Economies won’t be able to recover after shutdowns

Citizens seem to be clamoring for shutdowns to prevent the spread of COVID-19. There is one major difficulty, however. Once an economy has been shut down, it is extremely difficult for the economy to recover back to the level it had reached previously. In fact, the longer the shutdown lasts, the more critical the problem is likely to be. China can shut down its economy for two weeks over the Chinese New Year, each year, without much damage. But, if the outage is longer and more widespread, damaging effects are likely.

A major reason why economies around the world will have difficulty restarting is because the world economy was in very poor shape before COVID-19 hit; shutting down major parts of the economy for a time leads to even more people with low wages or without any job. It will be very difficult and time-consuming to replace the failed businesses that provided these jobs.

When an outbreak of COVID-19 hit, epidemiologists recommended social distancing approaches that seemed to be helpful back in 1918-1919. The issue, however, is that the world economy has changed. Social distancing rules have a much more adverse impact on today’s economy than on the economy of 100 years ago.

Governments that wanted to push back found themselves up against a wall of citizen expectations. A common belief, even among economists, was that any shutdown would be short, and the recovery would be V-shaped. False information (really propaganda) published by China tended to reinforce the expectation that shutdowns could truly be helpful. But if we look at the real situation, Chinese workers are finding themselves newly laid off as they attempt to return to work. This is leading to protests in the Hubei area.

My analysis indicates that now, in 2020, the world economy cannot withstand long shutdowns. One very serious problem is the fact that the prices of many commodities (including oil, copper and lithium) will fall far too low for producers, leading to disruption in supplies. Broken supply chains can be expected to lead to the loss of many products previously available. Ultimately, the world economy may be headed for collapse.

In this post, I explain some of the reasons for my concerns.

[1] An economy is a self-organizing system that can grow only under the right conditions. Removing a large number of businesses and the corresponding jobs for an extended shutdown will clearly have a detrimental effect on the economy. 

Figure 1. Chart by author, using photo of building toy “Leonardo Sticks,” with notes showing a few types of elements the world economy.

An economy is a self-organizing networked system that grows, under the right circumstances. I have attempted to give an idea of how this happens in Figure 1. This is an image of a child’s building toy. The growth of an economy is somewhat like building a structure with many layers using such a toy.

The precise makeup of the economy is constantly changing. New businesses are formed, and new consumers grow up and take jobs. Governments enact laws, partly to collect taxes, and partly to ensure fair treatment of all. Consumers decide which products to buy based on a combination of factors, including their level of wages, the prices being charged for the available goods, the availability of debt, and the interest rate on that debt. Resources of various kinds are used in producing goods and services.

At the same time, some deletions are taking place. Big businesses buy smaller businesses; some customers die or move away. Products that become obsolete are discontinued. The inside of the dome becomes hollow from the deletions.

If a large number of businesses are closed for an extended period, this will have many adverse impacts on the economy:

  • Fewer goods and services, in total, will be made for the economy during the period of the shutdown.
  • Many workers will be laid off, either temporarily or permanently. Goods and services will suddenly be less affordable for these former workers. Many will fall behind on their rent and other obligations.
  • The laid off workers will be unable to pay much in taxes. In the US, state and local governments will need to cut back the size of their programs to match lower revenue because they cannot borrow to offset the deficit.
  • If fewer goods and services are made, demand for commodities will fall. This will push the prices of commodities, such as oil and copper, very low.
  • Commodity producers, airlines and the travel industry are likely to head toward permanent contraction, further adding to layoffs.
  • Broken supply lines become problems. For example:
    • A lack of parts from China has led to the closing of many automobile factories around the world.
    • There is not enough cargo capacity on airplanes because much cargo was carried on passenger flights previously, and passenger flights have been cut back.

These adverse impacts become increasingly destabilizing for the economy, the longer the shutdowns go on. It is as if a huge number of deletions are made simultaneously in Figure 1. Temporary margins, such as storage of spare parts in warehouses, can provide only a temporary buffer. The remaining portions of the economy become less and less able to support themselves. If the economy was already in poor shape, the economy may collapse.

[2] The world economy was approaching resource limits even before the coronavirus epidemic appeared. This is not too different a situation than many earlier economies faced before they collapsed. Coronavirus pushes the world economy further toward collapse. 

Reaching resource limits is sometimes described as, “The population outgrew the carrying capacity of the land.” The group of people living in the area could not grow enough food and firewood using the resources available at the time (such as arable land, energy from the sun, draft animals, and technology of the day) for their expanding populations.

Collapses have been studied by many researchers. The book Secular Cycles by Peter Turchin and Sergey Nefedov analyze eight agricultural economies that collapsed. Figure 2 is a chart I prepared, based on my analysis of the economies described in that book:

Figure 2. Chart by author based on Turchin and Nefedov’s Secular Cycles.

Economies tend to grow for many years before the population becomes high enough that the carrying capacity of the land they occupy is approached. Once the carrying capacity is hit, they enter a stagflation stage, during which population and GDP growth slow. Growing debt becomes an issue, as do both wage and wealth disparity.

Eventually, a crisis period is reached. The problems of the stagflation period become worse (wage and wealth disparity; need for debt by those with inadequate income) during the crisis period. Changes tend to take place during the crisis period that lead to substantial drops in GDP and population. For example, we read about some economies entering into wars during the crisis period in the attempt to gain more land and other resources. We also read about economies being attacked from outside in their weakened state.

Also, during the crisis period, with the high level of wage and wealth disparity, it becomes increasingly difficult for governments to collect enough taxes. This problem can lead to governments being overthrown because of unhappiness with high taxes and wage disparity. In some cases, as in the 1991 collapse of the central government of the Soviet Union, the top level government simply collapses, leaving the next lower level of government.

Strangely enough, epidemics also seem to occur within collapse periods. The rising population leads to people living closer to each other, increasing the risk of transmission. People with low wages often find it increasingly difficult to eat an adequate diet. As a result, their immune systems easily succumb to new communicable diseases. Part of the collapse process is often the loss of a significant share of the population to a communicable disease.

Looking back at Figure 2, I believe that the current economic cycle started with the use of fossil fuels back in the 1800s. The world economy hit the stagflation period in the 1970s, when oil supply first became constrained. The Great Recession of 2008-2009 seems to be a marker for the beginning of the crisis period in the current cycle. If I am right in this assessment, the world economy is in the period in which we should expect crises, such as pandemics or wars, to occur.

The world was already pushing up against resource limits before all of the shutdowns took place. The shutdowns can be expected to push the world economy toward a more rapid decline in output per capita. They also appear to increase the likelihood that citizens will try to overthrow their governments, once the quarantine restrictions are removed.

[3] The carrying capacity of the world today is augmented by the world’s energy supply. A major issue since 2014 is that oil prices have been too low for oil producers. The coronavirus problem is pushing oil prices even lower yet.

Strangely enough, the world economy is facing a resource shortage problem, but it manifests itself as low commodity prices and excessive wage and wealth disparity.

Most economists have not figured out that economies are, in physics terms, dissipative structures. These are self-organizing systems that grow, at least for a time. Hurricanes (powered by energy from warm water) and ecosystems (powered by sunlight) are other examples of dissipative structures. Humans are dissipative structures, as well; we are powered by the energy content of foods. Economies require energy for all of the processes that we associate with generating GDP, such as refining metals and transporting goods. Electricity is a form of energy.

Energy can be used to work around shortages of almost any kind of resource. For example, if fresh water is a problem, energy products can be used to build desalination plants. If lack of phosphate rocks is an issue for adequate fertilization, energy products can be used to extract these rocks from less accessible locations. If pollution is a problem, fossil fuels can be used to build so-called renewable energy devices such as wind turbines and solar panels, to try to reduce future CO2 pollution.

The growth in energy consumption correlates quite well with the growth of the world economy. In fact, increases in energy consumption seem to precede growth in GDP, suggesting that it is energy consumption growth that allows the growth of GDP.

Figure 3. World GDP Growth versus Energy Consumption Growth, based on data of 2018 BP Statistical Review of World Energy and GDP data in 2010$ amounts, from the World Bank.

The thing that economists tend to miss is the fact that extracting enough fossil fuels (or commodities of any type) is a two-sided price problem. Prices must be both:

  1. High enough for companies extracting the resources to make an after tax profit.
  2. Low enough for consumers to afford finished goods made with these resources.

Most economists believe that an inadequate supply of energy products will be marked by high prices. In fact, the situation seems to be almost “upside down” in a networked economy. Inadequate energy supplies seem to be marked by excessive wage and wealth disparity. This wage and wealth disparity leads to commodity prices that are too low for producers. Current WTI oil prices are about $20 per barrel, for example (Figure 4).

Figure 4. Daily spot price of West Texas Intermediate oil, based on EIA data.

The low-price commodity price issue is really an affordability problem. The many people with low wages cannot afford goods such as cars, homes with heating and air conditioning, and vacation travel. In fact, they may even have difficulty affording food. Spending by rich people does not make up for the shortfall in spending by the poor because the rich tend to spend their wealth differently. They tend to buy services such as tax planning and expensive private college educations for their children. These services require proportionately less commodity use than goods purchased by the poor.

The problem of low commodity prices becomes especially acute in countries that produce commodities for export. Producers find it difficult to pay workers adequate wages to live on. Also, governments are not able to collect enough taxes for the services workers expect, such as public transit. The combination is likely to lead to protests by citizens whenever the opportunity arises. Once shutdowns end, these countries are especially in danger of having their governments overthrown.

[4] There are limits to what governments and central banks can fix. 

Governments can give citizens checks so that they have enough funds to buy groceries. This may, indeed, keep the price of food products high enough for food producers. There may still be problems with broken supply lines, so there may still be shortages of some products. For example, if there are eggs but no egg cartons, there may be no eggs for sale in grocery stores.

Central banks can act as buyers for many kinds of assets such as bonds and even shares of stock. In this way, they can perhaps keep stock market prices reasonably high. If enough gimmicks are used, perhaps they can even keep the prices of homes and farms reasonably high.

Central banks can also keep interest rates paid by governments low. In fact, interest rates can even be negative, especially for the short term. Businesses whose profitability has been reduced and workers who have been laid off are likely to discover that their credit ratings have been downgraded. This is likely to lead to higher interest costs for these borrowers, even if interest rates for the most creditworthy are kept low.

One area where governments and central banks seem to be fairly helpless is with respect to low prices for commodities used by industry, such as oil, natural gas, coal, copper and lithium. These commodities are traded internationally, so it is not just their own producers that need to be propped up; the market intervention needs to affect the entire world market.

One approach to raising world commodity prices would be to buy up large quantities of the commodities and store them somewhere. This is impractical, because no one has adequate storage for the huge quantities involved.

Another approach for raising world commodity prices would be to try to raise worldwide demand for finished goods and services. (Making more finished goods and services will use more commodities, and thus will tend to raise commodity prices.) To do this, checks would somehow need to go to the many poor people in the world, including those in India, Bangladesh and Nigeria, allowing these people to buy cars, homes, and other finished goods. Sending out checks only to people in one’s own economy would not be sufficient. It is unlikely that the US or the European Union would undertake a task such as this.

A major problem after many people have been out of work for a quite a while is the fact that many of these people will be behind on their regular payments, such as rent and car payments. They will be in no mood to buy a new vehicle or a new cell phone, simply because they have been offered a check that covers groceries and not much more. They will remain in a mode of cutting back on purchases, not adding more. Demand for most kinds of goods will remain low.

This lack of demand will make it difficult for business to have enough sales to make it profitable to reopen at the level of output that they had previously. Thus, employment and sales are likely to remain depressed even after the economy seems to be reopening. China seems to be having this problem. The Wall Street Journal reports China Is Open for Business, but the Postcoronavirus Reboot Looks Slow and Rocky. It also reports, Another Shortage in China’s Virus-Hit Economy: Jobs for College Grads.

[5] There is a significant likelihood that the COVID-19 problem is not going away, even if economies can “bend the trend line” with respect to new cases.

Bending the trend line has to do with trying to keep hospitals and medical providers from being overwhelmed. It is likely to mean that herd immunity is built up slowly, making repeat outbreaks more likely. Thus, if social isolation is stopped, COVID-19 illnesses can be expected to revisit prior locations. We know that this has been an issue in the past. The Spanish Flu epidemic came in three waves, over the years 1918-1919. The second wave was the most deadly.

A recent study by members of the Harvard School of Public Health says that the COVID-19 epidemic may appear in waves until into 2022. In fact, it could be back on a seasonal basis thereafter. It also indicates that more than one period of social distancing is likely to be required:

“A single period of social distancing will not be sufficient to prevent critical care capacities from being overwhelmed by the COVID-19 epidemic, because under any scenario considered it leaves enough of the population susceptible that a rebound in transmission after the end of the period will lead to an epidemic that exceeds this capacity.”

Thus, even if the COVID-19 problem seems to be fixed in a few weeks, it likely will be back again within a few months. With this level of uncertainty, businesses will not be willing to set up new operations. They will not hire many additional employees. The retired population will not run out and buy more tickets on cruise ships for next year. In fact, citizens are likely to continue to be worried about airplane flights being a place for transmitting illnesses, making the longer term prospects for the airline industry less optimistic.

Conclusion 

The economy was already near the edge before COVID-19 hit. Wage and wealth disparity were big problems. Local populations of many areas objected to immigrants, fearing that the added population would reduce job opportunities for people who already lived there, among other things. As a result, many areas were experiencing protests because of unhappiness with the current economic situation.

The shutdowns temporarily cut back the protests, but they certainly do not fix the underlying situations. Instead, the shutdowns add to the number of people with very low wages or no income at all. The shutdowns also reduce the total quantity of goods and services available to purchase, regardless of how much money is added to the system. Many people will end up poorer, in some real sense.

As soon as the shutdowns end, it will be obvious that the world economy is in worse condition than it was before the shutdown. The longer the shutdowns last, the worse shape the world economy will be in. Thus, when businesses are restarted, we can expect even more protests and more divisive politics. Some governments may be overthrown, or they may collapse without being pushed. I fear that the world economy will be further down the road toward overall collapse.

 

 

 

About Gail Tverberg

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

4,744 Responses to Economies won’t be able to recover after shutdowns

  1. CTG says:

    Snow storm coming. Just don’t know which snowflake is the one that caused the avalanche.

    Americans Not Making Their Mortgage Payments Soar By 1064% In One Month
    https://www.zerohedge.com/economics/americans-not-making-their-mortgage-payments-soar-1064-one-month

    Over 30% Of US Renters Didn’t Pay April Apartment Rent
    https://www.zerohedge.com/economics/over-30-us-renters-didnt-pay-april-apartment-rent

    The Liquidity Crisis Is Quickly Becoming A Global Solvency Crisis As FRA/OIS, Euribor Soar
    https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/liquidity-crisis-becoming-global-solvency-crisis-fraois-euribor-soar

    • Covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      thanks C T G…

      I repeated myself probably too much in 2019 when I said that there was a glue holding IC together and keeping BAU from faltering…

      and that was the fact that 99+% of persons with jobs kept going back the next day, and 95+% of those with car loans, credit card debt, rent, mortgages etc kept making their monthly payments…

      we didn’t know then what the triggger might be to undo that consistency in 2020…

      now we know…

      • CTG says:

        This trigger is triggering the collapse at an accelerated pace. It is just 2.5 months from Wuhan lockdown date. With things falling apart everywhere (from commodities, bonds, massive defaults, delinquencies, unemployment, supply chain disruption, no money to buy food, etc), I will be surprise if it can hold more than 2-3 months (especially those without money to feed themselves – the number of people will be huge)

        • Xabier says:

          Very true, CTG, the speed of the break-up is remarkable – but just as we always foresaw given the way in which the structure works.

          This is a time of deceptive calm: the real pain from job destruction, lock-downs and chain disruption hasn’t sunk in quite yet, and many are still working; most people -except the poorest who couldn’t stockpile and are now very distressed with food banks running out – have cupboards full of food; we don’t have corpses piling on the streets, no mass looting of the houses of the dead, etc.

          But a few months from now? It may not be so calm.

          I don’t think even the wisest can hope to see even 6 months from now.

      • Xabier says:

        A slow decline to 2025-35 seemed possible then, with all financial problems being papered over and -as you say – most people still employed and functioning in the debt-system: and then we just blew it all up in a few weeks!

        I rather expected an ecological disaster (volcanic mega-explosion, repeated crop failures, etc, )to be the catalyst for disruption and collapse, given our proven skill at manipulating the financial environment, something that couldn’t simply be ‘smoke-and-mirrored’ away.

        • CTG says:

          When every country print money, then everyone goes down to a lower level all at the same time. However, these stimulus money is usually one-off but you need jobs to sustain your life. Only a fraction of the people (who are totally not involved in “creating primary sustenence” like farming, fishing, etc) can work from home.

          Those who work from home are those who are rather well to do and thus can ask for “lockdown: to slow the virus spread. It is those who cannot work from home that are suffering big time.

          What an unfair world!

          • Xabier says:

            ‘Work from home’ sounds great to politicians and bureaucrats who have no familiarity at all with the daily lives of real workers.

    • It is hard to believe that this is a surprise. It is not possible to tell people to stay at home without very dire results.

      This is a chart from the zerohedge mortgage article.

  2. Artleads says:

    We need “the system” to work, since it is globally interconnected and impossible to abandon in any large or rapid way. If we have no lockdown and self isolation, we can’t say that the health care system won’t be overwhelmed. So the system won’t work. But if you lock up everybody, no work is done and the system shuts down. If the system continues it must collide with a wall of physical limits (for you can’t grow infinitely on a finite planet). So the system wasn’t long for this world anyway. So what’s missing?

    • Covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      not much missing in that…

      the world economy could not handle a pandemic and stay running at BAU…

      so we are seeing comments that more and more suggest that it didn’t matter what the response was, planned or unplanned, winging it or carefully thinking it through, lockdown or let-it-rip…

      the pandemic is forcing an economic reset…

      big questions remain…

      how quickly to a bottom or a plateau?

      will the reset be at the very bottom… no IC… or quasi IC at what % of the 2019 level?

    • doomphd says:

      the timing. no one wanted it to be this soon. it was supposed to be a 2025 problem, cough, cough.

  3. 09876 says:

    we had to sip at the lie. then gulped it. Now the lie is our everything.

    • A 27 minute video explaining what goes wrong in the attempted bailout, looking at the many pieces. I have only listened to part of it, so far. I am sure I could not explain it adequately in a post.

      • 09876 says:

        If interest rates rise (normalize) the price of the bond lowers
        if a bond yields 5% a bond yielding 1% is worth a lot less
        If a bond is worth less its collateral value is worth less
        if its collateral value is worth less then less repo can be lent on it
        repo is the life support of the financial system without it default and contagion
        so the fed must buy everything as interest rates can not rise to incentiveize buyers

        ditto for every asset class re real estate.

        We bring money velocity to zero via lock down yet interest rates can not rise if they do its contagion. The fed has to in effect become the market a market that accepts zero money velocity in conjunction with zero percent interest rates. The fed must buy it all with very little help from the “real” market or financial system is finished.

  4. Fast Eddy says:

    Now this is funny – Dave is asking there are no stars in any of the photos from all the missions…

    Legend holds that a dozen astronauts walked upon the surface of the Moon for varying amounts of time. The Apollo 17 astronauts alone were purportedly there for three days.

    For the duration of their visits, each of the twelve would have been treated to what was by far the most dazzling display of stars ever seen by the human eye. What they would have seen was many times more stars burning many times brighter than can be seen anywhere here on planet Earth.

    Collectively, the dirty dozen took thousands of photos throughout their alleged journeys. And yet, amazingly enough, not one of them thought it might be a good idea to snap even a single photograph of such a wondrous sight.

    Of course, endless photos of the lunar modules and the monotonous lunar surface are exciting too, but just one or two photos of that dazzling lunar sky might have been nice as well.

    BOOM!

    It’s as if someone went to Niagara Falls and the only photos they brought back were of the car they drove sitting in a nondescript parking lot.

    http://centerforaninformedamerica.com/moondoggie-4/

    • Bei Dawei says:

      Eddy, you’re behind in your NASA brainwashing:

    • matm1211 says:

      Well it is kind of hard to see stars in broad daylight…

      • Hugh Spencer says:

        Hooray! – a sensible comment – the light contrast must have been terrific – f36 or f64? – it can be bad enough here in the tropics! So I’m in no way surprised that no stars were visible.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          The sky is ….black.

          • matm1211 says:

            Well there’s no Rayleigh scattering from the atmosphere, but there is scattering from the surface of the moon. It’s a pretty good scatterer!

          • matm1211 says:

            So if you ant to collect photons from the stars, you mostly collect photons from the sun, and therefore can’t see the other stars around

            • matm1211 says:

              I am not sure you can’t take a good picture Jesse, it is just not the perfect spot for sure. If they went on the moon, I am not surprised that this was not a priority to build a nice device to take star pictures from the moon. Sending things to space, you have priorities, it is a complex task. Nice sky/star pictures existed already in the sixties I guess, so no prorieties to do that from the moon.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              I just noticed Gail’s request to discontinue this topic.

              Basically that is a signal to the DelusiSTANIS that Fast Eddy has proved his point so stop poking the Great White Shark because she doesn’t want anyone to lose an arm… or a leg.

              ‘Stay Safe!’

        • JesseJames says:

          Ever heard of a setting the f number and exposure time to allow light to accumulate? A camera aimed at the stars and not the bright landscape would collect the majestic images with the correct exposure time.
          But then, on a trillion dollar trip to the moon, we didn’t have the smarts to do that. We didn’t have the space to take the right kind of camera along. There is no atmosphere to scatter the reflected moonscape light, to reflect or scatter the suns rays going through them. The camera would integrate the star picture perfectly.
          FE is right. The starscape would have been then most magnificent star picture ever seen by man….and it was not taken.
          Another strangely missing item….or I guess NASA lost those pictures too.

          • matm1211 says:

            Well if you see the moon, it is because its surface scatters a lot the photons from the sun… A camera on the bright side of the moon would mostly collect photons coming from the sun and scattered from the surface. Therefore you can integrate as long as you wish, you’ll always mostly see photons from the sun and not from the other stars.
            I don’t think telescope on earth are looking at stars during daylight…

            • matm1211 says:

              So you just forgot that the moon surface scatters the sun light all around the pace :). You do not need an atmosphere and Rayleigh scattering to explain why a detector on the surface is blinded by the sun light…

            • JesseJames says:

              Are you stooo…p I’d or something? Don’t answer because I know you’re are.
              There is NO ATMOSPHERE on the moon to scatter the light if you are looking upward.

            • Yorchichan says:

              A camera on the bright side of the moon would mostly collect photons coming from the sun and scattered from the surface.

              Not if you pointed it in a direction away from both the sun and the moon.

            • matm1211 says:

              Last, on the dark side of the moon the sky must look nice though. There you should
              be able to see a fabulous show!

            • matm1211 says:

              Jesse, I repeat the surface of the moon scatters light. Even if you point away from the sun and the surface of the moon you will mostly have light coming from the surface as the moon is not a small object. Shine light from your ceiling, blind most of the direct light, point your camera not on the ground, still you see scattered light from the ground.

            • JesseJames says:

              By your rationale, there would be no pictures possible from the Hubble.
              Point a camera up at the dark star filled sky. Focus it at infinity. The only photons from the moonscape getting to the film will be a few that scatter off the rim of the camera lens. Just a few. If you are implying these few photons will wash out the film, then the film will measure a white picture and not black. You make no sense to me.

            • matm1211 says:

              “The only photons from the moonscape getting to the film will be a few that scatter off the rim of the camera lens. Just a few” Yes this is what I mean, camera as a certain numerical aperture, you will mostly collect scattered photons from the surface, there are way more photons that you collect like that than what comes from far away stars. If you get less photons from far away stars than scattered photons from the sun you won’t see the far away stars. Scattered light is huge from the moon.

              I used to measure single photon stream from single trapped atoms. It is really difficult to isolate single photon detectors from scattered light in a dark room with just computer screen on.

            • matm1211 says:

              “If you are implying these few photons will wash out the film, then the film will measure a white picture and not black” Yes that’s right.

              “there would be no pictures possible from the Hubble” Hubble does not have a freaking huge scatterer just next to it

            • JesseJames says:

              Ever heard of a baffle? NASA had plenty of smart engineers and scientists. They could have, if they wanted to, designed a baffle to allow the picture. I do not accept that you cannot image the stars from the moons surface with no atmosphere. I believe it is possible. The experiment cannot be duplicated here on earth.
              BTW, the Hubble has a huge scatterer… just outside it’s FOV…it is called the earth.

            • matm1211 says:

              I am not sure you can’t take a good picture Jesse, it is just not the perfect spot for sure. If they went on the moon, I am not surprised that this was not a priority to build a nice device to take star pictures from the moon. Sending things to space, you have priorities, it is a complex task. Nice sky/star pictures existed already in the sixties I guess? so no prorieties to do that from the moon.

            • matm1211 says:

              Hubble has the earth next to it sure, but first it is not right on the scatterer but a few km away. Second, I can also imagine that Hubble can take picture while being on the dark side of earth during night, in this case it is protected from the sun and any scattering? Am I saying BS? I am no expert of sky observation, so am just trying to guess

      • Fast Eddy says:

        I’m thinking…. (there’s no one in the office yet … so this is just me the novice putting this out there….) that we can do better????

        If we can make out a license plate on a car from a satellite camera….. and that’s having to zoom in through the atmospheric distortions… that we might turn the satellite and point the camera the other direction — and with no atmosphere to get in the way …. we’d be able to make out a pimple on the arse of the man who lives up there….

        .

        It’s responsible for the deepest images of the universe ever recorded.

        In late-1995, Hubble’s operators allowed the telescope to stare for 10 days at a seemingly empty sliver of sky. Many doubted whether the lengthy exposure would be of value, but the resulting image, known as the “Hubble Deep Field,” was astonishing.

        By looking beyond the Milky Way, it revealed a plethora of never-before-seen galaxies, including some of the most distant star systems ever discovered.

        Astronomers repeated the experiment with 2004’s “Ultra Deep Field,” and they have since released several more pictures that use infrared and combined exposures to peer farther into space than ever before.

        The newest images contain more than 5,000 galaxies, some of them as far as 13.2 billion light years away. Since the light from these galaxies has taken eons to reach our solar system, it offers astronomers a window onto what the universe looked like only a short time after the Big Bang some 13.7 billion years ago.

        The Great White Shark has had enough of feeding on minnows… he’s moving along

  5. Tim Groves says:

    Amazing Poly (and she truly is amazing) has done lots of research and joined lots of dots in her investigation into who is PR-ing the Covid-19 scare in the US. Here’s a 30-minute sample of her work.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      OMG – ‘it’s a faked event – staged event’….

      Be careful Tim….. most people listening to the first 10 seconds will hit stop — then race back here to scream at you….

      Fast Eddy will — on the other hand — listen — because I respect your intellect — and I know if you post a video — it must have some merit….

      • Harry McGibbs says:

        I haven’t watched this all the way through yet but one quick observation – Dr. Colleen Smith is an emergency physician, specialising in resuscitation and with an interest in medical education.

        The word ‘simulation’ has caused Polly’s ears to prick up but a background in medical simulation is entirely concordant with Colleen’s skill-set. Training simulations have obvious advantages over working with nearly dead, real people – they reduce costs, patient harm, risk of malpractice suits etc.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          Harry – the problem is she does not work at Elmherst… and Elmherst is not overrun with covids…

          You can follow up on my call — ask for the covid emergency section +1 718-334-4000

          • Harry McGibbs says:

            The internet is suggesting she is in quarantine, having herself contracted COVID-19. You could always pop her a note via Linkedin? I’m sure she’ll eventually revert if you are polite.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Harry sorry but no – my question was is there a Doctor who works there by the name of Colleen Smith.

              Now that’s a big ol hospital so I did not expect the receptionist to say – oh ya Colleen … we just had a coffee together — do you want me to get her.

              The lady said (of course she said) let me check my directory (I assume that’s a computer dbase that lists the hundreds of people who work there). She said after a maybe 30 seconds sorry nobody by that name here. We have another hospital (forget the other location) do you want me to check that one? Yes sure might as well. 30 seconds …. sorry sir we don’t have a doctor working at either hospital named Colleen Smith.

              I said thanks and asked about the virus situation and she put me through to ER…

              As Tim’s video states – a couple of the main honchos at the hospital suddenly came down with Wuhan along with Doctor Smith… pretty much a day after the NYT Apocalypse story dropped…

              How convenient is THAT!

              Even if someone wanted to question her or them — or fact check this bulllllshi t story — guess what — and you called the hospital to try to do that — you’d get a ‘sorry sir — all the people in charge are sick — they might be better in a few weeks — try back in say … a month?’

              A month is no good. This is old news after a week…. they are already onto their new scam…

              These people are pros Harry — they’ve done this many many many times before.

              First of all they control the MSM so nobody is going to even bother to ask any questions.

              But if someone with say a big time blog got a bee in their bonnet they’d run them around in circles and smash their face into so many dead ends their face would be flat

              I already know what will happen if I try to pursue this directly with the hospital or to ping Smith on Linked In …. of course I know…

              Hey Don…. are you listening in …. I am. What’s your two cents? Fast – Hill and the others are on total media black outs… we’ve got them at a resort in the Bahamas sipping pina coladas till the end of April … anyone trying to contact them will be blocked by the gatekeeper…. you’d have a higher chance of getting a call through to the Pope…. You know how thorough we are Fast…. If your mate Harry wants to waste his time — tell him to go for it — but we don’t want you coming off task for this exercise in futility.

              Harry – sorry I’ll have to leave this with you. The job market sucks now and I need to stay onside with Don….

    • Fast Eddy says:

      As I have posted she is right – that person claiming to be doctor in the NYT article does not work there… cuz i called… I’d recommend that lady try to contact her on FB and see what she says… I’m not going to do that cuz I know that will be a dead end

      Anyway — the thing is … you have all these people clearly willing to play ball here. Quasi doctors politicians celebrities … this is not your standard CIA type psyop or black opp…. where you primarily involve professional intelligence operatives

      How do you get all these people to buy in to a scam that is throwing billions out of work … and causing people to starve and suffer? A scam that is costing trillions … a scam that is almost certain to collapse the world

      The only way to get them to buy in is if you can convince them that this scam is in the interests of everyone. That we are facing something so horrifying that the agenda that is driven by this scam is in the interests of every person on the planet.

      That alternative outcome would need to be extremely horrifying… because the current trajectory is going to take us to a rather nasty place

      Maybe a spaceship of mind sucking aliens is on its way here and the PTB are trying to wipe us all out so we do not have to go through the nightmare of having our skulls sawed off an boiling oil poured onto our brains….

      Anything is possible – but I am still going with the CDT theory. Nobody wants to see Apocalypse Now Meets Mad Max Meets The Road play out …. throw in a fair bit of cannibalism … disease and then the radiation sickness that is guaranteed….

      Radiation sickness is NOT a pleasant way to die https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2012/07/giz-explains-what-nuclear-radiation-does-to-your-body/

      I can see Tom Hanks being approached …. and being told Tom … we are going to use this flu story (there is a real flu)…. and we are going to herd everyone their homes… and scare them into not coming out no matter what…. this is going to reduce the volume of global suffering immensely…. most people will obey the instructions because that is was fearful people do….

      This flu on its own is not enough because it’s just another flu …. people may work out that we have had 45,000,000 catch the flu in the US in one year … and if they do then they will not respond to the fear message…

      So we need a few marquee names to come on board with this and help us with the message that this flu is different.

      We’ve got the CDC and politicians on message – they will be supporting you with messaging stating this is a ‘monster’ flu — that you can catch it even if you have no symptoms … etc etc….

      We think that a full court press with full MSM coverage will be enough to convince people that this is something that justifies draconian responses…

      I know this is a bit hard to take Tom… we’re pretty shaken up here too… but this is the best way to handle this rather grim situation.

      Can we count on you Tom?

      Yes sure. Of course. Of course.

      That’s great Tom. We really do appreciate this. It’s been so great how the Hollywood community has stepped up to support us on all our initiatives … if you see Leo tell him things for lending a hand with the G W… thing…. I know he’s had a hard time with his private jet stuff and that resort he built two inches above sea level… so ya say hi and let him know everyone here in Washington really appreciate his help.

      Ok Tom enjoy your time in Australia… we’ve got a really nice villa for you and the wife to ride out the quarantine… lots of great food and wine … you’ll probably not want to leave hehe…

      Hehe ya .. sounds great. Stay safe…

      And with that … a very sombre meeting ends.

  6. Fast Eddy says:

    Neighbour just popped by to drop off some peaches… had a chat and she says lots of kiwis she knows are running out of money to buy food…. the govt provides up to 2k per month if you have been laid off — not sure the formula but i think that would be for someone making more than minimum…. the payments are lower if you were on minimum wage

    Let’s say you are on half your normal pay …. I think you can get an interest only mortgage — still gotta pay all the other bills — including credit card… 2k per month ain’t a lot…

    And food prices are spiking…

    Lock her down hard Jacinda!!! How many billion borrowed so far??? What about next month darlin…. you gonna let all this effort go to waste and open her back up?????

    The natives are gonna get restless… they’d accept the lock down cuz of The DEATH FLU…. but when their kids are plucking grass and eating and crying mamma mamma I’m hungry — I want a burger!!…. Pappa might decide to take things into his own hands … and pull out the rifle…

    This is NZ. One of the most civilized places on Earth. And it’s edging into gnarly….

    • You have to take into account the amount of credit people are loaded up (“voluntarily”).
      Unpaid 2-3carz in the family, big appliances on credit, remodel/mortgage (crazy m3 of living space anyway for heating/AC bills), college debts, vacations etc..

      Well, no wonder then in even timid recession this often escalates into massive family budget problems, so even food or utility bills became immediate issue within a span of single week or two not mentioning more serious times like this with likely onset of mega depression.

  7. Covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

    https://dfw.cbslocal.com/2020/04/07/missing-emotional-side-coronavirus/

    “Coronavirus Leaves Class Of 2020 Reeling With Emotion: Prom, Graduation ‘All Ruined Because Of This Virus’…”

    and most of them don’t realize that their future prosperity, which they all probably assumed would be at 2019 levels, has been downgraded to something approaching poverty level…

    • Fast Eddy says:

      If they are getting upset about missing prom… imagine what’s gonna happen when the starvation kicks in ….

      We really are a coddled lot aren’t we…. toss a human in the bush … most would be dead in a week. And the rest would need to be plugged into the ICU when they were hauled out.

      How far we have strayed…. ironically we believe we are amazing and we mock ‘uncivilized’ people who are living HG lives

    • Job opportunities have to be dismal. I know that they were in 2008.

      • occupy wall street says:

        I’ve notices that the elites are no longer bombarding us with messages how college education as the solution to unemployment and low wages. Given the recent emphasis on Intersectionality, they are falling back on an old-age use of mass education : social control. Graduates are told that they can get a job if they can portray themselves as a persecuted minority and get employers to feel guilt about the plight of their people.

        This is a “conspiracy” because when asked directly about whether job applicants are being discriminated against based on identity, they say that s a lie.

  8. Covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

    did China know in November?

    https://www.goodmorningamerica.com/news/story/intelligence-report-warned-coronavirus-crisis-early-november-sources-70031273

    “As far back as late November, U.S. intelligence officials were warning that a contagion was sweeping through China’s Wuhan region…”

  9. Covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

    second wave?

    https://www.politico.com/news/2020/04/08/coronavirus-when-normal-expert-health-care-172005

    “I believe that we’re going to return to a semi-normal life at the end of May — Memorial Day,” Dr. Orlowski said in an interview for a special coronavirus-focused episode of POLITICO’s Women Rule podcast.

    “But the other thing that I would say is that we have to prepare ourselves to go through a similar exercise in the fall, in the late fall. If you take a look at the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic, and if you take a look at how coronavirus is acting, this is not just the winter and spring of 2020. Probably late November, by December, we are going to go through this again.”

    • Xabier says:

      Sounds likely. This is just round 1.

      One won’t really notice a lock-down at all in Britain during the depths of November-January: it’s just the normal winter routine to shudder when you look out of the door in the morning and decide it’s best to go back in….. and that’s just the dog.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        ‘Second Wave’ …. sounds ominous… I’ll have to redouble my lock down efforts….

        I made a really terrible mistake today … neighbour came by with peaches — we gave her pears —- we stayed 2M apart the entire time but we chatted for a good 15 minutes… that is absolutely NOT allowed… and her kids came closer than the 2M … M Fast and I may be infected now as kids show no symptoms!!!

        Hopefully we survive this first wave – if we do we will be more diligent next time — if I see her step onto the property I will fired a warning shot …. and I will report her using the dedicated email address nhccselfisolation@health.govt.nz

        Must Lock Down. Must LOCK DOWN. MUST LOCK DOWN. Red Alert Red Alert.

        Second Wave Imminent

        How’s that Don?

        Fast this is amazing work. You say you’ve never written Fear P. orn before?

        That’s right Don, this is my first attempt.

        Tell you what Fast, I’m going to promote you to Chief Copywriter of the FP Division. We’ll have you working primarily on the Wuhan thing… but we’ve also got some work for you on the Syrian War — we’re about to drop more CW on another neighbourhood so we need to you to write a frame-up piece so we can finally justify sending a cruise missile through Assad’s front door….

        I’ll have that on your desk by lunch tomorrow Don.

        Hey Don before I go…. I’d just like to finalize the visual for the above piece before we send it to the MSM network to be published …..

        I’m thinking we go with a red wave … you know red alert… red wave… blood in the water…. good way to bring in the Great White Shark angle subconsciously you know….

        Ya for sure — if you put an actual shark in the water it would be too blatant… it would lose impact…

        Consider it done.

    • CTG says:

      A lot of people are sounding the alarm of a second wave coming in fall. They base this on the Spanish flu. Is that even a correct assumption/? Remember “It will go away in summer as it is hot” ? Are suppose to believe the experts again?

      To me, there is no second wave. It is continuous. It will just burn through the whole year round or until collapse take place

      p.s . It is hot in Malaysia and countries around the equator

      • Xabier says:

        Ah, but it’s possible that we Northerners are more vulnerable to all kinds of things when our poor old noses get too cold.

        Frankly, who knows? Surf the Waves?

      • occupy wall street says:

        The” experts act like no one notices that the virus is active in every single climate where there is a significant number of humans.” When they say that hot weather will deter this virus , it is a bold-faced lie.

        How can someone dismiss all “conspiracy theories” when “experts” lie all the time?

    • The National Geographic article that I cited earlier about how well social distancing worked back in 1918-1919 showed a set of charts with “weeks” under them. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/history/2020/03/how-cities-flattened-curve-1918-spanish-flu-pandemic-coronavirus/

      Looking at the Natural Geographic’s graphs, the first peak seems to come about 6 to 8 weeks after the pandemic starts. The second peak seems to come 20 weeks after (or sooner, if social distancing restrictions were relaxed). The difference would be about 13 weeks, or about three months.

      I notice that the health center a University of Washington on April 6 predicted that deaths in the State of Washington would peak on April 6, and head down thereafter.
      https://q13fox.com/2020/04/06/uw-model-predicts-covid-19-deaths-in-washington-state-will-decline-after-today/

      It is early to tell if Washington deaths peaked on April 6, because deaths bounce around a lot, and April 6 was a “high” day. A second peak 91 days after April 6 would come on July 6, which is pretty quickly.

      I think the “late fall” for a second peak idea came from the idea that perhaps this flu is seasonal. If not, it comes as soon as the social isolation stops.

  10. Covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

    https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/04/08/exclusive-fda-commissioner-dr-stephen-hahn-coronavirus-antibodies-testing-ramping-up-plasma-based-treatments-on-the-way/

    “… his agency is working with private industry leaders to bring more antibody testing and promising potential plasma-based treatments for the coronavirus to the American public.”

    • Hide-away says:

      Reinfection seems highly likely, or perhaps not getting rid of the virus in the first place …
      https://www.scmp.com/news/china/science/article/3078840/coronavirus-low-antibody-levels-raise-questions-about

      Low antibody levels in 30% of people with mild symptoms is not good.

      This report from South Korea about people becoming reinfected or not clearing the infection the first time is also bad for any longer term economic recovery. It probably means longer lockdowns of some type and/or a new normal.
      https://nypost.com/2020/04/07/51-recovered-coronavirus-patients-test-positive-again-in-south-korea/

      Given the above plus all the unknowns, going for herd immunity seems like a fool’s errand. The implications or hopes for any vaccine any time soon are not good either.

      • MM says:

        What I do not understand is why there is absolutely no talk about dual-use-of function or gain-of-function research being done. I bet all the virologists have a huge conflict of interest in this theme and that is why it is not being touched. It would be too awful if this was an accident. Although it is the closest possibility. How can a virus splice from pangolins and bats when bats are in hibernation and be so incredibly well adapted to humans? If The virus is from a wet market, which virus for the breathing system makes any problems when being eaten? Considering virus research purposefully producing strange viruses for the purpose of finding vaccines *cough* them should have a vaccine. Obviously they have none. so the prospect for a vaccine is grim. The only thing we can hope for is that our evolutionary knowledge in the form of our immune system can tackle this and also this is not yet clear…

      • Fast Eddy says:

        And… another lie bites the dust…

        I keep seeing scare headlines ‘Reinfection – Reinfection’

        Well….. seems like reinfection is an issue with all types of flu….

        Reinfection with influenza A virus was studied by measuring hemagglutination-inhibiting antibody responses to infection in paired sera taken from groups of soldiers and students. Among 62 soldiers severely infected during the first wave of the A/Asian/57 (H2N2) pandemic in 1957, 17 were asymptomatically reinfected with the same virus within six months.

        In the 1962 epidemic the rate increased to 41%.

        Among reinfected soldiers studied, 68% had an asymptomatic infection; only 10% were severely symptomatic, and they were found to be infected with a virus closely related to A/Asian/57. For H3N2 epidemics, the rate of reinfection was 17% among students studied in 1970 who were reinfected with a virus closely related to the prototype A/Hong Kong/68 (H3N2).

        Reinfection with an extremely drifted variant of H3N2 was found to be 32% and 69% in two groups of students studied in 1972.

        Reinfection with a related virus was 32% in another group studied in 1983. Among the students studied who were reinfected with H3N2 viruses, the rates of asymptomatic infection were similar to those of symptomatic infection.

        The reinfection rates with a virus related to A/USSR/77 (H1N1) were 9.3% and 20% in two groups studied in 1980.

        More https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3941288

        Dave —- I know I am not worthy… but I will try to follow the trail you have blazed…

      • occupy wall street says:

        In the long term, herd immunity works. We didn’t survive for millions of years with social distancing and lockdowns.

        • In general, I agree with you, but herd immunity doesn’t eliminate disease altogether. The common cold keeps circulating, without herd immunity helping. Dengue Fever keeps circulating, without herd immunity really helping.

          It may be that immunity to COVID-19 is not really “good enough.” Some people will be able to get it over and over again. It doesn’t kill most people, so it can keep circulating.

          • occupy wall street says:

            ” herd immunity doesn’t eliminate disease altogether. ”

            I agree. the other big killer, the flu has adapted our defenses against not far behind the flu, are a number of viruses including HIV, and viral stds.

            Herd immunity doesn’t mean there are no fatalities . Herd immunity means the fatalities are nowhere close to 50% and the long lasting effects are not debilitating.

            “It may be that immunity to COVID-19 is not really “good enough.”
            What is “good enough” is highly debatable. Historically, the amount of immunity to COVID-19 is good enough. To the modern technocrat, nothing but deaths in the single digits may be “good enough”. Many experts and layman who hang on their every word have latched onto the cause of eradicating disease by aggressive use of antibiotics, vaccine campaigns, and as we see now, shutting everything down to stop a virus from spreading.

            The people championing shutdowns and social distancing may be people who think eliminating all potentially lethal germs is a pragmatic goal.

    • This is another related article on antibody use. It points out that antibody treatments don’t give lasting immunity to COVID-19.

      https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2020/04/coronavirus-covid-survivors-treatments-convalescent-plasma-answers/

Comments are closed.