Energy Is the Economy; Shrinkage in Energy Supply Leads to Conflict

It takes energy to accomplish any of the activities that we associate with GDP. It takes energy to grow food: human energy, solar energy, and–in today’s world–the many types of energy used to build and power tractors, transport food to markets, and provide cooling for food that needs to be refrigerated. It takes energy to cook food and to smelt metals. It takes energy to heat and air condition offices and to power the internet. Without adequate energy, the world economy would come to a halt.

We are hitting energy limits right now. Energy per capita is already shrinking, and it seems likely to shrink further in the future. Reaching a limit produces a conflict problem similar to the one in the game musical chairs. This game begins with an equal number of players and chairs. At the start of each round, a chair is removed. The players must then compete for the remaining chairs, and the player who ends the round without a chair is eliminated. There is conflict among players as they fight to obtain one of the available chairs. The conflict within the energy system is somewhat hidden, but the result is similar.

A current conflict is, “How much energy can we spare to fight COVID-19?” It is obvious that expenditures on masks and vaccines have an impact on the economy. It is less obvious that a cutback in airline flights or in restaurant meals to fight COVID-19 indirectly leads to less energy being produced and consumed, worldwide. In total, the world becomes a poorer place. How is the pain of this reduction in energy consumption per capita to be shared? Is it fair that travel and restaurant workers are disproportionately affected? Worldwide, we are seeing a K shaped recovery: The rich get richer, while the poor get poorer.

A major issue is that while we can print money, we cannot print the energy supplies needed to run the economy. As energy supplies deplete, we will increasingly need to “choose our battles.” In the past, humans have been able to win many battles against nature. However, as energy per capita declines in the future, we will be able to win fewer and fewer of these battles against nature, such as our current battle with COVID-19. At some point, we may simply need to let the chips fall where they may. The world economy seems unable to accommodate 7.8 billion people, and we will have no choice but to face this issue.

In this post, I will explain some of the issues involved. At the end of the post, I include a video of a panel discussion that I was part of on the topic of “Energy Is the Economy.” The moderator of the panel discussion was Chris Martenson; the other panelists were Richard Heinberg and Art Berman.

[1] Energy consumption per person varies greatly by country.

Let’s start with a little background. There is huge variability in the quantity of energy consumed per person around the world. There is more than a 100-fold difference between the highest and lowest countries shown on Figure 1.

Figure 1. Energy consumption per capita in 2019 for a few sample countries based on data from BP’s 2020 Statistical Review of World Energy. Energy consumption includes fossil fuel energy, nuclear energy and renewable energy of many types. It omits energy products not traded through markets, such as locally gathered wood and animal dung. This omission tends to somewhat understate the energy consumption for countries such as India and those in Middle Africa.

I have shown only a few example countries, but we can see that cold countries tend to use a lot of energy, relative to their populations. Iceland, with an abundant supply of inexpensive hydroelectric and geothermal electricity, uses it to heat buildings, grow food in greenhouses, mine “bitcoins” and smelt aluminum. Norway and Canada have both oil and gas supplies, besides being producers of hydroelectricity. With abundant fuel supplies and a cold climate, both countries use a great deal of energy relative to the size of their population.

Saudi Arabia also has high energy consumption. It uses its abundant oil and gas supplies to provide air conditioning for its people. It also uses its energy products to enable the operation of businesses that provide jobs for its large population. In addition, Saudi Arabia uses taxes on the oil it produces to subsidize the purchase of imported food, which the country cannot grow locally. As with all oil and gas producers, some portion of the oil and gas produced is used in its own oil and gas operations.

In warm countries, such as those in Middle Africa and India, energy consumption tends to be very low. Most people in these countries walk for transportation or use very crowded public transport. Roads tend not to be paved. Electricity outages are frequent.

One of the few changes that can easily be made to reduce energy consumption is to move manufacturing to lower wage countries. Doing this reduces energy consumption (in the form of electricity) quite significantly. In fact, the rich nations have mostly done this, already.

Figure 2. World electricity generation by part of the world, based on data from BP’s 2020 Statistical Review of World Energy.

Trying to squeeze down energy consumption for the many countries around the world will be a huge challenge because energy is involved in every part of economies.

[2] Two hundred years of history shows that very slow growth in energy consumption per capita leads to bad outcomes.

Some readers will remember that I have pieced together data from different sources to put together a reasonable approximation to world energy consumption since 1820. In Figure 3, I have added a rough estimate of the expected drop in future energy consumption that might occur if either (1) the beginning of peak fossil fuels is occurring about now because of continued low fossil fuel prices, or (2) world economies choose to leave fossil fuels and move to renewables between now and 2050 in order to try to help the environment. Thus, Figure 3 shows my estimate of the pattern of total world energy consumption over the period of 1820 to 2050, at 10-year intervals.

Figure 3. Estimate by Gail Tverberg of World Energy Consumption from 1820 to 2050. Amounts for earliest years based on estimates in Vaclav Smil’s book Energy Transitions: History, Requirements and Prospects and BP’s 2020 Statistical Review of World Energy for the years 1965 to 2019. Energy consumption for 2020 is estimated to be 5% below that for 2019. Energy for years after 2020 is assumed to fall by 6.6% per year, so that the amount reaches a level similar to renewables only by 2050. Amounts shown include more use of local energy products (wood and animal dung) than BP includes.

The shape of this curve is far different from the one most forecasters expect because they assume that prices will eventually rise high enough so all of the fossil fuels that can be technically extracted will actually be extracted. I expect that oil and other fossil fuel prices will remain too low for producers, for reasons I discuss in Section [4], below. In fact, I have written about this issue in a peer reviewed academic article, published in the journal Energy.

Figure 4 shows this same information as Figure 3, divided by population. In making this chart, I assume that population drops only half as quickly as energy consumption falls after 2020. Total world population drops to 2.8 billion by 2050.

Figure 4. Amounts shown in Figure 3, divided by population estimates by Angus Maddison for earliest years and by 2019 United Nations population estimates for years to 2020. Future population estimated to be falling half as quickly as energy supply is falling.

In Figure 4, some parts of the curve are relatively flat, or even slightly falling, while others are rising rapidly. It turns out that rapidly rising times are much better for the economy than flat and falling times. Figure 5 shows the average annual percentage change in energy consumption per capita, for ten-year periods ending the date shown.

Figure 5. Average annual increase in energy consumption per capita for 10-year periods ended the dates shown, using the information in Figure 4.

If we look back at what happened in Figure 5, we find that when the 10-year growth in energy consumption is very low, or turns negative, conflict and bad outcomes are typical. For example:

  • Dip 1: 1861-1865 US Civil War
  • Dip 2: Several events
    • 1914-1918 World War I
    • 1918-1920 Spanish Flu Pandemic
    • 1929-1933 Great Depression
    • 1939-1945 World War II
  • Dip 3: 1991 Collapse of the Central Government of the Soviet Union
  • Dip 4: 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic and Recession

Per capita energy consumption was already growing very slowly before 2020 arrived. Energy consumption took a big step downward in 2020 (estimated at 5%) because of the shutdowns and the big cutback in air travel. One of the important things that energy consumption does is provide jobs. With severe cutbacks intended to contain COVID-19, many people in distant countries lost their jobs. Cutbacks of this magnitude quickly cause problems around the world.

For example, if people in rich countries rarely dress up to attend meetings of various kinds, there is much less of a market for dressy clothing. Many people in poor countries make their living manufacturing this type of clothing. With the loss of these sales, workers suddenly found themselves with much reduced income. Poor countries generally do not have good safety nets to provide food for those who are out of work. As a result, the diets of people subject to loss of income became inadequate, leading to greater vulnerability to disease. If the situation continues, some may even die of starvation.

[3] The pattern of world energy consumption between 2020 and 2050 (modeled in Figures 3, 4 and 5) suggests that a very concerning collapse may be ahead.

My model suggests that world energy consumption may fall to about 28 gigajoules per capita per year by 2050 (for a reduced population of 2.8 billion). This is about the level of world energy consumption per capita for the world in 1900.

Alternatively, 28 gigajoules per capita is a little lower than the per capita energy consumption for India in 2019. Of course, some parts of the world might do better than this. For example, Mexico and Brazil both had energy consumption per capita of about 60 gigajoules per capita in 2019. Some countries might be able to do this well in 2050.

Using less energy after 2020 will lead to many changes. Governments will become smaller and provide fewer services such as paved roads. Often, these governments will cover smaller areas than those of countries today. Businesses will become smaller, more local, and more involved with goods rather than services. Individual citizens will be walking more, growing their own food, and doing much less home heating and cooling.

With less energy available, it will be necessary to cut back on fighting unfortunate natural occurrences, such as forest fires, downed electricity transmission lines after hurricanes, antibiotic resistant bacteria, and constantly mutating viruses. Thus, life expectancy is likely to decline.

[4] It is “demand,” and how high energy prices can be raised, that determines how large an energy supply will be available in the future.

I keep making this point in my posts because I sense that it is poorly understood. The big problem that we should be anticipating is energy producers going out of business because energy prices are chronically too low. I see five ways in which energy prices might theoretically be raised:

  1. A truly booming world economy. This is what raised prices in the 1970s and in the run up to 2008. If there are truly more people who can afford homes and new vehicles, and governments that can afford new roads and other infrastructure, companies extracting oil and coal will build new facilities in higher-cost locations, and thereby expand world supply. The higher prices will help energy companies to be profitable, despite their higher costs. Such a scenario seems very unlikely, given where we are now.
  2. Government mandates and subsidies. Government mandates are what is maintaining demand for renewables and electric vehicles. Conversely, government mandates are part of what is keeping down tourist travel. Indirectly, this lack of demand relating to travel leads to low oil prices. A government mandate for people to engage in more travel seems unlikely.
  3. Much reduced wage disparity. If everyone, rich or poor, can afford nice homes, automobiles, and cell phones, commodity prices will tend to be high because buying and operating goods such as these requires the use of commodities. Governments can attempt to fix wage disparity through more printed money, but I am doubtful that this approach will really work because other countries are likely to be unwilling to accept this printed money.
  4. More debt, sometimes leading to collapsing debt bubbles. Spending can be enhanced if it becomes easier for citizens to buy goods such as homes and vehicles on credit. Likewise, businesses can borrow money to build new factories or, alternatively, to continue to pay wages to workers, even if there isn’t much demand for the goods and services sold. But, if the economy really is not recovering rapidly, these approaches can be expected to lead to crashes.
  5. Getting rid of COVID-19 inefficiencies and fearfulness. Economies around the world are being depressed to varying degrees by continued inefficiencies caused by social distancing requirements and by fearfulness. If these issues could be eliminated, it might boost economies back up to the already somewhat depressed levels of early 2020.

In summary, the issue we are facing is that oil demand (and thus prices) were far too low for oil producers because of wage disparity before the COVID-19 crisis arrived in March. Trying to get demand back up through more debt seems likely to lead to debt bubbles, which will be in danger of collapsing. There may be temporary price spikes, but a permanent fix is virtually impossible. This is why I am forecasting the severe drop in energy consumption shown in Figures 3 and 4.

[5] We humans don’t need to figure out how to fix the economy optimally between now and 2050.

The economy is a self-organizing system that will figure out on its own the optimal way of “dissipating” energy, to the extent possible. In physics terms, the economy is a dissipative structure. If the energy resource is food, energy will be dissipated by digesting the food. In the case of fossil fuel, energy will be dissipated by burning it. We may like to think that we are in charge, but we really are not. It is the laws of physics, or perhaps the Power behind the laws of physics, that is in charge.

Dissipative structures are not permanent. For example, hurricanes and tornadoes are dissipative structures. Plants and animals are dissipative structures. Eventually, new smaller economies, encompassing smaller areas of the world, may replace the existing world economy.

[6] This is a recent video of a panel discussion on “Energy Is the Economy.”

Chris Martenson is the moderator. Art Berman, Richard Heinberg and I are panelists. The Peak Prosperity folks were kind enough to provide me a copy to put up on my website.

Video of Panel Discussion “Energy Is the Economy,” created in October 2020 by Peak Prosperity. Chris Martenson (upper right) is the moderator. Richard Heinberg (upper left), Art Berman (lower left) and Gail Tverberg (lower right) are panelists.

A transcript of this panel discussion can be accessed at this link:

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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2,764 Responses to Energy Is the Economy; Shrinkage in Energy Supply Leads to Conflict

    • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      yes, and the direction is downward for the prosperity of all succeeding generations.

      the slant of the article is very much that millennials are dictating their desires to the world, when in fact it is the reality of the degrading economy that is dictating to them and crushing their potential for future prosperity.

      • Artleads says:

        Yes. But I have never focused on those adverse effects (never having previously seen so many connections of the step down as now). All I’ve ever seen is the simplicity of smaller and less. It’s beautiful to me, and if it ain’t beautiful to me, I despise and condemn it, no matter what. Well not quite true. I sort of love everything, the ugly things included, but I’m strongly drawn to simpler, less, and smaller in any creative work I do. The fact that there is still a phenomenal degree of privilege built into this lifestyle allows for muchf creative choice, compared to a homeless encampment under an overpass.

        • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

          yes, there is still plenty of remaining net (surplus) energy even as it begins to decline.

          these younger generations can try to make their way through with less energy therefore less prosperity.

          it could be a good life for millions, simpler with less stuff.

          but I don’t buy the slant that it is their choice to live simpler, at least for most of them, since they have the same evolved hunter-gatherer minds that seek an abundance of stuff, well most of us do anyway.

          reality is forcing these younger generations to downsize their lifestyles compared to the “lucky” ones born roughly 1930s to 1980s.

          • Nehemiah says:

            Hunter-gatherer minds do not seek an abundance of “stuff.” That is determined by circumstances. For example, when San-Bushmen were persuaded to change from hunter-gatherers to herders, their famously sociable and altruistic culture very quickly began to emphasize of the hoarding of possessions (cattle) and increased familial privacy as inequalities emerged. The difference in culture results from a change in the means of production, an idea Marx got right. (Marx was much better at understanding the past than the future.) But there can scarcely be any doubt that if they were to revert to their hunter-gatherer ways that they would also revert to their culture of minimal possessions, altruism, and increased sociability, because the incentives would have changed. It’s the incentives that make people seek an abundance of possessions, not an inflexible mental predisposition, and certainly not our hunter-gatherer ancestry. Typical hunter-gatherers may be violent and homicidal, but they are not materialistic.

            • ” It’s the incentives that make people seek an abundance of possessions, not an inflexible mental predisposition, and certainly not our hunter-gatherer ancestry.”

              Good point!

            • Robert Firth says:

              (Marx was much better at understanding the past than the future.)

              The past is far easier to understand than the future! But yes, that is a strong point in Marx’s favour. Most pundits today seem to understand neither the past nor the future.

  1. metro70 says:

    What happens to a country that turns a blind eye to an undeniably Fascist-style collaboration of Big Tech……Big Money……almost all of the communications industry including Hollywood…….demonstrably partisan activist lower courts……..politically-partisan highest echelons of FBI and CIA harming Americans ……ie tacitly endorses a malignant collaboration of plutocrats that installs by force of their own unprecedented power and profound corporate wealth……their own choice for POTUS…. for their own nefarious purposes…..by deliberately keeping the American people in the dark and feeding them lies and propaganda 24/7.

    After a brutal lawless four-year pogrom by that same cohort ,on the duly-elected POTUS and his administration….the collaboration comes to a crescendo with a final assault….an all-media blitzkrieg …… to deliberately ……as admitted in testimony before Congress……hide from the people, massively important information any voting population should have in order to know whether the challenging candidate is an honest…. loyal and law-abiding American……whether he’s putting the interests and security of America before his own personal vested interests and wealth-making……or not…..whether he is ….himself…..a security risk?

    If the result of the anti-democracy assault puts the anti-democracy cabal’s own carefully chosen candidate into power………whether by the cabal’s pre-election corruption ……or by ‘adjustments’ to vote tallies one way or another….why should the regime installed in the White House by the almost insurmountable power of the malevolent cabal……not be seen henceforth …..as an officially lawless regime of a lawless country?

    What would distinguish that America from the authoritarian failed states of the world …Far Right and Far Left….past and present….a cohort decent Americans would be outraged and alarmed at the thought of joining?

    Why should that America not be seen as the most powerful and one of the most ruthless banana republics in world history….never to be trusted again by its long-term allies who are themselves still trying not to succumb to evil….who are still desperately trying to hang on to their democracies against the Long March of the Left through the Institutions?

    What imperative is there for an American citizen to be honest and law-abiding …… other than his inherent decency….when a Left Wing…some reasonable people might say Fascist …cabal…..has cancelled democracy…..and is about to cancel the 20th and 21st centuries…..to take by force of massive unfathomable wealth……by almost total control of information…..the power it ‘s unable to earn by persuasion of voters and the ballot box?

    Why would American citizens meekly ……without resistance….relinquish their Constitutional rights and their children’s futures ….at the behest of the moral and intellectual pygmies of the Fourth Estate ……the sector that’s meant to be a firewall against such barbarism…..that’s not meant to be the cabal’s rabidly unhinged partisan Praetorian Guard…against the people?

    What shred of moral high ground and credibility of any kind , could the America that timidly accepts such perfidy and presents this terminally-tainted regime to the world in a pretence that it’s a duly-elected leadership…… possibly have?

  2. MG says:

    Energy dichotomy

    The story of Adam and Eve is about the garden and the agriculture: the garden representing the energy of the Sun only, while the agriculture representing the additional energy (as human toil).

    But what about the Cain and Abel? We have another energy dichotomy: the sacrifice of Cain who was a farmer in the form of burning the biomass was not accepted by the God. The God preferred the sacrifice of Abel, the shepherd.

    The story of Cain and Abel is thus another energy dichotomy, where we have the use of animals providing additional energy instead of the humans.

    The gardening and the shepherding constitute the two more favourable energy sources for the humans than agriculture.

    The agriculture is viewed negatively in both of these stories, as it requires more energy.
    These stories want to show that the God is a higher energy. The God is where there is a higher energy gain for the humans.

    • MG says:

      Abraha and Isaac: when the energy limits are reached, do not kill, search for Higher Energy, i.e. God.

      • Robert Firth says:

        The original Bible story was that Cain and Abel fought over which of them got to marry Abel’s twin sister. The priests changed the story to propagandise the temple sacrifices, after they banned herdsmen from killing their own animals and forced them to let the priests do it, paying them the best part of the animal to do so.

        And in the original Abraham story he did indeed kill Isaac; the traces are still there in the Septuagint and hence in the Vulgate.

        • Mirror on the wall says:

          That would be most interesting. Is there a write up of that, maybe on the web?

          • Robert Firth says:

            The story of Abel’s sister is told (briefly) in this article from the Jewish Encyclopaedia, where it is considered apocryphal:
            http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/216-abel

            The Isaac story was unearthed and documented by Tzemah Yoreh, as described here:
            https://www.timesofisrael.com/when-abraham-murdered-isaac/

            If you thought I made it up: sorry, I only make stuff up about hedgehogs.

            By the way, much Jewish “forbidden” history was preserved by the Therapeutae of Alexandria, with whom I believe Jesus studied.

            • Mirror on the wall says:

              Interesting, thanks.

              “The priests changed the story to propagandise the temple sacrifices”

              Nietzsche has a similar account in TAC.

              The texts and the religion are hijacked by a priestly caste who use it to establish their own power within the tribe. The tribe was originally life-affirming, strong, militant. The priestly caste is an imposition for their own benefit, and it marks a shift to a ‘morality’ that condemns life and its drives, one of ‘sin’ that only priests can service.

              He also reads the NT such that Jesus originally abolishes the priesthood, the sin and offerings system, and Paul then reimposes it. The priesthood represents a hostility to ‘natural values’ and the imposition of ‘anti-natural values’, ‘sin’ and the power of the priesthood. The priests live off that stuff, it literally is their livelihood. Even s/x gets ‘sinned’ and ordered to the power and livelihood of the priesthood.

              ‘Humanism’ perhaps presents a contemporary analogue to the subversion of the NT in the way that ‘humanists’ respond to atheism by promoting ‘liberal’ values. Any new way of looking at the world is immediately subordinated to the old political powers and to their system of ‘values’. Social power implies the control of theoretical narratives.

            • Mirror on the wall says:

              Thus the old priest who would prescribe young men a penance of five pound in the donations box for each act of auto-er/ticism. A nice little earner.

              Adultery was a fifty pound penance. &c.

              /s

            • Lidia17 says:

              And how is it you know the price list?

            • Mirror on the wall says:

              LOL

              It is an illustration of the scenario, not one with which I am personally familiar.

              The old priest spent the £5 on a magazine and the £50 on a m/ssage.

              : )

            • humour says:

              Every sin has a price tag. You get into heaven if your under 10k. “Autoerotism” is 50 cents. You get to heaven. Saint Peter say sorry your tab is 10,000.50. A trillion here a trillion there. It adds up after a while.

        • Mirror on the wall says:

          There is an article in the Times of Israel about whether Abraham went through with the sacrifice of Isaac in an earlier version of Genesis.

          It suggests that the text today is a ‘mishmash’ produced by editors and storytellers. He goes through with it in the earlier text. In the later text, in which the name of God is changed, he does not.

          Quite possibly the contradiction marks a ‘theological’ shift from the approval of human sacrifice to its condemnation. The change in the name of God is also suggestive of an abrupt theological shift.

          Isaac is seen by Christian writers as a figure of Jesus, who was sacrificed by the father God in payment for sins.

          > When Abraham murdered Isaac

          …. In the earliest layer of the Biblical text, Yoreh believes, Isaac was not rescued by an angel at the last moment, but was in fact murdered by his father, Abraham, as a sacrifice to God.

          One eye-opening hint at what he believes is the original story lies in Genesis 22:22. Previously, in verse 8, Abraham and Isaac had walked up the mountain together. But in verse 22, only Abraham returns.

          “So Abraham returned unto his young men [waiting at the foot of the mountain], and they rose up and went together to Beersheba,” the text relates.

          That strange contradiction, Yoreh says, may be why a few ancient midrashim, or rabbinic homilies, also assumed Isaac had been killed.

          In one homily quoted by Rashi, the revered 11th-century French rabbi and commentator, “Isaac’s ashes are said to be suitable for repentance, just like the ashes of an [animal] sacrifice.”

          “That’s a very weird midrash,” Yoreh says, “since Isaac is clearly alive in the next chapter. But that’s the way midrash works. It analyzes episodes without looking at the larger context. That’s why you can have midrashim about Isaac dying, because it doesn’t have to notice that he’s alive in the next chapter.”

          There are many hints of Isaac’s untimely demise. The sacrifice story itself contains strange contradictions and clues that are best resolved, he believes, by assuming a very different, earlier narrative.

          In verse 12, after staying Abraham’s knife-wielding hand in mid-air, the angel of God tells the father of monotheism, “I now know you fear God because you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.”

          That phrase, “have not withheld your son,” “could indicate Abraham was merely willing to sacrifice his son, or that he actually did so,” Yoreh says.

          One hint that it may have been the latter is contained in the names for God used in the story. The Biblical text calls the God who instructs Abraham to sacrifice his son “Elohim.” Only when the “angel of God” leaps to Isaac’s rescue does God’s name suddenly change to the four-letter YHWH, a name Jews traditionally do not speak out loud.

          Elohim commands the sacrifice; YHWH stops it. But it is once again Elohim who approves of Abraham for having “not withheld your son from me.”

          These sorts of variations, rampant throughout the Bible, have led scholars to conclude that different names for God are used by different storylines and editors.

          Indeed, Isaac is never again mentioned in an Elohim storyline. In fact, if you only read the parts of Isaac’s life that use the name Elohim, you don’t have to be a Bible scholar to see the story as one in which Isaac is killed in the sacrifice and disappears completely from the Biblical story.

          “Not that the YHWH portions make much of an effort to bring him back to life either,” Yoreh notes. Indeed, Isaac seems to fade after the sacrifice, with his life story told in just one chapter, compared to more than a dozen chapters for both Abraham and Jacob.

          Worse yet, Isaac’s chapter “is all recycled from Abraham’s life.” Just as Abraham signs a pact with the king Avimelech, so does Isaac. And just as Abraham passes off his wife, Sarah, as his sister to avoid being killed by Avimelech, so does Isaac with his own wife, Rebecca.

          “It’s hard to characterize [Isaac’s life after the sacrifice] as distinct stories,” says Yoreh. “They’re just repeated elements, a recycling of the material.”

          In the earliest Biblical narrative, Yoreh believes, Isaac died that day on Mt. Moriah. Far from setting an example in which God intervenes to end human sacrifice, Abraham, the father of monotheism, is revealed as a man who can walk his own son to the altar and even wield the blade himself….

          https://www.timesofisrael.com/when-abraham-murdered-isaac/

        • Mirror on the wall says:

          This is the section of the text that uses the two names.

          But the angel of the Y-HWH called to him from heaven, and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 12 He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear Elohim, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me. Genesis 22: 11-12.

          It may originally have read:

          The angel of E-lohim called to him from heaven, and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 12 He said, “Now I know that you fear E-lohim, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.”

          https://www.thetorah.com/article/the-sacrifice-of-isaac-in-context-recovering-a-lost-ending-of-the-akedah

    • It depends, most of the “idyllic” shepherdess are total moreons, always over-grazing (only one kind of animals) down short to the ground-dirt level, obviously herd get infected, so then load them up on various aggressive de-wormers etc.

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      That is an interesting angle from which to view it. The story of Adam and Eve is also an allegory for our species’ development of a conceptual, and therefore ultimately false, sense of self.

      “Who told you that you were naked?” God asked Adam and Eve. In other words, how could that concept *mean* anything to them if they had not eaten the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, ie duality, and developed an idea of themselves as subjects in a world full of objects, separate from the flow of nature and thus from God. This was The Fall.

      I saw an interesting Jordan Peterson video where he theorised that it was the threat of predation from animals like serpents that in effect shocked the evolving human mind into developing this conceptual sense of self and that it developed first in women, as it does with Eve, because they had the added dread of potentially losing their infant children.

      Of course once you have a thinking mind that is cursed with a sense of its own frailty and mortality then toil is inevitable as you can no longer trust in nature’s abundance and need to get busy preparing for all the scary futures the mind in its fear will conjure up.

      I see modern Industrial Civilisation as the natural and inevitable end-product of the human ego, which is by its very nature pathological or “sinful”.

    • “Adam” comes from the word “ground” or “earth.” Humans are from a continuous cycle with the soil.

  3. Tim Groves says:

    “We will not comply!”

    “A hundred or so local business owners” gathered at “Athlete’s Unleashed, a local fitness center” in a suburb of Buffalo, New York, “to strategize where do they go from here with all the tyranical [sic] shutdowns.”

    But then the “Erie County Sheriff’s Office escort[ing] the Erie County Health Department” showed up “in an attempt [to] harass and breakup the meeting.”

    The serfs courageously stand their ground! They order the trespassers to leave, yelling “You’re not wanted here!,” asking the sheriff whether he had a warrant (“I don’t need one,” he retorts. Since when?), chanting “Get out! Get out! Get out!” and “We will not comply!”

    Eventually, the sheriffs and the busybody from the Health Department leave the premises—but that’s not enough for some of our heroes. They follow them into the parking lot, commanding that they keep going to the road!

    This clip is 6 minutes of absolutely thrilling defiance! Buffalo’s entrepreneurs prove peaceful rebellion is not only possible but successful when determined patriots resist despots.

    The authorities can always escalate this sort of thing if they see fit. But a lot of people now have their backs against the wall. Compliance doesn’t come so easily from people who feel they have more to lose from compliance than from defiance.

    By the way, isn’t the sheriff on the left speaking with a British accent?

    https://youtu.be/AI_pkvlp2q4

    • I read yesterday that foot traffic at the shopping mall closest to my home (Town Center at Cobb) was down 45%, comparing the first two weeks of November this year to the same time period, a year ago. A more upscale mall in Buckhead (Phipps Plaza) seems to have foot traffic falling by 65% for the same period. These amounts are based on someone’s analysis of phone signals for the periods.

      The stores in these malls must be doing terribly. It is hard to think of what to buy from them, if a person doesn’t need new clothes, or perhaps new dishes for entertaining. They don’t sell electronic devices or vehicles or things for related to home maintenance.

      The report also said that the my local mall is “more than 60 days delinquent on $178 million in loans.”

      Clearly a lot of businesses, and the malls themselves, have their backs against the wall.

    • eradicated says:

      As Gail so brilliantly quoted.

      Debt is a claim on future energy

      Ownership is a claim on past energy

      I like my sheriffs. Those people have some learning about the world to do. They were like two year olds. Desperately clinging to models that no longer exist.

      Anybody know a good tear gas company to invest in?

  4. Tim Groves says:

    Portuguese Court Rules PCR Tests “Unreliable” & Quarantines “Unlawful”
    Important legal decision faces total media blackout in Western world

    An appeals court in Portugal has ruled that the PCR process is not a reliable test for Sars-Cov-2, and therefore any enforced quarantine based on those test results is unlawful.

    Further, the ruling suggested that any forced quarantine applied to healthy people could be a violation of their fundamental right to liberty.

    Most importantly, the judges ruled that a single positive PCR test cannot be used as an effective diagnosis of infection.

    https://off-guardian.org/2020/11/20/portuguese-court-rules-pcr-tests-unreliable-quarantines-unlawful/

    • We are seeing conflicting test results play out in real time. Kelly Loeffler, who is running for Senate as a Republican in Georgia, has had a series of tests for COVID, including at least two PCR tests. She has no symptoms, and keeps getting conflicting results.

      As CNN reported Saturday, Loeffler’s campaign confirmed that she had tested positive for the coronavirus on Friday but a subsequent test came back as inconclusive on Saturday evening.

      “Senator Loeffler took two COVID tests on Friday morning. Her rapid test results were negative and she was cleared to attend Friday’s events. She was informed later in the evening after public events on Friday that her PCR test came back positive, but she was retested Saturday morning after conferring with medical officials and those results came back inconclusive on Saturday evening,” Lawson had said.

      Loeffler had notified those with whom she had direct contact with she awaited further tests, her campaign said.

      .

      • DB says:

        Her results are consistent with the performance of the different testing technologies. Most PCR positives are false positives, at least in countries that use very high cycle thresholds for determining positives (i.e., almost everywhere, except Taiwan, Macau, and perhaps other places).

        But what about that mass of rapid antigen testing in settings such as universities and sports leagues? How come there are not tons of false positives there?

        The rapid antigen tests seem to behave better — be less prone to false positives — than PCR tests. In their evaluations of the rapid antigen tests, researchers have used PCR as the gold standard. Antigen tests rarely register positive for specimens that are positive by PCR with more than 30 cycles. In some cases, the drop off occurs well below 30 cycles. That is, antigen positives fall off at exactly the point where viral culture tends to become impossible (meaning there’s no live virus to grow in the specimen). PCR, in contrast, keeps going for many more cycles, generating an increasing proportion of false positives as the cycles add up.

        Here are some examples of this:

        https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1386653220303966

        https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.10.19.20215202v1.full.pdf

        https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.10.01.20203836v1.full.pdf

  5. Cue Senicide by the guvs, so isn’t it great opportunity for snapping some rural-farm deals out there? Most likely, lot of older folks barely keeping many smaller farms afloat already pre-disease times, the problem being even sweet property deals make little sense in truly and deeply brainwashed society on many fronts. Only if you also bet this could change in the future, but not sooner than many decades. Perhaps chance for your offspring and their progeny, Kowalainen.

    Self destructed Sweden will be snapped by someone ultimately, my bet is either on the caliphate element (“new UK”) or polish northern expansion if the CEE will be threatened (without help) from new waves of migration via southern vector.

    • This was response to Kowalainen mini thread on Sweden few pages back, somehow, perhaps by moderation, re-jumped here..

    • Are there oligarchs who could buy up these farms and rent them to surfs?

      • Perhaps, that’s sort of included in the above, an oligarch as general description allows – indeed could be in fact from the British island caliphate of the future or from Greater Poland. But you have to re-develop these plots first, the conventional methods yield in accordance to fossil input, which is not for ever as we assume / prognosticate here..

        ps my 4:58 post is taken from previous thread / page about Sweden for some reason – if it doesn’t make sense..

      • neil says:

        Let’s go surfing now, everybody’s learning how.

    • Kowalainen says:

      Worldof, I don’t have any offspring.

      Yeah, Sweden will sell its Crown Jewels to keep their sucker afloat for the indebted useless eaters.

      The Crown Jewels being the hydro power stations, forests and mines.

      Then this AI doggo will make the transition away from the humanoids.

      https://www.lkab.com/en/news-room/news/unique-robotic-dog-serving-faithfully-at-lkab/

      Kiss farewell to the consumerist bonanza and the little crypto commie schtick with the GND world guvmint bovine manure.

      It’s all machine from here on.

  6. Tim Groves says:

    The trouble with “normal” is it always gets worse!

    Canadian politically active singer-songwriter Bruce Cockburn composed and released a song called The Trouble with Normal almost 40 years ago in 1981.

    At the time I didn’t think it the lyrics were very good, but I approved of his sentiments in writing it. Now that we’re living in “the new normal”—another phrase that has been adopted worldwide including here in Japan—the words of this song take on a new poignance as the new normal, just like the conventional normal, is fated to get worse and worse.

    Strikes across the frontier and strikes for higher wage
    Planet lurches to the right as ideologies engage
    Suddenly it’s repression, moratorium on rights
    What did they think the politics of panic would invite?
    Person in the street shrugs — “Security comes first”
    But the trouble with normal is it always gets worse

    Callous men in business costume speak computerese
    Play pinball with the Third World trying to keep it on its knees
    Their single crop starvation plans put sugar in your tea
    And the local Third World’s kept on reservations you don’t see
    “It’ll all go back to normal if we put our nation first”
    But the trouble with normal is it always gets worse

    Fashionable fascism dominates the scene
    When ends don’t meet it’s easier to justify the means
    Tenants get the dregs and landlords get the cream
    As the grinding devolution of the democratic dream
    Brings us men in gas masks dancing while the shells burst
    The trouble with normal is it always gets worse

    https://youtu.be/PMYKT_b2ZIo

    • It would have been difficult to image such a future, years ago, but I think 1981 was a time when people were thinking about problems related to the ones we have today.

      There was a bad recession in 1974-1975. There were also high oil prices and lines at gas stations in 1979-1980. Smaller cars suddenly became popular, and importing small cars from Japan (where they had been in use already) ramped up. People were truly worried about the oil situation back then. Most people became convinced that if there was a shortage again, it would “look like” the problems of the 1970s. The author seems to have had insight into other kinds of problems that occur.

  7. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Eurozone business activity fell sharply in November, putting the bloc on track for a double-dip recession as governments imposed restrictions to stem a second wave of Covid-19 infections.”

    https://www.sharecast.com/news/international-economic/eurozone-business-activity-slumps-amid-covid-19-second-wave–7722061.html

  8. Harry McGibbs says:

    “The UK’s economic recovery is facing a ‘double-dip’ downturn as coronavirus lockdowns batter firms, according to a leading business survey.

    “Industry data released on Monday points to the sharpest decline in private sector output since May as economic restrictions left firms reeling after four months of expansion.”

    https://ca.news.yahoo.com/uk-economy-england-lockdown-impact-jobs-093743372.html

  9. Harry McGibbs says:

    “China’s 2001 entry into the World Trade Organization transformed the global economic order. Yet even as China became the factory to the world, its financial system remained a closed shop… Now the admission of foreign investors into China’s $15 trillion bond market—cemented this year when the country rounded out its inclusion in all three of the top global indexes—may just mark the big bang equivalent to WTO entry.

    “Global pension funds, starved for yield in a low-growth world, will now have access to safe government debt that pays more than 3%.”

    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/china-opens-bond-market-unknown-220003628.html

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “China’s financial regulators have vowed to crack down on people “running away” from their debts after a slew of bond defaults rocked the country’s onshore market.”

      https://www.scmp.com/economy/china-economy/article/3110903/chinese-authorities-warn-bond-issuers-they-cant-run-away

    • [Access to safe Chinese gov debt / bond goes global]

      Thanks for this update, perhaps significant development in delaying the inevitable for few more yrs..

      Aka count von Dracula-Globalescu and his last sip of blood, eh.

    • I like the statement

      “will now have access to safe government debt that pays more than 3%.”

      • I also remember that China recently issued debt at a negative interest rate. CNN says, China borrows at negative interest rates for the first time on November 19.

        Perhaps it is instead regional Chinese governments that are borrowing at higher interest rates. These are the governments who are having problems with the many State Owned Entities who are defaulting on their debt. These governments are forcing the SOEs into bankruptcy, rather than letting them default, as I understand the situation. Perhaps there is equity in an unprofitable coal mine, for example.

        Nov. 19.
        China braces for multiple bond defaults at state-owned enterprises

        Local governments urged to step up supervision of projects to lessen risk

      • Robert Firth says:

        If a debt is backed by the value of tradable tangible assets independently appraised, it is safe. Any other kind of debt is unsafe. I suggest China offers Hong Kong, Macao, Shenzhen, and Shanghai as security for the debt.

        • languageisyourenemy says:

          “independent appraiser” oxymoron

          • Robert Firth says:

            Not so: the profession was created by the Knights Templar to ensure those profligate kings and princes could pay back what they were borrowing. More recently, they were used by UK building societies to ensure mortgages on real property were safe.

            The practice was also found in the US, but to a limited extent. It disappeared when the politicians decided that refusing to lend money to people merely because they would not be able to repay it was “systemic racism”. Cue the mortgage crisis.

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