Is the debt bubble supporting the world economy in danger of collapsing?

The years between 1981 and 2020 were very special years for the world economy because interest rates were generally falling:

Figure 1. Yields on 10-year and 3-month US Treasuries, in a chart made by the Federal Reserve of St. Louis, as of May 10, 2022.

In some sense, falling interest rates meant that debt was becoming increasingly affordable. The monthly out-of-pocket expense for a new $500,000 mortgage was falling lower and lower. Automobile payments for a new $30,000 vehicle could more easily be accommodated into a person’s budget. A business would find it more affordable to add $5,000,000 in new debt to open at an additional location. With these beneficial effects, it would be no surprise if a debt bubble were to form.

With an ever-lower cost of debt, the economy has had a hidden tailwind pushing it long between 1981 to 2020. Now that interest rates are again rising, the danger is that a substantial portion of this debt bubble may collapse. My concern is that the economy may be heading for an incredibly hard landing because of the inter-relationship between interest rates and energy prices (Figure 2), and the important role energy plays in powering the economy.

Figure 2. Chart showing the important role Quantitative Easing (QE) to lower interest rates plays in adjusting the level of “demand” (and thus the selling price) for oil. Lower interest rates make goods and services created with higher-priced oil more affordable. In addition to the items noted on the chart, US QE3 was discontinued in 2014, about the time of the 2014 oil price crash. Also, the debt bubble crash of 2008 seems to be the indirect result of the US raising short term interest rates (Figure 1) in the 2004 to 2007 period.

In this post, I will try to explain my concerns.

[1] Ever since civilization began, a combination of (a) energy consumption and (b) debt has been required to power the economy.

Under the laws of physics, energy is required to power the economy. This happens because it takes the “dissipation” of energy to perform any activity that contributes to GDP. The energy dissipated can be the food energy that a person eats, or it can be wood or coal or another material burned to provide energy. Sometimes the energy dissipated is in the form of electricity. Looking back, we can see the close relationship between total energy consumption and world total GDP.

Figure 3. World energy consumption for the period 1990 to 2020, based on energy data from BP’s 2021 Statistical Review of World Energy and world Purchasing Power Parity GDP in 2017 International Dollars, as published by the World Bank.

The need for debt or some other approach that acts as a funding mechanism for capital expenditures (sale of shares of stock, for example), comes from the fact that humans make investments that will not produce a return for many years. For example, ever since civilization began, people have been planting crops. In some cases, there is a delay of a few months before a crop is produced; in other cases, such as with fruit or nut trees, there can be a delay of years before the investment pays back. Even the purchase by an individual of a home or a vehicle is, in a sense, an investment that will offer a return over a period of years.

With all parts of the economy benefiting from the lower interest rates (except, perhaps, banks and others lending the funds, who are making less profit from the lower interest rates), it is easy to see why lower interest rates would tend to stimulate new investment and drive up demand for commodities.

Commodities are used in great quantity, but the supply available at any one time is tiny by comparison. A sudden increase in demand will tend to send the commodity price higher because the quantity of the commodity available will need to be rationed among more would-be purchasers. A sudden decrease in the demand for a commodity (for example, crude oil, or wheat) will tend to send prices lower. Therefore, we see the strange sharp corners in Figure 2 that seem to be related to changing debt levels and higher or lower interest rates.

[2] The current plan of central banks is to raise interest rates aggressively. My concern is that this approach will leave commodity prices too low for producers. They will be tempted to decrease or stop production.

Politicians are concerned about the price of food and fuel being too high for consumers. Lenders are concerned about interest rates being too low to properly compensate for the loss of value of their investments due to inflation. The plan, which is already being implemented in the United States, is to raise interest rates and to significantly reverse Quantitative Easing (QE). Some people call the latter Quantitative Tightening (QT).

The concern that I have is that aggressively raising interest rates and reversing QE will lead to commodity prices that are too low for producers. There are likely to be many other impacts as well, such as the following:

  • Lower energy supply, due to cutbacks in production and lack of new investment
  • Lower food supply, due to inadequate fertilizer and broken supply lines
  • Much defaulting of debt
  • Pension plans that reduce or stop payments because of debt-related problems
  • Falling prices of stock
  • Defaults on derivatives

[3] My analysis shows how important increased energy consumption has been to economic growth over the last 200 years. Energy consumption per capita has been growing during this entire period, except during times of serious economic distress.

Figure 4. World energy consumption from 1820-2010, based on data from Appendix A of Vaclav Smil’s Energy Transitions: History, Requirements and Prospects and BP Statistical Review of World Energy for 1965 and subsequent. Wind and solar energy are included in “Biofuels.”

Figure 4 shows the amazing growth in world energy consumption between 1820 and 2010. In the early part of the period, the energy used was mostly wood burned as fuel. In some parts of the world, animal dung was also used as fuel. Gradually, other fuels were added to the mix.

Figure 5. Estimated average annual increase in world energy consumption over 10-year periods using the data underlying Figure 4, plus similar additional data through 2020.

Figure 5 takes the same information shown in Figure 4 and calculates the average approximate annual increase in world energy consumption over 10-year periods. A person can see from this chart that the periods from 1951-1960 and from 1961-1970 were outliers on the high side. This was the time of rebuilding after World War II. Many families were able to own a car for the first time. The US highway interstate system was begun. Many pipelines and electricity transmission lines were built. This building continued into the 1971-1980 period.

Figure 6. Same chart as Figure 5, except that the portion of economic growth that was devoted to population growth is shown in blue at the bottom of each 10-year period. The amount of growth in energy consumption “left over” for improvement in the standard of living is shown in red.

Figure 6 displays the same information as Figure 5, except that each column is divided into two pieces. The lower (blue) portion represents the average annual growth in population during each period. The part left over at the top (in red) represents the growth in energy consumption that was available for increases in standard of living.

Figure 7. The same information displayed in Figure 6, displayed as an area chart. Blue areas represent average annual population growth percentages during these 10-year periods. The red area is determined by subtraction. It represents the amount of energy consumption growth that is “left over” for growth in the standard of living. Captions show distressing events during periods of low increases in the portion available to raise standards of living.

Figure 7 shows the same information as Figure 6, displayed as an area chart. I have also shown some of the distressing events that happened when growth in population was, in effect, taking up essentially all of energy consumption growth. The world economy could not grow normally. There was a tendency toward conflict. Unusual events would happen during these periods, including the collapse of the central government of the Soviet Union and the restrictions associated with the COVID pandemic.

The economy is a self-organizing system that behaves strangely when there is not enough inexpensive energy of the right types available to the system. Wars tend to start. Layers of government may disappear. Strange lockdowns may occur, such as the current restrictions in China.

[4] The energy situation at the time of rising interest rates in the 1960 to 1980 period was very different from today.

If we define years with high inflation rates as those with inflation rates of 5% or higher, Figure 8 shows that the period with high US inflation rates included nearly all the years from 1969 through 1982. Using a 5% inflation cutoff, the year 2021 would not qualify as a high inflation rate year.

Figure 8. US inflation rates, based on Table 1.1.4 Price Index for Gross Domestic Product, published by the US Bureau of Economic Analysis.

It is only when we look at annualized quarterly data that inflation rates start spiking to high levels. Inflation rates have been above 5% in each of the four quarters ended 2022-Q1. Trade problems related to the Ukraine Conflict have tended to add to price pressures recently.

Figure 9. US inflation rates, based on Table 1.1.4 Price Index for Gross Domestic Product, published by the US Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Underlying these price spikes are increases in the prices of many commodities. Some of this represents a bounce back from artificially low prices that began in late 2014, probably related to the discontinuation of US QE3 (See Figure 2). These prices were far too low for producers. Coal and natural gas prices have also needed to rise, as a result of depletion and prior low prices. Food prices are also rising rapidly, since food is grown and transported using considerable quantities of fossil fuels.

The main differences between that period leading up to 1980 and now are the following:

[a] The big problem in the 1970s was spiking crude oil prices. Now, our problems seem to be spiking crude oil, natural gas and coal prices. In fact, nuclear power may also be a problem because a significant portion of uranium processing is performed in Russia. Thus, we now seem to be verging on losing nearly all our energy supplies to conflict or high prices!

[b] In the 1970s, there were many solutions to the crude oil problem, which were easily implemented. Electricity production could be switched from crude oil to coal or nuclear, with little problem, apart from building the new infrastructure. US cars were very large and fuel inefficient in the early 1970s. These could be replaced with smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles that were already being manufactured in Europe and Japan. Home heating could be transferred to natural gas or propane, to save crude oil for places where energy density was really needed.

Today, we are told that a transition to green energy is a solution. Unfortunately, this is mostly wishful thinking. At best, a transition to green energy will need a huge investment of fossil fuels (which are increasingly unavailable) over a period of at least 30 to 50 years if it is to be successful. See my article, Limits to Green Energy Are Becoming Much Clearer. Vaclav Smil, in his book Energy Transitions: History, Requirements and Prospects, discusses the need for very long transitions because energy supply needs to match the devices using it. Furthermore, new energy types are generally only add-ons to other supply, not replacements for those supplies.

[c] The types of economic growth in (a) the 1960 to 1980 period and (b) the period since 2008 are very different. In the earlier of these periods (especially prior to 1973), it was easy to extract oil, coal and natural gas inexpensively. Inflation-adjusted oil prices of less than $20 per barrel were typical. An ever-increasing supply of this oil seemed to be available. New machines (created with fossil fuels) made workers increasingly efficient. The economy tended to “overheat” if interest rates were not repeatedly raised (Figure 1). While higher interest rates could be expected to slow the economy, this was of little concern because rapid growth seemed to be inevitable. The supply of finished goods and services made by the economy was growing rapidly, even with headwinds from the higher interest rates.

On the other hand, in the 2008 to 2020 period, economic growth is largely the result of financial manipulation. The system has been flooded with increasing amounts of debt at ever lower interest rates. By the time of the lockdowns of 2020, would-be workers were being paid for doing nothing. World production of finished goods and services declined in 2020, and it has had difficulty rising since. In the first quarter of 2022, the US economy contracted by -1.4%. If headwinds from higher interest rates and QT are added, the economic system is likely to encounter substantial debt defaults and increasing breakdowns of supply lines.

[5] Today’s spiking energy prices appear to be much more closely related to the problems of the 1913 to 1945 era than they are to the problems of the late 1970s.

Looking back at Figure 7, our current period is more like the period between the two world wars than the period in the 1970s that we often associate with high inflation. In both periods, the “red” portion of the chart (the portion I identify with rising standard of living), has pretty much disappeared. In both the 1913 to 1945 period and today, it is nearly all the energy supplies other than biofuels that are disappearing.

In the 1913 to 1945 period, the problem was coal. Mines were becoming increasingly depleted, but raising coal prices to pay for the higher cost of extracting coal from depleted mines tended to make the coal prohibitively expensive. Mine operators tried to reduce wages, but this was not a solution either. Fighting broke out among countries, almost certainly related to inadequate coal supplies. Countries wanted coal to supply to their citizens so that industry could continue, and so that citizens could continue heating their homes.

Figure 10. Slide prepared by Gail Tverberg showing peak coal estimates for the UK and for Germany.

As stated at the beginning of this section, today’s problem is that nearly all our energy supplies are becoming unaffordable. In some sense, wind and solar may look better, but this is because of mandates and subsidies. They are not suitable for operating the world economy within any reasonable time frame.

There are other parallels to the 1913 to 1945 period. One of the big problems of the 1930s was prices that would not rise high enough for farmers to make a profit. Oil prices in the United States were extraordinarily low then. BP 2021 Statistical Review of World Energy reports that the average oil price in 1931, in 2020 US$, was $11.08. This is the lowest inflation-adjusted price of any year back to 1865. Such a price was almost certainly too low for producers to make a profit. Low prices, relative to rising costs, have recently been problems for both farmers and oil producers.

Another major problem of the 1930s was huge income disparity. Wide income disparity is again an issue today, thanks to increased specialization. Competition with unskilled workers in low wage countries is also an issue.

It is important to note that the big problem of the 1930s was deflation rather than inflation, as the debt bubble started popping in 1929.

[6] If a person looks only at the outcome of raising interest rates in the 1960s to 1980 timeframe, it is easy to get a misleading idea of the impact of increased interest rates now.

If people look only at what happened in the 1980s, the longer-term impact of the spike in interest rates doesn’t seem too severe. The world economy was growing well before the interest rates were raised. After the peak in interest rates, the world economy generally continued to grow. As a result of the high oil prices and the spiking interest rates, the world hastened its transition to using a bit less crude oil per person.

Figure 11. Per capita crude oil production from 1973 through 2021. Crude oil amounts are from international statistics of the US Energy Information Administration. Population estimates are from UN 2019 population estimates. The low population growth projection from the UN data is used for 2021.

At the same time, the world economy was able to expand the use of other energy products, at least through 2018.

Figure 12. World per capita total energy supply based on data from BP’s 2021 Statistical Review of World Energy. World per capita crude oil is based on international data of the EIA, together with UN 2019 population estimates. Note that crude oil data is through 2021, but total energy amounts are only through 2020.

Since 2019, our problem has been that the total energy supply has not been keeping up with the rising population. The cost of extraction of all kinds of oil, coal and natural gas keeps rising due to depletion, but the ability of customers to afford the higher prices of finished goods and services made with those energy products does not rise to match these higher costs. Energy prices probably would have spiked in 2020 if it were not for COVID-related restrictions. Production of oil, coal and natural gas has not been able to rise sufficiently after the lockdowns for economies to fully re-open. This is the primary reason for the recent spiking of energy prices.

Turning to inflation rates, the relationship between higher interest rates (Figure 1) and annual inflation rates (Figure 8) is surprisingly not very close. Inflation rates rose during the 1960 to 1973 period despite rising interest rates, mostly likely because of the rapid growth of the economy from an increased per-capita supply of inexpensive energy.

Figure 8 shows that inflation rates did not come down immediately after interest rates were raised to a high level in 1980, either. There was a decline in the inflation rate to 4% in 1983, but it was not until the collapse of the central government of the Soviet Union in 1991 that inflation rates have tended to stay close to 2% per year.

[7] A more relevant recent example with respect to the expected impact of rising interest rates is the impact of the increase in US short-term interest rates in the 2004 to 2007 period. This led to the subprime debt collapse in the US, associated with the Great Recession of 2008-2009.

Looking back at Figure 1, one can see the effect of raising short-term interest rates in the 2004 to 2007 era. This eventually led to the Great Recession of 2008-2009. I wrote about this in my academic paper, Oil Supply Limits and the Continuing Financial Crisis, published in the journal Energy in 2010.

The situation we are facing today is much more severe than in 2008. The debt bubble is much larger. The shortage of energy products has spread beyond oil to coal and natural gas, as well. The idea of raising interest rates today is very much like going into the Great Depression and deciding to raise interest rates because bankers don’t feel like they are getting an adequate share of the goods and services produced by the economy. If there really aren’t enough goods and services for everyone, giving lenders a larger share of the total supply cannot work out well.

[8] The problems we are encountering have been hidden for many years by an outdated understanding of how the economy operates.

Because of the physics of the economy, it behaves very differently than most people assume. People almost invariably assume that all aspects of the economy can “stay together” regardless of whether there are shortages of energy or of other products. People also assume that shortages will be immediately become obvious through high prices, without realizing the huge role interest rates and debt levels play. People further assume that these spiking prices will somehow bring about greater supply, and the whole system will go on as before. Furthermore, they expect that whatever resources are in the ground, which we have the technical capability to extract, can be extracted.

It is important to note that prices are not necessarily a good indicator of shortages. Just as a fever can have many causes, high prices can have many causes.

The economy can only continue as long as all of its important parts continue. We cannot assume that reported reserves of anything can really be extracted, even if the reserves have been audited by a reliable auditor. What actually can be extracted depends on prices staying high enough to generate funds for additional investment as required. The amount that can be extracted also depends on the continuation of international supply lines providing goods such as steel pipe. The continued existence of governments that can keep order in the areas where extraction is to take place is important, as well.

What we should be most concerned about is a very rapidly shrinking economic system that cannot accommodate very many people. It seems that such a situation might occur if the debt bubble is popped and too many supply lines are broken. There may be a time lag between when interest rates are raised and when the adverse impacts on the economy are seen. This is a reason why central bankers should be very cautious about the increases in interest rates they make as well as QT. The situation may turn out much worse than planned!

About Gail Tverberg

My name is Gail Tverberg. I am an actuary interested in finite world issues - oil depletion, natural gas depletion, water shortages, and climate change. Oil limits look very different from what most expect, with high prices leading to recession, and low prices leading to financial problems for oil producers and for oil exporting countries. We are really dealing with a physics problem that affects many parts of the economy at once, including wages and the financial system. I try to look at the overall problem.
This entry was posted in Energy policy, Financial Implications and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4,216 Responses to Is the debt bubble supporting the world economy in danger of collapsing?

  1. Fast Eddy says:

    Uncle Joe is finally best at something!

    With a net negative approval rating of -13 percent in the 538 polling average, he is the MOST unpopular President ever recorded at this point in his term. Worse than Trump, Carter, Ford, or anyone else since modern polling began.


  2. Fast Eddy says:

    Mel8 hr ago

    As Geert Vanden Bossche has explained it, these highly vaxxed people are producing antibodies that can bind, but not neutralize their infections, hence, these antibodies actually promote infection by leaving the spike in an open confirmation position, allowing it to more easily bind with ACE2 receptors. The same antibodies that are causing mild-ish disease in the upper respiratory tract are also currently not permitting cell to cell fusion (“trans- fusion”) in the lower respiratory tract.

    Meanwhile, infection rates are very, very high and the virus is having ample opportunity to select mutations that will help it overcome the suppression of cell to cell fusion in the lower respiratory tract. Once the virus crosses this “valley of fitness” and is able to form syncytia and infect very well cell to cell in deep lung, folks, the fat lady will be about to sing and all of us unvaccinated folks will be blamed mightily and better run for the hills.

    Even though it won’t be one iota our fault, but rather the fault of the mass vaccination promoters! Ugh. Get yourselves ready to be scapegoated once again. I wish I could see that NOT happening, but seeing how we have been treated up to now… (abominably), it doesn’t look promising.

  3. Fast Eddy says:

    comparing covid maps of the US

    if vaccines stop covid spread, then why is all the covid spread in the highest vaxxed counties? and why are serve cases rising most in the most vaccinated?

  4. Fast Eddy says:

    Don’t ignore what’s happening in Sri Lanka, it’s coming for all of us | Redacted with Clayton Morris

  5. This is a video that a long-time reader sent to me, with this message:

    “I’m an amateur filmmaker, and thought that you might find my latest movie interesting. The three-minute movie is called, “They Were Wrong”, and is about a man at an inflection point because of world events.”

    I thought other readers might find it interesting, as well. Tom gave me permission to repost it in the comments.

  6. Dennis L. says:

    May I suggest:

    It is long and features Peter Zeihan looking at the near future including China, Russia, Japan, US.

    We live in an interesting time, It is not all doom and gloom.

    Dennis L.

    • Wow! Over 2 and a half hours! I agree he is an interesting speaker. I will need to try to find to time to watch this.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        let me save you 2.5 hours… he is clueless…

        The End of the World Is Just the Beginning: Mapping the Collapse of Globalization
        by Peter Zeihan (Author)

        2019 was the last great year for the world economy.

        For generations, everything has been getting faster, better, and cheaper. Finally, we reached the point that almost anything you could ever want could be sent to your home within days – even hours – of when you decided you wanted it.

        America made that happen, but now America has lost interest in keeping it going.

        Globe-spanning supply chains are only possible with the protection of the U.S. Navy. The American dollar underpins internationalized energy and financial markets. Complex, innovative industries were created to satisfy American consumers. American security policy forced warring nations to lay down their arms. Billions of people have been fed and educated as the American-led trade system spread across the globe.

        All of this was artificial. All this was temporary. All this is ending.

        In The End of the World is Just the Beginning, author and geopolitical strategist Peter Zeihan maps out the next world: a world where countries or regions will have no choice but to make their own goods, grow their own food, secure their own energy, fight their own battles, and do it all with populations that are both shrinking and aging.

        The list of countries that make it all work is smaller than you think. Which means everything about our interconnected world – from how we manufacture products, to how we grow food, to how we keep the lights on, to how we shuttle stuff about, to how we pay for it all – is about to change.

        A world ending. A world beginning. Zeihan brings readers along for an illuminating (and a bit terrifying) ride packed with foresight, wit, and his trademark irreverence.

  7. Yoshua says:

    The bio warfare against humanity continues.

    Sars-Cov-2 had HIV genome spliced onto the spike. The virus infected our T cells are damaged our immune system.

    Omicron then spread among humans and rodents and destroyed both our and rodents immune systems.

    Pox viruses are carried by rodents. The monkeypox is perhaps ripping through rodents with damaged immune systems and then spreading to humans with damaged immune systems?

    • Interesting read!

      This is one good point about monkeypox, from the link:

      “It’s very difficult to eradicate viruses with wild animal reservoirs because you would need to immunize the animal populations.”

  8. Mirror on the wall says:

    UK and EU still seem to be headed for a trade war unless the Tories back down.

    The latest:

    > UK isolated over Northern Ireland protocol as US-EU alliance rules out renegotiation

    Joint US-EU statement reads ‘We agree that renegotiating the protocol is not an option’

    The UK’s isolation over its plans to tear up the Northern Ireland protocol has been underlined by a new US-EU alliance ruling out a renegotiation.
    A delegation of US politicians, led by a close ally of Joe Biden, agreed a joint statement with members of the European parliament following a meeting in Paris.
    It calls on Boris Johnson to abandon planned legislation to override the international agreement, arguing that the protocol “protects the Good Friday Agreement in all its parts”.
    In a press release following the interparliamentary meeting, congressman Brendan Boyle announced that a statement had been agreed upon, part of which reads: “We agree that renegotiating the protocol is not an option.”
    The crisis threatens to provoke a hugely damaging trade war if the EU carries out its threat to retaliate for what it considers to be a breach of the deal the prime minister signed and hailed as “fantastic” in 2019.
    Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the US House of Representatives, has also warned that rewriting the protocol unilaterally will kill any lingering hopes the UK has of a free trade deal with the United States.
    …. However, it goes much further than customs controls, as it includes measures that target the role of the European Court of Justice in overseeing disputes, as well as aiming to restore the UK’s prerogative to decide VAT rates.

    • Ultimately, I am afraid many different parts of today’s world economy will end up going their own separate ways because other parties involved cannot agree on any agreeable terms to continued trade and border privileges.

  9. MG says:

    What we need is the energy diversification

    As the humans moved to the fossil fuels, they abandoned e.g. animal energy.

    We face a different problem today: when fossil fuels are replaced by another dominance, e. g. solar energy, wind energy.

    We certainly move toward energy poverty and population decline.

    It is the heavy reliance on one source energy which creates problems, e.g. Russia started to feel dominant, when it got a major share in the Europe natural gas supplies. The EU should have acted more like Spain, which has got a law that prevents the dominance:

    “The only restriction is the need to maintain a certain diversity of supply sources. To do this, wholesale suppliers and direct gas consumers importing natural gas must ensure that imports from the same country do not represent more than 50% of aggregated gas imports into Spain. If that percentage is exceeded, wholesale suppliers and direct consumers who, directly or as part of a group of companies, bring in more than 7% of total imports in the preceding year, must diversify their supply portfolios to ensure that imports from that country (typically Algeria) represent less than 50% of their individual portfolio.”

    There is not only one energy source that can somewhat dampen the impacts of energy decline: it is the combination of various energy sources that can keep the system operating with the rising energy demands and the decline of the cheap energy.

    • Artleads says:

      It’s how I would think too. But Gail can usually see downsides to too much optimism about anything.

    • The total supply of fossil fuels, including natural gas, is clearly not enough. Even diversifying supply doesn’t help very much. Suppliers need a whole lot higher prices than they have been getting to hope to maintain the current level of supplies. Customers cannot afford to operate their factories and heat their homes with the high cost of natural gas (and coal, and oil). Wind and solar are pretty much useless without a lot of fossil fuel electricity for balancing.

      Furthermore, would-be suppliers are already selling 100% of what they produce. The only way a country will get more from suppliers elsewhere in the world involves a lot of different pieces:

      1. Bidding the supply away from some current buyer, perhaps by offering a higher price. It might be necessary to wait until the current buyer’s contract expires to be able to sign at the higher price.

      2. Figure out transportation for the fossil fuel. In the case of natural gas, most transportation is by pipeline (which is the way that the vast majority of the natural gas from Russia comes). Pipeline is by far the cheapest form of transport, at least for fairly short distances. But if countries (such as EU countries) are turning down pipeline natural gas, they need to expect that any substitute will be much more expensive.

      3. Natural gas by ship is in very short supply, already. Re-gasification plants are needed in the receiving countries, as well as pipelines as to where the gas is to be used.

      4. If countries are hoping to get natural gas from the US, they need to understand that US natural gas supply is not really growing and more. Historically, the US has been a net importer of natural gas. In the last few years, it has exported a small amount. US natural gas prices are double what they were before its exporting of natural gas as LNG began. Expecting exports from the US to grow is probably wishful thinking.

      Read my natural gas export article from September 2021.

      Russia is by far the world’s largest exporter of natural gas!

      Europe is by far, the world’s largest importer of natural gas!

      What could possibly go wrong?

    • postkey says:

      “Low-cost catalyst helps turn seawater into fuel at scale” ?

      • Fast Eddy says:


        Remember they killed that guy – or was it bought him off… when he worked out how to fuel engines with water…

    • Artleads says:

      MG, I get the feeling that you’re imagining a wiser way to manage resources that (whether you believe it or not) depends on great psychological change in our species. I assume that the current economic order is fused with avoidable ways of thinking about the human condition. We are so numerous because of capitalism that requires and enables growth. We follow a standard global economic system that was created to benefit a global elite. It didn’t have to be this way, and there are many imaginary ways in which this system could be replace, enabling your commonsense ideas to prosper. Maybe you could spend time figuring out the prospects for changing the system? We need to organize ourselves in smaller units of governance. We can manage sex rather than have sex manage us. We can be a lot more creative. The list continues…

  10. Slowly at first says:

    I consider Fast Eddy a beacon of clarity amidst a vast ocean of confusion.

    • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      the CEP is the WOCTOAT.

      worst conspearasea theeeeory of all time.

      how’s that for clarity?

      • Yorchichan says:

        Despite the WOCTOAT, anyone who can type faster than most of us can read is impressive in my book.

        • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

          yes, impressive!

          I think there was a saying that goes back to the early days of typewriters:

          that a person could now type faster than HE could think.

          apply that as you may.

          CEP!! 😉

          just kidding, Paul.

          carry on.

  11. Mirror on the wall says:

    This guy is also quite good, published yesterday, if you want to chill to a sitrep for 20 mins.

    • Mirror on the wall says:

      These guys are good fun.

    • Mirror on the wall says:

      > Boris Johnson loses interest in UK as economy craters, war with Russia top priority

      • I suppose if Boris Johnson doesn’t have solutions to current problems, he chooses to focus his attention elsewhere. Explaining that all problems are temporary ones, caused by the conflict in Ukraine, gives him sort of an excuse with respect to the problems.

  12. Student says:


    ”Israel negotiating gas exports to Europe.
    Egypt and Israel signed an agreement in November to create a framework for transferring Israeli gas to Egypt through which they can send it to Europe.”

  13. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Social Unrest Is Rising, Adding To Risks For Global Economy – Analysis…

    “Prior to the pandemic, unrest rose around the world… Unrest declined sharply at the start of the pandemic amid an increase in social distancing, both voluntary and mandatory. IMF research shows that this is consistent with experience during past pandemics… [Unrest is now] close to its highest levels since the onset of the pandemic.”

  14. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Rising inequality now an urgent matter, BIS central bank group warns.

    “A new study by the central bank to the world’s central banks, the Bank of International Settlements (BIS), has called for urgent action to tackle rising wealth inequality, warning the problem was feeding a dangerous loop of recessions and poverty.”

  15. Fast Eddy says:


    Sad NZ – ideally he’d have played NFL and made real money — but he’d be too slow for that

    And then this Just died. No reason. Just died. Happens all the time. No further mention of this – make it go away

  16. Fast Eddy says:

    Straight from the mouth of a key member of the WEF:

    “Covid is critical because this is what convinces people to accept to legitimize total biometric surveillance”

    This is how gullible the MOREONS are… as if they’d announce this … what utter nonsense….

    Recall Bourla said same the other day

    UEP lurks in the background … silent

  17. Lastcall says:

    Ed Dowd: …I suspect all of this monkeypox nonsense and all of these variants we’re going to see in the fall election are going to be designed to provide cover for the economic collapse….

    • Lastcall says:

      ‘Its a 109 year old ponzi scheme that needs an accelerating money supply growth….
      ……The central bankers and politicians have bankrupted the world and a lot of things you are going to see in the media are distractions to cover that….and covid was a convenient excuse to cover the implosion of the credit system…..they will try to use Monkey pox to lockdown for the elections (US)…this is phase 2….

    • Kim says:

      NTI 2021 Tabletop Exercise

      Figure 1: Scenario Design Summary (page 10)

    • We need some cover for collapse, I suppose.

      This is the beginning of the interview:

      Ed Dowd: The feds have been fighting deflation since the tech bubble burst and that’s what they’ve been doing. It’s a disaster. And they’ve gotten to the point where the tyranny of the bond math is such that they can’t raise interest rates without collapsing the whole system.

      Steve Bannon: Let me say this a different way. We’ve propped up assets. This is what Obama did with the financial market crash. Right? So you have asset deflation at the same time you have runaway, maybe even getting to hyperinflation. At least, inflation out of control. On top of a China supply chain collapse that’s been brought about over policies over 40 years. And on top of it you have this radical green new deal thing that they’ve killed energy. Those four converging forces are what is making this unique… The scale of this problem has never been addressed anywhere. This is going to make 1932 look like a church picnic.

      Bannon says that the problem is fixable with the right political leaders. I am doubtful of this.

  18. Fast Eddy says:

    Again … the Elders are aware of this:

    The hunt for politicians continues in Sri Lanka as the cost of living has got the people hungry and angry, police can’t contain it any longer. Watch

    norm… we await the headline Old Demented Geezer Trades Blow Up Doll for 75 year old Ukele Woman

    Adopt a Ukrainian refugee.

    Ditch the wife, kids and family life for the refugee.

    • only the other day eddy, my inflatable friend was saying that you hadn’t mentioned her for a long time.

      she’s the jealous type i’m afraid.

      And is now convinced that you’ve ‘scored’ with someone else.

      I reassured her that you hadn’t, but might well be in a ‘cue’ for someone’s favours, due to a shortage of suitable companions in NZ

  19. Fast Eddy says:

    Keep in mind who owns the MSM – all of the MSM … so every talking head who appears on the MSM gets a script… from the Ministry of Truth — nothing is said by chance… it’s all about controlling what people think… Blue Team … Red Team….

    Bill didn’t write this or if he did he was told what the theme should be…

  20. Fast Eddy says:

    They all seem to be pumping the Great Reset theme… makes me wonder… it’s all about ensuring there is no panic – that the hordes don’t become aware of UEP

    Fear, Vaccine Passports, Suppression of Treatment: All Tools for the End Goal of Human Subjugation

    Dr. Peter McCullough: ( “The commonality to the entire vaccine program is that linkage to compliance. And what we’re seeing now is the utilization of vaccines as an inroad to global human compliance, subjugation of the entire world’s population at the same time via the same method. Subjugation, having our rights linked to the end of a hypodermic needle. That’s the common theme.”

    Tune in to the Better Way Conference:

    @VigilantFox | Rumble (

  21. Fast Eddy says:

    The most intensely compliant states are seeing the case count backfire reviewed on @ IngrahamAngle as the virus finds pockets of susceptible populations. Only natural immunity provides a significant backstop against the binary URI occurrence and against severe outcomes (D/H).

  22. Fast Eddy says:

    Holy Shit! nearly 2 trillion reverse repo

    The Four Converging Forces That Will Destroy the Economy

  23. Fast Eddy says:

    UK Health Professionals Warn There Will Be ‘Really Significant’ Rise in Monkeypox Cases

    More Horrors Await After $550 Billion Retail Earnings Meltdown

  24. Fast Eddy says:

    UK Health Professionals Warn There Will Be ‘Really Significant’ Rise in Monkeypox Cases

  25. Fast Eddy says:

    )“This Is Going to Make 1932 Look Like a Church Picnic” – Steve Bannon and Executive Ed Dowd Warn of Economic Disaster on the Horizon (VIDEO)

    No great reset?

  26. Fast Eddy says:

    The 18-year-old teenager was treated “like a heretic” for questioning a female member of the House of Lords’ arguments during a PSHE talk about transphobia in Parliament, one of her teachers said.

    The pair parted amicably, but when she returned to the sixth form she was surrounded by up to 60 girls who screamed, swore and spat at her, leading to her being unable to breathe properly and collapsing, it was claimed.

    On Tuesday, J.K. Rowling waded into the row, tweeting: “Utterly shameful. Add this to the tottering pile of evidence that people in education and academia who’re supposed to have a duty of care towards the young have succumbed to an outbreak of quasi-religious fanaticism. The girl’s crime? Saying ‘sex exists’.”

    Following support from the author, the teenager told the Times that she is grateful the “important” issue is being discussed, but fears the “sensationalisation” created by Ms. Rowling’s input.

    The student told the paper that she has been mischaracterised online as “expressing ingrained prejudice” but was questioning the baroness in a “measured” way.

    “It made me think I was mad. Otherwise how could people turn on me so bitterly?,” she said.

    I continue to build the case for why UEP is necessary.

    • Wet My Beak says:

      Transgenderism is a mental illness. Commit them to the fire with jacinta and light the faggots.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        I wonder if it’s a mental illness caused by pesticides getting into the brain and messing up the hormones … causing the gender ambiguity…

  27. Fast Eddy says:

    After four vaccinations, natural immunity is reduced to zero. So what does the vaccine do to the human body after the fifth dose? Professor Emeritus Murakami of Tokyo University of Science warns that half of mice vaccinated seven times with the same vaccine die.

    Almost there norm

  28. Fast Eddy says:

    are covid boosters causing more severe adverse events than previous doses?

    once we adjust for dose count, the linearity of reporting for hospitalization and deaths from vaccination disappears. starting in the 35 day period ending 22 october 2021, they explode suddenly to the upside. this implies a start point somewhere in that 35 days. so, sometime likely in the second half of september 2021, the adverse events rate per day per million doses per day exploded.

    both deaths and hospitalizations per dose rose by 4.1X vs the previous period.

    then they kept rising, reaching 28X (hosp) and 26X (death) respectively.

    they only began to attenuate again in the 28 days ending 15 april 2022.

    the surge of boosters in the US began in September 2021.

    this is precisely the same time the spike in deaths and hospitalizations per day per dose per day started.

    so this is NOT an artifact of just dosing more, we’ve already controlled for that. the per dose incidence of death and hospitalization rose 4X immediately, seems to have plateaued for a minute, then found another step function spike in late january early feb and basically increased 5X from its already 5X elevated level.

    that is actual exponential growth in propensity for severe bad outcomes per dose.

    such a thing is extremely unusual to see and would appear to be of such magnitude as to make a simple rise in reporting rates appear highly unlikely, especially as the overall reports figure does not mirror this pattern, retains linearity, and shows no major moves during this spike in more severe outcomes.

    How awesome is that! More Boosters norm!!

  29. davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

    “Russian President Putin said the US had defaulted on its obligations and that the dollar is no longer a reliable currency.”

    “The head of the Russian Parliament recently called the US dollar a “candy wrapper” but not the candy itself. In other words, the dollar has the outward appearance of money but is not real money.”

    “We are likely on the cusp of a historic shift… and what’s coming next could change everything.”

    exciting times.

    • Maybe. It is hard to believe that there is enough gold to solve the world’s money problems.

      • gold can’t solve money problems

        the Egyptians had 000s of tons of the stuff, but they only used it for decoration, wages were paid in food.

        to increase their energy resources, they captured and enslaved other people and used their surplus energy to enrich themselves.

        as the demand for energy exceeds to physical supply of it, gold might make up the difference for a very short period, but ultimately that will fail too.

        • Good point!

          It is energy that countries really need. This can even be enslaved humans.

          • until the late 1800s–depending where you lived, the vast majority of humans living in commercialised societies were enslaved.

            yes–they might have received a ‘wage’, but it was no more than bare subsistence level–just enough to provide very basic food and shelter.

            a man was ‘free’ to leave—but to go where? 100miles by stage coach might cost several week’s wages–so the lived out their lives in one place.

  30. davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

    good interview with Michael Hudson:

    “So Europe is going to increase its food deficit. It’s going to increase its energy deficit. It’s basically committing suicide on behalf of the Americans. I don’t know how long the political system of Europe can go along with leaders who represent America instead of their own national interests.”

    “The reality is, for instance, that in Ukrainian food exports, Ukraine cannot export its grain because Ukraine itself has mined the Black Sea.”

    “So America has basically committed trade suicide and economic suicide. Russia seems to have lost the $300 billion but on the other hand it now gets to compensate itself with all of the foreign investments that are in Russia, that it’s picking up, and its position in the world affairs as a trustworthy economy has gone way, way up relative to the United States.”

    ” “To be an enemy of America can be dangerous, but to be a friend is fatal.” Well, the US friend who’s really in danger is Europe. The enemies are going to do OK because they’re at least friends with each other.”

    I Stand With Russia.

    • One thing you just quoted is quite alarming:

      “The reality is, for instance, that in Ukrainian food exports, Ukraine cannot export its grain because Ukraine itself has mined the Black Sea.”

      This is a pretty good analysis of the situation as well:

      “So Europe is going to increase its food deficit. It’s going to increase its energy deficit. It’s basically committing suicide on behalf of the Americans. I don’t know how long the political system of Europe can go along with leaders who represent America instead of their own national interests.”

  31. davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:,a%20public%20health%20emergency%2C%20including%20one%20involving%20smallpox.

    “Antiviral Drugs
    In July 2018, the FDA approved tecovirimat (TPOXX) for treatment of smallpox. In laboratory tests, tecovirimat has been shown to stop the growth of the virus that causes smallpox and to be effective in treating animals that had diseases similar to smallpox. Tecovirimat has not been tested in people who are sick with smallpox, but it has been given to healthy people. Test results in healthy people showed that it is safe and causes only minor side effects. In addition to treating smallpox disease, tecovirimat could also be used under an investigational new drug (IND) protocol to treat adverse reactions from vaccinia virus vaccination.
    In June 2021, the FDA approved brincidofovir (TEMBEXA) for treatment of smallpox. In laboratory tests, brincidofovir has been shown to stop the growth of the virus that causes smallpox and to be effective in treating animals that had diseases similar to smallpox. Brincidofovir has not been tested in people who are sick with smallpox, but it has been given to healthy people and people with other viral infections. Test results in people who received brincidofovir for bone marrow transplants showed the most common side effects were diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.
    In laboratory tests, cidofovir has also been shown to stop the growth of the virus that causes smallpox and to be effective in treating animals that had diseases similar to smallpox. Cidofovir has not been tested in people who are sick with smallpox, but has been tested in healthy people and in those with other viral illnesses. This drug continues to be evaluated for effectiveness and toxicity. Cidofovir is not FDA-approved for the treatment of variola virus infections, but could be used during an outbreak under an appropriate regulatory mechanism (such as an investigational new drug [IND] protocol or Emergency Use Authorization).
    Because these drugs were not tested in people sick with smallpox, it is not known if a person with smallpox would benefit from treatment with them. However, their use may be considered if there is ever a smallpox outbreak.

    Tecovirimat and cidofovir are currently stockpiled by the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPRexternal icon) Strategic National Stockpileexternal icon, which has medicine and medical supplies to protect the American public if there is a public health emergency, including one involving smallpox.”


    “In laboratory tests, tecovirimat has been shown to stop the growth of the virus that causes smallpox and to be effective in treating animals that had diseases similar to smallpox. Tecovirimat has not been tested in people who are sick with smallpox, but it has been given to healthy people.”

    “Test results in healthy people showed that it is safe and causes only minor side effects.”

    so don’t test tecovirimat on covid patients, because why?

    would it blow up the EUA for the toxic “vaccines”?

    • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      and yes, moneypox is not a coronavirus.

      it is a vaccinia virus.

      but still, was tecovirimat tested against covid?

      or proven scientifically to not be effective against coronaviruses?

      “Tecovirimat inhibits the function of a major envelope protein required for the production of extracellular virus. The drug prevents the virus from leaving an infected cell, hindering the spread of the virus within the body.

      Tecovirimat was first used for treatment in December 2018, after a laboratory-acquired vaccinia virus infection.”

      I suspect that there are known antiviral drugs which would work well against covid.

      • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

        tecovirimat is brand name Tpoxx.

        a single course of Tpoxx treatment is about $1,000 so we know other effective covid drugs are way less expensive.

        Tpoxx used for moneypox cases sounds appropriate.

        time will tell if this becomes big news.

        carry on.

  32. davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

    this is a separate issue from the below link, but appears as a quote by Dr. Malone at the end of the below link:

    ”A massive power grab by the UN World Health Organization and the Biden administration — with the World Economic Forum and Bill Gates in the background — is an attempt to subvert national sovereignty and build a one-world government with totalitarian rule, warned mRNA pioneer Dr. Robert Malone in this interview with The New American magazine’s Alex Newman for Conversations That Matter. This is an “impeachable offense” on Biden’s part, he said, warning of the extreme consequences of allowing this to go through. Dr. Malone is calling for criminals to be held accountable and for this power grab to be resisted by all Americans.”

    “impeachable offense”.


    • All kinds of new ideas. Of course, the WHO interference with COVID has spanned two presidents. Trump was the early one involved. It is hard to blame one political party.

      • Tim Groves says:

        For the record, because people are prone to forget, Trump fought the WHO long and hard, and eventually did this:

        Had Trump been re-elected, the US would be out of the WHO now. Perhaps this is one of the big reasons while he was removed from office through electoral fraud?

        • drb753 says:

          Yes, strictly speaking Trump was re-elected.

        • Christopher says:

          What is the evidence for significant election fraud? I would really like to know so if you have any good data for this please share!

          • Kim says:

            It is all over the internet. I mean, if you really “really would like to know”.

          • ctg says:

            We have Mike, Anna, Brian and the Christopher. The first one had 2 names… Mike Roberts. Subsequently the rest are just one name. Where is Brian by the way?

            • Christopher says:

              Well, I’m actually open for an election fraud. In fact it would not be surprising at all. Just haven’t seen any hard evidence for a significant election fraud. This is also not surprising, since anyone setting up an election fraud can be expected to muddle the waters as much as possible. Just interested in seeing the best support for this claim. Trumps side made all kinds of claims and they were about to “release the kraken” and so on, nothing happened. Really disappointing. May have been more fantasy than reality backing their claims. “Truth” is divided these days, I find it hard to trust anyone.

            • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

              2000 Mules movie.

              I haven’t seen it, but thousands of Demoncrat “mules” stuffing unguarded ballot drop boxes multiple times per day for many weeks looks like the factual process which added up to hundreds of thousands of illegal Biden ballots.

              but only in the states predicted to be swing states.

              imagine that.

              and wonder of wonders but the MSM has refused to comment on the mule process.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              Amazing … there is epic evidence of fraud here… surely worthy of coverage by the MSM … surely worthy of an investigation …. but nothing happens…. almost as if there are very powerful people conspiring to make sure this goes nowhere…

              And recall how Epstein is murdered in an ultra high security prison and the cameras failed… and no investigation.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              And where is Todler? He comes to the party … takes a shit in the middle of the floor demanding censorship … then he disappears.

              That is really bad form….

          • Addy Majewski says:

            2000 Mules. I don’t know if this qualifies as evidence, but it’s worthwhile nonetheless.

            • irrespective of ballot rigging etc (which didn’t happen)

              what concerns me more is that anyone would want Trump as POTUS

              the man is clearly mentally unbalanced. (which bothers me about those who voted for him)

              But i guess it adds one more to the ‘conspiracies r us’ pile

            • Fast Eddy says:

              This is a text book case of mass psychosis in action …

              norm has been shown multiple CCTV footage of people stuffing hundreds of ballots into the collection boxes. Yet he insists there is definitely no fraud taking place.

              Someone with intelligence and who is not captured by mass psychosis …. would look at that and would say – hmmmm…. that looks like suspicious activity…. possibly even illegal activity….

              Maybe they are not involved in cheating … but this needs to be investigated.. does not matter if you support a demented dying geezer who doesnt know which day it is …. cheating cannot be allowed… that’s the sort of thing that happens in banana republics …

              Only a total MOREON captured by mass psychosis would watch the footage (or more likely refuse to watch) and dismiss it with – there was not rigging.

              You could tie the MOREON up pin his eyes open and force him to watch that entire documentary — and still he would say nothing to see here…

              If you asked him – but how do you explain those people stuffing hundreds of ballots into the boxes… is it not one ballot per voter?

              And they’d not answer

              Let’s ask norm our test subject to see how he explains that…. norm — if you don’t answer then you know what that makes you ……. do you want to be lumped with the MOREONS suffering from mass psychosis????

            • Fast Eddy says:

              You mean those people caught on film stuffing hundreds of ballots into the collection boxes… over and over and over?

              Nah….. that’s not evidence … (right norm?)

              I am starting to be (fake) concerned about mike… being a Professional Vaxxer he’s have been pounding on the clinic door last Monday at 8am demanding to be first for jab 4.

              Perhaps we should go searching the gutters for a passed out geezer who’s suffered heart trauma?

              And btw my mate up in HK who was urging me to get that injection – ‘hate to see you get covid and die’ he was sayin…. ain’t heard from him in a few months… around the time of shot 3. Imagine the shame one would feel if one were to be damaged after insisting the injections are Safe and Effective!

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Political parties are a charade … they have no power.. the politicians go along with is because they can get rich…

        The MSM is a charade as well… almost everything is stage managed…

        We are in our own Truman Shows/ Matrix…

        If anyone ever pulled the curtain back we’d be shocked

        There is a hint at this in Mad Men … when Don makes partner the old guy says — congratulations you now get to be in on how the world is run…. Ad and PR men are the critical players in the matrix so the very senior people in those agencies would work behind that curtain

        Almost nobody understands this — I know this — but even so — trying to peel the layers of lies off to try to get to the truth … is very difficult

        Take for instance false flags… we know they are used all the time to manage perceptions… recall the bodies coming back to life in Ukraine…. but if we don’t see that footage (and maybe they wanted us to see that footage???) then we assume a bunch of civilians have been killed by the Russians…

        What I suspect is this …

        Since at least the time that the US peaked on conventional oil the overriding theme has been one of how do we keep a system that is totally dependent on cheap resources operating for as long as possible – in a finite world.

        And how to we ensure that the hordes do not get wind of this horrifying outcome.

        I don’t doubt that they made legit attempts to develop alternative energy sources – nuclear and renewable – but found those futile.

        The past 50 years have been dedicated to kicking the can – but at the same time preparing for the day that all sources of energy peaked.

        The education system was adjusted to foster compliance…. with the goal being to ensure few pushed back when it was time to inject. Even those who refuse the injections are not pushing back… at most they march around the block… they went through the same school system as the CovIDIOTS….

        The MSM has been preparing us for this as well – 21 doomie prepper shows convince lots of people collapse would be a great adventure. That is not an accident.

        We’ve got movies about space colonies… we have the moon ‘landings’ – see – we can fly into space – we did it many times…. We’ve got Elon the Messiah of all things tech and renewable…

        The purpose of the matrix is to hide the reality that 8B eat oil – and it’s a finite resource — and to prepare all 8B to be exterminated.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      Do they have an army? How do you grab power without an army? Surely the countries with armies would… resist this.

  33. davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

    “The U.S. already holds supplies of the vaccines in the Strategic National Stockpile, a hedge against public health emergencies. “To combat a smallpox emergency, the SNS holds enough smallpox vaccine to vaccinate the entire U.S. population. In addition, the SNS has antiviral drugs that can be deployed to treat smallpox infections, if needed,” a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services said via email.”

    what antiviral drugs?


    • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      “Unless there has been some genetic alteration, either through evolution or intentional genetic manipulation, it is not a significant biothreat, and has never been considered a high threat pathogen in the past.”

      moneypox is not a biothreat.


  34. Sam says:

    Gail do you think that the Fed will have to reverse course and lower interest rates?

  35. Mirror on the wall says:

    The new Australian PM is a committed republican, so that will be interesting to keep an eye on.

    > ‘A republic will happen’ – New Australian PM pegged to remove Queen as head of state

    Mr Albanese, from the Australian Labor Party, has long supported the Republican movement. He was elected as Australia’s Prime Minister earlier today, replacing Scott Morrison. In 2018, he said the country should hold a national vote on becoming a Republic.
    While the Labor party manifesto did not include any plans for a referendum on republicanism, the anti-monarchy organisation Republic said that “a republic will happen” as a result of his election.
    Posting on its official Twitter account, it said: “Excellent to see pro-republic Anthony Albanese becoming Australia’s PM.
    “Won’t be a referendum just yet as they’re rightly committed to first recognising aboriginal people as the original Australians in the constitution.
    “But a republic will happen.”

    • Mirror on the wall says:

      More Australians are for a republic anyway. A republican referendum is not the first item of business for the new government, but there may be one in the first term, and it looks like it would pass.

      > About 43 per cent of people strongly or somewhat agree that we should cut ties with the monarchy.
      About a quarter of Australians say they are “neutral” on the topic and about 30 per cent somewhat or strongly disagree the nation should become a republic.

      • I can understand wanting to cut ties with the UK monarchy. This would seem to be a good time to do it, with the situation looking increasingly like Prince Charles will become king soon.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          Lizzie’s been vax injured no doubt….

          Up steps another in a long line of degenerate inbred re tard ed MOREONS to be the final king.

          At least they have an excuse – I don’t think the Biden family is inbred. They are just trash.

      • Kim says:

        People seem to have mixed feelings about changing the color of the hat they wear.

        • Mirror on the wall says:

          The new government will give priority to another matter.

          > Voice, treaty, truth: what does Labor’s commitment to Uluru Statement from the Heart mean?

          Indigenous Australians have been calling for a voice to parliament since 2017, and Albanese has vowed to hold a referendum during his first term

          The first thing Anthony Albanese said in his victory speech on Saturday night, after acknowledging the traditional owners of the land where he stood, was to promise that Labor will commit “in full” to the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

          Albanese’s declaration, which marked a very clear departure from previous governments’ sentiment on Indigenous affairs, brought a big cheer from the room and reignited the hopes of the Uluru statement’s long-term campaigners and their supporters that there may now be progress on its demands.

          What is the statement, what does it ask for, and what does Labor’s commitment mean?

          The Uluru Statement from the Heart was issued to the Australian people in May 2017, developed after two years of deliberative “dialogues” around the country. Broadly, it calls for constitutional change and meaningful, structural reforms based on justice and self-determination for Indigenous peoples.

          It calls for a First Nations voice to parliament enshrined in the constitution, and a Makarrata commission to supervise a process of agreement-making and truth-telling.

          The statement says these reforms are necessarily sequential: a Voice first, then Treaty and Truth.

          …. Another challenge will come from the Greens, who now have a greater presence in federal parliament, and whose policy is for a treaty first. In fact, the Greens say the sequence of reforms should be the opposite: truth-telling, a treaty, and then a voice. They say a treaty, or treaties, between traditional owners and the colonisers have never been negotiated, and “sovereignty from First Nations people was never ceded”, so constitutional reform is not a priority.

          • Mirror on the wall says:

            It will be interesting to hear what they think that “the truth” is.

            As PP famously remarked, “What is truth?”

            I suspect that it will amount to a moralised narrative in which Europeans should never have settled on the continent in the first place.

            “They were here first, and the Europeans were ghastly. QED.”

            Labor wants a “voice” in the parliament first (quick institutionalise them within the constitution), and the Greens want a “treaty” first (quick, make a treaty).

            But what if the Firsters want the Europeans, and everyone else, to all leave, and to take every last scrap of their civilisation with them?

            What if that is their “truth”?

            But presumably that would be ‘ghastly’ too?

            What is “truth”?

            “All truth is will to power.”

            Let the Australians (all of them) spend the next five years pretending otherwise LOL.

      • Fred says:

        Jeez, at this stage of proceedings who gives a flying whatnot whether Oz is a republic, or ruled by Ming the Merciless.

        Most of the new MPs are net zero delusionists, so we’ll probably put the grid in the trashcan, despite our abundant coal.

        Just waiting for the new lockdowns to begin. They love those here.

        • Mirror on the wall says:

          I ‘care’, so cope with it. No one is asking your permission to ‘care’ about what they ‘care’ about. What do we mean by ‘care’ anyway? Is there some clear objective standard of ‘care’ that everyone is supposed to agree on? Really?

          So, what are you saying, that the collapse of the NZ grid would be more interesting or entertaining to me than the collapse of the ancient monarchy? What are you, psychic? Promises.

          To be fair, I could not ‘give fliers’ what you ‘care’ about either, so I suppose that is fair enough. OK?

    • drb753 says:

      what difference can it possibly make at this time? the globalists will allow the republic to be formed only if they can control it as much as they control the current system.

      • Mirror on the wall says:

        An institution like the monarchy, like anything else in the world, is given its ‘meaning’ through changing power relations. The UK monarchy is itself ‘globalist’ because it exists within that post-war bourgeois order of power.

        The monarchy is also ‘constitutional’ because it was given a new ‘meaning’ by the rising bourgeoisie and its parliament when the capitalist class took over England in the Civil War.

        The monarchy functions as a part of the ideological superstructure according to the power relations in which it is given its ‘meaning’. It has no ‘meaning’ independent of those power relations.

        The British State’s pre-war relation of power over Australia is largely gone, so it is not entirely counter-intuitive that the British monarchy would be abolished there.

        The abolition has its general ‘meaning’ within that context of the decline of British State power. Its continuation would also have its ‘meaning’ within that same context as a part of the post-war ideological superstructure.

        Abolition is at least entertaining. The British State is losing some of its now unwarranted trappings of power. What else do we expect or even want but entertainment from world events?

        • Mirror on the wall says:

          This is Nietzsche on how social institutions (and other things) take on their ‘meaning’ in power relations. So, the UK monarchy has taken on a series of historical ‘meanings’ according to the historical power situations in which it has been shaped and reshaped. Its ‘meaning’ is thus power contextual rather than original in an initial ‘Idea’.

          So monarchy does not have a set ‘Form’ a la Plato, although Nietzsche does not entirely dismiss a ‘noumena’ as Will, one that rather gives rise to shifting and fluid ‘ideas, meanings’. The will to power is primary, and ‘forms, ideas, meanings’ are secondary in the order of being. As Gail might say, institutions and narratives facilitate dissipative structures to function – ‘all reality is will to power’.

          > There is no more important proposition for every sort of history than that which we arrive at only with great effort but which we really should reach, – namely that the origin of the emergence of a thing and its ultimate usefulness, its practical application and incorporation into a system of ends, are toto coelo [entirely] separate; that anything in existence, having somehow come about, is continually interpreted anew, requisitioned anew, transformed and redirected to a new purpose by a power superior to it; that everything that occurs in the organic world consists of overpowering, dominating, and in their turn, overpowering and dominating consist of re-interpretation, adjustment, in the process of which their former ‘meaning’ [Sinn] and ‘purpose’ must necessarily be obscured or completely obliterated.

          No matter how perfectly you have understood the usefulness of any physiological organ (or legal institution, social custom, political usage, art form or religious rite), you have not yet thereby grasped how it emerged: uncomfortable and unpleasant as this may sound to more elderly ears,– for people down the ages have believed that the obvious purpose of a thing, its utility, form and shape, are its reason for existence.

          …. But every purpose and use is just a sign that the will to power has achieved mastery over something less powerful, and has impressed upon it its own idea [Sinn] of a use function; and the whole history of a ‘thing’, an organ, a tradition can to this extent be a continuous chain of signs, continually revealing new interpretations and adaptations, the causes of which need not be connected even amongst themselves, but rather sometimes just follow and replace one another at random. The ‘development’ of a thing, a tradition, an organ is therefore certainly not its progressus towards a goal, still less is it a logical progressus, taking the shortest route with least expenditure of energy and cost, – instead it is a succession of more or less profound, more or less mutually independent processes of subjugation exacted on the thing, added to this the resistances encountered every time, the attempted transformations for the purpose of defence and reaction, and the results, too, of successful countermeasures. The form is fluid, the ‘meaning’ [Sinn] even more so.

          …. I lay stress on this major point of historical method, especially as it runs counter to just that prevailing instinct and fashion which would much rather come to terms with absolute randomness, and even the mechanistic senselessness of all events, than the theory that a power-will is acted out in all that happens. – TGOM 2, 12

  36. Fast Eddy says:

    BTW when Fast Eddy was in uni he had a gig on the side teaching a class of 3 mental midgets… one was just a normal street kid (who’s thing was to say to Fast (and their main teacher) – I know you wanna —– me… rather odd behaviour for a 14 yr old but heh…)

    The other one was low IQ (typical MOREON) but otherwise normal. The third – Mickey – was also low IQ with a palsied arm…. and would blurt out amusing comments on a regular basis

    Long story short – this was the Time of Aids and we ran a documentary on the subject… Micky arrived at class late and asks – what’s this all about — Fast says – it’s about AIDS — Micky says AIDS — I don’t need to watch this… why says Fast — cuz I know all about AIDS — it’s from ____ing monekys…huhuhuh…. oh ya Fast says… Ya from f789in monkeys – I don’t need to watch this I already know not to f789 monkeys….’

    Micky was the inspiration for Beavis ..

    And if he is still alive I am sure he’s refusing the Monkey Pox jab cuz he’s still not 789ing monkeys.

  37. Jon F says:

    Hi Gail,

    Many thanks for the new article….love the charts.

    Figure 4 is very interesting…..

    When I think of the decade 2011-2020, I think:

    – fracking+ tar sands boom

    – Iran pumping close to 4m bpd

    – Iraq pumping close to 4.5m bpd

    – smartphones + 4G getting into the hands of billions of people

    – the ongoing rise of China and India

    – billion dollar IPOs galore

    – stocks/property/btc to the moon

    – the first trillion dollar market cap

    – massive ramp up of production of EVs and other “green” tech

    All this activity…but the world average energy consumption grew at less than 1% per year? It doesn’t add up…..the debt bubble will collapse…but to what extremes are central bankers willing to go to? I expect the collapse to be delayed as long as possible…at least until declining energy consumption and declining net energy combine to render delay impossible.

    • China’s coal pushed energy supply up in the previous decade (2001 to 2010). But even at that, the world economy stumbled in the 2008-2009 Great Recession.

      What the chart is saying in the 2011 to 2020 decade is that energy consumption isn’t growing faster than population is, looking at the end points of the period. Of course, this period ends in the year 2020, which was a definite “downer.” World population grew by 12% during this period, so, to stay even, energy consumption would need to grow by at least 12% during this period.

      World oil consumption increased from 172.53 exajoules in 2010 to 173.73 in 2020, an increase of less than 1%, so this contributed to the shrinkage, on a per capita basis.

      World coal consumption increased from 151.21 exajoules in 2011 to 151.42 exajoules in 2020. This is far less than 1% growth during this period, so its consumption also fell on a per capita basis. China and India use a lot of coal; we in the West are not as aware of what is really going on around the world (partly because China, in particular, tells us fairy tales about what its true economic growth). Peak auto sales in China occurred in 2017.

      In fact, pretty much everywhere, auto sales are down between 2017 and 2020.

      World nuclear generation is down between 2010 and 2020. According to BP, nuclear electricity amounted to the equivalent of 25.99 exajoules of energy production in 2010, compared to 23.98 exajoules in 2020, a decrease of 7.7% (compared to the 12% increase that would be needed).

      We don’t hear about the decreases, except from the point of view of how “bad” these sources of energy are for one reason or another. The various other types of energy cannot make up for these shortfalls.

  38. Fast Eddy says:

    I keep getting asked the same question again and again; is this outbreak of monkey pox a real threat, or is this another case of overstated and weaponized public health messaging? I am going to save my answer to this question for the end of this article and instead focus on what monkey pox is, the nature and characteristics of the associated disease, what we know and don’t know.

    The monkeypox virus, which originates in various regions of Africa, is related to SmallPox (Variola), which are both members of the genus Orthopoxvirus. However, it is important to understand that Variola (major or minor) is the species of virus which is responsible for the worst human disease caused by the Orthopox viruses. For example, Cowpox, Horsepox, and Camelpox are also members of this genus, none of which are a major health threat to humans, and one of which (Cowpox) has even been (historically) used as a Smallpox vaccine. My point is that just because Monkeypox is related to Smallpox, this does not in any way mean that it represents a similar public health threat. Anyone who implies otherwise is basically engaged in or otherwise supporting weaponized public health-related propaganda. In other words, spreading public health fearporn.

    Keep in mind .. the MOREONS are reading the exact opposite of this cuz they are captured by the matrix… anything this is not following what CNN BBC says… is a lie and they will refuse to even look at it.

    right norm mike?

    norm mike are on the new hotline getting info on specifically seeking the Monkey Pox shot

    More Shots… More Boosters …. Ohm Shanti

  39. Mirror on the wall says:

    The Labor Party has won the GE in Australia, from Scott Morrison’s coalition, and it is committed to heavily reducing emissions. It is not yet clear how that policy will work out on the energy front, but it will be interesting to keep an eye on the Australian economy.

    > Australian voters deliver strong message on climate, ending conservative government’s 9-year rule

    …. The climate crisis was one of the defining issues of the election, as one of the few points of difference between the coalition and Labor, and a key concern of voters, according to polls.

    Marija Taflaga, lecturer in politics and international relations at the Australian National University, said the swing towards the Greens was remarkable. “I think everyone has been taken by surprise by these results…I think it will mean there will be greater and faster action on climate change more broadly.”

    Labor has promised to cut emissions by 43% by 2030 and to reach net zero by 2050, partly by strengthening the mechanism used to pressure companies to make cuts.

  40. Slowly at first says:


    I hope you are safe and well. I miss your astute remarks. When I examine MIC in general, I see only an ever-expanding engine of consumption and destruction–wholly meaningless and purposeless.

    “There is nothing to do and there is nowhere to go
    There is nothing to be and there is no-one to know”

    ― Thomas Ligotti

    • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      eating oats and cranking pedals.

      good times.

      with Finland now under an “existential threat” from the Greatness of Russia, perhaps his attention is elsewhere.

      maybe the godlike Putin turned off his gas and electric.


      • Jon F says:

        Just too many pampered “IC princesses” around here these days….

        I miss his commentary too.

        Nobody manhandles the word “SANCTIMONIUS” quite like Kowa….


    • Jarle says:

      Kow is prob on a bender celebrating or mourning Finland joining NATZO …

      • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

        I have heard of NATOstan, but NATZO is more profound.

    • He has left and come back before. In fact, quite a few commenters have stayed for a while, left, and come back. Sometimes priorities change.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        KOWALAINEN is an insane genius.

        • DB says:

          He is a great commenter. We also haven’t heard from Worldofhanumanotg in a while, either, if I’m not mistaken. He is another great commenter.

      • GBV says:

        Some of us still lurk around these parts.
        Nothing much of value to add to the discourse these days, sad to say…


    • Fast Eddy says:

      Reminds me of downhill skiing. But I do it anyway

  41. Herbie Ficklestein says:

    Now this is literally COLLAPSE!!!!
    So young,, so sad, happens more often than we like…

    Two teens die in separate sand collapses in NJ, UT

    Joshua Eferighe, Keleigh Beeson

    Posted: MAY 18, 2022 / 04:23 PM CDT | Updated: MAY 19, 2022 / 01:50 PM CDT

    CHICAGO (NewsNation) — On Saturday at a state park in southern Utah, a 13-year-old boy was digging a tunnel in the side of a dune when it suddenly collapsed, burying the teenager.

    He was found 20 minutes later under more than six feet of sand. The temperature was well over 100 degrees.

    While the teen still had a pulse after being rescued, he died one day later
    Park rangers say the dune collapse happened quickly and the death remains under investigation.

    In the Northeast, another family is in mourning after a similar accident: an 18-year-old man died while playing with his sister on a New Jersey shore beach Tuesday. The incident happened as he was digging a hole around himself and his 17-year-old sister; the sand collapsed onto them.

    Rescue crews were able to save the sister, who was treated on scene.

    City officials say the two siblings were using plastic flying discs to dig a 10-foot deep hole before they became buried and trapped.

    The family was visiting from Maine.

    According to Harvard researcher Bradley Maron, 60% of sand collapses are fatal, CBS reported.

    The two families in mourning are still recovering from these unexpected tragedies.

    Neither have spoken to the media

    Remember decades ago a story of a family going to Virginia Beach and their son, a college student, had a small shovel and did the same all day long untill the walls fell over him and a back hoe needed to recover his body….seems he did it before because his Mother said at the time he was doing something he always loved to do…
    No rhime or reason…the Grim Reaper can come at any time …don’t push your luck

    • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      I’ve known about this for many years.

      the sand on the edge of a hole may appear stable, but VERY often it is not.

      the hole can refill itself in a split second.

      so in a particular way, these sand deaths are due to a lack of some key knowledge of the physical world, at least key when digging at a beach.

      this could be stretched to a comparison to our woketard leaders who lack some key knowledge in energy areas, where a small number of other people have the key knowledge which they lack.

      • Herbie Ficklestein says:

        Thanks…and collapse can come suddenly and unexpectedly!
        Good point Davie

        • Tim Groves says:

          Remember this movie?

          A MOB OF ARAB STUDENTS storm a heavily-fortified
          embassy and raise the Iranian flag.

          U.S. SOLDIERS LAND… If.
          on a beach in the Persian Gulf and fight their
          way across the sand.

          NARRATOR v/o
          .when, for reasons long
          forgotten, two mighty warrior
          nations went to war…


          and then another… and another.
          Plumes of flame burst across the skyline.

          and touched off a blaze
          which engulfed them all.

          Ih. A LINE OF CARS… lh.
          stretches for blocks until it finally reaches
          a gas station.

          An attendant pulls down a sign which reads:

          and replaces it with another sign:

          A group of angry motorists gather around, yelling
          and pushing.
          The attendant produces a gun motioning them back…

          for without fuel they were
          nothing. They had built a
          house of straw…

          are yelling and shoving.

          Sell! Sell! Sell!
          Torn up scrip litters the floor…

          The company’s crest is chiselled on the wall. it
          is accompanied by the words:

          “Fuelling The World”
          on the floor below, beyond the marble pillars, we see
          the building is abandoned – littered with broken
          furniture and piles of documents……

  42. Theedrich says:

    Gail has pointed out that
    “today’s problem is that nearly all our energy supplies are becoming unaffordable. In some sense, wind and solar may look better, but this is because of mandates and subsidies. They are not suitable for operating the world economy within any reasonable time frame.”
    In addition, of course, much-touted wind&solar are not only intermittent sources; they are also, according to some estimates I have read, in themselves and in real terms five to six times more expensive than traditional FFs. Politicians may delude the people who elect them; but they cannot fool Mother Nature. That’s not nice.

    Gail also said,
    “What we should be most concerned about is a very rapidly shrinking economic system that cannot accommodate very many people.”
    What she is talking about here is fate. The word itself comes from the Latin fātum, which means literally “that which has been Spoken” [i.e., decreed by the gods]. In this case, the Speaker is physics, or the Author thereof. Being dimly aware of this, our political rulers apparently think the way to escape the inevitable is to invent myths about techno-magic involving zephyrs and the sun god, and to use an old, old strategy: plunder the abundant natural resources of another country — in this case, Russia, via proxy war.

    Even if the financializing machinations of the virtue-signaling U.S. were to work perfectly, with Russia being subjugated and broken apart (“weakened”) and with pandemic-masked world dictatorship having succeeded (“the Great Reset”), America’s fate is sealed. It has been living on borrowed time for many decades, and has frittered away the opportunity to deal seriously with The Limits to Growth, foreseen long ago. We are now going over the Seneca cliff.

    • I am doubtful that there is much we could have done about The Limits to Growth. Politicians and economists kept the real problem hidden from us with all their emphasis on various kinds of pseudo-problems.

      The poor models of economists led them to believe that high priced substitutes for fossil fuels would at some point be acceptable to the economy. Unfortunately, the world doesn’t work that way.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        It’s a good thing that this has been kept hidden from the MOREONS

        It’s a good thing that even though it is blatantly obvious that we are well past peak energy now that they believe it’s a temporary situation (caused by the – fake – war in Ukraine) and that we will soon be completely solar and wind powered….

  43. Jarle says:

    “No, The Ukraine War Has Not Stoked A Global Food Crisis.”

    • This is an interesting article about why the accusation that Russia has stoked a global food shortage by cutting off exports from Ukraine is false. Among other things, it says,

      It is not Russia that is withholding Ukrainian grain or cutting off its seaports. Ukraine does that all by itself. As the Russian Joint Coordination Headquarters for Humanitarian Response in Ukraine reports:

      75 foreign vessels from 17 countries remain blocked in 7 Ukrainian ports (Kherson, Nikolaev, Chernomorsk, Ochakov, Odessa, Yuzhniy and Mariupol). The threat of shelling and high mine danger created by official Kiev in its internal waters and territorial sea prevents vessels from safely leaving the ports and reaching the open sea.

      In confirmation of this, the Russian Federation is opening daily from 08:00 to 19:00 (Moscow time) a humanitarian corridor, which is a safe lane south-west of Ukraine’s territorial sea, 80 nautical miles long and 3 nautical miles wide.

  44. Ed says:

    A friend called to tell me New York State gasoline and diesel storage on the Hudson River is empty.

    • You may want to move closer to Texas.

    • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      I’m worried.

      our so-called “leaders” are cluelless raddical psyyyco leffftist moreonic woketards.

      which greatly raises the chances of fuel shortages.

      high prices are totally acceptable.

      but can’t pay high prices if there is no availability.

      oh well.

      it is what it is.

      • Rodster says:

        You left out “incompetent” in your description.

        • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

          inncompetent compromised corrrupt miseducated narcississtic sociopatths/psychopatths.

          where’s my thesaurus?

  45. Gumtoo says:

    Don’t believe a word of this monkeypox nonsense. If lots of folks start breaking out with lesions and blisters all over their skin, it will be because their immune systems have gone haywire. Nothing to do with a “virus”. See also…

    • The link is to a paper called “Strengthening Global Systems to Prevent and Respond toHigh-Consequence Biological Threats”

      In March 2021, NTI partnered with the Munich Security Conference to conduct a tabletop exercise on reducing high-consequence biological threats. The exercise examined gaps in national and international biosecurity and pandemic preparedness architectures—exploring opportunities to improve prevention and response capabilities for high-consequence biological events. This report summarizes the exercise scenario, key findings from the discussion, and actionable recommendations for the international community.

      According to the paper:

      The exercise scenario portrayed a deadly, global pandemic involving an unusual strain of monkeypox virus that emerged in the fictional nation of Brinia and spread globally over 18 months. Ultimately, the exercise scenario revealed that the initial outbreak was caused by a terrorist attack using a pathogen engineered in a laboratory with inadequate biosafety and biosecurity provisions and weak oversight. By the end of the exercise, the fictional pandemic resulted in more than three billion cases and 270 million fatalities worldwide.

      According to Figure 1. The Design Summary,” the attack starts on May 15, 2022. This is awfully close to what is happening now.

      By December 1, 2023, the Design Summary is targeting 3.2B cases/271M deaths.

      The recommendations from this exercise are predictable things about better cooperation and funding to head off these problems.

    • Came across some threads asserting that the distinction between chicken pox, smallpox, monkeypox, herpes, etc. may not be as clear as we have been led to believe…

      The ‘monkeypox virus’ was “first identified in 1958 in Copenhagen during an outbreak of vesicular disease among captive primates.”

      It’s interesting to note that the monkeys in which this happened, were being used for ‘polio vaccine research’…As usual, no explanation is provided for why this ‘disease’ would magically ‘appear’ one day – especially when we’re also told that “monkeypox has probably occurred for millennia in central Africa”.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      The mark of the beast…. love it.

      They’ll blame it on long covid though

  46. Student says:

    Another good excuse to reduce travels.

    Well known Italian TV Covid-star virologist Antonella Viola says:

    ”In addition, frequent travel promotes the circulation of the virus”

    Antonella is surely pawing to appear soon on TV talks to speak about this topic as well.

    • How to scare people to reduce energy consumption.

      • keith says:

        Gail, I couldn’t agree more. Plus, baby formula, close contact virus, gender confusion, male/female wars, etc. does not make people have kids. There are simple foundations to the craziness.

  47. Tim Groves says:

    Norman, you have suggested I write a bit about life here in Japan. So I’m typing this with you in mind.

    Recently in my neck of the woods, we have been having a bumper bamboo shoot crop. There being far too many shoots coming up for man or beast to eat, I have to knock or cut most of them down in order to stop the thickets from spreading. And speaking of beasts, one of the reasons why there are so many bamboo shoots needing my attention this year is that the local boars, who would normally dig up and eat the majority of the shoots before they began sprouting, are mostly absent from the scene because classical swine fever (CSF), also known as hog cholera, is raging across the land. At least, so say my hunting and trapping neighbors. I’ve seen nothing in the MSM about it this year.

    The bamboo in question is called moso, which in its native China can grow to a gigantic height of 28 meters, although in Japan it seldom reaches more than half of that. Even so, given enough time it can take over the landscape completely and kill off most trees it competes with by depriving them of sunlight light. Humans introduced moso to the Japanese countryside around four or five hundred years ago, mainly on account of its uses as a construction material. But these days, with the countryside emptying of farmers, the thickets are often abandoned and left to spread in an uncontrolled fashion.

    It’s just one of the many ways generations of people have messed with the natural ecosystem without giving it a second thought. Others include eliminating wolves (mostly through disease, although the last one was shot in 1905), planting conifers on a massive scale following the Second World War, and turning most of the rivers into concrete-walled drains. Still, you’ve got to have progress and development. Where would we be without them?

    Japan has long been a world-leader in low birth rates, but the country has not gone down the Western European and North American path of encouraging immigration—although there is a certain amount of that, of course. I live in an isolated area, and yet in the past two years I’ve been visited by three foreign scrap metal collectors. First came a Sri Lankan Tamil who was looking for motorized farm equipment to send to his homeland, then came a married couple from Taiwan and most recently a married couple from the Chinese hinterland—both collecting for Japan-based scrap dealers on a percentage or a daily wage basis. The latter couple’s command of Japanese was limited to the names of things they were collecting. In the end, to save time, I would show them pieces of scrap, and they would nod or shake their heads. Aluminum hubcaps are currently in great demand. Tires, on the other hand, are worthless to these people. But rusty old corrugated iron sheets, drainpipes, and no-longer-non-stick frying pans are gleefully accepted.

    Thanks to the low birth rates, we are now heading down a Seneca cliff of population decline. The number of people in the country last year dropped by about 644,000 to stand at 125,502,000. That’s a 0.51% decline, and it is almost guaranteed to get steeper from here on. We have dropped by 2.5 million since hitting a peak of just over 128 million in 2007-2010. In 2012, an official forecast stated that for the medium fertility scenario, “The population is expected to decrease to around 116.62 million by 2030, fall below 100 million to 99.13 million in 2048.” The current situation is that population is not falling quite that fast.

    This year, two of my nearby neighbors have bought new rice planting machines at about 1.5 million yen a pop, which tells me there is still some disposable income to dispose of in the Japanese economy. They both already had perfectly good machines that could have lasted decades longer, and moreover, they both only use these machines for about three hours a year, but they were wowed by the idea of a computer-controlled planter that runs at up to three times the speed of the dowdy old conventional machines and also distributes fertilizer and herbicide at the same time as it plants. We don’t have 600,000-dollar John Deere harvesters in Japan, but we do have miniature versions of tractors, cultivators, planters and harvesters at equally ridiculous prices. The most popular brand around my way by far is Kubota.

    Consumer price inflation has finally gone above 2%. The yen has dropped to 128 to the US dollar. Gasoline is way up in price, as is bread flour. But prices of sugar, butter, eggs and rice are unchanged. All in all, I the supermarkets are well stocked and almost nothing is being rationed apart from by price. If I wasn’t reading OFW, I wouldn’t know there was an ongoing crisis or an impending catastrophe afoot.

    TheJapanese don’t want to give up their masks. A passion for conformity and not wanting to be different keeps many of them muzzled even when driving alone. The authorities have just issued an advice that masks are no longer recommended for outside situations except where crowds congregate or a lot of bellowing and singing is going on. But many people prefer to remain masked regardless. I would retire to Bedlam except that I’m already there.

    Officially 82.2% of people have had their first jab, 81% have had their second, and 54.7% have had a booster. All this has been accomplished without very much fanfare or coercion. True, several people have told me that they were hesitant but got the jab in order to keep working, BUT officially the government has told businesses: “Please do not force anyone in your workplace or those around you to be vaccinated, and do not discriminate against those who have not been vaccinated.”

    On the other hand, for travelers entering Japan from abroad, the thrice jabbed and the non-thriced jabbed are treated differently, with the latter having to jump through more quarantine hoops. But I was pleasantly surprised when I looked it up and found that even the unvaccinated are allowed in. Regardless of proof of vax status, everyone must take a test upon entry. But the unvaxed also have to undergo 3 days of quarantine at a quarantine station’s accommodation facility. “You will take a test at the facility upon your leaving there (day 3), and if you receive a negative result, your quarantine period will end.” That doesn’t sound too onerous, does it?

    • Student says:

      Tim, my impression is that Covid-19 jab (in all its doses) is bynow the old game.
      The new game is monkeypox.
      Follow Europe closely, you will see that we are almost not playing anymore the old game and we are starting the new one.

      • Tim Groves says:

        Yes, I’ve seen a lot of monkeypox stuff on substack and in the “alt” new-sites I visit. But not a hint of it in the Japanese media yet. They are usually a few days behind the times.

    • Jarle says:

      > The Japanese don’t want to give up their masks.

      I seem to remember that the Japanese liked a good mask before the Black death 2 – true or false?

      • Tim Groves says:

        Some of them, Jarle. People with colds who don’t want to spread germs while sneezing. And a lot people with allergies who suffer excruciating symptoms when pollen, house dust, mite-droppings or gasoline/diesel fumes go up their nose or down their throat.

        But the current mask thing is very much a compliance with social norms issue. Nobody wants to be the first one to walk around “naked” in case they get blamed for triggering the next cluster. And there are many people, including some that I know well, who are absolutely terrified (unnecessarily in my opinion) of catching COVID-19 and convinced (erroneously in my opinion) that masks cut the risk.

    • Artleads says:

      Nice writing. There are parts of the world that could use all the bamboo you describe. Building.

      • Tim Groves says:

        Thanks, Artleads.

        As a builder yourself, you are familiar with wattle and daub construction, I expect. Wikipedia describes it as “a composite building method used for making walls and buildings, in which a woven lattice of wooden strips called wattle is daubed with a sticky material usually made of some combination of wet soil, clay, sand, animal dung and straw.”

        In the East Asian versions of this building method, bamboo strips are often used in place of wood to create a strong stable plaster-like wall of red clay mixed with rice straw, while timber Posts and beams frame the construction. In Japan, until well after the Second World War, when plasterboard, plywood board, and aluminum siding were developed, this was the mainstream method of housebuilding. So there was considerable demand for long and relatively thick bamboo as a sustainable and renewable construction material and for a hundred other uses.

        I still keep a pair of 6-inch metallic rings that can split bamboo poles neatly into either four or six long strips. To do this, just place a ring on one end of the bamboo, tap on one side and then the other with a 1kg hammer, and pretty soon the pole is transformed into several strips that can be used for various kinds of lattice work. Modern construction materials and plastics have killed of this industry, but the bamboo is still growing.

    • Thanks for your write up about the situation in Japan. Interesting!

      The Atlanta, GA, area seems to be a good growing area for bamboo and kudzu.

      Kudzu is native to Japan and Southeast Asia. It is a major pest around here.

      There are different opinions with respect to whether bamboo is an invasive species. It is hard to control, once it is planted. But it doesn’t appear, practically on its own, the way kudzu does. This is an article against planting bamboo,

      • Artleads says:

        The planet needs an incredible amount of plant matter to cover depleted soil and get absorbed and reintegrated into the land. This approach could work with the Sahara to de-desertify it. Kudzu would seem to be one of the most useful plants to apply to the task.

        • Herbie Ficklestein says:

          And GOATS love the stuff…

          Kudzu vs Goats and the winner is…

          When living in Charlotte North Carolina the Kudzu was hanging all over the place…a monster 👹 plant like bamboo…which I also saw growing around the place…

          • Tim Groves says:

            Now, Kudzu isn’t such a big problem in Japan because—my best guess is—most of Japan is forested—about 67% according to some estimates, AND most agricultural land is small-scale and pretty intensively cut back by people with bush-cutters and weed-whackers every year to prevent it joining the forest. In addition, there are a lot of deer that will nibble anything faintly edible.

            I think a big part of the problem vs. Kudzu in the US is that the agricultural areas are so vast and the human population is spread out so thinly in the countryside that they don’t have the manpower to physically mow everything they want to mow.

            • Artleads says:

              Would it make sense for the US to concentrate more people into smaller areas, let the forest grow up around those areas, and manage agricultural areas Japan style?

            • Building new infrastructure is terribly energy intensive. That is really out of the question. It is possible to pick out some living spaces and have people more together into them. Whole areas could be abandoned, like the State of Alaska. But without eliminating areas that are hard to maintain (desert areas, for example), it hard to see that this would help anything.

            • Artleads says:

              Sorry to bother you Tim. I did my own search for an image:


            • Artleads says:

              My religion is not to build anything: demolish nothing; build nothing. Some forests will grow by themselves. And you let them grow to the point where you want them to stop. Less work to do for more people living in sheds in denser smaller spaces. But we might be running out of sheds. But not a bad principle to consider, maybe.

    • ivanislav says:

      Interesting post! Thank you.

    • Ed says:

      Thank you Tim for the insights.

    • thank you Tim

      the social history of other nations, at first hand, i always find infinetly fascinating

      • Tim Groves says:

        Cheers, Norman. You’ve done a fine job describing elements of the history your own native land over the years.

    • DB says:

      Thank you, Tim. Please continue to write fascinating reports like this!

  48. Mirror on the wall says:

    Gonzo explains that Russians are real men, rational and ballsy, even the women, while Western Europeans and USA are driven to acts of self-harm by their emotions. LOL

    • Jarle says:

      Lira had something to contribute when he reported from Kiev and Kharkov in the first days of “The special operation” – now, not so much.

      I smell a guy who likes to be in the spotlight, jumping opportunities as they come along. Observe that he has deleted all his earlier stuff from Youtube – why is that one might wonder …

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