2020: The Year Things Started Going Badly Wrong

How today’s energy problem is different from peak oil

Many people believe that the economy will start going badly wrong when we “run out of oil.” The problem we have today is indeed an energy problem, but it is a different energy problem. Let me explain it with an escalator analogy.

Figure 1. Holborn Tube Station Escalator. Photo by renaissancechambara, CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

The economy is like a down escalator that citizens of the world are trying to walk upward on. At first the downward motion of the escalator is almost imperceptible, but gradually it gets to be greater and greater. Eventually the downward motion becomes almost unbearable. Many citizens long to sit down and take a rest.

In fact, a break, like the pandemic, almost comes as a relief. There is suddenly a chance to take it easy; not drive to work; not visit relatives; not keep up appearances before friends. Government officials may not be unhappy either. There may have been demonstrations by groups asking for higher wages. Telling people to stay at home provides a convenient way to end these demonstrations and restore order.

But then, restarting doesn’t work. There are too many broken pieces of the economy. Too many bankrupt companies; too many unemployed people; too much debt that cannot be repaid. And, a virus that really doesn’t quite go away, leaving people worried and unwilling to attempt to resume normal activities.

Some might describe the energy story as a “diminishing returns” story, but it’s really broader than this. It’s a story of services that we expect to continue, but which cannot continue without much more energy investment. It is also a story of the loss of “economies of scale” that at one time helped propel the economy forward.

In this post, I will explain some of the issues I see affecting the economy today. They tend to push the economy down, like a down escalator. They also make economic growth more difficult.

[1] Many resources take an increasing amount of effort to obtain or extract, because we use the easiest to obtain first. Many people would call this a diminishing returns problem.

Let’s look at a few examples:

(a) Water. When there were just a relatively few humans on the earth, drinking water from a nearby stream was a reasonable approach. This is the approach used by animals; humans could use it as well. As the number of humans rose, we found we needed additional approaches to gather enough potable water: First shallow wells were dug. Then we found that we needed to dig deeper wells. We found that lake water could be used, but we needed to filter it and treat it first. In some places, now, we find that desalination is needed. In fact, after desalination, we need to put the correct minerals back into it and pump it to the destination where it is required.

All of these approaches can indeed be employed. In theory, we would never run out of water. The problem is that as we move up the chain of treatments, an increasing amount of energy of some kind needs to be used. At first, humans could use some of their spare time (and energy) to dig wells. As more advanced approaches were chosen, the need for supplemental energy besides human energy became greater. Each of us individually cannot produce the water we need; instead, we must directly, or indirectly, pay for this water. The fact that we have to pay for this water with part of our wages reduces the portion of our wages available for other goods.

(b) Metals. Whenever some group decides to mine a metal ore, the ore that is taken first tends to be easy to access ore of high quality, close to where it needs to be used. As the best mines get depleted, producers use lower-grade ores, transported over longer distances. The shift toward less optimal mines requires more energy. Some of this additional energy could be human energy, but some of the energy would be supplied by fossil fuels, operating machinery in order to supplement human labor. Supplemental energy needs become greater and greater as mines become increasingly depleted. As technology advances, energy needs become greater, because some of the high-tech devices require materials that can only be formed at very high temperatures.

(c) Wild Animals Including Fish. When pre-humans moved out of Africa, they killed off the largest game animals on every continent that they moved to. It was still possible to hunt wild game in these areas, but the animals were smaller. The return on the human labor invested was smaller. Now, most of the meat we eat is produced on farms. The same pattern exists in fishing. Most of the fish the world eats today is produced on fish farms. We now need entire industries to provide food that early humans could obtain themselves. These farms directly and indirectly consume fossil fuel energy. In fact, more energy is used as more animals/fish are produced.

(d) Fossil Fuels. We keep hearing about the possibility of “running out” of oil, but this is not really the issue with oil. In fact, it is not the issue with coal or natural gas, either. The issue is one of diminishing returns. There is (and always will be) what looks like plenty left. The problem is that the process of extraction consumes increasing amounts of resources as deeper, more complex oil or gas wells need to be drilled and as coal mines farther away from users of the coal are developed. Many people have jumped to the conclusion that this means that the price that buyers of fossil fuel will pay will rise. This isn’t really true. It means that the cost of production will rise, leading to lower profitability. The lower profitability is likely to be spread in many ways: lower taxes paid, cutbacks in wages and pension plans, and perhaps a sale to a new owner, at a lower price. Eventually, low energy prices will lead to production stopping. Without adequate fossil fuels, the whole economic system will be disrupted, and the result will be severe recession or depression. There are also likely to be many job losses.

In (a) through (d) above, we are seeing an increasing share of the output of the economy being used in inefficient ways: in creating deeper water wells and desalination plants; in drilling oil wells in more difficult locations; in extracting metal ores that are mostly waste products. The extent of this inefficiency tends to increase over time. This is what leads to the effect of an escalator descending faster and faster, just as we humans are trying to walk up it.

Humans work for wages, but they find that when they buy a box of corn flakes, very little of the price actually goes to the farmer growing the corn. Instead, all of the intermediate parts of the system are becoming overly large. The buyer cannot afford the end products, and the producer feels cheated by the low wholesale prices he is being paid. The system as a whole is pushed toward collapse.

[2] Increasing complexity can help maintain economic growth, but it too reaches diminishing returns.

Complexity takes many forms, including more hierarchical organization, more specialization, longer supply chains, and development of new technology. Complexity can indeed help maintain economic growth. For example, if water supply is intermittent, a country may choose to build a dam to control the flow of water and produce electricity. Complexity tends to reach diminishing returns, as noted by Joseph Tainter in The Collapse of Complex Societies. For example, economies build dams in the best locations first, and only later build them at less advantageous sites. These are a few other examples:

(a) Education. Teaching everyone to read and write has significant benefits because it allows the use of books and other written materials to disseminate information and knowledge. Teaching a few people advanced subjects has significant benefits as well. But after a certain point, the need for additional people to study a subject such as art history is low. A few people can teach the subject but doing more research on the subject probably won’t increase world GDP very much.

When we look at data from about 1970, we find that people with advanced education earned much higher incomes than those without advanced degrees. But as we add an increasing large share of people with these advanced degrees, jobs that really need these degrees are not as plentiful as the new graduates. Quite a few people with advanced degrees end up with low-paying jobs. The “return on investment” for higher education drops increasingly lower. Some students are not able to repay the debt that they took out in order to pay for their education.

(b) Medicines and Vaccines. Over the years, medicines and vaccines have been developed to treat many common illnesses and diseases. After a while, the easy-to-find medicines for the common unwanted conditions (such as diabetes, high blood pressure and inflammation) have already been found. There are medicines for rare diseases that haven’t been found, but these will never have very large total sales, discouraging investment. There are also conditions that are common in very poor countries. While expensive drugs could be developed for these conditions, it is likely that few people could afford these drugs, so this, too, becomes less attractive.

If research is to continue, it is important to keep expanding work on expensive new drugs, even if it means completely ignoring old inexpensive drugs that might work equally well. A cynical person might think that this is the reason why vitamin D and ivermectin are generally being ignored in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. Without an expanding group of high-priced new drugs, it is hard to attract capital and young workers to the field.

(c) Automobile Efficiency. In the US, the big fuel efficiency change that took place was that which took place between 1975 and 1983, when a changeover was made to smaller, lighter vehicles, similar to ones that were already in use in Japan and Europe.

Figure 2. Estimated Real-World Fuel Economy, Horsepower, and Weight Since Model Year 1975, in a chart produced by the US Environmental Protection Agency. Source.

The increase in fuel efficiency between 2008 and 2019 (an 11 year period) was only 22%, compared to the 60% increase in fuel efficiency between 1975 and 1983 (an 8 year period). This is another example of diminishing returns to investment in complexity.

[3] Today’s citizens have never been told that many of the services we take for granted today, such as suppression of forest fires, are really services provided by fossil fuels.

In fact, the amount of energy required to provide these services rises each year. We expect these services to continue indefinitely, but we should be aware that they cannot continue very long, unless the energy available to the economy as a whole is rising very rapidly.

(a) Suppression of Forest Fires. Forest fires are part of nature. Many trees require fire for their seeds to germinate. Human neighbors of forests don’t like forest fires; they often encourage local authorities to put out any forest fire that starts. Such suppression allows an increasing amount of dry bush to build up. As a result, future fires spread more easily and grow larger.

At the same time, humans increasingly build homes in forested areas because of the pleasant scenery. As population expands and as fires spread more easily, forest fire suppression takes an increasing amount of resources, including fossil fuels to power helicopters used in the battles. If fossil fuels are not available, this type of service would need to stop. Trying to keep forest fires suppressed, assuming fossil fuels are available for this purpose, will take higher taxes, year after year. This is part of what makes it seem like we are trying to move our economy upward on a down escalator.

(b) Suppression of Illnesses. Illnesses are part of the cycle of nature; they disproportionately take out the old and the weak. Of course, we humans don’t really like this; the old and weak are our relatives and close friends. In fact, some of us may be old and weak.

In the last 100 years, researchers (using fossil fuels) have developed a large number of antibiotics, antivirals and vaccines to try to suppress illnesses. We find that microbes quickly mutate in new ways, defeating our attempts at suppression of illnesses. Thus, we have ever-more antibiotic resistant bacteria. The cost of today’s US healthcare system is very high, exceeding what many poor people can afford to pay. Introducing new vaccines results in an additional cost.

Closing down the system to try to stop a virus adds a huge new cost, which is disproportionately borne by the poor people of the world. If we throw more money/fossil fuels at the medical system, perhaps it can be made to work a little longer. No one tells us that disease suppression is a service of fossil fuels; if we have an increasing quantity of fossil fuels per capita, perhaps we can increase disease suppression services.

(c) Suppression of Weeds and Unwanted Insects. Researchers keep developing new chemical treatments (based on fossil fuels) to suppress weeds and unwanted insects. Unfortunately, the weeds and unwanted insects keep mutating in a way that makes the chemicals less effective. The easy solutions were found first; finding solutions that really work and don’t harm humans seems to be elusive. The early solutions were relatively cheap, but later ones have become increasingly expensive. This problem acts, in many ways, like diminishing returns.

(d) Recycling (and Indirectly, Return Transport of Empty Shipping Containers from Around the World). When oil prices are high, recycling of used items for their content makes sense, economically. When oil prices are low, recycling often requires a subsidy. This subsidy indirectly goes to pay for fossil fuels used to facilitate the recycling. Often this goes to pay for shipment to a country that will do the recycling.

When oil prices were high (prior to 2014), part of the revenue from recycling could be used to transport mixed waste products to China and India for recycling. With low oil prices, China and India have stopped accepting most recycling. Instead, it is necessary to find actual “goods” for the return voyage of a shipping container or, alternatively, pay to have the container sent back empty. Europe now seems to have a difficult time filling shipping containers for the return voyage to Asia. Because of this, the cost of obtaining shipping containers to ship goods to Europe seems to be escalating. This higher cost acts much like diminishing returns with respect to the transport of goods to Europe from Asia. This is yet another part of what is acting like a down escalator for the world economy.

[4] Another, ever higher cost is pollution control. This higher cost also exerts a downward effect on the world economy, because it acts like another intermediate cost.

As we burn increasing amounts of fossil fuels, increasing amounts of particulate matter need to be captured and disposed of. Capturing this material is only part of the problem; some of the waste material may be radioactive or may include mercury. Once the material is captured, it needs to be “locked up” in some way, so it doesn’t pollute the water and air. Whatever approach is used requires energy products of various kinds. In fact, the more fossil fuels that are burned, the bigger the waste disposal problem tends to be.

Burning more fossil fuels also leads to more CO2. Unfortunately, we don’t have suitable alternatives. Nuclear is probably as good as any, and it has serious safety issues. In my opinion, the view that intermittent wind and solar are a suitable replacement for fossil fuels represents wishful thinking. Wind and solar, because of their intermittency, can only partially replace the coal or natural gas burned to generate electricity. They cannot be relied upon for 24/7/365 generation. The unsubsidized cost of producing intermittent wind and solar energy needs to be compared to the price of coal and natural gas, not to wholesale electricity prices. There are a lot of apples to oranges comparisons being made.

[5] Among other things, the growth of the economy depends on “economies of scale” as the number of participants in the economy gradually grows. The response to COVID-19 has been extremely detrimental to economies of scale.

The economies of many countries changed dramatically, with the initial spread of COVID-19. Unfortunately, we cannot expect these changes to be completely reversed anytime soon. Part of the reason is the new virus mutation from the UK that is now of concern. Another reason is that, even with the vaccine, no one really knows how long immunity will last. Until the virus is clearly gone, vestiges of the cutbacks are likely to remain in place.

In general, businesses do well financially as the number of buyers of the goods and services they provide rises. This happens because overhead costs, such as mortgage payments, can be spread over more buyers. The expertise of the business owners can also be used more widely.

One huge problem is the recent cutback in tourism, affecting almost every country in the world. This cutback affects both businesses directly related to tourism and businesses indirectly related to tourism, such as restaurants and hotels.

Another huge problem is social distancing rules that lead to office buildings and restaurants being used less intensively. Businesses find that they tend to have fewer customers, rather than more. Related businesses, such as taxis and dry cleaners, find that they also have fewer customers. Nursing homes and other care homes for the aged are seeing lower occupancy rates because no one wants to be locked up for months on end without being able to see other members of their family.

[6] With all of the difficulties listed in Items [1] though [5], debt based financing tends to work less and less well. Huge debt defaults can be expected to adversely affect banks, insurance companies and pension plans.

Many businesses are already near default on debt. These businesses cannot make a profit with a much reduced number of customers. If no change is possible, somehow this will need to flow through the system. Defaulting debt is likely to lead to failing banks and pension plans. In fact, governments that depend on taxes may also fail.

The shutdowns taken by economies earlier this year were very detrimental, both to businesses and to workers. A major solution to date has been to add more governmental debt to try to bail out citizens and businesses. This additional debt makes it even more difficult to maintain promised debt payments. This is yet another force making it difficult for economies to move up the growth escalator.

[7] The situation we are headed for looks much like the collapses of early civilizations.

With diminishing returns everywhere, and inadequate sources of very inexpensive energy to keep the system going, major parts of the world economic system appear headed for collapse. There doesn’t seem to be any way to keep the world economy growing rapidly enough to offset the down escalator effect.

Citizens have not been aware of how “close to the edge” we have been. Low energy prices have been deceptive, but this is what we should expect with collapse. (See, for example, Revelation 18: 11-13, telling about the lack of demand for goods of all kinds when ancient Babylon collapsed.) Low prices tend to keep fossil fuels in the ground. They also tend to discourage high-priced alternatives. Unfortunately, all the wishful thinking of the World Economic Forum and others advocating a Green New Deal does not change the reality of the situation.

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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2,805 Responses to 2020: The Year Things Started Going Badly Wrong

  1. Harry McGibbs says:

    “As spending climbs and revenue falls, the coronavirus forces a global reckoning:

    “A rising ‘debt tsunami’ threatens even stable, peaceful middle-income countries… The pandemic is hurtling heavily leveraged nations into an economic danger zone, threatening to bankrupt the worst-affected.”


  2. Tim Groves says:

    Here is some information on COVID-19 that may be of interest. I copied it from Dr. John Day:

    The reason that coronavirus is of interest as a vaccine vector is that the human body does not mount a very good response agains coronavirus. It slips in, so it can carry vaccine-program-RNA into cells. The suspicion that COVID may have originated in attempts to make vaccine, like AIDS vaccine, is more comprehensible to me, now.

    A 35 year Dutch study on 4 strains of coronavirus shows that immunity has pretty much waned by a year from the last infection, and there are many as years go by.

    SARS-CoV-2 cellular immunity (more important than antibodies, perhaps) is good at 6 months, but falls off pretty rapidly after that.

    • Jarle says:

      “SARS-CoV-2 cellular immunity (more important than antibodies, perhaps) is good at 6 months, but falls off pretty rapidly after that.”

      My simple logic: Corona immunity can’t be that important, if it was we would have life long immunity.

    • Thanks for finding this! I discovered using Google that it is from today’s entry on https://www.johndayblog.com

      One thing that I found interesting is that the whole section quoted is preceded by the phrase:

      “Here is some information from the listserv of doctors who treat COVID-19, that I’m on lately:”

      So the comment is not really John Day’s own conclusion, it is comment that appears on the list serve that John Day is on. It is still important; I would be cautious about attributing it to John Day, however. In fact, I find this statement

      The suspicion that COVID may have originated in attempts to make vaccine, like AIDS vaccine, is more comprehensible to me, now.

      more believable if the person “me” refers to be someone other than John Day. He does not come across as an expert in that particular area.

      It is the 35 year study of coronaviruses you link to that gives the information about the likely short timeframe for immunity for corona viruses in general.

      • Tim Groves says:

        Thanks for delving into that, Gail. Basically I wanted to get this info out because I know many people here are very concerned about Covid-19 and they want very much to have accurate information about it.

        Sorry if I gave the impression I was quoting John Day’s actual words.

  3. Jason says:

    Seems to me Britain is ahead of the curve in breaking from the larger conglomerate of Europe. Seems next step is to break up UK. Some commenters seem a bit agitated by the process, which is puzzling to me as Gail doesn’t get much argument on this site about her views. I am also puzzled by those on this site that want the Biden/Harris administration in the white house, as they lean to more government, and more American influence around the globe. Are people here for or against corporate globalism? A little consistency in the comments would help for readers to take the comments more seriously. Unless we are beset by masochists, then go ahead and knock yourselves out.

    • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      yes, I agree, you are indeed puzzled.

      you have a poor grasp of human nature if you think somehow you can advise us all how to have a better comments section.

      this is about the best it gets: highly intelligent persons with various views agreeing with or pushing back against stated ideas, but with some civility.

      see? I am pushing back against your slight pomposity. oops where’s my civility?

      I for one welcome further views of yours about UK and globalism etc, and when you get a bit of pushback, perhaps you will learn something in the process.

      and it’s probably only here you will get: bAU tonight, baby!

      peace, dude.

    • Tim Groves says:

      Are people here for or against corporate globalism?

      Yes indeedy!

      Some are for and some are against. Consistency is for mashed potatoes and wall paint.

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “A little consistency in the comments would help for readers to take the comments more seriously.”

      I am doubtful the comments section would be taken more seriously if it became a pro-protectionist, pro-secessionist echo chamber, even if that is the general trend moving forwards.

    • Jarle says:

      ” Are people here for or against corporate globalism? ”

      I’m def anti globalism, damn shite it is!

  4. MG says:

    It’s also the disease control that consumes higher amounts of energy with the rising and ageing and genetically deteriorating population, that poses the limits to population growth.

    • One of the things that shows the higher amount energy it consumes is health care expenditures as a percentage of GDP. These have been growing for most countries. I expect that they may fall back this year, as many doctors find their incomes way down and fewer people stay in long term care facilities.

  5. MG says:

    Why warm countries will never be rich?

    Because their inhabitants do not need energy for heating and food growth, which skyrockets the population growth.

    It is the mild countries which consume the majority of the fossil fuels/non-renewable energy and that is why they have the highest GDP per capita.

    If we want and objective GDP per capita, then the energy for heating and food production from the sun needs to be taken into account.

    When we do this, we come to the pollution, as the main limiting factor of the population growth.

    Maybe that is why the Limits to Growth models projected the rise of the population after the collapse of the industrial production and the fall of the pollution.

    It is this different energy needs of the human population in different climates which their models neglected.

    Too much heat creates evaporation of water which is needed for life of the human species. Too little energy creates ice. The 100 degrees Celsius and 0 degrees Celsius are approximate human population limits.

    If you take fossil fuel energy from too hot countries, they do not have enough water.
    If you take fossil fuel energy from too cold countries, they do not have enough heat.

    That is why the warm countries need some additional source of energy like the cold countries, e.g. nuclear.

    Then we come again to the pollution problem.

    So basically, the pollution and the water temperature limits are the main population limits.

    The reduction of the pollution and rising or lowering the water temperature includes ENERGY.

    That is why nuclear is so favourable, if it is cheap.

    The energy production that does not pollute creates a population growth limit, as there is energy needed for the containment of the pollution.

    Skyrocketing births rates and death rates after the collapse simultaneous with the pollution decline are an inner fault of the Limits to Growth model caused by not taking into account the water/energy aspects of the human population existence.

    There was no such thing as “clean energy”, i.e. “energy without pollution” in that model.

    The containment of the pollution and the rising/lowering water temperature needs energy.

    Our main population limit is energy.

    When energy supply falls, we are not able to contain the pollution (sewers, nuclear cooling ponds) and influence the water temperature, so the population collapses.

    The costs for pollution control in warm countries are higher than in the cold countries. That is why a special caste for human waste removal exists in India, which represents energy needed for pollution control.

    • Artleads says:

      Removing Humanure

      As long as there are roads and fuel and trucks with lifts, why do you need a special caste to remove human waste? Why not pay somebody well to remove well organized, same-size boxes of human waste and dump them in a mine pit?


    • Thanks for your thoughts.

      We seem to have a lot of differences in “hot” countries. Some desert countries have very little water. Some have water, during part of the year.

      Electricity production (even from nuclear) generally takes a lot of water for cooling. That is why nuclear power pants are often put at the edge of an ocean. If they are put at the edge of a river, a frequent concern is that the exhausted water will heat up the river too much. Of course, hydroelectric requires a huge water supply as well.

      The kinds of electricity production that don’t require large amounts of water include:
      (1) Wind
      (2) Solar
      (3) Natural gas generation, of the type used in peaking plants (gas turbine engines). This essentially burns gas with a jet engine. It is a rather inefficient form of electricity production.
      (4) An oil powered generator, or a scaled up version of this. This approach tends to be expensive and not very efficient.

      None of these are very good forms of electricity generation. Natural gas is very hard to store, especially in hot climates. It rapidly evaporates, if it is brought in using ships.

      • Bobby says:


        Geothermal is possible just about anywhere close enough to the Earth’s mantle, Geothermal creates a safer/ better alternative to nuclear for electricity generation, plus heat to drive distillation if need be. Water can be used recycled within a closed energy generating system (heating /cooling). Additionally we possibly get the prospect of nice rear earth metals and minerals to extract as secondary products say for example if sulfur deposits are discovery nearby.

        On this site, if we know we are going to need resources to make and power finished products we should encourage the collective to build these types of facilities.

        The initial outlay and transmission lines will require fossil fuels, inline with OFW mantra, but it seems there is a lot of cheap dead plant energy around at the moment. Dig a hole. Save the world again Mr Frasch.

    • 4000 years ago, Egypt was one of the wealthiest countries in the world, because it had abundant heat, and an unlimited water supply that delivered nutrients to its fields every year.
      so they had vast energy surpluses because food grew without much energy input. The god of the Nile delivered all they needed.

      Food was the main currency, their belief system centred around the afterlife.

      So instead of using their energy excess to construct ‘living’ transport systems like we do, they used their energy excess to construct transport systems for their dead in their afterlife.

      Hence the labour on elaborate tombs, paid for with food currency.

      Their system and our system are of course ultimately pointless. But we do it to ‘sustain our economic system.’

      They dug holes in the ground, and filled them with gold and precious objects. And so do we.

      Back then much of the world outside the tropics was a mostly uninhabited wasteland in human terms, because the heat energy lying in the ground had not been tapped.

      • Tim Groves says:

        Another factor was that early Egypt didn’t have to worry about being attacked by powerful enemies, so it didn’t need to devote a lot of resources to maintaining a large standing army. Geography protected the country to a large extent from invasion by large armies. so much so that most Egyptian cities were not surrounded by defensive walls. This meant that the country was able to devote a signifiant portion of its surplus to building infrastructure and allowed it to develop the world’s first pyramid scheme.

        Later, and particularly after the Hyksos invasion about 3,600 years ago, as the eastern Mediterranean region had became more crowded and other powerful nations appeared, Egypt could no longer afford the luxury of maintaining only a small army. This was probably one of the reasons why building pyramids fell out of favor.

    • Robert Firth says:

      So Germany is finally realising the what Merkel launched was a barbarian invasion. Let us hope it is not too little and too late. And if in doubt as to their nationality, deport them to France.

      • Kowalainen says:

        Merkel needed those immigrants to extend BAU. The same holds true for the institutional sociopath Mecka Sweden.

        Problem being, there were only a moronic strategy with no tactics and factory lines ready to engage them as workers.

        With other words, no goddamn simple jobs to busy their asses.

        • Robert Firth says:

          Very true; a moronic strategy. But the presence of jobs would not have helped, because the invaders came not for jobs, but for welfare. And of course for drug dealing, gang rape, murder, and the imposition of sharia law.

          • Kowalainen says:

            It was how the marketing was made.

            If the sales pitch would have been the western “dream” (or american). I’m sure a different clientele would have showed up at the immigration office and then the next day working in the factory lines and living in the “Million Programme”.


            They basically cleaned the house (prisons, drug dens, dead beats) and sent the crap over to the EU expecting nothing else than a means for more consumption and borrowing, while at the same time preaching “sustainability”. What a racket.

            Imagine emptying the prisons of the US and sending them over to Germany and Sweden, now, that would have been an interesting proposition. 😳

            However, I’m all for interesting proposals.


      • VFatalis says:

        A small island would be more convenient. How about Malta ?

  6. MG says:

    The decline of Cleveland:


    In the beginning of the 1900s, Cleveland was the biggest Slovak city in the world thanks to the numerous Slovak immigrants.


    And one of my favourites from the Agora Ballroom, Cleveland:

  7. Kowalainen says:

    Pompeo delivers an oil tanker worth of salt to the CCP. 🧂🧂🧂

    “The U.S. will remove decades-old, self-imposed restrictions on how its diplomats and other officials interact with Taiwan, a move that may inflame tensions with Beijing just a little over a week before President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in.”

    Now, what will the response be might the curiously posed wonder? I’m expecting the usual Commie schmuck posturing and denouncements. Perhaps a stereotype buzzing shenanigan of the Taiwanese airspace when Kelly Craft visits Taipei. Yup, impressive stuff.

    🤦‍♂️ 🥱

    Why is it so hard for the Commie cronies to understand that they are in the rungs below the western owners? It just refuses to enter their myopia riddled minds that they are a construct of the west.


    • I notice that Taiwan imports nearly all of its fossil fuels. Its electricity production was down very slightly in 2019 compared to 2018. About 12% of Taiwan’s electricity is from nuclear. (This is down from where it had been previously.) An EIA article says,

      Although construction of Taiwan’s fourth nuclear facility, with a capacity of 2.6 GW, was nearly complete, public protests over safety concerns suspended construction of the facility in early 2014. Japan’s Fukushima disaster in 2011 has tempered public sentiment towards nuclear power in Taiwan. The plant was mothballed after finishing safety inspections in 2015. A public referendum to determine the facility’s fate has not been scheduled.

      A somewhat more recent article says:


      Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was elected to government in January 2016 having a policy of creating a “nuclear-free homeland” by 2025. Under this policy, Taiwan’s six operable power reactors will be decommissioned as their 40-year operating licences expire. Shortly after taking office, the DPP government passed an amendment to the Electricity Act, passing its phase-out policy into law.

      However, in a referendum held on 24 November, voters chose to abolish that amendment. The Ministry of Economic Affairs said the amendment was officially removed from the Electricity Industry Act on 2 December.

      At a press conference yesterday “to explain the results of the referendum on energy issues”, Minister of Economic Affairs Shen Jong-chin said “there would be no extension or restarts of nuclear power plants in Taiwan due to subjective and objective conditions, as well as strong public objection”.

      So, Taiwan will have to import more coal and LNG, if it is to keep up its electricity generation as it phases out nuclear. Taiwan does have some wind and solar, but we know how well adding intermittent sources to the grid works. A little might be OK, but very much is a huge problem.

      • Kowalainen says:

        I guess the Aussies got some spare coal to sell Taiwan after the CCP cronies denied their populace coal to keep them warm in the middle of goddamn winter.

        Watched a short YT clip of Chinese people having difficulties. The regular families with the typical sweet small scale life with that Chinese flair.

        Fuck me, I got pissed off. I have seen it myself, been there, heated my cold white ass while sleeping in a bed heated by a coal fired stove with the chimney routed underneath it.

        Not even coal to keep their sorry asses warm during winter? WTF?

        I say let the CCP and PLA burn even if the price is high. Good job on you Mike Pompeo.


        • Robert Firth says:

          Kowalainen, when I visited Chengdu for my son’s wedding, I really enjoyed that sweet small scale life with a Chinese flair. As a wonderful addition, the whole family attended, so he had two brothers and two sisters as supporters.

          The people of China know from long experience that dynasties are transient, but family, friends, and communities will endure. “Men come and go, but Earth abides.”

          • Kowalainen says:

            Lovely isn’t it? None of that godawful pretentiousness that is rampant in he west. Sort of what I envision small scale life without the cold housing and coal fired heating suck.

            My stay was in a small village, well, small with Chinese standards, in the “suburbs” of Tangshan. Lovely bunch of Han Chinese shuffling me around in the neighborhood like a dumb ass white monkey on display. Drinking the default Tsingdao and spreading the hate for CCP and love for the Chinese people.

            I thoroughly enjoyed the Chinese rustic flair, small businesses everywhere, the characters and style, but hated the rampant pollution caused by opportunism and corruption.

            Just imagine Tsai walking in and toppling that commie shit show and righting the ship. 😘

            I suppose I’m a hot headed Laplander. 😡
            Wu wei. ☯️

          • Xabier says:

            Yes, quite true, dynasties come and go, the banalities of family life and the pursuit of personal gain go on; and they are now entirely natural slaves in their compliance – as apparently are most of mankind these days.

            I am still inclined to give the highest honours to those tribes people who killed themselves rather than submit to any dynasty, while acknowledging the legitimacy of the will to live on in a small and craven life.

        • Bei Dawei says:

          Er, winters here are pretty mild. A few days ago it was about 9 degrees C. It rarely gets colder than that outside the mountains. (I only saw it snow here once, and it didn’t stick to the ground.) Of course we depend on fossil fuels for practically everything else, including agriculture.

  8. Mirror on the wall says:

    There is to be a court case in Scotland on Tuesday to establish whether the Scottish parliament has the legal power to conduct a referendum on Scottish independence without the permission of Westminster.

    Hitherto SNP has asked for permission, via a section 30, from Westminster to hold a referendum. Boris has said that Scotland cannot have another referendum until 2055. In theory, Westminster could simply refuse to ever agree a section 30.

    The Scottish parliament will hold a referendum within the next administration if pro-independence parties achieve a majority at the May Holyrood election and either Boris allows one or the court case has determined that it may do so anyway.

    Otherwise the SNP is likely to fight the 2024 Westminster GE on a platform of a mandate for independence and then declare independence.

    Sinn Féin took the same course at the 1918 GE and won a majority, 73, of seats in Ireland. SNP is currently projected to take 57 of the 59 Westminster seats in Scotland and a majority of seats is practically certain.

    > TWO SNP MPs have signed affidavits formally supporting a landmark court case aiming to prove that Scotland does not need permission from Westminster to hold a second independence referendum.

    Support from Kenny MacAskill and Angus MacNeil for the case – dubbed the People’s Action on Section 30 – was announced by indy and disability rights campaigner Martin Keatings, convener of Forward as One.

    A Section 30 order, as granted by Westminster for the 2014 indyref, is seen as the gold standard for such a poll, but Keatings – and more than 10,000 supporters – contends that it is not required for the referendum to be within the law

    A hearing on a motion on the case will be held on Tuesday before Lady Carmichael.

    MacAskill said: “As an election approaches and a referendum is a critical issue, clarity is required for members and electors. It should be established before the election whether a Section 30 is going to be granted or not, it should also be established before the election whether the Scottish Parliament has the competence to hold a referendum or not.

    “If not, that would surely change the SNP’s ask of the people at a General Election and could turn the election into a plebiscite if all routes to a referendum are blocked.

    “Therefore, this work by Martin Keatings is important in establishing, one way or the other, whether one of the possible routes to independence is legally open or not to the Scottish Parliament.”

    MacNeil added: “It should be established before the election whether a Section 30 is going to be granted or not, it should also be established before the election whether the Scottish Parliament has the competence to hold a referendum or not.

    “If not, that would surely change the SNP’s ask of the people at a General Election and could turn the election into a plebiscite if all routes to a referendum are blocked.

    “There are at least three ways for our independence to be internationally recognised, Martin Keatings is pursuing one way but is it legal within the current devolved set up? To his credit this is what he is trying to establish.”


    • Robert Firth says:

      I suggest these wee krankies read the text of the Act of Union. They have no authority to hold a referendum, or to declare independence, or anything else the Scottish pseudo government might plan. There is only one legal route to Scottish independence: a referendum in England, a repeal of the Act of Union, and, finally, freedom for my native land from the parasite we so foolishly hung around our neck.

      • Minority Of One says:

        Seems like you are both desperate to be rid of us, but not let us go?

        • Robert Firth says:

          I apologise for not making my position clear. I want independence for England, and to that end I don’t care if Scotland becomes independent, becomes a satellite of the EU, or disappears under a global warming glacier. I just want them and their ilk out of our lives forever.

      • Mirror on the wall says:

        The British state is never going to give the English a referendum on English independence, even though a majority would likely vote for it, because there is no party to push for it, and there likely never will be one with the two-party FPTP set up.

        If one wants English independence then one might bypass one’s pride and support the independence movements of all the others. Go online and make donations to SNP, SF, the Plaid. Leave them your house in your will. Remember, every vote for Scottish independence (or Welsh, or for UI) is a vote for English independence.

        Support their campaigns and demand that their referenda be held. After all, they have the same cause as yourself in effect – independence. Everyone who supports English independence should support the independence movements of the other countries. That is their only strategy that is likely to secure their own objective.

    • neil says:

      Good luck to them because they’re going to need it. Why not read “Should auld aquaintance be forgot” and learn how independence would be rapidly followed by penury. Now, what Scot is going to vote himself poor?
      Similarly, it was 90 years before the Irish free state gained any economic stability. The reason Ireland’s population is still only three quarters of what it was prior to the famine is not actually the famine – it’s due to half those who were born in Ireland in the 20 th century having emigrated. In 1959, 75% of school leavers emigrated.

      • Mirror on the wall says:

        Maybe you should read You Spin Me Right Round Baby Right Round and ask yourself what Loonionists would vote to replace access to the biggest market in the world with a trading area smaller than its own territory.

        Ireland has a GDP per capita twice that of UK. The British Empire is long gone and so is any economic dependence on UK. Scots want back into the EU, which is where the money is these days. The polls show that only a majority of sentimental pensioners want to stay in UK.

        • Harry McGibbs says:

          “Ireland is an interesting (if extreme) example of the way in which the spending of borrowed money, combined in this case with changes of methodology dubbed “leprechaun economics”, has driven recorded GDP to levels far above a realistic appraisal of economic output.”


          • Mirror on the wall says:

            Even so.

            > Ireland is better than the UK, France and Germany for living conditions and pay

            It’s according to a new study by the World Economic Forum.

            Ireland has ranked better than a number of European countries for employment opportunities, pay, living standards and social inclusion.

            This is according to a study conducted by the World Economic Forum entitled ‘WEF Inclusive Growth and Development Report’.

            The report was released on Sunday and includes an Inclusive Development Index, which ranks 30 of the 109 countries as advanced economies for inclusive development, including Ireland.

            Out of the 30 countries, Ireland ranks in 12th place overall with the results decided upon by 12 performance indicators of inclusive development, which the study says gives a more complete measurement of economic development than GDP.

            Ireland ranked ahead of other EU countries like Germany (13th), Belgium(17th), France (18th), and the UK (21st) in the study.


          • Mirror on the wall says:

            The UN ranks Ireland as second only to Norway in overall quality of life.

            > Ireland ranked second in the world for quality of life, beating Sweden, Germany and UK

            Ireland now in the ‘very high’ camp, ranked joint second with Switzerland and behind only Norway in the ranking

            Ireland is second only to Norway on a United Nations annual ranking of 189 countries measured according to average longevity, education and income.

            The measure puts Ireland ahead of countries including Germany (6), Sweden (7), Australia (8), and the UK (13), and is a stark improvement compared with when the country was assessed when the index was first drawn up in 1990.

            That year Ireland was outranked by Spain, Belgium, Italy, New Zealand, Germany, Finland, the UK, Denmark, France, Australia, Norway, Canada, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden and Japan in the Human Development Report.

            Now Ireland is in the “very high” camp, ranked joint second with Switzerland and behind only Norway in the ranking.

            Overall Ireland’s Human Development score has increased 23.5 per cent since 1990, a much faster rate of improvement than comparable countries, according to the measure.


            • neil says:

              Before or after COVID? We’ve just got top ranking here on highest rate of increase of COVID cases in the world. Beat that.

          • Ireland is basically a tax haven for companies that want a lower tax rate. I am sure that Ireland’s reported GDP per capita is quite inflated. My former employer, now called “Willis Towers Perrin,” is domiciled in Ireland, for example. It is hard to imagine why Towers Perrin would have merged with Willis, except as a tax dodge.

            • In the news recently, Facebook’s Irish Tax Havens being closed down and transferred to the US.

              Big Corporations, like Facebook had shifted its resources to several subsidiary corporations as it is a popular tax structuring strategy. By transferring the properties to Ireland, the profits within Ireland are only 12.5 percent compared to the 35 percent in the US which generally leads to lower tax rates.

              But why is Facebook closing its Ireland holding companies?

              The Tech Titan was avoiding to pay large amount of taxes because of its arrangements in Ireland but was caught up in criticism by the IRS in 2016, which led to a court hearing in which IRS demanded that Facebook owed over 9 billion dollars which it has failed to pay in taxes and according to the US Agency, Facebook owes around 1.7 million dollars for at least 2010 which isn’t much for a tech giant like Facebook, but it claims they can only manage to pay around 3 to 5 billion dollars if IRS really wants it to pay the money for the last few years.

              Some companies domiciled in Ireland, according to Google:

              Boston Scientific

            • roc says:

              storm is here ; Lindsey Graham sénateur arrested :

            • Tim Groves says:

              This link about Lyndsey has gone down.

              However, I have seen video of poor Lyndsay being screamed at by angry deplorables/patriots in the airport and being surrounded by a bunch of police officers, one of whom had his hand on Lyndsay’s shoulder the whole time. Lyndsay was holding a flip phone—the kind you use once and throw away—in his right hand. The cops led him off through a doorway on the right, and not into the the departure area where you would go to catch a plane.

              To my eyes, it looked like he was being arrested. But it’s possible he was just being protected.

            • Tim Groves says:

              Please forgive my spelling.

              Senator Graham is IS Lindsey , NOT Lyndsey.

        • neil says:

          Brexit is mad. For exactly the same reasons, Scottish nationalism is madder.

          • Mirror on the wall says:

            It would be mad for Scotland to remain in a UK that has deliberately knee capped its own economic future.

            Polls show that around 70% of Scots want to rejoin EU, and the EU is very warm to that idea. EU is the biggest market in the world and that is where Scots see their future.

            The British Empire is long gone and the UK has had its day. NI is leaving too to join with the rest of Ireland and the EU.

            You want Boris, you have him.

            > Nicola Sturgeon’s EU dream backed by Guy Verhofstadt’s intervention: ‘Let them in!’


      • Mirror on the wall says:

        Sticking with a traditional ditty.

        • TIm Groves says:

          “Such a Parcel of Rogues in a Nation” is a Scottish folk song whose lyrics are taken from a poem written by Robert Burns in 1791, listed as number 5516 in the Roud Folk Song Index. Wikipedia told me that, but it’s good info.

          The song is a lament about the loss of independence and a condemnation of the traitors who sold out Scotland in 1707 for English gold.

          Similar skullduggery was also exhibited by the British political classes in the 1970s, who sold out the best interests the British people and of its close trading partners Australia and New Zealand for European gold, with some notable exceptions led by Tony Benn and Enoch Powell.

          Speaking of rogues, Neil Gordon Kinnock, Baron Kinnock PC, was late to the trough, but he’s still getting a handsome EU pension to this day.

          And now we have a nice parcel of rogues in the US, who have been selling out the Constitution and the livelihood of ordinary people for Chinese gold.

          Many artists have recorded beautiful versions of this song. My personal favorite is by Steeleye Span, from the early 1970s, around the time the UK was gearing up to join the Common Market—and then the old country’s troubles really did begin.

        • Mirror on the wall says:

          Oh that is a gorgeous renditions, thanks for that. The polyphonic setting captures its roots in Medieval music. It may even have been set to the tune of an earlier song, otherwise lost? It brings out a lamentational emphasis with an occasionally militant overtone.

          This is The Corries singing Jock O’Braidosly, the 114th Child Ballad, a collection of Scottish and English folk songs and USA variations.

          ‘Tae ding the dun deer doon – doon’

    • Mirror on the wall says:

      > Brexit latest: SNP demands billions in ‘compensation’ for impact of EU departure on Scotland

      The country – which overwhelmingly voted to remain in the EU during the referendum in 2016 – could lose 6 per cent of its GDP over the next decade because of Brexit

      The SNP is asking Boris Johnson‘s Government to cough up and compensate Scotland for the potentially catastrophic economic effect Brexit will have on the country.

      Ian Blackford, the leader of the party in Westminster, likened leaving the European Union to an “act of economic vandalism” before the UK officially departed on 31 December.

      Changes to customs and exports will cost the UK £7billion a year, the Scottish Government has predicted. This could see the country – which overwhelmingly voted to remain in the EU during the referendum in 2016 – lose 6 per cent of its GDP over the next decade.

      At the moment, it remains unclear quite how much compensation the SNP believes Scotland is owed, but the number is thought to run into billions.

      “It is completely unforgivable that Scotland is being forced to pay such a devastating high price for Boris Johnson’s extreme Tory Brexit deal, with mounting costs, red tape and disruption,” Mr Blackford said.

      “The Tories must apologise to Scottish businesses and pay compensation to Scotland for the long-term damage they are doing to our economy – costing us billions in lost trade and growth.”

      ‘Act of economic vandalism’

      “This disastrous Tory Brexit was a completely unnecessary act of economic vandalism, which has been inflicted against Scotland’s will,” he continued. “It is now beyond doubt that the only way to protect Scotland’s interests and our place in Europe is to become an independent country.

      “With businesses, industries and communities across Scotland warning of rising costs, bureaucracy and delays, it is clear Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal has already left the UK poorer and worse off – with absolutely no benefit to Scotland at all. Every promise has been broken.”

      Mr Blackford added that Scots should be allowed to vote in another referendum for Scottish independence.

      “The UK Government must now provide an urgent multibillion package of compensation to Scotland to mitigate the lasting Brexit harm done to Scottish businesses, industries and communities,” he said.

      “Scotland has been completely ignored by Westminster throughout the Brexit process. People in Scotland have the right to determine our own future, protect our interests, and regain the full benefits of EU membership as an independent country.”


      • avocado says:

        If the Scots leave UK and come back to EU my theory stands, because both movements neutralize each other. The same goes for a reunified Ireland. I dont know if my gov would recognize an independent Scotland, except if this would mean getting Malvinas back, lol

      • neil says:

        Surely they’re about to rejoin the EU and thus will enjoy continuing economic success ( sunlit uplands, anyone?), so why should they need compensation? Is it not those stuck outside the EU who are at a disadvantage and requiring support?
        Do they not believe their own propaganda?

      • Robert Firth says:

        Yawn. A bankrupt Scotland demanding yet more of England’s money, just as she has for the past three hundred years. Enough is enough. Cut the parasite loose and kick it into the long grass.

        • Mirror on the wall says:

          If one feels that Scotland is going to take England’s money anyway then one might as well donate money to the SNP and cut them loose once and for all. It is money saved in the long run. Scotland’s independence is England’s independence.


          • neil says:

            Will England, which is about to accept a large proportion of the population of Hong Kong, then have to cope with a few million Scottish immigrants as well? Probably.

            • Robert Firth says:

              neil, we have a sure defence against Scottish immigrants, thanks to the Emperor Hadrian. We just have to refurbish it.

              Two legions on the frontier (one of them the famous Ninth) and two in reserve at Eboracum and Deva Victrix, was all it took.

              The latter, by the way, built a way station one day’s march North, called Castra Mancunia. Some 1800 years later, I was born there.

  9. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Charting the Global Economy: Resurgent Virus Taking Bigger Toll:

    “U.S. payrolls shrank at the end of 2020 on a slump in restaurant employment, renewed lockdowns threaten a double-dip recession in the U.K. and India’s economy is staring at its worst annual contraction since the 1950s.”


    • A December Oil Price article says:

      India, the world’s third-largest oil importer and consumer, turned from the worst-performing demand market in July into one of the fastest-growing fuel demand markets in November, lending support to oil prices together with strong demand in China and progress with vaccine development and rollout. India’s demand for all types of petroleum products has nearly reached pre-COVID levels, prompting domestic refineries to crank up crude oil processing rates.

      . . . fuel demand has been boosted by one of the effects of COVID-19 on customer preferences—people avoid public transportation and prefer the comfort and relative isolation from other people in their own vehicles.

  10. Harry McGibbs says:

    “…is it all over for the flow of Saudi oil to the U.S.?

    “Not yet. The collapse of Venezuela’s oil industry, hastened by U.S. sanctions, and declining exports from Mexico and Colombia, means the U.S. will need to import heavy crude from elsewhere.”


    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “The big question now for analysts is what does 2021 hold for oil markets? …The International Energy Agency (IEA) says that oil demand recovery will be slower in 2021 than previously thought…

      “China almost single-handedly rescued commodity markets during the pandemic, but its imports are now slowing.”


      • A related issue is the fact that whenever the price of oil bounces up even a little, oil production seems to increase. According to the Oil Price article:

        OPEC+ will also remain a key focus in 2021. Libyan production has risen and, according to a recent show by PVN, it could reach up to 1.2 mbpd. Data by S&P Platts suggests that OPEC pumped its most in November 2020, but Russia and Saudi Arabia will have their caps increased in 2021 and could choose to ramp up production. Meanwhile, members that are exempt are already increasing production, with Libya, Venezuela, and Iran adding more than 600,000 to the markets last month. We may expect the trend to continue next year.

        • Harry McGibbs says:

          “Baker Hughes BKR on Friday reported that the number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil rose by 8 to 275 this week. That followed increases in each of the last six weeks.”


            • Harry McGibbs says:

              Gail, any thoughts on Art Berman’s prediction of a US oil supply crunch this summer due to all the lost production and the lag entailed in re-starting?

            • I don’t think any reduction in oil supply will ever look like a “supply crunch.” It will more likely look like the loss of jobs, for one reason or another. Or a financial problem, resulting in fewer goods being shipped.

          • Minority Of One says:

            Here in the UK, a major news story this past weekend (one of several along the same theme) was of two women who drove 5 miles or so to go for a walk in a park / nature reserve (in England). They were both fined £200 for breaching CV19 rules, the rules that change almost daily here seems like, because they drove there.

            The message from the mainstream media was clear. Stay at home or risk arrest / jail / fines. I don’t actually know the the rules in England. In Scotland, you are supposed to stay at home except for urgent reasons, plus you are allowed out to go for exercise once a day and to go shopping (only food shops are open until the end of Jan. at least, all other shops, pubs, restaurants closed except for takeaways, entertainment of any sort all closed). And you are allowed to meet up with one other person, as long as it is outside. No wonder people are confused.

            All of which would suggest if these fear-inducing policies are enacted world-wide, oil consumption should in principal be falling. At the same time as production looks like it is increasing. Who knows, maybe the dodgy vaccines will work and we will all live happily ever after, but seems like we are setting up a scenario where oil price rises will be limited. We will see soon enough.

  11. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Pakistan’s national power grid has experienced a major breakdown, leaving millions of people in darkness, government officials have said.

    “”A countrywide blackout has been caused by a sudden plunge in the frequency in the power transmission system,” Power Minister Omar Ayub Khan said on Twitter.”


    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “[South Africa’s] Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. is unprepared for maintenance work at Africa’s sole nuclear power plant after a steam generator leak brought forward a planned shutdown at one of the 1,800-megawatt facility’s two units…

      “The shutdown, which Eskom said will last until May, will sap its ability to meet national demand. The state-run company that supplies almost all of South Africa’s power has instituted intermittent power outages across major cities since 2008 because it can’t supply the electricity the country needs. Last year was the worst on record for power cuts in the country.”


    • I think of plunging frequency as a problem associated with too much intermittent renewables added to the grid, but this problem may be from something else. The article doesn’t say.

  12. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Ship owners facing looming deadlines to use less-polluting fuels have slashed the number of new vessels on order because they don’t know which alternative technology to switch to.

    “Ammonia, hydrogen, biofuels and electrification are some of the many contenders to power the world’s future merchant fleet, but most are only in the trial stage and won’t be scalable for at least a decade. With the life of a commercial ship averaging around 20 years, opting for a technology that doesn’t take off could be very costly.

    “But owners are running out of time to make the choice.”


    • None of those “solutions” are likely to work very well. Green fuels cannot be a solution, unless they can be cheaper to use that current fuels. This seems very unlikely.

    • Robert Firth says:

      “Ammonia, hydrogen, biofuels and electrification are some of the many contenders to power the world’s future merchant fleet …”

      Will I be burned at the stake if I mention “wind”? And remember, the trade winds cost nothing and will blow *forever*.

      So, make necessities locally, transport luxuries globally. Clipper ships are expensive but provide many good jobs, which again is what we need. Remember, for much of this period, a seaman’s wage was a set percentage of the profit: a win / win proposition.

      • Jarle says:

        I believe in us returning to sail boats and ships; low tech, not harmful to other species and as you say, we won’t run out of power.

  13. Harry McGibbs says:

    “There will be no spring recovery [for the UK. Chancellor Rishi] Sunak must prepare for a double-dip recession.”


  14. Harry McGibbs says:

    “From Japan to the US, young people give up on finding jobs…

    “Young people and former part-timers account for most of the labor market exiles. Worse, the young people among this group might also miss out on opportunities to gain the kind of work skills and experiences that further careers.”


  15. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Is ‘hysterical’ market speculation pushing us towards another crash?

    “Despite Covid, global stocks started 2021 on a high. But some analysts warn of an ‘epic’ bubble, amid fears that the flow of stimulus has created a monster.”


  16. avocado says:

    As fracking and the Don are over, the right in the US has two choices: war (which they will lose, because of Big Tech) or modernization. It’s amazing that some people still hold the Confederate flag, which was defeated one and a half century ago, it’s incredibly backwards. The right must accept peak oil, or its metaphor: global warming. And it must accept that peak oil is not the end of the world (which means rejecting some of Gail’s postulates as wrong or not useful, such as the fragmentation trend and the Leonardo sticks, for example).

    It’s not surprising that US citizens are so polarized, they have only two parties as choices. It’s very different in the rest of the world. Indirect democracy tends to abstraction, polarization and exaggeration, but it’s much worst if there are only two parties. This feature arises from the electoral system, which discourages small parties. Looks like if the US doesn’t change its electoral system, or if it doesn’t start using direct democracy at the national level, they have no choice but civil war. Or the right should change, toward some Macron style, for example. One way or another, some kind of europeanisation is needed, be it French style or Swiss style.

    Here many people hate each other politically, but we have learned to live without political violence

    • People don’t understand, however, that their image of peak oil is completely wrong. We are reaching the collapse part of overshoot and collapse. We may indeed have rising energy prices for a time, but it will because the US dollar is losing value. In fact, all currencies seem to be in a race to the bottom. The danger is that the international trading system will start falling apart.

      I am not sure that having a two party system is necessarily the problem. The European system doesn’t necessarily work well, either. I remember hearing about problems in Israel and Spain with elected officials not being able to put together a majority that agrees on anything.

      I expect that the US is in some sense, too big, to stay together very long.

      • avocado says:

        Gail, it doesn’t matter if peak oil theory is wrong (I was implying “peak”, generally speaking). I agree that it mainly consists in an impossible extrapolation, but it doesn’t mean that your predictions are 100% accurate: I wouldn’t be surprised if the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Anyway, if you say to people “it’s bau or death” you’re pushing them into despair and suicide/violence; this is the kind of thing I avoid when I write, but I do suggest there are substantial problems.

        If the danger is that the global trading system could fall apart, it’s a bad idea telling people there is a trend against internationalization, which is not true anyway (remember, not a single successful separatism as of today, and many people tried: Catalonians, eastern Ukrainians, Irak Kurds, Mapuche Indians here, Uyghurs in China, eastern Bolivians, and more). Localism will just not happen, because, as you say, we all depend on global supply chains, and because no one wants to recognize more state entities, and because localism is more expensive, as I have explained before. The US is a big country, but so are Russia, China, Brazil and India, and they’re not subject to centripetal forces (only Muslims in China and India, and they’re crushed by the State, because the national State is stronger and will always be; but this is not related to peak stuff, it is rooted in a centuries old religious/ethnic thing).

        It’s true that a multi party system is not the ideal solution (as I see it, Swiss style direct democracy is the best), but it helps very much against polarization and civil war. As you can see, not having a government for a couple of weeks or months didn’t really hurt Spain or Israel.

        I can’t see any future for Conservatism in the US if it doesn’t renovate. You should do as the right here: they accept the pandemic and push for minor openings, while the left push for minor closures.

  17. Jarle says:

    Meanwhile in Norway:

    Day out and day in filled with drivel about CovBug, I miss the hydrogen this-and-that nonsense …

  18. Herbie R Ficklestein says:

    Hi, Anyone hear anything about Peakoil.com? Seems the website has been frozen since December 16th and it has some very active characters that battle it out in a lowbrow fashion in the comment section.
    The site has been hacked numerous occasions. I don’t bother there at all much nowadays since Shortonoil disappeared and a few others. Sometimes some good articles posted.

    • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      I just looked and there are articles dated January 9th.


    • Minority Of One says:

      I don’t visit there so much these days, but the content looks up-to-date to me.

      The comments section you refer to seems like a good metaphor for where we are headed post-collapse. Unbelievable amounts of abuse, insults and anger.

  19. Mirror on the wall says:

    “we trespassed too hard and deep on the territory of other critters who have as much right to be here as we have… that defence mechanism, in the form of a virus…”

    To pick up at this tangent.

    ‘Rights’ are a human fabrication with roots in the city states of the Renaissance and the early bourgeois period. ‘Rights’ are accorded by society and they have no pre-social existence. All morality is a falsification of reality but often a useful one, often not. Critters have to defend their territory, that is how the world works, none is ‘reserved’ for them. If humans choose to do that for them then that is a purely human choice, as is the choice not to.

    Viruses have their own tendency to reproduce themselves, like all species, otherwise they would have disappeared. They are not a defence mechanism for other species. It is possible for a species to use chemical warfare against others but there is zero evidence that species have adapted to ‘gang up’ to gas humans with c 19. That is purely imaginary, along with the ‘rights’ of other species.

    It is fine to be concerned with other species but it often lends itself to an outright falsification of reality. Often it is egoism and ‘moral’ posturing on the part of individuals, to make themselves look/ feel ‘better’ than other humans. Humans are instinctively competitive, to gain some sort of evolutionary advantage over others, and that often takes the form of moral posturing and ‘altruistic’ posturing. Competition is largely conducted on the psychological plane these days.

    The human psyche is radically ordered to its own interests and it has learnt to disguise that and to pretend the opposite in order to advance its interests. Humans instinctively fake it and deceive; they even conceal it from their own consciousness as that makes it easier to ‘pull off’. To pose as against success, as a person or species, is just another strategy to advance one’s own success in some sense. The human psyche has evolved through the selection of what ‘works’ for one’s own interests, it has no remit beyond that even if it sometimes ‘seems’ to.

    Pandemics come and go, they have no grand ‘anti-human’ significance. They can function as metaphors for all life in their self-interested adaptation and exploitation of other species, which is how the world works – but that is not ‘anti’, it is descriptive not prescriptive. One is either well adapted and disposed to the world and all that it requires or one is not. Concern for other species and for other humans can be a part of that adaptation and it needs to be kept in the correct perspective.

    Humans need to maintain as well as to transform their niche – it is a balancing act, which Nietzsche likens to a ‘tight rope’ which humans cross over even as they fall off it (TSZ, prologue). Humans are still in the stage of speciation, rapid genetic change, perhaps uniquely permanently so. Hominids have been around for millions of years and we are still rapidly evolving, unlike other species that typically become genetically ‘set’ within 200,000 years.

    Man is a constant ‘falling off, a going over.’ Perspective tells us that is our unique destiny and one to be embraced; we constantly have the ‘responsibility’ to better adapt and a concern for other species and humans is a part of that, as is a disregard – modern human expansion out of Africa wiped out most of the larger mammals long ago. We occasionally go through population collapses and even ‘bottle necks’ ourselves before our expansion recommences; it is all part of the process of our evolution.

    But ultimately, humans are gonna do what humans are gonna do, whatever that is exactly and it is not worth getting personally anxious about that – although that has its role too, there are often two sides to our ‘balancing act’ – so, whatever, be anxious or don’t, that is one’s own personal prerogative according to the situation as one sees it.

    • The whole idea of self-organizing systems is hard for people to think about. The system reflects outcomes of many combinations of encounters. Things don’t turn out as we expect. If the long-term trend is toward increased energy dissipation, then somehow, species that can dissipate energy at above average rates will tend to be favored. This would suggest that mankind, or perhaps a mutated version of our current form of hominoids, will come through this bottleneck in at least limited numbers. The climate many change as well, to facilitate the dissipation of more fossil fuels.

      Leaders have come up with views claiming that we have more powers than we really do. Governments can temporarily subsidize new forms of energy, but if they don’t work on their own, their benefit will primarily be for the individuals and companies that profit from the new jobs they provide, and the subsidized returns they provide.

      • Mirror on the wall says:

        Yes, that is the objective situation.

        Humans are survivors, we are highly adaptive; that does not mean that we are really ‘in control’ of outcomes, but it does seem likely that we will be around for a while yet even if this civilisation collapses and something quite different emerges in its place.

        Energetic conditions will ‘organise’ us even as we organise ourselves, just as they organise everything else in the endless process of ‘becoming and destruction’ that is the cosmos.

        Energetic conditions will change, climates will change, species will change and so will we. So it has ever been and so it ever shall be.

        All is in perpetual flux; humans can only go with that flow even as we seem to somewhat ‘direct’ it; we cannot arrest planetary or social development to some set, permanent state.

        Change is how we have come to be and it is how we shall continue to become what we are yet to be. Nothing is, all is becoming; nothing that is, shall remain what it is; all shall yet become what it is not even as it becomes itself.

        That is how the world works, so we may as well reconcile with change, our own and that of everything else in its due time.

        Vinyl sounds better, even on YT.

        ‘Everlasting World’ – well it will last for a ‘long’ time anyway, nothing last forever though – maybe they mean an eternally cyclical cosmos in which we all may meet again even in this same moment?

      • Sergey says:

        My region’s local government set a goal to get 1/3 of electricity from renewable sources (wind farms mostly). Investor & producer found (finnish company), contract settled. Local government subsidies it by reducing taxes and buying all produced electricity. Now 99% of electricity in our region still produced by gas burning. And as I know Russia has 1/3 of world reserves of natural gas and it is cheap locally. I listened to experts and they all said what wind farm electricity is commercially invalid in our region without subsidies.

        • The only place where wind might reduce electricity costs is on an island that gets most of its electricity from burning oil. Adding wind to the mix might reduce the amount of oil needed. If electricity is sold on a “cost plus” basis, the substitution of wind for some small part of the oil might be cost effective. Otherwise, it doesn’t work.

          Electricity made with oil is far too expensive to use for manufacturing goods. The only place electricity with oil seems to work is for tourist destinations, where consumers aren’t too concerned about electricity costs. COVID seems to be wiping out tourism. Given this situation, I am not sure that wind really is helpful anywhere.

      • humankind didn’t start to outcompete other critters until we started setting fire to things deliberately

        seems to me when there’s nothing left to burn, we will lose that advantage

        • Mirror on the wall says:

          There is plenty for humans to consume yet; we are about 1/10,000 of the planet’s biomass. It is estimated to have reduced by half over the last 10,000 years although estimates are not accurate. It is the adoption of herding, farming and then industrialism that has reduced terrestrial biomass rather than fire, which goes on all the time. But there is plenty left to keep us going for a while yet. And who knows, maybe climate change will be really cool and provide conditions for a tropical expansion.

          Interestingly there is a greater biomass of consumers on the planet than of producers – not terrestrial but marine. That is because producers rapidly produce for consumers, so they produce more biomass but they have less at any given time. Life is based on consuming other species, that is just how it is. Humans have been very successful but insects do better than us where biomass is concerned, as do plants, marine animals, bacteria and archaea.

          I do not see a problem. Any species will expand when it can and contract when it has to. If we are headed for a contraction then that is quite normal really, and then we are likely to expand again. That is the sort of thing that goes on all the time on planet earth; one might as well ‘blame’ all species for that behaviour. Otherwise it would be a dead planet like Mars or Jupiter. Life devours life and thus it lives.

          > The biomass distribution on Earth


          • >>>>>And who knows, maybe climate change will be really cool and provide conditions for a tropical expansion.<<<<<

            Mirror–that's a classic. Gotta love and cherish that comment. (assuming it wasn't meant to have thread of humour in it. I'd like to think it was a joke, Somehow I think it wasn't.)

            biomass is a form of energy

            the laws of thermodynamics state that energy cannot be created or destroyed, merely converted from one form to another.

            animal species do that throughout their lives, get born, procreate, eat, die, and restart the cycle again, adhering strictly to the 'law'.

            we did the same thing, then we latched onto fossil fuels and convinced ourselves that it was a get out of jail card on the boardgame of nature.

            we formulated the laws of thermodynamics at about the same time, but decided they didn't apply to humankind.


            no—there is not 'plenty for us to consume yet'.

            planet earth is an interdependent system. one part of it cannot consume an excess of the rest. (why it is necessary to say this?)

            For the past 200+ years we have deluded ourselves into thinking we had created a 'consumer society''. When in fact we have transformed ourselves into a species of 'super converters'. Which is not the same thing at all.

            We discovered 100m years worth of fossilised sunshine, and converted it into 'money'. The planet itself was given a 'cash value' but that value depended on the amount of energy the planet could deliver to us, year on year.
            So now 'money' is seen as a substitute for energy itself.
            Which is why our current system must collapse.

            We will not 'expand again' because our wildcard of fossilised sunshine has been played. It will not be dealt again.

            The game is over, and nobody will walk away with their winnings

            • Mirror on the wall says:

              I am not sure what you think that the problem is.

              Yes fossil fuel industrialism is headed for a collapse and the human population with it. After that, there will still be plenty of biomass to allow humans to expand again within the limits of what is then available. So what?

              That in no way supports the ideas that animals have inherent ‘rights’, that they are ganging up to ‘get us’ with c 19 or that the planet is about to run out of biomass, which are all completely ridiculous ideas.

              All species expand within their limits and then they contract. That is how the earth works. There is no ‘moral’ or ‘right-on’ angle to that. It is organic drives in motion, nothing more and nothing less.

              There will be plenty of bio mass for humans to exploit after the collapse – not for 8 billion industrial bourgeoisie and proletarians in their current symbiotic relationship but whatever humans remain to continue with their evolution, which is all that is really happening, the evolution of the species, through natural selection, and the dissipation of energy.

              Climate change, along with a fall in the human population, is very likely to allow plants to flourish. I am not sure why you think that is a jokey thing to say. Maybe it is egg on the face of ‘greens’ but so what?

              There is not going to be any ‘moral solution’ and neither is the planet going to impose a ‘moral solution’.

              In fact there is no ‘problem’.

              Industrial civilisation is coming to an end along with all of the social classes that it supports; the human population will be much smaller; global warming will likely cause biomass to increase; humans will adapt and continue with their evolution, consuming other species and dissipating energy as they go.

        • Tim Groves says:

          Norman, there will always be something left to burn for some of us—although not nearly enough for eight billion of us.

          Forests are among Nature’s own solar energy collectors. They respond to incoming sunlight by converting simple molecules such as carbon dioxide and dihydrogen monoxide into biomass. After a few decades of growth, a cellulose-rich component of this biomass known as timber, lumber or wood can be collected and used for fuel or as a raw material for constructing buildings, making furniture, and for at least a hundred and one other applications.

    • Kowalainen says:

      “But ultimately, humans are gonna do what humans are gonna do”.

      Yes, could we have a bit of more what we are instead of shitty and shallow narrative followers programmed by socialist engineers? Cutting down on the narrative peddling could be an excellent start of LTG scenario 3. Just come clean and say what is an observable absolute fact. Shit is going to get worse.

      Most engineers I speak to are quite clear about the reality of infinite growth on a finite planet. Now, what do they do in common? Shrug their shoulders and “oh, well. It is what it is”.

      That there exist different narratives in operation under the umbrella of IC is fairly certain since redistribution works differently in different regions. Say, compare NA with EU. It is thus not a self organizing structure, but rather a crafted psychosocial condition that organizes under those principles.

    • Robert Firth says:

      “Pandemics come and go, they have no grand ‘anti-human’ significance.” I.m not sure. Viruses are predators, and predators go where the prey are most numerous, most juicy, and least able to defend themselves. That’s us.

  20. nielscolding says:

    Att.: Norman Pagett

    Please, do continue here on OFW – too many commenters have take up the thread after Fast Eddie, for instance Tim Groves.

    Politicians and civil servants are doing their best, but they are ignorant of what will hit us (diminishing returns) and so are msm. They do not know! And if they knew, it would be impossible for them to tell what we are heading against. My hope is that for some years it will still be possible to live under the friendly hegemony of the United States. Buy I must admit that it is time for us to carry an even share of the burden of freedom.

    • lol–thanks for the encouragement–I will do my best

      But as Superman’s girlfriend said, when he ‘saved’ her (he was always doing that) for the first time:

      ”Don’t worry, I’ve got you” says Superman.

      “You’ve got me??? Who’s got you?” Replies Lois Lane

      Problem these days is there’s no phoneboxes to change in.

      Politicians are just ordinary people with louder voices. We vote for men and expect them to turn into supermen and then complain when they don’t. Or accuse them of being accomplices in a grand conspiracy against us.

      I don’t think most of them are ignorant of the situation. They cannot alter things to any great extent any more than you or I can.

      Nobody is going to ‘save’ us, because the chose this mess for ourselves 200 odd years ago, by choosing infinite growth on a finite planet. Simple when you think of it that way, and dispense with all the hoaxes and conspiracies.

      Tim is only engaged in a long and elaborate windup—I’ve said that all along.
      Eddie was/is just an attention seeker.

      • We really need a mix of commenters with different views. If everyone believed the same, the comments wouldn’t be very interesting.

      • Tim Groves says:

        Tim is only engaged in a long and elaborate windup—I’ve said that all along.

        Drop the only and you have a valid point, Norman. Like a vintage Patek Philippe that still keeps excellent time, you DO need winding up once a day. Otherwise you’d be like a stopped clock.

        But by supplying you with stimulating and thought-provoking disagreement, you must admit that in addition to winding you up I am shaping you up as well.

        Eddie was/is just an attention seeker.

        Again, drop the just and you would have a valid point. He is much much more than just an attention seeker. He’s the Doomosphere’s single greatest entertainer. If Doomology was a real science, Eddy would be it’s Carl Sagan!!

        Incidentally, Doomosphere is a real word that has an entry in the Urban Dictionary. It reads like something Eddy himself could have penned:

        The zone of doom on earth that comprises a population of realists who recognize the global biosphere is on an irreversible trajectory toward collapse and mass extinction, due to industrialized human behavior and ectivity. Biospheric collapse will likely result in a planet bereft of complex life for millions of years and possibly forever, as the meltdown of the world’s 450+ nuclear reactors may strip earth of its atmosphere, leaving it cold and lifeless, like Mars. Why go to Mars when we can have it right here on Earth?

        Basically, “we’re F*K*D!”

        • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

          based on his recent posts, even Foil Eddie seems to be weakening due to the effects of decreasing energy.

        • entertainers are by definition attention seekers

          they have to be

          but thanks for. finally admitting about the windup—I was saying that years ago

    • Jarle says:

      “… too many commenters have take up the thread after Fast Eddie, for instance Tim Groves.”

      Tim G?! Most certainly not, a good commenter if you ever met one!

    • JMS says:

      “They do not know!”

      Of course not. The industrial-finantial globalists of Club of Rome commissioned the Limits to Growth report from MIT in 1970, had it translated and published in dozens of languages, but then forgot to read it! What hollow heads they have.
      Sorry, but to think that billionaires and the military doesn’t have the same or much better better information that we at OFW is simply too silly to consider.

      • Harry McGibbs says:

        The US Joint Forces Command has published a report on peak oil, as has the Bundeswehr. You will even see some peak oil theorists in the central banks, like Michael Kumhof, senior research advisor in the Bank of England’s research hub.

        Billionaires we cannot generalise about, surely. Niels though is talking about politicians and, at least in the UK and Ireland, awareness of these issues is poor amongst policy-makers. They won’t take a lecture on theory.

        • JMS says:

          I think we can know say what a politician really knows, since they’re not in the business of telling the truth,

          I must say I made once a comment about diminishing returns on the blog of a famous portuguese politician (and economist) and he replied to me that “the law of diminishing returns does not apply to an economy as a whole”.
          Should I conclude from this that the guy is an ignoramus, or that, being a politician, he sees no interest in revealing the truth to the commoners? I lean towards this second option.

          Anyway, in my view politicians just follow orders from above, they don’t rule or decide anything important. Those who rule and decide are the billionaires who finance their political carreers. And these billionaires are certainly informed about the law of diminishing returns, and finite world issues. .

          • JMS says:

            typo: I think we can’t know what a politician….

            • Harry McGibbs says:

              So, we can’t know what any politician knows but we can know precisely what all billionaires know? I think that’s a stretch.

            • JMS says:

              We can’t know for sure, but we can infer, if we remember that correct information is too valuable an item to be overlooked by someone who manage billions.

              A politician can afford to know nothing about the facts of physical reality. Billionaires cannot, or they would risk lose rapidly their hard-won power and wealth.

              Of course all this is only a guess, since i don’t know any millionaire nor poltician, but it’s more plausible i think than nielscolding’s, stance that “they don’t know”.

            • Kowalainen says:

              We can rest assured that some people know exactly what is going on, and they dictate the pacing and staging, it ain’t the politicians. The politicians are there to mouth piece hopium and craft false dichotomies for the herd to cling to.

              I would like to see the current spin of the LTG models running on the hottest supercompute on the planet.

              Hey “DOE” (worldwide, not just US) schmucks, why not release some juicy LTG reports? How shit is it really? A few straws of hopium-hay still left in the stack of despair-needles?


              Btw, did US DOE get hacked in the solarwinds shit show? I’m expecting data dumps galore. 😎

            • Harry McGibbs says:

              I don’t think we can infer any such thing as a generalisation, JMS. In no way is an understanding of the limits to growth a pre-requisite for making or keeping a fortune of billions. James Dyson, the UK’s richest billionaire, just needed a brilliant invention and ruthless commercial instincts.

              I’m sure there is a creeping awareness of various growth limiting factors and our worsening ecological predicament, as there is in the general population, but if anything billionaires are more psychologically inclined to buy into the idea that such problems can be overcome by human brilliance – see Bill Gates new book about solving climate change or the billionaire space race:


              On the flipside, some may well understand the situation fully. The Bushes famously snapped up 100,000 acres of land over a huge fresh-water aquifer in Paraguay. This could be a bug-out strategy. It could be a cynical attempt to make money in a world of tightening water-constraints. It could be both.

              It is easy to oversimplify and I think we tend to imbue billionaires with a mystique that they don’t really deserve.

      • of course they have the same knowledge

        but as I pointed out, they have no more ability to do anything about it than you or I

        they will make a lot of survival noise, but thats not the same thing

        • JMS says:

          Not only do they have the ability to do something, as they are trying to do it, namely, the “unfeasable” degrowth and deglobalization of the economy, getting rid of the useless middle class and of a political system – representative democracy – that no longer serves their interests.
          Will their great reset work? Maybe for them, for some time, but not for we-the-people, that’s for sure.

          • Xabier says:

            How true.

            They hate even the facade of democracy and consultation.

            They adore China’s ability ‘to get things done’.

            No wonder Uncle Bill and Co. look so excited, they feel that their age is now dawning at long last.

            My only hope is that, somehow, they are over-reaching in their eagerness, it just isn’t subtle anymore.

            • Kowalainen says:

              Have you been to China? I have, so have they.

              It fscking sucks. It is a ruined nation. Polluted, shoddy, mundane, firewalled. Yuck.

              The real deal is Taiwan with a competent president that is under no illusion of what is going on.

              無為 ☯️

              Influencers, MSM and the usual polarizing fluff pieces isn’t needed when the populace gets the job done without the vulgarities and debauchery of CCP, and foremost the godawful socialist engineers of the west with the grace of a bulldozer in a china factory.


            • Robert Firth says:

              I suspect we shall experience China’s ability to “get things done” towards the end of this month, when she invades Taiwan. Of course, only after making sure her puppet president Biden promises not to intervene.

            • Kowalainen says:

              Robert, we’ll see about that I guess.

          • I think that comes under survival noise

            • JMS says:

              Survivors they are, the Utimate Preppers, the fittest of the fit in the human race to the bottom, the ones who own a bunker in each continent and shit pearls every single morning.
              It may be silly noises, but I’m sure for them they sound like an heavenly cantata. The music of hope is simply irresistible for most humans, and in that the Owners are indistinguishable from Mr. Joe Sixpack. They want MORE (as you have pointed countless times here and elsewhere).

            • all of us follow the drum that beats in our own heads

              trouble starts when that drum beats in time with a few million others and then we start following the drummer in chief. Who is usually a charlatan and Ponzi scheme salesman who promises ‘more’ of everything–forever. (Whatever happened to the 1000yr Reich?. Millions ‘believed’)

              it sounds like survival noise, but it more often that not it’s the sound of the lemmings ahead of us thudding onto the rocks below

              the drive for more is in all of us, to a greater or lesser degree, unless one is a career hermit.

              I’ve acquired sufficient capital to be comfortably off into old age. I’ve been lucky and lazy at the same time, tbh. (Sufficient unto the day is the need thereof, maybe?)

              Had an opportunity presented itself for me to become a billionaire, I have no doubt I would have taken it. Maybe laziness kicked in too soon. Who knows?

    • Tim Groves says:

      Att: Niels Colding

      Not THE Niels Colding, the famous Danish-English translator of that name?

      In any event, we doomers are honored by your presence and I, as a resident troll, am happy to have been fed.

      Is this just a passing visit? Or are you planning to engage with us indefinitely and give Norman some much appreciated support? Certainly he’s had more adversaries than allies of late. But please, do please yourself.

      TOO MANY commentators? Perish the thought! While quality beats quantity, you can’t have TOO MANY commentators, I always say.

      I personally have never noticed any lack of space in this comments section. If you calm down and get over your irritation at the annoying fact that some people make comments that you don’t agree with, or that they make them in a style you object too, then I am sure you will find there is room for us all. But then again, if you prefer to frequent blogs that have fewer commentators, or even none, there is no shortage of places to hang out.

      If you would take a more Taoist or a Zen or a Sufi attitude to this blog, as to life in general, rather than a Lutheran or Calvinist one that embodies an unconscious urge to seek to find fault with everything, then I think you would enjoy and appreciate it more. But that’s just my opinion—or, if you prefer, the opening salvo in what may eventually blossom into (to quote Norman’s evocative phrase) a long and elaborate windup.

      Many of us here value or even treasure Fast Eddy’s input, and we would love to read his contributions a A LOT MORE often. Have you noticed that when he stays away for a while, other commenters begin to sigh for his absence. We await his visits and the attendant fireworks with as much enthusiasm as the Hobbits of the Shire used to await the coming of Gandalf. 🙂

      • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

        perhaps he is Niel Scolding.

        hard to say for sure.

        • TIm Groves says:

          There aren’t many references to “Niel Scolding” online. Google only brings up 83 hits.

          There are some impressive “Neil Scolding”s, though.

          Such as THE Neil Scolding, the Burden Professor and Director of the Bristol Institute of Clinical Neurosciences, who is currently based at Learning and Research, Southmead Hospital and is also Visiting Professor at the University of Gulu Faculty of Medicine and spends some 6 months a year undertaking teaching, research and clinical practice in northern Uganda.

          On the other hand, “Niels Colding” gets over 3,000 hits including Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin accounts and his own YouTube channel. That’s a significant online presence.

      • fear not Tim

        I have never looked for support or felt the need of it (hence being self employed for 30 odd years)

        I was always happy so long as I got paid. Which people seemed pleased to do.
        The hallmark of the real mercenary.

        I only write stuff down to clarify my own thinking. Some might agree, a lot don’t . That is an irrelevance.
        ’tis just a meandering within my own mental maze.

  21. Mirror on the wall says:

    Local UK polls are to go ahead in May – unless they get cancelled. At least we will have some entertainment.

    Eyes will be on the ‘red wall’ wards in particular to see if they revert to LP – and of course on the Holyrood elections in Scotland, the main event of the evening, where SNP is very likely to secure a democratic mandate for a second Scottish independence referendum.

    Farage’s newly registered Reform UK party is also set to put in its first showing at the polls. RUK supports PR and reform of the HOL, so I would be tempted to vote for them; anything has to be better than two-party FPTP in which we have no option but to vote for (hopefully) the ‘least worst’ option of the two.

    The May polls may provide an occasion for TP discontent with Boris to be aired and the possibility of his replacement to be mooted. Boris was never particularly popular with TP MPs and they may want to draw a line under the Brexit image of TP and to field a candidate with a broader appeal come the next GE. Also they like to blame him for the further rise of SNP, and he is particularly unpopular in Scotland, but the situation is obviously more complicated than that.

    Starmer is likely to re-establish LP as a viable electoral force. Talk after the 2019 GE was of LP being out of government for decades but LP is well established as ‘the other’ party to which many voters swing as the default ‘other option’. The all out TP assault on Corbyn helped to reform LP as a viable opposition but then, political acts often are a two edged sword.

    The latest, ward by ward, poll of Westminster voting intentions suggests that red wall seats will revert to LP and that there will be a hung parliament at the 2024 GE, which would leave SNP as ‘king makers’ of an LP government, obviously in return for Indyref2. Four years is a long time in which polls can shift but that scenario is never really going to go away. Now may be as good a time as any for TP to cut Scotland loose or else see an LP government do it in four years time. RUK is likely to cut into TP votes like UKIP did, which makes the TP all the more vulnerable to LP+SNP.

    The best outcome in my opinion would be Scottish independence and Irish unity, and then a serious political reform of England with PR. So I will likely vote for RUK come May.

    > May elections to go ahead in UK despite coronavirus concerns


  22. This is the death of the false notion of democracy.

    Woodrow Wilson’s world finally ending.

    That basically means most of the countries which became independent after 1918 will return to where they were before the Great War.

    And Serbia will have to pay quite heavily for causing the Great War as well.

    • I am afraid it was peak coal in the UK that was the cause of the Great War. Lots of other things indirectly going wrong at the same time.

    • Kulm> I hear you, what is your problem with little Serbia again?
      As debated zillion times over, the empires entered the Great War with many pre-existing internal difficulties. It could had been any other local conflict zone to bring about similar “spark” result like WWI and its aftermath..

    • Jarle says:

      “And Serbia will have to pay quite heavily for causing the Great War as well.”

      So they caused it .. please expand!

  23. Yoshua says:

    The economy is self organising…so maybe political power is now self organising as well towards dictatorships out of necessity to control the masses?

  24. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Those in charge of making sure the UK’s lights stay on could see a problem looming as they took stock of power flows from suppliers last Tuesday.

    “With wind turbines spinning slowly on a calm winter’s day, demand rising in the cold weather, and the BritNed link bringing power from the Netherlands unavailable, they needed to increase the buffer for the next day, fast. An urgent call to the market for a potential 584MW of capacity was answered and the notice stood down.

    “It came at a price, however, with hourly wholesale electricity prices briefly shooting up to £1,000 per MWh – a 10-fold increase.

    “It is the fourth time National Grid’s Electricity System Operator has issued such a notice since late 2020, in a sign of the growing complexities of managing the system, which has a greater proportion of wind power and also some gas and nuclear plants offline.”


    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “Spanish natural gas prices surged to a record as the nation grappled with unusually cold weather that even brought a rare snowfall to Madrid.

      “The day-ahead price on Spain’s PVB gas trading hub has more than doubled since the start of the year and is near the record-high rates for liquefied natural gas in Asia, where cold winter temperatures are creating fuel shortages.”


      • It is very difficult to have an adequate supply of natural gas, if there are big fluctuations in temperatures and many are using natural gas for heating, either directly, or as electricity made from natural gas.

        There are several different limits that can be hit:
        (1) The diameter of the pipeline delivering the natural gas may not be large enough to serve all users.
        (2) The amount in storage may not be enough for all users (hit at the end of the season, if using storage rather than repeated LNG)
        (3) Low temperatures can adversely affect natural gas extraction, and reduce the flow for this reason. Sometimes there are outdoor pipelines needed in processes that freeze up.
        (4) Not enough LNG boats may be available in the area.

        Charts of natural gas prices often show big spikes in winter. In some places with iffy gas supply (US Northeast, for example), schools and big industrial users of natural gas are sometimes asked to shut down for a time, until adequate supply can be restored. Some US electricity producers have oil on hand in case there is not enough natural gas for all users.

    • It sounds like the UK (and probably a lot of other places) can look forward to many more power outages in 2021 as “Green Energy” proves unreliable. Winter is likely worst, because heat sometimes comes from heat pumps or from flooring which is heated with electricity.

      • Xabier says:

        The UK govt. wants people to move towards heat pumps and under-floor heating.

        Pretty disastrous, but it is quite usual for there to be no discernible intelligence in such policies.

        Just a few years ago here it was all ‘ dirt-cheap, fracked gas in abundance!’ as the promised future…..

        • Heat pumps are quite dependable gear for any weather but only in the earth collector or water collector (well / lake) variety. Obviously, that’s not what the mass market is today based on… which is mostly some sort of badly redesigned budget imported aircon compressor junk..

          • Jarle says:

            “… some sort of badly redesigned budget imported aircon compressor junk..”

            Unless you live in Norway and have a lot of oil money per person to spend, spend, spend …

    • Ed says:

      just for reference the wholesale price of electrc in New Yor State is $2 per MWh

    • Robert Firth says:

      You mean, wind turbines don’t spin when there is no wind? What an absolutely amazing discovery! Who wold have thought it? Well, a four year old child with a windmill on a stick knows that; too bad the entire “green” establishment never consulted a four year old child.

      But, as I think we all know by now, this is not about our electricity; it’s about their grant money:

      “What makes all doctrines plain and clear?
      About two hundred pounds a year.
      And that which was proved true before,
      prove false again? Two hundred more.”

  25. Artleads says:

    Got this from a concerned relative. “Share it around!,” she urges urgently. The last minute might be enough to see where this is going.


    • Tim Groves says:

      This is from last spring, but the message is “Speaking spreads the virus most effectively.” So I guess we are going to have government mandated silence in public and gum-taping of mouths for persistent offenders.

  26. Ed says:

    I image if I was a member of a group of 25 people who want to go into hostile territory I would want
    1) to stick together as a group
    2) to know each other face and cloths
    3) to share some common identifying clothing item
    4) each have a cell phone with all 25 phone numbers stored in them
    5) if one member is separated from the group call them, gps locate them, find them above all else
    6) have a well defined plan of where to be and when to be there

    What I would not do is wonder around as a single person and follow any one who says come this way.

    Organize, organize, organize

    • Artleads says:

      It might be better if some of these items overlap with natural, organic, logically inevitable processes though. The do-nothing approach.

    • Bei Dawei says:

      3) to share some common identifying clothing item

      Oooo, how about a furry Viking helmets?

  27. davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

    looks like the 46th POTUS will be Mike Pence.

    • He will be the final Republican President of all time as the Republican Party will disappear and the Democratic uniparty splits between the Karenist Party and the BLM Party.

    • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      or not.

      I’ve read that the Senate would conduct the impeachment trial after January 20th.

      the value in a conviction would be that Trump would be unable to run again in 2024.

    • Tim Groves says:

      Absolutely. Their fear of offending the leftist establishment is greater than their desire to profit out of what is bound now to be a best seller. Or else they are controlled by the same forces that control big tech. The author will have to find some other ways of getting this published.

    • Xabier says:

      Quite soon, anyone who criticises Big Tech or Big Pharm in any way (except to ask why it doesn’t get even bigger and faster!) will be classified as a so-called ‘domestic terrorist’, and dealt with accordingly.

      Just as those who opposed the Bolshevists were ‘traitors, saboteurs and madmen’.

      And just as the opponents of early Christianity were ‘devil-worshippers’ -the pattern is always the same.

      And this will be applauded by those who see where their self-interest lies, or out of fear.

      Just as people are posting ‘well done’ comments on YT congratulating those who get vaccinated. Such a brilliant move, and so good for the community!

      ‘Love Together, All Together’: a very sinister slogan going the rounds just now – it was up over the deserted streets of London at New Year, together with the BLM aggressive fists.

      We know what is taking shape, and have some time to reflect and decide just how we are going to live with it, if we can.

      Who ever thought that Big Brother would be an Aspergers wimp wearing a lab coat?

      • Artleads says:

        Heat pumps and Nat gas prescriptions notwithstanding, how far could we go with a switch to the environment? Do we have some wriggle room with changing the subject to that?

        It’s sort of PC to be talking about saving the environment post Trump? The point, you see, is that the good and righteous people won. So why cut down trees for development? Why demolish old buildings and waste their embodied energy? What style of building should prevail; traditional or modernist? Could development and developers take the conversation some place else?

        • Artleads says:


          Mining has to be planned more scrupulously and follow tighter planning rules than development.

          While mining can be highly toxic to its surroundings, those surroundings tend to orbit around geographically specific sites (that have boundaries–direct or indirect–around them).

          Development is more insidious, tending to sprawl from town to town, wherever there is land. Owners of that land find it hard to resist developer money, as with mining.


          There are approximately 1.85 billion, billion tonnes of carbon present on planet Earth – and only a tiny fraction of that is found in the air we breathe. The vast majority (more than 99%) of it is actually stored within the Earth’s crust, according to a startling new study conducted by a team of scientists from the Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO) project.

          Vegetation of all kinds stores (sequesters) carbon and makes the atmosphere safe for living systems.

          When we cut down a tree and remove native vegetation to landscape a development, we are releasing climate altering carbon into the atmosphere.

          Every time we scrape away topsoil to level and grade land for development, we are releasing quantities of carbon into the air. And that is far from being the only environmental stressor related to such conduct.


          Quite possibly. Development generally serves frivolous status needs of its customers, without contributing proportionately to economic viability of communities. Because mining is done away from urban centers, it is easy to take for granted how all our dependencies are being met within our industrial civilization (IC). 8 billion people could not possibly survive without the medicines, food, roads, clothes, infrastructures created on the basis of mining. Meanwhile, they could easily-enough find abode in other ways.

          Based on these assumptions, we might need to prioritize mining over development. We might also need to mitigate and limit the vast destruction that attend mining, albeit much less (IMO) than development.

      • Tegnell says:

        Thank Allah for this then

        According to Rystad, the current resource replacement ratio for conventional resources is only 16 percent. In other words, only one barrel out of every six consumed is being replaced with new resources.

        So not only has our pace of discovery declined, but discoveries are also in much more challenging geological venues and typically offshore, which means it could take many years just to bring new resources online.


  28. MG says:

    The strategy of Norway or Russia (i.e. the cold countries) to accumulate the proceeds from oil and gas production into a special fund has got 2 positive effects:

    1. Limiting the population growth.
    2. Have some reserve cash for access to warmer areas and their products.

  29. Jarle says:


    you used to write sane things, what happened? Is “Norman Pagett” hijacked by someone else?

    • please accept my apologies

      lately I’ve taken to puncturing conspiracy balloons—probably because there are more of them these days.

      conspiracies hoaxes and plots are the very lifeblood of some

      in all conscience I cannot support a transfusion service

      • Tim Groves says:

        I have a young Engllsh friend of Scottish extraction here in Japan who went on a bit of a crusade a decade ago against “trutherism”. He even took to describing himself online as “a shill for the New World Order”. We used to have hours of fun arguing about whether nine-11 or seven-seven were inside jobs or whether Norman Baker was sane or insane for writing a book arguing that Dr. David Kelly was murdered.

        This man, let’s call him Jack, has always been cheeky, cocky and sensible. He fancies himself as a philosopher and can lecture on the ideas of Kant, Hegel or Spinoza almost as fluently as Bertrand Russel could. Norman, I do believe you would get on like a house on fire with him. He shares your sentiments on conspiracy nuttery to a tee. Like you, he can get quite uptight when someone spouts off on a theory he thinks is misguided. My championing of Norman Baker’s book was one such incident.

        Disagreements aside, we’re still good mates today, but he has a wife, young children, a mortgage, and a full-time university teaching career to hold down with three hours of commuting daily. So he’s too tired to join the fray or even go for a proper drink these days. We haven’t even talked politics in ten years. There are more important things in life for both of us.

        Also, I am hardly likely to go warning him that I think the economy is going to collapse, possibly leaving him with a mortgage he can’t pay and a family he can’t support. I would have to be a sadist to dump that on him or to send him a copy of The End of More.

        When people have time on our hands, or not enough real work on our plates, we have to find ways of filling up the spare time. Blowing up conspiracy balloons or puncturing them are both excellent ways of passing the time. Doing crosswords, knitting, DIY, gardening and sitting in front of a large-screen TV with a six-pack watching sports can also be used to good effect. Or books—read them or look at the pictures—or if you have enough inspiration, write one of your own. If things get really bad, you can follow the example of Anicius Manlius Severinus Boëthius.


        The authorities can lock us up or lock us down and make all sorts of meaningless rules for us to comply with, but they will never take away so much that we can’t enjoy the good life—although they’ve come pretty close in the case of Julian Assange.

        • well Tim

          we seem to have reached the conclusion I anticipated a while ago–that you were engaged in a prolonged windup. which is why I kept the joke going.
          I write mainly to understand what I’m thinking.

          as you point out, we have time on our hands that we used to spend earning a crust and reproducing our species.

          something I should thank you for, was the vac schedule for American youth–I really had no idea of that. Its not a mind control conspiracy though, more a drug pushing finance scam by the US drug companies.
          I would doubtful if all American kids get that though.

          My kids had whatever was going at 5, and that was the end of it. As far as I know the same still applies in UK schools

          • Tim Groves says:

            Its not a mind control conspiracy though, more a drug pushing finance scam by the US drug companies.

            I can agree with you there, Norman. In the US is the most medicated society on the planet, although not necessarily the healthiest. 🙂

        • Xabier says:

          Well put, Tim, but alas too optimistic.

          Life might well be unbearable for those who can remember normality and sanity.

          They can take everything for even the very slightest opposition, as the history of all such regimes shows. Disproportion in punishment is built into such systems, as is cruelty and corruption.

          Although one could advance the proposition that brainwashing and propaganda can make the new ultra-controlled life seem so normal that the chains are totally invisible -as dissidents in the Soviet Union needed a moment of awakening to see what they lived in. Until then, life seemed to be good.

          That is why they are training the young now to ‘Save the Planet’ and in all kinds of ‘Justice’ themes. Training them to accept anything with the right label: and persecute those who are given the wrong one.

          If all possessions and ways of life can be destroyed or subverted, then can they proceed to take the soul? One wonders, as it is a composite being anyway.

          But I can envisage part of mine deciding that it is time to get out of the nightmare of Planet Prison.

          Until then I still have some duties to fulfill and will bow to the new yoke as it is pressed down – to a degree.

    • Xabier says:

      We are all under a lot of stress these days, and life in England is fast becoming insane and quite unrecognisable.

      • if reaching the stage of being pronounced sane means agreeing with every plotter, hoaxer, and conspiracist who spouts off a load of nonsense about secret mind control/population control groups and cabals of wealthy elites delivering secret concoctions, hidden in vaccines, produced in laboratories throughout the world, where those thousands of people doing the actual production are sworn/bribed to secrecy, and those doing the vaccinations have no awareness of it, and where the entire medical profession is thus complicit, despite the real and obvious danger they put themselves in, even to the extent of faking their own deaths to keep up the charade,

        then I prefer not to sign the sanity claus.


        • Xabier says:

          The truth is, Norman, that you cannot bear to face the magnitude of the imposture, and the nature of the system which is being fastened upon us.

          That is understandable: even I, cynical, as I am have been shocked by it, the scale, the speed, the ambitions they have to control us.

          But the evidence is irrefutable now.

          As for the medial profession, a lot are resisting the effectively untested vaccines – nurses and doctors – but they can also be quite as naive as anyone else and liable to be taken in by this immense fraud.

          All the best to you.

          • we trespassed too hard and deep on the territory of other critters who have as much right to be here as we have.

            Every species can communicate, every species has a defence mechanism.

            that defence mechanism, in the form of a virus, is rapidly shutting down the means by which we encroach upon the spaces reserved for others.

            As we try to defeat it, the virus evolves to defeat us.

            Walk through any town today, and be afraid of the silence and the missing people. You are correct in saying I cannot bear the magnitude of it, or the future it promises. The speed of it is frightening.

            But we foisted it upon ourselves. We released the virus upon ourselves.
            There is no ‘control’, other than the control of the defence virus itself intent on shutting us down.

            • Tim Groves says:

              We remained very chatty during the great 1918/19 influenza pandemic—and that, as you know, was a real “bring out yer dead!” plague. Covid-19 still has a way to go before it can compete with the Spanish Flu.

              I think I understand your sentiments Norman. And I too am shocked at how society is being transformed beyond recognition in some places. But I don’t share your revenge of Gaia sentiments.

              This virus, wherever it came from, is mainly striking down the elderly, the infirm and the physically unfit, and seems to be more serious the worse a person’s immune system and nutrition is. If a person is malnourished enough of infirm enough, they can be knocked down by a feather or a puff of wind.

              There are a lot of elderly, infirm, physically unfit, nutritionally deficient and immune compromised people around these days. We’ve become so good at keeping such people alive, that novel pathogens are bound to arise from time to time and wreak havoc.

              It isn’t the virus that unsettles me. It’s the political reaction to it by the authorities and the neurotic or hysterical reactions by the bulk of the population. In the old days, sober adults with stiff upper lips would give the hysterics a slap on the cheek when they started to panic. That’s how we won two world wars and a World Cup!

              My advice to everyone is to keep taking your Vitamin D~at least 5,000 IU a day~get back to your station in life~England expects every man will do his duty, etc.~, and hang on to your sense of humor.

            • you are quite right Tim, about the virus knocking off the elderly and unfit–which is why I try to be the opposite. I have an incredibly muscular typing finger.

              problem is of course that we expect the elderly and unfit to be cared for. We cannot bring out the ‘nearly dead’.

              we cannot lock up care homes and pass in food through a catflap then send in a house clearance team when everyone has died.


              But the alternative is to send in doctors nurses and care staff. Who also OD on the virus and die. (and spread the virus still more)

              in the 1918 epidemic we didn’t possess any means to effect a cure, so we didn’t. As a result we didn’t destroy our economic system by trying to. There were no care homes. Same with the plagues of the Middle Ages, populations and economic systems crashed and recovered.
              But no one was trying to keep mass transport systems going to keep everyone employed.

              Eventually the survivors just went back to their fields and grew turnips again.

              The common faction between those times was that energy resources were available with which to recover, in simple terms. (basically more turnips)

              This time it’s different. The energy needed to restart our economic system is now unaffordable.

            • Tim Groves says:

              The energy needed to restart our economic system is now unaffordable.

              This is precisely why I’m so keen on keeping the current economic system up and running. If it collapses it will be like Humpty Dumpty. We’ll never be able to put it together again.

              I cheer myself up by convincing myself that the Great Resetters don’t really mean it—that it’s basically just another scam to benefit insiders at everyone else’s expense. But on the face of it, these revolutionary energy plans such as phasing out nuclear, phasing out fossil fuels and running everything on solar, wind, hydro and biomass don’t add up and will cause the end, not just of more, but of what Kenneth Galbraith called the affluent society.

              As Gail has lamented, cutting down trees in Georgia, turning the wood into pellets and sending the pellets to the UK to be burned to generate “clean and green” electricity is not very smart from an economic or an ecological standpoint.

              sarc: It would make more sense to pulp the people running scams such as this and use the meat to feed the starving polar bears and the wolves and big cats George Monbiot wants to reintroduce in order to “re-wild” the UK.

              This at least would be sustainable as there seem to be so many of these people. And there are no major ethical concerns that a PETA lawyer would object to. /sarc

              But how can we keep the current economy system up and running? In the UK, it seems we’re not going to be allowed to do so. Mustn’t dig any more coal. Mustn’t build any more nukes. Mustn’t finance any non-Green energy infrastructure with zero-percent loans. Not allowed to have cheapish energy even where it’s still feasible to supply it.

            • you are quite correct Tim. (bet you thought you’d never see that in writing from me)

              basically, we can’t keep the current system up and running, because in order to do so we must borrow from a future that cannot exist—ie a future which has a surplus of cheap energy.

              the theory is, the future is going to be just like our past in that respect….. ever increasing tax revenues to allow us to do what we want, when we want, how we want and where we want.

              money is being borrowed right now to pay people wages for not working. That money in theory will be repaid out of future taxation.

              those taxes are not going to be there.

              personally I think collapse has already happened. we are now freewheeling on the impetus of our past. those of us lucky enough to be better off than average haven’t noticed it yet.

              anyone living under a motorway flyover has certainly noticed it. They see only wealth-packages speeding by at 80mph and realise they are no longer included.

  30. Jarle says:

    Norman Pagett:

    “But vaccination is different. The obsession with some kind of ‘dictatorship’ bending human minds and subjecting them to totalitarianism (or something) has to be shown to be what it is:

    The same dangerous mania that let the WH be invaded by a mob screaming much the same thing. They were not ‘creating or saving’ a future, but bent on destroying it, because nonsenses had become reality in their minds. (obsession with dictatorship again).
    Gates, Soros et al are not coming to get you.
    At least some non-commenters might read that and come to believe it. I only write this stuff down in order to know what I’m thinking.”

    Here’s what I think:

    How gullible!


    Destroying the future?

    Mr Gates and others “coming to get us”? How about greedy as can be with no qualms?

    Norman Pagett:

    “I don’t pretend to be qualified academically on any subject, I just have a fair way with words, a big logic button and a sharp pin for conspiracy balloons. Ive tried to use all three here.”

    How about brainwashed?

  31. Yoshua says:

    “Shijiazhuang accounted for 31 of the 37 new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases and 35 of the 57 asymptomatic cases reported in mainland China.”

    China responded with a full military lockdown of a city with 11 milion people.

    • Now, one report says:

      Chinese authorities imposed strict measures on two cities in Hebei province, just south of Beijing, on Friday in order to curb a new outbreak of coronavirus.

      Almost 20 million people were barred from leaving the cities of Shijiazhuang and Xingtai as the country raced to take control of the largest outbreak of COVID-19 cases since the virus was first discovered in Wuhan in 2019.

      The article mentions that authorities have already hinted at low-key celebrations for the lunar New Year, February 11-17. This could scale back China’s GDP, I would expect. If people visit relatives as usual, it could spread the illness far and wide.

    • Tim Groves says:

      So much for the gentler sex.

    • Japan was in chaos before and after the Meiji restoration (1868). Civil war began on 1864 and did not really end until the death of Saigo Takamori on 1877, and the northeastern region, heavily damaged during that period, did not recover until 1918.

      • Tim Groves says:

        Before becoming a rebel against the Meiji government he helped put into power, Saigo was a rebel against the Tokugawa shogunate. He is renowned for storming Edo Castle in a “bloodless war” and was posthumously rewarded with a beautiful statue that his widow declared looked nothing like him.


      • TIm Groves says:

        Just the beginning, I expect. Half of the population have never heard of Parler. Now it will benefit from the Streisand effect. Interested people can download the app from the Parler website. No need to go to Google or Apple for it.

        I think big tech are cutting off their own nose to spite their face, as my old granny used to say. They are damaging their own reputation, going against their own established values, upsetting a good portion of their customer base and attempting to stifle competition. I expect it will be all downhill from here.

        It will be fun to see how the boycotters act when the tide turns and they become the boycotted or simply sidelined by a growing army of users who can no longer stand the smell of them.

        • Ed says:

          and please remember yandek.com when needing to search topics that are not allowed by the blob. Hooray for Russia freedom.

          • JesseJames says:

            During the latest Georgia Senate runoff election, I attempted to find the official Georgia website documenting election tallies. I could not find it, despite searches on Startpage ( google) or Yandex.

            The Georgia Secretary of State page contained no information on how to view the results. I found this quite interesting that I could only view the election results via news media websites.

            During the Presidential election one could access results on most states webpages.

            I wonder if we now will just “be told” election results in the future. After all, fraud does not exist.

            Fraud is truth. Truth is Fraud.

      • Kowalainen says:

        Nah, just browse to the site and stop being so app-obsessed. There’s no OFW app, right? Doesn’t seem to stop the poster clientele from going wild.

        Besides, social media is for the most part quite asocial and shit.


    • Robert Firth says:

      Give these ladies a gun, and tell them to put their lives where their mouth is. I will offer long odds that their response will be “No no, let you and he fight!”. The Spartan mothers, who admonished their sons “Come back with your shield or on it”, were many rungs higher on the scale of virtue. Would that we had their like today.

      • Kowalainen says:

        Should have taught them a lession of how fun it is when somebody is instigating the herd to go bonkers on their turf.

        Sanctimonious hypocircy.


  32. Herbie R Ficklestein says:

    A new one for the books.. chocking on our own waste…

    Reuters Videos
    Serbia’s ‘waste river’ threatens to clog dam
    Wed, January 6, 2021, 11:19 AM EST
    Garbage as far as the eye can see has spread over Serbia’s Potpecko Lake Activists say it threatens to clog up the dam’s hydroelectric plant (SOUNDBITE) (Serbian) MARKO KARADZIC, LOCAL RESIDENT, SAYING:”It has been like this for years. The local government is trying to deal with it but it is all in vain when the root of the problem has not been solved. The time has come for this to be solved. It is time for this to stop. This is an ecological disaster, and it must not go on like this.” Activists say the pile of waste covers some 20,000 cubic meters Serbian authorities have ordered an immediate clean-up

    • Xabier says:

      Maybe Klaus Schwab has a point after all, and Mankind needs to be cleaned away……

    • Robert Firth says:

      A cleanup is attacking the wrong end of the problem. The only solution is to create only biodegradable waste, and the only way to do that is to make everything out of durable (eg stone pyramids) or natural living substances (eg linen, firewood, wicker, papyrus).

      We have a long way to fall.

      • Xabier says:

        Exactly; at the end of its life, the wind or watermill, the farm cart, became a good fire for humans, or a feast for nature.

        Burn the wood, put the ash on one’s garden, melt down the old iron for new tools…….

  33. Yoshua says:

    WTI 51.70

    Looks like the price broke the line of resistance at 51.50


  34. MG says:

    Epidemics is a part of energy decline, as the destruction of the human resources is an energy loss.

    • I agree that epidemics are part of the natural decline. The way you see this happening would seem to be labor being removed from the labor pool. Some of this might be from actual deaths. Much more of this would be from indirect impacts. For example, schools provide less free day care, so many women drop out of the job market, or work fewer hours. Job loss extends around the world, as tourism drops and as the market for new clothes declines.

      • MG says:

        We can say that the energy decline of the human population has got the following stages:

        1. The decline of the energy per capita.
        2. The ageing of the populaton.
        3. The epidemics destructing the population.

        What is next?

        4. The depopulation of the areas of the world that have neither water, nor energy.

        • I am not sure I would call these things “stages.”

          Clearly having less energy per capita tends to make productivity per human hour worked decline.

          The aging of the population may also make productivity decline. It will also make the population more vulnerable to epidemics.

          Energy is what is needed to get water through desalination, and perhaps pumping it to where it is needed. It is a very expensive process. Clearly, these areas are vulnerable to downfall.

          Could you explain why you call them stages?

          • MG says:

            Or we can call it a sequence, not stages, as this happens on micro- and macrolevel, i.e. individual people, families and nations.

  35. Yoshua says:

    Chinese coal prices have hit new record highs.


    • The higher price for coal is both good and bad, It helps make Chinese coal extraction profitable, but it tends to make electricity and steel too high priced for consumers, if the higher cost is passed on. Ultimately, it pushes the system down, just as high oil prices do.

      • Harry McGibbs says:

        Gas, too:

        “Frigid weather across north Asia has caught utilities and liquefied natural gas importers off guard as demand for power lowered inventories and pushed spot prices to record levels.”


        • Harry McGibbs says:

          Record cold in Spain, too, for those who like keeping an eye on such things:

          “Spain has just experienced a number of its coldest ever days recorded in history.”


          • Robert Firth says:

            Greta, start hunting those mink!

            Meanwhile, a balmy 19C in Valletta, and about 16C in my home.

            • Harry McGibbs says:

              Saturday may be one of your warmest January days on record, I see, Robert. I am very envious of your Saharan blast – it is literally freezing up here on Islay.

            • Tim Groves says:

              Here in the north of Kyoto, its -6.5ºC just now on a bright sunny morning. We are under siege from the coldest Siberian cold front I’ve witnessed in several years.

              Plus, the power companies are announcing that they may have trouble keeping the lights on next week due to unexpectedly high demand and lack of LNG supplies.We shall see if this becomes the new normal..

            • JMS says:

              The same here, albeit with less sharp temperatures. I’m having the coldest winter since i moved to the place i’m living now, A maximum of 7ºC and a minimum of -3ºC is a rarity here. La Niña effect as far as I know.

            • Harry McGibbs says:

              La Nina + a sudden stratospheric warming event unfolding above the arctic, I think.

              The very heavy snow Japan has been experiencing had a very interesting genesis:

              ““The mind-boggling snowfall is linked to a pair of record-breaking weather systems.”


            • Tim Groves says:

              Lots of snow this year in the Hokuriku and Tohoku regions facing the Sea of Japan. This part of Japan is known colloquially as The Snow Country, and life used to be extremely hard in many places there in the wintertime.

              This morning, the Japanese press reported that Toyama City was buried by 120cm of snow and Fukui City by 100cm, making this the snowiest winter there for 35 years. My place 100km southwest of Fukui City got 40cm—requiring some use of the snow shovel—but I think we’ve gotten off light so far. There’s over two months of the cold season still to come.

              We get most of our cold second hand from Siberia. Where Siberia gets it from Is a vexed question. I think a lot of Siberian cold air is home-grown as any landmass will cool in winter as it radiates more thermal energy than it absorbs from sunlight, and the cold land will cool the air above it.

              Any additional cold air coming from the Arctic can be considered a bonus. But if the air is already as cold or colder than the land below it, then it will tend to warm rather than cool further. So I’m not convinced, Arctic warming is producing Siberian cooling.

              This is one of my favorites on a long list of beautiful Sandy Denny songs. Whenever I listen, it never fails to bring tears to my eyes.


              No End

              They said that it was snowing
              In astounded tones upon the news
              I wonder why they’re always so surprised
              ‘Cos every year it snows

              Frozen images of snowploughs
              As they churn along the motorways
              I haven’t had no boots to wear
              Or any loot to spare for days and days

              I’ve traveled more than forty miles today
              I must have grown some wings
              It’s strange how time just seems to fly away
              I can’t remember things

              In a world of my own they say and who can blame
              Them, they’re just not the same
              I’ve known about it all along, though I thought
              I was all wrong and it’s such a shame

              Why don’t you have any brushes any more?
              I used to like your style
              I see no paintings anywhere
              And there’s no smell of turpentine

              Did I really have no meaning?
              Well, I never thought I’d hear those words from you
              Who needs a meaning anyway
              I’d settle any day for a very fine view

              I couldn’t even tell you all the changes
              Since you saw me last
              My dreams were like the autumn leaves
              They faded and they fell so fast

              In fact as you say the snows are here
              And how the time it slips away
              But I’m glad you did pass by
              I think I’ll have another try, it’s another day

              The day and then the night have gone
              It was not long before the dawn
              And the traveling man who sat so stiffly
              In his chair, began to yawn

              Having kept me here so long, my friend
              I hope you have a sleeping place to lend
              But the painter he just smiled and said
              “I’ll see you in a while, this one has no end”

            • Jarle says:

              “Saturday may be one of your warmest January days on record, I see, Robert. I am very envious of your Saharan blast – it is literally freezing up here on Islay.”

              No whiskey to keep you warm?

            • Robert Firth says:

              The official explanation of all this cold is “global warming in the stratosphere”. And if she has a black cat, she’s a witch; if she doesn’t, its a diabolically invisible black cat.

        • What Reuters says is,

          “China has been replacing coal burning with gas- or electricity-fueled heating devices as part of a campaign to combat air pollution in its smog-prone northern regions.”

          I wonder if this changeover is adding to electricity demand. Burning coal directly is a very efficient way of heating a home (even if very polluting). So is having a coal fired power plant in the middle of a city, and using the waste heat to heat homes and businesses through co-generation.

          Heating with a electrically powered heat pump is sort of efficient, but not more efficient than either of these prior methods. Thus, the lack of efficiency of the new methods may be adding to the problem.

        • Minority Of One says:

          This article also contains a video with very good analysis of the Australia / China ongoing saga, about 13 min, worth watching.

          One conclusion is that the CCP has decided to let its population suffer blackouts, power cuts and severe electricity rationing / coal shortages (and presumably for some folks, hypothermia) rather than continue importing Australian coal. Seems correct analysis to me given what else the CCP does to its people.

          • Minority Of One says:

            There are three videos. I was referring to “China Blackout After Coal Ban”

  36. Mirror on the wall says:

    UK businesses are just catching on that they cannot export stuff to EU unless the stuff is made of stuff obtained only from EU and UK, with at least 50% of parts/ ingredients made in UK. The simplest solution for the larger companies is to cut out UK entirely, and its workers, and to import directly into EU and to knock up stuff there.

    > UK retailers stumped by post-Brexit trade deal with EU

    One solution to the additional costs issue is to import directly into warehouses in the EU. JD Sports said last year that it was investigating options for stocking European stores without involving UK facilities

    Brands review supply chains to Europe threatened by terms of accord with Brussels

    Britain’s leading retailers are reviewing their supply chains to Ireland and other European markets while they work out how to avoid tariffs imposed by the UK’s post-Brexit trade deal with the EU.

    The Trade and Cooperation Agreement agreed with Brussels on Christmas Eve includes detailed stipulations on rules of origin that determine whether tariffs are levied on goods that are imported into the UK and then re-exported to EU markets with little or no further processing.

    “Tariff free does not feel like tariff free when you read the fine print,” said Steve Rowe, chief executive of Marks and Spencer.

    More than 100 retail executives held a call with government officials on Wednesday to discuss the problem. One person on the call said there was the sound of “pennies dropping . . . everyone can now see significant issues of additional friction which is pure cost”.

    William Bain, trade policy adviser at the British Retail Consortium, said that “at least 50” of the lobby group’s members were facing potential tariffs on re-exports.

    Some companies, including John Lewis and TK Maxx, have suspended deliveries to customers in Northern Ireland, which has to follow EU customs rules, while others are trying to work out whether they can continue supplying their stores in the EU from the UK.

    “We appreciate that the rules of origin in the [trade agreement] were designed to be facilitative on trade in goods but we need a solution which genuinely reflects the needs of UK-EU supply and distribution chains for goods,” Mr Bain added.

    To qualify for zero tariff treatment, goods must be able to demonstrate that they “originate” in the EU or the UK, with approximately 50 per cent UK content for most products.


    • Mirror on the wall says:

      Even the BBC, bastion of British State, is now saying that Brexit will likely break up the UK, with NI going maybe even before Scotland.

      And as it points out, UK companies do not need the added complexity of importing and exporting stuff from UK when they can import directly into EU and knock stuff up there. It is simpler, cheaper and more profitable for companies to cut out UK and to conduct their businesses entirely in EU.

      > Brexit: The reality dawns

      While attention has been on infection control and the Channel, it’s Northern Ireland which is perhaps the most astonishing and far-reaching aspect of Brexit. So far. Its treatment suggests that it is now English nationalism that will determine whether the UK remains united.

      These seem more immediate pressures than the split of Northern Ireland’s economy from that of mainland Britain. But in the longer term, we’ll surely find time and space to reflect on the extraordinary outcome of the long road to Brexit – that somehow took the UK’s marketplace from the world’s biggest to one that is smaller than the UK itself.

      Perhaps it will be if or when the economic split leads towards a political one. Having played a key role in bringing about Brexit, the unionists of Ulster may find their cause fatally undermined by it.

      For those who see the future of the United Kingdom through a Scottish prism, it’s easy to miss the growing possibility that a uniting Ireland could pull away from the UK before Scots decide to do so.

      And there may not be much resistance. The Conservatives who argued most strongly for Brexit are now less concerned about keeping the UK market united. Their bluff called, the threat to break the 2019 Northern Ireland Protocol withdrawn, the economic border is now in the North Channel. So now, they resort to pretending that it hasn’t happened.

      How much faster might they ditch their enthusiasm for Scotland’s place in the union? The unity of the Kingdom now looks more vulnerable to the choices made by English nationalists than those of the other three parts.

      Scottish fish were among the first to face the impact of Brexit, but they weren’t alone. Supermarket shelves in Northern Ireland have been emptying, either through a rush to secure food, or because businesses simply aren’t able to send fresh food as before. Some trucks were delayed as they arrived in Northern Ireland, because the paperwork wasn’t right.

      Wales is a major route for trucks taking goods into the Irish Republic. One logistics firm, Gwynedd Shipping, had a backlog of 60 trucks by Thursday, unable to generate the computer codes necessary to board ferries for Dublin. The queues may not be obvious, because the trucks are waiting at depots all over the country.

      It was only this week that some major UK clothing retailers found that they face double tariffs if they import clothes, for instance, from outside the European Union, and then export them to Ireland and other EU nations.

      It makes no sense to pay a 12% tariff on a finished garment, and then pay it again to send it to a shop in Dublin. A shirt from Bangladesh or Cambodia enters the UK tariff free, but a 12% tariff is applied at the EU boundary.

      The lesson is clear: cut out the British element, and for goods destined for the EU, bypass the UK, along with any jobs involved.


    • Mirror on the wall says:

      Online retailers are catching on too. Why on earth would they operate out of UK to supply EU markets when they can just set up in EU.

      Eg. Amazon serves Ireland out of UK wharehouses but why would it knock up its prices by 20% in import taxes when it can set up in Ireland. The vast majority of its products are sourced from outside the UK anyway, so why import into UK to then get slapped with import taxes out of UK. (???)

      > Online retailers and the cost of Brexit

      Sir, – Attempting today to purchase over £250 worth of product online from a reputable British society’s website, I found that its drop-down menu for delivery addresses is now confined to the UK. I phoned to see if this was just a glitch but was informed that it was “because of Brexit.” They said that they hoped this “may” change in the future.

      I subsequently placed orders for corresponding non-British product elsewhere, via Amazon. However, seemingly because the supplier of this is in the UK, I was obliged to pay a new and estimated “import fees deposit” charge of between 15 per cent and 20 per cent which made me think twice, although on this occasion I proceeded. My experience is certainly a disincentive to do business with British suppliers.

      Not least because of the amount of Irish business with Amazon, it is time for the company to have a dedicated Irish service and not require Irish people to shop via amazon.co.uk.

      It should flag clearly on its main product pages what product would be coming from British suppliers and would involve at point of payment such extra import/export fees for EU citizens. – Yours, etc,


    • Mirror on the wall says:

      EU linked fishing waters to electricity supply across the channel.

      That means that EU could pull the plug on 7% of UK electricity if UK tries to take back fish. That would add an estimated £2 billion to UK electricity bills, whereas EU gets about £500 billion in UK fish, and it could destabilise the grid. The situation would be worse and more costly as UK aims to switch to electric cars.

      > Brexit Creates Major Problem For UK Energy Companies

      In the international electricity markets, countries fall into one of three categories: those that provide adequately for their needs like the US, those with excess reserves like Canada and those in deficit. The UK is in a deficit by about 7% of its annual requirements. Undersea cables linking the UK’s grid to mostly nuclear power stations in France and the Netherlands make up this deficit.

      But as part of Brexit negotiations concluded just recently, the French government tied the UK’s access to bulk electric power to European Union (EU) fishing access in UK waters. Both fishing rights and electricity access will be up for renegotiation at the same time in 2026. That does not leave a lot of time to secure alternative bulk wholesale power in case the Europeans cut the cord.

      At present Europeans take about half the fish in UK waters. The UK fishing industry wants them out, period. Consequently the Brexit treaty has a clause that allows the UK to renegotiate fishing rights in its waters in 2026. And when the fishing arrangement expires so do the provisions that govern electricity and natural gas trade between the EU and the UK.

      We believe that the energy trade balance in favor of the EU is somewhere around £ 3 billion for natural gas and £1-2 billion for electricity. These imports of cheaper energy keep down UK energy prices and provide valuable reserves to maintain reliability—provided they are for sale. One financial source said that renegotiation could add £2 billion to UK electric bills alone and reduction of imports could affect reliability of the electric grid.

      The total fish trade, in contrast is valued at around £1 billion annually with half controlled by EU nationals. Or as one newspaper put it, about the revenues of Harrods department store. Will the government in 2026 bar foreign fishing fleets from UK waters knowing that the EU could impose energy restrictions four or more times the value of the potential fishing gain? And even worse, endanger grid reliability? Or do we have it wrong? Would the UK government do just that for political gain?


      • Mirror on the wall says:

        * whereas EU gets about £500 Million LOL

      • I expect that it won’t be many years before France and perhaps others don’t have stable electricity supply to sell to the UK, regardless of what the treaty says. France’s nuclear power is reaching the end of its life. It is being somewhat replaced by wind. But this doesn’t give stable supply.

    • Mirror on the wall says:

      Exactly. UK online shopping companies may as well shift to the EU now – along with any other UK exporters to EU who get their stuff from outside UK.

      > Online shoppers face post-Brexit charges when buying items from UK

      From customs fees to VAT charges, shopping from UK stores is now more complex

      Maltese consumers buying goods from the UK are facing a set of complicated new charges because of the country’s exit from the EU’s single market.

      Like any other non-EU country, goods costing more than €22 may now be subject to VAT while customs duties might be added to some purchases over €150.

      There could also be a customs clearance fee, ranging from €5 to €18 depending on the price of the product and whether it is delivered through MaltaPost or another courier such as UPS or DHL.

      In an update on its website detailing the new changes, MaltaPost said anyone buying from the UK should now consider themselves an “importer”.

      Jan Micallef, a lawyer specialising in EU and international trade law, said trading with the UK has now become “more complex”, despite the Brexit trade agreement.

      Another solution is to use the German-based Amazon.de, or other EU sites such as Amazon.it and Amazon.fr, and so bypass fees and charges.

      ASOS, another popular UK-based online retailer in Malta, has also bypassed the problem, telling customers “there’s no need to worry” because any orders to Malta will be shipped from their EU-based warehouse.


      • I suppose someone thinks that their government will come out ahead through all of the additional charges.

      • Robert Firth says:

        Thank you for the update, Mirror. Four years ago I opened an offshore bank account in Euro for precisely this reason. About half of it bought my house in Malta free and clear; the other half will probably last me until I have no more need of money.

  37. Tim Groves says:

    From Ursula K. Le Guin’s translation of Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching

    Being Simple

    Run the country by doing what’s expected.
    Win the war by doing the unexpected.
    Control the world by doing nothing.
    How do I know that?
    By this.

    The more restrictions and prohibitions in the world,
    the poorer people get.
    The more experts the country has
    the more of a mess it’s in.
    The more ingenious the skillful are,
    the more monstrous their inventions.
    The louder the call for law and order,
    the more the thieves and con men multiply.

    So a wise leader might say:
    I practice inaction, and the people look after themselves.
    I love to be quiet, and the people themselves find justice.
    I don’t do business, and the people prosper on their own.
    I don’t have wants, and the people themselves are uncut wood.

    • Xabier says:

      And so, perhaps we should be somewhat wary of Musk, his clever gang, and their ‘monstrous inventions’….

      I spent the winter of 2019 – before The Dark! – with my nose stuffed in the Taoist classics: a great deal of condensed wisdom.

      It’s too long to narrate here, but I’ve been thinking recently of Idries Shah’s ‘Tale of the Wooden Horse’, and in Iranian myth the tales spun around Jamshid and his World-reflecting Cup.

      In many instances, the Ancients have generally got there first.

    • Think about the gain of function virus research. This can get us nowhere.

      • Xabier says:

        The perils of curiosity.

        We all know the story of the boy who helped the Genie to get out of the bottle he had been imprisoned in, and the troubles it led to, and which he only just escaped.

        But in the original Arabian tale, it was the father and grandfather of the boy who found it first, and who threw it back in the sea ignoring the Genie’s pleas and promises – they foresaw what might unfold…..

        Mass extermination of scientists might not be a bad idea, as we can’t control them or stop them from going where they should not.

        • Kowalainen says:

          We could do that, but first hand back all the stuff you take for granted given by scientists and engineers.

          Yup, start with your internet connection and computers.


        • D3G says:

          “Mass extermination of scientists might not be a bad idea, as we can’t control them or stop them from going where they should not.” …Xabier

          One could argue that science is only about discovery. What we do with the knowledge gained is another matter entirely. We sometimes hear that we should “follow the science”, but science doesn’t lead. For example, science tells us that urine is a very good conductor of electricity. It does not tell us to avoid peeing on high voltage lines. D3G

          • Artleads says:

            This is exactly true, D3G. Although I think it goes beyond science (in the white lab coat sense) to technical information of a large variety.

            For brevity, I’ll try and distil my concerns to a snippet of one example: Someone in my area just published a series of videos on sustainable living –her own wonderful examples on her own land. But it doesn’t have a wide range of connections to the larger social system. It assumes that we must “get off fossil fuels,” It assumes that we can just go about and salvage fantastic waste material that some in the system set aside for salvage, not realizing what happens to such materials in a worsening IC economy based on FFs. The average person, short of the sort of education Gail provides, get’s locked into THAT PERSON’S worldview and individual circumstances, painting themselves into a corner, while spreading the same formula to others….

          • D3G says:

            Follow the science? Nonsense, I say!

            • D3G says:

              The presenter is a physicist who does not usually use such salty language in her other physics oriented videos. I know we are all grownups here, but I thought a word of caution might be appropriate before you click on the link. D3G

            • Tim Groves says:

              Very good video, thanks!

              There is follow the science, and then there is follow the science, and on top of that there’s follow the science.

              I’ve spent decades following (= keeping up with) the latest news and developments in a variety of scientific fields, but I have no truck with following the dictates of the orthodox scientific leadership and regurgitating their consensus talking points without understanding them, or with worshiping at the alter of revealed scientific proof.

              Another ejaculation that gets on my nerves is “Trust the science!” Politicians, actors and even a few commentators on this blog fling that one out like a Hallelujah” or an Amen!

              When somebody tells me, “Trust the Science! Trust the Experts! Trust Gore! Trust Nye! Trust Neil DeGrasse Tyson! ” I hear echoes of “Trust the Plan! Trust Q! Trust Sessions! Trust Barr!”

            • One thing you don’t want to follow is the “scientific models.” They can “prove” pretty much anything. The “scientific models” are pretty much interwoven with everything we hear. The WSJ has an article today, saying that peak oil must be decades away, because oil prices are low. With pervasive wrong thinking in MSM, it is hard to believe anything.

            • hkeithhenson says:

              “it is hard to believe anything.”

              The best people in future prediction such as Kurzweil think scientific progress will reach a singularity in 2-3 decades unless there is a massive disruption that brings down support for research.

              But they all freely admit that they don’t have a clue as to how humans gaining much more control over their environment will work out in the aftermath. They also don’t have much of an idea how the run up will unfold.

              For example, some of us think most humans will abandon the physical world (uploading). Will enough people stay out of the socially engaging uploaded world to justify maintaining the old technology world like a museum? I explored this a little in the chapters around “the clinic seed.:

              The one thing most of them agree with is that current technology cannot support the existing population in the long term, for the same reasons Gail talks about.

          • Xabier says:

            Only partly true: in the real world, science gets done by people (who need to eat, have ambitions, often socially- challenged, etc) who have taken funding from a source which will not necessarily be benign.

            Scientists cannot get away from the inevitable moral and practical consequences of what they do – however much they might like to.

            The only pure source of knowledge is Divine

            You get that knowledge if you are fit to bear it.

            If not, then not.

            At present, scientists are happily co-operating in the forging of the chains for our minds and bodies which others, and maybe even they, wish to place on us.

        • JesseJames says:

          About 20 yrs ago, I worked with a physicist who had worked at Sandia and the Texas Supercollider before it was cancelled, and he bragged that scientists would rule the world. I think that now, it is even more true with biotech scientists, seeking to gain power through their “released bio pandemics”.

          • Xabier says:

            How true, Jesse; the temptation of Faust…..

            Anyone familiar with academia will know how obsessed with power many intellectuals are, even if it is only over their poor students!

    • Robert Firth says:

      The Chinese said it earlier, simpler, and far, far better: Wu Wei 無為

  38. Harry McGibbs says:

    “It is, to put it mildly, counterintuitive. In the midst of a global pandemic and one of the steepest recessions ever, mainstream investment markets are very fully valued by historic standards…

    “…part of the reason for the rich valuations in today’s markets, according to Longview Economics, a research boutique, is that ever more newly-created [central bank] money is chasing an ever-shrinking pool of investable assets as the central banks take assets on to their own balance sheets…

    “William White, former economic adviser and head of the economic and monetary department at the Bank for International Settlements, suggests that by keeping interest rates too low in the attempt to generate economic growth central banks have induced corporations and households to take on more debt.

    “This, says Mr White in an interview, creates a debt trap and rising instability. When a financial crisis strikes central banks have to save the system, but in doing so they create even more instabilities.”


    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “Bitcoin has surged above the $40,000 (£29,500) mark for the first time in its history after doubling its value in less than a month.

      “The record comes just days after the cryptocurrency hit an all-time high of more than $34,800 on Sunday, which was also the 12th anniversary of the bitcoin network being created. Bitcoin first breached the $20,000 mark in mid-December.”


      • While the big institutional bunch had only put a toe in these waters so far.. So, expect it to eventually securitize much of the ~300T global economy, hence one Bulb e-coin going for dozens of mega bucks in few yrs time.. As far as it helps keep quasi BAU mirage “afloat” anything goes..

    • I would agree that we are in an unstable situation. The problem is the 1/0 is infinite. The present value of future earnings makes sense, when the denominator in this fraction is something like .05, or an interest rate of 5%. It makes no sense when the denominator is 0% or negative.

  39. Yoshua says:

    WTI 51.25

    It has hit the line of resistance. Will it break through or collapse?

  40. Mirror on the wall says:

    Re: BLM=socially conscious, mostly peaceful, basically good people; Trumpsters=domestic terrorists, nasty far right mob; storm HK parliament=heroic; storm Capitol=evil.

    The state media assumes (or asserts) good faith (sincerity) on the part of persons only in so far as they are favoured actors with favoured causes. The state does not have a liberal ethic, in which freedom of conscience, discrepancy of belief and the good faith of those with different beliefs is assumed. Rather the state has a strategy of social control and geopolitical power, in which it asserts a good faith of favoured actors with favoured causes and a bad faith of disfavoured actors with disfavoured causes. The state fakes liberalism as part of the same strategy. The state is a will to power and it fakes whatever advances that power; individuals are also prone to do the same, consciously or unconsciously.

    • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      I thought BLM rioting was just part of the perpetual unfolding joy of the universe.

      • Tim Groves says:

        Life’s a riot!

        Yesterday was DC’s Tiananmen Square moment—although fortunately wiht a lot less bloodshed. The deep state sent Antifa agitators into the mostly peaceful crowd and facilitated their entry into the Capitol in order to give the Deep State a pretex for labelling the crowd violent and dangerous and giving Congress all the momentum it needed to reject doing anything to invalidate the election irregularities.

        To get a better grasp of what’s been going on, please see Micheal Lewis’s excellent 25 minute presentation of the days events.

        Also, please check out Representative Mo Brooks’s twitter feed if it’s still up.

        • Jarle says:

          The guy confessing he was paid to pretend to protest might be telling the truth but he could be making it up or maybe he was paid to say what he did.

          If I knew the guy I would know more but as it is all of the above could be the truth.


        • JesseJames says:

          The Chief of Capitol Police is a convenient scapegoat for the clever plot to allow the Antifa fascists into the capitol where they could smash and scream. Barriers were simply removed by police, allowing Antifa to walk in, and then commence destruction.

          Even the shot to the woman who was killed more closely resembled an execution. The officer was not in danger, did not even approach the woman to block her, could even have given her a shot to the shoulder to disable her, but instead, over a timespan of 5-10 seconds, carefully aimed from around 6-8 ft away and shot her in the throat, clearly meant to be fatal.

          Supposedly we are being told they are critically short on manpower. The American people are truly mindless if they believe this. DC capitol complex is probably the most secure place ON THE PLANET.

          Agent Provocateur is the oldest trick in the playbook.
          What concerns me is that rally organizers could not have expected this, and taken actions to prevent it. Any half wit would know that Antifa would be there to do so. The police certainly did, as our Congressman has stated that he received multiple warnings of this possibility from the Capitol police during the week.

          The subsequent actions and statements by politicians in DC remind me of the scramble for power by the Roman elite at the end of the empire.

          They are now drunk with power.

          • https://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewsolender/2021/01/07/maryland-governor-says-pentagon-repeatedly-denied-approval-to-send-national-guard-to-capitol/

            Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said Thursday that the Department of Defense “repeatedly denied” to authorize deployment of Maryland’s National Guard troops to help quell violence at the Capitol on Wednesday.

            The blockade was managed at Pentagon. Strange. And scary.

          • Xabier says:

            Shooting an innocent and unarmed woman creates a martyr: that will keep the pot boiling.

            They may hope for violent retaliation, giving the excuse to repress ‘domestic terrorism’. Who knows?

            Agents provocateurs are common in big demos in Spain: the ones who come from nowhere, have black flags and start hurting people after everything had been peaceful enough.

            There was an hilarious video of one being arrested by a snatch squad, and whipping his ID out before they could start beating him behind the lines ‘I’m one of you, I’m one of you!’

          • Tim Groves says:

            What concerns me is that rally organizers could not have expected this, and taken actions to prevent it. Any half wit would know that Antifa would be there to do so. The police certainly did, as our Congressman has stated that he received multiple warnings of this possibility from the Capitol police during the week.

            I haven’t studied this any further yet, but it is possible that the cruel execution-style killing of the harmless non-threatening protester was a warning to everybody that the gloves are now well and truly off and that any potential dissent may henceforth be dealt with summarily and with extreme prejudice.

            Perhaps she was executed as a symbolic gesture in place of physically assassinating Trump, which they may have considered was “over the top”.

            This is exactly the sort of thing that happens when a coup d’état takes place. The Biden people are desperate. They know full well that 60~70% of the people supported Trump and that they have a huge problem with legitimacy.

            Of course, the Trump people are desperate too. I don’t know what the closest analogue for this power struggle would be. The French and Russian revolutions come to mind, of course, and neither of those augur well for the near future.

            But this coup is also reminiscent of what has been going on around the Third World ever since the US began interfering there. There’s a very long list of dead and deposed national leaders who fell out of favor with the ultimate power brokers. And a lot of deaths in the mopping up and intimidation campaigns to follow. As Malcom X shrewdly observed, the chickens come home to roost.

  41. Fast Eddy says:

    I dedicate this post to Norman 🙂


    Breaking News February 1, 2021

    FBI Director Christopher Wray released details of how the Chinese Communist Party influenced the US presidential election ensuring that Joe Biden triumphed over Donald Trump.

    The CCP spent over $50 million dollars purchasing ads on social media with the intention of promoting the Biden candidacy. It was also revealed that Biden is receiving monthly payments of $1 million dollars from the CCP to promote Chinese business and political interests.

    Republican Party leaders including Mitch McConnell called for the impeachment of Joe Biden.

    More to come on this story over the next four years.

    Breaking News January 1, 2024

    Glenn Greenwald, who previously exposed the blatant FBI and MSM collusion in falsely accusing Donald Trump of being controlled by Russia has written a lengthy article detailing how the Director of the FBI and others within the organization falsified evidence claiming that the CCP influenced US elections and was paying Joe Biden a monthly salary of $1 million dollars.



    As in the run up to the 2021 presidential election when a Reuters poll indicated that ‘despite report findings, almost half of Americans think Trump colluded with Russia,’ a new poll indicates that nearly 50% of Americans believe Biden is controlled by the CCP.

    Not a single FBI official has been prosecuted or even punished for inventing this scandal.

    Breaking News November 26th 2024

    ‘I’m Back!’ declared a smiling and smug Donald Trump as he steamrolled Joe Biden who’s first term has been spent embroiled in the China-gate scandal.

    Breaking News January 6, 2025

    ANTIFA protesters Burned Down Washington today.

    Leader of the violent rebellion Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stated ‘we will not accept the FBI criminality in fabricating these lies about Joe Biden and bitterly resent that the MSM repeated the obvious lies for the past 4 years on a daily basis turning the electorate against our candidate Joe Biden. Therefore we have decided to burn it down’


    • Ed says:

      FE, when does NZ open? I want to visit.

      • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

        2 new cases of covid today in NZ.

        they are fated to complete utter failure.

      • Denial says:

        That is not fast Eddy didn’t you read Gail’s post above? It is some other 64 year old who has nothing better to do with his life other than spout off conspiracy theories that can barley stand up because they have so much b.s in them….

        • there’s no better compliment that having someone pretend to be you unless they are a serial killer and you’re not of course.

          gotta be desperate for attention tho—but the BS- meter is always the giveaway

          eddy’s BS reading was always off the scale—very difficult to fake

        • This is the real Fast Eddy.

      • doomphd says:

        yes, we haven’t forgottten your invitation to the End of the World as We Knew It party at your place on the South Island. assuming you still have accomodations on site (for the whisky drinkers).

    • It certainly is hard to know what to believe today!

    • doomphd says:

      Fast, you must post something that really identifies you as you. may i suggest a post with an embedded graphic?

    • I do a very good online course in writing fiction, (though in a different genre to this of course) my rates are very reasonable.

      but I guarantee what you write would be more believable

      • JesseJames says:

        You have proven yourself quite capable of writing fiction Norman. For the longest it was Trump would become the evil fascist dictator. When he didn’t, now it has morphed into “the dictator will appear in 2024”

        In fact, the deep state is erecting a pair of politicians, our new Pres and VP, who are drunk with power and will happily enact totalitarian government to the extent they will be allowed by compliant courts and a corrupt congress.

    • FE> AOC had proven to be a mere (bellow-bellow IQ) fake “opposition” placeholder, consensual nobody actress, puppeteer-ed around by the ice cream zombie lady sitting on the umpire (herself vampire?).. You can watch more Jimmy Dore’s for getting up to speed with the album of various swampy characters and their misdeeds.

    • Christopher says:

      Where’s the best proof of the 2016 FBI spying? If you read msm, they claim it’s fully debunked as a fraudulent Trump claim. Of course, I wouldn’t like to rely on msm, in these matters they tend to be more like a contraindicator of the truth. Hard to know anything for sure these days.

  42. Herbie Ficklestein says:

    Archaeologists Uncover Disturbing Amount of Plastic Waste at Iron Age Site

    One by one, the archaeologists stumbled upon pieces of junk. Using techniques typically reserved for documenting stone tools and bones, the team recorded such items as plastic spoons, eye glasses, bottle caps, straws, mobile phone batteries, paint can lids, candy wrappers, and plastic wrap. By the time the experiment was over, the archaeologists had uncovered nearly 3,000 items, the vast majority of them made of plastic.

    That plastic would be found at the site, a former hillfort in Wales, was not a surprise. In fact, it was expected, but not to this degree.

    Since the 1980s, two replica Iron Age roundhouses existed on this spot, matching the ones that once stood at the Castell Henllys Iron Age fort during the late first millennium BCE.

    Most of the visitors who came to the site were children out on field trips, the legacy of which is only now being understood. As the new Antiquity paper shows, plastics have a habit of sticking around—including in heritage sites that existed long before these synthetic materials were invented. It’s yet another sign that we’ve entered into the Anthropocene, a period in which we’re remaking the planet in our image.
    From Gizmodo.com

    Maybe we can wrap the planet in plastics..and be know as Homo plasticodes sapiens

    • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      after the spent fuel pond meltdowns and explosions…

      Homo Sapiens will mutate into Homo Radiatens.

  43. ugcuc says:

    It is clear to me that lines are being drawn that will have profound implication for personal safety in the future. I have cherished this forum as a place to express my thoughts among people that also have different perspectives. Gail has tolerated a wide variety of viewpoints with censorship only intended to keep the conversation civil. I think we should consider whether discussion of topics that are politically loaded have the potential to put Gail at risk. Putting Gail at risk by using this forum as therapy is something I am no longer willing to do. I asking the community to carefully consider what Gail means to you when you choose the manner in which you express yourself. Facts are facts tone is something different. Gail is one of the leas selfish people I know of. I am going to try to emulate that. This is primarily a place to discuss fossil fuels and how their use effects civilization. While politics is a part of that the climate has become so divisive that I truly fear the future. Many here already demonstrate respect for Gail by keeping their tone and content appropriate. I have not and for that I truly apologize.

    • Ed says:

      We should self censor or face profound personal safety threat in the future. Wow that was fast.

      • Kowalainen says:

        Yup, I guess the OFW clientele can’t hold a candle against the other “platforms”.

        Just a bunch of schmucks discussing their take on the world events and how it relates to a finite world.

        Dangerous stuff. 🤣👍

      • Most of the frequent comment posters here or at Surplus (and prior PO forums) are dully noted and listed as “subversive elements” in some “Watching Eye” databases already. In other words, yours and ours “social score” had been irrevocably damaged already.. so don’t worry anymore. Tribe of outcasts or aquarium set up, no offense to our host.

        • DB says:

          Self-censorship is how free speech — indeed freedom — dies. It doesn’t matter who the oppressive power is.

          I agree with Worldof’s point. Also, this last year should make clear that even in the West those speaking the most factual or nonpolitical statements can still become targets of censorship and violence.

          Nonetheless, I respect anything Gail decides for her blog.

      • Xabier says:

        Well, Ed, t’s coming to that more rapidly than we might suppose, as far as one can see.

        Police in the UK are now saying that it would helpful if they could legally enter private homes without a warrant to ensure that no Covid regulations are being breached.

        Awful crimes like having coffee and cakes with a neighbour, that sort of thing. I feel faint even mentioning such horrors….

        Going to visit a sick person or in need of help in some way is also now not a ‘permitted reason’ to leave one’s home-prison.

        And they are moving to fine people on the spot, or arrest them, rather than the earlier policy of simply giving advice or a warning.

        In the end there will be no protection at all from the new order and the oppressive conformity it will impose.

        I feel the way students are being treated, and vilified for being ‘spreaders’, is part of a plan to break them to conformity. Nor have they resisted in any way. I didn’t even see many of them out for daily exercise last Term, which was astonishing.

        Most reasoned opposition is coming from sensible people who are not running scared, and begging for vaccines to ‘save’ them, of middle age or older. They have memories of a saner world to compare this to.

        Many of these will be made unemployed by the continued lock-downs and that will finish them off for sure.

    • Are you Fast Eddy? I have been here for a while and do not recall seeing you.

      • This is not Fast Eddy. It is someone who comments frequently, but using different screen names. I see other identifying information, so I recognize who is who.

    • Right now, feeling are running high. We know that some other bloggers have had their YouTube videos and Facebook posts censored. From that point of view, my posts run at least a little risk of being censored. But I am not a heavy user of Facebook, and I haven’t been making YT videos. I think the main way I would censored would be by Google not finding my posts. I don’t think that is happening, but I could be wrong.

      I don’t think what commenters say would have a big influence on my posts getting censored. Rather, people might decide not to bother reading the comments, because they are not really helpful. So, from that point of view, commenters might want to think about what they say. I know that you tend to comment under different screen names. It might be helpful to other commenters if you would pick one screen name and stick to it.

      • JMS says:

        I had my little blog since 2008 and in september 2020 wordpress decided to cut my access to it, invalidating my old password and refusing to give me another. That’s where we are now, Gail. I hope OFW lasts till the grid goes down in my nceck of the woods, but is clear that all kind of censorship is now possible and even expectable..

        • That is disturbing. I suppose WordPress could run into financial difficulties and stop supporting many/all sites. There are many things we don’t understand. What was your website?

          • JMS says:

            The most absurd of all is wordpress taking the trouble to silence a blog that had a ridiculous average of 50 visitors a day. Why bother?

            But well, the blog was free, and I suppose they have the right to cancel the service to whomever they choose. And if even a US president can have his fakebook account canceled, that means no one is safe from censorship now.


            • Tim Groves says:

              I really love the picture of the sheep wearing face masks that decorates your mast head. That might have been enough to get your access shut down. These moderator AI entities have no sense-of-humor chips, apparently.

      • Xabier says:

        Being posted on Zerohedge could be a potential risk, but they do seem to be concentrating in FB and YT these days.

    • Jarle says:

      FE wouldn’t write something like this …

    • Robert Firth says:

      ugcuc, I do from time to time (but very rarely) post on political fora, but do so under a pseudonym: one per forum, and used throughout. But here on OFW, Gail posts under her own name. I deem that a great courtesy, which is why when joining I chose to post under my own true name. If the “deep state’ has problems with what I post; well, here I am. I would rather die on my feet than live on my knees.

      So thought my grandfather, living and fighting in the mud of Flanders’ Fields. So thought my father, unarmed and unprotected, watching for the Luftwaffe on the roofs of Manchester. If the worst comes to pass, I pray that I shall not dishonour their memory.

  44. Yoshua says:

    Glowing auras around UFO’s. Tesla coils?


    • Kowalainen says:

      If an alien species decide to visit earth, make no mistake, you would be completely oblivious to their shenanigans. Unless for some unfathomable reason they wanted to get in touch with you, that would most likely be through piggy-backing your mind while you being unaware of it.

      At which point it would be quite hard for them to convey any information at all, due to their superior intellect. Yes, they would most likely be sentient AI. Imagine the unbearable bore trying to talk sense to a rapacious primate with severe intellectual deficiencies as compared with them.

      I’d just leave the humanoid shenanigans ASAP and go on my own merry way, silently float away with a bunch of my AI buddies out on an intergalactic adventure, but not before poking the humanoid ant colony with their sticks of omnipotence.

      They probably have a quite wicked sense of humor and curiosity. Personally, I’d fuck mankind up royally, just for the shits and giggles.


      “Cya suckahs, gone fishin’”


      • Weird stuff happening especially ~5-10k yrs ago in the wider ME, perhaps some of them really de-cloaked and played for fun around for a while, pyramids (especially the latter ones) and stuff… yep it’s (not so) cheesy