Why a Great Reset Based on Green Energy Isn’t Possible

It seems like a reset of an economy should work like a reset of your computer: Turn it off and turn it back on again; most problems should be fixed. However, it doesn’t really work that way. Let’s look at a few of the misunderstandings that lead people to believe that the world economy can move to a Green Energy future.

[1] The economy isn’t really like a computer that can be switched on and off; it is more comparable to a human body that is dead, once it is switched off.

A computer is something that is made by humans. There is a beginning and an end to the process of making it. The computer works because energy in the form of electrical current flows through it. We can turn the electricity off and back on again. Somehow, almost like magic, software issues are resolved, and the system works better after the reset than before.

Even though the economy looks like something made by humans, it really is extremely different. In physics terms, it is a “dissipative structure.” It is able to “grow” only because of energy consumption, such as oil to power trucks and electricity to power machines.

The system is self-organizing in the sense that new businesses are formed based on the resources available and the apparent market for products made using these resources. Old businesses disappear when their products are no longer needed. Customers make decisions regarding what to buy based on their incomes, the amount of debt available to them, and the choice of goods available in the marketplace.

There are many other dissipative structures. Hurricanes and tornadoes are dissipative structures. So are stars. Plants and animals are dissipative structures. Ecosystems of all kinds are dissipative structures. All of these things grow for a time and eventually collapse. If their energy source is taken away, they fail quite quickly. The energy source for humans is food of various types; for plants it is generally sunlight.

Thinking that we can switch the economy off and on again comes close to assuming that we can resurrect human beings after they die. Perhaps this is possible in a religious sense. But assuming that we can do this with an economy requires a huge leap of faith.

[2] Economic growth has a definite pattern to it, rather than simply increasing without limit. 

Many people have developed models reflecting the fact that economic growth seems to come in waves or cycles. Ray Dalio shows a chart describing his view of the economic cycle in a preview to his upcoming book, The Changing World Order. Figure 1 is Dalio’s chart, with some annotations I have added in blue.

Figure 1. New World Order chart by Ray Dalio from an introduction to his theory called The Changing World Order. Annotations in blue added by Gail Tverberg.

Modelers of all kinds would like to think that there are no limits in this world. Actually, there are many limits. It is the fact that economies have to work around limits that leads to cycles such as these. Some examples of limits include inadequate arable land for a growing population, inability to fight off pathogens, and an energy supply that becomes excessively expensive to produce. Cycles can be expected to vary in steepness, both on the upside and the downside of the cycle.

The danger of ignoring these cycles is that researchers tend to create models of future economic growth and future energy consumption that are far out of sync with what really can be expected. Accurate models need to include at least some limited version of overshoot and collapse on a regular basis. Models of the future economy tend to be based on what politicians would like to believe will happen, rather than what actually can be expected to happen in the real world.

[3] Commodity prices behave differently at different stages of the economic cycle. During the second half of the economic cycle, it becomes difficult to keep commodity prices high enough for producers. 

There is a common belief that demand for energy products will always be high, because everyone knows we need energy. Thus, according to this belief, if we have the technology to extract fossil fuels, prices will eventually rise high enough that fossil fuel resources can easily be extracted. Many people have been concerned that we might “run out” of oil. They expect that oil prices will rise to compensate for the shortages. Thus, many people believe that in order to maintain adequate supply, we should be concerned about supplementing fossil fuels with nuclear power and renewable energy.

If we examine oil prices (Figure 2), it is apparent that, at least recently, this is not the way oil prices actually behave. Since the spike in oil prices in 2008, the big problem has been prices that fall too low for oil producers. At prices well below $100 per barrel, development of many new oil fields is not economic. Low oil prices are especially a problem in 2020 because travel restrictions associated with the coronavirus pandemic reduce oil demand (and prices) even below where they were previously.

Figure 2. Weekly average spot oil prices for Brent, based on data of the US Energy Information Administration.

Strangely enough, coal prices (Figure 3) seem to follow a very similar pattern to oil prices, even though coal is commonly believed to be available in huge supply, and oil is commonly believed to be in short supply.

Figure 3. Selected Spot Coal Prices, from BP’s 2020 Statistical Review of World Energy. Prices are annual averages. Price for China is Qinhuangdao spot price; price for US is Central Appalachian coal spot index; price for Europe is Northwest European marker price.

Comparing Figures 2 and 3, we see that prices for both oil and coal rose to a peak in 2008, then fell back sharply. The timing of this drop in prices corresponds with the “debt bust” in late 2008 that is shown in Figure 1.

Prices then rose to another peak in 2011, after several years of Quantitative Easing (QE). QE is intended to hold the cost of borrowing down, encouraging the use of more debt. This debt can be used by citizens to buy more goods made with coal and oil (such as cars and solar panels). Therefore, QE is a way to increase demand and thus help raise energy prices. In the 2011-2014 period, oil was able to maintain its price better than coal, perhaps because of its short supply. Once the United States discontinued its QE program in 2014, oil prices dropped like a rock (Figure 2).

Prices were very low in 2015 and 2016 for both coal and oil. China stimulated its economy, and prices for both coal and oil were able to rise again in 2017 and 2018. By 2019, prices for both oil and coal were falling again. Figure 2 shows that in 2020, oil prices have fallen again, as a result of demand destruction caused by pandemic shutdowns. Coal prices have also fallen in 2020, according to Trading Economics.

[4] The low prices since mid-2008 seem to be leading to both peak crude oil and peak coal. Crude oil production started falling in 2019 and can be expected to continue falling in 2020. Coal extraction seems likely to start falling in 2020.

In the previous section, I showed that crude oil and coal both have the same problem: Prices tend to be too low for producers to make a profit extracting them. For this reason, investment in new oil wells is being reduced, and unprofitable coal mines are being closed.

Figure 4 shows that world crude oil production has not grown much since 2004. In fact, OPEC’s production has not grown much since 2004, even though OPEC countries report high oil reserves so, in theory, they could pump more oil if they chose to.

Figure 4. World crude oil production (including condensate) based on data from BP’s 2020 Statistical Review of World Energy. Russia+ refers to the group Commonwealth of Independent States.

In total, BP data shows that world crude oil production fell by 582,000 barrels per day, comparing 2019 to 2018. This represents a drop of 2.0 million barrels per day in OPEC production, offset by smaller increases in production for the US, Canada, and Russia. Crude oil production is expected to fall further in 2020, because of low demand and prices.

Because of continued low coal prices, world coal production has been on a bumpy plateau since 2011. Prices seem to be even lower in 2020 than in 2019, putting further downward pressure on coal extraction in 2020.

Figure 5. World coal production based on data from BP’s 2020 Statistical Review of World Energy.

[5] Modelers missed the fact that fossil fuel extraction would disappear because of low prices, leaving nearly all reserves and other resources in the ground. Modelers instead assumed that renewables would always be an extension of a fossil fuel-powered system.

The thing that most people do not understand is that commodity prices are set by the laws of physics, so that supply and demand are in balance. Demand is really very close to “affordability.” If there is too much wage/wealth disparity, commodity prices tend to fall too low. In a globalized world, many workers earn only a few dollars a day. Because of their low wages, these low-paid workers cannot afford to purchase very much of the world’s goods and services. The use of robots tends to produce a similar result because robots can’t actually purchase goods and services made by the economy.

Thus, modelers looking at Energy Return on Energy Invested (EROI) for wind and for solar assumed that they would always be used inside of a fossil fuel powered system that could provide heavily subsidized balancing for their intermittent output. They made calculations as if intermittent electricity is equivalent to electricity that can be controlled to provide electricity when it is needed. Their calculations seemed to suggest that making wind and solar would be useful. The thing that was overlooked was that this was only possible within a system where other fuels would provide balancing at a very low cost.

[6] The same issue of low demand leading to low prices affects commodities of all kinds. As a result, many of the future resources that modelers count on, and that companies depend upon as the basis for borrowing, are unlikely to really be available.

Commodities of all kinds are being affected by low demand and low selling prices. The problem giving rise to low prices seems to be related to excessive specialization, excessive use of capital goods to replace labor, and excessive use of globalization. These issues are all related to the needs of a world economy that depends on a high level of technology. In such an economy, too much of the output of the economy goes to producing devices and to paying highly trained workers. Little is left for non-elite workers.

The low selling prices of commodities makes it impossible for employers to pay adequate wages to most of their workers. These low wages, in turn, feed through to the uprisings we have been seeing in the last couple of years. These uprisings are part of “Revolutions and Wars” mentioned in Figure 1. It is difficult to see how this problem will disappear without a major change in the “World Order,” mentioned in the same figure.

Because the problem of low commodity prices is widespread, our ability to produce electrical backup of all kinds, including the ability to make batteries, can be expected to become an increasing problem. Commodities, such as lithium, suffer from low prices, not unlike the low prices for coal and oil. These low prices lead to cutbacks in their production and local uprisings.

[7] On a stand-alone basis, intermittent renewables have very limited usefulness. Their true value is close to zero.

If electricity is only available when the sun is shining, or when the wind is blowing, industry cannot plan for its use. Its use must be limited to applications where intermittency doesn’t matter, such as pumping water for animals to drink or desalinating water. No one would attempt to smelt metals with intermittent electricity because the metals would set at the wrong time, if the intermittent electricity suddenly disappeared. No one would power an elevator with intermittent electricity, because a person could easily be trapped between floors. Homeowners would not use electricity to power refrigerators, because, as likely as not, the food would spoil when electricity was off for long periods. Traffic signals would work sometimes, but not always.

Lebanon is an example of a country whose electricity system works only intermittently. It is hard to imagine that any other country would want to imitate Lebanon. Lack of reliable electricity supply leads to protests in Lebanon.

[8] The true cost of wind and solar has been hidden from everyone, using subsidies whose total cost is hard to determine.

Each country has its own way of providing subsidies to renewables. Most countries give wind and solar the subsidy of “going first.” They are often given a fixed rate as well. Both of these are subsidies. In the US, other subsidies are buried in the tax system. Recently, there has been talk of using QE to help wind and solar providers lower their cost of borrowing.

Newspapers regularly report that the price of wind and solar is at “grid parity,” but this is not an apples to apples comparison. To be useful, electricity needs to be available when users need it. The cost of storage is far too high to allow us to store electricity for weeks and months at a time.

If we were to use intermittent electricity as a substitute for fossil fuels in general, we would need to use intermittent electricity to heat homes and offices in winter. Sunshine is abundant in the summer, but not in the winter. Without storage, solar panels cannot even be counted on to provide homeowners with heat for cooking dinner after the sun sets in the evening. An incredibly huge amount of storage would be needed to store heat from summer to winter.

China reports that it has $42 billion in unpaid clean energy subsidies, and this amount is getting larger each year. Countries are now becoming poorer and the taxes they are able to collect are lower. Their ability to subsidize a high cost, unreliable electricity system is disappearing.

[9] Wind, solar, and hydroelectric today only comprise a little under 10% of the world’s energy supply. 

We are deluding ourselves if we think we can get along on such a tiny total energy supply.

Figure 6. Hydroelectric, wind, and solar electricity as a percentage of world energy supply, based on BP’s 2020 Statistical Review of World Energy.

Few people understand what a small share of the world’s energy supply wind and solar provide today. The amounts shown in Figure 6 assume that the denominator is total energy (including oil, for example), not just electricity. In 2019, hydroelectric accounted for 6.4% of world energy supply. Wind accounted for 2.2%, and solar accounted for 1.1%. The three together amounted to 9.7% of the world’s energy supply.

None of these three energy types is suited to producing food. Oil is currently used for tilling fields, making herbicides and pesticides, and transporting refrigerated crops to market.

[10] Few people understand how important energy supply is for giving humans control over other species and pathogens.

Control over other species and pathogens has been a multistage effort. In recent years, this effort has involved antibiotics, antivirals and vaccines. Pasteurization became an important technique in the 1800s.

Humans’ control over other species started over 100,000 years ago, when humans learned to burn biomass for many uses, including cooking foods, scaring away predators, and burning down entire forests to improve their food supply. In my 2018 post, Supplemental energy puts humans in charge, I wrote about one proof of the importance of humans’ control of fire. In the lower layers of a cave in South Africa, big cats were in charge: There were no carbon deposits from fire and gnawed human bones were scattered around the cave. In the upper layers of the same cave, humans were clearly in charge. There were carbon deposits from fires, and bones of big cats that had been gnawed by humans were scattered around the cave.

We are dealing with COVID-19 now. Today’s hospitals are only possible thanks to a modern mix of energy supply. Drugs are very often made using oil. Personal protective equipment is made in factories around the world and shipped to where it is used, generally using oil for transport.

Conclusion

We do indeed appear to be headed for a Great Reset. There is little chance that Green Energy can play more than a small role, however. Leaders are often confused because of the erroneous modeling that has been done. Given that the world’s oil and coal supply seem to be declining in the near term, the chance that fossil fuel production will ever rise as high as assumptions made in the IPCC reports seems very slim.

It is true that some Green Energy devices may continue to operate for a time. But, as the world economy continues to head downhill, it will be increasingly difficult to make new renewable devices and to repair existing systems. Wholesale electricity prices can be expected to stay very low, leading to the need for continued subsidies for wind and solar.

Figure 1 indicates that we can expect more revolutions and wars at this stage in the cycle. At least part of this unrest will be related to low commodity prices and low wages. Globalization will tend to disappear. Keeping transmission lines repaired will become an increasing problem, as will many other tasks associated with keeping energy supplies available.

This entry was posted in Energy policy and tagged , , , , , by Gail Tverberg. Bookmark the permalink.

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.

2,650 thoughts on “Why a Great Reset Based on Green Energy Isn’t Possible

  1. https://www.oann.com/mark-meadows-confirms-election-will-take-place-nov-3/

    “… election will take place as planned on November 3. He made the announcement during an interview on Sunday.
    Meadows suggested, however, there are serious concerns surrounding mail-in voting. Specifically, he said the results of the election could be delayed by several weeks if a wide-scale number of Americans decide to vote using mail-in ballots.”

    possible chaos could come with the weeks long delay in counting the mail-in ballots.

    • “…the 20th Amendment says “the terms of the president and vice president shall end at noon” on January 20. Nothing could seem clearer. Yet the end of that paragraph provides that “the terms of their successors shall then begin.” But what if no successors have been elected? Does the president continue to serve as an interim officeholder? The answer is no because his or her term will definitely end at noon on January 20. If not reelected, the president becomes a private citizen on that day. So who then serves as president? The Constitution provides no solid answer.”

      https://thehill.com/opinion/judiciary/493101-who-takes-control-if-there-is-no-presidential-election-this-year

      This article is interesting because the issue of Presidential succession or non-succession is complicated by the fact that not just the term of the President will have ended by January 20, but before that (January 3) so too that of all of the Lower House representatives. Only the Senate would at that date still have currently elected representatives. So that’s a “no” for Mrs Pelosi.

      “But there would be no House speaker if there were no election, because there would be no House, all of whose members would be up for election in November. The terms of all members of the House would end, as stated in the Constitution, on January 3. There would, however, be a Senate, with a majority of its members not up for election in November and, therefore, still serving their terms. This is important as the next in line would be the president pro tempore of the Senate, which is Charles Grassley. However, if there were no election, there may be a Democratic majority among the remaining senators not up for reelection, unless sitting governors or state legislators were allowed to fill vacant seats, which is another issue.”

    • Mail in ballots was never a problem in previous elections so why would it be this time, unless there needs to be a safety valve for Trump if he loses. Remember he’s a manipulator. He manipulates people’s perception of reality by insisting on things that are not true, but if he can convince enough people of his twisted alternate reality, then it works for him. He’s laid the groundwork for his followers to doubt the final tally so the final decision regarding who won can be made by the Supreme Court. Well, it worked to get Bush Jr. in office, so why not again?

      • Mail in ballots was never a problem in previous elections so why would it be this time, unless there needs to be a safety valve for Trump if he loses.

        Mail in ballots have caused lots of problems, actually. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, it can lead to more voter errors or “residual votes.” When returning an absentee/mailed ballot there is no mechanism to inform voters of errors, so there tend to be more overvotes and undervotes. Damaged absentee/mailed ballots may be harder to correct as well.

        Mail delivery is not uniform across the nation. Native Americans on reservations in particular may have difficulty with all-mail elections. Many do not have street addresses, and their P.O. boxes may be shared.

        Low-income citizens move more frequently and keeping addresses current can pose problems. Literacy can be an issue for some voters, as well, since election materials are often written at a college level.

        Also, aren’t you just a teeny bit concerned that mail-in ballots increases the scope for election fraud? In 2005, the Commission on Federal Election Reform, co-chaired by former President Jimmy Carter, a Democrat, and former Secretary of State James Baker, a Republican, determined that absentee ballots were the biggest source of election fraud.

        But giving Trump a safety valve in the event he loses is certainly another big strike against mail-in ballots. I agree with you on that.

        By supporting mail-in ballots, are you implying you’re in favor of election fraud as long as it’s in a good cause? If so, then once again, be careful what you’re advocating, because wrecking the election system will put another huge hole in the hull of the USS Titanic while you and 340 million other poor souls are sailing in it.

        • Mail in ballots are an open invitation to fraud. Any sensitive information must establish a solid “chain of custody”, to ensure it has not been tampered with in transit. The US Post Office breaks that chain of custody: it has essentially no security, no audited procedures for keeping mail safe, and an army of low paid workers who can easily be suborned by political operatives. Over and again, election results have been overturned by boxes of ballots suddenly “found” in strange places.

          Which of course is why the Democrats are so keen on them: Post Office middle managers can easily be enlisted in the fraud because, like most public sector workers, they are Democrats themselves.

      • > He’s laid the groundwork for his followers to doubt the final tally so the final decision regarding who won can be made by the Supreme Court.

        You think the Democrats can’t be accused of the exact same thing? They never even held the 2016 election as credible (“Not my President”) and spent these past 4 years throwing anything and everything against Trump hoping it would stick. The problem for them was nothing was substantiated.

        Maybe it’s just a sign of the entropic times. We’re in the endgame now, so no one has credibility with the other side; they’re all ‘enemies’ rather than ‘fellow countrymen with different opinions’, and no election, despite how it’s run, will be ever be deemed legitimate by those that lose.

        • So the contending parties muster their troops, and prepare to refight the battle of Philippi, perhaps along the way wishing they had not assassinated Donald Trump. And on youtube we get to watch Nancy Pelosi’s speech: “There is a tide in the affairs of men …” (Julius Caesar, Act IV scene 3)

          And stay tuned for the sequel, when Mike Pompeo and Bill Barr get to refight the Battle of Actium.

  2. https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/08/03/u-s-records-lowest-single-day-number-of-coronavirus-cases-in-weeks/

    “The United States reported nearly 49,000 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, marking the lowest single-day number of infections in four weeks, after seeing record levels in July.

    Echoing other sources, data maintained by the COVID Tracking Project revealed that the U.S. recorded 48,694 new cases this Sunday, the smallest number since about 28 days ago on July 6, when the country reported 41,600 infections.”

    sure, what goes up, must come down.

  3. THANK YOU Ed, Gail and Xabier for your well wishes I really appreciated them I now have had the test I was told by the nurse it would take between 1 to 3 days of what the results were for the time being I’m in quarantine holed up in my bedroom my wife and son are keeping well away from me and they are not allowed to leave the house or go to work until my results are given so the entire household is on paid sick leave no wonder the economy is going down ,

    • Sincerely hope you get a negative result and get to rejoin your family, and that they, as well, will be released.

    • adonis, my best wishes for a good outcome to your ordeal. May Sekhmet, goddess of healing, watch over you, and cherish you as the lioness her cubs.

  4. On a separate note all these lockdowns look like there coming from policy recommendations from the top down so blaming the citizens of a country for all the economy destabilising actions currently on are false. So therefore there is probably a higher power remaking our economy they are trying to collapse the system so that they can bring in their version of a new system . Will it work or is this THE END.

    • It’s a big conspiracy or everybody’s just trying to make it through this pandemic they best they can. You pick the former, I pick the latter.

    • Hang in there. Get well. Yes, “…their version of a new system,” and there is a righteous alternative. I guess a third alternative is what energy/natural/human/cultural resources (in a self organizing system) will allow.

      • Get well? He isn’t ill.

        Although for some people, a positive PCR or antibody test result these days is the equivalent of the witchdoctor pointing a bone at you.

        Don’t get ill, Adonis! Stay well!

        • I see your point. I would never volunteer, or willingly submit, to be tested or vaccinated.

          • check the history of polio, and what it does to the human body

            Check Salk, who made his vaccine freely availble

            Check the last remaining places where it exists in the world

            and yes i know about mistakes made in early phases of vaccination, all medication carries risk.—but it has been eradicated from everywhere except rural Pakistan and Afghanistan

            What used to be tens of thousands, is now down to double figures

            • Live oral vaccines are being used in Africa because they are cheaper and easier to administer than the injectable vaccine. According to the report:

              “Vaccine-derived poliovirus is moving across Africa, with vaccine-derived Type 2 poliovirus spreading uncontrolled in West Africa, bursting geographical boundaries and raising fundamental questions and challenges for the whole eradication process,” writes a report by WHO’s Independent Monitoring Board.

              The same reports notes that officials have been “failing badly”, while the attitude of WHO and other partners are “relaxed” as they try to execute their approved polio goal of stopping all vaccine-derived outbreaks within 120 days of detection.

            • Lydia is correct and Norman doesn’t have the grace to grace her comment with an answer.

              That speaks volumes about Norman’s intellectual honesty.

              Direct from the World Health Organization
              Circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 – African Region

              Disease outbreak news: Update
              29 November 2019

              Outbreaks of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) have been reported in several countries in West Africa, central Africa and Horn of Africa (for more information, please see the disease outbreak news published on 31 July 2019). This report provides a situational update on current cVDPV2 outbreaks in newly affected countries in Africa. No wild poliovirus has been detected on the continent since September 2016.

              https://www.who.int/csr/don/29-november-2019-polio-african-region/en/

          • A wise attitude. The ensuing discussion about the polio vaccine is most interesting. The live vaccine (oral polio vaccine) was discontinued or even outright banned in many countries because it was unsafe. It is now being used in Africa. This is classic bureaucratic thinking: vaccinate as many as possible as cheaply as possible, and to hell with the risks. We get the credit for the vaccine, and can cover up the deaths. And if we use the cheapest vaccine available, why, all the more “vigorish” for us.

            Where there are troughs, there are pigs. Where there is public money, there is corruption.

    • Hey Adonis, just in case. Get one of these. Oh, well, you are not living in Sweden. Never mind.

  5. No mention of energy/resource-constraints or environmental limits but FWIW:

    “Eight months after the novel coronavirus burst out of Wuhan, China, it has created unprecedented economic and social disruption, with economies cratering across the globe and more destruction to come…

    “The pandemic, which is mild as the great plagues of history go, demonstrates that the complexity of this global civilization has become a source of new vulnerabilities. And with the legitimacy of many institutions resting on their ability to solve problems quickly and effectively, Covid-19 challenges political leaders and institutions in ways that they cannot easily manage.

    “The world needs to get used to that feeling. The pandemic’s legacy will be crisis and chaos…”

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-pandemic-is-a-dress-rehearsal-11596495140

    • “The coronavirus pandemic is worsening the humanitarian situation in the world’s deadliest conflicts and threatens to unleash economic devastation that will intensify violence, United Nations diplomats and experts warn…

      “”There’s a very high level of concern that its economic impact is going to spark more disorder, more conflict,” said New York-based UN expert Richard Gowan.”

      https://www.bangkokpost.com/world/1962435/pandemics-economic-fallout-will-worsen-conflicts-un-diplomats

    • This is an “opinion” article in the WSJ. It ends:

      Covid-19 is less a transient, random disturbance after which the world will return to stability than it is a dress rehearsal for challenges to come. History is accelerating, and the leaders, values, institutions and ideas that guide society are going to be tested severely by the struggles ahead.

    • “One Utah congressman says the prospect of the United States taking itself down amid political, racial and economic divisiveness is greater than any threat coming from another nation.

      ““I worry a lot that we may destroy ourselves, that we may commit national suicide in a way,” Republican Rep. Chris Stewart said Monday.”

      https://www.deseret.com/utah/2020/8/3/21350262/racism-inequality-riots-national-security-chris-stewart-american-flag-freedom-sutherland-institute

      • “I worry a lot that we may destroy ourselves, that we may commit national suicide in a way,” Republican Rep. Chris Stewart said”

        Ah yes: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men ‘worry a lot’.” Had George Washington “worried a lot” there would be no nation at all. Rep Chris Stewart, you are an enabler of national suicide. I suggest you start worrying about your life, your fortune, and your sacred honour.

          • Not my hero, but presumably his. My heroes are Asoka, Alexander, Cleopatra, Hypatia, Giordano Bruno, and of course Charles Martel, Andrea Doria, and John Sobieski.

            • Fair enough, great deal of self sacrifice among those people, however the trials and tribulations of historical figures might not be completely accurate.

              Actually you are one of my heroes, although I don’t always agree with you and I like my heroes to be alive and flawed. 😉

  6. “Lebanon’s foreign minister resigned on Monday, blaming the government for failing to act to address a financial crisis he said threatened to turn the country into a failed state.

    “…in my country there are many bosses and contradictory interests,” Nassif Hitti said in a statement. “If they don’t unite in the interest of the Lebanese people… then the ship, God forbid, will sink with everyone on board.””

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/08/03/lebanon-foreign-minister-resigns-warning-ship-will-sink-amid/

    • “As temperatures soar to record levels this summer — reaching 52 degrees Celsius (125 Fahrenheit) in Baghdad last week — Iraq’s power supply has fallen short of demand yet again, creating a spark for renewed anti-government protests. Iraq has imposed a strict lockdown and 24-hour curfew.”

      • As temperatures soar to record levels this summer — reaching 52 degrees Celsius (125 Fahrenheit) in Baghdad last week.

        For what it’s worth, Iraq’s official all-time high record temperature was set on July 22, 2016, when 53.8 °C (128.8 °F) was recorded in Basra. But you know the legacy media—they just can’t stop hyping globbly wobbly.

          • It was Baghdad’s highest temperature on record but not Iraq’s. Lebanon had a national record under that same weather system (45.4 Celsius).

            • Baghdad at 125 in day and 111 at night!!!!! That is unlivable by humans without prefect and unlimited air conditioning.

          • Yes Norman, it WAS a long time ago.

            And as you may be aware, temperature records around the world have been systematically and progressively tampered with—”adjustments” NASA and NOAA call it—in order to give the impression that the past was cooler than it really was and make the present appear warmer by comparison. So it is possible there were hotter temperatures than the current official record among the original records for Iraq from the first half of the 20th century before they were adjusted.

            I haven’t checked the Iraqi records specifically, but the the 1930s were warmer than any decade since in the US, which is one of the few place that has reliable records going back that far. And Australia’s hottest day on record was in 1828, when the temperature reached 53.9°C. The scamsters tried very hard to get this record annulled because it flies in the face of their narrative.

            https://realclimatescience.com/2019/06/tampering-past-the-tipping-point/

            • yup

              there are temperature takers in every corner of every continent, their wages paid by every stripe of government and every school of thought in universities and industries

              and all—ALL their records have been tampered with, and not one of them has said a word about it.Those Russkies must be annoyed at their Arctic turning dark red everywhere. I thought the don only had a black sharpie.

              tampertales remind me of something

              dunno

              It’ll come to me in a while.

              Maybe my brain has been tampered with—highly likely. I’m a heavy sleeper.

              I’ve had a lot of bids from med schools for it when I’ve finished with it.

            • It would be more accurate to say that Australia’s hottest day on record was Wednesday 18th December 2019, with an average maximum temperature of 41.9C across the continent.

              The previous record, which it beat by 1C, was from the day before, ie Tuesday 17th December. 2019 was also Australia’s hottest year on record.

              The highest temperature recorded at any location in Australia was 50.6 Celsius, set on Jan. 2, 1960, in Oodnadatta.

              There was no measurement of 53.9C taken in 1928, annulled or not.

              Jo Nova’s blog talks about a temperature of 53.9C being noted by the explorer Charles Sturt in 1828 at Buddah lake but he would not have been using a Stevenson screen (in fact another temperature quoted in Jo’s piece was taken in a tent), and we cannot therefore take it face value.

            • 2017
              “Australia BOM Caught Tampering With Climate Data”
              “Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) ordered a review of temperature recording instruments after it was caught tampering with data in several locations.

              Meteorologist Lance Pidgeon watched the 13°F Goulburn recording from July 2 disappear from the bureau’s website, says a bombshell article on dailycaller.com.

              “The temperature dropped to minus 10 (13 degrees Fahrenheit), stayed there for some time and then it changed to minus 10.4 (14 degrees Fahrenheit) and then it disappeared,” Pidgeon said, adding that he notified scientist Jennifer Marohasy about the problem, who then brought the readings to the attention of the bureau.

              “A similar failure wiped out a reading of 13 degrees Fahrenheit at Thredbo Top on July 16, even though temperatures at that station have been recorded as low as 5.54 degrees Fahrenheit.”

              Here is an interview with Dr. Marohasy by Alan Jones, Sydney’s top radio broadcaster about the temperature data manipulation.
              http://www.2gb.com/podcast/dr-jennifer-marohasy/

              John of Cloverdale, WA, Australia
              August 1, 2017 at 8:33 pm
              Here is a recent Alan Jones interview with Marc Morano (about (The Climate Hustle film), with a particularly scathing prelude on Al Gore.
              http://www.2gb.com/podcast/marc-morano/

              Yea, just trust the lefties….they are always honest.

            • Norman, it its getting increasingly pointless to respond to your comments because you are uninterested in getting at or debating the facts and would rather pontificate based on an unshakable confidence in your own certainty.

              If you are interested in how temperature records have been tampered with by NASA and NOAA, it is not difficult to find out because NASA and NOAA explain how and why they do it. I doubt you have any interest in the subject, but for those readers who may have, here’s a link to NASA.

              https://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/faq/

              Rather than challenge your beliefs (on any subject), you prefer to sit on your high horse sneering at anyone who presents facts that don’t conform with those beliefs. That’s fine. You’re old enough to behave in a cranky and short-tempered manner if you think it helps you get through the day.

              However, this kind of behavior—insincere is how I’d describe it—tends to grate upon those of us in the realist community, even though most of the realists on this site tend to grin and bear it rather than reciprocating in kind.

            • Tim

              I’m prepared to discuss the pros and cons of what real and what’s not with almost anybody.
              In the grand scheme of things it makes no difference anyway. We all have our own crazy notions one way or another.

              The ‘almost’ kicks in with someone who tries to tell me that Helen Keller was a fraud.

              That reveals a mind I really don’t want to know about, a vacant space that can only be filled with frauds hoaxes and conspiracies. (WTC and Moonscams I could laugh off. Keller went beyond that)

              At that point normal exchange of views ceases.

      • A 24-hour lockdown when temperature are that high, without enough electricity, sounds bad. Perhaps what the lockdown does is allocate what scarce electricity there is to homes, rather than to stores, offices, and industry. If this is the case, maybe it is OK, if it allows at least some air conditioning. I expect the poor still will not have AC, however.

      • ““We are more scared of food prices than of the virus,” says Ahmed Ali. Unable to find work and with eight children to feed, he and his family are struggling to cope with the effects of the pandemic in Yemen…

        “Even vegetables, a basic dietary staple, are now a luxury for many displaced people and others who have lost their source of income since the arrival of Covid-19.”

        https://www.nrc.no/perspectives/2020/where-vegetables-are-a-luxury/

          • > Yemen, Zimbabwe, and North Korea are all places where famine is not far away.

            Add Lebanon now.

            It’s possible between the relatively minor deaths from COVID and the major effects of the economic mess related to COVID that this could be a peak human population year. It would not be the first time this has happened.

        • Almost seems like there is a force behind this. How can people justify shutting down the world economy to save a few fragile souls, indirectly causing famines affecting maybe a billion of the worlds poorest people?

          It will be interesting to see how the media portrays this disaster as it unfolds.

  7. “The pandemic is still wreaking havoc and stimulus is running out before the rebound reaches self-sustaining “escape velocity”. Cliff edges are approaching: furlough payments for workers are being cut; and loan guarantees for firms will expire, as will moratoria on corporate layoffs.

    “”We’re going to hit a crunch in September and October,” said David Owen from Jefferies.”

    https://amp.brisbanetimes.com.au/business/the-economy/don-t-pull-out-the-rug-the-global-economy-at-risk-of-a-double-dip-recession-20200803-p55hvk.html

    • As the article says,

      “The country’s job support scheme and the firing ban will expire at the end of September. Latent unemployment will then become real.”

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