Reaching the End of Early Stimulus – What’s Ahead?

Many people thought that COVID-19 would be gone with a short shutdown. They also thought that the world’s economic problems could be cured with a six month “dose” of stimulus.

It is increasingly clear that neither of these assumptions is correct. Despite the claims of epidemiologists, our best efforts have never been able to reduce the number of newly reported COVID-19 cases for the world as a whole for any significant period of time. In fact, the latest week seems to be the highest week so far.

Figure 1. Chart of worldwide COVID-19 new cases, in chart prepared by Worldometer with data through September 20, 2020.

At the same time, the economy, despite all of the stimulus, is not doing very well. Airlines are doing very poorly. The parts of the economy that are dependent upon tourism are having huge problems. This reduces the “upside” of economic recovery, pretty much everywhere, until it can be corrected.

Another part of the world economy doing poorly is clothing sales. For example, many fewer people are attending concerts, weddings, funerals, out-of-town business meetings and conventions, leading to a need for fewer “dressy” clothes. Also, with air travel greatly reduced, people don’t need new clothing for visiting places with different climates, either. Most clothing is bought by people from rich countries but made by people in poor countries. This cutback in clothing purchases disproportionately affects people who are already very poor. The loss of jobs in these countries may lead to an inability to afford food, for those who are laid off.

Besides these difficult to solve problems, initial programs set up to help mitigate job losses are running out. What kinds of things might governments do, if they are running short of borrowing capacity, and medical solutions still seem to be far away?

In Section A of this post, I outline what I see as some approaches that governments might take to try to “kick the can down the road” a while longer, as well as some general trends regarding near term outcomes.

In Section B, I explain how our current problems seem to be related to the more general “overshoot and collapse” problems of many prior economies. I show that historically, these overshoot and collapse situations seem to have played out over a number of years. In many ways, the outcome might look more like “overshoot and decline” than “overshoot and collapse” from the point of view of an observer at the time.

In Section C, I explain two different types of “breakage” we can expect going forward, if we are really dealing with an overshoot and collapse situation. In the first, oil production is likely to fall because of the collapse of some of the governments of oil exporters. In the second, the international trade system breaks down because of problems with the financial system and countries no longer trusting each other’s currencies.

[A] Ideas for “Sort of” Addressing the Economic Problems at Hand 

The following are a few ideas regarding possible mitigation approaches, and the expected results of these attempted solutions:

[1] Programs to keep citizens in their homes will likely be extended. Mortgage repayment programs will be extended. Renters will be allowed to stay where they are, even if they cannot afford the rent.

[2] New programs may be added, allowing those without adequate income to pay for electricity, heat, water and sewer connections. These programs may be debt-based. For example, homeowners and renters may be given loans to pay for these programs, with the hope that eventually the economy will bounce back, and the loans can be repaid.

[3] More food bank programs will be added, with governments buying food from farmers and donating it to food banks. There is even an outside chance that people will be given loans so that they can “buy” food from the food bank, with the hope that they can someday repay the loans. All of these loan-based programs will appear to be “cost free” to the government, since “certainly” the crisis will go away, and borrowers will be able to repay the loans.

[4] Loans to students will increasingly be put in forbearance, to be repaid when the crisis is over. Auto loans and credit card debt may be also be put into forbearance, if the person with the debt has inadequate income.

[5] Even with all of these actions, families will tend to move back together into a smaller total number of residences. This will happen partly because citizens won’t want to be burdened with even more debt, if they can avoid it. Also, older citizens won’t want to move into facilities offering care for the elderly because they know that COVID restrictions may limit with whom they can have contact. They will much prefer moving in with a relative, if anyone will take them in return for a suitable monthly payment.

[6] As extended families move in together, the total number of housing units required will tend to fall. Prices of homes will tend to fall, especially in areas where citizens no longer want to live. Governments will encourage banks and other mortgage holders to look the other way as prices fall, but as homes are sold, this will be increasingly difficult to do. In many cases, when homes are sold, the selling prices will fall below the balance of the debt outstanding. Governments will pass laws not allowing financial institutions to try to obtain the shortfall from citizens, at least until the crisis is over.

[7] Some businesses, such as restaurants without enough patrons and colleges without enough students, will need to close. Clothing stores without enough sales will also need to close, as will retirement homes without enough residents. All of these closures will lead to a huge amount of excess commercial space. It will also lead to the loss of more jobs, raising the number of unemployed people.

With these closed businesses, the price of commercial real estate will tend to fall. Lenders will be encouraged to “extend the loans” and “pretend that asset prices will soon recover,” when renewing loans. Even this approach won’t be enough in many cases, as businesses file for bankruptcy.

[8] With fewer residences and business properties occupied, the amount of electricity required will fall. Wholesale prices for electricity will tend to fall, pushing ever more fossil fuel and nuclear electricity providers out of business. Electricity outages will become an increasing problem, as renewables become a larger share of the electricity mix and are unable to increase supply when needed. Rolling outages will become more common.

[9] Pensions of all kinds will become more difficult to pay. Government programs, such as Social Security in the US, will have less revenue to pay pensions. There are funds set aside in the Social Security Trust Fund to cover a shortfall in funding, but these funds are simply non-marketable US government debt. In theory, the US government could add more debt to the Trust Fund and make payments on the basis of this added debt. Otherwise, the US will likely need to either raise taxes or increase the “regular” government debt level, in order to continue to pay Social Security pensions as planned.

Private pensions, backed by bonds and shares of stock (and perhaps other assets), will find the values of their available assets are falling. Governments, if they are able to, will try to hide this problem. For example, regulators may develop a new way to value assets, so as to make pension funding shortfalls mostly disappear.

In the case of pension bankruptcy, government insurance is often theoretically available. In the US, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation provides coverage; other countries may have similar programs. Unfortunately, this program is not set up to handle a large influx of new bankrupt plans, without raising taxes. The problem then will be raising taxes enough so that one year’s pension benefits can be paid, pushing the problem down the road a bit longer.

Bank accounts have similar guarantees, with similar funding problems. The guarantee organization has very little funds available, without raising taxes or somehow increasing debt.

[10] Stock market prices will tend to fall, leading those who have purchased shares using debt to want to sell quickly, pushing the stock market down further. Currency relativities will fluctuate wildly. Derivatives of many kinds will encounter payment problems. Many ETFs likely won’t work as planned. Governments will try to figure out ways to somehow mitigate these problems to the extent possible. For example, stock markets may be closed for a time to hide the problems. Or, additional time may be given to settle purchases, so that perhaps the deficiencies can be corrected. Eventually, some banks may be taken over by governments, to assure the operation of the parts deemed essential.

[11] Eventually, governments may find it necessary to nationalize a wide range of essential businesses. These could range from trucking companies to banks to oil companies to electricity transmission repair companies. If the balance sheets of these companies are too bad, governments may simply stop publishing them.

[12] These types of actions will mostly be available to “rich” countries. Poor countries can tap their “rainy day” funds, but these will soon be exhausted. In this case, poor countries will find that there is little they can do unless international organizations bail them out. Because of cutbacks in tourism and in orders of finished goods, such as clothing, these countries are likely to encounter high levels of unemployment. Without aid, the poorer citizens of these countries will find it impossible to afford an adequate diet. With inadequate nutrition, the health of low income citizens will decline, and they will easily succumb to communicable diseases, such as tuberculosis and malaria. Death rates are likely to skyrocket.

[B] What Happens When an Economy Outgrows Its Resources? 

Most people think that the issue we are dealing with is a temporary problem associated with a new coronavirus. I think that we are dealing with a much worse problem: The world’s population has outgrown the world’s resource limits. This is why our current problems look so difficult to solve from a financial point of view. This is part of the reason many people feel that shutting down the economy for COVID-19 is a good choice. There are really many reasons for the shutdowns, besides preventing the spread of COVID-19: Keeping people inside stops the many protests related to low wages. The shutdowns appear to restore order to a troubled system. Broken supply lines from shutdowns elsewhere reduce raw materials availability, making it more difficult to keep production in one part of the world operating, when others are closed.

Overshoot and collapse is a problem that many smaller economies have encountered over the years. If I am right that we are now encountering a similar situation, there is a big change ahead. The change will not be instantaneous, however. The big question that arises is, “Over what time scale does such a collapse take place?” If it takes place over a number of years, it may look more like “overshoot and decline” than “overshoot and collapse” to those who are living through the era.

A recent partial collapse was that of the Soviet Union in 1991. The Soviet Union was an oil exporter. Oil prices had hit a high in 1981 and had been declining for 10 years when the Soviet Union collapsed. With low oil prices, it had been difficult to earn enough revenue to reinvest in new oil fields to replace the production that naturally declines as oil is extracted. Oil, directly and indirectly, had provided many jobs for the Soviet Union. After ten years of stress, the central government of the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.

Low oil prices first slowed production growth between 1982 and 1987 (Figure 2). Oil production began to decline in 1988, three years before the government collapsed. Production gradually rose again in the early 2000s, as oil prices rose again.

Figure 2. Oil production and price of the former Soviet Union (FSU), based on BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy 2015.

What was surprising to me was the fact that consumption of all types of energy by the Soviet Union fell at the time of the central government collapse in 1991, even hydroelectric. The overall level of energy consumption never bounced back to its previous level.

Figure 3. Former Soviet Union energy consumption by fuel, based on data of BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy 2018.

What happened was that many inefficient industries were forced to close. Some of these industries were in the Ukraine; others were in Russia and elsewhere. As they closed, less electricity and less oil and gas were used.

The loss in energy consumption was pretty much permanent. The manufacturing that left the Soviet Union was replaced by other, more efficient, manufacturing elsewhere. Also, without their previous manufacturing jobs, the people of the former Soviet Union were poorer. They could not afford to buy cars and homes, keeping fuel consumption lower.

Another indicator regarding the speed of collapses is the analysis done by researchers Peter Turchin and Sergey Nefedov, regarding collapses of eight agricultural economies from earlier periods. I compiled the information they provided in the book Secular Cycles in the chart shown in Figure 4. In the cycles they analyzed, the “crisis period” seemed to last 20 to 50 years. One thing that is striking in their analysis is that epidemics often played a major role in the declines. As wage disparity grew, poorer workers ate less well. They became more vulnerable to epidemics and often died.

Figure 4. Chart by author based on information provided in Turchin and Nefedov’s book, Secular Cycles.

In these early cycles, the major industry was farming. These collapses were in the days before electricity use. In these situations, collapses tended to play out over 20 to 50 years. Our more modern economy, with its just-in-time supply lines, would seem likely to collapse more quickly, but we can’t know for certain. This analysis is thus another data point that suggests that what may be ahead could be closer to “overshoot and decline” than “overshoot and collapse.”

[C] What May Be Ahead

[1] We are likely to experience the collapse of central governments of several of the oil exporting nations, in a manner not entirely different from the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Oil prices have been low for a very long time, since 2008, or at least since 2014.

Figure 5. Weekly average spot oil prices for Brent, based on data of the US Energy Information Administration.

Most OPEC oil producers seem to require prices in the $100+ per barrel range in order to be able to fund the programs their people expect (Figure 6). One important program provides subsidies for imported food; other programs provide jobs. Without these programs, revolutions to overthrow the current leaders seem much more likely.

Figure 6. Estimate of OPEC break-even oil prices, including tax requirements by parent countries, from APICORP. Figure is from 2014.

At this point, oil prices have been below $100 per barrel since 2014, a period of 6 years (Figure 5). Stress is increasing; OPEC producers have cut production in an attempt to try to get prices up. Prices are now in the low $40s.

We should not be surprised if, over the next few years, oil production starts to fall in several areas around the world because of internal problems. Another possible impetus for the drop in production may be wars with other nations. Some such wars might be started simply to try to get the price of oil up to a more acceptable level.

We have been falsely led to believe that oil is not important; renewables can handle our needs in the future. In fact, oil is essential for today’s farming. It is essential for transportation of goods and services of all kinds. It is essential for the construction industry and for mining. Researchers in academic institutions have received grants, encouraging them to put together models regarding what could be ahead. These models tend to be extremely unrealistic.

One of the most absurd models is by Mark Jacobson. He claims that by 2050, the world economy can operate almost entirely using wind, solar, and hydroelectric. Unfortunately, we don’t have until 2050; world oil, coal, and natural gas supplies look likely to decline in the 2020 to 2025 timeframe because of low prices. Another problem with this approach is that there is not very much fossil fuel to extract, because most of what appears to be available from resource studies cannot really be extracted at the low prices set by physics. 

The underlying problem is confusion about which direction prices go, as an economy reaches limits. Economists assume that scarcity will cause prices to rise; the real story is that fossil fuel prices are set by the laws for physics because the economy is a dissipative structure. As the economy approaches limits, prices tend to fall too low for producers, rather than rise too high for consumers.The sad truth is that we can’t even count on the continued extraction of the small amount of fossil fuels that Jacobson assumes will exist after 2050.

[2] We are likely to see a huge change in the international financial system and in the international trade system in the next few years. 

As long as there were plenty of resources, relative to the world population, the optimal approach was to do as much international trade as possible. This approach would maximize world GDP. It would also add jobs in developing areas of the world without too huge an impact on job availability in the countries moving their manufacturing to lower-cost areas.

In the last few years, it has become increasingly evident that there aren’t enough jobs that pay well to go around. This is really the underlying problem with respect to the increased hostility among nations, such as between the US and China. Tariffs are being used to try to bring jobs that pay well back to those who need them. Strange as it may seem, it takes fossil fuels to create jobs that pay well.

Figure 7. World Trade as a percentage of GDP, based on data of the World Bank.

Figure 7 shows that international trade was rising as a percentage of GDP for many years, and it hit a high point in 2008. Since then it has bounced around a little below that high point. In 2020, it will clearly take a big step down because of all of the cancellation of trade related to COVID-19 restrictions.

We saw earlier that commodity prices tend to fall too low for producers. Indirectly, this means that profits tend to fall too low. Interest rates tend to follow these low profits down, since businesses cannot afford to pay high interest rates.

With these low profits and low wages, the financial system gets strained. “Debt and more debt” seems to be the way to fix the system. Growing debt at ever-lower interest rates is encouraged. These low interest rates tend to raise asset prices because monthly payments to buy these assets fall with the falling interest rates. Stock markets tend to rise, even when the economy is doing poorly.

If the many strange approaches I outlined in Section A are used to add even more debt to keep the system afloat, eventually some part of the system is going to “break.” For example, banks will stop issuing letters of credit with respect to purchases made by buyers that don’t seem sufficiently creditworthy. Banks may stop trusting other banks, especially if the banks do not really seem to be solvent. At some point, the international financial system seems likely to start “coming apart.” Eventually, the US dollar will stop being the world’s reserve currency.

My guess is that a new two currency system will develop. Governments will issue a lot of currency for local use. It will not be useful for buying goods from other countries. Much of it will be used for buying locally produced food and other locally produced goods.

Very little international trade will be done. Any international trade that will be done will occur between trusted partners, at agreed upon exchange rates. Perhaps a special currency will be used for this purpose.

In this new world, individual countries will be very much on their own. With very little fossil fuel, countries will tend to lose electricity availability very quickly. Transmission lines will go unrepaired. It will become impossible to fix existing wind turbines. Road repair will become impossible. Electric cars will likely be as unusable as gasoline powered ones.

There will likely be fighting about resources that are available, leading to countries subdividing into smaller and smaller units, hoarding what little resources they have available.

Note:

1Energy prices tend to fall too low because, as the economy gets more complex, wage and wealth disparity tend to grow, reflecting differences in training and responsibility. The problem occurs because low-paid workers cannot afford to buy very large quantities of goods and services produced by the economy. For example, many cannot afford a car or a home of their own. The spending of high-paid workers does not offset the loss of demand by low-paid workers because high-paid workers tend to spend their wages more on services, such as advanced education, which require proportionately less energy consumption. Ultimately, the lack of demand by low-paid workers tends to pull down the prices of oil and other commodities below the level required by producers.

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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2,450 Responses to Reaching the End of Early Stimulus – What’s Ahead?

  1. Harry McGibbs says:

    “With unemployment sky rocketing as a result of Covid-19, there has been a corresponding rise in evictions and mortgage defaults. A new study from Washington University in St. Louis’ Olin Business School of the loan-to-value ratios in the wake of the 2008 financial crash issues a cautionary warning about the troubles ahead.

    “The study finds that the higher the outstanding mortgage is relative to the value of the home, the worse the future income growth and job mobility of the individual will be.”

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/adigaskell/2020/10/09/new-study-predicts-gloomy-economic-times-ahead-for-americans/#64eee7cd1588

  2. Harry McGibbs says:

    “The largest banks haven’t been this cautious with their holdings in at least 35 years.

    “Cash, Treasuries and other securities effectively guaranteed by the federal government now make up more than 35% of the combined balance sheets of the 25 biggest U.S. banks, according to data compiled by the Federal Reserve. That’s the biggest share in records going back to 1985…”

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-10-09/biggest-u-s-banks-keep-their-assets-at-safest-level-in-35-years

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “The pace of defaults in the pandemic is faster than during the global financial crisis of 2008 to 2009, S&P analyst Sudeep Kesh said Friday in a phone interview…

      ““The credit environment was very, very vulnerable to some kind of economic shock” before Covid-19 led to lockdowns globally, Kesh said. That’s because companies were aggressively increasing their debt levels for years as interest rates remained low for so long, he explained.”

      https://www.institutionalinvestor.com/article/b1nqzhy696j9zc/Where-Defaults-Are-Surging

      • According to the article:

        About 70 percent of corporate defaults in the U.S. are in the consumer products, oil and gas, retail and restaurants, and media and entertainment sectors, S&P Global Ratings said in a report Friday.

        • Robert Firth says:

          About 70$ of defaults in , but how much of the economy does that list represent? Reporting the numerator and not the denominator is rather unhelpful.

    • (1) Maybe they don’t trust other securities.

      (2) Maybe they don’t want to make loans to people with poor credit.

  3. Tim Groves says:

    Why are so many people at the White House testing positive for Covid-19 all of a sudden at this particular time? Has it been spread deliberately as part of the effort to remove Trump? Is it “an October surprise”?

    • MM says:

      Covid 19 is a stochastic diesease. That means, it can spred dastically in sudden jumps without ever being noticed (asymptomatics).
      From the real high increases in cases last week all around the world I get the impression that “quiet infections” are now so wide spread that I would not speak of a second wave but of a huge explosion due to the fact that you will likely be infected as soon as you just “encounter” one or two other people

    • Perhaps the many cases are a gift of the self-organizing system to illustrate the fact that practically no one dies. In fact, they tend to recover quite quickly.

      Ideally, lots of Representative and Senators would get the illness, so that people could see that life does go on, after the illness, even for older people.

      • Robert Firth says:

        Gail, the idea of lots of US representatives and senators contracting the disease and *not* dying has cast a cloud of gloom over my day. Thank you, maybe.

      • Robert Firth says:

        Gail, the Powers That Be have crafted a new meme to counter your claim that people recover quite quickly. It is called “long covid”, and is a form of the disease from which people recover slowly or never. It has never been seen before, and I heard this new meme only today, but on three different news channels. The latest dose of manufactured panic, spreading even faster than the virus and far more destructive.

        • One article I read a quite a while back said that the people who have long-term problems with COVID tend to be the same people who had long-term problems with illnesses such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Mononucleosis earlier.

  4. adonis says:

    just been reading this document and i would appreciate your expert opinions on whether the following statements are fictional ;

    ‘CHAPTER III – MINERALS AND FUEL
    Population growth per se is not likely to impose serious constraints on the global physical availability of fuel and non-fuel minerals to the end of the century and beyond.

    This favourable outlook on reserves does not rule out shortage situations for specific minerals at particular times and places. Careful planning with continued scientific and technological progress (including the development of substitutes) should keep the problems of physical availability within manageable proportions.

    The major factor influencing the demand for non-agricultural raw materials is the level of industrial activity, regional and global. For example, the U.S., with 6% of the world’s population, consumes about a third of its resources. The demand for raw materials, unlike food, is not a direct function of population growth. The current scarcities and high prices for most such materials result mainly from the boom conditions in all industrialized regions in the years 1972-73.’

    • Nehemiah says:

      If you are interested in how territory acts as a restraint on population growth in a state of nature, this book is the best intro to the concept that I know of:
      https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/319808.The_Territorial_Imperative
      “In the revolutionary follow up to African Genesis, Robert Ardrey demonstrates that man obeys the same laws as do many other animal species, that the drive to control territory, specifically, rankles within our breasts and determines even the largest social phenomena. Family loyalty and responsibility, in men no less than in gibbons or beavers or robins, rests on joint attachment to a private territory.”

      Ardrey was a playwright as well as a science writer, so his books are very readable. Some used paperbacks are available through Amazon (also Kindle versions):
      https://www.amazon.com/Territorial-Imperative-Personal-Inquiry-Property/dp/0988604310

    • I reformatted this to make it more readable.

      People like to talk about available resources. In fact, when demand was high and prices kept going higher, talking about available resources really made sense. Boom conditions really did make it look like all of these resource could be extracted.

      But as we reach the limits of the economy, things to wrong. Demand is stopped by all kinds of things. One is not enough people having jobs. Another is COVID restrictions. Prices tend to stay too low. Even stopping most of air traffic causes a huge problem. Refiners, who were used to making jet fuel, have a hard time selling the new mix of products. Then end up making more diesel, but they can’t find a market for the diesel. Thus, broken supply chains become a problem as well. A refinery that is bankrupt goes out of business completely.

      We should expect that most of the resources that seem to be available will be left in the ground. Nice Hubbert Curves of resource extraction won’t happen in the future. Instead, they will follow what Ugo Bardi calls Seneca Cliffs, dropping off quickly, because of persistent low prices and lots of problems like wars, overturned governments of oil exporters, and loss of international trade.

      • Nehemiah says:

        I would bet my life that prices will not stay low indefinitely. Either demand will rise or production will fall. Either way, a bidding war among those end users who can afford to pay higher prices will erupt, as it always does, when the demand curve rises above the cost curve.

  5. Lastcall says:

    Hmmm what to do? Stay with the herd, and if so for how long? This herd is going to be thinned down much earlier than I thought it would be, and not by Convid, but as a result of the missteps in dealing with it.
    So the herd instinct must be acknowledged, but if you believe the stampede is toward a cliff, at what point and how do you quietly turn aside? The predators from outside would seem to be less of a risk than the thought leaders within.

    • Tim Groves says:

      You can try to keep your distance from the herd, but you will find it difficult to move completely off the ranch. So mind how you go and take care not to get trampled underfoot when the herd stampedes past you on its way to the precipice.

      https://justoutsidetheboxcartoon.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/img_0152.jpg

      • Nehemiah says:

        Worse than mere herding. Herding is just psychological, but imagine you were on a crowded, multilane expressway at 70 mph when you spot your exit approaching fast on the opposite side of the expressway? It may look like you’re herding, but in reality it may just be hard to exit because the of obstacles.

        Let us say that you wanted to change your life so that if everything went away very quickly, you could still preserve the knowledge of how to make metal tools, how to make paper and writing implements, how to print books and newspapers, how to install and maintain plumbing and running water with local materials and no electrical pumps, how to maintain calendars and clocks, how to build a horse drawn carriage, how to shoe the horses, how to make saddles, how to make hats to protect you from the summer sun, how to preserve foods without refrigeration, how to either maintain your own local wood lot (no chainsaws!) OR how to ensure that there was sufficient local production of firewood that a local shortage would never develop that would leave everyone freezing in the winter (and unable to cook), how to grow, process and make clothing and shoes from locally grown materials, and I am sure this list can get longer.

        No one can master all these skills, but some people in the local community whom you can trade with need to possess them, along with reliable access to the necessary quantities of raw materials. This is how you get off the freeway. Not with a bug out bag in an isolated retreat that lets you muddle through for a few years until the wider world returns to normal.

        One British economist, after researching modern business processes for his book, expressed amazement at just how incredibly complex and interconnected the contemporary English economy was. His name was Adam Smith and the year was 1776. How can we reproduce the living standards of the 18th century at a local level using local resources, except for some imported metals (which may be scrap that will need to be recycled)? Along with “closed loop” horticulture done with raised beds (not plows) to prevent erosion, that is how you build a “sustainable” society. If you make it to that stage, then you might want to look for ways to generate a little local electricity with local materials, local technology, and local maintenance.

        The ideal balancing act would be to have a foot in both worlds–to use 21st century tech while you can, yet be able to switch over very quickly if necessary, but “getting there” involves a lot more than just leaving the herd.

  6. Dennis L. says:

    CHS has a new post on OTM blog.

    http://charleshughsmith.blogspot.com/2020/10/has-our-luck-finally-run-out.html

    His summary: “We are woefully unprepared for a long run of bad luck. My sense is the cycles have turned and the good luck has drained from the hour-glass. Energy and food will no longer be cheap and abundant, our luck in leadership will vanish, and our vaunted technologies will fail to maintain an abundance so vast that we can squander the finite wealth of soil, water, resources and energy on mindless consumption.”

    I have read Turchin and find his arguments compelling. The point about parasitic elites is a bit strong, people go through educations and find there is not enough for them to do, few places to make positive contributions. We are all human and most of us are pretty good, maybe 2% are “bad.” The economy is no longer growing and many/ all want to justify their jobs, so everyone wants to help, or “too many cooks spoil the soup,” something like that.

    Dennis L.

    • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      “Actions have consequences, and after 30 years of waste, fraud and corruption being normalized by the parasitic elites while the purchasing power of labor decayed, the karmic consequences can no longer be delayed by doing more of what’s hollowed out the economy and society.”

      and yet, there of course can be more delay, and CHS himself concludes this:

      “If it wasn’t for bad luck, I wouldn’t have no luck at all.”
      “The next five years might have us singing this line with feeling.”

      so he doesn’t conclude that it will be within five years, only that it “might” be.

      in his almost daily writings, he seems very consistent to not project any timeline for his pessimism. His pessimism is pretty much guaranteed to become reality, but my opinion is that it will indeed be delayed, and now I’m thinking that as the “luck” runs out later in this decade, he will live to see much of the worst of it, since he is only 66 years old.

    • Tim Groves says:

      This is a very nice article reminding us of the existence of both natural and economic cycles that can and will turn against us from time to time.

      I would add that when times are good, population tends to expand well beyond long-term carrying capacity, and when times turn bad, what will the bulk of the expanded population do then?

    • Nehemiah says:

      One does not have to be “bad” to be a parasite. Self-interest plus opportunity is all it takes. Malaria does not hate you. It is just trying to perpetuate itself.

      I agree that “luck” (chance) plus path dependence play a huge role in the rise and fall of civilizations. Parasitic elites tend to develop a stronger and stronger hold the longer a society avoids political and economic upheaval. So far, no society seems to have solved this problem. Our current elites are highly cronyistic and parasitic. It is one factor. It reduces our ability to adapt to change.

      Two other factors that reduce our adaptability: the educated and the wealthy are increasingly the same class of people, as Charles Murray and the late Richard Herrnstein explored in detail in their much hated book _The Bell Curve_, most of whose reviewers completely missed the point. This strengthens the grip of elite parasites.

      Another factor is falling birth rates. With women having few children, and with low childhood mortality, first born children are a much bigger share of each generation than in previous times, and first born children (full disclosure: I am one) tend to be less innovative and less open to change than younger siblings. Often that is good. They can be a force for stability. But in a crisis during which rapid change is essential, or proactive change is needed, their large numbers should further reduce adaptability. (Recommended reading: Frank Sulloway, _Born To Rebel_.)

      Another is climate. Warm climates are periods of reliable harvests, cooler climates are periods of erratic harvests and consequent unrest. These cycles are driven by celestial forces (not just Milankovitch) and they alternate. They have not stopped alternating, and in the a late 20th century we saw the peaking and passing of the biggest grand solar maximum in 8000 years. Total Solar Irradiance is now dropping like a rock, and, for reasons that are still debated, temperatures tend to follow changes in TSI. Another factor.

      Best projections we have are that liquid fuels, coal, gas, and U235 production will all be peaking and then start falling during a 20 year window between 2020 and 2040. The closer these peaks turn out to cluster, the worse it will be. Chance!

      A number of critical industrial minerals will also hit a production peak and go into decline during the next 50 years. One of these is copper, which is intimately tied to the electrical age. We can recycle the major minerals, but costs will rise. For the minor minerals on which our high tech age has become highly dependent, it may never be worth the cost. Eventually, we must say goodbye to desktops and laptops and smart phones, and even to stainless steel.

      In most of the leading countries (not Japan or China), diversity is rapidly increasing, and research by Finland’s Tatu Vanhanen shows that diversity has a strong association with internal political unrest. Another risk factor that interacts with all the rest.

      No longer masked by the Flynn Effect, nominal IQ scores have been declining in western countries since the 1990s. The general factor, which was masked by the Flynn Effect until recently, has been falling since Victorian times. Other traits related to educational achievement, although harder to measure in different time periods, have almost certainly been falling as well (conscientiousness, creativity, but extraversion has probably risen). This trend has reduced our capacity to adapt, and increased the number of persons who become easily frustrated. It also greatly increases, for mathematical reasons, the number of persons at the low end of personal competence.

      Low childhood mortality has allowed the mutational load to build. I suspect that is one contributing factor to the long rise in autoimmune diseases, and perhaps cancers as well. It also makes us far more vulnerable to pathogenic outbreaks if our sanitation system ever breaks down or a new deadly virus goes global. It was bacterial and viral pathogens that used to keep mutational load down by killing off the most genetically vulnerable individuals.

      Urbanization has risen to an undreamed of level, and our huge cities are supplied by long and intricate supply chains which are easily disrupted.

      In short, there are too many vulnerabilities, too many interconnections, and too many feedbacks, perhaps more feedbacks than we can foresee or understand, that can amplify calamity when things break down. And there are far too many things that can go wrong (“luck”).

      Would civilization today still rebound from a Great Depression or a World War (even a conventional one), perhaps even a Carrington Event, or would a severe global stress initiate an unstoppable downward spiral of collapse?

      Yet even with no singular crisis to overstress the interdependent global system, once the fuel supply begins to fall, or the EROEI falls too low (and a falling EROEI could cause net energy to decline even if total energy production were up), life as we know it will be over, although I think that hope may decline more slowly, and politicians and mainstream media will likely tell people for a generation that it is only a matter of time until we innovate our way back to prosperity.

      Nevertheless, those of the younger generation who live to see old age will look back in amazement at the changes over their lifetimes, just as my grandfather did, except the changes will be in the opposite direction. My grandparents were all born before WW 1 in a part of rural America that was still in the 19th century: no electricity or indoor plumbing or phones or motor transport or refrigeration and heating and cooking powered with firewood. Yet they would die in a world that had been utterly transformed, and they always counted their blessings. The big question I have is how long will it take for the majority of people to give up hope and to accept that their way of life has changed forever? That they must go backward to a world that more closely resembles, not the 19th century, but the 18th? It was nothing like that on Star Trek!

      As planes become rarely seen in the sky, public airports begin to shut down, and cars become rare on the streets, while roads and bridges that no one can afford to repair fall into decay, and grass begins to grow between the crumbling asphalt on the interstate, as trade declines yet wages fall, food production declines even as costs rise, and black outs and brown outs become commonplace until it becomes clear that giant power grids cannot be sustained much longer, as growing numbers of predatory gangs begin to roam the darkened city streets that the police can no longer afford to adequately patrol, the realization will begin to dawn in more and more minds that civilization as we have known it is dying irreversibly. And this is the best case scenario.

      As time marches by, life will change more and more. Harder than accepting a permanent change in material culture for many people will be accepting a change in their core value system, as many of the dominant values of our urbanized, individualistic modern societies do not work in a society that is decentralized, re-ruralized, and where family and local community must take over the welfare functions of a declining state. The values of a more communal and localized culture have been preserved by our more traditional religions, and their members will have an psychological edge in adapting to the post-fossil world.

      I can imagine a scenario in which a reverse generation gap emerges, especially among the feminine sex where it will be more pronounced. In many families, daughters who grow up in a conservative, stable, hierarchical social milieu, and mothers who still cling to the competitive, individualistic, and egalitarian values more suitable to the industrial age, will not understand each other at all. The relationship between the means of production, social organization, and the core ethical and cultural values of a society is one that usually gets overlooked in these peakist discussions, but just as they have changed together since the beginning of the industrial revolution, it is inevitable that they will change again with deindustrialization. I suspect that many people must realize this on some level, consciously or not, and that this intuitive realization contributes to their determination to find a “green” solution that will enable us to “sustain” the modern way of life and modern living standards. Sustainability is all about sustaining the unsustainable.

      • The issue, as I see it, is really net energy per capita, not simply net energy. Net energy per capita can fall too low, simply from population rising.

        We are already in deep trouble. The prices of all of the fuels, including Uranium, seem to move together. When overall demand falls, prices of all the fuels fall, and production of the fuels tends to fall because of unprofitability. We will soon be headed down down a Seneca Cliff of fuel supply, as Ugo Bardi calls it.

        If we can go back at all, we will indeed need something closer to traditional religions. Except, it is not clear we can go back just a few hundred years; we may need to go back further yet.

        The major hope would be if some parts of the world can hold on to what we have, for a few years longer. Perhaps push the collapse off to the more peripheral areas.

      • Tim Groves says:

        I read through your very long comment, Nehemiah, nodding with approval at almost every paragraph. One would have to be a nit-picker, a cornucopian or a New Green Deal enthusiast to find anything to take objection to in it.

        I hadn’t heard of, or couldn’t remember, The Flynn effect. I was half wondering if it referred to the infamous General Flynn who we now learn was set up by the FBI. 🙂 But upon looking it up, I recalled that I had read about it yonks ago, possibly in The Bell Curve.

        The “Flynn effect” refers to the observed rise over time in standardized intelligence test scores, documented by Flynn (1984a) in a study on intelligence quotient (IQ) score gains in the standardization samples of successive versions of Stanford-Binet and Wechsler intelligence tests.

        The term “the Flynn effect” was coined by Herrnstein and Murray, but the effect was discovered by James Flynn, the New Zealand-based researcher who believes that environmental factors play a greater role in intelligence than genetics does.

        Professor Flynn is a real academic, as can be clearly seen from his bushy beard and his ability to peer down over his spectacles. (Proving also that education makes you taller!)

        https://www.cambridgeblog.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/James-R-Flynn.jpg

        • Nehemiah says:

          “The term “the Flynn effect” was coined by Herrnstein and Murray, but the effect was discovered by James Flynn,” — More accurately, Flynn REdisovered (and popularized) the Flynn Effect. Before Flynn, Richard Lynn had noted it while doing research in Japan. And before Lynn, it had been noted by Raymond Cattell (stress the second syllable, not the first) and was known as Cattell’s Paradox before lapsing into obscurity.

          Flynn, who is the most responsible and respected of the “last ditch” defenders of the Boasian-type environmentalist theories, agrees that the Flynn Effect does not actually measure changes in general intelligence, but it might reflect improvement in more narrow, specialized and trainable abilities. For the last quarter century, it has been detected in several western countries that the Flynn Effect is either reversing or being overpowered. I think Flynn knows that he is fighting a losing battle, at least so far as the science goes. However, the Boasians do seem to be winning still in the court of public opinion. I view Flynn as a sort of scientific eccentric in the Anglo-Saxon tradition.

          However, Gould, Rose, Lewontin, and Kamin are different, they are hard core Marxist ideologues (although Gould is dead now, maybe one of the other three has also died, I’m not sure). Jared Diamond has tried to follow in the tradition of these “four horsemen” of genetic denialism, but with less fervor. Jerome Kagan used to be one of these environment-explains-all types, but was honest enough to reluctantly admit that he was wrong. Someone once asked him whether he really wanted to change his mind, or something like that, and Kagan is said to have replied curtly, “Nature doesn’t care what we want.”

          I wish everyone could read the late David C. Rowe’s short book, _The Limits of Family Influence_. It would open a lot of eyes. Most social scientists still refuse to admit that they are studying the extended human phenotype and that their disciplines are therefore a branch of biology.

          For people who want a very light introduction to the subject, a good book is _The Nurture Assumption_ by Judith Rich Harris. One positive lesson from this is that parents should not worry about doing their job less than perfectly, because, unless you are a really and truly horrible parent, you probably will not have much effect anyway on how your child turns out, although you will influence his or her religious and political affiliations in most cases (although not so much your adult child’s actual opinions). You might also have an influence on his education or job training, but not much effect on his grades, work effort, or competence.

          • Robert Firth says:

            Sigh. Scientists have run the experiment, and Nature has obliged with the data. The intelligence of identical twins is highly correlated (over 80%). Nature or nurture? Well, the intelligence of identical twins raised apart from birth is also highly correlated (over 70%), Case closed, and the idealogues such as Gould and Rose are flat wrong.

      • Xabier says:

        Much to think about in your post, Nehemiah – than you.

        I feel that another limiting factor in adaptability is ideology, which can effectively blind us to reality: although the first-born, I tend to be far more flexible and open-minded than my much younger siblings, as they have been immersed in radical Left ideology.

        I like to do new, practical, things although only when I feel that I can truly master them,and am always ready to examine new ideas further if a brief view suggests it would be sensible.

        They, on the other hand, think along tramlines set down by their ideology, and attempt to cram all experience into that framework. They waste a great deal of intellectual and emotional energy on this.

        At present, they still believe that the golden future promised by radicalism is just over the horizon, if only they can defeat conservatism: they are not at all prepared for what is developing.

        On the other hand, they have a ready-made social/political network, marches to go on (before the virus!), flags to wave, etc -a kind of religious ritual context – and I find myself discussing things with the dog……

    • As I lookout at the article, my thought is not “good or bad runs of luck.” It is being able to hide diminishing returns in resource extraction behind rising debt and increased employment for ever-more superfluous purposes, for a while. Now we are reaching limits in hiding this problem. We cannot support this big economy with the many service jobs that are not really adding much of anything. The system looks likely to fall down.

      I suppose that weather issues sometimes play a role as well. These truly are out of our hands. They truly might be considered “luck.”

      I don’t know if animal pandemic problems (as with the pigs in China and the locusts many places) could be called a luck problem, but they are really related to the way pigs are raised and the way grain crops are raises. Our trend toward monoculture is asking for problems. Using pesticides and herbicides only works so long. We cannot really outsmart rapidly mutating organisms.

      • Nehemiah says:

        I would say the bad luck is running into too many limits and other problems at the same time. For example, if oil depletion were our only problem right now, we might muddle through. Life would change, but civilization itself would not be in danger.

    • Christopher says:

      CHS is often blaming the “parasitic elites”. This seems to be a populistic point of view. After all, isn’t squandering of resources and bad decisions a much broader phenomena, not just the elites are to be blamed for our present state. In the end we are all part of this. You could even argue that the “bad decisions” in fact were the only possible decisions, thus they were neither bad nor decisions.

  7. Dennis L. says:

    A bit of information from Wisconsin and C-19. This is from the WI department of professional licensing.

    “Wisconsin needs your help. We have reached a critical moment in the pandemic. There are more than 141,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and we recently passed a dangerous threshold: We had more than 3,000 new cases confirmed in a single day. As of yesterday, total deaths in the state had reached 1,424. All 72 Wisconsin counties now have high levels of disease activity, and 55 have very high spread. Hospitalizations increased 26 percent in a week, and nursing homes are strained.

    We are asking health care professionals to consider registering with the Wisconsin Emergency Assistance Volunteer Registry (WEAVR). WEAVR is a web-based online registration system for health professional volunteers willing to serve in an emergency. The state uses WEAVR to facilitate health and medical response through identification, credentialing, and deployment of volunteers. There are a number of requests active on WEAVR now that would benefit from your expertise. You can sign up here: https://weavrwi.org/.

    Also, we know that recently retired providers may have more flexibility than those who are still in practice. That is part of the reason why Governor Evers issued an emergency order with provisions that make it easier to renew licenses that lapsed within the past five years. If you need to renew your license in order to practice and volunteer, please fill out this form.

    I understand that not everyone has the capacity to volunteer right now, but please consider registering with WEAVR if you do.

    We all are doing what we can to get to the other side of the pandemic, yet I recognize that it is our health care providers on the front lines. The people of Wisconsin are fortunate to have your dedication to their health, safety, and well-being. Thank you for all you do.

    Sincerely,

    DawnCrim”

    Dawn B. Crim

    Secretary-designee”

    I have a WI license, it would seem the state is having issues getting people to practice medicine/dentistry. I was very fortunate to become a dentist, now, it would be too risky and while I was used to dealing with infections diseases, this one spreads too fast.

    Dennis L.

    • Chrome Mags says:

      I’m beginning to feel like Quint in ‘Jaws’ when he relates the story of the sinking of the Indianapolis. Just before getting rescued was when he was most worried about getting attacked by a shark, just as I am now most concerned about getting Covid-19 just before the vaccines are approved and ready to begin inoculating the masses.

      • Xabier says:

        No one wants to be the chap who gets shot just before the Armistice….

        You might try a touch of Fatalism, Chrome Mags – it works.

        All in the hands of the Fates, the gods, Allah (‘From Him we come and to Him we shall go, when he pleases) or what have you: besides, the vaccines won’t be terribly effective, just reduce the odds, so there would still be plenty to worry about even after they are introduced.

        • Tim Groves says:

          Gloucester in King Lear lamented: “As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods; They kill us for their sport.”

          Or as Melchett in Blackadder paraphrased it: “As private parts to the gods are we, they play with us for their sport.”

        • Robert Firth says:

          “Indeed we belong to Allah, and indeed to him we shall return” (Surah al-Baqarah,2:156). A sentiment that goes all the way back to the Book of Job (i:21)

      • If you envision vaccines rescuing us, you are in the minority here. They will be available to a small percentage of the population and perhaps prevent part of the illnesses. We don’t know long the immunity will last.

    • It would seem like Wisconsin would want doctors with experience in treating COVID–what works, what doesn’t. All of this hasn’t been codified well.

      It is hard to see a need for dentists. Some of them are out sick, but there are not that many dental emergencies.

      Maybe it was easier to use a mailing list of doctors and dentists. This could be for a future emergency as well.

    • Robert Firth says:

      Dennis, what you choose to do in this emergency is between you and whatever higher power (if any) you respect. But, whatever you choose, may that power protect you and guide you.

  8. adonis says:

    looks like coffee sales could be affected too by the closure of small coffee shops in the US Uhttps://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-10-08/say-goodbye-to-your-local-coffee-shop-in-america-s-cafe-shakeup?utm_source=url_link

  9. Tim Groves says:

    It seems like only yesterday that Boris Johnson was saying he was ‘humbled’ by support from traditional Labour voters including those “up north”. I wonder how long that support’s going to last.

    https://hdwallpapers.cat/thumbnail/andy-capp-glass-bar-entertainment-funny-9meX.jpg

  10. Oh dear says:

    The average age of death in UK from c 19 is actually higher than that from all causes combined (79.7, 2019). It seems that people are less likely to die from c 19 than from just about anything apart from ‘old age’. – Statistically, are you are likely to live longer if you die of c 19.

    > Data shows the average age of death from coronavirus is 82.4 years, writes DAVID ROSE as he argues for anti-lockdown plan to shield only the most vulnerable

    DAVID ROSE: The average age of people who died from Covid-19 in England and Wales since the pandemic began is 82.4 according to the Office of National Statistics.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-8821113/The-average-age-death-coronavirus-82-4-years-writes-DAVID-ROSE.html

    • Oh dear says:

      A new poll suggests that support in UK for age-generalised lock down measures remain high – even though the average age of c 19 fatality is 82, higher than the average age of death. Nearly half would support a return to the near-total lock down of March if c-19 ‘worsens’.

      The ‘government’ is in a difficult position. Its ‘lead’ in the polls has dropped by 30 points in five months. Either it continues with lock down and with its ‘failure’ to ‘stop’ c 19, and the damage to the society and economy, or it opens up the society and admits that its policy has been ‘wrong’ all along. Either way, its polling seems headed downward. More lives have been lost through ‘other causes’ than saved through lock down.

      The poll suggests a general worsening of mental health.

      75% expect life to be changed for the ‘long haul’.

      Arguably UK ‘panicked’, like other Western countries, and it is ‘stuck’ in a perpetual state of panic that is leading to more deaths than saved and trashing everyone’s lives – and the economy.

      > Britons take a hardline attitude to restrictions, making clear that they would support tougher measures if coronavirus worsens.

      …. Some 58% support closing pubs and restaurants if cases rise, 52% would ban visits to other people’s houses where that is still possible, and 50% would support the closure of non-essential shops and stores.

      Even 46% would support a return to the lockdown conditions in place in March, with a ban on people leaving their homes except for essential shopping, work and exercise, with 38% opposing this.

      There is less support for this among the young, with 47% of 18 to 24-year-olds opposing a return to the toughest lockdown, and only 32% of over-65s.

      The poll found that Britons believe that life has changed for the long haul as a result of coronavirus.

      This comes at a cost, however.

      50% say they are sadder since coronavirus began and 53% say they are more anxious, while 28% say they are worse off financially. Some 29% say they now have a worse relationship with their friends.

      The YouGov poll also reveals how public trust in politicians and other key figures has changed.

      There has been a big drop in trust in ministers involved in the handling of the pandemic. Boris Johnson is now trusted by 31% to handle coronavirus, down from 51% in April at the height of lockdown.

      …. YouGov interviewed 1,678 people on 5 and 6 October.

      https://news.sky.com/story/coronavirus-britons-feel-christmas-gatherings-should-be-sacrificed-in-fight-against-covid-19-12099604

      • I tried to see what kind of US survey I could find. I found something recent from the Pew Research Center. https://www.journalism.org/2020/10/07/before-trump-tested-positive-for-coronavirus-republicans-attention-to-pandemic-had-sharply-declined/

        It says:

        About two-thirds of Republicans say the U.S. has controlled the outbreak as much as it could have; 88% of Democrats disagree

        It seems to basically come down to which news sources a person listens to. If people listens only to “Only Fox News or talk radio,” they have the Republican view. If, on the other hand, they get their news from “MSNBC, CNN, NPR, NY Times, or Washington Post,” they have the opposite view.

        There has been a divide in interpreting the news for quite a long time. It has gotten worse in recent years.

        • Nehemiah says:

          It is worse than that. Even when people are aware of a conflicting version of reality, they only trust the version that emanates from “their” side. Although I think there is more obtuseness and even obscurantism on the left side of the divide, I have not infrequently also found myself in debates with blinkered individuals opposite the left as well. I find it frustrating that so many people can only entertain information or ideas that come from “trusted” sources, perhaps because weighing conflicting evidence requires effort (and, frankly, I have with dismay finally concluded that many people are not very good at it even when they try; experience inclines me to cynicism).

          • Robert Firth says:

            Thank you, Nehemiah. That was part of my journey. I watched the BBc and believed it. Until an event that opened my eyes. That was when I rediscovered history: not as this king or that battle, but the history of civilisations and great minds. First Hendrik Willem van Loon, “The Story of Mankind”; then Toynbee and Spengler; then Ortega y Gasset. And after that, back to the primary sources. As Cervantes said, Time is the Mother of Truth.

            • mch says:

              Another excellent overview of the history of mankind is “The Outline of History” by H.G.Wells first published in 1919 with revisions up to 1939.

              A paragraph from the introduction is as relevant today as 100 years ago:

              “The need for a common knowledge of the general facts of human history throughout the world has become very evident during the tragic happenings of the last few years. Swifter means of communication have brought all men closer to one another for good or for evil. War becomes a universal disaster, blind and monstrously destructive; it bombs the baby in its cradle and sinks the food-ships that cater for the non-combatant and the neutral. There can be no peace now, we realize, but a common peace in all the world; no prosperity but a general prosperity. But there can be no common peace and prosperity without common historical ideas. Without such ideas to hold them together in harmonious co-operation, with nothing but narrow, selfish, and conflicting nationalist traditions, races and peoples are bound to drift towards conflict and destruction. This truth, which was apparent to that great philosopher Kant a century or more ago—it is the gist of his tract upon universal peace—is now plain to the man in the street. Our internal policies and our economic and social ideas are profoundly vitiated at present by wrong and fantastic ideas of the origin and historical relationship of social classes. A sense of history as the common adventure of all mankind is as necessary for peace within as it is for peace between the nations.”

              https://www.gutenberg.org/files/45368/45368-h/45368-h.htm

        • Lastcall says:

          Positions on so many issues have consolidated with very few venturing into the middle ground.
          Especially for Convid.
          The programming in NZ via the MSM continues; the NY Times republished in the papers, the CNN view on radio and TV.
          There is almost zero journalistic inquiry into the alternative views offered by extremely well credentialled and experienced epidemiologists; never mind any examination of the disgarceful history of the Imperial College modelling versus real world outcomes.
          This acquiescence with the approved narrative continues with green futures, the welcome demise of oil, the purity of Obama/Biden and the dastardly Trump, the Russian meddling, and of course the Climate is changing…it never has before!
          No wonder conflict is here there and everywhere. No one is prepared to give an inch.

        • Oh dear says:

          Humans tend to function as ‘herds’, it is just how it is. What is unusual these days, from the historical perspective, is that peoples are divided by party political allegiance and ideology.

          It never used to be like that in the Middle Ages. First peoples in Europe were divided along religious lines with the Reformation, and now party politics. It is part and parcel of the advance out of feudalism and into capitalism and to multi-party liberal democracy.

          But people still tend to think and act as ‘herds’, just in new ways, because that is how human societies normally function and how we have evolved over hundreds of thousands of years. Globalisation is now fragmenting, even atomising societies, it is just how it is with the advance of capitalism.

          The bourgeois world view tends to think of citizens as if they are all Renaissance persons, objective, independent, learned and cultured, at least potentially. Arguably the real world just is not like that. All ages have their ‘foundational myths’?

          • Country Joe says:

            Being part of a herd runs pretty deep. If you are alone, you get 100% of the predators attention. If you are in a group of 10, you get 10% of the predator’s attention. If you are in s herd of 100, you get 1% of the predator’s attention.
            Risk Assessment 101.

            • Oh dear says:

              Yes, herding has its pros and cons for predator and prey alike. Some species do it, some do not. Humans tend to herd, though we have a lesser, individualist streak too.

              Herding has long also allowed humans to farm domesticated animals for exploitation. Human societies tend to function through employment of the herd instinct. The masses have been subject for recorded history. The herd phenomenon is complex when it comes to humans.

              It is part and parcel of human society, nothing wrong with that, but it is not the only part.

          • Nehemiah says:

            “What is unusual these days, from the historical perspective, is that peoples are divided by party political allegiance and ideology.” — I think that is because democracy is historically rare.

            • Oh dear says:

              Why do you think that is?

            • Good point!

            • Robert Firth says:

              Democracy is historically rare because most democracies rapidly destroy themselves. In a democracy, power is given to those who seek power, and almost all history proves that these are the last people who should be entrusted with it. There is good reason why the most stable form of government is dynastic monarchy.

            • Oh dear says:

              The European feudal order was that of ‘decentralised patrimony’, and rule was devolved to independent ‘fiefs’. The political order was ‘aristocratic’ not ‘monarchical’ (single ruler). The feudal political order was ‘stable’ while the feudal economic base was stable.

              Feudalism gave way economically to capitalism and politically to the capitalist ‘national’ state and to bourgeois ‘democracy’. Bourgeois ‘democracy’ is ‘stable’ on a capitalist economic base just as feudal aristocracy was ‘stable’ on a feudal economic base.

              The political order is ‘superstructural’ to the economic base and it has its ‘stability’ within its historical, material context. No ‘form’ of government is inherently ‘stable’, the base-superstructure relationship provides political ‘stability’.

              No one could do more than ‘guesstimate’ what the political order will be after ‘collapse’. It will all depend on the material circumstances of the time. It is unlikely that bourgeois ‘nationalism’ will survive but neither can it be assumed that there will be an economic basis of feudalism.

              ‘History’ will ‘reveal all’ as it ‘unfolds’. Perhaps there will be elements of ‘democracy’ if elements of artisan and ‘urban’ (bourgeois) economy survive. It all ‘remains to be seen’. ‘History’ will find political ‘forms’ that are ‘adapted’ to the economic conditions of the time.

              Or to put it in physical terms, dissipative structures will find their manner of ‘organisation’ according to the energy available for dissipation and the optimum ‘manner’ of dissipation. ‘Politics’ is ‘epiphenomenal’ to the dissipative structure.

          • A major issues for all kinds of plants and animals is limiting the population to an acceptable number, so that it fits into the ecosystem with other species.

            Craig Dilworth, in his 2010 book, “Too Smart for our Own Good: The Ecological Predicament of Mankind,” writes about how the males of many animals mark off territories for their families. Indirectly, this is a way of keeping population down. The area that is marked off is large enough that there is no chance that the animals will kill off too many of the prey that they depend upon for food. If another animal of the same species tries to enter the marked off area, the animals will fight to the death, to determine who can stay and who is excluded.

            He remarks, too, that territoriality become stronger as the population gets closer to limits. If the population is growing to big, there are likely to be more fights over territory.

            I think it is necessary for humans to divide into herds, in somewhat the same way, as a way that some can succeed and some can fail, if there aren’t enough resources to go around. If everything is divided equally, and resources become scarce, then everyone starves. Having the “better adapted” group survive is another from of survival of the fittest. This is also related to the physics of the system.

            I think religions were a way of providing group identity before. There are synergies in belonging to a group. Some can specialize in one thing, while others specialize in other things. At the same time, the groups could fight against other groups, if resources became scarce. This would help keep population from exceeding limits.

            Now many well-educated people, especially, have decided that religions cannot possibly be right. We have scientists, who (we are told) can save us from any problem that might be ahead. They can devise plans to fight off any form of new illness; they can figure out ways to work around pollution problems; they can solve our energy problems with non-polluting renewables; financial engineers can add unlimited debt. This story is, in fact, just as unlikely as one which features the god Thor or the god Zeus. The models today’s scientists have come up with are based on a half-understanding of what is happening. Main Street Media tells us over and over that whatever these folks say is gospel truth–the new gospel that scientists and financial engineers can save us.

            There needs to be a group to offset this political group. It gets to be the conservatives, who say, “Not so fast.” These stories we are being told are not really right. We need to stick with the ways things have been in the past (even if they may not work now). This conservative group picks up some people from prior religious groups, especially from groups who believe that ancient writings must be literally true. The well-educated group looks down their noses at such uneducated people. How could they possibly know anything? They watch Fox News and ignore Anthony Fauci.

            Having two groups allows the equivalent of civil war. The new political groups aren’t all that different from the old religious groups.

            • Bei Dawei says:

              Whether a particular religion is “true” or not, is a different question than whether it is an effective group identity marker. Donald Trump held up that Bible not because he is a devout Christian, but in much the same way that one might wave a flag.

            • Ed says:

              Gail, this is a superb post. It allows society to deal with scarcity without needing to understand the cause, simply exclude / get rid of the “bad” sub-group. This is exactly what Jane Goodall observed in chimpanzees the “bad” sub-group is driven out of the troop territory and finally hunted down and killed one by one.

            • Oh dear says:

              Gail, that is very insightful and there is much truth in that.

              It is ‘science’ that allows you to rationally evaluate the ‘claims’ or ‘suppositions’ of ‘scientific optimism’. You use a scientific approach to criticise the optimistic theoretical ‘failings’ of others who profess a scientific approach.

              That confirms ‘science’, which at the end of the day is a ‘rational’, ‘realistic’ interpretation of physical phenomena that is conducted according to empirical and mathematical methods. The advance of science historically coincides with a bourgeois ‘optimism’ that makes even many people who are professedly ‘scientific’ to be ‘rose eyed’ about the future.

              Your criticism is that society has an ‘optimism’ that science does not support. That is a criticism of a ‘pre-scientific’ optimism. Arguably ‘religion’ also encourages a man-centred ‘optimism’ that can be helpful but that has its limits. ‘Optimism’ can help a society to ‘progress’ and to ‘get on’ with dissipating energy, but that does not imply that the dissipative structure will not be ‘spent’. You personally do not ‘fall’ for the ‘optimism’.

              As you say, the approach of society (human and animal) to the ‘herd’ and to ‘territory’ is determined by economic considerations like scarcity. Capitalism is an economic system of massive expansion, and it massively expands and transforms the ‘herd’.

              I agree that industrial capitalism will not prove ‘sustainable’ in the face of the limits of energy dissipation (decrease), just as agrarian feudalism did not prove ‘sustainable’ in the face of energy limits (increase). The dissipative structure expands and contracts according to the available energy and the optimal ‘manner’ of dissipation. Ideological ‘forms’ reflect the dissipative structure and its optimal ‘manner’ of organisation.

              It is hard to say what the ideological ‘forms’ will be after collapse. The ‘herds’ are massively altered now and the ‘forms’ will likely reflect that. It cannot be assumed that societies will revert to previous ideological ‘forms’ any more than that any particular, previous dissipative structure will revive. ‘History’ advances and it suffers ‘set backs’ but it rarely ‘goes back’.

              Trump is cynically waving a Bible but he in no sense represents a ‘return’ to pre-capitalist society or ideological forms. It suits politicians to use ‘nationalism’, and even ‘religion’, to ‘get votes’ but it would be naïve to suppose that it is anything more than that. People ‘get used’ by politicians, again perhaps it is a ‘failing’ of ‘optimism’ on their part.

              It can ‘look like’ the politician invokes the same ‘symbols’ and that there is ‘common cause’ and that can ‘gel’ with one’s ‘optimism’. But it is a cynical, calculated ‘ploy’ just to ‘get votes’. Perhaps it takes a certain, unusually ‘cynical’ ‘mindset’, that has been particularly ‘hardened’ by experience, to gain complete ‘immunity’ to that ‘optimism’ and to that manipulation by politicians.

              Thanks.

            • Robert Firth says:

              Gail, I think there are scientists, and then there are “scientists”. The former are trusted to predict the next lunar eclipse, or to send a spaceship to Pluto, or to measure the height of the Nile Flood. The latter are experts in medicine, or epidemics, or economics, or human behaviour, and should not be trusted at all.

              The problem is, almost everybody is unable to tell the difference. Even though that difference was captured in three words back in 1660: ‘Nullius in verba’, the motto of the Royal Society.

            • “Take nobody’s word for it.”

      • Nehemiah says:

        Sometimes a local and temporary “lockdown” is needed to prevent local hospitals from becoming swamped, but lockdowns should not be the primary tool for controlling the spread of a virus with this degree of lethality. Many East Asian countries understood this, and I don’t understand why the West refused and refuses to learn from their example. On the other hand, “do nothing,” as some seem to demand, is even more wrong headed.

        • We have not really tried, “Do nothing.”

          Of course, our big problem is that our energy resources are reaching limits at the same time population is growing too large. The problems caused by COVID are simply making earlier problems worse. This is why it was so tempting to do the shutdowns; it helped quiet the many riots around the world related to low wages.

          If the economy were growing strongly, no one would have paid any attention to this illness. It would have been like the influenza of 1948-1949 that no one paid much attention to, even though it was similar in lethality to the current virus. People who caught it were told to stay at home and take aspirin. It disappeared without a vaccine. Sorry, I can’t find the links right now with respect to this flu.

          • Xabier says:

            And in a pre-Modern state of civilisation it most probably wouldn’t even have been identified as a disease, still less a plague.

            People were quite used to the few elderly being carried away suddenly by some form of pneumonia, death was ever-present and it was accepted that one might well die on the job; and ,of course, no conception at all of asymptomatic cases.

            Towns and villages would not have been shutdown or abandoned, seed sown and harvests gathered, the crafts and trade would have continued.

            It wouldn’t even have appeared in the historical record, lacking the sudden drama and horrible pustules of other infectious diseases……

          • Nehemiah says:

            We have not tried “do nothing,” but some vociferous people in the internet world advocate exactly that. “Let ‘er rip!” In the US, we seem to look for a magic bullet, focusing on one factor at a time and then moving on to the next fad. We are also pinning a lot of our hopes on a vaccine. We should be combining a lot of different factors, each of which is inadequate in isolation, but all together bring the R0 below 1.

            Shutdowns and riots: The economic shut downs have left large numbers of people with a lot of idle time to use for protesting and rioting. Motivated organizers (Antifa) plus a lot of idle young adults (neither working nor in school nor with spouses and children to take care of) plus millions of dollars in funding from anti-Trump oligarchs in the corporate business world (politics makes for strange bedfellows) plus a presidential election year (the last time BLM was active was the previous presidential election season–BLM are the shock troops who are brought out as needed and then retired in the “off season”) equals a recipe for organized unrest.

          • Nehemiah says:

            “It would have been like the influenza of 1948-1949” — Nothing I google references 1948/49 as pandemic years, BUT there are several references to a “pseudopandemic” in 1947 (really 1946-47; it reached the US in 1947), apparently a worse year than 1948 or 1949, which are not even mentioned in the literature I could find. Here is what I found about 1947:
            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3291411/
            “Not classified as true pandemics are 3 notable epidemics: a pseudopandemic in 1947 with low death rates”
            SNIP
            “The 1947 epidemic has been thought of as a mild pandemic because the disease, although globally distributed, caused relatively few deaths. However, as a medical officer at Fort Monmouth, I can personally attest that there was nothing mild about the illness in young recruits in whom signs and symptoms closely matched those of earlier descriptions of influenza”
            AND
            https://afludiary.blogspot.com/2008/10/sometimes-out-of-blue.html
            “1947 is little remembered today, except by epidemiologists, because while widespread, this new flu strain produced few excess deaths.”
            AND
            That is apparently what happened in 1947. The existing H1N1 virus experienced a sudden antigenic change, making people susceptible to infection, and nullifying the existing vaccine.

            Had this change also produced a particularly virulent (pathogenic) strain, 1947 could have become another pandemic year.

            In other words, when the genetic dice were rolled in 1946, the human race got very, very lucky.

            — I don’t think that applies today. A lot of people have died, and more will die before it is done. So how bad is covid? Certainly it is not a replay of the 1918 Spanish Flu, but that is hardly an appropriate comparison since the Spanish Flu was the most deadly viral outbreak since the Black Death! But here are some good comparisons:

            https://www.history.com/topics/world-war-i/1918-flu-pandemic
            A flu pandemic from 1957 to 1958 killed around 2 million people worldwide, including some 70,000 people in the United States, and a pandemic from 1968 to 1969 killed approximately 1 million people, including some 34,000 Americans.

            So worldwide, and adjusted for population, those two outbreaks were worse than this one, but not as deadly in the United States back then as covid is today. However, covid has not yet run its course either, and the possible long term consequences of covid infection are still unclear.

        • Robert Firth says:

          Please consider me wrong headed, because I have been in the “do nothing” camp since the beginning. As this mythical “second wave” proves, the lockdowns did nothing to stop the virus; they merely slowed it down for a while, at enormous economic and human cost. And it left hospitals mostly empty, as people sick with other problems were afraid to go there. In other words, the lockdown has probably killed more people than the virus. But that number will never be counted.

          • Nehemiah says:

            “they merely slowed it down for a while,” — which is EXACTLY how you beat a viral outbreak: you *slow down* the spread. When the R0 (rate of spread) stays below 1 for long enough, the contagion dies away. Slowing it down is the magic bullet. Prolonged lockdowns may not be the best way to do that for other reasons, but it does have an effect that should not be belittled. ALL contagions go away eventually for the same reason: because they can no longer spread (and therefore reproduce) fast enough to maintain their numbers. The faster and more effectively you slow them down, the sooner you win.

      • Nehemiah says:

        “More lives have been lost through ‘other causes’ than saved through lock down.” — Almost guaranteed to be wrong. It contradicts everything we know about what happens in developed countries during recessions. Not that long national lockdowns (which for many people are long paid vacations) are the best way to handle this, but they are unlikely to be driving the net death rate above the normal level once covid deaths are accounted for. I understand many people may be getting cabin fever and feeling a bit blue, but I also think the vast majority of people are psychologically stable enough that they are in no danger of “offing” themselves in far greater numbers than typically happens during recessions.

        • Malcopian says:

          Oh yes? And what about the people who have lost their jobs? And those who couldn’t pay the rent because they lost their jobs and/or were prevented from working? Not all employers have furloughed their workers when they were able to do so.

          Yes, here in the UK the chancellor is subsidising workers and employers to a degree, but we know that the bureaucracy is not always reliable: money is not paid in time or some people are wrongly deemed ineligible for help because of bureaucratic error or the mean-mindedness of those in charge of doling out the money.

          These lockdowns are a disaster that is tanking the economy. Here in the UK, sterling was on the gold standard in the 1920s and early 1930s. Huge mistake. In the early 1980s Chancellor Geoffrey Howe massively deflated the economy and in real terms unemployment was probably around the 4 million mark. Huge mistake. Now the lockdowns. Massive mistake. It’s tanking the economy. And what did Bush Senior rightly say? ‘It’s the economy, stupid!’

          Am I glad that I’m retired, on two small pensions! And even pension providers can crash.

          • Nehemiah says:

            “And what about the people who have lost their jobs? And those who couldn’t pay the rent because they lost their jobs and/or were prevented from working?”

            People lose their jobs and can’t find more work and can’t pay their rent in EVERY recession, and the all-causes death rate still falls. Except this time, because of the pandemic. The pandemic is THE cause of the excess deaths.

            Even during the Great Depression, with NO welfare state and unemployment that peaked at 25% (in the US) in 1932 (at a time when most households depended on a single wage earner for all their income), which was the worst year of the depression, life expectancy ROSE:

            https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090928172530.htm
            The Great Depression had a silver lining: During that hard time, U.S. life expectancy actually increased by 6.2 years, according to a University of Michigan study published in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

            Life expectancy rose from 57.1 in 1929 to 63.3 years in 1932, according to the analysis by U-M researchers José A. Tapia Granados and Ana Diez Roux. The increase occurred for both men and women, and for whites and non-whites.
            ———————-
            And life was hard in the Great Depression. As a youth, I listened to many stories from my elders who lived through it as young adults. There was a lot of desperation, and almost no help from the government prior to 1933 (by which time the recovery had already started, which allowed the new administration to look like heroes). Yet life expectancy ROSE over 6 years in only four years. If someone could invent a patented pill that could get this result, he would soon be the world’s richest man.

        • Oh dear says:

          It depends on the situation.

          > Non-virus deaths at home behind surge in excess fatalities, figures show

          Statistics show deaths from other causes are soaring, amid concern that millions went untreated for killer diseases during lockdown

          Patients dying at home from causes other than Covid-19 are fuelling excess deaths across the UK, official figures show.

          The data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows more than 6,700 extra deaths in homes across the UK in the past two months – of which just 203 involved coronavirus.

          The statistics show deaths from other causes are soaring, amid concern that millions of patients went untreated for killer diseases during lockdown.

          …. Overall, the number of excess deaths which occurred in people’s own homes was more than twice the total number of Covid-19 deaths in any setting, including including hospitals and care homes.

          The figures show 6,714 excess deaths occured at home between July 19 and August 21, just 203 of which involved Covid-19. The ONS said the figures were “considerably” above five-year average levels.

          In the same period, there were 2,638 deaths linked to Covid in any setting, including hospitals and care homes.

          https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/09/02/patients-dying-home-causes-covid-19-fuelling-excess-uk-deaths/

          • Nehemiah says:

            Just proves the old adage that “figures don’t lie, but liars can figure,” especially when they work for the government. We have a lot of data that all show that when people abstain from non-urgent medical intervention (usually due to physician work strikes or the loss of medical insurance) that the total death rate from all causes goes DOWN, and when routine medical care becomes available again, it goes back UP. (I am not saying there are no avoidable deaths in these circumstances, but they are far outnumbered by the lives saved by NOT receiving non-urgent medical treatment.)

            Although I first learned of this recurring phenomenon in the pre-internet age, I did manage to dig up internet data for this in a bitchute debate with a determined covid skeptic, but it took more time to find it than I want to spend again. I am sure anyone who is sufficiently curious can find it if they google for it long enough. Or maybe you can find an old book from the 1970s, “Confessions of a Medical Heretic” by a Dr. Mendelsohn. A long time ago, but nothing has fundamentally changed.

            • Oh dear says:

              OK, so you have a particular position that you use figures to support but when the figures (ONS) contradict you, ‘liars figure’.

              ‘Go figure.’

            • Nehemiah says:

              @ohdear, Two problems with the UK gov source that was cited: first, it only looks at deaths caused by avoiding med care, but ignores the lives that are SAVED. That’s what makes their numbers disingenuous.

              Second, conflict of interest: UK govt. bureaucrats do not want to draw the public’s attention to the embarrassing fact that their government controlled medical system is likely one of the top 3 or 4 causes of death in the country as it also is in the US (and probably everywhere). Indeed, from what I have read, the UK hospital system in particular is probably even more lethal than the US system.

        • When rich countries lock down, they take away jobs (such as making clothings for rich people, and growing flowers for weddings and conventions) from poor people. Many of these poor people live in very poor countries, not in rich countries. These people in poor countries are in danger of starving, as a result of losing their jobs. These people are “out of sight, out of mind.”
          Often, these people live in Central or South America, India, or Africa, for example. But even poor people in the US are hurt pretty badly.

          Also, we haven’t yet seen the full effect of the spring lockdown in the US, Europe, and Australia yet. Governments can patch things together for a while, but this benefit is running out. The fourth quarter of 2020 looks likely to be pretty bad. The world economy spirals downward as a result of the lockdown. There will be more and more layoffs, even in rich countries.

          • Nehemiah says:

            @Gail, I’m not so sure about this. I remember reading a book by Paul Krugman in the 1990s where he said the vast majority of developed world trade was with other developed countries, not with poor countries. Granted, globalism since then may have increased the rich countries trade with *some* poor countries (especially in East Asia, and especially with China), but I would not be quick to conclude that their dependence on our buying is as great as you expect, although it would be nice to have some updated data since the 1990s..

            • The poor countries are very badly hurting now. It doesn’t matter whether the trade is direct or indirect, through another country. Garment factories are extremely common in poor countries around the world because they use a lot of cheap human labor and don’t require a huge amount of energy. Cutbacks in “superspreader events” and in working at the office means that much less clothing is purchased.

              Harry has been posting stories about hunger problems in many countries who are finding that their clothing industry has been cut way back. This is in addition to the tourism industry. Most of these countries did shutdowns as well, partly to keep order, but this led to even more loss of output and jobs. These people are likely to eat poorly. This will make them even more vulnerable to catching illnesses than they are now. Some may eventually starve to death, but death by tuberculosis or malaria may happen first.

            • I should add that what we have seen to date from the impact of the past lockdown is just the tip of the iceberg. Countries have been trying to hide the problem as best that they can with very-difficult-to-sustain programs of postponing debt repayment, postponing the need to pay rent or mortgage payments, added debt to keep businesses afloat temporarily, and programs to provide partial wages through government programs. If there is a cutback in these programs, things will tend to get worse.

              I also did not indicate the widespread nature of the employment layoffs around the world. Laid-off workers are in many areas, including mining, migrant workers, and agricultural workers of all kinds, whose services are not needed as much if there is less tourism and less restaurant and special occasion dining. Saudi Arabia and the Middle East has been particularly hard hit with the low price of oil. Construction projects have been halted. Governments, with less revenue from oil related tax, have been forced to cut back on the many projects that sustain employment in the Middle East.

              Governments everywhere will see their tax revenue hit. This is likely to lead to another round of layoffs. Teachers will see layoffs. There will be fewer roads built.

              Many businesses (gift shops, companies involved in the movie industry, restaurants, airlines, private colleges) are on the edge of collapsing. Once they collapse, many more layoffs will occur.

              And of course, there are hidden illnesses that we are not aware of. Cancers that were not diagnosed, because people didn’t couldn’t go to see their doctors. Tuberculosis that goes untreated, because of government cutbacks in poor countries. Depressed people who cannot get treatment, because providers have no time to see them because there are so many others with the same problem.

            • Robert Firth says:

              Nehemiah, your view has some support from history. Trade with rich countries is far more profitable than trade with poor countries. That is why Britain did much to improve her may colonial possessions. First by building infrastructure: roads, railways (she build far more railways in India than the the homeland), ports, markets, and so on. And then new industries: rubber in Malaya, tea in India, coffee and groundnuts in Africa. (Not the best choice; cash crops were in the end hardly an unalloyed blessing.)

              All because we were good hearted people? Not in the least: we were capitalist, exploitative, money grubbing people; but the more money a colony can generate, the more you can grub. The fatal flaw of both the Roman and the Spanish empires is that they never realised this.

          • Oh dear says:

            Gail, the UK WHO envoy made the same point as you today. Dogmatic proponents of lock down tend to ignore the human ‘cost’ of lock down, which as you say, is global.

            > ‘STOP locking-down to control Covid’: Britain’s WHO envoy pleads with world leaders to stop using lockdowns as their ‘primary’ means of tackling virus because it is ‘doubling’ global poverty

            Britain’s envoy to the WHO Dr David Nabarro, an Imperial College London scientist, blasted the use of lockdowns as a ‘primary means of controlling this virus’.

            https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8825949/Coronavirs-UK-Britains-envoy-tells-government-stop-locking-down.html

    • Oh dear says:

      Boris is tightening the UK lock down. It raises the question of how high exactly the average age of death from c 19 would have to be before he abandoned age-generalised lock downs. 85? 90? 100?

      He is now roping ‘local leaders’ into the precise lock down plans – ‘share the responsibility, share the blame’?

      > Coronavirus UK: Tough lockdown restrictions announced on Monday

      …. Prime Minister Boris Johnson will make a Commons statement on Monday setting out new coronavirus outbreak restrictions as reports claim true figure of infections doubled in a week to 45,000 a day, it has emerged tonight.

      …. Swathes of the North of England, including Manchester and Liverpool, could be placed immediately into the tier with the most severe restrictions, so pubs and restaurants would have to shut their doors. – DM

      • Harry McGibbs says:

        “The UK economy is expected to stall in the coming months — and may even go into reverse — as it faces a triple threat of the COVID-19 second wave, the end of furlough, and Brexit.

        ““Going forward, the UK almost has this perfect storm,” Alejandra Grindal, senior international economist at Ned Davies Research, told Yahoo Finance UK.”

        https://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/uk-economy-q4-outlook-brexit-covid-19-furlough-scheme-060050175.html

      • Nehemiah says:

        @oh dear, I am going to stick my neck out and make a prediction: my prediction is if the median age of covid related death rises to 90, that Boris will replace the age-generalized lockdowns with age-specific lockdowns. Why do I predict 90 will be the cut off? Because it is higher than the current number.

        More seriously, lockdowns are fashionable, and western governments since at least the 1960s have had a strong tendency to imitate one another in an uncritical, non-thinking, lemming-like manner, while ignoring successes in East Asia that were “not invented here.” Thus, we see high levels of policy bandwagoning in regard to global warming, immigration, racial issues, trade policy, sexual liberalization, the welfare state, and other issues. There is minimal diversity or experimentation within the North Atlantic “club.”

        • They all read the same periodicals and hear the same speakers. Most people believe that if a study came from a university, it must be right.

        • Xabier says:

          Governments do all the dumb things that other govts. do,and call it ‘international best practice’…..

          And, of course: ‘Following the best available information at the time ‘ – the get out of jail free card for bureaucrats

          • Robert Firth says:

            Ah yes, the best available information. Fabricated by “experts” whom the bureaucrats have paid to create that information to justify what the have already decided to do. For a classic example look no further than Imperial College London.

        • Oh dear says:

          N, I think that there is a lot of truth in that.

          Thanks for that.

      • Oh dear says:

        The ‘local leaders’ have told Boris to ‘go do one.’

        > Northern leaders claim coronavirus cases are FALLING already because crackdown is ‘beginning to work’ as they hit out at new lockdown plans and say many residents will ‘not obey the law’

        https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8825823/Liverpool-Mayor-says-Saint-Rishi-Sunaks-new-furlough-scheme-not-generous-enough.html

  11. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Lebanon’s leading Sunni Muslim politician, former premier Saad al-Hariri, said on Thursday he feared civil strife as the country sinks into its worst financial crisis since a 1975-1990 civil war.

    ““I fear a civil war and what is happening in terms of carrying arms and what we are seeing in terms of military displays in the street … means the collapse of the state,” Hariri said in a TV interview.”

    https://uk.reuters.com/article/lebanon-crisis-hariri/lebanons-sunni-leader-hariri-says-he-fears-civil-strife-as-financial-crisis-hardens-idUKL8N2GZ6AD

    • The US civil war seems to have happened at a time when population was growing but food resources were not; people were getting shorter. Civil war seems to go with “not enough to go around,”

      • Robert Firth says:

        Gail, you can probably blame Britain for part of that. Our ever growing appetite for cotton les the Southern states to plant more and more acres with the cash crop, displacing the food production that the North badly needed. Between 1830 and 1850 cotton production increased fourfold, in large measure at the expense of farmland. There was a lesson there for other countries who bet their prosperity on export industries; too bad so few of them bothered to learn it.

        The lesson: export high value items, ie luxuries; do not export necessities. As China with silk, Portugal with fortified wine, South Africa with diamonds, Ambon with spices, France with cognac and armagnac. If you export necessities, one day you will face the hard choice between keeping enough for your own people, or exporting enough to sustain your economy. Sound familiar?

        • Thanks! Tobbaco must have played a role as well.

          Tobacco is very hard on the soil, in terms of depleting it of nutrients. An article on Colonial Cultivation Methods says:

          The need for fertile soil on which to grow the year’s crop required that the planter own large tracts of land, which had to be arduously cleared and prepared as field. Although the tobacco’s depleting effect on the soil was at first considered an asset, all too soon the planters were left with land which was virtually useless for anything but grazing and which would take many years to regain its lost fertility.

          This loss of soil fertility must have been a huge problem. Slaves worked on these fields, but the land would no longer produce any kind of crop well, other than grass, after a while. The farmer would need to find new virgin soil and move himself and the slaves to the new land.

          Also, one Wikipedia article says,

          “Until 1883, tobacco excise tax accounted for one third of internal revenue collected by the United States government. Internal Revenue Service data for 1879-80 show total tobacco tax receipts of $38.9 million, out of total receipts of $116.8 million.”

          I expect that if tobacco accounted for a significant share of tax receipts, it would be hard to stop growing it.

          • Nehemiah says:

            I saw a broadcast on PBS where they examined the lands of an old southern plantation. The soil had been allowed to go fallow and was growing short grasses. However, there was one small piece of land on the farm which, by historical accident, had never been put to the plow and so had all its original topsoil. The same grasses on that small plot of undisturbed land were as tall as a man.

            • Robert Firth says:

              Thank you; exactly mu observation during a visit to Georgia (the state, not the country). The grass cover was very poor, except in graveyards, where it was luxuriant. The lesson: use land only to grow food, and recycle the waste most conscientiously. And as long as sheep grow wool, we won’t have to be naked.

  12. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Rival groups in Kyrgyzstan were jostling for power on Wednesday night after the prime minister resigned and the president went into hiding in the face of widespread demonstrations against alleged election rigging.

    “Law and order was close to collapse as the Central Asian country appeared to be embroiled in its third revolution in 15 years.”

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/10/07/power-vacuum-kyrgyzstan-government-falls-apart-protests/

  13. Harry McGibbs says:

    “The Data Show a Bleak Outlook for Global Economic Growth:

    “…In 2020 almost all economies on the planet will shrink, according to a World Bank forecast. By contrast, in 2019 almost 4 out of 5 grew. It’s not an exaggeration to say this year has surpassed every recession in modern history.”

    https://www.bloombergquint.com/onweb/global-economic-data-paint-a-bleak-picture-for-the-future

  14. Harry McGibbs says:

    “The Bank of England’s Governor has warned the economy is at risk of stalling as he vowed to ramp up stimulus to limit any damage caused by another Covid wave.

    “Andrew Bailey warned the risks to the recovery were “very much on the downside”…”

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2020/10/08/economy-risk-stalling-bank-england-warns/

  15. Harry McGibbs says:

    “The US debt is now projected to be larger than the US economy… when the country eventually pulls out of its current health and economic crises, Americans will be left with a debt hangover.”

    https://edition.cnn.com/2020/10/08/economy/deficit-debt-pandemic-cbo/index.html

  16. Harry McGibbs says:

    “The United States on Thursday slapped fresh sanctions on Iran’s financial sector, targeting 18 banks in an effort to further choke off Iranian revenues as Washington ramps up pressure on Tehran weeks ahead of the U.S. election.”

    https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-iran-nuclear-usa-sanctions/u-s-imposes-new-iran-sanctions-that-may-spook-european-banks-idUSKBN26T35H

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “Iran wants a “strategic partnership” with China – For China, Iran is just one piece on a large chessboard.

      “Leaked drafts call for big Chinese investment in everything from roads and ports to telecoms and nuclear energy. The agreement would probably give China a stake in Iran’s oil industry, guaranteeing a market for its crude and refined products….

      “China’s new friendship has caused a measure of alarm in Washington.”

      https://www.economist.com/middle-east-and-africa/2020/10/10/iran-wants-a-strategic-partnership-with-china

      • We will be in a new world of “taking sides,” I am afraid. China and friends and the United States and friends. Perhaps even Australia and friends, if its minerals can be traded with others.

        There might be a few people who can get along without fossil fuels, especially in Africa and India, where the use of fossil fuels is relatively recent. They know how to burn dung or wood to cook their food, for example. If the electricity goes off, the main things they lose are their televisions and phones. They haven’t become dependent on good roads or refrigerators or air conditioners.

        • Thanks for the reminder, “taking sides” would certainly manifest itself in not so distant future as supply problems in various segments and items. So, perhaps good time to order that gear now..

        • Nehemiah says:

          Not any longer. India is heavily dependent on the Green Revolution, and also quite urbanized. I googled urbanization, and India was 34% urbanized in 2001, forecast by the UN to be over 40% by 2030.

          Africa has not adopted the Green Revolution thus far, but it is 40% urban, forecast to be 50% by 2030. The whole world is using oil these days. By the time world oil production falls back to the 1960s level, it will be divided among a far larger number of users than it was in the 1960s.

      • Nehemiah says:

        My thinking has always been (and I think this is so obvious that I am surprised that no one seems to remark on it in public discourse) that one of the advantage of the New Silk Road, and one I believe is not lost on the CCP leadership, is that, in a pinch, it will allow China to rush its soldiers rapidly from China to the Middle East oil fields.

      • Robert Firth says:

        “Iran wants a ‘strategic partnership’ with China”

        And I am sure many a mouse has wanted a “strategic partnership” with the cat. This usually does not end well.

    • This is important and it supports previous page debate / video on the interest rate, bond market situation.

      Basically what’s going on is that FED allows open window (USD) to ECB but not so much to China. And also they are circling the wagons around Iran and others, starving them of oxygen – access to USD, which is also *detrimental to ECB’s side of trade.

      It seems as “logical maneuvering” of major players before incoming economic impact, perhaps full scale econ depression is just around the corner.


      *there is also the theory of bad/good cop global regime in which FED/ECB are basically just branches of one entity – so in this particular context the unrealized trade with Iran is put on the altar of higher good of keeping the western money system going..

  17. Tim Groves says:

    A “massive” fire has been raging in a 33-story high-rise block in Ulsan, South Korea.

    According to Australia’s ABC network, the fire “engulfed” the building and burned for 13 hours before being brought under control by the firefighting service.

    https://img1.yna.co.kr/etc/inner/EN/2020/10/09/AEN20201009001400325_01_i_P2.jpg

    This means that the WTC Buildings 1, 2 and 7 in New York are still the only three steel-framed buildings to have ever collapsed totally as a result of burning for long enough to weaken the structural steel.

    • That’s ridiculous comparison, for one thing, the South Koreans don’t have to keep the petrodollar system afloat.
      Moreover, the seemingly unique pyroclastic cloud properties of fires “in that 2001 thing” were caused by tiny coat of insulation lacquer with incendiary properties, lately it has been discovered it was sourced from treacherous supplier from the USSR’s orbit. Besides if there was any bit of truth to various wild allegations isn’t it true that re-known humanity advocates and community organizers such as the Clintons, Obamas, Chuck&Nancy would inform us asap on the dastardly real deal..

      /sarc off

      • chocolotexpress says:

        if that silly 2001 thing was a precursor to this silly 2019 thing whats next? Color me impressed.

    • Azure Kingfisher says:

      There’s that frequently occurring magical number again as well: 33. The scriptwriters love their Pythagorean master numbers (11, 22, 33).

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/33_(number)

      • Robert Firth says:

        Azure, those are not Pythagorean numbers of any kind. For one thing, they cannot be represented by ‘psiphi’; for another, they cannot be written as the odd power of an even number multiplied by the even power of an odd number (as for example 72 can, an important number in Pythagorean astronomy, because it is reflected in the Precession of the Equinoxes). And yes, I have studied Pythagorean number mysticism; it was an important influence on Johannes Kepler.

        • Azure Kingfisher says:

          Well in that case, would you please contact Wikipedia and put in a request that they edit the following:

          “In the Pythagorean system, there are three master numbers (11, 22, 33)…”

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Numerology#:~:text=In%20the%20Pythagorean%20system%2C%20there,to%20form%20a%20single%20digit.

          Nevertheless, these numbers frequently feature in all forms of media – Pythagorean or not.

          • Bei Dawei says:

            You know, you can edit Wikipedia yourself. Be sure to cite reliable sources and represent any controversies fairly. (If you anticipate problems, discuss them on the article’s talk page first.)

          • Robert Firth says:

            Thank you for the response. I have no interest in correcting Wikipedia, which has degenerated into a playing field for cranks with time on their hands.

            The 11, 22, 33 stuff, by the way, seems to have been originated by Dow Balliet in the nineteenth century. For a rather more accurate study, I recommend Nicomachus’ “Manual of Harmonics” (Ἐγχειρίδιον ἁρμονικῆς). He lived in the first century, and was a genuine Neopythagorean. An English translation was published by Phanes Press many years ago, and may still be findable.

    • Nehemiah says:

      If you are going to say this, then you are obviously racist and anti-Semitic (denials just prove its true), so anything you say must be disregarded. Having been labeled, you are now beyond the pale of respectable opinion. That is how political “discourse” works in contemporary western democracies. You can also be discredited by being labeled a “Truther,” a “conspiracy theorist,” a “denier,” or in a different but related context, a “Birther,” with the implication being in every case that, since you have been labeled, you may be excluded from the main forums of public discourse without having to debate data or logic. Only loyal team players are welcome to participate in today’s “democratic” public debate. People who raise awkward questions must be marginalized and ignored, or, if they cannot be completely ignored, ritually denounced. (And heaven help anyone who, called upon to participate in ritualized public denunciation, hesitates.)

      • Tim Groves says:

        Yes, I’ve noticed this. It’s the same as it’s ever been. They crucified Jesus and flayed Mani and Hypatia alive. In the realm of science, Galileo, Darwin, Boltzmann and even Wegener suffered greatly as a result of asking awkward questions. And these says people get deplatformed or banned from Twitter for voicing wrongspeech. The orthodoxy must be maintained—until it collapses into its own footprint at close to freefall speed.

        • Robert Firth says:

          “… our just man must have the worst of reputations even though he has done no wrong. So we shall be able to test his justice and see if it can stand up to unpopularity and all that goes with it; we shall give him an undeserved and lifelong reputation for wickedness, and make him stick to his chosen course until death … The just man, then, as we have pictured him, will be scourged, tortured, and imprisoned, his eyes will be put out, and after enduring every humiliation he will be crucified, and learn at last that in the world as it is we should want not to be, but to seem, just.” (Plato, The Republic, ‘Πολιτεία’ Book II)

  18. davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

    https://news.trust.org/item/20201008165852-2v4l2

    “The World Health Organization reported a record one-day increase in global coronavirus cases on Thursday, with the total rising by 338,779 in 24 hours led by a surge of infections in Europe.

    Europe reported 96,996 new cases, the highest total for the region ever recorded by the WHO.

    Global deaths rose by 5,514 to a total of 1.05 million.

    The previous WHO record for new cases was 330,340 on Oct. 2. The agency reported a record 12,393 deaths on April 17.

    As a region, Europe is now reporting more cases than India, Brazil or the United States.”

    whoa!

    what the hhell is wrong with those enlightened Europeans?

    • Thierry38 says:

      European countries test a lot much than others, comparatively; That doesn’t mean the epidemic is worse than elsewhere.

      • Chrome Mags says:

        https://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/parenting/10-very-good-reasons-we-should-all-be-afraid-of-covid/ar-BB19QrYQ?li=BBnb7Kz

        ’10 Very Good Reasons We Should All Be Afraid of COVID’

        “1. It’s Deadlier than the Flu
        2. COVID Is the Third Leading Cause of Death in U.S.
        3. The Long-term Health Effects Are Real
        4. Heart Problems Are Common
        5. COVID Can Cause Neurological Damage
        6. Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome Targets Children and Adults
        7. It Is Not an Equal Opportunity Virus
        8. Airborne Transmission Is Bad News
        9. Mental Health Effects Are Common
        10. It’s Not Going Away Anytime Soon”

        • Xabier says:

          True, but much of it rather vague, and it comes into the ‘Drip-feed Depression’ category of article.

          One could just as well come up with a list of 10 detailed reasons why we should NOT be as afraid of COVID as we were in February-March of this year.

          I am, personally, far more afraid of the economic, social and mental health consequences of lock-downs.

          I watched a video by some British hospital doctors a few days ago, who have been reporting on the crisis since it began, and although good taste prevented them from expressing their relief too clearly, given the number of deaths here, they admitted that, although terrified in March having looked at Chinese and Italian videos and stats, they are now fairly relaxed about facing COVID.

          They have more effective treatments, and the deaths are really so very much less than feared. Nor did they seem worried about secondary and legacy effects. There was a air of ‘Was that it?!’ about their video.

          And yet, the MSM is coming out with regular articles designed to scare the general public: ‘It’s in the air! It’ll cripple you for life! You’ll go mental! ‘ etc.

          Something is more than a bit fishy here.

    • What is going on is the fact that it is getting cold outside in the Northern Hemisphere. People are spending more time inside. Not unsurprisingly, the northern part of the US and Europe are seeing rising cases. In fact, rising cases are being seen worldwide, if you scroll down on this web link. The cold areas of the world are where people who do testing for COVID live.

      https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/worldwide-graphs/

      According to this link, there were 349,388 cases reported yesterday, October 8. That was another new record.

  19. adonis says:

    i found this interesting part of the elders plan and it is pretty recent they are in my opinion pushing for adoption of a green transition to EV’s (electric vehicles) and renewable energy and they seem to believe that a low oil price will be good for the transition to a green stimulus for a green economy . file:///C:/Users/computer/Downloads/The-impact-of-oil-slump-and-Covid-19-on-energy-transition%20(2).pdf

    • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      if true, then the elders are more ons.

      • Not so much if they play for time or are attempting to phase in more caste like societies of quasi BAU consumption for the elite and their service minions, while the rest of the society say 75+% remains perennially oppressed and impoverished.

        So, if they can juice out at least few more decades out of the situation in industrial societies it’s a win, it all depends on one’s perspective..

        • Xabier says:

          Playing for time probably, no grand plan. Their attitude might embody the classic mentality of the very rich: ‘If it lasts my time it’s good enough, and after me the deluge….’ etc.

          A very wealthy person of 70, how long is the time remaining to them?

          They would be happy with a decade or two of quasi BAU -would they see that as likely? The juggling act since 2008 was successful from their point of view – their wealth grew, no revolutions in any of the core states – it’s not hard to envisage a few more satisfactory decades.

          They already see the mass of people – if they ever think of them except as a possible threat – as living utterly miserable lives, beneath contempt or imagining, so a notable but managed decline in their living standards wouldn’t trouble them one bit.

          • Nehemiah says:

            I think most people sincerely believe that the last 200 years is a reliable indicator of the indefinite future, that we will always muddle through, that technological magic bullets will save us, that we can always find more cheap energy sources when we really need them. I really don’t think that most people expect “the deluge.” Most people on both the left and the right think that we can solve our problems without a huge amount of suffering. They do not agree on how, but there is a “bipartisan” consensus that we can do it, and that any failure to make progress is the other side’s fault.

    • Your link doesn’t work. It is a link to something on your own computer, not something on the internet.
      https://mission2020.global/wp-content/uploads/The-impact-of-oil-slump-and-Covid-19-on-energy-transition.pdf

      This is a link I found. It is called, “Background brief: The twin shocks of the oil price crash and Covid-19, and implications for the energy transition.” Its major headings are

      1. The oil price shock is driving and compounding broader financial instability
      2. Oil price volatility exposes the economic risks of fossil fuel lock-in
      3. The twin shocks highlight the necessity of a green stimulus
      4. Renewable assets are resilient to the oil shock
      5. Renewable energy installation might see a slowdown due to Covid-19
      6. Electric vehicle demand holds steady in the face of twin shocks

      The last paragraph is

      To unleash further EV growth, an economic recovery bill could support expanded infrastructure to power all-electric cars and buses. Investments in charging infrastructure, such as a network of fast charging stations, maps and apps, will create many more jobs than the oil and gas industry. On March 11, the UK government announced a £1 billion stimulus to green transport solutions, covering grants for new EVs until 2023 and funding for rapid charging infrastructure.

      Mission 2020, on its front page says: Accelerate Climate Action.

      • Erdles says:

        At the Conservative party conference this week, Boris announced that by 2030 the UK would have 40GW of wind generation installed. Sounds impressive given that current electricity consumption averages around 40GW. But wait a minute UK total peak energy requirement is actually 250GW (mainly gas/oil heating and oil transportation), so how exactly is the rest going to be produced without fossil fuels. No plan and no discussion from the greens.

      • Nehemiah says:

        There is problem with the whole left to center right (such as Romney, McCain, Lindsey Graham, Bill O’Reilly, etc.) part of the political spectrum being focused on the wrong target, which is CO2 emissions (not “carbon” emissions–carbon is not carbon dioxide just as oxygen is not dihydrogen oxide). First, CO2 boosts crop yields and makes the world in general a more livable place. Second, we desperately need to slow down the inevitable collapse and downsizing as much as possible to give people as much time to adjust as we can give them, and the best way to do that is to use every energy resource at our disposal to ease that transition–including gas, oil, and coal. I am all in favor of reducing our dependence on fossil fuels (and U235, which is probably going to run short too, although I realize there is some reasonable debate over this question), but I do not favor leaving these fuels in the ground unnecessarily while modern civilization collapses faster than necessary.

      • Robert Firth says:

        Dear UK government: I have mot one, but two green transport solutions. A left solution and a right solution. Please give me the billion pounds. Or, alternatively, spend the money on making the built environment as walkable as possible. At zero energy cost except for breakfast, lunch, and tea.

  20. From the Off-Guardian: WHO (Accidentally) Confirms Covid is No More Dangerous Than Flu
    Head of Health Emergencies Program “best estimates” put IFR at 0.14%

    At the [Oct. 5 special] session, Dr Michael Ryan, the WHO’s Head of Emergencies revealed that they believe roughly 10% of the world has been infected with Sars-Cov-2. This is their “best estimate”, and a huge increase over the number of officially recognised cases (around 35 million).

    The global population is roughly 7.8 billion people, if 10% have been infected that is 780 million cases. The global death toll currently attributed to Sars-Cov-2 infections is 1,061,539.

    That’s an infection fatality rate of roughly or 0.14%. Right in line with seasonal flu and the predictions of many experts from all around the world.

    0.14% is over 24 times LOWER than the WHO’s “provisional figure” of 3.4% back in March. This figure was used in the models which were used to justify lockdowns and other draconian policies.

    Of course, deaths could be under-reported somewhat as well. But the difference is amazing.

    • Tim Groves says:

      It’s only amazing for people who believe, trust and have faith in official and establishment alarmist narratives. For the “rebels” who have been insisting that Covid-19 is no worse than ordinary flu, the data you’ve quoted isn’t surprising at all.

      • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

        okay, let’s continue the game.

        Infection Fatality Rate is only half of the “danger”.

        the other half is how easy or hard it is to get the infection in the first place.

        is covid more infectious than “ordinary flu”?

        yes.

        how much more infectious?

        what is the “official” number and what is the “rebel” number?

      • Thierry38 says:

        Tim this is an awful mistake to compare covid with flu. We still don’t know most things about the virus.
        The real questions are: what are the long term effects? What happens if you get re-infected? Why are some hospitals overwhelmed and what would happen if we let the virus spread?
        You don’t have the answers and I don’t either.
        Please let’s be modest when we know so little.
        And I am not even talking about the uncertain origin of the virus.
        Looking only at the charts seems a childish attitude. Drinking alcohol for example doesn’t kill you immediately. On a long term it does. The same with many other things.

        • Tim Groves says:

          Let’s get even more basic, Thierry. If we’re being honest, we don’t even know that Covid-19 exists. If it doesn’t actually exist, then we are at the very least extremely gullible in having fallen for the claim that it does.

          From Jon Rappoport’s latest rant:

          The CDC document is titled, “CDC 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel.” It is dated July 13, 2020.

          Buried deep in the document, on page 39, in a section titled, “Performance Characteristics,” we have this: “Since no quantified virus isolates of the 2019-nCoV are currently available, assays [diagnostic tests] designed for detection of the 2019-nCoV RNA were tested with characterized stocks of in vitro transcribed full length RNA…”

          The key phrase there is: “Since no quantified virus isolates of the 2019-nCoV are currently available…”

          Every object that exists can be quantified, which is to say, measured. The use of the term “quantified” in that phrase means: the CDC has no measurable amount of the virus, because it is unavailable. THE CDC HAS NO VIRUS.

          A further tip-off is the use of the word ‘isolates.” This means NO ISOLATED VIRUS IS AVAILABLE.

          Another way to put it: NO ONE HAS AN ISOLATED SPECIMEN OF THE COVID-19 VIRUS.

          NO ONE HAS ISOLATED THE COVID-19 VIRUS.

          THEREFORE, NO ONE HAS PROVED THAT IT EXISTS.

          https://blog.nomorefakenews.com/2020/10/08/the-smoking-gun-where-is-the-coronavirus-the-cdc-says-it-isnt-available/

          I think I know what you’re all thinking:; Either “But, but, but….. How dare you! etc.” or “I find your lack of faith disturbing.”

          • Thierry Chassine says:

            It’s not about faith at all. Believing what you read on a blog such as “nomorefakenews” is as insane as believing the governments lies.
            The path is narrow between both.
            As I said we need to be modest and admit we ignore most things. But we can’t confront a lie against a lie.

            • Tim Groves says:

              You must be smarter than I am, because you appear to be capable of discerning when something written about the virus is “a lie” while at the same time declaring that “we still don’t know most things about the virus.”

              FYI, I don’t “believe” what I read on Nomorefakenews; I merely read it and analyze how it fits in or doesn’t fit in with all the other things I’ve read about the virus.

              So before we go any further, could you please share with us how you manage this lie-detecting feat and whether you are claiming to have actually “debunked” anything Jon Rappoport has written through the mere act of calling it “lies”.

              Or doesn’t Jon Rappoport deserve the curtesy of having his statements taken seriously and given due consideration for some specific reason that you have yet to share with us? I assume you have the intellectual skill required to comprehend what he is saying about the CDC’s de facto admission that it doesn’t possess any samples of the alleged Covid-19 virus, so perhaps you are in a position to rebut his argument. Or is just that you disagree with his opinion posted above and you “believe” this gives you carte blanche to insult him?

              I can tell you how I try to determine that statements are less than credible. I test them against other statements made by the same parties at other times on the same subject and check whether their details are consistent. When people or organizations make statements that are inconsistent or contradictory, it’s a clue that they are not being honest or truthful or rational. Statements that pass the test may still be erroneous, but those that don’t

              I have been reading Jon Rappoport for many years. I don’t always agree with what he writes, but I regard him as an intelligent, sober-minded, and honest voice, and I have not found any of his statements to be obviously inconsistent or contradictory. That’s why I am unembarrassed about bringing them to general attention.

              Of course, I may be very wrong about Jon. For all I know he could be an intelligence asset dedicated to blackwashing the Anti-Big Pharma movement, in much the same way that Alex Jones, David Icke, and the good people at Veterans Today may be. Perhaps you know of a test I could apply to discover the truth, bearing in mind that I don’t possess your psychic powers in this respect?

              IMHO, there isn’t nearly enough intelligent, sober-minded, and honest dissent in today’s world, and what little I have been able to find is rabidly attacked by the defenders of the orthodoxy. But these brave defenders never seem to get around to actually debunking any of the bunk they mark as bunk, as if the act of marking it as bunk makes it so.

            • Thierry38 says:

              Well, first let me be clear, I did not want to insult anyone and if you understood so, I am really sorry and I apologize.
              I don’t pretend either to be smarter than you or J. Rapoport or or anyone in this forum.
              But:
              I doesn’t look that JR has any competence in biology or medicine. He only takes one sentence from a report that I’m dubious he really understands. From that sentence he builds a theory out of nowhere. I just can’t deal with that. It’s my opinion, nothing more.
              What else does he propose? what are his ressources? does he quote any scientist or doctor who agrees with him? I see no trace of it. I particularly appreciate JM Jancovici who often says: “no press article can be opposed to me”. He means that if you want a real information, go to the source. Journalists are not experts and the way the present facts are always twisted.
              But if you can provide me at least three doctors or scientists who think that SARS-Cov2 isn’t real i would be happy to read their arguments.

            • Tim Groves says:

              Thierry, you’ve raised the bar significantly there.

              It doesn’t look that JR has any competence in biology or medicine.”

              Neither do I, as a matter of fact. What’s the point of asking me anything about it?
              What’s the point of telling me anything about it or telling me what I should think about it? I’m not qualified to to hold an opinion. You’d be better off discussing this with people who have doctorates in biology or medicine and leave the over 95% of the population out of it, because we have no right or competence to express an opinion on anything.

              But since you may have some competence in biology or medicine—perhaps you are an expert in lancing boils or performing open heart surgery? O you can tell a frog from a toad or a hawk from a falcon?—you may be able to tell us if the CDC has in its possession any samples of actual Covid-19 virus or not? Can you do that Thierry and back up you answer with evidence that settles the issue beyond reasonable doubt?

              Because if you can, then you will have done us all a great service by putting this issue to bed. And if you can’t, then we still have no official admission and no firm evidence that the CDC has samples of this virus, do we?

              “But if you can provide me at least three doctors or scientists who think that SARS-Cov2 isn’t real i would be happy to read their arguments.”

              You’re moving the goalposts again. Why should I want to do that> I haven’t claimed the virus isn’t real, only that if we’re being honest we don’t even know that it exists, and that it’s effects seem to be no worse for the general population than flu. And you yourself said we still don’t know most things about this virus.

          • MM says:

            So what do you actually think you see in this graphic:
            https://nextstrain.org/ncov/global
            ?

            • Tim Groves says:

              It’s all just colored balls and lines to me, mate.
              Looking at it, I feel blinded by the science!
              What’s it supposed to be? A Rorschach Test?
              Or the design of the Emperor’s New Clothes?

          • Nehemiah says:

            Your interpretation of what you have read is counterfactual. The SARS cov 2 virus, which causes the covid 19 disease, has not only been isolated, but scientists have documented its genome in detail, and even identified emerging genetic variants as it mutates. I am not sure what to make of the CDC’s (deliberately???) vague language, but it is definitely not as you have understood it. The virus is real, the symptoms are real, the deaths are real.

            • Tim Groves says:

              Nehemiah, was this addressed to me? This is more like it. You are making an effort to actually get to the heart of what’s wrong with Jon Rappoport’s and/or my views on the virus. You aren’t just using the argument from authority to quash all dissent. That’s very commendable. That you!

        • Robert Firth says:

          Thierry, what a pessimistic comment. Alcohol kills you on a long term? Would Dionysos really do that? Anyway, I have been drinking alcohol since I was fourteen, some 61 years ago. It hasn’t killed me yet, but it has been one of life’s small pleasures. And I am a firm believer in life before death.

          • Nehemiah says:

            Drunks die younger on average than teetotaling ex-drunks.
            Teetotaling ex-drunks die younger than non-addicted drinkers.
            Non-addicted drinkers die younger than never-drinkers.

            Also, cancer incidence and alcohol consumption rise together in a linear dose-response pattern. One might choose to accept some amount of elevated risk for various reasons, but don’t tell yourself that the risk is not there.

          • Thierry38 says:

            Thank you Robert, I always appreciate reading your comments and this one made me laugh, a bit of humor is welcome when things get too serious!
            You right by the way, I drink alcohol too and I believe in life. I should have said “cigarettes” instead. Or any poison less pleasant than a glass of wine. Or whisky depending on your tastes.

            • Robert Firth says:

              Thank you, Thierry; glad to be of help. And I also believe that humour is one of life’s small pleasures.

      • chocolotexpress says:

        the flu wasnt created in a lab from bats. lets just say its 2018. you are walking thru the mall and a attractive women has booth. She says would you care to be infected with a virus. Its been created in a lab in china from bats similar to sars, Would you be cautious? I think the whole thing especially the masks and the vaccine is fishier than a smelt canning facility and appreciate your posts a lot tim but this isnt chocolate milk.

    • As I think about it, I think that the Off-Guardian may be reporting an unofficial finding of some subgroup of the WHO. I don’t think that the WHO is officially coming out and saying that 10% of people world population has caught COVID.

  21. Oh dear says:

    The award of the Nobel Prize to leading English theoretical physicist Roger Penrose this week has put the Conformal Cyclic Cosmology theory into the media spotlight. Penrose first ‘proved’ black holes in 1964.

    His specific CCC theory, which is not (yet?) generally accepted, postulates that there is a ‘cycle’ of cosmoses, in which each cosmos ends with a big bang that initiates the onset of the next and that black holes provide evidence of the theory.

    The big bang and black holes are now consensual among theoretical physicists but his CCC theory is still considered to be an ‘unproven’ minority opinion. Many theoretical physicists do believe that the cosmos is cyclic but Penrose is advancing specific ‘proof’ of it.

    The Telegraph article explains the theory:

    > An earlier universe existed before the Big Bang, and can still be observed today, says Nobel winner

    Sir Roger Penrose: ‘The Big Bang was not the beginning. There was something before, and that something is what we will have in our future’

    An earlier universe existed before the Big Bang and can still be observed today, Sir Roger Penrose has said, as he received the Nobel Prize for Physics.

    Sir Roger, 89, who won the honour for his seminal work proving that black holes exist, said he had found six ‘warm’ points in the sky (dubbed ‘Hawking Points’) which are around eight times the diameter of the Moon.

    They are named after Prof Stephen Hawking, who theorised that black holes ‘leak’ radiation and eventually evaporate away entirely.

    The timescale for the complete evaporation of a black hole is huge, possibly longer than the age of our current universe, making them impossible to detect.

    However, Sir Roger believes that ‘dead’ black holes from earlier universes or ‘aeons’ are observable now. If true, it would prove Hawking’s theories were correct.

    …. Speaking from his home in Oxford, Sir Roger said: “I claim that there is observation of Hawking radiation.

    “The Big Bang was not the beginning. There was something before the Big Bang and that something is what we will have in our future.

    “We have a universe that expands and expands, and all mass decays away, and in this crazy theory of mine, that remote future becomes the Big Bang of another aeon.

    “So our Big Bang began with something which was the remote future of a previous aeon and there would have been similar black holes evaporating away, via Hawking evaporation, and they would produce these points in the sky, that I call Hawking Points.

    “We are seeing them. These points are about eight times the diameter of the Moon and are slightly warmed up regions. There is pretty good evidence for at least six of these points.”

    The idea is controversial, although many scientists do believe that the universe operates in a perpetual cycle in which it expands, before contracting back in a ‘Big Crunch’ followed by a new Big Bang….

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/10/06/earlier-universe-existed-big-bang-can-observed-today/

    • If every combination of dissipative structures is another dissipative structure, it would seem as if the universe, itself would be a dissipative structure, with a beginning and an end. It would also seem that the process is likely cyclic, just as dissipative structures operate in cycles.

      So it seems as if Roger Penrose’s theory might be right, given my limited understanding of the situation.

    • Oh dear says:

      There are lots of interviews and lectures by Penrose on YT, including some on CCC and on the nature of consciousness. He seems to be an outgoing bloke who engages with the public.

      https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Roger+Penrose

      The bloke is pretty serious.

      > Roger Penrose is one of the world’s most prominent theoretical physicists who in 1965 produced the mathematics that showed how stars collapse to form black holes. With Stephen Hawking, he showed that if Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity is correct, then there would be a singularity, a point of infinite density and space-time curvature, where time has a beginning. Penrose shared the Wolf Prize for physics with Stephen Hawking for this work on the Penrose-Hawking singularity theorems.

      Penrose is also known as the founding father of quantum gravity through his work on twistor theory, which addresses the geometry of space-time. He is an emeritus professor of mathematics at the University of Oxford, and the author of several books about the nature of space, time and reality.

    • Christopher says:

      Every universal cycle of Penrose’s CCC theory, requires infinite time. The conformal part of the theory makes it really speculative. Conformal mappings turn infinite things into finite.

      Personally, I’m sceptic about the existence of dark energy. The need of this may be caused by the false assumption of an homogenous universe. Homogenous universes are prefered, since you can then reduce Einstens general relativity equations to ordinary differential equations. The question is: maybe the assumption of perfect homogeneity introduces systematic errors like dark energy? Without the dark energy the CCC-theory looks pointless.

      • Oh dear says:

        Interesting. Do you incline toward a cyclical cosmos yourself or is it just an ‘unknown’ at the present time in your view?

        • Christopher says:

          Einsteins equations of general relativity are really the most magical equations of physics. They even incorporate Maxwells equations, the second most beautiful equations of physics, in a wonderful way. Despite that I wonder what they actually, in the end, can say, concerning the truth of the fate and origin of our cosmos.

          But maybe these equations of physics are in some platonic way divine truths. Though I can’t see how we ever would reach a final proof of that.

          It even seems to me that the fundamental theories of physics have reached their limit. Not because they finally reached absolute truth, but because they reached the absolute limit of human capacity. Capacity in a fundamental way, not just sheer ingenuity.

      • Nehemiah says:

        It is my opinion that the mysterious Dark Energy that no one can find, but which must be posited to make the currently popular theory work, will later be found to be 20th century cosmology’s version of 19th century ether. Ether was part of the consensual science of an earlier period, but no one discusses it any more because it is an embarrassment. I think it is only a matter of time until Dark Energy/Dark Matter meets the same fate.

        • Robert Firth says:

          Nehemiah, the old “luminiferous aether” is indeed an embarrassment. For a rather interesting reason. Every experiment that looked for an “aether drift”, the motion of the Earth through the medium, gave a positive result. That’s correct, *every* experiment. Even the famous Michelson Morley one did; the zero result they reported was not the truth. They also scrapped the three followup experiments they had planned (at three monthly intervals), which was an even worse piece of scientific malpractice.

          The best measurements were made by Dayton C Miller, who reported both the magnitude and direction of the solar system’s absolute motion. These numb

          ers were substantially confirmed by the anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation, which of course provides a universal standard of absolute rest.

          Reference:
          ttps://www.nature.com/articles/133162a0.pdf

      • Robert Firth says:

        Thank you, Christopher; a thought provoking comment. The “infinite time” problem is solved (maybe) through renormalisation; if we measure time in terms of increase in entropy, the duration becomes finite (we are replacing exponential decay by linear decay).

        Homogenous universes are based on an assumption, namely that the big bang started as a singularity and its expansion was isotropic. But neither of these is true: the Heisenberg Principle forbids singularities and the universe is demonstrably not isotropic.

        Dark energy is a backward inference, from effects to causes. And we have long known that this is problematic: an effect might have may causes, and we can claim to have found *the* cause only after we have ruled out all the others; which has not been done.

      • Nehemiah says:

        “Every universal cycle of Penrose’s CCC theory, requires infinite time.” — LOL, given what physicists think about time, are you sure this statement does not border on tautology?

        • Christopher says:

          A cycle is usually thought to be something that repeats in a finite amount of time. So I wouldn´t call it a tautology.

  22. Nehemiah says:

    IS a major financial event on the horizon? Speculators took unusually large short positions against US long bonds around 1997-8 (East Asian currency crisis and LTCM failure), 2008-9 (Great Financial Crisis), and 2014 (oil price collapse). Now speculators have positioned themselves in the largest short position against US Treasury bonds IN HISTORY.

    Look at the graph at 10:25 on this podcast:

    • Interesting, thanks.

      If I follow it correctly, he explains the situation in the (bond) market such that “Primary Dealers” (major banking cartels aka true owner’s of the FED) are positioning themselves for benefiting from short squeeze situation on the general sheeple investors (&non affiliated foreign CBs), resulting in lower interest rates, no reflation.

      It’s a nice complementary material to Rune’s recently linked article on credit impulse situation of past decade, which is using sort of old data (~Q2 2020) in contrast to this yt video.

      Also, not discussed in the vid, but it further strengthens the point why they need the new instrument of crypto currency channel for other type of stimulus (apart from other goals).

    • The speaker thinks that interest rates are really going down, rather than up, because the economy is weak. He expects the dollar to go higher, relative to other currencies. He expects that those who are betting on inflation and higher interest rates will be be caught in a short squeeze.

      I would agree with him that inflation seems unlikely. Higher interest rates won’t be tolerated. Europe and Japan are doing so poorly that the US$ moving higher would not be a shock, especially if Trump is not generous with bailout money.

    • Also, it seems to me on 22:30 graph that ~40+ yrs mega trend in [loans and leases in bank credit] starts to form a notable pattern very similar to the “triangle of doom” of oil price.

      So, it all rhymes, the FEDsters are simply providing cardiac massage/flashes to decreasingly alive (down sloping sort of credit impulse bouncing channel) or shall we rather say increasingly dead-zombified patient..

  23. Nehemiah says:

    The election? It’s “in the bag!”
    http://joannenova.com.au/2020/09/a-car-boot-full-of-ballots-bought-for-800-a-vote-or-for-nothing-at-all/#comments

    Project Veritas has an insider, they have footage of a man bragging that he has a car full of empty ballots. They have an insider explaining how the system works for mass ballot harvesting.

    VictoryGirlsBlog: This is just as terrible as you think it will be. Project Veritas has thrown quite a hand grenade straight into the Minneapolis area, bringing the receipts to prove ballot harvesting.

    It seems that Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, along with other connected politicians in the Somali community, have quite an expansive ballot harvesting operation going on – so much so, that one of their operatives actually bragged about it on Snapchat. And not only are they going around collecting ballots, especially from the elderly, but they are paying for the ballots in cash.

    Between video evidence and insider interviews, the picture being revealed is a system of ballot harvesting and payoffs so corrupt and entrenched that it might not be salvageable.

    “Numbers don’t lie. Numbers don’t lie. You can see my car is full. All these here are absentees’ ballots. Can’t you see? Look at all these, my car is full. All these are for Jamal Osman… We got 300 today for Jamal Osman only,” said Liban Mohamed in a series of Snapchat videos posted July 1 and July 2 on his own Snapchat profile.”

    Mohamed said he was collecting the ballots to help his brother win the city’s Aug. 11 special election for a vacant Ward 6 city council race—which was held the same day as the primary for Omar’s MN-05 congressional seat. Ward 6 is the heart of the city’s Somali community and the Omar’s political base.”

    “The only way you can win is with money”.

    “They have perfected this system”

    As soon as [early] voting opens, that’s when ballot harvesting occurs.

    VIDEO EXPOSE’:
    https://youtu.be/ZWK56l2VaLY

    My prediction: no one will go to prison. The Swamp is intact!

    • I will have to admit that it would be awfully easy to pay people money for their absentee ballots (or simply steal them) and then vote them for them.

      I suppose those behind this fraud could argue that the people who are being paid are ones who would be unlikely to vote otherwise. If they did vote, they would vote for the Somali candidate. So, in a way, they are simply helping these people vote the way that they ordinarily would.

    • Xabier says:

      Somalis: poor workers, superb warriors, but masters of corruption and clan politics -so no surprise!

  24. Xabier says:

    The absolute insistence on not stopping air travel to and from China is the smoking gun – that went on for weeks, we might recall. Their ambassadors were told to follow
    that line.

    The Chinese might also have calculated on the spread of the virus causing considerable embarrassment to the Trump administration, and economic distress a social conflict through lock-downs.

    They might have hoped thereby to unseat Trump, and get a more compliant Democrat administration to deal with, probably lifting tariffs and ending the trade war. They could enjoy an excellent, cynical, modus vivendi with the Democrats and globalists once more.

    It would certainly be in their interest to have a further weakened and divided US to deal with, and to get rid of the economic nationalists in the US who are using Trump to move against China.

    And whatever the disruptions, the world must continue to do business with China, as so much industrial capacity has moved there,

    Chinese leaders are probably perfectly happy for their citizens to experience quite a bit of pain if only their longer-term aims can be furthered.

    • MM says:

      Well, there is a mix of circumstances that we do not see as we are binary opertaed. For epidemologists it was long time known, that a new epidemic coud spread from the Hubei Province in China. It could be due to environmental stress. It could also have been a lab accinent. the issue really get off when the pic was released, the CCP building a hospital in 2 days (buldozers in the pic are not a hospital) So there exists a likelyhood that the CCP used the cases in Wuhan to bring the world to a standstill. But we must also consider that envirnmental poullution in Wuhan and Bergamo is significant and could have been a significant contributor (not being talked about either), The whole story just stinks from the head. As the article I recently posted atated, there was bad luck and good strategy at play in all cases be it the CCP or the western Governments for introducing a digital life for everyone and vaccination (of course not for population control).
      We see that the plans of the Rockefeller Foundations showed this path, and we see that the path was taken but corellation still is not causation.
      The interesting Mrs Yan.
      We will for sure never find out but it will be for sure that the failure of our civ can not be halted thiis way, either planned or by accident. On contrary, real life always plays out different…

      The car is on fire
      There is no driver at the wheel

    • I am afraid you may be right.

  25. Nehemiah says:

    Two papers on how NetZero will destroy the UK economy.

    New Paper: Decarbonisation Plans Fail Engineering Reality Check
    “How can we hope to electrify transport when we would need to consume the whole global annual supply of several important minerals to do so, just for the UK?” asks Professor Michael Kelly, former chief scientific adviser to the Department for Communities and Local Government.

    The cost of the wind farms and the batteries and rewiring the grid to cope with the all the extra demand would be folly for an economy at the best of times. In the current crisis it’s madness.

    Britain’s Electric Car Strategy Is ‘Doomed To Failure’
    Professor issues the warning in a paper published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

    He warns the Government’s ambitions for EVs and electric heating in buildings will end in damaging failure.

    On battery electric vehicles, he says:

    Consider Dinorwig power station, the biggest hydropower energy storage plant in the UK. If all UK cars were battery powered, the nine gigawatts of energy stored behind the dam would be capable of recharging about 60,000 of them, or about 0.25 per cent of the UK fleet.”

    https://www.thegwpf.com/new-paper-decarbonisation-plans-fail-engineering-reality-check/
    https://www.thegwpf.com/britains-electric-car-strategy-is-doomed-to-failure/
    https://www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2020/05/KellyDecarb-1.pdf

    SOURCE: https://www.iceagenow.info/in-order-to-save-the-planet-we-have-no-choice-but-to-destroy-the-planet/

    • These are great! The one problem here, as everywhere else, is that the only people who can speak the truth are semi-retired folks, like Michael Kelly and like myself, who are not depending on a paycheck for saying what is politically correct.

      Michael Kelly writes for an organization called the Global Warming Policy Foundation. It can actually tell the truth. But I am certain that most green organizations will pay no attention whatsoever. It is very frustrating. There needs to be a “we can be saved” story that everyone will like and believe.

    • Not sure this author could be taken seriously, lots of fatal errors inside, e.g. he mentions supposedly next gen batteries and cobalt in one sentence, which is sheer non sense, the industry is moving away from cobalt..

      Another one, he seems to mix bananas and oranges, while comparing 60kWh batt car x 150k copies resulting in .7% of entire UK fleet. Hence, I doubt ~250km driven by 150k of cars is actually only .7% miles driven per country, it should be above that aka in reality more carz driving shorter distance, i.e. less kWh discharged per vehicle.

      I’m not car fanatic, more importantly rail (or robo handling hop on off cargo bus/tram) and e-bicycle combo is perhaps the best realistic option given existing infrastructure.. the energy for that is minuscule, but it’s not current opulent lifestyles compatible, so not discussed.

      • Lidia17 says:

        Looking at things from the opposite side of Kelly’s argument, this breakdown of US transportation energy shows electric lumped in with other alternative sources for under 3% of 2019 transportation energy use.
        https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/use-of-energy/transportation.php

        We might be able to assume large reductions in jet fuel (refined kerosene) usage, but those projecting car fleets switching over to electric don’t seem to be explaining where we are going to magically come up with the 22% diesel (truck) fuel component.

        Years ago, Orlov pointed out that gasoline is a BY-PRODUCT of the processes that yield the important stuff: diesel. They used to throw it away. A way to burn up/sell off gasoline is what we have come to know as “Happy Motoring”. Gasoline might be the easiest fraction to pare back and sacrifice at a social level, but does not come independent of the rest.

        The wonder of the self-organizing system is that uses grew up according to what energy was available. We can’t intervene against the system in only a piece-meal way (Leonardo sticks).

  26. Oh dear says:

    The ‘culpability’ of ‘China’ (CCP) for c 19 has just become topical in the USA presidential elections. Trump seeks to gain advantage from such allegations, while it is likely in the ‘interests’ of DP to keep any ‘blame’ for the c 19 response focused on Trump.

    There is a topical political partisan aspect to this. Also, ‘leaders’ will often use ‘nationalism’ to rally support. I have a policy of not allowing ’causes’, other people to manipulate me with their ‘drives’. So, I am wary, and I certainly will not be engaging in any ‘propaganda’ efforts for Trump.

    > Trump weirdly shifts COVID-19 blame to China

    US President Donald Trump issued a short video clip from the White House on Wednesday, in which he again shifted his administration’s poor COVID-19 response to someone else.

    Like before, recklessly launching his signature “trade war” against China in 2018, Trump, who was just released from a military medical center after being infected with COVID-19 himself, threatened in the video that China will “pay a big price for what they’ve done” to the US….

    https://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1202924.shtml

  27. Nehemiah says:

    The ideal temperature for planetary life is five degrees Celsius warmer than the present, scientists report in the peer-reviewed journal Astrobiology….

    A team of scientists set out to make the search for life on planets outside our solar system more efficient. To do so, they determined to identify what planetary factors are ideal for life. After substantial research and consideration, the scientists found “Based on our experience from Earth, the highest biomass and biodiversity is present in tropical rainforests, and the least in cold polar regions. Thus, higher temperatures than currently existing on Earth seem to be more favorable.”

    The ideal planetary temperature for life, the scientists found, is an average temperature approximately five degrees Celsius (nine degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than on Earth.
    https://climaterealism.com/2020/10/study-finds-ideal-climate-for-life-is-five-degrees-warmer-than-present/

    • It seems like with climate, you can find almost any answer you want.

      • Nehemiah says:

        While “warmmunists” if I may be a bit facetious, assure us the earth is currently too warm, I never hear them tell us what the optimum temperature for life on earth is. Do they want it to be 1 degree C cooler, like it was during the Little Ice Age, or 10C as in the last glacial maximum, or somewhere in between? Why is a cooler world a better world, and what is the evidence for that? Historians tell us the LIA was a tough period to live through, yet the estimated global temp was only about 1 degree C cooler than today, yet activists tell us we are now too warm. What are the chances that the 1960s just happened to be the ideal, goldilocks temperature for the planet with any slight deviation in either direction being bad? And why will no one in the warmmunist community address this question forthrightly? They either ignore it or squirm.

        • Harry McGibbs says:

          This seems an odd angle to approach the issue from. Any rapid divergence from current climatic conditions is problematic for extant flora and fauna that cannot adapt quickly enough and especially problematic for us humans.

          Our entire civilisation is inflexible in that regard, from the zoning of food production to the concentration of populations along coastal zones to the need for nuclear power situations to be situated by water.

          That life can (and indeed has) thrived on earth at much higher temperatures is scant consolation in that context.

          • Nehemiah says:

            “Any rapid divergence from current climatic conditions is problematic” — first, as many have pointed out for the last 20 years during these climate wars debates, the current climate is not changing at an unusually rapid rate (or was not in the late 20th century–it is changing even slower during the “climate pause” of the last 20 years). It is a fact that the climate has changed just as fast on previous occasions, and faster if you go farther back in time than the last 150 or so years.

            Less well publicized is the fact that living organisms in general, even Arctic life, adapts more easily to warmer temperatures than to cooler temperatures, other things being equal (that is, no added stress from things like an expanding population of human hunters).

          • Xabier says:

            Exactly: bowing under the weight of infrastructure and complexity, we lack the both mobility and adaptability of earlier humans: everyone wants to be able to continue to thrive in place – even if their city was founded another economic basis – and to enjoy the benefits of industrial civilisation equally, from North to South.

        • VFatalis says:

          You have it backwards. It’s not about optimal temperature for life on earth.

          It’s about keeping temperature in a specific window so we can enjoy a stable climate, for the simple albeit anthropocentric reason that it’s much needed for a productive agriculture.

          • Our current ecosystem is based on a particular temperature. We would like the temperature to stay put, even if the temperature system is not designed to behave this way. It is difficult for assets to have the value we think they have, if the temperature keeps changing, for one thing.

            Of course, the overall system can work with a wide range of temperatures. In fact, humans have lived through ice ages, so we know that at least some humans can live through a wide range of temperatures.

            We have created the fiction that we humans have control over the temperature system. We really don’t. We are not up to telling people not to have more children. We can’t tell people to cut their life expectancy short. We have created the fiction that wind and intermittent solar can save us, but they really cannot.

            • Harry McGibbs says:

              “We have created the fiction that we humans have control over the temperature system.”

              This is true. And, given that this is just one of a witch’s brew of converging crises with increasing interplay between them all, and over which we have no control, it doesn’t seem especially worth losing sleep over.

          • Nehemiah says:

            First, there is no such thing as a “stable climate.” Never has been. However, some climates are less variable than others. Specifically, mainstream geology and paleoclimatology and meteorology (and even historians when looking at historical times) tell us that as climate becomes cooler, it also becomes more variable and less stable. (This is likely the reason agriculture could not take off until the previous interglacial ended, and then suddenly appeared in several widely separated parts of Eurasia with different crops.) As the climate becomes warmer, the difference between the tropics and non-tropics narrows, and the climate becomes more stable. This has all been “settled science” for a very long time, even though the science-denying computer modelers at the UN-IPCC do not want to admit it, because they are paid to reach different conclusions. That is the IPCC’s legal charter: find or invent evidence for CO2 theory of climate change, not discover what actually causes climate change.

    • Robert Firth says:

      I am one small data point, but worrying here in Malta as the temperature drops below 25C, and fondly remembering Singapore at an almost uniform 30C, I do sympathise. My ideal ambient temperature is one where I can walk around naked. (Not that I ever did that in Singapore, but during a holiday in Dalmatia it was a great experience.)

  28. Nehemiah says:

    The review, published in a Special Issue of the journal Energies on 16 September, covers 39 pages, with 14 full-color figures and two tables, detailing the breakdown of climate change expenditure and the pros and cons of all of the various options: wind, solar, hydro, nuclear, fossil fuels, bioenergy, tidal and geothermal. For the review, the researchers searched meticulously through hundreds of research papers published throughout the whole of the English-speaking world, in a wide range of fields, including engineering, environment, energy and climate policy. The final report includes references to 255 research papers covering all of these fields, and it concludes with a table summarizing the pros and cons of all of the various energy technologies. Research team members were based in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, and the United States.

    The review was published as an open-access peer-review paper and can be downloaded for free from the following URL: https://www.mdpi.com/1996-1073/13/18/4839 .

    The full citation is as follows: ÓhAiseadha, C.; Quinn, G.; Connolly, R.; Connolly, M.; Soon, W. Energy and Climate Policy—An Evaluation of Global Climate Change Expenditure 2011–2018. Energies 2020, 13, 4839.

    a series of international studies have found that both wind and solar farms are themselves causing local climate change. Wind farms increase the temperature of the soil beneath them, and this warming causes soil microbes to release more carbon dioxide. So, ironically, while wind energy might be partially reducing human “carbon emissions”, it is also increasing the “carbon emissions” from natural sources.

    Green energy technologies require a 10-fold increase in mineral extraction compared to fossil fuel electricity. Similarly, replacing just 50 million of the world’s estimated 1.3 billion cars with electric vehicles would require more than doubling the world’s annual production of cobalt, neodymium, and lithium, and using more than half the world’s current annual copper production.

    Solar and wind farms also need 100 times the land area of fossil fuel-generated electricity, and these resulting changes in land use can have a devastating effect on biodiversity.

    more than half (55%) of all global climate expenditure in the years 2011‒2018 was spent on solar and wind energy ‒ a total of US$2,000 billion. Despite this, wind and solar energy still produced only 3% of world energy consumption in the year 2018, while the fossil fuels (oil, coal and gas) produced 85% between them. This raises pressing questions about what it would cost to make the transition to 100% renewable energies, as some researchers suggest.

    As lead author Coilín ÓhAiseadha says: “It cost the world $2 trillion to increase the share of energy generated by solar and wind from half a percent to three percent, and it took eight years to do it. What would it cost to increase that to 100%? And how long would it take?”
    joannenova.com.au/2020/10/theres-no-such-thing-as-clean-energy/#comments

    • Thanks for the citation.

      The problem with these articles is that, in order to be published, they have to tip toe around the problem, both in the abstract and in the title. You quoted the bland title. The abstract says, among other things:

      . . . we consider the potential engineering challenges and environmental and socioeconomic impacts of the main energy sources (old and new). We find that the literature raises many concerns about the engineering feasibility as well as environmental impacts of wind and solar. However, none of the current or proposed energy sources is a “panacea”. Rather, each technology has pros and cons, and policy-makers should be aware of the cons as well as the pros when making energy policy decisions. We urge policy-makers to identify which priorities are most important to them, and which priorities they are prepared to compromise on.

      No one dares use the phrase “not feasible.” The paper will hide away the problem in the more obscure part of the paper, but it won’t really say much about it. A person has to be diligent to find it. I asked one author why he used such an approach and he said, “Because I figured it would never get past a green peer reviewer otherwise.”

      Green groups ignore these indications and focus only on the Mark Jacobson’s papers suggesting that it is no problem to build out wind, water, and solar to save the world.

      We can hope that the study will have an impact on those wanting to fund more wind and solar, especially in Ireland and North Ireland, and also the Massachusetts area of the US, where the researchers are located.

      • Robert Firth says:

        Thank you, Gail, that seens to be exactly the situation. But if theyt tiptoe around the unfeeasibility of green energy, they dare not come within ten metres of the only feasible solution: a drastic reduction in our use of energy, and therefore an equally drastic reduction in the number of users. Exactly as “The Limits to Growth” predicted, but as bad news beings to look more and more like the truth, it becomes more and more strongly forbidden to mention it.

  29. MG says:

    As the complexity requires more and more resources and the EU introduced compulsory passive house design for all homes as from 2020, I can imagine that, like the car producers with diesel gate and emission scandals, the private persons will have problems with the manipulated energy certificates, as the proper construction of the houses will require higher costs which the impoverishing population will try to avoid.

    • Passiv houses are more energy intense homes that will be less flexible and have short expected lives.

      But building them will raise demand for energy products and for many other things (including human labor and building materials). This demand will help keep the system going.

      The new, more expensive homes will, of course, be out of reach of the poor. But the rich will be able to benefit.

      • Robert Firth says:

        Gail, I doubt the rich will appreciate the benefit of their passiv haeuser when they die in them. Those things are lethal, with minimal ventilation, minimal sunlight, and an utterly inhuman ambience.

    • Passive house design has mostly one purpose – lower energy requirement for the building. It is achieved in two ways – making the building extremely well insulated and air-tight.
      – PH buildings are more expensive – true,
      – lethal, with minimal ventilation, minimal sunlight, and an utterly inhuman ambience – not true – please don’t share false statements,
      – very easy for the windows to break – as with any modern windows with non-toughened glass,
      PH design has many advantages – which you can easy disable at any moment and have traditional house.

  30. Dennis L. says:

    Serious claims, I have not read this carefully, even if I did it would take considerable expertise to make good conclusions. The headline might read “Unrestricted Bioweapon.” A number of you here seem quite knowledgeable, your comments would be welcome.

    Basically, it is claimed COVID-19 was highly engineered, it came at a very opportune time in some measures given the world economy. Again comments would be welcome.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/medical/covid-19-unrestricted-bioweapon-whistleblower-releases-second-paper-alleging-large-scale

    Dennis L.

    • Nehemiah says:

      Clearly bioengineered. https://nerdhaspower.weebly.com/

      Yet I am sure it’s release was accidental. Very easy for these bugs to escape, and in the microbiological community, Chinese labs already had a reputation for lax security. “Bat lady” (her nickname, I have forgotten her Chinese name) even gave a least one public presentation about her work in re-engineering some version of the SARS bat virus so that it could infect lab rodents. Having achieved this step, she announced that her next step was to engineer her project to infect primates. I guess she succeeded. After the Wuhan outbreak got out of control, she totally disappeared and some observers were worried for her safety. However, she eventually reappearing, and although she had expressed some concern prior to her disappearance that her lab might be responsible for the outbreak, now she was vociferously denying it.

      Although I am sure that China did not release this virus on its own population (and in fact the CCP seemed to think it was just a minor infection for over two months after the first known case on November 6th), once it was sweeping through the population, the CCP did everything it could to facilitate its escape from China to the rest of the world. In Europe, it mutated into a more virulent (but not more lethal) form. New York got the more virulent European form. California initially received the Chinese version and thought it was simply doing a better job of containment than New York, but by now the European variant has reached California and its numbers are ramping up.

      • Ed says:

        I never understood the idea of second wave but now with this idea of two strains one coming into the US on the east and one in the west it makes sense California getting a second wave. Really a second strain.

        • Lidia17 says:

          One of the presentations shared here (possibly in the previous post thread) a researcher displayed graphs of how influenza curves peak at different latitudes and seasons. The explanation in his video was that, for the US, the Northeast followed one curve while the South/CA followed another, for climatological reasons; the people experiencing the “second wave” never really had a first wave.
          He was using data plots many decades old; had nothing to do with “strains”.

          I forget the presenter’s name… Ian something-that-begins-with-C? Perhaps someone else will remember.

      • Malcopian says:

        There is a lot of suspicious stuff around this virus. When I sent my neighbour this link, he replied: ‘I think that’s what’s called trolling, on the internet, and I’m not falling for it!’

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crimson_Contagion

        • Malcopian says:

          And this from the UK government:

          https://www.gov.uk/guidance/high-consequence-infectious-diseases-hcid#status-of-covid-19

          ‘As of 19 March 2020, COVID-19 is no longer considered to be a high consequence infectious disease (HCID) in the UK.’

          So why all the lockdowns and the disruption to people’s lives and the economy?

          • Oh dear says:

            Good question.

            ‘Answers on a postcard.’

            Some of it is likely party political. UK ‘public’ overwhelmingly supports stronger lock down measures, even today. It would not be politically ‘viable’ for Boris to change track.

            Other explanations are more ‘conspiratorial’, about a ‘deliberate step down’. I am not convinced that Western powers are that ‘organised’ to even attempt that in any case. Who knows?

            My guess is that it is due to a dynamic between the ‘polls’, the parties, the media and the public. It is a question of ‘governance’ in some petty sense.

            • Robert Firth says:

              Agreed, Oh dear. There is government and there is governance; the one is a parasite, the other a lighthouse.

          • Lidia17 says:

            Emitting conflicting information is itself a political tool.

            • Nehemiah says:

              If the entrenched establishment also discreetly funds its own opposition, it can keep the criticisms within non-threatening bounds while also offering the people the comforting illusion that they possess freedom of choice.

            • JMS says:

              Never well said, Nehemiah.The goebbelisation runs deep in anglo-american politics.

      • The article you linked certainly does make the virus sound like it was made in a lab. For example, it says,

        The Wuhan coronavirus, while being almost identical to their bat relatives (ZC45 and ZXC21) everywhere else, has somehow “inherited” the critical, short piece from SARS spike to replace the incompetent piece in the bat coronavirus spike. As a result of this miraculous “replacement” in S1 — all key residues preserved and many non-essential residues changed, the Wuhan coronavirus has practically “acquired” the ability to infect humans, something its closest bat relatives do not have.

        Could natural evolution achieve something this precise and, at the same time, this deceptive???

        • Nehemiah says:

          Here is an interview (rather long, and with an accent) with a defecting Chinese virologist (Li-Meng Yan) who says that SARS-cov-2 was absolutely engineered in a Wuhan lab, and that great efforts are being made to suppress this knowledge:
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJxlOgC9Yr0
          The interviewer does not ask only soft ball questions, either.

      • Robert Firth says:

        The bat lady’s name is Shi Zhengli (石正麗), or Shih Cheng Li in Wade Giles romanisation.

    • Ed says:

      I can not comment on the biology, not my area, but way back at the start there was a paper floating around that claimed the head of Wuhan lab sent a memo to staff saying “destroy all the samples”. Can I prove this? No. The paper was written in such a way that it has me convinced it is true. I did post the link on OFW long ago.

    • MM says:

      Whatever it was, an accident or a deliberate release, we see that these GOF Frankensteins have created Virusses that do not exist in nature and we are threatened by a virus for which there is no evidence in nature and we see that for all of the money spent on GOF research for the sake of public health of vaccinations, there is no vaccination. After more than 6 months of this thing in the wild, we still not discuss this what can ONLY be attributed to a conflict of interest whatsoever.
      Virologists rule our lives but Virologists also created this problem possibly..

    • There has been so much published regarding the fact that this virus seems to have been engineered, I am surprised that practically zero has hit the main stream press.

      It seems to me that we may be in a different kind of war with China, namely one that China is trying to win with a bioweapon. They are trying to get us to shut down the economy, in response to a virus that is not very lethal.

      • Lidia17 says:

        The mainstream press has displayed itself to be pro-Biden, so I would assume pro-China. I’m not sure I would even want them to report on it if they do the kind of job they did on Iraq’s bioweapons labs, or those “aluminum tubes”. In some ways, it is a relief not to have them yammering about it one way or the other.

      • Nehemiah says:

        There are stories that MSM obsesses over, and other stories that they blacklist and refuse to report on. Two examples: On October 11th 2001 (30 days after the 9-11 attacks in America), Mexico’s law enforcement arrested two conspirators who were plotting a Columbus Day attack (the very next day) on the Mexican Congress. (Both conspirators were Israeli citizens and were eventually deported quietly back to Israel.) At the time, US citizens were intensely interested, to say the least, in any terrorist activity, yet this story, which was headline news in Mexico, only seeped into the English language internet months later, and was never reported by the MSM.

        Another example: In early 2003 (February I think, but it’s hard to remember now), Undersecretary of State John Bolton flew to Israel, met with Ariel Sharon, and promised him that after we deposed the government of Iraq (which began the first week of March), that Iran would be next. Bolton’s promise to depose the government of Iran next was headline news in Tel Aviv’s “Ha’aretz Daily” newspaper, including its online English edition where I read it, yet it was totally blacked out in the US media.

        So never be surprised when the MSM ignores a sensational and highly relevant story. They have their own agendas, and professional journalists are taught to think of themselves as the “gatekeepers.” Some US reporters say discreetly that every major US news organization has one or more key figures on the CIA payroll. (I recall one former CIA head said for the record that he would not be very good CIA director if he could not control the media.) In another case, a top German journalist, upon retirement, wrote a book in which he proclaimed that not only had he been on the CIA payroll, but so was every important European journalist that he knew of. And I would be surprised if other countries’ intelligence agencies were not doing something similar.

        We have a free media, but most of our news and information comes from either a tiny number of sources or from a tiny number of internet platforms, and all of these can be controlled indirectly. It shows you don’t need to have direct and absolute control of all media sources to control the flow of information and opinion.

        And this is in America. Censorship is even worse in Europe and Canada. The classical liberal values that were increasingly popular in the 18th and especially 19th centuries have fallen increasingly out of favor with cultural and political and financial elites since the 1960s.

        Think about the 1970s. Worries about oil depletion and a future without energy were all over the mainstream media. Politicians talked about it publicly. Of course, there was still plenty of oil remaining then, so the alarms were overblown and not coming from geologists. Now that the danger is real and not far away, you hear virtually nothing about it unless it is some situation like 2006-8 when prices were spiking like crazy before fracking kicked in, and even then most of the attention was confined to the business press. Do you think the difference between today and the 1970s is just a coincidence? I don’t. Likewise, if “man-made global warming” were a real threat, I don’t think anyone in the MSM would be discussing it.

        • JMS says:

          If it makes big headlines in MSM, it’s of course a lie. That’s an evaluation rule that never fails. Conversely, if it is labeled as “fake news” by the MSM, it has a good chance of be true.

    • MM says:

      Please do a resaerch on the co-authors of the study:
      “Rule of Law Society & Rule of Law Foundation, NY”
      and post your results here…
      It is not that I would say there exists a “bias”, no no.

  31. Harry McGibbs says:

    “The market is facing (at once and together): possible deflation, potential inflation, a second leg of the recession, delayed stagflation, a dollar decline, staggering business bankruptcies, a continued pandemic, a contested election, an unruly transfer of power, and a sickened authoritarian President trying to entrench his rule.”

    [Peak uncertainty, my goodness – if only!]

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesberman/2020/10/07/the-antidote-to-peak-uncertainty/#1e5cb6417f84

    • Robert Firth says:

      “But apart from that, Mrs Lincoln, how did you like the play?” So Forbes joins the lemmings heading for the cliff edge.

  32. Harry McGibbs says:

    “…investors are enormously confident in the willingness of systemically important central banks – namely, the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank – to inject liquidity at the first sign of serious market stress, regardless of how much further they have to venture into the domain of experimental unconventional policy.

    “Yet by building an ever-wider wedge between market valuations and economic fundamentals, central banks may be jeopardising their own credibility, amplifying wealth inequalities and increasing the risk to future financial stability.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/oct/07/central-bank-covid-donald-trump-stimulus-package

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “Central banks became net sellers of gold in August for the first time in a year and a half, in the latest indication that demand for the metal is slowing following a record-setting rally.

      “The latest data reflect the pullback of some major buyers as countries free up resources to deal with the coronavirus crisis.“

      https://www.ft.com/content/09b0a30f-2997-4e8a-92bf-f9eb61952b92

      • It looks like there was a huge rally in the price of gold between late 2008 and the second half of 2011.

        https://goldprice.org/charts/history/gold_20_year_o_usd_x.png

        This was a period when the price of oil was being pumped up with QE. We were trying to get past the ultra low commodity prices that followed the price collapse in 2008.

        The most recent rally has come when the economy was reacting to the slowdown in growth from the second half of 2018 onward. Sales of many things have been doing poorly, from automobiles to cell phones. It has been a worrisome period, hastening a flight to gold.

  33. Harry McGibbs says:

    “The coronavirus pandemic is costing the global economy $375 billion a month, and has seen some 500 million jobs lost since the crisis struck, the United Nations said in a policy brief on Wednesday…

    “UN Secretary-General António Guterres, while launching the policy brief, called on everyone to draw “hard lessons” from the pandemic, for which the world was not prepared.”

    https://www.livemint.com/news/india/covid-about-500-mn-jobs-gone-global-economy-losing-375-bn-per-month-says-un-11602071643011.html

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “The economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic will change the profile of global poverty by creating millions of “new poor” who are relatively well-educated in urban areas of middle-income countries, the World Bank has warned.

      “Overall, the pandemic will push between 88m and 115m people into extreme poverty this year, which the bank defines as living on less than $1.90 a day, according to a report it published on Wednesday.”

      https://www.ft.com/content/2a41fa8b-e5d1-4102-b14f-7ec5820a5d7d

    • Yoshua says:

      500 million jobs lost?

      What is that? 25% of the global workforce?

      • Harry McGibbs says:

        The International Labour Organization says that the global workforce is around 3 billion, so 500 million would constitute one sixth. That’s still a pretty astonishing percentage though, if accurate.

        Of course if the UN is reaching that figure by totting up official government employment data from around the world then it is going to be very optimistic.

      • There have been a little over 1 million total deaths, worldwide, from COVID. So that there have been nearly 500 jobs lost for each death. I am sure that deaths from other causes has risen at the same time.

        • Nehemiah says:

          In developed countries, including the US, total deaths from all causes combined fall during recessions (yes, it surprised me too when I learned it) according to most of the published papers on this question. However, this recession has been an exception because of the covid-related deaths. So looking at increases in the total death tally compared to a typical non-recession year should, if anything, lead to an underestimate of the total covid casualties. However, I do not know whether this applies to poor countries which cannot afford large scale “social insurance” during recessions.

  34. Harry McGibbs says:

    “South Africa’s biggest trade union group, COSATU, has urged members to stay away from work on Wednesday to protest job losses, wage curbs and corruption cases.

    “COSATU, which says it has more than one million members, is normally an ally of the governing African National Congress (ANC) but has criticised the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/10/7/south-africa-unions-protest-job-losses-wage-cuts

  35. Harry McGibbs says:

    “The near halt of Libya’s oil production and exportation amid the civil war could cause the country’s economic collapse, the head of the Tripoli-based Central Bank of Libya warned on Tuesday.”

    https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/10/libya-oil-bank-tripoli-collapse-haftar.html

  36. Harry McGibbs says:

    “For the first time in a century, there are no rigs searching for oil in Venezuela. Wells that once tapped the world’s largest crude reserves are abandoned or left to flare toxic gases that cast an orange glow over depressed oil towns.

    “Refineries that once processed oil for export are rusting hulks, leaking crude that blackens shorelines and coats the water in an oily sheen.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/07/world/americas/venezuela-oil-economy-maduro.html

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “Venezuela plans to launch the biggest-denomination note in its history, but owing to delays in printing and hyperinflation it will be worth less than 18p by the time it enters circulation.

      “The value of the bolivar has collapsed after years of economic mismanagement and even beggars on the streets of Caracas refuse to accept the lower-denomination notes.”

      https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/venezuela-s-biggest-banknote-will-be-worth-only-18p-due-to-printing-delays-and-hyperinflation-wmhnpkdz8

    • Minority Of One says:

      >>Wells that once tapped the world’s largest crude reserves

      Tosh / propaganda.

      The only oil Venezuela still pumps now is crude oil, a proper liquid, from one so-called ‘oil play’. Just in 2015 it was producing about 2.4 Million barrels / day, now about 0.1 – 0.2 Mb/d. See the Venezuela section of this article from PeakOilBarrel:
      http://peakoilbarrel.com/opec-august-2020-oil-production/

      What Venezuela has lots of is tar-like, very heavy oil that needs heat and high oil prices to be extracted. This is what the “world’s largest crude reserves” refers to and none is being produced at the moment.

    • JesseJames says:

      This is a significant event in Venezuela….the first oil producing nation to have its entire oil industry shut down. From here we will record the 2nd and the 3rd country to follow in its footsteps…as the world trends toward less oil production and our civilization declines.

      • I would assume that Venezuela is drilling no new wells at this time. It would be expected to have existing (conventional) oil wells that are still producing oil. They need to be monitored on a regular basis to make certain that they are functioning properly, but otherwise require little investment. Companies will need to have some employees to perform this function.

        The whole situation makes it clear how little published “proved reserves” really mean.

  37. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Publicly supported by the International Monetary Fund, Argentina reached a debt-restructuring deal with private creditors in August to end its ninth default, and the third in just 18 years. The country has pushed debt amortisations to 2025 and beyond and drastically reduced interest payments.

    “However, since then, prices of the newly issued government bonds have plummeted and country risk – as measured by the Emerging Markets Bond Index Plus – has reached 1,350 basis points, far from the 10% exit yield used by Argentina in its debt negotiations. What went wrong?”

    https://www.omfif.org/2020/10/argentina-on-the-brink-again/

  38. Harry McGibbs says:

    “U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren is asking large U.S. banks to disclose how they performed under a recent Federal Reserve exam of their finances during the coronavirus pandemic.

    “In a letter sent to 14 large firms Wednesday, Warren asked each to provide its results from a confidential Fed test, arguing the central bank’s “limited transparency” on whether banks could weather a severe economic downturn is insufficient.”

    https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-usa-senate-warren/senator-warren-asks-big-u-s-banks-for-details-on-pandemic-performance-idUKKBN26S2ZC

  39. Minority Of One says:

    Research Shows Deliberate Chinese Propaganda Campaign Forced World Into Lockdown
    https://summit.news/2020/09/28/researcher-suggests-deliberate-chinese-propaganda-campaign-forced-world-into-lockdown/

    “Communist regime flooded social media with fake videos and bots to whip up COVID hysteria.

    Researcher and attorney Michael P. Senger suggests that the Chinese government launched an aggressive propaganda campaign to exaggerate the severity of coronavirus in order to force the rest of the world into a draconian lockdown that would serve to benefit Beijing…”

    Crossroads, the weekday news bulletin on anything relating to China, did a special news item on this topic a couple of weeks ago.

    • Malcopian says:

      I agree that the lockdowns are a ridiculous policy. But why would a mercantilist country like China want to tank the world economy? That means less trade for China. It means fewer exports. That’s known as cutting off your nose to spite your face.

      • If major powers have the general end of surplus PO/OFW info available (most likely), so the Chinese elite circles/gov as well.. Then curbing, corralling demand by whatever means is the plan forward.

        Evidently China attempted to offload her over dependence on US/EU markets by building her own “backyard” sphere of influence in that Africa-ME-Asia circle, but the volume-scale and right timing is not there yet, also recently hampered-torpedoed by color revolutions (e.g. HK). China doesn’t have it in their DNA to challenge BAU order directly, that’s why the decade+ old fantasies of unilaterally withdrawing from petrodollar scheme remain at that wishful thinking only. The system will go down only when the owners of global and “2nd tier” / regional owners of capital clash together for (survival) real. We are not there yet, perhaps in next decades (cascading disorder) or never (Muskianic win).

      • Nehemiah says:

        Xi Jinping is a vindictive, psychopathic dictator. I would not put it past him to have done something like that. He probably saw it as revenge against Trump.

    • As I think about this, it is possibly true that Deliberate Chinese Propaganda Campaign Forced World Into Lockdown.

      The disease that we have in this country in no way looks like the disease portrayed by Chinese social media. People don’t drop down dead in the streets. There are not bodies and more bodies. The disease is basically impossible to stop, without a horribly draconian response. It is hard to believe that the virus changed as much as it seems to, in making the transition out of China.

      China is having major energy problems. This is why it is not a reliable trading partner anymore. Its energy production has noticeably flattened out because of essentially flat coal production. Because of this, it cannot pull the its own economy forward very well anymore. It certainly cannot expect to pull the world economy forward. It was also experiencing internal dissension. This seemed to be noticeable in the Wuhan area.

      China could afford to shut down a small portion of its economy for a short time. To do this, it could implement control over its population, which it could show off. Wuhan had been experiencing protests, prior to the shutdown, according to some reports. The shutdown would get rid of these protests.

      China is struggling with the African Swine Flu epidemic killing many of China’s pigs, besides other natural disasters. At one time, I remember allegations that the US was causing animal epidemics with its virus research. I don’t remember whether the US had any particular connection to “African” Swine flu, and that flu eventually getting to China. It would seem to be pretty far fetched. But China could see that a virus epidemic could be very hard for other countries to control, especially once propaganda was out that it was terribly deadly. It seems to have been the manufacturer of this virus. When the virus got loose (or was set loose), it was not really a much of a problem as they hoped it would be. But adding propaganda could give it the boost it needed, to act as a weapon.

      China had a natural ally in the vaccine industry. They would want to make money off of the virus and would lobby to keep it around as long as possible through shutdowns. China, with its control of the World Trade Organization, could make certain to lobby for other countries to shut down. If China couldn’t win a “hot war” with other countries, it could trick them into shutting down and leaving more resources for China to extract.

    • Do you have a link to the Crossroads episode(s)?

    • Oh dear says:

      I have no idea if the story is true, and no major media outlet seems to have picked it up, so it does not seem be ‘verified’ in a social sense – but if China pulled that off then what can one say? If the western powers fell for that, then it just indicates their own weakness and gullibility, which is no massive surprise.

      China seems to be having ‘a good c 19’, while the West trashes itself. The ability of the West to destroy itself should not be underestimated. It is entirely unable to escape an illusion-conditioned mentality that it is entirely ‘convinced’ accords with ‘reality’ and is even ‘practical’. That is its ‘look out’.

      CCP is less likely to be ‘taken in’ by assumptions about what is ‘true’ and what will ‘work’. CCP is adamantly non-dogmatic with its approach of ‘ideology from facts, not facts from ideology’. It has been able to embrace a market economy simply because it ‘works’ at the present time – and it is doing really well.

      If China comes out ‘ahead’ then that is ‘good for them’ – if not necessarily for the West. It has virtually eliminated c 19 in China because the Chinese state is set up in such a way that they were able to do that. The West, not so much. China is left with virtually no c 19 and a healthy economy, the West on the contrary.

      I do not see a ‘hidden hand’ in c 19, just the Western incompetence. Also the Neanderthal stretch of DNA that disposes persons to severe c 19 outcomes is virtually absent in the Far East. They have their own N DNA – but not that stretch.

      > Covid crisis has accelerated big trends in China’s favour

      Recent renminbi rally underscores shift in the economic balance from west to east

      China and much of east Asia have had a good crisis, relatively speaking. The recent rally in the renminbi shows currency markets are starting to acknowledge this. But it is just the tip of the iceberg. A shift in the economic balance, away from the west and towards Asia, was well under way before Covid-19. The pandemic just accelerated it.

      Start by considering Beijing’s management of the outbreak. It is true that Covid started in China and the geopolitical ramifications of that are still playing out. However, case and mortality trends in the region have paled in comparison to many other parts of the world. A history of handling pandemics has helped, as has world-beating technology. But as the US and Europe continue to grapple with new waves of Covid cases, levels in much of east Asia remain low.

      Better pandemic management has delivered better economic results. China is the only country among 48 to have reported a second-quarter gross domestic product number that was higher than at the end of 2019. Taiwan, Vietnam, South Korea and Hong Kong are the next closest.

      In contrast, Spain’s second-quarter GDP was 20 per cent below year-end, and India’s 25 per cent. East Asian countries that were able to avoid lockdowns limited damage to the services and construction sectors. August activity data from China showed the recovery broadening, with consumers finally re-engaging with the economy. And this comes without any of the direct government support that western consumers have received. The growth dividend from good Covid management will continue to accrue for these east Asian countries, even as fiscal policy packages are scaled back in the west.

      Another big factor for growth has been exports, as Asia finds itself with the right product mix in the new Covid era. Taiwan, South Korea and Singapore all benefited from strong tech sectors. China has also seen strong tech exports and — ironically — a surge in exports of medical and personal protective equipment.

      Many analysts said the Covid crisis would disrupt global supply chains, but the early evidence underscores how difficult transitions can be. China has been picking up export market share, not the other way around. Asia is the world’s main manufacturer of goods, and that is likely to remain the case for a long time.

      The most important indicator of China’s relative strength, and perhaps its most surprising, is the resilience of its balance of payments. China’s August trade balance data showed the surplus rising again after a dip in the spring. In the middle of a huge global trade shock, this is a remarkable outcome — and even more so, given it reflects solid imports as well as strong exports.

      This matters for currency markets. Indeed, the flipside of China’s resilient balance of payments is the rise in the US trade deficit. If you strip out oil, the US trade deficit is near a new record high and has been increasing significantly in recent years. The US dollar has been weakening against Asian currencies in recent months. Expect this to continue….

      https://www.ft.com/content/696d0406-181c-4972-a158-06b610f50dbd

      • Minority Of One says:

        I don’t know if you think of The Sun (UK) as a major media outlet, but it is the newspaper with the largest sales in the UK, and they covered it:

        CORONA COUP China ‘carried out disinformation campaign to force world economy into lockdown’, says US lawyer in extraordinary theory
        https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/12778173/china-tricked-world-economic-suicide-lockdown/

        • This page has a link to a very good video.

        • Oh dear says:

          The Sun is a particularly ‘low iq’ ‘paper’ that includes full-page p/rno photos and ‘s/xy’ ‘news’ reports. It tends to go for the ‘sensational’ and ‘celebs’ rather than serious journalism. It offers no third party evaluation of the claims about CCP. It is basically a ‘t/ts and gossip’ ‘paper’.

      • Nehemiah says:

        “no major media outlet seems to have picked it up” — Lot’s of horrible news re: Commie China goes unremarked in the MSM. That is because the CCP has many western journalists, politicians, academics, hedge fund managers, and other influential figures on its pay roll directly or indirectly. Search youtube for hedge fund manager (one not entangled with the CCP) Kyle Bass’s interview with a Chinese whistleblower who is currently in hiding to avoid assassination (assassination here in America–the CCP has a long reach). The CCP is essentially a Chinese mafia.

        • Oh dear says:

          I see loads of MSM media articles all the time that are critical of CCP. The claim of a CCP c 19 conspiracy offers no solid evidence, it is just sensational gossip. No one else has bought into the theory.

          • Nehemiah says:

            “no one else has bought into the theory” — if “no one” means our deeply compromised MSM journalists and politicians. The data are strong and compelling if you spend some time ferreting it out.

            “MSM articles…are critical of CCP” — barely. They pull their punches big time. Listen to this interview with Chinese whistleblower “Myles” Guo Wengui to fathom what the CCP is really like, and how far its tentacles reach:

          • I think that if you stay around academic authors long enough, you tend to think that they have all the answers. In some fields, this may even be at least reasonably true. But once you get into energy, you discover that the field is over-run with horribly bad models based on only a partial understanding of how the economy works. The models are intended more to deceive than be helpful. They illustrate how we can have a happy ending, without looking at obvious points of failure.

            Even people who think that they understand the story, and are trying their best, like Charlie Hall and some of the EROI group, don’t understand what they are missing. So their stories are only partly right.

  40. adonis says:

    the elders in the book state that it is a long term plan even mentioning that ; ” The significance of the alternative variants is that they reflect the difference between a
    manageable situation and potential chaos with widespread starvation, disease, and disintegration
    for many countries.”

    • adonis says:

      as stated by the elders and by fast eddie under his “collapse demolition theory” it very much looks like we are heading into the abyss where chaos will reign during a ” staircase collapse ” with large drops in population and a change to a world socialist system even donald trump could be following orders from the elders to bring in this new world order how do we know that everything we see and hear is not staged we don’t.

      • Nope.avi says:

        They’ve admitted a long time ago that there is barely a difference in policy between political parties and what we see in the media is political theater.–reality tv. The U.S. would be like a third world country if there was serious disagreement on policy. In third world countries, disagreement fuels all kinds of political problems. Politicians and people are drawn towards narratives for why things aren’t going right than to realize there are a few big picture scenarios that are out of the control of educated professionals.

        They are unable to tell the public about Saudi Arabia’s oil production declining and would rather blame a virus for a failing global economy. Since they are fueling socioeconomic divisions to the point of violence, I don’t think they really think there’s a way out of this. As I remember reading in science magazine , we’ll be lucky if we have sidewalks in the future.

        I put the the Green New Deal in the same category with
        manned trips to Mars
        and Thorium reactors.

        What is more likely is a total repeal of the Bill of Rights in America and the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy.

        It’s the End of the World and it’s time that We are punished for our actions.
        We are prejudiced, polluters and other things and it’s time for us to be punished for our actions by God/Nature/ other, more enlightened humans.

  41. i1 says:

    FY 2020 US gov. interest expense wasn’t too bad, quite improved actually.
    https://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/ir/ir_expense.htm

    • Xavier says:

      The table is wrong. Add up the months interest expense and you will see a different number than the yearly total it is claiming. They are failing to sum all months hence why the figure went down.

      • Robert Firth says:

        Thank you, Xaber, I noticed that also, The real total is just under $520 billion. But the interesting question is, how could anyone be so terminally stupid as to believe they could pull that off? Presumably it will be blamed on a spreadsheet error, just as Boris has blamed the last 2,3,4,20,30,40 failures of the UK’s contact tracing on spreadsheet errors.

  42. adonis says:

    just finished rereading this document about population concerns from the early 70s i am now convinced everything is part of a plan the elders have been working on for a long time but whether the plan will work we shall see. Interesting times ahead of us https://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/PCAAB500.pdf

    • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      those elders from the early 70s are now all dead.

      do the elders of today really care about making plans that will not be fulfilled until after they are dead?

      • On related note, Max Keiser had Zeus from oftwominds on the show, Zeus eloquently explained how the looted trillions from the system (human potential) hidden in off shore accounts are basically a manifestation of sheer nihilism, destruction of real human value..

        So, to answer your question, they don’t care in the sense the pool of artisans and craftsman rapidly vanishes (and or local famine/eco catastrophes), because for this group of few trillionairs and centi billionairs (low thousands of people), there will be “always” enough specialists around to pampering them in luxury existence.

        However, they understand in order to sit on the resource extraction pyramid this is not sustainable enough though, you need pool of say few millions of well educated tech cadre working the machine, hence the Muskian utopia plan of tightly vertically integrated industries, basically you bring raw ore into factory’s one door and on the other end the finalized product just drops out..

        In conclusion, we are either rushing into even more pronounced dystopia of unequally shared wealth for basically enclosed tech city states or alternatively a disorderly collapse sequence chaos, you can place your bets. Perhaps as these mega trends duke it out for a little while ~2030-50, we can actually witness both processes in parallel, depending where you live on the planet.

    • This document is from 1974. It is therefore shortly after the book, “The Limits to Growth” was published in 1972. People back then were very optimistic that if we knew about the population problem, we could fix it. We haven’t really been able to fix the problem. “Educate women,” was an idea that stuck, but it really didn’t work, either. The population continued to rise.