Spike in energy prices suggests that sharp changes are ahead

An analysis of what is going terribly wrong in the world economy

The world economy requires stability. People living in the world economy need stability, as well. They need food every day and a place to live. Children need a home situation that they can count on.

Back in the 1950 to 1979 era, when energy supplies of many kinds were growing rapidly, it was possible to build stability into the economic system: Jobs with a company were often long-time careers; pensions after retirement were offered; electricity was sold through regulated “utilities” that charged prices that wrapped in long-term maintenance of the electric grid and the cost of fuel, among other things.

But as high energy prices hit in the 1970s, the system became more and more strained. The mood changed. Margaret Thatcher became the Prime Minister of the UK in 1979, and Ronald Reagan became President of the United States in 1981. Under their leadership, debt was increasingly used to cover longer-term costs, and competition was encouraged. A person might say that a move toward greater complexity, but less stability, of the economic system had begun.

Now, through several iterations, the economy has become increasingly complex, with less and less redundancy to provide stability. The energy price spike that is being experienced today is a warning that something is very, very wrong. As I see the situation, the trend toward complexity has gone too far; the economic system is starting to break down. Sharp changes appear to be ahead. The world economy is shifting into contraction mode, with more and more parts of the system failing.

In this post, I will discuss some of the issues involved. It turns out that energy modelers haven’t understood how detrimental intermittency really is. They modeled intermittent electricity from renewables (wind, water and solar) as far more helpful than it really is. This has been confusing to everyone. The sharp changes that the title of this post refers to represent an early stage of economic collapse.

[1] If energy supplies are inexpensive and widely available, it is easy to build an economy.

I have written in the past about the need for energy supplies to keep the economy functioning properly being analogous to the need for food, to keep humans functioning properly.

The economy doesn’t operate on a single type of energy, any more than a human lives on a single type of food. The economy uses a portfolio of energy types. These include human labor, energy directly from sunlight, and energy from burning various types of fuels, including biomass and fossil fuels.

As long as energy sources are inexpensive and readily available, an economy can grow and provide goods and services for an increasing number of citizens. We can think of this as being analogous to, “As long as buying and preparing food takes little of our wages (or time, if we are growing it ourselves), then there are plenty of wages (or time) left over for other activities.”

But once energy prices start spiking, it looks like there is not enough to go around. In the absence of ways to hide the problem, citizens need to cut back on non-essentials, pushing the economy into recession. Or businesses stop making essential products that require natural gas or coal, such as fertilizer or fuel additives to hold emissions down. The lack of such products can, by itself, be very disruptive to an economy.

[2] Once energy supplies become constrained, energy prices tend to spike. In the early stages of these price spikes, adding complexity allows the economy to better tolerate higher energy costs.

There are many ways to work around the problem of rising energy prices, at least temporarily. For example:

  • Build vehicles, such as cars, that are smaller and more fuel efficient.
  • Extend fossil fuel supplies by building nuclear power plants, hydroelectric generating plants, wind turbines, solar panels, and geothermal electricity generation.
  • Make factories more efficient.
  • Add insulation to buildings; eliminate any cracks that might allow outside air into buildings.
  • Instead of pre-funding capital costs, use debt to transfer these costs to later purchasers of energy products.
  • Encourage competition in providing different parts of electricity production and distribution.
  • Develop time-of-day pricing for electricity, so as to keep prices down to the marginal cost of production, even though this does not, in total, repay all costs of production and distribution.
  • Cut back on routine maintenance of electricity transmission systems.
  • Purchase coal and natural gas imports using spot pricing, rather than long term contracts, as long as these seem to be lower-priced than long-term commitments.
  • Throughout the economy, take advantage of economies of scale and mechanization. Build huge companies. Replace human labor wherever possible.
  • Stimulate the economy by increasing debt availability and lowering interest rates. This is helpful because a more rapidly growing economy can withstand higher energy prices.
  • Use global supply chains to source as large a share of manufacturing inputs as possible from countries with low wages and low energy costs.
  • Build very “lean” just-in-time supply chains.
  • Create complex financial systems, with debt resold and repackaged in different ways, futures contracts, and exchange traded funds.

Together, these approaches comprise “complexity.” They tend to make the economic system less resilient. At least temporarily, they pass fewer of the higher costs of energy products through to current citizens. As a result, the economy can temporarily withstand a higher price of energy. But the system tends to become brittle and prone to failure.

[3] There are limits to added complexity. In fact, complexity limits are what are likely to make the economic system fail.

Joseph Tainter, in The Collapse of Complex Societies, makes the point that there are diminishing returns to added complexity. For example, the changes that result in the biggest gains in fuel savings for vehicles are the ones added first.

Another drawback of added complexity is the extreme wage disparity that tends to result. Instead of everyone earning close to the same amount, those at the top of the hierarchy get a disproportionate share of the wages. This is what leads to many of the problems we are seeing today. Would-be workers don’t want to apply for jobs, even when they seem to be available. Citizens become unhappy and rebellious. Lower-paid workers may not eat well, so that pandemics spread more easily.

The underlying problem is that population tends to rise, but it becomes harder and harder to produce food and other necessities with the arable land and energy resources available. Ugo Bardi uses Figure 1 to show the shape of the expected decline in goods and services produced in such a situation:

Figure 1. Seneca Cliff by Ugo Bardi.

According to Bardi, Seneca in the title refers to a statement written by Lucius Annaeus Seneca in 91 CE, “It would be of some consolation for the feebleness of ourselves and our works if all things should perish as slowly as they come into being. As it is, increases are of sluggish growth, but the way to ruin is rapid.” In fact, this shape seems to approximate the type of cycle Turchin and Nefedov observed when analyzing several agricultural civilizations that collapsed in their book Secular Cycles.

[4] An increasing amount of complexity has been added since 1981 to help compensate for rising oil and other energy prices.

The prices of commodities, including oil, tend to be extremely variable because storage is very limited, relative to the large quantities used every day. There needs to be a very close match between supply and demand, or prices will rise very high or fall very low.

Oil is exceptionally important because it is the single largest source of energy for the world economy. It is heavily used in food production and in the extraction of minerals of all types. If the price of oil increases, the price of food tends to rise, as does the price of metals of many types. Oil is also important as a transportation fuel.

In the early days, before depletion led to higher extraction costs, oil prices remained stable and low (Figure 2), as a result of utility-type pricing by the Texas Railroad Commission. Oil prices started to spike, once depletion became more of a problem.

Figure 2. Brent-equivalent oil prices in 2020 US$. Based on data from BP’s 2021 Statistical Review of World Energy.

Economists tell us that oil and other commodity prices depend on “supply and demand.” When we look at turning points for oil prices, it becomes clear that financial manipulations play a significant role in determining oil demand. Such manipulations lead to prices that have practically nothing to do with the underlying cost of producing commodities. The huge changes in prices seem to reflect actions by central bankers to encourage or discourage lending (QE on Figure 3).

Figure 3. Monthly Brent oil prices with dates of US beginning and ending Quantitative Easing. Later Quantitative Easing did not bring oil prices back up to their prior level.

Quantitative easing (QE) makes it cheaper to borrow money. Adding QE tends to raise oil prices; deleting QE seems to reduce oil prices. These prices have little direct connection with the cost of extracting oil from the ground. Instead, prices are closely related to the amount of complexity being added to the system and whether it is having its intended impact on energy prices.

At the time of the 1973-1974 oil crisis, many people thought that the world was truly running out of oil. The petroleum industry did, indeed, succeed in extracting more. The 2005 to 2008 period was another period of concern that the world might be running out of oil. Then, in 2014, when oil prices suddenly fell, the dominant story suddenly became, “There is plenty of oil. The world’s biggest problem is climate change.”

In fact, there was no real reason to believe that the shortage situation had changed. US oil from shale had a brief run-up in production in the 2007 to 2019 period, but this production was unprofitable for producers, especially after oil prices dropped in 2014 (Figures 2 and 3). Producers of oil from shale are no longer investing very much in new production. With the sweet spots of fields depleted and this low level of investment, it will not be surprising if oil production from shale continues to fall.

Figure 4. US crude and condensate oil production for the 48 states, Alaska, and for shale basins, based on data of the US Energy Information Administration.

The real story is that the supply of oil, coal and natural gas is limited by the extent to which additional complexity can be added to the economy, to keep selling prices so that they are both:

  • High enough for producers of these products, so that they can both pay adequate taxes and make adequate reinvestment.
  • Low enough for consumers, especially for the many consumers around the world with very low wages.

Many people have missed the point that, at least since 2014, financial manipulations have not kept prices for fossil fuels high enough for producers. Low prices are driving them out of business. This is the case for oil, coal and natural gas. In fact, low prices caused by giving wind and solar priority on the electric grid are driving producers of nuclear electricity out of business, as well.

Oil producers require a price of $120 a barrel or more to cover all of their costs. Without a much higher price than available today (even with oil prices over $80 per barrel), shale oil production can be expected to fall. In fact, OPEC and its affiliates won’t ramp up production by very large amounts either because they, too, need much higher prices to cover all their costs.

[5] Economists and analysts of many types put together models that give misleading results because they missed several important points.

After oil prices fell in late 2014, it became fashionable to believe that vast amounts of fossil fuels are available for extraction, and that our biggest problem in the future would be climate change. Besides low prices, one reason for this concern was the high level of fossil fuel proven reserves reported by many countries around the world.

Figure 5. Ratio of reported proven reserves at December 31, 2020, to reported production in 2020 based on data from BP’s 2021 Statistical Review of World Energy.

Even fossil fuel companies started to invest in renewables because of the poor returns experienced from fossil fuel investments. It looked to them as if investment in renewables would be more profitable than continued investment in fossil fuel production. Of course, the profits of renewables were largely the result of government subsidies, particularly the subsidy of “going first.” Giving wind and solar first access when they happen to be available tends to lead to very low, and even negative, wholesale prices for other electricity producers. This drives these other producers of electricity out of business, even though they are really needed to correct for the intermittency of renewables.

There were many things that hardly anyone understood:

  • Energy prices in today’s financially manipulated economy bear little relationship to the true cost of production.
  • Fossil fuel producers need to be guaranteed long-term high prices, if there is to be any chance of ramping up production.
  • Intermittent renewables (including wind, solar, and hydroelectric) have little value in a modern economy unless they are backed up with a great deal of fossil fuels and nuclear electricity.
  • Our real problem with fossil fuels is a shortage problem. Price signals are very misleading.
  • The models of economists are mostly wrong. The use of carbon pricing and intermittent renewables will simply disadvantage the countries adopting them.

The reason why geologists and fossil fuel producers give misleading information about the amount of oil, coal and natural gas available to be extracted is because it is not something they can be expected to know. In a sense, the question is, “How much complexity can the economy withstand before it becomes too brittle to handle a temporary shock, such as a pandemic shutdown?” It isn’t the amount of fossil fuels in the ground that matters; it is the follow-on effects of the high level of complexity on the rest of the economy that matters.

[6] At this point, ramping up fossil fuel production would be very difficult because of the long-term low prices for fossil fuels. Unfortunately, the economy cannot get along with only today’s small quantity of renewables.

Figure 6. World energy supply by type, based on data from BP’s 2021 Statistical Review of World Energy.

Most people don’t realize just how slowly renewables have been ramping up as a share of world energy supplies. For 2020, wind and solar together amounted to only 5% of world energy supplies and hydroelectric amounted to 7% of world energy supplies. The world economy cannot function on 12% (or perhaps 20%, if more items are included) of its current energy supply any more than a person’s body can function on 12% or 20% of its current calorie intake.

Also, the world’s reaction to the pandemic acted, in many ways, like oil rationing. Figure 6 shows that consumption was reduced for oil, coal and natural gas. An even bigger impact was on the prices of these fuels. Prices fell, even though the cost of production was not falling. (See, for example, Figure 2 for the fall in oil prices.)

These lower prices left fossil fuel providers even worse off financially than they were previously. Some providers went out of business. They certainly do not have reserve funds set aside to develop the new fields that they would need to develop, if they were to ramp up production for oil, coal and natural gas now. Because of this, it is virtually impossible to ramp up fossil fuel production now. A lead time of at least several years is needed, besides a clear way of funding the higher production.

[7] Every plant and animal and, in fact, every growing thing, needs to win the battle against intermittency.

As mentioned in the introduction, humans need to eat on a regular basis. Hunter-gatherers solved the problem of intermittency of harvests by moving from area to area, so that their own location would match the location of food availability. Early agriculture and cities became possible when the growing of grain was perfected. Grain was both storable and portable, so it could be used year around. It could also be brought to cities, allowing people to live in a different location from where the crops were stored.

We can think of any number of adaptations in the plant and animal kingdom to intermittency. Some birds migrate. Bears hibernate. Deciduous trees lose their leaves each fall and grow them back again each spring.

Our supply of any of our energy products is in some sense intermittent. Oil wells deplete, so new ones need to be drilled. Biomass burned for fuel grows for a while, before it is cut down (or falls down) and is burned for fuel. Solar energy is available only until a cloud comes in front of the sun. In winter, solar energy is mostly absent.

[8] Any modeling of the cost of energy needs to take into account the full system needed to “bridge the intermittency gap.”

As far as I can see, the only pricing system that generates enough funds is one that takes into account the full system needs, including the need to overcome intermittency and the need for transportation of the energy to the user. In fact, I would argue that even more than this needs to be included. Good roads are generally required if the system is to be kept in good repair. Good schools are needed for would-be workers in the energy system. Any costs associated with pollution should be wrapped into the required price. Thus, the true cost of energy generation really should include a fairly substantial load for taxes for all of the governmental services that the system requires. And, of course, all parts of the system should pay their workers a living wage.

This high level of pricing can only be provided by utility type pricing of fossil fuels and electricity. The use of long-term contracts to purchase fossil fuels, uranium or electricity can also build in most of these costs. The alternative approach, buying fuels using spot contracts or pricing based on time of day electricity supply, looks appealing when costs are low. But such systems don’t build in sufficient funding for replacement of depleted fields or the full cost of a 24/7/365 electrical system.

Modelers didn’t understand that the “low prices now, higher prices later” approaches that were being advocated don’t really work for the long term. As limits are approached, prices tend to spike badly. Modelers had assumed that the economic system could handle such spikes in prices, and that the spikes in prices would quickly lead to new supply or adaptation. In fact, huge spikes in prices are very disruptive to the system. New supply is what is really needed, but providers tend to be too damaged by previous long periods of artificially low prices to provide this supply. The approach looks great in academic papers, but it leads to rolling blackouts and unfilled natural gas reservoirs for winter.

[9] Major changes for the worse seem to be ahead for the world economy.

At this point, it seems as if complexity has gone too far. The pandemic moved the world economy in the direction of contraction but prices of fossil fuels tend to spike as the economy opens up.

Figure 7. Chart by BBC/Bloomberg. Source: BBC

The recent spikes in prices are highly unlikely to produce the natural gas, coal and oil that is required. They are more likely to cause recession. Fossil fuel suppliers need high prices guaranteed for the long term. Even if such guarantees could be provided, it would still take several years to ramp up production to the level needed.

The general trend of the economy is likely to be in the direction of the Seneca Cliff (Figure 1). Everything won’t collapse all at once, but big “chunks” may start breaking away.

The debt system is a very vulnerable part. Debt is, in effect, a promise of goods or services made with energy in the future. If the energy isn’t there, the promised goods and services won’t be available. Governments may try to hide this problem with new debt, but governments can’t solve the underlying problem of missing goods and services.

Pension systems of all kinds are also vulnerable. If fewer goods and services are being made in total, they will need to be divided up differently. Pensioners are likely to get a reduced share, or nothing at all.

Importers of fossil fuels seem likely to be especially affected by price spikes because exporters have the ability to cut back in the quantity available for export, if total supply is inadequate. Europe is one part of the world that is especially dependent on oil, natural gas and coal imports.

Figure 8. Total energy production and consumption of Europe, based on data of BP’s 2021 Statistical Review of World Energy. The gap between consumption and production is filled by imports of oil, coal, natural gas and biofuels. Within Europe, countries also import electricity from each other.
Figure 9. Europe energy production by fuel based on data from BP’s 2021 Statistical Review of World Energy.

The combined production of hydroelectric, wind and solar and biofuels (in Figure 9) amounts to only 19% of Europe’s total energy consumption (shown in Figure 8). There is no possible way that Europe can get along only with renewable energy, at any foreseeable time in the future.

European economists should have told European citizens, “There is no way you can get along using renewables alone for many, many years. Treat the countries that are exporting fossil fuels to you very well. Sign long term contracts with them. If they want to use a new pipeline, raise no objection. Your bargaining power is very low.” Instead, European economists talked about saving the planet from carbon dioxide. It is an interesting idea, but the sad truth is that if Europe takes itself out of the contest for energy imports, it mostly leaves more fossil fuels for exporters to sell to others.

China stands out as well, as the world’s largest consumer of energy, and as the world’s largest importer of oil, coal and natural gas. It is already encountering electricity shortages that are leading to rolling blackouts. In fact, rolling blackouts in China started almost a year ago in late 2020. China is, of course, a major exporter of goods to the rest of the world. If China has major energy problems, the rest of the world will no longer be able to count on China’s exports. Lack of China’s exports, by itself, could be a huge problem for the rest of the world.

I could continue speculating on the changes ahead. The basic problem, as I see it, is that we have reached limits on oil, coal and natural gas extraction, pretty much simultaneously. The limits are really complexity limits. The renewables that we have today aren’t able to save us, regardless of what the models of Mark Jacobson and others might say.

In the next few years, I am afraid that we will find out how collapse actually proceeds in a very interconnected world economy.

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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4,474 Responses to Spike in energy prices suggests that sharp changes are ahead

  1. MonkeyBusiness says:

    Nothing is wrong. Stonks way up.

    • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      Dow hits a record high.

      Sam, oh Sam, all good!

      oil is mid 80s (way way below inflation adjusted plateau 2011-2014), but US natural gas has stabilized in the low $5s, way way better than the EU?

      about 5 months until Spring 2022, and this should be an interesting experiment of how energy supplies might hold up in the Core.

      and how much more the Periphery will be squeeeeeeeezed.

  2. Malcopian says:

    Everything’s so depressing right now. Time for some music. I’m not a fan of country music, but I’m guessing Gail is. Let’s see if she likes any of these oldies.

    Bob Lind – Elusive butterfly

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4kZaXgCMoM

    Bobby Goldsboro – Honey

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZiEY3O-FWk

    Harry Nilsson – Midnight Cowboy

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zHVFXorF38

    The Littlest Hobo – theme song. 😉

    • I only have music on when I am driving somewhere. It bothers me to have it on when I am trying to think. I don’t usually drive very far, so as a practical matter I don’t listen to very much of it.

      The genre I usually listen to is Bluegrass Music. It might be considered a subdivision of country music. A website says:

      “Bluegrass is a sub-genre of Country Music with characteristics that differentiate it from mainstream Country: The instrumentation is purely ‘string band’ based: Guitar, Banjo, Mandolin, Fiddle and Upright Bass. There is more emphasis on an ‘acoustic’ sound. The music is more free and the structures are more complex. Some people say Bluegrass has more of a ‘hillbilly’ style, a label disliked by Bluegrass musicians.”

      Bluegrass tunes often take the form of narratives on the everyday lives of the people that the music came.

      There are quite a few gospel songs mixed in when I listen to Bluegrass music.

      Bluegrass tends to be quite upbeat.

      This is Rocky Top.

      https://youtu.be/_n9prNixjbg

      This is a bluegrass instrumental.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQIJuu3N5EY

      This is gospel collection:

      • Malcopian says:

        So I was half-right. Surely I deserve this year’s Nobel Prize for Telepathy. 😉

        The violins give the music something of a Irish flavour.

        Reminds me also of the “Beverley Hillbillies” theme song of the 1960s TV series. The fictional family got rich through discovering oil, so that’s on topic here!

      • Student says:

        I also listen to music when I drive or when I have free time.
        I studied music for many years, but now I play my instrument only rarely. One of my teacher (also teacher for an important Conservatoire) used to say that it is not possible for him to listen to music when he does other things, because music is a such an important brain activity for him that he needs to only listen to music when he wants to hear music.
        Otherwise it is just a disturbing noise.
        Actually he also cannot bear background music in stores and restaurants that distract him or make it difficult for him to talk with other people.

        • When I am walking outside (which happens a lot), I like to listen to the sounds of nature or talk to neighbors. Sometimes I talk to a friend or relative on the phone. Or I think about an upcoming post, and how I might organize it. I definitely don’t listen to music.

          When I am trying to think, music is a distraction. My husband likes a kind of music that has little melody and includes chirping bird sounds. He says that doesn’t distract him. It is not my favorite, however.

          • Student says:

            I see now that I should I’ve written ‘I listen to music when I drive like you (or ‘me too’) instead of writing ‘also’ at the beginning of the phrase.
            Sorry, English is not my mother tongue, but maybe it is clear anyway that we think similarly about how and when listen to music.
            Many thanks for your story.

            • Malcopian says:

              There was nothing wrong with your first sentence. You can only drive like Gail if you’ve watched how she drives. 😉

              Or maybe you meant, “Like you, I also listen to music while I’m driving”.

    • theblondbeast says:

      Ha!

      Of obviously interesting note when he references Pearl Harbor he neglects to mention the Japanese action was in response to U.S. interdiction of their oil supply. The exorbitant expenditure of American resources, including primarily oil, lead M.King Hubbert to coin the phrase “drain America first.”

      When FDR commissioned a report to analyze the U.S. dominant global position they produced a lengthy document which can be summarized as “It’s the oil, stupid.” This lead him to meet with King Abd al-Aziz about a protection racket for oil security.

      I have no doubts governments may try total war against climate change when presented with an existential threat (in the present, not modeled future). They will find that we have already “drank our milkshake.”

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GX-9wXFQRgA

      Of note, these things were accomplished by a growing fossil-fuel economy. Any other solution assumes that (1) an economy is possible which is not a growing one, and (2) these solutions can be accomplished by a non-fossil fuel economy – since growing both FF and renewables as we are now won’t cut it.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      Earth’s systems from flipping into new states hostile to humans and many other species.

      If that is correct then we need to do more of the same… more flipping … too bad about the many other species though

    • Lidia17 says:

      He’s always been like Swiss cheese.

    • George Monbiot needs to wait until there are a few months of blackouts and think about this again. He doesn’t seem to understand what he is talking about.

  3. “I think most people if given a choice would choose high inflation, some shortages, a strong economy, and rising stock market, versus a weak economy, a falling stock market, and low inflation, which explains the apparent lack of urgency of the Biden administration to do anything about inflation even if the media is making it seem like a crisis.”

    http://greyenlightenment.com/2021/10/15/the-inflation-debate-continued/

    • Mirror on the wall says:

      Profits for stock holders vs. money in workers’ pockets?

      • This is a rentier, techno feudalist economy so the workers will fall like fallen scarecrows while the stockholders, hunkering in bunkers, will get richer.

        • Kowalainen says:

          Easily worth it, living in a bunker with the “future” for their progeny “secured”. How I would love to be the fly on the wall as the reality of dystopia unfolds together with the 667-1 stages of grief.

          Isn’t it great to be alive and experience the drama and comedy. Btw; I’m expecting antivaxx detention camps any day soon.

          Let ‘er rip and be done with it.

          🌎💥☄️☄️☄️

          🤣👍👍

      • Workers are not in the driving seat and when they (sort) of were “briefly” they lusted for extra frivolous trinkets instead. So it logically ends now for them as no social security in broadest sense anymore and without said trinkets aka BIG double no-win.. yet could be even better in potential triple no-win if the depop scenario is correct too, lolz.

        • Xabier says:

          People – of every class – seem just want to go on holiday to make up for 2020: at the moment not being able to do so looms large as the greatest conceivable hardship!

          Boris is playing up to this in his recent ‘electric jets so we can fly away without feeling guilty’ speech. Sorry, Vision.

    • The author says,

      “Even with super-accommodative fed policy and trillions of Covid aid/stimulus, this huge and sudden recovery came as a major surprise to economists and pundits everywhere.”

      I don’t think we are “there yet.” We have a lot of funny money covering up holes in the economy. The recovery would need to be an energy recovery to be real. It isn’t. That is why things are starting to fall apart again.

      I am sure that the hope is that more inflation can keep things going. If the printed money can go directly to workers, it may look like inflation. But ultimately broken supply lines and other problems will bring the system down.

  4. Ed says:

    Here 70 miles north of NYC Amazon was building two new distribution warehouses. The one in Fishkill was almost finished it is now put on hold. The one in Mount Kisco just starting is put on hold. What does Amazon expect is going to happen to its customers over the next two years?

    • Perhaps Amazon doesn’t think that more goods will really be available, regardless of the number or customers or what they want.

    • Trousers says:

      It couldn’t be more different to New York City in Olde York.

      At the big Amazon distribution centre just down the A1 in Doncaster, they are currently offering new employees a golden hello of £1,500.

    • Trousers says:

      I’ll just share this, it might amuse.

      In the old town of York the tourist shops are currently selling T-Shirts with the slogan:

      York.
      So good they named it once.

      • Mirror on the wall says:

        > As York was a town in Roman times, its Celtic name is recorded in Roman sources (as Eboracum and Eburacum); after 400, Angles took over the area and adapted the name by folk etymology to Old English Eoforwīc or Eoforīc, which means “wild-boar town” or “rich in wild-boar”. The Vikings, who took over the area later, in turn adapted the name by folk etymology to Norse Jórvík meaning “wild-boar bay”, ‘jór’ being a contraction of the Old Norse word for wild boar, ‘jǫfurr’. The modern Welsh name is Efrog.

        • Trousers says:

          Yeah,

          The Ebor festival is the big race meeting in the city and the Roman emporer Constantine was crowned in the city. He was the bloke who made the west Christian, basically. So this dank little bit of Yorkshire is a significant spot.

          I find the Viking heritage more intriguing, the place was essentially the capital of the Viking world for a time.

          I’m lucky to live here.

        • Bei Dawei says:

          I only read “Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit.” I didn’t read all those other books.

      • Malcopian says:

        Except it used to be called Jorvik. Nought out of ten, then. Take 100 lines. No – NOT of COKE, you evil person!

    • Lidia17 says:

      Wow.. those are expensive stranded assets.

  5. Student says:

    Austrian Arm/ and Def#nse Ministr/ has recently issued a bulletin saying that there is a real danger of European blackouts starting from now to five years on.
    Blackouts could last more than a week and everyone should be prepared for that making stocks of water, food, candles, batteries, medicines etc.

    At time 21.25 to this Italian TV news:
    https://casadelsole.tv/tgsole24-19-ottobre-2021-r-esistere-per-abbattere-il-grande-reset/

    Also in German to this website: https://www.ots.at/presseaussendung/OTS_20211013_OTS0162/was-tun-wenn-alles-steht-verteidigungsministerium-informiert-gemeinden-ueber-blackout-bild

    Maybe green passports will be more clear during the next months or years….

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “According to Guy Parmelin, Switzerland’s president, it is possible the country could suffer electricity shortages for weeks or even months by 2025.”

      https://lenews.ch/2021/10/18/swiss-president-warns-nation-to-prepare-for-electricity-shortages/

    • I am glad that a few people are starting to admit the obvious.

      If there is not enough electricity to keep the lights on, I wonder how these folks think that charging electric vehicles using grid electricity will work.

      One thing I didn’t mention in my post is the fact that carbon taxes tend to greatly reduce the fossil fuel generated electricity available for import. This means that there is likely to be much less electricity available for import. Also, the electricity that is available will increasingly be intermittent electricity.

      • Marco Bruciati says:

        Italia import elettricity from Austria Svizzera Francia

        • Student says:

          Yes! And, as you surely know, the Country imports almost all the gas and oil it needs.
          Italian current green-p#ss system has surely another reason than C°v/d…

          • I am afraid you may be right.

          • Xabier says:

            Italians could last support their energy needs fully when the villagers cut the wood in the mountains, sending it down on huge wooden sleds, or the carbonari burnt it on site to make charcoal; and when whole trunks were sent by river to the towns tied together as rafts – just as in Spain.

            Modernity has been a huge error, but inevitable.

      • Dennis L. says:

        It would seem the political ramifications will dwarf the energy issues; the fourth turning seems appropriate here, we lack leaders seasoned in the real world. Too much policy, wish it and it will be true, doesn’t work when not in agreement with physics.

        Not a good student of hx, but the Russian Revolution seems relevant; idealists gained power, replaced by realists who had little time for discussion, they pretty much cut it short, publicly entombed one prominent figure.

        Any thoughts on who in the West might be the realists?

        Dennis L.

        • Sam says:

          They haven’t shown up yet. It’s certainly not democrats or republicans!!! But they will both work together for their survival

        • Student says:

          Dennis, it is an interesting comparison, thank you.
          Distorted use of Science has become the new ideology.
          Communism was an ideology which interpreted the reality in another way than usual.
          Now distorted science is making the same.

        • Perhaps some pieces of the US, with local leaders

        • Lidia17 says:

          “who in the West might be the realists?”

          Dennis, if yours is a serious question, I’ll give you what I think is a serious answer. In the West, frankly-speaking, I don’t see “realism” lying anywhere but in the currently-niche regions of fascism/”fascism”. The shorter time becomes, the less there is to be gained from lying about things.

          We’ve been inculcated with the story that, during the RR, “Russians” were attacking their “fellow Russians”. That may not actually have been the case. Many unfortunate parallels to the modern day (see CRT).

          As an obvious kulak, Dennis, your entire family is bound to be targeted and expropriated by pseudo-multi-cult Schwabians. Can it be otherwise? How?

    • Mirror on the wall says:

      We had better brush up on our winter skills.

      • Dana says:

        I have a recipe for roasted raccoon, I even have experience in catching them!

        • Mirror on the wall says:

          Yum yum!

          We have squirrels around here and plenty of leaves (someone may know what they are) – yum yum, shish kebab and salad!

        • Replenish says:

          Dana, the late night sound of a pack of hounds on the trail of a raccoon was an occassion in the late 70s, early 80s in northern Pennsylvania. One of the neighboring farmers still bred, trained and pulled with horses at the PA Farm show not long ago. The nearby town had a tannery which had some of the most sought after leather. My grandfather worked at the tannery before enlisting in the 3rd Armored Division. He moved to the big city and became a welder for PA Power and Light and prided himself on using scrap metal for fabricating and repair. Most of the memories that inspire, the tools and know-how are still around to make a go of the older normal when the time comes.

  6. Neil says:

    A good example of the confluence of a energy and financial crisis is Lebanon. What resulted in the Lebanon collapse isn’t unique to Lebanon. I believe all countries are on the same path, just travelling at different velocities.

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “Into the darkness: Lebanon’s ‘generator mafia’ warns it will switch the lights off…

      ““Be ready in two days: We’re going to hand our generators over to the government and tell them it’s their problem to deal with. We cannot keep going,” Abdo Saade told the Telegraph on Monday during an interview at his Beirut apartment.”

      https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2021/10/20/darkness-lebanons-generator-mafia-warns-will-switch-lights/

    • been saying for a long time, that one way or another Lebanon is our dress rehearsal

      • Duncan Idaho says:

        Beirut was such a nice city for so long.
        Overpopulation and religion finally took its drastic consequences.

        • i agree Duncan

          but oil has screwed the entire middle east.

          it was oil that allowed the population to expand, making Lebanon unsustainable. Saudi is the same. Oil shot up the population x 30—but allah will deal with it.
          The Saudis are building new cities in the desert to provide income when the oil has gone.

          Oil and god. Madness. Both are supposed to have infinite power. Nutters believe that.

          It applies everywhere else too.

          The USA is headed the same way. Which is why it will descend into armed chaos just like Lebanon.

          And god will resolve it all.

          • Mirror on the wall says:

            Aha!

            ‘All god is will to power.’

            Man is typically cast as weakness, and God as the source of all strength – ergo, the omnipotent God, nay the miracle worker, implies that anything is possible – infinite power.

            The God that can control the weather and the harvest, who can send plagues and part seas, can presumably also refill the oil wells?

            ‘Oh ye of little faith!’

            • not entirely sure which way your thinking is directed… irony is sometimes difficult to define.

              We, (humankind that is) are in a madness created by oil and god.

              God gave us the righteousness to inflict our belief on others, oil gave us the means to carry it out.

              The mess we are in is that simple to understand

              Gods used to be harmless, apart from the odd crusade, now beliefs are powered by our machines, which allow us to believe that god has delivered infinite power to do as we please.

        • Lidia17 says:

          It was also given a push, by people who didn’t like the competition. Wolfowitz told Clark Lebanon was on “the list”.

    • I am afraid you are right. Being close to where the fossil fuels are extracted has helped in the past. Temporarily, services such as financial services (Lebanon’s specialty) could be substituted, but not for the long run.

    • Very Far Frank says:

      Thanks, I wasn’t feeling our collective situation was quite hopeless enough.

    • From the article:

      “A reduction in exports from China (a country that controls 30% of the global fertilizer market) could cause shortages in India, Pakistan, and Southeast Asia, the biggest buyers of its fertilizers.”

      Also,

      ” Europe may face difficulties sourcing fertilizer supplies at multiple domestic plants that have shuttered or reduced the output of the nutrients because of high natural gas prices. China’s export restrictions will make it harder for the euro area to import supplies. In South America, farmers in Brazil reported deliveries of fertilizer and glyphosate had been canceled. Higher prices mean farmers will have to shift to wheat and other feed grains that require fewer fertilizers.”

      Of course, wheat needs more water than some other crops. So, if one problem is solved, another one can emerge.

      • Interesting point, as this could cascade even a bit further now, because availability of fertilizers allowed for keeping agri practices of changing crops (throughout the seasons or y/y) also under industrial setting, so the soils could regenerate somewhat even intensive management. But if now pushed to the edge, the destructive mono-cropping could send the agriculture into fast tailspin in many places, incl. the additional water shortage forcing factor as you mentioned..

  7. Student says:

    This no longer seems to have any relation to C°vid, but have complete relation with fossil fuels deplation and overall energy problems of this Country.
    France to extend ’emergency’ until July 2022 !
    Please someone stop this theatrical farce.

    https://www.euronews.com/2021/10/13/france-to-extend-covid-19-state-of-emergency-until-july-2022

    • Xabier says:

      Everywhere will be the same as France.

      Those who foresaw that this tyranny – based on implausible and bogus medical ‘science’ – would happen back in March 2020 deserve all honour.

      Yes, crazy bearded man in the woods somewhere in the US, shouting ‘It’s started!’, you were both a prophet and the finest political/economic commentator around!

      To my shame, I laughed at you…..

      • Dana says:

        The bearded man is John Michael Greer, otherwise known as “The Archdruid”. However he is not crazy, and he lives in an apartment, not in the woods.

        • NomadicBeer says:

          But JMG did not foresee this. While his “catabolic collapse” theory describes very well the big picture of the decline we are experiencing, he was minimizing the pandemic for almost a year.
          I read him and I always appreciate his posts but there were months when he seemed aligned with the narrative so I almost gave up on him.

          Even now, he refuses to acknowledge any possibility of conspiracy and his theory is that the vaccine side effects were unexpected so they scared the govts into becoming tyrannical. That flies in the face of what actually happened.

          No, the actual prophets were right here on this board, with people talking about social credit system and passports implemented to deal with economic collapse.

        • At one time, I understood that JMG and his wife lived in a modest home in a small town. I forget which state. It was somewhere in the East. West Virginia? They have no children.

          • Xabier says:

            I believe they moved due partly to a decline in his wife’s health, giving up the garden they had.

            He seems to be doing well enough from book sales these days – certainly a very hard-working man.

          • William MF Sodomsky says:

            JMG lived in Cumberland, MD.

            And BTW, it was this website that knew right from the get-go that the pandemic was ruse a perpetuated for the purpose of shutting down the credit markets which had already seized up in September of 2019. The fed was pumping hundreds of billions of dollars into the banking system so it could continue lending without spooking the public. By March, who knows how many trillions were injected and the bankers needed a cover to shift the bailouts from them to the government and at the same time cauterize the energy flow. Anyone with an understanding of the energy problem had to expect some kind of event that would unveil the oil depletion reality. Now, all of a sudden, like a spore, the world is faced with energy issues as if the pandemic caused the problem, whereas in reality, it’s just the opposite. It’s exhausting to watch society be so ignorant and naive as they’re herded into what can only be described as modern day cattle cars. There is a heavy price to pay for being historically illiterate.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          aka The Wizard

        • Xabier says:

          No, not JMG, it was some random survivalist ‘loon’ I recall seeing on YT. I’ve never seen him with an automatic!

          JMG called the whole virus scam a ‘nothingburger’ last year, but seems to be coming round to a more realistic view as to its seriousness. And yet he refuses to accept the reality of the Great Re-set conspiracy for some reason.

          I rather enjoy his discussions on ‘Magic Mondays’ as to whether our travails originate on the higher planes.

          This was Steiner’s view, it seems: the inevitable incarnation of ‘Ahriman’ at about this time…..

          Well, let’s just, as the Christians say, ‘put on the full armour of God’ and stand firm – we have nothing to lose now.

      • Not everywhere will be the same as France. Texas will not be as bad, but California and the US Northeast may be as bad.

    • CTG says:

      It certainly make sense now why Malaysia’s retirement visa is in limbo. The “Elders” perhaps want to stop people from moving around and retiring somewhere else if there is insufficient energy

      • Bei Dawei says:

        As Malaysia developed and became more like Singapore, elements of its government realized they could attract richer foreign residents, and made sweeping changes to MM2H that were widely panned. Now it looks like poorer ones from before will be grandfathered in. I doubt this has anything to do with resource scarcity.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Are they enforcing the Injection Passports in Malaysia?

        Seems to be working extremely well in Singapore https://www.headsupster.com/forumthread?shortId=130

        • In 2021, there are now a considerable number of excess deaths in 0 – 44 year olds, according to one chart shown. What is causing these deaths: The vaccine, COVID, depression or something else? It would be interesting to see whether other heavily vaccinated countries are seeing an uptick in the number of deaths among young people now as well.

    • I agree. It is the energy importing parts of the world that are most affected.

    • Lidia17 says:

      UK MPs just approved another six months of “emergency”, and didn’t even bother to properly vote, much less debate the topic. Hardly anyone in the chamber…

  8. Minority of One says:

    The BBC just posted this article:

    Covid: Bring back rules amid rising cases, urge NHS chiefs
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-58976577

    ‘…The government’s Plan A for dealing with Covid in England this winter is currently in place – with booster jabs offered to about 30 million people, a single dose of a vaccine available for healthy 12 to 15-year-olds and people advised to wear face coverings in crowded places.

    If these measures are not enough to prevent “unsustainable pressure” on the NHS, then steps like making face coverings mandatory in some settings, asking people to work from home and introducing vaccine passports could be considered as part of Plan B.’

    If the heads of the UK’s National Health Service keep up to date with what is published in the Medical literature, then they know dammed well that lockdowns, face masks (still compulsory indoors in public places in Scotland but not England) and hand sanitiser (still compulsory in many shops and other indoor places in Scotland) do not work. Vaccine passports already implemented in Scotland and Wales. As for the vaxxes and boosters…
    Crooks and incompetents.

    Of course, this all makes sense if the real agenda is understood.

    • Xabier says:

      Yes. It ONLY makes sense if the Plan is understood, and the ramifications of the global energy crisis.

    • UK’s new cases, relative to population, are now up among the world’s highest. Deaths are trending back up again too.

      I was looking at the US map. New cases are trending down significantly in the Southern States. These are the states that tend not to be very vaccinated and didn’t ever shut down more than absolutely necessary. In fact, they are lower than in the other three regions. Midwest is now highest for new cases, followed by US West and Northeast.

      • Xabier says:

        Children are being regularly tested in schools, anything to push up ‘cases’.

        At the same time, we don’t see any bodies in the street here, so who cares?

        I picked up a dry cough – like many others – after being on public transport a lot last week: all OK now.

  9. Fast Eddy says:

    U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson predicted a difficult winter due to coronavirus and other pressures on the National Health Service, as his government acknowledged worsening data in its pandemic response.

    “We’re starting to see indications that hospitalizations and death rates are increasing,” Johnson’s official spokesman Max Blain told reporters Tuesday. “Clearly we are keeping a very close eye on rising case rates.”

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-10-19/u-k-s-johnson-predicts-difficult-winter-as-covid-deaths-rise

    Faster — more boosters https://news.sky.com/story/covid-19-is-the-uks-booster-jab-rollout-too-slow-and-will-it-work-12438101

    How the Covid Boosters will Result in a Catastrophic Outcome https://www.headsupster.com/forumthread?shortId=231

    hahahahahahaha… CovIDIOTS are so cute when they are triple injected!

    • The vaccinated who were over age 40 had higher rates of testing positive for COVID than those who were not vaccinated. (Of course, some of the unvaccinated had “real” antibodies, helping them along.)

  10. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Trying to bounce back from Covid, the world has run headlong into an energy crisis…

    “Pray for breakthroughs in nuclear fusion, and keep in mind that the last time an energy bubble of this magnitude popped (in 2008) it helped usher in the Great Recession.”

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/christopherhelman/2021/10/19/energy-crisis-2021-how-bad-is-it-and-how-long-will-it-last/

    • No kidding! Perhaps the energy crisis was really there all along; it was just hidden by the pandemic.

      • drb says:

        No perhaps. The 1970 stagflation, the USSR collapse in the late 1980s, the 2008 crisis, and this, have one and only one thing in common, which is decreasing energy inputs.

      • MM says:

        At least a repro crisis was there. That was indicated by all signs.

        Would be interesting to elaborate on the connection between repo and the energy system. Afaik Repo is a pure finsncial thing.
        But why then should the FED switch to emergency mode when everything is just digibits in excel sheets?…

  11. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Everyone Feels Like They’re Being Left Out of the Global Pandemic Recovery…

    “A survey found that 77% of people in 27 countries say their own finances are the same or getting worse, even as 70% of them say their country’s economy is weak but better now than in 2020.”

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-10-18/global-economy-everyone-feels-like-they-re-being-left-out-of-the-recovery

  12. Harry McGibbs says:

    “US factory production falls reflecting backlogged supply chains.

    “The weaker-than-expected September print indicates that producers continue to be held back by snarled supply chains. The figures also reflect ongoing production challenges following Hurricane Ida…”

    https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2021/10/18/us-factory-production-falls-reflecting-backlogged-supply-chains

  13. postkey says:

    “Karen Kingston continues to blow HUGE HOLES in the “safe and effective” narrative surrounding the failed “vaccines”, which are looking more and more like an intentional global depopulation plan.”?
    https://www.redvoicemedia.com/2021/10/receipts-patents-expose-medical-devices-in-jab-injectable-computing-system/

  14. All the talk of alternative energy simply ignores one crucial thing.

    “Can these types of energy create the heavy machinery needed to maintain such arrangement?”

    The simple answer is “No.”

    The people of Easter Island eventually lost the ability to make a canoe and became stuck in the island, beginning to worship the bird, made into a god called Makemake.

    The politically correct astronomers gave a dwarf plant this ridiculous name. Third World has no stake in space or anywhere outside of their hellholes.

    That aside, renewable energy will only last as long as their parts, and after that back to horse and buggy.

    • william dunn says:

      Exactly HOW will you make buggies?

      • Plenty of old books telling how to do it

      • Even today there are trades / artisan guys doing (repairing) old style wooden wheels.. you need quality wood, steam, basic metal (smith) tools, metal strips.. they used to live in almost every village, because the accident / repair intervals were high both in agri local as well as longer distance mode of transport for nobility / army / post service..

      • Malcopian says:

        Buy a flatpack from IKEA. Wood will never go out of fashion.

      • drb says:

        The country with the most Amish will dominate the world!

      • Trixie says:

        After all the gas has been siphoned out of existing vehicles and used up, you adapt and make use of what is readily available. Use the chassis (body on frame type) of vehicle – build a wooden box or whatever to attach and find some big horses to pull. Granted, the probability of finding horses will be exceedingly low as most will be slaughtered and eaten by starving ppl. This is probably fantasy bullshit but I saw it on “The Walking Dead.”

        • without lots of cheap surplus energy, anything built out of metal will largely stay where it is until dissolved by corrosion.

          it isn’t possible to ‘rework’ scrap metal in any meaningful way without putting in almost as much energy as it took to make the object in the first place.

          the other ‘killer’ factor about finding means of transportation, is having a reason to go somewhere–if there isn’t a reason, transport system will cease to exist, at least in the sense we known them today.

    • Good point!

  15. Harry McGibbs says:

    “China’s magnesium shortage threatens global car industry.

    “The world’s largest carmakers could face a potentially crippling shortage of aluminium, as China’s power crisis threatens supplies of a key component used to make the lightweight metal.”

    https://www.ft.com/content/1611e936-08a5-4654-987e-664f50133a4b

  16. Richardha talks about geothermal energy in Hawai’i island.

    First of all, Hawaii is a f’ked up place, with the nobles owing quite a lot of land. Unlike the mainland, the US Army forgot to machine gun the Hawaiian royalty, who are eager to take over the islands when they can . Perhaps RichardHa is descended from them so he gets to benefit from it.

    Second, geothermal in Hawaii is dependent on outside . Machines and pipes have to be shipped from the mainland, dependent upon BAU.

    The islands lack iron ore, so an would-be Kamehameha would not be able to find replacement parts for his million year geothermal plant.

    It doesn’t matter whether the Geothermal Energy can last, in theory, for a million years. Once communication from the mainland ends, eventually the plant dies. Hawaii simply does not have the infrastructure to support that kind of stuff without outside input.

    • Bei Dawei says:

      Thus spake Wikipedia:

      Hank Wesselman, “Spiritwalker: Messages from the Future.” Bantam, 1995 (HC) and 1996 (TPB). ISBN 0-553-37837-6

      Describes an ongoing series of spontaneous dream-like visions beginning in the early 1980s, in which Wesselman seemed to connect with and see through the eyes of “Nainoa”, a man of Hawaiian ancestry living on the western coast of what is today North America 5000 years after the collapse of the “Great Age” of technology. Nainoa, a member of a Hawaiian-based society which has re-peopled America’s west coast. The series begins as Nainoa is sent into the continent’s interior on a mission to seek out the descendants of the “Americans” and, if possible, find horses. On the journey, Nainoa explores his shamanic calling, learns of his relationship with Wesselman, and makes contact with the “Ennu”, a tribe of hunters and gatherers descended from Canadian Innuits. The Spiritwalker trilogy explores Wesselman’s struggles with what to make of these experiences, and records an extraordinary story as the anthropologist is drawn into the shaman’s world of mystery and magic.

      The future California-Nevada region is depicted as including rainforest and an inland sea inundating the central valley, as well as a wide variety of exotic megafauna such as elephants, lions, longhorn cattle, and several monkey and ape species. Wesselman speculates that the ancestors of these animals may have escaped from zoos or been released from circuses during the collapse of Western civilization. Both human populations shown in the book live at a neolithic level of technology, with some metal artifacts such as knives and fishhooks.

      The sequel books (below) are often compared with the writings of Carlos Castaneda, and reference the work of Michael Harner. Besides Nainoa’s future world, Wesselman describes various spiritual experiences, including cosmological visions as well as encounters with spirit beings.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hank_Wesselman

    • I am afraid you are right about the Geothermal Energy being dependent on outside parts. Certainly, the transmission lines are as well. Distant islands tend to be in the periphery, so they have a problem being left out when there is not enough to go around.

  17. jj says:

    Thank you for another timely article Gail. It certainly seems like something noticeable is ahead of us. Change. There is just too much that doesn’t make sense.

    Thank goodness gasoline and diesel are still “cheap” and available. If we were to see even a doubling things would get interesting fast. IMO thats whats saving us from real trouble.

    Boom and bust. Thats been the cycle. Only previously unimaginable amounts of debt have been generated so there has been no bust since 2008 because the world financial system is so distorted that it will fail if there is a bust.

    Now we see a hesitancy to go over the cliff in terms of more debt as inflation shows not just a bump but a lurch up. The unspoken truth that you have referred to many times. You cant print water food or energy. If we could we would run out of dirt and air real quick. Another unspoken truth looms also. Money could lose significant or all value if it is created without representation to the physical world. You see this in people wanting to trade their money even at extraordinary prices. Real estate doubled in a year. Bit coin at 100X. $5000 low availability charges on entry level vehicles at $40k. Thus the hesitancy. It could go south way faster and probably will even without more debt creation.

    Its not just the inflation though. Lack of availability is also spurring purchases at pricing much more than a year ago.

    Anyone who thinks things are OK is not very good at sensing things. The rock and the hard place. Deflationary or inflationary death spiral. Walking the high wire between them becomes impossible during resource depletion. No flavor of politics will fix resource depletion yet people blather the same old conditioning like a rat banging his nose against the spring loaded gate in the trap for the 56 thousandth time.

    The hard ground under the high wire doesnt care which one causes the fall. Either one is equally representative of systems that dont make sense. Neither path makes sense. The only thing that is real is the hard ground under the high wire.

  18. hillcountry says:

    Exceptional keynote address by John Kempf at the EcoFarm conference in January 2021. His vision includes 80-percent of farming in the US to be Regenerative within 20 years. He states that a truly Regenerative Agriculture is able to regenerate and sustain: plant health, soil fertility, animal health, public health, ecological health, community and economic health. He’s young but has been on this journey since the age of 14 and has consulted 100’s of farms in the US and abroad. He’s an excellent communicator and his system is quite simple. One great example is him assisting in the soil nutrient balancing and related work on a Honey Crisp apple orchard in the state of Washington, where 50-bushels is the norm in that area. The first year the farmer was up to 100-bushels. The second, 150-bushels. No pesticides, no fertilizer. I’d imagine the BRIX on those apples is off-the-charts.

    Balanced soil nutrition > good soil biology > healthy plant > strong immune system > no pests > increased yields

    The ‘buzz’ on Regenerative Agriculture is growing at leaps and bounds, with a variety of definitions and scales and approaches. It supersedes “Organic” by a long-shot at this stage of the game in my opinion. Various people I hear are working on auditable standards for “Regenerative”. I’m following it mostly via YouTube where there’s a bunch of people out there interviewing farmers and ranchers and showing what’s possible. I’ve listened to a lot of John’s podcasts over the last few years where he interviews a number of the well-known folks in the eco-ag space. Successful farmers, ranchers, educators and scientists like Wes Jackson, Gabe Brown, Ray Archuleta and Elaine Ingham. John has definitely acquired wisdom beyond his years. Maybe it’s his Amish background in north-east Ohio.

    This kind of practical knowledge is going to be priceless in the decades to come as conventional agriculture grinds to a halt. Another neat example he relates that reveals what’s possible is a crop so healthy that the aphids are only found eating the nearby weeds. I highly recommend listening to the whole thing for anyone interested in growing food or who’s concerned about the quality of what they’re eating. There’s somebody in my neck of the woods growing radishes just like the one’s he shows in the presentation. I’m going to try to find out just who that is and visit their farm. Pass the word on about John Kemph too. He’s probably going to be a legend at some point, just like those famous writers whose eco-ag books filled the library shelves at the old Acres USA headquarters in Austin, TX.

  19. Ed says:

    My prediction the only functional electrical grids in North America in 2030 will be Texas and Quebec. Texas due to Elon, Quebec due to the unions.

  20. Fast Eddy says:

    Then there are the vaxxes themselves and the Covid cat that dragged them in. Do you feel all warm and fuzzy over a shot that will turn your body into a spike protein generator, considering how spike proteins behave in a human vascular system? Got any questions or doubts about the number of adverse events seen so far? Looks like more than ten thousand deaths in the USA directly attributable to the vaxxes under the VAERS registry, and millions of injuries around the world.

    Not to mention the murky origins of the disease, the participation of US public health officials in its design and development, and the colossal profits reaped by the pharma companies that sell the vaxxes. Have you noted the draconian desperation to vaxx up absolutely everybody, despite some excellent reasons for people to say “no thanks”? Does the Big Picture look a little nefarious to you? Like some parties are out to bump off a pretty large number of people — including parties who have stated out loud that steeply reducing the global population would be a swell idea?

    https://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/let-us-count-the-ways/

  21. Herbie Ficklestein says:

    Holz, a former food-service worker and charter-boat crewman, decided to run an experiment.

    On September 1, he sent job applications to a pair of restaurants that had been particularly public about their staffing challenges.

    Then, he widened the test and spent the remainder of the month applying to jobs – mostly at employers vocal about a lack of workers – and tracking his journey in a spreadsheet.

    Two weeks and 28 applications later, he had just nine email responses, one follow-up phone call, and one interview with a construction company that advertised a full-time job focused on site cleanup paying $10 an hour.

    But Holz said the construction company instead tried to offer Florida’s minimum wage of $8.65 to start, even though the wage was scheduled to increase to $10 an hour on September 30. He added that it wanted full-time availability, while scheduling only part time until Holz gained seniority.

    Holz said he wasn’t applying for any roles he didn’t qualify for.

    Some jobs “wanted a high-school diploma,” he said. “Some wanted retail experience,” he added. “Most of them either said ‘willing to train’ or ‘minimum experience,’ and none of them were over $12 an hour.”

    He said: “I didn’t apply for anything that required a degree. I didn’t apply for anything that said ‘must have six months experience in this thing.'”

    Holz isn’t alone. Others have also spoken out about their troubles finding work, despite the seemingly tight labor market.

    In a Facebook post on September 29, which went viral on Twitter and Reddit as well, Holz said, “58 applications says y’all aren’t desperate for workers, you just miss your slaves.”

    “My opinion is that this is a familiar story to many,” he added.

    By the end of September, Holz had sent out 60 applications, received 16 email responses, four follow-up phone calls, and the solitary interview

    From the Business Insider….at Yahoo News feed
    Well. Well, seems to me there is something that the MSM is up to…wonder what it is?
    Stay Calm, there are plenty of opportunities out there for everyone willing and able!

    • jj says:

      $8 is not a livable wage. $15 is but you are not going to swing a auto or a house on it. We have spoiled bitcoin millonaires walking around. Thats what people want. and what will your $15 a hour get you when the next wave of inflation hits?

      The real minimum wage is about $30 a hour for anyone worth a poop. Yes there are people that are real productive for much less but only within the role of the “job”. You want someone who is going to take care of some things for you and make it happen. $30. Minimum.

      Both employees and employers are at ropes end. Employers want someone who can think on their feet and take pride and ownership in their job. Employees want somthing thats not a dead end. The 401k culture DOA. With that hope died.

      • In most places in the US, there is not public transport. If a person cannot afford a car, this becomes a problem unless a person can live very close to work. Bicycles work, if there are not too many problems with electrical storms, snow and ice. Unfortunately, most places in the US have at least some of these issues, part of the time. The coasts are the least bad for these problems.

        • theblondbeast says:

          I recently couldn’t find a nanny for less than $25/hr. And most expected to be paid in cash (which we refused since it’s illegal). We’re also trying to renovate a small 800 s.f. cabin to downsize our lifestyle and move closer to family. The contractors I am speaking with can’t find help or start our limited project until next summer.

          In my professional work as an engineer we are warning our clients that capital equipment such as chillers/boilers has more than a six month lead time. At this time of year entities are looking to do replacements for next summer. Typically these projects would bid in the spring with 6-8 week lead times. We are telling them when they call us for work that they are already too late and should expect the 2023 cooling season for project completion.

          My recommendation if you need anything like a furnace or hot water heater in the next two years to buy it now. This hasn’t hit the residential market as hard yet but appears likely to.

          • Herbie R Ficklestein says:

            Suppose it depends on what you are looking for…the McDonald’s near me here in Florida has a sign for starting wage at $11.00 hr….same for Harbor Freight Tool Store…Florida just raised it’s minimum wage.
            A friend of mine had a survival job at Home Depot while in Massachusetts. He told me the Store Manager reviewed a bonus if he could find new employees under a certain starting wage. Also, at that time, most employees were discourage to be long term unless you become part of the click..
            ,,Another lady friend worked at Subway, going through a divorce and if she worked over 40 hours a week, had her at another Store location to issue two paychecks in order to avoid overtime pay…that also was a long, long time ago.
            Probably in these not much has changed

          • This sounds like a huge mess. It will be very difficult for people who are trying to build and furnish new homes to find the workers and the finished products they need.

  22. Duncan Idaho says:

    If concrete were a country, it would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases on Earth, behind only China and the US.

    Concrete is the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases on Earth after China, US

    https://ca.news.yahoo.com/concrete-third-largest-emitter-greenhouse-115922016.html

    • Herbie R Ficklestein says:

      Hmmm, wonder how much energy goes to refining metals?
      Wonder how much goes into food production?
      Wonder how much goes to Prime Members packages..
      Oh, never mind….my bad.
      Mister BAU has a very large appetite…and expels a lot of gas
      BTW, Modern Concrete, by and large, has a life span and decays over time…
      I was in Europe, though, and saw Roman concrete that has held up very well to this day.

  23. Herbie Ficklestein says:

    NEW YORK, Oct 19 (Reuters) – Oil futures rose on Tuesday and were near multi-year highs as an energy supply crunch continued across the globe, while falling temperatures in China revived concerns over whether the world’s biggest energy consumer can meet domestic heating needs.

    The Brent crude benchmark rose 75 cents to settle at $85.08 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures rose 52 cents to settle at $82.96 a barrel.

    Prices have been climbing the last two months. Since the start of September, Brent has risen by about 19%, while WTI has gained around 21%.

    “Supply-demand balances show that the market is experiencing a supply deficit, which is spurring deep inventory draws and driving prices upwards,” said Louise Dickson, senior oil markets analyst at Rystad Energy. “This market tightness is expected to extend into most of 2022, and crude oil demand will only catch up with crude supply by the fourth quarter of next year.”

    With temperatures falling as the Northern Hemisphere winter approaches and heating demand increasing, prices of oil, coal and natural gas are likely to remain elevated, traders and analysts said.

    Colder weather already has started to grip China, with close to freezing temperatures forecast for northern areas, according to AccuWeather.com.

    The rising coal and natural gas prices in Asia are expected to cause some end-users to switch to lower-cost oil as an alternative.

    However, the power crunch that is sending prices higher is also hurting Chinese economic growth, which fell to its lowest level in a year, official data showed on Monday. read more

    China’s daily crude oil processing rate also fell last month, dropping to the lowest level since May of last year. read more

    In Brazil, state-run oil company Petrobras (PETR4.SA) confirmed it will not be able to meet “atypical demand” from fuel distributors in November that has surpassed its production capacity, raising fears of supply shortages in the country. read more

    In the United States, crude stocks rose while gasoline and distillate inventories fell last week, according to market sources citing American Petroleum Institute figures on Tuesday.

    Crude stocks rose by 3.3 million barrels for the week ended Oct. 15. Gasoline inventories fell by 3.5 million barrels and distillate stocks fell by 3 million barrels, the data showed, according to the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity

    Greta take note…when the recession hits and smack down hard and the debt bubble explodes
    People will be demanding MOAR

  24. Herbie Ficklestein says:

    US is expected to burn 22 percent more coal than last year, marking the first annual increase in the use of the polluting fossil fuel since 2014, the Energy Information Administration said.

    “The US electric power sector has been generating more electricity from coal-fired power plants this year as a result of significantly higher natural gas prices and relatively stable coal prices,” the government agency said. Coal is selling for record prices, though, and economists say that skyrocketing energy costs are fueling inflation.

    Further Reading
    Coal miners’ union lobbies for jobs in renewable energy
    President Joe Biden has set a target of reducing economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 50–52 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. The news is a setback for those plans, but the EIA predicts that the bump in coal use will be transitory, with 2022 consumption down 5 percent from this year.
    “In many areas of the country, these two fuels compete to supply electricity based on their relative costs,” the agency said. “US natural gas prices have been more volatile than coal prices, so the cost of natural gas often determines the relative share of generation provided by natural gas and coal.”

    Long-term decline
    Coal consumption in the US has been declining almost every year since 2005. Last year, it was down 60 percent from the peak. Most coal in the US is burned to produce electricity

    From the website ArsTechinica

  25. davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

    https://twitter.com/PeterSchiff/status/1450207032217423884

    Peter Schiff:

    “Shares of #Zillow plunged 9.4% today after announcing that it was pausing its house flipping business due to a backlog of unsold homes, and a shortage of workers and materials necessary to fix them up. I warned about this potential house flipping flop on one of my recent podcast.”

    • I read about this this morning. It seems to have a big inventory to work on hand during the fourth quarter without buying more. I am sure that being unable to procure new appliances and various other things is a headache.

  26. MG says:

    We should look at the world using a different optics, not a country based division, but a division based upon the productivity: on one hand, there are regions which produce goods and provide services, on the other hand those who provide energy and natural resources. The third category are the regions which are non-productive, that are only consuming.

    The centers are always the goods and services providing regions. The intermediate area is covered by those regions that provide energy and resources. And the perifery are those regions that only consume.

    The Soviet Union collapsed, because it could not achieve a significant manufacturing and services providing position in the world due to its harsh clmt. Greece, which constitutes a perifery, was saved by the center of the Europe, where the manufacturing and the service providers are situated. Russia is providing its citizens cheap natural gas, but this can not last forever, if it wants somewhat survive and not desintegrate. Ukraine is an object of interest for Russia because of its mild climate and access to the south seas. Czechoslovakia was invaded by Russia in 1968, because Russia wanted to secure its natural gas transporting route to the West at that time (I have read this interpretation recently and it sounds very probable), besides needing Czechoslovakia for the supply of manufactured products. Japan still increases it debt, but has no problem with the depreciation of yen, becaus Japan is an important manufacturing hub of the world.

    There is no way that countries like Russia, Saudi Arabia or Venezuela can exist on their own, because they do not have favourable clmt for cheap sustaining of the human resources needed for the manufacturing and the services.

    The humans are the same as other species: they need a suitable habitat for their existence. Bu thanks to their hands, they started to “grab” the world around them, and this not only physically, but also mentally. The people who live in the harsh clmts were sent to bring the resources to the centers. There is no way that countries like Russia, Saudi Arabia or Venezuela will become centers, if there are countries with a more suitable clmt. Russia can have full forests of wood in the Siberia, but if these are far from the consumers to be economically exploited, then that wood will never become a resource for the human civilization. The same is valid for the natural gas or the oil of Venezuela.

    If the centers do not have energy, the whole world collapses. That is why the regions that have just consumers constitute the biggest risk of the collapse. Spain, Italy and Greece belong into such a region on the perifery because a majority of their area is devoid of manufacturing, services, energy and resources, including the human resources, due to the ageing of the populations or emigration.

    That is why bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies build on the specific process, namely “mining money using energy”. But they can not become a legal tender, because there is no country with manufacturing or providing energy and resources, which would accept them, there is no force to enforce their use.

    The traditional currencies, on the other hand, use the power of the state and are backed up by the abovementioned real production of the goods or energy. As energy needs costly storage, the produced goods or provided services are easier to handle than energy. The countries like Russia provide their citizens benefits which are not possible in the countries that rely on energy imports. That is why Russia is in a deeper trouble than it may seem and its desintegration is prevented only temporarily.

    • Thanks for your interesting interpretation. You may very well be right.

      Russia does indeed use an awfully lot of fuel because of its harsh climate, but doesn’t produce a whole lot besides fossil fuels (and perhaps some grain).

      Texas’s climate isn’t very good, but it does produce energy resources. Georgia has a much better climate, plus agricultural goods, forests and a port or two, besides being a transportation hub. Tennessee does much more manufacturing. The US in total doesn’t do nearly enough manufacturing, however, apart from creating processed foods.

      • Outdated conceptual error, very debatable, they reinvested a lot of earned (energy export) into local production during past 2decades, basically they invited Germans to (help) build them the factories.. a rehash of 1930s.. or do you think the better planes and tanks were imported from Mars during WWII ? it was domestic production – mostly..

        If you meant that they don’t export much of it, yes that’s correct. Is it still biased for industrial goods (machinery) vs consumer products, yes but evolving..

    • Malcopian says:

      “Czechoslovakia was invaded by Russia in 1968, because Russia wanted to secure its natural gas transporting route to the West at that time”

      But also the Soviet Union would not tolerate any country leaving the Soviet bloc. In the first place, in 1948 the USSR engineered a coup d’état in Czechoslovakia in order to finish off the buffer zone between itself and the West. Note also that the USSR had in effect created a pan-Slav bloc, with all the European Slav countries under its control. Stalin, despite being a Georgian, fancied himself as an honorary Russian, so the pan-Slav aspect will have pleased him – just as AH pursued pan-Germanism. Stalin also persecuted “Joo-ish” doctors in his final days, accusing them of a plot to poison Russian children. Just imagine the field day he would have had if the COVID “pandemic” had broken out in the USSR of his time!

      Yugoslavia, of course, eventually broke away from the Soviet bloc, and Tito formed his own personality cult. They were a right bunch of cults, those communist leaders. Does anybody else think that Tito bore a striking resemblance to Goering?

      Let’s not forget either that Stalin annexed part of Slovakia to the Ukraine, because some Ukrainians lived there, alongside the Rusyns (a minor Slavic ethnicity). Anyway, Slovakia is a ridiculously big name for a little country. Let’s hope it will split into Slo and Vakia. And why hasn’t Herzegovina broken away from Bosnia yet? And of course Herzegovina is far too big a name for a little country. How about Herze, Gov and Ina, anybody? Three new titchy republics.

      • Ed says:

        Czechia seems short on water maybe Slovakia also?

      • MG says:

        So, we can say that Stalin represented the resource base, AH the manufacturing region. Both of these regions started to implode, but Russia first (remember the implosion after the fall of the monarchy and the Lenin era), followed by the Europe.

        Stalin tried to industrialize the Russia, AH tried to get the resources of Russia. Both of them failed. It was only the new energy sources (oil, nuclear, natural gas), that saved both of them.

        There are these milestones in the recent history of Slovakia, that saved its region from collapse: the construction of the oil pipelines (50s) and natural gas pipelines (60s) from Russia to Europe, the construction of the nuclear power plants (70s) and the construction of the drinking water dams (80s).

        Here are some historical pictures of the oil and gas pipelines construction:

        https://dennikn.sk/60706/ako-k-nam-rusi-ropu-plyn-dostali-fotogaleria-vystavby-druzby-bratstva/

        The Druzba oil pipeline was at the time of its construction described as the longest and the fastes built oil pipeline in the world:

        “22. február 1962 – V Bratislave slávnostne odovzdali do prevádzky na svete najdlhší a najrýchlejšie postavený ropovod, ktorý ešte užšie spojí dve bratské krajiny, kráčajúce ku komunizmu.”

        • MG says:

          And I have forgotten:

          The 90s were a period of economic decline of Slovakia
          After 2000, another milestone was the introduction of the robots in the economy of Slovakia.

        • Ed says:

          MG interesting pictures thanks.

        • MM says:

          Roosevelt knew very well about the relationship between Germany and Russia and played it better than Churchill because he hedged both sides (US/USSR) against UK to keep Germany low. Churchill got his part of the cake but could not benefit from it. Truman was not so well positioned strategically and spoiled it into the cold war. Bad things happen.

    • Bei Dawei says:

      “The Soviet Union collapsed, because it could not achieve a significant manufacturing and services providing position in the world due to its harsh clmt.”

      But the Scandinavian countries have done pretty well with a similar climate. Doesn’t the Communist system of central planning deserve some blame?

      • The fact that oil prices were too low for a long time, holding down reinvestment, seems to me to be the reason why the Soviet Union collapsed. Their manufacturing, and that of the satellite countries, was not very efficient either.

      • MG says:

        The communist system did not have energy to develop complex industries, its technology progress lagged behind the West, as the Soviet Union did not have much cheap energy to supply for its manufacturing base in Central Europe.

        • postkey says:

          “Taken together, these four volumes constitute an extraordinary commentary on a basic weakness in the Soviet system.
          The Soviets are heavily dependent on Western technology and innovation not only in their civilian industries, but also in their military programs.
          An inevitable conclusion from the evidence in this book is that we have totally ignored a policy that would enable us to neutralize Soviet global ambitions while simultaneously reducing the defense budget and the tax load on American citizens.”
          “ His book tells at least part of the story of the Soviet Union’s reliance on Western technology, including the infamous Kama River truck plant, which was built by the Pullman-Swindell company of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a subsidiary of M. W. Kellogg Co. Prof. Pipes remarks that the bulk of the Soviet merchant marine, the largest in the world, was built in foreign shipyards. He even tells the story (related in greater detail in this book) of the Bryant Chucking Grinder Company of Springfield, Vermont, which sold the Soviet Union the ball-bearing machines that alone made possible the targeting mechanism of Soviet MIRV’ed ballistic missiles. “

          http://www.crowhealingnetwork.net/pdf/Antony%20Sutton%20-%20The%20Best%20Enemy%20Money%20Can%20Buy.pdf

    • I suppose the reason that Petrobas is getting so many orders is because it is selling oil products at below world market prices. If it raised prices, it would perhaps have no problem.

  27. el mar says:

    Wrackflation

  28. davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

    https://consciousnessofsheep.co.uk/2021/10/19/closer-to-the-edge/

    “I wonder if hyperstagflation is a real word yet!”

  29. Duncan Idaho says:

    California was the only U.S. state in the yellow tier Tuesday morning in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID Data Tracker.

    https://s.hdnux.com/photos/01/22/31/40/21600273/3/800×0.jpg

    • Ed says:

      Just out on the highway looks like most are back to the office (heavy commute traffic). No masks required at stores, gas stations. Only left leaning music venues require a vax pass port. I will take my discretionary spending to Florida, Texas, and the Caribbean.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      On the contrary, it would be reasonable to assume that upon an additional booster shot the more potent Abs further contribute to selecting S-directed immune escape variants and, therefore, turn the previously primed population in an even more fertile breeding ground for the highly infectious Delta variant.

      More specifically, Israel’s booster efforts are likely to generate a spectacular surge of morbidity and mortality rates in the population as a combined result of increased S-directed immune selection pressure in vaccinees (i.e., optimizing the breeding ground for the Delta variant) and enhanced infectivity rates in the unvaccinated.

      From a scientific viewpoint it is, therefore, difficult to understand how booster immunizations using vaccines which are not evolution-proof could prevent a highly mutable virus from escaping neutralizing anti-S Abs while driving the pandemic in a catastrophic direction, both in Israel and worldwide.

      How can the WHO stand by and watch as this additional experiment unfolds, soon to be followed by other countries?

      https://www.headsupster.com/forumthread?shortId=231

    • jj says:

      California does have a low weekly rate of death per million from covid compared to some other states. If you want to see real progress in a covid death rate you have to look at India that distributed ivermectin. Ivermectin is a sucess story in preventing and treating covid 19. Used prophylactic monthly it prevents 95% or better of covid 19 cases. Recent numbers on the experimental “vaccines” show 40% efficiency. The experimental “vaccines” are unsafe and ineffective. Here is the chart of Indias ( a country that actually cares about its peoples standard of care) success with deploying ivermectin. The USA can not deploy Ivermectin a drug that won the noble prize and is incredibly safe and effective in covid prevention because the emergency authorization of the experimental vaccines is only legal if other safe and effective treatments do not exist. The reality is Ivermectin does exist and the emergency autorization of the experimental “vaccines” is illegal. Check out Indias progress below!

      https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/weekly-growth-covid-deaths?tab=chart&country=~IND

    • George Gammon comments: “I think the odds are high Big Tech will start to CENSOR “Economic Misinformation” just like they censor what is deemed “medical misinformation.”

      • Marco says:

        I think …if Brazil cant rise production…and opec told sane….the oil price Will Jump soon because no One can rise production.

      • NomadicBeer says:

        I bet they are working hard on that. The problem is they are trying to use so-called AI and there are many limitations with the economics language (think of all the metaphors, bulls and bears etc).
        Medical information was easier for a while but I bet right now people are creating nice workaround names for concepts that can “trigger” the censors – think about “the thing that cannot be named” and so on.

        BTW, I am still curious if this blog’s contributing good Germans fully agree with the censorship or not? None of them said anything yet – I guess they do implicitly agree but I would like it in writing, you know for the future in case they “forget” their current position.

      • Sam says:

        Gammon is one to talk! He never ever mentions shortages of energy and the implications of such. I have tried to communicate with him but he is as foolish as the rest. He wants to think that he can win the game 🤪

        • Wasn’t he starting in real estate biz though? That would explain a lot, but he is certainly one of the more open minded alt / diy “economists out there on the ytube..”

          Actually, sooner or later, the smart(er) bunch just discover the depth of the FED scam, but as you mentioned, worshiping mammon (or its derivatives: luxury in all forms) they want to stay in the game (becoming/upgrading their richness) with an urge to profit more as well.

  30. TonyH says:

    A nuclear/ renewable energy transition could be accomplished. But it needs to be done intelligently, in a way that maximises whole system exergy efficiency. We need to think in terms of gradually reducing reliance on fossil fuels, rather than on revolutionary transitions.  In Northern Europe and North America, a sensible strategy might look something like this:

    1) Extend the life of nuclear power plants as much as possible and build as many new ones as possible.  These will provide a level of baseload electricity supply, which is highly valuable.  Restart research programmes into closed fuel cycle reactors, breeder and high conversion ratio reactors.

    2) Focus renewable energy systems development on onshore and offshore wind power (which have better whole system EROI than solar PV) and biomass, with wind power providing electricity and biomass providing storable solid fuel.

    3) Use stone, brick, concrete and rammed earth to build some onshore wind turbine towers, reducing embodied energy and providing employment for builders and masons.  Use wood and wood based composites for turbine blades, reducing embodied energy for small to medium size turbines.  Consider options for building wind turbines that generate compressed air or compressed hydraulic fluid, with multiple turbines driving a single central generating station.  This reduces system complexity and reduces the demand for copper and rare earth elements.  In some cases, mechanical equipment can be directly powered by compressed hydraulic liquids.

    4) Build thermal energy storage power plants, using hot rock energy storage and supercritical steam cycles close to to onshore and offshore wind farms.  These can absorb and partially smooth intermittent electricity production, before it is put onto the long-distance grid connection.  This provides both long-term energy storage and ensures better utilisation of transmission infrastructure.  Rock based thermal stores have low capital cost and low embodied energy and can be sized to store days worth of electric power without the high capital cost that batteries would incur for such a task.  The steam turbines can provide spinning reserve to smooth out grid frequency fluctuations.

    5) Biomass will mostly be harvested at the end of summer and in autumn.  Wind power produces most energy in autumn, winter and spring.  Use excess wind based energy to heat and decompose biomass into gas, liquids and char.  Store the liquids as storable fuels for gas turbine powerplants.  Use excess wind power to produce hydrogen, which is then reacted (without needing to store it) with the wood gas and char to produce storable liquid methanol.

    6) Much of the energy we need is in the form of heat, especially in autumn, winter and spring, when wind power is at its greatest.  Heat can be stored relatively cheaply in hot water or hot rock.  Convert as many end use heat loads as possible to grid connected storage heaters.  These can either be grid operator controlled or activated on rising grid frequency.  Some large users could store heat in hot rock reservoirs and use a small steam plant to sell electricity back to the grid, using the waste heat for heating purposes. Try to cluster high temperature heat users around central thermal stores.

    7) Having done all of this, electricity supply to non-heat loads will be less variable.  However, there will be some long-term lulls in wind power generation causes by high pressure systems that may overwhelm thermal storage capacity.  To cover these occasional lulls, we need a storage option that has very low capital cost, since we are going to rely on it only for a small number of hours throughout the year.  Efficiency is of less importance.  The cheapest storage option is a liquid fuel in a welded steel tank (either fossil or biomass derived) attached to an open gas turbine.  These have capital cost of just a few hundred dollars per installed kW and new models are around 40% efficient.

    8) Forget about BEVs and stop subsidising them.  The demand spikes caused by charging will ultimately crash any grid that hasn’t massively overinvested in generating capacity.  Instead, develop a nodalised electrified rail based freight and human transportation system.  BEVs and other stored energy vehicles (I.e. hydrogen and biogas gas bag) can provided short range transport (no more than a few tens of km) to and from nodes – a task to which they are better suited.

    9) Develop farming methods that are organic or focus on using synthetic fertilisers and pesticides more sparingly.  Heavy work functions should be adapted to grid electric connected machinery or short range stored energy systems.  This will require some creative solutions.

    10) Use waste heat from nuclear reactors and grid scale thermal energy storage for agricultural production. Use it to heat greenhouses, ponds and frames, to extend growing season and reduce the need for imported food.

    • B says:

      no way to scale up “other” fuels to equal petroleum fuels. one gallon of gasoline is the equivalent of how many hours of hard labor?

      how many guys would you have to pay to push your SUV 300 miles? vs paying for a tank of gas. energy slaves comic:

      https://www.stuartmcmillen.com/comic/energy-slaves/

      https://www.stuartmcmillen.com/comic/peak-oil/

      nuclear “waste” could be recycled but is stored at fuel pool sites across the US, kept cool by oil-powered generators and cooling waters…

      diesel pumps power sewer and water pipelines… can a solar panel do that?

      watch these films:

      Planet of the Humans (2020)
      COVIDLAND (2021)
      Collapse (2009)
      A Noble Lie
      TWA Flight 800
      JFK

      These comics and movies explain reality to you.

      For more reality of the king david hotel bombing to 9-11 to present day, see

      bollyn.com
      jimstone.is

      WW3 is weather warfare + bioweapons (clot shot “vax”)… reducing globalpop by 80%, not “15-20%” as Billy Gates said in his little ted talk.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      In case you hadn’t noticed… we are being exterminated…

      https://gifimage.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/hysterical-laughing-gif-10.gif

    • jj says:

      Heat storage in thermal mass from large alternative energy supplies might make sense on a individual household level. In order to work the grid and other energy sources for heating would have to be down when alternative energy sources were not available. Then households would learn to store heat while the grid was up.

      Far better is passive solar that falls on thermal mass in individual households with about 100 watts per square foot of energy and that includes the loss of giving back heat at night through a r2 double pane window.

      The oak ridge laboratory has it right.

      The most effective way to reduce energy is to have more people live in a space. For instance the kitchen during the day and…sleep there at night. The great room. Living in a smaller space when heating. A smaller house.

      The second most effective is higher levels of insulation in the home.

      The third most effective is increasing south facing windows.

      IMO we are a little late to the game to retrofit houses now. In a pinch the greatroom concept can and will be implemented. People living in close quarters calories burnt from food alone are significant. You still need some heat however.

      If they are really serious about alternative energy the grid will be down a lot. Storing heat in thermal mass while its up would IMO be common.

    • MM says:

      In principle the thing could be handeled if you applied something like a plan.
      That on the other hand is something that is abbsolutely perfectly completely impossible in a free market economy.
      There is only one place for a plan: blowing up a startup bubble with bogus business plans.
      For everything else in the economic world the word plan does not apply.

      Or you are paid by these old russian planning fads in the GBU? 😉

  31. Ed says:

    fyi North America is divided into three electric zones West, East, and Texas. Elon Musk has taken it upon himself to build the future sustainable Texas electric grid. Will he be successful?

    Elon unlike Greta knows how to do maths. He knows the variable nature of PV and wind. He knows the vital role of batteries. He knows even with batteries there will be times of limited supply it is in the math/physics.

    Elon’s favorite trick is scaling. He and we know that the lose in long distance electric transmission goes down with increasing voltage. One million voltage is a standard now for long distance DC transmission. I await with GREAT HOPE and JOY how far Elon can push that. Maybe ten million volts 🙂 he can add Nevada and Mexico sunshine to his Texas electric system. When Nevada is not needed in Texas he can sell it to California. Mister Musk is well on his way to be the first trillionaire.

    I predict his Texas energy business will be FAR larger than Tesla and SpaceX combined.

    • Texas is by far the US’s largest producer of oil. It seems to be producing 4.8 million barrels per day. The next largest area of production is the Federal Offshore (PADD 3), which is right off Texas. It produces 1.8 million barrels per day. The second largest state is New Mexico, with 1.3 million barrels per day.

      Texas is the largest producer of natural gas, at 9.3 trillion cubic feet. There is another 0.8 trillion cubic feet from the Gulf of Mexico, nearby Texas. Pennsylvania is second at 7.1 trillion. Texas also produces some coal, but it is far from the top producer.

      If a person is looking for a state to move its business to, Texas would seem to be high on the list. Its big drawback is lack of water in the western part of the state. Also, the climate leaves a lot to be desired: too hot in summer, occasionally cold in winter.

      • Kowalainen says:

        So Texas will be the first state to leave the union?
        🤔

        • Texas is closest to being able to get along on its own. It probably could use some food, however.

          Texas has underfunded its electric grid through the use of time-of-day pricing. This needs to be fixed.

          • Is Muskianic relocation to Texas the first salvo in proto balkanization process of the f-USA.. ?

            • Ed says:

              Texas was a republic before it joined the union as a state. Son feel this gives it the right too revert to being a republic again. Texas runs its own gold depository. Texas can buy food from Mexico in exchange for natural gas and oil and Elon electric. Kansas, Oklahoma, and Nebraska produce much food and are well aligned with Texas politically.

            • Bei Dawei says:

              Say, what was the economy of the Republic of Texas like during the ten years of its existence? I bet the “redback” was a strong, solid currency.

          • drb says:

            Food will not be a problem if they end up bringing with them most of the states between the Mississippi and the Rockies. Looking at the vaccine mandate map, it seems clear that that is the way things are going to break.

          • Artleads says:

            If they leave the union they could use their independence to get food easily from Central America.

      • tagio says:

        So PA is a better choice – more water resources, agriculture. Not so hot, but can have cold winters.

        • Replenish says:

          Plenty of Utica shale gas wells in PA waiting for the right price. There are 2 wells within a mile of our cabin. Dad got an offer of $8,000 for pipeline right of way but the neighboring farm nixed that route. Now there’s a bunch of windmills that appear as ominous red blinking lights in the night sky much to the chagrin of my Dad. My cousin had several comments on our last few visits about the number of middle aged, vaxxed people dying of strokes and heart attacks and that there are loud booms shaking the house from time to time. Rural anecdotes!

  32. Ed says:

    When will US shale oil Seneca down? There are many stock market watchers here; what does the market say about the future of shale oil?

    Just by looking at the shape of the shale production I would guess by 2030 it will be reduced by 75%.

  33. Herbie R Ficklestein says:

    Thank you 💕 for writing this article 😃 and keeping the Collapse forum on track👍

    In the Seattle suburbs, garage owner Bryan Kelley waited on parts for 60 to 90 days on two separate occasions while fixing pick-up trucks. One of the parts, a crankshaft position sensor, used to take a half hour to get from the distribution center, said Kelley, owner of Valley Automotive Repair and Electric. The wait got so long that the customer was ready to give up on his Dodge Ram 1500, he said.

    “He went as far as to say, ‘I’m going to tow it and buy another truck,’” said Kelley, who’s also chairman of the Automotive Service Association Northwest trade group. “It got compounded when he found he couldn’t just go down and buy one.”

    The $300 billion auto-parts and repair industry is facing widespread operational challenges, from spikes in the price of steel and other materials to workforce shortages and — like everyone else — delays getting goods unloaded at U.S. seaports, said Paul McCarthy, chief executive of the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association.

    No garage is being spared, whether franchise dealers who get their parts from the major automakers, independent warehouses, or small corner garages, McCarthy said.

    “This is the most difficult supply-chain environment that I have ever seen,” AutoZone Inc. Chief Executive Officer William Rhodes said in a September earnings call. AutoZone is running “the lowest level of in-stock that I can ever remember,” said Rhodes, who started his career at the Memphis, Tennessee-based auto-parts retail giant in the 1990s and has been CEO since 2005.

    From Bloomberg.com

    Sleepy Joe😴💤will issue another mandate to fix it, it’s a sure thing

    • It is hard to keep a vehicle running, without replacement parts.

      • Jarle says:

        Time to prepare for simpler vehicles, way simpler …

        • vehicles are either engine powered,

          or they are muscle powered.

          there is no ‘simpler’ intermediate stage.

          All previous eras moved at the speed of foot, hoof or sail. This era is the anomaly.

          • Jarle says:

            “there is no ‘simpler’ intermediate stage”

            No one said anything about “intermediate stage”, I was thinking about muscle powered god damn it.

            • then say muscle powered.

              ‘simpler’ implied a stage.

              some people, not necessarily you, think that there can be ‘alternatives’.

              numerous times, people on OFW talk about an ‘energy breakthough’—and they think that is going to happen to allow BAU.–because ‘they’ are going to fix things’.

              there isn’t going to be an energy breakthrough

            • Tim Groves says:

              Don’t mind Norman. He is merely being prickly, picky and priggish again. Show him a hair and he will split it with a logic chop.

              It must be an effect of the booster. He always used to be such an affable, amicable and amiable chap.

            • lol

              i used to think the same about you, until you got the job as eddys valet

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Just because everyone else thinks you are a meat head norm… does not make them Fast Eddy’s valet…

              If that were the case Fast Eddy would have any army of valets.

            • Tim Groves says:

              I have to protect Eddy from online bullies, Norman. I’d be remiss not to. He’s such a delicate, sensitive soul, growing up in the colonies and therefore having no natural defenses against such British weapons of wordplay as irony, sarcasm and, dare I say it, litotes, that you wield so well.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Fast Eddy needs protection from norm’s acerbic wit…. hahaha… blow up doll … lode…

              https://youtu.be/fE9qHZb5CYE

            • Jarle says:

              “Don’t mind Norman.”

              If he goes to far I will call a sami friend and ask him to throw a spell …

            • the power of the mind is indeed a wondrous thing

              it has uses you may not yet have dreamed of

        • Ed says:

          The hunt maintains horse trails across the north of the county. A much simpler vehicle.

      • Artleads says:

        Although I keep hearing from car people that cars made over the past few decades simply don’t break down. Fabrics and softer materials can be repaired or maintained by owners. Since it’s hard to imagine society beyond a few years, very long term durability of cars may not be a priority for now?

  34. Mirror on the wall says:

    The UK Treasury seems to think that PM Boris has not got a clue what he is doing with energy and economics. Boris seems to be intent on posing as the ‘pure fool’ a la Wagner’s Parsifal – with zero nous and all virtue-signalling. The UK Treasury has learnt a new phrase, ‘diminishing returns’.

    It is get pretty silly here, as ‘green’ virtue-signalling spreads from celebs to the establishment, and throughout the ‘royal family’ from the ‘queen’ to Charles and all of the rest, and into the very heart of ‘government’. Everyone wants to pose as ‘green holy’ these days – it ‘justifies’ not only their persons but their ‘authority’ and positions. Yes, even the ‘queen’ has taken to public green virtue-signalling: ‘One gets so angry when they just talk and do not do anything!’ She is ‘Queen Greta’ now. Charles has been a lunatic since the 1970s, talking to plants, and the rest of the UK establishment has now joined him.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10100527/Treasury-warns-diminishing-returns-green-investment.html

    > Treasury warns of ‘diminishing returns’ from green investment with anger at No10’s Covid ‘sh**show’ and ‘economic illiteracy’ as tensions mount between Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson ahead of COP26 summit

    Tensions are rising between Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson today as the Treasury warned of ‘diminishing returns’ from green investment and the government was rocked by a wave of bitter sniping.

    A leaked briefing ahead of the COP26 summit says the spending needed to achieve Net Zero is ‘uncertain’ and the positive impact of ‘ever more investment’ in greening the economy is likely to reduce.

    The document, which according to the Observer accompanied a presentation to key groups outside government, also cautioned that tax rises could be required to balance the ‘erosion of tax revenue from fossil-fuel related activity’.

    As frictions bubble up between the two most powerful figures in government ahead of the Budget on October 27 and crucial summit, Treasury officials have also been complaining about ‘economic illiteracy’ at No10 over lavish spending promises and the danger of inflation running out of control.

    There are claims that Mr Sunak privately lamented the ‘sh**show’ in Downing Street at the height of the pandemic.

    Meanwhile, the Chancellor also faces a wave of counter-briefing, with swipes that he is turning into Bond villain ‘Dr No’ and has been ‘rattled’ by the possibility that he could be replaced.

    The infighting emerged as the PM tries to position the UK at the forefront of the battle against climate change, with the UN summit taking place in Glasgow in a fortnight.

    • Mirror on the wall says:

      Boris has gone full on bonkers today, and committed UK to ‘lead the world’ in carbon reduction. As Gail wryly noted, that will be a lot easier if Britain gets itself geopolitically cut off from its fossil fuel suppliers. But who even needs Putin’s or Macron’s energy when we have Boris riding Parsifal’s horse off into the horizon?

      https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10107477/Boris-unveils-plan-Green-Britain-cost.html

      > Boris unveils plan for Green Britain… but at what cost?

      Johnson said, ‘In 2050, we will still be driving cars, flying planes and heating our homes, but our cars will be electric gliding silently around our cities, our planes will be zero emission allowing us to fly guilt-free, and our homes will be heated by cheap reliable power drawn from the winds of the North Sea.’

      ‘So we are making a big bet on wind power, on hydrogen, on electric vehicles, on gigafactories, on carbon capture and storage, all those things.’

      Earlier, Mr Johnson vowed to make Britain the ‘Qatar of hydrogen’ as he wooed businesses chiefs including Bill Gates at a glitzy summit – urging them to invest ‘trillions’ in tackling climate change.

      The PM gave a speech and chatted to the Microsoft billionaire on stage as he asked industry leaders to commit funding to decarbonising the world economy – insisting ‘green is good, green is right’.

      There have been signs of rising tensions between Mr Johnson and Mr Sunak as the Chancellor tries to get the public finances back on track with the UK’s post-Covid recovery slowing and inflation rising.

      Mr Johnson also played down concerns that the looming COP26 summit in Glasgow will be a failure, saying he is hoping for a ‘good turnout’ of world leaders.

      He claimed that Russia and China are ‘following our lead’ – even though both Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin are expected to snub the COP26 summit in a fortnight, where the premier wants world leaders to commit to slashing carbon emissions.

      However, there are growing concerns from the Tory backbenches at the consequences of the push. And Rishi Sunak’s Treasury delivered a stark warning about the burden in a separate document, saying the transition will have ‘material fiscal consequences’. The Treasury’s anxiety over costs comes against the grim backdrop in the public finances – with the national debt having hit £2.2trillion in the wake of the pandemic.

      • Ed says:

        When will these politicians understand you need a plan that tells the cost and the source of the money. It appears the ruling class has lost its mind and no longer understand reality. It will take some time for the nations to fail and for restructuring to begin.

        The thinking is as bad as the witch hunts of the past or the crusades or ripping hearts from human sacrifices.

        • Ed says:

          of course not just money that can be printed but material resources that can not be printed and skilled labor that can not be printed.

    • Mirror on the wall says:

      Boris is hosting a major public forum next month for cutting carbon at Cop26. Reports suggest that China, Russia and Saudi will not even bother showing up. UK carbon emissions are only 1% of the global total, and basically irrelevant anyway.

      UK is overwhelmingly a service economy, with virtually no manufacturing. The focus in UK will be on residential use. USA may be the only major emitter that will even show up, let alone sign up to any new ‘pledges’, and congress is likely to block it anyway.

      Boris will go ahead anyway and commit UK to the most bonkers virtue-signalling measures imaginable. ‘Look at me everyone, I saved the world!’

      https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-change/opinion/cop26-climate-boris-johnson-biden-b1941131.html

      > Will Cop26 be a serious flop?

      We are told that “this is the last chance to save the world” or, as Boris Johnson put it at the United Nations: “A turning point for humanity”. What counts as success? And what is failure? Johnson will claim Cop26 as a triumph whatever happens. “We saved the world,” he will say.

      A key measure of success will be the constructive participation of the four big emitters of greenhouse gases (GHGs): China (with around 28 per cent of the global total), the USA (around 15 per cent), India (7 per cent) and Russia (between 5 and 6 per cent). Between them, they account for almost 60 per cent of the total, though there are substantial contributions from the EU, treated as a whole (8 per cent), and, indirectly, from major exporters of hydrocarbons: Saudi (oil) and Australia (coal and gas).

      If the contribution of the “big four” is to be the criterion of success, Cop26 is shaping up to be a serious flop, Of the four, only the heads of government of the United States – and possibly India – have agreed that it is worth their while to turn up.

      President Joe Biden and former president Barack Obama will both be there to trumpet American leadership after reversing Donald Trump’s refusal to accept any American responsibility for the climate crisis. They will boast of an ambitious US target of 50 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030 building on progress already made in states like California. There is a problem, however: Congress. The Biden administration’s plans depend on Congressional approval for two Bills whose passage is far from assured.

      But Russia’s overriding concern is that oil and gas are the backbone of the economy. Putin shows no sign of embracing political and economic suicide by abandoning hydrocarbons. Putin is excusing himself from Cop26 because of “Covid risk”.

      China is highly dependent on coal – for around 70 per cent of energy supply. China is struggling to reconcile its environmental undertakings to stop emissions growth by 2030 and reach net zero emissions by 2060, with other objectives. These include sustaining coal-driven economic growth in the face, currently, of power shortages, and maintaining the energy security which coal provides.

      • Ed says:

        US 50% reduction by 2030 is that electric only? Regardless it will not happen due to a lack of material resources and a lack of skilled human resources and due to a lack of factories. The money is of course no issue the Fed computers can put out orders of magnitude more money a trillion trillion dollars no problem. It will of course have no value. We are rules by the insane.

        Or could we say Satan is the Prince of Lies?

        • Tim Groves says:

          It might very well happen if the US population falls by 50% or more during the next few years.

          Or, to reverse the causality, the US population might fall by 50% or more if it does happen.

  35. Student says:

    I think the following one is a good example that forced complexity create destruction.
    In an attempt to oblige people to get Covid jab, Italian politicians decided to introduce mandatory Covid passport for all workers.
    At the same time, they realized that they could not ask it to foreign workers such as truck drivers, so they decided to exempt them.
    Italian politicians decided in fact to let foreign truck drivers enter inside Companies warehouses without Covid passport only if they don’t deal with load and unload operations.
    But exempting foreign truck drivers from Covid passport created not only discrimination and distorted competition, but insurance and security problems due to the exemption of responsibility for load and unload.
    Actually, according to rules of the road and European rules, the truck driver must take care of loading and unloading operations.
    If truck drivers don’t follow load and unload operations with all their expertise, that can lead to security problems during the trip and as a consequence to insurance claims.
    This forced complexity has the potential to create a big chaos.
    And it is a forced complexity created just to promote vacc/nes!

    https://www.uominietrasporti.it/professione/leggi-e-politica/lautotrasporto-in-trincea-esenzione-green-pass-per-autisti-stranieri-e-vergognosa-e-inaccettabile/

    https://www.trasportoeuropa.it/notizie/autotrasporto/camionisti-stranieri-senza-obbligo-del-green-pass/

    • What a mess! This is another reason it is hard to see a very good future for the EU.

      • Xabier says:

        On the whole politicians here seem to think that they can play whatever games they like with the economy, and it will still function.

        That they can destroy, or impede, whole sectors and the system as a whole will continue work.

        Behind them are, of course, the bankers and the owners, who probably cannot conceive of a systemic collapse which goes beyond their powers of manipulation.

        What one of them has ever lacked for anything at all in the whole course of their lives?

        Beyond the world as defined by their models, they are clueless.

        Really, it doesn’t augur at all well…..

  36. Harry McGibbs says:

    “The next global economic emergency? Deepening debt in the developing world…

    “A global pandemic. Rising inflation. The threat posed by climate change. Global policymakers have enough to keep them occupied without a developing country debt crisis adding to their list of problems.

    “That is a real possibility… debt is at record levels, defences against a crisis are inadequate and the clock is ticking.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/oct/17/the-next-global-economic-emergency-deepening-debt-in-the-developing-world

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “Glencore…. and a consortium of banks have started talks with Chad over the restructuring of the country’s more than $1 billion commercial debt…

      “Chad’s state creditors and the IMF agreed on a restructuring but insist Chad must reach comparable terms with other bilateral and private creditors.”

      https://www.reuters.com/business/glencore-opens-talks-with-chad-over-debt-restructuring-2021-10-16/

    • Perhaps all countries should default at once.

      Then the question is, “How does the economy start over again?” Pre-funding is needed for capital goods of all kinds. Sale of debt or shares of stock are needed.

      • capital goods are energy intensive

        the only way they can be funded is with even more energy input.

      • Sam says:

        Are you joking? It’s what they have planned a global currency

        • Fast Eddy says:

          Ah yes.. a great reset… they are going to push a button and refill the oil wells.. and just wipe the slate clean and we will start over in 1930.

          I wonder if this is the tale that they are telling their sub minions to get them on side…

      • MM says:

        If you default on cash you might have capital goods left over that can be used after the crash.
        If the capital goods can not operate due to lack of inputs, your default will have to be permanent. Your capital goods will also be worthless,

        Colapse now and avoid the rush.

  37. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Housing Bubble Risks Are Accelerating Across Europe, Hong Kong.

    “The risk of housing bubbles across Europe has accelerated as the pandemic sparked a global spending spree on larger living spaces that was turbocharged by central banks’ aggressive stimulus.”

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-10-13/housing-bubble-risks-are-accelerating-across-europe-hong-kong

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “China’s residential property slump dragged on last month as the debt crisis at China Evergrande Group spread to other developers, keeping buyers away.

      “Home sales by value tumbled 16.9% in September from a year earlier, following a 19.7% drop in August, according to Bloomberg calculations…”

      https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-10-18/china-home-sales-plunge-17-as-evergrande-crisis-deters-buyers

      • The China collapse in real estate is worrying. Of course, with declining energy supplies, it cannot build nearly as many condos as in the past. I saw an article about Xi wanting to initiate a real estate tax. That would really pop the bubble.

        In Tackling China’s Real-Estate Bubble, Xi Jinping Faces Resistance to Property-Tax Plan

        After negative feedback from within the party, an initial proposal to test a property tax in some 30 cities has been significantly scaled down

        • empty condos are not an appreciating asset

          they only appreciate when they are filled with people

          I’m sure some chinese have figured that out—but they daren’t mention it

          • Lidia17 says:

            I think it will depend on how well “they” execute the shift from private to global-bank ownership. I still hear of places where Blackrock et al. are paying over listing price for single-family homes, which superficial observation would bring up the memory of Herr Schwab’s desired future where the vast majority of people own nothing.

            Since The Elders can pull money out of thin air, they can easily outbid anyone for anything, right up until they pull the plug.

            Is there a particular reason the Evergrande won’t just be TBTF like all the other TBTF fiascos? I guess I still see these games working for those at the top even in a negative-growth scenario.

            • i don’t pretend to understand all the shenanigans with property development in the short term

              my only certainty is that unused buildings without people in them fall into dereliction and become value-less in the long term.

              as i see it, it doesn’t matter who owns it, the ‘end’ will always have the same result, no people=collapse

        • Harry McGibbs says:

          “Demand for land in China is slumping as the Evergrande crisis unfolds, and local governments have withdrawn more than 200 plots of land from auction in the past month.”

          https://www.businessinsider.com/evergrande-crisis-hits-china-local-government-land-sales-auction-withdrawals-21-10?r=US&IR=T

  38. Harry McGibbs says:

    “The Great Supply Chain Massacre…

    “…are we witnessing a meltdown of the global production system? …The parallels between today’s supply shocks and the 2008 financial shocks are striking… vulnerabilities have rapidly become mutually reinforcing and self-amplifying…”

    https://theaseanpost.com/article/great-supply-chain-massacre

  39. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Central banks’ longstanding strategy of hiking interest rates to defend currencies is failing to work its magic in emerging markets this time.

    “…investors are discounting the appeal of rising interest rates, fretting instead over the toxic combination of slower global growth and faster inflation.”

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-10-17/emerging-market-currencies-hurt-by-growth-woes-after-rate-hikes

  40. Harry McGibbs says:

    “How Much Oil Can OPEC Realistically Add?

    “…maybe we have been overestimating how much power the cartel has to jack up production on the fly. According to a recent report, at the moment, just a handful of OPEC members are capable of meeting higher production quotas compared to their current clips.”

    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/much-oil-opec-realistically-add-230000178.html

  41. JMS says:

    The definition of epidemic implies contagion, and contagion implies infectious agent. But where is the infectious agent? Show me the virus. The notion of virus is a misconception (Stefan Lanka) and an obfuscation.

    • I am afraid I am not really interested in this issue.

      • Rendezvous Mountain Farm says:

        I was thinking the exact same thing. Most of these links have minimal relation to your post and I would urge commenters to stick to comments relevant to Gail’s post. I you want to rant on other worthy subjects of interest to you, feel free to make them on other blogs and don’t clog up this excellent blog.As Gail has said many times we are looking at a systemic issue of energy depletion, mispricing of resources, financial legerdemain, social and political delamination and polarization and failure of the culture , all happening at once. That’s why Gail uses systems theory so extensively. Energy use and availability is at the heart of it all. as energy goes so goes the economy. Hang on.

        • Ed says:

          We have read Kunstler’s books and know about a world made by hand. We know where we are going. It is interesting to note and talk about “failure of the culture” on the way.

        • Yorchichan says:

          I’m pretty sure Gail is referring to the issue as to whether or not disease causing viruses actually exist, not covid-19 in general.

          On WakingTheFuture channel this morning they were talking about why the videos they make on vaccine mandates and protests are the ones that get the most views. It’s similar to why most here prefer talking about vaccines and mandates rather than energy issues. The threat of losing the ability to earn a living, shop for groceries and travel unless subjecting oneself to an unnecessary potentially deadly injection seems much more immediate than the rather more ethereal threat of death through energy depletion. There is also more of a possibility that one can do something about it.

          I’m not suggesting collapse through energy depletion isn’t very real and immediate. I’ve tried writing about energy depletion in correspondence with some of the bitchute channels concerned predominantly with medical tyranny, but I never get a response. It’s too difficult for most people to accept the hopelessness of the energy situation.

          • Xabier says:

            Perversely, the formerly very silly feminist Naomi Wolf is one of the few campaigners against the looming tyranny to mention global resource issues as a reason for what is being done.

            People like James Corbett just refuse to contemplate the issue.

            • Yorchichan says:

              OFW and Megacancer remain the best sites I know to understand what is going on.

              I doubt the covid nonsense would be happening now if not for the dire energy situation, because the risk of it hastening the demise of the elites is real.

            • Tim Groves says:

              Thanks for the recommendation of Megacancer. I wasn’t aware of that site.

            • Yorchichan says:

              James is one of the most brilliant minds out there. He doesn’t get many comments, though, because it’s an intimidating site to post on. Someone as intelligent as you, Tim, would fit right in.

            • Tim Groves says:

              My best American friend, who is now double vaxed, said that I used to be so well-informed that he would ask me about all sorts of stuff, but now I’ve turned into a loon. Normies; go figure ’em!

              I am enjoying browsing James’s posts at Megacancer. His subject matter is rather eclectic but its in same ballpark as OFW. It’s part of the Doomosphere, definitely.

              Also, he only makes one post every three months, which gives his readers a lot of time to digest each one, and the comments on each post stay open for several months.

              Here at OFW, we have the dreaded three-week deadline, and then Gail feels under pressure to crank out another post because she doesn’t want to disappoint the readership. It would be kinda nice if she didn’t have to do that.

            • >>>>>>My best American friend, who is now double vaxed, said that I used to be so well-informed that he would ask me about all sorts of stuff, but now I’ve turned into a loon. Normies; go figure ’em!<<<<<

              I would not presume to comment. To do so would condemn me as having a 'malicious streak'—the conclusion reached whenever I post an adverse comment that disagrees with your cherished beliefs. Life is too short for any kind of malice, and the (imagined) subjects too tiresome to waste malicious energy on even if i had any.

              An excercise in humour is as much as i can manage.

              I trust you have accused your friend (who seems to have the same observational powers as me) of the same malicious inten?

            • Lidia17 says:

              Tim, it’s true. “We” didn’t leave “them”… “they” left us.

              We just sat here mild as milk and are now the wrong-doers.

              We killed Colin Powell, the cancer-ridden 84-y.o.!

              It wuz us what done it!

              Perhaps we should embrace our inner Sarah Silverman and announce we’d blanking do it again in a second!

          • Fast Eddy says:

            The discussion of vaccines is a discussion of energy depletion

        • DB says:

          Gail has several posts and hundreds or thousands of comments on COVID. Maybe your quarrel is with her. Should she write only on topics that are only of interest to you?

          • Tim Groves says:

            There is only so much that can be said about “a systemic issue of energy depletion, mispricing of resources, financial legerdemain, social and political delamination and polarization and failure of the culture , all happening at once.” But add in COVID and you have a recipe for weeks, months or years of productive and entertaining debate and speculation.

            I for one am very grateful that this comments section has not been taken over by people telling us that shape-shifting aliens in flying saucers are acting either benevolently or malevolently towards the human race and have been ever since they built the pyramids of Egypt using antigrav technology.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          Don’t forget the CEP and how when you run out of cheap oil you foist a death shot on 8B people to exterminate them…

      • Fast Eddy says:

        The faked moon landings are so much more fascinating

        • Tim Groves says:

          It seems like they also faked Bill Shatner’s latest trip into space. On the video I of it watched from a Sky News report, you can see something that could have been a shopping bag or a sheet of newspaper blowing past the window from right to left as Bill was admiring the view.

  42. Kurt says:

    Nice article Gail! I think you can oscillate for quite some time at the top of the Seneca cliff with enough deficit spending. I think we are in that stage now. But inflation will eventually cause an even more dramatic crash. Just delaying the inevitable, but it feels good! BAU tonight baby!!!

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “Inflation Or Deflation – End Result Is Still Depression…

      “A credit collapse such as occurred in 2008 is an overnight risk that heightens with each passing day… Regardless of whether we experience hyperinflation or not, a credit collapse now or later, or further attempts to circumvent impending catastrophe – a full-scale depression will be the end result.”

      https://www.fxempire.com/forecasts/article/inflation-or-deflation-end-result-is-still-depression-789048

      • The big issue is that the goods and services aren’t really available.

        The supposed amount of money chasing these goods and services doesn’t really matter this much.

        One question is, “Which groups get cut out from obtaining goods and services, to try to make goods and services go around?” My guess is that people who are not working at producing current items for the economy will be cut out. Even those producing services rather than goods will do less well.

        • Xabier says:

          Tim Morgan predicts, due to the insoluble energy crisis, a major crash in the discretionary sector, which more or less defines our old industrial economies now.

          He believes this will happen naturally: but it is clear, I would suggest, that the (entirely artificial) ‘pandemic’ and associated lock-downs and spurious ‘health passports’ are about pre-empting this and engineering it to the advantage of the most powerful vested interests and the emerging, all-consuming, Bio-Tech sector.

          Can they ride the beast, trample us and not fall off it themselves?

          Can they successfully add yet more complexity, in the form of the totally-digitised economy and police state, to a system already failing from the immense and unsustainable weight of ff-based complexity?

          For a few years, perhaps…….

        • Gail, thanks for the article, and as you mentioned earlier, buying new tires for your car was smart way of front running events, also with regard to previous comment page on chem giants like BASF about to halt production – I noticed brake pads and tires for bicycles are not to be found in many shops despite looming off season..

        • MM says:

          You could say that 4IR and digitalisation and AI also is a step on top of the complexity chain to reduce energy usage as in office needs, direct customer counters, malls, public transport, etc.

          Let’s just lock ourselves in with an intravenous injection of nutrients and a pair of cyber glasses.

          The question is if the hardware (complexity) increase required (chips are pretty small in material but very diverse of coumpounds) can outpace resource depletion for a little longer…

    • The problem becomes an issue we are seeing already: The goods just aren’t available, as hoped. The issue may even appear as supply line problems.

  43. MG says:

    Why China Can’t Keep The Lights On

    https://youtu.be/HS7fdG925UA

    The cost of coal transport between from West to East of China makes the domestic coal less competitive, too.

  44. CTG says:

    CNN roasted.

    Everyone please click and watch the video. Especially at 1:20

    https://twitter.com/cabot_phillips/status/1450122050278940673?s=20

    Have a good laugh

  45. Mirror on the wall says:

    Macron has given the Tories two weeks, and then he will cut off the energy supply.

    It may be expected that Europe will find more reasons not to export energy to Britain as it becomes more limited. A situation like a trade war over the NI Protocol could see Britain cut off from EU energy. Brexit has set Britain up to be the obvious country to cut off.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2021/10/18/france-sets-two-week-deadline-britain-jersey-grant-fishermen/

    > France sets two-week deadline for Britain and Jersey to grant fishermen more licences

    Emmanuel Macron, the French president, has told his government to draw up plans for reprisals against Britain in four areas, including cutting energy supplies to the UK and Jersey or severing Anglo-French ties in defence and security.

    Jersey, which relies on France for 95 per cent of its electricity supply, has taken a similar decision to restrict the level of access for EU trawlermen off its coast.

    • Mirror on the wall says:

      Gibraltar could end up with a hard border with Spain in fall out over NIP. Spain does not want that, but it could happen anyway. The EU will have the final say.

      https://english.elpais.com/international/2021-10-19/brexit-disputes-threaten-to-leave-gibraltar-with-hard-border.html

      > Brexit disputes threaten to leave Gibraltar with hard border

      Right now the biggest danger is that the Gibraltar negotiation could be affected by stalled talks on the Northern Ireland protocol, after the British government signaled that it wants to replace rules it agreed to in 2019 covering trade between Northern Ireland (in the UK) and the Republic of Ireland (in the EU).

      But sources consulted by this newspaper said that it will be very difficult to keep both negotiations separate, as they are taking place simultaneously and both depend on European Commission Vice President Maros Šefčovič.

      For now, the Gibraltar negotiating teams are planning to hold two rounds of talks in November and hope to close a deal on the week of December 13. But the concern is palpable. “If the dispute over Ireland is not resolved by the end of the year, or if London acts on its threat to unilaterally suspend the protocol, it will be very hard to conclude the negotiation on Gibraltar, no matter how much progress is made,” said a European source.

      • Cities anywhere are going to be increasingly hard to support in the future, I expect.

        • Xabier says:

          In earlier civilisations, cities and market towns represented the highest tier of complexity.

          They could be ‘decapitated’, as it were, in a collapse, leading to less complexity, and rural life, fishing, hunting, would go on just fine.

          If I think of my grandmother’s mountain village: from c1000 to the 1960’s when it was abandoned it had a steady population of people living in four farmhouses.

          I am almost certain that 1,000 years previously it was the same, under the Romans. When Rome collapsed, I bet they didn’t notice much change except the military road nearby wasn’t maintained and life became more dangerous.

          But today, in contrast, farming is fully industrial and mechanised, and therefore shares fully in complexity: it really has no independent survival capacity.

          First we took the horses, mules and oxen out and shot them: then we put the gun to our own heads.

          • Mirror on the wall says:

            What is the name of the village? It would be interesting to research it.

            • Xabier says:

              Zazpe, Navarra. An insignificant place.

              After several thousands of years of history, it’s just abandoned ruins without even a mule track to it, all over-grown.

              I intended to end my days in the neighbouring valley; so much for plans!

            • Mirror on the wall says:

              The landscape looks gorgeous – a sane place to live one’s days. And near a river. I would be totally into that sort of life – no nonsense.

              The four households cannot have married each other for 1000 years though, they must be part of a wider populace? : )

          • Artleads says:

            Where I’m from, the donkey is the basic animal. He seems to be hanging on by a thread. Columbus started what we call civilization 500 years ago. THAT seems like a long time in the Americas.

          • Xabier says:

            The landscape is indeed magnificent, Mirror, hence my now defunct retirement plan! I’ll have to make do with the Fens, but at least I have an old wood to escape to.

            During the Napoleonic wars, in 1814, the mists and sense of isolation so spooked Wellington’s troops that they had to be brought down to the valley bottoms each night, and sent up again to face the French just before dawn.

            The defeat of Charlemagne’s rearguard in those mountains in 778 at Roncesvalles, by the wild mountain Basques, is perfectly comprehensible.

            Google ‘irrintzi’ for fun!

        • Mirror on the wall says:

          Gibraltar is more a strategically placed port than a city (pop. 30,000). Its economy is pretty irrelevant, the usual ‘trash’ of tax haven, dodgy web set ups (gambling, p/rn) and tourism.

          The motto of the Overseas Territory might as well be ‘zero manners whatsoever’ – a brash, obnoxious imposition on Spain’s land. It would be no loss to the world.

        • MM says:

          …and competition on a per country base will well increase.

          I read it on OFW first 🙂

    • Interesting FR->UK (and UK->FR) escalation, thanks for reporting the details.

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