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

  1. Harry McGibbs says:

    Some rare common sense here:

    “The financial crisis of 2008 was no ordinary crisis. It brought the U.S. banking system to its knees, destroyed millions of jobs, and nearly caused the break-up of the Eurozone. And this is just a short list of the damage it caused. Given how bad it was, it may have been reasonable to expect that we would now have a system in place to prevent another debacle. But ten years have passed and the idea that we have learned our lessons seems at best quaint and at worst laughable.

    “One of the most basic lessons not learned is that a massive buildup of debt tends to end in a serious financial crisis. Even a small liquidity event that gets in the way of rolling over higher and higher amounts of debt eventually brings down the whole edifice.

    “In the aftermath of the 2008 crisis, a river of ink was spilled to condemn the runaway debt spiral that led to it. It is remarkably ironic, then, that as we crawl out of ten painful years of struggle and recovery, even the most outspoken fiscal hawks of that time now seem unconcerned that debt is growing apace once more.”

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “What 2008 should teach us, if anything, is that we could all show a little more humility.”

      • Perhaps that is what it takes to keep the world economy from collapsing for a few more days/weeks/months. Can this strategy even work for years? It seems to have been part of where helped US demand during the early 2000s stay high, even as jobs were being shipped overseas to China/India. Once interest rates were raised and the loose underwriting standards fixed, the bubble popped, creating the Great Recession.

        • Rodster says:

          And the thing that makes you shake your head is how the media as willing and able accomplices have painted a picture that all is well and even those that follow and read info on alternative sites have questioned and are second guessing if we are all wrong. I think not, “it’s not a matter of if but when”.

          • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

            of course the MSM is big business…

            so they are trying to keep up the appearance that “all is well” for themselves AND for their advertisers (who are mostly other big businesses)…

            from the MSM business side, it’s all quite reasonable… why should they care about “real” journalism?

            “it’s not a matter of if but when”…

            yup… but not 2018 from where I am viewing the action…

            2019 is getting so close…

            almost time to renew my new year’s predictions…

            • Fast Eddy says:

              ‘real journalism’

              Yes why should they care…. what purpose would that serve.

              Some people like to hark back to when journalism was ‘real’…. when in fact … it was never ‘real’…

              It has always been biased…. and/or completely manipulated… with control of the masses being the goal.

              Just look at the Putin story … the entire MSM is pounding the drum manufacturing story after story about how evil he is…. he has to go … but will the MSM tell us the real reason why? Of course they will not … it well and truly is a matrix we are being fed…. even those who understand this still have a very difficult time finding the truth of the matter…. of any matter (other than the scores in the ball game and the temperature…)

        • Fast Eddy says:

          We need to TRIPLE down … QUADRUPLE down even…. on all the ‘mistakes’ that lead to the GFC….


    • There are a couple of interesting charts in this article. The first one is this one:

      The pattern is a temporary growth pattern that peaks just at the time of crisis.

      There is an error in the title of the second chart. The first ampersand should be a % sign. It shows the extent of today’s margin debt bubble.

    • Greg Machala says:

      Debt wouldn’t be so bad if there was growing wages and consumption. Unfortunately growth takes ever increasing amounts of energy consumption. We seem to be at a point now where it is becoming more difficult to access the energy levels needed to run the economy.

      It seems to me the financial system is designed around it becoming easier and easier to access energy – just the opposite of what is actually occurring. In the past efficiency improvements could extend energy supplies. But, that was no longer possible after 2007/2008 hence the financial system crashed.

      Today, debt is not running amok with no resources to back it up. Much of the financial system is now just trading empty promises of growth which will never occur. Money used to invest in resources producing growth. What we have since 2008 is money investing in money – a circular economy. And we are circling the drain by doing that. How long we will circle the drain before something critical breaks?.

      • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

        oh, perhaps another 10 years…

        though by then, the swirling around the drain will be much faster…

      • Not very long, I am afraid.

        • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

          and that’s one thing I like so much about OFW…

          we all get to see the same facts, and then we get different opinions about the future consequences of those facts…

          it seems that most of us foresee an economic downturn coming…

          the debate is generally about:

          how soon and how severe?

          • jupiviv says:

            The consensus is pretty clear ie 19-20. I think I predicted no crashes for this year but warning signs becoming more obvious. We shall see.

            • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

              sounds reasonable…

              but the timeline is easier by just picking a number between 2018 and 2030…

              how severe?

              perhaps much harder to foresee…

            • Nope, the consensus is rather about (2021)2023-25 for the big one.. Some sort of recessionary only and TPTB navigation through capable bump preceding it in ~2019 is something completely different..

    • Fast Eddy says:

      So the PTB … having seen the result of their actions in the form of GFC…. are doing the same things … just on a grander scale….

      If I am the author …. I am assuming they understand what they are doing will end in catastrophe…. (a 12 year old could be made to understand that)…

      So I am asking ‘why are they doing this’… ‘what do they see that compels them to do what they are doing’

      This is not Idiocracy we are dealing with …. this is not having to tell them to water the crops…. this is not men having a gasoline fight then lighting a smoke…. these men are not stuuuupid…..

      Nor does it require genius to step back and ask ‘why’…. yet across the board from Stockman to Roberts…. all we hear are squeals of protest….

        • Fast Eddy says:

          No doubt that is why this continues…. the Fed is like a cornered rat….

          Mortgage Rates Head to 6%, 10-Year Yield to 4%, Yield Curve Fails to “Invert,” and Fed Keeps Hiking

          Nightmare scenario for the markets? They just shrugged. But homebuyers haven’t done the math yet.

          There’s an interesting thing that just happened, which shows that the US Treasury 10-year yield is ready for the next leg up, and that the yield curve might not invert just yet: the 10-year yield climbed over the 3% hurdle again, and there was none of the financial-media excitement about it as there was when that happened last time. It just dabbled with 3% on Monday, climbed over 3% yesterday, and closed at 3.08% today, and it was met with shrugs. In other words, this move is now accepted.

          Note how the 10-year yield rose in two big surges since the historic low in June 2016, interspersed by some backtracking. This market might be setting up for the next surge:

          • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

            “It just dabbled with 3% on Monday, climbed over 3% yesterday, and closed at 3.08% today, and it was met with shrugs. In other words, this move is now accepted.”

            now 3.06%…

            the “shrugs” could be because it’s becoming expected that the whack-a-mole program will be put into use to send it back below 3.00…

            “this move is now accepted” is merely his opinion…

            let’s see how fast it rises to 4.00 (OMG!)…

            he could be right…

            time will tell…

          • The article ends,

            There has never been a rate-hike cycle this slow and this drawn-out: We’re now almost three years into it, and rates have come up, but it hasn’t produced the results the Fed is trying to achieve: A tightening of financial conditions, an end to yield-chasing in the credit markets and more prudence, and finally an uptick in the unemployment rate above 4%. And the Fed will keep going until it thinks it has this under control.

            The Fed doesn’t realize how close it is to collapsing the whole debt bubble. The Fed can’t really be in control. The laws of physics are in control.

  2. Harry McGibbs says:

    “…financial globalisation makes the world vulnerable to U.S. monetary and fiscal policy. From time to time, the U.S. unleashes a flood of dollars at low rates. The world laps up the cheap finance. Then, the U.S. raises interest rates. Other economies find themselves staring at huge debt repayments… The present crisis in emerging economies highlights how vulnerable emerging markets are to the vagaries of American economic policy.”

  3. Harry McGibbs says:

    “U.S. President Donald Trump’s trade battles and the accumulation of global debt to pre-financial crisis levels are among factors that will drive a major reset of the world economy in the next two to three years, according to the head of the world’s biggest long-haul airline.“We have some extraordinary geopolitical forces at play,” Emirates President Tim Clark told attendees at an aviation event in the Indian Ocean nation of Mauritius…”

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “There are only two times in the history of this century where we had debt crises in which interest rates hit zero. And in both of those times, the Central Bank had to print money and go to a different type of monetary policy, which we call quantitative easing, and to buy financial assets. And that drives up, in both of those cases, the value of those financial assets and produces a recovery, but it drives interest rates down to zero or near zero, where they are around the world.

      “And that buying, in this case $15 trillion of financial assets, has pushed up financial assets and driven the interest rates down to zero, so it’s caused asset prices to rise. It’s also caused populism, more populism. Because that process creates a gap between the rich and the poor. Those that have more financial assets see those asset prices go up… If you look at, right now, the top 10%, the top one tenth of 1% of the population’s net worth is equal, about, to the bottom 90% combined. That’s very similar to the late ’30s when we had that stimulation and so on.”

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      “U.S. President Donald Trump’s trade battles and the accumulation of global debt to pre-financial crisis levels are among factors that will drive a major reset of the world economy in the next two to three years…”

      though fairly soon, there should be a growing realization that “Trump’s trade battles” may end after the November 2020 election…

      the next POTUS could do a 180 on trade…

  4. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Ten years after the financial crisis, the Pew Research Center has asked people in 27 countries—representing two-thirds of global GDP—how they feel about their home economies and the future. The results are distressingly bleak.”

    • Greg Machala says:

      It is amazing Iraq is increasing its oil production given the state of the country. I wonder how much military presence is around the oil production infrastructure? I suspect much of the war spending in Iraq is geared toward protecting oil interest in the state.

        • Lastcall says:

          Iraq is a snapshot of the near future; critical infrastructure /resources ring-fenced and kept connected to the system. I imagine its not too dissimilar to any tri-age situation.

          • Fast Eddy says:

            It reads like a sci-fi novel…. but it’s real.

            • Kowalainen says:

              Or some RTS computer game with tanks, rocket turrets and pillboxes surrounding the valuable resource mining protected from the ”red” opponent on the otjet side of the map.

              Actually, it would not surprise me if they use some sort of heavily modded game engine to strategically place their assets and simulate military scenarios.

      • I looked at the OPEC monthly output report that shows Iraq’s output for July 2018. It indicates that production was highest ever, that month. Through July, Iraq’s increase seems to be covering up Iran’s little bit of decrease.

        • Harry McGibbs says:

          Not much of that oil-wealth trickling down though. Came across this sad article about Iraqi farmers giving up under the pressures of worsening water scarcity, crumbling infrastructure and corruption:

          “Al-Musharrah is experiencing a worrying rural exodus. According to al-Saadi, over the last 30 years, half of its 60 villages have disappeared as a result of desertification eating into green patches of land.

          “Three farmers give up farming every month. Our villages are slowly emptying,” he said.

          “The movement of people from rural Iraq into urban centres causes extra strain on these already highly populated areas. Iraq’s rural inhabitants account for 30 percent of the country’s total population…

          “Alain Gachet, a geologist, said he no longer believes in the future of surface water in Iraq. “Iraq is going to dry up completely,” said Gachet, the founder of RTI Exploration and an expert on groundwater aquifers.”

          • I am not sure how much oil wealth there really is, once the cost of putting in needed infrastructure to support the extraction is included. Most/all (?) of the extraction is being done by outside companies, contracted for the purpose. They are not getting very much above their actual costs. It seems like the local governments are tasked with getting the pipelines, ports, and other infrastructure in place that is needed.

  5. Rufus says:

    A Decade After the Financial Crisis, Economic Confidence Rebounds in Many Countries … But pessimism about the future lingers …

    “In 18 of the 27 nations surveyed, including 80% of the French, 76% of the Japanese and 72% of the Spanish, half or more of the public believes that when children today in their country grow up they will be worse off financially than their parents. In previous Pew Research Center surveys, such worries were largely confined to advanced economies, but now people in emerging markets increasingly express concerns about the financial well-being of the next generation.”

    So the masses are not THAT dumb, MSM is not THAT powerful … Well probably, their worries are far far from the horrible nightmares that a certain FE depicts us. Happy them !

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      “In 18 of the 27 nations surveyed, including 80% of the French, 76% of the Japanese and 72% of the Spanish, half or more of the public believes that when children today in their country grow up they will be worse off financially than their parents.”

      that’s not pessimism…

      that’s realism…

    • Fast Eddy says:

      No…. they will not have tuned into that message….

  6. Sven Røgeberg says:

    Some stuff for a new post from Gail could perhaps be the different economic models set up to save us from disaster? The EU has come up with a circular economy, the UN has similar proposals:
    «Meanwhile, experts around the world are exploring alternative ways we can set up our economic systems, such as Doughnut Economics, Post Growth Economics, Prosperity without Growth and Steady State Economy – and Järvensivu and colleagues have asked all forward-thinking leaders around the world to start testing possible transitional strategies, such as a universal job guarantee.

    These suggestions are pretty daunting, but if we humans have proven anything with our time on Earth so far, it’s that we can achieve incredible things when we work together.»

    Listen to Naomi Klein: «Journalist Naomi Klein, author of This Changes Everything: Capitalism Vs the Climate, points out that “we humans are capable of organizing ourselves into all kinds of different social orders, including societies with much longer time horizons and far more respect for natural life-support systems.”

    “Indeed,” she writes, “humans have lived that way for the vast majority of our history and many Indigenous cultures keep Earth-centered cosmologies alive to this day. Capitalism is a tiny blip in the collective story of our species.”

    No one is suggesting we revert to technology-less societies. Instead, the idea is to learn from different ways of living that have proven track records of longevity. From there, we can find new and better ways forward with the help of our advanced technologies.

    Klein believes we should view this need to transition our economies as an opportunity to shape them for the better, a chance for us to create both a fairer and more sustainable world.»

    • Ed says:

      Post growth, does that mean no more massive immigration as we are all well past our local carrying capacities?

    • Fast Eddy says:

      Naomi Klein is … an idjut.

    • Perhaps we can talk about setting up a perpetual motion machine. It sounds about as realistic as Steady State Economics and the circular economy. Diminishing returns is one of our big problems. Another big problem is too much use of capital, and a need to borrow amazing amounts of money to finance all of this capital spending, and repay all of this debt with interest. The yield on these investments is horribly low–probably negative. That is why the debt cannot pay much interest at all.

      I don’t think that we have alternative investments available that pay any reasonable amounts. Too many people start from a base of wishful thinking.

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      we’re long overdue for a good rant…

      let’s see how much time I can waste…

      “… perhaps be the different economic models set up to save us from disaster? The EU has come up with a circular economy…”

      total non-sense!

      we burn FF to make stuff and do stuff, including making and installing “alternative energy” equipment…

      this process is linear… we extract the FF, we burn it, the surplus energy increases our wealth…

      “Meanwhile, experts around the world are exploring alternative ways we can set up our economic systems…”

      “experts” my ash…

      TINA… there is no alternative… to have an economic system that lifts billions of humans up from poverty, we billions need the surplus energy provided by burning FF… we can’t have modern wealth with just human labor…

      “… but if we humans have proven anything with our time on Earth so far, it’s that we can achieve incredible things when we work together…”

      YES… when we work together AND burn FF…

      “No one is suggesting we revert to technology-less societies. Instead, the idea is to learn from different ways of living that have proven track records of longevity. From there, we can find new and better ways forward with the help of our advanced technologies.”

      we can’t have “advanced technologies” without the surplus energy to build them and power them…

      “Klein believes we should view this need to transition our economies as an opportunity to shape them for the better, a chance for us to create both a fairer and more sustainable world.”

      oh, don’t worry… the future will definitely be “fairer”…

      unlike now where half the world is more prosperous and the other half is more in poverty:

      in the future, without FF, 99+ percent will be in poverty…

      and better yet, it will be “sustainable”…


      • Fast Eddy says:

        What astounds me is that people actually believe this sh it….

        Someone was recently telling me that a growing economy is not necessary …. that this quest for eternal growth is The Problem….

        Trying to explain that it is otherwise to such people… is a fool’s game

      • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

        and Sven, nothing personal…

        it’s just that so much of what you quoted was quite ab-surd…

        peace, man…

        • Sven Røgeberg says:

          He, he…. i dont identify with the illusions and wishful thinking of UN and the rest;) in fact i had a SIC! put up behind the Klein quote, but it was left out. No one is better to put this type of models to rest in preace than Gail, so just offering rawmaterial for perhaps a blog on the matter in the future. The more dire the situation gets, the more attention and mediacoverage will this «hopeful new paradigm» get. BTW at the end of the westroman empire, Christianity was just one of the many spiritul efforts to save the souls.

      • Tim Groves says:

        Imagine no possessions, Naomi. I wonder if you can?

        Thanks to her sponsors, her marketing skills, to the capitalist system she pretends to spit on, and in no small measure to her good looks, talent and willingness to hustle, Naomi’s pile of pennies puts her in the top 1% worldwide.

        According to the Networth website she’s currently worth $2 million, which is peanuts compared to some her celebrity chums such as Michael Moore ($50 million), but is still fairly impressive for someone who is an avowed anti-capitalist.

        She is deeply, deeply concerned about globbly wobbly caused by fossily fuely, concerned enough to label her own country Canada a cli-mate criminal. but not concerned enough to give up her private car (she proudly drives a hybrid) or her central heating, or her frequent flying around at 30,000 feet to break gluten-free bread with her ecological comrades in exotic locations around the world and preach to the faithful, and nowhere near concerned enough to stop publishing books that are printed on the pulped flesh of murdered trees.

        She’s also claims to be anti-globalist, but she’s clearly not nearly anti-globalist enough to support the first US president evah to have taken a wrecking ball to some of the cornerstones of globalization.

        Whatever happened to the virtue of leading by example? Of being the change you want to see? Of taking the same road you are asking others to take?

    • El mar says:

      Naomi Should

      • el mar says:

        I have an idea how this bullsh… arrivied in Naomis brain.
        She made a trial with a circular economy with her own body!

        el mar

  7. Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

    shall we look at oil prices today?

    Brent 79.64…


    it’s almost 80…

    in a few weeks or even days, probably 160…

    the End is near…


  8. Third World person says:

    Deserts in Europe – Destroyers of Civilization

    According to estimates of the United Nations, more than 2.6 billion people in 110 countries are directly affected by progressive desertification. Deserts now cover more than a third of the entire surface of the earth, thus 65% of arable lands. More than three billion cattle, sheep and goats chomp their way through pastures faster than they can be regenerated. This program shows how desertification is changing the balance of the earth and affecting two continents in particular: Asia and Europe.

    • The video starts out, “Never before have deserts spread so far, so fast, and the cause, as often as not, is man.”

      I am not sure how far their data goes back. Ancient Iraq seems to have been a lush fertile place. This is what James Scott’s analysis in “Against the Grain” concludes. The Garden of Eden also seems to be set there–a strange place for it to be set, if the area were as arid as today.

      The world has quite a few big deserts. Have they really gone back and looked at how they were formed? Australia’s forests were to some extent caused by man, I believe. But I can imagine that quite a few others were as well. It doesn’t take modern technology; just the ability to burn down forests, to sculpt the ecosystems the way ancient people wanted them. Or cutting down forests, to provide wood for smelting.

      • The Dude says:

        Whiskey is For Drinking, Water is For Fighting (Mark Twain)

        Dan Ashe, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

        We have all heard that we as a nation are addicted to oil, but I would argue that we are more addicted to water. This may sound odd because for most of us, the only relationship we have ever had with water has been one that seems endless and readily available on demand at the end of a faucet. Since water weighs a little over 8 lbs per gallon, a person cannot carry enough water to go any real distance without finding more along the way. If water is not found within about three days after running out, you will likely suffer a painful death. Without our faucets and good plumbing, most of our daily existence would be spent looking for water, hauling water, and thinking about water. If you have ever been fortunate enough to drive from coast to coast across this great nation of ours, undoubtedly you have realized two things – America is big, and most of America is dry.

        Water has shaped and made this country of ours what it is today. Nearly half of the U.S.A. is some type of desert. Millions of people calls Texas home just as millions of other people call other desert states home. Without water and the ability to capture and distribute water, most of Texas and nearly half of this country would be virtually uninhabitable.

        The 2000 U.S. census indicated there were 20.8 million people living in Texas, with the population expected to increase to about 36 million people by 2040. Currently, Texas uses about 16.5 million acre-feet of water a year, with an acre-foot of water being literally one acre covered with one foot of water, or roughly 326,000 gallons. To better put this in perspective, think of Texas’s current water needs this way. The state goes through about 7.5 Sam Rayburns worth of water a year – to the very last drop. That is a lot of water. In response, Texas has about 6,700 reservoirs and lakes, only one of which was not built by people. Out of these 6,700 reservoirs, nearly all of the surface water we use comes from just a handful of these places – 211 to be exact. These reservoirs, however, do not and cannot reliably provide all of the state’s water needs. In drought years we can currently depend on about half of our water needs from reservoirs alone. In order to make up for the shortfall in water needs not met by surface water, we depend on groundwater. Groundwater is slow to recharge and is being depleted faster than it is replaced. In other words, “Houston we have a problem”, and it is going to get worse.

        Water resources in Texas are regulated by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and Texas Water Development Board (TWDB). In a nutshell, TWDB makes plans to ensure that water demands are met, TCEQ issues the permits, and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department provides input as to the effect on wildlife and outdoor recreation. TWDB has divided the state into 16 regions, with plans for future water development and needs. Given projected population growth trends, it is estimated that water demands will exceed 20 million acre- feet by 2050. Currently, the state cannot provide this amount of water. In fact, if things stand as they do today, by 2050 only about 65% of this need will be met given the current rate we are using water coupled with less available groundwater and less available surface water due to sedimentation and less inflow from depleted aquifers. To make up for these shortfalls, TWDB has plans to implement new conservation measures, construct new reservoirs, transfer water rights, and pipe water from one place to another. No doubt, the fact of the matter is Texas is set for change on the landscape, personal use habits, and for how people view their own individual needs over that of the environment and their fellow Texans.

        TWDB has developed a water plan for each of the 16 regional water planning regions. The overall plan for the East Texas region indicates that population growth and water demand will be moderate. As of now there are about 1 million people in East Texas with an expected population of about 1.5 million people in 2050. In order to sustain this population growth, we will need an additional 400,000 acre-feet of water. TWDB has proposed building either Eastex Reservoir (10,000 acre lake in Cherokee County) or Rockland Reservoir (95,000 acre reservoir near Lufkin). In addition, there are plans for what is called inter-basin transfer of water from Sam Rayburn and Toledo Bend to supply Dallas / Fort Worth and Houston. There are currently no considerations relative to the potential negative effects on the environment and the economic impacts due to lost outdoor recreational use of these areas. As of now what we have is simply a plan produced by TWDB and that is just what it is, a plan. However, as the drought of the 1950s spurred so much reservoir construction and water diversions, we are just a major drought away from another push to implement the plans in hand. Many people in the area can tell you what East Texas was like before Sam Rayburn and Toledo Bend and their related recreational and economic impacts. In not the too distant future, the area is set to change yet again, and it will be different, for better or worse.

        As always, if you should have any questions or comments concerning this article or have any other fishery questions please don’t hesitate to contact me at or call me 409-384-9572. Good Luck and Good Fishing!

      • Fast Eddy says:

        I recall reading a history of the Mediterranean region … and how humans decimated the landscape.. completely changing the kkklimate….

        There is nothing new under the sun…. in fact our ancestors — who did not reforest areas that they chopped down….. no doubt had a far greater impact on the kkkklimate than we do…

        If Al Gore would have been alive back then he could have performed a wandering minstrel act talking about how we needed to replant trees — because we are wrecking the planet…. and if I had been around I would have agreed….

        Land degradation has no spatial and temporal confinement. … Catastrophic degradation of land resources has taken place in all kkkkkklimatic regions of the Earth. History and development of desertification in the Mediterranean. The causes of desertification fall within two major groups: natural and anthropogenic.

      • Tim Groves says:

        The general rule is a warmer world is a wetter world. Warmer oceans => more evaporation => more cloud cover => more rain => more greenery, less dust, and less desert. This is in line with basic physics.

        From WIkipedia:
        All over the world, climates at the Last Glacial Maximum were cooler and almost everywhere drier. In extreme cases, such as South Australia and the Sahel, rainfall could be diminished by up to 90% from present, with florae diminished to almost the same degree as in glaciated areas of Europe and North America. Even in less affected regions, rainforest cover was greatly diminished, especially in West Africa where a few refugia were surrounded by tropical grasslands.

        The Amazon rainforest was split into two large blocks by extensive savanna, and the tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia probably were similarly affected, with deciduous forests expanding in their place except on the east and west extremities of the Sundaland shelf. Only in Central America and the Chocó region of Colombia did tropical rainforests remain substantially intact – probably due to the extraordinarily heavy rainfall of these regions.

        Most of the world’s deserts expanded. Exceptions were in what is now the western United States, where changes in the jet stream brought heavy rain to areas that are now desert and large pluvial lakes formed, the best known being Lake Bonneville in Utah. This also occurred in Afghanistan and Iran, where a major lake formed in the Dasht-e Kavir.
        In Australia, shifting sand dunes covered half the continent, whilst the Chaco and Pampas in South America became similarly dry. Present-day subtropical regions also lost most of their forest cover, notably in eastern Australia, the Atlantic Forest of Brazil, and southern China, where open woodland became dominant due to drier conditions.

        During the Last Glacial Maximum, much of the world was cold, dry, and inhospitable, with frequent storms and a dust-laden atmosphere. The dustiness of the atmosphere is a prominent feature in ice cores; dust levels were as much as 20 to 25 times greater than now.[5] This was probably due to a number of factors: reduced vegetation, stronger global winds, and less precipitation to clear dust from the atmosphere.[

  9. Third World person says:

    Mosquitoes are eating plastic and spreading it to new food chains

    Mosquito larvae that grow up in water contaminated with plastic accumulate the litter in their bodies – and some of it remains there even after the larvae emerge as adult flies. The mosquitoes may exacerbate the problem of plastic contamination when they are eaten by animals living on land.

    Plastic pollution is ubiquitous in the environment, particularly in water. Birds, fish and other animals living around aquatic systems can ingest small plastic pieces by accident. These microplastics, with a diameter under 5 millimetres, pose a huge threat to the health of marine and freshwater ecosystems as they enter the food web.

    it feels very fitting, karmic retribution in all with equal proportions of horror and irony and funny. Well, think about it. It’s humanity’s fault that there’s so much plastic waste in the first place.

    • doomphd says:

      they put plastic microspheres in toothpaste. when brushing, some of this paste gets swallowed. supposedly, it is harmless. supposedly. gut microbes are gut microbes.

    • It seems like there are enough chemicals in plastics that are similar to chemicals in these species that there is a chance that the beads could act as endocrine disruptors.

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