The Afghanistan Fiasco (and Today’s High Level of Conflict) Reflect an Energy Problem

There is a saying, “Everything happens for a reason.” The fiasco in Afghanistan is no exception to this rule. Even though it is not obvious, the United States is up against energy limits. It needed to pull back from Afghanistan to try to have enough energy to continue in its other roles, such as providing benefits for its growing army of retirees, and building infrastructure to mitigate the COVID-19 downturn.

The fundamental problem is that governments can add debt and other indirect promises of resources that create goods and services, but they cannot actually create the low-cost energy, water and mineral resources needed to fulfill those promises.

The way energy limits play out is not at all intuitive. Most people assume that we will run out of oil, leading to a spike in oil prices. We will then transition to renewables. As I see it, this understanding is completely wrong. Limited energy supply first leads to a need for simplification: Stepping back from Afghanistan would be one such type of simplification. It would save energy supplies and reduce the need for greater tax revenue or added debt.

In this post, I will try to explain some pieces of the problem.

[1] Afghanistan was, and continues to be, in some sense, a “handicapped country.”

Everyone knows that the way a country can succeed in the world market is by providing needed goods or services to other economies at low cost. Afghanistan is a landlocked country. It also doesn’t have any big rivers it can use to transport goods out of the country. It isn’t a member of a trade alliance such as the EU to allow smooth transport of goods out of the country. The difficulty of transit into and out of the country adds a layer of costs that tends to make the country uncompetitive in the world market. No matter how much investment any country makes in Afghanistan, this handicap will still persist.

Also, Afghanistan has too high a population relative to its resources. We know that most wars are resource wars. The fact that Afghanistan has been involved in wars for many years hints at this problem. According to UN 2019 estimates, Afghanistan’s population was 7.8 million in 1950, 21.6 million in 2001, and 38.9 million in 2020, which is about five times the 1950 population. Water needs, in particular, tend to escalate as population rises.

[2] The US doesn’t know how to fight a guerrilla war.

The weapons developed by the US are too complex to be used in a guerrilla war. They tend to break down and require replacement parts. Needless to say, these parts are not available in Afghanistan. Even if Afghan soldiers are trained to use these weapons, they may not be available or suitable when needed.

George W. Bush should have known from the outcome of the 20-year Vietnam conflict (1955-1975) that any guerrilla war was likely to have a bad ending. In Afghanistan, the plan was to train Afghan soldiers, thus keeping US citizens out of the battlefield. This strategy kept the Afghan conflict off the front page of US newspapers, but the overall result seems to be similar.

[3] When George W. Bush took office in 2001, he seems to have had access to more funds than he knew what to do with. Starting a war in Afghanistan probably seemed like a good use for these funds. He could perhaps build military bases, and perhaps raise the standard of living of the people there.

The price of oil was especially low in the 1998 to 2001 period. This allowed tax revenue to “go farther” in providing benefits to the economy, allowing a temporary budget surplus. With such a surplus, getting funds appropriated for any purpose would likely have been easy.

Figure 1. US Budget Deficits and Surpluses by Year. Chart by Steve Benen. Source.

Even more importantly, with a fairly young population, the Social Security system had been collecting funds in advance of when they were needed, with the plan of building up the plan’s Trust Fund for use when a bulge in retirements was expected, starting about 2010. Figure 2 shows one chart that roughly illustrates the overfunding and planned use for the funds. Unfortunately, Figure 2 doesn’t treat investment income in the way it is actually collected; it leaves out past investment income and uses discounted cash flow assumptions for the future, so a person cannot readily estimate net contributions to the Trust Fund balance by year from this chart.

Figure 2. Forecast of Social Security surpluses and deficits. Chart by Peter G. Peterson Foundation, based on Social Security Administration, The 2020 Annual Report of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Federal Disability Trust Funds. Source.

Figure 2 indicates that there was considerable overfunding starting in the late 1980s. The thing that actuaries (and others) didn’t consider is the fact that there is a real difference between debt and the physical resources that will be needed when these older people retire. Retirees will need food, water and energy to heat their homes. They will need medicine and long term care institutions. They should also be able to provide their share of the upkeep of roads and electricity transmission networks.

Debt is a promise of future funds to purchase goods and services, but it doesn’t make the resources required to create these goods and services materialize out of “thin air.” To keep these promises, oil needs to be extracted, refined, and delivered to farmers. There needs to be enough fresh water available to irrigate adequate farmland to produce the required food. There need to be supply lines that are working to deliver the required food. There need to be enough young people who are willing to work on farms and in care centers for the aged. The wages for these young workers need to be high enough so that they too can have food, shelter and other things that we consider necessities.

When the extra Social Security funds were collected, the officials who collected them figured out that as a practical matter, there was little that they could do with them besides spend them at the time they were collected. They couldn’t set up warehouses with food, clothing, building materials and energy resources to keep on hand for 30 or 40 years. If they invested the money in the stock market, the money would simply cause a bubble in stock prices. If they built new factories or nursing homes, they would be unfairly competing with existing businesses.

I am not sure that there is any good record of how these extra funds were spent. My understanding is that they provided a very large slush fund that allowed expanded military activities among other things. From an accounting point of view, non-marketable government debt was substituted for the funds that were spent. Thus, when an actuary looks at the Trust Fund, it is fully funded. It is just that it is funded with more US government debt.

The catch is that the non-marketable US government debt doesn’t actually correspond to any resources. Any food used in 2022 (or 2050) will need to be grown in that year, using resources available in that year. Most clothing used in a given year will need to be produced with resources available at that time. Putting together a model that assumes business as usual forever tends to give a rosy picture because it leaves out this detail.

The 2020 OSDAI Trustees Report provides actual income, outgo, and interest income through 2019. From this report, it can be concluded that the extra Social Security slush fund is rapidly disappearing. In fact, it seems to be turning to a hidden source of required year-by-year funding starting as soon as 2020 or 2021.

In some sense, the “real economy” operates on a “cash basis,” rather than an “accrual basis.” This has not been recognized in our accounting or our models. Ignoring the way the system really works likely leads to a hidden crunch, starting about 2021. We know that retirements were high in 2020, adding to the potential problem. I am certain that President Biden and his advisors are aware of this issue, even though it is never reported on the front pages of newspapers.

[4] There is really a two-sided energy price problem. Consumers can afford only low energy prices but, as the result of depletion and population growth in oil exporting countries, producers need high oil prices.

Figure 3 is a chart I prepared a few years ago. In it, there is a pattern of rapidly rising wages when oil prices were very low. Workers became more productive with new factory equipment and vehicles, produced with oil, and operated using oil products. As a result, their wages rose.

Figure 3. Average wages in 2017$ compared to Brent oil price, also in 2017$. Oil prices in 2017$ are from BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2018. Average wages are total wages based on BEA data adjusted by the GDP price deflator, divided by total population. Thus, they reflect changes in the proportion of the population employed as well as changes in wage levels.

On the other hand, when oil prices spiked, the prices of many goods, including food, airline tickets, and the fuel used for commuting to work, rose. People cut back on discretionary income, such as eating in restaurants and vacation travel. Businesses with fewer customers laid off workers. The workers who could find jobs often found lower-paid or part time jobs. The result was a dip in average wages, both in the 1970s and at the time of the Great Recession of 2007-2009.

We now live in a world with depleted resources. The oil and other types of energy that are available are high in cost, but the prices tend to stay too low for producers when all costs are included. Oil resources from the Middle East and Venezuela, especially, need a higher oil price because the governments of these countries need very high taxes on oil revenue to support their large populations. Even shale oil from the United States needs a higher price than is available today.

If we want OPEC to supply the rest of the world with more oil, the price will need to rise much higher than today’s Brent oil price of about $73. It likely will need to rise to at least $100 per barrel and show that it can stay at this high level. Otherwise, the supposed reserves of OPEC will mostly stay in the ground.

Even the US needs a higher oil price. Its oil, gas and coal production fell during the pandemic in 2020. Through May 2021 (and even later using weekly data, not shown), oil and natural gas production has not rebounded to the 2019 level.

Figure 4. US fossil fuel average daily production by month through May 2021, based on data from the US Energy Information Administration. NGPL means natural gas plant liquids. NGPL are extracted with natural gas but condensed out and sold as liquids.

Note that oil and gas production also dipped in 2016. Figure 3 shows that oil prices were also low then. If prices are too low, would-be producers leave them in the ground.

Adding in nuclear and renewables (hydroelectric, ethanol, wood, wind, solar and geothermal) still leaves a large dip in recent production.

Figure 5. US average daily production by type based on data of the US Energy Information Administration.

President Biden is no doubt aware of the fact that the US’s production of energy products, especially crude oil, is now low. In fact, earlier in August he asked OPEC and its allies to increase their oil production to try to keep prices from rising too much. Why would OPEC want to increase its production, if the US can’t increase its own production at the current price level? All of the producers need a higher price level; it is consumers who cannot afford the higher price level.

[5] The world seems to have already begun shifting to a falling energy consumption per capita situation.

The amount of energy required tends to rise with population because all of the people require food, housing and transportation. Energy, especially oil and coal, are needed for these.

Figure 6. Energy consumption per capita for all energy sources combined based on data from BP’s Statistical Review of Energy 2021.

Many countries, including the United States, have been able to hold down their internal energy consumption per capita by moving much of their industry to China and India.

Figure 7. US energy consumption per capita, divided between industrial and other, based on information of the US Energy Information Administration. Energy consumption includes both electricity and fuels such as oil, coal, natural gas, ethanol and wood burned for heat. All transportation fuels are in the “Ex. Industrial” portion.

Figure 7 shows that US industrial production reached its peak in 1973, which was shortly after US oil production started to turn down in 1971. This partly reflects auto manufacturing moving to Japan and Europe, where smaller, more fuel-efficient cars were already being sold. Home heating and electricity generation also shifted away from oil to other fuels.

The issue now is that “Ex. Industrial” consumption has been falling since the Great Recession. In some sense, the economy has been losing strength since 2008 and continues to lose strength. Fewer and fewer people can feel like they are really getting ahead. They are saddled with low wage jobs and too much debt.

Figure 8 shows similar patterns for the European Union and Japan. Energy consumption per capita was rising until a few years before the Great Recession, and then it plateaued. It has been declining since.

Figure 8. Energy consumption per capita for the European Union and Japan from BP’s 2021 Statistical Review of World Energy.

The pattern shown on Figure 8 suggests that energy prices are still too high for consumers, even though they are, at the same time, too low for producers. Travel restrictions imposed by governments may also be contributing to this pattern.

GDP data indications are prepared on an accrual basis. In other words, they reflect the impact of added debt. If missing energy can be replaced with a promise of debt to pay for more goods and services in the future, made with future energy, then perhaps all will be well. The quantity of debt that is required, relative to the GDP impact, keeps rising, suggesting this substitution is not working very well.

Figure 9. Dollars of additional debt required to add $1 dollar of GDP growth (including inflation), based on data of the US Bureau of Economic Analysis.

With the addition of growing amounts of debt, GDP increases are reported to be much larger than expected growth, based only on the growth in energy consumption.

Figure 10. Average annual increase in energy consumption for the period shown based on EIA data versus average increase in real (inflation-adjusted) GDP for the period shown, based on data of the US Bureau of Economic Analysis.

[6] We now seem to be reaching the end of the line with respect to what can be done with added debt to make the economy seem like it is performing adequately well.

Interest rates show a very distinct pattern. They rise until about 1981, and then they decline.

Figure 11. US 10-year and 3-month interest rates through July 2021, in a chart prepared by FRED.

When the US economy was growing rapidly, it could withstand high and rising interest rates. Since 1981, the general pattern has been one of falling interest rates, making a larger quantity of debt affordable. Indirectly, these falling interest rates also helped prop up asset prices, such as those of homes and shares of stock. In recent years, interest rates have fallen about as far as they can go. To some extent, these lower rates were made possible by Quantitative Easing (QE). But at some point, QE needs to be stopped.

Today, interest rates are approximately at the level they were during the Great Depression of the 1930s. This makes sense; interest rates to some extent reflect the return an investor can expect to make. Right now, without a lot of government support programs, “Main Street” businesses around the world are struggling. This indicates that the economy is doing very poorly. There are too many people who cannot afford even basic goods and services. Indirectly, this feeds back to commodity prices that are not high enough for producers of energy products.

Recently, governments of many countries have tried a different approach. Instead of loans, they are providing something closer to giveaways. Renters are allowed to stay rent-free in their apartments. Or, checks are given to all citizens earning below some specified amount. What we seem to be finding is that these giveaways produce inflation in the price of goods that poor people buy most frequently, such as food and used cars.

The giveaways don’t actually produce more of the required goods and services, however. Instead, would-be workers decide that they really don’t want to take a low-paid job if the giveaways provide nearly as much income. The loss of workers then acts to reduce production. With lower production of goods and services, a smaller quantity of oil is required, so the oil price tends to fall. The price certainly does not rise to the level needed by oil producers.

[7] In a finite world, longer-term models need to take into account the fact that resources deplete and the population keeps rising.

Any modeler who tries to take into account the fact that resources deplete and the overall population keeps rising will quickly come to the conclusion that, at some point, every economy will have to collapse. This has been known for a very long time. Back in 1957, Admiral Hyman Rickover of the US Navy said,

Surplus energy provides the material foundation for civilized living – a comfortable and tasteful home instead of a bare shelter; attractive clothing instead of mere covering to keep warm; appetizing food instead of anything that suffices to appease hunger. . .

For it is an unpleasant fact that according to our best estimates, total fossil fuel reserves recoverable at not over twice today’s unit cost, are likely to run out at some time between the years 2000 and 2050, if present standards of living and population growth rates are taken into account.

Now, in 2021, it looks as if this problem is starting to hit us. But no one (since Jimmy Carter, who was not re-elected) has dared tell the general public. Instead, accrual accounting with more and more debt is used in financial statements, including GDP statements. Actuaries put together Social Security funding estimates as if the resources to provide the promised benefits will really be there. Climate change models are prepared as if business as usual can go on for the next hundred years. Everything published by the mainstream media is based on the underlying assumption that we will have no problems other than climate change for the next 100 years.

[8] About all that can be done now is to start cutting back on the less necessary parts of the economy.

President Biden’s abrupt pullout from Afghanistan reflects a reality that increasingly has to take place in the world. The US needs to start pulling back because there are too many people and not enough inexpensive to extract resources to fulfill all of the commitments that the US has made. As mentioned earlier, there are a number of obstacles to success in Afghanistan. Thus, it is a good place to start.

With the need to pull back, there is a much higher level of conflict, both within and between countries. The big issue becomes who, or what, is going to be “voted off the island” next. Is it the elderly or the poor; the military or the oversized US medical establishment; university education for a large share of students or classroom teaching for young children?

We don’t seem to have a good way out of our current predicament. This seems to be what is behind all of the recent internet censorship. Renewables and nuclear require fossil fuel energy for their production and maintenance. The powers that be don’t want anyone to know that nearly all of the “happily ever after using renewables” stories we hear are based on wishful thinking.

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.
This entry was posted in Financial Implications and tagged Accrual accounting, oil prices, oil production, Social Security funding. Bookmark the permalink.

3,463 Responses to The Afghanistan Fiasco (and Today’s High Level of Conflict) Reflect an Energy Problem

  1. Dennis L. says:

    Picked this up in the comments section of JMG:

    ” There sense is that this is because of manpower shortages more than anything else and that the reason for manpower shortages just now is that a lot of people don’t want to work in the legitimate economy anymore. They’ve given up on it because they are losing too much money to federal, state, and local governments in the form of taxes, fees, and other demands for money. My personal belief is that during the COVID shutdown, when they had to make money anyway they could in order to survive, many people learned that they could make a descent leaving in the underground economy and not have to give up any of it to government. Now that things have eased up, they don’t see any need to go back. A friend of mine has a small construction company (himself, his son, and a couple of guys he hires on a weekly basis). His guys no longer want to be paid by check so that the IRS can track their incomes. They accept cash only. And, as you said, it makes many legitimate employers struggle to stay in business, because a lot of them can’t do that very easily. ”

    Yesterday had a pizza at a small restaurant in a small town near my farm. On the door was a hand written sign to the effect: “Cash only today.”

    Perhaps a year in the past I demonstrated that the increase per capita in SS and Medicare was greater than the increase per capita cost of oil.

    This proves nothing, but it is consistent.

    Dennis L.

    • Kowalainen says:

      What’s the point of taxes when the guvmint/CB can print?

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      I would expect that mandating vaccines for people working for 100+ employee businesses is going to make finding employees even harder. One woman I talked to said she would be applying for Social Security early instead. I can imagine others finding jobs with smaller companies, or goring to the informal economy. Ultimately, this hurts the big companies. I expect that it also hurts tax revenue and increases payments for retirement benefits.

  2. “Glasgow marches to beat of divisive Orange drum… There have been fears over an apparent rise in anti-Irish racism in the west of Scotland, with graffiti using violent language appearing on buildings and walls, and anger at a group of Rangers supporters chanting a song that references the Irish famine.

    “Police condemned “outbreaks of racist and sectarian singing” by some attending yesterday’s parades and made a number of arrests.”

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/glasgow-marches-to-beat-of-divisive-orange-drum-vfdzsd6pp

  3. “‘South Africa’s ruling African National Congress is riven by factionalism and “thugs and gangsters” have infiltrated the process for selecting electoral candidates, according to an internal report cited by the City Press newspaper…

    “Campaigning has been hit by violent disputes between supporters of rival candidates and money woes that left ANC staff unpaid for three months.”

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-09-19/-thugs-infiltrate-south-africa-ruling-party-before-vote-report

  4. “Fake chips slipping into supply chain, industry insiders warn…

    “TOKYO — Electronics makers grappling with an unprecedented global chip crunch are increasingly turning to unconventional supply channels to meet their needs — and many are getting stuck with knock-off, substandard or reused semiconductors.”

    https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Tech/Semiconductors/Fake-chips-slipping-into-supply-chain-industry-insiders-warn

    • “Honda says Japan output 60% below plan on parts shortage.

      “The automaker expects the impact to extend beyond this month and said production in early October will also fall short of initial expectations.”

      https://www.autonews.com/manufacturing/honda-says-japan-output-60-below-plan-parts-shortage

      • 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.
        Gail Tverberg says:

        Wow! Overhead per car becomes a problem when there is a big drop in production.

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      I can see how fake and substandard chips could slip into supply lines. Will your new device really work?

  5. “Energy prices will boost inflation across Europe, economists warn… Soaring energy prices will push broader inflation across Europe this year, hurt consumers and threaten the post-pandemic economic recovery of the region, economists warn.”

    https://eminetra.co.uk/energy-prices-will-boost-inflation-across-europe-economists-warn/709242/

  6. “Mounting fears of a 1970s-style three-day week as Britain’s energy crunch deepens… The cost squeeze threatens to abort the economic recovery just as the furlough scheme winds down and fiscal stimulus fades.

    “In a worst case scenario it could lead to systemic havoc akin to the industrial paralysis and candle-lit evenings endured in the 1970s, something that no government or prime minister can survive… The UK is now at the mercy of global events… Downing Street can only hold its breath, and hope.”

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2021/09/19/mounting-fears-1970s-style-three-day-week-britains-energy-crunch/

  7. The UK press is awash with articles that frame UK energy problems as an attack by ‘evil Russia’.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/09/17/russia-accused-rigging-gas-prices-undermine-britains-economic/

    > Russia accused of rigging gas prices to undermine Britain’s economic recovery

    State-owned Gazprom accused of market manipulation, which threatens to plunge UK food supply chain into chaos

    …. A senior government source said ministers were increasingly concerned about Europe’s reliance on Russia for gas, although they stressed that the UK was more resilient because of domestic gas supply and imports from Norway.

    …. Concerns were echoed by senior MPs. Tobias Ellwood, a former minister and chairman of the defence committee, said: “This attempt to manipulate gas prices is an example of grey zone conflict where economies are directly targeted to cause political strife and raise civil unease. An example of the constant competition we now face from authoritarian regimes.”

    Chris Bryant, a member of the foreign affairs committee, told The Telegraph: “Russia has been abusing the energy market in Europe for years, holding countries to ransom and forcing up prices. We need a strong united front with other European countries to stop this cynical abuse. Boris Johnson needs to guarantee our energy security without relying on Russia.”

    Tom Tugendhat, the Tory chairman of the foreign affairs committee, said on Friday night: “Many of us have warned against Nord Stream 2 because Russia has indicated it is likely to use energy as a weapon. What we are now seeing is that it may already have started.

    “If we are going to defend ourselves we need to think hard about cooperating in energy security, not allowing ourselves to be salami sliced with pipelines that cut out some of our partners.”

    • putting gas taps into russian fingers—what did people expect?—kind hearted benevolence and charity?

      • Where do you suggest that UK gets its gas from?

        AFAIK Russia has fulfilled its delivery contracts to UK. Demand has increased in Asia, which has pushed the price up. Is Russia supposed to give UK a special price deal and to supply UK whenever it demands? And otherwise, it is ‘evil Russia’ attacking ‘strong, virtuous UK’?

        • 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.
          Gail Tverberg says:

          US natural gas is still down from 2019 levels. It tends to follow oil production down. This is one force that tends to hold total natural gas production down, at the same time that China, Turkey and I am sure some other countries want more of it.

          • Sam says:

            Also there have been a lot of electric generation plants that have converted to natural gas from coal. This adds to the overall picture of how much is really needed no?

            I had a funny conversation with a friend about this and he was saying that people will switch to electricity if gas gets higher! I told him what do you think they make the electricity with? It is funny, sad, how disconnected people are from their energy. Even economist don’t really study energy until it is at extreme shortage and prices are high. Doctors never mention nutrition or exercise until it is too late too!

            • Kowalainen says:

              It is the myopia of ordinary everyday IC conveniences and quick “fixes”.

              We’re all self entitled princesses of IC and now everybody wants to belong to the “right” group.

              Too bad there isn’t any right group, religion or ideology. Evolution simply just is.

              And I am all smiles.

        • i tend to look further into the future.

          Russia is a cold country

          Gas is finite, demand is effectively infinite

          work it out for yourself

    • Xabier says:

      Pure comedy.

      Meanwhile, these MP’s will vote for renewed emergency powers so that Boris can rule by irrational decrees, as preparation for the totalitarian Great Re-set.

      Now, who’s ‘authoritarian’ again?

      Trust in God, but light your tea-light heaters, Brits………

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      It is easy to see why the media would blame Russia for the UK’s problems.

  8. The Tory press in UK is blaming Russia for UK energy problems, and particularly Putin. ‘UK strong, Russia evil.’

    AFAIK, Russia has fulfilled its contracts, and beyond that it is free to sell its gas to the highest bidder. It does not have to make the price cheap and send the gas to UK. Also, UK energy productions has issues of profitability, it is not simply constrained by ‘green’ issues.

    They always have to have someone else to ‘blame’.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/09/18/environmental-hubris-has-left-britain-vulnerable-putins-gas/

    > Environmental hubris has left Britain vulnerable to Putin’s gas blackmail

    Of course Russia will take advantage of Britain’s shocking failure to safeguard its energy security

    …. But seldom has that cost been so painful as that exacted by Russia’s apparent rigging of the price of gas through its supply company Gazprom.

    …. Putin follows the maxim that there is no better time to kick a man than when he is down.

    …. As the West saw after the oil price boom in 1973, a massive rise in energy prices is as good a way as any to kneecap an economy. If the lights fail across Europe and the food chain implodes, Putin will portray it as a measure of his, and Russia’s power, as tyrants do. Energy supply has, indeed, become a weapon for him.

    …. No-one doubts that preventing global warming is desirable. But to achieve this through insufficiently analysed and precipitate action that torpedoes Western economies and confers a massive competitive advantage upon nations such as China and, indeed, Russia that mock our scruples is political and economic suicide.

    …. Putin believes he can do as he pleases because the West cowers to him. Gazprom holds the whip hand not least because of German dependence on Russian energy. The almost-departed Angela Merkel has ingratiated herself with Putin for years. However, the economic dependence of Putin and his cronies on the West means two can play at that game.

    Unless Putin reins in Gazprom, a complete freezing of Russian assets in this country, the refusal of visas and the denial of the Western champagne lifestyle to these gangsters would be salutary, and, given Russia’s appalling behaviour in so many other regards, is in any case long overdue. The EU should do likewise. Our new Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss, can take a lead on this. But, above all, relying on a tyranny for our power supplies is madness and it must stop.

    • worldofhanumanotg
      worldofhanumanotg says:

      Mirror> thanks for these “news / opinion ” digest – the idi[o]cy of these people is off the charts. It only confirms certain “surplus” related megatrends into mid term future and beyond..

  9. The competitiveness and profitability of UK heavy industry is undermined by the energy price rise.

    Gas shortages are hitting electricity suppliers.

    Supplies of CO2 are down 60% and priority is given to nuclear power stations and the NHS, which depend on it as a coolant. Meat and frozen food are reduced.

    https://www.ft.com/content/22497cb0-aaf3-4afa-87e1-e66b67814e48

    > UK scrambles to contain gas price crisis

    The rise in natural gas prices threatens the supply of products from meat to steel

    Soaring natural gas prices have stoked a surge in electricity costs, sending several smaller energy suppliers to the wall and leading price comparison sites this week to cut available tariffs or even remove their energy services altogether.

    The gas price surge has already hit heavy industry, with the Energy Intensive Users Group calling on Friday for “immediate steps in the face of unprecedented recent increases in energy prices to maintain the international competitiveness of a key economic sector”.

    It is also causing chaos among makers of ammonium nitrate, a staple fertiliser derived from gas, as well as alarm among those that consume it.

    Industry groups and processors were told at the meeting that 60 per cent of the UK’s supply of CO2 had been cut. They also heard that nuclear power plants and the NHS, which use CO2 as a coolant, would take priority in securing what remained, according to two people briefed on the meeting.

    Nick Allen, chief executive of the British Meat Processors Association, said the government had asked him to gather data on what was a potentially “massive” problem for meat producers. The association said it understood “that multiple plants in Europe, where we would have turned to for emergency supplies, are also to be closed”.

  10. The ripple effect in UK: pricey gas > no fertiliser plants > no meat. It is an eye opener to see how fragile the delivery of meat to the masses really is. Frozen food also depends on CO2, and that food too is being scaled back.

    UK supply lines are being hit by a triple whammy of Brexit, covid and now gas/ energy shortages.

    https://www.ft.com/content/053f4cc8-8a2e-41bf-92af-980b3a1692d6

    > UK’s biggest chicken producer says industry is at ‘breaking point’

    The UK’s largest chicken producer has warned the meat industry is at breaking point and called on the government to tackle a gas crisis now threatening the country’s food production. The meat industry is facing an acute shortage of carbon dioxide after surging gas prices prompted two large UK fertiliser plants to suspend production.

    The factories, which are owned by US group CF Industries, account for around 60 per cent of the UK’s commercial supply of CO2 as a byproduct of fertiliser manufacture. CO2 is used in the chicken industry to stun birds for slaughter, as well as in controlled atmosphere packaging, which extends shelf life, and for refrigeration.

    The intervention from Boparan follows a warning from the British Poultry Council that processing plants only hold 5 to 7 days’ worth of CO2 on site. As a result, the UK industry could rapidly face problems with slaughter that would result in meat shortages and welfare problems on farms. The industry processes about 20m birds a week.

    The government is scrambling to respond to the disruption unleashed by record high gas prices, whose crippling effect on energy intensive sectors like fertiliser manufacture has rippled out to the food industry.

    Online supermarket Ocado said late on Friday that it had scaled back delivery of frozen foods because of a shortage of dry ice, which is made from CO2 and used to keep items cool.

    The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs held an emergency meeting with meat processors and trade groups on Thursday, with further talks expected on Monday. The British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) said the CO2 shortage would cause “massive disruption” within two weeks.

    • fillmore74
      Replenish says:

      World Economic Forum collaborators.. CF Industries, JBS Meats

      Tony Will, President and Chief Executive Officer, CF Industries Holdings Inc

      https://www.weforum.org/people/tony-will
      ___

      Reuters
      FRI JAN 23, 2015 / 5:26 AM EST
      Dealmakers in Davos see more M&A despite geopolitical risks
      Sophie Sassard

      “There are always great opportunities in the aftermath of a crisis,” said Federico Ghizzoni, chief executive of Italian bank Unicredit. “The key is to be in a position that allows (you) to seize them.”

      “Our industry is very capital-intensive,” said Tony Will, CEO of U.S. group CF Industries, which last year came close to merging with Norwegian fertiliser rival Yara in a deal partly motivated by tax advantages.

      https://mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKBN0KW12820150123
      ___

      “A little over a month prior to yesterday’s ransomware attack on the world’s biggest meatpacker, JBS acquired Europe’s third-largest plant-based food producer, Vivera, for a sum of $530 million (€341 million), according to a press release from the Netherlands-based Vivera Foodgroup, published on April 19, 2021.

      “JBS, which specializes in meatpacking and is a partner of the World Economic Forum (WEF), has entered the plant-based food space, which will allow the company to produce both alternative and traditional protein products.”

      https://sociable.co/technology/ransomware-attack-worlds-largest-meatpacker-6-weeks-jbs-acquires-plant-based-food-group-vivera-530m/amp/

      • 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.
        Gail Tverberg says:

        Perhaps the way to make profits is to sell goods that will appeal to the rich. Plant based pseudo meat might be one such product.

  11. Mike Roberts
    Mike Roberts says:

    I think the pessimism is warranted but the report is let down a little by use of old references (one, on materials/minerals needed for RE, is 16 years old, so probably superseded) and some easily checked errors (wind produces AC, not DC as well as some errors to do with perhaps using old information). Looks like the project doesn’t have a physical science scientist on the team, which would have been helpful.

    However, it does reference a recent report from the IEA which states:

    An energy system powered by clean energy technologies differs profoundly from one fuelled by traditional hydrocarbon resources. Solar photovoltaic (PV) plants, wind farms and electric vehicles (EVs) generally require more minerals to build than their fossil fuel-based counterparts. A typical electric car requires six times the mineral inputs of a conventional car and an onshore wind plant requires nine times more mineral resources than a gas-fired plant. Since 2010 the average amount of minerals needed for a new unit of power generation capacity has increased by 50% as the share of renewables in new investment has risen.

  12. Interesting review of the Evergrande saga. The article is a weekly summary, the first item is about Evergrande, the huge Chinese corporation facing bankruptcy.

    Weekly Commentary: Evergrande Moment
    https://creditbubblebulletin.blogspot.com/2021/09/weekly-commentary-evergrande-moment.html

    Some highlights:

    “Evergrande owes over $300 billion – to banks and non-bank financial institutions, domestic and international bond holders, suppliers and apartment buyers. It has bank borrowings of $90 billion, including from Agricultural Bank of China, China Minsheng Banking Corp and China CITIC Bank Corp (reports have 128 banks with exposure). Thousands of suppliers are on the hook for $100 billion.”

    ‘Evergrande is the most indebted of a highly levered Chinese developer sector (top three in revenues). It “owns more than 1,300 projects in more than 280 cities.” Evergrande employs 200,000 – and “indirectly helps sustain more than 3.8 million jobs each year.”’

    ‘“Outside housing, the group has invested in electric vehicles, sports and theme parks. It even owns a food and beverage business, selling bottled water, groceries, dairy products and other goods across China. In 2010, the company bought a soccer team, which is now known as Guangzhou Evergrande. That team has since built what is believed to be the world’s biggest soccer school, at a cost of $185 million to Evergrande.’

    ‘Beyond the stated $305 billion of balance sheet liabilities, there is likely a major issue with “off-balance-sheet shadow banking.” ‘

    “Many of the [wealth management] investors are Evergrande workers, after the company encouraged staff to purchase the products. In Anhui province alone, 70% to 80% of local employees bought them and that’s likely to be the situation for branches nationwide…”

    “Evergrande and others will unload apartments, unleashing downside pressure on prices. Declining prices will likely see large quantities of unoccupied units (purchased for speculation) come to market, further depressing prices. Estimates have between 50 and 65 million empty Chinese apartments.”

    “However, complacency continues to reign throughout U.S. markets. Evergrande ramifications are dismissed, while attention remains fixated on a Fed seemingly determined to ride its reckless experiment in monetary inflation for as long as it can.”

    In addition to falling energy supplies, there is the issue of crooks and incompetents at senior management level, throughout society.

    • Aravind says:

      Wolf Richter, as usual, has a transcript of his entertaining podcast about Evergrande:
      https://wolfstreet.com/2021/09/15/what-a-collapse-of-chinas-evergrande-would-mean/

      • 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.
        Gail Tverberg says:

        It sounds like it will be the foreign investors who will bear the brunt of the loss. China can cover up the problem:

        So will the collapse of these overleveraged property developers cause a financial crisis in China?

        It could. But some of the biggest losers are foreign investors that bought those bonds, and not Chinese banks; and for a financial crisis to happen it would have to sink China’s banking system.

        And then, China has some unique tools to ward off a classic financial crisis.

        The government controls nearly everything, including the central bank, the big four state-owned commercial banks which are the largest banks in the world, the bad-banks which absorb the bad loans, big asset managers, and most of the largest companies, and much of the media, including the social media, specifically with regards to financial stories.

        In other words, the government controls the money, the lenders, the borrowers, the buyers, the markets, and the message.

  13. May the asphalt road rise to meet you
    May the wind turbines be always at your back
    May the sun shine warm upon your solar panels
    And the rain fall soft upon your fields
    (but hard enough to fill the rivers that have hydroelectric dams)

    And until we meet again
    May bAU hold you in the palm of its hand

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      A modern parody of an old Irish Blessing!

  14. Lidia17 says:

    Somewhat off-topic, but an indication of real long-term “conspiracy” planning. Rosa Koire and the supra-national and effectively unaccountable “regional planning” efforts of globalists to consolidate their control over resources.

    I think people roll their eyes when they hear “Agenda 21”, but no doubt it’s a real thing.

  15. Rodster says:

    A history and the players behind the Covid 19 Plan-demic by Michel Chossudovsky.

    https://www.globalresearch.ca/video-yes-its-a-killer-vaccine-michel-chossudovsky/5755179

    • Artleads says:

      This is well worth a listen!

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      Michel Chossudovsky, Center for Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), Montreal video:

      Powerful financial interests carried at Event 201 two months before the actual pandemic started. Included WEF, Gates Foundation, and many others. Name of pandemic was 2019-COV-Novella.

      No data to justify shut down. Financial crash on February 20, 2020. At that time, 1078 cases outside of China. The pandemic hadn’t started. The stock market collapsed the next day. The financial interests engineered this collapse. Enriched those who knew what to expect. Governments worldwide were instructed on March 11, 2020, to close down their economies. Action, on the part of certain financial interests. This was an act of economic warfare! Big lie in world history. No indications that this would necessary or helpful. Face masks, social distancing. Cuba, Venezuela, Iran all followed this. Bankrupted Cuba. Big lie that this was to save lives.

      After this, IMF and World Bank lent money to developing countries that closed down their economies. By doing this, the created the greatest debt crisis in the whole world. The airlines received big handouts from governments. The creditors are enforcing the shutdowns of these economies.

      Told early on that there is going to be a vaccine. Pfizer is developing is a vaccine. That vaccine is a killer vaccine. Unapproved vaccines has devastating impacting those who take them. Adverse effects likely underreported by factor of 10. Closure of national economies has been devastating. This was deliberate. Closure of the economy of planet earth is an unprecedented. All of these governments have to follow the policies of some higher authority. Closures invalid for stopping the pandemic.

      PCR test doesn’t work well enough for the purpose it is being used.

      January 2021, the WHO re-evaluated the PCR test.

      Didn’t have an isolate of virus, as a point of a reference. Used SARS1 virus as a reference.

      Authorities said: We want COVID-19 to be the underlying cause of death in a large share of cases, without an autopsy or even a PCR test. (Get: Perhaps this led to the very high deaths in April 2020.)

      Claims that people who are dying from the vaccine are

      Objective is clear of the elites. To push the economy over, and so they themselves can pick up the pieces.

      Rockefellers, Kissengers, etc. are behind this. Take over sovereign countries. Want global governments. An alliance between bankers and selected intellectuals. Want a totalitarian state, for the benefit of the benefit of the billionaires behind this. Paralyze the economy worldwide. Will be an negative impact on the population. Psychopaths are behind this. Destroy people’s lives.

  16. Fast Eddy says:

    Lunar module made of cardboard and duck tape

    https://youtu.be/_eiaVCoGI98?t=5

    hahahahahahahahahahahaha

    • JMS says:

      And the worst is that this image only proves that human mind is able to believe anything it wants. The normal human brain sees this picture and cannot process it, it simply shuts itself down in order not to explode.
      Aware of this feature of social brains, propagandists have the easiest job in the world.

      • Hideaway says:

        Once again I’ll ask…

        How did the reflectors that Professor Tom Murphy bounces a laser off, to record the exact distance to the moon for gravitational studies, get on the moon if not placed by the Apollo astronauts??

        Is Aliens placing them there, pointed directly back to Earth, a better explanation than the Apollo Astronauts??

        They just happen to be located exactly where the Apollo missions are claimed to be..

        Professor Tom Murphy from the Do the Math webpage, and an advocate of how our current existence based on energy use cannot continue, so categorised in the ‘doomer’ camp.

        If the Moon deniers can’t answer this simple question, then realistically you should rethink your stance on the issue.

      • Hideaway says:

        Once again I’ll ask…

        How did the reflectors that Professor Tom Murphy bounces a laser off, to record the exact distance to the moon for gravitational studies, get on the moon if not placed by the Apollo astronauts??

        Is Aliens placing them there, pointed directly back to Earth, a better explanation than the Apollo Astronauts??

        They just happen to be located exactly where the Apollo missions are claimed to be..

        Professor Tom Murphy from the Do the Math webpage, and an advocate of how our current existence based on energy use cannot continue, so categorised in the ‘doom.er’ camp.

        If the Moon den.iers can’t answer this simple question, then realistically you should rethink your stance on the issue.

        • Tim Groves says:

          Well, Hideaway, where do I begin, to tell the story of how great a fraud can be…?

          Perhaps…. it’s possible to get back a signal from the moon’s natural surface. (as I said when you raised this earlier).

          Perhaps…. Professor Tom Murphy is pulling our leg when he tells us he got signals back from the moon.

          Perhaps… An unmanned vehicle placed reflectors on the lunar surface.

          Perhaps…. The Apollo sites are actually alien space bases and the reflections come from their shiny metallic roofs.

          Perhaps…. You are disembodied brain in a jar being fed data ostensibly about the outside world but actually dreamed up by the mad scientists who put your brain into the jar.

          I don’t know any Moon den.iers, but I know more than a few people who think it’s made out of cheese.

          • NomadicBeer says:

            Good job, Tim. Hideaway above makes the typical mistake of seeing only 2 possibilities – black or white, us or them.

            In reality, of course any of your hypothesis could be true.

            I think most of us will live to see the day, after the collapse of USA, when there will be an official admission of the hoax. Either the Russians, the Chinese or one of the US successor states will present some info that shows it was faked.
            Of course at that point most of us will worry too much what to eat to pay any attention to it.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          And how do you get a photo with both back lighting and front lighting without using an external light source?

          That was the question the professional photographers were asking….

        • Fast Eddy says:

          The reflectors are explained here… so for the thousandth time stop asking stooopid questions … and watch the documentary if the MOREONS want answers

          https://youtu.be/KpuKu3F0BvY

          • postkey
            postkey says:

            “How did the reflectors that Professor Tom Murphy bounces a laser off, to record the exact distance to the moon for gravitational studies, get on the moon if not placed by the Apollo astronauts??”

    • futuresystemsanalyst
      futuresystemsanalyst says:

      There are two jokes to laugh at here:

      1) duck tape (should be duct tape)

      2) FE’s continuing retardation in believing the most ridiculous

      • Tim Groves says:

        No, duck tape, is an actual product. It’s ideal for taping up the panels of lunar modules so they don’t blow away in the solar wind or during blast off, and great for fixing those little ID tags and transmitters to mallards, eiders, other varieties of duck, and waterfowl in general. Basically, if you want to tape anything to a duck, duck tape’s just the thing.

        • worldofhanumanotg
          worldofhanumanotg says:

          It’s simply another chapter of the “taken for a ride” by the more cunning trickster essentially. For example, recall how the Soviets were so competition (DoD matching capability) freaked out they copied the whole Space Shuttle program as the Reagan’s era “starwars” propaganda drummed up these fringe concepts of stealing other’s side satellites in space etc. In the end it was a better product (full autonomy) and probably safer, but they scrapped it after few starts in the early 1990s with their collapse sequence..

          The dev program surely was not cheap they probably could have built large arrays of NPPs and or finalize their unique breeder’s program on time instead (which they have to pause two decades for Vlad’s rule to complete).

          The lesson and moral of the story kids, don’t ever trust a word by perfidious tricksters.

          • Kowalainen says:

            Yes. The trickster kisses up your self entitled rear end and then having the last laugh as you plunge down the oh noes of self-inflicted injury.

            “We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we’re not alone.”
            — Orson Welles

            Only temporarily play with the delusion that you aren’t alone. Trust nothing except for your intuition, intellect and intelligence.

            Wanna believe in a “higher being”? Take a look at mankind. What kind of god would produce such an abomination of foolishness?

            Idiots gonna idiot. Tricksters gonna trick. As father, as son. Within temptation is truth.

        • Xabier says:

          Kidnap a prize duck and hold it to ransom, Tim, and there’s nothing like duck tape to keep it’s beak shut during the snatch and getaway. Marvellous stuff.

  17. Fast Eddy says:

    DeSantis Office: Over Half Of Those Seeking Lifesaving COVID-19 Treatment In South Florida Fully Vaccinated

    A spokesperson for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s office said that more than half of those who are seeking monoclonal antibody treatment in the south of Florida are “fully vaccinated” individuals amid supply issues.

    “More than half the patients getting the monoclonal antibody treatment in south Florida are fully vaccinated,” DeSantis spokeswoman Christina Pushaw wrote in response to a comment on Twitter that suggested that only unvaccinated people are the reason why there is a significant demand for monoclonal antibodies.

    Florida, she wrote hours earlier, “is above average in vaccination rate” and that “more than half of the patients in south Florida getting monoclonal antibody treatment are vaccinated and have breakthrough infections. Vaccinated or unvaccinated – Denying treatment to Covid patients is wrong.”

    Monoclonal antibodies are engineered immune system proteins that boost an immune response against an infection.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/covid-19/desantis-office-over-half-those-seeking-lifesaving-covid-19-treatment-south-florida-fully

  18. JMS says:

    “A long shadow: Nazi doctors, moral vulnerability and contemporary medical culture” – Alessandra Colaianni

    “More than 7% of all German physicians became members of the Nazi SS during World War II, compared with less than 1% of the general population. In so doing, these doctors willingly participated in genocide, something that should have been antithetical to the values of their chosen profession. The participation of physicians in torture and murder both before and after World War II is a disturbing legacy seldom discussed in medical school, and underrecognised in contemporary medicine. Is there something inherent in being a physician that promotes a transition from healer to murderer? With this historical background in mind, the author, a medical student, defines and reflects upon moral vulnerabilities still endemic to contemporary medical culture.(…)

    The value of physicians to the Nazi regime is clear: their support gave scientific legitimacy to the principles of eugenics on which the Nazis built their Rassenpolitik (racial policy) and rationalised murder under the logic of medical necessity. Indeed, without active physician participation, the Nazi regime could not have achieved its murderous aims so efficiently: physicians disguised the horrors by systematising them and cloaking them in misleading medical jargon. In so doing, they subverted their own professional values. How could so many who had sworn to do no harm have become such an integral part of murder and torture?
    […]

    What is perhaps more disturbing is the fact that the Nazi regime was neither the first nor the last to facilitate the transformation of physicians into murderers. Physician involvement in torture and murder has been a stain on the profession throughout history.1 In just the last decade, American physicians have been accused of murder in the form of ‘mercy killing’ during the worst of Hurricane Katrina2 and torturing prisoners in Guantánamo Bay.3 If we include murder committed in the name of scientific advancement, the number of physician perpetrators increases still further.

    In discussing this issue with medical peers, I have encountered two insufficient explanations. The first is that any physicians who murdered innocent people during the Holocaust were by definition psychopaths, and would have been monsters even if the Nazis had never attained power. I find this explanation unsatisfactory due to the sheer number of physicians who participated: by 1945, half of all German physicians had joined the Nazi party, 6% before Adolf Hitler gained power …

    Furthermore, 7% of all physicians were members of the Schutzstaffel (SS), compared with less than 1% of the general population.4 While truly pathological examples exist (Drs Josef Mengele, Sigmund Rascher and Hermann Pfannmüller, among others), most doctors who participated in the Holocaust were regular people who believed that they were doing an unpleasant but morally correct and necessary job….

    The second explanation I have encountered is that even if the Nazi physicians were not monsters, they were forced to participate at risk of their own deaths; they did not have free will and therefore cannot be held accountable for the ‘choices’ they made. However, many studies have concluded that, ‘after almost 50 years of postwar proceedings, proof has not been provided in a single case that someone who refused to participate in killing operations was shot, incarcerated, or penalised in any way’.6 Furthermore, a few doctors did refuse to participate—and far from being killed for their actions, they were tolerated and even, in some cases, respected for their decisions.7 Physicians joined the Nazi party and the killing operations not at gunpoint, not by force, but of their own volition. …

    These physicians were normal, sane individuals who chose to commit murder—but why? In social psychology, situationism describes the idea that humans make choices based on the circumstances of their social environment rather than an understanding of right and wrong. The famous obedience experiments performed by Stanley Milgram in the 1960s showed that, when instructed to do so by a person they perceived to be an authority figure, normal people willingly inflict severe pain on fellow humans.8 These experiments demonstrated that under the right combination of pressures, anyone can commit morally heinous acts. …

    Hierarchy and socialisation
    Medical culture is, in many ways, a rigid hierarchy. Medical students answer to interns, interns to residents, residents to chief residents, chief residents to attendings, attendings to department chiefs and so on up the line. Those at the lower end of the hierarchy are used to doing what their superiors ask of them, often without understanding exactly why, and they are not always encouraged to speak up if they have concerns. Questioning superiors is often uncomfortable, for fear both of negative consequences (retaliation, losing the superior’s respect) and of being wrong. I know that I am becoming rapidly socialised to this culture, learning how to behave by watching my superiors and more experienced peers. Some of this is adaptive: there is much to learn to become a doctor, and learning the right way to perform procedures, behave with colleagues and present information is crucial. On the other hand, it is easy to see how this powerful cultural pressure could become a form of indoctrination. Sleep deprivation, heightened stress levels and fear of failure are infamous in medical training—and they are also powerful tools of socialisation.

    The Nazis utilised that hierarchy and power of socialisation to enlist physicians in their cause. By calling on young doctors to do their national duty as ‘soldiers’, they added a level to the existing hierarchy and made physicians accountable to the state. As one physician put it, ‘according to a “Führer order”, service in a concentration camp was considered front-line duty”

    To read the rest of this enlightening article:
    https://jme.bmj.com/content/38/7/435?sid=aceda3f9-6085-4457-8acd-fab641713ba2

    • JMS says:

      In my view, this article shows why and how the medical profession is particularly susceptible to being used by the state (or the pharmaceutical industry, I might add) for nefarious ethnic (or classist, I might add) cleansing purposes. Few people are aware that the Nazi regime was a very useful laboratory for political research.
      The article attempts to answer the question “Is there something inherent in being a doctor that promotes a transition from healer to killer?”, and supports its answer on the following points:

      – Hierarchy and socialisation
      – Career ambition
      Becoming a doctor requires no small amount of ambition. Pre-medical classes are often large and graded on a curve; so-called ‘weed-out’ courses designed to discourage all but the most hardworking and dedicated from continuing on. The stereotypical pre-medical student—ruthlessly competitive, willing to do anything to get ahead, in extreme cases even cheating or sabotaging others—is so well known that it has a name: a ‘gunner’.

      The ‘licence to sin”
      Physicians—and even medical students—are allowed to perform actions that, in other contexts, are taboo. This begins early in medical school: in the pursuit of scientific knowledge, I and two classmates dissected the cadaver of a 98-year-old woman, cutting her muscles apart with scalpels and cleaving her bones with a saw. Forcing an intubation tube down an unconscious person’s throat, removing a dead person’s heart and placing it in a live person’s chest, drilling holes in someone’s skull—these actions are allowed when they are performed by physicians, but are the stuff of horror films and criminal cases when non-licensed personnel attempt them. Physicians make high-stakes, life-and-death decisions that outsiders are not allowed to make (…)
      This ‘licence to sin’ was crucial to medicine within the Nazi regime. By having a doctor make every decision that sent an innocent person to death, murder became a medical procedure. Actions that were unacceptable for a state to undertake became acceptable if a physician did them. In the T4 ‘euthanasia’ programme, three junior physicians marked brief questionnaires about mentally handicapped individuals with a red ‘+’ (for death) or a blue ‘–’ (for life). In this way murder was systematised, sanitised, ‘medicalised’ and sanctioned.17

      Inflicting pain
      Doctors must become comfortable inflicting transient pain and discomfort on their patients for their own benefit—in the form, for example, of stitches and biopsies. (….) In Nazi Germany, being comfortable inflicting pain to achieve a future benefit was crucial to the transition from physician to murderer.

      Medical terminology and euphemism
      Medicine, and the scientific research on which much of medicine is based, explicitly removes linguistic evidence of human action from its proceedings. Scientists use euphemisms and the passive voice in journal articles—writing ‘the animals were sacrificed’ at the end of the experiment is less jarring than admitting that ‘I killed 20 mice by holding their necks and pulling their tails until their spines snapped.’ In medicine, we routinely use the words ‘idiopathic’ or ‘cryptogenic’ to mean, ‘we don’t know’, and ‘iatrogenic’ or ‘nosocomial’ to mean, ‘we caused it’. (….) Physicians in Nazi Germany used euphemism to great effect. They were not murdering mentally handicapped individuals with poisonous gas; they were ‘euthanising’ Lebens unswertesleben (literally, ‘life unworthy of life’), ‘cleansing’ or ‘disinfecting’ German genetic stock

      Detachment
      Physicians are more at ease in the presence of pain, sickness, morbidity and death than are their citizen counterparts; the medical profession requires unflappability in the face of things that others would consider disgusting, horrific, or otherwise overwhelming. (…) Physicians in Auschwitz had to use their considerable powers of detachment simply to exist in a place so horrific (…) Nazi doctors used ‘doubling’ or ‘splitting’ to distinguish their outside selves from their ‘Auschwitz selves’. Because those physicians were accustomed to being stoic, because not reacting was something they knew was expected of them, they quickly adapted to the grim realities of their lives at Auschwitz. Therefore, standing at the edge of the ramp, pointing hundreds of people at a time to their painful deaths became just another disagreeable but necessary task: ‘For most SS doctors, selections were a job—somewhat unpleasant and often exhausting.’ (…) Their powers of detachment were so strong that, as one physician who had worked in Auschwitz noted, ‘In the beginning it was almost impossible. Afterwards it became almost routine.”

      • Xabier says:

        Moreover, in Germany, and Dr Mengele’s experimental block, the pain – often leading to death – was inflicted on the ‘deplorables’ and ‘inessentials’ of the day, or the benefit of the chosen few, the ‘pure’ Aryans.

        Now we are told to take the risk of vaccines for the sake of the greater good and the whole community, a repellent concept.

    • Artleads says:

      This article was a wakeup call. It subtly avoided mentioning COVID, but any aswake person could see how it relates. Take a young doctor who has whopping student loan bills, subject them to mind altering sleep deprivation, rigid hierarchy and socialization, and how could they resist strong coercion to “take out” undesirables who are in their care?

      “Hierarchy and socialisation
      Medical culture is, in many ways, a rigid hierarchy. Medical students answer to interns, interns to residents, residents to chief residents, chief residents to attendings, attendings to department chiefs and so on up the line. Those at the lower end of the hierarchy are used to doing what their superiors ask of them, often without understanding exactly why, and they are not always encouraged to speak up if they have concerns. “

      • Xabier says:

        That describes hospital culture exactly: nor does their education foster a lively and independent intellect or moral sense – rather like the military.

        I noted this as a student – I shared lodgings with scientists and medics mostly – and it is horrible to see this defective culture coming to fruition in what we are enduring, as so many act as the wiling handmaids of psychopathic bankers and politicians.

        They are not the first-movers, but the useful idiots, the professional nobodies essential to any tyranny. Just as police do the thug work on the streets and enforce insane regulations.

        All the more honour, then, to those who are resisting and also trying to inform the general public. How tired many of the seem by now.

    • Sam says:

      My girlfriend son was sick this weekend complaining of stomach pain she brought him to the hospital and after six hours of tests they said he had to have his appendics removed. But after reading I think it could’ve been treated with antibiotics and let to heal on its own. I think doctors are brainwashed to think that they have to intervene all the time and they are better than nature. The same is true with Covid I think if you were sick and had the antibodies much better and getting a vaccine. They scare her into thinking that they know best. Believe it or not they are now finding that the appendix actually plays a role in providing good bacteria to the gut. Does anyone else have experience with this?

      • 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.
        Gail Tverberg says:

        If the appendix has already burst, it is my understanding that can be a life threatening situation. Back when my father was a general practitioner, it was the practice to remover burst appendices. I am not sure what else was done. I imagine antibiotics were given in addition. I don’t know current practices, however.

  19. Student says:

    The scaffolding is showing indicative signs of collapse:

    The Italian Military Union on the Green Pass declares: Draghi needs to reflect…

    (automatic translation)

    ‘For this reason – continues the Union of Military – in addition to the imaginable consequences from the operational point of view that could occur with the removal or suspension of 30 percent of military personnel, I invite the Government to exclude the staff of the Ministry of Defense from the obligation of possession of the green pass for access to the workplace and, likewise, I invite military personnel without a green pass to demand the utmost respect for their rights and then report any abuse at (e-mail address)>>

    https://raffaelepalermonews.com/sindacato-dei-militari-sul-green-pass-draghi-rifletta/

  20. Rodster says:

    This woman worked for Big Pharma and is now speaking out.

    “CV19 Vaccines are Poison – Karen Kingston

    https://usawatchdog.com/cv19-vaccines-are-poison-karen-kingston/

    • Two comments from your link:

      Lore

      “I stand by the position that the ‘Covid’ genocide was rolled out as part of a broader Agenda 21 / 2030 program of demand destruction ahead of the declining production curve in positive-EROEI oil and gas. Basically, it’s never again going to be economic to heat the homes and fuel the vehicles of every Tom, Dick and Harry living out in the boonies, and jurisdictions that rely primarily for energy on so-called fossil fuels will transform over the next 10-20 years into ghost towns or regions, while the survivors of the spike protein injections will migrate to the most habitable and economically sustainable regions. The elites are deliberately putting the squeeze on us now in order to soften the blow for themselves longer term.“

      dlc

      “I was suspicious from the get go with this vax. There is no blood work involved, no exam, no thorough review of medical conditions. Having lupus, this vax would finish me off pronto. I already have a jacked up immune system and would go into cytokine orbit with this concoction.

      “With 35+ years of medical transcribing, I’ve noted for decades the deluge of drugs prescribed. I often wondered how a patient’s liver didn’t seize up from polypharmacy, have long thought of doctors as drug pushers not much different than the cartels. Up to 15-20 drugs prescribed was not a rarity. I have counted up to 35 drugs for one patient.

      “I am not surprised that people have lined up for the current poison. The public has been conditioned to hoover up prescriptions and believe a pill or a shot is the answer to everything. Throw in a very self-abusive culture (cocaine, fentanyl, etc.), people with lots of idol time, and you have easy pickings for pharma and rats like Joe.

      “I have never taken any scripp for my condition. I have no TV or smart phone, so have not been hammered by media. Today was a shocker to see the majority of shoppers at JoAnn and Wal-Mart wearing masks, here in AZ of all places. The men especially are such a disappointment.”

      Never mind blood work, exams or a thorough review of your preexisting medical conditions! Come on down to the local pop-up COVID-19 injection site and get your jab! No appointment necessary!

  21. Artleads says:

    Reminds me off how we might have done “COVID” better.

    • worldofhanumanotg
      worldofhanumanotg says:

      If you meant it like under the trade slogan ..sheer total utter neglect.. lets be realistic here. The regenerative AG and permaculture derivative approaches (many) are not zero fuel (or non offsite input) pure en-devour by a long shot. If you consult with Mark, there are lots of extra hours on the tractor he is doing on the land (or in case of clients) which don’t appear much in the motivational videos and public speeches.. But here again aren’t we back to the pesky question of the theoretically best being enemy of the good compromise.

      • Artleads says:

        I was very disappointed by the ending and all the busy work he does for money. Completely divorced from the beautiful “do nothing” (but know when to do nothing) sentiment in the first half of the video. I didn’t pick up that he was into absolute purity; he seemed to be saying that he found a system that was preferable to the mainstream’s. Involving less cost and less work.

        • worldofhanumanotg
          worldofhanumanotg says:

          Understandably these alt approaches are usually front loaded in energy / effort expense as in the initial setup-foundation of the new system and then also obviously the yearly / seasonal harvests, processing etc. But what I was alluding to – there are also some additional inputs and maintenance throughout the whole operation during the year as well, which he and others tend to omit / glaze over during such presentations.

          • Hideaway says:

            There are also some little snippets in there like the 10% of the yield of the guys that do it best.

            Yes the human world could survive with this type of ag, but only 10% of the population as well. Kind of tells us where we are heading in a FF free future..

          • Xabier says:

            They sell a fantasy, nothing more.

            Until they can show that they use only key resources from a 6-mile radius of the farm, at most.

  22. “Bolivian President Luis Arce called on Saturday for a global agreement to lower debts for poor countries at a diplomatic summit in Mexico, as he and other heads of state seek to boost a new Latin American and Caribbean diplomatic block.”

    https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/bolivian-president-calls-global-debt-relief-poor-countries-2021-09-18/

  23. Student says:

    MHRA (UK) updated reports on Covid-19 vaccines injuries from December 9, 2020 through September 8, 2021 (released September 10, 2021).

    From this link you can then open all sub files for each vaccine:

    https://t.me/lancoraitalia/2531

  24. “Alarm bells are ringing unheeded in a world yearning for optimism… Investors have waved through deal after risky deal this year as they look for places to park their cash.

    “The lending has been mammoth, swelling the US corporate bond market to nearly $11tn — more than a tenth bigger than it was at the end of 2019 before the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Sifma, the securities industry’s trade group. But the terms at which these money managers have agreed to lend have been astonishingly poor.

    “Credit rating agencies are already warning the seeds of the next crisis, or at least the next default cycle, are being sown today. The pain will be particularly acute in the junk bond and leveraged loan market…”

    https://www.ft.com/content/1cba68a5-b776-4dcd-9499-14c11638dbba

    • “It’s premature to declare economic victory from the Covid crash… by many measures, the recovery from Covid is incomplete — especially for Main Street.”

      https://edition.cnn.com/2021/09/17/economy/delta-covid-economy/index.html

      • 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.
        Gail Tverberg says:

        Main Street businesses are barely hanging on, right now. Many can be expected to fail, especially if costs rise.

        • Dennis L. says:

          Following Tim Morgan:
          Is it possible that very few business actually make a profit now? The largest labor costs are SS, Medicare and health insurance, all a cost of labor; it does not take that much scale to require weekly/biweekly payments of these taxes – that is cash flow.

          With many suppliers worldwide, perhaps as equipment depreciates and fails it is not possible to recover the costs with replacements, non cash costs eventually come due, maybe due about now.

          Dennis L.

      • “Crunch time for Biden’s economic plan: ‘Failure is not an option’…

        “The haggling in Congress this month over ambitious spending bills will be a defining moment for his presidency.”

        https://www.ft.com/content/5e3defde-3260-4e61-9ecd-b142b30d1a69

        • “President Joe Biden’s top aides and local officials nationwide pleaded with U.S. lawmakers on Friday to resolve a government debt showdown that they warned could spark an economic crisis.”

          https://www.reuters.com/world/us/white-house-warns-economic-catastrophe-without-action-debt-limit-2021-09-17/

          • 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.
            Gail Tverberg says:

            This problem seems to come around sufficiently frequently that people don’t get too excited.

            Goldman told its clients that the current deadline seems as risky as a 2011 standoff that led Standard & Poor’s to lower its rating on U.S. sovereign debt and a 2013 crisis that coincided with a partial shutdown of the government.

            Early signs of concern have begun to emerge in the Treasury market, with modest premiums seen in yields for bills due to mature in October and early November.

            “The markets are assigning a small chance of problems,” said Guy LeBas, chief fixed income strategist at Janney, an investment bank.

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      If investors can’t find anything profitable to invest in, it seems like they will invest in anything. I suppose that is related to the negative interest rates available in some countries. Invest, but expect a loss.

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