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. It’s interesting to observe the rapidly hastening decay of the electoral process in the US: soon it may become like many African and Latin American states where the real battle for power occurs after the vote -which no party accepts as decisive and final. I’d be rather more alarmed about that than the virus.

    • I can see that happening in the Caribbean. A Mayor is relieved of his duties due to his wrongdoing. Then he rallies his thugs (still maintaining the Mayor title), presumably to intimidate and control his weak successor. A passive population play into that scenario.

      • Peaceful elections, or successions to thrones, the results acquiesced in by everyone, are a very great civil achievement, and (obviously) rare historically – so little appreciated when you have it, but so much to be regretted when gone.

        • Actually, an orderly succession to the throne is easy to arrange, provided you kill all the other pretenders. As Henry VII Tudor did to the Princes in the Tower, which history has wrongly blamed on Richard Plantagenet, largely thanks to that repulsive court toady Thomas More.

    • rapidly hastening decay of the electoral process in the US
      You had 40% of “the public” voting for Trump.
      That would not be intellectually possible in a functioning democratic system.

      • Would you care to elaborate on that statement, Duncan?
        Or do you intend to just leave it standing there as a snide remark?

        By the way, the turnout for the 2016 US presidential election was 55.7% and of those votes Trump obtained 46.1%, which means he won the votes of around 25% of potential voters.

        Americans inherited a functioning democratic system from their ancestors, but over the years they have collectively trashed it as a result of a general abandonment of standards of decency, honesty, balance, and maturity in favor of employing aluminum siding, eating copious amounts of junk food, making snide remarks, and saying “whatever!”

      • It is hardly surprising so many people voted for Trump, when the alternative was a candidate who is probably the most evil woman since Elizabeth Bathory. But yes, the Democrat party is broken beyond repair: the fixers behind the scenes have effectively shut out all public participation in the selection process.

        • Not being American, I’ve no vote, but watching from the other side of the shining sea, the Republican Party doesn’t look great, either.

          • The Democrats have a candidate with some kind of neurodegenerative condition as their pick and they’re trying to hide him from the cameras, basically running on a “anyone is better than Trump” campaign.

            The party platform has moved away from its traditional working-class base and become riddled with ‘woke’ cultural Marxism…far left fringe politics (Black Lives Matter, 3rd wave feminism, green new deals, the seemingly unstoppable LGBTQ lobby).

            Republicans look like a shining beacon of normality and rationality in comparison to the Democrats’ demagoguery and ideological dogmatism.

            If you’d asked me 15 years ago (Bush Jr era), I’d say the roles were reversed. My, how times have changed.

          • neil, I agree. The Republican party is infested with weary old timeservers who seem to believe they are entitled to hold public office in perpetuity without actually doing anything for their constituents or their country. I believe they are called RINOs. But on the bright side, there is a new generation of activist, populist contenders who are beginning to realise that the old wolves are ripe for the gutting. Which gives me some hope, but not much.

  2. I am curious about the renters and the landlords. if my monthly rent where 1,000 and I didn’t pay for 10 months my debt would be 10K. If I found a new job why would I not just move? No judgement attached; but I don’t see all this rented be paid. What is the total unpaid rent right now?

    • you are right if the payers of rent have no job then the landlord will have no rent money to pay to the bank if there is a mortgage on the landlord’s property , so everyone loses including the bank because no money for them either .

    • The renter couldn’t move, because he would have a hard time finding any other rental unit that would take him, because landlords check payment history.

      Of course, if everyone has the same problem, this may change.

  3. Employees at Blizzard Entertainment, a division of Activision Blizzard Inc., began circulating a spreadsheet on Friday to anonymously share salaries and recent pay increases, the latest example of rising tension inthe video game industry over wage disparities and executive compensation.
    Blizzard, based in Irvine, California, makes popular games including Diablo and World of Warcraft. In 2019, after an internal survey revealed that more than half of Blizzard workers were unhappy with their compensation, the company told staff it would perform a study to ensure fair pay, according to people familiar with the situation. Blizzard implemented the results of that study last month, which led to an outcry on the company’s internal Slack messaging boards
    ……
    Wage disparity has become a hot-button issue in the $150 billion video game industry as calls for unionization grow. A pro-labor group recently slammed Activision Blizzard for the pay of Chief Executive Officer Bobby Kotick. His 2019 compensation was worth $40 million at the end of that year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, and the package has grown since then as the company’s stock has soared. Last year, the company also paid $15 million in stock awards and sign-on bonus to incoming Chief Financial Officer Dennis Durkin. In the anonymous spreadsheet, one employee listed the CEO’s annual salary, bonus and stock award.
    https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/news/articles/2020-08-03/blizzard-workers-share-salaries-in-revolt-over-wage-disparities
    In internal messages reviewed by Bloomberg News, Blizzard employees said they were struggling to make ends meet while watching Activision Blizzard revenue grow year after year. Some producers and engineers at Blizzard can make well over $100,000 a year, but others, such as video game testers and customer-service representatives, are often paid minimum wage or close to it.

  4. Rising temperatures will cause more deaths than all infectious diseases – study
    Oliver Milman in New York
    August 4, 2020, 3:00 AM
    https://news.yahoo.com/rising-temperatures-cause-more-deaths-070002305.html
    Poorer societies that occupy the hottest areas of the world are set to suffer worst. As already baking temperatures climb further this century, countries such as Ghana, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sudan face an additional 200 or more deaths per 100,000 people. Colder, richer countries such as Norway and Canada, meanwhile, will see a drop in deaths as fewer and fewer people perish due to extreme cold.
    “You see the really bad impacts at the tropics,” said Jina. “There’s not one single worldwide condition, there’s a lot of different changes with poorer people much more affected with limited ability to adapt. The richer countries, even if they have increases in mortality, can pay more to adapt to it. It’s really the people who have done the least to cause climate change who are suffering from it.”
    Huge heatwaves have roiled the US, Europe, Australia, India, the Arctic and elsewhere in recent years, while 2020 is set to be hottest or second hottest on record, in line with the longer-term trend of rising temperatures. The deaths resulting from this heat are sometimes plain enough to generate attention, such as the fact that 1,500 people who died in France from the hot temperatures during summer last year.
    Within richer countries, places already used to the heat will have an adaptation head start on areas only now starting to experience scorching conditions. “A really hot day in Seattle is more damaging than a really hot day in Houston because air conditioning and other measures are less widespread there,” said Bob Kopp, a co-author and climate scientist at Rutgers University.

    • 200 deaths per 100,000 people is just 0.2%. I suggest this is not high on our list of problems.

    • I’m no stranger to heat-related deaths. Last Saturday evening one of our precious cats, a fat but otherwise healthy ten-year-old ginger tom who loved playing and laying around outside, died of heat stroke. he came inside in the evening after spending too many hours in 30+ heat and laid down to sleep. At 11:30 pm he started having difficulties and developed rapid, shallow breathing, and by 1 am he was dead and I had to bury him on Sunday.

      Back in the summer of 2016, which was bloody hot in this part of the world, one of my elderly neighbors was taken to hospital and almost died of heat stroke as a result of working too long in the veggie patch. On the same weekend, another elderly local man who lived alone was treated for what was diagnosed as mild heat stoke at a hospital and asked to stay overnight. He insisted on driving home to do a few important tasks and collect some personal effects before checking in for his stay, but he didn’t return to the hospital. He was found dead in his car in his garage the following morning.

      So take very good care not to over-broil yourself in the hot season kids. Like crossing the event horizon of a black hole, you can effectively destroy yourself hours before you know you’ve done it.

      On the other hand, in the Land of the Rising Sun, cold remains a much bigger killer than heat. I could rattle off literally dozens of stories of people in my local community who have died of hypothermia, stroke, or other ailments during the cold season. A common method is to take a hot bath on a cold night in a poorly heated house.

      There are no two ways about it, inclement weather is a killer. But things were much tougher during the last glacial period, when it was so cold that even the polar bears got frostbite.

      Incidentally, this video on how the weather and the environment differs between glacial and interglacial conditions is absolutely brilliant and very educational.

      • Tim, as a cat person myself, I offer my condolences. I have been owned by several cats over the years, but my favourite was called Ramses, and he was both truly affectionate and absolutely fearless. He lived a good long life, before being summoned by Osiris. I understand why the Egyptians mummified cats; what better companion to have in the Field of Offerings.

  5. Me make you cheap charge up Kandi Car…take you back and forth to Walmart!
    Chinese automaker Kandi plans to bring a $13,000 electric car to the US this year, slashing the entry price of EV ownership
    tlevin@businessinsider.com (Tim Levin)
    Kandi Technologies Group, a Chinese auto company, announced this week that it’s launching two ultra-affordable electric vehicles in the US later this year.
    After federal tax credits, Kandi’s K23 and K27 hatchbacks will cost $12,999 and $22,499, respectively, the company said.
    According to initial details, the cars offer range that’s on par with many other budget-friendly EVs.
    Kandi America plans to start deliveries in the fourth quarter of this year, and will initially focus on selling the cars in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
    They’re set to become the cheapest EVs in the US, undercutting the Nissan Leaf, Hyundai Ioniq Electric, and other affordable options even before tax credits
    The tiny K27 model carries a retail price of $19,999, which comes out to $12,999 after federal tax breaks, according to Kandi America.
    That means one could nearly buy three Kandi K27s for the price of one Tesla Model 3.

    Elon best to start making only SUVs and pickups. like all the US car companies

  6. Poor Lebanon just can’t catch a break:

    “A massive explosion in the Lebanese capital of Beirut has killed at least 10 people, left hundreds more injured and ripped through much of the city including the home of the former prime minister…

    “Witnesses have stressed the sheer enormity of the blast, which was reportedly heard in Cyprus, and likened it to a ‘nuclear bomb’…

    “Beirut’s main airport – six miles away from the port – was reportedly damaged by the explosion, with pictures showing sections of collapsed ceiling.”

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8592549/Massive-explosion-rocks-Beirut-destroying-buildings.html

    • BREAKING: Lebanese Prime Minister says Beirut explosions caused by an estimated 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate left unsecured for 6 years in a warehouse
      • Same chemical compound in Oklahoma City bombing
      • at least 70 people killed, over 3,000 injured; death toll rising by the hour
      • ten firefighters still missing
      • sprawling port area utterly destroyed
      • widespread damage observed across city
      • exact cause of explosion still officially unknown
      • Shockwave and explosion so large that terrified residents thought they were under nuclear attack
      • Countries sending international emergency aid
      • Large parts of city plunged into darkness this evening
      • Overwhelmed hospitals are treating patients in parking lots
      • Head of Lebanon’s Red Cross George Kettani told broadcaster Mayadeen: “There are victims and casualties everywhere – in all the streets and areas near and far from the explosion.”
      • Beirut City Governor Marwan Aboud said: “Beirut is a disaster city and the scale of the damage is enormous” and called the blast a “national disaster akin to Hiroshima.”
      https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/did-nuke-just-go-beirut-terrifying-mystery-blast-shockwave-filmed-over-lebanon

      Hiroshima deaths estimated at 66,000 according to this site:
      https://www.atomicarchive.com/resources/documents/med/med_chp10.html

        • “A fire broke out at an Iranian industrial area near Tehran on Tuesday, Iran’s state TV reported, the latest in a string of fires and explosions, some of which have hit sensitive sites…

          “There have been several other incidents at facilities in the past weeks, including a fire at the underground Natanz nuclear facility last month which caused significant damage…”

          https://www.arabnews.com/node/1714531/middle-east

        • > The explosion destroyed the country’s largest port

          Intentional or accident?

          I would guess accident since it is hard to see who would benefit. It seems to have been ammonium nitrate stacked up like it was bags of sand instead of high explosive. (When it catches on fire.)

          I got interested in NH$NO3 explosions many years ago. Storing it next to grain elevators is just incompetent. They had the same problem in a town in Texas some years ago, and there is a long list of places where this kind of fertilizer blew up, two ships at Texas City in 1947, and a whole town in Germany between WWI and WWII.

          They need someone competent to run the country. What was the name of that former executive who escaped from Japan?

          • Escaped? Rather told to leave with his french passport in the back pocket. It went something like this.

            Carlos Ghosn got a call from one of Abesan’s minions and was told to take a taxi to Narita and GTFO. End of story.

            The french was never going to own Nissan. When the Samurai descendants faces turns red its time to cut the losses and run for your life.

        • We are told, “Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.” Maybe the saying should be, “Don’t put all of your grain in one storage facility.”

          • An explosive allegory of rampant globalization. Hey, let’s manufacture all our frivolous jank in China. What could possibly go wrong. Oh well.

          • > “Don’t put all of your grain in one storage facility.”

            That’s not as bad as putting 3000 tons of ammonium nitrate in one place. Around 30 tons, 1/100 as much ammonium nitrate, flattened a good part of the town of West, Texas in 2013. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Fertilizer_Company_explosion video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdDuHxwD5R4

            The explosion in Texas was the same, a fire leading into an explosion. Lebanon grows some of their food, so they will have to replace the fertilizer or suffer much-reduced yields.

            I hope they store the replacement ammonium nitrate in 100 ton or smaller amounts, well outside the city. But that probably will not happen due to the need to keep it under guard so it is not stolen.

            The expectations from evolutionary psychology are so bad I don’t want to talk about them.

        • Lidia, Harry, I watched several good reports on this incident, with clear videos and sharp commentary. It seems the fire started in the grain storage area, which is not surprising; a grain dust and air mixture can be set off by almost anything. One commentator blamed “fireworks”, pointing out some small flashes at the bottom of the scene. I doubt that; most fireworks are overdesigned for safety.

          My best guess (so far) is the incident started as a grain fire. This set off a few fireworks, but the climbed upwards, and became hot enough to trigger the ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3). It seems the explosive had been stored too long in an unsafe environment; that was bad enough, but storing it in a built up area was insane.

          According to the reports, the government had been warned several times over the past five years that they had a disaster waiting to happen, but (of course) did nothing. The Romans had a custom of throwing incompetent officials from the Tarpeian Rock; too bad the Lebanese didn’t copy it. (And too bad we don’t)

  7. Gold in the last three months has flown through $1700, $1800, $1900 and now today $2000. Somebody is trying to tell us something surely.

      • Many years ago, Tony Blair’s election theme song was “things can only get better”.

        “Things can only get badder”

    • Was on monument metals website last night with Silver at about $24.00 an ounce….looked at this 5 0unce silver rounds….thought about it …
      Just checked and silver is up about $2.00 an ounce tonight!
      If I bought a monster box of 500 ounces …..
      Oh well, these are indeed crazy times…you snooze you lose.
      But I feel in the unraveling of BAU most will be losers, only the lucky few will be around..but once their supplies run out, they will wish they were with the spirit world….
      Lord & Taylor and Virgin American Airlines just filed..that should cause the stock market to climb tomorrow.
      Up today 164 on the Dow…more stimulus….haha💥👇😀🤑🤢

      • Gold and Silver will go up it will be inflationary as long as the money printing goes on and it will go on because remember Mario Draghi’s words we will do whatever it takes which means they will print for all their buddies not us the only way to get into this is to buy silver while its still cheap and available from one of my friends who stacks silver 6000 dollars an ounce will be the peak.

    • Gold hit $2025 today, a new all time nominal high. I think we’re going to see $2300 by year end. Silver climbed 7% today as well. I ordered some silver eagles on Friday and by the time they reach me the price may have climbed 10-15%. Now that’s what you call an investment return, lmao.

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