for example), so that they could write academic papers. The photographed group more or less represented the invited speakers at the conference.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              I am profoundly disappointed… I was hoping for tales of Jim doing rails with Paris and Kim,,.,, while Bieber watched.

  34. Baby Doomer says:

    The US is facing soaring trade deficits, but rising energy prices are a bigger danger

    https://www.cnbc.com/2018/07/09/rising-energy-prices-are-a-bigger-danger-to-the-us—commentary.html

  35. Harry Gibbs says:

    “U.S. companies are buying back record amounts of stock this year, but their shares aren’t getting the boost they bargained for… But 57% of the more than 350 companies in the S&P 500 that bought back shares so far this year are trailing the index’s 3.2% increase. That is the highest percentage of companies to fall short of the benchmark’s gain since the onset of the financial crisis in 2008…”

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/stock-buybacks-are-booming-but-share-prices-arent-budging-1531054801

    • Harry Gibbs says:

      “A widening of spreads between yields offered by off-the-run bonds and the newest securities already suggest growing concerns about the market’s liquidity.”

      http://uk.businessinsider.com/r-sea-of-red-in-treasury-market-may-signal-bond-boom-is-over-2018-7

      • Anything that makes the market value of existing bonds fall is a problem for those who hold them, and need to sell them to meet current obligation. One example would be pension funds. When interest rates were falling, rising values of the bonds in their portfolio made the amount of funds available seem to magically rise.

        Insurance companies can have a similar problem. If their cash flow is high enough, they can hold the securities to maturity and work around the problem. But some types of financial reporting may still show a loss, prior to maturity.

    • Financial engineering isn’t working as well, as a strategy.

  36. Harry Gibbs says:

    “A widely watched measure of eurozone capital flows suggests that Italy’s debts to the European Central Bank are set to hit €500bn this summer, reflecting the eurozone’s persistent financial imbalances… The issue of eurozone cohesion will come to the fore once more this autumn when Italy’s new populist Eurosceptic coalition government sets out its spending plans.”

    https://www.ft.com/content/549692c4-8111-11e8-bc55-50daf11b720d

  37. Harry Gibbs says:

    “Investors have withdrawn funds from emerging and European markets over the past two months, with the negative impact of fears over a trade war, experts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch said.”

    https://aawsat.com/english/home/article/1324656/investors-pull-out-37-billion-europe-emerging-markets-two-months

  38. Harry Gibbs says:

    “Global debt is becoming a bigger worry as the global policy tightening cycle takes hold, a top boss at the World Bank warned Monday.

    ““After a decade of low interest rates, the corporate and public debt in many places has ballooned to a staggering $164 trillion,” Kristalina Georgieva, chief executive officer of the World Bank, said in an interview in Singapore on Monday with Bloomberg Television’s David Ingles and Haidi Lun. “With interest rates going up, that attention on debt sustainability has to be stronger.”

    “Central banks across the world are under pressure to follow a Federal Reserve that’s raising interest rates faster than initially anticipated, putting particular stress on emerging markets and developing economies. The need for structural policy changes, including responses to waves of anti-globalization, remains great as policy makers in most economies haven’t taken sufficient action during the extended period of low borrowing costs, Georgieva said…”

    “World debt, including household debt, ballooned to $237 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to calculations by the Washington-based Institute for International Finance. That’s more than $70 trillion higher than a decade ago.”

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-07-09/world-bank-ceo-adds-to-voices-of-worry-over-global-debt-pileup

    • Harry Gibbs says:

      “It has never occurred before that the world’s central banks have unloaded their balance sheets all at the same time. QE has never occurred before on a global scale. QT has never occurred before. This is new territory.

      “The way the politicians and central bankers are mishandling this is a guarantee of a recession and stock market panic “that no one could foresee.” They have to be different each time; otherwise, they would not occur. It will be glibly termed a “Black Swan” event, an external shock that no model could predict…”

      https://seekingalpha.com/article/4185949-china-slowdown

      • No kidding! Also from the article,

        “The simple takeaway is that when the Monetary Base of the big global Central Banks falls, so do asset markets and it is going to fall into the future like nothing we have seen before.”

        This is all related to what I have been writing about. QE allowed artificially low interest rates. The artificially low interest rates tend to pump up all asset prices. Unwinding QE will likely have disastrous impacts. Add the future US deficit and rising short term interest rates, and the future looks grim.

    • A bigger worry should be “lack of debt pileup.”

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