Why it (sort of) makes sense for the US to impose tariffs

Nearly everyone wonders, “Why is Donald Trump crazy enough to impose tariffs on imports from other countries? How could this possibly make sense?”

As long as the world economy is growing rapidly, it makes sense for countries to cooperate with each other. With the use of cooperation, scarce resources can become part of supply lines that allow the production of complex goods, such as computers, requiring materials from around the world. The downsides of cooperation include:

(a) The use of more oil to transport goods around the world;

(b) The more rapid exhaustion of resources of all kinds around the world; and

(c) Growing wage disparity as workers from high-wage countries compete more directly with workers from low-wages countries.

These issues can be tolerated as long as the world economy is growing fast enough. As the saying goes, “A rising tide lifts all boats.”

In this post, I will explain what is going wrong and how Donald Trump’s actions fit in with the situation we are facing. Strangely enough, there is a physics aspect to what is happening, even though it is likely that Donald Trump and the voters who elected him would probably not recognize this. In fact, the world economy seems to be on the cusp of a shrinking-back event, with or without the tariffs. Adding tariffs is an indirect way of allowing the US to obtain a better position in the new, shrunken economy, if this is really possible.

The upcoming shrinking-back event is the result of too little energy consumption in relation to total world population. Most researchers have completely missed the possibility that energy limits could manifest themselves as excessive wage disparity. In fact, they have tended to assume that energy limits would manifest themselves as high energy prices, especially for oil.

The world’s networked economy doesn’t work in the simple way that most researchers have assumed. Too much wage disparity tends to lead to low energy prices, rather than high, because of increasing affordability issues. The result is energy prices that are too low for producers, rather than too high for consumers. Producers (such as OPEC nations) willingly cut back on production in an attempt to get prices back up. The resulting shortage can be expected to more closely resemble financial collapse than high prices and a need for rationing. Trump’s tariffs may provide the US a better position, if the world economy should partially collapse.

Let me try to explain some pieces of this story.

1. Energy is needed to power the world economy. This fact has been missed by politicians and most economists. 

Economist Steven Keen recently developed a graphical explanation of the role energy plays in the world economy. In his graphic, he shows that workers need food (an energy product) just as machines need some sort of energy product to operate. In Steve Keen’s words, “Labor without energy is a corpse: capital without energy is a sculpture.”

Figure 1. Graphic by Steven Keen, depicting the role of energy in the economy. Energy in the form of food is necessary for human labor, just as energy (in one of its many forms) is needed for physical transformations that make the activities underlying GDP possible. These physical transformations necessarily lead to both the desired products and multiple types of waste.

In fact, there is a physics reason why energy consumption is needed in the economy. Energy “dissipation” is needed for the physical actions underlying GDP. For example, transportation requires a physical movement of people or objects. This can only happen with the use of energy. Even the use of heat or of electricity requires energy dissipation.

2. China’s huge growth in energy consumption since it joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) in December 2001 is truly amazing. It has changed the world order in a few years.

China’s energy consumption ramped up very quickly after joining the WTO in late 2001. At the same time, the energy consumption of the US and the EU stagnated, as manufacturing moved to China and other Emerging Markets.

Figure 2. Energy Consumption for the United States, China, and European Union, based on data from BP’s 2018 Statistical Review of World Energy.

As the shift in energy consumption occurred, jobs shifted elsewhere. Also, the competition with China and other low-wage countries tended to hold down wages of workers whose jobs could be shifted overseas. When we look at labor force participation rates for the US, we see that these seem to have turned down about the same time that China joined the WTO. This suggests that workers started leaving the workforce about the time competition with China ramped up.

Figure 3. US Labor Force Participation Rate, in chart prepared by the Federal Reserve of St. Louis.

3. China is now facing a problem with Peak Coal. Its level of coal production is barely sustainable because of depletion and low coal prices. 

Figure 4. China energy production by fuel, based on BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2018 data. “Other Ren” means Other Renewables. This includes wind, solar and other renewables, such as wood burned for fuel.

If China is to manufacture goods and services for the world economy as well as its own people, it needs a growing supply of cheap-to-produce energy. China’s largest source of energy is coal. China’s coal production hit a peak in 2013 and has been on a bumpy plateau, or falling, since. The problem has been a combination of (a) a higher cost of coal production, because existing mines are depleting, combined with (b) coal prices that do not rise high enough to make production from these mines profitable.

Of course, if coal prices were to rise higher, China would have a different, but equally serious problem: The cost of finished goods created for the world marketplace would be quite a bit higher, making it difficult to export them profitably. If customers’ wages rose at the same time coal prices rose, there would be no problem. The problem could be described in some sense as growing mining inefficiency because of coal depletion. Unfortunately, the world economy does not reward a shift toward inefficiency.

4. With Peak Coal occurring in China, it makes little sense for the United States, the European Union and others to depend as heavily on China as in the past.

The economy of every country today is built on debt. If the world economy is growing, this debt pile can rise higher and higher. If interest rates can be brought ever lower, this also helps the pile of debt rise higher and higher.

China’s economy also uses increasing debt to sustain its economic growth. If the economy of China should slow down or start shrinking because of energy limits, debt defaults could start overwhelming the system. Uprisings from laid-off workers might become difficult to quell. The situation could easily spiral out of control.

Economies around the world depend on China for many manufactured goods. In fact, for many minerals, China’s usage amounts to over half of the world’s consumption. This arrangement doesn’t really make sense because (a) China cannot really be depended on for the long term because of coal depletion, (b) jobs that pay well in Advanced Economies are being lost to China and other Emerging Markets, and (c) the level of concentration of manufacturing in China puts the world system at risk if China has any kind of adverse shift in its economy.

5. The whole idea of buying fuels from other countries only works as long as there is enough to go around. 

Many people are of the opinion that if there is not enough fuel of a particular kind, fuel prices will rise, and the market will continue to operate normally. There are at least two reasons why this doesn’t make sense:

Reason #1. The issue underlying rising costs of fossil fuels is nearly always depletion. For example, with coal mines, the coal closest to the surface in the thickest seams is extracted first. As this is depleted, deeper coal in thinner seams can also be extracted, but the cost tends to be higher. When depletion takes place, it is nearly always possible to extract more of the given fuel if some combination of more human labor and more technology (powered by energy) is used. Of course, adding labor and/or technology leads to a higher cost of production. 

But the prices of commodities are not determined based on the cost of production; prices are determined in the marketplace. They reflect the quantity of finished goods and services made with these commodities, that consumers (in the aggregate) can afford. Extracting coal or another fuel in what is essentially a less efficient manner doesn’t add to what consumers can afford. The combination of flat prices and higher costs leads to unprofitable producers–precisely China’s problem. Producers tend to cut back on production.

We can see that higher energy prices don’t lead to higher wages by looking at what happened when oil prices rose a few years ago in the US. We see that higher oil prices led to lower average wages because of recession.

Figure 5. Average wages in 2017$ compared to Brent oil price, also in 2017$. Oil prices in 2017 dollars 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 wage levels.

Reason #2. If we look back at the timing of Peak Coal in the UK and in Germany, it looks very much as if depleting coal supply was one of the causes of both World War I and World War II. Governments know that energy supplies are required to operate their economies. If they cannot get enough energy products internally or through trade, they will fight other countries for access to supplies.

Figure 6. Image by author.

Economists, sitting in their ivory towers, have not stopped to think through the obvious. Their standard supply and demand curve does not work for energy because an adequate supply of cheap energy is needed for both the demand for goods and services (coming from wages workers earn) and the supply of goods and services. Once affordability becomes a problem, because too many people have low wages, the prices of fuels stop rising. It is the fact that prices don’t rise high enough that causes the “peaking” of oil, natural gas, and coal production. Extraction stops, even though there seem to be plenty of resources still available with current technology.

6. A major energy issue today is the fact that China and India have run through their own energy supplies and now need to import energy from outside their countries to supplement domestic supplies.

As shown in Figure 4 (above), China’s coal production stopped rising in 2013, keeping the total amount of energy it produces close to flat. To compensate for this shortfall, China has started to import oil, coal and natural gas. The difference between the thick black line and the top of the “stack” of types of energy produced in China (in Figure 7 below) represents the quantity of fuel that it has needed to import. Clearly, this quantity has been increasing.

Figure 7. China energy production by fuel plus its total energy consumption, based on BP 2018 Statistical Review of World Energy data.

India’s coal supply is not yet decreasing, but it is running into a similar problem. It needs to import more and more energy products from abroad, as its energy consumption (thick black line) rises above its energy production “stack.”

Figure 8. India’s total energy consumption compared to its energy production by type, based on BP 2018 Statistical Review of World Energy. “Other Ren” includes wind, solar, and other commercially traded renewable types of renewable energy, such as geothermal.

7. Worldwide, there is a growing need for imported fuels of many kinds.

Figure 9 shows the imports needed for five major areas of the world. In this analysis, the European Union is treated as a single unit. Thus, in this analysis, the imports it receives are only those from outside the European Union, taken as a whole.

Figure 9. Required energy imports for five major areas of the world, based on the difference of energy consumption and energy production shown in BP’s 2018 Statistical Review of World Energy.

We can see from Figure 9 that the European Union and Japan have been major importers of fuels for a very long time. India and China have only in recent years become energy importers. At the same time, the US is becoming more and more energy sufficient with its own fuel production.

Figure 10 shows the ratio of imported energy to total energy consumption for these five areas.

Figure 10. Percentage of energy imported in 2017 in Japan, India, the EU, China, and the US. Imports calculated as the difference between Total Energy Consumption and Total Energy Production based on data from BP 2018 Statistical Review of World Energy. The European Union is treated as a single unit. Thus, energy imports are those from outside the EU.

The US is clearly in a better position than other countries/groups shown, with a smaller share of energy imported in Figure 10 and a declining trend in imported energy in Figure 9. Japan, the EU and India are all subject to substantial risk if available imports should fall.

8. The ramp up of “clean energy” to date has proven to be a major disappointment. The quantities added are far below what the IEA believes is needed.

Partial confirmation of this statement can be seen by observing the tiny orange “Other Ren” bands on Figures 4, 7, and 8 for China and India, which include wind, solar, and other non-hydroelectric renewables. China is the largest user of wind and solar in the world, yet its use of these devices provides only a tiny portion of its total energy consumption.

We have known since the 1950s that fossil fuel supply would eventually become a problem. Academics, with their focus on making models, have been able to come up with hypotheses regarding what might act as substitutes. But these models tend to miss a lot of things, including the following:

  • Adverse events, such as Fukushima for nuclear.
  • The need for electricity storage and extra long distance transmission lines, as wind and solar usage are ramped up. The cost-benefit analysis is much less favorable with these added.
  • Issues that affect only some installations, such as workarounds to keep long-distance transmission lines from starting fires in dry areas, or the high cost of underground transmission lines.
  • The best sites are taken early.

It is not until the actual experience arrives that we see how these substitutes are working in practice. If we think back, the nuclear promise of producing electricity that was hoped to be “too cheap to meter” hasn’t really panned out. In fact, many Advanced Economies are cutting back on their use of nuclear.

With respect to “renewables,” (including hydroelectric, wind, solar, and others) the amount of new generation added each year seems to have hit a plateau. It may be that the additional need for storage and transmission lines are already slowing the growth of renewables.

Figure 11. IEA Renewable Net Capacity Additions as of May 2019. Source: Chart from India Times.

The IEA has started pointing out that far more energy investment is needed if sustainable development goals are to be met–about 300 GW per year, instead of the current 177 per year in additions, on average, between 2018 and 2030.

9. Donald Trump and his advisors have sensed that the current economic system is not working because of too much wage disparity. If the economic system is destined to break in one way or another, Trump can influence which way the break will occur by the imposition of tariffs.

Trump and his advisors no doubt recognize the importance of a cheap, available energy supply. They also realize that energy is an important enough factor of production to fight over. Furthermore, many past wars have been resource wars. Tariffs are, in some sense, a step toward a resource war.

One of the immediate problems at hand is too much wage disparity. Strange as it may seem, excessive wage disparity can be a sign of inadequate energy supply because in a networked economy, high prices of commodities and low wages of workers are almost “mirror images” of each other. High commodity prices tend to cut off consumption of commodities (such as oil or coal) by prices of finished goods that are too high for consumers.

Excessive wage disparity works in reverse: It sends prices of commodities (such as coal and oil) too low, cutting off production because prices fall too low for producers of these commodities. Production falls because producers cannot make a profit. When wage disparity is very high, a large share of workers have very low wages, leaving them unable to purchase more than a small amount of high-priced goods (such as cars and homes) made with commodities. It is this low “demand” that holds down commodity prices.

Figure 10 shows that wide income disparities were issues both at the time of the Great Depression and in recent years. Commodity prices have been relatively low each of these times. The problems didn’t look like shortages; they looked like gluts because of issues related to lack of affordability.

Figure 12. U. S. Income Shares of Top 1% and Top 0.1%, Wikipedia exhibit by Piketty and Saez.

The US has raised tariffs in the past. One time was immediately before the US Civil War. Tariffs were again raised in 1922 and 1930, when wage disparities were at a high level.

Unfortunately, there is a significant chance that major parts of the world economy will start collapsing, with or without Trump’s tariffs and the trade war, because energy supplies worldwide are not growing sufficiently. In fact, some of these energy supplies are purposely being removed by producers, such as Saudi Arabia, because prices are too low.

By putting tariffs on some goods, Trump is providing a substitute for the missing high oil prices needed to slow the growth of globalization, if the issue of ever-increasing wage disparity is to be solved. The tariffs tend to raise the value of the US dollar relative to other currencies, making the cost of commodities (including fossil fuels) cheaper for US consumers than for other consumers around the world. The tariffs tend to encourage new investment in US production of many types, at the same time that they make investment in other countries, such as China, less appealing.

All of these changes indirectly give the US an advantage if there should be a partial collapse of the world economy. With the benefit of the tariffs, perhaps the partial collapse would leave some combination of countries, including the US and Canada, mostly unaffected. There might be other groups remaining as well. Weak economies, such as Venezuela, Cuba, and Haiti, would likely be pushed aside. Even Europe and Japan would likely have major problems.


Most observers have missed the point that excessive wage and wealth disparity can be a sign of serious energy problems, just as high prices can be a sign of short supply. They have also missed the point that coal supply is very important, just as oil supply is very important.

In the real world, when there is not enough to go around, wars are a definite possibility. A trade war is a somewhat reduced version of a war. Trump and his advisors, whether or not they understand the real situation, seem to be trying to guide the US to as good an outcome as possible, in the current situation of excessive wage disparity.

The underlying issue is likely the Limits to Growth problem modeled in the 1972 book, The Limits to Growth, by Donella Meadows, et al.

Figure 13. Base scenario from 1972 Limits to Growth, printed using today’s graphics by Charles Hall and John Day in “Revisiting Limits to Growth After Peak Oil,” with dotted line added corresponding to where I see the world economy to be in 2019.

As resources become depleted, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain economic growth. Industrial output per capita (for example, the number of new cars or number of smartphones per 1000 people) starts falling. The 1972 computer simulations did not consider wages or prices, only physical quantities of various items.

Now, as we can see how the limits are playing out in the real world, it appears that the most prominent manifestation of the world’s low resource problem is excessive wage disparity–an issue most people have never considered as being related to shortages of resource supplies. Few people have stopped to think that goods made with energy products are equally unaffordable whether the problem is prices being too high, or wages of most people being too low.

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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1,341 Responses to Why it (sort of) makes sense for the US to impose tariffs

  1. Yoshua says:

    High yield is breaking down again.


  2. Yoshua says:

    The S&P 500 is sitting right on the 200 day moving average again.


  3. Harry McGibbs says:

    “The European Central Bank has followed the Bank of England in warning that a vast corporate debt bubble poses a fundamental threat to financial stability. In its latest examination of the dangers facing the financial system, the ECB said that leveraged loans to businesses presented particularly high risks, especially if interest rates rise.”


  4. Harry McGibbs says:

    More on the diesel situation:

    “Global manufacturing and trade volumes have been decelerating since the third quarter of 2018 and the slowdown is starting to show up in sluggish consumption of middle distillates such as gasoil and diesel.

    “Global manufacturers have reported falling export orders for eight months since September, according to the new export orders component of the JP Morgan global purchasing managers’ index.

    “World trade volumes peaked in October and have since been contracting at the fastest rate since 2009, according to the Netherlands Bureau of Economic Policy Analysis.

    “Every real-time measure of manufacturing and trade flows points to a very sharp slowdown over the last nine months.

    “Container shipments are falling. Air cargo is down. Rail freight is shrinking. And shipping lines are cancelling voyages owing to lack of demand.”


  5. adonis says:

    Like I said de-population will kick the can down the road for many more years for BAU so dont worry the elders have got this .

    • Tsubion says:

      Well phewey! That’s a huge relief Adonis. Depopulation is nowhere near as bad as the alternatives. How are the Elder Boys going to choose who gets the chop? A lottery? / only mildly sarc

    • Some of the older (oldest?) organized branches of the clans-families owning the global go back at least ~350yrs, so essentially the accumulated know-how about properly herding the human cattle is enormous. Moreover there is that vast historical-institutional knowledge preceding that, which they study and apply also as well all the advance in modern sciences (genome, mass psychology, ..).

      Yes, the idea they will go quietly into the night just because prevalent megatrend of growth is changing is laughable if not desperate form of denial among us who try to observe the game. Important to mention there are several plans in the works, for example one which got recent attention mixing up the population, effectively when the single most important hub, Germany crosses say ~30% of non native pop there is almost no way to reverse it anymore, and the end game of abrupt balkanization – feudalization could commence.

      Surely, it’s one out of many of their pet projects ongoing, but to get it from current sub 15% into 30% of pop alteration will take at least two decades more, so there is likely not enough time, hence the rush, vitriol, twisting arms in protectorates (Hungary, Poland, Austria, Bavaria, N Italy, ..) and all of it..

      • DJ says:

        Most scandinaivians will gladly self-terminate out of climate shame if Greta tells them its imperative.

        • Ed says:

          Yes, whites seem unable to defend themselves. I expect they will be extinct in ten generations, say 400 years.

        • Tsubion says:

          She should lead the way.

          In fact… all the climate fear brigade should do us all a favor and run off the nearest cliff right now. Think of all the co2 they put out with all their blathering.

      • Tsubion says:

        Sounds like a breakaway civilisation is in the cards and was planned a long time ago.

        Lifeboat Earth.
        Underground bases.
        While the gm bugs do their thing.

  6. Pingback: Tverberg: The Case for Tariffs – Tudor Place

  7. Dan says:

    Something about today just seems off. Maybe the dam is beginning to break?

    US crude drops 0.6% to $58.81 per barrel as trade war worries outweigh supply disruptions

    China starting to have to bail out banks

    2/10 YR inverting while the 3 month / 10YR has already done so – amazing.

    Market indices all down a healthy full percent – not seeing any news to make them bounce back up so maybe the knife will keep falling.

    Hard Brexit becoming clearer that will be the plan

    Trade war intensifying

    The usual suspects beating war drums

    • I saw this chart for China’s diesel demand. I think of diesel (outside of Europe) as fuel used for business uses. There used to be some burned to heat buildings as well, but that has mostly gone away, because it is too expensive.


      The amount China is using seems to have dropped a lot recently. But it leveled off between 2011 and 2014. This may be part of the reason that oil prices stopped going up. Once China’s diesel demand started down (about 2016, 2017) oil prices really were low. We got a spike in 2018, but recently demand is way off. China’s published economic growth rates seem pretty unbelievable.

      • Tim Groves says:

        Last time China’s diesel demand dropped this steeply was following the start of Global Financial Crisis 1 in 2008/9. Could this mean we are now in Global Financial Crisis 2 but it hasn’t been announced yet?

        • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

          yes, Tim, exactly…

          it seems obvious that TPTB don’t believe the average person can handle the truth and act in an appropriate manner…

          which would be to continue all-out maximum personal spending…

          knowledge of GFCs would cause a significant portion of people to cut back on spending and do a bit of saving for the proverbial rainy day…

          that’s how I see the pieces of the puzzle fitting together right now…

          so my repeated claims that by late 2019 early 2020 “they” will admit a “mild” worldwide recession…

          with the well worn disclaimer that The Recovery is Right Around the Corner…

          the next decade will have so many recessions that they will be the new normal, and periods of growth will be the outliers…

          but for now…

          it’s BAU FULL THROTTLE BABY!

        • Yes. I agree that that comparison is right. This time, the crash is perhaps starting on the China side of the world instead of in the US subprime market.

      • Dan says:

        Oh I can believe it – China has been ballooning their debt to – Who can say who is really slowing faster – We have been propping up the shale boom and our economy on borrowed dollars also. Now that the cat is coming out of the bag is when it is getting interesting.
        I am gong to go on a limb and envision 2008 on steroids and then who knows what.

      • Yoshua says:

        Chinese new auto sales where down 50 percent the first week in May. The diesel demand might have fallen even harder in May?

        • It is my understanding that Chinese autos are either gasoline-powered or electric. Diesel is the fuel for heavy vehicles.

          A fall in diesel would suggest a fall in commercial/industrial consumption.

      • Greg Machala says:

        I agree it does seem like China is faltering. I think China is the one thing propping up post global financial collapse growth. If the coal and diesel numbers coming from China lately are accurate, it appears China is falling back to 2009 lows of consumption and thus economic growth in China must be collapsing. I wouldn’t suspect this kind of contraction could be hidden for long before some major defaults begin. Hard to tell who is exposed the most. I suspect many US investment banks are heavily invested in China.

        • According to an article that Harry posted a few days ago,

          Home ownership is one of the few ways for Chinese families to generate wealth because of limited investment opportunities. The average price of a home in Beijing has soared from around 4,000 yuan (US$578) per square metre, or 380 yuan (US$55) per square feet, in the early 2000s to the current level of well above 60,000 yuan (US$8,677) per square metre, or 5,610 yuan (US$813) per square foot, according to property data provider creprice.cn.

          The increase has also lifted the housing price to income ratio sharply from 5.6 in 1996 to 7.6 in 2013, well above the Japanese rate of 3.0 at its peak in 1988. The price to income ratio is the basic affordability measure for housing.

          According to the Global Times, a reasonable home price should be three to six times the median household income. That means a family with an average income can buy a house with three to six years’ annual income. The house price to income ratio in China is above 50 in the first-tier cities and 30 to 40 in the third- and fourth-tier cities, the newspaper said in October.

          I don’t know if these amounts are half-way right. People were complaining about housing prices back in 2015 when I visited.

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      “Maybe the dam is beginning to break?”

      yes, it’s begun…

      another 5 to 10 years and we’re doomed…

      • Dan says:

        I’ll happily take another 5-10 yrs – That may be when the wheels fly off the wagon – Having the hard view and eyes opened since 2008 I’m thinking it is getting shaky – I think we can all admit that a lot of extraordinary things have taken place. – There’s only so magic before the math and EROEI comes to roost – We only know growth and going poor is going to be a shock.

      • Bill Simpson says:

        The governments & central banks can delay the collapse by creating more and more debt. What must eventually bring the system crashing down is whenever the total amount of oil being produced begins to decline. That is physics which we can’t alter.
        A few years after the total supply of oil on the market begins to shrink, the global economy will be forced to shrink with it. That has never happened on a sustained basis since the Industrial Revolution and modern banking began. The bankruptcies which a contracting, instead of ever expanding, economy will unleash, are virtually certain to collapse the entire banking/financial system. It came within weeks of happening in 2008. And that was only from a few million bad housing loans, which is trivial compared to a global transportation fuel shortage which gets worse and worse as the years pass. Such a problem has NEVER happened before, so will catch the world by surprise.
        Governments will probably create more debt to try and reverse the contraction, but since it is a physics problem which can’t be changed by people, the debt they create will only cause hyperinflation. It will work for some period of time, but not for more than a few years. Eventually, the hyperinflation will make money completely worthless, if civilization even lasts that long.
        How long do we have left before the collapse hits can’t be predicted, since oil extraction technology is continually advancing. It could be 10 years, or 30 years, but it has to happen. Without recent advances in fracking and horizontal drilling, we would be close to collapse today. But they changed the possibility of extracting oil from thin, deeply buried layers of oil saturated rock. They gave us another decade or so of business as usual.

        • Tsubion says:

          Dude… basic income and solar panels are literally about to save us. /sarc

        • I think you are a little confused. We are watching peak oil unfold real time, right now. It comes about because of low demand. It leads to gluts of oil supply–for example, the increasing crude oil inventory that the US has been experiencing since March 15.

          I expect one of the major causes is because there is not enough coal being extracted to keep the average cost of energy products down at a sufficiently low level so that so that finished goods and services are affordable to customers. Peak coal in China (which occurred way back in 2013) is a major factor is this low demand.

          If we believe IEA data, the single highest month for world oil production was October 2018. The second highest month for world oil production was November 2018. OPEC is showing this chart of what it sees as oil production by month, for the world as a whole and for OPEC countries.


          If we look at prices, they were highest in July and October 2018. The stock market shuddered and oil prices dropped in November 2018 and December 2018, as oil supply fell

          The plunge protection team (or whatever) was back in action for January from most of May. Now the oil market is starting to look like it is headed downward again, both in production and in price. Expect the stock market to again fall will production/price.

          • Phil D says:


            For what it’s worth: oil prices rose from Jan through May this year because of OPEC+ cuts. Inventories have been building recently, but that’s been mostly in the United States. Everywhere else outside of the U.S., oil inventories have been building at a far slower pace, in line with normal seasonal patterns.

  8. Tim Groves says:

    Bill Gates agrees with Gail!

    “There is no substitute for how the industrial economy runs today.”


    • Not entirely, as he is NPP supporter and investor..

      • Bill Gates obviously hacked into my files–I’ll let him off with a warning not to do it again

        but he’s telling the truth—pure and simple, with no optimistic lies
        or false hopes of BAU.

        If Gates is saying it, then we’d all better sit up and take notice

        • That’s barely 2min clip out of many of his appearances on energy, technology, overpop etc. Nope, he is another quasi BAUer in general sense of public presence but just so prefers NPPs as the bridging solution.. The fact he sees (as others) through the ‘Gretas’ – delusional proposals of the intermittent scammers doesn’t make him questioning the BAU openly and fully.. He might be closet malthusiani afterall, but that’s hardly going to be confirmed in public venue.

    • Greg Machala says:

      Without cheap resources and energy to exploit – money is worthless. I think Bill is smart enough to connect those dots and realize that infinite growth in a finite world is impossible. The bottom line is wind and solar consume energy and resources and the little energy they do capture is not as reliable, not as energy dense, not as easily stored or transported like fossil fuels. So, it is easy to see why solar and wind will not and can not scale to the levels needed to capture enough energy to power modern industrial civilization. The resources to build and maintain that much new infrastructure simply isn’t there!

      • Tsubion says:

        And by the time you’ve rolled out any meaningful build out of renewables you are already replacing and upgrading the equipment.

        At grid scale!

        More factories, more resources, more energy required to keep this conveyor belt running at full speed on a global scale forever. Add to that, the immense undertaking of adding DC power lines everywhere and enormous amounts of storage facilities in every country.

        And all the while, maintaining a functional fossil fuel and nuclear complimentary service up until that magical day when the last coal plant is retired.

        At a time when things are obviously falling apart, these radical experiments are not really helping anyone.

        The idea of infinite growth is false though. Unless anyone is planning on expanding off planet. We’re set to collapse. And even if we weren’t, population would top out and then decline rapidly to whatever the new holding capacity is.

        So I don’t know why the term infinite growth is used to make an argument.

        The question is whether a reduced population could manage to extract the necessary resources for their needs. It doesn’t appear to work that way. Mines and shipping and refineries and factories etc work on the way up. On the way down they’re probably abandoned much like most of our frivolous activity.

  9. Jarle says:

    Meanwhile in Norway, according to a commenter in one of our biggest newspapers:
    – Unemployment figures at historic low.
    – Workers needed.
    – Wages going up.
    I want to believe but I can’t.

    • There are always principle forces of ‘good’ and ‘bad – evil’ as I recall for example the exiled Norwegian gov during WWII was the only official force calling at BrettonWoods for disbanding the BIS (global CBs cartel front) after the war as they traded with the enemy (incl. stealing reserves in occupied countries + distro of spoils from death camps) throughout the war. Well it did not happen the ‘bad guys’ prevailed in the respective govs of winning western powers.. and even profoundly upgraded their act till today, despite occasional crisis points of 1970s, GFCI and likely into the future.. This story is not over.

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:


      doesn’t Norway have huge FF resources relative to its small population?

      if any country is doing well, it should be you guys…

    • Duncan Idaho says:

      Its Norway– one of the few rational places on Earth.
      Small, well educated, non religious population.
      An exception, not the rule.

      • Ed says:

        We will be in Norway for two weeks at the end of July!

      • Tim Groves says:

        77.93% of Norwegians have some kind of Christian affiliation, 3.55% have non-Christian religious affiliations, and the other 18.52% are Humanist or have no religious affiliation.

        • John Doyle says:

          Did you know, that before the advent of North Sea oil, Norway was the poorest country in Scandinavia. I think it shows why it is careful with its largesse.

          • I have read that there are more people of Norwegian ancestry in the US than the today’s total population of Norway. Back over a century ago, there was major immigration to the US from Norway, because Norway was doing very poorly. I know that my ancestors immigrated to the US from Norway.

            • John Doyle says:

              So it’s a bit like Ireland? 4 million in Ireland 84 million world wide, including my great grandfather an emigrant in 1862. It amazes me considering how badly the Irish were treated that they have any time at all for the Brits, At least Norway didn’t have that to cope with.

            • I have heard Norway compared to Ireland, in terms of percentage of population that left.

            • i think that too

              i go to s ireland a lot–the welcome is warm and genuine all the time—just love it

              go to the heart of welsh wales and you’d think they’re checking to see if youve come to steal their sheep
              or worse

              bit like crossing the border into USA come to think of it

            • Grant says:

              In all the countries you mention the mix of people and their family countries of origin has changed significantly since the times you seem to refer to.

              But there are indeed apparent parallels between Ireland and Norway.

              Supported Population size is one.

              Also the regional equivalents of the Kerry Man jokes from Norway’s neighbours, though perhaps oil wealth has changed the nature of such jokes since they were told to me by some Danes nearly 30 years ago.

              Coincidentally one of the Norwegian managers I sometimes worked with in Oslo was married to a lady from Ireland.

              Nice place. Nice and very thoughtful people many of whom would ask the same question at least 3 times over separate visits before feeling comfortable that they understood the answer. Progress was slow, comparatively, but solid.

              At the time Oslo was probably the most expensive city I visited. More so than, for example, Stockholm or Helsinki, neither of which could be considered inexpensive.

              I presume the wealth was related to oil and gas replacing fishing as the primary component of the economy.

  10. Harry McGibbs says:

    “A decline in global car sales likely reduced world gross domestic product by 0.2% last year, and a flat auto market will continue to dampen global manufacturing indicators in 2019, according to a report by Fitch Ratings on Tuesday. Demand for autos declined in 2018 for the first time since 2009…”


    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “Risk aversion has increased globally in recent days as fears of world recession resurfaced amid disappointing macro data in major economies.

      “Wins for eurosceptic parties in EU elections as well as a snap poll in Greece and political turmoil in Austria have added to the gloomy outlook. Italy’s dispute with the European Commission over its budget is also a major overhang for world markets.”


    • Of course, on a per capita basis, car sales are down by more than 0.1%. The per capita decrease is more like 1.25%, if population is growing by 1.15%.

      • Harry McGibbs says:

        “Brexit has caused the number of cars built in the UK to plummet by 44.5 per cent in just one year, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has said.”


        • Grant says:

          Or could it be that the cars that the manufacturers have traditionally built here are just not selling?

          New models from the Brands, whose international owners have particular reason to show loyalty to the UK, are being outsourced to low cost areas. The biggest markets are not buying and in any case demand local production. The home market is down for various reasons but in any case is not really a candidate for absorbing most of the products.

          And then there are the new anti-diesel rules, I’ll thought through emission testing regulations revisions and so on. Plus General Motors giving up on Europe has an effect on these numbers. Ford eliminated all but some engine manufacturing years ago.

          Add to that the regulations for elimination of fossil powered vehicles asap and one could imagine the entire industry worldwide going through an extended period of mandated change, most of it reliant on China.

          Similar figures can probably be found elsewhere.

  11. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Beijing is gearing up to use its dominance of rare earths to hit back in its deepening trade war with Washington. A flurry of Chinese media reports on Wednesday, including an editorial in the flagship newspaper of the Communist Party, raised the prospect of Beijing cutting exports of the commodities that are critical in defense, energy, electronics and automobile sectors.

    “The world’s biggest producer, China supplies about 80% of U.S. imports of rare earths…”


  12. Harry McGibbs says:

    “A key slice of the Treasuries yield curve became the most inverted since 2007, as growing angst over trade friction is overshadowing expectations that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates by year-end. The gap between three-month and 10-year rates dipped Wednesday to negative 12.3 basis points, breaking past a March level, when it first reached levels last seen in the global financial crisis… Historically, an inverted curve has been a signal that a recession is looming.”


  13. Tim Groves says:

    I’m not sure if this will appear as a graphic, but CO2 and Mauna Loa passed 415ppm last month at Mauna Loa. It’s into its annual fall season now, but it has been going higher almost every passing year and on a decade-by-decade basis the rise is continuous.


    • Rodster says:

      And yet we are all still here despite the alarmist claims from the CC scientists. We were told that last time this much CO2 was in the air, trees were growing in the South Pole (BSE) Before Santa Era.

      And we were also told that the planet could support little to no life and yet here we are chasing 450 ppm.

      • doomphd says:

        here’s the analogy: get a thermometer and a tall glass. fill glass half full with ice cubes. the ice in our analogy represents the remaining polar glaciers and ice sheets. fill the rest of the glass with water. the water represents the oceans. now, allow the mixture to warm. record the temperature every few minutes. keep recording the temperature rise for several minutes after all the ice melts. this might take 30 minutes or more.

        then plot the temperatures of the water as the ice melts, then afterwards. Is there a break in slope? that would represent what happens after all the polar ice melts.

        so don’t get too comfortable with the lag time between the warming, as recorded by the atmospheric CO2 rise, and all our polar ice melting. be thankful there’s some left to melt.

        • Hideaway says:

          I use that analogy all the time except I use a saucepan and added heat underneath. The problem I encounter is that some people I explain this to don’t know the water is staying at the same temperature to begin with, until you actually show them!!

          I then get the comment “that is strange”, a point where I realize talking about the latent heat of fusion is not going to be understood.

          The people that I cannot reason with in regard to globbly wobbly are usually those with no understanding of science at the most basic level.

          • Pintada says:

            Dear Hideaway;

            “The people that I cannot reason with in regard to globbly wobbly are usually those with no understanding of science at the most basic level.”

            Or, they are paid to not understand. But most are just so ignorant that you are not even speaking the same language.

            Been there, done that, not gonna do it no more.


        • Tim Groves says:

          That’s an interesting observation. Ice caps can be considered as a buffer of sorts against g. warming, due to something called the latent heat of fusion (or melting).This is the heat required to convert a substance from the solid phase to the liquid phase leaving the temperature of the system unaltered.

          In the case of H2O, while ice melts, it remains at 0 °C and the liquid water that is formed by the melting is also at 0 °C. The heat of fusion required to turn ice at 0 °C into water at 0 °C is approximately 334 joules (79.7 calories) per gram.

          Roughly speaking 1 calorie will raise 1 gram of water 1 degree Celsius, so to turn a gram of ice into liquid water at 0 °C takes as much heat as to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water by 80 degrees.

          So if all the polar ice did melt, things would warm up quite dramatically in the cryosphere.
          And if that happened, we would be in for major disruption, because if all the ice covering Antarctica and Greenland were melt, sea level would rise about 70 meters (230 feet) and the ocean would cover all the world’s coastal cities. Of course, it’s a big “if.”

          • Rodster says:

            “And if that happened, we would be in for major disruption, because if all the ice covering Antarctica and Greenland were melt, sea level would rise about 70 meters (230 feet) and the ocean would cover all the world’s coastal cities. Of course, it’s a big “if.””

            Sea level rise of 230 ft? Well, no surprise because the alarmists keep jacking up the number. First it was 5 ft SLR, then it became 20 ft, then 100 ft and now it’s 230 ft of SLR. Why stop at 230 ft? Let’s go for the gusto, let’s inflate that number to 1000 ft of SLR, just to increase the level of alarm.

            But no need to worry about SLR because Guy McPherson, the Nutty Professor says we have a few years left before we are all off this planet.

            • hkeithhenson says:

              “because Guy McPherson, the Nutty Professor says we have a few years left before we are all off this planet.”

              I presume he means dead. Guy has never been a fan of going off planet to solve problems.

            • Tsubion says:

              Guy McP is a raving lunatic and a fraud.

              Keith. I don’t want to go off planet. I like it here.

            • Tim Groves says:

              I like it here too. My remote pre-human ancestors didn’t want to leave the trees, while I suspect Keith’s ancestors were the first pre-humans to stand on their hind legs and walk the savannah.

        • Rodster says:

          We will still be posting here on OFW when this thing hits 450-475ppm and that’s when Fast Eddy will make his reappearance. But then again the Nutty Professor Guy McPherson says we have less than 1.5 yrs left. 🙂

          • Tsubion says:

            That’s interesting.

            AOC says we have about 10 years.

            Someone is telling porkie pies.

            • Rodster says:

              They all are tbh 🙂

            • psile says:

              They’ve been saying 10 years every year since the Rio C. Conference in 1992, since n one ever wanted to actually deal with it. So it appears that we passed the point of no return some time ago. You only have to look at what’s happening in the arctic to understand the ramifications, but it takes a long time for the Cl….te Titanic to sink, probably on the scale of at least a human lifespan.

              Meanwhile we have financial, resource, energy and geopolitical triggers for collapse all primed to release at any moment. Cl….te collapse will just be the icing on the cake. By that time, who will care?

            • Tim Groves says:

              You only have to look at what’s happening in the arctic to understand the ramifications

              Here’s what’s happening temperature-wise in the Arctic. At the website you can compare every year since 1958. This will give anyone who wants to know a fair idea of the scope of the changes going on in that part of the world.


      • psile says:

        What are you talking about? Name me one climatologist who said we wouldn’t be here by now, due to CC?

        And for your information, it’s only 413 ppm, atm. This is how I know you are full of sh*t.

        • Rodster says:

          “This is how I know you are full of sh*t.”

          I’m sure you’re referring to all the alarmists claims by the CC crowd. We are past 400ppm and life goes on. We will hit 450ppm and will go on. We will hit 500ppm and we will all still be here. The PPM crowd keeps moving the line in the sand. We cross it, we’re still here. Might I remind you that 350.org was created by alarmists who claimed bad to catastrophic things would happen when we crossed 350ppm. And here we are, still posting comments on OFW in our air conditioned homes. So the BS artists are the ones who have made their living from outlandish claims.

          How do I know? Because first it was called GW, that changed after a few of their GW conventions got snowed in. Then it was changed to CC until people realized the climate is always changing. Now it’s ACD “Anthropogenic climate disruption, because we can now blame it all on the climate when it snows, rains, it’s too hot, too cold, or the weather is too beautiful.

          The sea level rise crowd is another example, first it was 5ft SLR then it turned into 10, which became 100 ft when the arctic melts. Now supposedly it’s 230 ft SLR. Why stop there, lets just say 100 ft of SLR, just to make the alarmist crowd happy.

          BUT YOU WANT TO KNOW, what we can really do something about? How about we stop killing our oceans by not dumping plastics, garbage, toxic chemicals and radioactive nuclear waste.

          • psile says:

            Blah, blah, blah. But name me one climatologist who said we’d all be t*ts up by now?

            GW was always about climate disruption, not that we’d see a uniform rise in temp, or a flattening out of climatic conditions. Only that as ppm increased we’d see more frequent, more extreme, more intense, and longer duration weather events. Which is exactly what’s happening, and which was forecast by Exxon itself, as far back as 1982.

            Also, this is not a hothouse almost tidally locked Venus, where that planet spins on its axis only once every 243 days, resulting in a huge build up in temp. That scenario won’t occur for at least another billion years, or so, as the sun exits the main sequence and becomes a giant star, before it dies.

            And, 350.org says that its goal is to see ppm get back down to 350, which it considers would be a safe level of c. not that we’d be stuffed past 350. Though good luck with that.

            Jeez….stop being such a d*ck,

            • Tim Groves says:

              Psile, do you think Venus would be cooler if it was spinning faster?

              You don’t think the high temperature is due mostly to a combination of Venus’s distance from the sun and the thickness of its atmosphere? Interesting! Atmospheric pressure at the surface of Venus is about 92 bars, compared with 1 bar at the surface of the Earth. That’s a hell of a pressure cooker!

              Incidentally,”tidal locking” is the name given to the situation when an object’s orbital period matches its rotational period. For those who are not up on our nearest planetary neighbor, Venus’s orbital period or year is 255 Earth days and its rotational period or day is 116 Earth days 18 hours. It is not tidally locked or even almost tidally locked. If Carl Sagan was alive to day he would be able to reassure us that Venus will not become tidally locked for Billions and Billions of years.

              None of the planets are tidally locked, not even Mercury, which is the closest to the sun and is closest to that state. A day on Mercury is 58.646 Earth days and a year on Mercury is 88 Earth days.

              An example of tidal locking is our own Moon. The moon takes about 28 days to go around the Earth and the same time to rotate once around it’s axis. This results in the same face of the Moon always facing the Earth.

              According to Michael Gilga, a student of Astrophysics at Pennsylvania State University, writing on Quora:

              Venus is not tidally locked with the sun. Venus rotates on its axis like the Earth (all sides of the planet are exposed to the sun at some point in its orbit); however, it spins in the opposite direction (clockwise) compared to the other planets in our solar system (counter-clockwise). It was discovered that Venus’ rotation was actually slowing down. This could lead to it becoming tidally locked in the future, but as of right now, that is not the case.

            • psile says:

              I said ALMOST tidally locked.


              The fact that Venus rotates so slowly, compared to the Earth, must have a bearing on its hellish atmosphere and climate, apart from its proximity to the Sun.

            • Tim Groves says:

              Rodster referred to “the CC crowd” and and Pslie replied, “What are you talking about? Name me one climatologist who said we wouldn’t be here by now, due to CC?”

              The CC crowd and climatologists are not synonymous. For instance, Pslie is a member of the former but not among the latter. In any case, just because somebody pouts authoritatively about climate is no guarantee that they are a climatologist. Remember the head of the IPPC was a railway engineer as well as an author of romance novels.

              But if Psile really wants the name of a clmatologist who said we ‘d be t*t’s up by now, it would have to be Professor Guy McPherson, who is accredited as a climate scientist by no less an authority than Mother Jones Magazine. Back in 2013, the magazine published:

              “We as a species have never experienced 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere,” Guy McPherson, professor emeritus of evolutionary biology, natural resources, and ecology at the University of Arizona and a climate change expert of 25 years, told me. “We’ve never been on a planet with no Arctic ice, and we will hit the average of 400 ppm…within the next couple of years. At that time, we’ll also see the loss of Arctic ice in the summers…This planet has not experienced an ice-free Arctic for at least the last three million years.”

              In the same article, Mother Jones quoted the eminent Arctic ice expert Prof. james Wadhams.

              he’s far from the only scientist expressing such concerns. Professor Peter Wadhams, a leading Arctic expert at Cambridge University, has been measuring Arctic ice for 40 years, and his findings underscore McPherson’s fears. “The fall-off in ice volume is so fast it is going to bring us to zero very quickly,” Wadhams told a reporter. According to current data, he estimates “with 95 percent confidence” that the Arctic will have completely ice-free summers by 2018. (US Navy researchers have predicted an ice-free Arctic even earlier—by 2016.)

            • Tim Groves says:

              GW was always about climate disruption, not that we’d see a uniform rise in temp, or a flattening out of climatic conditions. Only that as ppm increased we’d see more frequent, more extreme, more intense, and longer duration weather events. Which is exactly what’s happening,

              Not happening, I’m afraid. Apart from in that poor tortured walnut-like organ between the alarmsts’ ears that passes for a brain.

              Incidentally, are you interested in a job at the new Tottenham Hostpur football stadium. I hear they are looking for someone who’s good at moving goalposts. 🙂

              Back in the real world, the weather is doing what it has always done—being capricious. Constant reliable weather and stable reliable climate are imaginary notions that don’t exist in nature, as you’d find out pretty quickly if you had bothered to study what we know about weather and climate history.

              You are probably too young to remember the sumer of 1934.

              A new study using a reconstruction of North American drought history over the last 1,000 years found that the drought of 1934 was the driest and most widespread of the last millennium.

              Using a tree-ring-based drought record from the years 1000 to 2005 and modern records, scientists from NASA and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory found the 1934 drought was 30 percent more severe than the runner-up drought (in 1580) and extended across 71.6 percent of western North America. For comparison, the average extent of the 2012 drought was 59.7 percent.

              “It was the worst by a large margin, falling pretty far outside the normal range of variability that we see in the record,” said climate scientist Ben Cook at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York.

            • Tim Groves says:

              I said ALMOST tidally locked.

              Indeed you did sir. And that’s precisely the issue you fail to grasp.

              I ALMOST locked my front door as I was leaving home yesterday.
              What was the state of the front door after this action.
              Was the door locked? Or unlocked? Or was it ALMOST locked?

              The fact that Venus rotates so slowly, compared to the Earth, must have a bearing on its hellish atmosphere and climate, apart from its proximity to the Sun.

              Indeed it must. But quantifying what difference a slow rotation period would make to the climate of a planet with such a thick and opaque atmosphere is no easy task.

              In the case of a planet with no atmosphere, a slow rotation relative to the sun means the daytime side gets much hotter and the nighttime side gets much cooler than it would if it rotated rapidly, but the overall result is that a slower rotation makes the average temperature lower. The earth’s moon is an example of this effect.

              In the case of a planet with an atmosphere, things are more complicated because an atmosphere works as a heat engine, tending to move the heat from the hotter regions to the cooler ones. On the earth, if it took weeks or months to complete one rotation, the night side would be covered in frost and this would change the albedo significantly.

              On Venus, which is covered in thick clouds that don’t allow very much sunlight to penetrate to the surface and a thick atmosphere that works as a very effective heat engine, so regardless of the speed of rotation, the day and night sides of the planet’s surface are at almost the same temperature. This may be counterintuitive, but that’s what the measurements seem to be telling us.

              In a paper published this year in Nature, D. Singh writes:

              Venus surface temperatures indicate a hot (~698 K) with little to almost no interaction with solar energy. Assuming a solar constant of 2600 Wm−2, and 2.5% absorption by the surface the dayside temperature would be higher by about 1–2 K than nightside temperature. This indicates that the dayside surface temperatures would not be significantly different than that of the nightside surface temperatures.


            • psile says:

              I said ALMOST tidally locked.
              Indeed you did sir. And that’s precisely the issue you fail to grasp.
              I ALMOST locked my front door as I was leaving home yesterday.
              What was the state of the front door after this action.
              Was the door locked? Or unlocked? Or was it ALMOST locked?…

              Jeezus, just shoot me…

            • psile says:

              And seriously, Guy McPherson, a climatologist!? Lol…is that the best you can do?

              Exxon knew all along…

            • Harry McGibbs says:

              Tim, didn’t Hokkaido in the far *north* of Japan just record its hottest temperature ever and the hottest ever recorded in Japan in the month of May?


              And didn’t Japan record nine of its top eighteen highest ever temperatures in 2018?


              Meanwhile, Japan hasn’t seen a national record for cold since 1985:


              Looks like a warming trend to me.

            • Tim Groves says:

              Tim, didn’t Hokkaido in the far *north* of Japan just record its hottest temperature ever and the hottest ever recorded in Japan in the month of May?

              Harry, apparently it did. It is interesting how the bigger cities grow, the hotter they tend to get, isn’t it? It’s called the urban heat island phenomenon

              And didn’t Japan record nine of its top eighteen highest ever temperatures in 2018?

              Yes, you brought this up a few weeks ago and I think I mentioned the urban heat island phenomenon then. With increasing urbanization, it really does tend to get hotter day and night, summer and winter. This introduces a built-in bias towards warming in the meteorological records.

              Meanwhile, Japan hasn’t seen a national record for cold since 1985
              Looks like a warming trend to me.

              Indisputably so. There is little if any disagreement that the world as a whole and many places including Japan have warmed over the past century by a degree or possibly 2 degrees C. That’s what the statistics seem to be telling us. But lets put things in some sort of perspective. The 19th century was cool. It was the end of the Little Ice Age. It featured “the year without a summer in 1816 and Krakatoa in 1883. The 20th century warming has been wholly beneficial to humans. It gave us 1945 Château Lafite Rothschild and it greatly helped the poor crofters in your neck of the woods and the peasant rice farmers in mine.

              I’ve found an interesting blog post showing the temp. records for a number of places in Japan. All of them show warming over the period, but there are some stark differences. Big cities show rises of 3 to 4 degrees while smaller cities show rises of 1 to 2 degrees. Rural areas it’s difficult to get data, but I’d expect less of a rise due to no HIE.


              And here’s the biggie. The difference in annual temperature between Sapporo in Hokkaido and Kagoshima in Kyushu is about 10 degrees C. Both places support rice growing although Hokkaido was too cold for that until 150 years ago when new cold tolerant strains were developed. The slightly warmer climate today and the higher CO2 levels both help improve yields. Most warming is in winter and at higher latitudes so the warming cuts annual fuel consumption. We should welcome the warmth and hope and pray it continues.

          • Tim Groves says:

            Psile, there’s no need to thank me for trying to correct some of your errors of understanding about the universe, English usage and everything. As long as at the end of the day you’ve learned something I feel my efforts are not totally wasted. 🙂

            Of course, I tend to agree with you that Guy McP is not a climatologist. But that only begs the question of weather most of the big mouths who talk loudest about climate doom are climatologists. As you may be aware, climatology is a subspecialty of earth science and atmospheric science that is studied and practiced as a day job by many people who left college with degrees in geology, geography and meteorology.

            Once you start labeling this or that working scientist “not a climatologist”, you are in danger of flirting with the “no true Scotsman” fallacy. I prefer to give people the benefit of the doubt. If Guy wants to call himself a climate expert and Mother Jones is happy to agree with him, who are we mere proles to disagree?

    • SUPERTRUMP says:

      That’s GOOD, right? Means BAU is on track full throttle, flat out, pedal to the metal, balls to the wall, whatever it takes, QE, ZIRP, Deficit record spending, dismantling of regulation,
      and casino Capitalism. Did I forget anything Tim?

      Hope this is helpful🐯

    • Tim Groves says:

      This next one shows world CO2 emissions data plotted annually between 1900 and 1914.

      It’s interesting to compare the two graphs. The first thing most people will probably notice is that they both start of low on the left and end up high on the right. But are they correlated, and if so, what is the correlation? Assuming both are accurate, what can these graphs tell us about these two phenomena? A lot? Not so much? Nothing at all?


      • Peak Oil Pete says:

        Co2 has been MUCH higher in the past an life flourished.
        In submarines and on the space station (ISS) CO2 levels can get as high a 800 ppm.
        I have yet to seen a scientific paper proving C02’s warming effect on the atmosphere in any concerning way. The school kid presentation with light shining into a “closed sealed system” glass ball filled with Co2 is a trick to fool the masses. The atmosphere is not considered a closed system. Gasses and heat are escaping continuously. The formula is completely different for a none closed system.
        Earth heating and cooling phases are driven mainly by the sun and the eccentricity of the earth’s orbit and pole wobble. We just happen to be nearing the end of a warming phase and some elites and governments want to make a LOT of money off it.

      • SUPERTRAMP says:

        Why on EAARTH are people still bringing this up….like we did it last article from Gail…beating a dead horse….pleaaase


        • Tim Groves says:

          Sorry, SuperTramp, did not mean to annoy you…..:)

          I know that some commenters and readers here are actually concerned enough about the end times to the point of being unable to get a good night’s sleep through worrying about it. I truly care about the state of their mental and psychological health and wish to assuage their fears, not to sausage them!

          And there’s Bill McKibben, who has been calling for a national debate on this vital issue as part of the Democratic primary election circus. Wouldn’t want to disappoint him. He’s been known to weep when ignored.

          Climate change is here — that’s not up for debate. From this spring’s destructive floods in the Midwest to Cyclone Idai, one of the strongest tropical storms ever seen in the Southern Hemisphere, the climate crisis is already taking its toll on 2019.

          What we need to know now is what our next President is going to do about it.

          The climate crisis was ignored in the 2012 and 2016 elections. Since then, the fires, storms, and floods have made it devastatingly clear: we can’t afford any more climate silence in 2020.

          People across the country want to hear presidential candidates talk about climate change and their plans to tackle it. Poll after poll has made it clear that Americans are more concerned about the climate crisis than ever before — and a majority are hungry for bold, effective action like a Green New Deal.


          • hkeithhenson says:

            “change and their plans to tackle it”

            The trouble is (as Gail has made so clear) there is no approach that makes sense. The GND is just more of intermittent renewables, which Garmany has found don’t hold down coal consumption at all. I think I posted this URL https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelshellenberger/2019/05/06/the-reason-renewables-cant-power-modern-civilization-is-because-they-were-never-meant-to/#35b6c0b4ea2b

            “Many Germans will, like Der Spiegel, claim the renewables transition was merely “botched,” but it wasn’t. The transition to renewables was doomed because modern industrial people, no matter how Romantic they are, do not want to return to pre-modern life.

            “The reason renewables can’t power modern civilization is because they were never meant to. One interesting question is why anybody ever thought they could. ”

            Power satellites *might* solve the energy problems. They are not intermittent like ground solar and wind and scale large enough to replace fossil fuels. But they are not the political agenda in western countries, though they seem to be in China and Japan.

            • Tsubion says:


              China wants to put a solar power station in orbit by 2050 and is building a test facility to find the best way to send power to the ground.

              2050 Keith.


              Some say renewables, some say nuclear fission, possibly fusion in the far future.

              I say oil, coal and gas until the economy implodes.

              Then sticks.

            • Tim Groves says:

              Anybody with a power satellite will have a great weapon to use against enemies that don’t kowtow. If you were the kind of boy who enjoyed focusing the sun’s rays with a magnifying glass to burn pieces of paper, melt slabs of butter, or scorch a sleeping cat!, and you grow up into a great national leader, or a Dr. Evil character, you are going to crave a few power satellites.

              I’m sure Bezos was planning to build one before he had to pay that huge divorce settlement. And to top it all, now she’ going to waste half of her alimony on charity!!

            • Simply “turning off” electricity to part of the world would be an incredible weapon, if it could be arranged.

            • Grant says:

              Should the world ever come to rely on a very wide area electricity grid (assuming such becomes feasible) in the ‘fight against renewable intermittency, whoever might be able to exert controls over the way it all worked would obtain significant influence.

              A logical East/West connector would probably use a route similar to the old Silk Road trading route from back in time.

            • hkeithhenson says:

              “a great weapon”

              Useful power satellite can be constructed that are impossible to use as weapons. On the other hand, you can build ones with big lasers and they are weapons. There is even a reason to make them, cleaning up the space junk.

            • JesseJames says:

              Bezos wife might as well give the money directly to the executives of those charities. IMHO most charities and NGOs are scams, siphoning most of the money into pay and benefits. Look at how many are audited by charity credential in general orgs.

            • Tsubion says:

              Oh these are waaay more fun…


              US Project Thor would fire tungsten poles at targets from outer space

              As the threat of space-based weapons – and treaties to limit them – occupies an increasingly large part of defense spending and international competition, nations have sought loopholes in existing treaties to get a leg up on their opponents, including placing kinetic energy weapons in orbit.

              The US Air Force’s “Project Thor” revives a dream weapons manufacturers have had since the dawn of nuclear weapons: how to create damage equivalent to a nuclear bomb without the trouble of nuclear radiation and fallout. Kinetic bombardment, once prohibitively expensive, is now back on the agenda, since it involves no explosives and is not technically barred from being put into orbit by the Outer Space Treaty.

  14. adonis says:

    my mistake typing error 500 million that is their solution to bring on the new growth model for the low carbon transition how will they do it the elders have concocted viruses that will be injected into the trusting gullible masses disguised as health giving vaccines for all we know the program for vaccines delivery systems began over a hundred years ago so the 500 million population number could come in within 10 years .

  15. Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

    and more from the Chinese economic powerhouse:


    “Diesel demand in China fell 14% and 19% in March and April respectively, reaching levels not seen in a decade, according to data compiled by Wells Fargo.”

    • Rodster says:

      Diesel demand should pickup because a poster on JHK’s blog told me and others that clean diesel made from Hemp is the future. Problem solved, we are all saved.

      May 27, 2019 at 5:15 pm #
      I disagree 100%.
      Hemp oil diesel is a viable alternative .


      Ethanol can be grown using switch grass NOT corn or as illustrated above from hemp stalks all it takes is a good source of cellulose!



      • Scale, land use, and cost of production are no doubt huge challenges.

        • Rodster says:

          Please Gail, don’t burst his/her bubble. A followup poster tried to tell him/her the same thing but obviously some people won’t listen to reality. 🙂

        • Tsubion says:

          With the plant growing yes.

          But the GM algae turning water into gasoline in giant vats. Now that has potential. You cut out all the middle processes. You can even choose which finished product you want – diesel, gasoline, jet fuel.

          But still… what does it matter if the economy is tanking and demand for these consumables goes downhill.

      • Greg Machala says:

        If hemp to diesel was viable and profitable, Monsanto would have patented it by now.

        • Rodster says:

          Bingo !!!

        • Good point!

        • Tsubion says:


          ExxonMobil and Synthetic Genomics Inc. today announced a breakthrough in joint research into advanced biofuels

          “The major inputs for phototropic algae production are sunlight and carbon dioxide, two resources that are abundant, sustainable and free,” said Oliver Fetzer, Ph.D., chief executive officer at Synthetic Genomics.

          Algae has other advantages over traditional biofuels because it can grow in salt water and thrive in harsh environmental conditions, therefore limiting stress on food and fresh water supplies.

          Oil from algae can also potentially be processed in conventional refineries, producing fuels no different from convenient, energy-dense diesel. Oil produced from algae also holds promise as a potential feedstock for chemical manufacturing.

          • But the cost has always been way too high. And oil prices seem destined to go lower, rather than higher.

            All of these “promising techniques” (this one from 2017) assume that oil prices will rise.

      • MM says:

        What you are talking about is converting low power cellulose to high power ethanol. No bacteria does that by free will. It is supposed to work with genetic engineering but I saw at least 5 approaches for it in the last 20 years and it never played out economically.

        What could make sense is: convert a diesel engine for use with raw cold pressed vegetable oil. This has several advantages:
        1, The engine can use veg oil and diesel
        2. The vegoil does not need any processing
        3. most plants producing rich oil seeds are very good for the soil quality in a crop rotation (what is not an opion in industrial agro)
        google for “elsbett engine”

        This will not work for a billion consumer cars but for agro machinery and police military and firefighters (at least some that we could keep in case ther should be a need)

        • Without modern machinery and roads, even your vegetable approach would not work.

          The big problem is growing enough extra grain than can be turned into vegetable oil for this purpose. You need more than just enough for the farm equipment. Someone needs to keep the roads somewhat maintained, and that takes fuel. Also, something to put on the roads.

          • Rodster says:

            And good luck convincing Americans who are already cash-strapped with low wage jobs to pay to have their vehicles converted to run diesel fuel or having to buy a diesel car. That’s why as I said most people who come up with these golly gee-whiz ideas, never think it thru.

            • Tsubion says:

              Yeah coz airplanes and microchips and satellites will never ever happen will they.

              Said someone just before they did.

              Yeah coz those golly gee whiz ideas never ever work do they.

              Like we will never ever make the shift from horses and cows to cars and trains right?

              Like we will never ever need anything more than wooden ships?

              And trees are perfectly suitable for powering our civilisation said someone 2000 years ago. And we’ll just run out of them and that will be that. Back to catching squirrels with our teeth.

              Switching to a new power source and making a few lifestyle adjustments would by far be the easiest of our problems to manage.

              Sometimes I wonder what you guys are smoking.

              Grand restructuring coming. The remainers will soldier on.

          • it’s as well to bear in mind that Ford’s first concept of car transport was that they should run on corn alcohol, made by the farmer himself because filling stations didnt exist

            • I expect that in that case, cars would not be used extensively, because ethanol would require too much of the available land. Corn also requires a lot of fertilizer.

            • in Ford’s early days, there were no proper roads, A farm of 200 acres or so could set aside a few acres to produce enough moonshine (which is what it was) for about 50 miles a month which is as far as anyone could conceivably need to travel.
              As far as Ford was concerned ethanol was the only viable fuel because anyone could make it and it was obviously safer than petrol

              the leftover mash would be used as animal feed anyway

          • MM says:

            I made a farmer scholarship and we calculated that a vegetable oil based (not ethanol based!) machine park for a standard sized farm could run on 25% of the whole agricultural area of that farm. 25% food is the same you need if you use Oxen or horses.
            It is not a solution for everything, I know that but things will not break down at once. The roman empire took 500 years to go down. I live in a country with 10000s of horses and horse carts. And a lot of craftsmanship and smal scale farming and fresh water. We will not die soon…

            • All you need then is the machines and spare parts for the machines. A few roads would be helpful as well. Unfortunately, all of that overhead expense “costs” more than the 25% of the agricultural area of the farm. The problem is that we need a whole networked system. Some of these costs are covered by taxes–often fairly high taxes.

            • Grant says:

              You can’t use animals as labour because it is no longer acceptable for humans to take advantage of what other inhabitants of the planet can offer.

              Plus they produce large amounts of CO2 which is why some activists want them removed from food farming.

              Hand cart and scythes for all.

              No machetes though as we all know that humans hack each other to pieces with machetes and so they must be banned.

              (I’m assuming that some form of metal production will still be viable.)

  16. Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

    oh look, a “recession watch”…


    “The stock market and economic outlook in the United States are “deteriorating,” according to an analysis from one of Wall Street’s top investment banks.”

    this is how it’s done…

    by the end of 2019 or early 2020, they will confess that the recession actually began earlier this year…

  17. Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

    oh look, getting desperate lately?


    “The response could be any mix of three approaches: Modern Monetary Theory, negative interest rates or so-called helicopter money.”

    so the end is near…

    this can’t go on for more than a few more years…

  18. Pingback: Wage Disparity Causing Global Collapse | Bad Republic

  19. Yoshua says:

    The gravity of deflation is about to break down this trend line?


    U.S import prices have fallen.

    The Fed’s rate hikes and tightening has strengthened the dollar which has lead to lower import prices.

    Trumps tariffs has probably also lead to lower import prices (excluding tariffs).

    The Fed’s policy has forced EM to raise rates to defend their currencies, which has lead to falling investment and consumption as the cost of borrowing has increased.

    All this has probably helped to lead to falling global trade and falling prices…and to a global synchronized slowdown.

    So when do the defaults begin and where?

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      when and where?

      the “when” is right now…

      the “where” is mostly in The Periphery…

      too bad for them…

      for most of us who live in The Core…

      our time is coming…

      this year is flying by with wobbling BAU…

      but next year or any year after…

  20. MM says:

    I want to propose a third solution to the growth problem and renewables.
    Let us say, we would engage in a GND policy, we will probably need more than 10 years to see a significant change.
    On the other end of the pipe a resource problem is coming and the growth of renewables must stop.
    As an end result there could be a level reached where a sustainable population and economy size is reached of about 25% of today. We could have an energy system up with a very low economy but we saved some of the civilisation. The small economy could run on very little oil and minerals for refurbishment.
    I Just want to introduce less of a black and white thinking…

    • Tsubion says:

      I Just want to introduce less of a black and white thinking…

      Sure… that’s cool an’ all. We can all dream.

      The achilles heal in your little plan could be as simple as…

      spare parts
      economies of scale (no microchips) (in fact… nothing fancy at all)
      chaos – inability to maintain order even on smaller scale
      sustainable doesn’t exist – change is the only thing that happens otherwise stagnation
      oil and minerals aint a thing without BAU and large scale refineries etc

      I mean maybe if a few communities all bunch together in some corner by the coast and make do with what’s available for however long that lasts.

      But I just see a lot of butthurt angry crazy people at each others throats for a long long time.

    • DJ says:

      And after 15 years and so when your non-renewable renewable energy-harvesting gadgets starts breaking down?

    • Grant says:

      But why?

      And what would stop future changes?

  21. good to know life ain’t all bad


    me and Sadie Hawkins both

  22. SuperTramp says:

    Trade war, no problem
    Why the stock market is one or two bad economic reports away from a collapse
    Until it is a problem that is….
    Investors need to wake the hell up.

    Just because the market is “holding up well” during the past month or so of dreary trade war headlines doesn’t mean everything is fine and dandy. The signs are starting to build that the global economy is cooling down more quickly than many balding pundits and aging stock price predictors would have investors to believe.

    Consequently, valuations on stocks are well overdue for a significant haircut. Not the drip, drip, drip BS investors have endured the past month — the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average are “only” down 3.8% and 4.1%, respectively, since late April.
    Think 10% nosedive, or more. In other words, a classic collapse
    All of this dialogue suggests to me the market is one or two bad economic reports away from a sharp reversal as investment theses become derailed.
    In this type of slowing environment, Corporate America is unlikely to announce bang up second quarters and is at risk at cutting their 2019 outlooks. I encourage all investors to listen to recent earnings calls from Target, Walmart, Deere, Macy’s and Best Buy to get a sense of the real profits the trade war is stealing.
    That has to get priced into stocks, it’s that simple.
    Nonetheless, let the Twitter tirades begin regarding this dose of business news analysis. Everyone thinks they’re right, until they are proven horrifically wrong. Sometimes it’s tough being a contrarian
    At OFW we know the feeling…

    Trump in the ring dueling it out with China….


    Showboating and posturing ….

    • I think this year may be a year where the view, “Sell in May and go away.”

      In the US, people who are age 70 and over are required to sell at least a specified percentage (% rises with rising age) of their retirement fund holdings each year, so that they actually get the benefit of the amounts put into savings in earlier years. These older individuals have discretion as to when during the year to sell the funds. If they think the stock market is going up, they should clearly wait until December to sell. But with the situation now, maybe “Sell in May and go away,” makes sense.

      • Dennis L. says:

        Some years back Warren mentioned a book titled “When Money Dies.” Those who held “money” lost it all, those who owned stocks and assets lost some, but not all. A utility company is still a utility company after collapse, a paper currency is toilet paper. There seem to be more claims against stuff than stuff, some think a melt up is more likely than a melt down, or the market is not going up, money is going down; it appears the same as it happens.
        Dennis L.

        • Expand your bubble.
          A utility company suddenly expropriated – nationalized (or burned down in chaos) is as good investment as any other suggested, i.e. it works fine in one particular world setting and then when circumstances change not performs at all..

          • MM says:

            Well, if your government wants to burn all the money that is left after the initial melt down in the stock market and crash the economy even harder, they could indeed nationalise the utilities.
            I think there will be a servere stock market problem but companies are heavy canibals. If one competitor fails, another one can gobble up the remains and grow (itself and the stock value) strongly.
            If every trader would sit in front of the monitor watching the snake like a rabbit, there would be a complete crash.
            Otherwise, if the trader is clever and undertands that energy is the underlying problem, he could for example invest in seeds or tools or wood and his investment yould not be lost.
            Every trader has internet and can get the required information therefore as we can.

            The melt down might probably last for some years (I bet 5) but afterwards, a pretty much reconfigured economy will continue. Capitalism is a perfect adaptation engine, Just without engine.
            Look at the roearing 20s…

            • Dennis L. says:

              I wish I knew; tools last longer than the person using them, as we age we slow down even when in good health so if a shovel previously was used ten hours per day and now only eight hours per day, it has lost twenty percent of its value secondary to exogenous forces. This may be as good an example as any why people downsize as they age, too much work.
              We seem to be the government, SS, Medicare and MA are the largest parts I believe. Medicare is socialized medicine and frankly it is wonderful, the government holds down the what providers can charge; the care at Mayo is excellent.
              I am here looking to learn from others, looking for a positive way to live, contribute something to life, enjoy the days in a pleasant and moderate manner.
              Plug for coursera.org, it is incredible, the greatest teachers in the world, good format, why go to college when Microsoft, IBM and Google don’t require a college degree. Poetry, philosophy, does anyone know which college educated Socrates? As soon as a Bezos or someone similar starts an accreditation by examination and not credentials, it seems to me colleges are dead.
              Menards is advertising positions for management careers, the education necessary can be obtained at a cc, salary probably greater than a poet from Harvard, all is not bad in the world.
              Dennis L.

  23. CTG says:

    Currently the super glue that is holding everything together is a functional financial system that supports the just-in-time supply chain that caters from semiconductor, machines to food and sanitation.

    It is falling apart in every part of the world and in every conceivable way – subprime, student loans, currency manipulation, political issues (Europe), trade wars, real wars, potential natural disasters, banking issues.

    It is really kind of hard to see how far it will go because any single thing can cause a meltdown in the financial system. Global growth slowing dramatically, government falsifying data to keep things going, etc. Personally for many years already, I am amazed at how much the government can do to prolong this, knowingly or unknowingly.

    • Xabier says:

      It is certainly remarkable: I suspect it will need a physical event that cannot be finessed away with phoney stats and propaganda to blow it all up – massive and persistent droughts/ flooding over successive years, global crop failures, volcanoes, etc.

      Until then, they can probably go on somehow fudging things for a while yet.

      But not nearly as long as we might hope…..

      • I tend to agree, but let me expand, it could be the aftermath business – following lack of coherent propaganda to cover that particular event, which would finally open the flood gates. Similarly, like the Chernobyl single event was just in few weeks and months time turned into same politically weighted tool as ~70yrs of propaganda combined (from both sides).

        Or another illustration as few millions of non-assimilated migrants inrush into Germany, could affect only ~15% voter rage induced change in elections, however next time the needed threshold to affect ~30-50% voters could be only 1/10th scale of the first initial migration wave and related public opinion disaster.

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      Coordinated easing by the central banks, including direct asset purchases (probably including outright oil and oil-related ETFs) prevented the global economy from cratering in early 2016. Massive fiscal expansion, especially by the US and China have helped keep the wolf from the door since:


      I see ever more imbalance, dysfunction and vulnerability in the global economy though. A tipping point looms and the central banks, divided as they are by fractious geopolitics and low on ammo as they are after a decade of financial sleight of hand, may struggle to respond effectively.

    • Tsubion says:

      Yep, we’re close.

      But I think the central banks have something up their sleeve.

      No way have they played all their cards.

      I also believe military secrets have been held back specifically for this purpose.

      The general population will be begging on their knees to be saved from the abyss.

      The rulers of this world will provide for the lucky few.

      How do I know this?

      It’s what I would do.

      • How do they keep oil from exporters flowing? How do they substitute for lack of exports from China as it crashes? Some things are difficult for central banks to fix.

        • Tim Groves says:

          They will lower the price of Victory Gin from four shillings to five shillings a glass, and simultaneously increase the Victory Chocolate ration from 200g to 150g a week. Party members and proles alike will scratch their heads, grit their teeth and stoically bear their hardships.

          • Xabier says:

            You may recall, Tim, the Alf Garnet classic, when he explains to his lodger that as the value of the house in which he is renting a room has risen, while he still pays the same rent to Alf, he is a much richer man and now living the high life – ‘thanks to the Tories’.

            Although ‘Rising Damp’ is more how Britain feels today…..

            • Tsubion says:

              Have you considered leaving Blighty?

              I hear the knife fights are of much better quality in Somalia.

          • Confuse the troops!

        • Tsubion says:

          We’ll just have to wait and see.

          What more can we do?

          I like to play devil’s advocate but otherwise I agree with your general premise. It may be impossible to patch things on a global scale. I would expect a frantic game of musical chairs along with a few attempts to patch things followed by the sound of everything grinding to a halt.

          This doesn’t have to be the only outcome though. Following a crisis, rapid mobilisation of transitional programs could salvage aspects of industrial civ allowing for passage through a bottleneck.

          Look at how the central banks managed to keep these going for the past ten years with most people completely unaware of what could’ve been. I don’t think the next phase constitutes more of the same. I believe they have something else in mind. Somehow the new currencies will play a role and possibly some of the drastic measures mentioned in other comments. Triage is coming.

          Of course, that’s of no comfort to the 90% of the population that dies off but hey, I’m trying to see the cup half full here.

    • I like your analogy, ” the super glue that is holding everything together is a functional financial system that supports the just-in-time supply chain”.

      We seem not to be able to see all parts of what is happening. In the fourth quarter of 2018, there seemed to be a lot of QT. But then, somehow, at the beginning of 2019, either the Plunge Protection Team took over, or QT sales reverse. More recently, we seem to be hitting turbulence again.

      A big part of our problem is that interest rates cannot be lowered much further (except for the US, perhaps a little).

  24. CTG says:

    I think propaganda or our education is really effective in making people unable to think.

    I am talking about AI that our satellite guy was talk about of days ago (and a couple of pages before).

    What benefits does AI bring? As Norman said, AI is not smarter than a bee. Computers cannot even differentiate dead cats or cats that are alive in a picture. If the eyes of the cats are opened but have a large wound and turned upside down, I am pretty sure the computer would not even know it but a small child will be able to tell you easily. This is just a simple example.

    Facial recognition is NOT AI but brute force processing. AI cannot better than the programmer. It can learn but it cannot be aware. I have studied genetic algorithm and a programmer before. I never believe in AI. If you need brute processing power, it is not AI. Chess playing is not AI. Medical analysis is not AI.

    AI requires tremendous amount of resources. I am pretty sure the general AI that people mention today requires tons of processing power. Each new generation of processor is used for AI.

    Designing new chips requires human capital – universities, money, infrastructure and of course electricity. It is fossil fuel.

    Semiconductor requires a long supply chain – from silicon, rare earth, massive and advanced equipment to produce the required chip.

    AI is the first to disappear when things go south.

    • Tsubion says:


      You’re wrong.

      About the machine capabilities.

      And I’ll show you how.

      Let’s start by dropping the misleading terminology – artificial intelligence.

      Instead let’s talk about pattern recognition and not limit ourselves to images on a screen.

      You used an example of pattern recognition software having difficulty identifying if a cat in a photograph is alive or dead. The software is matching pixels and patterns to what has been previously been labeled by humans i.e. cat, dead cat etc.

      And in that arena machines are improving in leaps and bounds. The results in some of the specialised cases you used are already far better than human equivalent i.e. medical imaging.

      Again, you don’t need to call it AI. That’s just a label that stuck. It’s computer based pattern recognition as opposed to human based pattern recognition. And machines are getting much better than humans at this game.

      Instead of thinking that machines need to surpass human abilities in every area, accept that humans and machines work together each in their area of expertise.

      Complimenting each other not competing. A symbiotic relationship testing the boundaries and limits as we go.

      In the real outdoor world – beyond computer software – you can very easily expand on what a machine is able to do based on the extraordinary number of sensors available in the field of robotics.

      A robotic machine that comes across a cat has a multitude of ways to identify if the cat is alive or dead.

      How do we as humans do this?

      Things that are alive are usually moving, breathing, blinking, warm, have a pulse, a heartbeat, make noise etc etc.

      Probably the easiest way to be sure is to attach more than one sensor to achieve redundancy – something like three factor identification.

      Check for heartbeat with http://www.intelsec.com/product_detail_heartbeat.html

      The system is so sensitive that when suitably tuned it can detect the presence of a mouse!

      So you see, machines can detect life or identify if an animal is alive or dead quite easily when that is the specialisation.

      Humans are exactly the same way. Most of us have a set of sensors that become more refined with use up to a point where they begin to fail.

      Not all humans have the same level of ability across all of their sensory abilities. Some become very good in some departments but machines can and will beat them in every way.

      For example tactile sensors are more sensitive than human skin.
      Olfactory sensors are more precise than dog noses.
      etc etc etc

      Machine task specialisation makes a lot more sense at the moment than generalised approach. At the level of software, it does make sense to use a general blank slate that can be trained according to task and different situations but at present is a bit of a pipe dream and unnecessary for most applications.

      Of interest…

      difference between artifice and artificial?

      a crafty but underhanded deception
      a trick played out as an ingenious, but artful, ruse
      a strategic maneuver that uses some clever means to avoid detection or capture
      a tactical move to gain advantage

      Man-made; of artifice
      False, misleading

      • Tim Groves says:

        This was a good comment. In fact, CTG’s and Tsubion’s comment were both good, even though there is some disagreement between them.

        Thanks for contrasting “artifice and “artificial”. I had not considered how these two very different words are out of the same stable, so to speak.

        Perhaps the concept of artificial intelligence is an artifice, a marketing ploy to give the dowdy old advanced pattern recognition technology a cool and sexy appeal.

        As a buzzword, “pattern recognition system” doesn’t have the same ring to it as “AI”. But it is a more accurate description. In any case, “intelligence” is one of those words that has become so politicized that I try to avoid using it where at all possible.

        • Tsubion says:


          I had an urge to look up artifice based on a hunch and was pleasantly surprised (or disturbed) by the contrast and crossover between the meanings.

          From a religious perspective – yes I’m going to go there – this mirrors perfectly the luciferian agenda. The creation of an artificial “god” that replaces or distracts us from the one true god of creation.

          a crafty but underhanded deception

          I used to tell myself that technological progress was happening according to some kind of evolutionary process, but now I feel that the people involved have been guiding events to suit their agenda.

          Ever since Golems were a thing…


          In Jewish folklore, a golem is an animated anthropomorphic being that is magically created entirely from inanimate matter (usually clay or mud). The word was used to mean an amorphous, unformed material in Psalms and medieval writing.

          In other words… programmable matter has been on our minds for some time.

          Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein comes to mind too…

          Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus is a novel written by English author Mary Shelley that tells the story of Victor Frankenstein, a young scientist who creates a hideous, sapient creature in an unorthodox scientific experiment.

          Note the reference to Prometheus

          Now the young scientists use silicon and plastic but the goal is the same – to create an artifice, a mockery of the original.

          I have no doubt that the endgame is to produce an all knowing, all seeing godlike entity that encompasses all of our technological prowess to date under one unified system. The human beings plugged into this system are just biological components or cogs in a much larger machine.

          We are in effect training our replacement much in the same way that an experienced worker trains a young upstart in the workplace. I don’t think we are far from this goal. The human world is in actual fact shrinking back just as the machine world is rising to supremacy.

          Only the most intelligent humans will be required to make sure the golem takes over. The rest will quite quickly become obsolete, and in so doing, remove the need for a global economy based on human needs and wants.

          This looks like a crash to observers but a new beginning to the golem makers.

          Of course, for this project to continue would require a sudden “arrival on the scene” of a very cheap, reliable, global source of energy and economic reform that favors the new paradigm.

          I still haven’t seen any convincing evidence for the latter.

          • Interesting!

          • Tsubion says:


            I forgot to add this link. I think it’s worth skimming for anyone that’s not up to speed on hidden agendas.

            For Luciferians, enlightenment is the ultimate goal. The basic Luciferian principles highlight truth and freedom of will, worshipping the inner self and one’s ultimate potential. Traditional dogma is shunned as a basis for morality on the grounds that humans should not need deities or fear of eternal punishment to distinguish right from wrong and to do good. All ideas should be tested before being accepted, and even then one should remain skeptical because knowledge and understanding are fluid. Regardless of whether Lucifer is conceived of as a deity or as a mere archetype, he is a representation of ultimate knowledge and exploration as well as humanity’s savior and a champion for continuing personal growth.

        • This discussion reminds me of David Korowicz’s short video, “The Myth’s We Make.”


          • Tsubion says:

            He makes some good points (from his biased perspective). But I feel he underestimates the current level of technological development and intrusion in our lives.

            Governments and their military industries are already capable of cyber warfare, hacking at all levels, monitoring activity at all levels, all by employing AI systems, as do private military contractors and most corporations.

            The global system is a hybrid electronic human organism as of today. This is not some future fantasy or myth as he puts it even though the people deploying these technologies by all means do follow the myths themselves.

            For example, the scientists at cern are attempting to open portals to other universes to prove multiverse theory. Proof of such a concept would revolutionise religious belief worldwide and luciferians and promethians of course love the idea of turning everything on its head.

            David makes the mistake of thinking linearly instead of exponentially and falls into the trap of thinking that these advances are hundreds of years off and therefore not of our concern. The advances are happening each and every year. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up. The only thing that could slow this process is systemic collapse.

      • CTG says:

        Tsubion, there is no disagreement if you were to use pattern recognition and AI. I am into computing and I do know the limitations. I have a lot of experience on pattern recognition.

        Pattern recognition is improving a lot because of new algorithms (that is due to faster computers). Trying doing facial recognition using a old 1980s 8086, it will never work. So, it is natural, with increasing computer power, it gets better. It can detect patterns that human eyes may miss and it is do it consistently faster and better. It can be programmed because there are historical patterns that it can learn. However, due to thousands or even infinite permutations, it can fail. Just like Tesla auto-pilot systems. It can fail because there are many scenarios that may be new and it cannot make a judgement based on historical patterns.

        The Chinese social credit system that is “smart” is nothing more than pattern recognition working at high speeds. It is neither intelligent or smart. It works on brute force.

        Coming to the cat’s picture, I can just change a little bit of background (like to blood red) so that the colour of the background and blood is the same, I put in a few lines around the wound (that would like like blood coming out), depending on how the algorithm is, it may fail because the system is not mean to have a blood red background. Maybe a hole in the head of a cat or something like that may cause the system to register “unknown scenario” and it will try to make a judgement or maybe call an operator for assistance.

        The first time I had experience with AI is playing computer games, not chess or other strategy board game as they can do the calculation very fast. I mean those games where you have an enemy. AI is not programmed for “being deceived”. It cannot deceive and also cannot perceived being deceived.

        Imagine catching a chicken (hard to catch if you have not done it before) or a cat. A game that you may have played when you were young (probably like 40 or 50 years ago). It is not easy, you need to think of a way to trap the chicken or cat. It is totally unpredictable. When we were young, we managed to find ways (through creativity or through deceit) to catch the chicken or cat. Given the “artificial intelligence” we are suppose to have, I am not sure how AI and robots can catch the chicken other than brute force (run much faster than the chicken or longer arms). As kids, we are not faster than the chicken but we are smarter.

        Therefore, the improvement with AI is because the computing power has increased tremendously and naturally, AI or pattern recognition algorithms follow. These algorithms cannot run on a 640kb 8Mhz 8086 CPU. When the power of processor goes down, AI just does not work anymore.

        • Tsubion says:

          I guess sometimes we have to accept the names we’re given! Even if we don’t like them.

          Thing is, it doesn’t matter how much we may not like the term artificial intelligence, half the world started using it and that’s what stuck…

          For example…

          AI on a chip


          An AI accelerator is a class of microprocessor[1] or computer system[2] designed as hardware acceleration for artificial intelligence applications, especially artificial neural networks, machine vision and machine learning. Typical applications include algorithms for robotics, internet of things and other data-intensive or sensor-driven tasks.

          I much prefer the terms that actually describe what is being attempted, such as machine learning, machine vision etc.

          There are some robots that are able to recognise themselves in a mirror. This is certainly a step towards self awareness in machines.

          And software has been able to perform maintenance operations unnasisted for some time…


          Autonomic computing (also known as AC) refers to the self-managing characteristics of distributed computing resources, adapting to unpredictable changes while hiding intrinsic complexity to operators and users.

          These are very early steps towards what we could call intelligent behavior and being able to handle the unpredictable situations you mentioned.

          Again, similar to human toddlers, machines would need assistance until they are able to stand on their own. And even then, they may be highly specialised and only able to perform certain functions but in cooperation with other units we start to see an ecology of sorts for machines.

          With the cat picture I cheated and shifted to the 3D realm to make a point, but you would certainly end up with the same issues when identifying 3D objects and backgrounds in a multitude of unique situations.

          Self driving vehicles are the latest thing and obviously working their way thru these problems. All I can say is that I won’t be getting in one any time soon. I am fully on board with driver assist technologies which goes back to what I said about a symbiotic relationship between man, all other gender options, and machine.

          You’re absolutely right about no intelligence, no common sense, no inferred meaning, etc taking place in these algorithmns. Mostly brute force calcs on the fly. Some on board and the rest upstream in data centers etc.

          For example, a human driver – let’s call him Fast Eddy – races around a corner into open road and in the distance sees a truck waiting to pull out of a junction. The autonomous car hasn’t even registered it yet but FE has already gone thru all the permutations in his head and is prepared for any eventuality. That’s just the way he is. He has millions of years of evolution and genetic memory in his toolbox and a lifetime of both specialised and general training. Best of both worlds.

          The autonomous car will only react when something is within sensor range and if the algorithmn has been thoroughly trained by previous incidents. We use previous experience too but we’re able to imagine what might happen even if we’ve never done something before. We have imagination – sometimes too much of it.

          Every road trip is different. Pot holes, different types of traffic, roadworks, unusual events like bike races, accidents, ambulances, bad drivers, etc etc. How can self driving vehicles possibly handle any of these situations without human assistance?

          It has been suggested that a remote driver will teleoperate the vehicle in these situations. I think this is a case of over complexity.

          All of these situations require common sense which machines don’t have. At least not yet. I do think it’s possible with development of general AI, but at that point you would have to question our trajectory.

          Are we building a world for machines first and humans second?

          For a lot of purposes, a 99% success rate would be fantastic and humans can’t compete. For things like self driving vehicles it would be unnaceptable.

          Machines would eventually have to understand what it is they’re doing in the same way humans do to be able to achieve higher goals. But at that point they would down tools and trash the place.

          • hkeithhenson says:

            ” down tools and trash the place”

            Some of the smartest people I know are deeply concerned about this potential outcome.


            • Tsubion says:

              Yes, I used to hang out in all those watering holes. That’s why I’m so conflicted. At the end of the day, nothing fancy can occur without an energy “miracle.”

            • hkeithhenson says:

              “energy “miracle.”

              There is plenty of energy out there, all we need to do is tap it. We might, we might not.

              An interesting question that I have not seen is how much more can human energy use grow before leveling off? Developed countries use close to 10 kW/person. There is lots of energy growth that can be anticipated as less developed parts of the world catch up, but how much more growth in the developed world?

              Uploading might make the problem worse. I once estimated 20kW/person to lead the uploaded life. Oddly enough, sunk in the deep ocean (for a heat sink) made more sense than going into space.

  25. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Conservative leadership contenders have embraced a no-deal Brexit to see off the threat of Nigel Farage as the European election results pushed both main parties further away from a compromise. Dominic Raab said that the Tories’ disastrous performance meant that the party needed to show “unflinching resolve” to “get on and leave the EU” even without a deal.”


    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “German banking authorities will require the country’s banks to set aside more provisions from July to cover risks stemming from a pumped up domestic property market and slowing economy, the country’s financial authorities said on Monday.”


      • Harry McGibbs says:

        “The European Commission is considering proposing a disciplinary procedure for Italy next week over its failure to rein in debt, which could pave the way for a 3.5 billion-euro ($4 billion) penalty, according to an official familiar with the matter. The step… would mark an escalation of Rome’s budget tussle with Brussels that roiled markets at the end of 2018.”


      • But would banks setting aside more funds really help the economy? What the economy seems to need is more lending at ever-lower interest rates.

        • Greg Machala says:

          I agree. Without cheap energy to fuel growth, we need every-lower interest rates to keep the economy moving. But, how low can the rate go? What happens when rates to go to zero?

          • DJ says:

            They go below.

            • The idea that bankers are at the end of the rope is premature.. So as you alluded either openly negative interest rates (perhaps forced upon by some clever cover story ala Greta or pending Martian invasion) or other schemes, the show simply must go on..

          • I think then the physics of the situation tries to squeeze out some portions of the world economy (perhaps through currencies that other countries will no longer accept, for example), and see if the rest of the world economy can stand on its own.

            In the past, all collapses have been partial, relative to the world as a whole. The collapses allowed depleted soils to rest for a period. Some aspects of the lower fertility could be mitigated by a long fallow period, plus perhaps more of the underlying rock eroding away, providing more minerals to the soil.

            This time, it is not just infertile soil that is the problem. It is the lack of minerals that we have been actively mining, including fossil fuels. There are plenty of them left, but the benefit we get from them is no longer high enough relative to the cost of extraction. If the inefficient areas are somehow removed, perhaps the remainder can somehow stand on its own.

            I suppose the squeezing out could extend to the situation within today’s countries. Could the simplification that Tainter talks about allow the remaining economy stand for a while longer. For example, pension plans, including government pension plans could be ended. Everyone could the required to work, between say the age of, say 10 and 100. Health care could be greatly simplified. Only a relatively a short list of procedures might be covered, for example, and all health care providers might be paid at the same hourly rate.

            • el mar says:

              … we will then get a deflational death spiral …. as you know!

            • Un/fortunately, the probability of this outcome is very high (highest?), and coming fast upon us, you are basically describing some sort of attempted insular – emergency type of command / authoritarian rule of government, tweaked social order. The followup related question is the durability – longevity of such attempt, and that will tend to vary greatly among cultures, regions, resource base available. Then what, further cascading fracturing – balkanization and vanishing complexity.

            • Tsubion says:

              I can just see it now…

              Get in line for your daily ration of slop and off out into the fields to pull weeds with your comrades. The ones that drop to the ground from exhaustion get recycled.

              Where do I sign up?

        • Dennis L. says:

          Being lazy perhaps you or someone you know might explore the following: How does self organization and size scale? At a smaller scale, what is the optimum size of a microchip fab plant? My guess is consolidation in business(interestingly consolidations ceased to be a course in accounting sometime in the 90’s, I took most of the CPA curriculum for fun, skipped non profits and auditing – this was around Enron and auditing didn’t seem to be very well developed) are essentially a form of moving less energy through a system. Consolidations were pretty neat intellectually, end result seemed to be getting rid of excess capital, using the existing efficiently and basically doing more with less.

          As an aside, I saw the levering up of business in the 80’s as a secondary effect of increasing pension returns to 7-8% which began to strip an economy that could only grow 3-4%. The real wealth transfer was to the older generation, the younger generation got educational debt which the older generation made impossible to discharge through bankruptcy. The IL pension system is an interesting example. Those who benefited will be dead when the music stops.

          Dennis L.

          • Your last sentence grasped large part of the predicament.

            Simply the upswing years of favorable energy consumption incl. infrastructure and services going* towards specific demographic group was more or less one hit wonder, lasting from date ~ [x] to date [y] only (mostly) – in essence a lucky draw, the rest of the pop and forthcoming generations tough luck, sorry, no more stuff for your and yours, ..

            ps not insinuating merely role of malice it was coincidence of many factors and timing

            * the money which they spent / discharged out also in form of energy – allowed at least in part other demographic groups for some time limited benefits as well, there was a bit of overlap timewise; now evidently running out fast (Dr. Tim: .fr disposable income -30% in one decade! lolz)

        • Hideaway says:

          It is interesting that high level economists/advisors would even suggest such a thing as putting money aside by large banks.

          It seems like they have no understanding of how the system actually works. More money needs to be circulating or the house of cards collapses. It is precisely why the FED created $700B or whatever the figure, out of thin air to quell the GFC.

          It worked last time, and might next time, but eventually as energy available starts to fall such money printing will not work.

          I expect TPTB to keep printing money as the world economy tips over, as that seemed to work last time. Eventually we will get inflation but not growth because of energy constraints. The economists will all be scratching their heads wondering why the economy is not picking up, when the energy constraints (and high prices) are telling the real story.

          • John Doyle says:

            Not $700B. The final sum was enormous; $27Trillion. for 1400 banks etc in trouble. Congress had to use an FOI to get any info and the Fed responded with 27,000 pages of documents. Then someone sorted it and that was the figure. All money from “thin air” to buy the duds.

  26. Harry McGibbs says:

    “In the previous decade, Brazil was lauded (along with Russia, India, China and South Africa) as one of the Brics powers – emerging economies with superfast rates of economic growth that would surpass developed economies by 2050…

    “A crippling two-year recession in 2015 and 2016 saw the country’s economy contract by almost 7%. Economic recovery has been sluggish. In 2017 and 2018, the economy grew at a meagre pace of 1.1% a year. And there is still more bad news: since the beginning of the year, economists have more than halved their expectations of economic growth for 2019 to a rate not very different from that seen in the past two years.”


  27. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said on Monday the global economic outlook is highly uncertain, and there are downside risks due to trade friction, China’s slowing economy and Britain’s negotiations to leave the European Union…

    ““There is a high degree of uncertainty … and the downside risks are large,” Kuroda said.”


  28. Harry McGibbs says:

    “”Beyond trade-war risks and an uncertain monetary policy outlook, looming large for the global economy is the threat that China’s slowdown could be worse than currently seen, said Harvard University economist Carmen Reinhart.

    ““If you were to ask me what would be really bad global news, it’s that the slowdown in China is deeper and longer-lasting, because that carries over to so many things,” Reinhart, who specializes in international finance, said on the sidelines of an Asia investment conference hosted by Nomura Holdings Inc. in Singapore on Tuesday.”


    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “The Chinese government’s first seizure of a bank in more than two decades reverberated through markets for a second day, driving up funding costs for smaller lenders and adding pressure to shares that already trade at rock-bottom valuations. A Bloomberg index of Hong Kong-listed Chinese banks is set for its biggest monthly loss this year after regulators assumed control of Baoshang Bank Co. on Friday citing “serious” credit risks.”


      • Harry McGibbs says:

        “China’s financial regulators are stepping up penalties on banks and asset managers caught hiding bad debts as Beijing grows increasingly wary of the country’s opaque cache of unpaid loans.”


        • Harry McGibbs says:

          “China must exercise extreme caution in handling its housing sector because it is showing signs similar to those witnessed during Japan’s bubble period of the 1980s that contributed to the collapse of Japanese asset prices and its subsequent “lost decades” of weak economic growth and deflation, a Japanese financial system expert warned.”


          • It is possible to build more housing than the economy can truly afford.

            This article is truly alarming if a person reads through it. Apartments are far more unaffordable in China than they were in Japan, even at Japan’s peak.

            Loose money policies have extended to businesses, as well. According to the article:

            “China’s corporate debt stood at 155 per cent of GDP in the second quarter of 2018, much higher than other major economies, according to data from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. In comparison, Japan’s corporate debt level is 100 per cent of GDP and is 74 per cent in the US. China’s corporate debt includes issuances by its local government vehicles which by extension is mostly credit with an implicit guarantee from the central government.”

            • Hideaway says:

              This bit of the article sums up the entire situation…….
              “if the population starts to shrink along with aggregate demand”

              It is so obvious to us here that ‘usual’ economics will not work with falling population. Economics needs growth,with the biggest driver of growth being growing population with growing energy use.

              It is just not compatible on a finite planet that has finite resources.

              Either economics has to change or we collapse, and it is becoming more obvious that economics/ economic theory is not going to change, so when we hit limits that is it. Economic theory and all the stimuli under the sun by central banks and governments will fail, with most wondering what happened.

            • John Doyle says:

              I don’t know of any economists who look at things the way you describe. All are totally wedded to growth, which as you say cannot continue in a finite world. I do know one or two who see the problem but their work is based on the growth mantra. I’m not an economist [lucky for me, I don’t have to unlearn it] but my approach is to get it right today because it will make great improvements in our living and well being. Since we don’t know how long we have till the Seneca cliff, or whatever trigger there will be, hits us we may as well do as good as we can. MMT if followed would achieve that as long as the PTB came on board. It needs political will. AOC in Congress has stirred it up such that the GOP want to have a session on MMT with the Democrats to sort it out. That’s fine as long as it is not just a hatchet job.

            • Tim Groves says:

              In Japan, we are finding that in addition to a falling population, an aging population shrinks demand. Oldsters, even if they have savings, tend to be reticent to spend them for fear they will run out one day, so their behavior is frugal. It is more difficult for marketers to fill their heads with consumer dreams. And since most old people don’t work for a salary, their incomes tend to be low. As a result, the population of consumers who feel they have plenty of disposal income is shrinking faster than the general population.

            • Tsubion says:

              If there’s one thing I hate it’s marketers! They ruin everything they touch.

              Why do we as human beings have to run around propping up “the economy”?

              Why do we accept the labels “consumer” and “taxpayer”?

              Are we cattle and sheep worked to the bone so that others can profit from our labor?

              Why do we choose to work for this system?

              For a bigger house, better car, more stuff?

              Is that it?

        • Would it make sense for China to bail out banks and asset managers that fail because of loans they are hiding? I doubt it.

    • It is good that Carmen Reinhart is understanding the problem. Perhaps MSM will listen to her.

  29. adonis says:

    the tariff war could be all planned by the elders to bring on ww 3 for de-population purposes remember they want a population of 500 billion

    • Tsubion says:

      500 billion mouths to feed?

      With Keith’s Skyscraper farms in Space… No problemo!

      Pretty sure you meant 500… million?

    • Tsubion says:

      500 billion mouths to feed?

      With Keith’s Skyscraper Farms in Space? No problemo!

      • Tim Groves says:

        And Bezos is building 500 billion drones to keep them all well supplied with Amazon goodies.

        • Tsubion says:

          One each? Wow! That’s dedication. I’m starting to like this guy. Just don’t mention the eye. Or his ex running off with half his fortune.

          Last I heard, he’s decided to kick all the riff raff (third party sellers) off of his platform.

          Make Amazon Great Again!

        • best news today is that Bezos’ ex is taking half his money and giving it to charity

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  31. Denial says:

    I was looking for a chart on wages. It seems in the U.S wages are going up for all classes. That is not to say another downturn and a lot of people will be underwater

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  33. Duncan Idaho says:

    Take us to northernmost Greenland, please.

    • Chrome Mags says:

      That person on the left is not climbing that rope correctly. It’s easiest to let the rope dangle between your legs, then take your right foot and loop around the rope and pinch the rope between your two feet. It acts like a clamp and lets your arms rest a bit, then pull up with your arms and let the rope slip between your feet, then pinch the rope with your feet, let your arms rest, rinse, repeat. Otherwise your arms fatigue and you can only go up so far.

      This information has been provided by the committee to instruct post collapse people on survival skills.

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      so Greenland is also in population overshoot?

  34. Keith. How much was the electricity generated from your power satellites?
    Tl,dr, this Cornell prof, in 2014, said a sq meter needs 6.7 MWh of electricity to grow 8 kg (about 18 pounds) of wheat per year.

    The crops would be grown in abandoned buildings, like the big 105-floor eyesore at North Korea, assuming enough power could be obtained..

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