How energy shortages really affect the economy

Many people expect energy shortages to lead to high prices. This is based on their view of what “running out” of oil might do to the economy.

In this post, I look at historical data surrounding inadequate energy supply. I also consider some of the physics associated with the situation. I see a strange coincidence between when coal production peaked (hit its maximum production before declining) in the United Kingdom and when World War I broke out. There was an equally strange coincidence between when the highest quality coal peaked in Germany and when World War II broke out. A good case can be made that inadequate energy supply is associated with conflict and fighting because leaders recognize how important an adequate energy supply is.

Some of my previous analysis has shown that if we view energy in terms of average energy supply per person, the world as a whole may be again entering into a period of inadequate energy supply. If my view is correct that inadequate energy supply leads to increased conflict, the recent discord that we have been seeing among world leaders may be related to today’s low supply of energy. (My energy analysis considers the combined energy supply available per person from fossil fuels, nuclear, and renewables. It is not simply an oil-based analysis.)

The physics of the low energy situation may be trying to “freeze out” the less efficient portions of the economy. If successful, the outcome might be analogous to the collapse of the central government of the Soviet Union in 1991, after oil prices had been low for several years. Total energy consumption of countries involved in the collapse dropped by close to 40%, on average. The rest of the world benefitted from lower oil prices (resulting from lower total demand). It also benefitted from the oil that remained in the ground and consequently was available for extraction in recent years, when we really needed it.

The idea that oil prices can rise very high seems to be based on the oil price increases of the 1970s and of the early 2000s. While oil prices can temporarily rise very high, it is hard to make a case that they can remain high for an extended period. For one thing, high oil prices tend to cause recessions and lower employment. In such an environment, affordability of energy products is lower, and oil prices tend to fall. For another, it is easy for the Federal Reserve to get oil prices back down by raising interest rates. In fact, the Federal Reserve is raising interest rates right now.

In my opinion, we should be more concerned about low oil prices than high because we live in a world economy with huge debt bubbles. Debt bubbles are part of what enable today’s high employment. Debt bubbles support employers that are close to the edge financially; they also support buyers who would not be able afford automobiles or college educations, if loans were to become more expensive because of higher interest rates. Employment in the affected industries would be cut back, leading to recession.

Because of these issues, pricking the debt bubble is likely to lead to a major recession and, indirectly, lower energy prices, as in late 2008 (Figure 12). These lower prices are not good news because energy providers of all kinds need fairly high energy prices to survive–probably equivalent to oil at $80 per barrel or higher. If energy prices stay persistently low, the world is likely to see much lower oil supply, in part because oil exporters need the tax revenue that they obtain from high-priced oil to fund their programs. 

A Self-Organizing Economy Needs Energy to Fulfill Its Promises

The problem that has arisen many times in the past is that energy supply becomes inadequate, relative to what the economy needs to operate. This energy shortfall is virtually never explained to the public. It is only apparent to the occasional researcher who realizes that this might be the issue.

The amount of energy that a networked economy needs to operate depends on:

  • The number of people alive at the time,
  • The industry that has been put in place, and
  • The promises, such as retirement promises, that have been made to citizens.

Adequate energy supply is important for jobs and their pay levels. A rising supply of energy per capita tends to add jobs. The Asian countries shown in Figure 1 are some examples of countries where rising energy supply has given rise to more non-agricultural jobs.

Figure 1. Energy consumption per capita based on BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2018 total energy consumption data and UN 2017 Population Estimates of three selected countries. Energy consumption includes oil, natural gas, coal, and many smaller types of energy consumption, including wind and solar.

The jobs added rarely pay high salaries compared to those in the developed world, but they have helped raise the standard of living of those who have obtained them.

A falling supply of energy consumption per capita tends to make jobs that are high-paying more difficult to obtain. If energy per capita falls, there may still be a reasonable number of jobs, but many of them won’t pay well. High energy jobs such as building new schools and resurfacing roads tend to disappear, while jobs requiring little energy consumption, such as waitress and bartender, are added. Figure 2 gives some examples of European countries that have seen declines in energy consumption per capita in recent years.

Figure 2. Energy consumption per capita based on BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2018 total energy consumption data and UN 2017 Population Estimates of three selected countries. Energy consumption includes oil, natural gas, coal, and many smaller types of energy consumption, including wind and solar.

When jobs that pay well become more difficult to find, a significant share of the population starts believing that there is no room for additional immigrants, regardless of how needy they may be. This seems to be part of the dynamic many countries have been encountering recently.

If growth in energy supply is inadequate, other physics-related issues also arise:

  • Inadequate economic growth, because it takes energy to create goods and services
  • A tendency toward debt defaults, and the resulting deflation of asset bubbles
  • Downward pressure on wages, in situations where machines or lower-paid workers can be substituted for somewhat routine work
  • Difficulty collecting adequate tax revenue
  • A tendency toward aggressive behavior between countries and actual wars

Physicist François Roddier has examined how economies allocate resources when there is a problem with scarcity. He finds that when there is inadequate total energy supply, this shortage is reflected in growing wage and wealth disparity. Thus, the goods and services made possible by energy supplies are disproportionately allocated to a small proportion of individuals at the top of the economic hierarchy, while those at the bottom receive a falling share.

He likens the increasing share of wages/wealth going to the top to steam rising. At the same time, he sees the falling share of energy consumption going to those at the bottom of the hierarchy as freezing out those who are contributing the least to the economy. Using this approach, some portion of the economy can be maintained in a period of temporary energy scarcity, even if the most vulnerable parts are lost.

How a Few Past Low-Energy Problems Resolved

First Low-Energy Consumption Period: Following Peak Coal in the United Kingdom, 1913

Figure 3. United Kingdom coal production since 1855, in a figure by David Strahan. First published in New Scientist, 17 January 2008.

The UK problem in the 1914 time-period was a coal problem. The coal whose delivered cost was lowest had been produced first. It was near the surface and geographically close to where it was ultimately to be used. Many types of costs rose as the easy-to-extract and deliver coal was exhausted. For example, more worker-hours were needed per ton of coal extracted.

If the costs of extracting and delivering coal rose, a person might think that these higher costs would be passed on to consumers as higher prices. (This is the hypothesis behind the ever-rising oil price theory.) Thus, a person might expect that coal prices would rise because coal companies needed more revenue to handle what was becoming an increasingly inefficient mining and delivery process.

This wasn’t the way it really worked, though, because customers couldn’t afford the higher costs. The wages of most citizens didn’t rise because the amount of goods and services the economy could produce depended upon the quantity of coal that was produced and delivered. If the economy were to take workers from outside the coal industry to compensate for the industry’s higher need for labor, it would further act to reduce the economy’s total output, because the new coal workers would no longer be performing their previous jobs.

Mining companies (sort of) solved their wage problem by paying miners an increasingly inadequate wage. Strikes by workers and lockouts by employers became an increasing problem in the 1910 to 1914 period. Probably not coincidentally, World War I started in 1914, just after UK coal production hit its peak in 1913. The war provided jobs for miners and others who could not otherwise find jobs that paid a living wage. Workers leaving for the war effort left fewer for mining.

Ultimately, World War I worked out well for the UK. The fact that it was on the winning side allowed the UK to remain the dominant world power until 1945, despite its declining coal production. Being dominant, the British pound sterling remained as the world reserve currency. This status made it easier for the UK to borrow, allowing it to import coal, even when it otherwise lacked funds to pay for it.

Second Low-Energy Consumption Period: 1920 to World War II, in the United States 

The situation here seems to be more complex. The low energy problem that underlay World War I hadn’t really been resolved; it had mostly been moved elsewhere. Also, Germany, which was the other major European coal producer besides the UK, was reaching a peak in its predominant type of coal production, hard coal (Figure 4). Because of the these issues, European demand for imported goods from the US dropped dramatically. In particular, the US had been a big supplier of food to Europe during World War I, but this source of demand disappeared after 1918, when soldiers returned to their fields.

Figure 4. Hard coal production in Germany 1792 to 2002. Chart by BGR.

With respect to US demand for coal, the big issue besides low demand from Europe was internal US demand. Mechanization was starting to replace unskilled workers, both on farms and in factories. Mechanization of farming created a double problem: it added more food than was really needed, and it created a combination of winners and losers. The winners were those with the new mechanization who could produce food cheaply; the losers were those who still used processes that required much more manual labor. Available food prices fell far below the non-mechanized cost of food production. City dwellers were also winners thanks to the lower food prices.

Wage disparity became an increasingly serious problem in the 1920s (Figure 5). Workers with low wages could not afford to buy many goods and services. The laws of physics requires energy consumption (“dissipation”) whenever heat or motion are produced. Thus, physics requires that energy products be used in the manufacturing and delivery of goods and services. Following this logic through, the low wages of workers displaced by mechanization further acted to reduce demand for US energy supplies, over and above European coal problems.

Figure 5. U. S. Income Shares of Top 1% and Top 0.1%, Wikipedia exhibit by Piketty and Saez.

Debt levels grew in the Roaring 20s, partly driven by the apparent advantages of the new mechanization. In 1929, the debt bubble began to collapse, showing the underlying weakness of the economy.

The problems of the late 1920s to 1930 bore a striking resemblance to those of today. Wage disparity had become a major issue because of displacement of many workers mechanization and immigration. In response, tariffs were added: the Fordney-McCumber Tariff of 1922 and the Smoot-Hawley Tariff of 1930. Limits were also set on the number of immigrants, in the hope that reduced competition from immigration would help raise the wages of unskilled workers.

Eventually, the low-demand-for-energy problem was solved with World War II. The extra demand of World War II added many women to the work force for the first time. US energy consumption grew thanks to the war effort. The large wage increase about this time (Figure 6) primarily reflects the addition of many more workers to the labor force.

Figure 6. Three-year average growth in wages and in average personal income, based on data of the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Disposable personal income includes transfer payments such as Social Security and Unemployment Insurance. It also is net of taxes. The denominator in this calculation is total US population, so the changes reflect the effect of adding a larger share of the population to the workforce.

World War II was a winning strategy economically for the United States. Wages rose rapidly during the early 1940s, as did “Disposable Personal Income,” which is closely related. In addition, the US dollar took over as the reserve currency from the British pound in 1945. This gave the United States the power to import more goods and services (including oil) than it would have been able to if it had been more limited in its ability to borrow.

If we analyze US coal production, we see the interplay between geological limits and demand (really, what is affordable by consumers). With respect to geological limits, US anthracite coal hit an apparently geologically limited production peak in 1918. It hit when there was a fall-off in demand for imported food from Europe, so coal prices were almost certainly falling (Figure 7).

Figure 7. US coal production by type, in Wikipedia exhibit by contributor Plazak.

The US production of the second-highest quality coal, bituminous coal, rose rapidly between 1870 and 1918, when its production path suddenly changed to a jagged plateau, which lasted until about 1930. Coal production then dropped precipitously, as the economy sank, and did not rise again until the time of World War II. This pattern very much follows the “demand” pattern expected based on the earlier discussion. The wage disparity of the 1920s seems to have led to flattening production, with a steep drop with the problems of the 1930s. Looking out at 1990 on Figure 7, bituminous coal may have hit a geological production peak. Energy prices are this time were low (Figure 10), again pointing to low prices being associated with peaks in the production of a type of energy supply, not high prices.

Production of the two lowest qualities of coal (sub-bituminous and lignite) coal did not begin until 1970. The rapid ramp-up of coal supplies helped cushion the peak in oil production in the United States, which occurred (coincidentally or not) the same year, 1970. We see a shift toward ever-lower quality of energy resources, but we do not see a pattern of spiking of prices associated with peak demand. Instead, low prices seem to be associated with peaks in production.

Third Low Energy Consumption Period: Dip from 1980 – 1984, Related to High Interest Rates

A person might expect the peaking of US oil production in 1970 to have had a major impact on US energy consumption, but a much larger drop in energy consumption occurred in the 1980 to 1983 period, when the US raised interest rates to a high level, causing recession.

Figure 8. Chart produced by the Federal Reserve of St. Louis (FRED) showing a comparison of 10-year Treasury interest rates and the annual change in GDP rates (where GDP growth includes inflation).

The resulting dip in oil consumption sent oil prices from an average inflation-adjusted price of $110 per barrel in 1980, down to $32 per barrel in 1986. At such low energy prices, energy exporters have difficulty collecting enough tax revenue and obtaining enough funds for new wells. Only the sturdier exporting nations could survive.

The energy exporter that did not survive was the Soviet Union. It took until 1991 for the financial strains of low oil prices to collapse the central government of the Soviet Union. With its collapse, much of the industry of the Soviet Union permanently was destroyed, reducing energy consumption by close to 40%. Even thirty years later, the per capita energy consumption of the former Soviet nations remains far below its mid-1980s plateau level (Figure 9).

Figure 9. Per Capita Energy Consumption by Part of the World, based on data of BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2018 and 2017 UN Medium Population Estimates. The Russia+ grouping is the Commonwealth of Independent States, shown in BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2018. It is slightly smaller than the former Soviet Union.

 Analysis

Looking at these situations, there is little evidence with respect to UK and German coal production that geological peaks in production are associated with high prices. Instead, they seem to be associated with conflict among nations.

Apart from conflict, the other issue associated with peaks in coal production seems to be falling demand, and thus falling prices. The reason for geological peaks is likely to be inadequate profitability. Inadequate profitability occurs because rising costs of production and transport can no longer be recouped with higher prices. A person might say that the limit on rising coal production is the affordable price. It is reasonable to expect that the same is true for oil.

There is also little evidence that energy scarcity causes high prices, if energy scarcity is defined as low energy consumption per capita for all types of energy products combined. Instead, energy scarcity tends to cause wage disparity. Energy scarcity is also a concern for government leaders because they can see the need for an adequate supply of inexpensive energy, if they are to be able to compete in the world marketplace. Goods made with an expensive energy mix tend to be high-priced, and thus they tend to be noncompetitive in the world market.

Local customers are also unlikely to be able to afford goods made with expensive energy products, because the additional wages are being used to support what is essentially a less efficient type of production. There are many ways that energy costs can rise, including:

  • Need for more human labor
  • Higher wages for labor, perhaps because of more education or location
  • Need for the use of more energy products in the making of new energy products
  • Need for more debt financing
  • Higher interest rates
  • More machinery, including pollution-control equipment
  • Need to lease land at higher cost
  • Higher taxes

Regardless of where the extra costs come from, they don’t actually produce more of the energy products that are essential to making the economy operate as it should. The higher costs are simply a drag on the economy, which must be hidden in some way. Approaches for hiding the problem include reducing interest rates, outsourcing manufacturing to low-wage countries, and replacing some unskilled workers with computers or robots.

Prices seem to be tied more to what customers can afford than to the cost of production. Note that when energy supplies were low in the 1920 to 1930 period, oil prices declined. This pattern occurred because growing wage disparity led to more people who could not afford very many goods and services made with oil products.

Figure 10. Historical inflation-adjusted oil prices, based on inflation adjusted Brent-equivalent oil prices shown in BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2018.

Looking at Figure 11 below, we see a situation where US average wages seem to rise only if oil prices are low. If oil prices are high, it becomes more economic to send manufacturing to countries using cheaper energy products and offering lower wages. Such substitution leads to fewer US jobs and recession.

Figure 11. Average wages in 2017$ compared to Brent oil price, also in 2017$. Oil prices in 2017$ are from BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2018. Average wages are total wages based on BEA data adjusted by the GDP price deflator, divided by total population. Thus, they reflect changes in the proportion of population employed as well as changes in wage levels.

The Federal Reserve is very much aware of the fact that high oil prices lead to high food prices, and thus are a problem for the economy. It may also be aware of other issues related to high oil prices, such as loss of competitiveness in the world market.

The Federal Reserve has a powerful tool for fixing the problem of high oil prices–its Open Market Committee can raise short-term interest rates, and thereby make loans more expensive. For example, if interest rates can be changed so that auto loan interest rates rise from 5% to 6%, this makes automobile monthly payments more expensive, and thus reduces demand for cars. Indirectly, this reduces demand for oil, both for manufacturing them and for operating them.

In fact, the Federal Reserve seems to have been a major contributor to the Great Recession of 2007-2009. It first lowered interest rates in the early 2000s and helped create a debt bubble, particularly in sub-prime housing. It later raised interest rates. The higher interest rates plus high oil prices popped the debt bubble.

Quantitative Easing (QE) is a program that was added in recent years to adjust interest rates, over and above the impacts available from changes to short-term interest rates. Figure 12 shows that these interest rate changes seem to have had a close correspondence to turning points in oil prices. QE was added in late 2008 to reduce interest rates, and thus raise oil prices. Removing QE seems to have had the opposite impact.

Figure 12. Monthly average spot Brent oil prices based on US Energy Information Agency data, together with dates when the US began and ended Quantitative Easing.

What we are facing going forward is a debt bubble made possible by a long period of very low interest rates. The Federal Reserve now seems to be intent on popping this bubble by raising short-term interest rates and selling Quantitative Easing securities at the same time. If the Federal Reserve does succeed in popping the debt bubble, oil prices (as well as other energy prices) could fall very low again. If I am right, we can expect another major recession. It will be characterized by low demand, low commodity prices and layoffs in many industries.

Conclusion

The more a person looks at the story of how rising oil prices might allow oil extraction indefinitely, the less reasonable it seems. If the story about oil prices rising endlessly were true, we would have seen coal prices rise endlessly in Europe a century ago, when it was the dominant form of supplemental energy available. It didn’t happen.

Instead, what we need to be concerned about is the possibility of rising conflict. The energy situation may become increasingly like a game of musical chairs, if the amount available from sellers at an affordable price falls too low. The winners will attempt to obtain an adequate supply for themselves. It is not clear that this strategy can have winners, but perhaps I have not considered all of the possible outcomes.

One of the issues with inadequate energy supplies is the difficulty in obtaining adequate tax revenue. If tax revenue is an issue, there is likely to be a push to reduce donations to organizations that act to bring countries together, such as the European Union and the United Nations. Subsidies of all types are likely to be on the chopping block. Government services of all types are also likely to be reduced or eliminated, from bridge repairs to retirement programs for the elderly.

Most of us have never been taught about resource wars. The wide availability of fossil fuels eliminated the need to even think about a possible lack of energy resources, or other limited resources such as fresh water. Unfortunately, resource conflict may be back in some new 21st century version in the not too distant future.

Needless to say, I am not advocating conflict and cutting programs. It is just that energy problems and financial problems are very closely linked. This is the way that things seem to work out.

 

About Gail Tverberg

My name is Gail Tverberg. I am an actuary interested in finite world issues - oil depletion, natural gas depletion, water shortages, and climate change. Oil limits look very different from what most expect, with high prices leading to recession, and low prices leading to financial problems for oil producers and for oil exporting countries. We are really dealing with a physics problem that affects many parts of the economy at once, including wages and the financial system. I try to look at the overall problem.
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1,989 Responses to How energy shortages really affect the economy

  1. Gail, I heard hurricane Florence is visiting the Georgian coast, and although Atlanta is far from the sea, hope you are OK.

    • I would not worry much. Atlanta is at a fairly high elevation. Where I live is about 1100 feet above sea level, and it is supposedly 267 miles to the nearest beach. The state is tree-covered, which usually holds down wind speeds. We get a lot of rain frequently, so it seems like we should be fairly prepared for this. The winds are supposed to be blowing from the coast outward, rather than blowing a wall of water toward land, because of Georgia’s location relative to the hurricane.

      There is a tendency to overstate the potential of hurricanes, so as to increase awareness of them. Otherwise people won’t evacuate.

      • Rodster says:

        “There is a tendency to overstate the potential of hurricanes, so as to increase awareness of them. Otherwise people won’t evacuate.”

        Or as I like to say, a Hurricane is the “Weatherman’s Superbowl”. It’s that time of year where they feel important and not ignored.

  2. Fast Eddy says:

    Why are Hungary and Poland being forced to pollute their countries with migrants?

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-09-12/hungarys-orban-slapped-unprecedented-eu-censure-over-claims-authoritarian-rule

    • ssincoski says:

      Don’y worry FE. Not going to happen. Even if some were airdropped in, they would head for Germany the second their feet hit the ground.

      • Christiana says:

        No, we don’t want them either 🙂

      • Well, that’s what actually happened in many instances, migrants immediately leaving first hot spots of first nourishment and medical help, and asap relocating to places where they can siphon real subsidies (highest) and hide in various ghetto communities, not working or learning the language of the target country ever.

        He who had seen the pictures of invading hordes throwing kids/toddlers on the gates with barbed wire at Hungarian border in 2015, know what kind of savage material we have to deal with in this question..

        The latest election few days ago in Sweden confirmed some formerly northern-western countries are already lost, as “the majority” still wants to continue the self destruction and even fast charge it, i.e. the call for “moomies” and “poopies” meaning further and more extensive program of migrant family unification, which supposedly brings the successful integration at last. Or not, as they only suck more resources that way for living large ala Fatima #2-3-4 each having additional several kids..

        • DJ says:

          Yep, sunday was conformation not only we are lost, we won’t even fight.

          • Yorchichan says:

            Perhaps it was rigged?

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnRs01KPHkY

            But the main question, for me, is why the leaders in the West seem so intent on destroying their own culture by facilitating mass immigration from the third world. Is it:

            a) They are a bunch of clueless virtue signallers who don’t know how to stop immigration whilst still appearing to be the nice guys;

            b) Part of a Joowish plot to destroy the white race as retribution for treatment throughout the ages (Kalergi plan);

            c) An attempt to continue to grow the economy and stave off financial collapse for as long as possible, knowing the next collapse means the death of all;

            d) Divide and conquer to make martial law seem desirable once the collapse starts in earnest and the disparate tribes start fighting each other;

            ?

            Wish I knew.

            • DJ says:

              Probably no conspiration, the left want to redistribute wealth, the right cheap labour, local politicians in dying towns want new residents. And the immigrants want more money for less/no work. And everybody loves multiculture.

            • DJ says:

              A lot of people earn they living through the migration industry.

            • DJ says:

              Collective suicide by everyone doing what seems best for themselves.

            • One person studying networking theory described the situation as “seeking local maxima” rather than system-wide maxima.

            • DJ says:

              I believe you. Not different from what will happen all over the world.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Divide and conquer to make martial law seem desirable once the collapse starts in earnest and the disparate tribes start fighting each other

              Something along those lines might be the answer….

            • Sadly, given the evidence most likely all of the above.. however some would prioritize certain factors higher than others.

              Although that d/ option runs an inner risk – potential for the eventuality of sparking genuine “reconquista” and or secession movement in given country/region.

            • Kowalainen says:

              Time to hit it for Japan for good. At least the japs got their senses and intuitively accept the demographic changes with an aging population and finite resources constraints.

            • Kowalainen says:

              As for meddling with the election results, it would not surprise me the least given the bloated Swedish politicos, media, government and establishment.

              Not the least.

              The offspring of the same clientele that basically was ready to profiteer from the German spoils of war by ruthless collaboration now are in charge the voting system. It is a horror freak show of lies, corruption, fallacies, socialism and fake emotions.

              It’s all a farce and a disgrace. But yes, let em have it all in forms of successful divide and conquer tactics employed.

              Now back to some Hayek. 👍

            • psile says:

              But the main question, for me, is why the leaders in the West seem so intent on destroying their own culture by facilitating mass immigration from the third world.

              To grow aggregate demand.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          I was in Copenhagen a few years ago … there was a major art exhibition celebrating immigrants right in the centre of town…

          The PR machine is in top gear…. to oppose immigration can get you pariah status….

    • The real reason for all of the migration is that population of the less developed countries has been growing rapidly, thanks to added cheap food supply and growing use of antibiotics. The overpopulation problem of these countries is spilling over elsewhere. The fact that European countries do not have enough young people, relative to the older folks, is a contributing factor.

      https://gailtheactuary.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/world-population-through-2018_un-2017-estimates.png

      • Fast Eddy says:

        In NZ…. and in Canada … and no doubt in many other countries… there is a skilled migrant system… it works on a points system….

        There is no way that the types that are getting into the EU would ever qualify to enter NZ….

        Surely loads of far more qualified people than what we are seeing want to enter the EU? If they want to increase their population simply open the door — but with conditions. Allow people in who can contribute….

        The EU has seen what happened when France opened the door to Algerians after the colonial war. Huge numbers of Algerians without much in the way of skills ended up in massive ghettos that exist TO THIS DAY. They live in poverty – they have never been accepted by the society — they still have trouble finding jobs – they periodically lash out violently….. they contribute next to nothing to the economy … in fact they no doubt cost the govt (how many are collecting welfare… how many are in jail…. how much needs to get spent in monitoring the terrorists among them…)

        Why would letting in millions of ‘taxi drivers’ end any better now?

        The EU obviously can see what happens when you allow unskilled people from a completely foreign culture into one of their countries….

        So I am not buying the explanation that they need to increase their population…. so they are letting in riff raff….

        That does not help the bottom line…. it is like blasting a hole in the side of the Titanic as it lists….

        Soros appears to be knee-deep in this…. there has to be a more logical reason behind what is going on…

        • We actually have had pretty good luck with less skilled immigrants, in the United States. I know that my grandmother came here as a teenager, and worked as a maid in someone’s home so that she could learn English.

          We have an incredible number of Mexicans who are part of our economy. I am sure a lot of them did not have a lot of education. But they have been very diligent about learning lots of blue collar jobs. Some of them work as Physician Assistants at hospitals, thanks to education that they have received. Their culture is similar enough to that of the US that adding them in has not been a big problem most places.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            That’s not happening in Europe — I again cite the Algerian situation in France…. these people have been there for half a century now … and they are festering in ghettos… they have for the most part not assimilated or contributed…

            And the more they turn to crime — the more they are despised by the white population of France… which exacerbates the problem — nobody wants to hire them… resulting in an endless cycle of crime and poverty….

            Perhaps that is because their cultures are too different….

            Perhaps that is because they are viewed as filthy Muslim terrorist dogs…. (only in European football stadiums will you hear tens of thousands hurling racist abuse at non-white athletes…. this is so big a problem that there are rules to shut down matches if they fan(atics) refuse to stop the racist chants)

            Perhaps that is because Europe is not like the USA — which is a melting pot….

            We are seeing massive increases in violent crimes… abuse of women … etc….

            And … they are landing in countries that have off the chart unemployment rates…. they just add to the problem…. and they end up on government assistance.

            This makes zero sense to me….

            There surely is some other explanation as to why they are basically opening up the borders to anyone who wants to come… absolutely no filters whatsoever…

            • It takes some planning to get to the United States. A person from Europe or Asia has to cross an ocean to come. Typically, they need debt, repayable by working in the US, to do this. Or they may come from wealthy, well-educated families. There is a new study out saying that 41% of US immigrants since 2010 came from Asia. The study also says that recent immigrants have, on average, higher percentages of college education than do the general population.
              https://www.wral.com/share-of-u-s-population-born-abroad-hits-a-108-year-peak/17839311/

              We certainly have an abundance of foreign restaurants near where I live. The block where I live has one Indian family and one Pakistani family. I am certain that there are hispanic families within a few blocks. Also black families and mixed race families. I know of one place where two gay men live. There are also a lot of college students and some faculty members, because we are near the edge of a university.

  3. Fast Eddy says:

    Real Earnings of Men

    Women weren’t so lucky either. But who got the spoils?

    On the surface, the annual household income data released by the Census Bureau today, looks mediocre. But beneath the surface, it looks grim – grim for whom? Ha, we’ll get to that.

    So the mediocre news right up front:
    Median household income in 2017, adjusted for inflation (via CPI), inched up a measly 1.8% to $61,372. “Household income” is the entire pre-tax “money income” of a household, including wages, interest, dividends, Social Security, Workers Comp, child support, and the like, but excluding capital gains. The mediocre news is that median household income has finally inched above where it had been 18 years ago, in 1999:

    https://wolfstreet.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/US-household-income-real-2017.png

    https://wolfstreet.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/US-household-survey-earnings-men-women-2017.png

    https://wolfstreet.com/2018/09/12/real-earnings-of-men-women-income-distribution/

  4. CTG says:

    There are many things that I have made clear in the past and I would like to do it again since it has been some years since I last posted that.

    Is it because there are only a few of us who truly understand and thus making us the outlier or is it because people do not want to understand. I walk away from groups of people when they are discussing high prices of oil/petrol/gasoline. They just say they will use a bicycle or car pool. I mean, the impact goes way beyond just the person car pooling. It is the entire economy. I am really not sure if I am really that smart or I am the outlier

    The second one is – people say that the collapse is coming but there will be always other people who will rebut by saying that “you have been saying for the last 10 years and it is still not happening, therefore you are wrong”. This is a completely idio.tic statement. There are people who can see it earlier like Malthus. He saw the big picture which all others could not. Seeing the big picture too early is bad because all others cannot see it and they will say that person is crazy, etc.

    What if there is a very “visionary” caveman who saw that homo sapiens, who could control fire, would control the planet (if he knows it is a planet), wiped out animals and thus leading to their own extinction? He tried to tell his fellow caveman and they just laughed at him. The problem is that he is just 2 million years too early. However, is he wrong? No, just too early is also considered as “wrong” to other homo sapiens. Same goes for Malthus, jut a few hundred years too early. If someone “understands it” during industrial age, 1913 establishment of Fed, 1970s Paul Erlich, 2008, they would say that collapse is coming. It is just that they are still too early. It is 100% true that collapse has started but it is so slow that only a few felt it. When it gets accelerated, more and more people would feel it and at the very last moment, only those who denied about it will realize that they are “the other side of the outlier”.

    Ehrlich, Meadows, etc were “early” in the 1970s, the peak oil group (Colin Campbell and Jean Laherrère, etc) probably 1990s (I guess). Are they wrong ? No, just too early.

    By the way, if there is a “future historian” looking into this collapse that happened, are they going to say that it happened in 2018 Sept or 2025 Aug? No, they will just say that sometime between year 1000-2100 the civilization of homo sapiens collapse. At the same time, there is a change of climate and they would have to guess if the climate caused the civilization to collapse and I am not that sure they will say that humans are partly to be blamed for climate change? When some one says ” you have been wrong for the last 10 years and you will be wrong again for the next 10 years”, I felt that humanity deserves to be wiped out.

    “End of more” – I do not know why people cannot get it that we are so interconnected and that what is one’s meat is another’s poison and what is good for the goose is not good for the gander. Are luxury handbags bad? No, it is not, it supported a lot of jobs in some other parts of the world. Are fast cars or airplane travel bad? No, it supported families in other countries. If they don’t have the money to buy stuff like iPhone, it will also impact the developed countries. So, by downgrading one’s lifestyle, it will actually hasten collapse. Furthermore, the number of people who are going to “downgrade” their lifestyle is so small that it does not even make an impact at all to the overall system.

    Financial interconnect. If you take out an insurance for USD1 billion for your feet and the insurance actually underwrote it, then there is something wrong with the insurance company. If you make a claim, then where are they going to find the USD1 billion to pay you? They may do re-insurance with a few companies like 3 companies each USD333m. It is not easy for the 3 companies to get USD333m so quickly and easily. They will try to liquidate some of their holdings and at the end, it may cause chain reaction because that liquidation may cause some companies to go bankrupt (due to cash flow).

    I am not sure if this is still correct or maybe BASEL III has changed it. CDS (Credit Default Swap) can use as a means to bolster Tier 1 capital. If a bank buys a large sum of bonds, say Italian bonds, they want to hedge it. They will buy CDS from a provider. In the event that Italy defaulted on their bonds, the provider will pay to the bank. It is something like an insurance. This large Italian bonds that were purchased by the bank can be used to meet Tier 1 capital requirements as it is “hedged with CDS”. They assume that the CDS provider will pay up if the Italian bonds defaulted. So, you can imagine that the banks have these large sums of bonds and they are considered as “good” because it is hedged. Again, I am not sure if it is only me who is the outlier that think that this is really stupid and dangerous.

    Gail likes to use Leonardo sticks. The banks are all interconnected. Failure of one bank may cause others to fail. I just wonder why it is so difficult to understand. Dunning-Krueger?

    https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2016/06/27/DB%20IMF%201_0.jpg

    I have said before, one of the nights many years ago, I was walking along the street and looked at a street lamp. It is great as it shows the way and it may prevent petty theft but it dawned upon me that how wasteful it was to throw energy at an empty space so that one person can walk easily and safely. Multiply that by millions of street lights all over the world. That energy is spent, gone and never to be used again and it is wasted. That is a huge amount of energy wasted. We are really drunk on energy usage. Furthermore, our eyes are used to total darkness “until the invention of gas lighting less than 200 years ago”. Does anyone know what impact it has on our body?

    AI and robots? This is really a sick joke probably made by those who are not even an engineer or programmer. If they are engineers and programmers, then they are probably working in a silo and everything is ceteris paribus. AI is as good as the programmer or the humans who teach them. Computers can do fast calculations and do it in brute force. Nothing else. Show them a picture of cats with a few dead (with eyes opened), legless, chopped into two, weird ones and ask the question “how many good cats are there”? A 5-year old child can easily tell you the answer but the computer cannot tell you that. Why? They are programmed to do it by brute force like look for eyes closed, etc. Yes, they can learn but there is a limit on what they can learn.

    Computers – AI and robotics requires computer. Have a look at

    http://184ynl3xrypi2ruscv1a607s.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/visual-map-laptop-computer-supply-chain.jpg

    http://beyondplm.com/2015/08/06/plm-excels-and-supply-chain-for-hardware-companies/

    Can we even have computers after collapse? Please be realistic Even if a small country like Bolivia collapses and the supply of Lithium dropped dramatically, can we still have portables? When the supply chain breaks and a few major suppliers go belly up, it is not easy to restart the entire chain.

    • People not to see the overall picture. Instead, they focus on tiny pieces, and look for local maximums. (How can I benefit the most, given government subsidies, etc.)?

    • Slow Paul says:

      Fully agree on the AI part.

      I understand that the economy is all interconnected, I just don’t see that the lights go out simultaneously across the globe if we can’t repeat/increase yesterday’s activity today. The system is made up by billions of people who wants life to continue and will work towards that goal.

      One of the things that makes us human is the ability to try to make sense of what we see. This is why doomers seek out doomer blogs, we see that the world is not infinite and one day it must come to a stop. But everything that Gail and all other doomer bloggers are doing is using past experiences/historical data to make sense of what is happening today and to predict the future. Every theory we ponder on is based on our input. We see that the economy has grown each year so we make a theory that it must grow forever. We see that the economy is interconnected so we make a theory that it must be ever more interconnected forever.

      In 2019, you me and all the doomers will make predictions based on what happened up to 2018. In 2020, you me all the doomers will make predictions based on what happened up to 2019. In 2021, …

      • CTG says:

        Slow Paul, many of us here are not doomers actually. We are just realists. I am not sure about others but historical events do shape our thinking but the most important part that personally, I have done to myself is to include my own experience. Extrapolation is risky but I can say for sure that what happens in future do rhymes with the past and humans have the tendency to repeat the same mistakes that happened historically.

        just don’t see that the lights go out simultaneously across the globe if we can’t repeat/increase yesterday’s activity today — This is called normalcy bias. I am perfect aware of normalcy bias and I do understand the effects of people over estimating events or consequences.

        However, if you worked in the line or has experience on it, it does have a big impact on how you look at things. I don’t expect people to know that because they do not work in that field or interested to know more about it.

        Supply chain management, high tech engineering are my fields of expertise although for the last 3 years, I have “run” away from those fields and are now doing my own business. I read widely and extensively on many topics from travel to engineering, physics, social sciences, psychology, etc. I don’t look for doomer blogs to satisfy the need of “to be with peers”. i don’t do any preparation and neither do I talk about this to anyone close to me (including my wife and children). I don’t need to seek acceptance. The more I read, the most I see things clearly.

        Life goes on normally for me but deep down, I can see how things have changed for the worse. I am at peace with nature. I don’t get angry, I am not greedy, I don’t mind being stuck in traffic jams, etc. life is really good.

        • Slow Paul says:

          Yes, that is a good place to be. Accept the good, accept the bad, life goes on and there is not much we can about it.

        • Sven Røgeberg says:

          Seems like you are applying Steins law to the big schemes of things: “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.”

      • Fast Eddy says:

        I just don’t see that the lights go out simultaneously across the globe if we can’t repeat/increase yesterday’s activity today.

        You are either:

        a) blind

        b) stooooopid

        c) all of the above

        (there are no other options)

    • SomeoneInAsia says:

      I’m confident the whole problem is at least partly psychological. If we were to take Malthus, Ehrlich etc seriously (and act accordingly), this would mean giving up on many of the material comforts and conveniences offered by the modern world. How many would willingly give up on these? What could you expect but plain denial from virtually everyone, then?

      Maybe a genuinely spiritual person would willingly give up on the said material comforts etc — except I doubt there are enough of them around today to make a difference. Being spiritual has come to be viewed with scorn and derision by the intellectual elite in modern times — a state of affairs to which the medieval church in the West, with its abuse of religious teachings, had contributed in very large measure. But I consider this too large a story to discuss here.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        If significant numbers of people forwent comforts….

        Then all people would be giving up all comforts….

        Because we would quickly enter the mother of all deflationary death spirals…. to hell… and we’d be left scratching the ground with sticks asking WTF just happened….

        • Tim Groves says:

          This is also, I think, a major reason why there are so many street lights burning at night while most of us are a sleep and the streets are empty. It’s good for aggregate demand. It helps the economy keep ticking over. It helps keep a few more people employed. And all in all it’s less embarrassing to waste resources on night time street lighting than the Chinese folly of building entire ghost cities that nobody is living or working in.

      • Slow Paul says:

        Jevon’s paradox would ensure that any “spiritual gains” quickly be offset by “materialistic demand”.

    • Living in a networked system, every action has a more wide-ranging outcome than the groups like this one expect. I think that the Kyoto Protocol helped spike coal use in Asia. The plan more or less said,”We won’t compete with you, if you develop your coal-based industries. Go ahead and build concrete homes for your people as well, using your coal.” In fact, the availability of coal to average down total fuel costs probably helped prevent “peak oil,” since the real issue is affordability.

      The thing that the climate group might do is distribute birth control information/supplies to people in countries with growing populations. But I doubt that they will think of that.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      Yep — more expensive wine… extravagant dinners …. high priced hoooookers …. important people flying in on private jets…

      And I guarantee you — in 2018 — we will burn more fossil fuels than in 2017…. and we will break the record again next year… if there is a next year.

      This is such a f789ing HUGE crock of sh it…. if you tried to make this sh it up… nobody would believe it….

      Yet it is happening … and people are believing it…

      STTTTTTOOOOOOOPIDITY x 1000000000000000000000000000000

  5. Garth says:

    Gordon Brown is spouting his wisdom again.

    “The former prime minister, who lost the 2010 election following Britain’s longest and deepest recession of the post-war era, said there was less scope to reduce interest rates than was the case a decade ago, no evidence that finance ministries would be allowed to cut taxes or increase public spending, and no guarantee that China would be as active in providing stimulus.”

    See: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/sep/12/we-are-in-danger-of-sleepwalking-into-a-crisis-gordon-brown

    He was the Chancellor who announced in advance that Britain would be selling some of its gold, because it didn’t need it. I’ll bet the speculators loved him as they made a killing.

    Brown was Chancellor from 1997 to 2007 and prime minister from 2007 to 2010. How did he NOT notice all the froth going on when he could look over all the fences? He acts as though he was blameless in that whole business. Fair enough, he only has one eye, and in the realm of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

  6. Chrome Mags says:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/energy

    Duncan Idaho, WTI up 1.28, now above $70. a barrel. Brent up, close to $80.

  7. https://www.masterresource.org/droz-john-awed/25-industrial-wind-energy-deceptions/

    Twenty-Five Industrial Wind Energy Deceptions

    Trying to pin down the arguments of wind promoters is a bit like trying to grab a greased balloon. Just when you think you’ve got a handle on it, it morphs into a different story and escapes your grasp. Let’s take a quick highlight review of how things have evolved with merchandising industrial wind energy.

    I won’t quote the list of 25 things, but one analogy struck me as particularly helpful. The author talks about the problem of determining equivalences between intermittent electricity and electricity that is available from a conventional electricity plant when needed. He likens the situation to needing to transport goods from one end of the United States to the other in a single 18-wheeler truck. He says,

    In energy generation terms, the wind turbine equivalent is to attempt to replace the single truck with golf carts. How many golf carts would it take to equal the cost, speed, reliability and load capacity of a single eighteen-wheeler in making weekly cross-country deliveries? This is a trick question, as the answer is that there is no number that would work: not ten, not a hundred, not ten thousand, not a million. Exactly the same situation exists in the electricity sector: no number of turbines will ever equal the cost, reliability and output of one conventional electricity plant.

    • jupiviv says:

      While I agree with the overall theme of that article, the author clearly has a bias against wind energy. I’m guessing he belongs to the “awash in oil” faction of the techno-cornucopians.

      • Dan says:

        Jup,

        The US is awash in oil as you can see here –
        https://www.climatedepot.com/2018/09/12/the-united-states-is-now-the-largest-global-crude-oil-producer-surpassed-russia-and-saudi-arabia/

        he United States likely surpassed Russia and Saudi Arabia to become the world’s largest crude oil producer earlier this year, based on preliminary estimates in EIA’s Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO).

        In February, U.S. crude oil production exceeded that of Saudi Arabia for the first time in more than two decades. In June and August, the United States surpassed Russia in crude oil production for the first time since February 1999.

        Although EIA does not publish crude oil production forecasts for Russia and Saudi Arabia in STEO, EIA expects that U.S. crude oil production will continue to exceed Russian and Saudi Arabian crude oil production for the remaining months of 2018 and through 2019.

        Never mind the fact we use significantly more than we produce.

        https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/index.php?page=oil_imports

        The United States produces a large share of the petroleum it consumes, but it still relies on imports to help meet demand

        In 2017, the United States produced1 about 15.4 million barrels of petroleum per day (MMb/d), and it consumed2 about 19.9 MMb/d. Imports from other countries help to supply demand for petroleum.
        Petroleum includes more than just crude oil

        Petroleum includes more products than just crude oil. Petroleum includes refined petroleum products such as gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, unfinished oils, and other liquids such as fuel ethanol, blending components for gasoline, and other refinery inputs.

        In 2017, the United States imported about 10.1 MMb/d of petroleum, which included 7.9 MMb/d of crude oil and 2.2 MMb/d of noncrude petroleum liquids and refined petroleum products.

        I’m sure we’ll be fine. I say this as a person whose first memories were the gas lines and going with my mother to wait and get gas in the early 70’s.

        • I am afraid I don’t have time right now to explain the whole problem. The issue is that the world’s networked economy that uses a debt bubble to determine how much it can ramp up energy production. At this point, the debt bubble is not high enough to keep world energy supply growing fast enough (on average) for all of the population of the world.

          This self-organized system works in strange ways. One of them is how it distributes the energy to members of the economy, when overall energy supply is not growing fast enough. It turns out that some groups tend to get “squeezed out.” Hence, the US homeless problem. Also, the problems in Venezuela, Argentina, Turkey, and many other countries around the world that recently seem to be being squeezed out.

        • Chrome Mags says:

          Dan, the US may have exceeded Russia and the Saudi’s in total barrels, but are those barrels uniformly comparative? I ask, because a lot of the US fracked oil has to be mixed with heavier oil from Canada so it can then be refined, and US fracked oil is sold for less than Russian or Saudi oil. Fracked oil is thin by comparison.

          • Dan says:

            I don’t believe the hype – I was just putting this latest feel good story out there followed by the grim reality. Let’s not even begin to talk about production declines in fracked wells and the debt it took to achieve the shale “miracle”.

      • I am not aware that he is in the “awash in oil” faction, but he does seem to advocate using the fossil fuels we have. Most physicists come from the “nuclear power will save us” point of view, or something equivalent. His physics degrees are BA and Master’s degrees. This is his casual biography:

        http://wiseenergy.org/Energy/JohnDroz_Energy_CV.pdf

        His newsletter often runs links to articles from Euan Mearns’ Energy Matters. He also runs links to articles I write (relating to renewables), plus many studies filed as public documents.

      • Yes, it depends, mostly on several ~rare factors going nicely together, for example if you happen to live in a wind friendly spot, preferably not just seasonal. Among another conditions taking place at the same time window you should add, availability and competition of several vendors of the equipment, and or substantial gov subsidy leading to higher volume production (good price), notably in the batt storage and various power electronic accessories etc.

        Does it solve systemic issues, nope, is it better than negative interest rate and unreliable or spiking grid energy prices – yes for a while, like ~15yrs or more..

        So is it worth it with all the above conditions and hard to define strings attached, again it depends.. In summary, it’s an interesting niche for -some- and overpriced detour from legacy infrastructure dependencies for most.

        • If the true cost were charged back, I expect that the wind would still raise electricity costs. It is that fact that the system is being forced to allow wind (and solar) to go first, and thus distort pricing, that makes the system worse for all providers.

          In a way, what happens with wind and solar in the US is like the too low oil prices for oil producers. Needed producers (those providing electrical backup for solar and wind, oil exporters, and not-really profitable oil producers) can keep producing, thanks to more debt and more government subsidies. Thus, the higher cost is hidden for a while, by hollowing out the companies that are needed for production and raising their debt levels.

          In Europe, the costs disproportionately tend to be sent back to residential customers. This adversely affects demand for all kinds of goods and services, and thus slows the economy. But when the program gets too big, it is almost necessary to send the costs back to at least some of the customers in the system.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            What if we were to build giant solar powered fans…. to blow on windmills 24/7… to generate electricity!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            • I know when I spoke to a group in Sweden a few years ago, they were convinced that we were on our way to a circular economy. We would just get more efficient, make things last longer, and recycle everything. We could certainly live happily ever after.

              This was associated with some sort of United Nations happily-ever-after belief system.

            • Tim Groves says:

              We can certainly get to a circular economy provided we deploy enough circular reasoning.

              Utopia may not be around the next bend, but it is most definitely around the bend.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Always so close … yet so far….

              I was informed earlier by a Techogroopie… that we would soon be flying about in personal aircraft… EV at that … with batteries on board…. basically The Jetson era is nearly upon us…

              I so wanted to tell him that I was teaching my dog to fly…. and that within a few weeks I am certain it was going to happen…..

              Then we could have both looked at each other …. du.mbfounded…

            • They may have been in the audience. The person who invited me, and who was in charge of this meeting, was Anders Wijkman, one of the Co-Presidents of the Club of Rome. He had been reading OurFiniteWorld.com and passing links along to his friends. It was called a “Green Economy Workshop.” I felt out of place, relative to the other speakers. I remember that Kjell Aleklett was in the audience.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Anders…. so you are reading this….

              How does it feel to be a Re t ar ded DelusiSTANI?

              Do you get good use out of the free bus pass? It must be nice to be permitted to use the seats at the front reserved for re t ards.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Europe should become a global reference point for a more equitable and sustainable economy based on the principles of resilience thinking and circular economy. That is the key message from a report recently presented to policy makers in the European Union.

              The report, entitled Through resilience thinking towards sustainability and innovation was produced by an expert group on resilience management and circular economy. Stockholm Resilience Centre is the academic partner of the working group. It works under the aegis of the High Level Group (HLG), an independent group of innovation experts from the European Council, the European Commission, EU Member State governments, leading international business and academia.

              The report argues that applying resilience thinking in the transition towards an economy built on circularity would have a positive and overarching impact on social, cultural, economic and environmental sustainability.

              And there are those…. who say how can gggg wwwwww be a ho ax….. when there are those … at the highest levels of academia….. who insist it is not a ho ax…..

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

            • The meeting was not too long after Jorgen Randers had published his book 2052 (through the Club of Rome), and I had written about how awful the book was. I think that Anders Wijkman wanted to talk to me in person about that.

              https://ourfiniteworld.com/2013/09/25/why-i-dont-believe-randers-limits-to-growth-forecast-to-2052/

              https://ourfiniteworld.com/2014/01/13/why-eia-iea-and-randers-2052-energy-forecasts-are-wrong/

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Anders Wijkman = Re T ard x 10000000,999,99098,999

            • His leadership is what the green constituency demands. Self-organizing systems.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              A re tar ded king for a kingdom filled with Re t ards! All Hail Anders The R e Tard!!!

  8. Garth says:

    ‘Palau against China!’: the tiny island standing up to a giant.

    https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/sep/08/palau-against-china-the-tiny-island-defying-the-worlds-biggest-country

    The world’s power relationships are changing. Will China eventually take back Taiwan? Does Palau REALLY want to ignore this – all out of loyalty to a friend – and face poverty, starvation and maybe even conquest, death and destruction?

    • Garth says:

      Here I would like to introduce my blog. I have just published the first post.

      https://baudoom.wordpress.com

      My blog is OFW-friendly, and I hope some OFWers – maybe even Gail herself – will find time to post comments on it. Over the coming months, I intend to look at a wide range of subjects, some of which occasionally crop up on OFW.

      I would prefer not to delete or redact comments, unless they really would get myself or WordPress into trouble. That said, I would like to encourage open debate, since it often inspires new thoughts and insights, which in turn might influence my blogging. For now, the automatic spam-catcher is set to hold for moderation any comments that include more than two links.

      I am a learner where blogs are concerned, so there may be glitches where I will require help and suggestions to move me along the learning curve. My blog is not a paid one and may therefore host some automatic adverts. However, if the blog passes the Darwin test, I may consider upgrading it to one of the paid options.

      • Thanks! One minor detail: I am not really a peak oiler. Geologists came up with this idea, based on a narrow view of how the system works. The only limits they saw were “running out” and “technology”.

        That is a different view of the limit we are reaching than the limit I see. I see the limit as an affordability limit. It is tied to inadequate growth in total energy consumption per capita. The limit is really a financial limit, because we need to use debt (and related instruments) to disguise our lack of energy growth. One of the big issues is that interest rates cannot go substantially below zero. We cannot get a debt bubble to rise high enough, long enough, to keep the system operating. All of the types of energy consumption will tend to fall simultaneously, because of an affordability problem.

        • Garth says:

          Hello, Gail, I am well aware that you are not a peak-oiler and that you adopt a far more subtle position, which no one term could easily encompass. I did not therefore mention your name in my first blog post, though inevitably my first and only commenter (so far) did, since you kindly allowed me to link from here.

          However, it is always worth your re-emphasising your position with regard to “peak oil”, for those who do not know. In but a few days I will write a special post appraising your own blog and your general position and also maybe one or two of the commenters here. I will try to time it for your hiatus, when the comments close on your current post – but probably you have a new post all ready and waiting!

          My blog will NOT be specifically a “peak oil” blog. I did use the term “peak oil” in my first post, though, simply because it’s an easy catchall term. In future I will simply refer to energy resources. However, my blog will hopefully range far more widely and generally – partly because, unlike you, I am not an authority on any one subject. I do intend to tackle THE one subject (with a g and a w in it) that dare not raise its name here. Actually, since I am in two minds on the subject, I fleetingly thought it would be interesting to give Fast Eddy a platform for that. However, blogging might not be his thing, and realistically my blog would have to be well established before attempting that sort of thing – and that’s assuming the blog even passes the Darwin test!

          • I agree that a lot of readers come will from a peak oil point of view. That view has fallen more and more out of favor, so fewer and fewer new people are aware of it. I have talked to a couple of people recently who did not know what “peak oil” was.

            A surprising number of people will ask me, “What do you mean by energy?” They have no idea about the whole issue at all.

            The story has been surprisingly well hidden by main street media.

            • Garth says:

              Back in the day, if I tried to explain “peak oil” to friends, I would occasionally see a panicked look flash across their face, that said, “Oh no! Poor Garth is a nutcase! To think I’ve known him for years and never realised!” It couldn’t have been worse if I’d told them I’d been abducted by ETs while shopping at the supermarket. Yet come 2010 to 2012, most people seemed to have heard about the concept and books about it appeared in airport bookshops.

            • If oil prices are low (compared to what they are now), people still think you are somewhat of a nut case. They are convinced that electric cars will solve our problem.

            • Artleads says:

              That’s my experience. The public are totally in the dark (no pun intended). FW gives me talking points, but I’d have to be much clearer than I am to make any sort of dent.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            You need to contact the agent of Fast Eddy to negotiate terms…. one term that is not negotiable is the private jet use….

            • Garth says:

              Too bad I can’t afford you, Mr Eddy. Just wait till I’m world-famous throughout the Galaxy, drinking every night with my good mate Elon in my luxurious Martian penthouse, while you’re shivering on post-BAU Earth. But then it’ll be too late already.

        • Artleads says:

          What about debt to put people to work creating housing for the have nots? You would have income from the work program, and the housing would take a strain off the have nots, both allowing for more demand in the system? Wouldn’t that be a reasonable way to address the inequality problem? (Inequality leading to less per capita energy consumption?)

  9. https://www.carolinajournal.com/news-article/epa-confirms-genx-related-compounds-used-in-solar-panels/

    EPA confirms GenX-related compounds used in solar panels

    GenX is known to be used in making Teflon film that coats many solar panels. The chemical falls under the larger umbrella of compounds classified as PFAS chemicals.

    It seems that (some?) solar panels have a coating with material similar to the PFAS chemicals in Teflon-coated frying pans. The concern is that as the panels degrade, the PFAS chemicals will end up in the water supply. There hasn’t been enough research done to figure out how much of an issue that this really is. So the issue seems to be at the “perhaps we should study it” stage, as we continue to install the panels.

    • Artleads says:

      Using a small number of panels on people’s roofs –not on every roof–might not be too bad we hope. But large acreage of them seems like a very bad idea.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      Oh wow… it can’t be! Solar panels grow on trees… they are green.

      Fake news

    • xabier says:

      Oh, they aren’t composed of ‘sugar and spice and all things nice’? How shocking!

    • aaaa says:

      That’s ok, especially in NC, because GenX is already leaching into the Carolina groundwater in Fayetteville
      http://www.capefearriverwatch.org/advocacy/genx-what-happened

      • The thing that becomes a problem, as well, is getting these awful chemicals out of the water. This becomes a problem, pretty much equivalent to getting the salt out of salt water.

        If a person uses reverse osmosis water filters, it becomes pretty close to desalination in impact. The catch is that we need magnesium and other minerals in the water supply. As far as I can tell, these filters take out the necessary minerals, at the same time that they take out the harmful ones. So the next problem is putting the necessary minerals back in. We end up with a very costly problem. Because of the cost and long supply chain involved, it would seem to be an essentially unsolvable problem.

  10. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-the-coming-concrete-crisis/

    The Coming Concrete Crisis

    There’s no way cities could grow this fast without concrete. It’s an almost magically cheap, easy way to quickly create roads, bridges, dams and housing for huge numbers of people. An estimated 70 per cent of the world’s population now lives in structures made at least partly out of concrete.

    We tend to assume concrete is as permanent as the stone it mimics. It isn’t. Concrete fails and fractures in dozens of ways. Heat, cold, chemicals, salt and moisture all attack that seemingly solid artificial rock, working to weaken and shatter it from within. You could say our cities are like castles made of sand, except that they almost literally are castles made of sand.

  11. Tim Groves says:

    Oh the humanity!
    Assad is about to gas his own people
    As a prelude to the US kicking off WW3
    The stage is set
    The cameras are rolling
    It’ll be all over Facebook by tea time
    And all over for all of us by Christmas

    Footage meant to serve as proof that the Syrian government has conducted a chemical weapon attack in Idlib, Syria will be provided to global news outlets by the end of Tuesday, the Russian military claims.

    Several Middle East TV channels and a US news channel have been sent to Jisr al-Shughur in Syria’s Idlib Governorate to produce the footage needed for the provocation, a statement by the Russian Center for Syrian Reconciliation said. It added that the intelligence came from local residents of Jisr al-Shughur.

    “All the footage of the staged provocation in Jisr al-Shughur is to be delivered to the newsrooms of TV channels, which are to broadcast it after its publication on social media,” the statement claims.

    It also said that an Islamist group was provided with two canisters of a “chlorine-based chemical” for the purpose of the operation.

    The Russian military said the footage would include scenes of White Helmets operatives treating supposed victims of an apparent barrel bomb chemical weapon attack by Damascus.

    https://www.rt.com/news/438158-staged-chemical-attack-idlib/

    • Yoshua says:

      Russia claims that the Ukrainian secret service is working with ISIS to stage terror attacks inside Russia.

      Russia also gives a date 14 Sept 2018 for a Ukrainian offensive against Donbas

      The Russian secret service is a very strange organization with a bloody history (NKVD – KGB). Are they to be trusted? God knows what is really going on.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      I am amazed… and somewhat entertained…

      We have all seen the videos of the faked gas attacks… kinda like one of those ‘behind the scenes’ or the ‘making of ____’ films about films…

      We have seen the Kuwait government official’s daughter in what should be an academy award winning performance bawling over how the Iraqis smashed babies heads in and stole incubators…

      Fake fake fake fake…. over and over and over….

      BUT… if the MSM tells us Assad is AGAIN using gas … (even when he is apparently winning the war)…. the masses are outraged… the scream KILLKILLKILL!!!

      I find myself overwhelmed with disgust for the average, below average and above average IQed human.

      How easy it is to herd them …. cats are far more intelligent… they cannot be herded….

  12. Yoshua says:

    The hardest hit EM nations are the ones with large external debt, with small foreign exchange reserves and who on top of this posts current account deficits.

    Those nations are now forced to cut their imports to balance the current accounts to be able to pay down their debt…or default on their debt.

    Either way this should soon hit industrialized economies as their exports to these nations fall.

    The question is just who will it hit first? Japan, China, Europe or America?

    The Fed has decided that it won’t continue to finance EM economies and in extension support exports from Japan, China and Europe.

    A massive wave of deflation should be showing up now in the global economy. And it is shown in the falling value of assets around the world against the dollar.

    Nothing has broken so far…

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      And one also worries about the European banks that have huge exposure to the EM’s.

      • Yoshua says:

        European banks and corporations that own assets in EM are now seeing their assets fall in value…and their loans turning into toxic waste…

        Europe might just be the first large domino to fall.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      The Beast is hacking off his gangrenous appendages and cauterizing the wounds…. in an attempt to stay alive….

      • psile says:

        Perhaps “the beast” will euthanize the U.S. soon? After all, it’s the biggest useless eater of them all (5% of the world’s pop. consumes 25% of its resources), and is already a dead man walking, except with an army and a navy. Now, any head to head armed conflict with Russia over Syria or Ukraine which didn’t lead to global thermonuclear war would certainly see America defeated and humiliated since its military is complete shite. Its status, including that of the U.S. dollar, would be reduced to ruble. Let the riots and dieoff begin! Capitalism thus gets a breather for another generation. Don’t tell me they haven’t run the numbers!

        https://i1.wp.com/www.munknee.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/us-collapse1.jpg?resize=342%2C256

        • Fast Eddy says:

          The Beast cannot cut off any of its crucial body parts… the heart… lungs… brain… liver… kidneys… or it dies….

          It can cut off fingers… toes… arms… legs…

          The US is a TBTC(ut) body part…. the Beast will protect it for as long as possible

  13. Harry McGibbs says:

    “…there is a chain of potential contagion that could give markets more of a scare than they’ve felt so far, warns Satyajit Das. The global economy isn’t exactly in the best shape; and as we discovered a decade ago, markets are linked in ways that can surprise investors: “If EM stresses persist, then advanced economies face additional credit tightening, exacerbating the reductions in liquidity underway and potentially transmitting price shocks.””

    https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-09-11/emerging-markets-could-still-go-pear-shaped

  14. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Those hoping that U.S.-China trade tensions will disappear when President Donald Trump leaves office should think again, according to economist Tyler Cowen. Those tensions are here to stay and the world must prepare for a new paradigm in global trade, the professor of economics at George Mason University in the United States told the annual CLSA Investors’ Forum in Hong Kong on Monday.”

    https://www.cnbc.com/2018/09/11/trade-war-tensions-are-here-to-stay-economist-tyler-cowen-says.html

  15. Harry McGibbs says:

    Around the world markets are falling:

    “Cratering currencies, rising inflation, jumpy investors: A financial panic is again gripping some of the world’s developing economies.

    “The sharp sell-off of emerging market currencies, stocks and bonds seems to stand in stark contrast to the United States, where a nearly decade-long bull market continues amid buoyant economic conditions.

    “Higher interest rates in the United States and a stronger dollar rebalance the risks and rewards for investors the world over, and act as a kind of financial magnet, pulling them out of riskier investments.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/11/business/economy/emerging-markets-economy-bust.html

  16. CTG says:

    Money is a representation of future energy use. I have USD500k in my bank account and I will use that in 2 years to build a nice house in the countryside. I deserve it because I work hard. I have USD100m in my account. I will buy a nice yacht and a nice plane next year. That is an energy representation of money.

    Now, when the central bank print money, it benefits the elites tremendously but truth behold, it does trickle down to the masses. An example is that they bought existing properties, tear it down and rebuild new ones. The old owners, construction company, etc gained from this rebuild although not as much as the elites. The middle and upper middle class, who benefited from it spend their money (energy) on vacations, etc.

    The more the central bank print, the more people spend and the more energy is being used dramatically. It is just like the computer example earlier that I just added in more hard disks, a new graphics card, sound card, etc. The more money I have, the more I will buy and put in. This will stress the energy equation even more. The introduction of budget airlines and airBnB promoted tourism to the masses. The don’t have much money to spend and stayed cheaply at low cost hotels, etc. However, their energy footprint is almost the same as those who travelled luxuriously. If the rich used a lot of energy because they travelled first class or private jet and stayed at 6-star hotel. However, one cannot compare the huge amount of energy used to transport 3 plane loads of budget travellers and stayed at mediocre hotels. That energy consumption dwarfs the jet-set couple. One cannot company 20 years ago when air travel is a luxury. One cannot compare to automobiles when it is restricted to the rich.

    For the last 10 years, the printing of money and the increase of debt has increased the building of infrastructure, properties, tourism and all other “extras” to mushroom. In the context of energy draw, it is exponentially higher than 10 or even 20 or 30 years ago.

    People cannot easily link money to energy use. The rich cannot be eating as much as 1000 people although I can sell a USD1000 mushroom to the rich. However, the energy consumption of the 1000 people exceeds the rich people like a 1000 times. The energy footprint of the masses are the ones causing strain on energy supply. Printing money only makes it worse. If I am the beneficiary of money printing, I would buy so many things, travel to so many places that my energy footprint will be crazy. Do I care about it? No. I earned it.

  17. CTG says:

    We can view the current human civilization as a complex system. In a complex system, it is not possible to model the how the outcome will play out precisely although it is possible to state what the outcome is. A very simple system is easy to troubleshoot and model but as the complexity increase, the difficulty to model increases exponentially.

    Economist usually try to model a scenario ceteris paribus where all else being equal or a lot of assumptions. Complexity give rises to “pseudo stability” where it gives people a false sense of stability. If something happens, a system “A” will be put in place to monitor it. So, everyone is happy. If something still happens, system “B” is in placed to monitor system “A”. Human mentality of “it will not happen to me” or “it has not happen, thus, it will not happen (black swan)” mentality gives a false sense of calm. Do note that system “A” and “B” needs energy to maintain and a shortage of energy is not something that economist of people model until it is too late.

    I will give you an example that just happened to me. It is the same analogy that is pertinent to Gail’s title.

    I have an 5-year old computer. I do not want to throw away but used it as a server. It is a basic no frills computer, thus was rather cheap to buy. I added in more hard drives and later a new and more powerful graphics card. At first, it was OK but once I added in a better (i.e. more complex) graphic cards, it starts to hang or freeze randomly. At times it works but at times, it is not. I checked with my friends and eventually realized that my power supply unit has not enough power for the system. It is rated 250W. Just nice for a normal PC but with added harddisk, extra RAM, a better graphics, the power draw is like 280W. If the graphics needs to run more (i.e. I request better graphics), then it will exceed the limit and the current being given to other components gets less and thus causing random freezes. I upgraded the power supply to 400W and everything is fine now.

    The key takeway here is that I added more parts which increases the power usage and also increased complexity. It is like what I stated earlier. We added “system A” to ensure that something bad does not happen and we have to put in System B because we need to monitor that system A works. We increased population, thus drawing more power (like what I did to increase the number of harddisk connected to the system). I changed to a better graphic card is like installing air conditioning to all the rooms in mega mansion and all my rich neighbours are doing it also, It is also similar to budget airlines where the power draw (energy draw) goes up quickly. Countries building new airports is probably similar to that. People keep on drawing more energy because people think it is available. Yes, the power supply can keep up until it cannot.

    The random freeze that happens is happening now to the periphery countries and also shows up at bad economic data. It is being papered over. This is the same like me disregarding this problem and reset the computer and use again until it freezes again. Sometimes, I get irritated but I don’t bother because I really need to get the work done. It is being put aside. The power supply still keeps on humming but it is very stressed. I can keep on adding in a new DVD player, a sound card until one day, one of the capacitors blow.

    I read online that if I were to continue to draw a lot more than what is available, there is a chance that the power supply may just blow (With smoke coming out), take down some components with them or just die without any notice.

    I cannot turn back to the old computer anymore because I have already bought the hard disk and the new graphics card and I am not going to junk it (are humans really want to power down and lead a simpler and less energy intensive lifestyle?). If I were to remove all the new additions, then I can use the computer without any issue but am I going to do that? No because I am so used to the extra harddisk and add ons.

    Are we not at this situation now socially and economically? I can change my power supply to a new unit and all will be fine but can we, as human civilization do that ? No, we see symptoms of overloading now and we know the end result but we just don’t know when it will happen. The number of random freezes is getting more and more and some people may notice that it is happening too frequently but a majority of them will say that “nah… we have been using that for years and it is not a problem”. “It will not be a problem because it has not happened before”. “We have many systems in placed to prevent that failure”.

    Until one day a very small and cheap capacitor blows and take down the whole computer. People will then say “I did not see that happen” and “how can such a small issue take down a very complex system”.

    This is a layman’s way of explaining what Gail is trying to say “How energy shortages really affect the economy (or human civilization)”

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      Nice analogy, CTG!

    • Thanks! That is a nice example. I may borrow it sometime!

      • CTG says:

        As long as any anolgy is good to make people understand what we are facing then it is good to use or re-use..

    • Slow Paul says:

      You might accept fewer hard disks if you had to spend the money on more important stuff. I used to make $80-100k a year and spent it all in a frivolous manor. Since then I got a family, couple of kids and a wife, but lost my well paid job. Now I get by with $30-40k and don’t miss a thing. I think there are a great deal of people like me that can get by with less, maybe less vacations, cheaper clothes, putting on a sweater and such. There is a lot of “fat” to be trimmed in the west. This is why I think there will be a slow collapse, people adapt to changing conditions as long as they happen slow enough. Obviously the peripheral countries are a lot leaner in that sense and will be the first to collapse, if people are starving they won’t sit back and wait for food. They will go out and find it.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        You are also getting by on 1/4 of the brain power of most other people on FW…. good for you!

      • Artleads says:

        The peripheral countries are used to hardship. They might do better than you think.

      • The only catch is that these people’s lower spending helps reduce job availability for other people. For example, if a vacation is cut out, the people in the hotel industry will suffer, perhaps.

        The other issue is that large share of energy usage goes for business and government needs, and it is hard to stop this. We need roads, water and sewer pipelines, bridges, schools. and many other things repaired, and new ones built. Even if there are only a few cars on the roads, the roads need to be in place for them. People who repair electric transmission lines also need roads. Farmers are also big energy users. Most of us don’t stop eating.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      Thanks for that CTG….. it is like finding a gem stone while digging through a pile of pig dung….

  18. Artleads says:

    Posted just for the cover picture…not for reading

    https://www.planetizen.com/news/2018/09/100462-friday-eye-candy-all-1000-miles-southern-californias-historic-rail-network

    There are millions of discarded industrial vehicles like these. If they were converted at scale to working-homeless housing, it would:

    – provide a sub industry of people who can do the conversion quickly

    – provide privately funded “homeless” housing

    – enhance the museum aspect of the vehicle collection, creating theme park tourism (combined housing, employment-for-conversion-and tourism…

    But is there some energy calculus thart makes it preferable to leave these wrecks the way they are?

    • Tim Groves says:

      Making available cheap modest housing to the lower orders on a large scale could collapse the rental market into its own footprint at close to free fall speed. The landlords would be furious.

      Still, I will mention this to Jerry Brown next time I see him at the Bohemian Grove.

      • Artleads says:

        Money is the root of all evil. No, something about “filthy lucre” is what my visionary school principal used to rage about. But I wasn’t ever interested in money…in a civilization run by money. So I hedge. I look for areas that money doesn’t touch, even within civilization. The real and virtually homeless. They really can’t reach up to the high demands of the landlord class. So, blessedly, I don’t have to worry about the latter. 😉

        • It is the love of money that is the root of all evil. Having money isn’t the problem.

          • Artleads says:

            This makes sense to me. But some people who might not love money (or much else) become enslaved to money. They must run after it…tie themselves to miserable jobs over it. Aside from loving it or not, it seems all too much like a form of religion in itself. If they don’t have it they lose status, and vice versa. If they don’t work for it they lose respect.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              A friend of mine — who owned a very successful executive search business — retired at 45…. was fond of saying … some people are so obsessed with piling up more money — that they don’t have time to enjoy it…..

            • I have the comment as well as that the love of money has become the new religion. You are right about people tying themselves to jobs that they hate, because of the love of money. They fell that money is the only goal. A person wonders what happens, when money ceases to have value. I know Dmitry Orlov has written that the men of Russia were much worse off than the women at the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union, because their value did not come from their jobs, but from the many roles they play.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Find your passion … and money will generally follow…. it may not be huge money… but that will not matter

        • Fast Eddy says:

          Money is awesome…. it can increase happiness…. it can reduce stress….

          • Garth says:

            “A friend of mine was fond of saying … some people are so obsessed with piling up more money — that they don’t have time to enjoy it.”

            That reminds me of Boris Berezovsky, the London-based Russian billionaire, who committed suicide a few months after losing a court case about money:

            “In 2012, Berezovsky lost a London High Court case he brought over the ownership of the major oil producer Sibneft, against Roman Abramovich, in which he sought over £3 billion in damages. The court concluded that Berezovsky had never been a co-owner of Sibneft.
            Berezovsky was found dead at his home on 23 March 2013. A post-mortem examination found that his death was consistent with hanging and that there were no signs of a violent struggle.”

            Probably it was the loss of face. He could just have spent a bit of that money and cheered himself up. I also remember the author of the Times Rich List, describing an Arab sheikh who had dropped two places down the list. The said sheikh phoned him and begged to be restored, claiming he’d “literally do anything” to get his former status back. Imagine being so obsessed with figures and numbers and status that you need them to bring you happiness.

          • Spending less can also increase happiness, reducing stress. People have accused me of being a tight-wad. It is the “love of money” that is the root of all evil. If a person can keep a little away from the love of money, it can greatly help that person’s happiness.

      • Artleads says:

        Done well, living in discarded vehicles could become socially attractive. What I’d expect is that the developer class will want to appropriate and hype it, for profit. For the love of money more than the love of rationality to make the system work more smoothly.

    • Today, we have all kinds of standards for housing. I am sure that they vary by area. For example, how much insulation they need and what type of glass must be used in the windows. Given current standards, it would likely be impossible to convert these discarded industrial vehicles for use as homes.

      I know that when I have heard Al Bates speak, one of the “sustainability” efforts of his groups has been to find essentially discarded (or very cheap) industrial goods, and repurpose them for use by his organization. This way, his little group has been able to gain value of goods that have essentially been written off by others. Discarded fire engines is one example I remember.

      There is nothing wrong with this approach, but (a) it is not a permanent approach, and (b) it doesn’t scale to help 100% of the population. Sort of like picking the remaining meat off the turkey bones, when most of the turkey has been eaten by others.

  19. Fast Eddy says:

    Another symptom…. of the terminal phase of the disease….

    Anglo American’s De Beers, the world’s No.1 diamond miner by value, has just had the lowest sales for its seventh cycle since it began releasing data in 2016, as it let customers delay acquiring smaller stones for the first time.

    Sales for the cycle stood at a provisional $505 million, down 5.5 percent from the $533 million obtained in the previous cycle of the year and 0.4 percent from $507 million for same period in 2017.

    “De Beers Group provided Sightholders with the opportunity to re-phase the allocation of some smaller, lower value rough diamonds.” chief executive officer, Bruce Cleaver, acknowledged in the statement.

    Sales were down $134 million, or 21 percent compared to the same cycle in 2016, when De Beers began releasing this kind of data.

    https://wolfstreet.com/2018/09/11/is-diamond-demand-crumbling/

    • Diamonds are so overrated

      You can’t really do anything with diamonds. In the old days, pearls and emeralds were more valuable.

      It is time for diamonds to return to its old status.

      • Kowalainen says:

        Well, engineered synthetic diamonds are quite valuable for the economy in many applications such as reinforced drill bits and high power switches.

        The imperfect rocks found in nature are increasingly irrelevant bling for the feeble minded.

  20. Sven Røgeberg says:

    Energy Transition Outlook from DNV GL released today https://eto.dnvgl.com/2018/

  21. Duncan Idaho says:

    Shall we check oil today?

    OIL (BRENT) PRICE COMMODITY
    79.21 USD +1.85 (2.39%)
    It will be interesting to see actual shortages in supply in the near future.

    • Chrome Mags says:

      DI, just curious as to what your basis is for supply shortages near future?

      • Duncan Idaho says:

        I hang out with oil guys (and a few gals), who are actually drilling and looking.
        They are totally freaked.
        Plus, we had the lowest new finds on record.
        Early to mid 2019 the Permian will probably add more, but holding your breath would not be advised.

  22. Chrome Mags says:

    https://climatecrocks.com/2018/09/09/tesla-model-3-sales-soar/

    Interesting article on increasing model 3 sales. My understanding from other posters here is there isn’t enough raw materials to replace ICE vehicles in the world, but for now Tesla EV sales are going up quite fast.

    “In August, Tesla’s Model 3 became a top 5 best selling car in the US by units, behind popular cars from Toyota and Honda that start at less than $25,000, compared to Tesla’s current starting price of $49,000. (Note: The car category does not include SUVs and trucks.)”

    • Seems hard to believe, but perhaps it is true.

      • Chrome Mags says:

        As it states at the conclusion in parenthesis, “(Note: The car category does not include SUV’s and trucks.)” Since they are the current best sellers, that helps the sales stat for Tesla, but it’s is worth noting they are selling well in their category.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      ‘In August, Tesla’s Model 3 became a top 5 best selling car in the US by units’

      I am calling bullsh it on this ….

      I suspect Tesla is booking cars as ‘sold’ when they come off the production line…. they supposedly have waiting lists of buyers waiting for a 35k Model 3…. a vehicle which does NOT exist… because Tesla cannot make a profit on a 35k vehicle….

      So you have thousands of vehicles wanting buyers at 50K+ … sitting in parking lots…. counted as sold

      https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-07-19/why-are-thousands-teslas-sitting-field-california-0

      Enron Musk is a serial liar — and the SEC has granted him diplomatic immunity ….

  23. Hurricane Florence To Intensify “To Near Category 5 Strength” And There Are 12 Nuclear Power Reactors In The Carolinas

    http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/hurricane-florence-to-intensify-to-near-category-5-strength-and-there-are-12-nuclear-power-reactors-in-the-carolinas

    The high vulnerability of this coastline is because the continental shelf extends out more than 50 miles from shore, creating a large region of shallow water less than 150 feet deep just offshore that forces storm surge waters to pile up to staggering heights.

    In a worst case scenario, we could be talking about an unprecedented mountain of water slamming into the Carolina coastline.

    Also:

    And remember – the two nuclear power reactors right along the coast at the Brunswick facility are directly in the path of this storm.

    Michael Snyder is concerned that the combination could lead to a Fukushima type event.

    • Rodster says:

      Zerohedge also posted an article titled. There are over a dozen NPP’s in the direct path of Florence and it goes on to explain why NPP’s need to be near water. “Hopefully we won’t have to say 2018 went out with a bang”.

      “Nuclear Power Plants At Risk Of Direct Hit By Hurricane Florence ”
      https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-09-11/nuclear-power-plants-risk-direct-hit-hurricane-florence

      • Chrome Mags says:

        “And remember – the two nuclear power reactors right along the coast at the Brunswick facility are directly in the path of this storm.”

        Not likely even a cat. 5 will have any influence on the integrity of these facilities. They have steel reinforced concrete exteriors. The only way something could go wrong is if the ground under the foundations washes away.

        • Duncan Idaho says:

          That isn’t the issue– its keeping a constant energy supply to keep them under control.
          I know little of the on ground details.

          • Chrome Mags says:

            DI, Here is a link explaining the preparations the nuclear power plants are making in advance of Florence’s landfall: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/09/11/reuters-america-update-1-u-s-nuclear-power-plants-prepare-for-hurricane-florence.html

            “To prepare for the storm, nuclear operators check on backup diesel generators to make sure they have enough fuel, conduct site walk downs and secure any loose equipment that could become a projectile in the wind, said Hannah at the NRC. “Most of the plants have gone through or are going through their pre-storm preparations now,” Hannah said. About 12 hours before the hurricane arrives, the reactors at the nuclear plants will be shut down, Hannah said.”

        • With Fukushima, one of the issues was electricity from outside being available, as I recall.

          • Duncan Idaho says:

            Yep—
            If it goes, you will be looking for the core, with robots.

          • Tim Groves says:

            At Fukushima Daiichi, the diesel backup generators were destroyed by the tsunami because they had been installed at ground level rather than higher up. At nearby Fukushima Daini, a more modern facility, the diesels were installed high enough up to escape the surge and so everything was hunky dory and tickrdy boo!

            To compound the problem at Fukushima Daiichi, backup generators were brought in, but according to some reports the plugs on the generator leads didn’t match the sockets at the power plant, so they couldn’t be used and the rest is history. Ever since the power company, the plants designers, the safety regulators, and the government have been playing the time-honored game of passing the blame and responsibility.

            Now, as a result of nucleophobia, the power company has agreed to permanently close both Fukushima Daiichi and Daini, although between them they have six perfectly good, perfectly safe and perfectly amortized power reactors. On the upside, most of the replacement electricity will come from burning coal, oil and gas, with a small contribution from solar and from encouraging everyone to switch over to LED bulbs and office workers abandoning jackets and ties in the summertime.

            Meanwhile in Hokkaido, last week’s earthquake has taken several coal fired power stations offline and they won’t be back to full capacity until sometime in November, so several million people will be enjoying rolling blackouts for the next two months. There is a perfectly good, safe, reliable and efficient nuclear plant with three reactors standing idle a little to the west of Sapporo for the past six years and restarting it could end this inconvenience on short order. This won’t happen due to the current strength of anti-nuclear feeling. But perhaps if the smartphone tribe get bored or frustrated at living without regular electricity, they may start tweeting for that to happen.

            • Thanks for your update. Among other things, I wasn’t ware of the fact that several coal fired power stations are offline and they won’t be back to full capacity until sometime in November, so several million people will be enjoying rolling blackouts for the next two months.

          • Tim Groves says:

            I learned from this one that Hokkaido was depending on power from Honshu even prior to the quake.

            Blackout hit Hokkaido despite emergency power interchange system

            September 12, 2018 (Mainichi Japan)
            TOKYO (Kyodo) — The massive blackout that hit Hokkaido following a powerful earthquake last week, occurred even though an emergency electricity interchange system briefly worked shortly after the jolt, an industry body and other sources said Wednesday.

            Despite the power supply from other utility firms, Hokkaido Electric Power Co. failed to adjust the balance between electricity supply and demand for unknown reasons, leading to automatic shutdowns to avoid equipment failure.

            According to the Organization for Cross-regional Coordination of Transmission Operators, a transmission plant connecting Hokkaido and Aomori Prefecture on Japan’s largest main island of Honshu had been sending about 100,000 kilowatts of electricity to Hokkaido Electric until the magnitude 6.7 quake rocked the country’s northernmost main island at 3:07 a.m. on Thursday.

            As the key Tomatoatsuma thermal power plant, which provided roughly half of Hokkaido’s electricity before the quake, came to a halt, the transmission facility gradually boosted the electricity interchange up to 600,000 kilowatts, the maximum it can transmit until power plants in Hokkaido halted at 3:25 a.m.

            • It reminds a person of California. It is a constant electricity importer, often getting electricity from Washington State. A line interruption can be a big deal.

          • Tim Groves says:

            Operations won’t resume soon at Hokkaido’s largest thermal power station: minister

            September 11, 2018 (Mainichi Japan)
            TOKYO — Operations at the largest thermal power station in Hokkaido, hit by a magnitude-6.7 earthquake on Sept. 6, will not be resumed until late September at the earliest, Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko said on Sept. 11.

            Initially, the operator of the plant had said it would take at least one week to restart the power station but it will likely take much longer. Households as well as businesses in the northernmost prefecture will be required to save electric power for a prolonged period.

            The damaged power station, Hokkaido Electric Power Co.’s Tomatoatsuma thermal power plant in the northernmost prefecture town of Atsuma, has an output of 1.65 million kilowatts. The total power demand in Hokkaido was 3.8 million kilowatts at its peak before the quake disaster.

            The economy minister said he was informed by the utility on the night of Sept. 10 that the Tomatoatsuma plant’s No. 1, No. 2 and No. 4 units will likely be restarted at the end of September, in mid-October and in November, respectively, at the earliest. The power station’s No. 3 reactor has been decommissioned.

            Additionally, the utility also notified Seko that it will reactivate the No. 2 unit of the company’s Kyogoku hydraulic power station in the prefectural town of Kyogoku, which is undergoing a regular inspection, and the No. 1 unit, which is being repaired, on Sept. 14 and 21, respectively. Each of the units has an output of 200,000 kilowatts.

            The economy minister said reactivation of the hydraulic power station will reduce the possibility of rolling blackouts. “If the Kyogoku plant’s No. 1 and 2 units are restarted as planned, it will decrease the risk of rolling blackouts on condition that consumers continue to save power,” Seko said.

            Households and businesses in Hokkaido continue to be required to try to reduce their power consumption by 20 percent until the Kyogoku plant’s No. 2 unit is reactivated.

            The Tomari nuclear power plant, which is Hokkaido’s only atomic power station, was offline at the time of the quake.

    • doomphd says:

      wrong natural disaster combination. you need a strong earthquake to bust things up, like grid power and water lines, then a tsunami to flood and spread debris so fire trucks cannot access sites.

    • Mark says:

      Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy.-James 4:9
      Looks like the steering winds collapse as she comes ashore. Reddit shows a bit of what’s going on in my neck of the woods.
      https://www.reddit.com/r/raleigh/

  24. jupiviv says:

    Question for Gail – I remember watching the “Collapse cafe” videos (following Steve from Virginia’s suggestion) on the youtube channel of the guy from doomsteaddiner as part of my introduction to these issues. Do you and the rest of those people have any plans for future videos along those lines?

    • No. I checked, and Doomstead Diner is still being published. It is not clear to me than new Collapse Cafe videos are being made.

      Reverse Engineer became unhappy with me a couple of years ago. He, of course, would like to push the idea that people can work around the problems that collapse would cause in Alaska. My writing did not mesh well enough with his beliefs.

  25. xabier says:

    I hope you are staying sane reading all of this utterly depressing news, Laird McGibbs? !

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      Xabier, bless you for checking in. It is an unhealthy habit, I know, compiling these threads, but like a monkey eyeing the approaching snake (or perhaps like a Spanish maiden eyeing an approaching longship of the clan McGibbs), I am transfixed.

      I’m still as sane as any reasonable person living in this lunatic era could hope to be.

      • Finger on the pulse as they say, thanks.

      • xabier says:

        ‘Farewell you ladies of Spain; for we’ve received orders, to cross the salt waters, but we hope to see you again!’

        Great old sea song: and not a word to Lady McGibbs: just a fishing trip – and a bit of plunder…… 🙂

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Do we on the first class deck… get to watch in horror … as those on the other decks… plunge into the water… and tear each other apart as they fight for pieces of wood to cling onto… before sinking into the icy depths?

        • xabier says:

          Currently, we have 1st-class seats in the Colosseum, in the shade with cool drinks, and are thankfully not in the arena…..yet.

  26. Harry McGibbs says:

    “UK Ministers have refused to disclose whether they have taken legal advice on holding a fresh referendum on the final Brexit deal as the government comes under mounting pressure to consider campaigners’ demands. In response to a request for information, the Department for Exiting the European Union said revealing such detail would harm the UK’s negotiating position in Brussels.”

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-referendum-final-deal-say-government-legal-advice-a8530986.html

  27. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Investors expect Turkey’s central bank to raise interest rates, but the size of the hike will be crucial, Matys added. The bank left rates on hold at its last meeting in July, defying expectations of a hike. Data last week showed inflation surged to 17.9 percent year-on-year in August, its highest level since late 2003, prompting the central bank to signal it would take action against “significant risks” to price stability.”

    https://in.reuters.com/article/turkey-economy-gdp/corrected-turkish-economic-growth-dips-lira-crisis-darkens-outlook-idINKCN1LQ1IE?il=0

  28. Harry McGibbs says:

    “The [Kenyan] Government has found itself in a delicate position, balancing between keeping its commitments to international donors and caving in to the public interest. Two days from today, Kenya might find itself on a path to financial ruin should the International Monetary Fund (IMF) lock it out of a Sh100 billion precautionary credit facility.”

    https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/business/article/2001295235/kenya-stares-at-an-economic-crisis

  29. Harry McGibbs says:

    “The selloff in emerging markets deepened on speculation that a trade war between China and the U.S. will escalate. Currencies slumped to their lowest level since April 2017 as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said its models signaled further declines for some developing nations. Stocks also fell. Brazil’s real led losses among its major peers…”

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-09-10/emerging-currencies-slump-as-goldman-report-signals-more-losses

  30. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Slowing global trade is evidence of how emerging-market stresses are being transmitted to advanced economies. The real concern of contagion remains financial linkages, though. Since 2009, non-resident gross flows into EM financial assets — loans, debt and equity securities — have averaged around $1 trillion annually… Total outstanding exposure, which remains opaque, may be around 50 percent of GDP in advanced economies. The main driver has been accommodative monetary policy of developed-world central banks and the lure of higher returns.”

    https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-09-10/emerging-markets-contagion-loop-can-start-from-obscure-corners

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “If the current weakness in emerging markets turns into a global crisis, Europe may be its epicenter, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch. European stocks have underperformed lately as emerging-market currencies plunged amid tightening dollar liquidity. With its open economy and high debt levels, the region is more vulnerable to weakness in developing nations, and may be the conduit that finally spreads the contagion to U.S. shores, as Japan did in the wake of the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s, strategist Tommy Ricketts said.”

      https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-09-11/europe-may-be-epicenter-of-emerging-market-crisis-bofa-says

      • Harry McGibbs says:

        “The steep falls in emerging markets have hurt the ability of developing-world companies and governments to issue bonds overseas, making it harder to pay back existing debt and putting potential pressure on economic growth there.”

        https://www.wsj.com/articles/borrowers-struggle-to-raise-funds-as-emerging-markets-tumble-1536579426

        • The world needs more debt to keep our asset price bubble inflated!

          • Artleads says:

            Are there different kinds of debt…as in debt that produces more economic development and debt that produces less)?

            • If oil is $20 per barrel, the debt required to produce a barrel of oil is tiny. In fact, it is likely that it is so profitable to produce that it needs no debt at all.

              If it is $300 per barrel, the debt needed is huge. The produced goods can likely only be sold with subsidies.

              Wind and solar use lots of debt, with very little benefit. If we use debt to become less efficient, it really isn’t a productive use of debt.

              Debt to buy a car or house somewhat stimulates the economy, because it indirectly goes to pay wages of workers building cars or houses.

            • Artleads says:

              Thanks much. I suppose you can build cars and houses (especially the latter) either out of resources that will run out quickly (like sand or wood), or those that can be produced for much longer. Just guessing, I would think cars are already too resource expensive–rubber, metals, roadways, etc.–to be affordable except very short term?

            • Artleads says:

              A lot of what seems to be needed is housing with electricity on a planet-wide basis. This will require manufacture of building materials and energy to make electricity. Where, for whom and how this housing is installed could be so varied as to make the term “houses” very confusing. It will use a lot of oil (and coal), but not in a way that I would expect to clearly known. A great many people who could be engaged in related industries are in schools learning nonsense, or otherwise doing useless things. Meanwhile, there is too much of an assumption that how we do housing now is the only economic way to do it.

            • Perhaps instead we need to learn how to get along without electricity again. Of course, without electricity, we couldn’t do very much. But that is how most humans have lived.

              And it might be helpful if homes could be constructed by the would-be owner and a few friends in a few days. That way, there would no longer be a need for large debt buildup. Instead, the only debt would be the obligation to help build homes when they need them.

            • Ideal. If a storm blows it over, just build a new one.

            • Artleads says:

              “The world needs more debt to keep our asset price bubble inflated!”

              But the above is such a strong statement that I struggle to align my ideas with it. Since I live simply and can find many workarounds for earning money…and still have a comfortable lifestyle, I try to use myself as a lightning rod, and try to propose lifestyles I could tolerate easily. But doing without electricity would be a drag. If the world needs to use more energy to make it economic to produce, I’d be all for figuring how to do it affordably. Doing without electricity seems like the opposite strategy.

  31. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Massive global debt looms as a significant risk 10 years after the Lehman Brothers collapse sparked the global financial crisis, Canada Pension Plan president Mark Machin has warned.

    “Mr Machin said stimulus from central banks provided in the wake of the Wall Street meltdown in September 2008 left highly leveraged corporations and governments with overhanging debt that would eventually need to be repaid.

    “”One of the things that worries me in the longer term is just the amount of debt in the world,” Mr Machin told AM.

    “”That debt might not be where it was, going into the global financial crisis surrounding real estate in the US, but there’s an enormous amount of debt at government levels — whether it’s in Europe, Japan or the US, where it’s $US21 trillion at a government level.

    “Mr Machin agreed the overhanging global debt risk could prompt a possible “day of reckoning” as loans from cheap and easy money were called in.

    “”That’s one of the challenges — when you look at some government debt, it’s becoming so owned by central banks that it’s becoming quite illiquid as well,” he said.”

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-09-11/global-debt-looms-as-major-risk-ten-years-after-gfc-machin/10230538

  32. Fast Eddy says:

    So America should attack itself?

    https://twitter.com/nowthisnews/status/1038118276491042817

  33. Artleads says:

    “What makes the Yale team’s approach novel is their development of multiple high-resolution data sets, broken out across more than 850 landfills in the U.S. and combining this information with statistically relevant waste-sorting efforts that measured dozens of individual discarded waste materials across the country. Taken together, the result is a waste disposal estimate that informs what materials go where, how much, and when.”

    http://environment.yale.edu/news/article/where-does-our-waste-go-yale-study-picks-through-components-and-value-of-waste/

  34. Sven Røgeberg says:

    “We are proud to bring this epic project forward in these increasingly dangerous times…….The shelter will include a collection of zoological species, an archive for the most precious artifacts and treasures of the world, a DNA Vault to preserve and protect the genomes of millions of donors, and a modern day “Hall of Records”, to autonomously survive virtually any catastrophe or disaster for several years.”
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/jimdobson/2015/06/12/billionaire-bunkers-exclusive-look-inside-the-worlds-largest-planned-doomsday-escape/#22ec4c4c306f

  35. Yoshua says:

    The U.S has run out of cheap oil, natgas and coal to produce…

    Oil $60 per barrel
    Natgas $24 per barrel oil equivalent
    Coal $24 per barrel oil equivalent

    …and Trump wants to reindustrialize America.

    Sure, why not?

    Germany has high electricity prices. But the German industry produces high value goods for export. The importers are paying the German high electricity prices.

    It works only as long as the ECB prints the money and the EU periphery takes on more debt to pay for German goods. It is a total scam.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      You know when you read that America is going to rebuild its aging infrastructure…. in a gargantuan stimulus program?

      And nothing happens….

      This is why

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      “Natgas $24 per barrel oil equivalent
      Coal $24 per barrel oil equivalent”

      so this is really cheap!

      this once again reaffirms the ideas we have been reading about here on OFW:

      we should burn more coal, and natural gas!

      unfortunately, oil is “better”…

      but this data shows that BAU can be extended by using more coal and natural gas…

      so, whatever:

      BAU tonight, baby!

      • Yep, there is still a lot of stuff to be burned “economically”, and therefore the most pressing JITs to be patched over for a while longer. Obviously, such action plan will result into mushrooming problems elsewhere, most notably in security, health, unemployment, and various modes curbing the achieved levels and sectors of frivolous consumption of the past.

  36. Third World person says:

    When a Hurricane Takes Your Home
    In one community in Staten Island, rather than rebuild, residents have ceded their former neighborhood to nature.

    Five years ago, Superstorm Sandy—a monstrous post-tropical cyclone with hurricane-force winds—struck New York, bringing record-breaking wind gusts and deadly flooding. In New York City, 53 people died—nearly half of them were from Staten Island. The Ocean Breeze, Midland Beach, and Dongan Hills communities were especially hard hit, with 11 fatalities. A few months after the storm, WNYC reporter Matthew Schuerman described the square mile that makes up parts of these communities as “the most dangerous place to be in New York City” during Sandy.

    joe Herrnkind, a middle-aged man who moved to Ocean Breeze in 2000, remembers those days, as he walks through the deserted streets of his once tightknit beach community. Most of the homes have been torn down, and a few are boarded up waiting to be demolished. The homes that do remain are surrounded by empty plots of land where wild turkeys wander. Unlike many other New York victims of Sandy, who have rebuilt their communities, those from these neighborhoods knew that rebuilding was not the best option. Some sold their land to developers, and a few others, like Herrnkind and his neighbors, sold their land to the governor’s office so it can be returned to its natural state.
    http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/climate_desk/2017/10/the_staten_island_community_that_didn_t_rebuild_after_sandy.html

    hahaha and homo sapiens think it can defeat mother nature

    • Third World person says:

      Harvey’s Continued Wrath: Much Of Rockport Will Not Be Rebuilt, Per Mayor
      Four coastal mayors detail long-term destruction left behind from the Category 4 hurricane that devastated their communities

      Rockport Mayor Charles “C.J.” Wax said during a panel discussion Tuesday that much of his town will not be rebuilt after the devastation from Hurricane Harvey in August. Harvey slammed the small coastal fishing town as a powerful Category 4 storm, leveling many buildings and crippling the city’s infrastructure.

      Wax said Harvey destroyed about a third of the town, and that a large chunk of that will probably never be rebuilt. The mayor said 300 businesses out of the 1,300 in Rockport have reopened since Harvey came ashore in August, but up to 35 percent will never reopen. Wax said at a forum Tuesday in Victoria that as many people know Rockport as the city of trees, most were lost as crews removed nearly 800,000 cubic yards of vegetative debris.

      Wax joined by three other local mayors of communities destroyed by Harvey in a discussion hosted by the Texas Tribune. Port Aransas Mayor Charles Bujan said 75 percent of the homes in the quaint tourist town were either severely damaged or destroyed.

      https://patch.com/texas/across-tx/harveys-continued-wrath-much-rockport-will-not-be-rebuilt-mayor

    • The National Flood Insurance program has historically been close to a give away program, to encourage to build where it makes no sense to build.

      Perhaps the program has wised up somewhat, or this group is doing better.

  37. Artleads says:

    The great emergencies of our times (that I’ve been following) have been 1) Climate change, and succeeded by 2) Economic meltdown. As has been suggested on FW, some entity is working day and night to keep the economic ship afloat, and climate disaster is clearly not the priority. I now see a #3) Land. The despoliation of land causes various kinds of economic, social, environmental and economic mayhem, and this great problem is not even on the radar screen.

    So this so called flurry of “global climate justice” marches today is a related travesty. Land is the problem; not fossil fuels.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      GGG WWWW Ho ax: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sl9-tY1oZNw

      https://www.nationalreview.com/2015/10/cl

      imate-ch

      ange-no-its-not-97-percent-consensus-ian-tuttle/

      https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/feb/5/cli

      mate-cha
      nge-whistleblower-alleges-noaa-manipula/

      • Artleads says:

        It suits me that people “accept” that CC is the crisis it’s said to be. That’s at least ONE thing that facilitates the argument for opening minds a bit. You can’t get to them with anything else, and even CC isn’t enough to really get them out of normalcy bias. But FWIW, I talk about coal and fossil fuels, enjoying the inevitable reactions. My argument (which meets with the strangest outbursts when it’s not total silence) is that CC (allowing it’s what they say it is) and fossil fuel use have no strict relationship to each other. Arguments “proving” there is no climate change serve no purpose that I’m aware of.

      • Uncle Bill says:

        You convinced me FE based on your references…

        • Fast Eddy says:

          Those really are the only 3 things anyone needs to know about this issue…. if after going through those 3 links one still believes Al Gore’s bs ….

          Then one would meet the conditions of mental re tar dation …. and one should apply for the free bus pass that goes with it

          • Uncle Bill says:

            Yes FE, only three things to know….

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Yes… yes…. keep repeating that to yourself…. in a calm voice…. This is all I need to know… this is all i need to know….

              Fast Eddy is the World Champion. Ask not what he can do for you… but what you can do for HIM.

    • xabier says:

      I stick a fork in my garden and it turns up lots of big fat juicy worms looking as happy as a worm can look.

      I also tried this in the nearby cereal fields: zilch, nada……. It’s a green desert.

  38. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xdu1Bf_OQe0

    Skinny guy last warnings to obese apparatchiks against looming food shortages..
    You can rewind to the response part only, sheer comedy starts before ~15min..

    BRIC/S is indeed a joke, or the Chinese are going to be so inventive to bring surplus food from elsewhere to continue feed this circus in exchange for raw materials exporting out of there, if they want to prop it up for a while..

    • Kowalainen says:

      A few well placed US warships and inland operations could blockade that Chinese opportunism in a hurry.

      • Artleads says:

        Quite possibly. It’s important to exert force (as a kind of bluff) before it’s worth it to the adversary to exert force back. We tend to wait too late and to not be proactive enough with showing force. Africa is the perfect place, and this is the perfect moment to try this strategy. (China has just dedicated 9 billion dollars to Africa, supposedly with no strings attached. Serious threat.)

    • xabier says:

      Such a high standard of debate: ‘That is sh…t! Oh, I’m taking back that word sh…t!’

    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ibpIpi2zAE

      Yet another gem for revolution and collapse stages study aficionados, this is preceding the above by about ~5yrs. Basically, after the apartheid regime ended the deal was to bribe the upper echelons of ANC with few ~ $B, who would continue to pimp out the poor, so the system remains basically the same for the MNCs/Davos and even the farmer guys.. Next they dropped support – security for the farmers so the big biz could live for another day. Now as you can see this “hidden consensus” started to visibly fall apart after some delay, as nicely portrayed in this second ~2013 dated video. Almost all factions are represented: ruling ANC, white farmers, the rising wing of ANC – faction of expropriation pushing marxists, white “suicidal” bleeding hearts, the former native inhabitant bushman and the various later incoming – invading African tribes, ..

      The expropriation of land (and likely other property) plan made it drop by drop style into the mainstream over the years, meanwhile the currency hard crashed, capital flowed out, and various minorities incl. whites indicate resorting into forming early militias..

      Throughout history we have seen similar developments unfolding both in much quicker or slower pace, but the internal logic is always the same.

      • Artleads says:

        Top down, centralized civilization can’t work. But that’s all we have. I don’t know how you act on the basis that your civilization can’t be allowed to collapse, and yet that it can’t work. fundamentally.

    • And the tragedy of waiting-staying-delaying for too long..

  39. Harry McGibbs says:

    “The Conservatives face a “catastrophic split” if Theresa May relies on Labour votes to push her Chequers plan through parliament, one of the prime minister’s most persistent critics has warned, as the conflict within the party over Brexit intensified.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/sep/10/brexit-tory-conservative-mps-chequers-deal-theresa-may

  40. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Hundreds of Venezuelan migrants have crossed back over the border with Brazil in the last few days after a violent incident in Boa Vista, the capital of Roraima state. Most said they were leaving because they feared for their lives after a young man was lynched, accused of killing a local man during a robbery. They were picked up by buses sent by the Venezuelan government.”

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-45468240

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “Representative Jair Bolsonaro, one of the frontrunners in October’s [Brazilian] presidential election, was stabbed on Thursday while on the campaign trail… Sympathy generated by it, and the likely withdrawal of Lula, who though leading in the polls, is expected to give up his own campaign bid, means that Bolsonaro will probably advance to a run-off and victory.”

      https://edition.cnn.com/2018/09/09/opinions/presidential-weekly-briefing-brazil-vinograd/index.html

      • Harry McGibbs says:

        “With unemployment around 9 per cent and consumer prices surging, some Argentines are again turning to barter clubs, which first emerged during the collapse nearly two decades ago. The tumbling peso has pushed up prices for fuel and, in turn, transportation costs. That has affected food prices in a country where most grains and other goods are transported in trucks. Inflation is expected to reach an annual rate of more than 40 per cent this year, the Central Bank says.”

        https://business.financialpost.com/pmn/business-pmn/argentines-seek-soup-kitchens-barter-markets-amid-crisis

        • Chrome Mags says:

          “some Argentines are again turning to barter clubs,”

          Sounds like ‘Barter Town’ in Mad Max, Beyond Thunderdome. Recall ‘The Tell’ near the beginning of the Apocylypse, as it was pronounced in the movie. Captain Walker they thought had returned to fly them back to civilization, the high scrapers, in a jet stuck in the sand – lol. A reminder that once that type of tech is gone, it would be really hard to get back. The town used methane emissions from pigs, converting it to power the town’s electricity. Would be very strange to watch that movie in a post apocalyptic world, provided it was feasible to do that.

  41. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Egypt’s total foreign debt rose by 17.2 percent to 92.64 billion U.S. dollars by the end of June from 79.02 billion dollars at the same time last year, said Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly on Sunday. The country’s external debt marked an over 10-billion-dollar rise in three months, from 88.2 billion dollars at the end of March, the Prime Minister told Al-Watan, an independent daily newspaper.”

    http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-09/09/c_137456620.htm

  42. Harry McGibbs says:

    “The financial crisis affecting developing countries arrived in full-scale fashion in our region last week when the Indonesian economy experienced shocks reminiscent of the Asian crisis 20 years ago. With the crisis coming so close to home, it is time to contemplate what may unfold in the near future and list measures to respond to each scenario, so that we are not taken by surprise…”

    “The next couple of years will be crucial, as Malaysia will be in the midst of managing the “perfect storm” of servicing the trillion-ringgit government debt and preventing the government deficit from ballooning, while facing the challenges of the emerging global financial crisis.”

    https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/malaysia-must-be-ready-the-financial-crisis-is-near-the-star-columnist

  43. Harry McGibbs says:

    “The rupee weakened further to hit a fresh low of 72.48 against the US currency, falling 75 paise in late morning deals Monday on rising crude oil prices, strengthening dollar and a widened current account deficit… The domestic unit witnessed intense volatility and traded between 72.07 and hit all-time low of 72.48 during morning deals.”

    https://www.news18.com/news/business/rupee-hits-lifetime-low-of-72-18-drops-45-paise-against-usd-1872631.html

  44. Harry McGibbs says:

    “A sell-off in Chinese shares pulled Asian equities to a 14-month trough on Monday as investors braced for a potentially damaging escalation in the Sino-U.S. tariff row after U.S. President Donald Trump raised the stakes in the dispute with Beijing.”

    https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/business/asian-stocks-slump-to-14-month-low-on-china-woes–trump-s-trade-threats-10700664

  45. The poorer people of Brazil’s favelas will not be happy.

    http://www.amerika.org/politics/jair-bolsonaro-looms-like-the-cristo-redentor/

    Bolsonaro was stabbed, but thanks to the state of art medicine he could get which won’t be the case for the rest of the pop, he lived. He was treated in the Albert Einstein hospital ; apparently Einstein had something to do with a hospital in Brazil.

    The winter has arrived for the poor people of the world, and I don’t think too many of them will survive it.

  46. Fast Eddy says:

    Reading this …. is like believing you have a terminal disease… self-diagnosing via an internet search…. and reading all the gory scientific info about how your body has been invaded by millions of death cells that are eating you from the inside….

    It’s rather stomach-turning….

    But for some it’s just part of the Great Game…. how does one use this knowledge to play the markets…. which is even more f789ed up….

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-09-08/heres-everything-investors-should-know-about-chinas-national-team

  47. Fast Eddy says:

    When you promise a 35k car… but lose money if you deliver…. this is is what happens…

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-09-09/tesla-aggressively-trying-offload-model-3-inventory-demand-fades

    The cork is getting itchy….

    • Interesting! Another quarter end is coming up. It will be interesting to hear what Tesla reports. I presume that there are still VIN tracker people looking at how many cars seem to be on the road.

  48. Fast Eddy says:

    China’s Pig Market On Lockdown As African Swine Fever Spreads

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-09-07/chinas-pig-market-lockdown-african-swine-fever-spreads

    • Good luck on containing this!

      Chinese people don’t really need to eat lots of pork. They could eat more grains for a while. I expect that if grains were interchangeable, the amount the humans eat would be less than those the lost pigs would eat. The net result would be less grain demand overall, because of the inefficiency of meat production.

      • Duncan Idaho says:

        Grains are really eco destructive.
        Give them up—–
        (I know people who don’t produce food will not understand this)
        https://grist.org/food/can-meat-actually-be-eco-friendly/

        • Tim Groves says:

          You should see all the birds, frogs, lizards, snakes, crabs and insects that take advantage of the rice paddies I farm. If I were to switch everything to potatoes or let the land go back to “nature”, it would support far less animal life.
          David Attenborough once made a sympathetic documentary about satoyama.
          (I know people who don’t produce food will not understand this)

          • Duncan Idaho says:

            Rice paddies in California do produce environments for many species—-
            However, they are one of the big 4 — crops the use over 50% of the water (total- residential, industrial, agriculture- everything). I love CA rice, but have guilty feelings abut it.
            However, if we had a fraction of the population——

          • DJ says:

            At least potatoes would take less land.

          • Kowalainen says:

            Don’t forget the occasional boar stealing some of that tasty crop, and also birds feeding on the fish, frogs and lizards. Plenty of those, too, in and around the hills surrounding the rice paddies in the Okayama prefecture.

            It is quite picturesque, audible and and a stark contrast to the silent barren taiga of north Sweden.

        • How about starchy root vegetables–potatoes, carrots, beets, yuca, rutabaga, turnip, sweet potato, etc.

          Better for humans, when they get lots of exercise.

          • Duncan Idaho says:

            Gail—
            Hint– rase enough food to feed yourself
            It would bring some much needed reality to the subject.

          • Gail, that doesn’t work (long-er tern) unless you introduce animals into the whole cycle again.. Soil build up, retreat for insects and small “rare” animals as Tim pointed out works.

            There are ample successful agriculture system examples clearly demonstrating the rejuvenation of nature and healthy food, yes it takes hectares and lot of human+animal labor and time. However, is it compatible with the contemporary form of predominant city culture and intensive – industrial farming, no. Is majority of peoplez willing to drop (most of) these supposedly “wonderful creature – civilization comforts of today” and disperse into land voluntarily again, no.. Are they subject to long term brainwashing and therefor mere “victims” of the system at this elevated and terminal stage, sort of yes, but not in the final analysis, as the working examples at least from late 1980s have been well known.. and not followed upon..

            So, again, no remorse.
            The human story will be likely at least reboot attempted on much smaller energy throughput footprint. But there are most probably several steps in between to be taken before, like resource wars, more pollution, in the end this pop overshoot resulting in mass migration, regional and overall depop.

            Insta doom fanatics, some notable specimen frequenting this forum, won’t be around to witness even the dawn of this era, since their self proclaimed plan is to take pills just when the electricity supply starts to be unreliable, not mentioning some of more profound effects, and depressing signs of the reset.

            • Kowalainen says:

              Destabilization and tight resource control to the less productive regions is key to reduce the energy footprint for the survival of mankind.

              Let’s watch how SA followed by Sweden will be mothballed and enter a state of low economy/resource usage with the mostly white pop emigrating towards the productive core.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              WOH…. feeble…. pathetic…. struggles to tie shoelaces….

              Worldwithouthumansotg….????

          • Kowalainen says:

            I agree with Gail. Less animal products and more plant based is the most optimal and healthy for our species.

            It’s quite bewildering to watch obese and overweight people eat a diet rich in animal fats and cholesterol and then at the same time ingest pharmaceuticals for high blood pressure and cholesterol levels in the blood.

            It really tells something about the grim reality of mankind. If we can not take care of ourselves and the animals we breed for food, how are we ever going to resolve our predicament, the dystopia that looms ahead.

            It is not even funny anymore. It is just acceptance of the reality.

            • Yorchichan says:

              A sumo wrestler’s diet

              Notice the total lack of animal fat in this diet. And why not? It isn’t fat in food which makes you fat, it’s carbohydrates.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Actually …. it’s a calorie thing…. if you eat more than you burn…. you will gain weight.

            • Kowalainen says:

              Most calories dense food: oil and fat. Could be both plant based and animal based.

              Lots of oil and fat in the food also causes diabetes.

              https://nutritionfacts.org/2016/11/17/fat-is-the-cause-of-type-2-diabetes/

            • You still don’t get it, it’s not about human diet that’s secondary, primary is to feed the soil properly and that’s impossible longterm without animals on it as well.. otherwise the veggies, fruits and other produces become crap to make the point short here..

              It’s kind of strange to repeat the very basics over the years here again and again.

            • Yorchichan says:

              Actually …. it’s a calorie thing…. if you eat more than you burn…. you will gain weight.

              Common sense would tell us that this is the case. However, it seems not all calories are equal:

              What happens if you eat 5,800 calories daily on an LCHF diet?

            • Your body looks for the nutrient it needs, I expect. We are dealing with a complex system; it is hard to understand how it functions.

              If you ate nothing but fruit for 28 days, you likely would get ill.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              If you eat only protein … within a couple of will get sick… and I understand if you continue… you will poison yourself resulting in death

            • Kowalainen says:

              LCHF – the diet straight to high cholesterol fatigue diabetes land.

              The Homo sapiens sapiens is built as a carbohydrates burner. Science was pretty clear on that already in the 40’s.

              LCHF/Atkins etc, and the other meat industry promoted so called “diets” are a joke.

              https://youtu.be/ff40YiMmVkU

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Dorian Gray followed this type of diet….

            • Yorchichan says:

              LCHF/Atkins etc, and the other meat industry promoted so called “diets” are a joke.

              Really? Yet I live on a LCHF diet, feel great, weigh the same at 53 as I did at 18 and was told by a student last month that she thought I was about 25.

              Try a LCHF diet for a month and get back to me.

            • Kowalainen says:

              I have, my blood pressure went through the roof and cholesterol levels as well. It is a horrible diet for active people.

              It is useless for people who have an overall nomsedientary, healthy lifestyle.

              You should try the opposite, cutting out animal products and fats and go HCLF. However, since a carb based diet is quite low in energy density, more food is required. But I like eating, so no problems here.

              In order to burn fat through excercise, lots of carbs will be involved for building the energy burning pathways. It is hard to get fit if the metabolism is choked by the slow burning fats.

        • xabier says:

          Eat horses! Originally kept more for meat, leather and bones than for riding.

          Oh, and their tails also look fantastic as war banners and helmet-plumes when the tribe goes plundering and raping.

          Sacrificed at funerals, one can ride their souls to the Other World.

          Mankind: inventive, adaptive, exploitative, and as mad as a hatter…..

          • Fast Eddy says:

            My neighbour has two horses….

            • Fast Eddy says:

              There are alpacas in the paddock across the road….

              The vast majority of alpacas raised in the U.S. are for their silky fleece. But did you know you can also eat them?

              True, within the U.S., alpacas are primarily bred for fiber, but meat and leather are two unique byproducts from the alpaca livestock industry – and ones that could be on the cusp of becoming a trendy new protein.

              https://modernfarmer.com/2014/05/alpaca-red-meat/

              Now I know….

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