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. Zerohedge has an article up with respect to the countries with the least air pollution and those with the worst air pollution.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/economics/mapped-which-countries-have-worst-air-pollution

    The country with the least air pollution is New Zealand. The runners up are Brunei and Finland.

    This is a link to chart showing the countries with the worst pollution. The countries with the worst air pollution are Nepal, Qatar, and Egypt. Saudi Arabia is fourth. India is eighth on the list and China is sixteenth. The air pollution level must be calculated based on the average, within the country.

    This is a link to the listing of countries by air pollution level.

    https://cms.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/Countries-with-the-Most-Air-Pollution-Supplemental.jpg

  2. Yoshua says:

    To the Yunnan bat virus was added the spike protein genome.

    Sputnik V is a flu virus to which has been added the spike protein genome.

    Same science. Same technology.

    • avocado says:

      I understand that the Yunnan bat coronavirus already had a spike protein (as all coronavirus do)

  3. Harry McGibbs says:

    If you’ll forgive the re-post, David Korowicz’s article on Brexit is well worth another read as we approach the denouement of this drama, whatever it may be:

    “Brexit was supposed to be relatively simple. The failure to appreciate the potential for disruption arising from Brexit reflects society’s habituation to system stability…

    “The process of escalating global stress and shocks raises the likelihood of catastrophic system failure…”

    https://www.genevaglobalinitiative.org/brexit-systemic-risk-and-a-warning

    • Dennis L. says:

      Harry, a guess and I know nothing about Brexit.

      After six months, it will be a non event. Those who sell to Britain lose a market, Britain does just fine and sources from different suppliers. It seems most of this is paper movement which in today’s world really isn’t important.

      Again, I don’t follow this, it is a guess alone.

      Dennis L.

    • Minority Of One says:

      There have been a few articles over the past week predicting food shortages in the UK if there is no Brexit deal. So if no deal done this weekend, what are the chances of a run on food in the supermarkets next week? I might just buy a few extra items this weekend.

      • Ed says:

        Regardless of what pols do there will be a run on the supermarkets. Stock up now.

      • Dennis L. says:

        Survey question: Has anyone here ever run out of toilet paper? How long are shelves actually empty excluding hurricanes, etc?

        Guess on toilet paper: with so many no longer going to work/office, one has to go somewhere, people don’t buy the roll that is as long as a block with a smooth finish associated with public restrooms. Sams generally has an adequate supply of the “commercial” toilet paper, huge rolls which go into a dispenser designed to frustrate the heck out of the user.

        Dennis L.

    • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      Korowicz:

      “Later a report by the think-tank Chatham House said “One week seems to be the maximum tolerance of the ‘just-in-time’ global economy” before societies basic functionality begins to shut down. Since then, societal systems have become more complex, faster, more efficient and interdependent.”

      if I was in the UK, would I be stocking up as much as possible on non-perishable food and other basics right now?

      I hope for the best for our UK friends, but this looks like it could be very bad even one week into January.

      I hope that I am misinterpreting the situation.

  4. Sven Røgeberg says:

    Help! Gail, you seemed to have fixed some downsides with the framing only to create a bigger one, at least for me who read your posts and the comments on an iPhone: the writing has become to small (in comments section)!

    • Oh dear! Is it just when the comments are quite deep, say 5 deep, that comments are too small to read? I can make comments less deep.

      Or can you put the phone in horizontal mode, to see better?

      I really would like to get images to appear again as well.

      • Sven Røgeberg says:

        Dont understand what is ment with deep here, but it has nothing to do with how much is written. The only way to handle it is to put in horisontal mode. Miss the original layout from the old days, however

        • “Deep” has to do with the series of comments after the initial comment related to the post. There is a first comment, and then a second comment responding to the first comment, followed by a third comment responding to the second comment, and so on.

          At this point, OurFiniteWorld.com is set us so that it is not possible to respond to a comment, if the string is already “5 deep.” It is possible to limit the string of comments to some shorter number, say “4 deep” or “3 deep.” On phones, the width of the comments gets awfully narrow, if comments are five deep. This is especially the case if the size of type is fairly large. This makes comments hard to read.

        • Mirror on the wall says:

          “The only way to handle it is to put in horisontal mode”

          That sounds bearable.

          I always use my tablet in horizontal when reading. I use my lap most of the time – bigger screen, more comfort, more usable. Also the lap is better for connection to external storage drives and thus for music, which I generally have on the bluetooth (B&O) cans while I read or browse.

          I use my phone only for quick face calls, otherwise Skype on lap. I have never tried browsing or reading on my phone – or videos, with those tiny screens.

          Personally I prefer the non-boxed current format on OFW, it is more readable – thanks Gail.

        • Dennis L. says:

          Sven,

          We are all very deep here.

          Dennis L.

  5. Larkin says:

    I’ve always been a fan of Alice Friedemann.

    Her bio:

    With a B.S. in Biology and a Chemistry/Physics Minor from the University of Illinois, Alice was a systems architect and engineer for over 25 years. She retired from Dilbert Land to devote more time to science writing on energy, ecology, climate change, whole grains, agriculture, infrastructure, environmental pollution, and too many other topics to list (see her website http://www.energyskeptic.com).

    Over the past few years, she has come to see that the larger framework of her research is the fall of fossil-fueled western civilization from dozens of factors, primarily oil – the master resource that makes all others possible, especially heavy-duty truck, locomotive, and ship transportation.

    In 2021, Springer will publish her book Life After Fossil Fuels: Back to Wood World. Some of her published work in print includes

    When Trucks Stop Running: Energy and the Future of Transportation

    Barriers to Making Algal Biofuels

    Langwith’s Opposing Viewpoints: Renewable Energy, Vol. 2

    Newman’s The Final Energy Crisis

    Skeptic Magazine’s Hydrogen, the Homeopathic Energy Crisis Remedy

    Peak soil: Industrial agriculture destroys ecosystems and civilizations

    Crunch! Whole Grain Artisan Chips and Crackers.

    • Larkin says:

      I was responding to davidinamonthorayearoradecade’s comment from yesterday about the Real Green New Deal site. I’m not quite sure how my response ended up here.

      • Barton says:

        As far as the on-line doomer world is concerned, Gail T. and Alice F. are the ONLY women with any semblance of educational gravitas who participate, now or ever. It’s curious that so few females in general contribute to these sites; however, I have my theories that I won’t delve into here.

        Alice, in her late 60s and childfree by choice, has always reminded me of my wife: great reader, articulate writer, and retired biology instructor who chose to be child-free over four decades ago. You bet she got the overpopulation message out to her students. Of course, only a handful paid her any attention, I’m sure.

        Quote from Alice: If the actual problem is that finite fossil fuels power our civilization and their peak production is near at hand, then carrying capacity will be far less. Pimentel (1991) estimated 40 to 100 million without fossil fuels in the U.S. So we should have been reducing LEGAL immigration to far less than the one million a year since the 1960s, made birth control and abortion free and easy to get, and have high taxes on more than 1 child.

        http://energyskeptic.com/2020/climate-change-dominates-news-coverage-at-expense-of-more-important-existential-issues/

        • Dennis L. says:

          Barton, I have beaten this one to death as well, it is not only the total number, it is the age distribution.

          And, ” Alice, in her late 60s and childfree by choice.” Respectful question, how do you know? Are there reasons not said for this sort of thing? Most women ooh and ah over a newborn child. Those who don’t may protest the loudest, but their genes are lost for all practical purposes at their birth. Nature doesn’t care. They go through life once and then are nothing.

          Dennis L.

          • Tim Groves says:

            Most people’s only contribution to the future is to pass on some of their genes and perhaps a few words of wisdom and behavioral traits to their offspring. A relative few of us get to pass on much, much more—such as the person who invented aluminum siding, or the flushing lavvie, or even sudoku.

            As far as the on-line doomer world is concerned, Gail T. and Alice F. are the ONLY women with any semblance of educational gravitas who participate, now or ever.

            Barton, your observation doesn’t even touch on the even bigger issue of why there are no Doomers of Color or LGTB Doomers, Transsexual or Assexual Doomers or Intellectually or Physically Challenged Doomers of note.

            Doomerism seems to be to all in tents and porpoises, a bastion of White Male (with a dash of White Female) Privilege. It is an elitist indulgence that all these disadvantaged groups have no means of participating in because they never had an opportunity to even consider the subject since they were distracted by what they considered to be more pressing interests or they were too busy trying to get by in a world that don’t care.

            • Dennis L. says:

              Incredible observation, I missed that one. While I did not look that closely, it seems that the ASPO meetings were that way.

              Dennis L.

          • Artleads says:

            The brain is always changing. Does that fact have relevance to gene structure?

      • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

        Larkin, just for starters, I appreciate Alice Friedemann, have her site bookmarked, look at it most every day.

        so it’s a bit of a puzzle to me, since she linked to the RGND site and in a brief blurb about it, she wasn’t very explicit about a positive or negative opinion of the site.

        I now can see where it could be that she is positively aligned to the thoughts there.

        while many of the ideas there could be seen as “good intentions”, the possibility of those ideas becoming reality seems quite remote.

        “Nationalize fossil fuel companies and establish a plan for phase-out

        Ban the exploration of new fossil fuel reserves (i.e. oil, shale, gas) and the development of new extraction sites

        Fine heavily toxic industrial processes

        Ban factory farming”

        really?

        I’m okay with her linking to that site, but as I wrote earlier, some of the content of that site borders on extreme reeediculousness.

        ban factory farming?

        as just one example, I don’t see where that is realistic or doable or desirable from any rational perspective.

        but maybe that’s just me.

        • There are quite a few things that Alice Friedemann does very well at. In fact, she had dug into quite a few details that I have not looked at.

          But there are a lot of things Alice doesn’t understand. She has a definite “peak oil” point of view: Fossil fuel prices will rise, and we can get out all of the fossil fuels that seem to be technically available. This leads her to believe that the problems we are facing are different from the real ones we are facing.

          I haven’t looked very closely at what she writes, but my impression is that she thinks climate change is a big problem we need to fix, for example. If we are in the midst of collapse now, that really isn’t the issue, as I see it.

        • Artleads says:

          The only issue I would tend to take seriously is banning fossil fuel mining. I don’t believe there is “structural” support for it in the economy. I hear a lot about IC being able to produce increasingly less fossil fuels down the road (as far as the road goes).

    • Herbie R Ficklestein says:

      Nice title….better title Back to the ONLY Wood World….hopefully it won’t happen until 2030, when I hit 70 and pretty much in the grave. I gave up Woodworking for the most part because too much tree butchery going on in the 🌎 today….when I visited Helen Nearing at Forest Farms, Harbor side, Maine for a stay, remember her saying those words….magical person, she was…..😺

    • Dennis L. says:

      Respectful question: So what? She found all the reasons things won’t, can’t work and from what I see contributed no solutions. Respectful question: What did she do for me? If a person can’t do anything for me, why should I care? If immigrants move into her country and fill a niche, will they care about her?

      Respectful questions, not challenges.

      Dennis L.

      • Unfortunately, infinitive growth in a finite world doesn’t work. That is not Alice’s fault. Every researcher who is honest about the situation is up against that problem. A lot of people cannot take, “It doesn’t work,” for an answer. They act like they are putting together plots for video games. Anything that they can dream up can work.

        • Dennis L. says:

          No fault implied explicitly or implicitly.

          Natural systems do not have these issues, they are self limiting(by design?), nature selects, nature makes more mistakes than doing things correctly.

          From what I can see, governments are trying to solve the age distribution issue with infinite growth of the population through immigration.

          We went over this months ago when I looked at median incomes in the middle sixties and the growth of entitlement taxes compared to growth in the cost of oil/person. Entitlements were 2-3x the increase in the price of oil. The cost of oil was secondary to entitlement taxes. I used US government data.

          Those with no children have no genetic links to the next generation. Life in a home with mixed genetic children – two different moms or fathers. Each will favor their genetic line and be jealous of the other line. Lions solve this problem by killing the cubs not theirs.

          Distributions are the problem. It is the same with states and cities going broke, too many retirees for the population, political solution, growth. Wife of a deceased cop with 30 years service gets 50% of the pension until death, mom collected perhaps 20 years after my father passed.

          So whose children should do the extra work for Alice in her retirement? Sort of goes back to plains Indians and burning the widow’s tent. I guess we can have the federal government borrow more and give it out, not an economist but my guess is that is going to blow up in 2021. In which case, Trump won the election, not his mess, no solutions without money, more immigrants? Not causation, but it is consistent.

          Dennis L.

          • As an actuary, I understand that women without children are a disaster for government funded pension plans. The assumption is always made that the younger generation will increase in number. In fact, their earnings are expected to increase as well. If both of these assumptions are wrong, and the economy as a whole is reaching a limit, somehow the pension plan will stop working.

            My guess in the US is that Social Security will eventually be given to the individual states to fund and administer, as they choose. Older folks won’t get very much, in most states, with this arrangement.

    • Barton says:

      Thanks for the interesting comments, all.

      Yes, this on-line world is a bubble of first-world privilege; it’s also mainly peopled by ol’ geezers like me.

      Alice has mentioned many times that she took population seriously enough to refrain from breeding. She’s also stated that because of her child-free state, she’s had the time and money to indulge in her many interests and activities.

      She considers the concentration on climate change a distraction from more important issues. From the article I previously posted:

      “No wonder everyone preferred Climate Change. With windmills and solar panels we could continue our lifestyle and be squeaky clean and green.

      Meanwhile, we’ve wasted decades of preparation on Climate Change instead of the energy crisis.”

      And I always give extra kudos to those humans who consider the impossibility of infinite growth on a finite planet a concrete fact, one upon which they make the moral, humane decision to refrain from bringing babies to a dying planet.

  6. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Cuba said late on Thursday it would scrap its dual currency and labyrinthine multiple exchange rate system in January, effectively devaluing the peso heavily to administer bitter medicine for its crisis stricken economy.”

    https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-cuba-economy-currency/cuba-to-devalue-peso-steeply-in-january-in-major-monetary-overhaul-idUKKBN28L0AB

  7. @Malcopian

    Wars may speed up history but without war a lot of stuff advances in different directions.

    Styles come back. The Korean acts popular in USA bring up styles of music popular long ago. Same for Weeknd, an Ethiopian living in Canada.

    What’s wrong with Empires in Europe? It beats the gaggle of poor, unstable and probably unsustainable-for-long countries now.

    Western Civ was damaged because it lost an entire generation of young men who were never really replaced, since that goes to the next generation who would have otherwise existed, and so on. Instead, people from lower class and lower background filled the gap somewhat, as seen in D. H. Lawrence’s books, and people like Ramanujan began to run around like hell. Rishi Sunak will probably become the next PM. If it is not a damage, what is?

    @Tim Groves

    American foreign policy might have killed millions of innocent civilians, but I have to say that their net potential contribution to civilization would have been quite tiny. They were less damaging than what the Serbians did.

    China is another topic but I do think it is very dangerously overextended, and its history of full of chaos correcting the overreach.

    Serbia still has a lot to pay for what it has done.

    @Robert Firth

    British foreign policy was duplicitous, to say the least, but it was the Serbs who pulled the trigger and are responsible for all of the carnage and the loss of an entire generation of Europe, which would eventually affect those who were born in the 1920s as well.

    It also gave the countries who did not fight too much during the Great War and its continuation (WW2) huge advantages.

    • Robert Firth says:

      Once again, history says otherwise. After the assassination, Austria sent an ultimatum to Serbia. The Serbs *accepted* the ultimatum. Even the German Kaiser said Austria should never have gone to war on that basis.

    • Malcopian says:

      ‘What’s wrong with Empires in Europe? It beats the gaggle of poor, unstable and probably unsustainable-for-long countries now.’

      But Empires were not static. They had an appetite for expansion, often enough via war.

      As for what we lost because of the lost generation(s), we can’t really say. It’s all down to the ‘forking paths’. It seems to me that you are coming from a background of elitism in showing your distaste for ‘the lower classes’. I’d never heard of Ramanujan – are you Indian yourself?

      • empires, by virtue of what the were/are must expand or collapse

        that applies to any empire that has ever been

        the USA is an empire, it just looks different and most don’t recognise it as such but it is still an empire., made up of disparate people all pulling in different directions with their own agenda.

        it will collapse because the forces that created it are finite and unsustainable, and are already in decline,

      • Dennis L. says:

        Simple guess: man is organized to make more men/women. Fail to do that, nature rearranges things. Women have wonderful careers, dressing in the best clothes to tease the men(ask them why they wear makeup, red lips, rouge, etc. ) and then find themselves cat ladies. Careers, very few are rewarding, that goes to the few who can internalize the experience through the joy of learning/doing. Go back to the material in the beginning of the paragraph, not very interesting.

        After a number of years the immigrants dominate and they have no interest in taking care of single career women, mom comes first. End of a large segment of the pension system, e.g. SS.

        Interesting note: G. West attended high school in a very poor area, he was gifted, all the talented and gifted programs in the world were lost on him. Probably through interests and IQ examinations, the system selected him. Bummer for those who work like crazy for a certain school district.

        Dennis L.

  8. Harry McGibbs says:

    “China’s regional economies are under growing pressure to meet debt repayments after a years-long spending spree, as trillions of yuan worth of credit is set to mature next year, according to analysts.”

    https://www.scmp.com/economy/china-economy/article/3113377/china-debt-local-government-default-risk-grows-authorities

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “Global debt has expanded at an unprecedented pace this year as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. China and the United States are the biggest contributors to the rapid debt accumulation respectively among emerging markets and developed economies.

      “Their heavy exposure needs to be addressed if the so-called debt tsunami doesn’t overwhelm the world economy…”

      https://www.scmp.com/comment/opinion/article/3113455/world-looks-china-and-us-turn-back-tidal-wave-debt

      • According to the article:

        According to a new analysis by the Institute of International Finance, which represents worldwide financial institutions, the total level of global indebtedness will reach a whopping US$277 trillion by the end of this year.

        This will represent 365 per cent of global gross domestic product, an alarming surge from 320 per cent from a year ago. Debt burdens are especially onerous for emerging markets.

        • Dennis L. says:

          Who owns all this stuff? What per cent has gone where? The numbers have become so large it cannot be easy to hide.

          I am not a doomer, but as these numbers increase it becomes difficult to reconcile holding any paper wealth other than what is needed for say a years liquidity or maybe two at the most.

          This seems to be one of the key financial questions of our time.The guys in “The Big Short” got it right, we are such a small group seems like a good time for us to get it right.

          Maybe everything goes down and the trick is having that which goes down slowest, purchase when the difference is greatest but now even junk trades high in value and low in rate.

          Dennis L.

          • psile says:

            I am not a doomer

            Then what are you doing here?

            • Tim Groves says:

              We’re a broad church and we don’t all sing from the same hynmbook.

              Dennis is bringing us a welcome dose of optimism to help ensure that we don’t all succumb to the defeatist, depressing and demoralizing philosophy of Private Frazier.

              https://youtu.be/sxqvwkmTNy8

            • psile says:

              Why I’m a doomer (realist) and you should be too. 🙂

              Last year, whilst 20% of the Australian bush was turning to ash, killing billions of veterbrates in the process and releasing gigatons of sequestered carbon, folks were watching the New Year’s eve fireworks take place in various capital cities around the country, as thousands of other folks fled to the sea for their lives to escape the oncoming firestorm.

              Clearly the jury is in, humans aren’t smarter than yeast.

              https://bit.ly/37j8En5

  9. Harry McGibbs says:

    “The ECB adds another half trillion in QE, even as Italy eyes debt cancellation on the last batch:

    “The central bank is in effect holding the fort through the worst of the crisis and shielding vulnerable states from markets until late 2021.”

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2020/12/10/ecb-adds-another-half-trillion-qe-even-italy-eyes-debt-cancellation/

  10. Harry McGibbs says:

    “The pandemic is pummeling New York City’s commercial real estate industry, one of its main economic engines, threatening the future of the nation’s largest business districts as well as the city’s finances.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/11/nyregion/nyc-commercial-real-estate.html

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “The other day, I noted that the occupancy rate of the iconic wrinkled-appearing “New York by Gehry” tower with 899 apartments in Manhattan had plunged from 98% in 2019 to 74% by September.

      “This plunge in occupancy rate was the reason the $550 million loan, the only asset backing a “private-label” CMBS, had been put on the “servicers watchlist.”

      https://wolfstreet.com/2020/12/10/occupancy-rate-plunges-to-70-at-san-francisco-luxury-apartment-towers-across-from-twitter-headquarters-the-broader-phenomenon/

      • Some holders are going to be hit by all of this collapsing debt. It is hard to see people moving back to New York or San Francisco, even with the crisis over.

        • Dennis L. says:

          A guess:

          People will move back to those two cities, they exist where they exist for a reason and thus are immortal. They also attract the best of the best who form networks and from networks comes wealth and culture. Covid19 will not last forever, people seem to organize into states that mostly work if never perfect.

          Yup, always seeing the positive even though the change will not be painless.

          These cities work because history says they work. Another good guess is Detroit, it is located where it is in part because of transportation. Sure there are problems, but man solves problems, messily, but solves them none the less.

          Dennis L.

          • The economy can grow for a while, but after a time, it needs to shrink back because of diminishing returns. We are more or less at the inflection point now.

            After the economy starts is starts shrinking back, I think we will be seeing more and more shrinking cities. For example, citizens will vote to defund the police, and citizens concerned about the rising crime rate will to move to smaller cities, where crime is less of a concern.

            Also, now that many workers have started working from home, they can see the benefits this brings–less time commuting, less money spent on lunch, more time at home. They can rent or buy living accommodations in a suburb (or even another state) where rent is lower and taxes are lower.

            Businesses will start moving out of the large cities at the same time. London will likely especially have this problem, but New York will see this too.

            I am expecting the financial system to start having major problems in the next year or two. That will hurt New York’s prospects for getting workers back.

            G. West has observed the system only over long-term growth.

      • Robert Firth says:

        Thank you, Harry. I looked up that building, read a few pages of self congratulatory hype about brushed stainless steel surfaces (designed by Gehry), and cosy nooks (planned by Gehry). Then found the tiny affordance that clicked through to the floor plans. Why would anyone want to live in a misshapen shoebox with no room even to swing a cat?

        Compare the elegant, stylish, and large (19c) apartments featured in “Time at the Top”. Built back when architects designed for people, not for awards.

  11. Mirror on the wall says:

    Re: UK

    Gail’s thesis that UK is liable to break up due to declining energy per capita seems to be borne out in all the latest reports.

    As Gail explains, dissipative structures with declining dissipation tend to ‘find ways’ to do what they ‘want’ to do according to the laws of physics and to dissolve into smaller, simpler dissipative structures in order to maximally dissipate less energy.

    That seems to be reflected in UK on a political level by the rise of independence sentiment.

    Majorities in Scotland and NI now wish to leave UK, while support in Wales for independence has soared to a third. And now a Northern Independence Party has formed, and Cornish independence is back on the agenda.

    Around half of the English also support English independence, including a majority of both TP and LP voters – and that is without any campaign on the matter.

    Gail could likely give us a physical, energetic perspective of what is going on.

    It seems that the regions that do least well from being a part of UK, those with the least energy dissipation per capita, are looking for other options to maximise their declining dissipation.

    Meanwhile, the energetic core, the bulk of England with the highest energy consumption per capita, is looking to consolidate its own position and to cut off the less dissipative regions. As English nationalists often point out on here, the UK set-up redistributes wealth from the wealthier bulk of England to the fringes and thus lessens dissipation in the core. The core of England would be better off were the fringes to go their own way.

    It looks like the dissipative structure is ‘finding ways’ to reform itself into fresh structures, to consolidate dissipation in the productive core and to form smaller structures elsewhere to cope with dissipation there.

    In socio-economic and political terms, the attendant discourse is one of ‘poverty’ and ‘fairness’, of ‘independence’ and ‘self-determination’, of ‘stagnancy’ and ‘fresh options’. Those are the sort of terms and human concerns in which the reformation of the dissipative structure appears in conscious, political discourse.

    The following, long article itself shows some of the terms in which the break up of the UK is being discussed, though I have here quoted only the part on recent polls.

    > It’s time to break up Britain

    As the UK’s inequalities become impossible to ignore, we must confront our demons and leave this elitist, absurd state behind for good.

    …. Before 2020, a poll showing Scottish independence ahead was like our men’s football team scoring: celebrated magnificently by fans, but not indicative of a consistent lead. But all 14 surveys since 1 June have independence ahead, on average by 7%.

    Something is changing, and not just in Scotland. This autumn, the pro-Welsh independence group YesCymru has grown from 2,000 paid-up members to 16,000. As new member Siwan Clark told me, until recently, independence “wasn’t on the agenda … Now, it’s crossed the threshold”. Support for Welsh independence has risen from 10% in 2012 to 33% today, similar levels to those seen in Scotland before 2014.

    That year, the year of Scotland’s independence referendum, polls in Northern Ireland said that 65% wanted to remain in the UK. By 2017, in the wake of Brexit, young Protestants in Coleraine were telling me that although it made them sad, joining Ireland to stay in the EU probably made sense. Support for the status quo has fallen to 34%, with 35% preferring a united Ireland outright.

    “The gears have shifted so much,” said Seán Fearon, a Northern Irish climate activist and PhD student who I recently spoke to over Zoom. “Particularly among younger people, there is a much, much stronger desire for Irish unification.”

    In the north of England, after the unlikely rebellion from Manchester’s mayor, Andy Burnham, over pandemic funding, a new party, the Northern Independence Party, has sprung up demanding an end to Westminster rule. Meanwhile Dick Cole, the leader of Mebyon Kernow (The Party for Cornwall), tells me that his home-rule party has had an injection of “new young members”, and says that a current Cornish council consultation has turned up significant support for “decisions in Cornwall being made in Cornwall”. “People want more power,” he said.

    Over the past decade I’ve interviewed people from Derry to Norwich, Cardiff to Harris, Jerusalem to Madrid about the break-up of Britain. But my conversations for this piece uncovered a new mood among those who want to leave the UK: calm confidence that the centre cannot hold….

    https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/opendemocracyuk/its-time-to-break-up-britain/

    • Lidia17 says:

      Mirror, that’s a neat analysis.. except.. the UK hinterlands seem to want to leave only in order to cleave to the larger entity of the EU. How does that factor into your dissipation thoughts?

      • Mirror on the wall says:

        That is one for them really. It is up to them to devise their economic plans; I am not going to do it all for them. SNP want back in the EU while Plaid Cymru see no immediate prospect of Wales rejoining as the Welsh voted to leave. NI would simply enter EU as part of a new ROI. It is all their business and I am happy to leave the matter to them.

        • Lidia17 says:

          Maybe you misunderstand my question? It seems as though you explain the devolution of the UK in dissipative terms, which makes a certain sense. However, if the spinoffs merely agglomerate onto another large central entity, how much changes on the dissipation front, do you think?

          • Mirror on the wall says:

            I do not think that anyone is saying that if a territory leaves one dissipative structure that it cannot combine with another large structure.

            Eg. former USSR republics like Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and USSR satellites like Poland, Romania, Hungary, Czechoslovakia have all joined the EU.

            USSR energy dissipation per capita collapsed, around the time of Russian peak oil, and USSR broke up. Some of the countries then joined EU and their energy dissipation went up.

            The wisdom of Scotland joining EU is really one for them. Likewise UK thought that it could do better outside EU with its own trade deals and a lot has changed since 2016.

            • Malcopian says:

              So now you’re saying that it’s not down to dissipative forces, after all – it’s just the equivalent of musical chairs.

            • musical chairs is just dissipative forces set to music

            • Good point! More and more buyers being squeezed out.

            • Lidia17 says:

              Well, if the universe is following the laws we’ve been talking about, then it won’t be “one for them”, and it won’t be a matter of “wisdom”.. they’ll only be doing what’s in obedience to forces of which they mostly aren’t aware.

            • Mirror on the wall says:

              au contraire mon ami

            • Mirror on the wall says:

              They are aware of the forces in their economic implications and they make their decisions on that basis.

              Determination and self-determination are not opposed in the unity of opposites (the synthetic dialectical moment).

              You two are trying to find a contradiction but I do not think that you have identified one yet.

  12. Harry McGibbs says:

    “The coronavirus pandemic has left some of the world’s biggest shipping lines facing mounting backlogs and delays, straining international supply chains and threatening to disrupt global trade.
    Staff illness and quarantining, social distancing measures, lockdowns that affect factories’ output patterns and soaring consumer demand for goods moved by sea have all combined to place severe pressure on the container shipping industry, the backbone of globalised trade, according to its operators.

    “Lars Jensen, chief planner of services for Maersk Line, the world’s biggest container ship operator, said there was a “perfect storm” created by a mix of rising demand and reduced capacity in logistics systems.

    ““There’s congestion in terminals,” said Mr Jensen, Maersk Line’s head of network. “There’s a shortage of truck drivers because some have not been able to drive. Particularly out of Asia, we see a part of that is linked also to the fact that a lot of companies are restocking.”

    “As a result “productivity slows down”, which “delays more ships, then we get a vicious circle”, Mr Jensen said.”

    https://www.ft.com/content/eb21056b-5773-422a-ab78-92e59cddc1b5

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “Businesses say a global shipping crisis is causing freight costs to soar and UK consumers may soon see price rises for imported goods.

      “On top of skyrocketing shipping rates, carriers are adding congestion charges for imports to Felixstowe and Southampton, because of severe delays.”

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-55237791

    • The video I linked to a few days ago showed more aspects of the problem, and we have had other articles about this issue.

      We basically cannot make big changes to supply lines, without “messing up” the transportation.

      I suspect that Europe has enough goods to send back to Asia in the shipping carts either.

  13. davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

    US dollar going lower, now below 91:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/quote/DXY:CUR

    • Dennis L. says:

      Comment only, no conclusions:

      Warren when asked about exchange rate, etc. replied from memory in effect, ” Is the business profitable?” Make a good product at a good price and margin and most likely you will survive to fight another day.

      Dennis L.

      • The problem we are facing now is diminishing returns. If you make a good product now, the chances are good that the system is against you. The “real cost” of making product rises, but the incomes of most of the potential buyers does not. In fact, a lot of them lose their jobs completely.

        The problem becomes a system that cannot really support the overhead cost of your business. There will be some rich people who can still afford to buy your product, but so few people in total will buy your product that your fixed costs will become a problem. It will be the similar to the problem that restaurants are having now. If you have debt, you are likely to default on it.

        With this problem, your business doesn’t survive to fight another day.

        • houtskool says:

          Thanks for your honesty Gail. If we burn down the trees, low hanging fruit will never come back.

    • The US dollar has been falling since Mid-March 2020, when the US COVID-19 shutdowns started. It was also when all of the attempted support of the US economy with more debt was fairly clear.

  14. davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

    US weekly jobless claims make a turn for the worse:

    https://www.cnbc.com/2020/12/10/weekly-jobless-claims.html

    it’s going to be a long dark winter for the so-called “recovery”.

  15. Dennis L. says:

    Tim,

    I am reading G. West’s “Scale” and one of his points, indeed am entire chapter is how hard it is to kill a city. Indeed some of his assistants and colleagues have done research and a large city is cheaper by about .15 than a small town and incomes are about .15 greater than one would expect.

    Contrary to discussion here, cities are more efficient and have better incomes than small cities and this scales. Too often we let our conclusions cloud reality.

    A corollary is crime and disease are also higher by .15 than one would expect.

    Earlier I made a note, perhaps Detroit is a place to invest, it is there for a geographical reason.

    Elon had a spaceship blow up and he counted it a success, a learning experience. If the pundits that trashed him are consistent, when their children came home with less than a perfect paper they would call them losers. Now that is a sure way to raise a well adjusted child.

    Yes, always the contrarian. FE was putting end of the world supplies in a shipping container, I was the guy who sold him the container and all the stuff that rotted.

    FE is a….. I am being nice, I am being accepting, I shall toast him at a party and do whatever to get a buck out of him.Whatever you want to hear, FE, I have something to sell. FE, can I buy you a drink? You are brilliant, you are prescient beyond compare. I shall admire your wife and tell you you are superb with women, a man to be envied, I have several slightly used large ships you might be interested in. Or, if you don’t know the answer, I can make up a plausible story, throw in gobs of doom and gloom and, gotcha!

    Sorry, back from a walk, boring evening, had to play with someone.

    Dennis L.

    • Tim Groves says:

      Dennis, this bloody year is getting to most of us. While most of us still have BAU tonight, things are not going as well as we’d like them to go, and we are anxious about the future and irritated about the present. We’ve got to find our own way to handle it.

      Big cities are much more efficient than small communities if the logistics are done properly. That’s one of the reasons for encouraging people to move to urban areas. Here in Japan, the gross public subsidies per head to bring “lifelines”(roads, electricity, piped water, telephone, internet, etc.) to those who live in farmhouses in the back of beyond may be ten times what they are to supply those who dwell in apartments on the 35th floor of tower blocks in big cities.

      On the other hand, if the electrical distribution system fails for more than a few weeks, modern big cities are going to become death zones.

      Gail says it’s going to fail. She says we can’t maintain the grid long term. In that event, how are the people living on the 35th floor going to cope?

      • Dennis L. says:

        I don’t know, West has a graph on how cities develop, their efficiency, their profits, wealth and creativity. Somehow they work, have worked for centuries.

        I live in both a large metropolitan area, 106k, and a farm. The farm is more expensive and is not very profitable. No explanation, it is how it works.

        No solutions, observations, foot in both worlds. I suspect, believe, the city is the place to be, always has been, always will. The future won’t be easy, some will make it, some will not, no predictions.

        Right now there is a great deal of retail space available, a guess is it will never be occupied as before. a guess is most has 207 three phase. Make something, so much can be made locally now, 5 axis machining is off the wall good, accounting is incredible (QB), CAD better than it has ever been and cheap and there are courses on Coursera almost for free – Fusion 360, Fusion 360 has CAM included, ten years ago maybe 10K add on. Need engineering, MITx. Why go to a second rate school?

        Easier to do that here in Rochester than the farm, Mayo is a world leader in medicine, take a card, call on doors, the worst which happens is one is thrown out. Get one account, build a business, don’t worry about utilities, they will be there if one pays the bills. A city is alive, it is networks, a farm has few networks, necessary, capital expensive, low profit margins.

        There is a software, hardware guy, Elon. He tells the story of sleeping in his office, cheaper than an apartment. Latest rocket crashed and burned, a learning experience. There is no margin in hunter gatherer.

        Dennis L.

      • Dennis L. says:

        Tim,

        The internet was designed so survive a nuclear war, rest easy.

        Gail has a wonderful general outlook, predictions are tough, distributions are real. I don’t like normal distributions.

        Not all will fail is my guess, there will be opportunity, move off the 35 floor, no sarcasm, cope, deal with it. I am an old man who a number of times has metaphorically said, “God, please let me play the game one more time.” It is life, a now deceased B-17 pilot, Methodist, who brought home wrecks with copilots blown to bits with cannon shells once told me, “There is no security, only opportunity.”

        I believe, that, tried to chase his daughter, she became a full prof at a Big10 Univesity, married a department head 10 years her senior. We went to “I am curious Yellow” at the Von Lee, good memories, opportunity, wasn’t old enough I guess. Next.

        Dennis L.

        • JesseJames says:

          Dennis, “There is no security, only opportunity.”
          Should be more correctly, “There is no security, only opportunity when lots of cheap energy can be exploited.”

          Fixed it.

    • Minority Of One says:

      >>Contrary to discussion here, cities are more efficient and have better incomes than small cities and this scales.

      I am sure we had this discussion a few months ago, and I think it was Gail that posted an article with a nice graph showing the bigger the city, the higher the average wage. The important point being, under-current-arrangements, to paraphrase Kunstler.

      No big city will survive having no fossil fuels. No heating and no food. A few survivors might manage to grow food and chop down trees locally, but only a few.

      I am inclined to believe that fossil fuel production will go down the Seneca Curve route. We know with oil at least, all that is left, that we are not already extracting, is difficult and expensive to extract.

      • Coal, natural gas, and lithium have the same problems as oil. It is the price of finished goods that cannot rise high enough. Energy products are all intermediate goods. They get squeezed out.

  16. Ed says:

    New York State is going to raise the tax rate. Hasn’t Cuomo heard of the Laffer Curve?

  17. Fred says:

    Fast Eddy! Where ya been?

    Great Barrington declaraton worth a look: https://gbdeclaration.org/

    Classaction by German lawyers against the hoax: https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/12/05/coronavirus-lawsuit.aspx

    Mercola’s own view on the hoax: https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/12/09/coronavirus-hoax.aspx

    Now line up politely for your gene altering vaccine. Bill says it’s as buggers as Microsoft software.

  18. Herbie R Ficklestein says:

    But Fast Eddy…there ARE Solutions
    United Will Suck Carbon From the Air Instead of Buying Offsets
    Chief Executive Officer Scott Kirby said the practice can’t scale up to solve the climate problem in the way many are expecting it to.
    Instead, United’s multimillion-dollar investment in 1PointFive, Inc., a venture of Occidental Petroleum Corp. and Rusheen Capital Management, relies on what’s called direct-air capture, or facilities that draw CO₂ out of open air so that it can be disposed of underground. Carbon Engineering Ltd., a Vancouver company, developed the technology. United’s contribution to the initiative is expected to draw as much CO₂ out of the air every year as 40 million trees do. The project has been in the works since before the pandemic.
    Aviation faces unique difficulties in carbon-cutting. Unlike electricity, which can be produced with renewable power, or road vehicles, which can be electrified, jets require jet fuel. CO₂ emissions from this fast-growing sector make up about 2% of global greenhouse gases. What’s worse, emitting CO₂ isn’t even aviation’s biggest contribution to climate change, which includes contrail clouds that, left in a plane’s wake, help trap heat at the Earth’s surface — a headache for another day.
    United, despite unprecedented losses during 2020, has the resources to address emissions more directly than by purchasing offsets
    https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/united-suck-carbon-air-instead-175446728.html

    Things must be dire for these honchos to try to suck CO2 out of the atmosphere…more like a ploy to pretend some new technology will save BAU…Works for me…go for it Boys

  19. Fast Eddy says:

    YOUR LIFESPAN IS NOW LIKELY TO BE ONLY A FEW MORE MONTHS.

    AS I READ THIS ARTICLE, I EXPERIENCED A SURGE OF ENDORPHINS – A FEELING OF GREAT HAPPINESS SURGED THROUGH ME AS I REALIZED THERE IS NO WAY OUT!!!

    THE ELDERS ARE, AS I EXPECTED, ABOUT TO PUT EVERYONE DOWN. HOW KIND OF THEM TO PRE-EMPT A GLOBAL HOLODOMOR.

    AND FOR ANYONE WHO THINKS THEY CAN AVOID THE PLAGUE BECAUSE THEY ARE HOLED UP IN A REMOTE LOCATION IN THE BUSH, THE FINAL WAVE WILL TAKE YOU OUT — THE WAVE OF INVISIBLE RADIOACTIVE TOXINS FROM THE SPEND FUEL PONDS.

    GOOD RIDDANCE HUMANS!

    TODAY …. IS A GOOD DAY…. NO…. IT’S A … GREAT DAY!!!!

    Dr. Michael Yeadon “All vaccines against the SARS-COV-2 virus are by definition novel. No candidate vaccine has been… in development for more than a few months.” Yeadon then went on to declare, “If any such vaccine is approved for use under any circumstances that are not EXPLICITLY experimental, I believe that recipients are being misled to a criminal extent. This is because there are precisely zero human volunteers for…whom there could possibly be more than a few months past-dose safety information.”

    Yeadon is well qualified to make the critique. As he notes in the comment, “I have a degree in Biochemistry & Toxicology & a research based PhD in pharmacology. I have spent 32 years working in pharmaceutical R&D, mostly in new medicines for disorders of lung & skin. I was a VP at Pfizer & CEO…. of a biotech I founded (Ziarco – acquired by Novartis). I’m knowledgeable about new medicine R&D.” He was formerly with Pfizer at a very senior level.

    Dr. Romeo Quijano, retired professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the College of Medicine, University of the Philippines Manila, noted some of the dangers of the experimental gene editing when applied to human vaccines.

    Quijano warns of:

    “the danger that the vaccine might actually “enhance” the pathogenicity of the virus, or make it more aggressive possibly due to antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE), as what happened with previous studies on test vaccines in animals. If that should happen in a major human trial the outcome could be disastrous. This serious adverse effect may not even be detected by a clinical trial especially in highly biased clinical trials laden with conflicts of interest involving vaccine companies. Even when a serious adverse event is detected, this is usually swept under the rug.”

    He cites the case of another Gates mRNA vaccine candidate, Moderna, where “three of the 15 human experimental subjects in the high dose group suffered serious and medically significant symptoms. Moderna, however, concluded that the vaccine was “generally safe and well tolerated,” which the corporate-dominated media dutifully reported, covering-up the real danger…”

    He notes,

    “Exogenous mRNA is inherently immune-stimulatory, and this feature of mRNA could be beneficial or detrimental. It may provide adjuvant activity and it may inhibit antigen expression and negatively affect the immune response. The paradoxical effects of innate immune sensing on different formats of mRNA vaccines are incompletely understood.” Quijano adds, “A mRNA-based vaccine could also induce potent type I interferon responses, which have been associated not only with inflammation but also potentially with autoimmunity… and may promote blood coagulation and pathological thrombus formation.”

    Quijano writes in the extensively documented article, “among other dangers, the virus-vectored vaccines could undergo recombination with naturally occurring viruses and produce hybrid viruses that could have undesirable properties affecting transmission or virulence. The…possible outcomes of recombination are practically impossible to quantify accurately given existing tools and knowledge. The risks, however, are real, as exemplified by the emergence of mutant types of viruses, enhanced pathogenicity and unexpected serious adverse events (including death) following haphazard mass vaccination campaigns and previous failed attempts to develop chimeric vaccines using genetic engineering technology.”

    https://www.globalresearch.ca/what-not-said-pfizer-coronavirus-vaccine/5729461

    EXCERPT FROM THE LEAK OUT OF THE PMO IN CANADA:

    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.

    • Ed says:

      Now all is well with the world Fast Eddy is back.

      I will avoid the vacs and am sure the nukes will be shutdown in a responsible way. I will fish Sturgeon out of the Hudson as life returns to the old normal. All the apples and dairy I can eat. The future looks bright.

    • FE, you are probably too fast on the timing-sequencing, pun intended.
      The agenda is merely about attempted de-growth via various tools like digital gulag (social score-credit ala China phased in globally), forced triage in consumerism and selective access to depleting surplus energy. In short -global holodomor- will be likely very regional specific and in “Brown deal” implementing parts of the world non existent at least for several next decades.

      Also mRNA type of vaccines are not the only one proposed and likely to be deployed, but it is true in general observation why risking >5% of potential health injury on rushed experimental stuff when the “disease” itself is not even affecting 95-99% of pop. Many insiders already mentioned they don’t expect higher than ~70% vaccination rate in pop anyway. If and how this could be linked to individual’s [social credit score] is an open question, long term it could include travel restrictions and other curtailment on non cooperating public though. The shock doctrine measures of hard lock down likely can’t be kept in place for long period of time, it’s more about authoritarian regime and conditions.

      In summary, it’s all just yet another story in long historical line of corralling humanoids, yes some level of depop and tighter bottle neck might be eventually included. Not now..

    • dunno if you noticed eddy but a keyboard saboteur/conspirateur has spiked your caps lock while you were away.

      if you intend to get abducted again, probably best to take it with you next time

      you also said ‘your’ lifespan, not ‘our’ lifespan. That sounds very ominous id I may say so

      does this mean you have some kind of exclusion agreement with your local virus spreaders?

    • Bei Dawei says:

      So can I put you down for…shall we say July 1? a date when–if none of this is happening and BAU still prevails–you promise to pop by, take your medicine, and admit that you are an idiot? I of course will do the same thing if your predictions prove substantially correct, unless I am in a concentration camp or something. (Surely the world won’t be in such a bad shape that OFW won’t be up.)

      And for the rest of us, what date shall I put down? Something in 2025 or 2030? I myself am prone to doomsterism, and am “myself the chief of sinners,” as they say in the liturgy.

    • There definitely could be problems with the vaccine. According to the link you gave,

      Bill Gates, the mRNA vaccine makers including Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, and their close allies such as Dr. Tony Fauci of the NIAID are clearly playing fast and loose with human lives in their rush to get these experimental vaccines into our bodies. Notably, the same Dr. Fauci and his NIAID owns the patent on a vaccine for dengue fever known as Dengvaxia, marketed by Sanofi-Pasteur and promoted as an “essential” vaccine by Tedros’ WHO since 2016. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (right) noted that Fauci and NIAID “knew from the clinical trials that there was a problem with paradoxical immune response,” but they gave it to several hundred thousand Filipino kids anyway. It was estimated that as many as 600 vaccinated children died before the government stopped the vaccinations.

      Clearly the well-established Precautionary Principle–if in serious doubt, don’t– is being ignored by Fauci, Pfizer/BioNTech and others in rushing to approve the new mRNA vaccine for coronavirus. Messenger RNA technology has yet to produce an approved medicine, let alone a vaccine.

    • masterblasterfromthepasture says:

      He is back, love him hate him the one the only beetlejuice I mean FE AKA well nevermind.
      Smile on my face anyway. FE did you know you are spreading Christmas cheer?

    • Tom says:

      I know a lot of you think FE is way over the top. But lets just consider the possibilities if this article is correct and the vaccines lead to a secondary virus with higher mortality rate. The chain of events could go something like this: secondary virus starts mass infections and mortality rates skyrocket causing governments to impose severe lockdowns causing massive economic collapse causing supply chains to break down causing grid down collapse causing spent fuel pools to melt down. It could indeed lead to the dreaded die-off starting in just a few months.

      • Lidia17 says:

        The Bill and Melinda smirk:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmP6_gy-MIE?t=18

        “So, we’ll have to prepare for the *next* one.. That .. ya know, I’d say is.. *will* get attention this time.”

        There are also other wild cards: Chinese troops were supposed to be doing training exercises in Canada. Trump could enact an abrupt house-cleaning of the Deep State, leading to chaos… Anything that would disrupt fuel or electricity supplies could lead to many deaths, particularly over the winter.

        • avocado says:

          A incredible moment of sincerity… They’re hoping Taiwan, Japan et al. Wont escape the next one

        • Tim Groves says:

          Those two need to be injected with something special out of a needle the size of a drainpipe! Something that will make them smirk on the other side of the faces.

      • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

        “But lets just consider the possibilities if this article is correct and the vaccines lead to a secondary virus with higher mortality rate.”

        sure, it’s a tiny possibility, but let’s play the game:

        “It could indeed lead to the dreaded die-off starting in just a few months.”

        sure “it could”, but that’s a tiny possibility on top of the previous tiny possibility.

        see you in 2022.

    • Get some ivermectin and cheer up.

      Chris Martenson has a vimeo video up now, explaining how well Ivermectin cures COVID-19.

      This is a link to Chris’ vimeo presentation.

      This is a link to an article he refers to

      https://osf.io/wx3zn/

    • Minority Of One says:

      Keep them coming Fast

  20. Malcopian says:

    So, collapse. What have we lost so far? Well, the avatars on WordPress for a start, along with Gail’s photo. And the blue background that used to highlight Gail’s pronouncements in the comments.

    Back in the early 1990s, I used to buy this beautiful product from my favourite supermarket, coq au vin in a can. You just boiled your own rice, and it made a gorgeous meal. It was unbelievably tasty, for something out of a can. Sadly, I was only able to enjoy it for a couple of years, because it was made in Yugoslavia, and that country soon collapsed into a series of vicious wars. Typical. I’m sure Milosevic just did it to spite me. 🙁

    • Malcopian says:

      I googled ‘coq au vin in a can’ today, and I found a French company that does it. A bit pricey, but I’m going to treat myself to a few cans.

      I was surprised to see that they also deliver to Mars for a hefty fee, so if Elon Musk is eating it, well, it must be good! Yes, this is a genuine screenshot, edited only to remove my personal details.

      https://drive.google.com/file/d/1jt2fI6KuldwYuZ59iIsF2q_3PPy2uKEf/view

    • There are two (or more) for tango, and msm narrative how Milosevic on his own butchered Yugo is a cheesy fairy tale as usual. Basically, the (federal) country ran sort of loose type of socialist system with some degree of small/er scale entrepreneurship, joint ventures with int partners and state owned sector. They also loaded up unwisely on a lot of western credit, in the meantime many of the hot heads from various (ethnic) nationalist factions were propped up by foreign interest. Eventually, the more prosperous or historically more autonomous parts wanted greater regional autonomy and eventually out completely (Slovenia basically Alpine country and Croatia beachfront touristic resort) -Serbia somewhat semi-industrialized Balkan proper and center of fed govs. And it exploded in the poorer and ethnically conflicted land locked part Bosnia. Btw. that relates to in/famous “concentration camp” photograph going global for a moment which was once again manipulated western ploy, basically taking scene of a civil war refugee in a camp behind ordinary fence.. Yes, there was true horrible wave of violence in Bosnia, lot of freaks tried to keep up unfinished score from WWII etc.. Germany was involved again, and surprisingly France (ally of Y) made a lot of bad deeds as well.

      That being said, even in case Yugo dissolved more peacefully or not at all, you would not have gotten your gorgeous meal anyway as of now, because the whole Eastern block liberation charade was about hostile market takeover, aka int capital moving back into the area. So, any value had been stripped/juiced out. Actually, many global products / brands lost their former more quality based recipe and ingredients as well.

      • Malcopian says:

        So you’re saying there was a bit of ‘colour revolution’ there? Still, Slobo stirred things up to leapfrog to power as a demagogue, but he messed up ultimately. He was a definite Machiavellian, and without him things would probably have followed a more peaceful Soviet Union-type breakup.

        • Yes, a bit of colour revolution is a good way how to put it.
          At that time there were a lot of Germans alive in politics and biz who lost direct family members in the Balkans during WWII, the hate towards Serbs was massive, also partly a complex of not able-willing duking it out directly with Russians – lets smash their Serb friends instead. Obviously many were poking there just for the money – power aspect of it – now is the time taking over everything.

          I merely repeat study the other characters, the regional leaders and militia guys (Croatia, Bosnia), their political and financial backers.. many of them ~decade later fallen from the pedestal of W support as well.

          Btw. tanks rolled briefly in Russia as well and some outlier regional wars in former USSR simmered through 1990s..

          • Malcopian says:

            Yes, Transnistria broke away from Moldova. Nagorno-Karabakh briefly broke free of the Azeris, but the latter are being helped by the smelly Turks now. Et cetera, et cetera.

            British politicians complained because John Major refused to supply weapons to the beleaguered Bosnians back in th e early 1990s. He replied that it would only ‘enflame the situation’. Some journalists maintained that the UK was pro-Serb, as during world war 2, and the UK’s ‘neutrality’ helped Slobo.

          • All of Europe should hate Serbia for causing the Great War and causing immense , probably irreparable, damage to the Western Civilization.

            • Malcopian says:

              Wars speed up history. Without the First World War, we’d still have had empires in Europe for decades. Women would have been wearing skirts down to their ankles into the 1940s.

              In any case, if we didn’t have that war, it would have been some other war instead. Humans are inherently warlike. And the Kaiser was longing to test his navy against Britain.

              Just how exactly was Western civilisation damaged, in your opinion?

            • Tim Groves says:

              I wouldn’t know about how much to hate Serbia. All of my information on the Yugoslavian wars in the 1990s came from the Western mass media, and you know how fair and unbiased they can be.

              American foreign policy over the decades has killed millions of innocent civilians and greatly added to the collective burden of human suffering, which would have been abundant in any case. How much should we hate America? Should we let the mass media decide for us?

              As for China—religious persecution, concentration camps, forced organ donation, Tibet, Turkestan, the Square of Heavenly Peace, the Coronavirus (and a bunch of other bad bugs), the Five Dash Line,the Great East Asia Brown Cloud, mountains of cheap and shoddy tacky-tacky products, fentanyl, Biden, Feinstein and Pelosi… In all honesty, how much should we hate China?

              I’d prefer to lay off of the hatred of countries and ethnicities and focus on punishing those who are individually guilty of planning, orchestrating and carrying out atrocities.

              “If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”

              — Malcolm X

            • Tim Groves says:

              Malcopian: Just how exactly was Western civilisation damaged, in your opinion?

              Excuse me for butting in, but the abandoning of skirts down to the ankles was the beginning of the rot. Stays, corsets and foot binding we can well do without, but women’s ankles should be imagined and not seen.

            • Robert Firth says:

              Serbia did not cause the Great War. The assassination was carried out by a terrorist group called the “Black Hand”, who were based in the University of Chicago.

              What followed was largely events running on automatic pilot, but in my opinion the two biggest mistakes were the Schieffen Plan, a classic example of Zugzwang, and the UK’s liberal government’s (1906 to 1915) totally insane alliance with France.

              To ally at all with a France consumed by “revanche” and itching to start another war was insane enough, but keeping it secret was a catastrophe, because it left France with the impression we would fight and Germany with the impression we would not. The worst of all possible worlds.

            • houtskool says:

              Serbia defended her culture against the islamists that tried to rip off her warm coat. Just like a poor African culture that tries to survive the economic hitmen from the West.

              You cannot skip tribalism in a degrowth environment.

              Without a warm coat, known as culture, even the Sahara feels like a snowstorm. The warm winds of currency debasement includes the sand in your eyes.

          • avocado says:

            Worldof, I agree that you have a very acurate view of things. But I must struggle with your syntax, which is very strange for me, wonder how you developped it

      • Serbia fully deserves its fate because it is the chief culprit of the Great War.

      • masterblasterfromthepasture says:

        WorldofH. Not to be corny but I just would like to mention I always find your posts enlightening. Your syntax is not unappreciated. Thank You.

  21. avocado says:

    Martenson’s video on the Egyptians is back

    • This a very good video showing all of the evidence that Ivermectin cures COVID-19, at any stage of the disease, including people who are already hospitalized.

  22. Dennis L. says:

    According to G. West, in the age of hunter gathers there were about 10M people on earth and even with that when they arrived in N. America they wiped out the large mammals. It would appear this way of life is not all that sustainable.

    Reading his take on cities, they require fewer resources per captia than other forms, and the larger the city, the more efficient it becomes. In addition the inhabitants are wealthier, more creative, have more crime and more health issues.

    My take, there is no free lunch.

    West recognizes the resource issues, I am two thirds of the way through on the first read, need to read a second time. West claims corporations do not have that long a life span, they are weeded out pretty ruthlessly, cities seem hard to kill. Detroit a good investment?

    Dalio’s books are interesting, he actually made money which is a way of keeping score, academics have their place, but the money world is brutal. He has an abridged book, “Principles for Success,” have it on order from Amazon, if it seems worthwhile, going to give it to the young son of a friend of mine.

    All my life wherever I was I wanted the real rule book, not the published one, how the group behaved. It has been a long journey for a cop’s kid, takes time to figure out what works and what does not, painful lessons at times. We are going through a time of painful lessons.

    Dennis L.

    • In a sense, it is hard to measure fairly whether cities truly take fewer resources. Without an economy having a lot of surplus net energy, an economy cannot have cities. Once the surplus net energy disappears, the cities will start to empty out, something we are seeing now.

      Cities do indeed have lower energy consumption than outlying areas, partly distances for human transport are much shorter. Shared transport may be possible larger cities. Also, homes in cities are more likely to be apartments with shared walls than free-standing homes, leading to less need for energy use for heating and cooling. These kinds of things are what G. West is measuring.

      What the analysis tends to leave out is the fact that a lot of the complexity of the system goes into meeting the needs of the people in cities. The system needs provide people in the city with food (grow the food, process it, store it, and transport it to cities), water (obtain water from wells, lakes or desalination; treat it as needed by users; pipe it to city dwellers), waste, both human and other (transport it back out of the city, burn it or bury it), and attempts at refertilization of the land because the cycle is never quite right.

      Also, energy intense industries, such as mining and farming, tend to take place outside of cities. Cities, instead, have a lot activities of lower energy intensity, such as education, health care, and stores to sell items that have been manufactured or grown elsewhere.

      • Artleads says:

        To produce food in cities would could require:

        – hydroponics
        – plastic
        – plant nutrition
        – manufacturing and transportation of the above

        MOST OF ALL, ELECTRICITY

        – Whatever goes into the production, conducting, repair of the the electricity infrastructure.
        – Not land. Buildings are the new land.

        If we can figure out the above supply-chain array, food production in cities ought to be more efficient than food production elsewhere.

  23. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Excessive haste could have fatal consequences, since public trust and wide vaccination are the only ways any vaccine, even the best ones, can work…

    “In absolute terms, taking the Pfizer vaccine reduced the risk of getting the virus by just 0.71%.”

    https://neuburger.substack.com/p/95-effective-may-not-mean-what-you

    • At this point, we still do not know a whole lot about these vaccines. They do seem to reduce the number of people who come down with symptoms. That is definitely a plus. We don’t know to what extent they reduce the number of people who are communicable, but don’t come down with symptoms. We also don’t know about the long-term side effects of these vaccines. I hope someone is keeping track of some of these things, with the immunizations that they are giving.

      The number of vaccinated people who came down with symptoms is much lower than the number that did not, over a similar time frame. That is what the makers are trying to say.

      • Minority Of One says:

        I don’t know if it is true, but I read that the people most likely to benefit from a vaccine, the elderly and sick, were excluded from those the vaccine being used in the UK was tested on.

  24. Herbie R Ficklestein says:

    Oh no, Not China too….😳
    Chinese state-owned companies are in trouble. That could hurt the global recovery
    By Laura He, CNN Business
    Updated 11:38 PM EST, Wed December 09, 2020
    https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2020/12/09/economy/china-debt-defaults-state-companies-intl-hnk/index.html
    Hong Kong(CNN Business)Chinese state-owned companies are starting to default on their debts. It’s a problem that could ripple through the country’s financial system, threatening to slam the brakes on the nation’s economy and hobble the global recovery from the pandemic.

    State firms defaulted on a record 40 billion yuan ($6.1 billion) worth of bonds between January and October, according to Fitch Ratings. That’s about as much as the last two years combined.
    The problem has only gotten worse in recent weeks. A slew of major companies — including BMW’s (BMWYY) Chinese partner Brilliance Auto Group, top smartphone chip maker Tsinghua Unigroup, and Yongcheng Coal and Electricity — declared bankruptcy or defaulted on their loans last month, sending shock waves through the nation’s debt market. Bond prices have plummeted and interest rates have spiked, and the turmoil has even spilled over into the stock market, where shares of state-owned firms have been sinking.
    ….It’s alarming on a couple of fronts. First of all, the close relationships between these companies and local Chinese governments typically make them safe bets in times of trouble. If investors are worried that the state is no longer willing to support them, they suddenly become much riskier propositions.
    …..Second, the success of the state sector is critical to China’s financial system. While such firms contribute less than a third of GDP, they account for more than half of the bank loans offered in China and some 90% of the country’s corporate bonds, according to data from the People’s Bank of China and Chinese brokerage firm Huachuang Securities.
    “The credibility of government guarantees has been the most important bulwark against [financial] crisis so far. Now we are seeing signs that this credibility is eroding,” according to Logan Wright, director of China markets research at Rhodium Group.

    Of course, the long article implies it all can be managed👍

    • There are many failing companies, in China and all around the world. They cannot possibly pay their debt. Anything that can’t last forever, clearly won’t. But a person wonders when and how this will all fall out.

  25. Harry McGibbs says:

    “The giant human footprint stamped across the world in 2020 is greater than the impact on the planet of all other living things, research suggests.”

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/environment/2020/dec/09/human-made-materials-now-outweigh-earths-entire-biomass-study

    • Herbie R Ficklestein says:

      Food for thought!🤭
      Toilet Paper Fun Facts
      About four billion people don’t use toilet paper. About 70% – 75 % of the world’s population does not use toilet paper.
      People in some parts of the world do not use toilet paper due to a lack of trees.
      Some people don’t use toilet paper because they can’t afford it.
      A lot of people would rather not spend money of fancy paper to wipe their behinds.
      Water is the universal solvent, not paper.
      Toilet paper has secondary uses such as nose care, removing makeup, covering toilet seats, packaging material, cleaning mirrors, cleaning glasses, etc.
      Two-ply toilet paper consists of two layers of 10 thickness paper, one ply is made of a 13 thickness paper, and so, two-ply is not necessarily twice the thickness.
      http://www.toiletpaperhistory.net/toilet-paper-facts/toilet-paper-fun-facts/

      How could people actually survive without it!😜

      • When I traveled to China, I found that even if toilet paper was available (or a person brought it along), there were signs in the bathrooms saying, “Do not put paper in the commodes.” We had a similar issue in Cuba. In India, toilets were a rarity, to begin with. Many countries do not have sewers that can handle the extra load of toilet paper.

        • Bei Dawei says:

          The Chinese do use toilet paper. In Taiwan, politicians even give out little packets of it with their photo on it as advertising. There should be a trash can (rubbish bin) next to the toilet that you are meant to throw it into.

          Years ago, in Sichuan, I was squatting above a slit latrine, when I felt something moving and grunting below me. Yup, the owners were keeping a pig down there.

  26. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Emerging-market central banks cautiously revisited interest rate cuts last month following a hiatus in October, resuming an easing cycle that started in 2019 and had exceeded the cuts during the 2008 financial crisis and the 2010 euro crisis.”

    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-emerging-rates-graphic/softly-softly-emerging-market-central-banks-resume-easing-cycle-idUKKBN28J0W7?il=0

  27. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Less than a decade ago, Yongcheng Coal and Electricity Holding was one of China’s most celebrated energy companies.

    “Blessed with ample reserves of high-grade coal at its mines in China’s central Henan province, the nation’s government-controlled banks were eager to hand the firm cheap credit. At its height in 2013, the business’s annual revenue was Rmb127.4bn ($19.5bn)…

    “A dramatic decline has changed all that. The city of Yongcheng, where the group is based, is today pockmarked with half-built and dilapidated buildings. Struggling workers at the company, many of whom have not been paid for months, have taken to packing and selling flour to make ends meet.”

    https://www.ft.com/content/f1abbb06-3f7b-469a-bca8-1996b838da2a

  28. Harry McGibbs says:

    “South Korea’s household debt growth hit a record monthly high last month as households raised credit loan amid an economic fallout from the COVID-19 resurgence, central bank data showed Wednesday.”

    http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-12/09/c_139575380.htm

  29. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Australia has sold short term treasury bills at a negative yield for the first time in its history, joining Japan and a raft of European nations that are being paid to borrow money from investors.”

    https://www.ft.com/content/ae42f3df-6569-44fd-a403-204ad4929c5e

  30. Harry McGibbs says:

    “If at first you don’t succeed you can try and try. But eventually, sometimes, failure is what follows… The hoped-for mutual understanding, the nudge or wink to pursue compromise, did not come.

    “The only agreement [Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen reached on Brexit negotiations] was on when they might call a halt. For the first time in a world of highly moveable deadlines, they announced that a final decision must be taken by the end of the weekend.”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-55255003

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “Tesco is stockpiling food and its customers will face food shortages and drastic price increases in the ‘worst-case scenario’ of a No Deal Brexit, it was revealed today.

      “Britain’s biggest retailer is stockpiling long-life food as Boris Johnson struggles to find a way through the deadlock in trade negotiations and has again warned against panic buying.”

      https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9038071/Tesco-stockpiling-food-amid-fears-shelves-worst-case-scenario-no-deal-Brexit.html

    • Mirror on the wall says:

      “a final decision must be taken by the end of the weekend”

      If only!

      After four and a half years, this has turned into a massive yawn.

      Boris also insists that there will be no new negotiations next year….

      > Brexit: live updates

      …. In the Commons Peter Bone, a Tory Brexiter, asks for an assurance that Sunday is a firm deadline for a decision about a deal.

      Penny Mordaunt, the Cabinet Office minister, says the end of the year is a very firm deadline. But she says the statement issued yesterday said the government would carry on negotiating until there was no point. She says Sunday “may well be” that deadline.

      Mordaunt refuses to confirm that Sunday is an absolute deadline by which the government must decide whether or not a deal is possible.
      For the record, this is what a Downing Street spokesperson said last night about the Sunday deadline.

      [Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen] had a frank discussion about the state of play in the negotiations. They acknowledged that the situation remained very difficult and there were still major differences between the two sides.

      They agreed that chief negotiators would continue talks over the next few days and that a firm decision should be taken about the future of the talks by Sunday.

      Like Mordaunt, Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary, also suggested this morning that there might be some flexibility in the Sunday deadline. (See 9.25am.)

      https://www.theguardian.com/politics/live/2020/dec/10/brexit-dominic-raab-eu-trade-deal-boris-johnson-covid-live-updates

      • Harry McGibbs says:

        It’s the gift that keeps on giving. 😂

        “Honda is to pause production at its UK plant on Wednesday because of a shortage of car parts caused by delays in getting parts into Britain in the run-up to the end of the Brexit transition period, according to reports.

        “The car company, which relies on “just in time” and “just in sequence” supplies, told the BBC on Wednesday the decision was “due to transport-related parts delay” as ports are hit by Brexit demand and coronavirus restrictions.”

        https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/dec/08/honda-warns-port-congestion-could-cause-production-halt

      • truthdeadandgone says:

        Its like a relationship that is ended.
        But the lovers keep hopping into bed one last time.
        And hate themselves for it.

        If “no deal”
        Its finally over.
        they both threaten that.
        but then the springs in the bed are squeeking again

    • The end of the weekend as the end of Brexit negotiations is very soon!

  31. Harry McGibbs says:

    “European companies hit by the coronavirus crisis are increasingly turning to a complex financial tool to pay suppliers, raising investor concerns around “hidden” debt.

    “Supply chain financing, by which companies can get cash from banks and funds to pay their suppliers without using working capital, has likely hit a record high in 2020, data shows.”

    https://www.reuters.com/article/banks-financing/focus-europes-supply-chain-finance-fix-feeds-hidden-debt-fears-idUSL8N2IH2OO

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “Paris was quick to provide cheap loans to businesses but is now assessing if more radical steps will be needed:

      “…job losses are now accelerating… “It’s the calm before the storm,” says Philippe Martin, chairman of the French Council of Economic Analysis.”

      https://www.ft.com/content/d1fc4330-8ed4-4f7d-87ff-000d7237a6cf

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “Greece Is Setting Itself Up For Another Financial Crisis:

      “The Greek economy shrunk by a record 14 percent in the second quarter of 2020 while at the same time government efforts to ‘’cure’’ the economy have set the country on the road to cross the 200 percent debt-to-GDP ratio as the IMF forecasts. In the meantime, government budget deficits have reached new heights (around 7 percent).”

      https://www.eurasiareview.com/10122020-greece-is-setting-itself-up-for-another-financial-crisis-analysis/

      • Herbie R Ficklestein says:

        Tourism accounts for 18% of Greece’s GDP and employs more than 900,000 people, accounting for one fifth of the workforce..
        Betcha that has something to do with it

        • We paid for a trip to Greece in 2020. We got our money back from Delta, but not from the travel agency involved. All they gave us was credit for next year’s vacation. I don’t know if any of this money made it to Greece or not.

    • Supply chain financing is likely a big problem. I know it was in 2008. Even if a big company has good credit, many of the smaller companies the big company relies upon may not, and this can cause a big problem. Also, insurance that these companies will deliver what they promised to deliver becomes a problem.

  32. truthdeadandgone says:

    17 states have joined the Texas lawsuit against PA GA MI claiming the election fraud there threatens the the very fabric of the nation.

    The MSM saying its not valid. Crazy Texas

    Deciding even for the supreme court.

    Responsible journalists would have a opinion but be willing to see the evidence.

    Instead double down.

    We stole it. Accept or chaos.

    17 states alleging election fraud

    So far no court has been willing to hear the evidence.

    Either partisan or not wanting responsibility for …

    4 days until electoral votes assigned

    or not

    https://www.liveleak.com/view?t=9NJHi_1607246302

    • Tim Groves says:

      Yes, there’s so much tension. I thought Brexit was a mess, but this is far and away the best post-vote shambles in my lifetime. I full expect the Supremes to take the case and arrive at a deadlocked verdict so that Diana Ross has to weigh in with the casting vote.

  33. davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

    Real Green New Deal website:

    https://www.realgnd.org/recommendations

    the reediculousness has reached to epic heights:

    “Enact a fairer tax code in which average people pay less and the very wealthy pay more

    Increase the minimum wage to $25/hour

    Enact Medicare-for-All

    Forgive all student loans and make higher education free”

    “Nationalize fossil fuel companies and establish a plan for phase-out

    Ban the exploration of new fossil fuel reserves (i.e. oil, shale, gas) and the development of new extraction sites

    Fine heavily toxic industrial processes

    Ban factory farming”

    just a sample; there is much more.

    • Barton says:

      At least Alice Friedemann, William Rees, et al. dare to mention overpopulation, which you conveniently ignored, david.

      From their site:

      Humans have controlled population sizes since time immemorial. As sociologist Jack Parsons said, “population control is an ancient institution.” Even cornucopian economist Julian Simon said, “every tribe known to anthropologists, no matter how ‘primitive,’ has some effective social scheme for controlling the birth rate.”

      Some of our oldest literary documents, the Babylonian “Atra Hasis” circa 1750 B.C. and the Philippine Code of Sumakwel from 1250 B.C., contain population control policies. Confucius, Plato, the “first city planner” Hippodamus in Greece, the Indian sage Kautilya, the influential Catholic Church figure Tertullian, and even Benjamin Franklin, all spoke of the dangers of overpopulation and the need to manage our numbers – before Malthus ever entered the scene.

      ———————–

      Personally, I don’t have an issue with any type of overpopulation discussion, unlike 99.9 percent of the human herd … probably because my wife and I decided to remain child-free 40 years ago. However, preventing our eventual extinction has never been an option for our cancerous, invasive species.  We compete, reproduce, expand, and will eventually kill the host, but I agree with the Real Green New Deal’s main premise concerning the overshoot topic: the fewer babies born now, the less suffering endured later.

      I was watching a conversation on a doomer channel in which a couple of folks were trying to shut the overpopulation conversation down because “it’s too late to do anything about it.”  The concept of actually preventing future suffering for the unborn was beyond them, which is ironic since parents are supposed to be the sensitive entities while the child-free are considered selfish.

      • I understand that some tribes had games for young adults that would lead to quite a few fatalities. They intent of these games seemed to be to reduce population.

        There was a discussion earlier about high death rates of young women in childbirth being a problem, at least in some cultures. High death rates in young women would tend to hold population down, regardless of other attempts at birth control. High death rates in men (for example, in fighting) wouldn’t make much difference, since mothers are much more important than fathers in determining the level of future population.

      • avocado says:

        That’s why they call themselves the REAL green new deal: because AOC proposal doesn’t have the courage to talk about overpopulation (in fact, I think she doesn’t even talk about less energy). Interesting so many prominent people of the past mentioned it, but now no one does: it seems that as we approach limits it becomes more taboo. Overpopulation will be dealt with trough starving, as it is already happening in Yemen, or trough outright extermination (I think poisoning the food of food banks is the best approach); of course fertility control would be better, but people don’t think on less suffering in the future, they only want to belive that the future will be as the past…

  34. davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

    https://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/nasa-astronauts-moon-artemis/2020/12/09/id/1000783/

    First Woman, Next Man on Moon Will Come From These NASA 18

  35. davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

    YT test:

  36. jabmelast says:

    Last I heard its illegal for drugs to be administered without a doctors prescription. Sheriffs should arrest anyone injecting drugs into others without a doctors prescription. Should I fall ill with covid19 I will seek a doctor who will prescribe me ivermectin. I will not fall prey to these bizarre and radical roll outs of experimental drugs.

    • Lidia17 says:

      Just buy it at the feed store. It’s the same stuff.

      • avocado says:

        Ivermectin, I don’t know what to think about it

        https://www.rt.com/news/492675-peru-animal-drug-coronavirus/

        • avocado says:

          The problems of the Peruvians in the jungle could have been related to the fact that they have lots of parasites.

          An interesting press report on ivermectin appeared in Argentina yesterday. It’s being used by medical staff of four provinces, as a means of prevention. In fact, ivermectin sales had gone up tenfold in the country. National authorities still insist that its use is not approved, and that a threefold application (compared to the parasites application) in sick people lowers the amount of the virus but don’t cure them.

          The figures provided for one of the essays in this press report are inconsistent, but another involved 1.195 doctors and nurses, of which 788 received ivermectin and carragenina. None of them got infected with corona, but 237 of the control group (58%) did.

          This is one of the most important newspapers of the country; I suppose national authorities won’t be able to dodge it for longer (these results were given to national authorities in June 28).

          It is also said that it is very useful as a treatment. Two other provinces are planning to use it. It is said that the veterinary formulation is somewhat different to the human one (lower quality I think). They say there are 23 essays of this kind already finished around the world, all of them very promising.

          https://www.lanacion.com.ar/sociedad/coronavirus-argentina-advertencias-evidencias-consumo-ivermectina-covid-19-nid2528989

    • You can get an online prescription from this site, it would appear. It says:

      https://www.pushhealth.com/drugs/ivermectin

      The first step to getting an ivermectin prescription is consulting a medical provider. People who need an ivermectin prescription, however, can connect with a licensed medical provider using Push Health who can prescribe ivermectin cream or ivermectin tablets when appropriate to do so.

  37. Tim Groves says:

    People need to know stuff on a need-to-know basis. But as correct knowledge could potentially save your life, you need to know that eliminating vitamin D deficiency will drastically reduce your chances of dying horribly from a COVID-19.

    Vitamin D Insufficiency May Account for Almost Nine of Ten COVID-19 Deaths: Time to Act.
    Evidence from observational studies is accumulating, suggesting that the majority of deaths due to SARS-CoV-2 infections are statistically attributable to vitamin D insufficiency and could potentially be prevented by vitamin D supplementation. Given the dynamics of the COVID-19 pandemic, rational vitamin D supplementation whose safety has been proven in an extensive body of research should be promoted and initiated to limit the toll of the pandemic even before the final proof of efficacy in preventing COVID-19 deaths by randomized trials.

    We read, with great interest, the recent article by Radujkovic et al. that reported associations between vitamin D deficiency (25(OH)D < 12 ng/mL) or insufficiency (25(OH)D < 20 ng/mL) and death in a cohort of 185 consecutive symptomatic SARS-CoV-2-positive patients admitted to the Medical University Hospital Heidelberg, who were diagnosed and treated between 18 March and 18 June 2020 [1]. In this cohort, 118 patients (64%) had vitamin D insufficiency at recruitment (including 41 patients with vitamin D deficiency), and 16 patients died of the infection. With a covariate-adjusted relative risk of death of 11.3, mortality was much higher among vitamin D insufficient patients than among other patients. When translated to the proportion of deaths in the population that is statistically attributable to vitamin D insufficiency (“population attributable risk proportion”), a key measure of public health relevance of risk factors [2], these results imply that 87% of COVID-19 deaths may be statistically attributed to vitamin D insufficiency and could potentially be avoided by eliminating vitamin D insufficiency.

    Although results of an observational study, such as this one, need to be interpreted with caution, as done by the authors [1], due to the potential of residual confounding or reverse causality (i.e., vitamin D insufficiency resulting from poor health status at baseline rather than vice versa), it appears extremely unlikely that such a strong association in this prospective cohort study could be explained this way, in particular as the authors had adjusted for age, sex and comorbidity as potential confounders in their multivariate analysis. There are also multiple plausible mechanisms that may well explain the observed associations, such as increased concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines, as well as decreased concentrations of anti-inflammatory cytokines in vitamin D insufficiency [3,4]. Although final proof of causality and prevention of deaths by vitamin D supplementation would have to come from randomized trials which meanwhile have been initiated (e.g., [5]), the results of such trials will not be available in the short run. Given the dynamics of the COVID-19 pandemic and the proven safety of vitamin D supplementation, it therefore appears highly debatable and potentially even unethical to await results of such trials before public health action is taken. Besides other population-wide measures of prevention, widespread vitamin D3 supplementation at least for high-risk groups, such as older adults or people with relevant comorbidity, which has been proven by randomized controlled trials to be beneficial with respect to prevention of other acute respiratory infections and acute acerbation of asthma and chronic pulmonary disease [6,7,8,9,10], should be promoted. In addition, targeted vitamin D3 supplementation of people tested SARS-CoV-2-positive may be warranted.

    https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/12/12/3642/htm

  38. MG says:

    This is OK, no hiding of the fields and the button.

  39. Lidia17 says:

    Gail, have you had the chance to look at this book yet? It seems to explicate your contentions about humans and fire.

    https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-54734-9_4

    The writer was on NBL radio recently.

    • Thanks for pointing the chapter out to me. I looked at the end notes and they point out one reference I hadn’t seen before:

      https://cosmosmagazine.com/biology/australian-raptors-start-fires-to-flush-out-prey/

      Australian raptors start fires to flush out prey
      The first recorded instance of fire being used by animals.

      “At or around an active fire front, birds – usually black kites, but sometimes brown falcons – will pick up a firebrand or a stick not much bigger than your finger and carry it away to an unburnt area of grass and drop it in there to start a new fire,” says Bob Gosford, an ornithologist with the Central Land Council in Alice Springs, in the Northern Territory, who led the documentation of witness accounts. “It’s not always successful, but sometimes it results in ignition.”

      “Observers report both solo and cooperative attempts, often successful, to spread wildfires intentionally via single-occasion or repeated transport of burning sticks in talons or beaks. This behaviour, often represented in sacred ceremonies, is widely known to local people in the Northern Territory,” write the authors behind the find in the Journal of Ethnobiology.

      It also references another article I am sure I have seen before, but I don’t remember using as a reference.

      https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/why-fire-makes-us-human-72989884/

      Why Fire Makes Us Human
      Cooking may be more than just a part of your daily routine, it may be what made your brain as powerful as

      Wherever humans have gone in the world, they have carried with them two things, language and fire. As they traveled through tropical forests they hoarded the precious embers of old fires and sheltered them from downpours. When they settled the barren Arctic, they took with them the memory of fire, and recreated it in stoneware vessels filled with animal fat. Darwin himself considered these the two most significant achievements of humanity. It is, of course, impossible to imagine a human society that does not have language, but—given the right climate and an adequacy of raw wild food—could there be a primitive tribe that survives without cooking? In fact, no such people have ever been found. Nor will they be, according to a provocative theory by Harvard biologist Richard Wrangham, who believes that fire is needed to fuel the organ that makes possible all the other products of culture, language included: the human brain.

      • Robert Firth says:

        Gail, a brief but truly heartfelt “Thank You” for getting rid of the terminally stupid framing of posts in ever diminishing frames, even to the point where they fall into a singularity. I know from bitter experience how hard it can be to remove IT stupidity, so again, “Well Done!”.

        • I think that the new “editor” with the “Jetpack” has eliminated the Microsoft problems I was having. There is a new version of the RSS feed that I put back up as well. The “Google Translate” widget is still available. So I went back to the old format, with slightly improved widgets.

          At this point, I have recent comments two different places: on the sidebar (farther down) and at the end of the post. The widget is easy to put in a new place or do whatever I want with it.

  40. Herbie R Ficklestein says:

    This is how I vision the last man standing as in John Huston’s classic movie The Treasure of Sierra Madre with Walter Huston and Tim Holt….always get a big laugh watching the gold blowing back to where they found it!
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=RAapNGRfaBI

    I know, it’s only a movie…😜

  41. Ed says:

    Alberta Premier says no to reset

    https://youtu.be/DllYfbvbsTU

  42. Malcopian says:

    Human-made materials now outweigh Earth’s entire biomass – study

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/dec/09/human-made-materials-now-outweigh-earths-entire-biomass-study

    • Herbie R Ficklestein says:

      Incredible statistics!😳
      Their research shows that human activity including production of concrete, metal, plastic, bricks and asphalt has brought the world to a crossover point where human-made mass – driven mostly by enhanced consumption and urban development – exceeds the overall living biomass on Earth.
      On average, every person in the world is responsible for the creation of human-made matter equal to more than their bodyweight each week, the paper published in Nature says.
      The research found that the stamp of humanity has been increasing in size rapidly since the beginning of the 20th century, doubling every 20 years.
      The researchers support a proposal to name the current epoch as Anthropocene, reflecting the abrupt and considerable impact of human activity…….
      They found that at the beginning of the 20th century, the mass of human-produced objects was equal to about 3% of the world’s total biomass. But in 2020, human-made mass has reached about 1.1 teratonnes, exceeding overall global biomass.
      Remember my Dear Architecture Teacher, Doctor Carrera, pointing out that concrete at that time in 1975, was not considered a rock, but he mentioned eventually it would if the trend continues. Think rock in geology was defined as an integral substrate of the Earth surface.

      How much further can humans expand?

      • Malcopian says:

        Here’s another shocker, from 2006 this time.

        “According to the United Nations, the planet’s population is currently split almost right down the middle: 3.2 billion in the city, 3.2 billion in the countryside. But by the start of 2007, the balance will have tipped decisively away from the fields and towards the skyscrapers.

        No one knows for sure precisely where and when urban life started. But we can make a good guess about where the urbanising trend will reach its zenith. Simply count which skylines have the most cranes, track where the bulk of the world’s concrete is being poured or follow one of the biggest, fastest movements of humanity in history. All lead east, to China.”

        https://www.theguardian.com/world/2006/mar/15/china.china

        • Malcopian says:

          A similar article from 2006.

          “Throughout history, the world has experienced urbanisation but the huge rise in the number of people making their homes in towns and cities is a recent phenomenon.

          In 1950, less than one-in-three people lived in urban areas. The world had just two so-called “megacities” with populations in excess of 10 million: New York and Tokyo. Today, there are at least 20. The world’s urban infrastructure has to absorb the equivalent of the population of two Tokyos each year. Some cities’ populations are 40 times larger than they were in 1950.

          It is predicted that Africa will be an urban continent by 2030. Because the urban areas are economically stagnant, 70% of Africa’s urban population find themselves living in slums.”

          http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/5054052.stm

          • Malcopian says:

            The opening two minutes of the 1973 film ‘Soylent Green’. The only good part of it. The film is shlocky, stilted, old-fashioned even for its day, while the ending is embarrassingly corny.

            • Herbie R Ficklestein says:

              Yes, never really sat through the whole picture myself, but really like a few scenes. The death of Edward G Robinson is the highlight….
              https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=SFniijAGpyc

              Not a bad way to go….well done, mate!

            • Malcopian says:

              ‘The death of Edward G Robinson is the highlight’

              Oh dear. Why did you hate him so? In real life he died not long after the making of that film.

              I only watched it earlier this month. I’d always assumed Soylent Green was a place. And ‘Soylent’ sounded like the way some rustic Englishmen pronounce ‘silent’. Not so! It was supposedly a food made out of soy and lentils. Groan!

            • I thought the plot of the movie was that it was made out of people.

            • Tim Groves says:

              They are working on a sequel in which the only human food available is pot noodles made from yeast grown in vats of raw human sewage.

              The working title is Soylent Brown.

        • Herbie R Ficklestein says:

          Casablanca gambling? I’m shocked
          https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=SjbPi00k_ME

          Just human nature.. shocked at your own doing…
          Many exchanges over the human overshoot and generally speaking the response has been one of, Ah, It’s not that bad, don’t be that way….pleaaaase…

  43. Ed says:

    Banning natural gas heating is now a green thing. In Seattle and UK. Do politicians know nothing about how electricity is made?

    • Seattle does have quite a bit of hydroelectric power. Of course, if it uses it for heat, Seattle won’t have it available to sell to California. California needs lot of imported electricity.

    • Dubuis says:

      Combined with heat pump, it is more efficient than gas. But it requires heat pump. In Switzerland, people with electric heating system have to change it to heat pump.

      • We have a heat pump heating and cooling our finished basement, where our son who lives with us has his living quarters. About 2/3 of the basement is finished and heated. The cost of its operation has never struck me as inexpensive. We have gas heat on the main floor and the second level (which we don’t heat very much).

        Last February, which happened to be our coldest month, our gas bill was $116, while our electricity bill was $254.

        Our lowest gas bill is for June or July. It is about $42 for each of these months. It covers the cost of hot water and gas company fixed costs.

        Our lowest electricity month is May. Its price was $93.

        So, subtracting, the cost of heating the partially finished basement with the heat pump during February was about $254 – $93, or $161.

        The cost of heating the first floor, and slightly heating the second floor was $116 – $42 = $72.

        Gas costs are extremely low. My impression is that the cost of the furnace and filters gets to be a big share of the total cost. Electricity prices are relatively higher. Heating cost are not high in Atlanta to begin with, keeping prices down. We did not opt for the most efficient gas furnace either, figuring that the added cost was not justified.

    • Mirror on the wall says:

      Spiked has a new article on Boris’ bonkers ‘green’ energy plan.

      > The lie of the ‘green industrial revolution’

      Boris Johnson’s plans to ban gas boilers and rely on hydrogen are beyond crazy.

      Following Boris Johnson’s 10-point plan to advance the UK’s ‘green industrial revolution’, the government is bringing forward its proposed ban on gas boilers in new homes from 2025 to 2023. The 10-point plan also requires replacement gas boilers to be phased out by 2035.

      This leaves a huge question hanging over each and every home in Britain: how will they be kept warm? The fact that this question has no answer reveals the lie at the heart of Johnson’s green industrial revolution. It is an anti-industrial revolution, and it is going to create great hardship.

      Some 84 per cent of Britain’s homes are connected to the gas network. It sounds obvious to say that they should just switch over to electricity. But the retail price of gas is less than a quarter the price of electricity per kWh. Heating a home with electricity is therefore currently four times more expensive than heating a home with gas. Moreover, switching simply defers the question of where Britain’s energy is going to come from.

      The abundance of gas, and the ease with which it can be stored, transported and used, makes it the cheaper and more convenient form of energy compared with electricity. Hence Britain’s gas network transports nearly three times as much energy as the electricity grid (876 TWh vs 324 TWh). Furthermore, nearly 40 per cent of electricity is produced by gas-fired power stations. To replace gas with electricity implies scaling up the grid and generating capacity by more than five times.

      This, and many other implications of Johnson’s incautious 10-point plan, make it perhaps the most absurdly expensive political folly ever to have been inflicted on a population. But even more bizarre is the idea that hydrogen technology is going to rescue the government from its madness.

      Point two of the plan is ‘to generate 5GW of low-carbon hydrogen-production capacity by 2030 for industry, transport, power and homes, and aiming to develop the first town heated entirely by hydrogen by the end of the decade’. Unlike natural gas, hydrogen is not an energy source – it has to be produced. There are two ways to produce hydrogen: electrolysis and steam reforming of natural gas.

      Electrolysis at grid scale is simply uneconomic – a highly conservative estimate of the requirements and costs of replacing natural gas with hydrogen produced by electrolysis and powered by wind energy would say that Britain would need 20 times as many wind farms, and the wholesale cost of electricity would increase tenfold.

      Steam reforming of natural gas entails losing a third of natural gas’s energy during the conversion process itself. And for this to conform to the Net Zero agenda, the greenhouse gasses it produces will have to be stored underground….

      https://www.spiked-online.com/2020/12/09/the-lie-of-the-green-industrial-revolution/

      • Tim Groves says:

        If this Green bonkers stuff goes on much longer, one set of people will be hanging another set of people from lampposts, not to mention from wind turbines, and staking them out over solar panels to broil in the summer sun. It will look like the end of the Spartacus movie—any Spartacus movie! Lamentable of course, but people can only stand so much flagrant destruction of their livelihood and way of life.

      • This is bizarre. My example above of our heating costs in Atlanta shows that the cost of operating a heat pump can be disproportionately high compared to the natural gas heating cost. Somehow, in February 2020, it cost more than twice as much to heat 2/3 of a basement with a heat pump as heating the first floor (and slightly heating the second floor) with gas heat.

        I have no idea how Boris Johnson thinks that he will obtain all of the additional electricity needed for his plan. Furthermore, it looks like a whole lot of new transmission will be needed, as well. This takes a very long time to build, most places. If it is all underground, it is likely quite expensive.

        Has anyone put any thought to this at all?

  44. Ed says:

    HELP!!!! Get rid of gas heat and replace it with electric heat because electric is green?????

    How stupid are politicians? Make electric from heat 1/3 of energy goes into electric. Ship it over transmission line lose 3%. Then make heat from electric. Versus burn gas get near 100 percent of energy as heat.

    This is being rolled out in Seattle and UK.

    • Lidia17 says:

      There is a local green nut who scolds everyone in town with a wood stove, saying they should buy heat pumps.

  45. Dennis L. says:

    Norman,

    Sorry, sort of bored this PM.

    “The explosive force in coal/oil/gas similarly requires the energy converter of the piston or turbine. That ultimately results in rotative forces. Unless you specialise in cannon balls or rockets of course.”

    Since everyone is being picky, if there is an explosion in an IC engine, that is knock, there is a controlled burning, an expansion of gas, no explosions.

    There are no explosions in a steam engine nor a turbine, there is an expansion of gas, the difference in the steam temperature entering the turbine and that leaving the turbine over the cycle results in work and entropy, work is energy over a displacement, either the turbine or a piston.

    A cannon or a rocket is not an explosion unless one wants a disaster. Cannons are controlled burning, in the case of a cannon hopefully the entire process is complete when the ball leaves the barrel and not until, otherwise a longer/shorter barrel is more efficient. In a rocket the ideal is to accelerate a gas, diverge the nozzle and have the gas exit with zero relative pressure(pressure decreases with altitude)difference. When the Saturn rocket blasted off, the gas would be expanded by those large nozzles to zero pressure but with considerable velocity, pretty neat trick.

    One wonders how our society can have intelligent conversations when so much basic knowledge is missing and substituted with strongly worded opinions. Norman, not meant to be sarcastic, you are not correct regarding conversion of energy from one form to another. You do not understand the process, your description is incorrect at best, disastrous at worst, but stated with great certainty.

    My deepest fear is in my country, the US, we have policy wonks who confuse words with reality; going off on a tangent about which one is ill informed causes doubt about the remainder of one’s statements. I always fear that and generally fact check much/most of what I post and when I don’t, state it is commented from memory.

    So thus endith the thermodynamic lesson for the day.

    Dennis L.

    • fair enough

      If we have no need of intermediate energy conversion processes, I’ll pour diesel on my veg patch next spring and let you know how I get on come harvest time

    • theblondbeast says:

      Combustion is the release of energy through burning. The speed of the flame is what classifies reactions. Combustion at supersonic levels is a detonation. Combustion at subsonic levels is called deflagration. Low explosives, such as gun powder, require burning. High explosives are classified by not requiring oxygen and can typically not be detonated by heat alone. All low explosives require combustion to generate energy.

      • thanks

        clarified the point I was trying to make

      • Robert Firth says:

        Not so: gunpowder does not require atmospheric oxygen. 15 parts saltpeter, three parts charcoal, two parts sulphur. Light the blue touch paper and stand well back.

        • lol

          I recall that recipe in one of those books:

          ‘things for boys to do”. (that was in my pre-girl days of course.)

          Told you how to roll paper round a pencil, and how to make a fuse. great stuff

          back then you could go to the local chemist and ask for those ingredients, and chat about what you were going to do with them. He didn’t think anything of it.

          Never seemed to work very well as I recall–hence I am here to tell the tale

          • Robert Firth says:

            Norman, I am glad you survived your schoolboy experiments. My most problematic was when I helped hang a Foucault pendulum in the stairwell of the science building. The attic was insulated with glass fibre, which is when I discovered that glass fibre (a) penetrates the skin, and (b) eventually dissolves with no harm done.

            But to make gunpowder effective you need to do more than mix the ingredients; you need to make them into “corned powder”, which was invented only in the early sixteenth century. You can look it up.

            • you had glass fibre?

              wow

              we thought ourselves lucky to have roof tiles.

              My school (this was after the Dotheboys Hall, of 1874) was built on the Roman Forum principle of the open square, quite the new thing for 1939 (I went later than that I hasten to add). Every classroom open to the elements and ate tons of coal every week to heat it.

              300 hooligans and the Head knew us all by name to yell at—never did figure out how he did that.

              Now demolished of course

              never knew about the corned powder–probably just as well

        • theblondbeast says:

          I didn’t say atmospheric oxygen but I did say it requires burning. And you are right. Potassium nitrate releases oxygen in the presence of heat serving as the oxidizer.

  46. Ed says:

    Hope springs eternal. From qalerts.app

  47. I looked at the new John Campbell you tube video. It is sort of on vaccines in general, but after about 8 minutes, 30 seconds, it is mostly about a new peer reviewed paper on the AstroZeneca vaccine.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fXn1PCU2E8

    https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)32623-4/fulltext

    Dr. Campbell feels that the AstroZeneca vaccine is the vaccine that most of the world will get. It will be about $3 per dose. Using a half dose first seemed to substantially help the efficacy of the vaccine.

    This vaccine does not have the onerous storage requirements of the m-RNA based drugs, either. This is an article I found:

    https://www.fiercepharma.com/manufacturing/astrazeneca-hopes-warmer-storage-needs-for-covid-19-vaccine-will-be-advantage-against

    AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate, dubbed AZD1222, can be stored and transported at normal refrigerated temps of 2 degrees to 8 degrees Celsius (36 degrees to 46 degrees Fahrenheit) for at least six months and can be administered in “existing healthcare settings,” giving the shot a major logistics leg up over a leading mRNA-based competitor that requires ultra-cold storage.

    • Herbie R Ficklestein says:

      3 New Red Flags for AstraZeneca’s Coronavirus Vaccine
      The latest update raises alarming questions that need answering.
      https://www.fool.com/investing/2020/12/09/3-new-red-flags-for-astrazenecas-coronavirus-vacci/

      Nothing like this ever goes as smoothly as they promote

      • Robert Firth says:

        Sorry, Herbie, that site attempts to invade my personal privacy. It pretends to give me the opportunity to refuse, but when I try, it simply returns an error message. I suggest OFW readers consider boycotting it.

        It also appears to be a site about finance. For such a site to talk down the cheapest drug available also seems problematic, so at least check the references, if you can see them.

        • Herbie R Ficklestein says:

          Sorry, Robert, was unaware James Cramer wanted to do such things. True the site is about finances, but the article is not about money, but the status of the company itself, that will affect it’s stock price.

          From Wilkepedia
          The Motley Fool is a private financial and investing advice company based in Alexandria, Virginia. It was founded in July 1993 by co-chairmen and brothers David Gardner and Tom Gardner, and Erik Rydholm, who has since left the company. Its main business is online subscription services with investing recommendations, stock research, and analysis. The company employs over 300 people worldwide.[1]
          The company also established free and subscription-based businesses in several countries. As of 2019, The Motley Fool has operations in the United Kingdom[20], Australia[21], Canada[22], Germany[23], and Japan.[24] In October 2019, the company announced that it was shutting down operations in Singapore.[25]. A year later, in October of 2020, the company announced that it was also shutting down operations in Hong Kong.
          PS I feel I’m being watched too😳

  48. Jarle says:

    Number of deaths in Sweden from 2010 to 2020:

    https://www.statista.com/statistics/525353/sweden-number-of-deaths/

    Where’s the Covid-19 toll?

    • One thing I don’t know is how much of a reporting lag there is in the number of deaths. In the US, it is at least two weeks. Certain states, like North Carolina, take a very long time to report deaths. So the deaths reported as of December 4 may really be similar to the actual deaths as of an earlier date, such as November 15, or even November 1. I would wait until significantly after year end, to compare 2020 deaths to 2019 deaths, if I didn’t understand the reporting lag situation.

      I have seen this issue in US data. Working in the insurance industry, we had to deal a lot with the reporting lag issue. Claims get reported after the event takes place. It takes a while to get all of the details figured out.

      In the case of death certificates, there seem to be a number of things that need to be coded, and it may take a while to get all of this information.

      • Jarle says:

        “I would wait until significantly after year end, to compare 2020 deaths to 2019 deaths, if I didn’t understand the reporting lag situation.”

        There are only 10 million Swedes so I wouldn’t expect the lag to be anything like in the US or other big countries.

    • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      at least 8% of the days in 2020 are not yet counted in those total.

      8% more deaths = about 7,000 so the 2020 total should be somewhere around 94,000.

      a new record high, but just barely, by about 2,000.

      those 2,000 excess deaths might have been old persons with comorbidities, and their deaths pulled forward, so 2021 might show a decrease in total deaths.

      wait 12 months to see.

      • Lidia17 says:

        “new record high” deaths.. is that adjusted for increased population?

      • DJ says:

        Notice how few died in 2019

        • Jarle says:

          Mortality in Norway and Sweden before and after the Covid-19 outbreak: a cohort study

          https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.110/2020.11.11.20229708v1.full

          “Conclusions All-cause mortality remained unaltered in Norway. In Sweden, the observed increase in all-cause mortality during Covid-19 was partly due to a lower than expected mortality preceding the epidemic and the observed excess mortality, was followed by a lower than expected mortality after the first Covid-19 wave. This may suggest mortality displacement.”

          • Norway seems to have high levels of vitamin D thanks to many citizens drinking cod liver oil, so very low COVID-19 rates, explaining the situation there.

  49. Minority Of One says:

    Chris Martenson’s (Peak Prosperity) last video which discussed Ivermectin got pulled by the YT sensors.

    He discusses that in this YT video. Presumably this one will get pulled as well. But this one features a CV19 front-line doctor giving Senate testimony about Ivermectin, which he thinks is a CV19 wonder drug.

    Censored!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kE2EcKm5Uj4

    Chris is considering no longer posting on YT. He sees no point if discussing CV19 means his videos get pulled.

    • Xabier says:

      The very nice and reasonable Dr Moran, who just puts out the stats in an unbiased way, also got censored by Youtube for mentioning a drug which is not approved of – welcome to Soviet Union Mk 2.

      ‘You WILL take what is good for you, Citizen!’

    • We have moved to a strange new world where the free exchange of ideas is no longer permitted.

      I try to fly under the radar, myself.

    • Mark says:

      That Dr is part of flccc.net

      Any OFW comments on this and the the protocol?

      It seems solid even if we will all be dead soon 😉

      • FLCCC.com is Frontline Covid-19 Critical Care Alliance.

        The article on the front page of this website is

        Dr. Pierre Kory testifies to Senate Committee about Ivermectin, Dec. 8, 2020

        Appearing as a witness Tuesday morning before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs—which held a hearing on “Early Outpatient Treatment: An Essential Part of a COVID-19 Solution”— Dr. Pierre Kory, President of the Frontline COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC), called for the government to swiftly review the already expansive and still rapidly emerging medical evidence on Ivermectin.

        The data shows the ability of the drug Ivermectin to prevent COVID-19, to keep those with early symptoms from progressing to the hyper-inflammatory phase of the disease, and even to help critically ill patients recover.

        Dr. Kory testified that Ivermectin is effectively a “miracle drug” against COVID-19 and called upon the government’s medical authorities—the NIH, CDC, and FDA—to urgently review the latest data and then issue guidelines for physicians, nurse-practitioners, and physician assistants to prescribe Ivermectin for COVID-19.

        This is a link to the C-SPAN video

        https://youtu.be/CuHq12B_Tvk

        • Lidia17 says:

          Ivermectin, btw, is avail. from any feed store, Tractor Supply,. even Amazon. It’s a general-purpose livestock de-wormer.

          Cost = $4-6/tube for a 1250# horse dose, 1.87% (active drug weight to dose weight). Do your own math.

    • Ed says:

      bitchute.com is a fine alternative to youtube

      • nikoB says:

        Time to start the move to bitchute. Look for what ever you are after on youdud to see if it is there. if it isn’t there then it is worth writing to the content maker to recommend start uploading to both platforms so that their content can’t be pulled from existence.

      • JesseJames says:

        As is bannedvideo.com.

      • If I do make videos, I will keep this in mind. Thanks!

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