Introduction to the “World’s Fragile Economic Condition”

I will be giving a presentation to a group of casualty actuaries on September 17 called “The World’s Fragile Economic Condition.” I plan to write up the presentation in two posts, one covering the first three of the six sections of the presentation, and the second one covering the second three sections, so that it is easier to read online.

I am putting up a link now to the presentation, to allow those who want to look at the presentation now, a chance to do so.

The World’s Fragile Economic Condition

This presentation pulls together quite a few things I have been talking about. It also adds a new model of how our self-organizing economy works.

This is the outline of what I discuss in the presentation:

About Gail Tverberg

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

560 Responses to Introduction to the “World’s Fragile Economic Condition”

  1. Rodster says:

    Gail, here’s a real good article that ties in with this.

    “Why Growth Can’t Be Green, New data proves you can support capitalism or the environment—but it’s hard to do both.”
    https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/09/12/why-growth-cant-be-green/

  2. John Doyle says:

    Very interesting and perceptive, Gail
    However my position re the economy contrasts with yours. Because you’re still in thrall to the mainstream your position as to how economics/ financials will affect the future is not correct.
    Read my Independent Australia article here. Just remember my side MMT is all based on the law. not on supposition. It is law that a monetary sovereign government can issue its currency unrestricted [except by resources]. Tax has little to do with it. There is no law that says tax is revenue for an MS government now that money is Fiat. It’s just supposition.

    ps://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/the-facts-of-modern-monetary-theory,11889#comment-4094696622

    It is very important you “get” this.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      John… John …. John…. you sink deeper into the swamp of delusion….

      I am still waiting for the NZ Govt to announce that they are going to pay me not to work…. means tested of course… as in … I will be paid 90% of what I was already earning while working…. inflation adjusted…

      How wonderful to retire at 53! So much better to just receive the cheque in the post every month rather than have to scratch and claw for every dollar….

      I want me…. MM… A!!!

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      John… John… John…

      there is no law that allows any country to “issue” its energy…

      energy is not “Fiat”…

      It is very important you “get” this.

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      A state’s money has value because it has credibility due to the economic output that underpins it. A state will find sufficient willing holders of its liabilities if they see value in sharing in that economic output. If it can’t then it will experience a currency crisis and painful inflation. It could go bankrupt and need bailing out. Printing money is not the secret to effortless wealth.

  3. Tim says:

    Very interesting presentation. Thank you Gail.

  4. Rodster says:

    Page 47 seems to show both the high and low prices of oil closing in on each other i.e. ‘meeting in the middle’ in the timeline. It would seem that at some point when the price can’t go up or down it’s essentially “Game Over”.

    • Bingo! It’s a “box canyon”.

      • Chrome Mags says:

        The consumer’s price ceiling meets the seller’s floor price, and you’d think it’s over after that but what happens is those not able to stay in the game fall out and those that can remain in the game keep on going. It’s just like musical chairs. The trouble is society and infrastructure as a whole degrades over time as more people are sidelined into poverty or massive debt, and governments fail to keep up infrastructure like they once did. It’s a “box canyon” a DLC refers, but the box will just get incrementally smaller, and much smaller via stair step economic dislocations. This next economic downturn should be a doozy because 10 years has passed since the last stair step decline, saved only by fancy financing based wholly on civilizations equity and faith in currency. But that strategy is largely played out now, so the next step down will be like when you’re just about to fall asleep and you step off a curb in a dream only to be jolted into full, riveting wakefulness. The new reality will be shockingly disturbing as many people off the treadmill in a state of economic calamity.

        • Rodster says:

          “but what happens is those not able to stay in the game fall out and those that can remain in the game keep on going. It’s just like musical chairs.”

          Then under that scenario, everything contracts and it all collapses because those who fall out far outnumber those who stay in the game. And those that fall out are the ones needed to push the economy forward i.e. “consumption”. So if consumption collapses so does everything else. But it could take some time (years/decades) for all of this too play out. The bottom line is the high and low price ceiling meeting in the middle equals big trouble because that represents energy consumption which drives the global economy.

          • Chrome Mags says:

            “Then under that scenario, everything contracts and it all collapses because those who fall out far outnumber those who stay in the game.”

            Fall out is a relative term though, which we saw after the stair step down in the aftermath of 08, as many younger people went back to live with their parents. Also, many people pooled their rent money to live in a house or apartment in groups. They also took much lower paying jobs, and in some cases many of those jobs were part time. Most people don’t just disappear, they have a will to survive no matter how reduced their standard of living becomes. So far we’ve had all sorts of suggestions of full on collapse, but what has actually occurred is a slow degradation.

            A made for TV all at once, over night type collapse would in many ways be merciful. But reality is such that the trillions in infrastructure will support many stair steps down like 08. Probably half a dozen. You’ll see, it will be cruel to those that don’t understand the underlying cause because they will fight it every step of the way.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              There is no global stair step down…. absolutely not.

              Just because in come countries conditions for many are getting worse….

              Is irrelevant

              Because in other countries – particularly China – conditions have improved dramatically for hundreds of millions… which is offsetting the lost growth in other countries.

              The global economy has been stepping …. but up… not down… since 2008.

              Get your facts straight

              And a hearty welcome to third world living for the losers in this game of musical chairs

        • I thought about putting in a musical chairs illustration, but I didn’t have “room”.

    • The price is causing pain for both buyer and sellers at this point, and has been since at least 2013. The middle price causes pain both ways–it is sort of splitting the pain difference. There is a time lag before the effects of too low prices for oil exporters cause their governments to collapse. In the meantime, the sellers take on more debt, or issue more shares of stock, while telling the story that “of course” prices will rise, because demand “always rises.”

  5. It is not that fragile.

    The fragile ones are the weaker countries, resource-based economies and others with no connection to today’s high technology.

    USA is doing great because of its high-tech industries, although it won’t benefit most people there.

    It is like the world’s economic gains are going to be monopolized by the top 0.5% – 1%, so they will do much better, although it won’t be consolation for those who will have shit life.

    The overfinancialization of everything will be able to kill any kind of financial crisis, and we can bail out the big ones, even Tesla, over and over again. The bigger is better, and they will buy out all the competition with borrowed money, almost zero interest, and leave nothing for everyone else but the overall economy will grow.

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      “USA is doing great because of its high-tech industries…”

      to be clear, it’s because it has the energy resources to run their high-tech…

      “… but the overall economy will grow.”

      only IF the surplus energy grows…

      • Garth says:

        “USA is doing great because of its high-tech industries”

        It is also a fact that the USA gains from being the major world currency – this because commodities, and especially oil, have to be priced in USD. Look what happened when Saddam Hussein threatened to sell its oil in euros. It wasn’t long before George W Bush accused him of having WMD, and this not too long after Nine Eleven, and then his country was invaded. And oh dear – they found that he didn’t have WMD after all, even though Britain and Tony Blair had joined in the war against Iraq.

        I wonder how much the benefit of being the reserve currency gains the USA, I’m sure they otherwise wouldn’t really be quite so rich. As Dick Cheney used to say, deficits don’t matter, so he was able to spend spend spend on the military and his oil wars.

        • You have to also refocus on the core question, why the status of the reserve currency still shines over the world, and it’s not only TPTB’s machinations to blame. What is also essential is the global ~25% upper caste directly or indirectly saving and allocating within the nexus of USD instruments.

          And they have not moved away, even though since at least Q2/2018 the msm openly starts to pre warn of the looming economic cycle turning point. Actually, people are massively reallocating towards USD when abandoning EMs..

          I’m afraid we are still missing some pieces in this grand puzzle, like when “4th turnings”, and larger political-social realignments start to speak loudly into the equation. Basically, we might get intermezzo period of attempted lefty authoritarian rule in several major economies..

          And that would again prop up the USD and the overall legacy global fin system.

          • Garth says:

            “lefty authoritarian rule in several major economies”

            Why lefty, I wonder? In Europe it seems to be going the other way. I expect that the wearing of funny foreign hats will be made illegal by 2025.

            • Well, if traditionalist countries/regions such as Bavaria now score almost 40% of aggregate vote for self destructive cults of SocialDemocrat+Greens, go figure.. The situation in UK(Scotland), Italy, Spain.. although shaped by a bit different actors and path dependencies is similar..

              Therefore money from each country’s upper caste(& MNCs) will continue to flow towards the US, unless something very important brakes for good, e.g. imagine China+RUS+JAP+(Gulfies) launching different settlement for energy trade.. Well, but that is not going to happen, unless apart from political circles their non state sector “feels good” about it as well, and that in itself won’t happen unless visible street level chaos engulfs the US and or her naval/air forces are shamed heavily by some lesser power first.

          • Kowalainen says:

            People will be increasingly shifted out of the workforce of the productive and nonproductive sectors.

            UBI, PlayStation, p orn and drugs for the lesser of the plebeians.

            Then enters the ever decreasing privileges, ultimately ending in a bowl of potato’s, rice and some joules to burn for warmth. Finally a deurbanization where the still capable will be handed a piece of worthless land to tend as the wealth disparity starts to resemble third world countries.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          The US is doing ‘great’ because the corporate tax rate was slashed by 15% …. and the country is running up massive deficits covered by issuing more debt and pumping in more cash …. to make up the difference….

          Essentially monetizing debt on an epic scale…..

          Enjoy it while it lasts

    • Rosey says:

      “The overfinancialization of everything will be able to kill any kind of financial crisis, and we can bail out the big ones, even Tesla, over and over again. The bigger is better, and they will buy out all the competition with borrowed money, almost zero interest, and leave nothing for everyone else but the overall economy will grow.”

      What will we bail them out with? False promises about future cheap energy that won’t be there anymore?

  6. Patrick says:

    Thank you for your work on this. Very nice presentation.
    I would prefer not to use the statement “The miracles that added debt can produce”.
    It could lead to people believing that adding more debt is a good idea.
    The debt growing debt bubble is the underlying cause.
    While debt has some benefits, the massive global governmental debt is the tragedy that will eventually have tragic impacts on us all.
    Thanks again.

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      but adding more debt is a good idea…

      and the real “underlying cause” is the declining surplus energy contained in the resource extraction throughout the world…

      debt is easier to see and quantify…

      but it’s not the tragedy…

      though it might appear to be, if and when The Collapse arrives…

      • Fast Eddy says:

        ++++++++++++ Suh… can we have some more debt please!!!

        Oh btw – major snow storm here in Otago — and it’s just about spring…. WTF is going on? (where is that gggeeeebeee weeeebeee when you neeed it?)

        My power has been out all morning…. a small taste of the end of BAU…

        • Dan says:

          FE I thought you got a stove that burns coal day and night before winter.

          You should take a loan and get a propane generator as well.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            The coal powered machine does not make electricity sadly … otherwise I would invite Tesla to put a charging machine in my garage….

            Can’t be bothered with a generator…

  7. EnergyShifts.net says:

    Thank you for this Gail.

    Fortunately there are no limits to growth…
    http://energyshifts.net/there-are-no-limits-to-growth/

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      wow, I love that sarc!

      oh, wait, are you serious?

      • EnergyShifts.net says:

        In a way I am also serious – please see the link for details.

      • theblondbeast says:

        It’s a metaphor. He speaks of internal and spiritual growth, also of cycles. Keeping in mind that “growth” is a relative terms given entropy – it only refers to part of a system – I suppose this is legitimate. But the author is not using the word growth the way we are using growth.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      The only thing that there is no limit to …. is your STU-PIDITY.

      F789 off.

      This is your one and final warning ….

    • I looked through your post. You repeat what a lot of major organizations would like us to believe is possible. I don’t think that it really is.

      If we look back historically, energy consumption per capita has never really turned negative, except for very brief periods, right around major depressions or collapses.

      There is also no evidence that the world can have any reasonable success in getting the birth rate down materially, even with education programs for women. There was a recent article in the Economist claiming that in India, more education for women tended to have precisely the opposite effect–they were likely to stay at home and have more children.

      It takes energy for jobs for women, and for birth control for women. If people are to live in cities, it takes energy. Maintaining streets takes energy (and not just electricity, either.)

      We are in some sense becoming poorer and poorer, but the cost of developing needed energy resources keeps rising. This is what makes it increasingly difficult to keep the economy together. It self-organizes in a strange way that leads to bank failures, if there is not sufficient energy growth.

      • EnergyShifts.net says:

        Thank you for your reply Gail,

        In my article I am in agreement with most of your comment – if you have a look at the section: ‘The Material Growth Trap’.

        “…energy consumption per capita has never really turned negative,”
        – agreed. I didn’t claim it ever has, but it will eventually when we run out of resources. There are however many indigenous peoples who maintain the same level of energy use, so on a community level there are – and have always been – small groups of people whose energy use did not increase much over time.

        “There is also no evidence that the world can have any reasonable success in getting the birth rate down”
        – agreed, that is what I alluded to.

        “If people are to live in cities, it takes energy. Maintaining streets takes energy (and not just electricity, either.) ”
        – agreed, I mentioned that too: that more urbanization means more modernization, industrialization and consumerism – and all of this means more energy use.

        Fully in agreement with your last paragraph.

        The title of my article refers to a different kind of growth: Internal Human Growth, i.e. non-material, intrinsic personal growth / personal development.

        Are you sure you read through my article carefully?

        • I think where we differ is on the existence of many indigenous people, who will continue as they have lived before.

          I think that the number who can continue as they live today is vanishingly small. Most hunter-gatherers today wear today’s clothing, bought from stores. Increasingly, families live in houses, and send their children to school, like everyone else. They use tools that they have been given, rather than made by themselves from wood or stone. The skills they learned as hunter-gatherers are being lost.

          I would agree that the families who truly live as hunter-gatherers will probably be able to continue as in the past, provided that some of the spill-over effect from the collapsing world economy doesn’t get to them. Examples might include pollution of various types, including mercury and lead. It could also include spreading disease problems and nuclear spent fuel pond problems.

          I don’t think that these few survivors would have the different kind of growth you are talking about. After all, they are just living as they did in the past.

          I can’t imagine how the rest of us would be able to change enough to be self-supporting on the world’s ever less accessible resources.

          I think where we differ is in our understanding of the necessary networks needed for any type of a sustainable lifestyle. At any given point in time, every economy, of every type, is made possible by a network of supporting businesses, laws, skills, and traditions that make a given way of life possible. We don’t really have a way to go backward, because we cannot recreate the networks that appeared previously. For example, if today’s medicine doesn’t work, we can’t go back to what was done 50 years ago, or 100 years ago, or 500 years ago. Likewise for the transportation of goods, and for the heating of homes. Even if we could put together stage coaches for long distance transport of people and mail, we would need to have all the “changes of horses” available at the appropriate places, for example.

          Once what we have is gone, it seems likely to me that the vast majority of us won’t be alive. We cannot adapt quickly enough. Talking about “Internal Human Growth, i.e. non-material, intrinsic personal growth / personal development” seems sort of beside the point.

          • EnergyShifts.net says:

            I think we are not so far in disagreement as it may appear. I’m in general agreement with everything you say, but I think we often make the mistake of viewing everything from a First World perspective. I’m presently based in South America. There are many levels of development between 1st and 3rd world between the countries here and even within the same countries,, for example in Peru and Equador. While Argentina and Chile are more advance and Bolivia and Paraguay are underdeveloped. Nevertheless all these countries rely on fossil fuel and economic growth.

            That said, there are strong community networks and structures still in place in many of these places, to the extent that having to rely on each other more and having to return to some or other form of subsistence living wouldn’t be entirely foreign, or impossible, should energy become really scarce and economies stagnate / fail – after the initial turmoil things should settle.

            Whereas in 1st World developed nations people may have a much harder time in adjusting due to their much higher expectations, lack of reference points for a more traditional life and due to severed connections with the land as well as a sever lack of community spirit. The biggest challenge of all would be: being ‘happy’ with less, or rather, being content with less.

            Talking about “Internal Human Growth, i.e. non-material, intrinsic personal growth / personal development” (etc) aims at preparing people internally for external future events – and to help them also see the positive side(s). In other words – it could help us to view our probable future more pragmatically.

            Civilizations rise and fall – they all have a timeline. It could be useful to take a big picture view of all of this – and although it may not be for everyone, considering the metaphysical energy shifts involved could provide an alternative perspective and help with internal acceptance and understanding:
            http://energyshifts.net/the-yin-and-yang-of-growth/

            • One of the things that tends to fall is central governments. Financial systems go with central governments, so they fall as well. So, we can have the kind of development that is possible without much in the way of government. It seems like this won’t be a whole lot.

          • EnergyShifts.net says:

            PS: I have no doubt that there will be a great ‘reset’ and that a lot of people won’t make it… – I have no illusions about that, (although I prefer not to state it so explicitly) but I think people in some regions will cope better than people in other regions – except if climate change gets all of us first.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              I will assume you are unaware that there are 4000 spent fuel ponds…. that will burn out of control when the electricity goes off…

              Japan’s chief cabinet secretary called it “the devil’s scenario.” Two weeks after the 11 March 2011 earthquake and tsunami devastated the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, causing three nuclear reactors to melt down and release radioactive plumes, officials were bracing for even worse. They feared that spent fuel stored in the reactor halls would catch fire and send radioactive smoke across a much wider swath of eastern Japan, including Tokyo.

              http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/05/burning-reactor-fuel-could-have-worsened-fukushima-disaster

              Containing radiation equivalent to 14,000 times the amount released in the atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima 68 years ago, more than 1,300 used fuel rod assemblies packed tightly together need to be removed from a building that is vulnerable to collapse, should another large earthquake hit the area.

              http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/14/us-japan-fukushima-insight-idUSBRE97D00M20130814

        • Fast Eddy says:

          So you mean like Koombaya growth …. where we all throw off the material trappings of BAU (or are forced to) …. dress in loose fitting organic linen outfits….. hold hands…. and dance around the fire singing Imagine and We are the World…. congratulating each other on ‘personal development’

          And then the bad guys roll in with AK 47s’ blazing away…. chop up the men and old worn out women … and roast them on the fire…. and gnaw them to the bone…. then have their way with the younger gals…. (aka ra.pe them brutally).

          Get the ear plugs ready…. because it’s time again for….. Joan!!!

          • Fast Eddy says:

            Let’s not forget the flowers…. Joan can always use them for a peace offering …. to the bad guys…

            Good thing for Joan is she is all bone and gristle now…. they may not even bother to roast her

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Joan should use this brief interlude to learn some of these songs… the bad guys might keep her around….

          • I like Kumbaya, the song.

            • EnergyShifts.net says:

              Me too, actually – it’s quite spiritual.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Kumbaya my Lord, kumbaya
              Kumbaya my Lord, kumbaya
              Kumbaya my Lord, kumbaya
              Oh Lord, kumbaya
              Someone’s singing Lord, kumbaya
              Someone’s singing Lord, kumbaya
              Someone’s singing Lord, kumbaya
              Oh Lord, kumbayah
              Someone’s laughing, Lord, kumbaya
              Someone’s laughing, Lord, kumbaya
              Someone’s laughing, Lord, kumbaya
              Oh Lord, kumbaya
              Someone’s crying, Lord, kumbaya
              Someone’s crying, Lord, kumbaya
              Someone’s crying, Lord, kumbaya
              Oh Lord, kumbaya
              Someone’s praying, Lord, kumbaya
              Someone’s…

          • EnergyShifts.net says:

            And then the bad guys roll in…

            Yeah, I’ve seen that movie too (The Road…). Learning to sing Kumbaya together around the campfire in advance for security and safety i.m.o beats not being able to function in a community environment when the time comes and you need to.

            • EnergyShifts.net says:

              “So, we can have the kind of development that is possible without much in the way of government. It seems like this won’t be a whole lot.”

              Probably not, Gail – but local governments will probably form, I’m not sure that’s necessarily a bad thing. It’s impossible to know how it will all work out, but when the chips are down people do tend to self-organize. Most probably a lot of grass-roots movements that are already operating, but currently invisible will ‘spring up’ (although they are already quietly going about their business’).

            • Fast Eddy says:

              It will be … like magic!

              On a scale of 1-10 in terms of understanding what we are facing …. with 10 being enlightened…

              You are currently at -3.7

              My recommendation: you read all the archived articles and browse the comments…. before you post anything more of this utter nonsense….

              If after you do the above — you do not immediately hang your head in shame having realized the inanity of your posts — and adopt a new and improved username…..

              Then I suggest you visit the Peak Prosperity site and post this rubbish there…. they will welcome you …

              If you remain here…. well….

            • EnergyShifts.net says:

              What we facing is human species-cide. Have you stopped driving your car/s yet? Are you part of any solutions or the problem? Why are you clogging all the threads – with DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMM???

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Solution? What’s that?

              I am driving my cars and trucks and flying on airplanes and throwing more coal in the Rayburn.

              It’s not a solution — but every bit helps

            • EnergyShifts.net says:

              Yes, of course, no surprises there.

            • We need more demand. Fast Eddy is part of the solution.

            • EnergyShifts.net says:

              What kind of demand Gail?

            • Demand comes from people who can afford to buy goods and services. The purchase of these goods and services (cars, homes, vacation travel, clothing, restaurant meals, college education, and everything else) require energy products in order to produce the goods and services. Thus, more demand, is what keeps the economy operating, by keeping the prices of commodities high enough so that extraction can take place. Our problem right now is that prices are not high enough for producers. Oil exporters will collapse from lack of tax revenue (high prices are needed to have high tax revenue). US oil producers will not be able to repay their debt debt with interest. Coal and natural gas prices also tend to be low, relative to what producers need.

              If everyone quits their jobs, and says, “The government will take care of me,” and because of this has very much less spending power, the whole system will collapse from low prices. For one thing, the government will not really collect the tax revenue to fund the system.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              You can also try whistling …. it will keep you safe…. these types will not see or hear you…. in fact it will make you invisible….

    • Kowalainen says:

      Yeah, no problemos adding more zeros behind the ones.

      Well, it certainly consumes some more memory in the computers systems that run the financial systems of this joint, but that hardly seem like a limiting factor with the current state of affairs with state of the art semiconductor manufacturing technologies.

  8. Fast Eddy says:

    Thanks for the new article

  9. Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

    thanks for the new article about energy…

    I just want to point out something about the Outline:

    other than 1. Introduction and 6. Conclusions:

    3 of the other 4 sections are about energy…

    ENERGY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    why?

    because energy is primary…

    energy precedes money and debt and finance…

    energy is the foundation…

    it is a crumbling surplus of net energy that will bring down the house…

    • theblondbeast says:

      Yes. The debt angle is a game played against savers. It is about who gets to consume now…and who won’t be able to later…because we are running out.

      But I think production can still increase – with enough printed money! But the concept of savings must go.

  10. SEETO, Wayne (WG) says:

    What happens if/when nuclear fusion finally becomes a viable energy source? The fuel source is virtually unlimited. If energy no longer becomes the limiting factor, what resource becomes the limiting factor to growth/GDP? Why isn’t every available resource on earth allocated to making nuclear fusion work? Surely the return on investment is astronomical and would be the most rational allocation of all available resources in an energy constrained global economy?

    Gail Tverberg posted: “I will be giving a presentation to a group of casualty actuaries on September 17 called “The World’s Fragile Economic Condition.” I plan to write up the presentation in two posts, one covering the first three of the six sections of the presentation, and t”

    • We need more than electricity; we need it now.

    • DJ says:

      Lie Big’s law of minimum.

      • Kowalainen says:

        Well, not quite. With enough energy at hand, electrical energy specific, synthetic petroleum products, and others, can be manufactured.

        The problem is that fusion power always is 20 years away. It is like the leftists image of utopia. There is always a new obstacle to overcome on the road to hell paved with good intentions.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      Wayne … el Re Tardo….

    • Country Joe says:

      All the energy we have now is fusion energy. Sunshine is the only income we’ve got. Fossil fuels are fusion energy stored thru photosynthesis. Hydro power is from
      water that is carried up and dropped in the mountains by fusion powered weather systems. Wind power is air that moves from heating by Sunshine. Life on Earth is fusion powered chemical reaction. We are one with the Sun.
      Earth ran on current solar income for billions of years until the last couple of hundred years when we’ve had this blip of stored solar from millions of years of photosynthesis.
      That blip will be over soon and Earth will go back to living on current solar income.
      This debt stuff is some fantasy of the white shirt and tie crowd. Income is what we exist on. How ever much income we have is how much life we have. We’ve got a wonderful fusion generator sitting safely out there about 93 million miles away. Reliable, with no NIMBY problems. This FF energy blip has got the humanoid mass all out of proportion but I think that is soon to be corrected. Probably rodents have a chance.

      • You are right. At some point, it does look like the earth gets back to its solar income. And, it does look like the human share of the total has to drop a whole lot.

        • Kowalainen says:

          Yep, and as the earth spins around the sun for eons ahead, the process likely starts anew, with a slightly different mammal at the helm of petroleum production.

          Hold no hope because the eternal recurrence is a real thing once you see past the smoke and mirrors of Einsteinian “Big Bang” dogma wrapped in the jargon of science.

          Only enlightenment of mankind is our only salvation shutting down the process once and for all.

          • Actually, humans seem to differ from other animals through their controlled use of fire. This allows them to cook some of their food. With cooking, nutrients are more available. Less energy needs to go into building a large jaw, teeth, and gut. Instead, it can go into making a bigger, better functioning brain. We have now evolved to needing at least some cooked food. Also, fire is a great tool for driving animals out from where they are hiding, making it easier to catch them. It also keeps humans warm in cold climates.

            Another mammal is not going to take over, without having some special energy source that sets them apart from other animals.

            • Kowalainen says:

              It is exactly what i meant.

              If the conditions on earth a few billions of years into future resemble what we have today, most likely a mammal will develop, similar to humans, and will again strike fossil fuels.

              Or it could evolve into a completely different scenario with more preferable conditions that require even larger brains for survival.

              Perhaps mankind arrived a bit too early in earths ever cooling climate through the eons.

    • doomphd says:

      see: http://www.fusionenergysolutions.net

      a business plan has been submitted for $500M proof-of-concepts and demonstration power plant.

Comments are closed.