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. Yoshua says:

    I guess they received some sick payments. But how long can this go on if large parts of the population are sick year after year?

    Vietnam and Taiwan have no Covid. China has a few asymptomatic cases. Are they lying? I don’t know.

  2. Denial says:

    So with shortages of oil and refineries and devaluation of the dollar there should be a step increase in oil prices followed by a steep decline?! I wonder if the same will happen with interest rates….rock and a hard place!

    • Remember that a shortage of oil (or any energy product) tends to cut back on jobs that pay well. If there are fewer people able to buy goods with oil, the lower demand will tend to pull prices down. So oil prices can’t spike much.

      At some point, the debt bubble will pop, I expect. If interest rates try to rise even a bit, debt defaults start rising. There is so much debt outstanding now, and there are so many people without jobs who owe money on homes and cars that a problem cannot be very far away. A debt collapse will tend to lead to low oil prices.

  3. Denial says:

    I often ask myself the same question. When I was sick with it I could almost feel like it was a manipulative virus. It went all through my body lastly ending in my brain giving me massive headaches. Never had anything like it and my ex worked at a daycare and brought everything home! I believe the collapse was coming no matter what. Covid just gave cover

  4. Yoshua says:

    Maybe China released the virus into the world to destroy our economies and our consummation of natural resources to ensure their access to the declining amount of natural resources that is come?

    • Ed says:

      To me the number seem to indicate a targeted bio-weapon. But, it could be China and all East Asia are wildly lying about their death numbers.

  5. Yoshua says:

    Who is going care for all the damaged Covid patients if we let the virus rip through the population…year after year?

    If do constant lockdowns and cause bankruptcies and mass unemployment, then who’s going care for the poor?

    A Chinese finger lock.

  6. Yoshua says:

    “Do you need severe Covid to get long Covid?

    It appears not.

    Half of people in a study in Dublin still had fatigue 10 weeks after being infected with coronavirus. A third were physically unable to return to work.”

  7. Herbie R Ficklestein says:

    Just came across this on YouTube…
    Think the poor here in the US have it ruff!?
    Watch this of the Lives of the Downtrodden in Colonial times

    Yep, really literally the Pits…
    Please Mister BAU stay alive a little while longer

  8. Herbie R Ficklestein says:

    This is for Gail…recent discoveries in Norway of the Ancient Past….

    Norway ice melt reveals ‘frozen archive’ of ancient reindeer-hunting arrows
    By Harry Clarke-Ezzidio, CNN
    Archaeologists have discovered a record number of ancient arrows in a melted ice patch in Norway.
    London (CNN)Archaeologists have uncovered a haul of ancient artifacts from a melted ice patch in Norway, including a record number of arrows used for reindeer hunting from more than 6,000 years ago.

    The team found 68 arrows at the Langfonne ice patch in the Jotunheimen Mountains, tracing the artifacts back to various periods of time across thousands of years, from the Stone Age all the way through to the Medieval Period.

    And a giant sword from 900 years ago, maybe from a Knight

    I always desired to play Indiana Jones😊🤭👍

  9. Herbie R Ficklestein says:

    Im in command here..TRUST ME!
    Oh, this just gets better and better, folks…

    Mnuchin asks Republican senators to trust in future Treasury, Fed actions
    WASHINGTON, Nov 27 (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin wrote in a letter to Senate Banking Committee Republicans on Friday that he hopes they will continue to show trust in the Treasury and Federal Reserve to manage coronavirus relief programs.
    Mnuchin came under fire from President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team and Democrats in Congress over his decision to allow some Federal Reserve coronavirus lending programs to expire.
    His action limits the ability of Mnuchin’s expected successor, Janet Yellen, to backstop credit markets for mid-size businesses, municipal bond issuers and other borrowers should financial conditions worsen, but frees up some $455 billion in borrowed cash for Congress to re-appropriate for other uses.
    While Democratic Senator Ron Wyden on Tuesday called the move “economic sabotage” that would tie Biden’s hands, some Republican senators had applauded the move, including Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo, who said markets had stabilized, credit was flowing freely and the money could provide targeted relief for hard-hit sectors or reduce debt.
    “As a result of Congress’s swift legislative action and Treasury’s and the Federal Reserve’s work to implement these programs, we have been successful in restoring confidence in financial conditions,” Mnuchin said in the letter to Banking Committee Republicans.
    “It is my hope that, because of our responsible use of these authorities in a manner consistent with Congressional intent, Congress will show similar trust in Treasury and Federal Reserve leadership in the future

    Leadership in the FUTURE….in other words… Whatever it TAKES to keep Mister BAU standing up!👯😜

  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…

        • 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.”

  11. 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?”

  12. 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.

  13. 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.”

    • “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).

  14. 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.”

  15. 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.”

  16. 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.”

  17. 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.”

  18. 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.”

  19. 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.

    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.

  20. davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

    Tim Watkins goes negative on the Great Reset:

    • I don’t like this article as well as some of his others. Watkins understands parts of the problem, and because of this gets the general conclusion right.

      Tim Watkins says,

      The energy cost of the energy which underpins everything we do, began to increase in the 1970s. From that moment on, the discretionary purchasing power of the developed states has been in decline. The opening up of the last major oil deposits in the late 1970s and early 1980s allowed for one final, debt-fuelled blow-out between 1995 and 2005, before peak conventional oil extraction called time. The remorseless rise of oil prices after 2005 created price increases across the economy as everything made from or transported using oil went up in price accordingly. In an attempt to control the price increases, central bankers increased interest rates; causing the entire debt-based financial house of cards to fall apart in 2008. Only a massive influx of new currency coupled to zero-percent (in real terms) interest rates stabilised the system so that emerging market economies like China and India could provide the global economy with one final blast of output growth before – sometime in 2018-19 – those economies also ground to a halt.

      What I object to is the focus on “the energy cost of energy.” I have been deeply embedded within the Biophysical Economics community for many, many years. I have given talks at most of their meetings (often criticizing their methods); I am on the editorial board of their journal; I peer review some of the articles in their journal. I have been asked several times to write articles for their journal, but have chosen not to write for it. One person approached me and brought up the idea of my becoming the head of the organization. (I said, No.)

      From my perspective, if EROEI is helpful at all, it is the EROEI of the overall system, not of wind, or solar, or oil. From this perspective, the rapid growth of China’s coal production, starting right after it joined the World Trade Organization in 2001 was a lifesaver for the world energy mix. Chinese coal, at that time, had a high EROEI, even on a “delivered to the consumer” basis. China also makes significant use of cogeneration, which allows use of double use of coal energy by channeling the waste heat from electricity production to heat homes and businesses. The addition of China’s coal “saved” the overall economy, at least for a time, by bringing the average EROEI up.

      In recent years, China’s coal EROEI has declined, on a delivered basis, pushing it toward peak coal. It has responded by building new fields in the North. Production from these fields is just beginning, so its EROEI is higher when a person looks at the extraction effort only, but not necessarily very high when it is shipped quite a distance, over land, to the consumer.

      Anyhow, I think that phrasing the issue as an “energy cost of energy issue” is not really right. For one thing, we don’t have a good measure of energy cost of energy, on a world basis. For another, the EROEI calculations on wind and solar are just plain misleading, in my opinion.

      The formulas used in the calculations underlying the 1972 book The Limits to Growth have a somewhat different calculation, which to me makes more sense, as a limiting factor on economic growth. The LTG model seemed to show (if I remember correctly) not more than 15% of the world’s output of goods and services can be used as investments in all of the endeavors of the economy, if collapse is to be prevented.

      The investments used in Limits to Growth calculations would relate to many different types of activities, most of which reach diminishing returns: extracting and producing clean water, adding filters prevent air and water pollution, extracting minerals of all kinds, and building factories and roads, for example. Even the amount of education required might be something subject to a limit.

      The idea of “energy return on energy invested” is a huge simplification of the LTG limiting factor. Its main advantage is that it is an easy idea that graduate students can be put to work on. It also perhaps provides some insight into the rising “cost” of energy production, using information that energy producing companies would be willing to give to researchers.

      The real story is that lower prices and collapse tend to occur because most workers can no longer earn high enough wages. There is too much wage disparity, because of too much complexity. Rising debt increasingly becomes a temporary substitute for lack of adequate energy availability. Energy researchers had little idea regarding how the economy as a whole might be involved in this issue.

  21. Mirror on the wall says:

    Re: Thanksgiving, finite world, American unity

    Some ‘native’ and ‘leftist’ moral posers seem to promote a ‘binary’, dualistic narrative about the settlement of America in which ‘native’ Americans (Siberians) are ‘innocent’ ‘victims’ of ‘wicked’ European settlers – therefore Thanksgiving should not be celebrated but ‘marked’ in some critical, ‘socially conscious’ way.

    There are objections to that narrative.

    Intraspecies violence

    Native Americans (NA) and their ancestors were hunter-gatherers and we know from studies of HGs (and subsistence farmers) that they have a similar intraspecies ‘homicide’ rate to chimpanzees and for the same reasons, getting and keeping territory and resources. HGs are highly tribal and territorial, they form colonies like chimps and they fight it out for territory. Humans are cooperative aggressors like chimps and we have been since our common ancestors 7 million years ago.

    So NA tribes had battled it out for territory and resources for 13,000 years before Europeans arrived. In that context Europeans were just another tribe doing the same as NAs and probably in a less aggressive if more successful way. There is no fundamental behavioural (or ‘moral’) difference between them. The world is finite, scarcity is the norm and species, tribes and persons compete to survive – that is just how things are in the real world. No one is ‘innocent’, everyone is a ‘player’ in one way or another.

    Interspecies violence

    NAs wiped out most of the species of large mammals in America after they arrived c. 13,000 years ago. See the text below. NAs wiped out half of the planet’s genera of large mammals.

    Moral standing

    Thanksgiving is a matter of morale – it is normal for a people to celebrate itself so as to raise morale. NAs do the same. There is nothing ‘wrong’ with that. All morality is ‘will to power’, it advances the interests of people in some way or other; thus it is relative and subjective. The existence and success of one group generally come at the expense of others, be it intra- or interspecies. No one would ever celebrate anything were that an objection; morale would be impossible and we would all die. The purpose of morale (and morality) is to advance one’s existence.

    Some way may be sought to include NAs in Thanksgiving as USA includes them; their historical cooperation is a good starting point. The narrative against TG is divisive and depressing to Americans. A frank discussion, like that above, may help Americans to obtain some perspective and to approach the matter in a less divisive way. There is no denying the impact of Europeans on NAs but neither is there any denying the impact of NAs on each other, for the same underlying reasons, and on other species. No one is ‘innocent’ or ‘guilty’, the only question is whether USA is worth celebrating. USA needs to ‘get over it.’

    > The Three Great American Extinction Events — A Brief History

    The First Great American Extinction Event (Approximately 13,000–11,000 years ago)

    …. When people first descended into North America, they encountered these herbivores, as well as a dazzling array of carnivores.

    American lion, one of the largest cats to have ever lived and nearly twice the size of an African lion, hunted wild horse and bison on the plains. American cheetah chased down the ancestors of modern pronghorn — North America’s fastest land mammal extant today. Sabretooths hunted in packs and specialized in preying on young elephants. The animal made famous by Game of Thrones, the dire wolf, also stalked prey among these large cats. None, however, compared to the gargantuan short-faced bear. Standing 13 feet tall on its back legs, these beasts weighed a ton — nearly three times the size of modern grizzlies — and ate 50 pounds of meat a day (they probably specialized in stealing giant carcasses).

    Never in history had modern humans encountered such an array of large predators and prey. One can only imagine the sense of awe and fear they must have inspired.

    Unfortunately, those giants didn’t last long. Shortly after people arrived, the megafauna vanished.

    Damning evidence indicates that, although climate change was at play, we were probably the deciding factor[1]: virtually no trees, plants, or small mammals went extinct during that time[2] — only the big, conspicuous species. Until the moment the great elephants went down, their tusks were growing larger and they were breeding, indicating they were well-fed.[3] And we now know that every continent’s megafauna — except for Africa and parts of Asia, where wildlife evolved to fear us — disappeared at nearly the exact moment humans came onto the scene.[4]

    In North America, this mass vanishing was so great, 73.3% genera of large mammals went extinct shortly after people arrived. The giant mammals that once defined the American wild became fossilized memories, in fewer than a thousand years. These extinctions accelerated as people spread into South America and, eventually, even the world’s most remote islands. By the time the global migration of people came to an end, half of the planet’s genera of large mammals had vanished.

    With this history in mind, it’s accurate to say that North America closely resembled an African game park for millions of years. Like the giraffes, lions, and elephants of Africa, our country’s ecosystems were run by sloths, sabretooths, and mammoths….

    • I think you are right. The Native Americans killed off the large mammals, just like the Aborigines killed off the large animals in Australia after they arrived there. Hunter-gathering tools worked perfectly well for killing off wild animals. All that was needed was the control of fire, and all of these people seem to have had the control of fire.

      For a while (and perhaps still today) it was popular to write about
      Environmental Impact = Population x Affluence x Technology
      Obviously, the people who write this material haven’t stopped to look at what happened in the real world.

      By the way, when I attended St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, we celebrated Leif Erikson Day on October 9, rather than Columbus Day. Lief Erikson is the Norse explorer thought to have discovered continental North America more than 1000 years ago.

      • Dennis L. says:

        Good old Leif,

        At L’anse aux Meadows the guides tell a story of Leif’s wife visiting the hut of his mistress with an axe, probably don’t have to tell the rest of the story.

        Northern Newfoundland has icebergs beached on the north facing beaches in July, it was cold on the gulf in heavy parkas. Current houses have doors on the second floor to allow egress in the winter with heavy snows. Driving up the peninsula the power poles are put in cribs of railroad ties filled with rock – there is no top soil, there is no soil, there is red rock, and more red rock. Stiff winds, when the railroad ran, one winter the train was blown off the track.

        It sure is going to be great going back to a preindustrial society, everyone wears fur in those climates, all one needs do is kill a polar bear. Hint, nothing to burn, it is done with a spear up close and personal. A boy goes out, brings back a fur for his gal, he is a man, done deal, not much sweet talk.

        Many years back I came across a photograph of Westby, WI when it was first settled, the settlers lived in huts made of bark, not unlike L’anse. Norwegians can be very determined and the women can definitely hold their own.

        Dennis L.

      • Mirror on the wall says:

        That was nice of Trump, good for him.

  22. believeeverthingyouread says:

    It would seem Dr Shivas analysis of the election results has serious flaws.
    So flawed that I find myself questioning his credibility.
    This is not to my liking but it is what it is.

  23. Denial says:

    How is the u.s stock market going up? The U.s has borrowed so much money this year and last eight years I keep waiting for the collapse! I guess that’s why the keep pushing alternative stories in the u.s…..people would much rather talk about how the hate Biden or how they hate Trump than face the real music……this collapse has got to happen soon

    • It’s not “U.S. stock market” but premier global stock market.
      Essentially, the whole world is at the casino table.

      It’s like party pool with several people already inside and one drunken guy is relieving himself, up to a point it’s not noticeable at all, then overlooked in good spirits, another delay and some start to consider perhaps the time to leave is approaching this is gross situation, some are leaving, ..
      It’s a long process 🙂

    • It helps that interest rates are low and credit is easily available. Also, yields on bonds are terribly low, so people (and pension plans) think that the only way to invest is in stocks. With lots of buyers and easy credit, the price goes up.

  24. Denial says:

    Yes but wouldn’t that make oil more expensive for the u.s to purchase? I don’t think the u.s consumer can afford it,

    • Yes, a falling dollar would make oil more expensive for the US to purchase it. It would push the economy in the direction of recession, even more than it already is in that direction.

      • Denial says:

        What would that do to the price of fracking oil in the U.S say Texas and offshore oil? Would it make it more profitable to get? And you mean it would push more in the direction of a depression….not recession….right?

      • Dennis L. says:

        Oil is priced in dollars, how does the value of the dollar affect what the US pays in dollars/barrel?

        Dennis L.

        • Think of the difference between the Euro at 1.10 to the dollar and the Euro at 1.20 to the dollar or 1. 30 to the dollar. The Euro is at the highest relative to the dollar at 1.30 to the dollar and lowest when it is 1.10 to the dollar.

          Europe can much more easily afford US exports when the Euro is at 1.30 than if it is at 1.10. If a barrel of oil costs $45 in US dollars, it costs 40.91 in Euros when the Euro is at 1.10 to the dollar; 37.50 in Euros when it is at 1.20 to the dollar, and 34.62 in Euros when the Euro is at 1.30 to the dollar. In fact, if the Euro is high relative to the US dollar, it can afford to buy imports of all kinds from the US. (Exports from Europe don’t sell well in the US, however).

          If most of the countries of the world (including China) have high currencies relative to the US, the price of oil looks less expensive to all these countries. They will tend to buy more of it. This raises the world demand for oil, and thus the world price of oil. The price of oil (in dollars) will tend to rise from the initial $45, because the price of oil is based on world demand, not on the cost of production. So the higher world demand tends to raise the price of oil.

          Of course, if the dollar is low relative to other currencies, this will mean that the US will find imported finished goods from everywhere more expensive. The US will cut back on imports of all kinds. This will push these other countries toward recession or depression. This will eventually stop the rise in the price of oil.

          I wonder if, in fact, eventually we will see credit problems affecting trade among countries. This could lead to a big cutback in world trade of all types. Such a change would reduce the price of oil.

          • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

            USD index:


            so the USD is lower though not yet at its recent low from early 2018.

            oil is in the 45 to 48 range.

            maybe oil goes into the 50s or 60s etc, but I have become convinced that any high rise in price will be just a brief spike.

            I have no clue about the direction of the USD.


          • Dennis L. says:

            Doesn’t Europe have to buy dollars to pay for oil? Relative to oil it would seem the US is indifferent, it is priced in dollars, we print dollars, they have to buy dollars which means they have to earn Euros before they can buy dollars.

            If Europe sells a car to Saudi for 30 euros and 30 euros can purchase 40 dollars, they have to purchase$40 before they can pay for a $40 barrel of oil.Somewhere they had to make 30 euros to purchase the dollar, they sold a car. The US prints the $30 and sells them paper. We get the Euro with which to purchase European goods, e.g. a nice MB. If they need more oil, we get more Euros and purchase more MBs.

            We sell very expensive defense equipment and training to the middle east(the joke is, priced a F35 lately?) they effectively pay in oil, everyone else has to make mundane goods to purchase dollars.

            It sure beat the gold standard for the last fifty years.

            Dennis L.

  25. Herbie R Ficklestein says:

    Mister BAU says no Turkey for you…it was all for progress
    Indigenous Rights
    Indigenous say ‘no thanks, no giving’ 400 years after Mayflower
    ‘National Day of Mourning’ for Native peoples in Plymouth comes as the United States begins to deal with its colonial legacy.
    Creede Newton
    26 Nov 2020
    As the United States prepares to celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday, the community where it first took place continues to grapple with the legacy of the arrival of the Mayflower, the ship that 400 years ago transported the English Pilgrims who celebrated the apocryphal first feast with members of the Wampanoag tribe.

    But the modern telling of the US holiday is largely unverified and ignores a longer, bloodier history of conflict and colonisation, according to Native American organisers in Plymouth, Massachusetts, where Pilgrims first settled for a short time in 1620.
    The US is undermining a Supreme Court ruling on Native rights
    Native Americans host ‘National Day of Mourning’ on Thanksgiving
    Native Americans look to future amid grim coronavirus numbers
    The United American Indians of New England (UAINE) has organised a “National Day of Mourning” on the fourth Thursday of November since 1970 to bring attention to the history of the Wampanoag – and Indigenous people across the US – who faced war, disease and ethnic cleansing with the arrival of European colonists.

    “We Native people have no reason to celebrate the arrival of the Pilgrims. We want to educate people so that they understand the stories we all learned in school about the first Thanksgiving are nothing but lies”, Kisha James, who is Aquinnah Wampanoag and Lakota and an organiser with UAINE, said in a statement emailed to Al Jazeera.

    The Wampanoag helped the Pilgrims survive after their 1620 arrival in North America. While often depicted as offering the newcomers goodwill, the tribe had been decimated in the preceding years by disease, likely introduced by European settlers in 1616, and also faced rival tribes. The striking of an agreement with Europeans was likely strategic: the Wampanoag needed an ally.

    When I lived in Boston area joined this group and a Chief named Slow Turtle was active in the Community to health…

    The Massachusetts Center for Native American Awareness

    • Robert Firth says:

      If they are so upset, perhaps the Siberian Americans should go back where they came from?

      • Xabier says:

        Not when they can get grants and subsidies in the US to correct ‘historical injustice’, ie the simple flow of history itself……..

        What do the turkeys have to say about all of this? !

      • Many of them are more than 75% white. That aside, yes, the “Native” Americans should have no special rights.

    • Herbie Ficklestein says:

      Our Mission
      Our mission is to assist Native American residents with basic needs and educational expenses; to provide opportunities for cultural and spiritual enrichment; to advance public knowledge and understanding that helps dispel inaccurate information & myths; and to work towards racial equality by addressing some of the inequities across the region.

      Robert and Xavier, Never mind the US Government has repeatedly ignored or intentionally broke treaty agreements, even up to this day.
      Attended functions and all inclusive and very positive message.
      Chief Slow Turtle 🐢, was someone I was fortunate to met before his death and was a healer and reached out to many people, no matter what backgrounds.

      I don’t blame them for setting the record straight.

      • Tim Groves says:

        Setting the record straight? It’s all ancient history now, and we all know how difficult it is to set that straight.

        Testimony from the Reverend Thomas Malthus (published in 1798):

        The North American Indians, considered as a people, cannot justly be called free and equal. In all the accounts we have of them, and, indeed, of most other savage nations, the women are represented as much more completely in a state of slavery to the men than the poor are to the rich in civilized countries. One half the nation appears to act as Helots to the other half, and the misery that checks population falls chiefly, as it always must do, upon that part whose condition is lowest in the scale of society. The infancy of man in the simplest state requires considerable attention, but this necessary attention the women cannot give, condemned as they are to the inconveniences and hardships of frequent change of place and to the constant and unremitting drudgery of preparing every thing for the reception of their tyrannic lords. These exertions, sometimes during pregnancy or with children at their backs, must occasion frequent miscarriages, and prevent any but the most robust infants from growing to maturity. Add to these hardships of the women the constant war that prevails among savages, and the necessity which they frequently labour under of exposing their aged and helpless parents, and of thus violating the first feelings of nature, and the picture will not appear very free from the blot of misery. In estimating the happiness of a savage nation, we must not fix our eyes only on the warrior in the prime of life: he is one of a hundred: he is the gentleman, the man of fortune, the chances have been in his favour and many efforts have failed ere this fortunate being was produced, whose guardian genius should preserve him through the numberless dangers with which he would be surrounded from infancy to manhood. The true points of comparison between two nations seem to be the ranks in each which appear nearest to answer to each other. And in this view, I should compare the warriors in the prime of life with the gentlemen, and the women, children, and aged, with the lower classes of the community in civilized states.

        May we not then fairly infer from this short review, or rather, from the accounts that may be referred to of nations of hunters, that their population is thin from the scarcity of food, that it would immediately increase if food was in greater plenty, and that, putting vice out of the question among savages, misery is the check that represses the superior power of population and keeps its effects equal to the means of subsistence. Actual observation and experience tell us that this check, with a few local and temporary exceptions, is constantly acting now upon all savage nations, and the theory indicates that it probably acted with nearly equal strength a thousand years ago, and it may not be much greater a thousand years hence.

        If given the choice, very few of today’s American Indians would want to go back to their noble savage origins. Although they may fantasize that traditional life was all one long camping trip, the women in particular would be very unwilling to go back to being slaves and beasts of burden with zero human rights and absolutely dependent on the latter’s kindness and generosity—not that they would have any more choice in the matter than my dog has about what make of dogwood he eats.

        • 7dogparty says:

          Yes. Id still like to go back in time and give the tribes Kalishnakovs. How do you like me now paleface?

      • Robert Firth says:

        A fine ambition, but why does it remind me of “Take up the white man’s burden”? Don’t you think there is something problematic about believing these people cannot make it without your help?

  26. Harry McGibbs says:

    “South Africa can’t implement a pay deal with public servants because it would precipitate a fiscal crisis, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said.”

  27. Herbie R Ficklestein says:

    Too funny…Borrow….he wrote borrow..Bloomberg
    Illinois Plans to Borrow Another $2 Billion From Federal Reserve
    Nic Querolo and Shruti Date Singh
    Bloomberg) — Illinois plans to borrow an additional $2 billion from the Federal Reserve in an effort to prop up its already-struggling finances as the state’s bills rise amid the pandemic

    It would be the second time the worst-rated state has borrowed through the central bank’s Municipal Liquidity Facility, an emergency lending program for state and local government issuers. Illinois already borrowed $1.2 billion from the Fed during fiscal year 2020 to cover pandemic-induced losses, and has since repaid $200 million of that loan, according to the governor’s office.

    “Short-term borrowing is a short term band-aid to address the urgency of a short-term problem like one caused by a pandemic,” Governor J.B. Pritzker said during a virtual press conference on Wednesday.

    Yeah, seems we find ourselves in a constant state of emergencies now

    • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      “Yeah, seems we find ourselves in a constant state of emergencies now”

      but the Pritzker types mostly think they are “short-term” emergencies.

  28. Harry McGibbs says:

    “According to research by the Aspen Institute, nearly 40 million Americans could face eviction over the next several months. The only thing holding back the flood right now is the CDC’s eviction moratorium order and a patchwork of state and local protections for renters.”

    • I think the other thing holding evictions back is the fact that no one (certainly no politician) wants 40 million people running around homeless, at the same time that there are homes for 40 million people clearly available.

  29. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Hungary and Poland’s veto of the bloc’s pandemic recovery fund could cause unemployment levels to explode.

    “According to the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), 40 million people have benefited from temporary unemployment schemes due to coronavirus.”

  30. Herbie R Ficklestein says:

    Hope Gail and everyone had a nice HoLiDay yesterday and doing their best today on Black Friday keeping Mister BAU alive ..

    Turkey Has No Cure for a Gold Craze That Leaves Lira Vulnerable
    Asli Kandemir and Ugur Yilmaz
    (Bloomberg) — A year of crisis for the lira has kept Turks buying gold at a record pace. Now the appetite for more bullion risks becoming a drag on the currency just as a rally struggles to regain momentum.

    In the two weeks after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan cleared out the leadership ranks blamed for failing to stabilize the lira and draining reserves, Turkish retail investors and firms added $2.2 billion to their gold holdings, taking them to $36.4 billion, or almost triple the total last year, central bank data showed.

    Turks aren’t relenting in their zeal to own gold despite a historic turnaround in the lira and this month’s decline in bullion prices. But with gold imports now accounting for most of the current-account deficit, the purchases are getting in the way of mending Turkey’s external imbalances even as authorities increasingly adopt the market-friendly approach that foreign investors crave.

    What these peasants aren’t willing to accept paper, how DARE they!

    • A person wonders when seller of goods that need to be specially made will stop accepting credit for purchasing the goods. If there is a time delay of, say, three or six month, the value of the currency ultimately behind purchasing the goods may fall too much.

  31. Harry McGibbs says:

    “India entered an unprecedented recession with the economy contracting in the three months through September due to the lingering effects of lockdowns to contain the Covid-19 outbreak.

    “Gross domestic product declined 7.5% last quarter from a year ago.”

  32. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Debt-collection videos have become a popular subgenre on Chinese clip-sharing platforms… Some portray the abuses—hair pulling, slapping—that have come to define a business that has long gone largely unregulated in China.

    “The result has been a Wild West for collections. Debt collectors sometimes impersonate police officers; the details of debtors’ friends and family are sold so that they can be harassed. A swift rise in personal debt, though, is forcing regulators to act.

    “Between 2015 and 2019 the stock of household debt in China rose by about $4.6trn, close to the $5.1trn accrued by Americans over a similar period before the global financial crisis of 2007-09… Delinquency rates have climbed above 30% this year at many nonbank lenders, compared to 5% for banks.”

  33. Herbie R Ficklestein says:

    There is a financial tsunami coming for higher education, but also local public education … Universities are just so big and expensive and have so much real estate and huge overhead that there’s a financial crisis that’s coming for them,” he said.
    “It’s probably going to take two or three years to unfold completely. So I’m really worried about that. And I’m afraid that they might be under so much pressure that they might have to find ways to deliver education to students without as many people in the future, just for cost reasons.”
    Chamberlain says that could have a devastating impact on U.S. cities such as Seattle, where the University of Washington is the city’s biggest employer.
    The K-12 education sector also stands to be hard hit due to the prevalence of remote learning.
    “Schools are not just made up of teachers, there’s a huge part of their staff, counselors and security and mental health professionals, and all sorts of support roles. Those are jobs that I’m actually the most worried about because schools have to tighten their belts. That’s where they’re going to cut first.”
    Jobs that may never return include positions like receptionist, HR generalist and other office administrative roles, due in no small part to advancing technology, said Chamberlain.
    “There’s been a lot of advances in artificial intelligence and automation in those fields in recent years, but it hasn’t really been adopted. And so very often in a recession, once you let people go, and then later when you’re rebuilding, you think differently about how you’re going to rebuild your workforce. I’m afraid many people might not hire back those same, you know, admin assistants and HR people,” he said.
    Chamberlain is also pessimistic about in-person retail jobs. The increase in e-commerce during the pandemic spells trouble for positions such as “brand ambassador” and “product demonstrator,” two positions that Chamberlain thinks may be gone for good

    In a world that has it the WALL consuming energy and resources, no need to advance ….just from the field to the dung heap ….
    Boy, did I win the Human life lottery being born 1960, missed all the wars by not being drafted in the military, got all the =free=, easy goodies and lots of parties and travel. The upcoming perpetual great depression is going to 😭

    • I agree that a whole lot of jobs are going to disappear. The catch is that we really need a lot of jobs that pay reasonably well to operate our economy.

      I am afraid that it will be worse than this. Fewer young people will go to college, reducing the need for university professors. Tax revenue will be so low that schools for children will be only online, as a tax saving approach.

  34. Harry McGibbs says:

    “The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data revealing that the COVID-19 crisis has had a devastating impact on international connectivity, shaking up the rankings of the world’s most connected cities.

    “London, the world’s number one most connected city in September 2019, has seen a 67% decline in connectivity. By September 2020, it had fallen to number eight.

    “Shanghai is now the top-ranked city for connectivity with the top four most connected cities all in China—Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Chengdu.

    “New York (-66% fall in connectivity), Tokyo (-65%), Bangkok (-81%), Hong Kong (-81%) and Seoul (-69%) have all exited the top ten.

    “The study reveals that cities with large numbers of domestic connections now dominate, showing the extent to which international connectivity has been shut down.”

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “Global stocks were on track for their best month on record on Friday, propelled by a series of Covid-19 vaccine breakthroughs and optimism over Joe Biden’s victory in the US presidential election.”

    • It is impossible to have a world economy with as low connectivity as we have today, I am afraid.

      Perhaps China will be the “winner” in keeping some part of the world economy operating, at least for a bit. If things go in the direction that they are going now, that could almost be the case.

      I am concerned, however, about the dependence on Beijing and the top-down type of organization. More of a distributed network would be better for resiliency. I know that the individual provinces have had a fair amount of autonomy in the past. Perhaps that will help. Also, all of China’s connections with countries around the world, primarily providing resources.

      • Harry McGibbs says:

        “Worldwide Airport Slot Board (WASB)… has sought for airport slot use relief for the northern summer 2021 season.

        “For preserving essential air transport connectivity, the organisations called on regulators worldwide to quickly implement more flexible slot rules on a temporary basis.”

        • It sounds as if “slot rules,” as they currently exist, will tend to push the industry down further because they are sort of “use it or lose it” rules. According to the article:

          Some of the recommendations are that airlines returning to a full series of slots by early February should be permitted to retain the right to operate them in summer 2022, and there should a clear clarity for acceptable non-use of a slot.

          WASB also suggested amendment in the operating threshold for retaining slots, bringing the threshold from 80-20 to 50-50 for summer next year.

    • Xabier says:

      The absence of mass Chinese tourists here has been, however, a sheer delight: the relief from connectivity has been very welcome indeed!

      There are some wonderfully ghostly videos on Youtube at present, of central London shops with Christmas window displays and almost totally deserted streets.

  35. Yoshua says:

    The virus has only been with us for 1 year, they are still learning about it and the disease it’s causing.

    I’m not a doctor.

    Are the vaccines safe? Probably not, one of the vaccines is even a new experimental form of vaccines.

    It’s a mess.

    • Xabier says:

      Don’t worry. they are working on the tricky PR side of vaccinating so hastily: the rather nasty side-effects will be termed a ‘positive reaction’ – ie it’s because the vaccine is working! Nothing to worry about at all!


  36. davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

    update on the monolith found in Utah.

    evidence suggests it was placed there in 2016.

  37. davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

    this is a short brief summary of the probability of 2020 election fraud.

    anyone with TDS might want to avoid this short brief summary.

    • Fred says:

      There’s no probability of election fraud, it’s a certainty. What happened in terms of vote flows and numbers is impossible without it.

      Anyway the really interesting question is what will happen as a result. If the Senile One’s ‘win’ gets overturned, a lot of people are going to go absolutely batshit.

      • Very Far Frank says:

        Fraud is an absolute certainty; as someone with intimate knowledge of political science and psephology, I can say that registered voter turnout at 78% is absolutely unprecedented in the free (and transparent) world, meaning the US is no longer a part of that world.

        I’m certainly not aware of such a high turnout in favour of a candidate that has been advertised as ‘moderate’ before; there will always be a particular percentage of the population that remains apathetic. This political cycle is a total affront to common sense, integrity and actual ‘decency’, which is the willingness to allow a population to choose their own destiny.

        What will be done about it? Probably very little- for the time being that might be the best strategy. Let the Biden administration stew in the next 4 years. Things will get worse.

        • that things will get worse is a certainty

          because the majority of voters—on either side—remain convinced that prosperity is something you vote for. (here in uk too—people the world over are the same)

          and this leader or that will just ‘deliver it’ to order.

          So when Biden doesn’t deliver (and he can’t), both sides will start screaming ‘fraud and conspiracy’ for entirely different reasons.

          The Trumpets will scream about what he ‘did’—forgetting he took over from Obama’s economic recovery.

          The Bidenistas will scream that trump left too big as mess for anyone to sort out

          Neither understand the situation.


          As long as energy flow remained in surplus, whoever was/is in the WH is irrelevant. A chimpanzee would have been fine as POTUS.

          we are now entering a state of energy deficit, relatively few understand what that means.

          From now on leaders will be elected, who will employ more and more drastic means to satisfy voters and themselves that the laws of physics do not apply to human beings.

          (A few already have been—there will be more of them, don’t look at just this election cycle)

          Dress it up in fancy names and political dogma and promises (and conspiracies)—but that is the ultimate intent

          Which of course is futile


          So come 2024, and the hole everyone is in is now too deep to get out of, a leader will get voted in who will make sure everyone stays in that hole.

          Except himself of course, and a few buddies.

    • This is absolutely disturbing. I hope it gets shared widely. Of course, it is likely something that Facebook would like to hide.

  38. Malcopian says:

    Google ‘commodity supercycle’ and you’ll see several publications think we are due for one;

    The next commodity supercycle may already be underway
    Goldman Sachs says the world is in the very early stages of a supply crunch that will drive resource prices through the roof

    (Behind a paywall, but the headline says it all)




    Oil Stocks – Buying Opportunity of a Lifetime


    Report: Structural Bull Market For Commodities Coming


    More cautiously:

    COVID-19 recovery to bring metal price mini-boom, not super-cycle


    Apart from anything else, given that lack of cashflow due to the lockdowns is putting companies out of business, where is the demand going to come from?

    An earlier commenter mentioned the Kondratiev cycles, which are interesting as a theory. Simply put, within capitalism we can expect major economic depressions to be separated by roughly the span of a human life. In 1929 we had the big Crash, them in 2008 we were surely supposed to encounter the next great depression, but QE was used to attempt to stave it off. That worked only partially, and now the lockdowns are triggering the economic reset that should have happened in 2008. Between the years of 1929 and 2008, my father lived out the span of his life, so in general he only saw economic and technological progress, which he seemed to believe would last forever, and missed the new downturn, stagnation, depression, or whatever you want to call it.

    It would be interesting to know which conditions would need to arise before OFW commenters would call our current situation a Depression. But I also wonder whether the MSM would ever dare ascribe such a term to it.

    • Rodster says:

      I’ve been saying for the longest time that we have been in a Depression since 2009. The only reasons it was never referred to it as that is because of The Fed’s “extend and pretend” policies.

      The Media stays away from that word because it would collapse the Markets and send the Global eCONomy into a tailspin from which it would not recover.

      So even with all the Govt handouts and soup line programs started in 2009 and now shutting down most of the Global economy and handing people free money just to pretend everything is OK. No one dares utter the word Depression. But it’s starring everyone in the face as small businesses close their doors en mass and food lines continue to grow around the US. This is just only the beginning.

      But hey the Stock Market broke it’s all time high.

      • Malcopian says:

        Thanks, Rodster. Yes, extend and PRETEND has been going on for years now. If the government or MSM were to utter the D word, that would no doubt badly affect SENTIMENT and risk precipitating the Wile E Coyote moment.

        • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

          mostly agree.

          as has been discussed recently, economic recovery seems to be fairly well modeled simplistically as a K shape.

          the middle class, and even the “upper middle” when job losses and newly unprofitable small businesses push them down the economic ladder, has fallen closer to the lower class.

          so yes, long lines of SUVs waiting for food etc.

          the D word then is additionally to be avoided because many/most of the upper half are not feeling much effects YET.

    • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      “While individual commodity groups have their own price patterns, when charted together they form extended periods of price trends known as “Commodity Super Cycles” where there is a recognizable pattern across major commodity groups.”

      okay, this sounds reasonably true, and I assume this has been true for hundreds of years.

      so the background to these cycles has been a few centuries of growing net (surplus) energy from FF first coal and then oil added and then natural gas added.

      these super cycles therefore have always had a growing energy flow through the economy which has enabled any down cycle to be followed eventually by an up cycle.

      now there is a GIANT HUGE MASSIVE historical disconnect where the energy supply is reversing and will be decreasing soon if it hasn’t already begun its relentless irreversible decline.

      so the quadrillion dollar question:

      if energy flow is decreasing, then what is there that could reverse a down cycle and push it up?

      • Malcopian says:

        You win this year’s Nobel Prize for Pure Pulsing Logic.

        • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:


          do I also get the monetary award?

          • Bobby says:

            Lol sorry, due to fiscal financial, resource and travel constraints 2020-2021 noble laureates have been suspended in animation with the rest of human constructed reality, but you can thaw a frozen pizza and watch Netflix Re-runs of how it use to be before the grate, humongous, inescapable Cobb smack to BSAU expectations

      • With the curbed investments in production (of extraction industries) the supply shock “must” eventually come back even during overall depression climate.

        Even the quasi BAU (curtailed 20/80 society consumerism) needs some updates, fixes here or there, rekindling of existing infrastructure on standby. And all that needs stream of new resources.

        For one thing, the triangle of doom / oil wedge price graph suggests the possibility of another (final?) spike in oil although not achieving higher highs (apart from possible flash-crash). In the depression narrative it could be very short event nevertheless.

        Futurists and optimists should load up with Mrs. Nickel and Dr. Copper or pray for SpaceX IPO etc.. as yet another 200 – 20 000 x grandiose gain opportunity for wealth transfer.

        Though realists-pessimists ought to study and practice low / no input agriculture and manual skillz techniques, acquiring land individually or in communal arrangements.

        Obviously, there are other possibilities: bucket listing, general slacking whatever coming, etc.

    • info says:

      The usury machine of the modern banking system is why capitalism is such a mess.

    • MM says:

      Of course a commodity Bull market is in the making:

      Let’s see some of the projects in the current BAU pipeline:

      install millions of G5 towers
      convert a billion cars into EV and then increase to 2 billion
      Space mining
      RE Buildup in the scale of 1 nuclear power plant a day
      Build up of the grid
      Solar for synthetic fuels for a sustainable aviation industry
      Batteries lithium mining on a gigantic scale (cobalt replacvement possible but not lizhium)
      Smart cities and smart appliances
      Command and control structures for the entire citizenry for health purposes (public surveillance)
      massive military buildup
      Belt and Road initiative to bring in another billion happy consumers
      Selling (a lot of) fracked LNG to Europe
      Proposing green Hydrogen as an energy carrier
      Blockchain mining on a gargantuan scale
      Everithing concerning computing is a cloud
      Transportation as a service with self driving cars
      flying taxis
      smart meters
      a smart phone for billions every two years
      Small nuclear reactors
      GenIV reactors
      Fusion power
      humans on mars
      Carbon dioxide removal or Carbon dioxide capture and storage
      Switching big naval vessels to Diesel
      planting billions of trees
      vertical farming
      artificial meat production
      2nd generation biofuels
      Industrial revolution 4.0

      Well sorry for not publishing a complete list.
      In my oppinioin this qualifies as PAU, plunder as usual.
      But this time it is different, because it will be sustainable, inclusive, bring work for all and a happier future.

      • Malcopian says:

        ‘But this time it is different, because it will be sustainable, inclusive, bring work for all and a happier future’

        You win this year’s Nobel Prize for Utterly Surreal Sarcasm. You will be forced to eat semolina and custard for three fortnights and a day.

      • I think you are right.

        There is one thing that may force oil prices up is a declining US dollar, if the US tries to add more debt/ money printing than other countries. A declining US dollar will make oil relatively less expensive for other countries and allow them to use more of it, bringing the total amount of “demand” up.

        I don’t think this situation can do enough before the whole system tends to crash, however.

      • Ed says:

        you missed robots and AI

  39. Dennis L. says:

    Working on renewable energy, probable job openings with very good pay.

    Some time earlier it was mentioned that repairing wind turbine blades would be the same process as working on an airplane wing – most likely the process would be similar. The issue is where the repair is done. If you look in addition to the cameraman there is a safety man on the deck of the turbine and a boat in the background – driving to work is not an option.

    Not the least bit of sarcasm, it was mentioned here one poster had only worked a few months – this group probably has job openings. Those who are familiar with languages can possibly identify where the work is being done – Denmark perhaps?

    This is a very difficult place to work with a side benefit that the view is incredible.

    There will be two trips to the top of the tower, one to install the ropes, and one to retrieve them after the work is complete. It would be interesting to see in an 8 hour day how many hours were actually spent working on the blade – two?

    Dennis L.

    • Erdles says:

      i have sailed around and under large windfarms in the English channel and trust me you would not be working on them in winter. Some 10% of the Gunfleet Sands array in the Thames estuary is not working presently and probably will remain this way now until the spring,

      • If subsidies stop, wind turbine repairs tend to stop. (I know I have read articles about this issue.) We will see how long subsidies can remain if the UK breaks up.

    • Malcopian says:

      Oh dear. Dreary little Denmark. Lego, lager, Lurpak and the Little Mermaid. Such accomplishments. A drearily flat and boring landscape too.

      • Mirror on the wall says:

        Come now, few nations can boast composers like Dieterich Buxtehude, certainly not England.

      • Christopher says:

        Still, somehow, they manage to be the happiest people in the world.

        Also I must confess, I have always enjoyed my visits to Denmark.Not only because you can enjoy “probably the best beer in the world”.

    • Christopher says:

      “Those who are familiar with languages can possibly identify where the work is being done – Denmark perhaps?”

      It’s Sweden. The wind turbines are situated in lake Vänern, Swedens largest lake.

      • Jonathan Madden says:

        There is an irony here. Wind turbines are sited in windy places. But you cannot work on them when it’s windy. Especially offshore.
        I work at sea, on engineering projects including wind.
        Everything involved in the support and maintenance of turbines is powered by oil. The work-over ships are large, dynamically positioned, diesel-fuelled vessels.
        All the power line route surveys and cable laying are by conventional ships.
        ROV inspection is frequently needed to check for erosion around the turbine foundations. The large ports that supply support vessels are built from thousands of tonnes of steel and concrete.
        I often wonder whether offshore wind actually uses more fossil fuel than the energy it generates.

        • Thanks for your comments. There are a lot of things that energy modelers have left out of their models. Also, the oil that is used in the many ways you mention is a much more valuable fuel than the intermittent electricity that they are trying to create.

    • Robert Firth says:

      Dennis, the video is from Vindpark Vänern, which is in Sweden, in the Kattegatt, the strait between Sweden and Denmark. Not a very pleasant place to work.

      • Christopher says:

        Kattegatt – part of the Atlantic ocean.

        Vänern – sweet water lake.

        Being a local boy of Kattegatt, I can assure you that working there is perfectly pleasant if the weather is nice. Otherwise, of course you are correct.

        • Mirror on the wall says:

          Kattegat – the home of Ragnar Lothbrok and Lagertha in the TV series Vikings – well, actually filmed in Wicklow County just outside Dublin. : )


        • Robert Firth says:

          Thank you for the correction, Christopher. It seems I misread a map. My apologies to all on OFW.

    • I discovered when I looked into wind turbines and their maintenance because of their moving parts, substantial replacement of parts is expected over their lifetimes. Having wind turbines at sea adds the problems of salt water erosion to other problems. I learned that some groups of offshore wind turbines have people living in residence, in specially built housing units, simply to provide maintenance.

      I also learned that for some of the trickier to replace parts, the use of helicopters is necessary. This adds a whole new layer of complexity to the arrangement. And of course, there are all of the long distance transmission lines that are needed. These transmission lines are used only when wind is blowing, so more of them would be needed than if a purpose-built fossil fuel or nuclear plant were operating.

      Adding wind to a mixture of fossil fuel and nuclear tends to make the transmission system as a whole less efficient, because it drives the fossil fuel and nuclear plants to lower usage of available capacity, at the same time the wind is available only part of the time. Thus, as more intermittent electricity is added, disproportionately more transmission lines must be added and kept in repair.

      If these transmission lines are over land, the issue of fires caused by transmission lines must also be addressed. Helicopters are normally used in putting out forest fires as well.

  40. Yorchichan says:

    I met a doctor tonight belonging to the UK Medical Freedom Alliance. She told me under no circumstances should I allow myself or my family to be vaccinated with any of the upcoming sars-cov-2 vaccines (not that there was any chance we would be). She showed me a hard copy of a letter sent recently by her organisation. I managed to find it on the internet easily enough:

    It’s good to know there is some pushback against the agenda from respected professionals.

    • Tim Groves says:

      Thanks for this info.

      Medics in LA are also reticent to take a COVID-19 vaccine.

      Researchers from the University of California Los Angeles’ Karin Fielding School of Public Health surveyed healthcare personnel working in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. As the Washington Post reported, they found that two thirds (66.5%) of healthcare workers “intend to delay vaccination,” meaning they do not intend to get the COVID vaccine when it becomes available. They plan instead on reviewing the data once it’s widely administered and proven safe.

      Seventy-six percent of the vaccine-hesitant healthcare workers cited the “fast-tracked vaccine development” as a primary reason for their concerns. Typically, vaccines take between eight to 10 years to develop, Dr. Emily Erbelding, an infectious disease expert at National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN in an article titled, “The timetable for a coronavirus vaccine is 18 months. Experts say that’s risky.”

      • Yorchichan says:

        Thanks Tim. The doctor I spoke to was confident that after a few months the harm done by the new mRNA vaccines would be so apparent that the vaccines would have to be withdrawn. Therefore, as long as I could delay being vaccinated in the initial rollout I would be fine. I don’t share her confidence in the MSM reliably disseminating information about adverse effects. I don’t believe recent polls showing the majority of UK residents can’t wait to be jabbed. It’s almost like the MSM want to create the impression that those of us who are sceptical are only a fringe minority. This is not my experience. Talking as I always do to many people, only a few older people tell me they want to be vaccinated. Younger people mostly say no way will they take a vaccine. Even most nurses and care workers tell me they’d rather lose their jobs than be vaccinated.

        I was anti-vax long before anyone had ever heard of covid19. I have little faith in either the pharmaceutical or medical professions. As Kim wrote, these exist for the benefit of those working n them and not for the benefit of the rest of the population. I do have faith in my body’s immune system. Like you, a mandatory vaccination would be my hill to die on.

    • Xabier says:

      Thank you so much, a very valuable post.

      Very well argued case for what is being termed ‘vaccine hesitancy’, aka basic prudence, and even conflated now with ‘anti-vax’ by the propaganda machine and politicians ( mostly lawyers by education, not scientists or medics).

      Vaccines are given very long trials for very good reason, and even the usual extensive animal trials have been thrown to the wind in this instance. Quite frightening!

      It will be interesting to see the MSM bury it completely in the drive to shepherd us into being jabbed……

      I hope life isn’t too grim in York.

      • Yorchichan says:

        Anticipating that my children (now 17 and 15) may never be able to afford to leave home, I had an extension built on my house in late summer and autumn. My euphoria that the builders are no longer around is still so great that worries over imminent poverty, enslavement and death can’t touch me. 😉

        Luckily school contract work and lockdown induced drug runs mean we won’t starve to death just yet.

        Hope gypsies are nowhere to be seen within a 5 mile radius of your Cambridgeshire village.

        • Xabier says:

          A few showed up again last summer – 2019 – but they were soon kicked out, leaving large amounts of used toilet paper blowing about -delightful! And dumped fridges, etc.

          Life is more difficult for them now, as lots of wide defensive ditches have been dug around open land, and huge concrete blocks set up to block their campers and Range Rovers.

          • Yorchichan says:

            Wow, they really must be a problem in your neck of the woods. I’ve taken gypsy kings, gypsy world champion fighters, gypsy drug dealers and gypsy children around. Plus lots of people you wouldn’t know were gypsies if they didn’t tell you. They can be a bit cocky, especially the kids, but even taking them to the centre of their camps I’ve never had a problem and they’ve always paid. However, staff from bars, hotels and restaurants that have hosted gypsies have told me various stories about misbehaviour and non-payment. Three gypsy youths who looked like extras from Deliverance tried to mug me in some woods last summer too, but they got nothing.

  41. Malcopian says:

    I’m back on my 1930s kick. Here Steely Dan, in 1974, do their cover of Duke Ellington’s ‘East St. Louis Toodle-Oo’. I prefer to play it at x 1.25 speed on YouTube – sounds much better.

    • Malcopian says:

      Sting – Spread A Little Happiness


      Arthur Rosebery – Spread a Little Happiness

    • Mirror on the wall says:

      You asked what music I listen to, which is a fair question. My tastes are pretty contemporary. Music sales are dominated by edm these days. The genres that I am currently focused on include tech house, progressive house (not big room house, often mislabelled as prog house), garage house, deep techno, dub techno, ambient techno, dark ambient, ritual ambient, euphoric trance, progressive trance, pure trance, psy-trance, progressive psy, forest psy. Those are what are ‘doing it’ for me at the moment. Edm is dominated by house these days, tech house in particular. Tech house and techno dominate the night clubs.

      I also listen to classical and opera, Western art music in its entirety really from chant to modernism with a focus on classical-romanticism transitional, early renaissance and early baroque. I see the Western canon in fairly traditional ways and I agree on the ‘greats’ up to Schubert and Wagner, although I tend to prefer the earlier Franco-Flemish renaissance to the later Italian, and the early to the high baroque; my tastes drastically diverge in romanticism and there are various later ‘greatish’ composers that do not really ‘do it’ for me. If I had to pick one composer to mention, it might be the blind Jacob van Eyck in the early baroque with his 12 hours of recorder solos.

      Mainstream pop/ rock does not really do it for me just now but if I had to pick a period it would 1960s-80s.

      • Malcopian says:

        ‘dark ambient, ritual ambient, psy-trance’

        For shame! Even John Michael Greer would hesitate to indulge in such practices. May God have mercy upon your mortal soul. 🙁

    • Herbie R Ficklestein says:

      I love this album ❤️😍, and the photo cover is my favorite 🌈
      They have another great tune on it called Barrytown about that Hairy Krishnas (sic lol)….

      Really thoughtful lyrics and catchy tune😊👍

  42. Mirror on the wall says:

    Re: UK divorces up last year, c 19 divorce storm ongoing

    107,000 UK marriages ended in divorce last year, up 18% from 2018 and the largest percentage increase in nearly 50 years. Some of it was backlog cases from 2017.

    Yep, over 200,000 persons got divorced last year in UK. Half of UK adults are not married and 35% never have been.

    Divorces peaked at 165,000 in 1993; a lot of couples do not get married at all now and just cohabit, which means fewer divorces.

    A ‘massive influx’ of divorces is ongoing during c 19, as many married couples just cannot hold their marriage together for months of lockdown.

    I am not impressed by this.

    > Largest annual percentage increase in divorces since 1972, new data shows

    The number of divorces in England and Wales has seen its largest annual percentage increase in nearly 50 years, new data shows.

    Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) data, published on Tuesday, showed that divorces of heterosexual couples rose by 18.4% from 90,871 in 2018 to 107,599 last year – the highest number since 2014, when 111,169 divorces were granted in England and Wales.

    It was also the largest annual percentage increase in the number of divorces since 1972, following the introduction of the The Divorce Reform Act 1969 which made it easier for couples to divorce upon separation, the ONS said.

    …. David Leadercramer, a partner at Osbornes Law who specialises in family cases, warned that there could be a further spike in divorces on the horizon due to the coronavirus pandemic putting “immeasurable strain” on relationships.

    He said: “Despite these figures representing a large increase in divorces I predict this is the calm before the storm as I would expect to see even higher figures next year.

    “The pandemic has put immeasurable strain on relationships and has caused a massive influx of cases hitting the divorce courts.

    “In 35 years as a family lawyer I have never seen a consistently busy year like this year and that will be reflected in next year’s divorce numbers.”

    …. Unreasonable behaviour was the most common reason for couples divorcing in 2019, the ONS said.

    The new figures showed that 49% of wives and 35% of husbands in heterosexual marriages petitioned for divorce on these grounds….

    • I looked to see what I could find out about US marriages. The article that came up first was one published November 10, 2020 is The U.S. Divorce Rate Has Hit a 50-Year Low.

      It sounds like both marriage rates and divorce rate have been falling dramatically. But those who do get married, tend to stay married.

      According to the article,

      Meanwhile, America’s so-called “marriage divide” is only widening. College-educated and economically better off Americans are more likely to marry and stay married, but working-class and poor Americans face more family instability and higher levels of singleness. For Americans in the top third income bracket, 64% are in an intact marriage, meaning they have only married once and are still in their first marriage. In contrast, only 24% of Americans in the lower-third income bracket are in an intact marriage, according to my analysis of the 2018 Census data.

      What’s worse, all signs point to a continuing downward trend for new marriages. On top of the already record high share of never-married adults, Americans are postponing their marriage plans because of the pandemic. The initial state-level data suggests that a dramatic decline in marriage certificates filed during the COVID-19 crisis. Given that “can’t afford a wedding” and “not having a stable job” ranked high on the reasons why today’s singles are not married, it is reasonable to predict that fewer singles will tie the knot amidst a pandemic when financial distress is high.

      A New York Post article comes to the opposite conclusion: US divorce rates skyrocket amid COVID-19 pandemic

      The number of people looking for divorces was 34 percent higher from March through June compared to 2019, according to new data collected Legal Templates, a company that provides legal documents.

      The combination of stress, unemployment, financial strain, death of loved ones, illness, homeschooling children, mental illnesses, and more has put a significant strain on relationships.

      The data showed that 31 percent of the couples admitted lockdown has caused irreparable damage to their relationships.

      An October 21, 2020 article from the Washington Post agrees with the first article I quoted from: Divorce is down, despite covid-19

      It says,

      Most married people in America report their unions have gotten stronger, not weaker, in the wake of covid-19. The AFS found that 58 percent of married men and women 18 to 55 said the pandemic has made them appreciate their spouse more, while 51 percent said their commitment to marriage had deepened. Only 8 percent said that the pandemic had weakened their commitment to one another.

      I don’t think that we collect divorce data quickly enough in the US to really know. With most marriages seeming to involve high income adults, and these individuals finding that their incomes are holding up pretty well, perhaps there isn’t much of a rise in divorces. It will probably be a year or two before we really know.

  43. Mirror on the wall says:

    Re: c 19, birth rate, economy, immigration, UK, USA

    The British capitalist state is already calculating the impact on the economy of the fall in births due to c 19.

    A fall in the birth rate of 5% for five months will lose the capitalist state £24bn over a lifetime or 1% of pre-c 19 GDP.

    The British capitalist state gets 730,000 new arrivals per year – but still, the workforce could be bigger and fewer babies is bad for business.

    Oh well, the state will just have to get 740,000 new arrivals instead to make up for the lost 10,000. After all, money is money.

    – UK Plc.

    > 10,000 fewer babies is a crying shame for UK growth

    Research for the Telegraph using Google data suggests UK births this month could fall 5pc below trend thanks to pandemic fears

    …. The publication of monthly figures has been hampered by Covid-19 but in the UK Wilde’s model suggests a 5pc fall in births this month, compared to the typical patterns suggested by his model. Over a cumulative period between September and January there may be roughly 10,000 fewer births.

    In the context of more than 730,000 new arrivals in the UK in 2018, a dip of 10,000 babies doesn’t sound like much. But based on average life expectancy of 81 years, and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s estimated value of £30,000 per ‘quality adjusted life year’ that already takes us to £24bn, or more than 1pc of the UK’s pre-Covid gross domestic product.

    Leaving aside the difficult politics of the issue, that is why economists tend to frown on immigration restrictions, because the higher birth rate of immigrants bolsters the economy’s productivity performance.

    …. In relative terms at least, it could be worse for the UK. Even though a 5pc fall over here will have some impact, the model suggests an even bigger 15pc slide in births in the US between November and February, exacerbating the trend since the financial crisis.

    That would be a 50pc bigger decline than seen after the 2008-9 crash, and similar in scale to the slumps seen following the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918-1919 and the Great Depression of the 1930s.

    …. But the virus overall has exacerbated the problems of falling fertility, and with it potential growth. The demographic hole that many nations find themselves in has deepened. The job of supporting ageing populations will fall on fewer and fewer shoulders – as well as paying the pandemic bills.

  44. Yoshua says:

    Has anyone seen Trump since the election? He seems to be avoiding the press and his right hand seems to have gone Covid black.

    The senate majority leader looks like a Covid corpse!

    • he’s recharging his conspiracy batteries

    • Ed says:

      The plan is rolling out. It had to be this way.

    • Tim Groves says:

      Trump’s social distancing at the moment. But he is still making his voice heard.

      Upon the request of Pennsylvania Senator Doug Mastriano (R), the state’s Senate Majority Policy Committee is holding a public hearing to discuss election issues and irregularities at 12:30 ET. Former NYC Mayor and current Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani will appear. President Trump was slated to join him, only to cancel following adviser Boris Epshteyn’s Covid-19 diagnosis.

      [..] President Trump joined the PA hearing by phone and was immediately on the offense, saying that “this is an election we won easily. We won it by a lot. This election has to be turned around.” “What we saw on November 3rd was not the United States of America. Democrats cheated. It was a fraudulent election. It would be very easy for me to wait 4 years and try again. We can’t wait for 4 years. Don’t be intimidated by these people. They don’t love our country!” “They kept poll watchers in pens in Philadelphia and then they threw them out of the building. You couldn’t see a thing on those cameras. They could have been playing a baseball game.”

      “It’s a disgrace this is happening to our country. We got 11 million more votes than we did 4 years ago. At 10pm in the evening we were way ahead. Everybody knows we won it. The whole world is watching us. We can’t let them get away with this. We have more votes than voters!” Trump ends his remarks by telling Giuliani over speakerphone: “This is going to be your crowning achievement because you’re saving our country.”

    • Tim Groves says:

      Meanwhile Biden is getting his formaldehyde topped up.

    • Erdles says:

      It’s the old Ali ‘Rope a dope’ trick.

  45. Yoshua says:

    Tourism, hotel and restaurant business is probably not coming back until the virus is under control?

    I’ve worked only two months after Covid broke out.

    Maybe things will change with the vaccines?

    The problem with the virus is that it even leaves young asymptomatic people with damaged lungs and blood vessels.

    • JMS says:

      LOL. Dun-be-lie-va-ble…

    • Tim Groves says:

      How do you know it isn’t noise that is causing these symptoms?

      Long-term exposure to environmental noise – such as that created by planes, trains and automobiles – has been linked to adverse health effects, including a higher incidence of cardiovascular disease. Researchers have identified a potential mechanism through which this noise leads to inflammation, blood vessel damage and heart disease.

      How do you know it isn’t air pollution that’s the main cause?

      Even young, healthy adults can suffer blood vessel damage from air pollution, a new study finds.

      Periodic exposure to fine particulate matter — tiny pollutants from cars, factories, power plants and fires — isn’t a health risk only for the ill and the elderly, the researchers concluded.

      How do you know it isn’t the result of vaping?

      Doctors in the U.S. have said the illness resembles an inhalation injury, with the lungs apparently reacting to a caustic substance. Some U.S. patients have likened onset of the illness to a heart attack and others to the flu. Symptoms have included shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain and vomiting.

      Vaping even a single e-cigarette can damage a person’s blood vessels, according to a recent small-scale U.S. study published in the journal Radiology.

      “We’ve shown that vaping has a sudden, immediate effect on the body’s vascular function,” the study’s author, Felix Wehrli, a radiologic science and biophysics professor at the University of Pennsylvania, said in a statement.

      How do you know it isn’t electromagnetic radiation from wireless communication, or Roundup, or inhaling micro plastic particles from the masks so many of us wear all day long?

      So many potential causes; so little research; and so much hyperventilating about a new virus that hasn’t even been proven beyondd reasonable doubt to exist.

      • Add “poisoning” from micro plastics as most veggies and fruits are nowadays drop irrigated by trashy quality systems, not mentioning the well water getting these from run off as well.

  46. I see that the WSJ has a story up:

    Supreme Court Blocks Covid-19 Restrictions on Religious Services in New York

    Justice Amy Coney Barrett cast the pivotal vote to depart from past cases

    In orders issued shortly before midnight Wednesday, the court, in a 5-4 vote, set aside attendance limits that Gov. Andrew Cuomo imposed on houses of worship in areas most severely affected by the coronavirus: 10 people in red zones and 25 in orange zones. Chief Justice John Roberts and three liberal justices dissented. . .

    The court found it troubling that businesses the state considered essential weren’t subject to the same occupancy limits. Those included “things such as acupuncture facilities, campgrounds, garages, as well as many whose services are not limited to those that can be regarded as essential, such as all plants manufacturing chemicals and microelectronics and all transportation facilities,” the court said.

  47. Yoshua says:

    The banks are flush with money, but the money isn’t moving, which is causing a liquidity problem?

    • Wealthy people have lots of money to spend on nice vacations, but if no country will accept them, the money will just stay in the bank. The places dependent on tourism (Hawaii, for example) are desperate for someone to spend their money. But with people just staying at home, there is no way for the Hawaiian economy to function. Operating a base for the US military is not enough.

      • Denial says:

        I think they mean that banks don’t want to lend it out. Really…. would you give someone a 30 year mortgage on 3.5 interest? From what I understand is the best you can get right now is a 15 year mortgage….the FED and treasury really need inflation I just don’t see how they get it unless they give every American $10,000 this $1500 check does nothing….

        • Erdles says:

          Inflation is made up of not only quantity of money but also its velocity. Velocity (basically demand) is pretty low at present so no amount of extra money will cause inflation.

      • doomphd says:

        that’s right Gail. what i find weird is places like Kauai that want to opt out of tested tourists visiting their island. they wrongly think that the tourists are the vector, which they may have been earlier, but once the virus is endemic, keeping tourists, especially tested ones, out just cuts off their source of income. the virus is already there, looking for new hosts. at 14% unemployment, Hawaii has the highest rate in the nation, but one of the lowest infection rates. practically all those unemployed are in tourism related business.

  48. Yoshua says:

    “A respiratory virus infecting blood vessel cells and circulating through the body is virtually unheard of. Influenza viruses like H1N1 are not known to do this, and the original SARS virus, a sister coronavirus to the current infection, did not spread past the lung.”

    • This seems to be part of a May 29, 2020 article on “Medium”:

      According to this article:

      The good news is that if Covid-19 is a vascular disease, there are existing drugs that can help protect against endothelial cell damage. In another New England Journal of Medicine paper that looked at nearly 9,000 people with Covid-19, Mehra showed that the use of statins and ACE inhibitors were linked to higher rates of survival. Statins reduce the risk of heart attacks not only by lowering cholesterol or preventing plaque, they also stabilize existing plaque, meaning they’re less likely to rupture if someone is on the drugs.

      “It turns out that both statins and ACE inhibitors are extremely protective on vascular dysfunction,” Mehra says. “Most of their benefit in the continuum of cardiovascular illness — be it high blood pressure, be it stroke, be it heart attack, be it arrhythmia, be it heart failure — in any situation the mechanism by which they protect the cardiovascular system starts with their ability to stabilize the endothelial cells.”

      I think we need to understand the situation better.

      • Dennis L. says:

        If I may. At OFW most often we are looking at things from the position of the individual, not the group. Earlier I mentioned D-Day and stepping out of an open boat into machine gun fire, the individual was not important, the group was. This is not dissimilar to what I described with regards to the widowed squaw or the Eskimo.

        The earth is beyond carrying capacity, hard decisions are going to be made, we will make it as mankind, but some of us individuals will not make it, all for the greater good.

        When I worked public health I took my shots, it was the way it was. As a group with Covid one will belong to the group or not, it will be a choice. Those who take the risk and have the shots will probably not look kindly on co workers who do not. Chose not to belong to the group and you will lose the benefits of the group. A motorcycle gang is basically the same idea.

        Human beings function as a group, it is not always best for the individual; we were very fortunate to live in a period of history when the individual could be given much freedom of choice, that freedom of choice seems to becoming less with each year due to overshoot.

        Dennis L.

  49. Herbie R Ficklestein says:

    Not sure if Mr. McGibbs posted this yet..but it is big news

    Apple is reportedly moving iPad production out of China for the first time ever because of Trump’s trade war
    Reuters,Isobel Asher Hamilton
    Thu, November 26, 2020, 5:41 AM EST
    apple tim cook
    Apple CEO Tim Cook. MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images
    Major Apple supplier Foxconn is moving some production of the iPad and Macbook from China to Vietnam, a source told Reuters.

    The source said Apple requested the move as a way of making its supply chain less reliant on China, following the trade war between the nation and President Donald Trump’s administration.

    This will be the first time the iPad has been manufactured outside of China.

    Probably 😃 cheaper labor in Vietnam too…Mister BAU has no conscious 🤭

    Thank you Harry for my morning wrap-up👍😊💖

    • The Reuters version of this story says, Foxconn to shift some Apple production to Vietnam to minimise China risk

      Foxconn is building assembly lines for Apple’s iPad tablet and MacBook laptop at its plant in Vietnam’s northeastern Bac Giang province, to come online in the first half of 2021, the person said, declining to be identified as the plan was private.

      The lines will also take some production from China, the person said, without elaborating how much production would shift.

      “The move was requested by Apple,” the person said. “It wants to diversify production following the trade war.”

      • Harry McGibbs says:

        I wonder if they’ll bring their sui*cide nets. From 2011:

        “It’s hard not to look at the nets [at Foxconn’s Shenzhen factory]. Every building is skirted in them. They drape every precipice, steel poles jutting out 20 feet above the sidewalk, loosely tangled like volleyball nets in winter.

        “The nets went up in May, after the 11th jumper in less than a year died here.”

      • Minority Of One says:

        The China-focused, week-day news bulletin ‘China In Focus’ did a special feature last week on the companies setting up shop in NE Vietnam, on the border with China. The reason they are there is so that experienced workers can cross the border from China, to work in the factories.

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