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. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Banks in Europe Face $1.7 Trillion Covid-19 Cliff:

    “The economies of Europe plunged this year… Yet the unprecedented levels of government and financial-sector support, including repayment moratoriums sometimes covering a quarter of all outstanding loans, have kept households and companies afloat. That means banks haven’t had to recognize those loans as potentially soured.

    “Even bank CEOs are wondering what happens when the support ends.”

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/european-covid-19-relief-supports-banks-apparent-resilience-11605090804

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “European banks need to prepare their balance sheets for the risk of pandemic-induced non-performing loans hitting them in the new year, the head of the EU agency tasked with winding down failing lenders has said…

      “Elke König, chair of the Single Resolution Board said… “Be aware NPL’s are coming and the best thing to do is address them early . . . That is the best thing we can do for the time being, and then it is steering through the fog…

      “”The entire debate . . . always lacks one component: who is footing the bill,” she said. “It feels sometimes as if this is the magic system,” one where losses are supposed to evaporate, something “that is not going to happen”.”

      https://www.ft.com/content/3c6b4eb0-5b3d-4a37-87e5-d83da8de217d

    • This does look like a huge bubble. Even if people can make future payments, they cannot make up those that they missed. “Extend and pretend” that things will get better, I suppose.

  2. Harry McGibbs says:

    “UK Graduate recruitment suffered the biggest drop this year since the 2008 financial crash as employers cut back on hiring workers to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/money/2020/nov/11/graduate-recruitment-suffers-biggest-uk-fall-since-2008-crisis

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “The number of foreign-born workers employed in the UK fell by almost 600,000 in the past year as Covid laid waste to the jobs market and sparked an exodus of migrants.

      “There are now 765,000 fewer people of working age born abroad in Britain than there were a year ago, with a bigger fall in those from the EU than those from the rest of the world.”

      https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2020/11/10/covid-pushes-jobless-rate-highest-since-2016/

      • Harry McGibbs says:

        “‘Naked in the face of this crisis’: Spain’s Latin American workers suffer:

        “Pandemic causes mass unemployment among foreign migrants in Europe’s worst-hit economy.”

        https://www.ft.com/content/04f0a288-b093-4270-ace7-b7e02e8e9a04

      • Tim Groves says:

        Give him credit! With his lockdown policies, Boris has solved the UK’s immigration, overpopulation and housing shortage problems at a single stroke.

      • Wow! It never occurred to me that that many foreign workers would leave.

        The workers that the UK has from the EU are in some sense like workers from other states in the US. These folks move around a lot, but they aren’t “foreign” to us. Our foreign workers came from longer distances and have less to go back home to.

        • Nehemiah says:

          Gail, Mexico and Central America, may seem “far away” to you, but in states much to your south these “long distances” do not seem far away at all. For states near the border, funding the expanded physical and social infrastructure to accommodate all the new, low-earning, poorly educated arrivals (America apparently has a dire shortage of low skill workers and needs to import many more) is not a trivial burden, and their state governments receive no extra federal assistance to compensate them for their disproportionate burden that results from Federal immigration policy.

    • Minority Of One says:

      Yesterday the BBC announced “UK unemployment rate continues to surge”, to 4.8%.
      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-54884592

      In one of his very recent videos (YT), Neil McCoy Ward laughed at such low figures and said real figure was closer to either 20% or 25%.

  3. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Stagflation: America’s Next Potential Economic Hurdle:

    “…the Federal Reserve can not simply fix the problem by restoring credit and flooding the financial system with liquidity. The Federal Reserve must also restore demand and income. The latter is a much more difficult problem to tackle than easing monetary conditions. And no matter how much liquidity is restored to corporations, the Federal Reserve can not force consumer demand higher.”

    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/stagflation-americas-next-potential-economic-215722918.html

  4. Harry McGibbs says:

    “…while a successful vaccine could indeed give the economy a shot in the arm in 2021, say economists, it will take longer to heal from a historic blow to jobs, investment and businesses—a task complicated by the current surge in infections in much of the West.”

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-covid-19-vaccine-would-boost-the-global-economy-but-not-all-at-once-11605087345

  5. Harry McGibbs says:

    “A key bondholder group is set to reject Zambia’s request for an interest-payment holiday, putting the country on course to become the first African sovereign defaulter since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.”

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-11-10/zambia-on-brink-of-default-with-creditors-set-to-refuse-relief

  6. Harry McGibbs says:

    “As he met with a delegation from the Association of Depositors in Lebanon on Tuesday, the country’s central bank governor, Riad Salameh, stressed: “Lebanon is not bankrupt.””

    https://www.albawaba.com/news/lebanon-not-bankrupt-central-bank-governor-riad-salameh-1392090

  7. I am new to this blog and have yet to figure out the dynamics. I posted a serious and substantial response to the original post almost a day ago that has not made it through moderation, yet others post a stream of links with quotes but no actual argument about the content of the original post.

    What is the point of this comment forum if not to debate the main article? Of course it is possible that my response was treated as spam by an overly suspicious anti-spam algorithm, but it is also a reasonable expectation that such accidental technical failures would have been corrected more readily.

    Anyhow, I can say that if the relentless sequence of links and quotes from one particular user was happening on my site, I would certainly flag it as spam.

    • If your comment didn’t show up in that time, something must have gone wrong. There are quite a few comments that I need to approve, including first comments from new people. I have “let in” all of the comments from new people that I saw. I have blocked a tiny number of comments from existing commenters for various reasons, most often from being overly argumentative.

      The comments on this site serve more than one purpose. They are partly to discuss the current article, and partly to talk about problems in general related to the issues of a finite world. The commenters bring ideas to me; they don’t rely on me to be the sole source of new ideas. In that way, the comments are different from those a person sees on other sites. I have been quite liberal in the comments regarding what I let through. In some ways, the comments also serve as a support system for people who are struggling with the issues I discuss.

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      @Brandon Young, I can only imagine you are talking about my links and quotes.

      They are not always to everyone’s taste but have been a fixture on OFW for some years now and whenever the issue is raised, most commenters seem to feel that they are a net benefit to the site. I am a somewhat retiring Englishman and would cringe at the thought I was imposing them on an unwilling public!

      As for arguing the merits of Gail’s analysis, I have rather reached the point where I no longer feel inclined to do that (consider me a convert!) and my interest is more in following her unique spin on the “limits to growth” story as it unfolds in the news.

      Admittedly, that means a fairly broad church of articles, as we can see the finger prints of energy and resource-constraints in many areas, eg rising social unrest, the trend towards secession and the break-up of supra-national entities, the collapse of weaker nations, ever-increasing financial complexity and unsustainable debt, low energy prices etc. etc. – but they are chosen with care.

      • Brandon needs to remember that there is a big time zone difference. Also, I have errands and appointments. I will get back to him when time permits.

      • All is Dust says:

        Keep posting Harry!

      • Tim Groves says:

        Harry, I don’t see why you should get all the credit. I go off topic quite a bit too.

        Anyway, Brandon, if you still have a copy of your original serious and substantial response to the original post , please post it again. If it’s very long, it might be better to divide it up into sections. You don’t have to shrink it down to individual tweet-sized paragraphs, but basically the longer a comment is, the more likely it is to get caught in the spam filter.

      • Mirror on the wall says:

        Ah, Harry is the fairest of them all and he spends half of the day cringing. The possession of genuinely English sensibilities, rare these days, is akin to smoking too much skunk and ‘suffering’ the heightened self-awareness and sensibility. Most dismiss it as a ghastly ‘paranoia’ afterwards but it is actually just the English brain configuring itself properly. Skunk is the most ‘English’ of vices. Some are naturally like that the whole time anyway.

      • Bei Dawei says:

        Harry–I like your posts very much. When I earlier suggested a daily post limit, I wasn’t thinking of you but, uh, somebody else who’s not around this site anymore, and tended to post nonsense.

      • Jimothy says:

        Harry, I’ve really appreciated your comments over the years. They aggregate the news for me so I don’t have to spend so much time sifting through

    • Unity says:

      Please resubmit your arguments. If they are civil they will be posted. Its getting pretty rare that people actually try to put forth arguments. I consider putting forth arguments very healthy. Much easier to take a long drag on the hopium pipe. Kudos to you for engaging the ideas presented enough to want to put forth logical arguments. The contention that population will be halfed in the next 30 years is certainly controversial. Gail has no problem defending her arguments nor do the participants of this forum. We do value courtesy as it seems to vest work toward getting at the bottom of things. Is seems all to often Unicorn believers get angry and call names when you express doubt. The ability to have cognitive responses while keeping emotions in check is becoming rare as people have formed a extreme dislike for arguments that have a unpleasant outcome. The people who frequent this board certainly have their own set of emotions and prejudices. Its healthy for us to address those also. Lets hear your arguments!

      • Thanks. That is a constructive attitude and a warm welcome. Happily my original comment was approved pretty quickly, and the engagement has been interesting and productive I think. It starts here:

        https://ourfiniteworld.com/2020/11/09/energy-is-the-economy-shrinkage-in-energy-supply-leads-to-conflict/comment-page-6/#comment-267042

        It is always a little tedious when closed minded people are unnecessarily offended by frank truths or propositions, and they tend to mischaracterise both arguments and the people making them. I think the workaround is to engage as much as possible with those who seem more open minded, and to avoid as much as possible engaging with less open minded people who have not even bothered to properly comprehend the argument in question.

        • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

          of course, you cannot possibly be “closed minded” yourself.

          you are so above that.

          • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

            fyi, I’ll be asleep and/or offline for 10 or 12 hours.

            perhaps anyone who thinks they are totally open minded might consider their hubris and reconsider their position regarding a superiority over the many of us here who might be insulted to be casually called closed minded.

          • If people don’t want to be seen as closed minded, then they shouldn’t act closed minded. I call it as I see it.

            Of course it is more complex than that. A person can be open minded on a great range of subjects, and have just one or two particular areas where they feel vulnerable and dare not risk confronting truths or exploring arguments that might expose some deeply entrenched but misguided presumptions.

            It is best not to read too much into it and to just have thicker skin.

            • Harry McGibbs says:

              From the ‘Fixing Finance’ section of Brandon’s blog: “Of course the political resistance to such a model of change would be enormous, given the unprecedented power the global banking system has to dictate terms to sovereign nations… the only way to make this transition politically viable is a successful advocacy campaign, which builds understanding and political will for this model of change to levels that government can no longer ignore.”

              Why would resistance to such a model of change be enormous when it is (so clearly in your view) in our collective benefit? Why do powerful vested interests hold sway to our apparent, collective detriment?

              Because political and economic ideas come to the fore *precisely because they serve the global economy’s growth and energy throughput requirements*, as described by Gail in many of her posts, for example:

              https://ourfiniteworld.com/2016/02/08/the-physics-of-energy-and-the-economy/

              In other words, political and economic narratives are just surface expressions of a hugely complex, biophysical process, which will always self-organise in such a way as to ensure that externally imposed “solutions” such as yours do not gain traction.

              You are, in my view, putting the cart before the horse and howling at the moon, for all the deep thought and effort that has clearly gone into your treatise. But time can be the judge of that. You put your back into advocacy; spend more time canvassing actual policy-makers and less time debating on OFW, and we’ll reconvene in a few years. I shall be interested to see how far you’ve got!

        • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

          “All I am asking is that those who are willing and able to zoom out to the bigger picture, and to question some of the fundamental presumptions…”

          the biggest picture:

          the economy is an energy economy, not a monetary economy.

          the economy grew for centuries as net (surplus) energy grew.

          economic growth is now ending as growth in net (surplus) energy is flattening and perhaps has already started its imminent permanent irreversible decline.

          net (surplus) energy:

          discuss.

          • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

            Mr. Young, I suppose you might be needing many hours to research the many aspects of net (surplus) energy.

            being so open minded, you perhaps will be eager to add that information and knowledge.

            since you declared yourself eager to discuss the “bigger picture”, please let us know what you have learned and how this has been added to your interpretation of this “bigger picture”.

            thanks in advance.

            bAU tonight, baby!

  8. All is Dust says:

    COVID – Death and Fear

    Macmillan Cancer Support (UK Charity) estimates that 50,000 cancer diagnosis have been missed in the UK as a result of COVID.

    https://www.lbc.co.uk/news/uk/50-000-have-missed-cancer-diagnosis-during-covid-19-pandemic-macmillan-says/

    One word, ‘criminal’

    • MG says:

      The limited availability of the healthcare is the most serious consequence of Covid, which is overlooked by the majority suffering from economic consequences. The limited consumption due to the curtailed economic activity is not that bad as it saves the resources.

      • Name says:

        Number of deaths this October in Poland was 44% higher than average from previous years. Only 25% of the excessive deaths are official Covid deaths.

      • The limited consumption gets rid of a lot of people’s jobs, unfortunately. People without jobs in poor countries are in danger of starving. “Saving resources” sounds like a good goal, but it has a real cost in human lives.

    • JMS says:

      The situation in Portugal:

      “Between March 16, 2020, the day Portugal notified the first COVID-19 death, and September 30, 2020, there were 7,529 more deaths than those that would be expected based on the average mortality of the last five years, i.e. there was an excess of mortality of 12%. The excess of mortality mainly affected people over 85 years old (+18%). Sixty-eight percent of the excess mortality due to natural causes corresponds to collateral mortality , that is, it is associated with deaths that were not identified as COVID-19.”

      In other words, 7,529 dead in excess by September 30, 2410 of which were attributed to covid and 5119 to other causes. One would think that given these figures, most people with basic notions of artimetics would realize that there is something wrong with the Save Lives message, if its result is exactly the opposite of what was supposedly intended. But most people can’t trust their own eyes to see or their own fingers to count. They need an authority even to conclude that 2 + 2 = 4 (or 5, if the authority says so).

      https://barometro-covid-19.ensp.unl.pt/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/excesso-de-mortalidade-colateral-temperaturas-e-no-de-atos-02.112020.pdf

    • I am sure the death rate will go up by more than the number of COVID-29 deaths, for a lot of reasons, including missed cancer deaths and more suicides.

      I expect that quite a lot of those missed cancers were not quite as bad as the article makes it sound. They could be cancers that aren’t very life-threatening to begin with, or they could be ones that we really can’t do much about, regardless of when they are caught. It is only the middle category that doctors can treat, and it really makes a difference.

  9. Dennis L. says:

    Covid again:

    CHS has this in his OTM 11/11/20 blog.

    “Now that we’ve had the happy-talk about Pfizer’s messenger-RNA (mRNA) vaccine (and noted that Pfizer’s CEO sold the majority of his shares in the company immediately after the happy-talk), let’s dig into messenger-RNA (mRNA) vaccines which are fast approaching regulatory approval.”

    It was released days after the election, not before and the CEO sold the majority of his shares.

    Probably only coincidence.

    Dennis L.

  10. Today is Veteran’s Day.

    A day to commemorate Woodrow Wilson cheating the German Victory in the Great War.

    A day to commemorate all these US deaths so Poland, Czechoslovakia and other dead-on-arrival countries could enjoy their brief independences before being crushed under Soviet foot.

    Now the world system built by Woody Wilson is collapsing, it is time to question all these people who died so people who contributed very little to civilization could enjoy their brief days under the sun.

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