Humans Left Sustainability Behind as Hunter-Gatherers


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. ElbowWilham says:

    Great post Gail! I love the march through history and how well it frames our current predicament.

    • Mike says:

      An interesting post, as always. But I’m left wondering what you think the right course of action is for individuals, communities and governments?

      • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

        my usual answer to that type of question is “do whatever”, because that’s what people are going to do anyway.

        to me, the right course for govs/CBs is to do anything and everything to support the FF system and subsystems.
        Abandon subsidies and all other support for renewables which only decrease overall efficiency.

        and financially kick the can down the road as much as possible.

        I’m not sure if there is any right course of action at a community level.

        individuals? do whatever, ride the bAU train baby, try to enjoy each day, always keep in mind that at the end of the ride there is only the nothingness of eternal death.

        • Robert Firth says:

          “Ah, make the most of what we yet may spend,
          Before we too into the Dust descend;
          Dust into Dust, and under Dust to lie
          Sans Wine, sans Song, sans Singer, and–sans End!

          Alike for those who for To-day prepare,
          And those that after some To-morrow stare,
          A Muezzin from the Tower of Darkness cries
          “Fools! your Reward is neither Here nor There.”

          (Omar Khayyam, رباعيات خيام of course)

      • I think the right course of action depends on the individual. In general, I tell people to appreciate what they have now. Take advantage of every day you have, because we don’t know how long the good days will last, and how steep the downhill slide might be.

        If people have quite a bit of money saved up, I tell them not to worry about spending some of it now, because the money will likely buy less in the future than it does now. It may not be a matter of inflation. It may be that the “shelf is empty” in the store. Or there is no airline that will take you to the store where you want to go.

        People should spend time with their families, or perhaps close friends, if these are more appropriate. Call people on the phone, if you cannot meet them in person.

        In some cases, it may make sense for parents and children to move back in together. Or at least live near each other. Then, if times get rough, there are more family members to depend upon.

        Some people may want to try growing their own food. This is more difficult than it looks. You will need to pay for any land you use, and likely need to pay taxes on the land as well. There is a lot of variability in weather. Pests are of many different sizes: Rabbits and deer may decide to eat what you plant. Insects may be a problem, as may be fungus and other diseases.

        If you do succeed in growing enough to eat, you somehow need to preserve it and store it until needed. I decided this approach was not for me. I still grow a little bit, but not enough to make a big dent in my total need for calories.

        Take care of your own health. Don’t expect the health care system to do much for you. Eat a healthy a diet; go walking or get other exercise.

        Some people will find religion helpful. Somehow this whole universe has been put together and lasted for a very long time. How could this have happened? Who put together the laws of physics that seem to govern the way the whole system operates? If nothing else, we should have a sense of awe at how everything has worked together for as long as it has.

  2. The WSJ reports, OPEC, Allies Agree to Increase Output by 500,000 Barrels a Day in January

    Deal ends standoff and promises modest boost to global supplies as markets tighten

    Oil prices rose after The Wall Street Journal first reported the deal. While any boost to production will add more global supply—pressuring prices—an agreement was seen by oil market watchers as bullish for crude by showing cohesion among the world’s biggest producers.

    I am wondering about the longer term. Recently, the price of oil rose, as the dollar fell (related to Biden’s election). OPEC is then willing to pump some more. I wonder if the price won’t fall back down again.

    • Dennis L. says:

      Perhaps more relevant the price of oil per dollar income of the purchaser. If you are in the stock market, price down, if on welfare, price up but perhaps don’t drive a car anyhow.

      Dennis L.

  3. Mike Roberts says:

    That’s a great observation, about sustainability being lost when humans learned to control fire. It enabled an acceleration of technological development. However, isn’t it also true that all creatures damage their environment in some way? Climax ecosystems have reached a temporary balance between regeneration and deterioration but when humans are involved, there is no balance. Still, if numbers are small and there is no restriction to movement, then human groups can allow the ecosystems they damage to recover, making their lifestyles sustainable when viewed at a high level, over a large region.

    In order to reach something resembling sustainability, human population needs to reduce drastically. Perhaps COVID-19 could have been the way to do that except us clever humans may have scuppered that idea with vaccines. We’ll see.

    • Dennis L. says:


      We tend to examine things in terms of our lifetime, look at things on a log/log scale and we are probably obeying general laws that seem part of physics. Thinking G. West here. Look at the life time of a hare, multiply that x the ratio of the human/hare lifetime and there might not be much difference in the curves Gail presented. No, I have not done it, busy with other things. We live much longer, it takes longer between crashes somewhere a ratio involving 1/4 or a multiple thereof is probably present.

      Dennis L.

      • Herbie Ficklestein says:

        As we’ve seen, humans have on average a heart rate of around 60 to 70 beats per minute, give or take. We live roughly 70 or so years, giving us just over 2 billion beats all up.

        Chickens have a faster heart rate of about 275 beats per minute, and live only 15 years. On balance, they also have about 2 billion beats.

        We seem kind of lucky. A whale has around 20 beats per minute, and lives only slightly longer than us. It gets just under a billion heart beats.
        From Science

    • Jean Wilson says:

      The vaccine’s purpose is depopulation, as planned by the followers of eugenics, e.g. bill gates and his pals.

      • With as many makers of vaccine as there are, I don’t really think that the vaccine’s purpose is depopulation.

        I am skeptical that difficult-to-transport and store vaccines will ever make it to most of the world’s population. We have not been able to wipe out HIV or tuberculosis. At best, a vaccine “damps down” the number of COVID cases for a while. Then we need new versions of the vaccine, as the virus mutates to need a different response. Then we have a new version of the old problem.

      • the only thin contagious in here is the humour of conspiracies.

        that nonsense is more dangerous than any virus

        • nikoB says:

          It depends on the conspiracy perhaps. I think vaccine makers conspiring to rush a product to market without the use level of checks and measures is not very funny.

          • Wolfbay says:

            Not to worry. Government gave vaccine developers a pass so they’re not liable for any problems from the rushed vaccines.

    • Jonas Eggen says:

      Even the black plague did not have any substantial impact on the growth of human populations in the long run. A combination of technologies and humans abilities to reproduce are probably main reasons for this.

      • Also, overshoot and collapse is a typical way economies behave. Epidemics are often part of the collapse cycle. The fall off in population reduces pressure on resources. Many more job openings for young people suddenly become available after some of the “dead wood” has been cleared out. The expectation should be that human population will follow cycles, somewhat like those in Figure 1, as well, especially within a local area. Without fossil fuels, frequent epidemics are to be expected.

      • the plague of the 1300s didn’t destroy the source of energy production—ie the land

        it only took out the means—-workers (the energy converters)—for a short period until they regrew their own numbers

        this time it’s different

        this plague has struck at the point at which our energy resource–oil–is reaching its point of terminal decline, and is becoming unaffordable.

        covid has collapsed our cash-passing system of keeping ourselves delusionally employed. This was our way our telling ourselves that we didn’t need fossil fuels for survival. As long as we paid wages to each other, everything was OK.

        Now we have too many ‘energy converters’, and too little energy to convert.
        In the 1300s, it was the other way round.

        unlike the 1300s, we do not have the means to go out into empty lands and just start growing food again to ‘restart’ our economic system.

  4. Fast Eddy says:

    Just a quick one-off note…

    For some years now Fast Eddy has amused OFWers with the plea that the PTB be sure to put us down gently when the full effects of the end of cheap oil hit. Fentanyl packages in the post was referenced.

    However the postal system is clogged with inbound ‘stuff’ from China as the world engages in a final orgy of pillaging of the planets resources. And Fentanyl was never going to work because most people would not be willing to administer it to their families. Hope springs eternal and they would prefer to ‘be brave’ and fight to pillage another day.

    Fortunately the PTB have thought this through and they are aware of the following (and a whole lot more):

    – there is no ‘another day’ – when the shit show ends we go extinct

    – prepping is futile — and will only result in tremendous suffering because bad people will find you – take your food – rape your women – and enslave you. And eventually the enslavers and you will die of starvation (or go out of your minds and commit suicide) when your organic delusion reveals itself of a nightmare of drudgery, hunger and misery.

    – then there are the 4000 spent fuel ponds – need I say more?

    – the Elders know that they are done and we are done — so why allow a Global Holodomor + utter savagery to take place — when there is another option?

    Enter Covid. Basically a bad flu that was likely created in a lab and purposely spread (as Luc Montagnier Nobel Prize winning virologist insists).

    The global economy was about to collapse — so Covid provides justification for one last gasp of epic stimulus to delay the end game and allow the Elders to prep us for The Final Solution. Putting the global economy on ice also when all sources of oil including shale are peaking keeps the price of oil skyrocketing and prematurely collapsing the economy (did you know that air travel uses 8% of all oil? — I imagine cruise ships burn quite a lot as well but cannot locate that %)

    Now anyone with half a brain (that would exclude well over 9.9999% of the entire population of humans on the planet) would recognize that the Covid story is utter BS.

    Just read the Great Barrington Declaration and watch the video presentations on their site if you want the real story. Then take a look at how Sweden – without lockdowns or masks — adopted the ‘focus protection’ strategy (advise in GBD) in July — and they dropped from 5th in deaths per million to 22nd.

    Oh and just over 200 people under 60 have died of Covid in Sweden (out of 10M) and 85%+ of those who died were on their death bed already.

    Who needs a vaccine? Just follow Sweden and this crisis would end in months (see the GBD video on herd immunity… it is crucial). But nope — our leaders prefer mass suicide (they really do!!!)

    And how is it we have multiple vaccines ready in a matter of months when it takes YEARS to develop and test a vaccine? An untested vaccine can be worse than the disease… hundreds of millions could die (of course that is the plan… hold tight)

    I highly recommend watching this – this guy is a top virology scientist and he is livid

    Okay so Covid is bull shit… so some old people die … lots of old people die from the flu. Who cares — cuz the Covid policies have killed far more people (and causes epic suffering)….. and will lead to total extinction …. (punchline coming)….

    Yesterday two stories dropped – Wales and the US are launching Vaccine Cards. They say they won’t force anyone to take the jab BUT if you don’t forget about coming out of your home — you won’t be allowed to fly – go to events — restaurants – bars — etc….

    Not hard to imagine everyone having to display their card — anyone without one who ventures out might be stoned to death (historically humans have had a penchant for roasting heretics over hot coals … so don’t be surprised…)

    That said, I expect that these vaccines will carry some sort of extremely deadly and contagious new virus (Covid 21?) — so it will not matter if you agree to the jab or not —billions will be begging to be first…. (note they are stockpiling the vaccines… so they will be able to poison hundreds of millions in a short time)….

    If I am correct… the vaccine will create a situation far worse than Covid — we will be told that we had no choice and we rushed it through without proper testing …. Covid 21 will spread like wildfire… and we’ll all go peacefully into the night (I suspect it will cause severe pneumonia … which is apparently a pleasant way to die).

    Personally I would prefer Fentanyl but I don’t know how to get that… not keen on a flu jab — would kinda feel like a death row inmate getting the death jab… too creepy…

    I think I prefer 195mph into the rock cut…. all it takes at that speed is a slight jerk of the wheel… and it’s all over….

    It won’t be too difficult I reckon — because I’ll be euphoric after drinking a lot of Champagne during my celebrating the imminent extinction of the most vile monstrosity to ever walk on this planet. I’ll finish it off with a toast to Mother just prior to jerking the wheel — she has defeated the Virus —- of course I do not mean Covid — I mean us – humans….

    How ironic — we are using a virus as cover to put ourselves out of our misery.

    I am entertained!!!! And soon we get to see what comes next – if anything.



    1. Prediction of November surge in infections, deaths, lockdowns etc.. — CHECK

    2. Vaccination Cards imminent — CHECK

    3. ‘They have also made it very clear that nothing will stop the planned outcomes’ — the decision has been made. See extreme force (and massive fines) being used on those who attempt to protest lockdowns — CHECK

    4. ‘That it wont just be Canada but in fact all nations will have similar roadmaps and agendas.’ — the global response is consistent and not even Sweden is calling fake — so CHECK

    5. I do not believe this insider was given the full story. They were not given the Peak Oil info — and I do not believe there will be any sort of reset — there cannot be — they are being told this because they need to be on board to execute the plan — if they were told that this was Operation Death Sentence — many more insiders would refuse to play ball.

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

    Dear (REMOVED),

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Vancouver, Canada· Posted October 14

    • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      “If I am correct…”

      not, as usual.

      • Robert Firth says:

        O my paws and whiskers, it seems Fast Eddy has risen from the grave. Paging Professor Abraham Van Helsing …

        Seriously, though, FE, welcome back. And the problem with your Canadian scenario is that when the clash comes between the tyrants and the people, the military will side with the people. Sic semper tyrannis.

    • Tim Groves says:

      Correct you may well be, Eddy. Welcome to the Global Jonestown Village! How would you like your Koolaid. We have three flavors on tap: Moderna, Pfizer and Astra Zeneca. Which would you like a shot of?

      If you’ll permit me to join in the speculation. It may well be that in order to preserve BAU for the rest of the world, it has been decided to deindustrialize and largely depopulate Europe and North America (and perhaps Australia and NZ just for fun).

      Europe and North America are the places where, as Gail points out, a lot of energy is needed just to survive the winter. And in Australia they love to guzzle it too. Also, as mature economies, they have humongous social security commitments that would be difficult to meet without recolonizing the Third World in a new “Raj”, and that isn’t going to happen.

      Asians, Africans and South Americans are much more frugal with energy use, and don’t have as far to fall in the event of economic collapse and in many countries self-sufficiency rate are quite high because the bulk of people can’t afford much in the way of imported food, goods and services. Remember those Bali farmers who even today grow three rice crops per year, often without machinery and using dung as a fertilizer? They will endure and survive the tough times to come in greater numbers because they are used to having it tough.

      Maurice Strong said clearly at the Rio Summit in 1992: “Mr. President, the carrying capacity of our Earth can only sustain present and future generations if it is matched by the caring capacity of its people and its leaders. We must bring our species under control, for our own survival, for that of all life on our precious planet. Thanks to you, Mr. President, Distinguished Delegates, we now have a unique opportunity to do this. ”

      One of the stars of that conference was a young girl named Severn Suzuki, a 1990s predecessor of Greta Thunberg and the daughter of enviro-millionaire David Suzuki. Severn is still on the pundit circuit today at aged 40. The Rio agenda is still moving forward and its aim is still to bring our species under control. That means destroying the American or Western consumerist lifestyle and replacing it for the survivors with something that that the Green persuasion regard as more sustainable.

    • Ed says:

      So happy to see you FE. This is the case if Biden is made president. If the US military is used to arrest, try, and execute the traitors I expect better results in the US. The rest of five eyes can die it leaves more for us.

    • Bei Dawei says:

      And then Taiwan and New Zealand inherit the earth! It’s diabolical. Hope you all like sheep and Hello Kitty stuff.

    • avocado says:

      I’m just starting a tombstones business, delivering to Canada. Planning a Christmas offer, in case people buy in advance thinking they will need them next year. So you think I should avoid credit card payments? Cash is fine or will it disappear as well? Not so soon? Or should I rather sell internment camp gear, such as cup and ball toys? I’d really appreciate your thoughts on these matters, thanks

    • Not sure you are the genuine FE deal though..

      Nevertheless it’s pretty clear major (western) first tier countries are eyeing that “social scoring” system by Chinese gov with envy and heavy over-salivation reflex.

      Basically it concerns the ability to turn on/off various aspects of human existence be it access, energy consumption, legal rights, ..

      So, in minimal variant we can expect they would like to phase it in as well. It doesn’t have to be depop instrument right away as you suggested.

    • Herbie Ficklestein says:

      Jumping for JoY!🤸🤸😷 Nice of you to return to keep us all level headed and informed on the real deal. Sounds like a logical plan by the Elders, Fast Eddy. As you write, there is no reason to plan ahead because there is no reset planned for us common folk.
      As an Airline employee, I can attest to the demise of the Industry and the death spiral we are in ready for insolvency in months.
      This latest wave assures that and more.
      Of course, being a good citizen, will be in line for the vaccine.
      Hopefully, it will be quick death.
      Hope you and Mrs Fast 💙, are enjoying the finale of BAU , wherever that may be now. The calm before the tidal wave is very surreal.
      OFW with Gail is a benchmark for me. Of course, many help her here, like Harry McGibbs roundup, to keep up to date and the ensuing chaos.
      Well, got to go, the local church is offering a free groceries at the food bank here. Only an hour wait and across town the city has a $200 gift card to shop at the Supermarket for residences…hurry, supplies are limited😱
      The show must go on….

    • JMS says:

      Nice to hear from you again, FE. Yours is exactly my view.
      Your observation that the great reset may be just an illusory bait to convince political leaders to adhere to the controlled demolition plan is very interesting and pertinent, and something that had not occurred to me.

    • Ed says:

      FE I do not believe you are going out peacefully. I see you as the Mad Max of New Zealand. Screaming down the road in your coal fired chariot.

    • Minority Of One says:

      FE – nice to see you back, with your no-nonsense comments.
      Agreed, everything going according plan.

      Your suggestion that the vaccines might be ‘contaminated’ with another virus is not as crazy as some might think. I seem to remember Judy Mikovits stating in one of her videos this already happens.

    • Glad to have you back.

      Hopefully, Biden can’t go very far in the Canadian direction without Senate approval.

      On the Senate approval (or lack thereof), I am doing my little bit to help. I signed up to help at the upcoming polls here in Georgia. The newspaper reported that they were not opening up very many advance voting places in my county for lack of poll workers. I haven’t heard back from whoever looks at poll-worker applications yet. A person normally has to take a one-day training course. I am not sure at this late date such training will be available.

  5. Bei Dawei says:

    About 15 years ago I got into the writings of the late Daniel Quinn, whose major books (didactic novels) are “Ishmael” and “The Story of B.” Quinn points to the rise of “totalitarian agriculture” as the point where humans began living an ultimately unsustainable lifestyle, but I realized that humans were nearly as fecund before mass agriculture (hence no mammoths).

    I also wondered exactly what distinguished “totalitarian” agriculture from the small-scale agriculture practiced by indigenous tribespeople. Quinn seems to suggest that it is all in their attitude, but “grain storage” sounds like a better answer.

    Over here rice is the main foodstuff, and after that wheat (bread and noodles), while taro and sweet potatoes are also traditional starches. (Potatoes are normally only encountered in the form of French fries.) Each of these carries certain ethnic associations: rice is eaten in south China, noodles and bread in the north, taros by people whose ancestors have been in Taiwan longer, and sweet potatoes by the generation that arrived after 1949.

    After the collapse, I imagine that the survivors will benefit from the favorable climate, but suffer from the demise of oil-based agricultural machinery (and the unavailability of water buffalo to replace it). Also, our population (24 million) is far higher than a century ago (a couple million), and mostly lacks basic farming skills (myself included).

    • Tim Groves says:

      You’ll be fine if you can get yourself as tennis court-sized plot. Taro is a reliable crop that literally grows itself. On the other hand, you have to watch out for caterpillars—all kinds; some with green bodies, horns and red tongues—that eat the leaves. If you want to eat, you have to be brutal with them. I, being squeamish, dump them on the compost heap!

      • Jean Wilson says:

        Taro need lots of water, and where I live, the scrub turkeys dig it up and eat it really quickly. Your tennis court will need a good fence around it and on top too, as turkeys can fly. Good luck!

      • Bei Dawei says:

        Some people (not here) eat caterpillars, but the very thought gives me butterflies in my stomach.

    • I remember reading about some very long-lived people in Southern Japan. They lived mostly on purple sweet potatoes, as I recall.

      A person almost has to have a very long history of different part of the world to figure out what worked where.

  6. Colin says:

    Basically 100% of Iceland’s power is from renewables, similar for Norway and 82% for Canada. Russia is the opposite but produce gas so cheaply and abundantly they flare so much your head will spin.

    Not being able to keep the lights on? Huh?

    Except Russia these countries power is the highest sustainable rankings in the world. Canada steel and aluminum already greenest in the world. The list goes on.

    These countries represent the majority of cold nations and all have relatively minuscule populations while the last three export multiples more hydrocarbons than they consume and have an estimated 100 year supply at current production rates and prices.

    Playing the peak oil game, just for fun, their exports would drop while maintaining internal needs because they need a smooth engine to export in the first place.

    It’s hungry importers that will be wandering in the dark…

    • Dams need repair parts and other servicing. For example, Oroville Dam in California, completed in 1968, but failed in 2017.

      According to the report:

      As documented in extensive media coverage, on February 7, 2017, while the service spillway flow was about 52,500 cfs (much less than the historical maximum of 160,000 cfs about a decade prior), the service spillway chute suddenly experienced failure and removal of a section of the concrete slab about halfway down the chute. This was immediately followed by rapid erosion of the foundation and adjacent ground, and progressive failure and removal of the chute slab in the upstream and downstream directions.

      180,000 people were evacuated, during this incident.

      Many other dams have failed as well:

      We need a working fossil fuel system for the repairs hydroelectric dams need. We need companies making the repair parts operating, as well. Also, keeping the electricity transmission lines repaired is a major effort. In remote areas, helicopters may be needed. In general, there need to be roads for repair people to use. We really need the whole fossil fuel system to keep electricity of any kind operating.

      Many peak oilers have looked at the future energy situation as if oil will someday become high-priced, but the overall economic system will operate as today. The issue is different. The problem will be infighting, like we are seeing today. Governments may collapse or be overthrown. There may be wars. Many things we expect to buy today simply will not be available at any price. The situation will be worse than the lack of toilet paper this year. It is these issues that will make that will make it hard to keep dams and their transmission lines operating for very many years.

      I do agree that dams do look like a better bet than some other types of generation, at least for a short time. Maybe, if you live close enough, the transmission problems won’t be too bad.

      • Herbie Ficklestein says:

        Bravo Gail for putting it in a nutshell.
        When in Charlotte NC the issue of dams was featured in the news for their upkeep and maintenance.
        Many were privately owned

        North Carolina No. 2 for risky dams where failure could kill
        An investigation by The Associated Press identified 168 high-hazard dams in poor or unsatisfactory condition in North Carolina.

  7. Dennis L. says:

    Okay, another from the hopeless optimist who is always looking forward and seldom back.

    You might check out this link, it is regarding mind- machine interfaces and well, not wishing to be too repetitive, it was started by an Elon, sort of a polymath with a great deal of money.

    Funny what a pile of money can be used for, it can be used for entertainment such as Epstein directly, or with suitable neural connections during a very boring meeting unless someone else is tuned in so to speak. Ultimately, “I think, therefore I am,” fellow named René Descartes, sort of ahead of his time, but coordinated well.

    Fellow named Bezos has hired some people to build a quantum computer, doesn’t think the boys at Google should have all the fun, or “My quantum computer can beat your quantum computer.”

    Dennis L.

    • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      Bezos is also doing his very own sci-fi space thing about one billion dollars per year I think and he said it is his most important work.

      so of course he’s competing with Musk there also.

      it’s all good to me.

      I did find actual sci-fi literature to be somewhat appealing when I was younger.

      now I don’t find much appeal towards literature, but much more to realities, so though I don’t see much entertainment value in the next quantum computers, I do hope they keep up with their space projects, Branson too, and the sooner the better, and failure would perhaps be just as entertaining as success.

      too bad these guys seem so slow at getting their projects moving.

      I am getting old, don’t they know?

    • Bei Dawei says:

      “Coordinated well.” I see what you did there! You, sir, are un mauvais génie.

    • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      here’s a story about four(!) companies which NASA will pay to collect moon rocks in the next few years.

      one company is Blue Origin which is owned by Bezos.

    • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      a special delivery to Earth by Japan.

      0.1 grams of material from an asteroid.

      that’s amazing science!

      in the near future, perhaps they can scale up the 0.1 grams.

  8. Luca Dittmer says:

    Iam new to your blog and currently reading your posts. So far, i find them very interesting. I just want to ask how you think about nuclear energy? The problems and dangers with it seem to be somehwat overblown if one digs deeper into this topic (one book i recommend is “A Bright Future” by Joshua Goldstein and Staffan Quist). Do you think nuclear fission could be a useful way to tackle our energy challenges? Greetings, Luca

    • Nuclear produces much better quality electricity than wind or solar, but its potential problems are worrisome. Quite a number of the poorer countries of the world are going ahead and building nuclear plants, without trying to do a whole lot about the potential problems. One concern, too, is that if things go wrong with fossil fuels, we will not able to keep water circulating in the spent fuel pools. We could end up with serious radiation problems.

      Most of the rich countries aren’t building nuclear any more because the cost becomes prohibitive if countries try to prevent all possible problems.

      Also, nuclear really does require fossil fuels. If we have fossil fuel problems, we likely won’t be able to build any more nuclear power plants. So i would not count on nuclear.

  9. Dennis L. says:

    Well, obviously the moon is not playing well on this site, so on to the next.

    For a number of years I have read this fellow, guy named Ray Dalio. He has an interesting way of looking at things through the use of history in what is essentially a graphical interface, some here might find it interesting. I think I am either on the list to purchase his book or have already done so, finishing G.West’s book now. They keep piling up.

    A brief quote from the below link:

    “Internal orders typically (though not always) change through a relatively standard sequence of stages, like how a disease progresses. By looking at their symptoms we can tell what stages they are in. For example, just as Stage 3 cancer is different from Stage 4 cancer in ways defined by different conditions that exist and have come about as a result of things that happened in prior stages, the same is true for the different stages of the big internal order/disorder cycle. Like diseases, different conditions warrant different actions to address them and they produce a different range of probabilities that those actions will produce. For example, an old, unhealthy set of circumstances produces a range of possibilities and warrants different actions than a young, healthy set. As with cancer, it is best to stop the progress before getting into the later stages.”

    Hope it is of interest to some of you.

    Dennis L.

  10. laffinboy says:

    It must be deeply frustrating for you to post something as profound as this post and then search, almost entirely in vain, for some understanding, some faint glimmer of light from those who’s comprehension of what you’ve just shared with them is, on average, somewhere south of 1%.

    I’ve been fortunate enough in my life to arrive at a point where I was forced to accept that *everything* that I knew about myself and life in general was probably wrong and that I knew nothing whatsoever for certain. Literally nothing. I was “empty” and need to start from scratch if I wanted to understand myself and the world I lived in. So that’s mostly what I did for the next decade. It took months to even get to the right 1st question: “What am I?”

    To answer that I went back to the “beginning”, 2 to 3 million years ago, to understand my distant ancestors. In doing so learned who we are today by learning who we were – and, in fact, at out core, still are. We evolved over millions of years to live together in small bands by cooperating with an intensity that we’re simply not capable of understanding today. The band, the tribe, was life itself. It was the mutual, combined efforts of the Whole that made life possible. There were no (living) Individuals.

    And the root problem that we all face today is that we are hairless primates that are genetically, biologically *hardwired* to work together in small groups (ie: Dunbar’s #) for the common good that now wander through life as part of a make-believe, clinically insane predatory culture where competitive individualism is a hardwired requirement.

    Which is why, after a deeply insightful post like the one above so many of your readers post a comment like: “gee, another great post, Gail, and I understand what you’re saying but What Should We Do?” And you’re too polite & gracious to suggest that they might want to bone up on Overshoot & Dieoff.


    • Actually, I think that comments such as “What Should We Do?” is a perfectly reasonable comment that doesn’t involve a lack of understanding. I haven’t found time to answer it yet, but I will. There are two different routes people tend to follow: (1) Make the best of what you have now, or (2) Try to work around the limit, at least for a time.

      There can also be changes in how a person understands the current situation, and indirectly, the choices a person makes. Does it make sense for a 75-year old to do everything possible to avoid COVID-19, if future options look pretty bleak, for example. If the collapse problem is especially bad for people in cold parts of the world, does it make sense to put much effort into fighting climate change? Maybe climate change is simply part of how our self-organizing biosphere works.

      Trying to work around the limit can make sense because collapse certainly will not lead to the death of everyone, everywhere simultaneously. Even if it were to end human life on earth, this would likely take place over a period of time, varying by part of the world. If there is some religious event involved, there could be a different ending to the story than the overshoot and collapse narrative.

    • Lidia17 says:

      We are biologically hardwired to work together in small groups, but consider that we have been grievously atomized, first by Ind Civ generally and Tech/Social Media in particular, and then by this highly-fraudulent response to Covid.

      I think everyone here has boned-up on overshoot and die-off but—in the same way everyone knows they are going to die personally—they still need to go about their day-to-day lives and figure out how not to die *today*, tomorrow, or possibly next week. And we need to gather together and talk with people who want to talk about these existential challenges, since it is often impossible to find anyone else with whom to work these issues out, even back in the days when we were allowed to meet people outside our households.

      Everyone here—in theory—has the capacity to come to their own conclusions about this post, but they will do it in their own time. If it took you, Tom, ten years to arrive at your conclusions, and a month just to arrive at the question.. I wouldn’t expect everyone who reads this post to instantly grok its ramifications.

      And this is normal.

      Fighting death is normal for living creatures.

      Our distant ancestors became distinctly human in their belief in miracles including an afterlife, so (even though I often express my own frustration with it) reaching for the miracle of gold asteroids, or of trips to Mars, or of hydrogen-powered vehicles, or the perfect tiny house, or whatever doesn’t involve an overdose of fentanyl or a bullet to the brain is NORMAL.

      If there are no individuals, then isn’t it normal to ask “what should WE do”? Otherwise, no one would be writing here and we would all just be working it out for ourselves, atomized and alone.

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