Humans Left Sustainability Behind as Hunter-Gatherers

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Many people believe that humans can have a sustainable future by using solar panels and wind turbines. Unfortunately, the only truly sustainable course, in terms of moving in cycles with nature, is interacting with the environment in a manner similar to the approach used by chimpanzees and baboons. Even this approach will eventually lead to new and different species predominating. Over a long period, such as 10 million years, we can expect the vast majority of species currently alive will become extinct, regardless of how well these species fit in with nature’s plan.

The key to the relative success of animals such as chimpanzees and baboons is living within a truly circular economy. Sunlight falling on trees provides the food they need. Waste products of their economy come back to the forest ecosystem as fertilizer.

Pre-humans lost the circular economy when they learned to control fire over one million years ago, when they were still hunter-gatherers. With the controlled use of fire, cooked food became possible, making it easier to chew and digest food. The human body adapted to the use of cooked food by reducing the size of the jaw and digestive tract and increasing the size of the brain. This adaptation made pre-humans truly different from other animals.

With the use of fire, pre-humans had many powers. They spent less time chewing, so they could spend more time making tools. They could burn down entire forests, if they so chose, to provide a better environment for the desired types of wild plants to grow. They could use the heat from fire to move to colder environments than the one to which they were originally adapted, thus allowing a greater total population.

Once pre-humans could outcompete other species, the big problem became diminishing returns. For example, once the largest beasts were killed off, only smaller beasts were available to eat. The amount of effort required to kill these smaller beasts was not proportionately less, however.

In this post, I will explain further the predicament we seem to be in. We have deviated so far from the natural economy that we really cannot go back. At the same time, the limits we are reaching are straining our economic system in many ways. Some type of discontinuity, or collapse, seems to be not very far away.

[1] Even before the appearance of hunter-gatherers, ecosystems around the world exhibited a great deal of cycling from state to state.

Many people are under the illusion that before the meddling of humans, the populations of different types of plants and animals tended to be pretty much constant. This isn’t really the way things work, however, in a finite world. Instead, the populations of many species cycle up and down, depending on particular conditions such as the population of animals that prey on them, the availability of food, the prevalence of disease, and the weather conditions.

Figure 1. Numbers of snowshoe hare (yellow, background) and Canada lynx (black line, foreground) furs sold to the Hudson’s Bay Company. Canada lynxes eat snowshoe hares. Image by Lamiot, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons. Link.

Even forests exhibit surprising variability. Many undergo regular cycles of burning. In fact, some species of trees, such as the giant sequoias in Yosemite, require fire in order to reproduce. These cycles are simply part of the natural order of self-organizing ecosystems in a finite world.

[2] A major feature of ecosystems is “Selection of the Best Adapted.”

Each species tends to give birth to many more offspring than are necessary to live to maturity if the population of that species is to remain level. Each of the individual offspring varies in many random ways from its parents. Ecosystems are able to keep adapting to changing conditions by permitting only the best-adapted offspring to survive. In favorable periods (suitable weather, not much disease, ample food, not too many predators), a large share of the offspring may survive. In less favorable periods, few of the offspring will survive.

When selection of the best adapted is taken into account, a changing climate is of little concern because, regardless of the conditions, some individual offspring will survive. Over time, new and different species are likely to develop that are better adapted to the changing conditions.

[3] The downsides of living within the limits provided by nature are easy to see.

One issue is that every mother can expect to see the majority of her offspring die. In fact, her own life expectancy is uncertain. It depends upon whether there are nearby predators or a disease against which she has no defense. Even a fairly small injury could lead to her death.

Another issue is lack of shelter from the elements. Moving to an area where the weather is too harsh becomes impossible. Our earliest pre-human ancestors seem to have lived near the equator where seasonal temperature differences are small.

Without supplemental heating or cooling, humans living in many places in the world today would have a difficult time following the way of nature because of weather conditions. As we will see in later sections, it was grains that allowed people to settle in areas that were too cold for crops in winter.

In theory, there are alternatives to grain in cold climates. For example, a small share of the population might be able to get most of its calories from eating raw fish, as the Inuit have done. Eating raw fish is not generally an option for people living inland, however. Also, in later sections, we will talk about the difference between the use of root vegetables and grains as the primary source of calories. In some sense, the use of grains provides a stepping stone toward big government, roads, and what we think of as a modern existence, while the use of root vegetables does not. Eating raw fish is similar to eating root vegetables, in that it doesn’t provide a stepping stone toward a modern existence.

[4] Animals make use of some of the same techniques as humans to compete with other species. These techniques are added complexity and added energy supply.

We think of complexity as being equivalent to added technology, but it also includes many related techniques, such as the use of tools, the use of specialization and the use of long-distance travel.

Animals use many types of complexity. Bees build hives and carry out tasks divided among the queen bee, drone bees, and worker bees. Many birds fly to another continent in winter, in order to gain access to an adequate food supply. Chimpanzees use tools, such as waving a stick or throwing a rock to ward off predators. Beavers build dams that provide themselves with an easy source of food in winter.

Some members of the animal kingdom, known as parasites, even leverage their own energy by using the energy of other plants or animals. Such use of the energy of a host is subject to limits; if the parasite uses too much, it risks killing its host.

While animals other than humans may use similar techniques to humans, they don’t go as far as humans. Humans employ a variety of supplemental materials in their tools. Also, no animal other than humans has learned to control fire.

[5] Pre-humans seem to have learned to control fire over 1 million years ago, allowing humans to gain an advantage in killing wild beasts.

Richard Wrangham, in Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human, makes the case that the controlled use of fire allowed the changes in anatomy that differentiate humans from other primates. With the controlled use of fire, humans could cook some of their food, making it easier to chew and digest. As a result, the teeth, jaws and guts of humans could be relatively smaller, and the brain could be larger. The larger brain allowed humans to compete better against other species. Also, cooking food greatly reduced the time spent chewing food, increasing the time available for making crafts and tools of various kinds. The heat of fire allowed pre-humans to move into new areas with colder climates. The heat of fires also allowed pre-humans to ward off some of the impact of ice-ages, which they were able to survive.

James C. Scott, in Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States, explains that being able to burn biomass was sufficient to turn around who was in charge: pre-humans or large animals. In one cave in South Africa, he indicates that a lower layer of remains found in the cave did not show any carbon deposits, and hence were created before pre-humans occupying the cave gained control of fire. In this layer, skeletons of big cats were found, along with scattered gnawed bones of pre-humans.

In a higher layer, carbon deposits were found. In this layer, pre-humans were clearly in charge. Their skeletons were much more intact, and the bones of big cats were scattered about and showed signs of gnawing. Who was in charge had changed! We know that human controlled fires can be used to scare away wild animals, burn down entire forests if desired, and make sharper spears. It shouldn’t be surprising that humans gained the upper hand.

[6] Grains, because of their energy density, portability, and ability to be stored, seem to have played a major role in the development of governments and of cities.

Scott, in Against the Grain, also points out that early economies that were able to grow grains were the economies that were able to place taxes on those grains, and with those taxes, were able to fund governments offering more services. Grains are a storable form of energy for humans. They are portable and energy dense, as well. It was grains that allowed people to settle in areas that were too cold for growing crops in winter. The year-to-year variability in production made storage of reserves important. Governments could provide this function, and other functions, such as roads.

If we analyze the situation, it is apparent that the existence of grain crops provided a subsidy to the rest of the economy. Farmers and their slaves could grow far more grain than they themselves required for calories, leaving much grain for trading with others. This surplus could be used to feed the population of cities, such as Rome. It was no longer necessary for everyone to be hunter-gatherers or subsistence farmers. There could be new occupations such as merchants, teachers, carpenters, and sailors. Many more goods and services in total could be produced, and the population of cities could grow.

Cities, themselves, provide benefits, because they allow economies of scale, and they allow people with different skills to mix. Geoffrey West, in his book Scale, notes that larger cities produce disproportionately more patents. Thus, technology is advanced with the growth of cities.

It might be noted that root crops, even though they could provide most of the same food energy benefits for humans as grain crops, did not help economies grow in the same ways that grain crops did. This, likely, was part of the reason that they were not taxed: They produced no excess benefit to give back to the government.

Root vegetables are not as helpful as grains. They are less energy dense than grains, making them heavier and bulkier for transport. They do not store as well as grains. In early days, root crops could be about as efficiently grown by individual families as by farmers specializing in such crops, making it hard to leverage the labor that went into growing root crops. In fact, there was less real need for government with root crops: There was no way to store supplies of root crops in case of poor harvest, and there was little need for roads to transport the crops.

[7] The added energy benefits of grain crops created a situation where the grain was “worth” far more to customers, and to the economy as a whole, than what would be indicated by their cost of production.

There is a belief among economists, and among much of the population, that the selling price of a commodity will be determined by its cost of production. In fact, the example given in Section [6] indicates that back in the early days of grain production, grain’s selling price could be far greater than its direct cost of production, with the difference going into taxes that would benefit the government and the economy as a whole.

In fact, there was a second way that the usage of grain was helpful to governments. The efficiency of grain production, transport, and storage reduced the need for farmers. Former farmers could offer services not previously available to citizens, often in cities. Income from the new jobs could also be taxed, to give governments another stream of income.

[8] The use of coal and oil also produced situations where the value of energy products to the economy was far higher than their direct cost of production, allowing these products to be heavily taxed.

Tony Wrigley, in his book Energy and the English Industrial Revolution, indicates that with the use of coal, farming became a much more productive endeavor. The crop yield from cereal crops, net of the amount fed to draft animals, nearly tripled between 1600 and 1800, which was the period when coal production ramped up in England. Coal allowed the use of far more metal tools, which were vastly superior to tools made from wood. In addition, roads to mines were greatly improved. Prior to this time, few roads were paved in England. These improved roads helped the economy as a whole.

Oil is known today for the high taxes it pays to governments. The governments of oil exporting countries are very dependent upon tax revenue relating to oil. When the selling price of oil is low, this results in a crisis period for oil exporting countries because they have no other way of collecting adequate tax revenue to support the programs for their people. For a short time, they can borrow money, but when this alternative fails, governments are likely to be overturned by their unhappy citizens.

[9] The economy tends to move further and further away from the natural order (described in Sections [1], [2], and [3]) as more energy consumption is added.

Even though the natural order would be sustainable, it doesn’t represent a situation that most people today would like to live in. In fact, most humans today could not live on completely uncooked food, even if they wanted to. While a few people today eat “raw food” diets, they often use a food processor or blender to reduce the amount of chewing and digesting of raw foods to a manageable level. Even then, their weights tend to stay low.

If energy products are available at an affordable price, humans find many ways to use them, to stay away from the natural order. Some examples include the following:

  • To provide transportation, other than walking.
  • To pipe clean water to homes.
  • To make growing and storage of food easy.
  • To allow homes to be heated and cooled.
  • To allow medicines and vaccines.
  • To allow most children to live to maturity.

[10] Because energy consumption is important in all aspects of the economy, the economy seems to reach many kinds of limits simultaneously.

There are many limits that the world economy seems to reach simultaneously. The underlying problem in all of these areas seems to be diminishing returns. In theory, these issues could all be worked around, using increasing energy consumption or increasing complexity:

  • Too little fresh water for an increasing population.
  • The need to keep increasing food production, with the same amount of arable land.
  • Increased difficulty with insect pests, such as locusts.
  • Increased difficulty in dealing with viruses and antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
  • Overfished oceans so that farmed fish are required in addition.
  • Ores of metals of ever-lower grade, requiring more processing and leading to more waste.
  • More expensive techniques required for the extraction of fossil fuels.
  • Many unprofitable businesses; much debt likely to default.
  • Too few jobs that pay well enough to support a family
  • Governments unable to collect enough taxes

Energy and complexity work together to leverage human labor, in a way that the economy can make more goods and services in total. Unfortunately, we cannot use complexity to make energy. Technology (which is a form of complexity) can convert energy to useful work and, through efficiency gains, increase the percentage of energy that is available for useful work, but it cannot make energy. If we add more technology, more robots, and more international trade, we likely will need more energy, not less.

The net impact of all of these issues is that to maintain our economy, we really need an ever-increasing quantity of energy. In fact, energy consumption likely needs to grow more rapidly than population simply to keep the system from collapse.

Wind and solar certainly cannot meet today’s energy needs. Together, wind and solar amount to about 3.3% of the world’s energy supply, based on BP estimates for 2019. Furthermore, wind and intermittent solar certainly cannot be sold at a price high above their cost of production, the way grain, coal and oil have been sold historically. In fact, wind and solar invariably need the huge subsidy of being allowed to “go first.” They actually are reliant on a profitable fossil fuel system to subsidize them, or they fall completely “flat.”

[11] The problem, as the economy reaches limits, is too few goods and services being produced to satisfy all parts of the economy simultaneously. The parts of the economy that especially tend to get shortchanged are (a) governments, (b) energy producers, and (c) workers without special skills who are selling their labor as a form of “energy.”

When economies are doing well, the price of energy products tends to be high. These high prices allow very high taxes on energy products. They also allow significant funds for reinvestment for the energy companies themselves. Indirectly, these high prices allow a significant share of the goods and services made by the economy to be transferred to these sectors of the economy.

In addition, energy products allow non-farm workers in many areas of the economy to produce their goods and services more efficiently, thereby helping push up the wages of common laborers.

As economies reach limits, there is, in some sense, a need for more energy in many sectors of the economy. The catch is that the “wages” and “profits” needed to purchase this energy aren’t really available to provide the demand needed to keep energy prices up. As a result, energy prices and production tend to fall. Government-imposed limitations, intended to stop the spread of COVID-19, may also keep energy demand down.

Governments often fail, or they get into major conflicts with other governments, when there are resource shortages of the kinds we are currently encountering. Today is in many ways like the period of the Great Depression, which preceded World War II.

[12] Perhaps warm, wet countries will be somewhat more successful than cold countries and those without water, in the years ahead.

I showed a chart in my most recent post, Energy Is the Economy, that illustrates the wide range of energy consumption around the world.

Figure 2. 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 located in Middle Africa.

If fossil fuel energy falls, I expect that the parts of the world with cold temperatures will experience particular difficulty because they tend to use disproportionately large amounts of energy (Figure 2). Their citizens cannot get along very well without heat for their homes. Winter becomes very dark, if supplemental lighting is not available. Walking long distances in the cold becomes a problem as well.

The warmer countries have a better chance because they do not require as complex economies as cold countries. They can feed at least part of their population with root crops. Walking is a reasonable transportation option, and there is no problem with months on end of darkness if supplemental lighting is not available. For these reasons, warm countries would seem to have a better chance of passing through the difficult times ahead while sustaining a reasonable-sized population.

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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2,604 Responses to Humans Left Sustainability Behind as Hunter-Gatherers

  1. JMS says:

    Great News! Interpol is preparing to hunt down organizations that take advantage of the covid crisis to generate billions in profits, provoke social divisions and strengthen their power.
    Elde-rs your days of freedom are counted. 🙂

    “Terro.rists – like all criminals – have sought to profit from COVID-19, to make money, strengthen their base and to fuel division.”
    Jürgen Stock, INTERPOL Secretary General

  2. worldofhanumanotg
    worldofhanumanotg says:

    Recently re-linked by Ugo, interesting how the time flies, written a mere decade ago..

    Lets put aside that the author did not envision the even bigger incoming credit bubble and US alt oils tail winds granting us few extra yrs, but the general thrust of the article remains sound. If you just scroll down towards the conclusion we are basically between stage #2-3..

    http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/2010/11/peak-oil-is-history.html

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      Thanks! I don’t remember reading this essay by Dmitry Orlov. He has a very good way of putting things. This is his description of the expected downslope in most peak oil forecasts:

      If climbing up to the peak must have required mountaineering techniques, the downward slope looks like it could be negotiated in bathroom slippers. One could do cartwheels all the way down, and be sure of not hitting anything sharp before gently rolling to a stop sometime around 2100. Mathematically, the upward slope would have to be characterized by some high-order polynomial, whereas the downward slope is just e-t with a little bit of statistical noise. This, you must agree, is extremely suspicious: a natural phenomenon of great complexity that, just when it is forced to stop growing, turns around and becomes as simple as a pile of dirt. The past is rough and rocky, but the future is as smooth as a baby’s bottom? Where else have we observed this sort of spontaneous and sudden simplification of a complex, dynamic process? Physical death is sometimes preceded by slow decay, but sooner or later most living things go from living to dead in an abrupt transition. They don’t shrivel continuously for decades on end, eventually becoming too small to be observable. The model on which the estimate of future oil production is based must be bogus. And so I like to call this generic and widely accepted Peak Oil case the Rosy Scenario. It’s the one in which industrial civilization, instead of keeling over promptly, joins an imaginary retirement community and spends its golden years tethered to a phantom oxygen tank and a phantom colostomy bag.

      I agree fully with his skepticism.

      I think we get confused, however, because too many people have framed the problem as a “running out of oil” problem. Our basic problem is a “diminishing returns” to energy investment of all kinds, including the use of human labor for its value as labor. In a running out of oil scenario, it seems to reasonable to believe that other resources will come in and take its place. In a diminishing returns scenario, it doesn’t work that way. The economy becomes less and less able to perform its basic functions. It takes too much energy to perform all of the hidden functions that allow the economy to keep operating, things like desalinating water. The earnings of workers do not rise high enough to cover all of the necessities, plus all of the growing hidden costs.

      • Artleads says:

        HE’S AN ENGINEER, but also something of a psychologist/writer/poet. In explaining his points so that the mass of people get it, he resorts to the writer/poet, for that is the only level on which the broad public can be reached. Art.

  3. Markets
    China Is Set to Reduce Dollar’s Influence on Yuan Trading Basket
    Bloomberg News
    December 21, 2020, 10:55 PM EST

    The dollar’s influence on how China sets its yuan exchange rate is expected to decrease again this year.
    A branch of China’s central bank factors in the moves of a basket of trading partners’ currencies when setting the yuan’s daily reference rate. The weighting of each of the 24 components in the CFETS RMB Index is adjusted based on the proportion each nation took in total trade with China the previous year.
    The greenback’s share is currently the highest in the basket, at slightly more than a fifth. But it has been declining since 2015. Last year, the U.S. accounted for 17.8% of China’s two-way shipments with the 24 peers last year, down from 20.5% in 2018, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. China is expected to adjust the basket by the end of the year.
    Fading Dollar
    The greenback’s share in the CFETS RMB Index has continued to decline
    .

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      Does this make any real difference? Quite a few of China’s trading partners seem to be in poor financial condition. I wonder if the new weighting will give them more weight.

      • Apparently, it does not…in spite of the massive money printing by JP and Company
        And you recall all the name calling and blusterous talk about hurting China’s trade in the past couple of years? The trade tariffs, etc.? Well, the numbers are in for last year’s trade with China, and our exports there didn’t amount to 1/3 rd of our imports from China… So, in the end it’s the same-0, same-o, with China and their trade surplus with the U.S. For the first 11 months of 2020 is $460 billion, up 21.4% from this time last year, already one of the highest ever recorded.

        From FX website

  4. Yoshua says:

    The B line of the virus doesn’t have a linear evolution.

    The virus has been genetically modified.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Ep0rTfqU8AA55Om?format=jpg&name=small

    • I’m out of my depth with virology but FWIW:

      “…scientists have never seen the virus acquire more than a dozen mutations seemingly at once.

      “They think it happened during a long infection of a single patient that allowed SARS-CoV-2 to go through an extended period of fast evolution, with multiple variants competing for advantage.”

      https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/12/mutant-coronavirus-united-kingdom-sets-alarms-its-importance-remains-unclear

      • 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.
        Gail Tverberg says:

        This is a very interesting article. I was wondering how anyone could come up with a conclusion that this mutation was spreading so quickly.

        I keep wondering how much our meddling with natural processes has added to the problem. Did our use of healthcare keep this patient alive for a very long time, so these many mutations could take place, for example? If we had simply “let the virus run,” with very limited treatment of patients with the virus, would it simply be gone by now. Some people would have died, but perhaps not as many in total as our meddling with natural systems created.

        The article also says,

        He [Ravindra Gupta, a virologist at the University of Cambridge] also engineered a lentivirus to express mutated versions of the spike protein and found that the deletion alone made that virus twice as infectious. He is now conducting similar experiments with viruses that carry both the deletion and the N501Y mutation.

        Haven’t researchers figured out that messing around with making viruses more infectious in the lab is an incredibly stupid thing to do? There is a chance the virus could get out. How do we know that the virus with seventeen mutations is not lab produced?

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      The view you give certainly looks like the virus has been genetically modified. It is bizarre. I wonder if the new vaccines work at all against it.

    • goodluck says:

      Punishment for brexit

  5. “The European Union rejected the U.K.’s latest concessions on fishing, two officials said, dealing a setback to efforts to secure a post-Brexit trade deal…

    “With only nine days left before the U.K. leaves the bloc’s single market and customs union with or without an agreement, there are few signs a deal is within reach.”

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-12-22/u-k-s-latest-brexit-offer-on-fish-rejected-by-eu-officials

  6. Robert Firth says:

    All great art creates without destroying. Under which category I include nothing written by Nietzsche.

    • All those medieval tempera paintings of the Madonna and child would have been difficult without breaking a few eggs.

      The plants (wood, rarely cotton) on which they were painted grew only in soil fed by the death of other plants.

      Oil from plants is now used to make paints, which involves destroying plants.

      The law of the conservation of mass tells us that matter is always reused, and never added to in a closed system.

      All things come to be only in so far as others pass away.

      It is a universal cycle of creation out of the destruction of another. There is no way around it.

      Humans may impose value judgements that one certain thing should not be destroyed to make another – like the bricks of the Colosseum should not relocated to make churches (which they were).

      But that is just our ability to be selective in our destruction and to destroy other things instead. It is not an exception to the rule.

    • It would be difficult to print all those copies of Shakespeare plays without cutting down trees.

      Industrial civilisation as a whole depends on fossil fuels from plants, animals and other creatures who perished millions of years ago.

      Our way of life, with all of its arts that are available to the masses, would not be possible without their prior destruction.

      You cannot make an omelette without broken eggs and many of them you have to break yourself.

      That is how the earth is. And if you want to believe in a God, then that is how God made it to be.

      • I think you are ignoring the matter of scale

        Shakespeare’s printed first folios mattered little when most of the population were illiterate

        • I was not trying to impose value judgements regarding scale, and yes thus far I ‘ignored scale’.

          A popular book, by definition, is liable to go to further editions however.

          The Bible is often considered to be an even ‘greater work of art’ and that has more printed copies than any other – entire forests.

  7. “A ship fuel scandal is being uncovered that looks likely to be larger than the Volkswagen Emissions Scandal. It involves some of the biggest names in the global oil and shipping industry, and goes to the very top of the UN shipping regulator, the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

    “As a result, thousands of ships around the world are at risk of catastrophic engine failures, putting the lives of millions of sailors, coastal communities and the ocean environment at risk around the world.”

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/nishandegnarain/2020/12/21/global-toxic-ship-fuel-scandal-revealed-by-mauritius-oil-spill-a-special-report/?sh=7d7f9457eecf

    • “The black-market trade in wildlife has moved online, and the deluge is ‘dizzying’:

      “The internet is now a global bazaar for the multibillion-dollar black market for exotic pets and animal parts, used for everything from curios and medicines to leather boots and skin rugs.”

      https://www.nationalgeographic.co.uk/animals/2020/12/the-black-market-trade-in-wildlife-has-moved-online-and-the-deluge-is-dizzying

      • “Microplastic particles have been revealed in the placentas of unborn babies for the first time, which the researchers said was “a matter of great concern”.

        “The health impact of microplastics in the body is as yet unknown. But the scientists said they could carry chemicals that could cause long-term damage or upset the foetus’s developing immune system.”

        https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/dec/22/microplastics-revealed-in-placentas-unborn-babies?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

        • 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.
          Gail Tverberg says:

          There are a whole lot of things getting into our bodies!

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      According to the article,

      At the center of the scandal is a new experimental fuel used in large ocean-bound ships. The fuel’s name is called Very Low Sulfur Fuel Oil or VLSFO, and it turns out to essentially be a made-up fuel. It was such a mix of hazardous chemicals that the oil has been referred to as a super-pollutant ‘Frankenstein Fuel’ by leading NGOs.

      This is another Forbes article describing in more detail the problems of VLSFO:

      Shipping-Gate: Why Toxic VLSFO ‘Frankenstein Fuel’ Is Such A Danger For The Planet

      The engines operating the ships have been built to work with the fuel that they have been using in the past: Heavy Fuel Oil. This is basically what is left over at refineries, when the light parts have been taking off. I am sure that it tends to be high sulfur. Sulfur is a lubricant, which the ships engines need. In an attempt to reduce emissions, a new type of fuel (which varies a lot from batch to batch) has been introduced, without proper testing. Sometimes batches work OK, others are terrible.

      The Mauritus oil spill seems to have occurred because of a problem with VLSFO. In general, VLSFO can cause many types of failures:

      1. Fires and explosions in the engine room
      2. Unexpected engine shut downs – especially during cold weather
      3. Critical parts of engines cracking and snapping off
      4. Runaway engines
      5. Excess pollution (ranging from excess oil sludge being dumped over the side of ships, higher carbon dioxide emissions, sulfur dioxide emissions that exceed the internationally agreed limits, and excess black particulate matter known as soot)

      This fuel is being used by 70% of ships.

      I am afraid this is a huge problem for the shipping industry.

  8. “Investors and analysts surveying the damage wrought by the pandemic have warned that it has exacerbated some of the most worrying trends in corporate debt markets and left balance sheets in a far riskier state.

    “US companies have borrowed a record $2.5tn in the bond market in 2020. The borrowing binge has driven leverage — a ratio that measures debt compared with earnings — to an all-time peak for higher-rated, investment grade companies, having already surpassed historic records at the end of 2019, according to data from Bank of America.

    “At the same time, companies’ ability to pay for the increase in debt has declined, with the number of so-called zombie companies — whose interest payments have been higher than profits for three years running — rising close to the historic peak, according to data from Leuthold Group.”

    https://www.ft.com/content/7fa7e230-5a8f-4a65-b8b7-ecd603a2a3d1

  9. JMS says:

    This is uterly unbelievable, they are promoting vaccines about which themselves say things like this:

    “The safety and efficacy of COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine BNT162b2in children under 16 years of age have not yet been established.”

    “Immunocompromised persons [and who isn’t in our world i ask?] , including individuals receiving immunosuppressant therapy, may have a diminished immune response to the vaccine.No data are available about concomitant use of immunosuppressants”

    Interaction with other medicinal products and other forms of interaction: No interaction studies have been performed. [!!!!!!!!]

    Pregnancy: There are no or limited amount of data from the use of COVID-19 mRNAVaccine BNT162b2.Animal reproductive toxicity studies have not been completed.[WTF!]

    “Breast-feeding: It is unknown whetherCOVID-19 mRNA Vaccine BNT162b2 is excreted in human milk.A risk to the newborns/infants cannot be excluded.” [LOL]

    But hey it shows an “efficacy of 94.6%”.

    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/943417/Information_for_healthcare_professionals.pdf

  10. wellofcourse says:

    Since every state has to have a vaccination plan to get the fed vaccination $ and these are public it may be of interest to some to read their states vaccination plan documents.

  11. Tim Groves says:

    Color me shocked but not a bit surprised. The French authorities are getting authoritarian in a desperate to stamp out dissent.

    Accomplished pharma prof thrown in psych hospital after questioning official COVID narrative

    Early on December 10, Jean-Bernard Fourtillan, a French retired university professor known for his strong opposition to COVID-19 vaccines such as those presently being distributed in the U.K., was taken from his temporary home in the south of France by a team of “gendarmes” — French law enforcement officers under military command — and forcibly placed in solitary confinement at the psychiatric hospital of Uzès. His mobile phones were taken from him, and at the time of writing, he had not been allowed to communicate with the outside world. The order for his internment appears to have been issued by the local “préfet,” the official representative of the French executive.

    To read in detail about the Kafkaesque persecution this academic has been undergoing ad the hand of the French state:

    https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/accomplished-pharma-prof-thrown-in-psych-hospital-after-questioning-official-covid-narrative

    • notsofunny says:

      Great article with a lot of information and not just about the incredible abuse of using the system to “commit” someone who was a incredibly well qualified to question vaccination. I wouldn’t be surprised if this becomes the norm. It solves a lot of legal problems. Anti vaxers are crazy. Off to the mental ward and nurse Crachet. They can stick the vax in with the Haldol TM and god knows what else.

      • Xabier says:

        It’s the Communist method: any opposition, however reasoned = ‘mental illness’, or a need for ‘further education’.

        Dark times.

    • notsofunny says:

      Wheres the line? If you believe voter fraud is possible are you heading for a Haldol TM shot? Flat earthers? Moon deniers? 911? JFK?

      They might need more Haldol TM than the vax.

      • Tegnell says:

        Sars and Sars Covid are very similar. Google that.

        They are both coronaviruses.

        Now read this and think about it for a few minutes.

        Feds Race to Make SARS Vaccine

        Developing a vaccine often takes a couple of decades or longer, but the federal government is aiming to develop a SARS vaccine in just three years. Scientists at the Vaccine Research Center are attacking the problem on several fronts, although some question whether a SARS vaccine is even possible.

        FIFTEEN OR 20 years to create a new vaccine is considered quite speedy. So the federal government’s blueprint for a shot to stop the SARS epidemic in a mere three years seems positively head-snapping.

        Can it be done?

        Certainly, says Dr. Gary Nabel, chief of the Vaccine Research Center at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “If everything went perfectly,” he qualifies. “If all the stars were aligned.”

        The stars almost never align precisely in medical research. But if they do, Nabel says scientists will finish all the basic lab work, creating the vaccine and testing it in animals, in just one year.

        Then they will spend two more trying it out on people to make sure it works, turn the results over to the Food and Drug Administration and be done.

        No vaccine in modern times has gone from start to finish nearly that fast. But even if Nabel’s time line proves unrealistic, his willingness to state it out loud shows how seriously the government takes SARS.

        The strategy for changing the pace from glacial to galactic: Forget solving problems one at a time.

        “We need a vaccine. There’s no question about it,” says Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the infectious disease institute. “This is potentially disastrous enough that we can’t just hope it will go away and stay away.”

        Labs from Hong Kong to Canada are also tackling SARS vaccines, and Fauci said his institute will sign contracts with up to a dozen companies to help with development.

        At this point, however, the single biggest question is still unanswered: Is a SARS vaccine even possible?

        Dr. Emilio Emini, head of vaccine development at Merck, is among those trying to answer this. For now he refuses even to chance a guess.

        “This is a new virus. So much is not understood,” he says. “It’s a big black box.”

        Worry that a vaccine will be too dangerous is one reason development takes so long. No one wants to make healthy people sick by giving them shots intended to prevent illness. So typically vaccines are tested painstakingly on thousands of volunteers over many years to prove they do far more good than harm.

        Even with this, dangers may come to light only when they get into routine use. Four years ago, the first rotavirus vaccine was pulled from the market after just one year. The shots prevent childhood diarrhea, but they also turned out to cause life-threatening bowel obstructions in one in 10,000 recipients.

        Scientists are especially cautious because of their experience with vaccines aimed at animal relatives of the SARS virus. SARS is a coronavirus, the same virus family that causes serious diseases in pigs and other animals. While shots work well against some of these, they occasionally go disastrously bad. A vaccine for the feline coronavirus actually results in worse disease, not less, when cats catch the virus.

        Vaccines work by giving the body a glimpse of its target, typically a dead virus, a weakened live one or bits of viral proteins. When all goes well, the immune system remembers these and goes on full attack when it later encounters the real thing.

        But as happened with the cat vaccine, they sometimes trigger an off-kilter immune reaction, so when attacked by the actual virus, the system responds with a weak or misguided defense.

        Because the attenuated viruses cause true infections, they trigger an especially robust and well-rounded defense, arming the immune system to launch both antibodies and virus-killing T cells. But there are drawbacks: They can take a long time to make, and the crippled virus can theoretically mutate to regain its power, making people sick.

        “They are effective but dangerous, and it will take a long time to get one we would give to people,” says Picker.

        Vaccines based on genetic engineering may be faster.

        One approach is using gene-splicing to make plenty of SARS virus parts, such as the protein prongs that stick out from the virus, giving it a crown-like appearance under a microscope. Injecting these proteins — but not the virus itself — may be enough to prompt the immune system to recognize the SARS virus.

        Even if one of these approaches quickly shows promise, it still must be pushed through human testing in a part of the world where SARS is spreading or, if SARS disappears, go through extensive animal testing. Some doubt all this can be accomplished quickly.

        “Could the rules get changed so it would take less than 15 years? Yes. But could it be three years?” asks Dr. Donna Ambrosino, head of Massachusetts Biologic Laboratory, a nonprofit vaccine maker.

        Doubtful, she says. There are simply too many unknowns, both about the virus itself and the safety of any strategy to stop it. She notes that scientists have been trying since the 1960s to make a vaccine for another breathing infection, the respiratory syncytial virus, which causes serious disease in babies.

        “We know the proteins. We know the antibodies. We have animal models. We know all of that,” she says. “But we still don’t have a vaccine that works.”

        • Xabier says:

          The Chief Scientific Officer of the UK tried to side-step the issue of proper, extended, trials by praising the speed of development, only made possible by such an exciting novel technology, etc.

          Wow, gosh, give me some of that I want to step across the new frontier! we are supposed to say.

          The man is a disgrace, and his position untenable.

          I feel that the only hope might be when politicians, who only care about opinion polls, come to feel that they will lose many more votes by imposing the vaccines than they will gain by coming up with a ‘solution’.

          Unfortunately, project fear has been so effective, censorship is so aggressive, and people are so demoralised by the lock-downs, that they may still grasp at anything however dubious.

          • Tim Groves says:

            Dad! What’s wrong with the telly?

            Good evening, London. Allow me first to apologize for this interruption. I do, like many of you, appreciate the comforts of every day routine- the security of the familiar, the tranquility of repetition. I enjoy them as much as any bloke. But in the spirit of commemoration, whereby those important events of the past usually associated with someone’s death or the end of some awful bloody struggle are celebrated with a nice holiday. I thought we could mark this November the 5th, a day that is sadly no longer remembered, by taking some time out of our daily lives to sit down and have a little chat.

            There are of course those who do not want us to speak. I suspect even now, orders are being shouted into telephones, and men with guns will soon be on their way. Why? Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth.

            And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn’t there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, think, and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillence coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission.

            How did this happen? Who’s to blame? Well, certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you’re looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror. I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn’t be? War, terror, disease.

            There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you, and in your panic you turned to the now High Chancellor, Adam Sutler. He promised you order, he promised you peace, and all he demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent.

            Last night I sought to end that silence. Last night I destroyed the Old Bailey, to remind this country of what it has forgotten. More than four hundred years ago a great citizen wished to embed the fifth of November forever in our memory. His hope was to remind the world that fairness, justice, and freedom are more than words, they are perspectives.

            So if you’ve seen nothing, if the crimes of this government remain unknown to you, then I would suggest you allow the fifth of November to pass unmarked. But if you see what I see, if you feel as I feel, and if you would seek as I seek, then I ask you to stand beside me one year from tonight, outside the gates of Parliament, and together we shall give them a fifth of November that shall never, ever be forgot.

            https://youtu.be/dKnjxT5HRJQ

            • JMS says:

              Occasionally, onde i a lustre or so, the entertainment industry produces objects so subversive and illuminating that one wonders how any capitalist might have thought it a good idea to finance them? Examples: Soylent Green, Network, V for vendetta and Utopia.

            • JMS says:

              typo: once in a

    • avocado says:

      He went too far, especially when he pretended to sue (and jail?) the authorities

      You can say one truth, two or perhaps even three, but you must stop somewhere

    • Xabier says:

      Sounds as though the Pope would approve of that treatment.

      At least they can’t burn the poor old prof for his heresy!

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      This sounds like a major reason for his confinement:

      In particular, Fourtillan has accused the French Institut Pasteur, a private non-profit foundation that specializes in biology, micro-organisms, contagious diseases, and vaccination, of having “fabricated” the SARS-COV-2 virus over several decades and been a party to its “escape” from the Wuhan P4 lab — unbeknownst to the lab’s Chinese authorities — which was built following an agreement between France and China signed in 2004.

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      How convenient! A card you can fill in to “prove” you had the vaccine, just like the card taxi drivers hand out for you to fill out with the amount you paid for taxi services and suitable initials. No need to actually take the vaccine.

  12. I came across another passage in Zarathustra that seems to speak to some of Gail’s themes.

    …. Indeed, you do not love the earth as creators, begetters, and enjoyers of becoming!
    Where is innocence? Where there is will to beget. And whoever wants to create over and beyond himself, he has the purest will.
    Where is beauty? Where I must will with my entire will; where I want to love and perish so that an image does not remain merely an image.
    Loving and perishing: these have gone together since the beginning of time. Will to love: that means being willing also for death. Thus I speak to you cowards! – Of the Immaculate Perception

    http://4umi.com/nietzsche/zarathustra/37

    Again, he is touching on the eternal joy in becoming and destruction that he metaphorically ascribes to the earth and to which he urges us.

    Nothing is, all is becoming and passing away. He urges us to be creators and begetters like the earth. All creation destroys that which is, that it might become that which is to be. Creation is an act of destruction. So it is for the planet. Creation is not a one off act out of nothing, rather it is the ongoing creation of the yet to be out of that which is.

    The moment contains the things that are, in their process of ceasing to be so that other things will be. The species likewise have an ongoing creation, the one out of the transition and the demise of the other. And people, the one generation creates the next on its journey to nothingness, to death. Thus we are to love as the earth, in becoming and destruction.

    He urges us to beget, to participate in the procreation of the next generation – not merely to ponder life without desire, but to desire, to love, to reproduce, to joyfully create. To create is always to commit the created to its own destruction, and so it is with procreation. There is no creation without destruction, no life without death, no species without extinction. Thus the earth has it.

    Death is not to be feared, it is the precondition of life. Extinction is not to be feared, it is condition of the coming to be of species. Nor is civilizational collapse to be feared.

    Collapse is the precondition of civilisation; spent fossil fuels that of their use. The collapse of civilisation is no objection to its creation any more than death is an objection to life. Life is not to be feared for its consequences and neither is the collapse of civilisation to be feared. To create a civilisation is to commit it to its destruction and its life takes it closer to its demise. All that we create, we commit to destruction.

    All is to be desired and enjoyed in its time. Have children, enjoy them and let them enjoy their lives. Enjoy BAU and industrial civilisation while it lasts. Let the party go on. That is innocent and as it should be. So what if the population is soon to collapse – life always entails death. So what if civilisation is to fall, they all do. All that comes to be must pass away and nothing otherwise would be.

    So, all is well and all will be well. Life is to be embraced, and the collapse is to be embraced, of industrial civilisation and of the human population. Our age must end so that the next may begin. We would all still be in some cave community were that not the case – or still apes. This population must go that another may come – that which is yet beyond ourselves. A new people with a new way of life of their own.

    Our species will either evolve and survive or it will not. Either way, the earth will go on ‘joyfully’ with its creation and destruction. Our place is not to mourn that process but to rejoice in it, in destruction as the condition of creation, and in creation as its consequence – to join our wills joyfully with all that is, all that was, and all that will ever be – in an eternal joy in the becoming and the destruction that is the earth. That is the purest will and innocent.

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      We wonder whether the earth, and perhaps the entire universe, was created for the benefit of mankind.

      • here is an alternative view:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropic_principlehttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropic_principle

        “The anthropic principle is a group of principles attempting to determine how statistically probable our observations of the universe are, given that we could only exist in a particular type of universe to start with.[1] In other words, scientific observation of the universe would not even be possible if the laws of the universe had been incompatible with the development of sentient life. Proponents of the anthropic principle argue that it explains why this universe has the age and the fundamental physical constants necessary to accommodate conscious life, since if either had been different, we would not have been around to make observations. Anthropic reasoning is often used to deal with the fact that the universe seems to be fine tuned.”

        I think this means that if the universe didn’t evolve exactly as it did evolve, then we wouldn’t be here.

        conversely, because we humans are here, we know that the universe evolved just right so that humans eventually evolved and now we are here to observe that the universe evolved exactly right for us to be here.

        I also think this means that the odds were 100% that an intelligent species would find itself in a place that was hospitable to its evolution.

        and so we shouldn’t be at all surprised that we live in such a place.

        • an additional thought is that whatever it was that produced the universe was sufficient to produce the universe.

          a usual proposal is God.

          but there can be infinite counter proposals, and serious or not, any counter proposal could be true, since we know that the universe has been produced.

        • Robert Firth says:

          Another example of the anthropic principle is that our legs are just long enough to reach the ground. Just think: one centimeter shorter and we would be at the mercy of the wind; one centimeter longer and we would spend our whole lives rooted in one spot.

        • There seems to be a danger of confusing ‘efficient cause’ with ‘final cause’ (purpose) in ‘why’.

          (I am not saying that David or Gail falls into that error or that the ‘anthropic principle’ entails that error, but it may suggest or even encourage the error to some.)

          Everything that ‘is’ has its efficient cause otherwise it would not be; but final cause is a distinct concept that implies ‘purpose’ and sometimes ‘intention’.

          Everything that ‘is’ necessarily ‘is’ in so far as each effect necessarily follows from its cause.

          Everything would be the ‘purpose’ of the cosmos if we were to take ‘necessary efficient cause’ as the benchmark of ‘purpose’.

          So, the sun dissipates energy, and it ‘must’ do because it does so as an effect of efficient causes. Then one might as well say that the cosmos exists for the purpose to dissipate energy.

          Or, dolphins ‘must’ exist in so far as they do, so one might as well say that they are the purpose of the cosmos.

          Or any inanimate object for that matter; a mountain ‘must’ exist, so that mountain is the purpose.

          One cannot assume ‘purpose’ just from existence or from an existence that is ‘necessary’ according to efficient cause. Otherwise everything becomes the purpose (and nothing especially) simply from the fact it is exists.

          All that we can say is that our cosmos proceeds according to necessary laws, and so everything that ‘is’ necessarily ‘is’ in our cosmos. No ‘purpose’ or ‘intention’ can be deduced simply from that, as they are distinct concepts.

          To conflate the concepts makes everything, and thus nothing, the purpose, as everything has its necessary efficient cause.

          • solejam
            Puppet Master says:

            “Or, dolphins ‘must’ exist in so far as they do, so one might as well say that they are the purpose of the cosmos.”

            One might also say that they are the porpoise of the cosmos.

            • 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.
              Gail Tverberg says:

              LOL! But they are not the earth’s dominant species at this time.

            • The dominant are the purpose?

              May one also infer that the dominant among humans are also the purpose not only of society but of the cosmos?

              And that rulers should rule not as a service but for their own benefit?

              Like pharaohs – and most ruling classes in history.

              A speciesist teleology of dominance seems to be only a tiny step away from an aristocratic politics.

              Which is no theoretical objection one way or the other, it is all ‘made up’ or guesstimated at the end of the day.

            • 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.
              Gail Tverberg says:

              Dominant is “tops in energy dissipation.” In fact, the energy density of our cities seems to be tops in the universe.

              Read Eric Chaisson’s book, “Cosmic Evolution: The Rise of Complexity in Nature,” published in 2001. This is a chart by Chaisson:

              https://ourfiniteworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/13-chaisson-trend-is-toward-more-complex-energy-intense-form.png

              In fact, the emptying of very dense city centers now is a real concern. How does the system go forward from here?

            • USA all the way!

              The purpose of the cosmos no less!

            • according to the jesusfreaks, the purpose of the cosmos is exactly that

              but because of covid I’ve seen no jwitnesses all year

              I kinda miss them in a way

            • nikoB says:

              So long and thanks for all the fish.

          • JMS says:

            “One cannot assume ‘purpose’ just from existence or from an existence that is ‘necessary’ according to efficient cause.”

            Right. Otherwise we are just following the path to a philosophical bog called metaphysics.

            • 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.
              Gail Tverberg says:

              Is the purpose of the universe to maximize energy dissipation and allow life as this goes on?

            • JMS says:

              The concept of purpose implies a mind and an intention, and to assume that behind a dissipative structure can exist an intention is a leap of faith that I am not willing to give.

              Philosophically, this leap is untenable. Or at least that was the conclusion reached by the methodical and impartial head of Herr Kant from Konigsberg. But of course he was just a man, albeit a bright one.

            • Robert Firth says:

              Just a reminder: Aristotle identified four causes: material cause, what it is made of; formal cause, how it is organised; efficient cause, how it came into being; final cause, what it is for.

              Final causes went out of favour after Newton, who made popular the idea of a mechanistic universe evolving in time from prior causes to post effects. Quantum mechanics requires final causes, but people still find that hard to believe.

              I do not. The universe has a cause; in particular, a formal cause, ie a designer. In what I hope will soon be called “Dawkins’ Paradox”, the designer must be more complex than the thing designed, just as the watchmaker is more complex than the watch.

              So the designer requires a super designer, who must have been created by a super duper designer, and we are in an infinite regress.

              Not so. What is more complex than the early universe? Answer, the later universe. And there you will find the designers.

            • “Quantum mechanics requires final causes”

              That does not seem to be widely accepted.

              Your claim that the cosmos has a ‘formal cause’ is no more than asserted. There would in any case be no need to make a ‘designer’ that ‘formal’ cause.

              The ‘teleological argument’ for the existence of God has been done to death and it is not accepted – do we really have to rehash all that here?

              You are welcome to believe in religion but pls do not pretend that it is based on logical proof. That would not end to your satisfaction.

    • Nietzsche made me laugh with his metaphor at the start of that passage.

      He likens the moon to a p/rvert sneaking about silently in its supposed ‘innocence’ and gazing through bedroom windows.

      He goes on to argue that no perception is devoid of will or motive. He ascribes the lessening of will, the pretention to immaculateness, to ’emasculation’ and he likens ‘desireless’ celibacy (or art) to dodgy voyeurism, of which he makes the moon the metaphor.

      The point that he is making is that no perception is devoid of will or motives and that we should get stuck into life and into breeding without any pretence to supposedly ‘superior’ values that mask emasculation.

      The ‘beautiful’ is an incitement to procreation. That is pure and innocent and the way of the earth.

      He was raised within a long line of Lutheran pastors. The impossibility of ‘immaculate perception’ chimes with the ‘universal depravity’ of Luther. Luther similarly incited Christians to eschew celibacy for matrimony.

      > When yester-eve the moon arose, then did I fancy it about to bear a sun: so broad and teeming did it lie on the horizon.
      But it was a liar with its pregnancy; and sooner will I believe in the man in the moon than in the woman.
      To be sure, little of a man is he also, that timid night-reveller. Verily, with a bad conscience doth he stalk over the roofs.
      For he is covetous and jealous, the monk in the moon; covetous of the earth, and all the joys of lovers.
      Nay, I like him not, that tom-cat on the roofs! Hateful unto me are all that slink around half-closed windows!
      Piously and silently doth he stalk along on the star-carpets: — but I like no light-treading human feet, on which not even a spur jingleth.
      Every honest one’s step speaketh; the cat however, stealeth along over the ground. Lo! cat-like doth the moon come along, and dishonestly. —
      This parable speak I unto you sentimental dissemblers, unto you, the “pure discerners!” You do I call — covetous ones!

  13. Kowalainen says:

    One might speculate if the dna of the mitochondria in fact once was a parasite.

    Parasitism eventually always evolve into symbiosis due to the effect of game theory. Or, in simpler words: “Let’s make a deal we both can benefit from in the long run”

  14. Medea goddess of illusion.
    Medea = Media?

    One of her symbols chimeras.

    https://prezi.com/svymxtgdd6do/medea-the-goddess-of-illusion/

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      At one time, we heard about investigative journalism. This role seems to have moved to a few folks on the internet.

  15. MG says:

    The cancer as an energy disease:

    Cancer Etiology: A Metabolic Disease Originating from Life’s Major Evolutionary Transition?

    “A clear understanding of the origins of cancer is the basis of successful strategies for effective cancer prevention and management. The origin of cancer at the molecular and cellular levels is not well understood. Is the primary cause of the origin of cancer the genomic instability or impaired energy metabolism? An attempt was made to present cancer etiology originating from life’s major evolutionary transition. The first evolutionary transition went from simple to complex cells when eukaryotic cells with glycolytic energy production merged with the oxidative mitochondrion (The Endosymbiosis Theory first proposed by Lynn Margulis in the 1960s). The second transition went from single-celled to multicellular organisms once the cells obtained mitochondria, which enabled them to obtain a higher amount of energy. Evidence will be presented that these two transitions, as well as the decline of NAD+ and ATP levels, are the root of cancer diseases. Restoring redox homeostasis and reactivation of mitochondrial oxidative metabolism are important factors in cancer prevention.”

    “Could cancer causation be interpreted as an allegory not to the damaged hardware (damaged genetic material caused by chance mutation) but to an incorrect function of a software (a metabolic program)? Do we thence use wrong approaches to treat the cancer disease with chemotherapy and radiation therapy, which are aimed at destroying the hardware (killing cells), instead of a more sophisticated approach aimed at reprogramming the software inside the cells in order to restore the normal mitochondrial function and metabolism?”

    • MG says:

      “Such a program, which enables the development of cancer, preexists in genes in the nucleus from the season of low O2 atmosphere and single-celled life. Namely, cancer cells shift their metabolism toward glycolysis, a strategy that allows for their survival when oxygen is limited [17], and consequently increase the availability of biosynthetic intermediates needed for cellular growth and proliferation [18]. Du [19] proposed a hypothesis that “the survival style of cancer cells was the reevolution from eukaryotic to prokaryotic cells by the alteration of energy metabolism.””

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      People who live with diets that are not very far above the starvation level seem to live long lives. People who fill themselves with things that stoke up metabolism and add weight seem to die young. Cancer is one of the things that kills well-fed people off early.

    • nikoB says:

      The evidence for cancer being a metabolic disease of the mitocondria is pretty much irrefutable. Genetic mutation in the cell nucleus is a second order effect. The work of Thomas Seyfried and others shows that cancer cells use two energy sources through fermentation – glucose and glutamine. Targeting these through diet and glutamine affecting drugs has produced stunning results. Only issue is that it will make no one any money.

      Diet and pill = $2 daily vs chemo $10000 – $100000 per shot.

      Worth watching

      • Tim Groves says:

        This is a good presentation although it’s a bit too technical for me. Lots of new medical terms!

        The gist is, forget genetics and watch your diet. Keto might be a good move, but for a start, cut out all that refined sugar and corn syrup, no more junk, and eat proper food.

        • Robert Firth says:

          Tim, my paternal grandmother died of diabetes when I was 17. There is a 50% probability that I carry the gene. That was when I gave up refined sugar. And I have never touched corn syrup.

          My evening drink is still wine, because that is one of the few beverages made in the same way it was 2000 years ago. Add unbleached flour, unsalted butter, bread made in the local bakery (50 meters away) and grain and vegetables from the fields I can see being harrowed (not ploughed) from my living room window.

  16. MG says:

    The failing Germany state supervision authorities and an actual fraud based on using old, delapitdated buildings as an investment for the investors from abroad:

  17. Yoshua says:

    There’s something fishy about the new virus strain. It has made a 28 letter mutation in a short time of space which isn’t normal.

    Britain now has the second highest rate of new Covid cases in the world.

    The new virus outbreak is concentrated to South East…from where the traffic of people and goods to continental Europe is going. France is next…so soon you can point your finger at the frogs.

    • “Scientists say two aspects of B.1.1.7 give cause for concern. One is the unprecedented number of mutations it carries. The other is the speed with which it is supplanting other strains of the Sars-Cov-2 virus in south-east England.

      “Jeffrey Barrett, director of the Covid Genomics Initiative at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, said 23 letters in the viral genetic code had changed, of which 17 might affect the behaviour of the virus — in particular helping it to enter and propagate within human cells.

      ““This new variant is very concerning, and is unlike anything we have seen so far in the pandemic,” he said.”

      https://www.ft.com/content/a0bef737-c763-447a-b1f3-0649dc5989a0

    • Tegnell says:

      Want to bet it will be in Canada by the end of next month?

      Now how could anyone know this was coming. Unless…………………………..

      1:47 PM (7 hours ago) Original Message ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐ On Saturday, October 10, 2020 1:38 PM, (REMOVED) wrote:

      Dear (REMOVED),

      I want to provide you some very important information. I’m a committee member within the Liberal Party of Canada. I sit within several committee groups but the information I am providing is originating from the Strategic Planning committee (which is steered by the PMO).

      I need to start off by saying that I’m not happy doing this but I have to. As a Canadian and more importantly as a parent who wants a better future not only for my children but for other children as well.

      The other reason I am doing this is because roughly 30% of the committee members are not pleased with the direction this will take Canada, but our opinions have been ignored and they plan on moving forward toward their goals. They have also made it very clear that nothing will stop the planned outcomes.

      The road map and aim was set out by the PMO and is as follows:

      – Phase in secondary lock down restrictions on a rolling basis, starting with major metropolitan areas first and expanding outward. Expected by November 2020. – Rush the acquisition of (or construction of) isolation facilities across every province and territory. Expected by December 2020.

      – Daily new cases of COVID-19 will surge beyond capacity of testing, including increases in COVID related deaths following the same growth curves. Expected by end of November 2020.

      – Complete and total secondary lock down (much stricter than the first and second rolling phase restrictions). Expected by end of December 2020 – early January 2021

      – Reform and expansion of the unemployment program to be transitioned into the universal basic income program. Expected by Q1 2021.

      – Projected COVID-19 mutation and/or co-infection with secondary virus (referred to as COVID-21) leading to a third wave with much higher mortality rate and higher rate of infection. Expected by February 2021.

      – Daily new cases of COVID-21 hospitalizations and COVID-19 and COVID-21 related deaths will exceed medical care facilities capacity. Expected Q1 – Q2 2021.

      – Enhanced lock down restrictions (referred to as Third Lock Down) will be implemented. Full travel restrictions will be imposed (including inter-province and inter-city). Expected Q2 2021.

      – Transitioning of individuals into the universal basic income program. Expected mid Q2 2021.

      – Projected supply chain break downs, inventory shortages, large economic instability. Expected late Q2 2021.

      – Deployment of military personnel into major metropolitan areas as well as all major roadways to establish travel checkpoints. Restrict travel and movement. Provide logistical support to the area. Expected by Q3 2021. Along with that provided road map the Strategic Planning committee was asked to design an effective way of transitioning Canadians to meet a unprecedented economic endeavor.

      One that would change the face of Canada and forever alter the lives of Canadians. What we were told was that in order to offset what was essentially an economic collapse on a international scale, that the federal government was going to offer Canadians a total debt relief.

      This is how it works: the federal government will offer to eliminate all personal debts (mortgages, loans, credit cards, etc) which all funding will be provided to Canada by the IMF under what will become known as the World Debt Reset program. In exchange for acceptance of this total debt forgiveness the individual would forfeit ownership of any and all property and assets forever.

      The individual would also have to agree to partake in the COVID-19 and COVID-21 vaccination schedule, which would provide the individual with unrestricted travel and unrestricted living even under a full lock down (through the use of photo identification referred to as Canada’s HealthPass).

      Committee members asked who would become the owner of the forfeited property and assets in that scenario and what would happen to lenders or financial institutions, we were simply told “the World Debt Reset program will handle all of the details”. Several committee members also questioned what would happen to individuals if they refused to participate in the World Debt Reset program, or the HealthPass, or the vaccination schedule, and the answer we got was very troubling.

      Essentially we were told it was our duty to make sure we came up with a plan to ensure that would never happen. We were told it was in the individuals best interest to participate. When several committee members pushed relentlessly to get an answer we were told that those who refused would first live under the lock down restrictions indefinitely.

      And that over a short period of time as more Canadians transitioned into the debt forgiveness program, the ones who refused to participate would be deemed a public safety risk and would be relocated into isolation facilities. Once in those facilities they would be given two options, participate in the debt forgiveness program and be released, or stay indefinitely in the isolation facility under the classification of a serious public health risk and have all their assets seized.

      So as you can imagine after hearing all of this it turned into quite the heated discussion and escalated beyond anything I’ve ever witnessed before. In the end it was implied by the PMO that the whole agenda will move forward no matter who agrees with it or not. That it wont just be Canada but in fact all nations will have similar roadmaps and agendas.

      That we need to take advantage of the situations before us to promote change on a grander scale for the betterment of everyone. The members who were opposed and ones who brought up key issues that would arise from such a thing were completely ignored. Our opinions and concerns were ignored. We were simply told to just do it.

      All I know is that I don’t like it and I think its going to place Canadians into a dark future.

      Vancouver, Canada· Posted October 14

      • Bei Dawei says:

        What is this, the “Protocols of the Elders of Ottowa”?

        • Tegnell says:

          Don’t know what it is but given they predicted the more severe and widespread lockdowns and the mutant covid then maybe it is an actual leak?

        • Xabier says:

          Exactly, and now similar ‘leaks’ from other countries are being circulated, supposedly ‘proving’ that it is genuine….

          ‘Protocols of Zion’ has it in a nutshell.

          We are certainly being manipulated, Schwab and Gates are having a mounting orgasm of fulfilled fantasy (Gates can barely conceal his glee) but it does no good at all circulating fictions.

          We should bear in mind that governments are in many ways the dupes in all of this, not the core plotters.

      • 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.
        Gail Tverberg says:

        You have been listening to too much “dark future” stuff. Get the people some vitamin D. Get them some ivermectin, and perhaps steroids, if needed. The death rate isn’t very high to begin with, and could be a whole lot lower.

        • Xabier says:

          Yes, Gail, the ‘Dark Winter’ , ‘worst yet to come’ etc, stuff is just propaganda.

          These people are criminal,and actually cruel towards their fellow human beings, deliberately increasing irrational fear and uncertainty.

    • “There’s something fishy about the new virus strain. It has made a 28 letter mutation in a short time of space which isn’t normal.”

      the human reaction to the virus was not “normal”. We didn’t just let nature take its “normal” course, and go about our “normal” lives while the virus spread around the world.

      so perhaps, and I’m not claiming to know the science here, but if the original strain which was spreading around the world then was replicating less because potential new hosts were social distancing…

      then maybe it’s intuitive that a more contagious mutation would then be replicating more and would soon become the prevalent strain.

      [one of my mistakes was heeding a Stanford scientist who thought this virus was actually following a “normal” curve, increasing to its peak then decreasing. But he missed perhaps the biggest factor of 2020, that humans messed with the curve, and so 2020 results are not at all “normal” compared to past “naturally” spreading viruses.]

  18. 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.
    Gail Tverberg says:

    Markets seem to be down today. Dow, Nasdaq, Oil, and UK Pound are all down.

    • worldofhanumanotg
      worldofhanumanotg says:

      People are shell shocked, closing euro-tunnel lorries on Christmas time, well that’s a novelty.. for most. Now, it’s ricocheting into further global implications.. for Q1-Q2 2021 and beyond perfomance..

      • Xabier says:

        The French: always able to disappoint and sink, somehow, to a new low……

        They might do well to recall how many Brits lost their lives defending their soil in WW1; and how they later had to be liberated when many in France were starting to learn German as the language of the ‘New European Order’.

        Macon should go away and party with his oiled-up young African friends, and leave government to more responsible people.

        This ‘new’ mutation has been around since early September – something fishy, to say the least, in the response to it in the UK, wouldn’t you say?

        • Christian Gebauer
          avocado says:

          Everybody is shorting the Brits, so many people tired of the Brexit soap opera

        • kulmthestatusquo
          kulmthestatusquo says:

          If Chuck Fitzclarence didn’t do the fuckup at Gheluvalt, France (and England) would not have lost that many sons in wwi.

          France has nothing to thank England.

        • Robert Firth says:

          “They might do well to recall how many Brits lost their lives defending their soil in WW1; and how they later had to be liberated when many in France were starting to learn German as the language of the ‘New European Order’.”

          The French remember that very well. That is why they hate us.

          • The British were simply playing power politics, the same as when they fought Napoleon.

            I doubt that the French ‘hate’ the British over WWI, maybe you have done a poll in France to establish that?

            But I get it, you were just ‘bigging up’ in the face of the impotence that Britain now has on the diplomatic stage.

            It is unfocused testosterone.

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      Virus aid package set for final votes in house, senate.

      Dow is now up a bit; Nasdaq slightly down. Oil down 3.3%. UK pound seems to have rebounded from its lowest point.

    • worldofhanumanotg
      worldofhanumanotg says:

      That seems as reprint of older ~2018 article, many people discussed similar capability by the Chinese and their new sea shore / island out posts.

      We need some expert here to run the numbers, but it seems the circus is now moving even beyond these earthly supersonic cruise missile and into the space domain proper.

      While the Russian have new supersonic missiles able (or dedicated – very recent test) to destroy satellites and existing perfected manuf base for traditional space cargo capability, it seems to me as relatively low capacity vs these Muskianic reusable systems and their potential for clock worky success rate dependability (the original one not the larger ver exploding few days ago).

      So, lets imagine the US installs ~ 5x dedicated space ports for these, each able to reuse the vehicle in few weeks time (or sooner). Suddenly, in aggregate that’s gigantic volume for smaller-medium sats and individual warheads deployment and what have you to be released in given year..

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      “New missile technology has made a naval empire cheap to defeat.”

      and

      “Equally significant is the development of new Russian air defense capabilities: the S-300 and S-400 systems, which can essentially seal off a country’s airspace. Wherever these systems are deployed, such as in Syria, US forces are now forced to stay out of their range.”

      Orlov doesn’t mention it, but Russian hacking ability seems to be quite impressive, as well, based on recent news.

      Russia’s GDP in 2019 was $1.7 trillion in current US$. The US’s GDP was reported to be $21.3 trillion. The UK”s GDP was $2.8 trillion. China’s was $14.3 trillion. Japan’s GDP was $5.0 trillion. Russia seems to have defense ability far above its GDP level. It also has a lot of energy use per capita.

      • worldofhanumanotg
        worldofhanumanotg says:

        The articles deals with “old” stuff and concepts..
        Rather Imagine it as layers (also in terms of complexity):

        – top level: space warfare (reusable or not) from spaceport / silo
        – mid level: next gen super sonic cruise missiles from silo / larger boat
        – bottom level: S300-400 wheeled

        • Kowalainen says:

          Top level: radiation protected nuke silos on the dark side of the moon.

          Applying countermeasures against a nuke arsenal would require them on the moon as well. Not many states could (or can) afford that. Plenty of time to react on MAD.

          I’m imagining the entire US nuke missile inventory rocketed to the moon. No need for fancy lift systems, as they can propel themselves into lunar orbit after some modifications/upgrades one by one. Landing on the moon can be done spacex style, landing burn, inspection, refuel and then craned down into the silo.

          • Mike Roberts
            Mike Roberts says:

            There is no dark side of the moon (except in a dynamic sense, just like half of the earth is dark at any one time). Perhaps you meant the far side of the moon, the side that we can’t see from Earth.

            • Tim Groves says:

              Surely half of the moon is “dark”, as in not being bathed in sunlight, at any one time. Isn’t that half “the dark side of the moon”?

              With enough energy, technology and willpower, an advanced civilization could create above-ground mobile radiation protected nuke silos and move them continuously on tracks along the moon’s equator, keeping them permanently on “the dark side of the moon”.

              Yes, I’m sure “They” could do that. Although I have no idea why “They” would want to bother, since they can build Georgia Guide Stones, control US Presidential elections and get entire countries locked down on the pretext that the world is threatened by a deadly airborne coronavirus but that wearing masks and maintaining social distance and injecting everyone with a witches’ brew of goo-goo-muck designed to stimulate—nay—irritate—nay—FUBAR our immune systems, and get the masses to go along with the charade to the point where said masses “drink the Kool-Aid.”

            • Mike Roberts
              Mike Roberts says:

              Tim,

              Surely half of the moon is “dark”, as in not being bathed in sunlight, at any one time. Isn’t that half “the dark side of the moon”?

              Which is more or less what I wrote (there is a dark half that moves around the moon) but Kowaleinen was talking about putting nukes on the dark side, which implies that it’s possible to pick a point, to install the silos, that is always dark. It isn’t.

            • Kowalainen says:

              Dark as in not visible from earth. Yes, far side I meant. My English is garbage.

            • nitpicking services are always free on off

            • Tim Groves says:

              Yeah, I know. But you were being irritatingly picky, Mike. When people are being picky with other people over trivial matters, I often get the urge to join in the fun.

              Kowalainen knows all about the dark side of the moon being an alternate name for the far side. OF COURSE THAT’S WHAT HE MEANT. He’s very smart and well-informed. So there’s no need to try to correct him as if he was a kindergarten kid you felt the need to educate.

              For everyone’s information, the hemisphere of the moon that we can’t see because it is on the side of the moon permanently turned away from from the earth is usually called the far side of the moon because it is farther away than or beyond the side that we can see. Moreover, it is sometimes called the “dark side of the Moon”, where “dark” means “unknown” rather than “never bathed in sunlight”.

              Compare with Africa—the Dark Continent, Sauron—the Dark Lord, Black magic—the Dark Arts, unknown quantity—Dark Horse, etc.

              Any questions? OK kids, did we learn something today?

            • Tegnell says:

              Why did the Chinese land on the dark side of the moon to collect rocks?

              Could it be because it is not possible for people with telescopes to watch?

              And why go to the moon to collect a few kg of rocks? Been there done that right.

            • worldofhanumanotg
              worldofhanumanotg says:

              Tegnell> on mooniatrics : because gullible – humanity believing Soviets (yep hard to imagine) shared their rocks with int. community, hence it was possible to make-bake some rough analogues down here, case closed. Chinese learned the lesson and said not sharing at the moment, especially not with the US. Go figure..

  19. “Pretty soon, we may need more oil than we can produce…

    “The oil industry has drastically cut investment in exploration and drilling since 2015 in response to tightening capital markets and investor demands for higher returns.”

    https://edition.cnn.com/2020/12/21/perspectives/oil-2021-vaccines/index.html

    • “Royal Dutch Shell on Monday said it will write down the value of oil and gas assets by $3.5 billion to $4.5 billion following a string of impairments this year as it adjusts to a weaker outlook.”

      https://www.cnbc.com/2020/12/21/shell-writes-down-up-to-4point5-bln-in-oil-and-gas-assets.html

      • 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.
        Gail Tverberg says:

        This is a matter of resources in the ground being worth less than what was originally assumed. In fact, these resources many not be extractable at all.

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      We may “need” more oil than people can afford to buy, and more oil than governments allow us to use.

      Broken supply lines don’t take much oil.

      • Tegnell says:

        When you are down the proverbial last tank of petrol, would you not stop as much activity as possible to kick the can a little further? Starting with ending international tourism?

        Would you not prepare the masses for this by trotting out Greta to announce that we must urgently mend our ways?

        Would you not hint at a ‘Great Reset’ where we finally take serious action and transition to a greener, fairer world?

        • 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.
          Gail Tverberg says:

          Except that a greener, fairer world doesn’t really exist.

          • Tegnell says:

            Of course it doesn’t exist hahahaha.

            But it sounds a whole lot better than ‘we are going to kill all of you so that you don’t eat each other when the global economy goes to pieces for want of cheap oil to continue to run it’

            The cattle will be lead to believe there is an endless field of green grass on the other side of the Covid Fence. It’s a mirage.

        • Mike Roberts
          Mike Roberts says:

          I’m not sure who “you” is, in your questions, Tegnell, but clearly our civilisation just can’t get to grips with the notion of a finite planet so they collectively would probably answer “No” to your questions. What we should do and what we will do are very different things. Gail said a greener, fairer world doesn’t really exist and she’s right, at least with a planet of 8 billion humans.

        • Ed – I am interested in energy issues.
          Ed says:

          greener fairer are just marketing they know we know

        • Tim Groves says:

          Yes, Tegnall, “you” would indeed. If “you” are serious about cutting oil consumption, I expect “you” would start by killing international tourism stone dead.

          Mike, “you” in Tegnall’s post was “They”, obviously.

          Who are “They”?, you might ask.

          To which I would answer, “They” are whoever was behind the design and construction of the Georgia Guide Stones.

          They can put a man on the moon
          They can make soap out of people
          And food out of wood
          They can build machines that do the jobs of
          Billions of human beings

          They can feed the entire world
          They can go zero to fifty in
          Three point nine seconds

          They can grow oranges in the desert
          And tomatoes underwater
          They can predict or affect the weather sometimes
          They can create a disease
          And then claim it’s the cure

          They can build superconductors
          That will permanently alter
          The way they live forever

          They can make a coffee I like without caffeine
          They can blow themselves up or away
          Or the sun to explode

          You know? that “They”.

          [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5a3oo2vmQA&w=560&h=315%5D

  20. “This year, Christmas cheer will be missing from the hearts of many Zimbabweans who will have to make do with reminiscing about previous festive seasons instead.

    “Their country is in the grip of an economic crisis as high inflation, low disposable income, compressed wages, and general economic hardships take their toll.”

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/12/21/economic-woes-force-zimbabweans-to-forego-festivities-this-year

  21. “Lebanon’s national airline will stop accepting payment in US dollars from deposits in local banks, its chairman said, intensifying questions about the real value of $87bn of deposits in Lebanon’s stricken banking sector.

    ““We will start selling our tickets in fresh dollars,” said Mohamad el-Hout, Middle East Airlines chairman, distinguishing real dollars transferred from abroad and free of severe banking restrictions from the assets denominated in US dollars trapped in Lebanon’s moribund banks.”

    https://www.ft.com/content/0028f163-af2e-4693-85f5-4ae181232693

    • “Lebanese students were attacked by riot police on Saturday as they protested against massive rises in tuition fees after the country’s leading universities adopted a new dollar exchange rate.”

      https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/w/students-attacked-riot-police-lebanon-economic-crisis-deepens

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      How is it really possible to distinguish between two different types of US dollars?

      • Ed – I am interested in energy issues.
        Ed says:

        I think they are saying they believe the local banks are broke and can not be trusted to deliver dollars if some one writes a check or uses a debit card or a credit card. They will only take check from health foreign banks or hard cash.

  22. “President-elect Joe Biden has made no secret that one of his earliest foreign policy objectives will be for the U.S. to rejoin the landmark Iran nuclear deal that the Trump administration has spent four years disparaging and gutting.

    “Restoring the agreement, however, will be among his administration’s toughest foreign policy challenges.”

    https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2020-12-21/bidens-plans-to-restore-iran-nuclear-deal-perhaps-with-leverage-provided-by-trump

    • “Iran is primarily an oil-exporting country. Technically, the medical system is exempted from US sanctions, better known as the “maximum pressure campaign.”

      “However, by targeting the country’s financial and energy sectors, the US sanctions have set off an economic depression that could be worse than any in Iran’s modern history.”

      https://www.thenation.com/article/world/iran-coronavirus-us-sanctions/

      • 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.
        Gail Tverberg says:

        Low oil prices could do just as much as US sanctions, I expect.

  23. Pope Francis has chimed in against lock down protests.

    He alleges that lock down protestors are ignorant, selfish people who specifically do not care about blacks in USA or abroad.

    He supports the BLM protests however, which were in contravention of lock down rules. Those protestors combined to show a ‘healthy indignation’ of white racism.

    He denounced lock down protestors as all racists, without any evidence, just because it suits his ‘right-on’ narrative. It is out and out slander – false witness.

    The man has no morality whatsoever, all he cares about is looking ‘right-on’ for the sake of ‘optics’.

    It is like he actually wants people to leave his church.

    What was he saying the other year about ‘who am I to judge?’ Maybe that only applies to gays and other fashionable causes? Unfashionable protestors can be slandered and publicly denounced.

    > Pope says anti-maskers stuck in ‘their own little world of interests’

    Francis contrasts opposition to Covid measures with ‘healthy indignation’ over racism

    Pope Francis has taken aim at protests against coronavirus restrictions, contrasting them with the “healthy indignation” seen in demonstrations against racism after the death of George Floyd.

    “Some groups protested, refusing to keep their distance, marching against travel restrictions – as if measures that governments must impose for the good of their people constitute some kind of political assault on autonomy or personal freedom,” he said in a new book.

    He railed against those who claim “that being forced to wear a mask is an unwarranted imposition by the state”.

    “You’ll never find such people protesting the death of George Floyd, or joining a demonstration because there are shantytowns where children lack water or education, or because there are whole families who have lost their income,” he said. “On such matters they would never protest; they are incapable of moving outside of their own little world of interests.”

    The death in police custody of Floyd a 44-year-old African American man, triggered a wave of anti-racism protests in the US and around the world.

    The pope again condemned the “horrendous” death and hailed how “many people who otherwise did not know each other took to the streets to protest, united by a healthy indignation.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/nov/23/pope-says-anti-maskers-stuck-in-their-own-little-world-of-interests

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      There seem to be two sides to all of this:

      (1) Follow whatever those in authority are telling you.
      (2) Use common sense

      The pope clearly supports (1).

      • worldofhanumanotg
        worldofhanumanotg says:

        There is more to that (1-2) as he belongs to particular faction within Vatican circles.. which won the last papal nomination. To simplify: the same “loose” alliance of woke dupes, global NGOs, Soros jugend activating Gretenism in elementary schools and not lastly the msm..

        • Xabier says:

          Greta Thunberg: subjecting tiny infants to mental abuse?

          Guillty!

          Although I would be inclined to blame her handlers, not the girl herself, she is a mere tool.

          I saw one of the sad little processions of children with placards about 8 yrs old last year.

      • The RCC bishops conference in England and Wales has ordered Catholics here to get jabbed with the vaccine whether they like it or not.

        They do not see it as a matter of personal conscience and prudence, a personal decision but rather:

        “The Catholic Church strongly supports vaccination and regards Catholics as having a prima facie duty to be vaccinated, not only for the sake of their own health but also out of solidarity with others, especially the most vulnerable. We believe that there is a moral obligation to guarantee the vaccination coverage necessary for the safety of others. This is especially important for the discovery of a vaccine against COVID-19.”

        I am glad that I am not a member of that church to be forced to get jabbed with experimental vaccines. People have enough on their plate to worry about right now without having their conscience tormented by the imposition of supposed ‘moral duties’ by RC bishops over vaccines.

        • worldofhanumanotg
          worldofhanumanotg says:

          Again refer back to my previous comment, the RCC is currently directed by one of its (older) inner sects, for some reason going extra bonkers today in sync with a lot of other “secular” players out there. The rest is just admin roll / push over.. for England – Wales and many other of their branches they have around the world.

          • PF was elected by the required two-thirds majority of cardinal electors. He bears the full and supposed authority of his office, as do the bishops.

            Emphasis on supposed.

            PF and his bishops have no less supposed office or authority than any other set of the same.

            RCC canon law. 212 §1. Conscious of their own responsibility, the Christian faithful are bound to follow with Christian obedience those things which the sacred pastors, inasmuch as they represent Christ, declare as teachers of the faith or establish as rulers of the Church.

          • Robert Firth says:

            A true story. More than 60 years ago, I fell into conversation with a Master Mason. The talk turned to the Fatima story, and the supposed “miracle of the Sun”. It turned out we agreed on the basics: either the Sun moved or it didn’t. So the alternatives were (a) a mass hallucination of 50,000 people, or (b) a miracle, *and* a mass hallucination of 500 million people, who saw the Sun not move, even as it did.

            He then, perhaps unwisely, confided in me he knew the (in)famous Third Secret of Fatima. Perhaps now is an appropriate time to repeat what he said: “The Antichrist shall arise and become the head of the church.”

            • Kowalainen says:

              I’d like the devil to have a bit more pizazz. Like emperor Palpatine. Lightning zapping out from the hands ⚡️ and choke holds 👊🏼 without the “touchy feely” stuff of contemporary catholic clergy. 🤢🤮

            • worldofhanumanotg
              worldofhanumanotg says:

              Thanks that’s interesting.

              The bottom line remains the Jesuit order (“official” part of RCC) gained on influence in recent decades, very likely took over the current top admin of that church, judging from the apparently recent policy shift – exaltation.

              This order (or sect) is openly and very active in pushing the following agenda through many channels: rapid global Warmism – Gretenism (indoctrination of children with the agenda), Covidism, elections and public space subversion through NGOism, pushing concepts such as white guilt, ..

              It’s possible the order was infected by some inner – inner sect such as “MM”, you mentioned, even before that, who knows..

              So, that would mean RCC is ruled over by tiny minority – faction, over two degrees of separation from the normies. Not the first example in history..

            • sheesh

              I read that 3 times and still it lost me

            • Western RCC clergy have been overwhelmingly liberal for decades, they are not a tiny majority but the norm. Any practicing RC would tell you that. Traditionalists are a tiny and barely tolerated minority with RCC.

            • Try again:

              Western RCC clergy have been overwhelmingly liberal for decades, they are not a tiny minority but the norm. Any practicing RC would tell you that. Traditionalists are a tiny and barely tolerated minority within RCC.

            • Tim Groves says:

              Norman, the short version is that the current Pontiff is a Branch Covidian. His Sacred Veil is the face muzzle, his Holy Water is the hand sanitizer—50% ethanol, his Holy Communion is the vaccine, and none shall enter a church without them.

              Robert, I can’t really see the current Pontiff as the Antichrist. He lacks the intellect, the charisma and the gravitas for that gig. He appears to be very much a puppet of his handlers. Perhaps he’s merely the Anti-John-the-Baptist, the cabaret act that comes before the real thing.

        • Tim Groves says:

          Remember back in the good old days when we had a decent Pope, and some half-decent Pope-heckling opposition?

          https://youtu.be/JlbmIMbKZa4

  24. “The $900bn fiscal stimulus agreement reached on Sunday will deliver a much-needed jolt to the US recovery after months of uncertainty, twists and tensions on Capitol Hill.

    “But the deal is no panacea for the world’s largest economy: it has come too late to avoid a big slowdown in the labour market and a reduction in consumer spending — and may be insufficient to address longer-term damage from the pandemic.”

    https://www.ft.com/content/844ed633-ed20-471b-8809-7f049e9e8ecb

  25. “Japan’s cabinet approved on Monday a record $1.03 trillion budget draft for the next fiscal year starting in April 2021, the Ministry of Finance said, as the coronavirus and stimulus spending puts pressure on already dire public finances.”

    https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-japan-economy-budget/japans-record-1-trln-budget-highlights-covid-19-challenge-to-growth-debt-idUKKBN28V08E

    • “The number of bankruptcies in Japan’s restaurant industry will likely hit an all-time high in 2020 as many establishments struggle to restore their cash flow amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the results of a recent survey showed.”

      https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/12/12/business/bankruptcies-japan-restaurants-coronavirus/

      • ““The current business model of the car industry is going to collapse,” Toyota president Akio Toyoda warned, if the industry shifts to EV too hastily.”

        https://observer.com/2020/12/toyota-akio-toyoda-electric-vehicle-japan-transition/

        • worldofhanumanotg
          worldofhanumanotg says:

          Akio translated = caste society here we come:

          1/ ~35k for plugins ~1500cm3 ICE displ. + small batt pack
          2/ north of ~45k for full EVs
          3/ large displacement carz banned (or over taxed)
          4/ small econoboxes banned / no longer manufactured
          5/ the entire sector drops to ~40% volume and lower
          6/ robotization up, older factories for closure, former workers on basal UBI

          • Kowalainen says:

            Yup, lego blocks/boilerplate/standardized platforms across the entire industry. Toyota becoming the TSMC of auto production. High yields, high availability, using latest process technologies and a ruthless efficiency.

            Got a car design? Send the tape out to Toyota together with a rather hefty clump of money and they will churn out your product like there is no tomorrow.

            Watch it happen.

        • 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.
          Gail Tverberg says:

          According to the article,

          At a news conference on Thursday, Toyoda, the grandson of the automaker’s founder, Kiichiro Toyoda, said Japan would run out of electricity in the summer if all cars were running on electric power. The infrastructure needed to support a 100 percent EV fleet would cost Japan between 14 trillion and 37 trillion yen ($135 billion to $358 billion), he estimated. And most of the country’s electricity is generated by burning coal and natural gas, anyway, so it’s not necessarily helping the environment.

          Of course, Japan could not afford to import all of these fossil fuels either, which is another detail.

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      According to the article,

      “It [the new government debt] marked a 4% rise from this year’s initial level, rising for nine years in a row, with new debt making up more than a third of revenue.”

      The government clearly cannot get money from taxes, so it keeps adding new debt. A person would expect that a lot of this new debt goes to “make work” programs that really have no long term benefit for the economy.

      The 4% rise in government debt is concerning, too. Japan’s population has been falling. Its prices have also been falling. The new debt is making up a third of revenue. Fitch is changing the outlook on Japan’s debt to negative. A person wonders how the country can get a positive debt rating at all.

  26. “UK Business groups reacted with despair and anger this weekend as they called for urgent government support to help companies survive “the hammer blow” of prime minister Boris Johnson’s clampdown on pre-Christmas trading.”

    https://www.ft.com/content/a72c0405-e3b7-4c1e-b54d-675586536614

    • “The yield on two-year British government bonds fell to a record low on Monday after the government imposed tougher coronavirus restrictions, raising fresh fears about the outlook for Britain’s economy.”

      https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-bonds/uk-2-year-gilt-yield-hits-record-low-after-new-covid-crackdown-idUKKBN28V13X

      • 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.
        Gail Tverberg says:

        The two-year gilt already had a negative yield. The yield became even more negative, based on more coronavirus restrictions.

    • Xabier says:

      They are right to protest.

      One suspects that, because Brits did indeed spend quite a lot after the end of the first lock-down, the govt. has a profoundly mistaken idea of the ability of the consumer economy to bounce back strongly when restrictions are lifted (but when, April? Vaccine roll-out will be slow, or may even falter completely).

      To deny high street businesses, complying with all the absurd rules as they are, the right to trade over Xmas and the New Year – traditionally very profitable, in fact the key to profitability for the whole year in many cases – is frankly criminal.

      A purposeful, reasonable revolt is needed, but it can be crushed easily with exemplary fines and prison sentences. It is very easy to ruin an individual or small business.

      A country in the hands of imbeciles.

      A people without power, humiliated and treated like infants.

      • I gather that when deliberating Brexit and Covid issues, Boris’s inner-circle is far more worried about the prospect of political embarrassment than it is about potential logistical and economic problems, which it believes will be messy but fleeting.

        If true, this is an alarming order of prioritisation!

        • Xabier says:

          Too much focus on opinion polls and not enough on reality as ever: he also doesn’t grasp yet that he is a finished force in politics after this year’s disastrous performance.

          My personal Contempt-o-Meter is registering even higher for Boris than it did for Blair (and Brown) , which is quite an achievement!

          • MickN says:

            Come now Xabier – hyperbole surely? Higher than for Tony (WMD) Blair and Gordon ( no return to boom or bust) Brown. I think you do protest too much, certainly in the case of Blair.

  27. Breaking: France to LIFT lorry ban ‘within hours’ after closing UK border to stop spread of mutant Covid-19 strain – but will it be enough to stock Britain’s supermarket shelves in time for Xmas?

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9073729/Britains-supermarket-shelves-Frances-Covid-ban-British-truckers.html

    ___________

    Wow, that was quick. I wonder if Macron got message of an impending naval invasion of France.

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      Hurray!

  28. “Stimulus addiction may be driving the global economy towards a cliff edge:

    “Increasingly, it feels like we are heading over a cliff yet dare not turn back because of the demons pursuing us.

    “This is the stuff of nightmares but also an apt metaphor for the fate that could await a global economy being driven towards disaster by an addiction to monetary and fiscal stimulus.”

    https://www.scmp.com/comment/opinion/article/3114409/stimulus-addiction-may-be-driving-global-economy-towards-cliff-edge

    • “…quantitative easing, especially in Europe and the United States, has distorted the stock market, or even the prices of corporate bonds and properties.

      “That will trigger a big problem, which is if central banks in future fail to effectively control and reduce sequela brought about by quantitative easing, then not only will stock, bond and real estate markets be likely to see rapid adjustments, and that brings serious systemic risk to financial markets in the future.”

      https://www.thestandard.com.hk/section-news/section/2/225858/Crazy-easing-may-put-markets-in-tight-corner

      • “Governments are the new activist investors. Not unlike the financial crisis, the pandemic liberated states to get more involved in the private sector.

        “Bailouts have left them holding stakes in distressed companies, while security concerns have emboldened politicians to bolster strategic companies.”

        https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-government-breakin/breakingviews-governments-are-new-activist-investor-on-the-block-idUKKBN28V11C

      • 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.
        Gail Tverberg says:

        All kinds of prices are distorted. Not only stock and bond prices, but commodity prices are relativities among currencies. If the debt bubble explodes, perhaps because countries reduce their trading with each other, we are in deep trouble.

  29. The Telegraph reckons that Macron expects UK to cave on the terms of a Brexit deal next year, following a backlash to a no deal exit. UK sources reckon that they would not do that, which they would say as a negotiating tactic.

    Either way, we should know where we stand by the end of next year, if not this.

    Except that the Labour Party is almost certain to campaign for fresh negotiations in the case of no deal – which would then dominate the 2014 GE.

    And if LP wins, TP might then be forced to campaign to alter or scrap such a deal at the 2019 GE – if industrial civilisation has not collapsed by then.

    Perhaps only the ‘end times’ will finally put an end to Brexit negotiations.

    LOL

    Emmanuel Macron told he’s making a ‘massive miscalculation’ that UK will negotiate next year

    Negotiators believe Mr Macron is gambling on the theory that no deal will be so unpopular in Britain that Boris Johnson will cave in and accept Brussels’ current offer within weeks of leaving the single market and customs union on January 1.

    But senior Government sources have dismissed the idea as “fantasy” and insisted that it “makes no sense” to reject a deal now only to accept it weeks later.

    One source said: “If we leave without a deal there will inevitably be criticism of the Government, even though the Prime Minister has made it clear we will thrive either way.

    “Why on earth would we go through that if we intended to go back to Brussels cap-in-hand a few weeks later and accept a deal we have already rejected?

    “If Emmanuel Macron thinks that’s what’s going to happen he has made a massive miscalculation.”

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2020/12/20/emmanuel-macron-told-making-massive-miscalculation-uk-will-negotiate/?li_source=LI&li_medium=li-recommendation-widget

    • Nicola Sturgeon calls for Brexit to be delayed as Covid-19 variant sparks chaos

      Sturgeon tweeted: “It’s now imperative that PM seeks an agreement to extend the Brexit transition period. The new Covid strain — and the various implications of it — means we face a profoundly serious situation, and it demands our 100 per cent attention. It would be unconscionable to compound it with Brexit.”

      However, Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross insisted a delay was unnecessary.

      He told the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland: “We’re very close to a deal and I think we should work as the two sides are doing over the next few days, to try and get that deal secured. A deal that works for the United Kingdom and the European Union. And if we are close to that deal then we should just get over the line.”

      Johnson will chair a Cobra meeting, with the Scottish Government expected to take part.

      https://www.thenational.scot/news/18958756.nicola-sturgeon-calls-brexit-delayed-covid-19-variant-sparks-freight-chaos/

      _______________

      Just as the Unionists were about to argue that the Scottish referendum should be put off until the affects of c 19 have been dealt with.

      Nicola is positioning herself well to argue, that TP did a no/ deal exit in the MIDDLE of the WORST c 19 situation in UK – and against her counsel – so suck it up.

      • Robert Firth says:

        Boris, abolish the Scottish Assembly and shut up this loudmouthed idiot woman once and for all. Then hold two referenda, one in Scotland and one in England. If either votes to dissolve the Union, kick Scotland into the long grass, and good riddance.

  30. The DUP has refused to allow the NI Executive to ban travel from Britain.

    UK travel is banned in Ireland and many other countries but cases of the new strain are still flooding into NI.

    NI Executive has the power to stop travel but DUP insists that it is a matter for the UK government.

    Four cases of the new strain have now been detected in NI and many more may be expected.

    NI is in the UK virus zone as far as Arlene Foster is concerned, whatever the consequences.

    • worldofhanumanotg
      worldofhanumanotg says:

      On tangential note, the mounting pressures on the UK nowadays seems peculiar. The standard explanation is the double/triple/.. combined effect of Brexit, Pan-demic, and accel. Energy Surplus slide, plus seccession movements..

      But one could also speculate, although City is not legally part of UK, that someone might use it as wedge (and or opportunity-excuse) to move – lure more global financial services on the continent (from now on). For one thing, the Macronites (&Merkelites) could be evaluated as slightly less bad servicing elites than say British counterparts at this point of the game, in other words the chances (%bet) continental Europe would soldier under the Great Reset quasi BAU for a bit longer..

  31. Yorchichan says:

    Dr Vernon Coleman led me to this paper:

    https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/acip/meetings/downloads/slides-2020-12/slides-12-19/05-COVID-CLARK.pdf

    3150 Health Impact Events (defined as unable to perform normal daily activities, unable to work, required care from doctor or health care professional) out of 112,807 recipients of a first dose of the covid-19 vaccine. The rollout only started 8 December too, so these are only the short term adverse events. The second (larger) dose is even more likely to cause problems.

    The UK doctor I spoke to belonging to the UK Medical Freedom Alliance might be correct that the vaccine will have to be withdrawn once the problems with it become too widespread to cover up. Here’s hoping.

    • Robert Firth says:

      That comes out as 2.8% adverse effects, in other words more that the effects of the virus. But the figures on slide 6 are terrifying. (You know, I was taught how to number slides as a schoolboy, and here are supposed “expert professionals” who can’t seem to do that)

      3 cases of 679 (0.44%) on 14 Dec. And just 4 days later, 2.8%. That is a very rapid, and very bad, deterioration. Extrapolation is always problematic when you don’t really know the science, but the Precautionary Principle is quite clear: this vaccine should be stopped in its tracks right now.

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      This does sound worrying, especially if the plan is to give these shots to the very old and ill. The second shot has the much larger amount of the vaccine. We haven’t yet seen what its impact might be.

  32. Tim Groves says:

    According to Bill Binney on Twitter:

    With 212 Million registered voters and 66.2% voting,140.344 M voted. Now if Trump got 74 M, that leaves only 66.344 M for Biden. These numbers don’t add up to what we are being told. Lies and more Lies!

    I searched around the net to try to find the current total registered voters, couldn’t do that, but I did find that according to the US Census Bureau, in 2018 (the most recent date for which official figures are available)
    the total population of US citizens over 18 was 228.832 M,
    the number of recorded registered voters was 153.066 M,
    and the number recorded as not registered was 33.791 M,
    SO:
    the total POTENTIAL number of registered voters (citizens over 18 – recorded as not registered) was 195.041 M. The probable number of registered voters was in the region of 10 to 20 M LESS than this.

    US population has only gone up by about 4 million since 2018. So to get the number of registered voters up even from 153 M to 212 M must have been a Herculean achievement.

    I think Mr. Binney is onto something.

    https://twitter.com/Bill_Binney

    • worldofhanumanotg
      worldofhanumanotg says:

      The bottom line remains even for the “normies”, when other 1st -2.5nd tier countries can reliably count, process, and announce all paper ballots in say under ~5hrs, the US system is beyond byzantine, it’s banana republic of the worst order.

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      This is a concerning issue.

      Georgia’s total number of voters in 2020 was

      Biden 2,473,633
      Trump 2,461,854
      Jorgensen 62,229

      This comes to a total of 4,997,716 votes.

      In 2016, the results were as follows:

      Clinton 1,877,963
      Trump 2,089,104
      Johnson 125,306

      This comes to a total of 4,092,373 votes.

      This represents a 22% increase in the number of votes. Wow!

      • Tim Groves says:

        It’s like when someone breaks a world record and is later found to have been using steroids. Should the record be allowed to stand?

        Biden, who during his campaign had trouble filling a laundromat, officially has far gained more votes than any other POTUS candidate in history. It’s absolutely incredible—or a genuine miracle if you are one of his fans.

  33. adonis says:

    first the good news long live BAU aka the GREAT RESET and now the bad news you have been selected for termination aka the GREAT CULL.

    • Lidia17 says:

      Check it out, yo!
      https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/05/health/covid-vaccine-first.html

      “Harald Schmidt, an expert in ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania, said that it is reasonable to put essential workers ahead of older adults, given their risks, and that they are disproportionately minorities. “Older populations are whiter, ” Dr. Schmidt said. ‘Society is structured in a way that enables them to live longer. Instead of giving additional health benefits to those who already had more of them, we can start to level the playing field a bit.'”

      Basically, the US is too damn white, so we should kill off white oldsters to achieve racial “equity”.

      So that’s the climate out there. Anyone out there who can suggest a sane country to which an older white person like myself can move?

      ===
      I’ll shoot them or myself before taking the vax, but what’s funny is the racial and political posturing.

      Trump sez WH staff will get vaxxed. Dems complain, so Trumps backs off on WH vax. Shades of Br’er Rabbit.

      When all the BIPOCs get priority-vaxxed, we only have to wait for the inevitable bad reactions and cries of racist biological experimentation.

      You can’t win for losing.

      • 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.
        Gail Tverberg says:

        Take vitamin D. Work on improving your own chances.

      • Tm Groves says:

        Wow. We have an expert in ethics and health policy openly advocating a race-based vaccination policy.

        Isn’t that just a teensy weensy bit raciss?

        To paraphrase a late great American, I’ll take your damn vaccine when you jab it into my cold, dead arm!

    • termination is not news, you know, we’ve known this since we were children.

      and it’s not “bad” either.

      bring it on, I’ve lived long enough.

      though I wouldn’t mind another year of bAU, since 2020 has been fairly good for me.

      my apologies to anyone who has not had a good 2020, and I’m not trying to rub it in and go for any schadenfreude here.

      but funny I see that schadenfreude is correctly spelled with EU.

      anyway, there are real negatives on the way in 2021 like perhaps a bad Brexit for the UK and maybe martial law here and definitely collapsing societies in the obvious places like VZ and Yemen etc.

      there will be real tragedies in 2021 and there won’t be fictional great resets and great culls.

      • Dennis L. says:

        david,

        “bring it on, I’ve lived long enough.” Perhaps, it is different.

        This year I faced the end up close and personal, it knocked and then passed me by. It is very sobering when real and very close, it was not an easy time, but as always; the pain that does not kill you makes you strong.

        I have faced more than one storm in my life, they are never easy, the end is a very sobering storm, very different, at least in my case, first time.

        Dennis L.

        • thanks for that.

          it’s good that you are still here.

          very possibly I will be a fearful big baby if/when I am knocking on death’s door.

          I just don’t expect to be swept out in a great cull reset.

          could happen, but my opinion places the probability at close to zero.

        • Tim Groves says:

          Remember those Don Juan books? Death is our constant companion, hovering there behind our left shoulder, just below our guardian angel.

          “Death is the only wise advisor that we have. Whenever you feel, as you always do, that everything is going wrong and you’re about to be annihilated, turn to your death and ask if that is so. Your death will tell you that you’re wrong; that nothing really matters outside its touch. Your death will tell you, ‘I haven’t touched you yet.”

          — Carlos Castaneda

          • worldofhanumanotg
            worldofhanumanotg says:

            Books? Don Juan was distilled into Mozart’s (&Daponte’s) Don Giovanni ! In a way it also sort of vibes on the theme of lengthy over consumption resulting in retribution, sudden collapse and death. But this is appears in the frivolous – cornucopian beginning lol:


            Madamina, il catalogo è questo
            Delle belle che amò il padron mio;
            un catalogo egli è che ho fatt’io;
            Osservate, leggete con me.

            In Italia seicento e quaranta;
            In Alemagna duecento e trentuna;
            Cento in Francia, in Turchia novantuna;
            Ma in Ispagna son già mille e tre.

            .. contesse, baronesse ..
            .

            hah

            • Robert Firth says:

              Don Giovanni / Don Juan is based on a real person, Don John of Austria, (1547 to 1578). The illegitimate son of Charles V, he was packed off to the court of Spain, where he entered the services of Philip II as a general factotum and later a warrior. He was Admiral of the Holy League fleet at the battle of Lepanto, an event celebrated in Chesterton’s poem of the same name.

              Since he lived for only 31 years, and probably didn’t begin his amorous activities until 12 or so, it seems unlikely he packed 2000 women into a mere 20 years.

            • worldofhanumanotg
              worldofhanumanotg says:

              Robert, it’s “eternal” allegory of loose cannon upper caste guy running wild eventually getting punished. Mozart flirted with various libertines of the time, the libretto guy moved to US..

              This was ~peak absolutism time prior French revolution which affected to some degree everyone it its wake..

  34. adonis says:

    forced vaccination in australia note the number 666 as part of the 66600 fine given to person who refuses vaccine are we in the end days mark of the beast as prophesied in the book of revelation in the bible ” Five years imprisonment and/or a $66,600 fine for refusing coronavirus vaccination? ” https://www.bmj.com/content/370/bmj.m3258/rr-17

    • TIm Groves says:

      If you are the only one, they can take your assets and throw you in the slammer. But if a million people refuse the jab?

      The people of Leicester in Victorian times went through this ordeal over compulsory smallpox vaccination—which killed maimed and ruined the lives of countless victims—and many refusers were sent to prison, but in the end the people emerged victorious and free!!

      LEICESTER AND THE ANTI-VACCINATION MOVEMENT
      1853-1889
      by
      DALE – L. ROSS
      During the nineteenth century and especially after an Act of 1853 made it compulsory for all infants over four months old in England and Wales to be vaccinated, opposition to the practice of vaccination increased steadily. A further tightening up of compulsory measures was made after the smallpox epidemic of 1871, as a result of which a Select Committee was appointed by the government. The report of this committee confirmed the principle of compulsion amongst other recommendations, and these were embodied in new legislation by an Act of 1871, which made the law so stringent that, between 1871-76, only four of the local Boards of Guardians proved obdurate. Leicester is taken in this article as an example of a town where the opposition to vaccination was particularly marked and where, due to the agitation caused, the various anti-vaccination forces had their greatest success in bringing about a change in the 1871 Act.

      https://www.le.ac.uk/lahs/downloads/1967-68/1967-68%20(43)%2035-44%20Ross.pdf

      • Xabier says:

        But a few exemplary punishments can always control the millions – I certainly wouldn’t risk utter ruin and prison.

      • dutyhonorVAX says:

        We havnt even seen pressure yet. They will play the “lucky to get it first” card. Then the pressure will start. It will start with appeals to duty and characterizing those who refuse as selfish. Then characterizations that are much worse will start. That alone will get a lot of the people off the fence. Then travel restrictions, social events and admission to stores. Any VAX ID is a clear precursor to that .

        The economic disasters purported solution will be VAX. Not able to date no sex well it will be great once everyone is vaxxed. Everything will be FABULOUS once everyone is vaxxed. A golden age.

        So anti vaxers will be represented as stealing that from people. Hate will be directed. They seem to be pretty good at that nowadays.

        Can you imagine the entitlement of those accepting the VAX?

        In my little population I would guess 70% dont want it. I would guess 30% will fold under social pressure. Another 30% will fold when real laws have impact on their lives. I do guess at lest 10% of the USA will refuse it under any circumstances. Probably more. Of course if you get tazed and restrained your gonna get vaxed. Like replicants in blade runner.

    • nikoB says:

      there is no forced vaccination in Australia.
      I don’t think that getting vaxxed for covid is a good idea and I live here.
      So I don’t have to take it.
      Stop spreading BS.

  35. Tim Groves says:

    Up in Alaska, Sarah Palin is calling for Julian Assange to be pardoned—which is laudable. I support her in this.

    Of particular interest to me, Sarah is making this appeal from her bedroom, while a milk-tea Labrador with a red-collar is sleeping soundly on her bed. I too live with a milk-tea Labrador who spends most of the time sleeping soundly on my bed, so I warm to this lady on that account too.

    https://youtu.be/0h-KLfmgRwk

    Have you ever noticed how milk-tea Labrador’s all look alike?
    Sarah Palin’s. David Blunket’s. Mine. Can’t tell em’ apart.

  36. Ed – I am interested in energy issues.
    Ed says:

    It has been testified to under oath before a dozen legislatures but if the states want to let the fraud stand the president has no standing. Fraud or no fraud is a state’s right. The several states have chosen to allow fraud. The only question is which states want to stay in this China owned country?

    The only possibility for honesty is if foreign enemies were involved? In which case EO13848 applies and the the Insurrection Act of 1807

    The insurrection act is a United States federal law that empowers the President of the United States to deploy U.S. military and federalized National Guard troops within the United States in particular circumstances, such as to suppress civil disorder, insurrection and rebellion.

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      If this evidence in your first link was available showing votes switched from Trump to Biden, why wasn’t it brought to the attention of those auditing state results?

      • Hi Gail;
        Well first of all who would be “auditing state results”? Second of all how would you “bring it to their attention”? No one seems to care about the “irregularities” .

        Thats a big problem. These accusations certainly deserve a impartial investigation. I think most people just want to know the truth. Its clear to me we are not going to get a impartial investigation or any investigation for that matter.

        Trump was investigated for two years over a document that the FBI knew was false at the time they got FISA warrants to wiretap trump. Steele dossier. Then they had mueleer supposed investigation for a impeachment over supposed “obstruction” of the bogus steele dossier investigation for another two years.

        Yet no investigation of a matter of incredible significance that is deeply dividing this country is not investigated.

        The evidence that the election was stolen seems overwhelming to me. I am not immune to being fooled. I certainly would sleep better at night if i was to see a investigation that proved it was not stolen. With no investigation into the extensive testimony by both witnesses at the places counting the ballots that there was fraud to the computer experts used by the nsa/cia saying there was fraud…Or the fact that they lied and created lame untrue excuses like a broken water pipe that didn’t exist kicked everyone out then ran through mystery suitcases of ballots through the tabulators.

        So who is the investigators? FBI nope DOJ nope. Supreme court nope. Krakken nope.

        But lots of little boxes showing up on facebook and twitter assuring that it was a honest election!

        Half of the people of this country no longer believe its their government.

        The other half seems quite content with that. Everthing is just hunky dory. Half the country is crazy.

        My perspective we would be in much better shape knowing one way or another regardless of what the truth was.

        Silly me. JFK. 911. Wuhan lab. 2020 election.

        The truth is what big brother says it is.

        Normalcy bias rules.

      • Lidia17 says:

        Gail, your assumption is that they would care.

        Here’s a video of an auditor telling ballot examiners to ignore a long run of absentee ballots with identical signatures:

        “So when we’re done with the audit, there’s still the opportunity to challenge the fact that we have multiple ballots with the very same signature?” she asks.

        “I don’t know if ‘challenge’ is the right word,” the SOS official says.

        https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/12/mi-sec-state-official-caught-video-telling-volunteers-count-multiple-ballots-signature-audit-votes-antrim-county/

        The level of corruption is literally Beyond Belief.

        Marching orders have gone out among Ds and Rs alike that Orange Man must not win under any circumstances, no matter how ridonkulous the fraud.

  37. Ed – I am interested in energy issues.
    Ed says:

    We have four things in play
    1) a virus with unified global response
    2) an election in the US with massive fraud and no clear resolution
    3) a supposed cyber attack against many US government agencies by forces unknown or non-existent over the past nine months
    4) the full suite of limits to growth issues

    We little people have no idea what is happening nor why.

    • jarvis9077
      Jarvis says:

      Ed, could you enlighten me as to where when and how the massive fraud in the US election took place? The resolution looks clear to me but I’m a Canadian what do I know?

      • Ed – I am interested in energy issues.
        Ed says:

        Hi Jarvis, the US system has its complexity. Looking back to 2000 there was fraud in favor of the repubs in Florida it was brought to the Supreme Court. They correct declined to hear the case because the constitution says the governor of the state must state there was fraud. In that case the brother of the person who stood to benefit from the fraud was the governor of Florida. The fraud stood.

        The selection of electors is entirely left to the states. If they want to sell them to the highest bidder it is constitutional. The founders never imagined the states would allow themselves to be over run by the land less property less eaters.

        • Ed – I am interested in energy issues.
          Ed says:

          some site where you can find a mass of info on fraud in this election
          https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/
          https://rense.com/
          https://www.brighteon.com/
          https://www.newsmax.com/

        • Ed – I am interested in energy issues.
          Ed says:

          to loo at the mass of statistical info on fraud you will need to use yandek.com, google will not show any of it

        • Tim Groves says:

          Ed, I got the feeling that Jarvis wasn’t really looking for enlightenment or information. I think he was sneering (politely and implicitly) at the idea that massive election fraud occurred.

          It is interesting how people are psychologically biased towards or against certain ideas, claims and evidence. A card-carrying Deplorable will not need any evidence to know that their candidate was robbed blind. A TDS sufferer will not see or acknowledge any evidence if it is put in front of their eyes. And even a non-partisan but conformist lover of fair play is very likely to baulk at getting too deep into the evidence for fear of having to question things that they would rather not question.

          Attitudes to Nine Eleven—which was much more complex, of course, were much the same.

          • VFatalis says:

            Totally agree. Those who impress me the most are people denying anthropogenic climate change.

            Though being based on sound scientific evidence, they still refuse to aknowledge it,.even when hard evidence is piling up.

            It defies the most elementary logic.

            • 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.
              Gail Tverberg says:

              The forecasts they the climate change people are making depend upon absurdly high assumptions about future fossil fuel extraction. The people who deny these forecasts indeed have a lot of common sense. There is an implicit assumption that fossil fuel prices will rise endlessly, allowing all of the technically recoverable resources to be extracted. In fact, prices fall too low for all fossil fuels (and for human labor, sold as labor). We are in the midst of collapse right now; this will cause fossil fuel extraction to fall dramatically

              The climate is changing, but it always has been changing. We are near a situation where many of us will be in danger of freezing to death, because of lack of fuel to heat our homes. Global warming could be viewed as a blessing in such a case.

              Those who keep talking about anthropogenic climate change don’t really understand how the system works.

            • Tim Groves says:

              Totally agree. Those who impress me the most are people denying anthropogenic climate change.

              Indeed!

              It takes so much more courage these days to deny the claim that catastrophic anthropogenic climate change is going to destroy us all within a decade unless we implement the New Green Deal now, than to deny the Virgin Birth or the Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes.

              But then again, I find Christians these days are so much less fanatical, less certain, and less vindictive against unbelievers than Climofascists are.

              This new most elementary logic amazes me, Sir VFatalis. Explain again how sheep’s bladders may be employed to prevent earthquakes.

              https://youtu.be/fubf81OoIr8

            • Mike Roberts
              Mike Roberts says:

              Those who keep talking about anthropogenic climate change don’t really understand how the system works.

              Wow, Gail. The science is very clear and the effects are becoming clearer. It has little to do with assumptions of fossil fuel use (which is continuing to climb) and a lot to do with our lifestyles and economic system. With delays in the effects of GHG emissions, we will already see a rise of 1.5C in our lifetimes, even if all fossil fuel use is stopped now (which it won’t be). There are ample reserves to ensure that a 2C rise is a certainty, also.

              There may well be more pressing problems for some, as affordable energy supplies decrease but that will not stop the global effects of increasing temperatures (such as sea level rise, biodiversity loss and more extreme storms).

              The climate is changing, but it always has been changing.

              To be frank, Gail, I’d be embarrassed to use that argument. As has been stated over and over, it’s about the rapidity of the change, which is unprecedented since civilisation started and since our species evolved. The fact that humans are the cause of the current rapid change is embarrassing to me, as a member of the same species.

            • 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.
              Gail Tverberg says:

              “There are ample reserves to ensure that a 2C rise is a certainty, also.” The reserves will stay in the ground. We humans won’t generally be around to see the rise to 2C. Maybe the rise will be a problem; maybe it won’t. The biosphere has been set up to deal with problems like this. Species are constantly adapting. Even if the situation isn’t ideal for humans, other species will find the situation to their liking. We live in a self-organizing biosphere. We are not in charge of fixing it; it will fix itself.

          • Robert Firth says:

            Thank you, Tim. One of the great virtues of this site is that many contributors give sources for their claims, sources that we can check for ourselves. I confess to relying more on history (what happened) than on people’s claims about what happened, though that has muddy patches where the historians turn into professional liars, and it takes a century or so to set the record straight.

            But so many people indeed fall into “confirmation bias”; they see only what reinforces their own beliefs. If you find me doing that, beat me over the head.

      • Denial says:

        Careful Jarvis its 7 in the U.S right now and the fox news has just finished up on their “programming” ……how you can believe in collapse scenario and fox news and Q anon is just crazy! Oh well I am sure this time tomorrow we will get some more pizza gate stories…..

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      Limits to growth. We are moving into collapse.

      • Dennis L. says:

        Okay, I am sold. Now, what does an individual start doing today?

        West’s book makes this site worth it(never heard of him before), even he has doubts going forward. My take away, a city is more efficient, county is very inefficient, find a way in the city.

        Dennis L.

        • Lidia17 says:

          Cities only exist at the expense of the countryside. With troubles and discontinuities in energy and transportation, those wealth pumps will end, just like the wealth pumps of past empires have ended.

          A city has aspects of a mini-empire. Look at “The Empire State” itself, New York. Its largest (although not its capital) city is rapidly imploding and will try to grab infinite resources from around itself to keep afloat, like the drowning person who will blindly drag down a rescuer.

          • Dennis L. says:

            I am going on West, cities scale and are more efficient by about .15 so double the size and the cost only increases by .85. This scaling seems to work all over the world, Japan, Germany, US.

            Yes, a wealth pump, but a more efficient pump than a small individual wealth pump. Humans are engineered to cooperate, we do much better than the nay sayers would have us believe.

            Crime, drugs, etc. also increase, but their cost is more than covered, or no free lunch.

            Lidia, cities can also send out goods and services at a cheaper cost to the countryside than can be done there alone. To be sure the cities benefit most, but add the two together and done honestly, both are better off; however generally one side never gets as much as it would like.

            Dennis L.

            • cities are energy converters, not energy producers

              cities cannot exist without the input of the surrounding land, or sea in the case of ports, or usually both.

              People who make their ‘living’ in cities, are almost without exception, doing ‘stuff’ that derives its existence from the country the city is in.

              This is why, before the industrial revolution, nations had a single large capital city, and the rest were little more than large villages.

              Countries didn’t carry the resources to support anything else

          • Robert Firth says:

            Lidia New York City is just about to grab a cool $2 billion, courtesy of Chuck Schumer. This is supposedly to rebuild the public transit system, but I doubt that is where the money will end up.

          • Lidia17 says:

            And yet that looks like paradise compared to today…

            • Tim Groves says:

              You could get a pint of stout for about 2 shillings back then (1/10th of a pound), although I was too young to drink them.

              Then Harold Wilson devalued Sterling, famously quipping that “From now on, the pound abroad is worth 14% or so less in terms of other currencies. That doesn’t mean, of course, that the pound here in Britain, in your pocket or purse or in your bank, has been devalued.

              ”Wilson was a consummate politician.

      • Tim Groves says:

        Do you think it will be a long bumpy ride, or the steep downslope of the Seneca cliff?

        Put another way, is collapse an event or is it a process. or perhaps both?

        • Dennis L. says:

          Mine is only a guess.

          Find a niche, better to be over qualified than underqualified. Yes, it may be beneath your status, it may not be what you dreamed of doing, but find something which has high value added through labor, that is getting tougher all the time, but it is there.

          If you are good at home repair, find a way to live in a duplex, four plex, tenant laws are not favorable over 4. Find work for others, in Rochester there is a shortage now of people doing this type of work, I doubt most guys with a van work for less than $60 gross., that is labor materials have a markup. A C corp protects you and all your medical is deductible if done correctly, huge cost savings, yes, I ran my businesses as C corps for years. SS is pretty good if you work until seventy.

          Don’t work yourself to death, work safe, charge fairly and collect. It is a business.

          Some have the personality, some do not, I don’t know anything else so it works for me. Dental margins are very nice compared to other things, I was at the top of my class, good, still did many of my own house repairs – that is after tax money, the good stuff.

          It is not going to get any easier, but some will make it, some will eat popcorn – that is a low margin business, ugh!

          Lastly, go to a local cc, take accounting, learn how to do double entry, use QB, understand assets, liabilities, quick ratios, walk down the street and see an asset and immediately translate that into what income it would provide and what you can contribute, always look for margin, high margin first – same game as resource extraction, the easy stuff is taken first.

          Some will go over the cliff, but the high margins are also at the edge of the cliff. Not everyone is going over the cliff, if you see a group going over a cliff, walk left, walk right, walk back but don’t follow the group over the cliff. It worked for me, it still works for me.

          Dennis L.

  38. Dennis L. says:

    Charlie Munger on current central bank practices:

    “Interviewer:
    The next, a bachelor’s degree from 1995, is going to ask about political economy. Two different questions. What do you think of the combinations of quantitative easing and large fiscal deficit, and where are they going to lead us?

    Charlie Munger:
    Well, there I’ve got a very simple answer and that is it’s one of the most interesting questions anybody could ask. We’re in very uncharted waters. Nobody has gotten by with the kind of money printing we’re doing now for a very extended period without some trouble. I think we’re very near the edge of playing with fire.

    Interviewer:
    It is remarkable how much we’ve expanded the money supply, how low interest rates are, and how little initial response there has been on-

    Charlie Munger
    Remarkable is not too strong a word. Astounding would be more like it.

    Interviewer:
    I will let you choose the adjective, Charlie.

    Charlie Munger:
    It’s unbelievably extreme. Some European government borrowed money reasonably for some tiny little fraction of 1% for a hundred years. Now that is weird. What kind of a lunatic would loan money to a European government for a hundred years at less than 1%?”

    Interesting times.

    Dennis L.

    • kulmthestatusquo
      kulmthestatusquo says:

      Warren Buffet has not had a great success in the last couple of years because the game has changed.

      Charlie is 96. He is at an age when he can basically say anything and get away with it.

      • Dennis L. says:

        He purchased $17B of his stock last year, cash, no debt. I ran some numbers regarding the wealthiest billionaires, their total wealth is 4-5x the value of all the farm land in MN, IA, IL., farmland produces cash income. Berkshire has $128B cash, increased market valuations purchase nothing unless sold, can only sell a share once. You can do your own research on cash available to the tech companies, it is good, but Berkshire is in a world of its own. The assets generate cash income.

        Increasing balance sheets not related to income won’t buy a person a hamburger. In the RE crash where people used their homes as piggy banks, that lesson was painfully taught. Even Musk informed his people they needed to make some money to justify the valuation of the stock.

        There is wisdom in age, he has walked the walk,

        Dennis L.

        • Lidia17 says:

          I think he has had the wind at his back, though.

          • Dennis L. says:

            No doubt, somewhere one needs excess income, a place to store capital – traditionally cash. Then one needs a place to patiently invest said cash, rinse and repeat, compound interest is a wonderful thing.

            Some have patience, some don’t, for some a shiny new car is the choice, others not. Some will have time to invest in their own lives, some will need to invest in their children’s.

            My fear is the current system is not investing or leaving capital for the children, only debt, they have spent their children’s futures, e. g. student debt.

            Munger goes on, the near future will not be as kind to capital, less chance for a good return, or as you implied, the wind is not longer at our backs.

            There will be some sort of UBI, we don’t see it yet, but it will come.

            Thanks for the comment,

            Dennis L.

    • Robert Firth says:

      “What kind of a lunatic would loan money to a European government for a hundred years at less than 1%?”

      Um… Charlie Munger, have you ever head of the Knights Templar? They lent money to many European governments at 0%. Of course, they had other ways to make a profit, but one would expect an economics expert to know something of the history of his profession.

      And by the way, sixteenth century Spain and nineteenth century France both ran huge fiscal deficits and invented their own version of quantitative easing. The former went bankrupt and the latter endured the Terror.

  39. Dennis L. says:

    Advice for your children from Charlie Munger:

    “No. What helps everyone is to get in something that’s going up and it just carries you along without much talent or work. And so if you pick a really strong place, like say Costco, and you go to work at it and you really are reliable and nice, you’re going to do fine in life. You got a big tailwind. But in the lead education, nobody wants to go to work for Costco, from Harvard or MIT or Stanford. And, of course, it’s the one place where it would be easiest to get ahead.”

    I see the same thing at Menard’s, they are always looking for talent, yes you will work hard, live beneath your means, life will still be good.

    Dennis L.

    • kulmthestatusquo
      kulmthestatusquo says:

      i don’t know whether Munger has children, but if he has them I can bet my everything that they are not working at Costco.

      People like of him do not have to be in touch with ordinary people so they can say things they want without a sense of reality.

      • Dennis L. says:

        He had seven children.

        Irritation: “People like of him do not have to be in touch with ordinary people so they can say things they want without a sense of reality.” Reality can be many things, depends; I have always tried to learn from those brighter and better than I. Played tennis in La Crosse, peddled my bike downtown to play with the better players, two of them were Tim and Tom Gullickson – look them up if you wish. You become better playing with people who play better than you do, true in most of life.

        There is a facility at Mayo, $188M, donor of $100M started out in the 1930’s with a 3500 sq foot warehouse and a dream. Kind of like Costco, n’est pas? Nah, ordinary people can’t do that, might as well eat a frog.

        That is an easy bet by the way, look them up, pretty easy with Google.

        Dennis L.

        I

  40. Dennis L. says:

    I am going to put a few quotes from Charlie Munger, here and there in no particular order. This is from an interview done in December, 2020 at Cal Tech, Charlie was there during the war, WWII that is.

    “It’s harder to be that smart in the liberal arts, partly because many liberal arts professors are so leftist. It’s hard to be pretty smart if you’re a crazy leftist, you’re going to have the world a lot wrong.”

    Dennis L.

    • Xabier says:

      He is correct, as academic Leftism is rooted in ideology, which always exerts a distorting effect, and the denial of reason and logic. As for facts…….

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