Today’s Energy Predicament – A Look at Some Charts

Today’s energy predicament is a strange situation that most modelers have never really considered. Let me explain some of the issues I see, using some charts.

[1] It is probably not possible to reduce current energy consumption by 80% or more without dramatically reducing population.

A glance at energy consumption per capita for a few countries suggests that cold countries tend to use a lot more energy per person than warm, wet countries.

Figure 1. Energy consumption per capita in 2019 in selected countries based on data from BP’s 2020 Statistical Review of World Energy.

This shouldn’t be a big surprise: Our predecessors in Africa didn’t need much energy. But as humans moved to colder areas, they needed extra warmth, and this required extra energy. The extra energy today is used to build sturdier homes and vehicles, to heat and operate those homes and vehicles, and to build the factories, roads and other structures needed to keep the whole operation going.

Saudi Arabia (not shown on Figure 1) is an example of a hot, dry country that uses a lot of energy. Its energy consumption per capita in 2019 (322 GJ per capita) was very close to that of Norway. It needs to keep its population cool, besides running its large oil operation.

If the entire world population could adopt the lifestyle of Bangladesh or India, we could indeed get our energy consumption down to a very low level. But this is difficult to do when the climate doesn’t cooperate. This means that if energy usage needs to fall dramatically, population will probably need to fall in areas where heating or air conditioning are essential for living.

[2] Many people think that “running out” of oil supplies should be our big worry. I believe that lack of the “demand” needed to keep oil and other energy prices up should be at least as big a worry.

The events of 2020 have shown us that a reduction in energy demand can occur very quickly, in ways we would not expect.

Oil demand can fall from less international trade, from fewer international air flights, and from fewer trips by commuters. Demand for electricity (made mostly with coal or natural gas) is likely to fall if fewer buildings are occupied. This will happen if universities offer courses only online, if nursing homes close for lack of residents who want to live there, or if young people move back with their parents for lack of jobs.

In some ways, the word “appetite” might be a better word than “demand.” Either high or low appetite can be a problem for people. People with excessive appetite tend to get fat; people with low appetite (perhaps as a side-effect of depression or of cancer treatments) can become frail.

Similarly, either high or low energy appetite can also be a problem for an economy. High appetite leads to high oil prices, as occurred back in 2008. These are distressing to oil consumers. Low appetite tends to lead to low energy prices. These are distressing to energy producers. They may cut back on production, as OPEC nations have done in the recent past, in an attempt to get prices back up. Some energy producers may file for bankruptcy.

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

Just as people can die from indirect effects of too little appetite, an economy can fail if it cannot keep its energy prices (appetite) up. In fact, an economy will probably collapse quite quickly if it cannot keep oil and other energy prices up. The cost of mining or otherwise extracting energy supplies tends to increase over time because the cheapest, easiest-to-extract supplies are taken first. The selling price of energy products needs to keep rising as well, in order for producers to be able to make a profit and, therefore, be able to continue production.

We know that historically, many economies have collapsed. Revelation 18:11-13 tells us that in the case of the collapse of ancient Babylon, the problem at the time of collapse was inadequate demand for the goods produced. There was not even demand for slaves, which was the type of energy available for purchase at that time. This lack of demand (or low appetite) is similar to the low oil price problem we are encountering today.

[3] The big reduction in energy appetite since mid-2008 has particularly affected the US, EU, and Japan. 

We would expect lower energy prices to eventually lead to a decline in energy production because producers will find production unprofitable. On a world basis, however, we don’t see this pattern occurring except during the Great Recession itself (Figure 3).

Figure 3. World per capita energy consumption, based on data from BP’s 2020 Statistical Review of World Energy. On a worldwide basis, energy production and consumption are virtually identical because storage is small compared to production and consumption.

Note that in Figure 3, energy consumption is on a “per capita” basis. This is because energy is required for making goods and services; the higher the population, the greater the quantity of goods and services required to maintain a given standard of living. If energy consumption per capita is rising, there is a good chance that living standards are rising.

The countries of the US, EU, and Japan have not been very successful in keeping their energy consumption per capita level since the big drop in oil prices in mid-2008.

Figure 4. Per capita energy consumption for the US, EU, and Japan, based on data from BP’s 2020 Statistical Review of World Energy.

The falling per capita energy consumption for the US, EU, and Japan is what one would expect if economic conditions were getting worse in these countries. For example, this pattern might be expected if young people are having difficulty finding jobs that pay well. It might also happen if repayment of debt starts interfering with young people being able to buy homes and cars. When fewer goods of these types are purchased, less energy consumption per capita is required.

The pattern of falling energy consumption per capita cannot continue for long without reaching a breaking point because people with low wages (or no jobs at all) will become more and more distressed. In fact, we started seeing an increasing number of demonstrations related to low wage levels, low pension levels, and lack of government services starting in 2019. This problem has only gotten worse with layoffs related to the pandemic in 2020. These layoffs corresponded to substantial further reduction in energy consumption per capita.

[4] China, India, and Vietnam are examples of countries whose energy consumption per capita has risen in recent years.

Not all countries have done as poorly as the major economies in recent years:

Figure 5. Some examples of countries with rising energy consumption per capita, based on data from BP’s 2020 Statistical Review of World Energy.

These Asian countries could outcompete the US, EU, and Japan in several ways:

  • Big undeveloped coal reserves. These resources could be used as an inexpensive fuel to compete with countries that had depleted their own coal resources. Coal tends to be less expensive than other types of energy, especially if pollution problems are ignored.
  • Warmer climate, so these countries did not need much fuel for heating. Even Southern China does not heat its buildings in winter.
  • Pollution was generally ignored.
  • New, more efficient factories could be built.
  • Lower wages because of
    • Milder climate
    • Inexpensive fuel supply
    • Lower medical costs
    • Lower standard of living

The developed economies were concerned about reducing their own CO2 emissions. Moving heavy industry to these Asian nations meant that the developed economies could benefit in three ways:

  1. Their own CO2 emissions would fall, whether or not world emissions fell.
  2. Pollution problems would be moved offshore.
  3. The cost of finished goods for consumers would be lower.

Moving heavy industry to these and other Asian countries meant the loss of jobs that had paid fairly well in the US, Europe, and Japan. While new jobs replaced the old jobs, they generally did not pay as well, leading to the falling energy consumption per capita pattern seen in Figure 4.

[5] The growing Asian economies in Figure 5 are now reaching coal limits.

While these economies were built on coal reserves, these reserves are becoming depleted. All three of the countries shown in Figure 5 have become net coal importers.

Figure 6. Coal production versus consumption in 2019 for China, India and Vietnam based on data from BP’s 2020 Statistical Review of World Energy.

[6] World coal production has remained on a bumpy plateau since 2011, suggesting that its extraction is reaching limits. (Figure 7)

Figure 7. World energy consumption by type, based on data from BP’s 2020 Statistical Review of World Energy. “Renewables” represents renewables other than hydroelectricity. Total world consumption is approximately equal to total world production, since stored amounts are small.

Figure 8, below, shows that growth in China’s coal production was the major reason for the big rise in world coal consumption between 2002 and 2011. In fact, this rise in production started immediately after China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.

Figure 8. World coal production by country based on data from BP’s 2020 Statistical Review of World Energy.

China’s rapid growth in coal production stopped in 2011. The problem was that extraction from an increasing share of coal mines became unprofitable: The cost of extraction rose but coal prices did not rise to match these higher costs. China could build new mines in locations more distant from where the coal was to be used, but transportation costs would tend to make this coal higher-cost as well. China could increase its coal consumption by importing coal, but that would also be more expensive.

Figure 9. Coal production for selected areas based on data from BP’s 2020 Statistical Review of World Energy.

In Figure 9, above, we see how dramatically higher China’s coal production has been, in comparison to coal production in other areas of the world. After China’s coal production stalled about 2011, it bounced back in 2018 and 2019 as the country opened mines in the north of the country, farther from industrial use.

Figure 9 indicates that the US’s coal production was on a long plateau between 1990 and 2008; more recently, the US’s production has fallen. Coal production for Europe was falling even before 1981, but the data available for this chart only goes back to 1981. Declining production again results from the cost of production rising above the prices producers could obtain from selling the coal.

Whether or not world coal production will increase in the future remains to be seen. Normally, a person would expect a long bumpy plateau in coal production, such as the world has experienced since 2011, to precede a fall in production. This would be similar to the pattern observed in the US’s coal production. This pattern would also be similar to the shape modeled by geophysicist M. King Hubbert for many types of resource production.

Figure 10. M. King Hubbert symmetric curve from Nuclear Energy and the Fossil Fuels.

[7] World oil production through 2019 has continued upward in an amazingly steady pattern, despite low prices. Its major problem has been unprofitability for producers. 

Figure 7 above shows the total amount of oil produced has continued upward in almost a straight line, except for a dip at the time of the Great Recession.

In fact, every person needs goods and services made with energy products. Rising energy consumption per capita will mean that, on average, every person is getting the benefit of more energy supplies. Figure 11 shows information similar to that on Figure 7, except on a per-capita basis.

Figure 11. World per capita energy consumption by type based on data from BP’s 2020 Statistical Review of World Energy. Total world consumption is approximately equal to total world production, since stored amounts are small.

Figure 11 indicates that on a per capita basis, oil supply has been approximately flat. In a way, this should not be surprising. Oil is absolutely essential in many ways. It is used for agriculture, transportation and construction. Oil is also used for its chemical properties in medicines, herbicides, pesticides, lubricants, and many other products. Oil is very energy dense and can be easily stored.

Because of its special properties, many people have assumed that oil prices will always rise. We saw in Figure 2 that this doesn’t actually happen. Low prices have continued for long enough now that they are becoming a serious problem for producers. Many companies are seeking bankruptcy. One analysis shows that 230 oil and gas producers and 214 oilfield services companies have filed for bankruptcy since 2015.

Oil exporters find their countries in financial difficulty, because at low prices, the taxes that they can collect are not sufficient to maintain the programs needed for their people. If the programs cannot be maintained, citizens may become unhappy and revolt.

At this point, oil production during 2020 is down. Figure 12 shows OPEC’s estimate of oil production through July 2020. World oil production is reported to be down about 12%. The highest month of supply was about November 2018.

Figure 12. OPEC and world oil production, in a chart made by OPEC, from the August 2020 OPEC Monthly Oil Market Report.

Figure 13 shows oil production for selected areas of the world through 2019.

Figure 13. Oil production for selected areas of the world based on data from BP’s 2020 Statistical Review of World Energy. Europe includes Norway. Russia+ is the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Middle East production tends to bounce up and down. If prices are low, the tendency is to reduce production, as occurred in 2019.

US production rose rapidly between 2008 and 2019, but dipped in 2016, as prices dropped way too low.

Europe’s oil production (including Norway) reached its highest point in the year 2000. It has been declining since then, causing concern for governments.

The production of what I call Russia+ dropped with the collapse of the central government of the Soviet Union in 1991. Oil prices had been very low between 1981 and 1991. It appears to me that these low prices were instrumental in the collapse of the central government of the Soviet Union. Production was able to rise again in the early 2000s when prices rose. My concern now is that a similar collapse will happen for some oil exporters in the next few years, due to low prices, and it will lead to a major decline of world oil production.

[8] Natural gas is the fuel that seems to be available in abundant supply, if only the price could be made to rise to a high enough level for producers. 

Natural gas production can be seen to be rising on both Figures 7 and 11. The fact that natural gas consumption is rising on a per capita basis in Figure 11 indicates that production is rising robustly–enough to offset weakness in coal production and perhaps help increase the world standard of living, to some extent.

We can see from Figure 14 below that the increase in natural gas production is coming from quite a number of different areas, including the US, Russia and its affiliates, the Middle East, and Australia. Again, Europe (including Norway) seems to be in decline.

Figure 14. Natural gas production for selected areas of the world based on data from BP’s 2020 Statistical Review of World Energy. Europe includes Norway. Russia+ is the Commonwealth of Independent States.

The problem for natural gas is again a price problem. It is difficult to get the price up to a high enough level to cover the cost of both the extraction of natural gas and the infrastructure and fuel needed to transport the natural gas to its destination.

We used to talk about “stranded natural gas,” that is, natural gas that can be extracted, but whose cost of transportation is simply too high to make the overall transaction economic. In fact, historically, a lot of natural gas has simply been burned off as a waste product (flared) or re-injected into oil wells, to keep up pressure, because there was no hope of selling it profitably at a distance. It is this formerly stranded natural gas that is now being produced.

Figure 15. Historical natural gas prices based on data from BP’s 2020 Statistical Review of World Energy. LNG is liquefied natural gas transported by ship. German imported natural gas is mostly by pipeline. US Henry Hub gas is natural gas without overseas transport costs included.

The increase in investment in natural gas production in recent years has been based on the hope that prices would rise high enough to cover both the cost of extraction and transportation. In fact, prices have tended to fall with crude oil prices, making the overall price far too low for most natural gas producers. Prices in 2020 have been even lower. For example, recent Japan LNG prices have been about $4 per million Btu. Thus, natural gas seems to have exactly the same problem as coal and oil: Prices are far too low for producers.

[9] The world economy is a self-organizing system, powered by energy. It can be expected to behave in a very strange way when diminishing returns become too much of a problem. 

In the language of physics, the world economy is a dissipative structure. This has been known at least since 1996. The economy is a self-organizing system powered by energy; it is not possible to significantly reduce energy consumption without a major collapse.

The economy has many parts to it. I have illustrated the situation in the following way:

The fact that consumers are also employees means that if wages fall too low (for a significant share of the population), then consumption will also tend to fall too low.

Prices are set by the market. Contrary to the popular view, prices are not based primarily on scarcity. Instead, they are based on the quantity of finished goods and services that consumers in the aggregate can afford. If wage disparity gets to be too great a problem, commodity prices of all types will tend to fall too low.

[10] Economists and modelers of all kinds have completely misunderstood how the economy actually operates.

Our academic communities each seem to exist in separate ivory towers. Economists don’t talk to physicists. Physicists know that dissipative structures cannot last indefinitely. Humans are dissipative structures; they each have limited lifetimes. Hurricanes are also dissipative structures that last only a limited time.

Most economists and modelers have never considered the possibility that today’s economy, like that of ancient Babylon, could be reaching collapse because of low demand, and thus, low prices.

Economists don’t realize that once energy resources become too depleted, energy prices are not likely to rise high enough for producers to make a profit; instead, the overall system will tend to collapse. Central banks have been trying, without success, to get commodity prices up to the point where they can be profitable for producers, but they have not been successful to date. I am doubtful that even more new tricks, such as Universal Basic Income, will work, either.

The erroneous belief systems of most economists and modelers leads to all kinds of strange results. The economy is modeled as if it will grow indefinitely. Most modelers assume that if we have oil, coal, or natural gas in the ground, plus the technical capability to pull these resources out, we will eventually pull them out. Perhaps a later civilization, built on the remains of our current civilization, can do this, but our current civilization cannot.

Climate change models are applied to fossil fuel assumptions that are absurdly high, given the problems with low energy prices that we are currently encountering. No one stops to model what will happen to the climate if fossil fuel consumption is decreased very quickly, which seems to be a real possibility in 2020. The loss of aerosol emissions (smog, for example) from fossil fuels will tend to spike world temperatures, even with reduced CO2 emissions from fossil fuels.

We are led to believe that an economy similar to today’s economy can operate solely on renewables. This is simply absurd. Figures 7 and 11 show that there are nowhere near enough renewables to support today’s population, even if substitution were possible for fossil fuels. In fact, we need fossil fuels to make and maintain solar panels, wind turbines, electric transmission lines, hydroelectric plants, and nuclear power plants.

If we cannot keep fossil fuels operating because of continued low prices, today’s economy can expect a disturbing change for the worse.

This entry was posted in Financial Implications, Introductory Post 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.

2,368 thoughts on “Today’s Energy Predicament – A Look at Some Charts

    • Ed> you are onto something, most people don’t realize that “eating out and socializing” is a big charade and scam, one can just look at studies how disgruntled employees deliberately put feces tainted finger tip marks on plates, glassware in restaurants etc. to even out it with the unpleasant boss and high horse attitude clients..

      Simply put, we don’t need these places.. eat at home and visit only your core family and friends occasionally. Obviously, such restrain in going out gets against one of the pillars how cities emerged and structured around, but this could be altered at least in terms of this topic.

      Besides, the cities will be trimmed down, abandoned eventually, so what. He who had the smarts, luck, opportunity left already yrs ago.

  1. Unbelievable, Boris has managed to chuck a 26 point lead in the polls in just 5 months since March. He has matched T. May’s ability to chuck a lead in the 2017 GE campaign. Likely this will weaken his hand in parliament to rope in backbenchers to his IMB and Brexit agenda.

    I suppose that the lesson now is that no matter how commanding the TP position seems to be, it is always entirely capable of chucking it.

    We may foresee the rise of Farage’s Brexit/ Reform Party if TP fails to secure a proper Brexit – which would weaken TP support further. It could also lead to electoral reform (PR) which Farage prioritises. How suddenly things can change. TP and the status quo seemed secure but now not so much.

    > YouGov poll shows Tory lead wipe out and finds Keir Starmer is ‘PM in waiting’

    YouGov polling has shown the Tory lead to have been wiped out for the first time since Boris Johnson became prime minister, as the public continues to take to Labour leader Keir Starmer.

    In a boost for Keir Starmer ahead of Labour’s virtual” party conference, a YouGov poll for The Times found both of the Westminster parties were on 40% of the vote as Tory support fell.

    It is the first time since Boris Johnson became prime minister last July that the Tories have not had a lead with the polling company.

    Labour had increased its popularity by three points since the last survey to 40%, compared to a drop for the Tories by two points.

    There were signs Keir Starmer’s messaging was cutting through with the public when asked if he was a ‘prime minister in waiting’.

    More of the public (38%) believe that he looks like a leader ready to take office, compared to 31% who do not agree. A further 31% are undecided.

    He is seen as the best candidate for the job, with 34% of support, compared to 31% for Boris Johnson. A further 31% still remain undecided….

    https://www.theneweuropean.co.uk/top-stories/yougov-poll-on-keir-starmer-and-labour-party-1-6846136

  2. From An “Open letter from medical doctors and health professionals to all belgian authorities and all belgian media:”

    https://docs4opendebate.be/en/open-letter/

    “A highly contagious virus with millions of deaths without any treatment?

    Mortality turned out to be many times lower than expected and close to that of a normal seasonal flu (0.2%).
    The number of registered corona deaths therefore still seems to be overestimated.
    There is a difference between death by corona and death with corona. Humans are often carriers of multiple viruses and potentially pathogenic bacteria at the same time. Taking into account the fact that most people who developed serious symptoms suffered from additional pathology, one cannot simply conclude that the corona-infection was the cause of death. This was mostly not taken into account in the statistics.

    The most vulnerable groups can be clearly identified. The vast majority of deceased patients were 80 years of age or older. The majority (70%) of the deceased, younger than 70 years, had an underlying disorder, such as cardiovascular suffering, diabetes mellitus, chronic lung disease or obesity. The vast majority of infected persons (>98%) did not or hardly became ill or recovered spontaneously.

    Meanwhile, there is an affordable, safe and efficient therapy available for those who do show severe symptoms of disease in the form of HCQ (hydroxychloroquine), zinc and AZT (azithromycin). Rapidly applied this therapy leads to recovery and often prevents hospitalisation. Hardly anyone has to die now.

    This effective therapy has been confirmed by the clinical experience of colleagues in the field with impressive results. This contrasts sharply with the theoretical criticism (insufficient substantiation by double-blind studies) which in some countries (e.g. the Netherlands) has even led to a ban on this therapy. A meta-analysis in The Lancet, which could not demonstrate an effect of HCQ, was withdrawn. The primary data sources used proved to be unreliable and 2 out of 3 authors were in conflict of interest. However, most of the guidelines based on this study remained unchanged …
    We have serious questions about this state of affairs.
    In the US, a group of doctors in the field, who see patients on a daily basis, united in “America’s Frontline Doctors” and gave a press conference which has been watched millions of times.
    French Prof Didier Raoult of the Institut d’Infectiologie de Marseille (IHU) also presented this promising combination therapy as early as April. Dutch GP Rob Elens, who cured many patients in his practice with HCQ and zinc, called on colleagues in a petition for freedom of therapy.
    The definitive evidence comes from the epidemiological follow-up in Switzerland: mortality rates compared with and without this therapy.

    From the distressing media images of ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome) where people were suffocating and given artificial respiration in agony, we now know that this was caused by an exaggerated immune response with intravascular coagulation in the pulmonary blood vessels. The administration of blood thinners and dexamethasone and the avoidance of artificial ventilation, which was found to cause additional damage to lung tissue, means that this dreaded complication, too, is virtually not fatal anymore.

    It is therefore not a killer virus, but a well-treatable condition.“

    • Vaccine

      “Survey studies on influenza vaccinations show that in 10 years we have only succeeded three times in developing a vaccine with an efficiency rate of more than 50%. Vaccinating our elderly appears to be inefficient. Over 75 years of age, the efficacy is almost non-existent.
      Due to the continuous natural mutation of viruses, as we also see every year in the case of the influenza virus, a vaccine is at most a temporary solution, which requires new vaccines each time afterwards. An untested vaccine, which is implemented by emergency procedure and for which the manufacturers have already obtained legal immunity from possible harm, raises serious questions. We do not wish to use our patients as guinea pigs.
      On a global scale, 700 000 cases of damage or death are expected as a result of the vaccine.
      If 95% of people experience Covid-19 virtually symptom-free, the risk of exposure to an untested vaccine is irresponsible.“

      • influenza vaccinations
        We are lucky we got 50% (that is with infection, not disease, which we get to 80% protection almost every year).
        Even with oral polio vaccine , everyone is still infected (in their gut), but they don’t get the disease.
        With Covid? The 4 human covid viruses, they infect every 6 months to a year. With Sars cv 2, we don’t know yet.
        Don’t think his will be eliminated, like Sars 1.
        But we shall see—-

      • I’ve been taking vitamin C, D, E and fish oil for years. I haven’t had a cold or flu for years either. Now it isn’t just supplementation that explains my godlike health, of course. I’m in my thirties, eat as organically as possible, exercise three times per week, stay hydrated, and limit alcohol, sweets and processed food items. Nutritional supplementation should be a way of life for most people, especially those that don’t have access to organic foods.
        I see this whole scamdemic – referred to by someone I’m forgetting as “The Great Panic of 2020” – as an opportunity for people to wake up and claim sovereignty over their own bodies. Given the way the entire medical establishment is fumble-fu#$*&^ around with what they claim is a new virus, attempting to rush a new vaccine to market and working with governments who are, at best, inept and ignorant of the health damage they’re causing from the lockdowns and, at worst, deliberately trying to destroy public health through the lockdowns, I find it’s high time that people get their shit together when it comes to personal health and nutrition.
        I have coworkers who keep saying, “Nothing’s going to get better until we get a vaccine.” Bullshit. That is the absolute worst mentality in this situation. Once you go down that path, you’re out looking for the snake oil salesman to solve a problem he told you you had.
        Forget the vaccine, get in touch with your body, own it, treat it as respectfully as you would a temple, do not trash it. Build your immune system and work to get yourself as healthy as you can be and maintain that approach as a way of life.

        • good.

          the penalty for being unhealthy is a greater risk of being in the 0.2% who will die from it.

          • We mere mortals perhaps age somewhat fast, the .001% class (“Mr. Burns” like) not so much, be it mostly due to healthy-lite starving diet, quality sleep (despite their deeds), natural habitat (country side chateaux and or high degree water/air purification for their city apartments); not to mention frequent blood and liver, .. , cleaning/infusion medical procedures etc..

        • I tend to think this way too. And if it doesn’t stifle you, masks in public places (where there can be an extremely large and unpredictable variety of “infectious elements”) seem a reasonable bet. So does staying at home a lot.

          I try to ride the wave of confusion and disjointedness by TPTB. There’s enough lockdown to shake up the public mind (and the economic system). There’s enough BAU (NOW) to keep most critical food supplies in stock.

          We need local food supplies. Few and frail though we might be, we need to take a battering ram to the temple of denial. But a degree of denial is usable, and that’s helpful, given how very hard it is to stand against denial.

    • I wish Trump never mentioned HCQ. Because he touted it the response was to discredit it In any way possible .This included a bogus study published in Lancet that concluded that HCQ increased the death rate. The beginning of this shameful paper even mentioned that Trump recommended HCQ. This statement has no place in a scientific paper and the Lancet Is the latest example of “fake news”.The FDA has not approved it’s use so most MDs won’t prescribe it in the US so it won’t be available to my family if we become infected.

      • That’s one of Trump’s most interesting public functions: blackwashing the truth. Given his negative reputation, especially among the Left, he could share an absolute truth with the world and most people would reject it without a thought. Kill the boorish messenger, right?

        Consider this hypothetical example: imagine if Trump had heavily pushed mask wearing from the start of the scamdemic, before Fauci, the CDC or the WHO pushed it. Then, Trump supporters agreed and proudly displayed their masks in public at every opportunity. In that situation, how many Leftists would feel comfortable wearing their masks?

        • There are very few people on the left in he US.
          Both Repugs and Dems are capitalists, and embrace that very limited system..
          The US doesn’t even have labor party, like all other western democracies.
          Politically, we are extreme right, and center/right.

          • Exactly.
            However, lets be real, this also changed profoundly in the W. Europe as they switched to new econ model of surfing on the surplus from newly acquired millions of “slave labor” of CEE/Balkans and Asia.

            That’s why yellow vest in France can’t grow enough to threshold of say 1960/70s potential, basically there is not big enough true-ish proletariat class anymore, only various stages of precariat classes who think of themselves as temporarily inconvenienced bourgeois class, so they hope to strike it big any time like by winning a lotto, inheritance etc.

            Actually, the above is pretty similar dynamique to later stage collapse of former historical innings anyway..

          • At this point there are probably even more war mongers on the democrat side than republican. The military industrial complex owns then all. Both democrats and republicans were falling all over themselves to pass the defense budget increase.

          • The Left is dead, long live the Left.

            It sucks because a legitimate left can offer some healthy critique of the smoke and mirrors of bonkers capitalism.

        • That’s one of Trump’s most interesting public functions: blackwashing the truth.

          It could be that he’s playing 6D chess, by giving out good info such as on HQL to his base, who lap it up, while simultaneously alienating his opponents and their supporters from the miracle cure. Net result: six Democrat deaths for each Deplorable one.

          That’s what I call thinking!

      • Well it could go deeper than that. MSM agenda may not want a inexpensive easy solution for covid. The total all trump bad blitz does however reveal a controlled media that was only hinted at previously. More concerning is the degree that people swallow it whole. Its omost like gang behavior. No matter where you sit on this political fence its disturbing that a agenda can take people from their community by polarizing them.

        • Part of the narrative also comes from scientists. The FDA board approved Remdesivir even though it has marginal effectiveness.A number of them have financial ties to Gilead. They also blocked HCQ. So let’s see, Remdesivir 3400$ a treatment, HCQ 10$ a treatment. Upton Sinclair’s famous quote applies here.

    • “Mortality turned out to be many times lower than expected and close to that of a normal seasonal flu (0.2%).”

      the data I’ve seen is that the average flu is about 0.05% so covid-19 is about 4x higher.

      that being true, then covid-19 deserves a higher level of scientific and medical attention and solutions.

      and guess what? We now see the results of that: excellent treatments as shown in this Belgian report (is The World paying attention?) AND the science that shows us how to do better health/prevention in advance of getting infected.

      vitamin D!!! etc.

      so then, USA 330 million times 0.2% = 660,000 deaths if everyone gets infected.

      let’s say everyone does get it over the next 10 years.

      hypothetically 66,000 deaths per year.

      that’s about equal to sooissides plus auto accidents.

      the virus will always be circulating around the world, but…

      the pandemic is winding down.

      • FWIW, I am in contact with someone in clinical medicine at a large institution. The secondary effects are very difficult, recovery is very difficult. The secondary effects and their cause don’t seem well understood and at least in popular literature.

        Dennis L.

        • “The secondary effects are very difficult, recovery is very difficult. The secondary effects and their cause don’t seem well understood and at least in popular literature.”

          okay.

          but it seems more understood that the poor earlier treatments were actually causing many of these “secondary effects” on the health of survivors.

          even the Belgian article above references how some of those poor treatments have been eliminated.

          • Please note, this is someone(me) reporting a primary source and details get lost.

            My understanding is even with primary recovery not involving ventilators, the secondary effects lead to a prolonged and difficult secondary recovery if that is even possible. Summary: we don’t yet understand the secondary effects and their causes, we don’t understand the recovery period from those effects.

            This is more a opinion on my part from a respected source that still practices isolation other than work, groceries,etc.

            The social isolation is going to be worse for all of us including one would guess babies from the facial expressions of their mothers although one would guess masks are not worn in these quarters. Gail mentioned this earlier.

            Dennis L.

      • the pandemic is winding down

        Here on Earth, it is increasing, and will continue to do so until a vaccine or herd immunity happen.
        Let’s hope we have a vaccine in less than a year, it will save many lives.

        • “Here on Earth, it is increasing, and…”

          name one place in the USA where it is still a pandemic.

          dare you.

          actually, cases and deaths are barely in the news anymore, so I am losing track of the “pandemic” data.

          where is this “pandemic” again?

          • United States

            Coronavirus Cases:
            6,975,609
            Deaths:
            203,925
            Recovered:
            4,225,932

            CLOSED CASES
            4,429,857
            Cases which had an outcome:
            4,225,932 (95%)
            Recovered / Discharged
            203,925 (5%) Deaths

            So, we are at 4 times the fatality rate of the Vietnam War in 8 months– but that took 5 years.

            • I don’t think this is a useful comparison. Those who died in the Viet Nam war were young men. The people who died now are disproportionately older and had major health conditions before the illness hit. We have told ourselves that this is a disease we can conquer, but it remains to be seen whether this is really the case.

        • Here in the objective reality of Gaia; Taiwan proved that neither a vaccine nor a heart immunity is needed. It’s all smoke and mirrors to keep the racket going.

          Anybody disagreeing with me simply have to accept being wrong.

          • I am not convinced that we know enough about the Taiwan situation to say it can apply everywhere. Islands, in general, behave differently, because there is less mixing with other populations. China seems to have had (mostly) a more virulent strain that spread less well than the version of COVID that is going around now. Taiwan received the benefit of China’s draconian lockdown by China.

            Islands find it easier to keep new cases out because they can see precisely who is coming and going. But once cases take hold, there can be spikes later on. In fact, without any herd immunity, they can have a bigger problem later on. It is too soon to know the long range impact in Taiwan.

      • He is a reader of my site. He (or she) is from Netherlands. He sent me an earlier link about wind turbines, which seemed to be reasonable. I would have to ask him about his background.

      • Good question, Maximus. I’m always interested in knowing the background of YouTube content creators, especially since a huge number of them have absolutely nothing to recommend them except their egos!

        I’m curious now because Smelik just started on August 21, 2020, and already has 146 subscribers and thousands of views with just a couple of original videos.

        • His wind video seems to be quite good. I didn’t check his numbers, but they certainly seemed reasonable.

          The recent one is more wide-ranging. It doesn’t have things that are as easy to check.

  3. Gail, to pick up on earlier threads: it is notable that agriculture severely damaged human health; it introduced vectors of disease in an enlarged, concentrated population and malnutrition through seasonal food shortages and dependence on nutritionally inadequate crops; it stunted and weakened the human physical constitution.

    http://esciencecommons.blogspot.com/2011/06/dawn-of-agriculture-took-toll-on-health.html

    It took another 10,000 years for industrial food production to somewhat mitigate that affect of agriculture on human health. So, what has human culture actually ‘been for’ if it has been stunting us and making us weak and ill all this time?

    I have finished my first reading through of Nietzsche’s BGE and 259 seems to be the key passage. The will to power is identical to the will to life as organic function, ‘a process of appropriating, injuring, overpowering, oppressing, harshness, imposing one’s own form, incorporating and exploiting, to grow, spread, grab, win dominance.’

    It seems that is what humans have been doing all this time, simply because we are alive and that is what living things do, dominate, exploit, incorporate, grow and spread (eat and reproduce).

    But it also seems that the shift from hunter-gathering to agriculture, and then to industry, were steps toward the ever more concentrated utilisation and thus dissipation of energy. Agriculture did not make us healthier, or perhaps happier. Culture made us sick, multiplied our ‘needs’ and made them ever more complicated and difficult to satisfy.

    Then, the actual telos of human culture is not human well-being but the spread of humans and the intensification of our domination over, and exploitation of the planet. All this time, we have been constructing societies, dissipative structures, to consume and to dissipate energy. Thus the will to power has another side.

    The spread of agriculture was inevitable, because the healthier, and perhaps happier, hunter-gatherers simply did not have the numbers, or the technology, to repel the incursion of organised farmers into their territories. Their days were numbered as soon as agriculture took off. The number of farmers would increase to its limit within an area and they would then be forced to expand their territories. Scarcity leads to conflict.

    The ‘maximum power principle’ (MPP) of energetics applied, whereby those energy systems (individuals, species, societies) compete, succeed and survive that are best able to maximise their energy intake and to order it to their own maintenance and expansion. Agricultural societies had the energetic advantage over H-Gs, so they replaced them according to the MPP. Industrial societies, that maximised energy use further, then replaced agricultural societies according to the same dynamic.

    https://www.ecologycenter.us/ecosystem-theory/the-maximum-power-principle.html

    So, it seems possible to read human history in terms of the outworking of organic function that is ordered to the optimum dissipation of energy through the operation of the MPP. In that sense too it seems possible to say that the ‘will to power’ is the ‘essence of reality’ and the driving force of history, human and cosmic.

    The TP new incomer policy that is aimed at the introduction of 600,000 students to UK per year with an eye to work routes to permanent settlement is basically the same organic function and MPP in action, here as the bourgeois state and its unsuppressable drive to grow GDP and to maintain the profit-, debt- and growth-based capitalist economic system and without regard to any other consideration, even democratic mandate.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-international-student-immigration-routes-open-early

    Another 3.5 million homes built on the English countryside over the next decade is an effect of the same underlying dynamic of organic function, MPP and the maximum dissipation of energy. The bourgeois state is simply a particular kind of dissipative structure that has developed according to MPP and its policies are its dissipative outworkings.

    • Humans are dissipative structures. In some sense, their “function” is to dissipate energy, and over time, create greater complexity. This seems to be the way the universe works. Lots and lots of dissipative structures, all operating on a temporary basis, dissipating energy. The Maximum Power Principle seems to say that there are as many of these dissipative structures in a given area as energy and other resources, such as water, permit.

      It is probably more uplifting to think of humans’ function in some other terms. For example, to praise God. But it is hard to determine that from the physics of the situation. We do know, however, that there is too much change in the direction of complexity for the changes to be determined solely by randomness. For example, life on earth began too soon after the planet was formed to be the result of random changes alone. We don’t know: Could creation be a continuous process?

      • Yes, I am assuming that cosmic evolution occurs and organic life emerged and evolved through the working of principles, likely energetic perhaps among others, rather than randomly. Who really knows whether it has any ‘meaning’ or ‘intention’ behind it? People also listen to their heart and that is fine with me.

        Perhaps I could offer a track off Armin van Buuren’s new album, the Dutch euphoric trance icon, for some uplifting consolation, the remix of his In and Out of Love that he uses in his live shows. I have this in FLAC and the sound quality is gorgeous. I do love life, however materialistic some of my posts may seem (although I have definitely ‘fallen out of love’ with the bourgeois state lol).

        • “Yes, I am assuming that cosmic evolution occurs and organic life emerged and evolved through the working of principles, likely energetic perhaps among others, rather than randomly.”

          gravity organizes the universe.

          our solar system has a second generation star. The matter from the original (exploded) star was collected and sorted by gravity. Though this process is irregular and uneven, it is not random.

          that is why most of the (theoretical) iron is in the core of the Earth but some is at the surface. Gravity pulled the heavier elements to the core, though imperfectly.

          same for the early organic molecules. Whenever organic molecules formed, they didn’t just move away from each other randomly. Gravity kept them together since the density of the molecules was equal, thus gravity had equal pull on the molecules.

          it’s easy to see the basic force that creates complexity.

          gravity.

        • Wiki has an article on ‘life’ that suggests that the chemical reactions that led to life may have started shortly after the big bang, that the early earth favoured the right chemical reactions to form life, and that prebiotic compounds may actually have come from space. NASA has formed the DNA and RNA organic compounds on which life is based in outer space-like conditions. Panspermia postulates that life may exist throughout the universe, distributed by asteroids. Perhaps we are all descended from ‘aliens’. ET. Or maybe we are Earthlings, if ultimately ‘star dust’.

          Presumably that would give ‘ample’ time for life to form, however that is ‘estimated’. That seems to be the scientific consensus. The Wiki article does not acknowledge any such ‘controversy’ as far as I have seen.

          > Life

          …. The age of the Earth is about 4.54 billion years.[94][95][96] Evidence suggests that life on Earth has existed for at least 3.5 billion years,[97][98][99][100][101][102][103][104][105] with the oldest physical traces of life dating back 3.7 billion years;[106][107][108] however, some theories, such as the Late Heavy Bombardment theory, suggest that life on Earth may have started even earlier, as early as 4.1–4.4 billion years ago,[97][98][99][100][101] and the chemistry leading to life may have begun shortly after the Big Bang, 13.8 billion years ago, during an epoch when the universe was only 10–17 million years old.[109][110][111]

          …. There is no current scientific consensus as to how life originated. However, most accepted scientific models build on the Miller–Urey experiment and the work of Sidney Fox, which show that conditions on the primitive Earth favored chemical reactions that synthesize amino acids and other organic compounds from inorganic precursors,[123] and phospholipids spontaneously form lipid bilayers, the basic structure of a cell membrane.

          …. Geological findings in 2013 showed that reactive phosphorus species (like phosphite) were in abundance in the ocean before 3.5 Ga, and that Schreibersite easily reacts with aqueous glycerol to generate phosphite and glycerol 3-phosphate.[133] It is hypothesized that Schreibersite-containing meteorites from the Late Heavy Bombardment could have provided early reduced phosphorus, which could react with prebiotic organic molecules to form phosphorylated biomolecules, like RNA.[133]

          In 2009, experiments demonstrated Darwinian evolution of a two-component system of RNA enzymes (ribozymes) in vitro.[134] The work was performed in the laboratory of Gerald Joyce, who stated “This is the first example, outside of biology, of evolutionary adaptation in a molecular genetic system.”[135]

          Prebiotic compounds may have originated extraterrestrially. NASA findings in 2011, based on studies with meteorites found on Earth, suggest DNA and RNA components (adenine, guanine and related organic molecules) may be formed in outer space.[136][137][138][139]

          In March 2015, NASA scientists reported that, for the first time, complex DNA and RNA organic compounds of life, including uracil, cytosine and thymine, have been formed in the laboratory under outer space conditions, using starting chemicals, such as pyrimidine, found in meteorites. Pyrimidine, like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), the most carbon-rich chemical found in the universe, may have been formed in red giants or in interstellar dust and gas clouds, according to the scientists.[140]

          According to the panspermia hypothesis, microscopic life — distributed by meteoroids, asteroids and other small Solar System bodies — may exist throughout the universe.[141][142]

        • Our bodies are formed from the debris of multiple stars and the elements that they formed in galactic chemical evolution.

          Are we really made of stardust?

          Stars that go supernova are responsible for creating many of the elements of the periodic table, including those that make up the human body.

          Planetary scientist and stardust expert Dr Ashley King explains.

          ‘It is totally 100% true: nearly all the elements in the human body were made in a star and many have come through several supernovas.’

          …. The first generation of stars formed as lumps of gas drew together and eventually began to combust. This would cause a nuclear reaction in the centre of a star.

          The first stars that formed after the Big Bang were greater than 50 times the size of our Sun.

          ‘Inside stars a process takes place called nucleosynthesis, which is basically the making of elements,’ Ashley says. ‘The bigger the star, the faster they burn their fuel.’

          The first stars burned their fuel quickly and were able to make only a few elements heavier than hydrogen and helium. When those stars went supernova and expelled the elements they had produced, they seeded the next generation of stars.

          …. The next generation of seeded stars were then able to produce other, heavier kinds of elements such as carbon, magnesium and nearly every element in the periodic table. Any element in your body that is heavier than iron has travelled through at least one supernova.

          ‘So it’s very likely that there are a whole bunch of different stars that have contributed the elements we see in our own solar system, our planet and those found within you.’

          …. When stars die and lose their mass, all the elements that had been generated inside are swept out into space. Then the next generation of stars form from those elements, burn and are again swept out.

          ‘This constant reprocessing of everything is called galactic chemical evolution,’ Ashley says. ‘Every element was made in a star and if you combine those elements in different ways you can make species of gas, minerals, and bigger things like asteroids, and from asteroids you can start making planets and then you start to make water and other ingredients required for life and then, eventually, us.’

          ‘This process has been going on for something like 13 billion years and our solar system is thought to have formed only 4.5 billion years ago.’

          …. So are we really made of stardust?

          Most of the elements of our bodies were formed in stars over the course of billions of years and multiple star lifetimes.

          However, it’s also possible that some of our hydrogen (which makes up roughly 9.5% of our bodies) and lithium, which our body contains in very tiny trace amounts, originated from the Big Bang.

          https://www.nhm.ac.uk/discover/are-we-really-made-of-stardust.html

    • Maybe culture and religion can help to restrain dissipation. Unusual insight too maybe. Why are the South African San still hunting and gathering throughout the entire span of the modern human existence? Finding a way to live where most people don’t want to go might have been due to some brilliant insight, or just dumb luck. So even today, similar strategies can be devised. A critical (keep us alive) ag can be done indoors…if we can keep the lights on. At least twice as many residents as now can inhabit the existing built footprint. We can discourage any new construction on virgin land. None of these things are physically hard to do. What is VERY hard indeed is to change mindsets such as to enable them being done.

      • it is impossible to change the mindsets of most people.

        most don’t know enough, and if they did, most wouldn’t care enough.

        it’s about herd mentality (human nature), not individual mentality.

        my intention is to keep on consuming at about the same high rate until I die.

        almost everyone else will be trying to do the same.

        bad news?

        bAU tonight, baby!

        • The San are still hunting and gathering–a tribe (or an ethnicity), not an individual. It’s a very general point. How the average among us here live probably doesn’t relate to how existing hunter gatherers live?

          • ‘Nisa’, by Marjorie Shostak is a very good anthropological work on the real life of a !San woman, and their community life in general.

            Sex, violence (a lot of those two), lazy teenagers, erring husbands and nagging wives. One can easily relate to so much of it in social and emotional terms.

            Many, though, have by now been absorbed into the more complex, hierarchical, world of the herding pastoral tribes, generally at a low status.

            A good read, with no silly ideology imposed by the author.

            • No, not at all: their culture was disrupted by pastoral herders moving in on their traditional lands. Their herds also fouled water sources leading to hitherto unknown disease, and they only allowed the !San a low social status and menial work. Sad tale.

      • I agree Artleads.

        The first step would be to regard land as SACRED.

        But we insist on regarding it as mere ‘dirt’ and ‘undeveloped’, when it is in fact part of the most elaborate and complex life-system, which has been billions of years in developing.

        The tragedy is that our civilization is now sophisticated enough to actually model parts of this system, but acts as if it were still 1750.

        And if we were to accept the evident truth that human beings possess souls, and are ennobled by beauty -man-made and natural – and made great only by practising humility, that would also be helpful in avoiding hideous and destructive developments.

        But I see no hope of either happening on a large scale, leaving us trapped inside the suicide machine we have been constructing for the last three centuries.

      • “Maybe culture and religion can help to restrain dissipation.”

        Maybe, but the dominant ideas reflect the structure of the society in which people live and its stage of economic development, the status quo and modus operandi (the herd mentality). Likely the San were just ‘ill-placed’ for development – which is not a value judgement against their lifestyle.

        Certainly no conventional religious ‘revival’ is going to make any difference to the behaviour of our societies.

        My guess is that a broad shift in economic conditions, likely linked to unprofitable energy, is the only thing that will reign in economic development. Humanity is ‘on a mission’ to push development as far as it can go. It is just what living things do.

        It is material development itself, and its limits, that will bring material development to an end. BAU will ultimately end BAU. Material turns will then bring about new cultures and even religions.

        So, ‘BAU tonight, baby!’ it is!

      • Yes, there will always be someone going in the opposite direction. Like counter-culture. Maybe the San want to do something different. Maybe doomers want to do something different. There will always be a dynamic where people differ in opinions and choices, find their own niche, their own homestead, their own blog, their own style.

        This could also be another aspect of the MPP. If I do the same as everybody else then how can I increase my share of “the power”? Be that material or mental wellness.

  4. I read Robert Firth’s comment on Marathon and Waterloo, but I disagree with his arguments.

    One of the greatest fuckups, possibly the greatest fuckup in 20th century, occurred at Gheluvalt, Flanders, on Oct 28, 1914.

    Long story short, Brigadier Charles Fitzclarence and his 200 Worcestershire men stopped a critical German advance there, which would probably have cost Britain the Channel Ports.

    John French, the British commander at that time, praised Fitzclarence (who died 7 days later in a battle, along with most of his 200 men) as ‘saving the Empire”.

    Well, past forward 4 years, with Britain bankrupt and ten million Europeans killed, no one mentioned Chuck’s name anymore. Nobody. He is only somewhat remembered in Worcestershire, and that’s it.

    His fuckup would eventually cost Britain its empire, lead to the loss of all of the colonies of Europe (except for some useless spots and remote islands too small to be viable on their own), lead to all these unpleasant events of 20th century and added six billion people in continents which are not exactly leading world civilization.

    Despite of that, the English were undaunted and pulled this trick at Korea in 1951. However, the Chinese didn’t have a stomach for this English trick and simply decimated the Glocestershires who mostly spent the rest of the war in North Korean prison camps.

    All of Britain’s history is causing trouble in Europe, and it led to the mess we have now. In retrospect, without Chuck Fitzclarence’s fuckup ,Europe will still be ruling the world now and there might have been more petroleum available for future use without the explosion of population in the Third World.

    • I think energy supplies are behind the ability (or lack of ability) of countries to succeed in war. A particular British commender will do well or badly, depending upon the military tools at his disposal. Britain lost its empire because of peak coal in Britain right about 1914. It was becoming too expensive to extract the coal, because with deep thin, seams, too many miners needed to be paid. The price of coal could not be raised enough to cover the higher costs. It was the same problem we are having now, worldwide, with many fuels.

      • the purpose of war has always been to grab someone else’s resources.

        all other reasons are just window dressing

        if you lose, then someone grabs your resources

        • You would disagree then with the over-enthusiastic French lady in 1914 who, when an English officer -clad in sensible khaki pointed out that the French uniform of bright blue coats and red trousers was a gift to German riflemen and machine gunners, exclaimed:

          ‘And Monsieur, what about La Gloire?!’

          Many smaller wars were fought for sheer fun, I suspect. Certainly in the Middle Ages knights didn’t have much on apart from hunting, and that was a winter sport. Spring must have been very exciting.

          • certainly not

            that was the opinion of a silly individual.

            War seemed to break out across Europe once every generation. It kickstarts industrial production and diverts resources into the hands of arrowsmiths or cannon makers—just a matter of scale.

            Cannon fodder needs motivation

            Maybe we are intended to cull each other like that. Who knows?

            There has to be some kind of percieved benefit—how else could Napoloen create enough hysteria to march into the Russian disaster, then 3 years later do the same thing at Waterloo.
            .
            Then Hitler repeat it.

            Medievai. war was about loot, pure and simple

            • the French introduced the metric system before Hitler was born (compulsory by 1837)

              Sometime in the mid-1790s, actually. Before Bonaparte came to power. The revolutionaries were not called revolutionaries for nothing!

              As the BBC describes it:
              The Paris authorities were so exasperated at the public’s refusal to give up their old measure that they even sent police inspectors to marketplaces to enforce the new system. Eventually, in 1812, Napoleon abandoned the metric system; although it was still taught in school, he largely let people use whichever measures they liked until it was reinstated in 1840.

              http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20180923-how-france-created-the-metric-system

              The Autobahns were built on borrowed money and slave labour ultimately to facilitate war movements

              You can say that about a lot of government construction projects in any time and place.

              ‘contentious points’ so childlike as to be unworthy of serious debate

              My comments were not meant to be serious; only to puncture the bubble of pomposity and know-it-allisim that you habitually inflict on the rest of us.

    • Thank you for your comments, but I confess I could not find from your narrative exactly where you “disagreed” with my arguments. After all, I never even touched the 20th century. I also rather disapprove of your derogatory language towards a man who, after all, only did his duty, and gave his life in that endeavour. My grandfather fought in that war, and you insult him at your peril.

      • He’s Asian, and simply doesn’t understand how we feel about WW1. I don’t think he intends any insult.

          • On the contrary, Tim, Japan declared war on the Central Powers on 23 August 1914, and was a valiant and useful ally throughout. This was in conformance with her alliance with Britain, signed in 1902, to which she had strictly adhered. I do not know what kind of “asian” kulmthestatusquo might be, but the Japanese at least understand the concept of honour. Banzai!

            • I know this well, Robert. There are Japanese military graveyards where German soldiers who died in the First World War fighting were buried alongside the Japanese who fought them.

              But the scale of that conflict was minimal. The Japanese Navy seized the German island territories in the North Pacific with minimal effort and, with some aid from the British, grabbed Tsingtao on the Chinese coast after a two-month naval blockade and a one-week siege. This was the single biggest battle of WWI in East Asia, where the war really was all over by Christmas.

              I read the Wikipedia entry on the Siege of Tsingtao and it told me:

              On the night of 6 November, waves of Japanese infantry attacked the third line of defence and overwhelmed the defenders. The next morning, the German forces, along with their Austro-Hungarian allies, asked for terms. The Allies took formal possession of the colony on 16 November 1914.

              As the German garrison was able to hold out for nearly two months despite the naval blockade with sustained artillery bombardment and being outnumbered 6 to 1, the defeat nevertheless temporarily served as a morale booster. The German defenders watched the Japanese with curiosity as they marched into Tsingtao but turned their backs on the British when they entered into town. So deep was their anger that some German officers spat in the faces of their British counterparts.

              Japanese casualties numbered 733 killed and 1,282 wounded; the British had 12 killed and 53 wounded. The German defenders lost 199 dead and 504 wounded. The German dead were buried at Tsingtao, while the remaining soldiers were transported to prisoner of war camps in Japan. The 4,700 German prisoners were treated well and with respect in Japan, such as in Bandō prisoner-of-war camp. The German troops were interned in Japan until the formal signature of the Versailles peace treaty in 1919, but due to technical questions, the troops were not repatriated before 1920. 170 prisoners chose to remain in Japan after the end of the war.

            • I consider Yi Sunsin, who is considered as Korea’s greatest hero because he defeated the Japanese invasion on 1592 and 1597, as Asia’s greatest scoundrel. It would have been much better for Asia if Korea disappeared at that point and Japan conquered it and continued its interaction with the West. Yi’s stupid actions delivered a decisive blow against Asia from which it never recovered, and Korea, for the next 420 odd years, just existed without contributing anything to the world other than some silly songs.

            • Yes, what IS even S/N Korea? I can’t fathom it being something else than a construct of the west. Just the same as CCP.

              I can wrap my head around the Chinese and Japs and the rest of South/East Asia, but Korea is unreal, just like their StarCraft players.

        • Xabier, I’m not sure kulm… is Asian. In a later post he seems to think Japan was “interacting with the West” in the 1590s. I find it hard to believe as Asian would be so totally ignorant of the history of Japan. He also seems to think the Koreans defeated Japan: they didn’t; they held on thanks to a lot of help from Ming China, but Japan was still in control of the South when Toyotomi Hideyoshi died and the Council of Five Elders that took over simply decided the war was stupid and so abandoned it.

      • WW1 was the first war fought by the common soldier who was at the business end of a factory production line, and the last war commanded by generals schooled by the glory of the cavalry charge.

        Millions of men queuing up for the honour of being shot by the other side.

        the vickers machine gun demonstrated the foolishness on all sides

        ‘All quiet on the Western Front’ was probably the best movie to show the insanity of it all—where millions died to avenge the affront of one man being assassinated.

        Oh–and Blackadder of course.

        • WW1 was the first war fought by the common soldier who was at the business end of a factory production line

          Much to disagree with about the above generalization, Norman.

          Industrial warfare, also known as total warfare, goes back a good deal further than WWI. According to World History of Warfare, edited by Christon I. Archer, it encompassed a period in the history of warfare ranging roughly from the early 19th century to the beginning of the Atomic Age, which saw the rise of nation-states, capable of creating and equipping large armies, navies, and air forces, through the process of industrialization.

          Between 620,000 and 750,000 soldiers died in the American Civil War. A lot of these people were common soldiers and both sides were supplied with lots of weapons and other equipment produced in factories. This war is considered to be the first of the “total” wars in which each side attempts to “total” the other.

          The integrated use of techniques in production lines in factories dates back to the early Industrial Revolution, so it could be argued that the Napoleonic Wars were the first of the factory production line wars—if one wanted to quibble.

          Now, if you’d said “assembly line”, you might have been correct. Assembly lines came onto the scene in 1913, just in time for WW1.

          Don’t mind me. I’m just trying to play Bernard Woolley to your Jim Hacker.

      • In retrospect, reinstalling all these benighted crowned head to Europe back in 1815 proved to be not a very bright idea.

        My derogatory term over the person who was responsible for most of the woes in the 20th century is well deserved. It would have been much,much better for the Western civilization if he failed to do his duty and ran, since what he did significantly contributed to the decline of the West and made the world safer for people from the Subcontinent and Africa, whose contribution to the world civilization has been quite limited.

        a fast German victory in 1914 would have led to a greater stranglehold of the colonies by Britain, France, etc and there would have been no independence of most of the colonies whose population would have remained much lower, since there would have been very little incentive to increase the number of the ruled.

    • That is certainly a different take on history to that pushed by the state controlled propaganda media in UK, in which the British state is the ‘heroes of history’ and responsible for all ‘good’ things in the world.

      Most citizens are fanboys of the ‘national’ bourgeois state and they refuse to see how other people see it, its history and its impact on the present. It is like ‘personal blame’ for them and they are completely indisposed to any such analysis.

      The state propaganda version of history is all about ‘morale’ and ultimately about controlling and exploiting the domestic population, instilling a ‘herd mentality’ that is ordered to the interests of organised capital – everyone a compliant fanboy.

      • What you say is certainly true re some UK media outlets but there are large swathes of the populace, especially the sub-40’s, who certainly do not view the British state as “the hero of history”, and the diametrically opposed view is now de rigueur within the UK school system.

        My 14-year-old is currently studying slavery in History and ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ in English Lit, and there is plenty of handwringing over our sinful, imperial past, I can assure you!

        • Interesting.

          An truly international, comparative, history of slavery would surely be much better and more balanced: say, Ancient Greece and Rome; Islam, including the African kingdoms; Turkey and Iran; pre-Conquest South America.

          I’m delighted to look back on an education which was totally unpoliticised -halcyon days!

          • Yes, I’m afraid the focus is solely on the (undeniably horrendous) cross-Atlantic slave trade and there is no wider context, so the implicit lesson is that enslaving people is exclusively a white, European vice. Involvement by Africans was a cultural aberration brought about by the corrupting influence of Europeans.

            Norman, that is stirling advice, lol.

            • Harry, the African “contribution” to the slave trade was certainly immense: most of the coastal states gained a lot of wealth by raiding the interior and selling the proceeds. But they learned it first from the Arabs and Moors, who, of course, were still enslaving Europeans into the nineteenth century; they were finally suppressed only after the Congress of Vienna in 1815.

      • Where, ‘Oh dearwhatabore’, did you acquire this ridiculous term ‘ British state fanboy’ ?

        We have, by now, after numerous repetitions, got that you are not one, so there will be no need to impart that precious jewel of information to us ever again.

        Now I’ve got that off my chest, I’m going to drink a toast to her Majesty, and, I think and what the hell, to the memory of Churchill in a rather nice old brandy.

        • Thanks as ever for your input Xab, your devout attachment to the British state means a lot to me – actually it means nothing to me.

          Perhaps you and I should just agree not to address each other henceforth. OK?

        • Xabier, in my time zone it is now 2200, and I shall soon join you in drinking a toast to Winston Churchill. I think all nations have events they are ashamed of; top of my list would be the partition of India in 1947, which erased two hundred tears of nation building and cost three million lives, all in order that Jawaharlal Nehru could “wade through slaughter to a throne”. But we are the descendants of our ancestors, and should remember the good things, and be proud; remember the bad things, and be contrite; but above all remember that we are who we are because they were who they were, and be compassionate.

          “Let us now praise famous men, and our fathers that begat us.”
          (Ecclesiasticus xliv:1)

        • kulm, by “Europe”, whom do you mean? Germany? France? Italy? I assume Germany… “Without the killings” would the population be double, triple, quadruple, or what..?

          It seems as though (harkening to Gail’s dissipation theme) wars get waged in the same fashion as wildfires get started: they serve to periodically cull the “dry tinder” of excess population. Our recent Pinkeresque suppression of war has built up quite a lot of combustibles.

          • Lidia, I have given p on this person, and perhaps you might consider doing the same. His knowledge of European history seems close to zero, and his opinions seem mostly crafted to insult people who cannot answer back: one of the hallmarks of the scoundrel.

        • Great fortune that the brits kept the European lunacy at bay, the Eurasian dream need to crash and burn. I find that sect like mentality of the hunter gatherer genetics reprehensible.

  5. “In a recent report, the Bank for International Settlements, the bank of the world’s central banks, issued an ominous warning. It drew attention to the growing gap between buoyant world asset and credit market prices and the weak post COVID-19 world economy.

    “It warned that such disconnects should not be expected to continue indefinitely and that when they do end, they generally unsettle [I’m thinking that a stronger word than “unsettle” may be warranted here] the world’s financial markets.”

    https://thehill.com/opinion/finance/517030-as-economic-storm-clouds-gather-abroad-are-us-policymakers-paying-attention

    • “Wall Street’s foray back into lending to homeowners with spotty credit isn’t looking great during the coronavirus pandemic.

      “…delinquencies on residential mortgages bundled into private bond deals, or without government backing, have shot up to about 18% as of July from a low of about 4% in January, according to Goldman Sachs.”

      https://www.marketwatch.com/story/wall-street-home-loans-arent-looking-great-in-this-crisis-11600453426

      • Harry, I agree withy you about the “Wall Street foray”, but do not be too hard on them. At one time, mortgage lenders were prudent, and lent wisely. Then it was discovered that rather fewer “disadvantaged” people were getting mortgages. This was not attributed to the fact that there was very little chance they would ever pay them back, but rather to (what else) “systemic racism”. And it was downhill from there. Virtue signalling is so much easier when it is done with other people’s money.

    • More debt sort of looks like it can solve all problems! If it is not possible to pass legislation to give individuals more money, sometimes it is possible to allow more debt into the system (individual, business, and government), and hope that all of the debt will solve the problems.

  6. “The UK’s largest nightclub operator, Deltic Group, has enough cash to last another two months. Its chief executive, Peter Marks, has doubts the company can survive much longer…

    “While retailers, restaurants and other UK businesses were given permission to reopen weeks ago, nightclubs — with their sweaty dance floors and loud music — remain out of bounds.”

    https://www.ft.com/content/3b1535f3-478b-4bd1-a1e4-613ef675e12f

  7. “Fitch Solutions has revised downward its forecast for fuel demand contraction in India to 11.5 per cent in 2020 in line with further deterioration in the country”s economic outlook. In the first quarter of 2020-21, the GDP shrank by 23.9 per cent, the steepest contraction on record.

    “The domestic COVID-19 outbreak shows no signs of abating, with daily cases continuing to accelerate.”

    https://www.outlookindia.com/newsscroll/indias-fuel-demand-to-contract-115-in-2020-fitch-solutions/1938853

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