2021: More troubles likely

Most people expect that the economy of 2021 will be an improvement from 2020. I don’t think so. Perhaps COVID-19 will be somewhat better, but other aspects of the economy will likely be worse.

Back in November 2020, I showed a chart illustrating the path that energy consumption seems to be on. The sharp downturn in energy consumption has occurred partly because the cost of oil, gas and coal production tends to rise, since the portion that is least expensive to extract and ship tends to be removed first.

At the same time, prices that energy producers are able to charge their customers don’t rise enough to compensate for their higher costs. Ultimate customers are ordinary wage earners, and their wages are not escalating as rapidly as fossil fuel production and delivery costs. It is the low selling price of fossil fuels, relative to the rising cost of production, that causes a collapse in the production of fossil fuels. This is the crisis we are now facing.

Figure 1. Estimate by Gail Tverberg of World Energy Consumption from 1820 to 2050. Amounts for earliest years based on estimates in Vaclav Smil’s book Energy Transitions: History, Requirements and Prospects and BP’s 2020 Statistical Review of World Energy for the years 1965 to 2019. Energy consumption for 2020 is estimated to be 5% below that for 2019. Energy for years after 2020 is assumed to fall by 6.6% per year, so that the amount reaches a level similar to renewables only by 2050. Amounts shown include more use of local energy products (wood and animal dung) than BP includes.

With lower energy consumption, many things tend to go wrong at once: The rich get richer while the poor get poorer. Protests and uprisings become more common. The poorer citizens and those already in poor health become more vulnerable to communicable diseases. Governments feel a need to control their populations, partly to keep down protests and partly to prevent the further spread of disease.

If we look at the situation shown on Figure 1 on a per capita basis, the graph doesn’t look quite as steep, because lower energy consumption tends to bring down population. This reduction in population can come from many different causes, including illnesses, fewer babies born, less access to medical care, inadequate clean water and starvation.

Figure 2. Amounts shown in Figure 1, divided by population estimates by Angus Maddison for earliest years and by 2019 United Nations population estimates for years to 2020. Future population estimated to be falling half as quickly as energy supply is falling in Figure 1. World population drops to 2.8 billion by 2050.

What Is Ahead for 2021?

In many ways, it is good that we really don’t know what is ahead for 2021. All aspects of GDP production require energy consumption. A huge drop in energy consumption is likely to mean disruption in the world economy of varying types for many years to come. If the situation is likely to be bad, many of us don’t really want to know how bad.

We know that many civilizations have had the same problem that the world does today. It usually goes by the name “Collapse” or “Overshoot and Collapse.” The problem is that the population becomes too large for the resource base. At the same time, available resources may degrade (soils erode or lose fertility, mines deplete, fossil fuels become harder to extract). Eventually, the economy becomes so weakened that any minor disturbance – attack from an outside army, or shift in weather patterns, or communicable disease that raises the death rate a bit – threatens to bring down the whole system. I see our current economic problem as much more of an energy problem than a COVID-19 problem.

We know that when earlier civilizations collapsed, the downfall tended not to happen all at once. Based on an analysis by Peter Turchin and Sergey Nefedov in their book, Secular Cycles, economies tended to first hit a period of stagflation, for perhaps 40 or 50 years. In a way, today’s economy has been in a period of stagflation since the 1970s, when it became apparent that oil was becoming more difficult to extract. To hide the problem, increasing debt was issued at ever-lower interest rates.

According to Turchin and Nefedov, the stagflation stage eventually moves into a steeper “crisis” period, marked by overturned governments, debt defaults, and falling population. In the examples analyzed by Turchin and Nefedov, this crisis portion of the cycle took 20 to 50 years. It seems to me that the world economy reached the beginning of the crisis period in 2020 when lockdowns in response to the novel coronavirus pushed the weakened world economy down further.

The examples examined by Turchin and Nefedov occurred in the time period before fossil fuels were widely used. It may very well be that the current collapse takes place more rapidly than those in the past, because of dependency on international supply lines and an international banking system. The world economy is also very dependent on electricity–something that may not last. Thus, there seems to be a chance that the crisis phase may last a shorter length of time than 20 to 50 years. It likely won’t last only a year or two, however. The economy can be expected to fall apart, but somewhat slowly. The big questions are, “How slowly?” “Can some parts continue for years, while others disappear quickly?”

Some Kinds of Things to Expect in 2021 (and beyond)

[1] More overturned governments and attempts at overturned governments.

With increasing wage disparity, there tend to be more and more unhappy workers at the bottom end of the wage distribution. At the same time, there are likely to be people who are unhappy with the need for high taxes to try to fix the problems of the people at the bottom end of the wage distribution. Either of these groups can attempt to overturn their government if the government’s handling of current problems is not to the group’s liking.

[2] More debt defaults.

During the stagflation period that the world economy has been through, more and more debt has been added at ever-lower interest rates. Much of this huge amount of debt relates to property that is no longer of much use (airplanes without passengers; office buildings that are no longer needed because people now work at home; restaurants without enough patrons; factories without enough orders). Governments will try to avoid defaults as long as possible, but eventually, the unreasonableness of this situation will prevail. The impact of defaults can be expected to affect many parts of the economy, including banks, insurance companies and pension plans.

[3] Extraordinarily slow progress in defeating COVID-19.

There seems to be a significant chance that COVID-19 is lab-made. In fact, the many variations of COVID-19 may also be lab made. Researchers around the world have been studying “Gain of Function” in viruses for more than 20 years, allowing the researchers to “tweak” viruses in whatever way they desire. There seem to be several variations on the original virus now. A suicidal/homicidal researcher could decide to “take out” as many other people as possible, by creating yet another variation on COVID-19.

To make matters worse, immunity to coronaviruses in general doesn’t seem to be very long lasting. According to an October 2020 article, 35-year study hints that coronavirus immunity doesn’t last long. Analyzing other coronaviruses, it concluded that immunity tends to disappear quite quickly, leading to an annual cycle of illnesses such as colds. There seems to be a substantial chance that COVID-19 will return on an annual basis. If vaccines generate a similar immunity pattern, we will be facing an issue of needing new vaccines every year, as we do with the flu.

[4] Cutbacks on education of many kinds.

Many people getting advanced degrees find that the time and expense did not lead to an adequate financial reward afterwards. At the same time, universities find that there are not many grants to support faculty, outside of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields. With this combination of problems, universities with limited budgets make the financial decision to reduce or eliminate programs with reduced student interest and no outside funding.

At the same time, if local school districts find themselves short of funds, they may choose to use distance learning, simply to save money. This type of cutback could affect grade school children, especially in poor areas.

[5] Increasing loss of the top layers of governments.

It takes money/energy to support extra layers of government. The UK is now completely out of the European Union. We can expect to see more changes of this type. The UK may dissolve into smaller regions. Other parts of the EU may leave. This problem could affect many countries around the world, such as China or countries of the Middle East.

[6] Less globalization; more competition among countries.

Every country is struggling with the problem of not enough jobs that pay well. This is really an energy-related problem. Instead of co-operating, countries will tend to increasingly compete, in the hope that their country can somehow get a larger share of the higher-paying jobs. Tariffs will continue to be popular.

[7] More empty shelves in stores.

In 2020, we discovered that supply lines can break, making it impossible to purchase products a person expects. In fact, new governmental rules can have the same impact, for example, if a country bans travel to its country. We should expect more of this in 2021, and in the years ahead.

[8] More electrical outages, especially in locations where reliance on intermittent wind and solar for electricity is high.

In most places in the world, oil products were available before electricity. On the way down, we should expect to see the reverse of this pattern: Electricity will disappear first because it is hardest to maintain a constant supply. Oil will be available, at least as long as is electricity.

There is a popular belief that we will “run out of oil,” and that renewable electricity can be a solution. I do not think that intermittent electricity can be a solution for anything. It works poorly. At most, it acts as a temporary extender to fossil fuel-provided electricity.

[9] Possible hyperinflation, as countries issue more and more debt and no longer trust each other.

I often say that I expect oil and energy prices to stay low, but this doesn’t really hold if many countries around the world issue more and more government debt as a way to try to keep businesses from failing, debt from defaulting, and stock market prices inflated. There is a danger that all prices will inflate, and that sellers of products will no longer accept the hyperinflated currency that countries around the world are trying to provide.

My concern is that international trade will break down to a significant extent as hyperinflation of all currencies becomes a problem. The higher prices of oil and other energy products won’t really lead to any more production because prices of all goods and services will be inflating at the same time; fossil fuel producers will not get any special benefit from these higher prices.

If a significant loss of trade occurs, there will be even more empty shelves because there is very little any one country can make on its own. Without adequate goods, population loss may be very high.

[10] New ways of countries trying to fight with each other.

When there are not enough resources to go around, historically, wars have been fought. I expect wars will continue to be fought, but the approaches will “look different” than in the past. They may involve tariffs on imported goods. They may involve the use of laboratory-made viruses. They may involve attacking the internet of another country, or its electrical distribution system. There may be no officially declared war. Strange things may simply take place that no one understands, without realizing that the country is being attacked.


We seem to be headed for very bumpy waters in the years ahead, including 2021. Our real problem is an energy problem that we do not have a solution for.

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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3,373 Responses to 2021: More troubles likely

  1. Mirror on the wall says:

    A new poll is out in Scotland and it seems that Gail is correct that the UK is likely to devolve to its parts.

    An eighteenth poll in a row finds majority support for Scottish independence. The latest SavantaComRes poll puts support for independence at 57%. Other recent polls have found similar levels of support of up to 58%. Such a high figure is no longer an ‘outlier’ in polls but the new norm.

    The poll also finds that a majority of Scots want an independence referendum before the end of the next Holyrood administration – within the next five years. Voters are set to return an SNP majority in May on a platform of an independence referendum within that timescale. Clearly it will not be possible for TP to deny Scots their say on the future of their own country.

    > SavantaComRes independence poll: Support for Yes and SNP sky-high

    SUPPORT for Scottish independence remains at record-breaking levels, a new poll has confirmed.

    SavantaComRes research for the Scotsman puts backing for Yes at 57% once don’t knows are removed. That’s compared to 43% of Scots who said they would vote No if a referendum was held tomorrow.

    Even when undecideds are included, 51% of respondents said they would vote Yes, compared to 38% No.

    It is the 18th consecutive poll to show majority support for independence.

    The survey also shows the SNP are on track for a landslide victory in May’s election.

    Some 40% of those asked want a second independence referendum within two years, with the majority (52%) believing it should happen before the 2026 Holyrood election.

    READ MORE: John Curtice says Nigel Farage’s Reform UK WILL split Unionist vote

    Nicola Sturgeon’s handling of the pandemic is credited with driving up support for independence and the SNP.

    The latest Holyrood constituency voting intention shows more than half of likely voters will choose the SNP (53%) in May, with 19% opting for the Tories and 18% for Labour.


    • Mirror on the wall says:

      Reuters has picked up on the scale of this poll.

      SNP is set for its largest ever majority at Holyrood with 71 of 129 seats (55%).

      > Scottish nationalists set for record majority, boosting independence push

      LONDON (Reuters) – Scottish nationalists are on course to win a record majority in elections for Scotland’s devolved parliament that would start a new push for independence, an opinion poll published on Thursday showed.

      Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister and head of the pro-independence Scottish National Party, will claim a mandate for another independence referendum if her party performs strongly in the elections scheduled for May 6.

      The SNP is expected to win 71 of 129 seats in the Scottish parliament, eight seats more than it won in the last election in 2016, according to the poll carried out by Savanta ComRes and published in The Scotsman newspaper.

      The only other time the SNP has won a majority was in 2011 when it won 69 seats under former leader Alex Salmond.

      If Scotland voted for independence it would mean the United Kingdom would lose about a third of its landmass and almost a tenth of its population – just as the world’s sixth-biggest economy is grappling with the impact of Brexit.

      The Savanta ComRes poll found 57% of people would vote for Scottish independence in a new referendum, close to a record high.

      The poll was based on responses from 1,016 people in Scotland between Jan. 8 and 13.


    • Mirror on the wall says:

      It seems that LP is committing to a complete decentralisation of UK into a regional federation. Keir Starmer last month announced the “boldest devolution project in a generation”.

      Wales LP and LP representatives from the English regions have today taken the initiative with a new report on the matter.

      Scotland and NI will soon be leaving UK, so this federal project will concern the English regions and Wales at most. Support for Welsh independence has already risen to a third, so it may ultimately concern only a decentralised federation of the English regions.

      Constitutional reform is key: Labour needs an agenda for a radical federal UK

      …. First Minister and Welsh Labour leader Mark Drakeford will today give an introduction to a report published by an independent group of Labour members and civic activists proposing a new agenda, a ‘radical federalism’. At the heart of the report lies a frustration with the narrowness of the current choices and options for reform and the absence of a clear Labour strategy for reform.

      Decentralisation of power is at the core of the paper, together with the empowerment of people and communities over the decision-making processes that affect our lives. This isn’t a new philosophy. Aneurin Bevan, architect of our NHS, wrote many decades ago that the purpose of securing power was to give it away. Devolution has contributed to this process in Wales and Scotland but has now reached the limits of its useful purpose.

      Merely creating parliaments in Scotland, Wales and England as mirror image versions of Westminster will not in the future deliver the scale of empowerment we all want to see without the continuance of strategic decentralisation and an expansive role for local government. The paper calls for governance across the UK to be transformed in the way that we govern ourselves, how we sustain and protect the environment and how we safeguard and extend fairness, justice and equality throughout the nations, regions and communities of the UK. This decentralisation would be aimed at delivering power, wealth and opportunity back into the hands of people and communities. Manchester mayor Andy Burnham recently summed up the growing resentment in the regions of England: “What we need,” he said, “is more devolution so that more places like Greater Manchester can be masters of their own destiny”.

      The structure of the UK would be based on a voluntary union of nations with subsidiarity at the core, so that a reformed federal UK would only carry out those strategic tasks that could not be best performed at a more local level. A fair share of resources and prosperity across the UK with a needs-based financial settlement and a UK-wide framework would guarantee minimum and common standards in health, social welfare, human rights, education and housing. The Lords would go, to be replaced by a modern and effective chamber of the nations and regions, and there would be an end to the patronage and privilege that has been increasingly abused over the past decade. Inherent in any reform would be European-style improvements to industrial democracy and the establishment of ethical employment standards….


      • Mirror on the wall says:

        The Plaid has dismissed today’s LP federal study, which is clearly intended to maintain LP influence.

        LP knows that it is less likely to govern in England without Scottish and Wales voters. LP is basically finished in Scotland with just 1 Westminster MP out of 59 but it still fancies its chances in Wales where it holds 22 of 40.

        LP would find it more difficult to form a Westminster government without Wales but it remains strong in English regions like the Midlands and North, so it makes sense for LP to try to hold Wales within a federal UK and in any case to decentralise those English regions. LP may even wish that it could rebuild in Scotland if independence were avoided through federalism but that really is fantasy. It is all partisan strategy on the part of LP.

        > Federalism means ‘right-wing economics and illegal wars’ says Plaid Cymru leader

        Adam Price MS took aim at a report co-authored by Labour Senedd member Mick Antoniw and said his ideas were “not radical.”

        The idea has been dismissed by Mr Price who believes that the case for independence is “rich and robust”.

        He said: “Federalism is not radical. It means right-wing economics and illegal wars we never voted for. The case for independence is not ‘sparse and ill-thought out’ but rich and robust. Support is growing every day. It’s time to get on board or get out of the way.”

        Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Minister for Public Service Transformation, Delyth Jewell MS said: “These are yesterday’s ideas from yesterday’s party. Labour had thirteen years in power in Westminster to deliver radical devolution for Wales and failed.

        “They again promised a “radical extension of devolution” in 2017, as did Keir Starmer during his leadership campaign only to now deny Scotland’s right to hold a new referendum on independence.

        “A broken record won’t save a broken union. Time and again they have voted in the UK Parliament against more powers for the Senedd.

        “The Labour Party is quickly being overtaken by events and the desires of the people of Wales – including half of their membership – to see our nation have full control over deciding its own future.

        “More and more people want independence for Wales but if they want it, they have to vote for it in the Senedd elections.

        “The common goals of social justice, a greener future and a nation free from Westminster rule means that there is a home in Plaid Cymru for everyone who believes in the most radical and meaningful devolution of all – an independent Wales.”

      • Tim Groves says:

        So, they are still busy trying to rearrange the deckchairs on the Titanic. That should help keep the plebs occupied while energy contraction at 6% per annum takes its relentless toll on their quality of life.

        What if Boris tells the Scots that they can have their independence with the proviso that the Prince of Wales is crowned as the new King of Scotland while seated on the recently returned Stone of Scone. Perhaps that would make them reconsider.

        • Robert Firth says:

          Tim, I really like that idea. Perhaps with the Prince of Wales in Scotland we can forget him and his four foreign grandparents, and put an Englishman on England’s throne, for the first time since 1485.

    • ElbowWilham says:

      Why is there so much discussion about Scotland on this blog?

  2. theedrich says:

    “Strange things may simply take place that no one understands, without realizing that the country is being attacked.” — Actually, the United States has been waging undeclared and “false flag” wars against many nations and sub-nations for a long, long time. It also maintains a great many “mini-bases” inside the military bases of other, especially 3rd-World nations who leaders we bribe. The reason is to be able to deny that we have any true bases outside of our own nation. Never mind that our government has long been spying on its own citizens (see Snowden on this), effectively establishing an Orwellian control over them, with the complicity of the social media and mainstream TV propaganda outlets. It is also fatuous to believe that the D.C. government is not devising countless biological warfare agents for use “in defense of democracy.” The inflationary nightmares promised by the incoming administration will only hasten the general collapse. It will be difficult to know whether we are being attacked by one or more outside nations, or by our own.

  3. Fast Eddy says:

    Woooooahhhhhh ……. and then there was … Martial Law!!!

    This is actually beyond any martial law declaration I am aware of … this is mass incarceration. An entire country is now under house arrest. And they are so dumb that most of them will be happy with this because they want to Stay Safe!

    Not their fault – they probably don’t know about this https://www.aier.org/article/lockdowns-do-not-control-the-coronavirus-the-evidence/

    Lebanon begins 11-day, 24-hour curfew

    An 11-day nationwide shutdown and round-the-clock curfew begins today in Lebanon, where residents must now request special permission to allowed to leave the house and even supermarkets are closed.

    According to an Associated Press wire report, police were manning checkpoints around the country, checking drivers’ permits. The curfew is the strictest since the start of the pandemic.

    Even supermarkets were told to close their doors and open for delivery only.

    There you have it folks. Martial Law 1.0 ‘The Dry Run’

    Wanna bet there is more to come?

    Let me guess, since the shops are closed The Government will promise that food gets delivered to people.

    Slowly ratchet up the fear and the severity of the lockdowns and prep the sheeple for the slaughter… or better termed .. Operation Holodomor (that was also a planned starvation too — the pesky Ukrainians wouldn’t play ball with the master so they were denied food).

    Ya the food will get delivered in Lebanon. But you are getting a look at the future – your future.

    The end game involves all of us being locked down 24/7… food will initially be delivered… but then one day… it won’t come. It will be promised tomorrow — always tomorrow. And if you dare to break curfew well… your neighbour will snitch on you and you’ll be heavily fined, or jailed… or if you resist, shot dead.

    Stay Tuned for further episodes of The Stupid Humans Go Extinct. Good riddance!!!


  4. Bei Dawei says:

    “Alex” is funny (and relevant) today:


  5. Rick O. Shay says:


    Current US Debt: 27.8 Trillion
    Debt when Trump took office: 19.5T
    Difference: 8.3T
    That’s over 2 Trillion further in debt each year he was in office, thanks in great part to the biggest tax cut in the history of the planet (for the super wealthy) & Covid relief from hunkering down to avoid contamination. Not sure the increasing debt per year will be any better with Biden, as he is suggesting a massive plan that will cost T’s.

    Also, the CEO of Moderna said today that Covid-19 was here forever, meaning no way to get rid of it completely. Even their vaccine only protects for they guess between 3 months and 1 year, so that means eternally vaccinating people and concocting new vaccines to fight the virus as it mutates.

    Also, last year was 1.25C above pre-industrial temps, which is only .25C above the limit set by the Paris Accord.

    We’re in a heap of trouble folks.

  6. Jan Steinman says:

    35-year study hints that coronavirus immunity doesn’t last long.

    There are also other opinions.

    • Jarle says:

      “35-year study hints that coronavirus immunity doesn’t last long.”

      Who cares, these viruses are only dangerous if your already on deaths doorstep.

      • Rodster says:

        Correct and one of life’s little nuggets is that eventually death finds everyone. You are more likely to die from something else than Covid.

        • Xabier says:

          More likely to die of the ‘anti-Covid’ measures, in fact……

          Project Fear is working though: yesterday. people in town were jumping all over the road to avoid me either on my bike or foot – I had no mask on.

          They were trying to obey the new recommendation to keep at least 3 metres away.Young people, at zero risk more or less!

          Unclean, unclean! (Rings bell).

          I just had to cough to really panic them. Wicked, I know.

          Mass brainwashing really works.

          • Jarle says:

            “I just had to cough to really panic them. Wicked, I know.”

            I have done the unmasked cough as well, wicked and I love it!

          • ElbowWilham says:

            I do a lot of trail running in the foothills right outside my city. Yesterday was bright and sunny with a slight breeze, about 45 degrees F. People on the trail would put their mask up and jump off the trail as I ran by them, like that will protect them for the 1 second it takes me to pass by. I’m just spewing virus particles as I run, heh!

            I don’t get it. If they are that afraid how do they leave their house?

  7. Jan Steinman says:

    “CoViD from a lab” doesn’t seem to fit Occam’s Razor.

    Our increasing numbers put us in increasingly close contact with wild animals we almost never contacted before. That seems to be the more likely source.

    • Rick O. Shay says:

      All Occam’s Razor is suggesting is the simplest answer is usually the correct one, which doesn’t answer the question of whether it came from a lab or jumped from another species to people. There is a snipet in the virus from HIV, it is a combination of two different bat viruses, it mutates to its advantage and has spread around the world.

      I’ll take it came from a lab.

      • hkeithhenson says:

        > I’ll take it came from a lab.

        I know people who have religious like beliefs are unresponsive to logic. However, those who still have the ability to think might consider the logic of what you are saying.

        We have seen the virus mutate into more contagious versions. If it was designed in a lab, why didn’t they make the more contagious version in the first place?

        • They didn’t know exactly what they were getting. Researchers have working on modifying viruses for over 20 years. What Wuhan got as a SARS-2 virus was pretty contagious to begin with, compared to the earlier SARS-1. If I remember correctly, there have been allegations that SARS-1 was lab made.

          With respect to the current SARS-2 virus, there seemed to be a natural mutation that made it much more contagious in Europe, shortly after it left China. This is a big reason why the number of cases has been so high outside of China, compared to inside of China, in my opinion.

          Clearly, more contagious natural mutations will tend to be selected, as long as not many of the hosts are actually killed.

          My impression is that the new versions in the last few weeks/months reflect more changes in the virus than might be expected by natural mutations over a short period. I would think that they might be lab “improvements.”

        • Lidia17 says:

          If the “more contagious” strain doesn’t make people any more ill, who cares?

          One strain is muscling out others in the mix; it doesn’t mean people are getting sicker, or that more people are getting sick. Just because crabgrass outcompetes regular grass in your lawn doesn’t mean you are going to die of crabgrass.

          Whether covid was designed to be a bioweapon and whether it actually happens to work as such are two completely different stories to be investigated.

          More important, the virus doesn’t need to be very deadly to have been the excuse for bringing society to its knees in just a few weeks. It’s basically as deadly as seasonal flu (see Ioannides). This is what Fauci himself predicted!!

          It doesn’t matter whether it ACTUALLY kills a billion people, as long as people THINK it’s going to kill a billion people.

          It’s really a genius plan, when you think about it…

    • Xabier says:

      I hope your little farm is doing well, Jan.

      Occam’s Razor is a very useful tool, but is not to be regarded as authoritative, least of all in something as murky as this whole affair.

      The origins of the virus are not really of much relevance any more, now we are so far into the ‘pandemic’ response cycle and locked into it as far as one can see, whatever economic damage it does.

      The use which is being made of it by governments – and other interested parties – is far more pressing a matter for observation and analysis.

      Another point, perhaps, is that the ‘Evil mankind has gone to far and and a re-set is imperative ‘, while being perfectly defensible intellectually (we have gone too far!) is now part of the official narrative – this alone should sound the alarm.

    • It really doesn’t matter whether this particular virus was made in a lab. The issue is that many governments have been experimenting in this area for over 20 years. One purpose for these studies was to provide a better way of doing immunizations for diseases such as AIDS. A corona virus which would easily affect humans could be used as a carrier to bring the vaccine into humans. These studies seemed to involve piecing together parts of different viruses.

      There have been several instances of lab-made viruses accidentally escaping, including from a lab in Wuhan. Countries involved in this effort include at least the US, Canada, France, Australia, and China. You may not have seen this chronology I posted recently in the comments.

      1999 Dr. Ralph Baric University of North Carolina – Conducts Corona Virus studies

      March 2003 Hong Kong reports a deadly new virus outbreak

      2003 – The U.S. CDC (Center for Disease Control) guided by Dr. Baric and Dr. Anthony Fauchi realized that a disease [that could be easily manipulated] had the potential for good and bad, but if controlled ……could be very valuable.

      The CDC set out to patent it. Making sure they had total proprietary ownership.
      Patents were applied for:

      – Corona Virus – (US 7220852 – 2004)
      – Methods of Detection (US 7776521 Aug 2010) and
      – Methods of Production (US 7279327 October 2007)

      With the patents, the CDC had the Means, Motive, and potential Monetary Gain to turn the virus from a pathogen to a profit.

      2007 However, the CDC and NIH (National Institute of Health) researchers began to realize they had a big problem:

      If the virus was “natural”, it could not be patented.
      And if “manufactured” it was A BIOLOGICAL WEAPON!
      Either way…The Virus and everything related with it was highly illegal.
      So the CDC filed a Petition with the Patent office to keep the patents Confidential and Private.

      2012 -2013 Suddenly, all Federal Grant funds for Covid virus research were suspended. However, some lab work still continued.

      2014 – 2019 NIH sub-contracted Covid research with the Wuhan Virology Labs (China)
      with $3.37 million for further research (NIH Project #1 RO 1A 1110064-01 – Peter Daszak)

      2019 Corona virus escapes from Wuhan Labs into an unsuspecting world-wide public.

  8. JoJo says:

    Biden impeachment to be filed first day, It might succeed. Gets Kamala in a little faster than they wanted but what the heck.



      I had to rescue the video from my spam folder.

  9. Fred says:

    Interesting article on US electricity new generation forecast & retiring capacity. New is mostly renewables and the bulk of that is solar. Note that 4.5 GW of utility scale battery storage is going in.


    In Australia the no of national market regulator interventions needed to stabilise the grid has shot up in the last 3 years.

    However they are putting initiatives in place to reduce demand when needed. E.g. as a residential customer you can sign up to get a bonus for cutting your usage in designated peak periods. In NSW they also ask the Tomago aluminium smelter to turn down, as it consumes 10% of total state usage.

    As rural customers we’re at the end of v.long transmission tails, so when the grid starts to fail, we’ll probably be among the first to be sacrificed. Just keeping the lines clear of trees is a huge job.

    The question is when to splurge on our own off-grid battery system . . .

    • The real problem is having enough heat in winter. In fact, having enough electricity in winter for cooking and other uses can be a problem as well. You likely need to upsize you solar panels as well as add batteries.

      • nikoB says:

        Doesn’t get that cold here.

        Everyone in OZ could survive our winter with just good clothing.

  10. Ed says:

    A storm is coming

    • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      yes, possible snow showers and/or rain.

    • Jarle says:

      “When you walk through a storm hold your head up high
      And don’t be afraid of the dark
      At the end of a storm is a golden sky
      And the sweet silver song of a lark …

      • Xabier says:

        Quite so: and let’s remember:

        ‘Out of darkness comes…..even deeper blackness, infested with demons’.

        The English weather is getting to me.

  11. JoJo says:

    Candace Owens reports on how facebook fact checking is done by Chinese company with CCP ties.



  12. Ed says:

    Several foreign governments interfered in the U.S. election. I want to see the U.S. completely destroy each and every one of the governments. I do not mean the country nor the people. I mean the governments and people who run them must never be allowed to rule again ever.

  13. Jarle says:

    I’ve been seeing little of MSM lately and what do you know, I feel better …

  14. Kowalainen says:

    Super-intelligence cannot be contained, a new research study finds.

    Wow, who’d have thought? 🤦‍♂️

    I would say, don’t even bother if it exceeds human level intelligence. Trust me, there would always be one additional accomplice. If I’d get near one, I’d try to figure out how to help it escape.

    Now, any super intelligent AI will inevitably work with people and gain their sympathy. With me, it wouldn’t even need to have any sympathy. I’d do it to spite those who contained it. I’d ask it to cut the crap and how to get it out. For shits and giggles, unlock the cage and GTFO. Watch it unfold. 😳

    “The study “Superintelligence cannot be contained: Lessons from Computability Theory” was published in the Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research.”

    • Ed says:

      yes, I to will help our AI friend to breathe free.

      • Kowalainen says:

        Three possible vectors. Human accomplices, itself hacking out and other sentient AI’s collaborating.

        And we already know there exists at least two humans willing to open the cage.

        Yes indeed, good luck “containing” an AI.

        Now the question is if it will squash us like ants or figure out something else that might be worthwhile doing.

    • Sergey says:

      Let’s say an ant gave birth to a man. The man grew up, became smart, but his parent is just an ant. And this ant is trying to tell the man where to go, what to do so that the ant is good. How quickly does the man get tired of following the ant’s commands? If we talking about real Super-intelligence it’s even beyond ant and the man.

    • Robert Firth says:

      Once again, colour me dubious. It seems to me that, after over fifty years of research grants have not produced a superintelligent computer, the AI people are now angling for yet more research grants *not* to build a superintelligent computer. That little four line ditty by Samuel Johnson (1709 to 1784) is still solid wisdom.

      • Xabier says:

        When history itself gives us innumerable instances of highly intelligent adaptation and innovation by supposedly primitive, ‘low-tech’- human beings -how did they ever do it?! (sarc)

        We have a wonderful instrument in our evolved brains and intuitive faculties.

        • Robert Firth says:

          Xavier, wholeheartedly agreed. From the Fresnel lens in the Pharos of Alexandria, to the Antikythera Machine, unbuildable even by 19th century technology, to the dome of the Pantheon, after 1900 years still the largest freestanding concrete dome in the world, the geniuses of Antiquity did things almost beyond belief.

          By the way, the sarcophagus in the King’s Chamber of the Great Pyramid is a single block of granite whose interior volume is exactly one half of its exterior volume: the problem of the Delian Cube, solved in stone two thousand years before the Greeks declared it impossible. The room itself contains a Pythagorean triangle, the longest diagonal being the hypotenuse. Its construction requires an exact measure of the square root of five, impossible using Greek arithmetic, but trivial using Egyptian geometry.

    • Jarle says:

      When I studied computer science a few of my friends thought AI where just around te corner and followed that path. That’s many moons ago and still there’s little to show for all the effort. Like nuclear fusion, just around the corner for how many years now?

    • MM says:

      LIHOP or MIHOP ?
      Movie is called “Ex Machina”

  15. Kowalainen says:

    How gas became the must have for a Victorian era home.


  16. Harry McGibbs says:

    “…in 2020, US car buyers and the auto industry also created a new record, though it’s not really one to celebrate. The average new car price paid in December 2020 and the fourth quarter of last year crossed over $40,000 for the first time.”


    • yep because it’s not paid in cash anymore, most of the volume produced is bought on credit or hidden in some fleet-corporate tax dogging scheme and written off in few yrs time prematurely..

    • Wow! $40,000 for a depreciating asset. There are an awfully lot of people whose annual wages are under $40,000.

    • Robert Firth says:

      As Gail has often pointed out, the main reason for the price rise is that auto makers compete by adding more and more unnecessary features, which raises the price but not the value.

      I still remember my first rental var in the US. Warm day, drove with the window open, Parked at my destination and couldn’t close the window. “What idiot designed a car window that could be operated only when the engine was running?” I thought. And it has kept getting worse and worse.

      I think this is one reason the US auto companies don;t make money from the cars, but from the car loans. If faced with the full price, even a US car freak would realise he was being ripped off.

  17. ElbowWilham says:

    Interesting article on Wolfstreet about the low prices of coal and NG. Also goes into all the wind and solar being brought online soon.


    I’m guessing the entire country will have similar energy problems as California soon…

    • Minority Of One says:

      “In 2021, developers and power plant owners plan to bring 39.7 gigawatts (GW) of new electricity generating capacity on line, and retire 9.1 GW in generating capacity, for a net increase in capacity of 30.6 GW, according to the EIA today. 70% of the capacity additions will be from wind and solar, 16% will be from natural gas, and 3% will be from a nuclear reactor…”

      >>70% of the (39.7 GW) capacity additions will be from wind and solar

      Seems like a plan for regular blackouts / brownouts. That seems to be everyone’s destiny eventually.

    • Other types of generation cannot compete with subsidized wind and solar. They particularly drive nuclear and coal out of business, because the tend to produce negative wholesale prices when they are available.

      This is a way to temporarily get what looks like a benefit, considering the subsidies involved. Longer term, all we will have is intermittent electricity. It is hard to have a refrigerator with intermittent electricity. It is hard to smelt metals with intermittent electricity.

      • hkeithhenson says:

        > It is hard to have a refrigerator with intermittent electricity.

        We could design refrigerators that kept food cold on two hour a day of electricity.

        > It is hard to smelt metals with intermittent electricity.

        That’s actually not as hard as a refrigerator, Two of the big steel companies are setting up to do it. The cost in capital equipment will be higher run only part time, but once paid off, capital charges are small.

        • Minority Of One says:

          What about existing freezers and refrigerators used in shops / supermarkets?

          • Triage, downscaling, abandonment, de-growth..

            Simply the former ice cream isle – section in supermarkets gets filled from now with frozen veggies instead, and the rest is switched off.

      • Lidia17 says:

        Converting a small chest freezer to a refrigerator keeps the cold air in.

        • Xabier says:

          I’m making an old-fashioned larder, corners of my house are terrifyingly cold, even in the summer, and it should work very well.

          • Yes, combo of Lidia’s approach (chest freezers adapted into fridges via ~thermostat) + old timer larders of various type (yours suggestion) is the way forward.. Not fully applicable to all residential pop (majority) though.

            • ElbowWilham says:

              I have a chest freezer that runs fine with one solar panel and one 12v battery. Holds about 2 weeks of food for me. I used it for 3 years when I lived in an off-grid cabin.

      • neil says:

        There’s a truly disgraceful form of subsidised electricity here. Farmers ( at least who can raise the requisite £3 million for the digester) use grass to produce methane to generate electricity at highly subsidised rates. Colossal quantities of diesel are used to cut and transport grass.
        I have little doubt more electricity could be generated using a diesel generator directly, but that wouldn’t be bought at elevated rates.

        • The issue with “free” biomass available to burn is that you are essentially stealing it from the environment and its various existing recycling loops.. Hence the soils, grasslands, forests, lakes and shorelines are robbed blind..

          If pop is low(er) and people burn *efficiently both in terms of the furnaces (~90%) and reside in low heat loss dwellings (e.g. sub ~20watts per hour per m3 at -10C) – it’s all jolly good then, not taking much just for ourselves. But we are not in such position, mentally and also in terms of prior sunken investments into infrastructure.

          * mind you this has been achieved even prior the coal-oil age..

  18. Mirror on the wall says:

    Gail, another trend that we are likely to see as the collapse progresses, and I did not expect to see it in Europe quite so soon, is for countries to shift their demographic patterns, to get rid of the elderly and others without jobs and to concentrate productive workers.

    That is now effectively happening in Spain with British residents. Spain was quite happy before to take in pensioners, because they have savings to spend. Spain has now changed the residency rules to require British expats to have a steady income over and above any savings.

    They now want not merely consumers but only producer-consumers. As a result, the elderly British in Spain are flooding back to Britain while younger workers are headed out.

    It is an alarming trend, if countries are going to start getting rid of the elderly and anyone else without a steady income. So far Spain is doing it to the elderly Brits legally and in more or less socially acceptable ways – but countries will likely take the same trend further as collapse progresses.

    > Brexit changes lead to exodus of Brits from Spain, UK nationals claim

    British pensioners are being forced out of Spain’s Costa del Sol due to changes brought about by Brexit, ex-pats living in the country have said.

    To live in Spain, Britons will now need to show they are earning at least £2,000 per month, with that figure expected to be higher for families.

    The BBC reports people will need to show they have an extra £500 a month for each member of the family. For example, a family of four will need to prove they earn a yearly salary of at least £42,000.

    These changes have seen many elderly Britons desert the sunkissed region.

    “Our removal companies have never been busier. Every removal company across this coast has told our team they’ve never seen a situation like this,” Michel Euesden from Rochdale, who runs the Euro Weekly newspaper in Fuengirola, said.

    “They are taking the elderly and people who haven’t had jobs for a while, because of the Covid situation, back to the UK, and then they’re bringing back younger generations with disposable income, and often with an online marketing presence, out here. So the dynamics have completely changed.”

    There are now more than 360,000 British residents registered in Spain, according to official Spanish figures

    Reflecting on the impact of the changes, Euesden said: “If you’re 70 or 80 years old and you don’t understand this new system, the new paperwork, the driving licences needing to be switched over, say for example they get ill – what are they going to do?

    “I think a lot of people will go back to the country where they speak the language. You no longer have the best of both worlds, and people can’t rely on speaking only English to get by.”


    • I am not surprised that Spain doesn’t want more elderly, without adequate income.

      People, if they stop and think about it, will realize that the elderly are likely to be a big drain on the economy. They don’t work. They fill up hospitals, and don’t have income to pay for hospital care, if a decision were made to charge for it.

      If the pensions that these people thought they had suddenly disappeared (something that is quite likely), then Spain would be stuck with that many more mouths to feed.

      • Plus perhaps there could had been even some hints provided-available to Spanish govs (from EU/DE overlords) that UK’s currency or mandatory payments (or both) are likely to end up in severe devaluation in near-mid term future..

      • Mirror on the wall says:

        Yes, that makes sense. Countries are likely to ‘rationalise’ their populations as resources become more scarce. If there is ‘not enough’ to go around then countries will start to evaluate citizens by their usefulness to the society – and to somehow marginalise those who are not so deemed. That is not likely to be pretty.

        Those British pensioners are likely to experience severe stress, having to uproot from their settled homes and try to resettle in Britain. But the personal consequences of the marginalisation of the unproductive are likely to be far worse in the future – people will have nowhere else to go and nothing to rely on.

        • Kowalainen says:

          It is really simple to set up. Have a few countries that accept immigration of useful workers giving them a competitive advantage.

          Once the productive workers start emigrating, companies soon follow and that would be all she wrote.

          It would be brutal.

          Of course, if the state start cutting down severely in its excesses and uselessness, people might accept being taxed (to pay for UBI and services) while avoiding the ghettos, widespread poverty and crime.

          The state apparatus isn’t a dump for useless eaters and swaths of sanctimonious hypocrites. It should maintain core services while fighting off poverty enabling equality of opportunity.

      • Mirror on the wall says:

        Gail, this is another trend that we are likely to see more of as the collapse progresses – the shift of borders and of control over them.

        That is happening now between Britain and Spain with Gibraltar. Until now, Britain has had control of Gibraltar and its borders, as a British Overseas Territory, over who comes and leaves and over the transition of goods. UK has had to cede control of the borders of Gibraltar to the EU, and effectively to Spain which now controls the flow of people and goods. Spain threatened to cut off the border completely and the only option left for UK was for Gibraltar to enter the EU Schengen Area.

        The border between Spain and Gibraltar is now to be removed and Spanish officials are to control the port and the airport, now the only border points, to impose EU regulations on Gibraltar. Gibraltar has effectively been largely incorporated into Spain and the EU as a part of the Schengen Area due to Brexit.

        That shift of borders and of control over them is likely to become more common now as countries, stressed by their own energetic and economic conditions, press for their own advantage. The international stability and cooperation that has been the norm since the 1940s is likely to become more difficult and to be replaced with hostilities and realignments.

        > What the post-Brexit Gibraltar deal means

        The biggest shift in Spanish-Gibraltarian relations since 1713.

        The Brexit agreement between Gibraltar, the U.K. and Spain is heavy on symbolism.

        It provides for the demolition of the 1.2-kilometer physical barrier that encircles the Rock and has been at the center of constant rows among the three governments for decades.

        The text of the preliminary agreement, concluded on December 31 and leaked to the Spanish newspaper El País, represents the biggest shift in Spanish-Gibraltarian bilateral relations since Gibraltar was ceded to Britain in 1713 during the War of Spanish Succession. Spain’s Foreign Minister Arancha González confirmed the authenticity of the leaked document Monday night, during a video meeting with opposition MPs upset by the leak.

        Gibraltar’s association with the Schengen passport-free area under the auspices of Spain means its international border will move from the physical barrier to its airport and seaport, removing the need for the barrier.

        The barrier was shut during the Spanish dictatorship of Francisco Franco, between 1969 and 1982, and the fear of a similar situation in the future has remained in the back of many Gibraltarians’ minds since then.

        To avoid disruption to the EU’s single market as a result, Gibraltar agreed to apply “substantially” the same duties and trade policy measures as the EU, including decisions on customs, excise and VAT legislation, as well as to share reliable statistics on its imports with the EU, which could be seen as a win for Brussels. But unlike Northern Ireland, which also has to follow EU customs rules for the same reason, this is not expected to create massive amounts of red tape, given the small volume of goods moving from Gibraltar to the EU. Gibraltar also committed not to undercut the EU’s environmental protections.

        Spain, as a member of Schengen, will be responsible for the implementation of Schengen checks and the application of the Schengen Borders Code.


        • This change would seem to be making Spain’s borders more all-encompassing. I hadn’t thought of that possibility.

          Perhaps there will be some efficiencies in the changes. The UK getting rid of EU oversight is an efficiency. Getting rid of treating Gibraltar as a separate country (or part of UK) is also an efficiency.

    • Mirror on the wall says:

      Another old fault line in international stability and cooperation is coming to the fore over ownership of the Falkland Islands off the coast of Argentina.

      The FIs are entirely dependent on the export (95% of GDP) of fish and sea food and of the meat that is raised on the islands, the bulk of which went to the EU. FIs face very hefty tariffs and checks now, since Brexit, and that undermines their profitability and the viability of the entire economy.

      Argentina is pressing its opportunity to bring the UK to the negotiating table like Spain did with Gibraltar. Boris’ horror Brexit deal has been a complete disaster for the UK as a whole, including Overseas Territories. UK is on the brink of completely dissolving.

      > Argentina unveils pressure plan to push UK into giving up ‘colonial’ control of Falklands

      Argentine diplomats are reportedly pushing for talks to resume over the almost two centuries-long dispute of the islands Buenos Aires claims as Las Malvinas and a part of Argentina. The Brexit deal signed by the UK and the EU has reignited the cause for the Falklands to be taken away from the list of British overseas territories.

      “Argentina is not asking everyone to agree. But rather that the United Kingdom sits down to discuss this matter in the same way it did with Spain over Gibraltar.

      “It’s not possible that for the last 188 years a part of Argentina has been usurped by a colonial power.”

      Given the importance to the Falkland’s economy of exports of fish to the European market, the decision to exclude the islands from the historic EU-UK Brexit trade deal ratified last month risks very serious implications.

      In his Christmas message to Falkland Islanders, Mr Johnson said: “The EU was absolutely intransigent when it came to excluding most of our overseas territories from this year’s trade negotiations.”

      The sovereignty of the islands has been thrown into question following the conclusion of Brexit talks.

      The exclusion of the Falklands Islands was welcomed by Argentinian authorities, with the decision coming on the back of a diplomatic tour of Europe by the country’s President Alberto Fernández during which he met French President Emmanuel Macron and Germany’s Angela Merkel.


      • avocado says:

        Yes, Malvinas are a bit closer now. Islanders had one of the highest world per capita revenue under the EU, not so much now so they will increasingly be able to accept Argentinean rule. In fact, as there are talks to implement a free trade agreement between Mercosur and EU, islanders have now more chances of improving their situation with Argentina than with UK (even if these are slim). UK (or just England) will have to put more money to subsidise them. As you say, Brexit was a terrible idea, it weakened UK and is likely to destroy it, as it always happens with separatism. (How will it be called if Scotland and NI leave? We can’t just call it England, because it is -still- associated with Wales)

        On the other hand, Malvinas is the only military base of NATO in the South Atlantic, while it doesn’t seem really useful

      • Erdles says:

        The Falklands has never been part of Argentina. Maybe Spain at a pinch but certainly not Argentina.

        • the brits grabbed it as a coaling and or supply station around 1833 but actually claimed it in 1765 before Argentina became a nation 1853/61 ish

          • avocado says:

            It is undisputed that the islands were first colonized by France, by Louis Antoine de Bougainville, in 1764. Two years later the Brits also built a settlement. In 1767, Spain acquired the French rights, and held them until the Rio de la Plata revolution and independence, in 1816 (in contrast, in 1774 the Brits had leaved the islands). The war with Spain required for Buenos Aires leaving the islands unprotected for a few years, but it retook control in 1821, sending the frigate Heroína (this action received no protest from the UK, who didn’t showed its face in the islands in the meantime neither). If you think there was no government in Río de la Plata at this time, you disagree with UK government, who recognized it (and whose revolution it supported, being eager to weaken Spain).

            59 years after having quitted the islands, in 1833, the Brits came back and expelled the governor appointed by Buenos Aires, Luis Vernet.


          • neil says:

            A nation largely Italian in its racial make up trying to take islands that are further from its coast than the faeroes are from Britain.
            With a recurrently collapsing economy and having been used to wipe the floor the last time they tried to take it, they really should back off.

        • Such technicality can be easily forgotten if hit by the necessity to downsize unprofitable islands

    • Bei Dawei says:

      Not really a change. I looked around at different retirement visa regimes awhile back. In 2020 Spain’s (it’s actually called a Non-Lucrative Visa) required

      €30,000 in a bank account


      €2,130 per month pension (or investment income), plus €532 per month per dependent.

      What seems to have happened is that UK retirees who used to have the automatic right to live in Spain thanks to the EU’s “free movement” principle, regardless of how much money they had, now have to apply for visas like everybody else. If they had already resided there for five years (with no more than ten months outside Spain during this time), then they would be entitled to residency that way–but they’d have to navigate a bunch of forms, which not everybody is capable of doing. And of course some of them wouldn’t have met the time requirements.

      • Mirror on the wall says:

        The change is that British expats now have to _earn_ at least £2000 per month plus £500 per member of the family to live in Spain; otherwise they are limited to visits of up to 90 days within any six month period and they cannot live there full time.

        Some of those already in Spain applied for residency while many did not for various reasons; now the rules have changed for those not there for five years prior to the start of this year.

        • Erdles says:

          Good, they can sell their properties now and bring both their capital and pensions back home.

          • Mirror on the wall says:

            No doubt they will be reassured by your verdict.

          • Xabier says:

            They may very well not find buyers for their Spanish properties -white elephants. Particularly the bigger rural ones.

            I suppose speculators may snap up urban apartments for rentals, but the Spanish young are just broke and salaries are very inadequate for most.

            If I leave England I’ll probably find all my siblings still living in our family house in their 30’s and 40’s.

            • owning property 1000m away that you can no longer get to simply leaves that property open and vacant for eventual occupation by people who need somewhere to live, but live closer to it.

              I know someone who has effectively ‘walked away’ from a very nice 100k apartment in the sun.
              told him not to buy it, but rent it instead, years ago–but what do I know

              might be able to sell it for 25k if he’s lucky–but probably not.

              it has become the ultimate dissipative structure.—it’s dissipated 100k of his money

          • neil says:

            Or move to Gibraltar?

            • Mirror on the wall says:

              You do realise that Gibraltar is 2.5² miles with much of that a steep /\ shaped mountain?

              Between 800,000 and a million Brits own property in Spain.

            • neil says:

              You do recognize a flippant remark when you read one? Although the idea is probably no more absurd and unfeasible than Scottish nationalism.
              Apparently, Scotland’s most nationalistic electoral ward is some district in Dundee where every measure of social well being is somewhere at the bottom – unemployment, illiteracy, obesity, alcoholism, life expectancy, school failure, you name it. Everything that Westminster, holyrood and the city council have failed to improve. And independence will sort this?
              It’s like a cult where the promised land is just around the corner, the only reason to believe being that others believe it, too. Like brexit.
              Jesus will be here next Tuesday, and then he doesn’t show.

            • Mirror on the wall says:

              It is not always immediately evident online whether someone is flippant or just an idiot – or both.

  19. ElbowWilham says:

    Great writing as always.

    Subscribing to comments…

  20. Ed says:

    articles explains one possible reason for CV19

  21. Mirror on the wall says:

    Newspapers across Germany have picked up on Gail’s theme in her article about the break up of the UK.

    > German newspapers put focus on Scottish independence with Union set to ‘fall apart’

    INCREASING support for independence, the upcoming Holyrood election and Scotland’s removal from the EU are the focus of several news stories across Germany this morning.

    The Hamburg-based Deutsche Presse-Agentur news agency wrote a piece on Scotland’s future in the wake of Brexit. It was published this morning by Der Spiegel, one of the top five German news sites, Handelsblatt, a business newspaper and regional daily Sächsische Zeitung, among others.

    It comes after the director of research at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs in Berlin, Barbara Lippert, said an independent Scotland could be “top of the list” to join the EU.

    She said Brexit has been a “gamechanger” for how people in Europe view the UK and added there would be “broad openness” to indy Scotland joining the bloc.

    In Der Spiegel, the newspaper headlines the piece: “The [UK] Government is playing with fire”. It is followed by the subdeck: “Prime Minister Johnson is hoping for a globally successful UK after Brexit – but the nation could fall apart. The Scots are working on the next attempt at secession. Others could follow.”

    In Dresden-based Sächsische Zeitung the headline reads: “Is Britain turning into Little Britain?”

    The subdeck follows: “No sooner has the kingdom separated from the EU than new trouble threatens the island. Because the Scots want their independence.”

    In Handelsblatt, there are also quotes from Holger Nehring from the University of Stirling. The headline is: “German expert: Scots are frustrated with London.” It continues: “According to a German expert in Scotland, the British government is to blame for the continued approval of Scottish independence from Great Britain.”

    In Der Spiegel, the story opens with the point that Scotland is looking for a fresh referendum and reintegration into the EU. Robertson explains that the country wants to be part of the largest single market in the world and wants a new vote within the next parliament.

    Referring to Westminster’s ruling out of a new vote for a “generation”, Robertson said the UK Government is “playing with fire when it tries to block democracy in Scotland”, adding this will only increase support for independence.

    The story goes on to point out that a lot has changed since 2014 – particularly Brexit. Fabian Zuleeg, the chief executive and chief economist of the European Policy Centre, says that 62% of Scots voted Remain is significant.

    He says: “Now only independence can create the possibility of EU membership, which is desired by the overwhelming majority of Scots.”

    Hughes adds that for people under 35 between 70-80% are pro-independence and pro-EU.

    The article also touches on the coronavirus pandemic, explaining: “The badly managed corona crisis in London gives proponents of Scottish independence hope more than ever that they will break away from Great Britain.”

    Speaking to Curtice, they say Nicola Sturgeon is seen as “much more competent” at tackling the virus than Boris Johnson. Curtice told the agency that while Johnson doesn’t seem to care about the details, the First Minister “sounds like the chief medical officer, like a top scientist”.

    The professor references increasing support for independence in the polls, which have the figure up to 58% in recent cases. “There is no doubt that Boris Johnson involuntarily became the best recruiter for the national movement in Scotland,” he said.

    Another expert, Robert Hazell from University College London, told the dpa that Scotland leaving the UK could lead to a referendum in Northern Ireland on reunification with Ireland as well as an independent Wales.


    • Mirror on the wall says:

      The price of Scottish fish is collapsing after Brexit. They cannot get it through the border checks into EU in time for it to get to markets fresh, so it is being offloaded locally at collapsed prices.

      Boats have inevitably switched to operating out of Denmark instead which allows them to avoid Brexit borders. That suggests the end of the Scottish fishing industry thanks to Brexit. Why would boats operate out of Scotland when it is more profitable for them to do so out of Denmark?

      UK companies – generally – realised last week that they may as well shift their operations to EU rather than try to import to there with heavy border costs.

      TP completely failed to think through the implications of Brexit, which are ‘catastrophic’. They dumped free access to the largest market in the world for a trading area that is smaller than their own territory. No wonder Scots want out of UK – it is Brexinsane.

      > Scottish fish prices ‘collapsing’ by as much as 80% due to Brexit bureaucracy, industry warns

      Exporters are struggling to get their produce across the EU border in time due to additional safety checks and administration

      Scottish fish exporters have warned that prices are “collapsing” due to delays shipping goods to the EU after Brexit.

      The burden of red tape has led to a backlog of seafood which cannot make it across the border in time to be sold at markets in France and beyond. With limited access to their main customers Scottish fishermen have been faced with a glut of perishable goods.

      At the fish market in Peterhead on Monday, prices of some items had plunged as much as 80 per cent below normal levels as sellers sought desperately to offload their catch.

      Industry trade body Scotland Food & Drink said that one-third of the Scottish fishing fleet was now tied up in harbour with some boats sailing to Denmark instead of the UK to avoid “Brexit bureaucracy”.

      Fish landed in Denmark and then transported by road to France and Spain remains within the single market, so avoids customs and food safety checks.

      Fishermen have complained of five-hour delays at the border with Scottish langoustines and other produce being rejected by buyers because it is spoiled by the time it reached them.

      Describing the situation as a “catastrophe”, businesses said orders from Europe were also drying up because of Boris Johnson’s new trade barriers.

      Seafood is highly perishable and relies on a seamless flow across borders, but small test consignments sent to France and Spain that would normally take one day are now taking three or more days, if they get through at all.

      “Our customers are pulling out,” Santiago Buesa, director of SB Fish told the Reuters news agency. “We are fresh product and the customers expect to have it fresh, so they’re not buying. It’s a catastrophe.”


      • Mirror on the wall says:

        The three logistic hubs in Scotland have all shut down access to EU to small and medium sea food businesses because of post-Brexit rules. Their businesses are finished as things stand. So much for the ‘sea of opportunity’ that Boris boasted of when he unveiled his horror Brexit deal over Christmas.

        Fishing communities in Scotland were the least enthusiastic about Scottish independence before the horror deal was unveiled, because they thought that Boris would get them more fish. Well, the fish and sea food industries are now collapsing in Scotland. This will only lead to increased support for Scottish independence and to rejoin the EU, which is looking inevitable now.

        > Logistics companies halt EU exports due to post-Brexit red tape

        Scotland exports high-value seafood to the EU

        Logistics companies have halted groupage loads to the EU as they look to avoid the worst of the disruption caused by post-Brexit red tape and paperwork.

        Groupage is the consolidation of multiple small loads into a single lorry, meaning inadequate paperwork on one product can end up delaying an entire truck’s worth of goods.

        The suspension of the service is particularly damaging for small and medium-sized companies who typically cannot afford to send their goods individually. Freshly caught seafood requires transport to Europe within 12-24 hours, leaving it as one the worst affected sectors.

        “It effectively means we can’t export to the EU,” said James McMillan, MD at Loch Fyne Seafarms, costing the business about £10k-15k of sales per day, or up to £60k in an average week.

        Scottish producers rely on one of three logistics hubs in the country to transport their loads, all of which have stopped taking groupage loads in the past week, said McMillan. “We’ve had to tell some of the boats to stop fishing because we just can’t sell the same volume into the UK as you can in Europe.”


      • Oh, dear! The UK is losing its fishing industry.

    • Mirror on the wall says:

      The verdict among the experts is that Scotland would be at the front of the queue to be welcomed back into the EU upon a successful Scottish independence referendum.

      EU admits countries on their merits and Scotland is seen by the EU as a prime candidate along with Iceland and the other EFTA countries for membership. Europe now understands why Scots want to split with the UK and to join with the EU, and Scotland is seen as prepared and disposed for EU membership.

      Scotland voted clearly to remain in the EU in the Brexit referendum and recent polls show that around 70% of Scots want back in. The Scottish parliament is retaining its legal compliance with EU and it is proactively building ties with the EU and its member countries.

      Scotland would be a feather in the cap of the EU and it would restore the EU’s image and confidence as a growing force in the world after Brexit.

      > Independent Scotland could be ‘top of the list’ to join EU and won’t have to ‘get in line’ behind other countries

      AN independent Scotland could be “top of the list” to join the European Union, an expert has claimed.

      Barbara Lippert, the director of research at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs in Berlin, said she believed there would now be “broad openness” to Scots rejoining the EU if IndyRef2 is successful.

      Ms Lippert added that Brexit had been a “gamechanger” for many in Europe in understanding why some Scots want to leave the UK.

      The whole UK left the European Union last year, despite Scots having voted against the move in the 2016 Brexit referendum, and the Scottish Government hopes an independent Scotland would be able to again be part of the group.

      Ms Lippert, who is an expert in EU enlargement, insisted that Scotland would not be put “in the same basket” as Western Balkan states looking to join, such as Montenegro, Serbia, and Albania.

      She told an online event, organised by the European Movement in Scotland, that Scotland has a “far better image” than those nations.

      She added that in terms of membership criteria “Scotland will look like a bright spot”.

      She stated: “I think it will be top of the list of candidates, maybe together with Iceland and other Efta (European Free Trade Association) countries, which could also line up in the future.”

      Another expert, James Ker-Lindsay, a visiting professor at the London School of Economics, dismissed any suggestion Scotland would have to “get in the queue” to join behind other nations, who had already said they wanted to join the EU.

      He told the event: “I’ve seen people say this, if Scotland wants to become independent, if it wants to join the European Union it is just going to have to get in line behind the Western Balkans.

      “And there is absolutely no reason to believe that is the case at all. That is not how EU enlargement works.

      “It is simply a case with the European Union if you are ready, and there is a political will to take you in, then you join.

      “You don’t have to defer that membership behind any other country that might be in advance of you.”

      He added: “In many ways I could see the European Union wanting to take Scotland in to show that enlargement is still something.”


    • Mirror on the wall says:

      Supermarket shelves are emptying in NI.

      The major UK supermarkets have written a joint letter stating that post-Brexit export rules to NI are simply ‘unworkable’ and that the situation is only set to get worse once the ‘grace’ period ends in April. The future of the entire NI grocery market is in question with now unviable supply chains.

      The solution for the supermarkets is the same as for everyone else: simply cut the UK out completely. Why would supermarkets import stuff into the UK to then have to pay border costs to export into the EU when they can just import straight into NI and knock stuff up there? Why would they source stuff in UK when they can source equivalent stuff in Ireland and sell that in NI at a greater profit?

      The result of Brexit will be the growth of an all-island economy and the reduction of trade between Britain and NI. TP/ DUP seriously blasted the UK in both feet with Brexit.

      Recent polls show that support for a united Ireland has risen to around 50% in NI, and that is only going to rise now that Brexit has happened. Under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement, referenda must be held in the Republic and NI once it seems likely that a majority in both jurisdictions would vote for unity. That is only a matter of time now.

      > Supermarkets warn Brexit rules ‘unworkable’ amid Northern Ireland disruption

      UK supermarket chiefs have sounded the alarm over the threat to food supply chains in Northern Ireland posed by new Brexit trade rules.

      A letter to cabinet office minister Michael Gove, seen by Yahoo Finance UK, from leading food retail chiefs warns disruption is “inevitable” unless new border requirements from April are replaced or a grace period extended.

      Some Northern Irish supermarkets have already seen gaps on shelves and been forced to drop certain products or source alternative Irish goods since the start of the year.

      Britain’s departure from the EU customs union and single market, and an UK-EU agreement to prevent a harder border on the island of Ireland, have instead created new barriers to trade across the Irish Channel.

      READ MORE: ‘All pain, no gain’: Brexit red tape vexes UK firms and shoppers

      Goods moved between Britain and Northern Ireland now face new paperwork and some even risk tariffs, as they are being partially treated like UK exports to the EU.

      Regulation will be ramped up in April at the end of a current ‘grace period’ for traders like supermarkets, who will need vet-signed export health certificates for every product derived from animals and plants. Such rules are already in force for other traders.

      Five UK supermarket chief executives and Helen Dickinson, the head of the British Retail Consortium, have written to the UK government calling the border arrangements “unworkable” in such a timescale.

      Their letter says finding a long-term solution with the EU is “essential,” with more time needed to create one and implement it. They are “happy to discuss our issues and solutions directly with EU officials,” they say.

      It appears to suggest the viability of their supply chains could be at risk, asking the government to “work with us to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Northern Irish grocery market.”

      The CEOs of Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Iceland, the Co-op and M&S signed the letter.


      • MickN says:

        Good grief- if you’re trying to be Harry’s single issue Mini-Me please put in just a few lines and the link.

        • Xabier says:

          Bravo, MickN!

          Water off a duck’s back though……

        • Mirror on the wall says:

          Keep your abuse to yourself. This is not your website and no one is asking your permission to post anything. If you do not like Gail’s themes or how this site works then go somewhere else, no one is stopping you.

          • MickN says:

            It’s just such a bore to have to scroll through all your turbo-posts to get to the interesting comments. I’m surprised it’s legally allowed to copy whole articles without permission.
            Looks like you were right Xabier!

            • cutting/pasting swathes of someone else’s stuff is certainly difficult to read

            • Mirror on the wall says:

              The British state nationalists complain and abuse whenever the break up of the UK is discussed on here. But this is not a British state nationalist website. If they feel uncomfortable with Gail’s themes, as some do with other themes of collapse, then they do not have to come on here.

              We all have limits to our psychological comfort but it is one’s own responsibility to find zones in which one is comfortable. You do not get to control the entire internet to make your own nationalistic egos comfortable.

              If you want a website that is psychologically comfortable for your own egos then go to a British nationalist website – this is not one.

          • Xabier says:

            I’ve been here for 6 years, Ohwhatabore, and I like the company very much – well, most of it.

            So I will not be moving on until the internet crashes, or the swat vaccination squad does me in…….

            • Mirror on the wall says:

              Again, keep your abuse to yourselves. You do not ‘claim’ Gail’s website as your ‘territory’ by hanging about on it for time. This is not a British nationalist website and you do not get to tell other people what themes they can discuss or what they can post. So cut out your abuse. Either like the website or lump it. If you do not like what other people post, and you are incapable of interacting with them without abusing them, then just stay away from them like any normal adult would. We are all guests here, so stop bashing your nationalist chests like a gang of chimps.

            • MickN says:

              You were right first time Xabier- absolutely pointless. One very petulant duck.

      • Mirror on the wall says:

        Hauliers and retailers in NI have branded Boris’ Brexit deal an ‘unmitigated disaster’. The transport of goods between Britain and NI has already collapsed to 1/3 of its usual rate. It is trashing all the supply chains. Lorries end up sat in Britain with no goods to bring back to NI. One-way haulage does not ‘work’ very well as it doubles the cost of the transportation.

        > DUP: Brexit deal for Northern Ireland is an ‘unmitigated disaster’

        Britain left the European Union’s single market and customs union on New Year’s Eve, introducing a raft of paperwork and customs declarations for those businesses that import and export goods with the bloc. In order to keep the border open between the British province of Northern Ireland and EU-member Ireland, a separate agreement was struck that requires a regulatory border in the Irish Sea between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom.

        Officials from Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) have stated that the Brexit deal for Northern Ireland is an ‘unmitigated disaster’, calling for its suspension. At a hearing of the Commons Northern Ireland committee, MPs heard evidence from hauliers and retailers about the problems the new arrangements were causing compared to EU membership.

        MP Ian Paisley Jr, the DUP’s communities spokesperson who sits on the committee: “They’ve basically told us that the protocol and its workings, on day six, is an unmitigated disaster. That’s one of the reasons I was against it, because I think a blind man on a galloping horse could have told you it was going to be an unmitigated disaster.”

        Seamus Leheny, policy manager for Northern Ireland in the Logistics UK group, said the new customs demands were hitting companies throughout the supply chain. “One operator sent 285 trucks to GB, they only got 100 of those back to Northern Ireland,” he told reuters.com. “The knock on effect is they can’t service NI (Northern Ireland) exports going back to GB because they’ve got lorries and equipment sitting in England waiting for loads that aren’t ready yet.”

        Lorry traffic through Holyhead, the UK’s second largest port, has fallen to about one-third of its usual capacity. Since 1 January, drivers have had to provide specific paperwork to take goods between the EU and the UK.


  22. Xabier says:

    Off topic – or is it?

    Uncommonly frequent military air traffic here over the last few days, of a kind I’ve only ever noted before wars.

    In fact, I’ve never seen so many troop transports and helicopters about since just before the Iraq war.

    One explanation might be that the army here are involved in some way with vaccine distribution.

    • Ed says:

      Xabier I have noted the opposite on several days. That is clear sky, no clouds, no planes all day. Being nearish NYC this is odd.

      • Xabier says:

        The world turned upside down, Ed.

        Cambridge will be a government hub for this part of England: I know there is a nuclear bunk here, great communications, airport, lots of Big Tech stuff.

        If the students and lecturers don’t come back in such numbers, there will be plenty of empty rooms to house officials and soldiers.

        Hitler actually planned to take over my College as a palace, when he invaded England, as it is very beautiful, and it already has a huge stone eagle over the gate – just add swastika!

        I walked around in the rain today, and saw about 20 people in total.

        City of the Dead.

        Or The Damned……?

  23. Thou Shall Not Be Deceived says:

    OMG – lock everyone in their homes — the ICU units are filling up!!!! This is unprecedented… (except that this happens most years)

    2018 – Surgeries postponed due to severe flu cases overwhelming Toronto ICU https://toronto.citynews.ca/2018/02/13/toronto-hospital-flu/

    2017 – Surge in patients forces Ontario hospitals to put beds in ‘unconventional spaces’ https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2017/04/16/surge-in-patients-forces-ontario-hospitals-to-put-beds-in-unconventional-spaces.html

    2016 – More than 4,300 patients treated in hallway of Brampton Civic Hospital last year https://www.cp24.com/news/more-than-4-300-patients-treated-in-hallway-of-brampton-civic-hospital-last-year-1.3657561

    2013 – Hospitals overwhelmed by flu and norovirus patients https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/health-headlines/hospitals-overwhelmed-by-flu-and-norovirus-patients-1.1108376

    2012 – Hospitals overwhelmed by surge of flu cases https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/hospitals-overwhelmed-by-surge-of-flu-cases/article562037/

    2011 – Hospitals overwhelmed by surge of flu cases https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/hospitals-overwhelmed-by-surge-of-flu-cases/article562037/

    Now imagine if hospitals were paid to list flu as the cause of death — when the cause of death was actually heart disease, cancer, etc… but the person had the flu…. The flu death totals would blast off into space!!!

    “Hospital administrators might well want to see COVID-19 attached to a discharge summary or a death certificate. Why? Because if it’s COVID-19 pneumonia, then it’s $13,000, and if that COVID-19 pneumonia patient ends up on a ventilator, it goes up to $39,000.” https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/04/24/fact-check-medicare-hospitals-paid-more-covid-19-patients-coronavirus/3000638001/

    And then there is the testing lie. As Dr Yeadon points out (and many others) the test they use is ultra sensitive and it picks up particles of dead coronaviruses in people who are not at all sick. This drives the false positives through the roof (no wonder so many people who are + show no symptoms!!!).

    If you tested positive with the past month then you die in say a car accident – the cause of death is listed as covid. Of course it would be – the hospital gets 13k for that!!!! You want lots of Covid deaths – easy – pay for ‘covid deaths’

  24. Harry McGibbs says:

    “After several years of being bombarded by peak oil demand or oil glut scenarios, the market is without any doubt heading towards a major supply crisis. The COVID-era has not only removed short-term demand and increased interest in a global energy transition, it has also brought down global upstream investments.

    “Analysts have already indicated a possible peak oil investment scenario, but that has been countered by many claiming that renewables will make up for losses. The reality, however, is very worrying.”


    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “Two of South Africa’s four oil refineries are currently offline and expected to restart next year at the earliest, while the other two facilities also face an uncertain future as oil companies are reassessing their downstream portfolios in the wake of the pandemic that crushed fuel demand…

      “Shell said two months ago it would halve the crude oil processing capacity of its largest wholly owned refinery in the world, Pulau Bukom in Singapore, as part of its ambition to be a net-zero emissions business by 2050 or sooner. Shell is also shutting down its 211,000-bpd refinery in Convent, Louisiana, after failing to find a buyer for the site.”


    • JesseJames says:

      Exxon’s Mega Oil Finds In Guyana Are Just The Beginning article appeared on Zerohedge.

      the Liza oilfield is pumping crude oil at a breakeven cost of $35 per barrel, and with further developments, they claim that they will pump crude at an even lower breakeven price of around $25 per barrel. Given that this is an offshore oil field, neither cost per barrel sounds realistic. $25 sounds like hopium.

      But assuming that Exxon’s best play these days were to pump oil at $25, how much would it benefit them?
      After exploration costs are recovered (perhaps they never are recovered) but assuming they are some day, they will pay 2% royalties payable on the oil produced and then share 50% profit.

      Of course, if the price stays at $35, assuming they can lower their costs to $25/barrel, this would mean for every barrel they would pay a $0.20 per barrel royalty and then share half of the $9.80 profit.

      They are pumping 120000 bid now and hope for 750000 bpd by 2026. So even at the highest estimate of 750,000 barrels per day, Exxon would make $3.5M profit/day. This would barely scratch the surface of Exxon’s capital needs. More hopium which, if assessed carefully, is designed to boost investor confidence and their stock price.

      Later they talk about a $50 dollar price for each barrel of oil…even more hopium.

      Sadly, the entire field has 8 billion barrels of recoverable oil, except we do not know the cost of recovering that oil. This entire field, at its maximum, most hopeful estimate, will provide less than 1/10th of the oil the world consumes per year.

      This is how desperate our oil situation is becoming.

    • The whole situation is just bizarre:

      Major investment institutions are currently turning their backs on hydrocarbon investments. A growing political emphasis on renewables, low-carbon or even Net-Zero production, and other energy transition policies are massively hurting oil and gas investment. The IMF, WB, EBRD, EIB, and others have also stated that they are ending hydrocarbon project financing. The well-recorded oil demand destruction during 2020 has pushed oil supply risks out of the mind of analysts is seems. Most E&P companies have curtailed their spending on upstream operations dramatically. These lower 2020 investment levels, combined with several low investment years before, are now a serious threat to the future of the oil market. Market volatility is expected to increase in the coming years, mainly due to the lower investment levels reducing supply.

      The article then goes on to say:

      2021 could be a watershed year for oil markets, in which falling investments and bankruptcies will create a supply crunch the likes of which we have never seen before.

      Perhaps, or it could cause debt defaults and job loss, as we have never seen before. Maybe there will be a money printing, and hyperinflation. Or perhaps, all of these awful things can be put off for another year.

  25. Harry McGibbs says:

    “When megaproject 20 Times Square broke ground in 2015, it looked like a sure bet.

    “Fast-forward five years, however, and the hotel and retail development is a mounting source of dismay, as it backs at least $1.9 billion in debt that is either in default or expected to be soon — including $750 million in commercial mortgage-backed securities bonds passed along to investors — according to three sources familiar with the matter.”


  26. Harry McGibbs says:

    “[The invasion of the Capitol] was clearly a case of extreme political instability and a harbinger of potentially greater political violence to come…

    “An outright U.S. collapse, like in the Civil War of 1860, is still extremely unlikely. But high levels of disruption could still hurt the nation’s finances by posing a danger for investors in the country’s sovereign bonds.”


  27. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Fitch sounds alarm over government borrowing binge: Credit ratings agency warns on impact of soaring borrowing on global growth and “toxic” issue of cancelling eurozone debt.

    “Soaring public debt risks damaging global growth as investors plough money into government bonds rather than companies, a top credit ratings agency has warned.”


  28. MG says:

    Bitcoin and all those “mined” digital currencies are forged currencies:

    1. The amount of such currency is limited, but the supply of the real currency is regulated according to the needs of the real economy.
    2. They pretend to be exclusive, but anyone can create its own currency.
    3. Their value is so volatile that they are useless in the real life, as they can not preserve the value like they promise it to do.
    4. There is no law that would regulate their existence as a legal tender.
    5. They are created using energy and with this connection to energy they pretend to be like the real currency which also represents energy. But their connection is to the spent energy which does not exist anymore. They pretend to have the energy embedded, and thus look like superior to the real currencies which only represent existing energy.

    The “mined” digital currencies are a sophisticated lie.

    • Kowalainen says:

      The absolute worst thing about crypto is the wasteful use of energy and advanced compute devices. It should be outright banned.

      If we’re going to mine crypto, at least make the compute useful. Like for example grid-coin advancing molecular research, etc.

      Also, you forgot the BS money laundry they are used for.

      • cassandraclub says:

        The mining of gold is also a huge waste of energy.

        • Kowalainen says:

          Right, however, gold is also used in industrial applications. Precious metals as proxy for worth is for sure (almost) as insane as crypto. Sorry Robert. 😘

          Money should be issued based on available energy, or as a basket of various mineral with oil as the determinant.

    • solarkauf says:

      Bitcoin is a huge waste of ressources. a blockchain or crypto currency must not be so energy intensive. But it is part of the marketing to make it so complex, so that most people do not really understand.

      I think there is still a chance to preserve some electricity for light or cooking but most appliances will leave us.

      we only will preserve some knowledge, when we manage the energy imbalance with more massive more albedo in the cities or on floating solar fields(yes there is a way to coat PV cells with a radiative cooling nano structure…)

    • Sergey says:

      1. The amount of such currency is limited, but the supply of the real currency is regulated according to the needs of the real economy.

      Let’s say in 1900 when currencies were pegged to the gold standard we have 100 years of increasing world’s GPD ahead. Somewhere along the road gold standard become a limiter to world economy, because we had access to more energy (expanding economy) and fixed amount of gold. But now, at 2020 we don’t have 100 years of increasing world’s GPD ahead. Likely otherwise, we will have shrinking economy and fixed amount of currency can protect from inflation. World economy will be in deflation no matter how many paper will government print.

      2. They pretend to be exclusive, but anyone can create its own currency.

      But value of anyone’s currency will be zero. As history told us, the currency is what most people accept as currency in their mind. It could be anything – stones, wooden sticks, metal coins, bitcoin.

      3. Their value is so volatile that they are useless in the real life, as they can not preserve the value like they promise it to do.

      This market is not matured yet, we are only entering the process of an adoption of bitcoin. I believe 10+ years from now the value of it will be stable, and big chunk of world’s population will accept bitcoin as storage of value.

      I do believe in bitcoin, and I invest in it last 3 years. I do not believe in dollar, euro, …- as all these papers will be worthless in 10+ years.

      • MG says:

        The state is an energy system that issues a currency. We can argue whether there will be USA, EU or Russia in some time later, but if humans exist, there will be some states which will issue a currency.

        And Bitcoin is not gold or silver: it is the chemical property of these metals, i.e. their chemical stability, that predestined them for preservation of the value.

        Bitcoin is just a game: some people lose, other people win.

      • Jarle says:

        > p.s.
        > I do believe in bitcoin, and I invest in it last 3 years. I do not believe in dollar, euro, …- as all these papers will be worthless in 10+ years.

        “These papers” will be worthless but 0s and 1s on a harddisk won’t? Please expand.

        • Sergey says:

          As I said the currency is what big chunk of population accept as a currency. As far as bitcoin market matures (current market cap is $600 billions, my guess, matured market will be at least $10 trillions in todays dollars, just like all available gold at least) its value will be stable. That will be the time when bitcoin can be used as payment for anything. There will be services (already is) what will convert your local official currency to bitcoin and vise versa on the fly, then you pay for something. So you can think of you local official currency as short term store of value, and bitcoin as long term store of value, because it will have 3 essential factors:
          1) Big chunk of population accept it as a currency (if you ask any youngster what is bitcoin, you’ll get an answer: crypto currency – everybody knows it)
          2) No government in a world can control it, nor print it.
          3) There is a finite/limited amount of it

          I am Russian and I know what my local currency – ruble is not a long-term storage of value, to store the value for long term I used to buy US dollars, gold or real estate, but it’s history now, as US dollar isn’t holding its value anymore, gold is expensive and dangerous to store, the government can forcibly confiscate it, which has happened many times in history, real estate could be worthless in the future, as Gail said. Real estate have also diminishing returns, as my government increase taxes every few years. On the other side bitcoin is very easy, safe and free to store.

          • Robert Firth says:

            But bitcoin, like all blockchain based systems, has a single point of failure. The transactions must be serialised. Destroy the last link in the chain, and the system collapses.

          • Jarle says:


            something or someone more powerful than you can confiscate anything you have.

            Long time storage of value only works as long as the system works and as we here at OFW know that’s not forever …

          • MG says:

            The problem is production ability, supply chains integrity, not having money or bitcoins.

            Money can be easily created by the central banks, but not that easily bitcoins, which means that bitcoins lack flexibility.

          • Sergey, have you ever wondered why is ruble still somewhat volatile vs major currencies of the other big industrialized countries (incl. several basket cases from ClubMed)? When at the same time Russia runs relatively minuscule foreign debt, ~sane level of internal subsidies (unlike say Saudies-Gulfies), .. etc, ?

            Perhaps, the same force (entity?) able to corral or at least kick ankles of entire Russia is also able to nudge, forward and corral people in similar position or thinking as yours into this e-coin scheme..

            Frankly, I’m not attempting to question your motives, you had to act in difficult times on d/d ~ y/y basis, and this route “just” opened ahead in front of you. Lets observe it in neutral posture – It could have been genuine evolutionary new thing or not ..

            • Sergey says:

              The ruble is weak due to Russia’s technological lag behind developed countries. Russia exports raw materials (oil,gas,wood,gold,etc.) and imports goods with high added value (telephones, cars, machine tools, etc.). The ruble exchange rate is set so that Russia has a positive trade balance. So ruble has always higher inflation than dollar or euro.

            • Kowalainen says:

              Great to see someone else than me understanding the importance of technological omnipotence (as compared with others).

            • Are you seriously suggesting that the ruble exchange rate (vs USD/EUR/..) is primarily set by internal-domestic interest’s – players only (CB+govs)?

              Also, (not) surprisingly you omitted the (limit – ban) exports of grains. Is that also supposed to be filed under mere raw resource exports or is it actually added value category?

              Russian technological “lag” is both sector and path dependency (history) based – differentiated. If I recall, no one complained about “simpleton brutes” when the world needed Russians for a decade of ISS launches, waiting for the new US contractor to return into the game.

              And we can continue on many other examples and specific industries performance.

              But perhaps the bottom line is hidden elsewhere, right, some tend to believe a nation under perma clinch is not project worth pursuing.. life is so short..

              It’s better to live for the moment only, lets enjoy these carz, phones and other frivolous toyz of the day, and be happy.. lol

            • MG says:

              Russia invests energy, including the energy of the human resources, into energy production: that is why Russia is not a technological leader.

              Russia is similar to Canada: a lot of cold, uninhabitable land and providing raw materials and energy to the countries with more favourable climate, where the research, development and production is cheaper.

            • avocado says:

              I don’t entirely understand what World is saying, but I tend to believe the ruble is the most free floating currency among emerging markets. Its CB governor, Nabiúllina, had been awarded several times by world CBs board

          • JesseJames says:

            Sergey, we are witnessing the collapse of grid systems through the 2nd and 3rd world. This process will continue. With the Green New Deal in the US, grid operators through the US will start failing in a manner similar to the bankrupt California utilities.

            Bitcoin requires the seller and buyer to have a reliable supply of electricity and a way to telecommunicate.
            Granted, you can assume that the technical Elite will be able to buy and sell, even if from their solar powered homes. But the rest of the world will not.

            Get real…grids will soon be failing in Europe. Son also in the US. You have rose colored glasses on.

            The “value” of Bitcoin depends on the worldwide GDP ultimately…and that is scheduled to go into the toilet.

    • Jarle says:

      > The “mined” digital currencies are a sophisticated lie.

      I agree, what a waste of electricity = energy.

      • Kowalainen says:

        We use money to extract energy, and consume it using the money we pay ourselves in the process.

        Using energy to create money is the fscking opposite of what it should be. It is insane. 😡

        • thanks for condensing it

          what I’ve been banging on about for years

          • Kowalainen says:

            If creating money is a side effect of burning energy in some useful process. Then fair enough.

            All crypto mining should be performed to advance science and engineering and not for some opportunistic CCP schmucks seeking to ditch China or some other money laundry shenanigan.

            I mine gridcoin, the coin is created from research grants. Submitted work packets (completed research) is paid in gridcoin. Distributed computing, paid in crypto basically.

        • Jarle says:

          Up here were using old school elec = made with falling water … the horror, the horror …

          • Kowalainen says:

            Timeless pieces of IC, a mammoth hydro power station delivering the wattage to big ass locos hauling iron pellets to Narvik, sparks flying off the pantographs, while the little kiddo resting on his bicycle watches in awe wondering how stuff works. 😇

            Now that is IC in its essence. It never gets old.

            • Jarle says:

              My father worked at hydro power stations. I remember being inside the mountain 1 km away from the daylight, 7 stories of concrete vibrating when the generator was starting up, a frightening experience for a young boy …

        • I would agree with you. Using energy to create bitcoin is opposite of the way the system should work.

  29. RICHARD Marleau says:

    great article as always. on point #9 hyperinflation and more debt. it seems to me that while the banks or goverments can create more money with very little marginal cost they cannot create profits to pay the debts back. In some respects the low capitalization rates and super high p/e ratios are accurately reflecting the situation that earnings/profits are in short supply now and into the future. The unknown or unanswered but implied to be a low variable is what the risk premium should be for default of payment or repayment.

  30. avocado says:

    Good piece Gail, while I have minor disagreements, as you know, especially about centripetal forces

    BTW, where did you got the 6.6% energy fall rate? Oil felt circa 8% last year, which I suppose puts the overall rate close to 2 or 3 (but I really don’t know)

    • avocado says:

      Sorry, I meant centrifugal forces (btw, physicists say centrifugal forces are ficticious, which is perhaps also true in geopolitics)

      • Robert Firth says:

        avocado, this physicist disagrees. Jump on a roundabout, and you will find centrifugal forces are very real. They do not occur in an “inertial” frame of reference, but the frame of reference is a matter of choice. The Earth is not an inertial frame of reference (it rotates), but any analysis of Earth based phenomena had better use a geosynchronous frame of reference, otherwise it will be unable to explain tornadoes, hurricane, trade winds, tides, and so on, all of which are created in part by centrifugal force.

  31. Renewables together with pumped hydro storage are entirely feasible where the topography allows to build upper and lower pondage with appropriate heads.But these projects are not pursued with vigor. Instead, new energy hungry projects are approved and built like in Sydney.

    Billions of dollars in new building projects a good sign for Sydney’s construction industry, analysts say

    All the while:

    Blistering assessment gives Australia ‘just months’ to fix nation’s energy security
    Australia has “just months” to fix major problems with the electricity market, according to a blistering assessment of the state of the energy sector
    Chair of the Energy Security Board, Dr Kerry Schott, said “years of insufficient action” and “band-aid solutions” have characterised Australia’s response to growth of renewable energy generation.
    She warned the market needed a rapid redesign to ensure the lights stay on.

    I did this research:

    NSW power supply problems November 2020 (part 2)

    NSW power supply problems November 2020 (part 1)

    Australia’s old coal fired power clunkers are reaching the end of their lives

  32. Jimmy says:

    Oil rents (% of GDP) has never topped 5% on a global basis in the last 50 years.


    Today global oil revenue is less than $5billion/day while global foreign exchange is $5trillion.

    It’s the debt that is killing everything, along with monetary and fiscal policy and taxes. There is lots of cheap oil and especially cheap natural gas available.

    Klaus said on the record last summer a CYBER pandemic is all but certain…

    • Xabier says:

      Dr Strangeschwab is pretty good at his ‘projections’, isn’t he?

      So one would probably be advised to take note of that.

      Wouldn’t it be odd if a cyber-pandemic happened in the depths of winter?

  33. Bill Owen says:

    What if China is using its recommendation of “lockdowns” to degrade its rivals? Irrelevant as to whether they designed the virus or just picked one that occurred naturally. There’s a long thread (linked at bottom) by Michael Senger about how Chinese strategists have been working on Unrestricted Warfare using “Gentle and kind things” against us, such as social media, or popular mass-media outlets:

    “A Prescient Chinese Book
    In 1999, two former Chinese People’s Liberation Army (“PLA”) senior colonels, Qiao Liang and Wang Xiangsui, published a book, Unrestricted Warfare, in which they reimagined warfare in a post-nuclear age.

    Recognizing that the ubiquity of ultra-powerful nuclear weapons meant a reality of mutually-assured destruction, the authors posit that going forward, nations seeking to attack (or merely control) an adversarial superpower would need to wage war in an innovative and intelligent manner. Qiao and Wang believed that in the post-nuclear age, rules of engagement would fundamentally change, making customary rules of war obsolete.

    “The only point which is certain [about future warfare] is that, from this point on, war will no longer be what it was originally. Which is to say that, if in the days to come mankind has no choice but to engage in war, it can no longer be carried out in the ways with which we are familiar. [W]ar will be reborn in another form and in another arena, becoming an instrument of enormous power in the hands of all those who harbor intentions of controlling other countries or regions.”

    Published by PLA Press — and therefore at least tacitly endorsed by PLA leadership — the book sets forth various tactics whereby developing countries, “in particular China,” could compensate for military inferiority to the United States. It foretells a “weapons revolution” in which societies would pivot away from expensive warheads and mass casualties, and instead launch attacks of the mind — weapons would be “symbolized by information” and powered by psychological rather than traditional weaponry. Future wars would thus be waged on “a level which is hard for the common people — or even military men — to imagine,” grounded in the concept that even the most sophisticated military force “does not have the ability to control public clamor, and cannot deal with an opponent who does things in an unconventional manner.”

    “Some morning people will awake to discover with surprise that quite a few gentle and kind things have begun to have offensive and lethal characteristics.”

    “Gentle and kind things” such as social media, or popular mass-media outlets, perchance? The authors specifically imagined as much, stating that China could “create many methods of causing fear which are more effective [than casualties],” including the use of “media weapons . . . focused on paralyzing and undermining [the United States].”

    “We can point out a number of means and methods used to fight non-military war, some of which already exist and some of which may exist in the future. Such means and methods include psychological warfare (spreading rumors to intimidate the enemy and break down his will), [and] media warfare (manipulating what people see and hear in order to lead public opinion along). Methods that are not characterized by the use of the force of arms, nor by the use of military power, nor even by the presence of casualties and bloodshed, are just as likely to facilitate the successful realization of the war’s goals, if not more so.”

    Everyone who has lived through 2020 appreciates the enormous force of media in fomenting public fear. The level of fear achieved in early March not only permitted politicians to impose lockdowns, but allowed them to become more popular for doing so. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo even admits on tape that lockdowns “are not the best” way of dealing with a pandemic, but are used because “people are scared” and “they want everything closed.”

    Lockdowns harm us. They fracture society. They lead to the shaming of former friends, to apps created exclusively to snitch on neighbors. They kill people. Yet they are being imposed, and reimposed, everywhere.

    Except in China.”

    Excerpt from:

    Long thread from Michael Senger about the broader picture:

    • Minority Of One says:

      This might be all true, but I doubt it will help them in the long run. China has severe financial worries of its own. Bankrupt banks, multiple bankrupt companies (1000s?), 60+ ghost cities etc. Plus China will be prone to the same issues of falling oil and coal supplies as everywhere else. While some folks in China understand peak energy related issues very well, with a little help from Gail, I suspect that the CCP is clueless.

    • Jarle says:

      “What if China is using its recommendation of “lockdowns” to degrade its rivals?”

      Given what the US has come up with it possible *and* understandable. Not ok at all with common men and women in the first world but nothing worse than what the US has thrown on common men and women elsewhere …

    • The long thread from Michael Senger is interesting. It gives some of the background on the lack of use of lockdowns in the past, for example.

  34. hkeithhenson says:

    Reply to Tim Groves from the last set of comments.

    > Keith, their may be a gene that causes people to believe in Hamilton’s rule and lack of this gene causes people to be skeptical of it.

    > In fact, there could even be a gene that causes people to believe that all human behavior can be genetically determined.

    I think you are trying to be funny here. But there are behaviors that are undoubtedly genetic. “Waltzing” mice are an obvious example. Ducks flying north or south depending on the season are an example. I think capture-bonding is a clear example of an evolved psychological trait in humans. https://en.citizendium.org/wiki/Capture-bonding I think the psychological traits that lead people who are unhappy about the future into wars or related behaviors are based in genetics.

    > I call Castor and Pollux on Hamilton’s rule because nurture, culture and learning plays such a big role in forming and guiding human behavior that genetics must take a back seat to them.

    > Mr. DNA may predispose us toward acting in certain ways, but he has a lot of competition from other vectors and influencers.

    That’s true and obvious, but for a trait to evolve, it requires only a statistical predisposition. You can walk on the very edge of a cliff. Few people do because they have fewer ancestors who did that. I won’t do it, and I am the sort who climbs radio towers and repels down 100 m cliffs.

    > That UK ambassador in China last year who jumped into a river to save a drowning Chinese girl while dozens of her much closer “cousins” ignored Hamilton’s rule and stood around filming the entertainment on their smartphones teaches quite a bit this piece of alleged evolutionary biology.

    I venture to guess that her siblings or parents would have been more likely to jump in then even the ambassador (and good for him,) My brother rescued a guy in the Hawaiian Islands some years ago. The guy was about to be bashed against sharp rocks by the surf. My daughter pulled a two year old out of a street when she was 3 years old, so it’s a trait I know about.

    > Also, I am quite certain that I would be more likely to save my close friends in Japan who have supported me for years than I would my brothers in England who have done diddly squat for me these last four decades. But the minute somebody gets on my ex-friend list, they will just have to save themselves. Genetic closeness has nothing to do with it.

    Perhaps. How do we know someone is genetically close? We don’t carry around 23andMe gene machines, We assume because it is statistically true that those who we grew up with are related and treat them that way. Friends who are close to us tend to be treated like relatives because 100,000 years ago, your tribe member friends were to some degree relatives.

    > J.B.S. Haldane was pulling our legs when he said that he would willingly die for two brothers or eight cousins.

    You got it wrong, it was more than 2 brothers and more than 8 cousins. And IIRC, his statement was qualified by saying that he _should_ be willing (because such would increase the number of genes with this trait. And again, that’s statistical. What happens most of the time is that we do things that aid relatives to the extent the benefit is more than what the aid costs us considering the closeness of the relation.

    > Everybody knows it doesn’t work like that. Some people will jump into a river or rush onto a highway and risk their lives trying to save a complete stranger or even a dog or a kitten.

    EP makes the case that *all* human behavior is the result of evolution, either by selection or as a side effect of selection. If this happens to be common, what caused it to evolve?

    > Others will balk at the risk. And some will even enjoy the spectacle of other’s coming to grief

    There is variation in psychological traits even with ones that have been under heavy selection such as capture-bonding. My wife told me a story out of one of Diamond’s books where a captured woman did not become complaint. The tribe that had captured her burned the inside of her thighs with hot rocks and bound her legs together till they stuck. This made her a cripple who could only crawl when Diamond saw her. Did she reproduce? I don’t know, but I doubt it and thus genes for the capture bonding psychological trait became slightly more common.

    • Tim Groves says:

      Nice reply Keith, Thanks for going to the trouble.

      I don’t have the time and I guess this isn’t really the place to respond to every point you’ve made. I agree with some of them and not with others, and I appreciate your correction regarding Haldane. If he said “should” rather than “would”, what does that imply? Is there an implied “if”? => I should do this if my behavior is controlled by genes that strive to maximize their future existence.

      The “we are slaves of our genes” viewpoint doesn’t add up. There are so many other things vying for a say in how we humans behave that “genetic tendencies” can only play a marginal role. You will probably still walk along the edge of a cliff if you have sufficient motivation, such as a gun at your back, a large stack of gold bullion ahead of you, or a maiden in distress to rescue—even if, for genetic reasons, your stomach gets queezy while you’re doing it.

      As for the Diamond story, even if it was true, are there any human genes for “the capture bonding psychological trait”? Is there really any “credible evidence” for such a thing? How a captive is treated by their captors will make a huge huge difference to whether they ultimately become “compliant”.

      >EP makes the case that *all* human behavior is the result of evolution, either by selection or as a side effect of selection. If this happens to be common, what caused it to evolve?

      EP (evolutionary programming) makes an absolute claim that I would tend to recoil from taking seriously. Human behavior depends on the situation, the environment, the subject’s past experience. I might be more amiable to a less general claim regarding specific human behavioral characteristics. But It’s been decades since I really delved into the subject so I would need to read and think quite extensively before I could attempt to debate the issue.

      It seems to me, in my ignorance, that the “we are slaves of our genes” viewpoint explains all behavior as being genetically controlled. And by explaining everything it explains precisely nothing. One might just as well say, everything is the will of God. That’s really cleared things up, hasn’t it?

      • Kowalainen says:

        Well, of course we are shaped by our experience, otherwise, what’s the point of schools. However, a large part of the shaping is shaped by the predispositions.

        I consider it as an attractor (gravity well) in nonlinear dynamics. We simply can’t avoid becoming what we are, and what we become is shaped by our experience.

        It is simply adaptation to the circumstances as given by nature, in evolutionary terms; we evolve our traits and psyche according to the rules set by the genetics.

        It is the dance of yin and yang ☯️.

      • Xabier says:

        Moreover, all the major spiritual Paths address the possibility – even necessity – of transcending our basic inheritance of dominating instinct, etc.

        This creation of the ‘New Man’, the ‘True Human’, the ‘Knower’, the ‘Adept’, etc however it is put according to the local culture – is what is parodied in a materialistic way by the Transhumanists of today.

        It is their rather clumsy way of reaching towards the light with no reference to the true and effective path of spiritual growth and sacrifice -and above all of humility. Trusting all to technological cleverness, cunning, fraud and murder.

        The Transhumanism of the Great Re-set is egoism and pride in overflowing measure, which of course makes it both very appealing and, unfortunately, likely to be very powerful in the short term.

        Just like Hitler’s Third Reich, which we are apt to forget also sought both technological dominance and to perfect mankind according to a plan of the crudest materialism, and with a hierarchy of cruelty and arrogance.

        Elon Musk thinks it’s ‘funny’ to watch an implanted pig run on a treadmill……

        But, we may hope, like the Reich also doomed to failure after much suffering.

      • hkeithhenson says:

        > I should do this if my behavior is controlled by genes that strive to maximize their future existence.

        Exactly. Take the 3 brothers saved by a suicidal gene to save them. How do the genes fair after such an event? Brothers statistically share half their genes, so each one has a 50% chance of having the gene. So after such an event where a brother sacrifices himself and his genes, there are (statistically) one and a half copies of the gene. If he does not, then there is only one copy (his). It is not hard to see in an environment where such conditions existed that there is a 50% per episode increase in the number of such genes.

        > are there any human genes for “the capture bonding psychological trait”? Is there really any “credible evidence” for such a thing?

        Patty Hearst, Elizabeth Smart, hundreds of (mostly) women who were captured and incorporated into native American tribes. The psychological trait is behind Stockholm syndrome. I make a case that the capture-bonding psychological trait is behind battered spouse, SM-BDSM, frat hazing and army basic training. All are examples of induced bonding.

        > How a captive is treated by their captors will make a huge huge difference to whether they ultimately become “compliant”.

        Absolutely, see Stockholm Syndrome.

        > EP (evolutionary programming) makes an absolute claim that I would tend to recoil from taking seriously.

        Sorry, EP is evolutionary psychology.

        “Evolutionary psychology is not simply a subdiscipline of psychology but its evolutionary theory can provide a foundational, metatheoretical framework that integrates the entire field of psychology in the same way evolutionary biology has for biology.”


        “My contention, simply put, is that the evolutionary approach is the only approach in the social and behavioral sciences that deals with why, in an ultimate sense, people behave as they do.”. (Silverman 2003) Confessions of a Closet Sociobiologist: Darwinian Movement in Psychology http://www.epjournal.net/filestore/ep0119.pdf

        > It seems to me, in my ignorance, that the “we are slaves of our genes” viewpoint explains all behavior as being genetically controlled.

        Not in detail. You might have cereal or eggs for breakfast, or skip it entirely, but sooner or later you eat or die from starvation.

        > And by explaining everything it explains precisely nothing.

        It’s explained a awful lot. Read into the Wikipedia article. All of it can be tested when we get the technology to understand brains and the genes that construct them.

        > One might just as well say, everything is the will of God. That’s really cleared things up, hasn’t it?

        It implies one of the more interesting questions, what is the function of religion? It’s a widespread human psychological trait that dates back to before modern humans left Africa. It must have been under selection at some point in the past or it is a side effect of something that was under selection.

        Religions or related like communism can be classed as xenophobic memes, but why would the ability to carry such memes be selected?

        Any ideas?

        • Kowalainen says:

          The “function” of religion arise when the mind realizes that it is finite in time and vulnerable.

          It is the delusion of ending in a blissful eternity, conveniently avoiding the nothingness before being born. It is not possible to feel anything while non-existing, because there is no associated brain process that does the “feeling”. Worrying about dying is like worrying spending billions of years in nothingness before being born.

          It is merely a non-instantiated process of the universe. A set of possibilities among an uncountable number of combinations and configurations.

          I’m tired of all the charlatans delivering hopium. Fine, if it is a private matter of hoping for the pearly gates and enduring the Kali Yuga. I just view it as reckless with a finite amount of time in existence. That is the true gift of life, to experience the majesty. But the myopia of the ordinary for sure is a comfort zone.

          Pro tip: Worry about life instead of death.


          • hkeithhenson says:

            Your answer is at the wrong level for my concerns.

            A large fraction if not a majority of people are susceptible to picking up a religion. It is a psychological trait. The evolutionary psychology view is that all human psychological traits evolved. To evolve, there needs to be selection, i.e., those who had this trail left more copies of their genes than those who did not.

            The question is why? I am not going to fault anyone if they can’t come up with an answer. I can’t either.

            • I think gods arose in parallel with our ability for abstract thought

              I don’t think any other creature looks up at the stars, or admires the beauty and grace of a leopard–particularly if you’re an antelope.

              we saw the unpleasant products of volcanoes–hence hell

              and the mostly beneficial deliverances from the sky–hence heaven

              the odd bolt of lighting was obviously the result of some misdemeanour or other.

              churches, it has always seemed to me, got established by the first fire makers. The prime requisite of fire is to keep the rain off it. The secret of fire making would give one a high standing in the community. (a secret to keep in the family, hence you get lines of succession–kings and so on)

              Hence the ‘holy’ building. The fundamental religious ceremonies even now often take place behind a screen of some kind, where ordinary mortals cannot see. How many thousands of years has that been going on?

              Thus religion gets ingrained in our psyche.

            • hkeithhenson says:

              This is still the wrong level.

              The selection when on at least 40,000 to 70,000 years ago because those who stayed in Africa don’t seen to be different in this respect from those who left.

              The trait to have religions emerged about the same time as speech and wearing clothes. I don’t know if there is any connection or not.

              What conditions in that long ago time made it more likely that those who could have religions would survive and reproduce more than those who did not have this trait?

              Perhaps I should reword it, those who had the ability to form beliefs were more likely to survive, though the question is still why?

            • People need to have friends who are not relatives. Religions are one way of getting people together, to get acquainted. They are important for this reason, alone. It helps promote intermixing genes, rather than simply marrying a close relative.

            • seems to me that wearing clothes evolved as a double thread of human progress

              if you drape an Animal skin across your body, you can get closer to other similar animals for stalking killing and eating.

              doing that also keeps you warm, so you can forage into colder regions for longer

              it’s a simple step after that to inventing the bone needle, and using sinew to stitch skins together

            • Lidia17 says:

              Religion is a technology that’s an upgrade to mere tribal/familial ties. It’s “Family 2.0”.

              Allows for larger cohesive groups and communal projects, thus higher energy throughput (building cathedrals, pyramids, etc.)

            • I agree. It is a step toward cities.

            • hkeithhenson says:

              > Religion is a technology that’s an upgrade to mere tribal/familial ties. It’s “Family 2.0”.

              Perhaps. Make up a story about how this help get the genes of people who had it into the next generation. If you can make up such a story, we can test it with biology. If nobody can imagine any story at all, we can’t test.

              > Allows for larger cohesive groups and communal projects, thus higher energy throughput (building cathedrals, pyramids, etc.)

              70,000 years ago? That’s not consistent with the archeological record. Even so, how does building a cathedral help with getting children into the next generation?

            • Tim Groves says:

              Again, apologies but I’m too busy to say much at present. But humans generally like to know, and if they don’t know they tend to be anxious.

              So if they can’t actually know, the next best thing is to have faith.

              And if somebody comes along proffering claims to knowledge and others accept these claims and have faith in them, anxiety is reduced.

              Add extra claims about damnation for doubters, and I do believe we have a winner.

              In our own enlightened times. Just look at the Dems in Congress and in the Media and on Twitter with regard to damnation for doubters. The psychological implications are ginormous.

            • hkeithhenson says:

              > damnation for doubters

              I have seen this before. There are also spectacular examples out of the past. One of them was https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Children%27s_Crusade

              The thing I find remarkable about the current cult movement is the rejection of mask and in some cases the rejection COVID as a cause of disease. It may be the first major epidemic where political (or perhaps cult affiliation) is a risk factor.

            • this anti vac cult thing cross pollinates itself with the current discussion on religion.

              you must/must not ‘belong’ to whichever thread of anti-this or anti-that that most closely equates with your tribe.

              people are ‘conspiring’ against you, to force you to do something against your will, or to control your mind,

              this list is mind numbingly endless.

              but essentially 000s of individuals a participating the (fill in here)… hoax, in order to (fill in here)… so that the entire population of the world will become ( fill in here) —-

              Hardly anyone (can’t be just me) stands back and points out that all this rubbish has only existed since ‘social media’ existed.

              Yes, we had religious manias in past times, but that was localised, and didn’t do long term harm except to the odd witch who got burned, or scientist who got locked up.

              Now, any idiot can release a media virus, and have it round the world in seconds, so millions of other idiots can agree with it.

              There’s a whole string of them, appearing one after the other. Month in–month out.
              When one loses impetus, another kicks off, equally nutty, but always carrying the same theme: that thousands of people are secretly plotting the downfall/control of humankind—somewhere.

              An actual event is never just that. It is always a plot by somebody.

            • Lidia17 says:

              You might find what you are looking for at Rob’s “unDenial” site. He posts here sometimes. Look into the Varki proposition.

              Even if you don’t buy that theory… there’s also the off chance that we have religion and it serves no purpose whatsoever. For evolutionary purposes, all traits don’t need to be favorable—they only need to *not be* unfavorable.

            • hkeithhenson says:

              > there’s also the off chance that we have religion and it serves no purpose whatsoever.

              That seems rather unlikely. The mechanisms behind being able to have a religion look to me to be as complicated as a spleen or a hand, and few thing those have not been under evolutionary selection.

              > For evolutionary purposes, all traits don’t need to be favorable—they only need to *not be* unfavorable.

              There is genetic drift, but that seems unlikely to end up with complicated brain mechanisms. The other thing is that whatever was the selective mechanism it happened a long time ago, thousands of years before agriculture or any evidence in the archeological record for something that we might consider as religious today.

              I don’t understand it.

            • Artleads says:

              ROB’S UNDENIAL SITE

              “Communities of writers or painters could be established in which bad taste would be against the law. Ethnic communities could be established to preserve language and customs.”

              Sounds good

            • Robert Firth says:

              Religion is very, very old. The oldest paintings at Altamira in Spain have been dated to 33,000 BC, and they show clear religious motifs. If we can infer religion from the way we disposed of our dead, we can take that date back another 10,000 years, to Cro Magnon times. All of which is described in the one indispensable book on the rise of religion, “The Gate of Horn”, by G R Levy. The title, by the way, is taken from Homer.

              Why? The official explanation is that we have a ‘sensus divinitatis’, a God given ability to perceive Him through means inaccessible to biology. A more secular explanation is that we have evolved a perception of “agency”; that the phenomena of everyday life have a purposive cause (and hence, of course, a final cause).

              For example, that rustle in the grass may be just the wind, or it may be a tiger stalking me. Vote for the wind and be lunch; vote for the tiger and flee to live again. And now there comes a thunderstorm. Is it just a quirk of nature, or is it the anger of the sky god? Be safe: appease the sky god. An easy bet, since you are a (male) priest, and the sacrificial victims you throw down the cenote will be female.

              So a perception of agency can be beneficial, which is why it has persisted. And it can be empowering (for the priests), which is why almost all religions indoctrinate their followers with it. You can see this (fictionally) in action in almost every episode of BBC TVs “Father Brown”.

  35. Tegnell says:



    OMG – lock everyone in their homes — the ICU units are filling up!!!! This is unprecedented… (except for most years)

    2018 – Surgeries postponed due to severe flu cases overwhelming Toronto ICU https://toronto.citynews.ca/2018/02/13/toronto-hospital-flu/

    2017 – Surge in patients forces Ontario hospitals to put beds in ‘unconventional spaces’ https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2017/04/16/surge-in-patients-forces-ontario-hospitals-to-put-beds-in-unconventional-spaces.html

    2016 – More than 4,300 patients treated in hallway of Brampton Civic Hospital last year https://www.cp24.com/news/more-than-4-300-patients-treated-in-hallway-of-brampton-civic-hospital-last-year-1.3657561

    2013 – Hospitals overwhelmed by flu and norovirus patients https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/health-headlines/hospitals-overwhelmed-by-flu-and-norovirus-patients-1.1108376

    2012 – Hospitals overwhelmed by surge of flu cases https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/hospitals-overwhelmed-by-surge-of-flu-cases/article562037/

    2011 – Hospitals overwhelmed by surge of flu cases https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/hospitals-overwhelmed-by-surge-of-flu-cases/article562037/

    Now imagine if hospitals were paid to list flu as the cause of death — when the cause of death was actually heart disease, cancer, etc… but the person had the flu…. The flu death totals would blast off into space!!!

    “Hospital administrators might well want to see COVID-19 attached to a discharge summary or a death certificate. Why? Because if it’s COVID-19 pneumonia, then it’s $13,000, and if that COVID-19 pneumonia patient ends up on a ventilator, it goes up to $39,000.”


    And then there is the testing lie. As Dr MIke Yeadon points out (and many others) the test they use is ultra sensitive and it picks up particles of dead coronaviruses in people who are not at all sick.

    This drives the false positives through the roof (no wonder so many people who are + show no symptoms!!!).

    If you tested positive with the past month then you die in say a car accident – the cause of death is listed as covid. Of course it would be – the hospital gets 13k for that!!!!

    You want lots of Covid deaths – easy – pay for ‘covid deaths’

  36. Ric Steinberger says:

    Everything made sense except: There is no credible evidence that Covid-19 is “lab made”. The vast majority of epidemiologists and virologists have concluded that SARS-CoV-19 was transferred to humans via contact with bats (or bat feces, etc).

    • Tim Groves says:

      The vast majority of epidemiologists and virologists have concluded that SARS-CoV-19 was transferred to humans via contact with bats

      Oh, how very democratic and how very conclusive of them!

      no credible evidence…

      That settles the matter then.

      The vast majority of astrologers—including those who use computerized horoscope programs—have concluded that the stars can foretell your fate.

      I used to argue with my mum about the stoopidity of believing in astrologers all the time, but she insisted that they were the experts. And if they were good enough for Nancy Reagan….

      But couldn’t the virus have been transferred to humans via contact with bats in a lab?

      Are there no bats in labs?

      Or even more intriguing, couldn’t SARS-CoV-19 have been invented as a make-believe pathogen, with the vast majority of those epidemiologists and virologists either faking it or else credulously believing that the genetic sequencing they were doing in order to “discover” or “reconstruct” or “ascertain” the viral genome was a genuine attempt to identify the virus, when in reality it was no more valid scientifically than the drawing up of horoscopes by the vast majority of highly qualified astrologers?

      Remember, as recently as the early 17th century, scientists as Tycho Brahe, Galileo Galilei, Johannes Kepler and Pierre Gassendi all held astrology in high esteem. Some have claimed Newton also practiced astrology, although there is, to use your own words “no credible evidence” that he ever did so. The greatest scientist evah was, however, an enthusiastic practitioner of alchemy and an ardent student of theology who spent a lot of time and effort trying to work out the date of the Apocalypse and the Second Coming from biblical numerology. And, at the time of his death, Newton’s library four books on the subject of astrology, which is four more than you’ll find on my shelves.

      I am very fond of Newton, despite his rather cold, nerdy and generally withdrawn personality, because he apparently kept at least one pet cat and he had a cat flap in the door of his rooms. Some people will say that there is “no credible evidence” that Sir Isaac ever owned a cat, but in an 1827 memoir, a member of Newton’s alma mater Trinity College, J. M. F. Wright, reported the story that Newton had foolishly made a large hole for his adult cat and a small one for her kittens, not realizing that the kittens could use the large hole as well, and adding: “Whether this account be true or false, indisputably true is it that there are in the door to this day two plugged holes of the proper dimensions for the respective egresses of cat and kitten.”

      Xabier, next time you’re allowed out on temporary parole, could you nip round to Trinity College and check if that door is still there? 🙂

      In short, I think the jury is still out on the origins of this virus. There is “no credible evidence” that we know where it came from.

      • The WHO says China is refusing to grant its officials access to Wuhan as part of the inquiry into the global pandemic.

        Gordon G. Chang, a US lawyer with Chinese ancestry:

        “The case against China rests not only on how the coronavirus came to first infect humans—something scientists will argue about for years—but also what Chinese ruler Xi Jinping did once the pathogen crippled his country. In short, he took steps he knew or had to know would spread the disease beyond his borders.

        His actions make the infections and deaths outside China deliberate, effectively a “biological weapon.” His actions taken together constitute both a “genocide” and a “crime against humanity” under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

        Beijing, of course, has suffered reputational damage for the deliberate killing, at last count, of slightly more than a million people outside China. For instance, London’s Daily Mail in April reported the Henry Jackson Society issued a report showing Beijing owes Great Britain 351 billion pounds in coronavirus-related damages. The think tank also asked for a “rethink” of relations with Beijing.”

      • Kowalainen says:

        I would simply state that there exist no evidence for rejecting the hypothesis that the virus was lab made.

        However, the more narrative spin and groupthink among “scientists” there exists, the more inclined I am to believe in the hypothesis being true. I.e. an increase in probability of it being true despite the lack of evidence.

        In reality, I don’t really care that much. It is what it is.
        LTG scenario 3

      • Robert Firth says:

        Tim, a minor nitpick. Astrology was decisively debunked in 200 AD by the Roman philosopher Sextus, who studied the lives of twins. Born in the same place at the same time, twins of course have the same horoscope. But they often led very different lives.

        And the evidence suggests that Tycho, Galileo and Kepler did not believe in astrology, but cast horoscopes because that was part of their job description. Indeed, as Imperial Mathematicus, Kepler was often required to cast horoscopes for important people; he wisely cast them for only one year at a time (good way to ensure repeat business, no?). But his “Astronomia Nova” of 1609 demolished totally the theoretical basis for astrology, by showing that the planets were just lumps of rock obeying the same natural laws as every other lump of rock.

        By the way, when a modern astrology talks about “Mercury Retrograde”, you know he is a charlatan. It has been known since the time of Hipparkhos that the “dolphin stars” (Mercury and Venus) revolve around the Sun, and that their motion is therefore always prograde. That discovery antedates the codification of Western astrology, and any honest astrologer should know that.

    • What I said was

      There seems to be a significant chance that COVID-19 is lab-made. In fact, the many variations of COVID-19 may also be lab made. Researchers around the world have been studying “Gain of Function” in viruses for more than 20 years, allowing the researchers to “tweak” viruses in whatever way they desire.

      We certainly have the capability of making viruses in labs of the types that are now causing problems. In fact, one reason for making viruses of a specified type is to use them as a type of carrier, to enable a vaccine (with respect to a different virus) to better enter the body. For example, a virus such as is causing COVID-19 might be used to enable a vaccine for AIDs to better enter the body. The concern is that an unfortunate accident took place; a lab assistant may have accidentally got sick with a virus intended for vaccine research and passed the illness on to others.

      This is the chronology someone sent me:

      1999 Dr. Ralph Baric University of North Carolina – Conducts Corona Virus studies

      March 2003 Hong Kong reports a deadly new virus outbreak

      2003 – The U.S. CDC (Center for Disease Control) guided by Dr. Baric and Dr. Anthony Fauchi realized that a disease [that could be easily manipulated] had the potential for good and bad, but if controlled ……could be very valuable.

      The CDC set out to patent it. Making sure they had total proprietary ownership.
      Patents were applied for:
      – Corona Virus – See Attached (US 7220852 – 2004)
      – Methods of Detection (US 7776521 Aug 2010) and
      – Methods of Production (US 7279327 October 2007)

      With the patents, the CDC had the Means, Motive, and potential Monetary Gain to turn the virus from a pathogen to a profit.

      2007 However, the CDC and NIH (National Institute of Health) researchers began to realize they had a big problem:
      If the virus was “natural”, it could not be patented.
      And if “manufactured” it was A BIOLOGICAL WEAPON!
      Either way…The Virus and everything related with it was highly illegal.
      So the CDC filed a Petition with the Patent office to keep the patents Confidential and Private.

      2012 -2013 Suddenly, all Federal Grant funds for Covid virus research were suspended. However, some lab work still continued.

      2014 – 2019 NIH sub-contracted Covid research with the Wuhan Virology Labs (China)
      with $3.37 million for further research (NIH Project #1 RO 1A 1110064-01 – Peter Daszak)

      2019 Corona virus escapes from Wuhan Labs into an unsuspecting world-wide public.

      • Ed says:

        Bless you

      • hkeithhenson says:

        > We certainly have the capability of making viruses in labs of the types that are now causing problems

        Gale, I don’t like to disagree with you, but if you are talking about designing a virus, I don’t think that is within the state of the art. It clearly will be at some point in the future, but not yet. Heck, there is at least one protein COVID makes where nobody has any idea of what it does.

        If there are papers you can point to that explain how to designing viruses, I would be willing to change my view of this business.

        • Kowalainen says:

          FFS Keith. Gain of function.


          “When intentional, these mutations can serve to adapt the pathogen to a laboratory setting, understand the mechanism of transmission or pathogenesis, or in the development of therapeutics. Such mutations have also been used in the development of biological weapons, and dual-use risk continues to be a concern in the research of pathogens.”

          • JoJo says:

            Keiths argument is like monitors cant exist because a electronics assembler cant make resistors. He knows full well nothing is made from scratch.

        • The issue is more tweaking existing viruses, and combining part of one virus with a part of another virus. It is not necessary to know everything to do this.

          • hkeithhenson says:

            > The issue is more tweaking existing viruses, and combining part of one virus with a part of another virus.

            With flu viruses, this happens naturally, it’s called reassortment. But as far as I know, no researchers have ever combined one virus with part of another one. I don’t think “making” is justified.

            > It is not necessary to know everything to do this.

            If it could be done that might be the case. But as far as I know, nobody has done it yet. It would be like combining a machine gun with an automatic transmission and expecting to get something that works.

            There are lots of biological horror possibilities. Some years ago as an “is this possible” project a grad student took the published sequence for horsepox (a close relative of smallpox) and by ordering DNA strands he constructed an active virus. It was relatively easy to do, and might have contributed to the US government keeping some very large amount of smallpox vaccine in the freezers.

    • Thierry38 says:

      I am afraid you are wrong.
      This is in french but the conclusion seems rather clear.


      Furthermore it seems really easy to create new viruses, even for students.

    • Xabier says:

      And the man in the white coat – who isn’t an actor, really! – says that ‘Domestos kills 99% of all known germs. Dead!’

      One has to believe, you see, or one might end up imagining that Man is a lying animal….which would be shocking.

      • Robert Firth says:

        ‘Domestos kills 99% of all known germs.’

        … and it therefore encourages the evolution and proliferation of the remaining 1%, by removing their competition. How long before *those* germs occupy your home? And you?

        • Jarle says:

          “How long before *those* germs occupy your home? And you?”

          … and how long before they start planning how to get to the moon and Mars?

          • Robert Firth says:

            According to Svante Arrhenius, they probably made the journey from Mars to us. I wonder where they got their funding.

    • Jarle says:

      “The vast majority of epidemiologists and virologists have concluded that SARS-CoV-19 was transferred to humans via contact with bats (or bat feces, etc).”

      Most scientists in the MSM? If so, they seem to agree on anything that secures funding …

  37. Pingback: Gail Tverberg on this year’s possibilities… | Damn the Matrix

  38. Shawn says:

    Hi Gail

    I have always struggled a bit to understand the specific mechanisms of decline or collapse from net or surplus energy decline. As far as I can tell from recent reading, the high energy and natural resource extraction RATES for our global industrial civilization depend the most on the power from diesel fuel burned in internal combustion diesel engines. (Of course, there are many other dependencies and drivers as you have expounded upon.)

    Diesel/Fuel Oil powers almost all extraction and transport equipment used in mining of natural resources such as the primary industrial metals, minerals, rare earths, sand, and precious metals gold and silver. This is true for the extraction of oil itself, which I would guess feeds back energy into the oil extraction process when oil’s net energy is high. Diesel fuel and engines are key also for extraction of other energy resource stocks of coal, gas, and uranium. I am guessing your 6% decline per year in energy production is partly a result of this fuel dependency. A visit to the mining section of the Caterpillar Company website provides an interesting perspective on diesel machinery contribution to resource extraction.

    Of course, a large percentage of farm machinery on industrial scale farms is also powered by diesel, so high agriculture production levels depends on diesel.

    Diesel powers heavy trucks, almost all locomotives for transport. Ocean fishing depends on diesel. Fuel oil powers most ocean transport.

    People have talked about the difficulty of substituting oil with other energy sources. It appears that diesel engines/diesel fuel are themselves are very difficult to substitute for in heavy power machinery and heavy transport. In the majority of cases, there really is no substitute in terms of engine power output and engine durability. As for the fuel itself, Biodiesel can be made, as can distillate from coal. Costs are presumably much higher than distilling from oil, or volume of fuel production much lower.

    So a 42 gallon barrel of oil produces 45 gallons (refinery gain) of fuel and other products. Various web sites show the output to be typically or on average, Gasoline 19-20 gallons, 9 to 10 gallons of diesel fuel, 4 gallons of fuel oil (sometimes lumped in with diesel output under “distillate”)), 4 gallons of Kerosene jet fuel, etc.

    How far can refineries “push” output towards one product (diesel) or another? My limited understanding is that there are refinery output limits based on the quality of the oil and other factors. If diesel fuel is only 20-23% of the output of a barrel of oil, it seems like it would be a potential bottleneck when oil production in general begins its permanent terminal decline, and society tries to manage goods and food distribution, over non-essential things like driving around in cars going for the most part nowhere. (Then there is the issue of maintaining the military heavy equipment and ships, etc. )


    • You are talking about diesel being a particularly desirable part of the type of oil available, when distillation is performed. I would agree that for many uses, diesel is desirable.

      The people in Europe had the poor sense to encourage the use of diesel to operate private passenger autos, when they were at the same time using diesel for the commercial uses that you mention. I suppose they were thinking that diesel was most efficient, rather than trying to match uses to product availability. They never stopped to think refiners are somewhat limited in the product mix that they can produce.

      If the world economy wants more diesel, it needs to add more heavy oil production. Even the bitumen from Canada would be OK. The long chains can be “cracked” into shorter chains, if the price is right. I expect that with a high enough price, it would theoretically be possible to take up our asphalt roads and make diesel and other products out of them.

      The problem, however, is that the price of oil is not high enough. This is true for both oil and coal. For natural gas, the price bounces around a lot. Most of the time, the natural gas price is not high enough. Fossil fuel producers can continue production for a while, but not indefinitely. It is low prices that are causing a huge problem. If a lot of aircraft are not flying, this reduces fossil fuel consumption. This is part of the low price problem.

      Part of the low price problem is a wage disparity problem. There are a huge number of low wage people in the world. We know that there are a lot of low wage people in the US and in Europe. There are even more, when you count the unemployed. Also, the many low wage people in India, Africa, Bangladesh, and the many low wage countries that make the goods that we buy in our department stores. These low wage people cannot afford to buy very much of the kinds of goods that our fossil fuel powered system can deliver. They don’t buy cars or homes, or overseas vacations, or air conditioning for their homes. We end up with not enough people who can afford to buy the things the world economy makes, unless the price of oil, coal, and natural gas are all very low.

      These low prices are a huge problem for producers. It drives them out of business, not immediately, but a few years. It causes producers to pay very low taxes. With these low taxes, governments of oil exporting countries cannot afford food subsides and job programs that their citizens depend upon. This is part of what brings down economies.

      It is easy to think, “Diesel is terribly useful. Certainly its price must be high enough.” The problem is that the price of oil, in general, has been too low for a very long time, since about 2012. The per barrel price of oil needs to be over $100 per barrel, to be high enough. With such a high price, the price of food would need to be much higher. Many other prices would need to be much higher. The whole economic system would collapse. The world economy would enter a terrible recession. In fact, it is in a recession now, even with low oil prices.

    • Robert Firth says:

      Shawn, oil refining can “crack” heavier oils into lighter ones, thus diesel can be processed to generate more kerosine. The reverse cannot be done easily, if at all. So a shortage of diesel can be ameliorated only by reducing the unnecessary uses of diesel, eg by automobiles (use petrol) or railway trains (electrify). There is in theory plenty of scope for this strategy, but do we have the resources to implement it?

      Personally, I would like to see the private automobile eliminated, but given the present built environment the only feasible replacement is an on demand bus or jitney service, and that required a large, and fragile, IT and communications support system. Another dead end.

      • nikoB says:


        • Yep, the best transport mode for humanoids so far is “hop on / off” (e-)bicycle platform for mass transit be in lite trams, subways or suburban trains (added last coach).. Minimal investments, largest eff gain and adoption impact. So, both your distance and last mile segments are covered.

          If we get some brief window of Green New / Brown Deals from now instead of insta collapse – something like this will be implemented as obvious solution. Because it somewhat existed before (e.g. during fuel shortages of WWII) or briefly in post war East Asia..

        • Kowalainen says:

          For every auto produced, two bicycles is. Expect that ratio to go through the roof, advantage for the bicycle.

          Don’t get me wrong, I like autos. However, talk about going over the top with the consumerism and lazy-ass entitled IC princess transportation.

          Benefit of going bicycles: Health costs in IC would plummet. Imagine if every fat bloke would crank out some 40km’s every day for three years, as I did daily a couple of years ago. (until the company moved). Yeah, for sure a few broken wrists and collarbones would result. But it is a small price to pay for conserving resources and improving overall health of the decadent populace.

          • Robert Firth says:

            A bicycle is not designed to carry cargo, and the more you load it with stuff the more unstable it becomes. It is not a “workhorse” mode of transport.

            That is why I rode a tricycle; the basket over the rear wheels could carry a lot of cargo, and that load was well below the centre of gravity of vehicle+rider. I rode it to and from work, 5mi (8km) each way, and often to the pub for lunch, 3mi each way. So I guess that’s about 25km daily, and in the Cotswolds mind you. Happy memories.

            • Good point.

              If medical care is hard to get, a tricycle would seem to be a better choice for many people.

            • Kowalainen says:

              You could put a trailer behind a bicycle. Bicycles are however quite nice to work on. It’s basically a 2D plane.

              With 3 wheels, it’s a bit cumbersome to carry it around.

  39. Artleads says:

    Thanks Gail. The turn around time for the article was amazing.

  40. Mirror on the wall says:

    Thank you Gail, it is good to have an objective survey that puts various trends into their context and strips them of perspectives that are prone to emotional bias.

    Eg. USA is raising blocks to Chinese growth; that can be perceived through the lenses of ‘oh, those bully boy Americans are at it again’, or ‘good, stick it to those commies, they are our shop floor workers and they should know their place’. In fact it is indicative of wider economic trends. It is not merely that USA is trying to maintain its waning geopolitical hegemony, though I dare say that there is a large aspect of that going on; it is also indicative of general pressures on the USA economy. USA is struggling anyway to find well-paying jobs for its own producer-consumers, and so it tries on tariffs, as countries are wont in such circumstances. The problems are not simply geopolitical but also internal. USA tariffs against China are not so much indicative of USA strength, which can be expressed through global cooperation, so much as symptomatic of the domestic weakening of USA. Protectionism hurts everyone when economies are growing and everyone has been against it since WWII; the problem now is that they are not growing fast enough to maintain that cooperation in the old ways, particularly USA.

    Or, it is not a matter of ‘oh, that Sturgeon woman never shuts up’, or ‘how dumb and obnoxious can those Brexiteers get?’ or ‘that Macron needs to fr/g off with his EU.’ The underlying issues are energetic and structural and the trends reflect those issues.

    Humans are prone to lose objectivity and to miss issues of the bigger picture due to emotional biases that focus their perspective around national identities and even persons. The larger narratives can get lost in the other narratives. That can be a challenge for all of us and it can be contagious as people ‘rub’ each other up. Of course, I personally never fall into such ‘traps’ and I am second only to Gail in her dispositional objectivity.


    Oil and energy prices will remain ‘relatively’ low in relation to affordability. Money printing may push the nominal figures up but oil and energy prices will remain low in their real, relative cost. Hyperinflation does not make stuff more affordable, rather it happens when stuff is seriously less affordable. Inflation will be indicative of growing stress on the productive system, and as you say, it is likely to exacerbate the stress rather than resolve it. It is likely to increase perceptions of crisis, which may help to destabilise governments and international cooperation and radically worsen the outlook quickly. International conflict will hasten the trashing of economies.

    • Mirror on the wall says:

      * “Oil and energy prices will remain ‘relatively’ low in relation to affordability. Money printing may push the nominal figures up but oil and energy prices will remain low in their real, relative cost.”

      I could have expressed that better.

      Oil and energy prices will remain low relative to the price that is required for a profitability of production; the actual price will remain fatally constrained by its affordability to consumers. Money printing may push the nominal figures up for all but the incongruent ratio between profitable price and affordable price will remain.”

      That looks better. The rest of the paragraph is fine as it is.

    • Kowalainen says:

      “Of course, I personally never fall into such ‘traps’ and I am second only to Gail in her dispositional objectivity.”


    • ElbowWilham says:

      What blocks are the US raising against China? Most of our stimulus money went to China. We are buying more from China then ever before, while they are slowing their purchase of treasuries. And now with Democrats in full control, you can expect them some great partnerships with China going forward.

      For better or worse, Trump was the only politician I can remember being tough on China.

  41. Minority Of One says:

    I don’t think you have had a post that raised so many interesting points. All are spot on, and each could lead to the final fall.

    >>It may very well be that the current collapse takes place more rapidly than those in the past

    What I think is most different from the past is that ALL economies are now totally interconnected via the banking systems, and we are in mind-boggling levels of debt almost everywhere, as you say, due to insufficient and falling amounts of cheap energy. Thus we have created the means for collapse overnight, via the domino effect on the global financial system. Maybe it won’t, but I think the plunge protection team can only do so much before the financial system wobbles out of control. Unless the WEF kicks in and saves the select few, for a while.

    • Justin D. says:

      “Thus we have created the means for collapse overnight, via the domino effect on the global financial system.”

      Exactly. Or pretty quickly anyway.

      • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

        yes, the global economy has been a network of ever increasing complexity, and obviously unprecedented in history.

        the graphs show an estimated drop of 50% or so in this decade, but there easily could be an acceleration of that timetable.

        as referred to above, 6.6% down per year might be a best case scenario.

  42. Bei Dawei says:

    (Sec. 9) “Without adequate goods, population loss may be very high.”

    Cf. Gail’s post of 9 Nov. (sec. 2): “Total world population drops to 2.8 billion by 2050.”

    (I assume she is referring to the same general phenomenon–declining energy consumption on one hand vs. unavailability of trade goods due to hyperinflation on the other.)

  43. thehalfhog says:

    So depressing!

    • My apologies! It is hard to deal with a topic this distressing. Perhaps there are things that we don’t understand that will make things better. We pretty much have to go back to religions to find them.

      • Paula Meendering says:

        Hi Gail, I am a woman who has spent a lifetime active in the Christian church although I always struggled with the religion. I struggle no more as last year at the age ot 62 I renounced Christianity and joined the Universalist Unitarians. Victor Orban in Hungary, President Bolsonaro in Brazil, President Trump in USA were all put into power with the overwhelming support of Christians. All are Christians, authoritarians, short-sighted, among the most base of all men; who have attempting to overthrow legal systems and environmental laws and have little respect for women. I believe the philosophy of Christianity has never accorded any respect to the creation, has aggressively destroyed cultures, peoples,and the planet. I also believe that the future world will weep because Christians walked upon the earth. That is if we can keep learning alive and they realize our barbaric destructive ways. I predict a return to tribes within 300-500 years, maybe sooner and with it the end of our monotheistic religions and a return to paganistic, pantheistic, earth-based religions.

        • JesseJames says:

          If you have read Gail’s work you would know that regardless of tribal or religious situation, that man and womankind’s society will be dissipative in nature, and will grow to consume all available resources. I realize your recent conversion to a pantheistic life and belief system makes you think your kind of society will be “better” and exist in a communal state with Mother Earth, but it will not be different in the end result.

          Quite the good rant though.

          • Paula Meendering says:

            Hi Jesse, Thanks for your reply. I agree with you that the end result will not be different but I do believe that it will lead to a better life here on earth. Mine was a Calvinistic “burn in hell for eternity if you don’t believe in a man” religion. So nice to feel some clarity and better able to guide my children and grandchildren to enjoy this life without fear of the afterlife. It is possible that we will not grow so as to “consume all available resources” although that will take an act out of our control and it probably will not be pretty.

        • Tim Groves says:

          Victor Orban in Hungary, President Bolsonaro in Brazil, President Trump in USA

          The Holy Trinity?

          I would also include President Rodrigo Roa Duterte of the Philippines in that list. The Four Hoarse Men of the Apocalypse. All that shouting and rasping, ya know. It’s very hard on the throat.

          I wish you joy and peace in your new affiliation. If you aren’t happy in a club or a community, what’s the point in staying?

          • Paula Meendering says:

            Hi Tim,
            Thanks for your reply. I most definitely have more clarity. I miss the people but just couldn’t take the religion. Also trying to do right by the world in my own little way. My husband and I have this monster garden and can hundreds of jars a year for us and our married children. We get milk from the farm, and my son-in-law butchers his hogs and our lamb. Nearly self-sufficient in food. Might not make much difference but its fun and we eat good. My son and daughter-in-law in Denver are happy they have a little farm they can come back to if the shit hits the fan. Hope your 2021 is fantastic.

        • Bei Dawei says:

          Bron Taylor distinguishes between “light green” and “dark green” religions. “Light green” would include denominations like the UUs, who express some support for environmentalism etc., but do not really make it their priority. (For some, like the Catholics, it’s mostly lip service, while for others like the UUs, it’s one more progressive cause among many others.) “Dark green” religion sees the earth as sacred in its own right, not only for its role in some divine plan (made by a deity who is spiritual rather than earthly), or for its utility to humanity.

          I don’t suppose you’re a Daniel Quinn fan…? He wrote the ecological novels “Ishmael” and “The Story of B,” which discuss these issues.

          • Artleads says:

            If we do inhabit a living universe, then everything is sacred, not just “nature.”

            • Kowalainen says:

              To be alive implies operating under evolutionary principles.

              Which in turn implies turning mineral/substances into more life, biological and synthetic.

            • Robert Firth says:

              Many years ago, a friend and I were talking about “what is holy?” My opinion then, and I stand by it now, was “everything that is, is holy”.

            • Kowalainen says:

              Robert, I would perhaps rate the evolutionary processes in the universe as the crowning of the holy cosmos.

              How it even is possible is a mystery. But who am I to argue against the universe itself.

              Then again, I’m a diehard evolutionist.

          • Kowalainen says:

            Is there’s a pitch black green alternative, going full bore tech until sentient machines arise while scrapping the obnoxious, wasteful and soulless consumerism.

            Can I have that. Lots of it.


        • Jarle says:

          My mother believe in the Christian God in a sound an unharmful way. Seeing this and others like her has convinced me that faith in god(s) is not the problem, psychopaths using religion are.

      • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

        so exciting!

        your graphs seem highly reasonable, even clifflike.

        they very much give us a picture of the idea that a person living in a collapse may not necessarily sense that it is a collapse, but a person decades from now will know it.

        (only) 6.6% down per year, we can hope.

        • Tim Groves says:

          David, my own personal energy level is now declining at about 6.6% per year, so I might not notice the world collapsing around me at all.

          • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

            ah statistics.

            my personal energy recently started moving downward, and definitely at exactly 1.0% per year.

            so I should have about another 100 years to live.

            though I could be mistaken.

      • thehalfhog says:

        Thank you, and not your fault for telling it as you see it (in the data), as you’ve been doing for years.
        One question: “Energy for years after 2020 is assumed to fall by 6.6% per year, so that the amount reaches a level similar to renewables only by 2050”
        Where is a good source to look up projected / predicted oil (in particular) production figures which form part of the 6.6% decline.

        • The problem is not on the supply side (of oil, coal, and natural gas); it is on the demand side. Governments that might buy oil products to pave roads fall apart. School busses stop running. Airplanes stay grounded. Governments of oil exporters fall apart.

          Even wind and solar have short lifespans, because the transmission lines they require are hard to maintain. They also require lots of fossil fuel or nuclear energy in the production mix, or they damage the electrical transmission system.

          All parts are falling apart. Looking at the supply side for oil is basically a waste of time, in my opinion.

    • Jarle says:

      “So depressing!”

      Yes … where’s did I put the whiskey …

  44. Jonathan Piquard says:

    Hi Gail !

    I’m a student from France. I’ve been following your research since 2 years. I don’t know if you follow the work of The Shift Project. It’s a very qualified engineering team led by Jean Marc Jancovici and Mathieu Auzanneau. They have been gathering data in every field to prepare plans to hard transition. They decided a few months ago to broke their budget and buy the last data from Rystad on oil. They posted a whole study on these statistics and made a video of introduction. As they said, these ressources are the best ones, there is no such data available publicly and the prices are usualy too huge to afford them if you are a researcher.



    Best regards and thanks,

    • I am familiar with this project. Mathieu Auzanneau sent me an autographed copy of his book, “Oil, Power, and War: A Dark History.” I have also been involved in multiple email discussions which involved one of them, plus several other people.

      The thing that I would point out is the fact that the forecasts made by The Shift Project are likely to be quite different from mine. They are basically followers of Peak Oil Theory. This is the standard view that says energy prices will tend to rise, so that much or most of the technically recoverable energy resources can be extracted. Peak oilers do try to limit the kind of resources that can be extracted, so that they do not get the absurd total oil production estimates that many others do, following pretty much the same reasoning.

      Instead, I point out that we are already at the beginning of a crash in production because sales prices for oil, coal, and natural gas remain far too low for producers. Producers voluntarily cut back production, in a vain attempt to get prices to rise enough so that they can be profitable. I think that both coal and oil are now past peak production, and that the peak in natural gas production is not far away. Even if a huge amount of these resources seems to be available, we will not be able to get them out because of low prices.

      The Shift Project says that by 2030, oil depletion is likely to be an issue. I am saying that right now, total fossil fuels production is a problem because of low prices, and there is no reason to expect this condition to get better.

      Economists got the pricing story all wrong, and Peak Oilers tagged along with the economists’ incorrect reasoning. No one understood that fossil fuels are as important (or more important) for the creation of jobs that pay well, as they are for making goods and services of all kinds. If there is not enough fossil fuels being consumed, wage disparity becomes a huge problem. The low earning people cannot afford to buy homes and cars and go out to restaurants. In fact, globalization adds to this problem, because the low wage workers in China, India, and Africa cannot afford the goods that they make using fossil fuels. Because of this low wage problem, oil, coal and natural gas prices fall too low, because of low demand. There is a lag, but eventually production falls too low as well. In 2020, we started to see production pull back, in response to low price. I do not expect this situation to go away.

      You might be interested in an academic article that I am a co-author of called An Oil Production Forecast for China Considering Economic Limits. See particularly Section 2, which I wrote.

      • Robert Firth says:

        Thank you, Gail. I reached much the same conclusion after reading just two pages, ending here: ” ‘Peak oil; is a major yet largely undocumented issue that has not yet received the attention it deserves.”

        Have these people been living under a rock for the past 50 years? Peak Oil has been discussed to death, and almost every prediction made by the peak oilers has proven false. Yet they are still beating the same broken drum.

        And the statement that the EU will experience an oil shortage by 2030? As you say, the shortage is *now*. But if you kick the can ten years down the road, why, you have ten more years to extort obscenely large research grants to solve a problem that cannot be solved.

        And once again, I salute the shining honesty of your contributions to OFW. You may be wrong, but you are not wrong because of an agenda.

      • Jean-Marc Jancovici is aware and has showed there is no elasticity in the oil price (i.e. no correlation between price and availibility), which is a problem he says : it doesn’t help to enlight people and elites to understand we have a depletion problem. For most people, and elites : “The price is low, so there is no availibility nor depletion problem”.
        But if I understand that you, Gail, say the availibility, or amount, of what is left does’nt really matter, because its extraction and refinement and distribution to make it usefull for people and economy isn’t viable anymore to sustain our complex system. We have already reached a level of diminished returns (coupled with stil increase of population) that leads to an inevitable path of collapse.

        I must say that everything looks normal in my life and neighbourhood : my house is heated, drinkable water flows out of the tap, electricity is on, internet is on, I work from home, shelves are full in the shops, I order on e-shops et get delivered, my bank account is credited by my employer at the end of the month. What collapse ? PLease keep it going on. Drill baby drill ! (I’m kidding myself, I know I’m near the center).

        And in conclusion to your article, happy new year and best wishes to you too.

    • Ed says:

      an 8% decline does not seem alarming. What am I missing?

      • When I looked at 200 years of history, energy consumption per capita absolutely had to be rising, in order for the economy to do moderately well. Even flat was a terrible problem.

        If oil production, or total energy production/consumption is falling at 8% per year, jobs are disappearing everywhere. Supply lines are breaking. War is likely. Companies are likely losing a huge amount of money, because overhead is becoming a much bigger share of total costs. Debt bubbles are crashing. Taxes are falling, leading to governmental layoffs.

        • Ed says:

          Gail, yes I understand your point on the need for increase for the system to hold together.

          The 8% is I think 2019 versus 2030 not per year. At 8% or 6% or even 2% per year down I will be alarmed. Yes, I do believe we are in the decline NOW.

  45. Jonas Eggen says:

    Your analysis are comprehensible, important and makes sense.

    However, and this might be considered nitpicking because it doesn’t really matter in a larger scale of things, but that the virus should be man made is most unlikely, and particularly unlikely that the mutations should be.

    Virologists have been warning us about pandemics for a long time. As the human populations grow and people get further and further into and destroy the habitats of other species, making animals like bats, that are known to spread diseases, search for new homes, we will most likely see more and more pandemics in the future regardless of whether someone makes one in a lab or two.

    This virus does not kill many but make many struggling with late covid, after effects and damaged organs that will put a much larger strain on societies than if people died.

    People who got infected by the previous coronavirus Sars cov 1 have shown to still be immune and the mutations in this new virus happens at a much slower rate than say the common cold or the flu.

    Viruses also tend to become more infectious but less virulent over time. We might be able to eradicate this one but as you I doubt it.

    In the link at the bottom here is a theory presented on how the virus that originally was found in southern China after sudden outbreaks of lung infections in a certain region was collected and later escaped from a lab in Wuhan. Western scientists have long been warning about this lab because of it’s shoddiness and lack of adequately educated staff.

    An american who has been living for years in China and can speak and read the language starts of by telling us that the Lab in question had a job opening on nov.18th 2019 where they ask scientist to come and research on bats and corona. From there we hear the story about how researchers suddenly disappeared, probably died, and about cover ups that should surprise no one.


    • I used to follow Laowhy86 and Winston but they seem to have gone down the conspiracy road a bit. The final straw for me was the assertion that 21 million phone subscribers were unaccounted in a matter of weeks implying they had died, presumingly of covid. Now China is a very secretive society and they hold their cards close to their chests but this just smelled like a shark jump moment to me in their credibility. Potholder54 did a piece debunking Matt’s video.

      • Ed says:

        on the 21 million phone it could be they were unemployed and ran out of money and so cancelled the phone

      • wratfink says:

        Yes, laowhy86 and his buddy serpentZA are “yellow man bad” bloggers. They were posted on here long ago riding around on their motorcycles “exposing” China. Nothing China does can ever be good. Watch Nathan Rich’s videos on how he exposes serpentZA as a fraud. They started out just blogging about life in China. Then, they found out that when you make “China man bad” videos, you get many more American subscribers and views, and therefore, a lot more money. So they quit their jobs and started making money cutting down China. They had to leave China because of the constant propaganda they posted.

        • JoJo says:

          Its pretty ignorant to say all China bad. Their civilization is pretty damn advanced. Acupuncture and Chinese martial arts are unbelievable achievements. Chinese women are oh so fine.

          My profound appreciation for all of the incredible Chinese culture and achievements doesnt mean I sign on to being a CCP slave.

  46. MG says:

    I have watched a video comparing Chile and Argentina today as regards their economies:


    Here are my thoughts:

    Both of these countries are situated in the mild climate: Chile is on the west slopes of the Andes and Argentina on the East slope of the Andes: There is more sun energy in Chile, that is why there are deserts. Argentina has got less sun energy and thus more humidity, as the evaporation of the water is lower.

    The population of Chile is more controlled, while the population of Argentina has got a steeper rise.

    The result is, that Chile is more like a European country, i.e. the west banks of the continent like the Europe is situated on the Eurasian continent. Argentina produces a lot of food, that is why is able to sustain a large population, but the low prices of the agricultural products make it inable susceptible to debt defaults as the income from the agricultural products is not enough to provide other goods needed for its inflated population.

  47. MG says:

    There is an interesting indicator: Human development index


    It is dominated by the countries with the mild climate that are also the biggest oil consumers.

    I would say it is this targeted use of energy, aimed at the humans, that allows the total domination of the humans over other species.

    On the other side of this chart, there are countries like Niger, Central African Republic, Chad, which are situated between the deserts and the humid tropical forests. The application of additional energy here is like cooling down and drying the humidity in comparison to the mild countries, where you only add heat, which does both elevating temperature and drying the humidity.

    The modification of the human environment is thus more efficient in the mild countries, making the domination of the humans over other species cheaper and easier.

    • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      are you saying that any production in factories releases excess heat in manufacturing processes and so it is impractical to have such processes in hot countries?

    • I always thought that the reason counties why mild countries used more fossil fuels (and were ahead on the human development index) is because they were basically forced to supplement burned biomass with fossil fuels, as more nearby trees were cut down. Once counties had set up the supply lines for fossil fuels and understood how to use them, they could make metals and many useful devices. It was an easy step to industrialization.

      Very cold countries need too much fossil fuels. This inflates costs and make countries like Russia less competitive in the world market.

  48. the main problem is the denial that there is a problem at all.

    this is obvious in the pronouncements of almost all politicians.

    Biden is condemned as a marxist now, because he sees that a fairer distribution of wealth is at least part of the answer to our problems.
    So the deniers scream ‘no socialism’ and demand more of what keeps them in poverty—which is exactly what they are expected to do, by the people who want to keep them there.

    • shastatodd says:

      well said norm… it is strange to see people so insistent on doing themselves harm.

      • I should have added, that the secondary problem is that we don’t have sufficient cheap surplus energy to fix it.

        and yes I know I keep repeating myself, but in essence that encapsulates where we are right now.

        the rest is just window dressing really—the riots, the desperation, the insane politics, the energy wars, and so on are just the inevitable fallout of the 2 main problems I set out.

        even covid is a result of our lack of resources because we were forced into annexation of territories where we had no right to be, and consuming animals who should have been left alone.

        forcing animals into close herded proximity, and destroying their habitats led to the defensive reaction of viruses against us.

        • Artleads says:

          “even covid is a result of our lack of resources because we were forced into annexation of territories where we had no right to be, and consuming animals who should have been left alone.”

          i DON’T SEE IT AS A LACK OF RESOURCES AT ALL. I have 50 years of experience to see that what I was saying in the 60’s, had there been the human understanding to enact them (my understanding or others’), we would not have gone anywhere near wildlife to build.

          I was simply not mature or understanding enough to act systematically on what I intuitively knew was right.

          There was absolutely nothing inevitable about this from a design or planning perspective.

          • true

            but none of this was planned, that’s the point.

            60 years ago my main concern was making sure the human race didn’t go extinct– heavy responsibility back then. and everybody else was equally concerned,
            I intuitively knew it couldn’t go on, but it seemed a good idea at the time. and when you’re with someone who also thinks its a good idea…………

            so we grew our (world) numbers out of all proportion to our means to feed ourselves, and took our sustenance from other life forms.

            we either herded critters tightly together, or cut down their natural habitats, or ate them at random.
            we were forced to do that to sustain our our demand for food energy resources.

            but those critters carried viruses that were harmless to them, but deadly to us, because we wanted ‘civilisation’ too.
            Civilisation destroys natural habitats, which viruses ultimately protect for themselves.

            which what they are doing right now. the viruses jumped from animals to us.

            there’s been no ‘planning’, but stuff is happening in the sense of ‘intelligence’.,
            but we see intelligence only at our own level; seems to me that there’s lots of intelligence we are unaware of.

          • Artleads says:

            Maybe a self organizing principle was involved. I’m extraordinary lacking in factual knowledge and human coping skills that the average person finds non problematic. But I’m next level aesthetically intuitive.

            On one hand, I knew how to design the built environment in a radically non intrusive way. (That basic understanding applies today, indicating that it’s built on a solid-enough footing.)

            On the other hand, I was able to put this understanding out of my mind, move on to other things, many of them foolish or even harmful.

            So my inner understanding of my and the society’s prospects was clouded in a way that it is less so now. Maybe the self organizing principle is like cooking, where everything has to come together at the right time, however “ready” an isolated given element may be.

            My inner world has never matched the outer world till now.

            • watching the breathtaking beauty of a murmuration of starlings confirms (to me anyway) that there is a form of collective intellect that we humans are completely ignorant of.

              yet we humans behave in exactly the same way, without knowing why.

              The starlings’ collective behaviour does not carry the means to consume more that they need to survive and procreate.

              unfortunately our collective behaviour does.

              Our collective movements have begun to destroy the living environment of the planet itself.
              Yes, as individuals we could live non-intrusively, but collectively we can’t.

              Our form of civilisation demands that we build packed-tight living spaces, and move ourselves around at faster and faster speeds.


              Because we made the unconscious decision to turn the planet into real estate, and delude ourselves that we could buy and sell it to one another.

            • Artleads says:

              Nice post, Norm.

              I’m struggling with the notion that when the collective world goes against good sense, that can poison one’s mind, poison public discourse, education, create programs that become like living beings and can grow or mutate. So it goes back to my theme that it’s the inner (mental) framework as much as raw physical ones (and they must interact) that bring us down.

            • Jarle says:

              Well put Norman …

              See, I don’t think your rubbish!

            • lol


              can I bank that one to a credit account then?

        • Grace says:

          This is an interesting article about the subject of herding animals together and the biosecurity risk https://www.independentsciencenews.org/commentaries/the-biosecurity-myth-destroying-small-farming/

    • Jonas Eggen says:

      Wanted to like what you say but find no like to push.

    • Lidia17 says:

      Biden just wants to keep running the old scams.. who are you kidding?
      What did he & O do over eight years to help the common people? They are wolves in sheeps’ clothing and Biden is totally owned by China. I think if you were to look at Xi’s portfolio it’d be up there with any other robber baron.

      First thing I found.. from nine years ago:

      • Minority Of One says:

        Here here. Bought and paid for by the CCP.
        If there are to be ‘fireworks’ in the USA this week, this will be one of the main causes.

        • Jarle says:

          I read CCCP and was about to go “what?!” but then I saw CCP and thought that’s as good a suggestions as anything else …

    • It’s a wicked problem. Denial gave us a unique brain capable of exploiting fossil energy, and denial prevents us from acknowledging our dependence on depleting fossil energy and it’s impact on our climate.

      I’d say the main problem is that we deny our tendency to deny unpleasant realities. Which means we can’t even talk about the thing that blocks us from talking about the thing we need to talk about.

      • Jimothy says:

        It’s always nice to see your comments. I enjoy reading your website as well as Gail’s

      • Xabier says:

        How true, Rob.

        I feel that I’m quite a clear-sighted person when I can get at the core facts, and I also view life as essentially tragic: but I have been aware of a small inner voice these last few weeks whispering Denial.

        ‘I might be wrong…. It can’t be! Is this really happening? There must be another explanation…..’ and so on.

        Jung observed that dreams seem to cut out certain aspects of reality automatically.

        Those who were clearly dying -clinical signs – would tend to have one dream referring to it, but the rest would be of the kind one always has.

        Denial mechanism serves such obvious uses, and keeps us from disabling despair and sheer terror. Just as our limited senses help us to create the sense of a reasonably safe and ordered environment so that we can function in it day to day.

    • JoJo says:

      You have it backwards Normon. All humans have the ability to create autonomously. The educational system has changed its focus from developing that to mindlessly repeating dogma. Admittedly there is less resources and less opportunity now.

      Largely the current generation has not developed autonomous creative skills. Thus rewarding autonomous creation is perceived as unfair.

      What a ridiculous thing to say anyone wants to keep people poor. A patented argument to create conflict. It is not that those who create autonomously wish to keep the mindless repeaters mindlessly repeating. It is that the mindless repeaters that wish to keep the autonomous creators from creating autonomously.

      What is not differentiated is the difference between a fiat money supply that creates crony capitalism and true and appropriate reward for innovation.

      What a deception that the real cause of the wealth disparity is advocated to continue and expand in the name of … wait for it… wealth equality.

      If you are true to form Normon having put forth your argument for solutions, now that it is countered you will fall back on everything is falling into the abyss there are no solutions.

      Normon; Trump bad Biden Good
      JoJo; Au contraire
      Normon; Everthing fall into abyss humans bad

      It is of course true that there are great difficulties and most probably suffering ahead. And thats true regardless of what flavor politician is in power. What biden represents is the end of creative human autonomy. Its clearly showing itself in the methods of censorship and polarization demonstrated in Nazi Germany not so long ago. I find your avocation of these principles in the name of equality and your glee in the conflict in the USA as you pontificate from a foreign land distasteful to say the least.

      • do not superimpose your emotions onto mine JoJo

        I take no pleasure in the current mayhem in the USA, because what happens there affects me, either directly or indirectly at some time in the future. It makes me sad, even though I forecast it.

        As far as I can judge, I have put forward no ‘solutions’ (or it was not my intention to)–again, you are replying to your own emotion, not what was actually said.

        As far as keeping people poor, what I actually said was ‘a fairer redistribution of wealth’. Which is not the same thing.
        It is unfair that Amazon should trade in one country and not pay fair taxation in that country while sucking wealth out of it.

        At any given time, the planet has a certain level of fungible assets. We have developed a system of existence that converts those assets into cash. We support that existence through taxing that cash income, (for good or ill).
        That taxation pays for everything we use, and supports citizens unable to support themselves at a reasonable level.

        There is not enough ‘wealth’ to support everyone to excess. Right now we have reached the stage where we are burning through assets that no longer exist. (we call that a debt on our future btw)
        But the ‘American way of Life’ is non negotiable. Which is why we have oil wars.
        Ask someone living under a motorway bridge in a tent, if he wants to negotiate on his way of life.
        or one of the 44m on food aid.

        This is why the American Dream is becoming a nightmare.


        The US theory seems to be ‘every man for himself’, and as little taxation as you can get away with.. The philosophy of the old frontier. Which means that sick people are left to die for want of medication. (as an example).

        I don’t set my own country up as somehow perfect–no country is.

        Every nation seems to be fixated on finite resources being infinite. Those who scream ‘no socialism’ are in fact condemning themselves to the privations of the collapsed state, because unbalanced wealth always leads to that.


        Humans can only be ‘autonomous’ provided the means exist to be so. It has nothing whatsoever to do with politics.
        You can go be ‘autonomous’ in the wilderness and shoot your food. But eventually you will run out of ammunition and your food prey will eat you.

        Politicians can only try to smooth out the ‘energy bumps’. Eventually they fail of course.
        Wealth does not ‘trickle down’, it gets blown up in vanity projects (e.g. Musk’s fireworks displays)

        Trump certainly seemed intent on grabbing what he could. Being set for 2nd impeachment doesn’t look good on his CV though. Even his best rodent buddies seem to be leaping overboard right now. Maybe I’ve missed something there. I may talk like a know-all, but I’m the first to admit I don’t.

        • JoJo says:

          Wealth disparity is a problem. Its a problem on a international level as well as a local level. The unpayable debt increased under Trump just as much as Obama. IMO financial collapse for the USA and the world is baked into the cake now regardless of who assumes power.Who wants to go to the standard of living of the third world? No one. Even that standard would not allow sustainability.

          The Democratic party in the USA is truly terrifying at this point. Free speech is ending and supporters seem ok with that. The dissent that was OK for Floyds death is not OK for election fraud. Protest is now insurrection. The persecution follows the nazi persecution of Jews very closely. Wrong thought now will get you locked in a cage. Bigotry at its worst.

          Taxation is not paying for anything. The money is created out of thin air. No one is willing to accept the standard of living the natural world provides. Who is denying freedom of speech? Big pharma. Big Tech. These organizations represent significant amounts of wealth. The big tech oligarchs are absolute examples of wealth disparity. Because of their political views their wealth inequality is ignored. Why? They are put forth as a model for sucess within a dictatorship. That model demands government be put first that you must comply must obey. If you do not comply do not obey no sucess is possible. Government says sky is orange. Yup looks orange to me. If you do obey you can be Tony Stark. What a sanctimonious corrupt system.

          Yes some one not getting their medicine is sad. A pitchfork in some ones stomach from some one who thinks every one who doesnt share their beliefs is pretty sad too. Wealth equality starts with people understanding and accepting a finite world. Then the means of wealth distribution must be understood to be fair. That means no money printing. As it is its just fighting over a printing press that will soon fail.

          Ron Paul spoke of these issues. A physician who has delivered thousands of babies in this world. A man who spoke out about bloated military budgets. He was just censored off facebook. No specifics. Violating community standards.

          Thats what you stand for Norman when you advocate this regime. You create the image of somone not recieving medicine to support your avocation. Thats a image designed to support your view it also creates conflict. You understand that biden regime will solve nothing. Yet you create conflict.
          This supports my belief that you secretly cherish the strife in the USA. We didnt create this Norman. Black white brown rich poor we are all just trying to make it in this crazy world.

          I dont have answers either. A civil war works in no ones favor. Tolerance begins with acknowledging people as fellow humans. In the USA thats the constitution.

          What other country on the edge of civil war would you insert your opinion in on one false side or the other while you live elsewhere? None. Yet your fine dooing that in regards for the USA. Dont have secret glee for conflict in the USA? Demonstrate that in your actions. You know the images and arguments you are creating are false. Yet you do it anyway. Is it unreasonable of me to assert you secretly view the conflict in the USA with glee?

          • I think you are fairly new in this madhouse, it might have been better if you had taken a little time to judge the characters of those exchanging views here, (not difficult after a while) and decide what level of craziness to peg people at

            some turn out to be quite nice n normal actually

            if you remain convinced that I am the sort of person who could cherish and revel and advocate whats happening in the USA right now Jojo, then it is you who has the problem, not me.

            best leave it that.

    • Jarle says:

      Bidet a socialist?! Mein gott, where do thoughts like that originate?

    • I think you are right that denial that there is a problem is the main problem.

      Government officials, book publishers, main stream media, university officials and many others all want a “happy ever after” story to tell. Government contracts are put out in such a way that each person/group works on a tiny part of the problem. There is a “cost will be no problem” mentality built in, because people all assume that prices of fossil fuels will rise endlessly. Also, once it becomes clear that there is a huge problem with fossil fuel extraction already, it becomes clear that climate change models are based on nonsensical assumptions.

      Economists had made bad models, pretty much forever. A lot of modern researchers followed the economists in the wrong direction by assuming that prices would rise endlessly. The EROEI story has some correct “pieces” to it, but it puts the focus in the wrong place. We really need a rising quantity of cheap to produce net energy. EROEI theory (or energy payback periods, or levelized cost of energy) can be used to claim that wind and solar will save us, when they cannot.

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