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 Prospectsand 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. An October 2020 article says, 35-year study hints that coronavirus immunity doesn’t last long. Analyzing other corona viruses, 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 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 or 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.

Conclusion

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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1,045 Responses to 2021: More troubles likely

  1. this BBC programme on bitcoin, is an absolutely must listen

    don’t miss it

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000r4vh

    • Tango Oscar says:

      They are so going to make it illegal, just another form of gold confiscation as the Euro/Dollar sinks in value. We’ll see how many people want to hold crypto when they’re labeled domestic terrorists.

      • Xabier says:

        Damned economic terrorists, undermining faith in fiat!

        Gold is lovely: one can caress it by candlelight and sing soft songs of joy over it.

        Unlike the fine-spun golden locks of one’s beloved, it won’t age one bit.

        Unfortunately, there is a risk of turning into a Gollum…..

  2. Lorraine Sherman says:

    So many gems to comment on, where to start? I think I’ll start with a plug in for Peakprosperity.com – a site very compatible with Gail’s site. PP literally changed my life with the free tutorial “The Crash Course,” in addition to watching “The Hidden Secrets of Money” and reading “The Transition Handbook.” If you have not tapped these three resources, all three are well worth your time.

    Gail writes:
    “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.”

    This is such a true statement. Most people would rather not know – maybe even all of us at one point in time. To avoid the “head in the sand” or “deer in the headlight” syndromes, I try to gravitate towards actionable information, and try to filter out what I call ’emotional’ information.

    That’s why I’m growing food in some capacity. The more people who grow food, the more food security society will have. I view it as somewhat of a patriotic and charitable duty. Growing some of our own food (gardening) has some bonus’ too: takes us away from the news, offers great rewards at harvest time, it’s better than a gym, and it can lead to developing other skills. Instead of calling them ‘victory’ gardens, we can call them ‘survival’ gardens.

    I was alarmed to read Gail’s assessment of electricity:

    ” 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.”

    How would this play out? A sudden widespread outage over a long period of time would be catastrophic; an existential event in the US. No real way to prepare for that, unless you’re a genuine prepper. Short of a total take down, maybe we see it playing out as it is now with places like California being the canary in the coal mine – periodic rolling blackouts peppered with large spread longer blackouts? I know in the Dominican Republic, the State turns off the power regularly and the population has to adjust for those outage times, which are actually scheduled. Maybe during peak times?

    In any power outage, there are three most important things: water, food and shelter. Living in hurricane country, I’ve lived through multiple power outages lasting up to five days, August of 2004 I went 10 days without power in 5 day increments. I live in a rural area, so when I don’t have power, I don’t have water. Not anymore. I now have a reliable source of clean drinking water that runs on arm power. Personally, I’m in favor of simplicity and redundancy over complexity and razor thin availability.

    Finally, living through a collapse, hmmmm. I got my first glimpse into what a collapse might look like from Michael Rupert’s “Collapse” interview. Sobering. Got my second glimpse at what a collapse might look like from James Kunstler’s “The Long Emergency.” Disturbing. Have read interviews with people who survived the war in Yugoslavia in the 90’s and listened to 100’s of hours of Holocaust survivor stories. Even during the Holocaust in the most horrific camps, commerce continued and celebrations were held. During times of great deprivation, the smallest thing is the greatest treasure.

    Same thing in Yugoslavia, although Yugoslavia was more of a war zone and a collapse. Also read an article written by a refugee from Sri Lanka, who left due to the civil war, came back during the cease fire, then lived through the end of the cease fire and more war. The Sri Lankan still went to work, he still planned dinners with friends, played board games, etc. It seems no matter the conditions, life goes on – at least for some.

    The fourth most important thing in a collapse situation is communication. Then there’s security…….

    • Xabier says:

      Good reflections: although my impression is that a kind commerce was allowed in the German death camps in order to set the inmates against one another.

      Also, the goods traded were often stolen, and after killing the owners.

      Primo Levi said that at least the Greeks only stole and did not murder. He also had to make the decision to save one group, and barricade others from their block after the Germans left and they were all starving. Attempting to save everyone would have led to the death of all.

      A hard read, a terrible book, but full of real lessons.

      I’ve read quite lot about civilian life in WW2, and the first lesson – for me – is never end up in a camp – it’s better to be dead on the whole. It’s my own red line.

    • Thanks for writing with all your observations. I have known Chris Martenson for many years, including many in person meetings. He has interviewed me several times. (Similar statements are true for Jim Kustler.) Both of them seem to follow my writings, to a significant extent.

      As far as I can see, intermittent electricity is useful for things like television and perhaps the Internet. It is not good for anything you need to depend on, such as a pump to pump water for humans or animals.

      Your points about needing to get together to play games and celebrate are important. These kinds of activities need to go on, regardless of what is going on around us. Zoom meetings are not an adequate substitute. They especially don’t work if the topic is contentious.

      Prepping is a choice some people can make. The thing I see, however, is that “It takes a village.” A person cannot do it alone. A person cannot get enough calories and fresh water on his/her own, over the longer term. There is too much chance of down-time for some injury. Someone needs to buy all of the property and pay all of the property taxes as well.

      I saw Jimmy Carter’s childhood farm last week, when I visited Plains, GA. He was described as coming from a middle class farm home. Yet, when I pieced together what I saw at the farm and what was available online, it looked to me as if this was a huge operation.

      This pre-electricity farm was described as butchering 20 hogs at a time. One article talked about an operation using 20 horses and mules. The childhood farm included a large grove of pecan trees, among many other things. The operation (including tenant farmers) seemed to include hundreds of acres. The farm had a gasoline pump to provide water for the many animals. It also had a windmill, which evidently was not up to the task of providing water for the amount of livestock being raised.

      The farm featured a general store (right next to the house) that carried items from canned goods, to tobacco, to clothing, to some of the food produced on the farm. According to the material provided, the workers on the farm didn’t have good credit elsewhere, and they didn’t have good transportation. The store was described (if I remember correctly) as another source of revenue. There was also a blacksmith shop on the property, and a clay tennis court, where Jimmy Carter would frequently play tennis with his father.

      I was struck by the fact that even with this big operation, there was still a need to trade for many things. The farm had a number of cash crops, including cotton and pecans, plus other crops grown mostly for the family. Goods brought in from outside included a many types of metal devices pulled by horses or mules, plus canned food and clothing for people. Clearly the gasoline was brought in from outside. Education and healthcare were also purchased from outside. Home heating was provided by wood in fireplaces. I don’t know if they cut their own, or bought it from outside.

      In many ways, this pre-electricity home seemed to me to be a somewhat upgraded version of a pre-civil war plantation.

      Anyone planning to take care of himself/herself and their family would need to think about overall needs and how to meet them. None of us today would be able to reproduce what Jimmy Carter’s family had, I expect.

      • Xabier says:

        Interesting about the Carters: that sounds like quite a substantial operation, not at all humble family farmers!

        Reminds me a little of my father – a socialist – who likes to say that my grandfather ‘had a farm’ when in fact it was a substantial estate with a medieval manor house.

        The truth embarrasses him for some reason. We ran the village together with our cousins who lived in another big house.

        But all on too small a scale to be really viable these days.

        A Spanish small farmer and goatherd named Crespo makes wonderful YT videos about his life: lots of hard work in all weathers, and very little money.

        He gets very poor profits on his produce, and the old village is dying. Life was, of course, always very hard indeed for such tough men (and women).

        • When my parents visited Norway, they visited the farms that their grandparent had come from. We had heard a lot from my grandparents on my father’s side–poor farm, way up in the mountain. There was no way it could support a family with several children. My grandfather, who was the oldest, decided to leave, even though he was in line to inherit it.

          We had heard less about my mother’s side, because they came over a generation earlier. It turns out that they had a huge flat farm, in the southwest part of Norway. It was harder to understand why some of them left to come to the United States.

    • Tom says:

      People need to read this lengthy article to see what we are up against:

      https://www.globalresearch.ca/report-state-planet-earth-year-end-2020/5734195

      The author lists 42 reasons why humans are likely headed for extinction. Think about what will happen once this die-off gets going. Is there really any way to prepare for that? I think not.

      This is why we have this pandemic IMO. The PTB know this is coming and the pandemic is a means of control. People don’t tend to get as violent and crazy when they are told to there is deadly disease on the loose. That and throw huge amounts of money at the problem. That’s the plan. Hope it works for a while longer.

      • the writer of the piece asserts that:

        “covid 19 has not been scientifically proven to exist”

        c’mon—-I thought we’d got beyond the moon landing mentality now,

        • Lidia17 says:

          Norm, maybe you can prove that it does exist?
          There is a scientist out there, Stefan Lanka, offering €100.000 to anyone who can prove the measles virus exists; a claimant has recently been beaten back.

          Five experts have been involved in the case and presented the results of scientific studies. All five experts, including Prof. Dr. Dr. Andreas Podbielski who had been appointed by the OLG Stuttgart as the preceding court, have consistently found that none of the six publications which have been introduced to the trial, contains scientific proof of the existence of the alleged measles virus.

          In the trial, the results of research into so-called genetic fingerprints of alleged measles virus have been introduced. Two recognised laboratories, including the world’s largest and leading genetic Institute, arrived at exactly the same results independently.The results prove that the authors of the six publications in the measles virus case were wrong, and as a direct result all measles virologists are still wrong today: They have misinterpreted ordinary constituents of cells as part of the suspected measles virus.

          Because of this error, during decades of consensus building process, normal cell constituents were mentally assembled into a model of a measles virus. To this day, an actual structure that corresponds to this model has been found neither in a human, nor in an animal. With the results of the genetic tests, all thesis of existence of measles virus has been scientifically disproved.

          https://truth11.com/2021/01/14/biologist-proves-measles-isnt-a-virus-wins-supreme-court-case-against-doctor/

          There are some links in German at the above site.

          I like that phrase, “mentally assembled”..
          If you look at some of the PCR testing presuppositions, that’s exactly what happens: researchers just fill in missing genetic sections of their own accord with whatever they think “must be” the missing code.

          Garbage in, garbage out.

          • Next time I sell my environmental soul and get on a plane, I will not be asked (before boarding) to mathematically prove that an aircraft will stay up after it has taken off.

            Even though I know that occasionally one doesn’t.

            Which is just as well, because I can’t prove it.

            Instead I accept that for the past 117 years, thousands of aeronautical engineers, far cleverer than me, have joined together, throughout the world, in the conspiracy to perpetuate the hoax that heaver than air flight is an established fact.

            Even now, there are no doubt parts of this conspiracy that people don’t understand, or are in dispute.

            Nevertheless, I accept that it is unlikely that gravity will claim me before I get to my destination.
            Though there is a minute chance that it might.

            **********

            While the details of any disease are always in dispute (such is the nature of medical science) the fact remains that people are dying everywhere. Perhaps people in hospitals are just dressing up to play ‘doctors and nurses’ to make themselves look busy and important?
            And lining up ambulances outside hospitals as part of the charade, just for the TV news coverage?

            Or targeting muslim communities with ‘vaccines are full of alcohol and will alter your DNA’ Or some such.

            there is no collective conspiracy to ‘control the human race’–why I keep repeating that is beyond me. repeating only serves to reinforce ‘truth’ in someone else’s hoaxed mind.

            since my own vaccination here, I have heard of no adverse reactions—-of course, the conspiracists might just be in league with the local undertakers (one of whom I went to school with and looks after all our family business in the death department).

            Next time I see him I shall demand to know if he is trying to increase his profits.

        • Tim Groves says:

          Leaving Stefan Lanka out of this—because, as Keith has pointed out, Stefan is a bit of a publicity seeker and because the alleged measles virus and the alleged Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which is the virus alleged to cause coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), are envisioned as being two very different hypothetical pathogens—I would like to ask Norman the question: In what sense has Covid 19 (the disease) been scientifically proven to exist?

          As Greta wailed “People are dying!” And indeed they are.

          The question is, what are they dying of?

          They are dying of a whole smorgasbord of ailments that are being officially recorded as “Covid 19”, but how do we know that any given death was actually due to damage by the SARS-CoV-2 virus and not to some other factor.

          Does Covid 19 have a characteristic pattern of progression or a unique path of development?

          Take the case of measles as a typical communicable infectious disease said to be caused by the presence of a viral pathogen.

          Measles typically begins with high fever (may spike to more than 104°), cough, runny nose (coryza), and red, watery eyes (conjunctivitis).

          2-3 days after symptoms begin, Koplik spots (tiny white spots) may appear inside the mouth

          3-5 days after symptoms begin, a rash breaks out. It usually begins as flat red spots that appear on the face at the hairline and spread downward to the neck, trunk, arms, legs, and feet.

          Small raised bumps may also appear on top of the flat red spots. The spots may become joined together as they spread from the head to the rest of the body. When the rash appears, a person’s fever may spike to more than 104° Fahrenheit.

          Several of the symptoms of measles are so characteristic of the disease that one look will tell a doctor that the patient has measles. The combination of symptoms is absolutely unique to measles. There is no way they cold be confused with the symptoms of mumps or chickenpox, for instance.

          Can the same be said of Covid 19? If people catch it, will they all go through the same stages of disease progression, exhibiting the same symptoms in the same order? Or will they not? Or is it one of those new-fangled modern diseases with a busload of potential symptoms that you may or not get and that you don’t know you have unless you get a positive PCR or antibody test?

          • Kowalainen says:

            I think the meme of dying from/dying of is a bit silly at this point.

            It is like being diagnosed with terminal cancer and then dying in a car crash, then blaming the cancer for the death.

            Could we stop that kind of silly shit here?

            However, I am not denying that the reported covid deaths is a bit sketchy to say the least.

            • Jarle says:

              “I think the meme of dying from/dying of is a bit silly at this point.”

              What do you mean? A lot of (most?) people seem to think that CovBug kills like nothing we’ve seen before. It doesn’t: In Norway the average age of the victims is 84 years. In Sweden the biggest group of those dead with a positive test is 80-90 years, the second biggest group is 90+

            • Kowalainen says:

              I just mean keeping it honest. We got enough of divisive narrative out there.

              I think it is about accepting that the pandemic is a brute force return to LTG scenario 3.

              What’s the point in trying to prolong the inevitable. Deal with it; you’re gonna get used to less. It is unfortunate, but it is what it is.

  3. Jarle says:

    2+2=5

    • It is easy to see how someone in charge can instill a false belief. In this example, 2+2=5.

      Repeat, “Wind and solar are our clean energy saviors. They will save us from climate change,” often enough, and people will start to believe it. Peop will believe a huge number of other false beliefs, as well.

      • Ed says:

        Fifteen years ago IBM research allowed research into renewable energy. As of five years ago it no longer allowed research into renewable energy it had figured out it was a waste of money.

      • Bei Dawei says:

        “In this example, 2+2=5.”

        Well it might be right, depending on the value of “2”.

    • JoJo says:

      This phenomena is intentional in nature. There are several aspects to it.

      1, Control. Establishing information sources that must be obeyed regardless of apparent and unconcealed flaws in logic.
      2, Keeping humans off balance so they cant source their true talents, intuition and compassion. This keeps them powerless.
      3.Communicating to humans that they are powerless by presenting obvious contradictions and daring them to question. Questioning results in unpleasant consequences.

      There is a unintended consequence that is very positive. Humans realizing that ALL words are just representations and by themselves have no reality or substance. What gives them reality and substance is our creative energy from which the words are birthed. Listen to words. They are really hollow. The emotional content is the true communication. Upon realizing that the true source of what we create with our communication comes from a essence that has not been acknowledged we start to come into our potential.

    • JMS says:

      Tha famous Asch Conformity Experiment

      • JMS says:

        This is bizarre. I don’t understand where the clip above came, when I wanted to post this, about the Asch experiment:

        • JMS says:

          OK, it looks like I’m hallucinating. Instead of Asch’s clip, i saw a scene from Disney cartoons. (?)
          Please, Gail, delete the second post, and this one too. Sorry!

    • Lidia17 says:

      Liberals can easily congratulate themselves for recognizing the mechanism when it’s applied to brown people in the theocratic states they oppose.

      How many fingers am I holding up, Winston?https://www.bitchute.com/video/MtDR33PD0hOp/

  4. Herbie Ficklestein says:

    Australia to kill pigeon that crossed Pacific from Oregon
    https://apnews.com/article/pacific-ocean-australia-birds-united-states-faae5a66c336c8b2dc902b1ed4270345

    By ROD McGUIRE
    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — A racing pigeon has survived an extraordinary 13,000-kilometer (8,000-mile) Pacific Ocean crossing from the United States to find a new home in Australia. Now authorities consider the bird a quarantine risk and plan to kill it.
    Kevin Celli-Bird said Thursday he discovered the exhausted bird that arrived in his Melbourne backyard on Dec. 26 had disappeared from a race in the U.S. state of Oregon on Oct. 29.
    Experts suspect the pigeon that Celli-Bird has named Joe, after the U.S. president-elect, hitched a ride on a cargo ship to cross the Pacific.
    …..They say if it is from America, then they’re concerned about bird diseases,” he said. “They wanted to know if I could help them out. I said, ’To be honest, I can’t catch it. I can get within 500 mil (millimeters or 20 inches) of it and then it moves.’”
    He said quarantine authorities were now considering contracting a professional bird catcher.
    The Agriculture Department, which is responsible for biosecurity, said the pigeon was “not permitted to remain in Australia” because it “could compromise Australia’s food security and our wild bird populations.”
    “It poses a direct biosecurity risk to Australian bird life and our poultry industry,” a department statement said.
    In 2015, the government threatened to euthanize two Yorkshire terriers, Pistol and Boo, after they were smuggled into the country by Hollywood star Johnny Depp and his ex-wife Amber Heard.
    Faced with a 50-hour deadline to leave Australia, the dogs made it out in a chartered jet.
    Pigeons are an unusual sight in Celli-Bird’s backyard in suburban Officer, where Australian native doves are far more common
    Poor Joe
    He said the Oklahoma-based American Racing Pigeon Union had confirmed that Joe was registered to an owner in Montgomery, Alabama.

    • Tim Groves says:

      It’s really sad how genocidal the Australians in general are. Always have been. Whether its Tasmanian aboriginals or dingos or rabbits or cats or camels or Yankee Doodle Pigeon, the response is always the same.

      EXTERMINATE!!!!

      I guess it comes from having been descended from convicts.

      • Herbie R Ficklestein says:

        Sounds a little like those American folks in general. Always have been.
        Whether it is the Native Americans, buffalos, coyotes, carrying pigeons,
        Mountain lions, always the same response…
        EXTERMINATE…
        I suppose it may be due to being persecuted due to religious beliefs

      • JoJo says:

        The muttly laugh was the essence of that entire cartoon series. Everything else was just peripheral to the laugh.

      • nikoB says:

        Can you eat under cooked pork in your country? In Australia we can because we don’t have trichinosis. Why because we have strict quarantine laws. Applies to plants and animals.

        We also love to kill stuff.

  5. Finch says:

    From Twitter concerning the UK:

    47% of covid patients in ICU are obese (they are 32% of general population).

    Should obese >50s be vaccinated as a priority vulnerable group, based on BMI, if a defence of lockdown is to maintain healthcare capacity?

    https://twitter.com/AlistairHaimes/status/1349713636730789888

  6. Country Joe says:

    We fully agree that the resources per capita ratio is a major predicament facing our finite world. But we propose that the greater imminent threat to humans is the rise in Failure To Cower.

    One of the first indicators of success to a predator is that the potential prey cowers and attempts to escape. When a potential prey defiantly stands it’s ground and possibly advances, it sends a message to the predator that the situation is less than optimal.

    There is growing concern that the delusion among the lower class, that they don’t have to do as they are told, appears to be wide spread and growing.

    A great many in the upper class are suffering from a deficiency of predator success. Their personal lack of fulfillment is creating a pandemic of depression. There is some attention to the depression of the out of work lowers that are homeless and starving but there is a huge neglect of this pandemic of depression in the uppers.
    A comment overheard at the Davos gathering was “It’s nauseating to have a lower look me in the eye. What is the world coming to?”

    Medical experts are looking at the effect of the SARS-CoV-2 variant with the D614G mutation on the Amygdala as possible source of the suppression of the Risk Assessment Response. The N501Y variant is also being considered.

    The first AI produced pharmaceutical, the anti-psychotic drug Shutupaphin, is under consideration as an adjuvant in the next phase of Covid-19 vaccines.

    • Xabier says:

      A well-known and very pompous British journalist – Max Hastings – did write a piece a couple of years ago in which he lamented the fact that workers no longer doffed their caps and called you ‘Sir’.

      ‘Where have they all gone?!’ he asked. Poor man, sounded most unhappy about it.

      He doesn’t know the workers’ joke, in which ‘Sir’ is spelled as ‘Cur.’…..

    • Interesting observation:

      “There is growing concern that the delusion among the lower class, that they don’t have to do as they are told, appears to be wide spread and growing.”

      I wonder if having more women in professional roles makes a difference. Men were always called Dr. LastName, or Professor LastName. Women, to a much greater extent, have been called by their first name. Women aren’ t quite as intimidating.

      Also, there are an awfully lot of people who say things like, “We really need oil and gas. What are these crazy leaders trying to tell us?” It sounds a whole lot like “2+2=5.”

  7. Tango Oscar says:

    Fantastic piece Gail! I believe this Covid thing isn’t going away with all the “new strains” that keep appearing every 2 weeks or so. The lockdowns appear mostly effective at killing just as many people as the virus once suicides, drug overdoses, job losses, and general depression spreading over the US populace are accounted for. Job losses printed at about 1,000,000 again today, basically the highest since August even once we factor in seasonality losses it appears the new lockdowns are doing their thing. I’m still torn on weather this is a de facto take down of business as usual or we just have the most incompetent leaders of all time. We deserve our fate either way.

    I’ve been paying close attention to precious metals and Bitcoin and there are a lot of interesting things going on. The head of the ECB Christine Lagarde appears ready to drop the hammer on crypto with her statements yesterday and the UK has recently banned crypto derivatives. The Federal Reserve still hasn’t unleashed their digital dollar as they stare in awe as Bitcoin going vertical is clearly highlighting our unfolding monetary crisis. The price of gold appears to be in a range where the bullion banks such as JPMorgan slam the price down hard anytime it gets near $2,000 for obvious reasons, namely profits and to keep the public from suspecting what’s occurring. If the US government doesn’t act to stop Bitcoin soon, I believe things will get really out of hand in a few months as it becomes clear that US government insolvency is in the cards.

    I continue to stay diversified in my investments but for the first time in my life I am actually considering moving my family to another country in the near future. The massive deletion of social media accounts and silencing of Trump is drawing eerily parallel lines to the Nazi book burnings of 1933, to destroy anything someone doesn’t agree with never ends well. I fear social unrest on a much larger scale is going to occur in 2021 that makes 2020 look like a warmup for the Hunger Games. I do not believe most people alive today know their history dating back 100 years and many of the people who survived the Great Depression like my grandparents are long gone.

    The US fiscal situation is becoming more and more absurd as time goes on. In 2020 the US Government deficit was the same amount as the first 220 years as a nation combined. Clearly we’ve reached the exponential end game of monetary ponzi silliness as 2021 should be higher than 2020. But so long as the Fed and other central bankers continue buying up all the treasury bonds, it would appear this giant wealth transfer scheme can continue unabated for awhile. Where this all leads I do not know, but history is definitely rhyming and repeating in ways. Carpe diem.

    • Minority Of One says:

      I have for a while found it odd that we residents of the UK have shown such contempt and disgust for the Nazis (correctly so) but are unable to recognise that we are repeating the same mistakes that allowed the Nazis to get into power in the first place.

    • I see that Bloomberg says,

      Lagarde Blasts Bitcoin’s Role in Facilitating Money Laundering

      “For those who had assumed that it might turn into a currency — terribly sorry, but this is an asset and it’s a highly speculative asset which has conducted some funny business and some interesting and totally reprehensible money-laundering activity,” Lagarde said in an online event organized by Reuters.

      She doesn’t sound like she is going to endorse more widespread use of bitcoin.

      I agree that the US’ fiscal situation is getting more and more absurd. I am afraid that there are quite a few countries with absurd situations.

      The situation is indeed worrying. People don’t try to put all of the pieces together.

  8. Xabier says:

    Nationalism = belief in fairies with pots of gold…….

    Infantilism in its most embarrassing form.

  9. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Germany’s economy suffered its biggest contraction last year since the 2009 financial crash, as it was hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, official data showed Thursday.” [Wasn’t doing so great in 2019, I recall.]

    https://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/german-economy-sees-biggest-blow-113745252.html

  10. Harry McGibbs says:

    “US initial jobless claims jumped to 965k last week – an awful outcome – 176k above expected while continuing claims came in 271k above expectations at 5.27mn.

    “To put this in context the worst reading during the Global Financial Crisis was 665k, so the ongoing stress in the jobs market is clear for all to see.”

    https://think.ing.com/snaps/us-job-fears-mount

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