Expect low oil prices in 2020; tendency toward recession

Energy Forecast for 2020

Overall, I expect that oil and other commodity prices will remain low in 2020. These low oil prices will adversely affect oil production and several other parts of the economy. As a result, a strong tendency toward recession can be expected. The extent of recessionary influences will vary from country to country. Financial factors, not discussed in these forecasts, are likely also to play a role.

The following are pieces of my energy forecast for 2020:

[1] Oil prices can be expected to remain generally low in 2020. There may be an occasional spike to $80 or $90 per barrel, but average prices in 2020 are likely to be at or below the 2019 level. 

Figure 1. Average annual inflation-adjusted Brent equivalent oil prices in 2018 US$. 2018 and prior are as shown in BP’s 2019 Statistical Review of World Energy. Value for 2019 estimated by author based on EIA Brent daily oil prices and 2% expected inflation.

Figure 2 shows in more detail how peaks in oil prices have been falling since 2008. While it doesn’t include early January 2020 oil prices, even these prices would be below the dotted line.

Figure 2. Inflation adjusted weekly average Brent Oil price, based on EIA oil spot prices and US CPI-urban inflation.

Oil prices can temporarily spike because of inadequate supply or fear of war. However, to keep oil prices up, there needs to be an increase in “demand” for finished goods and services made with commodities. Workers need to be able to afford to purchase more goods such as new homes, cars, and cell phones. Governments need to be able to afford to purchase new goods such as paved roads and school buildings.

At this point, the world economy is struggling with a lack of affordability in finished goods and services. This lack of affordability is what causes oil and other commodity prices to tend to fall, rather than to rise. Lack of affordability comes when too many would-be buyers have low wages or no income at all. Wage disparity tends to rise with globalization. It also tends to rise with increased specialization. A few highly trained workers earn high wages, but many others are left with low wages or no job at all.

It is the fact that we do not have a way of making the affordability of finished goods rise that leads me to believe that oil prices will remain low. Raising minimum wages tends to encourage more mechanization of processes and thus tends to lower total employment. Interest rates cannot be brought much lower, nor can the terms of loans be extended much longer. If such changes were available, they would enhance affordability and thus help prevent low commodity prices and recession.

[2] World oil production seems likely to fall by 1% or more in 2020 because of low oil prices.

Quarterly oil production data of the US Energy Information Administration shows the following pattern:

Figure 3. Quarterly World Crude Oil and Natural Gas Liquids production, based on EIA international data through September 2019. This is a fairly broad definition of oil. It does not include biofuels because their production tends to be seasonal.

The highest single quarter of world oil production was the fourth quarter of 2018. Oil production has been falling since this peak quarter.

To examine what is happening, the production shown in Figure 3 can be divided into that by the United States, OPEC, and “All Other.”

Figure 4. Quarterly world crude oil and natural gas liquids production by part of the world, based on international data of the US Energy Information Agency through September 30, 2019.

Figure 4 shows that the production of All Other seems to be steady to slightly rising, more or less regardless of oil prices.

OPEC’s oil production bobs up and down. In general, its production is lower when oil prices are low, and higher when oil prices are high. (This shouldn’t be a surprise.) Recently, its production has been lower in response to low prices. Effective January 1, 2020, OPEC plans to reduce its production by another 500,000 barrels per day.

Figure 4 shows that oil production of the United States rose in response to high prices in the 2010 to 2013 period. It dipped in response to low oil prices in 2015 and 2016. When oil prices rose in 2017 and 2018, its production again rose. Production in 2019 seems to have risen less rapidly. Recent monthly and weekly EIA data confirm the flatter US oil production growth pattern in 2019.

Putting the pieces together, I estimate that world oil production (including natural gas liquids) for 2019 will be about 0.5% lower than that of 2018. Since world population is rising by about 1.1% per year, per capita oil production is falling faster, about 1.6% per year.

A self-organizing networked economy seems to distribute oil shortages through lack of affordability. Thus, for example, they might be expected to affect the economy through lower auto sales and through less international trade related to automobile production. International trade, of course, requires the use of oil, since ships and airplanes use oil products for fuel.

If prices stay low in 2020, both the oil production of the United States and OPEC will likely be adversely affected, bringing 2020 oil production down even further. I would expect that even without a major recession, world oil supply might be expected to fall by 1% in 2020, relative to 2019. If a major recession occurs, oil prices could fall further (perhaps to $30 per barrel), and oil production would likely fall lower. Laid off workers don’t need to drive to work!

[3] In theory, the 2019 and 2020 decreases in world oil production might be the beginning of “world peak oil.” 

If oil prices cannot be brought back up again after 2020, world oil production is likely to drop precipitously. Even the “All Other” group in Figure 4 would be likely to reduce their production, if there is no chance of making a profit.

The big question is whether the affordability of finished goods and services can be raised in the future. Such an increase would tend to raise the price of all commodities, including oil.

[4] The implosion of the recycling business is part of what is causing today’s low oil prices. The effects of the recycling implosion can be expected to continue into 2020.

With the rise in oil prices in the 2002-2008 period, there came the opportunity for a new growth industry: recycling. Unfortunately, as oil prices started to fall from their lofty heights, the business model behind recycling started to make less and less sense. Effective January 1, 2018, China stopped nearly all of its paper and plastic recycling. Other Asian nations, including India, have been following suit.

When recycling efforts were reduced, many people working in the recycling industry lost their jobs. By coincidence or not, auto purchases in China began to fall at exactly the same time as recycling stopped. Of course, when fewer automobiles are sold, demand for oil to make and operate automobiles tends to fall. This has been part of what is pushing world oil prices down.

Sending materials to Asia for recycling made economic sense when oil prices were high. Once prices dropped, China was faced with dismantling a fairly large, no longer economic, industry. Other countries have followed suit, and their automobile sales have also fallen.

Companies operating ships that transport manufactured goods to high income countries were adversely affected by the loss of recycling. When material for recycling was available, it could be used to fill otherwise-empty containers returning from high income countries. Fees for transporting materials to be recycled indirectly made the cost of shipping goods manufactured in China and India a little lower than they otherwise would be, if containers needed to be shipped back empty. All of these effects have helped reduce demand for oil. Indirectly, these effects tend to reduce oil prices.

The recycling industry has not yet shrunk back to the size that the economics would suggest is needed if oil prices remain low. There may be a few kinds of recycling that work (well sorted materials, recycled near where the materials have been gathered, for example), but it probably does not make sense to send separate trucks through neighborhoods to pick up poorly sorted materials. Some materials may better be burned or placed in landfills.

We are not yet through winding down the recycling effort. Even the recycling of materials such as aluminum cans is affected by oil prices. A March, 2019, WSJ article talks about a “glut of used cans” because some markets now prefer to use newly produced aluminum.

[5] The growth of the electric car industry can be expected to slow substantially in 2020, as it becomes increasingly apparent that oil prices are likely to stay low for a long period. 

Electric cars are expensive in two ways:

  1. In building the cars initially, and
  2. In building and maintaining all of the charging stations required if more than a few elite workers with charging facilities in their garages are to use the vehicles.

Once it is clear that oil prices cannot rise indefinitely, the need for all of the extra costs of electric vehicles becomes very iffy. In light of the changing view of the economics of the situation, China has discontinued its electric vehicle (EV) subsidies, as of January 1, 2020. Prior to the change, China was the world’s largest seller of electric vehicles. Year over year EV sales in China dropped by 45.6% in October 2019 and 45.7% in November 2019. The big drop in China’s EV sales has had a follow-on effect of sharply lower lithium prices.

In the US, Tesla has recently been the largest seller of EVs. The subsidy for the Tesla is disappearing in 2020 because it has sold over 200,000 vehicles. This is likely to adversely affect the growth of EV sales in the US in 2020.

The area of the world that seems to have a significant chance of a major uptick in EV sales in 2020 is Europe. This increase is possible because governments there are still giving sizable subsidies to buyers of such cars. If, in future years, these subsidies become too great a burden for European governments, EV sales are likely to lag there as well.

[6] Oceangoing ships are required to use fuels that cause less pollution as of January 2020. This change will have a positive environmental impact, but it will lead to additional costs which are impossible to pass on to buyers of shipping services. The net impact will be to push the world economy in the direction of recession.

If oceangoing ships use less polluting fuels, this will raise costs somewhere along the line. In the simplest cases, oceangoing vessels will purchase diesel fuel rather than lower, more polluting, grades of fuel. Refineries will need to charge more for the diesel fuel, if they are to cover the cost of removing sulfur and other pollutants.

The “catch” is that the buyers of finished goods and services cannot really afford more expensive finished goods. They cut back in their demand for automobiles, homes, cell phones and paved roads if oil prices rise. This reduction in demand is what pushes commodity prices, including oil prices, down.

Evidence that ship owners cannot really pass the higher refining costs along comes from the fact that the prices that shippers are able to charge for shipping seems to be falling, rather than rising. One January article says, “The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index touched its lowest level in eight months on Friday, weighed down by weak demand across all segments. . .The Index posted its biggest one day percentage drop since January 2014, in the previous session.”

So higher costs for shippers have been greeted by lower prices for the cost of shipping. It will partly be ship owners who suffer from the lower sales margin. They will operate fewer ships and lay off workers. But part of the problem will be passed on to the rest of the economy, pushing it toward recession and lower oil prices.

[7] Expect increasingly warlike behavior by governments in 2020, for the primary purpose of increasing oil prices.

Oil producers around the world need higher prices than recently have been available. This is why the US seems to be tapering its growth in shale oil production. Middle Eastern countries need higher oil prices in order to be able to collect enough taxes on oil revenue to provide jobs and to subsidize food purchases for citizens.

With the US, as well as Middle Eastern countries, wanting higher oil prices, it is no wonder that warlike behavior takes place. If, somehow, a country can get control of more oil, that is simply an added benefit.

[8] The year 2020 is likely to bring transmission line concerns to the wind and solar industries. In some areas, this will lead to cutbacks in added wind and solar.

A recent industry news item was titled Renewables ‘hit a wall’ in saturated Upper Midwest grid. Most of the material that is published regarding the cost of wind and solar omits the cost of new transmission lines to support wind and solar. In some cases, additional transmission lines are not really required for the first additions of wind and solar generation; it is only when more wind and solar are added that it becomes a problem. The linked article talks about projects being withdrawn until new transmission lines can be added in an area that includes Minnesota, Iowa, parts of the Dakotas and western Wisconsin. Adding transmission lines may take several years.

A related issue that has come up recently is the awareness that, at least in dry areas, transmission lines cause fires. Getting permission to site new transmission lines has been a longstanding problem. When the problem of fires is added to the list of concerns, delays in getting the approval of new transmission lines are likely to be longer, and the cost of new transmission lines is likely to rise higher.

The overlooked transmission line issue, once it is understood, is likely to reduce the interest in replacing other generation with wind and solar.

[9] Countries that are exporters of crude oil are likely to find themselves in increasingly dire financial straits in 2020, as oil prices stay low for longer. Rebellions may arise. Governments may even be overthrown.

Oil exporters often obtain the vast majority of their revenue from the taxation of receipts related to oil exports. If prices stay low in 2020, exporters will find their tax revenues inadequate to maintain current programs for the welfare of their people, such as programs providing jobs and food subsidies. Some of this lost revenue may be offset by increased borrowing. In many cases, programs will need to be cut back. Needless to say, cutbacks are likely to lead to unhappiness and rebellions by citizens.

The problem of rebellions and overthrown governments also can be expected to occur when exporters of other commodities find their prices too low. An example is Chile, an exporter of copper and lithium. Both of these products have recently suffered from low export prices. These low prices no doubt play a major part in the protests taking place in Chile. If more tax revenue from the sales of exports were available, there would be no difficulty in satisfying protesters’ demands related to poverty, inequality, and an overly high cost of living.

We can expect more of these kinds of rebellions and uprisings, the longer oil and other commodity prices stay too low for commodity producers.

Conclusion

I have not tried to tell the whole economic story for 2020; even the energy portion is concerning. A networked self-organizing system, such as the world economy, operates in ways that are far different from what simple “common sense” would suggest. Things that seem to be wonderful in the eyes of consumers, such as low oil prices and low commodity prices, may have dark sides that are recessionary in nature. Producers need high prices to produce commodities, but these high commodity prices lead to finished goods and services that are too expensive for many consumers to afford.

There probably cannot be a “one-size-fits-all” forecast for the world economy. Some parts of the world will likely fare better than others. It is possible that a collapse of one or more parts of the world economy will allow other parts to continue. Such a situation occurred in 1991, when the central government of the Soviet Union collapsed after an extended period of low oil prices.

It is easy to think that the future is entirely bleak, but we cannot entirely understand the workings of a self-organizing networked economy. The economy tends to have more redundancy than we would expect. Furthermore, things that seem to be terrible often do not turn out as badly as expected. Things that seem to be wonderful often do not turn out as favorably as expected. Thus, we really don’t know what the future holds. We need to keep watching the signs and adjust our views as more information unfolds.

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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1,162 Responses to Expect low oil prices in 2020; tendency toward recession

  1. Kowalainen says:

    If north Sweden claims its independence. Can they buy these from you guys?

    (Asking for a friend)

    🙂

    • With enough issuance of debt by north Sweden, I expect.

      • Kowalainen says:

        Would cash be O.K?
        And a NATO membership?

        (follow up question)

        🙂

        • beidawei says:

          I think NATO would Lapp it right up.

          (rimshot)

            • Non-hispanic blacks are far more likely to be fat than whites and hispanics.

              Obesity does not impact all races equally in the U.S.

              The following give the percentage of obese adults in each group:

              non-Hispanic blacks — 48.1 percent
              Hispanics — 42.5 percent
              non-Hispanic whites — 34.5 percent
              non-Hispanic Asians — 11.7 percent

              Does this mean that blacks were more likely to vote for Trump?

            • Tim Groves says:

              Does this mean there are also categories called Hispanic blacks, Hispanic Whites and Hispanic Asians?

              And by the way Duncan, graduates are far more likely than those with no college education to be up to their ears in student loan debt. When will these poor suckers get woke to the scandalous nature of the education ponzi scam?

            • Hispanics are defined to be of any race. Being from a Spanish speaking country is sufficient. Lots of black slaves in Cuba originally, long ago, for example. Lots of American Indians (sort of like Asian–probably emigrated from there) in Mexico and Central and South America. There is so much intermarriage that no one keeps track of race.

            • beidawei says:

              I don’t know what this has to do with student loan debt, but did you know there’s a college major now called Fatness Studies? You know, like African American studies, Queer Studies, etc., except for Fat people (remember to capitalize the F). No, it’s not about nutrition or exercise or any of that oppressive lookist propaganda. If you’re both Fat *and* black, I guess you’ll need to double major. Triple of you’re a womyn, and quadruple if you’re a lesbian.

            • cashisking says:

              Ahh I remember a poster who actually interacted genuinely rather than snarky snipes.

              Hint; When its mandatory to adopt a rigid viewpoint in order to get a little love something is very wrong.

              All trump voters are fat and stupid. Archie Bunker couldnt have said it better.

            • Kowalainen says:

              The northerners are genetically more diverse and distinct than the (inbred) sect southerners.

              “The northern part of Sweden, Norrland, showed a particularly strong population structure, which could be explained by genetic drift in this sparsely inhabited region. However, this hypothesis was challenged by the genetic diversity within Norrland that was not consistently reduced: in fact, Norrland showed significantly lower IBS similarity than Götaland.”

              https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0016747

          • Kowalainen says:

            Yes, the Swedes hijacked the word Lapp. meaning a Laplander, and changed it into the Sami ethnic group.

            It’s time to Make Lapland Great Again.

            🙂

  2. Employers Pull Back on Posting New Jobs

    Job openings fell 10.8% in November from a year earlier to 6.8 million, the Labor Department said Friday. That marked the sixth straight month of annual declines and was the steepest fall since December 2009, when openings dropped 18.7% from a year earlier.

    At one point, there were more job openings than available workers for the jobs. This is changing fairly quickly, it looks like.

  3. Harry McGibbs says:

    “The head of the International Monetary Fund has warned that the global economy risks a return of the Great Depression, driven by inequality and financial sector instability.”

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/business/2020/jan/17/head-of-imf-says-global-economy-risks-return-of-great-depression

  4. Harry McGibbs says:

    Bank smashing will be featuring in many nations in the coming years, one would imagine:

    “Protesters in Lebanon have turned their ire towards banks during a “week of rage”, attacking financial institutions that many blame for the country’s worst economic crisis in decades.”

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/lebanon-protests-financial-crisis-banks-beirut-a9288736.html%3famp

  5. Craig says:

    It appears quite likely that Lebanon will default and it’s banks implode. Does anyone know to what degree are major banks exposed to Lebanese banks?

    • Davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      IMF 2019 estimate is that Lebanon has the 81st biggest economy out of 185 countries but it’s misleading to state that they are “above average”…

      their GDP is 58 billion USD and the world total is 87 trillion USD…

      so they are less than one thousandth of the world economy…

      a total default of their banks will ripple like a pebble thrown into the ocean…

      • The condition could spread in more than one way. Displaced people is one. Another is if the conditions that caused the Lebanon problems are causing similar problems elsewhere.

  6. cashisking says:

    90% of the housing in the USA could be destroyed and there would be enough to house all the people. Not with the amenities and privacy we enjoy. Hell we could probably liver in just the freakin vehicles. Any use of materials is JUST EGO and or seeking amenities/art. I am not saying i dont do it.
    Saying it for for sustainability is GREENWASHING BS.
    The homless crisis is because of using stuctures as financial instruments. Dont like homlessness.
    Bring a homelees person into your house. Hopfully they wont poop in a jar or OD in your bathroom.
    THere is only one thing that could be considered sustainable action. GROWING FOOD. Yes there BS with that. Just 100x less BS than everthing else.

    • hopefully is the critical word there cash

      • cashisking says:

        Well if that risk isnt bad enough. If you invite someone to stay at your house they are a “RESIDENT” . That is a legal term. Say they poop on your cat and u say sorry man not working for me and they go sorry man i live here now… They have RIGHTS. If you put them in a headlock and put them out guess what you going to jail. If they recorded you on their phone or even if they didnt your facing civil for $10k. So now… If you stay someones going to get a physical communication. So you go and start the legal process of removing them from your house. Now YOU are homeless. I am not making this up.

        • my use of the word ‘hopefully’ was in agreement with you

          no different than feeding a stray cat really, it will hang arouind your back door as long as food is available

          you feel sorry for it and invite it in

          in no time it takes up residence

          such is the way of the world I’m afraid

          • doomphd says:

            OTOH, your real or potential rodent problem is solved.

            • oddly enough–a few winters ago I noticed cat footprints round my house in fresh snow (definetely cat btw)

              they were so big I grabbed a tape and measured them

              each print was as big as my fist and front paw to back paw was 4′ 6″

              interesting wildlife round here it seems

            • doomphd says:

              Norman, in your lowest possible baritone say: “here, kitty kitty.” be sure to have a beef steak or pork chop handy.

    • I have known people who have taken in otherwise homeless people, with less than good luck. Your luck might vary.

      We had a slightly similar experience with someone who wasn’t really homeless, but couldn’t hold down a job and kept running up debt. I tried to hire her for some housework/childcare and discovered she wouldn’t do any reasonable amount of work. She would get sidetracked, reading the newspaper.

      • Kim says:

        That NYT opinion page can be compelling, though.

      • Chrome Mags says:

        I had a similar experience with 6 homeless, none of which could put in a full day’s work. 3 could only work for an hour and then wanted pay for that hour to then go buy booze. What I found out was there was a reason the homeless are homeless, because they lack the will or motivation or whatever you want to label it to put in a full day’s work. It’s not that they haven’t had opportunities, it’s just that they didn’t capitalize on them.

        • I am sure that that is not true for all of them, but there are quite a few who have problems of some kind (mental illness, drug, alcohol, post-traumatic stress, etc.) that means that they need more than simply an opportunity for a job, to fit in. This makes the problem much harder to fix.

          Also, in places like California, where housing costs are absolutely outrageous, I can imagine a lot of people with pay that would be reasonable in other parts of the country will find themselves homeless through no fault of their own. Rent is absurd in relationship to what many jobs pay.

          • Artleads says:

            Totally in agreement. So since homelessness is a big problem for society, and since I like building stranger stuff out of trash, and since I can do it with a great deal of thoughtfulness, I say let’s build cost-free stuff for homeless people. They won’t complain. They have no other choice. Build it for them. maker it (at least structurally) something you could like yourself. And if the homeless you give it to don’t want it they can go and (blank) themselves.

        • Xabier says:

          For many homeless there is a deep trauma in their past which led to their taking drugs, drinking, etc, in an attempt to blot it out.

          Offering a job, or a place to live, can’t heal that in most cases – unfortunately.

          • Artleads says:

            I’ve been homeless, but Cash’s story is on a different level. I too am grateful to BAU and the incredible ease in living if you get a “break.” Norman, if we’re trying to make the best of BAU (not seeing much further than our noses), we might try little adjustments to the system around the edges. One trouble there is the lack of comprehension you encounter, and the inability to cooperate. So in this kind of halway world there is meaningful work through growing food and creating shelter. Repairing stuff, in general, But I don’t think finiteness is so much the issue at this point but more public inability to understand what’s coming, and to help with little things that could help in the near future.

        • Yorchichan says:

          I’ve taken lots of homeless people around in my taxi. I don’t mind, but my wife, whose nose is much better than mine, complains about the smell the next morning. I expect subsequent passengers think the smell is coming from me.

          Usually I’ll take the homeless to a cash point just after midnight, at which time they can withdraw a few hundred pounds in benefits. Not sure how long this amount is supposed to last them, but it mostly gets spent in the next few minutes when we arrive at the dealer’s house. Then it’s onto wherever the homeless (?) are spending the night.

          Most of the money the homeless receive from benefits or begging gets spent on alcohol or drugs. Or taxi fares, and they tend to tip well! They don’t waste money on food, because they can get food from food banks or passers by.

          • Remind us regarding in which country you drive a taxi. I expect that there would be differences.

            • Yorchichan says:

              I live in York, UK. You are of course correct: only our generous welfare system allows the homeless here to live in this manner. I suspect the the benefits available to addicts are, in part, an attempt to reduce shoplifting.

          • cashisking says:

            Its a mixed up world. Were all damaged goods. I spent two years homeless starting at age 15. .guv allowed that back then if you stayed out of trouble you wernt brought into custody just because you were a minor on the street. That was a long time ago. Mostly it was alcoholics in the missions.

            Once I got a job it was a no brainer for me. A job was WAYYY better. To this day I consider a job a huge blessing. A job at any wage is the a huge gift. People who create jobs.. They walk on water to me. I have their back.

            Until you get off your ass and take the prevailing wage you live in a different reality than mine.

            Thank god I was homeless. Thank god Im not a spoiled entitled B****.

            Fast forward to now. Heroin and meth addiction on the streets. Mentally ill. BUT. Also people that cant just come up with the $ for housing. New phenomena in these numbers.

            If you are called to service..You cant save anyone. They have to decide that. If you see a light emanating from someone you try. You try and you get burnt. You learn the primary rule. Never trust a junkie.. You try again and you get burnt again. You develop skill. You protect the innocents, the children best you can. You evaluate your resources and try to make appropriate decisions.

            There are plenty of people who are trying hard not lazy that are not making it. The junkies and the lazy.. You cant make someone respect themselves.

            Does it make a difference in light of our situation? No. It makes a difference to the people who are trying. A big freakin difference.

            Without service i would not make it. Ive tried just owning and maintaining things. Its empty to me. Without $ without resources i could do nothing. I would be like a infant in Jurassic park.I have lived in a time were resources came easy. All you had to do was get off your ass get some skill and work. Not so easy now. Only 100x times easier than the third world not 1000x. It will not last. But i have the now. I have BAU. I use it to act appropriately best I can. Now. What comes next… Who knows. we guess this and that. I want my actions to be appropriate. In the end I die anyway. You cant beat death. All we have is our actions. All I have is my actions. Peoples hearts matter. IMO

            • Thanks for your story.

              Now that I think about it, I know a woman who was homeless when she was about 20. (This was about 20 years ago, in Canada.) She had gotten kicked out of home by her parents because she had a baby out of wedlock. To make matters worse, the father was of a darker skinned ethnic group that her parents considered unacceptable.

              She now seems to have a more than her share of problems, but she is married and is getting along reasonably well.

              Every homeless person has a different story.

            • your life experience has made you a great philosopher cash

              trouble with paid employment, in the ultimate sense is that in order to work, energy input is required.

              This was ok when work was just labouring in the fields to produce food etc, trouble starts when one labours at something which is ultimately ‘worthless’ in human existence terms, —-disposable in other words. But to the person producing it, it is ”employment”.

              to do that one must acquire/consume ever increasing quantities of energy, which is by definition finite.

              therefore jobs are finite.

              we cannot go on producing ‘stuff’ in return for wages which ultimately has no function.

  7. Davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

    Game-changer!

    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/the-bezos-musk-and-branson-billionaire-space-race-is-happening-right-now-131003282.html

    “… commercial space travel could end up being the biggest damn thing to happen this year. In fact, I think it’s the beginning of a real game-changer for humanity.”

    for humanity!

    “As for Bezos, Branson and Musk, Hatch says, “…these people made their billions in totally different industries and are now turning to space. They will make billions if not trillions in space.” ”

    trillions!

    the world economy is saved!

    • doomphd says:

      yes, it’s all out there in the vacuum of deep space, < 1E-15 Torr. and the views are killer!

    • JMS says:

      So funny. I’m seeing the promotional slogans:
      The Moon, a Full Bahmas Just For You!
      You Deserve the Moon!
      Etc.

      • doomphd says:

        Ralph Cramden of the Honeymooners was always promising to send his wife to the Moon. “One of these days Alice, one of these days….”

    • Goes with burning all of the fossil fuels to create climate change. If you can believe this story, you can believe the burning all the fossil fuels story. Why not link the two, and declare salvation on the moon or another planet?

  8. Tim Groves says:

    With all the speculation about which countries are at risk in the first six months of 2020, I was wondering whether the USA might not be up there near the top of the list.

    Governor of Virginia Ralph Northam has just issued an executive order entitled, “DECLARATION OF A STATE OF EMERGENCY DUE TO POTENTIAL CIVIL UNREST AT THE VIRGINIA STATE CAPITOL.”

    https://www.governor.virginia.gov/media/governorvirginiagov/executive-actions/EO-49-Declaration-of-a-State-Of-Emergency-Due-to-Potential-Civil-Unrest-at-the-Virginia-State-Capitol.pdf

    The potential unrest is set to potentiate on Monday January 20, 2020. Mark the date!

    According to the Governor’s order:

    Credible intelligence gathered by Virginia’s law enforcement agencies indicates that tens of thousands of advocates plan to converge on Capitol Square for events culminating on January 20, 2020. Available information suggests that a substantial number of these demonstrators are expected to come from outside the Commonwealth, may be armed, and have as their purpose not peaceful assembly but violence, rioting, and insurrection.

    Many ordinary Virginians are hopping mad and up in arms about the actions of the current Governor,

    Organic Prepper Daisy Luther is on the case:

    Who is sponsoring the rally?
    It’s interesting to note that throughout nearly every article on the mainstream media about this topic, you’ll find multiple references to “white nationalists,” making it seem as though the event is being hosted by white supremacists instead of law-abiding gun owners who have no intention of kowtowing to unconstitutional mandates…..

    …. This isn’t the first tyrannical move in Virginia this week.
    An extremely popular Facebook post that has been shared thousands of times reads:

    So Virginia introduces a bundle of radical laws to destroy 2A rights, militias, sale transfer and registration bills, and the People of Virginia says no, and we’re going to vote you all out next term.

    Virginia government responds by introducing a bill to eliminate voter ID.

    Virginia says we’re not going to wait, we’ll petition your removal from office and gets almost a 3rd of the 240K signatures to remove the governor and starts petitions to remove delegates.

    Virginia government responds by introducing a bill to raise the amount of signatures from 10% of the prevailing vote, to 25%.

    Folks, this is the a textbook example of tyranny. “We’re the government, and we’ll do anything we want, whether you like it or not. We won’t let you vote us out, we won’t let you remove us from office…. And if you can’t possess the weapons that a militia would need to force us out, of office, then there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it.”

    First they came for the Armenians, then the Kulaks, then the Jews, then the Chinese landlords, then any Cambodian who wore spectacles (bty, apologies for all the others I’ve left out!). Now they’re plum crazy and coming for law-abiding gun owners in the great state of Virginia.

  9. Kowalainen says:

    Henrik Jönsson explains the success of swedish socialism.

    For those crypto commies out there.

    🙂

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