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.

About Gail Tverberg

My name is Gail Tverberg. I am an actuary interested in finite world issues - oil depletion, natural gas depletion, water shortages, and climate change. Oil limits look very different from what most expect, with high prices leading to recession, and low prices leading to financial problems for oil producers and for oil exporting countries. We are really dealing with a physics problem that affects many parts of the economy at once, including wages and the financial system. I try to look at the overall problem.
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2,368 Responses to Today’s Energy Predicament – A Look at Some Charts

  1. MG says:

    The human civilization is based on the agriculture. If we take into account how much is agriculture subsidized, we see that e.g. European Union is in deep trouble. Together with all of the countries that inject huge amounts of funds into supporting low prices of agricultural products.

    Subsidizing oil or natural gas production is another way how to hide the escalating costs. Financing more and more people needed for the care of the rising proportion of the elderly and the disabled is another type of subsidy.

    To the eyes of the ordinary people, who do not read reports, all may seem normal, but one day the breaking point comes quite unexpected, when the subsidies of various kinds swallow the resources needed for growth and the system starts to implode.

    • Actually, taxes come from the oil and gas production. It works in the opposite direction of subsidies. It subsidizes wind and solar.

      • MG says:

        Gathering, Hunting. Agriculture.
        These are the three stages of the development of the human species: gathering means picking from stationary objects, hunting means pursuing moving objects and agriculture is picking from stationary objects. That way agriculture is a modification of gatherin using additional energy. Now, from the fossil fuels.

        The story in the Bible, where the man started agriculture after being expelled from Eden is clearly about the additional energy.

        Hunting is a secondary way of getting energy from food, requiring increased human effort, nothing for slow apes. It needs accelerated movement, which in turn needs more energy. From the animals itself. That is why it plays no role in the Bible story of human origin.

        The Bible story is about getting more, which is achieved using additional energy. Not from food itself, like it is in the case of hunting.

        • Oh dear says:

          Genesis 1-3 is presumably symbolic and Eve never got chatted up by a talking snake.

          It is tempting to interpret the ‘tree’ as agriculture, the exact sort of fruit-bearing tree that humans would plant.

          Thus the story can be read as marking the transition from hunter-gathering to agriculture. It attributes ‘toil’ to the latter state and maybe H-G was a more chilled lifestyle.

          It is the ‘fall’ of man from the ‘natural’ state of H-G, the departure from the animal kingdom of H-G. Man becomes a ‘creator’, a producer (of food) and not just a consumer.

          The Bible story culminates in Revelations with the ‘restoration’ in the ‘new heaven and earth’, the golden city in which all is once again provided without toil.

          Of course, that is just an interpretation and others that are just as ‘valid’ are also made. Often they focus on human psychological development but it is hard to ignore the cultural transition.

          And of course there is the internal theological explanation of human alienation from God and from the innocent condition.

          Marx can also be read as a teleology in which the ‘self-alienation’ of labour is overcome, which is not entirely different to the Bible teleology.

          But yes, the transition from H-G to agriculture is a transition to a new scenario of energy production and consumption.

          Theologically one could interpret it as an historical, teleological outworking of the creature’s approximation to God as omnipotent (harnessing unlimited power) as its ‘form’ or likeness.

          The telos would be reached in the unity of the will of humans with that of God, in heaven, in which both have the same intentions and therefore the same omnipotence as their means – a sort of human quasi-omnipotence in total unity of will and full dependence on God.

          Orthodox eschatology (like mine) sees Revelations as symbolic of a final unity and dependence in heaven, while some millennial Protestant sects like JWs interpret it as itself the final state. The ‘orthodox’ is perhaps the more ‘ecstatic’ interpretation of the final unity.

          It seems theologically legitimate to interpret cosmic and human history as the outworking of the ‘will to power’ of God, its cosmic manifestation as inorganic force and organic function, and the gradual subjection of all to his will.

          I am not theological myself but it is not without some interest to me. It is often inchoate philosophy – the noumenon, which may or may not exist, by definition no one really knows.

          • MG says:

            Gathering, like agriculture, can be performed also by the weak and old persons. Hunting requires youthful strong persons.

            • Oh dear says:

              Right, so one would imagine that the evolutionary pressures of hunting, to select and to breed a strong, healthy, fit population, is somewhat mitigated by the relative ease of gathering, and it is largely removed by agriculture. Arguably the species was physically on the downward path right there.

              Genesis 3 is pretty down on agriculture. It attitributes population expansion and hierarchy, patriarchy to the agricultural lifestyle, and also ‘sorror, toil, death’. Genesis seems to frame the downsides of agriculture as a punishment, a state of cursedness for a sin against the deity.

              It seems that the negative impact of agriculture on human health was complicated, with additional disease vectors, seasonal food shortages and the nutritional inadequacy of carbs. We have learnt how to retrieve and sequence ancient DNA only over the last decade, so we may soon be able to detect a general genetic decline due to the shift to agriculture and the removal of the old selective pressures.

              > Stature and robusticity during the agricultural transition: evidence from the bioarchaeological record


              The population explosion that followed the Neolithic revolution was initially explained by improved health experiences for agriculturalists. However, empirical studies of societies shifting subsistence from foraging to primary food production have found evidence for deteriorating health from an increase in infectious and dental disease and a rise in nutritional deficiencies. In Paleopathology at the Origins of Agriculture (Cohen and Armelagos, 1984), this trend towards declining health was observed for 19 of 21 societies undergoing the agricultural transformation. The counterintuitive increase in nutritional diseases resulted from seasonal hunger, reliance on single crops deficient in essential nutrients, crop blights, social inequalities, and trade. In this study, we examined the evidence of stature reduction in studies since 1984 to evaluate if the trend towards decreased health after agricultural transitions remains. The trend towards a decrease in adult height and a general reduction of overall health during times of subsistence change remains valid, with the majority of studies finding stature to decline as the reliance on agriculture increased. The impact of agriculture, accompanied by increasing population density and a rise in infectious disease, was observed to decrease stature in populations from across the entire globe and regardless of the temporal period during which agriculture was adopted, including Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, South America, and North America.


            • Oh dear says:

              The recent industrialisation of food production has somewhat reversed the negative effects of agriculture on human health (10,000 years later).

              This is the statement that the same research team prepared for the media.

              > Dawn of agriculture took toll on health


    • One of the most interesting and important developments in agriculture apart from the angle you just described is the recent revealing trend where even the “best practice-case” examples of permaculture / biointensive farmers [now suddenly] revert from volunteer-edu-internship labor into smaller pro cadre of core competent employees, beside the hands-on owner/family.

      That’s not to say coops (model) won’t survive in the mix of available agri options, but the “human nature” seems to go back to default settings of tighter direct ownership and commanding structure over resources.. The virus and overall econ-social chaos just fuels this mega trend.

      • Xabier says:

        Interesting. It used to be proverbial here that a farmer would come to ruin unless he decided, ordered, and his men obeyed. One can’t order volunteers about, so a reversion to an older, stricter pattern makes sense.

  2. Oh dear says:

    The FT has a new opinion piece on Scottish independence.

    Like Gail, Stephens sees the issue as one of unnecessary centralisation, although he does not have an energy perspective. Expensive energy will necessitate the stripping away of the layers of complexity involved in supranational centralisation.

    Stephen’s sees the TP intent to firm up UK centralisation as the biggest threat to UK. That, compounded by the TP ‘strategy’ to refuse a referendum, and to then cave in and to argue that Scotland is incapable of doing well outside UK, is calculated to break UK.

    He seems pretty resigned to that outcome. It is not ‘predetermined’ in his opinion but personages are going to do what personages are going to do.


    Boris Johnson’s Brexit plan will break the UK union

    The insistence that England must decide what Scotland eats is a gift to the independence movement

    ….There is something to be said for the long view. The Anglo-Scottish union of 1707 was a contingent agreement. Mr Johnson’s remark this year that there is “no such thing” as a border between the two nations was a measure of indifference as well as ignorance. Scotland did not give up its border or its nationhood — nor its distinct legal and educational systems. 

    The union was about collaboration abroad. Scotland secured access to the emerging British empire, and England to talented entrepreneurs, engineers and administrators. With empire long gone, Brexit has put an end to any notion of a joint enterprise beyond British shores. Instead, Scotland is presented with a choice: if it sticks with England, it cuts itself off from Europe….

    History is written by human agency. Brexit, such a government would continue, can be the occasion for a new settlement between the four constituent parts of the union. Power reclaimed from Brussels will be distributed to every corner of the UK.

    Mr Johnson has taken the opposite course. Publicly he declares himself a unionist; privately, Whitehall officials report, he is heard to scorn Scotland as “too leftwing” — spending money raised from English taxpayers on lavish welfare. The prejudice is reflected in the legislation now before parliament to create a UK single market.

    Beyond the controversial clauses that would renege on provisions in the withdrawal agreement to keep an open border in Ireland, the essential purpose of the new law is to tighten England’s grip over the rest of the UK. 

    Decisions over food and environment norms, labour law and industrial standards hitherto shared with Brussels will belong solely to Westminster. Powers over health and education held by the Scottish and Welsh parliaments and Northern Ireland assembly will be diluted. Westminster will decide whether to scrap the animal husbandry rules that presently bar imports of American chlorinated chicken….

    A common set of rules is certainly needed to allow the UK market to operate freely. Yet there is no reason why the other nations of the union should be barred a say in negotiating trade deals and the setting of standards, or that UK-wide norms must exclude a measure of national discretion. But no, English MPs at Westminster will decide what Scotland eats. 

    In truth, the legislation — as bluntly condemned by a pro-union government in Wales as by Ms Sturgeon — is a gift to Scottish nationalism, proof that centrist Scotland is now a prisoner of rightwing English Conservativism.

    Mr Johnson’s response to criticism of this English-fits-all approach is to insist he will simply block independence. Even if, as the polls suggest, the Scottish Nationalists win a mandate in next year’s Edinburgh elections, he will prevent a referendum. If that fails, there is a back-up plan. Scottish voters will again be told that their reliance on fiscal transfers from England mean they cannot afford independence.

    Both approaches serve the nationalists: the first by legitimising the SNP charge that England is locking Scotland into a state of vassalage; the second by displaying a condescending contempt calculated to energise nationalists. Of course, independence would bring severe economic challenges. But if there was a lesson from the Brexit vote in 2016 it was that identity trumps economics.

    Whatever the outcome of the present furore over lawbreaking, Brexit has also weakened the bonds between Northern Ireland and mainland Britain. The strains on the union, though, start with the balance between Westminster and Edinburgh. Break-up may not be preordained, but none looks so determined as Mr Johnson to force Scotland’s hand.

    – Financial Times

    • Robert Firth says:

      ” … a condescending contempt calculated to energise nationalists.” Scotland has been sponging England’s money for the past three hundred years, and rewarding us by spitting in our faces. I would say the contempt is richly deserved. And if they don’t like it, they can go in peace, and spend their own money for a change.

      • Malcopian says:

        But Robert, isn’t it true that the lion’s share of the remaining North Sea oil lies in what would become Scottish waters if Scotland became independent? Given that, can we truly say that England is subsidising Scotland?

        Admittedly, given the oil price, the remaining North Sea oil would not be so valuable as in former days, but it is surely still worth having. Meanwhile, England would still have the City, which is worth having as long as BAU lasts.

        • Malcopian says:

          Here’s Robert most evilly trying to destroy little Scotland. The little red-haired fellow in the video reminds me of the long dead English comedian Charlie Drake.

  3. Herbie R Ficklestein says:

    Only 86.2% of renters made full or partial rent payments by September 13 — the lowest mid-month payment rate since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, according to new data released this morning.
    Almost 14% of renters had not paid any rent by September 13, up from the previous high of 12.4% delinquent renters in August and up from 11.3% in September 2019, according to the National Multifamily Housing Council’s (NMHC) rent tracker, which compiles statistics from major real estate data providers including Entrata, MRI Software, RealPage, ResMan, and Yardi.
    “The second week of September figures shows ongoing deterioration of rent payment figures — representing hundreds of thousands of households who are increasingly at risk,” said Doug Bibby, NMHC president, in a statement. “Many apartment residents continue to prioritize their housing obligations and that apartment owners and operators remain committed to meeting them halfway with creative and nuanced approaches.”

    I’ve rented a good portion of my life and was lucky not to be in a position of being unable to meet monthly rental payments. The payoff was lots of iunworry and freedom to move or relocate, which I did.
    With rents the way they are now, glad I dont anymore.
    Seen others less fortunate and very stressful for both tenants and owner/manager…
    Rental property is a great wealth builder….we live in interesting times now. Friend of my with a triple decker in Massachusetts is having difficulty collecting and not happy. Just the way it is

  4. Herbie R Ficklestein says:

    The New York Times
    It’s Not Just the West. These Places Are Also on Fire.
    Veronica Penney
    Wed, September 16, 2020, 2:58 PM EDT
    “We don’t have a fire problem; we have many fire problems,” said Stephen J. Pyne, an emeritus professor at Arizona State University who studies wildfires and their history. “One, obviously, is a deep one. It has to do with fossil fuels and climate.
    The Arctic as a whole is experiencing warming at more than twice the pace of the rest of the world. Record-low snow cover, high temperatures and dry soils, almost certainly a result of human-caused climate change, have all contributed to the fires.
    …In July, Central Kalimantan province on Borneo declared a state of emergency as fires burned out of control. That followed severe fires in Indonesia last year and in 2015, the year of a drought in the country that was linked to El Niño, the periodic warming of the tropical Pacific Ocean that can affect weather worldwide.
    The worst fires on record are burning now in the Pantanal wetlands in the country’s south. Farther north, in the Amazon rainforest, tens of thousands of fires are still burning after a summer of blazes. In June, Brazilian officials called the Amazon fires the worst in 13 years.
    As in Indonesia, deforestation for agriculture is a primary culprit. Farmers and ranchers cut down trees on the edge of the rainforest and set them on fire to clear the land for crops or grazing. But climate change is a force multiplier: During droughts like the current one in the country, those fires penetrate farther into forests, burning more trees and causing more damage
    Argentina’s Fires are raging now across grasslands in the Paraná Delta and around farmland in central Argentina, where farmers and ranchers have been burning fields for a century to improve their soil. This year, the fires got out of control
    At the beginning of this year, Australia was just emerging from its worst wildfire season on record. Thousands of homes were lost, and millions of acres burned. At least 30 people died. Estimates of the number of animals killed range between a few hundred million and 1 billion.
    Thank the Lord 💗 😘 we can’t control it,vjustbwatch it burn

    • Fire is part of the natural renewal cycle. It happens because ecosystems are dissipative structures. We have failed to recognize this. Fires are very much to be expected. We have made a business of suppressing fires.

      • Dana says:

        We made a business of suppressing fires because of “real estate”. Put a house in a tinderbox desert, because of “development”, why, of course.

      • Herbie R Ficklestein says:

        Doubt that occurs in the Attic …seems the climate is changing weather sic we like iit it not!🤭

        • Fire is part of the natural cycle, with or without climate change. This is even true in the arctic.

          It is even true in inner cities, when unhappy citizens set fire to businesses.

          Fire is a quick way of producing collapse of one dissipative structure or ecosystem. This indirectly allows new, better adapted systems of a somewhat similar type to evolve. That is the way the system is set up to work.

          • Artleads says:

            What devastated the inner cities were freeways running through them, starting in the 50’s and 60’s. Then the Civil Rights Movement and middle class flight put the nail in the coffin.

            • You are probably right. At one point, people walked to the store. Or families shared one vehicle. Sometimes they had groceries delivered.

              But once freeways went in, then stores could move outside the city limits and have big parking lots. Or customers could drive to a bigger city, to find a bigger store. The downtown was no longer needed.

        • Tim Groves says:

          We like it fine up here in the Attic, Herbie.

          Wish you were here.

          —The Polar Bears

  5. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Private equity groups including TPG and Apax Partners are taking advantage of blockbuster demand for corporate debt by loading companies they own with fresh loans and using the cash to award themselves a bumper payday.

    “So-called dividend recapitalisations have become a feature of the loan market in recent weeks, ringing alarm bells since they come on top of already high leverage and weak investor protections and against a backdrop of economic uncertainty.”

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      ^^^This makes me so queasy I’m going to have to clumsily juxtapose it with this:

      ““If you’re a day laborer and you’re told you can’t leave your shack one day, the next day you’ve got no income to buy food,” noted Mark Lowcock, the United Nations’ humanitarian chief. “I would bet my house that there’s going to be an increase in poverty head count, an increase in child mortality, an increase in maternal mortality.””

      • Kim says:

        Yet the NYT does all it can to spread this evil hoax. I suppose that disasters suit their business model.

        It is interesting how often virtue signaling works like that.

        • houtskool says:

          PC overload is stunning during the last 6 months Kim. To me, it is rising to absurd levels. I live in the Netherlands, every commercial has a diversity overload. There is an agenda here. Like Gail said, some regions, cultures, skin colors or groups will be ‘cut off’ when the time comes. They know, and they started to spin the wheels faster.

          • Tim Groves says:

            The agenda is focused on depopulation, and that entails mass murder of one kind or another. Deprive people of their lives directly, or deprive them of their livelihoods and by so doing destroy their means of life: It amounts to the same thing in the end.

            And yet, world population is still increasing, so the depopulation effort has yet to yield the degree of success that Bill Gates, for one, seems to be aiming at.

            • VFatalis says:

              No need for an agenda on depopulation when overshoot is around the corner. It will do a better job, at zero cost.

              Too obvious for a conspirationist I guess.

            • Lidia17 says:

              VFatalis, there’s no money to be made in just letting people starve naturally.

              Middlemen must be paid.

              One man’s “cost” is another man’s gravy train.

            • Kowalainen says:

              Yes, the entitled useless eaters, the masters of hypocrisy must redistribute misery equally to everybody except for them.

      • Xabier says:

        As much as a cataclysm for the poor as the principal earner actually falling sick: in fact far worse, due to the long-term effects, national, regional and global, of these imbecilic and wholly unnecessary total lock-downs.

        It’s quite sickening.

        • I looked at what Dennis Meadows said in his December 2019 interview with Chris Martenson.

          If you have a stock of people, which we do now of 7.5 billion people, too large to be supported by the planet, it has to go down. It will go down one way or another. There are only two ways it can go down. The birth rate can decline – that’s the input flow – or the death rate can increase, and that’s the output flow.

          We have been working as a species for a long time very hard to reduce the death rate. We haven’t put much energy into reducing the birth rate. And so one way or another, those two flows will come back into balance.

          If we choose how they do that, we’re more likely to be happy with the results. If we ignore the problem and let the planet set them to be equal, then probably that will operate to the death rate in ways that we’re not very happy with.

          The lockdowns seem to be one way this is happening. Meadows also said,

          It’s an unfortunate fact that the poor and dis-powered who, by and large, haven’t caused these problems are going to be the first ones and the most serious ones to experience them. Somebody like you who’s rich, smart, and mobile will probably be able to move around, at least for yourself and your immediate colleagues, structure an existence which is acceptable to you.

          Self-organizing systems work in strange ways.

          • houtskool says:

            This is not strange Gail. It is nature. Tribalism, whatever. Just make sure you’re in the tribe that survives.

            We love to watch how the lion eats the old and weak first, while making donations to Africa.

            I guess we learned too little, too late.

          • Xabier says:

            Meadows always seems to emanate sanity.

            Martenson and his son had quite row, on their site, with a lady who reproached them for only offering ‘solutions’ applicable to the well-heeled. I believe she was banned in the end (might be wrong there.)

  6. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Oil prices have plunged during the pandemic and the sector’s crisis could get worse as new investments are unlikely to flow in, experts said at an energy conference this week.

    “Pandemic-related movement restrictions stopped people from commuting and traveling, drastically reducing oil usage.”

  7. Harry McGibbs says:

    “South African banks have made their rainy-day provisions. Now, they must wait and see whether the funds set aside will be enough to manage a potential torrent of bad debt and ease pressure on their earnings in coming months.

    “The country’s so-called “Big Four” experienced a profit slump deeper than that seen during the global financial crisis in the six months ended June…”

    • According to the article: “South Africa’s economy contracted for seven of the last ten quarters.” It seems to be past peak coal.

      The economy seems to have real problems, with or without COVID-19.

  8. Harry McGibbs says:

    “The head of macro strategies at Record Currency Management, which oversees $63bn in assets, is reportedly shorting government bonds of Spain, France and Italy—as well as the euro itself—on the expectation that Turkey’s market ructions will soon be felt on the balance sheets of European banks.”

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “Moody’s Investors Service said it downgraded the ratings of 13 Turkish banks after recently revising Turkey’s sovereign bond rating to B2 from B1, with the negative outlook maintained.

      “The outlooks on the long-term deposit and debt ratings of all the Turkish banks rated by Moody’s remain negative, in line with the negative outlook on the sovereign rating. The negative outlooks reflect the downside risks associated with a balance of payments crisis, which could lead to capital controls and restrictions on foreign currency outflows, the ratings agency said in a statement on Tuesday.”

    • A big question is how the financial system can hold up under all of these problems.

      • Xabier says:

        The system appears to have more lives than a reincarnating cat, so perhaps we can we hopeful of survival for a few more years yet.

    • Robert Firth says:

      Encouraged by the idiot oligarchs of Brussels,many EU countries lent money to Turkey with minimal oversight, supposedly to help them prepare to enter the EU themselves. Turkey then squandered the money on armaments, internal repression, and adventurism in the Eastern Mediterranean, including their current blatant attempt to steal resources that are not rightfully theirs.

      So will Brussels or the ECB step in to help the countries they deceived? Pull the other one: the centre never helps the periphery.

  9. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Investment flows between China and the US fell to their lowest level in almost a decade in the first half of the year… Capital flows between the two countries amounted to $10.9bn in the first six months of 2020, lower than any period since 2011…

    “US-China relations have fallen to their lowest point in decades following the coronavirus pandemic, which exacerbated frictions over trade and ushered in fears of a “cold war” chill between the world’s two largest economies.”

  10. Harry McGibbs says:

    “The vandalism and looting following the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police will cost the insurance industry more than any other violent demonstrations in recent history, Axios has learned…

    “That number could be as much as $2 billion and possibly more, according to the Insurance Information Institute (or Triple-I), which compiles information from PCS as well as other firms that report such statistics.”

    • Kim says:

      It is remarkable how often the links you post are polluted by politically loaded presuppositions. That is because it is all from MSM propaganda outlets, I suppose.

      George Floyd did not die “at the hands of the police”. He died of a fentanyl overdose that caused his lungs to increase to two to three times their normal weight. That can make it rather difficult to breathe. Police did not force him to ingest that fentanyl.

      At very least the fishwrap you are quoting could pretend to some small, amount of evenhandedness, apply a figleaf to their propaganda, and learn to use the word “allegedly”.

      • Robert Firth says:

        I don’t care if George Floyd was killed by police, drugs, or space aliens. He was an unregenerate violent thug who would rob pregnant women by pointing a loaded gun at their abdomen. The world is well rid of him.

        • Kowalainen says:

          The unfortunate produce of the social engineering of current era IC. We all expect the bread, circuses, smoke and mirrors, and the genetic cruft gets the blame. It’s so convenient. The educated and unemployable, uncapable and equally worthless dregs dancing together on the streets. Who’s to blame, yes, you and I. BAU is such an convincing allure.

      • Harry McGibbs says:

        So, his fentanyl od occurred at the precise moment a police officer happened to be filmed kneeling on his neck and back? What are the odds?!

        Of course his ingestion of fentanyl might have made him more vulnerable to asphyxiation but then one would think that the police would have a duty of care to check on the well-being of a person who says he cannot breath under such circumstances…

        Unless of course you are arguing that the police should have carte blance to treat drug-users as they wish and let the cards fall where they may, which, Kim, knowing you, you probably are, lol.

        • JesseJames says:

          Mr. Floyd did fight and resist the police efforts to get him into the car backseat. Highly unfortunate. I wonder if the Fentanyl he was high on increased his tendency to resist arrest. Perhaps a more accurate phrase would be that Floyd died due to the side effects of Fentanyl, simultaneous arrest and improper constraint.

          It does seem to me that he could have been strapped by the legs for his own welfare and transported by ambulance to a hospital or the jail. That would be a much better outcome. There were alternatives to the lengthy knee constraint.

          • Karl says:

            I no longer get riled up about these things. If you really believe in a massive decline in energy resources this century ( regardless of if its peak oil or low energy prices / demand or exponential growth) then this is deck chairs on the Titanic. Billions of people are going to suffer terribly and die prematurely. I don’t get upset about declining morale values or politics, or the loss of American culture, or massive immigration. Its literally going to be the end of the world as we know it. Everything is going to irreversibly change. So, Fook it, enjoy today. Make the preparations you can, and then smoke em if you got em.

        • Dennis L. says:


          What would you suggest? Let him go?

          Dennis L.

          • Harry McGibbs says:

            I think there was a happy medium between letting him go and kneeling on his neck for eight minutes, Dennis.

            • Dennis L. says:

              Describe happy medium, let’s blend and assume the person is spitting as well. How is he/she approached?

              You mentioned restraining the legs, how does one approach flailing legs?

              How does one cover the cost of using multiple officers for one arrest?

              In the Cities, police response has slowed dramatically, no one wants to be sued. News reports of a very lively council meeting regarding lack of police protection. 100 officers have resigned/retired. It appears they are unwilling to risk loss of pensions, loss of freedom(jail time), financial loss as well as emotional pain. Again, give one happy medium that will alleviate this issue.

              We are a fairly bright group, should be possible to come up with some policy ideas.

              Dennis L.

            • A woman I know who has a son who is a police officer says that having female police officers in the mix also makes it harder to subdue suspects who are trying to get away.

            • Ed says:

              This is where robo-cop comes in. It has three sets of arms low, medium and high. It walks up to suspect and puts its arms around suspect firmly. If suspect calms down, in an hour, they can be brought to holding cells by car otherwise the robo-cop can be loaded into a truck with suspect and brought to holding cells. In fact police will be able to work from home just lie everyone else. No need to place police in harms way. Same for teachers.

            • “In fact police will be able to work from home just like everyone else.”

              Interesting idea!

            • Lidia17 says:

              “The toxicology reports says he had Fentanyl, Norfentanyl, Methamphetamine, Morphine, and various forms of THC (the intoxicant in marijuana) in his body. You can see the full list below. The most important finding is Fentanyl, which Floyd had at 11ng/mL. Later in the toxicology report, we find this crucial sentence: “Signs associated with fentanyl toxicity include severe respiratory depression, seizures, hypotension, coma and death. In fatalities from fentanyl, blood concentrations are variable and have been reported as low as 3 ng/mL.” Floyd had more than three times the potentially lethal dose of Fentanyl in his body before the police even showed up.”

              Somebody did go off in search of a “hobble” (leg restraint).

              This analysis of the longer video of the Floyd interaction might be informative:

            • Robert Firth says:

              Agreed. Police step three meters back, level their guns, and tell the criminal he has five seconds to surrender or die. If the former, all is well; if the latter, it is “suicide by police” and all is even better.

            • Kowalainen says:

              If they want to do without the police, let em’ have it then. The cities are a losing prospect nonetheless. Let the old money get their socialist dystopia they so desire.

        • Lidia17 says:

          The odds are he was acting in a way that caused the police to be called… duh!
          Same deal with the guy who was on PCP running around naked in the snow..

        • Tim Groves says:

          Harry, I don’t know what happened—I don’t know whether George died from an overdose or died because he “took a knee”, or if the whole thing was a psyop and George was an actor, or if the real George died several years earlier but was “kept on ice” and defrosted in order to play the part of a corpse at this autopsy—but we have the coroner’s report, which may or may not be accurate. That report indicates George had taken enough fentanyl to kill a horse.

          I ferreted around for some info about how long it takes to OD on this drug, and I found the following:

          In the interviews, the participants said that fentanyl powder can be purchased on its own or mixed with heroin. They also said that sometimes, people didn’t know if the heroin they had purchased also contained fentanyl.

          The death records revealed that 82 percent of the fatalities involved the illegal powdered form of the drug, and just 4 percent involved the prescription patch. In 14 percent of the cases, the form of the drug that the person had used was not known.

          The researchers noted that some of the people interviewed said that they specifically sought out fentanyl. Others said they had tried to avoid the drug, but they also said that the possibility that they might wind up with fentanyl, or fentanyl-laced heroin, didn’t stop them from seeking opioids, the researchers found.

          One of the major characteristics that the respondents described was the speed of a fentanyl overdose: Seventy-five percent of the respondents said that the symptoms occurred within seconds to minutes.

          When a person overdoses on heroin, he or she may take the drug and then proceed to carry on a conversation for a few moments, one respondent said. Then suddenly, that person stops talking and “you look over and realize that they’re overdosing,” the respondent said.

          But with fentanyl, the same respondent said that the effect is immediate: “I would say you notice it [a fentanyl overdose] as soon as they are done [injecting the fentanyl]. They don’t even have time to pull the needle out [of their body] and they’re on the ground.”

          Injecting fentanyl was the most common way that a person overdosed on the drug, accounting for 75 percent of the overdoses witnessed, according to the respondents. The remaining 25 percent of the overdoses resulted from people snorting the dug, the researchers said.

          Elsewhere I read that “Street fentanyl may be swallowed, smoked, snorted or injected.”

          If the above is accurate, the following scenario is not outside the bounds of probability. George may have been in possession of a stash that he swallowed at the approach of the police, and he was one minute his smiling normal self, and the next, “I can’t breathe!”

          It’s amazing how incidents such as this one can be viewed from so many perspectives to yield so many vastly different interpretations of what went on. The coverage of this incident is an outstanding contemporary example of the Rashomon Effect.

          • Harry McGibbs says:

            The police have argued that he was not his smiling normal self and that he was already behaving erratically, which was why they decided to arrest him.

            But in a sense the speculation is moot. The autopsies are not definitive. What we have is footage of a white cop kneeling on a black man’s neck for over eight minutes as he dies. Chauvin either contributed to his death (because, let’s be honest, it can’t have helped, right?) or actually caused it.

            Incidents such as George Floyd’s death are primarily of symbolic importance, just as Horst Wessel’s was in 30’s Germany, if you’ll forgive the ironic comparison. They are events onto which opposing groups can project their own prejudices and fuel their mutual antagonism.

            Cops are not well paid and work under enormous pressure – *some* occurrences of excessive force are bound to occur and it is statistically inevitable that some of these will involve white cops and black suspects. If it hadn’t been George Floyd’s
            then some other untoward death would have lit the racial touch paper.

            Social cohesion has already been disintegrating along multiple fault-lines. We could see it in the rise of trade protectionism, the #metoo movement, the trans v feminists row, the toxic political divide in the US, the rising tide of social unrest in multiple nations last year etc. Racially charged divisions are baked into the cake, too.

            Karl has the right idea – stay calm and smoke em if you got em.

            • Tim Groves says:

              I agree with much of what you’ve written here, Harry. But I disagree with this:

              “Chauvin either contributed to his death (because, let’s be honest, it can’t have helped, right?) or actually caused it.”

              The evidence presented by the coroner is that George had ingested about four times what would be a lethal dose of fentanyl. So to be honest, if that was the case, I don’t see how Officer Chauvin could have prevented George from dying on short order. Do you?

            • Harry McGibbs says:

              Just for interest, re fentanyl, blood concentrations of it tend to spike post-mortem and are therefore notoriously unreliable for establishing cause of death. And the amount any person can “get away” with ingesting varies enormously depending on their tolerance, which is another unknown in George Floyd’s case.

              So, we cannot know that George had, as you say, taken enough fentanyl to kill a horse and, even if he had, it might not have been enough to kill *him*.

              FWIW my somewhat educated guess is that he was a regular user of fentanyl and other opioids and opiates, and that he injected a speedball of meth and fentanyl some time prior to his arrest.

              Certainly there is no mention in the autopsy reports of any latex or plastic ‘baggie’ of the sort in which you would wrap narcotics being found in his stomach; only, “approximately 450 ml of dark brown fluid with innumerable soft fragments of gray-white food particulate matter resembling bread”.

              Plus any reasonably seasoned drug user knows all too well about fentanyl’s strength and potential lethality. Only someone with a death wish would swallow a large, unwrapped stash in preference to being arrested. And in order to even facilitate that irrational act, George Floyd would have had to first remove the narcotics from their wrapping and dispose of that wrapping whilst pulling his car over. Which would make no sense at all.

            • Tim Groves says:

              Certainly there is no mention in the autopsy reports of any latex or plastic ‘baggie’ of the sort in which you would wrap narcotics being found in his stomach

              As you said above, Harry, The autopsies are not definitive.

              What we have is footage of a white cop kneeling on a black man’s neck for over eight minutes as he dies.

              Actually, we have a great deal more than that, including lots of body cam footage and accompanying audio that shows and tells us many things about the details and context of the incident.

              Chauvin either contributed to his death (because, let’s be honest, it can’t have helped, right?) or actually caused it.

              That’s for a jury to decide. My guess is that you are merely jumping to conclusions here and are so sure you are right that you are not the least interested in looking at all the available evidence. And you have the gall to accuse others of bias?

            • deermiceneedlux says:

              The truth doesnt matter. The lines are drawn. All that matters is what side you are on. Growing up in the east coast in public schools there were two gangs. I would be challenged as to which one i belonged and take my best guess. It became much easier when one gang was decimated but then no one cared. When the tide turned it was amazing how fast no one belonged to that gang. And they say you dont learn anything in public schools.

          • Tim Groves says:

            This is an excerpt from article posted on American Thinker entitled “Who Killed George Floyd?” The writer’s answer is that George Floyd killed George Floyd.

            Let’s delve into the evidence.

            From Officer Thomas Lane’s body camera, at 8:09 PM, officers approached George’s vehicle, tapped on the window, instructing him to either put his hands up or put his hands on the steering wheel. But George refuses.

            Ten separate times, police either instructed George to let them see his hands, or to put his hands on the wheel. Finally, George puts his hands on the wheel, protesting he had “not done anything.”

            At 8:17 PM, officers walk George across the street. He keeps arguing, as they order him into the back of the squad car.

            “I’m claustrophobic,” he claims, twice, resisting as they again order him to sit in the back seat. He screams, fights and resists getting in the squad car.

            At 8:18:08, still standing beside the car and fighting the officers, he says, for the first time, with no knee on his neck, “I can’t breathe, officer!” At this point, police are still ordering him into the back seat.

            A bystander urges George to stop fighting. “You can’t win,” the bystander says.

            George fights anyway.

            Police push him in the back seat. He keeps resisting.

            Nine seconds later, fighting from the backseat of the police car, George says three times, in rapid succession, beginning at 8:18:19, “I want to lay on the ground! I want to lay on the ground! I want to lay on the ground!” He repeats it a fourth time, five seconds later, ““I want to lay on the ground!”

            Then, as if he knows he is dying, says, “I’m going down.”

            At 8:18:39, fighting in the backseat, he again says, three times in rapid succession, “I can’t breathe!” Then again,” I can’t breathe.” And then, again, at 8:18:50 repeats, “I can’t breathe!”

            At this point, George had demanded to be laid on the ground four times and said “I can’t breathe” at least six times, while in the back seat of the squad car, with no knee on his neck.

            At 8:19:06, he again says, “I can’t breathe,” for the seventh time.

            Of course he can’t breathe. A fentanyl overdose stops a man from breathing.

            George fought the officers non-stop for over ten minutes before officers finally removed him from the car and put him down on the ground, beside the squad car, as George himself demanded.

            Bystanders then film George on the ground, declaring, “I can’t breathe,” as if this was the first time George said, “I can’t breathe,” and as if Officer Chauvin’s knee (not the fentanyl) caused George’s breathing problems.

            Fox 9 in Minneapolis reported that Chief Hennepin County Medical Examiner Dr. Andrew Baker, in a memorandum filed May 26 concluded, “The autopsy revealed no physical evidence suggesting that Mr. Floyd died of asphyxiation.”

            In other words, Dr. Baker initially ruled out Chauvin’s knee as causing George’s death.


            • Harry McGibbs says:

              Both Hennepin County Medical Examiner and the doctor who performed the independent autopsy have concluded that George Floyd’s death *was homicide*. They just differ on whether he expired due to asphyxiation or a heart attack.

              I’m going to go out on a limb and say that American Thinker is not a bastion of objectivity.

            • Tim Groves says:

              Harry, you quote from dozens of news and opinion outlets that are not bastions of objectivity. Why single out American Thinker for a vice that you ignore so regularly in other media?

              Could it be because you disagree with what the writer wrote and yet are unable to debunk it to even your own satisfaction and so you opt to cloud the issue by employing the “Look, a rabbit!” stratagem?

              Why can’t you discuss about facts and issues without questioning the motives, morals or character of those who present arguments you disagree with? Is your mindset such that you can’t imagine anybody who doesn’t share your particular perception of reality must be biased? Do you feel the need to always be “right” by “proving” the other “wrong” even at the use of logical fallacies?

              Just asking for a friend who practices psychoanalysis in his lunch-break. 🙂

            • Harry McGibbs says:

              I don’t endorse the worldviews of any of the publications I post, Tim. Few if any of them have an understanding of the issues that Gail writes about. I just try to follow the ‘limits to growth’ story via a patchwork quilt of articles.

              I do avoid any very overtly political publications on both sides of the political divide because they are just too skewed, so, no – you won’t find me posting American Thinker or Breitbart or, for that matter, Counterpunch or Jacobin.

              Your article is an opinion-piece making an extraordinary claim that contradicts both autopsy reports, ie that Chauvin played in effect no role in George Floyd’s death. I would need to see better evidence than you have presented to take it seriously.

            • Tim Groves says:

              Your article is an opinion-piece making an extraordinary claim that contradicts both autopsy reports

              Both autopsy reports?

              You are aware, aren’t you, that there are at least FOUR autopsy reports?

              Namely, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner Dr. Andrew Baker’s autopsy and findings, the Office of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner’s report and autopsy, the two “independent” autopsies and reports generated by Dr. Michael Baden and Dr. Allecia Wilson, respectively?

              If not, I think you should acquaint yourself with the fact of their existence, if not their contents, before making your own extraordinary claims.

              Blimey, for a moment there I thought you had some idea about what you were pontificating about. But now you’ve explained that you confine your reading to “unbiased” media, I’m not surprised that you are ignorant about certain important facts germane to this case.

              This is a link to a Motion to Compel Disclosure filed with the Hennepin District Court on behalf of defendant Tou Thao seeking an order compelling the State to disclose relevant autopsy documents associated with the investigation and death of George Floyd and to continue the issue of causation of death from the September 11, 2020 Omnibus Hearing to a date to be scheduled once the files have been turned over and reviewed by Defense.

              You may find it enlightening. I certainly did. You appear to be under the impression that you know what is in the autopsy reports and are ready to send four men to prison on the basis of your conviction that they deserve conviction, and yet in reality, the State has yet to disclose the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s file, the reports and autopsies performed by Dr. Michael Baden, the reports and autopsy performed by Dr. Allecia Wilson, and the reports and autopsies performed by the Office of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner.


            • Harry McGibbs says:

              I was referring to both the Hennepin County Medical Examiner autopsy and the independent autopsy, as per my previous comment, Tim. I haven’t claimed to know what was in both of them – just that they ruled that George Floyd’s death was homicide, which is what your AT article is disputing.

              However, I have read the Hennepin County’s autopsy report, which is how I knew what George had in his stomach:


              I have said that I am making “a somewhat educated guess” about what happened to Floyd but because I am disagreeing with your position you are becoming irascible. I am not sending anyone to prison, lol, and if further evidence came to light that suggested these rulings of homicide were unjust then I would revise my views.

              Take a deep breath and pour yourself a sake.

            • Tim Groves says:

              I’m sure we’ve all read or watched enough of Agatha Christie’s work to be able to make educated guesses about whether OJ Simpson, George Zimmerman or Officer Chauvin did it. As card-carrying members of the chattering classes, we’re all entitled to voice our opinions in this particular game played with other people’s lives and reputations.

              But at the end of the day, all crime buffs know that forensic autopsy can determine with reasonable certainty how the victim died and estimate the time of death, but it cannot determine why the victim died. And it’s the “why” that’s the crux here.
              Although an examiner may conclude “homicide”, they can’t conclude “murder”, “manslaughter”, “justifiable homicide”, etc. Also, they may not have all the relevant facts at the time of their determination or they may err in their judgement for all sort of reasons.

              It is permissible for other people to question the determinations of examiners and doctors performing autopsies. It is useful, reasonable, and happens all the time.

              If examiners were infallible, one autopsy would be enough. In the Floyd case, four separate autopsies are known to have been carried out.

            • Robert Firth says:

              Foy you Tim, in response to the post of September 18, 2020 at 9:13:

              Thank you for injecting a bit of cold, welcome sanity into this debate. All the forensic evidence put together can show only “actus reus”; the reason we have courts, judges and juries is to elucidate “mens rea”. Which has not yet been done; and until it is done we are banging empty kettles.

            • Harry McGibbs says:

              Unfortunately this trial is going to be so racially charged and of such social significance that one wonders to what extent the judge and jury will be able to divorce themselves from those pressures.

              And whatever the result, large swathes of the populace will surely reject it. Negligent homicide won’t be enough, one feels, for Antifa and BLM. Anything more will inflame the right.

            • Harry McGibbs says:

              IOW, expect more banging on empty kettles ad infinitum, Robert!

    • I ma sure that policies will be rewritten to exclude this kind of coverage. Otherwise, prices for property coverage in inner cities will skyrocket, forcing out businesses that were on the edge of collapsing already. In fact, it could be the latter that is the most important outcome of these insured payments.

      • Dennis L. says:

        Essentially, this makes running a business in these locations impossible. Again, society needs norms of behavior, if perceived injustices are going to result in destruction of businesses, unless the business is sufficiently profitable to withstand this destruction, those areas will be without support.

        The Minneapolis papers are reporting issues with police not showing at calls in a timely manner. Again, norms of behavior, if all calls are to be answered with lawsuits, calls will not be answered.

        A huge amount of capital was destroyed in the Cities along with trust. We live as a group, we need other groups, without norms of behavior such cooperation is impossible.

        Dennis L.

        • Lidia17 says:

          Dennis, have you not understood that “norms of behavior” are themselves systemically racist and, therefore, currently unacceptable? Blacks cannot be expected to work hard, to be self-reliant and autonomous, to have intact families, to understand cause and effect, or to think objectively or rationally. They cannot be expected to plan for the future, to delay gratification, to respect authority, to make progress, or to follow time schedules. They cannot be expected to be polite, to avoid conflict, or to accurately follow or reproduce written or spoken English. All of the preceding characteristics are deemed part of the rejected “dominant white culture”.

          So says the National Museum of African American History:

          Short of apartheid, there’s nothing to be done about it. It’s all good, though, in the service of entropy. In energy terms, maybe Gail is right about it all burning down. The cost of public policing and any kind of cultural conservation may not be affordable even if we could stomach what it would take to preserve civil society (not just in the US, but anywhere in the world..). Those with means will retreat into gated communities with private security for the remaining time we have left. It will be a return to the feudal landscape, and we will have to hire “bravos” if we want to walk about unmolested. I think I remember Dmitry Orlov saying that happened after the collapse of the USSR.

          • Artleads says:

            Reasonable assessment for the most part. But it’s important to see that the new Apartheid is occurring under black governments, South Africa being a prominent case in point. Misgovernance by black political elites is very determinative in jeopardising black wellfare. The main avenue for misgovernance, it seems, is the absence of planning and the prevalence of gentrifying development. It’s complicated.

            • Artleads says:

              And to your point (and thanks!) poor blacks can least afford the lack of planning or the onslaught of mainstream real estate development (that we are told will lift them out of whatever mire they’re supposed to be in). Those combined only function as a means of ethnic cleansing.

  11. Yoshua says:

    The global markets have been supported by a falling dollar since April.

    The dollar just broke to the upside.

    • Xabier says:

      We need a global economy with hitherto theoretically impossible means of levitation and propulsion, operating at astonishing speed – just like a UFO……. 🙂

  12. Artleads says:



    – Long term community plans did not reckon on the economic instability,especially.
    Dennis Meadows: The Limits To Growth | Peak Prosperity…When the end of growth is finally recognized by the masses there will be a tipping point. The global system is hyper complex and, as such, there is a degree of resilience to individual failure. But beyond a certain point failures will cascade.
    R F:
    ” My sense is that by removing the capitalist system of home purchase/appreciation/profit on the sale, we can more effectively create a product that is self sustaining, rather than relying on government subsidies and financial contributions.” This statement is consistent with my understanding of reality.


    – The usual definition of development is extremely limited. For me, it’s not about pro development vs anti development; it is about how to develop. The type of development that works by low impact and high volume. Since it precludes much complexity it frees up more construction activity.
    – In an age of pandemics, small buildings enabling social distancing may be optimal for many.
    – It is essential to use the cheapest building materials, and the simplest but practical tools, and look into what it might take to keep them viable long term.


    – If the bottom rung of a population pyramid is stable, the upper layers of the pyramid are likely to be stable too.
    – It is far cheaper and easier to provide housing for the bottom of the pyramid than the upper layers.


    – We need to keep it simple.
    – Land owners might find it harder o sell and easier to lease.
    – In an unstable, hard to predict environment, leasing allows flexibility and change.
    – A 10-year lease gives lessors a stable income and lessees time to demonstrate the efficacy of their programs so as to garner their continued support.
    – To lessen organizational responsibility, such as for a land trust, is there a way to partner with one or more existing land trusts?
    Dennis Meadows: The Limits To Growth | Peak Prosperity
    Dennis Meadows: The Limits To Growth | Peak Prosperity
    Fifty years later, we interview one of the original researchers of the m

    • Artleads,

      Sorry, I am confused. Who is R.F.?

      I went back to Dennis Meadows interview on Peak Prosperity from December 2019. It doesn’t say anything related to the things you are talking about that I can discern.

      Your first link doesn’t work. The second one is related to Dennis Meadow’s December 2019 talk.

  13. davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

    GDPnow is plus 31.7%.

    the official number for Q3 will be reported in late October, just before the election.

  14. davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

    “Yelp pointed out an increase of permanent business closures over the past six months, now reaching 97,966, or about 60% of closed businesses will never reopen their doors again.”

  15. Oh dear says:

    Spiked has a report on…

    > Ontario’s green-energy catastrophe

    A transition to renewables sent energy prices soaring, pushed thousands into poverty and fuelled a populist backlash.

    ….But on 1 January, 2019, Ontario repealed the GEA, one month before its 10th anniversary. The 50,000 guaranteed jobs never materialised. The ‘decolonisation’ of energy didn’t work out, either. A third of indigenous Ontarians now live in energy poverty. Ontarians watched in dismay as their electricity bills more than doubled during the life of the GEA. Their electricity costs are now among the highest in North America….

    By 2015, Ontario’s auditor general, Bonnie Lysyk, concluded that citizens had paid ‘a total of $37 billion’ above the market rate for energy. They were even ‘expected to pay another $133 billion from 2015 to 2032’, again, ‘on top of market valuations’. (One steelmaker has taken the Ontarian government to court for these exorbitant energy costs.)….

    In April this year, the market value for all wind-generated electricity in Ontario was only $4.3 million. Yet Ontario paid out $184.5million in wind contracts. Extraordinarily, if this trend were to continue throughout the whole of 2020, it would still result in a lower payout than under the former contracting system. Ontario corralled taxpayers into long-term electricity contracts at eye-watering prices for electricity that suppliers did not even produce….

    The disaster of the GEA has had political consequences, too. Unsurprisingly, in the 2018 elections, the Liberal Party, which had drafted the GEA when in power, suffered the worst election results in its 161-year history, falling from first to third place – a defeat so terrible it lost is status as an official party. Disdain for renewable energy is now a key indicator of voting intention….

    • Dennis L. says:

      Dear Dear,

      If you can afford solar, it is something and something is better than nothing. That said, it can’t be done cheaply, I have tried. Panels are cheap, the rest of it is very expensive. I see a number of small solar farms around my farm, it works wonders for taxes, it is hell on the coop, they are eager to comply as in MN we have liberal government that is green. No judgment here, the numbers are what they are.

      Tough to beat a coal mine.

      Dennis L.

      • a says:

        “Tough to beat a coal mine.”

        No joke.

      • Xabier says:

        I follow a blog which goes into great detail on the realities of off-grid solar: as ever, maintenance and replacement of parts -so often left out of the equation – are the killer, panels being cheap as dirt.

        The owner is competent to do all of the work himself – it wouldn’t be at all viable if he had to pay any else to do it for him, which would be the case with most people.

      • Robert Firth says:

        Thank you, Dennis; a good analysis. But I am not sure “panels are cheap”. They are cheap to buy, but their manufacture is hugely polluting; while in use they leach more pollution into the environment; and decommissioning them is a nightmare. Much of the “green revolution” only works because it can ignore some massive externalities, which are outsourced to the Third World or to the future.

    • Thanks for the real-life example of what goes wrong on the attempted transition to Green Energy.

  16. MM says:

    Zero interest rates for the time being only mean a single thing:

    We consume the future today.

    • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      I’m unsure what you mean.

      near zero rates are permanent; can’t be raised without putting an unbearable burden on the interest payments on the mountains of debt created by govs/CBs.

      this debt can never be paid down, and will only grow bigger, because govs/CBs now need and will continue to need to create money on their computers, so the rates are locked in.

      this is the economic Endgame. The economy has multitudes of moving pieces, but there are at least two pieces which now seem to be out of other options: near zero rates and plunge protection for stock markets.

      with these two pieces, the can gets kicked down the road for a while longer.

      there might be other permanently fixed pieces, but these are the main two.

      • Dennis L. says:

        Said with a smile on my face and not a smirk. I thought someone was going to make hundreds(that is a guess) of small nuclear reactors and save the day. Going from a chicken in every pot to a reactor on every block I guess.

        Still an optimist, but it is getting to be more work.

        Dennis L.

        • Ed says:

          Dennis, yes a nuke on every block.

        • Robert Firth says:

          Great idea. The waste heat (65%) from the reactors can be piped into the homes on the block to provide hot water and space heating. And later the citizens can save on electric light, because they will glow in the dark.

    • Zero interest rates likely are associated with investments that are not really profitable, so that they cannot pay interest on debt.

      In such a situation, new investments that are intended to produce future goods and services don’t make sense. For example, new oil and gas wells don’t make sense. New coal mines don’t make sense. New wind turbines and solar panels don’t make sense, except to the extent that they are subsidized by past profits, indirectly coming from fossil fuels. We find many business-related investments are no longer profitable. Office buildings and building housing restaurants, for example. They need to be taken down. Burning would be a cheaper solution. In fact, it would be closer to the “normal” solution at the end of lives of ecosystems.

      The only investments that seem to make sense are new homes for the wealthy, using their stored up savings, and new recreational vehicles and boats for these same folks. Also, home improvements, like the improved drainage system my husband and I recently had added. But these really don’t add to the economy’s productivity.

      • Artleads says:

        “Office buildings and building housing restaurants, for example. They need to be taken down.”

        I believe you’re rolling out a scenario (based on your analysis of the BAU model we have now), and not what you actually believe should be done.

        A centralized economic system is an upcoming moot issue. So infrastructure meant to support investments into a no-longer-viable system would be a moot issue too. So removing buildings just because they are no longer good for BAU to invest in would be unnecessary.

        The buildings–like restaurants–embody energy from the past, whatever they might have been used for. Form Based Planning only considers the existence and form of the buildings, which can change uses entirely. A defunct restaurant can use the building space to grow plants under such lights as there may be…or house people. So I don’t see the point of removing it.

        • a restaurant or large diy store is a different physical shape to a building necessary to house people.

          other than very temporary accommodation, people need windows

          indoor plants need lighting/heating, much stronger than would be needed in a store, so would cost a lot more

          if the energy for lighting and heating exceeds that produced by the plants, the project would be non viable

          • Artleads says:

            There are often ways to knock out new window openings, and more elaborate ways to send down light through a shaft from above. The challenge of architecture today is to do such things cheaply and attractively. (Instead of trying to build entirely new things that take up land space and require new lines of infrastructure).

            The issues of cost are different in a non monetary system than in a monetary one. In the latter, short term profit is the key; in the former, the thinking is what can stand on its own long term, and how can the supply chains to keep it standing can be secured. Money then is a tool, not a driver for the project. And I assume that money as we know it won’t be here for long.

            • a pretty grim prospect for life and living

              really would be down to beggars not being choosers there.

              One could imagine that happening, if the housing market collapsed completely, due to home loans being un repayable on a nationwide scale.

              To get to that point would mean that the entire housing market had gone done, with lenders repossessing homes that would have no actual vale because no one would be available to buy them.

              then we really would be in serious do-do’s.

              Or economic system is held up by constant retention of house values

            • I don’t think homes can be repossessed. It would not work. It is difficult to even throw renters out. Better to let the owners get along without revenue.

            • I agree

              but to the people who own the rented homes, that is likely their main capital asset, and security for their debt so creditors will be claiming on them

              And those homes require upkeep

              krazy ol world aint it?

            • Unfortunately! It is a way of stealing from the rich, without raising the tax rates.

            • Artleads says:

              Norman, I wrote the following yesterday, and I hope it addresses the points you make on housing. Growing plants outside also seems extremely primitive, given environmental conditions. Food trees are another matter. Values change according to changing environments.



              ” My sense is that by removing the capitalist system of home purchase/appreciation/profit on the sale, we can more effectively create a product that is self sustaining, rather than relying on government subsidies and financial contributions.” (quote of someone I might have influenced!!!!!) This statement is consistent with my understanding of reality.


              – The usual definition of development is extremely limited. For me, it’s not about pro development vs anti development; it is about how to develop. The type of development that works by low impact and high volume. Since it precludes much complexity it frees up more construction activity.
              – In an age of pandemics, small buildings enabling social distancing may be optimal for many.
              – It is essential to use the cheapest building materials, and the simplest but practical tools, and look into what it might take to keep them viable long term.


              – If the bottom rung of a population pyramid is stable, the upper layers of the pyramid are likely to be stable too.
              – It is far cheaper and easier to provide housing for the bottom of the pyramid than the upper layers.


              – We need to keep it simple.
              – Land owners might find it harder o sell and easier to lease.
              – In an unstable, hard to predict environment, leasing allows flexibility and change.
              – A 10-year lease gives lessors a stable income and lessees time to demonstrate the efficacy of their programs so as to garner their continued support.
              – To lessen organizational responsibility, such as for a land trust, is there a way to partner with one or more existing land trusts?

            • i agree with you Artleads.

              problem is, half my capital is locked into my house, a chunk of the other half is invested in other people’s houses with a building society.
              I am lucky enough to be mortgage and debt free, and comfortably off.

              My intention is to ease the future of my kids and grandkids, in whatever limited way I can. when they divvy up my worldly goods it won’t be enough to buy each of them a house, but some are doing ok on their own

              That situation applies to millions of other people.

              the fundamental problem has been created by deciding the planet itself is ‘property’ to be bought and sold at a profit (for someone).
              King or Emperor, or lowly property owner like me the problem varies only by degree:


              Kings took land by force, and sublet it to the knights who supported them. They ‘owned it’.

              Which as a concept is nonsense, but nevertheless we are stuck with it. I will not surrender my ‘property’ or any profit on it, for the good of the community.

              For that to happen, the UK would have to become a socialist dictatorship with absolute power of me and everyone else.

              To remove money from the equation would mean that I would be ration-fed, roughly at the level of N Korea, because surplus food would become impossible to produce. (For no better reason than money-less farmers would have no incentive).

              Na zi germany tried a command economy–check it out.

              Human nature being what it is, the people controlling all this would be getting fat and rich.


              Your definition of ‘easily demountable building’ built of the cheapest material is a trailer park—wheels are optional.
              The first requirement of a building is to keep the rain and bad guys out. Check the story of the big bad wolf and blowing houses down.

              I’m afraid you are advocating a command economy. Cash income can only come from surplus energy. It cannot be printed. We cannot afford to buy/access vast quantities of energy anymore.

              Command economies have been tried before,they have never worked.

              It’s called wish politics, wish science and wish economics. Alladin was granted three wishes too. It would have the same effect if we tried it.


              As to growing food, yes you can grow tomatoes under cover, but you absolutely cannot grow fields of wheat.

            • Artleads says:

              I have a property too (that apart for the inheritance from my sainted mother would have been inconceivable). I never worked for it and expect no profit from it. But it has a variety of supportive benefits in the now, including a slightly more valid voice in the owners association. And peace from getting out from under ever increasing rentals. Great blessing late in life. I’m also enabled to make “fixes” to an old house as an aspect of research in what can be done without money.

              What I’ve written about here is of no concern to home owners; it’s entirely aimed at those who can’t afford to rent or buy property. It deals with property sitting down unused, with owners unwilling or unable to fix them up, manage or rent them. Were there to be a responsible lessee land trust that could lease such properties, the owners would get income they don’t get now. A wise and sensitive land trust would make no repairs that weren’t somehow reversible or too subtle to be problematic. If they subdivided the house, they’d make their subdivision removeable. Yes, that requires a good deal of sophistication and design smarts. But it can be done. Residents have to shape up and help so as to have a better chance of having the lease renewed. If some windfall allows for the sale of the property to the lessee, so much the better. It would require insanely thorough management, which might depend on one individual. So we would want to institutionalize an individual’s management ideas. Such has happened repeatedly in our culture. The wider culture outside of a given locality could change in ways that support enlightened management within. No guarantees of anything.

              Income for the land trust would come from very low, fixed rents. There would be volunteer programs. Residents would be selected for their likelihood to volunteer and to pay their rent on time. Any responsibility that could be effectively off loaded to other agencies would lighten management load. That would require less individualism and more cooperativeness.

              Each resident’s unit, would include private growing space, “private” water catchment, “private” utilities, etc. This would not be a commune.

            • I think you have an awfully lot of faith that the future will look like the past. If jobs have disappeared in the center of town, no one will want to live there. If there is no public transport, people will not want to live in places which are popular now. We probably will have many fewer people, as time goes on, so fewer housing units will be needed. There will be a lot of empty offices, shopping malls and factories that could in theory be repurposed as housing, if needed. I expect windows that open and good ventilation will be important considerations. Many commercial buildings will not have these.

          • Robert Firth says:

            Norman, the Egyptians solved this problem over three thousand years ago. Why do you think that all those underground tombs show no trace of soot or other artificial sources of light? Thanks to a wonderful invention called “mirrors”.

            • on my first visit to an Egyptian tomb, I figured out mirrors immediately.

              That is so patently obvious it hardly needs saying. One assumes parabolic of course, to get the intensity. This in turn means someone has to be manipulating a series of mirrors minutely as the sun moves relative to the hole in the ground, and to account for the % light drop at each ‘mirror stage’. Which would be significant.

              We must assume polished silver. Don’t think they had glass to that size then. (could be wrong)

              That said, I find it difficult to believe that you imagine every other human activity could be undertaken by the same means.

              Indoor food growing implies tower farms.

              Tell me you’re not suggesting mirrors for tower farms?

              If so I’m going to put mirrors on my roof and start growing wacky baccy in my attic

        • Artleads says:

          An awful lot of green veggies are grown under lights now. I doubt that this would be done if growing veggies out in a distant field was economically or energetically preferable. So growing more food under lights will possibly be as doable as growing it any other way?

      • Robert Firth says:

        Thank you, Gail. As another datum, almost all my expenditure over the past two years has been on home improvements. Nothing fancy: solid wooden stair rails for the climb to my main floor; heat exchangers in four rooms to provide low cost cooling and heating; most recently a very efficient hot water heater. In all, less than EUR 4000, with some very good local craftsmen doing the work. That certainly added a little to the local economy (village population ~2000) and rather more to my own comfort. I made a promise to myself on moving here that I would spend as much as I could in the village (local minimarket, local baker, local carpenter, local hairdresser, …). It has not always been easy, but it has always felt right.

  17. On CNBC: The supplement Dr. Fauci takes to help keep his immune system healthy

    “If you are deficient in vitamin D, that does have an impact on your susceptibility to infection. So I would not mind recommending, and I do it myself taking vitamin D supplements,” Fauci, 79, said during an Instagram Live on Thursday, when actress Jennifer Garner asked Fauci about immune-boosting supplements.

    “If you are deficient in vitamin D, that does have an impact on your susceptibility to infection. So I would not mind recommending, and I do it myself taking vitamin D supplements,” Fauci, 79, said during an Instagram Live on Thursday, when actress Jennifer Garner asked Fauci about immune-boosting supplements.

    The article also links to an article about a University of Chicago study. Vitamin D deficiency may raise risk of getting COVID-19, study finds

    The research team looked at 489 patients at UChicago Medicine whose vitamin D level had been measured within a year before being tested for COVID-19. Patients who had vitamin D deficiency (defined as less than 20 nanograms per milliliter of blood) that was not treated were almost twice as likely to test positive for COVID-19 compared to patients who had sufficient levels of the vitamin.

    • Dennis L. says:

      Thanks to you, we am doing it and have been. We are ahead of the curve. Now, what is your next great inspiration? You are doing pretty dang well on looking forward.

      Dennis L.

      • Tim Groves says:

        Actually, I believe I played a major oll in prompting Gail to promote having an adequate vitamin D level. It was a little while after I nudged her to start taking magnesium.

        Dennis, if you are out farming you will probably be getting quite a bit of sun from April to September. But I think it would be wise to supplement with vitamin D from now until the end of March.

        I personally take the entire vitamin alphabet everyday, but I’m somewhere between a fanatic and a maniac about it and I don’t recommend everybody to emulate my silliness.

        I do it partly because Big Pharma/Big Medicine tells us not too and partly because I like the theory that vitamins are among the raw materials that our bodies need to rebuild and repair themselves and so it can’t be bad to be well supplied with them.

        • Dennis L. says:

          Thanks, I too now take magnesium, appreciate your effort.

          Dennis L.

        • Exactly, anybody doing a bit (or a lot) of physical work/activity must be on magnesium supplements (or such treated water) among other things as you mentioned (vitamins and “rare/trace elements”)..

          It’s not that hard to search for key deficiencies induced by local conditions, as food and drinking water is affected / impoverished everywhere near ‘civ” prevailing conditions.

    • interguru says:

      “For many years I have offered my opinion that sunlight provides benefits that are not gained just from taking vitamin D pills. Recent research is confirming that opinion, and many scientists now believe that low vitamin D blood levels are only a marker for not getting enough sunlight.”

      “It takes only a few minutes of exposure of a small area of skin to reap the benefits of sunlight.”

      • Tim Groves says:

        “It takes only a few minutes of exposure of a small area of skin to reap the benefits of sunlight.”

        Not in Saskatoon in December it doesn’t.

        All sunlight is created equal, but filtering it through the atmosphere creates significant inequalities. Try sunbathing when the sun is almost overhead at 70, 80 or 90 degrees and see how many minutes of it you can stand. Then try again when the sun is much lower down at 30, 20 or 10 degrees above the horizon and note whether there is any difference in the quality of the radiation.

        Around the time of the winter solstice, at Saskatoon, Canada or London, England, at 52º North, the Sun only makes it up to 15º above the horizon at noon. That sunshine at that low angle has to travel through a lot more atmosphere than the sun over Singapore or Caracas, and that atmosphere filters out most of the UVB radiation that the skin needs in order to synthesize vitamin D.

      • I try to walk 10,000 steps each day. Nearly all of this is outside. Given the hilliness of the area, it takes me about 1.5 hours (total) to do this. So I am outside in the sunshine a fair amount of time. I often visit with neighbors during this time as well.

    • Xabier says:

      All a bit late in the day from Dr Faux-i, isn’t it?

      These people are utterly compromised and have no commitment at all to public health, or assisting the public to help themselves in any way.

      He also sweepingly dismissed ‘plants and potions’ as being of any help: he would no doubt have refused to drink the vegetable elixir made for me by my cousin’s gypsy wife once, which put me back on my feet in hours when I was dreadfully sick. Fever and inflamed throat gone, weakness gone.

      She is a witch of course (no joke); and prettier than Dr F to boot. Oh, and it was FREE.

  18. Harry McGibbs says:

    Trump’s Promise to Revive Coal Thwarted by Falling Demand, Cheaper Alternatives:

    “Production is declining at a faster rate than under Obama; still, many in the industry fear things would be even worse under Biden.”

    • Subsidized wind and solar are unfair competition for all types of electricity generation. Allowing them to go first is the biggest subsidy of all. This is something the WSJ never mentions. Adding more renewables is not a sustainable pattern.

      • Dan says:

        Can you show where coal and oil are getting zero subsidies?

        • Denial says:

          You are right Dan! Gail never mentions the subsidies that oil and coal companies get. This site definitely has a slant against the Greenies around here. I am an old and ornery and don’t belong to a “political” team so you won’t hear the Rah, Rah from me! I am always looking for a political slant these days…..but as far as your above question I believe that oil companies get about 20 billion a year in subsidies not to mention other perks. There is no way they would be fracking here right now if they did not get subsidized in some way. I would love for Gail to do a paper on that but….

          • The big subsidy that these companies have gotten is investors willing to invest in them, even though they are unprofitable. And banks willing to invest in them, even though they are unprofitable. At some point, this unprofitability will come home to roost. Banks will have defaulting loans. What looked like capital gains will turn into capital losses, as investors attempt to sell. Bond owners will find that the bonds that they hold will not really be repaid.

            Part of the taxes that these oil and gas companies are royalties that continue, no matter how unprofitable the companies become. These cannot offset the need for excessive investment for oil and gas, for little real return.

            With respect to coal, some of the big losers have been the employees, and their pension plans. Coal companies keep going bankrupt. Their employees get paid poorly, but they are promised pensions. Their pension benefits tend to get lost in bankruptcy. Coal has not been able to pay as high taxes as oil (its primary selling point is its low price), so areas with high employment from coal industries (like West Virginia) tend to do poor economically.

        • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

          the story below about the Ontario GEA is the basic story, repeated in Germany and California and elsewhere.

          when you finish reading it, you should then realize that fossil fuels get relatively little subsidies compared to the outrageous subsidies involved in solar and wind.

          • Dan says:

            That does nothing to answer my question. But it does prove my point. Anecdotal evidence is very cheap these days.

        • The only oil subsidy I am aware of is for buyers of oil as a fuel to heat their homes, in a few places in the northeastern part of the US, where oil is still used for home heating. These subsidies normally only go to poor people. These are considered “oil subsidies,” because otherwise these people would be too poor to buy fuel, so less oil would be purchased.

          The only subsidies I am aware of for coal relate to trying to develop coal capture and storage, to try to get carbon emissions down. This has not been very successful.

          This is a blog with a chart.

          Oil, especially, tends to be heavily taxed. Coal also pays taxes. Taxation of renewables varies, but mostly it gets a lot of benefits through the tax system.

          • Dan says:

            Try google and you will find it

            • Harry McGibbs says:

              Also, when environmental pressure groups and organisations like the IMF talk about fossil fuel industries being subsidised to the tune of $ trillions they are basing these figures on the difference between consumer fuel prices and the full societal and environmental costs of using these fuels. This is not actual money going into the industry’s pockets.

              In other words, they are making the childish and specious argument that all financial accountability for harm from the use of fossil fuels should rest with the producers and the fact that it does not constitutes a colossal subsidy.

        • Tim Groves says:

          The whole point is that Gail never said that coal and oil are getting zero subsidies, Dan’s misleading passive-aggressive implicating notwithstanding.

  19. 25Missions says:

    The Federal Reserve kept its key policy rate unchanged Wednesday and said it would keep interest rates near zero for at least the next three years, a much longer period than analysts’ had expected.

    “You know, that might be the answer – to act boastfully about something we ought to be ashamed of. That’s a trick that never seems to fail.”
    ― Joseph Heller, Catch-22

    • Good idea if no one is making a profit, I suppose. But it is hard to run an economy this way!

    • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      “… said it would keep interest rates near zero for at least the next three years, a much longer period than analysts’ had expected.”

      there’s that unintended “expected” humor again.

      I expect near zero rates for as long as there are rates.

  20. D3G says:

    Fed sees interest rates near zero until end of 2023, sets new economic conditions to be met before raising rates

    The Federal Reserve on Wednesday said it doesn’t expect to raise rates until the end of 2023 at the earliest and it set out new economic conditions that must be met before it will raise them.

    “The Fed said it decided to keep its policy interest rate at near zero and expects this will be appropriate until two things happen: labor market conditions return to the “maximum employment” and inflation has risen to 2% and “is on track to moderately exceed 2% for some time.”

    The Fed said again that the path of the economy will depend on the course of the coronavirus pandemic though.”

    Currently the stock market is reacting postively to the news. A possible panic buy in the final hour? Maybe, but I don’t think so.


  21. D3G says:

    Dr John Campbell posted this interesting update regarding Vitamin D dosing guidelines and recommendations. He reports that Dr Fauci is apparently taking 6000 IU , or 150 micrograms, per day. 6000 IU would certainly be at the high end od the scale.

    For the moment it is sunny here in SE Wisconsin, so I will be dosing the old fashioned way for now. 😎


  22. Dennis L. says:

    More Covid this time from the The Times.

    Basically the initial models were incorrect and the modeler is referenced as having a poor record on past predictions.

    “The response to Covid-19 in the UK, the US and other countries was shaped by the dramatic headlines in mid-March, suggesting 550,000 deaths in the UK and 2.2 million in the US. Faced with widely publicised, alarming figures, as demonstrated by Imperial College’s Professor Neil Ferguson, governments were forced to react with the unprecedented lockdown to suppress Covid-19. No one looked at his ten years of predictions that were wrong.

    The results of his previous models produced wildly inaccurate results: the prediction of 200 million deaths worldwide from bird flu in 2005, when just 282 people died between 2003 and 2009, without locking down economies. That model had serious flaws. He used an undocumented, highly complex, 13-year-old computer code for a feared influenza pandemic. Full details of that model have never been revealed, only a cleaned-up, improved, but still almost undocumented version.”

    This Neil fellow has good name recognition, he has a good job but he seems to be poor at modeling, he is also(or perhaps it was his lover)the person who went cross city when it was on lockdown for a quickie – the power of dopamine.

    Guess: This lockdown may be a result of an aging population understanding the end is near, when we don’t know whether or if it will come or where it will come from, we are okay, when an unknown but knowable threat appears we panic. Kids are not panicking , they are partying like it is 1999. Often the press/media will tout those kids as irresponsible. May I suggest as students they are also further from death than many of their teachers, if you are older, get paid to teach no matter what, why take a personal chance? Dump it all on the younger generation.

    We are at the limits to growth, the battle may well be between generations.

    Dennis L.

    • Xabier says:

      I recall British politicians looking shocked when they had seen Prof. Ferguson’s terrifying presentation.

      He’s a wonderful example, perhaps, of a ‘too-tenured to fail’ academic.

      On the whole, I’d say both young and old have ceased to fret here: restaurants are packed with older people, who I imagine don’t want to sit at home anymore and have had enough of cooking.

      I see more younger people -students mostly – than elderly wearing masks in the street, where they are not compulsory.

      On the whole, it’s livened up quite a lot.

  23. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Caterpillar Reports Drop in Machine Sales Amid Sluggish Global Economy:

    “August retail machine sales fall 20% globally on a rolling-three month basis, matching the drop in July.”

  24. Harry McGibbs says:

    “The coronavirus crisis cost the global tourism sector $460 billion in lost revenue during the first six months of 2020 as the number of people travelling plunged, the UN said Tuesday.

    “Revenue lost between January and June amounted to “around five times the loss in international tourism receipts recorded in 2009 amid the global economic and financial crisis,” the Madrid-based World Tourism Organization said in a statement.”

    • I wonder where all of the revenue went relating to trips that people bought that were cancelled. These people bought “packages” often with “insurance against cancellation.” But they couldn’t get their money back. It was real spending on tourism, but it really went nowhere, because there was no vacation at the other end of the line.

    • Robert Firth says:

      If there is no world tourism, why do we need a World Tourism Organisation? Another good candidate for some drastic downsizing.

  25. Harry McGibbs says:

    “The Federal Reserve is unlikely to take any new policy actions at its final meeting before the presidential election, but it is expected to indicate it will keep its dovish policy in place for years to come while the economy and labor market heal.”

  26. Harry McGibbs says:

    Europe’s Economic Revival Is Imperiled, Raising the Specter of a Grinding Downturn:

    “As the coronavirus regains force, economists fear that Europe’s tentative recovery is at risk from traditional political concerns [and a resurgence of Covid-19]…

    ““It’s hard to imagine a recovery that’s going to be strong and sustained given the current situation,” said Ángel Talavera, lead eurozone economist at Oxford Economics in London. “There’s not a lot of engines of growth.””

  27. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Did our early ancestors boil their food in hot springs? Scientists have found evidence of hot springs near sites where ancient hominids settled, long before the control of fire.”

  28. Harry McGibbs says:

    Expect More Venezuelas in the Post-Peak Oil Era:

    “…there have always been deep splits between OPEC’s wealthier, more oil-rich states in the Gulf and its less developed, more populous members in Africa and elsewhere…

    “Those divisions are likely to get deeper once we pass peak demand. The only period in history when oil demand has fallen on a sustained basis — the glut of the early 1980s — caused an economic depression in the Gulf and ructions within OPEC. It ended in a flood of supply from Saudi Arabia that ultimately contributed to the break-up of the Soviet Union, the 1990-1991 Gulf War, Algeria’s civil war and the rise of al-Qaeda…

    “The capitulation of independent oil producers to a future of weaker demand should be a wake-up call to governments. If BP and Shell find it harder to survive in a world after crude, life will be even tougher for Saudi Arabia and the UAE.”

  29. says:

    The calm before the storm?

    Zero volatility.

  30. MG says:

    The role of misleading terminology in today’s language that aggravates our situation.

    We live in the world that becomes crippled by the misuse of the language: we know that the situation is bad, but some people want to persuade us that if we let machines and technology do the things instead of us, we will be saved.

    The point is that there is no “autopilot” in car driving, only “computer-assisted driving”, there are no robots producing instead of the people, but only “robot-assisted production” etc.

    The humans are assisted by the machines. When it becomes “human assisted machines”, it means that something goes wrong.

    The human-assisted artificial reality collapses because there is not enough people to support its existence.

    • Robert Firth says:

      MG, as a former IT person, I agree. For that matter, there is no “autopilot” in an aeroplane. There is a computer that can respond to deviations it has been programmed to recognise, and restore the status quo. But given a novel deviation (a loss of a wing flap for instance) and it is clueless. Most autopilots have the additional, often fatal, error of trusting the sensors that feed them data; that’s what killed two 737 Max aeroplanes, you may recall.

      The big problem with “human assisted” machines is that the humans have not been fully trained. In an emergency, for instance a failure in the “automatic” landing system, it turns out the pilot has never actually anded a real plane manually, and of course his simulated training never covered an unexpected contingency.

      As for motor car autopilots, forget it. Does anyone believe a Tesla driving itself on a Maine road would know how to avoid a deer in the headlights? Well, perhaps we could test that, but with Elon Musk instead of a deer.

      • D3G says:

        “Most autopilots have the additional, often fatal, error of trusting the sensors that feed them data; that’s what killed two 737 Max aeroplanes, you may recall.”

        Hi Robert. You are right in that a failed sensor started the chain of events, but, if I understand the MCAS system correctly, the pilots could not manually override it. If they had only known that MCAS was installed and wired thru the ‘stab trim’ system, the outcomes might have been different. You can quickly turn off the stab trim. Point being, systems need to allow for human intervention.

        Auto land systems allow for approaches and landings under weather conditions we were not otherwise permitted to try. If the weather conditions were reported to be below approach minimums, we were not permitted to ‘go down and take a look’. A private Cessna pilot could, however. We could either ‘handfly’ or fly a coupled approach (1 computer and 1 autopilot) down to 200′ and if able to see the runway, continue for a manual landing. Autolands required that all 3 autopilots and all 3 computers be engaged and in agreement. So, descending below the usual 200′ without seeing a runway sort of made us all passegers. You know, a point beyond which a pilot could not go on his own because we need visual references.

        Anyway, I don’t mean to get long winded here, but would like to leave you with the knowledge that these systems (with their failure modes) have been very well thought thru. I have every confidence in them. As for self driving cars, maybe not so much.


        • Robert Firth says:

          Hi D3G, thank you for your most interesting thoughts. However, I am not sure these systems have been properly thought through.

          To return to the 737 Max: the attitude sensor was wrong, and reported nose up. The MCAS kept trying to force the nose down. But that same aircraft has two altimeters, reporting continuously. If the plane is moving, and the nose is up, it must be climbing, right? But according to the altimeters, it was not climbing. That inconsistency was a clear red flag, but the computer *didn’t even notice it*, because it had not been programmed to notice it.

          Turkish Airlines 981 was the victim of a similar piece of idiocy. The cargo door opened outwards (another piece of idiocy for which a few managers should have faced the noose). It had to be locked from the outside, but of course the lock was on the inside. The status light in the cockpit duly reported “locked”, but the door was not locked, because the sensor reported the state of the locking levers, but not the state of the lock itself. In other words, there was no proper feedback loop, and that is surely engineering idiocy.

          You may recall that a similar piece of malpractice almost doomed Three Mile Island: the control panel reported that a valve had been closed, but in fact the report meant only that it had been *ordered* to close, not that it had actually obeyed the order. And the valve was open. Incidentally, throughout the incident the computer dutifully logged thousands of error messages, all of them useless because the printer was unable to keep up, and its hard copy was soon over 70 minutes behind events.

          In sum,I am not quite as optimistic as you about the automation of safety critical systems.

      • Robert Firth says:

        The incident I couldn’t recall occurred on 6 July 2013 when Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crashed on final approach into San Francisco Airport. It turned out the pilot had never performed a manual landing, and came in too low. It featured in an episode of “Air Crash Investigation”, which I was able to retrieve.

    • Xabier says:

      Brilliant identification of the problem: the decay and misuse of language itself is of the greatest importance.

      Visions of the future, machine-led and super-efficient and safe, without any real foundation.

      • Robert Firth says:

        “For words are wise men’s counters, they do but reckon by them: but they are the money of fools, …” (Thomas Hobbes, 1588 to 1679)

  31. Dennis L. says:

    I have the GW post awaiting moderation, generally I skim these articles to see that they contain what the headline suggests, this one has a video which is scary, I skipped it first time through.

    Synopsis of the embedded video: Students will have robots at their side which can read facial expressions, which can do real time evaluation of how the student is progressing and ear buds which can literally read the student’s brain waves.

    There seems to be a correlation with what has happened in sports, athletes can be measured and perfected in movement, drugs can be taken which enhance performance; in the end only a very few excel and a great cost, the rest of the population watches while eating the latest junk food.

    Who can keep up? Only the best?

    Dennis L.

  32. Dennis L. says:

    Pandemic and higher education:

    GW reports a 17% drop in enrollment after going to on line education.

    One wonders if the student needs pay for the rented apartment, whatever, could he/she gift it to a homeless person and deduct it as a charitable contribution?

    Dennis L.

    • At the same time, the university closest to my home is seeing a big (8%) increase in enrollment, with in-person classes. Students seem to be making a choice regarding what they want.

  33. Herbie Ficklestein says:

    JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE: JPM) says it has noticed a troubling pattern with its work-from-home employees, particularly those who are of a younger age, Bloomberg reported Monday.
    What Happened: CEO Jamie Dimon told analysts Keefe, Bruyette & Woods in a private meeting that productivity was particularly affected on Mondays and Fridays, according to Bloomberg.
    “The WFH lifestyle seems to have impacted younger employees [at JPMorgan], and overall productivity and ‘creative combustion’ has taken a hit,” KBW Managing Director Brian Kleinhanzl wrote to clients in a note, citing the meeting with Dimon.
    JPMorgan spokesman Michael Fusco told Bloomberg that the productivity of employees was affected “in general, not just younger employees,” but added that younger workers “could be disadvantaged by missed learning opportunities” as they were not in offices.
    Why It Matters: The New York-based lender informed most senior sales staff and trading employees that they would be required to return to offices by Sept. 21, Bloomberg noted.
    Workers in other roles are reportedly being encouraged to return to their desks up to a maximum of half building capacity in New York.
    CEOs across the corporate world have a different take on the work from home environment.

  34. Oh dear says:

    BON defends the controversial Cuties movie on Netflix.

    > In defence of Cuties

    Right-wing snowflakes are completely wrong about this film.

    Have any of the people who are bursting a blood vessel over Cuties actually watched it? Ted Cruz? Fox’s Laura Ingraham? Even the normally sensible Tulsi Gabbard, who has described it as child porn? They can’t have. Because if they had they would know that Cuties isn’t a movie for pervs that relishes in sexualising its child cast. On the contrary, it’s a sensitive commentary on the problem of sexualisation and how bad and sad it is that young girls feel pressured into roleplaying as sluts. If you’re worried about the sexualisation of kids, you shouldn’t be condemning Cuties – you should be watching it and taking it seriously….

    Doucouré herself has made it clear that Cuties is an effort to raise moral concerns about the cult of sexualisation, not a celebration of sexualisation. She says of her critics: ‘We’re both on the same side of this fight against young children’s hypersexualisation.’ She has also revealed that the parents of the four main actresses in the movie are ‘activists’ on the problem of hypersexualisation. A child psychologist was employed on the film set to assist the girls in the more difficult dance scenes. It is the height of idiocy for Ted Cruz to call on the Department of Justice to investigate Cuties as ‘child pornography’. Doucouré, with this movie, has done far more than Cruz ever has to alert people to the problem of sexualised children in 21st-century culture….

    To rage against this film rather than focusing on the real process of cultural sexualisation is a bizarre displacement activity. Some on the right are behaving like the left-wing snowflakes they love to condemn, furiously trying to ‘cancel’ a film, or even Netflix itself, for doing something they disapprove of (and which they do not understand). They risk censuring and punishing one of the first movies to seriously address the problem of child sexualisation, which surely takes self-defeat to a whole new level.

    • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      so the movie is blatantly sexualizsing four very young girls in order to protest the sexualizsation of young girls?

    • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      so the film is an example of what the filmmaker is protesting against?

      then the filmmaker “takes self-defeat to a whole new level”.

    • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      from spiked-online (interesting site with lots of good reads):

      “Does Cuties accidentally, or perhaps inevitably, seckxualise the actresses in the very process of having them act out what it looks like to be a seckxualised child in our warped, pron-saturated culture? Perhaps. It struck me that some dance scenes lingered more than was necessary. This would be an interesting discussion to have: the moral conundrum of condemning something while simultaneously depicting it.”

      yes, exactly: the immorality of depicting it.

      • Tim Groves says:

        It’s all those plain, homely and ugly pre-pubescent girls that I feel really sorry for. This lookist movie will only send them the message that they aren’t cute enough to be contraband sex objects.

      • Oh dear says:

        Even discussing a subject is liable to invite or provoke mental images, but an adult society needs to be able to discuss its problems. The movie contributes to that. Who even cares if a few old pervs get off on the movie? They have plenty of occasion to do that sort of thing anyway. Such a movie is always going to be a trade off and its justification would lie in its positive contribution to the debate. It is not a perfect world and often there are no perfect ways of addressing its problems. The consumption of more serious inappropriate images is largely out of control in UK according to the police and it would be absurd to ban this movie for dramatising behaviour which is commonly observed in public anyway.

        • Dennis L. says:

          First, thank you for helping me understand philosophy which is introspective in terms of reality. Reality is what is and is perceived – hit your thumb with hammer, pain is a reality. Philosophy starts inside out and tries to understand reality. It is backwards logic, confusing the if from the then.

          Cutties is basically an attempt to elicit a dopamine hit from outside – the neurological hit is from reality.

          A hammer on the thumb is reality perceived, no rationalization is necessary. Perception here is finding a rationalization to explain away the dopamine and ignore the harm to children and in turn to our society. It is not a victimless crime, we are the victims.

          Cutties is crude and vulgar, I will not pay a cent for it and will not watch it, but if enough people on this site think it is crude and if they have a history of reasonable contents, that is good enough for me.

          Dennis L.

          • Oh dear says:

            No worries, maybe you could set up a political party to push for absolutist sexual norms, like banning contraception, abortion and homosexuality. I doubt that you will get many votes in UK though. You could include a footnote on your new ‘understanding’ of philosophy in your election materials. Xab can pose with his bat for the party photo.

            • Tim Groves says:

              We’ve already got our manifesto, thanks!

              Down with sex and sin
              Down with pot, heroin
              Down with pornography
              Down with lust
              Down with vice lechery and debauchery
              We are the new centurions
              Shepherds of the Nation
              We’ll keep on our guard
              For sin and degradation
              We are the national guard
              Against filth and depravity
              Perversion and vulgarity
              Keep it clean


          • Robert Firth says:

            Thank you, Dennis: but I think Magritte expressed it better, which is why I posted his painting, The book on the mantlepiece, by the way, is Poe’s “Arthur Gordon Pym”, which also said it better.

    • Kim says:

      Ah, disingenuity…

      Remember back in the sixties they used a similar excuse, screening movies that claimed to be Swedish sex education movies but were really just for the raincoat brigade.

      Nobody needs to see closeups of children’s crotches as examples of why child serialization is repugnant.

      • Robert Firth says:

        Yes, I remember back in the sixties. “I am Curious” was the rage, and it came in two colours, blue and yellow. It was also terminally boring. Now Ovid’s “Metamorphoses”, on the other hand, …

        • Dennis L. says:

          Hmm, saw the yellow version in the sixties, college town, artsy type theater with a young lady. Film was indeed boring, evening not so much.

          Dennis L.

  35. Bei Dawei says:

    Taiwan’s economic news frustrates local doomsters and permabears:,6,10,15,18&post=183465

    • Taiwan’s economic growth is similar to the rate another article showed for China this year. Taiwan is at 1.56% forecast growth for 2020; China’s growth forecast is at 1.8%.

  36. Oh dear says:

    > World fails to meet a single target to stop destruction of nature – UN report

    ‘Humanity at a crossroads’ after a decade in which all of the 2010 Aichi goals to protect wildlife and ecosystems have been missed

    The world has failed to meet a single target to stem the destruction of wildlife and life-sustaining ecosystems in the last decade, according to a devastating new report from the UN on the state of nature.

    From tackling pollution to protecting coral reefs, the international community did not fully achieve any of the 20 Aichi biodiversity targets agreed in Japan in 2010 to slow the loss of the natural world. It is the second consecutive decade that governments have failed to meet targets.

    The Global Biodiversity Outlook 5, published before a key UN summit on the issue later this month, found that despite progress in some areas, natural habitats have continued to disappear, vast numbers of species remain threatened by extinction from human activities, and $500bn (£388bn) of environmentally damaging government subsidies have not been eliminated.

    Six targets have been partially achieved, including those on protected areas and invasive species. While governments did not manage to protect 17% of terrestrial and inland water areas and 10% of marine habitats, 44% of vital biodiverse areas are now under protection, an increase from 29% in 2000. About 200 successful eradications of invasive species on islands have also taken place.

    The UN said the natural world was deteriorating and failure to act could undermine the goals of the Paris agreement on the climate crisis and the sustainable development goals.

    The UN’s biodiversity head, Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, said humanity was at a crossroads that would decide how future generations experience the natural world.

    “Earth’s living systems as a whole are being compromised. And the more humanity exploits nature in unsustainable ways and undermines its contributions to people, the more we undermine our own wellbeing, security and prosperity,” she said.

    The report is the third in a week to highlight the devastating state of the planet. The WWF and Zoological Society of London (ZSL)’s Living Planet Report 2020 said global wildlife populations were in freefall, plunging by two-thirds, because of human overconsumption, population growth and intensive agriculture. On Monday, the RSPB said the UK had failed to reach 17 of the Aichi targets and that the gap between rhetoric and reality had resulted in a “lost decade for nature”….

    • All we have to do is stop eating and stop having children. Easy!

      • GBV says:

        Can’t we just start eating children instead?


        • A Modest Proposal was published anonymously by Jonathan Swift in 1729. The essay suggests that the impoverished Irish might ease their economic troubles by selling their children as food to rich gentlemen and ladies. This satirical hyperbole mocked heartless attitudes towards the poor, as well as British policy toward the Irish in general.

          • nikoB says:

            Overshoot will fix itself, it always does.

            • i1 says:

              Great point. This eliminates so much hand wringing.

            • Oh dear says:

              ‘Overshoot’ always has a politico-economic context of some sort, so the failure of the British empire to economically develop Ireland is always going to remain controversial. British rule in Ireland was never going to survive after the Great Famine. A similar if less drastic situation exists today with the failure of the British state to fully develop Scotland and Wales, and regions of England outside of London and SE. A political structure is liable to be weak in underdeveloped regions. History has its lessons but states do not necessarily learn from them.

    • Oh dear says:

      Britain is to build 3,500,000 new homes over the next decade. Bye bye to the countryside. TP has guaranteed that locals will have no say on the matter.

      Britain has a collapsed fertility rate but TP has agreed with CBI to lift any cap on incomers and over 700,000 entered in the year to July (ONS, Aug 2020).

      I gave up worrying about the countryside, it is not my problem. The British choose their government and they have to accept the consequences.

      The economy needs more workers to keep GDP growing and to maintain the capitalist system, and that is the end of it.

      > The final straw? Tory heartlands in revolt over planning reforms

      Despite the concerns, the planning white paper is an attempt to tackle serious problems. It is billed as supporting the prime minister’s drive to “build, build, build” Britain’s way out of the Covid-19 recession while meeting an urgent need for more housing.

      English housing stock grew by 241,000 homes in 2018/19 but 340,000 new homes a year are needed over the next decade, according to research commissioned by the National Housing Federation.

      The paper proposes that instead of each application being decided through an individual democratic process, councils will be asked to draw up multi-year plans that divide land into zones for development and protection.

      Outline approval would be automatic in growth zones and there would be a statutory presumption in favour of development in renewal zones. Local voices must be heard when the local plan is drawn up, the policy states, but how this plays out remains to be seen.

      Once the plan is fixed, the only say local people will have is over detail of developments, so-called reserved matters.

      The CPRE, the campaigning countryside charity, sees the proposals in more dramatic terms. “Policies that have allowed major housebuilders to trample over the wishes of local people will be reinforced with binding land release targets and reduced affordable housing contributions,” said Crispin Truman, its chief executive.

      “Developers will be able to build what they want, where they want and for the most part when they want.”

      • Chrome Mags says:

        “The economy needs more workers to keep GDP growing and to maintain the capitalist system, and that is the end of it.”

        That’s the trouble with having a model without the willingness or creativity to try a different model. The accepted model dictates what needs to happen to maintain the model. I have relatives that retired and moved to the country outside of London to relax in a peaceful environment. So much for that plan.

        • The model uses energy, whether it is capitalist or something else. Otherwise, we need to stop eating and stop having more children.

          • Dennis L. says:

            Given the demographics of the US, one would expect it to use less energy on a per capita basis, we older people don’t drive to work, etc. We would use more services such as medicine but that can be paid by cash from the Fed and is a low energy industry. I can only speak for dentistry as it was, for a given dollar of revenue it is far below say farming in energy usage/dollar revenue, I see the numbers in grain farming.

            The FANGS of stocks don’t produce anything of substance, they use electricity for the most part, uncertain of the energy in put to produce HD, etc. Looking at the stock indices, the Exxons are gone, FANGS can be priced at whatever price one wants as long as they pay their electric bill. In a way they are energy/resource insensitive but the only way to get a return that is spendable is to buy and sell.

            Zerohedge has an article on demographics and debt referring to work done by Jim Reid at DB, it has a graph of possible interest which is linked immediately below.


            Dennis L.

            • I agree that the Western economies have been able to keep their energy use down by offshoring manufacturing to Asian nations. This doesn’t really fix the world problem, however.

              Regarding the linked chart, economies have to keep borrowing more, if too small a share of the population is of working age (15-64 assumed in the graph). Actually, it is doubtful that such an economy can pay back more debt. It has the pensions of the old people to worry about.

            • Oh dear says:

              UK has 24,597,000 persons in full time employment out of a population of 66,650,000, which is 36.90%.

          • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

            “Developers will be able to build what they want, where they want and for the most part when they want.”

            the key word is “able”.

            by 2021, they will be able to build almost no houses.

            if they somehow are able to build 350,000 in 2021, they likely will not be “able” to sell them.

            the economic earthquake has struck, the coastal water has receded far from shore, and people in the UK (like many other places) are looking at the situation as being almost normal.

            the tsunami of economic destruction is coming soon.

            good luck to any “planners” who are planning on a return to the 2019 “normal”.

            • Xabier says:

              High immigration, of low-value people who breed intensively, has created such immense pressure on the UK housing stock -there would be none at all without it – that the level of sales may well surprise, despite adverse conditions.

              In particular, wealthier parents sitting on substantial savings earning no interest, are more than happy to help their offspring. It is now the norm.

              If they find that they can no longer travel extensively, as they all do, they will have even more cash to invest.

              The British find renting abhorrent if they can buy.

            • Oh dear says:

              Immigrants to UK have a wage structure and contribution to GDP similar to that of natives, especially on a regional basis. It is purely a matter of organised British capital getting the workers that it needs to grow GDP and there is no need to be hostile or rude to any of the workers. In no sense is it ‘their fault’.

            • The quote, “Developers will be able to build what they want, where they want and for the most part when they want,” seems to be from the Guardian article. I agree with you that if builders are somehow able to build all of these houses, they won’t be able to sell them.

    • Robert Firth says:

      “Humanity is at a crossroads”? That crossroads is over a century behind us, and there is no way back. These people are just posting green drivel to justify their inflated salaries (and excessive carbon footprints). Scrap this whole congeries of fools and knaves, and let Nature take its course. There is little else we can do, except prepare for the customary reward of folly.

      • Xabier says:

        Quite so: issuing warnings and peddling visions, they are wholly redundant.

        Lovely salaries and perks though in these international organisations…..

  37. Harry McGibbs says:

    “The International Energy Agency on Tuesday cut its forecast for 2020 oil demand growth, citing a “treacherous” path ahead amid weakening market sentiment and an upsurge in the number of coronavirus cases reported across the globe.

    “In a closely-watched monthly report, the IEA trimmed its outlook for worldwide oil demand growth to 91.7 million barrels per day. That marks a contraction of 8.4 million bpd year-on-year, more than the 8.1 million bpd contraction predicted in the Paris-based energy agency’s August report.”

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “The next big shock to the oil industry could be yet another hit to demand, analysts said.”

      …”“A lot of us, we’re talking about another demand shock. It’s like fighting the last battle,” said Ed Morse, managing director and global head of commodities research at Citi.”

      • Harry McGibbs says:

        “While OPEC will not openly state it, the removal of Libyan oil from the global marketplace has made things a lot easier for the cartel. The export blockade, however, may not last much longer if U.S.-backed sources are correct.”

        • According to the article:

          On the supply side, some relief for the cartel has come from internal conflicts in Iraq and Venezuela, which have reduced exports, and U.S. sanctions on Iran, which have significantly reduced the nation’s capacity to export crude oil and oil products. No real change is to be expected in these countries any time soon, but things could, however, be changing quickly for OPEC member Libya. . . According to the U.S. embassy in Tripoli, Libya’s General Haftar has committed to lifting the oil blockade by the 12th of September. . .This news seems to be very positive, but the agreement doesn’t necessarily mean that the skirmishing parties will actually respect it.

          So we need the two sides to stop fighting, as well.

      • Actually, anything that keeps prices down will be a huge problem for oil producers. It could be debt defaults, or layoffs in the public sector. The big concern in the fragility of the governments of these countries, and the ability of OPEC as a whole to stick together.

        “If demand doesn’t come back, how long is OPEC+ going to be able to sustain cohesion to keep supply under control when prices are hovering around $40 per barrel? While we think prices can go up in 2021 modestly, (will) demand growth keep coming back? It’s by no means an assured route,” he said.

  38. Herbie R Ficklestein says:

    One more brick in collapse

    (WSVN) – Drivers who have to renew their licenses in person are having an extremely difficult time getting appointments at the scaled down DMV, and some are now getting tickets for expired licenses. Find out whether that’s legal in tonight’s Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
    To use a pun, it’s driving people crazy.
    Luis Sosa, can’t renew driver’s license: “I’ve been going online every day trying to schedule an appointment. It is impossible.”
    Luis can’t renew his driver’s license with the Division of Motor Vehicles, and he is not alone.
    Voicemail 1: “My driver’s license is expiring, and they’re telling you they can’t help you.”
    From voicemails and emails, so many South Floridians who have to renew their licenses in person are told you have to first make an appointment.
    This fellow wrote, “I am 80 years old. I can’t reach them by telephone. Their line is always busy.”
    He is right, and if you go online to make an appointment…
    Woman: “DMV is unavailable for any appointments. Have they gone COVID mad?”
    Many people give up and show up at the DMV, where they are turned away.
    Man: “We need to do it. It’s an emergency.”
    Man 2: “I try every day. Every day there’s no appointments.”
    And if you get caught by the police driving to work or the grocery store with that expired license, watch out.
    Luis found out after his license expired.
    Luis Sosa: “‘I have to give you a ticket, a citation for the expired license,’ and I explained to him, ‘I can’t go to an office. I don’t have a way to renew my license.’”
    A $113 ticket for driving with an expired license, expired because South Florida drivers can’t get an appointment in Miami-Dade or Broward to renew their license.
    So Luis expanded his search for an appointment.
    Luis Sosa: “Because I was willing to drive all the way to Palm Beach, Orlando, wherever I had to go to get the renewal, and everything says ‘No appointments available.’”
    The state cannot renew their licenses, but police officers can write you tickets for not renewing your license.
    Sarcastic South Floridians have had enough.

    Plus the State is raising fees to boot because they are strapped for cash!

    • Robert Firth says:

      It doesn’t take a pandemic to turn people into idiots. I remember attending a technical meeting at a multinational company, many years ago. Presented email invitation; had to produce proof of identity. Employment pass? No. Debit card? No. Employee ID? No. Well, what would they accept? Ah yes, driver’s licence. And I had one. Issued in another country, expired over ten years ago, and with a grotty photo that no longer looked much like me. And I was in. Sigh. Even without the energy crunch, rule based systems would have taken down our society.

    • Chrome Mags says:

      Want to hear another weird one? Here in the SF Bay Area all the major bridges are going to systems that read the license plate with zero toll takers. We only go over a certain bridge to go to a place of business a couple times month, so we always paid cash to a person/toll taker.

      Recently I was headed over the bridge and it only had two choices; Fast track and the right side openings with a sign that said drive thru and you’ll receive the toll in the mail. So we got two of these so far and they state in all bold caps:
      NOTICE OF TOLL EVASION. (sounds like a felony but really it’s just their way to scare the crap out of you to force their new system on you).

      It goes on to explain how to pay online which my wife said took an hour to set up. So now we have to pay large chunks of money on a recurring basis to get a sticker for the vehicle. We usually take one or the other vehicle but the set up is so time consuming we’re only going to do it for the truck. So we’ll do it because we have to, but it’s something that use to be real easy, fast and cheap and now it’s time consuming and of course the extra time needed makes it cost more.

      On the bridge we take there use to be east indians that took the toll. I wonder what they’re doing now?

      • Someone, somewhere, thought that this was a good idea. Get rid of wages, charge a fee on a recurring basis, so that the system could collect more money.

      • Duncan Idaho says:

        Never take an auto into The City.
        Use the Ferry.
        I worked there for a while— parking was often $40.00 a day.
        Richest City on Earth.

      • Tim Groves says:

        The way these changes are introduced in the West always seems to meet with resistance and generate resentment. Here in the east, people welcome the convenience aspect of innovation with a smile.

        What they did in Japan was to keep the pay by cash toll system and introduce an electronic toll system beside it, offering users of the ETC a discount and the convenience of automated monthly billing. Motorists jumped at it.

  39. Oh dear says:

    The Vatican has renewed its ‘secret’ deal with CCP, which is controversial as CCP is cracking down on religions, especially the Uighurs but also Christians. It is Sinicizing all religions into versions that are friendly to CCP, that promote CCP and its ‘core socialist values’. And it is stopping their spread.

    RCC is pragmatic and it adapts to the prevailing political conditions. It nows concurrently maintains two adapted versions of Christianity, ‘liberal Christianity’ in the West and ‘Christianity with Chinese characteristics’ in China. Anone who thinks that RCC would not deal with states that are not liberal democratic has not been paying attention.

    RCC adapts to survive. States tolerate religions in so far as they can order them to their own objectives and values, otherwise they clamp down on them. RCC was banned for centuries in Britain until it accepted a minority status without pretensions on the state.

    The alternative would be for CCP to fully unleash its intolerance on RCC and perhaps to entirely eradicate it in China, leaving only the ‘CCP Catholic church’. CCP is not messing about with religions and dissident RC could easily all end up in education camps.

    Nevertheless it remains a controversial deal as some would rather that RC in China went the way of ‘heroic martyrdom’. RCC does not see it like that. It wants to continue to function in China rather than to go down in a ‘last hoorah’. It is a church that wants to endure.

    > Pope gives green light for extension of accord with Beijing

    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis has signed off on a two-year extension of a deal with China on the appointment of bishops that critics have condemned as a sell-out to the communist government, a senior Vatican source said on Monday.

    … China’s constitution guarantees religious freedom, but in recent years the government has tightened restrictions on religions seen as a challenge to the authority of the ruling Communist Party.

    Critics say this has made the deal a farce. The Vatican says no deal would have risked causing a schism in the Church in China.

    One of the most outspoken critics has been Cardinal Joseph Zen, the former archbishop of Hong Kong, who has accused the Vatican of selling out and offending the memory of persecuted Catholics.

    Beijing has been following a policy of “Sinicisation” of religion, trying to root out foreign influences and enforce obedience to the Communist Party, which has ruled China since winning a civil war in 1949.

    • Bei Dawei says:

      Not a new situation for the RCC. They’re pretty good at playing the long game. How many thousand years do you suppose the CCP will last?

      The Vatican has formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan. For years, observers have expected them to switch diplomatic recognition to China, but for some reason it keeps not happening. Yay?

      • Robert Firth says:

        Yes, the CCP is doomed. But the Middle Kingdom used to be very good at playing the long game, and perhaps the next dynasty will revive the old traditions of prudence, respect, and making haste slowly.

      • Oh dear says:

        RCC has proved extraordinarily resilient hitherto but it is not without its weaknesses. In particular its characteristic centralisation to a single locality, Rome, makes it vulnerable. It all depends what happens in Italy, which has a completely collapsed fertility rate of 1. 3 and the number of births would fall to just 15% over four generations. I suppose that the papacy could move to somewhere else did Italy become hostile but whether that would prove unifying and sustainable in the same way would remain to be seen.

        Could CCP survive de-industrialisation? Industrialisation is its raison d’etre. I suppose it could keep the name and some of the ideology. No crystal balls?

        • Oh dear says:

          Perhaps it is not that remarkable, religions generally tend to be resilient, which is why they are all so old. Obviously the Orthodox church is just as old as RCC. National churches have also proved resilient, eg. the Lutheran churches and the Anglican. Off hand I cannot think of any historical church that has shut down. Obviously circumstances would be radically altered after collapse, so ‘no crystal balls’.

  40. Harry McGibbs says:

    “The Asian Development Bank (ADB) says the Covid-19 pandemic has pulled the region’s developing economies into recession.

    “It is the first time in six decades that “developing Asia” – a designation that includes 45 countries – has seen a regional slump.”

  41. Harry McGibbs says:

    “A Treasuries arbitrage strategy favored by hedge funds has fallen into near-hibernation, threatening liquidity in the world’s largest debt market…

    “The fate of the trade has crucial implications for the $20 trillion Treasury market, with the Federal Reserve already buying billions of dollars of U.S. obligations to keep it functioning smoothly.”

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “The debt treadmill that is the United States Treasury market is overheating. If you look closely, you can see the engine smoking now. Of course, the streets are littered with the bodies of traders that called the bond market top and lost.

      “Nevertheless, here I’ll try to make the case from a mathematical standpoint that the US Treasury market could implode at any time now, and that only one final trigger is needed.”

      • This is a very concerning article. I am afraid this fellow is right. The US needs to do more long-term borrowing, if it wants to finance more stimulus. It cannot do that, without raising long-term interest rates. It has been attempting to use short-term debt to fund its recent activities, but it is maxed out on this.

        If the Treasury cannot figure a way out of this, the market could implode. The US$ could lose its reserve currency status.

        • Harry McGibbs says:

          So many holders of $’s and US treasuries are foreign nations, which stand to lose out directly from a catastrophic blow-up in the US treasuries market (and indirectly via weakened US consumers and general financial instability), that I wonder if there might be some concerted and perhaps discreet effort by foreign central banks to help prop the Fed up.

          • Another thought is a change in retirement plan requirements. Some sort of treasuries will be used to fund these, instead of current funding. The other securities can then be swapped out and bought by the central bank.

      • fedisnoltfrednorisfreddead says:

        Ah another shiny rock fan forecasting imminent doom for treasuries. The fed will buy every last one if needed. They are buying all sorts of junk paper not allowed by their charter under emergency powers or some such. Until we see some inflation the ponzi continues.

  42. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Economists warn of US ‘wasteland’ without stimulus deal – Hopes fade for $1tn or more in government aid for workers, businesses and local governments…

    “The diminished chances of additional fiscal support have caused many economists to fret that the US rebound will lose steam in later 2020 or early 2021, creating a drag on the global economy as it tries to recover from the worst contraction since the second world war.”

  43. Yorchichan says:

    If anyone here still thinks the reaction of governments to covid-19 was warranted, or that any kind of restrictions are still necessary, this video ought to change your mind:

  44. Harry McGibbs says:

    “As the world reels from the fiscal shockwaves of Covid-19, a new 26-country survey suggests that many people are perilously unprepared for a major economic jolt.

    “According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s 2020 International Survey of Adult Financial Literacy, 42% of the 125,787 adults polled reported worrying about meeting everyday expenses; 40% were concerned about their financial situation; and 37% reported they were just getting by.”

  45. Chrome Mags says:

    ‘First Mover: As Central Banks Print $1.4B an Hour, Bitcoiners Bet on Federal Reserve ‘Capture’

    “The Federal Reserve is buying $80 billion of U.S. Treasurys a month to keep markets afloat, with trillions of dollars more available through emergency-lending programs. The central bank’s balance sheet already has expanded this year by about $3 trillion to $7.1 trillion as of last week.

    “The market has just become too reliant on the Fed being there,” Brian Coulton, chief economist for the sovereign group at the bond-rating firm Fitch, said last week in a phone interview.”

    “Imagine how consumers might rein in spending if the stock market tumbled 23%, as it did in the final quarter of 2008. In economics, there’s a psychological concept known as the “wealth effect,” where consumers spend more if the value of their assets rise, even if their income doesn’t change.”

  46. Herbie R Ficklestein says:

    Say WHAT?????
    Sunday marked two months since Prime Minister Scott Morrison introduced a cap of just under 4,000 international arrivals per week. He made the move in response to the country’s second coronavirus wave, which was sparked by a hotel quarantine security scandal.
    The cap has resulted in a barrage and backlog of canceled flights, with ticket prices skyrocketing.
    The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) says at least 25,000 Australians, many of who are financially and medically vulnerable, have registered their need to come home since July. However, the Board of Airline Representatives of Australia estimates the true number of those stranded is closer to 100,000.

    This s CrAzY…Whatever…reflects the clueless decisions being directive

  47. Also from ZeroHedge: PA Governor’s COVID-19 Restrictions Ruled Unconstitutional By Federal Judge

    Democratic Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s pandemic restrictions – including a requirement that “non-life-sustaining” businesses were to shut down – has been ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge.

    US District Judge William Stickman IV, a Trump appointee, ruled on Monday in a 66-page opinion that the restrictions were overreaching, arbitrary, and violated citizens’ constitutional rights. Plaintiffs in the case include hair salons, a farmer’s market vendor, a horse trainer drive-in movie theaters, and several GOP lawmakers, according to 6ABC.

    The ruling means that the current restrictions – including limitations on the size of all gatherings, cannot be enforced. . .

    Kensinger noted that Monday’s order does not apply to the mandatory mask order or the mandatory work-from-home order.

    This will be appealed, and it doesn’t apply outside of Pennsylvania.

  48. Dennis L. says:

    This arrived in my mail box, relevant part for students.

    Students need to take boards after graduation to get a license to practice dentistry, without a license the $200K dental school tuition is worthless. Dentistry is a perishable skill, fresh out of school a student’s hold on that knowledge is tenuous, boards are examinations on the basic aspects of dentistry, taking them after a six month or more break will be a challenge. Patients are obtained while in school, a network. In WI boards are apparently on hold or probably regional boards are on hold.

    This is incredible hardship on the students, they have huge loans, they have no way to obtain a license to practice dentistry; the kludge is a temporary license, without the permanent license it is a bridge to nowhere.

    As this is a public document, I copied the entire email omitting parts not relevant,

    “Dear DSPS Credential Holder:
    As you know, Wisconsin continues to deal with COVID-19, and we are experiencing high levels of disease activity in nearly all 72 counties. This ongoing, pervasive presence of disease has prompted some limits on mass gatherings, such as testing events, and has discouraged, delayed, or prevented examinations that cannot be conducted with masks or while maintaining physical distance between individuals. These delays in exams are preventing recent graduates from entering practice and may be creating difficulties for patients seeking dental care in some communities.

    In an effort to expand access to care and practice, the Dental Examining Board passed an emergency rule, which was signed by the governor on July 17, 2020, allowing recent graduates to obtain a temporary license. Please review the rule for exact details, such as eligibility and application process, on Wisconsin temporary licenses for dentists and dental hygienists. ”

    This new guidance, which is available on the DHS website, covers a range of issues related to the provision of dental health care. It includes recommendation on staff health screening, the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), patient pre-screening, patient registration and reception, on-site patient screening, modifications to the provision of care, exposure management, engineering controls (e.g. HVAC systems), environmental infection control (e.g. cleaning and disinfection), and more.”…



    Dawn B. Crim

    Secretary-designee” End DHS email to license dentists.

    Note the HVAC concerns, done right I assume this would be on the level of an OR in a hospital – that is hugely expensive. Given the noted 2x increase in disease in eating out which also involves HVAC, this is no small matter and is probably a valid concern.

    For patients, where do they get care? How do they get care? Dentists blow stuff all over the room and one would assume into HVAC ducts.

    When a vaccine is available, a good guess is not taking it as a dentist will put one’s license on hold.

    Not trivial for the dentist, not trivial for the patient.

    Dennis L.

    • I am guessing that the number of dentists needed in the future will be down. People will still go to a dentist when there is a clear emergency, and perhaps even for teeth cleaning. But they will not go to get their teeth whitened, when they are wearing a mask all of the time, and communicating mostly over Zoom.

      Admittedly, the situation will vary from place to place. I don’t have a lot of hope regarding the vaccine doing very much, very quickly. Med Page Today had an article up this morning called, Getting Real on COVID-19 Vaccine Timeline

      Some excerpts:

      Distribution figures to be an even bigger obstacle. The leading vaccine candidates would have to be shipped and stored at temperatures ranging from -20 to -70 °C. These conditions are not readily available at the scale needed, Bar-Zeev said. According to the IFPMA technical sheet, “This could be a challenge going forwards in terms of distribution.”

      Once manufacturing and distribution are complete, Americans would still not be safe from the disease, experts cautioned. The vaccines are unlikely to protect against shedding, Offit said; vaccinated people may still get mild or asymptomatic infections, and thus shed the virus and possibly spread it to others. “People who are vaccinated still need to wear masks and that’s going to be a hard message to send,” Offit said. “You may take a step backwards.”

      Said Bar-Zeev: “The community expects this is going to go away when we have a vaccine, and it might not.”

    • D3G says:

      “For patients, where do they get care? How do they get care?”

      That’s my situation at the moment. My dental office has been closed after a patient of this office contact traced their way back to the office. Every employee was apparently tested for Covid 19, but this is an ongoing situation. The office is not making appointments.

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