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

  1. Mirror on the wall says:

    Re: live SNP annual conference this Saturday

    The SNP annual conference takes place this Saturday. It is to be held online due to c 19. As far as I can tell, anyone will be able to watch the conference live on the SNP website, without any registration or anything.

    https://www.snp.org/live/

    A string of recent polls has shown support for Scottish independence at up to 58%, which is unprecedented, and SNP is set to take a clear majority of seats at the May 2021 Holyrood elections. Nicola will then call for a referendum on independence to be held in the first part of the administration.

    So, if they fancy, OFWers around the world can ‘tune in’ live to this historic conference.

  2. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Repsol SA will reduce its dividend next year as it outlined plans to wind down the search for oil and expand its renewable capacity fivefold during the next decade.”

    https://www.worldoil.com/news/2020/11/26/repsol-to-wind-down-oil-exploration-focus-on-renewables-growth

  3. Harry McGibbs says:

    “A combination of sharply weaker oil prices, inconsistent regulation, the COVID-19 pandemic, and constant conflict in the Amazon where most of Peru’s onshore oil industry is located has triggered a crisis that has brought the industry to the brink of collapse.”

    https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Perus-Oil-Industry-Is-Engulfed-In-Crisis.html

  4. Harry McGibbs says:

    “The World’s First Affluence Recession: Previous epidemics did not cause economic crises because most consumers were poor by today’s standards, and their discretionary spending was minimal…

    “Today’s economy depends on a thousand luxuries large and small, from overpriced coffee to air travel, and these luxuries are what many consumers are now giving up.”

    https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/11/27/world-first-affluence-recession-covid-pandemic-poverty-economic-impact/

  5. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Debt risks continued to cloud the Chinese corporate bond market this week as another major state-owned enterprise defaulted on a trust loan after the shocking default of a state-owned coal mining firm earlier this month.

    On Wednesday, Minmetals International Trust Co. Ltd. said that a wholly-owned logistics subsidiary of Jizhong Energy Group Co. Ltd., which is owned by the Hebei provincial government, had failed to repay principal and interest of a 500 million yuan ($76 million) trust loan due Monday.”

    https://www.caixinglobal.com/2020-11-27/another-soe-defaults-as-hidden-risks-come-to-light-101633294.html

  6. Harry McGibbs says:

    Poor Guatemala has just been hit by brutal, back to back hurricanes and was rocked by budget protests earlier this week, with angry protestors setting fire to their Congress building.

    “Guatemala has paid $37.7 million to an ICSIC creditor to lift an attachment on bond payments and avoid a sovereign default – though it still has to honour another award worth $55 million rendered in the same dispute.”

    https://globalarbitrationreview.com/guatemala-pays-icsid-award-avoid-default

  7. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Four people were shot dead and dozens wounded in Iraq’s south, medics said, in clashes between anti-government protesters and supporters of Shia Muslim leader Muqtada al-Sadr…

    “Iraq is facing its most dire fiscal crisis in decades following a collapse in oil prices earlier this year and the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the government unable to pay public sector salaries on time.”

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/11/27/tens-of-thousands-of-sadr-supporters-rally-in-baghdad

    • “government unable to pay public sector salaries on time”!

      Wow! Other countries, today, would just create more debt, and have their central bank buy it back up, so as to work around the problem. Of course, this solution is not one that has been permitted in the past (except by MMT folks).

  8. Bobby says:

    So……given the social economic and energy uncertainty globally, is buying a house a good investment at this time? House prices have increased in New Zealand buy 20% since March. Will this Island utopia continue or is it going to end badly with the NZ Reserve bank poring low interest liquidity into banks?

    • I suppose the big question is, “What happens to you when (not if) you default on the loan?”

      If you can continue to live in the home, and somehow can get food and fresh water, maybe you are sort of OK with the house.

      In terms of buying the house as an “investment,” buying into a housing bubble doesn’t look like a good long-term decision. It is a question of how long the bubble can continue growing. New Zealand has been using QE to help its interest rates, according to earlier news stories.

    • partypooper says:

      Might be better than the party in the USA.

  9. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Nearly a year into a pandemic that has ravaged the global economy like no time since the Great Depression, the only clear pathway toward improved fortunes is containing the virus itself…

    “[But] even after the coronavirus is tamed into something familiar and manageable like the flu, will people habituated to keeping their distance from others return to restaurants, shopping malls and entertainment venues in the same numbers? With videoconferencing established as a replacement for business travel, will companies shell out as much as before to put them on airplanes and in hotels?”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/27/business/coronavirus-global-economic-outlook.html

  10. cassandraclub says:

    I have a question for readers of this blog.
    The gigantic stimulus-packages of the major central banks may be intended to stimulate economic growth and the exploitation of fossil fuels.
    But the measures to contain the “pandemic” have the exact opposite effect: diminishing economic activity and exploitation of fossil fuel.

    Why didn’t they think this trough?
    Or did they think this through, and this is the desired outcome?

    • Adam says:

      Have cake, also eat it!

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      Governments are torn between apparently discrete and contradictory prerogatives, ie those relating to public health and those relating to economic growth.

      Giving primacy to saving lives from Covid-19 looks at first blush the compassionate thing to do and this is what the majority of populaces and the media in their hysteria have demanded from their governments.

      But of course the economic impacts from the lockdowns will in the long run be far more deleterious to public health, ruining young lives in particular in order to slightly prolong those of the elderly and unwell. They may even be the final nail in the coffin for the very heavily indebted and energy/resource-constrained global economy in its entirety.

    • Yorchichan says:

      The aim is to manage the descent in an orderly manner in order that the elite maintain their positions of wealth and power.

      • cassandraclub says:

        thanx for confirming my idea

      • Exactly, bottle neck is a bottle neck is a bottle neck.
        Certainly not first rodeo of this kind in human history, although the scale is unprecedented. Even some now seemingly untouchable factions near the top will loose power and money in the triage and shall we say discontinuities of the transition, not mentioning the way larger numbers of ordinary folk dragged under the proverbial steam roller.

        If not sure what-who-why-how just look into rear window on their deeds in past events of ~20yrs to evade, rearrange chairs or slow down the inevitable.

        FE was wrong on several tangential accounts, but was bold enough to publicly admit that the door size out of this predicament are so tiny he had no interest in defending them against the hordes of zombies when the time is up.

        • Ed says:

          The few who survive will be those who avoid fighting but are willing to kill when required.

        • Yorchichan says:

          Credit where credit is due: Fast Eddy called the lockdowns as a controlled demolition of the economy, using sars-cov-2 as the pretext, way back in April or May. I didn’t understand the logic at the time, but subsequent seemingly illogical government responses to the so-called pandemic have supported his hypothesis. It’s now clear that governments are restricting resource use and pre-empting civil disorder via curtailed freedoms.

          Sorry Gail, but I no longer believe the economy is a self organising dissipative structure. Not the self organising part anyway. Certain powerful humans have more agency than we thought.

          • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

            and human agency is in an all out major effort to restore BAU.

            (Tin) Foil Eddie thought that The Collapse would swiftly follow the pandemic, so he returned to OFW to narrate The Collapse in real time.

            he was wrong, and after growing impatient that it wasn’t over by midyear, he decided to spend his time elsewhere.

            it’s interesting that his absence is still on the minds of many here.

            no doubt he has a unique and powerful personality.

            • If you boil it down it’s just rehash of the old ancient classics as we are able to merely observe reality from the shadows “of gods” projected around us.

              In other words, we don’t have full access to the macro birds view, full data collection, research, and planing of the upper structures – nor more importantly the nuanced and likely fluid situation of power play among the top factions.

              That being said a lot could be interpreted and derived from the available or apparent, but still it’s not complete picture. Also our situation is in a way made easier in the sense PTB have to work / rely on available pool of resources (talent) to them and this is clearly not always the best material available. So the visible “lower” layer of that group ala “Great Reset” supposed authors and proponents, and even notch lower levels like mere politicians and .org administrators definitively have partial shortcomings and setbacks in implementing the stuff so far.

              FE (as few others) was correct on the general idea-vector that bug scare is being used to launch new control mechanisms, curbing of consumption in various sectors etc.

              He was not correct on timing-sequencing and severity (rightly opposed for that then). The whole program will be likely phased in several stages. Nevertheless time is running and in another ~5-15yrs the world could be very different place suddenly..

            • Yorchichan says:

              FE was just the most vociferous of many on the blog who believed (maybe still do) that

              Decline in energy usage (peak oil) -> Debt defaults ->
              Financial collapse ->
              Supply chain contagion ->
              Death via starvation, violence or radiation poisoning

              With one following the other in rapid succession.

          • Curtailing freedom can, indeed, be part of the way a self-organizing system works. Some people feel safe, after hearing New York Governor Andrew Cuomo talk about how horrible the virus is, curled up in a corner of their home until a miraculous vaccine arrives. Cuomo, and other leaders like himself, can feel like he has more power. If he can get the US central government to somehow bail out his state, relative to the damage he has done locally, then “all is good.”

            • Yorchichan says:

              I thought the self organising part was in order to maximise gradient reduction, whereas deliberately reducing energy usage goes against this.

            • Perhaps the way that curtailing freedom is helpful in maximizing gradient reduction is that shutting down economies allows the economies to sort of continue to operate at a lower level, without collapsing completely. The people who voluntarily stay at home leave more energy for the rest of the population. Thus, for all except those who choose not to self-isolate, life can go on, closer to normal than it otherwise would for a longer period before it collapses from lack of adequate per capita energy. In total, the system is able to dissipate more energy.

              Perhaps Biden would be helpful in maximizing gradient reduction for a time in the future, it he can keep debt growth increasing (without collapsing) and continued to keep lots of worried sickly people at home. At some point, the optimal arrangement may switch to Trump being optimal, or a mix (Trump for some states, Biden for others) being optimal.

            • Yorchichan says:

              You are probably right. Although in the short term, i.e. the past 9 months or so, energy usage has been reduced compared to what would have been the case if restrictions were not put in place, a controlled descent will ultimately leave fewer fossil fuels remaining in the ground than if industrial civilisation collapsed rapidly.

              (But I do find the MPP a little suspect if the timescale can be altered to make the facts fit the theory.)

            • Right! Self-organization tries to use (dissipate) as much fossil fuel resources as possible.

              An uncontrolled descent, in which everyone is clamoring for resources, will tend to collapse quickly, and leave lots of fossil fuels in the ground. If some people can be frightened into staying at home most of the time, then the rest of the population can have a better chance at BAU for a while longer.

              If some of the low-wage people of the world are eliminated, perhaps the rest of the people can produce an economy that operates sufficiently efficiently that it can bid up the price of oil, coal and gas higher, so that more can be consumed.

        • Robert Firth says:

          As admirably analysed by William Catton in his book “bottleneck”. Recommended.

          2100 here (GMT+1), and winding down by listening to Haydn’s “Die Schoepfung”. Best wishes to you all.

      • orderofdis says:

        Perhaps with enough social disorder for some martial law frosting on the cake.

      • Lidia17 says:

        We drove out of state for TG (there, I said it!). Coming back in, I noticed that our state had installed permanent highway-grade signs announcing a quarantine.

        This doesn’t seem to me to be the kind of thing you put up for just a few more weeks…

        https://www.news10.com/news/covid-quarantine-requirement-warning-road-signs-start-to-go-up-in-vermont/

        • Move to Georgia. I don’t think we will have COVID quarantine signs any time soon!

          • Ed says:

            Hi Gail, my wife and I very much want to move to a free state from New York. Would you recommend Georgia?

            • Every state has its problems, but in many ways Georgia is OK.

              Georgia has been fairly relaxed on COVID regulations and enforcement. Most people in the Atlanta wear masks while shopping, but they often don’t have them on very well. Gyms are open, and some small percentage wear masks. Some churches are open with distant seating. I have heard that some churches do not enforce mask rules; I am certain that others do. Restaurants are open with distant seating. Many have outdoor seating, quite a bit of the year.

              Atlanta is, of course, a major transit hub. Roads are generally in good condition and available without tolls. Out in the suburbs, the streets are now mostly full of cars. I am sure that the number of people commuting for jobs is down, however.

              The weather in Georgia is quite moderate. We will be having our first frost this week. In fact, there is even a chance of a bit of snow. Mostly, we have been able to be outside with at most a light jacket at this time of year. The newspaper today said that the average high for this time of year is 60 degrees. In summer, our temperatures are not terribly high (low 90s are as high as they usually rise) because the Atlanta area is at a higher elevation than the coast.

              Gardening opportunities are quite variable. Atlanta is quite wooded, with red clay soil over bedrock, not far from the surface. Downstate is warmer and has different soil conditions. I understand that agriculture is Georgia’s largest industry.

              On the downside, families looking for “good schools” for their children don’t move to Georgia. But every state’s school systems are going downhill. School systems are now generally open for students, but those who want to attend remotely are given the opportunity to do so. Georgia doesn’t do much in the way of public transit, but every state’s public transit is going downhill.

            • Ed says:

              Thanks Gail for the info. Our youngest is 25 and the oldest is 36 so bad schools are not an issue. In fact they are a plus lower taxes for schools. After Christmas we will travel to several states to check them out.

            • People over 65 can opt out of school taxes where I live.

            • Housing prices also tend to be inexpensive, and heating and cooling is inexpensive. If we have to go without, we are in a whole lot better shape than the Northeast.

            • Ed says:

              Holy Cow! At ages 62.5 and 66 Georgia is looking better and better. Much thanks for this important piece of info.

              And Larkin Poe aka the Lovell Sisters live in Georgia.

    • After political leaders listened to medical people who told them to close down the economy, they figured out that they were in big trouble. It was then that they turned to stimulus packages and central bank action to attempt to bail them out.

    • Tim Groves says:

      They did think this through, and this is the desired outcome.

      This is a topdown order from the New World Orderers to their minions in charge of state structures the world over.

      Gary D. Barnet writes:

      It is apparent that for a long time plans to achieve a global takeover of humanity have been in the works. To accomplish such a lofty goal, it was necessary that through fear, the psychological takeover of the minds of the public would be pursued. Once such a mass mind control effort could be brought about and sustained against the majority of people, the “Great Reset” plot could go forward without much restriction. That is where we are today, but the agenda for the future is to keep society in the dark not for one winter, but for eternity. The tool being used for this effort is called a deadly ‘virus pandemic,’ but in truth, it is simply astounding propaganda based on a lie, a lie that is totally dependent on a weak, ignorant, and compliant populace.

      “Dark Winter” refers to a purposely-staged event propagated by “Johns Hopkins Center for Civilian Biodefense Strategies, in collaboration with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Analytic Services Institute for Homeland Security, and the Oklahoma National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism.” This was held as a senior-level simulation exercise meant to prepare the American population for planned coming events. Those events have been staged over the past 19 years, but are now actually being played out against all of us. This is no exercise, but reality. As I said in my May 18, 2020 article at Lew Rockwell titled “The Coronavirus ‘Dark Winter’ PSYOP: Question Everything and Do Not Comply With any Government Order:”

      “The only real defense that is valid during this exercise in mass tyranny is total refusal to comply with any and all government mandates. We are in the midst of the largest psychological operation (PSYOP) in the history of mankind.”

      https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/11/gary-d-barnett/there-is-foretelling-of-a-dark-winter-the-real-plan-is-for-a-dark-year-dark-decade-and-a-dark-century/

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